Friday, March 9, 2012

Pig Tale

In a letter Charles Lamb wrote to Samuel Taylor Coleridge on March 9, 1822, a pig provides a source of some amusement:

‘It gives me great satisfaction to hear that the pig turned out so well – they are interesting creatures at a certain age – what a pity such buds should blow out into the maturity of rank bacon!  You had some of the crackling – and brain sauce – did you remember to rub it with butter, and gently dredge it a little, just before the crisis?...Not that I sent the pig…’

Another porcine character amused the Scott party one day, and inspired Scott to turn to verse, as told in Richard Hutton’s “Sir Walter Scott”.  ‘The order of march had been all settled, and the sociable was under weigh, when the lady Anne broke from the line, screaming with laughter, and exclaimed, “Papa! Papa! I know could never think of going without your pet.”  Scott looked round, and I rather think there was a blush as well as a smile upon his face, when he perceived a little black pig frisking about his pony, and evidently a self-elected addition to the party of the day.  He tried to look stern, and cracked his whip at the creature, but was in a moment obliged to join in the general cheers.  Poor piggy soon found a strap round his neck, and was dragged into the background.  Scott, watching the retreat, repeated with mock pathos the first verse of an old pastoral song:

“What will I do gin my hoggie die?
My joy, my pride, my hoggie!
My only beast, I had nae mae,
And wow! But I was vogie!”…

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