God bless you all,
[Talfourd writes: “Shortly after, assured that his presence would be welcome, Lamb went to Highgate. There he asked leave to see the nurse who had attended upon Coleridge; and being struck and affected by the feeling she manifested towards his friend, insisted on her receiving five guineas from him.”
Here should come a letter to J.H. Green dated August 26, 1834, thanking him for a copy of Coleridge’s will and offering to send all letters, etc., and “fragments of handwriting from leaves of good old books.”]
CHARLES AND MARY LAMB TO H.F. CARY
Sept. 12, 1834.
“By Cot’s plessing we will not be absence at the grace.”
DEAR C.,—We long to see you, and hear account of your peregrinations, of the Tun at Heidelburg, the Clock at Strasburg, the statue at Rotterdam, the dainty Rhenish and poignant Moselle wines, Westphalian hams, and Botargoes of Altona. But perhaps you have seen nor tasted any of these things.
Yours, very glad to claim you back again to your proper centre, books and Bibliothecae,
C. AND M. LAMB.
I have only got your note just now per negligentiam per iniqui Moxoni.
[Charles and Mary Lamb at this time were supposed to dine at Cary’s on the third Wednesday in every month. When the plan was suggested by Cary, Lamb was for declining, but Mary Lamb said, “Ah, when we went to Edmonton, I told Charles that something would turn up, and so it did, you see.”]
CHARLES LAMB TO H.F. CARY
I protest I know not in what words to invest my sense of the shameful violation of hospitality, which I was guilty of on that fatal Wednesday. Let it be blotted from the calendar. Had it been committed at a layman’s house, say a merchant’s or manufacturer’s, a cheesemonger’s’ or greengrocer’s, or, to go higher, a barrister’s, a member of Parliament’s, a rich banker’s, I should have felt alleviation, a drop of self-pity. But to be seen deliberately to go out of the house of a clergyman drunk! a clergyman of the Church of England too! not that alone, but of an expounder of that dark Italian Hierophant, an exposition little short of his who dared unfold the Apocalypse: divine riddles both and (without supernal grace vouchsafed) Arks not to be fingered without present blasting to the touchers. And, then, from what house! Not a common glebe or vicarage (which yet had been shameful), but from a kingly repository of sciences, human and divine, with the primate of England for its guardian, arrayed in public majesty, from which the profane vulgar are bid fly. Could all those volumes have taught me nothing better! With feverish eyes on the succeeding dawn I opened upon the faint light, enough to distinguish, in a strange chamber