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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, 10 February 1825

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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[Dated at end: 10 February, 1825.]

DEAR B. B.—I am vexed that ugly paper should have offended. I kept it as clear from objectionable phrases as possible, and it was Hessey’s fault, and my weakness, that it did not appear anonymous. No more of it for God’s sake.

The Spirit of the Age is by Hazlitt. The characters of Coleridge, &c. he had done better in former publications, the praise and the abuse much stronger, &c. but the new ones are capitally done. Horne Tooke is a matchless portrait. My advice is, to borrow it rather than read [? buy] it. I have it. He has laid on too many colours on my likeness, but I have had so much injustice done me in my own name, that I make a rule of accepting as much over-measure to Elia as Gentlemen think proper to bestow. Lay it on and spare not.

Your Gentleman Brother sets my mouth a watering after Liberty. O that I were kicked out of Leadenhall with every mark of indignity, and a competence in my fob. The birds of the air would not be so free as I should. How I would prance and curvet it, and pick up cowslips, and ramble about purposeless as an ideot! The Author-mometer is a good fancy. I have caused great speculation in the dramatic (not thy) world by a Lying Life of Liston, all pure invention. The Town has swallowed it, and it is copied into News Papers, Play Bills, etc., as authentic. You do not know the Droll, and possibly missed reading the article (in our 1st No., New Series). A life more improbable for him to have lived would not be easily invented. But your rebuke, coupled with “Dream on J. Bunyan,” checks me. I’d rather do more in my favorite way, but feel dry. I must laugh sometimes. I am poor Hypochondriacus, and not Liston.

Our 2nd No is all trash. What are T. and H. about? It is whip syllabub, “thin sown with aught of profit or delight.” Thin sown! not a germ of fruit or corn. Why did poor Scott die! There was comfort in writing with such associates as were his little
band of Scribblers, some gone away, some affronted away, and I am left as the solitary widow looking for water cresses.

The only clever hand they have is Darley, who has written on the Dramatists, under name of John Lacy. But his function seems suspended.

I have been harassed more than usually at office, which has stopt my correspondence lately. I write with a confused aching head, and you must accept this apology for a Letter.

I will do something soon if I can as a peace offering to the Queen of the East Angles. Something she shan’t scold about.

For the Present, farewell.

C. L.
10 Feb. 1825.

I am fifty years old this day. Drink my health.