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married Mr. Badams, Carlyle's friend. See Carlyle's Re-

Burke's case. Burke and Hare, the Edinburgh resurrection
men. Burke was hanged on the 28th of this January. "A
shot " was explained in evidence to be a slang word used by
the gang for a "subject to be murdered."

A sonnet of mine. "The Gipsy's Malison." See the next
letter to Procter, in which the sonnet is given.

' Twas written for the Gem. Edited this year by Hood.

They published the " Widow" instead. The "Widow " was
a short essay, accompanying a steel engraving of a sentimental
picture by Leslie, of a kind common in annuals and keepsakes,
bearing the same title. Hood wrote this paper in imitation of
Lamb's style, and boldly appended to it the signature, "C.
Lamb." The imitation is only tolerably successful. It opens
thus : —


hath always been a mark for mockery — a standing butt for wit to
level at. Jest after jest hath been huddled upon her close cap,
and stuck, like burrs, upon her weeds. Her sables are a perpetual
"Black Joke."

Satirists — prose and verse — have made merry with her bereave-
ments. She is a stock character on the stage. Farce bottleth up
her crocodile tears, or labelleth her empty lachrymatories. Comedy
mocketh her precocious flirtations, and twitteth her with "the
funeral baked meats coldly furnishing forth the marriage tables."

I confess, when I called the other day on my kinswoman G. —
then in the second week of her widowhood — and saw her sitting,
her young boy by her side, in her recent sables, I felt unable to
reconcile her estate with any visible associations. The lady with
a skeleton moiety — in the old print in Bowles's old shop-window —
seemed but a type of her condition, etc. etc.

Letter CCCXXXVII (p. 217).— The note which Lamb wrote
to Hood, on discovering in the Gem the practical joke referred
to in the preceding letter. He indicates the temporary exchange
of names by the opening and concluding words of his communi-
cation. Bridget, it will be remembered, is the name by which
his sister is always described in the Essays of Elia.

Letter CCCXXXVIII (p. 218).— See preceding letter to
Procter, of 22d January.

NOTES. 343

Abactor, we may conclude, is the Latin equivalent for sheep-
stealer given in Ainsworth's Dictionary.

Letter CCCXXXIX (p. 219).— Mr. Procter was a solicitor,
"incipient," but not precisely a "conveyancer."

thou above the Painter. James Barry, the historical painter.

Oiraldus Cambrensis, the historian, otherwise known as
Giraldus de Barri.

Thy most ingenious and golden cadences. The verses that
Procter had sent for Emma Isola's album, in reply to Lamb's
invitation. They turned upon the coincidence of the young
lady's name with that of the lovely island in the Lago Maggiore,
so well known to all sojourners at Baveno. The lines ended —
" Isola Bella, whom all poets love !"

The "fairest hands in Cambridge" were Emma Isola's, who
had many friends in the University town. She was then pre-
paring to accept a situation as governess in the family of Mr.
Williams, Rector of Fornham, near Bury St. Edmunds.

Unsphinx this riddle for me. It is perhaps impertinent to
point out that the flippant allusions that follow are to the dis-
astrous family history of one who had dealings with a notable
propounder of riddles.

Letter CCCXL (p. 220). — I append a translation : —

' ' Most eloquent Poet ! although epithets of that sort, I am
well aware, apply to orators rather than poets — for all that,
most eloquent !

"There has been now for some time staying with us in the
Enfield country a future attorney, the most illustrious Martin
Burney, who is taking his holiday — escaped, for a while, from
business so called, and an office without clients. He begs and
implores you (Martin does, I mean), if by blessed fortune a
tardy client should turn up in his absence, that you will let
him know by letter addressed here. Do you understand ? or
ought I to write in a tongue so barbarous as English to you,
prince of scholars ? C. Lamb.

"If an estate in freehold is granted to a grandfather, and if
in the same deed it is granted mediately or immediately to the
heir or heirs of the body of the said grandfather, these last
are words of Limitation, not Perquisition. This is my ruling."

