LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 4 November 1802

Contents vol. VI
Letters: 1796
Letters: 1797
Letters: 1798
Letters: 1799
Letters: 1800
Letters: 1801
Letters: 1802
Letters: 1803
Letters: 1804
Letters: 1805
Letters: 1806
Letters: 1807
Letters: 1808
Letters: 1809
Letters: 1810
Letters: 1811
Letters: 1812
Letters: 1814
Letters: 1815
Letters: 1816
Letters: 1817
Letters: 1818
Letters: 1819
Letters: 1820
Letters: 1821
Contents vol. VII
Letters: 1821
Letters: 1822
Letters: 1823
Letters: 1824
Letters: 1825
Letters: 1826
Letters: 1827
Letters: 1828
Letters: 1829
Letters: 1830
Letters: 1831
Letters: 1832
Letters: 1833
Letters: 1834
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
List of Letters
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Nov. 4th, 1802.

OBSERVE, there comes to you, by the Kendal waggon tomorrow, the illustrious 5th of November, a box, containing the Miltons, the strange American Bible, with White’s brief note, to which you will attend; Baxter’sHoly Commonwealth,” for which you stand indebted to me 3s. 6d.; an odd volume of Montaigne, being of no use to me, I having the whole; certain books belonging to Wordsworth, as do also the strange thick-hoofed shoes, which are very much admired at in London. All these sundries I commend to your most strenuous looking after. If you find the Miltons in certain parts dirtied and soiled with a crumb of right Gloucester blacked in the candle (my usual supper), or peradventure a stray ash of tobacco wafted into the crevices, look to that passage more especially: depend upon it, it contains good matter. I have got your little Milton which, as it contains Salmasius—and I make a rule of never hearing but one side of the question (why should I distract myself?)—I shall return to you when I pick up the Latina opera. The first Defence is the greatest work among them, because it is uniformly great, and such as is befitting the very mouth of a great nation speaking for itself. But the second Defence, which is but a succession of splendid episodes slightly tied together, has one passage which if you have not read, I conjure you to lose no time, but read it; it is his consolations in his blindness, which had been made a reproach to him. It begins whimsically, with poetical flourishes about Tiresias and other blind worthies (which still are mainly interesting as displaying his singular mind, and in what degree poetry entered into his daily soul, not by fits and impulses, but engrained and innate); but the concluding page, i.e. of this passage (not of the Defensio) which you will easily find, divested of all brags and flourishes, gives so rational, so true an enumeration of his comforts, so human, that it cannot be read without the deepest interest. Take one touch of the religious part:—“Et sane haud ultima Dei cura cæci—(we blind folks, I understand it not nos for ego;)—sumus; qui nos, quominus quicquam aliud prater ipsum cernere valemus, eo clementius atque benignius respicere dignatur. Væ qui illudit nos, væ qui lædit, execratione publica devovendo; nos ab iniuriis hominum non modo incolumes, sed pene sacros divina lex reddidit, divinus favor: nec tam oculorum hebetudine quam cœlestium alarum umbrâ has nobis fecisse tenebras
videtur, factas illustrare rursus interiore ac longe præstabiliore lumine haud raro solet. Huc refero, quod et amici omciosius nunc etiam quam solebant, colunt, observant, adsunt; quod et nonnulli sunt, quibuscum Pyladeas atque Theseas alternare voces verorum amicorum liceat.
“Vade gubernaculum mei pedis.
Da manum ministro amico.
Da collo manum tuam, ductor autem viæ ero tibi ego.”
All this, and much more, is highly pleasing to know. But you may easily find it;—and I don’t know why I put down so many words about it, but for the pleasure of writing to you and the want of another topic.

Yours ever,

C. Lamb.

To-morrow I expect with anxiety S. T. C.’s letter to Mr. Fox.