The Letters of John Keats

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

madness. I have heard you say that it was not unpleasant to wait a few years--you have amusements--your mind is away--you have not brooded over one idea as I have, and how should you? You are to me an object intensely desireable--the air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy. I am not the same to you--no--you can wait-- you have a thousand activities--you can be happy without me. Any party, any thing to fill up the day has been enough. How have you pass'd this month?1 Who have you smil'd with? All this may seem savage in me. You do not feel as I do--you do not know what it is to love-- one day you may--your time is not come. Ask yourself how many unhappy hours Keats has caused you in Loneliness. For myself I have been a Martyr the whole time, and for this reason I speak; the confession is forc'd from me by the torture. I appeal to you by the blood of that Christ you believe in: Do not write to me if you have done anything this month which it would have pained me to, have seen. You may have altered--if you have not--if you still behave in dancing rooms and other societies as I have seen you--I do not want to live--if you have done so I wish this coming night may be my last. I cannot live without you, and not only you but chaste you; virtuous you. The Sun rises and sets, the day passes, and you follow the bent of your inclination to a certain extent--you have no conception of the quantity of miserable feeling that passes through me in a day.--Be serious! Love is not a plaything--and again do not write unless you can do it with a crystal conscience. I would sooner die for want of you than-----

Yours for ever
J. Keats.


221. To FANNY KEATS. Wednesday, 5 July 1820 .

Address: Miss Keats ∣ Rd Abbey Esqre ∣ Walthamstow

Postmarks: KENTISH Tn and 6 JY 1820

Mortimer Terrace

Wednesday

My dear Fanny,

I have had no return of the spitting of blood, and for

____________________
1
This question might be taken to indicate the lapse of about a month from the time when Keats left the house at Hampstead next door to Miss Brawne's, where he probably knew her employments well enough from day to day; but I am inclined to think that a longer time had passed.--H.B.F.

221. Between the date of this letter and the probable date of the

-497-

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