Letter 9

To THOMAS FORBES KELSALL

6 D[evereux] Court
Monday
[Postmark Oct: 4, 1824]

DEAR KELSALL,–A letter according to your desire, which I foresee will be full of emptiness–in the first place to say that I must stay in town till the beginning of next month and how much longer depends upon the operations of the Court of Chancery and its’ Lord–if any letter should stray into your Lodgings, be so good as to forward it hither; as for the other chattels, unless they grow too large for your harbouring, you will, I dare say, let them remain till I can come for them.

I have seen Procter once, he was then at the Prince of Wales’s, but he has now left that and Francis St.; for what bower, cave, or Attic I am ignorant. I gave him your command to visit or write; therefore I may conclude that he has not done either–Nothing of any interest in town except a couple of live crocodiles in St. Martin’s Lane, and an excessive clever new comic actress, who has twice appeared at the Haymarket. Meantime, o base Southampton, what have you done to Miss Tree? Should not your theatre in Mercy be burnt, and Shalders & his gang be hung, like a necklace of rats, upon one string–? You see that poor Maturin is ill; not dangerously I hope, for we can hardly spare so much talent in our present poverty. By Blackwood’s advertisement I observe a letter to Procter, an insult of course. The London condescends to a vast deal of scandal and idle chat about the “noble bard.” What say you to these lines?

A comely knight, all armed
Thro’ whose bright ventail lifted up on high
          His manly face
Looked forth, as Phoebus, face out of the East
Betwixt two shady mountains doth arise–

Whose can they be?

I have not done much in German, just tasted the nouns but not touched the verbs–in fact it is a feast at which I strictly obey the innkeepers law–eat what you can, but pocket none–  How do you like O’Connor? You’ll not be surprised to hear that I have begun and nearly finished another, a new Ist Act–and am quite tired of it. P[rocter] hopes that he’ll be able to finish an alteration of Lee’s Duke of Guise for C Kemble this season–they talk of a new comedy by Croly–further knoweth not

Yours sincerely

T.L.B.

read the 12th Canto Book II of the Faerie Queen. Canto 6 Book III. and a noble stanza LIV.Canto XI. Book I. “So down he fell” &c which ought to be added to Coleridge’s note on Deborah’s Song–

Addressed to
“T.F. KELSALL Esqre
3 Houndwell Lane
Southampton.”

[Gosse, 1894]