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TO MR, WALTER WILSON.
on it, that's certain. Willy* shall be wel- so much better hands! Will Dr. W. accept come to a mince-pie, and a bout at com- of my respects at the end of a foolish letter 1 merce whenever he comes. He was in our
“C. L.” eye. I am glad you liked my new year's speculations, everybody likes them, except The following letter to Mr. Walter Wilson, the author of the ‘Pleasures of Hope. Dis- who was composing a “Life of De Foe,” in appointment attend him! How I like to be reply to inquiries on various points of the liked, and what I do to be liked! They great novelist's history, is dated 24th Feb., flatter me in magazines, newspapers, and all 1823. the minor reviews; the Quarterlies hold aloof. But they must come into it in time, or their leaves be waste paper. Salute Trinity
“ Dear W.,-I write that you may not Library in my name. Two special things think me neglectful, not that I have anything are worth seeing at Cambridge, a portrait to say. In answer to your questions, it was of Cromwell, at Sydney, and a better of at your house I saw an edition of 'Roxana,' Dr. Harvey, (who found out that blood was the preface to which stated that the author red) at Dr. Davy's; you should see them. had left out all that part of it which related Coleridge is pretty well; I have not seen to Roxana's daughter persisting in imagining him, but hear often of him from Allsop, who herself to be so, in spite of the mother's sends me hares and pheasants twice a week; denial, from certain bints she had picked up, I can hardly take so fast as he gives. I have and throwing herself continually in her almost forgotten butcher's meat, as plebeian. mother's way (as Savage is said to have done Are you not glad the cold is gone? I find in the way of his, prying in at windows to winters not so agreeable as they used to be get a glimpse of her), and that it was by 'when winter bleak had charms for me. I advice of Southern, who objected to the cannot conjure up a kind similitude for those circumstances as being untrue, when the snowy flakes. Let them keep to twelfth rest of the story was founded on fact; which cakes!
shows S. to have been a stupid-ish fellow. “ Mrs. Pour Cambridge friend, has The incidents so resemble Savage's story, been in town. You do not know the W—-'s that I taxed Godwin with taking Falkner in Trumpington Street. They are capital from his life by Dr. Johnson. You should people. Ask anybody you meet who is the have the edition (if you have not parted with biggest woman in Cambridge, and I'll hold it), for I saw it never but at your place at you a wager they'll say Mrs. ; she broke the Mews' Gate, nor did I then read it to down two benches in Trinity gardens, one on compare it with my own; only I know the the confines of St. John's, which occasioned a daughter's curiosity is the best part of my litigation between the Societies as to re- ' Roxana.' The prologue you speak of was pairing it. In warm weather, she retires mine, and so named, but not worth much. into an ice-cellar (literally !), and dates the You ask me for two or three pages of verse. returns of the years from a hot Thursday I have not written so much since you knew some twenty years back. She sits in a room me. I am altogether prosaic. May be I with opposite doors and windows, to let in a may touch off a sonnet in time. I do not thorough draught, which gives her slenderer prefer “Colonel Jack' to either 'Robiuson friends tooth-aches. She is to be seen in the Crusve' or 'Roxana.' I only spoke of the market every morning at ten cheapening beginning of it, his childish history. The fowls, which I observe the Canıbridge poul- rest is poor. I do not know anywhere any terers are not sufficiently careful to stump. good character of De Foe besides what you
“Having now answered most of the points mention.* I do not know that Swift mencontained in your letter, let me end with assuring you of our very best kindness, and
• Those who wish to read an admirable character of
De Foe, associated with the most valuable information excuse Mary for not handling the pen on respecting his personal history, should revert to an articie this occasion, especially as it has fallen into in the “ Edinburgh Review" on De Foe, attributed to
the author of the “Lives of the Statesmen of the Co:n. • Mr. Wordsworth's second son, then at the Charter. monwealth," and of the delightful "Biography of Oliver
Goldsmith," almost as charıning as its subject.
