258. To Thomas Poole Address: Mr T. Poole | Nether Stowey | Somersetshire | England Payed to Cuxhaven fr Ritzbuttel MS. New York Public Lib. Part of the journal in this letter was revised and published in Satyrane's Letters, ii. See The Friend, No. 16, 7 December 1809, and Biog. Lit. 1817, ii. 205-17. The manuscript is torn and the words in brackets have been supplied from a transcript made by Thomas Ward. Postmark: 10 November 1798. October 26th-1798 3rd of the Journal -- 8th including all. 1 My best and dearest Friend My spirit is more feminine than your's -- I cannot write to you without tears / and I know that when you read my letters, and when you talk of me, you must often 'compound with misty eyes' --. May God preserve me for your friendship, and make me worthy of it! I received your letter yesterday -- since I last wrote, I have been ____________________ 1 Actually the second part of the journal. Only six letters to Poole and Mrs. Coleridge from 15 Sept. to 26 Oct. have come to light. -430- on a tour to Travemunde on the Baltic Sea, & the places adjoining to which circumstance you must attribute my silence. -- My last landed me on the Elbe-stairs at the Baum-house, Hamburgh. -While I was standing on the stairs, I was amused by the passage boat which goes once or twice a day from Hamburg to Haarburg, across the River -- it was crammed with all people of all nations in all sorts of dresses, the Men with pipes of all shapes and fancies, strait and wreathed, simple and complex, long and short, cane, clay, porcelain, wood, tin, silver, and ivory -- one, a mere hot-spicegingerbreadeake-man's Stump Whiffer, and many with silver chains & with silver bole-covers. -- Well, but to adopt the Journal Form Sep. 19th Afternoon. -- Wordsworth had introduced himself to a kind of confidential acquaintance with the French Emigrant who appeared a man of sense & was in his manners a most complete gentleman. He seemed about 50. It was agreed that if possible we should house together -- Wordsworth & the Emigrant went in search of an Hotel -- the Emigrant's Servant, Chester, & Miss Wordsworth stayed with the luggage -- and I dashed into the town to deliver my letters of recommendation. I had two from Wedgewood, 1. to Mr Von Axen, and one to a Mr Chatterley. -- I dashed on; and very naturally began to wonder at all things -- some for being so like, and some for being so unlike, the things in England. Dutch Women with large umbrella Hats shooting out half a yard before them, and with a prodigal plumpness of petticoat behind -- the Hamburghers with caps, plated on the cawl with silver or gold, or both, fringed with lace, & standing round before their eyes, like a canopyveil -- the Hanoverian Women with the fore part of the Read bare, then a stiff lace standing upright like a Wall, perpendicular on the Cap; and the Cap behind tailed with a monstrous quantity of Ribbon which lies or tosses on the Back. 'Their Visnomies seem'd like a goodly Banner Spread in defiance of all Enemies!' 1 -- The Young Men dashing English Bucks -- the Ladies, all in English Dresses & in the newest Fashions -- and all rouged. -- I looked in at the windows as I passed -- gentlemen & ladies drinking Coffee or playing Cards, and all the Gentlemen Smoking at the same Time. The Streets narrow and stinking, without any appropriate path for the foot-passengers -- the Gable Ends of the Houses all towards the street; some in the ordinary Triangular form, -- but most of them notched and shapified with more than Chinese ____________________ 1 Spenser, Amoretti, v. -431- Grotesqueness. -- Above all, both here and at Altona, I was struck with the profusion of windows -- so large & so many that the Houses look all Glass. Mr Pitt's Tax would greatly improve the Architecture of Hamburgh; but the Elbe & the Country round will be still more benefited by the last Conflagration. For it is a foul City! -- I moved on & crossed a multitude of ugly Bridges, the water intersecting the City every where & furnishing to an Architect the capabilities of all that is beautiful & magnificent in human Edifices -- such it might have been; it might have been more than the Rival of Venice; & it is -- Huddle and Ugliness, Stink and Stagnation! Close by many of the Bridges I observed great Water wheels -- huge deformities, but yet they produced motion in the air & the water, & therefore