287. To Robert Southey Address: Mr Southey MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. E. L. G. i. 123. [ 8 August 1799] 1 Southey -- I had written a long letter to you & sent it to Minehead. -- Therein I had descended into particulars / but I now think that in the present state of your Feelings this was neither wise or delicate -- / I will therefore suppress it. Suffice it to aver, calmly and on my honor as a man & gentleman, that I never charged you with aught but your deep & implacable enmity towards me -- & that I founded this on the same Authorities, on which you founded your belief of my supposed Hatred to you. -- Southey! -- for nearly three years past Poole has been the Repository of my very Thoughts -- I have not written or received any letter of importance, ____________________ 1 On 8 Aug. 1799 a letter of self-justification and recrimination from Southey arrived at Stowey. This letter from Coleridge was written immediately on receipt of Southey's, and it was probably sent to Minehead, along with a letter from Poole, dated 8 Aug., and reading in part 'I am satisfied that the motive which induces me to write, you will consider a sufficient apology for the liberty I take in addressing you. Coleridge and myself have long been in the habit of confiding to each other those things which the most nearly and deeply interest us -- this being the case he naturally showed me your letter which he has just now received -- On perusing it I cannot help thinking but that my testimony must in a great measure clear your mind from those doubts concerning Coleridge's feelings and conduct towards you. . . . Without entering into particulars, I will say generally that in the many conversations I have had with Coleridge concerning yourself, he has never discovered the least personal enmity against, but on the contrary the strongest affection for you; stifled only by the untoward circumstances of your separation -- such has been the general impression I have received from him -- and from him alone I have been acquainted with your intellectual and moral character -- . . . As for Chas. Lloyd, it would be cruel to attribute his conduct to any thing but a diseased mind -- be assured from me, who have seen his contradictory letters, that his evidence amounts to nothing. . . . I send this letter, with the knowledge of Coleridge by an especial Messenger, thinking it probable that you may be induced to alter your plan, and instead of going to the Valley of Stones, to accompany Mrs Southey and Mrs Coleridge to Stowey -- / I have written this because it appears to me that the letter contains what Coleridge himself could not have written.' (MS. in editor's possession.) Poole's good offices were successful; Southey not only paid Coleridge a visit at Stowey but the two families journeyed together into Devonshire. -524- which he has not seen ---- For more than one whole year I was with Wordsworth almost daily -- & frequently for weeks together -Our conversations concerning you have been numberless -- and during the affair with Lloyd under suppositions of a highly irritating kind-- / If Wordsworth & Poole will not affirm to you solemnly that I have ever thought & spoken of you with respect & affection, never charging you with aught else than your restless enmity to me, & attributing even that to Delusion, I abandon myself for ever to the disesteem of every Man, whose Esteem is worth having. -- You have received Evidence to the contrary -- / and I could shew you written Testimonies contradictory to some sentences of your last Letter -- / Yet on my soul I believe you -- I do not require you to do at present the same with regard to me. But I pray you, let us be at least in the possibility of understanding each other's moral Being -- / and with regard to what you have heard, to think a little on the state of mind in which those were from whom you heard it. -- More I will not say; but end by thanking you for your letter which under your Convictions was a wise & temperate one -- God bless you, & your's! S. T. Coleridge