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TO MR. WORDSWORTH.
sweetly disposed; all leaning separate ways, The following is Lamb's account of the but so easy, like a flock of some divine same calamity, addressed shepherd; the colouring, like the economy of the picture, so sweet and harmonious—as good as Shakspeare's Twelfth Night,'
“Mary's love to all of you-I wouldn't almost, that is. It will give you a love of let her write. order, and cure you of restless, fidgetty passions for a week after-more musical “ Dear Wordsworth,—Mr. H.' came out than the music which it would, but cannot, last night, and failed. I had many fears ; yet in a manner does, show. I have no room the subject was not substantial enough. for the rest. Let me say, Angerstein sits in John Bull must have solider fare than a a room-his study (only that and the library letter. We are pretty stout about it ; have are shown), when he writes a common letter, had plenty of condoling friends ; but, after as I am doing, surrounded with twenty all, we had rather it should have succeeded. pictures worth 60,0001. What a luxury! You will see the prologue in most of Apicius and Heliogabalus, hide your dimi- the morning papers. It was received with nished heads !
such shouts as I never witnessed to a “Yours, my dear painter, prologue. It was attempted to be encored.
“ C. LAMB."
How hard !-a thing I did merely as a task, because it was wanted, and set no great
store by ; and ‘Mr. H.'!! The quantity of Hazlitt married Miss Sarah Stoddart, friends we had in the house-my brother sister of the present Sir John Stoddart, who and I being in public offices, &c.—was became very intimate with Lamb and his astonishing, but they yielded at last to a few sister. To her Lamb, on the 11th December, hisses. 1806, thus communicated the failure of “A hundred bisses ! (Hang the word, I “Mr. H.”
write it like kisses-how different !)—a hundred hisses outweigh a thousand claps.
The former come more directly from the “Don't mind this being a queer letter. I heart. Well, 'tis withdrawn, and there is am in haste, and taken up by visitors, an end. condolers, &c.
“ Better luck to us,
[Turn over.] “Dear Sarah, Mary is a little cut at the ill success of 'Mr. H.' which came out “P.S. Pray, when any of you write to the last night, and failed. I know you'll be Clarksons, give our kind loves, and say we sorry, but never mind. We are determined shall not be able to come and see them at not to be cast down. I am going to leave off Christmas, as I shall have but a day or two, tobacco, and then we must thrive. A and tell them we bear our mortification smoking man must write smoky farces. pretty well.”
“Mary is pretty well, but I persuaded her to let me write. We did not apprise you of the coming out of 'Mr. H.' for fear of ill About this time Miss Lamb sought to luck. You were much better out of the contribute to her brother's scanty income house. If it had taken, your partaking of by presenting the plots of some of Shaksour good luck would have been one of our peare's plays in prose, with the spirit of the greatest joys. As it is, we shall expect you poet's genius interfused, and many of his at the time you mentioned. But whenever happiest expressions preserved, in which you come you shall be most welcome. good work Lamb assisted her; though he “God bless you, dear Sarah,
always insisted, as he did in reference to “ Yours, most truly, C. L.
“Mrs. Leicester's School,” that her portions
were the best. The following letter refers to “Mary is by no means unwell, but I made some of those aids, and gives a pleasant her let me write."
instance of that shyness in Hazlitt, which he
TO MRS. HAZLITT.
God bless you.
never quite overcame, and which afforded fantastic letter, in the nature of a hoax, a striking contrast to the boldness of his having puzzled his father, who expected him published thoughts.
at Wem, caused some inquiries of Lamb respecting the painter's retreat, to which he thus replied in a letter to
TO MR. WORDSWORTH.
