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Full text of "The letters of Charles Lamb, in which many mutilated words and passages have been restored to their original form; with letters never before published and facsimiles of original ms. letters and poems;"


DUKE 


UNIVERSITY 


LIBRARY 


Treasi/re 'Room 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/lettersofcharles05lamb 



THE 
LETTERS OF CHARLES LAMB 

1796—1801 
VOLUME II 



^^^ 




THE LETTERS OF 

CHARLES LAM lTCl 

IN WHICH MANYMUT1I.ATKD WOK! 
AND PASSAGES HAVE BEEN HESTORI 
TO THEIR ORIGINAL KQRM - 






CHARLES LAMB 

Etched by James Fagan 
wit wftex painting by Meyer 

HENRY H. HAKPER. 





T, 
T v. 



Copyright, 1906, by 
The Bibliophile Society 

AH rights reserved 



s/7f7/2s 



LETTER I 

CHARLES LAMB TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Postmark May 27, 1796.] 

Dear C : Make yourself perfectly easy 

about May. I paid his bill, when I sent your 
clothes. I was flush of money, and am so still to 
all the purposes of a single life ; so give yourself 
no further concern about it. The money would 
be superfluous to me, if I had it. 

With regard to Allen, — the woman he has 
married has some money, I have heard about 
£zoo a year, enough for the maintenance of 
herself and children, one of whom is a girl nine 
years old ! so Allen has dipt betimes into the 
cares of a family. I very seldom see him, and do 
not know whether he has given up the West- 
minster hospital. 

When Southey becomes as modest as his pre- 
decessor Milton, and publishes his Epics in duo- 
decimo, I will read 'em, — a guinea a book is 
somewhat exorbitant, nor have I the opportun- 
ity of borrowing the work. The extracts from 
it in the Monthly Review and the short passages 
in your Watchman seem to me much superior to 
anything in his partnership account with Lovell. 

Your poems I shall procure forthwith. There 
were noble lines in what you inserted in one 

3 



of your numbers from Religious Musings, but I 
thought them elaborate. I am somewhat glad 
you have given up that paper : it must have been 
dry, unprofitable, and of " dissonant mood " to 
your disposition. I wish you success in all your 
undertakings, and am glad to hear you are em- 
ployed about the Evidences of Religion. There 
is need of multiplying such books an hundred 
fold in this philosophical age to prevent converts 
to Atheism, for they seem too tough disputants 
to meddle with afterwards. I am sincerely sorry 
for Allen, as a family man particularly. 

Le Grice is gone to make puns in Cornwall. 
He has got a tutorship to a young boy, living 
with his mother, a widow lady. He will of 
course initiate him quickly in " whatsoever things 
are lovely, honorable, and of good report." He 
has cut Miss Hunt compleatly, — the poor girl 
is very ill on the occasion, but he laughs at it, 
and justifies himself by saying, " she does not see 
him laugh." 

Coleridge, I know not what suffering scenes 
you have gone through at Bristol — my life has 
been somewhat diversified of late. The six weeks 
that finished last year and began this your very 
humble servant spent very agreeably in a mad- 
house at Hoxton ; I am got somewhat rational 
now, and don't bite any one. But mad I was, 
and many a vagary my imagination played with 
me, enough to make a volume if all told. 

My Sonnets I have extended to the number 

4 



of nine since I saw you, and will some day com- 
municate to you. 

I am beginning a poem in blank verse, which 
if I finish I publish. 

White is on the eve of publishing (he took the 
hint from Vortigern) Original letters of FalstafF, 
Shallow, &c. ; a copy you shall have when it 
comes out. They are without exception the best 
imitations I ever saw. 

Coleridge, it may convince you of my regards 
for you when I tell you my head ran on you in 
my madness, as much almost as on another per- 
son, who I am inclined to think was the more 
immediate cause of my temporary frenzy. 

The sonnet I send you has small merit as 
poetry, but you will be curious to read it when 
I tell you it was written in my prison-house in 
one of my lucid intervals. 

TO MY SISTER 

If from my lips some angry accents fell, 

Peevish complaint, or harsh reproof unkind, 
'T was but the error of a sickly mind, 
And troubled thoughts, clouding the purer well, 

And waters clear, of Reason ; and for me, 

Let this my verse the poor atonement be, 
My verse, which thou to praise wert e'er inclined 

Too highly, and with a partial eye to see 
No blemish : thou to me didst ever shew 

Fondest affection, and would'st oft-times lend 
An ear to the desponding love-sick lay, 

Weeping my sorrows with me, who repay 
But ill the mighty debt of love I owe, 

Mary, to thee, my sister and my friend. 

5 



With these lines, and with that sister's kindest 

remembrances to C , I conclude. 

Yours sincerely, 

Lamb 

Your Condones ad populum are the most elo- 
quent politics that ever came in my way. 

Write, when convenient — not as a task, for 
there is nothing in this letter to answer. 

You may inclose under cover to me at the 
India house what letters you please, for they come 
post free. 

We cannot send our remembrances to Mrs. 

C , not having seen her, but believe me our 

best wishes attend you both. 

My civic and poetic comp'ts to Southey if at 
Bristol. — Why, he is a very leviathan of bards ; 
the small minnow, I. 

II. _TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Probably begun either on Tuesday, May 24, or Tues- 
day, May 31, 1796. Postmark? June I.] 

I am in such violent pain with the headache 
that I am fit for nothing but transcribing, scarce 
for that. When I get your poems, and the yoan 
of Arc, I will exercise my presumption in giving 
you my opinion of 'em. The mail does not come 
in before to-morrow (Wednesday) morning. The 
following sonnet was composed during a walk 
down into Hertfordshire early in last summer: — 

6 



*Drowsyhed 
I have met with 
I think in Spen- 
ser. 'Tis an old 
thing, but it 
rhymes with led 
and rhyming 
covers a multi- 
tude of licenses. 



The lord of light shakes offhis drowsyhed.* 
Fresh from his couch up springs the lusty 

Sun, 
And girds himself his mighty race to run. 
Meantime, by truant love of rambling led, 
I turn my back on thy detested walls, 
Proud City, and thy sons I leave behind, 
A selfish, sordid, money-getting kind, 
Who shut their ears when holy freedom 

calls. 
I pass not thee so lightly, humble spire, 
That mindest me of many a pleasure 

gone, 
Of merriest days, of love and Islington, 
Kindling anew the flames of past desire; 
And I shall muse on thee, slow journey- 
ing on, 
To the green plains of pleasant Hertford- 
shire. 



The last line is a copy of Bowles's, " to the green 
hamlet in the peaceful plain." Your ears are not 
so very fastidious ; many people would not like 
words so prosaic and familiar in a sonnet as Isling- 
ton and Hertfordshire. The next was written 
within a day or two of the last, on revisiting a spot 
where the scene was laid of my first sonnet that 
" mock'd my step with many a lonely glade." 

When last I roved these winding wood-walks green, 
Green winding walks, and pathways shady-sweet, 

Oft-times would Anna seek the silent scene, 
Shrouding her beauties in the lone retreat. 

No more I hear her footsteps in the shade ; 
Her image only in these pleasant ways 
Meets me self-wand'ring where in better days 

I held free converse with my fair-hair'd maid. 

7 



I pass'd the little cottage, which she loved, 
The cottage which did once my all contain : 
It spake of days that ne'er must come again, 

Spake to my heart and much my heart was moved. 

" Now fair befall thee, gentle maid," said I, 
And from the cottage turn'd me, with a sigh. 

The next retains a few lines from a sonnet of 
mine, which you once remarked had no " body 
of thought" in it. I agree with you, but have 
preserved a part of it, and it runs thus. I natter 
myself you will like it. 

A timid grace sits trembling in her eye, 
As loth to meet the rudeness of men's 

sight, 
Yet shedding a delicious lunar light, 
That steeps in kind oblivious extasy 
The care-craz'd mind, like some still 
melody ; 
Speaking most plain the thoughts which 

do possess 
Her gentle sprite, peace and meek quiet- 
ness, 
And innocent loves,* and maiden purity. 
A look whereof might heal the cruel smart 
Of changed friends, or fortune's wrongs 
unkind ; 
Might to sweet deeds of mercy move the 
heart 
Of him who hates his brethren of man- 
kind. 
Turned are those beams from me, who 

fondly yet 
Past joys, vain loves, and buried hopes 
regret. 

The next and last I value most of all. 'T was 
composed close upon the heels of the last in that 

8 



* Cowley uses 
this phrase with a 
somewhat differ- 
ent meaning : I 
meant loves of 
relatives, friends, 
&c. 



very wood I had in mind when I wrote " Me- 
thinks how dainty sweet." 

We were two pretty babes, the youngest she, 
The youngest and the loveliest far, I ween, 
And Innocence her name. The time has been, 

We two did love each other's company; 

Time was, we two had wept to have been apart. 
But when, with shew of seeming good beguil'd, 
I left the garb and manners of a child, 

And my first love for man's society, 

Defiling with the world my virgin heart, 
My loved companion dropt a tear, and fled, 
And hid in deepest shades her awful head. 

Beloved, who can tell me where Thou art, 
In what delicious Eden to be found, 
That I may seek thee the wide world around. 

Since writing it, I have found in a poem by 
Hamilton of Bangour, these two lines to Hap- 
piness, — 

Nun sober and devout, where art thou fled 
To hide in shades thy meek contented head ? 

Lines eminently beautiful, but I do not remember 
having read 'em previously, for the credit of my 
tenth and eleventh lines. Parnell has two lines 
(which probably suggested the above) to Content- 
ment, — 

Whither ah ! whither art thou * An odd epithet for 

fled, contentment in a poet so 

To hide thy meek contented* poetical as Parnell. 
head ? 

Cowley's exquisite elegy on the death of his 
friend Harvey suggested the phrase of "we 
two." 

9 



Was there a tree that did not know 
The love betwixt us two ? 

So much for acknowledged plagiarisms, the 
confession of which I know not whether it has 
more of vanity or modesty in it. As to my blank 
verse I am so dismally slow and sterile of ideas (I 
speak from my heart) that I much question if it 
will ever come to any issue. I have hitherto only 
hammered out a few indepen[den]t unconnected 
snatches, not in a capacity to be sent. I am very 
ill, and will rest till I have read your poems, for 
which I am very thankful. I have one more fa- 
vour to beg of you, that you never mention Mr. 
May's affair in any sort, much less think of repay- 
ing. Are we not flocci-nauci-what-d'ye-call-em- 
ists? 

We have just learn'd, that my poor brother has 
had a sad accident : a large stone blown down 
by yesterday's high wind has bruised his leg in 
a most shocking manner ; he is under the care of 
Cruikshanks. Coleridge, there are 10,000 objec- 
tions against my paying you a visit at Bristol — 
it cannot be, else — but in this world 'tis better 
not to think too much of pleasant possibles, that 
we may not be out of humour with present insip- 
ids. Should anything bring you to London, you 
will recollect No. 7 Little Queen St., Holborn. 

I shall be too ill to call on Wordsworth myself, 
but will take care to transmit him his poem when 
I have read it. I saw Le Grice the day before his 
departure, and mentioned incidentally his "teach- 

10 



ing the young idea how to shoot" — knowing 
him and the probability there is of people having 
a propensity to pun in his company you will not 
wonder that we both stumbled on the same pun 
at once, he eagerly anticipating me, — " he would 
teach him to shoot ! " — Poor Le Grice ! if wit 
alone could entitle a man to respect, &c. He has 
written a very witty little pamphlet lately, satir- 
ical upon college declamations ; when I send 
White's book, I will add that. 

I am sorry there should be any difference be- 
tween you and Southey. " Between you two there 
should be peace," tho' I must say I have borne 
him no good will since he spirited you away from 
among us. What is become of Moschus? You 
sported some 01 his sublimities, I see, in your 
Watchman. Very decent things. So much for to- 
night from your afflicted headachey sorethroatey, 
humble servant, 

C. Lamb 

'Tuesday Night. — Of your Watchmen, the Re- 
view of Burke was the best prose. I augur' d great 
things from the i st number. There is some ex- 
quisite poetry interspersed. I have re-read the 
extract from the Religious Musings, and retract 
whatever invidious there was in my censure of it 
as elaborate. There are times when one is not in 
a disposition thoroughly to relish good writing. 
I have re-read it in a more favourable moment 
and hesitate not to pronounce it sublime. If there 

ii 



be anything in it approach 6 to tumidity (which 
I meant not to infer in elaborate: I meant simply 
labor'd) it is the gigantic hyperbole by which 
you describe the evils of existing society. Snakes, 
lions, hyenas and behemoths, is carrying your 
resentment beyond bounds. The pictures of the 
simoom, of frenzy and ruin, of the whore of 
Babylon and the cry of the foul spirits disherited 
of earth and the strange beatitude which the good 
man shall recognise in heaven — as well as the 
particularizing of the children of wretchedness — 
(I have unconsciously included every part of it) 
form a variety of uniform excellence. I hunger 
and thirst to read the poem complete. That is 
a capital line in your 6th No. : 

This dark freeze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering Month — 

they are exactly such epithets as Burns would have 
stumbled on, whose poem on the plough'd-up 
daisy you seem to have had in mind. Your com- 
plaint that [of] your readers some thought there 
was too much, some too little, original matter in 
your Nos., reminds me of poor dead Parsons in 
the Critic — "too little incident ! Give me leave 
to tell you, Sir, there is too much incident." I 
had like to have forgot thanking you for that 
exquisite little morsel the ist Sclavonian Song. 
The expression in the 2d " more happy to be 
unhappy in hell " — is it not very quaint ? Ac- 
cept my thanks in common with those of all 
who love good poetry for the Braes of Yarrow. 

12 



I congratulate you on the enemies you must have 
made by your splendid invective against the bar- 
terers in "human flesh and sinews." 

Coleridge, you will rejoice to hear that Cowper 
is recovered from his lunacy, and is employ' d 
on his translation of the Italian, &c, poems of 
Milton, for an edition where Fuseli presides as 
designer. Coleridge, to an idler like myself to 
write and receive letters are both very pleasant, 
but I wish not to break in upon your valuable time 
by expecting to hear very frequently from you. 
Reserve that obligation for your moments of 
lassitude, when you have nothing else to do ; for 
your loco-restive and all your idle propensities 
of course have given way to the duties of pro- 
viding for a family. The mail is come in, but no 
parcel, yet this is Tuesday. Farewell then till to- 
morrow, for a niche and a nook I must leave for 
criticisms. By the way I hope you do not send 
your own only copy of Joan of Arc; I will in that 
case return it immediately. 

Your parcel is come ; you have been lavish of 
your presents. Wordsworth's poem I have hurried 
thro' not without delight. Poor Lovell! my heart 
almost accuses me for the light manner I spoke 
of him above, not dreaming of his death. My 
heart bleeds for your accumulated troubles : God 
send you thro' 'em with patience. I conjure you 
dream not that I will ever think of being repaid ! 
the very word is galling to the ears. I have read 
all your Religious Musings with, uninterrupted feel- 

r 3 



ings of profound admiration. You may safely rest 
your fame on it. The best remain 6 things are 
what I have before read, and they lose nothing 
by my recollection of your manner of reciting 
'em, for I too bear in mind " the voice, the look " 
of absent friends, and can occasionally mimic their 
manner for the amusement of those who have seen 
'em. Your impassioned manner of recitation I can 
recall at any time to mine own heart, and to the 
ears of the bystanders. I rather wish you had left 
the monody on C. concluding as it did abruptly. 
It had more of unity. — The conclusion of your 
Religious Musings I fear will entitle you to the re- 
proof of your Beloved woman, who wisely will 
not suffer your fancy to run riot, but bids you 
walk humbly with your God. The very last words 

I exercise my young noviciate tho' 
In ministeries of heart-stirring song, 

tho' not now new to me, cannot be enough ad- 
mired. To speak politely, they are a well turn'd 
compliment to Poetry. I hasten to read Joan of 
Arc, &c. I have read your lines at the begins of 
2d book, they are worthy of Milton, but in my 
mind yield to your Religious Musings. I shall read 
the whole carefully and in some future letter take 
the liberty to particularize my opinions of it. Of 
what is new to me among your poems next to the 
Musings, that beginning " My Pensive Sara " gave 
me most pleasure : the lines in it I just alluded to 
are most exquisite — they made my sister and self 
smile, as conveying a pleasing picture of Mrs. C. 

"4 



chequing your wild wandrings, which we were so 
fond of hearing you indulge when among us. It 
has endeared us more than anything to your good 
Lady; and your own self-reproof that follows de- 
lighted us. 'T is a charming poem throughout. 
(You have well remarked that "charming, admir- 
able, exquisite" are words expressive of feelings, 
more than conveying of ideas, else I might plead 
very well want of room in my paper as excuse for 
generalizing.) I want room to tell you how we 
are charmed with your verses in the manner of 
Spenser, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. I am glad you re- 
sume the Watchman — change the name, leave out 
all articles of news, and whatever things are pecul- 
iar to Newspapers, and confine yourself to Ethics, 
verse, criticism, or rather do not confine yourself. 
Let your plan be as diffuse as the Spectator, and 
I '11 answer for it the work prospers. If I am vain 
enough to think I can be a contributor, rely on 
my inclinations. Coleridge, in reading your Re- 
ligious Musings I felt a transient superiority over 
you : I have seen Priestly. I love to see his name 
repeated in your writings. I love and honor him 
almost profanely. You would be charmed with his 
sermons, if you never read 'em. — You have doubt- 
less read his books, illustrative of the doctrine of 
Necessity. Prefixed to a late work of his, in answer 
to Paine, there is a preface, given [? giving] an ac- 
count of the Man and his services to Men, written 
by Lindsey,his dearest friend, — well worth your 
reading. 

«5 



Tuesday Eve. — Forgive my prolixity, which 
is yet too brief for all I could wish to say. — 
God give you comfort and all that are of your 
household. — Our loves and best good wishes to 
Mrs. C. 

C. Lamb 

III. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Begun Wednesday, June 8. Dated on address : " Friday, 
ioth June," 1796.] 

With Joan of Arc I have been delighted, 
amazed. I had not presumed to expect anything 
of such excellence from Southey. Why the poem 
is alone sufficient to redeem the character of the 
age we live in from the imputation of degenerat- 
ing in poetry, were there no such beings extant 

as Burns and Bowles, Cowper and : fill up the 

blank how you please; I say nothing. The sub- 
ject is well chosen. It opens well. To become 
more particular, I will notice in their order a 
few passages that chiefly struck me on perusal. 
Page 26, "Fierce and terrible Benevolence!" is 
a phrase full of grandeur and originality. The 
whole context made me feel possess ' d, even like 
Joan herself. Page 28, "it is most horrible with 
the keen sword to gore the finely fibred human 
frame" and what follows pleased me mightily. 
In the 2d Book the first forty lines, in particu- 
lar, are majestic and high-sounding. Indeed the 
whole vision of the palace of Ambition and what 

16 



follows are supremely excellent. Your simile of 
the Laplander, — 

by Niemi's lake 
Or Balda Zhiok, or the mossy stone 
Of Solfar Kapper 

will bear comparison with any in Milton for full- 
ness of circumstance and lofty-pacedness of versi- 
fication. Southey's similes, tho' many of 'em are 
capital, are all inferior. In one of his books the 
simile of the oak in the storm occurs I think four 
times ! 

To return, the light in which you view the 
heathen deities is accurate and beautiful. South- 
ey's personifications in this book are so many 
fine and faultless pictures. I was much pleased 
with your manner of accounting for the reason 
why monarchs take delight in war. At the 
447th line you have placed prophets and enthu- 
siasts cheek by jowl, on too intimate a footing 
for the dignity of the former. Necessarian-like- 
speaking it is correct. Page 98, " Dead is the 
Douglas, cold thy warrior frame, illustrious 
Buchan," &c, are of kindred excellence with 
Gray's "Cold is Cadwallo's tongue," &c. How 
famously the Maid bafHes the Doctors, Seraphic 
and Irrefragable, " with all their trumpery ! " 
126 page, the procession, the appearances of the 
Maid, of the Bastard son of Orleans and of Tre- 
mouille, are full of fire and fancy, and exquisite 
melody of versification. The personifications 
from line 303 to 309 in the heat of the battle 

l 7 



had better been omitted, they are not very strik- 
ing and only encumber. The converse which 
Joan and Conrade hold on the banks of the 
Loire is altogether beautiful. Page 313, the con- 
jecture that in dreams "all things are that seem" 
is one of those conceits which the Poet delights 
to admit into his creed — a creed, by the way, 
more marvellous and mystic than ever Athanasius 
dream' d of. Page 315,1 need only mention those 
lines ending with " She saw a serpent gnawing 
at her heart " ! ! ! They are good imitative lines 
" he toil'd and toil'd, of toil to reap no end, but 
endless toil and never ending woe." 347 page, 
Cruelty is such as Hogarth might have painted 
her. Page 3 6 1 , all the passage about love (where 
he seems to confound conjugal love with creating 
and persevering love) is very confused and sick- 
ens me with a load of useless personifications. 
Else that 9th Book is the finest in the volume, 
an exquisite combination of the ludicrous and 
the terrible, — I have never read either, even in 
translation, but such as I conceive to be the 
manner of Dante and Ariosto. 

The 10th book is the most languid. On the 
whole, considering the celerity wherewith the 
poem was finish'd, I was astonish'd at the infre- 
quency of weak lines. I had expected to find it 
verbose. Joan, I think, does too little in battle 
— Dunois, perhaps, the same — Conrade too 
much. The anecdotes interspersed among the 
battles refresh the mind very agreeably, and I am 

18 



delighted with the very many passages of simple 
pathos abounding throughout the poem, — pass- 
ages which the author of Crazy Kate might have 
written. 

Has not Master Southey spoke very slightingly 
in his preface and disparagingly of Cowper's 
Homer ? — what makes him reluctant to give 
Cowper his fame ? And does not Southey use 
too often the expletives " did " and " does " ? they 
have a good effect at times, but are too incon- 
siderable, or rather become blemishes, when they 
mark a style. On the whole, I expect Southey 
one day to rival Milton. I already deem him 
equal to Cowper, and superior to all living poets 
besides. What says Coleridge ? The Monody on 
Henderson is immensely good ; the rest of that little 
volume is readable and above mediocrity. 

I proceed to a more pleasant task, — pleasant 
because the poems are yours, pleasant because you 
impose the task on me, and pleasant, let me add, 
because it will confer a whimsical importance on 
me to sit in judgment upon your rhymes. First 
tho', let me thank you again and again in my own 
and in my sister's name for your invitations. 
Nothing could give us more pleasure than to 
come, but (were there no other reasons) while 
my brother's leg is so bad it is out of the ques- 
tion. Poor fellow, he is very feverish and light- 
headed, but Cruikshanks has pronounced the 
symptoms favorable, and gives us every hope 
that there will be no need of amputation. God 

l 9 



send, not. We are necessarily confined with him 
the afternoon and evening till very late, so that I 
am stealing a few minutes to write to you. 

Thank you for your frequent letters : you are 
the only correspondent and I might add the only 
friend I have in the world. I go nowhere and 
have no acquaintance. Slow of speech, and re- 
served of manners, no one seeks or cares for my 
society and I am left alone. Allen calls only occa- 
sionally, as tho' it were a duty rather, and seldom 
stays ten minutes. Then judge how thankful I 
am for your letters. Do not, however, burthen 
yourself with the correspondence. I trouble you 
again so soon, only in obedience to your injunc- 
tions. Complaints apart, proceed we to our task. 
I am called away to tea, thence must wait upon 
my brother, so must delay until to-morrow. 
Farewell. — Wednesday. 

Thursday. — I will first notice what is new to 
me. i 3th page. " The thrilling tones that con- 
centrate the soul " is a nervous line, and the six 
first lines of page 14 are very pretty. The 21st 
effusion a perfect thing. That in the manner of 
Spenser is very sweet, particularly at the close. 
The 35th effusion is most exquisite; that line in 
particular, "And tranquil muse upon tranquillity." 
It is the very reflex pleasure that distinguishes 
the tranquillity of a thinking being from that 
of a shepherd — a modern one I would be un- 
derstood to mean — a Dametas; one that keeps 

20 



other people's sheep. Certainly, Coleridge, your 
letter from Shurton Bars has less merit than most 
things in your volume ; personally, it may chime 
in best with your own feelings, and therefore 
you love it best. It has, however, great merit. In 
your 4th Epistle that is an exquisite paragraph 
and fancy-full of "A stream there is which rolls 
in lazy flow," &c, &c. "Murmurs sweet un- 
dersong 'mid jasmine bowers " is a sweet line, 
and so are the three next. The concluding simile 
is far-fetch' d. " Tempest-honord " is a quaintish 
phrase. 

Of the Monody on H., I will here only notice 
these lines as superlatively excellent. That ener- 
getic one, " Shall I not praise thee, Scholar, Chris- 
tian, friend," like to that beautiful climax of 
Shakspeare " King, Hamlet, Royal Dane, Father." 
" Yet memory turns from little men to thee ! " 
" and sported careless round their fellow child." 
The whole, I repeat it, is immensely good. 

Yours is a poetical family. I was much sur- 
pris'd and pleased to see the signature of Sara to 
that elegant composition, the 5th Epistle. I dare 
not criticise the Religious Musings, I like not to 
select any part where all is excellent. I can only 
admire ; and thank you for it in the name of a 
Christian as well as a lover of good poetry. Only 
let me ask, is not that thought and those words in 
Young, " Stands in the Sun " ? or is it only such 
as Young in one of his better moments might have 
writ? 

21 



Believe thou, O my Soul, 
Life is a vision, shadowy of truth, 
And vice and anguish and the wormy grave, 
Shapes of a dream ! 

I thank you for these lines, in the name of a 
necessarian, and for what follows in next para- 
graph in the name of a child of fancy. After all 
you can [not] nor ever will write anything, with 
which I shall be so delighted as what I have heard 
yourself repeat. You came to town, and I saw you 
at a time when your heart was yet bleeding with 
recent wounds. Like yourself, I was sore galled 
with disappointed hope. You had 

many an holy lay, 
That, mourning, soothed the mourner on his way. 

I had ears of sympathy to drink them in, and they 
yet vibrate pleasant on the sense. When I read in 
your little volume your 1 9th Effusion, or the 2 8th 
or 29th, or what you call the "Sigh," I think I 
hear you again. I image to myself the little smoky 
room at the Salutation and Cat, where we have 
sat together thro' the winter nights, beguiling 
the cares of life with poesy. When you left Lon- 
don, I felt a dismal void in my heart: I found 
myself cut off at one and the same time from two 
most dear to me. " How blest with ye the path 
could I have trod of quiet life." In your con- 
versation you had blended so many pleasant fancies 
that they cheated me of my grief. But in your 
absence, the tide of melancholy rushed in again, 
and did its worst mischief by overwhelming my 

22 



reason. I have recovered. But feel a stupor that 
makes me indifferent to the hopes and fears of 
this life. I sometimes wish to introduce a re- 
ligious turn of mind ; but habits are strong things, 
and my religious fervors are confined, alas ! to 
some fleeting moments of occasional solitary de- 
votion. A correspondence, opening with you, 
has roused me a little from my lethargy, and made 
me conscious of existence. Indulge me in it. I 
will notbe very troublesome. At some future time 
I will amuse you with an account as full as my 
memory will permit of the strange turn my 
phrensy took. I look back upon it at times with 
a gloomy kind of envy. For while it lasted I had 
many many hours of pure happiness. Dream not, 
Coleridge, of having tasted all the grandeur and 
wildness of fancy, till you have gone mad. All 
now seems to me vapid; comparatively so. Excuse 
this selfish digression. 

Your monody is so superlatively excellent that 
I can only wish it perfect, which I can't help feel- 
ing it is not quite. Indulge me in a few conjec- 
tures. What I am going to propose would make 
it more compress'd and I think more energic,tho' 
I am sensible at the expense of many beautiful 
lines. Let it begin, " Is this the land of song- 
ennobled line," and proceed to "Otway'sfamish'd 
form." Then " Thee Chatterton," to " blaze of 
Seraphim." Then "clad in nature's rich array," 
to " orient day " ; then " but soon the scathing 
lightning," to "blighted land." Then " Sublime 

23 



of thought " to "his bosom glows." Then 

But soon upon bis poor unsheltered head 

Did Penury her sickly Mildew shed, 

And soon are fled the charms of vernal Grace 

And Joy's wild gleams that lightened o'er his face ! 

Then "Youth of tumultuous soul" to "sigh" 
as before. The rest may all stand down to " gaze 
upon the waves below." What follows now may 
come next, as detached verses, suggested by the 
monody, rather than a part of it. They are in- 
deed in themselves very sweet, — 

And we at sober eve would round thee throng, 
Hanging enraptured on thy stately song — 

in particular perhaps. If I am obscure you may 
understand me by counting lines. I have pro- 
posed omitting twenty-four lines. I feel that thus 
comprest it would gain energy, but think it most 
likely you will not agree with me ; for who shall 
go about to bring opinions to the Bed of Pro- 
crustes, and introduce among the Sons of Men 
a monotony of identical feelings ? I only pro- 
pose with diffidence. Reject, you, if you please, 
with as little remorse as you would the color of 
a coat or the pattern of a buckle where our fancies 
differ'd. The lines "Friend to the friendless," 
&c, which you may think " rudely disbranched " 
from the Chatterton will patch in with the Man of 
Ross, where they were once quite at home, with 
two more which I recollect — 

And o'er the dowried virgin's snowy cheek 
Bad bridal love suffuse his blushes meek ! 

2 4 



very beautiful. The Pixies is a perfect thing, and 
so are the lines on the spring, page 28. The 
Epitaph on an Infant, like a Jack of lanthorn, has 
danced about (or like Dr. Forster's scholars) out 
of the Morn. Chron. into the Watchman, and thence 
back into your Collection. It is very pretty, 
and you seem to think so, but maybe o'erlooked 
its chief merit, that of filling up a whole page. 
I had once deemed sonnets of unrivalled use 
that way, but your epitaphs, I find, are more 
diffuse. Edmund still holds its place among your 
best verses. "Ah ! fair delights" to " roses round" 
in your poem called Absence recall (none more 
forcibly) to my mind the tones in which you 
recited it. I will not notice in this tedious (to 
you) manner verses which have been so long de- 
lightful to me, and which you already know my 
opinion of. Of this kind are Bowles, Priestly, 
and that most exquisite and most Bowles-like of 
all, the 1 9th Effusion. It would have better ended 
with "agony of care." The last two lines are ob- 
vious and unnecessary and you need not now make 
fourteen lines of it, now it is rechristen'd from 
a sonnet to an effusion. Schiller might have writ- 
ten the 20th Effusion. 'Tis worthy of him in any 
sense. I was glad to meet with those lines you 
sent me, when my sister was so ill. I had lost 
the copy, and I felt not a little proud at seeing 
my name in your verse. The complaint of Nina- 
thoma (1st stanza in particular) is the best, or 
only good imitation, of Ossian I ever saw — your 

25 



restless gale excepted. " To an Infant " is most 
sweet — is not "foodful," tho', very harsh! would 
not " dulcet " fruit be less harsh, or some other 
friendly bi-syllable ? In Edmund, " Frenzy fierce- 
eyed child," is not so well as frantic, tho' that is 
an epithet adding nothing to the meaning. Slan- 
der couching was better than squatting. In The 
Man of Ross it was a better line thus, — 

" If 'neath this roof thy wine-chear'd moments pass " 

than as it stands now. Time nor nothing can 
reconcile me to the concluding five lines of 
Kosciusko : call it anything you will but sub- 
lime. In my 1 2th Effusion I had rather have 
seen what I wrote myself, tho' they bear no com- 
parison with your exquisite lines, — 

On rose-leaf'd beds amid your faery bowers, &c. 

I love my sonnets because they are the reflected 
images of my own feelings at different times. 
To instance, in the 13th, — 

How reason reel'd, &c, 

are good lines but must spoil the whole with me, 
who know it is only a fiction of yours and that 
the rude dashings did in fact not rock me to 
repose. I grant the same objection applies not 
to the former sonnet, but still I love my own 
feelings. They are dear to memory, tho' they 
now and then wake a sigh or a tear. " Thinking 
on divers things foredone," I charge you, Col., 

26 



spare my ewe lambs, and tho' a gentleman may 
borrow six lines in an epic poem (I should 
have no objection to borrow 500 and without 
acknowledging) still in a sonnet — a personal 
poem — I do not "ask my friend the aiding 
verse." I would not wrong your feelings by pro- 
posing any improvements (did I think myself 
capable of suggesting 'em) in such personal poems 
as "Thou bleedest, my poor heart," — 'od so, 
I am catch'd, I have already done it, — but that 
simile I propose abridging would not change the 
feeling or introduce any alien ones. Do you un- 
derstand me? In the 28th however, and in the 
Sigh and that composed at Clevedon, things that 
come from the heart direct, not by the medium 
of the fancy, I would not suggest an alteration. 
When my blank verse is finished, or any long 
fancy poems, propino tibi alterandum,cut-up-andum, 
abridg-andum, just what you will with it, — but 
spare my ewe lambs ! That to Mrs. Siddons now 
you were welcome to improve, if it had been 
worth it. But I say unto you again, Col., spare 
my ewe lambs. I must confess were they mine 
I should omit, in editione secundd, Effusions 2-3, 
because satiric, and below the dignity of the poet 
of Religious Musings, $-7, half of the 8th, that 
written in your youth, as far as "Thousand eyes," 
— tho' I part not unreluctantly with that lively 
line, — 

Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes 
27 



and one or two more just thereabouts. But I would 
substitute for it that sweet poem called " Recol- 
lection" in the 5th No. of the Watchman, better 
I think than the remainder of this poem, tho' 
not differing materially. As the poem now stands 
it looks altogether confused. And do not omit 
those lines upon the " early blossom," in your 6th 
No. of the Watchman, and I would omit the 10th 
Effusion, or, what would do better, alter and im- 
prove the last four lines. In fact, I suppose if 
they were mine I should not omit 'em. But your 
verse is for the most part so exquisite, that I like 
not to see aught of meaner matter mixed with 
it. Forgive my petulance and often, I fear, ill 
founded criticisms, and forgive me that I have, 
by this time, made your eyes and head ache with 
my long letter. But I cannot forego hastily the 
pleasure and pride of thus conversing with you. 
You did not tell me whether I was to include 
the Condones ad Populum in my remarks on your 
poems. They are not unfrequently sublime, and I 
think you could not do better than to turn 'em in- 
to verse, — if you have nothing else to do. Allen 
I am sorry to say is a confirmed Atheist. Stodart, or 
Stothard,a cold-hearted, well-bred, conceited dis- 
ciple of Godwin, does him no good. His wife 
has several daughters (oneof 'em as old as himself). 
Surely there is something unnatural in such a mar- 
riage. How I sympathise with you on the dull 
duty of a reviewer, and heartily damn with you 
Ned Evans and the Prosodist. I shall however 

28 



wait impatiently for the articles in the Critical Re- 
view, next month, because they are yours. Young 
Evans ( W. Evans, a branch of a family you were 
once so intimate with) is come into our office, and 
sends his love to you. Coleridge, I devoutly wish 
that Fortune, who has made sport with you so 
long, may play one freak more, throw you into 
London, or some spot near it, and there snug-ify 
you for life. 'T is a selfish but natural wish for me, 
cast as I am " on life's wide plain, friend-less." 
Are you acquainted with Bowles ? I see, by his 
last elegy (written at Bath), you are near neigh- 
bours. " And I can think I can see the groves 
again — was it the voice of thee — 'T was not the 
voice of thee, my buried friend — who dries with 
her dark locks the tender tear " — are touches as 
true to nature as any in his other elegy, written at 
the hot wells, about poor Russell, &c. — You are 
doubtless acquainted with it. — Thursday. 

I do not know that I entirely agree with you in 
your stricture upon my Sonnet to Innocence. To 
men whose hearts are not quite deadened by their 
commerce with the world, Innocence (no longer 
familiar) becomes an awful idea. So I felt when I 
wrote it. Your other censures (qualified and sweet- 
en'd, tho', with praises somewhat extravagant) I 
perfectly coincide with. Yet I chuse to retain the 
word " lunar," — indulge a " lunatic " in his loy- 
alty to his mistress the moon. I have just been 
reading a most pathetic copy of verses on Sophia 
Pringle, who was hanged and burn'd for coining. 

29 



One of the strokes of pathos (which are very 
many, all somewhat obscure) is "She lifted up her 
guilty forger to heaven." A note explains by 
forger her right hand, with which she forged or 
coined the base metal ! For pathos read bathos. 
You have put me out of conceit with my blank 
verse by your Religious Musings. I think it will 
come to nothing. I do not like 'em enough to 
send 'em. I have just been reading a book, which 
I may be too partial to, as it was the delight of 
my childhood ; but I will recommend it to you 
— it is Izaak Walton's Complete Angler ! All the 
scientific part you may omit in reading. The dia- 
logue is very simple, full of pastoral beauties, and 
will charm you. Many pretty old verses are inter- 
spersed. This letter, which would be a week's 
work reading only, I do not wish you to answer in 
less than a month. I shall be richly content with 
a letter from you some day early in July — tho' 
if you get anyhow settled before then pray let me 
know it immediately : 't would give me such sat- 
isfaction. Concerning the Unitarian chapel, the 
salary is the only scruple that the most rigid 
moralist would admit as valid. Concerning the 
tutorage, — is not the salary low, and absence 
from your family unavoidable ? London is the 
only fostering soil for Genius. 

Nothing more occurs just now, so I will leave 
you in mercy one small white spot empty below, 
to repose your eyes upon, fatigued as they must be 
with the wilderness of words they have by this 

3° 



time painfully travell'd thro'. God love you, Cole- 
ridge, and prosper you thro' life, tho' mine will be 
loss if your lot is to be cast at Bristol or at Not- 
tingham or anywhere but London. Our loves to 
Mrs. C . C. L. 



IV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

{Apparently a continuation of a letter the first part of 
which is missing) 

Monday Night [June 13, 1796]. 

Unfurnished at present with any sheet-filling 
subject, I shall continue my letter gradually and 
journal-wise. My second thoughts entirely co- 
incide with your comments on Joan of Arc, and 
I can only wonder at my childish judgment 
which overlooked the 1st book and could prefer 
the 9th : not that I was insensible to the soberer 
beauties of the former, but the latter caught me 
with its glare of magic, — the former, however, 
left a more pleasing general recollection in my 
mind. Let me add, the 1st book was the favour- 
ite of my sister — and / now, with Joan, often 
"think on Domremi and the fields of Arc." I 
must not pass over without acknowledging my 
obligations to your full and satisfactory account 
of personifications. I have read it again and 
again, and it will be a guide to my future taste. 
Perhaps I had estimated Southey's merits too 
much by number, weight, and measure. I now 

3 1 



agree completely and entirely in your opinion 
of the genius of Southey. Your own image of 
melancholy is illustrative of what you teach, 
and in itself masterly. I conjecture it is " dis- 
branched" from one of your embryo " hymns." 
When they are mature of birth (were I you) I 
should print 'em in one separate volume, with Re- 
ligious Musings and your part of the jfoan of Arc. 
Birds of the same soaring wing should hold on 
their flight in company. Once for all (and by 
renewing the subject you will only renew in me 
the condemnation of Tantalus), I hope to be 
able to pay you a visit (if you are then at Bris- 
tol) some time in the latter end of August or 
beginning of September for a week or fortnight ; 
before that time, office business puts an absolute 
veto on my coming. 

And if a sigh that speaks regret of happier times appear, 
A glimpse of joy that we have met shall shine and dry the 
tear. 

Of the blank verses I spoke of, the following 
lines are the only tolerably complete ones I have 
writ out of not more than one hundred and fifty. 
That I get on so slowly you may fairly impute 
to want of practice in composition, when I de- 
clare to you that (the few verses which you have 
seen excepted) I have not writ fifty lines since I 
left school. It may not be amiss to remark that 
my grandmother (on whom the verses are writ- 
ten) lived housekeeper in a family the fifty or sixty 
last years of her life — that she was a woman of 

3 2 



exemplary piety and goodness — and for many 
years before her death was terribly afflicted with 
a cancer in her breast which she bore with true 
Christian patience. You may think that I have 
not kept enough apart the ideas of her heavenly 
and her earthly master, but recollect I have de- 
signedly given in to her own way of feeling — 
and if she had a failing, 't was that she respected 
her master's family too much, not reverenced 
her Maker too little. The lines begin imper- 
fectly, as I may probably connect 'em if I finish 
at all, — and if I do, Biggs shall print 'em in a 
more economical way than you yours, for (Son- 
nets and all) they won't make a thousand lines 
as I propose completing 'em, and the substance 
must be wire-drawn. 

Tuesday Evening, June 14, 1796. 

I am not quite satisfied now with the Chat- 
terton, and with your leave will try my hand at 
it again. A master joiner, you know, may leave 
a cabinet to be finished, when his own hands are 
full. To your list of illustrative personifications, 
into which a fine imagination enters, I will take 
leave to add the following from Beaumont and 
Fletcher's Wife for a Month; 't is the conclusion 
of a description of a sea-fight ; — " The game 
of death was never played so nobly ; the meagre 
thief grew wanton in his mischiefs, and his 
shrunk hollow eyes smiled on his ruins." There 
is fancy in these of a lower order from Bonduca ; 

33 



— " Then did I see these valiant men of Britain, 
like boding owls creep into tods of ivy, and 
hoot their fears to one another nightly." Not 
that it is a personification ; only it just caught 
my eye in a little extract book I keep, which is 
full of quotations from B. and F. in particular, 
in which authors I can't help thinking there is 
a greater richness of poetical fancy than in any 
one, Shakspeare excepted. Are you acquainted 
with Massinger? At a hazard I will trouble you 
with a passage from a play of his called A Very 
Woman. The lines are spoken by a lover (dis- 
guised) to his faithless mistress. You will re- 
mark the fine effect of the double endings. You 
will by your ear distinguish the lines, for I write 
'em as prose. " Not far from where my father 
lives, a lady, a neighbour by, blest with as great 
a beauty as nature durst bestow without undoing, 
dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then, and 
blest the house a thousand times she dwelt in. 
This beauty, in the blossom of my youth, when 
my first fire knew no adulterate incense, nor I no 
way to flatter but my fondness ; in all the bravery 
my friends could show me, in all the faith my 
innocence could give me, in the best language my 
true tongue could tell me, and all the broken 
sighs my sick heart lend me, I sued and served ; 
long did I serve this lady, long was my travail, 
long my trade to win her ; with all the duty of 
my soul I served her." "Then she must love." 
" She did, but never me: she could not love me; 

34 



she would not love, she hated, — more, she 
scorn' d me; and in so poor and base a way abused 
me for all my services, for all my bounties, so bold 
neglects flung on me" — " What out of love, and 
worthy love, I gave her (shame to her most un- 
worthy mind,) to fools, to girls, to fiddlers and her 
boys she flung, all in disdain of me." One more 
passage strikes my eye from B. and F.'s Palamon 
and Arcite. One of 'em complains in prison : 

This is all our world ; 

We shall know nothing here but one another, 
Hear nothing but the clock that tells our woes ; 
The vine shall grow, but we shall never see it, &c. 

Is not the last circumstance exquisite ? I mean not 
to lay myself open by saying they exceed Milton, 
and perhaps Collins, in sublimity. But don't you 
conceive all poets after Shakspeare yield to 'em 
in variety of genius ? Massinger treads close on 
their heels ; but you are most probably as well 
acquainted with his writings as your humble serv- 
ant. My quotations, in that case, will only serve 
to expose my barrenness of matter. Southey in 
simplicity and tenderness, is excelled decidedly 
only, I think, by Beaumont and F. in his [their] 
Maid's Tragedy and some parts of Philaster in 
particular, and elsewhere occasionally ; and per- 
haps by Cowper in his Crazy Kate, and in parts 
of his translation, such as the speeches of Hecuba 
and Andromache. I long to know your opinion 
of that translation. The Odyssey especially is 
surely very Homeric. What nobler than the 

35 



appearance of Phoebus at the beginning of the 
Iliad — the lines ending with " Dread sounding, 
bounding on the silver bow ! " 

I beg you will give me your opinion of the 
translation ; it afforded me high pleasure. As 
curious a specimen of translation as ever fell into 
my hands, is a young man's in our office, of a 
French novel. What in the original was literally 
" amiable delusions of the fancy," he proposed 
to render " the fair frauds of the imagination !" 
I had much trouble in licking the book into any 
meaning at all. Yet did the knave clear fifty or 
sixty pounds by subscription and selling the copy- 
right. The book itself not a week's work ! To- 
day's portion of my journalising epistle has been 
very dull and poverty-stricken. I will here end. 

Tuesday Night. 

I have been drinking egg-hot and smoking 
Oronooko (associated circumstances, which ever 
forcibly recall to my mind our evenings and nights 
at the Salutation) ; my eyes and brain are heavy 
and asleep, but my heart is awake ; and if words 
came as ready as ideas, and ideas as feelings, I 
could say ten hundred kind things. Coleridge, 
you know not my supreme happiness at having 
one on earth (though counties separate us) whom 
I can call a friend. Remember you those tender 
lines of Logan ? — 

Our broken friendships we deplore, 
And loves of youth that are no more; 

36 



No after friendships e'er can raise 
Th' endearments of our early days, 
And ne'er the heart such fondness prove, 
As when we first began to love. 

I am writing at random, and half-tipsy, what 
you may not equally understand, as you will be 
sober when you read it ; but my sober and my half- 
tipsy hours you are alike a sharer in. Good night. 

Then up rose our bard, like a prophet in drink, 
Craigdoroch, thou 'It soar when creation shall sink. 

Burns 

Thursday [June 1 6, 1796]. 
I am now in high hopes to be able to visit you, 
if perfectly convenient on your part, by the end 
of next month — perhaps the last week or fort- 
night in July. A change of scene and a change 
of faces would do me good, even if that scene 
were not to be Bristol, and those faces Coleridge's 
and his friends. In the words of Terence, a little 
altered, " Tsedet me hujus quotidiani mundi." I 
am heartily sick of the every-day scenes of life. 
I shall half wish you unmarried (don't show this 
to Mrs. C.) for one evening only, to have the 
pleasure of smoking with you, and drinking egg- 
hot in some little smoky room in a pot-house, for 
I know not yet how I shall like you in a decent 
room, and looking quite happy. My best love 
and respects to Sara notwithstanding. 
Yours sincerely, 

Charles Lamb 

37 



V. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Probably begun on Wednesday, June 29. p.m., July 1, 1796.] 

The first moment I can come I will, but my 
hopes of coming yet awhile yet hang on a ticklish 
thread. The coach I come by is immaterial, as 
I shall so easily by your direction find ye out. My 
mother has grown so entirely helpless (not hav- 
ing any use of her limbs) that Mary is necessarily 
confined from ever sleeping out, she being her 
bedfellow. She thanks you tho' and will accom- 
pany me in spirit. Most exquisite are the lines 
from Withers. Your own lines introductory to 
your poem on Self run smoothly and pleasurably, 
and I exhort you to continue 'em. What shall I 
say to your Dactyls ? They are what you would 
call good per se, but a parody on some of 'em is 
just now suggesting itself, and you shall have it 
rough and unlicked. I mark with figures the lines 
parodied. 



4 
5 
6 
1 

1 1 

2 

7 
12 



— Sorely your Dactyls do drag along limp-footed. 

— Sad is the measure that hangs a clod round 'em so, 

— Meagre, and languid, proclaiming its wretchedness. 

— Weary, unsatisfied, not little sick of 'em, 

— Cold is my tired heart, I have no charity. 

— Painfully traveling thus over the rugged road. 

— O begone, Measure, half Latin, half English, then. 

— Dismal your Dactyls are, God help ye, rhyming Ones. 



I possibly may not come this fortnight — there- 
fore all thou hast to do is not to look for me any 
particular day, only to write word immediately 

38 



if at any time you quit Bristol, lest I come and 
Taffy be not at home. I hope I can come in a day 
or two. But young Savory of my office is suddenly 
taken ill in this very nick of time and I must offi- 
ciate for him till he can come to work again. Had 
the knave gone sick and died and putrefied at 
any other time, philosophy might have afforded 
one comfort, but just now I have no patience 
with him. Quarles I am as great a stranger to 
as I was to Withers. I wish you would try and 
do something to bring our elder bards into more 
general fame. I writhe with indignation when 
in books of criticism, where commonplace quo- 
tation is heaped upon quotation, I find no men- 
tion of such men as Massinger, or Beaumont and 
Fletcher, men with whom succeeding dramatic 
writers (Otway alone excepted) can bear no man- 
ner of comparison. Stupid Knox hath noticed 
none of 'em among his extracts. 

Thursday. — Mrs. C. can scarce guess how she 
has gratified me by her very kind letter and sweet 
little poem. I feel that I should thank her in 
rhyme, but she must take my acknowledgment 
at present in plain honest prose. The uncertainty 
in which I yet stand whether I can come or no 
damps my spirits, reduces me a degree below 
prosaical, and keeps me in a suspense that fluc- 
tuates between hope and fear. Hope is a charm- 
ing, lively, blue-eyed wench, and I am always 
glad of her company, but could dispense with 

39 



the visitor she brings with her, her younger sis- 
ter, Fear, a white-liver' d, lily-cheeked, bashful, 
palpitating, awkward hussey, that hangs like a 
green girl at her sister's apronstrings, and will 
go with her whithersoever she goes. 

For the life and soul of me I could not im- 
prove those lines in your poem on the Prince 
and Princess, so I changed them to what you 
bid me and left 'em at Perry's. I think 'em alto- 
gether good, and do not see why you were solicit- 
ous about any alteration. 

I have not yet seen, but will make it my busi- 
ness to see, to-day's Chronicle, for your verses on 
Home Tooke. Dyer stanza'd him in one of the 
papers t'other day, but I think unsuccessfully. 
Tooke's friends' meeting was I suppose a dinner 

of CONDOLENCE. 

I am not sorry to find you (for all Sara) im- 
mersed in clouds of smoke and metaphysic. You 
know I had a sneaking kindness for this last noble 
science, and you taught me some smattering of 
it. I look to become no mean proficient under 
your tuition. 

Coleridge, what do you mean by saying you 
wrote to me about Plutarch and Porphyry — I 
received no such letter, nor remember a syllable 
of the matter, yet am not apt to forget any part of 
your epistles, least of all an injunction like that. 
I will cast about for 'em, tho' I am a sad hand 
to know what books are worth, and both those 
worthy gentlemen are alike out of my line. To- 

40 



morrow I shall be less suspensive and in better 
cue to write, so good-bye at present. 

Friday Evening. — That execrable aristocrat 
and knave Richardson has given me an absolute 
refusal of leave ! The poor man cannot guess at 
my disappointment. Is it not hard, " this dread 
dependance on the low-bred mind?" Continue 

to write to me, tho',and I must be content 

Our loves and best good wishes attend upon you 
both. Lamb 

Savory did return, but there are two or three 
more ill and absent, which was the plea for re- 
fusing me. I will never commit my peace of 
mind by depending on such a wretch for a favor 
in future, so shall never have heart to ask for 
holidays again. The man next him in office, 
Cartwright, furnished him with the objections. 

C. Lamb 

note 

[The dactyls were Coleridge's only in the third stanza ; 
the remainder were Southey's. The poem is known as The 
Soldier's Wife, printed in Southey's Poems, 1797, running 
thus, — 

Weary way-wanderer languid and sick at heart 
Travelling painfully over the rugged road, 
Wild-visag' d Wanderer ! ah for thy heavy chance ! 

Sorely thy little one drags by thee bare-footed, 
Cold is the baby that hangs at thy bending back, 
Meagre and livid and screaming its wretchedness. 

4 1 



Woe-begone mother, half anger, half agony, 

As over thy shoulder thou lookest to hush the babe, 

Bleakly the blinding snow beats in thy hagged face. 

Thy husband will never return from the war again, 
Cold is thy hopeless heart even as Charity — 
Cold are thy famish' d babes — God help thee, widow'd One. 
Bristol, 1795. 

Later Southey revised the verses. The Anti-Jacobin had the 
following parody of them : 

THE SOLDIER'S FRIEND 

Come, little drummer boy, lay down your knapsack here: 
I am the soldier's friend — here are some books for you ; 
Nice clever books, by TOM PAINE, the philanthropist. 

Here 's half-a-crown for you — here are some hand-bills too — 
Go to the barracks, and give all the soldiers some. 
Tell them the sailors are all in a mutiny. 

[Exit drummer-boy, 'with hand-bills and 
half-crown. — Manet soldier' s friend. 

Liberty's friends thus all learn to amalgamate, 

Freedom's volcanic explosion prepares itself, 

Despots shall bow to the fasces of liberty, 

Reason, philosophy, "fiddledum, piddledum," 
Peace and fraternity, higgledy, piggledy, 
Higgledy, piggledy, "fiddledum diddledum." 

Et caetera, et caetera, et caetera.~\ 

VI. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

The 5th July, 1796. 
TO SARA AND HER SAMUEL 

Was it so hard a thing ? I did but ask 
A fleeting holy day. One little week, 
Or haply two, had bounded my request. 

What if the jaded Steer, who all day long 
Had borne the heat and labour of the plough, 
42 



When evening came and her sweet cooling hour, 
Should seek to trespass on a neighbour copse, 
Where greener herbage waved, or clearer streams 
Invited him to slake his burning thirst ? 
That man were crabbed, who should say him nay : 
That man were churlish, who should drive him thence ! 

A blessing light upon your heads, ye good, 
Ye hospitable pair. I may not come, 
To catch on Clifden's heights the summer gale : 
I may not come, a pilgrim, to the " vales 
Where Avon winds," to taste th' inspiring waves 
Which Shakespere drank, our British Helicon : 
Or, with mine eye intent on Redcliffe towers, 
To drop a tear for that mysterious youth, 
Cruelly slighted, who to London walls, 
In evil hour, shap'd his disastrous course. 

Complaints, begone ; begone, ill-omen'd thoughts — 
For yet again, and lo ! from Avon banks 
Another " minstrel " cometh ! Youth beloved, 
God and good angels guide thee on thy way, 
And gentler fortunes wait the friends I love. 

C. L. 

VII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

The 6th July, 1796. 

Substitute in room of that last confused and 
incorrect paragraph, following the words " dis- 
astrous course," these lines 

v . , J" With better hopes, I trust, from Avon's vales 

, - J This other "minstrel" cometh. Youth endear' d, 

?■ ■ 1 1 God and good angels guide thee on thy road, 

" ' [ And gentler fortunes wait the friends I love. 

[Lamb has crossed through the above lines .] 
43 



Let us prose. 

What can I do till you send word what priced 
and placed house you should like ? Islington 
(possibly) you would not like, to me 't is classical 
ground. Knightsbridge is a desirable situation 
for the air of the parks. St. George's Fields is 
convenient for its contiguity to the Bench. 
Chuse ! But are you really coming to town ? 
The hope of it has entirely disarmed my petty 
disappointment of its nettles. Yet I rejoice so 
much on my own account, that I fear I do not feel 
enough pure satisfaction on yours. Why, surely, 
the joint editorship of the Chronicle must be 
a very comfortable and secure living for a man. 

But should not you read French, or do you ? 
and can you write with sufficient moderation, as 
't is call'd, when one suppresses the one half of 
what one feels, or could say, on a subject, to chime 
in the better with popular lukewarmness? — 
White's Letters are near publication. Could you 
review 'em, or get 'em reviewed ? Are you not 
connected with the Critical Review ? His frontis- 
piece is a good conceit: Sir John learning to 
dance, to please Madame Page, in dress of doub- 
let, etc., forms the upper half; and modern pan- 
taloons, with shoes, etc., of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, form the lower half — and the whole work 
is full of goodly quips and rare fancies, " all deftly 
masqued like hoar antiquity," — much superior 
to Dr. Kenrick's Falstaff' s Wedding, which you 
may have seen. Allen sometimes laughs at su- 

44 



perstition, and religion, and the like. A living fell 
vacant lately in the gift of the Hospital. White 
informed him that he stood a fair chance for it. 
He scrupled and scrupled about it, and at last (to 
use his own words) " tampered " with Godwin 
to know whether the thing was honest or not. 
Godwin said nay to it, and Allen rejected the liv- 
ing ! Could the blindest poor papist have bowed 
more servilely to his priest or casuist ? Why sleep 
the Watchman' s answers to that Godwin? I beg 
you will not delay to alter, if you mean to keep, 
those last lines I sent you. Do that, and read 
these for your pains : 

TO THE POET COWPER 

Cowper, I thank my God that thou art heal'd ! 
Thine was the sorest malady of all ; 
And I am sad to think that it should light 
Upon the worthy head ! But thou art heal'd, 
And thou art yet, we trust, the destin'd man, 
Born to reanimate the lyre, whose chords 
Have slumber'd, and have idle lain so long, 
To the immortal sounding of whose strings 
Did Milton frame the stately-paced verse ; 
Among whose wires with lighter ringer playing, 
Our elder bard, Spenser, a gentle name, 
The Lady Muses' dearest darling child, 
Elicited the deftest tunes yet heard 
In hall or bower, taking the delicate ear 
Of Sydney, and his peerless Maiden Queen. 

Thou, then, take up the mighty epic strain, 
Cowper, of England's bards, the wisest and the best. 
1796. 

45 



I have read your climax of praises in those 
three reviews. These mighty spouters-out of 
panegyric waters have, two of 'em, scattered their 
spray even upon me, and the waters are cooling 
and refreshing. Prosaically, the monthly re- 
viewers have made indeed a large article of it, 
and done you justice. The critical have, in their 
wisdom, selected not the very best specimens, 
and notice not, except as one name on the mus- 
ter-roll, the Religious Musings. I suspect Master 
Dyer to have been the writer of that article, as 
the substance of it was the very remarks and the 
very language he used to me one day. I fear you 
will not accord entirely with my sentiments of 
Cowper, as exprest above (perhaps scarcely just), 
but the poor gentleman has just recovered from 
his lunacies, and that begets pity, and pity love, 
and love admiration, and then it goes hard with 
people but they lie ! 

Have you read the ballad called Leonora, in 
the second number of the Monthly Magazi?ie ? 
If you have ! ! ! ! There is another fine song, 
from the same author (Burger), in the third Num- 
ber, of scarce inferior merit ; and (vastly below 
these) there are some happy specimens of Eng- 
lish hexameters, in an imitation of Ossian, in the 
fifth Number. For your dactyls I am sorry you 
are so sore about 'em — a very Sir Fretful ! In 
good troth, the dactyls are good dactyls, but their 
measure is naught. Be not yourself" half anger, 
half agony " if I pronounce your darling lines 

46 






not to be the best you ever wrote : you have 
written much. 

For the alterations in those lines, let 'em run 
thus: 

I may not come a pilgrim to the 

banks 
Of dvon,lucidstream,to taste the (inspiring wave) was too 

wave commonplace. 

