The Letters of John Keats

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

that young man--the copy promised something. Will you, if you can, see the young man, and ascertain what his wishes in Art are? if he has ambition and seems to possess power? all of which you can soon discover. In these cases should any friend be disposed to assist him up to London and to support him for a year, I will train him in the Art with no further remuneration than the pleasure of seeing him advance. I will put him in the right way, and do all I can to advance him. Do oblige me by exerting yourself in this case for me. Perhaps Mr. Bailey may also feel interest. Remember me to him.

Yours sincerely,
B. R. Haydon


24. To BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON. Sunday 28 Sept. 1817.

Address: B. R. Haydon ∣ 41 Great Marlborough Street ∣ London

Postmark: OXFORD 28 SE 1817.

Oxford Septr 28th

My dear Haydon,

I read your last to the young Man whose Name is Crips.1 He seemed more than ever anxious to avail himself of your offer. I think I told you we asked him to ascertain his Means. He does not possess the Philosophers stone--nor Fortunatus' purse, nor Gyges' ring--but at Bailey's suggestion, whom I assure you is a very capital fellow, we have stummed2 up a kind of contrivance whereby he will be enabled to do himself the benifits you will lay in his Path. I have a great Idea that he will be a tolerable neat brush. 'Tis perhaps the finest thing that will befal him this many a year: for he is just of an age to get grounded in bad habits from which you will pluck him. He brought a Copy of Mary Queen of Scotts--it appears to me that he has coppied the bad style of the painting as well as couloured the eyebal〈l〉s yellow like the original. He has also the fault that you pointed out to me in Hazlitt --on the constringing and diffusing of substance.3 How-

____________________
1
Charles Cripps, baptized in Iffley Church on the 27th of November, 1796: lived for some time at Iffley where his third child was born in 1831: described in the Church Registers as an Artist. The altar- piece in Magdalen Chapel is by Ribalta and the copy made by Cripps now hangs in St. Denys' Church, Northmoor.
2
This word is certainly stummed in the original letter; and I think stummed, in the sense of strengthened, is more probably what Keats meant to write than either strummed or stumped.
3
Hazlitt as a painter is best known by his portrait of Lamb in the National Portrait Gallery.

-50-

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