The postscript to this letter is supplementary to the legal
fiction elaborated in the previous letter of 19th January.

Letter CCCXLI (p. 221). — Astrea. D'Urfe's famous
Pastoral Romance.

Inconstant, yet fair. This sentence and the following sum
up, with exquisite skill, the euphuistic style of Sidney's Arcadia.


Cowden with the Tuft. A description formed from analogy
with the hero of the fairy tale, Riquet with the Tuft. Mr.
Clarke, as his wife informs us, had a bald head fringed with
rather demonstrative tufts of hair.

Letter CCCXLII (p. 221).— Talfourd tells us that Crabb
Robinson sent Lamb a copy of Pamela, under a mistaken belief
that he had borrowed a previous copy and not returned it.

Letter CCCXLIII (p. 222). — Barley's very poetical poem.
Sylvia: or, the May Queen. 1827.

" Christmas." By Edward Moxon.

Field's Appendix. "Geographical Memoirs on New South
Wales, by various hands," etc. etc. Edited by Barron Field,
Esq., F.L.S., 1825. In the Appendix is printed "First Fruits
of Australian Poetry," originally printed privately in New South
Wales. See Lamb's notice of these poems, Mrs. Leicester's
School, etc., p. 235.

I have writ in the old Hamlet. A reprint of the first quarto
(1603) of Hamlet, then lately discovered.

The copy thus sent was retained by Barton, in accordance
with the permission given in this letter, and is now, through
the kindness of Mrs. Edward Fitzgerald, in the Editor's
collection. On the fly-leaf, in Lamb's handwriting, is the
inscription : — " Present this to Mr. Mitford in my name, if he
has not got it. — C. L."

By being "woefully below our editions of it," Lamb means, of
course, that the quarto of 1603 is but a first sketch, unless it be
an unauthorised and garbled version of the play as we know it.

Letter CCCXLV (p. 224). — The report of thy torments.
Crabb Robinson, in his Diary, quotes a letter of his own to
Wordsworth of 22d April, describing this attack : — "Went to
bed at two, and in the morning found my left knee as crooked
as the politics of the Ministry are, by the anti-Catholics, repre-
sented to be. After using leeches, poultices, etc., for three
weeks, I went down to Brighton, and again, in a most unchris-
tian spirit, put myself under the hands of the Mahomedan
Mahomet — was stewed in his vapour -baths, and shampooed
under his pagan paws."

Letter CCCXLVI (p. 226).— This, and a subsequent letter
of 15th November, are on the subject of Mr. Walter Wilson's
Life and Times of He Foe, then in preparation. The ode here
referred to is Lamb's "Ode to the Treadmill," written in
imitation of De Foe's " Ode to the Pillory." See Poems, Plays, .
and Essays, p. 116.

Letter CCCXLVIII (p. 227). — Our young friend Emma.

NOTES. 345

Emma Isola, who was at this time governess to the Williamses
at Fornham.

His name was Dibdin. The young man, Lamb's letters to
whom I have now first printed. He returned from Madeira, as
Lamb relates, and died of his "long disease " on May 11, 1828.

Southey's Dialogues. Sir Thomas More : or, Colloquies on the
Progress and Prospects of Society. 1829.

In acknowledgment of a sonnet I sent him. See the sonnet,
"To Samuel Rogers, Esq.," Poems, Plays, and Essays, p. 106.

Letter CCCXLIX (p. 228). — Your kind inqitisitivc Eliza.
Eliza Barton, Bernard Barton's sister.

An old rejected farce of mine. The Pawnbroker's Daughter.

Letter CCCL (p. 230). — Talfourd assigns this note to the
year 1829 or thereabout. There being no decisive evidence to
the contrary, I have retained it in this place, but I strongly
suspect it belongs to a much earlier period — as early (in fact)
as 1819. For Coleridge's sonnet referred to, "Fancy in Nu-
bibus : or the Poet in the Clouds," was first printed in
Blackwood's Magazine in November 1819, and this copy was
apparently sent to Lamb in manuscript and before publication.
For the better enjoyment of this humorous letter I make no
apology for reprinting the poem : —

" ! it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,

Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please,

Or let the easily persuaded eyes
Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould

Of a friend's fancy ; or with head bent low
And cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold

'Twixt crimson banks ; and then a traveller, go
From mount to mount through Cloudlaud, gorgeous land !

