177. To Joseph Cottle Pub. Early Rec. i. 137. Stowey, [Early February 1797] My dear Cottle, I feel it much, and very uncomfortable, that, loving you as a brother, and feeling pleasure in pouring out my heart to you, I should so seldom be able to write a letter to you, unconnected with business, and uncontaminated with excuses and apologies. I give every moment I can spare from my garden and the Reviews (i.e.) from my potatoes and meat, to the poem, [The Destiny of Nations] 1 but I go on slowly, for I torture the poem, and myself, with corrections; and what I write in an hour, I sometimes take two or three days in correcting. You may depend on it, the poem and prefaces will take up exactly the number of pages I mentioned, and I am extremely anxious to have the work as perfect as possible, and which I cannot do, if it be finished immediately. The Religious Musings, I have altered monstrously, since I read them to you, and received your criticisms. I shall send them to you in my next. The Sonnets I will send you with the Musings. God love you ! From your affectionate friend, S. T. Coleridge.