254. To Mrs. S. T. Coleridge Address: Mrs Coleridge | Nether Stowey, Bridgewater, | Somersetshire, England. MS. New York Public Lib. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 259. Postmark: Foreign Office, 1 October 1798. I. Tuesday Night, 9' o clock. Sept. 18th, 1798 Over what place does the Moon hang to your eye, my dearest Sara? To me it hangs over the left bank of the Elbe; and a long ____________________ 1 On 14 Sept. 1798 Coleridge, John Chester of Stowey, and the Wordsworths left London. They arrived in Yarmouth the next day and sailed for Germany on 16 Sept. Dorothy Wordsworth Journals, i. 19. -415- trembling road of moonlight reaches from thence up to the stern of our Vessel, & there it ends. We have dropped anchor in the middle of the Stream, 80 miles from Cuxhaven, where we arrived this morning at eleven o'clock, after an unusually fine passage of only 48 hours. -- The Captain agreed to take all the passengers up to Hamburgh for ten guineas -- / my share amounted only to half a guinea. We shall be there if no fogs intervene tomorrow morning. -Chester was ill the whole voyage, Wordsworth shockingly ill, his Sister worst of all -- vomiting, & groaning, unspeakably! And I neither sick or giddy, but gay as a lark. The sea rolled rather high; but the motion was pleasant to me. The stink of a sea cabbin in a packet, what from the bilge water, & what from the crowd of sick passengers, is horrible. I remained chiefly on deck. -- We left Yarmouth, Sunday Morning, Sept. 16th, at eleven o'clock -- / Chester & [the] Wordsworths ill immediately -- Our passengers were Wordsworths, Chester, S. T. Coleridge, A Dane, Second Dane, Third Dane, A Prussian, an Hanoverian & his Servant, a German Taylor & his Wife, a French Emigrant, & french Servant, two English Gentlemen, and a Jew. -- All those with the prefix were sick; those marked horribly sick. -- The view of Yarmouth from the sea is interesting -- besides, it was English Ground that was flying away from me. -- When we lost sight of land, the moment that we quite lost sight of it, & the heavens all round me rested upon the waters, my dear Babies came upon me like a flash of lightning -- I saw their faces so distinctly! -- This day enriched me with characters -- and I passed it merrily. Each of these characters, I will delineate to you in my Journal, which you & Poole, alternately, will receive regularly as soon as I arrive at any settled place -which will be in a week. Till then I can do little more than give you notice of my safety, & my faithful affection to you / but the Journal will commence from the day of my arrival at London, & give every day's occurrence, &c -- I have it written, but I have neither paper, or time, to transcribe it. I trust nothing to memory. -- The Ocean is a noble Thing by night; a beautiful white cloud of foam at momently intervals roars & rushes by the side of the Vessel, and Stars of Flame dance & sparkle & go out in it -- & every now and then light Detachments of Foam dart away from the Vessel's side with their galaxies of stars, & scour out of sight, like a Tartar Troop' over a Wilderness! -- What these Stars are, I cannot say -- the sailors say, that they are the Fish Spawn which is phosphorescent. -/ The noisy Passengers swear in all their languages with drunken Hiccups that I shall write no more -- & I must join them. -- Indeed, they present a rich feast for a Dramatist. -- My kind love to dear Mrs Poole / with what wings of swiftness would I fly home if I -416- could but find something in Germany to do her good! -- Remember me affectionately to Ward -- & my love to the Chesters, Bessy, Susan & Julia / & to Cruckshanks, & to Ellen & Mary when you see them -- & to Lavinia Poole, & Harriet & Sophy. And be sure you give my kind love to Nanny -- I associate so much of Hartley's Infancy with her, so many of his figures, looks, words & antics with her form, that I can never cease to think of her, poor Girl I without interest. -- Tell my best good Friend, my dear Poole! that all his manuscripts with Wordsworth's Tragedy are safe in Josiah Wedgewood's hands -- & they will be returned to him together. -- Good night, my dear, dear Sara! -- 'every night when I go to bed & every morning when I rise' I will think of you with a yearning love, & of my blessed Babies! -- Once more, my dear Sara! good night. -- Did you receive my letter, directed in a different hand, with the 80£ Bank Note? -- The Morning Post & Magazine will come to you as before. If not regularly, Stewart desires that you will write to him. Wednesday afternoon, 4 o'clock We are safe in Hamburgh -- an ugly City that stinks in every corner, house, & room worse than Cabbin, Sea sickness, or bilge Water! -The Hotels are all crowded -- with great difficulty we have procured a very filthy room at a large expence; but we shall move tomorrow. -- We get very excellent Claret for a Trifle -- a guinea sells at present for more than 28 shillings here. -- But for all particulars, I must refer your patience to my Journal -- & I must get some proper paper. / I shall have to pay a shilling or eighteen pence with every letter. -- N.B. -- Johnson, the Bookseller, without any poems sold to him; but purely out of affection conceived for me, & as part of any thing I might do for him, gave me an order on Remnant at Hamburgh for 80 pound. 1 -- The Epea Pteroenta, an Essay on Population, 2 and a History of Paraguay, will come down for me directed to Poole / & for Poole's Reading -- / Likewise, I have desired Johnson to print in Quarto a little Poem [of mine, 3 one of ____________________ 1 Soon after his arrival in Hamburg Coleridge took advantage of Johnson's kindness. Hamburgh, Septr 21st 1798. For 252, sterling Two months after Date pay this my first of Exchange (Second not paid) to the order of Mr William Remnant Twenty five pounds Sterling, value received, and place the same to Account as advised by S. T. Coleridge To Mr Joseph Johnson, | Bookseller, St Paul's Church Yard | London. [MS. private possession.] 2 J. Horne Tooke, EIIEA IITEPOENTA or the Diversions of Purley, Parts I and II, 1798, and T. R. Malthus, Essay on Population, 1798. 3 Fears in Solitude, Written in 1798, during the Alarm of an Invasion. To -417- which Quartos must] be sent to my Brother Revd G C Ottery St Mary, carriage paid --] 1 I pray you, my Lovel read Edgeworth's Essay on Education 2 -- read it heart & soul -- & if you approve of the mode, teach Hartley his Letters -- I am very desirous, that you should begin to teach him to read -- & they point out some easy modes. -- J. Wedgewood informed me that the Edgeworths were most miserable when Children, & yet the Father, in his book, is ever vapouring about their Happiness! -- ! -- However there are very good things in the work -- & some nonsense! -Kiss my Hartley, & Bercoo Baby Brodder / Kiss them for their dear Father, whose heart will never be absent from them many hours together! -- My dear Sara -- I think of you with affection & a desire to be home / & in the full & holiest sense of the word, A, after the antique principles of Religion unsophisticated by philosophy will be, I trust, your Husband faithful unto Death. [ S T Coleridge] [Wednesday night 11 o'clock -- The sky & colours of the clouds are quite English just as if I were coming out of T Poole's homeward with you in] my arm.