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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.
kept the shop opposite St. Dunstan’s, but the tougher materials of the shop survive the perishing frame of its keeper.  Oysters continue to flourish there under as good auspices.  Poor Cory!  But if you will absent yourself twenty years together, you must not expect numerically the same population to congratulate your return which wetted the sea-beach with their tears when you went away.  Have you recovered the breathless stone-staring astonishment into which you must have been thrown upon learning at landing that an Emperor of France was living at St. Helena?  What an event in the solitude of the seas,—­like finding a fish’s bone at the top of Plinlimmon; but these things are nothing in our Western world.  Novelties cease to affect.  Come and try what your presence can.

God bless you!  Your old friend,

C. LAMB.

LX.

TO WORDSWORTH

April 9, 1816.

Dear Wordsworth,—­Thanks for the books you have given me, and for all the books you mean to give me.  I will bind up the “Political Sonnets” and “Ode” according to your suggestion.  I have not bound the poems yet; I wait till people have done borrowing them.  I think I shall get a chain and chain them to my shelves, more Bodleiano, and people may come and read them at chain’s length.  For of those who borrow, some read slow; some mean to read but don’t read; and some neither read nor meant to read, but borrow to leave you an opinion of their sagacity.  I must do my money-borrowing friends the justice to say that there is nothing of this caprice or wantonness of alienation in them; when they borrow my money they never fail to make use of it, Coleridge has been here about a fortnight.  His health is tolerable at present, though beset with temptations.  In the first place, the Covent Garden Manager has declined accepting his Tragedy, [1] though (having read it) I see no reason upon earth why it might not have run a very fair chance, though it certainly wants a prominent part for a Miss O’Neil or a Mr. Kean.  However, he is going to write to-day to Lord Byron to get it to Drury.  Should you see Mrs. C., who has just written to C. a letter, which I have given him, it will be as well to say nothing about its fate till some answer is shaped from Drury.  He has two volumes printing together at Bristol, both finished as far as the composition goes; the latter containing his fugitive poems, the former his Literary Life.  Nature, who conducts every creature by instinct to its best end, has skilfully directed C. to take up his abode at a Chemist’s Laboratory in Norfolk Street.  She might as well have sent a Helluo Librorum for cure to the Vatican.  God keep him inviolate among the traps and pitfalls!  He has done pretty well as yet. [2]

Tell Miss Hutchinson my sister is every day wishing to be quietly sitting down to answer her very kind letter; but while C. stays she can hardly find a quiet time.  God bless him!

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