P.G. Patmore (1786-1855), My Friends and Acquaintance: Being Memorials, Mind-Portraits, and Personal Recollections of Deceased Celebrities of the Nineteenth Century
(London: Saunders and Otley, 1854), vol. I, pp. 16-17:
The truth then is, that [Charles] Lamb was what is by no means so uncommon or so contradictory a character as the unobservant may deem it: he was a gentle, amiable, and tender-hearted misanthrope. He hated and despised men with his mind and judgment, in proportion as (and precisely because) he loved and yearned towards them in his heart; and individually, he loved those best whom everybody else hated, and for the very reasons for which others hated them. He generally through life had two or three especial pets, who were always the most disagreeable people in the world — to the world. To be taken into Lamb's favour and protection you had only to get discarded, defamed, and shunned by everybody else; and if you deserved this treatment, so much the better! If I may venture so to express myself, there was in Lamb's eyes a sort of sacredness in sin, on account of its sure ill consequences to the sinner; and he seemed to open his arms and his heart to the rejected and reviled of mankind in a spirit kindred at least with that of the Deity.