The work on which Godwin was then labouring was his History of the Commonwealth, 1824-1828. His new home was in the Strand. In 1833 he received the post of Yeoman Usher of the Exchequer, which he held till his death in 1836, although its duties had vanished ere then.]
CHARLES LAMB TO MRS. JOHN LAMB
22 May 1822.
Dear Mrs. Lamb, A letter has come to Arnold for Mrs. Phillips, and, as I have not her address, I take this method of sending it to you. That old rogue’s name is Sherwood, as you guessed, but as I named the shirts to him, I think he must have them. Your character of him made me almost repent of the bounty.
You must consider this letter as Mary’s—for writing letters is such a trouble and puts her to such twitters (family modesty, you know; it is the way with me, but I try to get over it) that in pity I offer to do it for her.—
We hold our intention of seeing France, but expect to see you here first, as we do not go till the 20th of next month. A steam boat goes to Dieppe, I see.—
Christie has not sent to me, and I suppose is in no hurry to settle the account. I think in a day or two (if I do not hear from you to the contrary) I shall refresh his memory.
I am sorry I made you pay for two Letters. I Peated it, and re-peated it.
Miss Wright is married, and I am a hamper in her debt, which I hope will now not be remembered. She is in great good humour, I hear, and yet out of spirits.
Where shall I get such full flavor’d Geneva again?
Old Mr. Henshaw died last night precisely at 1/2 past 11.—He has been open’d by desire of Mrs. McKenna; and, where his heart should have been, was found a stone. Poor Arnold is inconsolable; and, not having shaved since, looks deplorable.
With our kind remembrances to Caroline and your friends
We remain yours affectionaly C.L. AND M. LAMB.
[Occupying the entire margin up the left-hand side of the letter is, in Mary Lamb’s hand:—]
I thank you for your kind letter, and owe you one in return, but Charles is in such a hurry to send this to be franked.
Your affectionate sister
[On the right-hand margin, beside the paragraph about Mr. Henshaw, is written in the same hand, underlined:—]
He is not dead.
[John Lamb’s widow had been a Mrs. Dowden, with an unmarried daughter, probably the Caroline referred to. The letter treats of family matters which could not now be explained even if it were worth while. The Lambs were arranging a visit to Versailles, to the Kenneys. Mr. Henshaw was Lamb’s godfather, a gunsmith.]
CHARLES LAMB TO MARY LAMB (in Paris).