I have partaken so much high intellectual enjoyment from being admitted into the close and familiar intercourse with which you have honoured me, and your many conversations concerning the revelations of the Christian faith have been so profitable to me in every sense, as a student and a preacher of the Gospel, as a spiritual man and a Christian pastor, and your high intelligence and great learning have at all times so kindly stooped to my ignorance and inexperience, that not merely with the affection of friend to friend, and the honour due from youth to experienced age, but with the gratitude of a disciple to a wise and generous teacher, of an anxious inquirer to the good man who hath helped him in the way of truth, I do now presume to offer you the first-fruits of my mind since it received a new impulse towards truth, and a new insight into its depths, from listening to your discourse. Accept them in good part, and be assured that however insignificant in themselves, they are the offering of a heart which loves your heart, and of a mind which looks up with reverence to your mind.
“Old friend Thornton” was Leigh Hunt’s son, Thornton Leigh Hunt, whom Lamb had addressed in verse in 1815 as “my favourite child.” He was now fourteen.]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON AND LUCY BARTON
[P.M. December 1, 1824.]
Dear B.B.—If Mr. Mitford will send me a full and circumstantial description of his desired vases, I will transmit the same to a Gentleman resident at Canton, whom I think I have interest enough in to take the proper care for their execution. But Mr. M. must have patience. China is a great way off, further perhaps than he thinks; and his next year’s roses must be content to wither in a Wedgewood pot. He will please to say whether he should like his Arms upon them, &c. I send herewith some patterns which suggest themselves to me at the first blush of the subject, but he will probably consult his own taste after all.
[Illustration: Handdrawn sketch]
The last pattern is obviously fitted for ranunculuses only. The two former may indifferently hold daisies, marjoram, sweet williams, and that sort. My friend in Canton is Inspector of Teas, his name Ball; and I can think of no better tunnel. I shall expect Mr. M.’s decision.
Taylor and Hessey finding their magazine goes off very heavily at 2s. 6d. are prudently going to raise their price another shilling; and having already more authors than they want, intend to increase the number of them. If they set up against the New Monthly, they must change their present hands. It is not tying the dead carcase of a Review to a half-dead Magazine will do their business. It is like G.D. multiplying his volumes to make ’em sell better. When he finds one will not go off, he publishes two; two stick, he tries three; three hang fire, he is confident that four will have a better chance.