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.
equal distress at not knowing how to dispose of it, and several similar touches in the early history of the Colonel, evince a deep knowledge of human nature, and putting out of question the superior romantic interest of the latter, in my mind very much exceed “Crusoe.”  “Roxana” (first edition) is the next in interest, though he left out the best part of it in subsequent editions from a foolish hypercriticism of his friend Southerne.  But “Moll Flanders,” the “Account of the Plague,” etc., are all of one family, and have the same stamp of character.  Believe me, with friendly recollections—­Brother (as I used to call you), Yours,


[1] Wilson was preparing a Life of De Foe, and had written to Lamb for guidance.



December 23, 1822.

Dear Sir,—­I have been so distracted with business and one thing or other, I have not had a quiet quarter of an hour for epistolary purposes.  Christmas, too, is come, which always puts a rattle into my morning skull.  It is a visiting, unquiet, unquakerish season.  I get more and more in love with solitude, and proportionately hampered with company.  I hope you have some holidays at this period.  I have one day,—­Christmas Day; alas! too few to commemorate the season.  All work and no play dulls me.  Company is not play, but many times bard work.  To play, is for a man to do what he pleases, or to do nothing,—­to go about soothing his particular fancies.  I have lived to a time of life to have outlived the good hours, the nine-o’clock suppers, with a bright hour or two to clear up in afterwards.  Now you cannot get tea before that hour, and then sit gaping, music bothered perhaps, till half-past twelve brings up the tray; and what you steal of convivial enjoyment after, is heavily paid for in the disquiet of to-morrow’s head.

I am pleased with your liking “John Woodvil,” and amused with your knowledge of our drama being confined to Shakspeare and Miss Baillie.  What a world of fine territory between Land’s End and Johnny Groat’s have you missed traversing!  I could almost envy you to have so much to read.  I feel as if I had read all the books I want to read.  Oh, to forget Fielding, Steele, etc., and read ’em new!

Can you tell me a likely place where I could pick up cheap Fox’s Journal?  There are no Quaker circulating libraries?  Elwood, too, I must have.  I rather grudge that Southey has taken up the history of your people; I am afraid he will put in some levity.  I am afraid I am not quite exempt from that fault in certain magazine articles, where I have introduced mention of them.  Were they to do again, I would reform them.  Why should not you write a poetical account of your old worthies, deducing them from Fox to Woolman?  But I remember you did talk of something of that kind, as a counterpart to the “Ecclesiastical

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