Edward Lear, letter to Emily Tennyson, 28 & 29 October 1855 

 

'[…] I have thought of Farringford at all times & seasons ever since I left. In the morning I see everything — even to the plate of mushrooms: then Hallam & Lionel come in, — & when they are gone, you, Alfred & Frank begin to talk like Gods together careless of mankind: — & so on, all through the day. According to the morbid nature of the animal, — I even complain sometimes that such rare flashes of light as such visits are to me, make the path darker after they are over: — a bright blue & green landscape with purple hills, & winding rivers, & unexplored forests, and airy downs, & trees & birds, & all sorts of calm repose, — exchanged for a dull dark plain horizonless, pathless, & covered with cloud above, while beneath are brambles & weariness.

         I really do believe that I enjoy hardly any one thing on earth while it is present: — always looking back, or frettingly peering into the dim beyond. — With all this, I may say to you & Alfred, that the 3 or 4 days of the 16th-20th October/55, — were the best I have passed for many a long day. — If I live to grow old, & can hope to exist in England, I should like to be somewhere near you in one’s later days. — I wish sometimes you could settle near Park House. Then I might have a room in Boxley, & moon cripply cripply about those hills, & sometimes see by turns Hallam & Lionel’s children, & Frank’s grandchildren, & so slide pleasantly out of life. Alfred, by that time would have written endlessly, & there would be 6 or 8 thick green volumes of poems. I — possibly, — should be in the workhouse, but I know you would all come & see me.

                  Now: — I won’t write any more nonsense, but be all statistic & beautiful common sense […].’