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Dec. 1833.

thinking to traverse Wardour-street, &c.,
when, diabolically, I was interrupted by

Little Barrow !

“My dear Sir,-Your book, by the unre

mitting punctuality of your publisher, has Emma knows him—and prevailed on to spend reached me thus early. I have not opened the day at his sister's, where was an album, it, nor will till to-morrow, when I promise and (0, march of intellect !) plenty of lite- myself a thorough reading of it. The rary conversation, and more acquaintance Pleasures of Memory' was the first schoolwith the state of modern poetry than I could present I made to Mrs. Moxon; it has those keep up with. I was positively distanced. nice woodcuts, and I believe she keeps it Knowles' play, which, epilogued by me, lay still. Believe me, that all the kindness you on the Piano, alone made me hold up my have shown to the husband of that excellent head. When I came home, I read your person seems done unto myself. I have tried letter, and glimpsed at your beautiful sonnet, my hand at a sonnet in the 'Times. But the

turn I gave it, though I hoped it would not * Fair art thou as the morning, my young bride,'

displease you, I thought might not be equally and dwelt upon it in a confused brain, but agreeable to your artist. I met that dear old determined not to open them all next day, man at poor Henry's, with you, and again at being in a state not to be told of at Chatteris. Cary's, and it was sublime to see him sit, Tell it not in Gath, Emma, lest the daughters deaf, and enjoy all that was going on in mirth triumph! I am at the end of my tether. I with the company. He reposed upon the wish you could come on Tuesday with your many graceful, many fantastic images he had fair bride. Why can't you! Do. We are created ; with them he dined, and took wine. th kful to your sister for being of the party. I have ventured at an antagonist copy of Come, and bring a sonnet on Mary's birth- verses, in the 'Athenæum,' to him, in which day. Love to the whole Moxonry, and tell he is as everything, and you as nothing. He E. I every day love her more, and miss her is no lawyer who cannot take two sides. less. Tell her so, from her loving uncle, as But I am jealous of the combination of the she has let me call myself. I bought a fine sister arts. Let them sparkle apart. What embossed card yesterday, and wrote for the injury (short of the theatres) did not BoyPawnbrokeress's album. She is a Miss dell's Shakspeare Gallery do me with ShakBrown, engaged to a Mr. White. One of the speare ? to have Opie's Shakspeare, Northlines was (I forgot the rest—but she had cote's Shakspeare, light-headed Fuseli's Shak. them at twenty-four hours' notice ; she is speare, heavy-headed Romney's Shakspeare, going out to India with her husband) : wooden-headed West's Shakspeare (though

he did the best in Lear), deaf-headed Rey“May your fame, And fortune, Frances, WHITEx with your name!'

nolds's Shakspeare, instead of my, and

everybody's Shakspeare ; to be tied down to Not bad as a pun. I will expect you before ' an authentic face of Juliet ! to have Imogen's two on Tuesday. I am well and happy, portrait ! to confine the illimitable ! I like tell E."

you and Stothard (you best), but 'out upon this half-faced fellowship!' Sir, when I

have read the book, I may trouble you, The following is Lamb's letter of acknow-through Moxon, with some faint criticisms. ledgment to the author of the “Pleasures of It is not the flatteringest compliment in a Memory;" for an early copy of his “Illus- letter to an author to say, you have not read trated Poems,” of a share in the publication his book yet. But the devil of a reader he of which, Mr. Moxon was “justly vain.” The must be, who prances through it in five artistical allusions are to Stothard ; the allu- minutes ; and no longer have I received the sions to the poet's own kindnesses need no parcel. It was a little tautalising to me to explanation to those who have been enabled receive a letter from Landor, Gebir Landor, by circumstances, which now and then trans- from Florence, to say he was just sitting pire, to guess at thegenerous course of his life. down to read my 'Elia, just received; but

the letter was to go out before the reading. of names and things that never would have There are calamities in authorship which dawned upon me again, and thousands from only authors know. I am going to call on the ten years she lived before me. What Moxon on Monday, if the throng of carriages took place from early girlhood to her coming in Dover-street, on the morn of publication, of age principally, lives again (every important do not barricade me out.

thing, and every trifle) in her brain, with the “With many thanks, and most respectful vividness of real presence. For twelve hours remembrances to your sister,

incessantly she will pour out without inter“ Yours, C. LAMB.

mission, all her past life, forgetting nothing

pouring out name after name to the Waldens “Have you seen Coleridge's happy exem- as a dream ; sense and nonsense ; truths and plification in English of the Ovidian Elegiac errors huddled together; a medley between metre?

