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good Mother finds these tales of service to her in her arduous but
pleasing task, my purpose will be answered.

It is stated that a French version of _Mrs. Leicester's School_, under
the title _Les Jeunes Pensionnaires_, was published. I have seen,
however, only _Petits Conies a l'usage de la Feunesse traduits de
l'Anglais par M'me M. D'Avot_, 1823, which contains "Elisabeth
Villiers, ou l'Oncle marin," "Charlotte Wilmot," "Marguerite Green, ou
la jeune Mahometane," and "Arabella Hardy, ou la Traversee."

_Mrs. Leicester's School_ calls for little annotation, except for the
purpose of relating the stories to the lives of their writers; for it
contains some very valuable autobiographical matter. But there are a
few minor points too.

Page 316. _Dedication_.

In the choice of Amwell School as the name of Mrs. Leicester's
establishment Mary (or Charles) returned after an inveterate Lamb
habit to the old Hertfordshire days. Amwell, where the New River
rises, is only a few miles from Widford and Blakesware. The signature
to the dedication, "M.B.," may have been a little joke for the
amusement of Martin Burney, who had taken such interest in the
progress of the _Tales from Shakespear_ and was in those days a
special favourite with Mary Lamb.

Page 319. I.--_Elizabeth Villiers_. "The Sailor Uncle."

By Mary Lamb. The story of the little girl learning her letters from
her mother's grave may have belonged to Widford churchyard; otherwise
there seems to be no personal memory here.

Page 328. II.--_Louisa Manners_. "The Farm House."

By Mary Lamb. Much of the description of the farm and country is
probably from memory of the old days at Mackery End, where we know
Mary Lamb to have gone with her little brother Charles some time
about 1780, and perhaps herself earlier. It is, however, possible
that Blakesware is meant, since Mary Lamb speaks of the grandmother:
Mrs. Bruton of Mackery End was her great aunt. One feels that the
grandmother's sorrow at not being remembered (on page 329) is from
life; and also the episode with Will Tasker (on the same page), and
the description (and probably the name) of Old Spot, the shepherd, on
page 333.

Page 334. III.--_Ann Withers_. "The Changeling."

By Mary Lamb. In one of the later editions of this story certain small
changes were made, not, I fancy, by Mary Lamb. For example, on page
349, line 19, the sentence was made to read: "Neither dancing, nor
any foolish lectures, could do much for Miss Lesley, she remained
_for some time_ wanting in gracefulness of carriage; but all that is
usually attributed to dancing music _finally effected_." The italics
indicate the additions of the nice editorial hand.

Page 350. IV.--_Elinor Forester_. "The Father's Wedding Day."

By Mary Lamb. It is this story which Landor so much admired (see
above). The pretty song, "Balow, my babe," was probably "Ann
Bothwell's Lament," beginning "Balow, my boy."

Page 354. V.--_Margaret Green_. "The Young Mahometan."

By Mary Lamb, and perhaps her most perfect work. Here we have a
description of Blakesware, the home of the Plumers, which for many
years was uninhabited by the family, and left from 1778 to 1792 in the
sole charge of Mrs. Field, Charles and Mary's maternal grandmother.
Charles, since he was born in 1775, would on his visits have known no
power superior to his grandmother; but Mary, who was born in 1764,
would have occasionally encountered Mrs. Plumer, just as Margaret
Green met Mrs. Beresford. Probably Mrs. Plumer and Mrs. Beresford
were very like. Probably also Mrs. Field maintained silence with her
grandchild, for we know that neither she nor her daughter rightly
understood Mary Lamb. Mrs. Field used to speak of her "poor moythered
brains." Mary's description of the old house should be compared
with Charles's in the _Elia_ essays "Blakesmoor in H----shire" and
"Dream-Children." In one point they are at variance; for Mary says
that the twelve Caesars "hung" round the hall, and her brother that
they were life-size busts. I have the authority of a gentleman who
remembers them at Gilston, whither they were removed, for saying that
Charles Lamb's memory was the more accurate. The picture of the little
girl with a lamb seems to have made an equal impression on both their
minds; and both mention the shuttlecocks on the table.

