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THE WORKS OF CHARLES LAMB

In Four Volumes

VOL. IV.

A New Edition







CONTENTS.

ROSAMUND GRAY, ESSAYS, ETC.

ROSAMUND GRAY

ESSAYS:--

RECOLLECTIONS OF CHRIST'S HOSPITAL

ON THE TRAGEDIES OF SHAKSPEARE, CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THEIR
FITNESS FOR STAGE-REPRESENTATION

CHARACTERS OF DRAMATIC WRITERS, CONTEMPORARY WITH SHAKSPEARE

SPECIMENS FROM THE WRITINGS OF FULLER, THE CHURCH HISTORIAN

ON THE GENIUS AND CHARACTER OF HOGARTH; WITH SOME REMARKS ON A
PASSAGE IN THE WRITINGS OF THE LATE MR. BARRY

ON THE POETICAL WORKS OF GEORGE WITHER

LETTERS UNDER ASSUMED SIGNATURES, PUBLISHED IN "THE REFLECTOR":--

THE LONDONER

ON BURIAL SOCIETIES; AND THE CHARACTER OF AN UNDERTAKER

ON THE DANGER OF CONFOUNDING MORAL WITH PERSONAL DEFORMITY; WITH A
HINT TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE FRAMING OF ADVERTISEMENTS FOR
APPREHENDING OFFENDERS

ON THE INCONVENIENCES RESULTING FROM BEING HANGED

ON THE MELANCHOLY OF TAILORS

HOSPITA ON THE IMMODERATE INDULGENCE OF THE PLEASURES OF THE
PALATE

EDAX ON APPETITE

CURIOUS FRAGMENTS, EXTRACTED FROM A COMMONPLACE BOOK WHICH BELONGED
TO ROBERT BURTON, THE FAMOUS AUTHOR OF THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY

MR. H----, A FARCE, IN TWO ACTS


* * * * *


POEMS.

[_Those marked with an asterisk are by the Author's Sister._]

HESTER

TO CHARLES LLOYD, AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR

THE THREE FRIENDS

TO A RIVER IN WHICH A CHILD WAS DROWNED

THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES

*HELEN

A VISION OF REPENTANCE

*DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MOTHER AND CHILD

QUEEN ORIANA'S DREAM

A BALLAD, NOTING THE DIFFERENCE OF RICH AND POOR, IN THE WAYS OF A
RICH NOBLE'S PALACE AND A POOR WORKHOUSE

HYPOCHONDRIACUS

A FAREWELL TO TOBACCO

_TO T. L. H., A CHILD_

BALLAD, FROM THE GERMAN

*DAVID IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM

*SALOME

*LINES SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF TWO FEMALES, BY LIONARDO DA VINCI

*LINES ON THE SAME PICTURE BEING REMOVED TO MAKE PLACE FOR A PORTRAIT
OF A LADY BY TITIAN

*LINES ON THE CELEBRATED PICTURE BY LIONARDO DA VINCI, CALLED THE
VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS

*ON THE SAME

SONNETS:--

I. TO MISS KELLY

II. ON THE SIGHT OF SWANS IN KENSINGTON GARDEN.

III.

IV.

V.

VI. THE FAMILY NAME

VII.

VIII.

IX. TO JOHN LAMB, ESQ., OF THE SOUTH-SEA-HOUSE

X.

XI.

BLANK VERSE:--

CHILDHOOD

THE GRANDAME

THE SABBATH BELLS

FANCY EMPLOYED ON DIVINE SUBJECTS

COMPOSED AT MIDNIGHT

JOHN WOODVIL; A TRAGEDY

THE WITCH, A DRAMATIC SKETCH OP THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY


* * * * *


ALBUM VERSES, WITH A FEW OTHERS.

IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF MRS. SERGEANT W----

TO DORA W----, ON BEING ASKED BY HER FATHER TO WRITE IN HER ALBUM

IN THE ALBUM OF A CLERGYMAN'S LADY

IN THE ALBUM OF EDITH S----

IN THE ALBUM OF ROTHA Q----

IN THE ALBUM OF CATHERINE ORKNEY

IN THE ALBUM OF LUCY BARTON

IN THE ALBUM OF MRS. JANE TOWERS

IN THE ALBUM OF MISS----

IN MY OWN ALBUM

MISCELLANEOUS:--

ANGEL HELP

ON AN INFANT DYING AS SOON AS BORN

THE CHRISTENING

THE YOUNG CATECHIST

TO A YOUNG FRIEND ON HER TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY

SHE IS GOING

SONNETS:--

HARMONY IN UNLIKENESS

WRITTEN AT CAMBRIDGE

TO A CELEBRATED FEMALE PERFORMER IN THE "BLIND BOY"

WORK

LEISURE

TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.

THE GYPSY'S MALISON

COMMENDATORY VERSES, ETC.:--

TO J. S. KNOWLES, ESQ., ON HIS TRAGEDY OF VIRGINIUS

TO THE AUTHOR OF POEMS PUBLISHED UNDER THE NAME OF BARRY CORNWALL

TO THE EDITOR OF THE "EVERY-DAY BOOK"

TO T. STOTHARD, ESQ., ON HIS ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE POEMS OF MR.
ROGERS

TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE

"O LIFT WITH REVERENT HAND"

THE SELF-ENCHANTED

TO LOUISA M----, WHOM I USED TO CALL "MONKEY"

TRANSLATIONS FROM THE LATIN OF VINCENT BOURNE:--

THE BALLAD-SINGERS

TO DAVID COOK, OF THE PARISH OF ST. MARGARET'S, WESTMINSTER,
WATCHMAN

ON A SEPULCHRAL STATUE OF AN INFANT SLEEPING

EPITAPH ON A DOG

THE RIVAL BELLS

NEWTON'S PRINCIPIA

THE HOUSEKEEPER

ON A DEAF AND DUMB ARTIST

THE FEMALE ORATORS

PINDARIC ODE TO THE TREAD-MILL

GOING OR GONE

FREE THOUGHTS ON SEVERAL EMINENT COMPOSERS

THE WIFE'S TRIAL; OR, THE INTRUDING WIDOW. A DRAMATIC POEM




ROSAMUND GRAY, ESSAYS,

ETC.




