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tion of Mr. Dolphin Smith, the present farmer, who has been there over forty years, I spent some time in the same parlour in which the Lambs had been entertained. Harpenden, on the north-west, has grown immensely since Lamb's day, and the houses at the Folly, between Wheathampstead and the Cherry Trees, are new; but Mackery End, or Mackrye End as the farmer's waggons have it, remains unencroached upon. The views on the opposite page are from photographs of the present front, and of the back of the house, which is practically untouched since Lamb's day. Near by is the fine old mansion which is Mackery End house proper; Lamb's Mackery End was the farm.
Lamb's first visit there must have been when he was a very little boy-somewhere about 1780. Probably we may see recollections of it in Mary Lamb's story "The Farmhouse in Mrs. Leicester's School (see Vol. III. of this edition).
Page 77, line 13. A great-aunt. Mary Field, Lamb's grandmother, was Mary Bruton, whose sister married, as he says, a Gladman, and was the great-aunt mentioned. The present occupier of the farm is neither Gladman nor Bruton; but both names are still to be found in the county. A Miss Sarah Bruton, a direct descendant of Lamb's great-aunt, is now living at Wheathampstead. She has on her walls two charming oval portraits of ancestresses, possibly-for she is uncertain as to their identity-two of the handsome sisters whom Lamb extols. Writing to Manning, May 28, 1819, Lamb says:
"How are my cousins, the Gladmans of Wheathampstead, and farmer Bruton? Mrs. Bruton is a glorious woman.
This is a fragment of a blank verse poem which I once meditated, but got no further."
Page 77, line 15. I wish that I could throw into a heap. In the London Magazine these words were in italics. Page 77, line 38. The “heart of June.” From Ben Jonson's Epithalamion on the nuptials of Mr. Hierome Weston and Lady Francis Stuart :
When look'd the Year, at best,
So like a Feast?
Or were Affairs in tune,
By all the Sphears' consent, so in the Heart of June?
Page 77, next line. "But thou, that didst appear so fair . . ." From Wordsworth's "Yarrow Visited," Stanza 6. Writing to Wordsworth in 1815, Lamb said of this stanza that he thought "no lovelier ” could be found in "the wide world of poetry." From a letter to Taylor, of the London Magazine, belonging to the summer of 1821, we gather that the proof-reader had altered the last word of the third line to "air" to make it rhyme to "fair." Lamb says: "Day is the right reading, and I implore you to restore it."
Page 77, line 2 from foot. 263, 264::
Page 78, line 29.
Such sober certainty of waking bliss
I never heard till now.
From Comus, lines
The two scriptural cousins. See Luke i. 39
Page 78, line 34. Barron Field (see note to "Distant Correspondents," page 379), then living in Sydney, where he composed, and had printed for private circulation in 1819, a volume of poems reviewed by Lamb (see Vol. I., page 197), in 1819, one of which was entitled "The Kangaroo." It was the first book printed in Australia. Field edited Heywood for the old Shakespeare Society.
Page 79. MODERN GALLANTRY.
London Magazine, November, 1822.
De Quincey writes in "London Reminiscences present essay :
Among the prominent characteristics of Lamb, I know not how it is that I have omitted to notice the peculiar emphasis and depth of his courtesy. This quality was in him a really chivalrous feeling, springing from his heart, and cherished with the sanctity of a duty. He says somewhere in speaking of himself [?] under the mask of a third person, whose character he is describing, that, in passing a servant girl, even at a street-crossing, he used to take off his hat. Now, the spirit of Lamb's gallantry would have prompted some such expression of homage, though the customs of the country would not allow it to be literally fulfilled, for the very reason that would prompt it-viz., in order to pay respect--since the girl would, in such a case, suppose a man laughing at her. But the instinct of his heart was to think highly of female nature, and to pay a real homage (not the hollow demonstration of outward honour which a Frenchman calls his "homage," and which is really a mask for contempt) to the sacred idea of pure and virtuous womanhood.
Barry Cornwall has the following story in his Memoir of Lamb:Lamb, one day, encountered a small urchin loaded with a too heavy package of grocery. It caused him to tremble and stop. Charles inquired where he was going, took (although weak) the load upon his own shoulder, and managed to carry it to Islington, the place of
destination. Finding that the purchaser of the grocery was a female, he went with the urchin before her, and expressed a hope that she would intercede with the poor boy's master, in order to prevent his being over-weighted in future. 'Sir," said the dame, after the manner of Tisiphone, frowning upon him, "I buy my sugar and have nothing to do with the man's manner of sending it." Lamb at once perceived the character of thepurchaser, and taking off his hat, said, humbly, "Then I hope, ma'am, you'll give me a drink of small beer." This was of course refused. He afterwards called upon the grocer, on the boy's behalf.
With what effect I do not know.
Page 79, line 13. Upon the point of gallantry. Here, in the London Magazine, came the words :
"as upon a thing altogether unknown to the old classic ages. This has been defined to consist in a certain obsequiousness, or deferential respect, paid to females, as females."
Dorimant is an exquisite in
Page 79, line 25. Dorimant. Etheredge's comedy "The Man of Mode."
Page 80, line 22. "Antiquated virginity." The phrase occurs in The Rambler, No. 39, but was possibly a common periphrasis in conversation. The phrase "overstood the market" refers to goods kept too long in the vain hope of realising a higher figure. Page 80, line 26. Joseph Paice. Joseph Paice was, as Lamb pointed out to Barton in a letter in January, 1830, a real person, and all that Lamb records. According to Miss Anne Manning's Family Pictures, 1860, Joseph Paice, who was a friend of Thomas Coventry (see page 365), took Lamb into his office at 27 Bread Street Hill somewhere in 1789 or 1790 to learn book-keeping and business habits. He passed thence to the South Sea-House and thence to the East India House. Miss Manning (who was the author of Flemish Interiors) helps to fill out Lamb's sketch into a full-length portrait. She tells us that Mr. Paice's life was one long series of gentle altruisms and the truest Christianities.
Charles Lamb speaks of his holding an umbrella over a market-woman's fruit-basket, lest her store should be spoilt by a sudden shower; and his uncovering his head to a servant-girl who was requesting him to direct her on her way. These traits are quite in keeping with many that can still be authenticated:-his carrying presents of game himself, for instance, to humble friends, who might ill have spared a shilling to a servant; and his offering a seat in his hackney-coach to some poor, forlorn, draggled beings, who were picking their way along on a rainy day. Sometimes these chance guests have proved such uncongenial companions, that the kind old man has himself faced the bad weather rather than prolong the acquaintance, paying the hackney-coachman for setting down the stranger at the end of his fare. At lottery times, he used to be troubled with begging visits from certain improvident hangers-on, who had risked their all in buying shares of an unlucky number. About the time the numbers were being drawn, there would be a ring at the gate-bell, perhaps at dinner time. His spectacles would be elevated, an anxious expression would steal over his face, as he half raised himself from his seat, to obtain a glance at the intruder-" Ah, I thought so, I expected as much," he would gently say. "I expected I should soon have a visit from poor Mrs.---or Mrs. Will you excuse me, my dear madam," (to my grandmother) "for a moment, while I just tell her it is quite out of my power to help her?" counting silver into his hand all the time. Then, a parley would ensue at the hall-door-complainant telling her tale in a doleful voice: "My good woman, I really cannot," etc.; and at last the hall-door would be shut. "Well, sir," my grandmother used to say, as Mr. Paice returned to his seat, "I do not think you have sent Mrs. away quite penniless." Merely enough for a joint of meat, my good madam-just a trifle to buy her a joint of meat.'