On Monday 28 February Keats wrote to John Hamilton Reynolds:
My dear Reynolds — I have been improving since you saw me: my nights are better which I think is a very encouraging thing. You mention your cold in rather too slighting a manner — if you travel outside have some flannel against the wind — which I hope will not keep on at this rate when you are in the Packet boat [to France]. Should it rain do not stop upon deck though the Passengers should vomit themselves inside out. Keep under Hatches from all sort of wet.
I am pretty well provided with Books at present, when you return I may give you a commission or two. Mr. B. C. [Bryan Waller Procter, who wrote under the alias Barry Cornwall] has sent me not only his Sicilian Story but yesterday his Dramatic Scenes — this is very polite, and I shall do what I can to make him sensible I think so. I confess they teaze me — they are composed of amiability, the Seasons, the Leaves, the Moons, etc., upon which he rings (according to Hunt’s expression), triple bob majors. However that is nothing — I think he likes poetry for its own sake, not his.
I hope I shall soon be well enough to proceed with my faeries [his unfinished poem ‘The Cap and bells, Or, The Jealousies’] and set you about the notes on Sundays and Stray-days. If I had been well enough I should have liked to cross the water with you. Brown wishes you a pleasant voyage — Have fish for dinner at the sea ports, and don’t forget a bottle of Claret. You will not meet with so much to hate at Brussels as at Paris. Remember me to all my friends. If I were well enough I would paraphrase an ode of Horace’s for you, on your embarking in the seventy years ago style. The Packet will bear a comparison with a Roman galley at any rate.
Ever yours affectionately