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.
with his poor blind eyes it has been labored out at six sittings.  The history of the couplet is in page 3 of this irregular production, in which every variety of shape and size that letters can be twisted into is to be found.  Do show his part of it to Mr. Rogers some day.  If he has bowels, they must melt at the contrition so queerly charactered of a contrite sinner.  G. was born, I verily think, without original sin, but chooses to have a conscience, as every Christian gentleman should have; his dear old face is insusceptible of the twist they call a sneer, yet he is apprehensive of being suspected of that ugly appearance.  When he makes a compliment, he thinks he has given an affront,—­a name is personality.  But show (no hurry) this unique recantation to Mr. Rogers:  ’t is like a dirty pocket-handerchief mucked with tears of some indigent Magdalen.  There is the impress of sincerity in every pot-hook and hanger; and then the gilt frame to such a pauper picture!  It should go into the Museum.

[1] Lamb’s future publisher.  He afterwards became the husband of Lamb’s protegee, Emma Isola.



July 24, 1833.

For God’s sake give Emma no more watches; one has turned her head.  She is arrogant and insulting.  She said something very unpleasant to our old clock in the passage, as if he did not keep time; and yet he had made her no appointment.  She takes it out every instant to look at the moment-hand.  She lugs us out into the fields, because there the bird-boys ask you, “Pray, sir, can you tell us what’s o’clock?” and she answers them punctually.  She loses all her time looking to see “what the time is.”  I overheard her whispering, “Just so many hours, minutes, etc., to Tuesday; I think St. George’s goes too slow.”  This little present of Time,—­why, ’t is Eternity to her!

What can make her so fond of a gingerbread watch?

She has spoiled some of the movements.  Between ourselves, she has kissed away “half-past twelve,” which I suppose to be the canonical hour in Hanover Square.

Well, if “love me, love my watch,” answers, she will keep time to you.

It goes right by the Horse-Guards.

Dearest M.,—­Never mind opposite nonsense.  She does not love you for the watch, but the watch for you.  I will be at the wedding, and keep the 30th July, as long as my poor months last me, as a festival gloriously.

Yours ever,



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