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.




June, 1826.

Dear D.,—­My first impulse upon seeing your letter was pleasure at seeing your old neat hand, nine parts gentlemanly, with a modest dash of the clerical; my second, a thought natural enough this hot weather:  Am I to answer all this?  Why, ’t is as long as those to the Ephesians and Galatians put together:  I have counted the words, for curiosity....  I never knew an enemy to puns who was not an ill-natured man.  Your fair critic in the coach reminds me of a Scotchman, who assured me he did not see much in Shakspeare.  I replied, I daresay not.  He felt the equivoke, looked awkward and reddish, but soon returned to the attack by saying that he thought Burns was as good as Shakspeare.  I said that I had no doubt he was,—­to a Scotchman.  We exchanged no more words that day....  Let me hear that you have clambered up to Lover’s Seat; it is as fine in that neighborhood as Juan Fernandez,—­as lonely, too, when the fishing-boats are not out; I have sat for hours staring upon a shipless sea.  The salt sea is never as grand as when it is left to itself.  One cock-boat spoils it; a seamew or two improves it.  And go to the little church, which is a very Protestant Loretto, and seems dropped by some angel for the use of a hermit who was at once parishioner and a whole parish.  It is not too big.  Go in the night, bring it away in your portmanteau, and I will plant it in my garden.  It must have been erected, in the very infancy of British Christianity, for the two or three first converts, yet with all the appurtenances of a church of the first magnitude,—­its pulpit, its pews, its baptismal font; a cathedral in a nutshell.  The minister that divides the Word there must give lumping pennyworths.  It is built to the text of “two or three assembled in my name.”  It reminds me of the grain of mustard-seed.  If the glebe land is proportionate, it may yield two potatoes.  Tithes out of it could be no more split than a hair.  Its First fruits must be its Last, for ’t would never produce a couple.  It is truly the strait and narrow way, and few there be (of London visitants) that find it.  The still small voice is surely to be found there, if anywhere.  A sounding-board is merely there for ceremony.  It is secure from earthquakes, not more from sanctity than size, for’t would feel a mountain thrown upon it no more than a taper-worm would. Go and see, but not without your spectacles.



January 20, 1827.

Project Gutenberg
The Best Letters of Charles Lamb from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook