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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 by Edited by E. V. Lucas

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THE LETTERS OF CHARLES AND MARY LAMB

1796-1820

EDITED BY E. V. LUCAS

WITH A FRONTISPIECE

PREFACE

This edition of the correspondence of Charles and Mary Lamb contains 618
letters, of which 45 are by Mary Lamb alone. It is the only edition to
contain all Mary Lamb's letters and also a reference to, or abstract of,
every letter of Charles Lamb's that cannot, for reasons of copyright, be
included. Canon Ainger's last edition contains 467 letters and the
_Every-man's Library Edition_ contains 572. In 1905 the Boston
Bibliophile Society, a wealthy association of American collectors,
issued privately--since privately one can do anything--an edition in six
volumes (limited to 453 sets) of the correspondence of Charles and Mary
Lamb, containing everything that was available, which means practically
everything that was known: the number reaching a total of 762 letters;
but it will be many years before such a collection can be issued in
England, since each of the editions here has copyright matter peculiar
to itself. My attempt to induce the American owner of the largest number
of new letters to allow me to copy them from the Boston Bibliophile
edition has proved fruitless.

And here a word as to copyright in such documents in England, the law as
most recently laid down being established upon a set of sixteen of
Lamb's letters which unhappily are not (except in very brief abstract)
in the present edition. These letters, chiefly to Robert Lloyd, were
first published in _Charles Lamb and the Lloyds_, under my editorship,
in 1900, the right to make copies and publish them having been acquired
by Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. from Mrs. Steeds, a descendant of Charles
Lloyd. The originals were then purchased by Mr. J. M. Dent, who included
copies in his edition of Lamb's letters, under Mr. Macdonald's
editorship, in 1903. Meanwhile Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. had sold their
rights in the letters to Messrs. Macmillan for Canon Ainger's edition,
and when Mr. Dent's edition was issued Messrs. Macmillan with Messrs.
Smith, Elder & Co. brought an action. Mr. Dent thereupon acquired from
Mr. A. H. Moxon, the son of Emma Isola, Lamb's residuary legatee, all
his rights as representing the original author. The case was heard
before Mr. Justice Kekewich early in 1906. The judge held that "the
proprietor of the author's manuscript in the case of letters, as in the
case of any other manuscript, meant the owner of the actual paper on
which the matter was written, and that in the case of letters the
recipient was the owner. No doubt the writer could restrain the
recipient from publishing, and so could the writer's representatives
after death; but although they had the right to restrain others from
publishing, it did not follow that they had the right to publish and
acquire copyright. This right was given to the proprietor of the
manuscript, who, although he could be restrained from publishing by the
writer's personal representatives, yet, if not so restrained, could
publish and acquire copyright."

Mr. Dent appealed against this verdict and his appeal was heard on
October 31 and November 7, 1906, when the decision of Mr. Justice
Kekewich was upheld with a clearer definition of the right of restraint.
The Court, in deciding (I quote again from Mr. MacGillivray's summary)
that "the proprietors of manuscript letters were, after the writer's
death, entitled to the copyright in them when published, were careful to
make it clear that they did not intend to overrule the authority of
those cases where a deceased man's representatives have been held
entitled to restrain the publication of his private letters by the
recipients or persons claiming through them. The Court expressly
affirmed the common law right of the writer and his representatives in
unpublished letters. It did not follow that because the copyright, if
there was publication, would be in the person who, being proprietor of
the author's manuscript, first published, that that person would be
entitled to publish. The common law right would be available to enable
the legal personal representatives, under proper circumstances, to
restrain publication." That is how the copyright law as regards letters
stands to-day (1912).

The present edition has been revised throughout and in it will be found
much new material. I have retained from the large edition only such
notes as bear upon the Lambs and the place of the letters in their life,
together with such explanatory references as seemed indispensable. For
the sources of quotations and so forth the reader must consult the old
edition.

For permission to include certain new letters I have to thank the Master
of Magdalene, Mr. Ernest Betham, Major Butterworth, Mr. Bertram Dobell,
Mr. G. Dunlop, and Mr. E. D. North of New York.

As an example of other difficulties of editing, at any given time, the
correspondence of Charles and Mary Lamb, I may say that while these
volumes were going through the press, Messrs. Sotheby offered for sale
new letters by both hands, the existence of which was unknown equally to
English editors and to Boston Bibliophiles. The most remarkable of them
is a joint letter from sister and brother to Louisa Martin, their
child-friend (to whom Lamb wrote the verses "The Ape"), dated March 28,
1809. Mary begins, and Charles then takes the pen and becomes
mischievous. Thus, "Hazlitt's child died of swallowing a bag of white
paint, which the poor little innocent thing mistook for sugar candy. It
told its mother just before it died, that it did not like soft sugar
candy, and so it came out, which was not before suspected. When it was
opened several other things were found in it, particularly a small
hearth brush, two golden pippins, and a letter which I had written to
Hazlitt from Bath. The letter had nothing remarkable in it." ... The
others are from brother and sister to Miss Kelly, the actress, whom
Lamb, in 1819, wished to marry. The first, March 27, 1820, is from Mary
Lamb saying that she has taken to French as a recreation and has been
reading Racine. The second is from Lamb, dated July 6, 1825, thanking
Miss Kelly for tickets at Arnold's theatre, the Lyceum, and predicting
the success of his farce "The Pawnbroker's Daughter." How many more new
letters are still to come to light, who shall say?

In Mr. Bedford's design for the cover of this edition certain Elian
symbolism will be found. The upper coat of arms is that of Christ's
Hospital, where Lamb was at school; the lower is that of the Inner
Temple, where he was born and spent many years. The figures at the bells
are those which once stood out from the facade of St. Dunstan's Church
in Fleet Street, and are now in Lord Londesborough's garden in Regent's
Park. Lamb shed tears when they were removed. The tricksy sprite and the
candles (brought by Betty) need no explanatory words of mine.

