To George and Thomas Keats (Hampstead, 14th of February, 1818)
Hampstead Saturday Night
My dear Brothers
When once a man delays a letter beyond the proper time, he delays it longer for one or two reasons; first, because he must begin in a very commonplace style, that is to say, with an excuse; and secondly things and circumstances become so jumbled in his mind, that he knows not what, or what not, he has said in his last – I shall visit you as soon as I have copied my poem all out, I am now much beforehand with the printer, they have done none yet, and I am half afraid they will let half the season by before the printing, I am determined they shall not trouble me when I have copied it all – Horace Smith has lent me his manuscript called “Nehemiah Muggs, an exposure of the Methodists” perhaps I may send you a few extracts. Hazlitt’s last Lecture was on Thompson Cowper and Crabbe, he praised Cowper and Thomson, but he gave Crabbe an unmerciful licking. I think Hunt’s article of Fazio – no it was not, but I saw Fazio the first night, it hung rather heavily on me – I am in the high way of being introduced to a squad of people, Peter Pindar, Mrs Opie – Mrs Scott – Mr Robinson a great friend of Colerdige’s called on me – Richards tells me that my Poems are known in the West Country and that he saw a very clever copy of verses, headed with a Motto from my Sonnet to George – Honors rush so thickly upon me that I shall not be able to bear up against them. What think you, am I to be crowned in the Capitol. Am I to be made a Mandarin – No! I am to be invited, Mrs Hunt tells me, to a party at Ollier’s to keep Shakespeare’s birthday – Shakespeare would stare to see me there – The Wednesday before last Shelley, Hunt and I wrote each a Sonnet on the River Nile, some day you shall read them all. I saw a sheet of Endymion, and have all reason to suppose they will soon get it done, there shall be nothing wanting on my part. I have been writing at intervals many songs and Sonnets, and I long to be at Teignmouth, to read them over to you: however I think I had better wait till this Book is off my mind; it will not be long first.
Reynolds has been writing two very capital articles in the Yellow Dwarf on Popular Preachers – All the talk here is about Dr. Croft the Duke of Devon &c.
Your most affectionate Brother