LETTER 264 CHARLES LAMB TO DOROTHY WORDSWORTH
[P.M. January 8, 1821.]
Mary perfectly approves of the appropriat'n of the feathers, and wishes them Peacocks for your fair niece's sake!
Dear Miss Wordsworth, I had just written the above endearing words when Monkhouse tapped me on the shoulder with an invitation to cold goose pye, which I was not Bird of that sort enough to decline. Mrs. M. I am most happy to say is better. Mary has been tormented with a Rheumatism, which is leaving her. I am suffering from the festivities of the season. I wonder how my misused carcase holds it out. I have play'd the experimental philosopher on it, that's certain. Willy shall be welcome to a mince pye, and a bout at Commerce, whenever he comes. He was in our eye. I am glad you liked my new year's speculations. Everybody likes them, except the Author of the Pleasures of Hope. Disappointment attend him! How I like to be liked, and what I do to be liked! They flatter me in magazines, newspapers, and all the minor reviews. The Quarterlies hold aloof. But they must come into it in time, or their leaves be waste paper. Salute Trinity Library in my name. Two special things are worth seeing at Cambridge, a portrait of Cromwell at Sidney, and a better of Dr. Harvey (who found out that blood was red) at Dr. Davy's. You should see them.
Coleridge is pretty well, I have not seen him, but hear often of him from Alsop, who sends me hares and pheasants twice a week. I can hardly take so fast as he gives. I have almost forgotten Butcher's meat, as Plebeian. Are you not glad the Cold is gone? I find winters not so agreeable as they used to be, when "winter bleak had charms for me." I cannot conjure up a kind similitude for those snowy flakes—Let them keep to Twelfth Cakes.
Mrs. Paris, our Cambridge friend, has been in Town. You do not know theWatfords? in Trumpington Street—they are capital people.
Ask any body you meet, who is the biggest woman in Cambridge—and I'll hold you a wager they'll say Mrs. Smith.
She broke down two benches in Trinity Gardens, one on the confines of St. John's, which occasioned a litigation between the societies as to repairing it. In warm weather she retires into an ice-cellar (literally!) and dates the returns of the years from a hot Thursday some 20 years back. She sits in a room with opposite doors and windows, to let in a thorough draught, which gives her slenderer friends tooth-aches. She is to be seen in the market every morning at 10, cheapening fowls, which I observe the Cambridge Poulterers are not sufficiently careful to stump.
Having now answered most of the points containd in your Letter, let me end with assuring you of our very best kindness, and excuse Mary from not handling the Pen on this occasion, especially as it has fallen into so much better hands! Will Dr. W. accept of my respects at the end of a foolish Letter.C.L.
[Miss Wordsworth was visiting her brother, Christopher Wordsworth, theMaster of Trinity.
Willy was William Wordsworth, junr....