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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson, 25 November 1824

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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Desk 11, Nov. 25 [1824].

MY dear Miss Hutchinson, Mary bids me thank you for your kind letter. We are a little puzzled about your whereabouts: Miss Wordsworth writes Torkay, and you have queerly made it Torquay. Now Tokay we have heard of, and Torbay, which we take to be the true male spelling of the place, but somewhere we fancy it to be on “Devon’s leafy shores,” where we heartily wish the kindly breezes may restore all that is invalid among you. Robinson is returned, and speaks much of you all. We shall be most glad to hear good news from you from time to time. The best is, Proctor is at last married. We have made sundry attempts to see the Bride, but have accidentally failed, she being gone out a gadding.

We had promised our dear friends the Monkhouses, promised ourselves rather, a visit to them at Ramsgate, but I thought it best, and Mary seemed to have it at heart too, not to go far from home these last holy days. It is connected with a sense of unsettlement, and secretly I know she hoped that such abstinence would be friendly to her health. She certainly has escaped her sad yearly visitation, whether in consequence of it, or of faith in it, and we have to be thankful for a good 1824. To get such a notion into our heads may go a great way another year. Not that we quite confined ourselves; but assuming Islington to be head quarters, we made timid flights to Ware, Watford &c. to try how the trouts tasted, for a night out or so, not long enough to make the sense of change oppressive, but sufficient to scour the rust of home.

Coleridge is not returned from the Sea. As a little scandal may divert you recluses—we were in the Summer dining at a Clergyman of Southey’s “Church of England,” at Hertford, the same who officiated to Thurtell’s last moments, and indeed an old contemporary Blue of C.’s and mine at School. After dinner we talked of C., and F. who is a mighty good fellow in the main, but hath his cassock prejudices, inveighed against the moral character of C. I endeavoured to enlighten him on the subject, till having driven him out of some
of his holds, he stopt my mouth at once by appealing to me whether it was not very well known that C. “at that very moment was living in a state of open a———y with
Mrs. * * * * * * at Highgate?” Nothing I could say serious or bantering after that could remove the deep inrooted conviction of the whole company assembled that such was the case! Of course you will keep this quite close, for I would not involve my poor blundering friend, who I dare say believed it all thoroughly. My interference of course was imputed to the goodness of my heart, that could imagine nothing wrong &c. Such it is if Ladies will go gadding about with other people’s husbands at watering places. How careful we should be to avoid the appearance of Evil. I thought this Anecdote might amuse you. It is not worth resenting seriously; only I give it as a specimen of orthodox candour. O Southey, Southey, how long would it be before you would find one of us Unitarians propagating such unwarrantable Scandal! Providence keep you all from the foul fiend Scandal, and send you back well and happy to dear Gloster Place.

C. L.