Charles Lloyd’s brother Robert, who had met Lamb in London (and possibly in Birmingham as well) became in the summer of i 798 a new correspondent. Now it was Lamb’s turn to encourage an unhappy boy, as Coleridge had done for him. In searching out ways of coping for Robert before and after that young friend left Saffron Walden, Lamb had to present himself as mature, hopeful, and cheering. As he thought things through, he concluded that at the root of his own depressions and of Robert’s lay the sin of pride, or selfishness, which had tragic implications for the proud but was redeemable through penitence, humility, and courage. One must look outward to find strength in religion and human friendship or, if friendship fails, strength in God alone. It struck him, in the course of the summer, that this theme would make a fine play. He would call it Pride’s Cure, and he started work on it without delay.
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