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to a sound belief are various and inscrutable been disappointed (he will bear with my as the heart of man. Some believe upon saying so) at the discovery of my error. weak principles. Others cannot feel the L. H. is unfortunate in holding some loose efficacy of the strongest. One of the most and not very definite speculations (for at candid, most upright, and single-meaning times I think he hardly knows whither his men, I ever knew, was the late Thomas premises would carry him) on marriage-the Holcroft. I believe he never said one thing tenets, I conceive, of the 'Political Justice' and meant another, in his life; and, as near carried a little further. For anything I as I can guess, he never acted otherwise could discover in his practice, they have than with the most scrupulous attention to reference, like those, to some future possible conscience. Ought we to wish the character condition of society, and not to the present false, for the sake of a hollow compliment to times. But neither for these obliquities of Christianity? thinking (upon which my own conclusions are as distant as the poles asunder)—nor for his political asperities and petulancies, which are wearing out with the heats and vanities of youth-did I select him for a friend; but for qualities which fitted him for that relation. I do not know whether I flatter myself with being the occasion, but certain it is, that, touched with some misgivings for sundry harsh things which he had written aforetime against our friend C.,-before he

"Accident introduced me to the acquaintance of Mr. L. H.-and the experience of his many friendly qualities confirmed a friendship between us. You, who have been misrepresented yourself, I should hope, have not lent an idle ear to the calumnies which have been spread abroad respecting this gentleman. I was admitted to his household for some years, and do most solemnly aver that I believe him to be in his domestic relations as correct as any man. He chose an ill-left this country he sought a reconciliation

with that gentleman (himself being his own introducer), and found it.

"L.H. is now in Italy; on his departure to which land with much regret I took my leave of him and of his little family-seven of them, sir, with their mother-and as kind a set of little people (T. H. and all), as affectionate children as ever blessed a parent. Had you seen them, sir, I think you could not have looked upon them as so many little Jonases- but rather as pledges of the vessel's safety, that was to bear such a freight of love.

judged subject for a poem; the peccant humours of which have been visited on him tenfold by the artful use, which his adversaries have made, of an equivocal term. The subject itself was started by Dante, but better because brieflier treated of. But the crime of the lovers, in the Italian and the English poet, with its aggravated enormity of circumstance, is not of a kind (as the critics of the latter well knew) with those conjunctions, for which Nature herself has provided no excuse, because no temptation. -It has nothing in common with the black horrors, sung by Ford and Massinger. The familiarising of it in tale and fable may be for that reason incidentally more contagious. In spite of Rimini, I must look upon its author as a man of taste, and a poet. He is better than so; he is one of the most cordialminded men I ever knew, and matchless as a fire-side companion. I mean not to affront or wound your feelings when I say that, in his more genial moods, he has often reminded me of you. There is the same air of mild dogmatism-the same condescending to a boyish sportiveness-in both your conversations. His handwriting is so much the same with your own, that I have opened more than one letter of his, hoping, nay, not doubting, but it was from you, and have

"I wish you would read Mr. H.'s lines to that same T. H. 'six years' old, during a sickness :'—

'Sleep breaks at last from out thee,
My little patient boy'—

(they are to be found in the 47th page of 'Foliage')—and ask yourself how far they are out of the spirit of Christianity. I have a letter from Italy, received but the other day, into which L. H. has put as much heart, and as many friendly yearnings after old associates, and native country, as, I think, paper can well hold. It would do you no hurt to give, that the perusal also.

"From the other gentleman I neither expect nor desire (as he is well assured) any

such concessions as L. H. made to C.
hath soured him, and made him to suspect
his friends of infidelity towards him, when
there was no such matter, I know not. I
stood well with him for fifteen years (the
proudest of my life), and have ever spoken
my full mind of him to some, to whom his
panegyric must naturally be least tasteful.
I never in thought swerved from him, I
never betrayed him, I never slackened in
my admiration of him; I was the same to
him (neither better nor worse), though he
could not see it, as in the days when he
thought fit to trust me. At this instant, he
may be preparing for me some compliment,
above my deserts, as he has sprinkled many
such among his admirable books, for which
I rest his debtor; or, for anything I know,
or can guess to the contrary, he may be
about to read a lecture on my weaknesses.
He is welcome to them (as he was to my
humble hearth), if they can divert a spleen,
or ventilate a fit of sullenness. I wish he
would not quarrel with the world at the
rate he does; but the reconciliation must be
effected by himself, and I despair of living
to see that day. But, protesting against
much that he has written, and some things
which he chooses to do; judging him by his
conversation which I enjoyed so long, and
relished so deeply; or by his books, in those
places where no clouding passion intervenes
-I should belie my own conscience, if I said
less, than that I think W. H. to be, in his
natural and healthy state, one of the wisest
and finest spirits breathing. So far from
being ashamed of that intimacy, which was
betwixt us, it is my boast that I was able
for so many years to have preserved it
entire; and I think I shall go to my grave
without finding, or expecting to find, such
another companion. But I forget my man-
ners-you will pardon me, sir-I return to
the correspondence.

