393. To George Bellas Greenough Address: -- Greenough Esq. | No /21 Bedford Street | Covent Garden I London. Transcript Professor Edith J. Morley. Pub. with omis. Wordsworth and Coleridge, ed. by E. L. Griggs, 1939, 235. Postmark: 16 April 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Greta Hall, Keswick, Cumberland. Monday, April 18, 1801 Dear Greenough, I heard lately with a deep emotion, that you had visited Stowey & wrote immediately for your Address. This evening I received it. You have no doubt considered me as having behaved forgetfully towards you; & with justice, as far as the word 'behaved' implies an outward & visible Intercourse. -- But, Greenough! I should calumniate myself most vilely, if I should admit that I had really been forgetful, or had felt one symptom of a cooling & alienated mind. Your name is familiar with all, whom I love / Yet where I have spoken of you once, I have thought of you a thousand times -aye, with the Heart's Thoughts. -- My neglect was occasioned in the first Instance by perplexities domestic & pecuniary -- since then I have been monthly more & more ignorant whither to direct to you / & my whole time I may say with severest Truth, has been parcelled out into wearisome occupation, changes of Residence, and long & tedious fits of Sickness, which have thrown me behind hand ever more & more in my literary engagements. -- I was always a wretched Performer of epistolary Duties; but latterly I have almost wholly omitted them -- I am situated here in a country that one may call charming & new-stamp the worn-out slang Phrase with definite meaning & sincere emotion. My House commands perhaps the noblest Prospects of any House in the Island / & my honored Friend, Wordsworth, has fixed his Cottage in the most beautiful Spot in Grasmere Vale -- a few miles from me. -- I would, that I could make out to my mind a distinct Hope of seeing you this Summer / possibly amid the dreary Goings on & burthensome Manners of daily Life it might be both pleasant & morally useful to you to dwell awhile with me & with Wordsworth & his Sister -- for we are in some sort unusual Beings, inasmuch as we have seen a great deal of what is called the World, & acquired a great deal of what is called Knowlege, & yet have formed a deep conviction that all is contemptible that does not spring immediately out of an affectionate Heart. Possibly too it may be some ____________________ with a most gloomy account of his own health, to which my father refers in the commencement of his reply.' Note by Cuthbert Southey, Life and Corres. ii. 148-9. -718- inducement to you, that the probability of having me to see is yearly diminishing -- I feel, that I 'to the Grave go down' -- As a Husband, & a Father, as a young Man who had dar'd hope that he, even he, might sometime benefit his fellow creatures, I wish to live, but I have kept my best hope so unprofan'd by Ambition, so pure from the love of Praise, & I have so deep an intuition that to cease to be are sounds without meaning, that though I wish to live, yet the Thought of Death is never for a moment accompanied by Gloom, much less terror,' in my feelings or imagination. -- I write to you from a bed of Pain / with the fine weather I revive, like a Parlour Fly; but every change in this changeful Climate throws me on my back again, with inflamed eyes, rheumatic fever, & latterly a sort of irregular Gout -- I am seldom in health three days together. -- With the fall of the Leaf it is my present intention to pass over into a warmer climate / & I think of visiting the Azores, in order to ascertain the effect which a mere continuing summer may have. -- I have written entirely concerning myself; for of you or of those whom we know in common, I am so ignorant where you are & what your pursuits & objects, that all I could write would be inquiries which possibly I might not be entitled to make. -- But believe, dear Greenough, that as in Germany I loved & esteemed you more than any I met there, so neither since I have been in Englafid, have I met any new acquaintance whom I love & esteem one tenth part so much. S. T. Coleridge. I have opened the letter to beg you to forgive it's unseemly Form &c