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spirits were the " youth of our house," Emma Isola. I
have her here now for a little while, but she is too
nervous, properly to be under such a roof, so she will
make short visits, — be no more an inmate. With my
perfect approval, and more than concurrence, she is to be
wedded to Moxon, at the end of August — so " perish the
roses and the flowers " — how is it 1

Now to the brighter side. I am emancipated from
the Westwoods, and I am with attentive people, and
younger. I am three or four miles nearer the great
city ; coaches half-price less, and going always, of which
I will avail myself. I have few friends left there, one or
two though, most beloved. But London streets and
faces cheer me inexpressibly, though not one known of
the latter were remaining.

Thank you for your cordial reception of " Elia." Inter
nos, the Ariadne is not a darling with me ; several
incongruous things are in it, but in the composition it
served me as illustrative.



TO MOXON. 285

I want you in the "Popular Fallacies" to like the
"Home that is no home," and "Rising with the lark."

I am feeble, but cheerful in this my genial hot weather.
Walked sixteen miles yesterday. I can't read much in
summer time.

With my kindest love to all, and prayers for dear
Dorothy,

I remain most affectionately yours, C. Lamb.

At Mr. Walden's, Church Street, Edmonton, Middlesex.

Moxon has introduced Emma to Rogers, and he smiles
upon the project. I have given E. my Milton (will
you pardon me) in part of a portion. It hangs famously
in his Murray-like shop.



To Me. MOXON.

Letter CCCC] May 1833.

Dear M. — A thousand thanks for your punctualities.
What a cheap book is the last Hogarth you sent me ! I
am pleased now that Hunt diddled me out of the old
one. Speaking of this, only think of the new farmer
with his thirty acres. There is a portion of land in
Lambeth Parish, called Knave's Acre. I wonder he

overlook'd it. Don't show this to the firm of D and

Co. I next want one copy of Leicester's School, and wish
you to pay Leishman, Taylor, 2, Blandford Place, Pall
Mall, opposite the British Institution, £6 10s., for coat
and waistcoat, etc. etc., and I vehemently thirst for the
fourth No. of Nichols's Hogarth, to bind one up (the two
books) as Hogarth and Supplement. But as you know
the price, don't stay for its appearance ; but come as soon
as ever you can with your bill of all demands in full, and
as I have none but £o notes, bring with you sufficient
change. Weather is beautiful. I grieve sadly for Miss
Wordsworth. We are all well again. Emma is with



286 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

us, and we all shall be glad of a sight of you. Come on
Sunday if you can, better if you come before.

Perhaps Rogers would smile at this. A pert, half
chemist, half apothecary in our town who smatters of
literature, and is immeasurably unlettered, said to me,
" Pray, sir, may not Hood be reckon'd the Prince of Wits
in the present day 1 " To which I assenting, he adds, " I
had always thought that Rogers had been reckon'd the
Prince of Wits, but I suppose that now Mr. Hood has
the better title to that appellation." To which I replied,
that Mr. R. had wit with much better qualities, but did
not aspire to the principality. He had taken all the puns
manufactured in John Bull for our friend, in sad and
stupid earnest. One more Album Verses, please. Adieu.

C. L.



Letter CCCCL] July 24, 1833.

For God's sake give Emma no more watches ; one
has turned her head. She is arrogant and insulting.
She said something very unpleasant to our old clock in
the passage, as if he did not keep time, and yet he had
made her no appointment. She takes it out every instant
to look at the moment-hand. She lugs us out into the
fields, because there the bird-boys ask you, " Pray, sir,
can you tell us what's o'clock 1 " and she answers them
punctually. She loses all her time looking to see " what
the time is." I overheard her whispering, " Just so many
hours, minutes, etc., to Tuesday ; I think St. George's
goes too slow." This little present of Time ! — why, — 'tis
Eternity to her !

What can make her so fond of a gingerbread watch ]

She has spoiled some of the movements. Between
ourselves, she has kissed away " half-past twelve," which
I suppose to be the canonical hour in Hanover Square.

Well, if " love me love my watch " answers, she will
keep time to you.



TO ALLSOP. 287

It goes right by the Horse Guards.

Dearest M. — Never mind opposite nonsense. She
does not love you for the watch, but the watch for you.
I will be at the wedding, and keep the 30th July, as
long as my poor months last me, as a festival, gloriously.

Yours ever, Elia.

We have not heard from Cambridge. I will write
the moment we do.

Edmonton, 24th July, twenty minutes past three by
Emma's watch.



To THOMAS ALLSOP.

