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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Appendix II

Contents vol. VI
Letters: 1796
Letters: 1797
Letters: 1798
Letters: 1799
Letters: 1800
Letters: 1801
Letters: 1802
Letters: 1803
Letters: 1804
Letters: 1805
Letters: 1806
Letters: 1807
Letters: 1808
Letters: 1809
Letters: 1810
Letters: 1811
Letters: 1812
Letters: 1814
Letters: 1815
Letters: 1816
Letters: 1817
Letters: 1818
Letters: 1819
Letters: 1820
Letters: 1821
Contents vol. VII
Letters: 1821
Letters: 1822
Letters: 1823
Letters: 1824
Letters: 1825
Letters: 1826
Letters: 1827
Letters: 1828
Letters: 1829
Letters: 1830
Letters: 1831
Letters: 1832
Letters: 1833
Letters: 1834
Appendix I
‣ Appendix II
Appendix III
List of Letters
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Letter 45, page 145. To Southey

After “Burns hath done his part,” on page 147, line 2, comes:—

I the other day threw off an extempore epitaph on Ensign Peacock of the 3rd Regt. of the Royal East India Volunteers, who like other boys in this scarlet tainted age was ambitious of playing at soldiers, but dying in the first flash of his valour was at the particular instance of his relations buried with military honours! like any veteran scarr’d or chopt from Blenheim or Ramilies. (He was buried in sash and gorget.)

Marmor Loquitur
He lies a Volunteer so fine,
Who died of a decline,
As you or I, may do one day;
Reader, think of this, I pray;
And I humbly hope you’ll drop a tear
For my poor Royal Volunteer.
He was as brave as brave could be,
Nobody was so brave as he;
He would have died in Honor’s bed,
Only he died at home instead.
Well may the Royal Regiment swear,
They never had such a Volunteer.
But whatsoever they may say,
Death is a man that will have his way:
Tho’ he was but an ensign in this world of pain;
In the next we hope he’ll be a captain.
And without meaning to make any reflection on his mentals,
He begg’d to be buried in regimentals.

Sed hæ sunt lamentabilis nugæ—But ’tis as good as some epitaphs you and I have read together in Christ-Church-yard.

Letter 48, page 152. To Manning

After “Cambridge,” page 153, should come:—

I dined with him in town and breakfasted with him and Priscilla, who you may tell Charles has promised to come and see me when she returns [to] Clapham. I will write to Charles on Monday.

Letter 50, page 155

An unpublished letter from Lamb to Manning tells the story of the Charles Lloyd and Mary Hayes imbroglio. Lloyd had written to Miss Hayes a very odd letter concerning her Godwinite creed, in which he refers to her belief that she was in love with him and repeats old stories that she had been in love both with Godwin and Frend. Here is one sentence: “In the confounding medley of ordinary conversation, I have interwoven my abhorrence of your principles with a glanced contempt for your personal character.” This letter Lloyd had given to his sister Olivia to copy—“An ignorant Quaker girl,” says Lamb, “I mean ignorant in the best sense, who ought not to know, that such a thing was possible or in rerum naturæ that a woman should court a man.” Later: “As long as Lloyd or I have known Col. [Coleridge] so long have we known him in the daily and hourly habit of quizzing the world by lyes most unaccountable and most disinterested fictions.” And here is one more passage: “To sum up my inferences from the above facts, I am determined to live a merry Life in the midst of Sinners. I try to consider all men as such, and to pitch my expectations from human nature as low as possible. In this view, all unexpected Virtues are Godsends and beautiful exceptions.”

Letter 53, page 161

Lamb’s next letter to Manning, which has not been printed and is not available for this edition, contained the promised copy of the “Conceipt of Diabolical Possession.” It also contained a copy of Thekla’s song in “Wallenstein,” in Lamb’s translation (see Vol. V., page 27), which he says is better than the original “a huge deal.” Finally Lamb copies the old ballad “Edward, Edward” and calls it “the very first dramatic poem in the English language.”

