239. To Joseph Cottle [Addressed by Dorothy Wordsworth] Mr Cottle | Bookseller | High Street! Bristol MS. Mr. A. G. B. Randle. Pub. with omis. Early Rec. i. 297. Stamped: Bridgewater. [Circa 18 March 1798] 1 My dear Cottle I regret that aught should have happened to have disturbed our tranquillity respecting Lloyd -- I am willing to believe myself in part mistaken -- & so let all things be as before. -- I have no wish respecting those poems, either for or against their republication with mine. -- As to the third Edition, if there be occasion for it immediately, it must be published with some alterations but no additions or omissions. -- The Pixies, Chatterton, and some dozen, others shall be printed at the end of the volume under the title of Juvenile Poems -- & in this case I will send you the volume immediately. -- But if there be no occasion for the volume to go to the press for ten weeks, at the expiration of that time I would make it a volume worthy of me, and omit utterly near one half of the present volume -- a sacrifice to pitch-black Oblivion. -Whichever be the case, I will repay you the money you have payed for me in money -- & in a few weeks -- as if you should prefer the latter proposal (i.e. the not sending me to the press for 10 weeks) I should insist on considering the additions however large as mere payment to you for the omissions -- which indeed would be but strict justice. I am requested by Wordsworth to put the following questions -- What could you conveniently & prudently, and what would you, give for ____________________ 1 On the manuscript of Coleridge's letter Dorothy Wordsworth wrote the following undated note: Dear Cottle, We have sent you the Malvern hill[s] by the Bristol coach from Bridgewater -- The great Coat and the waistcoat we shall send by Milton next Week. Mr and Mrs Coleridge have been here a few days -- I wish you were of the party. Wm. begs his best love -- God bless you Dear Cottle Yours most truly Dorothy Wordsworth We have received the books for which we are much obliged to you. They have already completely answered the purpose for which William wrote for them. He will either send them at the time appointed, or, as they are Pinney's, write to him & explain -- Remember me kindly to your Mother & sisters. Since the Coleridges were at Alfoxden from 9 Mar. to 18 Mar., and since Dorothy Wordsworth says they 'have been here a few days', this letter must have been written during their visit. -399- 1 Our two Tragedies -- with small prefaces containing an analysis of our principal characters. Exclusive of the prefaces, the Tragedies are together 5000 lines -- which in the printing from the dialogue form & directions respecting actors & scenery is at least equal to 6000. -- To be delivered to you within a week of the date of your answer to this letter -- & the money, which you offer, to be payed to us at the end of four months from the same date -- none to be payed before -- all to be payed then. -- 2 Wordsworth's Salisbury Plain & Tale of a Woman which two poems with a few others which he will add & the notes will make a volume [of . . . pages. --] 1 This to be delivered to you within 8 weeks of the date of your answer -- & the money to be payed, as before, at the end of four months from the same date. -Do not, my dearest Cottlel harrass yourself about the imagined great merit of the compositions -- or be reluctant to offer what you can prudently offer, from an idea that the poems are worth more -- / But calculate what you can do with reference, simply to yourself -- & answer as speedily as you can -- and believe me your sincere, grateful, & affectionate Friend & Brother S. T. Coleridge N.B. The Tragedies to be published in one volume. --