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TO THE SAME
repeating how sensible I am of your
kind- the other night at Little Britain. I hope ness, I remain
found them good. There you are among Y obed sery and friend John KEATS. sands, stones, Pebbles, Beeches, Cliffs,
I shall be happy to hear any little intelli- Rocks, Deeps, Shallows, weeds, ships, Boats gence in the literary or friendly way when (at a distance), Carrots, Turnips, sun, you have time to scribble.
moon, and stars and all those sort of things here am
I among Colleges, balls, Stalls, Plenty of Trees, thank God — Plenty of water, thank heaven Plenty of Books,
thank the Muses - Plenty of Snuff, thank (London] Tuesday Morn [July 8, 1817]. Sir Walter Raleigh — Plenty of segars, MY DEAR SIRS — I must endeavour to
Plenty of flat country, thank Tellose my maidenhead with respect to money lus's rolling-pin. I'm on the sofa — BuonMatters as soon as possible — And I will aparte is on the snuff-box — But you are too So, here goes ! A couple of Duns by the seaside — argal, you batbe
you that I thought would be silent till the walk
you say 'how beautiful'. find beginning, at least, of next month (when I out resemblances between waves and camels. am certain to be on my legs, for certain — rocks and dancing-masters — fireshovels. sure), have opened upon me with a cry and telescopes — Dolphins and Madonas most "untuneable ;' never did you hear which word, by the way, I must acquaint. such un--gallant chiding. Now you must you was derived from the Syriac, and came. know, I am not desolate, but have, thank down in a way which neither of you I am God, 25 good notes in my fob. But then, sorry to say are at all capable of compreyon know, I laid them by to write with and hending. But as a time may come when by would stand at bay a fortnight ere they your occasional converse with me you may should grab me. In a month's time I must arrive at «something like prophetic strain,' pay, but it would relieve my mind if I owed I will unbar the gates of my pride and let you, instead of these Pelican duns.
my condescension stalk forth like a ghost I am afraid you will say I have wound at the Circus. — The word Ma-don-a, my about with circumstance,' when I should dear Ladies
the word Mad -- Onahave asked plainly - however as I said I so I say! I am not mad Howsumever am a little maidenish or so, and I feel my when that aged Tamer Kewthon sold a virginity come strong upon me, the while certain camel called Peter to the overseer I request the loan of a £20 and a £10, of the Babel Sky-works, he thus spake, which, if you would enclose to me, I would adjusting his cravat round the tip of his. acknowledge and save myself a hot fore- chin — My dear Ten-story-up-in-air ! this. head. I am sure you are confident of my here Beast, though I say it as should n't responsibility, and in the sense of square- say't, not only has the power of subsisting ness that is always in me.
40 days and 40 nights without fire and Your obliged friend John KEATS. candle but he can sing. — Here I have in
my Pocket a Certificate from Signor Nico
lini of the King's Theatre; a Certificate to. 11. TO MARIANE AND JANE REYNOLDS this effect I have had dinner since I
left that effect upon you, and feel too heavy Oxf[ord, September 5, 1817]. in mentibus to display all the Profundity MY DEAR FRIENDS You are I am glad of the Polygon — so you had better each. to hear comfortable at Hampton," where I of you take a glass of cherry Brandy and! hope you will receive the Biscuits we ate drink to the health of Archimedes, who was
of so benign a disposition that he never this transmitted to me every now and then would leave Syracuse in his life So kept will procure you full sheets of Writing from himself out of all Knight-Errantry. — This me pretty frequently. This I feel as a I know to be a fact; for it is written in the necessity for we ought to become intimately 45th book of Winkine's treatise on garden- | acquainted, in order that I may
not only, rollers, that he trod on a fishwoman's toe as you grow up love you as my only Sister, in Liverpool, and never begged her pardon. but confide in you as my dearest friend. Now the long and short is this — that is by When I saw you last I told you
incomparison — for a long day may be a tention of going to Oxford and 't is now a A long Pole may be a very
Week since I disembark'd from his Whipstupid fellow as a man. But let us refresh ship’s Coach the Defiance in this place. I ourself from this depth of thinking, and am living in Magdalen Hall on a visit to a turn to some innocent jocularity — the Bow young Man with whom I have not been cannot always be bent — nor the gun always long acquainted, but whom I like very loaded, if you ever let it off — and the life much we lead very industrious lives of man is like a great Mountain his breath he in general Studies and I in proceeding is like a Shrewsbury cake he comes into at a pretty good rate with a Poem which I the world like a shoeblack, and goes out of hope you will see early in the next year.– it like a cobbler he eats like a chimney- Perhaps you might like to know what I am sweeper, drinks like a gingerbread baker writing about. I will tell you. Many Years
- and breathes like Achilles so it being ago there was a young handsome Shepherd that we are such sublunary creatures, let who fed his flocks on a Mountain's Side us endeavour to correct all our bad spelling called Latmus - he was a very contempla— all our most delightful abominations, and tive sort of Person and lived solitary among let us wish health to Mariane and Jane, the trees and Plains little thinking that whoever they be and wherever.
