["Above the painter”—James Barry, R.A., but I do not understand the allusion here.
“Giraldus Cambrensis”—the historian, Giraldus de Barri.
Procter’s poem for Emma Isola’s album, as we have seen, mentions Isola Bella, the island in Lago de Maggiore. Delos was the floating island which Neptune fixed in order that Latona might rest there and Apollo and Diana be born.
Oedipus, who solved the riddle of the Sphinx, was the murderer of his father. Basil Montagu was Procter’s father-in-law. Procter’s address was 10 Lincolns Inn, New Square.
At the end of the letter came a passage which for family reasons cannot be printed.]
CHARLES LAMB TO B.W. PROCTER
February 2, 1829.
Facundissime Poeta! quanquam istiusmodi epitheta oratoribus potius quam poetis attinere facile scio—tamen, facundissime!
Commoratur nobiscum jamdiu, in agro Enfeldiense, scilicet, leguleius futurus, illustrissimus Martinus Burneius, otium agens, negotia nominalia, et officinam clientum vacuam, paululum fugiens. Orat, implorat te—nempe, Martinus—ut si (quod Dii faciant) forte fortuna, absente ipso, advenerit tardus cliens, eum certiorem feceris per literas huc missas. Intelligisne? an me Anglice et barbarice ad te hominem perdoctum scribere oportet?
Si status de franco tenemento datur avo, et in codem facto si mediate vel immediate datur haeredibus vel haeredibus corporis dicti avi, postrema, haec verba sunt Limitations, non Perquisitionis.
[Mr. Stephen Gwynn has made the following translation for me:—
“Most eloquent Poet: though I know well such epithet befits orators rather than poets—and yet, Most eloquent!
“There has been staying with us this while past at our country seat of Enfield to wit, the future attorney, the illustrious Martin Burney, taking his leisure, flying for a space from his nominal occupations, and his office empty of clients. He—that is, Martin—begs and entreats of you that if (heaven send it so!) by some stroke of fortune, in his absence there should arrive a belated client, you would inform him by letter here. Do you understand? or must I write in barbarous English to a scholar like you?