“She’s sweet fifteen,
I’m one year more.
Mrs. Bland sang it in boy’s clothes the first time I heard it. I sometimes think the lower notes in my voice are like Mrs. Bland’s. That glorious singer, Braham, one of my lights, is fled. He was for a season. He was a rare composition of the Jew, the gentleman, and the angel, yet all these elements mixed up so kindly in him that you could not tell which predominated; but he is gone, and one Phillips is engaged instead. Kate is vanished, but Miss Burrell is always to be met with!
“Queens drop away, while blue-legged
And courtly Mildred dies, while country Madge survives.”
That is not my poetry, but Quarles’s; but haven’t you observed that the rarest things are the least obvious? Don’t show anybody the names in this letter. I write confidentially, and wish this letter to be considered as private, Hazlitt has written a grammar for Godwin; Godwin sells it bound up with a treatise of his own on language; but the gray mare is the better horse. I don’t allude to Mrs. Godwin, but to the word grammar, which comes near to gray mare, if you observe, in sound. That figure is called paranomasia in Greek, I am sometimes happy in it. An old woman begged of me for charity. “Ah, sir,” said she, “I have seen better days!” “So have I, good woman,” I replied; but I meant literally, days not so rainy and overcast as that on which begged,—she meant more prosperous days.
TO MISS WORDSWORTH.