February (?) 1820
My dear Fanny,
Do not let your mother suppose that you hurt me by writing at night. For some reason or other your last night’s note was not so treasureable as former ones. I would fain that you call me Love still. To see you happy and in high spirits is a great consolation to me – still let me believe that
you are not half so happy as my restoration would make you. I am nervous, I own, and may think myself worse than I really am; if so you must indulge me, and pamper with that sort of tenderness you have: manifested towards me in different Letters. My sweet creature when I look back upon the pains and torments I have suffer’d for you from the day I left you to go to the Isle of Wight; the ecstasies in which I have pass’d some days and the miseries in their turn, I wonder the more at the Beauty which has kept up the spell so fervently. When I send this round I shall be in the front parlour watching to see you show yourself for a minute in the garden. How illness stands as a barrier betwixt me and you! Even if I was well – I must make myself as good a Philosopher as possible. Now I have had opportunities of passing nights anxious and awake I have found other
thoughts intrude upon me. “If I should die,” said I to myself, “I have left no immortal work behind me – nothing to make my friends proud of my memory – but I have lov’d the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remember’d.” Thoughts like
these came very feebly whilst I was in health and every pulse beat for you – now you divide with this (may I say it?) “last infirmity of noble minds” all my reflection.
God bless you, Love.