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◈ Letters Of John Keats To His Family And Friends (존 키츠의 편지) ◈

◇ 7. (1819년 상반기) ◇

해설목차  서문  1권  2권  3권  4권  5권  6권  7권 8권  9권  May 1891.
John Keats

1. LXXXI.—TO RICHARD WOODHOUSE.

1.1. Wentworth Place, Friday Morn [December 18, 1818].

 
1
My dear Woodhouse—I am greatly obliged to you. I must needs feel flattered by making an impression on a set of ladies. I should be content to do so by meretricious romance verse, if they alone, and not men, were to judge. I should like very much to know those ladies—though look here, Woodhouse—I have a new leaf to turn over: I must work; I must read; I must write. I am unable to afford time for new acquaintances. I am scarcely able to do my duty to those I have. Leave the matter to chance. But do not forget to give my remembrances to your cousin.
 
2
Yours most sincerely
3
John Keats.
 

 

2. LXXXII.—TO MRS. REYNOLDS.

2.1. Wentworth Place, Tuesd. [December 22, 1818].

 
1
My dear Mrs. Reynolds—When I left you yesterday, ’twas with the conviction that you thought I had received no previous invitation for Christmas day: the truth is I had, and had accepted it under the conviction that I should be in Hampshire at the time: else believe me I should not have done so, but kept in Mind my old friends. I will not speak of the proportion of pleasure I may receive at different Houses—that never enters my head—you may take for a truth that I would have given up even what I did see to be a greater pleasure, for the sake of old acquaintanceship—time is nothing—two years are as long as twenty.
 
2
Yours faithfully
3
John Keats.
 

 

3. LXXXIII.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

3.1. Wentworth Place, Tuesday [December 22, 1818].

 
1
My dear Haydon—Upon my Soul I never felt your going out of the room at all—and believe me I never rhodomontade anywhere but in your Company—my general Life in Society is silence. I feel in myself all the vices of a Poet, irritability, love of effect and admiration—and influenced by such devils I may at times say more ridiculous things than I am aware of—but I will put a stop to that in a manner I have long resolved upon—I will buy a gold ring and put it on my finger—and from that time a Man of superior head shall never have occasion to pity me, or one of inferior Nunskull to chuckle at me. I am certainly more for greatness in a shade than in the open day—I am speaking as a mortal—I should say I value more the privilege of seeing great things in loneliness than the fame of a Prophet. Yet here I am sinning—so I will turn to a thing I have thought on more—I mean your means till your picture be finished: not only now but for this year and half have I thought of it. Believe me Haydon I have that sort of fire in my heart that would sacrifice everything I have to your service—I speak without any reserve—I know you would do so for me—I open my heart to you in a few words. I will do this sooner than you shall be distressed: but let me be the last stay—Ask the rich lovers of Art first—I’ll tell you why—I have a little money which may enable me to study, and to travel for three or four years. I never expect to get anything by my Books: and moreover I wish to avoid publishing—I admire Human Nature but I do not like Men. I should like to compose things honourable to Man—but not fingerable over by Men. So I am anxious to exist without troubling the printer’s devil or drawing upon Men’s or Women’s admiration—in which great solitude I hope God will give me strength to rejoice. Try the long purses—but do not sell your drawings or I shall consider it a breach of friendship. I am sorry I was not at home when Salmon called. Do write and let me know all your present whys and wherefores.
 
2
Yours most faithfully
3
John Keats.
 

 

4. LXXXIV.—TO JOHN TAYLOR.

4.1. Wentworth Place, [December 24, 1818].

 
1
My dear Taylor—Can you lend me £30 for a short time? Ten I want for myself—and twenty for a friend—which will be repaid me by the middle of next month. I shall go to Chichester on Wednesday and perhaps stay a fortnight—I am afraid I shall not be able to dine with you before I return. Remember me to Woodhouse.
 
2
Yours sincerely
3
John Keats.
 

 

5. LXXXV.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

5.1. Wentworth Place, [December 27, 1818].

 
1
My dear Haydon—I had an engagement to-day—and it is so fine a morning that I cannot put it off—I will be with you to-morrow—when we will thank the Gods, though you have bad eyes and I am idle.
 
2
I regret more than anything the not being able to dine with you to-day. I have had several movements that way—but then I should disappoint one who has been my true friend. I will be with you to-morrow morning and stop all day—we will hate the profane vulgar and make us Wings.
 
3
God bless you.
4
J. Keats.
 

 

6. LXXXVI.—TO FANNY KEATS.

6.1. Wentworth Place, Wednesday [December 30, 1818].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I am confined at Hampstead with a sore throat; but I do not expect it will keep me above two or three days. I intended to have been in Town yesterday but feel obliged to be careful a little while. I am in general so careless of these trifles, that they tease me for Months, when a few days’ care is all that is necessary. I shall not neglect any chance of an endeavour to let you return to School—nor to procure you a Visit to Mrs. Dilke’s which I have great fears about. Write me if you can find time—and also get a few lines ready for George as the Post sails next Wednesday.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

7. LXXXVII.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

7.1. Wentworth Place, Monday Aft. [January 4, 1819].

 
1
My dear Haydon—I have been out this morning, and did not therefore see your note till this minute, or I would have gone to town directly—it is now too late for to-day. I will be in town early to-morrow, and trust I shall be able to lend you assistance noon or night. I was struck with the improvement in the architectural part of your Picture—and, now I think on it, I cannot help wondering you should have had it so poor, especially after the Solomon. Excuse this dry bones of a note: for though my pen may grow cold, I should be sorry my Life should freeze—
 
2
Your affectionate friend
3
John Keats.
 

 

8. LXXXVIII.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

8.1. Wentworth Place, [between January 7 and 14, 1819].

 
1
My dear Haydon—We are very unlucky—I should have stopped to dine with you, but I knew I should not have been able to leave you in time for my plaguy sore throat; which is getting well.
 
2
I shall have a little trouble in procuring the Money and a great ordeal to go through—no trouble indeed to any one else—or ordeal either. I mean I shall have to go to town some thrice, and stand in the Bank an hour or two—to me worse than anything in Dante—I should have less chance with the people around me than Orpheus had with the Stones. I have been writing a little now and then lately: but nothing to speak of—being discontented and as it were moulting. Yet I do not think I shall ever come to the rope or the Pistol, for after a day or two’s melancholy, although I smoke more and more my own insufficiency—I see by little and little more of what is to be done, and how it is to be done, should I ever be able to do it. On my soul, there should be some reward for that continual agonie ennuyeuse. I was thinking of going into Hampshire for a few days. I have been delaying it longer than I intended. You shall see me soon; and do not be at all anxious, for this time I really will do, what I never did before in my life, business in good time, and properly.—With respect to the Bond—it may be a satisfaction to you to let me have it: but as you love me do not let there be any mention of interest, although we are mortal men—and bind ourselves for fear of death.
 
3
Yours for ever
4
John Keats.
 

 

9. LXXXIX.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

9.1. Wentworth Place, [January 1819].

 
1
My dear Haydon—My throat has not suffered me yet to expose myself to the night air: however I have been to town in the day time—have had several interviews with my guardian—have written him rather a plain-spoken Letter—which has had its effect; and he now seems inclined to put no stumbling-block in my way: so that I see a good prospect of performing my promise. What I should have lent you ere this if I could have got it, was belonging to poor Tom—and the difficulty is whether I am to inherit it before my Sister is of age; a period of six years. Should it be so I must incontinently take to Corduroy Trousers. But I am nearly confident ’tis all a Bam. I shall see you soon—but do let me have a line to-day or to-morrow concerning your health and spirits.
 
2
Your sincere friend
3
John Keats.
 

 

10. XC.—TO FANNY KEATS.

10.1. Wentworth Place, [January 1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I send this to Walthamstow for fear you should not be at Pancras Lane when I call to-morrow—before going into Hampshire for a few days—I will not be more I assure you—You may think how disappointed I am in not being able to see you more and spend more time with you than I do—but how can it be helped? The thought is a continual vexation to me—and often hinders me from reading and composing—Write to me as often as you can—and believe me,
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

11. XCI.—TO FANNY KEATS.

11.1. Wentworth Place, Feby. [11, 1819]. Thursday.

 
1
My dear Fanny—Your Letter to me at Bedhampton hurt me very much,—What objection can there be to your receiving a Letter from me? At Bedhampton I was unwell and did not go out of the Garden Gate but twice or thrice during the fortnight I was there—Since I came back I have been taking care of myself—I have been obliged to do so, and am now in hopes that by this care I shall get rid of a sore throat which has haunted me at intervals nearly a twelvemonth. I had always a presentiment of not being able to succeed in persuading Mr. Abbey to let you remain longer at School—I am very sorry that he will not consent. I recommend you to keep up all that you know and to learn more by yourself however little. The time will come when you will be more pleased with Life—look forward to that time and, though it may appear a trifle be careful not to let the idle and retired Life you lead fix any awkward habit or behaviour on you—whether you sit or walk endeavour to let it be in a seemly and if possible a graceful manner. We have been very little together: but you have not the less been with me in thought. You have no one in the world besides me who would sacrifice anything for you—I feel myself the only Protector you have. In all your little troubles think of me with the thought that there is at least one person in England who if he could would help you out of them—I live in hopes of being able to make you happy.—I should not perhaps write in this manner, if it were not for the fear of not being able to see you often or long together. I am in hopes Mr. Abbey will not object any more to your receiving a letter now and then from me. How unreasonable! I want a few more lines from you for George—there are some young Men, acquaintances of a Schoolfellow of mine, going out to Birkbeck’s at the latter end of this Month—I am in expectation every day of hearing from George—I begin to fear his last letters miscarried. I shall be in town to-morrow—if you should not be in town, I shall send this little parcel by the Walthamstow Coach—I think you will like Goldsmith—Write me soon—
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 
4
Mrs. Dilke has not been very well—she is gone a walk to town to-day for exercise.
 

 

12. XCII.—TO GEORGE AND GEORGIANA KEATS.

12.1. Sunday Morng. February 14, [1819].

 
1
My dear Brother and Sister—How is it that we have not heard from you from the Settlement yet? The letters must surely have miscarried. I am in expectation every day. Peachey wrote me a few days ago, saying some more acquaintances of his were preparing to set out for Birkbeck; therefore, I shall take the opportunity of sending you what I can muster in a sheet or two. I am still at Wentworth Place—indeed, I have kept indoors lately, resolved if possible to rid myself of my sore throat; consequently I have not been to see your Mother since my return from Chichester; but my absence from her has been a great weight upon me. I say since my return from Chichester—I believe I told you I was going thither. I was nearly a fortnight at Mr. John Snook’s and a few days at old Mr. Dilke’s. Nothing worth speaking of happened at either place. I took down some thin paper and wrote on it a little poem called St. Agnes’s Eve, which you shall have as it is when I have finished the blank part of the rest for you. I went out twice at Chichester to dowager Card parties. I see very little now, and very few persons, being almost tired of men and things. Brown and Dilke are very kind and considerate towards me. The Miss R.’s have been stopping next door lately, but are very dull. Miss Brawne and I have every now and then a chat and a tiff. Brown and Dilke are walking round their garden, hands in pockets, making observations. The literary world I know nothing about. There is a poem from Rogers dead born; and another satire is expected from Byron, called “Don Giovanni.” Yesterday I went to town for the first time for these three weeks. I met people from all parts and of all sets—Mr. Towers, one of the Holts, Mr. Dominie Williams, Mr. Woodhouse, Mrs. Hazlitt and son, Mrs. Webb, and Mrs. Septimus Brown. Mr. Woodhouse was looking up at a book window in Newgate Street, and, being short-sighted, twisted his muscles into so queer a stage that I stood by in doubt whether it was him or his brother, if he has one, and turning round, saw Mrs. Hazlitt, with that little Nero, her son. Woodhouse, on his features subsiding, proved to be Woodhouse, and not his brother. I have had a little business with Mr. Abbey from time to time; he has behaved to me with a little Brusquerie: this hurt me a little, especially when I knew him to be the only man in England who dared to say a thing to me I did not approve of without its being resented, or at least noticed—so I wrote him about it, and have made an alteration in my favour—I expect from this to see more of Fanny, who has been quite shut out from me. I see Cobbett has been attacking the Settlement, but I cannot tell what to believe, and shall be all out at elbows till I hear from you. I am invited to Miss Millar’s birthday dance on the 19th—I am nearly sure I shall not be able to go. A dance would injure my throat very much. I see very little of Reynolds. Hunt, I hear, is going on very badly—I mean in money matters. I shall not be surprised to hear of the worst. Haydon too, in consequence of his eyes, is out at elbows. I live as prudently as it is possible for me to do. I have not seen Haslam lately. I have not seen Richards for this half year, Rice for three months, or Charles Cowden Clarke for God knows when.
 