Which Shakspere drank, our 

British Helicon ; 
Or, with mine eye, &c, &c. 
To muse, in tears, on that mys- (better than " drop a tear " ) 

terious youth, &c. 

Then the last paragraph alter thus : 

Complaint, begone ; begone, un- better refer to my own 
kind reproof. " complaint " solely than 

Take up, my song, take up a half to that and half to Chat- 
merrier strain, terton, as in your copy, 

For yet again, and lo ! from which creates a confusion, 
Avon's vales — " ominous fears," &c. 

Another minstrel cometh ! 
youth endeared, 

God and good angels, &c, as 
before. 

Have a care, good Master poet, of the Statute 
de Contumelia. What do you mean by calling 
Madame Mara harlot and naughty things ? The 
goodness of the verse would not save you in a 
court of justice. But are you really coming to 
town ? 

Coleridge, a gentleman called in London lately 
from Bristol, and inquired whether there were 
any of the family of a Mr. Chambers living; 
this Mr. Chambers, he said, had been the making 

47 



of a friend's fortune who wished to make some 
return for it. He went away without seeing her. 
Now, a Mrs. Reynolds, a very intimate friend 
of ours, whom you have seen at our house, is the 
only daughter, and all that survives, of Mr. Cham- 
bers; and a very little supply would be of service 
to her, for she married very unfortunately, and 
has parted with her husband. 

Pray find out this Mr. Pember (for that was 
the gentleman's friend's name) ; he is an attorney, 
and lives at Bristol. Find him out, and acquaint 
him with the circumstances of the case, and offer 
to be the medium of supply to Mrs. Reynolds, 
if he chuses to make her a present. She is in 
very distrest circumstances. Mr. Pember, attor- 
ney, Bristol ; Mr. Chambers lived in the Temple. 
Mrs. Reynolds, his daughter, was my school- 
mistress, and is in the room at this present writ- 
ing. This last circumstance induced me to write 
so soon again; I have not further to add; our 
loves to Sara. C. Lamb 

Thursday. 

NOTE 

[The passage at the beginning, before " Let us prose," to- 
gether with the later passages in the same manner, refers to 
the poem in the preceding letter, which in slightly different 
form is printed in editions of Lamb as " Lines to Sara and 
Her Samuel." In order to complete the letter we have copied 
the version printed in the Monthly Magazine, January, 1 797: 

LINES ADDRESSED, FROM LONDON, TO SARA AND S. T. C. 
AT BRISTOL, IN THE SUMMER OF 1796 

Was it so hard a thing ? I did but ask 
A fleeting holiday, a little week. 

48 



What, if the jaded steer, who, all day long, 
Had borne the heat and burthen of the plough, 
When ev'ning came, and her sweet cooling hour, 
Should seek to wander in a neighbour copse, 
Where greener herbage wav'd, or clearer streams 
Invited him to slake his burning thirst ? 
The man were crabbed who should say him nay ; 
The man were churlish who should drive him thence. 

A blessing light upon your worthy heads, 
Ye hospitable pair! I may not come 
To catch, on Clifden' s heights, the summer gale j 
I may not come to taste the Avon wave ; 
Or, with mine eye intent on Redcliffe tow'rs, 
To muse in tears on that mysterious youth, 
Cruelly slighted, who, in evil hour, 
Shap'd his advent' rous course to London walls! 

Complaint, be gone ! and, ominous thoughts, away ! 
Take up, my Song, take up a merrier strain ; 
For yet again, and lo! from Avon's vales, 
Another Minstrel cometh. Youth endear' d, 
God and good Angels guide thee on thy road, 
And gentler fortunes 'wait the friends I love!] 



VIII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[p.m. September 27, 1796.] 

My dearest friend, — White or some of my 
friends or the public papers by this time may 
have informed you of the terrible calamities that 
have fallen on our family. I will only give you 
the outlines. My poor dear dearest sister in a fit 
of insanity has been the death of her own mother. 
I was at hand only time enough to snatch the 
knife out of her grasp. She is at present in a 
madhouse, from whence I fear she must be moved 
to an hospital. 

God has preserved to me my senses, — I eat 

49 



and drink and sleep, and have my judgment I 
believe very sound. My poor father was slightly 
wounded, and I am left to take care of him and 
my aunt. Mr. Norris of the Bluecoat school has 
been very, very kind to us, and we have no other 
friend ; but thank God, I am very calm and com- 
posed, and able to do the best that remains to 
do. Write, — as religious a letter as possible, but 
no mention of what is gone and done with. — 
With me " the former things are passed away," 
and I have something more to do than to feel. 
God Almighty have us all in His keeping ! 

C. Lamb 

Mention nothing of poetry. I have destroyed 
every vestige of past vanities of that kind. Do 
as you please, but if you publish, publish mine 
(I give free leave) without name or initial, and 
never send me a book I charge you. 

Your own judgment will convince you not to 
take any notice of this yet to your dear wife. 
You look after your family ; I have my reason 
and strength left to take care of mine. I charge 
you, don't think of coming to see me. Write. 
I will not see you if you come. God Almighty 
love you and all of us ! 

[The following is Coleridge's reply :] 

[September 28, 1796.] 

Your letter, my friend, struck me with a mighty horror. It 
rushed upon me and stupefied my feelings. You bid me write 

5° 



you a religious letter ; I am not a man who would attempt to 
insult the greatness of your anguish by any other consolation. 
Heaven knows that in the easiest fortunes there is much dis- 
satisfaction and weariness of spirit ; much that calls for the 
exercise of patience and resignation ; but in storms, like these, 
that shake the dwelling and make the heart tremble, there is 
no middle way between despair and the yielding up of the 
whole spirit unto the guidance of faith. 

And surely it is a matter of joy, that your faith in Jesus 
has been preserved ; the Comforter that should relieve you is 
not far from you. But as you are a Christian, in the name of 
that Saviour who was filled with bitterness and made drunken 
with wormwood, I conjure you to have recourse in frequent 
prayer to " his God and your God," the God of mercies and 
father of all comfort. Your poor father is, I hope, almost 
senseless of the calamity ; the unconscious instrument of Di- 
vine Providence knows it not, and your mother is in heaven. 
It is sweet to be roused from a frightful dream by the song 
of birds, and the gladsome rays of the morning. Ah, how 
infinitely more sweet to be awakened from the blackness and 
amazement of a sudden horror by the glories of God manifest 
and the hallelujahs of angels. 

As to what regards yourself, I approve altogether of your 
abandoning what you justly call vanities. I look upon you as 
a man, called by sorrow and anguish and a strange desolation 
of hopes into quietness, and a soul set apart and made pecu- 
liar to God ; we cannot arrive at any portion of heavenly bliss 
without in some measure imitating Christ. And they arrive 
at the largest inheritance who imitate the most difficult parts 
of his character, and, bowed down and crushed under foot, 
cry in fulness of faith, " Father, thy will be done." 

I wish above measure to have you for a little while here ; 
no visitants shall blow on the nakedness of your feelings ; you 
shall be quiet, and your spirit may be healed. I see no pos- 
sible objection, unless your father's helplessness prevent you, 
and unless you are necessary to him. If this be not the case, 
I charge you write me that you will come. 

I charge you, my dearest friend, not to dare to encourage 
gloom or despair; you are a temporary sharer in human miser- 

5 1 



ies that you may be an eternal partaker of the divine nature. 
I charge you, if by any means it be possible, come to me. 
I remain, your affectionate, 

S. T. Coleridge 

NOTE 

[The following is the report of the inquest upon Mrs. 
Lamb which appeared in the Morning Chronicle for September 
26, 1796. The tragedy had occurred on Thursday, Septem- 
ber 22 : 

On Friday afternoon the Coroner and a respectable Jury sat on the body 
of a Lady in the neighbourhood of Holbom, who died in consequence of 
a wound from her daughter the preceding day. It appeared by the evi- 
dence adduced, that while the family were preparing for dinner, the young 
lady seized a case knife laying on the table, and in a menacing manner 
pursued a little girl, her apprentice, round the room ; on the eager calls 
of her helpless infirm mother to forbear, she renounced her first object, 
and with loud shrieks approached her parent. 

The child by her cries quickly brought up the landlord of the house, 
but too late — the dreadful scene presented to him the mother lifeless, 
pierced to the heart, on a chair, her daughter yet wildly standing over 
her with the fatal knife, and the venerable old man, her father, weeping by 
her side, himself bleeding at the forehead from the effects of a severe blow 
he received from one of the forks she had been madly hurling about the 
room. 

For a few days prior to this the family had observed some symptoms 
of insanity in her, which had so much increased on the Wednesday even- 
ing, that her brother early the next morning went in quest of Dr. Pit- 
caim — had that gentleman been met with, the fatal catastrophe had, in 
all probability, been prevented. 

It seems the young Lady had been once before, in her earlier years, 
deranged, from the harassing fatigues of too much business. — As her 
carriage towards her mother was ever affectionate in the extreme, it is 
believed that to the increased attentiveness, which her parents' infirmities 
called for by day and night, is to be attributed the present insanity of this 
ill-fated young woman. 

It has been stated in some of the Morning Papers, that she has an insane 
brother also in confinement — this is without foundation. 

The Jury of course brought in their Verdict, Lunacy.~\ 



52 



IX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[p. m. October 3, 1796.] 

My dearest friend, — Your letter was an in- 
estimable treasure to me. It will be a comfort 
to you, I know, to know that our prospects are 
somewhat brighter. My poor dear dearest sister, 
the unhappy and unconscious instrument of the 
Almighty's judgments to our house, is restored to 
her senses ; to a dreadful sense and recollection of 
what has past, awful to her mind, and impress- 
ive (as it must be to the end of life), but temper' d 
with religious resignation, and the reasonings 
of a sound judgment, which in this early stage 
knows how to distinguish between a deed com- 
mitted in a transient fit of frenzy and the terrible 
guilt of a mother's murther. I have seen her. 
I found her this morning calm and serene, far, 
very very far, from an indecent forgetful seren- 
ity ; she has a most affectionate and tender con- 
cern for what has happened. 

Indeed from the beginning, frightful and 
hopeless as her disorder seemed, I had confidence 
enough in her strength of mind and religious 
principle to look forward to a time when even 
she might recover tranquillity. God be praised, 
Coleridge, wonderful as it is to tell, I have never 
once been otherwise than collected and calm ; 
even on the dreadful day and in the midst of the 
terrible scene I preserved a tranquillity, which 
bystanders may have construed into indifference, 

53 



a tranquillity not of despair ; is it folly or sin in 
me to say that it was a religious principle that 
most supported me ? I allow much to other favor- 
able circumstances. I felt that I had something 
else to do than to regret ; on that first evening 
my aunt was lying insensible, to all appearance 
like one dying, — my father, with his poor fore- 
head plaistered over from a wound he had re- 
ceived from a daughter dearly loved by him, and 
who loved him no less dearly, — my mother a 
dead and murder'd corpse in the next room — 
yet was I wonderfully supported. I closed not 
my eyes in sleep that night, but lay without ter- 
rors and without despair. I have lost no sleep 
since. 

I had been long used not to rest in things of 
sense, had endeavored after a comprehension 
of mind, unsatisfied with the " ignorant present 
time," and this kept me up. I had the whole 
weight of the family thrown on me, for my 
brother, little disposed (I speak not without ten- 
derness for him) at any time to take care of old 
age and infirmities, had now, with his bad leg, 
an exemption from such duties, and I was now 
left alone. One little incident may serve to make 
you understand my way of managing my mind. 
Within a day or two after the fatal one, we drest 
for dinner a tongue, which we had had salted 
for some weeks in the house. As I sat down a 
feeling like remorse struck me, — this tongue 
poor Mary got for me, and can I partake of it 

54 



now, when she is far away ; a thought occurred 
and relieved me, — if I give in to this way of 
feeling, there is not a chair, a room, an object 
in our rooms, that will not awaken the keenest 
griefs, I must rise above such weaknesses. — I 
hope this was not want of true feeling. I did 
not let this carry me, tho', too far. 

On the very second day (I date from the day 
of horrors) as is usual in such cases there were 
a matter of twenty people I do think supping in 
our room. They prevailed on me to eat with 
them (for to eat I never refused). They were all 
making merry in the room ! Some had come 
from friendship, some from busy curiosity, and 
some from interest ; I was going to partake with 
them, when my recollection came that my poor 
dead mother was lying in the next room, the 
very next room, a mother who thro' life wished 
nothing but her children's welfare, — indigna- 
tion, the rage of grief, something like remorse, 
rushed upon my mind in an agony of emotion, — 
I found my way mechanically to the adjoining 
room, and fell on my knees by the side of her 
coffin, asking forgiveness of Heaven, and some- 
times of her, for forgetting her so soon. Tran- 
quillity returned, and it was the only violent 
emotion that mastered me, and I think it did 
me good. 

I mention these things because I hate conceal- 
ment, and love to give a faithful journal of what 
passes within me. Our friends have been very 

55 



good. Sam Le Grice who was then in town was 
with me the first three or four days, and was as 
a brother to me, gave up every hour of his time, 
to the very hurting of his health and spirits, in 
constant attendance and humouring my poor 
father. Talk'd with him, read to him, play'd at 
cribbage with him (for so short is the old man's 
recollection, that he was playing at cards, as 
tho' nothing had happened, while the coroner's 
inquest was sitting over the way! ) Samuel wept 
tenderly when he went away, for his mother 
wrote him a very severe letter on his loitering so 
long in town, and he was forced to go. 

Mr. Norris of Christ Hospital has been as a 
father to me, Mrs. Norris as a mother ; tho' we 
had few claims on them. A gentleman, brother 
to my godmother, from whom we never had 
right or reason to expect any such assistance, 
sent my father twenty pounds, — and to crown 
all these God's blessings to our family at such a 
time, an old lady, a cousin of my father and 
aunt's, a gentlewoman of fortune, is to take my 
aunt and make her comfortable for the short 
remainder of her days. 

My aunt is recover'd and as well as ever, and 
highly pleased at thoughts of going, — and has 
generously given up the interest of her little 
money (which was formerly paid my father for 
her board) wholly and solely to my sister's use. 
Reckoning this we have, Daddy and I, for our 
two selves and an old maid servant to look after 

56 



him, when I am out, which will be necessary, 
£170 or ;£i8o (rather) a year, out of which we 
can spare ^50 or £60 at least for Mary, while 
she stays at Islington, where she must and shall 
stay during her father's life for his and her com- 
fort. I know John will make speeches about it, 
but she shall not go into an hospital. 

The good lady of the madhouse, and her 
daughter, an elegant sweet-behaved young lady, 
love her and are taken with her amazingly, and 
I know from her own mouth she loves them, 
and longs to be with them as much. — Poor 
thing, they say she was but the other morning 
saying, she knew she must go to Bethlem for 
life ; that one of her brothers would have it so, 
but the other would wish it not, but be obliged 
to go with the stream ; that she had often as she 
passed Bedlam thought it likely " here it may be 
my fate to end my days — " conscious of a cer- 
tain flightiness in her poor head oftentimes, and 
mindful of more than one severe illness of that 
nature before. 

A legacy of ^100, which my father will have 
at Xmas, and this £20 \ mentioned before, with 
what is in the house will much more than set 
us clear ; — if my father, an old servant maid, 
and I, can't live and live comfortably on ^130 
or ^120 a year we ought to burn by slow fires, 
and I almost would, that Mary might not go 
into an hospital. Let me not leave one unfa- 
vourable impression on your mind respecting my 

57 



brother. Since this has happened he has been 
very kind and brotherly ; but I fear for his mind, 
— he has taken his ease in the world, and is 
not fit himself to struggle with difficulties, nor 
has much accustomed himself to throw himself 
into their way, — and I know his language is 
already, " Charles, you must take care of your 
self, you must not abridge yourself of a single 
pleasure you have been used to," &c, &c, and in 
that style of talking. 

But you, a necessarian, can respect a difference 
of mind, and love what is amiable in a character 
not perfect. He has been very good, but I fear 
for his mind. Thank God, I can unconnect my- 
self with him, and shall manage all my father's 
monies in future myself, if I take charge of Daddy, 
which poor John has not even hinted a wish, at 
any future time even, to share with me. The 
lady at this madhouse assures me that I may dis- 
miss immediately both doctor and apothecary, 
retaining occasionally an opening draught or so 
for a while, and there is a less expensive estab- 
lishment in her house, where she will only not 
have a room and nurse to herself for ^50 or 
guineas a year — the outside would be Jfbo — 
You know by economy how much more, even, 
I shall be able to spare for her comforts. 

She will, I fancy, if she stays, make one of the 
family, rather than of the patients, and the old 
and young ladies I like exceedingly, and she 
loves dearly, and they, as the saying is, take to 

58 



her very extraordinarily, if it is extraordinary that 
people who see my sister should love her. Of all 
the people I ever saw in the world my poor sister 
was most and thoroughly devoid of the least 
tincture of selfishness; I will enlarge upon her 
qualities, poor dear dearest soul, in a future let- 
ter for my own comfort, for I understand her 
thoroughly; and if I mistake not, in the most 
trying situation that a human being can be 
found in, she will be found (I speak not with 
sufficient humility, I fear, but humanly and fool- 
ishly speaking) she will be found, I trust, uni- 
formly great and amiable ; God keep her in her 
present mind, to whom be* thanks and praise for 
all His dispensations to mankind. 

Lamb 

Coleridge, continue to write ; but do not for 
ever offend me by talking of sending me cash. 
Sincerely, and on my soul, we do not want it. 
God love you both ! 

I will write again very soon. Do you write 
directly. 

These mentioned good fortunes and change 
of prospects had almost brought my mind over to 
the extreme the very opposite to despair ; I was 
in danger of making myself too happy ; your 
letter brought me back to a view of things which 
I had entertained from the beginning ; I hope 
(for Mary I can answer) but I hope that / shall 
thro' life never have less recollection nor a fainter 

59 



impression of what has happened than I have 
now; 'tis not a light thing, nor meant by the 
Almighty to be received lightly. I must be seri- 
ous, circumspect, and deeply religious thro' life ; 
by such means may both of us escape madness in 
future, if it so please the Almighty. 

Send me word how it fares with Sara. I re- 
peat it, your letter was and will be an inestim- 
able treasure to me ; you have a view of what my 
situation demands of me like my own view ; and 
I trust a just one. 

NOTE 

[A word perhaps on Lamb's salary might be fitting here. 
For the first three years, from joining the East India House 
on April 5, 1792, he received nothing. This probationary 
period over, he was given £\o for the year 1795—1796. 
This, however, was raised to £"]Q in 1796 and there were 
means of adding to it a little, by extra work and by a small 
holiday grant. In 1797 it was ^80, in 1799 .£90, and from 
that time until 1 8 14 it rose by ,£10 every second year.] 

X.— TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[p. M. October 17, 1796.] 

My dearest friend, — I grieve from my very 
soul to observe you in your plans of life veering 
about from this hope to the other, and settling 
nowhere. Is it an untoward fatality (speaking 
humanly) that does this for you, a stubborn irre- 
sistible concurrence of events ? or lies the fault, 
as I fear it does, in your own mind ? You seem 

60 



to be taking up splendid schemes of fortune only 
to lay them down again, and your fortunes are 
an ignis fatuus that has been conducting you, in 
thought, from Lancaster Court, Strand, to some- 
where near Matlock, then jumping across to Dr. 
Somebody's whose son's tutor you were likely to 
be, and would to God the dancing demon may 
conduct you at last in peace and comfort to the 
" life and labors of a cottager." 

You see, from the above awkward playfulness 
of fancy, that my spirits are not quite depressed ; 
I should ill deserve God's blessings, which since 
the late terrible event have come down in mercy 
upon us, if I indulged regret or querulousness, — 
Mary continues serene and chearful, — I have 
not by me a little letter she wrote to me, for, 
tho' I see her almost every day, yet we delight to 
write to one another (for we can scarce see each 
other but in company with some of the people 
of the house) ; I have not the letter by me, but 
will quote from memory what she wrote in it. 
" I have no bad terrifying dreams. At midnight 
when I happen to awake, the nurse sleeping by 
the side of me, with the noise of the poor mad 
people around me, I have no fear. The spirit of 
my mother seems to descend and smile upon me, 
and bid me live to enjoy the life and reason which 
the Almighty has given me : I shall see her again 
in heaven ; she will then understand me better ; 
my grandmother, too, will understand me better, 
and will then say no more, as she used to do, 

61 



' Polly, what are those poor crazy moyther'd 
brains of yours thinking of always ? ' " — Poor 
Mary, my mother indeed never understood her 
right. She loved her, as she loved us all, with 
a mother's love ; but in opinion, in feeling, and 
sentiment, and disposition, bore so distant a re- 
semblance to her daughter that she never under- 
stood her right. Never could believe how much 
she loved her, but met her caresses, her protesta- 
tions of filial affection, too frequently with cold- 
ness and repulse. — Still she was a good mother; 
God forbid I should think of her but most 
respectfully, most affectionately. Yet she would 
always love my brother above Mary, who was 
not worthy of one tenth of that affection which 
Mary had a right to claim. But it is my sister's 
gratifying recollection that every act of duty and 
of love she could pay, every kindness (and I speak 
true, when I say to the hurting of her health, 
and, most probably, in great part to the derange- 
ment of her senses), thro' a long course of infirm- 
ities and sickness, she could shew her, she ever 
did. 

I will some day, as I promised, enlarge to you 
upon my sister's excellencies : 't will seem like 
exaggeration ; but I will do it. At present short 
letters suit my state of mind best. So take my 
kindest wishes for your comfort and establish- 
ment in life, and for Sara's welfare and comforts 
with you. God love you ! God love us all ! 

C. Lamb 
62 



XL — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

October 24, 1796. [Monday.] 

Coleridge, I feel myself much your debtor for 
that spirit of confidence and friendship which 
dictated your last letter. May your soul find 
peace at last in your cottage life ! I only wish 
you were but settled. Do continue to write to 
me. I read your letters with my sister, and they 
give us both abundance of delight. Especially 
they please us two, when you talk in a religious 
strain, — not but we are offended occasionally 
with a certain freedom of expression, a certain 
air of mysticism, more consonant to the con- 
ceits of pagan philosophy than consistent with 
the humility of genuine piety. To instance now 
in your last letter you say, " it is by the press 
that God hath given finite spirits both ,evil and 
good (I suppose you mean simply bad men and 
good men) a portion as it were of His omni- 
presence!" 

Now, high as the human intellect compara- 
tively will soar, and wide as its influence, malign 
or salutary, can extend, is there not, Coleridge, 
a distance between the divine mind and it, which 
makes such language blasphemy ? Again, in your 
first fine consolatory epistle you say, "you are 
a temporary sharer in human misery that you 
may be an eternal partaker of the divine nature." 
What more than this do those men say who are 
for exalting the man Christ Jesus into the second 

63 



person of an unknown Trinity, — men, whom 
you or I scruple not to call idolaters ? Man, full 
of imperfections, at best, and subject to wants 
which momentarily remind him of dependence; 
man, a weak and ignorant being, " servile " from 
his birth " to all the skiey influences," with eyes 
sometimes open to discern the right path, but 
a head generally too dizzy to pursue it ; man, in 
the pride of speculation, forgetting his nature, 
and hailing in himself the future God, must make 
the angels laugh. 

Be not angry with me, Coleridge ; I wish not 
to cavil ; I know I cannot instruct you ; I only 
wish to remind you of that humility which best 
becometh the Christian character. God, in the 
New Testament [our best guide), is represented 
to us in the kind, condescending, amiable, fa- 
miliar light of a parent ; and in my poor mind 
'tis best for us so to consider of Him, as our 
heavenly Father, and our best Friend, without in- 
dulging too bold conceptions of His nature. Let 
us learn to think humbly of ourselves, and rejoice 
in the appellation of "dear children," "breth- 
ren," and " co-heirs with Christ of the pro- 
mises," seeking to know no further. 

I am not insensible, indeed I am not, of the 
value of that first letter of yours, and I shall find 
reason to thank you for it again and again long 
after that blemish in it is forgotten. It will be 
a fine lesson of comfort to us, whenever we read 
it ; and read it we often shall, Mary and I. 

64 



Accept our loves and best kind wishes for the 
welfare of yourself and wife and little one. Nor 
let me forget to wish you joy on your birthday 
so lately past ; I thought you had been older. 
My kind thanks and remembrances to Lloyd. 

God love us all, and may He continue to be 
the Father and the Friend of the whole human 
race! 

C. Lamb 

Sunday Evening. 

XII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

October 28, 1796. 

My dear friend, — I am not ignorant that to be 
a partaker of the divine nature is a phrase to be 
met with in Scripture : I am only apprehensive 
lest we in these latter days, tinctured (some of us 
perhaps pretty deeply) with mystical notions and 
the pride of metaphysics, might be apt to affix to 
such phrases a meaning which the primitive users 
of them, the simple fishermen of Galilee for in- 
stance, never intended to convey. With that other 
part of your apology I am not quite so well satisfied. 
You seem to me to have been straining your com- 
paring faculties to bring together things infinitely 
distant and unlike; the feeble narrow-sphered 
operations of the human intellect and the every- 
where diffused mind of Deity, the peerless wisdom 
of Jehovah. Even the expression appears to me 
inaccurate, " portion of omnipresence : " omni- 

65 



presence is an attribute whose very essence is un- 
limitedness. How can omnipresence be affirmed 
of anything in part ? But enough of this spirit of 
disputatiousness. Let us attend to the proper busi- 
ness of human life, and talk a little together re- 
specting our domestic concerns. Do you continue 
to make me acquainted with what you were doing, 
and how soon you are likely to be settled once for 
all. 

I have satisfaction in being able to bid you re- 
joice with me in my sister's continued reason and 
composedness of mind. Let us both be thankful 
for it. I continue to visit her very frequently, and 
the people of the house are vastly indulgent to 
her; she is likely to be as comfortably situated in 
all respects as those who pay twice or thrice the 
sum. They love her, and she loves them, and 
makes herself very useful to them. Benevolence 
sets out on her journey with a good heart, and puts 
a good face on it, but is apt to limp and grow 
feeble, unless she calls in the aid of self-interest 
by way of crutch. In Mary's case, as far as respects 
those she is with, 't is well that these principles 
are so likely to co-operate. I am rather at a loss 
sometimes for books for her, — our reading is 
somewhat confined, and we have nearly exhausted 
our London library. She has her hands too full 
of work to read much: but a little she must read; 
for reading was her daily bread. 

Have you seen Bowles's new poem on Hope? 
What character does it bear ? Has he exhausted 

66 



his stores of tender plaintiveness? or is he the same 
in this last as in all his former pieces? The duties 
of the day call me offfrom this pleasant intercourse 
with my friend ; so for the present adieu. 

Now for the truant borrowing of a few min- 
utes from business. Have you met with a new 
poem called the Pursuits of Literature ? From 
the extracts in the British Review I judge it to be 
a very humorous thing ; in particular I remember 
what I thought a very happy character of Dr. 
Darwin's poetry. Among all your quaint read- 
ings did you ever light upon Walton's Complete 
Angler? I asked you the question once before ; it 
breathes the very spirit of innocence, purity, and 
simplicity of heart ; there are many choice old 
verses interspersed in it ; it would sweeten a man's 
temper at any time to read it ; it would Christian- 
ise every discordant angry passion; pray make 
yourself acquainted with it. Have you made it 
up with Southey yet? Surely one of you two must 
have been a very silly fellow, and the other not 
much better, to fall out like boarding-school 
misses; kiss, shake hands, and make it up. 

When will he be delivered of his new epic ? 
Madoc, I think, is to be the name of it ; though 
that is a name not familiar to my ears. What 
progress do you make in your hymns ? What 
review are you connected with ? If with any, 
why do you delay to notice White's book ? You 
are justly offended at its profaneness ; but surely 
you have undervalued its wit, or you would have 

6 7 



been more loud in its praises. Do not you think 
that in Slender s death and madness there is most 
exquisite humour, mingled with tenderness, that 
is irresistible, truly Shakspearian ? Be more full 
in your mention of it. Poor fellow, he has (very 
undeservedly) lost by it ; nor do I see that it is 
likely ever to reimburse him the charge of print- 
ing, &c. Give it a lift, if you can. 

I suppose you know that Allen's wife is dead, 
and he, just situated as he was, never the better, as 
the worldly people say, for her death, her money 
with her children being taken off his hands. 

I am just now wondering whether you will 
ever come to town again, Coleridge ; 't is among 
the things I dare not hope, but can't help wishing. 
For myself, I can live in the midst of town lux- 
ury and superfluity, and not long for them, and 
I can't see why your children might not here- 
after do the same. Remember, you are not in 
Arcadia when you are in the west of England, 
and they may catch infection from the world 
without visiting the metropolis. But you seem 
to have set your heart upon this same cottage 
plan ; and God prosper you in the experiment ! 
I am at a loss for more to write about ; so 't is 
as well that I am arrived at the bottom of my 
paper. 

God love you, Coleridge ! Our best loves and 
tenderest wishes await on you, your Sara, and 
your little one. 

C. L. 
68 



XIII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

November 8, 1796. 

My brother, my friend, — I am distrest for 
you, believe me I am ; not so much for your 
painful, troublesome complaint, which, I trust, 
is only for a time, as for those anxieties which 
brought it on, and perhaps even now may be 
nursing its malignity. Tell me, dearest of my 
friends, is your mind at peace, or has anything, 
yet unknown to me, happened to give you fresh 
disquiet, and steal from you all the pleasant 
dreams of future rest ? Are you still (I fear you 
are) far from being comfortably settled ? Would 
to God it were in my power to contribute to- 
wards the bringing of you into the haven where 
you would be ! But you are too well skilled in 
the philosophy of consolation to need my humble 
tribute of advice ; in pain and in sickness, and in 
all manner of disappointments, I trust you have 
that within you which shall speak peace to your 
mind. Make it, I entreat you, one of your puny 
comforts that I feel for you and share all your 
griefs with you. 

I feel as if I were troubling you about little 
things, now I am going to resume the subject 
of our last two letters ; but it may divert us both 
from unpleasanter feelings to make such matters, 
in a manner, of importance. Without further 
apology, then, it was not that I did not relish, 
that I did not in my heart thank you for, those 

69 



little pictures of your feelings which you lately 
sent me, if I neglected to mention them. You 
may remember you had said much the same 
things before to me on the same subject in a for- 
mer letter, and I considered those last verses as 
only the identical thoughts better clothed ; either 
way (in prose or verse) such poetry must be wel- 
come to me. I love them as I love the Confes- 
sions of Rousseau, and for the same reason ; the 
same frankness, the same openness of heart, the 
same disclosure of all the most hidden and deli- 
cate affections of the mind : they make me proud 
to be thus esteemed worthy of the place of friend- 
confessor, brother-confessor, to a man like Cole- 
ridge. This last is, I acknowledge, language too 
high for friendship ; but it is also, I declare, too 
sincere for flattery. 

Now, to put on stilts, and talk magnificently 
about trifles, — I condescend, then, to your coun- 
sel, Coleridge, and allow my first sonnet (sick 
to death am I to make mention of my sonnets, 
and I blush to be so taken up with them, indeed 
I do) — I allow it to run thus, Fairy Land, &c, 
&c, as I last wrote it. 

The fragments I now send you I want printed 
to get rid of 'em ; for, while they stick burr-like 
to my memory, they tempt me to go on with the 
idle trade of versifying, which I long — most 
sincerely I speak it — I long to leave off", for it 
is unprofitable to my soul ; I feel it is ; and these 
questions about words, and debates about alter- 

7° 



ations, take me off, I am conscious, from the pro- 
perer business of my life. Take my sonnets once 
for all, and do not propose any re-amendments, 
or mention them again in any shape to me, I 
charge you. I blush that my mind can consider 
them as things of any worth. And pray admit 
or reject these fragments, as you like or dislike 
them, without ceremony. Call 'em Sketches, 
Fragments, or what you will, but do not entitle 
any of my things Love Sonnets, as I told you to 
call 'em ; 't will only make me look little in my 
own eyes ; for it is a passion of which I retain 
nothing ; 't was a weakness, concerning which I 
may say, in the words of Petrarch (whose Life 
is now open before me), " if it drew me out of 
some vices, it also prevented the growth of many 
virtues, filling me with the love of the creature 
rather than the Creator, which is the death of 
the soul." 

Thank God, the folly has left me for ever ; 
not even a review of my love verses renews one 
wayward wish in me ; and if I am at all solicit- 
ous to trim 'em out in their best apparel, it is 
because they are to make their appearance in 
good company. 

Now to my fragments. Lest you have lost 
my Grandame, she shall be one. 'T is among the 
few verses I ever wrote (that to Mary is another) 
which profit me in the recollection. God love 
her, — and may we two never love each other 
less ! 

7i 



These, Coleridge, are the few sketches I have 
thought worth preserving ; how will they relish 
thus detached ? Will you reject all or any of 
them ? They are thine : do whatsoever thou list- 
est with them. My eyes ache with writing long 
and late, and I wax wondrous sleepy ; God bless 
you and yours, me and mine ! Good night. 

C. Lamb 

I will keep my eyes open reluctantly a minute 
longer to tell you that I love you for those sim- 
ple, tender, heart-flowing lines with which you 
conclude your last, and in my eyes best, sonnet 
(so you call 'em), — 

So, for the mother's sake, the child was dear, 
And dearer was the mother for the child. 

Cultivate simplicity, Coleridge, or rather, I 
should say, banish elaborateness ; for simplicity 
springs spontaneous from the heart, and carries 
into daylight its own modest buds and genuine, 
sweet, and clear flowers of expression. I allow 
no hot-beds in the gardens of Parnassus. I am 
unwilling to go to bed, and leave my sheet un- 
filled (a good piece of night-work for an idle 
body like me), so will finish with begging you 
to send me the earliest account of your com- 
plaint, its progress, or (as I hope to God you will 
be able to send me) the tale of your recovery, or 
at least amendment. My tenderest remembrances 
to your Sara. 

Once more good night. 
72 



XIV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

November 14, 1796. 

Coleridge, I love you for dedicating your po- 
etry to Bowles. Genius of the sacred fountain of 
tears, it was he who led you gently by the hand 
through all this valley of weeping, showed you 
the dark green yew trees and the willow shades 
where, by the fall of waters, you might indulge 
an uncomplaining melancholy, a delicious regret 
for the past, or weave fine visions of that awful 
future, — 

When all the vanities of life's brief day 
Oblivion's hurrying hand hath swept away, 
And all its sorrows, at the awful blast 
Of the archangel's trump, are but as shadows past. 

I have another sort of dedication in my head 
for my few things, which I want to know if you 
approve of and can insert. I mean to inscribe 
them to my sister. It will be unexpected, and 
it will give her pleasure ; or do you think it will 
look whimsical at all ? As I have not spoke to 
her about it, I can easily reject the idea. But 
there is a monotony in the affections, which people 
living together or, as we do now, very frequently 
seeing each other, are apt to give in to : a sort 
of indifference in the expression of kindness for 
each other, which demands that we should some- 
times call to our aid the trickery of surprise. Do 
you publish with Lloyd or without him ? in 
either case my little portion may come last, and 

73 



after the fashion of orders to a country corre- 
spondent I will give directions how I should 
like to have 'em done. The title-page to stand 
thus, — 

POEMS 
CHIEFLY LOVE SONNETS 

BY 

CHARLES LAMB, OF THE INDIA HOUSE 

Under this title the following motto, which, 
for want of room, I put over leaf, and desire you 
to insert, whether you like it or no. May not 
a gentleman choose what arms, mottoes, or ar- 
morial bearings the herald will give him leave, 
without consulting his republican friend, who 
might advise none ? May not a publican put up 
the sign of the Saracen's Head, even though his 
undiscerning neighbour should prefer, as more 
genteel, the Cat and Gridiron ? 

(MOTTO) 

This beauty, in the blossom of my youth, 
When my first fire knew no adulterate incense, 
Nor I no way to flatter but my fondness, 
In the best language my true tongue could tell me, 
And all the broken sighs my sick heart lend me, 
I sued and served. Long did I love this lady. 

Massinger 



74 



THE DEDICATION 



CREATURES OF THE FANCY AND THE FEELING 

IN LIFE'S MORE VACANT HOURS, 

PRODUCED, FOR THE MOST PART, BY 

LOVE IN IDLENESS, 

ARE, 

WITH ALL A BROTHER'S FONDNESS, 

INSCRIBED TO 

MARY ANN LAMB, 

THE AUTHOR'S BEST FRIEND AND SISTER 



This is the pomp and paraphernalia of parting, 
with which I take my leave of a passion which 
has reigned so royally (so long) within me ; thus, 
with its trappings of laureateship, I fling it off, 
pleased and satisfied with myself that the weak- 
ness troubles me no longer. I am wedded, Cole- 
ridge, to the fortunes of my sister and my poor 
old father. Oh ! my friend, I think sometimes, 
could I recall the days that are past, which among 
them should I choose? not those "merrier days," 
not the " pleasant days of hope," not " those wan- 
derings with a fair hair'd maid," which I have so 
often and so feelingly regretted, but the days, 
Coleridge, of a mother's fondness for her school-boy. 
What would I give to call her back to earth for 
one day, on my knees to ask her pardon for all 
those little asperities of temper which, from time 
to time, have given her gentle spirit pain; and 
the day, my friend, I trust will come ; there will 
be "time enough" for kind offices of love, if 

75 



" Heaven's eternal year " be ours. Hereafter, her 
meek spirit shall not reproach me. 

Oh, my friend, cultivate the filial feelings ! and 
let no man think himself released from the kind 
"charities" of relationship: these shall give him 
peace at the last ; these are the best foundation for 
every species of benevolence. I rejoice to hear, 
by certain channels, that you, my friend, are re- 
conciled with all your relations. 'T is the most 
kindly and natural species of love, and we have all 
the associated train of early feelings to secure its 
strength and perpetuity. Send me an account 
of your health ; indeed I am solicitous about you. 
God love you and yours ! 

C. Lamb 

XV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

December 2, 1796. 

I have delay'd writing thus long, not having by 
me my copy of your poems, which I had lent. I 
am not satisfied with all your intended omissions. 
Why omit 40, 63, 84: above all, let me protest 
strongly against your rejecting the Complaint of 
Ninathoma, 86. The words, I acknowledge, are 
Ossian's, but you have added to them the Music 
ofCaril. If a vicarious substitute be wanting, sac- 
rifice (and 't will be a piece of self-denial tod) the 
Epitaph on an Infant, of which its author seems 
so proud, so tenacious. Or, if your heart be set 
on perpetuating the four-line-wonder, I'll tell you 

76 



what [to] do : sell the copyright of it at once to 
a country statuary; commence in this manner 
Death's prime poet laureate; and let your verses 
be adopted in every village round instead of those 
hitherto famous ones, — 

Afflictions sore long time I bore ; 
Physicians were in vain. 

I have seen your last very beautiful poem in the 
Monthly Magazine; write thus, and you most gen- 
erally have written thus, and I shall never quarrel 
with you about simplicity. 
With regard to my lines, — 

Laugh all that weep, &c, 

I would willingly sacrifice them, but my portion 
of the volume is so ridiculously little, that in hon- 
est truth I can't spare them. As things are, I have 
very slight pretensions to participate in the title- 
page. — White's book is at length reviewed in 
the Monthly; was it your doing or Dyer's, to whom 
I sent him? Or rather do you not write in the 
Critical 1 ? for I observed in an article of this 
month's a line quoted out of that sonnet on Mrs. 
Siddons, — 

With eager wond'ring and perturb'd delight. 

And a line from that sonnet would not readily 
have occurred to a stranger. That sonnet, Cole- 
ridge, brings afresh to my mind the time when you 
wrote those on Bowles, Priestly, Burke. 'T was 
two Christmases ago, and in that nice little smoky 

77 



room at the Salutation, which is even now con- 
tinually presenting itself to my recollection, with 
all its associated train of pipes, tobacco, egg-hot, 
welsh-rabbits, metaphysics and poetry. 

Are we never to meet again ? How differently 
I am circumstanced now ! I have never met with 
any one, never shall meet with any one, who could 
or can compensate me for the loss of your society. 
I have no one to talk all these matters about to : 
I lack friends ; I lack books to supply their ab- 
sence. But these complaints ill become me : let 
me compare my present situation, prospects, and 
state of mind, with what they were but two 
months back — but two months. O my friend, 
I am in danger of forgetting the awful lessons 
then presented to me: remind me of them; re- 
mind me of my duty. Talk seriously with me 
when you do write. I thank you, from my heart 
I thank you, for your solicitude about my sister. 
She is quite well ; but must not, I fear, come to 
live with us yet a good while. In the first place, 
because at present it would hurt her and hurt 
my father for them to be together ; secondly, from 
a regard to the world's good report, for I fear, 
I fear, tongues will be busy whenever that event 
takes place. 

Some have hinted, one man has prest it on me, 
that she should be in perpetual confinement : what 
she hath done to deserve, or the necessity of such 
an hardship, I see not ; do you ? I am starving 
at the India house, near seven o'clock without my 

78 



dinner, and so it has been and will be almost all 
the week. I get home at night o'er-wearied, quite 
faint, — and then to cards with my father, who 
will not let me enjoy a meal in peace ; but I must 
conform to my situation, and I hope I am, for 
the most part, not unthankful. 

I am got home at last, and, after repeated 
games at cribbage, have got my father's leave to 
write a while ; with difficulty got it, for when 
I expostulated about playing any more, he very 
aptly replied, " If you won't play with me, you 
might as well not come home at all." The argu- 
ment was unanswerable, and I set to afresh. 

I told you, I do not approve of your omissions. 
Neither do I quite coincide with you in your 
arrangements : I have not time to point out a bet- 
ter, and I suppose some self-associations of your 
own have determined their place as they now 
stand. Your beginning, indeed, with the 'Joan of 
Arc lines I coincide entirely with : I love a splen- 
did outset, a magnificent portico; and the diapason 
is grand. The Religious Musings — when I read 
them, I think how poor, how unelevated, unorig- 
inal, my blank verse is, " Laugh all that weep " 
especially, where the subj ect demanded a grandeur 
of conception ; and I ask what business they have 
among yours; but friendship covereth a multi- 
tude of defects. Why omit 73 ? At all events, 
let me plead for those former pages, — 40, 63, 
84, 86. I should like, for old acquaintance' sake, 
to spare 62. 119 would have made a figure among 

79 



Shenstone's Elegies : you may admit it or reject, 
as you please. In the Man of Ross let the old 
line stand as it used, " wine-cheer' d moments," 
much better than the lame present one. 94, 
change the harsh word " foodful " into " dulcet" 
or, if not too harsh, " nourishing." 91, "move- 
less : " is that as good as "moping" ? 8, would 
it not read better omitting those two lines last but 
six about Inspiration ? I want some loppings made 
in the Chatterton ; it wants but a little to make it 
rank among the finest irregular lyrics I ever read. 
Have you time and inclination to go to work upon 
it, or is it too late, or do you think it needs none ? 

Don't reject those verses in one of your Watch- 
men, "Dear native brook," &c; nor, I think, 
those last lines you sent me, in which " all effort- 
less " is without doubt to be preferred to " inact- 
ive." If I am writing more than ordinarily dully, 
'tis that I am stupefied with a toothache. 37, 
would not the concluding lines of the first para- 
graph be well omitted, and it go on " So to sad 
sympathies," &c. ? In 40, if you retain it, 
"wove " the learned Toil is better than " urge," 
which spoils the personification. Hang it, do not 
omit 48, 52, 53. What you do retain, tho', call 
sonnets for God's sake, and not effusions, — spite 
of your ingenious anticipation of ridicule in your 
Preface. The last five lines of 50 are too good 
to be lost, the rest is not much worth. 

My tooth becomes importunate : I must finish. 
Pray, pray, write to me : if you knew with what 

80 



an anxiety of joy I open such a long packet as 
you last sent me, you would not grudge giving 
a few minutes now and then to this intercourse 
(the only intercourse, I fear we two shall ever 
have), this conversation, with your friend, — such 
I boast to be called. 

God love you and yours. 

Write to me when you move, lest I direct 
wrong. 

Has Sara no poems to publish? Those lines 
129 are probably too light for the volume where 
the Religious Musings are ; but I remember some 
very beautiful lines addrest by somebody at Bris- 
tol to somebody at London. 

God bless you once more. C. Lamb 

Thursday Night. 

XVI. — TO S. T COLERIDGE 

[Dated at end: December 5, 1796.] 

TO A YOUNG LADY GOING OUT TO INDIA 

Hard is the heart, that does not melt with Ruth 

When care sits cloudy on the brow of Youth, 

When bitter griefs the female bosom swell 

And Beauty meditates a fond farewell 

To her loved native land, and early home, 

In search of peace thro' " stranger climes to roam." 

The Muse, with glance prophetic, sees her stand, 
Forsaken, silent Lady, on the strand 
Of farthest India, sickening at the war 
Of waves slow-beating, dull upon the shore, 
Stretching, at gloomy intervals, her eye 
O'er the wide waters vainly to espy 
8l 



The long-expected bark, in which to find 
Some tidings of a world she has left behind. 

In that sad hour shall start the gushing tear 
For scenes her childhood loved, now doubly dear, 
In that sad hour shall frantic memory awake 
Pangs of remorse for slighted England's sake, 
And for the sake of many a tender tie 
Of love or friendship pass'd too lightly by. 
Unwept, unpitied, midst an alien race, 
And the cold looks of many a stranger face, 
How will her poor heart bleed, and chide the day, 
That from her country took her far away. 

[Lamb has struck his pen through the foregoing poem.~\ 

Coleridge, the above has some few decent [lines 
in] it, and in the paucity of my portion of your 
volume may as well be inserted ; I would also 
wish to retain the following if only to perpetu- 
ate the memory of so exquisite a pleasure as I 
have often received at the performance of the 
tragedy of Douglas, when Mrs. Siddons has been 
the Lady Randolph. Both pieces may be inserted 
between the sonnets and the sketches ; in which 
latter, the last leaf but one of them, I beg you 
to alter the words "pain and want" to "pain 
and grief," this last being a more familiar and 
ear-satisfying combination. Do it I beg of you. 
To understand the following, if you are not ac- 
quainted with the play, you should know that 
on the death of Douglas his mother threw her- 
self down a rock ; and that at that time Scotland 
was busy in repelling the Danes. 

82 



THE TOMB OF DOUGLAS 

See the Tragedy of that name 

When her son, her Douglas, died, 
To the steep rock's fearful side 
Fast the frantic mother hied. 

O'er her blooming warrior dead 
Many a tear did Scotland shed, 
And shrieks of long and loud lament 
From her Grampian hills she sent. 

Like one awakening from a trance, 

She met the shock of Lochlin's lance. Denmark 

On her rude invader foe 

Return'd an hundredfold the blow. 

Drove the taunting spoiler home : 

Mournful thence she took her way 

To do observance at the tomb, 

Where the son of Douglas [lay]. 

Round about the tomb did go 
In solemn state and order slow, 
Silent pace, and black attire, 
Earl, or knight, or good esquire, 
Whoe'er by deeds of valour done 
In battle had high honors won ; 
Whoe'er in their pure veins could trace 
The blood of Douglas' noble race. 

With them the flower of minstrels came, 
And to their cunning harps did frame 
In doleful numbers piercing rhymes, 
Such strains as in the olden times 
Had soothed the spirit of Fingal 
Echoing thro' his fathers' Hall. 

" Scottish maidens, drop a tear 
O'er the beauteous Hero's bier. 

83 



Brave youth and comely 'bove compare ; 
All golden shone his burnish'd hair ; 
Valor and smiling courtesy 
Played in the sunbeams of his eye. 
Closed are those eyes that shone so fair 
And stain'd with blood his yellow hair. 
Scottish maidens drop a tear 
O'er the beauteous Hero's bier." 

" Not a tear, I charge you, shed 
For the false Glenalvon dead ; 
Unpitied let Glenalvon lie, 
Foul stains to arms and chivalry." 

" Behind his back the traitor came, 
And Douglas died without his fame." 

[Lamb has struck his pen through the remainder] 

Thane or lordling, think no scorn 

Of the poor and lowly-born. 

In brake obscure or lonely dell 

The simple flowret prospers well ; 

The gentler virtues cottage-bred, 

Thrive best beneath the humble shed. 

Low-born hinds, opprest, obscure, 

Ye who patiently endure 

To bend the knee and bow the head, 

And thankful eat another's bread, 

Well may ye mourn your best friend dead, 

Till life with grief together end : 

He would have been the poor man's friend. 

Bending, warrior, o'er thy grave, 
Young light of Scotland early spent ! 
Thy country thee shall long lament, 
Douglas, " Beautiful and Brave ! " 
And oft to after times shall tell, 
In life's young prime my Hero fell. 

8 4 



At length I have done with verse-making. 
Not that I relish other people's poetry less, — 
theirs comes from 'em without effort, mine is the 
difficult operation of a brain scanty of ideas, made 
more difficult by disuse. I have been reading the 
Task with fresh delight. I am glad you love 
Cowper. I could forgive a man for not enjoying 
Milton, but I would not call that man my friend 
who should be offended with the " divine chit- 
chat of Cowper." Write to me. God love you 
and yours, C. L. 

XVII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 1 

[December 10,1796.] 

I am sorry I cannot now relish your poetical 
present so thoroughly as I feel it deserves ; but 
I do not the less thank Lloyd and you for it. In 
truth, Coleridge, I am perplexed, and at times 
almost cast down. I am beset with perplexities. 
The old Hag of a wealthy relation, who took 
my aunt off our hands in the beginning of trou- 
ble, has found out that she is " indolent and 
mulish " — I quote her own words, and that her 
attachment to us is so strong, that she can never 
be happy apart. The Lady, with delicate Irony, 
remarks that, if I am not an Hypocrite ! I shall 
rejoyce to receive her again, and that it will be a 
means of making me more fond of home to have 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given in its chronological 
order in the back of Vol. I. 

85 



so dear a friend to come home to ! The fact is 
she is jealous of my aunt's bestowing any kind 
recollections on us while she enjoys the patron- 
age of her roof. She says she finds it incon- 
sistent with her own " ease and tranquillity," to 
keep her any longer, and in fine summons me 
to fetch her home. Now, much as I should re- 
joyce to transplant the poor old creature from 
the chilling air of such patronage, yet I know 
how straiten' d we are already, how unable already 
to answer any demand, which sickness or any 
extraordinary expence may make. I know this, 
and all unused as I am to struggle with perplex- 
ities, I am somewhat nonplus'd, to say no worse. 
This prevents me from a through [thorough] 
relish of what Lloyd's kindness and yours have 
furnish'd me with. I thank you tho' from my 
heart, and feel myself not quite alone in the 
earth. 

Before I offer, what alone I have to offer, a 
few obvious remarks on the poems you sent 
me, I can but notice the odd coincidence of two 
young men, in one age, carolling their grand- 
mothers. Love, — what L[loyd] calls the "fever- 
ish and romantic tye," hath too long domi- 
neered over all the charities of home : the dear 
domestic tyes of father, brother, husband. The 
amiable and benevolent Cowper has a beautiful 
passage in his Task, — some natural and painful 
reflections on his deceased parents : and Hayley's 
sweet lines to his mother are notoriously the 

86 



best things he ever wrote. Cowper's lines some 
of them are — 

How gladly would the man recall to life 
The boy's neglected sire, — a mother too ! 
That softer name, perhaps more gladly still, 
Might he demand them at the gates of Death. 

I cannot but smile to see my granny so gayly 
deck'd forth : tho', I think, whoever altered 
" thy" praises to "her" praises — "thy" honor'd 
memory to " her " honor'd memory, did wrong 
— they best exprest my feelings. There is a 
pensive state of recollection in which the mind 
is disposed to apostrophize the departed objects 
of its attachment ; and breaking loose from 
grammatical precision changes from the ist to 
the 3d, and from the 3d to the ist person, just 
as the random fancy or the feeling directs. 
Among Lloyd's sonnets, [the] 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 
[and] nth are eminently beautiful. I think him 
too lavish of his expletives ; the dos and dids, 
when they occur too often, bring a quaintness 
with them along with their simplicity, or rather 
air of antiquity, which the patrons of them seem 
desirous of conveying. 

The lines on Friday are very pleasing : " Yet 
calls itself in pride of Infancy woman or man," 
&c. "Affection's tottering troop " are prominent 
beauties. Another time when my mind were 
more at ease, I would be more particular in my 
remarks, and I would postpone them now, only 
I want some diversion of mind. The Melancholy 

87 



Man is a charming piece of poetry, only the 
" whys" with submission are too many. Yet the 
questions are too good to be any of 'em omitted. 
For those lines of yours, page 18, omitted in 
magazine, I think the 3 first better retained — 
the 3 last, which are somewhat "simple" in the 
most affronting sense of the word, better omitted 
— to this my taste directs me — I have no claim 
to prescribe to yours. " Their slothful loves and 
dainty sympathies " is an exquisite line, but you 
knew that when you wrote 'em ! and I trifle in 
pointing such out. 'T is altogether the sweetest 
thing to me you ever wrote — 'tis all honey " No 
wish profaned my overwhelmed heart, — Blest 
hour, it was a Luxury to be ! " I recognise feel- 
ings, which I may taste again, if tranquillity 
have not taken her flight for ever, and I will not 
believe but I shall be happy, very happy again. 
The next poem to your friend is very beautiful 
— need I instance the pretty fancy of " the 
rock's collected tears" — or that original line 
" pours all its healthful greenness on the soul " ? — 
let it be, since you ask me, "as neighb'ring foun- 
tains each reflect the whole," tho' that is some- 
what harsh — indeed the ending is not so finish'd 
as the rest, which if you omit in your forthcom- 
ing edition, you will do the volume wrong, and 
the very binding will cry out. Neither shall you 
omit the two following poems. " The hour 
when we shall meet again " — is fine fancy, 'tis 
true, but fancy catering in the Service of the 

88 



feeling — fetching from her stores most splendid 
banquets to satisfy her. Do not, do not omit it. 
Your sonnet to the River Otter excludes those 
equally beautiful lines, which deserve not to be 
lost, "as the tired savage," &c, and I prefer that 
copy in your Watchman. I plead for its prefer- 
ence. 

Another time I may notice more particularly 
Lloyd's, Southey's, Dermody's Sonnets. I shrink 
from them now : my teasing lot makes me too 
confused for a clear judgment of things, too self- 
ish for sympathy ; and these ill-digested, mean- 
ingless remarks I have imposed on myself as 
a task, to lull reflection, as well as to shew you 
I did not neglect reading your valuable present. 
Return my acknowledgments to Lloyd ; you 
two seem to be about realising an Elysium upon 
earth, and, no doubt, I shall be happier. Take 
my best wishes. Remember me most affection- 
ately to Mrs. C, and give little David Hartley 
— God bless its little heart ! — a kiss for me. 
Bring him up to know the meaning of his 
Christian name, and what that name (imposed 
upon him) will demand of him. 

God love you ! C. Lamb 

I write, for one thing, to say that I shall write 
no more, till you send me word where you are, 
for you are so soon to move. My sister is pretty 
well, thank God. We think of you very often. 
God bless you, continue to be my correspondent, 

89 



and I will strive to fancy that this world is not 
" all barrenness." 

XVIII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

December 10, 1796. 

I had put my letter into the post rather hastily, 
not expecting to have to acknowledge another 
from you so soon. This morning's present has 
made me alive again : my last night's epistle was 
childishly querulous ; but you have put a little life 
into me, and I will thank you for your remem- 
brance of me, while my sense of it is yet warm ; 
for if I linger a day or two I may use the same 
phrase of acknowledgment, or similar; but the 
feeling that dictates it now will be gone. I shall 
send you a caput mortuum, not a cor vivens. Thy 
Watchman's, thy bellman's, verses, I do retort upon 
thee, thou libellous varlet, — why, you cried the 
hours yourself, and who made you so proud ? But 
I submit, to show my humility, most implicitly 
to your dogmas. I reject entirely the copy of 
verses you reject. 

With regard to my leaving off versifying, you 
have said so many pretty things, so many fine 
compliments, ingeniously decked out in the garb 
of sincerity, and undoubtedly springing from a 
present feeling somewhat like sincerity, that you 
might melt the most un-muse-ical soul, — did 
you not (now for a Rowland compliment for your 
profusion of Olivers) — did you not in your very 

90 



epistle, by the many pretty fancies and profusion 
of heart displayed in it, dissuade and discourage 
me from attempting anything after you. At pre- 
sent I have not leisure to make verses, nor any- 
thing approaching to a fondness for the exercise. 
In the ignorant present time, who can answer 
for the future man ? " At lovers' perjuries Jove 
laughs;" and poets have sometimes a disingenu- 
ous way of forswearing their occupation. This, 
though, is not my case. The tender cast of soul, 
sombred with melancholy and subsiding recollec- 
tions, is favourable to the Sonnet or the Elegy; but 
from 

The sainted growing woof, 
The teasing troubles keep aloof. 

The music of poesy may charm for a while the 
importunate teasing cares of life ; but the teased 
and troubled man is not in a disposition to make 
that music. 

You sent me some very sweet lines relative to 
Burns ; but it was at a time when, in my highly 
agitated and perhaps distorted state of mind, I 
thought it a duty to read 'em hastily and burn'em. 
I burned all my own verses, all my books of ex- 
tracts from Beaumont and Fletcher and a thou- 
sand sources: I burned a little journal of my 
foolish passion which I had a long time kept — 

Noting ere they past away, 
The little lines of yesterday. 

I almost burned all your letters; I did as bad, I 
lent 'em to a friend to keep out of my brother's 

9 1 



sight, should he come and make inquisition into 
our papers, for, much as he dwelt upon your con- 
versation while you were among us and delighted 
to be with you, it has been his fashion ever since 
to depreciate and cry you down, — you were the 
cause of my madness, you and your damned foolish 
sensibility and melancholy ; and he lamented with 
a true brotherly feeling that we ever met, even as 
the sober citizen, when his son went astray upon 
the mountains of Parnassus, is said to have "cursed 
Wit and Poetry and Pope." I quote wrong, but 
no matter. These letters I lent to a friend to be 
out of the way for a season; but I have claimed 
them in vain, and shall not cease to regret their 
loss. Your packets, posterior to the date of my 
misfortunes, commencing with that valuable con- 
solatory epistle, are every day accumulating: they 
are sacred things with me. 

Publish your Burns when and how you like, it 
will be new to me : my memory of it is very con- 
fused, and tainted with unpleasant associations. 
Burns was the god of my idolatry, as Bowles of 
yours. I am jealous of your fraternising with 
Bowles, when I think you relish him more than 
Burns or my old favourite, Cowper. But you con- 
ciliate matters when you talk of the "divine chit- 
chat " of the latter: by the expression I see you 
thoroughly relish him. 

