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the Proselyte of her gates, shall kindle and the other day in Cripplegate churchyard. smoke together! And in sober sense what There are some verses upon it written by makes you so long from among us, Man- Miss, which if I thought good enough ning? You must not expect to see the I would send you. He was one of those same England again which you left. .
who would have hailed your return, not Empires have been overturned, crowns with boisterous shouts and clamours, but trodden into dust, the face of the western with the complacent gratulations of a world quite changed. Your friends have philosopher anxious to promote knowledge all got old — those you left blooming;
as leading to happiness; but his systems myself, (who am one of the few that and his theories are ten feet deep in remember you,) those golden hairs which Cripplegate mould. Coleridge is just you recollect my taking a pride in, turned dead, having lived just long enough to close to silvery and grey. Mary has been dead the eyes of Wordsworth, who paid the and buried many years: she desired to be debt to Nature but a week or two before. buried in the silk gown you sent her. Poor Col., but two days before he died he Rickman, that you remember active and wrote to a bookseller, proposing an epic strong, now walks out supported by a poem on the Wanderings of Cain, in servant maid and a stick. Martin Burney twenty-four books. It is said he has left is a very old man. The other day an behind him more than forty thousand aged woman knocked at my door, and pre- treatises in criticism, metaphysics, and
, , tended to my acquaintance. It was long divinity, but few of them in a state of before I had the most distant cognition of completion. They are now destined, her; but at last, together, we made her perhaps, to wrap up spices. You see what out to be Louisa, the daughter of Mrs. mutations the busy hand of Time has Topham, formerly Mrs. Morton, who had produced, while you have consumed in been Mrs. Reynolds, formerly Mrs. Ken- foolish voluntary exile that time which ney, whose first husband was Holcroft, might have gladdened your friends the dramatic writer of the last century. benefited your country; but reproaches St. Paul's church is a heap of ruins; the are useless.
Gather up the wretched Monument isn't half so high as you knew reliques, my friend, as fast as you can, and it, divers parts being successively taken come to your old home. I will rub my down which the ravages of time had eyes and try to recognise you. We will rendered dangerous; the horse at Charing shake withered hands together, and talk of Cross is gone, no one knows whither; and old things — of St. Mary's Church and the all this has taken place while you have been barber's opposite, where the young stusettling whether Ho-hing-tong should be dents in mathematics used to assemble. spelt with a —, or a—. For aught I see Poor Crips, that kept it afterwards, set up you might almost as well remain where a fruiterer's shop in Trumpington Street, you are, and not come like a Struldbrug and for aught I know resides there still, for into a world where few were born when you I saw the name up in the last journey I went away. Scarce here and there one took there with my sister just before she will be able to make out your face. All died. I suppose you heard that I had left your opinions will be out of date, your the India House, and gone into the Fishjokes obsolete, your puns rejected with mongers' Almshouses over the bridge. I fastidiousness as wit of the last age. Your have a little cabin there, small and homely, way of mathematics has already given way but you shall be welcome to it. You like to a new method, which after all is I be- oysters, and to open them yourself; I'll lieve the old doctrine of Maclaurin, new get you some if you come in oyster time. vamped up with what he borrowed of Marshall, Godwin's old friend, is still alive, the negative quantity of fluxions from and talks of the faces you used to make. Euler.
Come as soon as you can. Poor Godwin! I was passing his tomb
had gone through him, all but the skin.
Everybody conjectures why he was killed, To THOMAS MOORE
but no one knows how. The gun was
found close by him - an old gun, half RAVENNA, Dec. 9, 1820. filed down. I open my letter to tell you a fact, which He only said, O Dio! and Gesu! two or will show the state of this country better three times, and appeared to have suffered than I can. The commandant of the very little. Poor fellow! he was a brave troops is now lying dead in my house. He officer, but had made himself much diswas shot at a little past eight o'clock, liked by the people. I knew him perabout two hundred paces from my door. sonally, and had met with him often at I was putting on my greatcoat to visit conversazioni and elsewhere. My house Madame la Contessa G. when I heard the is full of soldiers, dragoons, doctors, priests, shot. On coming into the hall, I found all and all kinds of persons, - though I have
my servants on the balcony, exclaiming now cleared it, and clapt sentinels at the that a man was murdered. I immediately doors. To-morrow the body is to be ran down, calling on Tita (the bravest moved. The town is in the greatest conthem) to follow me. The rest wanted to fusion, as you may suppose. hinder us from going, as it is the custom You are to know that, if I had not had for every body here, it seems, to run away the body moved, they would have left from “the stricken deer."
