March 9. 98.
Nay Grosvenor – you could not suppose my silence proceeded from
any childish pique. I had much to do & nothing to say. I have no new
incident to recount, no new feeling & as for observations – those alone that
I am anxious to make can little interest you. Would it please you to hear that I
have seen a few gnats buzzing in the lanes at [MS illegible] that the beech
trees keep their leaves – that the yew tree looks beautifull in the wood? &
yet these are the remarks I have made – . my intercourse with men teaches me
nothing worth learning – an evening walk gives me some new images for poetry. In
the country I have no feeling but what delights me – fills me, – makes me
better. I should be very religious Grosvenor had I a home in the country, where
I could always see the sun set, when I could lie down & watch the running
water, or sun myself on a primerose bank. I cannot tell you how I feel when
every object around reminds me of something so powerful – so beneficent as
creative intelligence. In town where are these feelings gone! I am another
being. my soul seems annihilated. I have no enjoyment of life there – it is
existence – like a Jew brokers existence; & not quite so quiet as a toads in
a block of marble. Meliora novi proboque deteriora sequor 
– which is – I must live in London & learn – what is not worth learning.
So I must up & eat law in May. well. but I shall not remain
with you till the next law meal. I purpose going to Yarmouth to see George Burnett – such a shake by
the hand as I shall have is worth going a hundred miles for. God bless him.
there are few persons whom I love so entirely.
Oh. Musæus.  Keep one
till it can go to Lisbon. the other send to John May. No 4. Bedford Square. a man, by the by,
whom you would have known, but that you were so seldom with me – that you had gave yourself no opportunity. remember this
is not meant as a reproof. Can you come down here? read the ninth <tenth> line from the bottom of this
page Grosvenor. you may pass a happy week here – & is not he a fool who
loses a week of happiness by his own fault?
God bless you.
Endorsement: 9 March 1798
MS: Bodleian Library, MS
Eng. Lett. c. 23
 A paraphrase of Ovid (43 BC–AD 17),
Metamorphoses, Book 7, lines 20–21. The Latin translates
as ‘I know the better course and commend it, but I pursue the worse’. BACK
Charles Bedford’s translation of Musaeus (fl. c. early 6th century),
The Loves of Hero and Leander (1797). BACK