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iāno in language so ridiculously and ex- the goddess's hands!... Yet he did not clusively appropriate to himself, that it . absolutely give way till that stinging would have made you merry.

It was even contrast which I drew between him as a as if he was looking into a sort of moral man, as a writer, and a benefactor of looking-glass, without knowing what it society, and those of whom he had spoken was, and, seeing his own very, very so irreverently. In short, I suspect that Godwinship, had by a merry conceit I seldom, at any time and for so great a christened it in your name, not without length of time, so continuously displayed some annexment of me and Wordsworth. so much power, and do hope and trust that I replied by laughing in the first place at the never did I display one half the scorn and capricious nature of his nicety, that what ferocity. The next morning, the moment was gross in folio should become double- when I awoke, O mercy! I did feel like a refined in octavo foolscap or pick pocket very wretch. I got up and immediately quartos, blind slavish egotism in small wrote and sent off by a porter, a letter, I pica, manly discriminating self-respect in dare affirm an affecting and eloquent letter double primer, modest as maiden's blushes to him, and since then have been working between boards, or in calf-skin, and only for him, for I was heart-smitten with the not obscene in naked sheets. And then in recollection that I had said all, all in the a deep and somewhat sarcastic tone, tried presence of his wife. But if I had known to teach him to speak more reverentially all I now know, I will not say that I should of his betters, by stating what and who not have apologised, but most certainly I they were, by whom honoured, by whom should not have made such an apology, depreciated. Well! this gust died away. for he confessed to Lamb that he should I was going home to look over his Duncity; not have persisted in irritating me, but he begged me to stay till his return in half that Mrs. Godwin had twitted him for an hour. I, meaning to take nothing more his prostration before me, as if he was the whole evening, took a crust of bread, afraid to say his life was his own in my and Mary Lamb made me a glass of presence. He admitted, too, that alpunch of most deceitful strength. In- though he never to the very last suspected stead of half an hour, Godwin stayed an that I was tipsy, yet he saw clearly that hour and a half. In came his wife, Mrs. something unusual ailed me, and that I Fenwick, and four young ladies, and just had not been my natural self the whole as Godwin returned, supper came in, and evening. What a poor creature! To it was now useless to go (at supper I was attack a man who had been so kind to him rather a mirth-maker than merry). I was at the instigation of such a woman! And disgusted at heart with the grossness and what a woman to instigate him to quarrel vulgar insanocecity of this dim-headed with me, who with as much power as any, prig of a philosophocide, when, after sup- and more than most of his acquaintances, per, his ill stars impelled him to renew the had been perhaps the only one who had contest. I begged him not to goad me, never made a butt of him who had for that I feared my feelings would not uniformly spoken respectfully to him. long remain in my power. He (to my But it is past! And I trust will teach me wonder and indignation) persisted (I had wisdom in future. not deciphered the cause), and then, as he I have undoubtedly suffered a great well said, I did "thunder and lighten at deal from a cowardice in not daring to him” with a vengeance for more than an repel unassimilating acquaintances who hour and a half. Every effort of self- press forward upon my friendship; but I defence only made him more ridiculous. dare aver, that if the circumstances of If I had been Truth in person, I could not each particular case were examined, they have spoken more accurately; but it was would prove on the whole honourable to truth in a war-chariot, drawn by the three me rather than otherwise. But I have Furies, and the reins had slipped out of had enough and done enough. Hereafter

а.

go on

I shall show a different face, and calmly unform those who press upon me that my health, spirits, and occupation alike make it necessary for me to confine myself to the society of those with whom I have the nearest and highest connection. So help me God! I will hereafter be quite sure that I do really and in the whole of my heart esteem and like a man before I permit him to call me friend. I am very anxious that

you

should with your Madoc. If the thought had happened to suggest itself to you originally and with all these modifications and polypus tendrils with which it would have caught hold of your subject, I am afraid that you would not have made the first voyage as interesting at least as it ought to be, so as to preserve entire the fit proportion of interest. But go on!

