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TO MR. COLERIDGE.

you

that any great alteration is probable in Night is so bought over, that he can't be a me; sudden converts are superficial and very upright judge. May be the truth is, transitory; I only want you to believe that that one pipe is wholesome; two pipes toothI have stamina of seriousness within me, and some; three pipes noisome ; four pipes fulthat I desire nothing more than a return of some ; five pipes quarrelsome, and that's the that friendly intercourse which used to sum on't. But that is deciding rather upon subsist between us, but which my folly has rhyme than reason. After all, our insuspended.

be best. Wine, I am sure, good, “Believe me, very affectionately, yours, mellow, generous Port, can hurt nobody,

“C. LAMB." unless those who take it to excess, which

they may easily avoid if they observe the

rules of temperance. In 1803 Coleridge visited London, and at “ Bless you, old sophist, who next to his departure left the superintendence of a human nature taught me all the corruption new edition of his poems to Lamb. The fol- I was capable of knowing! And bless your lowing letter, written in reply to one of Montero cap, and your trail (which shall Coleridge's, giving a mournful account of his come after you whenever you appoint), and journey to the north with an old man and your wife and children-Pipos especially. his influenza, refers to a splendid smoking- “When shall we two smoke again ? Last cap which Coleridge had worn at their even- night I had been in a sad quandary of spirits, ing meetings

in what they call the evening, but a pipe, and some generous Port, and King Lear

(being alone), had their effects as solacers.

“ April 13th, 1803. I went to bed pot-valiant. By the way, may “My dear Coleridge,—Things have gone not the Ogles of Somersetshire be remotely on better with me since you left me. I descended from King Lear. C. L." expect to have my old housekeeper home again in a week or two. She has mended most rapidly. My health too has been better The next letter is prefaced by happy since you took away that Montero cap. I news. have left off cayenned eggs and such bolsters to discomfort. There was death in that cap. I mischievously wished that by some inau- “Mary sends love from home. spicious jolt the whole contents might be shaken, and the coach set on fire;

“Dear C., I do confess that I have not said they had that property. How the old sent your books as I ought to have done ; gentleman, who joined you at Grantham, but you know how the human free-will is would have clapt his hands to his knees, and tethered, and that we perform promises to not knowing but it was an immediate visita- ourselves no better than to our friends. A tion of heaven that burnt him, how pious it watch is come for you. Do you want it soon, would have made him ; him, I mean, that or shall I wait till some one travels your brought the influenza with him, and only way? You, like me, I suppose, reckon the

took places for one-an old sinner; he must lapse of time from the waste thereof, as boys I have known what he had got with himn ! let a cock run to waste ; too idle to stop it,

However, I wish the cap no harm for the and rather amused with seeing it dribble. sake of the head it fits, and could be content Your poems have begun printing ; Longman to see it disfigure my healthy side-board sent to me to arrange them, the old and the again.

new together. It seems you have left it to “What do you think of smoking ? I want him ; so I classed them, as nearly as I could, your sober, average, noon opinion of it. I according to dates. First, after the Dedicagenerally am eating my dinner about the tion, (which must march first,) and which I time I should determine it.

have transplanted from before the Preface, “ Morning is a girl, and can't smoke, (which stood like a dead wall of prose beche's no evidence one way or the other; and tween,) to be the first poem—then comes “The

TO MR. COLERIDGE.

1803.

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Pixies,' and the things most juvenile—then really, a wonderful man. He mixes public on ‘To Chatterton,' &c.—on, lastly, to the and private business, the intricacies of dis'Ode on the Departing Year,’and ‘Musings,' ordering life with his religion and devotion. —which finish. Longman wanted the Ode No one more rationally enjoys the romantic first, but the arrangement I have made is scenes of nature, and the chit-chat and little precisely that marked out in the Dedication, vagaries of his children ; and, though surfollowing the order of time. I told Long-rounded with an ocean of affairs, the very man I was sure that you would omit a good neatness of his most obscure cupboard in the portion of the first edition. I instanced house passes not unnoticed. I never knew several sonnets, &c.—but that was not his any one view with such clearness, nor so plan, and, as you have done nothing in it, all well satisfied with things as they are, and I could do was to arrange 'em on the sup- make such allowance for things which must position that all were to be retained. A few appear perfect Syriac to him.' By the last I positively rejected ; such as that of "The he means the Lloydisms of the younger Thimble,' and that of Flicker and Flicker's branches. His portrait of Charles (exact as wife,' and that not in the manner of Spenser, far as he has had opportunities of noting which you yourself had stigmatised—and him) is most exquisite. “Charles is become • The Man of Ross,' — I doubt whether I steady as a church, and as straightforward should this last. It is not too late to save it. as a Roman Road. It would distract him to The first proof is only just come. I have mention anything that was not as plain as been forced to call that Cupid's Elixir, sense ; he seems to have run the whole 'Kisses.' It stands in your first volume, as scenery of life, and now rests as the formal an Effusion, so that, instead of prefixing precisian of non-existence. Here is genius The Kiss to that of‘One Kiss, dear Maid,' I think, and 'tis seldom a young man, a &c., I have ventured to entitle it ‘To Sara.' Lloyd, looks at a father (so differing) with I am aware of the nicety of changing even such good nature while he is alive. Writeso mere a trifle as a title to so short a piece, “ I am in post-haste, C. LAMB. and subverting oid associations ; but two