“Mary is just stuck fast in ‘All's Well
THE REV. MR. HAZLITT. that Ends Well.' She complains of having
Temple, 18th February, 1808. to set forth so many female characters in “Sir,-I am truly concerned that any boys' clothes. She begins to think Shaks- mistake of mine should have caused you peare must have wanted—Imagination. I, uneasiness, but I hope we have got a clue to to encourage her, for she often faints in the William's absence, which may clear up all prosecution of her great work, flatter her apprehensions. The people where he lodges with telling her how well such a play and in town have received direction from him to such a play is done. But she is stuck fast, forward some linen to a place called Winterand I have been obliged to promise to assist slow, in the county of Wilts (not far from her. To do this, it will be necessary to Salisbury), where the lady lives whose cottage, leave off tobacco. But I had some thoughts of pictured upon a card, if you opened my letter doing that before, for I sometimes think it does you have doubtless seen, and though we not agree with me. W. Hazlitt is in town. I have had no explanation of the mystery took him to see a very pretty girl, professedly, since, we shrewdly suspect that at the time where there were two young girls--the very of writing that letter which has given you head and sum of the girlery was two young all this trouble, a certain son of yours (who is girls—they neither laughed, nor sneered, both painter and author) was at her elbow, nor giggled, nor whispered—but they were and did assist in framing that very cartoon young girls—and he sat and frowned blacker which was sent to amuse and mislead us in and blacker, indignant that there should be town, as to the real place of his destination. such a thing as youth and beauty, till he “And some words at the back of the said tore me away before supper, in perfect cartoon, which we had not marked so misery, and owned he could not bear young narrowly before, by the similarity of the girls ; they drove him mad. So I took him handwriting to William's, do very much home to my old nurse, where he recovered confirm the suspicion. If our theory be perfect tranquillity. Independent of this, right, they have had the pleasure of their and as I am not a young girl myself, he is a jest, and I am afraid you have paid for it great acquisition to us. He is, rather in anxiety. imprudently I think, printing a political “But I hope your uneasiness will now be pamphlet on his own account, and will have removed, and you will pardon a suspense to pay for the paper, &c. The first duty of occasioned by Love, who does so many worse an author, I take it, is never to pay anything. mischiefs every day. But non cuivis contigit adire Corinthum. The “The letter to the people where William managers, I thank my stars, have settled lodges says, moreover, that he shall be in that question for me.
town in a fortnight. “ Yours truly,
“My sister joins in respects to you and Mrs. Hazlitt, and in our kindest remem
brances and wishes for the restoration of Hazlitt, coming to reside in town, became Peggy's health. a frequent guest of Lamb's, and a brilliant “I am, Sir, your humble servant, ornament of the parties which Lamb now
“ C. LAMB." began to collect on Wednesday evenings. He seems, in the beginning of 1808, to have sought solitude in a little inn on Salisbury Mr. and Mrs. Hazlitt afterwards took up Plain, to which he became deeply attached, their temporary abode at Winterslow, to and which he has associated with some of which place Miss Lamb addressed the his profoundest meditations; and some following letter, containing interesting details
TO MRS. HAZLITT.
of her own and her brother's life, and illus- During that walk a thought came into his trating her own gentle character :
mind, which he instantly sate down and improved upon till he brought it, in seven or
eight days, into the compass of a reasonable “ December 10th, 1808.
sized pamphlet. “My dear Sarah,-I hear of you from “ To propose a subscription to all wellyour brother, but you do not write yourself, disposed people to raise a certain sum of nor does Hazlitt. I beg that one or both money, to be expended in the care of a cheap of you will amend this fault as speedily as monument for the former and the future possible, for I am very anxious to hear of great dead men; the monument to be a your health. I hope, as you say nothing white cross, with a wooden slab at the end, about your fall to your brother, you are telling their names and qualifications. This perfectly recovered from the effects of it. wooden slab and white cross to be perpetuated
“ You cannot think how very much we to the end of time ; to survive the fall of miss you and H. of a Wednesday evening— empires, and the destruction of cities, by all the glory of the night, I may say, is at an means of a map, which, in case of an insurend. Phillips makes his jokes, and there is rection among the people, or any other cause no one to applaud him ; Rickman argues, by which a city or country may be destroyed, and there is no one to oppose
was to be carefully preserved; and then, “The worst miss of all to me is, that when when things got again into their usual order, we are in the dismals there is now no hope the white-cross-wooden-slab-makers were to of relief from any quarter whatsoever. go to work again and set the wooden slabs Hazlitt was most brilliant, most ornamental, in their former places. This, as nearly as as a Wednesday-man, but he was a more I can tell you, is the sum and substance of useful one on common days, when he dropt it; but it is written remarkably well—in in after a quarrel or a fit of the glooms. his very best manner – for the proposal The Sheffington is quite out now, my brother (which seems to me very like throwing salt having got merry with claret and Tom on a sparrow's tail to catch him) occupies Sheridan. This visit, and the occasion of it, but half a page, which is followed by very is a profound secret, and therefore I tell it to fine writing on the benefits he conjectures nobody but you and Mrs. Reynolds. Through would follow if it were done ; very excellent the medium of Wroughton, there came an thoughts on death, and our feelings concerninvitation and proposal from T. S., that C. L. ing dead friends, and the advantages an old should write some scenes in a speaking country has over a new one, even in the pantomime, the other parts of which Tom slender memorials we have of great men who now,
and his father formerly, have manu- once flourished. factured between them. So in the Christ- “ Charles is come home and wants his mas holidays my brother, and his two great dinner, and so the dead men must be no associates, we expect will be all three damned more thought of. Tell us how you go on, together ; this is, I mean if Charles's share, and how you like Winterslow and winter which is done and sent in, is accepted. evenings. Knowles has not yet got back
“I left this unfinished yesterday, in the again, but he is in better spirits. John hope that my brother would have done it for Hazlitt was here on Wednesday. Our love
His reason for refusing me was no to Hazlitt. exquisite reason,' for it was because he must
“ Yours, affectionately, write a letter to Manning in three or four
“ M. LAMB." weeks, and therefore ‘he could not be always “ Saturday.” writing letters,' he said. I wanted him to tell your husband about a great work which Godwin is going to publish to enlighten the To this letter Charles added the following world once more, and I shall not be able to postscript :make out what it is. He (Godwin) took his usual walk one evening, a fortnight since, to “ There came this morning a printed prothe end of Hatton Garden and back again. spectus from ‘S. T. Coleridge, Grasmere,' of
TO MR. COLERIDGE.
