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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt [18 September 1805]

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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Produced by CATH
[? Sep. 18, 1805.]

MY dear Sarah,—I have made many attempts at writing to you, but it has always brought your troubles and my own so strongly into my mind, that I have been obliged to leave off, and make Charles write for me. I am resolved now, however few lines I write, this shall go; for I know, my kind friend, you will like once more to see my own handwriting.

I have been for these few days past in rather better spirits, so that I begin almost to feel myself once more a living creature, and to hope for happier times; and in that hope I include the prospect of once more seeing my dear Sarah in peace and comfort in our old garret. How did I wish for your presence to cheer my drooping heart when I returned home from banishment.

Is your being with, or near, your poor dear Mother necessary to her comfort? does she take any notice of you? and is there any prospect of her recovery? How I grieve for her and for you. . . .

I went to the Admiralty about your Mother’s pension; from thence I was directed to an office in Lincoln’s Inn, where they are paid. They informed me at the office that it could not be paid to any person except Mr. Wray, without a letter of attorney from your Mother; and as the stamp for that will cost one pound, it will, perhaps, be better to leave it till Mr. Wray comes to town, if he does come before Christmas; they tell me it can be received any Thursday between this and Christmas. If you send up a letter of Attorney, let it be in my name. If you think, notwithstanding their positive assurance to the contrary, that you can put me in any way of getting it without, let me know. Are you acquainted with Mr. Pearce, and will my taking another letter from you to him be of any service? or will a letter from Mr. Wray be of any use?—though I fear not, for they said at the office they had orders to pay no pension without a letter of Attorney. The attestation you sent up, they said, was sufficient, and that the same must be sent every year. Do not let us neglect this business; and make use of me in any way you can.

I have much to thank you and your kind brother for; I kept the dark silk, as you may suppose: you have made me very fine; the broche is very beautiful. Mrs. Jeffries wept for gratitude when she saw your present; she desires all manner of thanks and good wishes. Your maid’s sister was gone to live a few miles from town; Charles, however, found her out, and gave her the handkerchief.
I want to know if you have seen William, and if there is any prospect in future there. All you said in your letter from Portsmouth that related to him was burnt so in the fumigating, that we could only make out that it was unfavourable, but not the particulars; tell us again how you go on, and if you have seen him: I conceit affairs will some how be made up between you at last.

I want to know how your brother goes on. Is he likely to make a very good fortune, and in how long a time? And how is he, in the way of home comforts?—I mean, is he very happy with Mrs. Stoddart? This was a question I could not ask while you were there, and perhaps is not a fair one now; but I want to know how you all went on—and, in short, twenty little foolish questions that one ought, perhaps, rather to ask when we meet, than to write about. But do make me a little acquainted with the inside of the good Doctor’s house, and what passes therein.

Was Coleridge often with you? or did your brother and Col. argue long arguements, till between the two great argue-ers there grew a little coolness?—or perchance the mighty friendship between Coleridge and your Sovereign Governor, Sir Alexander Ball, might create a kind of jealousy, for we fancy something of a coldness did exist, from the little mention ever made of C. in your brother’s letters.

Write us, my good girl, a long, gossiping letter, answering all these foolish questions—and tell me any silly thing you can recollect—any, the least particular, will be interesting to us, and we will never tell tales out of school: but we used to wonder and wonder, how you all went on; and when you was coming home we said, “Now we shall hear all from Sarah.”

God bless you, my dear friend.

I am ever your affectionate
Mary Lamb.

If you have sent Charles any commissions he has not executed, write me word—he says he has lost or mislaid a letter desiring him to inquire about a wig.

Write two letters—one of business and pensions, and one all about Sarah Stoddart and Malta. Is Mr. Moncrief doing well there?

Wednesday morning.

We have got a picture of Charles; do you think your brother would like to have it? If you do, can you put us in a way how to send it?