Letter 89, page 225

Following this letter should come one from Lamb to John Rickman, dated September 16, 1801 (the first of a valuable series printed in Canon Ainger’s latest edition), saying that he and his sister are at Margate. He has been trying to write for the Morning Chronicle but with little success. Is now meditating a book: “Why should every creature make books but I?” After a passage concerning George Burnett, Lamb describes Godwin and his courtship of his second wife—“a very disgusting woman.” “You never saw such a philosophic coxcomb, nor any one play the Romeo so unnaturally.”

Letter 90, page 228

Following this letter should come a letter from Lamb to John Rickman, describing the state of their two George friends: George the First (George Dyer) and George the Second (George Burnett). Burnett, he says, as ill becomes adversity as Dyer would prosperity. He tells also
of another poor acquaintance of Rickman’s—one Simonds with a slit-lip, who has been to Lamb to borrow money. “Saving his dirty shirt and his physiognomy and his ’bacco box together with a certain kiddy air in his walk, a man wd have gone near to have mistaken him for a gentleman. He has a sort of ambition to be so misunderstood.”

Letter 91, page 230

Lamb’s next letter to Rickman, dated November 24, 1801, contains better news of Dyer and returns to the subject of John Woodvil. “Dyer regularly dines with me when he does not go a visiting, and brings his shilling.” Also, says Lamb, he talks of marrying. “He has not forgiven me for betraying to you his purpose of writing his own Life. He says, that if it once spreads, so many people will expect and wish to have a place in it, that he is sure he shall disoblige all his friends.”

Another, undated, letter to Rickman should probably come hereabouts, saying that Dyer has been lent a house at Enfield full of books, where he is at work on his Poems.

Here perhaps should come a further undated letter to Rickman in which Lamb says that the receipt of £50 for an old debt has made it possible to print John Woodvil. Dyer, he says, is “the most unmanageable of God’s creatures.” Burnett is in a very bad way again. Fenwick’s paper The Plough has become a weekly. Godwin is not yet married. Fell, Godwin’s shadow, is writing a comedy: “An Owl making a Pun would be no bad emblem of the unnatural attempt.” In a postscript Lamb says that he has since read the play and it is not bad: “Who knows, but Owls do make Puns when they hoot by moonshine.” The best news is that Lamb is to be a theatrical critic for the Morning Post.

Here should come a letter to Rickman dated January 9, 1802, the principal news in which is that George Dyer is consorting with the Earl of Buchan, the “eccentric biographer of Fletcher of Saltoun,” and has brought him to see Lamb. “I wasn’t at home, but Mary was washing—a pretty pickle to receive an Earl in! Lord have mercy upon us! a Lord in my garret! My utmost ambition was some time or other to receive a Secretary. Well, I am to breakfast with this mad Lord on Sunday.” Lamb refers to his article in the Post on Cooke’sRichard III.” (see Vol. I. of this edition, pages 36 and 398).

Here should come a letter to Rickman dated January 14, 1802, in which Lamb confesses to the authorship of “Dick Strype” in the Morning Post of January 6 (see Appendix III., page 989); also of a whimsical account of the Lord Mayor’s State Bed (see Appendix III., page 980); and of some of the Twelfth Night Epigrams (see Vol. V., page 102). He includes two epigrams which the editor rejected; one,
Solomon the Quack, is printed in Vol. V. of this edition, page 106, from The Champion in 1820; the other, on Count Rumford, will be found in Appendix III., page 992.

Here should come a note to Rickman dated January 18, 1802, relating to a joint subscription with Rickman’s father for certain newspapers.

Here should come a letter to Rickman dated February 1, 1802, giving the first draft of the epitaph for Mary Druitt (see Vol. V., pages 80 and 322). He also says that George Burnett, who had just been appointed tutor to the sons of Lord (“Citizen”) Stanhope, is perplexed because his pupils have run away.

Here should come a note to Rickman, dated February 4, 1802, accompanying three copies of John Woodvil and saying that an annuity is to be bought for George Dyer by certain friends.

