To John Taylor (Hampstead, January 30, 1818)
Hampstead, January 30, 1818
My dear Taylor
These lines as they now stand about “happiness,” have rung in my ears like “a chime a mending”—See here,
Wherein lies happiness, Peona? fold, etc.”
It appears to me the very contrary of blessed. I hope this will appear to you more eligible.
“Wherein lies Happiness? In that which becks
Our ready minds to fellowship divine,
A fellowship with Essence till we shine
Full alchemised, and free of space—Behold
The clear religion of Heaven—fold, etc.”
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 Imagination towards a truth. My having written that argument will perhaps be of the greatest service to me of anything I ever did. It set before me the gradations of happiness, even like a kind of pleasure thermometer, and is my first step towards the chief attempt in the drama. The playing of different natures with joy and Sorrow. Do me this favour, and believe me
Your sincere friend
I hope your next work will be of a more general Interest. I suppose you cogitate a little about it, now and then.