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sanctity is gone, and no good reason can whether it be avowed or not, to run into be assigned why it should not become as that worst form of agrarian disorder, by ree finally as social partnerships of any which the marriage tie itself is proclaimed other kind. So it is, that all Socialism, a mere social abuse. In its pretended having no sense of the true nature of the regard for the dignity and freedom of wosexual union as the basis of all morality | man, it robs her of the entire glory of her and society under a settled and necessary sex, and takes away the last bulwark of form, shows a tendency always in fact, her independence and strength.
MR. TALFOURD very appropriately dedi- , den ; that his moral strength and the extent of ates this volume to Wordsworth, the his self-sacrifice have been hitherto unknown nost distinguished survivor of Lamb's in
to the world ; I felt that to develop all which imate cotemporaries. In a brief preface, is essential to the just appreciation of his rare
excellence, was due both to him and to the ne refers to the hint given in the introduc- public. While I still hesitated as to the extent ion to his former life of Lamb, that a of disclosure needful for this purpose, my linperiod might arrive “when a more com- gering doubts were removed by the appearance blete estimate might be formed of the sin- of a full statement of the melancholy event, çular and delightful character of the writer with all the details capable of being collected han was there presented.” Twelve years from the newspapers of the time, in the British laving elapsed, several of Lamb's friends, Quarterly Review, and the diffusion of the paso whom some of the sportive allusions in journals. After this publication, no doubt could
sage, extracted thence, through several other iis letters might have given pain, having remain as to the propriety of publishing the letlied, and poor Mary Lamb having been ters of Lamb on this event, eminently exalting ulso released from suffering, it was thought the characters of himself and his sister, and enhe time had come when more complete abling the reader to judge of the sacrifice which ustice might be done to his memory.
followed it.” Delicacy to hers, however, might still It is hardly necessary to add that Mr. lave forbidden this, had not the story of Talfourd has executed his task with the ler insanity and its dreadful consequences considerateness and right feeling indicated eached the public through another chan in these sentences. He has fully satisfied el. It is fortunate for us that this cir- the curiosity naturally excited by the exumstance relieved Mr. Talfourd from the pectation of further letters of Lamb, and lifficult task of concealing, and at the here made public what truly must give ame time exhibiting, in the light it de- rise to “a more complete estimate of his erved to be seen, the heroism of his singular and delightful character." riend.
It is remarkable, while it shows at the
same time what a feeling their friendship “ When I reflected that the truth, while in inspired, that the misfortunes of Lamb and o wise affecting the gentle excellence of one his sister should have been so long kept a f them, casts new and solemn lights on the haracter of the other; that while his frailties
secret. In the circles of literary gossip, it ave received an ample share of that indul- may have been an old rumor that Mary ence which he extended to all human weak-Lamb killed her mother in a fit of mad2eses, their chief exciting cause has been hid- | ness, and was intermittently insane through
Literary Sketches and Letters: being the Final Memorials of Charles Lamb, never before pubshed. By Thomas Noon Talfourd, one of his Executors. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1848.
life, and that Charles was once in his youth “In the year 1795,” says Mr. Talourd, visited by the same calamity ; but to plain “Charles Lamb resided with his father, mother
, readers, and those whom circumstances and sister, in lodgings at No. 7 Little Queen render little eager for the particulars of street, Holborn. The father was rapidly sinkliterary history, these facts were entirely infirmity which deprived her of the use of her unknown till they appeared in the Quar- limbs ; and the sister not only undertook the terly; and even then the story was so office of daily and nightly attendance on her strange and shocking, it was hardly to be mother, but sought to add by needlework to credited. There are no two námes in their slender resources. Their income the literature with which it was more repug- elder derived from the old Bencher, Mr. Salt,
consisted of an annuity which Mr. Lamb the nant to the fancy to associate what was
whom he had faithfully served for many years, so frightful. But it is now necessary to Charles's salary, which, being that of a clerk believe the sad tale, and to think of one of three years' standing in the India House, who seemed all gentleness and geniality could have been but scanty, and a small para as an iron-hearted man of strength.
ment made for board by an old maiden aum We do not, however, propose to be who resided with them. In this year, Lank drawn into an elaborate analysis of Lamb's being just twenty years of age, began to write character. We must yield, not only to only friend, Coleridge, whom he regarded with
verses, partly incited by the example of his the variety of his wit and his clearness of
as much reverence as affection, and partly :judgment, but to his happy disposition, spired by an attachment to a young lady residand above all to his heroism. It is pre-ing in the neighborhood of Islington, who sumption to catalogue. his various excel- commemorated in his early verses as the fair lings and shortcomings, and construct a
haired maid.'" full inventory of his parts.
