|To John Hamilton Reynolds
Shanklind, July 11th, 1819
Shanklin nr. Ryde Isle of Wight. Sunday 12 July 1819.
My dear Reynolds,
* * * * * *
You will be glad to hear under my own hand (tho' Rice says we are like Sauntering Jack and Idle Joe) how diligent I have been, and am being. I have finish'd the Act, and in the interval of beginning the 2d have proceeded pretty well with Lamia, finishing the 1st part which consists of about 400 lines. I have grat hopes of success, because I make use of my Judgment more deliberately than I yet have done; but in case of failure with the world, I shall find my content. And here (as I know you have my good at heart as much as a Brother), I can only repeat to you what I have said to George - that however I should like to enjoy what the competences of life procure, I am in no wise dashed at a different prospect. I have spent too many thoughtful days & moralized thro' too many nights for that, and fruitless would they be indeed, if they did not by degrees make me look upon the affairs of the world with a healthy deliberation. I have of late been moulting: not for fresh feathers and wings: they are gone, and in their stead I hope to have a pair of patient sublunary legs. I have altered, not from a Chrysalis into a butterfly, but the Contrary, having two little loopholes, whence I may look out into the stage of the world: and that world on our coming here I almost forgot. The first time I sat down to write, I should scarcely believe in the necessity of so doing. It struck me as a great oddity. Yet the very corn which is now so beautiful , as if it had only took to ripening yesterday, is for the market: so, why should I be delicate -