The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 6.
Joe Miller vails his bonnet to Sam Rogers; in all the newspapers, not only of the kingdom but its dependencies,—­Hindostan, Canada, the West Indies, the Cape, from the tropics,—­nay, from the Antipodes to the Orkneys, Sam is godfather—­ general to all the bad jokes in existence.  The Yankees have caught the fancy, and from New Orleans to New York it is the same,—­Rogers is synonymous with a pun.  All British-born or descended people,—­yea the very negro and the Hindoo—­father their calembourgs on Rogers.  Quashee, or Ramee-Samee, who knows nothing of Sir Isaac Newton, John Milton, or Fraser’s Magazine, grins from ear to ear at the name of the illustrious banker, and with gratified voice exclaims, “Him dam funny, dat Sam!”]

LETTER 529

CHARLES LAMB TO EDWARD MOXON

[P.M.  February 3, 1831.]

Dear Moxon, The snows are ancle deep slush and mire, that ’tis hard to get to the post office, and cruel to send the maid out.  ’Tis a slough of despair, or I should sooner have thankd you for your offer of the Life, which we shall very much like to have, and will return duly.  I do not know when I shall be in town, but in a week or two at farthest, when I will come as far as you if I can.  We are moped to death with confinement within doors.  I send you a curiosity of G. Dyer’s tender-conscience.  Between 30 and 40 years since, G. published the Poet’s Fate, in which were two very harmless lines about Mr. Rogers, but Mr. R. not quite approving of them, they were left out in a subsequent edition 1801.  But G. has been worryting about them ever since; if I have heard him once, I have heard him a hundred times express a remorse proportiond to a consciousness of having been guilty of an atrocious libel.  As the devil would have it, a fool they call Barker, in his Parriana has quoted the identical two lines as they stood in some obscure edition anterior to 1801, and the withers of poor G. are again wrung.  His letter is a gem—­with his poor blind eyes it has been laboured out at six sittings.  The history of the couplet is in page 3 of this irregular production, in which every variety of shape and size that Letters can be twisted into, is to be found.  Do shew his part of it to Mr. R. some day.  If he has bowels, they must melt at the contrition so queerly character’d of a contrite sinner.  G. was born I verily think without original sin, but chuses to have a conscience, as every Christian Gentleman should have.  His dear old face is insusceptible of the twist they call a sneer, yet he is apprehensive of being suspected of that ugly appearance.  When he makes a compliment, he thinks he has given an affront.  A name is personality.  But shew (no hurry) this unique recantation to Mr. R.  ’Tis like a dirty pocket handkerchief muck’d with tears of some indigent Magdalen.  There is the impress of sincerity in every pot-hook and hanger.  And then the gilt

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 6 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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