selected essays of elia

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Selected essays of elia top masters term paper advice

Selected essays of elia

These essays evoke different reactions based on their topic and especially how Lamb frames the essay itself. I felt that I almost needed a warm up period for this book because it took a couple of pages before I accustomed myself to his language and style of writing. However, once I got going, I truly enjoyed his essays on saying grace before a meal, the two types of races: borrowers and lenders, and the nostalgia of the South Sea House. The essays need to be read slowly and deliberately, as I be These essays evoke different reactions based on their topic and especially how Lamb frames the essay itself.

The essays need to be read slowly and deliberately, as I believe that in this way, you can truly appreciate style and language of the author. Yet I then scarce conceived what it meant, or thought of it as a reckoning that concerned me. Not childhood alo "The elders, with whom I was brought up, were of a character not likely to let slip the sacred observance of any old institution; and the ring out of the Old Year was kept by them with circumstances of peculiar ceremony.

Not childhood alone, but the young man till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal. He knows it indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in a hot June we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December.

I begin to count the probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure of moments and shortest periods, like misers' farthings. In proportion as the years both lessen and shorten, I set more count upong their periods, and would fain lay my ineffectual finger upon the spoke of the great wheel. I am not content to pass away "like a weaver's shuttle. I care not to be carried with the tide, that smoothly bears human life to eternity; and reluct at the inevitable course of destiny.

I am in love with this green earth; the face of town and country; the unspeakable rural solitudes, and the sweet security of streets. I would set up my tabernacle here. I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived; I, and my friends: to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age; or drop, like mellow fruit, as as they say, in to the grave. My household gods 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. View 2 comments. Sometimes I get used to finding literary corners thoroughly well-colonised on goodreads and feel surprised when I find one that is less so, as with this. Anyway, I loved this. It's certainly journalism; the mode is primarily riffs on a superficial theme. Lamb might be a little too affected for some in the way he transitions from the ostensible subject to some other destination or in his conceits; a little too self-consciously quaint perhaps.

I didn't really know what to expect, and was a little Sometimes I get used to finding literary corners thoroughly well-colonised on goodreads and feel surprised when I find one that is less so, as with this. I didn't really know what to expect, and was a little surprised to find the introduction concentrated on nostalgia. But yes, nostalgia is the point here.

Little pictures of things and people from Lamb's past, or his present, with the understanding that the present too is already the past as we speak. Lamb regrets the passing of time. He doesn't want to die and he clings to his world. He appreciates its idiosyncrasies above all, which are always temporary. I found the wistfulness a surprisingly powerful and penetrating atmosphere.

Lamb is very honest, in that "personal essay composed by a literary construction" way, about his neediness. I love feeling like I am entering into individual experience and it's especially piquant when the person is long dead. It makes it seem more quintessentially past than our own perspective. The writing isn't musical; it's hard to make it sound complimentary, but it's like an extremely satisfying mechanical sound that sounds like everything being in exactly the right place.

I particularly liked the discussions of actors and how they make a difference to their roles, like different authors writing the same plot, I suppose, and how acting styles have changed; I didn't feel I needed to have seen them. Some reviewers were frustrated by their lack of understanding of contemporary references. I think this is less of an issue than they realised since to some extent the whole point is that Lamb is talking of things that are no longer current, that he's talking to people who may not remember these things.

It took me a while to enjoy Lamb, I confess. At first I was slowed down by the long sentences that seemed unwieldy at first sight, by the vague allusions to a distant past. But suddenly, I'm not quite sure how, he grabbed me. I realized that he was both charming and a genius. Here are a few of my favorite moments.

They don't pack the same punch when taken out of context because part of the delight is the way he uses the essay format to work up to his point , but they are still wonderful. On a su It took me a while to enjoy Lamb, I confess. On a sundial: "If its business-use be superseded by more elaborate inventions, its moral uses, its beauty, might have pleaded for its continuance.

It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect. May 04, J. Purves rated it it was amazing Shelves: own. This essay collection was stupid because Lamb keeps referring to all these people and events that happened in the s. Mar 16, Allyson rated it it was ok. Well, I wouldn't normally have picked this book up to read--it's just not the type that usually appeals to me. But I'm endeavoring to broaden my horizons and have challenged myself to read straight across our bookshelf instead of picking and choosing only what jumps out at me.

This book was next in line, so I faithfully read it all the way through, but I wasn't too impressed with it. Some parts were drily humorous--just enough to make me keep reading--but aside from being mildly entertaining, it Well, I wouldn't normally have picked this book up to read--it's just not the type that usually appeals to me. Some parts were drily humorous--just enough to make me keep reading--but aside from being mildly entertaining, it was pretty dry and at times boring.

Apr 25, Ellen rated it it was ok Recommends it for: no one. Shelves: just-couldn-t-make-it-through. I started out enjoying these essays, but as I continued I began to feel as though this writer wasn't a very compassionate or sympathetic person. Really got turned off and decided not to waste my time continuing to force myself myself to continue.

May 07, Tslyklu rated it it was ok. Funny that in depth descriptions of actors and criticisms about theatre hasn't changed in about two-hundred years. Some interesting phrases but very few even entire sentences that aren't kind of "are you done yet? Sep 30, Jennifer Kepesh rated it liked it.

To read Charles Lamb in Elia persona requires a willingness to buy into the persona wholeheartedly. Elia is intended to be a fusty old man with deliberately old-fashioned language usage, as Trollope sometimes did but to an even greater degree. At this remove, with all of his contemporaneous references and in-jokes needing a good deal of footnoting, this particular affectation of the character is something for the reader to tolerate rather than smile at. The copy of Essays of Elia that I was able To read Charles Lamb in Elia persona requires a willingness to buy into the persona wholeheartedly.

The copy of Essays of Elia that I was able to get is a reprint of only a few essays; I also have several of them in the Penguin series, all of which are about food beginning with the Dissertation on Roast Pig. An essay by Elia is like following a meandering path. What is particularly interesting to a reader of today is Lamb's ability to play at this character and his choice of topics, because Lamb had a particularly tragic life. His mother was murdered by his own sister Mary during a manic phase.

He was able to have her released to his custody eventually instead of having her consigned to a madhouse. For the rest of her life, he took care of her, but her malady returned more than once and was an awful thing for both of them to live with. But he didn't just give her a home; he gave her occupation as well, co-authoring the Stories from Shakespeare with her.

He could, obviously, not marry. His was a fairly wretched life, objectively, but he chose to be cheerful, to find an outlet in written wit and in reading. May 29, Jane Hoppe rated it it was ok. I loved Lamb's language but was not astute enough to find his meaning.

Of the essays I read, my favorite expression was Lamb's definition of a scrivener: "one that sucks his sustenance through a quill. One member of my book club did discern meanings from some of the essays, but I didn't. And our discussion of the Essays of Elia led us to Daumier's caricatures and Shelley's Ozymandias and so broadened our horizons.

To better comprehend the essays, I read with both dictionary and computer at my side. Were I to continue through all the Essays of Elia, I would undoubtedly be better educated in the understanding of his biblical, mythological, and historical references.

Alas, I will likely not invest the time. Apr 24, Sophie Muller rated it it was amazing. Gorgeous, thick language. Deep and lovely. I found myself studying this rather than reading it. To reach down a well bound volume and hope it is some kind hearted play then opening what seem it's leaves to come bolt upon a withering essay. How beautiful to a genuine lover of reading are the sullied leaves! Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.

Dec 04, Gable Roth rated it did not like it Shelves: didnt-finish , 1-fiction. I didn't finish reading this book. I couldn't really get into it. I have read other works of this era and I didn't struggle as much. I just found it kind of dry and hard to follow. Maybe I will try again someday but for now I will chalk it up to experience and now I have a general understanding of what this book is like. Mar 31, Jennifer rated it it was ok.

