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is about with the navy board. Meantime, hands with a wretch on the fatal scaffold, the projector is hungry. Will you answer and, when you are down the ladder, you can me two questions, and return them with the never stretch out to him again. Mary says papers as soon as you can ? Imprimis, is you are dead, and there's nothing to do but there any chance of success in application to to leave it to time to do for us in the end Parliament for a reward? Did you ever what it always does for those who mourn for hear of the invention? You see its benefits people in such a case. But she'll see by your and saving to the nation (always the first letter you are not quite dead. A little motive with a true projector) are feelingly kicking and agony, and then Martin set forth : the last paragraph but one of the Burney took me out a walking that evening, estimate, in enumerating the shifts poor and we talked of Manning; and then I came seamen are put to, even approaches to the home and smoked for you, and at twelve pathetic. But, agreeing to all he says, is o'clock came home Mary and Monkey Louisa there the remotest chance of Parliament from the play, and there was more talk and giving the projector anything; and when more smoking, and they all seemed first-rate should application be made, now or after a characters, because they knew a certain report (if he can get it) from the navy person. But what's the use of talking about board ? Secondly, let the infeasibility be as 'em ? By the time you'll have made your great as you will, you will oblige me by escape from the Kalmuks, you'll have stayed telling me the way of introducing such an so long I shall never be able to bring to your application to Parliament, without buying mind who Mary was, who will have died
a majority of members, which is about a year before, nor who the Holcrofts totally out of projector's power. I vouch were! me perhaps you will mistake for nothing for the soap myself; for I always Phillips, or confound me with Mr. Dawe, wash in fresh water, and find it answer tole- because you saw us together. Mary (whom rably well for all purposes of cleanliness ; you seem to remember yet) is not quite easy nor do I know the projector; but a relation that she had not a formal parting from you. of mine has put me on writing to you, for I wish it had so happened. But you must whose parliamentary knowledge he has great bring her a token, a shawl or something, veneration.
and remember a sprightly little mandarin for “P.S. The Capt. and Mrs. Burney and our mantel-piece, as a companion to the child Phillips take their chance at cribbage here I am going to purchase at the museum. She on Wednesday. Will you and Mrs. R. join says you saw her writings about the other the party ? Mary desires her compliments day, and she wishes you should know what to Mrs. R., and joins in the invitation. they are. She is doing for Godwin's book“Yours truly,
C. LAMB." seller twenty of Shakspeare's plays, to be
made into children's tales. Six are already
done by her, to wit, 'The Tempest,''Winter's Before the production of “Mr. H.,” Lamb Tale,' Midsummer Night,' 'Much Ado,' was obliged, in sad earnest, to part from "Two Gentlemen of Verona,' and 'CymbeManning, who, after talking and thinking line ;' and 'The Merchant of Venice' is in about China for years, took the heroic reso- forwardness. I have done 'Othello' and lution of going thither, not to acquire wealth Macbeth,' and mean to do all the tragedies. or fame, but to realise the phantom of his I think it will be popular among the little restless thought. Happy was he to have a people, besides money. It's to bring in sixty friend, like Mr. Burney, to indulge and to guineas. Mary has done them capitally, I soften his grief, which he thus expresses in think, you'd think. These are the humble his first letter to his friend.
amusements we propose, while you are gone to plant the cross of Christ among barbarous
pagan anthropophagi. Quam homo homini
May 10th, 1806. præstat ! but then, perhaps, you'll get mur“My dear Manning,—I didn't know what dered, and we shall die in our beds with a your going was till I shook a last fist with fair literary reputation. Be sure, if you, and then 'twas just like having shaken any of those people, whose heads do grow
TO MR. MANNING.
beneath their shoulders, that you make a coming to you. It will be a point of condraught of them. It will be very curious. science to send you none but bran-new news Oh ! Manning, I am serious to sinking almost, (the latest edition), which will but grow the
when I think that all those evenings, which better, like oranges, for a sea voyage. Oh i you have made so pleasant, are gone perhaps that you should be so many hemispheres off
for ever. Four years, you talk of, may be -if I speak incorrectly you can correct me ten, and you may come back and find such —why the simplest death or marriage that alterations! Some circumstances may grow takes place here must be important to you up to you or to me, that may be a bar to the as news in the old Bastile. There's your return of any such intimacy. I dare say all friend Tuthill has got away from Francethis is hum! and that all will come back ; you remember France ? and Tuthill ?-tenbut, indeed, we die many deaths before we to-one but he writes by this post, if he don't die, and I am almost sick when I think that get my note in time, apprising him of the such a hold as I had of you is gone. I have vessel sailing. Know then that he has found friends, but some of 'em are changed. Mar- means to obtain leave from Bonaparte, riage, or some circumstance, rises up to make without making use of any incredible romantic them not the same. But I felt sure of you. pretences as some have done, who never meant And that last token you gave me of express- to fulfil them, to come home, and I have seen ing a wish to have my name joined with him here and at Holcroft’s. An't you glad yours, you know not how it affected me: about Tuthill ? Now then be
for like a legacy.
