185. To Josiah Wade Pub. Early Rec. i. 240. In introducing this fragment Cottle remarks: 'A little before this time [i.e. 10 May 1797; see Letter 188], a curious, or, rather, ludicrous occurrence happened to Mr. C. during a pedestrian excursion of his into Somersetshire.' Early Rec. i. 289. The fragment probably belongs to a letter of 1797. On 23 March 1797 Coleridge signed for the first two volumes of J. J. Brucker Historia Critica Philosophiae, 6 vols., 1766-7, at the Bristol Library, but he did not take the books with him until 6 April (see Letter 187). It would seem, therefore, that he was in Bristol on 28 March and again on 6 April. Since he returned in dejected spirits to Stowey after the March visit (see Letter 184), he was in no mood to write in so jesting a manner as in this fragment, which may have been written after the second visit to Bristol. [Circa 8 April 1797] My dear friend, I am here [Stowey] after a most tiresome journey; in the course of which, a woman asked me if I knew one Coleridge, of Bristol. I answered, I had heard of him. 'Do you know, (quoth she) that that vile jacobin villain drew away a young man of our parish, one Burnet,' &c. and in this strain did the woman continue for near an hour; heaping on me every name of abuse that the parish of Billingsgate could supply. I listened very particularly; appeared to approve all she said, exclaiming, 'dear me!' two or three times, and, in fine, so completely won the woman's heart by my civilities, that I had not courage enough to undeceive her. . . . S. T. Coleridge. 1