1856 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir James Mackintosh

Samuel Rogers, in Table Talk (1856) 195.



When I lived in the Temple, Mackintosh and Richard Sharp used to come to my chambers, and stay there for hours, talking metaphysics. One day they were so intent on their "first cause," "spirit," and "matter," that they were unconscious of my having left them, paid a visit, and returned! I was a little angry at this, and, to show my indifference about them, I sat down and wrote letters, without taking any notice of them.

Mackintosh told me that he had received in his youth comparatively little instruction, — whatever learning he possessed he owed to himself. He had a prodigious memory, and could repeat by heart more of Cicero than you would easily believe. His knowledge of Greek was slender. I never met a man with a fuller mind than Mackintosh, — such readiness on all subjects, such a talker!