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tle's rules are not to be servilely followed,

TO MRS. HAZLITT. which George has shown to have in posed great shackles upon modern genius. His poems, 1

DEAR Mrs. H. :--Sitting down to 21 find, are to consist of two vols.--reasonable oc

letter is such a painful operation to Mars. tavo ; and a third book will exclusively contain you must accept me as her prosy. You are criticisms, in which he has gone pretty deeply seen our house. What I now tell you is ža into the laws of blank verse and rhyme-epic ally true: yesterday week, George Dyer card poetry, dramatic and pastoral ditto—all which upon us, at one o'clock, (bright nood? is to come out before Christmas. But above his way to dine with Mrs. Barbauld, at Nes all he has touched most deeply upon the Drama, ington, and he sat with Mary about half a comparing the English with the modern Ger- hour. The maid saw him go out, froe best man stage, their merits and defects. Appre- kitchen window, but suddenly losing sight d hending that his studies (not to mention his him, ran up in a fright to Mary. G. Dis turn, which I take to be chiefly towards the ly- stead of keeping the slip that leads to the rical poetry) hardly qualified him for these dis- had deliberately, staff in hand, in broad, open quisitions, I modestly inquired what plays he day, marched into the New River

. He had at had read ? I found George's reply was that he his spectacles on, and you know his abista had read Shakspeare, but that was a good

Who helped him out, they can hardly tell som while since : he calls him a great, irregular between 'em they got him out

, dreaca genius, which I think to be an original and just through and through. A mob collected by tsit remark. Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger, time, and accompanied him in. Send for the Ben Jonson, Shirley, Marlowe, Ford, and the Doctor! they said; and a one-eyed worthies of Dodsley's Collection-he confessed dirty and drunk, was fetched from the palle he had read none of them, but professed his in-house at the end, where it seems he lurks in tention of looking through them all, so as to

the sake of picking up water practice; * be able to touch upon them in his book. So formerly had a medal from the Humane Sr Shakspeare, Otway, and I believe Rowe, to ty for some rescue. By his advice, the peze whom he was naturally directed by Johnson's

was put between blankets; and when I came Lives, and these not read lately, are to stand home at four to dinner, I found G. D. abed him instead of a general knowledge of the sub- and raving, light-headed, with the brandsen ject. God bless his dear absurd head!"

water which the doctor had administered to sung, laughed, whimpered, screamed, babalar of guardian angels, would get up and go how

but we kept him there by force, and bs best * Pray come on Monday, if you can, and morning he departed sobered, and seems to have stay your own time. I have a good, large received no injury. All my friends are room, with two beds in it, in the handsomest of mouthed about having paling before the river which thou shalt repose a night, and dream of but I cannot see, because an absent mau Spheroids. I hope you will understand by the chooses to walk into a river, with his eya nonsense of this letter, that I am not melan- open, at mid-day, I am any the more like's go choly at the thoughts of thy coming : I thought be drowned in it, coming home at midnight it necessary to add this, because you love precision. Take notice that our stay at Dyer's In a letter to Wordsworth, written stili will not exceed eight o'clock, after which our pursuits will be our own.

later, Lamb says:

But, indeed, I think a little recreation among the Bell Letters and poetry will do you some service in the interval of

“ To G. D. a poem is a poem. His on severer studies. I hope we shall fully discuss

as good as anybody's, and, God bless biz done to my satisfaction, the reason of Dr. John- sibility of one poem being better than azartesi with George Dyer what I have never yet heard anybody's as good as his own; for I do not

think he has the most distant guess of the police son's malevolent strictures on the higher spe- The gods, by denying him the very faceti cies of the Ode."

self of discrimination, have effectúally cat of Long after, when Lamb resided at

every seed of envy in his bosom. But we Islington, Dyer became the hero of an ad- wish the copy again, which you destined for

envy they excised curiosity also; and if me venture which, Mr. Talfourd informs us, him, I tbiuk I shall be able to find it again be “supplies the subject of one of The you, on bis third shelf, where he stuffs his team Last Essays of Elia ;' and which is verita- sentation copies, uncut, in shape and suiter bly related in the following letter of Lamb, resembling a lump of dry dust ; but ou cada of that delightful article, and the first listy different poetical works that have been which is curious, as containing the

germ fully removing that stratum, a thing is sketches of the Brandy-and-Water Doctor given G. D. in turn for as many of his own therein celebrated as miraculous.”

