September 20 1815: September is Almost Passed

On September 22 1815, Percy Shelley writes to Thomas Jefferson Hogg.

My Dear Friend, Your letter has lain by me for the last week, reproaching me every day. I found it on my return from a water excursion on the Thames, the particulars of which will have been recounted in another letter. The exercise and dissipation of mind attached to such an expedition have produced so favourable an effect on my health, that my habitual dejection and irritability have almost deserted me, and I can devote six hours in the day to study without difficulty. I have been engaged lately in the commencement of several literary plans, which, if my present temper of mind endures, I shall probably complete in the winter. I have consequently deserted Cicero, or proceed but slowly with his philosophic dialogues. I have read the oration for the poet Archias, and am only disappointed with its brevity. I have been induced by one of the subjects which I am now pursuing to consult Bayle. I think he betrays an obliquity of understanding and coarseness of feeling. I have also read the four first books of Lucan’s “Pharsalia,” a poem as it appears to me of wonderful genius and transcending Virgil. Mary has finished the 5th book of the Aeneid, and her progress in Latin is such as to satisfy my best expectations. The east wind—the wind of autumn—is abroad, and even now the leaves of the forest are shattered at every gust. When may we expect you? September is almost passed and October the month of your promised return is at hand, when we shall be happy to welcome you again to our fireside. No events, as you know, disturb our tranquility. Adieu. Ever affectionately yours,
Percy B. Shelley.

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