Charles Lamb.

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and the burly old Duke of Norfolk, a nobleman, every
stun of him !

I am afraid now you and are gone, there's scarce

an officer in the Civil Service quite comes up to my notion

of a gentleman. D certainly does not, nor his friend

B .

C bobs. K curtsies. W bows like the

son of a citizen ; F like a village apothecary ; C

like the Squire's younger Brother ; R like a crocodile


on his hind legs ; H never bows at all — at least to

me. S spulters and stutters. W halters and

smatters. R is a coal-heaver. Wolf wants my

clothing. C simmers, but never boils over. D

is a Butterfirkin, salt butter. C , a pepper-box,

cayenne. For A , E , and , I can answer

that they have not the slightest pretensions to anything
but rusticity. Marry, the remaining vowels had some-
thing of civility about them. Can you make top or tail
of this nonsense, or tell where it begins 1 I will page it.
How an error in the outset infects to the end of life, or
of a sheet of paper ! Cordially adieu. C. Lamb.

H. Dodwell, Esq.



Lktter CCCXIL] [October 1827.]

Dear Hone — I was most sensibly gratified by receiving
the T. B. on Friday evening at Enfield ! !

Thank you. In haste, C. L.

Don't spare the Extracts. They'll eke out till

How is your daughter 1

Mr. Hone,

22, Belvidere Place,


Letter CCCXIIL] [November] 1827.

Dear H. — I am here almost in the eleventh week of
the longest illness my sister ever had, and no symptoms


of amendment. Some had begun, but relapsed with a
change of nurse. If she ever gets well, you will like my
house, and I shall be happy to show you Enfield country.

As to my head, it is perfectly at your or any one's
service; either Myers' or Hazlitt's, — which last (done
fifteen or twenty years since) White, of the Accountant's
Office, India House, has ; he lives in Kentish Town — I
forget where ; but is to be found in Leadenhall daily.
Take your choice. I should be proud to hang up as an
alehouse-sign even ; or, rather, I care not about my head
or anything, but how we are to get well again, for I am
tired out.

God bless you and yours from the worst calamity.

Yours truly, C. L.

Kindest remembrances to Mrs. Hunt. H.'s is in a
queer dress. M.'s would be preferable ad populum.


Chase Side, Enfield,
Letter CCCXIV.] November 1827.

My dear B. B. — You will understand my silence when
I tell you that my sister, on the very eve of entering into
a new house we have taken at Enfield, was surprised
with an attack of one of her sad long illnesses, which
deprive me of her society, though not of her domestication,
for eight or nine weeks together. I see her, but it does
her no good. But for this, we have the snuggest, most
comfortable house, with everything most compact and
desirable. Colebrook is a wilderness. The books, prints,
etc., are come here, and the New River came down with
us. The familiar prints, the bust, the Milton, seem scarce
to have changed their rooms. One of her last observations
was " How frightfully like this room is to our room in
Islington !" — our up -stairs room, she meant. How I


hope you will come some better day, and judge of it !
We have tried quiet here for four months, and I will
answer for the comfort of it enduring.

On emptying my bookshelves I found an Ulysses,
which I will send to A. K. when I go to town, for her
acceptance — unless the book be out of print. One likes
to have one copy of everything one does. I neglected to
keep one of " Poetry for Children," the joint production
of Mary and me, and it is not to be had for love or
money. It had in the title-page " by the Author of Mrs.
Lester's School." Know you any one that has it, and
would exchange it 1

Strolling to Waltham Cross the other day, I hit off
these lines. It is one of the crosses which Edward
I. caused to be built for his wife at every town
where her corpse rested between Northamptonshire and
London : —

A stately cross each sad spot doth attest,

Whereat the corpse of Eleanor did rest,

From Herdby fetch 'd — her spouse so honour'd her —

To sleep with royal dust at Westminster.

And, if less pompous obsequies were thine,

Duke Brunswick's daughter, princely Caroline,

Grudge not, great ghost, nor count thy funeral losses :

Thou in thy life-time had'st thy share of crosses.

My dear B. — My head aches with this little excursion.
Pray accept two sides for three for once, and believe me
yours sadly, C. L.

Letter CCCXV.] December 4, 1827.

My dear B. B. — I have scarce spirits to write, yet am
harassed with not writing. Nine weeks are completed,
and Mary does not get any better. It is perfectly
exhausting. Enfield, and everything, is very gloomy.
But for long experience I should fear her ever getting
well. I feel most thankful for the spinsterly attentions


of your sister. Thank the kind "knitter in the sun!"
What nonsense seems verse, when one is seriously out
of hope and spirits ! I mean, that at this time I
have some nonsense to write, under pain of incivility.
Would to the fifth heaven no coxcombess had invented
Albums !