inspiration and possession. What things we

are! I know you will bear with me, talking In the Hexameter rises the fountain's silvery current, In the Pentameter aye falling in melody down.

of these things. It seems to ease me, for I

have nobody to tell these things to now. “My sister is papering up the book—care- Emma, I see, has got a harp! and is learning ful soul !”

to play. She has framed her three Walton pictures, and pretty they look. That is a

book you should read; such sweet religion Lamb and his sister were now, for the last in it, next to Woolman's ! though the subject year of their united lives, always together. be baits, and hooks, and worms, and fishes. What his feelings were in this companion- She has my copy at present, to do two more ship, when his beloved associate was deprived from. of reason, will be seen in the following most “Very, very tired! I began this epistle, affecting letter, to an old schoolfellow and having been epistolising all the morning, and very dear friend of Mrs. Moxon's—since very kindly would I end it, could I find dead—who took an earnest interest in their adequate expressions to your kindness. We welfare.

did set our minds on seeing you in spring. One of us will indubitably. But I am not

skilled in almanac learning, to know when

“ Feb. 14, 1834. spring precisely begins and ends. Pardon “Dear Miss Fryer,-Your letter found me my blots; I am glad you like your book. I just returned from keeping my birthday wish it had been half as worthy of your (pretty innocent !) at Dover-street. I see acceptance as John Woolman. But 'tis a them pretty often. I have since had letters good-natured book.” of business to write, or should have replied earlier. In one word, be less uneasy about me; I bear my privations very well; I am A few days afterwards Lamb's passionate not in the depths of desolation, as heretofore. desire to serve a most deserving friend Your admonitions are not lost upon me. broke out in the following earnest little Your kindness has sunk into my heart. letter :Have faith in me! It is no new thing for me to be left to my sister. When she is not violent, her rambling chat is better to me

“ Church-street, Edmonton, than the sense and sanity of this world.

“February 22, 1834. Her heart is obscured, not buried ; it breaks “Dear Wordsworth,- I write from a house out occasionally; and one can discern a of mourning. The oldest and best friends I strong mind struggling with the billows that have left are in trouble. A branch of them have gone over it. I could be nowhere hap- (and they of the best stock of God's creatures, pier than under the same roof with her. I believe) is establishing a school at Carlisle ; Her memory is unnaturally strong ; and her name is LM


her anddress, 75, from ages past, if we may so call the earliest Castle-street, Carlisle ; her qualities (and records of our poor life, she fetches thousands her motives for this exertion) are the most





amiable, most upright. For thirty years she

“ I have only got your note just now per has been tried by me, and on her behaviour negligentiam periniqui Moxoni.” I would stake my soul. O, if you can recommend her, how would I love you—if I could love you better!

Pray, pray, recommend The following little note has a mournful her. She is as good a human creature, - 'interest, as Lamb's last scrap of writing. It next to my sister, perhaps, the most exem- is dated on the very day on which erysipelas plary female I ever knew. Moxon tells me followed the accident, apparently trifling, you would like a letter from me ; you shall which, five days after, terminated in his have one.

This I cannot mingle up with death. It is addressed to the wife of his any nonsense which you usually tolerate from oldest surviving friend : C. Lamb. Need he add loves to wife, sister, and all ? Poor Mary is ill again, after a short lucid interval of four or five months.

“ Dec. 22nd, 1834. In short, I may call her half dead to “Dear Mrs. Dyer,-I am ery uneasy How good you are to me.

Yours with fer- about a Book which I either have lost or left vour of friendship, for ever,

C. L. at your house on Thursday. It was the

book I went out to fetch from Miss Buffam's, “If you want references, the Bishop of while the tripe was frying. It is called Carlisle may be one. -'s sister (as good, 'Phillip's Theatrum Poetarum,' but it is an as she, she cannot be better though she tries) ' English book. I think I left it in the parlour. educated the daughters of the late Earl of It is Mr. Cary's book, and I would not lose Carnarvon, and he settleda handsome annuity it for the world. Pray, if you find it, book it on her for life. In short, all the family are at the Swan, Snow Hill, by an Edmonton a sound rock.”

stage immediately, directed to Mr. Lamb, Church-street, Edmonton, or write to say

you cannot find it. I am quite anxious about A quiet dinner at the British Museum with it. If it is lost, I shall never like tripe again. Mr. Cary once a month, to which Lamb “ With kindest love to Mr. Dyer and all, looked forward with almost boyish eager:

“Yours truly, C. LAMB." ness, was now almost his only festival. In a little note to his host about this time, he hints at one of his few physical tastes.-—“We are thinking,” he says, “ of roast shoulder of mutton with onion sauce, but I scorn to

CHAPTER THE LAST. prescribe to the hospitalities of mine host.” The following, after these festivities had been LAMB'S WEDNESDAY NIGHTS COMPARED WITH THE EVEN. interrupted by Mr. Cary's visit to the Conti

DYER, GODWIN, THELWALL, HAZLITT, BARNES, HAYbent, is their last memorial :

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“ Gone ; all are gone, the old familiar faces !"

“Sept. 12, 1834. " By Cot's plessing we will not be absence

Two circles of rare social enjoyment--difat the grace."

fering as widely as possible in all external “Dear C.,—We long to see you, and hear circumstances—but each superior in its kind account of your peregrinations, of the Tun at to all others, during the same period frankly Heidelburg, the Clock at Strasburg, the opened to men of letters-now existing only statne at Rotterdam, the dainty Rhenish, and in the memories of those who are fast departpoignant Moselle wines, Westphalian hams, ing from us—may, without offence, be placed and Botargoes of Altona. But perhaps you side by side in grateful recollection ; they have seen, not tasted any of these things. are the dinners at Holland House and the

“ Yours, very glad to chain you back again suppers of “the Lambs” at the Temple, to your proper centre, books and Bibliothecæ, Great Russell-street, and Islington. Strange,

“ C. and M. LAMS. at first, as this juxta-position may seem, a

little reflection will convince the few sur- the branches, still, or lightly waving in the vivors who have enjoyed both, that it in- evening light, and on the scene within, the volves no injustice to either; while with harmony of all sensations becomes more perthose who are too young to have been ad-'fect; a delighted and delighting chuckle inmitted to these rare festivities, we may vites attention to some joyous sally of the exercise the privilege of age by boasting what richest intellectual wit reflected in the faces good fellowship was once enjoyed, and what of all, even to the favourite page in green, "good talk” there was once in the world! who attends his mistress with duty like that

But let us call to mind the aspects of each of the antique world; the choicest wines are scene, before we attempt to tell of the con- enhanced in their liberal but temperate use versation, which will be harder to recall and by the vista opened in Lord Holland's tales impossible to characterise. And first, let us of bacchanalian evenings at Brookes's, with invite the reader to assist at a dinner at Fox and Sheridan, when potations deeper Holland House in the height of the London and more serious rewarded the Statesman's and Parliamentary season, say a Saturday in toils and shortened his days ; until at length June. It is scarcely seven-for the luxuries the serener pleasure of conversation, of the of the house are enhanced by a punctuality now carelessly scattered groups, is enjoyed in in the main object of the day, which yields to that old, long, unrivalled library in which no dilatory guest of whatever pretension, Addison mused, and wrote, and drank; and you are seated in an oblong room, rich where every living grace attends ; “and in old gilding, opposite a deep recess, pierced more than echoes talk along the walls.” One by large old windows through which the rich happy peculiarity of these assemblies was, branches of trees bathed in golden light, just the number of persons in different stations admit the faint outline of the Surrey Hills. and of various celebrity, who were gratified Among the guests are some perhaps of the by seeing, still more, in hearing and knowing highest rank, always some of high political each other; the statesman was relieved from importance, about whom the interest of busy care by association with the poet of whom he life gathers, intermixed with others eminent had heard and partially read; and the poet already in literature or art, or of that dawn- was elevated by the courtesy which “bared ing promise which the hostess delights to the great heart” which “beats beneath a discover and the host to smile on. All are star ;” and each felt, not rarely, the true assembled for the purpose of enjoyment; the dignity of the other, modestly expanding anxieties of the minister, the feverish strug- under the most genial auspices. gles of the partisan, the silent toils of the Now turn to No. 4, Inner Temple Lane, at artist or critic, are finished for the week; ten o'clock, when the sedater part of the professionaland literary jealousies are hushed; company are assembled, and the happier sickness, decrepitude, and death are silently stragglers are dropping in from the play. voted shadows; and the brilliant assemblage Let it be any autumn or winter month, when is prepared to exercise to the highest degree the fire is viazing steadily, and the cleanthe extraordinary privilege of mortals to live swept hearth and whist-tables speak of the in the knowledge of mortality without its spirit of Mrs. Battle, and serious looks require consciousness, and to people the present hour “the rigour of the game.” The furniture is with delights, as if a man lived and laughed old-fashioned and worn; the ceiling low, and and enjoyed in this world for ever. Every not wholly unstained by traces of “ the great appliance of physical luxury which the most plant,” though now virtuously forborne : but delicate art can supply, attends on each ; the Hogarths, in narrow black frames, every faint wish which luxury creates is abounding in infinite thought, humour and anticipated ; the noblest and most gracious pathos, enrich the walls; and all things wear countenance in the world smiles over the an air of comfort and hearty English welcome. happiness it is diffusing, and redoubles it by Lamb himself, yet unrelaxed by the glass, is cordial invitations and encouraging words, sitting with a sort of Quaker primness at the which set the humblest stranger guest at whist-table, the gentleness of his melancholy perfect ease. As the dinner merges into the smile half lost in his intentness on the dessert, and the sunset casts a richer glow on game ; his partner, the author of “ Political

