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is getting well apace, and if you have a few trees, and a little harvesting about you, I'll snap my fingers in Lucifer's eye. I hope you bathe too; if you do not, I earnestly recommend it. Bathe thrice a week, and let us have no more sitting up next winter. Which is the best of Shakspeare's plays ? I mean in what mood and with what aco
you like the sea best? It is very fine in the morning, when the sun,
• Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
and superb when
· The Sun from meridian height
Illumines the depth of the sea,
Cry dit! how hot we shall be ;"
and gorgeous, when the fair planet hastens
"To his home Within the Western foam.'
But don't you think there is something extremely fine after sunset, when there are a few white clouds about, and a few stars blinking; when the waters are ebbing, and the horizon a mystery ? This state of things has been so fulfilling to me that I am anxious to hear whether it is a favorite with you. So when you and club your letter to me, put in a word or two about it. Tell Dilke that it would be perhaps as well if he left a pheasant or partridge alive here and there to keep up a supply of game for next season; tell him to rein in, if possible, all the Nimrod of his disposition, he being a mighty hunter before the Lord of the manor. Tell him to shoot fair, and not to have at the poor devils in a furrow : when they are flying he may fire, and nobody will be the wiser.
“Give my sincerest respects to Mrs. Dilke, saying that I have not forgiven myself for not having got her the little box of medicine I promised, and that, had I remained at Hampstead, I would have made precious havoc with her house and furniture-drawn a great harrow over her garden-poisoned Boxer-eaten her.
clothes-pegs-fried her cabbages-fricaseed (how is it spelt ?) her radishes-ragouted her onions—belabored her beat-root-outstripped her scarlet-runners-parlez-vous'd with her french-beansdevoured her mignon or mignionette—metamorphosed her bellhandles-splintered her looking-glasses—bullocked at her cups and saucers-agonized her decanters—put old — to pickle in the brine-tub-disorganized her piano-dislocated her candlesticks -emptied her wine-bins in a fit of despair-turned out her maid to grass—and astonished B -; whose letter to her on these events I would rather see than the original copy of the Book of Genesis.
“Poor Bailey, scarcely ever well, has gone to bed, pleased that I am writing to you.
your brother John (whom henceforth I shall consider as mine) and to you, my dear friends, I shall ever feel grateful for having made known to me so real a fellow as Bailey, He delights me in the selfish, and (please God) the disinterested part of my disposition. If the old Poets have any pleasure in looking down at the enjoyers of their works, their eyes must bend with a double satisfaction upon him. I sit is at a feast when he is over them, and pray that if, after my death, any of my labors should be worth saving, they may have so 'honest a chronicler'as Bailey. Out of this, his enthusiasm in his own pursuit and for all good things is of an exalted kind-worthy a more healthful frame and an untorn spirit.
He must have happy years to come—he shall not die, by God.' “A letter from John the other day was a chief happiness to
I made a little mistake, when, just now, I talked of being far inland. How can that be, when Endymion and I are at the bottom of the sea ? whence I hope to bring him in safety before you leave the sea-side ; and, if I can so contrive it, you shall be greeted by him upon the sea-sands, and he shall tell you all his adventures, which having finished, he shall thus proceed— My dear Ladies, favorites of my gentle mistress, however my friend Keats may have teased and vexed you, believe me he loves you not the less—for instance, I am deep in his favor, and yet he has been hauling me through the earth and sea with unrelenting perseverance. I know for all this that he is mighty fond of me, by his contriving me all sorts of pleasures. Nor is this the least, fair
ladies, this one of meeting you on the desert shore, and greeting you in his name. He sends you moreover this little scroll.' My dear girls, I send you, per favor of Endymion, the assurance of my esteem for you, and my utmost wishes for your health and pleasure, being ever,
“ Your affectionate brother,
“ John Keats.”
This is of about the same date:
OXFORD, Sunday Morning. MY DEAR REYNOLDS,
you are determined to be my mortal foedraw a sword at me, and I will forgive-put a bullet in my brain, and I will shake it out as a dew-drop from the lion's mane, -put me on a gridiron and I will fry with great complacency-butoh, horror! to come upon me in the shape of a dun !-send me bills ! As I say to my tailor, send me bills and I'll never employ you more.
However, needs must, when the devil drives : and for fear of “before and behind Mr. Honeycomb," I'll proceed. I have not time to elucidate the forms and shapes of the grass and trees; for, rot it! I forgot to bring my mathematical case with me, which unfortunately contained my triangular prisms; so that the hues of the grass cannot be dissected for you.
For these last five or six days we have had regularly a boat on the Ssis, and explored all the streams about, which are more in number than your eyelashes. We sometimes skim into a bed of rushes, and there become naturalized river-folks. There is one particularly nice nest, which we have christened “ Reynolds' Cove,” in which we have read Wordsworth, and talked as
* * * Failings I am always rather rejoiced to find in a man than sorry for; they bring us to a level. has them, but then his makes-up are very good. agrees with the Northern Poet 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 neighborly 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 have taken a snack or luncheon of literary scraps, set themselves up for towers of Babel in languages, Sapphos in poetry, Euclids in geometry, and every thing in nothing. The thing has made a very uncomfortable impression on me. 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 Bayley's books—a book 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.
“ I have examined and do find,
Of all that favor me,
But only, only thee:
But neither chance nor compliment
Did element our love;
Us from the Quire above.
Our changed and mingled souls are grown
To such acquaintance now,
Alas! we know not how,
And thus we can no absence know,
Nor shall we be confined ;
To learn each other's mind.
Nay, should we never meet to sense
Inspired with a flame divine,
I scorn to court a stay ;
I ne'er can be away.
By my own temper I shall guess
At thy felicity,
Because it please:h thee.
All honor sure I must pretend,
All that is good or great ;
Must be at least compleat ;*
Thy lieger soul in me shall lie,
And all thy thoughts reveal,
And thence to me shall steal,
Thus our twin souls in one shall grow,
And teach the world new love,
A flame Fate dares not move :
A dew shall dwell upon our tomb
Of such a quality,
Shall reconciled be.
*“ A compleat friend”- this line sounded very oddly to me at first.