I have not had a Bijoux, nor the slightest notice from
Pickering about omitting four out of five of my things.
The best thing is never to hear of such a thing as
a bookseller again, or to think there are publishers.
Second-hand stationers and old book-stalls for me.
Authorship should be an idea of the past. Old kings,
old bishops, are venerable ; all present is hollow. I can-
not make a letter. I have no straw, not a pennyworth
of chaff, only this may stop your kind importunity to
know about us. Here is a comfortable house, but no
tenants. One does not make a household. Do not think
I am quite in despair ; but, in addition to hope protracted,
I have a stupifying cold and obstructing headache, and
the sun is dead.

I will not fail to apprise you of the revival of a beam.
Meantime accept this, rather than think I have forgotten
you all. Best remembrances.

Yours and theirs truly, C. Lamb.


Letter CCCXVI.] December 20, 1827.

My dear Allsop — I have writ to say to you that I
hope to have a comfortable X-mas-day with Mary, and I
cannot bring myself to go from home at present. Your
kind offer, and the kind consent of the young Lady to
come, we feel as we should do ; pray accept all of you
our kindest thanks : at present I think a Visitor (good
and excellent as we remember her to be) might a little


put us out of our way. Emma is with us, and our small
house just holds us, without obliging Mary to sleep with
Becky, etc.

We are going on extremely comfortable, and shall soon
be in capacity of seeing our friends. Much weakness is
left still. With thanks and old remembrances,

Yours, C. L.


Letter CCCXVII.] [December] 1827.

My dear B. — We are all pretty well again and com-
fortable, and I take a first opportunity of sending the
" Adventures of Ulysses," hoping that among us — Homer,
Chapman, and Co. — we shall afford you some pleasure.
I fear it is out of print ; if not, A. K. will accept it, with
wishes it were bigger ; if another copy is not to be had,
it reverts to me and my heirs for ever. With it I send
a trumpery book ; to which, without my knowledge, the
editor of the Bijoux has contributed Lucy's verses ; I am
ashamed to ask her acceptance of the trash accompanying
it. Adieu to Albums — for a great while — I said when I
came here, and had not been fixed for two days ; but my
landlord's daughter (not at the Pothouse) requested me
to write in her female friends' and in her own. If I go

to thou art there also, all pervading Album !

All over the Leeward Islands, in Newfoundland, and the
Back Settlements, I understand there is no other reading.
They haunt me. I die of Albophobia ! C. L.

Letter CCCXVIIL] [December] 1827.

My dear B. B. — A gentleman I never saw before
brought me your welcome present. Imagine a scraping,


fiddling, fidgeting, petit -maitre of a dancing school
advancing into my plain parlour with a coupee and a
sideling bow, and presenting the book as if he had been
handing a glass of lemonade to a young miss : imagine
this, and contrast it with the serious nature of the book
presented ! Then task your imagination, reversing this
picture, to conceive of quite an opposite messenger, a
lean, strait-locked, whey-faced Methodist, for such was he
in reality who brought it, the Genius (it seems) of the
Wesleyan Magazine. Certes, friend B., thy Widow's Tale
is too horrible, spite of the lenitives of Religion, to
embody in verse ; I hold prose to be the appropriate
expositor of such atrocities ! No offence, but it is a
cordial that makes the heart sick. Still thy skill in
compounding it I do not deny. I turn to what gave
me less mingled pleasure. I find mark'd with pencil
these pages in thy pretty book, and fear I have been
penurious : —

Page 52, 53— Capital.
,, 59 — 6th stanza, exquisite simile.

,, 61 — 11th stanza, equally good.

„ 108 — 3rd stanza, I long to see Van Balen.

„ 111 — A downright good sonnet. Dixi.

„ 153 — Lines at the bottom.

So you see, I read, hear, and mark, if I don't learn. In
short, this little volume is no discredit to any of your
former, and betrays none of the senility you fear about.
Apropos of Van Balen, an artist who painted me lately,
had painted a blackamoor praying, and not filling his
canvas, stuffed in his little girl aside of Blackey, gaping
at him unmeaningly ; and then didn't know what to call
it. Now for a picture to be promoted to the Exhibition
(Suffolk Street) as Historical, a subject is requisite.
What does me 1 I but christened it the " Young Cate-
chist" and furbish'd it with dialogue following, which
dubb'd it an Historical Painting. Nothing to a friend
at need.