such a beautiful Creature as the Moon was Yours truly
JOHN KEATS. growing mad in Love with him. However
so it was; and when he was asleep on the
Grass she used to come down from heaven 12.
and admire him excessively for a long time;
and at last could not refrain from carrying Oxford, September 10 (1817]. him away in her arms to the top of that MY DEAR FANNY — Let us now begin a high Mountain Latmus while he was a regular question and answer
dreaming -- but I daresay you have read and con; letting it interfere as a pleasant this and all the other beautiful Tales which method of my coming at your favorite little have come down from the ancient times of wants and enjoyments, that I may meet that beautiful Greece. If you have not let them in a way befitting a brother.
me know and I will tell you more at large We have been so little together since you of others quite as delightful. This Oxford have been able to reflect on things that I I have no doubt is the finest City in the know not whether you prefer the History world — it is full of old Gothic buildings of King Pepin to Bunyan's Pilgrim's Pro-Spires towers Quadrangles Cloisgress - -or Cinderella and her glass slipper ters — Groves, etc., and is surrounded with to Moore's Almanack. However in a few more clear streams than ever I saw toLetters I hope I sball be able to come at gether. I take a Walk by the Side of one that and adapt my scribblings to your of them every Evening and, thank God, we Pleasure. You must tell me about all you have not had a drop of rain these many read if it be only six Pages in a Week and days. I had a long and interesting Letter
TO FANNY KEATS
a little pro
from George, cross lines by a short one from Tom yesterday dated Paris. They both send their loves to you. Like most Englishmen they feel a mighty preference for everything English — the French Meadows, the trees, the People, the Towns, the Churches, the Books, the everything — although they may be in themselves good: yet when put in comparison with our green Island they all vanish like Swallows in October. They have seen Cathedrals, Manuscripts, Fountains, Pictures, Tragedy, Comedy, — with other things you may by chance meet with in this Country such as Washerwomen, Lamplighters, Turnpikemen, Fishkettles, Dancing Masters, Kettle drums, Sentry Boxes, Rocking Horses, etc. — and, now they have taken them over a set of boxing-gloves.
