|dc.description.transcription||My dear Friend
It is a flat’ning Thought, that the more we have seen, the less we have to say. In Youth and early Manhood the Mind and Nature are, as it were, two rival Artists, both potent Magicians, and engaged, like the King’s Daughter and the rebel Genie in the Arabian Nights Enternts. [sic], in sharp conflict of Conjuration—each having for it’s object to turn the other into Canvas to paint on, Clay to mould, or Cabinet to contain. For a while the Mind seems to have the better in the contest, and makes of Nature what it likes; takes her Lichens and Weatherstains for Types & Printer’s Ink and prints Maps & Fac Similies of Arabic and Sanscrit Mss. On her rocks; composes Country-Dances on her moon-shiny Ripples, Fandangos on her Waves and Waltzes on her Eddy-pools; transforms her Summer Gales into Harps and Harpers, Lovers’ Sighs and Sighing Lovers, and her Winter Blasts into Pindaric Odes, Christabels & Ancient Mariners set to music by Beethoven, and in the insolence of triumph conjures her Clouds into Whales and Walrusses with Palanquins on their Backs, and chases the dodging Stars in a Sky-hunt!—But alas! alas! that Nature is a wary wily long-breathed old Witch, tough-lived as a Turtle and divisible as the Polyp, repullulative in a thousand Snips and Cuttings, integra et in toto!—She is sure to get the better of Lady Mind in the long ago [deleted] run, and to take her revenge too / transforms our To Day into a Canvass dead-colored to receive the dull featureless Portrait of Yesterday; not alone turns the mimic Mind, the ci-devant Sculptress with all her kaleidoscopic freaks and symmetries! into clay, but leaves it such! a Clay to cast [word deleted] dumps or bullets in; and lastly (to end with that which suggested the beginning--) she mocks us [deleted] the Mind with it’s own Metaphors, metamorphosing the Memory into a lignum vitae Escritoire to keep unpaid Bills & Dun’s Letters in, with outlines that had never been filled up, MSS that never went further than the Title-pages, and Proof-Sheets & Foul Copies of Watchmen, Friends, Aids to Reflection & other Stationary Wares that have kissed [word deleted] the Publisher’s Shelf with gluey Lips with all the tender intimacy of inosculation!—Finis! . . .
God bless you, my dear Friend!—You will soon hear again from
9 Octr [sic] 1825
8 Plains of Waterloo