Furthermore, when I reach the milestone that counts from the Hicks-Hall that stands now, I own at once the Aulic dignity, and, were I a gaol-bird, I should shake in my shoes. When I reach the next which counts from the site of the old Hall, my thoughts turn to the fallen grandeur of the pile, and I reflect upon the perishable condition of the most imposing of human structures. Thus I banish from my soul all pride and arrogance, and with such meditations purify my heart from day to day. A wayfarer such as I am, may learn from Vincent Bourne, in words terser and neater than any of mine, the advantages of milestones properly arranged. The lines are at the end of a little poem of his, called Milestones—(Do you remember it or shall I write it all out?)
well the Milestones’ use doth this express,
Which make the miles [seem] more and way seem less.
What do you mean by this—I am borrowing hand and style from this youngster of mine—your son, I take it. The style looks, nay on careful inspection by these old eyes, is most clearly your very own, and the writing too. Either R’s or the Devil’s. I will defer your explanation till our next meeting—may it be soon.
My Latin failing me, as you may infer from erasures above, there is only this to add. Farewell, and be sure to give Mrs. Rickman my kind remembrances.
Enfield, Chase Side, 4th Oct., 1828. I can’t
put this properly into
Latin. Dabam—what is it?
CHARLES LAMB TO BERNARD BARTON
[P.M. October 11, 1828.]
A splendid edition of Bunyan’s Pilgrim—why, the thought is enough to turn one’s moral stomach. His cockle hat and staff transformed to a smart cockd beaver and a jemmy cane, his amice gray to the last Regent Street cut, and his painful Palmer’s pace to the modern swagger. Stop thy friend’s sacriligious hand. Nothing can be done for B. but to reprint the old cuts in as homely but good a style as possible. The Vanity Fair, and the pilgrims there—the silly soothness in his setting out countenance—the Christian idiocy (in a good sense) of his admiration of the Shepherds on the Delectable Mountains—the Lions so truly Allegorical and remote from any similitude to Pidcock’s. The great head (the author’s) capacious of dreams and similitudes dreaming in the dungeon. Perhaps you don’t know my edition, what I had when a child: if you do, can you bear new designs from—Martin, enameld into copper or silver plate by—Heath, accompanied with verses from Mrs. Heman’s pen O how unlike his own—