Here should come a letter to Rickman, dated February 14, 1802, which contains the news that Lamb has given up the Post. He feels much relieved in consequence, in spite of the loss of money. George Dyer’s dinner money is now paid from his friends’ fund, and Burnett is happy in doing nothing for Lord Stanhope’s salary. Mary Lamb does not want Rickman to know that “Helen,” in the John Woodvil volume, is of her writing.

Letter 94, page 240. To Manning

After “extinct a moon ago” comes:—

Lloyd has written to me and names you. I think a letter from Maison Magnan (is that a person or a thing?) would gratify him. G. Dyer is in love with an Ideot who loves a Doctor, who is incapable of loving anything but himself. A puzzling circle of perverse Providences! A maze as un-get-out-again-able as the House which Jack built.

Letter 96, page 243. To Manning

After the statement that Wordsworth has “gone into Yorkshire to be married” comes:—

to a girl of small fortune, but he is in expectation of augmenting his own in consequence of the death of Lord Lonsdale, who kept him out of his own in conformity with a plan my lord had taken up in early life of making everybody unhappy.

Letter 99, page 252. To Coleridge

Completion of letter of October 23, 1802.

The letter begins:—

Your kind offer I will not a second time refuse. You shall send me a packet and I will do them into English with great care. Is not there
one about
Wm. Tell, and would not that in the present state of discussions be likely to tell? The Engravers I meant are to be found at the end of Harrington’s Translation of Orlando Furioso: if you could get the book, they would some of them answer your purpose to modernize. If you can’t, I fancy I can. Baxter’s Holy Commonwealth I have luckily met with, and when I have sent it, you shall if you please consider yourself indebted to me 3s. 6d. the cost of it: especially as I purchased it after your solemn injunctions. The plain case with regard to my presents (which you seem so to shrink from) is that I have not at all affected the character of a Donor, or thought of violating your sacred Law of Give and Take: but I have been taking and partaking the good things of your House (when I know you were not over-abounding) and I now give unto you of mine; and by the grace of God I happen to be myself a little super-abundant at present. I expect I shall be able to send you my final parcel in about a week: by that time I shall have gone thro’ all Milton’s Latin Works. There will come with it the Holy Commonwealth, and the identical North American Bible which you helped to dogs ear at Xt’s.—I call’d at Howell’s for your little Milton, and also to fetch away the White Cross Street Library Books, which I have not forgot: but your books were not in a state to be got at then, and Mrs. H. is to let me know when she packs up. They will be sent by sea; and my little precursor will come to you by the Whitehaven waggon accompanied with pens, penknife &c.—Mrs. Howell was as usual very civil; and asked with great earnestness, if it were likely you would come to Town in the winter. She has a friendly eye upon you.

Letter 109, page 277

Following this should come a letter from Lamb to Rickman, dated July 27, 1803. It is part of one from Captain Burney describing the adventures of the Burneys and Lambs at Cowes. Lamb, says the Captain, on their way to Newport “very ingeniously and unconsciously cast loose the fastenings of the mast, so that mast, sprit, sails, and ail the rest tumbled overboard with a crash.” Lamb on his part is amusing about the Captain and Martin Burney, and says he longs for Holborn scenery again.

Letter 150, page 348. To Manning

On one of the margins is added:—I have made strict inquiries through my friend Thompson as to your affairs with the Compy. If there had been a committee yesterday an order would have been sent to the captain to draw on them for your passage money, but there was no Committee. But in the secretary’s orders to receive you on board, it was specified that the Company would defray your passage, all the orders about you to the super-cargoes are certainly in your ship. Here I will manage anything you may want done. What can I add but take care of yourself. We drink tea with the Holcrofts tomorrow.

Letter 157, page 364. To Manning

After “I have seen him here and at Holcroft’s” (page 365) comes:—

I have likewise seen his wife, this elegant little French woman whose hair reaches to her heels—by the same token that Tom (Tommy H.) took the comb out of her head, not expecting the issue, and it fell down to the ground to his utter consternation, two ells long.

Mrs. Holcroft was Louise Mercier. Afterwards she married James Kenney. Tommy was Holcroft’s son.

After “Mr. De Camp” (page 365), “A vulgar brother of Miss De Camp.”

