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Posts about The Superannuated Man by Charles Lamb written by msatyaprakash . Charles Lamb in “The Superannuated Man” has given an account of his feeling before and after his retirement. Lamb served as a clerk for long thirty-six years. Lamb in “The Superannuated Man” has given an account of his feeling before and after his retirement. Lamb served as a clerk for long thirty-six years and then .

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Full text of ” Charles Lamb ” See other formats 3S2 i;-: Salt was hving in considerable comfort and dignity.

It was a double set of chambers, a “sub- stantial house,” in fact ; and Mr. Salt ” kept his car- riage ” and two indoor servants, besides a trusted cleA and factotum, John Lamb, a mamed man, who had been in his service for many years.

Lamb acted as Mr. Salt’s housekeeper ; and the couple, with their family of children and a sister of John Lamb’s, who had made her home with them, must have fully supsrannuated the ground-floor rooms of Superannuatde. Lamb succeeded in rearing only three — John, Mary Anne, and Charles. Not much is known about Charles Lamb’s parenftB 6 ;’.

Charles Lamb’s father, John Lamb, was a Lincolnshire boy, who had come up to London at the age of fifteen to make his start in life in the smart new livery of a gentleman’s servant. He had pushed ssuperannuated way up in superannuayed world to be confidential servant and barrister’s clerk, and had married, rather late in life, Elizabeth Field, a woman a good deal younger than himself.

She was a native of Ware, in Hertfordshire, and the daughter of a certain dignified Mrs. Field, who was for more than fifty years housekeeper to the Plumer family, at their fine old mansion of Blakesware, near to the village of Widford.

Lamb was a tall, handsome woman ; placid, somewhat prosaic and matter-of-fact, and gentle-mannered beyond her station. So tall and handsome was she that their London friends used to say she ” might xuperannuated taken for a sister of Mrs.

He was a man of an incorrigible and losing honesty. A good fellow withal, and ‘ would strike. He once wrested a sword out of the hand of a man of quality that had drawn upon him, and pommelled him severely with the hilt of it. Samuel Salt, the kindest and most easy-going of masters.

John Lamb was at once ” his clerk, his good servant, his dresser, his friend, his ‘ flapper,’ his guide, stop- watch, auditor, treasurer. Salt apparently did nothing without consulting John Lamb, ” nor failed in anything without expecting and fearing his admonish- ing “: He resigned his title almost to respect as a master, if L. Salt’s house in Crown Office Row, with almost as much sense of possession as if it had really belonged to them.

Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith, with all its still older centuries of splendid association shut within its gates. Here he learned the trick of making the water of a certain fountain rise and fall, as if by magic, to the wonderment of supeannuated young urchins, as small chaarles himself, but not so clever. Here he gazed up at the winged horse, and the frescoes of the Virtues — his ” first hint of allegory. The brother and sister must have stood, in the gloom of the Temple Church, beside those dead, recumbent, silent-speaking giants ; and it was in the Temple, among the epitaphs, Hstening to the stately eulogies of the faultless dead, that the child looked up and asked the question, so characteristic of the ” Elia ” of later days — ” But where do the naughty people lie?

They might not be sided or jostled. Their air and dress asserted the parade. Salt never laughed and never ” trifled, or talked gallantly,” or in fact paid even the most ordinary attention to the ladies, supperannuated than one of whom but one especially, a sister of a colleague who paced the terrace had ” unravelled into beauty certain pecuHarities of this very shy and retiring character.

Samuel Salt as an old bachelor, Mr. Samuel Salt did not object to the patter of Httle feet in the house in Crown Office Row, and was indeed to prove a kind friend and benefactor to John Lamb and his family.

Bird was for a time assisted fharles a very nervous young usher of the name of Starkey, who was woefully tormented by the pupils, and especially by some of the elder girls of the evening class.

But, by the time Charles was old enough to go to school, the hapless Starkey had been succeeded by a lammb of Mr. Bird’s, a young man who afterwards graced the boards of Drury Lane Theatre ; and Mr. Bird himself hovered over the class- room, ” ferule ” in hand, clad in ” one of those flowered Lidian gowns formerly in use with schoolmasters, charlees strange figures upon which we used to interpret into hieroglyphics of fear and suffering.


And then, in OctoberMr. Yeates, one of the governors of Christ’s Hospital, a friend of Mr. Samuel Salt’s, presented Charles Lamb to the foundation of that charity: No doubt euperannuated are much healthier and happier where they now are.

The dungeons, ” httle Bedlam cells,” were still in use, and the scourge, peni- tential dress, and fetters for the wrists of small runaways. And Boyer’s two wigs played an awful part in the children’s lives — the dress-wig, smooth and powdered, and the ” passionate wig,” that Boyer put on when he meant business. But it was more probably the fact that his father’s superannuatd was Mr.

He had his tea and hot rolls every morning, while the other boys ” battened ” on dry bread and small beer, poured into wooden piggins out of a leather black-jack. Let’s have no more crjang. There was Jem White, ” whose passion wasfor Shakespeare ” ; ” my pleasant friend, Jem White,” who afterwards gave the hot suppers to the httle London chinmey-sweeps. Charles Lamb was never more than ” deputy-Grecian ” f at Christ’s Hospital.

He did not come under Boyer’s j tutelage till towards the end of his schooldays ; and the J Rev. Matthew Field, the under master, was a much ; gentler type of person, who never used the rod, and only flicked with the cane, and was not to be compared, as a teacher, with the passionate Boyer.