2
When I last called in Henrietta Street[88] Miss Millar was very unwell, and Miss Waldegrave as staid and self-possessed as usual. Henry was well. There are two new tragedies—one by the apostate Maw, and one by Miss Jane Porter. Next week I am going to stop at Taylor’s for a few days, when I will see them both and tell you what they are. Mr. and Mrs. Bentley are well, and all the young carrots. I said nothing of consequence passed at Snook’s—no more than this—that I like the family very much. Mr. and Mrs. Snook were very kind We used to have a little religion and politics together almost every evening,—and sometimes about you. He proposed writing out for me his experience in farming, for me to send to you. If I should have an opportunity of talking to him about it, I will get all I can at all events; but you may say in your answer to this what value you place upon such information. I have not seen Mr. Lewis lately, for I have shrank from going up the hill. Mr. Lewis went a few mornings ago to town with Mrs. Brawne. They talked about me, and I heard that Mr. L. said a thing I am not at all contented with. Says he, “O, he is quite the little poet.” Now this is abominable—You might as well say Buonaparte is quite the little soldier. You see what it is to be under six foot and not a lord. There is a long fuzz to-day in the Examiner about a young man who delighted a young woman with a valentine—I think it must be Ollier’s. Brown and I are thinking of passing the summer at Brussels—If we do, we shall go about the first of May. We—i.e. Brown and I—sit opposite one another all day authorizing (N.B., an “s” instead of a “z” would give a different meaning). He is at present writing a story of an old woman who lived in a forest, and to whom the Devil or one of his aides-de-feu came one night very late and in disguise. The old dame sets before him pudding after pudding—mess after mess—which he devours, and moreover casts his eyes up at a side of Bacon hanging over his head, and at the same time asks if her Cat is a Rabbit. On going he leaves her three pips of Eve’s Apple, and somehow she, having lived a virgin all her life, begins to repent of it, and wished herself beautiful enough to make all the world and even the other world fall in love with her. So it happens, she sets out from her smoky cottage in magnificent apparel.—The first City she enters, every one falls in love with her, from the Prince to the Blacksmith. A young gentleman on his way to the Church to be married leaves his unfortunate Bride and follows this nonsuch—A whole regiment of soldiers are smitten at once and follow her—A whole convent of Monks in Corpus Christi procession join the soldiers.—The mayor and corporation follow the same road—Old and young, deaf and dumb,—all but the blind,—are smitten, and form an immense concourse of people, who——what Brown will do with them I know not. The devil himself falls in love with her, flies away with her to a desert place, in consequence of which she lays an infinite number of eggs—the eggs being hatched from time to time, fill the world with many nuisances, such as John Knox, George Fox, Johanna Southcote, and Gifford.
 
3
There have been within a fortnight eight failures of the highest consequence in London. Brown went a few evenings since to Davenport’s, and on his coming in he talked about bad news in the city with such a face I began to think of a national bankruptcy. I did not feel much surprised and was rather disappointed. Carlisle, a bookseller on the Hone principle, has been issuing pamphlets from his shop in Fleet Street called the Deist. He was conveyed to Newgate last Thursday; he intends making his own defence. I was surprised to hear from Taylor the amount of money of the bookseller’s last sale. What think you of £25,000? He sold 4000 copies of Lord Byron. I am sitting opposite the Shakspeare I brought from the Isle of Wight—and I never look at him but the silk tassels on it give me as much pleasure as the face of the poet itself.[89]
 
4
In my next packet, as this is one by the way, I shall send you the Pot of Basil, St. Agnes Eve, and if I should have finished it, a little thing called the Eve of St. Mark. You see what fine Mother Radcliff names I have—it is not my fault—I do not search for them. I have not gone on with Hyperion—for to tell the truth I have not been in great cue for writing lately—I must wait for the spring to rouse me up a little. The only time I went out from Bedhampton was to see a chapel consecrated—Brown, I, and John Snook the boy, went in a chaise behind a leaden horse. Brown drove, but the horse did not mind him. This chapel is built by a Mr. Way, a great Jew converter, who in that line has spent one hundred thousand pounds. He maintains a great number of poor Jews—Of course his communion plate was stolen. He spoke to the clerk about it—The clerk said he was very sorry, adding, “I dare shay, your honour, it’s among ush.”
 
5
The chapel is built in Mr. Way’s park. The consecration was not amusing. There were numbers of carriages—and his house crammed with clergy—They sanctified the Chapel, and it being a wet day, consecrated the burial-ground through the vestry window. I begin to hate parsons; they did not make me love them that day when I saw them in their proper colours. A parson is a Lamb in a drawing-room, and a Lion in a vestry. The notions of Society will not permit a parson to give way to his temper in any shape—So he festers in himself—his features get a peculiar, diabolical, self-sufficient, iron stupid expression. He is continually acting—his mind is against every man, and every man’s mind is against him—He is a hypocrite to the Believer and a coward to the unbeliever—He must be either a knave or an idiot—and there is no man so much to be pitied as an idiot parson. The soldier who is cheated into an Esprit du Corps by a red coat, a band, and colours, for the purpose of nothing, is not half so pitiable as the parson who is led by the nose by the Bench of Bishops and is smothered in absurdities—a poor necessary subaltern of the Church.
 

12.2. Friday, Feby. 18.

 
1
The day before yesterday I went to Romney Street—your Mother was not at home—but I have just written her that I shall see her on Wednesday. I call’d on Mr. Lewis this morning—he is very well—and tells me not to be uneasy about Letters, the chances being so arbitrary. He is going on as usual among his favourite democrat papers. We had a chat as usual about Cobbett and the Westminster electors. Dilke has lately been very much harrassed about the manner of educating his son—he at length decided for a public school—and then he did not know what school—he at last has decided for Westminster; and as Charley is to be a day boy, Dilke will remove to Westminster. We lead very quiet lives here—Dilke is at present in Greek histories and antiquities, and talks of nothing but the electors of Westminster and the retreat of the ten-thousand. I never drink now above three glasses of wine—and never any spirits and water. Though by the bye, the other day Woodhouse took me to his coffee house and ordered a Bottle of Claret—now I like Claret, whenever I can have Claret I must drink it,—’tis the only palate affair that I am at all sensual in. Would it not be a good speck to send you some vine roots—could it be done? I’ll enquire—If you could make some wine like Claret to drink on summer evenings in an arbour! For really ’tis so fine—it fills one’s mouth with a gushing freshness—then goes down cool and feverless—then you do not feel it quarrelling with your liver—no, it is rather a Peacemaker, and lies as quiet as it did in the grape; then it is as fragrant as the Queen Bee, and the more ethereal Part of it mounts into the brain, not assaulting the cerebral apartments like a bully in a bad-house looking for his trull and hurrying from door to door bouncing against the wainstcoat, but rather walks like Aladdin about his own enchanted palace so gently that you do not feel his step. Other wines of a heavy and spirituous nature transform a Man to a Silenus: this makes him a Hermes—and gives a Woman the soul and immortality of Ariadne, for whom Bacchus always kept a good cellar of claret—and even of that he could never persuade her to take above two cups. I said this same claret is the only palate-passion I have—I forgot game—I must plead guilty to the breast of a Partridge, the back of a hare, the backbone of a grouse, the wing and side of a Pheasant and a Woodcock passim. Talking of game (I wish I could make it), the Lady whom I met at Hastings and of whom I said something in my last I think has lately made me many presents of game, and enabled me to make as many. She made me take home a Pheasant the other day, which I gave to Mrs. Dilke; on which to-morrow Rice, Reynolds and the Wentworthians will dine next door. The next I intend for your Mother. These moderate sheets of paper are much more pleasant to write upon than those large thin sheets which I hope you by this time have received—though that can’t be, now I think of it. I have not said in any Letter yet a word about my affairs—in a word I am in no despair about them—my poem has not at all succeeded; in the course of a year or so I think I shall try the public again—in a selfish point of view I should suffer my pride and my contempt of public opinion to hold me silent—but for yours and Fanny’s sake I will pluck up a spirit and try again. I have no doubt of success in a course of years if I persevere—but it must be patience, for the Reviews have enervated and made indolent men’s minds—few think for themselves. These Reviews too are getting more and more powerful, especially the Quarterly—they are like a superstition which the more it prostrates the Crowd and the longer it continues the more powerful it becomes just in proportion to their increasing weakness. I was in hopes that when people saw, as they must do now, all the trickery and iniquity of these Plagues they would scout them, but no, they are like the spectators at the Westminster cock-pit—they like the battle and do not care who wins or who loses. Brown is going on this morning with the story of his old woman and the Devil—He makes but slow progress—The fact is it is a Libel on the Devil, and as that person is Brown’s Muse, look ye, if he libels his own Muse how can he expect to write? Either Brown or his Muse must turn tail. Yesterday was Charley Dilke’s birthday. Brown and I were invited to tea. During the evening nothing passed worth notice but a little conversation between Mrs. Dilke and Mrs. Brawne. The subject was the Watchman. It was ten o’clock, and Mrs. Brawne, who lived during the summer in Brown’s house and now lives in the Road, recognised her old Watchman’s voice, and said that he came as far as her now. “Indeed,” said Mrs. D., “does he turn the Corner?” There have been some Letters passed between me and Haslam but I have not seen him lately. The day before yesterday—which I made a day of Business—I called upon him—he was out as usual. Brown has been walking up and down the room a-breeding—now at this moment he is being delivered of a couplet, and I daresay will be as well as can be expected. Gracious—he has twins!
 
2
I have a long story to tell you about Bailey—I will say first the circumstances as plainly and as well as I can remember, and then I will make my comment. You know that Bailey was very much cut up about a little Jilt in the country somewhere. I thought he was in a dying state about it when at Oxford with him: little supposing, as I have since heard, that he was at that very time making impatient Love to Marian Reynolds—and guess my astonishment at hearing after this that he had been trying at Miss Martin. So Matters have been—So Matters stood—when he got ordained and went to a Curacy near Carlisle, where the family of the Gleigs reside. There his susceptible heart was conquered by Miss Gleig—and thereby all his connections in town have been annulled—both male and female. I do not now remember clearly the facts—These however I know—He showed his correspondence with Marian to Gleig, returned all her Letters and asked for his own—he also wrote very abrupt Letters to Mrs. Reynolds. I do not know any more of the Martin affair than I have written above. No doubt his conduct has been very bad. The great thing to be considered is—whether it is want of delicacy and principle or want of knowledge and polite experience. And again weakness—yes, that is it; and the want of a Wife—yes, that is it; and then Marian made great Bones of him although her Mother and sister have teased her very much about it. Her conduct has been very upright throughout the whole affair—She liked Bailey as a Brother but not as a Husband—especially as he used to woo her with the Bible and Jeremy Taylor under his arm—they walked in no grove but Jeremy Taylor’s. Marian’s obstinacy is some excuse, but his so quickly taking to Miss Gleig can have no excuse—except that of a Ploughman who wants a wife. The thing which sways me more against him than anything else is Rice’s conduct on the occasion; Rice would not make an immature resolve: he was ardent in his friendship for Bailey, he examined the whole for and against minutely; and he has abandoned Bailey entirely. All this I am not supposed by the Reynoldses to have any hint of. It will be a good lesson to the Mother and Daughters—nothing would serve but Bailey. If you mentioned the word Tea-pot some one of them came out with an à propros about Bailey—noble fellow—fine fellow! was always in their mouths—This may teach them that the man who ridicules romance is the most romantic of Men—that he who abuses women and slights them loves them the most—that he who talks of roasting a Man alive would not do it when it came to the push—and above all, that they are very shallow people who take everything literally. A Man’s life of any worth is a continual allegory, and very few eyes can see the Mystery of his life—a life like the scriptures, figurative—which such people can no more make out than they can the Hebrew Bible. Lord Byron cuts a figure but he is not figurative—Shakspeare led a life of Allegory: his works are the comments on it—
 

12.3. March 12, Friday.

 
1
I went to town yesterday chiefly for the purpose of seeing some young Men who were to take some Letters for us to you—through the medium of Peachey. I was surprised and disappointed at hearing they had changed their minds, and did not purpose going so far as Birkbeck’s. I was much disappointed, for I had counted upon seeing some persons who were to see you—and upon your seeing some who had seen me. I have not only lost this opportunity, but the sail of the Post-Packet to New York or Philadelphia, by which last your Brothers have sent some Letters. The weather in town yesterday was so stifling that I could not remain there though I wanted much to see Kean in Hotspur. I have by me at present Hazlitt’s Letter to Gifford—perhaps you would like an extract or two from the high-seasoned parts. It begins thus:
 
2
“Sir, you have an ugly trick of saying what is not true of any one you do not like; and it will be the object of this Letter to cure you of it. You say what you please of others; it is time you were told what you are. In doing this give me leave to borrow the familiarity of your style:—for the fidelity of the picture I shall be answerable. You are a little person but a considerable cat’s paw; and so far worthy of notice. Your clandestine connection with persons high in office constantly influences your opinions and alone gives importance to them. You are the government critic, a character nicely differing from that of a government spy—the invisible link which connects literature with the Police.”
 