“Love, &c., to Sara, P. and H.” called “Kisses' would have been absolutely ludicrous, and ‘Effusion' is no name, and these poems come close together. I promise you not to alter one word in any poem what- The next letter, containing a further acever, but to take your last text, where two count of Lamb's superintendence of the new

Can you send any wishes about the edition, bears the date of Saturday, 27th May, book ? Longman, I think, should have 1803. settled with

you; but it seems you have left it to him. Write as soon as you possibly can; for, without making myself responsible, “My dear Coleridge,—The date of my I feel myself, in some sort, accessary to the last was one day prior to the receipt of your selection, which I am to proof-correct; but I letter, full of foul omens. I explain, lest you decidedly said to Biggs that I was sure you should have thought mine too light a reply would omit more. Those I have positively to such sad matter. I seriously hope by this rubbed off, I can swear to individually, time you have given up all thoughts of jour(except the ‘Man of Ross, which is too neying to the green Islands of the Blest, familiar in Pope,) but no others--you have voyages in time of war are very precarious your cue. For my part, I had rather all the —or at least, that you will take them in your Juvenilia were kept—memoriæ causâ. way to the Azores. Pray be careful of this

“Robert Lloyd has written me a masterly letter till it has done its duty, for it is to inletter, containing a character of his father ; form you that I have booked off your

watch -see how different from Charles he views (laid in cotton like an untimely fruit), the old man ! (Literatim.) “My father and with it Condillac, and all other books smokes, repeats Homer in Greek, and Virgil, of yours which were left here. These will and is learning, when from business, with all set out on Monday next, the 29th May, the vigour of a young man, Italian. He is, by Kendal waggon, from White Horse,

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TO MR. COLERIDGE.

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TO MR. WORDSWORTH,

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| Cripplegate. You will make seasonable in- of Spenser' to be restored on Wordsworth's

quiries, for a watch mayn't come your way authority; and now, all that you will miss again in a hurry. I have been repeatedly will be · Flicker and Flicker's Wife,'" The after Tobin, and now hear that he is in the Thimble,' 'Breathe, dear harmonist,' and I country, not to return till middle of June. believe, "The Child that was fed with Manna.' I will take care and see him with the earliest. Another volume will clear off all your But cannot you write pathetically to him, Anthologic Morning-Postian Epistolary enforcing a speedy mission of your books for Miscellanies; but pray don't put 'Christabel' literary purposes ? He is too good a retainer therein; don't let that sweet maid come to Literature, to let her interests suffer forth attended with Lady Holland's mob at through his default. And why, in the name her heels. Let there be a separate volume of of Beelzebub, are your books to travel from Tales, Choice Tales, “Ancient Mariners,' &c. Barnard's Inn to the Temple, and thence

“ C. LAMB." circuitously to Cripplegate, when their business is to take a short cut down Holbornhill, up Snow do., on to Wood-street, &c. ? The following is the fragment of a letter The former mode seems a sad superstitious (part being lost), on the re-appearance of subdivision of labour. Well ! the ‘Man of the Lyrical Ballads, in two volumes, and Ross' is to stand ; Longman begs for it ; the addressed

; printer stands with a wet sheet in one hand, and a useless Pica in the other, in tears, pleading for it ; I relent. Besides, it was a “Thanks for your letter and present. I Salutation poem, and has the mark of the had already borrowed your second volume. beast. Tobacco 'upon it. Thus much I have What most please me are, “The Song of done ; I have swept off the lines about Lucy;' Simon's sickly daughter, in "The widows and orphans in second edition, which Sexton' made me cry. Next to these are (if you remember) you most awkwardly and the description of the continuous echoes in illogically caused to be inserted between two the story of 'Joanna's Laugh, where the Ifs, to the great breach and disunion of said mountains, and all the scenery absolutely Ifs, which now meet again (as in first seem alive ; and that fine Shakspearian edition), like two clever lawyers arguing a character of the “happy man,' in the

