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know about us. Here is a comfortable house, there to love. As I can't well put my own but no tenants. One does not make a house- name, I shall put about a subscription : hold. Do not think I am quite in despair ; but, in addition to hope protracted, I have a
Procter. stupifying cold and obstructing headache,
G, Dyer and the sun is dead.
Mrs. Godwin “I will not fail to apprise you of the Mr. Irving
a watch-chain. revival of a beam. Meantime accept this,
the proceeds of Mr.
first edition. rather than think I have forgotten you all. Best remembrances,
£o “ Yours and theirs truly,
“I scribble in haste from here, where we “ C. LAMB."
shall be some time. Pray request Mr.
faithfully be forthcoming, and pardon me A proposal to erect a memorial to Clarkson, that I don't see the proposal in quite the upon the spot by the way-side where he stopped when on a journey from Cambridge motives, and his power of appreciating the
light that he may. The kindness of his to London, and formed the great resolution
I thoroughly agree in. of devoting his life to the abolition of the
“With most kind regards to him, I conclude slave-trade, produced from Lamb the follow
“ Dear madam, yours truly, ing letter to the lady who had announced it
“ C. LAMB." to him :
From Mrs. Leishman's, Chase, Enfield."
TO BERNARD BARTON.
“Dear Madam,-I return your list with my name. I should be sorry that any respect The following appears to have been written should be going on towards Clarkson, and I in October 1828, be left out of the conspiracy. Otherwise I frankly own that to pillarise a man's good feelings in his lifetime is not to my taste.
“ Oct. 11th, 1828. Monuments to goodness, even after death, “A splendid edition of “Bunyan’s Pilgrim!' are equivocal. I turn away from Howard's, Why, the thought is enough to turn one's I scarce know why. Goodness blows no moral stomach. His cockle-hat and staff trumpet, nor desires to have it blown. We transformed to a smart cock'd beaver, and a should be modest for a modest man—as he is jemmy cane; his amice grey, to the last for himself. The vanities of life-art, poetry, Regent-street cut: and his painful palmer's skill military—are subjects for trophies; not pnce to the modern swagger. Stop thy the silent thoughts arising in a good man's friend's sacrilegious hand. Nothing can be mind in lonely places. Was I Clarkson, I done for B. but to reprint the old cuts in as should never be able to walk or ride near bomely but good a style as possible. The the spot again. Instead of bread, we are Vanity Fair, and the Pilgrims there-the giving him a stone. Instead of the locality Silly-soothness in his setting-out countenance recalling the noblest moment of his existence, ---the Christian Idiocy (in a good sense), of it is a place at which his friends (that is, his admiration of the shepherds on the himself) blow to the world, 'What a good Delectable mountains ; the lions, so truly man is he!' I sat down upon a hillock at allegorical, and remote from any similitude Forty Hill yesternight,-a tine contemplative to Pidcock's ; the great head (the author's), evening,—with a thousand good speculations capacious of drcams and similitudes, dreamabout mankind. How I yearned with cheap ing in the dungeon. Perhaps you don't know benevolence! I shall go and inquire of the my edition, what I had when a child. If you stone-cutter, that cuts the tombstones here, do, can you bear new designs from Martin, what a stone with a short inscription will enamelled into copper or silver plate by cost ; just to say, 'Here C. Lamb loved his Heath, accompanied with verses from Mrs. brethren of mankind.' Everybody will come Hemans' pen. O how unlike his own!
Vouldst thou divert thyself from melancholy? proud on this point; I like a bit of flattery, Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
But Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation ?
tickling my vanity, as well as any one. Or else be drowned in thy contemplation ?
these pompous masquerades without masks Dost thou love picking meat! or Fouldst thou see
(naked names or faces) I hate. So there's a A man i' the clouds, and hear him speak to thee? Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
bit of my mind. Besides, they infallibly cheat Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep? you; I mean the booksellers. If I get but a Or wouldst thou lose thyself, and catch no harm, And find thyself again without a charm?
copy, I only expect it from Hood's being my Wouldst read thyself, and read thou knowest not what, friend. Coleridge has lately been here. He And yet know whether thou art blest or not
too is deep among the prophets, the yearBy reading the same lines? O then come hither, And lay my book, thy head, and heart together. servers,—the mob of gentlemen annuals.