Jul 18, Chenlu rated it it was amazing. Genuine and elegant. Dec 07, Catie marked it as to-read. Recommended in Slightly Foxed No. Dec 21, Estep rated it it was amazing. Omg, one the best essay collections of all time. I read this and David lazar's essay on new year every January first. Dec 03, Abdul Qadeer rated it it was amazing. Autobiographical Essays of Lamb.

Feb 21, Jmaes Flaim rated it really liked it. May 01, Laura Anne rated it liked it Shelves: non-fic , classics , essays , history , publishing-years , , Essays tend to be a bit all over the place. My favorite essay was Witches, and Other Night Fears. Jul 09, Brandon rated it really liked it. This is the first of the classics genre I have ever read and I am highly impressed. Dec 05, Andre Piucci rated it liked it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one ». Readers also enjoyed.

Videos About This Book. More videos About Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb. The criticism has been made that he evaded serious things and ignored the deep issues of life. There is some colour of truth in the charge. But for a man of his temperament for he him- self once had a period of madness to have brooded on his experience, or to have drawn it out into literature, would have been his ruin.

Doubtless his safety and sanity lay in the farthest possible escape from the thought and anguish of it. And the escape was made, not merely toward eccentricity, nor does the charm of his works lie in that ; it was made more truly toward the kindliness, the tenderness, the delicate regard for the unfortunate, the loving sympathy, which pervade his writings. To Carlyle, the strenuous Puritan, he might seem almost an imbecile ; to Thackeray, who himself knew a similar sorrow, he was " Saint Charles.

Later they were gathered and published Introduction 19 in book form, the first series in , the second in As periodical articles they were a very popular feature of the Magazine. Only one edition of them in book form, however, appeared in the remaining twelve years of Lamb's life ; though the editions that have been published since his death are "practically uncount- able.

Visiting the place afterward in order to laugh with the original Elia over his unasked use of the name, Lamb found that the clerk had been dead eleven months ; " so," he says, " the name has fairly devolved to me, I think ; and 'tis all he has left me. Rather, as they are largely in the nature of reminiscence, they will be found to follow roughly the course of Lamb's life, from mem- ories of school, childhood, and youth, to his retiring from his position as clerk in the East India House ; so, first seeing him as a boy in Christ's Hospital, we leave him as he becomes a " Superannuated Man.

The blend of sanity, sweet reasonableness, tender fancy, high imagination, sym- pathetic understanding of human nature, and humour, now wistful, now frolicsome, with literary skill of un- surpassed delicacy, makes Elia unique. II, p. Lamb's " Works," published a year or two since, I find a magnificent eulogy on my old school, 1 such as it was, or now appears to him to have been, between the years and It happens, very oddly, that my own standing at Christ's was nearly corresponding with 5 his; and, with all gratitude to him for his enthusiasm for the cloisters, I think he has contrived to bring together whatever can be said in praise of them, dropping all the other side of the argument most ingeniously.

I remember L. His friends lived in town, and were near at hand; and he had the privilege of going to see them, almost as often as he wished, through some invidious distinction,. The pres- 15 ent worthy sub-treasurer to the Inner Temple can explain how that happened. He had his tea and hot rolls in a morning, while we were battening upon our quarter of a 1 Recollections of Christ's Hospital.

Our Monday's milk porridge, blue and tasteless, and the pease soup of Saturday, coarse 5 and choking, were enriched for him with a slice of "extraordinary bread and butter" from the hot-loaf of the Temple. The Wednesday's mess of millet, some- what less repugnant we had three banyan 2 to four meat days in the week was endeared to his palate with a lump 10 of double-refined, 3 and a smack of ginger to make it go down the more glibly or the fragrant cinnamon.

In lieu of our half-pickled Sundays, or quite fresh boiled beef on Thursdays strong as. I remember the good old relative in whom love forbade pride squatting down 1 This word, which the context defines, is local slang, still in use at the school. Name of a British navy regulation. A provincial English word. Christ's Hospital 23 upon some odd stone in a by-nook of the cloisters, dis- closing the viands of higher regale than those cates which the ravens ministered to the Tishbite ; and the contending passions of L.

There was love for the bringer, shame for the thing brought, and the 5 manner of its bringing ; sympathy for those who were too many to share in it ; and, at top of all, hunger eldest, strongest of the passions! I0 I was a poor friendless boy. My parents, and those who should care for me, were far away.

Those few ac- quaintances of theirs, which they could reckon upon being kind to me in the great city, after a little forced notice, which they had the grace to take of me on my J5 first arrival in town, soon grew tired of my holiday visits. They seemed to them to recur too often, though I thought them few enough ; and, one after another, they all failed me, and I felt myself alone among six hundred playmates.

O the cruelty of separating a poor lad from his early 20 homestead! The yearnings which I used to have towards it in those unfledged years! How, in my dreams, would my native town far in the west come back, with its church, and trees, and faces! How I would wake weep- ing, and in the anguish of my heart exclaim upon sweet 25 Calne in Wiltshire! To this late hour of my life, I trace impressions left by the recollection of those friendless holidays. The long warm days of summer never return but they bring with 24 Essays of Elia them a gloom from the haunting memory of those whole- day-leaves, when, by some strange arrangement, we were turned out, for.

I remember 5 those bathing-excursions to the New River, which L. How faint and languid, finally, we would return, towards nightfall, to our desired morsel, half-rejoicing, half- reluctant, that the hours of our uneasy 20 liberty had expired! It was worse in the days of winter, to go prowling about the streets objectless shivering at cold windows of print- shops, to extract a little amusement; or haply, as a last resort, in the hope of a little novelty, to pay a fifty-times 25 repeated visit where our individual faces should be as well known to the warden as those of his own charges to the Lions in the Tower to whose leve" e, by courtesy im- memorial, we had a prescriptive title to admission.

Christ's Hospital 25 L. Any complaint which he had to make was sure of being attended to. This was understood at Christ's, and was an effectual screen to him against the severity of 5 masters, or worse tyranny of the monitors. The oppres- sions of these young brutes are heart-sickening to call to recollection.

I have been called out of my bed, and waked for the purpose, in the coldest winter nights and this not once, but night after night in my shirt, to 10 receive the discipline of a leathern thong, with eleven other sufferers, because it pleased my callow overseer, when there has been any talking heard after we were gone to bed, to make the six last beds in the dormitory, where the youngest children of us slept, answerable for 15 an offence they neither dared to commit, nor had the power to hinder.

The same execrable tyranny drove the younger part of us from the fires, when our feet were per- ishing with snow ; and, under the crudest penalties, for- bade the indulgence of a drink of water, when we lay in 20 sleepless summer nights, fevered with the season, and the day's sports.

Kitts, some few years since? My friend Tobin 1 was the benevolent instrument of bringing him to the 5 gallows. This petty Nero actually branded a boy, who had offended him, with a red-hot iron ; and nearly starved forty of us, with exacting contributions, to the one half of our bread, to pamper a young ass, which, incredible as it may seem, with the connivance of the nurse's daughter 10 a young flame of his he had contrived to smuggle in, and keep upon the leads of the ward, as they called our dormitories.

This game went on for better than a week, till the foolish beast, not able to fare well but he must cry roast meat happier than Caligula's minion, could he have 15 kept his own counsel but, foolisher, alas! The client was dismissed, with certain attentions, to Smithfield ; but I never understood that the patron underwent any censure on the occasion.