E. V. L.

CONTENTS OF VOLUME V

LETTERS BY NUMBER

1796.

1 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge May 27
From the original in the possession of Mrs.
Alfred Morrison.

2 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge End of May?
From the original (Morrison Collection).

3 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge June 10
From the original (Morrison Collection).

4 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge June 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn's edition).

5 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge July 1
From the original (Morrison Collection).

6 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge July 5
From the facsimile of the original (Mr. E.
H. Coleridge).

7 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge July 6
From the original (Morrison Collection).

8 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Sept. 27
From the original (Morrison Collection).

9 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 3
From the original (Morrison Collection).

10 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 17
From the original (Morrison Collection).

11 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 24
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

12 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

13 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Nov. 8
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

14 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Nov. 14
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

15 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Dec. 2
From the original (Morrison Collection).

16 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Dec. 5
From the original (Morrison Collection).

17 Charles Lamb to S. T, Coleridge Dec. 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (The Lambs).

18 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Dec. 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

1797.

19 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Jan. 2
From the original (Morrison Collection).

20 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Jan. 10
From the original (Morrison Collection).

21 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Jan. 18
From the original (Morrison Collection).

22 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Feb. 5
From the original (Morrison Collection).

23 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Feb. 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

24 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge April 7
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

25 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge April 15
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

26 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge June 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

27 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge June 24
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

28 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge (?)June 29
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

29 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Late July
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

30 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 24
From the original (Morrison Collection).

31 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge About Sept. 20
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

1798.

32 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Jan. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

33 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Early summer
From the original in the Gluck Collection at Buffalo, U.S.A.

34 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey July 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

35 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Oct. 18
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

36 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Oct. 29
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

37 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Nov. 3
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

38 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Nov. 8
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

39 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey ?Nov.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

40 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Nov. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

41 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Dec. 27
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

1799.

42 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Jan. 21
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

43 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Jan. or Feb.
From the original.

44 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey March 15
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

45 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey March 20
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

46 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Oct. 31
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

47 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

48 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

1800.

49 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?Jan. 23
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

50 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Feb. 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

51 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning March 1
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

52 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning March 17
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

53 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning April 5
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

54 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?April 16 or 17
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

55 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?Spring
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

56 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge May 12
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

57 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning May 20
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

58 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning ?May 25

59 Charles Lamb to J. M. Gutch No date
From Mr. G. A. Gutch's original.

60 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?Late July
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

61 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 6
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

62 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Aug. 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

63 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Aug. 11
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

64 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 14
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

65 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Aug. 24
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

66 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 26
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

67 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Aug. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

68 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Sept. 22
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

69 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Oct. 16
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

70 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Nov. 3
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

71 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Nov. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

72 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Dec. 4
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

73 Charles Lamb to William Godwin No date
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

74 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Dec. 10
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

75 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

76 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Dec. 14
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

77 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 16
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

78, 79 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning End of year
From _The Athenaeum_.

80 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 27
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

1801.

81 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth. Jan. 30
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

82 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Feb. 15
Canon Ainger's text.

83 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Late Feb.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

84 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning April
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

85 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning ?April
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

86 Charles Lamb to William Godwin June 29
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

87 Charles Lamb to Walter Wilson Aug. 14
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

88 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning ?Aug.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

89 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Aug. 31
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

90 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Sept. 9
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

91 Charles Lamb to William Godwin (_fragment_) Sept. 17
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

92 Charles Lamb to Mrs. Godwin No date
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

93 Charles Lamb to John Rickman ?Nov.
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

1802.

94 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning ?Feb. 15
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

95 Charles Lamb to John Rickman April 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

96 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning ?End of April
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

97 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge (_fragment_) Sept. 8
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

98 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Sept. 24
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

99 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

100 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Oct. 11
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

101 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge (_fragment_) Oct. 23
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

102 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Nov. 4
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

103 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Nov.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) and Talfourd, with alterations.

1803.

104 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Feb. 19
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_) with alterations.

105 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning March
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

106 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth March 5
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

107 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge April 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

108 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge May
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

109 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge May 27
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

110 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth. July 9
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

111 Charles Lamb to John Rickman July 16
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

112 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Sept. 21
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary And Charles Lamb_).

113 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Nov. 8
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

114 Charles Lamb to William Godwin Nov. 10
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

1804.

115 Charles Lamb to Thomas Poole. Feb. 14
From original in British Museum.

116 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge March 10
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

117 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart ?March
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

118 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge April 5
From the original (Morrison Collection).

119 Charles Lamb to Thomas Poole May 4
From original in British Museum.

120 Charles Lamb to Thomas Poole May 5
From original in British Museum.

121 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth June 2
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

122 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart }
123 Charles Lamb to Sarah Stoddart } Late July
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

124 Part I., Charles Lamb to William }
Wordsworth }
125 Part II., Mary Lamb to Dorothy }
Wordsworth } Oct. 13
126 Part III., Mary Lamb to Mrs. S.T. }
Coleridge }
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

127 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Nov. 7

1805.

128 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Feb. 18
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

129 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Feb. 19
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

130 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Feb. 23
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

131 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth March 5
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

132 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth March 21
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

133 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 5
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

134 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth May 7
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

135 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth June 14
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

136 Charles Lamb to Thomas manning July 27
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

137 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart ?Sept. 18
From the original.

138 Charles Lamb to William and Dorothy
Wordsworth Sept. 28
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

139 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Early Nov.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

140 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt Nov. 10
From the original.

141 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Nov. 9 and 14
From the original.

142 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Nov. 15
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

1806.

143 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt Jan. 15
From the original.

