I have not heard from Mrs. Hazlitt a long time. I believe she is still with Hazlitt’s mother in Devonshire.
I expect a pacquet of manuscript from you: you promised me the office of negotiating with booksellers, and so forth, for your next work. Is it in good forwardness? or do you grow rich and indolent now? It is not surprising that your Maltese story should find its way into Malta; but I was highly pleased with the idea of your pleasant surprise at the sight of it. I took a large sheet of paper, in order to leave Charles room to add something more worth reading than my poor mite.
May we all meet again once more!
CHARLES LAMB TO SIR JOHN STODDART
(Same letter: Lamb’s share)
Dear Knight—Old Acquaintance—’Tis with a violence to the pure imagination (vide the “Excursion” passim) that I can bring myself to believe I am writing to Dr. Stoddart once again, at Malta. But the deductions of severe reason warrant the proceeding. I write from Enfield, where we are seriously weighing the advantages of dulness over the over-excitement of too much company, but have not yet come to a conclusion. What is the news? for we see no paper here; perhaps you can send us an old one from Malta. Only, I heard a butcher in the market-place whisper something about a change of ministry. I don’t know who’s in or out, or care, only as it might affect you. For domestic doings, I have only to tell, with extreme regret, that poor Elisa Fenwick (that was)—Mrs. Rutherford—is dead; and that we have received a most heart-broken letter from her mother—left with four grandchildren, orphans of a living scoundrel lurking about the pothouses of Little Russell Street, London: they and she—God help ’em!—at New York. I have just received Godwin’s third volume of the Republic, which only reaches to the commencement of the Protectorate. I think he means to spin it out to his life’s thread. Have you seen Fearn’s Anti-Tooke? I am no judge of such things—you are; but I think it very clever indeed. If I knew your bookseller, I’d order it for you at a venture: ’tis two octavos, Longman and Co. Or do you read now? Tell it not in the Admiralty Court, but my head aches hesterno vino. I can scarce pump up words, much less ideas, congruous to be sent so far. But your son must have this by to-night’s post.[Here came a passage relating to an escapade of young Stoddart, then at the Charterhouse, which, probably through Lamb’s intervention, was treated leniently. Lamb helped him—with his imposition— Gray’s “Elegy” into Greek elegiacs.] Manning is gone to Rome, Naples, etc., probably to touch at Sicily, Malta, Guernsey, etc.; but I don’t know the map. Hazlitt is resident at Paris, whence he pours his lampoons in safety at his friends in England.