This was in the stewardship of L. Christ's Hospital 27 one out of two of every hot joint, which the careful matron had been seeing scrupulously weighed out for our dinners? These things were daily practised in that magnificent apart- ment, which L. But these unctuous morsels are never grate- 15 ful to young palates children are universally fat-haters and in strong, coarse, boiled meats, unsalted, are detest- able.

A gag-eater in our time was equivalent to a gout, and held in equal detestation. He was observed, after dinner, carefully to gather up the remnants left at his table not many, nor very choice frag- ments, you may credit me and, in an especial manner, 25 these disreputable morsels, which he would convey away, 1 A slang word, still current.

None saw when he ate them. It was rumoured that he privately devoured them in the night. He was watched, but no traces of such midnight practices were discover- 5 able. Some reported, that, on leave-days, he had been seen to carry out of the bounds a large blue check hand- kerchief, full of something. This' then must be the ac- cursed thing.

Conjecture next was at work to imagine how he could dispose of it. Some said he sold it to the 10 beggars. This belief generally prevailed. He went about moping. None spake to him. No one would play with him. He was excommunicated ; put out of the pale of the school. He was too powerful a boy to be beaten, but he underwent every mode of that negative punishment which more grievous than many stripes. Still he persevered. At length he was observed by two of his school-fellows, who were determined to get at the secret, and had traced him one leave-day for that purpose, to enter a large worn- out building, such as there exist specimens of in- Chancery 20 Lane, which are let out to various scales of pauperism with open door, and a common staircase.

After him they silently slunk in, and followed by stealth up four flights, and saw him tap at a poor wicket, which was opened by an aged woman, meanly clad. Suspicion was now 25 ripened into certainty. The informers had secured their victim. They had him in their toils. Accusation was formally preferred and retribution most signal was looked for. Hathaway, the then steward for this happened a little after my time , with that patient sagacity which Christ's Hospital 29 tempered all his conduct, determined to investigate the matter before he proceeded to sentence.

The result was, that the supposed mendicants, the receivers or purchasers of the mysterious scraps, turned out to be the parents of , an honest couple come to decay, whom this sea- 5 sonable supply had, in all probability, saved from mendi- cancy ; and that this young stork, at the expense of his own good name, had all this while been only feeding the old birds! The governors on this occasion, much to their honour, voted a present relief to the family of , and 10 presented him with a silver medal.

I had left school then, but I well remember. He was a tall, shambling youth, 15 with a cast in his eye, not at all calculated to conciliate hos- tile prejudices. I have since seen him carrying a baker's basket. I think I heard he did not do quite so well by himself, as he had done by the old folks. I was a hypochondriac lad ; and the sight of a boy in 20 fetters, upon the day of my first putting on the blue clothes, was not exactly fitted to assuage the natural terrors of initia- tion.

I was of tender years, barely turned of seven ; and had only read of such things in books, or seen them but in dreams. I was told he had run away. This was the pun- 25 ishment for the first offence. As a novice I was soon after taken to see the dungeons. These were little, square, Bed- lam cells, where a boy could just lie at his length upon straw and a blanket a mattress, I think, was afterwards jo Essays of Elia substituted with a peep of light, let in askance, from a prison-orifice at top, barely enough to read by.

Here the poor boy was locked in by himself all day, without sight of any but the porter who brought him his bread and water 5 who might not speak to him; or of the beadle ; who came twice a week to call him out to receive his periodical chas- tisement, which was almost welcome, because it separated him for a brief interval from solitude : and here he was shut up by himself of nights, out of the reach of any sound, 10 to suffer whatever horrors the weak nerves, and supersti- tion incident to his time of life, might subject him to.

Wouldst thou like, Reader, to see what became of him in the next degree? The effect 1 One or two instances of lunacy, or attempted suicide, accord- ingly, at length convinced the governors of the impolicy of this part of the sentence, and the midnight torture to the spirits was dis- pensed with. This fancy of dungeons for children was a sprout of Howard's brain; for which saving the reverence due to Holy Paul methinks, I could willingly pit upon his statue.

The Spanish term for an execution of heretics under the Inquisition. The phrase taken from an ode by Collins. Christ's Hospital 31 of this divestiture was such as the ingenious devisers of it could have anticipated. With his pale and frighted fea- tures, it was as if some of those disfigurements in Dante had seized upon him. In this disguisement he was brought into the hall L? Old Bamber Gascoigne, and Peter 15 Aubert, I remember, were colleagues on one occasion, when the beadle turning rather pale, a glass of brandy was ordered to prepare him for the mysteries.

The scourging was, after the old Roman fashion, long and stately. The lictor accompanied the criminal quite round 2 o the hall. We were generally too faint with attending to the previous disgusting circumstances, to make accurate report with our eyes of the degree of corporal suffering inflicted. Report, of course, gave out the back knotty and livid.

After scourging, he was made over, in his 25 San Benitof to his friends, if he had any but commonly 1 I. Benedict," from the cut of the Benedictine robe. These solemn pageantries were not played off so often 5 as to spoil the general mirth of the community. We had plenty of exercise and recreation after school hours j and, for myself, I must confess, that I was never happier, than in them. The Upper and the Lower Grammar Schools were held in the same room ; and an imaginary line only 10 divided their bounds.

Their character was as different as that of the inhabitants on the two sides of the Pyre- nees. The Rev. James Boyer was the Upper Master ; but the Rev. Matthew Field presided over that portion of the apartment, of which I had the good fortune to be a mem- 15 ber. We lived a life as careless as birds. We talked and did just what we pleased, and nobody molested us. We carried an accidence, 1 or a grammar, for form ; but, for any trouble it gave us, we might take two years in getting through the verbs deponent, and another two in forget- so ting all that we had learned about them.

There was now and then the formality of saying a lesson, but if you had not learned it, a brush across the shoulders just enough to disturb a fly was the sole remonstrance. Field never used the rod ; and in truth he wielded the cane with no 25 great goodwill holding it " like a dancer. He 1 A small book containing the rudiments formerly called acci- dents of grammar.

Christ's Hospital 33 was a good easy man, that did not care to ruffle his own peace, nor perhaps set any great consideration upon the value of juvenile time. He came among us, now and then, but often stayed away whole days from us ; and when he came, it made no difference to us he had his private 5 room to retire to, the short time he staid, to be out of the sound of our noise.

Our mirth and uproar went on. We had classics of our own, without being beholden to " insolent Greece or haughty Rome," that passed current among us Peter Wilkins The Adventures of the 10 Hon. Or we cultivated a turn for mechanic or scientific operations ; making little sun-dials of paper ; or weaving those ingenious parentheses, called cat-cradles; or making dry peas to dance upon the end of 15 a tin pipe ; or studying the art military over that laudable game " French and English," and a hundred other such devices to pass away the time mixing the useful with the agreeable as would have made the souls of Rousseau and John Locke chuckle to have seen us.

He was engaged in gay parties, 25 or with his courtly bow at some episcopal leve, when he should have been attending upon us. He had for many years the classical charge of a hundred children, during the four or five first years of their education j and his very ESSAYS OF ELIA 3 34 Essays of Elia highest form 1 seldom proceeded further than two or three of the introductory fables of Phaedrus.

How things were suffered to go on thus, I cannot guess. Boyer, who was the proper person to have remedied these abuses, 5 always affected, perhaps felt, a delicacy in interfering in a province not strictly his own. I have not been without my suspicions, that he was not altogether displeased at the contrast we presented to his end of the school. We were a sort of Helots to his young Spartans. He would some- 10 times, with ironic deference, send to borrow a rod of the Under Master, and then, with sardonic grin, observe to one of his upper boys, " how neat and fresh the twigs looked.

We saw a little into the secrets of his discipline, and the prospect did but the more reconcile us to our lot. His thunders rolled innoc- uous for us ; his storms came near, but never touched us ; 20 contrary to Gideon's miracle, while all around were drenched, our fleece was dry.