I shall call on Longman as soon as I receive an answer from him to a note which I sent. ... God bless you and

S. T. COLERIDGE.

hours of the night; the impossibility of being dull in Fleet Street; the crowds, the very dirt and mud, the sun shining upon houses and pavements, the printshops, the old book-stalls, parsons cheapening books, coffee-houses, steams of soups from kitchens, the pantomimes — London itself a pantomime and a masquerade — all these things work themselves into my mind, and feed me, without a power of satiating me. The wonder of these sights impels me into night-walks about her crowded streets, and I often shed tears in the motley Strand from fulness of joy at so much life. All these emotions must be strange to you; so are your rural emotions to me.

But consider, what must I have been doing all my life, not to have lent great portions of my heart with usury to such scenes?

My attachments are all local, purely local. I have no passion (or have had none since I was in love, and then it was the spurious engendering of poetry and books,) for groves and valleys. The rooms where I was born, the furniture which has been before my eyes all my life, a bookcase which has followed me about like a faithful dog, (only exceeding him in knowledge,) wherever I have moved, old chairs, old tables, streets, squares, where I have sunned myself, my old school, these are my mistresses. Have I not enough, without your mountains? I do not envy you. I should pity you, did I not know that the mind will make friends of any thing. Your sun, and moon, and skies, and hills, and lakes, affect me no more, or scarcely come to me in more venerable characters, than as a gilded room with tapestry and tapers, where I might live with handsome visible objects. I consider the clouds above me but as a roof beautifully painted, but unable to satisfy the mind : and at last, like the pictures of the apartment of a connoisseur, unable to afford him any longer a pleasure. So fading upon me, from disuse, have been the beauties of Nature, as they have been confinedly called; so ever fresh, and green, and warm are all the inventions of men, and assemblies of men in this

CHARLES LAMB

To WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Jan. 30th, 1801. Dear Wordsworth,

I ought before this to have replied to your very kind invitation into Cumberland. With you and your sister I could gang anywhere; but I am afraid whether I shall ever be able to afford so desperate a journey. Separate from the pleasure of your company, I don't much care if I never see a mountain in my life. I have passed all my days in London, until I have formed as many and intense local attachments as any of you mountaineers can have done with dead Nature. The lighted

. shops of the Strand and Fleet Street; the innumerable trades, tradesmen, and customers, coaches, waggons, playhouses; all the bustle and wickedness round about Covent Garden; the very women of the Town; the watchman, drunken scenes, rattles; life awake, if you awake, at all

a

great city. I should certainly have pig-nose-snakes, American vipers, and laughed with dear Joanna.

this monster. He lies curled up in folds. Give my kindest love, and my sister's, Immediately a stranger entered (for he is to D. and yourself; and a kiss from me to used to the family, and sees them play at little Barbara Lewthwaite. Thank you cards,) he set up a rattle like a watchfor liking my play.

man's in London, or near as loud, and C. L. reared up a head, from the midst of these

folds, like a toad, and shook his head, and TO THOMAS MANNING

showed every sign a snake can show of

irritation. I had the foolish curiosity to Oct. 16th, 1800.

strike the wires with my finger, and the Dear Manning,

devil flew at me with his toad-mouth wide Had you written one week before you open; the inside of his mouth is quite did, I certainly should have obeyed your white. I had got my finger away, nor injunction; you should have seen me could he well have bit me with his big before my letter. I will explain to you my mouth, which would have been certain situation. There are six of us in one death in five minutes. But it frightened department. Two of us (within these me so much, that I did not recover my four days) are confined with severe fevers; voice for a minute's space. I forgot, in and two more, who belong to the Tower my fear, that he was secured. You would Militia, expect to have marching orders on have forgot too, for 'tis incredible how Friday. Now six are absolutely necessary. such a monster can be confined in small I have already asked and obtained two gauzy-looking wires. I dreamed of snakes young hands to supply the loss of the in the night. I wish to heaven you could severites, and, with the other prospect see it. He absolutely swelled with passion before me, you may believe I cannot de- to the bigness of a large thigh. I could cently ask leave of absence for myself. not retreat without infringing on another All I can promise (and I do promise, with box; and just behind, a little devil not the sincerity of St. Peter, and the con- an inch from my back had got his nose trition of Sinner Peter if I fail) that I will out, with some difficulty and pain, quite come the very first spare week, and go no- through the bars! He was soon taught where till I have been to Cambridge. No better manners.

