478. To Robert Southey Address: Robert Southey Esqre | St James's Place | Kingsdown | Bristol MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. Letters, i. 415. Postmark: 29 December 1802. Stamped: Keswick. Christmas Day, 1802 My dear Southey I arrived at Keswick, with T. Wedgewood, on Friday Afternoon -- that is to say, yesterday -- & had the comfort to find that Sara was safely brought to bed, the morning before -- i.e. Thursday ½ past six, of a healthy -- GIRL! I had never thought of a Girl as a possible event -- the word[s] child & man child were perfect Synonimes in my feelings -- however I bore the sex with great Fortitude -- & she shall be called Sara. Both Mrs Coleridge & the Coleridgiella are as well as can be -- I left the little one sucking at a great rate. Derwent & Hartley are both well. -- I was at Cote in the beginning of November -- and of course had calculated on seeing you & above all on seeing little Edith's physiognomy, among the certain things of my expedition -- but I had no sooner arrived at Cote, than I was forced to quit it-T. Wedgewood having engaged to go into Wales with his Sister -- I arrived at Cote in the afternoon, & till late evening did not know or conjecture that we were to go off early on the next morning. -- I do not say this for you -- you must know, how earnestly I yearn to see you -- but for Mr Estlin, who expressed himself wounded by the circumstance. When you see him therefore, be so good as to mention this to him. -- I was much affected by Mrs Coleridge's account of your health & eyes. God have mercy on us! -- We are all sick, all mad, all slaves I -- It is a theory of mine that Virtue & Genius are Diseases of the Hypochondriacal & Scrofulous Genus -- & exist in a peculiar state of the. Nerves, & diseased Digestion -- analogous to the beautiful Diseases, that colour & variegate certain Trees. -- However, I add by way of comfort, that it is my Faith that the Virtue & Genius produce the Disease, not the Disease the Virtue &c -- tho' when present, it fosters them. Heaven knows I there are fellows who have more vices than scabs, & scabs countless -- with fewer Ideas than Plaisters. ---- As to my own Health, it is very indifferent. I am exceedingly temperate in every thing -- abstain wholly from wine, spirits, or fermented Liquors -- almost wholly from Tea -- abjure all fermentable & vegetable food -- bread excepted -- & use that sparingly-live almost entirely on Eggs, Fish, Flesh, & Fowl -- & thus contrive not to be ill -- but well I am not -- & in this climate never shall be. -902- A deeply ingrained, tho' mild Scrofula, is diffused thro' me: & is a very Proteus. I am fully determined to try Teneriffe or Gran Canaria, influenced to prefer them to Madeira solely by the superior cheapness of living. The Climate & Country are heavenly -the Inhabitants Papishes, all of whom I would burn with fire & faggot -- for what didn't they do to us Christians under bloody Queen Mary? 0 the Devil sulphur-roast them --! I would have no mercy on them, unless they drowned all their Priests -- & then spite of the Itch (which they have in an inveterate degree, Rich & Poor, Gentle & simple, old & young, Male & female) would shake hands with them unglov'd. -- By way of one impudent HalfLine in this meek & mild Letter -- will you go with me? -- 'I' & 'you' mean mine & your's -- of course. ---- Remember, you are to give me Thomas Aquinas & Scotus Erigena. 1 -- God bless you | & S. T. Coleridge I can have the best Letters of recommendation. ---- My Love & their Sister's to Edith & Mary -- & if you see Mrs Fricker, be so good as to tell her that she will hear from me or Sara in the course of ten days. ----