CHARLES LAMB TO SARAH HAZLITT
[Dated at end:] Mr. Walden’s, Church Street, Edmonton, May 31, 1833.
Dear Mrs. Hazlitt,—I will assuredly come, and find you out, when I am better. I am driven from house and home by Mary’s illness. I took a sudden resolution to take my sister to Edmonton, where she was under medical treatment last time, and have arranged to board and lodge with the people. Thank God, I have repudiated Enfield. I have got out of hell, despair of heaven, and must sit down contented in a half-way purgatory. Thus ends this strange eventful history—
But I am nearer town, and will get up to you somehow before long—
I repent not of my resolution.
’Tis late, and my hand unsteady, so good b’ye till we meet.
CHARLES LAMB TO MARY BETHAM
June 5, 1833.
Dear Mary Betham,—I remember You all, and tears come out when I think on the years that have separated us. That dear Anne should so long have remembered us affects me. My dear Mary, my poor sister is not, nor will be for two months perhaps capable of appreciating the kind old long memory of dear Anne.
But not a penny will I take, and I can answer for my Mary when she recovers, if the sum left can contribute in any way to the comfort of Matilda.
We will halve it, or we will take a bit of it, as a token, rather than wrong her. So pray consider it as an amicable arrangement. I write in great haste, or you won’t get it before you go.
We do not want the money; but if dear Matilda does not much want it, why, we will take our thirds. God bless you.
[Miss Betham’s sister, Anne, who had just died, had left thirty pounds to Mary Lamb. Mr. Ernest Betham allows me to take this note from A House of Letters.]
CHARLES LAMB TO MATILDA BETHAM
[June 5, 1833.]
Dear Miss Betham,—I sit down, very poorly, to write to you, being come to Mr. Walden’s, Church Street, Edmonton, to be altogether with poor Mary, who is very ill, as usual, only that her illnesses are now as many months as they used to be weeks in duration—the reason your letter only just found me. I am saddened with the havoc death has made in your family. I do not know how to appreciate the kind regard of dear Anne; Mary will understand it two months hence, I hope; but neither she nor I would rob you, if the legacy will be of use to, or comfort to you. My hand shakes so I can hardly write. On Saturday week I must come to town, and will call on you in the morning before one o’clock. Till when I take kindest leave.
Your old Friend,
[Here should come a note from Lamb to Mrs. Randal Norris, postmarked July 10, 1833, which encloses a note from Joseph Jekyll, the Old Bencher, thanking Lamb for a presentation copy of the Last Essays of Elia ("I hope not the last Essays of Elia”) and asking him to accompany Mrs. Norris and her daughters on a visit to him. Jekyll adds that “poor George Dyer, blind, but as usual chearful and content, often gives ... good accounts of you.”