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the Inferno all thro' with the help of his Translation,
and we got thro' it with Dictionaries and Grammars,
of course to our satisfaction. Her perseverance was
gigantic, almost painful. Her head was over her task,
like a sucking bee, morn to night. We were beginning
the Purgatory, but got on less rapidly, our great authority
for grammar, Emma, being fled, but should have pro-
ceeded but for this misfortune. Do not come to town
without apprising me. We must all three meet somehow
and " drink a cup."

Yours, 0. L.

Mary strives and struggles to be content when she is
well. Last year when we talked of being dull (we had
just lost our seven - years - nearly inmate), and Cary's
invitation came, she said, "Did not I say something or
other would turn up 1 " In her first walk out of the
house, she would read every Auction advertisement along


the road, and when I would stop her she said, " These
are my Play-bills." She felt glad to get into the world
again, but then follows lowness. She is getting about
tho', I very much hope. She is rising, and will claim
her morning Picquet. I go to put this in the Post first.
I walk 9 or 10 miles a day, alway up the road, dear
London-wards. Fields, flowers, birds, and green lanes, I
have no heart for. The bare road is cheerful, and almost
good as a street. I saunter to the Red Lion duly, as
you used to the Peacock.

T. Manning, Esq.,

Puckeridge, Herts.


Mr, Walden's, Church Street,
Letter CCCCXIL] Edmonton, August 5, 1834.

My dear Sir — The sad week being over, I must write
to you to say that I was glad of being spared from
attending ; I have no words to express my feeling with
you all. I can only say that when you think a short
visit from me would be acceptable, when your father and
mother shall be able to see me with comfort, I will come
to the bereaved house. Express to them my tenderest
regards and hopes that they will continue our friends
still. We both love and respect them as much as a
human being can, and finally thank them with our hearts
for what they have been to the poor departed.

God bless you all, C. Lamb.

To Rev. H. F. GARY.

Letter CCCCXIIL] September 12, 1834.

"By Cot's plessing we will not be absence at the


Dear 0. — We long to see you, and hear account of
your peregrinations, of the Tun at Heidelburg, the Clock
at Strasburg, the statue at Rotterdam, the dainty Rhenish,
and poignant Moselle wines, Westphalian hams, and
Botargoes of Altona. But perhaps you have seen, not
tasted any of these things.

Yours, very glad to chain you back again to your
proper centre, books and Bibliothecse,

C. and M. Lamb.

I have only got your note just now per negligentiam
periniqid Moxoni.


Monday. Church Street, Edmonton (not
Enfield, as you erroneously direct
Letter CCCCXI V.] yours.) [September 15, 1834.]

Dear Sir— The volume which you seem to want is not
to be had for love or money. I with difficulty procured
a copy for myself. Yours is gone to enlighten the tawny
Hindoos. What a supreme felicity to the author (only
he is no traveller) on the Ganges or Hydaspes (Indian
streams) to meet a smutty Gentoo ready to burst with
laughing at the tale of Bo-Bo ! for doubtless it hath been
translated into all the dialects of the East. I grieve the
less, that Europe should want it. I cannot gather from
your letter whether you are aware that a second series
of the Essays is published by Moxon, in Dover Street,
Piccadilly, called " The Last Essays of Elia," and, I am
told, is not inferior to the former. Shall I order a copy
for you 1 and will you accept it 1 Shall I lend you, at
the same time, my sole copy of the former volume (Oh !
return it) for a month or two 1 ? In return, you shall
favour me with the loan of one of those Norfolk -bred
grunters that you laud so highly ; I promise not to keep
it above a clay. What a funny name Bungay is ! I never
dreamt of a correspondent thence. I used to think of it

TO CARY. 301

as some Utopian town, or borough in Gotham land. I
now believe in its existence, as part of Merry England !

[Here are some lines scratched out.]
The part I have scratched out is the best of the letter.
Let me have your commands.

Ch. Lamb, alias Elia.

To Rev. H. F. CARY.

Letter CCCCXV.] [October 1834.]

