Lamb And Essay

Dunstan’s steeple, just where the conflux of the eastern and western inhabitants of this twofold city meet and justle in friendly opposition at Temple-bar.This I cannot help looking upon as a lively omen of the future great good-will which I was destined to bear toward the city, resembling in kind that solicitude which every Chief Magistrate is supposed to feel for whatever concerns her interests and well-being.Often, when I have felt a weariness or distaste at home, have I rushed out into her crowded Strand, and fed my humor, till tears have wetted my cheek for unutterable sympathies with the multitudinous moving picture, which she never fails to present at all hours, like the scenes of a shifting pantomime.

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Enriched with humour, pathos and regret for the time long gone, Lamb’s essays leave an everlasting impression on the minds and hearts of the readers.

Charles Lamb begins his essay Dream Children by describing to his young children Alice and John the tales of his childhood when he used to live with his great-grandmother, Mrs Field.

The endless succession of shops where is supplied with perpetual gauds and toys, excite in me no puritanical aversion.

I gladly behold every appetite supplied with its proper food.

For my own part, now the fit is past, I have no hesitation in declaring, that a mob of happy faces crowding up at the pit-door of Drury Lane Theatre, just at the hour of six, gives me ten thousand sincerer pleasures, than I could ever receive from all the flocks of silly sheep that ever whitened the plains of Arcadia or Epsom Downs.

This passion for crowds is nowhere feasted so full as in London.In a nostalgic tone, Lamb narrates to the children the humorous details of his time spent in his great grandmother’s house; the love between the two brothers, Charles and John, their frequent wanderings and mischiefs in the grand house and their memories of the Orchid trees and the fish pond.The tone of the essay shifts from humorous to tragic when Lamb describes the death of his beloved brother and great-grandmother whom he loses at an early age of his life.Dream Children by Charles Lamb highlights the pain and regret of losing loved ones in life persuading the essayist to indulge in a dream world fantasy in order to reflect upon the sweet memories of the days gone by.Enriched with pathos, the essay describes the importance of childhood and the dear ones in the life of an individual without whom the world appears to be a dark alley suffocating the individual at every turn. Indeed I consider myself in some sort a speculative Lord Mayor of London: for though circumstances unhappily preclude me from the hope of ever arriving at the dignity of a gold chain and Spital Sermon, yet thus much will I say of myself in truth, that Whittington with his cat (just emblem of vigilance and a furred gown) never went beyond me in affection which I bear to the citizens. This has begot in me an entire affection for that way of life, amounting to an almost insurmountable aversion from solitude and rural scenes.This aversion was never interrupted or suspended, except for a few years in the younger part of my life, during a period in which I had set my affections upon a charming young woman.“We are not of Alice, nor of thee, nor are we children at all. The same day which gave me to the world, saw London happy in the celebration of her great annual feast.The essayist’s unfulfilled longings and desires are also evident in his work when he narrates to the children the events and incidents from his past life.The essay highlights the themes of loss and regret in Lamb’s life.


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