Can I cram loves enough to you all in this little O? Excuse particularizing.
MARY LAMB TO DOROTHY WORDSWORTH
My dear Miss Wordsworth, Charles has left me space to fill up with my own poor scribble; which I must do as well as I can, being quite out of practise, and after he has been reading his queer letter out to us I can hardly put down in a plain style all I had to tell you, how pleasant your handwriting was to me. He has lumped you all together in one rude remembrance at the end, but I beg to send my love individually and by name to Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth, to Miss Hutchinson, whom we often talk of, and think of as being with you always, to the dutiful good daughter and patient amanuensis Dora, and even to Johanna, whom we have not seen, if she will accept it. Charles has told you of my long illness and our present settlement, which I assure you is very quiet and comfortable to me, and to him too, if he would own it. I am very sorry we shall not see John, but I never go to town, nor my brother but at his quarterly visits at the India House, and when he does, he finds it melancholy, so many of our old friends being dead or dispersed, and the very streets, he says altering every day. Many thanks for your Letter and the nice news in it, which I should have replied to more at large than I see he has done. I am sure it deserved it. He has not said a word about your intentions for Rome, which I sincerely wish you health one day to accomplish. In that case we may meet by the way. We are so glad to hear dear little William is doing well. If you knew how happy your letters made us you would write I know more frequently. Pray think of this. How chearfully should we pay the postage every week.
["Baucis and Baucida.” A slip, I suppose, for Philemon and Baucis (Ovid, Metamorphoses).
Redgauntlet dated from 1824.
“In a calenture.” A calenture is a form of fever at sea in which the sufferer believes himself to be surrounded by green fields, and often leaps overboard. Wordsworth describes one in “The Brothers.”
“A Recluse”—Wordsworth’s promised poem, that was never completed. First printed in 1888.
Inachus’ daughter was Io, persecuted by a malignant insect sent by Juno.
“Henry Crabb.” Crabb Robinson was a personal friend of Goethe’s. He had spent some days with him at Weimar in the summer of 1829. Goethe told Robinson that he admired Lamb’s sonnet “The Family Name.”
“Mr. Quillinan”—Edward Quillinan, afterwards Wordsworth’s son-in-law.
“Johanna.” Joanna Hutchinson, Mrs. Wordsworth’s sister. Joanna of the laugh.
“John.” John Wordsworth, Wordsworth’s eldest son, was now twenty-six; William, Wordsworth’s second son, no longer little, was nineteen.]