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Ninathoma (first stanza in particular) is the come from the heart direct, not by the best, or only good imitation, of Ossian I ever medium of the fancy, I would not suggest an saw-your ‘Restless Gale' excepted. “To alteration. When my blank verse is finished, an Infant' is most sweet ; is not ‘foodful,' or any long fancy poem, ' propino tibi alterthough, very harsh ? Would not 'dulcet' andum, cut-up-andum, abridgandum,' just fruit be less harsh, or some other friendly what you will with it; but spare my ewebi-syllable? In ‘Edmund,''Frenzy ! fierce- lambs! That to 'Mrs. Siddons,' now, you eyed child' is not so well as' frantic,' though were welcome to improve, if it had been that is an epithet adding nothing to the worth it; but I say unto you again, Colemeaning. Slander couching was better than ridge, spare my ewe-lambs! I must confess squatting. In the ‘Man of Ross' it was a were they mine, I should omit, in editione better line thus :

secundâ, effusions two and three, because

satiric, and below the dignity of the poet of "If 'neath this roof thy wine-cheered moments pass,'

Religious Musings,' fifth, seventh, half of than as it stands now. Time nor nothing the eighth, that` Written in early youth,' as can reconcile me to the concluding five lines far as 'thousand eyes,'—though I part not of 'Kosciusko :' call it anything you will unreluctantly with that lively linebut sublime. In my twelfth effusion I had

• Chaste joyance dancing in her bright blue eyes.' rather have seen what I wrote myself, though they bear no comparison with your exquisite and one or two just thereabouts. But I lines

would substitute for it that sweet poem

called 'Recollection,' in the fifth number of On rose-leafd-beds amid your faery bowers,' &c.

the Watchman, better, I think, than the “I love my sonnets because they are remainder of this poem, though not differing the reflected images of my own feelings materially: as the poem now stands it looks at different times. To instance, in the altogether confused ; and do not omit those thirteenth

lines upon the “Early Blossom,' in your

sixth number of the Watchman; and I • How reason rceled,' &c.,

would omit the tenth effusion, or what would are good lines, but must spoil the whole with do better, alter and improve the last four me, who know it is only a fiction of yours, lines. In fact, I suppose, if they were mine, and that the “rude dashings' did in fact not I should not omit ’em; but your verse is, for ‘rock me to repose.' I grant the same the most part, so exquisite, that I like not objection applies not to the former sonnet; to see aught of meaner matter mixed with it. but still I love my own feelings; they are Forgive my petulance, and often, I fear, illdear to memory, though they now and then founded criticisms, and forgive me that I wake a sigh or a tear. Thinking on divers have, by this time, made your eyes and head things foredone,' I charge you, Coleridge, ache with my long letter; but I cannot spare my ewe-lambs ; and though a gentle forego hastily the pleasure and pride of thus man may borrow six lines in an epic poem (1 conversing with you. You did not tell me should have no objection to borrow five whether I was to include the 'Conciones ad hundred, and without acknowledging), still, Populum' in my remarks on your poems. in a sonnet, a personal poem, I do not “ ask They are not unfrequently sublime, and I my friend the aiding verse; ' I would not think you could not do better than to turn wrong your feelings, by proposing any 'em into verse- -if you have nothing else to improvements (did I think myself capable do. A-I am sorry to say, is a confirmed of suggesting 'em) in such personal poems as Atheist; SM, a cold-hearted, well-bred, 'Thou bleedest, my poor heart,'—'od s0,–I conceited disciple of Godwin, does him no am caught-I have already done it; but good. that simile I propose abridging, would not “How I sympathise with you on the dull change the feeling or introduce any alien duty of a reviewer, and heartily damn with ones. Do you understand me? In the you Ned E and the Prosodist. I shall, twenty-eighth, however, and in the ‘Sigh, however, wait impatiently for the articles in and that composed at Clevedon, things that the Critical Review, next month, because

TO MR. COLERIDGE.