Of Bannister (page 365), “He is a fellow with the make of a jockey, and the air of a lamplighter.” Lamb, however, praised Bannister many years later in the essay on the Old Actors.

After the reference to Ball, on page 368, “Amongst many queer cattle I have and do meet with at the India Ho. I always liked his behaviour. Tell him his friend Evans &c. are well. Woodruff not dead yet.”

Letter 167, page 381. To Manning

After “doctor’s mouth” (page 383) should come:— Do you know Watford in Hertfordshire? it is a pretty village. Louisa goes to school there. They say the governess is a very intelligent managing person, takes care of the morals of the pupils, teaches them something beyond exteriors. Poor Mrs. Beaumont! Rickman’s aunt, she might have been a governess (as both her nieces are) if she had any ability or any education, but I never thought she was good for anything; she is dead and so is her nephew. He was shot in half at Monte Video, that is, not exactly in half, but as you have seen a 3 quarter picture. Stoddart is in England.

Letter 170, page 389

After this letter should come the following (Letter 170a), which I copy from The Mirror, 1841:—

Charles Lamb to George Dyer
From my Desk in Leadenhall Street,
Decr 5, 1808.
Dear Dyer

Coleridge is not so bad as your fears have represented him; it is true that he is Bury’d, altho’ he is not dead; to understand this quibble you must know that he is at Bury St. Edmunds, relaxing, after the fatigues of lecturing and Londonizing. The little Rickmaness, whom you enquire after so kindly, thrives and grows apace; she is already a prattler, and ’tis thought that on some future day she may be a speaker. [This was Mrs. Lefroy.] We hold our weekly meetings still at No 16,
where altho’ we are not so high as the top of Malvern, we are involved in almost as much mist.
Miss B[etham]’s merit “in every point of view,” I am not disposed to question, altho’ I have not been indulged with any view of that lady, back, side, or front—fie! Dyer, to praise a female in such common market phrases—you who are held so courtly and so attentive. My book is not yet out, that is not my “Extracts,” my “Ulysses” is, and waits your acceptance. When you shall come to town, I hope to present you both together—never think of buying the “Extracts”—half guinea books were never calculated for my friends. Those poets have started up since your departure; William Hazlitt, your friend and mine, is putting to press a collection of verses, chiefly amatory, some of them pretty enough. How these painters encroach on our province! There’s Hoppner, Shee, Westall, and I don’t know who besides, and Tresham. It seems on confession, that they are not at the top of their own art, when they seek to eke out their fame with the assistance of another’s; no large tea-dealer sells cheese; no great silversmith sells razor-strops; it is only your petty dealers who mix commodities. If Nero had been a great Emperor, he would never have played the Violoncello! Who ever caught you, Dyer, designing a landscape, or taking a likeness? I have no more to add, who am the friend of virtue, poetry, painting, therefore in an especial manner,

Unalterably Thine
C. Lamb.
Letter 173, page 395. To Manning.

After “He [Holcroft] died on Thursday last” comes:—

and is not yet buried. He has been opened by Carlisle and his heart was found completely ossified. He has had a long and severe illness. He seemed very willing to live, and to the last acted on his favorite principle of the power of the will to overcome disease. I believe his strong faith in that power kept him alive long after another person would have given him up, and the physicians all concurred in positively saying he would not live a week, many weeks before he died. The family are as well as can be expected. I told you something about Mrs. Holcroft’s plans. Since her death there has been a meeting of his friends and a subscription has been mentioned. I have no doubt that she will be set agoing, and that she will be fully competent to the scheme which she proposes. Fanny bears it much better than I could have supposed.

Letter 179, page 409. To Manning

After “for I never think about them” comes:—

Miss Knap is turned midwife. Never having had a child herself, she can’t draw any wrong analogies from her own case. Dr. Stoddart has had Twins. There was five shillings to pay the Nurse. Mrs. Godwin was impannelled on a jury of Matrons last Sessions. She saved a
criminal’s life by giving it as her opinion that —— ——. The Judge listened to her with the greatest deference.

Letter 197, page 438. To Coleridge
Completion of letter of August 13, 1814.

