CHARLES LAMB TO EDWARD MOXON
[No date. ? Christmas, 1830.]
Dear M. A thousand thanks for your punctualities. What a cheap Book is the last Hogarth you sent me! I am pleased now that Hunt diddled me out of the old one. Speaking of this, only think of the new farmer with his 30 acres. There is a portion of land in Lambeth parish called Knaves Acre. I wonder he overlook’d it. Don’t show this to the firm of Dilk & C’o. I next want one copy of Leicester School, and wish you to pay Leishman, Taylor, 2 Blandford Place, Pall Mall, opposite the British Institution, L6. 10. for coat waistcoat &c. And I vehemently thirst for the 4th No. of Nichols’s Hogarth, to bind ’em up (the 2 books) as “Hogarth, and Supplement.” But as you know the price, don’t stay for its appearance; but come as soon as ever you can with your bill of all demands in full, and, as I have none but L5 notes, bring with you sufficient change. Weather is beautiful. I grieve sadly for Miss Wordsworth. We are all well again. Emma is with us, and we all shall be glad of a sight of you. COME ON Sunday, if you can; better, if you come before. Perhaps Rogers would smile at this.—A pert half chemist half apothecary, in our town, who smatters of literature and is immeasurable unletterd, said to me “Pray, Sir, may not Hood (he of the acres) be reckon’d the Prince of wits in the present day?” to which I assenting, he adds “I had always thought that Rogers had been reckon’d the Prince of Wits, but I suppose that now Mr. Hood has the better title to that appellation.” To which I replied that Mr. R. had wit with much better qualities, but did not aspire to the principality. He had taken all the puns manufactured in John Bull for our friend, in sad and stupid earnest. One more Album verses, please.
["Hunt.” This would, I think, be not Leigh Hunt but his nephew, Hunt of Hunt & Clarke. The diddling I cannot explain. Leishman was the husband of Mrs. Leishman, the Lambs’ old landlady at Enfield.
“Miss Wordsworth”—Dorothy Wordsworth, who was ill.
“Perhaps Rogers would smile at this.” I take the following passage from the Maclise Portrait Gallery:—
In the early days of the John
Bull it was the fashion to lay every
foundling witticism at the door of Sam Rogers; and thus the refined
poet and man of letters became known as a sorry jester.
John Bull was Theodore Hook’s paper. Maginn wrote in Fraser’s Magazine:—