On 12 March 1819, gave this description of himself in a letter to his brother:
The candles are burnt down and I am using the wax taper—which has a long snuff on it—the fire is at its last click—I am sitting with my back to it with one foot rather askew upon the rug and the other with the heel a little elevated from the carpet—I am writing this on the Maid’s tragedy, which I have read since tea with Great pleasure.
Besides this volume of Beaumont and Fletcher—there are on the table two volumes of Chaucer and a new work of Tom Moore’s called “Tom Cribb’s Memorial to Congress”—nothing in it.
These are trifles but I require nothing so much of you but that you will give me a like description of yourselves, however it may be when you are writing to me. Could I see the same thing done of any great Man long since dead it would be a great delight: As to know in what position Shakspeare sat when he began “To be or not to be”—such things become interesting from distance of time or place. I hope you are both now in that sweet sleep which no two beings deserve more than you do—I must fancy you so—and please myself in the fancy of speaking a prayer and a blessing over you and your lives—God bless you—I whisper good night in your ears, and you will dream of me.