You shall not be jealous of Mr. Payne. Remember he did Charles and I good service without grudge or grumbling. Say to him how much I regret that we owe him unreturnable obligations; for I still have my old fear that we shall never see him again. I received great pleasure from seeing his two successful pieces. My love to your boy Kenney, my boy James, and all my dear girls, and also to Rose; I hope she still drinks wine with you. Thank Lou-Lou for her little bit of letter. I am in a fearful hurry, or I would write to her. Tell my friend the Poetess that I expect some French verses from her shortly. I have shewn Betsy’s and Sophy’s letters to all who came near me, and they have been very much admired. Dear Fanny brought me the bag. Good soul you are to think of me! Manning has promised to make Fanny a visit this morning, happy girl! Miss James I often see, I think never without talking of you. Oh the dear long dreary Boulevards! how I do wish to be just now stepping out of a Cuckoo into them!
Farewel, old tried friend, may we meet again! Would you could bring your house with all its noisy inmates, and plant it, garden, gables and all, in the midst of Covent Garden.
Yours ever most affectionately,
My best respects to your good neighbours.
[Harwood was Harwood Holcroft.
“Louisa,” etc. Mrs. Kenney’s children by her first marriage were Louisa, Ellen, Betsy and Sophia. By her second, with Kenney, the others. Charles was named Charles Lamb Kenney.
“Payne’s two successful pieces”—“Ali Pacha” and “The Soldier’s Daughter.”
Fanny was Fanny Holcroft, Mrs. Kenney’s stepdaughter.
Miss Kelly has added to this letter a few words of
affection to Mrs.
Kenney from “the real old original Fanny Kelly.”
Charles Lamb also contributed to this letter a few lines to James Kenney, expressing his readiness to meet Moore the poet. He adds that he made a hit at him as Little in the London Magazine, which though no reason for not meeting him was a reason for not volunteering a visit to him. The reference is to the sonnet to Barry Cornwall in the London Magazine for September, 1820, beginning—
Let hate, or grosser heats,
their foulness mask
Neath riddling Junius, or in L——e’s name.
The second line was altered in Lamb’s Album Verses, 1830, to—
Under the vizor of a borrowed name.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN TAYLOR
[Dated: Dec. 7, 1822.]
Dear Sir,—I should like the enclosed Dedication to be printed, unless you dislike it. I like it. It is in the olden style. But if you object to it, put forth the book as it is. Only pray don’t let the Printer mistake the word curt for curst.
Dec. 7, 1822.