Saturday, March 22, 2008

At Clevedon

Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Thomas Poole

Wednesday evening, October 7, 1795.

My Dear Sir,
God bless you; or rather, God be praised for that he has blessed you ! On Sunday morning I was married at St. Mary's Redcliff, poor Chatterton's church! The thought gave a tinge of melancholy to the solemn joy which I felt, united to the woman whom I love best of all created beings. We are settled, nay, quite domesticated, at Clevedon, our comfortable cot. Mrs. Coleridge! I like to write the name. Well, as I was saying, Mrs. Coleridge desires her affectionate regards to you. I talked of you on my wedding night. God bless you! I hope that some ten years hence you will believe and know of my affection towards you what I will not now profess.

The prospect around is perhaps more various than any in the kingdom. Mine eye gluttonizes the sea, the distant islands, the opposite coast! I shall assuredly write rhymes, let the nine Muses prevent it if they can. Cruikshank, I find, is married to Miss Bucle. I am happy to hear it. He will surely, I hope, make a good husband to a woman, to whom he would be a villain who should make a bad one.

I have given up all thoughts of the magazine, for various reasons. Imprimis, I must be connected with R. Southey in it, which I could not be with comfort to my feelings. Secundo, It is a thing of monthly anxiety and quotidian bustle. Tertio, It would cost Cottle an hundred pounds in buying paper, etc. all on an uncertainty. Quarto, To publish a magazine for one year would be nonsense, and if I pursue what I mean to pursue, my school plan, I could not publish it for more than a year. Quinto, Cottle has entered into an engagement to give me a guinea and a half for every hundred lines of poetry I write, which will be perfectly sufficient for my maintenance, I only amusing myself on mornings; and all my prose works he is eager to purchase. Sexto, In the course of half a year I mean to return to Cambridge (having previously taken my name off from the University control) and taking lodgings there for myself and wife, finish my great work of "Imitations," in two volumes. My former works may, I hope, prove somewhat of genius and of erudition. This will be better; it will show great industry and manly consistency; at the end of it I shall publish proposals for school, etc. Cottle has spent a day with me, and takes this letter to Bristol. My next will be long, and full of something. This is inanity and egotism. Pray let me hear from you, directing the letter to Mr. Cottle, who will forward it. My respectful and grateful remembrance to your mother, and believe me, dear Poole, your affectionate and mindful friend, shall I so soon dare to say? Believe me, my heart prompts it.

S. T. Coleridge.

-from Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge in Two Volumes (London: William Heinemann, 1895) vol. 1.

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