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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.



January 2, 1810.

My best room commands a court, in which there are trees and a pump, the water of which is excellent,—­cold with brandy, and not very insipid without.  Here I hope to set up my rest, and not quit till Mr. Powell, the undertaker, gives me notice that I may have possession of my last lodging.  He lets lodgings for single gentlemen.  I sent you a parcel of books by my last, to give you some idea of the state of European literature.  There comes with this two volumes, done up as letters, of minor poetry, a sequel to “Mrs. Leicester;” the best you may suppose mine, the next best are my coadjutor’s.  You may amuse yourself in guessing them out; but I must tell you mine are but one third in quantity of the whole.  So much for a very delicate subject.  It is hard to speak of one’s self, etc.  Holcroft had finished his life when I wrote to you, and Hazlitt has since finished his life,—­I do not mean his own life, but he has finished a life of Holcroft, which is going to press.  Tuthill is Dr. Tuthill.  I continue Mr. Lamb.  I have published a little book for children on titles of honor; and to give them some idea of the difference of rank and gradual rising, I have made a little scale, supposing myself to receive the following various accessions of dignity from the king, who is the fountain of honor,—­as at first, 1, Mr. C. Lamb; 2, C. Lamb, Esq.; 3, Sir C. Lamb, Bart.; 4, Baron Lamb, of Stamford; 5, Viscount Lamb; 6, Earl Lamb; 7, Marquis Lamb; 8, Duke Lamb.  It would look like quibbling to carry it on farther, and especially as it is not necessary for children to go beyond the ordinary titles of sub-regal dignity in our own country, otherwise I have sometimes in my dreams imagined myself still advancing, as 9th, King Lamb; 10th, Emperor Lamb; 11th, Pope Innocent,—­higher than which is nothing.  Puns I have not made many (nor punch much) since the date of my last; one I cannot help relating.  A constable in Salisbury Cathedral was telling me that eight people dined at the top of the spire of the cathedral; upon which I remarked that they must be very sharp-set.  But in general I cultivate the reasoning part of my mind more than the imaginative.  I am stuffed out so with eating turkey for dinner, and another turkey for supper yesterday (turkey in Europe and turkey in Asia), that I can’t jog on.  It is New Year here.  That is, it was New Year half a year back, when I was writing this.  Nothing puzzles me more than time and space, and yet nothing puzzles me less, for I never think about them.  The Persian ambassador is the principal thing talked of now.  I sent some people to see him worship the sun on Primrose Hill at half-past six in the morning, 28th November; but he did not come,—­which makes me think the old fire-worshippers are a sect almost extinct in Persia.  The Persian ambassador’s name is Shaw Ali Mirza.  The common people call

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