JOHN BUNYAN. But they'll cheat him, I know. And now,
dear B. B., the sun shining out merrily, and Show me any such poetry in any one of the the dirty clouds we had yesterday having fifteen forthcoming combinations of show and washed their own faces clean with their own emptiness, yclept ‘Annuals.' So there's rain, tempts me to wander up Winchmore verses for thy verses; and now let me tell Hill, or into some of the delightful vicinages you, that the sight of your hand gladdened of Enfield, which I hope to show you at some me. I have been daily trying to write to time when you can get a few days up to the you, but paralysed. You have spurred me great town. Believe me, it would give both on this tiny effort, and at intervals I hope to of us great pleasure to show you our pleasant hear from and talk to you. But my spirits farms and villages. have been in an opprest way for a long long “We both join in kindest loves to you and time, and they are things which must be to yours.
C. LAMB, redivivus.” you of faith, for who can explain depression ? Yes, I am hooked into the 'Gem,' but only for some lines written on a dead infant of the
The following is of December, and closes Editor's, which being, as it were, his pro- the letters which remain of this year. perty, I could not refuse their appearing; but I hate the paper, the type, the gloss, the dandy plates, the names of contributors
“Dec. 5th, 1828. poked up into your eyes in first page, and “ Dear B. B.,-I am ashamed to receive so whisked through all the covers of magazines, many nice books from you, and to have none the barefaced sort of emulation, the immodest to send you in return. You are always candidateship. Brought into so little space sending me some fruits or wholesome pot-in those old 'Londons,' a signature was herbs, and mine is the garden of the Sluggard, lost in the wood of matter, the paper coarse nothing but weeds, or scarce they. Never(till latterly, which spoiled them); in short, theless, if I knew how to transmit it, I would I detest to appear in an Annual. What a send you Blackwood's of this month, which fertile genius (and a quiet good soul withal) contains a little drama, to have your opinion is Hood! He has fifty things in hand; of it, and how far I have improved, or otherfarces to supply the Adelphi for the season; wise, upon its prototype. Thank you for a comedy for one of the great theatres, just your kind sonnet. It does me good to see ready; a whole entertainment, by himself, the Dedication to a Christian Bishop. I am for Mathews and Yates to figure in; a medi- for a comprehension, as divines call it; but tated Comic Annual for next year, to be so as that the Church shall go a good deal nearly done by himself. You'd like him more than half way over to the silent very much.
Meeting house. I have ever said that the “Wordsworth, I see, has a good many Quakers are the only professors of Christialipieces announced in one of 'em, not our Gem. ity, as I read it in the Evangiles ; I say proW. Scott has distributed himself like a fessors—marry, as to practice, with their bribe haunch among 'em. Of all the poets, gaudy hot types and poetical vanities, they Cary has had the good sense to keep quite are much as one with the sinful. Martin's clear of 'em, with clergy-gentle-manly right Frontispiece is a very fine thing, let C. L. say notions. Don't think I set up for being what he please to the contrary. Of the Poems,
TO BERNARD BARTON.
I like them as a volume, better than any one There may be too much, not religion, but too of the preceding ; particularly, 'Power and many good words in a book, till it becomes a Gentleness'—'The Present'--'Lady Russell;' rhapsody of words. I will just name, that with the exception that I do not like the you have brought in the 'Song to the noble act of Curtius, true or false—one of Shepherds ' in four or five, if not six places. the grand foundations of the old Roman pa- Now this is not good economy. The 'Enoch' triotism—to be sacrificed to Lady R.'s taking is fine ; and here I can sacrifice 'Elijah' to notes on her husband's trial. If a thing is it, because 'tis illustrative only, and not disgood, why invidiously bring it into light with paraging of the latter prophet's departure. something better? There are too few heroic I like this best in the book. Lastly, I much things in this world, to admit of our mar- like the 'Heron ; ' 'tis exquisite. Know you shalling them in anxious etiquettes of prece- Lord Thurlow's Sonnet to a bird of that sort dence. Would you make a poem on the on Lacken water ? If not, 'tis indispensable story of Ruth, (pretty story!) and then say– I send it you, with my Blackwood. 'Fludyer' Ay, but how much better is the story of is pleasant,-you are getting gay and HoodJoseph and his brethren! To go on, the ish. What is the enigma ? Money? If not, stanzas to 'Chalon' want the name of Clark- I fairly confess I am foiled, and sphynx must son in the body of them ; it is left to infer
Four times I've tried to The ‘Battle of Gibeon' is spirited, write-eat me, and the blotting pen turns again; but you sacrifice it in last stanza to it into—cat me. And now I will take my the
song at Bethlehem. Is it quite orthodox leave with saying, I esteem thy verses, like to do so ? The first was good, you suppose, thy present, honour thy frontispicer, and for that dispensation. Why set the word right reverence thy patron and dedicatee, against the word ? It puzzles a weak and am, dear B. B., Christian. So Watts' Psalms are an implied “Yours heartily,
C. LAMB." censure on David's. But as long as the Bible is supposed to be an equally divine emanation with the Testament, so long it will stagger weaklings to have them set in opposition. "Godiva' is delicately touched. I have always thought it a beautiful story, characteristic of the old English times. But
