314. To Robert Southey Addressed and franked: London Jan twenty-five 1800. | Mr southey| Kings. down Parade I Bristol H. Wycombe MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 322. Postmark: 25 1800. Sat. 25. 1800 -- Jan. My dear Southey No day passes in which I do not as it were yearn after you / but in truth my occupations have lately swoln above smothering Point -- I am over mouth & nostrils. I have inclosed a Poem which Mrs Robinson gave me for your Anthology -- She is a woman of undoubted Genius. There was a poem of her's in this Morning's paper which both in metre and matter pleased me much -- She overloads every thing; but I never knew a human Being with so full a mind -- bad, good, & indifferent, I grant you, but full, & overflowing. This Poem I asked for you, because I thought the metre stimulating -- & some of the Stanzas really good -- The first line of the 12th would of itself redeem a worse Poem. -- I think, ____________________ 1 This letter probably precedes Poole's letter to Coleridge of 21 Jan 1800. Thomas Poole, ii. 2. 2 Coleridge refers to a house at Aisholt, some three miles from Stowey. 3 Cf. the Latin passage in Letter 317. -562- you will agree with me; but should you not, yet still put it in, my dear fellow! for my sake, & out of respect to a Woman-poet's feelings. 1 -- Miss Hays I have seen. Charles Lloyd's conduct has been atrocious beyond what you stated --. Lamb himself confessed to me, that during the time in which he kept up his ranting sentimental Correspondence with Miss Hays, he frequently read her Letters in company, as a subject for laughter -- & then sate down & answered them quite a la Rosseau! Poor Lloyd! every Hour newcreates him -- he is his own Posterity in a perpetually flowing Series -- & his Body unfortunately retaining an external Identity, THEIR mutual contradictions & disagreeings are united under one name, & of course are called Lies, Treachery, & Rascality! -- I would not give him up; but that the same circumstances, which have wrenched his Morals, prevent in him any salutary Exercise of Genius --. / And therefore he is not worth to the World, that I should embroil & embrangle myself in his Interestst Of Miss Hay's intellect I do not think so highly, as you, or rather, to speak sincerely, I think, not contemptuously, but certainly very despectively thereof. -- Yet I think you likely in this case to have judged better than I -- for to hear a Thing, ugly & petticoated, ex-syllogize a God with cold-blooded Precision, & attempt to run Religion thro' the body with an Icicle -- an Icicle from a Scotch Hog-trough --! I do not endure it! -- my Eye beholds phantoms -- & 'nothing is, but what is not.' -- By your last I could not find, whether or no you still are willing to execute the History of the Levelling Principle -- Let me hear. -Tom Wedgewood is going to the Isle of St Nevis. -- As to myself, Lessing out of the Question, I must stay in England / for I fear, that a circumstance has taken place, which will render a Seavoyage utterly unfit for Sara. -- Indeed, it is a pretty clear case. -Dear Hartley is well, & in high force -- he sported of his own accord a theologico-astronomical Hypothesis -- Having so perpetually heard of good boys being put up into the Sky when they are dead, & being now beyond measure enamoured of the Lamps in the Streets, he said one night, coming thro' the Streets -- 'Stars are dead Lamps -- they be'nt naughty -- they are put up in the Sky.' -Two or three weeks ago he was talking to himself while I was writing, & I took down his soliloquy -- It would make a most original Poem. -- You say, I illuminize -- I think, that Property will some time ____________________ 1 Jasper by Mrs. Mary Robinson ('Perdita') appeared in the Annual Anthology, 1800. The line with which Coleridge was so struck reads: 'Pale Moon! thou Spectre of the Sky V Coleridge included this line in his poem, A Stranger Minstrel. See Poems, i. 852, line 58. -563- or other be modified by the predominance of Intellect, even as Rank & Superstition are now modified by & subordinated to Property, that much is to be hoped of the Future; but first those particular modes of Property which more particularly stop the diffusion must be done away, as injurious to Property itself -these are, Priesthood & the too great Patronage of Government. Therefore if to act on the belief that all things are a Process & that inapplicable Truths are moral Falsehoods, be to illuminize -- why then I illuminize! -- I know that I have been obliged to illuminize so late at night, or rather mornings, that my eyes have smarted as if I had allum in eyes! I believe I have mispelt the word -- & ought to have written Alum: ----- that aside, 'tis a humorous Pun! ----- Tell Davy, that I will soon write. -- God love him! -- You & I, Southey I know a good & great man or two in this World of ours! -- I have discovered so scoundrelly an act of Sheridan's & so dastardly a one of Stuart's -- that I am half-inclined to withdraw myself from the Morning Post. A Row has happened at Norwich, in which Tom Sheridan was concerned. Sheridan went himself to Norwich -- & on his re[turn] he gave in to Stuart, himself, an account of the affair c[ontaining] the most atrocious falsehoods, all of which he himself knew to be [falseh]oods -- [for] Stuart had given me an account of it from Sheridan's own mouth completely in contradiction -- / & Stuart had the dastardly meanness to put it first in the Courier, & afterwards in the Morning Post, under the lying Title of 'an Extract of a Letter from Norwich' 1 -- This Sheridan! -- Is he not an arch Scoundrel? -- This Extract breathed the spirit of the most foul & sanguinary Aristocracy -- & depend upon it, Sheridan is a thorough-paced bad man! -- God love you, my dear Southey! & your affectionate S. T. Coleridge My kind Love to Edith. Let me hear from you -- & do not be angry with me, that I don't [ans]wer your Letters regularly. --