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THE LLOYDS

EDITED BY

E. V. LUCAS

WITH PORTRAITS

LONDON

SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE

1898

(All rights reserved]

PREFACE

This book grew from the discovery, in 1894, of two masses of correspondence relating to the family of Charles Lloyd (1748–1828), the Quaker philanthropist and banker of Birmingham. The papers, which are very numerous, contain upwards of twenty new letters of Charles Lamb, some of them worthy to rank with his best, and others, also hitherto un. published, of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Thomas Manning, Robert Southey, Thomas Clarkson, Anna Seward, Catherine Hutton, Priscilla Lloyd (1781-1815), who married Christopher Wordsworth, Charles Lloyd the poet (1775–1839), Robert Lloyd his brother (1778–1811), and Mr. Lloyd himself. With the aid of these letters, and information contained in volumes bearing upon the

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period, it has been possible to tell, at any rate in outline, the story of a notable family.

The Lloyds with whom we have intercourse in these documents, though they were not of remarkable intellectual achievement, possessed very fully that gift of interest for which so many Quakers have been conspicuous. All, in one way or another, were interesting. Mr. Lloyd, the father, had much of Mr. Gladstone's mental vigour and variousness. Publicly he was concerned in large schemes of benevolence; in private he played the scholar to such purpose as to draw praise from that very honest critic, Charles Lamb. Mr. Lloyd's eldest son, Charles, also interested Lamb, lived for a while with Coleridge, and later in life was the friend of Christopher North,' De Quincey, and Macready; while Robert Lloyd, another son, completely won Lamb's sympathies and engaged him in a correspondence which leaves literature the richer.

Whether any more Lamb letters are forthcoming is a question for the future to answer.

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The fact that those printed in this volume lay hidden for more than eighty years is indication enough that others still may exist, awaiting the moment appointed by fate for their discovery. In Canon Ainger's edition of Lamb's 'Letters,' for example, Elia's epistolary activity in 1798 is represented by but eight letters, and in 1799 by the same number; whereas it is reasonable to assume that in those years he wrote to one friend or another at least once a week. It should be added that in the twenty-three new letters of Lamb which follow occasional modifications of punctuation have been made.

The three Coleridge letters were written while Charles Lloyd was domesticated with Coleridge as pupil in 1796. They belong to a period when the philosopher was casting about for some definite plan of campaign, and help sensibly towards completing our portrait of that noticeable man. Later, in correspondence passing between the Lloyds, are certain acute observations on the great mind.

Among the books which have been found

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