200 years ago Keats had money worries … for himself and for a friend

On Tuesday 13 April 1819, Keats had a scolding letter from Benjamin Robert Haydon (who had been hoping since the previous December to benefit from Keats’s share of  Tom’s inheritance): “Why did you hold out such delusive hopes every letter on such slight foundations?—You have led me on step by step… if you could not have commanded it you should have told me so at once.”

Keats’s reply:
“My dear Haydon
“When I offered you assistance I thought I had it in my hand… The difficulties I met with arose from the alertness and suspicion of Abbey: and especially from the affairs still being in a Lawyer’s hand—who has been draining our Property for the last six years of every charge he could make. I cannot do two things at once, and thus this affair has stopped my pursuits in every way… I find myself possessed of much less than I thought for and now if I had all on the table all I could do would be to take from it a moderate two years subsistence and lend you the rest… It has not been my fault. I am doubly hurt at the slightly reproachful tone of your note and at the occasion of it.”

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