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TO MR. GILMAN.
passport to take off the sneers of the native more tender animals, as rabbits and pigeons Enfielders against obnoxious foreigners. We nurtured in their garrets or cellars; or culare endenizened. Thus much of T. W- tivating some stunted plants with an intuitive have I thought fit to acquaint you, that you love of nature, unfed by any knowledge of may see the exemplary reliance upon Provi- verdure beyond Hoxton ; their painful indence with which I entrusted so dear a dustry, their uneducated morals, their eager charge as my own sister to the guidance of snatches of pleasure from the only quickening the man that rode the mad horse into of their intellect, by liquors which make glad Devizes. To come from his heroic character, the heart of man ; he would scarcely have all the amiable qualities of domestic life refused the offered retainer for them. concentre in this tamed Bellerophon. He is excellent over a glass of grog; just as pleasant without it ; laughs when he hears a
“March 8th, 1830. joke, and when (which is much oftener) he “My dear G.,—Your friend B
(for I hears it uot ; sings glorious old sea songs on knew him immediately by the smooth festival nights; and but upon a slight satinity of his style) must excuse me for acquaintance of two years, Coleridge, is as advocating the cause of his friends in Spitaldear a deaf old man to us, as old Norris, rest fields. The fact is, I am retained by the his soul! was after fifty. To him and his Norwich people, and have already appeared scanty literature (what there is of it, sound) in their paper under the signatures of 'Lucius have we flown from the metropolis and its Sergius,''Bluff,' 'Broad-Cloth,''No-Trade-tocursed annualists, reviewers, authors, and the the-Woollen-Trade,' 'Anti-plush,' &c., in
whole muddy ink press of that stagnant defence of druggets and long camblets. And | pool.
without this pre-engagement, I feel I should “Now, Gilman again, you do not know the naturally have chosen a side opposite treasure of the Fullers. I calculate on to for in the silken seemingness of having massy reading till Christmas. All I his nature there is that which offends me. want here, is books of the true sort, not My flesh tingles at such caterpillars. He those things in boards that moderns mistake shall not crawl me over. Let him and his for books, what they club for at book clubs. workmen sing the old burthen, “I did not mean to cheat you with a blank
* Heigh ho, ye weavers !' side, but my eye smarts, for which I am taking medicine, and abstain, this day at least, for any aid I shall offer them in this from any aliments but milk-porridge, the emergency. I was over Saint Luke's the
innocent taste of which I am anxious to other day with my friend Tuthill, and |
renew after a half-century's disacquaintance. mightily pleased with one of his contrivances If a blot fall here like a tear, it is not pathos, for the comfort and amelioration of the but an angry eye.
students. They have double cells, in which “Farewell, while my specilla are sound. a pair may lie feet to feet horizontally, and “ Yours and yours,
C. LAMB." chat the time away as rationally as they can.
It must certainly be more sociable for them
these warm raving nights. The right-hand The next letter to Coleridge's excellent truckle in one of these friendly recesses, at host, is a reply to a request from an impor- present vacant, was preparing, I understood, tunate friend of his correspondent, that he for Mr. Irving. Poor fellow ! it is time he
would write something on behalf of the removed from Pentonville. I followed him | Spitalfields' weavers. Alien as such a task as far as to Highbury the other day, with a
would have been to his habits of thought or mob at his heels, calling out upon Ermigiddon, composition, if Lamb had been acquainted who I suppose is some Scotch moderator. with that singular race, living in their high, He squinted out his favourite eye last Friday, narrow, over-peopled houses, in the thickest in the fury of possession, upon a poor woman's part of London, yet almost apart from the shoulders that was crying matches, and has great throng of its dwellers ; indulging their not missed it. The companion truck, as far straitened sympathies in the fostering of the as I could measure it with my eye, would
conveniently fit a person about the length of on the spring coming in, and do you in Coleridge, allowing for a reasonable drawing return condole with me on the winter going up of the feet, not at all painful. Does he out. When the old one goes, seldom comes talk of moving this quarter? You and I a better. I dread the prospect of summer, have too much sense to trouble ourselves with with his all-day-long days. No need of his revelations; marry, to the same in Greek, assistance to make country places dull. you may have something professionally to With fire and candle-light, I can dream say. Tell C. that he was to come and see us myself in Holborn. With lightsome skies some fine day. Let it be before he moves, shining in to bed-time I cannot. This for in his new quarters he will necessarily Meschek, and these tents of Kedar—I would be confined in his conversation to his brother dwell in the skirts of Jericho rather, and prophet. Conceive the two Rabbis foot to think every blast of the coming in mail a foot, for there are no Gamaliels there to ram's horn. Give me old London at fire affect a humbler posture ! All are masters and plague times, rather than these tepid in that Patmos, where the law is perfect gales, healthy country air, and purposeless equality ; Latmos, I should rather say, for exercise. they will be Luna's twin darlings; her “Leg of mutton absolutely on the table. affection will be ever at the full. Well ; keep “Take our hasty loves and short farewell. your brains moist with gooseberry this mad
“ C. L.” March, for the devil of exposition seeketh dry places.
