Working with Professor Eric for a few days, I am very struck by an essay of Clare's on 'Nothing'.  Too long to be laboriously typed here (via my iPad), I thought an excerpt would very much interest readers of this weblog.

"... the poor man would feel the greatest happiness upon earth if he had only experience to prove that he alone is in the possesion of liberty   & consequently of happiness     for the only way to endanger liberty is to become fortunate   & the surest way to loose it   the possesion of power

          thus   nothing   becomes valuable & he who considers & feels thus may be said to posses the philosophers stone & make a fortune of nothing -- A philosopher consoled him self for the loss of his money in the following reflection

          In loosing my money I have nothing to care for     When I was rich I was afraid of every poor man    but now I am poor   every rich man is afraid of me

Pet MS A43 p13-15


Douglas Thornton said...

If I may, I believe a good companion piece to this extract would be Clare's Approaching Night, as it is printed in the Tibble two volume set. Interesting post, thank you.

Arborfield said...

For those who don't know the poem, here are four lines. Thank you for the reminder Douglas.

11: Oh, how I long to be agen
12: That poor and independent man,
13: With labour's lot from morn to night
14: And books to read at candle-light;