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.
to the kitchens of Trinity and Caius, and make my most respectful compliments to Mr. Richard Hopkins, and assure him that his brawn is most excellent, and that I am moreover obliged to him for his innuendo about salt water and bran, which I shall not fail to improve.  I leave it to you whether you shall choose to pay him the civility of asking him to dinner while you stay in Cambridge, or in whatever other way you may best like to show your gratitude to my friend.  Richard Hopkins, considered in many points of view, is a very extraordinary character.  Adieu.  I hope to see you to supper in London soon, where we will taste Richard’s brawn, and drink his health in a cheerful but moderate cup.  We have not many such men in any rank of life as Mr. R. Hopkins.  Crisp the barber, of St. Mary’s, was just such another.  I wonder he never sent me any little token,—­some chestnuts, or a puff, or two pound of hair just to remember him by; gifts are like nails. Praesens ut absens, that is, your present makes amends for your absence.





June 14, 1805.

My Dear Miss Wordsworth,—­I have every reason to suppose that this illness, like all Mary’s former ones, will be but temporary.  But I cannot always feel so.  Meantime she is dead to me, and I miss a prop.  All my strength Is gone, and I am like a fool, bereft of her co-operation.  I dare not think, iest I should think wrong; so used am I to look up to her in the least and the biggest perplexity.  To say all that I know of her, would be more than I think anybody could believe or ever understand; and when I hope to have her well again with me, it would be sinning against her feelings to go about to praise her; for I can conceal nothing that I do from her.  She is older and wiser and better than I, and all my wretched imperfections I cover to myself by resolutely thinking on her goodness.  She would share life and death, heaven and hell, with me.  She lives but for me; and I know I have been wasting and teasing her life for five years past incessantly with my cursed ways of going on.  But even in this upbraiding of myself I am offending against her, for I know that she has cleaved to me for better, for worse; and if the balance has been against her hitherto, it was a noble trade.  I am stupid, and lose myself in what I write.  I write rather what answers to my feelings (which are sometimes sharp enough) than express my present ones, for I am only flat and stupid.  I am sure you will excuse my writing any more, I am so very poorly.

I cannot resist transcribing three or four lines which poor Mary made upon a picture (a Holy Family) which we saw at an auction only one week before she left home.  They are sweet lines, and upon a sweet picture.  But I send them only as the last memorial of her.


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