Lanıb's kindness to Hone was not confined
to his contributions to the “Every-day Book,” Here is a brief reply to the questioning of and the “ Table Book.” Those pleasant and Lamb's true-hearted correspondent, Barton, blameless works had failed to supply an who doubted of the personal verity of Lamb's adequate income for a numerous family, and “ Joseph Paice,” the most polite of merchants. Lamb was desirous of interesting his influenThis friend's personal acquaintance with tial friends in a new project of Hone's, to Lamb had not been frequent enough to teach establish himself in a coffee-house conducted him, that if Lamb could innocently “lie in a superior style. With this view, he wrote like truth,” he made up for this freedom, by to Southey, who, nobly forgetting Hone's old sometimes making truth look like a lie. His heresies in politics or parodies, had made a account of Mr. Paice's politeness, could be genial reference to his late work in his “Life attested to the letter by living witnesses. of Bunyan.”
TO BERNARD BARTON.
TO MR. SOUTHEY. “Dear B. B.,-To reply to you by return
“May 10th, 1830. of post, I must gobble up my dinner, and “Dear Southey,-My friend Hone, whom despatch this in propriâ personâ to the office, you would like for a friend, I found deeply to be in time. So take it from me hastily, impressed with your generous notice of him that you are perfectly welcome to furnish in your beautiful 'Life of Bunyan,' which I A. C. with the scrap, which I had almost am just now full of. He has written to you forgotten writing. The more my character for leave to publish a certain good-natured comes to be known, the less my veracity will letter. I write not this to enforce his request, come to be suspected. Time every day clears for we are fully aware that the refusal of up some suspected narrative of Herodotus, such publication would be quite consistent Bruce, and others of us great travellers. with all that is good in your character. Why, that Joseph Paice was as real a person Neither he nor I expect it from you, nor as Joseph Hume, and a great deal pleasanter. exact it ; but if you would consent to it, you A careful observer of life, Bernard, has no would have me obliged by it, as well as him. need to invent. Nature romances it for him. He is just now in a critical situation : kind Dinner plates rattle, and I positively shall friends have opened a coffee-house for him in incur indigestion by carrying it half concocted the City, but their means have not extended to the post-house. Let me congratulate you to the purchase of coffee-pots, credit for
TO MR. DYER.
Reviews, newspapers, and other parapher
A rural conflagration at this time kindled nalia. So I am sitting in the skeleton of a the noblest range of Lamb's thoughts, which possible divan. What right I have to he expressed in the following letter. The interfere, you best know. Look on me as light he flashes on the strange power exerted a dog who went once temporarily insane, by the half-witted incendiary shows in it and bit you, and now begs for a crust. Will something of a fearful grandeur. It is you set your wits to a dog ?
addressed “Our object is to open a subscription, which my friends of the are most willing to forward for him, but think that a
“ Dec. 20th, 1830. leave from you to publish would aid it. “Dear Dyer, I should have written before
“But not an atom of respect or kindness to thank you for your kind letter, written will or shall it abate in either of us, if you with your own hand. It glads us to see your decline it. Have this strongly in your mind. writing. It will give you pleasure to hear
“Those 'Every-day' and 'Table' Books that after so much illness we are in tolerable will be a treasure a hundred years hence, but health and spirits once more. Poor Enfield, they have failed to make Hone's fortune.
that has been so peaceable hitherto, has "Here his wife and all his children are caught the inflammatory fever ; the tokens about me, gaping for coffee customers; but are upon her; and a great fire was blazing how should they come in, seeing no pot last night in the barns and haystacks of a boiling!
farmer, about half a mile from us. Where “Enough of Hone. I saw Coleridge a day will these things end? There is no doubt of or two since.
