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when you wrote those on Bowles, Priestly, play with me, you might as well not come Burke ;-'twas two Christmases ago, and in home at all.' The argument was unanswerthat nice little smoky room at the Salutation, able, and I set to afresh. I told you I do which is ever now continually presenting not approve of your omissions, neither do itself to my recollection, with all its asso- I quite coincide with you in your arrangeciated train of pipes, tobacco, egg-hot, welsh- ments. I have not time to point out a better, rabbits, metaphysics, and poetry.—Are we and I suppose some self-associations of your never to meet again ? How differently I am own have determined their place as they circumstanced now! I have never met with now stand. Your beginning, indeed, with any one-never shall meet with any one the 'Joan of Arc' lines I coincide entirely who could or can compensate me for the loss with. I love a splendid outset-a magnificent of your society. I have no one to talk all portico,—and the diapason is grand. When these matters about to; I lack friends, I I read the 'Religious Musings,' I think how lack books to supply their absence: but these poor, how unelevated, unoriginal, my blank complaints ill become me. Let me compare verse is— Laugh all that weep,' especially, my present situation, prospects, and state of where the subject demanded a grandeur of mind, with what they were but two months conception ; and I ask what business they back-but two months! O my friend, I am have among yours ? but friendship covereth in danger of forgetting the awful lessons then a multitude of defects. I want some loppings presented to me! Remind me of them ; made in the 'Chatterton ;' it wants but a remind me of my duty! Talk seriously with little to make it rank among the finest me when you do write! I thank you, from irregular lyrics I ever read. Have you time
heart I thank you, for your solicitude and inclination to go to work upon it—or is about my sister. She is quite well, but must it too late—or do you think it needs none ? not, I fear, come to live with us yet a good Don't reject those verses in one of your while. In the first place, because, at present, Watchmen, “Dear native brook,' &c. ; nor I it would hurt her, and hurt my father, for think those last lines you sent me, in which them to be together : secondly, from a regard 'all effortless' is without doubt to be preto the world's good report, for, I fear, tongues ferred to "inactive.' If I am writing more will be busy whenever that event takes place. than ordinarily dully, 'tis that I am stupified Some have hinted, one man has pressed it with a tooth-ache. Hang it! do not omit on me, that she should be in perpetual con- 48, 52, and 53: what you do retain, though, finement: what she hath done to deserve, call sonnets, for heaven's sake, and not or the necessity of such an hardship, I see effusions. Spite of your ingenious anticipanot ; do you? I am starving at the India tion of ridicule in your preface, the five last House, - - near seven o'clock without my lines of 50 are too good to be lost, the rest dinner, and so it has been, and will be, is not much worth. My tooth becomes almost all the week. I get home at night importunate—I must finish. Pray, pray, o'erwearied, quite faint, and then to cards write to me: if you knew with what an with my father, who will not let me enjoy anxiety of joy I open such a long packet as a meal in peace; but I must conform to my you last sent me, you would not grudge situation, and I hope I am, for the most part, giving a few minutes now and then to this not unthankful.
intercourse (the only intercourse I fear we "I am got home at last, and, after repeated two shall ever have)—this conversation with games at cribbage, have got my father's your friend—such I boast to be called. God leave to write awhile; with difficulty got it, love you and yours! Write me when you for when I expostulated about playing any move, lest I direct wrong. Has Sara no more, he very aptly replied, “If you won't poems to publish? Those lines, 129, are
probably too light for the volume where the it be an offence to make fade do duty as a verb active) as the following:
Religious Musings' are, but I remember
some very beautiful lines, addressed by some"Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
body at Bristol to somebody in London. Death came with friendly care ; The opening bud to Heaven convey'd,
God bless you once more. Thursday-night. And bade it blossom there."
In another letter, about this time (De- brotherly feeling that we ever met, even as cember, 1796), Lamb transmitted to Cole- the sober citizen, when his son went astray ridge two Poems for the volume_one a upon the mountains of Parnassus, is said to copy of verses “ To a Young Lady going out have'cursed wit and Poetry and Pope.' I to India,” which were not inserted, and are quote wrong, but no matter. These letters not worthy of preservation ; the other, en- I lent to a friend to be out of the way, for titled, “The Tomb of Douglas,” which was a season, but I have claimed them in vain, inserted, and which he chiefly valued as a and shall not cease to regret their loss. Your memorial of his impression of Mrs. Siddons' packets, posterior to the date of my misforacting in Lady Randolph. The following tunes, commencing with that valuable consopassage closes the sheet.
latory epistle, are every day accumulating“At length I have done with verse- they are sacred things with me.” making ; not that I relish other people's poetry less; their's comes from 'em without effort, mine is the difficult operation of a The following long letter, bearing date on brain scanty of ideas, made more difficult by the outside, 5th January, 1797, is addressed to disuse. I have been reading “The Task' Mr. Coleridge at Stowey, near Bridgewater, with fresh delight. I am glad you love whither he had removed from Bristol, to Cowper: I could forgive a man for not en- enjoy the society and protection of his friend joying Milton, but I would not call that man Mr. Poole. The original is a curious specimy friend who should be offended with the men of clear compressed penmanship ; being • divine chit-chat of Cowper.' Write to me. contained in three sides of a sheet of foolsGod love you and yours.
