496. To Thomas Poole Address: Single Sheet. | T. Poole Esqre | Nether Stowey | Bridgwater | Somerset MS. British Museum. Hitherto unpublished. Stamped: Blandford. Sunday March 13 1808. Gunville My dear Poole I have not written to you -- excepting Mrs C. I have written to no one -- because I have been in bad health & worse Spirits. -- T. W. arrived the Tuesday after you quitted us, worse than I ever saw him both in health & spirits -- hopeless, heartless, planless! He recovered however in a few days -- on Sunday last I wrote to town for him, on the beat up for a companion -- & on Wednesday wrote home positively that I was not to accompany T. W. but should immediately go off myself for Bilboa -- but that Evening Tom sent Jos. to me to say, that he would dismiss his present Servant, and at any price however high procure a perfect Travelling Servant, who could take the whole business of the road upon him -- that he could not think of giving me up, &c, & claimed my former promise -- &c. Tom had had thoughts of [T. R.] 1 Underwood -- & I wrote to Davy about it, by his desire (& Davy has never thought fit to answer the Letter, which for his sake I trust in God has miscarried) -BUT THIS MUST BE A SECRET. -- JOS. was uneasy manifestly -- and communicated Tom's last message to me in a manner that sufficiently shewed how much it had been at his heart that his Brother should not go without me. -- As to myself, it was a matter made wholly indifferent to me only by my affection for T. W. -- Otherwise I would rather have gone on my own Bottom. However of course I assented -- & it was settled that we should leave this place on Monday (i.e tomorrow) for London --. T. W. fitted me out with clothes &c / when lo! pounce comes down the King's Message, & a War! -However, we still go to London tomorrow -- Jos. goes with us, to carry up the Dorset Address as High Sheriff -- & stays as long as we stay. There are but two Beds at York St -- & where I shall lodge, I cannot say -- I have some thoughts of stopping at Purkis's -- I have a mortal Dread of London Society. -- When any thing is concluded, ____________________ 1 Initials heavily inked out in manuscript. -938- I will write to you of course. T. W. has been much better since he settled his plan -- he talks of taking a covered Gig or something of that kind with one strong Horse -- & to have a good Saddle-horse -& so to walk & ride & be carried, as one's feelings direct. In this way we should be 8 months perhaps in reaching Naples -- I should like the plan extremely -- but I am prepared for all & every thing to burst like a Bubble. 1 There is nothing to be done at present with Mr W.'s Life. -There are no materials at present -- & whether any can be collected, seems doubtful. A most valuable work might be made, I have no doubt. -- But this, if ever, is for a future time. -- Remember me to Ward. -- Whenever I feel my heart thawing, & my state of feeling pleasurable, I will not fail to write to you -- at present I am a bottle of Brandy in Lapland. -- God bless you / My dear Friend! & S. T. Coleridge I have torn open my Letter -- Jos. & Mrs W. & T. W. would be outrageous if I should say, I had written to you, & not remembered them [most] kindly to you. I conjure you mention to no Soul alive, not t[o] Purkis, not to Davy, not to any one, that I am in London, for if it be possible, I shall try to see no one. I am quite menschenscheu, as the Germans say -- i.e. man -- shy ----- Oblitusque meorum, obliviscendus et illis! 2