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side; for, if you have at any time received from me any pleasure, how much more do I owe to you." Led thus to America, the poet claims citizenship in the Great Republic: "That land of yours I shall never see, for though I am still, I hope, sound at heart, I am now climbing with my staff my seventy-sixth year, and my path grows steeper and steeper. But how often in thought have I trodden the ground you are now treading, and it gives me something of a claim to the rights of citizenship, if an old affection can establish such a claim; for I can well remember the Battle of Bunker's Hill, and the joy in my father's house as the good cause prevailed more and more." This for the "Broadway" of New York. Here is something just now to be welcomed by the "Broadway" of England, the heart of which, and we may add the heart of America, inspired by the recent revelations of the QUEEN's domestic life, is all alive to the recollections of her early married days. Rogers cast the horoscope of that wedding. He thus writes about it to his eminent American friend: "Since you went we have celebrated a marriage with some splendour, and it promises well. The young gentleman is good looking, and, what is still better, he looks good, and wherever he goes he wins golden opinions. Of his studies and amusements I know little, only that he is well versed in the science of music, and plays at four-handed chess. Poor fellow, he has a difficult course to steer; for, if he acquires any influence, he will be said to meddle, and, if none, he will be despised. The young lady, his bride, has entertained you as her guest, and I need not describe her. They are much seen, and always together. Their history, if they live, will fill many a page, and may every page be a bright one!" How simply and tenderly is all this written, with a certain homely plainness, but really the perfection of art in the words of a master of language, enhancing the essential grandeur of the position.
From the bard of "Memory" we turn, by no violent transition, to the author of "The Pleasures of Hope." We find him in the graceful and, we may add, characteristic attitude of inditing a note of invitation to his ready acquaintance Balmanno, dated 10, Seymour Street, West, June, 1829, proposing the formation of a social club of men of letters and artists. "A Literary Society," he writes, “is at present in the act of being formed, to which it would give many beside myself great pleasure that you belonged. The object is to have a club with a house of meeting in a central part of London. I trust
it will not be far from Charing Cross, by which the real sociality of literary men and artists, and the lovers of the arts and literature, may be better promoted than by any of those showy but ill-constructed institutions which at present affect to promote refined intercourse under the name of Clubs. We are not to encumber ourselves with aristocratic finery and pretensions. The terms are to be only two pounds a year, but our members are to be all unexceptionably respectable. Martin, Pickersgill, and other men of real value, have promised to join us. With no rules to constrain attendance, we shall have a constant opportunity of conversational intercourse as often as we choose to meet. Will you allow me to propose your name, or, what would be a still greater favour, will you come to our next meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern on Saturday next, at half-past eight p.m. ?" Our Virtuoso, verily, was not the man to resist such a call from such a Scotchman. A pencil note in his handwriting, added to the invitation, informs us of the result. "I attended two or three royal jollifications, and sang some songs, 'The flat fish,' 'Laird o' Cockpen,' etc. Campbell generally fell asleep about one in the morning, and soon ended the meetings."
No very choice autograph collection of modern English worthies can be said to be complete which has not a note or "notelet," as he phrased it, of Charles Lamb. You always get something in a bit of the manuscript of "Elia," however slight the occasion. Lamb was a slow writer, as most wits must be, so much depending upon finesse and choice of expression-brief and reluctant. So much the better, doubtless, for his reputation; for he left no diffuse, loose compositions, to hang their dead weight upon his fame. Then his zest, his convulsive grasp at life, his humour, his imagination, gave vitality to little things. His very acceptances of an invitation are quite out of the way of the time-honoured commonplaces for such occasions. They have a flavour of the coming feast. This, for instance, to a lady who evidently had summoned him to a pic-nic, or something of the kind : "Madona, we agree to your proposal, with this difference, that the viands shall be entirely of your providing-let me suggest that the wine shall be orange, and the pye (sic) well seasoned, and that the coach shall be our affair." That is a trifle. Here, however, is something which deeply reflects Lamb's spirituality, his clinging to life with the clutch of a drowning man, his distrust of any movement to unsettle the routine of mundane existence. The reader is familiar with the sentiment in the "Essays of Elia." It is here expressed in
the undress form of a letter to Thomas Hood, written in September, 1827, on occasion of the flitting and removal of the household gods to Enfield. "These deities," says Lamb, in one of the finest of his papers, "New Year's Eve," in his weird mood, "plant a terrible fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood. They do not willingly seek Lavinian shores. A new state of being staggers me." The following, penned some seven years after, is an echo, or rather the complement of that sentiment: "We have finally torn ourselves out right away from Colebrook, where I had no health, and are about to domiciliate for good at Enfield, where I have experienced good.
'Lord, what good hours do we keep ;
See the rest in the 'Complete Angler.' We have got our books into our new house. I am a dray-horse if I was not ashamed of the undigested dirty lumber, as I toppled 'em out of the cart, and blest Becky that came with 'em for her having an unstuffed brain with such rubbish. We shall get in by Michael's Mass. 'Twas with some pain we were evuls'd from Colebrook. You may find some of our flesh sticking to the door-posts. To change habitations is to die to them, and in my time I have died seven deaths. But I don't know whether every such change does not bring with it a rejuvenescence. 'Tis an enterprise, and shoves back the sense of death's approximating, which, though not terrible to me, is at all times particularly distasteful. My housedeaths have generally been periodical, recurring after seven years, but this last is premature by half that time. Cut off in the flower of Colebrook. The Middletonian stream and all its echoes mourn. Even minnows dwindle. A parvis fiunt minimi.”