He has had some severe its being the work of some ill-disposed rustic, attack, not paralytic ; but, if I had not heard but how is he to be discovered ? They go to of it, I should not have found it out. He work in the dark with strange chemical looks, and especially speaks, strong. How
preparations, unknown to our forefathers. are all the Wordsworths, and all the There is not even a dark lantern, to have a Southeys, whom I am obliged to you if you chance of detecting these Guy Fauxes. We have not brought up haters of the name of
are past the iron age, and are got into the “ C. LAMB ? fiery age, undreamed of by Ovid.
lucky in Clifford's Inn, where I think you “P.S.—I have gone lately into the acrostic have few ricks or stacks worth the burning. line. I find genius (such as I had) declines Pray, keep as little corn by you as you can with me, but I get clever. Do you know for fear of the worst. It was never good anybody that wants charades, or such things, times in England since the poor began to for Albums? I do 'em at so much a sheet. speculate upon their condition. Formerly Perhaps an epigram (not a very happy-gram) they jogged on with as little reflection as I did for a school-boy yesterday may amuse.
horses. The whistling ploughman went I pray Jove he may not get a flogging for any cheek by jowl with his brother that neighed. false quantity ; but 'tis, with one exception, Now the biped carries a box of phosphorus in the only Latin verses I have made for forty his leather breeches, and in the dead of night years, and I did it 'to order.'
the half-illuminated beast steals his magic
potion into a cleft in a barn, and half the CUIQUE SUUM.
country is grinning with new fires. Farmer Adsciscit sibi divitias et opes alienas
Graystock said something to the touchy Fur, rapiens, spolians, quod mihi, quod-que tibi, rustic, that he did not relish, and he writes Proprium erat, temnens hæc verba, meum - que,
his distaste in flames. What a power to tuum-que Omne suum est: tandem Cui-que Suum tribuit. intoxicate his crude brains, just muddlingly Dat resti collum ; restes, vah! carnifici dat; awake to perceive that something is wrong Sese Diabolo, sic bene; Cuique Suum.
in the social system, -what a hellish faculty “I write from Hone's, therefore Mary above gunpowder! Now the rich and poor cannot send her love to Mrs. Southey, but are fairly pitted. We shall see who can hang I do.
or burn fastest. It is not always revenge C. L." that stimulates these kindlings. There is a
“ Yours ever,
love of exerting mischief! Think of a dis- stead, he put an unfortunate question to me, respected clod, that was trod into earth; that as to the “probability of its turning out a was nothing; on a sudden by damned arts good turnip season,' and when I, who am refined into an exterminating angel, devour- still less of an agriculturist than a steam ing the fruits of the earth, and their growers, philosopher, not knowing a turnip from a in a mass of fire ; what a new existence ! potato ground, innocently made answer, that What a temptation above Lucifer's! Would 'I believed it depended very much upon clod be anything but a clod, if he could resist boiled legs of mutton,' my unlucky reply set it? Why, here was a spectacle last night Miss Isola a laughing to a degree that for a whole country, a bonfire visible to disturbed her tranquillity for the only London, alarming her guilty towers, and moment in our journey. I am afraid my shaking the Monument with an ague fit, all credit sank very low with my other fellowdone by a little vial of phosphor in a clown's traveller, who had thought he had met with fob. How he must grin, and shake his empty a well-informed passenger, which is an noddle in clouds! The Vulcanian epicure! accident so desirable in a stage-coach. We Alas! can we ring the bells backward ? Can were rather less communicative, but still we unlearn the arts that pretend to civilise, friendly, the rest of the way.” and then burn the world? There is a march of science ; but who shall beat the drums for its retreat ? Who shall persuade the boor To the same lady, having sent him an that phosphor will not ignite ? Seven goodly acrostic on his sister's name, he replied with stacks of hay, with corn-barns proportionable, a letter which contained one on hers, and the lie smoking ashes and chaff, which man and following notice of his own talent in the beast would sputter out and reject like those acrostic line. apples of asphaltes and bitumen. The food for the inhabitants of earth will quickly “Dear Madam,–I do assure you that your disappear. Hot rolls may say, “Fuimus verses gratified me very much, and my sister panes, fuit quartern-loaf, et ingens gloria is quite proud of them. For the first time in apple-pasty-orum. That the good old my life I congratulated: myself upon the munching system may last thy time and shortness and meanness of my name. Had mine, good un-incendiary George ! is the it been Schwartzenberg or Esterhazy, it devout prayer of thine,
would have put you to some puzzle. I am “ To the last crust,
afraid I shall sicken you of acrostics, but this last was written to order. I beg you to have inserted in your county paper, some
"To the In 1830, Lamb took a journey to Bury thing like this advertisement. St. Edmund's, to fetch Miss Isola to her nobility, gentry, and others, about Bury.adopted home, from a visit which had been C. Lamb respectfully informs his friends and broken by her illness. It was on his return the public in general, that he is leaving off that Lamb's repartee to the query of the business in the acrostic line, as he is going
Rebuses and statistical gentleman as to the prospects of into an entirely new line. the turnip crop, which has been repeatedly charades done as usual, and upon the old published, was made. The following is his terms. Also, epitaphs to suit the memory of own version of it, contained in a letter any person deceased.' addressed to Miss Isola's hostess, on their
“I thought I had adroitly escaped the arrival.