CHAPTER XVII. I could not help amusing myself with the
(1829, 1830.] thought—if Martin had chosen this subject for a frontispiece—there would have been in some dark corner a white lady, white Having decided on residing entirely at as the walker on the waves, riding upon Enfield, Lamb gave up Colebrooke-cottage, some mystical quadruped; and high above and took what he described in a notelet to would have risen tower above tower a massy' me as “an odd-looking gambogish-coloured structure high'—the Tenterden steeples of house," at Chase-side, Enfield. The situation Coventry, till the poor cross would scarce was far from picturesque, for the opposite have known itself among the clouds ; side of the road only presented some middling and far above them all the distant Clint tenements, two dissenting-chapels, and a hills peering over chimney-pots, piled up, public house decorated with a swinging sign Ossa-on-Olympus fashion, till the admiring of a Rising Sun; but the neighbouring fieldspectator (admirer of a noble deed) might walks were pleasant, and the country, as he have gone look for the lady, as you must liked to say, quite as good as Westmoreland. hunt for the other in the lobster. But M. He continued occasional contributions to should be made royal architect. What the New Monthly, especially the series of palaces he would pile! But then, what par- “Popular Fallacies;" wrote short articles in liamentary grants to make them good ! the Athenæum ; and a great many acrostics Nevertheless, I like the frontispiece. “The on the names of his friends. He had now a Elephant' is pleasant ; and I am glad you neighbour in Mr. Serjeant Wilde, to whom are getting into a wider scope of subjects. he was introduced by Mr Burney, and whom
LETTERS TO ROBINSON, PROCTER, BARTON, WILSON,
GILMAN, WORDSWORTH, AND DYER.
TO MR. PROCTER.
TO MR. H. C. ROBINSON.
he held in high esteem, though Lamb cared her love: I, great good-liking. Bid us a nothing for forensic eloquence, and thought personal farewell before you see the Vatican. very little of eloquence of any kind ; which,
" CHARLES LAMB." it must be confessed, when printed is the most vapid of all reading. What political interest could not excite, personal regard
The following letter to his friend, who so produced in favour of his new friend; and prosperously combines conveyancing with Lamb supplied several versified squibs and poetry, is a fair sample of Lamb's elaborate sratches of electioneering songs to grace and good-natured fictions. It is hardly Wilde's contests at Newark. With these necessary to say, that the reference to a slender avocations his life was dull, and only coolness between him and two of his legal a sense of duty induced him to persist in friends, is part of the fiction. absence from London.
The following letter was written in acknowledgment of a parcel sent to Miss
“Jan. 19th, 1829. Lamb, comprising (what she had expressed “My dear Procter, -I am ashamed not to a wish to have) a copper coal-scoop, and a have taken the drift of your pleasant letter, pair of elastic spectacles, accompanied by a which I find to have been pure invention. copy of “Pamela,” which having been bor- But jokes are not suspected in Bæotian rowed and supposed to be lost, had been Enfield. We are plain people, and our talk replaced by another in Lamb's library. is of corn, and cattle, and Waltham markets.
Besides, I was a little out of sorts when I received it. The fact is, I am involved in a
case which has fretted me to death, and I “Enfield, Feb. 27th, 1829. have no reliance except on you to extricate “Dear R.,-Expectation was alert on the me. I am sure you will give me your best receipt of your strange-shaped present, while legal advice, having no professional friend yet undisclosed froin its fusc envelope. Some besides, but Robinson and Talfourd, with said, 'tis a viol da Gamba, others pronounced neither of whom, at present, I am on the it a fiddle; I, myself, hoped it a liqueur case, best of terms. My brother's widow left a pregnant with eau-de-vie and such odd nectar. will, made during the lifetime of my brother, When midwifed into daylight, the gossips in which I am named sole executor, by which were at a loss to pronounce upon its species. she bequeaths forty acres of arable property, Most took it for a marrow-spoon, an apple- which it seems she held under covert baron, scoop, a banker's guinea-shovel; at length its unknown to my brother, to the heirs of the true scope appeared, its drift, to save the body of Elizabeth Dowden, her married back-bone of my sister stooping to scuttles. daughter by a first husband, in fee simple, A philanthropic intent, borrowed, no doubt, recoverable by fine; invested property, mind, from some of the Colliers. You save people's for there is the difficulty ; subject to leet and backs one way, and break 'em again by loads quit-rent; in short, worded in the most of obligation. The spectacles are delicate guarded terms, to shut out the property from and Vulcanian. No lighter texture than Isaac Dowden, the husband. Intelligence their steel did the cuckoldy blacksmith frame has just come of the death of this person in to catch Mrs. Vulcan and the Captain in. India, where he made a will, entailing this For ungalled forehead, as for back unbursten, property (which seemed entangled enough you have Mary's thanks. Marry, for my already) to the heirs of his body, that should own peculium of obligation, 'twas superero- not be born of his wife, for it seems by the gatory. A second part of Pamela was enough law in India, natural children can recover. in conscience. Two Pamelas in a house are They have put the cause into Exchequer too much, without two Mr. B.'s to reward process here, removed by certiorari from the 'em.