performances, and I confess I nerer bad ang


eruple in taking my own again, wherever I prehension of any human interest vital in their ound it, shaking the adherences off--and by pages, or of any spirit of wit or fancy glancing his means one copy of my works,' served for across them. His life was an Academic Pas3. D., and, with a little dusting, was made toral. Methinks I see his gaunt, awkward form, wer to my good friend Dr. G- who little set off by trousers too short, like those outhought whose leavings he was taking when he grown by a gawky lad, and a rusty coat as nade me that graceful bow."

much too large for the wearer, hanging about The last we hear of him is in a letter to

him like those garments which the aristocratic

Milesian peasantry prefer to the most comfortaMoxon, which tells a delightful anecdote ble rustic dress; his long head silvered over of him; after relating it, Lamb says :- with short yet straggling hair, and his dark

gray eyes glistening with faith and wonder, as “G. was born, I verily think, without origi- | Lamb satisfies the curiosity which has gently ial sin, but chooses to have a conscience, as disturbed his studies as to the authorship of the very Christian gentleman should have. His Waverly Novels, by telling him, in the strict. lear face is insusceptible of the twist they call est confidence, that they are the works of Lord i sneer, yet he is apprehensive of being sus- Castlereagh, just returned from the Congress vected of that ugly appearance. When he of Sovereigns at Vienna! Off he runs, with nakes a compliment he thinks he has given an animated stride and shambling enthusiasm, nor uffront—a name is personality.”

stops till he reaches Maida Hill, and breathes

bis news into the startled ear of Leigh Hunt, After these extracts, Mr. Talfourd's ac

who, ó as a public writer,'ought to be possessed count of Dyer must not be withheld. It of the great fact with which George is laden! adds to its interest with us, that a friend Or shall I endeavor to revive the bewildered at our elbow (whose lucubrations are not look with which, just after he had been analtogether unknown to our readers) veri- nounced as one of Lord Stanhope’s executors fies the description of Dyer's person, and and residuary legatees, he received Lamb's remembers how certain roguish young monly reported, that he was to be made a lord?

grave inquiry, Whether it was true, as comladies, his cousins, lacking due reverence “O dear, no, Mr. Lamb, responded he with for learning and poetry, were wont to earnest seriousness, but not without a moment's beap all sorts of meats upon the worthy quivering vanity, I could not think of such a gentleman's plate at dinner; he being lost thing; it is not true, I assure you. I thought in conversation until near the close of the not,' said Lamb, “and I contradict it wherever repast, when he would suddenly recollect

But the government will not ask your himself and fall to till he had finished without your even knowing it. I hope not


consent; they may raise you to the peerage the whole, evidently under an impression Mr. Lamb; indeed-indeed, I hope not. It that such was his only alternative as a would not suit me at all,' responded Dyer, and man of polite breeding.

went his way, musing on the possibility of a

strange honor descending on his reluctant “George Dyer was one of the first objects of brow. Or shall I recall the visible presentiLamb's youthful reverence, for he had attained ment of his bland unconsciousness of evil when the stately rank of Grecian in the venerable his sportive friend taxed it to the utmost by school of Christ's Hospital, when Charles entered suddenly asking what he thought of the murit, a little, timid, affectionate child; but this boyish derer Williams, who, after destroying two famrespect, once amounting to awe, gave place to ilies in Ratcliffe Highway, had broken prison & familiar habit of loving banter, which, spring- by suicide, and whose body had just before ing from the depths of old regard, approximated been conveyed in shocking procession to its to school-boy roguery, and, now and then, cross-road grave. The desperate attempt to though very rarely, gleamed on the conscious compel the gentle optimist to speak ill of a morness of the ripe scholar. No contrast could be tal creature produced no happier success than more vivid than that presented by the relations the answer, “Why, I should think, Mr. Lamb, of each to the literature they both loved; one he must have been rather an eccentric characdivining its inmost essences, plucking out the ter.' This simplicity of a nature not only unheart of its mysteries, shedding light on its dim- spotted by the world, but almost abstracted mest recesses; the other devoted, with equal from it, will seem the more remarkable when it assiduity, to its externals. Books, to Dyer, is known that it was subjected, at the entrance 'were a real world, both pure and good ;' among of life, to a hard battle with fortune. Dyer them he passed, unconscious of time, from was the son of very poor parents, residing in an youth to extreme age, vegetating on their dates eastern suburb of London, Stepney or Bethnaland forms, and trivial fond records,' in the greenward, where he attracted the attention of learned air of great lioraries, or the dusty con- two elderly ladies as a serious child, with an fusion of his own, with the least possible ap- extraordinary love for books. They obtained

