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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Walter Wilson, [15 November 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, 15th November, 1829.

MY dear Wilson,—I have not opened a packet of unknown contents for many years, that gave me so much pleasure as when I disclosed your three volumes. I have given them a careful perusal, and they have taken their degree of classical books upon my shelves. De Foe was always my darling; but what darkness was I in as to far the larger part of his writings! I have now an epitome of them all. I think the way in which you have done the “Life “the most judicious you could have pitched upon. You have made him tell his own story, and your comments are in keeping with the tale. Why, I never heard of such a work as “the Review.” Strange that in my stall-hunting days I never so much as lit upon an odd volume of it. This circumstance looks as if they were never of any great circulation. But I may have met with ’em,
and not knowing the prize, overpast ’em. I was almost a stranger to the whole history of Dissenters in those reigns, and picked my way through that strange book the “
Consolidator” at random. How affecting are some of his personal appeals! what a machine of projects he set on foot! and following writers have picked his pocket of the patents. I do not understand whereabouts in Roxana he himself left off. I always thought the complete-tourist-sort of description of the town she passes through on her last embarkation miserably unseasonable and out of place. I knew not they were spurious. Enlighten me as to where the apocryphal matter commences. I, by accident, can correct one A. D. “Family Instructor,” vol. ii. 1718; you say his first volume had then reached the fourth edition; now I have a fifth, printed for Eman. Matthews, 1717. So have I plucked one rotten date, or rather picked it up where it had inadvertently fallen, from your flourishing date tree, the Palm of Engaddi. I may take it for my pains. I think yours a book which every public library must have, and every English scholar should have. I am sure it has enriched my meagre stock of the author’s works. I seem to be twice as opulent. Mary is by my side just finishing the second volume. It must have interest to divert her away so long from her modern novels. Colburn will be quite jealous. I was a little disappointed at my “Ode to the Treadmill” not finding a place; but it came out of time. The two papers of mine will puzzle the reader, being so akin. Odd that, never keeping a scrap of my own letters, with some fifteen years’ interval I should nearly have said the same things. But I shall always feel happy in having my name go down any how with De Foe’s, and that of his historiographer. I promise myself, if not immortality, yet diuternity of being read in consequence. We have both had much illness this year; and feeling infirmities and fretfulness grow upon us, we have cast off the cares of housekeeping, sold off our goods, and commenced boarding and lodging with a very comfortable old couple next door to where you found us. We use a sort of common table. Nevertheless, we have reserved a private one for an old friend; and when Mrs. Wilson and you revisit Babylon, we shall pray you to make it yours for a season. Our very kindest remembrances to you both.

From your old friend and fellow-journalist, now in two instances,

C. Lamb.

Hazlitt is going to make your book a basis for a review of De Foe’s Novels in the “Edinbro’.” I wish I had health and spirits to do it. Hone I have not seen, but I doubt not he will be much pleased with your performance. I very much hope you will give us an account of Dunton, &c. But what I should more like to
see would be a Life and Times of
Bunyan. Wishing health to you and long life to your healthy book, again I subscribe me,

Yours in verity,
C. L.