TO MR. COLERIDGE.
TO MR. COLERIDGE.
The following, of 10th December, 1796, Sunday morning.-You cannot surely ilustrates Lamb's almost wayward admira- mean to degrade the Joan of Arc into a pottion of his only friend, and a feeling-how girl. You are not going, I hope, to annex temporary with him !-of vexation with the to that most splendid ornament of Southey's imperfect sympathies of his elder brother. poem all this cock-and-a-bull story of Joan,
the publican's daughter of Neufchatel, with
the lamentable episode of a waggoner, his “You sent me some very sweet lines rela- wife, and six children. The texture will be tive to Burns, but it was at a time when in most lamentably disproportionate. The first my highly agitated and perhaps distorted forty or fifty lines of these addenda are, no state of mind, I thought it a duty to read 'em doubt, in their way, admirable, too ; but hastily and burn 'em. I burned all my own many would prefer the Joan of Southey. verses; all my book of extracts from Beau
. On mightiest deeds to brood mont and Fletcher and a thousand sources : of shadowy vastness, such as made my heart I burned a little journal of my foolish pas
Throb fast; anon I paused, and in a state sion which I had a long time kept
of half expectance listened to the wind;'
• They wondered at me, who had known me once • Noting ere they past away
A cheerful careless damsel ;'
That of the circling throng and of the visible Ilent’em to a friend to keepout of my brother's Unseeing, saw the shapes of holy phantasy;' sight, should he come and make inquisition into our papers, for much as he dwelt upon equal to these. There is a fine originality
I see nothing in your description of the Maid your conversation, while you were among us, certainly in those lines — and delighted to be with you, it has been his fashion ever since to depreciate and cry you downg-you were the cause of my madness
As in a place of tombs,
And touched not the pollutions of the dead;' you and your damned foolish sensibility and melaucholy--and he lamented with a true but your 'fierce vivacity' is a faint copy of
• The eye,
. For she had lived in this bad world
the. 'fierce and terrible beneyolence of the wounds I may have been inflicting on Southey ; added to this, that it will look like my poor friend's vanity. rivalship in you, and extort a comparison “In your notice of Southey's new volume with Southey,-I think to your disadvantage. you omit to mention the most pleasing of all, And the lines, considered in themselves as an the ‘Miniature' addition to what you had before written, (strains of a far higher mood,) are but such
Who formed high hopes and flattering ones of thee,
Young Robert!' as Madame Fancy loves in some of her more familiar moods, at such times as she has met 'Spirit of Spenser!-was the wanderer wrong!' Noll Goldsmith, and walked and talked with him, calling him old acquaintance.' Southey
“Fairfax I have been in quest of a long
time. certainly has no pretensions to vie with you
Johnson, in his ‘Life of Waller,' gives in the sublime of poetry; but he tells a plain a most delicious specimen of him, and adds, tale better than you. I will enumerate some
in the true manner of that delicate critic, as woful blemishes, some of 'em sad deviations
well as amiable man, 'It may be presumed from that simplicity which was your aim. that this old version will not be much read 'Hailed who might be near' (the 'canvas
after the elegant translation of my friend,
Mr. Hoole.' I endeavoured-I wished to coverture moving,' by the by, is laughable); ‘a woman and six children’ (by the way,–
gain some idea of Tasso from this Mr. Hoole, why not nine children? It would have been the great boast and ornament of the India just half as pathetic again): “statues of sleep House, but soon desisted. I found him more they seemed': 'frost-mangled wretch': vapid than smallest small beer (sun'green putridity': 'hailed him immortal' vinegared.' Your Dream,' down to that (rather ludicrous again): 'voiced a sad and exquisite linesimple tale? (abominable !): 'improvendered':
I can't tell half his adventures,' “such his tale': 'Ah ! suffering to the height of what was suffered' (a most insufferable is a most happy resemblance of Chaucer. line): 'amazements of affright': 'the hot The remainder is so so. The best line, I sore brain attributes its own hues of ghastli- think, is, 'He belong’d, I believe, to the witch ness and torture' (what shocking confusion Melancholy.' By the way, when will our of ideas)!