66

they are yours. Young Evans (W. Evans, a not the salary low, and absence from your branch of a family you were once so intimate family unavoidable ? London is the only with) is come into our office, and sends his fostering soil for geniuz. Nothing more love to you! Coleridge ! I devoutly wish occurs just now; so I will leave you, in that Fortune, who has made sport with you mercy, one small white spot empty below, so long, may play one freak more, throw you to repose your eyes upon, fatigued as they in!o London, or some spot near it, and there must be, with the wilderness of words they snug-ify you for life. 'Tis a selfish, but have by this time painfully travelled through. natural wish for me, cast as I am on life's God love you, Coleridge, and prosper you wide plain, friendless.' Are you acquainted through life; though mine will be loss if with Bowles ? I see, by his last Elegy, your lot is to be cast at Bristol, or at Notting(written at Bath,) you are near neighbours. ham, or anywhere but London. Our loves Thursday.

to Mrs. C

C. L. “I do not know that I entirely agree with

Friday, 10th June, 1796.” you in your stricture upon my sonnet 'To Innocence.' To men whose hearts are not quite deadened by their commerce with the Coleridge, settled in his melancholy cotworld, innocence (no longer familiar) becomes tage invited Lamb to visit him. The hope an awful idea. So I felt when I wrote it. —the expectation—the disappointment, are Your other censures (qualified and sweetened, depicted in the following letter, written in though, with praises somewhat extravagant) the summer of the eventful year 1796. I perfectly coincide with ; yet I choose to retain the world 'lunar'--indulge a'lunatic' in his loyalty to his mistress the moon! I

July 1st, 1796. have just been reading a most pathetic copy “The first moment I can come I will ; but of verses on Sophia Pringle, who was hanged my hopes of coming yet a while, yet hang on and burnt for coining. One of the strokes of a ticklish thread. The coach I come by is pathos (which are very many, all somewhat immaterial, as I shall so easily, by your obscure), is 'She lifted up her guilty forger direction, find ye out. My mother is grown to heaven.' A note explains, by 'forger,' her so entirely helpless (not having any use of right hand, with which she forged or coined her limbs) that Mary is necessarily confined the base metal. For pathos read bathos. from ever sleeping out, she being her bedYou have put me out of conceit with my fellow. She thanks you though, and will blank verse by your ‘Religious Musings.' I accompany me in spirit. Most exquisite think it will come to nothing. I do not like are the lines from Withers. Your own lines, 'em enough to send 'em. I have just been introductory to your poem on 'Self,' run reading a book, which I may be too partial smoothly and pleasurably, and I exhort you to, as it was the delight of my childhood; to continue 'em. What shall I say to your but I will recommend it to you ;-it is Izaak Dactyls ?' They are what you would call Walton's 'Complete Angler.' All the scien- good per se, but a parody on some of 'em is tific part you may omit in reading. The just now suggesting itself, and you shall have dialogue is very simple, full of pastoral it rough and unlicked ; I mark with figures beauties, and will charm you. Many pretty the lines parodied :old verses are interspersed. This letter, which would be a week's work reading only, 5.--Sad is the measure that hangs a clog round 'em so.

4.-Sorely your Dactyls do drag along limp-footed. I do not wish you to answer it in less than a 6.-Meagre and languid, proclaiming its wretchedness. month. I shall be richly content with a

1.-Weary, unsatisfied, not a little sick of 'em.

11.-Cold is my tired heart, I have no charity. letter from you some day early in July; 2.- Painfully travelling thus over the rugged road. though, if you get any how settled before then, 7.-0 begone, measure, half Latin, half English, then. pray let me know it immediately; 'twould 12.—Dismal your Dactyls are, God help ye, rhyming give me much satisfaction. Concerning the Unitarian chapel, the salary is the only “I possibly may not come this fortnight; scruple that the most rigid moralist would therefore, all thou hast to do is not to look admit as valid. Concerning the tutorage, is for me any particular day, only to write word

ones!

