Imatges de pÓgina
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I think you will see the reasonableness of my plan. To forward it I purpose living in cheap Lodging in Town, that I may be in the reach of books and information, of which there is here a plentiful lack. If I can find any place tolerably comfortable I will settle myself and fag till I can afford to buy Pleasure—which if I never can afford I must go without. Talking of Pleasure, this moment I was writing with one hand, and with the other holding to my Mouth a Nectarine-good God how fine. It went down soft, pulpy, slushy, oozy—all its delicious embonpoint melted down my throat like a large beatified Strawberry. I shall certainly breed. Now I come to my request. Should you like me for a neighbour again? Come, plump it out, I won't blush. I should also be in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Wylie, which I should be glad of, though that of course does not influence me. Therefore will you look about Marsham, or Rodney Street for a couple of rooms for me. Rooms like the gallant's legs in Massinger's time, “as good as the times allow, Sir.” I have written to-day to Reynolds, and to Woodhouse. Do you know him ? He is a Friend of Taylor's at whom Brown has taken one of his funny odd dislikes. I'm sure he's wrong, because Woodhouse likes my Poetryconclusive. I ask your opinion and yet I must say to you as to him, Brown, that if you have anything to say against it I shall be as obstinate and heady as a Radical. By the

Examiner coming in your handwriting you must be in Town. They have put me into spirits. Notwithstanding my aristocratic temper I cannot help being very much pleased with the present public proceedings. I hope sincerely I shall be able to put a Mite of help to the Liberal side of the Question before I die. should have left Town again (for your Holidays cannot be up yet) let me know when this is forwarded to you. A most extraordinary mischance has befallen two letters I wrote Brown-one from London whither I was obliged to go on business for George; the other from this place since my return. I can't make it out. I am excess

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ively sorry for it. I shall hear from Brown and from you almost together, for I have sent him a Letter to-day : you must positively agree with me or by the delicate toe nails of the virgin I will not open your Letters. If they are as David says "suspicious looking letters” I won't open them. If St. John had been half as cunning he might have seen the revelations comfortably in his own room, without giving angels the trouble of breaking

Remember me to Mrs. D. and the Westmonasteranian and believe me Ever your sincere friend

JOHN KEATS.

open seals.

CXIX.—TO CHARLES BROWN.

Winchester, September 23, 1819.

Now I am going to enter on the subject of self. It is quite time I should set myself doing something, and live no longer upon hopes. I have never yet exerted myself. I am getting into an idle-minded, vicious way of life, almost content to live upon others. In no period of my life have I acted with any self-will but in throwing up the apothecary profession. That I do not repent of. Look at Reynolds, if he was not in the law, he would be acquiring, by his abilities, something towards his support. My occupation is entirely literary : I will do so, too. I will write, on the liberal side of the question, for whoever will pay me. I have not known yet what it is to be diligent.

I purpose living in town in a cheap lodging, and endeavouring, for a beginning, to get the theatricals of some paper.

When I can afford to compose deliberate poems, I will. I shall be in expectation of an answer to this. Look on my side of the question. I am convinced I am right. Suppose the tragedy should succeed, there will be no harm done. And here I will take an opportunity of making a remark or two on our friendship, and on all your good offices to me. I have a natural timidity

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ness,

of mind in these matters; liking better to take the feel-
ing between us for granted, than to speak of it. But,
good God! what a short while you have known me! I
feel it a sort of duty thus to recapitulate, however un-
pleasant it may be to you. You have been living for
others more than any man I know. This is a vexation
to me, because it has been depriving you, in the very
prime of your life, of pleasures which it was your duty to
procure. As I am speaking in general terms, this may
appear nonsense ; you perhaps will not understand it;
but if you can go over, day by day, any month of the
last year, you will know what I mean. On the whole how-
ever this is a subject that I cannot express myself upon-
I speculate upon it frequently; and believe me the end
of my speculations is always an anxiety for your happi-

This anxiety will not be one of the least incitements to the plan I purpose pursuing. I had got into a habit of mind of looking towards you as a help in all difficulties — This very habit would be the parent of idleness and difficulties. You will see it is a duty I owe myself to break the neck of it. I do nothing for my subsistence—make no exertion-At the end of another year you shall applaud me, not for verses, but for conduct. While I have some immediate cash, I had better settle myself quietly, and fag on as others do. I shall apply to Hazlitt, who knows the market as well as any one, for something to bring me in a few pounds as soon as possible. I shall not suffer my pride to hinder me. The whisper may go round; I shall not hear it. If I can get an article in the Edinburgh, I will. One must not be delicate Nor let this disturb you longer than a moment. I look forward with a good hope that we shall one day be passing free, untrammelled, unanxious time together. That can never be if I continue a dead lump. I shall be expecting anxiously an answer from you. If it does not arrive in a few days this will have miscarried, and I shall come straight to before I go to town, which you I am sure will agree had better

be done while I still have some ready cash. By the middle of October I shall expect you in London. We will then set at the theatres. If you have anything to gainsay,. I shall be even as the deaf adder which stoppeth her ears.

CXX.-TO CHARLES BROWN.

Winchester, September 23, 1819.

Do not suffer me to disturb you unpleasantly: I do not mean that you should not suffer me to occupy your thoughts, but to occupy them pleasantly ; for I assure you I am as far from being unhappy as possible. Imaginary grievances have always been more my torment than real ones - You know this well— Real ones will never have any other effect upon me than to stimulate me to get out of or avoid them. This is easily accounted for–Our imaginary woes are conjured up by our passions, and are fostered by passionate feeling : our real ones come of themselves, and are opposed by an abstract exertion of mind. Real grievances are displacers of passion. The imaginary nail a man down for a sufferer, as on a cross; the real spur him up into an agent. I wish, at one view, you would see my heart towards you. 'T'is only from a high tone of feeling that I can put that word upon paper-out of poetry. I ought to have waited for your answer to my last before I wrote this. I felt however compelled to make a rejoinder to yours. I had written to Dilke on the subject of my last, I scarcely know whether I shall send my letter now. I think he would approve

of
my plan;

it is so evident. Nay, I am convinced, out and out, that by prosing for a while in periodical works I may maintain myself decently.

CXXI.-TO CHARLES WENTWORTH DILKE.

Winchester, Friday, October 1 (1819). My dear Dilke-For sundry reasons, which I will explain to you when I come to Town, I have to request you will do me a great favour as I must call it knowing how great a Bore it is. That your imagination may not have time to take too great an alarm I state immediately that I want you to hire me a couple of rooms (a Sitting Room and bed room for myself alone) in Westminster. Quietness and cheapness are the essentials : but as I shall with Brown be returned by next Friday you cannot in that space have sufficient time to make any choice selection, and need not be very particular as I can when on the spot suit myself at leisure. Brown bids me remind you not to send the Examiners after the third. Tell Mrs. D. I am obliged to her for the late ones which I see are directed in her hand. Excuse this mere business letter for I assure you I have not a syllable at hand on any subject in the world. Your sincere friend

JOHN KEATS.

CXXII.-TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

Winchester, Sunday Morn (October 3, 1819]. My dear Haydon—Certainly I might: but a few Months pass away before we are aware.

I have a great aversion to letter writing, which grows more and more upon me; and a greater to summon up circumstances before me of an unpleasant nature. I was not willing to trouble you with them. Could I have dated from my Palace of Milan you would have heard from me. Not even now will I mention a word of my affairs only that “I Rab am here” but shall not be here more than a Week more, as I purpose to settle in Town and work my way with the rest. I hope I shall never be so silly as to injure my health and industry for the future by speaking,

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