volume come out ? Don't delay it till you “In these delineations of common and have written a new Joan of Arc. Send natural feelings, in the familiar walks of what letters you please by me, and in any poetry, you seem to resemble Montauban way you choose, single or double. The India dancing with Roubigné's tenants, 'much of Company is better adapted to answer the his native loftiness remained in the execution.' cost than the generality of my friend's cor
“ I was reading your "Religious Musings respondents—such poor and honest dogs as the other day, and sincerely I think it the John Thelwall, particularly. I cannot say I noblest poem in the language, next after the know Colson, at least intimately; 1 once 'Paradise Lost,' and even that was not made supped with him and Allen ; I think his the vehicle of such grand truths. There is manners very pleasing. I will not tell you one mind,' &c., down to 'Almighty's throne,' what I think of Lloyd, for he may by chance are without a rival in the whole compass of come to see this letter, and that thought my poetical reading.
puts a restraint on me. I cannot think what
subject would suit your epic genius; some * Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze, Views all creation.'
philosophical subject, I conjecture, in which
shall be blended the sublime of poetry and I wish I could have written those lines. I of science. Your proposed ‘Hyınıs’ will be rejoice that I am able to relish them. The a fit preparatory study wherewith 'to disloftier walks of Pindus are your proper cipline your young noviciate soul.' I grow region. There you have no compeer in dull; I'll go walk myself out of my modern times. Leave the lowlands, unenvied, dulness. in possession of such men as Cowper and Sunday night.—You and Sara are very Southey. Thus am I pouring balsain into good to think so kindly and so favonrably of
poor Mary ;
I would to God all did so too. imagery, Hartley's five Motives to Conduct: But I very much fear she must not think of -1. Sensation ; 2. Imagination ; 3. Ambicoming home in my father's lifetime. It is tion; 4. Sympathy ; 5. Theopathy :-First. very hard upon but our circumstances Banquets, music, &c., effeminacy,—and their are peculiar, and we must submit to them. insufficiency. Second. ' Beds of hyacinth and God be praised she is so well as she is. She roses, where young Adonis oft reposes ;' bears her situation as one who has no right 'Fortunate Isles ;' The pagan Elysium,' to complain. My poor old aunt, whom you &c.; poetical pictures ; antiquity as pleasing have seen, the kindest, goodest creature to to the fancy ;-their emptiness; madness, me when I was at school ; who used to &c. Third. Warriors, Poets; some famous toddle there to bring me good things, when I, yet, more forgotten ; their fame or oblivion school-boy like, only despised her for it, and now alike indifferent; pride, vanity, &c. used to be ashamed to see her come and sit Fourth. All manner of pitiable stories, in herself down on the old coal-hole steps as you Spenser-like verse; love; friendship, relawent into the old grammar-school, and open tionship, &c. Fifth. Hermits ; Christ and her apron, and bring out her bason, with his apostles; martyrs; heaven, &c. An some nice thing she had caused to be saved imagination like yours, from these scanty for me ; the good old creature is now lying hints, may expand into a thousand great on her death-bed. I cannot bear to think ideas, if indeed you at all comprehend my on her deplorable state. To the shock she scheme, which I scarce do myself. received on that our evil day, from which "Monday morn.- A London letter-Nineshe never completely recovered, I impute pence half-penny!' Look you, master poet, her illness. She says, poor thing, she is glad I have remorse as well as another man, and she is come home to die with me. I was my bowels can sound upon occasion. But I always her favourite :
must put you to this charge, for I cannot "No after friendship e'er can raise
keep back my protest, however ineffectual, The endearments of our early days;
against the annexing your latter lines to Nor e'er the heart such fondness prove, those former-this putting of new wine into As when it first began to love.'
old bottles. This my duty done, I will cease “Lloyd has kindly left me, for a keep-sake, from writing till you invent some more "John Woolman. You have read it, he says, reasonable mode of conveyance. Well may and like it. Will you excuse one short ex- the ragged followers of the Nine !' set up tract ? I think it could not bave escaped for flocci-nauci-what-do-you-call-'em-ists! and you.—' Small treasure to a resigned mind is I do not wonder that in their splendid visions sufficient. How happy is it to be content of Utopias in America, they protest against with a little, to live in humility, and feel that the admission of those yellow-complexioned, in us, which breathes out this language copper-coloured, white-livered gentlemen, who Abba! Father!' - I am almost ashamed never prove themselves their friends! Don't to patch up a letter in this miscellaneous sort you think your verses on a ‘Young Ass' —but I please myself in the thought, that too trivial a companion for the 'Religious anything from me will be acceptable to you. Musings ?'--scoundrel monarch,' alter that ; I am rather impatient, childishly so, to see and the 'Man of Ross' is scarce admissible, our names affixed to the same common as it now stands, curtailed of its fairer half : volume. Send me two, when it does come reclaim its property from the 'Chatterton,' out; two will be enough-or indeed one which it does but encumber, and it will be but two better. I have a dim recollection a rich little poem.
