Address: To the, ∣ Revd B. Bailey ∣ St. Andrews ∣ N.B.
Postmarks: WINCHESTER and 14 AU 1819.
We removed to Winchester for the convenience of a Library and find it an exceeding pleasant Town, enriched with a beautiful Cathedrall and surrounded by a fresh- looking country. We are in tolerably good and cheap Lodgings. Within these two Months I have written 1500 Lines, most of which besides many more of prior composition you will probably see by next Winter. I have written two Tales, one from Boccac〈c〉io call'd the Pot of Basil; and another call'd St. Agnes' Eve on a popular superstition; and a third call'd Lamia--half finished--I have also been writing parts of my Hyperion and completed 4 Acts of a Tragedy. It was the opinion of most of my friends that I should never be able to write a scene. I will endeavour to wipe away the prejudice--I sincerely hope you will be pleased when my Labours since we last saw each other shall reach you. One of my Ambitions is to make as great a revolution in modern dramatic writing as Kean has done in acting--another to upset the drawling of the blue stocking literary world--if in the course of a few years I do these two things I ought to die content --and my friends should drink a dozen of Claret on my Tomb--I am convinced more and more every day that (excepting the human friend Philosopher) a fine writer is the most genuine Being in the World. Shakspeare and the paradise Lost every day become greater wonders to me.1 I look upon fine Phrases like a Lover. I was glad to see, by a Passage in one of Brown's Letters some time ago from the north that you were in such good Spirits.2 Since that you have been married and in congra〈tu〉lating you I wish you every continuance of them. Present my Respects to Mrs Bailey. This sounds oddly to me, and I dare say I do it awkwardly enough: but I suppose by this time____________________