Fanny was Fanny Holcroft. Plura I do not identify.
The new tragedy in which Miss Kelly had to play was probably “The Huguenot,” produced December 11, 1822. “The Earl of Essex” was revived December 30, 1822. Macready played in both.
“Cleverness is the bane.” See Lamb’s little article on “The New Acting” in Vol. I.
The Blue Girl seems to refer to the lady mentioned at the end of the first letter to Payne.
Angelica is in Congreve’s “Love for Love”; Millamant in his “Way of the World.”]
CHARLES LAMB TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
[No date. January, 1823.]
Dear Wordsworth, I beg your acceptance of ELIA, detached from any of its old companions which might have been less agreeable to you. I hope your eyes are better, but if you must spare them, there is nothing in my pages which a Lady may not read aloud without indecorum, which is more than can be said of Shakspeare.
What a nut this last sentence would be for Blackwood!
You will find I availed myself of your suggestion, in curtailing the dissertation on Malvolio.
I have been on the Continent since I saw you.
I have eaten frogs.
I saw Monkhouse tother day, and Mrs. M. being too poorly to admit of company, the annual goosepye was sent to Russell Street, and with its capacity has fed “A hundred head” (not of Aristotle’s) but “of Elia’s friends.”
Mrs. Monkhouse is sadly confined, but chearful.—
This packet is going off, and I have neither time, place nor solitude for a longer Letter.
Will you do me the favor to forward the other volume to Southey?
Mary is perfectly well, and joins me in kindest rememb’ces to you all.
[Signature cut away.]
["What a nut... for Blackwood.” To help on Maga’s great cause against Cockney arrogance.
“The dissertation on Malvolio.” In Elia the essays on the Old Actors were much changed and rearranged (see Appendix to Vol. II. in this edition).]
CHARLES LAMB TO MR. AND MRS. J.D. COLLIER
Twelfth Day [January 6], 1823.
THE pig was above my feeble praise. It was a dear pigmy. There was some contention as to who should have the ears, but in spite of his obstinacy (deaf as these little creatures are to advice) I contrived to get at one of them.
It came in boots too, which I took as a favor. Generally those petty toes, pretty toes! are missing. But I suppose he wore them, to look taller.
He must have been the least of his race. His little foots would have gone into the silver slipper. I take him to have been Chinese, and a female.—
If Evelyn could have seen him, he would never have farrowed two such prodigious volumes, seeing how much good can be contained in—how small a compass!