Letter 3

To THOMAS FORBES KELSALL

[Postmark “Mr 29, 1824”]
6 Devereux Court
Monday 5 o clock

DEAR KELSALL,–I have just arrived out of a six weeks sojourn at Bristol, and among the letters which “flake after flake had gathered” here I find yours to my absolute confusion. The very night before I went down I wrote you a long rigmaroling letter–insisting upon the necessity of 250 copies and no more being printed. In your name & Waller’s I had written to John Hunt giving him precisely the same information–to which he returned an answer, wh was no answer, thro’ Procter. The letter containing all this and other matter I signed and sealed, but did not deliver, for I now discover that it is in my desk safely locked up & sleeping as soundly, as it’s elder brother by the same pen does on Rivington’s shelves. I will send it to you in envelope the first time I see a member of palavarment. What monstrous stuff that deformed Transformed is–“Rome the seven-hilly” &c

Do you think of coming to town? On the 6th of May I shall be wanting at Oxford for an examination for which I am absolutely unfit & the intervening time must be occupied in the very hardest reading. The loss of a day under such circumstances wd be a serious one but if I thought I could retrieve it at Southampton I shd be tempted to go there. If you saw a small cheap lodging in your neighbourhood, the nearer the better, and wrote by return of post I do not know what I might say. The truth is, that being a little shy & and not a little proud perhaps, I have held back & never made the first step towards discovering my residence or existence to any of my family friends- in consequence I have lived in a deserted state which I could hardly bear much longer without sinking into that despondency on the brink of which I have sate so long. Your cheerful presence at times (could we not mess togethe occasionally) wd set me up a good deal: but perhaps you had better not draw my heavy company on your head. I shall be obliged to read about 12 hours a day without intermission. I would not take the trouble of going down unless I was sure of seeing you a good deal; and that may be impossible.

You have caused me to write this: it means little, and you had better get out of the scrape as soon as you can–one pleasant circumstance happened to me at Bristol. I met an intelligent man who had lived at Hampstead, seen Keats, and was well read in his & the poems of Shelley. On my mentioning the former by accident to him, he complimented me on my similarity of countenance; he did not think much of K’s genius & therefore did not say it insincerely or sycophantically: the same was said by Procter and Taylor before.

The Postman wait[s]

Goodnight

T.L.B.

[Gosse, 1894]