Зображення сторінки

your ruin.

originally). Shave yourself oftener. Eat no memory, when you come back. You cannot saffron, for saffron-eaters contract a terrible write things so trifling, let them only be Tartar-like yellow. Pray, to avoid the fiend. about Paris, which I shall not treasure. In Eat nothing that gives the heart-burn. Shave particular, I must have parallels of actors the upper lip. Go about like an European. and actresses. I must be told if any building Read no books of voyages (they are nothing in Paris is at all comparable to St. Paul's, but lies), only now and then a romance, to which, contrary to the usual mode of that keep the fancy under. Above all, don't go part of our nature called admiration, I have to any sights of wild beasts. That has been looked up to with unfading wonder, every

Accustom yourself to write morning at ten o'clock, ever since it has lain familiar letters, on common subjects, to in my way to business. At noon I casually your friends in England, such as are of glance upon it, being hungry; and hunger

moderate understanding. And think has not much taste for the fine arts. Is any about common things more. I supped last night-walk comparable to a walk from St. night with Rickman, and met a merry Paul's to Charing Cross, for lighting, and natural captain, who pleases himself vastly paving, crowds going and coming without with once having made a pun at Otaheite respite, the rattle of coaches, and the cheerin the 0. language. 'Tis the same man fulness of shops ? Have you seen a man who said Shakspeare he liked, because he guillotined yet ? is it as good as hanging ? was so much of the gentleman. Rickman are the women all painted, and the men all is a man absolute in all numbers.' I think monkeys ? or are there not a few that look I may one day bring you acquainted, if you like rational of both sexes ? Are you and the do not go to Tartary first; for you'll never first consul thick ? All this expense of ink I come back. Have a care, my dear friend, of may fairly put you to, as your letters will not Anthropophagi ! their stomachs are always be solely for my proper pleasure ; but are to craving. 'Tis terrible to be weighed out at serve as memoranda and notices, helps for fivepence a-pound. To sit at table (the short memory, a kind of Rumfordising recolreverse of fishes in Holland), not as a guest, lection, for yourself on your return. Your but as a meat.

letter was just what a letter should be, “God bless you : do come to England. crammed, and very funny. Every part of it Air and exercise may do great things. Talk pleased me, till you came to Paris, and your with some minister. Why not your father ? philosophical indolence, or indifference, stung

“God dispose all for the best. I have me. You cannot stir from your rooms till discharged my duty.

you know the language! What the devil ! “ Your sincere friend, are men nothing but word-trumpets ? are

“ C. LAMB." men all tongue and ear? have these creatures,

that you and I profess to know something about, no faces, gestures, gabble, no folly, no

absurdity, no induction of French education | “Not a sentence, not a syllable of Trisme


the abstract idea of men and women, no gistus, shall be lost through my neglect. I

similitude nor dissimilitude to English ! am his word-banker, his store-keeper of puns Why! thou cursed Smellfungus ! your and syllogisms. You cannot conceive (and account of your landing and reception, and if Trismegistus cannot, no man can) the Bullen, (I forget how you spell it, it was strange joy which I felt at the receipt of a spelt my way in Harry the Eighth's time,) letter from Paris. It seemed to give me a

was exactly in that minute style which learned importance, which placed me above all who had not Parisian correspondents. Frenchman, I write as a Frenchman would).

strong impressions INSPIRE (writing to a Believe that I shall carefully husband every. It appears to me, as if I should die with joy scrap, which will save you the trouble of

at the first landing in a foreign country. It Captain, afterwards Admiral Burney, who became is the nearest pleasure, which a grown man one of the most constant attendants on Lamb's parties, can substitute for that unknown one, which and whose son, Martin, grew up in his strongest regard, he can never know, the pleasure of the first and received the honour of the dedication of the second volume of his works.

