The Letters of John Keats

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

214. To FANNY BRAWNE. 〈May 1820.〉

Address: Mrs Brawne

No postmark.

Tuesday Aftn.

My dearest Fanny,

For this Week past I have been employed in marking the most beautiful passages in Spenser,1 intending it for you, and comforting myself in being somehow occupied to give you however small a pleasure. It has lightened my time very much. I am much better. God bless you.

Your affectionate
J. Keats


215. To CHARLES BROWN. 〈15 May 1820.〉

My dear Brown,

You must not expect me to date my letter from such a place as this: you have heard the name; that is sufficient, except merely to tell you it is the 15th instant. You know I was very well in the smack; I have continued much the same, and am well enough to extract much more pleasure than pain out of the summer, even though I should get no better. I shall not say a word about the stanza you promised yourself through my medium, and will swear, at some future time, I promised. Let us hope I may send you more than one in my next.

* * * * * *

____________________
1
The book referred to was lost in Germany.--H.B.F.
215
'It was his choice', says Brown (Houghton Papers), 'during my absence, to lodge at Kentish Town, that he might be near his friend, Leigh Hunt, in whose companionship he was ever happy. He went with me in the Scotch smack as far as Gravesend. This was on the 7th of May. I never saw him afterwards. As evidence of his well being I had requested him to send me some new stanzas to his comic faery poem; for, since his illness, he had not dared the exertion of composing. At the end of eight days he wrote in good spirits. . . .' The fragment printed above is all that Brown gave of the letter 'in good spirits'. The pleasantry about not dating is characteristic enough as addressed to one punctilious in such matters.--H.B.F.

-489-

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