tions him ; Pope does. I forget if D'Israeli iron one of the two that'shuts amain'-and has. Dunlop I think has nothing of him. that is the reason I am locked up. MeanHe is quite new ground, and scarce known while of afternoons we pick up primroses at beyond 'Crusoe.' I do not know who wrote Dalston, and Mary corrects me when I call
Quarl.' I never thought of "Quarl' as 'em cowslips. God bless you all, and pray, rehaving an author. It is a poor imitation; member me euphoniously to Mr. Gthe monkey is the best in it, and his pretty That Lee Priory must be a dainty bower. dishes made of shells. Do you know the paper Is it built of flints !-and does it stand at in the 'Englishman? by Sir Richard Steele, Kingsgate ?" giving an account of Selkirk ? It is admirable, and has all the germs of Crusoe.' You must quote it entire. Captain G. Carleton In this year, Lamb made his greatest essay wrote his own memoirs, they are about Lord in house-keeping, by occupying Colebrook Peterborough's campaign in Spain, and a Cottage at Islington, on the banks of his good book. 'Puzzelli' puzzles me, and I am beloved New River. There occurred the in a cloud about ‘Donald M-Leod.' I never immersion of George Dyer at noontide, which heard of them ; so you see, my dear Wilson, supplies the subject of one of “The Last what poor assistances I can give in the way Essays of Elia ;” and which is veritably reof information. I wish your book out, for I lated in the following letter of Lamb, which shall like to see anything about De Foe or is curious, as containing the germ of that from you.
Your old friend, C. LAMB. delightful article, and the first sketches of " From my and your old compound.”
the Brandy-and-Water Doctor therein celebrated as miraculous.
The following is the fragment of a letter
TO MRS. HAZLITT. addressed in the beginning of 1823 to Miss
“ November, 1823. Hutchiuson at Ramsgate whither she had “ Dear Mrs. H.,-Sitting down to write a gone with an invalid relative.
letter is such a painful operation to Mary,
that you must accept me as her proxy. You TO MISS AUTCHINSON.
have seen our house. What I now tell you
April 25th, 1823. is literally true. Yesterday week, George Dyer “Dear Miss H., - It gives me great pleasure called upon us, at one o'clock, (bright noon (the letter now begins) to hear that you got day) on his way to dine with Mrs. Barbauld, down so smoothly, and that Mrs. M—'s' at Newington. He sat with Mary about half spirits are so good and enterprising. It shows an hour, and took leave. The maid saw him whatever her posture may be, that her mind go out, from her kitchen window, but sudat least is not supine. I hope the excursion denly losing sight of him, ran up in a fright will enable the former to keep pace with its to Mary. G. D., instead of keeping the slip outstripping neighbour. Pray present our that leads to the gate, had deliberately, staff kindest wishes to her and all; (that sentence in hand, in broad open day, marched into should properly have come into the Postscript, the New River. He had not his spectacles but we airy mercurial spirits, there is no on, and you know his absence. Who helped keeping us in). "Time' (as was said of one him out, they can hardly tell, but between 'em of us) 'toils after us in vain.' I am afraid they got him out, drenched thro' and thro'. our co-visit with Coleridge was a dream. I A mob collected by that time, and accomshall not get away before the end (or middle) panied him in. 'Send for the Doctor !’ they of June, and then you will be frog-hopping said : and a one-eyed fellow, dirty and drunk, at Boulogne ; and besides, I think the was fetched from the public-house at the end, Gilmans would scarce trust him with us ; I where it seems he lurks, for the sake of pickhave a malicious knack at cutting of apron- ing up water-practice; having formerly had strings. The Saints' days you speak of have a medal from the Humane Society, for some long since fied to heaven, with Astræa, and rescue. By his advice, the patient was put the cold piety of the age lacks fervour to between blankets ; and when I came home recall them ; only Peter left his key-the at four, to dinner, I found G. D. a-bed, and
raving, light-headed, with the brandy-and principal as you mention; and the most water which the doctor had administered. graceful excuse for the acceptance, would be. He sung, laughed, whimpered, screamed, that it left you free to your voluntary babbled of guardian angels, would get up functions. That is the less light part of the and go home; but we kept him there by scruple. It has no darker shade. I put in force; and by next morning he departed darker, because of the ambiguity of the word sobered, and seems to have received no light, which Donne in his admirable poem injury. All my friends are open-mouthed on the Metempsychosis, has so ingeniously about having paling before the river, but I illustrated in his invocationcannot see, because an absent man chooses to walk into a river, with his eyes open, at
Make my dark heary poem, light and light.' midday, I am any the more likely to be where two senses of light are opposed to difdrowned in it, coming home at midnight. ferent opposites. A trifling criticism.-I
“ I have had the honour of dining at the can see no reason for any scruple then but Mansion House, on Thursday last, by special what arises from your own interest ; which card from the Lord Mayor, who never saw is in your own power of course to solve. If my face, nor I bis ; and all from being a you still have doubts, read over Sanderson's writer in a magazine! The dinner costly, Cases of Conscience, and Jeremy Taylor's served on massy plate, champagne, pines, &c.; Ductor Dubitantium, the first a moderate forty-seven present, among whom, the Chair- octavo, the latter a folio of 900 close pages, man, and two other directors of the India and when you have thoroughly digested the Company. There's for you! and got away admirable reasons pro and con which they pretty sober ! Quite saved my credit! give for every possible case, you will be
“We continue to like our house prodi- just as wise as when you began. Every man giously. Our kind remembrances to you is his own best Casuist ; and after all, as and yours.-Yours truly,
C. LAMB. Ephraim Smooth in the pleasant comedy of
'Wild Oats,' has it,' there is no harm in a “I am pleased that H. liked my letter to Guinea.' A fortiori there is less in 2000. the Laureate.”
