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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 6.

“If an estate in freehold is given to an ancestor, and if in the same deed directly or indirectly the gift is made to the heir or heirs of the body of the said ancestor, these last words have the force of Limitation not of Purchase.

“I have spoken.

CHARLES LAMB.”

The last passage was copied probably direct from some law book of
Burney’s, and is unintelligible except to students of law-Latin.]

LETTER 477

CHARLES LAMB TO CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE

Edmonton, Feb. 2, 1829.

Dear Cowden,—­Your books are as the gushing of streams in a desert.  By the way, you have sent no autobiographies.  Your letter seems to imply you had.  Nor do I want any.  Cowden, they are of the books which I give away.  What damn’d Unitarian skewer-soul’d things the general biographies turn out.  Rank and Talent you shall have when Mrs. May has done with ’em.  Mary likes Mrs. Bedinfield much.  For me I read nothing but Astrea—­it has turn’d my brain—­I go about with a switch turn’d up at the end for a crook; and Lambs being too old, the butcher tells me, my cat follows me in a green ribband.  Becky and her cousin are getting pastoral dresses, and then we shall all four go about Arcadizing.  O cruel Shepherdess!  Inconstant yet fair, and more inconstant for being fair!  Her gold ringlets fell in a disorder superior to order!

Come and join us.

I am called the Black Shepherd—­you shall be Cowden with the Tuft.

Prosaically, we shall be glad to have you both,—­or any two of you—­drop in by surprise some Saturday night.  This must go off.

Loves to Vittoria.  C.L.

["Rank and Talent"-a novel by W.P.  Scargill, 1829.

Mrs. Bedinfield wrote Longhollow:  a Country Tale, 1829.

“Astrea.”  Probably the romance by Honore D’Urfe.

“Cowden with the Tuft.”  So called from his hair, and from Riquet with the Tuft, the fairy tale.  We read in the Cowden Clarkes’ Recollections of Writers: “The latter name (’Cowden with the Tuft’) slyly implies the smooth baldness with scant curly hair distinguishing the head of the friend addressed, and which seemed to strike Charles Lamb so forcibly, that one evening, after gazing at it for some time, he suddenly broke forth with the exclamation, ’’Gad, Clarke! what whiskers you have behind your head!’”]

LETTER 478

CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON

[P.M.  February 27, 1829.]

Dear R.—­Expectation was alert on the receit of your strange-shaped present, while yet undisclosed from its fuse envelope.  Some said,’tis a viol da Gamba, others pronounced it a fiddle.  I myself hoped it a Liquer case pregnant with Eau de Vie and such odd Nectar.  When midwifed into daylight, the gossips were at loss to pronounce upon its species.  Most took it for a marrow spoon,

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