Page 360. VI.--_Emily Barton_. "Visit to the Cousins."

By Mary Lamb. Possibly autobiographical in the matter of the first
play. Charles Lamb's first play was the opera "Artaxerxes;" Mary's may
quite well have been Congreve's "Mourning Bride." The book-shop at the
corner of St. Paul's Churchyard would be Harris's (late Newbery's);
that in Skinner Street (No. 41) was, of course, Godwin's, where _Mrs.
Leicester's School_ was published and sold. This pleasant art of
advertising one's wares in one's own children's books was brought
to perfection by Newbery, and by Harris, his successor, whose tiny
histories are full of reminders of the merits of the corner of St.
Paul's Churchyard. By making Mr. Barton hesitate between the two shops
and then go to Mrs. Godwin's, Lamb (for here it was probably he and
not his sister) carried the joke a step farther than Newbery.

The following account of the figures on old St. Dunstan's Church (the
children of to-day are taken to Cheapside to see Bennett's clock) is
given in Hughson's _London_ (1805):--

On the outside of the church, within a niche and pediment at the
south-west end, over the clock, are two figures of savages or wild
men, carved in wood, and painted natural colour, as big as the
life, standing erect, with each a knotty club in his hand, with
which they alternately strike the quarters, not only their arms,
but even their heads, moving at every blow.

Moxon tells us that when the old church was pulled down and the
figures were removed, Lamb shed tears. The figures I am told
still exist in the garden of the villa in Regent's Park--"St.
Dunstan's"--that once belonged to the Marquis of Hertford and is now
the Earl of Londesborough's London House.

Miss Pearson kept a toy-shop at No. 7 Fleet Street. The Lambs knew her
through Charles's old schoolmistress, Mrs. Reynolds.

Page 368. VII.--_Maria Howe_. "The Witch Aunt."

By Charles Lamb. This story is peculiarly interesting to students of
Lamb's life, for it describes, probably with absolute fidelity, his
Aunt Hetty, and elaborates the passage concerning Stackhouse's _New
History of the Bible_, which is to be found in the _Elia_ essay
"Witches and other Night Fears." Aunt Hetty is described elsewhere by
Lamb in his _Elia_ essays, "Christ's Hospital" and "My Relations;" and
in the poem "Written on the Day of my Aunt's Funeral." In Mary Lamb's
letter to Sarah Stoddart on September 21, 1803, is a short passage
corroborative of Lamb's account of the relations subsisting between
his aunt and his parents:--

My father had a sister lived with us--of course, lived with my
Mother, her sister-in-law; they were, in their different ways, the
best creatures in the world--but they set out wrong at first. They
made each other miserable for full twenty years of their lives--my
Mother was a perfect gentlewoman, my Aunty as unlike a gentlewoman
as you can possibly imagine a good old woman to be; so that my
dear Mother (who, though you do not know it, is always in my poor
head and heart) used to distress and weary her with incessant and
unceasing attention and politeness, to gain her affection. The old
woman could not return this in kind, and did not know what to make
of it--thought it all deceit, and used to hate my Mother with a
bitter hatred; which, of course, was soon returned with interest.

Lamb told Coleridge, in a letter upon his aunt's death, "she was to me
the 'cherisher of infancy.'"

In the _Elia_ essay on "Witches" no mention is made of Glanvil; but
there is a passage in the unpublished version of _John Woodvil_ which
mentions both it and Stackhouse:--

I can remember when a child the maids
Would place me on their lap, as they undrest me,
As silly women use, and tell me stories
Of Witches--Make me read "Glanvil on Witchcraft,"
And in conclusion show me in the Bible,
The old Family-Bible, with the pictures in it,
The 'graving of the Witch raising up Samuel,
Which so possest my fancy, being a child,
That nightly in my dreams an old Hag came
And sat upon my pillow.

