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Title: Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. I (of 2)
Author: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834
Language: English
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Edited by


In Two Volumes


William Heinemann
[All rights reserved.]

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.


Hitherto no attempt has been made to publish a collection of Coleridge’s
Letters. A few specimens were published in his lifetime, both in his own
works and in magazines, and, shortly after his death in 1834, a large
number appeared in print. Allsop’s “Letters, Conversations, and
Recollections of S. T. Coleridge,” which was issued in 1836, contains
forty-five letters or parts of letters; Cottle in his “Early
Recollections” (1837) prints, for the most part incorrectly, and in
piecemeal, some sixty in all, and Gillman, in his “Life of Coleridge”
(1838), contributes, among others, some letters addressed to himself, and
one, of the greatest interest, to Charles Lamb. In 1847, a series of early
letters to Thomas Poole appeared for the first time in the Biographical
Supplement to the “Biographia Literaria,” and in 1848, when Cottle
reprinted his “Early Recollections,” under the title of “Reminiscences of
Coleridge and Southey,” he included sixteen letters to Thomas and Josiah
Wedgwood. In Southey’s posthumous “Life of Dr. Bell,” five letters of
Coleridge lie imbedded, and in “Southey’s Life and Correspondence”
(1849-50), four of his letters find an appropriate place. An interesting
series was published in 1858 in the “Fragmentary Remains of Sir H. Davy,”
edited by his brother, Dr. Davy; and in the “Diary of H. C. Robinson,”
published in 1869, a few letters from Coleridge are interspersed. In 1870,
the late Mr. W. Mark W. Call printed in the “Westminster Review” eleven
letters from Coleridge to Dr. Brabant of Devizes, dated 1815 and 1816;
and a series of early letters to Godwin, 1800-1811 (some of which had
appeared in “Macmillan’s Magazine” in 1864), was included by Mr. Kegan
Paul in his “William Godwin” (1876). In 1874, a correspondence between
Coleridge (1816-1818) and his publishers, Gale & Curtis, was contributed
to “Lippincott’s Magazine,” and in 1878, a few letters to Matilda Betham
were published in “Fraser’s Magazine.” During the last six years the vast
store which still remained unpublished has been drawn upon for various
memoirs and biographies. The following works containing new letters are
given in order of publication: Herr Brandl’s “Samuel T. Coleridge and the
English Romantic School,” 1887; “Memorials of Coleorton,” edited by
Professor Knight, 1887; “Thomas Poole and his Friends,” by Mrs. H.
Sandford, 1888; “Life of Wordsworth,” by Professor Knight, 1889; “Memoirs
of John Murray,” by Samuel Smiles, LL. D., 1891; “De Quincey Memorials,”
by Alex. Japp, LL. D., 1891; “Life of Washington Allston,” 1893.

Notwithstanding these heavy draughts, more than half of the letters which
have come under my notice remain unpublished. Of more than forty which
Coleridge wrote to his wife, only one has been published. Of ninety
letters to Southey which are extant, barely a tenth have seen the light.
Of nineteen addressed to W. Sotheby, poet and patron of poets, fourteen to
Lamb’s friend John Rickman, and four to Coleridge’s old college friend,
Archdeacon Wrangham, none have been published. Of more than forty letters
addressed to the Morgan family, which belong for the most part to the
least known period of Coleridge’s life,--the years which intervened
between his residence in Grasmere and his final settlement at
Highgate,--only two or three, preserved in the MSS. Department of the
British Museum, have been published. Of numerous letters written in later
life to his friend and amanuensis, Joseph Henry Green; to Charles
Augustus Tulk, M. P. for Sudbury; to his friends and hosts, the Gillmans;
to Cary, the translator of Dante, only a few have found their way into
print. Of more than forty to his brother, the Rev. George Coleridge, which
were accidentally discovered in 1876, only five have been printed. Of some
fourscore letters addressed to his nephews, William Hart Coleridge, John
Taylor Coleridge, Henry Nelson Coleridge, Edward Coleridge, and to his son
Derwent, all but two, or at most three, remain in manuscript. Of the
youthful letters to the Evans family, one letter has recently appeared in
the “Illustrated London News,” and of the many addressed to John Thelwall,
but one was printed in the same series.

The letters to Poole, of which more than a hundred have been preserved,
those addressed to his Bristol friend, Josiah Wade, and the letters to
Wordsworth, which, though few in number, are of great length, have been
largely used for biographical purposes, but much, of the highest interest,
remains unpublished. Of smaller groups of letters, published and
unpublished, I make no detailed mention, but in the latter category are
two to Charles Lamb, one to John Sterling, five to George Cattermole, one
to John Kenyon, and many others to more obscure correspondents. Some
important letters to Lord Jeffrey, to John Murray, to De Quincey, to Hugh
James Rose, and to J. H. B. Williams, have, in the last few years, been
placed in my hands for transcription.

A series of letters written between the years 1796 and 1814 to the Rev.
John Prior Estlin, minister of the Unitarian Chapel at Lewin’s Mead,
Bristol, was printed some years ago for the Philobiblon Society, with an
introduction by Mr. Henry A. Bright. One other series of letters has also
been printed for private circulation. In 1889, the late Miss Stuart placed
in my hands transcriptions of eighty-seven letters addressed by Coleridge
to her father, Daniel Stuart, editor of “The Morning Post” and “Courier,”
and these, together with letters from Wordsworth and Southey, were printed
in a single volume bearing the title, “Letters from the Lake Poets.” Miss
Stuart contributed a short account of her father’s life, and also a
reminiscence of Coleridge, headed “A Farewell.”

Coleridge’s biographers, both of the past and present generations, have
met with a generous response to their appeal for letters to be placed in
their hands for reference and for publication, but it is probable that
many are in existence which have been withheld, sometimes no doubt
intentionally, but more often from inadvertence. From his boyhood the poet
was a voluminous if an irregular correspondent, and many letters which he
is known to have addressed to his earliest friends--to Middleton, to
Robert Allen, to Valentine and Sam Le Grice, to Charles Lloyd, to his
Stowey neighbour, John Cruikshank, to Dr. Beddoes, and others--may yet be
forthcoming. It is certain that he corresponded with Mrs. Clarkson, but if
any letters have been preserved they have not come under my notice. It is
strange, too, that among the letters of the Highgate period, which were
sent to Henry Nelson Coleridge for transcription, none to John Hookham
Frere, to Blanco White, or to Edward Irving appear to have been

The foregoing summary of published and unpublished letters, though
necessarily imperfect, will enable the reader to form some idea of the
mass of material from which the present selection has been made. A
complete edition of Coleridge’s Letters must await the “coming of the
milder day,” a renewed long-suffering on the part of his old enemy, the
“literary public.” In the meanwhile, a selection from some of the more
important is here offered in the belief that many, if not all, will find a
place in permanent literature. The letters are arranged in chronological
order, and are intended rather to illustrate the story of the writer’s
life than to embody his critical opinions, or to record the development of
his philosophical and theological speculations. But letters of a purely
literary character have not been excluded, and in selecting or rejecting a
letter, the sole criterion has been, Is it interesting? is it readable?

In letter-writing perfection of style is its own recommendation, and long
after the substance of a letter has lost its savour, the form retains its
original or, it may be, an added charm. Or if the author be the founder of
a sect or a school, his writings, in whatever form, are received by the
initiated with unquestioning and insatiable delight. But Coleridge’s
letters lack style. The fastidious critic who touched and retouched his
exquisite lyrics, and always for the better, was at no pains to polish his
letters. He writes to his friends as if he were talking to them, and he
lets his periods take care of themselves. Nor is there any longer a school
of reverent disciples to receive what the master gives and because he
gives it. His influence as a teacher has passed into other channels, and
he is no longer regarded as the oracular sage “questionable” concerning
all mysteries. But as a poet, as a great literary critic, and as a “master
of sentences,” he holds his own and appeals to the general ear; and
though, since his death, in 1834, a second generation has all but passed
away, an unwonted interest in the man himself survives and must always
survive. For not only, as Wordsworth declared, was he “a wonderful man,”
but the story of his life was a strange one, and as he tells it, we
“cannot choose but hear.” Coleridge, often to his own detriment, “wore his
heart on his sleeve,” and, now to one friend, now to another, sometimes to
two or three friends on the same day, he would seek to unburthen himself
of his hopes and fears, his thoughts and fancies, his bodily sufferings,
and the keener pangs of the soul. It is, to quote his own words, these
“profound touches of the human heart” which command our interest in
Coleridge’s Letters, and invest them with their peculiar charm.

At what period after death, and to what extent the private letters of a
celebrated person should be given to the world, must always remain an open
question both of taste and of morals. So far as Coleridge is concerned,
the question was decided long age. Within a few years of his death,
letters of the most private and even painful character were published
without the sanction and in spite of the repeated remonstrances of his
literary executor, and of all who had a right to be heard on the subject.
Thenceforth, as the published writings of his immediate descendants
testify, a fuller and therefore a fairer revelation was steadily
contemplated. Letters collected for this purpose find a place in the
present volume, but the selection has been made without reference to
previous works or to any final presentation of the material at the
editor’s disposal.

My acknowledgments are due to many still living, and to others who have
passed away, for their generous permission to print unpublished letters,
which remained in their possession or had passed into their hands.

For the continued use of the long series of letters which Poole entrusted
to Coleridge’s literary executor in 1836, I have to thank Mrs. Henry
Sandford and the Bishop of Gibraltar. For those addressed to the Evans
family I am indebted to Mr. Alfred Morrison of Fonthill. The letters to
Thelwall were placed in my hands by the late Mr. F. W. Cosens, who
afforded me every facility for their transcription. For those to
Wordsworth my thanks are due to the poet’s grandsons, Mr. William and Mr.
Gordon Wordsworth. Those addressed to the Gillmans I owe to the great
kindness of their granddaughter, Mrs. Henry Watson, who placed in my hands
all the materials at her disposal. For the right to publish the letters to
H. F. Cary I am indebted to my friend the Rev. Offley Cary, the grandson
of the translator of Dante. My acknowledgments are further due to the late
Mr. John Murray for the right to republish letters which appeared in the
“Memoirs of John Murray,” and two others which were not included in that
work; and to Mrs. Watt, the daughter of John Hunter of Craigcrook, for
letters addressed to Lord Jeffrey. From the late Lord Houghton I received
permission to publish the letters to the Rev. J. P. Estlin, which were
privately printed for the Philobiblon Society. I have already mentioned my
obligations to the late Miss Stuart of Harley Street.

For the use of letters addressed to his father and grandfather, and for
constant and unwearying advice and assistance in this work I am indebted,
more than I can well express, to the late Lord Coleridge. Alas! I can only
record my gratitude.

To Mr. William Rennell Coleridge of Salston, Ottery St. Mary, my especial
thanks are due for the interesting collection of unpublished letters, many
of them relating to the “Army Episode,” which the poet wrote to his
brother, the Rev. George Coleridge.

I have also to thank Miss Edith Coleridge for the use of letters addressed
to her father, Henry Nelson Coleridge; my cousin, Mrs. Thomas W. Martyn of
Torquay, for Coleridge’s letter to his mother, the earliest known to
exist; and Mr. Arthur Duke Coleridge for one of the latest he ever wrote,
that to Mrs. Aders.

During the preparation of this work I have received valuable assistance
from men of letters and others. I trust that I may be permitted to mention
the names of Mr. Leslie Stephen, Professor Knight, Mrs. Henry Sandford,
Dr. Garnett of the British Museum, Professor Emile Legouis of Lyons, Mrs.
Henry Watson, the Librarians of the Oxford and Cambridge Club, and of the
Kensington Public Library, and Mrs. George Boyce of Chertsey.

Of my friend, Mr. Dykes Campbell, I can only say that he has spared
neither time nor trouble in my behalf. Not only during the progress of the
work has he been ready to give me the benefit of his unrivalled knowledge
of the correspondence and history of Coleridge and of his contemporaries,
but he has largely assisted me in seeing the work through the press. For
the selection of the letters, or for the composition or accuracy of the
notes, he must not be held in any way responsible; but without his aid,
and without his counsel, much, which I hope has been accomplished, could
never have been attempted at all. Of the invaluable assistance which I
have received from his published works, the numerous references to his
edition of Coleridge’s “Poetical Works” (Macmillan, 1893), and his “Samuel
Taylor Coleridge, A Narrative” (1894), are sufficient evidence. Of my
gratitude he needs no assurance.



Born, October 21, 1772.

Death of his father, October 4, 1781.

Entered at Christ’s Hospital, July 18, 1782.

Elected a “Grecian,” 1788.

Discharged from Christ’s Hospital, September 7, 1791.

Went into residence at Jesus College, Cambridge, October, 1791.

Enlisted in King’s Regiment of Light Dragoons, December 2, 1793.

Discharged from the army, April 10, 1794.

Visit to Oxford and introduction to Southey, June, 1794.

Proposal to emigrate to America--Pantisocracy--Autumn, 1794.

Final departure from Cambridge, December, 1794.

Settled at Bristol as public lecturer, January, 1795.

Married to Sarah Fricker, October 4, 1795.

Publication of “Conciones ad Populum,” Clevedon, November 16, 1795.

Pantisocrats dissolve--Rupture with Southey--November, 1795.

Publication of first edition of Poems, April, 1796.

Issue of “The Watchman,” March 1-May 13, 1796.

Birth of Hartley Coleridge, September 19, 1796.

Settled at Nether-Stowey, December 31, 1796.

Publication of second edition of Poems, June, 1797.

Settlement of Wordsworth at Alfoxden, July 14, 1797.

The “Ancient Mariner” begun, November 13, 1797.

First part of “Christabel,” begun, 1797.

Acceptance of annuity of £150 from J. and T. Wedgwood, January, 1798.

Went to Germany, September 16, 1798.

Returned from Germany, July, 1799.

First visit to Lake Country, October-November, 1799.

Began to write for “Morning Post,” December, 1799.

Translation of Schiller’s “Wallenstein,” Spring, 1800.

Settled at Greta Hall, Keswick, July 24, 1800.

Birth of Derwent Coleridge, September 14, 1800.

Wrote second part of “Christabel,” Autumn, 1800.

Began study of German metaphysics, 1801.

Birth of Sara Coleridge, December 23, 1802.

Publication of third edition of Poems, Summer, 1803.

Set out on Scotch tour, August 14, 1803.

Settlement of Southey at Greta Hall, September, 1803.

Sailed for Malta in the Speedwell, April 9, 1804.

Arrived at Malta, May 18, 1804.

First tour in Sicily, August-November, 1804.

Left Malta for Syracuse, September 21, 1805.

Residence in Rome, January-May, 1806.

Returned to England, August, 1806.

Visit to Wordsworth at Coleorton, December 21, 1806.

Met De Quincey at Bridgwater, July, 1807.

First lecture at Royal Institution, January 12, 1808.

Settled at Allan Bank, Grasmere, September, 1808.

First number of “The Friend,” June 1, 1809.

Last number of “The Friend,” March 15, 1810.

Left Greta Hall for London, October 10, 1810.

Settled at Hammersmith with the Morgans, November 3, 1810.

First lecture at London Philosophical Society, November 18, 1811.

Last visit to Greta Hall, February-March, 1812.

First lecture at Willis’s Rooms, May 12, 1812.

First lecture at Surrey Institution, November 3, 1812.

Production of “Remorse” at Drury Lane, January 23, 1813.

Left London for Bristol, October, 1813.

First course of Bristol lectures, October-November, 1813.

Second course of Bristol lectures, December 30, 1813.

Third course of Bristol lectures, April, 1814.

Residence with Josiah Wade at Bristol, Summer, 1814.

Rejoined the Morgans at Ashley, September, 1814.

Accompanied the Morgans to Calne, November, 1814.

Settles with Mr. Gillman at Highgate, April 16, 1816.

Publication of “Christabel,” June, 1816.

Publication of the “Statesman’s Manual,” December, 1816.

Publication of second “Lay Sermon,” 1817.

Publication of “Biographia Literaria” and “Sibylline Leaves,” 1817.

First acquaintance with Joseph Henry Green, 1817.

Publication of “Zapolya,” Autumn, 1817.

First lecture at “Flower-de-Luce Court,” January 27, 1818.

Publication of “Essay on Method,” January, 1818.

Revised edition of “The Friend,” Spring, 1818.

Introduction to Thomas Allsop, 1818.

First lecture on “History of Philosophy,” December 14, 1818.

First lecture on “Shakespeare” (last course), December 17, 1818.

Last public lecture, “History of Philosophy,” March 29, 1819.

Nominated “Royal Associate” of Royal Society of Literature, May, 1824.

Read paper to Royal Society on “Prometheus of Æschylus,” May 15, 1825.

Publication of “Aids to Reflection,” May-June, 1825.

Publication of “Poetical Works,” in three volumes, 1828.

Tour on the Rhine with Wordsworth, June-July, 1828.

Revised issue of “Poetical Works,” in three volumes, 1829.

Marriage of Sara Coleridge to Henry Nelson Coleridge, September 3, 1829.

Publication of “Church and State,” 1830.

Visit to Cambridge, June, 1833.

Death, July 25, 1834.


1. The Complete Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. New York: Harper and
Brothers, 7 vols. 1853.

2. Biographia Literaria [etc.]. By S. T. Coleridge. Second edition,
prepared for publication in part by the late H. N. Coleridge: completed
and published by his widow. 2 vols. 1847.

3. Essays on His Own Times. By Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Edited by his
daughter. London: William Pickering. 3 vols. 1850.

4. The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Edited by T.
Ashe. George Bell and Sons. 1884.

5. Letters, Conversations, and Recollections of S. T. Coleridge. [Edited
by Thomas Allsop. First edition published anonymously.] Moxon. 2 vols.

6. The Life of S. T. Coleridge, by James Gillman. In 2 vols. (Vol. I. only
was published.) 1838.

7. Memorials of Coleorton: being Letters from Coleridge, Wordsworth and
his sister, Southey, and Sir Walter Scott, to Sir George and Lady Beaumont
of Coleorton, Leicestershire, 1803-1834. Edited by William Knight,
University of St. Andrews. 2 vols. Edinburgh. 1887.

8. Unpublished Letters from S. T. Coleridge to the Rev. John Prior Estlin.
Communicated by Henry A. Bright (to the Philobiblon Society). n. d.

9. Letters from the Lake Poets--S. T. Coleridge, William Wordsworth,
Robert Southey--to Daniel Stuart, editor of _The Morning Post_ and _The
Courier_. 1800-1838. _Printed for private circulation._ 1889. [Edited by
Mr. Ernest Hartley Coleridge, in whom the copyright of the letters of S.
T. Coleridge is vested.]

10. The Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Edited, with a
Biographical Introduction, by James Dykes Campbell. London and New York:
Macmillan and Co. 1893.

11. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. A Narrative of the Events of His Life. By
James Dykes Campbell. London and New York: Macmillan and Co. 1894.

12. Early Recollections: chiefly relating to the late S. T. Coleridge,
during his long residence in Bristol. 2 vols. By Joseph Cottle. 1837.

13. Reminiscences of S. T. Coleridge and R. Southey. By Joseph Cottle.

14. Fragmentary Remains, literary and scientific, of Sir Humphry Davy,
Bart. Edited by his brother, John Davy, M. D. 1838.

15. The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt. London. 1860.

16. Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson.
Selected and Edited by Thomas Sadler, Ph.D. London. 1869.

17. A Group of Englishmen (1795-1815): being records of the younger
Wedgwoods and their Friends. By Eliza Meteyard. 1871.

18. Memoir and Letters of Sara Coleridge [Mrs. H. N. Coleridge]. Edited by
her daughter. 2 vols. 1873.

19. Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the English Romantic School. By Alois
Brandl. English Edition by Lady Eastlake. London. 1887.

20. The Letters of Charles Lamb. Edited by Alfred Ainger. 2 vols. 1888.

21. Thomas Poole and his Friends. By Mrs. Henry Sandford. 2 vols. 1888.

22. The Life and Correspondence of R. Southey. Edited by his son, the Rev.
Charles Cuthbert Southey. 6 vols. 1849-50.

23. Selections from the Letters of R. Southey. Edited by his son-in-law,
John Wood Warter, B. D. 4 vols. 1856.

24. The Poetical Works of Robert Southey, Esq., LL.D. 9 vols. London.

25. Memoirs of William Wordsworth. By Christopher Wordsworth, D. D., Canon
of Westminster [afterwards Bishop of Lincoln]. 2 vols. 1851.

26. The Life of William Wordsworth. By William Knight, LL.D. 3 vols. 1889.

27. The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth. With an
Introduction by John Morley. London and New York: Macmillan and Co. 1889.


NOTE. Where a letter has been printed previously to its appearance in this
work, the name of the book or periodical containing it is added in



  I. THOMAS POOLE, February, 1797. (Biographia Literaria, 1847,
  ii. 313)                                                               4

  II. THOMAS POOLE, March, 1797. (Biographia Literaria, 1847,
  ii. 315)                                                               6

  III. THOMAS POOLE, October 9, 1797. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 319)                                                        10

  IV. THOMAS POOLE, October 16, 1797. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 322)                                                        13

  V. THOMAS POOLE, February 19, 1798. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 326)                                                        18

  VI. MRS. COLERIDGE, Senior, February 4, 1785. (Illustrated
  London News, April 1, 1893)                                           21

  VII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, undated, before 1790. (Illustrated
  London News, April 1, 1893)                                           22

  VIII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, October 16, 1791. (Illustrated
  London News, April 8, 1893)                                           22

  IX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, January 24, 1792                           23

  X. MRS. EVANS, February 13, 1792                                      26

  XI. MARY EVANS, February 13, 1792                                     30

  XII. ANNE EVANS, February 19, 1792                                    37

  XIII. MRS. EVANS, February 22 [1792]                                  39

  XIV. MARY EVANS, February 22 [1792]                                   41

  XV. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, April [1792]. (Illustrated London
  News, April 8, 1893)                                                  42

  XVI. MRS. EVANS, February 5, 1793                                     45

  XVII. MARY EVANS, February 7, 1793. (Illustrated London News,
  April 8, 1893)                                                        47

  XVIII. ANNE EVANS, February 10, 1793                                  52

  XIX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, July 28, 1793                             53

  XX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE [Postmark, August 5, 1793]                  55

  XXI. G. L. TUCKETT, February 6 [1794], (Illustrated London
  News, April 15, 1893)                                                 57

  XXII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, February 8, 1794                         59

  XXIII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, February 11, 1794                       60

  XXIV. CAPT. JAMES COLERIDGE, February 20, 1794. (Brandl’s Life
  of Coleridge, 1887, p. 65)                                            61

  XXV. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, March 12, 1794. (Illustrated
  London News, April 15, 1893)                                          62

  XXVI. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, March 21, 1794                           64

  XXVII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, end of March, 1794                      66

  XXVIII. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, March 27, 1794                         66

  XXIX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, March 30, 1794                           68

  XXX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, April 7, 1794                             69

  XXXI. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, May 1, 1794                              70

  XXXII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 6, 1794. (Sixteen lines published,
  Southey’s Life and Correspondence, 1849, i. 212)                      72

  XXXIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 15, 1794. (Portions published in
  Letter to H. Martin, July 22, 1794, Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 338)                                                        74

  XXXIV. ROBERT SOUTHEY, September 18, 1794. (Eighteen lines
  published, Southey’s Life and Correspondence, 1849, i. 218)           81

  XXXV. ROBERT SOUTHEY, September 19, 1794                              84

  XXXVI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, September 26, 1794                             86

  XXXVII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, October 21, 1794                              87

  XXXVIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, November, 1794                               95

  XXXIX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, Autumn, 1794. (Illustrated London News,
  April 15, 1893)                                                      101

  XL. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, November 6, 1794                          103

  XLI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December 11, 1794                               106

  XLII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December 17, 1794                              114

  XLIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December, 1794. (Eighteen lines
  published, Southey’s Life and Correspondence, 1849, i. 227)          121

  XLIV. MARY EVANS, (?) December, 1794. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
  A Narrative, 1894, p. 38)                                            122

  XLV. MARY EVANS, December 24, 1794. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
  A Narrative, 1894, p. 40)                                            124

  XLVI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December, 1794                                 125


  XLVII. JOSEPH COTTLE, Spring, 1795. (Early Recollections,
  1837, i. 16)                                                         133

  XLVIII. JOSEPH COTTLE, July 31, 1795. (Early Recollections,
  1837, i. 52)                                                         133

  XLIX. JOSEPH COTTLE, 1795. (Early Recollections, 1837, i. 55)        134

  L. ROBERT SOUTHEY, October, 1795                                     134

  LI. THOMAS POOLE, October 7, 1795. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 347)                                                       136

  LII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, November 13, 1795                               137

  LIII. JOSIAH WADE, January 27, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 350)                                                       151

  LIV. JOSEPH COTTLE, February 22, 1796. (Early Recollections,
  1837, i. 141; Biographia Literaria, 1847, ii. 356)                   154

  LV. THOMAS POOLE, March 30, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 357)                                                       155

  LVI. THOMAS POOLE, May 12, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 366; Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 144)           158

  LVII. JOHN THELWALL, May 13, 1796                                    159

  LVIII. THOMAS POOLE, May 29, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 368)                                                       164

  LIX. JOHN THELWALL, June 22, 1796                                    166

  LX. THOMAS POOLE, September 24, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 373; Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 155)           168

  LXI. CHARLES LAMB [September 28, 1796]. (Gillman’s Life of
  Coleridge, 1838, pp. 338-340)                                        171

  LXII. THOMAS POOLE, November 5, 1796. (Biographia Literaria,
  1847, ii. 379; Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 175)           172

  LXIII. THOMAS POOLE, November 7, 1796                                176

  LXIV. JOHN THELWALL, November 19 [1796]. (Twenty-six lines
  published, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, A Narrative, 1894, p. 58)        178

  LXV. THOMAS POOLE, December 11, 1796. (Thomas Poole and his
  Friends, 1887, i. 182)                                               183

  LXVI. THOMAS POOLE, December 12, 1796. (Thomas Poole and his
  Friends, 1887, i. 184)                                               184

  LXVII. THOMAS POOLE, December 13, 1796. (Thomas Poole and his
  Friends, 1887, i. 186)                                               187

  LXVIII. JOHN THELWALL, December 17, 1796                             193

  LXIX. THOMAS POOLE [? December 18, 1796]. (Thomas Poole and his
  Friends, 1887, i. 195)                                               208

  LXX. JOHN THELWALL, December 31, 1796                                210


  LXXI. REV. J. P. ESTLIN [1797]. (Privately printed,
  Philobiblon Society)                                                 213

  LXXII. JOHN THELWALL, February 6, 1797                               214

  LXXIII. JOSEPH COTTLE, June, 1797. (Early Recollections, 1837,
  i. 250)                                                              220

  LXXIV. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July, 1797                                    221

  LXXV. JOHN THELWALL [October 16], 1797                               228

  LXXVI. JOHN THELWALL [Autumn, 1797]                                  231

  LXXVII. JOHN THELWALL [Autumn, 1797]                                 232

  LXXVIII. WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, January, 1798. (Ten lines
  published, Life of Wordsworth, 1889, i. 128)                         234

  LXXIX. JOSEPH COTTLE, March 8, 1798. (Part published
  incorrectly, Early Recollections, 1837, i. 251)                      238

  LXXX. REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE, April, 1798                             239

  LXXXI. REV. J. P. ESTLIN, May [? 1798]. (Privately printed,
  Philobiblon Society)                                                 245

  LXXXII. REV. J. P. ESTLIN, May 14, 1798. (Privately printed,
  Philobiblon Society)                                                 246

  LXXXIII. THOMAS POOLE, May 14, 1798. (Thirty-one lines
  published, Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 268)               248

  LXXXIV. THOMAS POOLE [May 20, 1798]. (Eleven lines published,
  Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 269)                          249

  LXXXV. CHARLES LAMB [spring of 1798]                                 249


  LXXXVI. THOMAS POOLE, September 15, 1798. (Thomas Poole and
  his Friends, 1887, i. 273)                                           258

  LXXXVII. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, September 19, 1798                    259

  LXXXVIII. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, October 20, 1798                     262

  LXXXIX. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, November 26, 1798                      265

  XC. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, December 2, 1798                           266

  XCI. REV. MR. ROSKILLY, December 3, 1798                             267

  XCII. THOMAS POOLE, January 4, 1799                                  267

  XCIII. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, January 14, 1799                        271

  XCIV. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, March 12, 1799. (Illustrated
  London News, April 29, 1893)                                         277

  XCV. THOMAS POOLE, April 6, 1799                                     282

  XCVI. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, April 8, 1799. (Thirty lines
  published, Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, i. 295)               284

  XCVII. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, April 23, 1799                          288

  XCVIII. THOMAS POOLE, May 6, 1799. (Thomas Poole and his
  Friends, 1887, i. 297)                                               295


  XCIX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 29, 1799                                  303

  C. THOMAS POOLE, September 16, 1799                                  305

  CI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, October 15, 1799                                 307

  CII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, November 10, 1799                               312

  CIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December 9 [1799]                              314

  CIV. ROBERT SOUTHEY [December 24], 1799                              319

  CV. ROBERT SOUTHEY, January 25, 1800                                 322

  CVI. ROBERT SOUTHEY [early in 1800]                                  324

  CVII. ROBERT SOUTHEY [Postmark, February 18], 1800                   326

  CVIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY [early in 1800]                                328

  CIX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, February 28, 1800                               331

  CHAPTER VI. A LAKE POET, 1800-1803.

