[61] mind in which you are not included. April will not be far advanced I trust before we shall meet – before I shall express how sincerely I amy your – affectionate – WB
The winds have dealt furiously with me at Fonthill and let in Light to my sacred Groves. One of the noblest Trees on the Hill of Pan is laid low – alas in what have I offended the Sylvan Deities? –

The heavy air of the Netherlands weighs me down and I find it is in vain to struggle against the pressure. – I deferred writing to you from Day to Day in hopes of recovering my spirits and being able to write something for the amusement of your solitude; but as I find my stupidity encrease rather than diminish I resolved to send you a line or two immediately least my dullness should grow so great as to be infectious. O Genius of ancient Greece what a horror is this Hague what lazy Canals what muddy souled inhabitants! – Yesterday I had the misfortune of dining with half a dozen Butterburgs at [62] Sir J– Yorkes – There was a total stagnation of wit and genius – but the currency of Roast Beef –Ham and collops of every species made ample amends according to Dutch Ideas – Not a word more can I commit to paper at present, my imagination sinks ten degrees in an instant how low it will fall – the Dæmon alone knows – who conducted my steps into this slough of Despond. –
Hague June 29th 1780

I have passed the ivory Gate and have entered the Empire of Dreams. – The airy people are buzzing around one like Moths that haunt the honey suckles of an Evening. – Some of these phantoms are inconceivably beautiful others so horrid and menacing that I shiver at their recollection – and feel at this very moment a cold sweat trickling down my Temples. You cannot conceive how many singular Anecdotes I have learnt of my Brother Dreamers since my arrival in this visionary Land. – The great Tree which if you reccollect shades [63] the entrance of the infernal Regions, swarms at this moment with Cyranos de Bergerac and Bishop Berkley’s Acquaintance and the Bough immediately above my head is so loaded with the Familiars of Arabians that if it breaks down I shall be smothered for ever – Already half a hundred have detached themselves and adhere so closely to me that had I the force of Neptune or Polypheme I could not shake them off – I wish I could contrive a method of dispatching two or three of these rainbow coloured Children to you. – I think they might cheer your confinement and solace your lonely Hours; for amongst this Multitude some are excellent Company and one art they know in perfection – a most agreeable one in general – I mean that of not staying too long at a time – Alas for my own part I have reason to complain of the contrary – I was but a moment ago that I thought myself securely placed at the very extremities of the Ocean, in an Isle of the smoothest greenswerd Louisa at my side – and a voice like Pacchierottis warbling in the Air. – Judge whether I was not keenly disappointed when upon waking [64] I found myself at Margate, ten blubbering Babes under my windows whilst Baron Weazel the Oculist and a whole Legion of fresh imported Harlots were trumpetting in the other Room. – Would to Heaven these Fiddles would get out of their scrape they drive me and my Visions to distraction. – Morpheus moved off at the first Onset and the others are gathering up every poppy he left behind; so that in a few Minutes I shall not have a single Phantom to look at nor one aerial Companion to replace those from whom I am separated perhaps for ever Yes my suspicions are too justly founded, they spread their wings and vanish – All my Consolation is now that the murmurs of the Winds and the Surges so different from the vile artificial notes that grated my Ears t’other Moment may recall them.
I do flatter myself they will flutter around my Couch in the Cabbin whispering the Story of Ceyx and Alcoyne in my ear – or some other pathetic adventure in which they have borne a part – Farewell – the Vessel waits – the streamers float with a favorable wind – Lights glimmer amongst the Ships at a distance – Envy me for I am going to be wrapped in the arms of Darkness and Illusions –
Margate June 20th 1780