rather unpliable name of 'Williams,' curtail
ing your poor daughters to their proper “A rather talkative gentleman, but very surnames, but it seems you would not let me civil, engaged me in a discourse for full off so easily. If these trifles amuse you, I am twenty miles, on the probable advantages of paid. Though really 'tis an operation too steam carriages, which, being merely pro- much like—' A, apple-pie; B, bit it.' To blematical, I bore my part in with some make amends, I request leave to lend you credit, in spite of my totally un-engineer-like the Excursion,' and to recommend, in partifaculties. But when, somewhere about Stan- cular, the Churchyard Stories ;' in the
LAMB'S LAST LETTERS AND DEATH.
seventh book, I think. They will strengthen afterwards, when he felt the want of those the tone of your mind after its weak diet on essays which he had used periodically to acrostics."
look for with eagerness in the magazines and reviews which they alone made tolerable to
him ; and when he realised the dismal In 1830, a small volume of gleanings of some years, during which Lamb that rich discourse of old poets and painters
certainty that he should never again enjoy had devoted himself to prose, under his name with which so many a long winter's night of “ Elia,” was published by Mr. Moxon, had been gladdened, or taste life with an under the title of “Album Verses,” and additional relish in the keen sense of enjoywhich Lamb, in token of his strong regard, ment which endeared it to his companion. dedicated to the Publisher. An unfavourable review of them in the Literary Gazette produced 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. The
CHAPTER XVIII. residue, being more severe on Lamb's critics
(1830 to 1834.] than Lamb himself would have wished, may now be spared.
AFTER the year 1830, Lamb's verses and Charles Lamb, to those who know thee justly dear For rarest genius, and for sterling worth,
essays were chiefly given to his friends ; the Unchanging friendship, warmth of heart sincere, former consisting of album contributions, the And wit that never gave an ill thought birth, latter of little essences of observation and Nor ever in its sport infix'd a sting ; To us who have admired and loved thee long, criticism. Mr. Moxon, having established a It is a proud as well as pleasant thing
new magazine, called the “Englishman's To hear thy good report, now borne along Upon the honest breath of public praise :
Magazine,” induced him to write a series of We know that with the elder sons of song,
papers, some of which were not inferior to In honouring whom thou hast delighted still,
his happiest essays. At this time, his old Thy name shall keep its course to after days.
and excellent friend, Dyer, was much annoyed This year closed upon the grave of Hazlitt. by some of his witticisms,—which, in truth, Lamb visited him frequently during his last were only Lamb's modes of expressing his illness, and attended his funeral. They had deep-seated regard ; and at the quotation of taken great delight in each other's conversa- a couplet in one of his early poems, which he tion for many years; and though the indif- had suppressed as liable to be misconstrued ference of Lamb to the objects of Hazlitt's by Mr. Rogers. Mr. Barker had unfortupassionate love or hatred, as a politician, at nately met with the unexpurgated edition one time produced a coolness, the warmth of which contained this dubious couplet, and in the defence of Hazlitt in “ Elia's Letter to his “Memorials of Dr. Parr” quoted the Southey” renewed the old regard of the passage ; which, to Mr. Dyer's delicate feelphilosopher, and set all to rights. Hazlitt, ings,* conveyed the apprehension that Mr. in his turn, as an Edinburgh Reviewer, had Rogers would treat the suppression as opportunities which he delighted to use, of alluding to Lamb's Specimens and Essays,
* Mr. Dyer also complained to Mr. Lamb of some and making him amends for the severity of suggestions in Elia, which annoyed him, not so much ancient criticism, which the editor, who could for his own sake as for the sake of others, who, in the
delicacy of his apprehensiveness, he thought might feel well afford the genial inconsistency, was too aggrieved by imputations which were certainly not ingenerous to exclude. The conduct, indeed, tended, and which they did not deserve. One passage in of that distinguished person to Hazlitt, espe-schoolmasters, under whom he had been a teacher in his
Elia, hinting that he had been hardly dealt with by cially in his last illness, won Lamb's admira- younger days, hurt him ; as, in fact, he was treated by tion, and wholly effaced the recollection of them with the most considerate generosity and
Another passage which he regarded as implying that he the time when, thirty years before, his play had been underpaid by booksellers also vexed him; as had been denied critical mercy under his rule. his labours have always been highly esteemed, and have, Hazlitt's death did not so much shock Lamb according to the rate of remuneration of learned men,
been well compensated by Mr. Valpy and others. The at the time, as it weighed down his spirits truth is that Lamb wrote from a vague recollection,