1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hamilton Reynolds

John Keats to George and Georgiana Keats, 20 September 1819; Works, ed. H. Buxton Forman (1901) 5:117.



I must tell you a good thing Reynolds did. 'Twas the best thing he ever said. You know at taking leave of a party at a doorway, sometimes a man dallies and foolishes and gets awkward, and does not know how to make off to advantage. Good-bye, well, — good bye — and yet he does not go; good-bye, and so on, — well, god bless you — you know what I mean. Now Reynolds was in this predicament, and got out of it in a very witty way. He was leaving us at Hampstead. He delayed, and we were joking at him, and even said "be off," at which he put the tails of his coat between his legs and sneaked off as nigh like a Spaniel as could be. He went with flying colours. This is very clever. I must, being on the subject, tell you another good thing of him. He began, for the service it might be of to him in the law, to learn French; he had lessons at the cheap rate of 2 and 6 per fag, and observed to Brown, "Gad," says he, "the man sells his lessons so cheap he must have stolen 'em."