Holcroft, whose new play, called "The “God bless you in every way you can form Vindictive Man,' was damned about a forta wish. May He give you health, and safety, night since. It died in part of its own weakand the accomplishment of all your objects, ness, and in part for being choked up with and return you again to us, to gladden some bad actors. The two principal parts were fireside or other (I suppose we shall be moved destined to Mrs. Jordan and Mr. Bannister, from the Temple). I will nurse the remem- but Mrs. J. has not come to terms with the brance of your steadiness and quiet, which managers, they have had some squabble, and used to infuse something like itself into our Bannister shot some of his fingers off by the nervous minds. Mary called you our venti- going off of a gun. So Miss Duncan had her lator. Farewell, and take her best wishes part, and Mr. De Camp took his. His part, and mine.
the principal comic hope of the play, was Good bye,
most unluckily Goldfinch, taken out of the
but the identical Goldfinch—the same as Christmas approached, and Lamb then Falstaff is in two plays of Shakspeare. As conveyed to Manning, now at the antipodes, the devil of ill-luck would have it, half the news of poor Holcroft's failure in his play of audience did not know that H. had written “The Vindictive Man,” and his own approach- it, but were displeased at his stealing from ing trial.
the 'Road to Ruin ;' and those who might
have borne a gentlemanly coxcomb with his “ December 5th, 1806. “That's your sort,''Go it'—such as Lewis is "Manning, your letter dated Hottentots, -did not relish the intolerable vulgarity and August the what-was-it ? came to hand. I inanity of the idea stript of his manner. De can scarce hope that mine will have the same Camp was hooted, more than hist, hooted and luck. China-Canton-bless us—how it bellowed off the stage before the second act strains the imagination and makes it ache ! was finished, so that the remainder of his part I write under another uncertainty, whether was forced to be, with some violence to the it can go to-morrow by a ship which I have play, omitted. In addition to this, a woman just learned is going off direct to your part of the town was another principal character of the world, or whether the despatches may -a most unfortunate choice in this moral not be sealed up and this have to wait, for if day. The audience were as scandalised as if it is detained here, it will grow staler in a you were to introduce such a personage to fortnight than in a five months' voyage their private tea-tables. Besides, her action
TO MR. MANNING.
in the play was gross—wheedling an old man In less than a fortnight I heard the principal into marriage. But the mortal blunder of part was given to Elliston, who liked it and the play was that which, oddly enough, H. only wanted a prologue, which I have since took pride in, and exultingly told me of the done and sent, and I had a note the day before night before it came out, that there were no yesterday from the manager, Wroughton less than eleven principal characters in it, (bless his fat face—he is not a bad actor in and I believe he meant of the men only, for some things), to say that I should be the playbill exprest as much, not reckoning summoned to the rehearsal after the next, one woman—and true it was, for Mr. Powell, which next was to be yesterday. I had no Mr. Raymond, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. H. Siddons, idea it was so forward. I have had no Mr. Barrymore, &c. &c.,—to the number of trouble, attended no reading or rehearsal, eleven, had all parts equally prominent, and made no interest; what a contrast to the there was as much of them in quantity and usual parade of authors ! But it is peculiar rank as of the hero and heroine-and most to modesty to do all things without noise or of them gentlemen who seldom appear but pomp! I have some suspicion it will appear as the hero's friend in a farce for a minute in public on Wednesday next, for W. says in or two—and here they all had their ten- his note, it is so forward that if wanted it minute speeches, and one of them gave the may come out next week, and a new meloaudience a serious account how he was now drame is announced for every day till then ; a lawyer but had been a poet, and then a and a new farce is in rehearsal,' is put up long enumeration of the inconveniences of in the bills. Now you'd like to know the authorship, rascally booksellers, reviewers, subject. The title is ‘Mr. H.,' no more ; how &c.; which first set the audience a gaping ; simple, how taking! A great H. sprawling but I have said enough. You will be so over the play-bill and attracting eyes at every sorry,
The story is a coxcomb appearing for my detail ; but news is news at Canton. at Bath, vastly rich-all the ladies dying for Poor H. I fear will feel the disappointment him—all bursting to know who he is—but very seriously in a pecuniary light. From he goes by no other name than Mr. H.