509. To Robert Southey Address: Mr Southey | St James's Parade | Kingsdown | Bristol MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. E. L. G. i. 263. Postmark: 5 August 1803. Stamped: Keswick. Monday Evening, August 1. 1803 My dear old friend On whatever plan you determine, I will be your faithful Servant and Fellow-Servant. If you were with me, and Health were not far away, I could now rely on myself; but my Health is a very weighty, perhaps insuperable, Objection. Else the sense of responsibility to my own mind is growing deeper & deeper with me from many causes -- chiefly, from the knowlege that I am not of no signiflance, relatively to, comparatively with, other men, my contemporaries. -- I was thought vain / if there be no better word, to express what I was, so let it be / but if Cottle be vain, Dyer be vain, J. Jennings be vain, the word is a vague one / -- it was in me the heat, bustle, and overflowing of a mind, too vehemently pushed on from within to be regardful of the object, upon which it was moving -- an instinct to have my power proved to me by transient evidences, arising from an inward feeling of weakness, both the one & other working in me unconsciously -- above all, a faulty delight in the being beloved, without having examined my heart, whether, if beloved, I had any thing to give in return beyond general kindness & general Sympathy -- both indeed unusually warm, but which, being still general, were not a return in kind, for that which I was unconsciously desiring to inspire / -- All this added together might possibly have been a somewhat far worse than Vanity -- but it would still have been different from it -- far worse if it had not existed in a nature where better Things were indigenous. -- A sense of weakness -- a haunting sense, that I was an herbaceous Plant, as large as a large Tree, with a Trunk of the same Girth, & Branches as large & shadowing -- but with pith within the Trunk, not heart of Wood / -- that I had power not strength -- an involuntary Imposter -that I had no real Genius, no real Depth / -- / This on my honor is as fair a statement of my habitual Haunting, as I could give before the Tribunal of Heaven/How it arose in me, I have but lately discovered/ -- Still it works within me / but only as a Disease, the cause & meaning of which I know / the whole History of this Feeling would form a curious page in a Nosologia Spiritualis -- / ----- Your other objection is not equally well-founded -- My plan would take in all & every body. I undertake for this -- that every page which your plan would admit, mine should / neither is it accurate, that the greater part could only be done by me / -- However, I give it up as -959- contentedly as I offered it quietly / if any part I should desire you to retain, it would be the first Volume -- to make that exhaust all Welch, Saxon, & Erse Literature. However, let me know as soon as is convenient your plan, whatever it be / -- Good heavens! if you & I, Rickman & Lamb, were to put our Shoulders to one volume / a compleat History of the Dark Ages -- if Rickman would but take the physics, you the Romances & Legendary Theology, I the Metaphysics, and Lamb be left to say what he liked in his own way -what might not be done / as to the Canon & Roman Law, it is done admirably for all Countries by Hugo of Göttingen, & I would abridge his Book -- / This alone would immortalize us -- in Physics I comprehend Alchemy & Medicine / -- Enough of all this. -- I write only to say, that my zealous & continued Services are your's, on any plan -- tho' as to Longman, I have assuredly a right to demand more than four guineas a sheet for the Copy right of so compleat a work as my Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespear, Milton, Taylor, &c &c will be -- without boasting, a great Book of Criticism respecting Poetry & Prose -- He ought to consider, that every Syllable which I shall write in the work is not for that work merely, but might every page be published in a work per se ----- &c &c. -- If no strange Accident intervene, I leave Home on Monday Next for my Scotch Tour / -- We shall be 5 or 6 days in getting to Glasgow -- and after that I know no place of Direction but Edingburgh. If therefore you wish to write within a day or two, direct to the Post Office, Glasgow / if not, I shall expect a Letter in a month or 5 weeks at Edingburgh. -- We are all pretty well. Sara is a quiet Creature -- Derwent a great Beauty -- both sadly nettle-rashy; but I am afraid to do any thing with it, it seems to keep them both in high health. Hartley is his own Self -- piscis rarissima [sic]. Young Hazlitt has taken masterly Portraits of me & Wordsworth, very much in the manner of Titian's Portraits -- he wishes to take Lamb -- & you. -- S. T. Coleridge --