200 years ago Keats was ‘witty and full of Rhyme’

On Sunday 4 January 1818, Charles Wells and Joseph Severn dined with Keats.
“We had a very pleasant day. I pitched upon another bottle of claret — Port — we enjoyed ourselves very much were all very witty and full of Rhyme — we played a Concert from 4 o’clock till 10.”

Charles Wells was a school-friend of Keats’s brother Tom (who would later torment Tom by sending fake love-lettersĀ  purporting to be from ‘Amena’).
Joseph Severn would be Keats’s final companion in Rome in 1821.
The ‘Concert’ was one in which each of the inebriated guests imitated an instrument of the orchestra. Keats usually took the bassoon part. It was almost certainly more fun for those taking part than for anyone who had to hear it.

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