I have written to George and requested him, as you wish I should, to write to you. I have been writing very hard lately, even till an utter incapacity came on, and I feel it now about my head: so you must not mind a little out-of-the-way sayings — though by the bye were my brain as clear as a bell I think I should have a little propensity thereto. I shall stop here till I have finished the 3d Book of my Story; which I hope will be accomplish'd in at most three Weeks from to-day — about which time you shall see me. How do you like Miss Taylor's essays in Rhyme 12 - I just look'd into the Book and it appeared to me suitable to you especially since I remember your liking for those pleasant little things the Original Poems the essays are the more mature production of the same hand. While I was speaking about France it occurred to me to speak a few Words on their Language — it is perhaps the poorest one ever spoken since the jabbering in the Tower of Babel, and when you come to know that the real use and greatness of a Tongue is to be referred to its Literature you will be astonished to find how very inferior it is to our native Speech. — I wish the Italian would superbede French in every school throughout the
Country, for that is full of real Poetry and Romance of a kind more fitted for the Plea. sure of Ladies than perhaps our own. - It seems that the only end to be gained in acquiring French is the immense accomplishment of speaking it — it is none at all - a most lamentable mistake indeed. Italian indeed would sound most musically from Lips wbich had began to pronounce it as early as French is crammed down our Mouths, as if we were young Jackdaws at the mercy of an overfeeding Schoolboy. Now Fanny you must write soon — and write all you think about, never mind what — only let me have a good deal of your writing – You need not do it all at once be two or three or four days about it, and let it be a diary of your little Life. You will preserve all my
Letters and I will secure yours and thus in the course of time we shall each of us have a good Bundle - which, hereafter, when things may have strangely altered and God knows what happened, we may read over together and look with pleasure on times past that now are to come. Give my Respects to the Ladies my dear Fanny I am ever
Your most affectionate Brother John.
If you direct — Post Office, Oxford your Letter will be brought to me.
Oxford, Sunday Evg. (September 14, 1817].
MY DEAR JANE You are such a literal translator, that I shall some day amuse myself with looking over some foreign sentences, and imagining how you would render them into English. This is an age for typical Curiosities; and I would advise you, as a good speculation, to study Hebrew, and astonish the world with a figurative version in our native tongue. The Mountains skipping like rams, and the little hills like lambs, you will leave as far behind as the hare did the tortoise. It must be so or you would never have thought that I really
meant you would like to pro and con about and superb when those Honeycombs — no, I had no such
"The sun from meridian height idea, or, if I had, 't would be only to tease
Illumines the depth of the sea, you a little for love. So now let me put And the fishes, beginning to sweat, down in black and white briefly my senti
Cry dit! how hot we shall be,' ments thereon. Imprimis – I sincerely
and gorgeous, when the fair planet hastens believe that Imogen is the finest creature, and that I should have been disappointed
"To his home
Within the Western foam.' at hearing you prefer Juliet - Item — Yet I feel such a yearning towards Juliet that I But don't you think there is something would rather follow her into Pandemonium extremely fine after sunset, when there are than Imogen into Paradise - heartily wish- a few white clouds about and a few stars ing myself a Romeo to be worthy of her, blinking — when the waters are ebbing, and and to hear the Devils quote the old pro- the horizon a mystery ? This state of things verb, · Birds of a feather flock together'- has been so fulfilling to me that I am Amen.
anxious to hear whether it is a favourite Now let us turn to the Seashore. Believe with you. So when you and Marianne club me, my dear Jane, it is a great happiness to your letter to me put in a word or two see that you are in this finest part of the about it. Tell Dilke 18 that it would be year winning a little enjoyment from the perhaps as well if he left a Pheasant or hard world. In truth, the great Elements Partridge alive here and there to keep up a we know of, are no mean comforters: the supply of game for next season — tell him open sky sits upon our senses like a sapphire to rein in if Possible all the Nimrod of his
the Air is our robe of state - the disposition, he being a mighty hunter before Earth is our throne, and the Sea a mighty the Lord — of the Manor. Tell him to shoot minstrel playing before it — able, like Da- fair, and not to have at the Poor devils in vid's harp, to make such a one as you forget
a furrow - when they are flying, he may of life. I have fire, and
found in the ocean's musie, – varying (the Give my sincerest respects
to Mrs. Dilke,
self-same) more than the passion of Timo- saying that I have not forgiven myself for theus, an enjoyment not to be put into not having got her the little box of mediwords; and, though inland far I be,' I cine I promised, and that, had I remained now hear the voice most audibly while at Hampstead I would have made precious pleasing myself in the idea of your sensa
havoc with her house and furniture — drawn tions.