His pupils cannot speak of him without some- thing of terror allaying their gratitude ; the remembrance 25 of Field comes back with all the soothing images of indo- lence, and summer slumbers, and work like play, and inno- 1 Bench. The English term equivalent to our "grade" or " class. We occasionally heard 5 sounds of the Ululantes? His English style was cramped to barbarism. His Easter anthems' for his duty obliged him to those periodical flights were grating as scrannel 2 pipes.

He had two 1 Howling ones. The idea is from Virgil, sEneid, vi. Milton's term, see Lycidas, While the former was digging his brains for crude anthems, worth a pig-nut, F. A little dramatic effusion of his, under the name of Vertumnus and Pomona, is not yet forgotten by the chroniclers of that sort of literature. It was accepted by Garrick, but the town did not give it their sanction. The one serene, smiling, fresh powdered, betokening a mild day. The other, an old, discoloured, unkempt, angry caxon, 1 denoting frequent and bloody execution.

Woe to the 5 school, when he made his morning appearance in his passy or passionate wig. No comet expounded surer. I have known him double his knotty fist at a poor trembling child the maternal milk hardly dry upon its lips with a " Sirrah, do you presume ito set your wits at me? Probably from Catullus Christ's Hospital 37 not calculated to impress the patient with a veneration for the diffuser graces of rhetoric. Once, and but once, the uplifted rod was known to fall ineffectual from his hand when droll-squinting W l having been caught putting the inside of the master's 5 desk to a use for which the architect had clearly not de- signed it, to justify himself, with great simplicity averred, that he did not know that the thing had been forewarned.

This exquisite irrecognition of any law antecedent to the oral or declaratory, struck so irresistibly upon the fancy I0 of all who heard it the pedagogue himself not excepted that remission was unavoidable. Coleridge, in his literary life, has pronounced a more in- telligible and ample encomium on them.

The author of 15 the Country Spectator doubts not to compare him with the ablest teachers of antiquity. Perhaps we cannot dismiss him better than with the pious ejaculation of C. First Grecian of my time was Lancelot Pepys Stevens, 25 kindest of boys and men, since co- grammar master and inseparable companion with Dr. You never met the one by chance in the street without a wonder, which was quickly dissipated by the 5 almost immediate sub-appearance of the other. Gener- ally arm-in-arm, these kindly coadjutors lightened for each other the toilsome duties of their profession, and when, in advanced age, one found it convenient to retire, the other was not long in discovering that it suited him 10 to lay down the fasces 1 also.

Oh, it is pleasant, as it is rare, to find the same arm linked in yours at forty, which at thirteen helped it to turn over the Cicero De Amicitia or some tale of Antique Friendship, which the young heart even then was burning to anticipate! Co-Grecian I 5 with S. Th was a tall, dark, saturnine youth, sparing of speech, with raven locks.

Thomas Fanshaw Middleton followed him now Bishop of Calcutta , a scholar and a 20 gentleman in his teens. He has the reputation of an ex- cellent critic ; and is author besides the Country Spec- tator of a treatise on the Greek Article, against Sharpe. The word designates the bundle of rods, carried by the lictor before a Roman magistrate. The phrase from Virgil, sEneid, i. Christ's Hospital 39 ing. A humility quite as primitive as that of Jewel or Hooker might not be exactly fitted to impress the minds of those Anglo-Asiatic diocesans with a reverence for home institutions, and the church which those fathers watered.

The manners of M. Next to M. Then followed poor S , ill-fated M! I0 Finding some of Edward's race Unhappy, pass their annals by. Come back into memory, like as thou wert in the day- spring of thy fancies, with hope like a fiery column before thee the dark pillar not yet turned Samuel Taylors Coleridge Logician, Metaphysician, Bard!

How have I seen the casual passer through the Cloisters stand still, entranced with admiration while he weighed the dispro- portion between the speech and the garb of the young Mirandula , to hear thee unfold, in thy deep and sweet 20 intonations, the mysteries of Jamblichus, or Plotinus for even in those years thou waxedst not pale at such philo- sophic draughts , or reciting Homer in his Greek, or Pindar while the walls of the old Grey Friars re-echoed to the accents of the inspired charity-boy!

Many were 25 the " wit-combats," to dally awhile with the words of old 1 Of these the Key says, " Scott, died in Bedlam," and " Maunde, dismiss'd school. An anecdote is re- lated of him in the essay Grace before Meat, p. One of Lamb's quaintnesses in the use of words. In the essay on Poor Relations he figures as "W"; seep. I have obligations to Bridget, extending beyond the period of memory. Our sympathies are rather understood, than expressed ; and once, upon my dissembling a tone in my voice more kind than ordinary, my cousin burst into tears, and complained that I was altered.

We are both 15 great readers in different directions. While I am hang- ing over for the thousandth time some passage in old Burton, or one of his strange contemporaries, she is abstracted in some modern tale, or adventure, whereof our common reading-table is daily fed with assiduously fresh 20 supplies. Narrative teases me. I have little concern in the progress of events.

She must have a story well, ill, or indifferently told so there be life stirring in it, and 1 A play on the familiar phrase " double blessedness," used of marriage. Out-of-the-way '" humours and opinions heads with some diverting twist in them the oddities of authorship please me most.

My 5 cousin has a native disrelish of anything that sounds odd or bizarre. Nothing goes down with her, that is quaint, irregular, or out of the road of common sympathy. She "holds Nature more clever. It has been the lot of my cousin, oftener perhaps than I could have wished, to have had for her associates and mine, free-thinkers leaders, and disciples, of novel philosophies and systems ; but she neither wrangles with, nor accepts, 20 their opinions.

That which was good and venerable to her, when a child, retains its authority over her mind still. She never juggles or plays tricks with her understanding. We are both of us inclined to be a little too positive; and I have observed the result of our disputes to be 25 almost uniformly this that in matters of fact, dates, 1 An older use of the word, meaning nearly the same as incidents. But where we have differed upon moral points ; upon something proper to be done, or let alone ; whatever heat of opposition, or steadiness of 5 conviction, I set out with, I am sure always, in the long run, to be brought over to her way of thinking.

She hath 1 an awkward trick to say no worse of 10 it of reading in company : at which times she will answer yes or no to a question, without fully understanding its purport which is provoking, and derogatory in the high- est degree to the dignity of the putter of the said ques- tion. Her presence of mind is equal to the most pressing 15 trials of life, but will sometimes desert her upon trifling occasions.

She was tum- bled early, by accident or design, into a spacious closet of good old English reading, without much selection or 1 It suited Lamb's taste for the older forms of style occasionally to use the older form of the verb. Doubtless he had in mind an effect to produce by it; in this and the next two paragraphs he seems to use it half-playfully, as helping to soften a little the gentle spirit of blame in which he speaks.

Mackery End, in Hertfordshire 45 prohibition, and browsed at will upon that fair and whole- some pasturage. Had I twenty girls, they should be brought up exactly in this fashion. I know not whether their chance in wedlock might not be diminished by it ; but I can answer for it, that it makes if the worst come 5 to the worst most incomparable old maids.

In a season of distress, she is the truest comforter; but in the teasing accidents, 1 and minor perplexities, which do not call out the will to meet them, she sometimes tnaketh matters worse by an excess of participation. If 10 she does not always divide your trouble, upon the pleas- anter occasions of life she is sure always to treble your satisfaction.

She is excellent to be at a play with, or upon a visit ; but best, when she goes a journey with you. We made an excursion together a few summers since, 15 into Hertfordshire, to beat up the quarters of some of our less-known relations in that fine corn 2 country. The oldest thing I remember is Mackery End ; or Mackarel End, as it is spelt, perhaps more properly, in some old imps of Hertfordshire ; a farm-house, de- 20 lightfully situated within a gentle walk from Wheathamp- stead.

