The Prose Works of Charles Lamb

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 146 páginas
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 29 TO THE SHADE OF ELLISTON. Joyousest of once embodied spirits, whither at length hast thou flown ? to what genial region are we permitted to conjecture that thou hast flitted. Art thou sowing thy Wild Oats yet (the harvest time was still to come with thee) upon casual sands of Avernus? or art thou enacting Rover (as we would gladlier think) by wandering Elysian streams ? This mortal frame, while thou didst play thy brief antics amongst us, was in truth any thing but a prison to thee, as the vain Platonist dreams of this body to be no better than a county gaol, forsooth, or some house of durance vile, whereof the five senses are the fetters. Thou knewest better than to be in a hurry to cast off those gyves; and had notice to quit, I fear, before thou wertquite ready to abandon this fleshy tenement. It was thy Pleasure-House, thy Palace of Dainty Devices: thy Louvre, or thy White-Hall. What new mysterious lodgings dost thou tenant now ? or when may we expect thy aerial house- warming ? Tartarus we know, and we have read of the Blessed Shades; now cannot I intelligibly fancy thee in either. Is it too much to hazard a conjecture, that (as the schoolmen admitted a receptacle apart for Patriarchs and un-chrisom Babes) there may exist ?not far perchance from that storehouse of all vanities, which Milton saw in visions?a Limbo somewhere for Players ? and that Up thither like aerial vapours fly Both all Stage things, and all that in Stage things Built their fond hopes of glory, or lasting fame ? All the unaccomplish'd works of Authors' hands, Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd, Damn'd upon earth, fleet thither? Play, Opera, Farce, with all their trumpery.? There, by the neighbouring moon (by some not improperly supposed thy Regent Planet ...

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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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