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With a garnish of bats in their leathern wings imp't ;
And the fish was — two delicate slices crimp't.

Of the whale that swallow'd Jonah.


Then the goblets were crown'd, and a health went
To the Bride, in a wine like scarlet ;
No earthly vintage so deeply paints.
For 'twas dash'd with a tinge from the blood of the
By the Babylonian Harlot.


No Hebe fair stood Cup Bearer there.

The guests were their own skinkeis ;
But Bishop Judas first blest the can,
Who is of all Hell Metropolitan,

And kiss'd it to all the drinkers.



The feast being ended, to dancing they wenl,

To a music that did produce a
Most dissonant sound, while a helHsh glee
Was sung in parts by the Furies Three ;

And the Devil took out Medusa.


But the best of the sport was to hear his old Dam,

Set up her shrill forlorn pipe —
How the wither'd Beldam hobbled about.
And put the rest of the company out —

For she needs must try a horn-pipe.


But the heat, and the press, and the noise, and the

Were so great, that, howe'er unwilling,
Our Reporter no longer was able to stay,
But came in his own defence away,

And left the Bride quadrilling.



The Lord of Life shakes off his drowsihed,
And 'gins to sprinkle on the earth below
Those rays that from his shaken locks do flow ;

Meantime, by truant love of rambling led,

I turn my back on thy detested walls,

Proud city ! and thy sons, I leave behind,
A sordid, selfish, money-getting kind;

Brute things who shut their ears when Freedom calls.

I pass not thee so lightly, well known spire,
That minded me of many a pleasure gone.
Of merrier days of love and Islington ;

Kindling afresh the pleasures of past desire.
And I shall muse on that slow journeying on

To the green plains of pleasant Hertfordshire.



Can I, all-gracious Providence,
Can I deserve Thy care ?

Ah no ! I've not the least pretence
To bounties which I share.


Have I not been defended still
From dangers and from death ;

Been safe preserved from every ill
E'er since Thou gavest me breath ?

I live once more to see the day
That brought me first to light ;

Oh, teach my willing heart the way
To take Thy mercies right.

Tho* dazzling splendour, pomp, ana show

My fortune has denied ;
Yet more than grandeur can bestow

Content hath well supplied.

I envy no one's birth or fame,
Their titles, train, or dress :

Nor has my pride e'er stretch'd its aim
Beyond what I possess.

I ask and wish not to appear
More beauteous, rich, or gay :

I>ord, make me wiser every year,
And better every day.


Was it so hard a thing ? — I did but ask
A fleeting holiday. One little week.
Or haply two, had bounded my request.


What if the jaded steer, who all day long
Had borne the heat and labour of the plough,
When evening came, and her sweet cooling hour,
Should seek to trespass on a neighbour copse.
Where greener herbage waved, or clearer streams
Invited him to slake his burning thirst ?
That man were crabbed, who should say him nay ;
That man were churlish, who should drive him thence !

A blessing light upon your heads, ye good,
Ye hospitable pair ! I may not come
To catch on Clifden's heights the summer gale ;
I may not come a pilgrim to the vales
Of Avon, lucid stream, to taste the waves
Which Shakspeare drank, our British Helicon ;
Or with mine eye intent on Redclifife towers,
To muse in tears on that mysterious youth,
Cruelly slighted, who to London walls,
In evil hour, shaped his disastrous course.
With better hopes, I trust from Avon's vales.
Another " minstrel " cometh 1 Youth endear'd,
God and good angels guide thee on thy road.
And gentler fortunes wait the friends I love.

C. L.



A paper which illustrates the curiously fantastic manner in which
Lamb occasionally dealt with his pieces. It originally appeared in the
Reflector so early as the year 1811, but without the first three para-
graphs. Another paper on the same subject having appeared in 1821,
Lamb fitted his essay with this bantering introduction, so as to im-
part an apropos air; then, waiting for two years more, reissued it in Ihe
London Magazine, witli this title, "On the Probable Effects of the
Gunpowder Treason in this Country if the Conspirators had accom-
plished their object.'"

" A "very ingenious and subtle writer. ^^ — W. Hazlitt.

"A London lueekly paper." — The Examiner, under date of Nov.
12, 1821.

" From the learning and maturest oratory <ivhich it manifests,"
stood originally : " From the amazing research of learning and powers
of maturest oratory."

After the words, " ripened by time into a Bishop and Father of the
Church," came the passage : " The conclusion of his discourse is so
pertinent to my subject, that I must beg your patience while I tran-
scribe it. He has been drawing a parallel between the fire which Faux
and his accomplices meditated, and that which James and John were
willing to have called down from heaven upon the heads of the Sama-
ritans who would not receive our Saviour into their house."