—a what I can learn he has saved nothing. You curiosity like that of the dames of Strasburg and I were hoping one day that he had, but about the man with the great nose. But I I fear he has nothing but his pictures and won't tell you any more about it. Yes, I books, and a no very flourishing business, and will : but I can't give you an idea how I to be obliged to part with his long-necked have done it. I'll just tell you that after Guido that hangs opposite as you enter, and much vehement admiration, when his true the game-piece that hangs in the back draw- name comes out, “Hogsflesh,' all the women ing-room, and all those Vandykes, &c. God shun him, avoid him, and not one can be should temper the wind to the shorn connois. found to change their name for him—that's seur. I hope I need not say to you, that I the idea-how flat it is here – but how feel for the weather-beaten author, and for whimsical in the farce ! and only think how all his household. I assure you his fate has hard upon me it is that the ship is despatched soured a good deal the pleasure I should to-morrow, and my triumph cannot be ascerhave otherwise taken in my own little farce tained till the Wednesday after—but all being accepted, and I hope about to be acted China will ring of it by and by. N.B. (But —it is in rehearsal actually, and I expect it this is a secret.) The Professor has got a to come out next week. It is kept a sort of tragedy coming out with the young Roscius secret, and the rehearsals have gone on in it in January next, as we say_January privately, lest by many folks knowing it, the last it will be with you—and though it is a story should come out, which would infallibly profound secret now, as all his affairs are, it damn it. You remember I had sent it before cannot be much of one by the time you read you went. Wroughton read it, and was much this. However, don't let it go any further. pleased with it. I speedily got an answer. I understand there are dramatic exhibitions I took it to make alterations, and lazily kept in China. One would not like to be foreit some months, then took courage and stalled. Do you find in all this stuff I have furbished it up in a day or two and took it. written anything like those feelings which
one should send my old adventuring friend, Wednesday, 10th December, 1806, was the that is gone to wander among Tartars and wished-for evening which decided the fate of may never come again? I don't—but your “Mr. H.” on the boards of Drury. Great going away, and all about you, is a thread- curiosity was excited by the announcement ; bare topic. I have worn it out with thinking the house was crowded to the ceiling ; and -it has come to me when I have been dull the audience impatiently Awaited the conwith anything, till my sadness has seemed clusion of the long, dull, intolerable opera of more to have come from it than to have “The Travellers,” by which it was preceded. introduced it. I want you, you don't know At length, Mr. Elliston, the hero of the farce, how much-but if I had you here in my entered, gaily dressed, and in happiest spirits, European garret, we should but talk over-enough, but not too much, elated,—and such stuff as I have written-so—Those delivered the prologue with great vivacity "Tales from Shakspeare' are near coming and success. The farce began ; at first it was out, and Mary has begun a new work. Mr. much applauded; but the wit seemed wireDawe is turned author, he has been in such drawn ; and when the curtain fell on the a way lately-Dawe, the painter, I mean-he first act, the friends of the author began to sits and stands about at Holcroft's and says fear. The second act dragged heavily on, as nothing—then sighs and leans his head on his second acts of farces will do; a rout at Bath, hand. I took him to be in love—but it peopled with ill-dressed and over-dressed seems he was only meditating a work,- actors and actresses, increased the disposition 'The Life of Morland,'—the young man is to yawn; and when the moment of disclosure not used to composition. Rickman and came, and nothing worse than the name Captain Burney are well ; they assemble at Hogsflesh was heard, the audience resented my house pretty regularly of a Wednesday the long play on their curiosity, and would
a new institution. Like other great men hear no more. Lamb, with his sister, sat, as I have a public day, cribbage and pipes, with he anticipated, in the front of the pit, and Phillips and noisy
having joined in encoring the epilogue, the "Good Heaven ! what a bit only I've got brilliancy of which injured the farce, he left! How shall I squeeze all I know into gave way with equal pliancy to the common this morsel ! Coleridge is come home, and is feeling, and hissed and hooted as loudly as going to turn lecturer on taste at the Royal any of his neighbours. The next morning's Institution. I shall get 2001. from the theatre play-bill contained a veracious announcement, if 'Mr. H.' has a good run, and I hope 1001. that “the new farce of Mr. H., performed for for the copyright. Nothing if it fails; and the first time last night, was received by an there never was a more ticklish thing. The overflowing audience with universal applause, whole depends on the manner in which the and will be repeated for the second time toname is brought out, which I value myself morrow ;” but the stage lamps never that on, as a chef-d'quvre. How the paper grows morrow saw! Elliston would have tried it less and less ! In less than two minutes I again : but Lamb saw at once that the case shall cease to talk to you, and you may rave was hopeless, and consoled his friends with to the great Wall of China. N.B. Is there a century of puns for the wreck of his such a wall! Is it as big as Old London dramatic hopes. Wall, by Bedlam ? Have you met with a friend of mine, named Ball, at Canton l-if you are acquainted, remember me kindly to him. N.B. If my little thing don't succeed, I shall easily survive, having, as it were,
CHAPTER IX. compared to H.'s venture, but a sixteenth
[1807 to 1814.) in the lottery. Mary and I are to sit next LETTERS TO MANNING, MONTAGUE, WORDSWORTH, AND the orchestra in the pit, next the tweedledees. She remembers you. You are more From this period, the letters of Lamb which to us than five hundred farces, clappings, have been preserved are comparatively few, &c.