I hope expuige that, when in town, you were talking of the great part of the old notes in the new ediOrigin of Evil as a most prolific subject for a tion: that, in particular, most barefaced, long poem ;-why not adopt it, Coleridge ? unfounded, impudent assertion, that Mr. ---there would be room for imagination. Or Rogers is indebted for his story to Loch the description (from a Vision or Dream, Lomond, a poem by Bruce! I have read suppose) of an Utopia in one of the planets the latter. I scarce think you have. Scarce (the moon for instance.) Or a Five Days' anything is common to them both. The Dream, which shall illustrate, in sensible author of the ‘Pleasures of Memory' was
somewhat hurt, Dyer says, by the accusation was given ; at all events, the result was, that of unoriginality. He never saw the poem. she left the asylum and took up her abode I long to read your poem on Burns-I retain for life with her brother Charles. For her so indistinct a memory of it. In what shape sake, at the same time, he abandoned all and how does it come into public? As you thoughts of love and marriage; and with an leave off writing poetry till you finish your income of scarcely more than 1001. a-year, Hymns, I suppose you print, now, all you derived from his clerkship, aided for a little have got by you. You have scarce enough while by the old aunt's small annuity, set unprinted to make a second volume with out on the journey of life at twenty-two Lloyd ? Tell me all about it. What is years of age, cheerfully, with his beloved become of Cowper ? Lloyd told me of some companion, endeared to him the more by her verses on his mother. If you have them by strange calamity, and the constant appreyou, pray send 'em me. I do so love him! hension of a recurrence of the malady which Never mind their merit. May be I may had caused it ! like 'em, as your taste and mine do not always exactly identify. Yours,
“ C. LAMB."
LETTERS TO COLERIDGE AND MANNING IN LAMB'S FIRST
YEARS OF LIFE WITH HIS BISTER.
Soon after the date of this letter, death
CHAPTER III. released the father from his state of imbecility and the son from his wearisome duties. With his life, the annuity he had derived
(1797 to 1800.) from the old bencher he had served so faith The anxieties of Lamb's new position were fully, ceased; while the aunt continued to assuaged during the spring of 1797, by frelinger still with Lamb in his cheerless quent communications with Coleridge relodging. His sister still remained in con- specting the anticipated volume, and by some finement in the asylum to which she had additions to his own share in its pages. He been consigned on her mother's death-per- was also cheered by the company of Lloyd, fectly sensible and calm,—and he was pas- who, having resided for a few months with sionately desirous of obtaining her liberty. Coleridge, at Stowey, came to London in The surviving members of the family, espe- some perplexity as to his future course. Of cially his brother John, who enjoyed a fair this visit Lamb speaks in the following letter, income in the South Sea House, opposed her probably written in January. It contains discharge ;-and painful doubts were sug- some verses expressive of his delight at gested by the authorities of the parish, where Lloyd's visit, which, although afterwards the terrible occurrence happened, whether inserted in the volume, are so well fitted to they were not bound to institute proceedings, their frame-work of prose, and so indicative which must have placed her for life at the of the feelings of the writer at this crisis of disposition of the Crown, especially as no his life, that I may be excused for presenting medical assurance could be given against the them with the context. probable recurrence of dangerous frenzy. But Charles came to her deliverance; he satisfied all the parties who had power to oppose her release, by his solemn engagement “Dear Col,-You have learned by this that he would take her under his care for time, with surprise, no doubt, that Lloyd is life ; and he kept his word. Whether any with me in town. The emotions I felt on his communication with the Home Secretary coming so unlooked-for, are not ill expressed occurred before her release, I have been in what follows, and what, if you do not unable to ascertain ; it was the impression object to them as too personal, and to the of Mr. Lloyd, from whom my own knowledge world obscure, or otherwise wanting in of the circumstances, which the letters do worth, I should wish to make a part of not ascertain, was derived, that a communi- our little volume. I shall be sorry if that cation took place, on which a similar pledge volume comes out, as it necessarily must do,
TO MR. COLERIDGE.