entrance into life from the womb. I dare


say, in a short time, my habits would come laughter in excess ? or can a Frenchman back like a 'stronger man’armed, and drive laugh? Can they batter at your judicious out that new pleasure ; and I should soon ribs till they shake, nothing loth to be so sicken for known objects. Nothing has shaken ? This is John Bull's criterion, and transpired here that seems to me of sufficient it shall be mine. You are Frenchified. Both importance to send dry-shod over the water : your taste and morals are corrupt and perbut I suppose you will want to be told some verted. By-and-by you will come to assert, news. The best and the worst to me is, that that Buonaparte is as great a general as the I have given up two guineas a week at the old Duke of Cumberland, and deny that one 'Post,' and regained my health and spirits, Englishman can beat three Frenchmen. which were upon the wane. I grew sick, Read Henry the Fifth to restore your orthoand Stuart unsatisfied. Ludisti satis, tempus doxy. All things continue at a stay-still in abire est; I must cut closer, that's all. Mister London. I cannot repay your new novelties Fell, or as you, with your usual facetiousness with my stale reminiscences. Like the and drollery, call him Mr. F + 11 has stopped prodigal, I have spent my patrimony, and short in the middle of his play. Some friend feed upon the superannuated chaff and dry has told him that it has not the least merit husks of repentance; yet sometimes I rein it. O! that I had the rectifying of the member with pleasure the hounds and horses, Litany! I would put in a libera nos (Scrip- which I kept in the days of my prodigality. tores videlicet) ab amicis! That's all the I find nothing new, nor anything that has so news. A propos (is it pedantry, writing to a much of the gloss and dazzle of novelty, as Frenchman, to express myself sometimes by may rebound in narrative, aud cast a refleca French word, when an English one would tive glimmer across the channel. Did I send not do as well ? methinks, my thoughts fall you an epitaph I scribbled upon a poor girl naturally into it)

C. L.” who died at nineteen, a good girl, and a

pretty girl, and a clever girl, but strangely

neglected by all her friends and kin? TO MR. MANNING.

* Under this cold marble stone “My dear Manning -Although something

Sleep the sad remains of one of the latest, and after two months' waiting, Who, when alive, by few or none your letter was highly gratifying. Some

Was loved, as loved she might have been,

If she prosperous days had seen, parts want a little explication ; for example, Or had thriving been, I ween. 'the god-like face of the first consul. What Only this cold funeral stone

Tells she was beloved by one, god does he most resemble, Mars, Bacchus, or Who on the marble graves his moan.' Apollo ? or the god Serapis, who, flying (as Egyptian chronicles deliver) from the fury of Brief, and pretty, and tender, is it not ? the dog Anubis (the hieroglyph of an English I send you this, being the only piece of mastiff), lighted upon Monomotapa (or the poetry I have done, since the muses all went land of apes), by some thought to be Old with T. M. to Paris. I have neither stuff in France, and there set up a tyranny, &c. Our my brain, nor paper in my drawer, to write London prints of him represent him gloomy you a longer letter. Liquor, and company, and sulky, like an angry Jupiter. I hear and wicked tobacco, a’nights, have quite that he is very small, even less than me. I dispericraniated me, as one may say ; but envy you your access to this great man, you, who spiritualise upon Champagne, may much more than your séances and conver- continue to write long long letters, and stuff saziones, which I have a shrewd suspicion 'em with amusement to the end. Too long must be something dull. What you assert they cannot be, any more than a codicil to a concerning the actors of Paris, that they will, which leaves me sundry parks and exceed our comedians, bad as ours are, is manors not specified in the deed. But don't impossible. In one sense it may be true, that be two months before you write again. These their fine gentlemen, in what is called genteel from merry old England, on the day of her comedy, may possibly be more brisk and valiant patron St. George. dégagé than Mr. Caulfield, or Mr. Whitfield;

“C. LAMB." but have any of them the power to move

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



This year,


After a pro

What makes it the more extraordinary is, CHAPTER VIII.

that the man never saw me in his life that I

know of. I suppose he has heard of me. I (1804 to 1806.]

did not immediately recognise the donor ;

but one of Richard's cards, which had acciThere is no vestige of Lamb's correspond- dentally fallen into the straw, detected him ence in the year 1804, nor does he seem to

in a moment. Dick, you know, was always have written for the

remarkable for flourishing. His card impress. ever, added to his list of friends-one in ports, that 'orders (to wit, for brawn) from whose conversation he took great delight, any part of England, Scotland, or Ireland, until death severed them-William Hazlitt. will be duly executed,' &c. At first, I thought This remarkable metaphysician and critic of declining the present; but Richard knew had then just completed his first work, my blind side when he pitched upon brawn. the “ Essay on the Principles of Human 'Tis of all my hobbies the supreme in the Action,” but had not entirely given up his eating way. He might have sent sops from hope of excelling as a painter.

the pan, skimmings, crumpets, chips, hog's fessional tour through part of England, lard, the tender brown judiciously scalped during which he satisfied his sitters better from a fillet of veal (dexterously replaced by than himself, he remained some time at the a salamander), the tops of asparagus, fugitive house of his brother, then practising as a

livers, runaway gizzards of fowls, the eyes portrait painter with considerable success;

of martyred pigs, tender effusions of laxative and while endeavouring to procure a pub- woodcocks, the red spawn of lobsters,

leveret's lisher for his work, painted a portrait of

ears, and such pretty filchings Lamb, of which an engraving is prefixed to common to cooks; but these had been the present volume.* It is one of the last of ordinary presents, the everyday courtesies Hazlitt's efforts in an art which he after- of dish washers to their sweethearts. Brawn wards illustrated with the most exquisite was a noble thought. It is not every common criticism which the knowledge and love of gullet-fancier that can properly esteem of it. it could inspire.

