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Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Mary Lamb to Sarah Stoddart [Hazlitt] [November 1805]

Chap. I 1778-1811
Ch. II: 1791-95
Ch. III 1795-98
Ch. IV 1798
Ch. V 1798
Ch. VI 1792-1803
Ch. VII 1803-05
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Ch. IX
Ch. X 1807
Ch. XI 1808
Ch. XII 1808
Ch. XII 1812
Ch. XIV 1814-15
Ch. XV 1814-17
Ch. XVI 1818
Ch. XVII 1820
Ch. XX 1821
Ch. I 1821
Ch. II 1821-22
Ch. III 1821-22
Ch. IV 1822
Ch. V 1822
Ch. VI 1822
Ch. VII 1822-23
Ch. VIII 1822
Ch. IX 1823
Ch. X 1824
Ch. XI 1825
Ch. XII 1825
Ch. XIII 1825
Ch. XIV 1825
Ch. XV 1825
Ch. XVI 1825-27
Ch. XVII 1826-28
Ch. XVIII 1829-30
Ch. XX
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“My dear Sarah,

“Certainly you are the best letter-writer (besides writing the best hand) in the world. I have just been reading over again your two long letters, and I perceive they make me very envious.

“All I can gather from your clear, and I have no doubt faithful history of Maltese politics, is that the good Doctor, though a firm friend, an excellent fancier of brooches, a good husband, an upright advocate, and in short all that they say upon tombstones—for I do not recollect that they celebrate any fraternal virtues there—yet is he but a moody brother. That your sister-inlaw is pretty much like what all sisters-in-law have been since the first happy invention of the happy marriage state . . . and that you, my dear Sarah, have proved yourself as unfit to flourish in a little proud garrison
town as I did shrewdly suspect you were before you went there.

“If I possibly can, I will prevail upon Charles to write to your brother by the conveyance you mention; but he is so unwell, I almost fear the fortnight will slip away before I can get him in the right vein. . . . .

“I rejoice to hear of your mother’s amendment: when you can leave her with any satisfaction to yourself, which, as her sister, I think I understand by your letters, is with her, I hope you may soon be able to do, let me know upon what plan you mean to come to town. Your brother proposed your being six months in town and six with your mother, but he did not then know of your poor mother’s illness. By his desire I inquired for a respectable family for you to board with, and from Captain Burney* I heard of one I thought would suit you at that time. He [Dr. S.] particularly desired I would not think of your being with us; not thinking, I conjecture, the house of a single man respectable enough. Your brother gave me most unlimited orders to domineer over you, to be the inspector of all your actions, and to direct and govern you with a stern voice and a high hand; to be, in short, a very elder brother over you. Does not the hearing of this, my meek pupil, make you long to come to London? . . . . . . But to speak seriously, I mean when we mean [meet] that we will lay our heads together, and consult and contrive the best way of making the best girl in the world the

* Captain, afterwards Admiral, James Burney, Southey’s Capitaneus. His name will recur often enough.

fine lady her brother wishes to see her; and believe me,
Sarah, it is not so difficult a matter as one is sometimes apt to imagine. . . . .

“Has the partridge season opened any communication between you and William? As I allow you to be imprudent till I see you, I shall expect to hear you have invited him to taste his own birds. Have you scratched him out of your will yet?

“I do long to see you. God bless and comfort you.

“Yours affectionately,
“M. Lamb.
“Miss Stoddart, Salisbury.”