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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Edward Moxon, [3 February 1831]

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
[p.m. February 3, 1831.]

DEAR Moxon, The snows are ancle deep slush and mire, that ’tis hard to get to the post office, and cruel to send the maid out. ’Tis a slough of despair, or I should sooner have thankd you for your offer of the Life, which we shall very much like to have, and will return duly. I do not know when I shall be in town, but in a week or two at farthest, when I will come as far as you if I can. We are moped to death with confinement within doors. I send you a curiosity of G. Dyer’s tender-conscience. Between 30 and 40 years since, G. published the Poet’s Fate, in which were two very harmless lines about Mr. Rogers, but Mr. R. not quite approving of them, they were left out in a subsequent edition 1801. But G. has been worryting about them ever since; if I have heard him once, I have heard him a hundred times express a remorse proportiond to a consciousness of having been guilty of an atrocious libel. As the devil would have it, a fool they call Barker, in his Parriana has quoted the identical two lines as they stood in some obscure edition anterior to 1801, and the withers of poor G. are again wrung. His letter is a gem—with his poor blind eyes it has been laboured out at six sittings. The history of the couplet is in page 3 of this irregular production, in which every variety of shape and size that Letters can be twisted into, is to be found. Do shew his part of it to Mr. R. some day. If he has bowels, they must melt at the contrition so queerly character’d of a contrite sinner. G. was born I verily think without original sin, but chuses to have a conscience, as every Christian Gentleman should have. His dear old face is insusceptible of the twist they call a sneer, yet he is apprehensive of being suspected of that ugly appearance. When he makes a compliment, he thinks he has given an affront. A name is personality. But shew (no hurry) this unique recantation to Mr. R. ’Tis like a dirty pocket handkerchief muck’d with tears of some indigent Magdalen. There is the impress of sincerity in every pot-hook and hanger. And then the gilt frame to such a pauper picture! It should go into the Museum. I am heartily sorry my Devil does not answer. We must try it a little longer, and after all I think I must insist on taking a portion of the loss upon myself. It is too much you should lose by two adventures. You do not say how your general business goes on, and I should very much like to talk over it with you here. Come when the weather will possibly let you. I want to see the Wordsworths, but I do not much like
to be all night away. It is dull enough to be here together, but it is duller to leave
Mary; in short it is painful, and in a flying visit I should hardly catch them. I have no beds for them, if they came down, and but a sort of a house to receive them in, yet I shall regret their departure unseen. I feel cramped and straiten’d every way. Where are they?

We have heard from Emma but once, and that a month ago, and are very anxious for another letter.

You say we have forgot your powers of being serviceable to us. That we never shall. I do not know what I should do without you when I want a little commission. Now then. There are left at Miss Buffam’s, the Tales of the Castle, and certain vols. Retrospective Review. The first should be conveyd to Novello’s, and the Reviews should be taken to Talfourd’s office, ground floor, East side, Elm Court, Middle Temple, to whom I should have written, but my spirits are wretched. It is quite an effort to write this. So, with the Life, I have cut you out 3 Pieces of service. What can I do for you here, but hope to see you very soon, and think of you with most kindness. I fear tomorrow, between rains and snows, it would be impossible to expect you, but do not let a practicable Sunday pass. We are always at home!

Mary joins in remembrances to your sister, whom we hope to see in any fine-ish weather, when she’ll venture.

Remember us to Allsop, and all the dead people—to whom, and to London, we seem dead.