India Office, 14th Oct., 1823.
Dear Sir,—If convenient, will you give us house room on Saturday next? I can sleep anywhere. If another Sunday suit you better, pray let me know. We were talking of Roast Shoulder of Mutton with onion sauce; but I scorn to prescribe to the hospitalities of mine host.
With respects to Mrs. C., yours truly, C. LAMB.
CHARLES LAMB TO THOMAS ALLSOP
[No date. ?Oct., 1823.]
Dear Sir—Mary has got a cold, and the nights are dreadful; but at the first indication of Spring (alias the first dry weather in Nov’r early) it is our intention to surprise you early some even’g.
Believe me, most truly yours,
The Cottage, Saturday night.
Mary regrets very much Mrs. Allsop’s fruitless
visit. It made her swear!
She was gone to visit Miss Hutchins’n, whom she found OUT.
CHARLES LAMB TO J.B. DIBDIN
[P.M. October 28, 1823.]
My dear Sir—Your Pig was a picture of a pig, and your Picture a pig of a picture. The former was delicious but evanescent, like a hearty fit of mirth, or the crackling of thorns under a pot; but the latter is an idea, and abideth. I never before saw swine upon sattin. And then that pretty strawy canopy about him! he seems to purr (rather than grunt) his satisfaction. Such a gentlemanlike porker too! Morland’s are absolutely clowns to it. Who the deuce painted it?
I have ordered a little gilt shrine for it, and mean to wear it for a locket; a shirt-pig.
I admire the petty-toes shrouded in a veil of something, not mud, but that warm soft consistency with [? which] the dust takes in Elysium after a spring shower—it perfectly engloves them.
I cannot enough thank you and your country friend for the delicate double present—the Utile et Decorum—three times have I attempted to write this sentence and failed; which shows that I am not cut out for a pedant.
(as I say to Southey) will you come and see us at our poor cottage of Colebrook to tea tomorrow evening, as early as six? I have some friends coming at that hour—
The panoply which covered your material pig shall be forthcoming— The pig pictorial, with its trappings, domesticate with me.
Your greatly obliged
["Sir (as I say to Southey).” Elia’s Letter to Southey in the London Magazine began thus.]
CHARLES LAMB TO SARAH HAZLITT
[No date. Early November, 1823.]