After “stagnate” (page 439) comes:—

One piece of news I know will give you pleasure—Rickman is made a Clerk to the House of Commons, £2000 a year with greater expectatns—but that is not the news—but it is that poor card-playing Phillips, that has felt himself for so many years the outcast of Fortune, which feeling pervaded his very intellect, till it made the destiny it feared, withering his hopes in the great and little games of life—by favor of the single star that ever shone upon him since his birth, has strangely stept into Rickman’s Secretaryship—sword, bag, House and all—from a hopeless £100 a year eaten up beforehand with desperate debts, to a clear £400 or £500—it almost reconciles me to the belief of a moral government of the world—the man stares and gapes and seems to be always wondering at what has befaln him—he tries to be eager at Cribbage, but alas! the source of that Interest is dried up for ever, he no longer plays for his next day’s meal, or to determine whether he shall have a half dinner or a whole dinner, whether he shall buy a pair of black silk stockings, or wax his old ones a week or two longer, the poor man’s relish of a Trump, the Four Honors, is gone—and I do not know whether if we could get at the bottom of things whether poor star-doomed Phillips with his hair staring with despair was not a happier being than the sleek well combed oily-pated Secretary that has succeeded. The gift is, however, clogged with one stipulation, that the Secretary is to remain a Single Man. Here I smell Rickman. Thus are gone at once all Phillips’ matrimonial dreams. Those verses which he wrote himself, and those which a superior pen (with modesty let me speak as I name no names) endited for him to Elisa, Amelia &c.—for Phillips was a wife-hunting, probably from the circumstance of his having formed an extreme rash connection in early life which paved the way to all his after misfortunes, but there is an obstinacy in human nature which such accidents only serve to whet on to try again. Pleasure thus at two entrances quite shut out—I hardly know how to determine of Phillips’s result of happiness. He appears satisfyd, but never those bursts of gaiety, those moment-rules from the Cave of Despondency, that used to make his face shine and shew the lines which care had marked in it. I would bet an even wager he marries secretly, the Speaker finds it out, and he is reverted to his old Liberty and a hundred pounds a year—these are but speculations—I can think of no other news. I am going to eat Turbot &c. . . .

After “half-past four this day” (page 439) comes:— Mary has ordered the bolt to my bedroom door inside to be taken off, and a practicable latch to be put on, that I may not bar myself in and be suffocated by my neckcloth, so we have taken all precautions,
three watchmen are engaged to carry the body upstairs—Pray for me —They keep bothering me.

Letter 221, page 494

Here should come a letter to Rickman, dated December 30, 1816. The chief news in it is that George Dyer has been made one of Lord Stanhope’s ten Residuary Legatees. This, says Lamb, will settle Dyer’s fate: he will have to throw his dirty glove at some one and marry.

Letter 234, page 522. To Manning

At the beginning of this letter is an unprinted passage saying that Charles Lloyd and his wife are in London and that such proximity is not too comfortable. “Would you like to see him?” or “isn’t it better to lean over a stile in a sort of careless easy half astronomical position eyeing the blue expanse?”

Letter 237, page 529

After this should come Letter 237a:—

Charles and Mary Lamb to Samuel James Arnold
[No date. ? 1819.]
Dear Sir,

We beg to convey our kindest acknowledgements to Mr. Arnold for the very pleasant privilege he has favoured us with. My yearly holidays end with next week, during which we shall be mostly in the country, and afterwards avail ourselves fully of the privilege. Sincerely wishing you crowded houses, etc.,

We remain,
Yours truly,
Ch. & M. Lamb.

Arnold, brother-in-law of Ayrton, was the lessee of the Lyceum, where Miss Kelly was acting when Lamb proposed to her in 1819. This letter may belong to that time.

Letter 246, page 541

After this should come the following (Letter 246a), which tells us what the Lambs were doing in the summer of 1820:—

Charles Lamb to Thomas Allsop
[p.m. July 13, 1820.]

