LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
Charles Lamb III
Peter George Patmore to Charles Lamb, [September? 1827]

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

Dear Lamb,—Dash is very mad indeed. As I knew you would be shocked to hear it, I did not volunteer to trouble your peaceful retreat by the sad information, thinking it could do no good, either to you, to Dash, to us, or to the innocent creature that he has already bitten, or to those he may (please God) bite hereafter. But when you ask it of me as a friend, I cannot withhold the truth from you. The poor little patient has resolutely refused to touch water (either hot or cold) ever since, and if we attempt to force it down her throat, she scratches, grins, fights, makes faces, and utters strange noises, showing every recognised symptom of being very mad indeed. . . . As for your panacea (of shooting the bitten one), we utterly set our faces against it, not thinking death ‘a happy release’ under any given circumstances, and being specially averse to
it under circumstances given by our own neglect.

“By the bye, it has just occurred to me, that the fact of the poor little sufferer making a noise more like a cat’s than a dog’s, may possibly indicate that she is not quite so mad as we at first feared. Still there is no saying but the symptom may be one of aggravation. Indeed I shouldn’t wonder if the ‘faculty’ preferred the bark, as that (under the queer name of quinine) has been getting very fashionable among them of late.

“I wish you could have seen the poor little patient before we got rid of her—how she scoured round the kitchen among the pots and pans, scampered about the garden, and clambered up to the tops of the highest trees. (No symptoms of high-drophobia, you will say, in that). . . .

“By the bye again, I have entirely forgotten to tell you, that the injured innocent is not one of our children, but of the cat’s; and this reminds me to tell you that, putting cats out of the question (to which, like some of his so-called ‘betters,’ Dash has evidently a ‘natural antipathy’), he comports himself
in all other respects as a sane and well-bred dog should do. In fact, his distemper, I am happy to tell you, is clearly not insanity, but only a temporary hallucination or monomania in regard (want of regard, you will say) to one particular species of his fellow-creatures—videlicet, cats. (For the delicate distinctions in these cases, see
Haslam passim; or pass him, if you prefer it). . . .

“With respect to the second subject of your kind inquiries—the lady, and the success of her prescribed regimen—I will not say that she absolutely barks at the sight of water when proffered to her, but she shakes her head, and sighs piteously, which are bad symptoms. In sober seriousness, her watery regimen does not yet show any signs of doing her good, and we have now finally determined on going to France for the summer, and shall leave North End, with that purpose, in about three weeks.

“I was going up to Colnbrook Cottage on the very Monday that you left; but (for a wonder) I took the precaution of calling on your ancient friend at the factory in my way, and learned that you had left. . . .
I hope you will not feel yourselves justified in remaining long at Enfield, for if you do, I shall certainly devise some means of getting down to see you, in which case I shall inevitably stay very late at night, and in all human probability shall be stopped and robbed in coming back; so that your sister, if not you, will see the propriety of your returning to town as soon as may be.

“Talking of being stopped on the King’s Highway, reminds me of Dash’s last exploit. He was out at near dusk, down the lane, a few nights ago, with his mistress (who is as fond of him as his master—please to be careful how you construe this last equivocally expressed phrase, and don’t make the ‘master’ an accusative case), when Dash attacked a carpenter, armed with a large saw—not Dash, but the carpenter—and a ‘wise saw’ it turned out, for its teeth protected him from Dash’s, and a battle royal ensued, worthy the Surrey Theatre. Mrs. Patmore says that it was really frightful to see the saw, and the way in which it and Dash gnashed their teeth at each other.” . . . .

“Ever yours,
P. G. P.”