immediately, if at any time you quit Bristol, what you bid me, and left 'em at Perry's.t lest I come and Taffy be not at home. I I think ’em altogether good, and do not see hope I can come in a day or two ; but young why you were solicitous about any alteration. S—, of my office, is suddenly taken ill in I have not yet seen, but will make it my this very nick of time, and I must officiate business to see, to-day's Chronicle, for your for him till he can come to work again : had verses on Horne Tooke. Dyer stanza'd him the knave gone sick, and died, and been in one of the papers tother day, but, I think, buried at any other time, philosophy might unsuccessfully. Tooke's friends meeting was, have afforded one comfort, but just now I I suppose, a dinner of condolence. I I am have no patience with him. Quarles I am as not sorry to find you (for all Sara) immersed great a stranger to as I was to Withers. I in clouds of smoke and metaphysics. You wish you would try and do something to know I had a sneaking kindness for this last bring our elder bards into more general noble science, and you taught me some smatfame. I writhe with indignation when, in tering of it. I look to become no mean probooks of criticism, where common-place quo- ficient under your tuition. Coleridge, what tation is heaped upon quotation, I find no do you mean by saying you wrote to me mention of such men as Massinger, or Beau- about Plutarch and Porphyry? I received mont and Fletcher, men with whom succeed- no such letter, nor remember a syllable of ing dramatic writers (Otway alone excepted)* the matter, yet am not apt to forget any part can bear no manner of comparison. Stupid of your epistles, least of all, an injunction Knox hath noticed none of 'em among his like that. I will cast about for 'em, tho' extracts.

I am a sad hand to know what books are Thursday.Mrs. C— can scarce guess worth, and both these worthy gentlemen are how she has gratified me by her very kind alike out of my line. To-morrow 1 shall be letter and sweet little poem. I feel that I should less suspensive, and in better cue to write, so thank her in rhyme, but she must take my good bye at present. acknowledgment, at present, in plain honest Friday Evening.–That execrable aristoprose. The uncertainty in which I yet crat and knave R has given me an absostand, whether I can come or no, damps my lute refusal of leave. The poor man cannot spirits, reduces me a degree below prosaical, guess at my disappointment. Is it not hard, and keeps me in a suspense that fluctuates this dread dependence on the low-bred between hope and fear. Hope is a charming, mind ?' Continue to write to me tho', and lively, blue-eyed wench, and I am always I must be content. Our loves and best good glad of her company, but could dispense with wishes attend upon you both. LAMB." the visitor she brings with her-her younger sister, Fear, a white-livered, lily-cheeked, “S— did return, but there are two or bashful, palpitating, awkward hussy, that three more ill and absent, which was the hangs, like a green girl, at her sister's apron- plea for refusing me. I shall never have strings, and will go with her whithersoever heart to ask for holidays again. The man she goes. For the life and soul of me, I could next him in office, C furnished him with not improve those lines in your poem on the the objections.

C. LAMB." Prince and Princess, so I changed them to

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• An exception he certainly would not have made a few years afterwards ; for he used to mention two pretty

The little copy of verses in which Lamb lines in the “ Orphan,"

commemorated and softened his disappoint"Sweet as the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains,

ment, bearing date (a most unusual circumWith all his fleecy flock at feed beside him," stance with Lamb), 5th July, 1796, was in

closed in a letter of the following day, which as a redeeming passage amidst mere stage trickeries. The great merit which lies in the construction of refers to a scheme Coleridge had formed of "Venice Preserved," was not in his line of appreciation ; settling in London on an invitation to share and he thought Thomson's reference to Otway's ladies poor Monimia moans,

Some “occasional” verses of Coleridge's written to And Belvidera pours her soul in love,"

order for the Morning Chronicle.

