The Letters of John Keats

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

tried again and succeeded to a miracle.--He wants to try again, but as I have a right to an inside place in my own Letter--I take possession.

Your sincere friend.

John Keats--


141. To FANNY BRAWNE. Thursday 5 and Friday 6 Aug. 1819.

Address: Miss Brawne Wentworth Place Hampstead Middx--

Postmarks: NEWPORT and 9 Au 1819

Shanklin Thursday Night

My dear Girl,

You say you must not have any more such Letters as the last: I'll try that you shall not by running obstinate the other way--Indeed I have not fair play--I am not idle enough for proper downright love-letters--I leave this minute a scene in our Tragedy and see you (think it not blasphemy) through the mist of Plots speeches, counterplots and counterspeeches--The Lover is madder than I am--I am nothing to him1'--he has a figure like the Statue of Maleager and double distilled fire in his heart. Thank God for my diligence! were it not for that I should be miserable. I encourage it, and strive not to think of you-- but when I have succeeded in doing so all day and as far as midnight, you return as soon as this artificial excitement goes off more severely from the fever I am left in-- Upon my soul I cannot say what you could like me for. I do not think myself a fright any more than I do Mr A Mr B. and Mr C. yet if I were a woman I should not like A. B. C. But enough of this--So you intend to hold me to my promise of seeing you in a short time. I shall keep it with as much sorrow as gladness: for I am not one of the Paladins of old who livd upon water grass and smiles for years together--What though would I not give to-night for the gratification of my eyes alone? This day week we shall move to Winchester; for I feel the want of a Library.2 Brown will leave me there to pay a visit to Mr Snook at

____________________
1
Few lovers in literature are 'anything' to Ludolph in "'Otho the Great'" for sheer hysterical abandonment. Probably a great deal of the torture which that wretched prince is depicted as undergoing was painfully studied from experience.--H.B.F. Keats may have seen an engraving of the celebrated statue of Meleager in the Vatican, the only possible one in his time, Mr. A. Hamilton Smith informs me.
2
He did not find one; see Letters 146, p. 375, and 158, p. 434.

-366-

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