Letter CCCCII.] July 1833.

My dear Allsop — I think it will be impossible for us
to come to Highgate in the time you propose. We have
friends coming to-morrow, who may stay the week ; and
we are in a bustle about Emma's leaving us — so we will
put off the hope of seeing Mrs. Allsop till we come to
Town, after Emma's going, which is in a fortnight and
a half, when we mean to spend a time in Town, but
shall be happy to see you on Sunday, or any day.

In haste. Hope our little Porter does.

Yours ever, C. L.



To Mr. MOXON.

Letter CCCCIIL] [1833.]

Dear M. — Many thanks for the books; but most
thanks for one immortal sentence: "If I do not cheat
him, never trust me again." I do not know whether to
admire most, the wit or justness of the sentiment. It
has my cordial approbation. My sense of meum and
tuum applauds it. I maintain it, the eighth command-
ment hath a secret special reservation, by which the



288 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

reptile is exempt from any protection from it. As a dog,
or a nigger, he is not a holder of property. Not a ninth
of what he detains from the world is his own. " Keep
you hands from picking and stealing," is no ways refer-
able to his acquists. I doubt whether bearing false
witness against thy neighbour at all contemplated this
possible scrub. Could Moses have seen the speck in
vision 1 An ex post facto law alone could relieve him ;
and we are taught to expect no eleventh commandment.
The outlaw to the Mosaic dispensation ! — unworthy to
have seen Moses behind ! — to lay his desecrating hands
upon Elia ! Has the irreverent ark-toucher been struck
blind, I wonder 1 The more I think of him, the less I
think of him. His meanness is invisible with aid of
solar microscope. My moral eye smarts at him. The
less flea that bites little fleas ! The great Beast ! The
beggarly Nit !

More when we meet ; mind, you'll come, two of you ;
and couldn't you go off in the morning, that we may have
a day-long curse at him, if curses are not dis-hallowed by
descending so low ! Amen. Maledicatur in extremis !

C. L.



To Mr. and Mrs. MOXON.

Letter CCCCIV.] August 1833.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Moxon — Time very short. I wrote
to Miss Fryer, and had the sweetest letter about you,
Emma, that ever friendship dictated. "I am full of
good wishes, I am crying with good wishes," she says ;
but you shall see it.

Dear Moxon — I take your writing most kindly, and
shall most kindly your writing from Paris.

I want to crowd another letter to Miss Fryer into the
little time after dinner, before post time. So with twenty
thousand congratulations,

Yours, 0. L.



TO CARY. 289

I am calm, sober, happy. Turn over for the reason.
I got home from Dover Street, by Evans, half as sober
as a judge. I am turning over a new leaf, as I hope you
will now.

[The turn of the leaf presented the following from
Miss Lamb : — ]

My dear Emma and Edward Moxon — Accept my
sincere congratulations, and imagine more good wishes
than my weak nerves will let me put into good set words.
The dreary blank of unanswered questions which I ventured
to ask in vain was cleared up on the wedding-day by Mrs.
W. taking a glass of wine, and, with a total change
of countenance, begging leave to drink Mr. and Mrs.
Moxon's health. It restored me from that moment, as
if by an electrical stroke, to the entire possession of my
senses. I never felt so calm and quiet after a similar
illness as I do now. I feel as if all tears were wiped
from my eyes, and all care from my heart.

Mary Lamb.

[At the foot of this letter is the following by Charles.']

Wednesday.
Dears, again — Your letter interrupted a seventh game
at picquet which we were having, after walking to
Wright's and purchasing shoes. We pass our time in
cards, walks, and reading. We attack Tasso soon.

C. L.

Never was such a calm, or such a recovery. 'Tis her
own words undictated.



To Rev. H. F. CARY.

Letter CCCCV.] September 9, 1833.

Dear Sir — Your packet I have only just received,
owing, I suppose, to the absence of Moxon, who is flaunt-

VOL. II, XT



290 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

ing it about a la Parisie?me, with his new bride, our
Emma, much to his satisfaction, and not a little to our
dulness. We shall be quite well by the time you return
from Worcestershire, and most, most (observe the repeti-
tion) glad to see you here, or anywhere.

I will take my time with Darley's act. I wish poets
would write a little plainer ; he begins some of his words
with a letter which is unknown to the English typography.

Yours, most truly, C. Lamb.

