The Letters of John Keats

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

I mad or not? I came by the Friday night coach and have not yet been to Ham〈p〉stead. Upon my soul it is not my fault. I cannot resolve to mix any pleasure with my days: they go one like another undistinguishable. If I were to see you to day it would destroy the half comfortable sullenness I enjoy at present into dow〈n〉right perplexities. I love you too much to venture to Hampstead, I feel it is not paying a visit, but venturing into a fire. Que feraije? as the french novel writers say in fun, and I in earnest: really what can I do? Knowing well that my life must be passed in fatigue and trouble, I have been endeavouring to wean myself from you: for to myself alone what can be much of a misery? As far as they regard myself I can despise all events: but I cannot cease to love you. This morning I scarcely know what I am doing. I am going to Walthamstow. I shall return to Winchester to-morrow;1 whence you shall hear from me in a few days. I am a Coward, I cannot bear the pain of being happy: 'tis out of the question: I must admit no thought of it.

Yours ever affectionately
John Keats


151. To JOHN HAMILTON REYNOLDS. Tuesday 21 Sept. 1819.

Address: Mr J. H. Reynolds ∣ 8 Duke St. ∣ Bath.

Postmark: WINCHESTER 21 SE 1819

Winchester Tuesday

My dear Reynolds,

I was very glad to hear from Woodhouse that you would meet in the Country. I hope you will pass some pleasant time together. Which I wish to make pleasanter by a brace of letters, very highly to be estimated, as really I have had very bad luck with this sort of game this season. I "kepen in solitarinesse,"2 for Brown has gone a visiting. I am surprized myself at the pleasure I live alone in. I can give you no news of the place here, or any other idea of it but what I have to this effect written to George. Yesterday I say to him was a grand day for Winchester.3 They

____________________
1
He waited till the day after, and returned to Winchester on Wednesday the 15th of September. See Letter 152, p. 386.
2
See 'The Eve of St. Mark', p. 417.
3
It will be noticed that this humorous account of Winchester is

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