I love Mrs. Coleridge for her excuses an hun- 
dredfold more dearly than if she heaped "line 
upon line," out-Hannah-ing Hannah More, and 

92 



had rather hear you sing "Did a very little baby" 
by your family fireside, than listen to you when 
you were repeating one of Bowles's sweetest son- 
nets in your sweet manner, while we two were 
indulging sympathy, a solitary luxury, by the fire- 
side at the Salutation. Yet have I no higher ideas of 
heaven. Your company was one " cordial in this 
melancholy vale : " the remembrance of it is a bless- 
ing partly, and partly a curse. When I can abstract 
myself from things present, I can enjoy it with a 
freshness of relish; but it more constantly operates 
to an unfavourable comparison with the uninterest- 
ing converse I always and only can partake in. 

Not a soul loves Bowles here ; scarce one has 
heard of Burns ; few but laugh at me for reading 
my Testament : they talk a language I understand 
not ; I conceal sentiments that would be a puzzle 
to them. I can only converse with you by letter 
and with the dead in their books. My sister, in- 
deed, is all I can wish in a companion; but our 
spirits are alike poorly, our reading and know- 
ledge from the self-same sources, our communi- 
cation with the scenes of the world alike narrow : 
never having kept separate company, or any 
" company " " together; " never having read sepa- 
rate books, and few books together, — what know- 
ledge have we to convey to each other ? In our 
little range of duties and connections, how few 
sentiments can take place, without friends, with 
few books, with a taste for religion rather than a 
strong religious habit ! We need some support, 

93 



some leading-strings to cheer and direct us. You 
talk very wisely, and be not sparing of your advice. 
Continue to remember us, and to show us you do 
remember us : we will take as lively an interest in 
what concerns you and yours. All I can add to 
your happiness will be sympathy. You can add 
to mine more: you can teach me wisdom. 

I am indeed an unreasonable correspondent; 
but I was unwilling to let my last night's letter 
go off without this qualifier: You will perceive 
by this my mind is easier, and you will rejoice. I 
do not expect or wish you to write till you are 
moved; and of course shall not, till you announce 
to me that event, think of writing myself. Love 
to Mrs. Coleridge and David Hartley, and my 
kind remembrance to Lloyd if he is with you. 

C. Lamb 

I will get Nature and Art, — have not seen it 
yet, nor any of Jeremy Taylor's works. 

XIX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

January 2, 1797. 

Your success in the higher species of the ode 
is such as bespeaks you born for achievements of 
loftier enterprise than to linger in the lowly train 
of songsters and sonneters. Sincerely I think 
your ode one of the finest I have read. The open- 
ing is in the spirit of the sublimest allegory. The 
idea of the " skirts of the departing year, seen 

94 



far onwards, waving on the wind " is one of those 
noble hints at which the reader's imagination is 
apt to kindle into grand conceptions. Do the 
words "impetuous " and " solemnize " harmon- 
ize well in the same line ? Think and judge. 

In the second strophe, there seems to be too 
much play of fancy to be consistent with that 
continued elevation we are taught to expect from 
the strain of the foregoing. The parenthized line 
(by the way I abominate parentheses in this kind 
of poetry) at the beginning of seventh page, and 
indeed all that gradual description of the throes 
and pangs of nature in childbirth, I do not much 
like, and those four first lines — I mean " tomb 
gloom anguish and languish " — rise not above 
mediocrity. In the epode, your mighty genius 
comes again : " I marked ambition," &c. Thro' 
the whole epode indeed you carry along our souls 
in a full spring-tide of feeling and imagination. 
Here is the Storm of Music, as Cowper expresses 
it. Would it not be more abrupt "Why does the 
northern Conqueress stay" or " Where does the 
northern Conqueress stay"? — this change of 
measure, rather than the feebler "Ah ! whither." 
" Foul her life and dark her tomb, mighty army 
of the dead, dance like deathflies," &c. : here is 
genius, here is poetry, rapid, irresistible. The 
concluding line, is it not a personification — with- 
out use ? " Nee deus intersit " — except indeed 
for rhyme's sake. 

Would the laws of strophe and antistrophe, 

95 



which, if they are as unchangeable, I suppose are 
about as wise, [as] the Mede and Persian laws, 
admit of expurging that line altogether, and 
changing the preceding one to " and he, poor 
madman, deem'd it quench'd in endless night " ? 
— fond madman or proud madman if you will, but 
poor is more contemptuous. If I offer alterations 
of my own to your poetry, and admit not yours 
in mine, it is upon the principle of a present to a 
rich man being graciously accepted, and the same 
present to a poor man being considered as in in- 
sult. To return : the antistrophe that follows is 
not inferior in grandeur or original ; but is I think 
not faultless, — e. g., how is Memory alone, when 
all the etherial multitude are there ? Reflect. 

Again, "storiedst thy sad hours " is harsh, I 
need not tell you, but you have gained your 
point in expressing much meaning in few words : 
" Purple locks and snow-white glories," " mild 
Arcadians ever blooming," " seas of milk and 
ships of amber," these are things the Muse talks 
about when, to borrow H. Walpole's witty phrase, 
she is not finely-phrenzied, only a little light- 
headed, that 's all. " Purple locks." They may 
manage things differently in fairyland, but your 
" golden tresses " are more to my fancy. The 
spirit of the Earth is a most happy conceit, and 
the last line is one of the luckiest I ever heard — 
" and stood up beautiful before the cloudy seat." I 
cannot enough admire it. 'T is somehow pic- 
turesque in the very sound. 

96 



The second antistrophe (what is the meaning 
of these things ?) is fine and faultless (or to vary 
the alliteration and not diminish the affectation) 
beautiful and blameless. I only except to the last 
line as meaningless after the preceding, and use- 
less entirely — besides, why disjoin " nature and 
the world " here, when you had confounded both 
in their pregnancy : " the common earth and 
nature," recollect, a little before — And there is 
a dismal superfluity in the unmeaning vocable 
" unhurl'd " — the worse, as it is so evidently a 
rhyme-fetch. — " Death-like he dozes " is a pro- 
saic conceit — indeed all the Epode as far as 
"brother's corse" I most heartily commend to 
annihilation. The enthusiast of the lyre should 
not be so feebly, so tediously, delineative of his 
own feelings ; 't is not the way to become " Mas- 
ter of our affections." The address to Albion is 
very agreeable, and concludes even beautifully : 
" speaks safety to his island child " — " S worded " 
— epithet /would change for "cruel." The 
immediately succeeding lines are prosaic : " mad 
avarice " is an unhappy combination ; and " the 
coward distance yet with kindling pride " is not 
only reprehensible for the antithetical turn, but 
as it is a quotation : " safe distance " and " cow- 
ard distance " you have more than once had re- 
course to before — And the Lyric Muse, in her 
enthusiasm, should talk the language of her coun- 
try, something removed from common use, some- 
thing "recent," unborrowed. 

97 



The dreams of destruction " soothing her 
fierce solitude," are vastly grand and terrific : still 
you weaken the effect by that superfluous and 
easily-conceived parenthesis that finishes the page. 
The foregoing image, few minds could have 
conceived, few tongues could have so cloath'd ; 
"mutt" ring destempered triumph" &c. is vastly 
fine. I hate imperfect beginnings and endings. 

Now your concluding stanza is worthy of so 
fine an ode. The beginning was awakening and 
striking ; the ending is soothing and solemn — 
Are you serious when you ask whether you shall 
admit this ode ? it would be strange infatuation to 
leave out your Chatterton; mere insanity to re- 
ject this. Unless you are fearful that the splen- 
did thing may be a means of " eclipsing many 
a softer satellite" that twinkles thro' the volume. 
Neither omit the annex'd little poem. For my 
part, detesting alliterations, I should make the 
first line " Away, with this fantastic pride of 
woe." Well may you relish Bowles's allegory. 
I need only tell you, I have read, and will only 
add, that I dislike ambition's name gilded on his 
helmet-cap, and that I think, among the more 
striking personages you notice, you omitted the 
most striking, Remorse ! " He saw the trees — 
the sun — then hied him to his cave again" ! ! ! 
The second stanza of mania is superfluous ; the 
first was never exceeded. The second is too me- 
thodical ; for her. With all its load of beauties, 
I am more affected with the six first stanzas of 

98 



the Elegiac poem written during sickness. Tell 
me your feelings. If the fraternal sentiment con- 
veyed in the following lines will atone for the 
total want of anything like merit or genius in it, 
I desire you will print it next after my other 
sonnet to my sister. 

Friend of my earliest years, and childish days, 
My joys, my sorrows, thou with me hast shared 
Companion dear ; and we alike have fared 
Poor pilgrims we, thro' life's unequal ways. 
It were unwisely done, should we refuse 
To cheer our path, as featly as we may, 
Our lonely path to cheer, as travellers use, 
With merry song, quaint tale, or roundelay. 
And we will sometimes talk past troubles o'er, 
Of mercies shewn, and all our sickness heal'd, 
And in his judgments God rememb'ring love ; 
And we will learn to praise God evermore 
For those " Glad tidings of great joy " reveal'd 
By that sooth messenger, sent from above. 

1797. 

If you think the epithet " sooth " quaint, sub- 
stitute " blest messenger." I hope you are print- 
ing my sonnets, as I directed you — particularly 
the second. " Methinks " &c. with my last added 
six lines at ye end : and all of 'em as I last made 
'em. 

This has been a sad long letter of business, 
with no room in it for what honest Bunyan 
terms heart-work. I have just room left to con- 
gratulate you on your removal to Stowey; to 
wish success to all your projects ; to " bid fair 
peace" be to that house; to send my love and 

99 



best wishes, breathed warmly, after your dear 
Sara, and her little David Hartley. If Lloyd be 
with you, bid him write to me : I feel to whom 
I am obliged primarily for two very friendly let- 
ters I have received already from him. A dainty 
sweet book that Art and Nature is. I am at 
present re-re-reading Priestley's examinat of the 
Scotch Drs : how the Rogue strings 'em up ! 
three together! You have no doubt read that 
clear, strong, humorous, most entertaining piece 
of reasoning. If not, procure it, and be ex- 
quisitely amused. I wish I could get more of 
Priestley's works. Can you recommend me to 
any more books, easy of access, such as circu- 
lating shops afford ? God bless you and yours. 

Poor Mary is very unwell with a sore throat 
and a slight species of scarlet fever. God bless 
her too. 

Monday Morning, at Office. 

XX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[January 10, 1797.] 

I am completely reconciled to that second 
strophe, and wa[i]ve all objection. In spite of the 
Grecian Lyrists, I persist on [in] thinking your 
brief personification of Madness useless ; rever- 
ence forbids me to say, impertinent. Golden locks 
and snow-white glories are as incongruous as your 
former, and if the great Italian painters, of whom 
my friend knows about as much as the man in the 

100 



moon, if these great gentlemen be on your side, I 
see no harm in retaining the purple — the glories 
that I have observed to encircle the heads of saints 
and madonnas in those old paintings have been 
mostly of a dirty drab-color ' d yellow — a dull gam- 
bogium. Keep your old line : it will excite a con- 
fused kind of pleasurable idea in the reader's mind, 
not clear enough to be called a conception, nor 
just enough, I think, to reduce to painting. It 
is a rich line, you say, and riches hide a many 
faults. 

I maintain that in the second antistrophe you 
do disjoin Nature and the world, and contrary to 
your con duct in the second strophe. " Nature j oins 
her groans," — joins with whom, a God's name, 
but the world or earth in line preceding ? But 
this is being over-curious, I acknowledge. Nor 
did I call the last line useless, I only objected to 
" unhurl'd." I cannot be made to like the former 
part of that second epode ; I cannot be made to 
feel it, as I do the parallel places in Isaiah, Jeremy, 
and Daniel. Whether it is that in the present 
case the rhyme impairs the efficacy, or that the 
circumstances are feigned, and we are conscious 
of a made-up lie in the case, and the narrative is 
too long-winded to preserve the semblance of 
truth ; or that lines 8, 9, 10, 14 in particular, 17 
and 1 8 are mean and unenthusiastic ; or that lines 
5 to 8 in their change of rhyme shew like art, — I 
don't know, but it strikes me as something meant 
to affect, and failing in its purpose. Remember 

101 



my waywardness of feeling is single, and singly 
stands opposed to all your friends, and what is one 
among many ! This I know, that your quota- 
tions from the prophets have never escaped me, 
and never fail'd to affect me strongly. I hate that 
simile. I am glad you have amended that paren- 
thesis in the account of Destruction. I like it well 
now. Only utter [? omit] that history of child- 
bearing, and all will do well. Let the obnoxious 
epode remain, to terrify such of your friends as 
are willing to be terrified. I think I would omit 
the notes, not as not good per se, but as uncon- 
genial with the dignity of the ode. 

I need not repeat my wishes to have my little 
sonnets printed verbatim my last way. In partic- 
ular, I fear lest you should prefer printing my first 
sonnet, as you have done more than once, " did 
the wand of Merlin wave ? " It looks so like Mr. 
Merlin, the ingenious successor of the immortal 
Merlin, now living in good health and spirits, and 
nourishing in magical reputation in Oxford Street; 
and on my life, one half who read it would under- 
stand it so. Do put 'em forth finally as I have, in 
various letters, settled it ; for first a man's self is 
to be pleased, and then his friends, — and, of 
course, the greater number of his friends, if they 
differ inter se. Thus taste may safely be put to the 
vote. I do long to see our names together — not 
for vanity's-sake, and naughty pride of heart alto- 
gether, for not a livingsoul, I know or am intimate 
with, will scarce read the book, — so I shall gain 

102 



nothing quoad famatn, — and yet there is a little 
vanity mixes in it, I cannot help denying. 

I am aware of the unpoetical cast of the six 
last lines of my last sonnet, and think myself un- 
warranted in smuggling so tame a thing into the 
book ; only the sentiments of those six lines are 
thoroughly congenial to me in my state of mind, 
and I wish to accumulate perpetuating tokens of 
my affection to poor Mary ; that it has no orig- 
inality in its cast, nor anything in the feelings, but 
what is common and natural to thousands, nor 
aught properly called poetry, I see ; still it will 
tend to keep present to my mind a view of things 
which I ought to indulge. These six lines, too, 
have not, to a reader, a connectedness with the 
foregoing. Omit it, if you like. — What a trea- 
sure it is to my poor indolent and unemployed 
mind, thus to lay hold on a subject to talk about, 
tho' 'tis but a sonnet and that of the lowest order! 
How mournfully inactive I am ! — 'T is night : 
good-night. 

My sister, I thank God, is nigh recovered. She 
was seriously ill. Do, in your next letter, and that 
right soon, give me some satisfaction respecting 
your present situation at Stowey. Is it a farm you 
have got? and what does your worship know about 
farming ? Coleridge, I want you to write an epic 
poem. Nothing short of it can satisfy the vast 
capacity of true poetic genius. Having one great 
end to direct all your poetical faculties to, and 
on which to lay out your hopes, your ambition 

103 



will shew you to what you are equal. By the 
sacred energies of Milton, by the dainty sweet 
and soothing phantasies of honeytongued Spenser, 
I adjure you to attempt the epic. Or do some- 
thing more ample than writing an occasional 
brief ode or sonnet ; something " to make your- 
self forever known, — to make the age to come 
your own." But I prate ; doubtless you meditate 
something. 

When you are exalted among the lords of epic 
fame, I shall recall with pleasure, and exultingly, 
the days of your humility, when you disdained 
not to put forth in the same volume with mine 
your religious musings, and that other poem from 
the Joan of Arc, those promising first fruits of 
high renown to come. You have learning ; you 
have fancy ; you have enthusiasm ; you have 
strength and amplitude of wing enow for flights 
like those I recommend. In the vast and unex- 
plored regionsof fairyland, there is ground enough 
unfound and uncultivated ; search there, and 
realize your favourite Susquehanah scheme. In 
all our comparisons of taste, I do not know 
whether I have ever heard your opinion of a 
poet, very dear to me, the now out-of-fashion 
Cowley ; favor me with your judgment of him, 
and tell me if his prose essays, in particular, as 
well as no inconsiderable part of his verse, be not 
delicious. I prefer the graceful rambling of his 
essays, even to the courtly elegance and ease of 
Addison, — abstracting from this the latter's 

104 



exquisite humour. Why is not your poem on 
Burns in the Monthly Magazine f I was much 
disappointed. I have a pleasurable but confused 
remembrance of it. 

When the little volume is printed, send me 
three or four, at all events not more than six 
copies, and tell me if I put you to any additional 
expense by printing with you. I have no thought 
of the kind, and in that case must reimburse you. 
My epistle is a model of unconnectedness, but 
I have no particular subject to write on, and must 
proportion my scribble in some degree to the 
increase of postage. It is not quite fair, consider- 
ing how burdensome your correspondence from 
different quarters must be, to add to it with so 
little shew of reason. I will make an end for 
this evening. Sunday Even. Farewell. 

Priestly, whom I sin in almost adoring, speaks 
of " such a choice of company as tends to keep 
up that right bent and firmness of mind which 
a necessary intercourse with the world would 
otherwise warp and relax. Such fellowship is 
the true balsam of life; its cement is infinitely 
more durable than that of the friendships of the 
world, and it looks for its proper fruit and com- 
plete gratification to the life beyond the grave." 
Is there a possible chance for such an one as me 
to realize in this world such friendships ? Where 
am I to look for 'em ? What testimonials shall 
I bring of my being worthy of such friendship ? 
Alas ! the great and good go together in separate 

105 



herds, and leave such as me to lag far, far behind 
in all intellectual, and, far more grievous to say, 
in all moral, accomplishments. Coleridge, I have 
not one truly elevated character among my 
acquaintance: not one Christian; not one but 
undervalues Christianity. Singly what am I to 
do ? Wesley (have you read his life ? was he not 
an elevated character ?) Wesley has said, " Relig- 
ion is not a solitary thing." Alas ! it necessarily is 
so with me, or next to solitary. 'Tis true, you 
write to me. But correspondence by letter and 
personal intimacy are very widely different. Do, 
do write to me, and do some good to my mind, 
already how much " warped and relaxed " by 
the world ! — 'T is the conclusion of another 
evening. Good night. God have us all in his 
keeping. 

If you are sufficiently at leisure, oblige me 
with an account of your plan of life at Stowey, 
— your literary occupations and prospects, — 
in short make me acquainted with every cir- 
cumstance which, as relating to you, can be 
interesting to me. Are you yet a Berkleyan ? 
Make me one. I rejoice in being, speculatively, 
a necessarian. Would to God, I were habitually 
a practical one. Confirm me in the faith of that 
great and glorious doctrine, and keep me steady 
in the contemplation of it. You some time since 
exprest an intention you had of finishing some 
extensive work on the Evidences of Natural and 
Revealed Religion. Have you let that intention 

106 



go? Or are you doing anything towards it ? Make 
to yourself other ten talents. 

My letter is full of nothingness. I talk of 
nothing. But I must talk. I love to write to 
you. I take a pride in it. It makes me think 
less meanly of myself. It makes me think my- 
self not totally disconnected from the better part 
of mankind. I know, I am too dissatisfied with 
the beings around me ; but I cannot help occa- 
sionally exclaiming, " Woe is me, that I am con- 
strained to dwell with Meshech, and to have my 
habitation among the tents of Kedar." I know 
I am no ways better in practice than my neigh- 
bours ; but I have a taste for religion, an occa- 
sional earnest aspiration after perfection, which 
they have not. I gain nothing by being with 
such as myself; we encourage one another in 
mediocrity ; I am always longing to be with men 
more excellent than myself. All this must sound 
odd to you ; but these are my predominant feel- 
ings when I sit down to write to you, and I 
should put force upon my mind were I to reject 
them. Yet I rejoice, and feel my privilege with 
gratitude, when I have been reading some wise 
book, such as I have just been reading, — Priest- 
ley on philosophical necessity, — in the thought 
that I enjoy a kind of communion, a kind of 
friendship even, with the great and good. Books 
are to me instead of friends. I wish they did not 
resemble the latter in their scarceness. 

And how does little David Hartley ? " Ecquid 
107 



in antiquam virtutem?" — does his mighty name 
work wonders yet upon his little frame and open- 
ing mind ? I did not distinctly understand you, 
— you don't mean to make an actual ploughman 

of him ? Mrs. C is no doubt well ; give my 

kindest respects to her. Is Lloyd with you yet ? 
are you intimate with Southey ? What poems is 
he about to publish ? he hath a most prolific 
brain, and is indeed a most sweet poet. But how 
can you answer all the various mass of interro- 
gation I have put to you in the course of this 
sheet. Write back just what you like, only write 
something, however brief. I have now nigh 
finished my page, and got to the end of another 
evening (Monday evening) ; and my eyes are 
heavy and sleepy and my brain unsuggestive. I 
have just heart enough awake to say Good night 
once more, and God love you, my dear friend ; 
God love us all. Mary bears an affectionate re- 
membrance of you. 

Charles Lamb 

XXL — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Dated at end: January 18, 1797.] 

Dear Col., — You have learn'd by this time, 
with surprise, no doubt, that Lloyd is with me 
in town. The emotions I felt on his coming so 
unlooked for are not ill expressed in what fol- 
lows, and what, if you do not object to them as 
too personal, and to the world obscure, or other- 

108 



wise wanting in worth, I should wish to make 
a part of our little volume. 

I shall be sorry if that volume comes out, as 
it necessarily must do, unless you print those 
very schoolboyish verses I sent you on not get- 
ting leave to come down to Bristol last summer. 
I say I shall be sorry that I have addrest you 
in nothing which can appear in our joint volume. 

So frequently, so habitually as you dwell on 
my thoughts, 't is some wonder those thoughts 
came never yet in contact with a poetical mood 
— but you dwell in my heart of hearts, and I 
love you in all the naked honesty of prose. God 
bless you, and all your little domestic circle — 
my tenderest remembrances to your beloved Sara, 
and a smile and a kiss from me to your dear 
dear little David Hartley. The verses I refer to 
above, slightly amended, I have sent (forgetting 
to ask your leave, tho' indeed I gave them only 
your initials) to the Monthly Magazine, where 
they may possibly appear next month, and where 
I hope to recognise your Poem on Burns. 

TO [CHARLES LLOYD] AN UNEXPECTED 
VISITOR 

Alone, obscure, without a friend, 

A cheerless, solitary thing, 
Why seeks my Lloyd the stranger out ? 

What off'ring can the stranger bring 

Of social scenes, home-bred delights, 
That him in aught compensate may 
109 



For Stowey's pleasant winter nights, 
For loves and friendships far away ? 

In brief oblivion to forego 

Friends, such as thine, so justly dear, 

And be awhile with me content 
To stay, a kindly loiterer, here — 

For this a gleam of random joy, 

Hath flush'd my unaccustom'd cheek, 

And, with an o'er-charg'd bursting heart, 
I feel the thanks I cannot speak. 

! sweet are all the Muses' lays, 

And sweet the charm of matin bird — 
'T was long, since these estranged ears 
The sweeter voice of friend had heard. 

The voice hath spoke : the pleasant sounds 

In memory's ear, in after time 
Shall live, to sometimes rouse a tear, 

And sometimes prompt an honest rhyme. 

For when the transient charm is fled, 

And when the little week is o'er, 
To cheerless, friendless solitude 

When I return, as heretofore — 

Long, long, within my aching heart, 
The grateful sense shall cherish'd be ; 

1 '11 think less meanly of myself, 

That Lloyd will sometimes think on me. 

1797. 

O Col., would to God you were in London 
with us, or we two at Stowey with you all. 
Lloyd takes up his abode at the Bull and Mouth 
Inn, — the Cat and Salutation would have had a 
charm more forcible for me. " nodes ccenceque 

1 10 



Deum!" Anglice — Welsh rabbits, punch, and 
poesy. 

Should you be induced to publish those very 
schoolboyish verses, print 'em as they will occur, 
if at all, in the Monthly Magazine ; yet I should 
feel ashamed that to you I wrote nothing better. 
But they are too personal, and almost trifling 
and obscure withal. Some lines of mine to 
Cowper were in last Monthly Magazine; they 
have not body of thought enough to plead for 
the retaining of 'em. 

My sister's kind love to you all. 

C. Lamb 

XXII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Begun Sunday, February 5, 1797. 
Dated on address by mistake: January 5, 1797.] 

Sunday morning. — You cannot surely mean to 
degrade the "Joan of Arc into a pot girl. You are 
not going, I hope, to annex to that most splen- 
did ornament of Southey's poem all this cock 
and a bull story of Joan the publican's daughter 
of Neufchatel, with the lamentable episode of a 
waggoner, his wife, and six children ; the texture 
will be most lamentably disproportionate. The 
first forty or fifty lines of these addenda are, no 
doubt, in their way, admirable, too ; but many 
would prefer the Joan of Southey. 

On mightiest deeds to brood 
Of shadowy vastness, such as made my heart 
I I I 



Throb fast ; anon I paused, and in a state 
Of half expectance listen'd to the wind ; 

They wonder' d at me, who had known me once 
A cheerless careless damsel; 

The eye, 
That of the circling throng and of the visible world 
Unseeing, saw the shapes of holy phantasy ; 

I see nothing in your description of the Maid 
equal to these. There is a fine originality cer- 
tainly in those lines — 

For she had lived in this bad world 

As in a place of tombs, 

And touch'd not the pollutions of the dead ; 

but your " fierce vivacity " is a faint copy of the 
" fierce and terrible benevolence " of Southey. 
Added to this, that it will look like rivalship in 
you, and extort a comparison with S., — I think to 
your disadvantage. And the lines, consider'd in 
themselves as an addition to what you had before 
written (strains of a far higher mood), are but 
such as Madame Fancy loves in some of her 
more familiar moods, at such times as she has 
met Noll Goldsmith, and walk'd and talk'd with 
him, calling him old acquaintance. Southey cer- 
tainly has no pretensions to vie with you in the 
sublime of poetry ; but he tells a plain tale better 
than you. I will enumerate some woeful blem- 
ishes, some of 'em sad deviations from that sim- 
plicity which was your aim. " Hail'd who might 

I 12 



be near " (the canvas-coverture moving, by the 
by, is laughable) ; " a woman and six children" 
(by the way, — why not nine children, it would 
have been just half as pathetic again) : " statues 
of sleep they seem'd." "Frost-mangled wretch:" 
" green putridity : " " hail'd him immortal " 
(rather ludicrous again) : " voiced a sad and sim- 
ple tale " (abominable !) : " unprovender'd : " 
" such his tale : " " Ah ! suffering to the height 
of what was suffer'd " (a most insufferable line) : 
"amazements of affright:" "the hot sore brain 
attributes its own hues of ghastliness and torture " 
(what shocking confusion of ideas!) In these 
delineations of common and natural feelings, in 
the familiar walks of poetry, you seem to resem- 
ble Montauban dancing with Roubigne's tenants, 
" much of his native loftiness remained in the 
execution." 

I was reading your Religious Musings the other 
day, and sincerely I think it the noblest poem in 
the language, next after the Paradise Lost ; and 
even that was not made the vehicle of such grand 
truths. " There is one mind," &c, down to 
"Almighty's Throne," are without a rival in the 
whole compass of my poetical reading. 

Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze 
Views all creation. 

I wish I could have written those lines. I re- 
joice that I am able to relish them. The loftier 
walks of Pindus are your proper region. There 
you have no compeer in modern times. Leave 

XI 3 



the lowlands, unenvied, in possession of such men 
as Cowper and Southey. Thus am I pouring 
balsam into the wounds I may have been inflict- 
ing on my poor friend's vanity. In your notice 
of Southey's new volume you omit to mention 
the most pleasing of all, the Miniature — 

There were 
Who form'd high hopes and flattering ones of thee, 
Young Robert. 
Spirit of Spenser ! — was the wanderer wrong ? 

Fairfax I have been in quest of a long time. 
Johnson in his Life of Waller gives a most de- 
licious specimen of him, and adds, in the true 
manner of that delicate critic as well as amiable 
man, " it may be presumed that this old version 
will not be much read after the elegant trans- 
lation of my friend, Mr. Hoole." I endeavour'd 
— I wish'd to gain some idea of Tasso from this 
Mr. Hoole, the great boast and ornament of the 
India House, but soon desisted. I found him more 
vapid than smallest small beer sun-vinegared. 
Your Dream, down to that exquisite line — 

I can't tell half his adventures, 

is a most happy resemblance of Chaucer. The 
remainder is so so. The best line, I think, is, — 

He belong'd, I believe, to the witch Melancholy. 

By the way, when will our volume come out ? 
Don't delay it till you have written a new 'Joan 
of Arc. Send what letters you please by me, and in 

114 



any way you choose, single or double. The India 
Co. is better adapted to answer the cost than the 
generality of my friend's correspondents, — such 
poor and honest dogs as John Thelwall, particu- 
larly. I cannot say I know Colson, at least inti- 
mately. I once supped with him and Allen. I 
think his manners very pleasing. I will not tell 
you what I think of Lloyd, for he may by chance 
come to see this letter, and that thought puts a 
restraint on me. I cannot think what subject 
would suit your epic genius ; some philosophical 
subject, I conjecture, in which shall be blended 
the sublime of poetry and of science. Your pro- 
posed Hymns will be a fit preparatory study 
wherewith " to discipline your young noviciate 
soul." I grow dull; I'll go walk myself out of 
my dulness. 

Sunday night. — You and Sara are very good to 
think so kindly and so favourably of poor Mary. 
I would to God all did so too. But I very much 
fear she must not think of coming home in my 
father's lifetime. It is very hard upon her. But 
our circumstances are peculiar, and we must sub- 
mit to them. God be praised she is so well as 
she is. She bears her situation as one who has no 
right to complain. My poor old aunt, whom you 
have seen, the kindest, goodest creature to me 
when I was at school ; who used to toddle there 
to bring me fag, when I, school-boy like, only 
despised her for it, and used to be ashamed to 

"5 



see her come and sit herself down on the old 
coal-hole steps as you went into the old grammar 
school, and open her apron and bring out her 
bason, with some nice thing she had caused to 
be saved for me ; the good old creature is now 
lying on her deathbed. I cannot bear to think 
on her deplorable state. To the shock she re- 
ceived on that our evil day, from which she never 
completely recovered, I impute her illness. She 
says, poor thing, she is glad she is come home to 
die with me. I was always her favourite: 

No after friendship e'er can raise 
The endearments of our early days, 
Nor e'er the heart such fondness prove, 
As when it first began to love. 

Lloyd has kindly left me for a keep-sake 'John 
Woolman. You have read it, he says, and like it. 
Will you excuse one short extract? I think it 
could not have escaped you : — "Small treasure to 
a resigned mind is sufficient. How happy is it to 
be content with a little, to live in humility, and 
feel that in us which breathes out this language, 
— Abba! Father!" I am almost ashamed to 
patch up a letter in this miscellaneous sort; but 
I please myself in the thought that anything from 
me will be acceptable to you. I am rather im- 
patient, childishly so, to see our names affixed to 
the same common volume. Send me two, when 
it does come out ; two will be enough, or indeed 
one, but two better. I have a dim recollection 
that, when in town, you were talking of the 

116 



origin of evil as a most prolific subject for a long 
poem. Why not adopt it, Coleridge ? there 
would be room for imagination. Or the descrip- 
tion (from a vision or dream, suppose) of an 
Utopia in one of the planets (the Moon, for in- 
stance) . Or a Five Days' Dream, which shall illus- 
trate, in sensible imagery, Hartley's five motives 

to conduct : — sensation, imagination, ambition, 

4 5 

sympathy, theopathy. i st, banquets, music, &c, 
effeminacy, — and their insufficiency. 2d, " beds 
of hyacinth and roses, where young Adonis oft 
reposes ; " " Fortunate Isles ; " "The pagan Ely- 
sium," &c, &c. ; poetical pictures ; antiquity as 
pleasing to the fancy ; — their emptiness, mad- 
ness, etc. 3d, warriors, poets ; some famous, yet 
more forgotten, their fame or oblivion now alike 
indifferent, pride, vanity, &c. 4th, all manner 
of pitiable stories, in Spenser-like verse, — love, 
friendship, relationship, &c. 5th, hermits, Christ 
and his apostles, martyrs, heaven, &c, &c. An 
imagination like yours, from these scanty hints, 
may expand into a thousand great ideas, if in- 
deed you at all comprehend my scheme, which 
I scarce do myself. 

Monday morn. — "A London letter. gj4 ■" 
Look you, master poet, I have remorse as well 
as another man, and my bowels can sound upon 
occasion. But I must put you to this charge, for 
I cannot keep back my protest, however inef- 

117 



fectual, against the annexing your latter lines to 
those former, — this putting of new wine into 
old bottles. This my duty done, I will cease 
from writing till you invent some more reason- 
able mode of conveyance. Well may the " rag- 
ged followers of the nine" set up for flocci- 
nauci-what-do-you-call-'em-ists ! And I do not 
wonder that in their splendid visions of Utopias 
in America they protest against the admission of 
those ^//ow-complexioned, copper-color' 6., white- 
liver'd gentlemen, who never proved themselves 
their friends. 

Don't you think your verses on a Young Ass 
too trivial a companion for the Religious Mus- 
ings ? " Scoundrel monarch," alter that; and the 
Man of Ross is scarce admissible as it now stands 
curtailed of its fairer half: reclaim its property 
from the Chatterton, which it does but encumber, 
and it will be a rich little poem. I hope you 
expunge great part of the old notes in the new 
edition. That, in particular, most barefaced, un- 
founded, impudent assertion that Mr. Rogers is 
indebted for his story to Loch Lomond, a poem 
by Bruce ! I have read the latter. I scarce think 
you have. Scarce anything is common to them 
both. The poor author of the Pleasures of Mem- 
ory was sorely hurt, Dyer says, by the accusation 
of unoriginality. He never saw the poem. I long 
to read your poem on Burns ; I retain so indis- 
tinct a memory of it. In what shape and how 
does it come into public ? As you leave ofFwrit- 

118 



ing poetry till you finish your Hymns, I suppose 
you print now all you have got by you. You 
have scarce enough unprinted to make a second 
volume with Lloyd. Tell me all about it. What 
is become of Cowper ? Lloyd told me of some 
verses on his mother. If you have them by you, 
pray send 'em me. I do so love him ! Never 
mind their merit. May be I may like 'em — 
as your taste and mine do not always exactly 
indentify [identify]. Yours, 

Lamb 
note 

[This is the passage in Religious Musings that Lamb particu- 
larly praises : 

There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind, 
Omnific. His most holy name is Love. 
Truth of subliming import ! with the which 
Who feeds and saturates his constant soul, 
He from his smaller particular orbit flies 
With blest outstarting ! From himself he flies, 
Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze 
Views all creation ; and he loves it all, 
And blesses it, and calls it very good ! 
This is indeed to dwell with the Most High ! 
Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim 
Can press no nearer to the Almighty's throne.] 

XXIII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

February 13, 1797. 

Your poem is altogether admirable, — parts of 
it are even exquisite, — in particular your personal 
account of the Maid far surpasses anything of the 
sort in Southey. I perceived all its excellences, 
on a first reading, as readily as now you have 

119 



been removing a supposed film from my eyes. 
I was only struck with [a] certain faulty dispro- 
portion in the matter and the style, which I still 
think I perceive, between these lines and the 
former ones. I had an end in view ; I wished 
to make you reject the poem, only as being dis- 
cordant with the other ; and, in subservience to 
that end, it was politically done in me to over- 
pass, and make no mention of merit which, could 
you think me capable of overlooking, might rea- 
sonably damn forever in your judgment all pre- 
tensions in me to be critical. There, I will be 
judged by Lloyd, whether I have not made a 
very handsome recantation. 

I was in the case of a man whose friend has 
asked him his opinion of a certain young lady ; 
the deluded wight gives judgment against her 
in toto, — don't like her face, her walk, her man- 
ners, — finds fault with her eyebrows, — can see 
no wit in her. His friend looks blank; he begins 
to smell a rat; wind veers about; he acknow- 
ledges her good sense, her judgment in dress, 
a certain simplicity of manners and honesty of 
heart, something too in her manners which gains 
upon you after a short acquaintance, — and then 
her accurate pronunciation of the French lan- 
guage and a pretty uncultivated taste in draw- 
ing. The reconciled gentleman smiles applause, 
squeezes him by the hand, and hopes he will do 
him the honour of taking a bit of dinner with 

Mrs. and him — a plain family dinner — 

1 20 



some day next week. " For, I suppose, you never 
heard we were married! I 'm glad to see you 
like my wife, however ; you '11 come and see 
her, ha ? " 

Now am I too proud to retract entirely. Yet 
I do perceive I am in some sort straitened ; you 
are manifestly wedded to this poem, and what 
fancy has joined let no man separate. I turn me 
to the "Joan of Arc, second book. 

The solemn openings of it are with sounds 
which, Lloyd would say, " are silence to the 
mind." The deep preluding strains are fitted to 
initiate the mind, with a pleasing awe, into the 
sublimest mysteries of theory concerning man's 
nature and his noblest destination, — the philo- 
sophy of a first cause, of subordinate agents in 
creation superior to man, the subserviency of 
pagan worship and pagan faith to the introduc- 
tion of a purer and more perfect religion, which 
you so elegantly describe as winning with gradual 
steps her difficult way northward from Bethabara. 
After all this cometh Joan, a publican's daugh- 
ter, sitting on an ale-house bench, and marking 
the swingings of the signboard, finding a poor 
man, his wife and six children, starved to death 
with cold, and thence roused into a state of 
mind proper to receive visions emblematical 
of equality; which what the devil Joan had to do 
with, I don't know, or indeed with the French 
and American revolutions ; though that needs no 
pardon, it is executed so nobly. After all, if you 

121 



perceive no disproportion, all argument is vain : 
I do not so much object to parts. Again, when 
you talk of building your fame on these lines in 
preference to the Religious Musings, I cannot help 
conceiving of you and of the author of that as 
two different persons, and I think you a very vain 
man. 

I have been re-reading your letter. Much 
of it I could dispute ; but with the latter part of 
it, in which you compare the two Joans with 
respect to their predispositions for fanaticism, 
I toto corde coincide ; only I think that South ey's 
strength rather lies in the description of the 
emotions of the Maid under the weight of in- 
spiration, — these (I see no mighty difference 
between ber describing them or you describing 
them), these if you only equal, the previous ad- 
mirers of his poem, as is natural, will prefer his ; 
if you surpass, prejudice will scarcely allow it, 
and I scarce think you will surpass, though your 
specimen at the conclusion (I am in earnest) I 
think very nigh equals them. And in an account 
of a fanatic or of a prophet the description of 
her emotions is expected to be most highly fin- 
ished. By the way, I spoke far too disparagingly 
of your lines, and, I am ashamed to say, pur- 
posely. I should like you to specify or particu- 
larise ; the story of the Tottering Eld, of " his 
eventful years all come and gone," is too gen- 
eral; why not make him a soldier, or some 
character, however, in which he has been wit- 

122 



ness to frequency of " cruel wrong and strange 
distress ! " I think I should. When I laughed 
at the " miserable man crawling from beneath 
the coverture," I wonder I did not perceive it 
was a laugh of horror, — such as I have laughed 
at Dante's picture of the famished Ugolino. 
Without falsehood, I perceive an hundred beau- 
ties in your narrative. Yet I wonder you do not 
perceive something out-of-the-way, something 
unsimple and artificial, in the expression, "voiced 
a sad tale." I hate made-dishes at the muses' 
banquet. I believe I was wrong in most of my 
other objections. But surely "hailed him im- 
mortal," adds nothing to the terror of the man's 
death, which it was your business to heighten, 
not diminish by a phrase which takes away all 
terror from it. I like that line, " They closed 
their eyes in sleep, nor knew 't was death." In- 
deed, there is scarce a line I do not like. " Tur- 
bid ecstasy" is surely not so good as what you 
had written, "troublous." "Turbid" rather suits 
the muddy kind of inspiration which London 
porter confers. The versification is, throughout, 
to my ears unexceptionable, with no disparage- 
ment to the measure of the Religious Musings, 
which is exactly fitted to the thoughts. 

You were building your house on a rock when 
you rested your fame on that poem. I can scarce 
bring myself to believe that I am admitted to a 
familiar correspondence, and all the license of 
friendship, with a man who writes blank verse 

123 



like Milton. Now, this is delicate flattery, indi- 
rect flattery. Go on with your Maid of Orleans, 
and be content to be second to yourself. I shall 
become a convert to it when 't is finished. 

This afternoon I attend the funeral of my poor 
old aunt, who died on Thursday. I own I am 
thankful that the good creature has ended all her 
days of suffering and infirmity. She was to me the 
** cherisher of infancy," and one must fall on these 
occasions into reflections which it would be com- 
monplace to enumerate, concerning death "of 
chance and change, and fate in human life." Good 
God, who could have foreseen all this but four 
months back ! I had reckoned, in particular, on 
my aunt's living many years ; she was a very hearty 
old woman. But she was a mere skeleton before 
she died, looked more like a corpse that had lain 
weeks in the grave than one fresh dead. "Truly 
the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the 
eyes to behold the sun; but let a man live many 
days and rejoice in them all, yet let him remem- 
ber the days of darkness, for they shall be many." 
Coleridge, why are we to live on after all the 
strength and beauty of existence are gone, when 
all the life of life is fled, as poor Burns expresses it? 

Tell Lloyd I have had thoughts of turning 
Quaker, and have been reading, or am rather just 
beginning to read, a most capital book, good 
thoughts in good language, William Penn's No 
Cross, no Crown; I like it immensely. Unluckily 
I went to one of his meetings, tell him, in St. John 

124 



Street, yesterday, and saw a man under all the agi- 
tations and workings of a fanatic, who believed 
himself under the influence of some " inevitable 
presence." This cured me of Quakerism ; I love 
it in the books of Penn and Woolman, but I detest 
the vanity of a man thinking he speaks by the 
Spirit, when what he says an ordinary man might 
say without all that quaking and trembling. In 
the midst of his inspiration — and the effects of it 
were most noisy — was handed into the midst of 
the meeting a most terrible blackguard Wapping 
sailor ; the poor man, I believe, had rather have 
been in the hottest part of an engagement, for the 
congregation of broad-brims, together with the 
ravings of the prophet, were too much for his 
gravity, though I saw even he had delicacy enough 
not to laugh out. And the inspired gentleman, 
though his manner was so supernatural, yet nei- 
ther talked nor professed to talk anything more 
than good sober sense, common morality, with 
now and then a declaration of not speaking from 
himself. Among other things, looking back to 
his childhood and early youth, he told the meet- 
ing what a graceless young dog he had been, that 
in his youth he had a good share of wit : reader, 
if thou hadst seen the gentleman, thou wouldst 
have sworn that it must indeed have been many 
years ago, for his rueful physiognomy would have 
scared away the playful goddess from the meeting, 
where he presided, for ever. A wit! a wit! what 
could he mean? Lloyd, it minded me of Falk- 

125 



land in the Rivals, "Am I full of wit and humour ? 
No, indeed you are not. Am I the life and soul 
of every company I come into? No, it cannot be 
said you are.' ' That hard-faced gentleman, a wit ! 
Why, Nature wrote on his fanatic forehead fifty 
years ago, "Wit never comes, that comes to all." 
I should be as scandalised at a bon mot issuing from 
his oracle-looking mouth, as to see Cato go down 
a country-dance. God love you all. You are very 
good to submit to be pleased with reading my no- 
things. 'T is the privilege of friendship to talk 
nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. — 
Yours ever, 

C. Lamb 

XXIV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

April 7, 1797. 

Your last letter was dated the 1 oth February ; 
in it you promised to write again the next day. 
At least, I did not expect so long, so unfriend- 
like, a silence. There was a time, Col., when a 
remissness of this sort in a dear friend would have 
lain very heavy on my mind, but latterly I have 
been too familiar with neglect to feel much from 
the semblance of it. Yet, to suspect one's self 
overlooked and in the way to oblivion, is a feel- 
ing rather humbling ; perhaps, as tending to self- 
mortification, not unfavourable to the spiritual 
state. Still, as you meant to confer no benefit 
on the soul of your friend, you do not stand quite 

126 



clear from the imputation of unkindliness (a word 
by which I mean the diminutive of unkindness). 
Lloyd tells me he has been very ill, and was on 
the point of leaving you. I addressed a letter to 
him at Birmingham : perhaps he got it not, and 
is still with you. I hope his ill-health has not 
prevented his attending to a request I made in 
it, that he would write again very soon to let me 
know how he was. I hope to God poor Lloyd 
is not very bad, or in a very bad way. Pray satisfy 
me about these things. And then David Hartley 
was unwell ; and how is the small philosopher, 
the minute philosopher ? and David's mother ? 
Coleridge, I am not trifling, nor are these mat- 
ter-of-fact questions only. You are all very dear 
and precious to me ; do what you will, Col., you 
may hurt me and vex me by your silence, but 
you cannot estrange my heart from you all. I 
cannot scatter friendships like chuck-farthings, 
nor let them drop from mine hand like hour- 
glass sand. I have two or three people in the 
world to whom I am more than indifferent, and 
I can't afford to whistle them off to the winds. 

By the way, Lloyd may have told you about 
my sister. I told him. If not, I have taken her 
out of her confinement, and taken a room for 
her at Hackney, and spend my Sundays, holi- 
days, &c, with her. She boards herself. In one 
little half year's illness, and in such an illness of 
such a nature and of such consequences! to get 
her out into the world again, with a prospect of 

127 



her never being so ill again — this is to be ranked 
not among the common blessings of Providence. 
May that merciful God make tender my heart, 
and make me as thankful, as in my distress I 
was earnest, in my prayers. Congratulate me 
on an ever-present and never-alienable friend like 
her. And do, do insert, if you have not lost, my 
dedication. It will have lost half its value by 
coming so late. If you really are going on with 
that volume, I shall be enabled in a day or two 
to send you a short poem to insert. Now, do 
answer this. Friendship, and acts of friendship, 
should be reciprocal, and free as the air ; a friend 
should never be reduced to beg an alms of his 
fellow. Yet I will beg an alms; I entreat you 
to write, and tell me all about poor Lloyd, and 
all of you. God love and preserve you all. 

C. Lamb 

XXV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

April 15, 1797. 
A VISION OF REPENTANCE 

I saw a famous fountain in my dream, 
Where shady pathways to a valley led; 

A weeping willow lay upon that stream, 

And all around the fountain brink were spread 

Wide branching trees, with dark green leaf rich clad, 

Forming a doubtful twilight desolate and sad. 

The place was such, that whoso enter'd in 
Disrobed was of every earthly thought, 
128 



And straight became as one that knew not sin, 

Or to the world's first innocence was brought ; 
Enseem'd it now, he stood on holy ground, 
In sweet and tender melancholy wrapt around. 

A most strange calm stole o'er my soothed sprite ; 

Long time I stood, and longer had I staid, 
When lo ! I saw, saw by the sweet moonlight, 

Which came in silence o'er that silent shade, 
Where near the fountain something like despair 
Made of that weeping willow garlands for her hair. 

And eke with painful fingers she inwove 
Many an uncouth stem of savage thorn — 
" The willow garland, that was for her Love, 
And these her bleeding temples would adorn." 
With sighs her heart nigh burst — salt tears fast fell, 
As mournfully she bended o'er that sacred well. 

To whom when I addrest myself to speak, 

She lifted up her eyes, and nothing said ; 
The delicate red came mantling o'er her cheek, 

And gathering up her loose attire, she fled 
To the dark covert of that woody shade 
And in her goings seem'd a timid gentle maid. 

Revolving in my mind what this should mean, 

And why that lovely Lady plained so ; 
Perplex'd in thought at that mysterious scene, 

And doubting if 't were best to stay or go, 
I cast mine eyes in wistful gaze around, 
When from the shades came slow a small and plaintive sound : 

" Psyche am I, who love to dwell 
In these brown shades, this woody dell, 
Where never busy mortal came, 
Till now, to pry upon my shame. 

" At thy feet what thou dost see 
The Waters of Repentance be, 
129 



Which, night and day, I must augment 

With tears, like a true Penitent, 

If haply so my day of grace 

Be not yet past ; and this lone place, 

O'er-shadowy, dark, excludeth hence 

All thoughts but grief and penitence." 

" Why dost thou weep, thou gentle maid ! 
And wherefore in this barren shade 
Thy hidden thoughts with sorrow feed ? 
Can thing so fair repentance need f " 

"O! I have done a deed of shame, 
And tainted is my virgin fame, 
And stain'd the beauteous maiden white 
In which my bridal robes were dight." 

" And who the promised spouse declare, 
And what those bridal garments were ? " 

" Severe and saintly righteousness 
Compos'd the clear white bridal dress ; 
Jesus, the son of Heaven's high King 
Bought with his blood the marriage ring. 

" A wretched sinful creature, I 
Deem'd lightly of that sacred tie, 
Gave to a treacherous world my heart, 
And play'd the foolish wanton's part. 

" Soon to these murky shades I came 
To hide from the Sun's light my shame; 
And still I haunt this woody dell, 
And bathe me in that healing well, 
Whose waters clear have influence 
From sin's foul stains the soul to cleanse ; 
And night and day I them augment 
With tears, like a true Penitent, 
Until, due expiation made, 
And fit atonement fully paid, 
130 



The Lord and Bridegroom me present 
Where in sweet strains of high consent, 
God's throne before, the Seraphim 
Shall chaunt the ecstatic marriage hymn." 

" Now Christ restore thee soon" I said, 
And thenceforth all my dream was fled. 

The above you will please to print immedi- 
ately before the blank verse fragments. Tell me 
if you like it. I fear the latter half is unequal 
to the former, in parts of which I think you will 
discover a delicacy of pencilling not quite un- 
Spenser-like. The latter half aims at the measure, 
but has failed to attain the poetry, of Milton in 
his Comus and Fletcher in that exquisite thing 
ycleped the Faithful Shepherdess, where they both 
use eight-syllable lines. But this latter half was 
finished in great haste, and as a task, not from that 
impulse which affects the name of inspiration. 

By the way, I have lit upon Fairfax's Godfrey 
of Bullen for half-a-crown. Rejoice with me. 

Poor dear Lloyd ! I had a letter from him 
yesterday ; his state of mind is truly alarming. He 
has, by his own confession, kept a letter of mine 
unopened three weeks, afraid, he says, to open 
it, lest I should speak upbraidingly to him; and 
yet this very letter of mine was in answer to one, 
wherein he informed me that an alarming illness 
had alone prevented him from writing. You will 
pray with me, I know, for his recovery ; for surely, 
Coleridge, an exquisiteness of feeling like this 
must border on derangement. But I love him 

?3" 



more and more, and will not give up the hope 
of his speedy recovery, as he tells me he is under 
Dr. Darwin's regimen. 

God bless us all, and shield us from insanity, 
which is "the sorest malady of all." 

My kind love to your wife and child. 

C. Lamb 

Pray write, now. 

XXVI. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Tuesday,] June 13, 1797. 

I stared with wild wonderment to see thy well- 
known hand again. It revived many a pleasing 
recollection of an epistolary intercourse, of late 
strangely suspended, once the pride of my life. 
Before I even opened thy letter, I figured to my- 
self a sort of complacency which my little hoard 
at home would feel at receiving the newcomer 
into the little drawer where I keep my treasures 
of this kind. You have done well in writing to 
me. The little room (was it not a little one ?) at 
the Salutation was already in the way of becoming 
a fading idea! it had begun to be classed in my 
memory with those " wanderings with a fair-hair'd 
maid," in the recollection of which I feel I have 
no property. You press me, very kindly do you 
press me, to come to Stowey ; obstacles, strong as 
death, prevent meat present ; maybe I shall be able 
to come before the year is out ; believe me, I will 
come as soon as I can, but I dread naming a prob- 

132 



able time. It depends on fifty things, besides the 
expense, which is not nothing. Lloyd wants me 
to come and see him ; but, besides that you have 
a prior claim on me, I should not feel myself so 
much at home with him, till he gets a house of 
his own. As to Richardson, caprice may grant 
what caprice only refused, and it is no more hard- 
ship, rightly considered, to be dependent on him 
for pleasure, than to lie at the mercy of the rain 
and sunshine for the enjoyment of a holiday : in 
either case we are not to look for a suspension of 
the laws of nature. "Grill will be Grill." Vide 
Spenser. 

I could not but smile at the compromise you 
make with me for printing Lloyd's poems first ; 
but there are in nature, I fear, too many tenden- 
cies to envy and jealousy not to justify you in your 
apology. Yet, if any one is welcome to pre-emi- 
nence from me, it is Lloyd, for he would be the 
last to desire it. So pray, let his name uniformly 
precede mine, for it would be treating me like a 
child to suppose it could give me pain. Yet, alas ! 
I am not insusceptible of the bad passions. Thank 
God, I have the ingenuousness to be ashamed of 
them. I am dearly fond of Charles Lloyd; he is 
all goodness, and I have too much of the world in 
my composition to feel myself thoroughly deserv- 
ing of his friendship. 

Lloyd tells me that Sheridan put you upon 
writing your tragedy. I hope you are only Cole- 
ridgeizing when you talk of finishing it in a few 

x 33 



days. Shakspeare was a more modest man ; but 
you best know your own power. 

Of my last poem you speak slightingly; surely 
the longer stanzas were pretty tolerable ; at least 
there was one good line in it, — 

Thick-shaded trees, with dark green leaf rich clad. 

To adopt your own expression, I call this a "rich" 
line, a fine full line. And some others I thought 
even beautiful. Believe me, my little gentleman 
will feel some repugnance at riding behind in the 
basket; though, I confess, in pretty good com- 
pany. Your picture of idiocy, with the sugar-loaf 
head, is exquisite; but are you not too severe upon 
our more favoured brethren in fatuity ? Lloyd 
tells me how ill your wife and child have been. 
I rejoice that they are better. My kindest re- 
membrances and those of my sister. I send you a 
trifling letter ; but you have only to think that I 
have been skimming the superficies of my mind, 
and found it only froth. Now, do write again ; 
you cannot believe how I long and love always to 
hear about you. Yours, most affectionately, 

Charles Lamb 

Monday Night. 

XXVII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

June 24,1797. 

Did you seize the grand opportunity of seeing 
Kosciusko while he was at Bristol ? I never saw 

*34 



a hero ; I wonder how they look. I have been 
reading a most curious romance-like work, called 
the Life of John Buncle, Esq. 'T is very interest- 
ing, and an extraordinary compound of all man- 
ner of subjects, from the depth of the ludicrous 
to the heights of sublime religious truth. There 
is much abstruse science in it above my cut and 
an infinite fund of pleasantry. John Buncle is a 
famous fine man, formed in Nature's most eccen- 
tric hour. I am ashamed of what I write. But 
I have no topic to talk of. I see nobody, and 
sit, and read or walk, alone, and hear nothing. 
I am quite lost to conversation from disuse ; and 
out of the sphere of my little family, who, I am 
thankful, are dearer and dearer to me every day, 
I see no face that brightens up at my approach. 
My friends are at a distance ; worldly hopes are 
at a low ebb with me, and unworldly thoughts are 
not yet familiarised to me, though I occasionally 
indulge in them. Still I feel a calm not unlike 
content. I fear it is sometimes more akin to 
physical stupidity than to a heaven-flowing seren- 
ity and peace. What right have I to obtrude all 
this upon you ? what is such a letter to you ? and 
if I come to Stowey, what conversation can I fur- 
nish to compensate my friend for those stores 
of knowledge and of fancy, those delightful 
treasures of wisdom, which I know he will open 
to me ? But it is better to give than to receive ; 
and I was a very patient hearer and docile scholar 
in our winter evening meetings at Mr. May's ; 

135 



was I not, Col. ? What I have owed to thee, my 
heart can ne'er forget. 
God love you and yours. 

C. L. 

Saturday. 

XXVIII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[End of June] 1797. 

I discern a possibility of my paying you a visit 
next week. May I, can I, shall I, come so soon ? 
Have you room for me, leisure for me ? and are 
you all pretty well ? Tell me all this honestly — 
immediately. 

And by what day coach could I come soonest 
and nearest to Stowey ? A few months hence 
may suit you better; certainly me, as well. If so, 
say so. I long, I yearn, with all the longings of 
a child do I desire to see you, to come among 
you — to see the young philosopher, to thank 
Sara for her last year's invitation in person — to 
read your tragedy — to read over together our 
little book — to breathe fresh air — to revive in 
me vivid images of '" Salutation scenery." There 
is a sort of sacrilege in my letting such ideas slip 
out of my mind and memory. 

Still that Richardson remaineth — a thorn in 
the side of Hope, when she would lean towards 
Stowey. 

Here I will leave off, for I dislike to fill up 
this paper, which involves a question so con- 

136 



nected with my heart and soul, with meaner 
matter, or subjects to me less interesting. I can 
talk, as I can think, nothing else. 

C. Lamb 

Thursday. 

XXIX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[No date. Probably July 19 or 26, 1797.] 

I am scarcely yet so reconciled to the loss of 
you, or so subsided into my wonted uniformity 
of feeling, as to sit calmly down to think of you 
and write to you. But I reason myself into the 
belief that those few and pleasant holidays shall 
not have been spent in vain. I feel improvement 
in the recollection of many a casual conversation. 
The names of Tom Poole, of Wordsworth and 
his good sister, with thine and Sara's, are become 
" familiar in my mouth as household words." 
You would make me very happy, if you think 
W. has no objection, by transcribing for me that 
inscription of his. I have some scattered sen- 
tences ever floating on my memory, teasing me 
that I cannot remember more of it. You may 
believe I will make no improper use of it. Be- 
lieve me I can think now of many subjects on 
which I had planned gaining information from 
you ; but I forgot my " treasure's worth " while 
I possessed it. Your leg is now become to me 
a matter of much more importance ; and many 
a little thing, which when I was present with you 

J 37 



seemed scarce to inde?it my notice, now presses 
painfully on my remembrance. 

Is the Patriot come yet ? Are Wordsworth and 
his sister gone yet ? I was looking out for John 
Thelwall all the way from Bridgewater, and had 
I met him, I think it would have moved almost 
me to tears. You will oblige me, too, by sending 
me my greatcoat, which I left behind in the ob- 
livious state the mind is thrown into at parting ; 
is it not ridiculous that I sometimes envy that 
greatcoat lingering so cunningly behind ? — at 
present I have none — so send it me by a Stowey 
waggon, if there be such a thing, directing for 
C. L., No. 45 Chapel-Street, Pentonville, near 
London. But above all, that Inscription ! it will 
recall to me the tones of all your voices, and 
with them many a remembered kindness to 
one who could and can repay you all only by the 
silence of a grateful heart. I could not talk much, 
while I was with you, but my silence was not 
sullenness, nor I hope from any bad motive ; 
but, in truth, disuse has made me awkward at it. 
I know I behaved myself, particularly at Tom 
Poole's, and at Cruikshank's, most like a sulky 
child ; but company and converse are strange to 
me. It was kind in you all to endure me as you 
did. 

Are you and your dear Sara — to me also very 
dear, because very kind — agreed yet about the 
management of little Hartley ? and how go on 
the little rogue's teeth ? I will see White to- 



morrow, and he shall send you information on 
that matter ; but as perhaps I can do it as well 
after talking with him, I will keep this letter 
open. 

My love and thanks to you and all of you. 



