Dyer was gradually going blind.
“The Answerer of Salmasius”—Milton.
“Comely” Mrs. Dyer. But in the letter to Mrs. Shelley, Mrs. D. had been “plain”!
Dyer had been a Grecian before Lamb was born. Clarke would be Charles Cowden Clarke, with whose father Dyer had been an usher. Miss Hayes we have met. The Rev. Peter Whalley was Upper Grammar Master in Dyer’s day; Boyer, Lamb and Coleridge’s master, succeeded him in 1776. Smith was Writing Master at the end of the seventeenth century.
Lamb had never become a Grecian, having an impediment in his speech which made it impossible that he should take orders, the natural fate of Grecians, with profit. Great Erasmus and Little Erasmus are still the names of classes in the Blue-Coat School. Grecians were the Little Erasmians.
Here should come a letter from Lamb to P.G. Patmore, dated April 10, 1831, in which Lamb says of the publisher of the New Monthly Magazine: “Nature never wrote Knave upon a face more legible than upon that fellow’s—’Coal-burn him in Beelzebub’s deepest pit.’ I can promise little help if you mean literary, when I reflect that for 5 years I have been feeling the necessity of scribbling but have never found the power.... Moxon is my go between, call on him, 63 New Bond St., he is a very good fellow and the bookseller is not yet burn’d into him.” Patmore was seeking a publisher for, I imagine, his Chatsworth.
Here should come a letter from Lamb, dated April 13, 1831, which Canon Ainger considers was written to Gary and Mr. Hazlitt to Coleridge. It states that Lamb is daily expecting Wordsworth.]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
April 30, 1831.
Vir Bone!—Recepi literas tuas amicissimas, et in mentem venit responsuro mihi, vel raro, vel nunquam, inter nos intercedisse Latinam linguam, organum rescribendi, loquendive. Epistolae tuae, Plinianis elegantiis (supra quod TREMULO deceat) refertae, tam a verbis Plinianis adeo abhorrent, ut ne vocem quamquam (Romanam scilicet) habere videaris, quam “ad canem,” ut aiunt, “rejectare possis.” Forsan desuetudo Latinissandi ad vernaculam linguam usitandam, plusquam opus sit, coegit. Per adagia quaedam nota, et in ore omnium pervulgata, ad Latinitatis perditae recuperationem revocare te institui.
Felis in abaco est, et aegre videt. Omne quod splendet nequaquam aurum putes. Imponas equo mendicum, equitabit idem ad diabolum. Fur commode a fure prenditur. O MARIA, MARIA, valde CONTRARIA, quomodo crescit hortulus tuus? Nunc majora canamus. Thomas, Thomas, de Islington, uxorem duxit die nupera Dominica. Reduxit domum postera. Succedenti baculum emit. Postridie ferit illam. Aegrescit ilia subsequenti. Proxima (nempe Veneris) est Mortua. Plurimum gestiit Thomas, quod appropinquanti Sabbato efferenda sit.