Heroes of Myth and Legend

P. F. Collier & Son
9
4.2
9 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
P. F. Collier & Son
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Published on
Dec 31, 1903
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Pages
691
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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Once upon a time there was a little chimney-sweep, and his name was Tom. That is a short name, and you have heard it before, so you will not have much trouble in remembering it. He lived in a great town in the North country, where there were plenty of chimneys to sweep, and plenty of money for Tom to earn and his master to spend. He could not read nor write, and did not care to do either; and he never washed himself, for there was no water up the court where he lived. He had never been taught to say his prayers. He never had heard of God, or of Christ, except in words which you never have heard, and which it would have been well if he had never heard. He cried half his time, and laughed the other half. He cried when he had to climb the dark flues, rubbing his poor knees and elbows raw; and when the soot got into his eyes, which it did every day in the week; and when his master beat him, which he did every day in the week; and when he had not enough to eat, which happened every day in the week likewise. And he laughed the other half of the day, when he was tossing halfpennies with the other boys, or playing leap-frog over the posts, or bowling stones at the horses' legs as they trotted by, which last was excellent fun, when there was a wall at hand behind which to hide. As for chimney-sweeping, and being hungry, and being beaten, he took all that for the way of the world, like the rain and snow and thunder, and stood manfully with his back to it till it was over, as his old donkey did to a hail-storm; and then shook his ears and was as jolly as ever; and thought of the fine times coming, when he would be a man, and a master sweep, and sit in the public-house with a quart of beer and a long pipe, and play cards for silver money, and wear velveteens and ankle-jacks, and keep a white bull-dog with one grey ear, and carry her puppies in his pocket, just like a man. And he would have apprentices, one, two, three, if he could. How he would bully them, and knock them about, just as his master did to him; and make them carry home the soot sacks, while he rode before them on his donkey, with a pipe in his mouth and a flower in his button-hole, like a king at the head of his army. Yes, there were good times coming; and, when his master let him have a pull at the leavings of his beer, Tom was the jolliest boy in the whole town.

One day a smart little groom rode into the court where Tom lived. Tom was just hiding behind a wall, to heave half a brick at his horse's legs, as is the custom of that country when they welcome strangers; but the groom saw him, and halloed to him to know where Mr. Grimes, the chimney-sweep, lived. Now, Mr. Grimes was Tom's own master, and Tom was a good man of business, and always civil to customers, so he put the half-brick down quietly behind the wall, and proceeded to take orders.

A Dissertation
upon Roast Pig


This book include
Charles Lamb’s biography and his works.
  



A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig
is a collection of food-related essays from the early 19th century, with a
humorous bent. They're but a few pages each - a light read to bring a smile to
your face, then on to the next little foodie treat.
 



Charles Lamb's writing is
playful and amusing. He'll have you chuckling away at his creation myth for the
titular roast pig, then set your mouth watering with an enticing description of
its succulence. It's not quite all-out food porn, but I would quite like some
crackling, even though I'm full right now. Food might be the broad umbrella
under which all his essays find themselves, but there's nothing samey about any
of the offerings, whether it be the hungry chimney sweeps, metaphors of London
fogs as food, or a pun-heavy conceit of the days of the year all coming to a
feast.
 



The only possible criticism
is one that often applies to collections of essays or short stories: that it's
all very well done and a pleasant read, but it's never quite substantial enough
to really get your teeth into. Each piece does everything they set out to do -
they're clever, engaging and evocative - but they're not so roaringly funny
that you'll grab the nearest person and insist they read it, or delve into deep
deep food fantasies. There's a sense of Very good. Next? Wonderful as a light
snack, but lacking slightly as a main meal.
 



Beyond the format (and that's
not something that you'd want to change anyway), there's nothing to knock in 'A
Dissertation Upon Roast Pig. It speaks to a modern audience as much as it did
to its 19th century audience. Such is the quality of the writing that there's
little to date it; it's as sparkling as it ever was. Timeless humour is
particularly difficult to achieve, and this is greatly to Lamb's credit.
 



If you're looking for a high
quality yet relaxed read, with humour and food woven together, then A
Dissertation Upon Roast Pig is an excellent choice. You might not head back for
leftovers the next day, but that's by no means the end of the world. Warmly
recommended.

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