All the snakes were matter if you are in a state of pupilage curious, and objects of terror: but this when I come; for I can employ myself in monster, like Aaron's serpent, swallowed Cambridge very pleasantly in the morn- up the impression of the rest.

He opened ings. Are there not libraries, halls, col- his cursed mouth, when he made at me, as leges, books, pictures, statues? I wish wide as his head was broad. I hallooed you had made London in your way. out quite loud, and felt pains all over my There is an exhibition quite uncommon in body with the fright. Europe, which could not have escaped I have had the felicity of hearing George your genius, –a live rattlesnake, ten Dyer read out one book of the Farmer's feet in length, and the thickness of a big Boy. I thought it rather childish. No leg. I went to see it last night by candle doubt, there is originality in it (which, in light. We were ushered into a room very yourself-taught geniuses, is a most rare little bigger than ours at Pentonville. A quality, they generally getting hold of man and woman and four boys live in some bad models, in a scarcity of books, this room, joint tenants with nine snakes, and forming their taste on them), but no most of them such as no remedy has been selection. All is described. discovered for their bite. We walked into Mind, I have only heard read one book. the middle, which is formed by a half

Yours sincerely, moon of wired boxes, all mansions of

Philo-Snake, snakes whip-snakes, thunder-snakes,

C. L.

a

To THOMAS MANNING

gone to bed, as it seemed, for the night, 24th Sept., 1802, LONDON.

but promising that ye were to be seen in

the morning. Coleridge had got a blazing My dear Manning,

fire in his study; which is a large, antique, Since the date of my last letter I have ill-shaped room, with an old-fashioned been a traveller. A strong desire seized organ, never played upon, big enough for me of visiting remote regions. My first a church, shelves of scattered folios, an impulse was to go and see Paris. It was a Æolian harp, and an old sofa, half bed, &c. trivial objection to my aspiring mind, that And all looking out upon the last fading I did not understand a word of the lan- view of Skiddaw, and his broad-breasted guage, since I certainly intend sometime in brethren : what a night! Here we stayed my life to see Paris, and equally certainly three full weeks, in which time I visited intend never to learn the language; there- Wordsworth's cottage, where we stayed a fore that could be no objection. However, day or two with the Clarksons, (good

,

, I am very glad I did not go, because you people, and most hospitable, at whose house had left Paris (I see) before I could have we tarried one day and night,) and saw set out. I believe Stoddart promising to Lloyd. The Wordsworths were gone to go with me another year, prevented that Calais. They have since been in London, plan. My next scheme (for to my restless, and past much time with us: he is now ambitious mind London was become a gone into Yorkshire to be married. So bed of thorns) was to visit the far-famed we have seen Keswick, Grasmere, Amblepeak in Derbyshire, where the Devil sits, side, Ulswater, (where the Clarksons live,) they say, without breeches. This my and a place at the other end of Ulswater; purer mind rejected as indelicate. And I forget the name: to which we travelled my final resolve was, a tour to the Lakes. on a very sultry day, over the middle of I set out with Mary to Keswick, without Helvellyn. We have clambered up to giving Coleridge any notice, for my time, the top of Skiddaw, and I have waded up being precious, did not admit of it. He the bed of Lodore. In fine, I have satisfied received us with all the hospitality in the myself that there is such a thing as that world, and gave up his time to show us which tourists call romantic, which I very all the wonders of the country. He dwells much suspected before: they make such upon a small hill by the side of Keswick, a spluttering about it, and toss their in a comfortable house, quite enveloped splendid epithets around them, till they on all sides by a net of mountains: great give as dim a light as at four o'clock next floundering bears and monsters they morning the lamps do after an illuminaseemed, all couchant and asleep. We got tion. Mary was excessively tired when in in the evening, travelling in a post- she got about half-way up Skiddaw, but chaise from Penrith, in the midst of a we came to a cold rill (than which nothing gorgeous sunshine, which transmuted all can be imagined more cold, running over the mountains into colours, purple, &c., cold stones,) and with the reinforcement of &c. We thought we had got into fairy- a draught of cold water she surmounted it land. But that went off (as it never came most manfully. Oh, its fine black head, again; while we stayed we had no more and the bleak air atop of it, with a prosfine sunsets;) and we entered Coleridge's pect of mountains all about and about, comfortable study just in the dusk, when making you giddy; and then Scotland the mountains were all dark with clouds afar off, and the border countries so famous upon their heads. Such an impression I in song and ballad! It was a day that never received from objects of sight before, will stand out, like a mountain, I am sure,