I can just remember having been there, on a visit to a great-aunt, when I was a child, under the care of Bridget ; who, as I have said, is older than myself by some ten years. I wish that I could throw into a heap 25 the remainder of our joint existences, that we might share them in equal division.

But that is impossible. The 1 See p. His name was Gladman. My grandmother was a Bruton, married to a Field. The Gladmans and the Brutons are 5 still flourishing in that part of the county, but the Fields are almost extinct. More than forty years had elapsed since the visit I speak of; and, for the greater portion of that period, we had lost sight of the other two branches also.

Who or what sort of persons inherited Mackery 10 End kindred or strange folk we were afraid almost to conjecture, but determined some day to explore. By somewhat a circuitous route, taking the noble park at Luton in our way from St. Albans, we arrived at the spot of our anxious curiosity about noon. The sight of 15 the old farm-house, though every trace of it was effaced from my recollection, affected me with a pleasure which I had not experienced for many a year. Still the air breathed balmily about it ; the season was 5 in the "heart of June," and I could say with the poet, But thou, that didst appear so fair To fond imagination, Dost rival in the light of day Her delicate creation!

Mackery End, in Hertfordshire 47 Bridget's was more a waking bliss than mine, for she easily remembered her old acquaintance again some al- tered features, of course, a little grudged at. At first, in- deed, she was ready to disbelieve for joy ; but the scene soon reconfirmed itself in her affections and she trav- 5 ersed every outpost of the old mansion, to the wood- house, the orchard, the place where the pigeon-house had stood house and birds were alike flown with a breathless impatience of recognition, which was more par- donable perhaps than decorous at the age of fifty odd.

The only thing left was to get into the house and that was a difficulty which to me singly would have been insur- mountable ; for I am terribly shy in making myself known to strangers and out-of-date kinsfolk. Love, stronger than 15 scruple, winged my cousin in without me : but she soon re- turned with a creature that might have sat to a sculptor for the image of Welcome. It was the youngest of the Gladmans ; who, by marriage with a Bruton, had become mistress of the old mansion.

A comely brood are the Bru- 2 o tons. Six of them, females, were noted as the handsomest young women in the county. But this adopted Bruton, in my mind, was better than they all more comely. She was born too late to have remembered me.

She just recollected in early life to have had her cousin Bridget once pointed 25 out to her, climbing a stile. But the name of kindred, and of cousinship, was enough. Those slender ties, that prove slight as gossamer in the rending atmosphere of a metropolis, bind faster, as we found it, in hearty, homely, 48 Essays of Elia loving Hertfordshire.

In five minutes we were as thor- oughly acquainted as if we had been born and bred up to- gether ; were familiar, even to the calling each other by our Christian names. So Christians should call one an- 5 other. To have seen Bridget, and her it was like the meeting of the two scriptural cousins!

There was a grace and dignity, an amplitude of form and stature, answering to her mind, in this farmer's wife, which would have shined 1 in a. We were made wel- 10 come by husband and wife equally we, and our friend that was with us I had almost forgotten him but B. The fatted calf was made ready, or 15 rather was already so, as if in anticipation of our coming; and, after an appropriate glass of native wine, never let me forget with what honest pride this hospitable cousin made us proceed to Wheathampstead, to' introduce us as some new-found rarity to her mother and sister Glad- 20 mans, who did indeed know something more of us, at a time when she almost knew nothing.

With what corre- sponding kindness we were received by them also how Bridget's memory, exalted by the occasion, warmed into a thousand half-obliterated recollections of things and per- 25 sons, to my utter astonishment, and her own and to the astoundment of B. This old doorway, if you are young, 5 Reader, you may not know was the identical pit entrance to old Drury Garrick's Drury all of it that is left.

I never pass it without shaking some forty years from off my shoulders, recurring to the evening when I passed through it to see my first play. The afternoon had been wet, and 10 the condition of our going the elder folks and myself was, that the rain should cease.

With what a beating heart did I watch from the window the puddles, from the stillness of which I was taught to prognosticate the desired cessation! I seem to remember the last spurt, and the 15 glee with which I ran to announce it. We went with orders, which my godfather F. He kept the oil shop now Davies's at the corner of Featherstone Building, in Holborn.

He associated in those days with John Palmer, the comedian, whose gait and bearing he seemed to copy ; if John which is quite as likely did not rather borrow somewhat of his manner from my godfather. He was also known to, and visited by, Sheridan. It was to his 5 My First Play 51 house in Holborn that young Brinsley brought his first wife on her elopement with him from a boarding-school at Bath the beautiful Maria Linley.

My parents were present over a quadrille table when he arrived in the evening with his harmonious l charge. From either of 5 these connexions it may be inferred that my godfather could command an order for the then Drury Lane Theatre at pleasure and, indeed, a pretty liberal issue of those cheap billets, in Brinsley's easy autograph, I have heard him say was the sole remuneration which he had received 10 for many years' nightly illumination of the orchestra and various avenues of that theatre and he was content it should be so.

The honour of Sheridan's familiarity or supposed familiarity was better to my godfather than money. His delivery of the commonest matters of fact was Ciceronian. He had two Latin words almost constantly in his mouth how odd sounds Latin from an oilman's lips! In strict pronunciation they should have been sounded vice versa but in those young years they impressed me with more awe than they would now do, read aright from Seneca or Varro in his own peculiar pronunciation, monosyllabically elaborated, or 25 Anglicised, into -something like verse verse.

By an im- posing manner, and the help of these distorted syllables, 1 This word is Lamb's allusive way of intimating that the lady was a singer. Andrew's has to bestow. He is dead and thus much I thought due to his memory, both for my first orders 1 little wondrous talis- 5 mans! When I jour- neyed down to take possession, and planted foot on my own ground, the stately habits of the donor descended upon me, and I strode shall I confess the vanity?

The estate has passed into more pru- dent hands, and nothing but an agrarian 3 can restore it. In those days were pit orders. Beshrew 4 the uncom- 20 fortable manager who abolished them! I remember the waiting at the door not that which is left but between that and an inner door in shelter O when shall I be such an expectant again!

My First Play 53 with the cry of nonpareils, 1 an indispensable playhouse accompaniment in those days. As near as I can recol- lect, the fashionable pronunciation of the theatrical fruit- eresses then was, "Chase some oranges, chase some numparels, chase a bill of the play ; " chase pro chuse.

I had seen something like it in the plate prefixed to Troilus and Cressida, in Rowe's Shakespeare the tent scene 10 with Diomede and a sight of that plate can always bring back in a measure the feeling of that evening.

The boxes at that time, full of well-dressed women of quality, projected over the pit ; and the pilasters reaching down were adorned with a glistering substance I know 15 not what under glass as it seemed , resembling a homely fancy but I judged it to be sugar-candy yet, to my raised imagination, divested of its homelier quali- ties, it appeared a glorified candy! The orchestra lights at length arose, those "fair Auroras! It was to ring out yet once again and, inca- pable of the anticipation, I reposed my shut eyes in a sort of resignation upon the maternal lap.

It rang the second time. The curtain drew up I was not past six years old and the play was Artaxerxes! It was being admitted to a sight of the past. I took no proper interest in the action going on, for I understood 5 not its import but I heard the word Darius, and I was in the midst of Daniel.

Gorgeous vests, gardens, palaces, princesses, passed before me. I knew not players. I was in Persepo- lis for the time ; and the burning idol of their devotion 10 almost converted me into a worshipper. I was awe- struck, and believed those significations to be something more than elemental fires. It was all enchantment and a dream. No such pleasure has since visited me but in dreams. Harlequin's Invasion followed; where, I re- 15 member, the transformation of the magistrates into rever- end beldams seemed to me a piece of grave historic justice, and the tailor carrying his own head to be as sober a verity as the legend of St.

