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every star, that Providence, not seeing good

to make me independent, has seen it next

“ January 9th, 1823. good to settle me upon the stable foundation “Throw yourself on the world without of Leadenhall. Sit down, good B. B., in the any rational plan of support, beyond what the banking-office; what! is there not from six chance employ of booksellers would afford to eleven P.M. six days in the week, and is you !!!'

there not all Sunday? Fie, what a super“Throw yourself rather, my dear sir, from fuity of man’s-time, if you could think so ! the steep Tarpeian rock, slap-dash headlong Enough for relaxation, mirth, converse, upon iron spikes. If you had but five con- poetry, good thoughts, quiet thoughts. Oh solatory minutes between the desk and the the corroding, torturing, tormenting thoughts, bed, make much of them, and live a century that disturb the brain of the unlucky wight, in them, rather than turn slave to the book- who must draw upon it for daily sustenance ! sellers. They are Turks and Tartars, when Henceforth I retract all my fond complaints they have poor authors at their beck. of mercantile employment; look upon them Hitherto you have been at arm's length from as lovers' quarrels. I was but half in earnest. them. Come not within their grasp. I have Welcome dead timber of a desk, that makes known many authors want for bread, some me live. A little grumbling is a wholesome repining, others en vying the blessed security medicine for the spleen, but in my inner of a counting-house, all agreeing they had heart do I approve and embrace this our rather have been tailors, weavers—what not? close, but unharassing way of life. I am rather than the things they were. I have quite serious. If you can send me Fox, I known some starved, some to go mad, one will not keep it six weeks, and will return it, dear friend literally dying in a workhouse. with warın thanks to yourself and friend, You know not what a rapacious, dishonest without blot or dog’s-ear. You will much set these booksellers are. Ask even Southey, oblige me by this kindness. who (a single case almost) has made a fortune

“ Yours truly,

C. LAMB." by book-drudgery, what he has found them. Oh, you know not, may you never know ! Lamb thus communicated to Mr. Barton the miseries of subsisting by authorship. his prosecution of his researches into Primi'Tis a pretty appendage to a situation like tive Quakerism. yours or mine; but a slavery, worse than all slavery, to be a bookseller's dependant, to drudge your brains for pots of ale, and breasts

"February 17th, 1823. of mutton, to change your free thoughts and “My dear Sir,- I have read quite through voluntary numbers for ungracious task-work. the ponderous folio of George Fox. I think Those fellows hate us. The reason I take to Sewell has been judicious in omitting certain be, that contrary to other trades, in which parts, as for instance where G. F. has revealed the master gets all the credit, (a jeweller or to him the natures of all the creatures in silversmith for instance,) and the journey their names, as Adam had. He luckily turns man, who really does the fine work, is in the aside from that compendious study of natural back-ground: in our work the world gives history, which might have superseded Buffon, all the credit to us, whom they consider as to his proper spiritual pursuits, only just their journeymen, and therefore do they hate hinting what a philosopher he might have us, and cheat us, and oppress us, and would been. The ominous passage is near the wring the blood of us out, to put another beginning of the book. It is clear he means sixpence in their mechanic pouches! I con- a physical knowledge, without trope or figure. tend that a bookseller has a relative honesty Also, pretences to miraculous healing, and towards authors, not like his honesty to the the like, are more frequent than I should rest of the world.

have suspected from the epitome in Sewell. "Keep to your bank, and the bank will He is nevertheless a great spiritual man, and keep you. Trust not to the public; you I feel very much obliged by your procuring may hang, starve, drown yourself, for any- me the loan of it. How I like the Quaker thing that worthy personage cares. I bless phrases, though I think they were hardly


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completed till Woolman. A pretty little other, without paying anything,* had excited manual of Quaker language (with an endea- some gentle remonstrance on the part of vour to explain them) might be gathered out Barton's sister, to which Lamb thus replied. of his book. Could not you do it? I have read thro gh G. F. without finding any explanation of the term first volume in the