"This periodical petition .... has the effect." — Originally, " ha've
the effect."

After " Berenice's curls " came this lively passage : •♦ All, in their
degrees, glittering somewiiere. Sussex misses her member on earth
(J F , Esq.), but is consoled to view him, on a starry night.



siding the Great Bear. Cambridge beholds hers (Sir V G )

next Scorpio. The gentle Castlereagh curdles in the Milky-way."

Hazlitt wrote, on the appearance of this jocose attack, that he be-
lieved that Lamb " never heartily forgave a certain writer who took
the subject of Guy Fawkes out of his hands."

All the papers that follow, to p. 86, appeared in the Loniion


A paper in the London Magazine of 1824, on Munden's Farewell,
has been attributed to Lamb in the life of the actor, and even been in-
cluded in his works. But, though professedly in his style, the touches
seem coarse, and the whole lacks the delicacy and airiness of the
master. Hazlitt and Hunt both imitated Lamb's style ; and I believe the
paper to have been written by the former, having that "rollicking"
strain which he sometimes adopted. It is, however, offered here to the
reader's judgment : —

"The regular playgoers ought to put on mourning, for the king of
broad comedy is dead to the drama ! — Alas ! — Munden is no more ! —
give sorrow vent. He may yet walk the town, pace the pavement in a
seeming existence — eat, drink, and nod to his friends in all the affec-
tation of life — but Munden, — the Munden! — Munden, who with the
bunch of countenances, the bouquet of faces, is gone for ever from the
lamps, and, as far as comedy is concerned, is as dead as Garrick !
When an actor retires (we will put the suicide as mildly as possible)
how many worthy persons perish with him ! — With Munden, — Sir
Peter Teazle must experience a shock — Sir Robert Bramble gives up
the ghost — Crack ceases to breathe. Without Munden what becomes
of Dozey? Where shall we seek Jemmy Jumps.' Nipperkin and a
thousand of such admirable fooleries fall to nothing, and the departure
therefore of such an actor as Munden is a dramatic calamity. On the
night that this inestimable humorist took farewell of the public, he
also took his benefit : — a benefit in which the public assuredly did not
participate. Thp play was Coleman's Poor Gentleman, with Tom
Dibdin's farce of Past Ten o'Clock. Reader, we all know Munden in
Sir Robert Bramble, and Old Tobacco complexioned Dozey ; — we all
have seen the old hearty baronet in his light sky-blue coat and genteel
rocked hat ; and we have seen the weather-beaten old pensioner. Dear

NOTES. 461

Old Dozey, tacking about the stage in that intense blue sea livery- -
drunk as heart could wish, and right valorous in memory. On this
night Munden seemed like the Gladiator 'to rally life's whole energii;s
to die,' and as we were present at this great display of his powers, and
as tliis will be the last opportunity that will ever be afforded us to
speak of this admirable performer, we shall 'consecrate,' as Old John
Buncle says, ' a paragragh to him.'

"The house was full,— full / — pshaw ! that's an empty word ! — The
house was stuffed, crammed with people — crammed from the swing
door of the pit to the back seat in the banished one ihiU'ing. A quart
of audience may be said (vintner-like, may it be said) to have been
squeezed into a pint of theatre. Every hearty play-going Londoner,
who remembered Munden years agone, mustered up his courage and
his money for this benefit — and middle-aged people were therefore by
no means scarce. The comedy chosen for the occasion is one that
travels a long way without a guard ; — it is not until the third or fourth
act, we think, that Sir Robert Bramble appears on the stage. When
he entered, his reception was earnest, — noisy, — outrageous, — waving
of hats and handkerchiefs, — deafening shouts, — clamorous beating of
sticks, — all the various ways in which the heart is accustomed to mani-
fest its joy were had recourse to on this occasion. Mrs. Bamtield
worked away with a sixpenny fan till she scudded only under bare
poles. Mr. Whittington wore out the ferule of a new nine-and-six-
penny umbrella. Gratitude did great damage on the joyful occasion.

"The old performer, the veteran, as he appropriately called himself in
the farewell speech, was plainly overcome ; he pressed his hands to-
gethei. he planted one solidly on his breast, he bowed, he sidled, he
cried I When the noise subsided (which it invariably does at last) the
comedy proceeded, and Munden gave an admirable picture of the
rich, eccentric, charitable old bachelor baronet, who goes about with
Humphrey Dobbin at his heels and philanthropy in his heart. How
crustily and yet how kindly he takes Humphrey's contradictions !
How readily he puts himself into an attitude for arguing ! How ten-
derly he gives a loose to his heart on the apprehension of Frederick's
duel. Tn truth he played Sir Robert in his very ripest manner, and
it was impossible not to feel in the very midst of pleasure regret that
Munden should then be before us for the last time.