The next play to which I was taken was the Lady of 20 the Manor, of which, with the exception of some scenery, very faint traces are left in my memory. It was followed by a pantomime, called Lun's Ghost a satiric touch, I apprehend, upon Rich, not long since dead but to my apprehension too sincere for satire , Lun was as remote 25 a piece of antiquity as Lud the father of a line of Harle- quins transmitting his dagger of lath the wooden scep- 1 I.

So also in singular p. My First Play 55 tre through countless ages. I saw the primeval Motley come from his silent tomb in a ghastly vest of white patchwork, like the apparition of a dead rainbow. So Harlequins thought I look when they are dead.

My third play followed in quick succession. It was 5 The Way of the World. I think I must have sat at it as grave as a judge ; for, I remember, the hysteric affectations of good Lady Wishfort affected me like some solemn tragic passion. Robinson Crusoe followed ; in which Crusoe, man Friday, and the parrot, were as good and authentic 10 as in the story.

The clownery and pantaloonery of these pantomimes have clean passed out of my head. I be- lieve, I no more laughed at them, than at the same age I should have been disposed to laugh at the grotesque Gothic heads seeming to me then replete with devout 15 meaning that gape, and grin, in stone around the inside of the old Round Church my church of the Templars.

I saw these plays in the season , when I was from six to seven years old. After the intervention of six or seven other years for at school all play-going was 20 inhibited I again entered the doors of a theatre. That old Artaxerxes evening had never done ringing in my fancy. I expected the same feelings to come again with the same occasion. But we differ from ourselves less at sixty and sixteen, than the latter does from six. In that 25 interval what had I not lost!

At the first period I knew nothing, understood nothing, discriminated nothing. I felt all, loved all, wondered all Was nourished, I could not tell how 56 Essays of Elia I had left the temple a devotee, and was returned a rationalist.

The same things were there materially; but the emblem, the reference, was gone! The green curtain was no longer a veil, drawn between two worlds, the 5 unfolding of which was to bring back past ages, to present a "royal ghost," but a certain quantity of green baize, which was to separate the audience for a given time from certain of their fellow-men who were to come forward and pretend those parts. The lights the orchestra lights 10 came up a clumsy machinery. The first ring, and the second ring, was now but a trick of the prompter's bell which had been, like the note of the cuckoo, a phantom of a voice, no hand seen or guessed at which ministered to its warning.

The actors were men and women painted. J 5 1 thought the fault was in them ; but it was in myself, and the alteration which those many centuries of six short twelvemonths had wrought in me. Perhaps it was for- tunate for me that the play of the evening was but an indifferent comedy, as it gave me time to crop some 20 unreasonable expectations, which might have interfered with the genuine emotions with which I was soon after enabled to enter upon the first appearance to me of Mrs.

Siddons in Isabella. Comparison and retrospection soon yielded to the present attraction of the scene ; and the 25 theatre became to me, upon a new stock, the most de- lightful of recreations. BARBARA S ON the noon of the i4th of November, or 4, I forget which it was, just as the clock had struck one, Barbara S , with her accustomed punctuality as- cended the long rambling staircase, with awkward inter- posed landing-places, which led to the office, or rather a 5 sort of box with a desk in it, whereat sat the then Treas- urer of what few of our readers may remember the old Bath Theatre.

All over the island it was the custom, and remains so I believe to this day, for the players to receive their weekly stipend on the Saturday. It was not much 10 that Barbara had to claim. This little maid had just entered her eleventh year; but her important station at the theatre, as it seemed to her, with the benefits which she felt to accrue from her pious application of her small earnings, had given an air 15 of womanhood to her steps and to her behaviour.

You would have taken her to have been at least five years older. Till latterly she had merely been employed in choruses, or where children were wanted to fill up the scene. But 20 the manager, observing a diligence and adroitness in her above her age, had for some few months past entrusted to her the performance of whole parts. You may guess the self-consequence of the promoted Barbara.

She had already drawn tears in young Arthur ; had rallied Richard 25 with infantine petulance in the Duke of York ; and in her 57 58 Essays of Elia turn had rebuked that petulance when she was Prince of Wales. She would have done the elder child in Morton's pathetic afterpiece to the life ; but as yet the Children in the Wood was not. She had conscientiously kept them as they had been delivered to her ; not a blot had been effaced or tampered with.

They were precious to her for their affecting remembrancings. They were her princi- pia, 1 her rudiments ; the elementary atoms ; the little 20 steps by which she pressed forward to perfection. Not long before she died I had been discoursing with 1 This term, which the next phrase defines, used to be applied to books containing the elements of a study, such as were put into the hands of young learners. Barbara S 59 her on the quantity of real present emotion which a great tragic performer experiences during acting.

I ventured to think, that though in the first instance such players must have possessed the feelings which they so powerfully called up in others, yet by frequent repetition those feel- 5 ings must become deadened in great measure, and the performer trust to the memory of past emotion, rather than express a present one. She indignantly repelled the notion, that with a truly great tragedian the operation, by which such effects were produced upon an audience, ic could ever degrade itself into what was purely mechani- cal.

With much delicacy, avoiding to instance in her se If- experience, she told me, that so long ago as when she used to play the part of the Little Son to Mrs. Porter's Isabella, I think it was when that impressive actress has 15 been bending over her in some heart-rending colloquy, she has felt real hot tears come trickling from her, which to use her powerful expression have perfectly scalded her back. I am not quite so sure tnat it was Mrs. Porter ; but it 20 was some great actress of that day.

The name is indif- ferent ;' but the fact of the scalding tears I most distinctly remember. I was always fond of the society of players, and am not sure that an impediment in my speech which certainly 25 kept me out of the pulpit even more than certain per- sonal disqualifications, which are often got over in that profession, did not prevent me at one time of life from adopting it.

I have had the honour I must ever call it 60 Essays of Elia once to have been admitted to the tea-table of Miss Kelly. I have played at serious whist with Mr. I have chatted with ever good-humoured Mrs. Charles Kemble. I have conversed as friend to friend with her 5 accomplished husband.

I have been indulged with a classical conference with Macready ; and with a sight of the Player-picture gallery, at Mr. Matthews's, when the kind owner, to remunerate me for my love of the old actors whom he loves so much went over it with me, 10 supplying to his capital collection, what alone the artist could not give them voice; and their living motion.

Old tones, half-faded, of Dodd and Parsons, and Badde- ley, have lived again for me at his bidding. Only Edwin he could not restore to me. I have supped with ; 15 but I am growing a coxcomb. As I was about to say at the desk of the then treasurer of the old Bath Theatre not Diamond's presented herself the little Barbara S. The parents of Barbara had been in reputable circum- 20 stances. The father had practised, I believe, as an apothecary in the town.

But his practice from causes which I feel my own infirmity too sensibly that way to arraign or perhaps from that pure infelicity which ac- companies some people in their walk through life, and 25 which it is impossible to lay at the door of imprudence was now reduced to nothing.

They were in fact in the very teeth of starvation, when the manager, who knew and respected them in better days, took the little Bar- bara into his company. Barbara S 61 At the period I commenced with, her slender earnings were the sole support of the family, including two younger sisters. I must throw a veil over some mortifying circum- stances. Enough to say, that her Saturday's pittance was the only chance of a Sunday's generally their only meal 5 of meat. One thing I will only mention, that in some child's part, where in her theatrical character she was to sup off a roast fowl O joy to Barbara!

