406. To Robert Southey Address: Mrs Danvers | Kingsdown | Bristol for Mr Southey MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 359. Postmark: 27 July 1801. Stamped: Durham. Saturday, July 25, 1801. Durham My dear Southey I do loathe cities -- that's certain. I am in Durham at an Inn -& that too I do not like -- & have dined with a large parcel of Priests all belonging to the Cathedral -- thoroughly ignorant & hard-hearted. I have had no small trouble in gaining permission to have a few books sent to me 8 miles from the place, which nobody has ever read in the memory of man. -- Now you will think what follows a Lie -- & it is not. I asked a stupid haughty fool, who is the Librarian of the Dean & Chapter's Library in this city, if he had Leibnitz. He answered -- 'We have no Museum in this Library for natural curiosities; but there is a mathematical Instrumentseller in the town, who shews such [an]imalcula thro' a glass of great magnifying powers.' Heaven & Earth! -- he understood the word 'live Nits.' Well, I return early tomorrow to Middleham, to a quiet good family, that love me dearly -- a young farmer, & his Sister 1 -- & he makes very droll verses in the northern dialect & in the metre of Burns, & is a great Humourist; & the woman is so very good a woman, that I have seldom indeed seen the like of her. -- Death! that every where there should be one or two good & excellent People like these -- & that they should not have the power given 'em to edit a crepitus strong enough to whirl away the rest to Hell --! I do not approve the Palermo & Constantinople scheme -- to be secretary to a fellow, that would poison you for being a poet while he is only a lame Verse-maker! But verily, dear Southey! it will not suit you to be under any man's controll -- or biddances. What if you were a Consul -- 'twould fix you to one place, as bad as if you were a Parson. It won't do. -- Now mark my scheme! -St Nevis is the most lovely as well as the most healthy Island in the W. Indies -- Pinny's Estate is there -- and he has a country House situated in a most heavenly way, a very large mansion. Now between you & me I have reason to believe that not only this House is at my service, but many advantages in a family way that would go one half to lessen the expences of living there -- & perhaps, Pinny would appoint us sine-cure Negro-drivers at a hundred a ____________________ 1 Sara Hutchinson, who accompanied Coleridge to Gallow Hill a few days later. See Letter 407. -747- year each, or some other snug & reputable office -- & perhaps, too we might get some office in which there is quite nothing to do, under the Governour. Now I & my family, & you & Edith, & Wordsworth & his Sister might all go there -- & make the Island more illustrious than Cos or Lesbos. A heavenly climate -- a heavenly country, -- & a good House. The Sea shore so near us -dells & rocks, & streams -- / Do now think of this! But say nothing about it -- on account of old Pinny. -- Wordsworth would certainly go, if I went. By the living God, it is my opinion, that we should not leave three such men behind us. N.B. I have every reason to believe Keswick (& Cumberland & Westmoreland in general) full as dry a Climate as Bristol. Our rains fall more certainly in certain months; but we have fewer rainy days taking the year thro'. -- As to cold, I do not believe the difference perceptible by the human Body. -- But I feel, that there is no relief for me in any part of England. -- Very hot weather brings me about in an instant -- & I relapse as soon as it coldens. ----- You say nothing of your voyage homeward or the circumstances that preceded it -- this however I had far rather hear from your mouth than your Letter. ----- Come! and come quickly. My love to Edith -- & remember me kindly to Mary & Martha & Eliza, & Mrs Fricker. -- My kind respects to Charles & Mrs Danvers. Is Davy with you? -- If he is, I am sure, he speaks affectionately of me. -- God bless you! Write. S. T. Coleridge