Wednesday Evening. 



C. L. 



NOTE 



[Lamb spent a week at Nether Stowey in July, 1797. 
Coleridge tells Southey of this visit in a letter written in that 
month : " Charles Lamb has been with me for a week. He 
left me Friday morning. The second day after Wordsworth 
(who had just left Racedown, near Crewkerne, for Alfoxden, 
near Stowey) came to me, dear Sara accidentally emptied a skillet 
of boiling milk on my foot, which confined me during the whole 
time of C. Lamb's stay and still prevents me from all walks 
longer than a furlong." This is the cause of Lamb's allusion 
to Coleridge's leg, and it also produced Coleridge's poem, This 
lime-tree bower my prison, addressed to Lamb, which opens as 
follows, — the friends in the fourth line being Lamb, Words- 
worth, and Dorothy Wordsworth. — E. V. Lucas.] 

Well, they are gone, and here must I remain, 
Lam' d by the scathe of fire, lonely and faint, 
This lime-tree bower my prison! They, meantime 
My Friends, whom I may never meet again, 
On springy heath, along the hill-top edge 
Wander delighted, and look down, perchance, 
On that same rifted Dell, where many an ash 
Twists its wild limbs beside the ferny rock 
Whose plumy ferns forever nod and drip, 
Spray' d by the waterfall. But chiefly thou 
My gentle-hearted Charles ! thou who had pin'd 
And hunger' d after Nature many a year, 
In the great City pent, winning thy way 
With sad yet bowed soul, through evil and pain 
And strange calamity ! 



XXX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[p. m., August 24, 1797.] 

Poor Charles Lloyd came to me about a fort- 
night ago. He took the opportunity of Mr. 
Hawkes coming to London, and I think at his 
request, to come with him. It seemed to me, and 
he acknowledged it, that he had come to gain 
a little time and a little peace, before he made up 
his mind. He was a good deal perplexed what 
to do, wishing earnestly that he had never entered 
into engagements which he felt himself unable 
to fulfil, but which on Sophia's account he could 
not bring himself to relinquish. I could give him 
little advice or comfort, and feeling my own in- 
ability painfully, eagerly snatched at a proposal 
he made me to go to Southey's with him for a 
day or two. He then meant to return with me, 
who could stay only one night. While there, he 
at one time thought of going to consult you, but 
changed his intention and stayed behind with 
Southey, and wrote an explicit letter to Sophia. 
I came away on the Tuesday, and on the Satur- 
day following, last Saturday, receiv'd a letter dated 
Bath, in which he said he was on his way to Bir- 
mingham, that Southey was accompanying him, 
and that he went for the purpose of persuading 
Sophia to a Scotch marriage — 

I greatly feared, that she would never consent 
to this, from what Lloyd had told me of her 
character. But waited most anxiously the result. 

140 



el. 



Since then I have not had one letter. For God's 
sake, if you get any intelligence of or from 
Charles Lloyd, communicate it, for I am much 
alarmed. C. Lamb 






I wrote to Burnett what I write now to you, — 
was it from him you heard, or elsewhere ? He said 
if he had come to you, he could never have brought 
himself to leave you. In all his distress he was 
sweetly and exemplarily calm and master of him- 
self, and seemed perfectly free from his disorder. 
<j[ \ How do you all^atl^ 

XXXI. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

September 1797. 
WRITTEN A TWELVEMONTH AFTER THE EVENTS' 

[Friday next, Coleridge, is the day on which my mother died.] 

Alas ! how am I chang'd ! Where be the tears, 
The sobs, and forc'd suspensions of the breath, 
And all the dull desertions of the heart, 
With which I hung o'er my dear mother's corse ? 
Where be the blest subsidings of the storm 
Within, the sweet resignedness of* hope 
Drawn heavenward, and strength of filial love, 
In which I bow'd me to my Father's will ? 
My God, and my Redeemer ! keep not thou 
My heart in brute and sensual thanklessness 
Seal'd up ; oblivious ever of that dear grace, 
And health restor'd to my long-loved Friend, 
Long-lov'd, and worthy known. Thou didst not keep 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological 
order, in the back of Vol. I. 

141 



Her soul in death! O keep not now, my Lord, 

Thy servants in far worse, in spiritual death, 

And darkness blacker than those feared shadows 

O' the valley all must tread. Lend us thy balms, 

Thou dear Physician of the sin-sick soul, 

And heal our cleansed bosoms of the wounds 

With which the world hath pierc'd us thro' and thro' ! 

Give us new flesh, new birth. Elect of heav'n 

May we become ; in thine Election sure 

Contain'd, and to one purpose stedfast drawn, 

Our soul's salvation ! 

Thou and I, dear friend, 
With filial recognition sweet, shall know 
One day the face of our dear mother in heaven, 
And her remember'd looks of love shall greet 
With answering looks of love ; her placid smiles 
Meet with a smile as placid, and her hand 
With drops of fondness wet, nor fear repulse. 
Be witness for me, Lord, I do not ask 
Those days of vanity to return again, 
(Nor fitting me to ask, nor thee to give.) 
Vain loves and " wanderings with a fair-hair'd maid," 
(Child of the dust as I am,) who so long 
My foolish heart steep'd in Idolatry 
And creature-loves. Forgive it, oh my Maker, 
If, in a mood of grief, I sin almost 
In sometimes brooding on the days long past, 
(And from the grave of time wishing them back,) 
Days of a mother's fondness to her child, 
Her little one. Oh where be now those sports, 
And infant play-games ? where the joyous troops 
Of children, and the haunts I did so love ? 

my companions, O ye loved names 

Of friend, or playmate dear ; gone are ye now. 
Gone divers ways ; to honour and credit some ; 
And some, I fear, to ignominy and shame. 

1 only am left, with unavailing grief 

One parent dead to mourn, and see one live 
Of all life's joys bereft and desolate : — 
142 



Am left with a few friends, and one, above 
The rest, found faithful in a length of years, 
Contented as I may, to bear me on 
To the not unpeaceful evening of a day 
Made black by morning storms ! 

The following I wrote when I had returned 
from [Charles] Lloyd, leaving him behind at 
Burton, with Southey. To understand some of 
it, you must remember that at that time he was 
very much perplexed in mind. 

A stranger and alone I past those scenes 

We past so late together; and my heart 

Felt something like desertion, as I look'd 

Around me, and the pleasant voice of friend 

Was absent, and the cordial look was there 

No more to smile on me. I thought on Lloyd — 

All he had been to me ! And now I go 

Again to mingle with a world impure ? 

With men who make a mock of holy things, 

Mistaken, and of man's best hope think scorn. 

The world does much to warp the heart of man ; 

And I may sometimes join its ideot [idiot] laugh : 

Of this I now complain not. Deal with me, 

Omniscient Father, as thou judgest best, 

And in thy season, soften thou my heart — 

I pray not for myself. I pray for him 

Whose soul is sore perplex'd. Shine thou on him, 

Father of lights ! and in the difficult paths 

Make plain his way before him : his own thoughts 

May he not think, his own ends not pursue j 

So shall he best perform thy will on earth. 

Greatest and Best, thy will be ever ours ! 

The former of these poems I wrote with un- 
usual celerity t'other morning at office. I expect 
you to like it better than anything of mine; 
Lloyd does, and I do myself. 

H3 



You use Lloyd very ill, never writing to him. 
I tell you again that his is not a mind with which 
you should play tricks. He deserves more ten- 
derness from you. 

For myself, I must spoil a little passage of 
Beaumont and Fletcher to adapt it to my feel- 
ings, — 

I am Prouder 
That I was once your friend, tho' now forgot, 
Than to have had another true to me. 

If you don't write to me now, as I told Lloyd, 
I shall get angry, and call you hard names — 
Manchineel, and I don't know what else. I wish 
you would send me my greatcoat. The snow 
and the rain season is at hand, and I have but 
a wretched old coat, once my father's, to keep 'em 
off, and that is transitory. 

"When time drives flocks from field to fold, 
When ways grow foul and blood gets cold," 

I shall remember where I left my coat. Meet 
emblem wilt thou be, old Winter, of a friend's 
neglect — cold, cold, cold ! Remembrance 
where remembrance is due. 

C. Lamb 

XXXII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

January 28, 1798. 

You have writ me many kind letters, and I 
have answered none of them. I don't deserve 
your attentions. An unnatural indifference has 

144 



been creeping on me since my last misfortunes, 
or I should have seized the first opening of a cor- 
respondence with you. To you I owe much, un- 
der God. In my brief acquaintance with you in 
London, your conversations won me to the better 
cause, and rescued me from the polluting spirit 
of the world. I might have been a worthless 
character without you ; as it is, I do possess a 
certain improvable portion of devotional feelings, 
tho' when I view myself in the light of divine 
truth, and not according to the common meas- 
ures of human judgment, I am altogether cor- 
rupt and sinful. This is no cant. I am very sin- 
cere. 

These last afflictions, Coleridge, have failed 
to soften and bend my will. They found me 
unprepared. My former calamities produced in 
me a spirit of humility and a spirit of prayer. I 
thought they had sufficiently disciplined me ; but 
the event ought to humble me. If God's judg- 
ments now fail to take away from me the heart 
of stone, what more grievous trials ought I not 
to expect ? I have been very querulous, impa- 
tient under the rod — full of little jealousies and 
heart-burnings. I had wellnigh quarrelled with 
Charles Lloyd ; and for no other reason, I be- 
lieve, than that the good creature did all he 
could to make me happy. The truth is, I thought 
he tried to force my mind from its natural and 
proper bent. He continually wished me to be 
from home; he was drawing me from the 

145 



consideration of my poor dear Mary's situation, 
rather than assisting me to gain a proper view 
of it with religious consolations. I wanted to be 
left to the tendency of my own mind, in a soli- 
tary state, which, in times past, I knew had led 
to quietness and a patient bearing of the yoke. 
He was hurt that I was not more constantly with 
him ; but he was living with White, a man to 
whom I had never been accustomed to impart my 
dearest feelings, tho' from long habits of friendli- 
ness, and many a social and good quality, I loved 
him very much. I met company there some- 
times — indiscriminate company. Any society 
almost, when I am in affliction, is sorely painful 
to me. I seem to breathe more freely, to think 
more collectedly, to feel more properly and 
calmly, when alone. All these things the good 
creature did with the kindest intentions in the 
world, but they produced in me nothing but sore- 
ness and discontent. I became, as he complained, 
"jaundiced" towards him; but he has forgiven 
me ; and his smile, I hope, will draw all such 
humours from me. 

I am recovering, God be praised for it, a 
healthiness of mind, something like calmness ; 
but I want more religion. I am jealous of hu- 
man helps and leaning-places. I rejoice in your 
good fortunes. May God at the last settle you ! 
— You have had many and painful trials ; hu- 
manly speaking they are going to end ; but we 
should rather pray that discipline may attend 

146 




us thro' the whole of our lives. A careless and a 
dissolute spirit has advanced upon me with large 
strides. Pray God that my present afflictions may 
be sanctified to me ! Mary is recovering ; but I 
see no opening yet of a situation for her. Your 
invitation went to my very heart ; but you have 
a power of exciting interest, of leading all hearts 

H7 



Schools of Germany, whither I am told you are 
departing, to the utter dissatisfaction of your native 
Devonshire and regret of universal England ; but 
to my own individual consolation if thro' the 
channel of your wished return, learned Sir, my 
friend, may be transmitted to this our island, from 
those famous theological wits of Leipsic and 
Gottingen, any rays of illumination, in vain to 
be derived from the home growth of our English 
Halls and Colleges. Finally, wishing, learned Sir, 
that you may see Schiller and swing in a wood 
(vide Poems) and sit upon a tun, and eat fat hams 
of Westphalia, 

I remain, 
Your friend and docile pupil to instruct, 
Charles Lamb 



NOTE BY E. V. LUCAS 

[Lamb's last letter to Coleridge for two years. See note to 
Letter XXXV. 

Lamb's reading of Thomas Aquinas probably was at the base 
of his theses. William Godwin, in his " History of Know- 
ledge, Learning and Taste in Great Britain," which had run 
through some years of the New Annual Register, cited, in 1 786, 
a number of the more grotesque queries of the old Schoolmen. 
Mr. Kegan Paul suggests that Lamb went to Godwin for his 
examination paper ; but I should think this very unlikely. Some 
of the questions hit Coleridge very hard. 

This letter was first printed by Joseph Cottle in his Early 
Recollections, 1 837, with the remark : " Mr. Coleridge gave me 
this letter, saying, ' These young visionaries will do each other 
no good.' " It marks an epoch in Lamb's life, since it brought 
about, or, at any rate, clinched, the only quarrel that ever sub- 
sisted between Coleridge and himself. 

*5° 



The story is told in Charles Lamb and the Lloyds. Briefly, 
Lloyd had left Coleridge in the spring of 1797 ; a little later, 
in a state of much perplexity, he had carried his troubles to 
Lamb, and to Southey, between whom and Coleridge no very 
cordial feeling had existed for some time, rather than to Cole- 
ridge himself, his late mentor. That probably fanned the flame. 
The next move came from Coleridge. He printed in the 
Monthly Magazine for November, 1797, three sonnets signed 
Nehemiah Higginbottom, burlesquing instances of " affectation 
of unaffectedness," and " puny pathos " in the poems of him- 
self, of Lamb, and of Lloyd, the humour of which Lamb 
probably did not much appreciate, since he believed in the feel- 
ings expressed in his verse, while Lloyd was certainly unfitted 
to esteem it. Coleridge effected even more than he had con- 
templated, for Southey took the sonnet upon Simplicity as an 
attack upon himself, which did not, however, prevent him, a 
little later, from a similar exercise in ponderous humour under 
the too similar name of Abel ShufHebottom. 

In March, 1798, when a new edition of Coleridge's 1797 
Poems was in contemplation, Lloyd wrote to Cottle, the pub- 
lisher, asking that he would persuade Coleridge to omit his 
(Lloyd's) portion, a request which Coleridge probably resented, 
but which gave him the opportunity of replying that no per- 
suasion was needed for the omission of verses published at the 
earnest request of the author. 

Meanwhile a worse offence than all against Coleridge was 
perpetrated by Lloyd. In the spring of 1798 was published at 
Bristol his novel, Edmund Oliver, dedicated to Lamb, in which 
Coleridge's experiences in the army, under the alias of Silas 
Tomkyn Comberback, in 1793— 1794, and certain of Cole- 
ridge's peculiarities, including his drug habit, were utilised. 
Added to this, Lloyd seems to have repeated both to Lamb and 
Southey, in distorted form, certain things which Coleridge had 
said of them, either in confidence, or, at any rate, with no wish 
that they should be repeated ; with the result that Lamb actu- 
ally went so far as to take sides with Lloyd against his older 
friend. The following extracts from a letter from Coleridge 
to Lamb, which I am permitted by Mr. Ernest Hartley Cole- 
ridge to print, carry the story a little farther : 

151 



[Spring of 1798.] 

Dear Lamb, — Lloyd has informed me through Miss 
Wordsworth that you intend no longer to correspond with me. 
This has given me little pain ; not that I do not love and 
esteem you, but on the contrary because I am confident that 
your intentions are pure. You are performing what you deem 
a duty, and humanly speaking, have that merit which can be 
derived from the performance of a painful duty. Painful, for 
you would not without struggles abandon me in behalf of a man 
[Lloyd] who, wholly ignorant of all but your name, became 
attached to you in consequence of my attachment, caught bis 
from my enthusiasm, and learned to love you at my fireside, 
when often while I have been sitting and talking of your sor- 
rows and afflictions I have stopped my conversations and lifted 
up wet eyes and prayed for you. No ! I am confident that 
although you do not think as a wise man, you feel as a good 
man. 

From you I have received little pain, because for you I suffer 
little alarm. I cannot say this for your friend; it appears to 
me evident that his feelings are vitiated, and that his ideas are 
in their combination merely the creatures of those feelings. 
I have received letters from him, and the best and kindest wish 
which, as a Christian, I can offer in return is that he may feel 
remorse. . . . 

When I wrote to you that my Sonnet to Simplicity was not 
composed with reference to Southey, you answered me (I be- 
lieve these were the words) : " It was a lie too gross for the 
grossest ignorance to believe; " and I was not angry with you, 
because the assertion which the grossest ignorance would 
believe a lie the Omniscient knew to be truth. This, however, 
makes me cautious not too hastily to affirm the falsehood of an 
assertion of Lloyd's that in Edmund Oliver's love-fit, leaving 
college, and going into the army, he had no sort of allusion to 
or recollection of my love-fit, leaving college, and going into 
the army, and that he never thought of my person in the de- 
scription of Oliver's person in the first letter of the second 
volume. This cannot appear stranger to me than my assertion 
did to you, and therefore I will suspend my absolute faith. . . . 

I have been unfortunate in my connections. Both you and 

152 



Lloyd became acquainted with me when your minds were far 
from being in a composed or natural state, and you clothed my 
image with a suit of notions and feelings which could belong 
to nothing human. You are restored to comparative saneness, 
and are merely wondering what is become of the Coleridge 
with whom you were so passionately in love ; Charles Lloyd's 
mind has only changed his disease, and he is now arraying his 
ci-devant Angel in a flaming San Benito — the whole ground 
of the garment a dark brimstone and plenty of little devils 
flourished out in black. Oh, me ! Lamb, " even in laughter 
the heart is sad ! " . . . 

God bless you and S. T. Coleridge 

Here follows Lamb's first letter to Robert Lloyd. Lamb's 
first letter is one of advice, apparently in reply to some complaints 
of his position addressed to him by Lloyd. A second and longer 
letter which, though belonging to August, 1798, may be men- 
tioned here, also counsels, commending the use of patience 
and humility. Lamb is here seen in the character of a spiritual 
adviser. The letter is unique in his correspondence. 

Robert Lloyd was a younger brother of Charles Lloyd, and 
Lamb had probably met him when on his visit to Birmingham 
in the summer. The boy, then not quite twenty, was appren- 
ticed to a Quaker draper at Saffron Walden in Essex.] 

XXXIV. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

[? July, 1 798.] 

My dear Robert, — I am a good deal occupied 
with a calamity near home, but not so much as 
to prevent my thinking about you with the warm- 
est affection. You are among my very dearest 
friends. I know you will feel deeply, when you 
hear that my poor sister is unwell again, — one 
of her old disorders ; but I trust it will hold no 
longer than her former illnesses have done. Do 

I S3 



not imagine, Robert, that I sink under this mis- 
fortune, — I have been season' d to such events, 
and think I could bear anything tolerably well. 
My own health is left me, and my good spirits, 
and I have some duties to perform — these duties 
shall be my object. 

I wish, Robert, you could find an object — I 
know the painfulness of vacuity, all its achings 
and inexplicable longings. I wish to God I could 
recommend any plan to you. Stock your mind 
well with religious knowledge; discipline it to 
wait with patience for duties, that may be your 
lot in life ; prepare yourself not to expect too 

much out of yourself ; read and. think This 

is all commonplace advice, I know — I know 
too, that it is easy to give advice, which in like 
circumstances we might not follow ourselves. 
You must depend upon yourself — there will 
come a time, when you will wonder you were 
not more content — I know you will excuse my 
saying any more, — 

Be assur'd of my kindest warmest 
affection — C. Lamb 

XXXV. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

Saturday, July 28, 1798. 

I am ashamed that I have not thanked you be- 
fore this for the Joan of Arc, but I did not know 
your address, and it did not occur to me to write 
through Cottle. The poem delighted me, and 

J S4 



the notes amused me, but methinks she of 
Neufchatel, in the print, holds her sword too 
" like a dancer." 

I sent your notice to Phillips, particularly re- 
questing an immediate insertion, but I suppose it 
came too late. 

I am sometimes curious to know what pro- 
gress you make in that same Calendar : whether 
you insert the nine worthies and Whittington? 
what you do or how you can manage when two 
saints meet and quarrel for precedency ? Martle- 
mas, and Candlemas, and Christmas, are glorious 
themes for a writer like you, antiquity-bitten, 
smit with the love of boars' heads and rosemary ; 
but how you can ennoble the ist of April I know 
not. 

By the way I had a thing to say, but a certain 
false modesty has hitherto prevented me : per- 
haps I can best communicate my wish by a hint, 
— my birthday is on the i oth of February, New 
Style ; but if it interferes with any remarkable 
event, why rather than my country should lose 
her fame, I care not if I put my nativity back 
eleven days. Fine family patronage for your Cal- 
endar, if that old lady of prolific memory were 
living, who lies (or lyes) in some church in 
London (saints forgive me, but I have forgot what 
church), attesting that enormous legend of as 
many children as days in the year. I marvel her 
impudence did not grasp at a leap-year. Three 
hundred and sixty-five dedications, and all in a 



family: you might spit in spirit on the oneness 
of Maecenas' patronage ! 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to the eternal regret 
of his native Devonshire, emigrates to West- 
phalia. " Poor Lamb (these were his last words), 
if he wants any knowledge, he may apply to me," 
— in ordinary cases, I thanked him, I have an 
Encyclopedia at hand, but on such an occasion 
as going over to a German university, I could 
not refrain from sending him the following pro- 
positions, to be by him defended or oppugned 
(or both) at Leipsic or Gottingen. 

[These queries are found in Letter xxxm, and need not be 
repeated here.] 

Samuel Taylor C. hath not deigned an answer; 
was it impertinent of me to avail myself of that 
offered source of knowledge ? 

Lloyd is returned to town from Ipswich where 
he has been with his brother. He has brought 
home three acts of a play which I have not yet 
read. The scene for the most part laid in a 
brothel. O tempora, O mores ! but as friend 
Coleridge said when he was talking bawdy to 
Miss , " to the pure all things are pure." 

Wishing Madoc may be born into the world 
with as splendid promise as the second birth 
or purification of the Maid of Neufchatel, — 
I remain yours sincerely, 

C. Lamb 

I hope Edith is better ; my kindest remem- 
156 



brances to her. You have a good deal of trifling 
to forgive in this letter. 

NOTE 

[This is Lamb's first letter to Southey that has been pre- 
served. Probably others came before it. Southey now becomes 
Lamb's chief correspondent for some months. In Canon 
Ainger's transcript the letter ends with "Love and remem- 
brances to Cottle."] 

XXXVI. — TO ROBERT LLOYD" 

August, 1798. 

My dear Robert, — Mary is better, and I trust 
that she will yet be restored to me. I am in 
good spirits, so do not be anxious about me : — 
I hope you get reconciled to your situation. The 
worst in it is that you have no friend to talk to ; 
but wait in patience, and you will in good time 
make friends. The having a friend is not indis- 
pensably necessary to virtue or happiness. Re- 
ligion removes those barriers of sentiment which 
partition us from the disinterested love of our 
brethren — we are commanded to love our ene- 
mies, to do good to those that hate us. How 
much more is it our duty then to cultivate a for- 
bearance and complaisance towards those who 
only differ from us in dispositions and ways of 
thinking. There is always, without very unusual 
care there must always be, something of self in 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological 
order, in the back of Vol. I. 

*S7 



friendship : we love our friend because he is like 
ourselves. Can consequences altogether unmix'd 
and pure be reasonably expected from such a 
source — do not even the publicans and sinners 

the same ? Say, that you love a friend for his 

moral qualities, — is it not rather because those 
qualities resemble what you fancy your own ? 

this then is not without danger. The 

only true cement of a valuable friendship, the 
only thing that even makes it not sinful, is when 
two friends propose to become mutually of bene- 
fit to each other in a moral or religious way. But 
even this friendship is perpetually liable to the 
mixture of something not pure — we love our 
friend, because he is ours : so we do our money, 
our wit, our knowledge, our virtue. And wher- 
ever this sense of appropriation and property enters, 
so much is to be subtracted from the value of 
that friendship or that virtue. Our duties are to 
do good expecting nothing again, to bear with 
contrary dispositions, to be candid and forgiving, 
not to crave and long after a communication of 
sentiment and feeling, but rather to avoid dwell- 
ing upon those feelings, however good, because 
they are our own. A man may be intemperate 
and selfish, who indulges in good feelings, for the 
mere pleasure they give him. I do not wish to 
deter you from making a friend, a true friend, 
and such a friendship where the parties are not 
blind to each other's faults, is very useful and 
valuable. I perceive a tendency in you to this 

i S 8 



error, Robert. I know you have chosen to take 
up an high opinion of my moral worth. But I 
say it before God, and I do not lie, you are mis- 
taken in me. I could not bear to lay open all 
my failings to you, for the sentiment of shame 
would be too pungent. Let this be as an exam- 
ple to you. 

Robert, friends fall off, friends mistake us, they 
change, they grow unlike us, they go away, they 
die ; but God is everlasting and uncapable of 
change, and to Him we may look with chearful, 
unpresumptuous hope, while we discharge the 
duties of life in situations more untowardly than 
yours. You complain of the impossibility of im- 
proving yourself, but be assur'd that the oppor- 
tunity of improvement lies more in the mind 
than the situation. Humble yourself before God, 
cast out the selfish principle, wait in patience, do 
good in every way you can to all sorts of people, 
never be easy to neglect a duty tho' a small one, 
praise God for all, and see His hand in all things, 
and He will in time raise you up many friends — 
or be Himself instead an unchanging Friend. 

God bless you. 

C. Lamb 

XXXVII. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

October 18, 1798. 

Dear Southey, — I have at last been so fortun- 
ate as to pick up Wither's Emblems for you, that 

159 



" old book and quaint," as the brief author of 
Rosamund Gray hath it ; it is in a most detestable 
state of preservation, and the cuts are of a fainter 
impression than I have seen. Some child, the 
curse of antiquaries and bane of bibliopolical 
rarities, hath been dabbling in some of them with 
its paint and dirty fingers, and in particular hath 
a little sullied the author's own portraiture, which 
I think valuable, as the poem that accompanies 
it is no common one ; this last excepted, the 
Emblems are far inferior to old Quarles. I once 
told you otherwise, but I had not then read old 
Q^ with attention. I have picked up, too, another 
copy of Quarles for ninepence ! ! ! O temporal O 
lectores! — so that if you have lost or parted with 
your own copy, say so, and I can furnish you, 
for you prize these things more than I do. You 
will be amused, I think, with honest Wither's 
" supersedeas to all them whose custom it is, 
without any deserving, to importune authors to 
give unto them their books." I am sorry 'tis 
imperfect, as the lottery board annexed to it also 
is. Methinks you might modernise and elegant- 
ise this supersedeas, and place it in front of your 
Joan of Arc, as a gentle hint to Messrs. Park, 
&c. One of the happiest emblems and comical- 
est cuts is the owl and little chirpers, page 63. 

Wishing you all amusement, which your true 
emblem-fancier can scarce fail to find in even 
bad emblems, I remain your caterer to com- 
mand, C. Lamb 

160 



IS 



Love and respects to Edith. I hope she 
well. How does your Calendar prosper ? 

XXXVIII. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

[October 29, 1798.] 

Dear Southey, — I thank you heartily for the 
eclogue ; it pleases me mightily, being so full 
of picture-work and circumstances. I find no 
fault in it, unless perhaps that Joanna's ruin is a 
catastrophe too trite : and this is not the first or 
second time you have clothed your indignation, 
in verse, in a tale of ruined innocence. The old 
lady, spinning in the sun, I hope would not 
disdain to claim some kindred with old Margaret. 
I could almost wish you to vary some circum- 
stances in the conclusion. A gentleman seducer 
has so often been described in prose and verse ; 
what if you had accomplished Joanna's ruin by 
the clumsy arts and rustic gifts of some country- 
fellow ? I am thinking, I believe, of the song, — 

"An old woman clothed in grey, 

Whose daughter was charming and young, 
And she was deluded away 

By Roger's false flattering tongue." 

A Roger-Lothario would be a novel character : 
I think you might paint him very well. You 
may think this a very silly suggestion, and so, 
indeed, it is ; but, in good truth, nothing else but 
the first words of that foolish ballad put me 
upon scribbling my Rosamund. But I thank you 

161 



heartily for the poem. Not having anything of 
my own to send you in return, — though, to tell 
truth, I am at work upon something, which if 
I were to cut away and garble, perhaps I might 
send you an extract or two that might not dis- 
please you ; but I will not do that ; and whether 
it will come to anything, I know not, for I am 
as slow as a Fleming painter when I compose 
anything. I will crave leave to put down a few 
lines of old Christopher Marlow's ; I take them 
from his tragedy, The Jew of Malta. The Jew 
is a famous character, quite out of nature ; but, 
when we consider the terrible idea our simple 
ancestors had of a Jew, not more to be discom- 
mended for a certain discolouring (I think 
Addison calls it) than the witches and fairies of 
Marlow's mighty successor. The scene is be- 
twixt Barabas, the Jew, and Ithamore, a Turkish 
captive exposed to sale for a slave. 

BARABAS 

{A precious rascal) 

As for myself, I walk abroad a-nights, 
And kill sick people groaning under walls : 
Sometimes I go about, and poison wells ; 
And now and then, to cherish Christian thieves, 
I am content to lose some of my crowns, 
That I may, walking in my gallery, 
See *m go pinioned along by my door. 
Being young, I studied physic, and began 
To practise first upon the Italian : 
There I enriched the priests with burials, 
162 






And always kept the sexton's arms in ure 

With digging graves and ringing dead men's knells ; 

And, after that, was I an engineer, 

And in the wars 'twixt France and Germany, 

Under pretence of serving [helping] Charles the Fifth, 

Slew friend and enemy with my stratagems. 

Then after that was I an usurer, 

And with extorting, cozening, forfeiting, 

And tricks belonging unto brokery, 

I fill'd the jails with bankrupts in a year, 

And with young orphans planted hospitals, 

And every moon made some or other mad ; 

And now and then one hang'd himself for grief, 

Pinning upon his breast a long great scroll, 

How I with interest tormented him. 

Now hear Ithamore, the other gentle nature, 
explain how he spent his time, — 

ITHAMORE 
{A comical dog) 

Faith, master, in setting Christian villages on fire, 

Chaining of eunuchs, binding galley-slaves. 

One time I was an hostler at an inn, 

And in the night-time secretly would I steal 

To travellers' chambers, and there cut their throats. 

Once at Jerusalem, where the pilgrims kneel'd, 

I strowed powder on the marble stones, 

And therewithal their knees would rankle so, 

That I have laugh'd a-good to see the cripples 

Go limping home to Christendom on stilts. 

BARABAS 
Why, this is something . . . 

There is a mixture of the ludicrous and the 
terrible in these lines, brimful of genius and an- 

163 



tique invention, that at first reminded me of 
your old description of cruelty in hell, which 
was in the true Hogarthian style. I need 
not tell you that Marlow was author of that 
pretty madrigal, " Come live with me, and be 
my love," and of the tragedy of " Edward II," 
in which are certain lines unequalled in our 
English tongue. Honest Walton mentions the 
said madrigal under the denomination of " cer- 
tain smooth verses made long since by Kit 
Marlow." 

I am glad you have put me on the scent after 
old Quarles. If I do not put up those eclogues, 
and that shortly, say I am no true-nosed hound. I 
have had a letter from Lloyd ; the young meta- 
physician of Caius is well, and is busy recanting 
the new heresy, metaphysics, for the old dogma, 
Greek. My sister, I thank you, is quite well. 
She had a slight attack the other day, which 
frightened me a good deal ; but it went off un- 
accountably. Love and respects to Edith. 
Yours sincerely, 

C. Lamb 

XXXIX. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

November 3, 1798. 

I have read your Eclogue repeatedly, and 
cannot call it bald, or without interest ; the cast 
of it and the design are completely original, and 
may set people upon thinking. It is as poetical 

164 



as the subject requires, which asks no poetry ; 
but it is defective in pathos. The woman's own 
story is the tamest part of it ; I should like 
you to remould that : it too much resembles the 
young maid's history ; both had been in service. 
Even the omission would not injure the poem : 
after the words " growing wants," you might, 
not unconnectedly, introduce "look at that 
little chub " down to " welcome one." And, 
decidedly, I would have you end it somehow 
thus, — 

Give them at least this evening good meal. 

[Gives her money. 
Now, fare thee well ; hereafter you have taught me 
To give sad meaning to the village bells, &c. 

which would leave a stronger impression (as 
well as more pleasingly recall the beginning of 
the Eclogue) than the present commonplace 
reference to a better world, which the woman 
"must have heard at church." I should like 
you too a good deal to enlarge the most strik- 
ing part, as it might have been, of the poem — 
" Is it idleness ?" &c. : that affords a good field 
for dwelling on sickness, and inabilities, and old 
age. And you might also a good deal enrich 
the piece with a picture of a country wedding. 
The woman might very well, in a transient fit of 
oblivion, dwell upon the ceremony and circum- 
stances of her own nuptials six years ago, the 
smugness of the bridegroom, the feastings, the 
cheap merriment, the welcomings, and the secret 

165 



envyings of the maidens; then dropping all 
this, recur to her present lot. 

I do not know that I can suggest anything 
else, or that I have suggested anything new or 
material. I do not much prefer this Eclogue to 
the last. Both are inferior to the former. 

And when he came to shake me by the hand, 
And spake as kindly to me as he used, 
I hardly knew his voice — 

is the only passage that affected me. When 
servants speak their language ought to be plain, 
and not much raised above the common, else I 
should find fault with the bathos of this pass- 
age, — 

And when I heard the bell strike out, 

I thought (what ?) that I had never heard it toll 

So dismally before. 

I like the destruction of the martens' old 
nests hugely, having just such a circumstance in 
my memory. I shall be very glad to see your 
remaining Eclogue, if not too much trouble, 
as you give me reason to expect it will be the 
second best. I shall be very glad to see some 
more poetry, though, I fear, your trouble in 
transcribing will be greater than the service my 
remarks may do them. 

Yours affectionately, 

C. Lamb 

I cut my letter short because I am called off 
to business. 

166 



XL. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

November 8, 1798. 

I perfectly accord with your opinion of old 
Wither. Quarles is a wittier writer, but Wither 
lays more hold of the heart. Quarles thinks of 
his audience when he lectures ; Wither solilo- 
quises in company with a full heart. What 
wretched stuff are the Divine Fancies of Quarles ! 
Religion appears to him no longer valuable than 
it furnishes matter for quibbles and riddles ; he 
turns God's grace into wantonness. Wither is 
like an old friend, whose warm-heartedness and 
estimable qualities make us wish he possessed 
more genius, but at the same time make us will- 
ing to dispense with that want. I always love 
Wither, and sometimes admire Quarles. Still 
that portrait poem is a fine one ; and the ex- 
tract from The Shepherds' Hunting places him in 
a starry height far above Quarles. If you wrote 
that review in the Critical Review, I am sorry you 
are so sparing of praise to the Ancient Marinere ; 
so far from calling it, as you do, with some wit, 
but more severity, "A Dutch Attempt," &c, 
I call it a right English attempt, and a successful 
one, to dethrone German sublimity. You have 
selected a passage fertile in unmeaning miracles, 
but have passed by fifty passages as miraculous 
as the miracles they celebrate. I never so deeply 
felt the pathetic as in that part, — 

167 



" A spring of love gush'd from my heart, 
And I bless'd them unaware " — 

It stung me into high pleasure through suffer- 
ings. Lloyd does not like it; his head is too 
metaphysical, and your taste too correct ; at least 
I must allege something against you both, to ex- 
cuse my own dotage, — 

" So lonely 't was, that God himself 
Scarce seemed there to be ! " &c, &c. 

But you allow some elaborate beauties : you 
should have extracted 'em. The Ancient Marinere 
plays more tricks with the mind than that last 
poem, which is yet one of the finest written. 
But I am getting too dogmatical ; and before 
I degenerate into abuse, I will conclude with 
assuring you that I am, 

Sincerely yours, 

C. Lamb 

I am going to meet Lloyd at Ware on Satur- 
day, to return on Sunday. Have you any com- 
mands or commendations to the metaphysician ? 
I shall be very happy if you will dine or spend 
any time with me in your way through the great 
ugly city ; but I know you have other ties upon 
you in these parts. 

Love and respects to Edith, and friendly re- 
membrances to Cottle. 



168 



XLL — TO ROBERT LLOYD 1 

London, November 13, 1798. 

Now 'tis Robert's turn. 

My dear Robert, — One passage in your Let- 
ter a little displeas'd me. The rest was nothing 
but kindness, which Robert's letters are ever 
brimful of. You say that " this world to you 
seems drain' d of all its sweets ! " — At first I had 
hoped you only meant to insinuate the high price 
of Sugar ! but I am afraid you meant more. 
O Robert, I don't know what you call sweet. 
Honey and the honeycomb, roses and violets, are 
yet in the earth. The sun and moon yet reign 
in Heaven, and the lesser lights keep up their 
pretty twinklings. Meats and drinks, sweet sights 
and sweet smells, a country walk, spring and au- 
tumn, follies and repentance, quarrels and recon- 
cilements, have all a sweetness by turns — good 
humour and good nature, friends at home that 
love you, and friends abroad that miss you — you 
possess all these things, and more innumerable : 
and these are all sweet things. You may extract 
honey from everything; do not go a gathering 
after gall. The Bees are wiser in their genera- 
tion than the race of sonnet writers and com- 
plainers : Bowleses and Charlotte Smiths, and all 
that tribe, who can see no joys, but what are past, 
and fill people's heads with notions of the un- 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological 
order, in the back of Vol. I. 

169 



satisfying nature of earthly comforts. I assure 
you I find this world a very pretty place. My 
kind love to all your sisters and to Thomas — 
he never writes to me — and tell Susanna I for- 
give her. C. Lamb 

XLIL — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

November 20, 1798. 

As the little copy of verses I sent gave Priscilla 
and Robert some pleasure, I now send them 
another little tale, which is all I can send, for my 
stock will be exhausted. 

'T is a tale of witchcraft, told by an old Stew- 
ard in the family to Margaret, the ward of Sir 
Walter Woodvil. Who Sir Walter is, you may 
come to know bye and bye, when I have finished 
a Poem, from which this and the other are 
extracts, and all the extracts I can make without 
mutilating. [See poem in Letter xliii to 
Southey, which need not be repeated here.] 

A mandrake [45th line of poem] is a root re- 
sembling the human form, as sometimes a carrot 
does, and the old superstition is, that when the 
mandrake is torn out of the earth a dreadful 
shriek is heard, which makes all who hear it go 
mad. 'T is a fatal poison besides. 

I will here conclude my tiny portion of prose 
with hoping you may like the story, and my 
kind remembrances to all. C. Lamb 

Write soon, Robert. 

170 



XLIIL — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

[Probably November, 1798.] 

The following is a second extract from my 
tragedy that is to be, — 't is narrated by an old 
steward to Margaret, orphan ward of Sir Walter 
Woodvil ; this, and the Dying Lover I gave you, 
are the only extracts I can give without muti- 
lation. I expect you to like the old woman's 
curse, — 

Old Steward. — One summer night, Sir Walter, as it 
chanc'd, 
Was pacing to and fro in the avenue 
That westward fronts our house, 
Among those aged oaks, said to have been planted 
Three hundred years ago 
By a neighb'ring Prior of the Woodvil name, 
But so it was, 

Being overtask't in thought, he heeded not 
The importune suitor who stood by the gate, 
And begg'd an alms. 

Some say he shov'd her rudely from the gate 
With angry chiding ; but I can never think 
(Sir Walter's nature hath a sweetness in it) 
That he would use a woman — an old woman — 
With such discourtesy ; 
For old she was who begg'd an alms of him. 
Well, he refus'd her; 
Whether for importunity, I know not, 
Or that she came between his meditations. 
But better had he met a lion in the streets 
Than this old woman that night; 
For she was one who practis'd the black arts, 
And served the devil — being since burn'd for witchcraft. 
She look'd at him like one that meant to blast him, 
And with a frightful noise 

I 7 I 



('T was partly like a woman's voice, 

And partly like the hissing of a snake) 

She nothing said but this (Sir Walter told the words) : 

" A mischief, mischief, mischief, 

And a nine-times killing curse, 
By day and by night, to the caitive wight 
Who shakes the poor like snakes from his door, 

And shuts up the womb of his purse; 
And a mischief, mischief, mischief, 

And a ninefold withering curse, — 
For that shall come to thee, that will render thee 

Both all that thou fear'st, and worse." 

These words four times repeated, she departed, 
Leaving Sir Walter like a man beneath 
Whose feet a scaffolding had suddenly fall'n : 
So he describ'd it. 

Margaret. — A terrible curse ! 

Old Steward. — O Lady, such bad things are told of that old 
woman, 
As, namely, that the milk she gave was sour, 
And the babe who suck'd her shrivel'd like a mandrake; 
And things besides, with a bigger horror in them, 
Almost, I think, unlawful to be told ! 

Margaret. — Then must I never hear them. But proceed, 
And say what follow'd on the witch's curse. 

Old Steward. — Nothing immediate ; but some nine months 
after, 
Young Stephen Woodvil suddenly fell sick, 
And none could tell what ail'd him : for he lay, 
And pin'd, and pin'd, that all his hair came off; 
And he, that was full-flesh'd, became as thin 
As a two-months' babe that hath been starved in the nursing; 
And sure, I think, 
He bore his illness like a little child, 
With such rare sweetness of dumb melancholy 
He strove to clothe his agony in smiles, 
Which he would force up in his poor, pale cheeks, 

172 



Like ill-tim'd guests that had no proper business there ; 

And when they ask'd him his complaint, he laid 

His hand upon his heart to show the place 

Where Satan came to him a nights, he said, 

And prick'd him with a pin. 

And hereupon Sir Walter call'd to mind 

The beggar witch that stood in the gateway, 

And begg'd an alms — 

Margaret. — I do not love to credit tales of magic. 
Heav'n's music, which is order, seems unstrung; 
And this brave world, 
Creation's beauteous work, unbeautified, 
Disorder' d, marr'd, where such strange things are acted. 

This is the extract I bragg'd of, as superior to 
that I sent you from Mario w. Perhaps you smile; 
but I should like your remarks on the above, as 
you are deeper witch-read than I. 

XLIV. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

November 28, 1798. 

I can have no objection to your printing Mystery 
of God with my name and all due acknowledg- 
ments for the honour and favour of the commu- 
nication ; indeed, 't is a poem that can dishonour 
no name. Now, that is in the true strain of mod- 
ern modesto-vanitas. But for the sonnet, I heartily 
wish it, as I thought it was, forgotten. If the 
exact circumstances under which I wrote could be 
known or told, it would be an interesting sonnet; 
but to an indifferent reader it must appear a very 
bald thing, certainly inadmissible in a compilation. 
I wish you could affix a different name to the 

J 73 



volume ; there is a contemptible book, a wretched 
assortment of vapid feelings, entitled Pratt's Glean- 
ings, which hath damned and impropriated the 
title for ever. Pray think of some other. The 
gentleman is better known (better had he re- 
mained unknown) by an Ode to Benevolence, writ- 
ten and spoken for and at the annual dinner of the 
Humane Society, who walk in procession once 
a-year, with all the objects of their charity before 
them, to return God thanks for giving them such 
benevolent hearts. 

I like Bishop Bruno; but not so abundantly as 
your Witch Ballad, which is an exquisite thing of 
its kind. 

I showed my Witch and Dying Lover to Dyer 
last night; but George could not comprehend 
how that could be poetry which did not go upon 
ten feet, as George and his predecessors had taught 
it to do; so George read me some lectures on the 
distinguishing qualities of the ode, the epigram, 
and the epic, and went home to illustrate his doc- 
trine by correcting a proof-sheet of his own lyr- 
ics. George writes odes where the rhymes, like 
fashionable man and wife, keep a comfortable dis- 
tance of six or eight lines apart, and calls that 
" observing the laws of verse." George tells you, 
before he recites, that you must listen with great 
attention, or you '11 miss the rhymes. I did so, 
and found them pretty exact. George, speaking 
of the dead Ossian, exclaimeth, " Dark are the 
poet's eyes." I humbly represented to him that 

174 



his own eyes were dark [Plight], and many a living 
bard's besides, and recommended " Clos'd are the 
poet's eyes." But that would not do. I found 
there was an antithesis between the darkness of 
his eyes and the splendour of his genius ; and I 
acquiesced. 

Your recipe for a Turk's poison is invaluable and 
truly Mario wish. . . . Lloyd objects to "shutting 
up the womb of his purse " in my Curse (which 
for a Christian witch in a Christian country is not 
too mild, I hope); do you object? I think there is 
a strangeness in the idea, as well as "shaking the 
poor like snakes from his door," which suits the 
speaker. Witches illustrate, as fine ladies do, from 
their own familiar objects, and snakes and the 
shutting up of wombs are in their way. I don't 
know that this last charge has been before brought 
against 'em, nor either the sour milk or the man- 
drake babe ; but I affirm these be things a witch 
would do if she could. 

My tragedy will be a medley (as I intend it 
to be a medley) of laughter and tears, prose and 
verse, and in some places rhyme, songs, wit, pathos, 
humour, and, if possible, sublimity ; at least, it is 
not a fault in my intention, if it does not compre- 
hend most of these discordant colours. Heaven 
send they dance not the Dance of Death! I hear 
that the Two Noble Englishmen have parted no 
sooner than they set foot on German earth, but I 
have not heard the reason — possibly, to give nov- 
elists an handle to exclaim, " Ah me ! what things 

ITS 



are perfect ?" I think I shall adopt your emenda- 
tion in the Dying Lover, though I do not myself 
feel the objection against Silent Prayer. 

My tailor has brought me home a new coat 
lapelled, with a velvet collar. He assures me 
everybody wears velvet collars now. Some are 
born fashionable, some achieve fashion, and 
others, like your humble servant, have fashion 
thrust upon them. The rogue has been making 
inroads hitherto, by modest degrees, foisting upon 
me an additional button, recommending gaiters ; 
but to come upon me thus in a full tide of luxury, 
neither becomes him as a tailor nor the ninth 
of a man. My meek gentleman was robbed the 
other day, coming with his wife and family in 
a one-horse shay from Hampstead ; the villains 
rirled him of four guineas, some shillings and half- 
pence,and a bundle of customers' measures, which 
they swore were bank-notes. They did not shoot 
him, and when they rode off he addrest them 
with profound gratitude, making la congee : " Gen- 
tlemen, I wish you good night, and we are very 
much obliged to you that you have not used us 
ill!" And this is the cuckoo that has had the 
audacity to foist upon me ten buttons on a side 
and a black velvet collar, — a damn'd ninth of 
a scoundrel ! 

When you write to Lloyd, he wishes his Jaco- 
bin correspondents to address him as Mr. C. L. 
Love and respects to Edith. I hope she is well. 

Yours sincerely, C. Lamb 

176 



XLV. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

December 27, 1798. 

Dear Southey, — Your friend John May has 
formerly made kind offers to Lloyd of serving 
me in the India house by the interest of his friend 
Sir Francis Baring — It is not likely that I shall 
ever put his goodness to the test on my own ac- 
count, for my prospects are very comfortable. 
But I know a man, a young man, whom he 
could serve thro' the same channel, and I think 
would be disposed to serve if he were acquainted 
with his case. This poor fellow (whom I know 
just enough of to vouch for his strict integrity 
and worth) has lost two or three employments 
from illness, which he cannot regain ; he was 
once insane, and from the distressful uncertainty 
of his livelihood has reason to apprehend a re- 
turn of that malady. He has been for some time 
dependent on a woman whose lodger he formerly 
was, but who can ill afford to maintain him, and 
I know that on Christmas night last he actually 
walk'd about the streets all night, rather than 
accept of her bed, which she offer' d him, and 
offer' d herself to sleep in the kitchen, and that 
in consequence of that severe cold he is labour- 
ing under a bilious disorder, besides a depression 
of spirits, which incapacitates him from exertion 
when he most needs it. For God's sake, Southey, 
if it does not go against you to ask favors, do it 
now, — ask it as for me ; but do not do a violence 

177 



to your feelings, because he does not know of 
this application, and will suffer no disappoint- 
ment. What I meant to say was this, — there 
are in the India house what are called extra clerks, 
not on the establishment, like me, but employed 
in extra business, by-jobs, — these get about ^50 
a year, or rather more, but never rise, — a direct- 
or can put in at any time a young man in this 
office, and it is by no means consider'd so great 
a favor as making an establish'd clerk. He would 
think himself as rich as an emperor if he could 
get such a certain situation, and be relieved from 
those disquietudes which I do fear may one day 
bring back his distemper. 

You know John May better than I do, but 
I know enough to believe that he is a good 
man; he did make me that offer I have men- 
tion'd, but you will perceive that such an offer 
cannot authorize me in applying for another 
person. 

But I cannot help writing to you on the sub- 
ject, for the young man is perpetually before 
my eyes, and I should feel it a crime not to strain 
all my petty interest to do him service, tho' I 
put my own delicacy to the question by so do- 
ing. I have made one other unsuccessful attempt 
already. 

At all events I will thank you to write, for I 
am tormented with anxiety. 

I suppose you have somewhere heard that poor 
Mary Dollin has poisoned herself, after some in- 

178 



terviews with John Reid, the ci-devant Alphonso 
of her days of hope. 

How is Edith ? C. Lamb 

XLVL — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

January 21, 1799. 

I am requested by Lloyd to excuse his not 
replying to a kind letter received from you. He 
is at present situated in most distressful family 
perplexities, which I am not at liberty to ex- 
plain ; but they are such as to demand all the 
strength of his mind, and quite exclude any at- 
tention to foreign objects. His brother Robert 
(the flower of his family) hath eloped from the 
persecutions of his father, and has taken shelter 
with me. What the issue of his adventure will be, 
I know not. He hath the sweetness of an angel 
in his heart, combined with admirable firmness 
of purpose ; an uncultivated, but very original, 
and, I think, superior genius. But this step of his 
is but a small part of their family troubles. 

I am to blame for not writing to you before 
on my own account; but I know you can dispense 
with the expressions of gratitude, or I should 
have thanked you before for all May's kindness. 
He has liberally supplied the person I spoke to 
you of with money, and had procured him a 
situation just after himself had lighted upon a 
similar one and engaged too far to recede. But 
May's kindness was the same, and my thanks to 

179 



you and him are the same. May went about on 
this business as if it had been his own. But you 
knew John May before this : so I will be silent. 
I shall be very glad to hear from you when 
convenient. I do not know how your Calendar 
and other affairs thrive ; but, above all, I have 
not heard a great while of your Madoc, — the 
opus magnum. I would willingly send you some- 
thing to give a value to this letter ; but I have 
only one slight passage to send you, scarce worth 
the sending, which I want to edge in somewhere 
into my play, which, by the way, hath not 
received the addition of ten lines, besides, since 
I saw you. A father, old Walter Woodvil (the 
witch's protege), relates this of his son John, who 
"fought in adverse armies," being a royalist, and 
his father a parliamentary man, — 

I saw him in the day of Worcester fight, 

Whither he came at twice seven years, 

Under the discipline of the Lord Falkland 

(His uncle by the mother's side, 

Who gave his youthful politics a bent 

Quite from the principles of his father's house) ; 

There did I see this valiant Lamb of Mars, 

This sprig of honour, this unbearded John, 

This veteran in green years, this sprout, this Woodvil 

(With dreadless ease guiding a fire-hot steed, 

Which seem'd to scorn the manage of a boy), 

Prick forth with such a mirth into the field, 

To mingle rivalship and acts of war 

Even with the sinewy masters of the art, — 

You would have thought the work of blood had been 

A play-game merely, and the rabid Mars 

Had put his harmful hostile nature off", 

180 



To instruct raw youth in images of war, 
And practice of the unedged players' foils. 
The rough fanatic and blood-practised soldiery 
Seeing such hope and virtue in the boy, 
Disclosed their ranks to let him pass unhurt, 
Checking their swords' uncivil injuries, 
As loth to mar that curious workmanship 
Of Valour's beauty pourtray'd in his face. 

Lloyd objects to "pourtrayed in his face," — 
do you ? I like the line. 

I shall clap this in somewhere. I think there 
is a spirit through the lines; perhaps the 7th, 8th, 
and 9th owe their origin to Shakspeare, though 
no image is borrowed. 

He says in " Henry the Fourth " — 

This infant Hotspur, 
Mars in swathing clothes. 

But pray did Lord Falkland die before Worces- 
ter fight? In that case I must make bold to 
unclify some other nobleman. 
Kind love and respects to Edith. 

C. Lamb 

XLVIL — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

[Late January or early February, 1799.] 

Dear Southey, — Lloyd will now be able to 
give you an account of himself, so to him I leave 
you for satisfaction. Great part of his troubles 
are lightened by the partial recovery of his sis- 
ter, who had been alarmingly ill with similar 
diseases to his own. The other part of the family 

181 



troubles sleeps for the present, but I fear will 
awake at some future time to confound and dis- 
unite. He will probably tell you all about it. 
Robert still continues here with me ; his father 
has proposed nothing, but would willingly lure 
him back with fair professions. But Robert is 
endowed with a wise fortitude, and in this busi- 
ness has acted quite from himself, and wisely 
acted. His parents must come forward in the 
end. I like reducing parents to a sense of unduti- 
fulness. I like confounding the relations of life. 
Pray let me see you when you come to town, 
and contrive to give me some of your company. 
I thank you heartily for your intended pre- 
sents, but do by no means see the necessity you 
are under of burthening yourself thereby. You 
have read old Wither's Supersedeas to small pur- 
pose. You object to my pauses being at the 
end of my lines. I do not know any great diffi- 
culty I should find in diversifying or changing 
my blank verse ; but I go upon the model of 
Shakspere in my Play, and endeavour after a 
colloquial ease and spirit, something like him. 
I could so easily imitate Milton's versification ; 
but my ear and feeling would reject it, or any 
approaches to it, in the drama. I do not know 
whether to be glad or sorry that witches have 
been detected aforetimes in shutting up of wombs. 
I certainly invented that conceit, and its coinci- 
dence with fact is incidental [? accidental], for 
I never heard it. I have not seen those verses 

182 



on Col. Despard : I do not read any newspapers. 
Are they short, to copy without much trouble'? 
I should like to see them. 

I just send you a few rhymes from my play, 
the only rhymes in it, — a forest-liver giving an 
account of his amusements, — 

What sports have you in the forest ? 

Not many, — some few, — as thus, 

To see the sun to bed, and see him rise, 

Like some hot amourist with glowing eyes, 

Bursting the lazy bands of sleep that bound him, 

With all his fires and travelling glories round him : 

Sometimes the moon on soft night-clouds to rest, 

Like beauty nestling in a young man's breast, 

And all the winking stars, her handmaids, keep 

Admiring silence, while those lovers sleep : 

Sometimes outstretch'd in very idleness, 

Nought doing, saying little, thinking less, 

To view the leaves, thin dancers upon air, 

Go eddying round ; and small birds how they fare, 

When mother Autumn fills their beaks with corn, 

Filch'd from the careless Amalthea's horn; 

And how the woods berries and worms provide, 

Without their pains, when earth hath nought beside 

To answer their small wants ; 

To view the graceful deer come trooping by, 

Then pause, and gaze, then turn they know not why, 

Like bashful younkers in society ; 

To mark the structure of a plant or tree ; 

And all fair things of earth, how fair they be ! &c, &c. 

I love to anticipate charges of unoriginality : 
the first line is almost Shakspere's, — 

To have my love to bed and to arise. 

Midsummer Night's Dream. 

I think there is a sweetness in the versification 
183 



not unlike some rhymes in that exquisite play, 
and the last line but three is yours, — 

An eye 
That met the gaze, or turn'd it knew not why. 

Rosamund' s Epistle. 

I shall anticipate all my play, and have nothing 
to shew you. 

An idea for Leviathan, — 

Commentators on Job have been puzzled to 
find out a meaning for Leviathan, — 't is a whale, 
say some ; a crocodile, say others. In my simple 
conjecture, Leviathan is neither more nor less 
than the Lord Mayor of London for the time 
being. 

Rosamund sells well in London, maugre the 
non-reviewal of it. 

I sincerely wish you better health, and better 
health to Edith. Kind remembrances to her. 

C. Lamb 

If you come to town by Ash Wensday [Feb- 
ruary 6], you will certainly see Lloyd here — 
I expect him by that time. 

My sister Mary was never in better health or 
spirits than now. 

XLVIII. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

March 15, 1799. 

Dear Southey, — I have received your little 
volume, for which I thank you, though I do 

184 



not entirely approve of this sort of intercourse, 
where the presents are all one side. I have read 
the last eclogue again with great pleasure. It 
hath gained considerably by abridgment, and 
now I think it wants nothing but enlargement. 
You will call this one of tyrant Procrustes' criti- 
cisms, to cut and pull so to his own standard ; 
but the old lady is so great a favourite with me, 
I want to hear more of her ; and of Joanna you 
have given us still less. But the picture of the 
rustics leaning over the bridge, and the old lady 
travelling abroad on a summer evening to see 
her garden watered, are images so new and true, 
that I decidedly prefer this Ruin'd Cottage to any 
poem in the book. Indeed I think it the only one 
that will bear comparison with your Hymn to the 
Penates in a former volume. 

I compare dissimilar things, as one would a 
rose and a star for the pleasure they give us, or 
as a child soon learns to choose between a cake 
and a rattle ; for dissimilars have mostly some 
points of comparison. The next best poem, I 
think, is the first eclogue ; 't is very complete, 
and abounding in little pictures and realities. 
The remainder eclogues, excepting only the 
Funeral, I do not greatly admire. I miss one, 
which had at least as good a title to publication 
as the Witch, or the Sailor s Mother. You call'd 
it the Last of the Family. The Old Woman of 
Berkeley comes next ; in some humours I would 
give it the preference above any. But who the 

185 



devil is Matthew of Westminster ? You are as 
familiar with these antiquated monastics, as Swe- 
denborg, or, as his followers affect to call him, 
the Baron, with his invisibles. But you have 
raised a very comic effect out of the true narra- 
tive of Matthew of Westminster. 'T is surprising 
with how little addition you have been able to 
convert with so little alteration his incidents, 
meant for terror, into circumstances and food for 
the spleen. The Parody is not so successful ; it 
has one famous line indeed, which conveys the 
finest death-bed image I ever met with, — 

The doctor whisper'd the nurse, and the surgeon knew what 
he said. 

But the offering the bride three times bears 
not the slightest analogy or proportion to the 
fiendish noises three times heard ! In Jaspar, 
the circumstance of the great light is very affect- 
ing. But I had heard you mention it before. 
The Rose is the only insipid piece in the volume ; 
it hath neither thorns nor sweetness, and, besides, 
sets all chronology and probability at defiance. 

Cousin Margaret, you know, I like. The allu- 
sions to the Pilgrim's Progress are particularly 
happy, and harmonise tacitly and delicately with 
old cousins and aunts. To familiar faces we do 
associate familiar scenes and accustomed objects ; 
but what hath Apollidon and his sea-nymphs to 
do in these affairs ? Apolyon I could have borne, 
though he stands for the devil ; but who is Apol- 
lidon ? I think you are too apt to conclude 

186 



faintly, with some cold moral, as in the end of 
the poem called 'The Victory, — 

Be thou her comforter, who art the widow's friend ; 

a single commonplace line of comfort, which 
bears no proportion in weight or number to the 
many lines which describe suffering. This is to 
convert religion into mediocre feelings, which 
should burn and glow and tremble. A moral 
should be wrought into the body and soul, the 
matter and tendency, of a poem, not tagged to 
the end, like a " God send the good ship into 
harbour," at the conclusion of our bills of lading. 
The finishing of the Sailor is also imperfect. Any 
dissenting minister may say and do as much. 