a great harrow over her garden — poisoned is getting well apace, and if you Boxer — eaten her clothes-pegs — fried her have a few trees, and a little harvesting cabbages - fricaseed (how is it spelt ?) about you, I'll
snap my fingers in Lucifer's her radishes ragout'd her Onions eye. I hope you bathe too if
belaboured her beat-root – outstripped her I earnestly recommend it. Bathe thrice a scarlet-runners parlez-vous’d with her week, and let us have no more sitting up
french-beans devoured her mignon or next winter. Which is the best of Shak- mignionette metamorphosed her bell. speare's plays ? I mean in what mood and handles — splintered her looking-glasses – with what accompaniment do you like the bullocked at her cups and saucers agosea best? It is very fine in the morning, nised her decanters — put old Phillips to when the sun,
pickle in the brine-tub- disorganised her Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
piano - dislocated her candlesticks — empTurns into yellow gold his salt sea streams,'
tied her wine-bins in a fit of despair
turned out her maid to grass and aston- one of meeting you on the desert shore, and ished Brown; whose letter to her on these greeting you in his name.
He sends you events I would rather see than the original moreover this little scroll – My dear Copy of the Book of Genesis. Should you Girls, I send you, per favour of Endymion, see Mr. W. D. remember me to him, and the assurance of
my to little Robinson Crusoe, and to Mr. Snook. utmost wishes for your health and pleasure, Poor Bailey, scarcely ever well, has gone being ever, to bed, pleased that I am writing to you. Your affectionate Brother JOHN KEATS. To your brother John (whom henceforth I shall consider as mine) and to you, my dear friends, Marianne and Jane, I shall ever
14. TO JOHN HAMILTON REYNOLDS feel grateful for having made known to me so real a fellow as Bailey. He delights Oxford, Sunday Morn [September 21, 1817]. me in the selfish and (please God) the dis- MY DEAR REYNOLDS
So you are deterinterested part of my disposition. If the mined to be my mortal foe draw a Sword old Poets have any pleasure in looking at me, and I will forgive — Put a Bullet in down at the enjoyers of their works, their my Brain, and I will shake it out as a deweyes must bend with a double satisfaction drop from the Lion's Mane — put me on a upon him. I sit as at a feast when he is Gridiron, and I will fry with great comover them, and pray that if, after my death, placency — but — oh, horror! to come upon any of my labours should be worth saving, me in the shape of a Dun! Send me bills! they may have so 'honest a chronicler' as as I say to my Tailor, send me Bills and Bailey. Out of this, his enthusiasm in his I'll never employ you more. However, own pursuit and for all good things is of needs must, when the devil drives: and for an exalted kind
worthy a more healthful fear of before and behind Mr. Honeyframe and an untorn spirit. He must have comb' I'll proceed. I have not time to happy years to come — he shall not die by elucidate the forms and shapes of the grass God.'
and trees; for, rot it! I forgot to bring my A letter from John the other day was a mathematical case with me, which unfortuchief happiness to me. I made a little nately contained my triangular Prism so mistake when, just now, I talked of being that the hues of the grass cannot be disfar inland. How can that be when Endy- sected for you – mion and I are at the bottom of the sea ? For these last five or six days, we have whence I hope to bring him in safety before had regularly a Boat on the Isis, and exyou leave the seaside; and, if I can so con- plored all the streams about, which are trive it, you shall be greeted by him upon more in number than your eye-lashes. We the sea-sands, and he shall tell you all bis sometimes skim into a Bed of rushes, and adventures, which having finished, he shall there become naturalised river-folks, thus proceed — My dear Ladies, favourites there is one particularly nice nest, which we of my gentle mistress, however my friend have christened · Reynolds's Cove,' in which Keats may have teased and vexed you, be- we have read Wordsworth and talked as may lieve me he loves you not the less — for be. I think I see you and Hunt meeting instance, I am deep in his favour, and yet in the Pit. What a very pleasant fellow he has been hauling me through the earth he is, if he would give up the sovereignty and sea with unrelenting perseverance. I of a Room pro bono. What Evenings we know for all this that he is mighty fond of might pass with him, could we have him me, by his contriving me all sorts of plea- from Mrs. H. Failings I am always rather sures. Nor is this the least, fair ladies, this rejoiced to find in a man than sorry for;