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The Best Letters of Charles Lamb eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.

LXII.

TO H. DODWELL [1]

July, 1816.

My dear Fellow,—­I have been in a lethargy this long while, and forgotten London, Westminster, Marybone, Paddington,—­they all went clean out of my head, till happening to go to a neighbor’s in this good borough of Calne, for want of whist-players we fell upon Commerce: the word awoke me to a remembrance of my professional avocations and the long-continued strife which I have been these twenty-four years endeavoring to compose between those grand Irreconcilables, Cash and Commerce; I instantly called for an almanac, which with some difficulty was procured at a fortune-teller’s in the vicinity (for happy holiday people here, having nothing to do, keep no account of time), and found that by dint of duty I must attend in Leadenhall on Wednesy morning next; and shall attend accordingly.  Does Master Hannah give maccaroons still, and does he fetch the Cobbetts from my attic?  Perhaps it wouldn’t be too much trouble for him to drop the enclosed up at my aforesaid chamber, and any letters, etc., with it; but the enclosed should go without delay.  N.B.—­He isn’t to fetch Monday’s Cobbett, but it is to wait my reading when I come back.  Heigh-ho!  Lord have mercy upon me, how many does two and two make?  I am afraid I shall make a poor clerk in future, I am spoiled with rambling among haycocks and cows and pigs.  Bless me!  I had like to have forgot (the air is so temperate and oblivious here) to say I have seen your brother, and hope he is doing well in the finest spot of the world.  More of these things when I return.  Remember me to the gentlemen,—­I forget names.  Shall I find all my letters at my rooms on Tuesday?  If you forget to send ’em never mind, for I don’t much care for reading and writing now; I shall come back again by degrees, I suppose, into my former habits.  How is Bruce de Ponthieu, and Porcher and Co.?—­the tears come into my eyes when I think how long I have neglected—.

Adieu! ye fields, ye shepherds and—­herdesses, and dairies and cream-pots, and fairies and dances upon the green.

I come, I come.  Don’t drag me so hard by the hair of my head, Genius of British India!  I know my hour is come, Faustus must give up his soul, O Lucifer, O Mephistopheles!  Can you make out what all this letter is about?  I am afraid to look it over.

CH.  LAMB.

[1] A fellow-clerk in the India House.  This charming letter, written evidently during a vacation trip, was first published entire in Canon Ainger’s edition (1887) of Lamb’s Letters.

LXIII.

TO MRS. WORDSWORTH.

February 18, 1818.

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