him there till morning in the street, for fear However, down we ran, and found him of consequences. I would not choose to lying on his back, almost, if not quite, dead, let even a dog die in such a manner,
withwith five wounds; one in the heart, two out succour: — and, as for consequences, in the stomach, one in the finger, and the I care for none in a duty. other in the arm. Some soldiers cocked
Yours, etc. their guns, and wanted to hinder me from P.S. The lieutenant on duty by the passing. However, we passed, and I body is smoking his pipe with great comfound Diego, the adjutant, crying over posure. – A queer people this.
him like a child — a surgeon, who said nothing of his profession - a priest, sob
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY bing a frightened prayer - and the commandant, all this time, on his back, on the
To THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK hard, cold pavement, without light or
NAPLES, December 22, 1818. assistance, or anything around him but confusion and dismay.
My dear Peacock, As nobody could, or would, do anything I have received a letter from you here, but howl and pray and as no one would dated November ist; you see the reciprostir a finger to move him, for fear of conse- cation of letters from the term of our quences, I lost my patience - made my travels is more slow. I entirely agree with servant and a couple of the mob take up what you say about Childe Harold. The the body — sent off two soldiers to the spirit in which it is written is, if insane, the guard — despatched Diego to the Cardinal most wicked and mischievous insanity with the news, and had the commandant that ever was given forth. It is a kind of carried upstairs into my own quarter. obstinate and self-willed folly, in which he But it was too late, he was gone not at hardens himself. I remonstrated with all disfigured - bled inwardly -- not him in vain on the tone of mind from which above an ounce or two came out.
such a view of things alone arises. For I had him partly stripped - made the its real root is very different from its apsurgeon examine him, and examined him
parent one. Nothing can be less sublime myself. He had been shot by cut balls than the true source of these expressions or slugs. I felt one of the slugs, which of contempt and desperation. The fact is, that first, the Italian women with whom stairs and immeasurable galleries; the he associates are perhaps the most con- copsewood overshadows you as you wander temptible of all who exist under the moon through its labyrinths, and the wild weeds - the most ignorant, the most disgusting of this climate of flowers bloom under
, the most bigoted; countesses smell so your feet. The arena is covered with strongly of garlic, that an ordinary Eng- grass, and pierces, like the skirts of a lishman cannot approach them. Well, natural plain, the chasms of the broken L. B. is familiar with the lowest sort of arches around.
arches around. But a small part of the these women, the people his gondolieri pick exterior circumference remains - it is exup in the streets. He associates with quisitely light and beautiful; and the wretches who seem almost to have lost the effect of the perfection of its architecture, gait and physiognomy of man, and who do adorned with ranges of Corinthian pilasnot scruple to avow practices, which are ters, supporting a bold cornice, is such, as not only not named, but I believe seldom to diminish the effect of its greatness. even conceived in England. He says he dis- The interior is all ruin. I can scarcely approves, but he endures. He is heartily believe that when encrusted with Dorian and deeply discontented with himself ; marble and ornamented by columns of and contemplating in the distorted mirror Egyptian granite, its effect could have been of his own thoughts the nature and the so sublime and so impressive as in its destiny of man, what can he behold but present state. It is open to the sky, and objects of contempt and despair? But it was the clear and sunny weather of the that he is a great poet, I think the address end of November in this climate when we to Ocean proves. And he has a certain visited it, day after day. degree of candour while you talk to him, I have told you little about Rome; but but unfortunately it does not outlast your I reserve the Pantheon, and St. Peter's, departure. No, I do not doubt, and for and the Vatican, and Raphael, for my rehis sake, I ought to hope, that his present turn. About a fortnight ago I left Rome, career must end soon in some violent and Mary and Claire followed in three circumstance.
