257. To Mrs. S. T. Coleridge Transcript Thomas Ward copy-book, New York Public Lib. Pub. Letters, i. 262. The first part of this letter is missing from the transcript. Octbr 20th 1798 . . . But I must check these feelings & write more collectedly. -- I am well, my dear Love! -- very well -- and my situation is in all ____________________ 1 Word missing in transcript. -428- respects comfortable -- My Room is large, & healthy -- The house commands an enchanting prospect -- The Pastor is worthy and a learned Man -- a Widower with 8 Children, 5 of whom are at home -- The German Language is spoken here in the utmost purity -- The Children often stand round my Sopha and chatter away -- & the little one of all corrects my pronunciation with a pretty pert lisp & self sufficient tone, while the others laugh with no little joyance. -The Gentry and Nobility here pay me almost an adulatory attention -- There is a very beautiful little Woman, less I think than you -- a Countess Kilmansig [Kielmansegge] -- her Father is our Lord Howe's Cousin. She is the wife of a very handsome Man, and has two fine little Children -- I have quite won her heart by a German Poem which I wrote. It is that sonnet 'Charles! my slow heart was only sad when first' 1 -- & considerably dilated with new images & much superior in the German to it's former dress -- It has excited no small wonder here for it's purity and harmony -- I mention this as a proof of my progress in the language -- indeed it has surprised myself -- but I want to be home -- and I work hard -- very hard, to shorten the time of absence -- The little Countess said to me -- 'O! Englishmen be always sehr gut Fathers and Husbands.-I hope dat you will come and lofe my little babies, and I will sing to you and play on the guitar & the Piano Forte-and my dear Huspan he spracts sehr gut English and he lofes England better than all the world' -- (sehr gut is very good; spract speaks or talks) -- She is a sweet little Woman, and what is very rare in Germany, she has perfectly white regular, french Teeth -- I could give you many instances of the ridiculous partiality or rather madness for the English -- One of the first things, which strikes an Englishman, is the German cards -- They are very different from ours -- the Court Cards have two heads, a very convenient thing, as it prevents the necessity of turning the cards and betraying your hand -- & are smaller & cost only a penny -- yet the Envelope, in which they are sold, has Wahrliche Englisch Karten -- i.e. Genuine English Cards. -- I bought some sticking plaister yesterday; it cost two pence -a very large piece; but it was three halfpence farthing too dear -for indeed it looked like a nasty rag of black Silk which Cat or Mouse dung had stained & spotted -- but this was K├Ânig1. Pat: Engl: 'Im: Plaister -- i.e. Royal Patent English Ornament Plaister -- They affect to write English over their doors -- One house has English Lodgement and Caffee Hous! -- But the most amusing of all is an advertisement of a quack Medicine of the same Class with Dr Solomon's & Brody's -- For the spirits and all weakness of mind and body -- What think you? 'A wonderful and secret Essence ____________________ 1 Poems, i. 154. The German version has not come to light. -429- extracted with patience & God's blessing from the English Oaks, and from that part thereof, which the heroic Sailors of that Great Nation call the Heart of Oak. This invaluable & infallible Medicine has been godlily extracted therefrom by the slow processes of the Sun & magnetical Influences of the Planets & Fixed Stars.' -- This is a literal Translation -- At the Concert, when I entered, the Band played 'Britannia! rule the waves' -- and at the dinner which was given in honor of Nelson's Victory, 21 guns were fired by order of the military Governour, and between each Firing the Military Band played an English Tune -- I never saw such enthusiasm, or heard such tumultuous shouting, as when the Governour gave as a toast, 'The Great Nation.' -- By this Name they always designate England, in opposition to the same title self-assumed by France. The Military Governour is a pleasant Man, & both he & the Amtmann (i.e. the Civil Regent) are particularly attentive to me -- I am quite domesticated in the house of the latter -- his first wife was an English Woman, and his partiality for England is without bounds. -God bless you, my love! write me a very, very long letter -- write me all that can cheer me -- all that will make my eyes swim & my heart melt with tenderness! Your faithful & affectionate Husband S. T. Coleridge P.S. -- A Dinner lasts not uncommonly three Hours! --