It is like a picture of one of the choice old Among the vestiges of the early part of Italian masters. Its gusto is of that hidden 1805, are the four following letters to sort. As Wordsworth sings of a modest poet, Manning. If the hero of the next letter, - you must love him, ere to you he will Mr. Richard Hopkins, is living, I trust he seem worthy of your love ;' so brawn, you will not repine at being ranked with those must taste it ere to you it will seem to have who

any taste at all. But 'tis nuts to the adept :

those that will send out their tongue and “Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."

feelers to find it out. It will be wooed, and not unsought be won. Now, ham-essence,

lobsters, turtle, such popular minions, abso“16, Mitre-court Buildings, lutely court you, lay themselves out to strike

“Saturday, 24th Feb. 1805. “ Dear Manning,- I have been

you at first smack, like one of David's since I saw you. A sad depression of spirits, with the plain russet-coated wealth of a

pictures (they call him Darveed), compared a most unaccountable nervousness; from which I have been partially relieved by an Such are the obvious glaring heathen virtues

Titian or a Correggio, as I illustrated above. odd accident. You knew Dick Hopkins, the swearing scullion of Caius ? This fellow, by reserved collegiate worth of brawn. Do me

of a corporation dinner, compared with the industry and agility, has thrust himself into the favour to leave off the business which the important situations (no sinecures, believe


and me) of cook to Trinity Hall and Caius diately to the kitchens of Trinity and Caius,

go immeCollege: and the generous creature has con- and make my most respectful compliments trived, with the greatest delicacy imaginable, to Mr. Richard Hopkins, and assure him to send me a present of Cambridge brawn. that his brawn is most excellent; and that I Edition, 1837.

am moreover obliged to him for his innuendo


very unwell


“ Yours,


about salt water and bran, which I shall not fail to improve. I leave it to you whether you shall choose to pay him the civility of

“Dear Manning, I sent to Brown's imasking him to dinner while you stay in mediately. Mr. Brown (or Pijou, as he is Cambridge, or in whatever other way you called by the moderns) denied the having may best like to show your gratitude to received a letter from you. The one for you my friend. Richard Hopkins, considered in he remembered receiving, and remitting to many points of view, is a very extraordinary Leadenhall Street; whither I immediately character. Adieu : I hope to see you to

posted (it being the middle of dinner), my supper in London soon, where we will taste teeth unpicked. There I learned that if you Richard's brawn, and drink his health in a want a letter set right, you must apply at the cheerful but moderate cup. We have not first door on the left hand before one o'clock. many such men in any rank of life as Mr. R. I returned and picked my teeth. And this Hopkins. Crisp, the barber, of St. Mary's, morning I made my application in form, and was just such another. I wonder he never have seen the vagabond letter, which most sent me any little token, some chesnuts, or

likely accompanies this. If it does not, I a puff, or two pound of hair: just to remember will get Rickman to name it to the Speaker, him by. Gifts are like nails. Præsens ut who will not fail to lay the matter before absens ; that is, your present makes amends Parliament the next sessions, when you may for your absence.

be sure to have all abuses in the Post C. LAMB."

Department rectified.

“N.B. There seems to be some informality epidemical. You direct yours to me in Mitre

Court; my true address is Mitre Court “Dear Archimedes,—Things have gone on Buildings. By the pleasantries of Fortune, badly with thy ungeometrical friend; but who likes a joke or a double entendre as well they are on the turn. My old housekeeper as the best of us her children, there happens has shown signs of convalescence, and will to be another Mr. Lamb (that there should shortly resume the power of the keys, so I be two!!) in Mitre Court. sha’n’t be cheated of my tea and liquors. “Farewell, and think upon it. C. L.” Wind in the west, which promotes tranquillity. Have leisure now to anticipate seeing thee again. Have been taking leave of tobacco in a rhyming address. Had thought that vein had long since closed up. “Dear Manning,—Certainly you could not Find I can rhyme and reason too. Think of have called at all hours from two till ten, for studying mathematics, to restrain the fire of we have been only out of an evening Monday my genius, which G. D. recommends. Have and Tuesday in this week. But if you think frequent bleedings at the nose, which shows you have, your thought shall go for the deed. plethoric. Maybe shall try the sea myself, We did pray for you on Wednesday night. that great scene of wonders. Got incredibly Oysters unusually luscious—pearls of extrasober and regular; shave oftener, and hum a ordinary magnitude found in them. I have tune, to signify cheerfulness and gallantry. made bracelets of them-given them in

"Suddenly disposed to sleep, having taken clusters to ladies. Last night we went out a quart of peas with bacon, and stout. Will in despite, because you were not come at your not refuse Nature, who has done such things hour. for me!

