To Fanny Brawne (27 (?) February, 1820)

27 (?) February, 1820

My dearest Fanny,

I had a better night last night than I have had since my attack, and this morning I am the same as when you saw me. I have been turning over two volumes of Letters written between Ro[u]sseau and two Ladies in the perplexed strain of mingled finesse and sentiment in which the Ladies and gentlemen of those days were so clever, and which is still prevalent among Ladies of this Country who live in a state of reasoning romance. The Likeness however only extends to the mannerism not to the dexterity. What would Rousseau have said at seeing our little correspondence! What would his Ladies have said! I don’t care much – I would sooner have Shakspeare’s opinion about the matter. The common gossiping of washerwomen must be less disgusting than the continual and eternal fence and attack of Rousseau and these sublime Petticoats. One calls herself Clara and her friend Julia two of Ro[u]sseau’s Heroines – they all the same time christen poor Jean Jacques St Preux – who is the pure cavalier of his famous novel. Thank God I am born in England with our own great Men before my eyes – Thank god that you are fair and can love me without being Letter-written and sentimentaliz’d into it – Mr Barry Cornwall has sent me another Book, his first, with a polite note – I must do what I can to make him sensible of the esteem I have for his kindness. If this north east would take a turn it would be so much the better for me. Good bye, my love, my dear love, my beauty-

love me for ever-

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