These remarks, I know, are crude and un- 
wrought; but I do not lay claim to much accurate 
thinking. I never judge system-wise of things, 
but fasten upon particulars. After all, there is 
a great deal in the book that I must, for time, 
leave unmentioned, to deserve my thanks for its 
own sake, as well as for the friendly remem- 
brances implied in the gift. I again return you 
my thanks. 

Pray present my love to Edith. C. L. 

XLIX. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

March 20, 1799. 

I am hugely pleased with your Spider, "your 
old freemason," as you call him. The three first 

187 



stanzas are delicious ; they seem to me a com- 
pound of Burns and Old Quarles, those kind of 
home-strokes, where more is felt than strikes the 
ear ; a terseness, a jocular pathos, which makes 
one feel in laughter. The measure, too, is novel 
and pleasing. I could almost wonder Rob. Burns 
in his lifetime never stumbled upon it. The fourth 
stanza is less striking, as being less original. The 
fifth falls off. It has no felicity of phrase, no old- 
fashioned phrase or feeling. 

Young hopes, and love's delightful dreams, 

savour neither of Burns nor Quarles ; they seem 
more like shreds of many a modern sentimental 
sonnet. The last stanza hath nothing striking in 
it, if I except the two concluding lines, which 
are Burns all over. I wish, if you concur with me, 
these things could be looked to. I am sure this 
is a kind of writing, which comes tenfold better 
recommended to the heart, comes there more like 
a neighbour or familiar, than thousands of Ham- 
uels and Zillahs and Madelons. 

I beg you will send me the Holly-tree, if it at all 
resemble this, for it must please me. I have never 
seen it. I love this sort of poems, that open a new 
intercourse with the most despised of the animal 
and insect race. I think this vein may be further 
opened : Peter Pindar hath very prettily apostro- 
phised a fly; Burns hath his mouse and his louse ; 
Coleridge, less successfully, hath made overtures 
of intimacy to a jackass, therein only following 

188 



at unresembling distance Sterne and greater Cer- 
vantes. Besides these, I know of no other examples 
of breaking down the partition between us and 
our " poor earth-born companions." 

It is sometimes revolting to be put in a track 
of feeling by other people, not one's own immedi- 
ate thoughts, else I would persuade you, if I could 
(I am in earnest), to commence a series of these 
animal poems, which might have a tendency to 
rescue some poor creatures from the antipathy of 
mankind. Some thoughts come across me ; for 
instance, to a rat, to a toad, to a cockchafer, to a 
mole, people bake moles alive by a slow oven-fire 
to cure consumption. Rats are, indeed, the most 
despised and contemptible parts of God's earth. 
I killed a rat the other day by punching him to 
pieces, and feel a weight of blood upon me to this 
hour. Toads you knoware made to fly, and tumble 
down and crush all to pieces. Cockchafers are old 
sport ; then again to a worm, with an apostrophe 
to anglers, those patient tyrants, meek inflictors of 
pangs intolerable, cool devils ; to an owl ; to all 
snakes, with an apology for their poison ; to a cat 
in boots or bladders. Your own fancy, if it takes 
a fancy to these hints, will suggest many more. 

A series of such poems, suppose them accom- 
panied with plates descriptive of animal torments, 
cooks roasting lobsters, fishmongers crimping 
skates, &c, &c, would take excessively. I will 
willingly enter into a partnership in the plan with 
you: I think my heart and soul would go with 

189 



it too, at least, give it a thought. My plan is but 
this minute come into my head; but it strikes 
me instantaneously as something new, good and 
useful, full of pleasure and full of moral. If old 
Quarles and Wither could live again, we would 
invite them into our firm. Burns hath done his 
part. 

I the other day threw off an extempore epitaph 
on Ensign Peacock of the 3rd Regt. of the Royal 
East India Volunteers, who like other boys in 
this scarlet tainted age was ambitious of playing 
at soldiers, but dying in the first flash of his val- 
our was at the particular instance of his relations 
buried with military honours ! like any veteran 
scarr'd or chopt from Blenheim or Ramilies. 
(He was buried in sash and gorget.) 

MARMOR LOQUITUR 

Here lies a Volunteer so fine, 
Who died of a decline, 
As you or I, may do one day ; 
Reader, think of this, I pray ; 
And I humbly hope you '11 drop a tear 
For my poor Royal Volunteer. 
He was as brave as brave could be, 
Nobody was so brave as he ; 
He would have died in Honor's bed, 
Only he died at home instead. 
Well may the Royal Regiment swear, 
They never had such a Volunteer. 
But whatsoever they may say, 
Death is a man that will have his way : 
Tho' he was but an ensign in this world of pain ; 
In the next we hope he '11 be a captain. 
190 



And without meaning to make any reflection on his mentals, 
He begg'd to be buried in regimentals. 

Sed hae sunt lamentabilis nugae — but 't is as good 
as some epitaphs you and I have read together in 
Christ-Church-yard. 

Poor Sam Le Grice ! I am afraid the world, 
and the camp, and the university, have spoilt him 
among them. 'Tis certain he had at one time a 
strong capacity of turning out something better. 
I knew him, and that not long since, when he 
had a most warm heart. I am ashamed of the 
indifference I have sometimes felt towards him. 
I think the devil is in one's heart. I am under 
obligations to that man for the warmest friend- 
ship and heartiest sympathy, even for an agony 
of sympathy exprest both by word and deed, and 
tears for me, when I was in my greatest distress. 
But I have forgot that ! as, I fear, he has nigh for- 
got the awful scenes which were before his eyes 
when he served the office of a comforter to me. 
No service was too mean or troublesome for him 
to perform. I can't think what but the devil, 
" that old spider," could have suck'd my heart 
so dry of its sense of all gratitude. If he does come 
in your way, Southey, fail not to tell him that 
I retain a most affectionate remembrance of his 
old friendliness, and an earnest wish to resume 
our intercourse. In this I am serious. I cannot 
recommend him to your society, because I am 
afraid whether he be quite worthy of it. But 
I have no right to dismiss him from my regard. 

191 



He was at one time, and in the worst of times, 
my own familiar friend, and great comfort to me 
then. I have known him to play at cards with 
my father, meal-times excepted, literally all day 
long, in long days too, to save me from being 
teased by the old man, when I was not able to 
bear it. 

God bless him for it, and God bless you, 
Southey. C. L. 

L. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

[? September — October 1799.] 

My dear Robert, — I suppose by this time you 
have returned from Worcester with Uncle Ne- 
hemiah. You neglected to inform me whether 
Charles is yet at Birmingham]. I have heard 
here, that he is returned to Cambridge. Give him 
a gentle tap on the shoulder to remind him how 
truly acceptable a letter from him would be. I 
have nothing to write about. 

Thomson remains with me. He is perpetually 
getting into mental vagaries. He is in Love and 
tosses and tumbles about in his bed, like a man in 
a barrel of spikes. He is more sociable ; but I am 
heartily sick of his domesticating with me ; he 
wants so many sympathies of mine, and I want his, 
that we are daily declining into civility. I shall be 
truly glad when he is gone. I find 't is a dangerous 
experiment to grow too familiar. Some natures 
cannot bear it without converting into indifference 

192 



— I know but one being that I could ever consent to 
live perpetually with, and that is Robert. But Rob- 
ert must go whither prudence and paternal regu- 
lations indicate a way. I shall not soon forget you 
— do not fear that — nor grow cool towards Rob- 
ert. My not writing is no proof of these disloyal- 
ties. Perhaps I am unwell, or vexed, or spleen'd, 
or something, when I should otherwise write. 

Assure Charles of my unalterable affection, and 
present my warmest wishes for his and Sophia's 
happiness. How goes on Priscilla ? I am much 
pleased with his Poems in the Anthology — one in 
particular. The other is a kind and no doubt just 
tribute to Robert and Olivia ; but I incline to opin- 
ion that these domestic addresses should not always 
be made public. I have, I know, more than once 
exposed my own secretest feelings of that nature, 
but I am sorry that I did. — Nine out often readers 
laugh at them. When a man dies leaving the name 
of a great Author behind him, any unpublished 
relicks which let one into his domestic retire- 
ments are greedily gathered up, which in his life- 
time, and before his fame had ripened, would by 
many be considered as impertinent. But if Robert 
and his sister were gratify' d with seeing their 
brother's heart in print, let the rest of the world 
go hang. They may prefer the remaining trump- 
ery of the Anthology. 

All I mean to say is, I think I perceive an in- 
delicacy in thus exposing one's virtuous feelings 
to criticism. But of delicacy Charles is at least as 

IQ 3 



true a judge as myself. Pray request him to let 
me somehow have a sight of his novel. I declined 
offering it here for sale for good reasons as I 
thought — being unknown to Booksellers, and not 
made for making bargains — but for that reason 
I am not to be punished with not seeing the book. 
I shall count it a kindness if Chas. will send me 
the manuscript, whichshall certainly be returned. 
[Remainder of letter missing.] 

LI. — TO ROBERT SOUTHEY 

October 31, 1799. 

Dear Southey, — I have but just got your let- 
ter, being returned from Herts, where I have 
passed a few red-letter days with much pleasure. 
I would describe the county to you, as you have 
done by Devonshire, but, alas ! I am a poor pen 
at that same. I could tell you of an old house 
with a tapestry bed-room, the " Judgment of Sol- 
omon " composing one panel, and " Actaeon spy- 
ing Diana naked" the other. I could tell of an 
old marble hall, with Hogarth's prints and the 
Roman Caesars in marble hung round. I could 
tell of a wilderness, and of a village church, and 
where the bones of my honoured grandam lie; 
but there are feelings which refuse to be trans- 
lated, sulky aborigines, which will not be natural- 
ised in another soil. Of this nature are old family 
faces and scenes of infancy. 

I have given your address, and the books you 
194 



want, to the Arches ; they will send them as soon 
as they can get them, but they do not seem quite 
familiar to their names. I have seen Gebor! 
Gebor aptly so denominated from Geborish, quasi 
Gibberish. But Gebor hath some lucid intervals. 
I remember darkly one beautiful simile veiled in 
uncouth phrases about the youngest daughter of 
the Ark. 

I shall have nothing to communicate, I fear, 
to the Anthology. You shall have some fragments 
of my play, if you desire them, but I think I 
would rather print it whole. Have you seen it, 
or shall I lend you a copy ? I want your opinion 
of it. 

I must get to business, so farewell. My kind 
remembrances to Edith. 

C. Lamb 

LII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

December, 1799. 

Dear Manning, — The particular kindness, 
even up to a degree of attachment, which I have 
experienced from you, seems to claim some dis- 
tinct acknowledgment on my part. I could not 
content myself with a bare remembrance to you, 
conveyed in some letter to Lloyd. 

Will it be agreeable to you, if I occasionally 
recruit your memory of me, which must else soon 
fade, if you consider the brief intercourse we have 
had ? I am not likely to prove a troublesome 

195 



correspondent. My scribbling days are past. 
I shall have no sentiments to communicate, but 
as they spring up from some living and worthy 
occasion. 

I look forward with great pleasure to the per- 
formance of your promise, that we should meet 
in London early in the ensuing year. The cen- 
tury must needs commence auspiciously for me, 
that brings with it Manning's friendship, as an 
earnest of its after gifts. 

I should have written before, but for a trouble- 
some inflammation in one of my eyes, brought on 
by night travelling with the coach windows some- 
times up. 

What more I have to say shall be reserved for 
a letter to Lloyd. I must not prove tedious to you 
in my first outside [outset], lest I should affright 
you by my ill-judged loquacity. 

I am, yours most sincerely, 

C. Lamb 



NOTE 

[This is the first letter that has been preserved in the im- 
portant correspondence between Lamb and Manning. Lamb 
first met Manning at Cambridge, in the autumn of 1799, 
when on a visit to Charles Lloyd. Much of Manning's his- 
tory will be unfolded as the letters proceed, but here it should 
be stated that he was born on November 8, 1772, and was 
thus a little more than two years older than Lamb. He was 
at this time acting as private tutor in mathematics at Cam- 
bridge, among his pupils being Charles Lloyd, of Caius, Man- 
ning's own college. Manning, however, did not take his de- 
gree, owing to an objection to oaths and tests.] 

I96 



LIII. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

17 December, '99. 

Dear Rab, — Thy presents will be most accept- 
able, whenever they come, both for thy sake, and 
for the liquor, which is a beverage I most admire. 
Wine makes me hot, and brandy makes me drunk, 
but porter warms without intoxication ; and ele- 
vates, yet not too much above the point of tran- 
quillity. But I hope Robert will come himself, 
before the tap is out. He may be assured, that his 
good honest company is the most valuable present, 
after all, he can make us. These cold nights crave 
something, beside porter; good English mirth 
and heart's ease. Rob must contrive to pass some 
of his Christmas with us, or at least drink in the 
century with a welcome. 

I have not seen your father or Priscilla since. 
Your father was in one of his best humours (I 
have seldom seen him in one not good), — and 
after dinner, while we were sitting comfortably 
before the parlour fire, after our wine, he beck- 
oned me suddenly out of the room. I, expecting 
some secrets, followed him, but it was only to go 
and sit with him in the old forsaken compting 
house; which he declared to be the pleasantest 
spot in the house to him, and told me how much 
business used to be done there in former days. 
Your father whimsically mixes the good man and 
the man of business in his manners, but he is not 
less a good man for being a man of business. 

197 



He has conceived great hopes of thy one day 
uniting both characters, and I joyfully expect the 
same. 

I hope to see Priscilla, for the first time, some 
day the end of this week, but think it at least 
dubious, as she stays in town but one day, I think 
your father said. 

I wonder Rob could think I should take his 
presents in evil part. I am sure from him they 
are the genuine result of a sincere friendship, not 
immediately knowing how better to express it- 
self. I shall enjoy them with tenfold gust, as be- 
ing his presents. At the same time, I must remind 
him that such expressions, if too thickly repeated, 
would be in danger of proving oppressive. 

I am not fond of presents all on one side, and 
Rob knows I have little to present to him, ex- 
cept the assurances of an undiminished and an 
undiminishable friendship. Rob will take as a 
hint what his friend does not mean as an affront 
— I hope our friendship will stand firm, with- 
out the help of scaffolding. 

At the same time I am determined to enjoy 
Robert's present, and to drink his health in his 
own porter, and I hope he will be able to par- 
take with us. Bread and cheese and a hearty sym- 
pathy may prove no bad supplement to Robert's 
good old English beverage. Charles has not writ- 
ten to me since I saw him. I trust he goes on 
as comfortably as I witness'd. — No husband and 
wife can be happier than Sophia and your brother 

198 



appear to be in each other's company. Robert 
must marry next — I look to see him get the 
start of Wordsworth and Priscilla, whom yet I 
wish to see united. 

Farewell, dearest Rab, 

C. L. 

Mary joins with me in remembrances to Rob- 
ert, and in expectation of the coming beverage — 
Do you think you shall be able to come ? — 
Monday night, just porter time. 

LIV. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

December 28, 1799. 

Dear Manning, — Having suspended my cor- 
respondence a decent interval, as knowing that 
even good things may be taken to satiety, a wish 
cannot but recur to learn whether you be still 
well and happy. Do all things continue in the 
state I left them in Cambridge ? I dined with 
him in town and breakfasted with him and Pris- 
cilla, who you may tell Charles has promised to 
come and see me when she returns [to] Clapham. 
I will write to Charles on Monday. 

Do your night parties still flourish ? and do you 
continue to bewilder your company with your 
thousand faces, running down thro' all the keys 
of Idiotism (like Lloyd over his perpetual harp- 
sichord), from the smile and the glimmer of half- 
sense and quarter-sense, to the grin and the hanging 

199 



lip of Betty Foy's own Johnny ? And does the 
face-dissolving curfew sound at twelve ? How 
unlike the great originals were your petty ter- 
rors in the postscript ! not fearful enough to 
make a fairy shudder, or a Lilliputian fine lady, 
eight months full of child, miscarry. Yet one 
of them, which had more beast than the rest, 
I thought faintly resembled one of your brutifica- 
tions. But, seriously, I long to see your own 
honest Manning-face again. I did not mean a 
pun, — your man's face, you will be apt to say, 
I know your wicked will to pun. I cannot now 
write to Lloyd and you too ; so you must convey 
as much interesting intelligence as this may con- 
tain, or be thought to contain, to him and Sophia, 
with my dearest love and remembrances. 

By the bye, I think you and Sophia both in- 
correct with regard to the title of the play. Al- 
lowing your objection (which is not necessary, 
as pride may be, and is in real life often, cured 
by misfortunes not directly originating from its 
own acts, as Jeremy Taylor will tell you a naughty 
desire is sometimes sent to cure it ; I know you 
read these practical divines) ; — but allowing your 
objection, does not the betraying of his father's 
secret directly spring from pride ? — from the 
pride of wine, and a full heart, and a proud over- 
stepping of the ordinary rules of morality, and 
contempt of the prejudices of mankind, which 
are not to bind superior souls — "as trust in the 
matter of secrets all ties of blood, &c, &c, keep- 

200 



ing of promises , the feeble mind's religion, bind- 
ing our morning knowledge to the performance of 
what last night's ignorance spake " — does he not 
prate, that " Great Spirits " must do more than 
die for their friend ? Does not the pride of wine 
incite him to display some evidence of friend- 
ship, which its own irregularity shall make great ? 
This I know, that I meant his punishment not 
alone to be a cure for his daily and habitual 
pride, but the direct consequence and appropriate 
punishment of a particular act of pride. 

If you do not understand it so, it is my fault 
in not explaining my meaning. 

I have not seen Coleridge since, and scarcely 
expect to see him, — perhaps he has been at 
Cambridge. 

Need I turn over to blot a fresh clean half- 
sheet, merely to say, what I hope you are sure 
of without my repeating it, that I would have 
you consider me, dear Manning, 
Your sincere friend, 

C. Lamb 

What is your proper address ? 

Is Mr. Lloyd at Cambridge ? He talked uncer- 
tainly of going. I dined with him in town, and 
breakfasted with him and Priscilla, who, you may 
tell Charles, has promised to come and see me 
when she returns from Clapham. I will write 
to Charles on Monday. 



201 



LV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

January 2, 1800. 

Dear Coleridge, — Now I write, I cannot miss 
this opportunity of acknowledging the obliga- 
tions myself, and the readers in general of that 
luminous paper, the Morning Post, are under to 
you for the very novel and exquisite manner in 
which you combined political with grammatical 
science, in your yesterday's dissertation on Mr. 
Wyndham's unhappy composition. It must have 
been the death-blow to that ministry. I expect 
Pitt and Grenville to resign. More especially the 
delicate and Cottrellian grace with which you 
officiated, with a ferula for a white wand, as gen- 
tleman usher to the word " also," which it seems 
did not know its place. 

I expect Manning of Cambridge in town to- 
night; will you fulfil your promise of meeting 
him at my house? He is a man of a thousand. 
Give me a line to say what day, whether Satur- 
day, Sunday, Monday, &c, and if Sara and the 
Philosopher can come. I am afraid if I did not 
at intervals call upon you, I should never see you. 
But I forget, the affairs of the nation engross your 
time and your mind. 

Farewell, C. L. 

NOTE 

[The first letter that has been preserved of the second 
period of Lamb's correspondence with Coleridge, which was 
to last until the end.] 

202 



LVI. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

February 13, 1800. 

Dear Manning, — Olivia is a good girl, and if 
you turn to my letter you will find that this very 
plea you set up to vindicate Lloyd, I had made 
use of as a reason why he should never have em- 
ployed Olivia to make a copy of such a letter ! 
— a letter I could not have sent to my enemy's 
bitch, if she had thought proper to seek me in the 
way of marriage. But you see it in one view, I in 
another. Rest you merry in your opinion ! Opin- 
ion is a species of property; and though I am 
always desirous to share with my friend to a cer- 
tain extent, I shall ever like to keep some tenets, 
and some property, properly my own. 

Some day, Manning, when we meet, substitut- 
ing Corydon and fair Amaryllis, for Charles 
Lloyd and Mary Hayes, we will discuss together 
this question of moral feeling, " In what cases, 
and how far, sincerity is a virtue." I do not 
mean Truth, a good Olivia-like creature, God 
bless her, who, meaning no offence, is always 
ready to give an answer when she is asked why 
she did so and so ; but a certain forward-talking 
half-brother of hers, Sincerity, that amphibious 
gentleman, who is so ready to perk up his obnox- 
ious sentiments unasked into your notice, as Midas 
would his ears into your face, uncalled for. But 
I despair of doing anything by a letter in the way 
of explaining or coming to explanations. 

203 



A good wish, or a pun, or a piece of secret his- 
tory, may be well enough that way convey'd ; 
nay, it has been known, that intelligence of a tur- 
key hath been conveyed by that medium without 
much ambiguity. 

Godwin I am a good deal pleased with. He 
is a well-behaved, decent man ; nothing very bril- 
liant about him or imposing, as you may suppose; 
quite another guess sort of gentleman from what 
your Anti-jacobin Christians imagine him. I 
was well pleased to find he has neither horns nor 
claws ; quite a tame creature, I assure you : a mid- 
dle-sized man, both in stature and in understand- 
ing ; whereas, from his noisy fame, you would 
expect to find a Briareus Centimanus, or a Tityus 
tall enough to pull Jupiter from his heavens. 

I begin to think you atheists not quite so tall 
a species! Coleridge inquires after you pretty 
often. I wish to be the Pandar to bring you to- 
gether again once before I day [die]. When we 
die, you and I must part; the sheep, you know, 
take the right-hand sign-post, and the goats the 
left. Stript of its allegory, you must know the 
sheep are /, and the Apostles, and the martyrs, 
and the Popes, and Bishop Taylor, and Bishop 
Horsley, and Coleridge, &c, &c. The goats are 
the atheists, and adulterers, and fornicators, and 

dumb dogs, and Godwin, and M g, and that 

Thyestaean crew ! Yaw ! how my saintship sick- 
ens at the idea! 

You shall have my play and the FalstafF's 
204 



Letters in a day or two. I will write to Ll[oyd] 
by this day's Post. 

Pray, is it a part of your sincerity to show my 
letters to Lloyd ? for, really, gentlemen ought to 
explain their virtues upon a first acquaintance, 
to prevent mistakes. 

God bless you, Manning. Take my trifling 
as trifling; and believe me, seriously and deeply, 
Your well-wisher and friend, 

C. L. 

LVII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 1 

[February, 1800.] 

Lloyd's letter to Miss Hays I look upon to be 
a most curious specimen of the apologetic style. 
How a man could write such a letter to a woman, 
and dream that there was in it any tendency to 
soothe or conciliate, from no analogous operations 
in my own wrong brain can I explain. " Mary 
Hays, I said that I believed that you were in love 
with me." " I had heard several times repeated 
that you had loved both Godwin and friend, more- 
over I had heard several times repeated that all 
your first novel was but a transcript of letters sent 
by yourself to the latter gentleman. I have been 
told this so often that it seems to my mind like 
a general report. I have heard it in all places." 
" Dr. Reid and I were laughing in the wantonness 

1 A facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological order, in the 
back of Vol. I. 

205 



in which our sex too often indulges at the con- 
sequence of your theories, and I most wickedly 
&c.'d." (In God's name, how came he and the 
Dr. so graciously familiar, just after he had discov- 
ered the Dr.'s complete worthlessness and wick- 
edness?) "I most wickedly exprest myself as if 
I thought you would in conduct demonstrate all 
that you proposed in speculation ! I did not say 
this grossly." (Wheugh ! Wheugh ! what a deli- 
cate invention, how to call a woman a whore, and 
not be indictable in the Spiritual Courts ! ) "In 
the confounding medley of ordinary conversation, 
I have interwoven my abhorrence of your princi- 
ples with a glanced contempt for your personal 
character." But " in spite of all these inconsist- 
encies I am your friend, and for the future, if 
we maintain our intercourse, will prove to you 
by conduct how severely I condemn the past." 
C. Lloyd must have a damned " spite to incon- 
sistencies," if he can reconcile this language to 
the ordinary Meaning of the term apology. 

Now, Manning, seriously, what do you think 
of this letter ? does it appear that Coleridge has 
added one jot to what Miss Hays might fairly re- 
present from Lloyd's own confession ? You doubt 
whether Southey ever exprest himself so strongly 
on this subject. I suppose you refer to Coleridge's 
account of him. I can tell you that Southey did 
express himself in very harsh terms of Lloyd's con- 
duct, when he was last in town. He came fresh 
from Miss Hays, who had given him all the story, 

206 



as I find she tells everybody ! and told Southey that 
she despised Lloyd. I am not sure that Southey 
was not in a humour, after this representation, to 
say all that Coleridge declared he did say. Par- 
ticularly, if he saw this letter, which I believe he 
did. 

Now, do not imagine that Coleridge has pre- 
judiced my mind in this at all. The truth is, I 
write from my own single judgment, and when I 
shewed the letter to Coleridge, he read it in silence, 
or only once muttered the word " indelicate," — 
But I should not have been easy in concealing my 
true sentiment from you. My whole moral sense 
is up in arms against the letter. To my apprehen- 
sion, it is shockingly and nauseously indelicate, and 
I perceive an aggravation or multiplication of the 
indelicacy, in Lloyd's getting his sister Olivia to 
transcribe it, — an ignorant Quaker girl, I mean 
ignorant in the best sense, who ought not to know 
that such a thing was possible or in rerum natura, 
that a woman should court a man ; and a dear sister, 
who least of all should apprehend such an omen 
realiz'd in her own brother. Manning, do not 
misapprehend me, I would not say so much to 
Lloyd's own self, for this plainreason that I should 
not be able to convince him, and I would not cause 
unnecessary pain. Yet as much of this as your 
discretion and tenderness will give leave, you have 
my full leave to shew him ; but I could not let you 
remain ignorant of so big a part of my nature as 
now rises up against this ill-judged letter, particu- 

207 



larly as I am doubtful whether you may not see 
it in a quite different light. 

So much for Lloyd's amours with Mary Hays, 
which would notform an unentertaining romance. 
From this time they are no concern of mine. I 
will sum up the controversy in the words of Cole- 
ridge, all he has since said to me, — " Miss Hayes 
has acted like a fool, and Charles Lloyd not very 
wisely." I cannot but smile at Lloyd's beginning 
to find out that Coleridge can tell lyes. He brings 
a serious charge against him, that he told Cald- 
well he had no engagements with the newspapers ! 
As long as Lloyd or I have known Coleridge so 
long have we known him in the daily and hourly 
habit of quizzing the world by lyes, most unac- 
countable and most disinterested fictions. With 
a correct knowledge of these inaccuracies on both 
sides, I am still desirous of keeping on kind terms 
with Lloyd, and I am to sup with Coleridge to- 
night ; Godwin will be there — whom I am rather 
curious to see — and Col. to partake with me 
of Manning's bounty to-morrow. 

By the way, I am anxious to get specimens of 
all English turkeys. Pray, send me at your leisure 
separate specimens from every county in Great 
Britain, including Wales, as I hate nationalities. 
The Irish turkeys I will let alone, till the union is 
determined. 

To sum up my inferences from the above facts, 
I am determined to live a merry life in the midst 
of sinners. I try to consider all men as such, and 

208 



to pitch my expectations from human nature as 
low as possible. In this view, all unexpected vir- 
tues are Godsends and beautiful exceptions. Only 
let young Love beware, when he sets out in his pro- 
gress thro' life, how he forms erroneous concep- 
tions of finding all saints ! To conclude, the bless- 
ing of St. Peter's Master rest upon you and all 
honest anglers ! C. Lamb 

Coleridge has conceived a most high (quasre if 
just) opinion of you, most illustrious Archimedes. 
Philosopher Godwin dines with me on your tur- 
key this day. I expect the roof to fall and crush 
the atheist. I have been drunk two nights run- 
ning at Coleridge's. How my head burns ! 

The turkey is just come, — the largest I ever 
saw. 

NOTE 

[Mary Hayes was a friend of Mary Wollstonecraft, and also 
of Southey and Coleridge. She wrote a novel, Memoirs of Emma 
Courtney, which Lloyd says contained her own love-letters to 
Godwin and Froud, and also Female Biography, or Memoirs of 
Illustrious and Celebrated Women. Lloyd and she had been very 
intimate. A passage from a letter of Coleridge to Southey, 
dated January 25, 1800, bears upon the present situation: 
" Miss Hayes I have seen. Charles Lloyd's conduct has been 
atrocious beyond what you stated. Lamb himself confessed to 
me that during the time in which he kept up his ranting, senti- 
mental correspondence with Miss Hayes, he frequently read 
her letters in company, as a subject for laughter, and then sate 
down and answered them quite a la Rousseau ! Poor Lloyd ! 
Every hour new-creates him ; he is his own posterity in a per- 
petually flowing series, and his body unfortunately retaining an 
external identity, their mutual contradictions and disagreeings 

209 



are united under one name, and of course are called lies, treach- 
ery, and rascality ! " — E. V. Lucas.] 

LVIIL — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[March i, 1800.] 

I hope by this time you are prepared to say, 
the " Falstaff's Letters" are a bundle of the sharp- 
est, queerest, profoundest humours, of any these 
juice-drained latter times have spawned. I 
should have advertised you, that the meaning is 
frequently hard to be got at ; and so are the fu- 
ture guineas, that now lie ripening and aurifying 
in the womb of some undiscovered Potosi; but 

di g> di g> di g. di g> Manning ! 

I set to, with an unconquerable propulsion to 
write, with a lamentable want of what to write. 
My private goings on are orderly as the move- 
ments of the spheres, and stale as their music 
to angels' ears. Public affairs — except as they 
touch upon me, and so turn into private, — I can- 
not whip my mind up to feel any interest in. 

I grieve indeed that War, and Nature, and Mr. 
Pitt, that hangs up in Lloyd's best parlour, should 
have conspired to call up three necessaries, simple 
commoners as our fathers knew them, into the 
upper house of luxuries ; bread, and beer, and coals, 
Manning. But as to France and Frenchman, and 
the Abbe Sieyes and his constitutions, I cannot 
make these present times present to me. I read his- 
tories of the past, and I live in them ; although, to 

210 



abstract senses, they are far less momentous than 
the noises which keep Europe awake. 

I am reading Burnet's Own Times. Did you ever 
read that garrulous, pleasant history ? He tells his 
story like an old man past political service, brag- 
ging to his sons on winter evenings of the part he 
took in public transactions, when his " old cap 
was new." Full of scandal, which all true history 
is. No palliatives ; but all the stark wickedness 
that actually gives the momentum to national actors. 
Quite the prattle of age, and outlived importance. 
Truth and sincerity staring out upon you perpet- 
ually in alto relievo. Himself a party man — he 
makes you a party man. None of the damned 
philosophical Humeian indifference, so cold and 
unnatural and inhuman. None of the damned 
Gibbonian fine writing, so fine and composite. 
None of Mr. Robertson's periods with three 
members. None of Mr. Roscoe's sage remarks, 
all so apposite, and coming in so clever, lest the 
reader should have had the trouble of drawing an 
inference. Burnet's good old prattle I can bring 
present to my mind ; I can make the revolution 
present to me : the French revolution, by a con- 
verse perversity in my nature, I fling as far from 
me. To quit this damned subject, and to relieve 
you from two or three dismal yawns, which I 
hear in spirit, I here conclude my more than 
commonly obtuse letter; dull, up to the dulness 
of a Dutch commentator on Shakspeare. 

My love to Lloyd and to Sophia. C. L. 
211 



LIX. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

March 17, 1800. 

Dear Manning, — I am living in a continuous 
feast. Coleridge has been with me now for nigh 
three weeks, and the more I see of him in the quo- 
tidian undress and relaxation of his mind, the more 
cause I see to love him, and believe him a very good 
man, and all those foolish impressions to the con- 
trary fly offlike morning slumbers. He is engaged 
in translations, which I hope will keep him this 
month to come. He is uncommonly kind and 
friendly to me. He ferrets me day and night to 
do something. He tends me, amidst all his own 
worrying and heart-oppressing occupations, as 
a gardener tends his young tulip. Marry come up ; 
what a pretty similitude, and how like your hum- 
ble servant ! He has lugged me to the brink of 
engaging to a newspaper, and has suggested to 
me, for a first plan, the forgery of a supposed 
manuscript of Burton, the Anatomist of Mel- 
ancholy. I have even written the introductory 
letter; and, if I can pick up a few guineas this way, 
I feel they will be most refreshing, bread being so 
dear. If I go on with it, I will apprise you of it, 
as you may like to see my things! and the tulip, 
of all flowers, loves to be admired most. 

Pray pardon me, if my letters do not come very 
thick. I am so taken up with one thing or other, 
that I cannot pick out (I will not say time, but) 
fitting times to write to you. My dear loveto Lloyd 

212 



and Sophia, and pray split this thin letter into 
three parts, and present them with the two biggest 
in my name. 

They are my oldest friends, but ever the new 
friend driveth out the old, as the ballad sings ! God 
bless you all three ! I would hear from Ll[oyd] 
if I could. 

C.L. 

Flour has just fallen nine shillings a sack ! we 
shall be all too rich. 

Tell Charles I have seen his mamma, and am 
almost fallen in love with her, since I mayn't with 
Olivia. She is so fine and graceful, a complete Ma- 
tron-Lady-Quaker. She has given me two little 
books. Olivia grows a charming girl — full of 
feeling, and thinner than she was; but I have not 
time to fall in love ! 

Mary presents her general compliments. She keeps 
in fine health. 

Huzza boys ! and down with the Atheists ! 

NOTE 

[Coleridge, having sent his wife and Hartley into the coun- 
try, had, for a while, taken up his abode with Lamb at Penton- 
ville, and given up the Morning Post in order to proceed with 
his translation of Schiller's Wallenstein. Lamb's forgery of 
Burton, together with those mentioned in the next letter, which 
were never printed by Stuart, for whom they were written, was 
included in the °John Woodvil volume, 1802, among the " Cu- 
rious Fragments, extracted from a commonplace book, which 
belonged to Robert Burton, the famous Author of The Anat- 
omy of Melancholy." — E. V. Lucas.] 

213 



LX.— TO THOMAS MANNING 

April 5, 1800. 

C. L.'s Moral Sense presents her comp's to 
Doctor Manning, is very thankful for his med- 
ical advice, but is happy to add that her disorder 
has died of itself. 

Dr. Manning, Coleridge has left us, to go into 
the North, on a visit to his God Wordsworth. 
With him have flown all my splendid prospects 
of Engagement with the Morning Post, all my 
visionary guineas, the deceitful wages of Unborn 
Scandal. In truth, I wonder you took it up so 
seriously. All my intention was but to make a 
little sport with such public and fair game as 
Mr. Pitt, Mr. Wilberforce, Mrs. Fitzherbert, the 
Devil, &c. — gentry dipt in Styx all over, whom 
no Paper Javelin-lings can touch. To have made 
free with these cattle, where was the Harm? 
't would have been but giving a polish to Lamp- 
black, not nigrifying a negro primarily. After 
all, I cannot but regret my Involuntary Virtue. 
Damn Virtue that 's thrust upon us. It behaves 
itself with such constraint, till conscience opens 
the window and lets out the Goose. I had struck 
off" two imitations of Burton, quite abstracted 
from any modern allusions, which [it] was my 
intent only to lug in from time to time to make 
'em Popular. 

Stuart has got these, with an introductory Let- 
ter; but, not hearing from him, I have ceased 

214 



from my labours, but I write to him to-day to 
get a final answer. I am afraid they won't do for 
a paper. Burton is a scarce gentleman, not much 
known, else I had done 'em pretty well. 

I have also hit off a few lines in the name of 
Burton, being a Conceit of Diabolic Possession. 
Burton was a man often assail'd by deep'st mel- 
ancholy, and at other times much given to laugh- 
ing and jesting, as is the way with melancholy 
men. I will send them you : they were almost 
extempore, and no great things ; but you will 
indulge them. Rob[ert] Lloyd is come to town. 
He is a good fellow, with the best heart, but his 
feelings are shockingly wwsane. Priscilla medi- 
tates going to see Pizarro at Drury Lane to-night 
(from her uncle's), under cover of coming to dine 
with me . . . heu temporal heu mores I — I have 
barely time to finish, as I expect her and Robin 
every minute. 

Yours as usual, 

C. L. 

LXL — TO THOMAS MANNING 1 

[April, 1800.] 

I don't know whether you ever dipt into Bur- 
ton's Anatomy. His manner is to shroud and 
carry off his feelings under a cloud of learned 
words. He has written but one Poem, which is 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological 
order, in the back of Vol. I, 

215 



prefix'd to his Anatomy and called The Abstract 
of Melancholy . Most likely you have seen it. It 
is in the last edition of the Elegant Extracts. It 
begins, " When I go musing all alone, thinking 
of divers things foredone." — So that I have col- 
lected my imitation rather from his prose Book, 
than any poetry. I call it 

A CONCEIPT OF DIABOLICAL POSSESSION 



Bv myself walking, 
To myself talking, 
While as I ruminate 
On my untoward fate, 
Scarcely seem I 
Alone sufficiently ; 
Black thoughts continually 
Crowding my privacy, 
Thev come unbidden, 
Like foes at a wedding, 
Thrusting their faces 
In better guests' places, 
Peevish and malecontent, 
Clownish impertinents, 
Dashing the merriments ; — 
So in like fashion 
Dim cogitations 
Follow and haunt me, 
Striving to daunt me, 
In my heart festering, 
In my ears whispering, 



Thy friends are treacherous, 
Thy foes are dangerous, 
Thy dreams ominous. 

Fierce Anthropophagi, 
Spectra, Diaboli, 
What scared St. Anthony, 
Shapes undefined, 
With my fears twined, 
Hobgoblins, Lemures, 
Dreams of Antipodes, 
Night-riding Incubi, 
Troubling the fantasy, 
All dire illusions, 
Causing confusions, 
Figments heretical, 
Scruples fantastical, 
Doubts diabolical, 
Abaddon vexeth me, 
Mahu ' perplexeth me, 
Lucifer teareth me, 



fesu, Maria, libera nos ab 

bis tentationibus, orat, implorat, 

R. Burton Peccator. 



1 The name of a great devil. 
2l6 



To this I will add a little song, which I para- 
phras'd for Coleridge from Schiller (which by 
the bye, is better than Schiller's ballad, a huge 
deal). 

The clouds are black'ning, the storms threatening, 

And ever the forest maketh a moan, 
Billows are breaking, the Damsel's heart aching, 

Thus by herself she singeth alone, 
Weeping right plenteously. 
The world is empty, the heart is dead surely, 
In this world plainly all seemeth amiss, 
To thy breast, Holy One, take now thy little one, 
I have had earnest of all earth's bliss, 
Living right lovingly. 

The manner in both is so antique, that I 
should despair of many folks liking them. 

You may perhaps never have met with Percy's 
Re licks of Ancient English Poetry; — if you have, 
and are acquainted with the following poem, no 
harm is done ; if not, I send you a treat ; — that's 
all. It is in Scotch, and a very old Ballad. I 
anglicise it as I write it, for my own convenience. 

EDWARD, EDWARD 

(I change my mind, I will give it you in its 
own old Scottish shape. The rhimes else will be 

lost.) 

Why does your Brand ' so drop with bluid, 

Edward, Edward ? 
Why does your Brand so drop with Bluid ? 
And why so sad gang ye, O ? 
1 Sword. 
217 



O ! I have kill'd my hawk so gude, 

Mother, Mother. 
O ! I have kill'd my hawk so gude, 

And I had no more but he, O ! 

Your hawk's bluid was never so red, 

Edward, Edward. 
Your hawk's bluid was never so red, 
My dear son, I tell thee, O ! 

O ! I have kill'd my red-roan steed, 

Mother, Mother, 
O ! I have kill'd my red-roan steed, 

That erst was so fair and free, O ! 

Your steed was auld, and ye ha' got more, 

Edward, Edward ; 

Your steed was auld. and ye ha' got more, 

Some other dule ye drie, O. 

O ! I have kill'd my Father dear, 
Mother, Mother ; 

! I have kill'd my Father dear, 

Alas ! and woe is me, O ! 

And whatten penance will ye do for that, 

Edward, Edward ? 
And whatten penance will ye do for that ? 
My dear son, now tell me, O ! 

1 '11 set my feet in yonder Boat, 

Mother, Mother, 
I '11 set my feet in yonder Boat, 

And I '11 far over the sea, O ! 

And what will you do with your towers and your hall ? 

Edward ! Edward ! 
And what will you do with your towers and your hall, 
That were so fair to see, O ? 
2l8 



I '11 let them stand till they down fall, 

Mother! Mother! 
I '11 let them stand till they down fall, 

For here never more must I be, O ! 

And what will you leave to your bairns and your wife ? 

Edward ! Edward ! 
And what will you leave to your bairns and your wife, 
When you go over the sea, O ? 

The World's room, let them beg through life ? 

Mother, Mother, 
The World's room, let them beg thro' life, 
For them never more will I see, O ! 

And what will ye leave to your own mother dear ? 

Edward, Edward, 
And what will ye leave to your own mother dear ? 
My dear son, now tell me, O ! 

The curse of hell frae me shall ye hear, 

Mother, Mother; 
The curse of Hell frae me shall ye hear, 
Sic counsels ye gave me, O ! 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

By which I mean to say, that Edward, Edward 
is the very first dramatic poem in the English 
language. If you deny that, 1 5 11 make you eat 
your words. C. Lamb 

LXII. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Probably April 16 or 17, 1800.] 

I send you, in this parcel, my play, which I 
beg you to present in my name, with my respect 

219 



and love, to Wordsworth and his sister. You 
blame us for giving your direction to Miss Wes- 
ley ; the woman has been ten times after us about 
it, and we gave it her at last, under the idea that 
no further harm would ensue, but she would 
once write to you, and you would bite your lips 
and forget to answer it, and so it would end. 
You read us a dismal homily upon Realities. We 
know, quite as well as you do, what are shadows 
and what are realities. You, for instance, when 
you are over your fourth or fifth jorum, chirping 
about old school occurrences, are the best of real- 
ities. Shadows are cold, thin things, that have no 
warmth or grasp in them. Miss Wesley and her 
friend, and a tribe of authoresses that come after 
you here daily, and, in defect of you, hive and 
cluster upon us, are the shadows. You encour- 
aged that mopsey, Miss Wesley, to dance after you, 
in the hope of having her nonsense put into a non- 
sensical Anthology . We have pretty well shaken 
her off, by that simple expedient of referring her 
to you ; but there are more burrs in the wind. 

I came home t'other day from business, hun- 
gry as a hunter, to dinner, with nothing, I am 
sure, of the author but hunger about me, and whom 
found I closeted with Mary but a friend of this 
Miss Wesley, one Miss Benje, or Benjey ; I don't 
know how she spells her name. I just came in 
time enough, I believe, luckily to prevent them 
from exchanging vows of eternal friendship. It 
seems she is one of your authoresses, that you first 

220 



foster, and then upbraid us with. But I forgive 
you. " The rogue has given me potions to make 
me love him." Well; go she would not, nor 
step a step over our threshold, till we had pro- 
mised to come and drink tea with her next night. 
I had never seen her before, and could not tell 
who the devil it was that was so familiar. We 
went, however, not to be impolite. Her lodgings 
are up two pairs of stairs in East Street. Tea and 
coffee, and macaroons — a kind of cake I much 
love. We sat down. Presently Miss Benje broke 
the silence, by declaring herself quite of a differ- 
ent opinion from D' Israeli, who supposes the dif- 
ferences of human intellect to be the mere effect 
of organization. She begged to know my opinion. 
I attempted to carry it off with a pun upon organ; 
but that went off very flat. She immediately con- 
ceived a very low opinion of my metaphysics; 
and, turning round to Mary, put some question 
to her in French, — possibly having heard that 
neither Mary nor I understood French. The ex- 
planation that took place occasioned some embar- 
rassment and much wondering. She then fell 
into an insulting conversation about the compara- 
tive genius and merits of all modern languages, 
and concluded with asserting that the Saxon was 
esteemed the purest dialect in Germany. From 
thence she passed into the subject of poetry ; where 
I, who had hitherto sat mute and a hearer only, 
humbly hoped I might now put in a word to some 
advantage, seeing that it was my own trade in 

221 



a manner. But I was stopped by a round assertion, 
that no good poetry had appeared since Dr. John- 
son's time. It seems the doctor has suppressed 
many hopeful geniuses that way by the severity 
of his critical strictures in his Lives of the Poets. 
I here ventured to question the fact, and was 
beginning to appeal to names, but I was assured 
"it was certainly the case." 

Then we discussed Miss More's book on edu- 
cation, which I had never read. It seems Dr. 
Gregory, another of Miss Benjey's friends, has 
found fault with one of Miss More's metaphors. 
Miss More has been at some pains to vindicate her- 
self — in the opinion of Miss Benjey, not without 
success. It seems the doctor is invariably against 
the use of broken or mixed metaphor, which he 
reprobates against the authority of Shakspeare 
himself. We next discussed the question, whether 
Pope was a poet ? I find Dr. Gregory is of opin- 
ion he was not, though Miss Seward does not at 
all concur with him in this. We then sat upon 
the comparative merits of the ten translations of 
Pizarro, and Miss Benjey or Benje advised Mary 
to take two of them home; she thought it 
might afford her some pleasure to compare them 
verbatim; which we declined. It being now nine 
o'clock, wine and macaroons were again served 
round, and we parted, with a promise to go again 
next week, and meet the Miss Porters, who, it 
seems, have heard much of Mr. Coleridge, and 
wish to meet us, because we are his friends. I 

222 



have been preparing for the occasion. I crowd 
cotton in my ears. I read all the reviews and mag- 
azines of the past month against the dreadful 
meeting, and I hope by these means to cut a toler- 
able second-rate figure. 

Pray let us have no more complaints about 
shadows. We are in a fair way, through you, to 
surfeit sick upon them. 

Our loves and respects to your host and hostess. 
Our dearest love to Coleridge. 

Take no thought about your proof-sheets ; they 
shall be done as if Woodfall himself did them. 
Pray send us word of Mrs. Coleridge and little 
David Hartley, your little reality. 

Farewell, dear Substance. Take no umbrage 
at anything I have written. 

C. Lamb, Umbra 

Land of Shadows. 
Shadow-month the 16th or 17th, 1800. 

Coleridge, I find loose among your papers a 
copy of Christabel. It wants about thirty lines; 
you will very much oblige me by sending me the 
beginning as far as that line, — 

And the spring comes slowly up this way ; 

and the intermediate lines between, — 

The lady leaps up suddenly, 
The lovely Lady Christabel ; 

and the lines, — 

She folded her arms beneath her cloak, 

And stole to the other side of the oak. 

223 



The trouble to you will be small, and the benefit 
to us very great! A pretty antithesis ! A figure in 
speech I much applaud. 

Godwin has called upon us. He spent one even- 
ing here. Was very friendly. Kept us up till mid- 
night. Drank punch, and talked about you. He 
seems, above all men, mortified at your going 
away. Suppose you were to write to that good- 
natured heathen — " or is he a shadow?" If I 
do not write, impute it to the long postage, of 
which you have so much cause to complain. I 
have scribbled over a queer letter, as I find by 
perusal ; but it means no mischief. 

I am, and will be, yours ever, in sober sadness, 

C. L. 

Write your German as plain as sunshine, for that 
must correct itself. You know I am homo unius 
linguae: in English, illiterate, a dunce, a ninny. 

LXIII. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

[April 23, 1800.] 

My dear Robert, — I acknowledge I have been 
sadly remiss of late. If I descend to any excuse 
(and all excuses that come short of a direct denial 
of a charge are poor creatures at best), it must be 
taken from my state of mind for some time past, 
which has been stupid rather, and unfilled with 
any object, than occupied, as you may imagine, 
with any favourite idea to the exclusion of friend 

224 



Robert. You, who are subject to all the varieties 
of the mind, will give me credit in this. 

I am sadly sorry that you are relapsing into your 
old complaining strain. I wish I could adapt my 
consolations to your disease, but alas, I have none 
to offer which your own mind, and the sugges- 
tions of books, cannot better supply . Are you the 
first whose situation hath not been exactly squar'd 
to his ideas ? or rather, will you find me that man, 
who does not complain of the one thing wanting ? 
that thing obtained, another wish will start up. 
While this eternal craving of the mind keeps up 
its eternal hunger, no feast that my palate knows 
of will satisfy that hunger, till we come to drink 
the new wine (whatever it be) in the kingdom 
of the Father. 

See what trifles disquiet us. You are unhappy 
because your parents expect you to attend meet- 
ings. I don't know much of quakers' meetings, 
but I believe I may moderately reckon them to 
take up the space of six hours in the week : Six 
hours to please your parents — and that time not 
absolutely lost. Your mind remains; you may 
think and plan, remember and foresee, and do all 
human acts of mind sitting as well as walking. 
You are quiet at meeting ; one likes to be so some- 
times. You may advantageously crowd your day's 
devotions into that space : nothing you see or hear 
there can be unfavorable to it : you are for that 
time at least exempt from the counting-house, and 
your parents cannot chide you there. Surely at so 

225 



small an expense you cannot grudge to observe the 
5th Commandment. I decidedly consider your 
refusal as a breach of that God-descended precept 
— Honour and observe thy parents in all lawful 
things. 

Silent worship cannot be Unlawful. There is 
no Idolatry, no invocation of saints, no bowing 
before the consecrated wafer, in all this — no- 
thing which a wise man would refuse, or a good 
man fear to do. What is it ? Sitting a few hours 
in a week with certain good people, who call that 
worship. You subscribe to no articles. If your 
mind wanders, it is no crime in you, who do not 
give credit to these infusions of the Spirit. They 
sit in a temple, you sit as in a room adjoining — ■ 
only do not disturb their pious work with grab- 
bling, nor your own necessary peace with heart- 
burnings at your not-ill-meaning parents, nor a 
silly contempt of the work which is going on be- 
fore you. I know that if my parents were to live 
again, I would do more things to please them, 
than merely sitting still six hours in a week. Per- 
haps I enlarge too much on this affair, but indeed 
your objection seems to me ridiculous, and involv- 
ing in it a principle of frivolous and vexatious 
resistance. 

You have often borne with my freedoms, bear 
with me once more in this. If I did not love you, 
I should not trouble myself whether you went 
to meeting or not — whether you conform'd or 
not to the will of your father. 

226 



I am now called offto dinner before one o'clock. 
Being a holyday, we dine early, for Mary and me 
to have a long walk afterwards. 

My kindest remembrance to Charles. God 
give him all joy and quiet. 

Mary sends her Love. 

C. L. 

LXIV. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

Monday, May 12, 1800. 

My dear Coleridge, — I don't know why I 
write, except from the propensity misery has 
to tell her griefs. Hetty died on Friday night, 
about eleven o'clock, after eight days' illness; 
Mary, in consequence of fatigue and anxiety, is 
fallen ill again, and I was obliged to remove her 
yesterday. I am left alone in a house with no- 
thing but Hetty's dead body to keep me company. 
To-morrow I bury her, and then I shall be quite 
alone with nothing but a cat to remind me that 
the house has been full of living beings like 
myself. 

My heart is quite sunk, and I don't know 
where to look for relief. Mary will get better 
again ; but her constantly being liable to such 
relapses is dreadful ; nor is it the least of our evils 
that her case and all our story is so well known 
around us. We are in a manner marked. Excuse 
my troubling you ; but I have nobody by me to 
speak to me. I slept out last night, not being 

227 



able to endure the change and the stillness. But 
I did not sleep well, and I must come back 
to my own bed. I am going to try and get a 
friend to come and be with me to-morrow. I 
am completely shipwrecked. My head is quite 
bad. I almost wish that Mary were dead. 
God bless you! Love to Sara and Hartley. 

C. Lamb 

LXV. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

May 17, 1800. 

Dear Manning, — I am quite out of spirits, 
and feel as if I should never recover them. But 
why should not this pass away ? I am foolish, 
but judge of me by my situation. Our servant is 
dead, and my sister is ill — so ill as to make a re- 
moval to a place of confinement absolutely neces- 
sary. I have been left alone in a house where but 
ten days since living beings were, and noises of 
life were heard. I have made the experiment and 
find I cannot bear it any longer. Last night I 
went to sleep at White's, with whom I am to be 
till I can find a settlement. I have given up my 
house, and must look out for lodgings. 

I expect Mary will get better before many 
weeks are gone, — but at present I feel my daily 
and hourly prop has fallen from me. I totter and 
stagger with weakness, for nobody can supply her 
place to me. White has all kindness, but not sym- 
pathy. R. Lloyd, my only correspondent, you 

228 



except, is a good being, but a weak one. I know 
not where to look but to you. If you will suffer 
me to weary your shoulders with part of my 
burthen — I shall write again to let you know 
how I go on. Meantime a letter from you would 
be a considerable relief to me. 
Believe me, yours most sincerely, 

C. L. 

LXVI. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[p. m., May 20, 1800.] 

Dear Manning, — I feel myself unable to thank 
you sufficiently for your kind letter. It was dou- 
bly acceptable to me, both for the choice poetry 
and the kind honest prose which it contained. 
It was just such a letter as I should have expected 
from Manning. 

I am in much better spirits than when I wrote 
last. I have had a very eligible offer to lodge 
with a friend in town. He will have rooms to 
let at midsummer, by which time I hope my 
sister will be well enough to join me. It is a 
great object to me to live in town, where we 
shall be much more private, and to quit a house 
and neighbourhood where poor Mary's disorder, 
so frequently recurring, has made us a sort of 
marked people. We can be nowhere private 
except in the midst of London. We shall be in 
a family where we visit very frequently ; only 
my landlord and I have not yet come to a con- 

229 



elusion. He has a partner to consult. I am 
still on the tremble, for I do not know where 
we could go into lodgings that would not be, 
in many respects, highly exceptionable. Only 
God send Mary well again, and I hope all will 
be well ! The prospect, such as it is, has made 
me quite happy. I have just time to tell you 
of it, as I know it will give you pleasure. — 



Farewell. 



C. Lamb 



LXVIL — TO THOMAS MANNING 

Sunday [No date. ? May 25, 1800.] 

Dear Manning, — I am a letter in your debt, 
but I am scarcely rich enough (in spirits) to pay 
you. — I am writing at an inn on the Ware Road, 
in the neighbourhood of which I am going to 
pass two days, being Whitsuntide. — Excuse the 
pen, 't is the best I can get. — Poor Mary is very 
bad yet. I went yesterday hoping I should see her 
getting well, then I might have come into the 
country more chearful, but I could not get to see 
her. This has been a sad damp. Indeed I never 
in my life have been more wretched than I was 
all day yesterday. 

I am glad I am going away from business for 
a little while, for my head has been hot and ill. 
I shall be very much alone where I am going, 
which always revives me. I hope you will ac- 
cept of this worthless memento, which I merely 

230 



send as a token that I am in your debt. I will 
write upon my return, on Thursday at farthest. 
I return on Wednesday. 

God bless you. 

I was afraid you would think me forgetful, 
and that made me scribble this jumble. 

[Mr. Dobell has a letter to Manning belonging to this 
period, in which Lamb returns to the subject of poverty : 

" You dropt a word whether in jest or earnest, as if you 
would join me in some work, such as a review or series of 
papers, essays, or anything. — Were you serious ? I want 
home occupation, and I more want money. Had you any 
scheme, or was it, as G. Dyer says, en passant ? If I don't 
have a legacy left me shortly I must get into pay with some 
newspaper for small gains. Mutton is twelvepence a pound." 
E. V. Lucas.] 

LXVIIL — TO JOHN MATHEW GUTCH 

[No date. 1800.] 

Dear Gutch, — Anderson is not come home, 
and I am almost afraid to tell you what has 
happen' d, lest it should seem to have hap- 
pen'd by my fault in not writing for you home 
sooner. 

This morning Henry, the eldest lad, was miss- 
ing. We suppos'd he was only gone out on a 
morning's stroll, and that he would return, but 
he did not return and we discovered that he had 
opened your desk before he went, and I suppose 
taken all the money he could find, for on diligent 
search I could find none, and on opening your 

231 



letter to Anderson, which I thought necessary to 
get at the key, I learn that you had a good deal 
of money there. 

Several people have been here after you to-day, 
and the boys seem quite frightened, and do not 
know what to do. In particular, one gentleman 
wants to have some writings finished by Tuesday. 
For God's sake set out by the first coach. Mary 
has been crying all day about it, and I am now 
just going to some law stationer in the neighbour- 
hood, that the eldest boy has recommended, to 
get him to come and be in the house for a day or 
so, to manage. I cannot think what detains 
Anderson. His sister is quite frightened about 
him. I am very sorry I did not write yesterday, 
but Henry persuaded me to wait till he could 
ascertain when some job must be done (at the 
furthest) for Mr. Foulkes, and as nothing had 
occurr'd besides I did not like to disturb your 
pleasure. I now see my error, and shall be 
heartily ashamed to see you. 

[This is as far as the letter goes on the first page. 
We then turn over, and find (as Gutch, to his immense 
relief, found before us} written right across both 
pages:] 

A Bite!!! 

Anderson is come home, and the wheels of thy 
business are going on as ever. The boy is honest, 
and I am thy friend. 

And how does the coach-maker's daughter ? 
232 



Thou art her phaeton, her gig, and her sociable. 
Commend me to Rob. 

C. Lamb 

Saturday. 

NOTE 

[This letter is the first example extant of Lamb's tendency 
to hoaxing. Gutch was at that time courting a Miss Wheeley, 
the daughter of a Birmingham coachbuilder. It was while he 
was in Birmingham that Lamb wrote the letter. Anderson was 
his partner in business. Rob would be Robert Lloyd, then at 
Birmingham again. This, and one other, are the only letters 
of Lamb to Gutch that escaped destruction. — E. V. Lucas.] 

LXIX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

June 22, 1800. 

By some fatality, unusual with me, I have mis- 
laid the list of books which you want. Can you, 
from memory, easily supply me with another ? 

I confess to Statius, and I detained him wil- 
fully, out of a reverent regard to your style. 
Statius, they tell me, is turgid. As to that other 
Latin book, since you know neither its name nor 
subject, your wants (I crave leave to apprehend) 
cannot be very urgent. Meanwhile, dream that 
it is one of the lost decades of Livy. 

Your partiality to me has led you to form an 
erroneous opinion as to the measure of delight 
you suppose me to take in obliging. Pray, be 
careful that it spread no further. 'T is one of 
those heresies that is very pregnant. Pray, rest 
more satisfied with the portion of learning which 

233 



you have got, and disturb my peaceful ignorance 
as little as possible with such sort of commissions. 

