“I am here at Margate.” I do not know what review Lamb was writing. If written and published it has not been reprinted. It was on this visit to Margate that Lamb met Charles Cowden Clarke.
“My first contribution.” The first number to bear Taylor & Hessey’s name was dated July, but they had presumably acquired the rights in the magazine before then. Lamb’s first contribution to the London Magazine had been in August, 1820, “The South-Sea House.”
The proof which Lamb returned was that of the Elia, essay on “Mackery End in Hertfordshire,” printed in the July number of the London Magazine, in which he quoted a stanza from Wordsworth’s “Yarrow Visited":—
But thou, that didst appear
To fond imagination,
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation.
Here should come a scrap from Lamb to Ayrton, dated July 17, 1821, referring to the Coronation. Lamb says that in consequence of this event he is postponing his Wednesday evening to Friday.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN TAYLOR
July 21, 1821.
D’r Sir,—The Lond. Mag. is chiefly pleasant to me, because some of my friends write in it. I hope Hazlitt intends to go on with it, we cannot spare Table Talk. For myself I feel almost exhausted, but I will try my hand a little longer, and shall not at all events be written out of it by newspaper paragraphs. Your proofs do not seem to want my helping hand, they are quite correct always. For God’s sake change Sisera to Jael. This last paper will be a choke-pear I fear to some people, but as you do not object to it, I can be under little apprehension of your exerting your Censorship too rigidly.
Thanking you for your extract from M’r. E.’s letter,
I remain, D’r Sir,
[Hazlitt continued his Table Talk in the London Magazine until December, 1821.
Lamb seems to have been treated foolishly by some
newspaper critic; but
I have not traced the paragraphs in question.
The proof was that of the Elia essay “Imperfect Sympathies,” which was printed (with a fuller title) in the number for August, 1821. The reference to Jael is in the passage on Braham and the Jewish character.
I do not identify Mr. E. Possibly Elton. See next letter.
Here should come a further letter to Taylor, dated July 30, 1821, in which Lamb refers to some verses addressed to him by “Olen” (Charles Abraham Elton: see note to next letter) in the London Magazine for August, remonstrating with him for the pessimism of the Elia essay “New Year’s Eve” (see Vol. II. of this edition).
Lamb also remarks that he borrowed the name Elia (pronounced Ellia) from an old South-Sea House clerk who is now dead.