376. To John Thelwall Address: Mr John Thelwall | Hereford | Herefordshire MS. Pierpont Morgan Lib. Hitherto unpublished. Postmark: 26 January 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Jan. 23. 1801 Keswick, Cumberland Dear Thelwall Shortly after I wrote to you, I was seized with a Rheumatic Fever, & after that with an Hydrocele -- I have been now for more than 5 weeks confined to my bed, and at the time your Letter arrived too ill to read it -- & Now I can only write merely but to inclose the note -- a blank half-sheet -- for as a supersacramentary penance to my other grievous ones my right eye is inflamed & the Lid prodigiously swollen. But I am weary of writing of this I -- I -I -- I -- so bepatched & bescented with Sal Ammoniac & Diaculum, Pain & Infirmity. My own Moans are grown stupid to my own ears. I rejoice sincerely that you have left a situation wholly unfit for you -- doubtless, by your Talents you will always be able to earn sufficient for the Day at least. I wish for your sake that so many foolish Epic Poems had not been published lately, or on the eve of Publication. You entirely misunderstood me as to religious matters. -- You love your wife, children, & friends, you worship nature, and you dare hope, nay, have faith in, the future improvement of the human Race ---- this is true Religion / your notions about the historical credibility or non-credibility of a sacred Book, your assent to or dissent from the existence of a supramundane Deity, or personal God, are absolutely indifferent to me / mere figures of a magic Lanthern. I hold my faith -- you keep your's. ____________________ 1 William Wilberforce, A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, 1797. 2 The remainder of this letter is in Coleridge's handwriting; all that precedes is in Dorothy Wordsworth's. -667- Write to inform me, that you have received the note -- for your address -- Hereford -- is a very brief one indeed. The account I gave you is the true one -- had I been able to send 10£ or 100£ on my own account, I would do it with eagerness -- but without any gravities concerning your injuries or your merits -- / these speculations are superseded in me by plain simple affection. My love to your dear Wife. Derwent, my youngest, is a fat healthy hungry pretty creature -- the abstract idea of a Baby -a fit Representative of Babe-borough. Hartley is quite the contrary -- a fairy elf -- all life, all motion -- indefatigable in joy -- a spirit of Joy dancing on an Aspen Leaf. From morning to night he whirls about and about, whisks, whirls, and eddies, like a blossom in a May-breeze. -- Sara desires to be kindly remembered to you -- & your's. God bless you | & S. T. Coleridge I have not seen your Novel -- nor knew that you had written one. 1 Any thing left for me at Mr Longman's, Paternoster Row, will find it's way to me sometime or other. P.S. By all means procure a sight of the 2nd Volume of the Lyrical Ballads, and of the second Edition of the first Volume -the Preface is invaluable.