“This night we shall be at home, so shall “Nurse! don't call me unless Mr. Manning we certainly both Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, comes.-What! the gentleman in spectacles ? and Wednesday. Take your choice, mind I -Yes.

don't say of one : but choose which evening “ Dormit.

C. L. you will not, and come the other four. Doors "Saturday,

open at five o'clock. Shells forced about "Hot Noon,"

nine. Every gentleman smokes or not as he pleases.

C. L.”



During the last five years, tobacco had express my present ones, for I am only flat been at once Lamb's solace and his bane. In and stupid. the hope of resisting the temptation of late “I cannot resist transcribing three or four conviviality to which it ministered, he formed lines which poor Mary made upon a picture a resolution, the virtue of which can be but (a Holy Family) which we saw at an auction dimly guessed, to abandon its use, and em- only one week before she left home. They bodied the floating fancies which had attended are sweet lines and upon a sweet picture. on his long wavering in one of the richest of But I send them only as the last memorial of his poems—“The Farewell to Tobacco.” her. After many struggles he divorced himself

VIRGIN AND CHILD, L. DA VINCI. from his genial enemy; and though he after

‘Maternal Lady with thy virgin-grace, wards renewed acquaintance with milder Heaven-born, thy Jesus seemeth sure,

And thou a virgin pure. dalliance, he ultimately abandoned it, and

Lady most perfect, when thy angel face was guiltless of a pipe in his later years. Men look upon, they wish to be The following letter, addressed while his A Catholic, Madonna fair, to worship thee.' sister was laid up with severe and protracted

“You had her lines about the 'Lady illness, will show his feelings at this time.

Blanch.' You have not had some which she Its affecting self-upbraidings refer to no greater failings than the social indulgences which I had hung up where that print of

wrote upon a copy of a girl from Titian, against which he was manfully struggling.

Blanch and the Abbess (as she beautifully interpreted two female figures from L. da

Vinci) had hung in our room. 'Tis light and 14th June, 1805.

pretty. “My dear Miss Wordsworth,—I have every reason to suppose that this illness, like all "Who art thou, fair one, who usurp'st the place Mary's former ones, will be but temporary.

of Blanch, the lady of the matchless grace!

Come, fair and pretty, tell to me But I cannot always feel so. Meantime she

Who in thy lifetime thou mightst be ? is dead to me, and I miss a prop. All my

Thou pretty art and fair,

But with the Lady Blanch thou never must compare. strength is gone, and I am like a fool, bereft

No need for Blanch her history to tell, of her co-operation. I dare not think, lest I Whoever saw her face, they there did read it well ; should think wrong; so used am I to look

But when I look on thee, I only know,

There lived a pretty maid some hundred years ago.' up to her in the least and the biggest perplexity. To say all that I know of her

“This is a little unfair, to tell so much would be more than I think anybody could about ourselves, and to advert so little to believe or ever understand; and when I hope your letter, so full of comfortable tidings of to have her well again with me, it would be you all. But my own cares press pretty sinning against her feelings to go about to close upon me, and you can make allowance. praise her; for I can conceal nothing that I That you may go on gathering strength and do from her. She is older, and wiser, and peace is the next wish to Mary's recovery. better than me, and all my wretched imper- "I had almost forgot your repeated invitafections I cover to myself by resolutely tion. Supposing that Mary will be well and thinking on her goodness. She would share able, there is another ability which you may life and death, heaven and hell

, with me. guess at, which I cannot promise myself. In She lives but for me ; and I know I have prudence we ought not to come. This illness been wasting and teasing her life for five will make it still more prudential to wait. years past incessantly with my cursed ways It is not a balance of this way of spending of going on. But even in this upbraiding of our money against another way, but an myself, I am offending against her, for I absolute question of whether we shall stop know that she has cleaved to me for better, now, or go on wasting away the little we for worse ; and if the balance has been have got beforehand. My best love, however, against her hitherto, it was a noble trade. to you all; and to that most friendly creature, I am stupid, and lose myself in what I write. Mrs. Clarkson, and better health to her, when I write rather what answers to my feelings you see or write to her. (which are sometimes sharp enough) than


« НазадПродовжити »