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poet's death. In 1875 General Sir Vincent Eyre and some other Englishmen and Americans repaired the stone, and placed on an adjacent wall a medallion portrait of Keats, presented by its sculptor, Mr. Warrington Wood. Severn, who died in August 1879, having been British Consul in Rome for many years, now lies in close proximity to his friend. Shelley's remains are interred hard by, but in the new cemetery,—not the old one, which received the bones of Keats. As early as 1836 Severn was able to attest that his connection with the poet had been of benefit to his own professional career. The friend and death-bed companion of Keats had by that time become a personage, apart from the merit, be it greater or less, of his performances as a painter.
Severn's letters addressed to Armitage Brown show that it was expected that Brown should write a Life of Keats. The non-appearance of any such work was made a matter of remonstrance in 1834; and at one time George Keats, though conscious of not being quite the right man for the purpose, thought of supplying the deficiency. Severn also had had a similar idea. Brown was in Italy in 1832, and there he met Mr. Richard Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton. He returned to England some three years later, and was about to produce the desired Life when a new project entered his mind, and he emigrated to New Zealand. He then handed over to Mr. Milnes all his collections of Keats's writings, and the biographical notices which he had compiled, and these furnished a substantive basis for Mr. Milnes's work published in 1848-a work written with abundant sympathy, invaluable at its own date and ever since to all lovers of the poet's writings. Brown died towards 1842.
George Keats voluntarily paid all the debts left by his brother. These have not been precisely detailed: but it appears that Messrs. Taylor and Hessey had made an advance of £150, and there must have been something inot inconsiderable due to Brown, and probably also to Dilke, who assured George that John Keats had known nothing of direct want of either money or friends. George, who has been described as “the most manly and selfpossessed of men," settled at Louisville, Kentucky, where he became a prominent citizen, and left a family creditably established. He died in 1841, and his widow remarried with a Mr. Jeffrey. In one of his letters addressed to his sister, April 1824, there is a pleasant little critique of “ Don Quixote.” It gives one so prepossessing an idea of its writer that I am tempted to extract it :
“Your face is decidedly not Spanish, but English all over. If I fancied you to resemble Don Quixote, I should fancy a handsome, intelligent, melancholy countenance, with something wild but benevolent about the eyes, a lofty forehead but not very broad, with finelyarched eyebrows, denoting candour and generosity. He is an immense favourite of mine ; and I cannot help feeling angry with the great Cervantes for bringing him into situations where he is the laughing-stock of minds so inferior to his own. It is evident he was a great favourite of the author, and it is evident he was united with the chivalric spirits he so wittily ridicules. He is
made to speak as much sound sense, elevated morality, and true piety, as any divine who ever wrote.
If I were to meet such a man, I should almost hate myself for laughing at his eccentricities.”
The opening reference here to a Spanish face must srelate to the fact that Miss Fanny Keats, who in girlhood had been the recipient of many affectionate and attentive letters from her brother John, was engaged to, and eventually married, a Spanish gentleman, Senhor Llanos, author of “Don Esteban," "Sandoval the Freemason," and other books illustrating the modern history of his country. He was a Liberal, and in the time of the Spanish Republic represented his Government at the Court of Rome. Mrs. Llanos is still living at a very advanced age. A few years ago a pension on the Civil List was conferred upon her, in national recognition of what is due to the sister of John Keats. There is a pathetic reference to her appearance at the close of the very last letter which he wrote : “My sister, who walks about my iinagination like a ghost, she is so like Tom.”
Miss Brawne married a Mr. Lindon some years after the death of Keats. I do not know how many years, but it must have been later than June 1825. She died
The sincerity or otherwise of Leigh Hunt as a personal, and more especially a literary, friend of Keats, has been a good deal canvassed of late. It has been said that he showed little staunchness in championing the cause of Keats at the time—towards the close of 1818—when detraction was most rampant, and when support from a
man occupying the position of editor of The Examiner would have been most serviceable. But one must not: hurry to assume that Hunt was seriously in the wrong, whether we regard the question as one of individual friendship or of literary policy. The attacks upon Keats. were in great measure flank-attacks upon Hunt himself.. Keats was abused on the ground that he wrote bad poetry through imitating Hunt's bad poetry—that he outHeroded Herod, or out-Hunted Hunt. Obviously it was a delicate task which would have lain before the elder poet : for any direct defence of Keats must have been conducted on the thesis either that the faults were not there (when indeed they were there to a large extent); or else that the faults were in fact beauties, an allegation which would only have riveted the charge that they were: Leigh-Huntish mannerisms; or finally that they were not due to Hunt's influence or example, but were proper to Keats in person, and this would have been more in the nature of censure than of vindication. A defence on general grounds, upholding the poems without any discussion of the particular faults alleged, would also, as. coming from Hunt, have been a difficult thing to manage:: it would rather have inflamed than abated the rancour of the enemy. Besides, we must remember that Keats's. first volume, though very warmly accepted and praised by Hunt, was really but beginner's work, imperfect in the last degree; while the second volume, “ Endymion," was. viewed by Hunt as a hazardous and immature attempt notwithstanding its many beauties, and incapable of being upheld beyond a certain limit. There was not at that date any third volume to be put forward in proof of faculty, or in arrest of judgment. Mr. Forman, than whom no man looks with more patience into the evidence on a question such as this of Hunt's friendship, or is more likely to pronounce a sound judgment upon it, wholly scouts the accusation; and I am quite content to range myself on the same side as Mr. Forman.
Of Keats's friends in general it may be said that the one whom he respected very highly in point of character was Bailey : the one who had a degree of genius fully worthy, whatever its limitations and defects, of communing with his own, was Haydon. Shelley can hardly be reckoned among his friends, though very willing and even earnest to be such, both in life and after death. Keats held visibly aloof from Shelley, more perhaps on the ground of his being a man of some family and position than from any other motive. Shortly after the publication of “The Revolt of Islam," Keats's rather naïve expression was, “ Poor Shelley, I think he has his quota of good qualities.” Neither did he show any warm or frank admiration of Shelley's poetry. On receiving a copy of “The Cenci,” he urged its author to “curb his magnanimity, and be more of an artist, and load every rift of his subject with ore.” We should not ascribe this to any mean-spirited jealousy, but to that sense, which grew to a great degree of intensity in Keats, that the art of composition and execution is of paramount importance in poetry, and must supersede al! considerations of abstract or proselytizing intention,