AN UNPUBLISHED STROY OF "ELIA."
The late Charles MATTHEWS used to tell, with great glee, a little story of Charles LAMB which he vouched for as authentic, and believed to be authentic. I am indebted for it to Mr. Henry S. LEIGH (the poet of Cockayne), who had it from the lips of his friend, the famous actor.
One evening Mary LAMB took a sudden and violent fancy to have some Stilton cheese for supper, and article of which they had not a scarp in the house. It was very wet and getting rather late; but Charles with that self denial which showed itself in life long devotion to his sister, at once volunteered to try whether any could be got. He sallied forth, and reached their cheesemonger just as the shutters were being put up.
In reply to his demand he was assured that they had some fine ripe Stilton; and the shopkeeper proceeded to cut off a slice. As it lay on the scales LAMB's attention was forcibly arrested by the lively gambols of a number of maggots which came to the surface of the "fine ripe Stilton."
"Now Mr. LAMB," said the cheesemonger, "shall I have the pleasure of sending this home for you?"
"No, th-th-thank you," said Charles. "If you will give me a bit of twine, I co-co-could p'rhaps l-l-lead it home!"
The manner in which Charles MATTHEWS rendered LAMB's stutter was, says Mr. LEIGH, inimitable.