[Miss James was, as we have seen, Mary Lamb’s regular nurse. She had subsequently to be sent for. I do not identify Mrs. Lovekin.]
CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON
[Dated at end: October 1 (1827).]
Dear R.—I am settled for life I hope, at Enfield. I have taken the prettiest compactest house I ever saw, near to Antony Robinson’s, but alas! at the expence of poor Mary, who was taken ill of her old complaint the night before we got into it. So I must suspend the pleasure I expected in the surprise you would have had in coming down and finding us householders.
Farewell, till we can all meet comfortable. Pray, apprise Martin Burney. Him I longed to have seen with you, but our house is too small to meet either of you without her knowledge.
God bless you.
Chase Side 1st Oct’r
[Antony Robinson, a prominent Unitarian, a friend but no relation of Crabb Robinson’s, had died in the previous January. His widow still lived at Enfield.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN BATES DIBDIN
[P.M. October 2, 1827.]
My dear Dibdin, It gives me great pain to have to say that I cannot have the pleasure of seeing you for some time. We are in our house, but Mary has been seized with one of her periodical disorders—a temporary derangement—which commonly lasts for two months. You shall have the first notice of her convalescence. Can you not send your manuscript by the Coach? directed to Chase Side, next to Mr. Westwood’s Insurance office. I will take great care of it.
Yours most Truly C. LAMB.
CHARLES LAMB TO BARRON FIELD
Oct. 4th, 1827.
I am not in humour to return a fit reply to your pleasant letter. We are fairly housed at Enfield, and an angel shall not persuade me to wicked London again. We have now six sabbath days in a week for—none! The change has worked on my sister’s mind, to make her ill; and I must wait a tedious time before we can hope to enjoy this place in unison. Enjoy it, when she recovers, I know we shall. I see no shadow, but in her illness, for repenting the step! For Mathews —I know my own utter unfitness for such a task. I am no hand at describing costumes, a great requisite in an account of mannered pictures. I have not the slightest acquaintance with pictorial language even. An imitator of me, or rather pretender to be me, in his Rejected Articles, has made me minutely describe the dresses of the poissardes at Calais!—I could as soon resolve Euclid. I have no eye for forms and fashions. I substitute analysis, and get rid of the phenomenon by slurring in for it its impression. I am sure you must