338. To Daniel Stuart Address: D. Stuart Esq. | No / 385 | Strand | London Morning Post Office MS. British Museum. Pub. with omis. Letters from the Lake Poets, 7. Postmark: 19 July 1800. Stamped: Keswick. Tuesday, July 15 1800 Dear Stuart Since I quitted you, I have never been within 150 miles of London -- I left Grasmere with the intention indeed, but at Kendal received letters which forced me Stowey-ward --. Since my rearrival here, I have been confined part of the time to my bed by a sort of rheumatic fever -- & till within this last brace of days, my eyelids have been swoln & inflamed to a degree which has made it imprudent even to wite a common letter. -- Why should I have wished to shun you? -- Surely, we have always behaved kindly & honorably -- to each other ----- Wordsworth's state of Health at this present time is such as to preclude all possibility of writing for a paper -- as to myself, I will do what I promised the very first thing I do -- this day & tomorrow I must write letters --. On Thursday I will set to, & will not leave off, on my word & honor, till I have done a second part of Pitt, & Buonaparte --. With these I will write you further, whether or no I shall be able to continue in any species of regular connection with your paper --. Whether I do or no, be assured that as a friend I shall be at your service, if you wish any thing particular at any particular time. Wordsworth requests me to be very express in the communication of his sincere thanks to you, for the interest which you have been so kind as to take in his poems. We are convinced you have been of great service to the sale. -- A second Edition is now printing, with a second Volume. With regard to the play business, Wordsworth has a Tragedy by him, in my opinion, a most masterly one / this he would transmit by you to Mr Sheridan, for Mr Sheridan's opinion, provided you would engage that the Copy shall be returned to him -- as he has but this one perfect Copy. Mr Sheridan will see by this of what kind Mr Wordsworth's dramatic Talents are; & if he should find the Tragedy unfit for representation, he might put Mr W. in the way of writing a play that should be fit for representation, by pointing out to him the defects that render the present one untheatrical. Mr Sheridan's conception of my obstinacy is a mistake --. When I sent my play to him, I gave at the same time expressly to him the whole & absolute power of alteration, addition, & omission --. I did indeed defend some parts of my play against Young Linley, -603- but only as a metaphysician; never supposing myself to have any voice or suffrage, or even opinion, as to what was or was not suited for representation. After all, I never blamed Mr Sheridan for not bringing my play on the stage. God knows my inmost heart, & knows that I never for an hour together thought it likely to succeed -- I blamed Mr Sheridan solely for taking no kind of notice even of the receipt of my play, for returning me no answer whatever, & for withholding from me the copy of my play after repeated applications; & those applications too made at a time when I had no copy in my possession, & wished to have disposed of it to the Booksellers -- when the 30£, I might have had for it, would have been a draught of Nepenthe & heavenly restoration to me. -- But this is all gone by! -- I am convinced, I have no Talents for so arduous a species of composition as the Drama. -- I should wish you however to state the foregoing account to Mr Sheridan. -- My address henceforward will be Mr Coleridge, | Greta Hall, ∣ Keswick ∣ Cumberland. I move thither on Tuesday next. -- N.B. The newspapers come very irregularly indeed. Your's sincerely S. T. Coleridge We have never had the Newspaper with the Verses I sent you from, Bristol. 1