398. To Robert Southey Address: Mr C. Danvers | St James's Place | Kingsdown | Bristol Single (For Mr Southey) MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. Letters, i. 354. Postmark: 11 May 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Greta Hall, Keswick. May 6, 1801 My dear Southey I wrote you a very very gloomy letter; & I have taken blame to myself for inflicting so much pain on you without any adequate motive. Not that I exaggerated anything as far as the immediate Present is concerned; but had I been in better health & a more genial State of Sensation, I should assuredly have looked out upon a more chearful Future. -- Since I wrote you, I have had another & more severe fit of Illness -- which has left me weak, very weak -but with so calm a mind, that I am determined to believe, that this Fit was bonĂ¢ fide the last. -- Whether I shall be able to pass the next Winter in this Country, is doubtful; nor is it possible, I should -727- know till the fall of the Leaf. -- At all events, you will (I hope & trust, & if need were intreat) spend as much of the summer & autumn with us as will be in your power -- & if our Healths should permit it, I am confident there will be no other solid objection to our living together in the same house, divided. We have ample Room -- Room enough & more than enough -- and I am willing to believe, that the blessed Dreams, we dreamt some 6 years ago may be auguries of something really noble which we may yet perform together. -- We wait impatiently, anxiously, for a letter announcing your arrival -- indeed the article Falmouth has taken precedence of the Leading Paragraph with me for the last 8 weeks. -- Our best Love to Edith. -- Derwent is the Boast of the County -- the little RiverGod is as beautiful as if he had been the Child of Venus Anaduomene previously to her Emersion. -- Dear Hartley! we are at times alarmed by the state of his Health -- but at present he is well -- if I were to lose him, I am afraid, it would exceedingly deaden my affection for any other children I may have ----- 1 A little child, a limber Elf Singing, dancing to itself; A faery Thing with red round Cheeks, That always finds, and never seeks -- Doth make a Vision to the Sight, Which fills a Father's Eyes with Light! And Pleasures flow in so thick & fast Upon his Heart, that he at last Must needs express his Love's Excess In Words of Wrong and Bitterness. Perhaps 'tis pretty to force together Thoughts so all unlike each other; To mutter and mock a broken charm; To dally with Wrong, that does no Harm -- Perhaps, 'tis tender too & pretty At each wild Word to feel within A [s]weet Recoil of Love & Pity; And what if in a World of Sin (O sorrow & shame! should this be true) Such Giddiness of Heart & Brain Comes seldom, save from Rage & Pain, So talks, as it's most us'd to do. ----- ____________________ 1 These lines, of which no other manuscript version exists, were printed in 1816 as the conclusion to Part II of Christabel. Obviously they were inspired by Hartley Coleridge. -728- A very metaphysical account of Fathers calling their children rogues, rascals, & little varlets ----- &c ----- God bless you, my dear Southey! I need not say, write! -- S. T. Coleridge P.S. We shall have Pease, Beans, Turneps (with boiled Leg of mutton), cauliflowers, French Beans, &c &c -- endless! -- We have a noble Garden!