Pray do let us see your Quakeresses if possible.
[Lamb’s Album Verses was almost ready. The translations were those from Vincent Bourne.
William IV. came to the throne on June 26, 1830.
“I have nineteen Letters.” The fact that none of these is forthcoming helps to illustrate the imperfect state of Lamb’s correspondence as (even among so many differing editions) we now have it. But of course the number may have been an exaggeration.
Here should come a note from Lamb to Hone, dated July 1, 1830, in which Lamb asks that the newspaper be kept as he is meditating a town residence (see next letter).
Here probably should come an undated letter to Mrs. John Rickman, accompanying a gift of Album Verses. Lamb says: “Will you re-give, or lend me, by the bearer, the one Volume of juvenile Poetry? I have tidings of a second at Brighton.” He proposes that he and Mrs. Rickman shall some day play old whist for the two.]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
[P.M. 30 August, 1830.]
Dear B.B.—my address is 34 Southampton Buildings, Holborn. For God’s sake do not let me [be] pester’d with Annuals. They are all rogues who edit them, and something else who write in them. I am still alone, and very much out of sorts, and cannot spur up my mind to writing. The sight of one of those Year Books makes me sick. I get nothing by any of ’em, not even a Copy—
Thank you for your warm interest about my little volume, for the critics on which I care [? not] the 5 hundred thousandth part of the tythe of a half-farthing. I am too old a Militant for that. How noble, tho’, in R.S. to come forward for an old friend, who had treated him so unworthily. Moxon has a shop without customers, I a Book without readers. But what a clamour against a poor collection of album verses, as if we had put forth an Epic. I cannot scribble a long Letter—I am, when not at foot, very desolate, and take no interest in any thing, scarce hate any thing, but annuals. I am in an interregnum of thought and feeling—
What a beautiful Autumn morning this is, if it was but with me as in times past when the candle of the Lord shined round me—
I cannot even muster enthusiasm to admire the French heroism.
In better times I hope we may some day meet, and discuss an old poem or two. But if you’d have me not sick no more of Annuals.
Love to Lucy and A.K. always.
[The Literary Gazette, Jerdan’s paper, had written offensively of Album Verses and its author’s vanity in the number for July 10, 1830. Southey published in The Times of August 6 some lines in praise of Lamb and against Jerdan. It was Southey’s first public utterance on Lamb since the famous letter by Elia to himself, and is the more noble in consequence. The lines ran thus:—