The Letters of John Keats

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

miserable reports of Rice's health--I went and lo! Master Jemmy had been to the play the night before and was out At the time--he always comes on his Legs like a Cat-- I have seen a good deal of Wordsworth. Hazlitt is lecturing on Poetry at the Surr〈e〉y institution--I shall be there next Tuesday.

Your most affectionate Friend

John Keats--


41. To GEORGE AND THOMAS KEATS. Friday 23 Jan. 1818.

Address: Messrs. Keats ∣ Teignmouth ∣ Devonshire.

Postmark: not recorded.

Friday, 23 January 1818.

My dear Brothers,

I was thinking what hindered me from writing so long, for I have so many things to say to you and know not where to begin. It shall be upon a thing most interesting to you my Poem. Well! I have given the 1st Book to Taylor; he seemed more than satisfied with it, and to my surprise proposed publishing it in Quarto if Haydon could make a drawing of some event therein, for a Frontispiece.1 I called on Haydon, he said he would do anything I liked, but said he would rather paint a finished picture, from it, which he seems eager to do; this in a year or two will be a glorious thing for us; and it will be, for Haydon is struck with the 1st Book. I left Haydon and the next day received a letter from him, proposing to make, as he says with all his might, a finished Chalk sketch of my head, to be engraved in the first style and put at the head of my Poem, saying at the same time he had never done the thing for any human being, and that it must have considerable effect as he will put the name to it. I begin to day to copy my 2nd Book--"thus far into the bowels of the Land"2--You shall hear whether it will be Quarto or non Quarto, picture or non Picture. Leigh Hunt I showed my 1st Book to, he allows it not much merit as a whole; says it is unnatural and made ten objections to it in the mere skimming over. He says the conversation is unnatural and too high-flown for Brother and Sister--says it should be simple, forgetting do ye mind that they are both overshadowed by a Supernatural Power, and of force could not speak like Franchesca

____________________
1
See Letter 39, p. 83.
2
'Richard III', V. ii. 3.

-87-

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