I protest I know not in what words to invest my
sense of the shameful violation of hospitality which I was
guilty of on that fatal Wednesday. Let it be blotted
from the calendar. Had it been committed at a layman's
house, say a merchant's or manufacturer's, a cheese-
monger's or greengrocer's, or, to go higher, a barrister's,
a member of Parliament's, a rich banker's, I shoidd have
felt alleviation, a drop of self-pity. But to be seen
deliberately to go out of the house of a clergyman drunk !
a clergyman of the Church of England too ! not that
alone, but of an expounder of that dark Italian Hierophant,
an exposition little short of his who dared unfold the
Apocalypse : divine riddles both ; and, without supernal
grace vouchsafed, Arks not to be fingered without present
blasting to the touchers. And then, from what house !
Not a common glebe or vicarage (which yet had been
shameful), but from a kingly repository of sciences,
human and divine, with the primate of England for its
guardian, arrayed in public majesty, from which the
profane vulgar are bid fly. Could all those volumes have
taught me nothing better ! With feverish eyes on the
succeeding dawn I opened upon the faint light, enough to
distinguish, in a strange chamber, not immediately to be
recognised, garters, hose, waistcoat, neckerchief, arranged
in dreadful order and proportion, which I knew was not
mine own. 'Tis the common symptom on awaking, I
judge my last night's condition from. A tolerable scatter-


ing on the floor I hail as being too probably my own, and
if the candlestick be not removed I assoil myself. But
this finical arrangement, this finding everything in the
morning in exact diametrical rectitude, torments me.
By whom was I divested 1 Burning blushes ! not by
the fair hands of nymphs, the Buffam Graces 1 Remote
whispers suggested that I coached it home in triumph. Far
"be that from working pride in me, for I was unconscious
of the locomotion ; that a young Mentor accompanied a
reprobate old Telemachus ; that, the Trojan-like, he bore
his charge upon his shoulders, while the wretched incubus,
in glimmering sense, hiccuped drunken snatches of flying
on the bats' wings after sunset. An aged servitor was
also hinted at, to make disgrace more complete, one, to
whom my ignominy may offer further occasions of revolt
(to which he was before too fondly inclining) from the
true faith ; for, at the sight of my helplessness, what
more was needed to drive him to the advocacy of Inde-
pendency 1 ? Occasion led me through Great Russell
Street yesterday. I gazed at the great knocker. My
feeble hands in vain essayed to lift it. I dreaded that
Argus Portitor, who doubtless lanterned me out on that
prodigious night. I called the Elginian marbles. They
were cold to my suit. I shall never again, I said, on the
wide gates unfolding, say, without fear of thrusting back,
in a light but peremptory air, "I am going to Mr.
Gary's." I passed by the walls of Balclutha. I had
imaged to myself a zodiac of third Wednesdays irradiat-
ing by glimpses the Edmonton dulness. I dreamed of
Highmore ! I am de-vited to come on Wednesdays. Vil-
lanous old age, that, with second childhood, brings linked
hand in hand her inseparable twin, new inexperience,
which knows not effects of liquor. Where I was to have
sate for a sober, middle-aged-and-a-half gentleman, Hterary
too, the neat fingered artist can educe no notions but of
a dissolute Silenus, lecturing natural philosophy to a
jeering Chromius, or a Mnasilus. Pudet. From the
context gather the lost name of .


Lktter CCCCXVL] [October 18, 1834.]

Dear Sir — The unbounded range of munificence pre-
sented to my choice, staggers me. What can twenty
votes do for one hundred and two widows ! I cast my
eyes hopeless among the viduage. N.B. — Southey might
be ashamed of himself to let his aged mother stand at
the top of the list, with his £100 a year and butt of
sack. Sometimes I sigh over No. 12, Mrs. Carve-ill,
some poor relation of mine, no doubt. No. 15 has my
wishes, but then she is a Welsh one. I have Ruth upon
No. 21. I'd tug hard for No. 24. No. 25 is an anomaly;
there can be no Mrs. Hogg. No. 34 ensnares me. No.
73 should not have met so foolish a person. No. 92
may bob it as she likes, but she catches no cherry of me.
So I have even fixed at hap-hazard, as you'll see.

Yours, every third Wednesday, C. L.

To Mrs. DYER.

Letter CCCCXVIL] December 22, 1834.

Dear Mrs. Dyer — I am very uneasy about a Book,
which I either have lost or left at your house on Thursday.
It was the book I went out to fetch from Miss Buffam's
while the tripe was frying. It is called "Phillip's
Theatrum Poetarum," but it is an English book. I think
I left it in the parlour. It is Mr. Cary's book, and I
would not lose it for the world. Pray, if you find it,
book it at the Swan, Snow Hill, by an Edmonton stage
immediately, directed to Mr. Lamb, Church Street,
Edmonton, or write to say you cannot find it. I am
quite anxious about it. If it is lost, I shall never like
tripe again.