appeared pleasing to me. -- I met with many who talked broken English -- & at last, after some vagaries, I arrived at the Jungfr' Stieg (Maidens' Walk) where the Von Axens reside. -- It is a walk or promenade, planted with treble rows of Elm Trees, which are slim & dwarf, on account of their being pruned & cropped every year -- and this Walk occupies one side of a Square piece of water, with many Swans on it, quite tame / & there were Gentlemen, in pretty pleasure-boats, rowing the Ladies. -- It pleased me much --; but I observed that it was not lamped round. If it were, it would make a beautiful appearance by night! -- I delivered my letter to Mr Von Axen who embarrassed me by his sad and solemn Politeness, & his broken English -- I left him rather abruptly & called on Remnant, an English Bookseller for whom I had a letter from Johnson-he was not at home / thro' Streets & Streets, or rather thro' Lanes & Lanes, I trudged to Chatterley's / amused as I went on by the wicker-waggons (with moveable forms in them, one behind the other, across the waggon)! These Waggons are the Hackney Coaches of Hamburgh -- (tho' there were Hackney Coaches likewise; but the Waggons appeared far more numerous). They were quite uncovered, & in shape something like the old Grecian Cars, only much larger / that is, long, & narrow compared with the length -- I saw several parties of Eight in them besides the Coach Man. -- Amused too by the signboards on the Shops -- all the articles sold within are painted in a grotesque confusion on these Boards, & in general were painted very exactly. -- Well, I arrived at Chatterley's -- an odd beast! He read Mr Wedgewood's letter, & asked me drily if I would take a cup of Tea. -- 'Yes!' -- / An old Woman, his domestic, poured into her hand out of the Tea Cannister what I thought a very small portion -- 'Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!' exclaimed Chatterley -- & she returned part of it into the Tea Cannister! -- Well, I drank a couple of dishes, & agreed that I would call again on the morrow morning -- & now the Emigrant's Servant came & guided -432- me to Der Wilder Man i.e. The Savage -- an hotel not of the genteelest Class. -- But Wordsworth & the Emigrant had trudged over & over the City -- & every House was full! However they were drinking some excellent Claret, & I joined them with no small glee --. -- The Emigrant had one large Room in which himself & Servant were to sleep, & in which it was agreed that we should all breakfast & drink Tea -- there was a Bed room for Chester & me, with two beds in it -- and one for Miss Wordsworth. -- Wordsworth had procured one for himself at Sea Man's Hotel where Baldwin lodged, the Brother of Losh's Wife, & a college Acquaintance of Wordsworth's. My bed room looked into and commanded the Market Place of Hamburgh; and close by, as close as close can be, is the great huge church of St Nicholas, with shops & houses built up against it; out of which Wens and Warts, or rather, out of which unseemly Corns, it's high huge Steeple rises, necklaced near the Top with a Round of large Gilt Balls. -- The Hotel is certainly well fitted for a stranger -- this Steeple must be quite a Pole-Star. -- / -- The Emigrant was of the Noblesse, & was an intimate Friend of the Abbe De Lisle, the famous Poet -- he had been a man of large Fortune, out of which he had rescued a considerable part. He talked with rapture of Paris under the Monarchy -- & seemed not a little enamoured of Lbndon, where he had lived in style, & where his favorite Niece resided, a married woman. But some Emigrants, whom he had offended, I believe, by some refusals in the moneyway, conspired against him, accused him of being connected with the governing Party, & tho' they could prove nothing; yet they had interest enough to have him sent away by the Duke of Portland. So he was obliged to sell out of the Stocks at a great loss -- & leave the Country. He seemed very deeply cut at heart -- a man without hopes or wishes -- yet a melancholy Frenchman is almost a merry Englishman, & we found no lack of vivacity in him, & his manner was exceedingly delightful. He carried with him a sort of travelling furniture & toilet -- all of silver or gold -- indeed every part of his moveables evinced the Man of Fortune. -- He meant to take a House near Hamburgh. -- The Swedish Nobleman called on me, from the