  CX. THOMAS POOLE, August 14, 1800. (Illustrated London News,
  May 27, 1893)                                                        335

  CXI. SIR H. DAVY, October 9, 1800. (Fragmentary Remains,
  1858, p. 80)                                                         336

  CXII. SIR H. DAVY, October 18, 1800. (Fragmentary Remains,
  1858, p. 79)                                                         339

  CXIII. SIR H. DAVY, December 2, 1800. (Fragmentary Remains,
  1858, p. 83)                                                         341

  CXIV. THOMAS POOLE, December 5, 1800. (Eight lines published,
  Thomas Poole and his Friends, 1887, ii. 21)                          343

  CXV. SIR H. DAVY, February 3, 1801. (Fragmentary Remains,
  1858, p. 86)                                                         345

  CXVI. THOMAS POOLE, March 16, 1801                                   348

  CXVII. THOMAS POOLE, March 23, 1801                                  350

  CXVIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY [May 6, 1801]                                 354

  CXIX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 22, 1801                                  356

  CXX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 25, 1801                                   359

  CXXI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, August 1, 1801                                 361

  CXXII. THOMAS POOLE, September 19, 1801. (Thomas Poole and
  his Friends, 1887, ii. 65)                                           364

  CXXIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December 31, 1801                            365

  CXXIV. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE [February 24, 1802]                      367

  CXXV. W. SOTHEBY, July 13, 1802                                      369

  CXXVI. W. SOTHEBY, July 19, 1802                                     376

  CXXVII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 29, 1802                                384

  CXXVIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, August 9, 1802                              393

  CXXIX. W. SOTHEBY, August 26, 1802                                   396

  CXXX. W. SOTHEBY, September 10, 1802                                 401

  CXXXI. W. SOTHEBY, September 27, 1802                                408

  CXXXII. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, November 16, 1802                      410

  CXXXIII. REV. J. P. ESTLIN, December 7, 1802. (Privately
  printed, Philobiblon Society)                                        414

  CXXXIV. ROBERT SOUTHEY, December 25, 1802                            415

  CXXXV. THOMAS WEDGWOOD, January 9, 1803                              417

  CXXXVI. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, April 4, 1803                          420

  CXXXVII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July 2, 1803                                422

  CXXXVIII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, July, 1803                                 425

  CXXXIX. ROBERT SOUTHEY, August 7, 1803                               427

  CXL. MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, September 1, 1803                         431

  CXLI. ROBERT SOUTHEY, September 10, 1803                             434

  CXLII. ROBERT SOUTHEY, September 13, 1803                            437

  CXLIII. MATTHEW COATES, December 5, 1803                             441



  SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, aged forty-seven. From a
  pencil-sketch by C. R. Leslie, R. A., now in the
  possession of the editor.                                 _Frontispiece_

  COLONEL JAMES COLERIDGE, of Heath’s Court, Ottery St. Mary.
  From a pastel drawing now in the possession of the Right
  Honourable Lord Coleridge                                             60

  THE COTTAGE AT CLEVEDON, occupied by S. T. Coleridge,
  October-November, 1795. From a photograph                            136

  THE COTTAGE AT NETHER STOWEY, occupied by S. T. Coleridge,
  1797-1800. From a photograph taken by the Honourable Stephen
  Coleridge                                                            214

  SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, aged twenty-six. From a pastel
  sketch taken in Germany, now in the possession of Miss Ward
  of Marshmills, Over Stowey                                           262

  ROBERT SOUTHEY, aged forty-one. From an etching on copper.
  Private plate                                                        304

  GRETA HALL, KESWICK. From a photograph                               336

  MRS. S. T. COLERIDGE, aged thirty-nine. From a miniature by
  Matilda Betham, now in the possession of the editor                  368

  SARA COLERIDGE, aged six. From a miniature by Matilda Betham,
  now in the possession of the editor                                  416








The five autobiographical letters addressed to Thomas Poole were written
at Nether Stowey, at irregular intervals during the years 1797-98. They
are included in the first chapter of the “Biographical Supplement” to the
“Biographia Literaria.” The larger portion of this so-called Biographical
Supplement was prepared for the press by Henry Nelson Coleridge, and
consists of the opening chapters of a proposed “biographical sketch,” and
a selection from the correspondence of S. T. Coleridge. His widow, Sara
Coleridge, when she brought out the second edition of the “Biographia
Literaria” in 1847, published this fragment and added some matter of her
own. This edition has never been reprinted in England, but is included in
the American edition of Coleridge’s Works, which was issued by Harper &
Brothers in 1853.

The letters may be compared with an autobiographical note dated March 9,
1832, which was written at Gillman’s request, and forms part of the first
chapter of his “Life of Coleridge.”[1] The text of the present issue of
the autobiographical letters is taken from the original MSS., and differs
in many important particulars from that of 1847.


Monday, February, 1797.

MY DEAR POOLE,--I could inform the dullest author how he might write an
interesting book. Let him relate the events of his own life with honesty,
not disguising the feelings that accompanied them. I never yet read even a
Methodist’s Experience in the “Gospel Magazine” without receiving
instruction and amusement; and I should almost despair of that man who
could peruse the Life of John Woolman[2] without an amelioration of heart.
As to my Life, it has all the charms of variety,--high life and low life,
vices and virtues, great folly and some wisdom. However, what I am depends
on what I have been; and you, _my best Friend!_ have a right to the
narration. To me the task will be a useful one. It will renew and deepen
my reflections on the past; and it will perhaps make you behold with no
unforgiving or impatient eye those weaknesses and defects in my character,
which so many untoward circumstances have concurred to plant there.

My family on my mother’s side can be traced up, I know not how far. The
Bowdons inherited a small farm in the Exmoor country, in the reign of
Elizabeth, as I have been told, and, to my own knowledge, they have
inherited nothing better since that time. On my father’s side I can rise
no higher than my grandfather, who was born in the Hundred of Coleridge[3]
in the county of Devon, christened, educated, and apprenticed to the
parish. He afterwards became a respectable woollen-draper in the town of
South Molton.[4] (I have mentioned these particulars, as the time may come
in which it will be useful to be able to prove myself a genuine
_sans-culotte_, my veins uncontaminated with one drop of gentility.) My
father received a better education than the others of his family, in
consequence of his own exertions, not of his superior advantages. When he
was not quite sixteen years old, my grandfather became bankrupt, and by a
series of misfortunes was reduced to extreme poverty. My father received
the half of his last crown and his blessing, and walked off to seek his
fortune. After he had proceeded a few miles, he sat him down on the side
of the road, so overwhelmed with painful thoughts that he wept audibly. A
gentleman passed by, who knew him, and, inquiring into his distresses,
took my father with him, and settled him in a neighbouring town as a
schoolmaster. His school increased and he got money and knowledge: for he
commenced a severe and ardent student. Here, too, he married his first
wife, by whom he had three daughters, all now alive. While his first wife
lived, having scraped up money enough at the age of twenty[5] he walked
to Cambridge, entered at Sidney College, distinguished himself for Hebrew
and Mathematics, and might have had a fellowship if he had not been
married. He returned--his wife died. Judge Buller’s father gave him the
living of Ottery St. Mary, and put the present judge to school with him.
He married my mother, by whom he had ten children, of whom I am the
youngest, born October 20, 1772.

These sketches I received from my mother and aunt, but I am utterly unable
to fill them up by any particularity of times, or places, or names. Here I
shall conclude my first letter, because I cannot pledge myself for the
accuracy of the accounts, and I will not therefore mingle them with those
for the accuracy of which in the minutest parts I shall hold myself
amenable to the Tribunal of Truth. You must regard this letter as the
first chapter of an history which is devoted to dim traditions of times
too remote to be pierced by the eye of investigation.

  Yours affectionately,


Sunday, March, 1797.

MY DEAR POOLE,--My father (Vicar of, and Schoolmaster at, Ottery St. Mary,
Devon) was a profound mathematician, and well versed in the Latin, Greek,
and Oriental Languages. He published, or rather attempted to publish,
several works; 1st, Miscellaneous Dissertations arising from the 17th and
18th Chapters of the Book of Judges; 2d, _Sententiæ excerptæ_, for the use
of his own school; and 3d, his best work, a Critical Latin Grammar; in the
preface to which he proposes a bold innovation in the names of the cases.
My father’s new nomenclature was not likely to become popular, although
it must be allowed to be both sonorous and expressive. _Exempli gratiâ_,
he calls the ablative the _quippe-quare-quale-quia-quidditive case_! My
father made the world his confidant with respect to his learning and
ingenuity, and the world seems to have kept the secret very faithfully.
His various works, uncut, unthumbed, have been preserved free from all
pollution. This piece of good luck promises to be hereditary; for all _my_
compositions have the same amiable _home-studying_ propensity. The truth
is, my father was not a first-rate genius; he was, however, a first-rate
Christian. I need not detain you with his character. In learning,
good-heartedness, absentness of mind, and excessive ignorance of the
world, he was a perfect Parson Adams.

My mother was an admirable economist, and managed exclusively. My eldest
brother’s name was John. He went over to the East Indies in the Company’s
service; he was a successful officer and a brave one, I have heard. He
died of a consumption there about eight years ago. My second brother was
called William. He went to Pembroke College, Oxford, and afterwards was
assistant to Mr. Newcome’s School, at Hackney. He died of a putrid fever
the year before my father’s death, and just as he was on the eve of
marriage with Miss Jane Hart, the eldest daughter of a very wealthy
citizen of Exeter. My third brother, James, has been in the army since the
age of sixteen, has married a woman of fortune, and now lives at Ottery
St. Mary, a respectable man. My brother Edward, the wit of the family,
went to Pembroke College, and afterwards to Salisbury, as assistant to Dr.
Skinner. He married a woman twenty years older than his mother. She is
dead and he now lives at Ottery St. Mary. My fifth brother, George, was
educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, and from there went to Mr.
Newcome’s, Hackney, on the death of William. He stayed there fourteen
years, when the living of Ottery St. Mary[6] was given him. There he has
now a fine school, and has lately married Miss Jane Hart, who with beauty
and wealth had remained a faithful widow to the memory of William for
sixteen years. My brother George is a man of reflective mind and elegant
genius. He possesses learning in a greater degree than any of the family,
excepting myself. His manners are grave and hued over with a tender
sadness. In his moral character he approaches every way nearer to
perfection than any man I ever yet knew; indeed, he is worth the whole
family in a lump. My sixth brother, Luke (indeed, the seventh, for one
brother, the second, died in his infancy, and I had forgot to mention
him), was bred as a medical man. He married Miss Sara Hart, and died at
the age of twenty-two, leaving one child, a lovely boy, still alive. My
brother Luke was a man of uncommon genius, a severe student, and a good
man. The eighth child was a sister, Anne.[7] She died a little after my
brother Luke, aged twenty-one;

  Rest, gentle Shade! and wait thy Maker’s will;
  Then rise _unchang’d_, and be an Angel still!

The ninth child was called Francis. He went out as a midshipman, under
Admiral Graves. His ship lay on the Bengal coast, and he accidentally met
his brother John, who took him to land, and procured him a commission in
the Army. He died from the effects of a delirious fever brought on by his
excessive exertions at the siege of Seringapatam, at which his conduct had
been so gallant, that Lord Cornwallis paid him a high compliment in the
presence of the army, and presented him with a valuable gold watch, which
my mother now has. All my brothers are remarkably handsome; but they were
as inferior to Francis as I am to them. He went by the name of “the
handsome Coleridge.” The tenth and last child was S. T. Coleridge, the
subject of these epistles, born (as I told you in my last) October 20,[8]

From October 20, 1772, to October 20, 1773. Christened Samuel Taylor
Coleridge--my godfather’s name being Samuel Taylor, Esq. I had another
godfather (his name was Evans), and two godmothers, both called
“Monday.”[9] From October 20, 1773, to October 20, 1774. In this year I
was carelessly left by my nurse, ran to the fire, and pulled out a live
coal--burnt myself dreadfully. While my hand was being dressed by a Mr.
Young, I spoke for the first time (so my mother informs me) and said,
“nasty Doctor Young!” The snatching at fire, and the circumstance of my
first words expressing hatred to professional men--are they at all
_ominous_? This year I went to school. My schoolmistress, the very image
of Shenstone’s, was named Old Dame Key. She was nearly related to Sir
Joshua Reynolds.

From October 20, 1774, to October 20, 1775. I was inoculated; which I
mention because I distinctly remember it, and that my eyes were bound; at
which I manifested so much obstinate indignation, that at last they
removed the bandage, and unaffrighted I looked at the lancet, and suffered
the scratch. At the close of the year I could read a chapter in the Bible.

Here I shall end, because the remaining years of my life _all_ assisted to
form _my particular mind_;--the three first years had nothing in them that
seems to relate to it.

  (Signature cut out.)


October 9, 1797.

MY DEAREST POOLE,--From March to October--a long silence! But [as] it is
possible that I may have been preparing materials for future letters,[10]
the time cannot be considered as altogether subtracted from you.

From October, 1775, to October, 1778. These three years I continued at the
Reading School, because I was too little to be trusted among my father’s
schoolboys. After breakfast I had a halfpenny given me, with which I
bought three cakes at the baker’s close by the school of my old mistress;
and these were my dinner on every day except Saturday and Sunday, when I
used to dine at home, and wallowed in a beef and pudding dinner. I am
remarkably fond of beans and bacon; and this fondness I attribute to my
father having given me a penny for having eat a large quantity of beans
on Saturday. For the other boys did not like them, and as it was an
economic food, my father thought that my attachment and penchant for it
ought to be encouraged. My father was very fond of me, and I was my
mother’s darling: in consequence I was very miserable. For Molly, who had
nursed my brother Francis, and was immoderately fond of him, hated me
because my mother took more notice of me than of Frank, and Frank hated me
because my mother gave me now and then a bit of cake, when he had
none,--quite forgetting that for one bit of cake which I had and he had
not, he had twenty sops in the pan, and pieces of bread and butter with
sugar on them from Molly, from whom I received only thumps and ill names.

So I became fretful and timorous, and a tell-tale; and the schoolboys
drove me from play, and were always tormenting me, and hence I took no
pleasure in boyish sports, but read incessantly. My father’s sister kept
an _everything_ shop at Crediton, and there I read through all the
gilt-cover little books[11] that could be had at that time, and likewise
all the uncovered tales of Tom Hickathrift, Jack the Giant-killer, etc.,
etc., etc., etc. And I used to lie by the wall and _mope_, and my spirits
used to come upon me suddenly; and in a flood of them I was accustomed to
race up and down the churchyard, and act over all I had been reading, on
the docks, the nettles, and the rank grass. At six years old I remember to
have read Belisarius, Robinson Crusoe, and Philip Quarles; and then I
found the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, one tale of which (the tale of a
man who was compelled to seek for a pure virgin) made so deep an
impression on me (I had read it in the evening while my mother was mending
stockings), that I was haunted by spectres, whenever I was in the dark:
and I distinctly remember the anxious and fearful eagerness with which I
used to watch the window in which the books lay, and whenever the sun lay
upon them, I would seize it, carry it by the wall, and bask and read. My
father found out the effect which these books had produced, and burnt

So I became a _dreamer_, and acquired an indisposition to all bodily
activity; and I was fretful, and inordinately passionate, and as I could
not play at anything, and was slothful, I was despised and hated by the
boys; and because I could read and spell and had, I may truly say, a
memory and understanding forced into almost an unnatural ripeness, I was
flattered and wondered at by all the old women. And so I became very vain,
and despised most of the boys that were at all near my own age, and before
I was eight years old I was a _character_. Sensibility, imagination,
vanity, sloth, and feelings of deep and bitter contempt for all who
traversed the orbit of my understanding, were even then prominent and

From October, 1778, to 1779. That which I began to be from three to six I
continued from six to nine. In this year [1778] I was admitted into the
Grammar School, and soon outstripped all of my age. I had a dangerous
putrid fever this year. My brother George lay ill of the same fever in the
next room. My poor brother Francis, I remember, stole up in spite of
orders to the contrary, and sat by my bedside and read Pope’s Homer to me.
Frank had a violent love of beating me; but whenever that was superseded
by any humour or circumstances, he was always very fond of me, and used to
regard me with a strange mixture of admiration and contempt. Strange it
was not, for he hated books, and loved climbing, fighting, playing and
robbing orchards, to distraction.

My mother relates a story of me, which I repeat here, because it must be
regarded as my first piece of wit. During my fever, I asked why Lady
Northcote (our neighbour) did not come and see me. My mother said she was
afraid of catching the fever. I was piqued, and answered, “Ah, Mamma! the
four Angels round my bed an’t afraid of catching it!” I suppose you know
the prayer:--

  “Matthew! Mark! Luke and John!
   God bless the bed which I lie on.
   Four angels round me spread,
   Two at my foot, and two at my head.”

This prayer I said nightly, and most firmly believed the truth of it.
Frequently have I (half-awake and half-asleep, my body diseased and
fevered by my imagination), seen armies of ugly things bursting in upon
me, and these four angels keeping them off. In my next I shall carry on my
life to my father’s death.

God bless you, my dear Poole, and your affectionate



October 16, 1797.

DEAR POOLE,--From October, 1779, to October, 1781. I had asked my mother
one evening to cut my cheese entire, so that I might toast it. This was no
easy matter, it being a _crumbly_ cheese. My mother, however, did it. I
went into the garden for something or other, and in the mean time my
brother Frank _minced_ my cheese “to disappoint the favorite.” I returned,
saw the exploit, and in an agony of passion flew at Frank. He pretended to
have been seriously hurt by my blow, flung himself on the ground, and
there lay with outstretched limbs. I hung over him moaning, and in a great
fright; he leaped up, and with a horse-laugh gave me a severe blow in the
face. I seized a knife, and was running at him, when my mother came in and
took me by the arm. I expected a flogging, and struggling from her I ran
away to a hill at the bottom of which the Otter flows, about one mile from
Ottery. There I stayed; my rage died away, but my obstinacy vanquished my
fears, and taking out a little shilling book which had, at the end,
morning and evening prayers, I very devoutly repeated them--thinking at
the _same time_ with inward and gloomy satisfaction how miserable my
mother must be! I distinctly remember my feelings when I saw a Mr. Vaughan
pass over the bridge, at about a furlong’s distance, and how I watched the
calves in the fields[12] beyond the river. It grew dark and I fell asleep.
It was towards the latter end of October, and it proved a dreadful stormy
night. I felt the cold in my sleep, and dreamt that I was pulling the
blanket over me, and actually pulled over me a dry thorn bush which lay on
the hill. In my sleep I had rolled from the top of the hill to within
three yards of the river, which flowed by the unfenced edge at the bottom.
I awoke several times, and finding myself wet and stiff and cold, closed
my eyes again that I might forget it.

In the mean time my mother waited about half an hour, expecting my return
when the _sulks_ had evaporated. I not returning, she sent into the
churchyard and round the town. Not found! Several men and all the boys
were sent to ramble about and seek me. In vain! My mother was almost
distracted; and at ten o’clock at night I was _cried_ by the crier in
Ottery, and in two villages near it, with a reward offered for me. No one
went to bed; indeed, I believe half the town were up all the night. To
return to myself. About five in the morning, or a little after, I was
broad awake, and attempted to get up and walk; but I could not move. I saw
the shepherds and workmen at a distance, and cried, but so faintly that it
was impossible to hear me thirty yards off. And there I might have lain
and died; for I was now almost given over, the ponds and even the river,
near where I was lying, having been dragged. But by good luck, Sir
Stafford Northcote,[13] who had been out all night, resolved to make one
other trial, and came so near that he heard me crying. He carried me in
his arms for near a quarter of a mile, when we met my father and Sir
Stafford’s servants. I remember and never shall forget my father’s face as
he looked upon me while I lay in the servant’s arms--so calm, and the
tears stealing down his face; for I was the child of his old age. My
mother, as you may suppose, was outrageous with joy. [Meantime] in rushed
a _young lady_, crying out, “I hope you’ll whip him, Mrs. Coleridge!” This
woman still lives in Ottery; and neither philosophy or religion have been
able to conquer the antipathy which I _feel_ towards her whenever I see
her. I was put to bed and recovered in a day or so, but I was certainly
injured. For I was weakly and subject to the ague for many years after.

My father (who had so little of parental ambition in him, that he had
destined his children to be blacksmiths, etc., and had accomplished his
intention but for my mother’s pride and spirit of aggrandizing her
family)--my father had, however, resolved that I should be a parson. I
read every book that came in my way without distinction; and my father was
fond of me, and used to take me on his knee and hold long conversations
with me. I remember that at eight years old I walked with him one winter
evening from a farmer’s house, a mile from Ottery, and he told me the
names of the stars and how Jupiter was a thousand times larger than our
world, and that the other twinkling stars were suns that had worlds
rolling round them; and when I came home he shewed me how they rolled
round. I heard him with a profound delight and admiration: but without the
least mixture of wonder or incredulity. For from my early reading of fairy
tales and genii, etc., etc., my mind had been habituated _to the Vast_,
and I never regarded _my senses_ in any way as the criteria of my belief.
I regulated all my creeds by my conceptions, not by my _sight_, even at
that age. Should children be permitted to read romances, and relations of
giants and magicians and genii? I know all that has been said against it;
but I have formed my faith in the affirmative. I know no other way of
giving the mind a love of the Great and the Whole. Those who have been led
to the same truths step by step, through the constant testimony of their
senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess. They contemplate
nothing but _parts_, and all _parts_ are necessarily little. And the
universe to them is but a mass of _little things_. It is true, that the
mind _may_ become credulous and prone to superstition by the former
method; but are not the experimentalists credulous even to madness in
believing any absurdity, rather than believe the grandest truths, if they
have not the testimony of their own senses in their favour? I have known
some who have been _rationally_ educated, as it is styled. They were
marked by a microscopic acuteness, but when they looked at great things,
all became a blank and they saw nothing, and denied (very illogically)
that anything could be seen, and uniformly put the negation of a power for
the possession of a power, and called the want of imagination judgment and
the never being moved to rapture philosophy!

Towards the latter end of September, 1781, my father went to Plymouth with
my brother Francis, who was to go as midshipman under Admiral Graves, who
was a friend of my father’s. My father settled my brother, and returned
October 4, 1781. He arrived at Exeter about six o’clock, and was pressed
to take a bed there at the Harts’, but he refused, and, to avoid their
entreaties, he told them, that he had never been superstitious, but that
the night before he had had a dream which had made a deep impression. He
dreamt that Death had appeared to him as he is commonly painted, and
touched him with his dart. Well, he returned home, and all his family, I
excepted, were up. He told my mother his dream;[14] but he was in high
health and good spirits, and there was a bowl of punch made, and my father
gave a long and particular account of his travel, and that he had placed
Frank under a religious captain, etc. At length he went to bed, very well
and in high spirits. A short time after he had lain down he complained of
a pain in his bowels. My mother got him some peppermint water, and, after
a pause, he said, “I am much better now, my dear!” and lay down again. In
a minute my mother heard a noise in his throat, and spoke to him, but he
did not answer; and she spoke repeatedly in vain. Her _shriek_ awaked me,
and I said, “Papa is dead!” I did not know of my father’s return, but I
knew that he was expected. How I came to think of his death I cannot tell;
but so it was. Dead he was. Some said it was the gout in the
heart;--probably it was a fit of apoplexy. He was an Israelite without
guile, simple, generous, and taking some Scripture texts in their literal
sense, he was conscientiously indifferent to the good and the evil of this

God love you and



February 19, 1798.

From October, 1781, to October, 1782.

After the death of my father, we of course changed houses, and I remained
with my mother till the spring of 1782, and was a day-scholar to Parson
Warren, my father’s successor. He was not very deep, I believe; and I used
to delight my mother by relating little instances of his deficiency in
grammar knowledge,--every detraction from his merits seemed an oblation to
the memory of my father, especially as Parson Warren did certainly
_pulpitize_ much better. Somewhere I think about April, 1782, Judge
Buller, who had been educated by my father, sent for me, having procured a
Christ’s Hospital Presentation. I accordingly went to London, and was
received by my mother’s brother, Mr. Bowdon, a tobacconist and (at the
same time) clerk to an underwriter. My uncle lived at the corner of the
Stock Exchange and carried on his shop by means of a confidential servant,
who, I suppose, fleeced him most unmercifully. He was a widower and had
one daughter who lived with a Miss Cabriere, an old maid of great
sensibilities and a taste for literature. Betsy Bowdon had obtained an
unlimited influence over her mind, which she still retains. Mrs. Holt (for
this is her name now) was not the kindest of daughters--but, indeed, my
poor uncle would have wearied the patience and affection of an Euphrasia.
He received me with great affection, and I stayed ten weeks at his house,
during which time I went occasionally to Judge Buller’s. My uncle was very
proud of me, and used to carry me from coffee-house to coffee-house and
tavern to tavern, where I drank and talked and disputed, as if I had been
a man. Nothing was more common than for a large party to exclaim in my
hearing that I was a _prodigy_, etc., etc., etc., so that while I remained
at my uncle’s I was most completely spoiled and pampered, both mind and

At length the time came, and I donned the _blue_ coat[15] and yellow
stockings and was sent down into Hertford, a town twenty miles from
London, where there are about three hundred of the younger Blue-Coat boys.
At Hertford I was very happy, on the whole, for I had plenty to eat and
drink, and pudding and vegetables almost every day. I stayed there six
weeks, and then was drafted up to the great school at London, where I
arrived in September, 1782, and was placed in the second ward, then called
Jefferies’ Ward, and in the under Grammar School. There are twelve wards
or dormitories of unequal sizes, beside the sick ward, in the great
school, and they contained all together seven hundred boys, of whom I
think nearly one third were the sons of clergymen. There are five
schools,--a mathematical, a grammar, a drawing, a reading and a writing
school,--all very large buildings. When a boy is admitted, if he reads
very badly, he is either sent to Hertford or the reading school. (N. B.
Boys are admissible from seven to twelve years old.) If he learns to read
tolerably well before nine, he is drafted into the Lower Grammar School;
if not, into the Writing School, as having given proof of unfitness for
classical attainments. If before he is eleven he climbs up to the first
form of the Lower Grammar School, he is drafted into the head Grammar
School; if not, at eleven years old, he is sent into the Writing School,
where he continues till fourteen or fifteen, and is then either
apprenticed and articled as clerk, or whatever else his turn of mind or of
fortune shall have provided for him. Two or three times a year the
Mathematical Master beats up for recruits for the King’s boys, as they are
called; and all who like the Navy are drafted into the Mathematical and
Drawing Schools, where they continue till sixteen or seventeen, and go out
as midshipmen and schoolmasters in the Navy. The boys, who are drafted
into the Head Grammar School remain there till thirteen, and then, if not
chosen for the University, go into the Writing School.

