Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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

erected by the public spirit of Watson, who keeps the “Adam and Eve” at Pancras (the ale-houses have all emigrated, with their train of bottles, mugs, cork-screws, waiters, into Hyde Park,—­whole ale-houses, with all their ale!) in company with some of the Guards that had been in France, and a fine French girl, habited like a princess of banditti, which one of the dogs had transported from the Garonne to the Serpentine.  The unusual scene in Hyde Park, by candle-light, in open air,—­good tobacco, bottled stout,—­made it look like an interval in a campaign, a repose after battle.  I almost fancied scars smarting, and was ready to club a story with my comrades of some of my lying deeds.  After all, the fireworks were splendid; the rockets in clusters, in trees, and all shapes, spreading about like young stars in the making, floundering about in space (like unbroke horses), till some of Newton’s calculations should fix them; but then they went out.  Any one who could see ’em, and the still finer showers of gloomy rain-fire that fell sulkily and angrily from ’em, and could go to bed without dreaming of the last day, must be as hardened an atheist as—.

The conclusion of this epistle getting gloomy, I have chosen this part to desire our kindest loves to Mrs. Wordsworth and to Dorothea.  Will none of you ever be in London again?

Again let me thank you for your present, and assure you that fireworks and triumphs have not distracted me from receiving a calm and noble enjoyment from it (which I trust I shall often), and I sincerely congratulate you on its appearance.

With kindest remembrances to you and household, we remain, yours sincerely,

C. LAMB and Sister.

[1] The Excursion.

[2] Early in 1814 the London parks were thrown open to the public, with fireworks, booths, illuminations, etc., in celebration of the peace between France and England, it was two or three years before they recovered their usual verdure.

LIV.

TO WORDSWORTH.

(1815)

Dear Wordsworth,—­You have made me very proud with your successive book presents. [1] I have been carefully through the two volumes to see that nothing was omitted which used to be there.  I think I miss nothing but a character in the antithetic manner, which I do not know why you left out,—­the moral to the boys building the giant, the omission whereof leaves it, in my mind, less complete,—­and one admirable line gone (or something come instead of it), “the stone-chat, and the glancing sandpiper,” which was a line quite alive.  I demand these at your hand.  I am glad that you have not sacrificed a verse to those scoundrels.  I would not have had you offer up the poorest rag that lingered upon the stripped shoulders of little Alice Fell, to have atoned all their malice; I would not have given ’em a red cloak to save their souls.  I am afraid

Follow Us on Facebook