How his love prospered we are not “ He was a man, take him for all in all, told; but it is to be inferred from the for
We shall not look upon his like again.” lowing extracts from one of his letters to In the main purposes of his life, he did Coleridge, written in the early part of not differ from most of us, only he was a
1796, that the course of it ran anything
but smoothly :great deal truer, finer, and better. In his individualities and shining qualities, he re
“ Coleridge, I know not what suffering scenes sembled no one but himself; and as he has you have gone through at Bristol.
My ! had the rare fortune to be known to the has been somewhat diversified of late. This world in undress, chiefly through letters six weeks that finished last year and began to his intimate friends, we see so much of this, your very humble servant spent vers him that it is easiest to consider him simply agrecably in a mad-house at Hoxton 12 as an individual—Charles LAMB—whom got somewhat rational now, and don't bite sa
But mad I was. And many a vagy we esteem, and whose memory we cherish. any imagination played with me, enouga : The natural feeling, with respect to him, make a volume if all were told. seems to be what is experienced in talking
-Coleridge, it may convince you of one much-loved friend to another; it is my regards for you when I tell you mj more easy to praise in the general than to ran on you in my madness, as much almos balance particulars.
One cannot help
on another person, who I am inclined to it reading his correspondence as if it were in
was the more immediate cause of my temperat
frenzy." a measure addressed to himself, and hence it is like breaking confidence to sit down But probably his love affair was 5* coolly to anatomize him. In fine, it is his the only cause of his affliction. In abutica own words only that can denote him truly letter to Coleridge he says:
This volume reveals some new traits of him, and brings into stronger relief those “When you left London, I felt a dismalt. already well known. For the first time is in my heart. I found myself cut ott, ac here completely shown the causes of the and the same time, from two most dear la gentle melancholy which so sets off the Vow blest with ye the path could I lave, delicacy of his humor. We are let into a blended so many pleasant fancies that se
of quiet life!' In your conversation pie history of suffering almost unparalleled in cheated me of ny grief; but in your ab literary biography.
the tide of melancholy rashed in again, a
ts worst mischief by overwhelming my reason. what is gone and done with. With me 'the have recovered, but feel a stupor that makes former things are passed away, and I have ne indifferent to the hopes and fears of this something more to do than to feel. ife. I sometimes wish to introduce a religious “ God Almighty have us well in His keepurn of mind, but habits are strong things, and ing.
C. LAMB.” ny religious fervors are confined, alas ! to some leeting moments of occasional solitary devo- How perfectly sincere and resolute is ion. A correspondence, opening with you, this—"Write as religious a letter as possilas roused me a little from my lethargy, and ble, but no mention of what is gone and nade me conscious of existence. Indulge me done with.” For those who are disposed nit; I will not be very troublesome. At some uture time I will amuse you with an account of reproof in these few sentences.
to nurse their afflictions, there is a volume s full as my memory will permit, of the strange urns my frenzy took. I look back upon it at The following extracts from other letters imes with a gloomy kind of envy; for while it show the state of mind in which he conasted, I had many, many hours of pure happi- tinued to endure his grief :less. Dream not, Coleridge, of having tasted ll the grandeur and wildness of fancy till you
“God be praised, Coleridge, wonderful as it have gone mad. All now seems to me vapid, is to tell
, I have never once teen otherwise comparatively so."
than collected and calm; even on the dreadful
day, and in the midst of the terrible scene, I In another of his letters at this period, preserved a tranquillity which bystanders may re incloses some lines to Cowper, con
have construed into indifference-a tranquillity
not of despair. Is it folly or sin in me to say gratulating the poet on his recovery to
that it was a religious principle that most supanity. It is pleasant to see how readily ported me? I allow much to other favorable ne sympathizes with one who had so much circumstances. I felt that I had something n common with himself. He foresees that else to do than to regret.” Coleridge will think the line,
“On the very second day, (I date from the
day of horrors,) as is usual in such cases, there Cowper, of England's bards the wisest and were a matter of twenty people, I do think, the best,
supping in our room ; they prevailed with me
to eat with them, (for to eat I never refused.) hardly just. The " inspired charity boy" They were all making merry in the room! was probably too full of dim aspirations to Some had come from friendship, some from elish the homely beauties of the Task. It busy curiosity, and some from interest; I was was fortunate for Lamb that his admira- tion came that my poor dead mother was lying
going to partake with them, when my recollecion for his lofty friend did not mislead his in the next room—the very next room; a moudgment. His letters at this time are ther who, through life, wished nothing but her generally made up of acute observations children's welfare. Indignation, the rage of in books and poetry.
