Charles Lamb (1775–1834) and Godwin first met at Coleridge’s house on 8 February 1800. When Lamb, a former critic of Godwin’s views, began to bait the older man, Godwin is said to have quietly asked: ‘Pray Mr Lamb, are you toad or frog?’ (Southey, vol. 6, p. 288). The question was a disarming one, since it alluded to the famous ‘New Morality’ cartoon by James Gillray (1757–1815) in the Anti-Jacobin Review of July 1798, where Lamb and Charles Lloyd (1775–1839) had been portrayed as toad and frog for their joint authorship of a collection of poems entitled Blank Verse (1798). It also established a kinship between the pair, since Godwin himself was depicted in the same cartoon as an ass braying aloud from Political Justice. Lamb asked Godwin to dine the following day and wrote to his friend Thomas Manning: ‘Philosopher Godwin! Dines with me on your Turkey this day. = I expect the roof to fall and crush the Atheist’ (Marrs, vol. 1, p. 183). In fact the two got on well. Godwin went home to read Lamb’s novel, Rosamund Gray (1798), and on 18 February Lamb wrote again to Manning: ‘Godwin I am a good deal pleased with –. He is a well behaved decent man, nothing very brilliant about him or imposing as you suppose; quite another Guess sort of Gentleman from what your Anti Jacobins Christians imagine him –. I was well pleased to find he has neither horns nor claws, quite a tame creature I assure you’ (ibid., pp. 185–6). Lamb and Godwin soon became firm friends, and remained close for the rest of their lives. At the end of the year Lamb became interested in Godwin’s blank verse play, Antonio; or, The Soldier’s Return, performed for a single night on 13 December 1800 and, in Lamb’s words, ‘Damned with Universal Consent’ (S&C, vol. 1, p. 243).