Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends, by John Keats

36. — To George and Thomas Keats.

My dear Brothers — When once a man delays a letter beyond the proper time, he delays it longer, for one or two reasons — first, because he must begin in a very common-place style, that is to say, with an excuse; and secondly things and circumstances become so jumbled in his mind, that he knows not what, or what not, he has said in his last — I shall visit you as soon as I have copied my poem all out, I am now much beforehand with the printer, they have done none yet, and I am half afraid they will let half the season by before the printing. I am determined they shall not trouble me when I have copied it all. — Horace Smith has lent me his manuscript called “Nehemiah Muggs, an exposure of the Methodists”— perhaps I may send you a few extracts — Hazlitt’s last Lecture was on Thomson, Cowper, and Crabbe, he praised Thomson and Cowper but he gave Crabbe an unmerciful licking — I think Hunt’s article of Fazio — no it was not, but I saw Fazio the first night, it hung rather heavily on me — I am in the high way of being introduced to a squad of people, Peter Pindar, Mrs. Opie, Mrs. Scott — Mr. Robinson a great friend of Coleridge’s called on me.47 Richards tells me that my poems are known in the west country, and that he saw a very clever copy of verses, headed with a Motto from my Sonnet to George — Honours rush so thickly upon me that I shall not be able to bear up against them. What think you — am I to be crowned in the Capitol, am I to be made a Mandarin — No! I am to be invited, Mrs. Hunt tells me, to a party at Ollier’s, to keep Shakspeare’s birthday — Shakspeare would stare to see me there.48 The Wednesday before last Shelley, Hunt and I wrote each a Sonnet on the River Nile, some day you shall read them all. I saw a sheet of Endymion, and have all reason to suppose they will soon get it done, there shall be nothing wanting on my part. I have been writing at intervals many songs and Sonnets, and I long to be at Teignmouth, to read them over to you: however I think I had better wait till this Book is off my mind; it will not be long first.

Reynolds has been writing two very capital articles, in the Yellow Dwarf, on popular Preachers — All the talk here is about Dr. Croft the Duke of Devon etc.

Your most affectionate Brother

John.

47 Henry Crabb Robinson, author of the Diaries.

48 The Olliers (Shelley’s publishers) had brought out Keats’s Poems the previous spring, and the ill success of the volume had led to a sharp quarrel between them and the Keats brothers.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 21:44