With kindest love to Mr. Dyer and all, yours truly,

C. Lamb.




Letter CLXIII (p. 1).— William Ayrton (1777-1858), Direc-
tor of the Music at the King's Theatre in 1816. Famous as an
impresario and as a musical critic. He edited Charles Knight's
Musical Library, which did so much to popularise the best
composers in this country. He was the first to produce Don
Giovanni in England, in April of this year.

The late Mr, Hellish. — Mr. Mellish, of Enfield, for many
years M.P. for Middlesex. He made a large fortune as an army
contractor. Whether he ever committed himself to opinions
on poetical matters I do not know.

Letter CLXIV (p. 4). — Mr. Barron Field; born 23d
October 1786 ; practised at the Bar for some years, going the
Oxford Circuit. In 1816 he married and went out to New
South Wales as Judge of the Supreme Court at Sydney. He
returned to England in 1824, having resigned his post, and
was afterwards appointed Chief-Justice of Gibraltar. See the
Elia Essay, " Distant Correspondents." " Botany Bay " is now
so much a matter of history that Lamb's allusions to the
criminal population, among whom he pictures his old friend as
living, almost require explanation.

"So thievish 'tis, that the eighth commandment itself
Scarce seemeth there to be "

is of course a parody of Coleridge's lines in the "Ancient
Mariner " —

• ' So lonely 'twas that God Himself
Scarce seemed there to be."

The reader will not have much difficulty in separating the
"lies," to which Lambs pleads guilty in the various pieces of


intelligence here transmitted, from the truths. If the Mitchell
mentioned was Thomas Mitchell, the translator of Aristophanes,
he did not die till many years later, and Mr. Thomas Barnes
became the famous editor of the Times instead of going to
Demerara or Essequibo. George Dyer, on the other hand, was
actually one of the six executors and residuary legatees under
the will of Lord Stanhope.

Letter CLXV (p. Q). — We have left the Temple. Lamb
and his sister had lived for about nine years in Mitre Court
Buildings, and for about the same period in Inner Temple Lane.

Letter CLXVII (p. 8). — The Garden of England, Covent

Southey's curse. The Curse of Kclmma.

Coleridge's state and affairs. The new course of lectures,
here spoken of as contemplated by Coleridge, were delivered
early in the year following at a lecture-room in Flower de Luce
Court, Fleet Street.

Letter CLXYIII (p. 9). — This brief note is worth printing,
because it led to the remarkable evening at Haydon's, when
Lamb met Keats, Wordsworth, and the Comptroller of Stamps.
See Haydon's Diaries, or my Memoir of Lamb (Men of Letters
Series), p. 86.

Letter CLXIX (p. 10). — W. H. goes on lecturing against
IV. W. Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets, delivered at
the Surrey Institution.

Letter CLXX (p. 14).— The "books" here referred to are
the collected edition of Lamb's works in two volumes, published
in 1818 by the Olliers. The letter to Southey that follows is
also on the subject of the new publication.

Letter CLXXII (p. 16).— The "ticket" here mentioned
was apparently for a projected course of lectures that was
never destined to be delivered. Coleridge gave no more
courses of lectures after March 1818.

Letter CLXXIII (p. 17).— To John Chambers. Mr. Chambers
was a fellow-clerk with Lamb in the India House, and one of
his most intimate friends in the office. This letter, from the
original in the possession of Mr. George Bentley, of Old Bur-
lington Street, is now for the first time printed by his most
kind permission. The circumstances under which this tissue
of audacious invention and wildest humour was penned are
not hard to divine. Mr. Chambers was clearly kept away from
business by an attack of eczema, or some kindred affection of

NOTES. 307

the skin, and Lamb, alter a fashion of which there are many
other instances, sits down to amuse the absent invalid by-
supplying him with material for a hearty laugh. The "intelli-
gence " forwarded is of course the simplest romance, grounded
in each case, we may suppose, on certain bodily or mental
peculiarities in the office clerks respectively named. The
anecdote of Mr. Bye's sonnets and their resemblance to Petrarch
has been so often quoted from this letter, though unpublished,
as to have become already historical. The few notes that
follow are taken from some memoranda supplied by the late
Mr. H. G. Bohn, from whose collection the letter passed into
the hands of Mr. Bentley.

The letter is addressed to Mr. John Chambers, Leamington,

As Venn would say. Mr. Venn was an auctioneer.

As D does before twelve o'clock. "Mr. Dowley, who

was clerk and office-assistant to Mr. Chambers."