That was written some eight or nine years earlier than "Maria Howe;"
the essay on "Witches" some fifteen years later. Joseph Glanvill
(1636-1680) issued his _Philosophical Considerations touching Witches
and Witchcraft_, in 1666.

Page 375. VIII.--_Charlotte Wilmot_. "The Merchant's Daughter."

By Mary Lamb.

Page 378. IX.--_Susan Yates_. "First Going to Church."

By Charles Lamb. John Lamb, the father, came from Lincolnshire, but
Charles did not know that county at all. The remark, "to see how
goodness thrived," may well have been John Lamb's, or possibly his
father's; and Lamb's own first impressions of church, probably
acquired at the Temple (which he mentions here by comparison), were,
it is easy to believe, identical with the imaginary narrator's. Church
bells seem always to have had an attraction for him: he has a pretty
reference to them in _John Woodvil_, and a little poem in _Blank
Verse_, 1798, entitled "The Sabbath Bells."

Page 384. X.--_Arabella Hardy_. "The Sea Voyage."

By Charles Lamb. Nothing else that Lamb wrote is quite so far from the
ordinary run of his thoughts; and nothing has, I think, more charm.

*       *       *       *       *

Page 389. The King and Queen of Hearts This is probably the first of
Charles Lamb's books for children. Of its history nothing is known:
the proof that Charles Lamb wrote it is to be found in a letter
from Lamb to Wordsworth, now in America, dated February 1, 1806,
the concluding portion of which, and the only portion that has been
printed--beginning "_Apropos_ of Spenser"--will be found in most
editions of the correspondence tacked on to the letter dated June,
1806. In the earlier part of this missive Lamb enumerates the books
which he has just despatched to Wordsworth by carrier from London.
Among these is an edition of Spenser, leading to the "_apropos_."
Also: "there comes W. Hazlitt's book about Human Action for Coleridge;
a little song book for Sarah Coleridge; a Box for Hartley ...; a
Paraphrase on _The King and Queen of Hearts_, of which I, being the
author, beg Mr. Johnny Wordsworth's acceptance and opinion. _Liberal
Criticism_, as G. Dyer declares, I am always ready to attend to."

As Charles Lamb is not known to have written children's books for any
one but the Godwins, who in 1806 were still publishing under cover of
Thomas Hodgkins' name, in Hanway Street, it is reasonable to assume
that if a paraphrase of _The King and Queen of Hearts_ nursery rhyme
could be found, bearing Hodgkins' or Godwin's name, and dated 1805 or
1806, Lamb would be its author. That such a work did exist was proved
by the advertisements at the end of other of Godwin's juvenile books.
In the first edition of _Mrs. Leicester's School_, 1809, is this

"Likewise, the following elegant and approved Publications,
containing each of them the Incidents of an agreeable Tale,
exhibited in a Series of Engravings, Price 1s. plain, or 1s. 6d.

"1. _The King and Queen of Hearts: showing how notably the Queen
made her Tarts, and how Scurvily the Knave stole them away._ &c."

This series was called the Copperplate Series. In due course a copy
of No. 1, _The King and Queen of Hearts_, was found in the library of
Miss Edith Pollock, bought by her at the sale of the late Mr. Andrew
W. Tuer, an authority upon old children's literature and the publisher
to whose enterprise we owe the facsimile editions of _Prince Dorus_
and _Poetry for Children_. Mr. Tuer, however, had not suspected Lamb's
authorship. The cover of Miss Pollock's copy bears the date 1809,
which means that the little book was re-bound as required with the
date of the current year upon it. Copies of the first edition have
since been discovered and sold for enormous sums. The date is 1806.