Another reason for subtracting the Brothers, pathos was, that the ‘ Man of Ross' is too

that creeps about the fields, familiar, to need telling what he did, espe

Following his fancies by the hour, to bring cially in worse lines than Pope told it, and it Tears down his cheek, or solitary smiles now stands simply as ' Reflections at an Inn

Into his face, until the setting sun

Write Fool upon his forehead !! about a known Character,' and sucking an old story into an accommodation with pre- I will mention one more—the delicate and

sent feelings. Here is no breaking spears curious feeling in the wish for the | with Pope, but a new, independent, and 'Cumberland Beggar,' that he may have

really a very pretty poem. In fact ’tis as I about him the melody of birds, altho' he used to admire it in the first volume, and I hear them not. Here the mind knowingly have even dared to restore

passes a fiction upon herself, first substituting If 'neath this roof thy wine-cheer'd moments pass,'

her own feelings for the Beggar's, and in the for

same breath detecting the fallacy, will not

part with the wish. The 'Poet's Epitaph' Beneath this roof if thy cheer'd moments pass.'

is disfigured, to my taste, by the common "Cheer'd' is a sad general word, 'wine-cheer'd' satire upon parsons and lawyers in the I'm sure you'd give me, if I had a speaking- beginning, and the coarse epithet of ‘pintrumpet to sound to you 300 miles. But I point,' in the sixth stanza. All the rest is am your factotum, and that save in this eminently good, and your own. I will just

instance, which is a single case, and I can't add that it appears to me a fault in the | get at you, shall be next to a fac-nihilat “Beggar,' that the instructions conveyed in

most, a fuc-simile. I have ordered 'Imitation it are too direct, and like a lecture: they

case.

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don't slide into the mind of the reader while remarks, because I am hurt and vexed that he is imagining no such matter. An intelli- you should think it necessary, with a prose gent reader finds a sort of insult in being apology, to open the eyes of dead men that told, ‘I will teach you how to think upon cannot see. this subject.' This fault, if I am right, is “To sum up a general opinion of the second in a ten-thousandth worse degree to be found volume, I do not feel any one poem in it so in Sterne, and many many novelists and forcibly as the 'Ancient Marinere,' the ‘Mad modern poets, who continually put a sign- Mother,' and the 'Lines at Tintern Abbey' post up to show where you are to feel. They in the first.” set out with assuming their readers to be stupid; very different from ‘Robinson Crusoe,' 'The Vicar of Wakefield,''Roderick The following letter was addressed, on Random,' and other beautiful, bare narratives. 28th September, 1805, when Lamb was There is implied an unwritten compact bidding his generous farewell to Tobacco, to between author and reader ; "I will tell you Wordsworth, then living in noble poverty a story, and I suppose you will understand with his sister in a cottage by Grasmere

, it. Modern novels, “St. Leons' and the which is as sacred to some of his old admirers like, are full of such flowers as these—'Let as even Shakspeare's House. not my reader suppose,' 'Imagine, if you can, modest!' &c. I will here have done with

TO MR. WORDSWORTH. praise and blame. I have written so much, “My dear Wordsworth (or Dorothy rather, only that you may not think I have passed for to you appertains the biggest part of this over your book without observation. . . answer by right), I will not again deserve I am sorry that Coleridge has christened his reproach by so long a silence. I have kept 'Ancient Marinere' 'a Poet's Reverie ;' it is deluding myself with the idea that Mary as bad as Bottom the Weaver's declaration would write to you, but she is so lazy (or I that he is not a lion, but only the scenical believe the true state of the case, so diffident), representation of a lion. What new idea is that it must revert to me as usual: though gained by this title but one subversive of all she writes a pretty good style, and has some credit—which the tale should force upon us, notion of the force of words, she is not always -of its truth!

so certain of the true orthography of them; For me, I was never so affected with any and that, and a poor handwriting (in this human tale. After first reading it, I was age of female calligraphy), often deters her, totally possessed with it for many days. I where no other reason does. * dislike all the miraculous part of it, but the “ We have neither of us been very well feelings of the man under the operation of for some weeks past. I am very nervous, such scenery, dragged me along like Tom and she most so at those times when I am ; Pipes's magic whistle. I totally differ from so that a merry friend, adverting to the your idea that the ‘Marinere should have noble consolation we were able to afford each had a character and profession. This is a other, denominated us, not unaptly, Gumbeauty in ‘Gulliver's Travels,' where the mind Boil and Tooth-Ache, for they used to say is kept in a placid state of little wonder- that a gum-boil is a great relief to a toothments; but the 'Ancient Marinere' under- ache. goes such trials as overwhelm and bury all “We have been two tiny excursions this individuality or memory of what he was— summer for three or four days each, to a like the state of a man in a bad dream, one place near Harrow, and to Egham, where terrible peculiarity of which is, that all Cooper's Hill is: and that is the total history consciousness of personality is gone. Your of our rustications this year. Alas! how other observation is, I think as well, a little poor a round to Skiddaw and Helvellyn, and unfounded : the 'Marinere,' from being con- Borrowdale, and the magnificent sesquipeversant in supernatural events, has acquired dalia of the year 1802. Poor old Molly ! to a supernatural and strange cast of phrase, have lost her pride, that “last infirmity of eye, appearance, &c., which frighten the