Wadd and Plumley. "Wadd was son of a Rev. Dr. Wadd ;
Plumley was the son of a silversmith on Ludgate Hill. Hyde
was a clerk in the same office, familiarly called Old Jemmy
Hyde. He claimed to be descended from Lord -Chancellor
Hyde. Hennah, " father of the recent Brighton photographer."
Friend "eventually became chief clerk when the Company
passed into the hands of the Government." Bye, "another
clerk in the same office, and held to be very stupid ; got into
debt and was dismissed." See Letter to Manning of 28th May
1819. Mr. Bohn adds that "this letter is evidently complete
although it ends abruptly and is not signed."

Letter CLXXIV (p. 20).— A copy of "Peter Bell." The
verses to which Lamb here refers were those which J. Hamilton
Reynolds wrote and published a few days in advance of Words-
worth's "Peter Bell," in ridicule of the poet. The squib,
issued from the publishing house of Taylor and Hessey, bore
on its title-page, Peter Bell: A Lyrical Ballad. "I do affirm
that I am the real Simon Pure." It consists of 6ome fifty
stanzas, roughly imitated from the actual metre of Words-
worth's poem. It was furnished with a prose Preface and
Appendix. The opening lines of the former may be cited as
giving some idea of the insolent spirit in which the whole jeu
a esprit was conceived : — " It is now a period of one-and-twenty
years since I first wrote some of the most perfect compositions
(except certain pieces I have written in my later days) that
ever dropped from poetical pen. My heart hath been right
and 'powerful all its years. I never thought an evil or a weak
thought in my life. It has been my aim and my achievement
to deduce moral thunder from buttercups, daisies, celandines,
and (as a poet, scarcely inferior to myself, hath it) 'such small


deer,'" etc. etc. etc. The verses that follow are composed by
stringing together allusions to Alice Fell, Betty Foy, Harry
Gill, and other names from Wordsworth's best-known ballads,
with phrases and mannerisms borrowed from the more mawkish
of his earlier poems. It may be added that it was the pub-
lication of this first "Peter Bell," to which Wordsworth's came
second, that explains Shelley writing a "Peter Bell the Third."
Rogers has been re-writing your Poem of the Strid. Rogers
wrote a poem on the same incident as that of Wordsworth's
"Force of Prayer: or, The Founding of Bolton Priory."
Rogers's poem was called " The Boy of Egremond," and the first
two lines of it —

' ' ' Say what remains when Hope is fled ? '
She answered, ' Endless weeping,' "

were, in some later editions of Wordsworth's poems, prefixed as
a motto to his " Force of Prayer."

How do you, like my way of writing with two inks ? This
letter was actually so written, in lines of black and red ink

Letter CLXXV (p. 22). — The Gladmans of Wheathamstead.
Lamb had relations in Hertfordshire, where his grandmother,
Mrs. Field, resided so long. See the Essay, "Mackery End in
H shire, " and notes upon it, in my edition of Elia.

Tommy Bye. See preceding letter to Mr. Chambers. Mrs.
Gold was the married name of Miss Burrell, the actress.
Manning was now once more in England after his long absence
in China. This letter was addressed to him at Ware in

Letter CLXXVI (p. 24). — Hoiv proud we are here of the dedi-
cation. Wordsworth had just published his early poem "The
Waggoner," in compliance with Lamb's request made in a
former letter. It appeared, with a few shorter poems, in 1819,
with the following dedication to Lamb : —

"My dear Friend — When I sent you, a few weeks ago, ' The
Tale of Peter Bell,' you asked 'Why "The Waggoner" was
not added V To say the truth, from the higher tone of imagina-
tion, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former,
I apprehended this little piece could not accompany it without
disadvantage. In the year 1806, if I am not mistaken, • The
Waggoner' was read to you in manuscript, and as you have
remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to
hope that, since the localities on which the poem partly depends
did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove
acceptable to others. Being, therefore, in some measure the

NOTES. 309

cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratifi-
cation of inscribing it to you, 'in acknowledgment of the
pleasure I have derived from your writings, and of the high
esteem with which

" I am very truly yours,

" William Wordsworth."

Benjamin is the waggoner's name.

Mary Sabilla Novello. The wife of Vincent Novello, the
eminent composer and organist.