days, for it was necessary to procure lodgSince I last wrote to you, I have seen ings here without alighting at an inn. the ruins of Rome, the Vatican, St. Peter's, From my peculiar mode of travelling I saw and all the miracles of ancient and modern little of the country, but could just obart contained in that majestic city. The serve that the wild beauty of the scenery impression of it exceeds anything I have and the barbarous ferocity of the inhabiever experienced in my travels. We tants progressively increased. On enterstayed there only a week, intending to re- ing Naples, the first circumstance that turn at the end of February, and devote engaged my attention was an assassinatwo or three months to its mines of in- tion. A youth ran out of a shop, pursued exhaustible contemplation, to which period by a woman with a bludgeon, and a man I refer you for a minute account of it. We armed with a knife. The man overtook visited the Forum and the ruins of the him, and with one blow in the neck laid Coliseum every day. The Coliseum is un- him dead in the road. On my expressing like any work of human hands I ever saw the emotions of horror and indignation before. It is of enormous height and cir- which I felt, a Calabrian priest, who cuit, and the arches built of massy stones travelled with me, laughed heartily, and are piled on one another, and jut into the attempted to quiz me, as what the English blue air, shattered into the forms of over- call a flat. I never felt such an inclination hanging rocks. It has been changed by to beat any one. Heaven knows I have time into the image of an amphitheatre of little power, but he saw that I looked exrocky hills overgrown by the wild olive, the tremely displeased, and was silent. This myrtle, and the fig-tree, and threaded by same man, a fellow of gigantic strength little paths, which wind among its ruined and stature, had expressed the most fran
tic terror of robbers on the road: he cried it in the manner of the Laputan printing at the sight of my pistol, and it had been press; that is, I put down mountains, with great difficulty that the joint exer- rivers, lakes, dells, glens, rocks, and clouds tions of myself and the vetturino 1 had with beautiful, enchanting, gothic, picturquieted his hysterics.
esque, - fine, delightful, enchanting, Since I wrote this I have seen the mu- grand, sublime — a few blisters, &c. seum of this city. Such statues! There and now you have our journey thus far; is a Venus; an ideal shape of the most where I begin a letter to you because I am winning loveliness. A Bacchus, more approaching Burns's cottage very fast. sublime than any living being. A Satyr, We have made continual inquiries from making love to a youth, in which the ex- the time we left his tomb at Dumfries. pressed life of the sculpture, and the in- His name, of course, is known all about: conceivable beauty of the form of the his great reputation among the plodding youth, overcome one's repugnance to the people is, “that he wrote a good mony subject. There are multitudes of wonder- sensible things.” One of the pleasantest fully fine statues found in Herculaneum ways of annulling self is approaching such and Pompeii. We are going to a shrine as the cottage of Burns: we need Pompeii the first day that the sea is wave- not think of his misery – that is all gone, less. Herculaneum is almost filled up; bad luck to it! I shall look upon it hereno more excavations are made; the king after with unmixed pleasure, as I do upon bought the ground and built a palace my Stratford-on-Avon day with Bailey.
I shall fill this sheet for you in the Bardie's You don't see much of Hunt. I wish country, going no farther than this, till I you could contrive to see him when you get to the town of Ayr, which will be a go to town, and ask him what he means to nine miles' walk to tea. answer to Lord Byron's invitation. He We were talking on different and indifhas now an opportunity, if he likes, of see- ferent things, when, on a sudden, we turned ing Italy. What do you think of joining a corner upon the immediate country of his party, and paying us a visit next year; Ayr. The sight was as rich as possible. I mean as soon as the reign of winter is I had no conception that the native place dissolved? Write to me your thoughts of Burns was so beautiful; the idea I had upon this. I cannot express to you the was more desolate: his Rigs of Barley pleasure it would give me to welcome such seemed always to me but a few strips of a party.
green on a cold hill — Oh, prejudice ! I have depression enough of spirits and It was as rich as Devon. I endeavoured to not good health, though I believe the warm drink in the prospect, that I might spin air of Naples does me good. We see ab- it out to you, as the silk-worm makes silk solutely no one here.
