The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6.

Your loving friends



[Pindar was Cary’s edition, which Moxon had just published.  Miss Betham’s verses I am sorry not to be able to give; but the following poem was addressed to Moxon by Lamb and printed in The Athenaeum for December 7, 1833:—­


What makes a happy wedlock?  What has fate
Not given to thee in thy well-chosen mate? 
Good sense—­good humour;—­these are trivial things,
Dear M-----, that each trite encomiast sings. 
But she hath these, and more.  A mind exempt
From every low-bred passion, where contempt,
Nor envy, nor detraction, ever found
A harbour yet; an understanding sound;
Just views of right and wrong; perception full
Of the deformed, and of the beautiful,
In life and manners; wit above her sex,
Which, as a gem, her sprightly converse decks;
Exuberant fancies, prodigal of mirth,
To gladden woodland walk, or winter hearth;
A noble nature, conqueror in the strife
Of conflict with a hard discouraging life,
Strengthening the veins of virtue, past the power
Of those whose days have been one silken hour,
Spoil’d fortune’s pamper’d offspring; a keen sense
Alike of benefit, and of offence,
With reconcilement quick, that instant springs
From the charged heart with nimble angel wings;
While grateful feelings, like a signet sign’d
By a strong hand, seem burnt into her mind. 
If these, dear friend, a dowry can confer
Richer than land, thou hast them all in her;
And beauty, which some hold the chiefest boon,
Is in thy bargain for a make-weight thrown.]



[P.M.  Oct. 17, 1833.]

Dear M.—­Get me Shirley (there’s a dear fellow) and send it soon.  We sadly want books, and this will be readable again and again, and pay itself.  Tell Emma I grieve for the poor self-punishing self-baffling Lady; with all our hearts we grieve for the pain and vexation she has encounterd; but we do not swerve a pin’s-thought from the propriety of your measures.  God comfort her, and there’s an end of a painful necessity.  But I am glad she goes to see her.  Let her keep up all the kindness she can between them.  In a week or two I hope Mary will be stout enough to come among ye, but she is not now, and I have scruples of coming alone, as she has no pleasant friend to sit with her in my absence.  We are lonely.  I fear the visits must be mostly from you.  By the way omnibuses are 1’s/3’d and coach insides sunk to l/6—­a hint.  Without disturbance to yourselves, or upsetting the economy of the dear new mistress of a family, come and see us as often as ever you can.  We are so out of the world, that a letter from either of you now and then, detailing any thing, Book or Town news, is as good as a newspaper.  I have desperate colds, cramps, megrims &c., but do not despond.  My fingers are numb’d, as you see by my writing.  Tell E. I am very good also.  But we are poor devils, that’s the truth of it.  I won’t apply to Dilke—­ just now at least—­I sincerely hope the pastoral air of Dover St. will recruit poor Harriet.  With best loves to all.

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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