The Letters of John Keats

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

in imminent danger--However with the armour of words and the Sword of Syllables1 I hope to attack you in a very short time more at length--

My love to Marianne
Your's sincerely

John Keats.


21. To JANE REYNOLDS. Sunday 14 Sept. 1817.

Address: Miss Reynolds-- ∣ Mrs Earle ∣ Little Hampton.

Postmark: OXFORD 15 SE 1817.

Oxford Sunday Evening

My dear Jane,

You are such a literal translator that I shall some day amuse myself with looking over some foreign sentences and imagining how you would render them into english. This is an age for typical curiosities and I would advise you, as a good speculation, to study Hebrew and astonish the world with a figurative version in our native tongue. 'The Mountains skipping like Rams and the little Hills like Lambs'2 you will leave as far behind as the Hare did the Tortoise. It must be so or you would never have thought that I really meant you would like to pro and con about those Honeycombs3--no, I had no such idea, or if I had 'twould be only to tease you a little for Love. So now let me put down in black and white briefly my sentiment thereon. Imprimis--I sincerely believe that Imogen is the finest Creature; and that I should have been disappointed at hearing you prefer Juliet. Item Yet I feel such a yearning towards Juliet and that I would rather follow her into Pandemonium than Imogen into Paradize--heartily wishing myself a Romeo to be worthy of her and to he〈a〉r the Devils quote the old Proverb--'Birds of a feather flock together"--Amen. Now let us turn to the Sea Shore. Believe me, my dear Jane it is a great Happiness to me that you are in this finest part of the year, winning a little enjoyment from the hard World--in truth the great Elements we know of are no mean Comforters--the open Sky sits

____________________
1
Cf. Ephesians, vi. 13, 17, and second sentence of Letter 16.
2
Psalm cxiv. 4.
3
Possibly an allusion to Will Honeycomb, an authority on fashions of the day and a member of the imaginary club from which "'The Spectator'" issued. See also Letter 22, p. 44. "'The Spectator'", in 7 vols., appears in Woodhouse's list of Keats's books.

-41-

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