This was just after the Westminster Election, in Kurth both heroines.

which Mr. Tooke was defeated.

the Editorship of the Morning Chronicle. Islington, possibly, you would not like; to The poem includes a lamentation over a me 'tis classical ground. Knightsbridge is a fantastical loss—that of a draught of the desirable situation for the air of the parks ; Avon “which Shakespeare drank ;” some- St. George's Fields is convenient for its conwhat strangely confounding the Avon of tiguity to the Bench. Choose ! But are you Stratford with that of Bristol. It may be really coming to town? The hope of it has doubted whether Shakespeare knew the entirely disarmed my petty disappointment taste of the waves of one Avon more than of of its nettles, yet I rejoice so much on my the other, or whether Lamb would not have own account, that I fear I do not feel enough found more kindred with the world's poet pure satisfaction on yours. Why, surely, the in a glass of sack, than in the water of either joint editorship of the Chronicle must be stream. Coleridge must have enjoyed the very comfortable and secure living for a man. misplaced sentiment of his friend, for he was But should not you read French, or do you ? singularly destitute of sympathy with local and can you write with sufficient moderation, associations, which he regarded as interfering' as 'tis called, when one suppresses the one with the pure and simple impression of great half of what one feels or could say on a subdeeds or thoughts; denied a special interest.ject, to chime in the better with popular to the Pass of Thermopylæ: and instead of lukewarmness ? White’s ‘Letters ’are near subscribing to purchase “Shakespeare's publication; could you review 'em or get 'em House,” would scarcely have admitted the reviewed ? Are you not connected with the peculiar sanctity of the spot which enshrines Critical Review ? His frontispiece is a good his ashes.

conceit-Sir John learning to dance to please

Madam Page, in dress of doublet, &c., from TO SARA AND HER SAMUEL.

the upper half, and modern pantaloons with

shoes, &c., of the eighteenth century, from the “ Was it so hard a thing ?-I did but ask A fleeting holiday. One little week,

lower half; and the whole work is full of Or haply two, had bounded my request.

goodly quips and rare fancies, 'all deftly

masqued like hoar antiquity'-much supeWhat, if the jaded steer, who all day long Had borne the heat and labour of the plough,

rior to Dr. Kenrick’s ‘ Falstaff's Wedding,' When evening came, and her sweet cooling bour, which you have seen. A sometimes Should seek to trespass on a neighbour copse, Where greener herbage waved, or clearer streams

laughs at superstition, and religion, and the Invited him to slake his burning thirst!

like. A living fell vacant lately in the gift That man were crabbed, who should say him nay ;

of the Hospital : White informed him that That man were churlish, who should drive him

he stood a fair chance for it. He scruples A blessing light upon your heads, ye good,

and scrupled about it, and at last, to use 'ais Ye hospitable pair! I may not come, To catch on Clifden's heights the summer gale;

own words, 'tampered' with Godwin to I may not come, a pilgrim, to the banks

know whether the thing was honest or not. Of Avon, lucid stream, to taste the wave

Godwin said nay to it, and A- rejected Which Shakespeare drank, our British Helicon : Or with mine eye intent on Redcliffe towers,

the living ! Could the blindest poor papist To muse in tears on that mysterious youth, have bowed more servilely to his priest or Cruelly slighted, who to London walls, In evil hour, shaped his disastrous course.

casuist? Why sleep the Watchman's an

swers to that Godwin ? I beg you will not Complaint begone ; begone, unkind reproof : Take up, my song, take up a merrier strain,

delay to alter, if you mean to keep those last For yet again, and lo! from Avon's vales

lines I sent you. Do that and read these for Another ‘minstrel'cometh! Youth endear'd,

your pains : God and good angels guide thee on thy way, And gentler fortunes wait the friends I love.

“C. L."

TO THE POET COWPER. “ Cowper, I thank my God that thou art heal'd!

Thine was the sorest malady of all ; The letter accompanying these verses

And I am sad to think that it should light

Upon the worthy head! But thou art heal'de begins cheerfully thus:

And thou art yet, we trust, the destined man,
Born to reanimate the lyre, whose chords

Have slumber'd, and have idle lain so long; “ What can I do till you send word what

To the immortal sounding of whose strings priced and placed house you should like ? Did Milton frame the stately-paced verse ;

thence!