Each dormitory has a nurse, or matron, and there is a head matron to
superintend all these nurses. The boys were, when I was admitted, under
excessive subordination to each other, according to rank in school; and
every ward was governed by four Monitors (appointed by the _Steward_, who
was the supreme Governor out of school,--our temporal lord), and by four
_Markers_, who wore silver medals and were appointed by the Head Grammar
Master, who was our supreme spiritual lord. The same boys were commonly
both monitors and markers. We read in classes on Sundays to our _Markers_,
and were catechized by them, and under their sole authority during
prayers, etc. All other authority was in the monitors; but, as I said, the
same boys were ordinarily both the one and the other. Our diet was very
scanty.[16] Every morning, a bit of dry bread and some bad small beer.
Every evening, a larger piece of bread and cheese or butter, whichever we
liked. For dinner,--on Sunday, boiled beef and broth; Monday, bread and
butter, and milk and water; on Tuesday, roast mutton; Wednesday, bread and
butter, and rice milk; Thursday, boiled beef and broth; Saturday, bread
and butter, and pease-porritch. Our food was portioned; and, excepting on
Wednesdays, I never had a belly full. Our appetites were _damped_, never
satisfied; and we had no vegetables.



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

DEAR MOTHER,[17]--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. I shall be
more careful of the somme, 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! My 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,

  S. COLERIDGE, am at present.

P. S. Give my kind love to Molly.


Undated, from Christ’s Hospital, before 1790.

DEAR BROTHER,--You will excuse me for reminding you that, as our holidays
commence next week, and I shall go out a good deal, a good pair of
breeches will be no inconsiderable accession to my appearance. For though
my present pair are excellent for the purposes of drawing mathematical
figures on them, and though a walking thought, sonnet, or epigram would
appear on them in very _splendid_ type, yet they are not altogether so
well adapted for a female eye--not to mention that I should have the
charge of vanity brought against me for wearing a looking-glass. I hope
you have got rid of your cold--and I am your affectionate brother,


P. S. Can you let me have them time enough for re-adaptation before
Whitsunday? I mean that they may be made up for me before that time.


October 16, 1791.

DEAR BROTHER,--Here I am, videlicet, Jesus College. I had a tolerable
journey, went by a night coach packed up with five more, one of whom had
a long, broad, red-hot face, four feet by three. I very luckily found
Middleton at Pembroke College, who (after breakfast, etc.) conducted me to
Jesus. Dr. Pearce is in Cornwall and not expected to return to Cambridge
till the summer, and what is still more extraordinary (and, n. b., rather
shameful) neither of the tutors are here. I _keep_ (as the phrase is) in
an absent member’s rooms till one of the aforesaid duetto return to
appoint me my own. Neither Lectures, Chapel, or anything is begun. The
College is very thin, and Middleton has not the least acquaintance with
any of Jesus except a very blackguardly fellow whose physiog. I did not
like. So I sit down to dinner in the Hall in silence, except the noise of
suction which accompanies my eating, and rise up ditto. I then walk to
Pembroke and sit with my friend Middleton. Pray let me hear from you. Le
Grice will send a parcel in two or three days.

Believe me, with sincere affection and gratitude, yours ever,



January 24, 1792.

DEAR BROTHER,--Happy am I, that the country air and exercise have operated
with due effect on your health and spirits--and happy, too, that I can
inform you, that my own corporealities are in a state of better health,
than I ever recollect them to be. This indeed I owe in great measure to
the care of Mrs. Evans,[18] with whom I spent a fortnight at Christmas:
the relaxation from study coöperating with the cheerfulness and attention,
which I met there, proved very potently medicinal. I have indeed
experienced from her a tenderness scarcely inferior to the solicitude of
maternal affection. I wish, my dear brother, that some time, when you walk
into town, you would call at Villiers Street, and take a dinner or dish of
tea there. Mrs. Evans has repeatedly expressed her wish, and I too have
made a half promise that you would. I assure you, you will find them not
only a very amiable, but a very sensible family.

I send a parcel to Le Grice on Friday morning, which (_you may depend on
it as a certainty_) will contain your sermon. I hope you will like it.

I am sincerely concerned at the state of Mr. Sparrow’s health. Are his
complaints consumptive? Present my respects to him and Mrs. Sparrow.

_When_ the Scholarship falls, I do not know. It _must be_ in the course of
two or three months. I do not relax in my exertions, neither do I find it
any impediment to my mental acquirements that prudence has obliged me to
relinquish the _mediæ pallescere nocti_. We are examined as Rustats,[19]
on the Thursday in Easter Week. The examination for my year is “the last
book of Homer and Horace’s _De Arte Poetica_.” The Master (_i. e._ Dr.
Pearce) told me that he would do me a service by pushing my examination as
deep as he possibly could. If ever hogs-lard is pleasing, it is when our
superiors trowel it on. Mr. Frend’s company[20] is by no means invidious.
On the contrary, Pearce himself is very intimate with him. No! Though I
am not an _Alderman_, I have yet _prudence_ enough to respect that
_gluttony of faith_ waggishly yclept orthodoxy.

Philanthropy generally keeps pace with health--my acquaintance becomes
more general. I am intimate with an undergraduate of our College, his name
Caldwell,[21] who is pursuing the same line of study (nearly) as myself.
Though a man of fortune, he is prudent; nor does he lay claim to that
right, which wealth confers on its possessor, of being a fool. Middleton
is fourth senior optimate--an honourable place, but by no means so high as
the whole University expected, or (I believe) his merits deserved. He
desires his love to Stevens:[22] to which you will add mine.

At what time am I to receive my pecuniary assistance? Quarterly or half
yearly? The Hospital issue their money half yearly, and we receive the
products of our scholarship at once, a little after Easter. Whatever
additional supply you and my brother may have thought necessary would be
therefore more conducive to my comfort, if I received it quarterly--as
there are a number of little things which require us to have some ready
money in our pockets--particularly if we happen to be unwell. But this as
well as everything of the pecuniary kind I leave entirely _ad arbitrium

I have written my mother, of whose health I am rejoiced to hear. God send
that she may long continue to recede from old age, while she advances
towards it! Pray write me very soon.

  Yours with gratitude and affection,


February 13, 1792.

MY VERY DEAR,--What word shall I add sufficiently expressive of the warmth
which I feel? You covet to be near my heart. Believe me, that you and my
sister have the very first row in the front box of my heart’s little
theatre--and--God knows! _you are not crowded_. There, my dear spectators!
you shall see what you shall see--Farce, Comedy, and Tragedy--my laughter,
my cheerfulness, and my melancholy. A thousand figures pass before you,
shifting in perpetual succession; these are my joys and my sorrows, my
hopes and my fears, my good tempers and my peevishness: you will, however,
observe two that remain unalterably fixed, and these are love and
gratitude. In short, my dear Mrs. Evans, my whole heart shall be laid open
like any sheep’s heart; my virtues, if I have any, shall not be more
exposed to your view than my weaknesses. Indeed, I am of opinion that
foibles are the cement of affection, and that, however we may _admire_ a
perfect character, we are seldom inclined to love and praise those whom we
cannot sometimes blame. Come, ladies! will you take your seats in this
play-house? Fool that I am! Are you not already there? Believe me, you

I am extremely anxious to be informed concerning your health. Have you not
felt the kindly influence of this more than vernal weather, as well as the
good effects of your own recommenced regularity? I would I could transmit
you a little of my superfluous good health! I am indeed at present most
wonderfully well, and if I continue so, I may soon be mistaken for one of
your _very_ children: at least, in clearness of complexion and rosiness
of cheek I am no contemptible likeness of them, though that ugly
arrangement of features with which nature has distinguished me will, I
fear, long stand in the way of such honorable assimilation. You accuse me
of evading the bet, and imagine that my silence proceeded from a
consciousness of the charge. But you are mistaken. I not only read _your_
letter first, but, on my sincerity! I felt no inclination to do otherwise;
and I am confident, that if Mary had happened to have stood by me and had
seen me take up _her_ letter in preference to her _mother’s_, with all
that ease and energy which she can so gracefully exert upon proper
occasions, she would have lifted up her beautiful little leg, and kicked
me round the room. Had Anne indeed favoured me with a few lines, I confess
I should have seized hold of them before either of your letters; but then
this would have arisen from my love of _novelty_, and not from any
deficiency in filial respect. So much for your bet!

You can scarcely conceive what uneasiness poor Tom’s accident has
occasioned me; in everything that relates to him I feel solicitude truly
fraternal. Be particular concerning him in your next. I was going to write
him an half-angry letter for the long intermission of his correspondence;
but I must change it to a consolatory one. You mention not a word of
Bessy. Think you I do not love her?

And so, my dear Mrs. Evans, you are to take your Welsh journey in May? Now
may the Goddess of Health, the rosy-cheeked goddess that blows the breeze
from the Cambrian mountains, renovate that dear old lady, and make her
young again! I always loved that old lady’s looks. Yet do not flatter
yourselves, that you shall take this journey _tête-à-tête_. You will have
an unseen companion at your side, one who will attend you in your jaunt,
who will be present at your arrival; one whose heart will melt with
unutterable tenderness at your maternal transports, who will climb the
Welsh hills with you, who will feel himself happy in knowing you to be so.
In short, as St. Paul says, though absent in body, I shall be present in
mind. Disappointment? You must not, you shall not be disappointed; and if
a poetical invocation can help you to drive off that ugly foe to happiness
here it is for you.


    Hence! thou fiend of gloomy sway,
  Thou lov’st on withering blast to ride
  O’er fond Illusion’s air-built pride.
    Sullen Spirit! Hence! Away!

    Where Avarice lurks in sordid cell,
  Or mad Ambition builds the dream,
  Or Pleasure plots th’ unholy scheme
    There with Guilt and Folly dwell!

    But oh! when Hope on Wisdom’s wing
  Prophetic whispers pure delight,
  Be distant far thy cank’rous blight,
    Demon of envenom’d sting.

    Then haste thee, Nymph of balmy gales!
  Thy poet’s prayer, sweet May! attend!
  Oh! place my parent and my friend
    ’Mid her lovely native vales.

    Peace, that lists the woodlark’s strains,
  Health, that breathes divinest treasures,
  Laughing Hours, and Social Pleasures
    Wait my friend in Cambria’s plains.

    Affection there with mingled ray
  Shall pour at once the raptures high
  Of filial and maternal Joy;
    Haste thee then, delightful May!

    And oh! may Spring’s fair flowerets fade,
  May Summer cease her limbs to lave
  In cooling stream, may Autumn grave
    Yellow o’er the corn-cloath’d glade;

    Ere, from sweet retirement torn,
  She seek again the crowded mart:
  Nor thou, my selfish, selfish heart
    Dare her slow return to mourn!

In what part of the country is my dear Anne to be? Mary must and shall be
with you. I want to know all your summer residences, that I may be on that
very spot with all of you. It is not improbable that I may steal down from
Cambridge about the beginning of April just to look at you, that when I
see you again in autumn I may know how many years younger the Welsh air
has made you. If I shall go into Devonshire on the 21st of May, unless my
good fortune in a particular affair should detain me till the 4th of June.

I lately received the thanks of the College for a declamation[23] I spoke
in public; indeed, I meet with the most pointed marks of respect, which,
as I neither flatter nor fiddle, I suppose to be sincere. I write these
things not from vanity, but because I know they will please you.

I intend to leave off suppers, and two or three other little
unnecessaries, and in conjunction with Caldwell hire a garden for the
summer. It will be nice exercise--your advice. La! it will be so charming
to walk out in one’s own _garding_, and sit and drink tea in an arbour,
and pick pretty nosegays. To plant and transplant, and be dirty and
amused! Then to look with contempt on your Londoners with your mock
gardens and your smoky windows, making a beggarly show of withered flowers
stuck in pint pots, and quart pots menacing the heads of the passengers

Now suppose I conclude something in the manner with which Mary concludes
all her letters to me, “_Believe me your sincere friend_,” and dutiful
humble servant to command!

Now I do hate that way of concluding a letter. ’Tis as dry as a stick, as
stiff as a poker, and as cold as a cucumber. It is not half so good as my

  God bless you and
    Your affectionately grateful
      S. T. COLERIDGE.


February 13, 11 o’clock.

_Ten of the most talkative young ladies now in London!_

Now by the most accurate calculation of the specific quantities of sounds,
a female tongue, _when it exerts itself to the utmost_, equals the noise
of eighteen sign-posts, which the wind swings backwards and forwards in
full creak. If then one equals eighteen, ten must equal one hundred and
eighty; consequently, the circle at Jermyn Street unitedly must have
produced a noise equal to that of one hundred and eighty old crazy
sign-posts, inharmoniously agitated as aforesaid. Well! to be sure, there
are few disagreeables for which the pleasure of Mary and Anne Evans’
company would not amply compensate; but faith! I feel myself half inclined
to thank God that I was fifty-two miles off during this _clattering
clapperation_ of tongues. Do you keep ale at Jermyn Street? If so, I hope
it is not _soured_.

Such, my dear Mary, were the reflections that instantly suggested
themselves to me on reading the former part of your letter. Believe me,
however, that my gratitude keeps pace with my sense of your exertions, as
I can most feelingly conceive the difficulty of writing amid that second
edition of Babel with additions. That your health is restored gives me
sincere delight. May the giver of all pleasure and pain preserve it so! I
am likewise glad to hear that your hand is re-whiten’d, though I cannot
help smiling at a certain young lady’s _effrontery_ in having boxed a
young gentleman’s ears till her own hand became _black and blue_, and
attributing those unseemly marks to the poor unfortunate object of her
resentment. _You are at liberty, certainly, to say what you please._

It has been confidently affirmed by most excellent judges (tho’ the best
may be mistaken) that I have grown very handsome lately. Pray that I may
have grace not to be vain. Yet, ah! who can read the stories of Pamela, or
Joseph Andrews, or Susannah and the three Elders, and not perceive what a
dangerous snare beauty is? Beauty is like the grass, that groweth up in
the morning and is withered before night. Mary! Anne! Do not be vain of
your beauty!!!!!

I keep a cat. Amid the strange collection of strange animals with which I
am surrounded, I think it necessary to have some meek well-looking being,
that I may keep my social affections alive. Puss, like her master, is a
very gentle brute, and I behave to her with all possible politeness.
Indeed, a cat is a very worthy animal. To be sure, I have known some very
malicious cats in my lifetime, but then they were old--and besides, they
had not nearly so many legs as you, my sweet Pussy. I wish, Puss! I could
break you of that indecorous habit of turning your back front to the fire.
It is not frosty weather now.

N. B.--If ever, Mary, you should feel yourself inclined to visit me at
Cambridge, pray do not suffer the consideration of my having a cat to
deter you. _Indeed_, I will keep her _chained up_ all the while you stay.

I was in company the other day with a very dashing literary lady. After my
departure, a friend of mine asked her her opinion of me. She answered:
“The best I can say of him is, that he is a very gentle bear.” What think
you of this character?

What a lovely anticipation of spring the last three or four days have
afforded. Nature has not been very profuse of her ornaments to the country
about Cambridge; yet the clear rivulet that runs through the grove
adjacent to our College, and the numberless little birds (particularly
robins) that are singing away, and above all, the little lambs, each by
the side of its mother, recall the most pleasing ideas of pastoral
simplicity, and almost soothe one’s soul into congenial innocence. Amid
these delightful scenes, of which the uncommon flow of health I at present
possess permits me the full enjoyment, I should not deign to think of
London, were it not for a little family, whom I trust I need not name.
What bird of the air whispers me that you too will soon enjoy the same and
more delightful pleasures in a much more delightful country? What we
strongly wish we are very apt to believe. At present, my presentiments on
that head amount to confidence.

Last Sunday, Middleton and I set off at one o’clock on a ramble. We
sauntered on, chatting and contemplating, till to our great surprise we
came to a village seven miles from Cambridge. And here at a farmhouse we
drank tea. The rusticity of the habitation and the inhabitants was
charming; we had cream to our tea, which though not brought in a _lordly
dish_, Sisera would have jumped at. Being here informed that we could
return to Cambridge another way, over a common, for the sake of
diversifying our walk, we chose this road, “if road it might be called,
where road was none,” though we were not unapprized of its difficulties.
The fine weather deceived us. We forgot that it was a summer day in warmth
only, and not in length; but we were soon reminded of it. For on the
pathless solitude of this common, the night overtook us--we must have been
four miles distant from Cambridge--the night, though calm, was as dark as
the place was dreary: here steering our course by our imperfect
conceptions of the point in which _we conjectured Cambridge_ to lie, we
wandered on “with cautious steps and slow.” We feared the bog, the stump,
and the fen: we feared the ghosts of the night--at least, those material
and knock-me-down ghosts, the apprehension of which causes you, Mary
(valorous girl that you are!), always to peep under your bed of a night.
As we were thus creeping forward like the two children in the wood, we
spy’d something white moving across the common. This we made up to, though
contrary to our _supposed_ destination. It proved to be a man with a white
bundle. We enquired our way, and luckily he was going to Cambridge. He
informed us that we had gone half a mile out of our way, and that in five
minutes more we must have arrived at a deep quagmire grassed over. What an
escape! The man was as glad of our company as we of his--for, it seemed,
the poor fellow was afraid of Jack o’ Lanthorns--the superstition of this
county attributing a kind of fascination to those wandering vapours, so
that whoever fixes his eyes on them is forced by some irresistible impulse
to follow them. He entertained us with many a dreadful tale. By nine
o’clock we arrived at Cambridge, betired and bemudded. I never recollect
to have been so much fatigued.

Do you spell the word _scarsely_? When Momus, the fault-finding God,
endeavoured to discover some imperfection in Venus, he could only censure
the creaking of her slipper. I, too, Momuslike, can only fall foul on a
single _s_. Yet will not my dear Mary be angry with me, or think the
remark trivial, when she considers that half a grain is of consequence in
the weight of a diamond.

I had entertained hopes that you would _really_ have _sent_ me a piece of
sticking plaister, which would have been very convenient at that time, I
having cut my finger. I had to buy sticking plaister, etc. What is the use
of a man’s knowing you girls, if he cannot _chouse_ you out of such little
things as that? Do not your fingers, Mary, feel an odd kind of titillation
to be about my ears for my impudence?

On Saturday night, as I was sitting by myself all alone, I heard a
creaking sound, something like the noise which a crazy chair would make,
if pressed by the tremendous weight of Mr. Barlow’s extremities. I cast my
eyes around, and what should I behold but a _Ghost_ rising out of the
floor! A deadly paleness instantly overspread my body, which retained no
other symptom of life _but_ its violent trembling. My hair (as is usual in
frights of this nature) stood upright by many degrees stiffer than the
oaks of the mountains, yea, stiffer than Mr. ----; yet was it rendered
oily-pliant by the profuse perspiration that burst from every pore. This
spirit advanced with a book in his hand, and having first dissipated my
terrors, said as follows: “I am the Ghost of _Gray_. There lives a young
lady” (then he mentioned _your_ name), “of whose judgment I entertain so
high an opinion, that _her_ approbation of my works would make the turf
lie lighter on me; present her with this book, and transmit it to her as
soon as possible, adding my love to her. And, as for you, O young man!”
(now he addressed himself to me) “write no more verses. In the first place
your poetry is vile stuff; and secondly” (here he sighed almost to
bursting), “all poets go to --ll; we are so intolerably addicted to the
vice of lying!” He vanished, and convinced me of the truth of his last
dismal account by the sulphurous stink which he left behind him.

His first mandate I have obeyed, and, I hope you will receive _safe_ your
ghostly admirer’s present. But so far have I been from obeying his second
injunction, that I never had the scribble-mania stronger on me than for
these last three or four days: nay, not content with suffering it myself,
I must pester those I love best with the blessed effects of my disorder.

Besides two _things_, which you will find in the next sheet, I cannot
forbear filling the remainder of this sheet with an Odeling, though I know
and approve your aversion to _mere prettiness_, and though my tiny love
ode possesses no other property in the world. Let then its shortness
recommend it to your perusal--_by the by_, the _only_ thing in which it
resembles you, for wit, sense, elegance, or beauty it has none.


  As late in wreaths gay flowers I bound,
  Beneath some roses Love I found,
  And by his little frolic pinion
  As quick as thought I seiz’d the minion,
  Then in my cup the prisoner threw,
  And drank him in its sparkling dew:
  And sure I feel my angry guest
  Flutt’ring _his wings_ within my breast!

Are you quite asleep, dear Mary? Sleep on; but when you awake, read the
following productions, and then, I’ll be bound, you will sleep again
sounder than ever.


  Lo! through the dusky silence of the groves,
  Thro’ vales irriguous, and thro’ green retreats,
  With languid murmur creeps the placid stream
                And works its secret way.

  Awhile meand’ring round its native fields,
  It rolls the playful wave and winds its flight:
  Then downward flowing with awaken’d speed
                Embosoms in the Deep!

  Thus thro’ its silent tenor may my Life
  Smooth its meek stream by sordid wealth unclogg’d,
  Alike unconscious of forensic storms,
                And Glory’s blood-stain’d palm!

  And when dark Age shall close Life’s little day,
  Satiate of sport, and weary of its toils,
  E’en thus may slumb’rous Death my decent limbs
                Compose with icy hand!



  The dubious light sad glimmers o’er the sky:
  ’Tis silence all. By lonely anguish torn,
  With wandering feet to gloomy groves I fly,
  And wakeful Love still tracks my course forlorn.

  And will you, cruel Julia? will you go?
  And trust you to the Ocean’s dark dismay?
  Shall the wide, wat’ry world between us flow?
  And winds unpitying snatch my Hopes away?

  Thus could you sport with my too easy heart?
  Yet tremble, lest not unaveng’d I grieve!
  The winds may learn your own delusive art,
  And faithless Ocean smile--but to deceive!

I have written too long a letter. Give me a hint, and I will avoid a
repetition of the offence.

It’s a compensation for the above-written rhymes (which if you ever
condescend to read a second time, pray let it be by the light of their own
flames) in my next letter I will send some delicious poetry lately
published by the exquisite Bowles.

To-morrow morning I fill the rest of this sheet with a letter to Anne. And
now, good-night, dear sister! and peaceful slumbers await us both!



February 19, 1792.

DEAR ANNE,--To be sure I felt myself rather disappointed at my not
receiving a few lines from you; but I am nevertheless greatly rejoiced at
your amicable dispositions towards me. Please to accept two kisses, as the
seals of reconciliation--you will find them on the word “Anne” at the
beginning of the letter--at least, there I left them. I must, however,
give you warning, that the next time you are affronted with Brother Coly,
and show your resentment by that most cruel of all punishments, silence, I
shall address a letter to you as long and as sorrowful as Jeremiah’s
Lamentations, and somewhat in the style of your sister’s favourite lover,
beginning with,--



My dear Anne, you are my Valentine. I dreamt of you this morning, and I
have seen no female in the whole course of the day, except an old bedmaker
belonging to the College, and I don’t count her one, as the bristle of her
beard makes me suspect her to be of the masculine gender. Some one of the
genii must have conveyed your image to me so opportunely, nor will you
think this impossible, if you will read the little volumes which contain
their exploits, and crave the honour of your acceptance.

If I could draw, I would have sent a pretty heart stuck through with
arrows, with some such sweet posy underneath it as this:--

  “The rose is red, the violet blue;
   The pink is sweet, and so are you.”

But as the Gods have not made me a drawer (of anything but corks), you
must accept the will for the deed.

You never wrote or desired your sister to write concerning the bodily
health of the Barlowites, though you know my affection for that family. Do
not forget this in your next.

Is Mr. Caleb Barlow recovered of the rheumatism? The quiet ugliness of
Cambridge supplies me with very few communicables in the news way. The
most important is, that Mr. Tim Grubskin, of this town, citizen, is dead.
Poor man! he loved fish too well. A violent commotion in his bowels
carried him off. They say he made a very good end. There is his epitaph:--

    “A loving friend and tender parent dear,
  Just in all actions, and he the Lord did fear,
  Hoping, that, when the day of Resurrection come,
    He shall arise in glory like the Sun.”

It was composed by a Mr. Thistlewait, the town crier, and is much admired.
We are all mortal!!

His wife carries on the business. It is whispered about the town that a
match between her and Mr. Coe, the shoemaker, is not improbable. He
certainly seems very assiduous in con_soling_ her, but as to anything
matrimonial I do not write it as a well authenticated fact.

I went the other evening to the concert, and spent the time there much to
my heart’s content in cursing Mr. Hague, who played on the violin most
piggishly, and a Miss (I forget her name)--Miss Humstrum, who sung most
sowishly. O the Billington! That I should be absent during the oratorios!
The prince unable to conceal his pain! Oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! oh! oh!

To which house is Mrs. B. engaged this season?

The mutton and winter cabbage are confoundedly tough here, though very
venerable for their old age. Were you ever at Cambridge, Anne? The river
Cam is a handsome stream of a muddy complexion, somewhat like Miss Yates,
to whom you will present my love (if you like).

In Cambridge there are sixteen colleges, that look like workhouses, and
fourteen churches that look like little houses. The town is very fertile
in alleys, and mud, and cats, and dogs, besides men, women, ravens,
clergy, proctors, tutors, owls, and other two-legged cattle. It
likewise--but here I must interrupt my description to hurry to Mr.
Costobadie’s lectures on Euclid, who is as mathematical an author, my dear
Anne, as you would wish to read on a long summer’s day. Addio! God bless
you, ma chère soeur, and your affectionate frère,


P. S. I add a postscript on purpose to communicate a joke to you. A party
of us had been drinking wine together, and three or four freshmen were
most deplorably intoxicated. (I have too great a respect for delicacy to
say drunk.) As we were returning homewards, two of them fell into the
gutter (or kennel). We ran to assist one of them, who very generously
stuttered out, as he lay sprawling in the mud: “N-n-n-no--n-n-no!--save my
f-fr-fr-friend there; n-never mind me, I can swim.”

Won’t you write me a long letter now, Anne?

P. S. Give my respectful compliments to Betty, and say that I enquired
after her health with the most emphatic energy of impassioned avidity.


February 22 [? 1792].

DEAR MADAM,--The incongruity of the dates in these letters you will
immediately perceive. The truth is that I had written the foregoing heap
of nothingness six or seven days ago, but I was prevented from sending it
by a variety of disagreeable little impediments.

Mr. Massy must be arrived in Cambridge by this time; but to call on an
utter stranger just arrived with so trivial a message as yours and his
uncle’s love to him, when I myself had been in Cambridge five or six
weeks, would appear rather awkward, not to say ludicrous. If, however, I
meet him at any wine party (which is by no means improbable) I shall take
the opportunity of mentioning it _en passant_. As to Mr. M.’s debts, the
most intimate friends in college are perfect strangers to each other’s
affairs; consequently it is little likely that I should procure any
information of this kind.

I hope and trust that neither yourself nor my sisters have experienced any
ill effects from this wonderful change of weather. A very slight cold is
the only favour with which it has honoured _me_. I feel myself
apprehensive for all of you, but more particularly for Anne, whose frame I
think most susceptible of cold.

Yesterday a Frenchman came dancing into my room, of which he made but
three steps, and presented me with a card. I had scarcely collected, by
glancing my eye over it, that he was a tooth-monger, before he seized hold
of my muzzle, and, baring my teeth (as they do a horse’s, in order to know
his age), he exclaimed, as if in violent agitation: “Mon Dieu! Monsieur,
all your teeth will fall out in a day or two, unless you permit me the
honour of _scaling_ them!” This ineffable piece of assurance discovered
such a genius for impudence, that I could not suffer it to go unrewarded.
So, after a hearty laugh, I sat down, and let the rascal _chouse_ me out
of half a guinea by scraping my grinders--the more readily, indeed, as I
recollected the great penchant which all your family have for delicate

So (I hear) Allen[27] will be most precipitately emancipated. Good luck
have thou of thy emancipation, Bob-bee! Tell him from me that if he does
not kick Richards’[28] fame out of doors by the superiority of his own, I
will never forgive him.

