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.

I fear to invite Mrs. Hood to our new mansion, lest she should envy it, and hate us.  But when we are fairly in, I hope she will come and try it.  I heard she and you were made uncomfortable by some unworthy-to-be-cared-for attacks, and have tried to set up a feeble counteraction through the “Table Book” of last Saturday.  Has it not reached you, that you are silent about it?  Our new domicile is no manor-house, but new, and externally not inviting, but furnished within with every convenience,—­ capital new locks to every door, capital grates in every room, with nothing to pay for incoming, and the rent L10 less than the Islington one.

It was built, a few years since, at L1,100 expense, they tell me, and I perfectly believe it.  And I get it for L35, exclusive of moderate taxes.  We think ourselves most lucky.

It is not our intention to abandon Regent Street and West End perambulations (monastic and terrible thought!), but occasionally to breathe the fresher air of the metropolis.  We shall put up a bedroom or two (all we want) for occasional ex-rustication, where we shall visit,—­not be visited.  Plays, too, we’ll see,—­perhaps our own; Urbani Sylvani and Sylvan Urbanuses in turns; courtiers for a sport, then philosophers; old, homely tell-truths and learn-truths in the virtuous shades of Enfield, liars again and mocking gibers in the coffee-houses and resorts of London.  What can a mortal desire more for his bi-parted nature?

Oh, the curds-and-cream you shall eat with us here!

Oh, the turtle-soup and lobster-salads we shall devour with you there!

Oh, the old books we shall peruse here!

Oh, the new nonsense we shall trifle over there!

Oh, Sir T. Browne, here!

Oh, Mr. Hood and Mr. Jerdan, there!


C. (URBANUS) L. (SYLVANUS)—­(Elia ambo).

[1] By Charles Cotton.



September, 1827.

Dear P.,—­Excuse my anxiety, but how is Dash?  I should have asked if Mrs. Patmore kept her rules and was improving; but Dash came uppermost.  The order of our thoughts should be the order of our writing.  Goes he muzzled, or aperto ore?  Are his intellects sound, or does he wander a little in his conversation.  You cannot be too careful to watch the first symptoms of incoherence.  The first illogical snarl he makes, to St. Luke’s with him!  All the dogs here are going mad, if you believe the overseers; but I protest they seem to me very rational and collected.  But nothing is so deceitful as mad people, to those who are not used to them.  Try him with hot water; if he won’t lick it up, it’s a sign he does not like it.  Does his tail wag horizontally or perpendicularly?  That has decided the fate of many dogs in Enfield.  Is his general deportment cheerful?  I mean when he is pleased, for otherwise there is no judging. 

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