Justice,” (the majestic expression of his large tinual triumph of “Don Giovanni,” for which head not disturbed by disproportion of his Lamb, incapable of opera, is happy to take comparatively diminutive stature,) is regard- his word. Now and then an actor glances ing his hand with a philosophic but not a on us from “the rich Cathay” of the world careless eye ; Captain Burney, only not vener- behind the scenes, with news of its brighter able because so young in spirit, sits between human-kind, and with looks reflecting the them; and H. C. R., who alone now and then public favour-Liston, grave beneath the breaks the proper silence, to welcome some weight of the town's regards—or Miss Kelly, incoming guest, is his happy partner-true unexhausted in spirit by alternating the winner in the game of life, whose leisure drolleries of high farce with the terrible achieved early, is devoted to his friends! At pathos of melodrama,

,-or Charles Kemble another table, just beyond the circle which mirrors the chivalry of thought, and ennobles extends from the fire, sit another four. The the party by bending on them looks beaming broad, burly, jovial bulk of John Lamb, the with the aristocracy of nature. Meanwhile Ajax Telamon of the slender clerks of the Becky lays the cloth on the side-table, under old South Sea House, whom he sometimes the direction of the most quiet, sensible, and introduces to the rooms of his younger kind of women - who soon compels the brother, surprised to learn from them that younger and more hungry of the guests to he is growing famous, confronts the stately partake largely of the cold roast lamb or but courteous Alsager; while P.,“his few hairs boiled beef, the heaps of smoking roasted bristling" at gentle objurgation, watches his potatoes, and the vast jug of porter, often partner M. B., dealing, with "soul more replenished from the foaming pots, which the white” * than the hands of which Lamb once best tap of Fleet-street supplies. Perfect said, “M., if dirt was trumps, what hands freedom prevails, save when the hospitable you would hold !” In one corner of the pressure of the mistress excuses excess; and room, you may see the pale earnest counte- perhaps, the physical enjoyment of the playnance of Charles Lloyd, who is discoursing goer exhausted with pleasure, or of the " of fate, free-will, fore-knowledge absolute,” author jaded with the labour of the brain, is with Leigh Hunt; and, if you choose to not less than that of the guests at the most listen, you will scarcely know which nuost to charming of aristocratic banquets. As the admire—the severe logic of the melancholy hot water and its accompaniments appear, reasoner, or its graceful evasion by the trick- and the severities of whist relax, the light some fantasy of the joyous poet. Basil of conversation thickens : Hazlitt, catching Montague, gentle enthusiast in the cause of the influence of the spirit from which he has humanity, which he has lived to see lately begun to abstain, utters some fine triumphant, is pouring into the outstretched criticism with struggling emphasis ; Lamb ear of George Dyer some tale of legalised stammers out puns suggestive of wisdom, for injustice, which the recipient is vainly en- happy Barron Field to admire and echo; the deavouring to comprehend. Soon the room various driblets of talk combine into a stream, fiils; in slouches Hazlitt from the theatre, while Miss Lamb moves gently about to see where his stubborn anger for Napoleon's that each modest stranger is duly served; defeat at Waterloo has been softened by Miss turning, now and then, an anxious loving eye Stephens's angelic notes, which might “chase on Charles, which is softened into a half anger, and grief, and fear, and sorrow, and humorous expression of resignation to inevitpain from mortal or immortal minds ;'

"able fate, as he mixes his second tumbler ! Kenney, with a tremulous pleasure, an- This is on ordinary nights, when the accusnounces that there is a crowded house to the tomed Wednesday-men assemble ; but there is ninth representation of his new comedy, of a difference on great extra nights, gladdened which Lamb lays down his cards to inquire; by “the bright visitations” of Wordsworth or ur Ayrton, mildly radiant, whispers the con- Coleridge the cordiality of the welcome is

the same, but a sedater wisdom prevails. • Lamb's Sonnet, dedicatory of his first volume of prose to this cherished friend, thus concludes :

Happy hours were they for the young disciple “ Free from self-seeking, envy, low design,

of the then desperate, now triumphant cause I have not found a whiter soul than thine," of Wordsworth’s genius, to be admitted to

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