grief, something like remorse, rushed upon my
mind. But the great blow which crippled him
In an agony of emotion I found my or life came upon him next year, and sad- fell on my knees by the side of her coffin, ask
way mechanically to the adjoining room, and y interrupted his literary studies. It is ing forgiveness of Heaven, and sometimes of briefly told in the following extract of a her, for forgetting her so soon. Tranquillity etter to Coleridge:
returned, and it was the only violent emotion
that mastered me, and I think it did me good.” “My poor, dear, dearest sister, in a fit of inanity, has been the death of her own mother. The same letter contains a circumstan
was at hand only time enough to snatch the tial statement of the condition of his af(nife out of her grasp. She is at present in a fairs, how he hoped to dispose of his father, nadhouse, from whence I fear she must be re- aunt, and sister, and their slender means of noved to an hospital. God bas preserved me ny senses ; I eat, and drink, and sleep, and support—for all which we must refer the
reader to the volume. We only quote to lave my judgment, I believe, very sound. My voor father was slightly wounded, and I am show the spirit in which Lamb faced his eft to take care of him and my aunt. Mr. Nor- dark present and hopeless future, and the is, of the Blue-coat School, has been very kind effect bis sufferings wrought upon him. o us, and we have no other friend; but, thank Whenever he mentions his sister he writes jod, I am very calm and composed, and able
as if she made a part of himself :o do the best that remains to do. Write as eligious a letter as possible, but no mention of " I hope that I shall through life never have less recollection, nor a fainter impression, of “To you I owe much, under God. In my what has happened than I have now. It is not brief acquaintance with you in London, your a light thing, nor meant by the Almighty to be conversations won me to the better cause, and received lightly, I must be serious, circum- rescued me from the polluting spirit of the spect, and deeply religious throngh life; and world. I might have been a worthless characby such means may both of us escape madness ter without you; as it is, I do possess a certain in future, if it so please the Almighty !” improvable portion of devotional feelings,
though when I view myself in the light of diHappily for Lamb, what he then under- vine truth, and not according to the common stood by being “deeply religious,” he was
measure of human judgment, I am altogether spared mental strength to outlive. It was
corrupt and sinful. This is no cant. I am the first trait in his character to be deeply
• These last afflictions, Coleridge, have fail. excitable, almost miraculously so, com- ed to soften and bend my will. They found pared with other men, by emotions, and
me unprepared. My former calamities prono less keen and quicksighted in his per- duced in me a spirit of humility and a spirit of ceptions. Whatever took hold of him, prayer. I thought they had sufficiently discisuddenly shot into a blaze and burnt out, plined me; but the event ought to humble me; leaving only a charred relic. All griefs if God's judgments now fail to take away from and passions sublimed at once, through his
me the heart of stone, what more griesous over-warm affections, into his intellect, and very querulous, impatient under the rod-full of
trials ought I not to expect? I have been became purified of all their grosser parts. little jealousies and heart-burnings. I had well They did not merely touch him; they nigh quarrelled with Charles Lloyd—and for no pierced through and through. Thus his other reason, I believe, than that the good cres. love drove him to madness; and in all his ture did all he could to make me happy. The life after we hear no more of the passion, truth is, I thought he tried to force my mind except when he shows he understood it wished me to be from home; he was drawias perfectly. So with his religious feelings. me from the consideration of my poor dear It is easy to see that had he continued in the Mary's situation, rather than assisting me to frame of mind indicated above, he must gain a proper view of it with religious convolahave gone the way of poor Cowper.
But tions.” he doubtless perceived in this tendency to
“I am recovering, God be praised for it a extremes of feeling something morbida healthiness of mind, something like calmness taint of insanity, against which he had human helps and leaning places. I rejoice in
—but I want more religion—I am jealous | peculiar reason to be guarded. This and
your good fortunes. May God at last settle the society of such friends as few men ever you! You have had many and painful trials: had, or were more worthy to have, to humanly speaking, they are going to end; bär gether with a most iron determination, and we should rather pray that discipline may althe pressure of necessity, enabled him to tend us through the whole of our lives.. keep himself in check. But the check, A careless and a dissolute spirit bas advanced though it held, seemed insecure enough upon me with large strides-pray God that ms It just held him from bursting away into
present afflictions may be sanctified to me!" the region of tears. He lived on the verge
But he was now enlarging the circle of where laughing and crying come together, his friends, and this spirit was not destined and as he could not cry, he laughed. His to utterly overwhelm him. His strong portrait at the beginning of this volume sense breaks away from it with impatient harmonizes with this fundamental quality bounds, and his cheerful temper leads him of him no less than do his letters.
into gaieties that make him more modest One more extract will show how near In such passages as the above we bare, even his strong mind came to breaking instead of true piety, an extreme conscious down under the deadly sentimentalism ness of self, but very little consciousnes that often usurps the place of a simple of sin. In coming from this to a healthy Christian faith. Whether Coleridge, at condition, Lamb's perception of the Indi this time of his life, (when Lamb was in crous carries him to the verge of interes doubt whether to direct his letter " Mr.” | ence; yet we know he remained a be or “ Rev.," and so left off both,) was just liever all his life, and did not like some of adviser he should have had may be his learned friends, "box the compass ned:
of religious faith till he had no fait le
TO MR. MANNING.
