511. To Sir George and Lady Beaumont Address: Sir George Beaumont, Baronet, | at the | Right Honorable Lord Lowther's, | Lowther Hall | Penrith -- MS. Pierpont Morgan Lib. Pub. with omis. Memorials of Coleorton, ed. by William Knight, 2 vols., 1887, i. 1. Greta Hall, Keswick. Friday, Aug. 12. 1803 Dear Sir George and Lady Beaumont I returned, an hour and a half after your departure, with Hartley and Derwent, & with Wordsworth, his Wife, Sister, and the Baby. On Wednesday Afternoon, just when the Weather had cleared up, & we were preparing to set off, Miss Wordsworth was taken ill -- one of her bilious Attacks brought on by the hurry & bustle of packing &c: and I myself was too unwell to walk home. There is a something in all the good & deep emotions of our nature, that would ever prevent me from purposely getting out of the way of them -- it was painful to me to anticipate that you would be gone, painful to find that you were gone; and I only endeavored to satisfy myself with the thought, that it would have been more painful to have taken leave of you --. It will give a lasting Interest to the Drawing of the Waterfall, that I first saw it through tears. I was indeed unwell and sadly nervous; and I must not be ashamed to confess to you, my honoured Friends! that I found a bodily relief in weeping, and yielded to it. -- On Tuesday Evening Mr Rogers, the author of the Pleasures of Memory, drank Tea & spent the evening, with us at Grasmere -- & this had produced a very unpleasant effect on my Spirits. Wordsworth's mind & body are both of a stronger texture than mine; & he was amused with the envy, the jealousy, & the other miserable Passions, that have made their Pandaemonium in the crazy Hovel of that poor Man's Heart -- but I was downright melancholy at the sight. If to be a Poet or a Man of Genius entailed on us the necessity of housing such company in our bosoms, I would pray the very flesh off my knees to have a head as dark and unfurnished, as Wordsworth's old Molly has, if only I might have a heart as careless & as loving. -- But God be praised! -964- these unhappy Beings are neither Poets, nor men of Sense -- Enough of them! -- Forgive me, dear Sir George! but I could not help being pleased, that the Man disliked you & your Lady -- & he lost no time in letting us know it. If I believed it possible that the man liked me, upon my soul I should feel exactly as if I were tarred & feathered. -- I have a cowardly Dread of being hated even by bad men; but in this instance Disgust comes in to my assistance, & the greater Dread of being called Friend. -- I do seriously believe, that the chief cause of Wordsworth's & Southey's having been classed with me, as a School, originates entirely in our not hating or envying each other / it is so unusual, that three professed Poets, in every respect unlike each other, should nevertheless take pleasure in each other's welfare -- & reputation. What a refreshment of heart did I not find last night in Cowper's Letters. Their very defects suited me. Had they been of a higher class, as exhibitions of Intellect, they would have less satisfied the then craving of my mind. I had taken up the Book merely as connected with you; & had I hunted thro' all the Libraries of Oxford & Cambridge I should have found no one that would have been so delightful on it's own account. -- The Wordsworths are gone to Applethwait with Mrs Coleridge/ it would be no easy matter to say, how much they were delighted with the two Drawings, as two poems, how much affected by them, as marks of your kindness & attention. -- O dear Sir George! indeed, indeed my heart is very full toward you, & Lady Beaumont -- it is a very mixed feeling -- & Gratitude expresses but a small part of it. -- Poor little Derwent has been in such a Crowd, that he did not seem to know that you were gone, till this afternoon; when we two had the House to ourselves. Then he went to your Room, & he has been crying piteously -- 'Lady Beaumont's gone away, & I WILL be a naughty boy -- Lady Beaumont's gone away!' He is a very affectionate little fellow --. If my health permit, we are to commence our [to]ur on Monday/ but this is very uncertain. I have now no doubt, that my Complaint is atonic Gout -- & tho' the excitement & exercise, which the Journey will afford, would be of service to me, yet the chance of Rainy Weather & damp Beds is a very serious Business. I am rather better this evening; but I incline still to go to Malta with Stoddart, or to Madeira -- which I can do at the same expense as I can make the Scotch Tour. I shall settle this in the course of to morrow -- & by tomorrow's night post shall send you a large coarse Sheet, containing the Leech Gatherer which Miss Wordsworth has copied out -- & such of my own verses as appeared to please you --. I have written a strange rambling Letter -- for in truth I have written under a sort of perplexity of moral feeling -- my head prompting respect, -965- my heart confident affectionateness -- the one tells me, it is my first Letter to you, the other lets me know that unless I write to you as old friends I can not write to you at all. -- Be so good therefore as with your wonted kindness to think of this Letter as of a sort of awkward Bow on entering a room/ I shall find myself more at my ease when I have sate down. -- Believe me, I write every day words with no every day feeling when I subscribe myself, dear Sir George, and dear Lady Beaumont, with affectionate Esteem your obliged and grateful S. T. Coleridge