a weekly paper, to be called “The Friend ;' maid quite a stranger to me, and she has a a flaming prospectus. I have no time to give month or two's sad distraction to go through. the heads of it. To commence first Saturday What sad large pieces it cuts out of life ; in January. There came also notice of a out of her life, who is getting rather old; turkey from Mr. Clarkson, which I am more and we may not have many years to live sanguine in expecting the accomplishment together! I am weaker, and bear it worse of than I am of Coleridge's prophecy. than I ever did. But I hope we shall be
“ C. LAMB." comfortable by and bye. The rooms are
delicious, and the best look backwards into
Hare Court, where there is a pump always During the next year Lamb and his sister going. Just now it is dry. Hare Court produced their charming little book of trees come in at the window, so that it's like
Poetry for Children,” and removed from living in a garden. I try to persuade myself Mitre Court to those rooms in Inner Temple it is much pleasanter than Mitre Court; Lane,-most dear of all their abodes to the but, alas ! the household gods are slow to memory of their ancient friends—where first come in a new mansion. They are in their I knew them. The change produced its infancy to me; I do not feel them yet; no natural and sad effect on Miss Lamb, during hearth has blazed to them yet. How I hate whose absence Lamb addressed the following and dread new places ! various letter
“ I was very glad to see Wordsworth’s book advertised; I am to have it to-morrow lent
me, and if Wordsworth don't send me an
“ June 7th, 1809. order for one upon Longman, I will buy it. “ Dear Coleridge, -I congratulate you on It is greatly extolled and liked by all who the appearance of 'The Friend.' Your first have seen it. Let me hear from some of number promises well, and I have no you, for I am desolate. I shall have to send doubt the succeeding numbers will fulfil you, in a week or two, two volumes of the promise. I had a kind letter from you Juvenile Poetry, done by Mary and me some time since, which I have left unan- within the last six months, and that tale in swered. I am also obliged to you, I believe, prose which Wordsworth so much liked, for a review in the Annual, am I not? The which was published at Christmas, with nine Monthly Review sneers at me, and asks “if others, by us, and has reached a second edition. Comus is not good enough for Mr. Lamb ?' There's for you! We have almost worked because I have said no good serious dramas ourselves out of child's work, and I don't have been written since the death of Charles know what to do. Sometimes I think of a the First, except “Samson Agonistes ;' so drama, but I have no head for play-making ; because they do not know, or won't re- I can do the dialogue, and that's all. I am member, that Comus was written long before, quite aground for a plan, and I must do I am to be set down as an undervaluer of something for money. Not that I have Milton. 0, Coleridge ! do kill those reviews, immediate wants, but I have prospective or they will kill us; kill all we like! Be a
O money, money, how blindly thou friend to all else, but their foe. I have been hast been worshipped, and how stupidly turned out of my chambers in the Temple abused! Thou art health and liberty, and by a landlord who wanted them for himself, strength, and he that has thee may rattle but I have got other at No. 4, Inner Temple his pockets at the foul fiend ! Iane, far more commodious and
roomy. Nevertheless, do not understand by this I have two rooms on third floor and five that I have not quite enough for my occasions rooms above, with an inner staircase to for a year or two to come. While I think myself
, and all new painted, &c., and all for on it, Coleridge, I fetch'd away my books 301. a year! I came into them on Saturday which you had at the Courier Office, and week; and on Monday following, Mary was found all but a third volume of the old plays, taken ill with fatigue of moving, and affected, containing "The White Devil,’ Green’s ‘Tu I believe, by the novelty of the home she Quoque,' and the 'Honest Whore,' percould not sleep, and I am left alone with a haps the most valuable volume of them all
TO MR. COLERIDGE.
