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.
am trying my hand at a drama, in two acts, founded on Crabbe’s “Confidant,” mutatis mutandis.  You like the Odyssey:  did you ever read my “Adventures of Ulysses,” founded on Chapman’s old translation of it?  For children or men.  Chapman is divine, and my abridgment has not quite emptied him of his divinity.  When you come to town I’ll show it you.  You have well described your old-fashioned grand paternal hall.  Is it not odd that every one’s earliest recollections are of some such place?  I had my Blakesware [Blakesmoor in the “London"].  Nothing fills a child’s mind like a large old mansion; better if un—­or partially—­occupied,—­peopled with the spirits of deceased members of the county and justices of the quorum.  Would I were buried in the peopled solitudes of one, with my feelings at seven years old!  Those marble busts of the emperors, they seemed as if they were to stand forever, as they had stood from the living days of Rome, in that old marble hall, and I too partake of their permanency.  Eternity was, while I thought not of Time.  But he thought of me, and they are toppled down, and corn covers the spot of the noble old dwelling and its princely gardens, I feel like a grasshopper that, chirping about the grounds, escaped the scythe only by my littleness.  Even now he is whetting one of his smallest razors to clean wipe me out, perhaps.  Well!

[Footnote 1:] An etching of Lamb, by Brooke Pulham, which is said to be the most characteristic likeness of him extant.



September 18, 1827.

Dear Hood,—­If I have anything in my head, I will send it to Mr. Watts.  Strictly speaking, he should have all my album-verses; but a very intimate friend importuned me for the trifles, and I believe I forgot Mr. Watts, or lost sight at the time of his similar “Souvenir.”  Jamieson conveyed the farce from me to Mrs. C. Kemble; he will not be in town before the 27th.

Give our kind loves to all at Highgate, and tell them that we have finally torn ourselves outright away from Colebrooke, where I had no health, and are about to domiciliate for good at Enfield, where I have experienced good.

  “Lord, what good hours do we keep! 
  How quietly we sleep!” [1]

See the rest in the “Compleat Angler.”

We have got our books into our new house.  I am a dray-horse if I was not ashamed of the indigested, dirty lumber, as I toppled ’em out of the cart, and blessed Becky that came with ’em for her having an unstuffed brain with such rubbish.  We shall get in by Michael’s Mass.  ’T was with some pain we were evulsed from Colebrooke.

You may find some of our flesh sticking to the doorposts.  To change habitations is to die to them; and in my time I have died seven deaths.  But I don’t know whether every such change does not bring with it a rejuvenescence.  ’T is an enterprise, and shoves back the sense of death’s approximating, which, though not terrible to me, is at all times particularly distasteful.  My house-deaths have generally been periodical, recurring after seven years; but this last is premature by half that time.  Cut off in the flower of Colebrooke!  The Middletonian stream and all its echoes mourn.  Even minnows dwindle. A parvis fiunt minimi!

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