Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

they bring us to a Level. He has them, but then his makes - up are very good. He agrees with the Northern Poet 14 in this, • He is not one of those who much delight to season their fireside with personal talk' -I must confess however having a little itch that way, and at this present moment I have a few neighbourly remarks to make. The world, and especially our England, has, within the last thirty years, been vexed and teased by a set of Devils, whom I detest so much that I almost hunger after an Acherontic promotion to a Torturer, purposely for their accommodation. These devils are a set of women, who having taken a snack or Luncheon of Literary scraps, set themselves up for wers of Babel in languages, Sapphos in Poetry, Euclids in Geometry, and everything in nothing. Among such the name of Montague has been preëminent. The thing has made a very uncomfortable impression on

I had longed for some real feminine Modesty in these things, and was therefore gladdened in the extreme on opening the other day, one of Bailey's Books of poetry written by one beautiful Mrs. Philips, a friend of Jeremy Taylor's, and called . The Matchless Orinda -'You must have heard of her, and most likely read her Poetry – I wish you have not, that I may have the pleasure of treating you with a few stanzas I do it at a venture - You will not regret reading them once more. The following, to her friend Mrs. M. A. at parting, you will judge of.

By my own temper I shall guess

At thy felicity,
And only like my happiness

Because it pleaseth thee.
Our hearts at any time will tell
If thou, or I, be sick, or well.

All Honour sure I must pretend, 1 A complete

AU that is good or great ; friend. This She that would be Rosania's Friend line sounded

Must be at least compleat.1
very oddly to
me at first.

If I have any bravery,
'Tis cause I have so much of thee,

Thy Leiger Soul in me shall lie,

And all thy thoughts reveal; Then back again with mine shall fie,

And thence to me shall steal. Thus still to one another tend; Such is the sacred name of Friend.

Thus our twin-Souls in one shall grow,

And teach the World new Love, Redeem the Age and Sex, and show

A Flame Fate dares not move: And courting Death to be our friend, Our Lives together too shall end.

me.

a book

I have examin'd and do find,

Of all that favour me
There's none I grieve to leave behind

But only, only thee.
To part with thee I needs must die,
Could parting sep’rate thee and I.

But neither Chance nor Complement

Did element our Love;
’T was sacred sympathy was lent

Us from the Quire above.
That Friendship Fortune did create,
Still fears a wound from Time or Fate.

A Dew shall dwell upon our Tomb

Of such a quality,
That fighting Armies, thither come,

Shall reconciled be.
We'll ask no Epitaph, but say
Orinda and Rosania.
In other of her poems there is a most
delicate fancy of the Fletcher kind — which

on

you

TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON

a

[ocr errors]

a

we will con over together. So Haydon is Now I think this is an excellent method of in Town. I had a letter from him yester- giving a very clear description of an inday. We will contrive as the winter comes teresting place such as Oxford is.

- but that is neither here nor there. [Here follows the verses on Oxford, given on Have heard from Rice ? Has Martin

p. 252.] met with the Cumberland Beggar, or been wondering at the old Leech-gatherer? Has

16. he a turn for fossils ? that is, is he capable of sinking up to his Middle in a Morass ?

Oxford, September 28 (1817]. How is Hazlitt ? We were reading his MY DEAR HAYDON I read

your

letter Table 15 last night. I know he thinks him- to the young Man, whose Name is Cripps. self not estimated by ten people in the He seemed more than ever anxious to avail world - I wish he knew he is. I am get- himself of your offer. I think I told you ting on famous with my third Book — have we asked him to ascertain his Means. He written 800 lines thereof, and hope to finish does not possess the Philosopher's stone it next Week. Bailey likes what I have nor Fortunatus's purse, nor Gyges's ring done

very much. Believe me, my dear Rey- – but at Bailey's suggestion, whom I asnolds, one of my chief layings-up is the sure you is very capital fellow, we have pleasure I shall have in showing it to you, stummed up a kind of contrivance whereby I may now say, in a few days. I have he will be enabled to do himself the benefits heard twice from my Brothers, they are you will lay in his Path. I have a great going on very well, and send their Remem- Idea that he will be a tolerable neat brush. brances to you. We expected to have had 'Tis perhaps the finest thing that will befal notices from little-Hampton this morning him this many a year: for he is just of an

we must wait till Tuesday. I am glad of age to get grounded in bad habits from their Days with the Dilkes. You are, I which you will pluck him. He brought a know, very much teased in that precious copy of Mary Queen of Scots: it appears London, and want all the rest possible; so I to me that he has copied the bad style of shall be contented with as brief a scrawl - the painting, as well as coloured the eyea Word or two, till there comes a pat hour. balls yellow like the original. He has also

Send us a few of your stanzas to read in the fault that you pointed out to me in Reynolds's Cove.' Give my Love and Hazlitt on the constringing and diffusing of respects to your Mother, and remember me substance. However I really believe that kindly to all at home.

he will take fire at the sight of your Picture Yours faithfully JOAN KEATS. - and set about things. If he can get

I have left the doublings for Bailey, who ready in time to return to town with me, is going to say that he will write to you to- which will be in few days — I will bring

him to you. You will be glad to hear that within these last three weeks I have written

1000 lines — which are the third Book of 15.

my Poem. My Ideas with respect to it I [Oxford, September, 1817.) assure you are very low — and I would

write the subject thoroughly again — but I Wordsworth sometimes, though in a fine

am tired of it and think the time would way, gives us sentences in the style of be better spent in writing a new Romance school exercises. — For instance,

which I have in my eye for next summer The lake doth glitter,

Rome was not built in a Day and all the Small birds twitter.

good I expect from my employment this

a

morrow.

