23 February 1843

John Hays, Camberwell, to Henry Crabb Robinson, [Russell Square], 23 February 1843.1


Camberwell  Febry 23 1843

My Dear Sir,

     Your place in the mourning coach is not fill’d up, and I hope to meet you at Clapton on Saturday next at ½ past 12 o’clock.2

     If the spirits of the deceased retain a consciousness of what is passing in the planet which they have left, and without such consciousness I cannot unders comprehend why they never occupied it, my sister’s will be much gratified by this last act of your uniform friendship for her, in thus complying with her earnest wish that you should attend her funeral.

                Yours very truly

                             John Hays

1 Crabb Robinson Archive, DWL/HCR/5/14/14, Dr. Williams's Library, London; Brooks, Correspondence 497. 

2 Robinson writes in his Reminiscences for 1843 (composed on 10 September 1859, one of his latest entries into his Reminiscences):

On the 25th by her special desire I attended her funeral She was in her 84th year The other attendants were her two brothers And Mr Geo Wedd who married a favorite niece. The internment took place in the Abdy Cemetary [sic] – at Newington – from Clapton I remarked that the conversation scarcely alluded to her – John Hays spoke severely of Joe Wedd wouldwho would not, he said, advance £5 to save a brother’s life from ruin – Geo Wedd, that brother, sodid not contradict him, but said, his brother had lost by him some thing under £700 – Other facts of a like character were [re]lated both of Jos: Wedd & Wedd Nash – But I shod now add that John WeHayes who lived near me then, soon after left the neighbourhood And I lost sight of him – One of his daughters is now known as a translator of Geo: Sands works – Otherwise a respectable person – An ultra liberal And friend of Mrs Geo: Stansfeld Junr but I have not fallen in with her – nor with any of the party –

       But I should add that not long since I met at Byles’s a son of Geo: Wedd, praised as a man of exemplary virtues – integrity industry & disinterested benevolence – So said the Byles’s –

       But now to add a concludeding word of Mary Hays – She illustrated the ProverbDans le royaume des Aveugles, les borgnes sont Rois– At the close of the 18th Cent: she was a woman of letters In this generation she would not have been listened to at least her books are not read She might have progressed with the Age She was early an admirer of Robert Robinsonbut of R: R: the all but Unitarian of his last years – The avowed friend of MrsWolstoncraft – She was the object of scorn to puritans – without meriting their reproach – She was employed by Phillips– Sir Richard afterws  It was through her I became acquaintd with Dr Reid, Miss Tooke &c but all this I must have written before – She thought herself ill treated by Frend, And she was, if he were bound to remain aattached to her when he discovered her to be a bore – My latter acquaintance with her but as I was no lover, little was required of me And that little I could still  retain the show of –