Now, Gillman again, you do not know the treasure of the Fullers. I calculate on having massy reading till Christmas. All I want here, is books of the true sort, not those things in boards that moderns mistake for books—what they club for at book clubs.
I did not mean to cheat you with a blank side; but my eye smarts, for which I am taking medicine, and abstain, this day at least, from any aliments but milk-porridge, the innocent taste of which I am anxious to renew after a half-century’s dis-acquaintance. If a blot fall here like a tear, it is not pathos, but an angry eye.
Farewell, while my specilla are sound.
Yours and yours,
[This letter records the safe return of Mary Lamb with the Fullers.
“Squire Mellish.” William Mellish, M.P. for Middlesex for some years.
Thomas Westwood’s son, for whom Lamb found an appointment, wrote some excellent articles in Notes and Queries many years later describing the Lambs’ life at his father’s.
“Old Norris.” See letter to Crabb Robinson, Jan. 20, 1827.
Specilla is probably a slip for Conspicilla.]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
[P.M. December 8, 1829.]
My dear B.B.—You are very good to have been uneasy about us, and I have the satisfaction to tell you, that we are both in better health and spirits than we have been for a year or two past; I may say, than we have been since we have been at Enfield. The cause may not appear quite adequate, when I tell you, that a course of ill health and spirits brought us to the determination of giving up our house here, and we are boarding and lodging with a worthy old couple, long inhabitants of Enfield, where everything is done for us without our trouble, further than a reasonable weekly payment. We should have done so before, but it is not easy to flesh and blood to give up an ancient establishment, to discard old Penates, and from house keepers to turn house-sharers. (N.B. We are not in the Work-house.) Dioclesian in his garden found more repose than on the imperial seat of Rome, and the nob of Charles the Fifth aked seldomer under a monk’s cowl than under the diadem. With such shadows of assimilation we countenance our degradation. With such a load of dignifyd cares just removed from our shoulders, we can the more understand and pity the accession to yours, by the advancement to an Assigneeship. I will tell you honestly B.B. that it has been long my deliberate judgment, that all Bankrupts, of what denomination civil or religious whatever, ought to be hang’d. The pity of mankind has for ages run in a wrong channel, and has been diverted from poor Creditors (how many I have known sufferers! Hazlitt has just been defrauded of L100 by his Bookseller-friend’s breaking) to scoundrel Debtors. I know all the