We have heard from Emma but once, and that a month ago, and are very anxious for another letter.
You say we have forgot your powers of being serviceable to us. That we never shall. I do not know what I should do without you when I want a little commission. Now then. There are left at Miss Buffam’s, the Tales of the Castle, and certain vols. Retrospective Review. The first should be conveyd to Novello’s, and the Reviews should be taken to Talfourd’s office, ground floor, East side, Elm Court, Middle Temple, to whom I should have written, but my spirits are wretched. It is quite an effort to write this. So, with the Life, I have cut you out 3 Pieces of service. What can I do for you here, but hope to see you very soon, and think of you with most kindness. I fear tomorrow, between rains and snows, it would be impossible to expect you, but do not let a practicable Sunday pass. We are always at home!
Mary joins in remembrances to your sister, whom we hope to see in any fine-ish weather, when she’ll venture.
Remember us to Allsop, and all the dead people—to whom, and to London, we seem dead.
["The Life.” The Life which every one was then reading was Moore’s Life of Byron.
“George Dyer’s.” The explanation is that years before, in his Poems, 1801, Dyer had written in a piece called “The Poet’s Fate”—
Rogers, if he shares the town’s regard,
Was first a banker ere he rose a bard.
In the second edition Dyer altered this to—
Darwin, if he share the town’s regard,
Was first a doctor ere he rose a bard.
Lamb notes the alteration in his copy of the second edition, now in the British Museum. In 1828-1829 appeared Parriana, by Edmund Henry Barker, which quoted the couplet in its original form, to Dyer’s distress.
Tales of the Castle. By the Countess de Genlis. Translated by Thomas Holcroft]
CHARLES LAMB TO GEORGE DYER