Friday, October 3, 2008

anticipated cognition

Leigh Hunt to Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Genoa, 21st June, 1822.

My Dearest Friend,
I got your letter late to-day, and must write you one on my own part as headlong as my wishes to be with you. How sorry we are to hear of Marina's being so ill; but if the sight of old friends can do her as much good as we believe it will do us, she will be much better shortly. We shall look out for your house; but fear that there is no chance of the captain's being able to put in, if he would. Are we not soon, however, to see you all somehow or other? If not,---but it must be so. A main part of the comfort we promise ourselves in Italy is the bringing some additional pleasure to your society; nor shall we the less succeed, I trust, because we all have need of it. Marianne's sympathy is very truly with Marina; not only because she very truly loves her, but because she is still very ill herself---much more so than you imagine; and as to myself, I have become, since you saw me, an elderly gentleman, with sunken cheeks, and temples that throb at the least touch of emotion, joy especially. But I find I can still give some pleasure to those about me---I have not lost the lucky talent of receiving more. Upon your principle of "anticipated cognition," I have a right to consider Mr. and Mrs. Williams as old friends of ours as well as yours, and hereby give them notice that I have known them for ten years to come. I shook Mr. Williams by the hand but two hours ago, gave Mrs. Williams as hearty a salute, which nobody wondered at, even though I had known her so long. You see I am already drunk with the climate. Why are we not with you even now ? . . . . Your ever affectionate
Leigh Hunt

-from The Correspondence of Leigh Hunt / edited by his eldest son (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1862) volume 1, pp. 182-83.

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