If you will send me a box of Mr. Stringer’s tooth powder, mamma! we will
accept of it.

And now, Right Reverend Mother in God, let me claim your permission to
subscribe myself with all observance and gratitude, your most obedient
humble servant, and lowly slave,


Reverend in the future tense, and scholar of Jesus College in the present


JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, February 22 [1792].

DEAR MARY,--_Writing long letters_ is not the fault into which I am most
apt to fall, but whenever I do, by some inexplicable ill luck, my
prolixity is always directed to those whom I would yet least of all wish
to torment. You think, and think rightly, that I had no occasion to
_increase_ the preceding accumulations of wearisomeness, but I wished to
inform you that I have sent the poem of Bowles, which I mentioned in a
former sheet; though I dare say you would have discovered this without my
information. If the pleasure which you receive from the perusal of it
prove equal to that which I have received, it will make you some small
return for the exertions of friendship, which you must have found
necessary in order to travel through my long, long, long letter.

Though it may be a little effrontery to point out beauties, which would be
obvious to a far less sensible heart than yours, yet I cannot forbear the
self-indulgence of remarking to you the exquisite description of Hope in
the third page and of Fortitude in the sixth; but the poem “On leaving a
place of residence” appears to me to be almost superior to any of Bowles’s

I hope that the Jermyn Street ledgers are well. How can they be otherwise
in such lovely keeping?

Your Jessamine Pomatum, I trust, is as strong and as odorous as ever, and
the roasted turkeys at Villiers Street honoured, as usual, with a thick
crust of your Mille (what do you call it?) powder.

I had a variety of other interesting inquiries to make, but time and
memory fail me.

Without a swanskin waistcoat, what is man? I have got a swanskin
waistcoat,--a most attractive external.

  Yours with sincerity of friendship,


Monday night, April [1792].

DEAR BROTHER,--You would have heard from me long since had I not been
entangled in such various businesses as have occupied my whole time.
Besides my ordinary business, which, as I look forward to a smart contest
some time this year, is not an indolent one, I have been writing for _all_
the prizes, namely, the Greek Ode, the Latin Ode, and the Epigrams. I have
little or no expectation of success, as a Mr. Smith,[29] a man of immense
genius, author of some papers in the “Microcosm,” is among my numerous
competitors. The prize medals will be adjudged about the beginning of
June. If you can think of a good thought for the beginning of the Latin
Ode upon the miseries of the W. India slaves, communicate. My Greek
Ode[30] is, I think, my _chef d’œuvre_ in poetical composition. I have
sent you a sermon metamorphosed from an obscure publication by vamping,
transposition, etc. If you like it, I can send you two more of the same
kidney. Our examination as Rustats comes [off] on the Thursday in Easter
week. After it a man of our college has offered to take me to town in his
gig, and, if he can bring me back, I think I shall accept his offer, as
the expense, at all events, will not be more than 12 shillings, and my
very commons, and tea, etc., would amount to more than that in the week
which I intend to stay in town. Almost all the men are out of college, and
I am most villainously vapoured. I wrote the following the other day under
the title of “A Fragment found in a Lecture-Room:”--

  Where deep in mud Cam rolls his slumbrous stream,
  And bog and desolation reign supreme;
  Where all Bœotia clouds the misty brain,
  The owl Mathesis pipes her loathsome strain.
  Far, far aloof the frighted Muses fly,
  Indignant Genius scowls and passes by:
  The frolic Pleasures start amid their dance,
  And Wit congealed stands fix’d in wintry trance.
  But to the sounds with duteous haste repair
  Cold Industry, and wary-footed Care;
  And Dulness, dosing on a couch of lead,
  Pleas’d with the song uplifts her heavy head,
  The sympathetic numbers lists awhile,
  Then yawns propitiously a frosty smile....
            [Cætera desunt.]

This morning I went for the first time with a party on the river. The
clumsy dog to whom we had entrusted the sail was fool enough to fasten it.
A gust of wind embraced the opportunity of turning over the boat, and
baptizing all that were in it. We swam to shore, and walked dripping home,
like so many river gods. Thank God! I do not feel as if I should be the
worse for it.

I was matriculated on Saturday.[31] Oath-taking is very healthy in spring,
I should suppose. I am grown very fat. We have two men at our college,
great cronies, their names Head and Bones; the first an unlicked cub of a
Yorkshireman, the second a very fierce buck. I call them _Raw Head_ and
_Bloody Bones_.

As soon as you can make it convenient I should feel thankful if you could
transmit me ten or five pounds, as I am at present cashless.

Pray, was the bible clerk’s place accounted a disreputable one at Oxford
in your time? Poor Allen, who is just settled there, complains of the
great distance with which the men treat him. ’Tis a childish University!
Thank God! I am at Cambridge. Pray let me hear from you soon, and whether
your health has held out this long campaign. I hope, however, soon to see
you, till when believe me, with gratitude and affection, yours ever,



February 5, 1793.

MY DEAR MRS. EVANS,--This is the third day of my resurrection from the
couch, or rather, the sofa of sickness. About a fortnight ago, a quantity
of matter took it into its head to form in my left gum, and was attended
with such violent pain, inflammation, and swelling, that it threw me into
a fever. However, God be praised, my gum has at last been opened, a
villainous tooth extracted, and all is well. I am still very weak, as well
I may, since for seven days together I was incapable of swallowing
anything but spoon meat, so that in point of spirits I am but the dregs of
my former self--a decaying flame agonizing in the snuff of a tallow
candle--a kind of hobgoblin, clouted and bagged up in the most
contemptible shreds, rags, and yellow relics of threadbare mortality. The
event of our examination[32] was such as surpassed my expectations, and
perfectly accorded with my wishes. After a very severe trial of six days’
continuance, the number of the competitors was reduced from seventeen to
four, and after a further process of ordeal we, the survivors, were
declared equal each to the other, and the Scholarship, according to the
will of its founder, awarded to the youngest of us, who was found to be a
Mr. Butler of St. John’s College. I am just two months older than he is,
and though I would doubtless have rather had it myself, I am yet not at
all sorry at his success; for he is sensible and unassuming, and besides,
from his circumstances, such an accession to his annual income must have
been very acceptable to him. So much for myself.

I am greatly rejoiced at your brother’s recovery; in proportion, indeed,
to the anxiety and fears I felt on your account during his illness. I
recollected, my most dear Mrs. Evans, that you are frequently troubled
with a strange forgetfulness of yourself, and too apt to go far beyond
your strength, if by any means you may alleviate the sufferings of others.
Ah! how different from the majority of others whom we courteously dignify
with the name of human--a vile herd, who sit still in the severest
distresses of their _friends_, and cry out, There is a lion in the way!
animals, who walk with leaden sandals in the paths of charity, yet to
gratify their own inclinations will run a mile in a breath. Oh! I do know
a set of little, dirty, pimping, petty-fogging, ambidextrous fellows, who
would set your house on fire, though it were but to roast an egg for
themselves! Yet surely, considering it were a selfish view, the pleasures
that arise from whispering peace to those who are in trouble, and healing
the broken in heart, are far superior to all the unfeeling can enjoy.

I have inclosed a little work of that great and good man Archdeacon Paley;
it is entitled _Motives of Contentment_, addressed to the poorer part of
our fellow men. The twelfth page I particularly admire, and the twentieth.
The reasoning has been of some service to _me_, who am of the race of the
Grumbletonians. My dear friend Allen has a resource against most
misfortunes in the natural gaiety of his temper, whereas my hypochondriac,
gloomy spirit _amid blessings_ too frequently warbles out the hoarse
gruntings of discontent! Nor have all the lectures that divines and
philosophers have given us for these three thousand years past, on the
vanity of riches, and the cares of greatness, etc., prevented me from
sincerely regretting that Nature had not put it into the head of some
_rich_ man to beget _me_ for his _first_-born, whereas now I am likely to
get bread just when I shall have no teeth left to chew it. Cheer up, my
little one (thus I answer I)! _better late than never_. Hath literature
been thy choice, and hast thou food and raiment? Be thankful, be _amazed_
at thy good fortune! Art thou dissatisfied and desirous of other things?
Go, and make twelve votes at an election; it shall do thee more service
and procure thee greater preferment than to have made twelve commentaries
on the twelve prophets. My dear Mrs. Evans! excuse the wanderings of my
castle building imagination. I have not a thought which I conceal from
you. I _write_ to others, but my pen talks to you. Convey my softest
affections to Betty, and believe me,

  Your grateful and affectionate boy,



I would to Heaven, my dear Miss Evans, that the god of wit, or news, or
politics would whisper in my ear something that might be worth sending
fifty-four miles--but alas! I am so closely blocked by an army of
misfortunes that really there is no passage left open for mirth or
anything else. Now, just to give you a few articles in the large inventory
of my calamities. Imprimis, a gloomy, uncomfortable morning. Item, my head
aches. Item, the Dean has set me a swinging imposition for missing morning
chapel. Item, of the two only coats which I am worth in the world, both
have holes in the elbows. Item, Mr. Newton, our mathematical lecturer, has
recovered from an illness. But the story is rather a laughable one, so I
must tell it you. Mr. Newton (a tall, thin man with a little, tiny,
blushing face) is a great botanist. Last Sunday, as he was strolling out
with a friend of his, some curious plant suddenly caught his eye. He
turned round his head with great eagerness to call his companion to a
participation of discovery, and unfortunately continuing to walk forward
he fell into a pool, deep, muddy, and full of chickweed. I was lucky
enough to meet him as he was entering the college gates on his return (a
sight I would not have lost for the Indies), his best black clothes all
green with duckweed, he shivering and dripping, in short a perfect river
god. I went up to him (you must understand we hate each other most
cordially) and sympathized with him in all the tenderness of condolence.
The consequence of his misadventure was a violent cold attended with
fever, which confined him to his room, prevented him from giving lectures,
and freed me from the necessity of attending them; but this misfortune I
supported with truly Christian fortitude. However, I constantly asked
after his health with filial anxiety, and this morning, making my usual
inquiries, I was informed, to my infinite astonishment and vexation, that
he was perfectly recovered and intended to give lectures this very day!!!
Verily, I swear that six of his duteous pupils--myself as their
general--sallied forth to the apothecary’s house with a fixed
determination to thrash him for having performed so speedy a cure, but,
luckily for himself, the rascal was not at home. But here comes my
fiddling master, for (but this is a secret) I am learning to play on the
violin. Twit, twat, twat, twit! “Pray, M. de la Penche, do you think I
shall ever make anything of this violin? Do you think I have an ear for
music?” “Un magnifique! Un superbe! Par honneur, sir, you be a ver great
genius in de music. Good morning, monsieur!” This M. de la Penche is a
better judge than I thought for.

This new whim of mine is partly a scheme of self-defence. Three neighbours
have run music-mad lately--two of them fiddle-scrapers, the third a
flute-tooter--and are perpetually annoying me with their vile
performances, compared with which the gruntings of a whole herd of sows
would be seraphic melody. Now I hope, by frequently playing myself, to
render my ear callous. Besides, the evils of life are crowding upon me,
and music is “the sweetest assuager of cares.” It helps to relieve and
soothe the mind, and is a sort of refuge from calamity, from slights and
neglects and censures and insults and disappointments; from the warmth of
real enemies and the coldness of pretended friends; from your _well
wishers_ (as they are justly called, in opposition, I suppose, to _well
doers_), men whose inclinations to serve you always decrease in a most
mathematical proportion as their opportunities to do it increase; from the

  “Proud man’s contumely, and the spurns
   Which patient merit of th’ unworthy takes;”

from grievances that are the growth of all times and places and not
peculiar to _this age_, which authors call this _critical age_, and
divines this _sinful age_, and politicians _this age of revolutions_. An
acquaintance of mine calls it this _learned age_ in due reverence to his
own abilities, and like Monsieur Whatd’yecallhim, who used to pull off his
hat when he spoke of himself. The poet laureate calls it “_this golden
age_,” and with good reason,--

  For _him_ the fountains with Canary flow,
  And, best of fruit, spontaneous guineas grow.

Pope, in his “Dunciad,” makes it _this leaden age_, but I choose to call
it without an epithet, _this_ age. Many things we must expect to meet with
which it would be hard to bear, if a compensation were not found in honest
endeavours to do well, in virtuous affections and connections, and in
harmless and reasonable amusements. And why should _not_ a man amuse
himself sometimes? _Vive la bagatelle!_

I received a letter this morning from my friend Allen. He is up to his
ears in business, and I sincerely congratulate him upon it--occupation, I
am convinced, being the great secret of happiness. “Nothing makes the
temper so fretful as indolence,” said a young lady who, beneath the soft
surface of feminine delicacy, possesses a mind acute by nature, and
strengthened by habits of reflection. ’Pon my word, Miss Evans, I beg your
pardon a thousand times for bepraising you to your face, but, really, I
have written so long that I had forgot to whom I was writing.

Have you read Mr. Fox’s letter to the Westminster electors? It is quite
the political _go_ at Cambridge, and has converted many souls to the
Foxite faith.

Have you seen the Siddons this season? or the Jordan? An acquaintance of
mine has a tragedy coming out early in the next season, the principal
character of which Mrs. Siddons will act. He has importuned me to write
the prologue and epilogue, but, conscious of my inability, I have excused
myself with a jest, and told him I was too good a Christian to be
accessory to the damnation of anything.

There is an old proverb of a river of words and a spoonful of sense, and I
think this letter has been a pretty good proof of it. But as nonsense is
better than blank paper, I will fill this side with a song I wrote lately.
My friend, Charles Hague[33] the composer, will set it to wild music. I
shall sing it, and accompany myself on the violin. _Ça ira!_

Cathloma, who reigned in the Highlands of Scotland about two hundred years
after the birth of our Saviour, was defeated and killed in a war with a
neighbouring prince, and Nina-Thoma his daughter (according to the custom
of those times and that country) was imprisoned in a cave by the seaside.
This is supposed to be her complaint:--

  How long will ye round me be swelling,
   O ye blue-tumbling waves of the sea?
  Not always in caves was my dwelling,
   Nor beneath the cold blast of the Tree;

  Thro’ the high sounding Hall of Cathloma
   In the steps of my beauty I strayed,
  The warriors beheld Nina-Thoma,
   And they blessed the dark-tressed Maid!

  By my Friends, by my Lovers discarded,
   Like the Flower of the Rock now I waste,
  That lifts its fair head unregarded,
   And scatters its leaves on the blast.

  A Ghost! by my cavern it darted!
   In moonbeams the spirit was drest--
  For lovely appear the Departed,
   When they visit the dreams of my rest!

  But dispersed by the tempest’s commotion,
   Fleet the shadowy forms of Delight;
  Ah! cease, thou shrill blast of the Ocean!
   To howl thro’ my Cavern by night.[34]

Are you asleep, my dear Mary? I have administered rather a strong dose of
opium; however, if in the course of your nap you should chance to dream
that I am, with ardor of eternal friendship, your affectionate


you will never have dreamt a truer dream in all your days.


JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, February 10, 1793.

MY DEAR ANNE,--A little before I had received your mamma’s letter, a bird
of the air had informed me of your illness--and sure never did owl or
night-raven (“those mournful messengers of heavy things”) pipe a more
loathsome song. But I flatter myself that ere you have received this
scrawl of mine, by care and attention you will have lured back the
rosy-lipped fugitive, Health. I know of no misfortune so little
susceptible of consolation as sickness: it is indeed easy to offer
comfort, when we ourselves are well; _then_ we can be full of grave saws
upon the duty of resignation, etc.; but alas! when the sore visitations of
pain come _home_, all our philosophy vanishes, and nothing remains to be
seen. I speak of myself, but a mere sensitive animal, with little wisdom
and no patience. Yet if anything can throw a melancholy smile over the
pale, wan face of illness, it must be the sight and attentions of those we
love. There are one or two beings, in this planet of ours, whom God has
formed in so kindly a mould that I could almost consent to be ill in order
to be nursed by them.

  O turtle-eyed affection!
  If thou be present--who can be distrest?
  Pain seems to smile, and sorrow is at rest:
  No more the thoughts in wild repinings roll,
  And tender murmurs hush the soften’d soul.

But I will not proceed at this rate, for I am writing and thinking myself
fast into the spleen, and feel very obligingly disposed to communicate the
same doleful fit to you, my dear sister. Yet permit me to say, it is
almost your own fault. You were half angry at my writing _laughing
nonsense_ to you, and see what you have got in exchange--pale-faced,
solemn, stiff-starched stupidity. I must confess, indeed, that the latter
is rather more in unison with my present feelings, which from one untoward
freak of fortune or other are not of the most comfortable kind. Within
this last month I have lost a brother[35] and a friend! But I struggle for
cheerfulness--and sometimes, when the sun shines out, I succeed in the
effort. This at least I endeavour, not to infect the cheerfulness of
others, and not to write my vexations upon my forehead. I read a story
lately of an old Greek philosopher, who once harangued so movingly on the
miseries of life, that his audience went home and hanged themselves; but
he himself (my author adds) lived many years afterwards in very sleek

God love you, my dear Anne! and receive as from a brother the warmest
affections of your



Wednesday morning, July 28, 1793.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I left Salisbury on Tuesday morning--should have stayed
there longer, but that Ned, ignorant of my coming, had preëngaged himself
on a journey to Portsmouth with Skinner. I left Ned well and merry, as
likewise his wife, who, by all the Cupids, is a very worthy old lady.[36]

Monday afternoon, Ned, Tatum, and myself sat from four till ten drinking!
and then arose as cool as three undressed cucumbers. Edward and I (O! the
wonders of this life) disputed with great coolness and forbearance the
whole time. We neither of us were _convinced_, though now and then Ned was
_convicted_. Tatum umpire sat,

  And by decision more embroiled the fray.

I found all well in Exeter, to which place I proceeded directly, as my
mother might have been unprepared from the supposition I meant to stay
longer in Salisbury. I shall dine with James to-day at brother

My ideas are so discomposed by the jolting of the coach that I can write
no more at present.

A piece of gallantry!

I presented a moss rose to a lady. Dick Hart[38] asked her if she was not
afraid to put it in her bosom, as perhaps there might be love in it. I
immediately wrote the following little ode or song or what you please to
call it.[39] It is of the namby-pamby genus.


   As late each flower that sweetest blows
   I plucked, the Garden’s pride!
   Within the petals of a Rose
   A sleeping Love I spied.

   Around his brows a beaming wreath
   Of many a lucent hue;
   All purple glowed his cheek beneath,
   Inebriate with dew.

   I softly seized the unguarded Power,
   Nor scared his balmy rest;
   And placed him, caged within the flower,
   On Angelina’s breast.

   But when unweeting of the guile
   Awoke the prisoner sweet,
   He struggled to escape awhile
   And stamped his faery feet.

   Ah! soon the soul-entrancing sight
   Subdued the impatient boy!
   He gazed! he thrilled with deep delight!
   Then clapped his wings for joy.

  “And O!” he cried, “of magic kind
   What charms this Throne endear!
   Some other Love let Venus find--
   I’ll fix _my_ empire here.”

An extempore! Ned during the dispute, thinking he had got me down, said,
“Ah! Sam! you _blush_!” “Sir,” answered I,

                  Ten thousand Blushes
  Flutter round me drest like little Loves,
  And veil my visage with their crimson wings.

There is no meaning in the lines, but we both agreed they were very
pretty. If you see Mr. Hussy, you will not forget to present my respects
to him, and to his accomplished daughter, who certes is a very sweet young

God bless you and your grateful and affectionate



[Postmark, August 5, 1793.]

MY DEAR BROTHER,--Since my arrival in the country I have been anxiously
expecting a letter from you, nor can I divine the reason of your silence.
From the letter to my brother James, a few lines of which he read to me,
I am fearful that your silence proceeds from displeasure. If so, what is
left for me to do but to grieve? The past is not in my power. For the
follies of which I may have been guilty, I have been greatly disgusted;
and I trust the memory of them will operate to future consistency of

My mother is very well,--indeed, better for her illness. Her complexion
and eye, the truest indications of health, are much clearer. Little
William and his mother are well. My brother James is at Sidmouth. I was
there yesterday. He, his wife, and children are well. Frederick is a
charming child. Little James had a most providential escape the day before
yesterday. As my brother was in the field contiguous to his place he heard
two men scream, and turning round saw a horse leap over little James, and
then kick at him. He ran up; found him unhurt. The men said that the horse
was feeding with his tail toward the child, and looking round ran at him
open-mouthed, pushed him down and leaped over him, and then kicked back at
him. Their screaming, my brother supposes, prevented the horse from
repeating the blow. Brother was greatly agitated, as you may suppose. I
stayed at Tiverton about ten days, and got no small kudos among the young
belles by complimentary effusions in the poetic way.

A specimen:--


  Cupid, if storying Legends tell aright,
  Once framed a rich Elixir of Delight.
  A chalice o’er love-kindled flames he fix’d,
  And in it Nectar and Ambrosia mix’d:
  With these the magic dews which Evening brings,
  Brush’d from the Idalian star by faery wings:
  Each tender pledge of sacred Faith he join’d,
  Each gentler Pleasure of th’ unspotted mind--
  Day-dreams, whose tints with sportive brightness glow,
  And Hope, the blameless parasite of Woe.
  The eyeless Chymist heard the process rise,
  The steamy chalice bubbled up in sighs;
  Sweet sounds transpired, as when the enamor’d dove
  Pours the soft murmuring of responsive Love.
  The finished work might Envy vainly blame,
  And “Kisses” was the precious Compound’s name.
  With half the God his Cyprian Mother blest,
  And breath’d on Nesbitt’s lovelier lips the rest.

Do you know Fanny Nesbitt? She was my fellow-traveler in the Tiverton
diligence from Exeter. [She is], I think, a very pretty girl. The orders
for tea are: Imprimis, five pounds of ten shillings green; Item, four
pounds of eight shillings green; in all nine pounds of tea.

God bless you and your obliged



HENLEY, Thursday night, February 6 [1794].

DEAR TUCKETT,--I have this moment received your long letter! The Tuesday
before last, an accident of the Reading Fair, our regiment was disposed of
for the week in and about the towns within ten miles of Reading, and, as
it was not known before we set off to what places we would go, my letters
were kept at the Reading post-office till our return. I was conveyed to
Henley-upon-Thames, which place our regiment left last Tuesday; but I am
ordered to remain on account of these dreadfully troublesome eruptions,
and that I might nurse my comrade, who last Friday sickened of the
confluent smallpox. So here I am, _videlicet_ the Henley workhouse.[41] It
is a little house of one apartment situated in the midst of a large
garden, about a hundred yards from the house. It is four strides in length
and three in breadth; has four windows, which look to all the winds. The
almost total want of sleep, the putrid smell, and the fatiguing struggles
with my poor comrade during his delirium are nearly too much for me in my
present state. In return I enjoy external peace, and kind and respectful
behaviour from the people of the workhouse. Tuckett, your motives must
have been excellent ones; how could they be otherwise! As an _agent_,
therefore, you are blameless, but your efforts in my behalf demand my
gratitude--_that_ my heart will pay you, into whatever depth of horror
your mistaken activity may eventually have precipitated me. As an _agent_,
you stand acquitted, but the action was _morally_ base. In an hour of
extreme anguish, under the most solemn imposition of secrecy, I entrusted
my place and residence to the young men at Christ’s Hospital; the
intelligence which you extorted from their imbecility should have remained
sacred with you. It lost not the obligation of secrecy by the transfer.
But your _motives_ justify you? To the eye of your friendship the
divulging might have appeared _necessary_, but what shadow of _necessity_
is there to excuse you in showing my letters--to stab the very heart of
confidence. You have acted, Tuckett, so uniformly well that reproof must
be new to you. I doubtless shall have offended you. I would to God that I,
too, possessed the tender irritableness of unhandled sensibility. Mine is
a sensibility gangrened with inward corruption and the keen searching of
the air from without. Your gossip with the commanding officer seems so
totally useless and unmotived that I almost find a difficulty in believing

A letter from my brother George! I feel a kind of pleasure that it is not
directed--it lies unopened--am I not already sufficiently miserable? The
anguish of those who love me, of him beneath the shadow of whose
protection I grew up--does it not plant the pillow with thorns and make my
dreams full of terrors? Yet I dare not burn the letter--it seems as if
there were a horror in the action. One pang, however acute, is better than
long-continued solicitude. My brother George possessed the cheering
consolation of conscience--but I am talking I know not what--yet there is
a pleasure, doubtless an exquisite pleasure, mingled up in the most
painful of our virtuous emotions. Alas! my poor mother! What an
intolerable weight of guilt is suspended over my head by a hair on one
hand; and if I endure to live--the look ever downward--insult, pity, hell!
God or Chaos, preserve me! What but infinite Wisdom or infinite Confusion
can do it?


February 8, 1794.

My more than brother! What shall I say? What shall I write to you? Shall I
profess an abhorrence of my past conduct? Ah me! too well do I know its
iniquity! But to abhor! this feeble and exhausted heart supplies not so
strong an emotion. O my wayward soul! I have been a fool even to madness.
What shall I dare to promise? My mind is illegible to myself. I am lost in
the labyrinth, the trackless wilderness of my own bosom. Truly may I say,
“I am wearied of being saved.” My frame is chill and torpid. The ebb and
flow of my hopes and fears has stagnated into recklessness. One wish only
can I read distinctly in my heart, that it were possible for me to be
forgotten as though I had never been! The shame and sorrow of those who
loved me! The anguish of him who protected me from my childhood upwards,
the sore travail of her who bore me! Intolerable images of horror! They
haunt my sleep, they enfever my dreams! O that the shadow of Death were on
my eyelids, that I were like the loathsome form by which I now sit! O that
without guilt I might ask of my Maker annihilation! My brother, my
brother! pray for me, comfort me, my brother! I am very wretched, and,
though my complaint be bitter, my stroke is heavier than my groaning.



Tuesday night, February 11, 1794.

I am indeed oppressed, oppressed with the greatness of your love! Mine
eyes gush out with tears, my heart is sick and languid with the weight of
unmerited kindness. I had intended to have given you a minute history of
my thoughts and actions for the last two years of my life. A most severe
and faithful history of the heart would it have been--the Omniscient knows
it. But I am so universally unwell, and the hour so late, that I must
defer it till to-morrow. To-night I shall have a bed in a separate room
from my comrade, and, I trust, shall have repaired my strength by sleep
ere the morning. For eight days and nights I have not had my clothes off.
My comrade is not dead; there is every hope of his escaping death. Closely
has he been pursued by the mighty hunter! Undoubtedly, my brother, I could
wish to return to College; I know what I _must suffer_ there, but deeply
do I feel what I _ought_ to suffer. Is my brother James still at
Salisbury? I will write to him, to all.


Concerning my emancipation, it appears to me that my discharge can be
easily procured by _interest_, with great difficulty by _negotiation_; but
of this is not my brother James a more competent judge?

What my future life may produce I dare not anticipate. Pray for me, my
brother. I will pray nightly to the Almighty dispenser of good and evil,
that his chastisement may not have harrowed my heart in vain. Scepticism
has mildewed my hope in the Saviour. I was far from disbelieving the truth
of revealed religion, but still far from a steady faith--the “Comforter
that should have relieved my soul” was far from me.

Farewell! to-morrow I will resume my pen. Mr. Boyer! indeed, indeed, my
heart thanks him; how often in the petulance of satire, how ungratefully
have I injured that man!



February 20, 1794.

In a mind which vice has not utterly divested of sensibility, few
occurrences can inflict a more acute pang than the receiving proofs of
tenderness and love where only resentment and reproach were expected and
deserved. The gentle voice of conscience which had incessantly murmured
within the soul then raises its tone and speaks with a tongue of thunder.
My conduct towards you, and towards my other brothers, has displayed a
strange combination of madness, ingratitude, and dishonesty. But you
forgive me. May my Maker forgive me! May the time arrive when I shall have
forgiven myself!

