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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, [25 July 1829]

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
Enfield Chase Side Saturday 25 July a.d. 1829.—11 a.m.

THERE—a fuller plumper juiceier date never dropt from Idumean palm. Am I in the dateive case now? if not, a fig for dates, which is more than a date is worth. I never stood much affected to these limitary specialities. Least of all since the date of my superannuation.
What have I with Time to do?
Slaves of desks, twas meant for you.
Dear B. B.—Your hand writing has conveyed much pleasure to me in report of
Lucy’s restoration. Would I could send you as good news of my poor Lucy. But some wearisome weeks I must remain lonely yet. I have had the loneliest time near 10 weeks, broken by a short apparition of Emma for her holydays, whose departure only deepend the returning solitude, and by 10 days I have past in Town. But Town, with all my native hankering after it, is not what it was. The streets, the shops are left, but all old friends are gone. And in London I was frightfully convinced of this as I past houses and places—empty caskets now. I have ceased to care almost about any body. The bodies I cared for are in graves, or dispersed. My old Clubs, that lived so long and flourish’d so steadily, are crumbled away. When I took leave of our adopted young friend at Charing Cross, ’twas heavy unfeeling rain, and I had no where to go. Home have I none—and not a sympathising house to turn to in the great city. Never did the waters of the heaven pour down on a forlorner head. Yet I tried 10 days at a sort of a friend’s house, but it was large and straggling—one of the individuals of my old long knot of friends, card players, pleasant companions—that have tumbled to pieces into dust and other things—and I got home on Thursday, convinced that I was better to get home to my
hole at Enfield, and hide like a sick cat in my corner. Less than a month I hope will bring home
Mary. She is at Fulham, looking better in her health than ever, but sadly rambling, and scarce showing any pleasure in seeing me, or curiosity when I should come again. But the old feelings will come back again, and we shall drown old sorrows over a game at Picquet again. But ’tis a tedious cut out of a life of sixty four, to lose twelve or thirteen weeks every year or two. And to make me more alone, our ill-temperd maid is gone, who with all her airs, was yet a home piece of furniture, a record of better days; the young thing that has succeeded her is good and attentive, but she is nothing—and I have no one here to talk over old matters with. Scolding and quarreling have something of familiarity and a community of interest—they imply acquaintance—they are of resentment, which is of the family of dearness. I can neither scold nor quarrel at this insignificant implement of household services; she is less than a cat, and just better than a deal Dresser. What I can do, and do overdo, is to walk, but deadly long are the days—these summer all-day days, with but a half hour’s candlelight and no firelight. I do not write, tell your kind inquisitive Eliza, and can hardly read. In the ensuing Blackwood will be an old rejected farce of mine, which may be new to you, if you see that same dull Medley. What things are all the Magazines now! I contrive studiously not to see them. The popular New Monthly is perfect trash. Poor Hessey, I suppose you see, has failed. Hunt and Clarke too. Your “Vulgar truths” will be a good name—and I think your prose must please—me at least—but ’tis useless to write poetry with no purchasers. ’Tis cold work Authorship without something to puff one into fashion. Could you not write something on Quakerism—for Quakers to read—but nominally addrest to Non Quakers? explaining your dogmas—waiting on the Spirit—by the analogy of human calmness and patient waiting on the judgment? I scarcely know what I mean, but to make Non Quakers reconciled to your doctrines, by shewing something like them in mere human operations—but I hardly understand myself, so let it pass for nothing. I pity you for over-work, but I assure you no-work is worse. The mind preys on itself, the most unwholesome food. I brag’d formerly that I could not have too much time. I have a surfeit. With few years to come, the days are wearisome. But weariness is not eternal. Something will shine out to take the load off, that flags me, which is at present intolerable. I have killed an hour or two in this poor scrawl. I am a sanguinary murderer of time, and would kill him inchmeal just now. But the snake is vital. Well, I shall write merrier anon.—“Tis the present copy of my countenance I send—and to complain is a little to alleviate.— May you enjoy yourself as far as the wicked wood will let you
—and think that you are not quite alone, as I am. Health to
Lucia and to Anna and kind remembces.

Yours forlorn.

C. L.