453. To Sara Hutchinson Address: Miss S. Hutchinson | Gallow Hill | Wykeham | Malton | Yorkshire MS. Dove Cottage.Pub. with omis. Chambers, Life, 339. Stamped: Keswick. August 10, 1802. Tuesday Evening My dearest Sara You will this morning, I trust, have received the Letter which I left at the Ambleside Post (the first, I came to) on Sunday Evening. I have half such another, the continuation of mytour, written; but on my arrival yesterday at my home, about 8 o'clock in the evening, I found 7 Letters for me / I opened none for an hour, I was so overglad to see the children again / and the first, I opened, I was forced to answer directly -- which was as much as I could do, to save the Post -- & to day I have been so busy letterwriting, that I have not time to finish the Great-sheet Letter -- so must send a short one, briefly to say that I have received your two Letters, one of Monday, Aug. 2. inclosing the 5£ -- which I read last night, & had better left it alone, as I did 5 others -- for it kept me awake longer than I ought to have been -- and one this evening. I am well, & have had a very delightful & feeding Excursion, or rather Circumcursion. -- When you did not hear from me, & in answer too to a letter containing a note, you should surely have concluded, my Darling! that I was not at home: for when do I neglect these things to those, I love? Other things, & weighty ones, God help me! I neglect in abundance / [for instance / two little Boxes, which Dorothy fears, (& with abundant Reason) are lost-& which contain, besides my cloathes & several very valuable Books, all my written collections made in Germany -- which taken merely in a pecuniary point of view are not worth less than 150£ to me. ---- More Rain coming! I broke off writing to look at the Sky / it was exactly 35 minutes after 7, which [was] 4 minutes after the real Sunset, and long long after the apparent sun-set behind our Vales -- & I saw such a sight as I never before saw. Beyond Bassenthwaite at the end of the view was a Sky of bright yellow-green; but over that & extending all over Bassenthwaite, ____________________ 1 Coleridge again refers to Southey's spelling of Mrs. Coleridge's name -Sarah. Cf. Letter 449. -848- & almost up to Keswick church a Cloud-Sky of the deepest most fiery Orange -- Bassenthwaite Lake look'd like a Lake of 'blood-red Wine' -- and the River Greta, in all it's winding, before our house, & the upper part of the Keswick Lake, were fiery red -- even as I once saw the Thames when thehuge Albion Mills were burning, amid the Shouts of an exulting Mob -- but with one foot upon Walla Crag, and the other foot exactly upon Calvert's House at Windy Brow was one great Rainbow, red and all red, entirely formed by the Clouds -- I have now seen all the Rain-bows, that, I suppose, are possible -- the Solar Rainbow, with it's many colors, the grey lunar Rainbow, & a fiery red Rainbow, wholly from the Clouds after sunset! -- I seem, I know not why, to be beating off all Reference to Dorothy & William, & their Letters -- I heard from Sotheby of their meeting -- (tho' I did not read his Letter till after I had read your's --) I wish, I wish, they were back! ---- When I think of them in Lodgings at Calais, Goslar comes back upon me; & of Goslar I never think but with dejection. -- [Dear little Caroline! -- Will she be a ward of Annette? -- Was the subject too delicate for a Letter? -- ] 1 I suppose so. ---- To morrow morning they will leave Calais, if they indeed leave it 10 days after the Date of Dorothy's Letter / so that they will probably be with you, I would fain hope, by Monday next. -- I saw old Molly yesterday / She was weakly, but 'mended' from what she had been / the Rheumatic Pain & weakness had left her Back, & gone into her arms -- I slept at Bratha on Sunday Night -- & did not go on to Grasmere, tho' I had time enough, and was not over-fatigued; but tho' I have no objection to sleep in a lonely House, I did not like to sleep in their lonely House. I called the next day -- went into the garden -- pulled some Peas, & shelled & drest them, & eat them for my dinner with one rasher of Bacon boiled -- but I did not go up stairs, nor indeed any where but the Kitchen. Partly I was very wet & my boots very dirty -- & Molly had set the Pride of her Heart upon it's niceness -& still more -- I had small desire to go up! It was very kind in you, my Darlings! to send the 5£; (which I have now sent back) but it was not very wise. I could have easily procured 8 or 4£ from Mr Jackson / but I gave up the Residence at St Bees, because I began to reflect that in the present state of my finances I ought not to spend so much money. Thomas Ashburner's call was the occasion of my resolve not to go to St Bees; but my own after reflections were the cause. -- In the course of my ____________________ 1 The words enclosed in brackets are heavily inked out in the manuscript. This is the only surviving reference to Annette and Caroline Vallon in Coleridge's letters. -849- Tour (& I was absent 9 days) I gave away to Bairns, & foot-sore Wayfarers four shillings, & some odd pence; & I spent nine shillings -- sum total, £0" 13s 0D -- but to this must be added the wear & tear of my Boots, which are gone to be mended; & sixpence for a great knee-patch for my Pantaloons, which will not however be worn an hour the shorter time for the said large knee-patch. I have now no clothes but what are patched at the elbows, & knees, d. in the seat -- & I am determined to wear them out & out -- & to have none till after Christmas. ---- Hartley is in good spirits; but he does not look well. Derwent too looks less rosy than usual -- for we cannot keep him from the Gooseberries -- Hartley says -- [']He is far over wicked; but it's all owing to Adam, who did the same thing in Paradise.' -- Derwent can repeat all the Letters; & can point out six or seven / O! that you could see his Darling mouth, when he shouts out Q. -- But notwithstanding his erudition, he is very backward in his Tongue. -- Lloyd's children are nice fair Babies; but there is nothing lovely in their countenances or manners. -- I have seldom seen children, I was so little inclined to caress -- fair & clean, as they were. O how many a cottage Bairn have I kissed or long'd to kiss, whose Cheeks I could scarce see for the healthy dirt -- but these I had no wish to kiss! -- There is a something in children that makes Love flow out upon them, distinct from beauty, & still more distinct from good-behaviour / I cannot say, God knows! that our children are even decently well-behaved -- & Hartley is no beauty -- & yet it has been the Lot of the two children to be beloved. They are the general Darlings of the whole Town: & wherever they go, Love is their natural Heritage. Mrs Coleridge is now pretty well. -- God bless my darling Sara! -- & thee, dear Mary! I will finish my long Letter, as soon as possible / but for the next 8 or 4 days I shall be exceedingly busy. Write immediately. Kind Remembrances to Tom & Joanna. -- Bless you, my Darling! & S. T. Coleridge I have received a large Wedgewood Jug, & a large Cup, finely embossed with figures, & thick-rimmed with silver, as a present, from -- Lady Rush! with a kind Note. -- I had a shrewd suspicion, that I was a favorite. ---- Inclosed is the £5, 5s note. -- -850-