TO THE SAME

a

BENJAMIN BAILEY

If he will say

a

summer is the fruit of Experience which I Haydon and Hunt have known each other hope to gather in my next Poem. Bailey's many years - now they live, pour ainsi kindest wishes, and my vow of being dire, jealous neighbours - Haydon says to Yours eternally

JOHN KEATS. me, Keats, don't show your lines to Hunt

on any Account, or he will have done half for

you so it appears Hunt wishes it to 17. TO

be thought. When he met Reynolds in the

Theatre, John told him that I was getting Hampstead, Wednesday (October 8, 1817].

on to the completion of 4000 lines — Ah! MY DEAR BAILEY After a tolerable says Hunt, had it not been for me they journey, I went from Coach to Coach as far would have been 7000! as Hampstead where I found my Brothers this to Reynolds, what would he to other

the next Morning finding myself toler- people? Haydon received a Letter a little ably well I went to Lamb's Conduit Street while back on this subject from some Lady and delivered your parcel. Jane and Ma- which contains a caution to me, through rianne, were greatly improved. Marianne him, on the subject now is not all this a especially, she has no unhealthy plumpness most paltry thing to think about? You in the face, but she comes me healthy and may see the whole of the case by the followangular to the chin - I did not see John- ing Extract from a Letter I wrote to George I was extremely sorry to hear that poor in the Spring • As to what you say about Rice, after having had capital health during my being a Poet, I can return no Answer his tour, was very ill. I daresay you have but by saying that the high Idea I have heard from him. From No. 19 I went to of poetical fame makes me think I see it Hunt's and Haydon's who live now neigh- towering too high above me. At any rate, bours. Shelley was there — I know no- I have no right to talk until Endymion thing about anything in this part of the is finished it will be a test, a trial of world - every Body seems at Loggerheads. my Powers of Imagination, and chiefly of There's Hunt infatuated there's Hay- | my invention, which is a rare thing indeed don's picture in statu quo

There's Hunt – by which I must make 4000 lines of walks up and down his painting room one bare circumstance, and fill them with criticising every head most unmercifully. poetry: and when I consider that this is a There's Horace Smith tired of Hunt. The great task, and that when done it will take web of our life is of mingled yarn.' Hay- me but a dozen paces towards the temple don having removed entirely from Marl- of fame

- it makes me say

God forbid borough Street, Cripps must direct his that I should be without such a task ! I letter to Lisson Grove, North Paddington. have heard Hunt say, and I may be asked Yesterday Morning while I was at Brown's, - why endeavour after a long Poem? To in came Reynolds, he was pretty bobbish, which I should answer, Do not the Lovers we had a pleasant day — he would walk of Poetry like to have a little Region to home at night that cursed cold distance. wander in, where they may pick and choose, Mrs. Bentley's children are making a and in which the images are so numerous horrid row –

whereby I regret I cannot that many are forgotten and found new in be transported to your Room to write to a second Reading: which may be food for you. I am quite disgusted with literary a Week's stroll in the Summer? Do not men and will never know another except they like this better than what they can Wordsworth no not even Byron. Here read through before Mrs. Williams comes is an instance of the friendship of such. down stairs ? a Morning work at most.

[ocr errors]

a

273

6

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

can

[ocr errors]

• Besides, a long poem is a test of invention, which I take to be the Polar star of Poetry, as Fancy is the Sails

and Imagination the rudder. Did our great Poets ever write short Pieces? I mean in the shape of Tales — this same invention seems indeed of late years to have been forgotten as a Poetical excellence But enough of this, I put on no Laurels till I shall have finished Endymion, and I hope Apollo is not angered at my having made a Mockery at him at Hunt's'

You see, Bailey, how independent my Writing has been. Hunt's dissuasion was of no avail — I refused to visit Shelley that I might have my own unfettered scope; and after all, I shall have the Reputation of Hunt's élève. His corrections and amputations will by the knowing ones be traced in the Poem. This is, to be sure, the vexation of a day, nor would I say so many words about it to any but those whom I know to have my welfare and reputation at heart. Haydon promised to give directions for those Casts, and you may expect to see them soon, with as many Letters You will soon hear the dinning of Bells

never mind ! you and Gleig 16 will defy the foul fiend — But do not sacrifice your health to Books: do take it kindly and not so voraciously. I am certain if you are your own Physician, your Stomach will resume its proper strength and then what great benefits will follow. — My sister wrote a Letter to me, which I think must be at the post-office — Ax Will to see. My Brother's kindest remembrances to you going to dine at Brown's where I have some hopes of meeting Reynolds. The little Mercury I have taken has corrected the poison and improved my health - though I

feel from my employment that I shall never be again secure in Robustness. Would that you were as well as Your Sincere friend and brother

JOHN KEATS.

