The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 755 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3.
have put King Canute the Great reproving his courtiers—­the rest are Giants and Giantesses.  Suffice it, to save our taste and damn our folly, that we left it all to a friend W.G. who in the first place cheated me into putting a name to them, which I did not mean, but do not repent, and then wrote a puff about their simplicity, &c., to go with the advertisement as in my name!  Enough of this egregious dupery.  I will try to abstract the load of teazing circumstances from the Stories and tell you that I am answerable for Lear, Macbeth, Timon, Romeo, Hamlet, Othello, for occasionally a tail piece or correction of grammar, for none of the cuts and all of the spelling.  The rest is my Sister’s.—­We think Pericles of hers the best, and Othello of mine—­but I hope all have some good.  As You Like It, we like least.

    “So much, only begging you to tear out the cuts and give them to
    Johnny, as ‘Mrs. Godwin’s fancy’.


      “Our love to all.

    “I had almost forgot, My part of the Preface begins in the middle
    of a sentence, in last but one page, after a colon, thus:—­

    “:—­which if they be happily so done, &c. (see page 2, line 7
    from foot).

    The former part hath a more feminine turn and does hold me up
    something as an instructor to young ladies:  but upon my modesty’s
    honour I wrote it not.

    “Godwin told my Sister that the Baby chose the subjects:  a fact in

This letter not only tells us how the preface was written—­the first part, I take it, by William Godwin—­but what Lamb himself thought of the pictures; which I reproduce in the large edition.  It is customary to attribute the designs to Mulready and the engraving to William Blake.

I have set up the Tales from the second edition, 1809, because it embodies certain corrections and was probably the last edition in which the Lambs took any interest.  The changes of word are few.  I note the more important; Page 5, line 1, “recollection” was “remembrance” in the first edition; page 10, line 27, “voracious” was “ugly” in the first edition; page 15, line 21, “vessel” was “churn”; page 42, line 30, “continued” was in the first edition “remained”; page 108, foot, “But she being a woman” had run in the first edition, “But she being a bad ambitious woman.”  I leave other minute differences to the Bibliographer.

The second edition was issued in two forms:  one similar to the first edition and one with only frontispiece, a portrait of Shakespear, and the following foreword from the pen, I imagine, of Mr. Godwin:—­


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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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