Essays of Elia

Front Cover
General Books, 2013 - 122 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1907 edition. Excerpt: ...had not encroached upon all the east side of them, cutting out delicate green crankles, and, shouldering away one or two of the stately alcoves of the terrace--the survivor stands gaping and relationless as if it remembered its brother--they are still the best gardens of any of the Inns of Court, my beloved Temple not forgotten--have the gravest character; their aspect being altogether reverend and law-breathing--Bacon has left the impress of his foot upon their gravel walks--taking my afternoon solace on a summer day upon the aforesaid terrace, a comely sad personage came towards me, whom, from his grave air and deportment, I judged to be one of the old Benchers of the Inn. He had a serious, thoughtful, forehead, and seemed to be in meditations of mortality. As I have an instinctive awe of old Benchers, I was passing him with that sort of sub-indicative token of respect which one is apt to demonstrate towards a venerable stranger, and which rather denotes an inclination to greet him, than any positive motion of the body to that effect--a species of humility and will-worship which I observe, nine times out of ten, rather puzzles than pleases the person it is offered to--when the face turning full upon me strangely identified itself with that of Dodd. Upon close inspection I was not mistaken. But could this sad thoughtful countenance be the same vacant face of folly which I had hailed so often under circumstances of gaiety; which I had never seen without a smile, or recognised but as the usher of mirth; that looked out so formally flat in Fopping-ton, so frothily pert in Tattle, so impotently busy in Backbite; so blankly divested of all meaning, or resolutely expressive of none, in Acres, in Fribble, and a thousand agreeable impertinences?...

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About the author (2013)

Charles Lamb was born in London, England in 1775. He was educated at the well-known Christ's Hospital school, which he attended from age eight to 15. It was there that he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who became a lifelong friend; the friendship was to have a significant influence on the literary careers of both men. Lamb did not continue his education at the university, probably because of a nervous condition that resulted in a severe stammer. Instead, he went to work as a clerk, eventually becoming an accounting clerk with the East India Company, where he worked for most of his adult life. However, he continued to pursue his literary interests as well and became well-known as a writer. His best work is considered to be his essays, originally published under the pen name Elia, but Lamb also wrote poetry, plays, and stories for children under his own name. In 1796, Lamb's sister, Mary Ann, went mad and attacked her parents with a knife, killing her mother and wounding her father. She was placed in an institution for a time, but was eventually released into her brother's guardianship. This incident, and later periods when she was institutionalized again, had a great effect on Lamb, who had always been very close to his sister. Charles and Mary Ann Lamb collaborated on several books, including Poetry for Children, Mrs. Leicester's School, and Beauty and the Beast. Probably their best-known collaboration, however, was Tales from Shakespeare, a series of summaries of the plots from 20 Shakespearean plays, which was published in 1807. Charles Lamb died in 1834.

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