3
Again:
 
4
“Your employers, Mr. Gifford, do not pay their hirelings for nothing—for condescending to notice weak and wicked sophistry; for pointing out to contempt what excites no admiration; for cautiously selecting a few specimens of bad taste and bad grammar where nothing else is to be found. They want your invisible pertness, your mercenary malice, your impenetrable dulness, your bare-faced impudence, your pragmatical self-sufficiency, your hypocritical zeal, your pious frauds to stand in the gap of their Prejudices and pretensions to fly-blow and taint public opinion, to defeat independent efforts, to apply not the touch of the scorpion but the touch of the Torpedo to youthful hopes, to crawl and leave the slimy track of sophistry and lies over every work that does not dedicate its sweet leaves to some Luminary of the treasury bench, or is not fostered in the hotbed of corruption. This is your office; ‘this is what is look’d for at your hands, and this you do not baulk’—to sacrifice what little honesty and prostitute what little intellect you possess to any dirty job you are commission’d to execute. ‘They keep you as an ape does an apple in the corner of his jaw, first mouth’d to be at last swallow’d.’ You are by appointment literary toadeater to greatness and taster to the court. You have a natural aversion to whatever differs from your own pretensions, and an acquired one for what gives offence to your superiors. Your vanity panders to your interest, and your malice truckles only to your love of Power. If your instructive or premeditated abuse of your enviable trust were found wanting in a single instance; if you were to make a single slip in getting up your select committee of enquiry and green bag report of the state of Letters, your occupation would be gone. You would never after obtain a squeeze of the hand from acquaintance, or a smile from a Punk of Quality. The great and powerful whom you call wise and good do not like to have the privacy of their self-love startled by the obtrusive and unmanageable claims of Literature and Philosophy, except through the intervention of people like you, whom, if they have common penetration, they soon find out to be without any superiority of intellect; or if they do not, whom they can despise for their meanness of soul. You ‘have the office opposite to Saint Peter.’ You keep a corner in the public mind for foul prejudice and corrupt power to knot and gender in; you volunteer your services to people of quality to ease scruples of mind and qualms of conscience; you lay the flattering unction of venal prose and laurell’d verse to their souls. You persuade them that there is neither purity of morals, nor depth of understanding except in themselves and their hangers-on; and would prevent the unhallow’d names of Liberty and humanity from ever being whispered in ears polite! You, sir, do you not all this? I cry you mercy then: I took you for the Editor of the Quarterly Review.”
 
5
This is the sort of feu de joie he keeps up. There is another extract or two—one especially which I will copy to-morrow—for the candles are burnt down and I am using the wax taper—which has a long snuff on it—the fire is at its last click—I am sitting with my back to it with one foot rather askew upon the rug and the other with the heel a little elevated from the carpet—I am writing this on the Maid’s Tragedy, which I have read since tea with great pleasure—Besides this volume of Beaumont and Fletcher, there are on the table two volumes of Chaucer and a new work of Tom Moore’s, called Tom Cribb’s Memorial to Congress—nothing in it. These are trifles—but I require nothing so much of you but that you will give one a like description of yourselves, however it may be when you are writing to me. Could I see the same thing done of any great Man long since dead it would be a great delight: as to know in what position Shakspeare sat when he began “To be or not to be”—such things become interesting from distance of time or place. I hope you are both now in that sweet sleep which no two beings deserve more than you do—I must fancy so—and please myself in the fancy of speaking a prayer and a blessing over you and your lives—God bless you—I whisper good-night in your ears, and you will dream of me.
 

12.4. March 13, Saturday.

 
1
I have written to Fanny this morning and received a note from Haslam. I was to have dined with him to-morrow: he gives me a bad account of his Father, who has not been in Town for five weeks, and is not well enough for company. Haslam is well—and from the prosperous state of some love affair he does not mind the double tides he has to work. I have been a Walk past west end—and was going to call at Mr. Monkhouse’s—but I did not, not being in the humour. I know not why Poetry and I have been so distant lately; I must make some advances soon or she will cut me entirely. Hazlitt has this fine Passage in his Letter: Gifford in his Review of Hazlitt’s characters of Shakspeare’s plays attacks the Coriolanus critique. He says that Hazlitt has slandered Shakspeare in saying that he had a leaning to the arbitrary side of the question. Hazlitt thus defends himself,
 
2
“My words are, ‘Coriolanus is a storehouse of political commonplaces. The Arguments for and against aristocracy and democracy on the Privileges of the few and the claims of the many, on Liberty and slavery, power and the abuse of it, peace and war, are here very ably handled, with the spirit of a Poet and the acuteness of a Philosopher. Shakspeare himself seems to have had a leaning to the arbitrary side of the question, perhaps from some feeling of contempt for his own origin, and to have spared no occasion of bating the rabble. What he says of them is very true; what he says of their betters is also very true, though he dwells less upon it.’ I then proceed to account for this by showing how it is that ‘the cause of the people is but little calculated for a subject for poetry; or that the language of Poetry naturally falls in with the language of power.’ I affirm, Sir, that Poetry, that the imagination generally speaking, delights in power, in strong excitement, as well as in truth, in good, in right, whereas pure reason and the moral sense approve only of the true and good. I proceed to show that this general love or tendency to immediate excitement or theatrical effect, no matter how produced, gives a Bias to the imagination often consistent with the greatest good, that in Poetry it triumphs over principle, and bribes the passions to make a sacrifice of common humanity. You say that it does not, that there is no such original Sin in Poetry, that it makes no such sacrifice or unworthy compromise between poetical effect and the still small voice of reason. And how do you prove that there is no such principle giving a bias to the imagination and a false colouring to poetry? Why, by asking in reply to the instances where this principle operates, and where no other can with much modesty and simplicity—‘But are these the only topics that afford delight in Poetry, etc.?’ No; but these objects do afford delight in poetry, and they afford it in proportion to their strong and often tragical effect, and not in proportion to the good produced, or their desireableness in a moral point of view. Do we read with more pleasure of the ravages of a beast of prey than of the Shepherd’s pipe upon the Mountain? No; but we do read with pleasure of the ravages of a beast of prey, and we do so on the principle I have stated, namely, from the sense of power abstracted from the sense of good; and it is the same principle that makes us read with admiration and reconciles us in fact to the triumphant progress of the conquerors and mighty Hunters of mankind, who come to stop the Shepherd’s Pipe upon the Mountains and sweep away his listening flock. Do you mean to deny that there is anything imposing to the imagination in power, in grandeur, in outward show, in the accumulation of individual wealth and luxury, at the expense of equal justice and the common weal? Do you deny that there is anything in the ‘Pride, Pomp, and Circumstance of glorious war, that makes ambition virtue’ in the eyes of admiring multitudes? Is this a new theory of the pleasures of the imagination, which says that the pleasures of the imagination do not take rise solely in the calculation of the understanding? Is it a paradox of my creating that ‘one murder makes a villain millions a Hero’? or is it not true that here, as in other cases, the enormity of the evil overpowers and makes a convert of the imagination by its very magnitude? You contradict my reasoning because you know nothing of the question, and you think that no one has a right to understand what you do not. My offence against purity in the passage alluded to, ‘which contains the concentrated venom of my malignity,’ is that I have admitted that there are tyrants and slaves abroad in the world; and you would hush the matter up and pretend that there is no such thing in order that there may be nothing else. Further, I have explained the cause, the subtle sophistry of the human mind, that tolerates and pampers the evil in order to guard against its approaches; you would conceal the cause in order to prevent the cure, and to leave the proud flesh about the heart to harden and ossify into one impenetrable mass of selfishness and hypocrisy, that we may not ‘sympathise in the distresses of suffering virtue’ in any case in which they come in competition with the fictitious wants and ‘imputed weaknesses of the great.’ You ask, ‘Are we gratified by the cruelties of Domitian or Nero?’ No, not we—they were too petty and cowardly to strike the imagination at a distance; but the Roman senate tolerated them, addressed their perpetrators, exalted them into gods, the fathers of the people, they had pimps and scribblers of all sorts in their pay, their Senecas, etc., till a turbulent rabble, thinking there were no injuries to Society greater than the endurance of unlimited and wanton oppression, put an end to the farce and abated the sin as well as they could. Had you and I lived in those times we should have been what we are now, I ‘a sour malcontent,’ and you ‘a sweet courtier.’”
 
3
The manner in which this is managed: the force and innate power with which it yeasts and works up itself—the feeling for the costume of society; is in a style of genius. He hath a demon, as he himself says of Lord Byron. We are to have a party this evening. The Davenports from Church Row—I don’t think you know anything of them—they have paid me a good deal of attention. I like Davenport himself. The names of the rest are Miss Barnes, Miss Winter with the Children.
 

12.5. [Later, March 17 or 18.]

 
1
On Monday we had to dinner Severn and Cawthorn, the Bookseller and print-virtuoso; in the evening Severn went home to paint, and we other three went to the play, to see Sheil’s new tragedy ycleped Evadné. In the morning Severn and I took a turn round the Museum—There is a Sphinx there of a giant size, and most voluptuous Egyptian expression, I had not seen it before. The play was bad even in comparison with 1818, the Augustan age of the Drama, “comme on sait,” as Voltaire says—the whole was made up of a virtuous young woman, an indignant brother, a suspecting lover, a libertine prince, a gratuitous villain, a street in Naples, a Cypress grove, lilies and roses, virtue and vice, a bloody sword, a spangled jacket, one Lady Olivia, one Miss O’Neil alias Evadné, alias Bellamira, alias—Alias—Yea, and I say unto you a greater than Elias—There was Abbot, and talking of Abbot his name puts me in mind of a spelling-book lesson, descriptive of the whole Dramatis personæ—Abbot—Abbess—Actor—Actress—The play is a fine amusement, as a friend of mine once said to me—“Do what you will,” says he, “a poor gentleman who wants a guinea, cannot spend his two shillings better than at the playhouse.” The pantomime was excellent, I had seen it before and I enjoyed it again. Your Mother and I had some talk about Miss H.—— Says I, will Henry have that Miss ——, a lath with a boddice, she who has been fine drawn—fit for nothing but to cut up into Cribbage pins, to the tune of 15.2; one who is all muslin; all feathers and bone; once in travelling she was made use of as a lynch pin; I hope he will not have her, though it is no uncommon thing to be smitten with a staff; though she might be very useful as his walking-stick, his fishing-rod, his tooth-pik, his hat-stick (she runs so much in his head)—let him turn farmer, she would cut into hurdles; let him write poetry, she would be his turn-style. Her gown is like a flag on a pole; she would do for him if he turn freemason; I hope she will prove a flag of truce; when she sits languishing with her one foot on a stool, and one elbow on the table, and her head inclined, she looks like the sign of the crooked billet—or the frontispiece to Cinderella, or a tea-paper wood-cut of Mother Shipton at her studies; she is a make-believe—She is bona side a thin young ’oman—But this is mere talk of a fellow-creature; yet pardie I would not that Henry have her—Non volo ut eam possideat, nam, for, it would be a bam, for it would be a sham—
 
2
Don’t think I am writing a petition to the Governors of St. Luke—no, that would be in another style. May it please your Worships; forasmuch as the undersigned has committed, transferred, given up, made over, consigned, and aberrated himself, to the art and mystery of poetry; forasmuch as he hath cut, rebuffed, affronted, huffed, and shirked, and taken stint at, all other employments, arts, mysteries, and occupations, honest, middling, and dishonest; forasmuch as he hath at sundry times and in divers places, told truth unto the men of this generation, and eke to the women; moreover, forasmuch as he hath kept a pair of boots that did not fit, and doth not admire Sheil’s play, Leigh Hunt, Tom Moore, Bob Southey, and Mr. Rogers; and does admire Wm. Hazlitt; moreoverer for as more as he liketh half of Wordsworth, and none of Crabbe; moreover-est for as most as he hath written this page of penmanship—he prayeth your Worships to give him a lodging—Witnessed by Rd. Abbey and Co., cum familiaribus et consanguineis (signed) Count de Cockaigne.
 
3
The nothing of the day is a machine called the velocipede. It is a wheel carriage to ride cock-horse upon, sitting astride and pushing it along with the toes, a rudder wheel in hand—they will go seven miles an hour—A handsome gelding will come to eight guineas; however they will soon be cheaper, unless the army takes to them. I look back upon the last month, I find nothing to write about; indeed I do not recollect anything particular in it. It’s all alike; we keep on breathing. The only amusement is a little scandal, of however fine a shape, a laugh at a pun—and then after all we wonder how we could enjoy the scandal, or laugh at the pun.
 
