It is better, at any rate, than always aiming at dulness.
When some one said to him, You are always aiming at wit.
On Crabb Robinsons telling him, soon after being called to the bar, that he had a case in the Kings Bench, Lamb replied, I suppose you addressed Miltons line to it: Thou first best cause, least understood. The story is probably incorrectly told, as the line is from Popes Universal Prayer:
Thou Great First Cause, least understood.
An old lady complained that Lamb did not seem to be hearing what she was saying. I cannot say that I am, was his answer: but perhaps the lady on the other side of me is; for it goes in at one ear, and out of the other.
When told that eight persons had dined together on the top of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, he remarked, They must have been very sharp set!
When reminded by a superior at India House that he came very late to the office, Lamb replied with the most innocent manner in the world, Yes, sir; but you must remember that I go away early.
A gentleman looked into a crowded coach with the question, All full inside? to which Lamb replied, I dont know how it may be with the other passengers, but that last piece of oyster-pie did the business for me!