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Reynolds has been writing two very capital articles, in the "Yellow Dwarf," on Popular Preachers.
Your most affectionate brother,
TO THE NILE.
Son of the old moon-mountains African!
These are the three sonnets on the Nile here alluded to, and very characteristic they are.
It flows through old hush'd Egypt and its sands,
Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands
That roam'd through the young earth, the glory extreme
Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,
The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.
Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,
And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,
I saw a traveler from an antique land,
And on the pedestal these words appear :—
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
P. B. S.
HAMPSTEAD, February 21, 
MY DEAR BROTHERS,
I am extremely sorry to have given you so much uneasiness by not writing; however, you know good news is no news, or vice versa. I do not like to write a short letter to you, or you would have had one long before. The weather, although boisterous to-day, has been very much milder, and I think Devonshire is not the last place to receive a temperate change. I have been abominably idle ever since you left, but have just turned over a new leaf, and used as a marker a letter of excuse to an invitation from Horace Smith. I received a letter the other day from Haydon, in which he says, his "Essays on the Elgin Marbles" are being translated into Italian, the which he superintends. I did not mention that I had seen the British Gallery; there are some nice things by Stark, and "Bathsheba," by Wilkie, which is condemned. I could not bear Alston's "Uriel."
The thrushes and blackbirds have been singing me into an idea that it was spring, and almost that leaves were on the trees. So that black clouds and boisterous winds seem to have mustered and collected in full divan, for the purpose of convincing me to the contrary. Taylor says my poem shall be out in a month. * * * The thrushes are singing now as if they would speak to the winds, because their big brother Jack-the Spring-was not far off. I am reading Voltaire and Gibbon, although I wrote to Reynolds the other day to prove reading of no use. I have not seen Hunt since. I am a good deal with Dilke and Brown; they are kind to me. I don't think I could stop in Hampstead but for their neighborhood. I hear Hazlitt's lectures regularly: his last was on Gray, Collins, Young, &c., and he gave a very fine piece of discriminating criticism on Swift, Voltaire, and Rabelais. I was very disappointed at his treatment of Chatterton. I generally meet with many I know there. Lord Byron's Fourth Canto is expected out, and I heard somewhere, that Walter Scott has a new poem in readiness. I have not yet read Shelley's poem: I do not suppose you have it yet at the Teignmouth libraries. These double letters must come rather heavy; I hope you have a moderate portion of cash, but don't fret at all, if you have not-Lord! I intend to play at cut and run as well as Falstaff, that is to say, before he got so lusty.
* * *
I remain, praying for your health, my dear brothers,
A lady, whose feminine acuteness of perception is only equaled by the vigor of her understanding, tells me she distinctly remembers Keats as he appeared at this time at Hazlitt's lectures. "His eyes were large and blue, his hair auburn; he wore it divided down the centre, and it fell in rich masses on each side of his face; his mouth was full, and less intellectual than his other features. His countenance lives in my mind as one of singular beauty and brightness-it had an expression as if he had been looking on some glorious sight. The shape of his face had not the squareness of a man's, but more like some women's faces I have seen-it was so wide over the forehead and so small at the
chin. He seemed in perfect health, and with life offering all things that were precious to him."
Keats had lately vindicated those "who delight in sensation" against those who "hunger after Truth," and that, no doubt, was the tendency of his nature. But it is most interesting to observe how this dangerous inclination was in him continually balanced and modified by the purest appreciation of moral excellence, how far he was from taking the sphere he loved best to dwell in for the whole or even the best of creation. Never have words more effectively expressed the conviction of the superiority of virtue above beauty than those in the following letter-never has a poet more devoutly submitted the glory of imagination to the power of conscience.
13 19 Jan
HAMPSTEAD, April 21, 1818.
MY DEAR BROTHERS,
I am certain, I think, of having a letter to-morrow morning; for I expected one so much this morning, having been in town two days, at the end of which my expectations began to get up a little. I found two on the table, one from Bailey and one from Haydon. I am quite perplexed in a world of doubts and fancies; there is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music. I don't mean to include Bailey in this, and so I dismiss him from this, with all the opprobrium he deserves; that is, in so many words, he is one of the noblest men alive at the present day. In a note to Haydon, about a week ago (which I wrote with a full sense of what he had done, and how he had never manifested any little mean drawback in his value of me), I said, if there were three things superior in the modern world, they were “The Excursion," "Haydon's Pictures," and Hazlitt's depth of Taste. So I believe-not thus speaking with any poor vanitythat works of genius are the first things in this world. No! for
at sort of probity and disinterestedness which such men as Bailey possess does hold and grasp the tip-top of any spiritual honors that can be paid to any thing in this world. And, moreover, having this feeling at this present come over me in its full force, I sat down to write to you with a grateful heart, in that I had not a brother who did not feel and credit me for a deeper feeling and
devotion for his uprightness, than for any marks of genius however splendid. I have just finished the revision of my first book, and shall take it to Taylor's to-morrow.
Your most affectionate brother,
The correction and publication of " Endymion" were the chief occupations of this half year, and naturally furnish much of the matter for Keats's correspondence. The "Axioms" in the second letter to Mr. Taylor, his publisher, express with wonderful vigor and conciseness the Poet's notion of his own art, and are the more interesting as they contain principles which superficial readers might have imagined he would have been the first to disregard and violate.
[POSTMARK, 30 Jan. 1818. HAMPSTEAD.]
MY DEAR TAylor,
These lines, as they now stand, about "happiness," have rung in my ears like " a chime a mending." See here:
"Behold happiness, Peona ? fold," &c.
"Wherein lies happiness? In that which becks
It appears to me the very contrary of "blessed." I hope this will appear to you more eligible :
You must indulge me by putting this in; for, setting aside the badness of the other, such a preface is necessary to the subject. The whole thing must, I think, have appeared to you, who are a consecutive man, as a thing almost of mere words. But I assure you that, when I wrote it, it was a regular stepping of the imagi