native courts; and the question is, whether “Dary, who is handselling her new aerial I should, as executor, try the cause here, or perspectives upon a pair of old worsted again re-remove it to the Supreme Sessions stockings trod out in Cheshunt lanes, sends at Bangalore, which I understand I can, or
TO MR. PROCTER.
plead a hearing before the Privy Council inserted in one of them. He thus complains here. As it involves all the little property of these grievances in a letter which he of Elizabeth Dowden, I am anxious to take wrote on the marriage of the daughter of a the fittest steps, and what may be least friend to a great theoretical chemist. expensive. For God's sake assist me, for the case is so embarrassed that it deprives me of sleep and appetite. M. Burney thinks there
“Jan. 22nd, 1829. is a case like it in chap. 170, sec. 5, in 'Fearn's
“Rumour tells us that Miss
is marContingent Remainders.' Pray read it over ried. Who is ? Have I seen him at with him dispassionately, and let me have Montacutes ? I hear he is a great chemist. the result. The complexity lies in the ques- I am sometimes chemical myself. A thought tionable power of the husband to alienate in strikes me with horror. Pray heaven he usum ; enfeoffments whereof he was only may not have done it for the sake of trying collaterally seised, &c.
chemical experiments upon her, — young “I had another favour to beg, which is the female subjects are so scarce. An't you glad beggarliest of beggings. A few lines of verse about Burke's case ! We may set off the for a young friend's album (six will be Scotch murders against the Scotch novels. enough). M. Burney will tell you who she Hare, the Great Unhanged. is I want 'em for. A girl of gold. Six lines
“M. B. is richly worth your knowing. He --make 'em eight-signed Barry C
is on the top scale of my friendship ladder, They need not be very good, as I chiefly want on which an angel or two is still climbing, 'em as a foil to mine. But I shall be seriously and some, alas ! descending. Did you see a obliged by any refuse scrap. We are in the sonnet of mine in Blackwood's last ? Curious last ages of the world, when St. Paul pro- construction! Elaborata facilitas ! And now phesied that women should be ' headstrong, I'll tell. 'Twas written for “The Gem,' but lovers of their own wills, having albums.' I the editors declined it, on the plea that it fled hitherto escape the albumean persecution, would shock all mothers ; so they published and had not been in my new house twenty- The Widow' instead. I am born out of time. four hours, when the daughter of the next I have no conjecture about what the present house came in with a friend's album to beg world calls delicacy. I thought · Rosannund a contribution, and the following day inti- Gray' was a pretty modest thing. Hessey mated she had one of her own.
assures me that the world would not bear it. have sprung up since. If I take the wings I have lived to grow into an indecent characof the morning and fly unto the uttermost ter. When my sonnet was rejected, I exparts of the earth, there will albums be. claimed, ‘Hang the age, I will write for New Holland has albums. But the age is to antiquity!” be complied with. M. B. will tell you the “Erratum in sonnet.-Last line but somesort of girl I request the ten lines for. Something, for tender, read tend. The Scotch do what of a pensive cast, what you admire. not know our law terms; but I find some The lines may come before the law question, remains of honest, plain, old writing lurking as that cannot be determined before Hilary there still. They were not so mealy-mouthed Term, and I wish your deliberate judgment as to refuse my verses.
Maybe 'tis their on that. The other may be flimsy and super- oatmeal. ficial. And if you have not burnt your “ Blackwood sent me 201. for the drama. returned letter, pray resend it me, as a Somebody cheated me out of it next day; monumental token of my stupidity.”
and my new pair of breeches, just sent home, cracking at first putting on, I exclaimed, in
my wrath, ‘All tailors are cheats, and all Lamh was as unfortunate in his commu- men are tailors.' Then I was better. nications with the annuals, as unhappy in
“C. L." the importunities of the fair owners of albums. His favourite pieces were omitted ; and a piece not his, called “The Widow," was, by a The next contains Lamb's thanks for the license of friendship, which Lamb forgave, verses he had begged for Miss Isola's album