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