4
I have been at different times turning it in my head whether I should go to Edinburgh and study for a physician; I am afraid I should not take kindly to it; I am sure I could not take fees—and yet I should like to do so; it’s not worse than writing poems, and hanging them up to be fly-blown on the Review shambles. Everybody is in his own mess. Here is the parson at Hampstead quarrelling with all the world, he is in the wrong by this same token; when the black cloth was put up in the Church for the Queen’s mourning, he asked the workmen to hang it the wrong side outwards, that it might be better when taken down, it being his perquisite—Parsons will always keep up their character, but as it is said there are some animals the ancients knew which we do not, let us hope our posterity will miss the black badger with tri-cornered hat; Who knows but some Reviewer of Buffon or Pliny may put an account of the parson in the Appendix; No one will then believe it any more than we believe in the Phœnix. I think we may class the lawyer in the same natural history of Monsters; a green bag will hold as much as a lawn sleeve. The only difference is that one is fustian and the other flimsy; I am not unwilling to read Church history at present and have Milner’s in my eye; his is reckoned a very good one.
 

12.6. 18th September 1819.

 
1
[In looking over some of my papers I found the above specimen of my carelessness. It is a sheet you ought to have had long ago—my letter must have appeared very unconnected, but as I number the sheets you must have discovered how the mistake happened. How many things have happened since I wrote it—How have I acted contrary to my resolves. The interval between writing this sheet and the day I put this supplement to it, has been completely filled with generous and most friendly actions of Brown towards me. How frequently I forget to speak of things which I think of and feel most. ’Tis very singular, the idea about Buffon above has been taken up by Hunt in the Examiner, in some papers which he calls “A Preter-natural History.”][90]
 

12.7. Friday 19th March.

 
1
This morning I have been reading “the False One.” Shameful to say, I was in bed at ten—I mean this morning. The Blackwood Reviewers have committed themselves in a scandalous heresy—they have been putting up Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, against Burns: the senseless villains! The Scotch cannot manage themselves at all, they want imagination, and that is why they are so fond of Hogg, who has a little of it. This morning I am in a sort of temper, indolent and supremely careless—I long after a Stanza or two of Thomson’s Castle of Indolence—my passions are all asleep, from my having slumbered till nearly eleven, and weakened the animal fibre all over me, to a delightful sensation, about three degrees on this side of faintness. If I had teeth of pearl and the breath of lilies I should call it languor, but as I am[B] I must call it laziness. In this state of effeminacy the fibres of the brain are relaxed in common with the rest of the body, and to such a happy degree that pleasure has no show of enticement and pain no unbearable power. Neither Poetry, nor Ambition, nor Love have any alertness of countenance as they pass by me; they seem rather like figures on a Greek vase—a Man and two women whom no one but myself could distinguish in their disguisement.[91] This is the only happiness, and is a rare instance of the advantage of the body overpowering the Mind. I have this moment received a note from Haslam, in which he expects the death of his Father, who has been for some time in a state of insensibility; his mother bears up he says very well—I shall go to town to-morrow to see him. This is the world—thus we cannot expect to give way many hours to pleasure. Circumstances are like Clouds continually gathering and bursting—While we are laughing, the seed of some trouble is put into the wide arable land of events—while we are laughing it sprouts it grows and suddenly bears a poison fruit which we must pluck. Even so we have leisure to reason on the misfortunes of our friends; our own touch us too nearly for words. Very few men have ever arrived at a complete disinterestedness of Mind: very few have been influenced by a pure desire of the benefit of others,—in the greater part of the Benefactors to Humanity some meretricious motive has sullied their greatness—some melodramatic scenery has fascinated them. From the manner in which I feel Haslam’s misfortune I perceive how far I am from any humble standard of disinterestedness. Yet this feeling ought to be carried to its highest pitch, as there is no fear of its ever injuring society—which it would do, I fear, pushed to an extremity. For in wild nature the Hawk would lose his Breakfast of Robins and the Robin his of Worms—The Lion must starve as well as the swallow. The greater part of Men make their way with the same instinctiveness, the same unwandering eye from their purposes, the same animal eagerness as the Hawk. The Hawk wants a Mate, so does the Man—look at them both, they set about it and procure one in the same manner. They want both a nest and they both set about one in the same manner—they get their food in the same manner. The noble animal Man for his amusement smokes his pipe—the Hawk balances about the Clouds—that is the only difference of their leisures. This it is that makes the Amusement of Life—to a speculative Mind—I go among the Fields and catch a glimpse of a Stoat or a fieldmouse peeping out of the withered grass—the creature hath a purpose, and its eyes are bright with it. I go amongst the buildings of a city and I see a Man hurrying along—to what? the Creature has a purpose and his eyes are bright with it. But then, as Wordsworth says, “we have all one human heart——” There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify—so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish. I have no doubt that thousands of people never heard of have had hearts completely disinterested: I can remember but two—Socrates and Jesus—Their histories evince it. What I heard a little time ago, Taylor observe with respect to Socrates, may be said of Jesus—That he was so great a man that though he transmitted no writing of his own to posterity, we have his Mind and his sayings and his greatness handed to us by others. It is to be lamented that the history of the latter was written and revised by Men interested in the pious frauds of Religion. Yet through all this I see his splendour. Even here, though I myself am pursuing the same instinctive course as the veriest human animal you can think of, I am, however young, writing at random, straining at particles of light in the midst of a great darkness, without knowing the bearing of any one assertion, of any one opinion. Yet may I not in this be free from sin? May there not be superior beings amused with any graceful, though instinctive, attitude my mind may fall into as I am entertained with the alertness of a Stoat or the anxiety of a Deer? Though a quarrel in the Streets is a thing to be hated, the energies displayed in it are fine; the commonest Man shows a grace in his quarrel. By a superior Being our reasonings may take the same tone—though erroneous they may be fine. This is the very thing in which consists Poetry, and if so it is not so fine a thing as philosophy—For the same reason that an eagle is not so fine a thing as a truth. Give me this credit—Do you not think I strive—to know myself? Give me this credit, and you will not think that on my own account I repeat Milton’s lines—
 
2
“How charming is divine Philosophy,
3
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
4
But musical as is Apollo’s lute.”
 
5
No—not for myself—feeling grateful as I do to have got into a state of mind to relish them properly. Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced—Even a Proverb is no proverb to you till your Life has illustrated it. I am ever afraid that your anxiety for me will lead you to fear for the violence of my temperament continually smothered down: for that reason I did not intend to have sent you the following sonnet—but look over the two last pages and ask yourselves whether I have not that in me which will bear the buffets of the world. It will be the best comment on my sonnet; it will show you that it was written with no Agony but that of ignorance; with no thirst of anything but Knowledge when pushed to the point though the first steps to it were through my human passions—they went away and I wrote with my Mind—and perhaps I must confess a little bit of my heart—
 
6
Why did I laugh to-night? No voice will tell:
7
No God, no Deamon of severe response
8
Deigns to reply from heaven or from Hell.—
9
Then to my human heart I turn at once—
10
Heart! thou and I are here sad and alone;
11
Say, wherefore did I laugh? O mortal pain!
12
O Darkness! Darkness! ever must I moan,
13
To question Heaven and Hell and Heart in vain!
14
Why did I laugh? I know this being’s lease,
15
My fancy to its utmost blisses spreads:
16
Yet could I on this very midnight cease,[92]
17
And the world’s gaudy ensigns see in shreds;
18
Verse, fame and Beauty are intense indeed
19
But Death intenser—Death is Life’s high meed.
 
20
I went to bed and enjoyed an uninterrupted sleep. Sane I went to bed and sane I arose.
 

12.8. [April 15.]

 
1
This is the 15th of April—you see what a time it is since I wrote; all that time I have been day by day expecting Letters from you. I write quite in the dark. In the hopes of a Letter daily I have deferred that I might write in the light. I was in town yesterday, and at Taylor’s heard that young Birkbeck had been in Town and was to set forward in six or seven days—so I shall dedicate that time to making up this parcel ready for him. I wish I could hear from you to make me “whole and general as the casing air.”[93] A few days after the 19th of April[94] I received a note from Haslam containing the news of his father’s death. The Family has all been well. Haslam has his father’s situation. The Framptons have behaved well to him. The day before yesterday I went to a rout at Sawrey’s—it was made pleasant by Reynolds being there and our getting into conversation with one of the most beautiful Girls I ever saw—She gave a remarkable prettiness to all those commonplaces which most women who talk must utter—I liked Mrs. Sawrey very well. The Sunday before last your Brothers were to come by a long invitation—so long that for the time I forgot it when I promised Mrs. Brawne to dine with her on the same day. On recollecting my engagement with your Brothers I immediately excused myself with Mrs. Brawne, but she would not hear of it, and insisted on my bringing my friends with me. So we all dined at Mrs. Brawne’s. I have been to Mrs. Bentley’s this morning, and put all the letters to and from you and poor Tom and me.[95] I found some of the correspondence between him and that degraded Wells and Amena. It is a wretched business; I do not know the rights of it, but what I do know would, I am sure, affect you so much that I am in two minds whether I will tell you anything about it. And yet I do not see why—for anything, though it be unpleasant, that calls to mind those we still love has a compensation in itself for the pain it occasions—so very likely to-morrow I may set about copying the whole of what I have about it: with no sort of a Richardson self-satisfaction—I hate it to a sickness—and I am afraid more from indolence of mind than anything else. I wonder how people exist with all their worries. I have not been to Westminster but once lately, and that was to see Dilke in his new Lodgings—I think of living somewhere in the neighbourhood myself. Your mother was well by your Brothers’ account. I shall see her perhaps to-morrow—yes I shall. We have had the Boys[96] here lately—they make a bit of a racket—I shall not be sorry when they go. I found also this morning, in a note from George to you and my dear sister a lock of your hair which I shall this moment put in the miniature case. A few days ago Hunt dined here and Brown invited Davenport to meet him, Davenport from a sense of weakness thought it incumbent on him to show off—and pursuant to that never ceased talking and boring all day till I was completely fagged out. Brown grew melancholy—but Hunt perceiving what a complimentary tendency all this had bore it remarkably well—Brown grumbled about it for two or three days. I went with Hunt to Sir John Leicester’s gallery; there I saw Northcote—Hilton—Bewick, and many more of great and Little note. Haydon’s picture is of very little progress this year—He talks about finishing it next year. Wordsworth is going to publish a Poem called Peter Bell—what a perverse fellow it is! Why will he talk about Peter Bells—I was told not to tell—but to you it will not be telling—Reynolds hearing that said Peter Bell was coming out, took it into his head to write a skit upon it called Peter Bell. He did it as soon as thought on, it is to be published this morning, and comes out before the real Peter Bell, with this admirable motto from the “Bold Stroke for a Wife” “I am the real Simon Pure.” It would be just as well to trounce Lord Byron in the same manner. I am still at a stand in versifying—I cannot do it yet with any pleasure—I mean, however, to look round on my resources and means, and see what I can do without poetry—To that end I shall live in Westminster—I have no doubt of making by some means a little to help on, or I shall be left in the Lurch—with the burden of a little Pride—However I look in time. The Dilkes like their Lodgings at Westminster tolerably well. I cannot help thinking what a shame it is that poor Dilke should give up his comfortable house and garden for his Son, whom he will certainly ruin with too much care. The boy has nothing in his ears all day but himself and the importance of his education. Dilke has continually in his mouth “My Boy.” This is what spoils princes: it may have the same effect with Commoners. Mrs. Dilke has been very well lately—But what a shameful thing it is that for that obstinate Boy Dilke should stifle himself in Town Lodgings and wear out his Life by his continual apprehension of his Boy’s fate in Westminster school, with the rest of the Boys and the Masters. Every one has some wear and tear. One would think Dilke ought to be quiet and happy—but no—this one Boy makes his face pale, his society silent and his vigilance jealous—He would I have no doubt quarrel with any one who snubb’d his Boy—With all this he has no notion how to manage him. O what a farce is our greatest cares! Yet one must be in the pother for the sake of Clothes food and Lodging. There has been a squabble between Kean and Mr. Bucke—There are faults on both sides—on Bucke’s the faults are positive to the Question: Kean’s fault is a want of genteel knowledge and high Policy. The former writes knavishly foolish, and the other silly bombast. It was about a Tragedy written by said Mr. Bucke which, it appears, Mr. Kean kick’d at—it was so bad—After a little struggle of Mr. Bucke’s against Kean, Drury Lane had the Policy to bring it out and Kean the impolicy not to appear in it. It was damn’d. The people in the Pit had a favourite call on the night of “Buck, Buck, rise up” and “Buck, Buck, how many horns do I hold up.” Kotzebue the German Dramatist and traitor to his country was murdered lately by a young student whose name I forget—he stabbed himself immediately after crying out Germany! Germany! I was unfortunate to miss Richards the only time I have been for many months to see him.
 
