494. To Robert Southey Address: Robert Southey Esqre | St James's Parade | Kingsdown | Bristol Single Sheet. MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. E. L. G. i. 257. Stamped: Blandford. Thursday, Feb. 24. 1803. ' Josiah Wedgwood's Esqre, Gunville, Blandford, Dorset.' Dear Southey I have delayed writing in expectation of a Letter from you: & I still hope, that I shall receive one this evening -- & shall therefore send this Letter by tomorrow's Post. I left Stowey with Poole on Friday Morning: instead of taking a Post-chaise & arriving at Gunville the same evening Poolewould hire a one horse Chair (that Pandora Box of Accidents) & all happened as I most minutely foretold -- breakings down, delays, wettings, & arrival at Gunville late on Sunday Afternoon. Here I shall remain a month at least. I need not say, that I am up to my chin in comforts. -- And now for Mrs Lovell. -- It is as I feared. Mr Wedgwood had already opened a negociation for a Governess. -- I have felt the less -- at least the less immediate regret -- from this circumstance / because I seem to have perceived, that Mrs L. & the Wedgwoods would not have suited each other. Indeed, Mr W. layed such stress, & so repeatedly, on good & even temper, & good and even spirits, that I could not have had the courage to have said any thing about it / And I think it possible to meet with situations, where the Governess lives on more familiar Terms with the Master & Mistress of the Family. I have it in my mind to write to Dr Crompton. -- My health is, as the weather is: & my spirits low indeed. -934- I do not feel convinced that the block-stamping of Cards had any connection whatever with the Discovery of Printing. -- If this could have led to it, Sealing Letters, with engraved Seals, would have done it some 10 centuries before -- & Common Coinage of money would have done it. -- There is no strength in the affair in my mind, unless the whole process can be traced historically -- nay more, with legal evidence such as is used & held valid, in quashing a Patent. -- In the early parts of your History be careful to collect with care all that can be known, & all that can even be guessed, about the Dresses, Manufactures, commerce, domestic Habits, & modifications of the feudal Government &c -- or else your History will have the air & the character of a Story-Book. You do not need the Advice, I almost know; but needless Advice is no very unpleasant thing in a world, where there is such plenty of useless Advice. The Letters are come in. I had no other particular wish to hear from you at present, than what arose from the Apprehension that what I had written concerning Keswick, might have wounded you. Yet as to the matter at least, it is impossible that I could with propriety write otherwise. But I am in no spirits to talk of these Things. -- Hartley has had both the Scarlet Fever & the Croup. He is tolerably well at present; but my mind misgives me, that I shall never see him more. God bless you | & S. T. Coleridge.