399. To Daniel Stuart MS. British Museum. Pub. Letters from the Lake Poets, 17. Keswick, Saturday, May 16, 1801 Dear Stuart I should have been greatly affected by the contents of your letter at any time; and at present I felt them with a fellow-feeling added to brotherly sympathy. -- You have had misery enough of your own & see enough immediately around you for any profitable purpose, to which Sufferance or compassion can conduce -- were it not therefore necessary in some sort as a justification of my silence & inexertion, I should feel no impulse to tell you that since the first of January I have been, with the exception of 3 weeks and a few days, & this not continuous but interspersed, confined to my bed, with a succession of Disorders, i.e. Rheumatic Fever followed by an Hydrocele, & since then by what is called irregular or retrocedent Gout. My powers of mind never forsook me; but the act of writing (& in general, of conversation) was wholly out of my power. -- Since the last 8 days I appear to myself to be really recovering; but I have had so many short Recoveries of one, two, and three days each, followed by such severe Relapses, that verily I am almost afraid to Hope. But chearful Thoughts come with genial sensations: -- & Hope is itself no mean Medicine. I thank you for your kindness in continuing to send the paper to us -- it has been a great amusement to Mrs Coleridge during her long attendance on my sick bed -- & latterly to me. It would give me more than a common pleasure if I could write any thing that would please you or do you an atom of service -- as to any terms, they are out of the Question -- my ill health & those habits of irresolution, which are perhaps the worst bad consequences of ill health, forbid me at present to rely on myself -- but if you would write & point out to me any subjects, I would do any thing for you off hand with great pleasure --. I ask you for subjects & a little information -- for I am wholly ignorant of the present state of the public Feeling. ----- -729- In the question respecting the Disfranchisement of the Clergy it appeared to me . . . [Remainder of manuscript missing.]