(Hampstead: about November 1, 1817.) MY DEAR BAILEY — So you have got a Curacy - good, but I suppose you will be obliged to stop among your Oxford favourites during Term time. Never mind. When do you preach your first sermon ? tell me, for I shall propose to the two R.'s 17 to hear it, — so don't look into any of the old corner oaken pews, for fear of being put out by us. Poor Johuny Moultrie can't be there. He is ill, I expect — but that's neither here nor there. All I say, I wish him as well through it as I am like to be. For this fortnight I have been confined at Hampstead. Saturday evening was my first day in town, when I went to Rice's as we intend to do every Saturday till we know not when. We hit upon an old gent we had kuown some few years ago, and had a reiry pleasante daye. In this world there is no quiet, - nothing but teasing and snubbing and vexation. My brother Tom looked very unwell yesterday, and I am for shipping him off to Lisbon. Perhaps I ship there with him. I have not seen Mrs. Reynolds since I left you, wherefore my conscience smites me. I think of seeing her tomorrow; have you any message ? I hope Gleig came soon after I left. I don't suppose I've written as many lines as you have read volumes, or at least chapters, since I saw you. However, I am in a fair way now to come to a conclusion in at least three weeks, when I assure you I shall be glad to dismount for a month or two; although I'll keep as tight a rein as possible till then, nor suffer myself to sleep. I will copy for you the opening of the Fourth Book, in which you will see from the manner I had not an opportunity of mentioning any poets, for fear of spoiling the effect of the passage by particularising them.

Thus far had I written when I received your last, which made me at the sight of the direction caper for despair; but for one

a

we are

[ocr errors]

6

thing I am glad that I have been neglect- excuse. He never will come. I have not ful, and that is, therefrom I have received been well enough to stand the chance of a a proof of your utmost kindness, which at wet night, and so have not seen him, nor this present I feel very much, and I wish I been able to expurgatorise more masks for had a heart always open to such sensations; you; but I will not speak — your speakers but there is no altering a man's nature, and are never doers. Then Reynolds, every mine must be radically wrong, for it will time I see him and mention you, he puts lie dormant a whole month. This leads me his hand to his head and looks like a son of to suppose that there are no men thoroughly Niobe's; but he 'll write soon.

; wicked, so as never to be self-spiritualised Rome, you know, was not built in a day. into a kind of sublime misery; but, alas ! I shall be able, by a little perseverance, to 't is but for an hour. He is the only Man read your letters off-hand. I am afraid who has kept watch on man's mortality,' your health will suffer from over study bewho has philanthropy enough to overcome fore your examination. I think you might the disposition to an indolent enjoyment of regulate the thing according to your own intellect, who is brave enough to volunteer pleasure, — and I would too. They were for uncomfortable hours. You remember talking of your being up at Christmas. in Hazlitt's essay on commonplace people will it be before you have passed? There he says, “they read the Edinburgh and is nothing, my dear Bailey, I should rejoice ! Quarterly, and think as they do. Now, at more than to see you comfortable, with with respect to Wordsworth's "Gipsy,' I a little Peona wife; an affectionate wife, I think he is right, and yet I think Hazlitt have a sort of confidence, would do you a is right, and yet I think Wordsworth is great happiness. May that be one of the rightest. If Wordsworth had not been idle, many blessings I wish you. Let me be but he had not been without his task; nor had the one-tenth of one to you, and I shall the Gipsies'— they in the visible world think it great. My brother George's kindest had been as picturesque an object as he in wishes to you. My dear Bailey, I am, the invisible. The smoke of their fire, their Your affectionate friend John KEATS. attitudes, their voices, were all in harmony with the evenings. It is a bold thing to say

I should not like to be pages in your - and I would not say it in print - but way; when in a tolerable hungry mood you it seems to me that if Wordsworth had have no mercy. Your teeth are the Rock thought a little deeper at that moment, he Tarpeian down which you capsize epic would not have written the poem at all. I poems like mad. I would not for forty should judge it to have been written in one shillings be Coleridge's Lays in your way. of the most comfortable moods of his life I hope you will soon get through this abo- it is a kind of sketchy intellectual land- minable writing in the schools, and be able scape, not a search after truth, nor is it fair to keep the terms with more comfort in the to attack him on such a subject ; for it is hope of retiring to a comfortable and quiet with the critic as with the poet; had Haz- home out of the way of all Hopkinses and litt thought a little deeper, and been in a black beetles. When you are settled, I will good temper, he would never have spied come and take a peep at your church, your out imaginary faults there. The Sunday house; try whether I shall have grown too before last I asked Haydon to dine with lusty for my chair by the fireside, and take me, when I thought of settling all matters a peep at my earliest bower. A question is with him, in regard to Cripps, and let you the best beacon towards a little speculation. know about it. Now, although I engaged Then ask me after my bealth and spirits. him a fortnight before, he sent illness as an This question ratifies in my mind what I

6

a

« AnteriorContinua »