404. To William Godwin Address: Mr Godwin | Polygon | Sommers' Town | LondonSingle MS. Lord Abinger. Pub. with omis. William Godwin, ii. 79. Postmark: 11 July 1801. Stamped: Keswick. Keswick. Wednesday. -- [ 8 July 1801.] Dear Godwin I have this evening sent your Tragedy (directed to you) to Penrith to go from thence to London by the Mail. You will probably receive it on Saturday Morning. -- It is the Carlisle Mail -you can easily enquire it out, if it should not arrive on Saturday -tho' perhaps it may be delayed one day in Penrith -- if so, you will not receive it till Monday. -- It would be needless to recount the pains & evils that prevented me from sending it on the day, I meant to do. Your letter of this evening has given me some reason to be glad, that I was prevented. My Criticisms &c were written in a style & with a boyish freedom of censure & ridicule, that would have given pain & perhaps, offence. I will rewrite them, abridge them, or rather extract from them their absolute meaning, & send them in the way of [a] Letter. -- In the Tragedy I have frequently used the following marks -- ---Of these the first, › calls your attention to ____________________ 1 See Letter 411. -742- my suspicions, that your Language is false or intolerable English: the second ⊤,marks the passages, which struck me as flat or mean -- the third. is a note of reprobation levelled at those sentences, in which you have adopted that worst sort of vulgar Language, common-place book Language -- such as, [']Difficulties that mock narration' -- [']met my view' [']bred in the lap of Luxury' ----- &c -# implies bad metre. ----- I was much interested by the last three acts -- indeed, I greatly admired your management of the story. The two first acts, I am convinced, you must entirely re-write / -I would indeed open the play with the Conspirators in Isfahan, confident of their success -- & Bulac, who had fled from the army in some apparent Defeat (afterwards recovered by the Sefi) at the head of these Conspirators -- In this way you might with great dramatic animation explain to the Audience all you wish, & give likewise palpable motives of Despair & Revenge to Bulac's after Conduct. -- But this I will write to you -- the papers, in which I have detailed what I think might be substituted, I really do not dare send --. You must have been in an odd mood, when you could write to a poor fellow with a sick stomach, a giddy head, & swoln & limping Limbs, to a man on whom the Dews of Heaven cannot fall without diseasing him, 'You want, or at least you think you want neither accom[m]odation nor society as ministerial to your happiness['] -- / and strangely credulous too, when you could gravely repeat that in the Island of St Michael's, the chief town of which contains 14000 Inhabitants, no other residence was procurable but 'an unwindowed Cavern scooped in the Rock' --! -- I must have been an idle fool indeed to have resolved so deeply without having made due inquiries how I was to be housed & fed. -- Accom[m]odations are necessary to my Life -- & Society to my Happiness, tho' I can find that society very interesting & good, which you perhaps would find dull & uninstructive. -- One word more. You say -- I do not tolerate you in the degree of partiality you feel for Mrs I. -- will not allow your admiration of Hume, & the pleasure you derive from Virgil, from Dryden, even in a certain degree, from Rowe. ----- Hume & Rowe I for myself hold very cheap; & have never feared to say so -- but never had any objection to any one's differing from me. I have received, & I hope, still shall, great delight from Virgil, whose versification I admire beyond measure, & very frequently his Language. Of Dryden I am & always have been a passionate admirer. I have always placed him among our greatest men. -- You must have misunderstood me -- & considered me as detracting when I considered myself only as discriminating. -- But were my -743- opinions otherwise I should rather fear that others would not tolerate me in holding opinions different from those of people in general, than feel any difficulty in tolerating others in their conformity with the general sentiment. -- Of Mrs I. I once, I believe, wrote a very foolish sentence or two to you. 1 -- And now for 'my late acquisitions of friends.['] -- Aye -- friends! -- Stoddart indeed, if he were nearer to us and more among us, I should really number among such -- he is a man of uncorrupted integrity & of a very, very kind heart -- his talents are respectable -- and his information such, that while he was with me I derived much instruction from his conversation. -- Sharpe & Rogers had an introductory note from Mr Wedgewood -- they are so much my friends, that my chief ground in etiquette to call on Sharpe would be his intimacy with Mr Wedgewood, & as to Mr Rogers -- even if I wished it, and were in London the next week, I should never dream that any acquaintance, I have with him, would entitle me to call on him at his own house. -- That Tobin thought of bringing Underwood & Dyson astonished both me & W. -- they would neither have been in my house. The whole visit should have been from Tobin, whom I greatly venerate -- tho' certainly a four weeks' visit from him with two unpleasant uninvited men in his train would have been somewhat too much. -- Dyson I dislike -- but little [Su]bligno -- what has he done? Tobin & [Da]vy think well of him. -- God bless you & S. T. Coleridge.