« AnteriorContinua »
full of these things, and lay in wait, as it were, for the pleasure of seeing you immediately on my return to town. I wish, above all things, to say a word of Comfort to you, but I know not how. It is impossible to prove that black is white; it is impossible to make out that sorrow is joy, or joy is sorrow.
Tom tells me that you called on Mr. Haslam, with a newspaper giving an account of a gentleman in a Fur cap falling over a precipice in Kirkcudbrightshire. If it was me, I did it in a dream, or in some magic interval between the first and second cup of tea; which is nothing extraordinary when we hear that Mahomet, in getting out of Bed, upset a jug of water, and, whilst it was falling, took a fortnight's trip, as it seemed, to Heaven ; yet was back in time to save one drop of water being spilt. As for Fur caps, I do not remember one beside my own, except at Carlisle : this was a very good Fur cap I met in High Street, and I daresay was the unfortunate one. I daresay that the fates, seeing but two Fur caps in the north, thought it too extraordinary, and so threw the dies which of them should be drowned. The lot fell upon Jones : I daresay his name was Jones. All I hope is that the gaunt Ladies said not a word about hanging; if they did I shall repent that I was not half-drowned in Kirkcudbright. Stop ! let me see !—being half-drowned by falling from a precipice, is a very romantic affair : why should I not take it to myself? How glorious to be introduced in a drawing-room to a Lady who reads Novels, with “Mr. So-and-so—Miss So-and-so; Miss So-and-so, this is Mr. So-and-so, who fell off a precipice and was half-drowned.” Now I refer to you, whether I should lose so fine an opportunity of making my fortune. No romance lady could resist me- -none. Being run under a Waggon--sidelamed in a playhouse, Apoplectic through Brandy—and a thousand other tolerably decent things for badness, would be nothing, but being tumbled over a precipice into the sea-oh! it would make my fortune—especially if you could contrive to hint, from this bulletin's authority, that I was not upset on my own account, but that I dashed into the waves after Jessy of Dumblane, and pulled her out by the hair. But that, alas ! she was dead, or she would have made me happy with her hand - however in this you may use your own discretion. But I must leave joking, and seriously aver, that I have been very romantic indeed among these Mountains and Lakes. I have got wet through, day after day-eaten oat-cake, and drank Whisky-walked up to my knees in Bog-got a sore throat-gone to see Icolmkill and Staffa ; met with wholesome food just here and there as it happenedwent up Ben Nevis, and—N.B., came down again. Sometimes when I am rather tired I lean rather languishingly on a rock, and long for some famous Beauty to get down from her Palfrey in passing, approach me, with-her saddle-bags, and give me-a dozen or two capital roastbeef Sandwiches.
When I come into a large town, you know there is no putting one's Knapsack into one's fob, so the people stare. We have been taken for Spectacle-vendors, Razor-sellers, Jewellers, travelling linendrapers, Spies, Excisemen, and many things I have no idea of. When I asked for letters at Port Patrick, the man asked what regiment ? I have had a peep also at little Ireland. Tell Henry I have not camped quite on the bare Earth yet, but nearly as bad, in walking through Mull, for the Shepherds' huts you can scarcely breathe in, for the Smoke which they seem to endeavour to preserve for smoking on a large scale. Besides riding about 400, we have walked above 600 Miles, and may therefore reckon ourselves as set out.
I assure you, my dear Madam, that one of the greatest pleasures I shall have on my return, will be seeing you, and that I shall ever be Yours, with the greatest respect and sincerity,
LXVI.-TO FANNY KEATS.