P.S. — Pray let me know when you return. We are
at Mr. Walden's, Church Street, Edmonton; no longer
at Enfield. You will be amused to hear that my sister
and I have, with the aid of Emma, scrambled through
the "Inferno," by the blessed furtherance of your polar-
star translation. I think we scarce left anything unmade-
out. But our partner has left us, and we have not yet
resumed. Mary's chief pride in it was that she should
some day brag of it to you. Your Dante and Sandys'
Ovid are the only helpmates of translations. Neither
of you shirk a word.

Fairfax's Tasso is no translation at all. 'Tis better
in some places, but it merely observes the number of
stanzas ; as for images, similes, etc., he finds 'em himself,
and never troubles Peter for the matter.

In haste, dear Cary, yours ever, C. Lamb.

Has M. sent you "Elia," second volume? If not he
shall. Taylor and we are at law about it.



To Mr, and Mrs. MOXON.
Letter CCCCVI.] November 29, 1833.

Mary is of opinion with me, that two of these sonnets
are of a higher grade than any poetry you have done yet.
The one to Emma is so pretty ! I have only allowed
myself to transpose a word in the third line. Sacred
shall it be for any intermeddling of mine. But we jointly
beg that you will make four lines in the room of the four



TO MR. AND MRS. MOXON. 291

last. Read "Darby and Joan," in Mrs. Moxon's first
album. There you'll see how beautiful in age the looking
back to youthful years in an old couple is. But it is a
violence to the feelings to anticipate that time in youth.
I hope you and Emma will have many a quarrel and
many a make-up (and she is beautiful in reconciliation !)
before the dark days shall come, in which ye shall say
" there is small comfort in them." You have begun a
sort of character of Emma in them, very sweetly : carry
it on, if you can, through the last lines.

I love the sonnet to my heart, and you shall finish it,
and I'll be damn'd if I furnish a line towards it. So
much for that. The next best is to the Ocean.

" Ye gallant winds, if e'er your lusty cheeks
Blew longing lover to his mistress' side,
0, puff your loudest, spread the canvas wide,"

is spirited. The last line I altered, and have realtered
it as it stood. It is closer. These two are your best.
But take a good deal of time in finishing the first. How
proud should Emma be of her poets !

Perhaps " Ocean " (though I like it) is too much
of the open vowels which Pope objects to. "Great
Ocean !" is obvious. To save sad thoughts I think is
better (though not good) than for the mind to save herself.
But 'tis a noble sonnet. " St. Cloud " I have no faidt to
find with.

If I return the sonnets, think it no disrespect, for I
look for a printed copy. You have done better than ever.
And now for a reason I did not notice 'em earlier. On
Wednesday they came, and on Wednesday I was a-gadding.
Mary gave me a holiday, and I set off to Snow Hill.
From Snow Hill I deliberately was marching down, with
noble Holborn before me, framing in mental cogitation a
map of the dear London in prospect, thinking to traverse
Wardour Street, etc., when diabolically, I was inter-
rupted by

Heigh-ho !

Little Barrow ! —



292 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

Emma knows him, and prevailed on him to spend the
day (infinite loss !) at his sister's, a pawnbroker's in Gray's
Inn Lane, where was an album, and (0 march of intellect !)
plenty of literary conversation, and more acquaintance
with the state of modern poetry than I could keep up
with. I was positively distanced. Knowles's play, which,
epilogued by me, lay on the piano, alone made me hold
up my head. When I came home I read your letter, and
glimpsed at your beautiful sonnet,

" Fair art thou as the morning, my young bride,"

and dwelt upon it in a confused brain, but determined
not to open them till next day, being in a state not to be
told of at Chatteris. Tell it not in Gath, Emma, lest the
daughters triumph ! I am at the end of my tether. I
wish you would come on Tuesday with your fair bride.
Why can't you ! Do. We are thankful to your sister
for being of the party. Come, and bring a sonnet on
Mary's birthday. Love to the whole Moxonry, and tell
E. I every day love her more, and miss her less. Tell
her so, from her loving uncle, as she has let me call
myself. I bought a fine embossed card yesterday, and
wrote for the Pawnbrokeress's album. She is a Miss
Brown, engaged to a Mr. White. One of the lines was
(I forget the rest ; but she had them at twenty-four hours'
notice ; she is going out to India with her husband) —

" May your fame,
And fortune, Frances, Whiten with your name ! "

Not bad as a pun. I ivil expect you before two on
Tuesday. I am well and happy, tell E.



To Mr. ROGERS.

Letter CCCCVIL] December 1833.

