“Their friend Rice’s advancement.” I cannot say to what this would refer. Rice was Edward Rice.]
CHARLES LAMB TO EDWARD MOXON
[P.M. Feb. 18, 1828.]
Dear M. I had rather thought to have seen you yesterday, or I should have written to thank you for your attentions in the Book way &c. Hone’s address is, 22 Belvidere Place, Southwark. ’Tis near the Obelisk. I can only say we shall be most glad to see you, when weather suits, and that it will be a joyful surprisal to see the Hoods. I should write to them, but am poorly and nervous. Emma is very proud of her Valentine. Mary does not immediately want Books, having a damn’d consignment of Novels in MS. from Malta: which I wish the Mediterranean had in its guts. Believe me yours truly C.L.
[Emma’s valentine probably came from Moxon, who, I feel sure, in spite of Lamb’s utterance in a previous letter, had not yet told his love, if it had really budded.
“Novels in MS.”—Lady Stoddart’s, we may suppose (see letter above).]
CHARLES LAMB TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE
Enfield, 25 Feb. .
My dear Clarke,—You have been accumulating on me such a heap of pleasant obligations that I feel uneasy in writing as to a Benefactor. Your smaller contributions, the little weekly rills, are refreshments in the Desart, but your large books were feasts. I hope Mrs. Hazlitt, to whom I encharged it, has taken Hunt’s Lord B. to the Novellos. His picture of Literary Lordship is as pleasant as a disagreeable subject can be made, his own poor man’s Education at dear Christ’s is as good and hearty as the subject. Hazlitt’s speculative episodes are capital; I skip the Battles. But how did I deserve to have the Book? The Companion has too much of Madam Pasta. Theatricals have ceased to be popular attractions. His walk home after the Play is as good as the best of the old Indicators. The watchmen are emboxed in a niche of fame, save the skaiting one that must be still fugitive. I wish I could send a scrap for good will. But I have been most seriously unwell and nervous a long long time. I have scarce mustered courage to begin this short note, but conscience duns me.
I had a pleasant letter from your sister, greatly over-acknowledging my poor sonnet. I think I should have replied to it, but tell her I think so. Alas for sonnetting, ’tis as the nerves are; all the summer I was dawdling among green lanes, and verses came as thick as fancies. I am sunk winterly below prose and zero.
But I trust the vital principle is only as under snow. That I shall yet laugh again.
I suppose the great change of place affects me, but I could not have lived in Town, I could not bear company.