With regard to my emancipation, every inquiry I have made, every piece of
intelligence I could collect, alike tend to assure me that it may be done
by _interest_, but not by negotiation without an expense which I should
tremble to write. Forty guineas were offered for a discharge the day after
a young man was sworn in, and were refused. His friends made interest, and
his discharge came down from the War Office. If, however, negotiation
_must_ be first attempted, it will be expedient to write to our
colonel--his name is Gwynne--he holds the rank of general in the army. His
address is General Gwynne, K. L. D., King’s Mews, London.

My assumed name is Silas Tomkyn Comberbacke, 15th, or King’s Regiment of
Light Dragoons, G Troop. My _number_ I do not know. It is of no import.
The bounty I received was six guineas and a half; but a light horseman’s
bounty is a mere lure; it is expended for him in things which he must have
had without a bounty--gaiters, a pair of leather breeches, stable jacket,
and shell; horse cloth, surcingle, watering bridle, brushes, and the long
etc. of military accoutrement. I _enlisted_ the 2d of December, 1793, was
attested and sworn the 4th. I am at present nurse to a sick man, and
shall, I believe, stay at Henley another week. There will be a large
draught from our regiment to complete our troops abroad. The men were
picked out to-day. I suppose I am not one, being a very indocile
equestrian. Farewell.


Our regiment is at Reading, and Hounslow, and Maidenhead, and Kensington;
our headquarters, Reading, Berks. The commanding officer there, Lieutenant
Hopkinson, our adjutant.




MY DEAR BROTHER,--Accept my poor thanks for the day’s enclosed, which I
received safely. I explained the whole matter to the adjutant, who
laughed and said I had been used scurvily; he deferred settling the bill
till Thursday morning. A Captain Ogle,[42] of our regiment, who is
returned from abroad, has taken great notice of me. When he visits the
stables at night he always enters into conversation with me, and to-day,
finding from the corporal’s report that I was unwell, he sent me a couple
of bottles of wine. These things demand my gratitude. I wrote last
week--_currente calamo_--a declamation for my friend Allen on the
comparative good and evil of novels. The credit which he got for it I
should almost blush to tell you. All the fellows have got copies, and they
meditate having it printed, and dispersing it through the University. The
best part of it I built on a sentence in a last letter of yours, and
indeed, I wrote most part of it _feelingly_.

I met yesterday, smoking in the recess, a chimney corner of the
pot-house[43] at which I am quartered, a man of the greatest information
and most original genius I ever lit upon. His philosophical theories of
heaven and hell would have both amused you and given you hints for much
speculation. He solemnly assured me that he believed himself divinely
inspired. He slept in the same room with me, and kept me awake till three
in the morning with his ontological disquisitions. Some of the ideas
would have made, you shudder from their daring impiety, others would have
astounded with their sublimity. My memory, tenacious and systematizing,
would enable [me] to write an octavo from his conversation. “I find [says
he] from the intellectual atmosphere that emanes from, and envelops you,
that you are in a state of recipiency.” He was deceived. I have little
faith, yet am wonderfully fond of speculating on mystical schemes. Wisdom
may be gathered from the maddest flights of imagination, as medicines were
stumbled upon in the wild processes of alchemy. God bless you. Your ever


Tuesday evening.--I leave this place [High Wycombe] on Thursday, 10
o’clock, for Reading. A letter will arrive in time before I go.


Sunday night, March 21, 1794.

I have endeavoured to feel what I ought to feel. Affiliated to you from my
childhood, what must be my present situation? But I know you, my dear
brother; and I entertain a humble confidence that my efforts in well-doing
shall in some measure repay you. There is a _vis inertiæ_ in the human
mind--I am convinced that a man once corrupted will ever remain so, unless
some sudden revolution, some unexpected change of place or station, shall
have utterly altered his connection. When these shocks of adversity have
electrified his moral frame, he feels a convalescence of soul, and becomes
like a being recently formed from the hands of nature.

The last letter I received from you at High Wycombe was that almost blank
letter which enclosed the guinea. I have written to the postmaster. I have
breeches and waistcoats at Cambridge, three or four shirts, and some
neckcloths, and a few pairs of stockings; the clothes, which, rather from
the order of the regiment than the impulse of my necessities, I parted
with in Reading on my first arrival at the regiment, I disposed of for a
mere trifle, comparatively, and at a small expense can recover them all
but my coat and hat. They are gone irrevocably. My shirts, which I have
with me, are, all but one, worn to rags--mere rags; their texture was
ill-adapted to the labour of the stables.

Shall I confess to you my weakness, my more than brother? I am afraid to
meet you. When I call to mind the toil and wearisomeness of your
avocations, and think how you sacrifice your amusements and your health;
when I recollect your habitual and self-forgetting economy, how generously
severe, my soul sickens at its own guilt. A thousand reflections crowd in
my mind; they are almost too much for me. Yet you, my brother, would
comfort me, not reproach me, and extend the hand of forgiveness to one
whose purposes were virtuous, though infirm, and whose energies vigorous,
though desultory. Indeed, I long to see you, although I cannot help
dreading it.

I mean to write to Dr. Pearce. The letter I will enclose to you. Perhaps
it may not be proper to write, perhaps it may be necessary. You will best
judge. The discharge should, I think, be sent down to the adjutant--yet I
don’t know; it would be more comfortable to me to receive my dismission in
London, were it not for the appearing in these clothes.

By to-morrow I shall be enabled to tell the exact expenses of equipping,

I must conclude abruptly. God bless you, and your ever grateful



End of March, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have been rather uneasy, that I have not heard from
you since my departure from High Wycombe. Your letters are a comfort to me
in the comfortless hour--they are manna in the wilderness. I should have
written you long ere this, but in truth I have been blockaded by a whole
army of petty vexations, bad quarters, etc., and within this week I have
been thrown three times from my horse and run away with to the no small
perturbation of my nervous system almost every day. I ride a horse, young,
and as undisciplined as myself. After tumult and agitation of any kind the
mind and all its affections seem to _doze_ for a while, and we sit
shivering with chilly feverishness wrapped up in the ragged and threadbare
cloak of mere animal enjoyment.

On Sunday last I was surprised, or rather confounded, with a visit from
Mr. Cornish, so confounded that for more than a minute I could not speak
to him. He behaved with great delicacy and much apparent solicitude of
friendship. He passed through Reading with his sister Lady Shore. I have
received several letters from my friends at Cambridge, of most soothing
contents. They write me, that with “undiminished esteem and increased
affection, the _Jesuites_ look forward to my return as to that of a lost

My present address is the White Hart, Reading, Berks.

Adieu, most dear brother!



March 27, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I find that I was too sanguine in my expectations of
recovering all my clothes. My coat, which I had supposed gone, and all the
stockings, viz., four pairs of almost new silk stockings, and two pairs
of new silk and cotton, I can get again for twenty-three shillings. I have
ordered, therefore, a pair of breeches, which will be nineteen shillings,
a waistcoat at twelve shillings, a pair of shoes at seven shillings and
four pence. Besides these I must have a hat, which will be eighteen
shillings, and two neckcloths, which will be five or six shillings. These
things I have ordered. My travelling expenses will be about half a guinea.
Have I done wrong in ordering these things? Or did you mean me to do it by
desiring me to arrange what was necessary for my personal appearance at
Cambridge? I have so seldom acted right, that in every step I take of my
own accord I tremble lest I should be wrong. I forgot in the above account
to mention a flannel waistcoat; it will be six shillings. The military
dress is almost oppressively warm, and so very ill as I am at present I
think it imprudent to hazard cold. I will see you at London, or rather at
Hackney. There will be two or three trifling expenses on my leaving the
army; I know not their exact amount. The adjutant dismissed me from all
duty yesterday. My head throbs so, and I am so sick at stomach that it is
with difficulty I can write. One thing more I wished to mention. There are
three books, which I parted with at Reading. The bookseller, whom I have
occasionally obliged by composing advertisements for his newspaper, has
offered them me at the same price he bought them. They are a very valuable
edition of Casimir[44] by Barbou,[45] a Synesius[46] by Canterus and
Bentley’s Quarto Edition. They are worth thirty shillings, at least, and I
sold them for fourteen. The two first I mean to translate. I have finished
two or three Odes of Casimir, and shall on my return to College send them
to Dodsley as a specimen of an intended translation. Barbou’s edition is
the only one that contains all the works of Casimir. God bless you. Your

  S. T. C.


Sunday night, March 30, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I received your enclosed. I am fearful, that as you
advise me to go immediately to Cambridge after my discharge, that the
utmost contrivances of economy will not enable [me] to make it adequate to
all the expenses of my clothes and travelling. I shall go across the
country on many accounts. The expense (I have examined) will be as nearly
equal as well can be. The _fare_ from Reading to High Wycombe on the
outside is four shillings, from High Wycombe to Cambridge (for _there is_
a coach that passes through Cambridge from Wycombe) I suppose about twelve
shillings, perhaps a trifle more. I shall be two days and a half on the
road, _two nights_. Can I calculate the expense at less than half a
guinea, including all things? An additional guinea would perhaps be
sufficient. Surely, my brother, I am not so utterly abandoned as not to
feel the _meaning_ and _duty_ of _economy_. Oh me! I wish to God I were
happy; but it would be strange indeed if I were so.

I long ago theoretically and in a less degree experimentally knew the
necessity of faith in order to regulate virtue, nor did I even seriously
disbelieve the existence of a future state. In short, my religious creed
bore and, perhaps, bears a correspondence with my mind and heart. I had
too much vanity to be altogether a Christian, too much tenderness of
nature to be utterly an infidel. Fond of the dazzle of wit, fond of
subtlety of argument, I could not read without some degree of pleasure the
levities of Voltaire or the reasonings of Helvetius; but, tremblingly
alive to the feelings of humanity, and susceptible to the charms of truth,
my heart forced me to admire the “beauty of holiness” in the Gospel,
forced me to _love_ the Jesus, whom my reason (or perhaps my reasonings)
would not permit me to worship,--my faith, therefore, was made up of the
Evangelists and the deistic philosophy--a kind of _religious twilight_. I
said “_perhaps bears_,”--yes! my brother, for who can say, “_Now_ I’ll be
a Christian”? Faith is neither altogether voluntary; we cannot believe
what we choose, but we can certainly cultivate such habits of thinking and
acting as will give force and effective energy to the arguments on either

If I receive my discharge by Thursday, I will be, God pleased, in
Cambridge on Sunday. Farewell, my brother! Believe me your severities only
wound me as they awake the _voice_ within to speak, ah! how more harshly!
I feel gratitude and love towards you, even when I shrink and shiver.

  Your affectionate


April 7, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--The last three days I have spent at Bray, near
Maidenhead, at the house of a gentleman who has behaved with particular
attention to me. I accepted his invitation as it was in my power in some
measure to repay his kindness by the revisal of a performance he is about
to publish, and by writing him a dedication and preface. At my return I
found two letters from you, the one containing the two guineas, which will
be perfectly adequate to my expenses, and, my brother, what some part of
your letter made me feel, I am ill able to express; but of this at another
time. I have signed the certificate of my expenses, but not my discharge.
The moment I receive it I shall set off for Cambridge immediately, most
probably through London, as the gentleman, whose house I was at at Bray,
has pressed me to take his horse, and accompany him on Wednesday morning,
as he himself intends to ride to town that day. If my discharge comes down
on Tuesday morning I shall embrace his offer, particularly as I shall be
introduced to his bookseller, a thing of some consequence to my present

Clagget[47] has set four songs of mine most divinely, for two violins and
a pianoforte. I have done him some services, and he wishes me to write a
serious opera, which he will set, and have introduced. It is to be a joint
work. I think of it. The rules for _adaptable_ composition which he has
given me are excellent, and I feel my powers greatly strengthened, owing,
I believe, to my having read little or nothing for these last four months.


May 1, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have been convened before the fellows.[48] Dr. Pearce
behaved with great asperity, Mr. Plampin[49] with exceeding and most
delicate kindness. My sentence is a reprimand (not a public one, but
_implied_ in the sentence), a month’s confinement to the precincts of the
College, and to translate the works of Demetrius Phalareus into English.
It is a thin quarto of about ninety Greek pages. All the fellows tried to
persuade the Master to greater leniency, but in vain. Without the least
affectation I applaud his conduct, and think nothing of it. The
confinement is nothing. I have the fields and grove of the College to walk
in, and what can I wish more? What do I wish more? Nothing. The Demetrius
is dry, and utterly untransferable to _modern_ use, and yet from the
Doctor’s words I suspect that he wishes it to be a publication, as he has
more than once sent to know how I go on, and pressed me to exert erudition
in some notes, and to write a preface. Besides this, I have had a
declamation to write in the routine of college business, and the Rustat
examination, at which I got credit. I get up every morning at five

Every one of my acquaintance I have dropped solemnly and forever, except
those of my College with whom before my departure I had been least of all
connected--who had always remonstrated against my imprudences, yet have
treated me with almost fraternal affection, Mr. Caldwell particularly. I
thought the most _decent_ way of dropping acquaintances was to express my
intention, openly and irrevocably.

I find I must either go out at a by-term or degrade to the Christmas after
next; but more of this to-morrow. I have been engaged in finishing a Greek
ode. I mean to write for all the prizes. I have had no time upon my hands.
I shall aim at correctness and perspicuity, not _genius_. My last ode was
so _sublime_ that nobody could understand it. _If_ I should be so _very
lucky_ as to win one of the prizes, I could _comfortably_ ask the Doctor
advice concerning the _time_ of my degree. I will write to-morrow.

God bless you, my brother! my father!



GLOUCESTER, Sunday morning, July 6, 1794.

S. T. Coleridge to R. Southey, Health and Republicanism to be! When you
write, direct to me, “To be kept at the Post Office, Wrexham,
Denbighshire, N. Wales.” I mention this circumstance _now_, lest carried
away by a flood of confluent ideas I should forget it. You are averse to
gratitudinarian flourishes, else would I talk about hospitality,
attentions, etc. However, as I must not thank you, I will thank my stars.
Verily, Southey, I like not Oxford nor the inhabitants of it. I would say,
thou art a nightingale among owls, but thou art so songless and heavy
towards night that I will rather liken thee to the matin lark. Thy _nest_
is in a blighted cornfield, where the sleepy poppy nods its red-cowled
head, and the weak-eyed mole plies his dark work; but thy soaring is even
unto heaven. Or let me add (for my appetite for similes is truly canine at
this moment) that as the Italian nobles their new-fashioned doors, so thou
dost make the adamantine gate of democracy turn on its golden hinges to
most sweet music. Our journeying has been intolerably fatiguing from the
heat and whiteness of the roads, and the _unhedged_ country presents
nothing but _stone_ fences, dreary to the eye and scorching to the touch.
But we shall soon be in Wales.

Gloucester is a nothing-to-be-said-about town. The women have almost all
of them sharp noses.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is _wrong_, Southey! for a little girl with a half-famished sickly
baby in her arms to put her head in at the window of an inn--“Pray give me
a bit of bread and meat!” from a party dining on lamb, green peas, and
salad. Why? Because it is _impertinent_ and _obtrusive_! “I am a
gentleman! and wherefore the clamorous voice of woe intrude upon mine
ear?” My companion is a man of cultivated, though not vigorous
understanding; his feelings are all on the side of humanity; yet such are
the unfeeling remarks, which the lingering remains of aristocracy
occasionally prompt. When the pure system of pantisocracy shall have
_aspheterized_--from ἀ, non, and σφέτερος, proprius (we really _wanted_
such a word), instead of travelling along the circuitous, dusty, beaten
highroad of diction, you thus cut across the soft, green, pathless field
of novelty! Similes for ever! Hurrah! I have bought a little blank book,
and portable ink horn; [and] as I journey onward, I ever and anon pluck
the wild flowers of poesy, “inhale their odours awhile,” then throw them
away and think no more of them. I will not do so! Two lines of mine:--

  And o’er the sky’s unclouded blue
  The sultry heat _suffus’d_ a _brassy_ hue.

The cockatrice is a foul dragon with a _crown_ on its head. The Eastern
nations believe it to be hatched by a viper on a cock’s egg. Southey, dost
thou not see wisdom in her _Coan_ vest of allegory? The cockatrice is
emblematic of monarchy, a _monster_ generated by _ingratitude_ or
_absurdity_. When serpents _sting_, the only remedy is to kill the
_serpent_, and _besmear_ the _wound_ with the _fat_. Would you desire
better sympathy?

Description of heat from a poem I am manufacturing, the title:
“Perspiration. A Travelling Eclogue.”

  The dust flies smothering, as on clatt’ring wheel
  Loath’d aristocracy careers along;
  The distant track quick vibrates to the eye,
  And white and dazzling undulates with heat,
  Where scorching to the unwary travellers’ touch,
  The stone fence flings its narrow slip of shade;
  Or, where the worn sides of the chalky road
  Yield their scant excavations (sultry grots!),
  Emblem of languid patience, we behold
  The fleecy files faint-ruminating lie.

Farewell, sturdy Republican! Write me concerning Burnett and thyself, and
concerning etc., etc. My next shall be a more sober and chastened epistle;
but, you see, I was in the humour for metaphors, and, to tell thee the
truth, I have so often serious reasons to quarrel with my inclination,
that I do not choose to contradict it for trifles. To Lovell, fraternity
and civic remembrances! Hucks’ compliments.


Addressed to “Robert Southey. Miss Tyler’s, Bristol.”


WREXHAM, Sunday, July 15, 1794.[50]

Your letter, Southey! made me melancholy. Man is a bundle of habits, but
of all habits the habit of despondence is the most pernicious to virtue
and happiness. I once shipwrecked my frail bark on that rock; a friendly
plank was vouchsafed me. Be you wise by my experience, and receive unhurt
the flower, which I have climbed precipices to pluck. Consider the high
advantages which you possess in so eminent a degree--health, strength of
mind, and confirmed habits of strict morality. Beyond all doubt, by the
creative powers of your genius, you might supply whatever the stern
simplicity of republican wants could require. Is there no possibility of
procuring the office of clerk in a compting-house? A month’s application
would qualify you for it. For God’s sake, Southey! enter not into the
church. Concerning Allen I say little, but I feel anguish at times. This
earnestness of remonstrance! I will not offend you by asking your pardon
for it. The following is a _fact_. A friend of Hucks’ after long struggles
between principle and _interest_, as it is improperly called, accepted a
place under government. He took the oaths, shuddered, went home and threw
himself in an agony out of a two-pair of stairs window! These dreams of
despair are most soothing to the imagination. I well know it. We shroud
ourselves in the mantle of distress, and tell our poor hearts, “This is
_happiness_!” There is a _dignity_ in all these solitary emotions that
flatters the pride of our nature. Enough of sermonizing. As I was
meditating on the capability of pleasure in a mind like yours, I unwarily
fell into poetry:[51]--

  ’Tis thine with fairy forms to talk,
  And thine the philosophic walk;
  And what to thee the sweetest are--
  The setting sun, the Evening Star--
  The tints, that live along the sky,
  The Moon, that meets thy raptured eye,
  Where grateful oft the big drops start,
  Dear silent pleasures of the Heart!
  But if thou pour one votive lay,
  For humble independence pray;
  Whom (sages say) in days of yore
  Meek Competence to Wisdom bore.
  So shall thy little vessel glide
  With a fair breeze adown the tide,
  Till Death shall close thy tranquil eye
  While Faith exclaims: “Thou shalt not die!”

  “The heart-smile glowing on his aged cheek
  Mild as decaying light of summer’s eve,”

are lines eminently beautiful. The whole is pleasing. For a motto! Surely
my memory has suffered an epileptic fit. A Greek motto would be pedantic.
These lines will perhaps do:--

  All mournful to the pensive sages’ eye,[52]
  The monuments of human glory lie;
  Fall’n palaces crush’d by the ruthless haste
  Of Time, and many an empire’s silent waste--

         *       *       *       *       *

  But where a sight shall shuddering sorrow find
  Sad as the ruins of the human mind,--

A better will soon occur to me. Poor Poland! They go on sadly there.
Warmth of particular friendship does not imply absorption. The nearer you
approach the sun, the more intense are his rays. Yet what distant corner
of the system do they not cheer and vivify? The ardour of private
attachments makes philanthropy a necessary _habit_ of the soul. I love my
friend. Such as _he_ is, all mankind are or might be. The deduction is
evident. Philanthropy (and indeed every other virtue) is a thing of
_concretion_. Some home-born feeling is the centre of the ball, that
rolling on through life collects and assimilates every congenial
affection. What did you mean by _H._ has “my understanding”? I have
puzzled myself in vain to discover the import of the sentence. The only
sense it _seemed_ to bear was so like _mock-humility_, that I scolded
myself for the momentary supposition.[53] My heart is so heavy at present,
that I will defer the finishing of this letter till to-morrow.

I saw a face in Wrexham Church this morning, which recalled “Thoughts full
of bitterness and images” too dearly loved! now past and but “Remembered
like sweet sounds of yesterday!” At Ross (sixteen miles from Gloucester)
we took up our quarters at the King’s Arms, once the house of Kyrle, the
Man of Ross. I gave the window-shutter the following effusion:[54]--

  Richer than Misers o’er their countless hoards,
  Nobler than Kings, or king-polluted Lords,
  Here dwelt the Man of Ross! O Traveller, hear!
  Departed Merit claims the glistening tear.
  Friend to the friendless, to the sick man health,
  With generous joy he viewed his modest wealth;
  He heard the widow’s heaven-breathed prayer of praise,
  He mark’d the sheltered orphan’s tearful gaze;
  And o’er the dowried maiden’s glowing cheek
  Bade bridal love suffuse its blushes meek.
  If ’neath this roof thy wine-cheer’d moments pass,
  Fill to the good man’s name one grateful glass!
  To higher zest shall Memory wake thy soul,
  And Virtue mingle in the sparkling bowl.
  But if, like me, thro’ life’s distressful scene,
  Lonely and sad thy pilgrimage hath been,
  And if thy breast with heart-sick anguish fraught,
  Thou journeyest onward tempest-tost in thought,
  Here cheat thy cares,--in generous visions melt,
  And _dream_ of Goodness thou hast never felt!

I will resume the pen to-morrow.

Monday, 11 o’clock. Well, praised be God! here I am. Videlicet, Ruthin,
sixteen miles from Wrexham. At Wrexham Church I glanced upon the face of a
Miss E. Evans, a young lady with [whom] I had been in habits of fraternal
correspondence. She turned excessively pale; she thought it my ghost, I
suppose. I retreated with all possible speed to our inn. There, as I was
standing at the window, passed by Eliza Evans, and with her to my utter
surprise her sister, Mary Evans, _quam efflictim et perdite amabam_. I
apprehend she is come from London on a visit to her grandmother, with whom
Eliza lives. I turned sick, and all but fainted away! The two sisters, as
H. informs me, passed by the window anxiously several times afterwards;
but I had retired.

  _Vivit, sed mihi non vivit--nova forte marita,
  Ah dolor! alterius carâ, a cervice pependit.
  Vos, malefida valete accensæ insomnia mentis,
  Littora amata valete! Vale, ah! formosa Maria!_

My fortitude would not have supported me, had I _recognized_ her--I mean
_appeared_ to do it! I neither ate nor slept yesterday. But love is a
local anguish; I am sixteen miles distant, and am not half so miserable. I
must endeavour to forget it amid the terrible graces of the wild wood
scenery that surround me. I never durst even in a whisper avow my passion,
though I knew she loved me. Where were my fortunes? and why should I make
her miserable! Almighty God bless her! Her image is in the sanctuary of my
heart, and never can it be torn away but with the strings that grapple it
to life. Southey! there are few men of whose delicacy I think so highly as
to have written all this. I am glad I have so deemed of you. We are
soothed by communications.

Denbigh (eight miles from Ruthin).

And now to give you some little account of our journey. From Oxford to
Gloucester, to Ross, to Hereford, to Leominster, to Bishop’s Castle, to
Welsh Pool, to Llanfyllin, nothing occurred worthy notice except that at
the last place I preached pantisocracy and aspheterism with so much
success that two great huge fellows of butcher-like appearance danced
about the room in enthusiastic agitation. And one of them of his own
accord called for a large glass of brandy, and drank it off to this his
own toast, “God save the King! And may he be the last.” Southey! Such men
may be of use. They would kill the golden calf _secundum artem_. From
Llanfyllin we penetrated into the interior of the country to Llangunnog, a
village most romantically situated. We dined there on hashed mutton,
cucumber, bread and cheese, and beer, and had two pots of ale--the sum
total of the expense being sixteen pence for both of us! From Llangunnog
we walked over the mountains to Bala--most sublimely terrible! It was
scorchingly hot. I applied my mouth ever and anon to the side of the rocks
and sucked in draughts of water cold as ice, and clear as infant diamonds
in their embryo dew! The rugged and stony clefts are stupendous, and in
winter must form cataracts most astonishing. At this time of the year
there is just water enough dashed down over them to “soothe, not disturb
the pensive traveller’s ear.” I slept by the side of one an hour or more.
As we descended the mountain, the sun was reflected in the river, that
winded through the valley with insufferable brightness; it rivalled the
sky. At Bala is nothing remarkable except a lake of eleven miles in
circumference. At the inn I was sore afraid that I had caught the itch
from a Welsh democrat, who was charmed with my sentiments: he grasped my
hand with flesh-bruising ardor, and I trembled lest some disappointed
citizens of the _animalcular_ republic should have emigrated.

Shortly after, into the same room, came a well-dressed clergyman and four
others, among whom (the landlady whispers me) was a justice of the peace
and the doctor of the parish. I was asked for a gentleman. I gave General
Washington. The parson said in a low voice, “Republicans!” After which,
the medical man said, “Damn toasts! I gives a sentiment: May all
republicans be guillotined!” Up starts the Welsh democrat. “May all fools
be gulloteen’d--and then you will be the first.” Thereon rogue, villain,
traitor flew thick in each other’s faces as a hailstorm. This is nothing
in Wales. They _make calling one another liars_, etc., necessary
vent-holes to the superfluous fumes of the temper. At last I endeavoured
to articulate by observing that, whatever might be our opinions in
politics, the appearance of a clergyman in the company assured me we were
all Christians; “though,” continued I, “it is rather difficult to
reconcile the last sentiment with the spirit of Christianity.” “Pho!”
quoth the parson, “Christianity! Why, we are not at church now, are we?
The gemman’s sentiment was a very good one; it showed he was _sincere_ in
his principles.” Welsh politics could not prevail over Welsh hospitality.
They all, except the parson, shook me by the hand, and said I was an
open-hearted, honest-speaking fellow, though I was a bit of a democrat.

From Bala we travelled onward to Llangollen, a most beautiful village in a
most beautiful situation. On the road we met two Cantabs of my college,
Brookes and Berdmore. These rival _pedestrians_--perfect _Powells_--were
vigorously pursuing their tour in a _post-chaise_! We laughed famously.
Their only excuse was that Berdmore had been ill. From Llangollen to
Wrexham, from Wrexham to Ruthin, to Denbigh. At Denbigh is a ruined
castle; it surpasses everything I could have conceived. I wandered there
an hour and a half last evening (this is Tuesday morning). Two
well-dressed young men were walking there. “Come,” says one, “I’ll play my
flute; ’twill be romantic.” “Bless thee for the thought, man of genius and
sensibility!” I exclaimed, and preattuned my heartstring to tremulous
emotion. He sat adown (the moon just peering) amid the awful part of the
ruins, and the romantic youth struck up the affecting tune of “Mrs.
Carey.”[55] ’Tis fact, upon my honour.

God bless you, Southey! We shall be at Aberystwith[56] this day week. When
will you come out to meet us? There you must direct your letter. Hucks’
compliments. I anticipate much accession of republicanism from Lovell. I
have positively done nothing but dream of the system of no property every
step of the way since I left you, till last Sunday. Heigho!

ROBERT SOUTHEY, No. 8 Westcott Buildings, Bath.


10 o’clock, Thursday morning, September 18, 1794.

