The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 713 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 2.
friendship; if a brother author, he expects from you a book of yours which does sell, in return.  We can speak to experience, having by us a tolerable assortment of these gift-horses.  Not to ride a metaphor to death—­we are willing to acknowledge, that in some gifts there is sense.  A duplicate out of a friend’s library (where he has more than one copy of a rare author) is intelligible.  There are favours, short of the pecuniary—­a thing not fit to be hinted at among gentlemen—­which confer as much grace upon the acceptor as the offerer:  the kind, we confess, which is most to our palate, is of those little conciliatory missives, which for their vehicle generally choose a hamper—­little odd presents of game, fruit, perhaps wine—­though it is essential to the delicacy of the latter that it be home-made.  We love to have our friend in the country sitting thus at our table by proxy; to apprehend his presence (though a hundred miles may be between us) by a turkey, whose goodly aspect reflects to us his “plump corpusculum;” to taste him in grouse or woodcock; to feel him gliding down in the toast peculiar to the latter; to concorporate him in a slice of Canterbury brawn.  This is indeed to have him within ourselves; to know him intimately:  such participation is methinks unitive, as the old theologians phrase it.  For these considerations we should be sorry if certain restrictive regulations, which are thought to bear hard upon the peasantry of this country, were entirely done away with.  A hare, as the law now stands, makes many friends.  Caius conciliates Titius (knowing his gout) with a leash of partridges.  Titius (suspecting his partiality for them) passes them to Lucius; who in his turn, preferring his friend’s relish to his own, makes them over to Marcius; till in their ever widening progress, and round of unconscious circum-migration, they distribute the seeds of harmony over half a parish.  We are well disposed to this kind of sensible remembrances; and are the less apt to be taken by those little airy tokens—­inpalpable to the palate—­which, under the names of rings, lockets, keep-sakes, amuse some people’s fancy mightily.  We could never away with these indigestible trifles.  They are the very kickshaws and foppery of friendship.


Homes there are, we are sure, that are no homes:  the home of the very poor man, and another which we shall speak to presently.  Crowded places of cheap entertainment, and the benches of ale-houses, if they could speak, might bear mournful testimony to the first.  To them the very poor man resorts for an image of the home, which he cannot find at home.  For a starved grate, and a scanty firing, that is not enough to keep alive the natural heat in the fingers of so many shivering children with their mother, he finds in the depth of winter always a blazing hearth, and a hob to warm his pittance of beer by.  Instead

Project Gutenberg
The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook