308. To Humphry Davy Address: Mr Davy | the Pneumatic Institution | Bristol Single MS. Royal Institution. Pub. E. L. G. i. 130. The holograph of this letter has a number of holes burned in it. Postmark: 1 January 1800. JAN. 1. 1800 My dear Davy Longman deems it best for you to publish a Volume, & be determined by the Nature of the Sale at what interval you will publish a second -- the Volume of what size you find convenient. And you may of course begin printing when you like. All the tradesman part of the Business Longman will settle with Biggs & Cottle. 1 ----- I expected to have heard from Southey -- tell him, I have seen Longman, & find him all willingness. But I could only speak in generals; & am waiting anxiously for the arrival of the first Books. ----- Davy! Davy! if the public Good did not iron and adamant you to England & Bristol, what a little colony might we [no]t make -- / Tobin, I am sure, wo[uld] go -- & Wordsworth -- & I -- & Southey. -- Precious Stuff for Dreams -- & God knows, I have no time for them! -- Questions. On dipping my foot & leg into very hot water the first sensation ____________________ 1 Davy Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, chiefly concerning. Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air, and its Respiration, published in 1800 by J. Johnson. -556- was identical with th[at] of having dipped it into very cold. -- This identity recurred as often as I took my leg out in order to pour in the hot water from the Kettle, & put it in again. How is this explained in a philosophical Language divested of corpuscular Theories? Define Disgust in philosophical Language --. -- Is it not, speaking as a materialist, always a stomach-sensation conjoined with an idea? What is the cause of that sense of cold, which accompanies inhalation, after having eat peppermint Drops? If you don't answer me these, I'll send them to the Lady's Diary -- where you may find fifty Questions of the same Depth & Kidney. -- A Private Query -- On our system of Death does [it] not follow, that killing a bad man mi[ght do] him a great deal of Good? And that [ Bon]aparte wants a gentle Dose of this kind, dagger or bullet ad libitum? -- I wish in your Researches that you & Beddoes would give a compact compressed History of the Human Mind for the last Century -- considered simply as to the acquisition of Ideas or new arrangement of them. Or if you won't do it there, do it for me -- & I will print it with an Essay I am now writing on the principles of Population & Progressiveness. -- Godwin talks evermore of you with lively affection. -- 'What a pity that such a Man should degrade his vast Talents to Chemistry' -- cried he to me. -- Why, quoth I, how, Godwin! can you thus talk of a science, of which neither you nor I understand an iota? &c &c -- & I defended Chemistry as knowingly at least as Godwin attacked it -- affirmed that it united the opposite advantages of immaterializing [the] mind without destroying the definiteness of [the] Ideas -- nay even while it gave clearness to them -- And eke that being necessarily [per]formed with the passion of Hope, it was p[oetica]l -- & we both agreed (for G. as we(ll as I] thinks himself a Poet) that the Poet is the Greatest possible character -- &c &c. Modest Creatures! -- Hurra, my dear Southey! -- You, [& I,] & Godwin, & Shakespere, & Milton, with what an athanasiophagous Grin we shall march together -- we poets: Down with all the rest of the World! -- By the word athanasiophagous I mean devouring Immortality by anticipation -- 'Tis a sweet Word! -- God bless you, my dear Davy! Take my nonsense like a pinch of snuff -- sneeze it off, it clears the head -- & to Sense & yourself again ----- With most affectionate esteem Your's ever S. T. Coleridge -557-