Hampstead, August 18 (1818]. My dear Fanny-I am afraid you will think me very negligent in not having answered your Letter—I see it is dated June 12. I did not arrive at Inverness till the 8th of this Month so I am very much concerned at your being disappointed so long a time. I did not intend to have returned to London so soon but have a bad sore throat from a cold I caught in the island of Mull: therefore I thought it best to get home as soon as possible, and went on board the Smack from Cromarty. We had a nine days' passage and were landed at London Bridge yesterday. I shall have a good deal to tell you about Scotland—I would begin here but I have a confounded toothache. Tom has not been getting better since I left London and for the last fortnight has been worse than ever—he has been getting a little better for these two or three days. I shall ask Mr. Abbey to let me bring you to Hampstead. If Mr. A. should see this Letter tell him that he still must if he pleases forward the Post Bill to Perth as I have empowered my fellow traveller to receive it. I have a few Scotch pebbles for you from the Island of Icolmkill—I am afraid they are rather shabby—I did not go near the Mountain of Cairn Gorm. I do not know the Name of George's ship—the Name of the Port he has gone to is Philadelphia whence he will travel to the Settlement across the Country-I will tell you all about this when I see you. The Title of my last Book is Endymion—you shall have one soon.I would not advise you to play on the Flageolet—however I will get you one if you please. I will speak to Mr. Abbey on what you say concerning, school. I am sorry for your poor Canary. You shall have another volume of my first Book. My toothache keeps on so that I cannot write with any pleasure—all I can say now is that your Letter is a very nice one without fault and
that you will hear from or see in a few days if his throat will let him, Your affectionate Brother
LXVII.—TO FANNY KEATS.
Hampstead, Tuesday (August 25, 1818]. My dear Fanny—I have just written to Mr. Abbey to ask him to let you come and see poor Tom who has lately been much worse. He is better at present-sends his Love to you and wishes much to see you—I hope he will shortly-I have not been able to come to Walthamstow on his account as well as a little Indisposition of my own. I have asked Mr. A. to write me -if he does not mention anything of it to you, I will tell you what reasons he has though I do not think he will make any objection. Write me what you want with a Flageolet and I will get one ready for you by the time you come. Your affectionate Brother
LXVIII. –TO JANE REYNOLDS.
Well Walk, September 1st . My dear Jane—Certainly your kind note would rather refresh than trouble me, and so much the more would your coming if as you say, it could be done without agitating my Brother too much. Receive on your Hearth our deepest thanks for your Solicitude concerning us.
I am glad John is not hurt, but gone safe into Devonshire—I shall be in great expectation of his Letter—but the promise of it in so anxious and friendly a way I prize more than a hundred. I shall be in town to-day on some business with my guardian as was " with scarce a hope of being able to call on you. For these two last days Tom has been more cheerful : you shall hear again soon how he will be.
Remember us particularly to your Mother.
LXIX.-TO CHARLES WENTWORTH DILKE,
[ Hampstead, September 21 1818.] My dear Dilke-According to the Wentworth place Bulletin you have left Brighton much improved : therefore now a few lines will be more of a pleasure than a bore. I have things to say to you, and would fain begin upon them in this fourth line : but I have a Mind too well regulated to proceed upon anything without due preliminary remarks.—You may perhaps have observed that in the simple process of eating radishes I never begin at the root but constantly dip the little green head in the salt—that in the Game of Whist if I have an ace I constantly play it first. So how can I with any face begin without a dissertation on letter-writing? Yet when I consider that a sheet of paper contains room only for three pages and a half, how can I do justice to such a pregnant subject ? However, as you have seen the history of the world stamped as it were by a diminishing glass in the form of a chronological Map, so will I “ with retractile claws” draw this into the form of a tablewhereby it will occupy merely the remainder of this first page
Folio—Parsons, Lawyers, Statesmen, Physicians out
of place—ut-Eustace—Thornton-out of practice
or on their travels. Foolscap-1. Superfine-Rich or noble poets-ut
Byron. 2. common ut egomet. Quarto - Projectors, Patentees, Presidents, Potato
growers. Bath—Boarding schools, and suburbans in general. Gilt edge - Dandies in general, male, female, and
literary. Octavo or tears—All who make use of a lascivious
seal. Duodec.—May be found for the most part on Milliners'
and Dressmakers' Parlour tables.