As was the way back then, Charles’ sister – Mary Lamb – was carted off to a lunatic asylum in Islington.
Despite all her madness though, Charles was clearly fond of Mary, so got her out and promised to look after her from thenceforward.
He burnt his fingers, and to cool them he applied them in his booby fashion to his mouth.
Some of the crums of the scorched skin had come away with his fingers, and for the first time in his life (in the world’s life indeed, for before him no man had known it) he tasted —! It did not burn him so much now, still he licked his fingers from a sort of habit.
A perfect example of how something published almost two hundred years ago can be just as relevant now as back then.
Mankind, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M.was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day.This period is not obscurely hinted at by their great Confucius in the second chapter of his Mundane Mutations, where he designates a kind of golden age by the term Cho-fang, literally the Cooks’ holiday.The townspeople initially fashion a gridiron to cook the pig on, and finally a spit. Nonsense-creation-myth aside, Lamb touches on greed and generosity in the most humorous and eloquent way: “thin, devotional tone as they say the grace – and how the most sincerest of graces are often said from those who have the least to thank for.For five academic years I said grace twice a day, before leaving school and – unquestioningly – have never said a grace since.The truth at length broke into his slow understanding, that it was the pig that smelt so, and the pig that tasted so delicious; and, surrendering himself up to the newborn pleasure, he fell to tearing up whole handfuls of the scorched skin with the flesh next it, and was cramming it down his throat in his beastly fashion, when his sire entered amid the smoking rafters, armed with retributory cudgel, and finding how affairs stood, began to rain blows upon the young rogue’s shoulders, as thick as hail-stones, which Bo-bo heeded not any more than if they had been flies.The tickling pleasure, which he experienced in his lower regions, had rendered him quite callous to any inconveniences he might feel in those remote quarters.Bo-bo was in the utmost consternation, as you may think, not so much for the sake of the tenement, which his father and he could easily build up again with a few dry branches, and the labour of an hour or two, at any time, as for the loss of the pigs.While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking remnants of one of those untimely sufferers, an odour assailed his nostrils, unlike any scent which he had before experienced. — not from the burnt cottage — he had smelt that smell before — indeed this was by no means the first accident of the kind which had occurred through the negligence of this unlucky young fire-brand.After Bo-bo’s discovery, him and his father start herding pigs into their house, and burning it down with such alarming regularity, they are eventually summoned to court.The judge learns about the delicacy the pair have stumbled on, and decides to give it a go himself.