Dane / & in his name pressed me to come to the 'King of England' -- the great superb Hotel of Hamburgh -- / & here I might have had a room in the Dane's suit[e] of apartments, & have been one of his Table. -- But I remembered Godwin's excuse for feeding on that scoundrelly money-lender, Ki[ng --] (the Proprietor of that ex[ecrable ve]hice of Jacobinism, the Telegraph) -- and tho' I should have liked to [have studied] the man a little more, yet I did not think it right or reputa[ble -- so] I refused the offered Kindness. -- Went to be[d -- We both] instead of Bed Cloaths had two feather -433- beds one above & one below -- / both ou[r Sheets] strunk prodigiously of the Soap, with which they had been washed. -- I awo[ke at] two o'clock, & was struck by the awful Echo of the Clock in the huge Ch[urch,] which I heard distinctly. The Echo was loud, & long, and trembling. -- [Slept again,] and, (Thursday, Sept. 20th --) Sept. 20th, I was awaked by the distressful Cries of Poultry crowing [& clucking] & screaming in the market place. I looked out, and saw a large crowd of Market-people / and saw among other articles large Heaps of Hares & Game Fowl, for Sale. -- I reviewed my Expences from Yarmouth to Hamburgh -- L. S. D 0" 3' 6 Fee to the Searcher. 0' 12" 6 Pass port. 0" 6" 0 Bill at the Inn. 0' 1" 0 Porterage to the Pier 0" 3" 0 1 Boat to the Pacquet. N.B. Every Passenger pays half a crown [for himself and 1 shilling for every box] or [parcel he may have --] 3" 3" 0 Passage Money. 1" 1' 0 Provision-money. N.B. Wordsworths & Chester pro- visioned themselves; but I would advise every one to provision with the Captain -- it is but a guinea, & you may be at Sea a fortnight. -- 0" 10" 6 Fees to the Mate, Steward, & Sailors. N.B. This is the least Sum possible. -- 0" 10" 6 Passage from Cuxhaven to Altona. Had I gone in any other way, than in the Pacquet, this would have cost at least a guinea -- probably more / and it is very rare indeed that the pacquets go up to Hamburgh. So I was in luck. -- 0" 1" 0 Boat for self & portmanteau from Altona to Ham- burgh. -- 0" 2" 0 Porterage from the Boat to the Inn. N.B. Of course, I payed the share -- tho' my own baggage was not the 20th part. -- I mention this, merely to account for the largeness of the Sum. -- Sum-Total. £.6" 14' 6. -- P.S. For Babies they charge nothing on board the Pacquet -- Children above 5 years old pay half price. -- My next Sheet will recommence with Thursday, Sept. 20th --/ --. We are very well, & very comfortable. My progress in the language ____________________ 1 In Coleridge's notebook this item reads 3/6, thus making the 'Sum-Total' correct. -434- is rapid & surprizes the people here not a little. Every one pays me the most assiduous attentions -- I have attended some Conversations at the Houses of the Nobility -- stupid things enough. -- It was quite a new thing to me to have Counts & Land-dr[osten] bowing & scraping to me -- & Countesses, old & young, complimenting & amusing me. -- But to be an Englishman is in Germany to be an Angel -- they almost worship you. I wrote to Mrs Coleridge some ludicrous instances of the Rage for England. -- It is absolutely false that the literary Men are Democrats in Germany -- Many were; but like me, have published Abjurations of the French -- among which number are Klopstock, Goethe, (the author of the Sorrows of Werter) Wieland, Schiller & Kotzebu. -- The German is a noble Language -- a very noble Language. If you had time, I should recommend you strenuously to look over the German Grammar, & devote half an hour in every day to construing five or six lines of German. There are Grammar & Dictionary & Meisner's Dialogues among my Books. -- I cannot endure to have an enjoyment in which you cannot partake / and it will furnish an immense store of Enjoyment for your Retirement, and Old Age. -- I have written to a learned Physician in Hamburgh about the Palliate for the Stone -Sir John Sinclair is such an old [wo]man that I have no hopes. Most certainly, Beddoes would have heard of it. -- However, God grant, it may be true! -- My dear Love to your Mother -- indeed, indeed, I love her as a Mother. -- Love to Ward -- & My dear Poole! my Heart is quite full of you. [God bless you & S. T. Coleridge --] N.B. The present King of Prussia is quite adored in Germany; & deserves to be so. He is a good Man. May he continue to be so.