I have not had a Bijoux, nor the slightest notice from Pickering about omitting 4 out of 5 of my things. The best thing is never to hear of such a thing as a bookseller again, or to think there are publishers: second hand Stationers and Old Book Stalls for me. Authorship should be an idea of the Past.
Old Kings, old Bishops, are venerable. All present is hollow.
I cannot make a Letter. I have no straw, not a pennyworth of chaff, only this may stop your kind importunity to know about us.
Here is a comfortable house, but no tenants. One does not make a household.
Do not think I am quite in despair, but in addition to hope protracted, I have a stupifying cold and obstructing headache, and the sun is dead.
I will not fail to apprise you of the revival of a Beam.
Meantime accept this, rather than think I have forgotten you all.
& Yours and theirs truly, C.L.
CHARLES LAMB TO LEIGH HUNT
[No date. December, 1827.]
Dear H.,—I am here almost in the eleventh week of the longest illness my sister ever had, and no symptoms of amendment. Some had begun, but relapsed with a change of nurse. If she ever gets well, you will like my house, and I shall be happy to show you Enfield country.
As to my head, it is perfectly at your or any one’s service; either M[e]yers’ or Hazlitt’s, which last (done fifteen or twenty years since) White, of the Accountant’s office, India House, has; he lives in Kentish Town: I forget where, but is to be found in Leadenhall daily. Take your choice. I should be proud to hang up as an alehouse sign even; or, rather, I care not about my head or anything, but how we are to get well again, for I am tired out.
God bless you and yours from the worst calamity.—Yours truly, C.L.
Kindest remembrances to Mrs. Hunt. H.’s is in a queer dress. M.’s would be preferable ad populum.
[Leigh Hunt had asked Lamb for his portrait to accompany his Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries. Lamb had been painted by Hazlitt in 1804, and by Henry Meyer, full size, in May, 1826, as well as by others. Hunt chose Meyer’s picture, which was beautifully engraved, for his book, in the large paper edition. The original is now in the India Office; a reproduction serves as the frontispiece to this volume. The Hazlitt portrait, representing Lamb in the garb of a Venetian senator, is now in the National Portrait Gallery; a reproduction serves as the frontispiece to Vol. I. of this edition.]
CHARLES LAMB TO WILLIAM HONE
[P.M. Dec. 15, 1827.]