2
Shall I treat you with a little extempore?—
 
3
When they were come into the Faery’s Court
4
They rang—no one at home—all gone to sport
5
And dance and kiss and love as faerys do
6
For Faries be as humans lovers true.
7
Amid the woods they were so lone and wild,
8
Where even the Robin feels himself exil’d,
9
And where the very brooks, as if afraid,
10
Hurry along to some less magic shade.
11
‘No one at home!’ the fretful princess cry’d;
12
‘And all for nothing such a dreary ride,
13
And all for nothing my new diamond cross;
14
No one to see my Persian feathers toss,
15
No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool,
16
Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule.
17
Ape, Dwarf, and Fool, why stand you gaping there,
18
Burst the door open, quick—or I declare
19
I’ll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.’
20
The Dwarf began to tremble, and the Ape
21
Star’d at the Fool, the Fool was all agape,
22
The Princess grasp’d her switch, but just in time
23
The dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme.
24
‘O mighty Princess, did you ne’er hear tell
25
What your poor servants know but too too well?
26
Know you the three great crimes in faery land?
27
The first, alas! poor Dwarf, I understand,
28
I made a whipstock of a faery’s wand;
29
The next is snoring in their company;
30
The next, the last, the direst of the three,
31
Is making free when they are not at home.
32
I was a Prince—a baby prince—my doom,
33
You see, I made a whipstock of a wand,
34
My top has henceforth slept in faery land.
35
He was a Prince, the Fool, a grown-up Prince,
36
But he has never been a King’s son since
37
He fell a snoring at a faery Ball.
38
Your poor Ape was a Prince, and he poor thing
39
Picklock’d a faery’s boudoir—now no king
40
But ape—so pray your highness stay awhile,
41
’Tis sooth indeed, we know it to our sorrow—
42
Persist and you may be an ape to-morrow.’
43
While the Dwarf spake the Princess, all for spite,
44
Peel’d the brown hazel twig to lilly white,
45
Clench’d her small teeth, and held her lips apart,
46
Try’d to look unconcern’d with beating heart.
47
They saw her highness had made up her mind,
48
A-quavering like the reeds before the wind—
49
And they had had it, but O happy chance
50
The Ape for very fear began to dance
51
And grinn’d as all his ugliness did ache—
52
She staid her vixen fingers for his sake,
53
He was so very ugly: then she took
54
Her pocket-mirror and began to look
55
First at herself and then at him, and then
56
She smil’d at her own beauteous face again.
57
Yet for all this—for all her pretty face—
58
She took it in her head to see the place.
59
Women gain little from experience
60
Either in Lovers, husbands, or expense.
61
The more their beauty the more fortune too—
62
Beauty before the wide world never knew—
63
So each fair reasons—tho’ it oft miscarries.
64
She thought her pretty face would please the fairies.
65
‘My darling Ape I won’t whip you to-day,
66
Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play.’
67
They all three wept but counsel was as vain
68
As crying cup biddy to drops of rain.
69
Yet lingering by did the sad Ape forth draw
70
The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw.
71
The Princess took it, and dismounting straight
72
Tripp’d in blue silver’d slippers to the gate
73
And touch’d the wards, the Door full courteously
74
Opened—she enter’d with her servants three.
75
Again it clos’d and there was nothing seen
76
But the Mule grazing on the herbage green.
 
77
End of Canto XII.
 
78
Canto the XIII.
 
79
The Mule no sooner saw himself alone
80
Than he prick’d up his Ears—and said ‘well done;
81
At least unhappy Prince I may be free—
82
No more a Princess shall side-saddle me.
83
O King of Otaheite—tho’ a Mule,
84
Aye, every inch a King’—tho’ ‘Fortune’s fool,’
85
Well done—for by what Mr. Dwarfy said
86
I would not give a sixpence for her head.’
87
Even as he spake he trotted in high glee
88
To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree,
89
And rubb’d his sides against the mossed bark
90
Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark
91
Except his Bridle—how get rid of that
92
Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait.
93
At last it struck him to pretend to sleep,
94
And then the thievish Monkies down would creep
95
And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away.
96
No sooner thought of than adown he lay,
97
Shamm’d a good snore—the Monkey-men descended,
98
And whom they thought to injure they befriended.
99
They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough
100
And off he went run, trot, or anyhow—
 
101
Brown is gone to bed—and I am tired of rhyming—there is a north wind blowing playing young gooseberry with the trees—I don’t care so it helps even with a side wind a Letter to me—for I cannot put faith in any reports I hear of the Settlement; some are good and some bad. Last Sunday I took a Walk towards Highgate and in the lane that winds by the side of Lord Mansfield’s park I met Mr. Green our Demonstrator at Guy’s in conversation with Coleridge—I joined them, after enquiring by a look whether it would be agreeable—I walked with him at his alderman-after-dinner pace for near two miles I suppose. In those two Miles he broached a thousand things—let me see if I can give you a list—Nightingales—Poetry—on Poetical Sensation—Metaphysics—Different genera and species of Dreams—Nightmare—a dream accompanied by a sense of touch—single and double touch—a dream related—First and second consciousness—the difference explained between will and Volition—so say metaphysicians from a want of smoking the second consciousness—Monsters—the Kraken—Mermaids—Southey believes in them—Southey’s belief too much diluted—a Ghost story—Good morning—I heard his voice as he came towards me—I heard it as he moved away—I had heard it all the interval—if it may be called so. He was civil enough to ask me to call on him at Highgate. Good-night!
 

12.9. [Later, April 16 or 17.]

 
1
It looks so much like rain I shall not go to town to-day: but put it off till to-morrow. Brown this morning is writing some Spenserian stanzas against Mrs., Miss Brawne and me; so I shall amuse myself with him a little: in the manner of Spenser—
 
2
He is to weet a melancholy Carle
3
Thin in the waist, with bushy head of hair
4
As hath the seeded thistle when in parle
5
It holds the Zephyr, ere it sendeth fair
6
Its light balloons into the summer air
7
Thereto his beard had not begun to bloom
8
No brush had touch’d his chin or razor sheer
9
No care had touch’d his cheek with mortal doom,
10
But new he was and bright as scarf from Persian loom.
 
11
Ne cared he for wine, or half-and-half
12
Ne cared he for fish or flesh or fowl,
13
And sauces held he worthless as the chaff
14
He ’sdeign’d the swineherd at the wassail bowl
15
Ne with lewd ribbalds sat he cheek by jowl
16
Ne with sly Lemans in the scorner’s chair
17
But after water-brooks this Pilgrim’s soul
18
Panted, and all his food was woodland air
19
Though he would ofttimes feast on gilliflowers rare—
 
20
The slang of cities in no wise he knew
21
Tipping the wink to him was heathen Greek;
22
He sipp’d no olden Tom or ruin blue
23
Or nantz or cherry brandy drunk full meek
24
By many a Damsel hoarse and rouge of cheek
25
Nor did he know each aged Watchman’s beat—
26
Nor in obscured purlieus would he seek
27
For curled Jewesses, with ankles neat
28
Who as they walk abroad make tinkling with their feet.
 
29
This character would ensure him a situation in the establishment of patient Griselda. The servant has come for the little Browns this morning—they have been a toothache to me which I shall enjoy the riddance of—Their little voices are like wasps’ stings—Sometimes am I all wound with Browns.[97] We had a claret feast some little while ago. There were Dilke, Reynolds, Skinner, Mancur, John Brown, Martin, Brown and I. We all got a little tipsy—but pleasantly so—I enjoy Claret to a degree.
 

12.10. [Later, April 18 or 19.]

 
1
I have been looking over the correspondence of the pretended Amena and Wells this evening—I now see the whole cruel deception. I think Wells must have had an accomplice in it—Amena’s letters are in a Man’s language and in a Man’s hand imitating a woman’s. The instigations to this diabolical scheme were vanity, and the love of intrigue. It was no thoughtless hoax—but a cruel deception on a sanguine Temperament, with every show of friendship. I do not think death too bad for the villain. The world would look upon it in a different light should I expose it—they would call it a frolic—so I must be wary—but I consider it my duty to be prudently revengeful. I will hang over his head like a sword by a hair. I will be opium to his vanity—if I cannot injure his interests—He is a rat and he shall have ratsbane to his vanity—I will harm him all I possibly can—I have no doubt I shall be able to do so—Let us leave him to his misery alone, except when we can throw in a little more. The fifth canto of Dante pleases me more and more—it is that one in which he meets with Paolo and Francesca. I had passed many days in rather a low state of mind, and in the midst of them I dreamt of being in that region of Hell. The dream was one of the most delightful enjoyments I ever had in my life. I floated about the whirling atmosphere, as it is described, with a beautiful figure, to whose lips mine were joined as it seemed for an age—and in the midst of all this cold and darkness I was warm—even flowery tree-tops sprung up, and we rested on them, sometimes with the lightness of a cloud, till the wind blew us away again. I tried a sonnet upon it—there are fourteen lines, but nothing of what I felt in it—O that I could dream it every night—
 
2
As Hermes once took to his feathers light
3
When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept,
4
So on a delphic reed my idle spright
5
So play’d, so charm’d, so conquer’d, so bereft
6
The Dragon world of all its hundred eyes;
7
And seeing it asleep, so fled away;—
8
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,
9
Nor unto Tempe where Jove grieved that day;
10
But to that second circle of sad Hell
11
Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
12
Of Rain and hailstones, lovers need not tell
13
Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw,
14
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
15
I floated with about that melancholy storm.
 
16
I want very very much a little of your wit, my dear Sister—a Letter or two of yours just to bandy back a pun or two across the Atlantic, and send a quibble over the Floridas. Now you have by this time crumpled up your large Bonnet, what do you wear—a cap? do you put your hair in papers of a night? do you pay the Miss Birkbecks a morning visit—have you any tea? or do you milk-and-water with them—What place of Worship do you go to—the Quakers, the Moravians, the Unitarians, or the Methodists? Are there any flowers in bloom you like—any beautiful heaths—any streets full of Corset Makers? What sort of shoes have you to fit those pretty feet of yours? Do you desire Compliments to one another? Do you ride on Horseback? What do you have for breakfast, dinner, and supper? without mentioning lunch and bever,[98] and wet and snack—and a bit to stay one’s stomach? Do you get any Spirits—now you might easily distill some whiskey—and going into the woods, set up a whiskey shop for the Monkeys—Do you and the Miss Birkbecks get groggy on anything—a little so-soish so as to be obliged to be seen home with a Lantern? You may perhaps have a game at puss in the corner—Ladies are warranted to play at this game though they have not whiskers. Have you a fiddle in the Settlement—or at any rate a Jew’s harp—which will play in spite of one’s teeth—When you have nothing else to do for a whole day I tell you how you may employ it—First get up and when you are dressed, as it would be pretty early with a high wind in the woods, give George a cold Pig with my Compliments. Then you may saunter into the nearest coffee-house, and after taking a dram and a look at the Chronicle—go and frighten the wild boars upon the strength—you may as well bring one home for breakfast, serving up the hoofs garnished with bristles and a grunt or two to accompany the singing of the kettle—then if George is not up give him a colder Pig always with my Compliments—When you are both set down to breakfast I advise you to eat your full share, but leave off immediately on feeling yourself inclined to anything on the other side of the puffy—avoid that, for it does not become young women—After you have eaten your breakfast keep your eye upon dinner—it is the safest way—You should keep a Hawk’s eye over your dinner and keep hovering over it till due time then pounce taking care not to break any plates. While you are hovering with your dinner in prospect you may do a thousand things—put a hedgehog into George’s hat—pour a little water into his rifle—soak his boots in a pail of water—cut his jacket round into shreds like a Roman kilt or the back of my grandmother’s stays—Sew off his buttons—
 

12.11. [Later, April 21 or 22.]

