374. To Humphry Davy Address: Mr Davy | Pneumatic Institution | Hotwells | Bristol MS. Royal Institution. Pub. with orals. E. L. G. i. 168. Postmark: 14 January 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Jan. 11. 1801 My dear Davy With legs astraddle & bebolster'd back, Alack! alack! I received your letter just in time to break up some speculations on the Hernia Humoralis, degenerating into Sarcocele, 'in which (after a long paragraph of Horrors) the Patient is at last carried off in great misery.' ---- From the week that Stoddart left me to the present I have been harrassed by a succession of Indispositions, inflamed eyes, swoln eyelids, boils behind my ear, &c &c -- Somewhat more than 8 weeks ago I walked to Grasmere, & was wet thro' -- I changed immediately -- but still the next day I was taken -662- ill, & by the Lettre de cachet of a Rheumatic Fever sentenced me to the Bed-bastille -- the Fever left me, and on the Friday before last I was well enough to be conveyed home in a chaise -- but immediately took to my bed again -- a most excrue[ia]ting pain on the least motion, but not without motion, playing Robespierre & Marat in my left Hip & the small of my back -- but alas I worse than all, my left Testicle swelled, without pain indeed, but distressing from it's weight; from a foolish shamefacedness almost peculiar to Englishmen I did [not] shew it to our doctor till last Tuesday night. On examination it appeared that a Fluid had collected between the Epididymis & the Body of the Testicle (how learned a Misfortune of this kind makes one) -- Fomentations & fumigations of Vinegar having no effect, I applied Sal ammoniac dissolved in verjuice, & to considerable purpose; but the smart was followed by such a frantic & intolerable Itching over the whole surface of the Scrotum, that I am convinced it is the identical Torment which the Damned suffer in Hell, & that Jesus, the good-natured one of the Trinity, had it built of Brimstone, in a pang of pity for the poor Devils. -- In all the parts thro' which the Spermatic Chord passes, I have dull & obtuse pains -- and on removing the suspensory Bandage the sense of weight is terrible. -- I never knew before what it was to be truly weak in body -- I h[av]e such pains in the Calves of my Legs -- / yet still [m]y animal spirits bear me up -- tho' I am so weak, that even from sitting up to write this note to you I seem to sink in upon myself in a ruin, like a Column of Sand informed & animated only by a Whirl-blast of the Desart. 1 Pray, my dear Davy! did you rectify the red oil which rises over after the Spirit of Hartshorn is gotten from the Horns, so as to make that animal oil of Diphelius? 2 And is it true what Hoffman 3 asserts, that 15 or 20 drops will exert many times the power of opium both in degree & duration, without inducing any after fatigue? -- You say W.'s 'last poem is full of jus[t] pictures of what human life ought to be' -- believe me, that such scenes & such char[acters] ____________________ 1 Cf. the following lines from The Triumph of Loyalty: The Whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up And shape themselves; from Heaven to Earth they stand, As though they were the Pillars of a Temple, Built by Omnipotence in its own honour! But the Blast pauses, and their shaping spirit Is fled: the mighty Columns were but sand. Poems, ii. 1072, and also i. 423. 2 Presumably Coleridge refers to the animal oil invented by J. K. Dippel, 1678-1784. 3 Probably Friedrich Hoffmann ( 1660-1742), the celebrated German physician. -663- really exist in this county -- the superiority [of] the small Estatesman, such as W. pain[ts in] old Michael, is a God compared to our Peasants & small Farmers in the South: & furnishes important documents of the kindly ministrations of local attachment & hereditary descent -- Success, my dear Davy! to Galvanism & every other ism & schism that you are about. Perge, dilectissime! et quantum p[otes] (potes autem, plurimùm) rempublicam hu[ma]ni generis juva. Videtur mihi salte[m a]lios velle -- te vero posse. Interea a Deo [optimo] maximo iterum atque iterum precor, ut Davy meus, Davy, meum cor, meum cap[ut,] mea spes altera, vivat, ut vivat diu et feliciter! ---- Tui amantissimus S. T. Coleridge Raptum properante Tραμματαϕóρω