The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 519 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4.

        Scarce three clean muckingers a week
        Would dry the brine that dew’d my cheek: 
        So, while I gave my sorrows scope,
        I almost ruin’d her in soap.

        My parish learning I did win
        In ward of Farringdon-Within;
        Where, after school, I did pursue
        My sports, as little boys will do.

        Cockchafers—­none like me was found
        To set them spinning round and round. 
        O, how my tender heart would melt,
        To think what those poor varmin felt!

        I never tied tin-kettle, clog,
        Or salt-box to the tail of dog,
        Without a pang more keen at heart,
        Than he felt at his outward part.

        And when the poor thing clattered off,
        To all the unfeeling mob a scoff,
        Thought I, “What that dumb creature feels,
        With half the parish at his heels!”

        Arrived, you see, to man’s estate,
        The butcher’s calling is my fate;
        Yet still I keep my feeling ways. 
        And leave the town on slaughtering days.

        At Kentish Town, or Highgate Hill,
        I sit, retired, beside some rill;
        And tears bedew my glistening eye,
        To think my playful lambs must die!

        But when they’re dead I sell their meat,
        On shambles kept both clean and neat;
        Sweet-breads also I guard full well,
        And keep them from the blue-bottle.

        Envy, with breath sharp as my steel,
        Has ne’er yet blown upon my veal;
        And mouths of dames, and daintiest fops,
        Do water at my nice lamb-chops.

[Exit, half laughing, half crying.]

SCENE III.—­A Street.

(Davenport, solus.)

DAVENPORT Thus far have I secured my charming prize.  I can appretiate, while I lament, the delicacy which makes her refuse the protection of my sister’s roof.  But who comes here?

(Enter Pendulous, agitated.) It must be he.  That fretful animal motion—­that face working up and down with uneasy sensibility, like new yeast.  Jack—­Jack Pendulous!

It is your old friend, and very miserable.

DAVENPORT Vapours, Jack.  I have not known you fifteen years to have to guess at your complaint.  Why, they troubled you at school.  Do you remember when you had to speak the speech of Buckingham, where he is going to execution?

Execution!—­he has certainly heard it. (Aside.)

What a pucker you were in overnight!

May be so, may be so, Mr. Davenport.  That was an imaginary scene.  I have
had real troubles since.

Pshaw! so you call every common accident.

Do you call my case so common, then?

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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