Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oxford Idleness

Thomas Lovell Beddoes to Thomas Forbes Kelsall
Wednesday[Postmark 8 Ju: 1825]

Yet once more O thou Kelsall yet once more I bestow on you a chance of investigating Alfred's university. On Wednesday next is the commemoration, a high and solemn act of academic mummery at wh Chantrey is to receive a degree of LLD--I therefore recommend you to take a place on the roof of the Southton on Monday morng you will get here by dinner time--Tuesday will be consumed in seeing leonine wonders, Wednesday you shall go to the theatre, & (if so inclined) hear the spouting of prize verses &c--& in the eveg a concert--on Thursday then you may rush back to your sheepskins in the Lane--Besides here is another attraction wh I had well nigh forgotten, the new No. of the Oxford Quarterly is to be produced on the occasion, in wh there will be a translation of a very curious high German piece of Schiller's called the "Philosophische Briefe"--executed by your obedient servant--

Oxford is the most indolent place on earth--I have fairly done nothing in the world but read a play or two of Schiller, Aeschylus, & Euripides--you I suppose read German now as fast as English--There is a cheap copy of Schiller's Drama to be had in Tottenham Court Road--about 1£. wh I shall be happy to get on commission as I go to town next week.

I do not intend to finish that 2nd Brother you saw but am thinking of a very Gothic-styled tragedy for wh I have a jewel of a name--
DEATH'S JESTBOOK--of course no one will ever read it--Mr. Milman (our poetry professor) has made me quite unfashionable here by denouncing me, as one of a "villainous school." I wish him another son--

Oxford idleness, the heat of the day, & the clock wh is just striking the hour for my lecture on Comparative anatomy break me off--Let me see you on Monday or Tuesday--the former day I recommend as it will give you an opportunity of seeing the last boat race this season.
Yours ever

Addressed to
3 Houndwell Lane

-from Letters of Thomas Lovell Beddoes edited by Edmund Gosse (London: Elkin, Matthews & John Lane, 1894)

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