144 Charles Lamb to John Rickman. Jan. 25
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

145 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Feb. 1
From the original, recently in the possession of Mr. Gordon
Wordsworth.

146 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt Feb. 19
From the original.

147 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Feb. 20, 21 and 22
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

148 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart March
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

149 Charles Lamb to John Rickman March
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

150 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt March 15
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

151 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning May 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

152 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart June 2
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

153 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth June 26
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

154 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart ?July 4
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles Lamb_).

155 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth Aug. 29
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

156 Mary Lamb to S. T. Coleridge. No date
From the original (Morrison Collection).

157 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Oct. 23
From the original.

158 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 5
From the original.

159 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Dec. 11
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

160 Charles Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Dec. 11
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

161 Charles Lamb to William Godwin No date
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin: His Friends_, etc.).

1807.

162 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Jan. 29
From the original in Dr. Williams' Library.

163 Charles Lamb to T. and C. Clarkson June
From the original in the possession of
Mr. A.M.S. Emthuen.

164 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Oct.
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

165 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart Dec. 21
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

1808.

166 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddard Feb. 12
From the original.

167 Charles Lamb to the Rev. W. Hazlitt Feb. 18
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

168 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Feb. 26
From the original.

169 Charles lamb to Matilda Betham No date
From _A House of Letters_.

170 Charles Lamb to Matilda Betham No date
From _A House of Letters_.

171 Charles Lamb to William Godwin March 11
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin
His Friends_, etc.).

172 Charles Lamb to Henry Crabb Robinson March 12
From the original in Dr. Williams' Library

173 Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart March 16
From the original.

174 Charles Lamb to George Dyer Dec. 5
From _The Mirror_.

175 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt }
176 Charles Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt } Dec. 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

177 Mary Lamb to Mrs. Clarkson } Dec. 10
178 Charles Lamb to Mrs. Clarkson }
from the original in the possession of Mr.
A.M.S. Methuen.

1809.

179 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning March 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations

180 Charles Lamb to Henry Crabb Robinson May
From the original in Dr. Williams' Library

181 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt June 2
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

182 Charles Lamb to S.T. Coleridge June 7
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

183 Charles Lamb to S.T. Coleridge Oct. 30
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

184 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt Nov. 7
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

1810.

185 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Jan. 2
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

186 Charles Lamb to Henry Crabb Robinson Feb. 7
From the original in Dr. Williams' Library.

187 Charles Lamb to the J.M. Gutch April 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

188 Charles Lamb to Basil Montagu July 12
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

189 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt Aug. 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

190 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Oct. 19
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

191 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth }
192 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth } Nov. 13
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original. }

193 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth }
194 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth } Nov. 23
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original. }

195 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt Nov. 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

196 Charles Lamb to William Godwin No date
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin:
His Friends_, etc.).

197 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt ? End of year
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles
Lamb_).

1811.

198 Mary Lamb to Matilda Betham No date
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

199 Charles Lamb to John Morgan (_fragment_) March 8
From the original (Duchess of Albany)

200 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hazlitt }
201 Charles Lamb to William Hazlitt } Oct. 2
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_Mary and Charles }
Lamb_) and Bohn.

1812.

202 Charles Lamb to John Dyer Collier No date
J. P. Collier's text (_An Old Man's Diary_).

203 Mary Lamb to Mrs. John Dyer Collier No date
J. P. Collier's text (_An Old Man's Diary_).

[1813--_no letters_.]

1814.

204 Charles Lamb to John Scott ?Feb.
From facsimile (Birkbeck Hill's _Talks
about Autographs_).

205 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Aug. 9
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

206 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 13
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

207 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Aug. 26
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

208 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Sept. 19
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

209 Mary Lamb to Barbara Betham Nov. 2
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

210 Charles Lamb to John Scott Dec. 12
From Mr. R. B. Adam's original.

211 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Dec. 28
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

1815.

212 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth ?Early Jan.
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

213 Charles Lamb to Mr. Sargus Feb. 23
From the original in the possession of Mr.
Thomas Greg.

214 Charles Lamb to Joseph Hume No date
Mr. Kegan Paul's text (_William Godwin:
His Friends_, etc.).

215 Charles Lamb to [Mrs. Hume?] No date
From the American owner.

216 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 7
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

217 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 28
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

218 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey May 6
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

219 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Aug. 9
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

220 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Aug. 9
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

221 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson Aug. 20

222 Charles Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson Aug. 20
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

223 Mary Lamb to Matilda Betham ?Late summer
From _Fraser's Magazine_.

224 Charles Lamb to Matilda Betham No date
From _A House of Letters_.

225 Charles Lamb to Matilda Betham No date
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

226 Charles Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson Oct. 19
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

227 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 25
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

228 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning Dec. 26
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

1816.

229 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 9
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

230 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 26
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

231 Charles Lamb to Matilda Betham June 1
From _Fraser's Magazine_.

232 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth Sept. 23
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

233 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson Middle of Nov.
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

234 Mary Lamb to Sarah Hutchinson Late in year
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

1817.

235 Charles Lamb to William Ayrton May 12
From Ayrton's transcript in Lamb's _Works_, Vol. III.

236 Charles Lamb to Barren Field Aug. 31
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

237 Charles Lamb to James and Louisa Kenney Oct.
Text from Mr. Samuel Davey.

238 Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth Nov. 21

239 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth Nov. 21
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

240 Charles Lamb to John Payne Collier. Dec. 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

241 Charles Lamb to Benjamin Robert Haydon Dec. 26
From Tom Taylor's _Life of Haydon_.

1818.

242 Charles Lamb to Mrs. William Wordsworth Feb. 18
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

243 Charles Lamb to Charles and James Ollier June 18
From the original (Morrison Collection).

244 Charles Lamb to Robert Southey Oct. 26
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

245 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Dec. 24
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

1819.

