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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, [17 September 1823]

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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Produced by CATH
[p.m. September 17, 1823.]

DEAR Sir—I have again been reading your stanzas on Bloomfield, which are the most appropriate that can be imagined, sweet with Doric delicacy. I like that
Our more chaste Theocritus
just hinting at the fault of the Grecian. I love that stanza ending with
Words phrases fashions pass away;
But Truth and nature live through all.
But I shall omit in my own copy the one stanza which alludes to
Lord B.—I suppose. It spoils the sweetness and oneness of the feeling. Cannot we think of Burns, or Thompson, without sullying the thought with a reflection out of place upon Lord Rochester? These verses might have been inscribed upon a tomb; are in fact an epitaph; satire does not look pretty upon a tombstone. Besides, there is a quotation in it, always bad in verse; seldom advisable in prose.

I doubt if their having been in a Paper will not prevent T. and H. from insertion, but I shall have a thing to send in a day or two, and shall try them. Omitting that stanza, a very little alteration is wantg in the beginng of the next. You see, I use freedom. How happily (I flatter not!) you have brot in his subjects; and, (I suppose) his favorite measure, though I am not acquainted with any of his writings but the Farmer’s Boy. He dined with me once, and his manners took me exceedingly.

I rejoyce that you forgive my long silence. I continue to estimate my own-roof comforts highly. How could I remain all my life a lodger! My garden thrives (I am told) tho’ I have yet reaped nothing but some tiny sallad, and withered carrots. But a garden’s a garden anywhere, and twice a garden in London.

Somehow I cannot relish that word Horkey. Cannot you supply it by circumlocution, and direct the reader by a note to explain that it means the Horkey. But Horkey choaks me in the Text.

It raises crowds of mean associations, Hawking and sp——g, Gauky, Stalky, Maukin. The sound is every thing, in such dulcet modulations ’specially. I like
Gilbert Meldrum’s sterner tones,
without knowing who Gilbert Meldrum is. You have slipt in your rhymes as if they grew there, so natural-artificially, or artificial-naturally. There’s a vile phrase.

Do you go on with your Quaker Sonnets—[to] have ’em ready with Southey’s Book of the Church? I meditate a letter to S. in the London, which perhaps will meet the fate of the Sonnet.

Excuse my brevity, for I write painfully at office, liable to 100 callings off. And I can never sit down to an epistle elsewhere. I read or walk. If you return this letter to the Post Office, I think they will return 4d, seeing it is but half a one. Believe me tho’ entirely yours

C. L.