The Letters of John Keats

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

better, keep so. Do not suffer your Mind to dwell on unpleasant reflections--that sort of thing has been the destruction of my health. Nothing is so bad as want of health--it makes one envy Scavengers and Cinder-sifters. There are enough real distresses and evils in wait for every one to try the most vigorous health. Not that I would say yours are not real--but they are such as to tempt you to employ your imagination on them, rather than endeavour to dismiss them entirely. Do not diet your mind with grief, it destroys the constitution; but let your chief care be of your health, and with that you will meet with your share of Pleasure in the world--do not doubt it. If I return well from Italy I will turn over a new leaf for you. I have been improving lately, and have very good hopes of 'turning a Neuk'1 and cheating the Consumption. I am not well enough to write to George myself--Mr Haslam will do it for me, to whom I shall write to day, desiring him to mention as gently as possible your complaint. I am my dear Fanny

Your affectionate Brother
John.


235. To CHARLES BROWN. 〈August 1820.〉

Address and postmark not recorded.

My dear Brown,

. . . . I ought to be off at the end of this week, as the cold winds begin to blow towards evening;--but I will wait till I have your answer to this. I am to be introduced, before I set out, to a Dr Clark, a physician settled at Rome, who promises to befriend me in every way there. The sale of my book is very slow, though it has been very highly rated. One of the causes, I understand from different quarters, of the unpopularity of this new book, and the others also, is the offence the ladies take at me. On thinking that matter over, I am certain that I have said nothing in a spirit to displease any woman I would care to please;

____________________
1
Cf. Burns, 'To Miss Ferrier', l. 15.

235. Keats left Hampstead on his journey to Italy on Wednesday the 13th of September 1820. In the copy of Leigh Hunt 'Literary Pocket-book' for 1819, which he left in the possession of Miss Brawne, she wrote under the 8th of September, 'Mr. Keats left Hampstead'. The explanation of this entry is that it was made under the second Wednesday in September 1819 to correspond with the second Wednesday in September 1820, which fell on the 13th.

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