316. To Josiah Wedgwood Address: Jos. Wedgewood Esq. | [Cornwallis House | Clifton | [ BristolSingle MS. Wedgwood Museum. Pub. with omis.Tom Wedgwood, 77. Postmark: 4 February 1800. Tuesday Morning. [ 4 February 1800] No / 21. Buckingham Street, Strand My dear Sir Your Brother's Health outweighs all other considerations; & beyond doubt he has made himself well-acquainted with the degree of Heat, which he is to experience there. The only objections that I see are so obvious, that it is idle in me to mention them -the total want of men, with whose Pursuits your Brother can have a fellow-feeling; the length & difficulty of the return, in case of a disappointment; and the necessity of Sea-voyages to almost every change of Scenery. I will not think of the Yellow Fever: that, I hope, is quite out of all probability. -- Believe me, my dear Friend! I have some difficulty in suppressing all that is within me of affection & Grief --! God knows my heart, wherever your Brother is, I shall follow him in spirit -- follow him with my thoughts & most affectionate Wishes! I read your Letter, & did as you desired me. Montague is very cool to me; whether I have still any of the leaven of the citizen & visionary about me, too much for his present zeal; or whether M. is incapable of attending to more than one man at a time; or whether from his dislike of my pressing him to do something for poor Wordsworth; or perhaps from all these causes combined -certain it is, that he is shy of me. Of course, I can be supposed to know but little of him directly from himself; this however in Montague's case implies no loss of any authentic source of Information. From his Friends I hear that the pressure of his immediate circumstances increases, and that (as how could it be otherwise, poor fellow!) he lives accumulating Debts & Obligations. He leaves Wordsworth without his Principal or Interest, 1 which of course he would not do, W.'s daily bread & Meat depending in great part on him, if he were not painfully embarrassed -- Embarrassed I should have said: for Pinny tells me, that he suffers no pain from it. -- As to his views, he is now gone to Cambridge to canvass for a fellow-ship in Trinity Hall; Mackintosh has kindly written to Dr Lawrence, who is very intimate with the master; & he has other interest. -- He is likewise trying hard for & in expectation of, a Commissionership of Bankruptcy, & means to pursue the Law with ____________________ 1 1 In 1795 Wordsworth loaned Basil Montagu most of the £900 legacy he had recently received from Raisley Calvert. -567- all ardour & steadiness. -- As to the state of his mind, it is that which it was & will be. God love him! he has a most incurable Forehead. John Pinny 1 called on him and looking on his Table saw by accident a Letter directed to himself -- Why, Montague! that Letter is for me -- & from Wordsworth! -- 'Yes! I have had it sometime.' -- Why did you not give it me? 'Oh! -- it wants some explanation first. You must not read it now -- for I can't give you the explanation now.' -- And Pinny, who you know is a right easynatured man has not been able to get his own Letter from him to this Hour! -- Of his Success at Cambridge Caldwell is doubtful, or more than doubtful. He says, that men at Cambridge don't trust overmuch these sudden changes of Principle. And most certainly, there is a zeal, an over acted fervor, a spirit of proselytism that distinguishes these men from the manners, & divides them from the sympathies, of the very persons, to whose party they have gone over. Smoking hot from the Oven of conversion they don't assort well with the old Loaves. So much of Montague; all that I know, & all, I suspect, that is to be known. A kind, gentlemanly, affectionate-hearted Man, possessed of an absolute Talent for Industry -- would to God! he had never heard of Philosophy! -- I have been three times to the House of Commons, each time earlier then the former, & each time hideously crowded -- the two first Day[s] the Debate was put off -- yesterday I went at a quarter before 8, and remained till 3 this morning -- & then sate writing, & correcting other men's writing till 8 -- a good 24 hours of unpleasant activity! 2 I have not felt myself sleepy yet -- / Pitt & Fox completely answered my pre-formed Ideas of them. The elegance, & high-finish of Pitt's Periods even in the most sudden replies, is curious; but that is all. He argues but so so; & does not reason at all. Nothing is rememberable in what he says. Fox possesses all the full & overflowing Eloquence of a man of clear head, clean heart, & impetuous feelings. He is to my mind a great orator. All the rest that spoke were mere creatures. I could make a better speech myself than any that I heard, excepting Pitt's & Fox's. I reported that part of Pitt's which I have inclosed in crotchets -- not that I report ex officio; but Curiosity having led me there, I did Stuart a service by taking a few Notes. I work from Morning to night; but in a few weeks I shall have accomplished my purpose -- & then ____________________ 1 John Frederick Pinney had loaned Racedown to the Wordsworths in 1795. 2 Coleridge's report of the debate on the continuation of the French war was published in the Morning Post, 6 Feb. 1800. See Essays on His Own Times, i. 285-92. Mrs. H. N. Coleridge attributes to Coleridge by internal evidence a commentary on this debate appearing in the Morning Post on 6 Feb. See Essays on His Own Times, ii. 367-71. -568- adieu to London for ever! We Newspaper scribes are true GalleySlaves-when the high winds of Events blow loud & frequent, then the Sails are hoisted, or the Ship drives on of itself -- when all is calm & Sunshine, then to our oars. Yet it is not unflattering to a man's Vanity to reflect that what he writes at 12 at night will before 12 hours is over have perhaps 5 or 6000 Readers! To trace a happy phrase, good image, or new argument running thro' the Town, & sliding into all the papers! Few Wine merchants can boast of creating more sensation. Then to hear a favorite & often urged argument repeated almost in your own particular phrases in the House of Commons -- & quietly in the silent self-complacence of your own Heart chuckle over the plagiarism, as if you were grand Monopolist of all good Reasons! -- But seriously, considering that I have Newspapered it merely as means of subsistence while I was doing other things, I have been very lucky -- the New Constitution, the Proposals for Peace, the Irish Union --; &c &c -- they are important in themselves, & excellent Vehicles for general Truths. I am not ashamed of what I have written. -- I desired Poole to send you all the Papers antecedent to your own. I think you will like the different Analyses of the French Constitution. -- I have attended Mackintosh regularly. He was so kind as to send me a Ticket, & I have not failed to profit by it. What I think of M. & all I think I will tell you in some future Letter. -- My affectionate respects to Mrs W. -- God love you, my dear Sir! I remain with grateful & most affectionate Esteem Your faithful Friend -- S. T. Coleridge Uxor mea -- &c. Sunt qui gemunt, quód sine sobole maneant; ast meo de pectore, spe, amore, religione nequaquam reclamantibus, suspiria aliquando eluctantur, anxia suspiria, ne mihi Juno et Dii maritales etiam plus optato faveant! ----