Yours & his sincerely, C. LAMB.
from my den in Leadenhall,
2 Nov. 24.
On further enquiry Alsager is not dead, but Mrs. A. is bro’t. to bed.
[Mrs. Collier was the mother of John Payne Collier. Alsager we have already met. Henry Fauntleroy was the banker, who had just been found guilty of forgery and on the day that Lamb wrote was sentenced to death. He was executed on the 30th (see a later letter).]
CHARLES LAMB TO B.W. PROCTER
[Dated at end: November 11, ’24.]
My dear Procter,—
I do agnise a shame in not having been to pay my congratulations to Mrs. Procter and your happy self, but on Sunday (my only morning) I was engaged to a country walk; and in virtue of the hypostatical union between us, when Mary calls, it is understood that I call too, we being univocal.
But indeed I am ill at these ceremonious inductions. I fancy I was not born with a call on my head, though I have brought one down upon it with a vengeance. I love not to pluck that sort of fruit crude, but to stay its ripening into visits. In probability Mary will be at Southampton Row this morning, and something of that kind be matured between you, but in any case not many hours shall elapse before I shake you by the hand.
Meantime give my kindest felicitations to Mrs. Procter, and assure her I look forward with the greatest delight to our acquaintance. By the way, the deuce a bit of Cake has come to hand, which hath an inauspicious look at first, but I comfort myself that that Mysterious Service hath the property of Sacramental Bread, which mice cannot nibble, nor time moulder.
I am married myself—to a severe step-wife, who keeps me, not at bed and board, but at desk and board, and is jealous of my morning aberrations. I can not slip out to congratulate kinder unions. It is well she leaves me alone o’ nights—the damn’d Day-hag BUSINESS. She is even now peeping over me to see I am writing no Love Letters. I come, my dear— Where is the Indigo Sale Book?
Twenty adieus, my dear friends, till we meet.
Yours most truly, C. LAMB.
Leadenhall, 11 Nov. ’24.
[Procter married Anne Skepper, step-daughter of Basil Montagu, in October, 1824. One of their daughters was Adelaide Ann Procter.