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

127. — To Joseph Severn.

My dear Severn — I am very sorry that on Tuesday I have an appointment in the City of an undeferable nature; and Brown on the same day has some business at Guildhall. I have not been able to figure your manner of executing the Cave of despair,111 therefore it will be at any rate a novelty and surprise to me — I trust on the right side. I shall call upon you some morning shortly, early enough to catch you before you can get out — when we will proceed to the Academy. I think you must be suited with a good painting light in your Bay window. I wish you to return the Compliment by going with me to see a Poem I have hung up for the Prize in the Lecture Room of the Surry Institution. I have many Rivals, the most threatening are An Ode to Lord Castlereagh, and a new series of Hymns for the New, new Jerusalem Chapel. (You had best put me into your Cave of despair.)

Ever yours sincerely

John Keats.

111 Spenser’s Cave of Despair was the subject of the picture (already referred to in Letter CXXIV.) with which Severn won the Royal Academy premium, awarded December 10 of this year.


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