317. To Robert Southey Address: Mr Southey | Kingsdown Parade | BristolSingle MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. with omis.Letters, i.324. Postmark: 12 February 1800. Stamped: Strand. My dear Southey I shall give up this Newspaper Business -- it is too, too fatiguing. -I have attended the Debates twice, & the first time I was 25 Hours in activity, & that of a very unpleasant kind -- and the second Time from 10 in the Morning to 4 o/clock the next morning. -- I am sure, that you will excuse my silence, tho' indeed after two such Letters from you I cannot scarcely excuse it myself. First of the book -569- business -- I find resistance which I did not expect to the anonymousness of the Publication -- Longman seems confident, that a work on such a Subject without a name would not do.---- Translations & perhaps Satires, are, he says, the only works that Booksellers now venture on, without a name. He is very solicitous to have your Thalaba: & wonders (most wonderful!) that you do not write a Novel. That would be the Thing! And truly if by no more pains than a St Leon requires you could get 400£!! -- or half the money, I say so too!---- / If we were together, we might easily toss up a novel, to be published in the name of one of us -- or two, if that were all -- & then christen 'em by lots. As sure as Ink flows in my Pen, by help of an amanuensis, I could write a volume a week -- & Godwin got 400£!! for it -- think of that, Master Brooks! -I hope, that some time or other you will write a novel on that subject of your's -- I mean, the Rise & Progress of a Laugher -- Legrice in your Eye -- the effect of Laughing on Taste, Manners, morals, & happiness! -- But as to the Jacobin Book, I must wait till I hear from you. Phillips would be very glad to engage you to write a School book for him, the History of Poetry in all nations -- about 400 pages -- but this too must have your name -- He would give 60£ -- If poor dear Burnet were with you, he might do it under your eye & with your Instructions as well as you or I could do it -- but it is the name / Longman remarked acutely enough -- We Booksellers scarcely pretend to judge the merits of the Book, but we know the saleableness of the name I & as they continue to buy most books on the calculation of a first Edition of a 1000 Copies, they are seldom much mistaken:----for the name gives them the excuse for sending it to all the Gemmen in Great Britain & the Colonies, from whom they have standing Orders for new books of reputation. This is the secret, why Books published by Country Booksellers, or by Authors on their own account, so seldom succeed.---- As to my schemes of residence, I am as unfixed as yourself -- only that we are under the absolute necessity of fixing somewhere -- & that somewhere will, I suppose, be Stowey -- there are all my Books, & all our Furniture. -- In May I am under K kind of engagement to go with Sara to Ottery -- My family wish me to fix there, but that I must decline, in the names of public Liberty & individual Free-agency. Elder Brothers, not senior in Intellect, & not sympathizing in main opinions, are subjects of occasional Visits, not temptations to a Co-township. But if you go to Burton, Sara & I will waive the Ottery Plan, if possible, & spend May, & June with you -- & perhaps July -- but She must be settled in a house by the latter end of July, or the first week in August. -- Till we are with you, Sara means to spend 5 weeks with the Roskillies, & a week or -570- two at Bristol, where I shall join her. She will leave London in three weeks at least -- perhaps, a fortnight: & I shall give up Lodgings, & billet myself free of expence at my friend, Purkis's at Brentford. -- This is my present Plan----O my dear Southey! I would to God, that your Health did not enforce you to migratewe might most assuredly contrive to fix a residence somewhere, which might possess a sort of centrality -- / Alfoxden would make two Houses sufficiently divided for unimpinging Independence. -Sara is shockingly uncomfortable -- but that will be soon over -London does not suit either of us. -- My kindest Love to Edith -- admodum verisimile est, quód paucis annis constitutio ejus revolutionem patietur (ipse multa istiusmodi exempla scio --) et cum valetu[do] ejus confirmata fuerit, tum et mater erit. Vacillante veró valetudine, minime optandum est; quippe non pote[rit) esse sine periculo Consumptionis. Interea, mi carissime, meum Parvulum ames! -- Habes quod tibi gratuleris -- habes maximum Dei optimi Donum, uxorem carissimam tuae indoli omnino conformatam et quasi constellatam. Mulier mea purissimae mentis est, probabili ingenio praedita, et quae maternis curis se totam dat, dicat, dedicat; Indoles veró quotidiana, et Sympathiae minutiores, meis studiis, temperamento, infirmitatibus eheul minime consentiunt -- non possumus omni ex parte felices esse. -- In primis annis nuptialibus saepe vel miser fui -- nunc vero (ut omnia mitescunt) tranquillus, imo, animo grato! ---- Mi Amice, mi Frater, Φίλτατόν μοΙ κɑ + ́ρα, non possumus omni ex parte felices esse. Tell Davy that I have not forgotten him, because without an epilepsy I cannot forget him / & if I wrote to him as often as I think of him -- Lord have mercy on his Pocket! -- God bless you again & again -- S. T. Coleridge I pass this Evening with Charlotte Smith 1 at her house --