246 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth April 26
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

247 Charles Lamb to Thomas Manning May 28
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

248 Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth June 7
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

249 Charles Lamb to Fanny Kelly July 20
Mr. John Hollingshead's text (_Harper's Magazine_).

250 Charles Lamb to Fanny Kelly July 20
John Hollingshead's text (_Harper's Magazine_).

251 Charles Lamb to Thomas Noon Talfourd(?) August
(Original in the possession of the Master of Magdelene.)

252 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?Summer
From the original (Morrison Collection).

253 Charles Lamb to Thomas Holcroft, Jr. Autumn
From the original (Morrison Collection).

254 Charles Lamb to Joseph Cottle Nov. 5
Mr. Hazlitt's text.

255 Charles Lamb to Joseph Cottle (_incomplete_) Late in year
Mr. Hazlitt's text.

256 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth Nov. 25
From Mr. Gordon Wordsworth's original.

1820.

257 Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge Jan. 10
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn) with alterations.

258 Mary Lamb to Mrs. Vincent Novello Spring
From the Cowden Clarkes' _Recollections of Writers_.

259 Charles Lamb to Joseph Cottle May 26
Mr. Hazlitt's text.

260 Charles Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth May 25
From Professor Knight's _Life of Wordsworth_.

261 Charles Lamb to Thomas Allsop July 13

262 Charles and Mary Lamb to Samuel James Arnold No date

263 Charles Lamb to Barron Field Aug. 16
Mr. Hazlitt's text (_The Lambs_).

263A Charles Lamb to S. T. Coleridge ?Autumn
Mr. Hazlitt's text (Bohn).

APPENDIX

Coleridge's "Ode on the Departing Year"
Wither's "Supersedeas"
Dyer's "Poetic Sympathies" (_fragment_)
Haydon's Party (from Taylor's _Life of Haydon_)

FRONTISPIECE

CHARLES LAMB (AGED 44)

From a Water-colour Drawing by J. G. F. Joseph.

THE LETTERS OF CHARLES AND MARY LAMB

1796-1820

LETTER 1

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 L200 a year, enough for the maintenance of herself &
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, & do not know
whether he has given up the Westminster hospital.

When Southey becomes as modest as his predecessor Milton, and publishes
his Epics in duodecimo, I will read 'em,--a Guinea a book is somewhat
exorbitant, nor have I the opportunity 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 any thing in his partnership
account with Lovell.

Your poems I shall procure forthwith. There were noble lines in what you
inserted in one 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 employed 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 6 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 of nine since I saw you, and
will some day communicate 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 Person, 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,
'Twas 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 wast ever inclined
Too highly, and with a partial eye to see
No blemish: thou to me didst ever shew
Fondest affection, and woud'st oftimes 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.

With these lines, and with that sister's kindest remembrances to C----,
I conclude--

Yours sincerely

LAMB.

Your Conciones ad populum are the most eloquent 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 good wishes attend you both.

My civic and poetic compts to Southey if at Bristol.--Why, he is a very
Leviathan of Bards--the small minnow I--

[This is the earliest letter of Lamb's that has come down to us. On
February 10, 1796, he was just twenty-one years old, and was now living
at 7 Little Queen Street (since demolished) with his father, mother,
Aunt Sarah Lamb (known as Aunt Hetty), Mary Lamb and, possibly, John
Lamb. John Lamb, senior, was doing nothing and had, I think, already
begun to break up: his old master, Samuel Salt, had died in February,
1792. John Lamb, the son (born June 5, 1763), had a clerkship at the
South-Sea House; Charles Lamb had begun his long period of service in
the India House; and Mary Lamb (born December 3, 1764) was occupied as a
mantua-maker.

At this time Coleridge was twenty-three; he would be twenty-four on
October 21. His military experiences over, he had married Sara Fricker
on October 4, 1795 (a month before Southey married her sister Edith),
and was living at Bristol, on Redcliffe Hill. The first number of _The
Watchman_ was dated on March 1, 1796; on May 13, 1796, it came to an
end. On April 16, 1796, Cottle had issued Coleridge's _Poems on Various
Subjects_, containing also four "effusions" by Charles Lamb (Nos. VII.,
XI., XII. and XIII.), and the "Religious Musings." Southey, on bad terms
with Coleridge, partly on account of Southey's abandonment of
Pantisocracy, was in Lisbon. His _Joan of Arc_ had just been published
by Cottle in quarto at a guinea. Previously he had collaborated in _The
Fall of Robespierre_, 1794, with Coleridge and Robert Lovell. Each, one
evening, had set forth to write an act by the next. Southey and Lovell
did so, but Coleridge brought only a part of his. Lovell's being
useless, Southey rewrote his act, Coleridge finished his at leisure, and
the result was published. Robert Lovell (1770?-1796) had also been
associated with Coleridge and Southey in Pantisocracy and was their
brother-in-law, having married Mary Fricker, another of the sisters.
When, in 1795, Southey and Lovell had published a joint volume of
_Poems_, Southey took the pseudonym of Bion and Lovell of Moschus.

May was probably the landlord of the Salutation and Cat. The London
Directory for 1808 has "William May, Salutation Coffee House, 17 Newgate
Street." We must suppose that when Coleridge quitted the Salutation and
Cat in January, 1795, he was unable to pay his bill, and therefore had
to leave his luggage behind. Cottle's story of Coleridge being offered
free lodging by a London inn-keeper, if he would only talk and talk,
must then either be a pretty invention or apply to another landlord,
possibly the host of the Angel in Butcher Hall Street.