TO

MARTIN CHARLES BURNEY, ESQ.

Forgive me, BURNEY, if to thee these late
And hasty products of a critic pen,
Thyself no common judge of books and men,
In feeling of thy worth I dedicate.
My _verse_ was offered to an older friend;
The humbler _prose_ has fallen to thy share:
Nor could I miss the occasion to declare,
What spoken in thy presence must offend--
That, set aside some few caprices wild,
Those humorous clouds that flit o'er brightest days,
In all my threadings of this worldly maze,
(And I have watched thee almost from a child),
Free from self-seeking, envy, low design,
I have not found a whiter soul than thine.




ROSAMUND GRAY.

* * * * *

CHAPTER I.


It was noontide. The sun was very hot. An old gentlewoman sat
spinning in a little arbor at the door of her cottage. She was blind;
and her granddaughter was reading the Bible to her. The old lady had
just left her work, to attend to the story of Ruth.

"Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her." It was a
passage she could not let pass without a _comment_. The moral she
drew from it was not very _new_, to be sure. The girl had heard it a
hundred times before--and a hundred times more she could have heard
it, without suspecting it to be tedious. Rosamund loved her
grandmother.

The old lady loved Rosamund too; and she had reason for so doing.
Rosamund was to her at once a child and a servant. She had only _her_
left in the world. They two lived together.

They had once known better days. The story of Rosamund's parents,
their failure, their folly, and distresses, may be told another time.
Our tale hath grief enough in it.

It was now about a year and a half since old Margaret Gray had sold
off all her effects, to pay the debts of Rosamund's father--just
after the mother had died of a broken heart; for her husband had fled
his country to hide his shame in a foreign land. At that period the
old lady retired to a small cottage in the village of Widford in
Hertfordshire.

Rosamund, in her thirteenth year, was left destitute, without fortune
or friends: she went with her grandmother. In all this time she had
served her faithfully and lovingly.

Old Margaret Gray, when she first came into these parts, had eyes,
and could see. The neighbors said, they had been dimmed by weeping:
be that as it may, she was latterly grown quite blind. "God is very
good to us, child; I can _feel_ you yet." This she would sometimes
say; and we need not wonder to hear, that Rosamund clave unto her
grandmother.

Margaret retained a spirit unbroken by calamity. There was a
principle _within_, which it seemed as if no outward circumstances
could reach. It was a _religious_ principle, and she had taught it to
Rosamund; for the girl had mostly resided with her grandmother from
her earliest years. Indeed she had taught her all that she knew
herself; and the old lady's knowledge did not extend a vast way.

Margaret had drawn her maxims from observation; and a pretty long
experience in life had contributed to make her, at times, a little
_positive:_ but Rosamund never argued with her grandmother.

Their library consisted chiefly in a large family Bible, with notes
and expositions by various learned expositors, from Bishop Jewell
downwards.

This might never be suffered to lie about like other books, but was
kept constantly wrapt up in a handsome case of green velvet, with
gold tassels--the only relic of departed grandeur they had brought
with them to the cottage--everything else of value had been sold off
for the purpose above mentioned.

This Bible Rosamund, when a child, had never dared to open without
permission; and even yet, from habit, continued the custom. Margaret
had parted with none of her _authority_; indeed it was never exerted
with much harshness; and happy was Rosamund, though a girl grown,
when she could obtain leave to read her Bible. It was a treasure too
valuable for an indiscriminate use; and Margaret still pointed out to
her grand-daughter _where to read._

Besides this, they had the "Complete Angler, or Contemplative Man's
Recreation," with cuts--"Pilgrim's Progress," the first part--a
Cookery Book, with a few dry sprigs of rosemary and lavender stuck
here and there between the leaves, (I suppose to point to some of the
old lady's most favorite receipts,) and there was "Wither's Emblems,"
an old book, and quaint. The old-fashioned pictures in this last book
were among the first exciters of the infant Rosamund's curiosity. Her
contemplation had fed upon them in rather older years.

Rosamund had not read many books besides these; or if any, they had
been only occasional companions: these were to Rosamund as old
friends, that she had long known. I know not whether the peculiar
cast of her mind might not be traced, in part, to a tincture she had
received, early in life, from Walton and Wither, from John Bunyan and
her Bible.

Rosamund's mind was pensive and reflective, rather than what passes
usually for _clever_ or _acute_. From a child she was remarkably shy
and thoughtful--this was taken for stupidity and want of feeling; and
the child has been sometimes whipt for being a _stubborn thing_, when
her little heart was almost bursting with affection.

Even now her grandmother would often reprove her, when she found her
too grave or melancholy; give her sprightly lectures about good-humor
and rational mirth; and not unfrequently fall a-crying herself, to
the great discredit of her lecture. Those tears endeared her the more
to Rosamund.

Margaret would say, "Child, I love you to cry, when I think you are
only remembering your poor dear father and mother;--I would have you
think about them sometimes--it would be strange if you did not; but I
fear, Rosamund--I fear, girl, you sometimes think too deeply about
your own situation and poor prospects in life.



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