351. To James Webbe Tobin Address: Mr J. W. [Tobin] | Berkley Square | Bristol Single MS. Harvard College Lib. A few lines pub. Christabel, ed. by E. H. Coleridge, 1907, p. 39, and Letters Hitherto Uncollected, ed. W. F. Prideaux, 1913, 10. Both E. H. Coleridge and Prideaux suggest that the letter was addressed to Humphry Davy, but J. W. Tobin was the addressee. The holograph bears evidence of tampering, the name Tobin in the salutation and address being pencilled in, probably over erasures. Postmark: 20 September 1800. Stamped: Keswick. Wednesday, Sept. 17. 1800. Grieta Hall, Keswick. -- My dear [ Tobin] Both Wordsworth and I shall be at home for these six months at least -- & for aught I know to the contrary, for these six years. I need not say, how happy I shall be to see you & your friend -- we ____________________ 1 The Wedgwoods and Poole, to whom Coleridge probably refers, strongly opposed his settling in the north. In 1818 Coleridge wrote to Poole of 'T. Wedgewood's farewell Prophecy to me respecting W., which he made me write down, and which no human Eye ever saw -- but mine'. See also Letter 330. 2 Derwent Coleridge was born 14 Sept. 1800. -622- have room for you --. The Miss Speddings are very good friends of our's, and are not amiss in their exteriors, yet nothing remarkable, in minds or bodies. They are chatty sensible women, republicans in opinion, and just like other Ladies of their rank, in practice --. You will no doubt see them. From Davy's long silence I augured that he was doing something for me -- I mean for me inclusive, as a member of the Universe -- God bless him I I feel more than I think wise to express, from the disappointment in not seeing him --. From the commencement of November next I give myself exclusively to the Life of Lessing -- till then I occupy myself with a volume of Letters from Germany -- to the publication of which my Poverty but not my Will consents. -- The delay in Copy has been owing in part to me, as the writer of Christabel 1 -- Every line has been produced by me with labor-pangs. I abandon Poetry altogether -- I leave the higher & deeper Kinds to Wordsworth, the delightful, popular & simply dignified to Southey; & reserve for myself the honorable attempt to make others feel and understand their writings, as they deserve to be felt & understood. There is no thought of ever collecting my Morning Post Essays -- they are not worth it. Wordsworth, after these volumes have been published, will set about adapting his Tragedy for the Stage -- Sheridan has sent to him about it. What W. & I have seen of the Farmer's Boy= 2 (only a few short extracts) pleased us very much. -- When you come, do not by any means forget to bring with you a bottle of Davy's Acid for Wordsworth --. Does not Davy admire Wordsworth's RUTH? I think it the finest poem in the collection. -Excuse the brevity of this letter, for I am busied in writing out a sheet for Biggs. -- Your's with unfeigned Esteem S. T. Coleridge P.S. My wife was safely & speedily delivered of a very fine boy on last Sunday Night -- both he & she are as well as it is possible that Mother & new born Child can be. She dined & drank Tea up, in the parlor with me, this day-----and this is only Wednesday Night! -- There's for you. Wordsworth's Health is but so so -- Hartley is the same Animal as ever -- he moves & lives, ____________________ 1 Prior to 15 Sept., Coleridge sent to the printers all or a portion of Part I of Christabel; for on that date Wordsworth wrote to Biggs informing him that the printing of Christabel, if it had begun, must be delayed so that three of his poems, which were to precede Coleridge's poem, could be inserted. See Early Letters, 255, Letter 111. 2 Robert Bloomfield's Farmer's Boy was published in a sumptuous quarto in Mar. 1800 and sold an estimated 26,000 copies within three years. -623- As if his Heritage were Joy And Pleasure were his Trade. I heard from Godwin a few days hence -- he is delighted with Ireland & Curran --