“March 11th, 1823. title-page. It takes in all, both his life and "Dear Sir,-The approbation of my little his death. Are there more last words of book by your sister is very pleasing to me. him ? Pray how may I return it to Mr. The Quaker incident did not happen to me, Shewell at Ipswich ? I fear to send such a but to Carlisle the surgeon, from whose mouth treasure by a stage-coach; not that I am I have twice heard it, at an interval of ten or afraid of the coachman or the guard reading twelve years, with little or no variation, and it; but it might be lost. Can you put me have given it as exactly as I could remember in a way of sending it in safety? The kind- it. The gloss which your sister or you have hearted owner trusted it to me for six put upon it, does not strike me as correct. months; I think I was about as many days Carlisle drew no inference from it against the in getting through it, and I do not think that honesty of the Quakers, but only in favour I skipt a word of it. I have quoted G. F. in of their surpassing coolness ; that they should my Quakers' Meeting,' as having said he be capable of committing a good joke, with was ' lifted up in spirit,' (which I felt at the an utter insensibility to its being any jest ať time to be not a Quaker phrase,) and the all. I have reason to believe in the truth of judge and jury were as dead men under his it, because, as I have said, I heard him repeat feet.' I find no such words in his journal, it without variation at such an interval. The and I did not get them from Sewell, and the story loses sadly in print, for Carlisle is the latter sentence I am sure I did not mean to best story-teller I ever heard. The idea of invent: I must have put some other Quaker's the discovery of roasting pigs I also borrowed, words into his mouth. Is it a fatality in me, from my friend Manning, and am willing to that everything I touch turns into a lie ?’ | confess both my plagiarisms. Should fate I once quoted two lines from a translation of ever so order it that you shall ever be in Dante, which Hazlitt very greatly admired, town with your sister, mine bids me say, that and quoted in a book as proof of the stupend- she shall have great pleasure in being introous power of that poet, but no such lines duced to her. Your endeavour at explaining are to be found in the translation, which has Fox's insight into the natures of animals been searched for the purpose. I must have must fail, as I shall transcribe the passage. dreamed them, for I am quite certain I did It appears to me that he stopt short in time, not forge them knowingly. What a mis- and was on the brink of falling with his .fortune to have a lying memory! Your friend Naylor, my favourite. The book shall description of Mr. Mitford's place makes me be forthcoming whenever your friend can long for a pippin and some caraways, and a make convenient to call for it. cup of sack in his orchard, when the sweets “They have dragged me again into the of the night come in,

Magazine, but I feel the spirit of the thing “ Farewell.

in my own mind quite gone. 'Some brains' “ C. LAMB."

(I think Ben Jonson says it) will endure

but one skimming. We are about to have In the beginning of the year 1823, the an inundation of poetry from the Lakes“ Essays of Elia," collected in a volume, were Wordsworth and Southey are coming up published by Messrs. Taylor and Hessey, who strong from the north. How did you like had become the proprietors of the “ London Hartley's sonnets? The first, at least, is Magazine.” The book met with a rapid vastly fine. I am ashamed of the shabby sale, while the magazine in which its contents letters I send, but I am by nature anything bad appeared, declined. The anecdote of the but neat. Therein my mother bore me ro three Quakers gravely walking out of the Quaker. I never could seal a letter without inn where they had taken tea on the road, on an extortionate demand, one after the "Imperfect Sympathies.”—Essays of Elia, p. 74.



dropping the wax on one side, besides scalding the vein lately. A philosophical treatise is my fingers. I never had a seal, too, of my wanting, of the causes of the backwardness own. Writing to a great man lately, who is with which persons after a certain time of moreover very heraldic, I borrowed a seal of life set about writing a letter. I always feel a friend, who by the female side quarters the as I had nothing to say, and the performProtectoral arms of Cromwell. How they ance generally justifies the presentiment. must have puzzled my correspondent ! My “I do not exactly see why the goose and letters are generally charged as double at the little goslings should emblematise a Quaker Post-office, from their inveterate clumsiness poet that has no children. But after all of foldure ; so you must not take it disre- perhaps it is a pelican. The ‘Mene, Mene, spectful to yourself, if I send you such un- Tekel, Upharsin' around it I cannot decigainly scraps. I think I lose 1001. a-year at pher. The songster of the night pouring the India House, owing solely to my want of out her effusions amid a silent meeting of neatness in making up accounts. How I madge-owlets, would be at least intelligible. puzzle 'em out at last is the wonder. I have A full pause here comes upon me as if I had to do with millions !!

not a word more left. I will shake my brain, “ It is time to have done my incoherences. Once ! Twice !-nothing comes up. George “ Believe me, yours truly, Fox recommends waiting on these occasions.

“ C. LAMB." I wait. Nothing comes. G. Fox that sets

me off again. I have finished the 'Journal,' Lamb thus records a meeting with the and 400 more pages of the 'Doctrinals,' poets.

which I picked up for 7s. 6d. If I get on at

this rate, the society will be in danger of

“April 5th, 1823. having two Quaker poets-to patronise. “ Dear Sir, I wished for you yesterday.