Or, listening to the tide, with closed sight,
Be that blind bard, who on the Chian strand,

By those deep sounds possessed with inward light,

Beheld the Iliad and the Odyssee

Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea."

Letter CCCLII (p. 231).— Talfourd had christened his
latest child, Charles Lamb Talfourd. The father adds this
note: "The child who bore the name so honoured by his
parents survived his godfather only a year, dying at Brighton,
whither he had been taken in the vain hope of restoration, on
the 3d of December 1835."

Letter CCCLIII (p. 232).— A n honest couple our neighbours.


A Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Westvvood. Mr. Westwood was a
retired tradesman, and agent to the Phoenix Assurance Office.

Letter CCCLV (p. 234). —Wilson's work on De Foe was
just published. Lamb had contributed to it his "Estimate of
De Foe's Secondary Novels." See Mrs. Leicester's School, etc.,
p. 304. Lamb had written a letter to Wilson seven years (not
fifteen) before, containing some remarks upon these novels, which
Wilson also makes use of in his work on De Foe. Much of
what he wrote in the friendly letter naturally reappeared in the
more formal Essay. Hence Lamb's allusion to the "two papers "
puzzling the reader, " being so akin. " Hazlitt reviewed Wilson's
Life arid Times of De Foe in the Edinburgh of January 1830.

Letter CCCLVI (p. 236).— The excursionists. Mr. West-
wood, Lamb's landlord, had driven Mary Lamb over to High-
gate to see the Gillmans and Coleridge. The note that follows
this would appear to refer to a later excursion, conducted by
the same "Son of Nimshi." But Lamb^s habit of not dating
letters confuses matters sadly.

Letter CCCLIX (p. 239). — Hazlitt has just been defrauded.
By the failure of the publishers of his Life of Napoleon.

Letter CCCLX (p. 241).— Wordsworth's letter to Lamb,
to which this is the reply, is given in Bishop Wordsworth's
Memoirs of the Poet (ii. 223). It bears date 10th January of this
year, and begins: "A whole twelvemonth have I been a letter
in your debt, for which fault I have been sufficiently punished
by self-reproach." The letter tells of the dangerous illness of
Dorothy Wordsworth, and of Wordsworth's own weakened

Henry Crabb is Henry Crabb Robinson.

Can I cram loves enough to you all in this little ? Those
who know their Shakespeare will take the allusion to a line in
the Chorus to Henry V.

Letter CCCLXI (p. 246).— To furnish A. 0. with the scrap.
A. C. is Allan Cunningham, who was preparing his Lives of the
Painters, and wanted that portion of Lamb's letter to Barton
of May 15, 1824, which referred to William Blake. The letter
was sent to Cunningham, in accordance with the permission
here given, but the "scrap" was apparently crowded out,
for it did not appear in the first edition of Cunningham's work
in the Family Library. It was, however, preserved among the
Cunningham papers, and is given in the latest edition of the
work in Bohn's Series.

That Joseph Pake. See Lamb's Elia Essay, ' ' Modern Gallan-
try." In the Athenozum for the year 1841 (pp. 366 and 387),

NOTES. 347

will be found some interesting particulars of Mr. Paice, by the
late Miss Anne Manning.

Letter CCCLXII (p. 247). — Poor Emma. Miss Isola was
now living as governess in the family of Mr. "Williams, the
Rector of Fornham, All Saints, near Bury St. Edmunds.

Your hopes about Dick Norris. Richard Norris, the son of
Lamb's old friend, Randal Norris, Sub-Treasurer of the Inner
Temple. Mrs. Hazlitt had noticed that a Mr. Norris was
Treasurer of the Inn this year, and had too hastily inferred that
young Norris had succeeded to his late father's post.

