483. To Thomas Wedgwood Address: T. Wedgewood Esqre | C. Luff's Esqre | Glenridden | Ulswater. MS. Wedgwood Museum. Pub. with orals. Letters, i. 417. Stamped: Keswick. Greta Hall, Keswick. Sunday, Jan. 9th. 1803 My dear Wedgewood I send you two Letters, one from your dear Sister, the latter half of which relates to business of your's -- & the second from Sharp -by which you will see, at what short notice I must be off, if I go to the Canaries. If your last plan continue in full force in your mind, of course, I have not even the phantom of a Wish thitherWard struggling; but if aught have happened to you, in the things without, or in the world within, to induce you to change the plan in itself or the plan relatively to me, I think, I should raise the money at all events, & go & see. But I would a thousandfold rather go with you, whithersoever you go. -- I shall be anxious to hear how you have gone on since I left you --. I have been in much dread respecting your long detention of the faeces -- that alone seems to me to decide in favor of a hotter climate, somewhere or other. The best scheme, I can think of, is that in some part of Italy or Sicily, which we both liked, I would look about for two houses -- Wordsworth & his family would take the one, & I the other -- & then you might have a home, either with me, or if you thought of Mr & Mrs Luff, under this modification, one of your own -- & in either case you would have neighbors -- & so return to England when the homesickness pressed heavy on you, & back to Italy, when it was abated, & the climate of England began to poison your comforts. So you would have abroad in a genial climate a certain comfort of society among simple & enlightened -913- men & women, your country folks; & I should be an alleviation of the pang, which you will necessarily feel always, as often as you quit your own family. I know no better plan: for travelling in search of objects is at best a dreary business, and whatever excitement it might have had, you must have exhausted it. -- God bless you, my dear friend! I write with dim eyes: for indeed, indeed, my heart is very full of affectionate sorrowful thoughts to Wards you. I found Mrs Coleridge not so well, as I expected; but she is better to day. And I myself write with difficulty, with all the fingers, but one, of my right hand very much swoln. Before I was half up' Kirkstone, the storm had wetted me thro' & thro' -- & before I reached the Top, it was so wild & outrageous, that it would have been unmanly to have suffered the poor woman to continue pushing on her Face & Breasts up against such a torrent of wind & rain. So I dismounted, & sent her home with the storm to her Back. I am no novice in mountain-mischiefs; but such a storm as this was I never witnessed, combining the intensity of the Cold with the violence of the wind & rain. The rain-drops were pelted, or rather slung, against my face, by the Gusts, just like splinters of Flint; & felt, as if every drop cut my flesh. My hands were all shrivelled up, like a washerwoman's; & so benumbed, that I was obliged to carry my stick under my arm. O it was a wild business! Such hurry-skurry of Clouds, such volleys of sound! In spite of the wet & the cold I should have had some pleasure in it, but for two vexations -- first, an almost intolerable pain came into my right eye, a smarting & burning pain / & secondly, in consequence of riding with such cold water under my fork extremely uneasy & burthensome Feelings attacked my Groin & right Testicle -- so that what with the pain from the one, & the alarm from both, I had no enjoyment at all. Just on the brow of the Hill I met a man, dismounted who could not keep on horse-back -- he seemed quite scared by the uproar -- & said to me with much feeling -- O Sir! it is a perilous Buffeting, but it is worse for you than for me-for I have it at my Back. -- However I got safely over -- and immediately on the Descent all was calm & breathless, as if it was some mighty Fountain just on the summit of Kirkstone, that shot forth it's volcano of Air, & precipitated a huge stream of invisible Lava down the Road to Patterdale. -- I called at Wilcock's, delivered your orders respecting the Trout -- & on to Grasmere -- I was not at all unwell when I arrived there, tho' wet of course to the Skin, & my right eye had nothing the matter with it, either to the sight of others, or to my own Feeling -- / but I had a bad night, with distressful Dreams, chiefly about my eye, & awaking often in the dark I thought, it was the effect of mere recollection / but it -914- appeared in the morning, that my right eye was blood-shot, & the Lid swoln --. That morning however I walked home -- & before I reached Keswick, my eye was quite well -- but I felt unwell all over -- & yesterday afternoon I had another sad bowel-attack -- & continued unusually unwell all over me till about 8 o/clock in the evening. I took no opium or laudanum /; but at 8 o/clock, unable to bear the stomach uneasiness & the bowel threatenings, & the achings of my Limbs, I took two large Tea spoonfuls of Ether in a wine glass of Camphorated Gum water / and a third Tea spoonful at 10 o/clock-I received compleat relief, my body calmed, my sleep placid; but when I awoke in the morning, my right hand, with three of the Fingers was swoln & inflamed. The swelling of the Hand is gone down; & of two of the fingers somewhat abated -- but the middle finger is still twice it's natural size -- so that I write with some difficulty. This has been a very rough attack; but tho' I am much weakened by it, & look sickly & hagged, yet I am not out of heart: for such a Bout, such a 'perilous Buffeting' was enough to have hurt the health of a strong man -- Few Constitutions can bear to be long wet thro' in intense Cold. -- I fear, it will tire you to death to read this prolix scrawled Story -- but my health, I know, interests you. -- Do contrive to send me a few lines by the market people on Tuesday -- I shall receive it on Tuesday Evening. Affectionately, dear friend! | your's ever S. T. Coleridge. It is most unlucky that Aggy did not go -- it is as far to Penrith or farther, as to Keswick-so if you have any thing to communicate, you had better send a lad at once to Keswick. -- [I] send this by the Post, lest Aggy should be detained tomorrow too. -- I am sic sic, i.e. so so.