373. To Thomas Poole Address: Mr T. Poole | N. Stowey | Bridgewater| Somerset MS. British Museum. Pub. with omis. E. L. G. i. 166. Postmark: 9 January 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Tuesday Night, Jan. 7. [6] 1801 My dear Poole I write, alas! from my bed, to which I have been confined for almost the whole of the last three weeks with a Rheumatic Fever -which has now left me, I trust -- but the pain has fixed itself in ray hip, & in consequence, as I believe, of the torture I have sustained in that part, & the general feverous state of my body, my left testicle has swoln to more than three times it's natural size, so that I can only lie on my back, and am now sitting wide astraddle on this wearisome Bed. O me, my dear fellow! the notion of a Soul is a comfortable one to a poor fellow, who is beginning to be ashamed of his Body. For the last four months I have not had a fortnight of continuous health / bad eyes, swoln Eyelids, Boils behind my ears, & heaven knows what! -- From this year I commence a Liver by Rule -- the most degrading, perhaps, of all occupations, & which, were I not a Husband & Father, I should reject, as thinking human Life not worth it. -- My visit to the South I must defer to the warm weather -- the remaining months of the winter & the Spring I must give totis viribus to Health & Money -- . But for my illness I should have been so far beforehand with the world, that I should in all probability have been able to have maintained myself all this year without drawing on [the] Mr Wedgewoods, which I wished with a very fever of earnestness: for indeed it is gall to me to receive any more money from them, till I can point to something which I have done with an inward consciousness, that therein I have exerted the whole of my mind. -- As soon as my poor Head can endure the intellectual & mechanical part of composition, I must immediately finish a volume which has been long due -- this will cost me a month, for I must not attempt to work hard. When this is finished, I shall receive 70£ clear -- which will not be sufficient by some pounds to liquidate my debts: for I owe 20£ to Wordsworth, 25£ to Shopkeepers & my Landlord in Keswick, & 25£ to Phillips, the Bookseller (moneys received on the score of a work to be done for him which I could do indeed in a fortnight & receive 25£ more; but the fellow's name is become so infamous, that it would be worse than any thing I have yet done to appear in public as his Hack.) -Besides these I owe about 30£, 17£ of it to you, & the remainder -661- to Lamb -- but these are of no pressing nature, whereas the above mentioned are imperious. -- After this work I shall publish my Tragedy, which I have greatly added to, & altered, under the title of a Poem -- & likewise, & by itself, Christabel. These will fetch me 60£ -- & here end the List of my immediate & certain Resources. ---I have by me a Drama, and a sort of Farce -- written wholly for the Theatre, & which I should be ashamed of in any other view -- works written purposely vile -- if aught good should come of them, it would set me at case at once; but that is but a Dream. -- The result of all this is (I am so dizzy in consequence of so long lying a bed that I do not know whether I write legibly in manner or intelligibly in matter) that much as it may distress me, I must draw on Mr Wedgewood -- I do not know how much of this year's money I have anticipated -- I hope, not more than 40£ -- if so, I have 110 coming. -One thing I must request of you, that you will desire Mr King to pay 15£ to Mrs Fricker on my account -- and I have written to Mr Wedgewood to repay that sum to you. I have done this, because she is in immediate want of the money, & it saves the circuit of Letters, & it would have been gross to have had the money sent to her immediately from Mr Wedgewood. -- My Wife & Children are well -- Derwent is a fine fat little fellow, that very often looks just like your dear Mother. Hartley is a universal Darling -- he seems to have administered Love Philtres to the whole Town. -God bless you, my dearest Poole! -- I have scarce strength left to fold up the Letter -- S. T. Coleridge