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.

L.

TO MANNING.

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