There is nothing better than this in Elia; and the sequel is as good in which Lamb balances his ruralities with his old delights of the metropolis. "It is not our intention to abandon Regent Street and West End perambulations (monastic and terrible thought!) but occasionally to breathe the fresher air of the metropolis. We shall put up a bed-room or two (all we want) for occasional ex-rustication, where we shall visit, not be visited. Plays too will see, perhaps-our own. Urbani Sylvani and Sylvan Urbanuses in turns. Courtiers for a spurt, then philosophers. Old homely tell-truths and learn-truths in the virtuous shades of Enfield. Liars again and mocking jibers in the coffee-houses and resorts of London. What can a mortal desire more
for his biparted nature?
"O the curds and cream you shall eat with us here!
O the turtle soup and lobster sallads we shall devour with you there!
O the new nonsense we shall trifle over there!
O Sir T. Browne! - here
O Mr. Hood and Mr. Jerdan there.
Thine C (urbanus) L (sylvanus) (Elia ambo)."*
Our Virtuoso who obtained this letter from Hood was fortunate in his acquaintance with the young author of "Whims and Oddities." The friendship between the two evidently was cordial. Hood, a year or two after his marriage, paid a visit for his health to Brighton, and, being always fond of the sea, the atmosphere of the place revived his spirits, and called forth all his geniality. His word-pictures, in his letters to Balmanno, shot through and through with his jests and quibbles, his inveterate punning, are really charming. B. had given him a letter to Horace Smith, who then resided at Brighton. He had a cordial reception. "I hope," says Hood, "he and I are to be quite thick ere I leave-if such a stick as I may be thick with anyone." Referring to Crofton Croker's trial of the locality for some rheumatic ailment, he says, "The real thing is Brighton. C. C. didn't give it a fair trial. He was only sham shampooed and dived not into the bath, but the bathos. *** No man who pretends to such an affliction [alluding to Croker's authorship] should lay claim to Fairy Leg Ends." Describing the scene from his window he says, "I hear the waves constantly, like woodpeckers, 'tapping the hollow beach.' Jane says there is something solemn and religious in its music, and, to be sure, the sea is the Psalter element. * * * We have violently desired to see a storm and a wreck-a pleasure admirably described by Lucretius:
"Tis sweet to stand by good dry land surrounded,
This, for an invalid, and in consideration of the love which the world owes Hood for what was in him then, and for what he accomplished after, is most enjoyable nonsense. There is plenty more of it in these letters, for the humour of the man was inexhaustible; but perhaps as curious a specimen as any in his writings, is his punning letter to Sir
*The letter from which these paragraphs are taken, was published some years ago in Mr. Balmanno's expensive volume, "Pen and Pencil," now quite out of print. We are not aware that it has reached any of the English editors of Lamb. It is a valuable addition to Talfourd's work.
Thomas Lawrence at this time; seeking the influence of the court painter to open for him the doors-that he might get a sight of the interior-of George the Fourth's Pavilion. Never, we will venture to say, was Lawrence addressed before or after in this fashion. He informs him in this precious epistle that he has "undertaken to scribble some notes on the margin of the sea," and tells him, punning atrociously all the way along, that it is "high water, or more properly high waiter, for the tide serves at the bar; and there is a great influx of the weeds that grow in the Gardens of the Gul,' i.e., Sea Gull. Far off a lonely vessel is tumbling about-and observe there the goodness of Providence, that the rougher the storm, the better the boat is pitched-while here and there in the foreground, may be seen what Molière with his French inversion would call a Tar-tough." No wonder he concludes by asking the great artist to "frame some excuse for his freedom.”
Passing over various celebrities of more or less interest, we are arrested by a couple of letters of the novelist Thackeray, addressed to a friend in America, and are at once struck by their genuineness as expressive of the real nature of the man. It was so in his conversation with the acquaintances he made in New York. All who fell in with him were impressed by the frankness of his discourse. He spoke as he thought of others, and here he writes without reserve of himself, his health, his fortune, his disappointments, and his expectations. If his correspondence generally was marked by the same easy, gossiping, innocent egotism, it will greatly facilitate the labours of his biographer. Accustomed, during a considerable portion of his life, to comparative frugality of living, dependent upon the earnings of his magazine articles, usually, indeed, well paid for, but falling far short of the splendid returns in later life of his novels and lectures, it is pleasant to note his disposition unspoilt by the influx of wealth. He appears to have cared for money chiefly to spend it in a generous, hospitable life. When one of his books was lagging a little in circulation, he waived a part of the remuneration to which he was entitled from his publisher. "I like everybody who deals with me," he writes in one of these letters, "to make money by me;" and again he tells how he refused a friend's offer in England to read one of his lectures for fifty pounds, while he volunteered to go down into the country, and do the same thing in an adjoining town for nothing. I am sick of letting myself out for hire." made some enemies by his candid or severe which drew upon him the famous môt of Aytoun. "Ever since the
"Why," says he, "because Everybody knows that he portrayal of the Georges,