The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6.

“Constable ...  Baldwin.”  Archibald Constable & Co., Scott’s publishers, failed in 1826.  Baldwin was the first publisher of the London Magazine.

“I pitch Colburn and his magazine.”  Lamb wrote nothing in the New Monthly Magazine after September, 1826.

I append portions of what seems to be Lamb’s first letter to Edward Moxon, obviously written before this date, but not out of place here.  The letter seems to have accompanied the proof of an article on Lamb which he had corrected and was returning to Moxon.]




Were my own feelings consulted I should print it verbatim, but I won’t hoax you, else I love a Lye.  My biography, parentage, place of birth, is a strange mistake, part founded on some nonsense I wrote about Elia, and was true of him, the real Elia, whose name I took....  C.L. was born in Crown Office Row, Inner Temple in 1775.  Admitted into Christs Hospital, 1782, where he was contemporary with T.F.M. [Thomas Fanshawe Middleton], afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, and with S.T.C. with the last of these two eminent scholars he has enjoyed an intimacy through life.  On quitting this foundation he became a junior clerk in the South Sea House under his Elder Brother who died accountant there some years since....  I am not the author of the Opium Eater, &c.

[I have not succeeded in finding the article in question.]



[P.M.  September 9, 1826.]

An answer is requested.


Dear D.—­I have observed that a Letter is never more acceptable than when received upon a rainy day, especially a rainy Sunday; which moves me to send you somewhat, however short.  This will find you sitting after Breakfast, which you will have prolonged as far as you can with consistency to the poor handmaid that has the reversion of the Tea Leaves; making two nibbles of your last morsel of stale roll (you cannot have hot new ones on the Sabbath), and reluctantly coming to an end, because when that is done, what can you do till dinner?  You cannot go to the Beach, for the rain is drowning the sea, turning rank Thetis fresh, taking the brine out of Neptune’s pickles, while mermaids sit upon rocks with umbrellas, their ivory combs sheathed for spoiling in the wet of waters foreign to them.  You cannot go to the library, for it’s shut.  You are not religious enough to go to church.  O it is worth while to cultivate piety to the gods, to have something to fill the heart up on a wet Sunday!  You cannot cast accounts, for your ledger is being eaten up with moths in the Ancient Jewry.  You cannot play at draughts, for there is none to play with you, and besides there is not a draught board in the house.  You cannot

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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