I go.



for him a presentation to Christ's Hospital, The idea of a man drinking himself which he entered at seven years of age ; fought “pot-valiant,” and boldly rushing into his way through its sturdy ranks to the head; bed, is—worthy of the master. and, at nineteen, quitted it for Cambridge, with only an exhibition and his scholarly accom

This was about the time of the “ Fareplishments to help him. On he went, how well to Tobacco," however, which be inever, placid if not rejoicing, through the diffi- closed in a letter to Wordsworth, which culties of a life illustrated only by scholarship, opens thus: encountering tremendous labors, unresting yet serene, until, at eighty-five, he breathed out the “My dear Wordsworth, (or Dorothy rather, most blameless of lives, which began in a strug- for to you appertains the biggest part of this gle, to end in a learned dream.”

answer by right,) I will not again de serve re

proach by so long a silence. I have kept de But nous revenons—“let us return to luding myself with the idea that Mary would our Lamb." These letters are not to be en

write to you, but she is so lazy, (or I believe joyed in private. They require the play the true state of the case, so diffident,) that it of sympathy. We confess to a high satis

must revert to me as usual; though she writes

a pretty good style, and has sone notion of the faction in feeling that we have the power force of words, she is not always so certain of of introducing some choice passages to the true orthography of them; that, and a poor many readers who will not have seen handwriting, (in this age of female callithem.

graphy,) often deters her where no other reason Writing to Manning, Lamb says:-

does.' “I've often wished I lived in the Golden This was mere banter upon his sister, Age, before doubt, and propositions, and corol. Mr. Talfourd informs us. laries got into the world. Now, as Joseph D-, Bard of Nature, sings, going up Malvern “ As to our special affairs I am looking about

I have done nothing since the beginning

of last year, when I lost my newspaper job, “How steep—how painful the ascent! It needs the evidence of close deduction

and having had a long idleness, I must de To know that ever I shall gain the top.'

something, or we shall get very poor. Same

times I think of a farce, but hitherto all “ You must know that Joe is lame, so that schemes have gone off--an idle bray or two of he had some reason for so saying.”

an evening, vaporing out of a pipe, and going

off in the morning, but now I have bid fareAnd again :

well to my sweet enemy, Tobacco, as you

will see in my next page, I shall perhaps set * Joe's tragedy hath the following : Some nobly to work. Hang work! king is told that his enemy has engaged twelve “ I wish that all the year were a boliday : 1 archers to come over in a boat from an enemy's

am sure that indolence--indefeasible indolence country and waylay him. He thereupon pa- 1-is the true state of man, and business the thetically exclaims:

invention of the old Teazer, whose interference * Twelve, dost thou say? Curse on those dozen doomed Adam to an apron and set him a boeing, villains!'

Pen and ink, clerks and desks, were the refine

ments of this old torturer some thousand yests “D— read two of the acts out to us very after, under pretence of Commerce allying gravely on both sides, till he came to this heroic distant shores, Promoting and diffasing kdose touch, and then he asked what we laughed at. ledge, good, &c.'” I had no more muscles that day. A poet who chooses to read out his own verses has but a The farce hinted at above was “Mr. H.: limited power over you. There is a bound where his authority ceases."

its fate is drolly communicated in a note *

Mrs. Hazlitt: Or take the following, to Coleridge:

“ Mary is a little cut at the ill-success in “When shall we two smoke again? Last Mr. H.' which came out last night, and find night I had been in a sad quardary of spirits, in I know you'll be sorry, but never mind. We what they call the evening, but a pipe, and are determined not to be cast down. I na some generous port, and King Lear, (being going to leave off tobacco, and then we alone,) had their effects as solacers. I went thrive. A smoking man must write suste to bed pot-valiant. By the way, may not the farces.” Ogles of Somersetshire be remotely descended from King Lear ?"

