215. To Josiah Wedgwood MS. Wedgwood Museum. Pub. E.L.G. i. 84. On 23 December 1797, Thomas and Josiah Wedgwood, sons of the potter, sent a draft for £100 to Coleridge (see Letter 281). On 27 December 1797 Coleridge wrote the following letter of acceptance; reconsidering the matter, he later returned the draft in a long letter dated 5 January 1798 (see Letter 217). On 10 January 1798, the Wedgwoods offered Coleridge an annuity of £150, 'independent of every thing but the wreck of our fortune, an event which we hope is not very likely to happen' (see headnote to Letter 222 for the Wedgwoods' letter). On 17 January 1798 (Letter 222) Coleridge wrote to Josiah Wedgwood accepting the annuity. Stowey near Bridgewater. Decemb. 27th, 1 1797 Dear Sir I received your letter, with the enclosed order, yesterday. You have relieved me from a state of hesitation & perplexity; and have ____________________ extraordinary powers. From the reports of Dr Beddoes & of my amiable Friend Miss Allen I found that you were no less interesting as a man than as a poet & I heard with the most sincere regret that like many other good men & great poets you had not been so kindly treated by fortune as by nature. Had I been possessed of opulence I should certainly have thought your permission to assist you one of the greatest honours of my life & the power of aiding such a Man to be the chief enjoyment & blessing of wealth. But I am poor & the great & wealthy of our days seem to have a different taste in the employment of their riches from that which I flatter myself would actuate me if I were in their place. -- On my return to town I found an easy opportunity of procuring a very small Stipend for you which I thought might with very little exertion from you contribute to make you somewhat more easy. When I went to Cote House again Dr Beddoes at my desire wrote to you & by your answer I saw that you were not averse from the proposal. The Newspaper is the Morning Post. The political tone is such as cannot be disagreeable to your feelings or repugnant to your Principles. The Proprietor who is no stranger to your Character & talents is ashamed of offering you so small a pittance but he pleads in excuse that the large establishment of parliamentary reporters makes this season of the year peculiarly expensive & that if the Connexion proves agreeable to both parties after a fair trial he will very gladly increase the salary. He has already ordered the Paper to be sent to you & he informs me that verses or political Essays as you may chance to be inclined will be equally agreeable to him. You will observe the address proper for your letters at the bottom of the Paper. Will you do me the favour of communicating to me the name of your tragedy that I may urge the irresolute good nature of Sheridan to bring it forward as soon as possible. Suffer me to add that if by any means within my narrow power either now or hereafter I can shew you in any degree my esteem for your virtue & my admiration for your genius you will do me [the grea]test plea[s]ure & honour [by po]inting it out to me. [Conclusion and signature cut off manuscript.] 1 If Coleridge received Josiah Wedgwood's letter and the draft for £100 on Christmas Day, this letter must have been written on 26 Dec. Cf. Letters 216 and 231. In both letters, however, he speaks of a delay in answering. -360- given me the tranquillity & leisure of independence for the next two years. -- I am not deficient in the ordinary feelings of gratitude to you and Mr T. Wedgewood; but I shall not find them oppressive or painful, if in the course of that time I shall have been acquiring knowlege for myself, or communicating it to others; if either in act or preparation I shall have been contributing my quota to the cause of Truth & Honesty. -- I am | with great respect & affection -- | Your obliged &c S. T. Coleridge