437. To Mrs. S. T. Coleridge Address: Mrs Coleridge | Greta Hall | Keswick | Cumberland MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. Letters, i. 367. Postmark: 24 February 1802. Feb. 24th -- [ 1802] My dear Love I am sure, it will make you happy to hear that both my Health & Spirits have greatly improved -- & I have small doubt, that a residence of two years in a mild & even climate will, with God's Blessing, give me a new Lease in a better Constitution. You may be well assured, that I shall do nothing rashly / but our journey thither I shall defray by Letters to Poole & the Wedgewoods -- or more probably addressed to Mawman, the Bookseller, who will honor my drafts in return. -- Of course, I shall not go till I have earned all the money necessary for the Journey &c -- The plan will be this -- unless you can think of any better. -- Wordsworth will marry soon after my return; 1 & he, Mary, & Dorothy will be our companions, & neighbours / Southey means, if it is in his power, to pass into Spain that way. ----- About July we shall all set sail from Liverpool to Bordeux &c --/ Wordsworth has not yet settled, whether he shall be married at Gallow Hill, or at Grasmere -- only they will of course make a point that either Sara shall be with Mary, or Mary with Sarah / previous to so long a parting. -- If it be decided, that Sarah is to come to Grasmere, I shall return by York, which will be but a few miles out of the way, & bring her / 2. -- ____________________ 1 Wordsworth was not married until 4 Oct. 1802. Undoubtedly letters to and from 'poor Annette' Vallon (see Journals, i. 114-28) led him to delay his marriage until he had seen her and his daughter Caroline. 2 Dorothy says she and Wordsworth were 'perplexed about Sara's coming'; as a matter of fact Sara did not go to Grasmere. Coleridge, nevertheless, arrived at Gallow Hill on Tuesday, 2 Mar., where he remained until 13 Mar. One passage in the original draft of Dejection, an Ode (see Letter 438, p. 792) describes an incident which probably occurred at Gallow Hill at this time. -788- At all events I shall stay a few days at Derby --: for whom, think you, should I meet in Davy's Lecture Room but Joseph Strutt? He behaved most affectionately to me, & pressed me with great earnestness to pass thro' Derby which is on the road to York) & stay a few days at his house among my old friends -- I assure [you], I was much affected by his kind & affectionate [behavior] / tho' I felt a little awkward, not knowing whom I might venture to ask after / I could not bring out the word 'Mrs Evans' -- & so I said -Your Sister, Sir! I HOPE -- she is well! -- / -- On Sunday I dined at Sir William Rush's -- and on Monday likewise -- & went with them to Mrs Billington's Benefit -- 'Twas the Beggar's Opera -- it was perfection! -- I seem to have acquired a new sense by hearing her! -I wished you to have been there --/. I assure you, I am quite a man of fashion -- so many titled acquaintances -- & handsome Carriages stopping at my door -- & fine Cards -- and then I am such an exquisite Judge of Music, & Painting -- & pass criticisms on furniture & chandeliers -- & pay such very handsome Compliments to all Women of Fashion / that I do verily believe, that if I were to stay 3 months in town & have tolerable health & spirits, I should be a Thing in Vogue -- the very tonish Poet & Jemmy Jessamy fine Talker in Town / If you were only to see the tender Smiles that I occasionally receive from the Honorable Mrs Damer -- you would scratch her eyes out, for Jealousy / And then there's the sweet (N.B. musky) Lady Charlotte -- nay, but I won't tell you her name / you might perhaps take it into your head to write an Anonymous Letter to her, & disturb our little innocent amour. -- O that I were at Keswick with my Darlings! My Hartley / My fat Derwent! God bless you, my dear Sara! I shall return in Love & chearfulness, & therefore in pleasurable Convalescence, if not in Health/ -We shall try to get poor dear little Robert into Christ's Hospital / that Wretch of a Quaker will do nothing! The skulking Rogue, 1 just to lay hold of the time when Mrs Lovell was on a Visit to Southey -- there was such low Cunning in the Thought -- Remember me most kindly to Mr & Mrs Wilkinson / & tell Mr Jackson, that I have not shaken a hand, since I quitted him, with more esteem & glad feeling, that I shall soon, I trust, shake his with -- God bless you & your aff. & * faithful Hus. S. T. Coleridge ____________________ * notwithstanding the Honorable Mrs D. & Lady Charlotte ---- [Note by S. T. C.] 1 The grandfather of 'little Robert' Lovell. See Letter 124. -789-