The following from letters of Mary


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Lamb to Mrs. Hazlitt, show that she had eight editions in so many weeks, yet literally notion of the force of words":- it is one of the very poorest sort of common

novels, with the drawback of dull religion in it. “ I left this unfinished yesterday, in the hope Had the religion been high and flavored, it that my brother would have done it for me. would have been something. I borrowed this His reason for refusing me was no exquisite Celebs in search of a Wife,' of a very carereason,' for it was because he must write a

ful, neat lady, and returned it with this stuff letter to Manning in three or four weeks, and

written in the beginning : therefore he could not be always writing letters,' he said. I wanted him to tell your

If ever I marry a wife, husband about a great work which Godwin

I'd marry a landlord's daughter, is going to publish to enlighten the world

For then I may sit in the bar, once more, and I shall not be able to make

And drink cold brandy-and-water.” out what it is. He (Godwin) took his usual walk one evening, a fortnight since, to the

Speaking of epitaphs, in a letter to end of Hatton Garden and back again. Du- | Wordsworth, Lamb says :ring that walk a thought came into his mind, which he instantly sat down and im

· I have seen in Islington churchyard (I proved upon, till he brought it, in seven or eight think) an Epitaph to an infant, who died Ætadays, into the compass of a reasonable sized tis four months, with this seasonable inscrip

tion appended, “Honor thy father and thy

mother, that thy days may be long in the This was the Essay on Sepulchres.

land,' &c." The dear, quiet, lazy, delicious month

Of book-borrowers :--we spent with you is remembered by me with such regret that I feel quite discontented and “Of those who borrow, some read slow; Winterslow-sick. I assure you I never passed some mean to read but don't read; and some such a pleasant time in the country in my life, neither read nor mean to read, but borrow to both in the house and out of it—the cards | leave you an opinion of their sagacity. I must playing quarrels, and a few gaspings for breath do my money-borrowing friends the justice to after your swift footsteps up the high hills ex- say that there is nothing of this caprice or cepted; and these drawbacks are not unpleas- wantonness of alienation in them. When they ant in the recollection. We have got some borrow my money they never fail to make use salt butter to make our toast seem like yours,

of it." and we have tried to eat meat suppers, but that would not do, for we left our appetites behind It was perhaps no harm to Wordsworth 18, and the dry loaf, which offended you, now that he had such critics as Coleridge and comes in at night unaccompanied; but, sorry Lamb. The following must have gone am I to add, it is soon followed by the pipe. very near him :We smoked the very first night of our arrial.”

“ You distinguish well, in your old preface,

between the verses of Dr. Johnson, of the Reviews have changed their character Man in the Strand,' and that from The somewhat since the following was writ- Babes in the Wood. I was thinking, whether cen :

taking your own glorious lines“ The Monthly Review sneers at me, and

And from the love which was in her soul sks “if Comus is not good enough for Mr.

For her youthful Romilly,' amb ?' because I have said no good serious which, by the love I bear my own soul, I think Iramas have been written since the death of have no parallel in any, the best old ballads, Charles the First, except · Samson Agonistes ;' and just altering it to o because they do not know, or won't rememer, that Comus was written long before, I am

* And from the great respect she felt be set down as an undervaluer of Milton.

For Sir Samuel Romilly,' 9, Coleridge, do kill those reviews, or they will would not have explained the boundaries of ill us; kill all we like! Be a friend to all | prose expression and poetic feeling nearly as Ise, but their foe.”

well. Excuse my levity on such an occasion.

