A few months after yesterday’s letter, Charles Lamb is once again writing to his friend Bernard Barton (B.B.), once again trying to persuade him to slow down. The Lambs are now based in Enfield, about nine miles, 14 km from Central London, not yet carved up for railways and suburbs. The stage coach would be the means to get out to Enfield; today the suburban train or the London omnibus, stopping every few hundred yards to let travellers on and off. And little sign of pleasant farms.
And now, dear B.B., the Sun shining out merrily, and the dirty clouds we had yesterday having washd their own faces clean with their own rain, tempts me to wander up Winchmore Hill, or into some of the delightful vicinages of Enfield, which I hope to show you at some time when you can get a few days up to the great Town. Believe me it would give both of us great pleasure to show you all three (we can lodge you) of our pleasant farms and villages.
— We both join in kindest loves to you and yours.—
CH. LAMB REDIVIVUS. Saturday.
From “The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 Letters 1821-1842
These afternoon clouds over London have yet to wash their faces, but Greenwich Park hill was worth wandering up, just to see the storm gathering! With perhaps six or seven miles of countryside in view between the top of Winchmore Hill and the great Town, the view would have been delightful, as Lamb claims.
Redivivus is a Latin word that means reborn, come back to life. Country life was a great pleasure for those with enough money not to worry . . . but . . . the best times never lasted long for Charles and Mary Lamb; indeed he heroically saw her through many harsh times due to what has now been diagnosed as bi-polar disorder. Charles nevertheless made time to spend with their friends.
It can feel heroic or burdensome to keep on visiting or contacting a particular person but doing so may be more of a lifeline than you will ever appreciate in this world. It would certainly have been difficult to visit the Lambs when Mary was undergoing one of her downs but friendships were maintained lifelong. Let’s ask the Lord to bless our friendships.