 
1
Yesterday I could not write a line I was so fatigued, for the day before I went to town in the morning, called on your Mother, and returned in time for a few friends we had to dinner. These were Taylor, Woodhouse, Reynolds: we began cards at about 9 o’clock, and the night coming on, and continuing dark and rainy, they could not think of returning to town—So we played at Cards till very daylight—and yesterday I was not worth a sixpence. Your Mother was very well but anxious for a Letter. We had half an hour’s talk and no more, for I was obliged to be home. Mrs. and Miss Millar were well, and so was Miss Waldegrave. I have asked your Brothers here for next Sunday. When Reynolds was here on Monday he asked me to give Hunt a hint to take notice of his Peter Bell in the Examiner—the best thing I can do is to write a little notice of it myself, which I will do here, and copy out if it should suit my Purpose—
 
2
Peter Bell. There have been lately advertised two Books both Peter Bell by name; what stuff the one was made of might be seen by the motto—“I am the real Simon Pure.” This false Florimel has hurried from the press and obtruded herself into public notice, while for aught we know the real one may be still wandering about the woods and mountains. Let us hope she may soon appear and make good her right to the magic girdle. The Pamphleteering Archimage, we can perceive, has rather a splenetic love than a downright hatred to real Florimels—if indeed they had been so christened—or had even a pretention to play at bob cherry with Barbara Lewthwaite: but he has a fixed aversion to those three rhyming Graces Alice Fell, Susan Gale and Betty Foy; and now at length especially to Peter Bell—fit Apollo. It may be seen from one or two Passages in this little skit, that the writer of it has felt the finer parts of Mr. Wordsworth, and perhaps expatiated with his more remote and sublimer muse. This as far as it relates to Peter Bell is unlucky. The more he may love the sad embroidery of the Excursion, the more he will hate the coarse Samplers of Betty Foy and Alice Fell; and as they come from the same hand, the better will he be able to imitate that which can be imitated, to wit Peter Bell—as far as can be imagined from the obstinate Name. We repeat, it is very unlucky—this real Simon Pure is in parts the very Man—there is a pernicious likeness in the scenery, a ‘pestilent humour’ in the rhymes, and an inveterate cadence in some of the Stanzas, that must be lamented. If we are one part amused with this we are three parts sorry that an appreciator of Wordsworth should show so much temper at this really provoking name of Peter Bell—![99]
 
3
This will do well enough—I have copied it and enclosed it to Hunt. You will call it a little politic—seeing I keep clear of all parties. I say something for and against both parties—and suit it to the tune of the Examiner—I meant to say I do not unsuit it—and I believe I think what I say, nay I am sure I do—I and my conscience are in luck to-day—which is an excellent thing. The other night I went to the Play with Rice, Reynolds, and Martin—we saw a new dull and half-damn’d opera call’d the ‘Heart of Midlothian,’ that was on Saturday—I stopt at Taylor’s on Sunday with Woodhouse—and passed a quiet sort of pleasant day. I have been very much pleased with the Panorama of the Ship at the North Pole—with the icebergs, the Mountains, the Bears, the Wolves—the seals, the Penguins—and a large whale floating back above water—it is impossible to describe the place—
 

12.12. Wednesday Evening [April 28].

 
1
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI
 
2
O what can ail thee Knight at arms
3
Alone and palely loitering?
4
The sedge has withered from the Lake
5
And no birds sing!
 
6
O what can ail thee Knight at arms
7
So haggard, and so woe-begone?
8
The squirrel’s granary is full
9
And the harvest’s done.
 
10
I see a lily on thy brow,
11
With anguish moist and fever dew,
12
And on thy cheek a fading rose
13
Fast Withereth too—
 
14
I met a Lady in the Meads
15
Full beautiful, a faery’s child—
16
Her hair was long, her foot was light
17
And her eyes were wild—
 
18
I made a Garland for her head,
19
And bracelets too, and fragrant Zone
20
She look’d at me as she did love
21
And made sweet moan—
 
22
I set her on my pacing steed
23
And nothing else saw all day long,
24
For sidelong would she bend and sing
25
A faery’s song—
 
26
She found me roots of relish sweet
27
And honey wild and manna dew
28
And sure in language strange she said
29
I love thee true—
 
30
She took me to her elfin grot
31
And there she wept and sigh’d full sore,
32
And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
33
With kisses four—
 
34
And there she lulled me asleep,
35
And there I dream’d Ah Woe betide!
36
The latest dream I ever dreamt
37
On the cold hill side.
 
38
I saw pale Kings and Princes too
39
Pale warriors death-pale were they all
40
They cried—La belle dame sans merci
41
Thee hath in thrall.
 
42
I saw their starv’d lips in the gloam
43
With horrid warning gaped wide,
44
And I awoke, and found me here
45
On the cold hill’s side.
 
46
And this is why I sojourn here
47
Alone and palely loitering;
48
Though the sedge is withered from the Lake
49
And no birds sing.[100]...
 
50
Why four kisses—you will say—why four, because I wish to restrain the headlong impetuosity of my Muse—she would have fain said “score” without hurting the rhyme—but we must temper the Imagination, as the Critics say, with Judgment. I was obliged to choose an even number, that both eyes might have fair play, and to speak truly I think two a piece quite sufficient. Suppose I had said seven there would have been three and a half a piece—a very awkward affair, and well got out of on my side—
 

12.13. [Later.]

 
1
CHORUS OF FAIRIES.
2
4—FIRE, AIR, EARTH, AND WATER—
3
SALAMANDER, ZEPHYR, DUSKETHA, BREAMA.
 
4
Sal.    Happy happy glowing fire!
5
Zep.    Fragrant air, delicious light!
6
Dusk.   Let me to my glooms retire.
7
Bream. I to greenweed rivers bright.
 
8
Salam.
9
Happy, happy glowing fire!
10
Dazzling bowers of soft retire,
11
Ever let my nourish’d wing,
12
Like a bat’s still wandering,
13
Faintly fan your fiery spaces
14
Spirit sole in deadly places,
15
In unhaunted roar and blaze
16
Open eyes that never daze
17
Let me see the myriad shapes
18
Of Men and Beasts and Fish and apes,
19
Portray’d in many a fiery den,
20
And wrought by spumy bitumen
21
On the deep intenser roof,
22
Arched every way aloof.
23
Let me breathe upon my skies,
24
And anger their live tapestries;
25
Free from cold and every care,
26
Of chilly rain and shivering air.
 
27
Zephyr.
28
Spright of fire—away away!
29
Or your very roundelay
30
Will sear my plumage newly budded
31
From its quilled sheath and studded
32
With the self-same dews that fell
33
On the May-grown Asphodel.
34
Spright of fire away away!
 
35
Breama.
36
Spright of fire away away!
37
Zephyr blue-eyed faery turn,
38
And see my cool sedge-shaded urn,
39
Where it rests its mossy brim
40
Mid water-mint and cresses dim;
41
And the flowers, in sweet troubles,
42
Lift their eyes above the bubbles,
43
Like our Queen when she would please
44
To sleep, and Oberon will tease—
45
Love me blue-eyed Faery true
46
Soothly I am sick for you.
 
47
Zephyr.
48
Gentle Breama! by the first
49
Violet young nature nurst,
50
I will bathe myself with thee,
51
So you sometime follow me
52
To my home far far in west,
53
Far beyond the search and quest
54
Of the golden-browed sun.
55
Come with me, o’er tops of trees,
56
To my fragrant Palaces,
57
Where they ever-floating are
58
Beneath the cherish of a star
59
Call’d Vesper—who with silver veil
60
Ever Hides his brilliance pale,
61
Ever gently drows’d doth keep
62
Twilight of the Fays to sleep.
63
Fear not that your watery hair
64
Will thirst in drouthy ringlets there—
65
Clouds of stored summer rains
66
Thou shalt taste before the stains
67
Of the mountain soil they take,
68
And too unlucent for thee make.
69
I love thee, Crystal faery true
70
Sooth I am as sick for you—
 
71
Salam.
72
Out ye agueish Faeries out!
73
Chilly Lovers, what a rout
74
Keep ye with your frozen breath
75
Colder than the mortal death—
76
Adder-eyed Dusketha speak,
77
Shall we leave them and go seek
78
In the Earth’s wide Entrails old
79
Couches warm as their’s is cold?
80
O for a fiery gloom and thee,
81
Dusketha, so enchantingly
82
Freckle-wing’d and lizard-sided!
 
83
Dusketha.
84
By thee Spright will I be guided
85
I care not for cold or heat
86
Frost and Flame or sparks or sleet
87
To my essence are the same—
88
But I honour more the flame—
89
Spright of fire I follow thee
90
Wheresoever it may be;
91
To the torrid spouts and fountains,
92
Underneath earth-quaked mountains
93
Or at thy supreme desire,
94
Touch the very pulse of fire
95
With my bare unlidded eyes.
 
96
Salam.
97
Sweet Dusketha! Paradise!
98
Off ye icy Spirits fly!
99
Frosty creatures of the Sky!
 
100
Dusketha.
101
Breathe upon them fiery Spright!
 
102
Zephyr, Breama (to each other).
103
Away Away to our delight!
 
104
Salam.
105
Go feed on icicles while we
106
Bedded in tongued-flames will be.
 
107
Dusketha.
108
Lead me to those fev’rous glooms,
109
Spright of fire—
 
110
Breama.
111
Me to the blooms
112
Blue-eyed Zephyr of those flowers
113
Far in the west where the May cloud lours;
114
And the beams of still Vesper, where winds are all whist
115
Are shed through the rain and the milder mist,
116
And twilight your floating bowers—
 
117
I have been reading lately two very different books, Robertson’s America and Voltaire’s Siècle de Louis XIV. It is like walking arm and arm between Pizarro and the great-little Monarch. In how lamentable a case do we see the great body of the people in both instances; in the first, where Men might seem to inherit quiet of Mind from unsophisticated senses; from uncontamination of civilisation, and especially from their being, as it were, estranged from the mutual helps of Society and its mutual injuries—and thereby more immediately under the Protection of Providence—even there they had mortal pains to bear as bad, or even worse than Bailiffs, Debts, and Poverties of civilised Life. The whole appears to resolve into this—that Man is originally a poor forked creature subject to the same mischances as the beasts of the forest, destined to hardships and disquietude of some kind or other. If he improves by degrees his bodily accommodations and comforts—at each stage, at each ascent there are waiting for him a fresh set of annoyances—he is mortal, and there is still a heaven with its Stars above his head. The most interesting question that can come before us is, How far by the persevering endeavours of a seldom appearing Socrates Mankind may be made happy—I can imagine such happiness carried to an extreme, but what must it end in?—Death—and who could in such a case bear with death? The whole troubles of life, which are now frittered away in a series of years, would then be accumulated for the last days of a being who instead of hailing its approach would leave this world as Eve left Paradise. But in truth I do not at all believe in this sort of perfectibility—the nature of the world will not admit of it—the inhabitants of the world will correspond to itself. Let the fish Philosophise the ice away from the Rivers in winter time, and they shall be at continual play in the tepid delight of summer. Look at the Poles and at the Sands of Africa, whirlpools and volcanoes—Let men exterminate them and I will say that they may arrive at earthly Happiness. The point at which Man may arrive is as far as the parallel state in inanimate nature, and no further. For instance suppose a rose to have sensation, it blooms on a beautiful morning, it enjoys itself, but then comes a cold wind, a hot sun—it cannot escape it, it cannot destroy its annoyances—they are as native to the world as itself: no more can man be happy in spite, the worldly elements will prey upon his nature. The common cognomen of this world among the misguided and superstitious is “a vale of tears,” from which we are to be redeemed by a certain arbitrary interposition of God and taken to Heaven—What a little circumscribed straightened notion! Call the world if you please “The vale of Soul-making.” Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it) I say ‘Soul-making’—Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions—but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception—they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God—how then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them—so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one’s individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this? This point I sincerely wish to consider because I think it a grander system of salvation than the Christian religion—or rather it is a system of Spirit-creation—This is effected by three grand materials acting the one upon the other for a series of years—These three Materials are the Intelligence—the human heart (as distinguished from intelligence or Mind), and the World or Elemental space suited for the proper action of Mind and Heart on each other for the purpose of forming the Soul or Intelligence destined to possess the sense of Identity. I can scarcely express what I but dimly perceive—and yet I think I perceive it—that you may judge the more clearly I will put it in the most homely form possible. I will call the world a School instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read—I will call the human heart the horn Book used in that School—and I will call the Child able to read, the Soul made from that School and its horn book. Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul? A Place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways. Not merely is the Heart a Hornbook, It is the Mind’s Bible, it is the Mind’s experience, it is the text from which the Mind or Intelligence sucks its identity. As various as the Lives of Men are—so various become their souls, and thus does God make individual beings, Souls, Identical Souls of the sparks of his own essence. This appears to me a faint sketch of a system of Salvation which does not offend our reason and humanity—I am convinced that many difficulties which Christians labour under would vanish before it—there is one which even now strikes me—the salvation of Children. In them the spark or intelligence returns to God without any identity—it having had no time to learn of and be altered by the heart—or seat of the human Passions. It is pretty generally suspected that the Christian scheme has been copied from the ancient Persian and Greek Philosophers. Why may they not have made this simple thing even more simple for common apprehension by introducing Mediators and Personages, in the same manner as in the heathen mythology abstractions are personified? Seriously I think it probable that this system of Soul-making may have been the Parent of all the more palpable and personal schemes of Redemption among the Zoroastrians the Christians and the Hindoos. For as one part of the human species must have their carved Jupiter; so another part must have the palpable and named Mediator and Saviour, their Christ, their Oromanes, and their Vishnu. If what I have said should not be plain enough, as I fear it may not be, I will put you in the place where I began in this series of thoughts—I mean I began by seeing how man was formed by circumstances—and what are circumstances but touchstones of his heart? and what are touchstones but provings of his heart, but fortifiers or alterers of his nature? and what is his altered nature but his Soul?—and what was his Soul before it came into the world and had these provings and alterations and perfectionings?—An intelligence without Identity—and how is this Identity to be made? Through the medium of the Heart? and how is the heart to become this Medium but in a world of Circumstances?
 