I nor do I suppose I can ever again. Glori- in my life. But I am returned, (I have ous creatures, fine old fellows, Skiddaw, now been come home near three weeks; &c., I never shall forget ye, how ye lay I was a month out,) and you cannot conabout that night, like an intrenchment; ceive the degradation I felt at first, from

man.

being accustomed to wander free as air friend of the Professor. Holcroft is not among mountains, and bathe in rivers

yet come to town. I expect to see him, without being controlled by anyone, to

and will deliver your message. Things come home and work. I felt very little. come crowding in to say, and no room for I had been dreaming I was a very great 'em. Some things are too little to be told,

But that is going off, and I find I i.e., to have a preference; some are too shall conform in time to that state of life big and circumstantial. Thanks for yours, to which it has pleased God to call me. which was most delicious. Would I had Besides, after all, Fleet Street and the been with you, benighted, &c.! I fear my Strand are better places to live in for good head is turned with wandering. I shall and all then amidst Skiddaw. Still, I turn never be the same acquiescent being. back to those great places where I wan- Farewell. Write again quickly, for I dered about, participating in their great shall not like to hazard a letter, not knowness. After all, I could not live in Skiddaw. ing where the fates have carried you. I could spend a year, two, three years Farewell, my dear fellow. among them, but I must have a prospect

C. LAMB. of seeing Fleet Street at the end of that

TO THOMAS MANNING time, or I should mope and pine away, I know. Still, Skiddaw is a fine creature.

Dec. 25th, 1815. My habits are changing, I think, i.e.,

Dear old friend and absentee, from drunk to sober. Whether I shall be This is Christmas Day 1815 with us; happy or not remains to be proved. I what it may be with you I don't know, shall certainly be more happy in a morn- the 12th of June next year perhaps; and ing; but whether I shall not sacrifice the if it should be the consecrated season with fat, and the marrow, and the kidneys, i.e., you, I don't see how you can keep it. the night, glorious care-drowning night, You have no turkeys; you would not that heals all our wrongs, pours wine into desecrate the festival by offering up a withour mortifications, changes the scene from ered Chinese Bantam, instead of the indifferent and flat to bright and brilliant ! savoury grand Norfolcian holocaust, that O Manning, if I should have formed a dia- smokes all around my nostrils at this bolical resolution, by the time you come to moment from a thousand firesides. Then England, of not admitting any spiritous what puddings have you? Where will you liquors into my house, will you be my guest

my guest get holly to stick in your churches, or on such shameworthy terms? Is life, with churches to stick your dried tea-leaves such limitations, worth trying? The (that must be the substitute) in? What truth is, that my liquors bring a nest of memorials you can have of the holy time, I friendly harpies about my house, who con- see not. A chopped missionary or two sume me. This is a pitful tale to be read may keep up the thin idea of Lent and the at St. Gothard, but it is just now nearest wilderness; but what standing evidence my heart. Fenwick is a ruined man. He have you of the Nativity? 'Tis our is hiding himself from his creditors, and rosy-cheeked, home-stalled divines, whose has sent his wife and children into faces shine to the tune of “Unto us a child the country. Fell, my other drunken is born," faces fragrant with the mincecompanion, (that has been: nam hic pies of half a century, that alone can cæstus artemque repono,) is turned editor authenticate the cheerful mystery. I feel of a Naval Chronicle. Godwin continues my bowels refreshed with the holy tide; a steady friend, though the same facility my zeal is great against the unedified does not remain of visiting him often. heathen. Down with the Pagodas That has detached Marshall from down with the idols — Ching-chong-fohis house ; Marshall, the man who went to and his foolish priesthood! Come out of sleep when the Ancient Mariner was Babylon, O my friend! for her time is reading; the old, steady, unalterable come; and the child that is native, and

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