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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to John Payne Collier, 16 May 1821

Contents vol. VI
Letters: 1796
Letters: 1797
Letters: 1798
Letters: 1799
Letters: 1800
Letters: 1801
Letters: 1802
Letters: 1803
Letters: 1804
Letters: 1805
Letters: 1806
Letters: 1807
Letters: 1808
Letters: 1809
Letters: 1810
Letters: 1811
Letters: 1812
Letters: 1814
Letters: 1815
Letters: 1816
Letters: 1817
Letters: 1818
Letters: 1819
Letters: 1820
Letters: 1821
Contents vol. VII
Letters: 1821
Letters: 1822
Letters: 1823
Letters: 1824
Letters: 1825
Letters: 1826
Letters: 1827
Letters: 1828
Letters: 1829
Letters: 1830
Letters: 1831
Letters: 1832
Letters: 1833
Letters: 1834
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
List of Letters
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Produced by CATH
May 16, 1821.

DEAR J. P. C.,—Many thanks for the “Decameron:” I have not such a gentleman’s book in my collection: it was a great treat to me, and I got it just as I was wanting something of the sort. I take less pleasure in books than heretofore, but I like books about books. In the second volume, in particular, are treasures—your discoveries about “Twelfth Night,” etc. What a Shakespearian essence that speech of Osrades for food!—Shakespeare is coarse to it—beginning “Forbear and eat no more.” Osrades warms up to that, but does not set out ruffian-swaggerer. The character of the Ass with those three lines, worthy to be set in gilt vellum, and worn in frontlets by the noble beasts for ever—
“Thou would, perhaps, he should become thy foe,
And to that end dost beat him many times:
He cares not for himself, much less thy blow.”
Cervantes, Sterne, and Coleridge, have said positively nothing for asses compared with this.

I write in haste; but p. 24, vol. i., the line you cannot appropriate is Gray’s sonnet, specimenifyed by Wordsworth in first preface to L. B., as mixed of bad and good style: p. 143, 2nd vol., you will find last poem but one of the collection on Sidney’s death in Spenser, the line,
Scipio, Cæsar, Petrarch of our time.”
This fixes it to be
Raleigh’s: I had guess’d it to be Daniel’s. The last after it, “Silence augmenteth rage,” I will be crucified if it be not Lord Brooke’s. Hang you, and all meddling researchers, hereafter, that by raking into learned dust may find me out wrong in my conjecture!

Dear J. P. C., I shall take the first opportunity of personally thanking you for my entertainment. We are at Dalston for the
most part, but I fully hope for an evening soon with you in Russell or Bouverie Street, to talk over old times and books. Remember us kindly to
Mrs. J. P. C.

Yours very kindly,
Charles Lamb.

I write in misery.

N.B.—The best pen I could borrow at our butcher’s: the ink, I verily believe, came out of the kennel.