What (fearing that all was not well with you), I were gravely to invite you (for a remedy) to attend with me a course of Mr. Belsham's Lectures at Hackney. Perhaps I have scruples to some of your forms and doctrines. But if I come, am I secure of civil treatment ?—The last time I was in any of your places of worship was on Easter Sunday last. I had the satisfaction of listening to a very sensible sermon of an argumentative turn, delivered with great propriety, by one of your bishops. The place was Westminster Abbey. As such religion, as I have, has always acted on me more by way of sentiment than argumentative process, I was not unwilling, after sermon ended, by no unbecoming transition, to pass over to some serious feelings, impossible to be disconnected from the sight of those old tombs, &c. But, by whose order I know not, I was debarred that privilege even for so short a space as a few minutes; and turned, like a dog or some profane person, out into the common street; with feelings, which I could not help, but not very congenial to the day or the discourse. I do not know that I shall ever venture myself again into one of your churches.

"Sir, you were pleased (you know where) to invite me to a compliance with the wholesome forms and doctrines of the Church of England. I take your advice with as much kindness as it was meant. But I must think the invitation rather more kind than seasonable. I am a Dissenter. The last sect, with which you can remember me to have made common profession, were the Unitarians. You would think it not very pertinent, if

"You had your education at Westminster; and, doubtless, among those dim aisles and cloisters, you must have gathered much of that devotional feeling in those young years, on which your purest mind feeds still-and may it feed! The antiquarian spirit, strong in you, and gracefully blending ever with the religious, may have been sown in you among those wrecks of splendid mortality. You owe it to the place of your education; you owe it to your learned fondness for the architecture of your ancestors; you owe it to the venerableness of your ecclesiastical establishment, which is daily lessened and called in question through these practices— to speak aloud your sense of them; never to desist raising your voice against them, till they be totally done away with and abolished; till the doors of Westminster Abbey be no longer closed against the decent, though lowin-purse, enthusiast, or blameless devotee, who must commit an injury against his family economy, if he would be indulged with a bare admission within its walls. You owe it to the decencies, which you wish to see maintained in its impressive services,

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that our Cathedral be no longer an object of to their sight, may be to their humbler

inspection to the poor at those times only, in brethren. Shame these sellers out of the which they must rob from their attendance Temple! Show the poor, that you can on the worship every minute which they can sometimes think of them in some other light bestow upon the fabric. In vain the public than as mutineers and mal-contents. Conprints have taken up this subject, in vain ciliate them by such kind methods to their such poor nameless writers as myself express superiors, civil and ecclesiastical. Stop the their indignation. A word from you, sir mouths of the railers; and suffer your old a hint in your journal-would be sufficient friends, upon the old terms, again to honour to fling open the doors of the beautiful temple and admire you. Stifle not the suggestions again, as we can remember them when we of your better nature with the stale evasion, were boys. At that time of life, what would that an indiscriminate admission would exthe imaginative faculty (such as it is) in pose the tombs to violation. Remember both of us, have suffered, if the entrance to your boy-days. Did you ever see, or hear, so much reflection had been obstructed by of a mob in the Abbey, while it was free to the demand of so much silver!-If we had all? Do the rabble come there, or trouble scraped it up to gain an occasional admission their heads about such speculations? It is (as we certainly should have done) would all that you can do to drive them into your the sight of those old tombs have been as churches; they do not voluntarily offer impressive to us (while we had been weighing themselves. They have, alas! no passion anxiously prudence against sentiment) as for antiquities; for tomb of king or prelate, when the gates stood open, as those of the sage or poet. If they had, they would no adjacent Park; when we could walk in at longer be the rabble. any time, as the mood brought us, for a shorter or longer time, as that lasted? Is the being shown over a place the same as silently for ourselves detecting the genius of dismemberment committed upon the effigy it In no part of our beloved Abbey now of that amiable spy, Major André. And is can a person find entrance (out of service- it for this-the wanton mischief of some time) under the sum of two shillings. The school-boy, fired perhaps with raw notions of rich and the great will smile at the anti- transatlantic freedom-or the remote possielimax, presumed to lie in these two short bility of such a mischief occurring again, so, words. But you can tell them, sir, how much easily to be prevented by stationing a quiet worth, how much capacity for enlarged constable within the walls, if the vergers are feeling, how much taste and genius, may co- incompetent to the duty-is it upon such exist, especially in youth, with a purse wretched pretences, that the people of Engincompetent to this demand.-A respected land are made to pay a new Peter's pence, friend of ours, during his late visit to the so long abrogated; or must content themmetropolis, presented himself for admission selves with contemplating the ragged exterior to Saint Paul's. At the same time a decently- of their Cathedral? The mischief was done clothed man, with as decent a wife, and about the time that you were a scholar there. child, were bargaining for the same indul- Do you know anything about the unfortunate gence. The price was only two-pence each relic ?—can you help us in this emergency to person. The poor but decent man hesitated, find the nose?—or can you give Chantrey a desirous to go in: but there were three of notion (from memory) of its pristine life and

