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Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. VI-VII. Letters
Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, [13 April 1803]

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
April 13th, 1803.

MY dear Coleridge,—Things have gone on better with me since you left me. I expect to have my old housekeeper home again in a week or two. She has mended most rapidly. My health too has been better since you took away that Montero cap. I have left off cayenned eggs and such bolsters to discomfort. There was death in that cap. I mischievously wished that by some inauspicious jolt the whole contents might be shaken, and the coach set on fire. For you said they had that property. How the old Gentleman, who joined you at Grantham, would have clappt his hands to his knees, and not knowing but it was an immediate visitation of God that burnt him, how pious it would have made
him; him, I mean, that brought the Influenza with him, and only took places for one—a damn’d old sinner, he must have known what he had got with him! However, I wish the cap no harm for the sake of the head it fits, and could be content to see it disfigure my healthy sideboard again. [Here is a paragraph erased.]

What do you think of smoking? I want your sober, average noon opinion of it. I generally am eating my dinner about the time I should determine it. [Another small erasure.]

Morning is a Girl, and can’t smoke—she’s no evidence one way or other; and Night is so evidently bought over, that he can’t be a very upright Judge. May be the truth is, that one pipe is wholesome, two pipes toothsome, three pipes noisome, four pipes fulsome, five pipes quarrelsome; and that’s the sum on’t. But that is deciding rather upon rhyme than reason. . . . After all, our instincts may be best. Wine, I am sure, good, mellow, generous Port, can hurt nobody, unless they take it to excess, which they may easily avoid if they observe the rules of temperance.

Bless you, old Sophist, who next to Human Nature taught me all the corruption I was capable of knowing—And bless your Montero Cap, and your trail (which shall come after you whenever you appoint), and your wife and children—Pi pos especially.

When shall we two smoke again? Last night I had been in a sad quandary of spirits, in what they call the evening; but a pipe and some generous Port, and King Lear (being alone), had its effects as a remonstrance. I went to bed pot-valiant. By the way, may not the Ogles of Somersetshire be remotely descended from King Lear?

Love to Sara, and ask her what gown she means that Mary has got of hers. I know of none but what went with Miss Wordsworth’s things to Wordsworth, and was paid for out of their money. I allude to a part which I may have read imperfectly in a letter of hers to you.

C. L.