The Best Letters of Charles Lamb eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.

  “Towards the troop be spread his arms,
  As if the expanded soul diffused itself,
  And carried to all spirits, with the act,
  Its affluent inspiration.”

It struck me forcibly that the feeling of these last lines might have been suggested to you by the Cartoon of Paul at Athens.  Certain it is that a better motto or guide to that famous attitude can nowhere be found.  I shall adopt it as explanatory of that violent but dignified motion.

I must read again Landor’s “Julian;” I have not read it some time.  I think he must have failed in Roderick, for I remember nothing of him, nor of any distinct character as a character,—­only fine-sounding passages.  I remember thinking also he had chosen a point of time after the event, as it were, for Roderick survives to no use; but my memory is weak, and I will not wrong a fine poem by trusting to it.

The notes to your poem I have not read again; but it will be a take-downable book on my shelf, and they will serve sometimes at breakfast, or times too light for the text to be duly appreciated,—­ though some of ’em, one of the serpent Penance, is serious enough, now I think on’t.

Of Coleridge I hear nothing, nor of the Morgans.  I hope to have him like a reappearing star, standing up before me some time when least expected in London, as has been the case whilere.

I am doing nothing (as the phrase is) but reading presents, and walk away what of the day-hours I can get from hard occupation.  Pray accept once more my hearty thanks and expression of pleasure for your remembrance of me.  My sister desires her kind respects to Mrs. S. and to all at Keswick.

Yours truly,




October 19, 1815.

Dear Miss H.,—­I am forced to be the replier to your letter, for Mary has been ill, and gone from home these five weeks yesterday.  She has left me very lonely and very miserable.  I stroll about, but there is no rest but at one’s own fireside; and there is no rest for me there now.  I look forward to the worse half being past, and keep up as well as I can.  She has begun to show some favorable symptoms.  The return of her disorder has been frightfully soon this time, with scarce a six-months’ interval.  I am almost afraid my worry of spirits about the E. I. House was partly the cause of her illness:  but one always imputes it to the cause next at hand,—­more probably it conies from some cause we have no control over or conjecture of.  It cuts sad great slices out of the time, the little time, we shall have to live together.  I don’t know but the recurrence of these illnesses might help me to sustain her death, better than if we had had no partial separations.  But I won’t talk of death.  I will imagine us immortal, or forget that we are otherwise.  By God’s blessing, in a few weeks we may be making our meal together,

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The Best Letters of Charles Lamb from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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