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count of the origin of this periodical, see Mozley's Reminiscences of Oriel College, vol. ii. addenda.
-e.-Dr. Trollope, who succeeded Boyer as head
-Thornton (Lamb's “Key”).
Poor S--"Scott, died in Bedlam" (Lamb's "Key").
"Finding some of Edward's Race
Adapted from Matt. Prior's Carmen Sæculare for 1700 (stanza viii.)—
"Janus, mighty deity,
Be kind, and as thy searching eye
Unhappy, pass their annals by."
C. V. Le G.-Charles Valentine Le Grice and a younger brother of the name of Samuel were Grecians and prominent members of the school in Lamb's day. They were from Cornwall. Charles became a clergyman and held a living in his native county. Samuel went into the army, and died in the West Indies. It was he who was staying in London in the autumn of 1796, and showed himself a true friend to the Lambs at the season of the mother's death. Lamb writes to Coleridge, "Sam Le Grice, who was then in town, was with me the three or four first days, and was as a brother to me; gave up every hour of his time to the very hurting of his health and spirits in constant attendance, and humouring my poor father; talked with him, read to him, played at cribbage with him." He was a "mad wag," according to Leigh Hunt, who tells some pleasant anecdotes of him, but must have been a good-hearted fellow. "Le Grice the elder was a wag," adds Hunt, "like his brother, but more staid. He went into the church as he ought to do, and married a rich widow. He published a translation, abridged, of the celebrated pastoral of Longus; and report at school made him the author of a little anonymous tract on the Art of Poking the Fire."
"Which two I behold," etc.—This is Fuller's account of the wit-combats between Ben Jonson and Shakspeare.
The Junior Le G. and F.-The latter of these was named Favell, also a Grecian in the school. These two, according to
Leigh Hunt, when at the university wrote to the Duke of York to ask for commissions in the army. "The Duke good-naturedly sent them." Favell was killed in the Peninsula. His epitaph will be found on a tablet in Great St. Andrew's Church, Cambridge:"Samuel, a Captain in the 61st Regiment, having been engaged in the expedition to Egypt, afterwards served in the principal actions in the Peninsula, and fell whilst heading his men to the charge in the Battle of Salamanca, July 21, 1812." We shall meet with him again, under a different initial, in the essay on Poor Relations.
THE TWO RACES OF MEN.-P. 31.
(London Magazine, December 1820.)
Ralph Bigod. -John Fenwick, editor of the Albion. later essay on Newspapers Thirty-five Years Ago. "To slacken virtue and abate her edge
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise." Paradise Regained, ii. 455.
Comberbatch, more properly Comberback, the name adopted by Coleridge when he enlisted in the 15th Light Dragoons, in Dec. 1793. He gave his name to the authorities as Silas Titus Comberback, with initials corresponding to his own, perhaps in order that the marks on his clothes might not raise suspicion. Being at a loss when suddenly asked my name," he writes, "I answered Comberback; and, verily, my habits were so little equestrian, that my horse, I doubt not, was of that opinion."
Wayward, Spiteful K.-Kenney, the dramatist, who married a Frenchwoman and lived for some years at Versailles. Lamb visited him there in 1822.
Unworthy land, to harbour such a sweetness."
I have not been able as yet to trace this quotation to its source.
S. T. C. Of course, Coleridge again. It is a good illustration of Lamb's fondness for puzzling that having to instance his friend, he indicates him three times in the same essay by a different alias. Coleridge's constant practice of enriching his own and other's books with these marginalia is well known.
NEW YEAR'S EVE.-P. 37.
(London Magazine, January 1821.)
It was probably this paper, together with that on Witches and other Night Fears, which so shocked the moral sense of Southey, and led to his lamenting publicly, in the pages of the Quarterly, the absence of a sounder religious feeling" in the Essays of Elia. The melancholy scepticism of its strain would
appear to have struck others at the time. A graceful and tenderly-remonstrative copy of verses, suggested by it, appeared in the London Magazine for August 1821, signed 66 Olen." Lamb noticed them in a letter to his publisher Mr. Taylor, of July 30. "You will do me injustice if you do not convey to the writer of the beautiful lines, which I here return you, my sense of the extreme kindness which dictates them. Poor Elia (call him Ellia) does not pretend to so very clear revelations of a future state of being as 'Olen' seems gifted with. He stumbles about dark mountains at best; but he knows at least how to be thankful for this life, and is too thankful, indeed, for certain relationships lent him here, not to tremble for a possible resumption of the gift."