Allen was Robert Allen, a schoolfellow of Lamb and Coleridge, and
Coleridge's first friend. He was born on October 18, 1772. Both Lamb and
Leigh Hunt tell good stories of him at Christ's Hospital, Lamb in _Elia_
and Hunt in his _Autobiography_. From Christ's Hospital he went to
University College, Oxford, and it was he who introduced Coleridge and
Hucks to Southey in 1794. Probably, says Mr. E. H. Coleridge, it was he
who brought Coleridge and John Stoddart (afterwards Sir John, and
Hazlitt's brother-in-law) together. On leaving Oxford he seems to have
gone to Westminster to learn surgery, and in 1797 he was appointed
Deputy-Surgeon to the 2nd Royals, then in Portugal. He married a widow
with children; at some time later took to journalism, as Lamb's
reference in the _Elia_ essay on "Newspapers" tells us; and he died of
apoplexy in 1805.

Coleridge's employment on the _Evidences of Religion_, whatever it may
have been, did not reach print.

Le Grice was Charles Valentine Le Grice (1773-1858), an old Christ's
Hospitaller and Grecian (see Lamb's _Elia_ essays on "Christ's Hospital"
and "Grace before Meat"). Le Grice passed to Trinity College, Cambridge.
He left in 1796 and became tutor to William John Godolphin Nicholls of
Trereife, near Penzance, the only son of a widowed mother. Le Grice was
ordained in 1798 and married Mrs. Nicholls in 1799. Young Nicholls died
in 1815 and Mrs. Le Grice in 1821, when Le Grice became sole owner of
the Trereife property. He was incumbent of St. Mary's, Penzance, for
some years. Le Grice was a witty, rebellious character, but he never
fulfilled the promise of his early days. It has been conjectured that
his skill in punning awakened Lamb's ambition in that direction. Le
Grice saw Lamb next in 1834, at the Bell at Edmonton. His recollections
of Lamb were included by Talfourd in the _Memorials_, and his
recollections of Coleridge were printed in the _Gentleman's Magazine_,
December, 1834. I know nothing of Miss Hunt.

Of Lamb's confinement in a madhouse we know no more than is here told.
It is conjectured that the "other person" to whom Lamb refers a few
lines later was Ann Simmons, a girl at Widford for whom he had an
attachment that had been discouraged, if not forbidden, by her friends.
This is the only attack of the kind that Lamb is known to have suffered.
He once told Coleridge that during his illness he had sometimes believed
himself to be Young Norval in Home's "Douglas."

The poem in blank verse was, we learn in a subsequent letter, "The
Grandame," or possibly an autobiographical work of which "The Grandame"
is the only portion that survived.

White was James White (1775-1820), an old Christ's Hospitaller and a
friend and almost exact contemporary of Lamb. Lamb, who first kindled
his enthusiasm for Shakespeare, was, I think, to some extent involved in
the _Original Letters, &c., of Sir John Falstaff and his Friends_, which
appeared in 1796. The dedication--to Master Samuel Irelaunde, meaning
William Henry Ireland (who sometimes took his father's name Samuel), the
forger of the pretended Shakespearian play "Vortigern," produced at
Drury Lane earlier in the year--is quite in Lamb's manner. White's
immortality, however, rests not upon this book, but upon his portrait in
the _Elia_ essay on "Chimney-Sweepers."

The sonnet "To my Sister" was printed, with slight alterations, by Lamb
in Coleridge's _Poems_, second edition, 1797, and again in Lamb's
_Works_, 1818.

Coleridge's _Condones ad Populum; or, Addresses to the People_, had been
published at Bristol in November, 1795.]

LETTER 2

CHARLES LAMB TO S. T. COLERIDGE

[Probably begun either on Tuesday, May 24, or Tuesday, May 31, 1796.
Postmark? June 1.]

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

The lord of light shakes off his 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 journeying on,
To the green plains of pleasant Hertfordshire.

[Footnote: Drowsyhed I have met with I think in Spencer. Tis an old
thing, but it rhymes with led & rhyming covers a multitude of licences.]

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 Islington 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 1st 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,
Oftimes 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-wandring where in better days
I held free converse with my fair-hair'd maid.
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 flatter myself you will like
it.

A timid grace sits trembling in her Eye,
As both to meet the rudeness of men's sight,
Yet shedding a delicious lunar light,
That steeps in kind oblivious extacy
The care-craz'd mind, like some still melody;
Speaking most plain the thoughts which do possess
Her gentle sprite, peace and meek quietness,
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 mankind.
Turned are those beams from me, who fondly yet
Past joys, vain loves, and buried hopes regret.

[Footnote: Cowley uses this phrase with a somewhat different meaning: I
meant loves of relatives friends &c.]

The next and last I value most of all. 'Twas composed close upon the
heels of the last in that very wood I had in mind when I wrote "Methinks
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 2
lines to happiness

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 re'd 'em
previously, for the credit of my 10th and 11th lines. Parnell has 2
lines (which probably suggested the _above_) to Contentment

Whither ah! whither art thou fled,
To hide thy meek contented head.[*]

[Footnote: an odd epithet for contentment in a poet so poetical as
Parnell.]

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

"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 favour to beg of
you, that you never mention Mr. May's affair in any sort, much less
_think_ of repaying. Are we not flocci-nauci-what-d'ye-call-em-ists?

We have just learnd, 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 objections 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
insipids. Should any thing 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 "teaching 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,
satirical upon college declamations; when I send White's book, I will
add that.

