Have you read the noble dedication of Irving’s “Missionary Orations” to S.T.C. Who shall call this man a Quack hereafter? What the Kirk will think of it neither I nor Irving care. When somebody suggested to him that it would not be likely to do him good, videlicet among his own people, “That is a reason for doing it” was his noble answer.
That Irving thinks he has profited mainly by S.T.C., I have no doubt. The very style of the Ded. shows it.
Communicate my news to Southey, and beg his pardon for my being so long acknowledging his kind present of the “Church,” which circumstances I do not wish to explain, but having no reference to himself, prevented at the time. Assure him of my deep respect and friendliest feelings.
Divide the same, or rather each take the whole to you, I mean you and all yours. To Miss Hutchinson I must write separate. What’s her address? I want to know about Mrs. M.
Farewell! and end at last, long selfish Letter!
[Lamb expanded the first portion of this letter into the Elia essay “The Superannuated Man,” which ought to be read in connection with it (see Vol. II. of the present edition).
Leigh Hunt and James Montgomery, the poet, had both undergone imprisonment for libel.
At a Court of Directors of the India House held on March 29, 1825, it was resolved “that the resignation of Mr. Charles Lamb of the Accountant General’s Office, on account of certified ill-health, be accepted, and, it appearing that he has served the Company faithfully for 33 years, and is now in the receipt of an income of L730 per annum, he be allowed a pension of L450 (four hundred and fifty pounds) per annum, under the provisions of the act of the 53 Geo. III., cap. 155, to commence from this day.”]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
[P.M. April 6, 1825.]
Dear B.B.—My spirits are so tumultuary with the novelty of my recent emancipation, that I have scarce steadiness of hand, much more mind, to compose a letter.
I am free, B.B.—free as air.
The little bird that wings
Knows no such Liberty!
I was set free on Tuesday in last week at 4 o’Clock.
I came home for ever!
I have been describing my feelings as well as I can to Wordsw’th. in a long letter, and don’t care to repeat. Take it briefly that for a few days I was painfully oppressed by so mighty a change, but it is becoming daily more natural to me.