286. To Robert Southey Address: Mr Southey | Mr Holloway's | Minehead MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 303. Stamped: Bridgewater. July 29th, 1799 Nether Stowey I am doubtful, Southey, whether the circumstances which impel me to write to you, ought not to keep me silent -- / & if it were only a feeling of delicacy, I should remain silent -- for it is good to do all things in faith. -- But I have been absent, Southey I ten months, & little Hartley prattles about you / and if you knew, that domestic affliction was hard upon me, and that my own health was declining, would you not have shootings within you of an affection, which ('tho' fall'n, tho' chang'd') has played too important a part in the events of our lives & the formation of our characters, ever to be forgotten? I am perplexed what to write, or how to state the object of my writing -- / Any participation in each other's moral Being I do not wish, simply because I know enough of the mind of man to know that is impossible. But, Southey, we have similar Talents, Sentiments nearly similar, & kindred pursuits -- we have likewise in more than one instance common objects of our esteem and love -- I pray and intreat you, if we should meet at any time, let us not withhold from each other the outward Expressions of daily Kindliness; and if it not be no [any] longer in your power to soften your opinions, make your feelings at least more tolerant towards me -- / a debt of humility which assuredly we all of us owe to our most feeble, imperfect and self-deceiving Nature. -- We are -523- few of us good enough to know our own Hearts -- and as to the Hearts of others, let us struggle to hope that they are better than we think them / & resign the rest to our common maker. God bless you & your's -- S. T. Coleridge