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as Lord Houghton suggests, that the general notion was suggested by Brown, who had translated the first five cantos (not indeed of Ariosto, but) of the “Orlando Innamorato" of Bojardo. “ The Cap and Bells" appears to be destitute of distinct plan, though some sort of satirical allusion to the marital and extra-marital exploits of George IV. is traceable in it; meagre and purposeless in invention; a poor farrago of pumped-up and straggling jocosity. Perhaps a hearty laugh has never been got out of it; although there are points here and there at which a faint snigger may be permissible, and the concluding portion improves somewhat. Keats seems to have intended to publish it under a pseudonym, Lucy Vaughan Lloyd ; and Hunt gave, in The Indicator of August 23, 1820, some taste of its quality, possibly meaning to print more of it anon.
The last verses which Keats ever wrote formed the sonnet here ensuing. He composed this late in September 1820, after landing on the Dorsetshire coast, probably near Lulworth, and returning to the ship which bore him to his doom in Italy; and he wrote it down on a blank page in Shakespeare's Poems, facing “A Lover's Complaint."
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art ;
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
Like Nature's patient sleepless eremite,
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors :
No, yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest;
Of poetic projects which remained unfulfilled when Keats died we hear-leaving out of count the works which he had begun and left uncompleted-of only one. During his voyage to Naples he often spoke of wishing to write the story of Sabrina, as indicated in Milton's “Comus,” connecting it with some points in English history and character.
In prose—apart from his letters, which are noticeably various in mood, matter, and manner, and contain many admirable things-Keats wrote extremely little. In a weekly paper with which Reynolds was connected, The Champion, December 1817, he published two articles
“Kean as a Shakespearean Actor :” they are not remarkable. With the above-named articles are now associated some “Notes on Shakespeare," not written with a view to publication; these appear to me somewhat strained and bloated. There are also some “ Notes on Milton's Paradise Lost.'” On September 22, 1819, Keats addressed to Mr. Dilke a letter, which however does not appear to have been actually sent off, As it shows a definite intention of writing in prose for regular publication and for an income, a few sentences are worth quoting.
“ It concerns a resolution I have taken to endeavour
to acquire something by temporary writing in periodical works. You must agree with me how unwise it is to keep feeding upon hopes which, depending so much on the state of temper and imagination, appear gloomy or bright, near or afar off, just as it happens. . . . You may say I want tact; that is easily acquired. I should, a year or two ago, have spoken my mind on every subject with the utmost simplicity. I hope I have learned a little better, and am confident I shall be able to cheat as well as any literary Jew of the market, and shine up an article on anything without much knowledge of the subject-aye, like an orange. I would willingly have recourse to other means. I cannot; I am fit for nothing but literature. Notwithstanding my aristocratic' temper, I cannot help being very much pleased with the present public proceedings. I hope sincerely I shall be able to put a mite of help to the liberal side of the question before I die.”
On the following day Keats wrote to Brown on the same subject
"I will write on the liberal side of the question for whoever will pay me. I have not known yet what it is to be diligent. I purpose living in town in a cheap lodging, and endeavouring, for a beginning, to get the theatricals of some paper.
I shall apply to Hazlitt, who knows the market as well as any one, for something to bring me in a few pounds as soon as possible. I shall not suffer my pride to hinder me. The whisper may go round-I
shall not hear it. If I can get an article in The Edinburgh, I will. One must not be delicate."
In pursuance of this plan, Keats did, for a few days in October, take a lodging in Westminster. He then reverted to Hampstead, and finally the scheme came to nothing, principally perhaps because his fatal illness began, and everything had to be given up which was not directly controlled by considerations of health.
AVING now gone through the narrative of Keats's
life and death, and also the narrative of his literary work, we have before us the more delicate and exacting task of forming some judgment of both,-to estimate his character, and appraise his writings. But first I pause a brief while for the purpose of relating a little that took place after his decease, and mentioning a few particulars regarding his surviving relatives and friends.
Keats was buried in the Protestant Cemetery at Rome amid the overgrown ruins of the Honorian walls, surmounted by the pyramid-tomb of Caius Cestius, a Tribune of the People whose monument has long survived his fame : this used to be traditionally called the Tomb of Remus. There were but few graves on the spot when Keats was laid there. In recent years the portion of the cemetery where he reposes has been cut off by a fortification. A little altar-tomb was set up for him, sculptured with a Greek lyre, and inscribed with his name and his own epitaph, “Here lies one whose name was writ in water.” Severn attended affectionately to all this, and the whole was completed about two years after the