173. To John Prior Estlin MS. Bristol Central Lib. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 213. [ January 1797] My dear Friend I was indeed greatly rejoiced at the first sight of a letter from you; but it's contents were painful. Dear, dear Mrs Estlin! -- Sara burst into an agony of tears, that she HAD been so ill. -- Indeed, indeed, we hover about her -- & think, & talk of her, with many an interjection of prayer. -- I do not wonder that you have acquired a distaste to London -- your associations must be painful indeed. -But God be praised! you shall look back on those sufferings, as the vexations of a dream! Our friend, T. Poole, particularly requests me to mention how deeply he condoles with you in Mrs Estlin's illness, how fervently he thanks God for her recovery. -- I assure you he was extremely affected. -- We are all remarkably well -& the child grows fat & strong. Our House is better than we expected-there is a comfortable bedroom & sitting room for C. Lloyd, 1 & another for us -- a room for Nanny, a kitchen, and outhouse. Before our door a clear brook runs of very soft water; and in the back yard is a nice Well of fine spring water. We have a very pretty garden, and large enough to find us vegetables & employment. And I am already an expert Gardener -- & both my Hands can exhibit a callum, as testimonials of their Industry. We have likewise a sweet Orchard; & at the end of it T. Poole has made a gate, which leads into his garden -- & from thence either thro' the tan yard into his house, or else thro' his orchard over a fine meadow into the garden of a Mr Cruikshanks, an old acquaintance, who married on the same day as I, & has got a little girl a little younger than David Hartley. Mrs Cruikshanks is a sweet little woman, of the same size as my Sara -- & they are extremely cordial. T. Poole's Mother behaves to us, as a kind & tender Mother -- She is very fond indeed of my Wife. -- So that, you see, I ought to be happy -- & thank God, I am so. -- I may expect your sermon I suppose, in the course of a fortnight -- Will you send me introductory Letter[s) to Mr Howell 2 of Bridgewater & Toulmin 3 of Taunton? I have fifty things to ____________________ 1 Late in 1796 Charles Lloyd returned to Birmingham on a visit to his family, but by 16 Jan. 1797 he was with Lamb in London. ( Lamb Letters, i. 90.) Early in February he came to Stowey, stayed a fortnight with Poole, and settled in the Coleridge cottage on the 22nd. ( Charles Lamb and the Lloyds, 87-38.) 2 Mr. Howell, the Unitarian minister at Bridgwater. 3 Joshua Toulmin ( 1740-1815), a staunch Socinian and liberal, was a Unitarian minister at Taunton for thirty-eight years. -301- write -- but the carrier is at the door -- To poor John give our love -- and our kind love to Miss Estlin -- & to all friends -- To Mrs Estlin my heart is so full, that I know not what to write -Believe me with gratitude, with filial respect, & fraternal affection Your sincere friend S. T. Coleridge.