Inverary July 81th.
My dear Bailey,
The only day I have had a chance of seeing you when you were last in London I took every advantage of--some devil led you out of the way. Now I have written to Reynolds to tell me where you will be in Cumberland2-- so that I cannot miss you--and when I see you the first thing I shall do will be to read that about Milton and Ceres and Proserpine3--for though I am not going after you to John o' Grotts it will be but poetical to say so. And here Bailey I will say a few words written in a sane and sober Mind, a very scarce thing with me, for they may hereafter save you a great deal of trouble about me, which you do not deserve, and for which I ought to be bastina- doed. I carry all matters to an extreme--so that when I have any little vexation it grows in five Minutes into a theme for Sophocles--then and in that temper if I write to any friend I have so little selfpossession that I give him matter for grieving at the very time perhaps when I am laughing at a Pun. Your last Letter made me blush for the pain I had given you. I know my own disposition so well that I am certain of writing many times hereafter in the same strain to you--now you know how far to believe in them--you must allow for imagination. I know I shall not be able to help it. I am sorry you are grieved at my not continuing my visits to little Britain4--yet I think I____________________
Of Enna, where Proserpin gathering flours, Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain To seek her through the world--Paradise Lost', IV, ll. 268-72.