Letter CLXXVII (p. 26).— This letter to Lamb's old friend
Joseph Cottle, publisher and poet of Bristol, has, I venture
to think, an interesting history attached to it. This and
the following two letters were first printed by Cottle in his
Early Recollections of Coleridge, published in 1837. Cottle
gave the date of the first two correctly (1819), but by some
oversight dated the last of the three 1829. Recent editors have
made the error complete by dating them all 1829. Accordingly,
in the autumn of 18S6, when engaged in arranging the Letters
for the present edition, I was perplexed by this confusion of
dates, and could discover no internal evidence in the Letters
themselves to resolve my doubts. A recent editor of Lamb's
Correspondence had confidently announced that the Collection
of Likenesses of British Bards was a certain work called Effigies
Pocticaz, being a set of portraits of distinguished English Poets,
with short notices of their lives and works, which was not in
fact issued till the year 1824. This work (the letterpress of
which, issued anonymously, was the work of Barry Corn-
wall) only included poets already deceased, and therefore did
not contain any portrait or notice of Joseph Cottle. When
I had given up hope of finding any clue to the mystery, the
actual volume indicated by Lamb came to light. It proved to
be a copy of Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, pro-
fusely illustrated with engravings and drawings of the various
poets and other literary characters occurring in the famous
satire. My attention was called to the copy by its containing,
as its solitary water-colour drawing, a hitherto unknown por-
trait of Charles Lamb, by Mr. Joseph, A.R.A. ; but on examin-
ing the book further, I found that it contained also a pencil
sketch of Joseph Cottle, evidently copied from a miniature.
The date of the compilation, as given on a special title-page, was
1819, and the person by whom it was compiled, one William
Evans. By inquiring from the latest possessor of the volume,
I discovered that this Mr. Evans was Lamb's old friend of that
name, a colleague in the India House, to whom Lamb owed his
first introduction to Talfourd. Here then was beyond doubt


the "particular friend" who was making a selection of the
" Likenesses of Living Bards." That Lamb was perfectly well
aware of the use Mr. Evans proposed to make of the portraits in
question we cannot doubt ; and we can imagine with what
characteristic equanimity he was allowing his own portrait to
appear in illustration of lines by Byron quite as scornful as
those in which poor Cottle was described. As Joseph Cottle,
however, might not have received the intelligence with the
same philosophic calm, Lamb did not think it necessary to
inform his old friend of the precise destination of his portrait.
Since I made known these facts in the columns of the Athenceum,
Mr. Evans's volume has passed into the keeping of the British

Letter CLXXVIII (p. 27).— A daughter of Joseph's, R.A.
The name of Mr. Joseph's daughter is appended to several of
the drawings in Mr. Evans's volume, but by some oversight not
to_ the likeness of Joseph Cottle, which was a copy from a
miniature by Branwhite of Bristol. Mr. Joseph was an associate
only of the Royal Academy. He never attained the full rank

Your better favour, the "Messiah." "In consequence of
this application," Cottle tells us, referring to the preceding
letter of Lamb's, " I sent C. Lamb a portrait by Branwhite,
and enclosed for his acceptance the second part of my Messiah. "
Cottle had published the first part of this Epic, "in twenty-
four books," four years earlier. Lamb, as usual, hits with
unerring skill one of the few lines in the dreary waste of com-
monplace that has some felicity of diction. Cottle had ruined
the effect of the musical couplet —

" The willowy brook was there, but that sweet sound —
When to be heard again on earthly ground ? "

by adding the feeble lines —

" (While sorrow gave th' involuntary tear),
Had ceased to vibrate on our listening ear."

Letter CLXXIX (p. 28).— Cottle's Fall of Cambria, in
twenty-four books, was published in 1811.

Anything you should write against Lord Byron. Cottle had
evidently informed Lamb of his " Expostu'latory Epistle to
Lord Byron " — composed and published after the publication of
the first two cantos of Don Juan. Of this effusion, in rhymed
couplets, the following few lines may be given as a fair
sample : —

' ' Sunk, but not lost, from dreams of death arise !
No longer tempt the patience of the skies !

NOTES. 311

Confess, with tears of blood, to frowning Heaven
The foul perversion of His talents given !
Retrace thy footsteps ! Ere the wish be vain
Bring back the erring thousands in thy train !
Let none, at death, despairing charge on thee
Their blasted peace, in shuddering agony !
Their prop, their heart's last solace, rent away
That one long night might quench their Perfect Day.

Letter CLXXX (p. 29).— William Wordsworth, the third
son of the poet, had just come to the school of the Charter House
in London, and on this Wednesday half-holiday the Lambs had
asked him to dinner.

A certain preface about imagination. The allusion is to
Wordsworth's own lines in "The Leech-Gatherer," cited by him
in the Preface to the 1815 edition of his Poems : —

" Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf
Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself."

It is perhaps impertinent to call attention to the exquisite
allusion to the poet having "ever been on Westminster Bridge."

Letter CLXXXI (p. 31).— Some of Lloyd's lines on you.
The " Stanzas 'addressed to * * *," in Lloyd's Desultory

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