from the mulberry leaves. I cannot Adieu, my dear Peacock,
recollect it. Besides all the beauty there affectionately your friend, were the mountains of Annan Isle, black
P. B. S. and huge over the sea. We came down
upon everything suddenly; there were JOHN KEATS
in our way the “bonny Doon," with the
brig that Tam o’Shanter crossed, Kirk To J. H. REYNOLDS
Alloway, Burns's Cottage, and then the MAYBOLE, July 11 (1818)
Brigs of Ayr. First we stood upon the My dear Reynolds,
Bridge across the Doon, surrounded by
every phantasy of green in tree, meadow, I'll not run over the ground we have
and hill; the stream of the Doon, as a passed; that would be nearly as bad as
farmer told us, is covered with trees “from telling a dream - unless, perhaps, I do
head to foot." You know those beautiful 1 Driver
heaths, so fresh against the weather of a
summer's evening; there was one stretch- afterwards than remember yourself. One ing along behind the trees.
song of Burns's is of more worth to you I wish I knew always the humour my than all I could think for a whole year in friends would be in at opening a letter of his native country. His misery is a dead
. mine, to suit it to them as nearly as possi- weight upon the nimbleness of one's quill; ble. I could always find an egg-shell for I tried to forget it -- to drink toddy withmelancholy, and, as for merriment, a out any care
to write a merry sonnet witty humour will turn anything to ac- it won't do he talked with bitches, count. My head is sometimes in such a he drank with blackguards, he was miserwhirl in considering the million likings able. We can see horribly clear, in the and antipathies of our moments, that I can works of such a man, his whole life, as if get into no settled strain in my letters. we were God's spies. What were his adMy wig! Burns and sentimentality com- dresses to Jean in the after part of his life? ing across you and Frank Floodgate in the I should not speak so to you. — Yet, why office. Oh, Scenery, that thou shouldst not? You are not in the same case be crushed between two puns! As for you are in the right path — and you shall them, I venture the rascalliest in the not be deceived. I have spoken to you Scotch region. I hope Brown does not against marriage, but it was general. The put them in his journal; if he does, I must prospect in those matters has been to me sit on the cutty-stool all next winter. We so blank, that I have been not unwilling went to Kirk Alloway. “A prophet is no
to die. I would not now, for I have inprophet in his own country.” We went ducements to life — I must see my little to the Cottage and took some whisky. I nephews in America, and I must see you wrote a sonnet for the mere sake of writing marry your lovely wife. My sensations some lines under the roof; they are so are sometimes deadened for weeks tobad I cannot transcribe them. The man gether — but, believe me, I have more at the Cottage was a great bore with his than once yearned for the time of your anecdotes. I hate the rascal. His life happiness to come, as much as I could for consists in fuzzy, fuzzy, fuzziest. He myself after the lips of Juliet. From the drinks glasses five for the quarter and tenor of my occasional rhodomontade in twelve for the hour; he is a mahogany- chit-chat, you might have been deceived faced old jackass who knew Burns: he concerning me in these points. Upon my ought to have been kicked for having soul, I have been getting more and more spoken to him. He calls himself “a curi- close to you every day, ever since I knew ous old bitch,” but he is a flat old dog. I you, and now one of the first pleasures I should like to employ Caliph Vathek to look to is your happy marriage — the kick him. Oh, the flummery of a birth- more, since I have felt the pleasure of place! Cant ! Cant! Cant! It is loving a sister-in-law. I did not think it enough to give a spirit the guts-ache! possible to become so much attached in so Many a true word, they say, is spoken in short a time. Things like these, and they jest this may be because his gab hin- are real, have made me resolve to have a dered my sublimity: the flat dog made me
health you must be as carewrite a flat sonnet. My dear Reynolds, ful. I cannot write about scenery and visitings.
friends I do all I can for them, Fancy is indeed less than present palpable that is, drink their health in Toddy. Perreality, but it is greater than remembrance. haps I may have some lines, by-and-by, to You would lift your eyes from Homer only send you fresh, on your own letter. to see close before you the real Isle of
Your affectionate friend, Tenedos. You would rather read Homer