233. To Joseph Cottle Address: Mr Cottle MS. Jesus College Lib., Cambridge. Pub. with omis. E.L.G. i. 100. Feby 18-1798 My dear Cottle [I pray you, when you send a parcel, do always write one line ____________________ 1 Paine published his Letter to Erskine in June 1797. Erskine was counsel for the prosecution in the case against Thomas Williams, publisher of Paine's Age of Reason. To Paine Letter was appended a Discourse to the Society of Theophilanthropists, later published as Atheism Refuted. 2 In Dec. 1795 Samuel Ireland published the forgeries of his son, W. H. Ireland , as Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the hand and seat of William Shakespeare, including the tragedy of King Lear, and a small fragment of Hamlet, from the original MSS. in the possession of Samuel Ireland. -386- at least -- I always must pay like damnation.] 1 I have finished my ballad -- it is 840 lines. 2 I am going on with the Visions 3 -- all together (for I shall print two scenes of my Tragedy, as fragments) 4 I can add 1500 lines -- / Now what do you advise? -- Shall I add my Tragedy, & so make a second Volume -- ? or pursue my first intention of inserting the 1500 in the 8rd Edition? 5 -- If you should advise a second volume, should you wish -- i.e. -- find it convenient -- to be the purchaser / ? I ask this question, because I wish you to know the true state of my present circumstances -- / I have received nothing yet from the Wedgewoods & my money is utterly expended. A friend of mine wanted 5 guineas for a little while, which I bor Rowed of Poole as for myself -- & do not therefore like to apply to him. Mr Estlin has some little money, I believe, in his hands; but I received from him before I went to Shrewsbury 15£ -- & I believe that this was an anticipation of the 5 guinea presents, which my friends would have made me, in March. But (this affair of the Mr Wedgewoods turning out) the money in Mr Estlin's hand must go towards repaying him that sum which he suffered me to anticipate -- Meantime I owe Biggs 5£ which lies heavy on my thoughts -- And Mrs Fricker has not been payed her last quarter which lies still heavier. As to myself, I can contrive to go on here -but this 10£ I must pay some how, that is, 5£ to Biggs, and 5£ to Mrs Fricker. -- This week I purpose to offer myself to the Bridgewater congregation as assistant minister -- without any salary, directly or indirectly. -- But say not a word of this to any one, unless you see Mr Estlin. -- I pray you, if you have not 5£ conveniently to spare, call on Mr Estlin & get it in my name as borrowed, & transmit it to Mrs Fricker -- for that must be payed. -- God love you | & S. T. Coleridge