Page:Diary, reminiscences, and correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, Volume 1.djvu/20
only, however, did some of his best anecdotes get abroad, if sometimes in an imperfect form, but he seems to have had no disposition to keep back other matter, though strictly under his own control. When he heard that Moore was preparing a "Life of Byron," he wrote a letter, which, it appears, never reached its destination, giving a full account of those highly interesting interviews, in which Goethe's opinions of Byron were expressed. Mrs. Austin, in her "Characteristics of Goethe," and Mr. Gilchrist, in his "Memoirs of Blake," not to mention others, received valuable contributions from Mr. Robinson; and this, notwithstanding that recollections of his own would, in all probability, be some day published.
His love for the young showed itself, not only in his thoughtfulness for their pleasure, but also in the allowance he made for their faults. Jean Paul says, that in the young man the wing feathers (the impulsive energies) are chiefly developed, and that the tail feathers (the balancing power, or judgment) are the growth of later years. Accordingly, Mr. Robinson, though himself of the widest toleration, thought "intolerance not inexcusable in a young man. Tolerance comes with age." His own large experience of diversity of opinion, taste, and feeling, combined with excellence of character, had made him thoroughly catholic in spirit; and, with his tendency to self-depreciation, he was (to borrow Dr. King's expression) "too modest to
- Not indeed for the faults of the young only. "Dr. E. spoke with spirit about T. I defended poor T. as well as I could, with more love than logic. He is indefensible. Amyot cheered me on, who loves all his old friends; he gives up none."—H. C. R., October 22, 1832.