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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to John Bates Dibdin, [14 July 1826]

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
[p.m. July 14, 1826.]
BECAUSE you boast poetic Grandsire,
And rhyming kin, both Uncle and Sire,
Dost think that none but their Descendings
Can tickle folks with double endings?
I had a Dad, that would for half a bet
Have put down thine thro’ half the Alphabet.
Thou, who would be Dan Prior the second,
For Dan Posterior must be reckon’d.
In faith, dear Tim, your rhymes are slovenly,
As a man may say, dough-baked and ovenly;
Tedious and long as two Long Acres,
And smell most vilely of the Baker’s.
(I have been cursing every limb o’ thee,
Because I could not hitch in Timothy.
Jack, Will, Tom, Dick’s, a serious evil,
But Tim, plain Tim’s—the very devil.)
Thou most incorrigible scribbler,
Right Watering place and cockney dribbler,
What child, that barely understands A
B, C, would ever dream that Stanza
Would tinkle into rhyme with “Plan, Sir”?
Go, go, you are not worth an answer.
I had a Sire, that at plain Crambo
Had hit you o’er the pate a damn’d blow.
How now? may I die game, and you die brass,
But I have stol’n a quip from Hudibras.
’Twas thinking on that fine old Suttler,
That was in faith a second Butler;
Had as queer rhymes as he, and subtler.
He would have put you to’t this weather
For rattling syllables together;
Rhym’d you to death, like “rats in Ireland,”
Except that he was born in High’r Land.
His chimes, not crampt like thine, and rung ill,
Had made Job split his sides on dunghill.
There was no limit to his merryings
At christ’nings, weddings, nay at buryings.
No undertaker would live near him,
Those grave practitioners did fear him;
Mutes, at his merry mops, turned “vocal,”
And fellows, hired for silence, “spoke all.”
No body could be laid in cavity,
Long as he lived, with proper gravity.
His mirth-fraught eye had but to glitter,
And every mourner round must titter.
The Parson, prating of Mount Hermon,
Stood still to laugh, in midst of sermon.
The final Sexton (smile he must for him)
Could hardly get to “dust to dust” for him.
He lost three pall-bearers their livelyhood,
Only with simp’ring at his lively mood:
Provided that they fresh and neat came,
All jests were fish that to his net came.
He’d banter Apostolic castings,
As you jeer fishermen at Hastings.
When the fly bit, like me, he leapt-o’er-all,
And stood not much on what was scriptural.
P. S.
I had forgot, at Small Bohemia
(Enquire the way of your maid Euphemia)
Are sojourning, of all good fellows
The prince and princess,—the Novellos
Pray seek ’em out, and give my love to ’em;
You’ll find you’ll soon be hand and glove to ’em.

In prose, Little Bohemia, about a mile from Hastings in the Hollington road, when you can get so far. Dear Dib, I find relief in a word or two of prose. In truth my rhymes come slow. You have “routh of ’em.” It gives us pleasure to find you keep your good spirits. Your Letter did us good. Pray heaven you are got out at last. Write quickly.

This letter will introduce you, if ’tis agreeable. Take a donkey. ’Tis Novello the Composer and his Wife, our very good friends.

C. L.