VOL. II. o


" While this tawny Ethiop prayeth,
Painter, who is she that stayeth
By, with skin of whitest lustre ;
Sunny locks, a shining cluster ;
Saint-like seeming to direct him
To the Power that must protect him ?
Is she of the heav'n born Three,
Meek Hope, strong Faith, sweet Charity ?
Or some Cherub ?

" They you mention
Far transcend my weak invention.
'Tis a simple Christian child,
Missionary young and mild,
From her store of script'ral knowledge
(Bible-taught without a college),
Which by reading she could gather,
Teaches him to say Our Father
To the common Parent, who
Colour not respects, nor hue.
White and black in Him have part,
Who looks not to the skin, but heart."

When I'd done it, the artist (who had clapt in Miss
merely as a fill-space) swore I exprest his full meaning,
and the damosel bridled up into a missionary's vanity.
I like verses to explain pictures ; seldom pictures to illus-
trate poems. Your woodcut is a rueful lignum mortis.
By the by, is the widow likely to marry again ?

I am giving the fruit of my old play reading at the
Museum to Hone, who sets forth a portion weekly in the
Table Book. Do you see it? How is Mitford?— I'll
just hint that the pitcher, the chord, and the bowl are a
little too often repeated (passim) in your book, and that
in page 1 7, last line but 4, him is put for he ; but the
poor widow I take it had small leisure for grammatical
niceties. Don't you see there's he, myself, and him ;
why not both him ? likewise imperviously is cruelly
spelt imperiously. These are trifles, and I honestly like
your book, and you for giving it, though I really am
ashamed of so many presents. I can think of no news ;
therefore I will end with mine and Mary's kindest
remembrances to you and yours. C. L.





Letteii CCCXIX.] January 2, 1828.

Dear Allsop — I have beeu very poorly and nervous
lately, but am recovering sleep, etc. I do not write or
make engagements for particular days : but I need not
say how pleasant your dropping in any Sunday morning
woidd be. Perhaps Jameson would accompany you.
Pray beg him to keep an accurate record of the warning
I sent him to old Pau., for I dread lest he should at the
12 months' end deny the warning. The house is his
daughter's, but we took it through him, and have paid
the rent to his receipts for his daughter's. Consult J. if
he thinks the warning sufficient. I am very nervous,
or have been, about the house ; lost my sleep, and
expected to be ill ; but slumbered gloriously last night,
golden slumbers. I shall not relapse ; you fright me
with your inserted slips in the most welcome Atlas.
They begin to charge double for it, and call it two sheets.
How can I confute them by opening it, when a note of
yours might slip out, and we get in a hobble 1 When


you write, write real letters. Mary's best love and mine
to Mrs. A.

Yours ever, C. Lamb.


Letter CCCXX.] Enfield, February 25 [1828].

My dear Clarke — You have been accumulating on me
such a heap of pleasant obligations, that I feel uneasy in
writing as to a Benefactor. Your smaller contributions,
the little weekly rills, are refreshments in the Desart ;
but your large books were feasts. I hope Mrs. Hazlitt,
to whom I encharged it, has taken Hunt's Lord B. to
the Novellos. His picture of Literary Lordship is as
pleasant as a disagreeable subject can be made ; his own
poor man's Education at dear Christ's is as good and
hearty as the subject. Hazlitt's speculative episodes are
capital ; I skip the Battles. But how did I deserve to
have the book? The "Companion" has too much of
Madame Pasta. Theatricals have ceased to be popular
attractions. His walk home after the play is as good as
the best of the old "Indicators." The watchmen are
emboxed in a niche of fame, save the skaiting one that
must be still fugitive. I wish I could send a scrap for
goodwill. But I have been most seriously unwell and
nervous a long, long time. I have scarce mustered
courage to begin this short note, but conscience duns me.

I had a pleasant letter from your sister, greatly over-
acknowledging my poor sonnet. I think I should have
replied to it, but tell her I think so. Alas ! for sonnet-
ing, 'tis as the nerves are ; all the summer I was dawdling
among green lanes, and verses came as thick as fancies.
I am sunk winterly below prose and zero.

But I trust the vital principle is only as under snow.
That I shall yet laugh again.

I suppose the great change of place affects me ; but I
could not have lived in Town ; I coidd not bear company.


