Long liked, long lived by public Fame
A friend to misery, whate’er its claim.
Marvel I must if e’er we find
Bestowed by heaven a kindlier mind.
The two friends were probably Edward Hogg and Cecilia Catherine Lawton, on whose names Lamb wrote acrostics (see Vol. IV.).
This was Lamb’s effort:—
Go little Poem, and present
Respectful terms of compliment;
A gentle lady bids thee speak!
Courteous is she, tho’ thou be weak—
Evoke from Heaven as thick as manna
Joy after joy on Grace Joanna:
On Fornham’s Glebe and Pasture land
A blessing pray. Long, long may stand,
Not touched by Time, the Rectory blithe;
No grudging churl dispute his Tithe;
At Easter be the offerings due
With cheerful spirit paid; each pew
In decent order filled; no noise
Loud intervene to drown the voice,
Learning, or wisdom of the Teacher;
Impressive be the Sacred Preacher,
And strict his notes on holy page;
May young and old from age to age
Salute, and still point out, “The good man’s Parsonage!”]
CHARLES LAMB TO JAMES GILLMAN
[? Early Spring, 1830.]
Dear Gillman,—Pray do you, or S.T.C., immediately write to say you have received back the golden works of the dear, fine, silly old angel, which I part from, bleeding, and to say how the Winter has used you all.
It is our intention soon, weather permitting, to come over for a day at Highgate; for beds we will trust to the Gate-House, should you be full: tell me if we may come casually, for in this change of climate there is no naming a day for walking. With best loves to Mrs. Gillman, &c.
Yours, mopish, but in health,
I shall be uneasy till I hear of Fuller’s safe arrival.
[See letter to Gillman above. The “dear, fine, silly old angel” was Thomas Fuller.]
CHARLES LAMB TO JACOB VALE ASBURY
[? April, 1830.]
Dear Sir—Some draughts and boluses have been brought here which we conjecture were meant for the young lady whom you saw this morning, though they are labelled for
MISS ISOLA LAMB.
No such person is known on the Chase Side, and she is fearful of taking medicines which may have been made up for another patient. She begs me to say that she was born an Isola and christened Emma. Moreover that she is Italian by birth, and that her ancestors were from Isola Bella (Fair Island) in the kingdom of Naples. She has never changed her name and rather mournfully adds that she has no prospect at present of doing so. She is literally I. SOLA, or single, at present. Therefore she begs that the obnoxious monosyllable may be omitted on future Phials,—an innocent syllable enough, you’ll say, but she has no claim to it. It is the bitterest pill of the seven you have sent her. When a lady loses her good name, what is to become of her? Well she must swallow it as well as she can, but begs the dose may not be repeated.