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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about The Best Letters of Charles Lamb.
him Shaw Nonsense.  While I think of it, I have put three letters besides my own three into the India post for you, from your brother, sister, and some gentleman whose name I forget.  Will they, have they, did they come safe?  The distance you are at, cuts up tenses by the root.  I think you said you did not know Kate *********.  I express her by nine stars, though she is but one.  You must have seen her at her father’s.  Try and remember her.  Coleridge is bringing out a paper in weekly numbers, called the “Friend,” which I would send, if I could; but the difficulty I had in getting the packets of books out to you before deters me; and you’ll want something new to read when you come home.  Except Kate, I have had no vision of excellence this year, and she passed by like the queen on her coronation day; you don’t know whether you saw her or not.  Kate is fifteen; I go about moping, and sing the old, pathetic ballad I used to like in my youth,—­

  “She’s sweet fifteen,
  I’m one year more.

Mrs. Bland sang it in boy’s clothes the first time I heard it.  I sometimes think the lower notes in my voice are like Mrs. Bland’s.  That glorious singer, Braham, one of my lights, is fled.  He was for a season.  He was a rare composition of the Jew, the gentleman, and the angel, yet all these elements mixed up so kindly in him that you could not tell which predominated; but he is gone, and one Phillips is engaged instead.  Kate is vanished, but Miss Burrell is always to be met with!

  “Queens drop away, while blue-legged Maukin thrives,
  And courtly Mildred dies, while country Madge survives.”

That is not my poetry, but Quarles’s; but haven’t you observed that the rarest things are the least obvious?  Don’t show anybody the names in this letter.  I write confidentially, and wish this letter to be considered as private, Hazlitt has written a grammar for Godwin; Godwin sells it bound up with a treatise of his own on language; but the gray mare is the better horse. I don’t allude to Mrs. Godwin, but to the word grammar, which comes near to gray mare, if you observe, in sound.  That figure is called paranomasia in Greek, I am sometimes happy in it.  An old woman begged of me for charity.  “Ah, sir,” said she, “I have seen better days!” “So have I, good woman,” I replied; but I meant literally, days not so rainy and overcast as that on which begged,—­she meant more prosperous days.



August, 1810.

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