The Letters of John Keats

By Maurice Buxton Forman; John Keats | Go to book overview
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your kindness, adding my sincere thanks and respects for Mrs Shelley. In the hope of soon seeing you,

I remain most sincerely yours,

John Keats.

228. To JOHN TAYLOR. Monday 14 Aug. 1820.

Address: John Taylor Esqre | Taylor and Hessey | Booksellers Fleet Street.

Postmarks: HAMPSTEAD and 14 AU 1820

Wentworth Place

Saty. Morn.

My dear Taylor,

My Chest is in so nervous a State, that any thing extra such as speaking to an unaccostomed Person or writing a Note half suffocates me. This Journey to Italy wakes me at daylight every morning and haunts me horribly. I shall endeavour to go though it be with the sensation of marching up against a Batterry.1 The first spep 〈for step〉 towards it is to know the expense of a Journey and a years residence: which if you will ascertain for me and let me know early you will greatly serve me. I have more to say but must desist for every line I write encreases the tightness of the Chest, and I have many more to do. I am convinced that this sort of thing does not continue for nothing--If you can come with any of our friends do.

Your sincere friend

John Keats--

228. Though Keats dated this letter Saturday, which was the 12th of August, I think the postmark, which is that of Monday, the 14th, must be relied upon. Mrs. Gisborne states that he 'went to Hampstead that same evening', i.e. the 12th, and therefore he could not have written from Wentworth Place on the morning of that day. He was in a thoroughly nervous state, so much so that he wrote a second note to Taylor the same day, having forgotten to mention the passage to Leghorn.

This characteristic expression, which occurs in almost the same words in the foregoing letter to Shelley (No. 227), may be compared with a somewhat similar one in Letter 143, p. 370, where Keats writes to Fanny Brawne that he can 'no more use soothing words' to her than if he were 'engaged in a charge of Cavalry'.


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