It hapned that day that Gerismond, the lawfull king of France banished by Torismond, who with a lustie crew of outlawes liued in that Forrest, that day in honour of his birth, made a feast to all his bolde yeomen, and frolickt it with store of wine and venison, sitting all at a long table vnder the shadow of Limon trees: to that place by chance fortune conducted Rosader, who seeing such a crew of braue men, hauing store of that for want of which hee and Adam perished, hee slept boldly to the boords end, and saluted the Company thus.—Whatsoeuer thou be that art maister of these lustie squires, I salute thee as graciously as a man in extreame distresse may: knowe that I and a fellow friend of mine, are here famished in the forrest for want of foode: perish we must, vnlesse relieued by thy fauours. Therefore if thou be a Gentleman, giue meate to men, and such as are euery way worthie of life: let the proudest Squire that sits at thy table rise and encounter with me in any honourable point of activitie whatsoeuer, and if he and thou proue me not a man, send mee away comfortlesse: if thou refuse this, as a niggard of thy cates, I will haue amongst you with my sword, for rather wil I die valiantly, then perish with so cowardly an extreame (Collier’s Poetical Decameron, 174, Eighth Conversation).
Lamb compares with that the passage in “As You Like It,” II., 7, 88, beginning with Orlando’s “Forbear, and eat no more.” The character of the ass is quoted by Collier from an old book, The Noblenesse of the Asse, 1595, in the Third Conversation:—
wouldst (perhaps) he should become thy foe,
And to that end doost beat him many times;
He cares not for himselfe, much lesse thy blowe.
Lamb wrote more fully of this passage in an article on the ass contributed to Hone’s Every-Day Book in 1825 (see Vol. I. of the present edition).
The line from Gray’s sonnet on the death of Mr. Richard West was this:—
And weep the more because I weep in vain.
“Scipio, Caesar,” etc. This line runs, in the epitaph on Sidney, beginning “To praise thy life”—
Scipio, Cicero, and Petrarch of our time!
It is generally supposed to be by Raleigh. The next poem, “Silence Augmenteth Grief,” is attributed by Malone to Sir Edward Dyer, and by Hannah to Raleigh.]
CHARLES LAMB TO B.W. PROCTER
[No date. ?Summer, 1821.]
Dear Sir, The Wits (as Clare calls us) assemble at my Cell (20 Russell St. Cov.-Gar.) this evening at 1/4 before 7. Cold meat at 9. Puns at—a little after. Mr. Cary wants to see you, to scold you. I hope you will not fail. Yours &c. &c. &c.
I am sorry the London Magazine is going to be given up.