Moxon is but a tradesman in the bud yet, and retains his virgin Honesty; Esto perpetua, for he is a friendly serviceable fellow, and thinks nothing of lugging up a Cargo of the Newest Novels once or twice a week from the Row to Colebrooke to gratify my Sister’s passion for the newest things. He is her Bodley. He is author besides of a poem which for a first attempt is promising. It is made up of common images, and yet contrives to read originally. You see the writer felt all he pours forth, and has not palmed upon you expressions which he did not believe at the time to be more his own than adoptive. Rogers has paid him some proper compliments, with sound advice intermixed, upon a slight introduction of him by me; for which I feel obliged. Moxon has petition’d me by letter (for he had not the confidence to ask it in London) to introduce him to you during his holydays; pray pat him on the head, ask him a civil question or two about his verses, and favor him with your genuine autograph. He shall not be further troublesome. I think I have not sent any one upon a gaping mission to you a good while. We are all well, and I have at last broke the bonds of business a second time, never to put ’em on again. I pitch Colburn and his magazine to the divil. I find I can live without the necessity of writing, tho’ last year I fretted myself to a fever with the hauntings of being starved. Those vapours are flown. All the difference I find is that I have no pocket money: that is, I must not pry upon an old book stall, and cull its contents as heretofore, but shoulders of mutton, Whitbread’s entire, and Booth’s best, abound as formerly.
I don’t know whom or how many to send our love to, your household is so frequently divided, but a general health to all that may be fixed or wandering; stars, wherever. We read with pleasure some success (I forget quite what) of one of you at Oxford. Mrs. Monkhouse (... was one of you) sent us a kind letter some [months back], and we had the pleasure to [see] her in tolerable spirits, looking well and kind as in by-gone days.
Do take pen, or put it into goodnatured hands Dorothean or Wordsworthian-female, or Hutchinsonian, to inform us of your present state, or possible proceedings. I am ashamed that this breaking of the long ice should be a letter of business. There is none circum praecordia nostra I swear by the honesty of pedantry, that wil I nil I pushes me upon scraps of Latin. We are yours cordially: CHAS. & MARY LAMB.
[In this letter, the first to Wordsworth for many months, we have the first mention of Edward Moxon, who was to be so closely associated with Lamb in the years to come. Moxon, a young Yorkshireman, educated at the Green Coat School, was then nearly twenty-five, and was already author of The Prospect and other Poems, dedicated to Rogers, who was destined to be a valuable patron. Moxon subsequently became Wordsworth’s publisher.