“ Believe me cordially yours, I dined in Parnassus, with Wordsworth,

“ C. LAMB." Coleridge, Rogers, and Tom Moore,-half the poetry of England constellated and clustered in Gloucester Place! It was a delightful The following letter was addressed to evening ! Coleridge was in his finest vein of Mr. Procter, in acknowledgment of a miniatalk-had all the talk; and let 'em talk as ture of Pope which he had presented to evilly as they do of the envy of poets, I am Lamb. sure not one there but was content to be nothing but a listener. The Muses were dumb, while Apollo lectured, on his and

* April 13th, 1823. their fine art. It is a lie that poets are “Dear Lad,—You must think me a brute envious ; I have known the best of them, beast, a rhinoceros, never to have acknowand can speak to it, that they give each other ledged the receipt of your precious present. their merits, and are the kindest critics as But indeed I am none of those shocking well as best authors. I am scribbling a things, but have arrived at that indisposition muddy e pistle with an aching head, for we to letter-writing, which would make it a hard did not quaff Hippocrene last night; marry, exertion to write three lines to a king to it was hippocrass rather. Pray accept this spare a friend's life. Whether it is that the .8 a letter in the mean time, C. L.” Magazine paying me so much a page, I am

loath to throw away composition-how much Here is an apology for a letter, referring a sheet do you give your correspondents ? to a seal used on the letter to which this is I have hung up Pope, and a gem it is, in my an answer—the device was a pelican feeding town room; I hope for your approval. Though her young from her own breast.

it accompanies the 'Essay on Man,' I think that was not the poem he is here meditating.

He would have looked up, somehow affectedly,

“May 3rd, 1823. if he were just conceiving ‘Awake, my St. “Dear Sir, I am vexed to be two letters' John.' Neither is he in the ‘Rape of the in your debt, but I have been quite out of Lock’ mood exactly. I think he has just.


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made out the last lines of the 'Epistle to enlisted on behalf of Hazlitt and Hunt, who Jervis,' between gay and tender,

had been attacked in this work in a manner

which he regarded as unfair ; for the critics . And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes.'

had not been content with descanting on the “I'll be hanged if that isn't the line. He peculiarities in the style and taste of the one, is brooding over it, with a dreamy phantom or reprobating the political or personal of Lady Mary floating before him. He is vehemence of the other, which were fair thinking which is the earliest possible day subjects of controversy,—but spoke of them and hour that she will first see it. What a with a contempt which every man of letters miniature piece of gentility it is ! Why did had a right to resent, as unjust. He had you give it me? I do not like you enough been much annoyed by an allusion to himself to give you anything so good.

in an article on “ Hazlitt's Political Essays," “I have dined with T. Moore and break- which appeared in the Review for November, fasted with Rogers, since I saw you ; have 1819, as“ one whom we should wish to see much to say about them when we meet, in more respectable company;" for he felt a which I trust will be in a week or two. 1 compliment paid him at the expense of a have been oter-watched and over-poeted friend, as a grievance far beyond any direct since Wordsworth has been in town. I was attack on himself. He was also exceedingly obliged for health sake to wish him gone, hurt by a reference made in an article on but now he is gone I feel a great loss. I am Dr. Reid's work “On Nervous Affections," going to Dalston to recruit, and have serious which appeared in July, 1822, to an essay thoughts of--altering my condition, that is, which he had contributed some years before of taking to sobriety. What do you advise to a collection of tracts published by his me ?

friend, Mr. Basil Montague, on the effect of “Rogers spake very kindly of you, as spirituous liquors, entitled “The Confessions every body does, and none with so much of a Drunkard.” The contribution of this reason as your

C. L." paper is a striking proof of the prevalence of

Lamb's personal regards over all selfish feelings and tastes; for no one was less disposed than he to Montague's theory or

practice of abstinence; yet he was willing to CHAPTER XIII.

gratify his friend by this terrible picture of

the extreme effects of intenperance, of which (1823.)

