Dear B.B.—“I am ill at these numbers;” but if the above be not too mean to have a place in thy Daughter’s Sanctum, take them with pleasure. I assume that her Name is Hannah, because it is a pretty scriptural cognomen. I began on another sheet of paper, and just as I had penn’d the second line of Stanza 2 an ugly Blot [here is a blot] as big as this, fell, to illustrate my counsel.—I am sadly given to blot, and modern blotting-paper gives no redress; it only smears and makes it worse, as for example [here is a smear]. The only remedy is scratching out, which gives it a Clerkish look. The most innocent blots are made with red ink, and are rather ornamental. [Here are two or three blots in red ink.] Marry, they are not always to be distinguished from the effusions of a cut finger.
Well, I hope and trust thy Tick doleru, or however you spell it, is vanished, for I have frightful impressions of that Tick, and do altogether hate it, as an unpaid score, or the Tick of a Death Watch. I take it to be a species of Vitus’s dance (I omit the Sanctity, writing to “one of the men called Friends"). I knew a young Lady who could dance no other, she danced thro’ life, and very queer and fantastic were her steps. Heaven bless thee from such measures, and keep thee from the Foul Fiend, who delights to lead after False Fires in the night, Flibbertigibit, that gives the web and the pin &c. I forget what else.—
From my den, as Bunyan has it, 30 Sep. 24. C.L.
[The verses were for the album of Barton’s daughter, Lucy (afterwards Mrs. Edward FitzGerald). Lucy was her only name. Lamb afterwards printed them in his Album Verses, 1830.]
CHARLES LAMB TO MRS. JOHN DYER COLLIER
[Dated at end: November 2, 1824.]
Dear Mrs. Collier—We receive so much pig from your kindness, that I really have not phrase enough to vary successive acknowledg’mts.
I think I shall get a printed form: to serve on all occasions.
To say it was young, crisp, short, luscious, dainty-toed, is but to say what all its predecessors have been. It was eaten on Sunday and Monday, and doubts only exist as to which temperature it eat best, hot or cold. I incline to the latter. The Petty-feet made a pretty surprising proe-gustation for supper on Saturday night, just as I was loathingly in expectation of bren-cheese. I spell as I speak.
I do not know what news to send you. You will have heard of Alsager’s death, and your Son John’s success in the Lottery. I say he is a wise man, if he leaves off while he is well. The weather is wet to weariness, but Mary goes puddling about a-shopping after a gown for the winter. She wants it good & cheap. Now I hold that no good things are cheap, pig-presents always excepted. In this mournful weather I sit moping, where I now