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Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Ch. XI 1808
Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart [Hazlitt] [12 February 1808]

Chap. I 1778-1811
Ch. II: 1791-95
Ch. III 1795-98
Ch. IV 1798
Ch. V 1798
Ch. VI 1792-1803
Ch. VII 1803-05
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Ch. IX
Ch. X 1807
Ch. XI 1808
Ch. XII 1808
Ch. XII 1812
Ch. XIV 1814-15
Ch. XV 1814-17
Ch. XVI 1818
Ch. XVII 1820
Ch. XX 1821
Ch. I 1821
Ch. II 1821-22
Ch. III 1821-22
Ch. IV 1822
Ch. V 1822
Ch. VI 1822
Ch. VII 1822-23
Ch. VIII 1822
Ch. IX 1823
Ch. X 1824
Ch. XI 1825
Ch. XII 1825
Ch. XIII 1825
Ch. XIV 1825
Ch. XV 1825
Ch. XVI 1825-27
Ch. XVII 1826-28
Ch. XVIII 1829-30
Ch. XX
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[12 Feb. 1808.]
“My dear Sarah,

“I have sent your letter and drawing off to Wem, Hazlitt’s father’s in Shropshire, where I conjecture Hazlitt is. He left town on Saturday afternoon without telling us where he was going. He seemed very impatient at not hearing from you. He was very ill, and I suppose is gone home to his father’s to be nursed.

“I find Hazlitt has mentioned to you the intention which we had of asking you up to town, which we were bent on doing; but, having named it since to your brother, the Doctor expressed a strong desire that you should not come to town to be at any other house than his own, for he said it would have a very strange appearance. His wife’s father is coming to be with them till near the end of April, after which time he shall have full room for you. And if you are to be married, he wishes that you should be married with all the proper decorums from his house. Now, though we should be most willing to run any hazards of disobliging him, if there were no other means of your and Hazlitt’s meeting, yet, as he seems so friendly to the match, it would not be worth while to alienate him from you, and ourselves, too, for the slight accommodation which the difference of a few weeks could make; provided always, and be it understood, that if you and H. make up your minds to be married before the time in which you can be at your brother’s, our house stands open, and most ready at a moment’s notice to receive you. Only we would not quarrel unnecessarily with your brother. Let there be a clear necessity shown, and we will quarrel
with anybody’s brother. Now, though I have written to the above effect, I hope you will not conceive but that both my brother and I had looked forward to your coming with unmixed pleasure, and are really disappointed at your brother’s declaration; for next to the pleasure of being married, is the pleasure of making or helping marriage forward.

“We wish to hear from you that you do not take our seeming change of purpose in ill part, for it is but seeming on our part; for it was my brother’s suggestion, by him first mentioned to Hazlitt, and cordially approved by me. But your brother has set his face against it, and it is better to take him along with us in our plans, if he will good-naturedly go along with us, than not.

“The reason I have not written lately has been that I thought it better to leave you all to the workings of your own minds in this momentous affair, in which the inclinations of a bystander have a right to form a wish, but not to give a vote.

“Being, with the help of wide lines, at the end of my last page, I conclude, with our kind wishes and prayers for the best.

“Yours affectionately,
“M. Lamb.

“His direction is (if he is there) at Wem, in Shropshire. I suppose, as letters must come to London first, you had better enclose them, while he is there, to my brother, in London.

[Endorsed.] “Miss Stoddart,
“Winterslow, near Salisbury, Wilts.”