February 4, 1785 to his Mother

February 4, 1785 [London, Christ’s Hospital].

Dear Mother, — I received your letter with pleasure on the second instant, and should have had it sooner, but that we had not a holiday before last Tuesday, when my brother delivered it me. I also with gratitude received the two handkerchiefs and the half-a-crown from Mr. Badcock, to whom I would be glad if you would give my thanks.

Coin from reign of George III

I shall be more careful of the sum, as I now consider that were it not for my kind friends I should be as destitute of many little necessaries as some of my schoolfellows are; and Thank God and my relations for them!

Recipe for Plum Cake in 1786 cookbookMy brother Luke saw Mr. James Sorrel, who gave my brother a half-a-crown from Mrs. Smerdon, but mentioned not a word of the plumb cake, and said he would call again. Return my most respectful thanks to Mrs. Smerdon for her kind favour.

My aunt was so kind as to accommodate me with a box. I suppose my sister Anna’s beauty has many admirers. My brother Luke says that Burke’s Art of Speaking would be of great use to me. If Master Sam and Harry Badcock are not gone out of (Ottery), give my kindest love to them. Give my compliments to Mr. Blake and Miss Atkinson, Mr. and Mrs. Smerdon, Mr. and Mrs. Clapp, and all other friends in the country. My uncle, aunt, and cousins join with myself and Brother in love to my sisters, and hope they are well, as I, your dutiful son,
Samuel Taylor Colerige


am at present.

P. S. Give my kind love to Molly.