The Letters of John Keats

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

Warrener1 that is din'd at Kingston's. I shall be in town in about a fortnight and then we will have a day or so now and then before I set out on my northern expedition--we will have no more abominable Rows--for they leave one is 〈for in〉 a fearful silence having settled the Methodists let us be rational--not upon compulsion--no if it will out let it--but I will not play the Basson any more delibe〈r〉ately2 --Remember me to Hazlitt, and Bewick3--

Your affectionate friend

John Keats--


60. To JOHN HAMILTON REYNOLDS. Thursday 〈9 April 1818〉.

Address: J H Reynolds Esq ∣ Little Brittain ∣ Christs Hospital London.

Postmark: not recorded.

Thy Morng

My Dear Reynolds,

Since you all agree that the thing4 is bad, it must be so--though I am not aware there is anything like Hunt in it, (and if there is, it is my natural way, and I have something in common with Hunt) look it over again and examine into the motives, the seeds from which any one sentence sprung--I have not the slightest feel of humility towards the Public--or to anything in existence,--but the eternal Being, the Principle of Beauty, and the Memory of great Men--When I am writing for myself for the mere sake of the Moment's enjoyment, perhaps nature has its course with me--but a Preface is written to the Public; a thing I cannot help looking upon as an Enemy, and which I cannot address without feelings of Hostility--If I write a Preface in a supple or subdued style, it will not be in character with me as a public speaker--I wod be subdued be

____________________
1
'Merry Wives of Windsor', 1. iv. 28.
2
Frederick W. Haydon says in the 'Correspondence', volume ii, page 11, that Keats 'appears to allude here to the violent political and religious discussions of the set, as much as to an absurd practice they had, when they met, of amusing themselves after dinner by a concert, each imitating a different instrument (see Letter 34, n. 3. p. 74). The fun was as boisterous by all accounts as the discussion was heated.'
3
'and Bewick' heavily scored out, but not, I think, by Keats.
4
The first Preface to 'Endymion'.

-130-

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