In a copy of _The Looking Glass_, another of Godwin's books, _The King
and Queen of Hearts_ is thus advertised, with a new quatrain, probably
also from Lamb's pen:--

"Price 1s. Plain; or 15. 6ed. Coloured,
The King and Queen of Hearts,
With the
Rogueries of the Knave who stole away the Queen's Pies.
Illustrated in Fifteen elegant Engravings:
Agreeably to the famous Historical Ballad on the Subject.

"I write of Tarts; how sweet a tale!
You'll lick your lips to hear it told:
I show you mighty Kings and Queens,
Robes of scarlet, Crowns of gold."

This little book, _The Looking Glass_, which relates the early life
of William Mulready (1786-1863), was issued in facsimile by Mr. F.G.
Stephens in 1885, with an interesting account of its history. Therein
Mr. Stephens wrote: "Mr. Linnell told me that the cuts to the once
well-known _Nongtong Paw_ [Vol. 6 of "The Copperplate Series;" see
above], _The Sullen Woman and the Pedlar_ [Vol. 2 of the same series],
_Think before you speak_, and _The King and Queen of Hearts_, were
designed by Mulready." We thus discover who was the illustrator. My
own feeling is that the plates came first and Lamb's verses later.

_The King and Queen of Hearts_ cannot be said to add anything
characteristic to the body of Lamb's writings. But its discovery
is historically valuable in establishing--by the date 1805 on the
engraved title-page--the fact that before the _Tales from Shakespear_,
which are usually thought to be the brother and sister's first
experiment in writing for children, Charles at any rate had tried his
hand at that pastime. _The King and Queen of Hearts_ thus becomes his
first juvenile work.

*       *       *       *       *


This little book, attributed on the title-page merely to the author
of _Mrs. Leicester's School_, was published in two minute volumes at
three shillings by Mrs. Godwin in 1809.

Robert Lloyd, writing from London to his wife in April, 1809, says
of Charles and Mary Lamb: "If we may use the expression, their Union
of affection is what we conceive of marriage in Heaven. They are
the World _one_ to the _other_. They are writing a Book of Poetry
for children together." Later: "It is _task_ work to them, they are
writing for money, and a Book of Poetry for Children being likely to
sell has induced them to compose one." Writing to Coleridge of the
_Poetry for Children_, in June, 1809, Lamb says: "Our little poems are
but humble, but they have no name. You must read them, remembering
they were task-work; and perhaps you will admire the number of
subjects, all of children, picked out by an old Bachelor and an old
Maid. Many parents would not have found so many." Charles Lamb, by the
way, was then thirty-four, and Mary Lamb forty-four. In sending the
book to Manning, Lamb said that his own share of the poems was only

The little book seems to have been quickly allowed by its publisher
to pass into the void. Possibly the two-volume form was found to be
impracticable: at any rate _Poetry for Children_ disappeared, many
of its pieces at various times reappearing with the signature Mrs.
Leicester in _The Junior Class-Book_ (two pieces), in _The First Book
of Poetry_ (twenty-two pieces) and _The Poetical Class Book_ (three
pieces), all compiled by William Frederic Mylius, a Christ's Hospital
master, and published by Mrs. Godwin. Hence the extreme rarity of
_Poetry for Children_, which seemed to be completely lost until, in
1877, a copy was found in Australia. Two or three other copies of
the English edition have since come to light. Mylius used also the
frontispieces to the two volumes. As I have not seen all the editions
of these compilations, it is possible that my figures may not be

An American edition of _Poetry for Children_ was published in 1812 at
Boston. The poems "Clock Striking," "Why not do it, Sir, To-day?" and
"Home Delights," were omitted.

I have placed against the poems, in the notes that follow, the
authorship--brother or sister's--which seems to me the more probable.
But I hope it will be understood that I do this at a venture, and,
except in a few cases, with no exact knowledge.

Page 404. _Envy_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 404. _The Reaper's Child_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 405. _The Ride_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 406. _The Butterfly_.

(?) Mary Lamb. The poet referred to was William Roscoe, author of _The
Butterfly's Ball_, 1807.

