This is Hood’s sketch, in his Whims and Oddities:—
[Illustration: “Very deaf indeed.”]
“Unmeaning joy around appears...” I have not found this.]
CHARLES LAMB TO S.T. COLERIDGE
June 1st, 1826.
Dear Coleridge,—If I know myself, nobody more detests the display of personal vanity which is implied in the act of sitting for one’s picture than myself. But the fact is, that the likeness which accompanies this letter was stolen from my person at one of my unguarded moments by some too partial artist, and my friends are pleased to think that he has not much flattered me. Whatever its merits may be, you, who have so great an interest in the original, will have a satisfaction in tracing the features of one that has so long esteemed you. There are times when in a friend’s absence these graphic representations of him almost seem to bring back the man himself. The painter, whoever he was, seems to have taken me in one of those disengaged moments, if I may so term them, when the native character is so much more honestly displayed than can be possible in the restraints of an enforced sitting attitude. Perhaps it rather describes me as a thinking man than a man in the act of thought. Whatever its pretensions, I know it will be dear to you, towards whom I should wish my thoughts to flow in a sort of an undress rather than in the more studied graces of diction.
I am, dear Coleridge, yours sincerely, C. LAMB.
[The portrait to which Lamb refers will be found opposite page 706 in my large edition. It was etched by Brook Pulham of the India House. It was this picture which so enraged Procter when he saw it in a printshop (probably that referred to by Lamb in a later letter) that he reprimanded the dealer.
Here should come a charming letter to Louisa Holcroft dated June, offering her a room at Enfield “pretty cheap, only two smiles a week.”]
CHARLES LAMB TO JOHN BATES DIBDIN
Friday, someday in June, 1826. [P.M. June 30, 1826.]
Dear D.—My first impulse upon opening your letter was pleasure at seeing your old neat hand, nine parts gentlemanly, with a modest dash of the clerical: my second a Thought, natural enough this hot weather, Am I to answer all this? why ’tis as long as those to the Ephesians and Galatians put together—I have counted the words for curiosity. But then Paul has nothing like the fun which is ebullient all over yours. I don’t remember a good thing (good like yours) from the 1st Romans to the last of the Hebrews. I remember but one Pun in all the Evangely, and that was made by his and our master: Thou art Peter (that is Doctor Rock) and upon this rock will I build &c.; which sanctifies Punning with me against all gainsayers. I never knew an enemy to puns, who was not an ill-natured man.