from VOL. II. of the 1840 edition of ESSAYS, LETTERS FROM ABROAD, TRANSLATIONS AND FRAGMENTS, BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, edited by Mary Shelley
MR. AND MRS. GISBORNE.
Rome, April 6th, 1819.
MY DEAR FRIENDS,
The object of this letter is to ask you to spend this period with us. There is no society which we have regretted or desired so much as yours, and in our solitude the benefit of your concession would be greater than I can express. What is a sail to Naples? It is the season of tranquil weather and prosperous winds. If I knew the magic that lay in any given form of words, I would employ them to persuade; but I fear that all I can say is, as yon know with truth, we desire that you would come—we wish to see you. You came to see Mary at Lucca, directly I had departed to Venice. It is not our custom, when we can help it, any more than it is yours, to divide our pleasures.
What shall I say to entice you? We shall have a piano, and some books, and little else, beside ourselves. But what will be most inviting to you, you will give much, though you may receive but little, pleasure.
But whilst I write this with more desire than hope, yet some of that, perhaps the project may fall into your designs. It is intolerable to think of your being buried at Livorno. The success assured by Mr. Reveley's talents, requires another scene. You may have decided to take this summer to consider—and why not with us at Naples, rather than at Livorno?
I could address, with respect to Naples, the words of Polypheme in Theocritus, to all the friends I wish to see, and you especially:
Most sincerely yours,
*Come, 0 Galatea; and having come, forget, us do I, now sitting here, to return home. [M.W.S.]