I am sorry there should be any difference between 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 of 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 Review of Burke was the best prose. I augurd great
things from the 1st number. There is some exquisite 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 be any thing in it approachs to
tumidity (which I meant not to infer in elaborate: I meant simply
labored) 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 ploughd up daisy you seem to have
had in mind. Your complaint 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 1st Sclavonian Song.
The expression in the 2d "more happy to be unhappy in hell"--is it not
very quaint? Accept my thanks in common with those of all who love good
poetry for the Braes of Yarrow. I congratulate you on the enemies you
must have made by your splendid invective against the barterers 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 providing for a family. The mail
is come in but no parcel, yet this is Tuesday. Farewell then till to
morrow, for a nich 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 Rel. Musings with uninterrupted feelings of
profound admiration. You may safely rest your fame on it. The best
remain'g 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 R Musings I fear will entitle you to the reproof 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't in ministeries of heart-stirring song," tho' not now new
to me, cannot be enough admired. To speak politely, they are a well
turnd compliment to Poetry. I hasten to read Joan of Arc, &c. I have
read your lines at the begin'g of 2d book, they are worthy of Milton,
but in my mind yield to your Rel Mus'gs. 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. chequing your
wild wandrings, which we were so fond of hearing you indulge when among
us. It has endeared us more than any thing to your good Lady; and your
own self-reproof that follows delighted us. 'Tis a charming poem
throughout. (You have well remarked that "charming, admirable,
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 Spencer, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. I am glad you
resume the Watchman--change the name, leave out all articles of News,
and whatever things are peculiar to News Papers, and confine yourself to
Ethics, verse, criticism, or, rather do not confine yourself. Let your
plan be as diffuse as the Spectator, and I'll 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 R. 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 doubtless 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 account of the Man and his services to
Men, written by Lindsey, his dearest friend,--well worth your reading.

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.

[The postmark of this letter looks like June 1, but it might be June 7,
It was odd to date it "Tuesday night" half way through, and "Tuesday
eve" at the end. Possibly Lamb began it on Tuesday, May 24, and finished
it on Tuesday, May 31; possibly he began it on Tuesday, May 31, and
finished it and posted it on Tuesday, June 7.

The Hertfordshire sonnet was printed in the _Monthly Magazine_ for
December, 1797, and not reprinted by Lamb.

The sonnet that "mock'd my step with many a lonely glade" is that
beginning--

Was it some sweet device of Faery,

which had been printed in Coleridge's _Poems_, 1796. The second, third
and fourth of the sonnets that are copied in this letter were printed in
the second edition of Coleridge's _Poems_, 1797. Anna is generally
supposed to be Ann Simmons, referred to in the previous note.

Concerning "Flocci-nauci-what-d'ye-call-'em-ists," Canon Ainger has the
following interesting note: "'Flocci, nauci' is the beginning of a rule
in the old Latin grammars, containing a list of words signifying 'of no
account,' _floccus_ being a lock of wool, and _naucus_ a trifle. Lamb
was recalling a sentence in one of Shenstone's Letters:--'I loved him
for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money.'"
But "Pantisocratists" was, of course, the word that Lamb was shadowing.
Pantisocracy, however--the new order of common living and high thinking,
to be established on the banks of the Susquehanna by Coleridge, Southey,
Favell, Burnett and others--was already dead.

William Cumberland Cruikshank, the anatomist, who attended Lamb's
brother, had attended Dr. Johnson in his last illness.

Le Grice's pamphlet was _A General Theorem for A******* Coll.
Declamation_, by Gronovius, 1796.

Southey and Coleridge had been on somewhat strained terms for some time;
possibly, as I have said in the previous note, owing to Southey's
abandonment of Pantisocratic fervour, which anticipated Coleridge's by
some months. Also, to marry sisters does not always lead to serenity.
The spiriting away of Coleridge had been effected by Southey in January,
1795, when he found Coleridge at the Angel in Butcher Hall Street
(_vice_ the Salutation in Newgate Street) and bore him back to Bristol
and the forlorn Sara Fricker, and away from Lamb, journalism and
egg-hot.

Moschus was, as we have seen, Robert Lovell. No. V. of _The Watchman_
contained sonnets by him.

The review of Burke's _Letter to a Noble Lord_ was in No. I. of _The
Watchman._--The passage from "Religious Musings," under the title "The
Present State of Society," was in No. II.--extending from line 260 to
357. [These lines were 279-378 1st ed.; 264-363 2nd ed.] The capital
line in No. VI. is in the poem, "Lines on Observing a Blossom on the
First of February, 1796."--Poor dead Parsons would be William Parsons
(1736-1795), the original Sir Fretful Plagiary in Sheridan's "Critic."
Lamb praises him in his essay on the Artificial Comedy.--In No. IX. of
_The Watchman_ were prose paraphrases of three Sclavonian songs, the
first being "Song of a Female Orphan," and the second, "Song of the
Haymakers."--John Logan's "Braes of Yarrow" had been quoted in No. III.
as "the most exquisite performance in our language."--The invective
against "the barterers" refers to the denunciation of the slave trade in
No. IV. of _The Watchman_.

Cowper's recovery was only partial; and he was never rightly himself
after 1793. The edition of Milton had been begun about 1790. It was
never finished as originally intended; but Fuseli completed forty
pictures, which were exhibited in 1799. An edition of Cowper's
translations, with designs by Flaxman, was published in 1808, and of
Cowper's complete Milton in 1810.

Wordsworth's poem would be "Guilt and Sorrow," of which a portion was
printed in _Lyrical Ballads,_ 1798, and the whole published in 1842.

Coleridge's "Monody on Chatterton," the first poem in his _Poems on
Various Subjects_, 1796, had been written originally at Christ's
Hospital, 1790: it continued to be much altered before the final
version.

The two lines from "Religious Musings" are not the last, but the
beginning of the last passage.

Coleridge contributed between three and four hundred lines to Book II.
of Southey's _Joan of Arc_, as we shall see later. The poem beginning
"My Pensive Sara" was Effusion 35, afterwards called "The AEolian Harp,"
and the lines to which Lamb refers are these, following upon Coleridge's
description of how flitting phantasies traverse his indolent and passive
brain:--

But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O beloved Woman! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.

The plan to resume _The Watchman_ did not come to anything.

Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), the theologian, at this time the object of
Lamb's adoration, was one of the fathers of Unitarianism, a creed in
which Lamb had been brought up under the influence of his Aunt Hetty.
Coleridge, as a supporter of one of Priestley's allies, William Frend of
Cambridge, and as a convinced Unitarian, was also an admirer of
Priestley, concerning whom and the Birmingham riots of 1791 is a fine
passage in "Religious Musings," while one of the sonnets of the 1796
volume was addressed to him: circumstances which Lamb had in mind when
mentioning him in this letter. Lamb had probably seen Priestley at the
Gravel Pit Chapel, Hackney, where he became morning preacher in
December, 1791, remaining there until March, 1794. Thenceforward he
lived in America. His _Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion_
appeared between 1772 and 1774. The other work referred to is _Letters
to the Philosophers and Politicians of France_, newly edited by
Theophilus Lindsey, the Unitarian, as _An Answer to Mr. Paine's "Age of
Reason_," 1795.]

LETTER 3

CHARLES LAMB TO S.T. COLERIDGE

[Begun Wednesday, June 8. Dated on address: "Friday 10th June," 1796.]

With Joan of Arc I have been delighted, amazed. I had not presumed to
expect any thing 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 degenerating 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 subject 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
particular, are majestic and high-sounding. Indeed the whole vision of
the palace of Ambition and what 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
fullness of circumstance and lofty-pacedness of Versification. 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. Southey'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 Enthusiasts 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 baffles 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 Tremouille, are full of fire and fancy, and exquisite melody of
versification. The personifications from line 303 to 309 in the heat of
the battle had better been omitted, they are not very striking and only
encumber. The converse which Joan and Conrade hold on the Banks of the
Loire is altogether beautiful. Page 313, the conjecture 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, I need only
_mention_ those lines ending with "She saw a serpent gnawing at her
heart"!!! They are good imitative lines "he toild and toild, 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 361, all the passage
about Love (where he seems to confound conjugal love with Creating and
Preserving love) is very confused and sickens 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 infrequency 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 delighted with the very many
passages of simple pathos abounding throughout the poem--passages 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 inconsiderable, 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 rhimes. First tho', let me thank you
again and again in my own and 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
question. 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 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 no where and have no acquaintance.
Slow of speech, and reserved of manners, no one seeks or cares for my
society and I am left alone. Allen calls only occasionally, 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 injunctions. Complaints apart, proceed we to our task. I am called
away to tea, thence must wait upon my brother, so must delay till
to-morrow. Farewell--Wednesday.

Thursday. I will first notice what is new to me. 13th page. "The
thrilling tones that concentrate the soul" is a nervous line, and the 6
first lines of page 14 are very pretty. The 21st effusion a perfect
thing. That in the manner of Spencer 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 understood to mean--a Dametas; one
that keeps 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 undersong 'mid jasmine bowers" is a
sweet line and so are the 3 next. The concluding simile is far-fetch'd.
"Tempest-honord" is a quaint-ish phrase. Of the Monody on H., I will
here only notice these lines, as superlatively excellent. That energetic
one, "Shall I not praise thee, Scholar, Christian, 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 surpriz'd and pleased to see the signature
of Sara to that elegant composition, the 5th Epistle. I dare not
_criticise_ the Relig 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?
"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
paragraph in the name of a child of fancy. After all you can[not] nor
ever will write any thing, 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 19th Effusion, or the 28th 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 London, 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 conversation you
had blended so many pleasant fancies, that they cheated me of my grief.
But in your absence, the tide of melancholy rushd in again, and did its
worst Mischief by overwhelming my Reason. I have recoverd. But feel a
stupor that makes me indifferent to the hopes and fears of this life. I
sometimes wish to introduce a religious turn of mind, but habits are
strong things, and my religious fervors are confined alas to some
fleeting moments of occasional solitary devotion--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 not be 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 feeling it is not quite. Indulge me in a few
conjectures. What I am going to propose would make it more compress'd
and I think more energic, tho' I am sensible at the expence of many
beautiful lines. Let it begin "Is this the land of song-ennobled line,"
and proceed to "Otway's famish'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 of thought" to "his bosom glows." Then "but soon upon _his_
poor unsheltered head Did Penury her sickly Mildew shed, and soon are
fled the charms of vernal Grace, and Joy's wild gleams that lightend
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 indeed 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 proposed omitting 24 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 Procrustes and
introduce among the Sons of Men a monotony of identical feelings. I only
propose 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 2 more
which I recollect "and o'er the dowried virgin's snowy cheek bad bridal
love suffuse his blushes meek!" 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, may
be o'er looked its chief merit, that of filling up a whole page. I had
once deemd Sonnets of unrivalled use that way, but your epitaphs, I
find, are the 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 delightful 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 19th Effusion. It would have better ended with
"agony of care." The last 2 lines are obvious and unnecessary and you
need not now make 14 lines of it, now it is rechristend from a Sonnet to
an Effusion. Schiller might have written the 20 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 Ninathoma (1st stanza
in particular) is the best, or only good imitation, of Ossian I ever
saw--your 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. Slander _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 5 lines of Kosciusko: call it any thing you will but
sublime. In my 12th Effusion I had rather have seen what I wrote myself,
tho' they bear no comparison 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., 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 proposing any improvements (did I
think myself capable of suggesting 'em) in such personal poems as "Thou
bleedest my poor heart"--'od so, I am catchd, I have already done
it--but that simile I propose abridging would not change the feeling or
introduce any alien ones. Do you understand 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 secunda, Effusions 2-3, because satiric, and below the
dignity of the poet of Religious Musings, 5-7, half of the 8th, that
written in early Youth, as far as "Thousand eyes,"--tho' I part not
unreluctantly with that lively line "Chaste Joyance dancing in her
bright-blue eyes" and one or 2 more just thereabouts. But I would
substitute for it that sweet poem called "Recollection" 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 improve the last 4 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 ach 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 Conciones 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 into 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 disciple of
Godwin, does him no good. His wife has several daughters (one of 'em as
old as himself). Surely there is something unnatural in such a marriage.
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 wait
impatiently for the articles in the Crit. Rev., 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. 'Tis 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
neighbours. "And I can think I can see the groves again--was it the
voice of thee--Twas 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
sweeten'd, tho', with praises somewhat extravagant) I perfectly coincide
with. Yet I chuse to retain the word "lunar"--indulge a "lunatic" in his
loyalty 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. 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 dialogue is very
simple, full of pastoral beauties, and will charm you. Many pretty old
verses are interspersed. 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 any how _settled_ before then pray let me know it immediately--
'twould give me such satisfaction. 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 time painfully
travell'd thro'. God love you, Coleridge, and prosper you thro' life,
tho' mine will be loss if your lot is to be cast at Bristol or at
Nottingham or any where but London. Our loves to Mrs. C--.

