A boy at my school, a cunning fox, for one penny ensured himself a hot roll & butter every morning for ever. Some favor’d ones were allowed a roll & butter to their breakfasts. He had none. But he bought one one morning. What did he do? He did not eat it, but cutting it in two, sold each one of the halves to a half-breakfasted Blue Boy for his whole roll to-morrow. The next day he had a whole roll to eat, and two halves to swap with other two boys, who had eat their cake & were still not satiated, for whole ones to-morrow. So on ad infinitum. By one morning’s abstinence he feasted seven years after.
Bring out the next N’o. on Friday, for country correspondents’ sake. I[t] will be one piece of exertion, and you will go right ever after, for you will have just the time you had before, to bring it out ever after by the Friday.
You don’t know the difference in getting a thing early. Your correspondents are your authors. You don’t know how an author frets to know the world has got his contribution, when he finds it not on his breakfast table.
ONCE in this case is EVER without a grain of trouble afterw’ds.
I won’t like you or speak to you if you don’t try it once.
Yours, on that condition,
[This letter is dated by Mr. Hazlitt conjecturally 1826, but I think it more probably October, 1827, as the extracts (passages from Crowne’s “Thyestes”) contributed by Lamb to Hone’s Table Book were printed late in 1827.
In Lamb’s next note to Hone he says how glad he was to receive the Table Book early on Friday: the result of the fable.]
CHARLES LAMB TO THOMAS HOOD
[No date. ? 1827.]
Dear H.,—Emma has a favour, besides a bed, to ask of Mrs. Hood. Your parcel was gratifying. We have all been pleased with Mrs. Leslie; I speak it most sincerely. There is much manly sense with a feminine expression, which is my definition of ladies’ writing.
[Mrs. Leslie and Her Grandchildren, 1827, was the title of a book for children by Mrs. Reynolds, mother of John Hamilton Reynolds and Mrs. Hood, and wife of the Writing Master at Christ’s Hospital.]
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
[No date. Late 1827.]
My dear B.B.—You will understand my silence when I tell you that my sister, on the very eve of entering into a new house we have taken at Enfield, was surprised with an attack of one of her sad long illnesses, which deprive me of her society, tho’ not of her domestication, for eight or nine weeks together. I see her, but it does her no good. But for this, we have the snuggest, most comfortable house, with every thing most compact and desirable.