I never felt deeply in my life if that poem did In the following it is hard to tell which not make me, both lately and when I read it in - best, the criticism or the joke :

MS." " Have you read Cælebs ?' It has reached One of the letters to Wordsworth is so


Elia-like it could never be mistaken for rainy weather lasts, I have no hope of alleviaanother's without the subscription. We

We tion. I have tried flannels and embrocation in have only space for a paragraph or so :

vain. Just at the hip-joint the pangs are

sometimes so excruciating, that I cry oat. k Coleridge is absent but four miles, and the is as violent as the cramp, and far more conneighborhood of such a man is as exciting as

tinuous. I am ashamed to whine about these the presence of fifty ordinary persons. ?Tis complaints to you, who can ill enter into enough to be within the whiff and wind of his them; but indeed they are sharp. You go genius for us not to possess our souls in quiet

. about, in rain or fine, at all hours, withont any if I lived with him or the Author of the Excur: discommodity. I envy you your immunity at sion, I should, in a very little time, lose my own But you owe your exemption to temperance,

a time of life not much removed from my own identity, and be dragged along in the current of other people's thoughts, hampered in a net. which it is too late for me to pursue. I, in my How cool I sit in this office, with no possible frame is brittle-yours as strong as brass. I

lifetime, bave had my good things. Hence by interruption further than what I may term material! There is not as much metaphysics in

never knew any ailment you had. You can thirty-six of the people here as there is in the go out at night in all weathers, sit up all boars. first page of Locke's "Treatise on the Human Well, I don't want to moralize; I only wish to Understanding,' or as much poetry as in many ble-dumby, I would try and bolster up myself

say that if you are inclined to a game at doe natural “ Beggar's Petition. I never entangle in a chair for a rubber or so. My days are myself in any of their speculations. Inter- tedious, but less so, and less painful, than my ruptious, if I try to write a letter even, I have nights. May you never know the pain and dreadful. Just now, within four lines, I was difficulty I have in writing so much!

Mary. called off for ten minutes to consult dusty old who is most kind, joins in the wish. books for the settlement of obsolete errors. I

April 10th, 1829. C. LAMB.” hold you a guinea you don't find the chasm where I left off, so excellently the wounded

THE COMPANION LETTER TO THE SANE. sense closed again and was healed. “N. B.-- Nothing said above to the contrary,

(A week afterwards.) but that I hold the personal presence of the two mentioned potent spirits at a rate as high lest diabolical piece of malice the heart of man

“ I do confess to mischief. It was the subt. as any; but I pay dearer; what amuses others robs me of myself ; my mind is positively dis- than that poker. Never was freer from al

has contrived. I have no more rheumatisk charged into their greater currents, but flows with a willing violence. As to your question pains and aches. Every joint sound, to the about work, it is far less oppressive to me than tip of the ear from the extremity of the lesser it was, from circumstances; it takes all the toe. The report of thy torments was blowa golden part of the day away, a solid lump, from circuitously here from Bury. I could not resist ten to four; but it does not kill my peace as

the jeer. I conceived you writhing when you before. Some day or other I shall be in a

should just receive my congratulations. Hos taking again. My head aches, and you have mad you'd be. Well, it is not in my method de had enough. God bless you!

inflict pangs. I leave that to Heaven. But o “ C. LAMB."

the existing pangs of a friend, I have a share.

His disquietude crowns my exemption ! Not less characteristic though in a dif

imagine you howling; and I pace acnss the

room, shooting out my free arms, legs, &c. ferent vein, are the two following, written this way and that way, with an assurance to a friend who he had heard was suffering not kindling a spark of pain from ten from rheumatism :

deny that Nature meant us to sympathized agonies. Those face contortions, retros distortions, have the merriness of anties.

ture meant them for farce-not so pleas "DEAR ROBINSON :—We are afraid you will the actor, indeed; but Grimaldi cries w! slip from us from England without again seeing laugh, and it is but one who suffer lorer

It would be charity to come and see one. thousands rejoice. I have these three days been laid up with * You say that shampooing is inex strong rheumatic pains in loins, back, shoul. But, per se, it is good, to show thr int*** ders. I shriek sometimes from the violence of tions, extravolutions of which the animale them. I get scarce any sleep, and the conse- | is capable-to show what the creature : quence is, I am restless, and want to change ceptible of, short of dissolution. sides as I lie, and I cannot turn without resting * You are worse of sights, an't you? T*

hands, and so turning all my body all never was rack’d, was you? I should like 2

te a log with a lever. While this authentic map of those feelings.



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