The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 6.
do it.  See Ben Jonson.—­I think you told me your acquaint’ce with the Drama was confin’d to Shakspeare and Miss Bailly:  some read only Milton and Croly.  The gap is as from an ananas to a Turnip.  I have fighting in my head the plots characters situations and sentiments of 400 old Plays (bran new to me) which I have been digesting at the Museum, and my appetite sharpens to twice as many more, which I mean to course over this winter.  I can scarce avoid Dialogue fashion in this letter.  I soliloquise my meditations, and habitually speak dramatic blank verse without meaning it.  Do you see Mitford? he will tell you something of my labors.  Tell him I am sorry to have mist seeing him, to have talk’d over those OLD TREASURES.  I am still more sorry for his missing Pots.  But I shall be sure of the earliest intelligence of the Lost Tribes.  His Sacred Specimens are a thankful addition to my shelves.  Marry, I could wish he had been more careful of corrigenda.  I have discover’d certain which have slipt his Errata.  I put ’em in the next page, as perhaps thou canst transmit them to him.  For what purpose, but to grieve him (which yet I should be sorry to do), but then it shews my learning, and the excuse is complimentary, as it implies their correction in a future Edition.  His own things in the book are magnificent, and as an old Christ’s Hospitaller I was particularly refreshd with his eulogy on our Edward.  Many of the choice excerpta were new to me.  Old Christmas is a coming, to the confusion of Puritans, Muggletonians, Anabaptists, Quakers, and that Unwassailing Crew.  He cometh not with his wonted gait, he is shrunk 9 inches in the girth, but is yet a Lusty fellow.  Hood’s book is mighty clever, and went off 600 copies the 1st day.  Sion’s Songs do not disperse so quickly.  The next leaf is for Rev’d J.M.  In this ADIEU thine briefly in a tall friendship C. LAMB.

[Barton’s letter, to which this is an answer, not being preserved, we do not know what his scruples were.  B.B. was a great contributor to annuals.

“With a white stone.”  In trials at law a white stone was cast as a vote for acquittal, a black stone for condemnation (see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15, 41).

“Master Mathew”—­in Ben Jonson’s “Every Man in His Humour.”

“Croly”—­the Rev. George Croly (1780-1860), of the Literary Gazette, author of The Angel of the World and other pretentious poems.

“Mitford’s Sacred Specimens”—­Sacred Specimens Selected from the Early English Poets, 1827.  The last poem, by Mitford himself, was “Lines Written under the Portrait of Edward VI.”

“Hood’s book”—­Whims and Oddities, second series, 1827.

Here should come a note to Allsop stating that Lamb is “near killed with Christmassing.”]

LETTER 405

CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON

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