“ I therefore most sincerely congratulate
with you, excepting so far as excepted above. Requested by the Quaker Poet, to advise If you have fair prospects of adding to the him on a proposal for appropriating a large principal, cut the Bank; but in either case sum of money raised by a few admiring do not refuse an honest Service. Your heart friends to his comfort in advancing years, tells you it is not offered to bribe you from Lamb
gave his wise and genial judgment in any duty, but to a duty which you feel to be the following letter
your vocation. Farewell heartily.
“ C. L."
TO BERNARD BARTON.
TO BERNARD BARTON.
The following, with its grotesque sketches, “ March 24th, 1824.
is addressed also “Dear B. B., -I hasten to say that if my opinion can strengthen you in your choice, it is decisive for your acceptance of what has been
" Deceinber 1st, 1824. so handsomely offer'd. I can see nothing in “Dear B. B.,- If Mr. Mitford will send jurious to your most honourable sense. me a full and circumstantial description of Think that you are called to a poetical his desired vases, I will transmit the same Ministry—nothing worse—the Minister is to a gentleman resident at Canton, whom I worthy of the hire.—The only objection I think I have interest enough in to take the feel is founded on a fear that the acceptance proper care for their execution. But Mr. M. may be a temptation to you to let fall the must have patience. China is a great way bone (hard as it is) which is in your mouth off, further perhaps than he thinks ; and his and must afford tolerable pickings, for the next year's roses must be content to wither shadow of independence. You cannot pro- in a Wedgwood pot. He will please to say pose to become independent on what the low whether he should like his Arms upon then, state of interest could afford you from such a &c. I send herewith some patterns which
suggest themselves to me at the first blush You ask about the editor of the 'London ;' I of the subject, but he will probably consult know of none. This first specimen is flat and his own taste after all.
pert enough to justify subscribers who grudge t'other shilling. De Quincy’s ‘Parody was submitted to him before printed, and had his Probatum.* The Horns' is in a poor taste, resembling the most laboured papers in the ‘Spectator.' I had signed it 'Jack Horner'; but Taylor and Hessey said
it would be thought an offensive article, The last pattern is obviously fitted for unless I put my known signature to it, and ranunculuses only. The two former may wrung from me my slow consent. But did indifferently hold daisies, marjoram, sweet you read the 'Memoir of Liston'?and did williams, and that sort. My friend in Canton you guess whose it was? Of all the lies 1 is Inspector of Teas, his name is Ball ; and I ever put off, I value this most. It is from can think of no better tunnel. I shall expect top to toe, every paragraph, pure invention, Mr. M.'s decision.
and has passed for gospel ; has been repub“ Taylor and Hessey finding their
lished in newspapers, and in the penny playzine goes
off very heavily at 28. 6d. are pru bills of the night, as an authentic account. dently going to raise their price another I shall certainly go to the naughty man some shilling ; and having already more authors day for my fibbings. In the next number I than they want, intend to increase the figure as a theologian ! and have attacked number of them. If they set up against the my late brethren, the Unitarians. What New Monthly, they must change their pre- Jack Pudding tricks I shall play next, I sent hands. It is not tying the dead carcase know not; I am almost at the end of my of a Review to a half-dead Magazine will do tether. Coleridge is quite blooming, but his their business. It is like G. D. multiplying book has not budded yet. I hope I have his volumes to make 'em sell better. When spelt Torquay right now, and that this will he finds one will not go off, he publishes two; find you all mending, and looking forward to two stick, he tries three; three hang fire, he a London flight with the Spring. Winter, we is confident that four will have a better have had none, but plenty of foul weather. chance.
C. L.” I have lately picked up an epigram which
" "Two noble earls, whom if I quote, The following letter to Miss Hutchinson,
Some folks might call me sinner, at Torquay, refers to some of Lamb's later
The one invented half a coat,
The other half a dinner. articles, published in the "London Magazine," which, in extending its size and pretensions
The plan was good, as some will say, to a three-and-sixpenny miscellany, had lost
Because, in this poor starving day, much of its spirit. He exults, however, in his veracious "Memoir of Liston!”
