The Letters of John Keats

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

bless you my sweet Love! Illness is a long lane, but I see you at the end of it, and shall mend my pace as well as possible.

J. K.


206. To FANNY BRAWNE. 〈March 1820?〉

Address: Miss Brawne

No postmark.

Dear Girl,

Yesterday you must have thought me worse than I really was. I assure you there was nothing but regret at being obliged to forego an embrace which has so many times been the highest gust1 of my Life. I would not care for health without it. Sam would not come in--I wanted merely to ask him how you were this morning. When one is not quite well we turn for relief to those we love: this is no weakness of spirit in me: you know when in health I thought of nothing but you; when I shall again be so it will be the same. Brown has been mentioning to me that some hint from Sam, last night, occasions him some uneasiness. He whispered something to you concerning Brown and old Mr Dilke which had the complexion of being something derogatory to the former. It was connected with an anxiety about Mr D. Sr's death and an anxiety to set out for Chichester. These sort of hints point out their own solution: one cannot pretend to a delicate ignorance on the subject: you understand the whole matter. If any one, my sweet Love, has misrepresented, to you, to your Mother or Sam, any circumstances which are at all likely, at a tenth remove, to create suspicions among people who from their own interested notions slander others, pray tell me: for I feel the least attaint on the disinterested character of Brown very deeply. Perhaps Reynolds or some other of my friends may come towards evening, therefore you may choose whether you will come to see me early

____________________
1
Cf. Dryden translation of the Nineteenth Elegy of Ovid, ll. 17-18:

'With what a Gust, ye Gods, we then imbrac'd!
How every kiss was dearer than the last!'

and "'Twelfth Night', I". iii. 33-4: "'To allay the gust he hath in quarrelling'".

-483-

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