"In the farce he became richer and richer ; Old Dozey is a plant
from Greenwich. The bronzed face — and neck to match — the long
curtain of a coat — the straggling white hair — the propensity, the de-

^62 NOTES.

termined attachment to grog, — are all from Greenwich. Munden, as
Dozey, seems never to have been out of action, sun, and drink. He
looks (alas, he looked) fireproof. His face and throat were dried like a
raisin, and his legs walked under the rum-and-water with all the inde-
cision which that inestimable beverage usually inspires. It is truly
tacking, not walking. He steers at a table, and the tide of grog now
and then bears him ofT the point. On this night, he seemed to us to
be doomed to fall in action, and we therefore looked at him, as some
of the Victory s crew are said to have gazed upon Nelson, with a con-
sciousness that his ardour and his uniform were worn for the last time.
In the scene where Dozey describes a sea fight, the actor never was
greater, and he seemed the personification of an old seventy-four!
His coat hung like a flag at his poop ! His phiz was not a whit less
highly coloured than one of those lustrous visages which generally
superintend the head of a ship ! There was something cumbrous,
indecisive, and awful in his veerings! Once afloat, it appeared im-
possible for him to come to his moorings ; once at anchor, it did not
seem an easy thing to get him under weigh !

"The time, however, came for the fall of the curtain, and for the fall
of Munden ! The farce of die night was finished. The farce of the
long forty years' play was over ! He stepped forward, not as Dozey,
but as Munden, and we heard him address us from the stage for the
last time. He trusted, unwisely we think, to written paper. He
read of 'heart-felt recollections,' and 'indelible impressions.' He
stammered, and he pressed his heart, — and put on his spectacles, — and
blundered his written gratitudes, — and wiped his eyes, and bowed —
and stood, — and at last staggered away for ever I The plan of his
farewell was bad, but the long life of excellence which really made his
farewell pathetic, overcame all defects, and the people and Joe Mun-
den parted like lovers ! Well ! Farewell to the Rich Old Heart !
May thy retirement be as full of repose, as thy public life was full of
excellence ! We must all have our farewell benefits in our turn."


The misapprehension as to Elia's birthplace arose from his writing
in the character of Coleridge, when describing Christ's Hospital.
(Vol. III. p. 148.)

NOTfiS. 463


Compare Vol. II., p. 83.


As already shown, the chief portion of this letter was suppressed.
The allusions are thus explained : — " The amiable C," Carey ; "Allan

C," Cunningham; "P r," Procter; "A ^."Allsop; "G «,'

Oilman ; " IV b," Wordsworth ; « H. C. R.," H. C. Robinson ;

" tbe -veteran Colonel;' Philips ; ', W. A.," Alsager ; "C," Coleridge.

" The doctrine of the * * ," &c. — ^There were seven stars ; so the
" Trinity " is intended.

" A ridiculous dismemberment." — It would appear that it was no
the "amiable spy," Andre, that was thus treated, but the effigy of
Washington, whose head had to be renewed three times within fifty


The passage from Fetter Lane to Bartlett's Buildings is still use
but the houses have been nearly all rebuilt.


For this, and the three following papers, I am indebted to Mr.
Frederick Locker. As Lamb's contributions to Hone's periodical were
assumed to be signed with his name, it was supposed that any papers
not thus distinguished were not likely to be of his composition. Mr.
Locker, however, possesses the MS. of these essays in Lamb's writing,
which had been returned from the press, and are thus readily identified.
He has also been kind enough to give me the verses entitled " One
Dip," as well as some letters written to Hone.


Unworthy of Lamb, v it no doubt seemed to himself, since it is left

464 NOTES.


"■Br ," Braham, the singer; «' T y," Terry, Sir Walter

Scott's friend; '■'Miss F e" Miss Foote; "Madame V ,"



The comedian died Feb. 6th, 1 832. The friend whose criticism Lamb
introduces was Talfourd. It appeared in the Champion ; but the
author, when inserting it in the " Life," modestly suppressed a little
panegyric of Lamb's : " by a gentleman who attends less to these thlngi
than formerly, but whose criticism I think masterly."


Published in the Athenaum after his death.

Barron Field also describes Lamb delivering the criticism on •' The
Nut-brown Maid '' at a supper party. (See Vol. I. 217.)


From the Athenamm.


