[37] Merely saying to his "beloved friend Fortescue" that he has already written to another friend to propose himself to dine with him, but if he does not do so he will dine with F. He ends up with "O mighty Krites, Richard son of Cyrus wishes me to send you greeting." Lear's Greek is "atrocious," so scholars I have consulted have told me. But with so exact a man, so minute in detail and with such a perfect ear, as Ruskin said, for versification, I cannot help thinking that perhaps a part of what seems to the outsider hopelessly incorrect may have been intentional, and that there was "a method" of his own in his madness. In English he joked and, as it were, executed acrobatic somersaults of imagination to the wildest degree in that language, and it is possible he may have attempted the same thing in Greek, a sample of which may be seen in his translation of "Oly mountain," the wrong turn of the apostrophe, being, I feel sure, made intentionally.

It has been thought best to give the Greek sentences in words as near the original as possible, but this is difficult, as Lear always turned his Greek l's upside down besides giving a double-lined comet-like tail to them, and ornamented with wonderful flourishes and additions many other letters. Besides, he was, it must be remembered, learning ancient and modern Greek at the same time, and who knows what combinations he may have effected consistent to his own mind if to no other? Therefore I ask leniency on the part of readers understanding Greek, both as to orthography and translation.

I would also add in this note that Lear loved to "frisk and to gambol" in spelling as in all else, and the results in the following letters have been most carefully preserved by both editor and publisher and in no case are misinterpretations or misprints.