"For forty years that I have known the fabric, the only well-attested charge of violation adduced, has been-a ridiculous


them, and he turned away reluctantly. • Perhaps he wished to have seen the tomb of Nelson. Perhaps the interior of the cathedral was his object. But in the state of his finances, even sixpence might reasonably seem too much. Tell the aristocracy of the country (no man can do it more impressively); instruct them of what value these insignificant pieces of money, these minims

vigour? I am willing for peace' sake to
subscribe my guinea towards a restoration of
the lamented feature.

“I am, sir, your humble servant,

The feeling with which this letter was received by Southey may be best described



in his own words in a letter to the publisher. close to the New River, end of Colebrook "On my part there was not even a momentary Terrace, left hand from Sadler's Wells. feeling of anger; I was very much surprised and grieved, because I knew how much he would condemn himself. And yet no resentful letter was ever written less offensively his gentle nature may be seen in it throughout." Southey was right in his belief in the revulsion Lamb's feelings would undergo, when the excitement under which he had written subsided; for although he would retract nothing he had ever said or written in defence of his friends, he was ready at once to surrender every resentment of his own. Southey came to London in the following month, and wrote proposing to call at Islington; and 21st of November Lamb thus replied:


"E. I. H., 21st November, 1823.

"Dear Southey,-The kindness of your note has melted away the mist which was upon me. I have been fighting against a shadow. That accursed Q. R. had vexed me by a gratuitous speaking, of its own knowledge, that the 'Confessions of a D-d' was a genuine description of the state of the writer. Little things, that are not ill meant, may produce much ill. That might have injured me alive and dead. I am in a public office, and my life is insured. I was prepared for anger, and I thought I saw, in a few obnoxious words, a hard case of repetition directed against me. I wish both magazine and review at the bottom of the sea. I shall be ashamed to see you, and my sister (though innocent) will be still more so; for the folly was done without her knowledge, and has made her uneasy ever since. My guardian angel was absent at that time.

"Do come early in the day, by sun-light, that you may see my Milton.

Will you let me know the day before?
"Your penitent,

"I am at Colebrook-cottage, Colebrookrow, Islington. A detached whitish house,

at all like ****'s. I do not think many "P.S-I do not think your hand-writing things I did think.”

In the following letter, of the same date, Lamb anticipates the meeting.

"I will muster up courage to see you, how-to be conscious of a midriff; to hold kidneys ever, any day next week (Wednesday ex- (save a sheep and swine) to be an agreeable cepted). We shall hope that you will bring fiction; not to know whereabouts the gall Edith with you. That will be a second grows; to account the circulation of the mortification. She will hate to see us, but blood an idle whimsey of Harvey's; to come and heap embers. We deserve it, I acknowledge no mechanism not visible. For, for what I've done, and she for being my once fix the seat of your disorder, and your sister. fancies flux into it like bad humours. Those medical gentries choose each his favourite part; one takes the lungs, another the aforesaid liver, and refer to that, whatever in the animal economy is amiss. Above all,


"Dear B. B.,-I am ashamed at not acknowledging your kind, little poem, which I must needs like much; but I protest I thought I had done it at the moment. Is it possible a letter has miscarried? Did you get one in which I sent you an extract from the poems of Lord Sterling? I should wonder if you did, for I sent you none such. There was an incipient lie strangled in the birth. Some people's conscience is so tender! But, in plain truth, I thank you very much for the verses. I have a very kind letter from the Laureat, with a self-invitation to come and shake hands with me. This is truly handsome and noble. "Tis worthy of my old idea of Southey. Shall not I, think you, be covered with a red suffusion?

