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

I heard of you from Mr. Pulham this morning, and that gave a fillip to my laziness, which has been intolerable; but I am so taken up with pruning and gardening,—­quite a new sort of occupation to me.  I have gathered my jargonels; but my Windsor pears are backward.  The former were of exquisite raciness.  I do now sit under my own vine, and contemplate the growth of vegetable nature.  I can now understand in what sense they speak of father Adam.  I recognize the paternity while I watch my tulips.  I almost fell with him, for the first day I turned a drunken gardener (as he let in the serpent) into my Eden; and he laid about him, lopping off some choice boughs, etc., which hung over from a neighbor’s garden, and in his blind zeal laid waste a shade which had sheltered their window from the gaze of passers-by.  The old gentlewoman (fury made her not handsome) could scarcely be reconciled by all my fine words.  There was no buttering her parsnips.  She talked of the law.  What a lapse to commit on the first day of my happy “garden state”!

I hope you transmitted the Fox-Journal to its owner, with suitable thanks.  Mr. Cary, the Dante man, dines with me to-day.  He is a mode of a country parson, lean (as a curate ought to be), modest, sensible, no obtruder of church dogmas, quite a different man from Southey.  You would like him.  Pray accept this for a letter, and believe me, with sincere regards, yours,

C.L.

[1] Wainewright, the notorious poisoner, who, under the name of “Janus Weathercock,” contributed various frothy papers on art and literature to the “London Magazine.”

LXXVIII.

TO MRS. HAZLITT.

November, 1823.

Dear Mrs. H.,—­Sitting down to write a letter is such a painful operation to Mary that you must accept me as her proxy.  You have seen our house.  What I now tell you is literally true.  Yesterday week, George Dyer called upon us, at one o’clock (bright noonday), on his way to dine with Mrs. Barbauld at Newington.  He sat with Mary about half an hour, and took leave.  The maid saw him go out from her kitchen window, but suddenly losing sight of him, ran up in a fright to Mary.  G.D., instead of keeping the slip that leads to the gate, had deliberately, staff in hand, in broad, open day, marched into the New River. [1] He had not his spectacles on, and you know his absence.  Who helped him out, they can hardly tell; but between ’em they got him out, drenched thro’ and thro’.  A mob collected by that time, and accompanied him in.  “Send for the doctor!” they said; and a one-eyed fellow, dirty and drunk, was fetched from the public-house at the end, where it seem he lurks for the sake of picking up water-practice, having formerly had a medal from the Humane Society for some rescue.  By his advice the patient was put between blankets; and when I came home at four to dinner, I found G.D. a-bed, and raving, light-headed with the

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