My dear Sir — Your book, by the unremitting punctu-
ality of your publisher, has reached me thus early. I



TO ROGERS. 293

have not opened it, nor will till to-morrow, when I
promise myself a thorough reading of it. The " Pleasures
of Memory" was the first school present I made to Mrs.
Moxon ; it has those nice woodcuts, and I believe she
keeps it still. Believe me, that all the kindness you have
shown to the husband of that excellent person seems
done unto myself. I have tried my hand at a sonnet in
the Times ; but the turn I gave it, though I hoped it
would not displease you, I thought might not be equally
agreeable to your artist. I met that dear old man at
poor Henry's, with you, and again at Cary's, and it was
sublime to see him sit, deaf, and enjoy all that was going
on in mirth with the company. He reposed upon the
many graceful, many fantastic images he had created ;
with them he dined, and took wine. I have ventured
at an antagonist copy of verses, in the Athenceum, to
him, in which he is as everything, and you as nothing.
He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides. But I am
jealous of the combination of the sister arts. Let them
sparkle apart. What injury (short of the theatres) did
not Boydell's Shakspeare Gallery do me with Shakspeare 1
to have Opie's Shakspeare, Northcote's Shakspeare, light-
headed Fuseli's Shakspeare, heavy-headed Romney's
Shakspeare, wooden -headed West's Shakspeare (though
he did the best in Lear), deaf-headed Beynolds's Shaks-
peare, instead of my and everybody's Shakspeare ; to be
tied down to an authentic face of Juliet ! to have Imogen's
portrait ; to confine the illimitable ! I like you and
Stothard (you best), but " out upon this half-faced fellow-
ship ! " Sir, when I have read the book, I may trouble
you, through Moxon, with some faint criticisms. It is
not the fiatteringest compliment, in a letter to an author,
to say you have not read his book yet. But the devil of
a reader he must be who prances through it in five
minutes ; and no longer have I received the parcel. It
was a little tantalising to me to receive a letter from
Landor, Gebir Landor, from Florence, to say he was just
sitting down to read my " Elia," just received ; but the



294 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

letter was to go out before the reading. There are
calamities in authorship which only authors know. I am
going to call on Moxon on Monday, if the throng of
carriages in Dover Street, on the morn of publication, do
not barricade me out.

With many thanks, and most respectful remembrances
to your sister,

Yours, C. Lamb. _

Have you seen Coleridge's happy exemplification in
English of the Ovidian Elegiac metre 1

In the Hexameter rises the fountain's silvery current,
In the Pentameter aye falling in melody down.

My sister is papering up the book, — careful soul !



To MARY BETHAM.

January 24, 1834,
Letter CCCCVIIL] Church Street, Edmonton.

Dear Mary Betham — I received the Bill, and when it is
payable, some ten or twelve days hence, will punctually do
with the overplus as you direct : I thought you would
like to know it came to hand, so I have not waited for the
uncertainty of when your nephew sets out. I suppose
my receipt will serve, for poor Mary is not in a capacity
to sign it. After being well from the end of July to
the end of December, she was taken ill almost on the
first day of the New Year, and is as bad as poor creature
can be. I expect her fever to last 14 or 15 weeks —
if she gets well at all, which every successive illness
puts me in fear of. She has less and less strength to
throw it off, and they leave a dreadful depression after
them. She was quite comfortable a few weeks since,
when Matilda came down here to see us.

You shall excuse a short letter, for my hand is un-
steady. Indeed, the situation I am in with her shakes
me sadly. She was quite able to appreciate the kind



TO MISS FRYER. 295

legacy while she was well. Imagine her kindest love to
yon, which is but buried awhile, and believe all the good
wishes for your restoration to health from



C. Lamb.



Miss Mary Betham,

to the care of Sir Wm, Betham,

Record Tower, Dublin.



To Miss FRYER.



Letter CCCCIX.] February 14, 1834.

Dear Miss Fryer — Your letter found me just returned
from keeping my birthday (pretty innocent !) at Dover
Street. I see them pretty often. I have since had
letters of business to write, or should have replied earlier.
In one word, be less uneasy about me ; I bear my priva-
tions very well ; I am not in the depths of desolation, as
heretofore. Your admonitions are not lost upon me.
Your kindness has sunk into my heart. 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 than the sense and sanity of this world. Her heart
is obscured, not buried ; it breaks out occasionally ; and
one can discern a strong mind struggling with the billows
that have gone over it. I could be nowhere happier than
under the same roof with her. Her memory is unnatu-
rally strong ; and from ages past, if we may so call the
earliest records of our poor life, she fetches thousands of
names and things that never would have dawned upon
me again, and thousands from the ten years she lived
before me. What took place from early girlhood to her
coming of age principally lives again (every important
thing, and every trifle) in her brain, with the vividness
of real presence. For twelve hours incessantly she will
pour out without intermission all her past life, forgetting
nothing, pouring out name after name to the Waldens,
as a dream ; sense and nonsense ; truths and errors