Dear Sir, I do not know whose fault it is we have not met so long. We are almost always out of town. You must come and beat up our quarters there, when we return from Cambridge. It is not in our power to accept your invitation. To-day we dine out; and set out for Cambridge on Saturday morning, Friday of course will be past in
packing, &c., moreover we go from Dalston. We return from Cam. in 4 weeks, and will contrive an early meeting. Meantime believe us,

Sincerely yours,
C. L., &c.

It was during this visit to Cambridge that Lamb wrote his Elia essay on “Oxford in the Vacation.”

Letter 265, page 560

Here should come a letter from Lamb to Rickman, dated November 20, 1821, referring to Admiral Burney’s death. “I have been used to death lately. Poor Jim White’s departure last year first broke the spell. I had been so fortunate as to have lost no friends in that way for many long years, and began to think people did not die.” He says that Mary Lamb has recovered from a long illness and is pretty well resigned to John Lamb’s death.

Letter 359, page 689

Here should come the following note and acrostic (Letter 359a), kindly placed at my disposal by Major Butterworth. Aitken was an Edinburgh bookseller who edited The Cabinet; or, The Selected Beauties of Literature, 1824, 1825 and 1831. The particular interest of the letter is that it shows Lamb to have wanted to publish Rosamund Gray a third time in his life. Hitherto we had only his statement that Hessey said that the world would not bear it. Aitken printed the story in The Cabinet for 1831. Previously he had printed “Dream Children” and “The Inconveniences of being Hanged.”

I have been told (but have had no opportunity of verifying the statement) that the Buttons, for one of whom the appended acrostic was written, were cousins of the Lambs.

Colebrooke Cottage, Islington, July 5, 1825.

Dear Sir,—With thanks for your last No. of the Cabinet—as I cannot arrange with a London publisher to reprint “Rosamund Gray” as a book, it will be at your service to admit into the Cabinet as soon as you please.

Your hble. servt,
Chs. Lamb.
Emma, eldest of your name,
Meekly trusting in her God
Midst the red-hot plough-shares trod,
And unscorch’d preserved her fame.
By that test if you were tried,
Ugly flames might be defied;
Though devouring fire’s a glutton,
Through the trial you might go
“On the light fantastic toe,”
Nor for plough-shares care a Button.
Letter 401, page 738

A letter to an anonymous correspondent, in the summer of 1827, has an amusing passage concerning Emma Isola’s Latin. Lamb says that they made Cary laugh by translating “Blast you” into such elegant verbiage as “Deus afflet tibi.” He adds, “How some parsons would have goggled and what would Hannah More say? I don’t like clergymen, but here and there one. Cary, the Dante Cary, is a model, quite as plain as Parson Primrose, without a shade of silliness.”

On July 21, 1827, is a letter to Mr. Dillon, whom I do not identify, saying that Lamb has been teaching Emma Isola Latin for the past seven weeks.

Letter 405, page 746

Following this letter, under the date August 29, 1827, should come a letter from Lamb to Robert Jameson (husband of Mrs. Jameson) asking him to interest himself in Miss Isola’s career. “Our friend Coleridge will bear witness to the very excellent manner in which she read to him some of the most difficult passages in the Paradise Lost.”

Letter 439, page 778

Here should come a letter to Rickman, dated September 11, 1828, in which Lamb thanks him for a present of nuts and apples, but is surprised that apples should be offered to the owner of a “whole tree, almost an orchard,” and “an apple chamber redolent” to boot.

Here should come a letter from Lamb to Louisa Holcroft, dated October 2, 1828, in which, so soon after Mary Lamb’s determination to be the letter writer of the family, he says, “Mary Lamb has written her last letter in this world,” adding that he has been left her writing legatee. He calls geese “those pretty birds that look like snow in summer, and cackle like ice breaking up.”

Here should come (Letter 439a) a long Latin letter to Rickman, dated October 4, 1828. Canon Ainger prints only the Latin. I append an English version:—

Postmark Oct. 3, 1828.