Did you never observe an appearance well 
known by the name of the man in the moon ? 
Some scandalous old maids have set on foot a 
report that it is Endymion. Dr. Stoddart talks 
of going out King's Advocate to Malta. He has 
studied the Civil and Canon Law just three 
canon months, to my knowledge. Fiat justitia, 
mat coelum. 

Your theory about the first awkward step a 
man makes being the consequence of learning to 
dance is not universal. We have known many 
youths bred up at Christ's, who never learned to 
dance, yet the world imputes to them no very 
graceful motions. I remember there was little 
Hudson, the immortal precentor of St. Paul's, 
to teach us our quavers ; but, to the best of my 
recollection, there was no master of motions 
when we were at Christ's. 

Farewell, in haste. C. L. 

LXX. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

[July 22, 1800.] 

Dear Robert, — My mind has been so barren 
and idle of late, that I have done nothing. I have 
received many a summons from you, and have 
repeatedly sat down to write, and broke off from 
despair of sending you anything worthy your 
acceptance. I have had such a deadness about 

234 



me. Man delights not me, nor woman neither. 
I impute it in part or altogether to the stupefy- 
ing effect which continued fine weather has upon 
me. I want some rains, or even snow and intense 
cold winter nights, to bind me to my habitation, 
and make me value it as a home — a sacred 
character which it has not attained with me 
hitherto. I cannot read or write when the sun 
shines. I can only walk. 

I must tell you, that since I wrote last I have 
been two days at Oxford, on a visit (long put off) 
to Gutch's family (my Landlord). I was much 
gratifyed with the Colleges and Libraries, and 
what else of Oxford I could see in so short a time. 
In the All Souls' Library is a fine head of Bishop 
Taylor, which was one great inducement to my 
Oxford visit. In the Bodleian are many Portraits 
of illustrious Dead, the only species of painting 
I value at a farthing. But an indubitable good 
Portrait of a great man is worth a pilgrimage to 
go and see. Gutch's family is a very fine one, 
consisting of well grown sons and daughters, 
and all likely and well favor' d. What is called 
a Happy family. That is, according to my inter- 
pretation, a numerous assemblage of young men 
and women, all fond of each other to a certain 
degree, and all happy together, but where the 
very number forbids any two of them to get close 
enough to each other to share secrets and be 
friends. That close intercourse can only exist 
(commonly, I think) in a family of two or three. 

2 35 



I do not envy large families. The fraternal af- 
fection by diffusion and multi-participation is 
ordinarily thin and weak. They don't get near 
enough to each other. 

I expected to have had an account of Sophia's 
being brought to bed before this time. But I 
remain in confidence that you will send me the 
earliest news. I hope it will be happy. Cole- 
ridge is settled at Keswick, so that the probabil- 
ity is that he will be once again united with 
your brother. Such men as he and Wordsworth 
would exclude solitude in the Hebrides or Thule. 

Pray have you seen the new Edition of Burns 
including his posthumous works ? — I want very 
much to get a sight of it, but cannot afford to buy 
it. My Oxford journey, though very moderate, 
having pared away all superfluities. 

Will you accept of this short letter, accom- 
panied with professions of deepest regard for you. 
Yours unalterably, C. Lamb 

LXXI. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

[Early in August] 1800. 

Dear Coleridge, — Soon after I wrote to you 
last, an offer was made me by Gutch (you must 
remember him, at Christ's ; you saw him slightly 
one day with Thomson at our house) — to come 
and lodge with him, at his house in Southampton 
Buildings Chancery Lane. This was a very com- 
fortable offer to me, the rooms being at a reason- 

236 



1 



able rent, and including the use of an old servant, 
besides being infinitely preferable to ordinary 
lodgings in our case, as you must perceive. As 
Gutch knew all our story, and the perpetual lia- 
bility to a recurrence in my sister's disorder, prob- 
ably to the end of her life, I certainly think the 
offer very generous and very friendly. 

I have got three rooms (including servant) 
under ^34 a year. Here I soon found myself at 
home ; and here in six weeks after Mary was well 
enough to join me. So we are once more settled. 
I am afraid we are not placed out of the reach of 
future interruptions. But I am determined to take 
what snatches of pleasure we can between the acts 
of our distressful drama. I have passed two days 
at Oxford on a visit, which I have long put off, 
to Gutch's family. The sight of the Bodleian Li- 
brary and above all a fine bust of Bishop Taylor 
at All Souls', were particularly gratifying to me. 
Unluckily it was not a family where I could take 
Mary with me, and I am afraid there is something 
of dishonesty in any pleasures I take without her. 
She never goes anywhere. I do not know what 
I can add to this letter. I hope you are better by 
this time ; and I desire to be affectionately re- 
member'd to Sara and Hartley. 

I expected before this to have had tidings of 
another little philosopher. Lloyd's wife is on the 
point of favouring the world. 

Have you seen the new edition of Burns ? his 
posthumous works and letters ? I have only been 

2 37 



able to procure the first volume, which contains 
his life — very confusedly and badly written, and 
interspersed with dull pathological and medical 
discussions. It is written by a Dr. Currie. Do you 
know the well-meaning Doctor? Alas, ne sutor 
ultra crepidam; or, as some readings have it, ne 
sutor ultra crepitum, which I thus English, Let not 
a suitor presume to fart above once in the presence 
of his mistress. 

I hope to hear again from you very soon. God- 
win is gone to Ireland on a visit to Grattan. Be- 
fore he went I past much time with him, and he 
has shew'd me particular attentions : N. B. A 
thing I much like ! Your books are all safe: only 
I have not thought it necessary to fetch away 
your last batch, which I understand are at John- 
son's, the Bookseller, who has got quite as much 
room, and will take as much care of them as my- 
self — and you can send for them immediately 
from him. 

/ wish you would advert to a Letter I sent you at 
Grassmere about Christabel, and comply with my re- 
quest contained therein. 

Love to all friends round Skiddaw. 

C. Lamb 

LXXII. -TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

August 6, 1800. 

Dear Coleridge, — I have taken to-day, and 
delivered to Longman and Co., Imprimis : your 

238 



books, viz., three ponderous German diction- 
aries, one volume (I can find no more) of Ger- 
man and French ditto, sundry other German 
books unbound, as you left them, Percy's An- 
cient Poetry, and one volume of Anderson's Poets. 
I specify them, that you may not lose any. Se- 
cundo: a dressing-gown (value, fivepence), in 
which you used to sit and look like a conjuror, 
when you were translating Wallenstein. A case 
of two razors and a shaving-box and strap. This 
it has cost me a severe struggle to part with. 
They are in a brown-paper parcel, which also 
contains sundry papers and poems, sermons, some 
few epic poems, — one about Cain and Abel, 
which came from Poole, &c, &c, and also your 
tragedy ; with one or two small German books, 
and that drama in which Got-fader performs. 

Tertio : a small oblong box containing all your 
letters, collected from all your waste papers, and 
which fill the said little box. All other waste 
papers, which I judged worth sending, are in the 
paper parcel aforesaid. But you will find all your 
letters in the box by themselves. Thus have I 
discharged my conscience and my lumber-room 
of all your property, save and except a folio 
entitled Tyrrell's Bibliotheca Politica, which you 
used to learn your politics out of when you wrote 
for the Post, mutatis mutandis, i. e., applying past 
inferences to modern data. I retain that, because 
I am sensible I am very deficient in the politics 
myself; and I have torn up — don't be angry, 

2 39 



waste paper has risen forty per cent., and I can't 
afford to buy it — all Buonaparte' s Letters, Arthur 
Young's Treatise on Corn, and one or two more 
light-armed infantry, which I thought better 
suited the flippancy of London discussion than 
the dignity of Keswick thinking. 

Mary says you will be in a damned passion 
about them when you come to miss them ; but 
you must study philosophy. Read Albertus Mag- 
nus de Chartis Amissis five times over after phle- 
botomising, — 'tis Burton's recipe, — and then 
be angry with an absent friend if you can. 

I have just heard that Mrs. Lloyd is delivered 
of a fine boy, and mother and boy are doing well. 
Fie on sluggards, what is thy Sara doing ? Sara 
is obscure. Am I to understand by her letter, 
that she sends a kiss to Eliza Buckingham ? Pray 
tell your wife that a note of interrogation on the 
superscription of a letter is highly ungrammat- 
ical — she proposes writing my name Lamb ? 
Lamb<? is quite enough. 

I have had the Anthology, and like only one 
thing in it, Lewti ; but of that the last stanza is 
detestable, the rest most exquisite ! — the epithet 
enviable would dash the finest poem. For God's 
sake (I never was more serious), don't make me 
ridiculous any more by terming me gentle- 
hearted in print, or do it in better verses. It did 
well enough five years ago when I came to see 
you, and was moral coxcomb enough at the time 
you wrote the lines, to feed upon such epithets ; 

240 






but, besides that, the meaning of gentle is equi- 
vocal at best, and almost always means poor- 
spirited, the very quality of gentleness is abhor- 
rent to such vile trumpetings. My sentiment is 
long since vanished. I hope my virtues have done 
sucking. I can scarce think but you meant it in 
joke. I hope you did, for I should be ashamed 
to think that you could think to gratify me by 
such praise, fit only to be a cordial to some green- 
sick sonneteer. 

I have hit off the following in imitation of old 
English poetry, which, I imagine, I am a dab at. 
The measure is unmeasurable ; but it most resem- 
bles that beautiful ballad of the Old and Young 
Courtier; and in its feature of taking the extremes 
of two situations for just parallel, it resembles the 
old poetry certainly. If I could but stretch out 
the circumstances to twelve more verses, i. e., if 
I had as much genius as the writer of that old 
song, I think it would be excellent. It was to 
follow an imitation of Burton in prose, which 
you have not seen. But fate " and wisest Stewart" 
say No. 

I can send you 200 pens and six quires of paper 
immediately, if they will answer the carriage by 
coach. It would be foolish to pack 'em up cum 
multis libris et caeteris, — they would all spoil. I 
only wait your commands to coach them. I 
would pay five-and-forty thousand carriages to 
read W.'s tragedy, of which I have heard so 
much and seen so little — only what I saw at 

241 



Stowey. Pray give me an order in writing on 
Longman for Lyrical Ballads. I have the first 
volume, and, truth to tell, six shillings is a broad 
shot. I cram all I can in, to save a multiplying 
of letters — those pretty comets with swingeing 
tails. 

I '11 just crowd in God bless you ! 

C. Lamb 

Wednesday Night. 

LXXIII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[August 9, 1800.] 

Dear Manning, — I suppose you have heard of 
Sophia Lloyd's good fortune, and paid the cus- 
tomary compliments to the parents. Heaven 
keep the new-born infant from star blasting and 
moon blasting, from epilepsy, marasmus, and the 
devil ! May he live to see many days, and they 
good ones ; some friends, and they pretty regular 
correspondents ! with as much wit and wisdom as 
will eat their bread and cheese together under a 
poor roof without quarrelling ! as much good- 
ness as will earn heaven if there be such a place 
and deserve it if there be not, but, rather than go 
to bed solitary, would truckle with the meanest 
succubus on her bed of brimstone. Here I must 
leave off, my benedictory powers failing me. I 
could curse the sheet full ; so much stronger is 
corruption than grace in the natural man ! 

And now, when shall I catch a glimpse of 
242 



your honest face-to-face countenance again ? — 
your fine dogmatical sceptical face by punch-light ? 
O ! one glimpse of the human face, and shake of 
the human hand, is better than whole reams 
of this cold, thin correspondence ; yea, of more 
worth than all the letters that have sweated the 
fingers of sensibility, from Madame Sevigne and 
Balzac (observe my learning!) to Sterne and 
Shenstone. 

Coleridge is settled with his wife (with a 
child in her guts) and the young philosopher at 
Keswick, with the Wordsworths. They have 
contrived to spawn a new volume of lyrical bal- 
lads, which is to see the light in about a month, 
and causes no little excitement in the literary 
world. 

George Dyer too, that good-natured heathen, 
is more than nine months gone with his twin 
volumes of ode, pastoral, sonnet, elegy, Spenser- 
ian, Horatian, Akensidish, and Masonic verse. 
Clio prosper the birth ! it will be twelve shillings 
out of somebody's pocket. I find he means to 
exclude " personal satire," so it appears by his 
truly original advertisement. Well, God put it 
into the hearts of the English gentry to come in 
shoals and subscribe to his poems, for He never 
put a kinder heart into flesh of man than George 
Dyer's ! 

Now, farewell, for dinner is at hand and yearn- 
ing guts do chide. 

C. L. 
243 



LXXIV. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

August ii, 1800. 

My dear fellow, — (N.B. mighty familiar of 
late !) for me to come to Cambridge now is one 
of G — d Almighty's Impossibilities, metaphysi- 
cians tell us Even He can work nothing which 
implys a contradiction. I can explain this by 
telling you that I am engaged to do double Duty 
(this hot weather!) for a man who has taken 
advantage of this very weather to go and cool 
himself in " green retreats " all the month of 
August. 

But for you to come to London in stead ! — 
muse upon it, revolve it, cast it about in your 
mind — I have a bed at your command — you 
shall drink Rum, Brandy, Gin, Aqua-vitae, Us- 
quebaugh, or Whiskey a nights ; and for the 
after-dinner-Trick, I have 8 bottles of genuine 
Port, which mathematically divided gives one 
and one-seventh for every day you stay, provided 
you stay a week. Hear John Milton sing, — 

Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause. 
And elsewhere, — 

What neat repast shall feat us, light ' and choice, 
Of Attic Taste, with wine, 2 whence we may rise 

To hear the Lute well touch'd, or artful voice 
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air? 

* We Poets generally give light dinners. 

■ No doubt the Poet here alludes to Port wine — 38 shillings the 
dozen. 

244 



Indeed the poets are full of this pleasing Moral- 
ity, — 

Vent cito, Domine Manning ! 

Think upon it. Excuse the paper ; it is all I have. 

C. Lamb 

LXXV.— TO S. T. COLERIDGE 1 

Thursday, 14 August [1800]. 

' Read on, and you '11 come to the Pens. 

My head is playing all the tunes in the world, 
ringing such peals ! it has just finished the " merry 
Xt. Church Bells " and absolutely is beginning 
" Turn again Whittington." Buz, buz, buz, bum, 
bum, bum, wheeze, wheeze, wheeze, feu, feu, feu, 
tinky, tinky, tinky, craunch. I shall certainly 
come to be damned at last. I have been getting 
drunk two days running. I find my moral sense 
in the last stage of a consumption, my religion 
burning as blue and faint as the tops of evening 
bricks. Hell gapes, and the Devil's great guts cry 
"cupboard" forme. In the midst of this infer- 
nal larum, Conscience (and be damn'd to her) 
barking and yelping as loud as any of them. 

I have sat down to read over again your Satire 
upon me in the Anthology, and I think I do begin 
to spy out something like beauty and design in it. 
I perfectly accede to all your alterations, and only 
desire that you had cut deeper, when your hand 

1 An autograph facsimile of this letter is given, in its chronological 
order, in the back of Vol. I. 

245 



was in. In the next edition of the Anthology 
(which Phoebus avert, and those nine other wan- 
dering maids also !) please to blot out gentle-hearted, 
and substitute drunken dog, ragged-head, seld- 
shaven, odd-ey'd, stuttering, or any other epithet 
which truly and properly belongs to the Gentle- 
man in question. And for Charles, read Tom, or 
Bob, or Richard for more delicacy. Damn you, I 
was beginning to forgive you, and believe in ear- 
nest that the lugging in of my Proper name was 
purely unintentional on your part, when looking 
back for further conviction, stares me in the face, 
Charles Lamb of the India House. Now I am con- 
vinced it was all done in Malice, heaped sack- 
upon-sack, congregated, studied malice. You 
Dog ! your 141st page shall not save you. I own 
I was just ready to acknowledge that there is a 
something not unlike good poetry in that page, 
if you had not run into the unintelligible abstrac- 
tion-fit about the manner of the Deity's making 
Spirits perceive his presence. God, nor created 
thing alive, can receive any honor from such thin, 
shew-box, attributes. 

By the bye, where did you pick up that scan- 
dalous piece of private history about the Angel 
and the Duchess of Devonshire ? If it is a fiction 
of your own, why truly 'tis a very modest one 
for you. Now I do affirm, that Lewti is a very 
beautiful Poem. I was in earnest when I praised 
it. It describes a silly species of one not the wisest 
of passions. Therefore it cannot deeply affect a dis- 

246 



enthralled mind. But such imagery, such novelty, 
such delicacy, and such versification, never got 
into an Anthology before. I am only sorry that the 
cause of all the passionate complaint is not greater 
than the trifling circumstance of Lewti being out 
of temper one day. In sober truth, I cannot see 
any great merit in the little dialogue called Blen- 
heim. It is rather novel and pretty, but the thought 
is very obvious, and children's poor prattle, a 
thing of easy imitation. Pauper vult videri et 
est. 

Gualberto certainly has considerable original- 
ity, but sadly wants finishing. It is, as it is, one of 
the very best in the Book. Next to Lewti I like 
the Raven, which has a good deal of humour. 
I was pleas' d to see it again, for you once sent it 
me, and I have lost the letter which contained it. 
Now I am on the subject of Anthologies, I must 
say I am sorry the old Pastoral way is fallen into 
disrepute. The Gentry, which now endite Sonnets 
are certainly the legitimate descendants of the 
ancient Shepherds. The same simpering face of 
description, the old family face, is visibly con- 
tinued in the line. Some of their ancestors' la- 
bours are yet to be found in Allan Ramsay's and 
Jacob Tonson's [six lines totally obliterated by author\ 
Miscellanies. But miscellanies decaying, and the 
old Pastoral way dying of mere want, their suc- 
cessors (driven from their paternal acres) nowa- 
days settle and hive upon magazines, anthologies. 
This Race of men are uncommonly addicted to 

247 



superstition. Some of them are Idolaters and wor- 
ship the Moon. Others deify qualities, as love, 
friendship, sensibility ; or bare accidents, as soli- 
tude, grief, and melancholy have their respective 
altars and temples among them, as the Heathens 
builded theirs to Mors, Febris, Pallororis. They 
all agree in ascribing a peculiar sanctity to the 
number fourteen. One of their own Legislators 
affirmeth that whatever exceeds that number "en- 
croacheth upon the province of the Elegy " — 
vice versa, whatever " Cometh short of that num- 
ber abutteth upon the premises of the Epigram." 
I have been able to discover but few Images in 
their Temples, which like the caves of Delphos 
of old, are famous for giving Echoes. They im- 
pute a religious importance to the letter O, 
whether because by its roundness it is thought to 
typify the Moon, their principal goddess, or for 
its analogies to their own labours, all ending 
where they began ; or for whatever other high 
and mystical reference, I have never been able to 
discover ; but I observe they never begin their in- 
vocations to their gods without it, except indeed 
one insignificant sect among them, who use the 
Doric A, pronounced like Ah ! broad, instead. 
These boast to have restored the old Dorian 
mood. 

Now I am on the subject of Poetry, I must 
announce to you, who doubtless in your remote 
part of the Island have not heard tidings of so 
great a blessing, that George Dyer hath prepared 

248 



two ponderous volumes, full of Poetry and Crit- 
icism — they impend over the Town, and are 
threaten'd to fall in the winter. The first volume 
contains every sort of Poetry, except Personal 
Satire (which George in his truly original pro- 
spectus renounceth for ever, whimsically foisting 
the intention in between the price of his book 
and the proposed number of subscribers — if I 
can, I will get you a copy of his handbill} ; he has 
tried his vein in every species besides, the Spen- 
serian, Thompsonian, Masonic, and Akensidish 
more especially. The 2d vol. is all Criticism, 
wherein he demonstrates to the entire satisfaction 
of the literary world, in a way that must silence 
all reply forever, that the Pastoral was introduced 
by Theocritus, and polished by Virgil and Pope ; 
that Gray and Mason (who always hunt in cou- 
ples in George's brain) have a good deal of poetical 
fire and true lyric genius ; that Cowley was ruined 
by excess of wit (a warning to all moderns) ; that 
Charles Lloyd, Charles Lamb, and Wm. Words- 
worth in later days have struck the true chords 
of Poesy. O George, George, with a head uni- 
formly wrong, and a heart uniformly right, that 
I had power and might equal to my wishes ; then 
would I call the Gentry of thy native Island, and 
they should come in troops, flocking at the sound 
of thy Prospectus-Trumpet, and crowding who 
shall be first to stand in thy list of subscribers. 
I can only put twelve shillings into thy pocket 
(which I will answer for them will not stick 

249 



there long) out of a pocket almost as bare as 
thine. 

[Six lines here are totally obliterated by author^ 
Is it not a pity so much fine writing should be 
erased — but to tell truth I began to scent that 
I was getting into that sort of style which Longi- 
nus and Dionysius Halicarn[assus] aptly call the 
Affected — But I am suffering from the com- 
bined effect of two days' drunkenness, and at such 
times it is not very easy to think or express in a 
natural series. The only useful object of this letter 
is to apprize you that on Saturday I shall transmit 
the Pens by the same coach I sent the Parcel. 
So enquire them out. You had better write to 
Godwin &ne, directing your letter to be forwarded 
to him. I don't know his address. You know 
your letter must at any rate come to London first. 

C. L. 

LXXVI. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

August 23, 1800. 

George Dyer is an Archimedes, and an Archi- 
magus, and a Tycho Brahe, and a Corpernicus ; 
and thou art the darling of the Nine, and mid- 
wife to their wandring babe also ! We take Tea 
with that learned Poet and Critic on Tuesday 
night, at half-past five, in his neat library. The 
repast will be light and Attic, with criticism. If 
thou couldst contrive to wheel up thy dear car- 
case on the Monday, and after dining with us on 

250 



tripe, calves' kidneys, or whatever else the Cornu- 
copia of St. Clare may be willing to pour out on 
the occasion, might we not adjourn together to 
the Heathen's? — thou with thy Black Backs, 
and I with some innocent volume of the Bell 
Letters, Shenstone, or the like : it would make 
him wash his old flannel gown (that has not been 
washed to my knowledge since it has been his — 
O the long Time !) with Tears of joy. Thou 
shouldst settle his scruples and unravel his cob- 
webs, and sponge off the sad stuff that weighs 
upon his dear wounded Pia Mater. Thou shouldst 
restore light to his eyes, and him to his friends 
and the public. Parnassus should shower her civic 
crowns upon thee for saving the wits of a citi- 
zen ! I thought I saw a lucid interval in George 
the other night; he broke in upon my studies 
just at tea-time, and brought with him a Dr. An- 
derson, an old gentleman who ties his breeches' 
knees with packthread, and boasts that he has 
been disappointed by ministers. The Dr. wanted 
to see me; for I being a Poet, he thought I might 
furnish him with a copy of verses to suit his 
Agricultural Magazine. The Dr., in the course 
of the conversation, mentioned a poem called the 
Epigoniad, by one Wilkie, an epic poem, in which 
there is not one tolerable good line all through, 
but every incident and speech borrowed from 
Homer. George had been sitting inattentive, 
seemingly, to what was going on — hatching of 
negative quantities — when, suddenly, the name 

251 



of his old friend Homer stung his pericranics, 
and, jumping up, he begged to know where he 
could meet with Wilkie's works. " It was a cu- 
rious fact that there should be such an Epic 
Poem and he not know of it ; and he must get a 
copy of it, as he was going to touch pretty deeply 
upon the subject of the Epic; and he was sure 
there must be some things good in a poem of 
1400 lines! " I was pleased with this transient 
return of his reason and recurrence to his old 
ways of thinking ; it gave me great hopes of a 
recovery, which nothing but your book can com- 
pletely insure. Pray come on Monday, if you 
can, and stay your own time. I have a good large 
room, with two beds in it, in the handsomest of 
which thou shalt repose a-nights, and dream of 
Spheroides. 

I hope you will understand by the nonsense 
of this letter that I am not melancholy at the 
thoughts of thy coming : I thought it necessary 
to add this, because you love precision. Take 
notice that our stay at Dyer's will not exceed 
eight o'clock ; after which our pursuits will be 
our own. But indeed I think a little recrea- 
tion among the Bell Letters and Poetry will 
do you some service in the interval of severer 
studies. I hope we shall fully discuss with George 
Dyer what I have never yet heard done, to my 
satisfaction, — the reason of Dr. Johnson's 
malevolent strictures on the higher species of 
the Ode. 

252 



LXXVII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[p. m. August 24, 1800.] 

Dear Manning, — I am going to ask a favour 
of you, and am at a loss how to do it in the most 
delicate manner. For this purpose I have been 
looking into Pliny's Letters, who is noted to have 
had the best grace in begging of all the ancients 
(I read him in the elegant translation of Mr. 
Melmoth). But not finding any case there ex- 
actly similar with mine, I am constrained to beg 
in my own barbarian way. To come to the point 
then, and hasten into the middle of things — have 
you a copy of your Algebra to give away ? I do 
not ask it for myself. I have too much reverence 
for the Black Arts ever to approach thy Circle, 
illustrious Trismegist. But that worthy man and 
excellent Poet, George Dyer, made me a visit 
yesternight, on purpose to borrow one, suppos- 
ing, rationally enough I must say, that you had 
made me a present of one before this — the omis- 
sion of which I take to have proceeded only from 
negligence ; but it is a fault. I could lend him 
no assistance. You must know he is just now 
diverted from the pursuit of the Bell Letters 
by a paradox, which he has heard his friend Frend 
(that learned mathematician) maintain, that the 
negative quantities of mathematicians were merae 
nugae, things scarcely in rerum naturd, and smack- 
ing too much of mystery for gentlemen of Mr. 
Frend's clear Unitarian capacity. However, the 

253 



dispute once set a-going has seized violently on 
George's pericranic ; and it is necessary for his 
health that he should speedily come to a resolu- 
tion of his doubts. He goes about teasing his 
friends with his new mathematics ; he even fran- 
tically talks of purchasing Manning's Algebra, 
which shews him far gone, for, to my knowledge, 
he has not been master of seven shillings a good 

time. George's pockets and 's brains are 

two things in nature which do not abhor a vacu- 
um. Now, if you could step in, in this tremb- 
ling suspense of his reason, and he should find 
on Saturday morning, lying for him at the Port- 
er's Lodge, Clifford's Inn, — his safest address, 
— Manning's Algebra, with a neat manuscription 
in the blank leaf, running thus, From the 
Author ! — it might save his wits and restore the 
unhappy author to those studies of Poetry and 
Criticism, which are at present suspended, to the 
infinite regret of the whole literary world. 

N. B. — Dirty books, smear'd leaves, and 
dogs' ears, will be rather a recommendation than 
otherwise. 

N. B. — He must have the book as soon as pos- 
sible, or nothing can withhold him from madly 
purchasing the book on Tick. Then, shall we 
see him sweetly restored to the chair of Longi- 
nus, to dictate in smooth and modest phrase the 
laws of verse, — to prove that Theocritus first 
introduced the Pastoral, and Virgil and Pope 
brought it to its perfection; that Gray and 

254 



Mason (who always hunt in couples in George's 
brain) have shewn a great deal of poetical fire in 
their lyric poetry ; that Aristotle's rules are not 
to be servilely followed, which George has shewn 
to have imposed great shackles upon modern 
genius. His poems, I find, are to consist of two 
vols. — reasonable octavo — and a third book 
will exclusively contain Criticisms, in which he 
asserts he has gone pretty deeply into the laws of 
blank verse and rhime — epic poetry, dramatic 
and pastoral ditto — all which is to come out 
before Xmas. But above all he has touched most 
deeply upon the Drama — comparing the English 
with the modern German stage, their merits 
and defects. Apprehending that his studies (not 
to mention his Turn, which I take to be chiefly 
toward the Lyrical Poetry) hardly qualify' d him 
for these disquisitions, I modestly enquired what 
plays he had read. I found by George's reply 
that he had read Shakspeare, but that was a good 
while since: he calls him a great but irregular 
genius, which I think to be an original and just 
remark. (Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger, 
Ben Jonson, Shirley, Marlowe, Ford, and the 
worthies of Dodsley's Collection — he confess'd he 
had read none of them, but profest his intention 
of looking through them all, so as to be able to 
touch upon them in his book.) 

So Shakspeare, Otway, and I believe Rowe, to 
whom he was naturally directed by Johnson's 
Lives, and these not read lately, are to stand him 

255 



in stead of a general knowledge of the subject. 
God bless his dear absurd head ! 

By the by, did I not write you a letter with 
something about an invitation in it ? — but let 
that pass. I suppose it is not agreeable. 

N. B. It would not be amiss if you were to 
accompany your present with a dissertation on 
negative quantities. 

C. L. 

NOTE 

[" 's brain." In a later letter Lamb uses Judge Park's 

wig, when his head is in it, as a simile for emptiness.] 

LXXVIIa. — TO MRS. MAY 

Dear Madam, — We are all the better for 
our pleasant last night. I send the books which 
I meant to have called with. With kind re- 
spects to yourself, Mrs. [? Mr.] May, and your 
mother, 

C. Lamb 

My ! how hot it is ! 

NOTE 

[No indication of date, but apparently early in the nine- 
teenth century. Mrs. May was no doubt the wife of Southey's 
friend, John May. — Richard Garnett.] 



256 



LXXVIIL — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

August 26, 1800. 

How do you like this little Epigram ? It is 
not my writing, nor had I any finger in it — if 
you concur with me in thinking it very elegant 
and very original, I shall be tempted to name 
the author to you. I will just hint that it is al- 
most or quite a first attempt. 

HELEN REPENTANT TOO LATE 



High-born Helen ! 

Round your dwelling 
These twenty years I 've paced in vain ; 

Haughty Beauty, 

Your Lover's duty 
Has been to glory in his pain. 



High-born Helen ! 

Proudly telling 
Stories of your cold disdain, 

I starve, I die : — 

Now you comply, 
And I no longer can complain. 

3 

These twenty years 

I 've liv'd on tears, 
Dwelling for ever on a frown ; 

On sighs I 've fed, 

Your scorn my bread : 
I perish now you kind are grown. 

257 



4 

Can I, who loved 

My Beloved 
But for the " scorn was in her eye " ? 

Can I be moved 

For my Beloved, 
When she returns me " sigh for sigh " ? 

5 

In stately pride, 

By my bedside 
High-born Helen's portrait 's hung, 

Deaf to my praise ; 

My mournful lays 
Are nightly to the portrait sung. 

6 

To that I weep, 

Nor ever sleep, 
Complaining all night long to her. 

Helen grown old, 

No longer cold, 
Said, " Tou to all men I prefer " 

Godwin returned from Wicklow the week 
before last. Tho' he did not reach home till 
the Tuesday after, — he has been rambling in 
Wales. — He might much better have spent 
that time with you. — But you see your invita- 
tion would have come too late. He greatly 
regrets the occasion he mist of visiting you, but 
he intends to revisit Ireland in the next summer, 
and then he will certainly take Keswick in his 
way. 

I dined with the Heathen on Sunday. 

By the bye, I have a sort of recollection that 
258 



somebody, I think you, promis'd me a sight of 
Wordsworth's Tragedy. I should be very glad 
of it just now ; for I have got Manning with 
me and should like to read it with him. But this, 
I confess, is a refinement. Under any circum- 
stances, alone, in Cold-Bath Prison, or in the 
Desart Island, just when Prospero and his crew 
had set off, with Caliban in a cage, to Milan, it 
would be a treat to me to read that play. Man- 
ning has read it, so has Lloyd, and all Lloyd's 
family — but I could not get him to betray his 
trust by giving me a sight of it. Lloyd is sadly 
deficient in some of those virtuous vices. I have 
just lit upon a most beautiful fiction of hell pun- 
ishments by the author of Hurlothrumbo, a mad 
farce. The inventor imagines that in Hell there 
is a great caldron of hot water, in which a man 
can scarce hold his finger, and an immense sieve 
over it, into which the probationary souls are put 

And all the little Souls 

Pop through the riddle-holes ! 

Mary's love to Mrs. Coleridge. Mine to all. 
N. B. I pays no Postage. 

George Dyer is the only literary character I 
am happily acquainted with. The oftener I see 
him, the more deeply I admire him. He is 
goodness itself. If I could but calculate the pre- 
cise date of his death, I would write a novel on 
purpose to make George the Hero. I could hit 
him off to a hair. 

259 



George brought a Dr. Anderson to see me. 
The Dr. is a very pleasant old man, a great 
genius for agriculture, one that ties his breeches- 
knees with Packthread, and boasts of having had 
disappointments from ministers. The Doctor 
happen'd to mention an Epic Poem by one 
Wilkie, call'd the Epigoniad, in which he as- 
sur'd us there is not one tolerable line from be- 
ginning to end, but that all the characters, inci- 
dents, &c, verbally copied from Homer. George, 
who had been sitting quite inattentive to the 
Doctor's criticism, no sooner heard the sound 
of Homer strike his pericranicks, than up he gets 
and declares he must see that Poem immediately 
— where was it to be had ? An Epic Poem of 
800 Lines, and he not hear of it ! There must 
be some things good in it — and it was neces- 
sary he should see it — for he had touched pretty 
deeply upon that subject in his criticisms on the 
Epic. George has touched pretty deeply upon 
the Lyric, I find ; he has also prepared a disser- 
tation on the Drama and the comparison of the 
English and German theatres. As I rather doubted 
his competency to do the latter, knowing that his 
peculiar turn lies in the Lyric species of com- 
position, I questioned George what English Plays 
he had read. I found that he had read Shak- 
speare (whom he calls an original but irregular 
genius), but it was a good while ago ; and he has 
dipped into Rowe and Otway, I suppose having 
found their names in "Johnson's Lives at full 

260 



length ; and upon this slender ground he has un- 
dertaken the task. He never seem'd even to have 
heard of Fletcher, Ford, Marlowe, Massinger, 
and the worthies of Dodsley's collection, but he 
is to read all these, to prepare him for bringing 
out his Parallel in the winter. I find he is also 
determin'd to vindicate Poetry from the shackles 
which Aristotle and some others have imposed 
upon it, which is very good-natured of him, and 
very necessary just now ! Now I am touching so 
deeply upon poetry, can I forget that I have just 
received from Cottle a magnificent copy of his 
Guinea Alfred. Four-and-twenty Books to read 
in the dog-days ! I got as far as the Mad Monk 
the first day and fainted. Mr. Cottle's genius 
strongly points him to the Pastoral, but his in- 
clinations divert him perpetually from his calling. 
He imitates Southey, as Rowe did Shakspeare, 
with his " Good morrow to ye ; good master 
Lieutenant." Instead of a man, a woman, a 
daughter, he constantly writes one, a man, one, 
a woman, one, his daughter. Instead of the king, 
the hero, he constantly writes, he, the king, he, 
the hero ; two flowers of rhetoric palpably 
from the 'Joan. But Mr. Cottle soars a higher 
pitch, and when he is original, it is in a most 
original way indeed. His terrific scenes are in- 
defatigable. Serpents, asps, spiders, ghosts, dead 
bodies, staircases made of nothing with adders' 
tongues for bannisters. My God, what a brain 
he must have ! He puts as many plums in his 

261 



pudding as my Grandmother used to do ; — and 
then his emerging from Hell's horrors into Light, 
and treading on pure flats of this earth for 23 
books together ! C. L. 



NOTE 



[The poem quoted in above letter is by Mary Lamb. The 
printed texts give the stanzas in four lines ; but it is printed 
here just as Lamb wrote it. — Ed.] 



LXXIX. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

September 22, 1800. 

Dear Manning, — You needed notimagine any 
apology necessary. Your fine hare and fine birds 
( which just now are dangling by our kitchen blaze) 
discourse most eloquent music in your justifica- 
tion. You just nick'd my palate. For, with all 
due decorum and leave may it be spoken, my 
worship hath taken physic for his body to-day, 
and being low and puling, requireth to be pam- 
pered. Foh ! how beautiful and strong those but- 
tered onions come to my nose. For you must 
know we extract a divine spirit of gravy from 
those materials, which, duly compounded with 
a consistence of bread and cream (y'clept bread 
sauce) each to each giving double grace, do mu- 
tually illustrate and set off (as skilful gold-foils 
to rare jewels) your partridge, pheasant, wood- 
cock, snipe, teal, widgeon, and the other lesser 
daughters of the ark. My friendship, struggling 

262 



with my carnal and fleshly prudence (which sug- 
gests that a bird a man is the proper allotment 
in such cases), yearneth sometimes to have thee 
here to pick a wing or so. I question if your Nor- 
folk sauces match our London culinaric. 

George Dyer has introduced me to the Table 
of an agreeable old Gent., Dr. Anderson, who 
gives hot legs of mutton and grape pies at his 
sylvan Lodge at Isleworth — where, in the mid- 
dle of a street he has shot up a wall most pre- 
posterously before his small Dwelling, which 
with the circumstance of his taking several panes 
of glass out of bedroom windows (for air) caus- 
eth his neighbours to speculate strangely on the 
state of the good man's Pericranics. Plainly, he 
lives under the reputation of being deranged. 
George does not mind this circumstance ; he 
rather likes him the better for it. The Doctor 
in his pursuits joins agricultural to poetical sci- 
ence, and has set George's brains mad about the 
old Scotch writers, Barbour, Douglas's Eneid, 
Blind Harry, &c. We returned home in a re- 
turn Postchaise (having din'd with the Doctor) 
and George kept wondering and wondering for 
eight or nine turnpike miles what was the Name 
and striving to recollect the name of a Poet 
anterior to Barbour — I begg'd to know what 
was remaining of his works. " There is nothing 
extant of his works, Sir, but by all accounts he 
seems to have been a fine genius!" This fine 
genius, without anything to show for it, or any 

263 



title beyond George's courtesy, without even 
a name, and Barbour, and Douglas, and Blind 
Harry, now are the predominant sounds in 
George's Pia Mater, and their buzzings exclude 
Politics, Criticism, and Algebra — the Late 
Lords of that illustrious Lumber-room. Mark, 
he has never read any of these Bucks [books]. 
But is impatient till he reads them all at the 
Doctor's suggestion. 

Poor Dyer ! his friends should be careful what 
sparks they let fall into such inflammable matter. 

Could I have my will of the heathen, I would 
lock him up from all access of new ideas ; I 
would exclude all critics that would not swear 
me first (upon their Virgil) that they would feed 
him with nothing but the old, safe, familiar 
notions and sounds (the rightful aborigines of his 
brain) Gray, Akenside, and Mason. In these 
sounds, reiterated as often as possible, there could 
be nothing painful, nothing distracting. 

God bless me, here are the Birds, smoking hot. 

All that is gross and unspiritual in me rises at 
the sight. 

Avant friendship ! and all memory of absent 
friends! C. Lamb 

LXXX. — TO S. T. COLERIDGE 

October 9, 1800. 

I suppose you have heard of the death of Amos 
Cottle. I paid a solemn visit of condolence to 

264 



his brother, accompany'd with George Dyer, of 
burlesque memory. I went, trembling to see poor 
Cottle so immediately upon the event. He was 
in black ; and his younger brother was also in 
black. Everything wore an aspect, suitable to 
the respect due to the freshly dead. For some 
time after our entrance, nobody spake till George 
modestly put in a question, whether Alfred was 
likely to sell. This was Lethe to Cottle, and his 
poor face, wet with tears, and his kind Eye bright- 
en' d up in a moment. Now I felt it was my cue 
to speak. I had to thank him for a present of a 
magnificent Copy, and had promised to send him 
my remarks, — the least thing I could do ; so I 
ventured to suggest, that I perceived a consider- 
able improvement he had made in his first book 
since the state in which he first read it to me. 
Joseph, who till now had sat with his knees cow- 
ering in by the fire-place, wheeled about, and with 
great difficulty of body shifted the same round to 
the Corner of a table where I was sitting, and first 
stationing one thigh over the other, which is his 
sedentary mood, and placidly fixing his benevo- 
lent face right against mine, waited my observa- 
tions. At that moment it came strongly into my 
mind, that I had got Uncle Toby before me, he 
looked so kind and so good. I could not say an 
unkind thing of Alfred. So I set my memory to 
work to recollect what was the name of Alfred's 
Queen, andwith some adroitness recalled the well- 
known sound to Cottle's ears of Alswitha. At 

265 



that moment I could perceive that Cottle had 
forgot his brother was so lately become a blessed 
spirit. In the language of mathematicians the Au- 
thor was as 9, the brother as i . I felt my cue, and 
strong pity working at the root, I went to work, 
and beslabber'd Alfred with most unqualify'd 
praise, or only qualifying my praise by the occa- 
sional politic interposition of an exception taken 
against trivial faults, slips, and human imperfec- 
tions, which, by removing the appearance of in- 
sincerity, did but in truth heighten the relish. 
Perhaps I might have spared that refinement, for 
Joseph was in a humour to hope and believe all 
things. What I said was beautifully supported, cor- 
roborated, and confirmed by the stupidity of his 
brother on my left hand, and by George on my 
right, who has an utter incapacity of compre- 
hending that there can be anything bad in Po- 
etry. All Poems are good Poems to George ; all 
men are fine geniuses. So, what with my actual 
memory, of which I made the most, and Cottle's 
own helping me out, for I really had forgotten a 
good deal of Alfred, I made a shift to discuss the 
most essential parts entirely to the satisfaction of 
its author, who repeatedly declared that he loved 
nothing better than candid criticism. Was I a 
candied greyhound now for all this ? or did I do 
right ? I believe I did. The effect was luscious 
to my Conscience. For all the rest of the even- 
ing Amos was no more heard of, till George 
revived the subject by inquiring whether some 

266 



account should not be drawn up by the friends 
of the deceased to be inserted in Phillips's Monthly 
Obituary ; adding that Amos was estimable both 
for his head and heart, and would have made a 
fine Poet if he had lived. To the expediency of 
this measure Cottle fully assented, but could not 
help adding that he always thought that the qual- 
ities of his brother's heart exceeded those of his 
head. I believe his brother, when living, had 
formed precisely the same idea of him ; and I ap- 
prehend the world will assent to both judgments. 
I rather guess that the Brothers were poetical 
rivals. I judged so when I saw them together. 
Poor Cottle, I must leave him, after his short 
dream, to muse again upon his poor brother, for 
whom I am sure in secret he will yet shed many 
a tear. Now send me in return some Greta news. 

C. L. 

LXXXI. — TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 

October 13, 1800. 1 

Dear Wordsworth, — I have not forgot your 
commissions. But the truth is (and why should 
I not confess it ?), I am not plethorically abound- 
ing in cash at this present. Merit, God knows, 
is very little rewarded ; but it does not become 
me to speak of myself. My motto is "contented 
with little, yet wishing for more." Now, the 
books you wish for would require some pounds, 
which, I am sorry to say, I have not by me ; so 

» Should be 1804. 

267 



I will say at once, if you will give me a draft 
upon your town banker for any sum you propose 
to lay out, I will dispose of it to the very best of 
my skill in choice old books, such as my own 
soul loveth. In fact, I have been waiting for the 
liquidation of a debt to enable myself to set about 
your commission handsomely ; for it is a scurvy 
thing to cry, " Give me the money first," and I 
am the first of the family of the Lambs that have 
done it for many centuries ; but the debt remains 
as it was, and my old friend that I accommo- 
dated has generously forgot it ! The books which 
you want, I calculate at about ^"8. Ben Jonson 
is a guinea book. Beaumont and Fletcher, in folio, 
the right folio not now to be met with ; the 
octavos are about ^3. As to any other dramatists, 
I do not know where to find them, except what 
are in Dodsley's Old Plays, which are about ^3 
also. Massinger I never saw but at one shop, and 
it is now gone ; but one of the editions of Dods- 
ley contains about a fourth (the best) of his plays. 
Congreve, and the rest of King Charles's moral- 
ists, are cheap and accessible. The works on Ire- 
land I will inquire after ; but I fear Spenser's is 
not to be had apart from his poems ; I never saw 
it. But you may depend upon my sparing no 
pains to furnish you as complete a library of old 
poets and dramatists as will be prudent to buy ; 
for, I suppose you do not include the ^20 edition 
of Hamlet, single play, which Kemble has. Mar- 
lowe's plays and poems are totally vanished ; only 

268 



one edition of Dodsley retains one, and the other 
two of his plays : but John Ford is the man after 
Shakspeare. Let me know your will and pleas- 
ure soon, for I have observed, next to the pleas- 
ure of buying a bargain for one's self, is the 
pleasure of persuading a friend to buy it. It 
tickles one with the image of an imprudency, 
without the penalty usually annexed. 

C. Lamb 

LXXXII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

October 16, 1800. 

Dear Manning, — Had you written one week 
before you did, I certainly should have obeyed 
your injunction ; you should have seen me before 
my letter. I will explain to you my situation. 
There are six of us in one department. Two of 
us (within these four days) are confined with 
severe fevers ; and two more, who belong to the 
Tower Militia, expect to have marching orders 
on Friday. Now six are absolutely necessary. I 
have already asked and obtained two young hands 
to supply the loss of the Feverites. And, with the 
other prospect before me, you may believe I can- 
not decently ask Leave of absence for myself. All 
I can promise (and I do promise, with the sin- 
cerity of Saint Peter, and the contrition of Sin- 
ner Peter if I fail) is that I will come the very first 
spare week, and go nowhere till I have been at 
Camb [ridge] . No matter if you are in a state 

269 



of Pupilage when I come ; for I can employ my- 
self in Camb [ridge] very pleasantly in the morn- 
ings. Are there not Libraries, Halls, Colleges, 
Books, Pictures, Statues ? 

I wish to God you had made London in your 
way. There is an exhibition quite uncommon in 
Europe, which could not have escaped your genius, 
— a live Rattle Snake, i o feet in Length, and 
of the thickness of a big Leg. I went to see it 
last night by candlelight. We were usher'd into 
a room very little bigger than ours at Pentonville. 
A man and woman and four boys live in this room, 
joint Tenants with 9 Snakes, most of them such 
as no remedy has been discover' d for their bite. 
We walked into the middle, which is formed 
by a half-moon of wired Boxes, all mansions 
of Snakes — Whip-snakes, Thunder-snakes, Pig- 
nose-snakes, American Vipers, and this monster. 
He lies curled up in folds, and immediately a 
stranger entered (for he is used to the family, 
and sees them play at cards) he set up a rattle 
like a watchman's in London or near as loud, 
and reared up a head, from the midst of these 
folds, like a Toad, and shook his head, and showed 
every sign a snake can show of irritation. I had 
the foolish curiosity to strike the wires with my 
finger, and the devil flew at me, with his Toad- 
mouth wide open ; the inside of his mouth is 
quite white. I had got my finger away, nor could 
he well have bit me with his damn'd big mouth, 
which would have been certain death in five 

270 



minutes. But it frightened me so much, that I 
did not recover my voice for a minute's space. 
I forgot in my fear that he was secured. You 
would have forgot too, for 't is incredible how 
such a monster can be confined in small gauzy- 
looking wires. I dreamed of snakes in the night. 
I wish to heaven you could see it. He absolutely 
swelled with passion to the bigness of a large 
thigh. I could not retreat without impinging 
on another box ; and just behind, a little Devil 
not an inch from my back had got his nose out, 
with some difficulty and pain, quite thro' the 
bars ! He was soon taught better manners. All 
the Snakes were curious, and objects of Terror : 
but this monster, like Aaron's serpent, swallowed 
up the impression of the rest. He opened his 
damned mouth, when he made at me, as wide 
as his head was broad. I holloo'd out quite loud, 
and felt pains all over my body with the fright. 

I have had the felicity of hearing George Dyer 
read out one book of the Farmer s Boy. I thought 
it rather childish. No doubt, there is originality 
in it (which, in your self-taught geniuses, is a most 
rare quality, they generally getting hold of some 
bad models, in a scarcity of books, and forming 
their taste on them), but no selection. All is de- 
scribed. 

Mind, I have only heard read one book. 
Yours sincerely, 

Philo-snake, 

C. L. 
271 



LXXXIIL — TO THOMAS MANNING 

November 3, 1800. 

Ecquid meditatur Archimedes f What is Euclid 
doing ? What hath happened to learned Trisme- 
gist ? Doth he take it in ill part, that his Humble 
friend did not comply with his courteous invi- 
tation ? Let it suffice, / could not come. Are im- 
possibilities nothing ? — -be they abstractions of 
the intellect ? — or not (rather) most sharp and 
mortifying realities ? nuts in the Will's mouth 
too hard for her to crack ? brick and stone walls 
in her way which she can by no means eat thro' ? 
sore lets, impedimenta viarum, no-thoroughfares ? 
racemi nhnium alte pendentes ? is the phrase classic ? 
I allude to the Grapes in i^sop, which cost the 
fox a strain, and gained the world an aphorism. 
Observe the superscription of this letter. In adapt- 
ing the size of the letters which constitute your 
name and Mr. Crisp's name respectively, I had 
an eye to your different stations in life. 'T is truly 
curious and must be soothing to an aristocrat. I 
wonder it has never been hit on before my time. 
I have made an acquisition latterly of a pleasant 
band, one Rickman, to whom I was introduced 
by George Dyer ! ! ! not the most flattering au- 
spices under which one man can be introduced 
to another. George brings all sorts of people to- 
gether, setting up a sort of Agrarian Law or com- 
mon property in matter of society. But for once 
he has done me a great pleasure, while he was 

272 



only pursuing a principle, as ignes fatui may light 
you home. This Rickman lives in our Buildings, 
immediately opposite our house, — the finest fel- 
low to drop in a' nights, about nine or ten o'clock 

— cold bread-and-cheese time — just in the wish- 
ing time of the night when you wish for somebody 
to come in, without a distinct idea of a probable 
anybody. Just in the nick, neither too early to 
be tedious, nor too late to sit a reasonable time. 
He is a most pleasant hand ; a fine rattling fellow, 
has gone through life laughing at solemn apes ; 

— himself hugely literate, oppressively full of in- 
formation in all stuff of conversation, from matter 
of fact to Xenophon and Plato — can talk Greek 
with Porson, politics with Thelwall, conjecture 
with George Dyer, nonsense with me, and any- 
thing with anybody ; a great farmer, somewhat 
concerned in an agricultural magazine ; reads 
no poetry but Shakspeare ; very intimate with 
Southey, but does not always [read] his poetry ; 
relishes George Dyer ; thoroughly penetrates 
into the ridiculous wherever found ; understands 
the first time (a great desideratum in common 
minds) — you need never twice speak to him. 
Does not want explanations, translations, lim- 
itations, as Professor Godwin does when you 
make an assertion ; up to anything ; down to 
everything ; whatever sapit hominem. A perfect 
man. All this farrago, which must perplex you 
to read, and has put me to a little trouble to 
select ! ! only proves how impossible it is to de- 

2 73 



scribe a pleasant hand. You must see Rickman 
to know him, for he is a species in one ; a new 
class ; an exotic ; any slip of which I am proud 
to put in my garden-pot ; the clearest headed 
fellow ; fullest of matter, with least verbosity. 
If there be any alloy in my fortune to have 
met with such a man, it is that he commonly 
divides his time between town and country, 
having some foolish family ties at Christchurch, 
by which means he can only gladden our Lon- 
don hemisphere with returns oi light. He is now 
going for 6 weeks. 

At last I have written to Kemble, to know 
the event of my play, which was presented last 
Christmas. As I suspected came an answer back, 
that the copy was lost and could not be found 
— no hint that anybody had to this day ever 
looked into it — with a courteous (reasonable !) 
request of another copy (if I had one by me), 
and a promise of a definitive answer in a week. 
I could not resist so facile and moderate [a] 
demand ; so scribbled out another, omitting sun- 
dry things, such as the witch story, about half 
of the forest scene (which is too leisurely for 
story), and transposing that damned soliloquy 
about England getting drunk, which, like its 
reciter, stupidly stood alone, nothing prevenient 
or antevenient ; and cleared away a good deal 
besides ; and sent this copy, written all out (with 
alterations, &c. requiring judgment) in one day and 
a half! I sent it last night, and am in weekly 

274 



expectation of the tolling bell and death-war- 
rant. 

This is all my Lunnon news. Send me some 
from the Banks of Cam, as the Poets delight to 
speak, especially George Dyer, who has no other 
name nor idea nor definition of Cambridge; 
namely, its being a market town, sending mem- 
bers to Parliament, never entered into his defin- 
ition. It was and is, simply the banks of the 
Cam, or the fair Cam, as Oxford is the banks of 
the Isis, or the fair Isis. 

Yours in all humility, most illustrious Tris- 
megist, 

C. Lamb 

(Read on; there's more at the bottom.) 
You ask me about the Farmer's Boy. Don't 
you think the fellow who wrote it (who is a 
shoemaker) has a poor mind ? Don't you find he 
is always silly about poor Giles, and those abject 
kind of phrases, which mark a man that looks 
up to wealth ? None of Burns's Poet-dignity. 
What do you think ? I have just open'd him ; 
but he makes me sick. 

Dyer knows the shoemaker (a damn'd stupid 
hound in company) ; but George introduces and 
promises to introduce him indiscriminately to all 
his friends and all combinations. 



275 



LXXXIV. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[November 28, 1800.] 

Dear Manning, — I have received a very kind 
invitation from Lloyd and Sophia, to go and spend 
a month with them at the Lakes. Now it for- 
tunately happens (which is so seldom the case!) 
that I have spare cash by me enough to answer 
the expenses of so long a journey; and am deter- 
mined to get away from the office by some means. 
The purpose of this letter is to request of you (my 
dear friend) that you will not take it unkind, if 
I decline my proposed visit to Cambridgeyir the 
present. Perhaps I shall be able to take Cam- 
bridge in my way, going or coming. I need not 
describe to you the expectations which such an 
one as myself, pent up all my life in a dirty city, 
have formed of a tour to the Lakes. Consider 
Grasmere ! Ambleside ! Wordsworth ! Coleridge ! 
I hope you will. Hills, woods, lakes, and moun- 
tains, to the Eternal Devil. I will eat snipes with 
thee, Thomas Manning. Only confess, confess 
a Bite. 

P. S. I think you named the 1 6th ; but was 
it not modest of Lloyd to send such an invitation ! 
It shows his knowledge of money and time. I 
would be loth to think he meant 

Ironic satire sidelong sklented 

On my poor pursie. — Burns 

For my part, with reverence to my friends north- 
ward, I must confess that I am not romance-bit 

276 



about Nature. The earth, and sea, and sky (when 
all is said) is but as a house to dwell in. If the 
inmates be courteous, and good liquors flow like 
the conduits at an old coronation, if they can talk 
sensibly, and feel properly, I have no need to 
stand staring upon the gilded looking-glass (that 
strained my friend's purse-strings in the purchase) 
nor his 5-shilling print, over the mantelpiece, of 
old Nabbs the carrier (which only betrays his 
false taste). Just as important to me (in a sense) 
is all the furniture of my world ; eye-pampering, 
but satisfies no heart. Streets, streets, streets, mar- 
kets, theatres, churches, Covent Gardens, shops 
sparkling with pretty faces of industrious milli- 
ners, neat sempstresses, ladies cheapening, gen- 
tlemen behind counters lying, authors in the 
street with spectacles, George Dyers (you may 
know them by their gait), lamps lit at night, 
pastry-cook and silversmith shops, beautiful 
Quakers of Pentonville, noise of coaches, drowsy 
cry of mechanic watchmen at night, with Bucks 
reeling home drunk ; if you happen to wake at 
midnight, cries of " Fire ! " and " Stop thief! " 
Inns of court (with their learned air and halls 
and butteries), just like Cambridge colleges ; old 
book stalls, "Jeremy 'Taylors, Burtons on Melan- 
choly, and Religio Medici's on every stall. These 
are thy pleasures, O London ! with — the many 
— sins. O City, abounding in whores, for these 
may Keswick and her Giant Brood go hang ! 

C. L. 
277 



LXXXV. — TO WILLIAM GODWIN 

Thursday Morning, [December 4, 1800.] 

Dear Sir, — I send this speedily after the heels 
of Cooper (oh, the dainty expression !) to say that 
Mary is obliged to stay at home on Sunday to 
receive a female friend, from whom I am equally 
glad to escape. So that we shall be by ourselves. 
I write, because it may make some difference in 
your marketing, &c. C. L. 



I am sorry to put you to 
pence postage. But I cal- 
culate thus: if Mary comes 


the expense of two- 


she will eat beef, 2 plates . 
Batter Pudding 1 do. 
Beer, a pint .... 
Wine, 3 glasses . 


4d. 
2d. 
2d. 
1 1 d. I drink no wine! 


Chesnuts, after dinner . 


2d. 


Tea and supper at mod- 




erate calculation . 


9d. 


2S 


.6d. 


From which deduct 


2d. postage. 



2s. 4d. 
You are a clear gainer by her not coming. 



NOTE 



[If the date be correct, this becomes the first extant letter 
proper which Lamb sent to the author of Political "Justice. 

278 



Godwin was then forty-four years old, and had long been busy 
upon his tragedy Antonio, in which Lamb had been assisting 
with suggestions. In this connection we place here the fol- 
lowing document, which, according to Lucas, belongs natur- 
ally to an earlier date, but is not harmed by its present 
position :] 

MINUTE SENT BY C. LAMB TO WILLIAM 
GODWIN 

[No date. Autumn, 1800.] 

Queries. — Whether the best conclusion would 
not be a solemn judicial pleading, appointed by 
the king, before himself in person of Antonio 
as proxy for Roderigo, and Guzman for himself 
— the forms and ordering of it to be highly 
solemn and grand. For this purpose (allowing 
it) the king must be reserved, and not have com- 
mitted his royal dignity by descending to pre- 
vious conference with Antonio, but must refer 
from the beginning to this settlement. He must 
sit in dignity as a high royal arbiter. Whether 
this would admit of spiritual interpositions, car- 
dinals, &c, — appeals to the Pope, and haughty 
rejection of his interposition by Antonio — (this 
merely by the way.) 

The pleadings must be conducted by short 
speeches, replies, taunts, and bitter recriminations 
by Antonio, in his rough style. In the midst of 
the undecided cause, may not a messenger break 
up the proceedings by an account of Roderigo's 
death (no improbable or far-fetch'd event), and 
the whole conclude with an affecting and awful 

279 



invocation of Antonio upon Roderigo's spirit, 
now no longer dependent upon earthly tribunals 
or a froward woman's will, &c, &c. 

Almanza's daughter is now free, &c. 

This might be made very affecting. Better 
nothing follow after ; if anything, she must step 
forward and resolve to take the veil. In this case, 
the whole story of the former nunnery must be 
omitted. But, I think, better leave the final con- 
clusion to the imagination of the spectator. Prob- 
ably the violence of confining her in a convent 
is not necessary ; Antonio's own castle would be 
sufficient. 

To relieve the former part of the play, could 
not some sensible images, some work for the eye, 
be introduced ? A gallery of pictures, Almanza's 
ancestors, to which Antonio might affectingly 
point his sister, one by one, with anecdote, &c. 