Well, my dear Southey! I am at last arrived at Jesus. My God! how
tumultuous are the movements of my heart. Since I quitted this room what
and how important events have been evolved! America! Southey! Miss
Fricker! Yes, Southey, you are right. Even Love is the creature of strong
motive. I certainly love her. I _think_ of her incessantly and with
unspeakable tenderness,--with that inward melting away of soul that
symptomatizes it.

Pantisocracy! Oh, I shall have such a scheme of it! My head, my heart, are
all alive. I have drawn up my arguments in battle array; they shall have
the _tactician_ excellence of the mathematician with the enthusiasm of
the poet. The head shall be the mass; the heart the fiery spirit that
fills, informs, and agitates the whole. Harwood--pish! I say nothing of

SHAD GOES WITH US. HE IS MY BROTHER! I am longing to be with you. Make
Edith my sister. Surely, Southey, we shall be _frendotatoi meta
frendous_--most friendly where all are friends. She must, therefore, be
more emphatically my sister.

Brookes and Berdmore, as I suspected, have spread my opinions in mangled
forms at Cambridge. Caldwell, the most pantisocratic of aristocrats, has
been laughing at me. Up I arose, terrible in reasoning. He fled from me,
because “he could not answer for his own sanity, sitting so near a madman
of genius.” He told me that the strength of my imagination had intoxicated
my reason, and that the acuteness of my reason had given a directing
influence to my imagination. Four months ago the remark would not have
been more elegant than just. Now it is nothing.

I like your sonnets exceedingly--the best of any I have yet seen.[57]
“Though to the eye fair is the extended vale” should be “to the eye though
fair the extended vale.” I by no means disapprove of discord introduced to
produce _effect_, nor is my ear so fastidious as to be angry with it where
it could not have been avoided without weakening the sense. But discord
for discord’s sake is rather too licentious.

“Wild wind” has no other but alliterative beauty; it applies to a storm,
not to the autumnal breeze that makes the trees rustle mournfully. Alter
it to “That rustle to the sad wind moaningly.”

“’Twas a long way and tedious,” and the three last lines are marked
beauties--unlaboured strains poured soothingly along from the feeling
simplicity of heart. The next sonnet is altogether exquisite,--the
circumstance common yet new to poetry, the moral accurate and full of
soul.[58] “I never saw,” etc., is most exquisite. I am almost ashamed to
write the following, it is so inferior. Ashamed? No, Southey! God knows my
heart! I am _delighted_ to feel you superior to me in genius as in virtue.

  No more my visionary soul shall dwell
  On joys that were; no more endure to weigh
  The shame and anguish of the evil day.
  Wisely forgetful! O’er the ocean swell
  Sublime of Hope, I seek the cottag’d dell
  Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray,
  And, dancing to the moonlight roundelay,
  The wizard Passions weave an holy spell.
  Eyes that have ach’d with sorrow! ye shall weep
  Tears of doubt-mingled joy, like theirs who start
  From precipices of distemper’d sleep,
  On which the fierce-eyed fiends their revels keep,
  And see the rising sun, and feel it dart
  New rays of pleasance trembling to the heart.[59]

I have heard from Allen, and write the third letter to him. Yours is the
second. Perhaps you would like two sonnets I have written to my Sally.
When I have received an answer from Allen I will tell you the contents of
his first letter.

My compliments to Heath.

I will write you a huge, big letter next week. At present I have to
transact the tragedy business, to wait on the Master, to write to Mrs.
Southey, Lovell, etc., etc.

God love you, and



Friday morning, September 19, 1794.

My fire was blazing cheerfully--the tea-kettle even now boiled over on it.
Now sudden sad it looks. But, see, it blazes up again as cheerily as ever.
Such, dear Southey, was the effect of your this morning’s letter on my
heart. Angry, no! I esteem and confide in you the more; but it _did_ make
me sorrowful. I was blameless; it was therefore only a passing cloud
empictured on the breast. Surely had I written to you the _first_ letter
you directed to _me_ at Cambridge, I _would_ not have believed that you
_could_ have received it without answering it. Still less that you could
have given a momentary pain to her that loved you. If I could have
imagined no _rational_ excuse for you, I would have peopled the vacancy
with events of impossibility!

On Wednesday, September 17, I arrived at Cambridge. Perhaps the very hour
you were writing in the severity of offended friendship, was I pouring
forth the heart to Sarah Fricker. I did not call on Caldwell; I saw no
one. On the moment of my arrival I shut my door, and wrote to her. But why
not before?

In the first place Miss F. did not authorize me to direct immediately to
her. It was _settled_ that through _you_ in our weekly _parcels_ were the
letters to be conveyed. The moment I arrived at Cambridge, and all
yesterday, was I writing letters to you, to your mother, to Lovell, etc.,
to complete a parcel.

In London I wrote twice to you, intending daily to go to Cambridge; of
course I deferred the parcel till then. I was taken ill, very ill. I
exhausted my finances, and ill as I was, I sat down and scrawled a few
guineas’ worth of nonsense for the booksellers, which Dyer disposed of for
me. Languid, sick at heart, in the back room of an inn! Lofty conjunction
of circumstances for me to write to Miss F. Besides, I told her I should
write the moment I arrived at Cambridge. I have fulfilled the promise.
Recollect, Southey, that when you mean to go to a place to-morrow, and
to-morrow, and to-morrow, the time that intervenes is lost. Had I meant at
first to stay in London, a fortnight should not have elapsed without my
writing to her. If you are satisfied, tell Miss F. that _you_ are _so_,
but assign no reasons--I ought not to have been suspected.

The tragedy[60] will be printed in less than a week. I shall put my name,
because it will sell at least a hundred copies in Cambridge. It would
appear ridiculous to put two names to _such_ a work. But, if you choose
it, mention it and it shall be done. To every man who _praises_ it, of
course I give the _true_ biography of it; to those who laugh at it, I
laugh again, and I am too well known at Cambridge to be thought the less
of, even though I had published James Jennings’ Satire.

       *       *       *       *       *

Southey! Precipitance is wrong. There may be too high a state of health,
perhaps even _virtue_ is liable to a _plethora_. I have been the slave of
impulse, the child of imbecility. But my inconsistencies have given me a
tarditude and reluctance to think ill of any one. Having been often
suspected of wrong when I was altogether right, from _fellow-feeling_ I
judge not too hastily, and from appearances. Your undeviating simplicity
of rectitude has made you rapid in decision. Having never erred, you feel
more _indignation_ at error than _pity_ for it. There is _phlogiston_ in
your heart. Yet am I grateful for it. You would not have written so
angrily but for the greatness of your esteem and affection. The more
highly we have been wont to think of a character, the more pain and
irritation we suffer from the discovery of its imperfections. My heart is
very heavy, much more so than when I began to write.

  Yours most fraternally.


Friday night, September 26, 1794.

MY DEAR, DEAR SOUTHEY,--I am beyond measure distressed and agitated by
your letter to Favell. On the evening of the Wednesday before last, I
arrived in Cambridge; that night and the next day I dedicated to writing
to you, to Miss F., etc. On the Friday I received your letter of
phlogistic rebuke. I answered it immediately, wrote a second letter to
Miss F., inclosed them in the aforesaid parcel, and sent them off by the
mail directed to Mrs. Southey, No. 8 Westcott Buildings, Bath. They should
have arrived on Sunday morning. Perhaps you have not heard from Bath;
perhaps--damn perhapses! My God, my God! what a deal of pain you must have
suffered before you wrote that letter to Favell. It is an Ipswich Fair
time, and the Norwich company are theatricalizing. They are the first
provincial actors in the kingdom. Much against my will, I am engaged to
drink tea and go to the play with Miss Brunton[61] (Mrs. Merry’s sister).
The young lady, and indeed the whole family, have taken it into their
heads to be very much attached to me, though I have known them only six
days. The father (who is the manager and proprietor of the theatre)
inclosed in a very polite note a free ticket for the season. The young
lady is said to be the most literary of the beautiful, and the most
beautiful of the literatæ. It may be so; my faculties and discernments are
so completely jaundiced by vexation that the Virgin Mary and Mary
Flanders, alias Moll, would appear in the same hues.

All last night, I was obliged to listen to the damned chatter of our
mayor, a fellow that would certainly be a pantisocrat, were his head and
heart as highly illuminated as his face. At present he is a High
Churchman, and a Pittite, and is guilty (with a very large fortune) of so
many rascalities in his public character, that he is obliged to drink
three bottles of claret a day in order to acquire a stationary rubor, and
prevent him from the trouble of running backwards and forwards for a blush
once every five minutes. In the tropical latitudes of this fellow’s nose
was I obliged to fry. I wish you would write a lampoon upon him--in me it
would be unchristian revenge.

Our tragedy is printed, all but the title-page. It will be complete by
Saturday night.

God love you. I am in the queerest humour in the world, and am out of love
with everybody.



October 21, 1794.

To you alone, Southey, I write the first part of this letter. To yourself
confine it.

“Is this handwriting altogether erased from your memory? To whom am I
addressing myself? For whom am I now violating the rules of female
delicacy? Is it for the same Coleridge, whom I once regarded as a sister
her best-beloved Brother? Or for one who will _ridicule_ that advice from
me, which he has _rejected_ as offered by his family? I will hazard the
attempt. I have no right, nor do I feel myself inclined to reproach you
for the Past. God forbid! You have already suffered too much from
self-accusation. But I conjure you, Coleridge, earnestly and solemnly
conjure you to consider long and deeply, before you enter into any rash
schemes. There is an Eagerness in your Nature, which is ever hurrying you
in the sad Extreme. I have heard that you mean to leave England, and on a
Plan so absurd and extravagant that were I for a moment to imagine it
_true_, I should be obliged to listen with a more patient Ear to
suggestions, which I have rejected a thousand times with scorn and anger.
Yes! whatever Pain I might suffer, I should be forced to exclaim, ‘O what
a noble mind is here _o’erthrown_, Blasted with ecstacy.’ You have a
country, does it demand nothing of you? You have doting Friends! Will you
break their Hearts! There is a God--Coleridge! Though I have been told
(_indeed_ I do not believe it) that you doubt of his existence and
disbelieve a hereafter. No! you have too much sensibility to be an
Infidel. You know I never was rigid in my opinions concerning
Religion--and have always thought _Faith_ to be only Reason applied to a
particular subject. In short, I am the same Being as when you used to say,
‘We thought in all things alike.’ I often reflect on the happy hours we
spent together and regret the Loss of your Society. I cannot easily forget
those whom I once loved--nor can I easily form new Friendships. I find
women in general vain--all of the same Trifle, and therefore little and
envious, and (I am afraid) without sincerity; and of the other sex those
who are offered and held up to my esteem are very prudent, and very
worldly. If you value my peace of mind, you must _on no account_ answer
this letter, or take the least notice of it. I _would_ not for the world
_any part_ of my Family should suspect that I have written to you. My mind
is sadly tempered by being perpetually obliged to resist the solicitations
of those whom I love. I need not explain myself. Farewell, Coleridge! I
shall always feel that I have been your _Sister_.”

No name was signed,--it was from Mary Evans. I received it about three
weeks ago. I loved her, Southey, almost to madness. Her image was never
absent from me for three years, for _more_ than three years. My resolution
has not faltered, but I want a comforter. I have done nothing, I have gone
into company, I was constantly at the theatre here till they left us, I
endeavoured to be perpetually with Miss Brunton, I even hoped that her
exquisite beauty and uncommon accomplishments might have cured one passion
by another. The latter I could easily have dissipated in her absence, and
so have restored my affections to her whom I do not love, but whom by
every tie of reason and honour I ought to love. I am resolved, but
wretched! But time shall do much. You will easily believe that with such
feelings I should have found it no easy task to write to ----. I should
have detested myself, if after my first letter I had written coldly--how
could I write _as warmly_? I was vexed too and alarmed by your letter
concerning Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, Shad, and little Sally. I was wrong, very
wrong, in the affair of Shad, and have given you reason to suppose that I
should assent to the innovation. I will most assuredly go with you to
America, on this plan, but remember, Southey, this is _not our plan_, nor
can I defend it. “Shad’s children will be educated as ours, and the
education we shall give them will be such as to render them incapable of
blushing at the want of it in their parents”--_Perhaps!_ With this one
word would every Lilliputian reasoner demolish the system. Wherever men
_can_ be vicious, some _will_ be. The leading idea of pantisocracy is to
make men _necessarily_ virtuous by removing all motives to evil--all
possible temptation. “Let them dine with us and be treated with as much
equality as they would wish, but perform that part of labour for which
their education has fitted them.” _Southey_ should not have written this
sentence. My friend, my noble and high-souled friend should have said to
his dependents, “Be my slaves, and ye shall be my equals;” to his wife and
sister, “Resign the _name_ of Ladyship and ye shall retain the _thing_.”
Again. Is every family to possess one of these unequal equals, these Helot
Egalités? Or are the few you have mentioned, “with more toil than the
peasantry of England undergo,” to do for all of us “that part of labour
which their education has fitted them for”? If your remarks on the other
side are just, the inference is that the scheme of pantisocracy is
impracticable, but I hope and believe that it is not a _necessary_
inference. Your remark of the physical evil in the long infancy of men
would indeed puzzle a Pangloss--puzzle him to account for the wish of a
benevolent heart like yours to discover malignancy in its Creator. Surely
every eye but an eye jaundiced by habit of peevish scepticism must have
seen that the mothers’ cares are repaid even to rapture by the mothers’
endearments, and that the long helplessness of the babe is the _means_ of
our superiority in the filial and maternal affection and duties to the
same feelings in the brute creation. It is likewise among other causes the
_means_ of society, that thing which makes them a little lower than the
angels. If Mrs. S. and Mrs. F. go with us, they can at least prepare the
food of simplicity for us. Let the married women do only what is
absolutely convenient and customary for pregnant women or nurses. Let the
husband do all the rest, and what will that all be? Washing with a machine
and cleaning the house. One hour’s addition to our daily labor, and
_pantisocracy_ in its most perfect sense is practicable. That the greater
part of our female companions should have the task of maternal exertion at
the same time is very _improbable_; but, though it were to happen, an
infant is almost always sleeping, and during its slumbers the mother may
in the same room perform the little offices of ironing clothes or making
shirts. But the hearts of the women are not _all_ with us. I do believe
that Edith and Sarah are exceptions, but do even they know the bill of
fare for the day, every duty that will be incumbent upon them?

All necessary knowledge in the branch of ethics is comprised in the word
justice: that the good of the whole is the good of each individual, that,
of course, it is each individual’s _duty_ to be just, _because_ it is his
_interest_. To perceive this and to assent to it as an abstract
proposition is easy, but it requires the most wakeful attentions of the
most reflective mind in all moments to bring it into practice. It is not
enough that we have once swallowed it. The _heart_ should have _fed_ upon
the _truth_, as insects on a leaf, till it be tinged with the colour, and
show its food in every the minutest fibre. In the book of pantisocracy I
hope to have comprised all that is good in Godwin, of whom and of whose
book I will write more fully in my next letter (I think not so highly of
him as you do, and I have read him with the greatest attention). This will
be an advantage to the _minds_ of our women.

What have been your feelings concerning the War with America, which is now
inevitable? To go from Hamburg will not only be a heavy additional
expense, but dangerous and uncertain, as nations at war are in the habit
of examining neutral vessels to prevent the importation of arms and seize
subjects of the hostile governments. It is said that one cause of the
ministers having been so cool on the business is that it will prevent
emigration, which it seems would be treasonable to a hostile country. Tell
me all you think on these subjects. What think you of the difference in
the prices of land as stated by Cowper from those given by the American
agents? By all means read, ponder on Cowper, and when I hear your thoughts
I will give you the result of my own.

  Thou bleedest, my poor Heart! and thy distress
  Doth Reason ponder with an anguished smile,
  Probing thy sore wound sternly, tho’ the while
  Her eye be swollen and dim with heaviness.
  Why didst thou _listen_ to Hope’s whisper bland?
  Or, listening, why _forget_ its healing tale,
  When Jealousy with feverish fancies pale
  Jarr’d thy fine fibres with a maniac’s hand?
  Faint was that Hope, and rayless. Yet ’twas fair
  And sooth’d with many a dream the hour of rest:
  Thou should’st have loved it most, when most opprest,
  And nursed it with an agony of care,
  E’en as a mother her sweet infant heir
  That pale and sickly droops upon her breast![62]

When a man is unhappy he writes damned bad poetry, I find. My Imitations
too depress my spirits--the task is arduous, and grows upon me. Instead of
two octavo volumes, to do all I hoped to do two quartos would hardly be

Of your poetry I will send you a minute critique, when I send you my
proposed alterations. The sonnets are exquisite.[63] Banquo is not what it
deserves to be. Towards the end it grows very flat, wants variety of
imagery--you dwell too long on Mary, yet have made less of her than I
expected. The other figures are not sufficiently distinct; indeed, the
plan of the ode (after the first forty lines which are most truly sublime)
is so evident an imitation of Gray’s Descent of Odin, that I would rather
adopt Shakespeare’s mode of introducing the figures themselves, and making
the description now the Witches’ and now Fleance’s. I detest monodramas,
but I never wished to establish my judgment on the throne of critical
despotism. Send me up the Elegy on the Exiled Patriots and the Scripture
Sonnets. I have promised them to Flower.[64] The first will do _good_, and
more good in a paper than in any other vehicle.

My thoughts are floating about in a most chaotic state. I had almost
determined to go down to Bath, and stay two days, that I might say
everything I wished. You mean to acquaint your aunt with the scheme? As
she knows it, and knows that you know that she knows it, _justice_ cannot
require it, but if your own comfort makes it necessary, by all means do
it, with all possible gentleness. She has loved you tenderly; be firm,
therefore, as a rock, mild as the lamb. I sent a hundred “Robespierres” to
Bath ten days ago and more.

Five hundred copies of “Robespierre” were printed. A hundred [went] to
Bath; a hundred to Kearsley, in London; twenty-five to March, at Norwich;
thirty I have sold privately (twenty-five of these thirty to Dyer, who
found it inconvenient to take fifty). The rest are dispersed among the
Cambridge booksellers; the delicacies of academic gentlemanship prevented
me from disposing of more than the five _propriâ personâ_. Of course we
only get ninepence for each copy from the booksellers. I expected that Mr.
Field would have sent for fifty, but have heard nothing of it. I sent a
copy to him, with my respects, and have made presents of six more. How
they sell in London, I know not. All that are in Cambridge will sell--a
great many are sold. I have been blamed for publishing it, considering the
more important work I have offered to the public. _N’importe._ ’Tis
thought a very _aristocratic_ performance; you may suppose how
hyper-democratic my character must have been. The expenses of paper,
printing, and advertisements are nearly nine pounds. We ought to have
charged one shilling and sixpence a copy.

I presented a copy to Miss Brunton with these verses in the blank

  Much on my early youth I love to dwell,
  Ere yet I bade that guardian dome farewell,
  Where first beneath the echoing cloisters pale,
  I heard of guilt and wondered at the tale!
  Yet though the hours flew by on careless wing
  Full heavily of Sorrow would I sing.
  Aye, as the star of evening flung its beam
  In broken radiance on the wavy stream,
  My pensive soul amid the _twilight_ gloom
  Mourned with the breeze, O Lee Boo! o’er thy tomb.
  Whene’er I wander’d, Pity still was near,
  Breath’d from the heart, and glitter’d in the tear:
  No knell, that toll’d, but fill’d my anguish’d eye,
  “And suffering Nature wept that _one_ should die!”
  Thus to sad sympathies I sooth’d my breast,
  Calm as the rainbow in the weeping West:
  When slumb’ring Freedom rous’d by high Disdain
  With giant fury burst her triple chain!
  Fierce on her front the blasting Dog star glow’d;
  Her banners, like a midnight meteor, flow’d;
  Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies
  She came, and scatter’d battles from her eyes!
  Then Exultation woke the patriot fire
  And swept with wilder hand th’ empassioned lyre;
  Red from the Tyrants’ wounds I shook the lance,
  And strode in joy the reeking plains of France!
  In ghastly horror lie th’ oppressors low,
  And my Heart akes tho’ Mercy struck the blow!
  With wearied thought I seek the amaranth Shade
  Where peaceful Virtue weaves her _myrtle_ braid.
  And O! if Eyes, whose holy glances roll
  The eloquent Messengers of the pure soul;
  If Smiles more cunning and a gentler Mien,
  Than the love-wilder’d Maniac’s brain hath seen
  Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,
  If _these_ demand the wond’ring Poets’ care--
  If Mirth and soften’d Sense, and Wit refin’d,
  The blameless features of a lovely mind;
  Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
  No _fading_ flowers to Beauty’s saintly shrine.
  Nor, Brunton! thou the blushing Wreath refuse,
  Though harsh her notes, yet guileless is my Muse.
  Unwont at Flattery’s Voice to plume her wings.
  A child of Nature, as she feels, she sings.
                                              S. T. C.


Till I dated this letter I never recollected that yesterday was my
birthday--twenty-two years old.

I have heard from my brothers--from him particularly who has been friend,
brother, father. ’Twas all remonstrance and anguish, and suggestions that
I am deranged! Let me receive from you a letter of consolation; for,
believe me, I am completely wretched.

  Yours most affectionately,


November, 1794.

My feeble and exhausted heart regards with a criminal indifference the
introduction of servitude into our society; but my judgment is not asleep,
nor can I suffer your reason, Southey, to be entangled in the web which
your feelings have woven. Oxen and horses possess not intellectual
appetites, nor the powers of acquiring them. We are therefore justified in
employing their labour to our own benefit: mind hath a divine right of
sovereignty over body. But who shall dare to transfer “from man to brute”
to “from man to man”? To be employed in the toil of the field, while _we_
are pursuing philosophical studies--can earldoms or emperorships boast so
huge an inequality? Is there a human being of so torpid a nature as that
placed in our society he would not feel it? A _willing_ slave is the worst
of slaves! His _soul_ is a slave. Besides, I must own myself incapable of
perceiving even the temporary _convenience_ of the proposed innovation.
The _men_ do not want assistance, at least none that _Shad_ can
particularly give; and to the women, what assistance can little Sally, the
_wife_ of Shad, give more than any other of our married women? Is she to
have no domestic cares of her own? No house? No husband to provide for? No
children? _Because_ Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are not likely to have children,
I see less objection to their accompanying us. Indeed, indeed, Southey, I
am fearful that Lushington’s prophecy may not be altogether vain. “Your
system, Coleridge, appears strong to the head and lovely to the heart; but
depend upon it, you will never give your _women_ sufficient strength of
mind, liberality of heart, or vigilance of attention. _They_ will spoil

I am extremely unwell; have run a nail into my heel, and before me stand
“Embrocation for the throbbing of the head,” “To be shaked up well that
the ether may mix,” “A wineglass full to be taken when faint.” ’Sdeath!
how I hate the labels of apothecary’s bottles. Ill as I am, I must go out
to supper. Farewell for a few hours.

’Tis past one o’clock in the morning. I sat down at twelve o’clock to read
the “Robbers” of Schiller.[66] I had read, chill and trembling, when I
came to the part where the Moor fixes a pistol over the robbers who are
asleep. I could read no more. My God, Southey, who is this Schiller, this
convulser of the heart? Did he write his tragedy amid the yelling of
fiends? I should not like to be able to describe such characters. I
tremble like an aspen leaf. Upon my soul, I write to you because I am
frightened. I had better go to bed. Why have we ever called Milton
sublime? that Count de Moor horrible wielder of heart-withering virtues?
Satan is scarcely qualified to attend his execution as gallows chaplain.

Tuesday morning.--I have received your letter. Potter of Emanuel[67]
drives me up to town in his phaeton on Saturday morning. I hope to be with
you by Wednesday week. Potter is a “Son of Soul”--a poet of liberal
sentiments in politics--yet (would you believe it?) possesses six thousand
a year independent.

I feel grateful to you for your sympathy. There is a feverish
distemperature of brain, during which some horrible phantom threatens our
eyes in every corner, until, emboldened by terror, we rush on it, and
then--why then we return, the heart indignant at its own palpitation! Even
so will the greater part of our mental miseries vanish before an effort.
Whatever of mind we _will_ to do, we _can_ do! What, then, palsies the
will? The joy of grief. A mysterious pleasure broods with dusky wings over
the tumultuous mind, “and the Spirit of God moveth on the darkness of the
waters.” She _was very_ lovely, Southey! We formed each other’s minds; our
ideas were blended. Heaven bless her! I cannot forget her. Every day her
memory sinks deeper into my heart.

                        Nutrito vulnere tabens
  Impatiensque mei feror undique, solus et excors,
  Et desideriis pascor!

I wish, Southey, in the stern severity of judgment, that the two mothers
were _not_ to go, and that the children stayed with them. Are you wounded
by my want of feeling? No! how highly must I think of your rectitude of
soul, that I should dare to say this to so affectionate a son! _That_ Mrs.
Fricker! We shall have her teaching the infants _Christianity_,--I mean,
that mongrel whelp that goes under its name,--teaching them by stealth in
some ague fit of superstition.

There is little danger of my being confined. _Advice_ offered with
_respect_ from a brother; _affected coldness_, an assumed _alienation_
mixed with involuntary bursts of _anguish_ and disappointed _affection_;
questions concerning the mode in which I would have it mentioned to my
aged mother--these are the daggers which are plunged into _my_ peace.
Enough! I should rather be offering consolation to your sorrows than be
wasting my feelings in egotistic complaints. “Verily my complaint is
bitter, yet my stroke is heavier than my groaning.”

God love you, my dear Southey!


A friend of mine hath lately departed this life in a frenzy fever induced
by anxiety. Poor fellow, a child of frailty like me! Yet he was amiable. I
poured forth these incondite lines[68] in a moment of melancholy

  ----! thy grave with aching eye I scan,
  And inly groan for Heaven’s poor outcast--Man!
  ’Tis tempest all, or gloom! In earliest youth
  If gifted with th’ Ithuriel lance of Truth
  He force to start amid the feign’d caress
  Vice, siren-hag, in native ugliness;
  A brother’s fate shall haply rouse the tear,
  And on he goes in heaviness and fear!
  But if his fond heart call to Pleasure’s bower
  Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour,
  The faithless Guest quick stamps th’ enchanted ground,
  And mingled forms of Misery threaten round:
  Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast,
  That courts the future woe to hide the past;
  Remorse, the poison’d arrow in his side,
  And loud lewd Mirth to Anguish close allied;
  Till Frenzy, frantic child of moping Pain,
  Darts her hot lightning-flash athwart the brain!
  Rest, injur’d Shade! shall Slander, squatting near,
  Spit her cold venom in a dead man’s ear?
  ’Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow
  In Merit’s joy and Poverty’s meek woe:
  Thine all that cheer the moment as it flies,
  The zoneless Cares and smiling Courtesies.
  Nurs’d in thy heart the generous Virtues grew,
  And in thy heart they wither’d! such chill dew
  Wan Indolence on each young blossom shed;
  And Vanity her filmy network spread,
  With eye that prowl’d around in asking gaze,
  And tongue that trafficked in the trade of praise!
  Thy follies such the hard world mark’d them well.
  Were they more wise, the proud who never fell?
  Rest, injur’d Shade! the poor man’s grateful prayer,
  On heavenward wing, thy wounded soul shall bear!

  As oft in Fancy’s thought thy grave I pass,
  And sit me down upon its recent grass,
  With introverted eye I contemplate
  Similitude of soul--perhaps of fate!
  To me hath Heaven with liberal hand assign’d
  Energic reason and a shaping mind,
  The daring soul of Truth, the patriot’s part,
  And Pity’s sigh, that breathes the gentle heart--
  Sloth-jaundiced all! and from my graspless hand
  Drop Friendship’s precious pearls, like hour-glass sand.
  I weep, yet stoop not! the faint anguish flows,
  A dreamy pang in Morning’s fev’rish doze!

  Is that pil’d earth our Being’s passless mound?
  Tell me, cold Grave! is Death with poppies crown’d?
  Tir’d Sentinel! with fitful starts I nod,
  And fain would sleep, though pillow’d on a clod!


