The Letters of John Keats

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

thing notwithstanding the circulating Libraries. My respects to Mrs Hessey and to Percy Street.

Your's very sincerely

John Keats

P.S. I have been advised to send it to you--you may expect it on Monday for I send it by the Post-man to Exeter at the same time with this Letter. Adieu


57. To JAMES RICE. Tuesday 24 March 1818.

Address: Mr James Rice Junr ∣ Poland Street ∣ Oxford Street ∣ London--

Postmarks: TEIGNMOUTH and 26 MR 1818.

Teignmouth Tuesday,

My dear Rice,

Being in the midst of your favorite Devon, I should not by rights, pen one word but it should contain a vast portion of Wit, Wisdom, and learning--for I have heard that Milton ere he wrote his Answer to Salmasius came into these parts, and for on 〈e〉 whole Month, rolled himself, for three whole hours in a certain meadow hard by us --where the mark of his nose at equidistances is still shown. The exhibitor of said Meadow further saith that after these rollings, not a nettle sprang up in all the seven acres for seven years and that from said time a new sort of plant was made from the white thorn, of a thornless nature very much used by the Bucks of the present day to rap their Boots withall. This account made me very naturally suppose that the nettles and thorns etherealized by the Scholars rotatory motion and garner'd in his head thence flew after a new fermentation against the luckless Salmasius and occasioned his well known and unhappy end. What a happy thing it would be if we could settle our thoughts, make our minds up on any matter in five Minutes and remain content--that is to build a sort of mental Cottage of feelings quiet and pleasant--to have a sort of Philosophical Back Garden, and cheerful holiday-keeping front one--but Alas! this never can be: for as the material Cottager knows there are such places as france and Italy and the Andes and the Burning Mountains--so the spiritual Cottager has knowledge of the terra semi incognita of things unearthly; and cannot for his Life, keep in the check rein--Or I should stop here quiet and comfortable

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