"You are too much apprehensive of your complaint: I know many that are always ailing of it, and live on to a good old age. I know a merry fellow (you partly know him) who, when his medical adviser told him he had drunk away all that part, congratulated himself (now his liver was gone) that he should be the longest liver of the two.

'The best way in these cases is to keep yourself as ignorant as you can, as ignorant as the world was before Galen, of the entire inner construction of the animal man; not

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use exercise, take a little more spirituous in view. This good old man numbered liquors, learn to smoke, continue to keep a among his pupils, Gray the poet, Mr. Pitt, good conscience, and avoid tampering with and, in his old age, Wordsworth, whom he hard terms of art-viscosity, scirrhosity, and instructed in the Italian language. His little those bugbears by which simple patients are grand-daughter, at the time when she had scared into their graves. Believe the general the good fortune to win the regard of Mr. sense of the mercantile world, which holds Lamb, had lost both her parents, and was that desks are not deadly. It is the mind, spending her holidays with an aunt, who good B. B., and not the limbs, that taints by lived with a sister of Mr. Ayrton, at whose long sitting. Think of the patience of house Lamb generally played his evening tailors, think how long the Lord Chancellor rubber during his stay at Cambridge. The sits, think of the brooding hen! I protest liking which both Lamb and his sister took I cannot answer thy sister's kind inquiry; for the little orphan, led to their begging her but I judge, I shall put forth no second of her aunt for the next holidays; their volume. More praise than buy; and T. and regard for her increased; she regularly spent H. are not particularly disposed for martyrs. the holidays with them till she left school, Thou wilt see a funny passage, and yet a and afterwards was adopted as a daughter, true history, of George Dyer's aquatic and lived generally with them until 1833, incursion in the next 'London.' Beware his when she married Mr. Moxon. Lamb was fate, when thou comest to see me at my fond of taking long walks in the country, Colebrook-cottage. I have filled my little and as Miss Lamb's strength was not always space with my little thoughts. I wish thee equal to these pedestrian excursions, she ease on thy sofa; but not too much indul- became his constant companion in walks gence on it. From my poor desk, thy fellow- which even extended "to the green fields or sufferer, this bright November, pleasant Hertfordshire."

"C. L."

Southey went to Colebrook-cottage, as proposed; the awkwardness of meeting went off in a moment; and the affectionate intimacy, which had lasted for almost twenty years, was renewed, to be interrupted only by death.

About this time, Lamb added to his list of friends, Mr. Hood, the delightful humourist; Hone, lifted for a short time into political fame by the prosecution of his Parodies, and the signal energy and success of his defence, but now striving by unwearied researches, which were guided by a pure taste and an honest heart, to support a numerous family; and Ainsworth, then a youth, who has since acquired so splendid a reputation as the author of "Rookwood" and "Crichton." Mr. Ainsworth, then resident at Manchester, excited by an enthusiastic admiration of Elia, had sent him some books, for which he thus conveyed his thanks to his unseen friend.



[1823 to 1825.]


“India-House, 9th Dec. 1823.

"Dear Sir,-I should have thanked you

LAMB was fond of visiting the Universities in the summer vacation, and repeatedly spent his holiday month at Cambridge with his sister. On one of these occasions they met with a little girl, who being in a manner alone in the world, engaged their sympathy, for your books and compliments sooner, but and soon riveted their affections. Emma have been waiting for a revise to be sent, Isola was the daughter of Mr. Charles Isola, which does not come, though I returned the who had been one of the esquire bedells of proof on the receipt of your letter. I have the University; her grandfather, Agostino read Warner with great pleasure. What an Isola, had been compelled to fly from Milan, elaborate piece of alliteration and antithesis! because a friend took up an English book in why it must have been a labour far above his apartment, which he had carelessly left the most difficult versification. There is a

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