Lamb thinks that the verses may have been by James Montgomery, who was on the staff of the London, but I have not found them reprinted in any collected edition of Montgomery's poems.
"I saw the skirts of the departing Year."
From the first strophe of Coleridge's "Ode to the departing Year," as originally printed in the Bristol edition of his poems in 1796. He afterwards altered the line to
"I saw the train of the departing Year." "Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest. From Pope's translation of the Odyssey. (Book xv. line 84.)
Alice W―n.-According to Lamb's "Key," for Winterton. In any case the fictitious name by which Lamb chose to indicate the object of his boyish attachment, whose form and features he loved to dwell on in his early sonnets, Rosamund Gray, and afterwards in his essays. We shall meet her again later on.
"Sweet assurance of a look."-From Lamb's favourite Elegy on Philip Sidney, by Matthew Roydon.
From what have I not fallen, if the child I remember was indeed myself. The best commentary on this passage is that supplied by Lamb's beautiful sonnet, written as far back as 1795:
"We were two pretty babes; the youngest she,
We two did love each other's company;
Time was, we two had wept to have been apart.
I left the garb and manners of a child,
And my first love for man's society,
Defiling with the world my virgin heart-
That I may seek thee, the wide world around.'
MRS. BATTLE'S OPINIONS ON WHIST.-P. 44.
There is probably no evidence existing as to the original of Mrs. Battle. Several of Lamb's commentators have endeavoured to prove her identity with Mary Field, Lamb's grandmother, so long resident with the Plumer family; the sole fact common to them being that Lamb represents Mrs. Battle (in the essay on Blakesmoor) as having died at Blakesware, where also Mrs. Field ended her days. But any one who will read, after the present essay, Lamb's indisputably genuine and serious verses on Mrs. Field's death (The Grandame) will feel that to have transformed her into this "gentlewoman born" with the fine "last century countenance," would have been little short of a mauvaise plaisanterie, of which Lamb was not likely to have been guilty.
Mr. Bowles.-William Lisle Bowles brought out his edition of Pope in 1807.
Bridget Elia.-The name by which Lamb always indicates his sister in this series of essays.
A CHAPTER ON EARS.-P. 52.
(London Magazine, March 1821.)
Lamb's indifference to music is one of the best-known features of his personality. Compare the admirably humorous verses, "Free Thoughts on several Eminent Composers," beginning— "Some cry up Haydn, some Mozart,
Just as the whim bites; for my part
Without admiring Pergolesi?
Or through the world with comfort go
My friend A.'s.-Doubtless Lamb's friend, William Ayrton, the well-known musical critic of that day (1777-1858).
Party in a parlour, etc.-From a stanza in the original draft of Wordsworth's Peter Bell. The stanza was omitted in all editions of the poem after the first (1819).
My good Catholic friend Nov
-Vincent Novello, the well-known organist and composer, father of Mde. Clara Novello and Mrs. Cowden Clarke (1781-1861).
rapt above earth,
And possess joys not promised at my birth.
"As I thus sat, these and other sights had so fully possessed my soul with content that I thought, as the poet has happily expressed it,
I was for that time lifted above earth;
And possessed joys not promised at my birth."
-Walton's Complete Angler, Part I. chap. 4.
ALL FOOL'S DAY.-P. 58.
(London Magazine, April 1821.)
The crazy old church clock,
-Wordsworth, "The Fountain: a Conversation."
Ha! honest R.-According to Lamb's "Key," one Ramsay, who kept the "London Library" in Ludgate Street.
Granville S.-Granville Sharp, the abolitionist, died in 1813. King Pandion, he is dead;
All thy friends are lapt in lead.
—From the verses on a Nightingale, beginning—
"As it fell upon a day,"
formerly ascribed to Shakspeare, but now known to be written by Richard Barnfield.
A QUAKERS' MEETING.-P. 62.
(London Magazine, April 1821.)
"Boreas and Cesias and Argestes loud."
-Milton, Paradise Lost, x. 699.
sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings.
-From "Lines on the Tombs in Westminster Abbey," by Francis Beaumont.