BENTHAM lived next door. We used to see him bustling away, in his sort of half-running walk, in the garden. Both Hazlitt and I often looked with a longing eye from the windows of the room at the white-haired philosopher in his leafy shelter, his head the finest and most venerable ever placed on human shoulders.
The awe which his admirers had of Bentham was carried so far, as to make them think everything he said or thought a miracle. Once, I remember, he came to see Leigh Hunt in Surrey Gaol, and played battledore and shuttlecock with him. Hunt told me after of the prodigious power of Bentham's mind.
`He proposed', said Hunt, `a reform in the handle of battledores!'
`Did he?' said I with awful respect.
`He did,' said Hunt, `taking in everything, you see, like the elephant's trunk, which lifts alike a pin or twelve hundredweight. Extraordinary mind!'
`Extraordinary,' I echoed.
From Haydon, Autobiography, i. 171-172.
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