Samuel Salt was a deputy- governor, and where Charles Lamb’s elder brother, John, was already employed as a clerk. CHAPTER III A boy’s dream Charles Lamb may have looked back on the Temple as his splendid nursery, and the old Blue-coat School as the scene of his “joyful schooldays”; it was in Hertfordshire that the golden hours of youth were lived, to be remembered through a haze of sunshine and tears: They were not exactly the lessons of Fetter Lane — those inky reiterations of ” Art improves Nature.

Elia and The Last Essays of Elia / Charles Lamb, by Charles Lamb : THE SUPERANNUATED MAN

They had been accustomed to ” snug firesides ; the low-built roof ; parlours ten feet by ten. What did it matter that the dear old grand- mother was not exactly the mistress of superannuatde place, but only had honourable charge of it?

And to-day most people will feel this too ; for the old house charle long since been levelled to the ground, and is vanished for ever ; but the Essay of Elia remains. Charles Lamb must have been often with her at Blakesware — as a little deUcate child, as a Blue-coat School boy, and as a lam city clerk.

If we are to beheve the veiled autobiography of the Essays, he must have been still at the Blue-coat School, a ” deputy-Grecian,” reading and talking poetry with his friend Coleridge, when, during one of those summer holidays at Blakesware, he came under the spell of the ” fair-hair’d maid.

For seven long years, in hope sometimes, sometimes in despair, yet mam ever. She was living with her mother in a cottage in the village of Widford, and her real name was Ann Simmons. Lmb boy and girl must have been a good deal together in those successive summers, in the ” winding wood-walks ” about Widford and Blakesware: The little cottage which she loved, The cottage which did once my all contain.

There was to come a day when the cottage-door remained shut and the wood- walks were left empty ” I loved a love once, fairest among women.

Meantime, he was going daily to his work in the melancholy-looking house in Threadneedle Street, where his elder brother, John — twelve years older than him- self — had been already some years a clerk, and was now Hving, in chambers of his own, a rather selfish bachelor existence.


The elder brother does not seem to have troubled himself much about his family: His father had been in Mr. Salt’s service for more than forty years: Salt had been ill, and had been nursed in his illness, with much care and attention, by Mrs. During, or after, this illness, Mr.

Salt had again been ill, and again been nursed by Mrs.

Li — the last year chsrles his life — Mr. Salt obtained for Charles Lamb, the younger son, then seventeen, a better appointment than the one he was holding in the South Sea House. It was Samuel Salt’s last act of kindness to the family of his old servant.


The Superannuated Man

And the old bencher dead, the old house in Crown Office Row was to be dismantled: John Lamb and his family must find a lodging elsewhere. It must have been a sad day for Charles and Mary — Mary, who at twenty-seven was earning what she could, after the manner of her time, ” by her needle ” — when they watched Mr. Somebody else was very sad too — poor Miss Susannah Pierson, who for forty years had cherished a hopeless passion for Samuel Salt ; a passion which nothing — not even the “long-resolved yet gently-enforced puttings-off of unrelenting bachelorhood ” — could extinguish or abate.

The solitary lady was seen walking up and down Bedford Row, ” in the cold evening-time,” weeping big tears, ” because her friend had died that day. Lamb, Aunt Hetty, Mary, and Charles. The four years had been rather a chapter of mis- fortunes ; not so much on account of poverty, for, putting all their Httle means together, they had enough to live upon.

It was on Mary that the cares of the little family devolved, and the burdens of life fell heaviest. Mary’s education had been neglected since the days of Starkey’s tuition in Fetter Lane ; but for some years she had earned her living ” by her needle,” taking in work at home ; and now, with her mother, father, and aunt dependent on her for their comforts by night and day, she had taken a little apprentice girl to help her with the needlework.

Of their three children, Mary — the most devoted and dutiful of all — had always been the one to cause the parents, and especially the placid Hertfordshire mother, anxiety.

They knew there was a history of insanity on the father’s side of the family, and that all their children were more or less nervous and excitable. Lamb had very sensibly sent for the doctor ; and, by Mary’s own account, the doctor and his kind wife had fetched her away in their carriage to their own house, and there watched and humoured AN AWAKENING ‘ 21 and soothed her back to healthy childhood.

But Mary had been subject all her life to fits of nervous de- pression ; and at times, when she was overworked and overwrought, “worn down to a state of nervous misery,” passing Bethlehem Hospital the ” Bedlam ” of that day she would wonder drearily if she were not fated to end her days there.

It was different, during those four years, for Charles. He was at least able to set out every morning regularly for the East India House. Paul’s ringing — to the great house in Leadenhall Street, and his own particular desk and stool.

He was always touching up his Httle sonnets, hoarding them to show to Coleridge. And sometimes, after office hours, there would be the pit of the theatre, which was always close at hand ; the London playhouse of the close of the eighteenth century: At the tender age of six, Charles Lamb had been taken by the ” elder folks ” to his first play, and had stood outside the pit entrance of the Old Drury, ” Garrick’s Drury,” and hstened, never to forget, to the cry of the ” theatrical fruiteresses “: It rang the second time.

Siddons, though her voice had thrilled him through and through, ” melt- ing his sad heart ” ; not with anybody within the pre- cincts of ” Garrick’s Drury ” ; but with a girl with blue eyes and ” the bright yellow Hertfordshire hair,” with whom he had wandered in Hertfordshire lanes.

The grandmother Field was no longer at Blakesware: Samuel Salt, and was buried in Widford Churchyard. Old Blakesware 1 Choose. But there is reason to believe that Charles Lamb, weighted as he was by family cares, was still pressing his suit, ” in hope sometimes, sometimes in despair,” when, in the winter ofsomething must have happened to bring him up sharply against the inevitable, and make the sensitive young brain reel. A few months later, he wrote to Coleridge: The six weeks that finished last year and began this, your very humble servant spent very agreeably in a madhouse, at Hoxton.