Please to direct to me at India Ho. in future. [?
I am] not always at
[Barton had long been meditating the advisability of giving up his place in the bank at Woodbridge and depending upon his pen. Lamb’s letter of dissuasion is not the only one which he received. Byron had written to him in 1812: “You deserve success; but we knew, before Addison wrote his Cato, that desert does not always command it. But suppose it attained—
know what ills the author’s life assail—
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.’
Do not renounce writing, but never trust entirely to authorship. If you have a profession, retain it; it will be like Prior’s fellowship, a last and sure resource.” Barton had now broken again into dissatisfaction with his life. He did not, however, leave the bank.
Southey made no “fortune” by his pen. He almost always had to forestall his new works.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN HOWARD PAYNE
23 January, ’23.
Dear Payne—I have no mornings (my day begins at 5 P.M.) to transact business in, or talents for it, so I employ Mary, who has seen Robertson, who says that the Piece which is to be Operafied was sent to you six weeks since by a Mr. Hunter, whose journey has been delayed, but he supposes you have it by this time. On receiving it back properly done, the rest of your dues will be forthcoming. You have received L30 from Harwood, I hope? Bishop was at the theatre when Mary called, and he has put your other piece into C. Kemble’s hands (the piece you talk of offering Elliston) and C.K. sent down word that he had not yet had time to read it. So stand your affairs at present. Glossop has got the Murderer. Will you address him on the subject, or shall I—that is, Mary? She says you must write more showable letters about these matters, for, with all our trouble of crossing out this word, and giving a cleaner turn to th’ other, and folding down at this part, and squeezing an obnoxious epithet into a corner, she can hardly communicate their contents without offence. What, man, put less gall in your ink, or write me a biting tragedy!
[Here should come a letter from Lamb to Ayrton asking him to meet the Burneys and Paynes on Wednesday at half-past four.]