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.
(writing to a Frenchman, I write as a Frenchman would).  It appears to me as if I should die with joy at the first landing in a foreign country.  It is the nearest pleasure which a grown man can substitute for that unknown one, which he can never know,—­the pleasure of the first entrance into life from the womb.  I daresay, in a short time, my habits would come back like a “stronger man” armed, and drive out that new pleasure; and I should soon sicken for known objects.  Nothing has transpired here that seems to me of sufficient importance to send dry-shod over the water; but I suppose you will want to be told some news.  The best and the worst to me is, that I have given up two guineas a week at the “Post,” and regained my health and spirits, which were upon the wane.  I grew sick, and Stuart unsatisfied. Ludisti satis, tempus abire est; I must cut closer, that’s all.  Mister Fell—­or as you, with your usual facetiousness and drollery, call him, Mr. Fell—­has stopped short in the middle of his play.  Some friend has told him that it has not the least merit in it.  Oh that I had the rectifying of the Litany!  I would put in a Libera nos (Scriptores videlicet) ab amicis!  That’s all the news. A propos (is it pedantry, writing to a Frenchman, to express myself sometimes by a French word, when an English one would not do as well?  Methinks my thoughts fall naturally into it)—­

In all this time I have done but one thing which I reckon tolerable, and that I will transcribe, because it may give you pleasure, being a picture of my humors.  You will find it in my last page.  It absurdly is a first number of a series, thus strangled in its birth.

More news!  The Professor’s Rib [1] has come out to be a disagreeable woman, so much so as to drive me and some more old cronies from his house.  He must not wonder if people are shy of coming to see him because of the Snakes.

C. L.

[1] Mrs. Godwin

XLIII.

TO WILLIAM GODWIN.

November 10, 1803.

Dear Godwin,—­You never made a more unlucky and perverse mistake than to suppose that the reason of my not writing that cursed thing was to be found in your book.  I assure you most sincerely that I have been greatly delighted with “Chaucer.” [1] I may be wrong, but I think there is one considerable error runs through it, which is a conjecturing spirit, a fondness for filling out the picture by supposing what Chaucer did and how he felt, where the materials are scanty.  So far from meaning to withhold from you (out of mistaken tenderness) this opinion of mine, I plainly told Mrs. Godwin that I did find a fault, which I should reserve naming until I should see you and talk it over.  This she may very well remember, and also that I declined naming this fault until she drew it from me by asking me if there was not too much fancy in the work.  I then confessed generally

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