LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, [Spring 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
[(Early spring), 1824.]

I AM sure I cannot fill a letter, though I should disfurnish my scull to fill it. But you expect something, and shall have a Note-let. Is Sunday, not divinely speaking, but humanly and holydaysically, a blessing? Without its institution, would our rugged taskmasters have given us a leisure day, so often, think you, as once in a month?—or, if it had not been instituted, might they not have given us every 6th day? Solve me this problem. If we are to go 3 times
a day to church, why has Sunday slipped into the notion of a Holliday? A Holyday I grant it. The puritans, I have read in
Southey’s Book, knew the distinction. They made people observe Sunday rigorously, would not let a nursery maid walk out in the fields with children for recreation on that day. But then—they gave the people a holliday from all sorts of work every second Tuesday. This was giving to the Two Cæsars that which was his respective. Wise, beautiful, thoughtful, generous Legislators! Would Wilberforce give us our Tuesdays? No, d—n him. He would turn the six days into sevenths,
And those 3 smiling seasons of the year
Into a Russian winter.
Old Play.

I am sitting opposite a person who is making strange distortions with the gout, which is not unpleasant—to me at least. What is the reason we do not sympathise with pain, short of some terrible Surgical operation? Hazlitt, who boldly says all he feels, avows that not only he does not pity sick people, but he hates them. I obscurely recognise his meaning. Pain is probably too selfish a consideration, too simply a consideration of self-attention. We pity poverty, loss of friends etc. more complex things, in which the Sufferers feelings are associated with others. This is a rough thought suggested by the presence of gout; I want head to extricate it and plane it. What is all this to your Letter? I felt it to be a good one, but my turn, when I write at all, is perversely to travel out of the record, so that my letters are any thing but answers. So you still want a motto? You must not take my ironical one, because your book, I take it, is too serious for it. Bickerstaff might have used it for his lucubrations. What do you think of (for a Title)
There is
Religio-Medici and Laici.—But perhaps the volume is not quite Quakerish enough or exclusively for it—but your own Vigils is perhaps the Best. While I have space, let me congratulate with you the return of Spring—what a Summery Spring too! all those qualms about the dog and cray-fish melt before it. I am going to be happy and vain again.

A hasty farewell

C. Lamb.