340. To Thomas, Poole Address: Mr T. Poole | N. Stowey | Bridgewater | Somerset MS. British Museum. Pub. E. L. G. i. 144. Postmark: 28 July 1800. Stamped: Keswick. July 24, 1800 My dear Poole Within a few days of my arrival at Grasmere I increased the cold, which I had caught at Liverpool, to a rheumatic fever almost, which confined me to my bed for some days, & left me so weak, & listless, that writing was hateful to me -- & my eye lids were so swoln, that it was painful too. Had I written to you, I could have written only as a Duty -- and with that feeling never will I write to you. -- We met at Bristol a pleasant chaise companion who did not leave us till we arrived at Liverpool -- we travelled the first day to Tewksbury, the next night we slept at Shrewsbury, having passed thro' Worcester, Kidderminster, Bridgenorth & Colebrook Dale -- the next night at Chester, where we stayed a day & a half. It is a walled city, a walk on the walls all around it -- the Air of the city is thick enough to be edible, & stinks. From Chester we proceeded, crossing a ferry of 7 miles, to Liverpool. -- At Liverpool we took up our quarters with Dr Crompton, who lives at Eton, a noble seat four miles & a half from the town -- he received us with joyous hospitality, & Mrs Crompton, who is all I can conceive of an angel, with most affectionate gladness. Here we stayed 8 or 9 days, during which I saw a great deal of Dr Currie, Roscoe, Rathbone ( Colebrook Renyolds's Brother-in-law) & other literati. Currie is a genuine philosopher; a man of mild & rather solemn manners -- if you had ever keen my Brother George, I would have referred you to him for a striking resemblance of Currie. -- I would have you by all means order the late Edition in four Volumes of Burns's Works -- the Life is written by Currie, and a masterly specimen of philosophical Biography it is. -- Roscoe is a man of the most delightful manners -- natural, sweet, & cheerful -- zealous in kindness, and a republican with all the feelings of prudence & all the manners of good sense -- so that he is beloved by the Aristocrats themselves. He has a nice matronly wife, & 9 fine children. -- Rathbone is a quaker, as brimful of enthusiastic goodness as a vessel of mortality can be. He is a man of immense fortune. The union of all these men is most amiable -- they truly love each other, a -607- band of Brothers! And yet by their wisdom in keeping back all political trials of power in Liverpool they have stifled party spirit in that city, & enabled themselves to be the founders of a most magnificent Library -- magnificent as a Building, respectable in it's present stock of Books, & magnificent in what it is to be. They have received last week an accession of 3000£, all to be laid out in books of acknowleged reputation -- & the yearly income of the foundation is 1000£. The slave-merchants of Liverpool fly over the heads of the slave-merchants of Bristol, as Vultures over carrion crows. -- This library is called the Athenaeum. In religion Currie, I suppose, is a philosopher -- Roscoe is a pious Deist -- Rathbone, I suppose, is the same; or more probably he cloathes his Deism even to his own mind in the language of Scripture -- a Christian, as Taylor is a Platonist. -- But this is all guess. On this day I arrived at Keswick, & have entered on my habitation. Wordsworth will stay at Grasmere for a year to come at least -- it is possible, he may not quit it at all. -- He is well, unless when he uses any effort of mind -- then he feels a pain in his left side, which threatens to interdict all species of composition to him. -- Our goods are all arrived -- & now in house. -- Of Keswick, & [of] my house, heaven forbid that I shall begin to write at the fag end of such a beggarly sheet of paper as this --. No! as soon as the Stir & Hurry is over I shall open upon you in a sheet that might serve for a sheet! -My address is Greta Hall, Keswick, Cumberland. We are very anxious about your mother -- I have said to myself, that no news is good news. My love to Ward. -- My eyes still remain so weak that it is disagreeable to me to read over my own letter. -- I wish, that Ward would immediately copy for me the third letter which I wrote, descriptive of the Hartz Mountains. 1 I have got the two first; but the last is lost -- & I want it immediately. -- Sheridan has sent me a strange sort of a message about my Tragedy -- wishing me to write for the stage, making all his old offers over again, & charging the non-representation of my play on my extreme obstinacy in refusing to have it at all altered! -- Did you ever hear of such a damned impudent Dog? -- God for ever bless you, my dear Poole -- & your most affectionate | Friend S. T. Coleridge ____________________ 1 Cf. Letter 282. The copy made by Ward was sent to Coleridge and is now in the New York Public Library. -608-