118
There now I think what with Poetry and Theology, you may thank your stars that my pen is not very long-winded. Yesterday I received two Letters from your Mother and Henry, which I shall send by young Birkbeck with this.
 

12.14. Friday, April 30.

 
1
Brown has been here rummaging up some of my old sins—that is to say sonnets. I do not think you remember them, so I will copy them out, as well as two or three lately written. I have just written one on Fame—which Brown is transcribing and he has his book and mine. I must employ myself perhaps in a sonnet on the same subject—
 
2
ON FAME
 
3
You cannot eat your cake and have it too. —Proverb.
 
4
How fever’d is that Man who cannot look
5
Upon his mortal days with temperate blood
6
Who vexes all the leaves of his Life’s book
7
And robs his fair name of its maidenhood.
8
It is as if the rose should pluck herself
9
Or the ripe plum finger its misty bloom,
10
As if a clear Lake meddling with itself
11
Should cloud its clearness with a muddy gloom.
12
But the rose leaves herself upon the Briar
13
For winds to kiss and grateful Bees to feed,
14
And the ripe plum still wears its dim attire,
15
The undisturbed Lake has crystal space—
16
Why then should man, teasing the world for grace
17
Spoil his salvation by a fierce miscreed?
 
18
ANOTHER ON FAME
 
19
Fame like a wayward girl will still be coy
20
To those who woo her with too slavish knees
21
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy
22
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease—
23
She is a Gipsy will not speak to those
24
Who have not learnt to be content without her,
25
A Jilt whose ear was never whisper’d close,
26
Who think they scandal her who talk about her—
27
A very Gipsy is she Nilus born,
28
Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar—
29
Ye lovesick Bards, repay her scorn for scorn,
30
Ye lovelorn Artists, madmen that ye are,
31
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,
32
Then if she likes it she will follow you.
 
33
TO SLEEP
 
34
O soft embalmer of the still midnight
35
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
36
Our gloom-pleased eyes embowered from the light
37
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine—
38
O soothest sleep, if so it please thee close
39
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
40
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
41
Around my bed its dewy Charities.
42
Then save me or the passed day will shine
43
Upon my pillow breeding many woes.
44
Save me from curious conscience that still lords
45
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a Mole—
46
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
47
And seal the hushed Casket of my soul.
 
48
The following Poem—the last I have written—is the first and the only one with which I have taken even moderate pains. I have for the most part dash’d off my lines in a hurry. This I have done leisurely—I think it reads the more richly for it, and will I hope encourage me to write other things in even a more peaceable and healthy spirit. You must recollect that Psyche was not embodied as a goddess before the time of Apuleius the Platonist who lived after the Augustan age, and consequently the Goddess was never worshipped or sacrificed to with any of the ancient fervour—and perhaps never thought of in the old religion—I am more orthodox than to let a heathen Goddess be so neglected—
 
49
ODE TO PSYCHE
 
50
O Goddess hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
51
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
52
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
53
Even into thine own soft-conched ear!
54
Surely I dreamt to-day; or did I see
55
The winged Psyche, with awaked eyes?
56
I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly,
57
And on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
58
Saw two fair Creatures couched side by side
59
In deepest grass, beneath the whisp’ring fan
60
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran
61
A Brooklet scarce espied
62
’Mid hush’d, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
63
Blue, freckle pink, and budded Syrian
64
They lay, calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
65
Their arms embraced and their pinions too;
66
Their lips touch’d not, but had not bid adieu,
67
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
68
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
69
At tender dawn of aurorian love.
70
The winged boy I knew:
71
But who wast thou O happy happy dove?
72
His Psyche true?
73
O latest born, and loveliest vision far
74
Of all Olympus’ faded Hierarchy!
75
Fairer than Phœbe’s sapphire-region’d star,
76
Or Vesper amorous glow-worm of the sky;
77
Fairer than these though Temple thou hadst none,
78
Nor Altar heap’d with flowers;
79
Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
80
Upon the midnight hours;
81
No voice, no lute, no pipe no incense sweet
82
From chain-swung Censer teeming—
83
No shrine, no grove, no Oracle, no heat
84
Of pale mouth’d Prophet dreaming!
 
85
O Bloomiest! though too late for antique vows;
86
Too, too late for the fond believing Lyre,
87
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
88
Holy the Air, the water and the fire;
89
Yet even in these days so far retir’d
90
From happy Pieties, thy lucent fans,
91
Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
92
I see, and sing by my own eyes inspired.
93
O let me be thy Choir and make a moan
94
Upon the midnight hours;
95
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
96
From swinged Censer teeming;
97
Thy Shrine, thy Grove, thy Oracle, thy heat
98
Of pale-mouth’d Prophet dreaming!
99
Yes, I will be thy Priest and build a fane
100
In some untrodden region of my Mind,
101
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain
102
Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind.
103
Far, far around shall those dark cluster’d trees
104
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
105
And there by Zephyrs streams and birds and bees
106
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lulled to sleep.
107
And in the midst of this wide-quietness
108
A rosy Sanctuary will I dress
109
With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain;
110
With buds and bells and stars without a name;
111
With all the gardener-fancy e’er could feign,
112
Who breeding flowers will never breed the same—
113
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
114
That shadowy thought can win;
115
A bright torch and a casement ope at night
116
To let the warm Love in.
 
117
Here endethe ye Ode to Psyche.

118
Incipit altera Sonneta

 
119
I have been endeavouring to discover a better Sonnet Stanza than we have. The legitimate does not suit the language over well from the pouncing rhymes—the other kind appears too elegiac—and the couplet at the end of it has seldom a pleasing effect—I do not pretend to have succeeded—it will explain itself.
 
120
If by dull rhymes our English must be chained,
121
And, like Andromeda, the sonnet sweet
122
Fetter’d, in spite of pained Loveliness;
123
Let us find out, if we must be constrain’d,
124
Sandals more interwoven and complete
125
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
126
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
127
Of every chord, and see what may be gain’d
128
By ear industrious, and attention meet;
129
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
130
Than Midas of his coinage, let us be
131
Jealous of dead leaves in the bay wreath crown,
132
So, if we may not let the muse be free,
133
She will be bound with Garlands of her own.
 

12.15. [May 3.]

 
1
This is the third of May, and everything is in delightful forwardness; the violets are not withered before the peeping of the first rose. You must let me know everything—how parcels go and come, what papers you have, and what newspapers you want, and other things. God bless you, my dear brother and sister.
 
2
Your ever affectionate Brother
3
John Keats.
 

 

13. XCIII.—TO FANNY KEATS.

13.1. Wentworth Place. Saturday Morn. [Postmark, February 27, 1819.]

 
1
My dear Fanny—I intended to have not failed to do as you requested, and write you as you say once a fortnight. On looking to your letter I find there is no date; and not knowing how long it is since I received it I do not precisely know how great a sinner I am. I am getting quite well, and Mrs. Dilke is getting on pretty well. You must pay no attention to Mrs. Abbey’s unfeeling and ignorant gabble. You can’t stop an old woman’s crying more than you can a Child’s. The old woman is the greatest nuisance because she is too old for the rod. Many people live opposite a Blacksmith’s till they cannot hear the hammer. I have been in Town for two or three days and came back last night. I have been a little concerned at not hearing from George—I continue in daily expectation. Keep on reading and play as much on the music and the grassplot as you can. I should like to take possession of those Grassplots for a Month or so; and send Mrs. A. to Town to count coffee berries instead of currant Bunches, for I want you to teach me a few common dancing steps—and I would buy a Watch box to practise them in by myself. I think I had better always pay the postage of these Letters. I shall send you another book the first time I am in Town early enough to book it with one of the morning Walthamstow Coaches. You did not say a word about your Chillblains. Write me directly and let me know about them—Your Letter shall be answered like an echo.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

14. XCIV.—TO FANNY KEATS.

14.1. Wentworth Place, March 13 [1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I have been employed lately in writing to George—I do not send him very short letters, but keep on day after day. There were some young Men I think I told you of who were going to the Settlement: they have changed their minds, and I am disappointed in my expectation of sending Letters by them.—I went lately to the only dance I have been to these twelve months or shall go to for twelve months again—it was to our Brother in law’s cousin’s—She gave a dance for her Birthday and I went for the sake of Mrs. Wylie. I am waiting every day to hear from George—I trust there is no harm in the silence: other people are in the same expectation as we are. On looking at your seal I cannot tell whether it is done or not with a Tassie—it seems to me to be paste. As I went through Leicester Square lately I was going to call and buy you some, but not knowing but you might have some I would not run the chance of buying duplicates. Tell me if you have any or if you would like any—and whether you would rather have motto ones like that with which I seal this letter; or heads of great Men such as Shakspeare, Milton, etc.—or fancy pieces of Art; such as Fame, Adonis, etc.—those gentry you read of at the end of the English Dictionary. Tell me also if you want any particular Book; or Pencils, or drawing paper—anything but live stock. Though I will not now be very severe on it, remembering how fond I used to be of Goldfinches, Tomtits, Minnows, Mice, Ticklebacks, Dace, Cock salmons and all the whole tribe of the Bushes and the Brooks: but verily they are better in the Trees and the water—though I must confess even now a partiality for a handsome Globe of gold-fish—then I would have it hold 10 pails of water and be fed continually fresh through a cool pipe with another pipe to let through the floor—well ventilated they would preserve all their beautiful silver and Crimson. Then I would put it before a handsome painted window and shade it all round with myrtles and Japonicas. I should like the window to open onto the Lake of Geneva—and there I’d sit and read all day like the picture of somebody reading. The weather now and then begins to feel like spring; and therefore I have begun my walks on the heath again. Mrs. Dilke is getting better than she has been as she has at length taken a Physician’s advice. She ever and anon asks after you and always bids me remember her in my Letters to you. She is going to leave Hampstead for the sake of educating their son Charles at the Westminster School. We (Mr. Brown and I) shall leave in the beginning of May; I do not know what I shall do or where be all the next summer. Mrs. Reynolds has had a sick house; but they are all well now. You see what news I can send you I do—we all live one day like the other as well as you do—the only difference is being sick and well—with the variations of single and double knocks, and the story of a dreadful fire in the Newspapers. I mentioned Mr. Brown’s name—yet I do not think I ever said a word about him to you. He is a friend of mine of two years’ standing, with whom I walked through Scotland: who has been very kind to me in many things when I most wanted his assistance and with whom I keep house till the first of May—you will know him some day. The name of the young Man who came with me is William Haslam.
 
2
Ever your affectionate Brother
3
John.
 

 

15. XCV.—TO FANNY KEATS.

15.1. [Postmark, Hampstead, March 24, 1819.]

 
1
My dear Fanny—It is impossible for me to call on you to-day—for I have particular Business at the other end of the Town this morning, and must be back to Hampstead with all speed to keep a long agreed on appointment. To-morrow I shall see you.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

16. XCVI.—TO JOSEPH SEVERN.

16.1. Wentworth Place, Monday Aft. [March 29? 1819].

 
1
My dear Severn—Your note gave me some pain, not on my own account, but on yours. Of course I should never suffer any petty vanity of mine to hinder you in any wise; and therefore I should say “put the miniature in the exhibition” if only myself was to be hurt. But, will it not hurt you? What good can it do to any future picture. Even a large picture is lost in that canting place—what a drop of water in the ocean is a Miniature. Those who might chance to see it for the most part if they had ever heard of either of us and know what we were and of what years would laugh at the puff of the one and the vanity of the other. I am however in these matters a very bad judge—and would advise you to act in a way that appears to yourself the best for your interest. As your “Hermia and Helena” is finished send that without the prologue of a Miniature. I shall see you soon, if you do not pay me a visit sooner—there’s a Bull for you.
 
2
Yours ever sincerely
3
John Keats.
 

 

17. XCVII.—TO FANNY KEATS.

17.1. Wentworth Place [April 13, 1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I have been expecting a Letter from you about what the Parson said to your answers. I have thought also of writing to you often, and I am sorry to confess that my neglect of it has been but a small instance of my idleness of late—which has been growing upon me, so that it will require a great shake to get rid of it. I have written nothing and almost read nothing—but I must turn over a new leaf. One most discouraging thing hinders me—we have no news yet from George—so that I cannot with any confidence continue the Letter I have been preparing for him. Many are in the same state with us and many have heard from the Settlement. They must be well however: and we must consider this silence as good news. I ordered some bulbous roots for you at the Gardener’s, and they sent me some, but they were all in bud—and could not be sent—so I put them in our Garden. There are some beautiful heaths now in bloom in Pots—either heaths or some seasonable plants I will send you instead—perhaps some that are not yet in bloom that you may see them come out. To-morrow night I am going to a rout, a thing I am not at all in love with. Mr. Dilke and his Family have left Hampstead—I shall dine with them to-day in Westminster where I think I told you they were going to reside for the sake of sending their son Charles to the Westminster School. I think I mentioned the Death of Mr. Haslam’s Father. Yesterday week the two Mr. Wylies dined with me. I hope you have good store of double violets—I think they are the Princesses of flowers, and in a shower of rain, almost as fine as barley sugar drops are to a schoolboy’s tongue. I suppose this fine weather the lambs’ tails give a frisk or two extraordinary—when a boy would cry huzza and a Girl O my! a little Lamb frisks its tail. I have not been lately through Leicester Square—the first time I do I will remember your Seals. I have thought it best to live in Town this Summer, chiefly for the sake of books, which cannot be had with any comfort in the Country—besides my Scotch journey gave me a dose of the Picturesque with which I ought to be contented for some time. Westminster is the place I have pitched upon—the City or any place very confined would soon turn me pale and thin—which is to be avoided. You must make up your mind to get stout this summer—indeed I have an idea we shall both be corpulent old folks with triple chins and stumpy thumbs.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John.
 

