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thing, and sheds a grace over all. The spirit of gentility seems to breathe around all his persons; he detects the venerable and the excellent in the narrowest circumstances and humblest conditions, with the same subtilty which reveals the hidden soul of the greatest works of genius. In all things he is most human. Of all modern writers, his works are most immediately directed to give us heart—ease and to make us happy.
Among the felicities of Lamb's chequered life, that which he esteemed most, was his intimate friendship with some of the greatest of our poets, – Coleridge, Southey, and Wordsworth; the last and greatest of whom has paid a tribute to his memory, which may fitly close this memoir.
“To a good Man of most dear memory
To the strict labours of the merchant's desk
From a reflecting mind and sorrowing heart
Had from a faltering pen been asked in vain:
Thou wert a scorner of the fields, my Friend,
* Wonderful” hath been
The love established between man and man,
(What weakness prompts the voice to tell it here 2)
But turn we rather, let my spirit turn
And the worse fear of future ill (which oft
The hermit, exercised in prayer and praise,
O gift divine of quiet sequestration !
CHARLES LA MB:
CHIEFLY OF HIS LETTERS NOT BEFORE PUBLISHED, WITH SKETCHES OF
SOME OF HIS COMPANIONS.
SIR THOMAS NOON TALFOURD, D.C.L.
ONE OF HIS EXECUTORS.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, ESQ. D.C.L.
THESE FINAL MEMORLALS
OF ONE WHO Cherish Ed HIS FRIENDShip AS A CoMFORT AMIDST GRIEFS AND A GLORY AMIDST DEPRESSIONS, ARE,
WITH AFFECTION AND RESPECT,
BY ONE whose PRIDE IS To HAVE BEEN IN old TIME HIS EARNEST ADMIRER,
TO THE LIVING.
NEARLY twelve years have elapsed since the Letters of Charles Lamb, accompanied by such slight sketch of his Life as might link them together, and explain the circumstances to which they refer, were given to the world. In the Preface to that work, reference was made to letters yet remaining unpublished, and to a period when a more complete estimate might be formed of the singular and delightful character of the writer than was there presented. That period has arrived. Several of his friends, who might possibly have felt a moment's pain at the publication of some of those effusions of kindness, in which they are sportively mentioned, have been removed by death ; and the dismissal of the last, and to him the dearest of all, his sister, while it has brought to her the repose she sighed for ever since she lost him, has released his biographer from a difficulty which has hitherto prevented a due appreciation of some of his noblest qualities. Her most lamentable, but most innocent agency in the event which consigned her for life to his protection, forbade the introduction of any letter, or allusion to any incident, which might ever, in the long and dismal twilight of consciousness which she endured, shock her by the recurrence of long past and terrible sorrows; and the same consideration for her induced the suppression of every passage which referred to the malady with which she was through life at intervals afflicted. Although her death had removed the objection to a reference to her intermittent suffering, it still left a momentous question, whether even then, when no relative remained to be affected by the disclosure, it would be right to unveil the dreadful calamity which marked one of its earliest visitations, and which, though known to most of those who were intimate with the surviving sufferers, had never been publicly associated with their history. When, however, I reflected that the truth, while in no wise affecting the gentle excellence of one of them, casts new and solemn lights on the character of the other; that while his frailties have received an ample share of that indulgence which he extended to all human weaknesses, their chief exciting cause has been hidden; that his moral strength and the extent of his self-sacrifice have been hitherto unknown to the world; I felt that to develope all which is essential to the just appreciation of his rare excellence, was due both to him and to the public. While I still hesitated as to the extent of disclosure needful for this purpose, my lingering doubts were removed by the appearance of a full statement of the melancholy event, with all the details capable of being collected from the