[Illustration: Handrawn sketch]
neither altogether, it is that beautiful compound, which Nature must have made in Paradise Park venison, before she separated the two substances, the dry & the oleaginous, to punish sinful mankind; Adam ate them entire & inseparate, and this little taste of Eden in the knuckle bone of a fried... seems the only relique of a Paradisaical state. When I die, an exact description of its topography shall be left in a cupboard with a key, inscribed on which these words, “C. Lamb dying imparts this to C. Chambers as the only worthy depository of such a secret.” You’ll drop a tear....
[Charles Chambers was the brother of John Chambers (see above). He had been at Christ’s Hospital with Lamb and subsequently became a surgeon in the Navy. He retired to Leamington and practised there until his death, somewhen about 1857, says Mr. Hazlitt. He seems to have inherited some of the epicure’s tastes of his father, the “sensible clergyman in Warwickshire” who, Lamb tells us in “Thoughts on Presents of Game,” “used to allow a pound of Epping to every hare.”
This letter adds one more to the list of Lamb’s gustatory raptures, and it is remarkable as being his only eulogy of fish. Mr. Hazlitt says that the date September 1, 1817, has been added by another hand; but if the remark about Dr. Parr is true (he died March 6, 1825) the time is as I have stated. Fortunately the date in this particular case is unimportant. Mr. Hazlitt suggests that the stupid person in the Tea Warehouse was Bye, whom we met recently.
Of Truss we know nothing. The name may be a misreading of Twiss (Horace Twiss, 1787-1849, politician, buffoon, and Mrs. Siddons’ nephew), who was quite a likely person to be lied about in joke at that time.
Here should come a note to Allsop dated May 29, 1825, changing an appointment: “I am as mad as the devil.” Given in the Boston Bibliophile edition.]
CHARLES LAMB TO S.T. COLERIDGE
[? June, 1825.]