Southey and Coleridge met as young poets with shared ideals. They married two sisters, wrote a play together and dreamed about a utopian community in America (or else Wales), where the men would be tended by ‘mild and lovely’ women. The Wordsworths and de Quincey were their neighbours in the Lake District; Shelley also visited, but soon moved on. Southey took laughing-gas with his friend Davy and corresponded with Scott. He met Telford through a mutual friend, and accompanied him for several weeks on a tour of engineering works in the Scottish Highlands, writing a poem about the Caledonian Canal.