that I could not find. Pray, if you can, send my packet to you ?—by what conveyremember what you did with it, or where ance ?—by Longman, Short-man, or how? you took it out with you a walking perhaps ; Give my kindest remembrances to the send me word, for, to use the old plea, it Wordsworths. Tell him he must give me spoils a set. I found two other volumes a book. My kind love to Mrs. W. and to (you had three), the 'Arcadia,' and Daniel, Dorothy separately and conjointly. I wish enriched with manuscript notes. I wish you could all come and see me in my new every book I have were so noted. They have rooms. God bless you all.
C. L.” thoroughly converted me to relish Daniel, or to
say I relish him, for, after all, I believe I did relish him. You well call him sober- A journey into Wiltshire, to visit Hazlitt, minded. Your notes are excellent. Perhaps followed Miss Lamb's recovery, and produced you've forgot them. I have read a review the following letters :in the Quarterly, by Southey, on the Missionaries, which is most masterly. I only grudge it being there. It is quite beautiful. Do
“Monday, Oct. 30th, 1809. remember my Dodsley; and, pray, do write,
“Dear Coleridge,—I have but this moment or let some of you write. Clarkson tells me received your letter, dated the 9th instant, you are in a smoky house. Have you cured having just come off a journey from Wiltit ? It is hard to cure anything of smoking. shire, where I have been with Mary on a Our little poems are but humble, but they visit to Hazlitt. The journey has been of have no name.
You must read them, infinite service to her. We have had nothing remembering they were task-work; and but sunshiny days, and daily walks from perhaps you will admire the number of eight to twenty miles a-day; have seen subjects, all of children, picked out by an Wilton, Salisbury, Stonehenge, &c. Her old Bachelor and an old Maid. Many parents illness lasted but six weeks ; it left her would not have found so many. Have weak, but the country has made us whole. you read ‘Calebs ?' It has reached eight We came back to our Hogarth Room. I editions in so many weeks, yet literally it is have made several acquisitions since you one of the very poorest sort of common
saw them, -and found Nos. 8, 9, 10 of The novels, with the draw-back of dull religion Friend. The account of Luther in the in it. Had the religion been high and Warteburg is as fine as anything I ever flavoured, it would have been something. I read.* God forbid that a man who has such borrowed this ‘Calebs in Search of a Wife,' of a very careful, neat lady, and returned it
* The Warteburg is a Castle, standing on a lofty rock,
about two miles from the city of Eisenach, in which with this stuff written in the beginning :- Luther was confined, under the friendly arrest of the
Elector of Saxony, after Charles V. had pronounced * If ever I marry a wife
against him the Ban in the Imperial Diet; where he I'd marry a landlord's daughter,
composed some of his greatest works, and translated the For then I may sit in the bar,
New Testament; and where he is recorded as engaged in And drink cold brandy-and-water.'
the personal conflict with the Prince of Darkness, of which the vestiges are still shown in a black stain on the
wall, from the inkstand hurled at the Enemy. In the I don't expect you can find time from Essay referred to, Coleridge accounts for the storyyour ‘Friend' to write to me much, but write depicting the state of the great prisoner's mind in most
vivid colours--and then presenting the following picture, something, for there has been a long silence. which so nobly justifies Lamb's eulogy, that I venture You know Holcroft is dead. Godwin is well. to gratify myself by inserting it here.
“ Methinks I see him sitting, the heroic student, in He has written a very pretty, absurd book his chamber in the Warteburg, with his midnight lamp about sepulchres. He was affronted because before him, seen by the late traveller in the distant plain I told him it was better than Hervey, but of Bischofsroda, as a star on the mountain ! Below it lies
the Hebrew Bible open, on which he gazes ; his brow not so good as Sir T. Browne. This letter pressing on his palm, brooding over some obscure text, is all about books; but my head aches, and which he desires to make plain to the simple boor and to
the humble artizan, and to transfer its whole force into I hardly know what I write ; but I could their own natural and living tongue. And he himself not let “The Friend' pass without a con- does not understand it! Thick darkness lies on the
original text; he counts the letters, he calls up the roots gratulatory epistle. I won't criticise till it of each separute word, and questions them as the famicomes to a volume. Tell me how I shall liar Spirits of an Oracle. In vain; thick darkness