Among whose wires with light finger playing, would not save you in a court of justice.
Our elder bard, Spenser, a gentle name,
The lady Muses' dearest darling child,

But are you really coming to town! ColeElicited the deftest tanes yet heard

ridge, a gentleman called in London lately In hall or bower, taking the delicate ear

from Bristol, and inquired whether there Of Sidney and his peerless Maiden Queen,

were any of the family of a Mr. Chambers Thou, then, take up the migbty epic strain,

living : this Mr. Chambers, he said, had been Cowper, of England's Bards, the wisest and the best.

the making of a friend's fortune, who wished

to make some return for it. He went away 1796.

without seeing her. Now, a Mrs. Reynolds, "I have read your climax of praises in a very intimate friend of ours, whom you those three Reviews. These mighty spouter's

have seen at our house, is the only daughter, out of panegyric waters have, two of 'em, and all that survives, of Mr. Chambers; and scattered their spray even upon me, and the a very little supply would be of service to waters are cooling and refreshing. Prosaically, her, for she married very unfortunately, and the Monthly reviewers have made indeed a

has parted with her husband. Pray find out large article of it, and done you justice. The

this Mr. Pember (for that was the gentleman's Critical have, in their wisdom, selected not friend's name); he is an attorney, and lives the very best specimens, and notice not,

at Bristol. Find him out, and acquaint him except as one name on the muster-roll, the

with the circumstances of the case, and offer Religious Musings.' I suspect Master Dyer to be the medium of supply to Mrs. Reynolds, to have been the writer of that article, as the if he chooses to make her a present. She is

in substance of it was the very remarks and

very

distressed circumstances. Mr.Pember, the very language he used to me one day. I attorney, Bristol. Mr. Chambers lived in fear you will not accord entirely with

the Temple ; Mrs. Reynolds, his daughter,

my sentiments of Cowper, as expressed above was my schoolmistress, and is in the room at (perhaps scarcely just); but the poor gentle-induced me to write so soon again. I have

this present writing. This last circumstance man has just recovered from his lunacies,

not further to add. Our loves to Sara. and that begets pity, and pity love, and love admiration; and then it goes hard with

Thursday.

C. LAMB." people but they lie! Have you read the Ballad called “Leonora,' in the second puniber of the Monthly Magazine! If you have !!!! There is another fine song, from the same author (Birger), in the third number, of scarce inferior merit; and (vastly below

CHAPTER II. these) there are some happy specimens of LETTERS OF LAMB 10 COLERIDUE, CHIEPLY RELATING TO English hexameters, in an imitation of Ossian,

THE DEATH OF MRS. LAMB, AND MISS LAMB'S SUBSEin the fifth number. For your Dactyls—I am sorry you are so sore about 'em-a very all the morning in task-work at the India

The autumn of 1796 found Lamb engaged Sir Fretful! In good troth, the Dactyls are good Dactyls, but their measure is naught. House, and all the evening in attempting to Be not yourself 'half anger, half agony,' if I amuse his father by playing cribbage ; somepronounce your darling lines not to be the times snatching a few minutes for his only best you ever wrote in all your life—you have pleasure, writing to Coleridge ; while Miss

Lamb was worn down to a state of extreme written much.

“ Have a care, good Master Poet, of the nervous misery, by attention to needlework Statute de Contumelid. What do you mean

by day, and to her mother by night, until the by calling Madame Mara, — harlot and insanity, which had been manifested more baughty things ?* The goodness of the verse

than once, broke out into frenzy, which, on Thursday, 22nd of September, proved fatal

to her mother. The following account of the These scented rooms, where, to a gaudy throng, proceedings on the inquest, copied froin the Heaves the proud harlot her distended breast In intricacies of laborious song."

“Times” of Monday, 26th September, 1796, Lines composed in a Concert Room, by S. T. C. supplies the details of this terrible calamity,

QUENT CONDITION

"I detest

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