" G D ," George Dawe. Some of the strokes in this piece

are in Lamb's happiest broadly humorous manner.


From an Annual called "The Gem" (1830). A piece write -n to
illustrate one of the engraved plates representing a Grandmother.


From the tone of the introduction, as well as the character of the
letter itself — from the little touch of " wrongeously" spelling — one

NOTES. 465

might have been fairly warranted in setting it down as one of Lamb's
favourite mystifications. 1 find, however, that Mr. Jerdan (Auto-
biography, Vol. I. p. 222) gives the letter as from an old newspaper of
the last century, and as being genuine.


A collection of stories by Mr. Patmore.


The fragment here given was added by Lamb to the public appeal
for subscriptions. It is among Mr. Forster's papers. (See Vol. I.,
p. 244 n.)


Furnished to The Examiner. The letter from Bath on Miss Kelly
has hitherto escaped notice.


Southey states, in one of his letters, that Lamb was part author,
with White, of the " FalstafF Letters" here reviewed. It seems more
likely that a portion of the preface was his, especially as there is an
allusion to the favourite subject of the " pig." The circumstances con-
nected with the review of Wordsworth's Poems are set out in Vol. I.
It appeared in the Quarterly Revie^w, in the number for Oct. 18 14,
That of Defoe was furnished to Wilson's " Memoirs of Defoe," and
" The Reynolds Gallery," to The Examiner.


The "Dedication to Coleridge" was of the Poems contained in
the "Works," two small volumes published in 1818. Many of the
Sonnets appeared in the Blontbly Magazine, but were recast by Coh -
VOL. VI. 2 H

456 NOTES.

ridge and by liiniself. As regards Nos. III. and IV,, these clianges
were considerable. Originally it stood " overshadowing'' instead of
"outstretching;'' instead of " all a summer's day," "the long summer
days;" and for "losing," " cheating." In place of the last six lines,
Coleridge furnished some of his own :

" But, ah ! sweet scenes of fancied bliss, adieu !
On roseleaf beds, amid yon faery bowers," &c.

Lamb's indecision about even a single word is curious. Thus in the
first line of No. III., Coleridge was for "Faery land," Lamb for
"Faery;" but, after many doubts, adopted his friend's view. But in
the next edition he went back to his first choice. Its original shape

•' Was it some sweet device of Faery land
That mock'd my steps with many a lonely glade.
And fancied wand'rings with a fair-haired maid?
Have these things been ? Or did the wizard wand
Of Merlin wave, impregning vacant air.
And kindle up the vision of a smile
In those blue eyes, that seemed to speak the while.
Such tender things, as might enforce despair
To drop the murthering knife, and let go by
His fell resolve ? Ah me ! the lonely glade
Still courts the footsteps of the fair-haired maid !
Among whose lock the west winds love to sigh :
But I, forlorn, do wander reckless where.
And, 'mid my wandering, find no Anna there."

He objected to " the wizard wand of Merlin wave" as likely to suggest
a burlesque association with a wizard of that name in Oxford Street. So,
n Sonnet X., he altered "Ev'n as" to "Like as;" "rapt" to "raised."
The line " And the rude visions give severe delight," stood originally,
"And the dread visions giv e a rude delight." While the last three
lines, which were Coleridge's, ran :

" And almost wish'd it were no crime to die !
How Reason reel'd ! what gloomy transports rose !
Till the rude dashing rock'd tliem to repooe."

In the edition of 1797 he substituted asterisks for the last two lines.
See Charles Lamb, bis friends, etc., 1866, by the Editor of
the present Edition.

NOTES. 467

Harmony in Unlikeness (p. 294). On his sister and Miss Isola. " A
Celebrated Female Reformer" (p. 296) ; Miss Kelly. " On his
Mother" (p. 306), " qvho lives the last of all the family.''' It will be
interesting, in this place, to give the list of Lamb's brothers and sisters,
which was supplied to Mr. C. Kent by Dr. Vaughan, the Master of
the Temple, and which appeared too late for insertion in the first
volume of this Edition. Talfourd, it will be recollected, states that
there were only three children.

(i.) Euzabeth, born 9th January, baptized 30th January, 1762.
(2.) John, born 5th June, baptized 26th June, by the Rev. Mr.

Dobey, 1763.
(3.) Mary Anne, born 3rd December, baptized 30th December, by

the Rev. Mr. Humphreys, 1764.
(4.) Samuel (the date of whose birth is unrecorded), baptized 13th

December, 1765.
(5.) Euzabeth (the first-born Elizabeth being obviously dead), born

30th August, baptized 3rd September, 1768.
(6.) Edward, born 3rd September, baptized 21st September, 1770.