Page 407. _The Peach_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 408. _Chusing a Name_.

By Charles Lamb; as we know from a letter from Lamb to Robert Lloyd.

Page 408. _Crumbs to the Birds_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 409. _The Rook and the Sparrows_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 410. _Discontent and Quarrelling_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 411. _Repentance and Reconciliation_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 412. _Neatness in Apparel_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 412. _The New-born Infant_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 413. _Motes in the Sun-beams_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 413. _The Boy and Snake_.

(?) Mary Lamb. This poem was the subject of the frontispiece to
Vol. I. of the original edition. According to a letter from Jean D.
Montgomery printed in _The County Gentleman_ in August, 1907, there is
extant in Kirkcudbrightshire a legend on which this poem is probably
based. She writes thus:--

"At the farm of Newlaw, in the parish of Rerrick, in
Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, some people named Crosbie lived
about the year 1782--at least, they had a son, Douglas, who was
born there in that year. When the child grew old enough to trot
about by himself his mother was in the habit of giving him his
plate of porridge and milk to take outside the farm and eat every
morning. He had probably done so for long enough, when one day,
his mother, happening to go out, saw him seated on the ground
eating his porridge in company with an adder, who, however,
instead of hurting the child, merely supped up the milk. When the
reptile edged a little nearer to the boy than was quite equal,
Douglas slapped the adder on his head with his horn spoon, saying,
"Keep yer ain side o' the plate, Grey Bairdie."

The mother was, of course, terrified, but waited until the boy had
finished his meal, when she called in the neighbours and killed the

Curiously enough a precisely similar story turned up in Hungary in
1907 and was telegraphed to the London press from Budapest.

Page 415. _The First Tooth_.

Mary Lamb. The last line was quoted by Lamb in his Popular Fallacy
"That Home is Home": "It has been prettily said, that 'a babe is fed
with milk and praise.'"

Page 416. _To a River in which a Child was Drowned_.

By Charles Lamb. It was reprinted by him in the _Works_, 1818, the
text of which is here given. I imagine Lamb to have found the metre
and manner of the poem in the ballad "Gentle River, Gentle River"
(translated from the Spanish "Rio Verde, Rio Verde"), which is
printed in the _Percy Reliques_. Reprinted by Mylius in _The Junior

Page 416. _The First of April_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 417. _Cleanliness_.

(?) Charles Lamb. In the little essay "Saturday Night," written in
1829, Lamb disputes the truth of the adage "Cleanliness is next to

Page 418. _The Lame Brother_.

(?) Mary Lamb. John Lamb, Charles's elder brother, was lamed when a
young man (much older than the brother in the verses) by a falling
stone. In "Dream-Children" Lamb states that he himself was once
lame-footed too, and had to be carried by John. Somewhere between the
two brothers the historical truth of this poem probably resides.

Page 419. _Going into Breeches_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 420. _Nursing_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 421. _The Text_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 422. _The End of May_.

Mary Lamb. Talfourd writes, apparently with reference to this poem:
"One verse, which she did not print--the conclusion of a little poem
supposed to be expressed in a letter by the son of a family who, when
expecting the return of its father from sea, received news of his
death,--recited by her to Mr. Martin Burney, and retained in his fond
recollection, may afford a concluding example of the healthful wisdom
of her lessons:--

'I can no longer feign to be
A thoughtless child in infancy;
I tried to write like young Marie,
But I am James her brother;
And I can feel--but she's too young--
Yet blessings on her prattling tongue,
She sweetly soothes my mother.'"

Page 424. _Feigned Courage_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 425. _The Broken Doll_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 426. _The Duty of a Brother_.

(?) Mary Lamb, amended by Charles Lamb.

Page 427. _Wasps in a Garden_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 428. _What is Fancy?_

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 429. _Anger_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 429. _Blindness_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 430. _The Mimic Harlequin_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 430. _Written in the First Leaf of a Child's Memorandum Book_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 431. _Memory_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 432. _The Reproof_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 432. _The Two Bees_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 434. _The Journey from School and to School_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 435. _The Orange_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 436. _The Young Letter-writer_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 437. _The Three Friends_.