Letter CCCLXIII (p. 248).— The Rev. James Gillman was
the son of Mr. Gillman of Highgate. Lamb's information
concerning the Norwich people is, of course, what would in his
day have been called "raillery," and in our day "chaff."
Who Mr. Battin was, I know not. Talfourd assumes that this
letter was to the elder Gillman, but the allusion to his corre-
spondent having something "professionally" to say to the
Revelations in Greek, seems to point to his being in holy
orders. The friends in Spitalfields are, I presume, the weavers.

Letter CCCLXIV (p. 249).— Phillips {not the Colonel).
"Edward Phillips, Esq., Secretary to the Right Hon. Charles
Abbott, Speaker of the House of Commons. The 'Colonel'
alluded to was the Lieutenant of Marines who accompanied
Captain Cook on his last voyage, and on shore with that great
man when he fell a victim to his humanity " (Talfourd).

Mrs. B—-'s. Obviously Mrs. Burney. An ingenious
editor of Lamb's Letters has filled up the blank with Mrs.
Battle's name ! John Murray had proposed to Lamb to publish
a supplementary volume of specimens from the old dramatists.

Letter CCCLXV (p. 251).— This letter was written after
Lamb's return to London from a visit to the Williamses at
Fornham. He had taken Miss Isola, now convalescent after
a severe attack of brain fever, back with him to Enfield. Two
of the acrostics that Lamb wrote for the amusement of Mrs.
Williams and her family were afterwards included by Lamb
in his Album Verses, published this year. They will be found
in Poems, Plays, and Essays, p. 108. One is an acrostic
epitaph on Mrs. Williams, her name being Grace Joanna
Williams ; the other on her youngest daughter, Louisa Clare.

Letter CCCLXVI (p. 252). — Mrs. Williams seems also to
have been fond of writing acrostics, and had composed one on
Mary Lamb.

She blames my last verses. This acrostic I now print for


the first time. Lamb did not include it in bis next volume
of Album Verses : —

" Go little Poem, and present
Respectful terms of compliment ;
A gentle lady bids thee speak !
Courteous is she, tho' thou be weak —
Evoke from Heaven as thick as manna


Joy after joy on Grace Joanna :
On Fornham's Glebe and Pasture land
A blessing pray. Long, long may stand,
Not touched by Time, the Rectory blithe ;
No grudging churl dispute his Tithe ;
At Easter be the offerings due

' ' With cheerful spirit paid ; each pew
In decent order filled : no noise
Loud intervene to drown the voice,
Learning, or wisdom of the Teacher ;
Impressive be the Sacred Preacher,
And strict his notes on holy page ;
May young and old from age to age
Salute, and still point out, ' The good man's Parsonage ! ' "

Letter CCCLXVII (p. 253).— My friend Hone. Hone was
at this time established by the help of friends in the Grasshopper
Coffee House in Gracechurch Street.

An epigram I did for a schoolboy. This schoolboy was the
present Archdeacon Hessey, who has lately published in the
Taylorian (a periodical supported by the Merchant Taylors'
boys) an account of his father taking him to see Lamb at
Colebrook Cottage in 1825. See note on p. 402 of Poems, Plays,
and Essays. Archdeacon Hessey informs us that the subject of
the epigram was suggested by "the grim satisfaction which
had recently been expressed by the public at the capture and
execution of several notorious highwaymen."

Letter CCCLXVIII (p. 255). — Rogers's handsome behaviour
to you. The poet had advanced Moxon £500 wherewith to set
up in business as publisher. Moxon had published more than
one volume of verse, including a book of sonnets of his own.

Letter CCCLXIX (p. 255).— This delightful letter was first
printed in the Athenazum a few years since, and is here given by
the kind permission of the editor. Lamb adopts Procter's con-
ceit of the island in Maggiore.