I see Novello flourishes in the Del Capo line, and
dedications are not forgotten. I read the Atlas.
When I pitched on the Dedication, I looked for the
Broom of " Coivden knows" to be harmonised, but 'twas
summat of Rossini's.

I want to hear about Hone. Does he stand above
water 1 how is his son 1 I have delay'd writing to him
till it seems impossible. Break the ice for me.

The wet ground here is intolerable, the sky above
clear and delusive ; but under foot quagmires from night
showers, and I am cold-footed and moisture-abhorring as
a cat ; nevertheless I yesterday tramped to Waltham
Cross ; perhaps the poor bit of exertion necessary to
scribble this was owing to that unusual bracing.

If I get out, I shall get stout, and then something
will out — I mean for the "Companion" — you see I
rhyme insensibly.

Traditions are rife here of one Clarke a schoolmaster
and a run -away pickle named Holmes ; but much
obscurity hangs over it. Is it possible they can be any
relations 1

'Tis worth the research, when you can find a sunny
day, with ground firm, etc. Master Sexton is intelligent,
and for half-a-crown he'll pick you up a Father.

In truth, we shall be glad to see any of the Novellian
circle, middle of the week such as can come, or Sunday,
as can't. But Spring will burgeon out quickly, and then
we'll talk more.

You'd like to see the improvements on the Chase, the
new cross in the market-place, the Chandler's shop from
whence the rods were fetch'd. They are raised a farthing
since the spread of Education. But perhaps you don't
care to be reminded of the Holofernes' days, and nothing
remains of the old laudable profession but the clear, firm
impossible -to -be -mistaken schoolmaster text hand with
which is subscribed the ever- welcome name of Chas.
Cowden C. Let me crowd in both our loves to all. C. L.
[Added on the fold-down of the letter :] Let me never


be forgotten to include in my rememb ces my good friend
and whilom correspondent, Master Stephen.

How, especially, is Victoria 1

I try to remember all I used to meet at Shacklewell.
The little household, cake-producing, wine-bringing out,
Emma — the old servant, that didn't stay, and ought to
have stayed, and was always very dirty and friendly ;
and Miss EL, the counter-tenor with a fine voice, whose
sister married Thurtell. They all live in my mind's eye,
and Mr. N.'s and Holmes's walks with us half back
after supper. Troja fuit !

Letter CCCXXI.] March 19, 1828.

My dear M. — It is my firm determination to have
nothing to do with " Forget-me-Nots " ; pray excuse me
as civilly as you can to Mr. Hurst. I will take care to
refuse any other applications. The things which Pickering
has, if to be had again, I have promised absolutely, you
know, to poor Hood, from whom I had a melancholy
epistle yesterday ; besides that Emma has decided objec-
tions to her own and her friend's album verses being
published ; but if she gets over that, they are decidedly

Till we meet, farewell. Loves to Dash. C. L.

To Rev. E. IRVING.

Letter CCCXXIL] Enfield Chase, April 3, 1828.

Dear Sir — I take advantage from the kindness which
I have experienced from you in a slight acquaintance to
introduce to you my very respected friend Mr. Hone,
who is of opinion that your interference in a point which
he will mention to you may prove of essential benefit to
him in some present difficulties. I should not take this
liberty if I did not feel that you are a person not to be
prejudiced by an obnoxious name. All that I know of


him obliges me to respect him, and to request your kind-
ness for him, if you can serve him.

With feelings of kindest respect, I am, dear Sir, yours
truly, Chas. Lamb.


Lettkr CCCXXIIL] April 21, 1828.

Dear B. B. — You must excuse my silence. I have
been in very poor health and spirits, and cannot write
letters. I only write to assure you, as you wish'd, of my
existence. All that which Mitford tells you of H.'s book
is rhodomontade, only H. has written unguardedly about
me, and nothing makes a man more foolish than his own
foolish panegyric. But I am pretty well cased to flattery,
and its contrary. Neither affect me a turnip's worth.
Do you see the author of "May you like it?" Do you
write to him 1 Will you give my present plea to him of
ill health for not acknowledging a pretty book with a
pretty frontispiece he sent me. He is most esteemed by
me. As for subscribing to books, in plain truth I am a
man of reduced income, and don't allow myself 12 shillings
a-year to buy old books with ; which must be my excuse.
I am truly sorry for Murray's demur ; but I wash my
hands of all booksellers, and hope to know them no more.
I am sick and poorly, and must leave off with our joint
kind remembrances to your daughter and friend A. K.

