so my gratitude must be divided between you, till I know the true sender. We are and shall be some time, I fear, at Dalston, a distance which does not improve hares by the circuitous route of Cov’t Garden, though for the sweetness of this last I will answer. We dress it to-day. I suppose you know my sister has been & is ill. I do not see much hopes, though there is a glimmer, of her speedy recovery. When we are all well, I hope to come among our town friends, and shall have great pleasure in welcoming you from Beresford Hall.
Yours, & old Mr. Walton’s, & honest Mr. Cotton’s Piscatorum Amicus, C.L.
India House 19 Oct. 21
CHARLES LAMB TO WILLIAM AYRTON
[Oct. 27, 1821.]
I Come, Grimalkin! Dalston, near Hackney, 27th Oct’r. One thousand 8 hundred and twenty one years and a wee-bit since you and I were redeemed. I doubt if you are done properly yet.
[A further letter to Ayrton, dated from Dalston, October 30, is printed by Mr. Macdonald, in which Lamb speaks of his sister’s illness and the death of his brother John, who died on October 26, aged fifty-eight. It is reasonable to suppose that Lamb, when the above note was written, was unaware of his brother’s death (see note to Letter 284 on page 610). On October 26, however, he had written to the editor of the London Magazine saying that he was most uncomfortably situated at home and expecting some trouble which might prevent further writing for some time—which may have been an allusion to his brother’s illness or to signs of Mary Lamb’s approaching malady.
Here should come a note to William Hone, evidently in reply to a comment on Lamb’s essay on “Saying Grace.”
Here should come a letter from Lamb to Rickman, dated November 20, 1821, referring to Admiral Burney’s death. “I have been used to death lately. Poor Jim White’s departure last year first broke the spell. I had been so fortunate as to have lost no friends in that way for many long years, and began to think people did not die.” He says that Mary Lamb has recovered from a long illness and is pretty well resigned to John Lamb’s death.]
CHARLES LAMB TO S.T. COLERIDGE
March 9th, 1822.
Dear C.,—It gives me great satisfaction to hear that the pig turned out so well—they are interesting creatures at a certain age—what a pity such buds should blow out into the maturity of rank bacon! You had all some of the crackling —and brain sauce—did you remember to rub it with butter, and gently dredge it a little, just before the crisis? Did the eyes come away kindly with no Oedipean avulsion? Was the crackling the colour of the ripe pomegranate? Had you no complement of boiled neck of mutton before it, to