“Agnise”—acknowledge. It has been suggested that Lamb favoured this old word also on account of its superficial association with agnus, a lamb.]
CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON
[P.M. Nov. 20, 1824.]
Dr. R. Barren Field bids me say that he is resident at his brother Henry’s, a surgeon &c., a few doors west of Christ Church Passage Newgate Street; and that he shall be happy to accompany you up thence to Islington, when next you come our way, but not so late as you sometimes come. I think we shall be out on Tuesd’y.
[Barron Field, as I have said, had returned from New South Wales in June of this year. Later he became Chief Justice at Gibraltar.]
CHARLES LAMB TO SARAH HUTCHINSON
Desk II, Nov. 25 .
My dear Miss Hutchinson, Mary bids me thank you for your kind letter. We are a little puzzled about your where-abouts: Miss Wordsworth writes Torkay, and you have queerly made it Torquay. Now Tokay we have heard of, and Torbay, which we take to be the true male spelling of the place, but somewhere we fancy it to be on “Devon’s leafy shores,” where we heartily wish the kindly breezes may restore all that is invalid among you. Robinson is returned, and speaks much of you all. We shall be most glad to hear good news from you from time to time. The best is, Proctor is at last married. We have made sundry attempts to see the Bride, but have accidentally failed, she being gone out a gadding.
We had promised our dear friends the Monkhouses, promised ourselves rather, a visit to them at Ramsgate, but I thought it best, and Mary seemed to have it at heart too, not to go far from home these last holy days. It is connected with a sense of unsettlement, and secretly I know she hoped that such abstinence would be friendly to her health. She certainly has escaped her sad yearly visitation, whether in consequence of it, or of faith in it, and we have to be thankful for a good 1824. To get such a notion into our heads may go a great way another year. Not that we quite confined ourselves; but assuming Islington to be head quarters, we made timid flights to Ware, Watford &c. to try how the trouts tasted, for a night out or so, not long enough to make the sense of change oppressive, but sufficient to scour the rust of home.
Coleridge is not returned from the Sea. As a little scandal may divert you recluses—we were in the Summer dining at a Clergyman of Southey’s “Church of England,” at Hertford, the same who officiated to Thurtell’s last moments, and indeed an old contemporary Blue of C.’s and mine at School. After dinner we talked of C., and F. who is a mighty good fellow in the main, but hath his cassock prejudices, inveighed against