Charles, the son of John Lamb and Euzabeth his
, wife, of Old Crown Office Row, in the Inner
Temple, was born loth February, 1775, and baptized
loth March following by the Rev. Mr. Jeffs.

The above is a true copy of the entry in the Register of Baptisms
in the Temple Church.

(Signed) C. J. Vaughan, D.D.,

Master of the Temple.

The Grandame. — In a letter to Coleridge (Vol. I., p. 384), he com-
plains, with some feeling, of some one having altered " thy praises,"
and " thy honoured memory," to " her praise," " her honoured

To the Poet Cowper (p. 312). — From the Monthly Magazine.

Album Verses. — " Mr. Seijeant W ." Wilde. Lamb is said to

have written election squibs for Serjeant Wilde. Dora W- .

Westwood. "Ediths " Southey. " Rotha Q " Quillinan.

" Hester " (p. 357), Hester Savory, the young Quakeress. The Three
Friends,'' a domestic episode, clearly referring to his sister and her
friends. This, with the two pieces that foUow, " Queen Oriana's
Dream," and "a Birthday Thought," were some of Lamb's contribu-
tions to the " Poetry for Children." " The Old Familiar Faces.*"

2 H 2

468 NOTES.

l"heie was an opening stanza to these pathetic lines which he, for ob-
vious reasons, later suppressed. — See Vol. I., p. 28.

The " friend " was no doubt Coleridge, and the allusion is to the
difference, described in Vol. I., p. 37. This is shown by the date of
the verses (published in the "Blank Verse), 1798. Some later editions
commence the last stanza with "For," but "How" is Lamb's own
reading. "A Vision of Repentance." " Psyche am J,'' originally
a note here : " The soul." A Ballad. From the " curious fragments
in imitation of Barton." Originally the first two lines were entitled
"The Argument," and the rest was introduced "Evinced thus": —
The whole concluded with: " The Consequence.

" Wanton Youth is ofttimes haughty swelling found,
When Age for very shame goes stooping to the ground.

The Conclusion. — Dura Paupertas." This and the " Fine Merry
Franions," have an almost savage bitterness. Hypochondiuacus. Also
from the " Curious Fragments," having a second title: " A Conceit
of Diabolical Possession." The third line began, "while" instead
of "when;" and the Latin ejaculation at the close ran, '^•Jesu!
Maria! libera nos ah his tentationibus , orat, implorat, R. B.
Peccator" A Farewell to Tobacco. From " The Reflector."
Leigh Hunt lamented the suppression of his favourite couplet :
" Still the phrase is wide an acre,
To take leave of thee Tobacco ! "
" There was a royal disdain of the rhyme in it," he says.

Ballad. — Thekla's song in " Wallenstein," and adopted by Coleridge
for his Translation.

" Going or Gone." — From Hone's " Everyday Book." There were
some verses with some singular family allusions, which Lamb after-
wards suppressed.

Had he mended in right time.

He need not in night time

(That black hour and fright time),

Till sexton interred him —
Have groaned in his coffin.
While demons stood scoffing —
You'd ha' heard him a coughing —

My own father^ heard him^

* Who sat up with him. ' I have this from parental tradition.

XOTES. . 469

Could gain so importune.
With occasion unfortune.
Of a poor fortune

That should have been ours.
In soul he should venture
To pierce the dim centre.
Where will-forgers enter.

Amid the dark powers.

The Christening. — " Written," says Mr. W. C. Hazlitt, " to cele-
brate the christening of the child of Mr. and Mrs. May, on March
25th, 1829." Mrs. May had been Miss Gisburne, and had kept a
young ladies' school. " She is Going." The same three ladies described
in the " three friends."

Prologues, &c., p. 417. — ^The footnotes are Lamb's own comments
on his production.

"To Sir J. Mackintosh" (p. 425). — ^This "squib" caused the
extinction of the Albion newspaper. See Vol. IV., p. 86.

"The Three Graves." — Originally headed, "Written during the
time, now happily forgotten, of the spy system."

Most of these epigrams appeared in the Champion, and were thus
signed, " R. et R." What this stands for it is hard to divine, unless
for " Romulus et Remus." " The Ape," "Louisa" Martin. See also
p. 409. To Sara and her Samuel, addressed to Coleridge and his

The collection of Letters, Essays, Plays, and Verses, noiu presented
to the Reader, may be takeji to form an almost complete collection of

Online LibraryCharles LambThe life, letters, and writings of Charles Lamb (Volume 6) → online text (page 26 of 29)