The Letters of John Keats

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

74. To FANNY KEATS. Thursday-Saturday 2-4 July 1818.

Address: Miss F. M. Keats ∣ Richd Abbey's Esqre ∣ Walthamstow ∣ Middx.

Imperfect postmarks: NEWTON STEWART and JY 1818.

Dumfries July 2nd

My dear Fanny,

I intended to have written to you from Kirk〈c〉udbright the town I shall be in tomorrow--but I will write now because my Knapsack has worn my coat in the Seams, my coat has gone to the Taylors and I have but one Coat to my back in these parts. I must tell you how I went to Liverpool with George and our new Sister and the Gentleman my fellow traveller through the Summer and Autumn--We had a tolerable journey to Liverpool --which I left the next morning before George was up for Lancaster--Then we set off from Lancaster on foot with our Knapsacks on, and have walked a Little zig zag through the mountains and Lakes of Cumberland and Westmoreland--We came from Carlisle yesterday to this place--We are employed in going up Mountains, looking at Strange towns prying into old ruins and eating very hearty breakfasts. Here we are full in the Midst of broad Scotch 'How is it a' wi yoursel'--the Girls are walking about bare footed and in the worst cottages the Smoke finds its way out of the door. I shall come home full of news for you and for fear I should choak you by too great a dose at once I must make you used to it by a letter or two. We have been taken for travelling Jewellers, Razor sellers and Spectacle venders because friend Brown wears a pair-- The first place we stopped at with our Knapsacks contained one Richard Bradshaw a notorious tippler--He stood in the shape of a ℥ and ballanced himself as well as he could saying with his nose right in Mr Browns face 'Do -- yo--u sell Spect--ta--cles?' Mr Abbey says we are Don Quixotes--tell him we are more generally taken for Pedlars. All I hope is that we may not be taken for excisemen in this whiskey country--We are generally up about 5 walking before breakfast and we complete our 20 Miles before dinner--Yesterday we visited Burns's Tomb and this morning the fine Ruins of Lincluden--I had done thus far when my coat came back fortified at all points--so as we lose no time we set forth again through Galloway--all very pleasant and pretty with no fatigue when one is used

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