  When Youth his fairy reign began[69]
  Ere Sorrow had proclaim’d me Man;
  While Peace the _present_ hour beguil’d,
  And all the lovely _Prospect_ smil’d;
  Then, Mary, mid my lightsome glee
  I heav’d the painless Sigh for thee!

  And when, along the wilds of woe
  My harass’d Heart was doom’d to know
  The frantic burst of Outrage keen,
  And the slow Pang that gnaws unseen;
  Then shipwreck’d on Life’s stormy sea
  I heav’d an anguish’d Sigh for thee!

  But soon Reflection’s hand imprest
  A stiller sadness on my breast;
  And sickly Hope with waning eye
  Was well content to droop and die:
  I yielded to the stern decree,
  Yet heav’d the languid Sigh for thee!

  And though in distant climes to roam,
  A wanderer from my native home,
  I fain would woo a gentle Fair
  To soothe the aching sense of care,
  Thy Image may not banish’d be--
  Still, Mary! still I sigh for thee!
                                    S. T. C.

God love you.


Autumn, 1794.

Last night, dear Southey, I received a special invitation from Dr.
Edwards[70] (the great Grecian of Cambridge and heterodox divine) to drink
tea and spend the evening. I there met a councillor whose name is
Lushington, a democrat, and a man of the most powerful and Briarean
intellect. I was challenged on the subject of pantisocracy, which is,
indeed, the universal topic at the University. A discussion began and
continued for six hours. In conclusion, Lushington and Edwards declared
the system impregnable, supposing the assigned quantum of virtue and
genius in the first individuals. I came home at one o’clock this morning
in the honest consciousness of having exhibited closer argument in more
elegant and appropriate language than I had ever conceived myself capable
of. Then my heart smote me, for I saw your letter on the propriety of
taking servants with us. I had answered that letter, and feel conviction
that you will _perceive_ the error into which the tenderness of your
nature had led you. But other queries obtruded themselves on my
understanding. The more perfect our system is, supposing the necessary
premises, the more eager in anxiety am I that the necessary premises
exist. O for that Lyncean eye that can discover in the acorn of Error the
rooted and widely spreading oak of Misery! Quære: should not all who mean
to become members of our community be incessantly meliorating their
temper and elevating their understandings? Qu.: whether a very respectable
quantity of _acquired_ knowledge (History, Politics, above all,
_Metaphysics_, without which no man _can_ reason but with women and
children) be not a prerequisite to the improvement, of the head and heart?
Qu.: whether our Women have not been taught by us habitually to
contemplate the littleness of individual comforts and a passion for the
_novelty_ of the scheme rather than a generous enthusiasm of Benevolence?
Are they saturated with the Divinity of Truth sufficiently to be always
wakeful? In the present state of their minds, whether it is not probable
that the _Mothers_ will tinge the minds of the infants with prejudication?
The questions are meant merely as motives to you, Southey, to the
strengthening the minds of the Women, and stimulating them to literary
acquirements. But, Southey, there are _Children_ going with us. Why did I
never dare in my disputations with the unconvinced to hint at this
circumstance? Was it not because I knew, even to certainty of conviction,
that it is subversive of _rational_ hopes of a permanent system? These
children,--the little Frickers, for instance, and your brothers,--are they
not already deeply tinged with the prejudices and errors of society? Have
they not learned from their schoolfellows _Fear_ and _Selfishness_, of
which the necessary offsprings are Deceit and desultory Hatred? How are we
to prevent them from infecting the minds of _our_ children? By reforming
their judgments? At so early an age, _can_ they have _felt_ the ill
consequences of their errors in a manner sufficiently vivid to make this
reformation practicable? How can we insure their silence concerning God,
etc.? Is it possible _they_ should enter into our _motives_ for this
silence? If not, we must produce their _Obedience_ by _Terror_.
_Obedience? Terror?_ The repetition is sufficient. I need not inform you
that they are as inadequate as inapplicable. I have told you, Southey,
that I will accompany you on an _imperfect_ system. But must our system be
thus necessarily imperfect? I ask the question that I may know whether or
not I should write the Book of Pantisocracy.

I received your letter of Oyez; it brought a smile on a countenance that
for these three weeks has been cloudy and stern in its solitary hours. In
company, wit and laughter are Duties. Slovenly? I could mention a lady of
fashionable rank, and most fashionable ideas, who declared to Caldwell
that I (S. T. Coleridge) was a man of the most _courtly_ and polished
manners, of the most _gentlemanly_ address she had ever met with. But I
will not _crow_! Slovenly, indeed!


Thursday, November 6, 1794.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--Your letter of this morning gave me inexpressible
consolation. I thought that I perceived in your last the cold and freezing
features of alienated affection. Surely, said I, I have trifled with the
spirit of love, and it has passed away from me! There is a vice of such
powerful venom, that one grain of it will poison the overflowing goblet of
a thousand virtues. This vice constitution seems to have implanted in me,
and habit has made it almost Omnipotent. It is _indolence_![71] Hence,
whatever web of friendship my presence may have woven, my absence has
seldom failed to unravel. Anxieties that stimulate others infuse an
additional narcotic into my mind. The appeal of duty to my judgment, and
the pleadings of affection at my heart, have been heard indeed, and heard
with deep regard. Ah! that they had been as constantly obeyed. But so it
has been. Like some poor labourer, whose night’s sleep has but imperfectly
refreshed his overwearied frame, I have sate in drowsy uneasiness, and
doing nothing have thought what a deal I had to do. But I trust that the
kingdom of reason is at hand, and even now cometh!

How often and how unkindly are the ebullitions of youthful disputations
mistaken for the result of fixed principles. People have resolved that I
am a dηmocrat, and accordingly look at everything I do through the
spectacles of prejudication. In the feverish distemperature of a _bigoted_
aristocrat’s brain, some phantom of Dηmocracy threatens him in every
corner of my writings.

  And Hébert’s atheist crew, whose maddening hand
  Hurl’d down the altars of the living God
  With all the infidel intolerance.[72]

“Are these lines in _character_,” observed a sensible friend of mine, “in
a speech on the death of the man whom it just became the fashion to style
‘The ambitious _Theocrat_’?” “I fear _not_,” was my answer, “I gave way to
my feelings.” The first speech of Adelaide,[73] whose _Automaton_ is this
character? Who spoke through Le Gendre’s mouth,[74] when he says, “Oh,
what a precious name is Liberty To scare or cheat the simple into slaves”?
But in several parts I have, it seems, in the strongest language boasted
the impossibility of subduing France. Is not this sentiment highly
characteristic? Is it _forced_ into the mouths of the speakers? Could I
have even omitted it without evident absurdity? But, granted that it is my
own opinion, is it an _anti-pacific_ one? I should have classed it among
the anti-polemics. Again, are _all_ who entertain and express this opinion
dηmocrats? God forbid! They would be a formidable party indeed! I know
many violent anti-reformists, who are as violent against the _war_ on the
ground that it may introduce that reform, which they (perhaps not
unwisely) imagine would chant the dirge of our constitution. Solemnly, my
brother, I tell you, I am _not_ a dηmocrat. I see, evidently, that the
present is _not_ the highest state of society of which we are _capable_.
And after a diligent, I may say an intense, study of Locke, Hartley, and
others who have written most wisely on the nature of man, I appear to
myself to see the point of possible perfection, at which the world may
perhaps be destined to arrive. But how to lead mankind from one point to
the other is a process of such infinite complexity, that in deep-felt
humility I resign it to that Being “Who shaketh the Earth out of her
place, and the pillars thereof tremble,” “Who purifieth with Whirlwinds,
and maketh the Pestilence his Besom,” Who hath said, “that violence shall
no more be heard of; the people shall not build and another inhabit; they
shall not plant and another eat;” “the wolf and the lamb shall feed
together.” I have been asked what is the best conceivable mode of
meliorating society. My answer has been this: “Slavery is an abomination
to my feeling of the head and the heart. Did Jesus teach the _abolition_
of it? No! He taught those principles of which the necessary _effect_ was
to abolish all slavery. He prepared the _mind_ for the reception before he
poured the blessing.” You ask me what the friend of universal equality
should do. I answer: “Talk not politics. _Preach the Gospel!_”

Yea, my brother! I have at all times in all places exerted my power in the
defence of the Holy One of Nazareth against the learning of the historian,
the libertinism of the wit, and (his worst enemy) the mystery of the
bigot! But I am an infidel, because I cannot thrust my head into a _mud
gutter_, and say, “How _deep_ I am!” And I am a dηmocrat, because I will
not join in the maledictions of the despotist--because I will _bless all_
men and _curse_ no one! I have been a fool even to madness; and I am,
therefore, an excellent hit for calumny to aim her poisoned
_probabilities_ at! As the poor flutterer, who by hard struggling has
escaped from the bird-limed thornbush, still bears the clammy incumbrance
on his feet and wings, so I am doomed to carry about with me the sad
mementos of past imprudence and anguish from which I have been imperfectly

Mr. Potter of Emanuel drives me up to town in his phaeton, on Saturday
morning. Of course I shall see you on Sunday. Poor Smerdon! the reports
concerning his literary plagiarism (as far as concerns _my_ assistance)
are _falsehoods_. I have felt much for him, and on the morning I received
your letter I poured forth these incondite rhymes. Of course they are
meant for a brother’s eye.

  Smerdon! thy grave with aching eye I scan, etc.[75]

God love you, dear brother, and your affectionate and grateful



December 11, 1794.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I sit down to write to you, not that I have anything
particular to say, but it is a relief, and forms a very respectable part
in my theory of “Escapes from the Folly of Melancholy.” I am so habituated
to philosophizing that I cannot divest myself of it, even when my own
wretchedness is the subject. I appear to myself like a sick physician,
feeling the pang acutely, yet deriving a wonted pleasure from examining
its progress and developing its causes.

Your poems and Bowles’ are my only morning companions. “The
Retrospect!”[76] _Quod qui non prorsus amat et deperit, illum omnes et
virtutes et veneres odere!_ It is a most lovely poem, and in the next
edition of your works shall be a perfect one. The “Ode to Romance”[77]
is the best of the odes. I dislike that to Lycon, excepting the last
stanza, which is superlatively fine. The phrase of “let honest truth be
vain” is obscure. Of your blank verse odes, “The Death of Mattathias”[78]
is by far the best. That you should ever write another, _Pulcher Apollo
veta! Musæ prohibete venustæ!_ They are to poetry what dumb-bells are to
music; they can be read only for _exercise_, or to make a man tired that
he may be sleepy. The sonnets are wonderfully inferior to those which I
possess of yours, of which that “To Valentine”[79] (“If long and lingering
seem one little day The motley crew of travellers among”); that on “The
Fire”[80] (not your last, a very so-so one); on “The Rainbow”[81]
(particularly the four last lines), and two or three others, are all
divine and fully equal to Bowles. Some parts of “Miss Rosamund”[82] are
beautiful--the _working_ scene, and that line with which the poem ought to
have concluded, “And think who lies so cold and pale below.” Of the
“Pauper’s Funeral,”[83] that part in which you have done me the honour to
imitate me is by far the worst; the thought has been so much better
expressed by Gray. On the whole (like many of yours), it wants compactness
and totality; the same thought is repeated too frequently in different
words. That all these faults may be remedied by compression, my _editio
purgata_ of the poem shall show you.

  What! and not one to heave the pious sigh?
  Not one whose sorrow-swoln and aching eye,
  For social scenes, for life’s endearments fled,
  Shall drop a tear and dwell upon the dead?
  Poor wretched Outcast! I will sigh for thee,
  And sorrow for forlorn humanity!
  Yes, I will sigh! but not that thou art come
  To the stern Sabbath of the silent tomb:
  For squalid Want and the black scorpion Care,
  (Heart-withering fiends) shall never enter there.
  I sorrow for the ills thy life has known,
  As through the world’s long pilgrimage, alone,
  Haunted by Poverty and woe-begone,
  Unloved, unfriended, thou didst journey on;
  Thy youth in ignorance and labour past,
  And thy old age all barrenness and blast!
  Hard was thy fate, which, while it doom’d to woe,
  Denied thee wisdom to support the blow;
  And robb’d of all its energy thy mind,
  Ere yet it cast thee on thy fellow-kind,
  Abject of thought, the victim of distress,
  To wander in the world’s wide wilderness.
  Poor Outcast! sleep in peace! The winter’s storm
  Blows bleak no more on thy unsheltered form!
  Thy woes are past; thou restest in the tomb;--
  I pause ... and ponder on the days to come.

_Now!_ Is it not a beautiful poem? Of the sonnet, “No more the visionary
soul shall dwell,”[84] I wrote the whole but the second and third lines.
Of the “Old Man in the Snow,”[85] ten last lines _entirely_, and part of
the four first. Those ten lines are, perhaps, the best I ever did write.

Lovell has no taste or simplicity of feeling. I remarked that when a man
read Lovell’s poems he _mus cus_ (that is a rapid way of pronouncing “must
curse”), but when he thought of Southey’s, he’d “buy on!” For God’s sake
let us have no more Bions or Gracchus’s. I abominate them! _Southey_ is a
name much more proper and handsome, and, I venture to prophesy, will be
more _famous_. Your “Chapel Bell”[86] I love, and have made it, by a few
alterations and the omission of one stanza (which, though beautiful _quoad
se_, interrupted the _run_ of the thought “I love to see the aged spirit
soar”), a perfect poem. As it followed the “Exiled Patriots,” I altered
the second and fourth lines to, “So freedom taught, in high-voiced
minstrel’s weed;” “For cap and gown to leave the patriot’s meed.”

The last verse _now_ runs thus:--

  “But thou, Memorial of monastic gall!
     What fancy sad or lightsome hast _thou_ given?
   Thy vision-scaring sounds alone recall
     The prayer that _trembles_ on a _yawn_ to Heaven,
   And _this_ Dean’s gape, and _that_ Dean’s nasal tone.”

Would not this be a fine subject for a wild ode?

  St. Withold footed thrice the Oulds,
  He met the nightmare and her nine foals;
  He bade her alight and her troth plight,
  And, “Aroynt thee, Witch!” he said.

I shall set about one when I am in a humour to abandon myself to all the
diableries that ever met the eye of a Fuseli!

Le Grice has jumbled together all the quaint stupidity he ever wrote,
amounting to about thirty pages, and published it in a book about the size
and dimensions of children’s twopenny books. The dedication is pretty. He
calls the publication “Tineum;”[87] for what reason or with what meaning
would give Madame Sphinx a complete victory over Œdipus.

A wag has handed about, I hear, an obtuse angle of wit, under the name of
“An Epigram.” ’Tis almost as bad as the subject.

  “A tiny man of tiny wit
     A tiny book has published.
   But not alas! one tiny bit
     His tiny fame established.”


  My heart has thank’d thee, Bowles! for those soft strains,
  That, on the still air floating, tremblingly
  Woke in me Fancy, Love, and Sympathy!
  For hence, not callous to a Brother’s pains
  Thro’ Youth’s gay prime and thornless paths I went;
  And when the _darker_ day of life began,
  And I did roam, a thought-bewildered man!
  Thy kindred Lays an healing solace lent,
  Each lonely pang with dreamy joys combin’d,
  And stole from vain REGRET her scorpion stings;
  While shadowy PLEASURE, with mysterious wings,
  Brooded the wavy and tumultuous mind,
  Like that great Spirit, who with plastic sweep
  Mov’d on the darkness of the formless Deep!

Of the following sonnet, the four _last_ lines were written by Lamb, a man
of uncommon genius. Have you seen his divine sonnet of “O! I could
_laugh_ to hear the winter winds,” etc.?


  O gentle look, that didst my soul beguile,
  Why hast thou left me? Still in some fond dream
  Revisit my sad heart, auspicious smile!
  As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam;
  What time in sickly mood, at parting day
  I lay me down and think of happier years;
  Of joys, that glimmered in Hope’s twilight ray,
  Then left me darkling in a vale of tears.
  O pleasant days of Hope--for ever flown!
  Could I recall one!--But that thought is vain.
  Availeth not Persuasion’s sweetest tone
  To lure the fleet-winged travellers back again:
  Anon, they haste to everlasting night,
  Nor can a giant’s arm arrest them in their flight.

The four last lines are beautiful, but they have no particular meaning
which “that thought is _vain_” does not convey. And I cannot write without
a _body_ of _thought_. Hence my poetry is crowded and sweats beneath a
heavy burden of ideas and imagery! It has seldom ease. The little song
ending with “I heav’d the painless sigh for thee!” is an exception, and,
accordingly, I like it the best of all I ever wrote. My sonnets to eminent
contemporaries are among the better things I have written. That to Erskine
is a bad specimen. I have written ten, and mean to write six more. In
“Fayette” I unwittingly (for I did not know it at the time) borrowed a
thought from you.

I will conclude with a little song of mine,[90] which has no other merit
than a pretty simplicity of silliness.

  If while my passion I impart,
    You deem my words untrue,
  O place your hand upon my heart--
    Feel how it throbs for _you_!

  Ah no! reject the thoughtless claim
    In pity to your Lover!
  That thrilling touch would aid the flame
    It wishes to discover!

I am a complete necessitarian, and understand the subject as well almost
as Hartley himself, but I go farther than Hartley, and believe the
corporeality of _thought_, namely, that it is motion. Boyer thrashed
Favell most cruelly the day before yesterday, and I sent him the following
note of consolation: “I condole with you on the unpleasant motions, to
which a certain uncouth automaton has been mechanized; and am anxious to
know the motives that impinged on its optic or auditory nerves so as to be
communicated in such rude vibrations through the medullary substance of
its brain, thence rolling their stormy surges into the capillaments of its
tongue, and the muscles of its arm. The diseased violence of its thinking
corporealities will, depend upon it, cure itself by exhaustion. In the
mean time I trust that you have not been assimilated in degradation by
losing the ataxy of your temper, and that necessity which dignified you by
a sentience of the pain has not lowered you by the accession of anger or

God love you, Southey! My love to your mother!



Wednesday, December 17, 1794.

When I am unhappy a sigh or a groan does not feel sufficient to relieve
the oppression of my heart. I give a long _whistle_. This by way of a
detached truth.

“How infinitely more to be valued is integrity of heart than effulgence of
intellect!” A noble sentiment, and would have come home to me, if for
“integrity” you had substituted “energy.” The skirmishes of sensibility
are indeed contemptible when compared with the well-disciplined phalanx of
right-onward feelings. O ye invincible soldiers of virtue, who arrange
yourselves under the generalship of fixed principles, that you would throw
up your fortifications around my heart! I pronounce this a very sensible,
apostrophical, metaphorical rant.

I dined yesterday with Perry and Grey (the proprietor and editor of the
“Morning Chronicle”) at their house, and met Holcroft. He either
misunderstood Lovell, or Lovell misunderstood him. I know not which, but
it is very clear to me that neither of them understands nor enters into
the views of our system. Holcroft opposes it violently and thinks it not
_virtuous_. His arguments were such as Nugent and twenty others have used
to us before him; they were _nothing_. There is a fierceness and dogmatism
of conversation in Holcroft for which you receive little compensation
either from the veracity of his information, the closeness of his
reasoning, or the splendour of his language. He talks incessantly of
metaphysics, of which he appears to me to know nothing, to have read
nothing. He is ignorant as a scholar, and neglectful of the smaller
humanities as a man. Compare him with Porson! My God! to hear Porson
_crush_ Godwin, Holcroft, etc. They absolutely tremble before him! I had
the honour of working H. a little, and by my great _coolness_ and command
of impressive language certainly _did him over_. “Sir!” said he, “I never
knew so much real wisdom and so much rank error meet in one mind before!”
“Which,” answered I, “means, I suppose, that in some things, sir, I agree
with you, and in others I do not.” He absolutely infests you with
_atheism_; and his arguments are such that the nonentities of Nugent
consolidate into oak or ironwood by comparison! As to his taste in poetry,
he thinks lightly, or rather contemptuously, of Bowles’ sonnets; the
language flat and prosaic and inharmonious, and the sentiments only fit
for girls! Come, come, Mr. Holcroft, as much unintelligible metaphysics
and as much bad criticism as you please, but no _blasphemy_ against the
divinity of _a Bowles_! Porson idolizes the sonnets. However it happened,
I am higher in his good graces than he in mine. If I am in town I dine
with him and Godwin, etc., at his house on Sunday.

I am astonished at your preference of the “Elegy.” I think it the worst
thing you ever wrote.

  “_Qui Gratio non odit, amet tua carmina, Avaro!_”[91]

Why, ’tis almost as bad as Lovell’s “Farmhouse,” and that would be at
least a thousand fathoms deep in the dead sea of pessimism.

     “The hard world scoff’d my woes, the chaste one’s pride,
      Mimic of virtue, mock’d my keen distress,
  [92]And Vice alone would shelter wretchedness.
      Even life is loathsome now,” etc.

These two stanzas are exquisite, but the lovely thought of the “hot sun,”
etc., as pitiless as proud prosperity loses part of its beauty by the time
being night. It is among the chief excellences of Bowles that his imagery
appears almost always prompted by surrounding scenery.

Before you write a poem you should say to yourself, “What do I intend to
be the character of this poem; which feature is to be predominant in it?”
So you make it unique. But in this poem now _Charlotte_ speaks and now the
Poet. Assuredly the stanzas of Memory, “three worst of fiends,” etc., and
“gay fancy fond and frolic” are altogether poetical. You have repeated the
same rhymes ungracefully, and the thought on which you harp so long
recalls too forcibly the Εὕδεις βρέφος of Simonides. Unfortunately the
“Adventurer” has made this sweet fragment an object of popular admiration.
On the whole, I think it unworthy of your other “Botany Bay Eclogues,” yet
deem the two stanzas above selected superior almost to anything you ever
wrote; _quod est magna res dicere_, a great thing to say.


  Though king-bred rage with lawless Tumult rude
  Have driv’n our _Priestley_ o’er the ocean swell;
  Though Superstition and her wolfish brood
  Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell;
  Calm in his halls of brightness he shall dwell!
  For lo! Religion at his strong behest
  Disdainful rouses from the Papal spell,
  And flings to Earth her tinsel-glittering vest,
  Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy;
  And Justice wakes to bid th’ oppression wail,
  That ground th’ ensnared soul of patient Folly;
  And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won,
  Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil,
  To smile with fondness on her gazing son!


  O what a loud and fearful shriek was there,
  As though a thousand souls one death-groan poured!
  Great _Kosciusko_ ’neath an hireling’s sword
  The warriors view’d! Hark! through the list’ning air
  (When pauses the tir’d Cossack’s barbarous yell
  Of triumph) on the chill and midnight gale
  Rises with frantic burst or sadder swell
  The “Dirge of Murder’d Hope!” while Freedom pale
  Bends in _such_ anguish o’er her destined bier,
  As if from eldest time some Spirit meek
  Had gathered in a mystic urn each tear
  That ever furrowed a sad Patriot’s cheek,
  And she had drench’d the sorrows of the bowl
  Ev’n till she reel’d, intoxicate of soul!

Tell me which you like the best of the above two. I have written one to
Godwin, but the mediocrity of the eight first lines is _most miserably
magazinish_! I have plucked, therefore, these scentless road-flowers from
the chaplet, and entreat thee, thou river god of Pieria, to weave into it
the gorgeous water-lily from thy stream, or the far-smelling violets on
thy bank. The last six lines are these:--

  Nor will I not thy holy guidance bless
  And hymn thee, Godwin! with an ardent lay;
  For that thy voice, in Passion’s stormy day,
  When wild I roam’d the bleak Heath of Distress,
  Bade the bright form of Justice meet my way,--
  And told me that her name was Happiness.

Give me your minutest opinion concerning the following sonnet, whether or
no I shall admit it into the number. The move of bepraising a man by
enumerating the beauties of his polygraph is at least an original one; so
much so that I fear it will be somewhat unintelligible to those whose
brains are not του ἀμείνονος πηλοῦ. (You have read S.’s poetry and know
that the fancy displayed in it is sweet and delicate to the highest


  Some winged Genius, Sheridan! imbreath’d
  His various influence on thy natal hour:
  My fancy bodies forth the Guardian Power,
  His temples with Hymettian flowerets wreath’d;
  And sweet his voice, as when o’er Laura’s bier
  Sad music trembled through Vauclusa’s glade;
  Sweet, as at dawn the lovelorn serenade
  That bears soft dreams to Slumber’s listening ear!
  Now patriot Zeal and Indignation high
  Swell the full tones! and now his eye-beams dance
  Meanings of Scorn and Wit’s quaint revelry!
  Th’ Apostate by the brainless rout adored,
  Writhes inly from the bosom-probing glance,
  As erst that nobler Fiend beneath great Michael’s sword!

I will give the second number as deeming that it possesses _mind_:--

  As late I roamed through Fancy’s shadowy vale,
  With wetted cheek and in a mourner’s guise,
  I saw the sainted form of Freedom rise:
  He spake:--not sadder moans th’ autumnal gale--
  “Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy name,
  Ere in an evil hour with altered voice
  Thou badst Oppression’s hireling crew rejoice,
  Blasting with wizard spell my laurell’d fame.
  Yet never, Burke! thou drank’st Corruption’s bowl!
  Thee stormy Pity and the cherish’d lure
  Of Pomp and proud _precipitance_ of soul
  Urged on with wild’ring fires. Ah, spirit pure!
  That Error’s mist had left thy purged eye;
  So might I clasp thee with a Mother’s joy.”


  Poor little foal of an oppressed race!
  I love the languid patience of thy face:
  And oft with friendly hand I give thee bread,
  And clap thy ragged coat and pat thy head.
  But what thy dulled spirit hath dismay’d,
  That never thou dost sport upon the glade?
  And (most unlike the nature of things young)
  That still to earth thy moping head is hung?
  Do thy prophetic tears anticipate,
  Meek Child of Misery, thy future fate?
  The starving meal and all the thousand aches
  That “patient Merit of the Unworthy takes”?
  Or is thy sad heart thrill’d with filial pain
  To see thy wretched mother’s lengthened chain?
  And truly, very piteous is _her_ lot,
  Chained to a log upon a narrow spot,
  Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,
  While sweet around her waves the tempting green!
  Poor Ass! thy master should have learnt to show
  Pity best taught by fellowship of Woe!
  For much I fear me that _He_ lives like thee
  Half-famish’d in a land of Luxury!
  How _askingly_ its steps towards me bend!
  It seems to say, “And have I then _one_ friend?”
  Innocent foal! thou poor, despis’d forlorn!
  I hail thee Brother, spite of the fool’s scorn!
  And fain I’d take thee with me in the Dell
  Of high-souled Pantisocracy to dwell;
  Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
  And Laughter tickle Plenty’s _ribless_ side!
  How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
  And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay.
  Yea, and more musically sweet to me
  Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
  Than _Banti’s_ warbled airs, that soothe to rest
  The tumult of a scoundrel Monarch’s breast!

How do you like it?

I took the liberty--Gracious God! pardon me for the aristocratic frigidity
of that expression--I indulged my feelings by sending this among my
_Contemporary_ Sonnets:

  Southey! Thy melodies steal o’er mine ear
  Like far-off joyance, or the murmuring
  Of wild bees in the sunny showers of Spring--
  Sounds of such mingled import as may cheer
  The lonely breast, yet rouse a mindful tear:
  Waked by the song doth Hope-born Fancy fling
  Rich showers of dewy fragrance from her wing,
  Till sickly Passion’s drooping Myrtles sear
  Blossom anew! But O! more thrill’d I prize
  Thy sadder strains, that bid in Memory’s Dream
  The faded forms of past Delight arise;
  Then soft on Love’s pale cheek the tearful gleam
  Of Pleasure smiles as faint yet beauteous lies
  The imaged Rainbow on a willowy stream.

God love you and your mother and Edith and Sara and Mary and little Eliza,
etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., and


[The following lines in Southey’s handwriting are attached to this

  What though oppression’s blood-cemented force
      Stands proudly threatening arrogant in state,
      Not thine his savage priests to immolate
  Or hurl the fabric on the encumber’d plain
  As with a whirlwind’s fury. It is thine
      When dark Revenge masked in the form adored
      Of Justice lifts on high the murderer’s sword
  To save the erring victims from her shrine.
                                            To GODWIN.]


