And those 3 smiling seasons
of the year
Into a Russian winter.
I am sitting opposite a person who is making strange distortions with the gout, which is not unpleasant—to me at least. What is the reason we do not sympathise with pain, short of some terrible Surgical operation? Hazlitt, who boldly says all he feels, avows that not only he does not pity sick people, but he hates them. I obscurely recognise his meaning. Pain is probably too selfish a consideration, too simply a consideration of self-attention. We pity poverty, loss of friends etc. more complex things, in which the Sufferers feelings are associated with others. This is a rough thought suggested by the presence of gout; I want head to extricate it and plane it. What is all this to your Letter? I felt it to be a good one, but my turn, when I write at all, is perversely to travel out of the record, so that my letters are any thing but answers. So you still want a motto? You must not take my ironical one, because your book, I take it, is too serious for it. Bickerstaff might have used it for his lucubrations. What do you think of (for a Title)
There is Religio-Medici and Laici.—But perhaps the volume is not quite Quakerish enough or exclusively for it—but your own VIGILS is perhaps the Best. While I have space, let me congratulate with you the return of Spring—what a Summery Spring too! all those qualms about the dog and cray-fish melt before it. I am going to be happy and vain again.
A hasty farewell C. LAMB.
["Southey’s Book”—The Book of the Church.
“Would Wilberforce give us our Tuesdays?”—William Wilberforce, the abolitionist and the principal “Puritan” of that day.]
CHARLES LAMB TO MRS. THOMAS ALLSOP
[P.M. April 13, 1824.]