332. To Josiah Wedgwood Address: Josiah Wedgewood Esq. | No 39 | Gloucester Place | Portman Square | London MS. British Museum. Hitherto unpublished. Postmark: 25 April 1800. Stamped: Keswick. Monday, April 21 1800 Mr Wordsworth's Grasmere near Ambleside, Westmoreland My dear Sir You may well suppose, what a pain at heart it is to me to have an explanation to make to you concerning money matters. -- So far back as four years ago my Bill to Cottle for various articles, for cash among the rest, was 20£ -- Cottle was then in prosperous & promising circumstances, & gave me to understand that he should never consider me in his Debt, till I became a richer man than he& refused to send me in his Bill. Lately, poor fellow! his affairs have fallen to rack & ruin / my debt stood on his Ledger -- & he wrote me a very importunate Letter. He had suffered deeply from the very mean opinion, which I had frankly expressed to him of his Epic Poem -- expressed wholly as an expedient to prevent him from publishing it at his own expence -- & he made the application not without expressions of a wounded & angry mind. At the time I received his Letter I knew that within three weeks I should receive more than the 20£ from the Bookseller -- & I sent him therefore a Draft on you -- imagining of course that he would not present it till the expiration of the three weeks, before which time I should have not only advertised you of it, but included the 20£. This indeed was the sole reason of my not doing what, I am now sensible, I should have done -- written to you immediately -- but in truth, I was sore all over with the apprehension, that you might accuse me of irregularity & a presumption wholly unjustifiable, well knowing that I have already more than overdrawn myself. With an unlucky, but I should hope, not very blameable Cowardice of feeling I felt a repugnance to acquaint you of it without at the same time sending the money. To morrow morning I send off the last sheet -586- of my irksome & soul-wearying Labor, the Translation of Schiller -and as soon as I have received my stipend, I will remit to you. 1 -My dear Sir -- how much you have been harrassed by irregular men, what disgust have you associated, of necessity, with them, & the idea of meanness that attaches to the expedients of embarrassment, I well know -- and I am sure, the extreme pain & agitation, which your letter gave me, did not seduce me into the slightest censure of you, as unkind----but I anticipate a sort of comfort in knowing that you can understand how much I suffered from pride & far honester feelings than Pride.---- For these last six months I have worked incessantly----and have lived with as much economy as is practicable by any man / but many expences, not expected, & not immediately my own, have still thrown me back. In this engagement of translating the prolix Plays of Schiller I made too a very, very foolish bargain -the Bookseller indeed has given me his word, that in case of their success he will consider [me] as entitled to an additional Remuneration -- but of their Success I have no hope -- / for I can say with truth, that I could have written a far better play myself in half the time. But with all this I have learnt that I have Industry & Perseverance -- and before the end of the year, if God grant me health, I shall have my wings wholly unbirdlim'd. -- This is Monday -- and I shall be in London the beginning of next week -I pray you, my dear Sir! be so kind as to write to me -- for God forbid that so sore an affliction should befall me, as that the connection between us should ever be a source of Doubt to you, or otherwise than honorable to me --. -- Believe me most affectionately | & | gratefully | Your's S. T. Coleridge