Letter CCCLXXII (p. 257.) — Ayrton was here yesterday.
Lamb elsewhere gives a quite different account of the origin of

NOTES. 349

his verses on the Eminent Composers. In a letter to Ayrton,
quoted in my note on the verses {Poems, Plays, and Essays, p.
388), Lamb represents them as having been written at the
request of Novello, who had desired Lamb "to give him my
real opinion respecting the distinct grades of excellence in all
the eminent composers of the Italian, German, and English
schools." I am afraid we cannot absolve Lamb from the charge
of fibbing in one or other of these statements. Martin Burney,
who was originally a solicitor, had been lately called to the Bar.
The step did not prove a success.

Letter CCCLXXIII (p. 260).— There had been a suggestion
that William Hazlitt's son, who was endowed with a fine voice,
should adopt music as a profession. Ayrton, as a well-known
authority on music, and impresario, would be naturally resorted
to for counsel.

Letter CCCLXXIV (p. 260).— The scheme for establishing
Hone in a coffee-house business had been carried into effect, and
Lamb, with characteristic helpfulness, arranges to have his
newspaper at second-hand from the establishment in Grace-
church Street.

Letter CCCLXXV (p. 261).— Lamb had just published,
with Moxon, his Album Verses. The translations referred to
are those from the Latin of Vincent Bourne.

Letter CCCLXXVII (p. 262).— The little volume of Album
Verses was rather rudely handled by the reviewers, notably by
the Literary Gazette. This review, Talfourd tells us, "pro-
duced some verses from Southey," which were inserted in the
Times, and of which the following, as evincing his unchanged
friendship, may not unfitly be inserted here : —

" Charles Lamb ! to those who know thee justly dear

For rarest genius, and for sterling worth,
Unchanging friendship, warmth of heart sincere,

And wit that never gave an ill thought birth,
Nor ever in its sport infixed a sting ;

To us who have admired and loved thee long,
It is a proud as well as pleasant thing

To hear thy good report, now borne along
Upon the honest breath of public praise :

We know that with the elder sons of song,
In honouring whom thou hast delighted still,

Thy name shall keep its course to after days."

There were some further lines, very severe upon Lamb's recent


Letter CCCLXXVIII (p. 263).— These lines were written,
Mrs. Cowden Clarke tells us, " at the request of Vincent Novello,
in memory of four sons and two daughters of John and Ann
Rigg, of York. All six, respectively aged 19, 18, 17, 16, 7,
and 6, were drowned at once by their boat being run down on
the river Ouse, near York, August 19, 1830."

Letter CCCLXXIX (p. 263).— This note has been hitherto
placed out of its order. After their two months' stay in London,
Lamb had to take his sister back to Enfield. Southey came to
London on a visit to John Rickman, at the House of Commons,
on the 1st of November.

Letter CCCLXXXI (p. 266).— From a later letter to Moxon
we gain further particulars of George Dyer and his sensitive
conscience. As far back as the end of the preceding century
Dyer had written a couplet in his poem "The Poet's Fate,"
in which occurred some slighting mention of Rogers. A Mr.
Barker, in his Parriana, had recently quoted and so revived
the unfortunate couplet — hence Dyer's apprehensions.

Great Erasmians. Two forms at Christ's Hospital were
nicknamed "Great Erasmus" and "Little Erasmus," after a
certain pious benefactor to the school, named Erasmus Smith.
Grecian and Deputy-Grecian are also well-known grades of dis-
tinction in the nomenclature of Christ's Hospital.

Letter CCCLXXXIII (p. 269). — "Good man ! — I have
received your most friendly letter, and it occurred to me as I
was about to answer it that the Latin Tongue has seldom or
never been exchanged by us, as a medium for corresponding or
speaking. Your letters, replete with Plinian elegancies (rather
more than is seemly in a Quaker), are so remote from the lan-
guage of Pliny that you do not appear to have a single word (a
Roman word, of course, I mean) to 'throw to a dog,' as the
saying is. Possibly a long disuse of writing Latin has driven
you to the use of your vernacular tongue unnecessarily. I
have resolved, therefore, to recall you to the recovery of your
lost Latinity by means of certain familiar and generally well-
known proverbs : —

" ' The cat's in the cupboard, and she can't see.'

