527. To Mrs. John Thelwall Address: Mrs Thelwall I Kendal MS. Pierpont Morgan Lib. Pub. E.L.G. i. 295. Stamped: Keswick. Tuesday Night. [ 22 November 1803.] 2 Greta Hall, Keswick Dear Mrs Thelwall I did not receive your Husband's Letter, &c till the day before yesterday, when Mr Clarkson delivered it to me / I was vexed at ____________________ 1 Isaac Barrow's theological works were published posthumously under the editorship of Tillotson in four volumes, 1688-9. 2 Clarkson was at Greta Hall on 19 Nov. 1803, for Southey, writing to John -1017- the delay -- as Thelwall would naturally think my silence a proof of neglect & forgetfulness of past kindness. -- To all other purposes the Delay did no harm / for I have been so VERY, VERY ill, with such a complication of bodily miseries, for the last 8 weeks that I could not possibly have come over to Kendal --. As Thelwall is a Land-Nautilus & drives on in his own Shell, there can be no reason why he should not go from Kendal to Ambleside, to Grasmere (where he will see Wordsworth) & thence to Keswick / from Keswick to Carlisle by Newmarket Hesket, which is 25 miles -- the whole journey from Kendal to Carlisle thro' Keswick is 55 miles -- [a]bout 12 miles or so round about, as I guess. The road from Keswick to Carlisle I myself travelled this year in an Irish Car. -- If your Husband adopt this plan, & immediately on his arrival at Kendal will give me a few Lines, stating the day, on which he intends to leave it, &c, I will -- if my miserable Carcase be in any tolerable state of subservience to my wishes -- walk to Kendal, & so return with him, in order to see you & your family -- & to have the more of his Conversation. Believe me, I have never ceased to think with tenderness -- & have often thought with an anxious tenderness -- of him, & his -- & sincerely do I rejoice in his Well-doing & Well-being -- sincerely rejoice that (to use the words of Milton a little altered) he has disembarked from a troubled Sea of Noises and hoarse disputes, to behold the bright countenance of Truth in the quiet and still Air of delightful Disquisition. -- I could not guess at his System from his Syllabus 1 / and my curiosity therefore has still it's first edge on it. -- I dread at Edingburgh the effects of the inordinate Self-sufficiency & Disputatiousness that deform the character of the literary part of it's Inhabitants / if report is not a Liar. Unanswerable Truth is a Torment to a mind, that has formed it's whole Taste & habit of pleasure in answering -- to men, who have dubbed the monosyllable 'But', gentleman-usher to all their Sentences. -- I have seen hitherto little Truth struck out by the so much boast[ed] Collision of Sentiment, in Conversation. I have 3 children, 2 boys & a girl -- & they & my Wife are well. I sincerely wish, we were near Kendal -- or rather that Kendal were very near to this Heaven upon Earth / that the two families might be comforts to each other. I shall be too late for the Post, if ____________________ King of Bristol on that day, says his letter 'will be delivered to you by Mr., once the Reverend Thomas Clarkson.' Southey Letters, i. 245. The next day, so Dorothy reports, Clarkson arrived at Grasmere and stayed a few hours, before leaving to join his wife in Bristol. Later Years, iii. 1844. This letter, then, must have been written on 22 Nov. 1 Presumably a syllabus for the lectures on elocution Thelwall was delivering at this time. See Southey Letters, i. 255. -1018- I write more / & my Health is so precarious, that what I do not write this Hour I may be unable to write the next ----- With my kindest Remembrances to your Husband & yourself, & ardent well-wishing for you, I remain, | dear Mrs Thelwall, | with simple & sincere Esteem & Affection | Your faithful Friend S. T. Coleridge