190. To Joseph Cottle Address: Mr Cottle | Bookseller | Iiigh Street | Bristol MS. Harvard College Lib. Pub. Letters, i. 220. Stamped: Crewkhern. Thursday. [ 8 June 1797] My dear Cottle I am sojourning for a few days at Racedown, the mansion of our friend Wordsworth: who has received Fox's Achmed 1 -- he returns you his acknowlegements & presents his kindliest respects to you. -- I shall be home by Friday -- not tomorrow -- but the next Friday. If the Ode on the departing Year be not reprinted, please to omit the lines from 'When shall scepter'd Slaughter cease' -- to -- For still does Madness roam on Guilt's bleak dizzy height -- inclusive. The first Epode is to end at the words 'Murderer's fate. 2 -- Wordsworth admires my Tragedy -- which gives me great hopes. Wordsworth has written a Tragedy himself. 3 I speak with heart-felt sincerity & (I think) unblinded judgement, when I tell you, that I feel myself a little man by his side; & yet do not think myself the less man, than I formerly thought myself. -- His Drama is absolutely wonderful. You know, I do not commonly speak in such abrupt & unmingled phrases -- & therefore will the more readily believe me. -- There are in the piece those profound touches of the human heart, which I find three or four times in 'The Robbers' of Schiller, & often in Shakespere -- but in Wordsworth there are no inequalities. T. Poole's opinion of Wordsworth is-that he is the greatest Man, he ever knew -- I coincide. 4 -- It is not impossible, that in the course of two or three months I may see you. -- God bless you & S. T. Coleridge Of course, with the lines you omit the notes that relate to them. ____________________ 1 In 1797 Cottle published Poems, containing the Plaints, Consolations, and Delights of Achmed Ardebeili, a Persian Exile, by Charles Fox, 1749-1809. 2 These lines, which had appeared earlier in the Cambridge Intelligencer, were not included in the 1797 edition. Cf. Poem, i. 168 n.; Wise, Bibliog., 88. 3 Referring, of course, to The Borderers. 4 This statement proves conclusively that Poole, like Coleridge, had formed an estimate of Wordsworth prior to June 1797. Letter 184 shows that Wordsworth had stopped at Nether Stowey on his return to Racedown from Bristol, probably in early April. Coleridge's 'sojourn' at Racedown reported at the beginning of this letter was, therefore, a return visit. -325-