515. To Mrs. S. T. Coleridge Address: Mrs Coleridge | Greta Hall | Keswick | Cumberland | S. Britain. Single MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. E. L. G. i. 272. The bottom of each page of the holograph has been cut off. Stamped: Fort William. Saturday, Sept. 8. -- Fort William. 1803 My dear Sara I learnt at the Ferry that it would be safer to take my Letter with me to this place, as the same Post took it, & did not go off till early on Sunday Morning. -- I walked on very briskly, when now Night came on / my road lay all the way by a great Sea Lake, Rocks or Woods, or Rocks among woods close by my right hand, great mountains across the Sea on my left/ -- and now I had walked 28 miles in the course of the Day, when being thirsty I drank repeatedly in the palm of my hand, & thinking of writing to Sir G. Beaumont I was saying to myself -- this using one hand instead of a Cup has one disadvantage that one literally does not know when one has had enough -- and we leave off not because the Thirst is quench'd but because we are tired of Stooping. -- Soon after (in less than a furlong) -- a pain & intense sense of fatigue fell upon me, especially within my Thighs -- & great Torture in my bad Toe -- However I dragged myself along; but when I reached the Town, I was forced to lean on the man that shewed me my Inn (to which I had been recommended by a Dr Hay Drummond who met me at Kingshouse, & created an acquaintance in the most farcical manner imaginable --) Mrs Munro, the Landlady, had no room at all -- and I could not stand -- however she sent a boy with me to another little Inn, which I entered -- & sitting down. . . an affair altogether of the Body, not of the mind -- that I had, it was true, a torturing pain in all my limbs, but that this had nothing to do with my Tears which were hysterical & proceeded from the Stomach -- / Just as I had said this, a kind old man came in to me, who had crossed the Ferry with me, & being on horseback had been here half an hour before me / and I had had some chat with him in the Boat, told him of the Gout in my Stomach, & that this Tour was an experiment for Exercise -- &c -- / ['] I never saw a man, ['] says he, ['] walk so well or so briskly as this young Gentleman did -- and indeed he must have done so, for I rode as hard as I could, & yet have not been in much more than ½ an hour -- or three quarters.' -I told him with faltering voice that I should have been in half an hour sooner, but that the last mile & a half I could scarcely drag my Limbs along: & that the Fatigue had come upon me all at once. -- 'WHOO! WHOO! WHOO!' says the old man -- ['] you drank water -980- by the road-side then ?['] -- I said, yes I-----'And you have Gout in the Stomach -- / indeed, but you are in peril.' -- By this time they had gotten me a dish of Tea; but before I could touch it, my Bowels were seized violently, & there. . . Gallon of nasty water-----and so went to bed. Had a Bason of hot Tea brought up to me -- slept very soon, and more soundly than I have done since I have been in Scotland. I find myself a little stiffish, this morning / 30 miles was perhaps too much for one day -- yet I am positive, I should not have felt it, but for that unfortunate Drench of Water! -- I might have gone on; but I wished to have a Shirt & Stockings washed / I have but one pair of Stockings -- & they were so clotted & full of holes that it was a misery to sit with them on/. So I have sent them, & sit with none. -- I had determined to buy a pair of Shoes whatever befell me, in the way of money distresses; but there are none in the Town ready made -- so I shall be obliged to go as far as Inverness with these -- perhaps to Perth / & I speak in the simplest earnest when I say, that I expect I shall be forced to throw them away before I get to Inverness, & to walk barefoot -- My bad great Toe, on my left Foot, is a sore Annoyance to me. -- I am bepuzzled about this money. This Letter will not reach you, I fear, till Wednesday Night -- However, you must at all events send me the money (I can & will make 5£ do) Mr Coleridge, to be left at the Post Office, Perth, N. Britain. -- I have been so particular in my account of that hysterical Attack, because this is now the third seizure / & the first from mere physical causes. The two former were the effect of agitated Feelings. -- I am sure, that neither Mr Edmondson nor you have any adequate notion, how seriously ill I am. If the Complaint does not settle -- & very soon too -- in my extremities, I do not see how it will be possible for me to avoid a paralytic or apoplectic Stroke. . . .moment. . . 1 I have no heart to speak of the Children! -- God have mercy on them; & raise them up friends when I am in the Grave. -- Remember me affectionately to Mr Jackson and to Mrs Wilson. -- Remember me too to Mr Wilkinson & Mrs W. -- & tell Mr W. that if I return in tolerable Health, I anticipate a high Feast in looking over his [Drawings.]. . . him for flattering. . . ____________________ 1 Five and a half lines heavily inked out at the top of page 4 of the manuscript. -981-