204. To John Thelwall Address: Mr Thelwall | to be left at the Post office | Swansea | Glamorganshire Cross Post MS. Pierpont Morgan Lib. Pub. Letters, i. 232. Stamped: Bridgewater. [ 21 August 1797] Dear Thelwall This is the first hour, that I could write to you any thing decisive. -- I have received an answer from Chubb, intimating that he would undertake the office of procuring you a cottage, provided it was thought right, that you should settle here; but this -- (i.e. -- the whole difficulty --) he left for T. Poole & me to settle. -- And he acquainted Poole with this determination --. Consequently, the whole returns to it's former situation -- & the hope, which I had entertained, that you could have settled here without any, the remotest interference of Poole, has vanished. To such interference on his part there are insuperable difficulties -- the whole Malignity of the Aristocrats will converge to him, as to the one point -- his tranquillity will be perpetually interrupted -- his business, & his credit, hampered & distressed by vexatious calumnies -- the ties of relationship weakened -- perhaps broken -- & lastly, his poor Mother made miserable -- the pain of the Stone aggravated by domestic calamity & quarrels betwixt her son & those neighbours with whom & herself there have been peace & love for these fifty years. -- Very great odium T. Poole incurred by bringing me heremy peaceable manners & known attachment to Christianity had almost worn it away -- when Wordsworth came & he likewise by T. Poole's agency settled here -- / You cannot conceive the tumult, calumnies, & apparatus of threatened persecutions which this event has occasioned round about us. If you too should come, I am afraid, that even riots & dangerous riots might be the consequence -- / either of us separately would perhaps be tolerated -- but all -343- three together -- what can it be less than? & damned conspiracy -- a school for the propagation of demagugy & atheism? -- And it deserves examination whether or no as moralists we should be justified in hazarding the certain evil of calling forth malignant passions for the contingent good, that might result from our living in the same neighbourhood? -- Add to which, that in point of the public interest we must put into the balance the Stowey Benefit Club -- / of the present utility of this T. Poole thinks highly-of it's possible utility very, very highly indeed -- / -- but the interests, nay, perhaps almost the existence of this club is interwoven with his character -- as a peaceable & undesigning Man -- certainly, any future & greater excellence, which he hopes to realize, in & through this society, will vanish like a dream of the morning. -- If therefore you can get the land & cottage near Bath, of which you spoke to me, I would advise it -- on many accounts -- but if you still see the arguments on the other side in a stronger light than those which I have stated, ----- come! but not yet! -- come in two or three months -- take lodgings at Bridgewater -- familiarize the people to your name & appearance -- and when the monstrosity of the thing is gone off, & the people shall have begun to consider you, as a man whose mouth won't eat them -- & whose pocket is better adapted for a bundle of sonnets than the transportation or ambush-place of a French army -- then you may take a house -- but indeed -- I say it with a very sad, but a very clear conviction -- at present I see that much evil & little good would result from your settling here. ---- / I am unwell -- this business has indeed preyed much on my spirits -- and I have suffered for you more than I hope & trust you will suffer yourself ---- God love you & Your's -S. T. Coleridge