To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, No. 1 Downshire Place, Hampstead, London.
Saturday--I don't know what. [ September, 1835.]
My dear Mother
You may be sure that I opened your last with fear and trembling, and all the anticipations of an evil conscience-- and was most agreeably surprized to find so little scolding in it. I will not, however, detain you with excuses, but to business at once. Perhaps I cannot tell you any thing more comfortable of our friends at Rydal than that Mrs. Wordsworth is gone to visit her son and daughter-in-law at Workington. Mr. Wordsworth is, all things considered, wonderfully well-- I have often seen him lately, sometimes on his walks, sometimes at the Foxes,1 and sometimes at his own abode: (the day before yesterday, he call'd upon me--what think you for? to borrow a razor as he had not shaved that morning, and bethought him to call on the Parrys). Dora is not worse, I wish I could say she was much better. She has the same sweet smile as ever, and all the good spirits that can proceed from a kind and innocent heart in an afflicted body. (Miss Wordsworth is, I suppose, more comfortable as to her bodily feelings--suffers little or no pain, and is grown fat, but her memory is gone--so they say, at least, for I do not now see her. She never leaves her room.) I hope Mr. Wordsworth feels some consolation in the complete victory of his poetic fame. He may at least feel assured, that no Great Poet ever lived to see his name of so full an age as Wordsworth has done. His last volume is exquisite. Now it is sad bathos to begin about jackets and shirts, but such was the order you prescribed, and I am bound to obey. Of shirts, I have abundance. Mrs. Fleming's Grand daughter does my mending--(I don't say that she mends me). As some little recompense, I gave her some of the silk I have got at Funerals to make herself a bonnet, and she has hemmed the rest into neckcloths for me. You must be aware that it is unfit for making waistcoats, breeches, etc. I believe I have now about twenty pair of Trowzers, about 9 of which are whole and respectable--three or four may be darned for work days--the rest incorrigible____________________