* This is mere banter; Miss Lamb wrote a very good . wedding-guest.' You will

excuse my hand.

TO MR. HAZLITT.

noble minds,'' and her cow. Fate need not scarcely conscious of his own literary powers, have set her wits to such an old Molly. I was striving hard to become a painter. At am heartily sorry for her. Remember us the period of the following letter (which is lovingly to her; and in particular remember dated 15th March, 1806) Hazlitt was residing us to Mrs. Clarkson in the most kind manner. with his father, an Unitarian minister, at

“I hope, by 'southwards, you mean that Wem. she will be at or near London, for she is a great favourite of both of us, and we feel for her health as much as possible for any one “Dear H.—Iam a little surprisedat no letter to do. She is one of the friendliest, com- from you. This day week, to wit, Saturday, fortablest women we know, and made our the 8th of March, 1806, I book'd off by the little stay at your cottage one of the Wem coach, Bull and Mouth Inn, directed pleasantest times we ever past. We were to you, at the Rev. Mr. Hazlitt's, Wem, quite strangers to her. Mr. C. is with you Shropshire, a parcel containing, besides a too; our kindest separate remembrances to book, &c., a rare print, which I take to be a him. As to our special affairs, I am looking Titian ; begging the said W. H. to acknowabout me.

I have done nothing since the ledge the receipt thereof; which he not beginning of last year, when I lost my having done, I conclude the said parcel to be newspaper job, and having had a long idle- lying at the inn, and

may be lost ; for which ness, I must do something, or we shall get reason, lest you may be a Wales-hunting at very poor. Sometimes I think of a farce, this instant, I have authorised any of your but hitherto all schemes have gone off ; an family, whosoever first gets this, to open it, idle brag or two of an evening, vapouring that so precious a parcel may not moulder out of a pipe, and going off in the morning; away for want of looking after. What do but now I have bid farewell to my 'sweet you in Shropshire when so many fine pictures enemy,' Tobacco, as you will see in my next are a-going a-going every day in London ? page,* I shall perhaps set nobly to work. Monday I visit the Marquis of Lansdowne's, Hang work!

in Berkeley Square. Catalogue 28. 6d. “I wish that all the year were holiday; I Leonardos in plenty. Some other day this am sure that indolence-indefeasible indo-week, I go to see Sir Wm. Young's, in lence is the true state of man, and business Stratford Place. Hulse's, of Blackheath, are the invention of the old Teazer, whose inter- also to be sold this month, and in May, the ference doomed Adam to an apron and set first private collection in Europe, Welbore him a hoeing. Pen and ink, and clerks and Ellis Agar's. And there are you perverting desks, were the refinements of this old Nature in lying landscapes, filched from old torturer some thousand years after, under rusty Titians, such as I can scrape up here pretence of Commerce allying distant shores, to send you, with an additament from ShropPromoting and diffusing knowledge, good,' shire nature thrown in to make the whole &c. &c. Yours truly,

look unnatural. I am afraid of your mouth “ C. LAMB." watering when I tell you that Manning and I

got into Angerstein's on Wednesday. Mon

Dieu ! Such Claudes ! Four Claudes bought for more than 10,000l. (those who talk of

Wilson being equal to Claude are either CHAPTER V.

mainly ignorant or stupid); one of these was LETTERS TO HAZLITT, ETC.

perfectly miraculous. What colours short (1805 to 1810.)

of bonâ fide sunbeams it could be painted in, ABOUT the year 1805 Lamb was introduced I am not earthly colourman enough to say; to one, whose society through life was one of but I did not think it had been in the his chief pleasures the great critic and possibility of things. Then, a music-piece thinker, William Hazlitt—who, at that time, by Titian-a thousand-pound picture—five

figures standing behind a piano, the sixth The “ Farewell to Tobacco” was transcribed on the next page; but the actual sacrifice was not completed playing ; none of the heads, as M. observed,

indicating great men, or affecting it, but so

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