Variously, my dear Mrs. Talfourd, (I can be more familiar with her!) Mrs. Serjeant Talfourd,—my sister prompts me—(these ladies stand upon ceremonies)—has the congratulable news affected the members of our small community. Mary comprehended it at once, and entered into it heartily. Mrs. W—— was, as usual, perverse—wouldn’t, or couldn’t, understand it. A Serjeant? She thought Mr. T. was in the law. Didn’t know that he ever ’listed.
Emma alone truly sympathised. She had a silk gown come home that very day, and has precedence before her learned sisters accordingly.
We are going to drink the health of Mr. and Mrs. Serjeant, with all the young serjeantry—and that is all that I can see that I shall get by the promotion.
Valete, et mementote amici quondam vestri humillimi.
[Talfourd, who had been pupil of Joseph Chitty, had just become a serjeant.
“My old friends.” Stoddart and Tuthill were knighted; Barron Field was a judge; Talfourd was to become both a knight and a judge.
“Mrs. W——.” Mrs. Westwood, I suppose.]
CHARLES LAMB TO EDWARD MOXON
[No date. 1833.]
D’r M. let us see you & your Brother on Sunday—The Elias are beautifully got up. Be cautious how you name the probability of bringing ’em ever out complete—till these are gone off. Everybody’d say “O I’ll wait then.”
An’t we to have a copy of the Sonnets—
Mind, I shall insist upon having no more copies: only I shall take 3 or 4 more of you at trade price. I am resolute about this. Yours ever—
CHARLES LAMB TO C.W. DILKE
[P.M. Feb., 1833.]
CHRISTIAN NAMES OF WOMEN
(TO EDITH S-----)
In Christian world MARY the garland wears!
REBECCA sweetens on a Hebrew’s ear;
Quakers for pure PRISCILLA are more clear;
And the light Gaul by amorous NINON swears.
Among the lesser lights how LUCY shines!
What air of fragrance ROSAMUND throws round!
How like a hymn doth sweet CECILIA sound!
Of MARTHAS, and of ABIGAILS, few lines
Have bragg’d in verse. Of coarsest household stuff
Should homely JOAN be fashioned. But can
You BARBARA resist, or MARIAN?
And is not CLARE for love excuse enough?
Yet, by my faith in numbers, I profess,
These all, than Saxon EDITH, please me less.
Many thanks for the life you have given us—I am perfectly satisfied. But if you advert to it again, I give you a delicate hint. Barbara S—— shadows under that name Miss Kelly’s early life, and I had the Anecdote beautifully from her.
[The sonnet, addressed to Edith Southey, was printed in The Athenaeum for March 9, 1833.