his own occasional deviations from the right

line of sobriety had given him hints and In the year 1823, Lamb appeared, for the 'glimpses. The reviewer of Dr. Reid, adfirst and only time of his life before the verting to this essay, speaks of it as “a fearful public, as an assailant: and the object of his picture of the consequences of intemperance, attack was one of his oldest and fastest which we happen to know is a true tale." friends, Mr. Southey. It might, indeed, have How far it was from actual truth the “Essays been predicted of Lamb, that if ever he did of Elia,” the production of a later day, in enter the arena of personal controversy, it which the maturity of his feeling, humour, would be with one who had obtained a place and reason is exhibited, may sufficiently in his affection ; for no motive less powerful witness. These articles were not written by than the resentment of friendship which Mr. Southey ; but they prepared Lamb to deemed itself wounded, could place him in feel acutely any attack from the Review; a situation so abhorrent to his habitual and a paragraph in an article in the number thoughts. Lamb had, up to this time, little for July, 1823, entitled “Progress of Infireason to love reviews or reviewers; and the delity,” in which he recognised the band of connexion of Southey with “The Quarterly his old friend, gave poignancy to all the Review," while he felt that it raised, and painful associations which had arisen from softened, and refined the tone of that powerful the same work, and concentrated them in one organ of a great party, sometimes vexed him bitter feeling. After recording some of the for his friend. His indignation also had been confessions of unbelievers of the wretchedness



which their infidelity brought on them, Mr. The allusion in this paragraph was really, Southey thus proceeded :

as Lamb was afterwards convinced, intended

by Mr. Southey to assist the sale of the book. “ Unbelievers have not always been honest In haste, having expunged some word which enough thus to express their real feelings ; he thought improper, he wrote, “sounder but this we know concerning them, that religious feeling," not satisfied with the when they have renounced their birthright epithet, but meaning to correct it in the of hope, they have not been able to divest proof, which unfortunately was never sent themselves of fear. From the nature of the him. Lamb saw it on his return from a human mind, this might be presumed, and in month's pleasant holidays at Hastings, and fact it is so. They may deaden the heart expressed his first impression respecting it in and stupify the conscience, but they cannot a letter. destroy the imaginative faculty. There is a remarkable proof of this in ' Elia’s Essays,' a book which wants only a sounder religious

“July 10th, 1823. feeling, to be as delightful as it is original. “Dear Sir,-I have just returned from In that upon · Witches and the other Night Hastings, where are exquisite views and Fears,' he says, 'It is not book, or picture, walks, and where I have given up my soul or the stories of foolish servants, which to walking, and I am now suffering sedentary create these terrors in children ; they can at contrasts. I am a long time reconciling to most but give them a direction. Dear little town after one of these excursions. Home T. H., who of all children has been brought is become strange, and will remain so yet a up with the most scrupulous exclusion of while; home is the most unforgiving of every taint of superstition, who was never friends, and always resents absence ; I know allowed to hear of goblin or apparition, or its old cordial look will return, but they are scarcely to be told of bad men, or to hear or slow in clearing up. That is one of the read of any distressing story, finds all this features of this our galley-slavery, that world of fear, from which he has been so peregrination ended makes things worse. I rigidly excluded ab extra, in his own “ thick-felt out of water (with all the sea about me) coming fancies," and from his little midnight at Hastings ; and just as I had learned to pillow this nurse child of optimism will start domiciliate there, I must come back to find at shapes, unborrowed of tradition, in sweats a home which is no home. I abused Hastings, to which the reveries of the well-damned but learned its value. There are spots, inland murderer are tranquillity.'—This poor child, bays, &c., which realise the notions of Juan instead of being trained up in the way he Fernandez. The best thing I lit upon by should go, had been bred in the ways of accident was a small country church, (by modern philosophy; he had systematically whom or when built unknown,) standing been prevented from knowing anything of bare and single in the midst of a grove, with that Saviour who said, 'Suffer little children no house or appearance of habitation within to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of a quarter of a mile, only passages diverging sach is the kingdom of heaven ;' care had from it through beautiful woods to so many been taken that he should not pray to God, farm-houses. There it stands like the first nor lie down at night in reliance upon his idea of a church, before parishioners were good providence ! Nor let it be supposed thought of, nothing but birds for its congrethat terrors of imagination belong to child- gation ; or like a hermit's oratory (the hermit hood alone. The reprobate heart, which has dead), or a mausoleum ; its effect singularly discarded all love of God, cannot so easily rid impressive, like a church found in a desert itself of the fear of the devil ; and even when isle to startle Crusoe with a home image ; it succeeds in that also, it will then create a you must make out a vicar and a congregahell for itself. We have heard of unbelievers tion from fancy, for surely none come there ; who thought it probable that they should be yet it wants not its pulpit, and its font, awake in their graves; and this was the and all its seemly additaments of our opinion for which they had exchanged a worship. Christian's hope of immortality !”

“Southey has attacked 'Elia' on the score

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