The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 408 pages of information about The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4.
must shortly be introduced into the world and sit at table with us, where she will see some things which will shock all her received notions, I have been endeavoring by little and little to break her mind, and prepare it for the disagreeable impressions which must be forced upon it.  The first hint I gave her upon the subject, I could see her recoil from it with the same horror with which we listen to a tale of Anthropophagism; but she has gradually grown more reconciled to it, in some measure, from my telling her that it was the custom of the world,—­to which, however senseless, we must submit, so far as we could do it with innocence, not to give offence; and she has shown so much strength of mind on other occasions, which I have no doubt is owing to the calmness and serenity superinduced by her diet, that I am in good hopes when the proper season for her debut arrives, she may be brought to endure the sight of a roasted chicken, or a dish of sweet-breads for the first time without fainting.  Such being the nature of our little household, you may guess what inroads into the economy of it,—­what resolutions and turnings of things upside down, the example of such a feeder as Mr. ——­ is calculated to produce.

I wonder, at a time like the present, when the scarcity of every kind of food is so painfully acknowledged, that shame has no effect upon him.  Can he have read Mr. Malthus’s Thoughts on the Ratio of Food to Population?  Can he think it reasonable that one man should consume the sustenance of many?

The young gentleman has an agreeable air and person, such as are not unlikely to recommend him on the score of matrimony.  But his fortune is not over-large; and what prudent young woman would think of embarking hers with a man who would bring three or four mouths (or what is equivalent to them) into a family?  She might as reasonably choose a widower in the same circumstances, with three or four children.

I cannot think who he takes after.  His father and mother, by all accounts, were very moderate eaters; only I have heard that the latter swallowed her victuals very fast, and the former had a tedious custom of sitting long at his meals.  Perhaps he takes after both.

I wish you would turn this in your thoughts, Mr. Reflector, and give us your ideas on the subject of excessive eating, and, particularly, of animal food.




MR. REFLECTOR,—­I am going to lay before you a case of the most iniquitous persecution that ever poor devil suffered.

You must know, then, that I have been visited with a calamity ever since my birth.  How shall I mention it without offending delicacy?  Yet out it must.  My sufferings, then, have all arisen from a most inordinate appetite——­

Not for wealth, not for vast possessions,—­then might I have hoped to find a cure in some of those precepts of philosophers or poets,—­those verba et voces which Horace speaks of:—­

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The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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