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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Mary Lamb to Dorothy Wordsworth [9 July 1803]

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
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[Dated at end: July 9. p.m. July 11, 1803.]

MY dear Miss Wordsworth—We rejoice with exceeding great joy to hear the delightful tidings you were so very kind to remember to send us—I hope your dear sister is perfectly well,
and makes an excellent nurse. Are you not now the happiest family in the world?

I have been in better health and spirits this week past than since my last illness—I continued so long so very weak & dejected I began to fear I should never be at all comfortable again. I strive against low spirits all I can, but it is a very hard thing to get the better of.

I am very uneasy about poor Coleridge, his last letters are very melancholy ones. Remember me affectionately to him and Sara. I hope you often see him.

Southey is in town. He seems as proud of his little girl as I suppose your brother is of his boy; he says his home is now quite a different place to what it used to be. I was glad to hear him say this—it used to look rather chearless.

We went last week with Southey and Rickman and his sister to Sadlers Wells, the lowest and most London-like of all our London amusements—the entertainments were Goody Two Shoes, Jack the Giant Killer, and Mary of Buttermere! Poor Mary was very happily married at the end of the piece, to a sailor her former sweetheart. We had a prodigious fine view of her father’s house in the vale of Buttermere—mountains very like large haycocks, and a lake like nothing at all. If you had been with us, would you have laughed the whole time like Charles and Miss Rickman or gone to sleep as Southey and Rickman did?

Stoddart is in expectation of going soon to Malta as Judge Advocate; it is likely to be a profitable situation, fifteen hundred a year or more. If he goes he takes with him his sister, and, as I hear from her as a very great secret, a wife; you must not mention this because if he stays in England he may not be rich enough to marry for some years. I do not know why I should trouble you with a secret which it seems I am unable to keep myself and which is of no importance to you to hear; if he succeeds in this appointment he will be in a great bustle, for he must set out to Malta in a month. In the mean time he must go to Scotland to marry and fetch his wife, and it is a match against her parents’ consent, and they as yet know nothing of the Malta expedition; so that he expects many difficulties, but the young lady and he are determined to conquer them. He then must go to Salisbury to take leave of his father and mother, who I pity very much, for they are old people and therefore are not very likely ever to see their children again.

Charles is very well and very good—I mean very sober, but he is very good in every sense of the word, for he has been very kind and patient with me and I have been a sad trouble to him lately. He has shut out all his friends because he thought company hurt
me, and done every thing in his power to comfort and amuse me. We are to go out of town soon for a few weeks, when I hope I shall get quite stout and lively.

You saw Fenwick when you was with us—perhaps you remember his wife and children were with his brother, a tradesman at Penzance. He (the brother), who was supposed to be in a great way of business, has become a bankrupt; they are now at Penzance without a home and without money; and poor Fenwick, who has been Editor of a country newspaper lately, is likely soon to be quite out of employ; I am distressed for them, for I have a great affection for Mrs. Fenwick.

How pleasant your little house and orchard must be now. I almost wish I had never seen it. I am always wishing to be with you. I could sit upon that little bench in idleness day long. When you have a leisure hour, a letter from [you], kind friend, will give me the greatest pleasure.

We have money of yours and I want you to send me some commission to lay it out. Are you not in want of anything? I believe when we go out of town it will be to Margate—I love the seaside and expect much benefit from it, but your mountain scenery has spoiled us. We shall find the flat country of the Isle of Thanet very dull.

Charles joins me in love to your brother and sister and the little John. I nope you are building more rooms. Charles said I was so long answering your letter Mrs. Wordsworth would have another little one before you received it. Our love and compliments to our kind Molly, I hope she grows younger and happier every day. When, and where, shall I ever see you again? Not I fear for a very long time, you are too happy ever to wish to come to London. When you write tell me how poor Mrs. Clarkson does.

God bless you and yours.

I am your affectionate friend,
M. Lamb.
July 9th.