462. To William Sotheby MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. Letters, i. 408. This seems to be the 'half of a letter' referred to in Letter 468. It is unfinished and has no address sheet; and since it is not among the Coleridge letters in the possession of Colonel H. G. Sotheby, it was probably not posted. Tuesday, Sept. 27 [28]. 1802. Greta Hall, Keswick My dear Sir The River is full, and Lodore is full, and silver Fillets come out of Clouds, & glitter in every Ravine of all the mountains; and the Hail lies, like Snow, upon their Tops; & the impetuous Gusts from Borrodale snatch the water up high & continually at the bottom of the Lake; it is not distinguishable from Snow slanting before the wind -- and under this seeming Snow-drift the Sunshine gleams, & over all the hither Half of the Lake it is bright, and dazzles -- a cauldron of melted Silver boiling! It is in very truth a sunny, -871- misty, cloudy, dazzling, howling, omniform, Day/& I have been looking at as pretty a sight as a Father's eyes could well see Hartley & little Derwent running in the Green, where the Gusts blow most madly -- both with their Hair floating & tossing, a miniature of the agitated Trees below which they were playing/ inebriate both with the pleasure -- Hartley whirling round for joyo -Derwent eddying half willingly, half by the force of the Gust -driven backward, struggling forward, & shouting his little hymn of Joy. I can write thus to you, my dear Sir! with a confident spirit/for when I received your Letter of the 22nd, & had read 'the family History', I layed down the sheet upon my Desk, & sate for half an hour thinking of you -- dreaming of you -- till the Tear grown cold upon my cheek awoke me from my Reverie. May you live long, long, thus blest in your family -- & often, often may you all sit around one fire-side. O happy should I be, now & then, to sit among you / your Pilot & Guide in some of your summer walks/ Frigidus at sylvis Aquilo si increverit, aut si Hyberni pluviis dependent nubibus Imbres, Nos habeat domus, et multo Lar luceat igne. Ante focum mihi parvus erit, qui ludat, Iulus, Blanditias ferat, et nondum constantia verba: Ipse legam magni tecum monumenta Platonis! Or what would be still better, I could talk to you (& if you were here now, to an accompaniment of Winds that would well suit the subject) instead of writing to you concerning your Orestes. When we talk, we are our own living Commentary / & there are so many running Notes of Look, Tone, and Gesture, that there is small danger of being misunderstood, & less danger of being imperfectly understood -- in writing -- but no! it is foolish to abuse a good substitute, because it is not all that the original is. -- So I will do my best -- & believe me, I consider this Letter which I am about to write, as merely an exercise of my own judgment -- a something that may make you better acquainted perhaps with the architecture & furniture of my mind, tho' it will probably convey to you little or nothing that had not occurred to you before, respecting your own Tragedy. One thing I beg solicitously of you/ that, if any where I appear to speak positively, you will acquit me of any correspondent Feeling/I hope, that it is not a frequent Feeling with me in any case, & that if it appear so, I am belied by my own warmth of manner/in the present instance it is impossible -- I have been too deeply impressed by the work -- & I am now about to give you not criticisms nor decisions, but a History of my -872- Impressions -- & for the greater part, of my first Impressions/& if any where there seem any thing like a tone of Warmth or Dogmatism, do, my dear Sir! be kind enough to regard it as no more than a way of conveying to you the whole of my meaning -or (for I am writing too seriously) as the dexterous Toss, necessary to turn an Idea out of it's Pudding-bag round & unbroken. --