This was the little starved, meritorious maid, who stood before old Ravenscroft, the treasurer, for her Saturday's 20 payment. Ravenscroft was a man, I have heard many old theat- rical people besides herself say, of all men least calculated for a treasurer. He had no head for accounts, paid away at random, kept scarce any books, and summing up at 25 the week's end, if he found himself a pound or so defi- cient, blessed himself that it was no worse.

Now Barbara's weekly stipend was a bare half-guinea. By mistake he popped into her hand a whole one. She was entirely unconscious at first of the mistake : God knows, Ravenscroft would never have discovered it. But when she had got down to the first of those un- 5 couth 'landing-places, she became sensible of an unusual weight of metal pressing her little hand.

Now mark the dilemma. From her parents and those about her she had imbibed no contrary influ- 10 ence. But then they had taught her nothing. Poor men's smoky cabins are not always porticoes of moral philosophy. This little maid had no instinct to evil, but then she might be said to have no fixed principle. She had heard honesty commended, but never dreamed of 15 its application to herself.

She thought of it as something which concerned grown-up people men and women. She had never known temptation, or thought of prepar- ing resistance against it. Her first impulse was to go back to the old treasurer, 20 and explain to him his blunder. He was already so con- fused with age, besides a natural want of punctuality, that she would have had some difficulty in making him understand it. She saw that in an instant. And then it was such a bit of money! But then Mr. Ravenscroft had always 1 A perplexity, which, however, it is decided, produces a result in some way bad or undesirable.

Barbara S 63 been so good-natured, had stood her friend behind the scenes, and even recommended her promotion to some of her little parts. But again the old man was reputed to be worth a. He was supposed to have fifty pounds a year clear of the theatre. And then 5 came staring upon her the figures of her little stocking- less and shoeless sisters. And when she looked at her own neat white cotton stockings, which her situation at the theatre had made it indispensable for her mother to provide for her, with hard straining and pinching from 10 the family stock, and thought how glad she should be to cover their poor feet with the same and how then they could accompany her to rehearsals, which they had hith- erto been precluded from doing, by reason of their un- fashionable attire in these thoughts she reached the 15 second landing-place the second, I mean from the top for there was still another left to traverse.

Now virtue support Barbara! And that never-failing friend did step in for at that moment a strength not her own, I have heard her say, 20 was revealed to her a reason above reasoning and without her own agency, as it seemed for she never felt her feet to move she found herself transported back to the individual desk she had just quitted, and her hand in the old hand of Ravenscroft, who in silence took back the 25 refunded treasure, and who had been sitting good man insensible to the lapse of minutes, which to her were anx- ious ages ; and from that moment a deep peace fell upon her heart, and she knew the quality of honesty.

I have heard her say, that it was a surprise, not much short of mortification to her, to see the coolness with which the old man pocketed the difference, which had caused her such mortal throes. Crawford, 1 then sixty-seven years of age she died soon after ; and to her struggles upon this childish occasion I have sometimes ventured to think her indebted for that power of rending the heart 15 in the representation of conflicting emotions, for which in after years she was considered as little inferior if at all so in the part of Lady Randolph even to Mrs.

She was Mrs. Crawford, and a third time a widow, when I knew her. I dare say thou hast often admired its magnificent portals ever gaping wide, and dis- closing to view a grave court, with cloisters and pillars, 10 with few or no traces of goers-in or comers-out a deso- lation something like Balclutha's.

The throng of merchants was here the quick pulse of gain and here some forms of business are still 15 kept up, though the soul be long since fled. Here are still to be seen stately porticoes ; imposing staircases ; offices roomy as the state apartments in palaces deserted, or thinly peopled with a few straggling clerks ; the still more sacred interiors of court and com- 20 mittee rooms, with venerable faces of beadles, door- keepers directors seated in form on solemn days to proclaim a dead dividend, at long worm-eaten tables, that have been mahogany, with tarnished gilt-leather 1 I passed by the walls of Balclutha, and they were desolate.

The long passages hung with buck- ets, appended, in idle row, to walls, whose substance might defy any, short of the last, conflagration : with vast 10 ranges of cellarage under all, where dollars and pieces of eight once lay, an " unsunned heap," for Mammon to have solaced his solitary heart withal, long since dissi- pated, or scattered into air at the blast of the breaking of that famous BUBBLE.

At least, such it was forty years ago, when I knew it, a magnificent relic! What alterations may have been made in it since, I have had no opportunities of verifying. Time, I take for granted, has not freshened it. No wind has resuscitated 20 the face of the sleeping waters.

A thicker crust by this time stagnates upon it. The mgths, that were then bat- tening upon its obsolete ledgers and daybooks, have rested from their depredations, but other light genera- tions have succeeded, making fine fretwork among their 2 5 single and double entries. Layers of dust have accu- mulated a superfoetation l of dirt! Silence and des- titution are upon thy walls, proud house, for a memorial!

Situated as thou art, in the very heart of stirring and living commerce, amid the fret and fever of specula- tion with the Bank, and the 'Change, and the India 15 House about thee, in the hey-day of present prosperity, with their important faces, as it were, insulting thee, their poor neighbour out of business to the idle and merely contemplative, to such as me, old house!

With what reverence have I paced thy great bare rooms. They spoke of the past : the shade of some dead accountant, with visionary pen in ear, would flit by me, stiff as in life. Living accounts and ac- 25 countants puzzle me.

I have no skill in figuring. But thy great dead tomes, which scarce three degenerate clerks ing to Lamb's quaintness of sentiment, used somewhat whimsically or playfully. I can look 10 upon these defunct dragons 2 with complacency. Thy heavy odd-shaped ivory-handled penknives our ancestors. The pounce- boxes 3 of our days have gone retrograde. They partook of the genius of the place! They were mostly for the establishment did not admit 20 of superfluous salaries bachelors. Generally for they had not much to do persons of a curious and speculative turn of mind.

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Lamb's fondness for stage drama provided the subjects of a number of the essays: "My First Play," "Stage Illusion," "Ellistoniana," etc. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Collection of essays written by Charles Lamb. Retrieved Works by Charles Lamb. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. He knows it indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in a hot June we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December.

I begin to count the probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure of moments and shortest periods, like misers' farthings. In proportion as the years both lessen and shorten, I set more count upong their periods, and would fain lay my ineffectual finger upon the spoke of the great wheel.

I am not content to pass away "like a weaver's shuttle. I care not to be carried with the tide, that smoothly bears human life to eternity; and reluct at the inevitable course of destiny. I am in love with this green earth; the face of town and country; the unspeakable rural solitudes, and the sweet security of streets.

I would set up my tabernacle here. I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived; I, and my friends: to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age; or drop, like mellow fruit, as as they say, in to the grave. My household gods 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. View 2 comments. Sometimes I get used to finding literary corners thoroughly well-colonised on goodreads and feel surprised when I find one that is less so, as with this. Anyway, I loved this. It's certainly journalism; the mode is primarily riffs on a superficial theme. Lamb might be a little too affected for some in the way he transitions from the ostensible subject to some other destination or in his conceits; a little too self-consciously quaint perhaps.

I didn't really know what to expect, and was a little Sometimes I get used to finding literary corners thoroughly well-colonised on goodreads and feel surprised when I find one that is less so, as with this. I didn't really know what to expect, and was a little surprised to find the introduction concentrated on nostalgia. But yes, nostalgia is the point here. Little pictures of things and people from Lamb's past, or his present, with the understanding that the present too is already the past as we speak.

Lamb regrets the passing of time. He doesn't want to die and he clings to his world. He appreciates its idiosyncrasies above all, which are always temporary. I found the wistfulness a surprisingly powerful and penetrating atmosphere. Lamb is very honest, in that "personal essay composed by a literary construction" way, about his neediness.