We can see how the following should be his own eyes were dark, and many a living quite as consistent with true Christianity bard's besides, and suggested to him, Closd as the extract just given :
are the poet's eyes.' But that would not do.
I found there was an antithesis between the “When we die, you and I must part; the darkness of his eyes and the splendor of his sheep, you know, take the right hand, and the genius; and I acquiesced.” goats the left. Stripped of its allegory, you must know, the sheep are 1, and the Apostles and the Martyrs, and the Popes, and Bishop Taylor and Bishop Horsley, and Coleridge, &c.
“ To come to the point then, and hasten into &c.; the goats are the Atheists and the Adul- the middle of things; have you a copy of your terers, and dumb dogs, and Godwin and Algebra to give away? I do not ask it for myM ....., and that Thyestæan crew-yaw! self; I have too much reverence for the Black how my saintship sickens at the idea !
Arts, ever to approach thy circle, illustrious “ You shall have my play and the Falstaff Trismegist! But that worthy man, and excelletters in a day or two.' I will write to Lloyd lent poet, George Dyer, made me a visit yesterby this day's post.
night, on purpose to borrow one, supposing, "God bless you, Manning. Take my trifling rationally enough, I must say, that you had zs trisling—and believe me seriously and
made me a present of one before this; the deeply your well-wisher and friend.”
omission of which I take to have proceeded
only from negligence; but it is a fault. I The truth was, Lamb was unable to en- could lend him no assistance. You must know tertain the thought of a heaven which he is just now diverted from the pursuit of the would not include all his friends; and the heard his friend (that learned mathematician)
BELL LETTERS by a paradox, which he has reconciling his religious belief with his maintain, that the negative quantities of matheaffections was probably what made him maticians were meræ nuge, things scarcely in so silent with respect to the former. rerum naturâ, and smacking too much of mys
But we have followed the letters till we tery for gentlemen of Mr. Friend's clear Unitahave now reached the period of Lamb's rian capacity. However, the dispute once set life, when his genius was beginning to ex agoing, has seized violently on George's peripand into full flower. Elia lives again in that he should speedily come to a resolution of
cranicks; and it is necessary for his health he rest of the volume, and utters such his doubts. He goes about teasing his friends 2 world of good things that we will for- with his new mathematics; he even frantically get, since he desires it, and because we talks of purchasing Manning's Algebra, which cannot help it, all bis troubles and strug- shows him far gone, for, to my knowledge, he gles, in the exhilaration of his boundless has not been master of seven shillings a good nirth. First of all we must confess to a
time. George's pockets and 's brains warm interest in the worthy George Dyer, hor a vacuum. ...
are two things in nature which do not abwho, in these letters and those of the step in, on this trembling suspense of his rea
Now, if you could 'ormer collection, is made to live.
son, and he should find on Saturday morning,
lying for him at the Porter's Lodge, Clifford's TO MR. SOUTHEY.
Inn-his safest address, Manning's Algebra,
with a neat manuscription in the Llank leaf, “I showed my · Witch,' and ` Dying Lover,' running thus, ` FROM THE Author! it might o Dyer last night, but George could not com- save his wits and restore the unhappy author prehend how that could be poetry which did not to those studies of poetry and criticism, which ço upon ten feet, as George and his predeces- are at present suspended, to the infinite regret ors had taught it to do; so George read me of the whole literary world. N. B.-Dirty ome lectures on the distinguishing qualities covers, smeared leaves, and dog's ears, will be f the Ode, the Epigram, and the Epic, and rather a recommendation than otherwise. N. vent home to illustrate his doctrine, by correct- | B.—He must have the book as soon as possible, ng a proof sheet of his own Lyrics. George or nothing can withhold him from madly purvrites odes where the rhymes, like fashionable chasing the book on tick. ... Then shall we nan and wife, keep a comfortable distance of see him sweetly restored to the chair of Longiix or eight lines apart, and calls that observ- nus—to dictate in smooth and modest phrase ng the laws of verse.' George tells you, be the laws of verse; to prove that Theocritus pre he recites, that you must listen with great first introduced the Pastoral, and Virgil and ttention or you'll miss the rhymes. I did so, Pope brought it to its perfection ; that Gray nd found them pretty exact. George, speaking and Mason (who always hunt in couples in f the dead Ossian, exclaimeth, · Dark are the George's brain) have shown a great deal of oet's eyes.' I humbly represented to him that I poetical fire in their lyric poetry ; that Aristo