365. To Humphry Davy Address: Mr Davy | Pneumatic institution | Hot Wells | Bristol MS. Royal Institution. Pub.Letters, i. 341. Postmark: 5 December 1800. Stamped: Keswick. Greta Hall, Tuesday Night, Decemb. 2, 1800 My dear Davy By an accident I did not receive your Letter till this Evening. I would, that you had added to the account of your indisposition the probable causes of it. It has left me anxious, whether or no you have not exposed yourself to unwholesome influences in your chemical pursuits. There are few Beings both of Hope & Performance, but few who combine the 'Are' & the 'will be' -- For God's sake'therefore, my dear fellow, do not rip open the Bird, that lays the golden Eggs. I have not received your Book -- I read yesterday a sort of a Medical Review about it. I suppose, Longman will send it to me when he sends down the Lyrical Ballads to Wordsworth. I am solicitous to read the latter part -- did there appear to you any remote analogy between the case, I translated from the German Magazine, & the effects produced by your gas? -- Did Carlisle 1 ever communicate to you, or has he in any way published, his facts concerning Pain, which he mentioned when we were with him? It is a subject which exceedingly interests me -- I want to read something by somebody expressly on Pain, if only to give an arrangement to my own thoughts, though if it were well treated, I have little doubt it would revolutionize them. -- For the last month I have been tumbling on through sands and swamps of Evil, & bodily ____________________ 1 Sir Anthony Carlisle ( 1768-1840), the surgeon. -648- grievance. My eyes have been inflamed to a degree, that rendered reading & writing scarcely possible; and strange as it seems, the act of poetic composition, as I lay in bed, perceptibly affected them, and my voluntary ideas were every minute passing, more or less transformed into vivid spectra. I had leaches repeatedly applied to my Temples, & a Blister behind my ear -- and my eyes are now my own, but in the place, where the Blister was, six small but excruciating Boils have appeared, & harrass me almost beyond endurance. In the mean time, my darling Hartley has been taken with a stomach Illness, which has ended in the yellow Jaundice; & this greatly alarms me. -- So much for the doleful! Amid all these changes & humiliations & fears, the sense of the Eternal abides in me, and preserves unsubdued My chearful Faith that all which I endure Is full of Blessings! 1 At times indeed I would fain be somewhat of a more tangible utility than I am, but so, I suppose, it is with all of us -- one while cheerful, stirring, feeling in resistance nothing but a joy & a stimulus; another while drowsy, self-distrusting, prone to rest, loathing our own Self-promises, withering our own Hopes, our Hopes, the vitality & cohesion of our Being! -- I purpose to have Christabel published by itself -- this I publish with confidence -- but my Travels in Germany come from me with mortal Pangs. Nothing but the most pressing necessity for the money could have induced me -- & even now I hesitate & tremble. Be so good as to have a copy of all that is printed of Christabel sent to me per post. 2 Wordsworth has nearly finished the concluding Poem. 3 It is of a mild unimposing character; but full of beauties to those shortnecked men who have their hearts sufficiently near their heads -the relative distance of which (according to Citizen Tourdes, the French Translator of Spallanzani) 4 determines the sagacity or stupidity of all Bipeds & Quadrupeds. -- There is a deep Blue Cloud over the Heavens; the Lakes, & the vale, & the Mountains are in darkness; -- only the summits of all the mountains in long ridges, covered with snow, are bright to a dazzling excess. A glorious Scene! -- Hartley was in my arms the other evening looking at the Sky -- he saw the moon glide into a ____________________ 1 Tintern Abbey, lines 133-4. 2 No such printed sheets have survived. 3 Michael. 4 J. Tourdes, author of Lettre sur les Médicaments administrés à l'Extérieur de la Peau dans les Maladies, 1797?, and translator of Spallanzani Expériences sur la Circulation. -649- large Cloud -- Shortly after, at another part of the Cloud several Stars sailed in. Says he -- 'Pretty Creatures! they are going in to s[ee] after their mother Moon.' Remember me kindly to King. Write as often as you can; but above all things, my loved & honored dear fellow, do not give up the idea of letting me & Skiddaw see you. God love you & S. T. Coleridge Tobin writes me that Thompson has made some lucrative Discovery -- do you know aught about it? -- Have you seen T. Wedgewood since his return?