CHARLES LAMB TO WILLIAM HONE
May 21, 1830.
Dear Hone—I thought you would be pleased to see this letter. Pray if you have time to, call on Novello, No. 66, Great Queen St. I am anxious to learn whether he received his album I sent on Friday by our nine o’clock morning stage. If not, beg inquire at the Old Bell, Holborn.
Southey will see in the Times all we proposed omitting is omitted.
[See notes to the letter to Southey above.]
CHARLES LAMB TO SARAH HAZLITT
[Enfield, Saturday, May 24th, 1830.]
Mary’s love? Yes. Mary Lamb quite well.
Dear Sarah,—I found my way to Northaw on Thursday and a very good woman behind a counter, who says also that you are a very good lady but that the woman who was with you was naught. These things may be so or not. I did not accept her offered glass of wine (home-made, I take it) but craved a cup of ale, with which I seasoned a slice of cold Lamb from a sandwich box, which I ate in her back parlour, and proceeded for Berkhampstead, &c.; lost myself over a heath, and had a day’s pleasure. I wish you could walk as I do, and as you used to do. I am sorry to find you are so poorly; and, now I have found my way, I wish you back at Goody Tomlinson’s. What a pretty village ’tis! I should have come sooner, but was waiting a summons to Bury. Well, it came, and I found the good parson’s lady (he was from home) exceedingly hospitable.
Poor Emma, the first moment we were alone, took me into a corner, and said, “Now, pray, don’t drink; do check yourself after dinner, for my sake, and when we get home to Enfield, you shall drink as much as ever you please, and I won’t say a word about it.” How I behaved, you may guess, when I tell you that Mrs. Williams and I have written acrostics on each other, and she hoped that she should have “no reason to regret Miss Isola’s recovery, by its depriving her of our begun correspondence.” Emma stayed a month with us, and has gone back (in tolerable health) to her long home, for she comes not again for a twelvemonth. I amused Mrs. Williams with an occurrence on our road to Enfield. We travelled with one of those troublesome fellow-passengers in a stage-coach, that is called a well-informed man. For twenty miles we discoursed about the properties of steam, probabilities of carriages by ditto, till all my science, and more than all, was exhausted, and I was thinking of escaping my torment by getting up on the outside, when, getting into Bishops Stortford, my gentleman, spying some farming land, put an unlucky question to me: “What sort of a crop of turnips I thought we should have this year?” Emma’s eyes turned to me, to know what in the world I could have to say; and she burst into a violent fit of laughter, maugre her pale, serious