 

18. XCVIII.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

18.1. Tuesday [April 13, 1819].

 
1
My dear Haydon—When I offered you assistance I thought I had it in my hand; I thought I had nothing to do but to do. The difficulties I met with arose from the alertness and suspicion of Abbey: and especially from the affairs being still in a Lawyer’s hand—who has been draining our Property for the last six years of every charge he could make. I cannot do two things at once, and thus this affair has stopped my pursuits in every way—from the first prospect I had of difficulty. I assure you I have harassed myself ten times more than if I alone had been concerned in so much gain or loss. I have also ever told you the exact particulars as well as and as literally as any hopes or fear could translate them: for it was only by parcels that I found all those petty obstacles which for my own sake should not exist a moment—and yet why not—for from my own imprudence and neglect all my accounts are entirely in my Guardian’s Power. This has taught me a Lesson. Hereafter I will be more correct. I find myself possessed of much less than I thought for and now if I had all on the table all I could do would be to take from it a moderate two years’ subsistence and lend you the rest; but I cannot say how soon I could become possessed of it. This would be no sacrifice nor any matter worth thinking of—much less than parting as I have more than once done with little sums which might have gradually formed a library to my taste. These sums amount together to nearly £200, which I have but a chance of ever being repaid or paid at a very distant period. I am humble enough to put this in writing from the sense I have of your struggling situation and the great desire that you should do me the justice to credit me the unostentatious and willing state of my nerves on all such occasions. It has not been my fault. I am doubly hurt at the slightly reproachful tone of your note and at the occasion of it,—for it must be some other disappointment; you seem’d so sure of some important help when I last saw you—now you have maimed me again; I was whole, I had began reading again—when your note came I was engaged in a Book. I dread as much as a Plague the idle fever of two months more without any fruit. I will walk over the first fine day: then see what aspect your affairs have taken, and if they should continue gloomy walk into the City to Abbey and get his consent for I am persuaded that to me alone he will not concede a jot.
 

 

19. XCIX.—TO FANNY KEATS.

19.1. Wentworth Place, Saturday. [April 17, 1819?]

 
1
My dear Fanny—If it were but six o’Clock in the morning I would set off to see you to-day: if I should do so now I could not stop long enough for a how d’ye do—it is so long a walk through Hornsey and Tottenham—and as for Stage Coaching it besides that it is very expensive it is like going into the Boxes by way of the pit. I cannot go out on Sunday—but if on Monday it should promise as fair as to-day I will put on a pair of loose easy palatable boots and me rendre chez vous. I continue increasing my letter to George to send it by one of Birkbeck’s sons who is going out soon—so if you will let me have a few more lines, they will be in time. I am glad you got on so well with Monsr. le Curé. Is he a nice clergyman?—a great deal depends upon a cock’d hat and powder—not gunpowder, lord love us, but lady-meal, violet-smooth, dainty-scented, lilly-white, feather-soft, wigsby-dressing, coat-collar-spoiling, whisker-reaching, pig-tail-loving, swans-down-puffing, parson-sweetening powder. I shall call in passing at the Tottenham nursery and see if I can find some seasonable plants for you. That is the nearest place—or by our la’kin or lady kin, that is by the virgin Mary’s kindred, is there not a twig-manufacturer in Walthamstow? Mr. and Mrs. Dilke are coming to dine with us to-day. They will enjoy the country after Westminster. O there is nothing like fine weather, and health, and Books, and a fine country, and a contented Mind, and diligent habit of reading and thinking, and an amulet against the ennui—and, please heaven, a little claret wine cool out of a cellar a mile deep—with a few or a good many ratafia cakes—a rocky basin to bathe in, a strawberry bed to say your prayers to Flora in, a pad nag to go you ten miles or so; two or three sensible people to chat with; two or three spiteful folks to spar with; two or three odd fishes to laugh at and two or three numskulls to argue with—instead of using dumb bells on a rainy day—
 
2
Two or three Posies
3
With two or three simples—
4
Two or three Noses
5
With two or three pimples—
6
Two or three wise men
7
And two or three ninny’s—
8
Two or three purses
9
And two or three guineas—
10
Two or three raps
11
At two or three doors—
12
Two or three naps
13
Of two or three hours—
14
Two or three Cats
15
And two or three mice—
16
Two or three sprats
17
At a very great price—
18
Two or three sandies
19
And two or three tabbies—
20
Two or three dandies
21
And two Mrs.—— mum
22
Two or three Smiles
23
And two or three frowns—
24
Two or three Miles
25
To two or three towns—
26
Two or three pegs
27
For two or three bonnets—
28
Two or three dove eggs
29
To hatch into sonnets—
30
Good-bye I’ve an appointment—can’t
31
stop pon word—good-bye—now
32
don’t get up—open the door my-
33
self—good-bye—see ye Monday.
 
34
J. K.
 

 

20. C.—TO FANNY KEATS.

20.1. [Hampstead, May 13, 1819.]

 
1
My dear Fanny—I have a Letter from George at last—and it contains, considering all things, good news—I have been with it to-day to Mrs. Wylie’s, with whom I have left it. I shall have it again as soon as possible and then I will walk over and read it to you. They are quite well and settled tolerably in comfort after a great deal of fatigue and harass. They had the good chance to meet at Louisville with a Schoolfellow of ours. You may expect me within three days. I am writing to-night several notes concerning this to many of my friends. Good-night! God bless you.
 
2
John Keats.
 

 

21. CI.—TO FANNY KEATS.

21.1. [Hampstead, May 26, 1819.]

 
1
My dear Fanny—I have been looking for a fine day to pass at Walthamstow: there has not been one Morning (except Sunday and then I was obliged to stay at home) that I could depend upon. I have I am sorry to say had an accident with the Letter—I sent it to Haslam and he returned it torn into a thousand pieces. So I shall be obliged to tell you all I can remember from Memory. You would have heard from me before this but that I was in continual expectation of a fine Morning—I want also to speak to you concerning myself. Mind I do not purpose to quit England, as George has done; but I am afraid I shall be forced to take a voyage or two. However we will not think of that for some Months. Should it be a fine morning to-morrow you will see me.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

22. CII.—TO FANNY KEATS.

22.1. Wentworth Place [June 9, 1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I shall be with you next Monday at the farthest. I could not keep my promise of seeing you again in a week because I am in so unsettled a state of mind about what I am to do—I have given up the Idea of the Indiaman; I cannot resolve to give up my favorite studies: so I purpose to retire into the Country and set my Mind at work once more. A Friend of Mine who has an ill state of health called on me yesterday and proposed to spend a little time with him at the back of the Isle of Wight where he said we might live very cheaply. I agreed to his proposal. I have taken a great dislike to Town—I never go there—some one is always calling on me and as we have spare beds they often stop a couple of days. I have written lately to some acquaintances in Devonshire concerning a cheap Lodging and they have been very kind in letting me know all I wanted. They have described a pleasant place which I think I shall eventually retire to. How came you on with my young Master Yorkshire Man? Did not Mrs. A. sport her Carriage and one? They really surprised me with super civility—how did Mrs. A. manage it? How is the old tadpole gardener and little Master next door? it is to be hop’d they will both die some of these days. Not having been to Town I have not heard whether Mr. A. purposes to retire from business. Do let me know if you have heard anything more about it. If he should not I shall be very disappointed. If any one deserves to be put to his shifts it is that Hodgkinson—as for the other he would live a long time upon his fat and be none the worse for a good long lent. How came miledi to give one Lisbon wine—had she drained the Gooseberry? Truly I cannot delay making another visit—asked to take Lunch, whether I will have ale, wine, take sugar,—objection to green—like cream—thin bread and butter—another cup—agreeable—enough sugar—little more cream—too weak—12 shillin etc. etc. etc.—Lord I must come again. We are just going to Dinner I must must[101] with this to the Post——
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

23. CIII.—TO JAMES ELMES.

23.1. Wentworth Place, Hampstead [June 12, 1819].

 
1
Sir—I did not see your Note till this Saturday evening, or I should have answered it sooner—However as it happens I have but just received the Book which contains the only copy of the verses in question.[102] I have asked for it repeatedly ever since I promised Mr. Haydon and could not help the delay; which I regret. The verses can be struck out in no time, and will I hope be quite in time. If you think it at all necessary a proof may be forwarded; but as I shall transcribe it fairly perhaps there may be no need.
 
2
I am, Sir, your obedt Servt
3
John Keats.
 

 

24. CIV.—TO FANNY KEATS.

24.1. Wentworth Place, [June 14, 1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—I cannot be with you to-day for two reasons—1ly I have my sore-throat coming again to prevent my walking. 2ly I do not happen just at present to be flush of silver so that I might ride. To-morrow I am engaged—but the day after you shall see me. Mr. Brown is waiting for me as we are going to Town together, so good-bye.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John.
 

 

25. CV.—TO FANNY KEATS.

25.1. Wentworth Place [June 16, 1819].

 
1
My dear Fanny—Still I cannot afford to spend money by Coachhire and still my throat is not well enough to warrant my walking. I went yesterday to ask Mr. Abbey for some money; but I could not on account of a Letter he showed me from my Aunt’s solicitor. You do not understand the business. I trust it will not in the end be detrimental to you. I am going to try the Press once more, and to that end shall retire to live cheaply in the country and compose myself and verses as well as I can. I have very good friends ready to help me—and I am the more bound to be careful of the money they lend me. It will all be well in the course of a year I hope. I am confident of it, so do not let it trouble you at all. Mr. Abbey showed me a Letter he had received from George containing the news of the birth of a Niece for us—and all doing well—he said he would take it to you—so I suppose to-day you will see it. I was preparing to enquire for a situation with an apothecary, but Mr. Brown persuades me to try the press once more; so I will with all my industry and ability. Mr. Rice a friend of mine in ill health has proposed retiring to the back of the Isle of Wight—which I hope will be cheap in the summer—I am sure it will in the winter. Thence you shall frequently hear from me and in the Letters I will copy those lines I may write which will be most pleasing to you in the confidence you will show them to no one. I have not run quite aground yet I hope, having written this morning to several people to whom I have lent money requesting repayment. I shall henceforth shake off my indolent fits, and among other reformation be more diligent in writing to you, and mind you always answer me. I shall be obliged to go out of town on Saturday and shall have no money till to-morrow, so I am very sorry to think I shall not be able to come to Walthamstow. The Head Mr. Severn did of me is now too dear, but here inclosed is a very capital Profile done by Mr. Brown. I will write again on Monday or Tuesday—Mr. and Mrs. Dilke are well.
 
2
Your affectionate Brother
3
John ——.
 

 

26. CVI.—TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

26.1. Wentworth Place. Thursday Morning [June 17, 1819].

 
1
My dear Haydon—I know you will not be prepared for this, because your Pocket must needs be very low having been at ebb tide so long: but what can I do? mine is lower. I was the day before yesterday much in want of Money: but some news I had yesterday has driven me into necessity. I went to Abbey’s for some Cash, and he put into my hand a letter from my Aunt’s Solicitor containing the pleasant information that she was about to file a Bill in Chancery against us. Now in case of a defeat Abbey will be very undeservedly in the wrong box; so I could not ask him for any more money, nor can I till the affair is decided; and if it goes against him I must in conscience make over to him what little he may have remaining. My purpose is now to make one more attempt in the Press—if that fail, “ye hear no more of me” as Chaucer says. Brown has lent me some money for the present. Do borrow or beg somehow what you can for me. Do not suppose I am at all uncomfortable about the matter in any other way than as it forces me to apply to the needy. I could not send you those lines, for I could not get the only copy of them before last Saturday evening. I sent them Mr. Elmes on Monday. I saw Monkhouse on Sunday—he told me you were getting on with the Picture. I would have come over to you to-day, but I am fully employed.
 
2
Yours ever sincerely
3
John Keats.
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◈ Letters Of John Keats To His Family And Friends (존 키츠의 편지) ◈

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