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.
There are fixed, cold as in life, the immovable features of Moody, who, afraid of o’erstepping nature, sometimes stopped short of her—­and the restless fidgetiness of Lewis, who, with no such fears, not seldom leaped o’ the other side.  There hang Farren and Whitfield, and Burton and Phillimore, names of small account in those times, but which, remembered now, or casually recalled by the sight of an old play-bill, with their associated recordations, can “drown an eye unused to flow.”  There too hangs (not far removed from them in death) the graceful plainness of the first Mrs. Pope, with a voice unstrung by age, but which, in her better days, must have competed with the silver tones of Barry himself, so enchanting in decay do I remember it—­of all her lady parts exceeding herself in the Lady Quakeress (there earth touched heaven!) of O’Keefe, when she played it to the “merry cousin” of Lewis—­and Mrs. Mattocks, the sensiblest of viragos—­and Miss Pope, a gentlewoman ever, to the verge of ungentility, with Churchill’s compliment still burnishing upon her gay Honeycomb lips.  There are the two Bannisters, and Sedgwick, and Kelly, and Dignum (Diggy), and the bygone features of Mrs. Ward, matchless in Lady Loverule; and the collective majesty of the whole Kemble family, and (Shakspeare’s woman) Dora Jordan; and, by her, two Antics, who in former and in latter days have chiefly beguiled us of our griefs; whose portraits we shall strive to recall, for the sympathy of those who may not have had the benefit of viewing the matchless Highgate Collection.


O for a “slip-shod muse,” to celebrate in numbers, loose and shambling as himself, the merits and the person of Mr. Richard Suett, comedian!

Richard, or rather Dicky Suett—­for so in his lifetime he was best pleased to be called, and time hath ratified the appellation—­lieth buried on the north side of the cemetery of Holy Paul, to whose service his nonage and tender years were set apart and dedicated.  There are who do yet remember him at that period—­his pipe clear and harmonious.  He would often speak of his chorister days, when he was “cherub Dicky.”

What clipped his wings, or made it expedient that he should exchange the holy for the profane state; whether he had lost his good voice (his best recommendation to that office), like Sir John, “with hallooing and singing of anthems;” or whether he was adjudged to lack something, even in those early years, of the gravity indispensable to an occupation which professeth to “commerce with the skies”—­I could never rightly learn; but we find him, after the probation of a twelvemonth or so, reverting to a secular condition, and become one of us.

I think he was not altogether of that timber, out of which cathedral seats and sounding boards are hewed.  But if a glad heart—­kind and therefore glad—­be any part of sanctity, then might the robe of Motley, with which he invested himself with so much humility after his deprivation, and which he wore so long with so much blameless satisfaction to himself and to the public, be accepted for a surplice—­his white stole, and albe.

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