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at. Reputation is in itself only a farthing-candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.
Keats longed for fame, but longed above all to deserve it. To his friend Taylor he writes, There is but one way for me. The road lies through study, application, and thought.
Thrilling with the electric touch of sacred leaves, he saw in vision, like Dante, that small procession of the elder poets to which only elect centuri which he was struggling looked only the blacker that they were shone upon by the signal-torch that promised safety and love and rest.
It is good to know that one of Keats's last pleasures was in hearing Severn read aloud from a volume of Jeremy Taylor.
On first coming to Rome, he had bought a copy of Alfieri, but, finding on the second page these lines,
sollievo a me non resta Altro che il pianto, ed il pianto è delitto, he laid down the book and opened it no more.