C. L.

[Southey's _Joan of Arc_, with contributions to Book II. by Coleridge,
had been published in quarto by Cottle. Coleridge contributed to Book
II. the first 450 lines, 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," printed in _Sibylline Leaves_,
1817. All subsequent editions of Southey's poem appeared without
Coleridge's portion. The passages on page 26 and page 28 were Southey's.
Those at the beginning of the second book were Coleridge's. The simile
of the Laplander may be read in "The Destiny of Nations" (lines 63-79).
These were the reasons given by Coleridge for monarchs making war:--

When Luxury and Lust's exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of KINGS;
When the low Flattery of their reptile Lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear;
When Eunuchs sing, and Fools buffoon'ry make.
And Dancers writhe their harlot limbs in vain:
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts....

The 447th line was Coleridge's. This is the passage:--

Whether thy LAW with unrefracted Ray
Beam on the PROPHET'S purged Eye, or if
Diseasing Realms the ENTHUSIAST, wild of thought,
Scatter new frenzies on the infected Throng,
THOU, Both inspiring and foredooming, Both
Fit INSTRUMENTS and best of perfect END.

With page 98 we come to Southey again, the remaining references being to
him. The maid baffles the doctors in Book III.; page 126 is in Book IV.;
the personifications are in Book VI.; the converse between Joan and
Conrade is in Book IV.; page 313 is at the beginning of Book IX.; and
pages 315, 347 and 361 are also in Book IX. Southey in the preface to
_Joan of Arc_, speaking of Homer, says: "Pope has disguised him in
fop-finery and Cowper has stripped him naked." "Crazy Kate" is an
episode in _The Task_ ("The Sofa").

The "Monody on John Henderson," by Joseph Cottle, was printed
anonymously in a volume of poems in 1795, and again in _The Malvern
Hill_. John Henderson (1757-1788) was an eccentric scholar of Bristol.
The lines praised by Lamb are the 4th, 12th and 14th. The poem must not
be confused with the Monody on Henderson, the actor, by G. D. Harley.

Lamb now turns again to Coleridge's _Poems_. The poem on the 13th and
14th pages of this little volume was "To the Rev. W. J. H." The 21st
Effusion was that entitled "Composed while Climbing the Left Ascent of
Brockley Coomb." The 35th Effusion is known as "The AEolian Harp." The
letter from Shurton Bars is the poem beginning--

Nor travels my meand'ring eye.

The 4th Epistle is that to Joseph Cottle, Coleridge's publisher and the
author of the "Monody on Henderson," referred to in Coleridge's verses.
The lines which Lamb quotes are Cottle's. The poem by Sara Coleridge is
"The Silver Thimble." The passage in the "Religious Musings," for which
Lamb is thankful as a "child of fancy," is the last paragraph:--

Contemplant Spirits! ye that hover o'er
With untired gaze the immeasurable fount
Ebullient with creative Deity!
And ye of plastic power, that interfused
Roll through the grosser and material mass
In organising surge! Holies of God!
(And what if Monads of the infinite mind?)
I haply journeying my immortal course
Shall sometime join your mystic choir!
Till then
I discipline my young noviciate thought
In ministeries of heart-stirring song,
And aye on Meditation's heaven-ward wing
Soaring aloft I breathe the empyreal air
Of Love, omnific, omnipresent Love,
Whose day-spring rises glorious in my soul
As the great Sun, when he his influence
Sheds on the frost-bound waters--The glad stream
Flows to the ray and warbles as it flows.

"You came to Town ..." Soon after his engagement with Sara Fricker, his
heart being still not wholly healed of its passion for Mary Evans,
Coleridge had gone to London from Bristol, nominally to arrange for the
publication of his _Fall of Robespierre_, and had resumed intercourse
with Lamb and other old Christ's Hospital friends. There he remained
until Southey forcibly took him back in January, 1795. From what Lamb
says of the loss of two friends we must suppose, in default of other
information, that he had to give up his Anna at the same time. The loss
of reason, however, to which he refers did not come until the end of the
year 1795.

The 19th Effusion, afterwards called "On a Discovery Made Too Late;" the
28th, "The Kiss;" the 29th, "Imitated from Ossian."

"Your monody." This, not to be confounded with Cottle's "Monody on
Henderson," was Coleridge's "Monody on Chatterton." Lamb's emendations
were not accepted. As regards "The Man of Ross," the couplet beginning
"Friend to the friendless" ultimately had a place both in that poem and
in the Monody, but the couplet "and o'er the dowried virgin" was never
replaced in either. The lines on spring, page 28, are "Lines to a
Beautiful Spring." Dr. Forster (Faustus) was the hero of the nursery
rhyme, whose scholars danced out of England into France and Spain and

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