“I have made the lame one still lamer by
imperfect memory; but spite of bald diction, “The brevity of this is owing to scratching a little done to it might improve it into a it off at my desk amid expected interruptions. good one. You have nothing else to do at By habit, I can write letters only at office.
Torquay. Suppose you try it. Well, God
bless you all, as wishes Mary most sincerely, “ January 20th, 1825.
with many thanks for letter, &c. ELIA." "Dear Miss H.,—Thank you for a noble goose, which wanted only the massive in • Mr. de Quincy had commenced a series of letters in crustation that we used to pick-axe open, education has been veglected," as a vehicle
the “London Magazine," "To a Young Man whose about this season, in old Gloster Place. When miscellaneous information in his admirable style. Upon shall we eat another goose pie together ? this hint Lamb, with the assent which Mr. de Quincy
could well afford to give, contributed a parody on the The pheasant, too, must not be forgotten ; scheme, in “A Letter to an old Gentleman whose twice as big, and half as good as a partridge. education has been neglected."
And fitted to console one;
Few can afford a whole one.'
TO MISS HUTCHINSON.
TO MR. MANNING.
The first dawning hope of Lamb's emanci- Essay, by which, if it get the prize, he'll pation from the India House is suggested in touch an additional 1001. I fancy. His the following note to Manning, proposing a book, too, (* Commentary on Bishop Leighvisit, in which he refers to a certificate of ton,') is quite finished, and penes Taylor and non-capacity for hard desk-work, given by a Hessey. medical friend.
“In the ‘London' which is just out (1st May,) are two papers entitled the
'Superannuated Man,' which I wish you to “My dear M.—You might have come see; and also, 1st April, a little thing called inopportunely a week since, when we had an 'Barbara S' a story gleaned from Miss inmate. At present and for as long as ever Kelly. The L. M., if you can get it, will you like, our castle is at your service. I save my enlargement upon the topic of my saw T- yesternight, who has done for me manumission.
“I must scribble to make up my hiatus
crumence; for there are so many ways, pious * To all my nights and days to come, Give solely sovran sway and masterdom.' and profligate, of getting rid of money in this
vast city and suburbs, that I shall miss my But I dare not hope, for fear of disappoint- THIRDS. But couragio! I despair not. Your ment. I cannot be more explicit at present. kind hint of the cottage was well thrown out; But I have it under his own hand, that I ain an anchorage for age and school of economy, non-capacitated, (I cannot write it in-) for when necessity comes ; but without this business. O joyous imbecility! Not a latter, I have an unconquerable terror of susurration of this to anybody!
changing place. It does not agree with us. “Mary's love. C. LAMB."
I say it from conviction ; else I do sometimes ruralise in fancy.
“Some d-d people are come in, and I The dream was realised—in April 1825, must finish abruptly. By d—d, I only mean the “world-wearied clerk” went home for deuced. 'Tis these suitors of Penelope that ever-with what delight has been told in make it necessary to authorise a little for the elaborate raptures of his “Superannuated 'gin and mutton, and such trifles. Man," and in the letters already published. “Excuse my abortive scribble. The following may be now added to these, “ Yours, not in more haste than heart, illucidative of his too brief raptures.
TO MR. WORDSWORTH.
“Love and recollects to all the Wms., “Dear W.-I write post-haste to ensure Doras, Maries round your
Wrekin. a frank. Thanks for your hearty congratu “Mary is capitally well. Do write to Sir lations! I may now date from the sixth G. B., for I am shyish of applying to him." week of my · Hegira, or Flight from Leadenhall.' I have lived so much in it, that a summer seems already past; and 'tis but early May yet with you and other people. How I look down on the slaves and drudges
CHAPTER VIII. of the world! Its inhabitants are a vast cotton-web of spin-spin-spinners! O the
LETTERS OF LAMB'S LAST YEARS. carking cares ! O the money-grubbers !
(1825 to 1834.] Sempiternal muckworms !
How imperfectly the emancipation, so "Your Virgil I have lost sight of, but rapturously hailed, fulfilled its promises ; suspect it is in the hands of Sir G. Beaumont; how Lamb left Islington for Enfield, and I think that circumstance made me shy of there, after a while, subsided into a lodger; procuring it before. Will you write to him and how, at last, he settled at Edmonton to about it ?—and your commands shall be die, sufficiently appear in the former series of obeyed to a tittle.
his letters. Those which occupy this chapter, “ Coleridge has just finished his prize scattered through nine years, have either