The following Tales are meant to be submitted to the young reader as an introduction to the study of Shakespeare, for which purpose his words are used whenever it seemed possible to bring them in; and in whatever has been added to give them the regular form of a connected story, diligent are has been taken to select such words as might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote: therefore, words introduced into... more...

LETTER 264 CHARLES LAMB TO DOROTHY WORDSWORTH [P.M. January 8, 1821.] Mary perfectly approves of the appropriat'n of the feathers, and wishes them Peacocks for your fair niece's sake! Dear Miss Wordsworth, I had just written the above endearing words when Monkhouse tapped me on the shoulder with an invitation to cold goose pye, which I was not Bird of that sort enough to decline. Mrs. M. I am most happy to say is better. Mary has been... more...

This edition of the correspondence of Charles and Mary Lamb contains 618 letters, of which 45 are by Mary Lamb alone. It is the only edition to contain all Mary Lamb's letters and also a reference to, or abstract of, every letter of Charles Lamb's that cannot, for reasons of copyright, be included. Canon Ainger's last edition contains 467 letters and the Every-man's Library Edition contains 572. In 1905 the Boston Bibliophile Society, a wealthy... more...

INTRODUCTION The earliest poem in this volume bears the date 1794, when Lamb was nineteen, the latest 1834, the year of his death; so that it covers an even longer period of his life than Vol. I.—the "Miscellaneous Prose." The chronological order which was strictly observed in that volume has been only partly observed in the following pages—since it seemed better to keep the plays together and to make a separate section of Lamb's... more...

THE TEMPEST (By Mary Lamb) There was a certain island in the sea, the only inhabitants of which were an old man, whose name was Prospero, and his daughter Miranda, a very beautiful young lady. She came to this island so young, that she had no memory of having seen any other human face than her father's. They lived in a cave or cell, made out of a rock: it was divided into several apartments, one of which Prospero called his study; there he... more...


ELIA (From the 1st Edition, 1823) THE SOUTH-SEA HOUSE Reader, in thy passage from the Bank—where thou hast been receiving thy half-yearly dividends (supposing thou art a lean annuitant like myself)—to the Flower Pot, to secure a place for Dalston, or Shacklewell, or some other thy suburban retreat northerly,—didst thou never observe a melancholy looking, handsome, brick and stone edifice, to the left—where... more...

I. TO SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. May 27, 1796. Dear Coleridge,—Make yourself perfectly easy about May. I paid his bill when I sent your clothes. I was flush of money, and am so still to all the purposes of a single life; so give yourself no further concern about it. The money would be superfluous to me if I had it. When Southey becomes as modest as his predecessor, Milton, and publishes his Epics in duodecimo, I will read 'em; a guinea a... more...

CHAPTER ONE The Cicons.—The Fruit of the Lotos-tree.—Polyphemus and the Cyclops.—The Kingdom of the Winds, and God Aeolus's Fatal Present.—TheLaestrygonian Man-eaters. This history tells of the wanderings of Ulysses and his followers in their return from Troy, after the destruction of that famous city of Asia by the Grecians. He was inflamed with a desire of seeing again, after a ten years' absence, his wife and native... more...

There was a certain island in the sea, the only inhabitants of which were an old man, whose name was Prospero, and his daughter Miranda, a very beautiful young lady. She came to this island so young, that she had no memory of having seen any other human face than her father's. They lived in a cave or cell, made out of a rock; it was divided into several apartments, one of which Prospero called his study; there he kept his books, which chiefly... more...