296. To Thomas Ward Address: Mr Ward | at Mr T. Poole's | Nether Stowey | Somerset MS. Miss Helen M. Cam. Pub. Thomas Poole, i. 305. 1799 -- Oct. 8 Ward! I recant -- I recant -- solemnly recant and disannul all praise, puff, and panegyric on you and your damn'd Pens -- I have this moment read the note which you had wrapped round your last present1 -- and last night therefore wrote my Elogy on the assured Belief that the first Batch were your's, and before I had tried the second --. -- The second! I'm sick on't -- such execrable Blurrers of innocent white paper, Villains with uneven Legs -- Hexameter & Pentameter Pens -- Elogy -- no -- no -- no -- Elegies written with elegiac Pens (whose L E Gees I wish in your Guts) elegies on my poor Thoughts doing penance in white sheets, filthily illegible -- My 1 ' T Ward not having had time to mend the pens before tea delegated that commission to Rd. Govett, but fearing their workmanship may not prove of so superior a kind as his own, he now begs Mr Coleridge's acceptance of these few pens which are his own manufacture, and which he hopes will suit Mr C ----' On Ward's note Coleridge wrote the following fable: The Fox, the Goose, and the Swan, a new Fable. The Fox observing a white Bird on the lake thought it a Goose -- leapt in, & meant to have payed his respects, but met such a rebuff as had nearly made his fate similar to that of his namesake, the celebrated Guy. However he got off -- with a most profound respect for the supposed Goose; but soon received a Message from the Goose to this purport -- Dear Frind! I have sent this hopping -- hir'd has ow u dun mee the onnur of a vissat -- sorry u dident hap to have meat with I -- / That dowdy lanky neck'd Thing that u saw is a distant relashon of I's, and I suffers r to swum about the Pond when I is not at hum / but I is at hum now -- & hop for the onnur of ure cumpany -- Your luvving Frind Guse. The Fox came -- & -- you guess the Rest. -- / / This Fable I address to the Writer of the above notable instance of Incapacity self-detected thro' Vardty! -- -537- rage prevents me from writing sense -- but o Govatt! dear Govatt! kick that spectacle-mongering Son of Pen-hatchet out of Creation -and remain alone, from the date hereof invested with the rank and office of Penmaker to my immortal Bardship, with all the dignities and emoluments thereunto annexed -- Given from Apollo's | Temple in the | odoriferous Lime-Grove -alias | Street ----- in what | olympiad our Inspiration | knows not, but of the | usurping Christian Æra | 1799 -- Oct. 8. S. T. Coleridge Govatt is expected to express his Gratitude by an immediate present of half a dozen pens -- amended if indeed the reprobates be not incorrigible. --