At the Desk

  • Felix Moscheles


Shortly after his death I painted a water-colour of his study in De Vere Gardens.1 Everything had remained intact. ‘All here — only our poet’s away’, as he says in ‘Asolando’.2 The empty chair by the writing-table which bears his initials, the desk which he looked upon as a relic. His father had used it when a lad, and had taken it with him on his voyage to the West Indies.3 The poet possessed it from his earliest boyhood, and used it all his life; everything he wrote in England, so his sister told me, was written on that desk. The little dumb keyboard; it had five notes over which he would mechanically run his fingers. He had a way too of beating a tattoo on his knee, or he would just for a few seconds mark time, moving his arm backwards and forwards. Sometimes he would squeeze up his eyes and look out of the window, or he would take up some little object and scrutinise it closely, whilst his thoughts were busy elsewhere.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Felix Moscheles

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