The Letters of John Keats

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

depth of thinking, and turn to some innocent jocularity-- the Bow cannot always be bent--nor the gun always loaded, if you ever let it off--and the life of man is like a great Mountain--his breath is like a Shrewsbury Cake1-- he comes into the world like a shoeblack, and goes out of it like a cob〈b〉ler--he eats like a chimney sweeper, drinks like a Gingerbread baker--and breathes like Achilles--so it being that we are such sublunary creatures, let us endeavor to correct all our bad spelling--all our most delightful abominations, and let us wish health to Marian and Jane,2 whoever they be and wherever--

your's truly
John Keats.


19. To FANNY KEATS. Wednesday 10 Sept. 1817.

Address: Miss Keats ∣ Miss Kaley's3 School ∣ Walthamstow ∣ Essex--

Postmark: OXFORD 12 SE 1817.

Oxford Septr 10th

My dear Fanny,

Let us now begin a regular question and answer-- a little pro and con; letting it interfere as a pleasant method of my coming at your favorite little wants and enjoyments, that I may meet them in a way befitting a brother.

We have been so little together since you have been able to reflect on things that I know not whether you prefer the History of King Pepin to Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress-- or Cinderella and her glass slipper to Moor's Almanack.4 However in a few Letters I hope I shall be able to come at that and adapt my scribblings to your Pleasure. You must tell me about all you read if it be only six Pages in a Week --and this transmitted to me every now and then will procu〈r〉e you full sheets of Writing from me pretty frequently--This this I feel as a necessity: for we ought to become intimately acquainted, in order that I may not only, as you grow up love your as my only Sister, but confide in you as my dearest friend. When I saw you last I told you of my intention of going to Oxford and 'tis now a Week

____________________
1
The Reynolds family had migrated to London from Shrewsbury.
2
See Biographical Memoranda.
3
Correctly spelt Caley in the address of Letter 97.
4
'Old Moore's Almanack' first issued in 1697 and existing to this day with a certified annual sale approximating two and a half million copies.

-37-

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