To John Hamilton Reynolds (Teignmouth, April 10, 1818)
Teignmouth, Friday, April 10, 1818
My dear Reynolds
I am anxious you should find this Preface tolerable. If there is an affectation in it ’tis natural to me. Do let the Printer’s Devil cook it, and let me be as “the casing air.”
You are too good in this Matter—were I in your state, I am certain I should have no thought but of discontent and illness—I might though be taught patience: I had an idea of giving no Preface; however, don’t you think this had better go? O, let it—one should not be too timid—of committing faults.
The climate here weighs us down completely; Tom is quite low-spirited. It is impossible to live in a country which is continually under hatches. Who would live in a region of Mists, Game Laws, indemnity Bills, etc., when there is such a place as Italy? It is said this England from its Clime produces a Spleen, able to engender the finest Sentiments, and cover the whole face of the isle with Green—so it ought, I’m sure.—I should still like the Dedication simply, as I said in my last.
I wanted to send you a few songs written in your favorite Devon—it cannot be—Rain! Rain! Rain! I am going this morning to take a facsimile of a Letter of Nelson’s, very much to his honour—you will be greatly pleased when you see it—in about a week. What a spite it is one cannot get out—the little way I went yesterday, I found a lane banked on each side with store of Primroses, while the earlier bushes are beginning to leaf.
I shall hear a good account of you soon.
Your affectionate Friend
My Love to all and remember me to Taylor.