The Letters of John Keats

By Maurice Buxton Forman; John Keats | Go to book overview

their occupations, and keep them trembling for the crash of thunder that will follow--

God bless you let our hearts be buried in each other

B R Haydon1

I'll be at Reynolds to night but latish

March 1817--


9. To JOHN HAMILTON REYNOLDS. Monday 17 March 1817.

Address: 19 Lamb's Conduit Street.

Postmark: 17 MR 1817.

My dear Reynolds,

My Brothers are anxious that I should go by myself into the country--they have always been extremely fond of me, and now that Haydon has pointed out how necessary it is that I should be alone to improve myself, they give up the temporary pleasure of living with me continually for a great good which I hope will follow. So I shall soon be out of Town. You must soon bring all your present troubles to a close, and so must I, but we must, like the Fox, prepare for a fresh swarm of flies. Banish money--Banish sofas-- Banish Wine--Banish Music; but right Jack Health, honest Jack Health, true Jack Health--Banish Health and banish all the world.2 I must . . . myself . . .3 if I come this evening, I shall horribly commit myself elsewhere. So I will send my excuses to them and Mrs. Dilk〈e〉 by my brothers.

Your sincere friend

John Keats

____________________
1
This highly remarkable letter, of which an extract is given in Haydon's 'Correspondence', appears, like the previous one from the painter, to have been written before Keats carried out the intention of going into the Country, for a leaf fastened into Haydon's journal with it, apparently its cover, bears the address ' John Keats, 76 Cheapside'. I say 'apparently' because the one leaf was evidently once attached to the other, and the outer one bears on the inside the words 'I confide these feelings to your honor'. The occasion is the recent issue of the 'Poems' of 1817.--H.B.F.

Lord Houghton says Keats'found himself on his first entrance into manhood . . . with many friends interested in his fortunes, and with the faith in the future which generally accompanies the highest genius. Mr. Haydon seems to have been to him a wise and prudent counsellor, and to have encouraged him to brace his powers by undistracted study, while he advised him to leave London for a while, and take more care of his health. The following note, written in March, shows that Keats did as he was recommended.'

2
Cf. 'I Henry IV', II. iv. 528-35.
3
The original letter is torn: hence these verbal omissions.-- H.B.F.

-15-

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