The Letters of John Keats

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

ders are no wonders to me. I am more at home amongst Men and Women. I would rather read Chaucer than Ariosto.1 The little dramatic skill I may as yet have however badly it might shew in a Drama would I think be sufficient for a Poem. I wish to diffuse the colouring of St. Agnes Eve throughout a Poem in which Character & Sentiment would be figures to such drapery. Two or three such Poems if God should spare me, written in the course of the next 6 years, wod be a famous Gradus ad Parnassum altissimum. I mean they would nerve me up to the writing of a few fine plays--my greatest ambition when I do feel ambitious. I am sorry to say that is very seldom. The subject we have once or twice talked of appears a promising one, the Earl of Leicester's history--I am this morning reading Holingshead's2 Elizabeth--You had some books awhile ago, you promised to send me, illustrative of my Subject. If you can lay hold of them or any others which may be serviceable to me I know you will encourage my low-spirited Muse by sending them--or rather by letting me know when our Errand cart Man shall call with my little box. I will endeavour to set my self selfishly at work on this Poem that is to be.--

Your sincere friend

John Keats.


167. To GEORGE KEATS. Friday 〈19〉 November 1819.

Address: Mr George Keats ∣ Louisville ∣ Kentucky

No postmark.

Friday Evening Novr.

My dear George,

You must think my delay very great. I assure you it is no fault of mine. Not expecting you would want money so soon I did not send for the necessary power of attorney

____________________
1
Cf. Letters 149 and 156, pp. 381, 424.
2
Raphael Holinshed (d. 1580?), 'Chronicles of England', published in 1577.

167. This letter bears four endorsements not in Keats's handwriting. The earliest reads: 'Forwarded by the William via New York. 22d Novem '19 John Capper', which suggests that Keats was writing on Friday the 19th of November and that the letter was sent through Capper and Hazlewood. The second inscription is: 'Lat. 40. 23 N. Long. 72 W. 16th February 1820 Dane W. Threlkeld'; and the third: 'Edgartown Ms Feb. 23 Ship 27'. The latest discloses something of the wanderings of the letter before it reached the Library of the

-440-

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