" 'AH that glitters is not gold.'

" ' Put a beggar on horseback and he will ride to the Devil.'

' ' ' Set a thief to catch a thief. '

" 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?'

" Now let us sing of weightier themes ! —

" 'Tom, Tom, of Islington, married a wife on Sunday. He
brought her home on Monday ; Bought a stick on Tuesday ;
Beat her well on Wednesday ; Sick was she on Thursday ; Dead

NOTES. 351

was she on Friday ; Glad was Tom on Saturday night, to bury
his wife on Sunday.'

" 'Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,' etc. etc. etc.

" ' Diddle, diddle, dumkins ! my son John
Went to bed with his breeches on ;
One shoe off and the other shoe on,
Diddle, diddle,' etc. (Da Capo.)

' ' ' Here am I, jumping Joan ;

When no one is by, I'm here alone.'

"Solve me this Riddle, and you will be an CEdipus. Why
is a horse like a Quaker ? Because his whole communication is
by 'Hay and Neigh,' in accordance with the Scriptural injunc-
tion ('Yea and Nay').

"With these trifles I get through the precious day, while
watching by the sick-bed of our more precious Emma, who has
been at home with us ill, now for a long time. Mary joins me
in best greetings ; she is quite well. Elia. '

"Given at Enfield on one or other of the calends of April.
' I am Davus, not ' — almanack maker !

"P.S.— The Reform Bill is thrown out for good."

Letter CCCLXXXIV (p. 270).— I append a free translation
of the letter : —

"Enfield, May 6, 1831.

"My good sister is sitting by me, turning the leaves of the
Euripides, your present, dearest Cary, for which we thank you,
and mean to read it again and again. The book is doubly
acceptable to us both, as the sacred work of the ' Priest of Com-
passion,' and as the gift of one, himself a Priest of the most
humane Religion in the world.

"When in tears, we shall be on the eve of joy : there are
times when sorrow becomes gladness ; laughter is not always
sweet ; we must sometimes exchange He ! He ! He ! for Heu !
Heu ! Heu ! That the Tragic Muse is not wholly repugnant to
me, witness this Song of Disaster, originally written by some
unknown author in the vernacular, but lately turned by me
into Latin — I mean, ' Tom of Islington. ' Do you take ? ....
And finally Tom is filled with joy that on the following day
(Sunday, to wit) his spouse must be carried out to burial. Lo !
a domestic Iliad ! A cycle of calamity ! A seven - days'
Tragedy t

' ' Go now and compare your vaunted Euripides with griefs
like these ! Such a death of wives as this ! Where is your
Alcestis now ? your Hecuba ? your other Dolorous Heroines of
antiquity ?


"My cheeks are bathed in tears a3 I muse upon these
tragedies ! What remains but to greet you and your own dear
spouse, and to wish you as good health as we ourselves are
enjoying. Elia."

Letter CCCLXXXV (p. 271).— Although the date of this
letter has been hitherto given 1831, I am satisfied that it
should be 1821. The letter is evidently written to Mr. Taylor,
the publisher of the London, at the time Lamb was contributing
to that magazine his Essays of Elia. In the number for July
1821, appeared the essay "Mackery End in Hertfordshire,"
and it is in this essay that the stanza from Wordsworth occurs
to which reference is obviously made : —

" But thou, that didst appear so fair
To fond Imagination,
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation ! "

Taylor's proposed improvement of the stanza is sufficiently

Letter CCCLXXXVI (p. 272).— Lamb contributed to the
Englishman's Magazine of September 1831 a paper entitled
" Recollections of a late Royal Academician " (see Mrs. Leicester's
School, etc., p. 307, and notes). This was Lamb's first contribu-
tion to the magazine after Moxon became its publisher. It
was arranged that Lamb should furnish miscellaneous papers

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