366. To Thomas Poole Address: Mr T. Poole | N. Stowey | Bridgewater | Somerset MS. British Museum. Pub. with omis.Letters, i. 343. Postmark: 9 December 1800. Stamped: Keswick. Saturday Night -- Dec. 6 1800 Greta Hall, Keswick. My dearest Friend I have been prevented from answering your last letter entirely by the state of my eyes, & my wish to write more fully to you than their weakness would permit. For the last month & more I have indeed been a very crazy machine, & I write at this present with 6 Boils behind my ear, the discharges from which have however both relieved the inflammation in my eyes & the rheumatic pains in the back of my head. THAT consequence of this long continued ill-health, which I most regret is that it has thrown me so sadly behindhand in the performance of my engagements with the Booksellers that I almost fear I shall not be able to raise money enough by Christmas to make it prudent for me to journey Southward. I shall however try hard for it. My plan was to go to London, & make a faint Trial whether or no I could get a sort of dramatic Romance which I had more than half finished upon the stage 1 -- & from London to visit Stowey & Gunville. Dear little Hartley has been ill in a stomach complaint which ended in the yellow Jaundice & frightened me sorely as you may well believe. But praise be to God, he is recovered & begins to look like himself. -- He is a very extraordinary creature, & if he live, will I doubt not prove a great Genius. Derwent is a fat pretty child, healthy & hungry. I de- ____________________ 1 Coleridge may refer to The Triumph of Loyalty, of which a fragment exists. Poems, ii. 1060-73. -650- liberated long whether I should not call him Thomas Poole Coleridge, & at least [sic] gave up the idea only because your Nephew is called Thomas Poole, & because if ever it should be my destiny once again to live near you, I believed that such a name would give pain to some branches of your Family -- You will scarcely exact a very severe account of what a man has been doing who has been obliged for days & days together to keep his Bed. Yet I have not been altogether idle, having in my own conceit gained great light into several parts of the human mind which have hitherto remained either wholly unexplained or most falsely explained. / To one resolution I am wholly made up -- to wit, that as soon as I am a Free Man in the World of Money I will never write a line for the express purpose of money / but only as believing it good & useful, in some way or other. Altho' I am certain, that I have been greatly improving both in knowlege & power in these last twelve months, yet still at times it presses upon me with a painful Weight, that I have not evidenced a more tangible utility. I have too much trifled with my reputation. -- You have conversed much with Davy -- he is delighted with you. What do you think of him? Is he not a great Man, think you? -- Wordsworth's second Vol. is on the point of publication -- of a mild unimposing character, but full of beauties to those short-necked Men who have their heads sufficiently near to their hearts -- the distance between which (according to Citizen Tourdes, the Fr. Translator of Spallanzani) determines the sagacity or stupidity of all Bipeds & Quadrupeds. I and my Wife were beyond measure delighted by your account of your Mother's health -- give our best & kindest Loves to her. Charles Lloyd has settled at Ambleside, 16 miles from Keswick. I shall not see him. If I cannot come, I will write you a very, very long Letter -- containing the most important of the many thoughts & feelings, which I want to communicate to you but hope to do it face to face. Give my Love to Ward -- & to J. Chester --. How is poor Old Mr Rich & his Wife? -- God have you ever in his keeping, making Life tranquil to you. Believe me to be what I have been ever & am, attached to you one degree more at least than to any other living man. S. T. Coleridge. -651-