The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 408 pages of information about The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4.

    “It’s possible to climb;
  To kindle, or to stake;
    Altho’ in Skelton’s rhime."[1]

[Footnote 1:  A long line is a line we are long repeating.  In the Shepherds Hunting take the following—­

“If thy verse doth bravely tower, As she makes wing, she gets power; Yet the higher she doth soar, She’s affronted still the more, ’Till she to the high’st hath past, Then she rests with fame at last.”

What longer measure can go beyond the majesty of this! what Alexandrine is half so long in pronouncing or expresses labor slowly but strongly surmounting difficulty with the life with which it is done in the second of these lines? or what metre could go beyond these from Philarete—­

“Her true beauty leaves behind Apprehensions in my mind Of more sweetness, than all art Or inventions can impart. Thoughts too deep to be expressed, And too strong to be suppressed.”]



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Mr. Reflector,—­I was born under the shadow of St. Dunstan’s steeple, just where the conflux of the eastern and western inhabitants of this twofold city meet and justle in friendly opposition at Temple-bar.  The same day which gave me to the world, saw London happy in the celebration of her great annual feast.  This I cannot help looking upon as a lively omen of the future great good-will which I was destined to bear toward the city, resembling in kind that solicitude which every Chief Magistrate is supposed to feel for whatever concerns her interests and well-being.  Indeed I consider myself in some sort a speculative Lord Mayor of London:  for though circumstances unhappily preclude me from the hope of ever arriving at the dignity of a gold chain and Spital Sermon, yet thus much will I say of myself in truth, that Whittington with his cat (just emblem of vigilance and a furred gown) never went beyond me in affection which I bear to the citizens.

I was born, as you have heard, in a crowd.  This has begot in me an entire affection for that way of life, amounting to an almost insurmountable aversion from solitude and rural scenes.  This aversion was never interrupted or suspended, except for a few years in the younger part of my life, during a period in which I had set my affections upon a charming young woman.  Every man, while the passion is upon him, is for a time at least addicted to groves and meadows and purling streams.  During this short period of my existence, I contracted just familiarity enough with rural objects to understand tolerably well ever after the poets, when they declaim in such passionate terms in favor of a country-life.

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The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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