C. L.


Enfield, Wednesday,
Letter CCCXXIV.] ' May 2, 1828.

Dear H. — Valter Vilson dines with us to-morrow.
Veil ! How I should like to see Hone ! C. Lamb.

Mr. Hone,

22, Belvidere Place,

near the Obelisk, Southwark.



Letter CCCXXV.] Enfield, May 3, 1828.

Dear M. — My friend Patmore, author of the Months,
a very pretty publication, — of sundry Essays in the
London, New Monthly, etc., wants to dispose of a volume
or two of "Tales." Perhaps they might chance to suit
Hurst ; but be that as it may, he will call upon you
under favour of my recommendation ; and as he is return-
ing to France, where he lives, if you can do anything for
him in the Treaty line, to save him dancing over the
Channel every week, I am sure you will. I said I'd
never trouble you again ; but how vain are the resolves
of mortal man ! P. is a very hearty, friendly fellow, and
was poor John Scott's Second, as I will be yours when
you want one. May you never be mine !

Yours truly, C. L.

Mr. Moxon,

Messrs. Hurst and Co.,

St. Paul's Churchyard.

To Rev. H. F. CARY.

Letter CCCXXVL] June 10, 1828.

Dear Sir — I long to see Wordsworth once more before
he goes hence, but it would be at the expence of health
and comfort my infirmities cannot afford. Once only I
have been at a dinner party, to meet him, for a whole
year past, and I do not know that I am not the worse
for it now. There is a necessity for my drinking too

much (don't show this to the Bishop of , your friend)

at and after dinner; then I require spirits at night to
allay the crudity of the weaker Bacchus ; and in the
morning I cool my parched stomach with a fiery libation.
Then I am aground in town, and call upon my London


friends, and get new wets of ale, porter, etc. ; then ride
home, drinking where the coach stops, as duly as Edward
set up his Waltham Crosses. This, or near it, was the
process of my experiment of dining at Talfourd's to meet
Wordsworth, and I am not well now. Now let me beg
that we may meet here with assured safety to both sides.
Darley and Procter come here on Sunday morning ; pray
arrange to come along with them. Here I can be toler-
ably moderate. In town, the very air of town turns my
head and is intoxication enough, if intoxication knew a
limit. I am a poor country mouse, and your cates disturb
me. Tell me you will come. We have a bed, and a
half or three quarters bed, at all your services ; and the
adjoining inn has many. If engaged on Sunday, tell me
when you will come ; a Saturday will suit as well. I
would that Wordsworth would come too. Pray believe
that 'tis my health only, which brought me here, that
frightens me from the wicked town. Mary joins in kind
remembrances to Mrs. Cary and yourself.

Yours truly, 0. Lamb.


Letter CCCXXVII.] [Summer 1828.]

Dear Madam — I return your list with my name. I
should be sorry that any respect should be going on
towards Clarkson, and I 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. Monuments
to goodness, even after death, are equivocal. I turn
away from Howard's, I scarce know why. Goodness
blows no trumpet, nor desires to have it blown. We
should be modest for a modest man — as he is for himself.
The vanities of life — art, poetry, skill military — are sub-
jects for trophies ; not the silent thoughts arising in a
good man's mind in lonely places. Was I Clarkson, I
should never be able to walk or ride near the spot again.



Instead of bread, we are giving him a stone. Instead of
the locality recalling the noblest moment of his existence,
it is a place at which his friends (that is, himself) blow-
to the world, " What a good man is he ! " I sat down
upon a hillock at Forty Hill yesternight, — a fine con-
templative evening, — with a thousand good speculations
about mankind. How I yearned with cheap benevolence !
I shall go and inquire of the stone-cutter, that cuts the
tombstones here, what a stone with a short inscription
will cost ; just to say, " Here C. Lamb loved his brethren
of mankind." Everybody will come there to love. As

I can't well put my own name
subscription :


G. Dyer
Mr. Godwin .
Mrs. Godwin
Mr. Irving .

Mr. .


1 shall put about a


2 6

a watch-chain.
/ the proceeds of —
\ first edition.

£0 8 6

I scribble in haste from here, where we shall be some
time. Pray request Mr. Montagu to advance the guinea
for me, which shall faithfully be forthcoming, and pardon
me that I don't see the proposal in quite the light that
he may. The kindness of his motives, and his power of
appreciating the noble passage, I thoroughly agree in.

With most kind regards to him, I conclude, dear
madam, yours truly, C. Lamb.

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