460. To William Sotheby Address: William Sotheby Esq. | Lodge | Leughton | Essex. MS. Colonel H. G. Sotheby. Pub. E. L. G. i. 207. Postmark: 22 September 1802. Stamped: Keswick. Sunday Evening, Sept. 19th. 1802. Greta Hall, Keswick My dear Sir Late yesterday evening, on my return from Braighton, 1 I had the pleasure of finding the long expected Parcel. It arrived at Keswick on Friday night. It is so splendid a present, that my first Feeling was not wholly unmixed -- I did not know what I had asked. -- Immediately on my return I had a slight attack of Fever -- and am but just risen from bed -- of course, I write now merely to acknowlege the receipt of the Parcel. You asked me in your last concerning Barrow. Mr Pocklington is very ill, & in case of his Decease it is on the whole rather probable than otherwise, that it will be put up for sale -- tho' he is so strange, & so intensely selfish, a character, that no one would be surprized, if knowing how many People are anxious to have it, he should prevent it's sale by a direct clause in his Will. -- Should this not be the case, yet still I cannot advise you to think of it. Depend on it, it will go at an extravagant Fancy Price -- I know myself three people agape for it -- Sir Wilfrid Lawson, who has a noble, I might well say, a kingly Mansion at Braighton, is enamoured of Barrow -Sir W. is a man, who never lets money stand in the way of any of his inclinations / & he told me himself on Saturday morning, that tho' he would not make a fool of himself by giving an extravagant price for it, yet he would bid hard. -- However, there could be no objection to your bidding your own Sum / but the House itself is in many respects objectionable. During the whole of the winter Months it is utterly sunless; & tho' the Rooms themselves may not be damp, yet the situation is exceedingly so. How often do I see the spot, where the House lies, involved in mist, when all the vale beside, is free! Add to this, that like the rest of Mr Pocklington's Houses, it is built compleatly in the Spirit of a Batchelor -- all the other rooms are sacrificed to the Dining Room -- That is a noble Room, made for a whole Neighbourhood -- but it is the only room / the Bedrooms are mere Pigeon Holes. -- If it were possible to find a truly fine situation, with ground enough about it for a couple of Cows, & a few Horses, it would certainly be better economy to build a House --: for if the situation were well chosen, & the House built with good sense in it's inside, & fine sense in it's outside, it is ____________________ 1 Brayton Hall, the seat of Sir Wilfrid Lawson. -868- what in the common language of men would be called a Certainty, that whenever you were tired of it, it might be either let or sold without any Loss -- & most probably, to a great Advantage. But I cannot say, that I know any such situations. The one at Applethwaite is indeed in point of the exquisitely picturesque confined view on the one side, & the glorious view of the whole vale & lakes on the other / in point of the dryness of the Roads immediately around, & the number of lovely Walks close by -- the place, to which I have long & uniformly given the preference over any other spot in the whole Vale, from the Gorge of Borrodale to the outlet of Bassenthwaite / But there is no Land around it -- at least, not more than an acre. ---- If however your partiality to this Country should continue, & you should wish to pass any number of months here, this Greta Hall will be finished in less than two months -- & you might have 5 rooms (two very large ones) & a kitchen, Cellar & Stable -- with as much garden ground as you wished -- & you might have it for any length of time, from three months to three years -- the House would be perfectly distinct from our's -- it would be just half-furnished -- & the annual rent including Taxes would not exceed 25£. Any furniture sells here by auction 9 times out of 10 at more than it's original value -- at the worst, no one loses more than a very moderate per centage for it's use. -- I have stated this -- because it exists -- & because I wish you to know all that there is, & all that there is not, in the vale -- leaving the Things to persuade or dissuade, according as their nature &c may be. -- It would make me truly happy, if [you] should feel an impulse to come & look out for yourself -- We can make up three beds for you at an hour's warning. We have had dismal weather lately -- the last three days have been hot summer weather -- & it is interesting to see under Skiddaw the Hay, the first fruits of the Soil, in the same fields with the Corn-sheaves. -- Did you see a very fine Sonnet on Buonaparte in the Morning Post of Wednesday or Thursday last --? It was written by Wordsworth -- & comes upon my Feelings, as in the spirit of the best of Milton's Sonnets. Present my kindest & most respectful remembrances to Mrs and Miss Sotheby, & believe me, my dear Sir, with unfeign'd & affectionate Esteem your's truly, S. T. Coleridge Sir Wilfrid Lawson has a most splendid Library at Braighton / in Voyages, Travels, & Books of Natural History it is no doubt the first in the Island -- next to Sir Joseph Banks's. He is an extremely liberal & good-natured Creature --. We have had Sir Charles & -869- Lady Boughton here, with Miss Boughton -- & with them Miles Peter Andrews, & Captn Topham. Sir Charles perfectly astounded me by the diversity of his attainment -- Musician, both as composer, & Player -- Draftsman -- Poet -- & a Linguist, both of the western, & oriental Languages, almost to a prodigy.