By Charles Lamb. Reprinted by him in his _Works_, 1818, with the text
now given, which differs very slightly from that of 1809.

Page 442. _On the Lord's Prayer_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 443. "_Suffer little Children_ ..."

(?) Mary Lamb. With this poem ended Vol. I. of the original edition of
_Poetry for Children_. With the following poem Vol. II. began.

Page 445. _The Magpye's Nest, or a Lesson of Docility_.

(?) Mary Lamb. In this poem some trace of John Lamb senior's poetical
manner may be seen. Fables drawn from bird life stand at the beginning
of his _Poetical Pieces on Several Occasions_ (see Vol. II.).

Page 447. _The Boy and the Sky-lark_.

(?) Charles Lamb. The frontispiece to Vol. II. of _Poetry for
Children_ took its subject from this poem.

Page 449. _The Men and Women, and the Monkeys_.

(?) Charles Lamb.

Page 449. _Love, Death, and Reputation_.

(?) Charles Lamb. Mr. Swinburne contributed to _The Athenaeum_ of
February 2, 1878, a note on this poem:--

At the 96th page of the new edition of Charles and Mary Lamb's
'_Poetry for Children_' is a little poem of which the authorship can
hardly be doubtful, done into rhyme from the blank verse of Webster; a
translation by no means to its advantage. The original is to be found
in the third act of the "Duchess of Malfi," in the magnificent scene
where the privacy of the wedded lovers is invaded by Ferdinand; in
whose mouth the apologue transferred or "conveyed" by Lamb into the
quaint and delightful little book over the recovery of which all the
hearts of his lovers are yet warm with rejoicing, has a tragic and
terrible significance. It may be worth remark that the _Poetry for
Children_ appeared the year after that--most fortunate of years
for all students of the higher English drama--which was made nobly
memorable by the appearance of the matchless and priceless volume of
'_Specimens of English Dramatic Poets who Lived about the Time of
Shakespear_,' in which the fratricide's apologue is translated at
length; so that while some part of Lamb's too rare leisure was given
to the gentle "task work" of making rhymes for little children, the
first strong savour of a fierce delight in his new intimacy with the
third and most tragic of English tragic poets must have been fresh and
hot upon him.

Page 450. _The Sparrow and the Hen_.

(?) Charles Lamb. Mrs. Glasse would be Hannah Glasse, of _The Art of
Cookery made Plain and Easy_, 1747.

Page 451. _Which is the Favourite?_

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 451. _The Beggar-Man_.

By John Lamb, Charles and Mary's brother; as we know from a letter
from Charles Lamb to Robert Lloyd.

Page 452. _Choosing a Profession_.

By Mary Lamb, as we know on the evidence of Robert Lloyd.

Page 453. _Breakfast_.

This also, on Robert Lloyd's evidence, is by Mary Lamb.

Page 454. _Weeding_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 455. _Parental Recollections_.

(?) Charles Lamb. The first line was quoted by him in the _Elia_ essay
"The Old and the New Schoolmaster." The poem may be considered as the
poetical correlative of the beautiful _Elia_ essay "Dream-Children."

Page 455. _The Two Boys_.

By Mary Lamb. Quoted by Lamb, as by "a quaint poetess," in his _Elia_
essay "Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading."

Page 456. _The Offer_.

(?) Mary Lamb.

Page 456. _The Sister's Expostulation on the Brother's Learning

(?) Charles Lamb. Many years later Mary Lamb wrote a sonnet in
_Blackwood_ on a kindred subject, addressed to Emma Isola. Mary Lamb
taught Latin to Mary Cowden Clarke (when Mary Victoria Novello) and to
William Hazlitt's son, also to Miss Kelly.

Page 457. _The Brother's Reply_.

(?) Charles Lamb.
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