CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON
[Dated by H.C. R. Jan., 1827.]
Dear R. do not say any thing to Mr. G. about the day or Petition, for Mr. Jekyll wishes it to be next week, and thoroughly approves of my formula, and Mr. G. might not, and then they will clash. Only speak to him of Gardner’s wish to have the Lad. Mr. Jekyll was excessive friendly. C.L.
[The matter referred to is still the Norrises’ welfare. Mr. Hazlitt says that an annuity of L80 was settled by the Inn on Mrs. Norris.
Here perhaps should come a letter from Lamb to Allsop, printed by Mr. Fitzgerald, urging Allsop to go to Highgate to see Coleridge and tell him of the unhappy state of his, Allsop’s, affairs. In Crabb Robinson’s Diary for February 1, 1827, I read: “I went to Lamb. Found him in trouble about his friend Allsop, who is a ruined man. Allsop is a very good creature who has been a generous friend to Coleridge.” Writing of his troubles in Letters, Conversations and Recollections of S.T. Coleridge, Allsop says: “Charles Lamb, Charles and Mary Lamb, ’union is partition,’ were never wanting in the hour of need.”]
CHARLES LAMB TO B.R. HAYDON
Dear Raffaele Haydon,—Did the maid tell you I came to see your picture, not on Sunday but the day before? I think the face and bearing of the Bucephalus-tamer very noble, his flesh too effeminate or painty. The skin of the female’s back kneeling is much more carnous. I had small time to pick out praise or blame, for two lord-like Bucks came in, upon whose strictures my presence seemed to impose restraint: I plebeian’d off therefore.
I think I have hit on a subject for you, but can’t swear it was never executed,—I never heard of its being,—“Chaucer beating a Franciscan Friar in Fleet Street.” Think of the old dresses, houses, &c. “It seemeth that both these learned men (Gower and Chaucer) were of the Inner Temple; for not many years since Master Buckley did see a record in the same house where Geoffry Chaucer was fined two shillings for beating a Franciscan Friar in Fleet Street.” Chaucer’s Life by T. Speght, prefixed to the black letter folio of Chaucer, 1598.
Yours in haste (salt fish waiting), C. LAMB.
[Haydon’s picture was his “Alexander and Bucephalus.” The two Bucks, he tells us in his Diary, were the Duke of Devonshire and Mr. Agar Ellis. Haydon did not take up the Chaucer subject.]
CHARLES LAMB TO WILLIAM HONE [No date. April, 1827.]
Dear H. Never come to our house and not come in. I was quite vex’d.
Yours truly. C.L.
There is in Blackwood this month an article MOST AFFECTING indeed called Le Revenant, and would do more towards abolishing Capital Punishments than 400000 Romillies or Montagues. I beg you read it and see if you can extract any of it. The Trial scene in particular.