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.

Tell Mrs. Wordsworth her postscripts are always agreeable.  They are legible too.  Your manual-graphy is terrible,—­dark as Lycophron.  “Likelihood,” for instance, is thus typified....  I should not wonder if the constant making out of such paragraphs is the cause of that weakness in Mrs. W.’s eyes, as she is tenderly pleased to express it.  Dorothy, I hear, has mounted spectacles; so you have deoculated two of your dearest relations in life.  Well, God bless you, and continue to give you power to write with a finger of power upon our hearts what you fail to impress, in corresponding lucidness, upon our outward eyesight!

Mary’s love to all; she is quite well.

I am called off to do the deposits on Cotton Wool.  But why do I relate this to you, who want faculties to comprehend the great mystery of deposits, of interest, of warehouse rent, and contingent fund?  Adieu!


[1] Zapolya.

[2] Lamb alludes, of course, to Coleridge’s opium habit.



April 26, 1816.

Dear W.,—­I have just finished the pleasing task of correcting the revise of the poems and letter. [1] I hope they will come out faultless.  One blunder I saw and shuddered at.  The hallucinating rascal had printed battered for battened, this last not conveying any distinct sense to his gaping soul.  The Reader (as they call ’em) had discovered it, and given it the marginal brand; but the substitutory n had not yet appeared.  I accompanied his notice with a most pathetic address to the printer not to neglect the correction.  I know how such a blunder would “batter at your peace.”  With regard to the works, the Letter I read with unabated satisfaction.  Such a thing was wanted, called for.  The parallel of Cotton with Burns I heartily approve, Iz.  Walton hallows any page in which his reverend name appears.  “Duty archly bending to purposes of general benevolence” is exquisite.  The poems I endeavored not to understand, but to read them with my eye alone; and I think I succeeded, (Some people will do that when they come out, you’ll say.) As if I were to luxuriate to-morrow at some picture-gallery I was never at before, and, going by to-day by chance, found the door open, and having but five minutes to look about me, peeped in,—­just such a chastised peep I took with my mind at the lines my luxuriating eye was coursing over unrestrained, riot to anticipate another day’s fuller satisfaction.  Coleridge is printing “Christabel,” by Lord Byron’s recommendation to Murray, with what he calls a vision, “Kubla Khan,” which said vision he repeats so enchantingly that it irradiates and brings heaven and elysian bowers into my parlor while he sings or says it; but there is an observation, “Never tell thy dreams,” and I am almost afraid that “Kubla Khan” is an owl that won’t bear daylight.  I fear lest it should be discovered,

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