with reference to the years through which " Come back one day. C. LAMB."
they are scattered. He began to write in
earnest for the press, and the time thus Stoddart. Something about settlements only occupied was withdrawn from his correspon- retards it. Little Fenwick (you don't see the dents, while his thoughts and feelings were connexion of ideas here, how the devil should developed by a different excitement, and you ?) is in the rules of the Fleet. Cruel expressed in other forms. In the year 1807 creditors ! operation of iniquitous laws; is the series of stories founded on the plays of Magna Charta then a mockery? Why, in Shakspeare, referred to in his last letter to general (here I suppose you to ask a question) Manning, was published; in which the my spirits are pretty good, but I have outlines of his plots are happily brought my depressions, black as a smith's beard, within the apprehension of children, and his Vulcanic, Stygian. At such times I have language preserved wherever it was possible recourse to a pipe, which is like not being at to retain it; a fit counterpoise to those works home to a dun ; he comes again with tenfold addressed to the young understanding, to bitterness the next day.-(Mind, I am not in which Lamb still cherished the strong distaste debt, I only borrow a similitude from others; which broke out in one of his previous it shows imagination.) I have done two letters. Of these tales, King Lear, Macbeth, books since the failure of my farce ; they will Timon of Athens, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, both be out this summer. The one is a and Othello, are by Charles, and the others juvenile book—'The Adventures of Ulysses,' by Mary Lamb; hers being, as Lamb always intended to be an introduction to the reading insisted, the most felicitous, but all well of Telemachus! it is done out of the adapted to infuse some sense of the nobleness Odyssey, not from the Greek. I would not of the poet's thoughts into the hearts of their mislead you: nor yet from Pope's Odyssey, little readers. Of two other works preparing but from an older translation of one Chapman. for the press, he thus speaks in a letter The 'Shakspeare Tales' suggested the doing which bears date 26th February, 1808, it. Godwin is in both those cases my bookaddressed to Manning at Canton, in reply to seller. The other is done for Longman, and a letter received thence, in which Manning is 'Specimens of English Dramatic Poets informed Lamb, that he had consigned a contemporary with Shakspeare.' Specimens parcel of silk to a Mr. Knox for him. are becoming fashionable. We have
Specimens of Ancient English Poets
'Specimens of Modern English Poets'“Dear Missionary,—Your letters from the 'Specimens of Ancient English Prose farthest ends of the world have arrived safe. Writers,' without end. They used to be Mary is very thankful for your remembrance called “Beauties.' You have seen 'Beauties of her; and with the less suspicion of mer- of Shakspeare?' so have many people cenariness, as the silk, the symbolum materiale that never saw any beauties in Shakspeare. of your friendship, has not yet appeared. I Longman is to print it, and be at all the think Horace says somewhere, nox longa. expense and risk, and I am to share the I would not impute negligence or unhand- profits after all deductions, i. e. a year or two some delays to a person whom you have hence I must pocket what they please to tell honoured with your confidence, but I have me is due to me. But the book is such as I not heard of the silk, or of Mr. Knox, save am glad there should be. It is done out of by your letter. Maybe he expects the first old plays at the Museum, and out of Dodsley's i advances ! or it may be that he has not collection, &c. It is to have notes. So I go succeeded in getting the article on shore, for creeping on since I was lamed with that it is among the res prohibitae et non nisi cursed fall from off the top of Drury-lane smuggle-ationis viâ fruendæ. But so it is, in Theatre into the pit, something more than a the friendships between wicked men, the very year ago. However, I have been free of the expressions of their good-will cannot but be house ever since, and the house was pretty sinful. I suppose you know my farce was free with me upon that occasion. Hang 'em damned. The noise still rings in my ears. how they hissed ! it was not a hiss neither, Was you ever in the pillory ?-being damned but a sort of a frantic yell, like a congregation is something like that. A treaty of marriage of mad geese, with roaring something like is on foot between William Hazlitt and Miss bears, mows and mops
TO MR. MANNING.