296 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

huddled together; a medley between inspiration and
possession. What things we are ! I know you will bear
with me, talking of these things. It seems to ease me,
for I have nobody to tell these things to now. Emma, I
see, has got a harp ! and is learning to play. She has
framed her three Walton pictures, and pretty they look.
That is a book you should read ; such sweet religion in
it, next to Woolman's, though the subject be baits, and
hooks, and worms, and fishes. She has my copy at pre-
sent, to do two more from.

Very, very tired ! I began this epistle, having been
epistolising all the morning, and very kindly would I
end it, could I find adequate expressions to your kind-
ness. We did set our minds on seeing you in Spring.
One of us will indubitably. But I am not skilled in
almanack learning to know when Spring precisely begins
and ends. Pardon my blots ; I am glad you like your
book. I wish it had been half as worthy of your accept-
ance as John Woolman. But 'tis a good-natured book.



To WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

Church Street, Edmonton,
Letter CCCCX] February 22, 1834.

Dear Wordsworth — I write from a house of mourning.
The oldest and best friends I have left are in trouble.
A branch of them (and they of the best stock of God's
creatures, I believe) is establishing a school at Carlisle ;
Her name is Louisa Martin ; her address, 75, Castle
Street, Carlisle ; her qualities (and her motives for this
exertion) are the most amiable, most upright. For thirty
years she has been tried by me, and on her behaviour I
would stake my sold. 0, if you can recommend her,
how would I love you — if I could love you better ! Pray,
pray, recommend her. She is as good a human creature,
—next to my sister, perhaps, the most exemplary female
I ever knew. Moxon tells me you would like a letter



TO MANNING. 297

from me ; you shall have one. This I cannot mingle up
with any nonsense which you usually tolerate from C.
Lamb. Need he add loves to wife, sister, and all 1 Poor
Mary is ill again, after a short lucid interval of four or
five months. In short, I may call her half dead to me.
Good you are to me. Yours with fervour of friendship,
for ever. 0. L.

If you want references, the Bishop of Carlisle may be
one. Louisa's sister (as good as she, she cannot be
better, though she tries,) educated the daughters of the
late Earl of Carnarvon, and he settled a handsome
annuity on her for life. In short, all the family are a
sound rock.



To THOMAS MANNING.

Letter CCCCXI.] May 10, 1834.

You made me feel so funny, so happy-like ; it was as
if I was reading one of your old letters taken out at
hazard any time between the last twenty years, 'twas
so the same. The unity of place, a garden ! The old
Dramatis Persona?, a landlady and Daughter. The puns
the same in mould. Will nothing change you? 'Tis
but a short week since honest Kyle and I were lamenting
the gone-by days of Manning and Whist. How savourily
did he remember them ! Might some great year but
bring them back again ! This was my exclaim, and R.
did not ask for an explanation. I have had a scurvy
nine years of it, and am now in the sorry fifth act.
Twenty weeks nigh has she been now violent, with but
a few sound months before, and these in such dejection
that her fever might seem a relief to it. I tried to bring
her to town in the winter once or twice, but it failed.
Tuthill led me to expect that this illness would lengthen
with her years, and it has cruelly — with that new feature
of despondency after. I am with her alone now in a proper
house. She is, I hope, recovering. We play Picquet,



298 LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB.

and it is like the old times awhile, then goes off. I
struggle to town rarely, and then to see London, with
little other motive — for what is left there hardly ? The
streets and shops entertaining ever, else I feel as in a
desert, and get me home to my cave. Save that once a
month I pass a day, a gleam in my life, with Cary at
the Museum (He is the flower of clergymen) and breakfast
next morning with Robinson. I look to this as a treat.
It sustains me. 0. is a dear fellow, with but two vices,
which in any less good than himself would be crimes
past redemption. He has no relish for Parson Adams —
hints that he might not be a very great Greek scholar
after all (does Fielding hint that he was a Porson T) — and
prefers " Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay," and " My
banks they are furnished with bees," to " The School-
mistress." I have not seen Wright's, but the faithfulness
of C, Mary and I can attest. For last year, in a good
interval, I giving some lessons to Emma, now Mrs.
Moxon, in the sense part of her Italian (I knew no
words), Mary pertinaciously undertook, being 69, to read



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