At all events, with the present want of action, 
the play must not extend above four acts, unless 
it is quite new modell'd. The proposed altera- 
tions might all be effected in a few weeks. 

Solemn judicial pleadings always go off well, 
as in Henry VIII, Merchant of Venice, and per- 
haps Othello. 

NOTE 

[Lamb, said Mr. Paul, writing of this critical Minute, was 
so genuinely kind and even affectionate in his criticism that 
Godwin did not perceive his real disapproval. 

Mr. Swinburne, writing in The Athenceum for May 13, 
1876, made an interesting comment upon one of Lamb's sug- 
gestions in the foregoing document. It contains, he remarks, 

280 



" a singular anticipation of one of the most famous passages 
in the work of the greatest master of our own age, the scene 
of the portraits in ' Hernani : ' 'To relieve the former part 
of the play, could not some sensible images, some work for 
the eye, be introduced ? A gallery of pictures, Alexander's an- 
cestors, to which Antonio might affectingly point his sister, one by 
one, with anecdote, &c.' I know of no coincidence more pleas- 
antly and strangely notable than this between the gentle genius 
of the loveliest among English essayists and the tragic inven- 
tion of the loftiest among French poets." — E. V. Lucas.] 

LXXXVI. — TO WILLIAM GODWIN 

Wednesday Morning, December 10, 1800. 

Dear Sir, — I expected a good deal of pleas- 
ure from your company to-morrow, but I am 
sorry I must beg of you to excuse me. I have 
been confined ever since I saw you with one of 
the severest colds I ever experienced, occasioned 
by being in the night air on Sunday, and on the 
following day, very foolishly. I am neither in 
health nor spirits to meet company. I hope and 
trust I shall get out on Saturday night. You will 
add to your many favours, by transmitting to me 
as early as possible as many tickets as conveniently 
you can spare. Yours truly, 

C. L. 

I have been plotting how to abridge the Epi- 
logue. But I cannot see that any lines can be 
spared, retaining the connection, except these 
two, which are better out, — 

Why should I instance, &c, 

The sick man's purpose, &c, 

28l 



and then the following line must run thus, — 

The truth by an example best is shown. 

Excuse this important postscript. 

LXXXVII. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[Saturday, 4 o'clock p. m. December 13, 1800.] 

I have receiv'd your letter this moment, not 
having been at the office. I have just time to 
scribble down the Epilogue. To your epistle I 
will just reply, that I will certainly come to Cam- 
bridge before January is out : I '11 come when I 
can. You shall have an amended copy of my play 
early next week. Mary thanks you ; but her 
handwriting is too feminine to be exposed to a 
Cambridge gentleman, though I endeavour to 
persuade her that you understand algebra, and 
must understand her hand. 

The play is the man's you wot of; but for God's 
sake (who would not like to have so pious a pro- 
fessor's work damrid) do not mention it — it is 
to come out in a feign'd name, as one Tobin's. 
I will omit the introductory lines which connect 
it with the Play, and give you the concluding 
Tale, which is the mass and bulk of the Epi- 
logue. The name is Jack Incident. It is about 
promise-breaking — you will see it all, if you 
read the papers. 

Jack, of dramatic genius justly vain, 
Purchas'd a renter's share at Drury Lane; 
282 



A prudent man in every other matter, 

Known at his club-room for an honest hatter; 

Humane and courteous, led a civil life, 

And has been seldom known to beat his wife; 

But Jack is now grown quite another man, 

Frequents the green-room, knows the plot and plan 

Of each new piece, 
And has been seen to talk with Sheridan ! 
In at the play-house just at six he pops, 
And never quits it till the curtain drops, 
Is never absent on the author's night, 

Knows actresses and actors too by sight ; 

So humble, that with Suett he '11 confer, 

Or take a pipe with plain Jack Banister ; 

Nay, with an author has been known so free, 

He once suggested a catastrophe — 

In short, John dabbled till his head was turn'd ; 

His wife remonstrated, his neighbours mourn'd, 

His customers were dropping off apace, 

And Jack's affairs began to wear a piteous face. 

One night his wife began a curtain lecture; 
" My dearest Johnny, husband, spouse, protector, 
Take pity on your helpless babes and me, 
Save us from ruin, you from bankruptcy — 
Look to your business, leave these cursed plays, 
And try again your old industrious ways." 

Jack who was always scared at the Gazette, 
And had some bits of scull uninjur'd yet, 
Promis'd amendment, vow'd his wife spake reason, 
" He would not see another Play that season — " 

Three stubborn fortnights Jack his promise kept, 
Was late and early in his shop, eat, slept, 
And walk'd and talk'd, like ordinary men ; 
No wit, but John the hatter once again — 
Visits his club : when lo ! one fatal night 
His wife with horror view'd the well-known sight — 
John's hat, wig, snuff-box — well she knew his tricks — 
And Jack decamping at the hour of six. 
Just at the counter's edge a playbill lay, 

283 



Announcing that Pizarro was the play — 
" O Johnny, Johnny, this is your old doing." 
Quoth Jack, " Why what the devil storm 's a-brewing ? 
About a harmless Play why all this fright ? 
I '11 go and see it if it 's but for spite — 
Zounds, woman ! Nelson 's ' to be there to-night." 

1 A good clap-trap. Nelson has exhibited two or three times at both 
theatres — and advertised himself. 

Turn over when you have read this. 

N. B. — This was intended for Jack Banister 
to speak. ; but the sage managers have chosen 
Miss Heard, — except Miss Tidswell, the worst 
actress ever seen or heard. Now, I remember I 
have promised the loan of my play. I will lend 
it instantly, and you shall get it ('pon honour!) 
by this day week. 

I must go and dress for the boxes ! First night ! 
Finding I have time, I transcribe the rest. Ob- 
serve, you have read the last first ; it begins thus : 
— - the names I took from a little outline G. gave 
me. I have not read the play. 

Ladies, ye 've seen how Guzman's consort died, 

Poor victim of a Spaniard brother's pride, 

When Spanish honour through the world was blown, 

And Spanish beauty for the best was known. 2 

In that romantic, unenlighten'd time, 

A breach of promise 3 was a sort of crime — 

Which of you handsome English ladies here, 

But deems the penance bloody and severe ? 

A whimsical old Saragossa 4 fashion, 

That a dead father's dying inclination, 

Should live to thwart a living daughter's passion, 5 

2 Four easy lines. s For which the heroine died. 
* In Spain ! ! 5 Two neat lines. 

284 



Unjustly on the sex we * men exclaim, 
Rail at your 2 vices, — and commit the same ; — 
Man is a promise-breaker from the womb, 
And goes a promise-breaker to the tomb — 
What need we instance here the lover's vow, 
The sick man's purpose, or the great man's bow ? 3 
The truth by few examples best is shewn — 
Instead of many which are better known, 
Take poor 'Jack Incident, that 's dead and gone. 
Jack, &c. &c. &c. 
1 Or you. 2 Or our, as they have altered it. 3 Antithesis. 

Now you have it all — how do you like it ? 
I am going to hear it recited ! ! ! C. L. 

Don't spill the cream upon this letter. 

LXXXVIII. — TO WILLIAM GODWIN 

Late o' Sunday, December 14, 1800. 

Dear Sir, — I have performed my office in a 
slovenly way, but judge for me. I sat down at 
6 o'clock, and never left reading (and I read out 
to Mary) your play till i o. In this sitting I noted 
down lines as they occurred, exactly as you will 
read my rough paper. Do not be frightened at 
the bulk of my remarks, for they are almost all 
upon single lines, which, put together, do not 
amount to a hundred, and many of them merely 
verbal. I had but one object in view, abridgment 
for compression's sake. I have used a dogmatical 
language (which is truly ludicrous when the 
trivial nature of my remarks is considered), and, 
remember, my office was to hunt out faults. You 

285 



may fairly abridge one half of them, as a fair 
deduction for the infirmities of error, and a single 
reading, which leaves only fifty objections, most 
of them merely against words, on no short play. 
Remember, you constituted me executioner, and 
a hangman has been seldom seen to be ashamed 
of his profession before Master Sheriff. We '11 
talk of the beauties (of which I am more than 
ever sure) when we meet. Yours truly, 

C. L. 

I will barely add, as you are on the very point 
of printing, that in my opinion neither prologue 
nor epilogue should accompany the play. It can 
only serve to remind your readers of its fate. 
Both suppose an audience, and, that jest being 
gone, must convert into burlesque. Nor would 
I (but therein custom and decorum must be a 
law) print the actors' names. Some things must 
be kept out of sight. 

I have done, and I have but a few square inches 
of paper to fill up. I am emboldened by a little 
jorum of punch (vastly good) to say that next 
to one man, I am the most hurt at our ill success. 
The breast of Hecuba, where she did suckle 
Hector, looked not to be more lovely than Mar- 
shal's forehead when it spit forth sweat, at Critic- 
swords contending. I remember two honest lines 
by Marvel (whose poems by the way I am just 
going to possess), — 

Where every mower's wholesome heat 
Smells like an Alexander's sweat. 
286 



LXXXIX. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

December 16, 1800. 

We are damn'd ! 

Not the facetious Epilogue itself could save us. 
For, as the Editor of the Morning Post (quick- 
sighted Gentleman !) hath this morning truly ob- 
served (I beg pardon if I falsify his words ; their 
profound sense I am sure I retain), both prologue 
and epilogue were worthy of accompanying such 
a piece; and indeed (mark the profundity, Mister 
Manning) were receiv'd with proper indignation 
by such of the audience only, as thought either 
worth attending to. Professor, thy glories wax 
dim. Again, the incomparable author of the True 
Briton declareth in his paper (bearing same date) 
that the Epilogue was an indifferent attempt at 
humour and character, and failed in both. I for- 
bear to mention the other papers, because I have 
not read them. O Professor, how different thy 
feelings now [quantum mutatus ab illo prof es sore, 
qui in agris philosophiae tantas victorias acquisivisti} 

— how different thy proud feelings but one little 
week ago — thy anticipation of thy nine nights 

— those visionary claps, which have soothed thy 
soul by day and thy dreams by night ! 

Calling in accidentally on the Professor while 
he was out, I was usher' d into the study; and my 
nose quickly (most sagacious always) pointed me 
to four Tokens lying loose upon thy Table, Pro- 
fessor, which indicated thy violent and Satanical 

287 



Pride of heart. Imprimis, there caught mine eye 
a list of six persons, thy friends, whom thou didst 
meditate inviting to a sumpt[u]ous dinner on the 
Thursday, anticipating the profits of thy Satur- 
day's play to answer charges ; I was in the hon- 
our'dfile! Next, a stronger evidence of thy vio- 
lent and almost Satanical pride, lay a List of all 
the morning papers (from the Morning Chronicle 
downwards to the Porcupine} with the places of 
their respective offices, where thou wast meditat- 
ing to insert, and did[st] insert, an elaborate sketch 
of the story of thy Play ; stones in thy Enemy's 
hand to bruise thee with, and severely wast thou 
bruis'd, O Professor ! nor do I know what oil to 
pour into thy wounds. Next (which convinced 
me, to a dead conviction, of thy pride, violent and 
almost Satanical pride !) lay a list of Books, which 
thy untragedy-favour'd pocket could never an- 
swer, Dodsley's Old Plays, Malone's Shakspeare 
(still harping upon thy Play, thy Philosophy aban- 
doned meanwhile to Christians and superstitious 
minds) nay I believe (if I can believe my memory) 
that the ambitious Encyclopedia itself was part of 
thy meditated acquisitions, but many a playbook 
was there ; all these visions are damned; and thou, 
Professor, must read Shakspeare in future out of 
a common Edition ; and, hark ye ! pray read him 
to a little better purpose. Last and strongest 
against thee (in colours manifest as the Hand 
upon Belshazzar's wall) lay a volume of poems 
by C. Lloyd and C. Lamb. Thy heart misgave 

288 



thee, that thy assistant might possibly not have 
talent enough to furnish thee an Epilogue ! Man- 
ning, all these Things come over my mind ; all 
the gratulations that would have thickened upon 
him, and even some have glanced aside upon his 
humble friend ; the vanity, and the fame, and the 
profits (the Professor is ^500 ideal money out 
of pocket by this failure, besides ^200 he would 
have got for the copyright, and the Professor is 
never much beforehand with the world ; what he 
gets is all by the sweat of his brow and dint of 
brain, for the Professor, though a sure man, is also 
a slow) ; and now to muse upon thy alter'd physi- 
ognomy, thy pale and squalid appearance (a kind 
of blue sickness about the eyelids) and thy crest 
fallen, and thy proud demand of ^200 from thy 
bookseller changed to an uncertainty of his taking 
it [at] all, or giving thee full ^50. The Professor 
has won my heart by this his mournful catastro- 
phe. 

You remember Marshall, who dined with him 
at my house ; I met him in the lobby imme- 
diately after the damnation of the Professor's play, 
and he looked to me like an angel ; his face was 
lengthen'd and all over sweat. I never saw such 
a care-fraught visage ; I could have hugg'd him, 
I loved him so intensely. " From every pore of 
him a Perfume fell." I have seen that man in 
many situations, and from my soul I think that 
a more god-like honest soul exists not in this 
world. The Professor's poor nerves trembling 

289 



with the recent shock, he hurried him away to 
my house to supper, and there we comforted him 
as well as we could. He came to consult me 
about a change of catastrophe ; but alas ! the piece 
was condemned long before that crisis. I at first 
humour'd him with a specious proposition, but 
have since join'd his true friends in advising him 
to give it up. He did it with a pang, and is to 
print it as bis. L. 

XC — TO THOMAS MANNING 

[December 27, 1800.] 

At length George Dyer's Phrenesis has come 
to a crisis ; he is raging and furiously mad. I 
waited upon the Heathen Thursday was a se'n- 
night. The first symptom which struck my eye, 
and gave me incontrovertible proof of the fatal 
truth, was a pair of Nankeen Pantaloons four 
times too big for him, which the said Heathen 
did pertinaciously affirm to be new. 

They were absolutely ingrained with the accu- 
mulated dirt of ages. But he affirmed them to be 
clean. He was going to visit a Lady that was nice 
about those things, and that 's the reason he wore 
nankeen that day. And then he danced, and ca- 
pered, and fidgeted, and pulled up his pantaloons, 
and hugged his intolerable flannel vestment closer 
about his poetic Loins. Anon he gave it loose to 
the Zephyrs which plentifully insinuate their tiny 
bodies thro' every crevice, door, window, or wain- 

290 



scoat, expressly formed for the exclusion of such 
Impertinents. Then he caught at a proof sheet, 
and catched up a laundresse's bill instead, made 
a dart at Bloomfield's poems, and threw them in 
agony aside. I could not bring him to one direct 
reply; he could not maintain his jumping mind 
in a right line for the tithe of a moment by Clif- 
ford's Inn Clock — he must go to the Printer's 
immediately — the most unlucky accident ! — 
he had struck off five hundred impressions of his 
Poems, which were ready for delivery to sub- 
scribers — and the Preface must all be expunged. 
There were 80 Pages of Preface, and not till that 
morning he had discovered that in the very first 
page of said preface he had set out with a prin- 
ciple of criticism fundamentally wrong, which 
vitiated all his following reasoning — The preface 
must be expunged, altho' it cost him ^30, the 
lowest calculation, taking in paper and printing. 
In vain have his real friends remonstrated against 
this Midsummer madness — George is as obsti- 
nate as a primitive Xtian — and wards and parrys 
[sic] off all our thrusts with one unanswerable 
fence — " Sir, it 's of great consequence that the 
world is not mislead [sic\ ! " 

As for the other Professor, he has actually be- 
gun to dive into Tavernier and Chardin's Persian 
Travels for a story, to form a new drama for the 
sweet tooth of this fastidious age. Has not Beth- 
lehem College a fair action for non-residence 
against such professors ? Are Poets so few in this 

291 



age, that He must write Poetry ? Is morals a sub- 
ject so exhausted, that he must quit that line ? 
Is the metaphysic Well (without a bottom) 
drained dry ? If I can guess at the wicked Pride 
of the Professor's heart, I would take a shrewd 
wager that he disdains ever again to dip his pen 
in Prose. Adieu, ye splendid theories ! Farewell, 
dreams of Political Justice ! Lawsuits, where I 
was counsel for Archbishop Fenelon versus my 
own mother in the famous fire cause ! 

Vanish from my mind, professors, one and all ! 
I have metal more attractive on foot. 

Man of many snipes, — I will sup with thee 
[Deo volente, et diabolo nolente) on Monday night, 
the 5th of January, in the new year, and crush 
a cup to the Infant Century. 

A word or two of my Progress : Embark at 
six o'clock in the morning, with a fresh gale, on 
a Cambridge one-decker ; very cold till eight at 
night ; land at St. Mary's light-house, muffins and 
coffee upon Table (or any other curious produc- 
tion of Turkey, or both Indies), snipes exactly at 
nine, Punch to commence at ten, with argument; 
difference of opinion is expected to take place 
about eleven ; perfect unanimity, with some hazi- 
ness and dimness, before twelve. — N. B. My 
single affection is not so singly wedded to Snipes ; 
but the curious and Epicurean Eye would also 
take a pleasure in beholding a delicate and well- 
chosen assortment of Teals, Ortolans, the unc- 
tious [sic) and palate-soothing flesh of geese, wild 

292 



and tame, nightingales' brains, the sensorium of 
a young sucking pig, or any other Xmas dish, 
which I leave to the judgment of you and the 
Cook of Gonville. 

C. Lamb 

XCL— TO THOMAS MANNING 

[Middle December, 1800.] 

I send you all of Coleridge's letters to me, 
which I have preserved : some of them are upon 
the subject of my play. I also send you Kem- 
ble's two letters, and the prompter's courteous 
epistle, with a curious critique on Pride's Cure, 
by a young physician from Edinbro', who mod- 
estly suggests quite another kind of a plot. These 
are monuments of my disappointment which I 
like to preserve. 

In Coleridge's letters you will find a good deal 
of amusement, to see genuine talent struggling 
against a pompous display of it. I also send you 
the Professor's letter to me (careful Professor! to 
conceal his name even from his correspondent), 
ere yet the Professor's pride was cured. Oh mon- 
strous and almost satanical pride ! 

You will carefully keep all (except the Scotch 
Doctor's, which burn) in statu quo, till I come to 
claim mine own. 

C. Lamb 

For Mister Manning, Teacher of Mathematics 
293 



and the Black Arts. There is another letter in 
the inside cover of the book opposite the blank 
leaf that was. 

Mind this goes for a letter. (Acknowledge it 
directly, if only in ten words.) 

Dear Manning, — (I shall want to hear this 
comes safe.) I have scratched out a good deal, 
as you will see. Generally, what I have rejected 
was either false in feeling, or a violation of char- 
acter — mostly of the first sort. I will here just 
instance in the concluding few lines of the Dy- 
ing Lover s Story, which completely contradicted 
his character of silent and unreproachful. I hesi- 
tated a good deal what copy to send you, and at 
last resolved to send the worst, because you are 
familiar with it, and can make it out ; and a 
stranger would find so much difficulty in doing 
it, that it would give him more pain than pleas- 
ure. 

This is compounded precisely of the two per- 
sons' hands you requested it should be. 
Yours sincerely, 

C. Lamb 

XCII.— TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 

[p. m., January 30, 1801.] 

Thanks for your letter and present. I had 
already borrowed your second volume. What 
most please me are, the Song of Lucy. . . . Si- 

294 



mon's sickly daughter in the Sexton made me cry. 
Next to these are the description of the continu- 
ous echoes in the story of Joanna's Laugh, where 
the mountains and all the scenery absolutely 
seem alive ; and that fine Shakesperian character 
of the " happy man," in the Brothers, — 

that creeps about the fields, 
Following his fancies by the hour, to bring 
Tears down his cheek, or solitary smiles 
Into his face, until the setting sun 
Write Fool upon his forehead. 

I will mention one more : the delicate and 
curious feeling in the wish for the Cumberland 
beggar, that he may have about him the melody 
of birds, altho' he hear them not. Here the 
mind knowingly passes a fiction upon herself, 
first substituting her own feelings for the beggar's, 
and, in the same breath detecting the fallacy, 
will not part with the wish. The Poet's Epitaph 
is disfigured, to my taste by the vulgar satire upon 
parsons and lawyers in the beginning, and the 
coarse epithet of pin point in the sixth stanza. 
All the rest is eminently good, and your own. 

I will just add that it appears to me a fault in 
the Beggar, that the instructions conveyed in it 
are too direct and like a lecture : they don't slide 
into the mind of the reader, while he is imagin- 
ing no such matter. An intelligent reader finds 
a sort of insult in being told, I will teach you how 
to think upon this subject. This fault, if I am 
right, is in a ten-thousandth worse degree to be 

2 95 



found in Sterne and many, many novelists and 
modern poets, who continually put a sign-post 
up to shew where you are to feel. They set out 
with assuming their readers to be stupid. Very 
different from Robinson Crusoe, the Vicar of Wake- 
field, Roderick Random, and other beautiful bare 
narratives. There is implied an unwritten com- 
pact between author and reader : I will tell you 
a story, and I suppose you will understand it. 
Modern novels, St. Leons and the like : are full 
of such flowers as these : " Let not my reader 
suppose," " Imagine, if you can" — ■ modest ! &c. 
I will here have done with praise and blame. 
I have written so much, only that you may not 
think. I have passed over your book without 
observation. 

I am sorry that Coleridge has christened his 
Ancient Marinere, a Poet's Reverie, it is as bad 
as Bottom the Weaver's declaration that he is 
not a lion but only the scenical representation of 
a lion. What new idea is gained by this title but 
one subversive of all credit, which the tale should 
force upon us, of its truth ? For me, I was never 
so affected with any human tale. After first read- 
ing it, I was totally possessed with it for many 
days. I dislike all the miraculous part of it, but 
the feelings of the man under the operation of 
such scenery dragged me along like Tom Piper's 
magic whistle. I totally differ from your idea 
that the Marinere should have had a character 
and profession. This is a Beauty in Gulliver's 

296 



Travels, where the mind is kept in a placid state 
of little wonderments ; but the Ancient Marinere 
undergoes such trials, as overwhelm and bury all 
individuality or memory of what he was, like 
the state of a man in a bad dream, one terrible 
peculiarity of which is, that all consciousness of 
personality is gone. 

Your other observation is I think as well a 
little unfounded : the Marinere from being 
conversant in supernatural events has acquired 
a supernatural and strange cast of phrase, eye, 
appearance, &c, which frighten the wedding 
guest. You will excuse my remarks, because 
I am hurt and vexed that you should think it 
necessary, with a prose apology, to open the eyes 
of dead men that cannot see. 

To sum up a general opinion of the second 
volume, I do not feel any one poem in it so 
forcibly as the Ancient Marinere, the Mad Mo- 
ther, and the Lines at Tintern Abbey in the first. 
I could, too, have wished the Critical Preface had 
appeared in a separate treatise. All its dogmas 
are true and just, and most of them new, as 
criticism. But they associate a diminishing idea 
with the poems which follow, as having been 
written for experiment on the public taste, more 
than having sprung (as they must have done) 
from living and daily circumstances. I am pro- 
lix, because I am gratifyed in the opportunity 
of writing to you, and I don't well know when to 
leave off. 

297 



I ought before this to have reply' d to your 
very kind invitation into Cumberland. With you 
and your sister I could gang anywhere. But I 
am afraid whether I shall ever be able to afford 
so desperate a journey. Separate from the pleas- 
ure of your company, I don't much care if I 
never see a mountain in my life. I have passed 
all my days in London, until I have formed as 
many and intense local attachments as any of 
you mountaineers can have done with dead na- 
ture. The lighted shops of the Strand and Fleet 
Street, the innumerable trades, tradesmen and 
customers, coaches, waggons, playhouses, all the 
bustle and wickedness round about Covent Gar- 
den, the very women of the town, the watchmen, 
drunken scenes, rattles, — life awake, if you 
awake, at all hours of the night, the impossibility 
of being dull in Fleet Street, the crowds, the 
very dirt and mud, the sun shining upon houses 
and pavements, the print shops, the old book- 
stalls, parsons cheap'ning books, coffee houses, 
steams of soups from kitchens, the pantomimes, 
London itself a pantomime and a masquerade, — 
all these things work themselves into my mind 
and feed me, without a power of satiating me. 
The wonder of these sights impels me into night- 
walks about her crowded streets, and I often shed 
tears in the motley Strand from fulness of joy at so 
much life. — All these emotions must be strange 
to you. So are your rural emotions to me. But 
consider, what must I have been doing all my 

298 



life, not to have lent great portions of my heart 
with usury to such scenes ? 

My attachments are all local, purely local. I 
have no passion (or have had none since I was 
in love, and then it was the spurious engender- 
ing of poetry and books) to groves and valleys. 
The rooms where I was born, the furniture which 
has been before my eyes all my life, a book-case 
which has followed me about (like a faithful 
dog, only exceeding him in knowledge) wherever 
I have moved — old chairs, old tables, streets, 
squares, where I have sunned myself, my old 
school, — these are my mistresses. Have I not 
enough, without your mountains ? I do not envy 
you. I should pity you, did I not know that the 
Mind will make friends of anything. Your sun 
and moon and skies and hills and lakes affect me 
no more, or scarcely come to me in more vener- 
able characters, than as a gilded room with tap- 
estry and tapers, where I might live with hand- 
some visible objects. I consider the clouds above 
me but as a roof, beautifully painted, but unable 
to satisfy the mind, and at last, like the pictures 
of the apartment of a connoisseur, unable to 
afford him any longer a pleasure. So fading upon 
me, from disuse, have been the " Beauties of 
Nature," as they have been confinedly called ; so 
ever fresh and green and warm are all the inven- 
tions of men and assemblies of men in this great 
city. I should certainly have laughed with dear 
Joanna. 

299 



Give my kindest love, and my sister s, to Dor- 
othy and yourself and a kiss from me to little 
Barbara Lewthwaite. 

C. Lamb 

Thank you for liking my play ! ! 

NOTE 

[This is the first — and perhaps the finest — letter from 
Lamb to Wordsworth that has been preserved. Wordsworth, 
then living with his sister Dorothy at Dove Cottage, Gras- 
mere, was nearly thirty-one years of age ; Lamb was nearly 
twenty-six. — E. V. Lucas.] 

XCIII. — TO ROBERT LLOYD 

February 7, 1801. 

Dear Robert, — I shall expect you to bring 
me a brimful account of the pleasure which Wal- 
ton has given you, when you come to town. It 
must square with your mind. The delightful 
innocence and healthfulness of the Angler's mind 
will have blown upon yours like a Zephyr. Don't 
you already feel your spirit filled with the scenes? 
— the banks of rivers — the cowslip beds — the 
pastoral scenes — the neat alehouses — the host- 
esses and milkmaids ; as far exceeding Virgil 
and Pope, as the Holy Living is beyond Thomas 
a Kempis. Are not the eating and drinking joys 
painted to the life? do they not inspire you with 
an immortal hunger? Are not you ambitious of 
being made an Angler ? What edition have you 
got ? is it Hawkins's with plates of Piscator &c. ? 

300 



That sells very dear. I have only been able to 
purchase the last edition, without the old plates, 
which pleased my childhood; — the plates being 
worn out, and the old edition difficult and expens- 
ive to procure. — The Complete Angler is the only 
Treatise written in Dialogue, that is worth a half- 
penny. — Many elegant dialogues have been writ- 
ten (such as Bishop Berkeley's Minute Philosopher) 
but in all of them the Interlocutors are merely 
abstract arguments personify' d ; not living dra- 
matic characters, as in Walton ; where everything 
is alive, the fishes are absolutely charactered, and 
birds and animals are as interesting as men and 
women. 

I need not be at much pains to get the Holy 
Livings — We can procure them in ten minutes 
search at any stall or shop in London. By your 
engaging one for Priscilla, it should seem she will 
be in town. Is that the case ? — I thought she 
was fix'd at the Lakes. I perfectly understand the 
nature of your solitariness at Birmingham — and 
wish I could divide myself, " like a bribed 
haunch" between London and it. But courage! 
— You will soon be emancipated and (it may be) 
have a frequent power of visiting this great place. 
Let them talk of lakes and mountains and roman- 
tic dales all that fantastic stuff; — give me a ram- 
ble by night, in the winter nights in London — 
the lamps lit — the pavements of the motley 
Strand crowded with to-and-fro passengers — the 
shops all brilliant, and stuffed with obliging cus- 

301 



tomers and obliged tradesmen. Give me the old 
bookstalls of London — a walk in the bright 
piazzas of Covent Garden. I defy a man to be 
dull in such places — perfect Mahometan para- 
dises upon earth. I have lent out my heart with 
usury to such scenes, from my childhood up — 
and have cried with fulness of joy at the multi- 
tudinous scenes of life in the crowded streets 
of ever dear London. I wish you could fix here. 
I don't know if you quite comprehend my low 
urban taste ; but depend upon it that a man of 
any feeling will have given his heart and his love 
in childhood and in boyhood to any scenes where 
he has been bred, as well to dirty streets (and 
smoky walls as they are called) as to green lanes 
where live nibbling sheep, and to the everlasting 
hills and the lakes and ocean. A mob of men is 
better than a flock of sheep ; and a crowd of 
happy faces justling into the playhouse at the hour 
of six is a more beautiful spectacle to man than 
the shepherd driving his " silly " sheep to fold. 

Come to London and learn to sympathize with 
my unrural notions. Wordsworth has published 
a second volume, Lyrical Ballads. Most of them 
very good — but not so good as first volume. 
What more can I tell you ? I believe I told you 
I have been to see Manning. He is a dainty chiel, 
a man of great power, an enchanter almost : far 
beyond Coleridge or any man in power of im- 
pressing. When he gets you alone, he can act the 
wonders of Egypt. Only he is lazy and does not 

302 






always put forth all his strength ; if he did, I 
know no man of genius at all comparable to him. 
Yours as ever, 

C. L. 

XCIV. — TO THOMAS MANNING 

February 15, 1801. 

I had need be cautious henceforward what 
opinion I give of the Lyrical Ballads. All the 
North of England are in a turmoil. Cumberland 
and Westmoreland have already declared a state 
of war. I lately received from Wordsworth a 
copy of the second volume, accompanied by an 
acknowledgment of having received from me 
many months since a copy of a certain tragedy, 
with excuses for not having made any acknow- 
ledgment sooner, it being owing to an " almost 
insurmountable aversion from letter- writing." 
This letter I answered in due form and time, and 
enumerated several of the passages which had 
most affected me, adding, unfortunately, that no 
single piece had moved me so forcibly as the 
Ancient Mariner, The Mad Mother, or the Lines at 
¥ intern Abbey. The post did not sleep a moment. 
I received almost instantaneously a long letter of 
four sweating pages from my reluctant letter- 
writer, the purport of which was, that he was 
sorry his second volume had not given me more 
pleasure (devil a hint did I give that it had not 
pleased me}, and " was compelled to wish that 

3°3 



my range of sensibility was more extended, being 
obliged to believe that I should receive large in- 
fluxes of happiness and happy thoughts " (I sup- 
pose from the L[yrica/] B\allads\\. — With a 
deal of stuff about a certain Union of Tenderness 
and Imagination, which in the sense he used 
Imagination was not the characteristic of Shaks- 
peare, but which Milton possessed in a degree 
far exceeding other poets : which Union, as the 
highest species of poetry, and chiefly deserving 
that name, " he was most proud to aspire to ; " 
then illustrating the said Union by two quota- 
tions from his own second volume (which I had 
been so unfortunate as to miss). 

i st Specimen. — A father addresses his son, — 

When thou 
First earnest into the world, as it befalls 
To new-born infants, thou didst sleep away 
Two days ; and blessings from thy father's tongue 
Then fell upon thee. 

The lines were thus undermarked, and then 
followed : " This passage, as combining in an 
extraordinary degree that Union of Imagination 
and Tenderness which I am speaking of, I con- 
sider as one of the best I ever wrote ! " 

2d Specimen. — A youth, after years of ab- 
sence, revisits his native place, and thinks (as 
most people do) that there has been strange 
alteration in his absence, — 

And that the rocks 
And everlasting hills themselves were changed. 

3°4 



You see both these are good poetry : but after 
one has been reading Shakspeare twenty of the 
best years of one's life, to have a fellow start up, 
and prate about some unknown quality, which 
Shakspeare possessed in a degree inferior to Mil- 
ton and somebody else ! ! This was not to be all 
my castigation. Coleridge, who had not written 
to me some months before, starts up from his bed 
of sickness to reprove me for my hardy presump- 
tion : four long pages, equally sweaty and more 
tedious, came from him ; assuring me that, when 
the works of a man of true genius, such as W. 
undoubtedly was, do not please me at first sight, 
I should suspect the fault to lie " in me and not 
in them," &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. What am I to 
do with such people ? I certainly shall write them 
a very merry letter. Writing to you, I may say 
that the second volume has no such pieces as the 
three I enumerated. It is full of original think- 
ing and an observing mind, but it does not often 
make you laugh or cry. It too artfully aims at 
simplicity of expression. And you sometimes 
doubt if simplicity be not a cover for poverty. 
The best piece in it I will send you, being short. 
I have grievously offended my friends in the North 
by declaring my undue preference ; but I need not 
fear you, — 

She dwelt among the untrodden ways 

Beside the Springs of Dove, 
A maid whom there were few to praise 

And very few to love. 

3°5 



A violet, by a mossy stone, 

Half hidden from the eye. 
Fair as a star when only one 

Is shining in the sky. 

She lived unknown ; and few could know, 

When Lucy ceased to be. 
But she is in the grave, and oh ! 

The difference to me. 

This is choice and genuine, and so are many, 
many more. But one does not like to have 'em 
rammed down one's throat. " Pray, take it — 
it 's very good — let me help you — eat faster." 

At length George Dyer's first volume is come 
to a birth. One volume of three — subscribers 
being allowed by the prospectus to pay for all at 
once (tho' it 's very doubtful if the rest ever 
come to anything, this having been already some 
years getting out). I paid two guineas for you 
and myself, which entitle us to the whole. I 
will send you your copy, if you are in a great 
hurry. Meantime you owe me a guinea. George 
skipped about like a scorched pea at the receipt 
of so much cash. To give you a specimen of the 
beautiful absurdity of the notes, which defy imi- 
tation, take one : " Discrimination is not the aim 
of the present volume. It will be more strictly 
attended to in the next." One of the sonnets 
purports to have been written in Bedlam ! This 
for a man to own ! The rest are addressed to 
Science, Genius, Melancholy — &c. &c. — two, 
to the River Cam — an Ode to the Nightingale. 

306 






Another to Howard, beginning " Spirit of meek 
Philanthropy ! " One is entitled The Madman 
— " being collected by the author from several 
Madhouses." It begins " Yes, yes — 't is He ! " 
A long poetical satire is addressed to "John Dis- 
ney, D.D. — his wife and daughter ! ! ! " 

Now to my own affairs. I have not taken 
that thing to Colman, but I have proceeded one 
step in the business. I have inquired his address, 
and am promised it in a few days. Meantime 
three acts and a half are finished galloping, of a 
Play on a Persian Story which I must father in 
April. But far, very far, from Antonio in com- 
position. O Jephtha, Judge of Israel, what a 
fool I was ! 

C. Lamb 



PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON & CO. 
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, U. S. A. 

Oir luur rcior prrss 



INDEX 

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS 

NOTEWORTHY LETTERS 

HUMOUR 

POEMS 

SONNETS 

ACROSTICS 

CRITICISMS 

QUOTATIONS 

EXCURSIONS 

MISCELLANEOUS 



INDEX 

Personal Characteristics 

Altruism, II, 65 

Books, companionship of, II, 107 ; III, 91 

Drinking, II, 197; III, 11, 83, 84, 284; V, 125, 225-227, 

349» 35° 
Drudgery, longing to be free from, II, 37; III, 186; IV, 178, 

189, 190, 196, 312 
Filial love, II, 54, 55, 61, 75, 76, 141-143 
Friends, appreciation of, II, 56, 57, 124 (his aunt Hetty), 133 

(Charles Lloyd), 145 (Coleridge), 157-159, 191, 198; 

III, 220, 242 ; IV, 72, 73, 177 ; V, 47, 48, 312, 338 
Hoaxing, love for, II, 231-233, 276; III, 169-171, 257-261 ; 

IV, 61-65; V, 169 
Humility, II, 64, 107 

Kindness of heart, II, 47, 48, 177, 178; V, 206-208, 338, 339 

Loneliness, dread of, II, 227, 228; V, 174, 175, 179, 180, 182 

Mankind, love for all, II, 65 

Mediocrity, abhorrence of, II, 107 

Nature, city preferred to, II, 277, 301, 302 ; III, 83 

Necessarian, a, II, 106 

Office work, exultation in freedom from, IV, 316, 320, 321, 322, 

3H 
Palate, pleasures of the, II, 262, 292; III, 169, 170, 320, 337 ; 

IV, 174-176, 185, 190, 201, 213, 214, 234, 251 (cheese), 
257, 294, 327, 328 (fish), 329, 330; V, 14, 70, 93, 100, 
101, 348 

Perfection, longings for, II, 107 

Punning, love for, II, 223, 284; III, 11, 92, 120, 122, 208, 
263, 267, 272, 302, 303 (at Salisbury), 305; IV, 36, 47, 
76, 78, 91, 115, 133 (note), 157, 263, 287, 289, 300; 

V, 12, 13, 22, 1 30, 31, 71, 74, 78, 87, 90, 92, 94, 156, 
158, 172, 178, 224, 256, 262, 277, 327 

1 " Anoint" : ironically, to beat soundly, to baste. — E, V. Lucas. 

3 11 



Religion, II, 23, 53, 54, 60, 63, 64, 106, 107, 145, 147, 154, 

157, 159; III, 24 
Sarcasm, II, 261, 266 

Self-depreciation, II, 105, 145, 148, 159; III, 181 ; V, 97, 98 
Shyness, II, 20, 138; IV, 55 
Sister, devotion to, II, 5, 53, 54, 59, 61-64, 99, 103, 228 ; III, 

180, 181, 285 ; IV, 60 ; V, 180, 182, 244, 309, 332, 335 
Smoking, III, 119, 184, 187 
Solitude, longings for, IV, 105-107; V, 81 
Spiritual adviser, II, 154, 157-159 
Sympathy, II, 69, 143; III, 164-166, 167, 168, 175, 179 

(note); V, 109, no, 165, 207, 208, 347 
Weather, how affected by the, II, 235 
Writing, love of simplicity in, II, 72 



Noteworthy Letters 
Vol. II. 

IX, 53, To S. T. Coleridge, October 3, 1796. In answer to 

his letter of sympathy of September 28, on the tragic death of 

Lamb's mother. 
XX, 100, To S. T. Coleridge, January 10, 1797. Coleridge's 

style and writings. Longings for true friendships ; religion. 
XXXVI, 157, To Robert Lloyd, August, 1798. Friendships; 

trust in God. 
XLI, 169, To Robert Lloyd, November 13, 1798. The good 

things of the world. 
LXXXIV, 276, To Thomas Manning, November 28, 1800. 

Praise of London. 
XCII, 294, To William Wordsworth, January 30, 1801. 

Wordsworth's poetry ; London. 

Vol. III. 

XCVII, 14, To Robert Lloyd, April 16, 1801. Jeremy 

Taylor's writings. 
CXXIII, 80, To Thomas Manning, September 24, 1802. 

Mountains. 

Vol. IV. 

CCLXXXIV, 138, To Dorothy Wordsworth, November 25, 
1819. Visit to Lambs of Wordsworth's son William. 
312 



CCCXXIX, 174, To S. T. Coleridge, March 9, 1822. 
Toothsomeness of a young pig. 

Vol. V. 

DCIX, 178, To Bernard Barton, July 25, 1829. Loneliness in 

London. 
DCXX, Pt. I, 196, To William Wordsworth, January 22, 1830. 

Contrast between the country (Enfield) and London ; Thomas 

Westwood, etc. 

Humour 

Acrostics, charades, etc., V, 222 

Affairs, prying into one's, IV, 96, 97 

Albums, V, 113, 153 

Algebra, Dyer's longings for Manning's ; his criticisms on poetry, 

II, 253-255 
Animal poems, II, 188, 189 
Aquatic incursion, an, IV, 258, 259 
"Archimedes" Manning, nonsense for, III, 184 

Bachelorhood, III, 160 

Blood, on one afflicted with impure, IV, 115, 116 

Brawn, present of, III, 169, 171 

Calendar, dedications in a, II, 155 
Charles Lamb Talfourd, V, 148, 149 
China, a proposal to visit, III, 26-28 
Chirography, Lucy Barton's, IV, 305 

Mary Lamb's, IV, 232, 233 
Christmas in China, impossibility of keeping, IV, 61, 62 
Chronologies, going by different, IV, 93 
Church, a tiny, V, 29, 30 

Cold, effect on the spirits of a severe, IV, 268-270; V, 24, 25 
Contented, men who are always, IV, 47 
Cottle, poems of, II, 261 ; III, 10 1 
Cottles, an evening with Dyer at the, II, 264-267 
Country air and that of tobacco, IV, 77 
Country, dulness of the, V, 197, 198 

Dash, on his dog, V, 86-88 

Diseases, IV, 263, 264 

Distance and time, on, V, 130, 131 

3*3 



Dorothy Wordsworth, a variety of pleasantries for, IV, 152-153 
Drinking, III, 316; V, 125, 225-227, 349, 350 
Dyer, George, poetry of, II, 248, 249 

Eccentricities, Dyer's, etc., II, 250-252 
"Elia," discovery of personality of, IV, 235 
Ensign Peacock, epitaph on, II, 190 
Epic poetry, etc., Dyer on, II, 260, 261 
Epitaphs, III, 314, 315 

Fire-worshippers, III, 303 

Fishes, etc., toothsomeness of certain, IV, 327 

French, the, IV, 96 

Godfather, acting as ; behaviour at marriages and funerals, IV, 44, 

45 
"Gum-boil" and "Tooth-ache," etc., Ill, 185 

Handwriting, varieties of, V, 255-257 
Hoaxings, various, IV, 62-65 
Honour, tides of, III, 302 
Horse, ride on a mad, V, 200-202 

Idolaters, literary, II, 248 

Incendiarism, V, 246—248 

" Independent Tartary," III, 102-105 

Inks, alternate-coloured, IV, 127, 128 

Isle of Wight, outing at; Capt. Bumey, III, 132-133 

Isola Bella, V, 162 

Isola Lamb, Miss, V, 224 

John B. Dibdin, poem to, V, 32-34 
John, the name, V, 90 

Languages, merits of different ; poetry, metaphors, etc., II, 221, 

222 
Latin, letter in, V, 258, 259 ; 261, 262 
Latin, on presuming to write ; some compositions of Coleridge, III, 

85-87 
Latin, on teaching, V, 72, 74, 90 
Laziness, IV, 57 
Leviathan, meaning of, II, 1 84 
Logic and imagination, III, 9, 10 
London, charms of, III, 1 2 

3*4 



May, a cold, V, 25, 26 
Measles, V, 145 
Mottoes, III, 63, 64 
Moving, III, 281 

Palate, craze about pleasures of the, II, 262, 263 

Phrensy, poetic ; a proposed feast, II, 290-292 

Pig, present of a, IV, 174-176, 213, 214 

Pigs, IV, 257 

Poets laureate, V, 167, 168 

Poets, painters encroaching on province of, III, 273 

Present, receiving strange-shaped, V, 163 

Presents, IV, 46 

Punning, III, 267 ; IV, 333 

Rheumatism, on, V, 169-171 

Scotch writers, craze about, II, 263, 264 
Smoking, on, III, 119 
Snakes, II, 270, 271 
Solicitude, Coleridge's, II, 212 
Sophy, "little wife," IV, 188 
Stage-coach, incident in a, V, 236 
Sunday, a rainy, V, 38-40 

" Superfcetation of drink," fate of Tommy Bye overcome by a, IV, 
124, 125, 127 

Tailor, a, II, 176 

Tailors, IV, 22 

Theatres, tickets to, III, 229 

Theses quaedam theologies, II, 1 48, 1 49 

Tobacco, a farewell to, III, 186-190 

Variola, V, 146 

Versifying, II, 174 

Visit, invitation to make a, II, 244 

Water-drinking and liquors, III, 3 1 6 

Watch, present of a, V, 315, 316 

Weather, effect on mind of fine; a "happy family," II, 235 

Wedding, a, V, 3 1 8 

3*5 



Poems by Charles Lamb 

A Conceipt of Diabolical Possession, II, 216 

Album of Lucy Barton, written for the, IV, 292 

A Little Song, paraphrased from Schiller, II, 217 

To C. Aders, Esq. (On his Collection of Paintings by the old 

German Masters), V, 275 
To Charles Lloyd (An unexpected visitor), II, 109 
To Charles Lloyd (In anxiety of mind), II, 143 
The Dying Lover, II, 171 
England, IV, 325 

A Farewell to Tobacco, III, 187-190 
To a Friend on his Marriage, V, 322 
Hester, III, 106 
Italy, IV, 326 
Jack Incident, II, 282 
To John B. Dibdin, V, 32-34 
John ffoodvil, extracts from, II, 180, 181, 183 
Lines for a Monument (Commemorating the Sudden Death by 

Drowning of a Family of Four Sons and Two Daughters), V, 

243 

Lines on his Aunt Hetty (Sarah Lamb), II, 116 
Love will come, V, 3 3 7 
Marmor loquitur, II, 1 90 

Epitaphs for Mary Druitt (Buried at Wimborne, Dorset, aged 19), 
(I) III, 65; (II) III, 114, 123 

Mottoes — 

Addington, III, 64 

Count Romford, IN, 63 

Dr. Solomon, III, 63 

Frere and Canning, III, 64 
To the Poet Cowper, II, 45 
Pride's Cure, 1 III, 21 

To Sara and her Samuel, II, 42, 43 (48 note) 
Serenata on Marriage of Charles Cowden Clarke to Victoria Novello, 

V, 137, 138 
Epitaph to Sir James Mackintosh, III, 26 
Suum Cuique, V, 232 

1 This poem was so called before it was transformed into "John Woodvil. " I 
am to christen it John fVood-u it simply — not Pride'i Cure." II], 43. 

3l6 



The Tomb of Douglas, II, 83, 84 

A Vision of Repentance, II, 128 

Lines suggested by a Sight of Walt ham Cross, V, 1 06 

To William Ayr ton, IV, 89-91 

The Witch, II, 171 (170, 175, 182) 

Written a Twelvemonth after the Events? II, 141 

The Young Catechist, V, 61 

To a Young Lady going out to India, II, 8 1 

Poems by Mary Lamb 

Dialogue between a Mother and Child, III, 1 5 2 

Helen repentant too late, II, 257 ; III, 71 

Lines suggested by a Picture of Two Females by Lionardo da Vinci, 

III, 152 
Lines on the same Picture being removed, III, 182 
Lines on the Celebrated Picture by L. da Vinci, called " The Virgin 

of the Rocks," III, 182 

Sonnets by Charles Lamb 

To Edith Southey (Christian Names of Women), V, 296 

The Gypsy's Malison, V, 1 59 

A Walk to Hertfordshire, II, 7 

Innocence, II, 9 

To My Sister, II, 5, 99 

To Samuel Rogers, Esq. (On the Loss of his Brother), V, 165 

On Revisiting a loved Scene, II, 7 

Work, IV, 189, 190 

Acrostics 

To Emma Button, IV, 336 

To Grace Joanna Williams, V, 22 1, 228 

To Louisa Clare (Williams), V, 219 

To Mary Locke, V, 278 

To Sarah Locke, V, 278 

Criticisms 

Addison, Joseph, II, 104 

Ainsworth, William Harrison, IV, 181 

1 The death of Mrs. Elizabeth Lamb, September 22, 1796. 

3*7 



Amory, Thomas, The Life of John Bunt le, Esq. , II, 135 
Aquinas, Thomas, V, 166, 167, 183 

Barbauld, Anna Letitia, III, 94 
Barton, Bernard, IV, 284 

" Bloomfield, the Suffolk poet, Verses to the memory of" 
(in Poetic Vigils), IV, 252, 253, 285 

Devotional Verses (" your book "), V, 17 

Elephant; The Translation of Enoch, V, 143 

A Memorial of James Nayler, IV, 285 

Poems ("your book"), IV, 335 

Power and Gentleness ; The Present ; Lady Russell; Chalon; 
Battle of Gibeon, V, 1 42 

"Spiritual Law" (from Devotional Verses), V, 18 

Syr Heron ; Flu dyer, V, 144 

A Widow's Tale and Other Poems, V, 59-62 
Beaumont, Francis, and Fletcher, John, II, 39 

Maid's Tragedy; Philaster ; "Palamon and Arcite " (in 
The Two Noble Kinsmen), II, 35 

Wife for a Month, II, 33 
Blake, William, IV, 281-283 
Blanchard, Laman, Sonnets, V, 140 

Bloomfield, Robert, The Farmer Boy, II, 271, 275; IV, 253 
Bourne, Vincent, Poemata, IV, 31, 32 

The Seven Dials, IV, 31 
Bowles, William Lisle, II, 25, 73 (66, 92) 

Elegiac Stanzas; Hope, an Allegorical Sketch, etc., II, 98 
Burger, Gottfried August, Leonora, II, 46 
Burnet, Gilbert, A History of His Own Times, II, 211 
Bums, Robert, II, 12,92, 188 
Burton, Robert, The Abstract of Melancholy, II, 216 

The Anatomy of Melancholy, II, 215 ; V, 30 
Byron, Lord, IV, 146, 196, 283, 284 

Calamy, Edmund, V, 173 

Cary, Henry Francis, Dante, V, 320 

Cervantes, Don Quixote, IV, 344 

Chapman, George, Homer's Iliad, III, 96; IV, 166; Odyssey, V, 

82 
Charron, Pierre, De la Sagesse, IV, 49 
Clare, John, Cowper Hill; Recollections after a Ramble ; Solitude, 

IV, 184 

318 



Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, II, 20-27, 3 Z > 38, 76-81, 87-89, 94- 
98, 100-ioz, 112, 113, 118 

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, II, 167, 296, 297 

Monody on the Death of Chatterton, II, 23, 24, 33, 98 

Ode on the Departing Year ("second strophe" etc.), II, 
100, 101 

Fancy in Nubibus ("sonnet"), IV, 134 

Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni, III, 85 (88) 

Epitaph on an Infant, II, 25, 76 

Joan of Archil, 14, 16-18, 32, 104, 119-123 

Kubla Khan, IV, 71 

Lewti, II, 246 

Lines on a Friend who died of a frenzy fever, etc. (" Ed- 
mund"), II, 25 

The " Man of Ross," Lines to, III, 125 

Once a Jacobin always a Jacobin, HI, 94 

My Pensive Sara, 2 II, 14 

The Raven, II, 1 1 4, 3 247 

Religious Musings, II, 4, II, 1 3- 15, 21, 30, 46, 79, 81, 
104, 113, 119 (note), 122, 123 
Coleridge, Sara, The Silver Thimble ("The 5th Epistle"), II, 

21. 
Collier, John Payne, The Poetical Decameron, IV, 159 
Cornwall, Barry, V, 283 
Cottle, Joseph, Alfred, an Epic Poem, II, 261 

Fall of Cambria, IV, 145 

A Monody on John Henderson, II, 19, 21 

The Messiah, IV, 136, 145 
Cowley, Abraham, II, 9, 104 
Cowper, William, II, 19, 92, 114, 119 

Homer's Iliad, III, 96, 294; Odyssey, II, 35 

The Task, II, 85, 86 

Crazy Kate, II, 35 

Daniel, Samuel, III, 287 

Darley, George, IV, 313. Sylvia, or, The May Queen, V, 165 
Defoe, Daniel, Colonel Jack, IV, 207, 224 
Moll Flanders, IV, 207 

I Coleridge contributed to Southey's Joan of Arc lines 1-450 of Book II, with 
the exception of 141-143, 148-222, 266-272, and 286-291. He subsequently 
took out his lines, and gave them new shape as the poem, The Destiny of Nations. 

* Afterwards called Tie Molian Harp. 

8 The " Dream " is The Raven. 

3*9 



Account of the Plague, IV, 205-207 

Robinson Crusoe, IV, 206, 224 

Roxana, IV, 207, 223, 224 
Dibdin, Charles, The Tbessiad, IV, 306 
Dryden, John, See CEdipus (under Nathaniel Lee), III, 21 
Dyer, George, Poems, II, 174, 249, 306-307 

Fairfax, Edward, Tasso, I, 114; V, 320 

Field, Barron, Kangaroo, IV, 148 

Fitzgerald, Edward, 1 The Meadows in Spring (" A poem I envy "), 

V, 267 
Fletcher, John, V, 3 1 

The Faithful Shepherdess, II, 131 

The Spanish Curate ; Chief, or, Little Nightwalker ; Wit 
without Money; Lover's Pilgrimage, V, 30 
Fletcher, Phineas, Purple Island, III, 14 

Godwin, William, Antonio, II, 279, 280, 285, 286, 307 

Faulkener ("your story"), III, 29, 36-38 
Goethe, Faust, IV, 265 

Gray, Thomas, Elegy in a Country Churchyard ,• On a Distant 
Prospect of Eton College, V, 22 

Hazlitt, William, Spirit of the Age, IV, 31 1 
Hesiod, Works and Days, IV, 165 
Homer, III, 289-291, 294, 307, 308 

Landor, Walter Savage, Count Julian, IV, 42 
Gebir, II, 195 
Rose Aylmer, V, 281 
Lee, Nathaniel, Alexander the Great ; (Edipus (with John Dryden) ; 
Massacre of Paris ; Theodosius ; or, The Force of Love ("All 
for Love"), III, 21 
Lloyd, Jun., Charles, II, 193. Sonnets ; The Melancholy Man, II, 

87 
Lloyd, Sen., Charles, Certain Epistles (of Horace), III, 324-327 ; 

Homer's Iliad, III, 289-295 ; Odyssey, III, 297 (note) ; 

Poems, IV, 255 
Locke, John, Essay on the Human Understanding, IV, 72 

Marlowe, Christopher, Edward II, II, 164 
The Jew of Malta, II, 162 

1 From Hone's Year Book (April 30, 1831). 
320 



Massinger, Philip, II, 35, 39. A Very Woman, II, 34 
Milton, John, II, 104; III, 294 

Com us, II, 131 ; III, 285 

Paradise Lost, II, 113; IV, 1 66 

Samson Agonist es, III, 285 
Montgomery, James, 1 The Common Lot, V, 267 
More, Hannah, Coelebs in Search of a Wife, III, 288 
Moxon, Edward, Christmas, V, 166 

Sonnets, V, 324-326 

Oilier, Charles, Inesilla, or, The Tempter, IV, 273 
Otway, Thomas, The Orphan, Monimia in, III, 21 
Pierre and Jaffier in Venice Preserved, III, 2 1 

Patrick, Bishop, Parable of the Pilgrim, IV, 49 
Penn, William, No Cross, No Crown, II, 1 24 
Percy, Thomas, Edward, Edward, II, 217 
Pope, Alexander, Homer, IV, 166 

Song by Person of Quality ("Mild Arcadians," etc.), IV, 

7i 
Priestley, Joseph, II, 15, 25, 100, 105, 107 

Quarles, Francis, II, 160, 164, 167, 188; IV, 164; V, 18 

Reynolds, John Hamilton, Peter Bell, IV, no, 120 
Rogers, Samuel, Italy, V, 243 

Pleasures of Hope, IV, 73 
Rousseau, Jean Jacques, Confessions, II, 70 
Russell, J. Fuller, V, 343-345 

Sandys, George, Ovid's Metamorphoses, V, 320 
Shakespeare, William, II, 181 ; III, 38, 201 

Much Ado about Nothing, IV, 146 

Richard the Third, III, 21, 22 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, Lines to a Reviewer ("Sonnet"), IV, 290 

(note 291) 
Shenstone, William, The Schoolmistress, IV, 185 
Southey, Robert, II, 19, 35, 108, 112, 114 

The Alderman's Funeral, II, 185 

Bishop Bruno, II, 174 

1 This is the poem Lamb meant by "The Last Man," according to E. V. 
Lucas and Canon Ainger. 

321 



The Battle of Blenheim, II, 247 

Book of the Church, IV, 341, 34Z 

Life of Bunyan, V, 230 

Cousin Margaret, II, 186 

"Dialogues" i. e. (Sir Thomas More ; or, Colloquies on the 

Progress and Prospects of Society'), V, 175 
Hymn to the Penates, II, 185 
Jaspar, II, 1 86 
Joan if Arc, 1 II, 16, 17 ("page 98, etc."), 19, 31, 32, 

in, 112, 154 
The Curse of Kehama, IV, 40, 41 
The Last of the Family, II, 1 85 
On my own Miniature Picture, II, 114 
The Old Mansion House, II, 185 ("first eclogue") 
The Old Woman of Berkeley, II, 174 ("witch ballad"), 

185 

Roderick, the Last of the Goths, IV, 40-42 
The Rose, II, 1 86 

The Ruined Cottage, II, 161 ("eclogue"), 185 
Sailor's Mother, II, 185 
To a Spider, II, 1 87 
At Gualierto, II, 247 
The Surgeon's Warning, II, 1 86 
The Victory, II, 187 
The Wedding, II, 164 ("eclogue") 
Spenser, Edmund, II, 104 Gabriel Harvey, Sonnet to, III, 205 

Tayler, Charles Benjamin, IV, 271 

Taylor, Jeremy, III, 57 

Life of Christ, III, 17, 18 

Measures and Offices of Friendship, III, 1 8 

Holy Living and Dying, III, 15-18 

Voltaire, Candide, IV, 14 

Walton, Izaak, Compleat Angler, II, 30, 67, 164, 300, 30 1 ; IV, 

71 ; V, 335, 336 
Warner, William, Syrinx; or, A Sevenfold History, IV, 265 
Watts, Alaric, Souvenir, IV, 306 
Wilson, Walter, Memoirs on the Life and Times of Daniel Defoe, V, 

185 

1 See Coleridge's "Joan of Arc (note). 
322 



Wither, George, II, 38, 167 

Emblems, II, 159, 160; Supersedeas, II, 160 
Wordsworth, Dorothy, Address to a Child, during a boisterous 
winter evening ("What way does the wind come from?"), 
IV, 32 
Wordsworth, William, IV, 284 

Artegal and Elidure, IV, 1 44 

The Brothers, II, 295 

Dion, IV, 144 

Essay on Epitaphs, III, 3 1 4 

The Excursion, III, 328, 329; IV, 15 ; V, 222 

Hart-leap Well, IV, 120 

Her eyes are wild ("The Mad Mother "), II, 297, 303 

To Joanna, II, 295 

The Pass of Kirkstone, IV, 1 44 

Laodamia, IV, 31 

The Longest Day, IV, 144 

Lucy Gray ,• or Solitude, II, 294 

Lyrical Ballads, II, 294 ("second volume "), 303; IV, 
29 ("book presents") 

The Affliction of Margaret, III, 3 29 

Power of Music, IV, 3 1 

A Night-piece, IV, 34 

The Old Cumberland Beggar, II, 295 

Peter Bell, IV, 37, 120 

Poet's Epitaph, II, 295 

The Reverie of Poor Susan, IV, 35 

The Force of Prayer ("Young Romilly "), IV, 36 

Rural Architecture ("Boy-builders"), IV, 30, 36 

To a Sexton, II, 295 

"She dwelt among the untrodden ways," II, 305 

"Tales of the Churchyard among the Mountains" (from 
The Excursion), III, 329 

Farmer of Tilsbury Vale, IV, 3 5 

Lines at Tin tern Abbey, II, 297, 303 

The Two Thieves ; or, The Last Stage of Avarice, IV, 3 5 

The Waggoner ("Benjamin"), IV, 126 

The White Doe of Ry Is ton, IV, 37 

Yarrow Revisited, IV, 34 

Tew Trees, IV, 31 



3 2 3 



Quotations 

Barton, Bernard, " Bloomfield, the Suffolk poet, Verses to the 

memory of" (in Poetic Vigils), IV, 252, 253 
Beaumont, Francis and Fletcher, John 

Bonduca, II, 34 

The Maid's Tragedy, II, 144 

Two Noble Kinsmen (" Palamon and Arcite "), II, 35 

Wife for a Month, II, 33 
Blake, William, The Tiger, IV, 282 
Bourne, Vincent, Milestones, V, 1 3 1 
Bowles, William Lisle, The Grave of Howard, and Account of 

Lazarettos, from, II, 73 
Bunyan, John, Lines on Pilgrim's Progress, V, 132 
Burns, Robert, The Whistle, II, 37 

To W. Simpson Ochiltree, II, 276 

Chapman, George, Homer's Iliad, III, 96, 97 
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 

Rime of the Ancient Mariner, II, 168 

Lines on Observing a Blossom on the First of February, II, 
12 

Monody on the Death of Chatterton, II, 24 ( 2d half of 1 st 
quot.), and (2d quot.) 