I have been thinking of sending some kind of an answer in Latin to your very elaborate letter, but something has arisen every day to hinder me. To begin with our awkward friend M. B. has been with us for a while, and every day and all day we have had such a lecture, you know how he stutters, on legal, mind, nothing but legal notices, that I have been afraid the Latin I want to write might prove rather barbaro-forensic than Ciceronian. He is swallowed up, body and soul, in law; he eats, drinks, plays (at the card table) Law, nothing but Law. He acts Ignoramus in the play so thoroughly, that you wd
swear that in the inmost marrow of his head (is not this the proper anatomical term?) there have housed themselves not devils but pettifoggers, to bemuddle with their noisy chatter his own and his friends’ wits. He brought here, ’twas all his luggage, a book, Fearn on Contingent Remainders. This book he has read so hard, and taken such infinite pains to understand, that the reader’s brain has few or no Remainders to continge. Enough, however, of M. B. and his luggage. To come back to your claims upon me. Your return journey, with notes, I read again and again, nor have I done with them yet. You always make something fresh out of a hackneyed theme. Our milestones, you say, bristle with blunders, but I must shortly explain why I cannot comply with your directions herein.

Suppose I were to consult the local magnates about a matter of this kind—Ha! says one of our waywardens or parish overseers,—What business is this of yours? Do you want to drop the Lodger and come out as a Householder?—Now you must know that I took this house of mine at Enfield, by an obvious domiciliary fiction, in my Sister’s name, to avoid the bother and trouble of parish and vestry meetings, and to escape finding myself one day an overseer or big-wig of some sort. What then wd be my reply to the above question?

Leisure I have secured: but of dignity, not a tittle. Besides, to tell you the truth, the aforesaid irregularities are, to my thinking, most entertaining, and in fact very touching indeed. Here am I, quit of worldly affairs of every kind; for if superannuation does not mean that, what does it mean? The world then, being, as the saying is, beyond my ken, and being myself entirely removed from any accurate distinctions of space or time, these mistakes in road-measure do not seriously offend me. For in the infinite space of the heavens above (which in this contracted sphere of mine I desire to imitate so far as may be) what need is there of milestones? Local distance has to do with mortal affairs. In my walks abroad, limited though they must be, I am quite at my own disposal, and on that account I have a good word for our Enfield clocks too. Their hands generally point without any servile reference to this Sun of our World, in his sub-Empyrean position. They strike too just as it happens, according to their own sweet wiles,—one—two—three—anything they like, and thus to me, a more fortunate Whittington, they pleasantly announce, that Time, so far as I am concerned, is no more. Here you have my reasons for not attending in this matter to the requests of a busy subsolar such as you are.

Furthermore, when I reach the milestone that counts from the Hicks-Hall that stands now, I own at once the Aulic dignity, and, were I a gaol-bird, I should shake in my shoes. When I reach the next which counts from the site of the old Hall, my thoughts turn to the fallen grandeur of the pile, and I reflect upon the perishable condition of the most imposing of human structures. Thus I banish from my soul all pride and arrogance, and with such meditations purify my heart from day to day. A wayfarer such as I am, may learn from Vincent Bourne, in words terser and neater than any of mine, the advantages
of milestones properly arranged. The lines are at the end of a little poem of his, called Milestones—(Do you remember it or shall I write it all out?)
How well the Milestones’ use doth this express,
Which make the miles [seem] more and way seem less.

What do you mean by this—I am borrowing hand and style from this youngster of mine—your son, I take it. The style looks, nay on careful inspection by these old eyes, is most clearly your very own, and the writing too. Either R’s or the Devil’s. I will defer your explanation till our next meeting—may it be soon.

My Latin failing me, as you may infer from erasures above, there is only this to add. Farewell, and be sure to give Mrs. Rickman my kind remembrances.

C. Lamb.

Enfield, Chase Side, 4th Oct, 1828. I can’t put this properly into Latin. Dabam—what is it?

