Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CORRECTIONS.

Page 58, line 15, for 'sometime' read 'some time'.

62,"

63,"

4 of second paragraph of foot-note, insert comma after 'Browning'. 5 from foot, for 'Asculapius' read 'Esculapius'.

90, 21, insert a dash between 'damned' and 'wholesale'.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

་་

120, 13, the eighth line of the sonnet should not be indented.

[ocr errors]

IV

LETTERS.

LETTERS.

I.

To CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE.

Although the Borough is a beastly place in dirt, turnings, and windings, yet No. 8 Dean Street, is not difficult to find; and if you would run the gauntlet over London Bridge, take the first turning to the right, and, moreover, knock at my door, which is nearly opposite a meeting, you would do me a charity, which, as St. Paul saith, is the father of all the virtues. At all events, let me hear from you soon: I say, at all events, not excepting the gout in your fingers.

[8 Dean Street, Borough, 1814 or 1815]

II.

To CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE.

My daintie Davie,

[31 October 1816]

I will be as punctual as the Bee to the Clover. Very glad am I at the thoughts of seeing so soon this glorious

I. This letter probably belongs to the winter of 1814, when Keats, after parting from Mr. Hammond, was living at No. 8 Dean Street, Borough, studying Medicine at Guy's and St. Thomas's hospitals. Cowden Clarke gives the letter in his Recollections, without making it clear whether it is complete or an extract, but mentioning that it is neither dated nor post-marked. He says:-"When we both had come to London-Keats to enter as a student of St. Thomas's Hospitalhe was not long in discovering my abode, which was with my brother-in-law in Clerkenwell; and at that time being housekeeper, and solitary, he would come and renew his loved gossip; till, as the author of the Urn Burial' says, 'we were acting our antipodes the huntsmen were up in America, and they already were past their first sleep in Persia.' At the close of a letter which preceded my appointing him to come and lighten my darkness in Clerkenwell, is his first address upon coming to London... This letter... preceded our first symposium; and a memorable night it was in my life's career.' "

II. This note, addressed to "Mr. C. C. Clarke, Mr. Towers, Warner Street, Clerkenwell", seems to have been written before Keats's introduction to Haydonwhich apparently took place at Leigh Hunt's, for in Haydon's 'Autobiography' (1853, Volume I, page 331) we read-"About this time I met John Keats, at Leigh Hunt's, and was amazingly interested by his prematurity of intellectual and poetical power... After a short time I liked him so much that a general invita

Haydon and all his creation. I pray thee let me know when you go to Ollier's and where he resides-this I forgot to ask you-and tell me also when you will help me waste a sullen day-God 'ield you-1

J K

III.

My dear Sir

TO BENJAMIN ROBERT HAYDON.

20 November 1816

Last evening wrought me up, and I cannot forbear sending you the following.

Great spirits now on earth are sojourning;

He of the cloud, the cataract, the lake,
Who on Helvellyn's summit, wide awake,
Catches his freshness from Archangel's wing:
He of the rose, the violet, the spring,

The social smile, the chain for Freedom's sake:
And lo!-whose stedfastness would never take
A meaner sound than Raphael's whispering.
And other spirits there are standing apart
Upon the forehead of the age to come;

tion on my part followed, and we became extremely intimate. He visited my painting-room at all times, and at all times was welcome." In a hurried inspection of the manuscript of Keats's note, I observed no date; but in a sale catalogue of autographs it is assigned to the 31st of October 1816.

1 See 'Hamlet,' Act IV, Scene v. The reading is in dispute; but, if Keats's view was the right one as to Ophelia's meaning, the words are "Well, God 'ield you! They say the owl was a baker's daughter." The folio of 1623 reads "God dil'd you!"-the Globe edition "God 'ild you!" In a later letter Keats uses the expression "God shield us." See pago 10.

III. Concerning the sonnet in this letter Lord Houghton records that "Haydon in his acknowledgment, suggested the omission of a part of it"; and the hiatus was certainly not in the sonnet originally, the line being filled up with the words in some distant Mart; but in a second copy written by Keats and inserted in Haydon's journal those words are omitted and points are substituted. When this little note was printed in the second volume of Benjamin Robert Haydon: Correspondence and Table Talk,' the close was given thus

"Yours imperfectly,

John Keats."

But, although the word unfeignedly is not very clearly written, that is certainly the word. The correspondence with Haydon opened briskly: it will be seen that the next letter is dated the afternoon of the same day as the above.

Mr. Colvin, both in his 'Men of Letters''Keats' and in his edition of Keats's Letters to his Family and Friends, gives the thirteenth line of the sonnet thus

Of mighty workings in the human mart?

The source of this reading is not specified: it is not in the original. The three "great spirits" who are the subject of the sonnet are of course Wordsworth, Hunt, and Haydon.

« AnteriorContinuar »