180. To Joseph Cottle Address: Mr Cottle | Bookseller | High-street | Bristol Single MS. Harvard College Lib. Pub. with omis. and as two separate letters, Early Rec. i. 213 and 232. In the manuscript the Preface to the 1797 edition of Coleridge Poems and two poems precede this letter. Stamped: Bridgewater. Friday Morning [ 10 March 1797] If, my dear Cottle! you have not sent the prefaces to the press you will substitute the one now sent 1 for that sent by T. Poole. -If you do not like these Verses; 2 or if you do not think them worthy of an Edition in which I profess to give nothing but my choicest fish, pick'd, gutted, and clean'd; get somebody to write them out, & send them with my compliments to the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine. 3 -- But if you think as well of them as I do, (most probably from parental dotage for my last-born) . . . 4 you must ____________________ 1 The 'Preface to the second Edition' which Coleridge included in this letter is dated 6 Mar. 1797. Since the manuscript version is the same as that printed in the 1797 Poems, I have omitted it. Cf. Poems, ii. 1145. 2 See end of letter for 'these Verses'. 3 The first of these two poems, To an unfortunate Woman, which was omitted from the 1797 volume, was first printed in the Morning Post, 7 Dec 1797; the second, Allegorical Lines on the same subject, was published in the 1797 Poems, 105, under the title, To an Unfortunate Woman. 4 Four lines inked out on manuscript, apparently by Cottle. They read in part: be so kind as to shew them to Mr & to Mrs Estlin -- if either of them, -312- print them immediately following the Kiss, according to the order which I sent you by Letter -- only paging, instead of Numbering. I suppose, I shall hear from you tomorrow. -- Public affairs are in strange confusion -- I am afraid that I shall prove at least as good a prophet as bard -- O doom'd to fall, enslav'd & vile: 1 -- but may God make me a foreboder of evils never to come! -- I have heard from Sheridan, desiring me to write a Tragedy -- I have no genius that way -- Robert Southey has -- and highly as I think of his Joan of Arc, I cannot help prophesying, that he will be known to posterity as Shakespear's great Grandson, and only as Milton's great great grand nephew-in-law. -- I think, that he will write a Tragedy; and Tragedies. -- Charles Lloyd has given me his Poems, which I give to you on condition that you print them in this volume -- after Charles Lamb's poems -- the Title-page, which by the bye must not be printed till all the rest is, thus -- Poems by S. T. Coleridge, second Edition, to which are added Poems by Charles Lamb, and C. Lloyd. -Charles Lamb's poems will occupy about 40 pages: C. Lloyd's at least a hundred -- altho' only his choice fish -- A poem on Christmas which he has written lately is exquisite -- Now supposing that the poems, which I myself have added, are only sufficient to make up for the different type & number of lines in each page, in the two Editions -- my poems will occupy only 182 pages, that being two thirds of the present -- to this add 140 -- and you have 272 pages -- 72 more than the former Edition. -- So much for the priceableness of the Volume -- Now for the saleability, Charles Lloyd's connections will take off a great many more than a hundred, I doubt not. -- So that in no way can you miss my omitted Lines -- in the table of my contents put the added poems in Italics, with a note saying so -- God bless you -- & S. T. Coleridge. To an unfortunate Woman, whom I knew in the days of her Innocence. Composed at the Theatre. 2 Maiden! that with sullen brow Sit'st behind those Virgins gay, Like a scorch'd and mildew'd bough Leafless mid the blooms of May; Inly-gnawing, thy Distresses Mock those starts of wanton glee, And thy inmost soul confesses Chaste Affection's Majesty. ____________________ upon whose taste I have almost an implicit reliance, . . . to their being unworthy of my Edition -- . . . 1 Line 121 of the early versions of the Ode on the Departing Year. 2 Poems, i. 171. -313- Loathing thy polluted Lot, Hie thee, Maiden! hie thee hence: Seek thy weeping Mother's cot With a wiser Innocence! 1 Mute the *Lavrac and forlorn, While she moults those firstling plumes, That had skimm'd the tender corn Or the Beanfield's od'rous blooms: Soon with renovated Wing Shall she dare a loftier flight, Upwards to the Day-star sing And embathe in heavenly Light! * the Lark [S.T.C.] Allegorical Lines on the same subject. 2 Myrtle-Leaf, that ill-besped Pinest in the gladsome ray, Soil'd beneath the common tread Far from thy protecting Spray; When the Scythesman 3 o'er his sheaf Caroll'd in the yellow Vale, Sad I saw thee, heedless Leaf! Love the dalliance of the Gale. Lightly didst thou, poor fond 4 Thing! Heave and flutter to his sighs; While the Flatt'rer, on his wing Woo'd and whisper'd thee to rise. Gaily from thy mother stalk Wert thou danc'd and wafted high; Soon on this unshelter'd walk Flung to fade, and rot, and die! 5 ____________________ 1 With the wreck of Innocence! [MS. emendation in Cottle's handwriting; not adopted by Coleridge.] 2 Poems, i. 172. 3 Rustic [MS. emendation in Cottle's handwriting; authorized by Coleridge.] Cf. Letter 181. 4 foolish [MS. emendation in Cottle's handwriting; authorized by Coleridge.] Cf. Letter 181. 5 Flung to wither and to die! [MS. emendation in Cottle's handwriting; authorized by Coleridge, but not carried out in the 1797 Poems.] Cf. Letter 181. -314-