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letter to him, explaining the reasons why I could not comply with his request, to which he thus replied :
“My dear Cottle,
I perceive that it would have been impossible for you to comply with my request, respecting the * Lyrical Ballads, as you had entered into a treaty with Arch. How is the copy-right to be disposed of when you quit the bookselling business? We were much amused with the “Anthology.' Your poem of the “ Killcrop' we liked better than any; only we regretted that you did not save the poor little innocent's life, by some benevolent art or other. You might have managed a little pathetic incident, in which nature, appearing forcibly in the child, might have worked in some way or other, upon its superstitious destroyer. *
* The child's life will now be found saved, in conformity with the humane suggestion of Mr. W.
As my poem of the “Killcrop,” which was originally printed in the “ Anthology,” (anonymously) has not been included in my last, fourth edition ; and as Mr. Wordsworth has expressed himself favourably concerning it, I have re-printed it in the Appendix. Mr. Southey has informed me, that this “ Killcrop” is printed as his, in the French edition of his Poems. This is a compliment which exceeds its desert.
We have spent our time pleasantly enough in Germany, but we are right glad to find ourselves in England, for we have learnt to know its value. We left Coleridge well at Gottingen, a month ago. * * * * God bless you, my dear Cottle, Your affectionate friend,
Soon after the receipt of the above, I received another letter from Mr. W. kindly urging me to pay him a visit in the north, in which, as an inducement, he says,
* * * * * * * " Write to me beforehand, and I will accompany you on a tour. You will come by Greta-bridge, which is about twenty miles from this place, (Stockburn) ; - and after we have seen all the curiosities of that neighbourhood, I will accompany you into Cumberland and Westmoreland. * * God bless you, dear Cottle,
W. W." ;
A short time after the receipt of this invitation, Mr. Coleridge arrived in Bristol from Germany, and as he was about to pay Mr. Wordsworth a
visit, he pressed me to accompany him. I had intended a journey to London, and now determined on proceeding with so agreeable a companion, and on so pleasant a journey, and tour; taking the metropolis on my return. To notice the complicated incidents which occurred on this tour, would occupy a large space. I therefore pass it all over, with the remark, that in this interview with Mr. Wordsworth, the subject of the “ Lyrical Ballads” was mentioned but once, and that casually, and only to account for its failure ! which Mr. W. ascribed to two causes ; first, the “Ancient Mariner,” which, he said, no one seemed to understand; and 2ndly, the unfavourable notice of most of the Reviews.
On my reaching London, having an account to settle with Messrs. Longman and Rees, the booksellers, of Paternoster Row, I sold them all my copy-rights, which were valued as one lot, by a third party. On my next seeing Mr. Longman, he told me, that in estimating the value of the copy-rights, Fox's “ Achmed," and Wordsworth's " Lyrical Ballads,” were “reckoned as nothing." “ That being the case,” I replied, “as both these authors are my personal friends, I should be obliged, if you would return me again these two copy-rights, that I may have the pleasure of presenting them to the respective writers.” Mr. Longman answered, with his accustomed liberality, “ You are welcome to them.” On my reaching Bristol, I gave Mr. Fox his receipt for twenty guineas; and on Mr. Coleridge's return from the north, I gave him Mr. Wordsworth’s receipt for his thirty guineas; so that whatever advantage has arisen, subsequently, from the sale of this volume of the “Lyrical Ballads," has pertained exclusively to Mr. W.
I have been the more particular in these statements, as it furnishes, perhaps, the most remarkable instance on record, of a volume of Poems remaining for so long a time, almost totally neglected, and afterwards acquiring, and that almost rapidly, so much deserved popularity.
A month or two after Mr. Coleridge had left Bristol for Germany, Dr. Beddoes told me of a letter he had just received from his friend, Davies Giddy, (afterward, with the altered name of Gilbert, President of the Royal Society) recommending a very ingenious young chemist, of Penzance, in Cornwall, to assist him in his Pneumatic Institution, at the Hotwells. “ The character is so favourable,” said the Dr. “ I think I shall engage him;" handing me the letter. I read it, and replied, “ You cannot err in receiving a young man thus recommended.” Two or three weeks after, Dr. B. introduced to me no other than Mr. afterwards Sir, Humphrey Davy. (Mr. Giddy little thought that this “ young chemist, of Penzance,” was destined to precede himself, in occupying the chair of Newton.)
This Pneumatic Institution, for ascertaining how far the different gases, received into the lungs, were favourable, or not, to certain diseases, has often been referred to; but its origin, that I am aware of, has never been stated. It has erroneously been supposed, to have depended for its establishment and support, exclusively on Dr. Beddoes. But being acquainted with the circumstances of the case, it is right to mention, that this Gaseous Institution resulted from the liberality of the late Mr. Lambton. When Mr. L. heard from Dr. Beddoes an opinion expressed, that Medical Science might be greatly assisted by a fair and full examination of the effects of factitious airs on the human constitution, particularly in reference to consumption ; to obtain this “ fair and full examination,” Mr. Lambton immediately presented Dr. B. with the munificent sum