I cannot but think the London drags heavily. I miss Janus. And O how it misses Hazlitt! Procter too is affronted (as Janus has been) with their abominable curtailment of his things—some meddling Editor or other—or phantom of one —for neither he nor Janus know their busy friend. But they always find the best part cut out; and they have done well to cut also. I am not so fortunate as to be served in this manner, for I would give a clean sum of money in sincerity to leave them handsomely. But the dogs—T. and H. I mean— will not affront me, and what can I do? must I go on to drivelling? Poor Relations is tolerable—but where shall I get another subject—or who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I assure you it teases me more than it used to please me. Ch. Lloyd has published a sort of Quaker poem, he tells me, and that he has order’d me a copy, but I have not got it. Have you seen it? I must leave a little wafer space, which brings me to an apology for a conclusion. I am afraid of looking back, for I feel all this while I have been writing nothing, but it may show I am alive. Believe me, cordially yours C. LAMB.
[The sonnet probably was Mitford’s, which was printed in the June number (see above). Bowring, afterwards Sir John, was writing in the London Magazine on “Spanish Romances.”
“The Goose and little Goslings.” Possibly the design upon the seal of Barton’s last letter.
“Janus.” The first mention of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (see note below), who sometimes wrote in the London over the pseudonym Janus Weathercock. John Taylor, Hood and perhaps John Hamilton Reynolds, made up the magazine for press. In the May number, in addition to Lamb’s “Poor Relations,” were contributions from De Quincey, Hartley Coleridge, Cary, and Barton. But it was not what it had been.
Lloyd’s Quaker poem would probably be one of those in his Poems, 1823, which contains some of his most interesting work.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN BATES DIBDIN
[P.M. May 6, 1823.]
Dear Sir—Your verses were very pleasant, and I shall like to see more of them—I do not mean addressed to me.
I do not know whether you live in town or country, but if it suits your convenience I shall be glad to see you some evening— say Thursday—at 20 Great Russell Street, Cov’t Garden. If you can come, do not trouble yourself to write. We are old fashiond people who drink tea at six, or not much later, and give cold mutton and pickle at nine, the good old hour. I assure you (if it suit you) we shall be glad to see you.—
Yours, etc. C. LAMB.
E.I.H., Tuesday, My love to Mr. Railton. Some day of May 1823. The same to Mr. Rankin, Not official. to the whole Firm indeed.
[The verses are not, I fear, now recoverable. Dibdin’s firm was Railton, Rankin & Co., in Old Jury.