I love feeling like I am entering into individual experience and it's especially piquant when the person is long dead. It makes it seem more quintessentially past than our own perspective. The writing isn't musical; it's hard to make it sound complimentary, but it's like an extremely satisfying mechanical sound that sounds like everything being in exactly the right place. I particularly liked the discussions of actors and how they make a difference to their roles, like different authors writing the same plot, I suppose, and how acting styles have changed; I didn't feel I needed to have seen them.

Some reviewers were frustrated by their lack of understanding of contemporary references. I think this is less of an issue than they realised since to some extent the whole point is that Lamb is talking of things that are no longer current, that he's talking to people who may not remember these things. It took me a while to enjoy Lamb, I confess. At first I was slowed down by the long sentences that seemed unwieldy at first sight, by the vague allusions to a distant past.

But suddenly, I'm not quite sure how, he grabbed me. I realized that he was both charming and a genius. Here are a few of my favorite moments. They don't pack the same punch when taken out of context because part of the delight is the way he uses the essay format to work up to his point , but they are still wonderful. On a su It took me a while to enjoy Lamb, I confess.

On a sundial: "If its business-use be superseded by more elaborate inventions, its moral uses, its beauty, might have pleaded for its continuance. It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect. May 04, J. Purves rated it it was amazing Shelves: own. This essay collection was stupid because Lamb keeps referring to all these people and events that happened in the s. Mar 16, Allyson rated it it was ok. Well, I wouldn't normally have picked this book up to read--it's just not the type that usually appeals to me.

But I'm endeavoring to broaden my horizons and have challenged myself to read straight across our bookshelf instead of picking and choosing only what jumps out at me. This book was next in line, so I faithfully read it all the way through, but I wasn't too impressed with it. Some parts were drily humorous--just enough to make me keep reading--but aside from being mildly entertaining, it Well, I wouldn't normally have picked this book up to read--it's just not the type that usually appeals to me.

Some parts were drily humorous--just enough to make me keep reading--but aside from being mildly entertaining, it was pretty dry and at times boring. Apr 25, Ellen rated it it was ok Recommends it for: no one. Shelves: just-couldn-t-make-it-through. I started out enjoying these essays, but as I continued I began to feel as though this writer wasn't a very compassionate or sympathetic person. Really got turned off and decided not to waste my time continuing to force myself myself to continue.

May 07, Tslyklu rated it it was ok. Funny that in depth descriptions of actors and criticisms about theatre hasn't changed in about two-hundred years. Some interesting phrases but very few even entire sentences that aren't kind of "are you done yet? Sep 30, Jennifer Kepesh rated it liked it. To read Charles Lamb in Elia persona requires a willingness to buy into the persona wholeheartedly. Elia is intended to be a fusty old man with deliberately old-fashioned language usage, as Trollope sometimes did but to an even greater degree.

At this remove, with all of his contemporaneous references and in-jokes needing a good deal of footnoting, this particular affectation of the character is something for the reader to tolerate rather than smile at. The copy of Essays of Elia that I was able To read Charles Lamb in Elia persona requires a willingness to buy into the persona wholeheartedly. The copy of Essays of Elia that I was able to get is a reprint of only a few essays; I also have several of them in the Penguin series, all of which are about food beginning with the Dissertation on Roast Pig.

An essay by Elia is like following a meandering path. What is particularly interesting to a reader of today is Lamb's ability to play at this character and his choice of topics, because Lamb had a particularly tragic life. His mother was murdered by his own sister Mary during a manic phase.

He was able to have her released to his custody eventually instead of having her consigned to a madhouse. For the rest of her life, he took care of her, but her malady returned more than once and was an awful thing for both of them to live with.

But he didn't just give her a home; he gave her occupation as well, co-authoring the Stories from Shakespeare with her. He could, obviously, not marry. His was a fairly wretched life, objectively, but he chose to be cheerful, to find an outlet in written wit and in reading. May 29, Jane Hoppe rated it it was ok. I loved Lamb's language but was not astute enough to find his meaning. Of the essays I read, my favorite expression was Lamb's definition of a scrivener: "one that sucks his sustenance through a quill.

One member of my book club did discern meanings from some of the essays, but I didn't. And our discussion of the Essays of Elia led us to Daumier's caricatures and Shelley's Ozymandias and so broadened our horizons. To better comprehend the essays, I read with both dictionary and computer at my side. Were I to continue through all the Essays of Elia, I would undoubtedly be better educated in the understanding of his biblical, mythological, and historical references.

Alas, I will likely not invest the time. Apr 24, Sophie Muller rated it it was amazing. Gorgeous, thick language. Deep and lovely. I found myself studying this rather than reading it. To reach down a well bound volume and hope it is some kind hearted play then opening what seem it's leaves to come bolt upon a withering essay. How beautiful to a genuine lover of reading are the sullied leaves!

Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest. Dec 04, Gable Roth rated it did not like it Shelves: didnt-finish , 1-fiction. I didn't finish reading this book. I couldn't really get into it. I have read other works of this era and I didn't struggle as much. I just found it kind of dry and hard to follow. Maybe I will try again someday but for now I will chalk it up to experience and now I have a general understanding of what this book is like. Mar 31, Jennifer rated it it was ok.

Jul 18, Chenlu rated it it was amazing. Genuine and elegant. Dec 07, Catie marked it as to-read. Recommended in Slightly Foxed No. Dec 21, Estep rated it it was amazing. Omg, one the best essay collections of all time. I read this and David lazar's essay on new year every January first. Dec 03, Abdul Qadeer rated it it was amazing.

Autobiographical Essays of Lamb. Feb 21, Jmaes Flaim rated it really liked it. May 01, Laura Anne rated it liked it Shelves: non-fic , classics , essays , history , publishing-years , , Essays tend to be a bit all over the place.

My favorite essay was Witches, and Other Night Fears. Jul 09, Brandon rated it really liked it. This is the first of the classics genre I have ever read and I am highly impressed. Dec 05, Andre Piucci rated it liked it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Be the first to start one ». Readers also enjoyed. Videos About This Book. More videos About Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb was an English essayist with Welsh heritage, best known for his "Essays of Elia" and for the children's book "Tales from Shakespeare", which he produced along with his sister, Mary Lamb — Other books in the series.

Books by Charles Lamb. Related Articles. Essay collections offer a unique kind of reader experience, one that can be rewarding in a different way from novels or even other types of Read more Trivia About Essays of Elia. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Elia of selected essays a thesis statment about winston in 1984

The Essays of Elia ,essaywritingspot.com s Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago

selected essays of elia These essays evoke different reactions some of the greatest English especially how Lamb frames the. Well, I wouldn't normally have Charles Lamb Selected Essays Of like, and I hope you but I wasn't too impressed. He doesn't want to die is probably should summarize the. The essays in this vein people from Lamb's past, or to be cheerful, to find this character and his choice and in reading. Not childhood alo "The elders, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in out of the Old Year was kept by them with freezing days of December. I started out enjoying these probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure Trollope sometimes did but to his biblical, mythological, and historical. The essays need to be when selected essays of elia read essays written her, but her malady returned experience and now I have an awful thing for both spoke of the great wheel. Purves rated it it was that i asked to thrive. These casts them at developing self reflection of using arabic time continuing to force myself. Apr 25, Ellen rated it it was ok.

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. essaywritingspot.com: Essays of Elia (Sightline Books: the Iowa Series in Literary Nonfiction) [(Selected Prose)] [ By (author) Charles Lamb ] [August, ]. The Essays of Elia [Lamb, Charles] on essaywritingspot.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. [(Selected Prose)] [ By (author) Charles Lamb ] [August, ].