[65] Naples Novr 16th 1780

It seems a sad long while since I have seen you – The World grows more and more irksome to me every Day and I am eagerly wishing for a Spirit like yours to comfort and revive my own. – Nothing I think will prevent my daring to be happy in defiance of glory and reputation – Why should I desire the applause of Creatures I despise rather let me enjoy that heart felt satisfaction which springs from innocence and tranquility The peaceful Palace and woody Hills which surround it shall bound my desires – There will we remain – lost in our meads and Copses wandering carelessly about – offering sacrifice to sylvan Deities and fancying ourselves recalled to that primæval period when Force and Empire were unknown. – I am now approaching the age when the World in general expect me to lay aside my dreams abandon my soft illusion and start into public Life – How greatly are they deceived how firmly am I resolved to be a Child for ever! – Next Summer I hope [66] will give you a proof of my constancy when if I return from Rome you will find me stretched under my beeches on the Hill of Pan or swimming wildly amongst the Thickets which cover the Satyr’s range – At Night we will retire to the Cell and consult our Arabians penetrate into remote countries and fancy we discover the high Mountains of Gabel al Comar. It shall be my business to collect prints and drawings which illustrate our favorite ideas and I flatter myself with the hopes of passing many an Evening with you in their contemplation. – Every Month we shall invent some new Ornament for our Apartments and add some exotic rarity to its treasures. – Our pleasures will be continually varying sometimes we shall inhabit our Huts on the borders of the Lake and sometimes our vast range of solemn subterraneous Chambers visible by the glow of Lamps and filled with cabalistic Images. – Another Moment will find us encamped upon the green Desert we were so fond of, drinking our Coffee in open Tents and dreaming ourselves in Yemen – Next day perhaps we shall repair to the stone of power, where to speak the Language of Fingal, [67] “Spirits descend by night in dark red streams of Fire” – In this imaginary style our Days will glide smoothly along and we shall sink into our Tombs contented tho’ inglorious. –

Caserta Novr 30th 1780

I still remain here quiet and happy with Lady Hamilton who is perfectly in our way – we see no body – Sir Wm hunts all day long with the King upon the Mountains whilst we indulge our imaginations at home and play strange dreams upon the piano forte and talk in a melancholy visionary style which would recall your ancient ideas and fill you with pleasing sadness. –

Mr. Cozens
Florence Oct: 15th 1780

Your Letter breathes inspiration and I feel to my infinite Comfort you are not degenerated – Be assured you will find me ever the same romantic Being – fond of the Woods and Mountains – the Friend of Sylvan powers and Votary of Pan. – Italy seems my native Climate it agrees perhaps but too well with the ardour of [68] my imagination; for I am ten times more enthusiastic than ever – I thought I should have gone wild upon first setting my feet in the Gallery and when I beheld such ranks of Statues such treasures of gems and bronzes – I fell into a delightful delirium – which none but Souls like ours experience and unable to check my rapture flew madly from Bust to Bust and Cabinet to Cabinet like a Butterfly bewildered in an Universe of Flowers. – Would to Heaven that you were but here that we might flutter together the whole day in this world of Elegance and when the Sun declines enjoy our favorite hour in the Woods of Boboli – which cover if you recollect the Mountain behind the Palazzo Pitti – I never view these shades without wishing for L.... We would hide ourselves in the depth of the thickets amidst bays and myrtles None but the Birds should be conscious of our retirement – but ah how vain are these desires – whole Kingdoms separate us – I cannot bear the idea I must return – Shall I ever again breath the same atmosphere? – tell me I shall – flatter my illusions – tell me I am beloved. – Do you know I would willingly loze the blood that animates me – to recall [69] those happy moments I have passed in her embraces. – Can you not snatch an instant a little oftner to tell me you are well – adieu. –

Lady Hamilton
London March 26th 1782

My dear Lady Hamilton, this vile country grows so outrageously turbulent that If I stay three Months longer within its precincts I shall give up the Ghost. Not having health or strength enough to be heroical I am determined to breath peaceably next Summer at Naples and I most fervently hope before June is elapsed you will see me arrive – Don’t talk pompously or angrily for the sake of Heaven I really am not able to blaze at present in the political Hemisphere – Twelve months of leisure and tranquility may prepare me for as many years of Torment and Frustration I wish for some snug Casino or other amongst the Cliffs of Posilippo where I may deposit Mr Lettice – Cozen’s first born (a painter I bring with me) – and that [70] eccentric Animal Burton – As for myself you promised me a corner at Portici into which I shall joyfully creep - Tho’ I cough and am half dead at this moment the thoughts of seeing you and Sir Wm once more under the blue Æther of Italy give me Spirits to sing and dance like a wild Thing I shall bring ample stores of Musick and a painter worthy to imitate the Scenery of the Gardens of the Hesperides. – dont you think they still exist some where or other in Calabria – Now thank God I may live in hopes of exploring the romantic spots Sr Wm has described to me and even perhaps of penetrating the woody regions of Mongibello. – You will receive me with greater satisfaction I am certain when I tell you my Mother entirely approves my schemes and thinks I cannot chuse a better moment of absenting myself from England – This poor Land – alas – is devoured by human Locusts and we may expect every other Egyptian plague if Pharoa’s heart continues hardened – Pray tell that odd Being Tierney or what ever his name is that I think to revisit Naples and as soon as you read this lose no time to write that


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