The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 6.
or a floating Delos in thy brain?  Lurks that fair island in verity in the bosom of Lake Maggiore, or some other with less poetic name, which thou hast Cornwallized for the occasion?  And what if Maggiore itself be but a coinage of adaptation?  Of this pray resolve me immediately, for my albumess will be catechised on this subject; and how can I prompt her?  Lake Leman, I know, and Lemon Lake (in a punch bowl) I have swum in, though those lymphs be long since dry.  But Maggiore may be in the moon.  Unsphinx this riddle for me, for my shelves have no gazetteer.  And mayest thou never murder thy father-in-law in the Trivia of Lincoln’s Inn New Square Passage, where Searl Street and the Street of Portugal embrace, nor afterwards make absurd proposals to the Widow M. But I know you abhor any such notions.  Nevertheless so did O-Edipus (as Admiral Burney used to call him, splitting the diphthong in spite or ignorance) for that matter.  C.L.

["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.]

LETTER 476

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.

Dixi.

CARLAGNULUS.

[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?

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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