The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 6.
that Lamb was the individual so widely sought for, and wrote some lines to him, anonymously, sending them by post to his residence, with the hope of sifting him on the subject.  Although Lamb could not know who sent him the lines, yet he looked very hard at the writer of them the next time they met, when he walked up, as usual, to Lamb’s desk in the most unconcerned manner, to transact the necessary business.  Shortly after, when they were again in conversation, something dropped from Lamb’s lips which convinced his hearer, beyond a doubt, that his suspicions were correct.  He therefore wrote some more lines (anonymously, as before), beginning—­

“I’ve found thee out, O Elia!”

and sent them to Colebrook Row.  The consequence was that at their next meeting Lamb produced the lines, and after much laughing, confessed himself to be Elia.  This led to a warm friendship between them.

Dibdin’s letter of discovery was signed D. Hence Lamb’s fumbling after his Christian name, which he probably knew all the time.]

LETTER 319

CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON

[P.M. 3 May, 1823.]

Dear Sir—­I am vexed to be two letters in your debt, but I have been quite out of the vein lately.  A philosophical treatise is wanting, of the causes of the backwardness with which persons after a certain time of life set about writing a letter.  I always feel as if I had nothing to say, and the performance generally justifies the presentiment.  Taylor and Hessey did foolishly in not admitting the sonnet.  Surely it might have followed the B.B.  I agree with you in thinking Bowring’s paper better than the former.  I will inquire about my Letter to the Old Gentleman, but I expect it to go in, after those to the Young Gent’n are completed.  I do not exactly see why the Goose and little Goslings should emblematize a Quaker poet that has no children.  But after all—­perhaps it is a Pelican.  The Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin around it I cannot decypher.  The songster of the night pouring out her effusions amid a Silent Meeting of Madge Owlets, would be at least intelligible.  A full pause here comes upon me, as if I had not a word more left.  I will shake my brain.  Once—­ twice—­nothing comes up.  George Fox recommends waiting on these occasions.  I wait.  Nothing comes.  G. Fox—­that sets me off again.  I have finished the Journal, and 400 more pages of the Doctrinals, which I picked up for 7s. 6d.  If I get on at this rate, the Society will be in danger of having two Quaker poets—­to patronise.  I am at Dalston now, but if, when I go back to Cov.  Gar., I find thy friend has not call’d for the Journal, thee must put me in a way of sending it; and if it should happen that the Lender of it, having that volume, has not the other, I shall be most happy in his accepting the Doctrinals, which I shall read but once certainly.  It is not a splendid copy, but perfect, save a leaf of Index.

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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