The Best Letters of Charles Lamb eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.
actors.  Quite the prattle of age and outlived importance.  Truth and sincerity staring out upon you perpetually in alto relievo.  Himself a party man, he makes you a party man.  None of the cursed philosophical Humeian indifference, so cold and unnatural and inhuman!  None of the cursed Gibbonian fine writing, so fine and composite.  None of Dr. Robertson’s periods with three members.  None of Mr. Roscoe’s sage remarks, all so apposite, and coming in so clever, lest the reader should have had the trouble of drawing an inference.  Burnet’s good old prattle I can bring present to my mind; I can make the Revolution present to me:  the French Revolution, by a converse perversity in my nature, I fling as far from me.  To quit this tiresome subject, and to relieve you from two or three dismal yawns, which I hear in spirit, I here conclude my more than commonly obtuse letter,—­dull up to the dulness of a Dutch commentator on Shakspeare.  My love to Lloyd and Sophia.

C. L.

[1] To this remarkable person we are largely indebted for some of the best of Lamb’s letters.  He was mathematical tutor at Caius College, Cambridge, and in later years became somewhat famous as an explorer of the remoter parts of China and Thibet.  Lamb had been introduced to him, during a Cambridge visit, by Charles Lloyd, and afterwards told Crabb Robinson that he was the most “wonderful man” he ever met.  An account of Manning will be found in the memoir prefixed to his “Journey to Lhasa,” in 1811-12. (George Bogle and Thomas Manning’s Journey to Thibet and Lhasa, by C.R.  Markham, 1876.)

XX.

TO COLERIDGE,

May 12, 1800,

My Dear Coleridge,—­I don’t know why I write, except from the propensity misery has to tell her griefs.  Hetty [1] died on Friday night, about eleven o’clock, after eight days’ illness; Mary, in consequence of fatigue and anxiety, is fallen ill again, and I was obliged to remove her yesterday.  I am left alone in a house with nothing but Hetty’s dead body to keep me company.  To-morrow I bury her, and then I shall be quite alone, with nothing but a cat to remind me that the house has been full of living beings like myself.  My heart is quite sunk, and I don’t know where to look for relief.  Mary will get better again; but her constantly being liable to such relapses is dreadful; nor is it the least of our evils that her case and all our story is so well known around us.  We are in a manner marked.  Excuse my troubling you; but I have nobody by me to speak to me.  I slept out last night, not being able to endure the change and the stillness.  But I did not sleep well, and I must come back to my own bed.  I am going to try and get a friend to come and be with me to-morrow.  I am completely shipwrecked.  My head is quite bad.  I almost wish that Mary were dead.  God bless you.  Love to Sara and Hartley.

C. LAMB.

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