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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," for Brown has gone a-visiting. I am surprised 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. They elected a mayor. It was indeed high time the place should receive some sort of excitement. There was nothing going on-all asleep-not an old maid's sedan returning from a card-party; and if any old women got tipsy at christenings they did not expose it in the streets.

The side streets here are excessively maiden-lady like; the door-steps always fresh from the flannel. The knockers have a staid, serious, nay, almost awful quietness about them. I never saw so quiet a collection of lions' and rams' heads. The doors [are] most part black, with a little brass handle just above the keyhole, so that in Winchester a man may very quietly shut himself out of his own house.

How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air- a temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather-Dian skies. I never liked stubble-fields so much as now—aye, better than the chilly green of the Spring. Somehow, a stubble

field looks warm, in the same way that some pictures look warm.

This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed upon it.*

“ Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness," &c.

I hope you are better employed than in gaping after weather. I have been, at different times, so happy as not to know what weather it was. No, I will not copy a parcel of verses. I always somehow associate Chatterton with Autumn.

He is the purest writer in the English language. He has no French idiom or particles, like Chaucer; 'tis genuine English idiom in English words. I have given up“ Hyperion,”—there were too many Miltonic inversions in it -Miltonic verse cannot be written but in an artful, or, rather, artist's humour. I wish to give myself up to other sensations. English ought to be kept up. It may be interesting to you to pick out some lines from “Hyperion," and put a mark, +, to the false beauty, proceeding from art, and 1, 2, to the true voice of feeling. Upon my soul, 'twas imagination ; I cannot make the distinction-every now and then there is a Miltonic intonation—but I cannot make the division properly. The fact is, I must take a walk; for I am writing a long letter to George, and have been employed at it all the morning. You will ask, have I heard from George ? I am sorry to say, not the best news,

* See the fine lines, " To Autumn," in the collected works.

-I hope for better. This is the reason, among others, that if I write to you it must be in such a scrap-like way. I have no meridian to date interests from, or measure circumstances. To-night I am all in a mist: I scarcely know what's what. But you, knowing my unsteady and vagarish disposition, will

guess that all this turmoil will be settled by tomorrow morning. It strikes me to-night that I have led a very odd sort of life for the two or three last years—here and there, no anchor-I am glad of it. If you can get a peep at Babbicomb before


leave the country, do. I think it the finest place I have seen, or is to be seen, in the south. There is a cottage there I took warm water at, that made up for the tea. I have lately shirk'd some friends of ours, and I advise you to do the same. I mean the blue-devils—I am never at home to them. You need not fear them while you remain in Devonshire. There will be some of the family waiting for you at the coach-office—but go by another coach.

I shall beg leave to have a third opinion in the first discussion you have with Woodhouse-just halfway between both. You know I will not give up any argument. In my walk to-day, I stoop'd under a railing that lay across my path, and asked myself ' why I did not get over; " "Because," answered I,

no one wanted to force you under.” I would give a guinea to be a reasonable man-good, sound sensea says-what-he-thinks-and-does-what-he-says-man – and did not take snuff. They say men near death, however mad they may have been, come to their senses : I hope I shall here in this letter; there is a decent space to be very sensible in-many a good proverb has been in less—nay, I have heard of the statutes at large being changed into the statutes at small, and printed for a watch-paper.

Your sisters, by this time, must have got the Devonshire" "short ees you

know 'em ; they are the prettiest ees in the language. O, how I admire the middle-sized delicate Devonshire girls of about fifteen. There was one at an inn door holding a quartern of brandy; the very thought of her kept me warm a whole stage—and a sixteen-miler too. “You 'll pardon me for being jocular.”

affectionate friend,



Ever your

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"Now I am going to enter on the subject of self. It is quite time I should set myself doing something, and live no longer upon hopes. I have

pay me.

never yet exerted myself. I am getting into an idleminded, vicious way of life, almost content to live upon others. In no period of my life have I acted with any self-will, but in throwing up the apothecary profession. That I do not repent of. Look at if he was not in the law, he would be acquiring, by his abilities, something towards his support. My occupation is entirely literary : I will do so, too. I will write, on the liberal side of the question, for whoever will

I have not known yet what it is to be diligent. I purpose living in town in a cheap lodging, and endeavouring, for a beginning, to get the theatricals of some paper.

When I can afford to compose deliberate poems, I will. I shall be in expectation of an answer to this. Look on my side of the question. I am convinced I am right. Suppose the tragedy should succeed,—there will be no harm done. And here I will take an opportunity of making a remark or two on our friendship, and on all your good offices to me. I have a natural timidity of mind in these matters; liking better to take the feeling between us for granted, than to speak of it. But, good God! what a short while you have known me!

I feel it a sort of duty thus to recapitulate, however unpleasant it may be to you. You have been living for others more than any man I know. This is a vexation to me, because it has been depriving

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