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

97. — To Fanny Keats.

My dear Fanny — I have been expecting a Letter from you about what the Parson said to your answers. I have thought also of writing to you often, and I am sorry to confess that my neglect of it has been but a small instance of my idleness of late — which has been growing upon me, so that it will require a great shake to get rid of it. I have written nothing and almost read nothing — but I must turn over a new leaf. One most discouraging thing hinders me — we have no news yet from George — so that I cannot with any confidence continue the Letter I have been preparing for him. Many are in the same state with us and many have heard from the Settlement. They must be well however: and we must consider this silence as good news. I ordered some bulbous roots for you at the Gardener’s, and they sent me some, but they were all in bud — and could not be sent — so I put them in our Garden. There are some beautiful heaths now in bloom in Pots — either heaths or some seasonable plants I will send you instead — perhaps some that are not yet in bloom that you may see them come out. To-morrow night I am going to a rout, a thing I am not at all in love with. Mr. Dilke and his Family have left Hampstead — I shall dine with them to-day in Westminster where I think I told you they were going to reside for the sake of sending their son Charles to the Westminster School. I think I mentioned the Death of Mr. Haslam’s Father. Yesterday week the two Mr. Wylies dined with me. I hope you have good store of double violets — I think they are the Princesses of flowers, and in a shower of rain, almost as fine as barley sugar drops are to a schoolboy’s tongue. I suppose this fine weather the lambs’ tails give a frisk or two extraordinary — when a boy would cry huzza and a Girl O my! a little Lamb frisks its tail. I have not been lately through Leicester Square — the first time I do I will remember your Seals. I have thought it best to live in Town this Summer, chiefly for the sake of books, which cannot be had with any comfort in the Country — besides my Scotch journey gave me a dose of the Picturesque with which I ought to be contented for some time. Westminster is the place I have pitched upon — the City or any place very confined would soon turn me pale and thin — which is to be avoided. You must make up your mind to get stout this summer — indeed I have an idea we shall both be corpulent old folks with triple chins and stumpy thumbs.

Your affectionate Brother

John.

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