223. To Thomas Poole Address: Mr T. Poole | Stowey | near | Bridgewater | [ Somerset MS. British Museum. Hitherto unpublished. Stamped: Shrewsbury. My best dear Friend [ 17 January 1798] I have written to Josiah Wedgewood by this post, & accepted the offer. -- Such benevolence is something so new, that I am not -374- certain that I am not dreaming: I sit & muse upon it in the abstract, & it seems so strange that I cannot apply it to myself -- nor has my heart yet felt any of the swell & glow of personal feelings. -- Well -- I will receive them on my return by reflection from your's -- I shall or rather I must stay here two Sundays longer; because Mr Row is going to Bristol to seek a House. -- Estlin is ardent for my declining Wedgewood's offer -- he wrote at me in a letter to Mr Row, which accompanied your letters -- Row read Estlin's letter, and advised me without a moment's hesitation to accept the offer. -- The people here are dressy & fond of expence -- & the women very handsome -- the Parsons of the Church of England, many of them, Unitarians & democrats -- and the People hot-headed Aristocrats -- this is curious, but it is true. -- The Congregation is small, and my reputation had cowed them into vast respectfulness -- but one shrewd fellow remarked that he would rather hear me talk than preach. -- My love to our dear Mother -- & to Ward -- Your's most affectionately -S. T. Coleridge