465. To Thomas Wedgwood Address: Thomas Wedgewood Esq. | Gunville | Eastbury | Blandford | Dorset MS. Wedgwood Museum. Pub. Tom Wedgwood, 118. Postmark: 6 November 1802. Stamped: Brough. Wednesday, Nov. 3. 1802. Keswick Dear Wedgewood It is now two hours since I received your Letter; and after the necessary consultation, Mrs Coleridge herself is fully of opinion that to lose Time is merely to lose Spirits. Accordingly, I have resolved not to look the children in the Face (the parting from whom is the only downright Bitter in the Thing) but to take a chaise tomorrow morning, ½ past Four, for Penrith, & go to London by tomorrow's Mail. Of course, I shall be in London (God permitting) on Saturday Morning -- I shall rest that day and the next, and proceed to Bristol by the Monday Night's Mail. At Bristol I will go to Cote, and there wait your coming. ----- If the Family be not at home, I shall beg a Bed at Dr Beddoes's, or at least leave word where I am. -- At all events, barring serious Illness, serious Fractures, and the et cetera of serious Unforeseens, I shall be at Bristol, Tuesday Noon, Nov. 9th. You are aware, that my whole knowlege of French does not extend beyond the power of limping slowly, not without a Dictionary Crutch, thro' an easy French Book: & that as to Pronunciation, all my Organs of Speech, from the bottom of the Larynx to the Edge of my Lips, are utterly and naturally Anti-gallican. -- If only I shall have been any Comfort, any Alleviation, to you -- I shall feel myself at ease -- & whether you go abroad or no, while I remain with you, it will greatly contribute to my comfort, if I know that you will have no hesitation, nor pain, in telling me what you wish me to do or not to do. I regard it among the Blessings of my Life that I have never lived among men whom I regarded as my artificial Superiors; that all the respect, I have at any time payed, has been wholly to supposed Goodness or Talent. The consequence has been, that I have no alarms of Pride, -878- no cheval de frise of Independence. I have always lived among Equals. It never occurs to me, even for a moment, that I am otherwise. If I have quarreled with men, it has been, as Brothers, or School-fellows quarrel. How little any man can give me, or take from me, save in matters of Kindness and esteem, is not so much a Thought, or Conviction, with me, or even a distinct Feeling, as it is my very Nature. -- Much as I dislike all formal Declarations of this kind, I have deemed it well to say this. I have as strong feelings of Gratitude as any man. Shame upon me, if in the Sickness & the Sorrow which I have had, and which have been kept unaggravated & supportable by your kindness & your Brother's, shame upon me if I did not feel a kindness, not unmixed with reverence, towards you both / but yet I never should have had my present Impulses to be with you, and this confidence that I may be an occasional comfort to you, if independently of all gratitude I did not thoroughly esteem you; and if I did not appear to myself to understand the nature of your sufferings, & within the last year in some slight degree to have felt, myself, something of the same. Forgive me, my dear Sir! if I have said too much -- it is better to write it than to say it -- & I am anxious that in the event of our travelling together you should feel yourself at ease with me, even as you would with a younger Brother, to whom from his childhood you had been in the Habit of saying, Do this, Col. -- or -- don't do that --. -- I have been writing fast lest I should be too late for the Postforgetting that I am myself going with the Mail, & of course had better send the Letter from London with the intelligence of my safe arrival there ----- Till then, all Good be with us. -S. T. Coleridge Penrith | Thursday Morn -If this Letter reaches you without any further writing, you will understand by it, that all the Places in the Mail are engaged -- & that I must wait a day -- but this will make no difference in my arrival at Bristol --