Christabel, II, 223 ; IV, 108 

The Destiny of Nations, II, 1 7 

Sonnet to a Friend (Charles Lloyd), II, 72 

Friendship's Offering for 1834, Lines misquoted from, V, 

33° 

The Raven ("Dream"), II, 114 

Religious Musings, II, 1 4, 22, 1 1 3 
Collier, John Payne, The Poetical Decameron (In Third Conversa- 
tion), IV, 159 
Collins, William, Ode on the Poetical Character, II, 91 (middle) 
Cottle, Joseph, On going up Malvern Hills, III, 101 

The Messiah, IV, 136, 137 

The Monody on Henderson, II, 22 (top) 
Cotton Charles, "On the Inconveniences of Old Age," III, 112 

"Retirement" (in Compleat Angler), V, 91 

Winter (stanzas 21-49), III, 108— III 
Cowley, Abraham, Elegy on Harvey, II, 10 

3 2 4 



Cowper, William, To the Rev. Dr. Newton : an Invitation into the 
Country ("And if a sigh," etc.) II, 32 
On the Loss of the Royal George, III, 113 
The Task, from " Winter Walk at Noon," II, 87 

Donne, John, Metempsychosis (illustration from), IV, 276 
Dryden, John, Mac-Flecknoe, IV, 345 

Hamilton of Bangour, "Happiness," in Epistle to the Countess of 
Eglinton, II, 9 

Landor, Walter Savage, Gebir (altered), IV, 288 
Lloyd, Sen., Charles, Homer's Iliad, III, 290, 293 

Horace's Epistles, III, 324-326 
Logan, John, from Ode on the Death of a Young Lady, II, 36, 

116 
Lovelace, Richard, To Althea from Prison, IV, 320 

Man, Henry, Epigram, IV, 309 

Marlowe, Christopher, Faustus (misquotation from), IV, 266 

The Rich Jew of Malta, II, 162 
Marvell, Andrew, Upon Appleton House, II, 286 
Massinger, Philip, A Very Woman, II, 34, 74 

Sir Giles Overreach in A New Way to Pay Old Debts, III, 
21; To the Ocean, V. 325 
Milton, John, from Sonnet to Cyriack Skinner, II, 244 (1st quot.) 

Defensio, III, 98, 99 

Sonnet to Dr. Lawrence, II, 244 (zd quot.) ; IV, 59 
Moxon, Edward, To Emma Moxon, V, 3 26 

Parnell, Thomas, Hymn to Contentment, II, 9 
Petrarch, II, 71 

Pope, Alexander, The Dunciad, IV, 274 
Priestley, Joseph, II, 105 

Quarles, Francis, An Elegie (misquoted from), III, 305 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, Nymph's Reply to the Passionate Shepherd,* II, 

144 
Rogers, Samuel, Pleasures of Memory, II, 91 (2d quot.) 
Russell, J. Fuller, Emily de Wilton, V, 344, 345, 346 (note) 

* First line in second quotation. 
3 2 5 



Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich, II, 217 
Shakespeare, William, 

Henry the Fourth, II, 181 

Love's Labour's Lost, II, 144 

Macbeth, III, 31 

Midsummer Night's Dream, II, 183 ; III, 17 

Much Ado about Nothing, IV, 146 

The Tempest, III, 284; V, 225, (350) 

Twelfth Night, IV, 59 
Shenstone, William, Absence, V, 71 
Southey, Robert, Joan of Arc, II, III, 112 

The Last of the Family, II, 166 (two quots.) 

On my own Miniature Picture, II, 114 

Roderick, the Last of the Goths, IV, 42 

Rosamund to Henry, II, I 84 

The Surgeon's Warning, II, 1 86 

The Victory, from, II, 187 

The Wedding (from "You have taught," etc.), II, 16$ 
Spenser, Edmund, from Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney, 1 IV, 1 60 

Webster, John, from The Duchess of Malfy, IV, 278 

From The White Devil, III, 196 
Wordsworth, William, The Brothers, II, 295, 304 (2d quot.) 

The Excursion, IV, 33 

Hart-leap Well, III, 331 

Michael, II, 304 (1st quot.) 

The Force of Prayer (" Young Romilly "), IV, 37 

To the Small Celandine, IV, 34 



Excursions 

1797 Nether Stowey, II, 136, 139 (note) 

1800 Oxford, II, 235, 237 

1 80 1 Margate, III, 32 

1802 Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside, Ulswater, III, 82 

1803 Isle of Wight, III, 133 

1805 Egham, near Harrow, III, 185 

1809 Wilton, Salisbury, Stonehenge, III, 298 

1 810 Winterslow, near Sarum, III, 309 
1815 Cambridge, IV, 50, 53 

1 Printed in Spenser's Poems, but author is unknown. 
326 



1816 Calne (Wiltshire), Bath, Bristol (IV, 135), Marlbro, 
Chippenham, Dalston, IV, 74 

1820 Cambridge, IV, 147 

1 82 1 Margate, IV, 161 

1822 Paris, IV, 184, 185, 190, 194 

1823 Tunbridge Wells, IV, 241 

1823 Hastings, IV, 243 

1824 Ware, Watford, IV, 298 

1825 Enfield, IV, 339, 345, 346 
1827 Enfield, V, 64, 67, 72, 78, etc. 
1827 Waltham Cross, V, 106 
1833-4 Edmonton, V, 308, etc. 

Miscellaneous 

Benevolence and Self-interest, II, 66 

Church at Hollingdon, The tiny, rural, IV, 244, 287 ; V, 29, 30 

" Elia," Dibdin's discovery of personality of, IV, 235 ; First letter 

thus signed, CCCVI, to S. T. Coleridge, May 1, 1821, IV, 

157; Origin of name, IV, 164 
Forest life, Delights of, II, 183 
Friendships, II, 36, 93, 105, 127, 128, 157, 159 
Hope, and her younger sister, Fear, II, 39 
London, Dispraise of, V, 179 ; Longings for, V, 197, 198, 206 ; 

Praise of, II, 30, 277, 298, 301, 302 ; III, 12, 72, 83 ; V, 

310, 340, 342 
Miss Fanny M. Kelly, Proposal of marriage to, IV, 1 3 1 
Mountains, How impressed by, III, 77, 81, 82 
Mrs. Lamb, Death of, II, 49-52 
Paris, IV, 184, 185, 191 
Pigs, Praise of, III, 169, 170, 320 ; IV, 174-176, 201, 213, 214, 

257, 294; V, 99-101 
Quaker worship, II, 26 



327 



CHRONOLOGICAL INDEX 



VOLUME II 



Letter 


Page 






No. 








I 


3 


To 


Coleridge 


2 


6 


ti 


tt 


3 


16 


tt 


tt 


4 


31 


tt 


tt 


S 


38 


tt 


tt 


6 


42 


tt 


tt 


7 


43 


tt 


tt 


8 


49 


tt 


tt 


9 


S3 


tt 


tt 


IO 


60 


tt 


tt 


ii 


63 


tt 


tt 


12 


65 


tt 


tt 


13 


69 


tt 


tt 


1.4 


73 


tt 


tt 


'5 


7 6 


tt 


tt 


16 


81 


tt 


tt 


"7 


85 


tt 


ft 


18 


90 


tt 


tt 


*9 


94 


tt 


tt 


20 


100 


tt 


tt 


21 


108 


tt 


tt 


22 


in 


tt 


tt 


2 3 


119 


tt 


tt 


24 


126 


tt 


tt 


25 


128 


tt 


tt 


26 


132 


tt 


tt 


27 


134 


tt 


tt 


28 


136 


tt 


tt 


29 


137 


tt 


tt 


XBMtrfW 3° 


140 


tt 


tt 


31 


141 


tt 


€t 


32 


144 


tt 


tt 



May 27,1796 

June 1, 1796 

June 10, 1796 

June 13, 1796 

July 1, 1796 

July 5, 1796 

July 6, 1796 

Sept. 27, 1796 

Oct. 3, 1796 

Oct. 17, 1796 

Oct. 24, 1796 

Oct. 28, 1796 

Nov. 8, 1796 

Nov. 14, 1796 

Dec. 2, 1796 

Dec. 5, 1796 

Dec. 10, 1796 

Dec. 10, 1796 

Jan. 2, 1797 

Jan. 10, 1797 

Jan. 18, 1797 

Feb. 5, 1797 

Feb. 13, 1797 

April 7, 1797 

April 15, 1797 

June 13, 1797 

June 24, 1797 

June, 1797 

July 26, 1797 

August 24, 1797 ^--" tL,#MA4<i 

September, 1797 

Jan. 28, 1798 



329 



Letter 


Page 






No. 








33 


148 


To 


Coleridge 


34 


'53 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


3S 


'54 


tt 


Robert Southey 


36 


•57 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


37 


'59 


tt 


Robert Southey 


38 


161 


ft 


N 


39 


164 


tt 


€« 


40 


167 


tt 


fC 


4' 


.69 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


4* 


170 


tt 


« 


43 


171 


tt 


Robert Southey 


44 


"73 


tt 


<< 


45 


"77 


tt 


<< 


46 


179 


tt 


*€ 


47 


181 


tt 


€€ 


48 


184 


tt 


M 


49 


187 


tt 


<c 


5° 


192 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


5' 


'94 


tt 


Robert Southey 


52 


'95 


tt 


Manning 


53 


'97 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


54 


'99 


tt 


Manning 


55 


202 


tt 


Coleridge 


56 


203 


tt 


Manning 


S7 


205 


*« 


<< 


58 


210 


<( 


tt 


59 


212 


M 


€€ 


60 


114 


M 


tt 


61 


lI S 


M 


tt 


62 


219 


M 


Coleridge 


63 


224 


tt 


Robert Lloyd 


64 


227 


tt 


Coleridge 


65 


228 


t€ 


Manning 


66 


229 


(t 


tt 


67 


230 


M 


tt 


68 


231 


<< 


John Mathew Gutch, 


69 


233 


M 


Coleridge 


70 


*34 


(« 


Robert Lloyd 


7i 


236 


fi 


Coleridge 


7 Z 


238 


M 


tt 


73 


242 


M 


Manning 



No date, 1798 
July, 1798 
July 28, 1798 
August, 1798 
Oct. 18, 1798 
Oct. 29, 1798 
Nov. 3, 1798 
Nov. 8, 1798 
Nov. 13, 1798 
Nov. 20, 1798 
November, 1798 
Nov. 28, 1798 
Dec. 27, 1798 
Jan. zi, 1799 
January, 1799 
March 1 5, 1 799 
March 20, 1799 
October, 1799 
Oct. 31, 1799 
December, 1799 
Dec. 17, 1799 
Dec. 28, 1799 
Jan. 2, 1800 
Feb. 13, 1800 
February, 1800 
March 1, 1800 
March 17, 1800 
April 5, 1800 
April, 1800 
April 16, 1800 
April 23, 1800 
May 12, 1800 
May 17, 1800 
May 20, 1 800 
May 25, 1800 
No date, 1 800 
June 22, 1800 
July 22, 1 800 
August, 1800 
Aug. 6, 1 800 
Aug. 9, 1 800 



33° 



Letter 


Page 






No. 








74 


244 To Manning 


Aug. n, 1800 


75 


245 « 


Coleridge 


Aug. 14, 1800 


76 


250 ' 


Manning 


Aug. 23, 1800 


77 


253 ' 


1 tt 


Aug. 24, 1800 


77a 


256 ' 


' Mrs. May 


No date 


78 


257 < 


1 Coleridge 


Aug. 26, 1800 


79 


262 " 


Manning 


Sept. 22, 1800 


80 


264 ' 


' Coleridge 


Oct. 9, 1800 


81 


267 « 


1 William Wordsworth 


Oct. 13, 1800 


82 


269 ' 


' Manning 


Oct. 16, 1800 


83 


272 « 


1 tt 


Nov. 3, 1800 


84 


276 ' 


tt 


Nov. 28, 1800 


85 


278 ' 


' Godwin 


Dec. 4, 1 800 


86 


281 ' 


t tt 


Dec. 10, 1800 


87 


282 ' 


' Manning 


Dec. 13, 1800 


88 


285 ' 


1 Godwin 


Dec. 14, 1800 


89 


287 « 


Manning 


Dec. 16, 1800 


90 


290 * 


t tt 


Dec. 27, 1800 


9 1 


293 « 


t tt 


December, 1800 


92 


294 ' 


William Wordsworth 


Jan. 30, 1 80 1 


93 


300 « 


Robert Lloyd 


Feb. 7, 1 801 


94 


303 < 


' Manning 

Volume III 


Feb. 15, 1 80 1 


95 


9 


To Manning 


February, 1801 


96 


13 


tt tt 


April, 1801 


97 


H 


" Robert Lloyd 


April 16, 1 80 1 


98 


!9 


« Manning 


April, 1 801 


99 


20 


" Robert Lloyd 


June 26, 1 80 1 


100 


23 


" Godwin 


June 29, 1 801 


101 


z 3 


" Walter Wilson 


Aug. 14, 1 801 


102 


25 


" Manning 


August, 1 80 1 


103 


26 


tt tt 


Aug. 31, 1801 


104 


29 


" Godwin 


Sept. 9, 1 801 


105 


32 


" John Rickman 


Sept. 16, 1 80 1 


106 


36 


" Godwin 


Sept. 17, 1 80 1 


107 


39 


" John Rickman 


Oct. 9, 1 80 1 


108 


4 1 


tt tt 


Nov. 24, 1 80 1 


109 


44 


tt tt 


November, 1801 


no 


5° 


tt tt 


1801 



33 1 



Letter 


Page 








No. 










I 1 1 


52 


To 


John Rickman 


1801 


112 


56 


it 


Robert Lloyd 


1801 


"3 


58 


ft 


John Rickman 


Jan. 9, 1802 


114 


62 


€t 


tt 


Jan. 14, 1802 


'»S 


64 


ft 


tt 


Jan. 18, 1802 


116 


65 


tt 


tt 


Feb. 1, 1802 


117 


68 


ft 


tt 


Feb. 4, 1802 


118 


69 


tt 


tt 


Feb. 14, 1802 


119 


72 


ft 


Manning 


Feb. 15, 1802 


120 


76 


tt 


John Rickman 


April 10, 1802 


121 


77 


tt 


Coleridge 


Sept. 8, 1802 


122 


79 


tt 


Mrs. Godwin 


1802 


123 


80 


tt 


Manning 


Sept. 24, 1802 


I24 


8S 


tt 


Coleridge 


Oct. 9, 1802 


125 


90 


ft 


tt 


Oct. 1 1, 1802 


126 


92 


tt 


tt 


Oct. 23, 1802 


127 


97 


tt 


tt 


Nov. 4, 1 802 


128 


100 


tt 


Manning 


November, 1 802 


129 


02 


tt 


M 


Feb. 19, 1803 


I30 


106 


tt 


tt 


March, 1803 


131 


07 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


March 5, 1803 


132 


'IS 


ft 


Coleridge 


March 20, 1 803 


'33 


18 


ft 


tt 


April 13, 1803 


'34 


[20 


tt 


Manning 


May 1, 1803 


>35 


124 


tt 


Coleridge 


May 27, 1803 


136 


26 


Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth 


, July 9, 1 803 


•37 


30 


To 


John Rickman 


'July 16, 1803 


138 


3' 


tt 


tt 


July 27, 1803 


•39 


34 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart, 


Sept, 21, 1803 


140 


38 


To 


Godwin 


Nov. 8, 1803 


141 


39 


tt 


tt 


Nov. 10, 1803 


142 


42 


if 


Thomas Poole 


Feb. 1 4, 1 804 


«43 


43 


tt 


Coleridge 


March, 10, 1804 


144 


43 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart, 


March, 1804 


■45 


46 


To 


Robert Lloyd 


March 13, 1804 


.46 


48 


(i 


Coleridge 


April 4, 1804 


«47 


49 


(< 


Thomas Poole 


May 4, 1 804 


148 


49 


H 


tt 


May 5, 1804 


149 


50 


ft 


Dorothy Wordsworth 


June 2, 1 804 


150 


S3 


Mary 


' Lamb to Sarah Stoddart, 


July, 1804 


'5' 


59 


To 


Robert Lloyd 

33 2 


Sept. 13, 1804 



Letter Page 








No. 








152 161 


Mary Lamb to Mrs. Coleridge 


Oct. 13, 1804 


153 I( 53 


To 


Robert Southey 


Nov. 7, 1804 


154 ^4 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


Feb. 18, 1805 


155 167 


tt 


tt 


Feb. 19, 1805 


156 169 


tt 


Manning 


Feb. 23, 1805 


157 172 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


March 5, 1805 


158 176 


tt 


tt 


March 21, 1805 


159 177 


tt 


tt 


April s, 1805 


160 i 80 


te 


Dorothy Wordsworth 


June 14, 1805 


161 183 


tt 


Manning 


July 27, 1805 


162 184 


tt 


W m and Dorothy Wordsworth 


, Sept. 28, 1805 


163 192 


tt 


William Hazlitt 


Nov. 10, 1805 


164 197 


tt 


Manning 


Nov. 15, 1805 


165 197 


To 


William Hazlitt 


Jan. 15, 1806 


166 200 


tt 


John Rickman 


Jan. 25, 1806 


167 20 1 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


Feb. 1, 1806 


168 206 


(t 


William Hazlitt 


Feb. 19, 1 806 


169 208 


ft 


tt 


February, 1806 


170 209 


ft 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart 


, March, 1806 


171 214 


To 


John Rickman 


March, 1806 


172 216 


tt 


William Hazlitt 


March 15, 1806 


173 218 


tt 


Manning 


May 10, 1806 


174 222 


tt 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart, 


June 2, 1806 


175 227 


To 


William Wordsworth 


June 26, 1806 


176 231 


Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth, Aug. 29, 1806 


177 23S 


tt 


" " Coleridge 


No date 


178 237 


To 


Manning 


Dec. 5, 1806 


179 244 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


Dec. 11, 1806 


180 245 


tt 


Sarah Stoddart 


Dec. 1 1, 1806 


181 246 


Mary Lamb to Mrs. Clarkson 


Dec. 23, 1806 


182 249 


To 


Godwin 


1806 


183 250 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


Jan. 29, 1807 


184 252 


tt 


Mr. and Mrs. Clarkson 


June, 1807 


185 254 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart 


October, 1807 


186 257 


To 


Joseph Hume 


Dec. 29, 1807 


187 258 


tt 


tt tt , 


Jan. 12, 1808 


188 262 


^ 


The Rev. W. Hazlitt 


Feb. 18, 1808 


189 263 


tt 


Manning 


Feb. 26, 1808 


190 270 


tt 


Godwin 


March 11, 1808 


191 271 


tt 


Henry Crabb Robinson 


March 12, 1808 


192 272 


tt 


George Dyer 

333 


Dec. 5, 1808 



Letter Page 






No. 






193 273 To Mrs. Hazlitt 


Dec. 10, 1808 


194 274 Mary and Charles Lamb to 






Mrs. Clarkson 


Dec. 10, 1808 


195 277 To Robert Lloyd 


Feb. 25, 1809 


196 278 ' 


* Manning 


March 28, 1809 


197 284 « 


' Henry Crabb Robinson 


May, 1809 


198 284 ' 


* Coleridge 


June 7, 1809 


199 289 ' 


■ Charles Lloyd, Sr. 


June 13, 1809 


200 292 " 


€ l€ 


June 19, 1809 


201 293 ' 


t ts 


July 31, 1809 


202 296 ■ 


' Robert Lloyd 


1809 


203 296 ■ 


• Charles Lloyd, Sr. 


1809 


204 298 ' 


' Coleridge 


Oct. 30, 1809 


205 299 ' 


' Robert Lloyd 


Jan. 1, 1810 


206 301 « 


' Manning 


Jan. 2, 1 8 10 


207 306 ' 


1 Henry Crabb Robinson 


Feb. 7, 1 810 


208 307 ' 


' Charles Lloyd, Sr. 


March 10, 1 810 


209 308 • 


' John Mathew Gutch 


April 9, 1 8 1 


210 309 • 


■ Basil Montagu 


July 12, 1 810 


21 1 31 1 ' 


' William Hazlitt 


Aug. 9, 1 810 


212 312 < 


' Mrs. Clarkson 


Sept. 18, 1 8 10 


213 313 « 


• William Wordsworth 


Oct. 19, 1 8 10 


214 315 « 


' Miss Wordsworth 


Nov. 13, 1 8 10 


21$ 3>7 ' 


c t< 


Nov. 23, 1 810 


216 318 « 


' William Hazlitt 


Nov. 28, 1 810 


217 320 « 


' Godwin 


No date, 1 8 1 


218 322 • 


• John Morgan 


March 8, 1811 


219 322 ■ 


« William Hazlitt 


Oct. 2, 1 81 1 


220 323 » 


■ Charles Lloyd, Sr. 


Sept. 8, 1 81 2 


221 327 « 


' John Dyer Collier 


181 2 or 181 3 


222 328 ' 


' John Scott 


February, 1814 


223 328 ' 


' William Wordsworth 


Aug. 9, 1814 


224 333 ' 


• Coleridge 

Volume IV 


Aug. 13, 1814 


225 9 1 


'0 Coleridge 


Aug. 26, 1814 


226 12 ' 


' William Wordsworth 


Sept. 19, 1 814 


227 15 ' 


• Robert Southey 


Oct. 20, 1 814 


228 16 N 


lary Lamb to Barbara Betham 


Nov. 2, 1814 


229 21 1 


"o John Scott 

334 


Dec. 12, 1814 



Letter 


Page 


— 




No. 








230 


21 


To William Wordsworth 


Dec. 28, 1 814 


231 


24 


cc tt tt 


January, 1 8 1 5 


232 


27 


" Mr. Sargus 


Feb. 23, 181 5 


2 33 


28 


" Joseph Hume 


No date 


234 


29 


" William Wordsworth 


April 7, 1 8 1 5 


235 


34 


tt tt tt 


April 28, 181 5 


236 


39 


" Miss Matilda Betham 


No date 


237 


40 


" Robert Southey 


May 6, 1 8 1 5 


238 


43 


tt tt tt 


Aug. 9, 1 81 5 


239 


45 


" William Wordsworth 


Aug. 9, 1815 


240 


49 


Mary and Charles Lamb to Sarah 






Hutchinson 


Aug. 20, 1 81 5 


241 


55 


Mary Lamb to Matilda Betham 


1815 


242 


56 


To Matilda Betham 


Sept. 30, 181 5 


243 


57 


tt tt tt 


No date 


244 


59 


" William Ayrton 


Oct. 4, 1 81 5 


245 


59 


tt tt tt 


Oct. 14, 181 5 


246 


60 


" Sarah Hutchinson 


Oct. 19, 1 8 1 5 


247 


61 


" Manning 


Dec. 25, 1 815 


248 


65 


tt tt 


Dec. 26, 1 81 5 


249 


68 


" William Wordsworth 


April 9, 1 8 16 


250 


70 


tt tt tt 


April 26, 1 816 


251 


73 


" Leigh Hunt 


May 13, 1 816 


252 


74 


" Matilda Betham 


June 1, 1 816 


2 S3 


74 


" H. Bodwell 


July, 1 816 


254 


76 


" William Wordsworth 


Sept. 23, 1 816 


2 SS 


81 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson 


November, 1 8 1 6 


256 


83 


To Miss Betham 


No date 


257 


84 


Mary Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson 


1816 


258 


85 


To John Rickman 


Dec. 30, 1 816 


259 


88 


" William Ayrton 


April 18, 1 81 7 


260 


89 


tt tt tt 


May 12, 1817 


261 


9 1 


To Barron Field 


Aug. 31, 1817 


262 


94 


" James and Louisa Kenney 


October, 1 81 7 


263 


98 


Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth Nov. 21, 181 7 


264 


102 


To William Ayrton 


Nov. 25, 1817 


265 


103 


" John Payne Collier 


Dec. 10, 18 1 7 


266 


104 


" Benjamin Robert Hayden 


Dec. 26, 1 817 


267 


104 


" Mrs. William Wordsworth 


Feb. 18, 1818 


268 


in 


" Charles and James Oilier 


May 28, 181 8 


269 


in 


tt tt tt tt tt 


June 18, 1818 



335 



Letter 1 


'age 








No. 










270 


13 


To 


Robert Southey 


Oct. 26, 1818 


271 


H 


tc 


Coleridge 


Dec. 24, 1818 


272 


is 


tt 


John Chambers 


1818 


273 


19 


tt 


W. Wordsworth 


April 26, 1 819 


274 


22 


tt 


John Rickman 


May 21, 1 8 19 


275 


23 


tt 


Manning 


May 28, 1 8 19 


276 


26 


tt 


W. Wordsworth 


June 7, 1 819 


277 1 


30 


tt 


Fanny Kelly 


July 20, 18 19 


278 


32 


tt 


tt tt 


July 20, 1 8 19 


279 1 


33 


tt 


Samuel James Arnold 


No date, 1 8 1 9 


280 


34 


tt 


Coleridge 


1819 


281 1 


35 


tt 


Thomas Holcroft, Jr. 


Autumn, 1 8 1 9 


282 1 


35 


tt 


Joseph Cotde 


Nov. 5, 18 19 


283 


36 


tt 


tt tt 


1819 


284 


38 


tt 


Dorothy Wordsworth 


Nov. 25, 1819 


285 


4 1 


tt 


Coleridge 


Jan. 10, 1 820 


286 


43 


tt 


Allsop 


Jan. 10, 1820 


287 1 


43 


tt 


tt 


Feb. 15, 1820 


288 


43 


tt 


Dorothy Wordsworth 


May 25, 1820 


289 1 


45 


tt 


Allsop 


No date 


290 


45 


tt 


Joseph Cottle 


May 26, 1820 


291 1 


46 


tt 


Allsop 


June, 1820 


292 


47 


tt 


tt 


July 13 ,1820 


293 


47 


tt 


Barron Field 


Aug. 16, 1820 


294 


49 


tt 


John Scott 


Aug. 24, 1820 


295 


49 


tt 


Coleridge 


Autumn, 1820 


296 


5' 


tt 


Allsop 


1820 


297 


S» 


tt 


tt 


No date 


298 


52 


tt 


Dorothy Wordsworth 


Jan. 8, 1 82 1 


299 1 


54 


tt 


Allsop 


1821 


300 


54 


tt 


tt 


1821 


30I 


55 


tt 


Mrs. William Ayrton 


Jan. 23, 1 821 


302 


55 


tt 


Miss Humphreys 


Jan. 27, 1 821 


303 1 


.56 


tt 


Mrs. William Ayrton 


March 15, 1 82 1 


304 


56 


tt 


Allsop 


March 30, 1821 


3°5 


57 


tt 


Leigh Hunt 


April 18, 1 82 1 


306 


57 


tt 


Coleridge 


May 1, 1 82 1 


307 


.58 


tt 


James Gillman 


May 2, 1 821 


308 


159 


tt 


John Payne Collier 


May 16, 1821 


309 


[60 


tt 


B. W. Procter 


Summer, 182 1 


310 


161 


tt 


John Taylor 

33 6 


June I, 1821 



Letter 


Page 








No. 










311 1 


62 


To 


William Ayrton 


July 17, 1821 


312 1 


62 


tt 


John Taylor 


July zi, 1821 


313 1 


63 


ft 


et te 


July 30, 1821 


3H 1 


65 


tt 


C. A. Elton 


Aug. 12, 1 82 1 


3«5 1 


67 


it 


Charles C. Clarke 


Summer, 1821 


316 i 


68 


tt 


Allen Cunningham 


1821 


3i7 1 


68 


ft 


William Ayrton 


Aug. 14, 1 821 


318 


69 


t€ 


Allsop 


Oct. 19, i8zi 


3'9 1 


69 


t€ 


Mr. Hessey or Mr. Taylor 


Oct. 26, 1 82 1 


320 i 


70 


CS 


William Ayrton 


Oct. 27, 1821 


321 


70 


et 


tt tt 


Oct. 30, 1821 


322 


7i 


tt 


William Hone 


Nov. 9, 1821 


323 


72 


te 


John Rickman 


Nov. 20, 1 82 1 


3H-: 


[28 


172- 


•174 Undated notes to Allsop 


1821 


329 


74 


To 


Coleridge 


March 9, 1 822 


33° 


76 


ft 


W. Wordsworth 


March 20, l8z2 


33i 


80 


te 


Mrs. Norris 


March 26, 1822 


332 


80 


tc 


Godwin 


April 13, 1822 


333 


81 


tt 


W. H. Ains worth 


May 7, 1822 


33+ 


82 


tt 


Godwin 


May 16, 1822 


335 


82 


tt 


Mrs. John Lamb 


May 22, 1822 


336 


84 


tt 


Mary Lamb 


August, 1822 


337 


84 


tt 


John Clare 


Aug. 31, 1822 


338 


186 


tt 


William Ayrton 


Sept. 5, 1822 


339 


87 


tt 


Mrs. Kenney 


Sept. 11, 1822 


340 


88 


tt 


Barton 


Sept. 1 1, 1822 


34 1 


190 


te 


Barron Field 


Sept. 22, 1822 


342 


(94 


tt 


John Howard Payne 


Autumn, 1822 


343 


'95 


ee 


Barton 


Oct. 9, 1822 


344 


97 


ee 


B. R. Haydon 


Oct. 9, 1822 


345 


(97 


ee 


John Howard Payne 


No date 


34 6 


198 


ee 


tt tt tt 


Oct. 12, 1822 


347 


JOO 


ee 


B. R. Haydon 


Oct. 29, 1822 


348 


ZOO 


ee 


Sir Walter Scott 


Oct. 29, 1822 


349 


ZOI 


ee 


Thomas Robinson 


Nov. 1 1, 1822 


35o 


202 


ee 


John Howard Payne 


Nov. 13, 1822 


35 1 


204 


et 


John Taylor 


Dec. 7, 1822 


35 2 


so 5 


ee 


Walter Wilson 


Dec. 16, 1822 


353 


208 


ee 


Barton 


Dec. 23, 1822 


354 


2IO 


ee 


John Howard Payne 


January, 1823 


3SS 


212 


ee 


William Wordsworth 


January, 1823 



337 



/ 



Letter Page 








No. 






356 213 


To 


Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Collier 


357 2«S 


tt 


Barton 


358 217 


ti 


John Howard Payne 


359 218 


tt 


William Ayrton 


360 219 


ft 


John Howard Payne 


361 220 


tt 


Barton 


362 223 


tt 


Walter Wilson 


363 225 


tt 


Barton 


364 227 


tt 


William Ayrton 


365 227 


ci 


Barton 


366 230 


tt 


B. W. Procter 


367 232 


ft 


Sarah Hutchinson 


368 234 


ft 


Miss Hutchinson 


369 234 


tt 


Dibdin 


37o 237 


tt 


Barton 


37" 239 


tt 


Dibdin 


372 240 


tt 


William Hone 


373 24' 


Mary Lamb to Mrs. Randal Norris 


374 243 


To 


Barton 


375 246 


tt 


a 


376 249 


tt 


Allsop 


377 249 


tt 


< 




378 250 


tt 


1 




379 250 


tt 


< 




380 251 


tt 


1 




381 251 


tt 


c 




382 252 


* t 


< 




3 8 3 252 


tt 


1 




384 252 


tt 


Barton 


3 8 5 255 


t* 


Charles Lloyd 


386 256 


tt 


Allsop 


387 256 


tt 


Rev. H. F. Cary 


388 256 


tt 


Allsop 


389 257 


tt 


Dibdin 


390 258 


tt 


Allsop 


391 258 


tt 


Sarah Hazlitt 


392 260 


tt 


Mrs. Percy Bysshe Shelley 


393 261 


<t 


Robert Southey 


394 263 


a 


Barton 


395 265 


tt 


W. H. Ainsworth 


396 267 


tt 




<< 



338 



12 th Day, 1823 
Jan. 9, 1823 
Jan. 23, 1823 
Feb. 2, 1823 
Feb. 9, 1823 
Feb. 17, 1823 
Feb. 24, 1823 
March 1 1, 1823 
No date 
April 5, 1823 
April 13, 1823 
April 25, 1823 
No date 
1823 

May 3, 1823 
May 6, 1823 
May 19, 1823 
June 18, 1823 
July 10, 1823 
Sept. 2, 1823 
Sept. 6, 1823 
Sept. 9, 1823 
Sept. 10, 1823 
Sept. 16, 1823 
September, 1823 
No date 
No date 
No date 
Sept. 17, 1823 
Autumn, 1823 
Oct. 4, 1823 
Oct. 14, 1823 
October, 1823 
Oct. 28, 1823 
Nov. 7, 1823 
November, 1 823 
Nov. 12, 1823 
Nov. 21, 1823 
Nov. 22, 1823 
Dec. 9, 1823 
Dec. 29, 1823 



Letter Page 








No. 








397 268 


To 


William Hone 


December, 1823 


398 268 


St 


Barton 


Jan. 9, 1824 


399 2 70 


ee 


ee 


Jan. 23, 1824 


400 273 


t€ 


Charles Oilier 


Jan. 27, 1824 


401 274 


it 


Barton 


Feb. 25, 1824 


402 276 


tt 


tt 


March 24, 1824 


403 277 


tt 


tt 


Spring, 1824 


404 279 


tt 


Mrs. T. Allsop 


April 13, 1824 


405 280 


et 


William Hone 


April, 1824 


406 281 


tt 


Thomas Hardy 


April 24, 1824 


407 281 


tt 


Barton 


May 15, 1824 


408 284 


tt 


tt 


July 7, 1824 


409 285 


te 


W. Matter 


July 19, 1824 


410 286 


tt 


Dibdin 


July 28, 1824 


411 287 


tt 


Thomas Hood 


Aug. 10, 1824 


412 289 


tt 


Barton 


Aug. 17, 1824 


413 291 


tt 


The Rev. H. F. Carjr 


Aug. 19, 1824 


414 292 


tt 


Barton 


Sept. 30, 1824 


415 294 


tt 


Mrs. John D. Collier 


Nov. 2, 1824 


416 295 


tt 


B. W. Procter 


Nov. 1 1, 1824 


417 297 


tt 


H. C. Robinson 


Nov. 20, 1824 


418 297 


tt 


Sarah Hutchinson 


Nov. 25, 1824 


419 299 


te 


Leigh Hunt 


November, 1 824 


420 302 


tt 


Barton 


Dec. 1, 1824 


421 306 


te 


Alaric A. Watts 


Dec. 28, 1824 


422 306 


te 


Dibdin 


Jan. 11, 1825 


4 2 3 3°7 


et 


Allsop 


Jan. 17, 1825 


424 308 


tt 


Sarah Hutchinson 


Jan. 20, 1825 


425 310 


ee 


Vincent Novello 


Jan. 25, 1825 


426 310 


ee 


Dibdin 


January, 1825 


4 Z 7 3" 


tt 


tt 


Feb. 8, 1825 


428 311 


et 


Barton 


Feb. 10, 1825 


429 313 


ee 


Manning 


February, 1825 


43° 3'4 


ee 


Sarah Hutchinson 


March 1, 1825 


43 1 3>4 


ee 


B. W. Procter 


No date 


43 z 3>S 


ee 


Barton 


March 23, 1825 


433 3 l6 


ee 


H. C. Robinson 


March 29, 1825 


434 3 l6 


ee 


W. Wordsworth 


April 6, 1825 


435 3 2 o 


ee 


Barton 


April 6, 1825 


436 321 


ee 


Miss Hutchinson 


April 18, 1825 


437 323 


ee 


William Hone 


May 2, 1825 



339 



Letter 


Page 






No. 








438 


323 


To 


W. Wordsworth 


439 


325 


ft 


Miss Norris 


44° 


326 


ft 


All sop 


441 


327 


t€ 


Charles Chambers 


442 


330 


tt 


Coleridge 


443 


33' 


ffl 


Henry Colburn 


444 


332 


tt 


Coleridge 


445 


334 


ft 


Barton 


446 


336 


ft 


John Aitken 


447 


336 


tt 


Allsop 


449 


337 


tt 


tt 


448 


337 


ft 


William Hone 


450 


338 


$4 


Allsop 


4S« 


339 


ft 


Barton 


45* 


34' 


tt 


Robert Southey 


453 


345 


ft 


William Hone 


454 


346 


ft 


C. C. Clarke 


455 


346 


tt 


William Hone 


456 


347 


tt 


a tt 


457 


347 


tt 


Allsop 


458 


348 


tt 


tt 


459 


348 


tt 


tt 


460 


349 


tt 


tt 

Volume V 


461 


9 


To 


William Hone 


462 


9 


tt 


William Ayrton 


463 


10 


tt 


Allsop 


464 


1 1 


tt 


William Hone 


465 


1 1 


tt 


tt tt 


466 


1 1 


tt 


tt tt 


467 


12 


tt 


Allsop 


468 


1 2 


ft 


Manning 


469 


'3 


tt 


Charles Oilier 


470 


'3 


tt 


tt tt 


47i 


H 


tt 


tt tt 


472 


'4 


tt 


tt tt 


473 


15 


tt 


Mr. Hudson 


474 


16 


tt 


Charles Oilier 



475 "6 



May, 1825 
1825 

May 29, 1825 
May, 1825 
June, 1825 
June 14, 1825 
July 2, 1825 
July 2, 1825 
July 5, 1825 
July, 1825 
July 20, 1825 
July 25, 1825 
August, 1825 
Aug. 10, 1 825 
Aug. 10, 1825 
Aug. 10, 1825 
No date 
Aug. 12, 1825 
August, 1825 
No date 
Sept. 9, 1825 
Sept. 24, 1825 
No date 



Sept. 30, 1825 
October, 1825 
Oct. 5, 1825 
Oct. 18, 1825 
Oct. 24, 1825 
Oct. 24, 1825 
Dec. 5, 1825 
Dec. 10, 1825 
December, 1825 
Early 1826 
January, 1826 
Jan. 25, 1826 
Feb. 1, 1826 
Feb. 4, 1826 
1826 



340 



Letter 


Page 








No. 










476 


'7 


To 


William Hazlitt 


1826 


477 


'7 


(C 


Barton 


Feb. 7, 1826 


478 


'9 


cc 


Charles Oilier 


March 16, 1826 


479 


J 9 


cc 


Barton 


March 20, 1826 


480 


21 


cc 


Coleridge 


March 22, 1826 


481 


22 


cc 


H. E. Cary 


April 3, 1826 


482 


23 


cc 


Charles Oilier 


April, 1826 


483 


24 


cc 


Vincent Novello 


May 9, 1826 


484 


24 


cc 


Barton 


May 16, 1826 


485 


26 


cc 


Coleridge 


June I, 1826 


486 


27 


cc 


Louisa Holcroft 


June 17, 1826 


487 


28 


cc 


Dibdin 


June 30, 1826 


488 


32 


cc 


tt 


July 14, 1826 


489 


34 


cc 


Edward Coleridge 


July 19, 1826 


490 


35 


cc 


William Wordsworth 


Sept. 6, 1826 


49 1 


38 


cc 


Dibdin 


Sept. 9, 1826 


492 


4 1 


cc 


Barton 


Sept. 26, 1826 


493 


43 


cc 


tt 


No date 


494 


44 


cc 


Moxon 


September, 1826 


49 S 


44 


cc 


Barton 


No date. Soon 
after preceding 
letter to Barton 


496 


46 


cc 


Allsop 


January, 1827 


497 


47 


cc 


Henry C. Robinson 


Jan. 20, 1827 


498 


S° 


cc 


tt tt tt 


Jan. 20, 1827 


499 


5i 


cc 


Allsop 


Jan. 25, 1827 


500 


Si 


cc 


William Hone 


Jan. 27, 1827 


501 


53 


cc 


Henry Crabb Robinson 


Jan. 29, 1827 


502 


53 


cc 


tt tt tt 


January, 1827 


5°3 


54 


cc 


Allsop 


Feb. 2, 1827 


504 


55 


cc 


Charles Cowden Clarke 


Feb. 2, 1827 


5°5 


56 


cc 


William Hone 


Feb. 5, 1827 


506 


56 


cc 


B. R. Haydon 


March, 1827 


507 


57 


tc 


William Hone 


March 20, 1827 


508 


57 


tt 


Vincent Novello 


April, 1827 


509 


58 


cc 


William Hone 


April, 1827 


5io 


59 


cc 


Thomas Hood 


May, 1827 


5" 


59 


cc 


Barton 


1827 


512 


62 


cc 


William Hone 


May, 1827 


5«3 


63 


cc 


tt tt 


Endof May, 1827 


5H 


64 


cc 


tt tt 


June, 1827 



341 



Letter Page 



-=* 



No. 










sis 


64 


To 


Barton 


June 11, 1827 


516 


67 


<« 


Henry Crabb Robinson 


June 26, 1827 


5«7 


67 


ft 


William Hone 


June, 1827 


518 


68 


tt 


tt tt 


Early July, 1827 


5i9 


68 


tt 


Moxon 


July 17, 1827 


520 


69 


ft 


P. G. Patmore 


July 19, 1 827 


5*« 


72 


tt 


Mrs. Dillon 


July 21, 1827 


522 


73 


ft 


Mrs. Percy B. Shelley 


July 25, 1827 


S23 


75 


ft 


Edward White 


Aug. 1, 1827 


524 


76 


ft 


Mrs. Basil Montagu 


Summer, 1827 


5^5 


78 


tt 


Sir John Stoddart 


Aug. 9, 1827 


526 


80 


tt 


William Hone 


Aug. 10, 1827 


5^7 


81 


tt 


Barton 


Aug. 10, 1827 


528 


83 


tt 


ft 


Aug. 28, 1827 


S*9 


85 


tt 


William Hone 


Sept. 2, 1827 


53° 


86 


tt 


P. G. Patmore 


September, 1827 


S3» 


88 


tt 


Dibdin 


Sept. 5, 1827 


53 2 


89 


tt 


M 


Sept. 13, 1827 


533 


90 


t t 


tt 


Sept. 1 8, 1827 


534 


9' 


tt 


Thomas Hood 


Sept. 18, 1827 


535 


94 


tt 


Henry Colburn 


Sept. 25, 1827 


536 


94 


tt 


Allsop 


Sept. 25, 1827 


537 


95 


tt 


Moxon 


Sept. 26, 1827 


538 


96 


tt 


Henry C. Robinson 


Oct. 1, 1827 


539 


97 


tt 


Dibdin 


Oct. 2, 1827 


540 


97 


tt 


Barron Field 


Oct. 4, 1827 


54' 


99 


tt 


H. Dodwell 


Oct. 7, 1827 


54 2 


103 


tt 


William Hone 


October, 1827 


543 


103 


tt 


<< << 


October, 1827 


544 


105 


tt 


tt tt 


October, 1827 


545 


105 


tt 


Thomas Hood 


1827 


546 


i°S 


tt 


Barton 


Late 1827 


547 


107 


tt 


tt 


Dec. 4, 1827 


548 


108 


tt 


Leigh Hunt 


December, 1827 


549 


109 


tt 


William Hone 


Dec. 15, 1827 


55o 


1 10 


tt 


Allsop 


M'dle Dec. 1827 


55' 


1 1 1 


tt 


tt 


Dec. 20, 1 827 


552 


in 


tt 


Moxon 


Dec. 22, 1827 


553 


112 


tt 


Barton 


End of 1827 


554 


>"3 


ft 


Allsop 


Jan. 9, 1828 


55 5 


114 


tt 


Moxon 


January, 1828 



342 



Letter I 


'age 






No. 








556 


15 


To 


Moxon 


557 


15 


CC 


Charles Cowden Clarke 


558 


18 


tt 


tt tt cc 


559 ] 


l 9 


cc 


Henry Crabb Robinson 


560 1 


19 


<f 


Moxon 


561 1 


20 


CC 


the Rev. Edward Irving 


562 i 


21 


Ct 


Barton 


563 > 


21 


Ct 


Allsop 


564 


22 


tt 


William Hone 


56S 


22 


tt 


Moxon 


566 i 


123 


t€ 


Walter Wilson 


567 


2 3 


ft 


Thomas N. Talfourd 


568 


24 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


569 


24 


tt 


the Rev. Henry F. Cary 


570 


26 


tt 


B. R. Haydon 


571 1 


26 


tt 


John Rickman 


572 


27 


tt 


Louisa Holcroft 


573 


29 


tt 


John Rickman 


574 


3i 


tt 


Barton 


575 ' 


35 


tt 


Charles C. Clarke 


576 i 


36 


tc 


Vincent Novello 


577 


39 


tt 


Laman Blanchard 


578 1 


40 


tt 


Thomas Hood 


579 1 


40 


Ct 


Moxon 


580 


4 1 


tt 


Barton 


58i 


44 


tt 


Louisa Holcroft 


582 


46 


tt 


Charles C. Clarke 


583 


48 


tc 


T. N. Talfourd 


584 


49 


ct 


Moxon 


585 


50 


tt 


William Hone 


586 


50 


tt 


George Dyer 


587 


51 


tc 


B. W. Procter 


588 


54 


tt 


cc cc cc 


589 


'57 


tt 


cc cc cc 


590 


58 


tc 


Allsop 


59 1 


■59 


tt 


B. W. Procter 


592 


[61 


tt 


tt tt tt 


593 


62 


tc 


tt tt a 


594 


163 


tt 


Henry Crabb Robinson 


595 


<6 S 


tt 


Samuel Rogers 


596 


'65 


tt 


Barton 



Feb. 18, 1828 
Feb. 25, 1828 
No date 
Feb. 26, 1828 
March 19, 1828 
April 3, 1828 
April 21, 1828 
May I, 1828 
May z, 1828 
May 3, 1828 
May 17, 1828 
May 20, 1828 
May, 1828 
June 10, 1828 
August, 1828 
Sept. 11, 1828 
Oct. 2, 1828 
Oct. 3, 1828 
Oct. 11, 1828 
October, 1828 
Nov. 6, 1828 
Nov. 9, 1828 
Late autumn, '28 
December, 1828 
Dec. 5, 1828 
Dec. 5, 1828 
December, 1828 
End of 1828 
About 1828 
No date 
January, 1829 
Jan. 19, 1829 
Jan. 22, 1829 
1829 

Jan. 28, 1829 
Jan. 29, 1829 
Early 1829 
Feb. 2, 1829 
Feb. 17, '29 (?) 
March 22, 1829 
March 25, 1829 



343 



Letter 


Page 






No. 








597 


167 To Miss Sarah James 


April, 1829 


598 


168 ' 


* Henry C. Robinson 


April 10, 1829 


599 


170 ' 


c tt tt tt 


April 17, 1829 


6oo 


172 ' 


' George Dyer 


April 29, 1829 


6oi 


173 « 


* Thomas Hood 


May, 1829 


602 


173 « 


• Moxon 


No date 


603 


174 ' 


' Walter Wilson 


May 28, 1829 


604 


174 « 


' Barton 


June 3, 1829 


605 


.76 - 


' William Ayrton 


June 10, 1829 


606 


177 ■ 


• Allsop 


1829 


607 


177 ' 


' William Hazlitt, Jr. 


June, 1829 


608 


178 « 


' Allsop 


July 2, 1829 


609 


.78 « 


' Barton 


July 25, 1829 


610 


182 < 


• Allsop 


Late July, 1829 


611 


182 « 


' Moxon 


Sept. 22, 1829 


612 


183 ' 


' James Gillman 


Oct. 26, 1829 


613 


184 « 


' Vincent Novello 


Nov. 10, 1829 


614 


i8 S « 


« Walter Wilson 


Nov. 15, 1829 


615 


188 < 


' James Gillman 


Nov. 29, 1829 


616 


188 ' 


t tt €€ 


Nov. 30, 1829 


617 


192 ' 


' Barton 


Dec. 8, 1829 


618 


'95 * 


• Basil Montague 


No date 


619 


.96 • 


' James S. Knowles 

[In two parts] 


No date 


6zo 


196 I- 


— Charles Lamb to W. Wordsworth , _ 

— Mary Lamb to Miss Wordsworth ■* 


620 


203 II 


621 


205 r 


^0 Moxon 


Feb. 21, 1830 


622 


!05 ' 


' Barton 


Feb. 25, 1830 


623 


206 ' 


' Mrs. Williams 


Feb. 26, 1830 


624 


207 ' 


€ €€ €€ 


March 1, 1830 


625 


209 ' 


' Sarah Hazlitt 


March 4, 1830 


626 


no ' 


' Mrs. Williams 


March 5, 1830 


627 


21 1 ' 


« James Gillman 


March 8, 1830 


628 


114 « 


' William Ayrton 


March 14, 1830 


629 


216 ' 


' Mrs. Williams 


March 22, 1830 


630 


218 • 


r M fd 


April 2, 1830 


631 


221 * 


« it tt 


April 9, 1830 


632 


223 • 


' James Gillman 


Early spring, 
1830 


633 


224 ' 


' James Vale Asbury 

344 


April, 1830 



Letter Page 








No. 






*° 


634 Z25 


To 


James Vale Asbury 


Undated 


635 228 


tf 


Mrs. Williams 


April 21, 1830 


636 230 


tt 


Basil Montague 


No date 


637 230 


ft 


Robert Southey 


May 10, 1830 


638 232 


tt 


Mozon 


May 12, 1830 


639 233 


tt 


Vincent Novello 


May 14, 1830 


640 233 


tt 


tt tt 


May 20, 1830 


641 234 


€€ 


William Hone 


May 21, 1830 


642 234 


tt 


tt tt 


May 21, 1830 


643 235 


tt 


Sarah Hazlitt 


May 24, 1830 


644 238 


tt 


tt tt 


June 3, 1830 


645 239 


tt 


William Hone 


June 17, 1830 


646 239 


tt 


Barton 


June 28, 1830 


647 241 


tt 


William Hone 


July 1, 1830 


648 241 


ft 


Mrs. Rickman 


1830 


649 242 


tt 


Barton 


Aug. 30, 1830 


650 243 


tt 


Samuel Rogers 


Oct. 5, 1830 


651 243 


tt 


Vincent Novello 


Nov. 8, 1830 


652 244 


tt 


Moxon 


Nov. 12, 1830 


653 245 


tt 


tt 


December, 1830 


654 246 


tt 


George Dyer 


Dec. 20, 1830 


655 249 


tt 


Moxon 


Christmas, 1830 


656 250 


ft 


tt 


Feb. 3, 1 83 1 


657 253 


tt 


George Dyer 


Feb. 22, 1 83 1 


658 257 


tt 


Henry F. Cary 


April 13, 1 83 1 


659 258 


ft 


Barton 


April 30, 1 83 1 


660 261 


tt 


Henry F, Cary 


May 6, 1 83 1 


661 263 


tt 


Moxon 


July 14, 1 83 1 


662 265 


tf 


tt 


Early August, '3 1 


663 267 


ft 


John Forster 


Aug. 4, 1831 


664 267 


tt 


Moxon 


1831 


665 267 


tt 


tt 


Aug. 5, 1831 


666 268 


ft 


tt 


No date 


667 268 


tt 


tt 


Sept. 5, 1 83 1 


668 269 


tf 


William Hazlitt, Jr. 


Sept. 13, 1 83 1 


669 270 


tt 


Moxon 


Oct. 24, 1 831 


670 273 


tt 


tt 


Dec. 15, 1 83 1 


671 274 


tt 


J. Hume's Daughters 


1832 


672 274 


tt 


Charles W. Dilke 


March 5, 1832 


673 276 


ft 


Coleridge 

345 


April 14, 1832 



Letter Page 




No. 




674 277 To John Forster 


675 277 ■ 


' Moxon [?] 


676 278 ' 


' John Forster 


677 279 « 


• Moxon 


678 279 ' 


' Walter Wilson 


679 280 ■ 


' Henry C. Robinson 


680 280 « 


' Walter S. Landor 


681 282 « 


' Moxon 


682 283 « 


€ tt 


683 285 ■ 


€ tt 


684 285 * 


' John Forster 


685 286 ' 


' Louisa Badams 


686 288 « 


• Moxon 


687 289 « 


1 fi 


688 289 « 


* John Forster 


689 290 ' 


t tt «t 


690 290 ' 


' Printer of Atbtnttum 


691 290 ' 


' Moxon 


692 291 ■ 


C tt 


693 292 « 


' Louisa Badams 


694 293 ' 


■ Moxon 


695 293 ' 


t tt 


696 294 ' 


' T. N. Talfourd 


697 295 « 


' Moxon 


698 296 ' 


' Charles W. Dilke 


699 296 ' 


' Moxon 


700 298 ■ 


« B. W. Procter 


701 299 ' 


' William Hone 


702 299 ' 


' Moxon 


703 300 ' 


< tt 


704 301 ' 


€ ft 


705 302 ' 


' John Forster 


706 302 ' 


' Moxon 


707 303 ' 


< tt 


708 303 ' 


' Charles W. Dilke 


709 304 ' 


" Mrs. William Ayrton 


710 304 « 


' Moxon 


711 305 ' 


t tt 


712 306 « 


' Rev. James Gilman 


713 307 ' 


' John Forster 



346 



Late April, 1832 
June 1, 1832 
No date 
July 12, 1832 
August, 1832 
Early Oct., '32 
October, 1832 
Late 1832 
Winter, 1832 
December, 1832 
Dec. 23, 1832 
Dec. 31, 1832 
January, 1833 
Jan. 3, 1833 
No date 
No date 
January, 1833 
Jan. 24, 1833 
Feb. 11, 1833 
Feb. 15, 1833 
February, 1833 
No date 
February, 1833 
1833 

February, 1833 
Early 1833 
No date 
March 6, 1833 
March 19, 1833 
March 30, 1833 
Spring, 1833 
No date 
No date 
No date. April 

10, 1833 [?] 
April, 1833 
April 16, 1833 
April 25, 1833 
April 27, 1833 
May 7, 1833 
May, 1833 



tetter Page 








No. 








714 307 


To 


John Forster 


May 12, 1833 


715 307 


ft 


Miss Rickman 


May 23, 1833 


716 308 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


End of May, ' 3 3 


717 311 


tt 


Sarah Hazlitt 


May 31, 1833 


-718 311 


ft 


Matilda Betham 


June, 1833 


719 312 


ft 


Miss Mary Betham 


June 5, 1833 


720 313 


tt 


Mrs. Norris 


July 10, 1833 


721 3*3 


tt 


Edward Moxon 


July 14, 1833 


722 314 


tt 


Mrs. Norris 


July 18,1833 


723 3H 


tt 


Thomas Allsop 


July. 1833 


724 3IS 


tt 


Mr. Tuff 


1833 


725 315 


tt 


Edward Moxon 


July 24, 1833 


726 316 


tt 


Edward and Emma Moxon 


July 31, 1833 


727 3 l8 


tt 


Louisa Badams 


Aug. 20,1833 


-728 319 


tt 


Miss M. Betham 


Aug. 23, 1833 


729 320 


tt 


N. F. Cary 


Sept. 9, 1833 


730 321 


ft 


Edward Moxon 


Sept 26, 1833 


731 322 


ft 


tt tt 


Oct. 17, 1833 


732 3 2 4 


ft 


tt tt 


Nov. 29, 1833 


733 327 


tt 


Miss Frances Brown 


November, 1833 


734 327 


tt 


Charles W. Dilke 


Middle Decem- 
ber, 1833 


735 328 


ft 


Samuel Rogers 


Dec. 21, 1833 


736 33° 


tt 


Charles W. Dilke 


No date 


737 330 


tt 


tt CC 


No date 


738 33i 


ft 


tt tt 


No date 


739 33' 


ft 


Thomas Wood 


1834 


74° 332 


tt 


Mary Betham 


Jan. 24, 1834 


74 1 333 


ft 


Edward Moxon 


Jan. 28, 1834 


742 333 


tt 


William Hone 


Feb. 7, 1834 


743 334 


tt 


Miss Fryer 


Feb. 14, 1834 


744 336 


tt 


tt tt 


No date 


745 338 


tt 


William Wordsworth 


Feb. 22, 1834 


746 339 


ft 


Thomas Manning 


May 10, 1834 


747 342 


tt 


Charles C. Clarke 


No date. End 
of June, 1834 


74 8 343 


ft 


John Forster 


June 25, 1834 


749 343 


ft 


J. Fuller Russell 


Summer, 1834 


750 346 


tt 


tt tt 


Summer, 1834 


75 1 346 


ft 


Charles W. Dilke 


No date [1834?] 


752 347 


ft 


Rev. James Gillman 

347 


Aug. 5, 1834 



Letter Page 






No. 






753 348 To J. H. Green 


Aug. 26, 1834 


754 348 « 


' H. F. Cary 


Sept. 12, 1834 


755 349 ' 


c tt 


October, 1834 


756 351 « 


€ tt 


Oct. 18, 1834 


757 35* * 


' Mrs. Norris 


November, 1834 


758 353 ' 


' Mr. Childs 


December, 1834 


759 354 * 


' Mrs. George Dyer 


Dec. 22, 1834 


760 3ss ' 


' William Ayrton 


No date 


761 356 « 


€ tt tt 


No date 


762 357 « 


' J. Badams 


No date 



348