Letter 449, page 793

This is a complete list of the contents of Emma Isola’s Album, all autographs (from Quaritch’s catalogue, September, 1886):—

Charles Lamb. “What is an Album?” a poem addressed to Miss Emma Isola.
— — “To Emma on her Twenty-first Birthday,” May 25, 1830.
— — “Harmony in Unlikeness.” Without date.
John Keats. “To my Brother,” a sonnet on the birthday of his brother Tom, dated Nov. 18 (? 1814 or 1815).
William Wordsworth. “She dwelt among the untrodden ways,” three verses of his poem on Lucy, copied in his own hand on March 18, 1837.
— — “Blessings be with them, and enduring praise,” five lines of a sonnet dated Rydal, 1838.
Alfred Tennyson. “When Lazarus left his charnel-cave,” four stanzas, undated.
Thomas Moore. “Woman gleans but sorrow,” and note to Moxon, June, 1844.
Leigh Hunt. “Apollo’s Autograph,” from an unpublished poem called “The Feast of the Violets.” Undated, circa 1838.
Thomas Hood. “Dreams,” a prose fragment, without date, circa 1840.
James Hoog. “I’m a’ gaen wrang,” a song by the Ettrick Shepherd, circa 1830.
Joanna Baillie. “Up! quit thy bower,” a song, undated, circa 1830.
Robert Southey. Epitaph on himself, in verse, Feb. 18, 1837.
Thomas Campbell. “Victoria’s sceptre o’er the waves,” circa 1837.
Allan Cunningham. “The Pirate’s Song,” circa 1838.
Charles Dibdin. “An Album’s like the Dream of Hope,” circa 1827.
Bernard Barton. “To Emma,” with a note by Charles Lamb at foot, 1827.
Walter Savage Landor. “To Emma Isola,” circa 1827.
Barry Cornwall. “To the Spirit of Italy,” circa 1827.
Samuel Rogers. Two letters, and a poem, “My Last,” 1829-36.
Frederick Locker. A quatrain, dated July, 1873.
George Dyer, J. B. Dibdin, George Darley, Matilda Betham, H. F. Cary, Mrs. Piozzi, Edward Moxon, T. N. Talfourd, are the other writers.
Letter 461, page 808

After this should come the following (Letter 461a), from The Mirror, 1841:—

Charles Lamb to George Dyer
Enfield, April 29, 1829.

Dear Dyer—As well as a bad pen can do it, I must thank you for your friendly attention to the wishes of our young friend Emma, who was packing up for Bury when your sonnet arrived, and was too hurried to express her sense of its merits. I know she will treasure up that and your second communication among her choicest rarities, as from her grandfather’s friend, whom not having seen, she loves to hear talked of. The second letter shall be sent after her, with our first parcel to Suffolk, where she is, to us, alas dead and Bury’d; we sorely miss her. Should you at any hour think of four or six lines, to send her, addressed to herself simply, naming her grandsire, and to wish she may pass through life as much respected, with your own G. Dyer at the end, she would feel rich indeed, for the nature of an Album asks for verses that have not been in print before; but this quite at your convenience: and to be less trouble to yourself, four lines would be sufficient. Enfield has come out in summer beauty. Come when you will and we will give you a bed. Emma has left hers, you know. I remain, my dear Dyer, your affectionate friend,

Charles Lamb.

Lamb made the same pun—Bury’d—to George Dyer in his letter, on page 970, of December 5, 1808. His Album verses for Miss Isola I have not seen.

Letter 498, page 857

Here probably should come an undated letter to Mrs. John Rickman, accompanying a gift of Album Verses. Lamb says: “Will you re-give, or lend me, by the bearer, the one Volume of Juvenile Poetry? I have tidings of a second at Brighton.” He proposes that he and Mrs. Rickman shall some day play old whist for the two.

Letter 557, page 911

Here should come a letter to Miss Rickman, dated May 23, 1833. “Perhaps, as Miss Kelly is just now in notoriety, it may amuse you to know that ‘Barbara S.’ is all of it true of her, being all communicated to me from her own mouth. The ‘wedding’ you of course found out to be Sally Burney’s.”

Letter 586, page 941. To Mr. Childs

Lamb sent Mr. Childs a copy of John Woodvil in which he wrote:—

From The Author

In great haste, the Pig was faultless,—we got decently merry after it and chirpt and sang “Heigh! Bessy Bungay!” in honour of the Sender. Pray let me have a line to say you got the Books; keep the 1st vol.—two or three months, so long as it comes home at last.