Monday morning, December, 1794.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I will not say that you treat me coolly or mysteriously,
yet assuredly you seem to look upon me as a man whom vanity, or some other
inexplicable cause, has alienated from the system, or what could build so
injurious a suspicion? Wherein, when roused to the recollection of my
duty, have I shrunk from the performance of it? I hold my life and my
feeble feelings as ready sacrifices to justice--καυκάω ὑπορᾶς γάρ. I
dismiss a subject so painful to me as self-vindication; painful to me only
as addressing you on whose esteem and affection I have rested with the
whole weight of my soul.

Southey! I must tell you that you appear to me to write as a man who is
aweary of the world because it accords not with his ideas of perfection.
Your sentiments look like the sickly offspring of disgusted pride. It
flies not away from the couches of imperfection because the patients are
fretful and loathsome.

Why, my dear, very dear Southey, do you wrap yourself in the mantle of
self-centring resolve, and refuse to us your bounden quota of intellect?
Why do you say, “_I, I, I_ will do so and so,” instead of saying, as you
were wont to do, “It is all our duty to do so and so, for such and such

For God’s sake, my dear fellow, tell me what we are to gain by taking a
Welsh farm. Remember the principles and proposed consequences of
pantisocracy, and reflect in what degree they are attainable by Coleridge,
Southey, Lovell, Burnett, and Co., some five men _going partners_
together? In the next place, supposing that we have proved the
preponderating utility of our aspheterizing in Wales, let us by our speedy
and united inquiries discover the sum of money necessary, whether such a
farm with so very large a house is to be procured without launching our
frail and unpiloted bark on a rough sea of anxieties. How much is
necessary for the maintenance of so large a family--eighteen people for a
year at least?

I have read my objections to Lovell. If he has not answered them
altogether to my fullest conviction, he has however shown me the
wretchedness that would fall on the majority of our party from any delay
in so forcible a light, that if three hundred pounds be adequate to the
commencement of the system (which I very much doubt), I am most willing to
give up all my views and embark immediately with you.

If it be determined that we shall go to Wales (for which I now give my
vote), in what time? Mrs. Lovell thinks it impossible that we should go in
less than three months. If this be the case, I will accept of the
reporter’s place to the “Telegraph,” live upon a guinea a week, and
transmit the [? balance], finishing in the same time my “Imitations.”

However, I will walk to Bath to-morrow morning and return in the evening.

Mr. and Mrs. Lovell, Sarah, Edith, all desire their best love to you, and
are anxious concerning your health.

May God love you and your affectionate



(?) December, 1794.

Too long has my heart been the torture house of suspense. After infinite
struggles of irresolution, I will at last dare to request of you, Mary,
that you will communicate to me whether or no you are engaged to Mr. ----.
I conjure you not to consider this request as presumptuous indelicacy.
Upon mine honour, I have made it with no other design or expectation than
that of arming my fortitude by total hopelessness. Read this letter with
benevolence--and consign it to oblivion.

For four years I have _endeavoured_ to smother a very ardent attachment;
in what degree I have succeeded you must know better than I can. With
quick perceptions of moral beauty, it was impossible for me not to admire
in you your sensibility regulated by judgment, your gaiety proceeding from
a cheerful heart acting on the stores of a strong understanding. At first
I voluntarily invited the recollection of these qualities into my mind. I
made them the perpetual object of my reveries, yet I entertained no one
sentiment beyond that of the immediate pleasure annexed to the thinking of
you. At length it became a habit. I awoke from the delusion, and found
that I had unwittingly harboured a passion which I felt neither the power
nor the courage to subdue. My associations were irrevocably formed, and
your image was blended with every idea. I thought of you incessantly; yet
that spirit (if spirit there be that condescends to record the lonely
beatings of my heart), that spirit knows that I thought of you with the
purity of a brother. Happy were I, had it been with no more than a
brother’s ardour!

The man of dependent fortunes, while he fosters an attachment, commits an
act of suicide on his happiness. I possessed no establishment. My views
were very distant; I saw that you regarded me merely with the kindness of
a sister. What expectations could I form? I formed no expectations. I was
ever resolving to subdue the disquieting passion; still some inexplicable
suggestion palsied my efforts, and I clung with desperate fondness to this
phantom of love, its mysterious attractions and hopeless prospects. It was
a faint and rayless hope![95] Yet it soothed my solitude with many a
delightful day-dream. It was a faint and rayless hope! Yet I nursed it in
my bosom with an agony of affection, even as a mother her sickly infant.
But these are the poisoned luxuries of a diseased fancy. Indulge, Mary,
this my first, my last request, and restore me to _reality_, however
gloomy. Sad and full of heaviness will the intelligence be; my heart will
die within me. I shall, however, receive it with steadier resignation from
yourself, than were it announced to me (haply on your marriage day!) by a
stranger. Indulge my request; I will not disturb your peace by even a
_look_ of discontent, still less will I offend your ear by the whine of
selfish sensibility. In a few months I shall enter at the Temple and there
seek forgetful calmness, where only it can be found, in incessant and
useful activity.

Were you not possessed of a mind and of a heart above the usual lot of
women, I should not have written you sentiments that would be
unintelligible to three fourths of your sex. But our feelings are
congenial, though our attachment is doomed not to be reciprocal. You will
not deem so meanly of me as to believe that I shall regard Mr. ---- with
the jaundiced eye of disappointed passion. God forbid! He whom you honour
with your affections becomes sacred to me. I shall love him for _your_
sake; the time may perhaps come when I shall be philosopher enough not to
envy him for _his own_.


I return to Cambridge to-morrow morning.

MISS EVANS, No. 17 Sackville Street, Piccadilly.


December 24, 1794.

I have this moment received your letter, Mary Evans. Its firmness does
honour to your understanding, its gentleness to your humanity. You
condescend to accuse yourself--most unjustly! You have been altogether
blameless. In my wildest day-dream of vanity, I never supposed that you
entertained for me any other than a common friendship.

To love you, habit has made unalterable. This passion, however, divested
as it now is of all shadow of hope, will lose its disquieting power. Far
distant from you I shall journey through the vale of men in calmness. He
cannot long be wretched, who dares be actively virtuous.

I have burnt your letters--forget mine; and that I have pained you,
forgive me!

May God infinitely love you!



December, 1794.

I am calm, dear Southey! as an autumnal day, when the sky is covered with
gray moveless clouds. To _love her_, habit has made unalterable. I had
placed her in the sanctuary of my heart, nor can she be torn from thence
but with the strings that grapple it to life. This passion, however,
divested as it now is of all shadow of hope, seems to lose its disquieting
power. Far distant, and never more to behold or hear of her, I shall
sojourn in the vale of men, sad and in loneliness, yet not unhappy. He
cannot be long wretched who dares be actively virtuous. I am well assured
that she loves me as a favourite brother. When she was present, she was to
me only as a very dear sister; it was in absence that I felt those
gnawings of suspense, and that dreaminess of mind, which evidence an
affection more restless, yet scarcely less pure than the fraternal. The
struggle has been well nigh too much for me; but, praised be the
All-Merciful! the feebleness of exhausted feelings has produced a calm,
and my heart stagnates into peace.

Southey! my ideal standard of female excellence rises not above that
woman. But all things work together for good. Had I been united to her,
the excess of my affection would have effeminated my intellect. I should
have fed on her looks as she entered into the room, I should have gazed
on her footsteps when she went out from me.

To lose her! I can rise above that selfish pang. But to marry another. O
Southey! bear with my weakness. Love makes all things pure and heavenly
like itself,--but to marry a woman whom I do _not_ love, to degrade her
whom I call my wife by making her the instrument of low desire, and on the
removal of a desultory appetite to be perhaps not displeased with her
absence! Enough! These refinements are the wildering fires that lead me
into vice. Mark you, Southey! _I will do my duty._

I have this moment received your letter. My friend, you want but one
quality of mind to be a perfect character. Your sensibilities are
tempestuous; you feel _indignation_ at weakness. Now Indignation is the
handsome brother of Anger and Hatred. His looks are “lovely in terror,”
yet still remember _who_ are his _relations_. I would ardently that you
were a necessitarian, and (believing in an all-loving Omnipotence) an
optimist. That puny imp of darkness yclept scepticism, how could it dare
to approach the hallowed fires that burn so brightly on the altar of your

Think you I wish to stay in town? I am all eagerness to leave it; and am
resolved, whatever be the consequence, to be at Bath by Saturday. I
thought of walking down.

I have written to Bristol and said I could not assign a particular time
for my leaving town. I spoke indefinitely that I might not disappoint.

I am not, I presume, to attribute some verses addressed to S. T. C., in
the “Morning Chronicle,” to you. To whom? My dear Allen! wherein has he
offended? He did never promise to form one of our party. But of all this
when we meet. Would a pistol preserve integrity? So concentrate guilt? no
very philosophical mode of preventing it. I will write of indifferent
subjects. Your sonnet,[96] “Hold your mad hands!” is a noble burst of
poetry; and--but my mind is weakened and I turn with selfishness of
thought to those wilder songs that develop my lonely feelings. Sonnets are
scarcely fit for the hard gaze of the public. I read, with heart and taste
equally delighted, your prefatory sonnet.[97] I transcribe it, not so much
to give you my corrections, as for the pleasure it gives me.

  With wayworn feet, a pilgrim woe-begone,
    Life’s upland steep I journeyed many a day,
    And hymning many a sad yet soothing lay,
  Beguiled my wandering with the charms of song.
    Lonely my heart and rugged was my way,
  Yet often plucked I, as I passed along,
  The wild and simple flowers of poesy:
    And, as beseemed the wayward Fancy’s child,
  Entwined each random weed that pleased mine eye.
    Accept the wreath, Beloved! it is wild
    And rudely garlanded; yet scorn not thou
  The humble offering, when the sad rue weaves
  With gayer flowers its intermingled leaves,
    And I have twin’d the myrtle for thy brow!

It is a lovely sonnet. Lamb likes it with tears in his eyes. His sister
has lately been very unwell, confined to her bed, dangerously. She is all
his comfort, he hers. They dote on each other. Her mind is elegantly
stored; her heart feeling. Her illness preyed a good deal on his spirits,
though he bore it with an apparent equanimity as beseemed him who, like
me, is a Unitarian Christian, and an advocate for the automatism of man.

I was writing a poem, which when finished you shall see, and wished him to
describe the character and doctrines of Jesus Christ for me; but his low
spirits prevented him. The poem is in blank verse on the Nativity. I sent
him these careless lines, which flowed from my pen extemporaneously:--

TO C. LAMB.[98]

  Thus far my sterile brain hath framed the song
  Elaborate and swelling: but the heart
  Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing power
  I ask not now, my friend! the aiding verse,
  Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious thought
  Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I know)
  Thou creepest round a dear-loved Sister’s bed
  With noiseless step, and watchest the faint look,
  Soothing each pang with fond solicitude,
  And tenderest tones, medicinal of love.
  I too a Sister had, an only Sister--
  She loved me dearly, and I doted on her!
  On her soft bosom I reposed my cares
  And gained for every wound a healing scar.
  To her I pour’d forth all my puny sorrows,
  (As a sick Patient in his Nurse’s arms),
  And of the heart those hidden maladies
  That shrink ashamed from even Friendship’s eye.
  O! I have woke at midnight and have wept
  Because she was not! Cheerily, dear Charles!
  Thou thy best friend shalt cherish many a year:
  Such high presages feel I of warm hope!
  For not uninterested, the dear Maid
  I’ve view’d--her Soul affectionate yet wise,
  Her polish’d wit as mild as lambent glories
  That play around a holy infant’s head.
  He knows (the Spirit who in secret sees,
  Of whose omniscient and all-spreading Love
  Aught to _implore_ were Impotence of mind)
  That my mute thoughts are sad before his throne,
  Prepar’d, when he his healing pay vouchsafes,
  To pour forth thanksgiving with lifted heart,
  And praise Him Gracious with a Brother’s Joy!

Wynne is indeed a noble fellow. More when we meet.









Spring, 1795.

MY DEAR SIR,--Can you conveniently lend me five pounds, as we want a
little more than four pounds to make up our lodging bill, which is indeed
much higher than we expected; seven weeks and Burnett’s lodging for twelve
weeks, amounting to eleven pounds?

  Yours affectionately,


July 31, 1795.

DEAR COTTLE,--By the thick smokes that precede the volcanic eruptions of
Etna, Vesuvius, and Hecla, I feel an impulse to fumigate, at 25 College
Street, one pair of stairs’ room; yea, with our Oronoco, and, if thou wilt
send me by the bearer four pipes, I will write a panegyrical epic poem
upon thee, with as many books as there are letters in thy name. Moreover,
if thou wilt send me “the copy-book,” I hereby bind myself, by to-morrow
morning, to write out enough copy for a sheet and a half.

God bless you.

  S. T. C.



DEAR COTTLE,--Shall I trouble you (I being over the mouth and nose, in
doing something of importance, at ----’s) to send your servant into the
market and buy a pound of bacon, and two quarts of broad beans; and when
he carries it down to College Street, to desire the maid to dress it for
dinner, and tell her I shall be home by three o’clock? Will you come and
drink tea with me? and I will endeavour to get the etc. ready for you.

  Yours affectionately,
    S. T. C.


October, 1795.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--It would argue imbecility and a latent wickedness in
myself, if for a moment I doubted concerning your purposes and final
determination. I write, because it is possible that I may suggest some
idea to you which should find a place in your answer to your uncle, and I
_write_, because in a letter I can express myself more connectedly than in

The former part of Mr. Hill’s reasonings is reducible to this. It may not
be vicious to entertain pure and virtuous sentiments; their criminality is
confined to the promulgation (if we believe democracy to be pure and
virtuous, to us it is so). Southey! Pantisocracy is not the question: its
realization is distant--perhaps a miraculous millennium. What you have
seen, or think that you have seen of the human heart, may render the
formation even of a pantisocratic _seminary_ improbable to you, but this
is not the question. Were £300 a year offered to you as a man of the
world, as one indifferent to absolute equality, but still on the
supposition that you were commonly honest, I suppose it possible that
doubts might arise; your mother, your brother, your Edith, would all
crowd upon you, and certain misery might be weighed against distant, and
perhaps unattainable happiness. But the point is, whether or no you can
_perjure_ yourself. There are men who hold the necessity and moral
optimism of our religious establishment. Its peculiar dogmas they may
disapprove, but of innovation they see dreadful and unhealable
consequence; and they will not quit the Church for a few follies and
absurdities, any more than for the same reason they would desert a valued
friend. Such men I do not condemn. Whatever I may deem of their reasoning,
their hearts and consciences I include not in the anathema. But you
disapprove of an establishment altogether; you believe it iniquitous, a
mother of crimes. It is impossible that _you_ could uphold it by assuming
the badge of affiliation.

My prospects are not bright, but to the eye of reason as bright as when we
first formed our plan; nor is there any opposite inducement offered, of
which you were not then apprized, or had cause to expect. Domestic
happiness is the greatest of things sublunary, and of things celestial it
is impossible, perhaps, for unassisted man to believe anything greater;
but it is not strange that those things, which, in a pure form of society,
will constitute our first blessings, should in its present morbid state be
our most perilous temptations. “He that doth not love mother or wife less
than me, is not worthy of me!”

This have I written, Southey, altogether disinterestedly. Your desertion
or adhesion will in no wise affect my feelings, opinions, or conduct, and
in a very inconsiderable degree my fortunes! That Being who is “in will,
in deed, Impulse of all to all,” whichever be your determination, will
make it ultimately the best.

God love you, my dear Southey!



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 Buclé. 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.



Friday morning, November 13, 1795.

Southey, I _have_ lost friends--friends who still cherish for me
sentiments of high esteem and unextinguished tenderness. For the sum total
of my misbehaviour, the Alpha and Omega of their accusations, is
epistolary neglect. I never speak of them without affection, I never think
of them without reverence. Not “to this catalogue,” Southey, have I “added
_your_ name.” You are _lost_ to _me_, because you are lost to Virtue. As
this will probably be the last time I shall have occasion to address you,
I will begin at the beginning and regularly retrace your conduct and my
own. In the month of June, 1794, I first became acquainted with your
person and character. Before I quitted Oxford, we had struck out the
leading features of a pantisocracy. While on my journey through Wales you
invited me to Bristol with the full hopes of realising it. During my abode
at Bristol the plan was matured, and I returned to Cambridge hot in the
anticipation of that happy season when we should remove the _selfish_
principle from ourselves, and prevent it in our children, by an abolition
of property; or, in whatever respects this might be impracticable, by such
similarity of property as would amount to a _moral_ sameness, and answer
all the purposes of _abolition_. Nor were you less zealous, and thought
and expressed your opinion, that if any man embraced our system he must
comparatively disregard “his father and mother and wife and children and
brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, or he could not be our
disciple.” In one of your letters, alluding to your mother’s low spirits
and situation, you tell me that “I cannot suppose any _individual_
feelings will have an undue weight with you,” and in the same letter you
observe (alas! your recent conduct has made it a prophecy!), “God forbid
that the _ebullience_ of _schematism_ should be over. It is the Promethean
fire that animates my soul, and when _that_ is gone _all will be
darkness_. I have _devoted_ myself!”

Previously to my departure from Jesus College, and during my melancholy
detention in London, what convulsive struggles of feeling I underwent, and
what sacrifices I made, you know. The liberal proposal from my family
affected me no further than as it pained me to wound a revered brother by
the positive and immediate refusal which duty compelled me to return. But
there was a--I need not be particular; you remember what a fetter I burst,
and that it snapt as if it had been a sinew of my heart. However, I
returned to Bristol, and my addresses to Sara, which I at first paid from
principle, not feeling, from feeling and from principle I renewed; and I
met a reward more than proportionate to the greatness of the effort. I
love and I am beloved, and I am happy!

Your letter to Lovell (two or three days after my arrival at Bristol), in
answer to some objections of mine to the Welsh scheme, was the first thing
that alarmed me. Instead of “It is our duty,” “Such and such are the
reasons,” it was “I and I” and “will and will,”--sentences of gloomy and
self-centering resolve. I wrote you a friendly reproof, and in my own mind
attributed this unwonted style to your earnest desires of realising our
plan, and the angry pain which you felt when any appeared to oppose or
defer its execution. However, I came over to your opinions of the utility,
and, in course, the duty of rehearsing our scheme in Wales, and, so,
rejected the offer of being established in the Earl of Buchan’s family. To
this period of our connection I call your more particular attention and
remembrance, as I shall revert to it at the close of my letter.

We commenced lecturing. Shortly after, you began to recede in your
conversation from those broad principles in which pantisocracy originated.
I opposed you with vehemence, for I well knew that no notion of morality
or its motives could be without consequences. And once (it was just before
we went to bed) you confessed to me that you had acted wrong. But you
relapsed; your manner became cold and gloomy, and pleaded with increased
pertinacity for the wisdom of making Self an undiverging Center. At Mr.
Jardine’s[100] your language was _strong indeed_. Recollect it. You had
left the table, and we were standing at the window. Then darted into my
mind the dread that you were meditating a separation. At _Chepstow_[101]
your conduct renewed my suspicion, and I was greatly agitated, even to
many tears. But in Peircefield Walks[102] you assured me that my
suspicions were altogether unfounded, that our differences were merely
speculative, and that you would certainly go into Wales. I was glad and
satisfied. For my heart was never bent from you but by violent strength,
and heaven knows how it leapt back to esteem and love you. But alas! a
short time passed ere your departure from our first principles became too
flagrant. Remember when we went to Ashton[103] on the strawberry party.
Your conversation with George Burnett on the day following he detailed to
me. It scorched my throat. Your private resources were to remain your
individual property, and everything to be separate except a farm of five
or six acres. In short, we were to commence partners in a petty farming
trade. This was the mouse of which the mountain Pantisocracy was at last
safely delivered. I received the account with indignation and loathings of
unutterable contempt. Such opinions were indeed unassailable,--the javelin
of argument and the arrows of ridicule would have been equally misapplied;
a straw would have wounded them mortally. I did not condescend to waste my
intellect upon them; but in the most express terms I declared to George
Burnett my opinion (and, Southey, next to my own existence, there is
scarce any fact of which at this moment I entertain less doubt), to
Burnett I declared it to be my opinion “_that you had long laid a plot_ of
separation, and were now developing it by proposing such a vile mutilation
of our scheme as you must have been conscious I should reject decisively
and with scorn.” George Burnett was your most affectionate friend; I knew
his unbounded veneration for you, his personal attachment; I knew likewise
his gentle dislike of _me_. Yet him I bade be the judge. I bade him choose
his associate. I would adopt the full system or depart. George, I presume,
detailed of this my conversation what part he chose; from him, however, I
received your sentiments, viz.: that you would go into Wales, or what
place I liked. Thus your system of prudentials and your apostasy were not
sudden; these constant nibblings had sloped your descent from virtue. “You
received your uncle’s letter,” I said--“what answer have you returned?”
For to think with almost superstitious veneration of you had been such a
deep-rooted habit of my soul that even then I did not dream you could
hesitate concerning so infamous a proposal. “None,” you replied, “nor do I
know what answer I shall return.” You went to bed. George sat
half-petrified, gaping at the pigmy virtue of his supposed giant. I
performed the office of still-struggling friendship by writing you my free
sentiments concerning the enormous guilt of that which your uncle’s
doughty sophistry recommended.

On the next morning I walked with you towards Bath; again I insisted on
its criminality. You told me that you had “little notion of guilt,” and
that “you had a pretty sort of lullaby faith of your own.” Finding you
invulnerable in conscience, for the sake of mankind I did not, however,
quit the field, but pressed you on the difficulties of your system. Your
uncle’s intimacy with the bishop, and the hush in which you would lie for
the two years previous to your ordination, were the arguments (variously
urged in a long and desultory conversation) by which you solved those
difficulties. “But your ‘Joan of Arc’--the sentiments in it are of the
boldest order. What if the suspicions of the Bishop be raised, and he
particularly questions you concerning your opinions of the Trinity and
the Redemption?” “Oh,” you replied, “I am pretty well up to their jargon,
and shall answer them accordingly.” In fine, you left me fully persuaded
that you would enter into Holy Orders. And, after a week’s interval or
more, you desired George Burnett to act independently of you, and _gave
him an invitation to Oxford_. Of course, we both concluded that the matter
was absolutely determined. Southey! I am not besotted that I should not
know, nor hypocrite enough not to tell you, that you were diverted from
being a Priest only by the weight of infamy which you perceived coming
towards you like a rush of waters.

Then with good reason I considered you as one _fallen back into the
ranks_; as a man admirable for his abilities only, strict, indeed, in the
lesser honesties, but, like the majority of men, unable to resist a strong
temptation. _Friend_ is a very sacred appellation. You were become an
_acquaintance_, yet one for whom I felt no common tenderness. I could not
forget what you had been. Your sun was set; your sky was clouded; but
those clouds and that sky were yet tinged with the recent sun. As I
considered you, so I treated you. I studiously avoided all particular
subjects. I acquainted you with nothing relative to myself. Literary
topics engrossed our conversation. You were too quick-sighted not to
perceive it. I received a letter from you. “You have withdrawn your
confidence from me, Coleridge. Preserving still the face of friendship
when we meet, you yet avoid me and carry on your plans in secrecy.” If by
“the face of friendship” you meant that kindliness which I show to all
because I feel it for all, your statement was perfectly accurate. If you
meant more, you contradict yourself; for you evidently perceived from my
manners that you were a “weight upon me” in company--an intruder, unwished
and unwelcome. I pained you by “cold civility, the shadow which friendship
leaves behind him.” Since that letter I altered my conduct no otherwise
than by avoiding you more. I still generalised, and spoke not of myself,
except my proposed literary works. In short, I spoke to you as I should
have done to any other man of genius who had happened to be my
_acquaintance_. Without the farce and tumult of a rupture I wished you to
sink into that class. “Face to face you never changed your manners to me.”
And yet I pained you by “cold civility.” Egregious contradiction!
Doubtless I always treated you with urbanity, and meant to do so; but I
_locked up_ my heart from you, and you perceived it, and I intended you to
perceive it. “I planned works in conjunction with you.” Most certainly;
the _magazine_ which, long before this, you had planned equally with me,
and, if it had been carried into execution, would of course have returned
you a third share of the profits. What had you done that should make you
an unfit literary associate to me? Nothing. My opinion of you as a _man_
was altered, not as a writer. Our Muses had not quarrelled. I should have
read your poetry with equal delight, and corrected it with equal zeal if
correction it needed. “I received you on my return from Shurton with my
usual shake of the hand.” You gave me your hand, and dreadful must have
been my feelings if I had refused to take it. Indeed, so long had I known
you, so highly venerated, so dearly loved you, that my hand would have
taken yours _mechanically_. But is shaking the hand a mark of
_friendship_? Heaven forbid! I should then be a hypocrite many days in the
week. It is assuredly the pledge of acquaintance, and nothing more. But
after this did I not with most scrupulous care avoid you? You know I did.

In your former letters you say that I made use of these words to you: “You
will be retrograde that you may spring the farther forward.” You have
misquoted, Southey! You had talked of rejoining pantisocracy in about
fourteen years. I exploded this probability, but as I saw you determined
to leave it, hoped and wished it might be so--_hoped_ that we might run
backwards only to leap forward. Not to mention that during that
conversation I had taken the weight and pressing urgency of your motives
as truths granted; but when, on examination, I found them a show and
mockery of unreal things, doubtless, my opinion of you _must_ have become
far less respectful. You quoted likewise the last sentence of my letter to
you, as a proof that I approved of your design; you _knew_ that sentence
to imply no more than the pious confidence of optimism--however wickedly
you might act, God would make it _ultimately_ the best. You _knew_ this
was the meaning of it--I could find twenty parallel passages in the
lectures. Indeed, such expressions applied to bad actions had become a
habit of my conversation. You had named, not unwittingly, Dr. Pangloss.
And Heaven forbid that I should not now have faith that however foul your
stream may run here, yet that it will filtrate and become pure in its
subterraneous passage to the Ocean of Universal Redemption.

Thus far had I written when the necessities of literary occupation crowded
upon me, and I met you in Redcliff, and, unsaluted and unsaluting, passed
by the man to whom for almost a year I had told my last thoughts when I
closed my eyes, and the first when I awoke. But “ere this I have felt

I shall proceed to answer your letters, and first excriminate myself, and
then examine your conduct. You charge me with having industriously
trumpeted your uncle’s letter. When I mentioned my intended journey to
Clevedon with Burnett, and was asked by my immediate friends why _you_
were not with us, should I have been silent and implied something
mysterious, or have told an open untruth and made myself your accomplice?
I could do neither; I answered that you were quite undetermined, but had
some thoughts of returning to Oxford. To Danvers, indeed, and to Cottle I
spoke more particularly, for I knew their prudence and their love for
you--and my heart was very full. But to Mrs. Morgan I did not mention it.
She met me in the streets, and said: “So! Southey is going into the
Church! ’Tis all concluded, ’tis in vain to deny it!” I answered: “You are
mistaken; you must contradict; Southey has received a splendid offer, but
he has not determined.” This, I have some faint recollection, was my
answer, but of this particular conversation my recollection is very faint.
By what means she received the intelligence I know not; probably from Mrs.
Richardson, who might have been told it by Mr. Wade. A considerable time
after, the subject was renewed at Mrs. Morgan’s, Burnett and my Sara being
present. Mrs. M. told me that you had asserted to her, that with regard to
the Church you had barely hesitated, that you might consider your uncle’s
arguments, that you had given up no one principle--and that _I_ was more
your friend than ever. I own I was roused to an agony of passion; nor was
George Burnett undisturbed. Whatever I said that afternoon (and since that
time I have but often repeated what I said, in gentler language) George
Burnett did give his _decided Amen_ to. And I said, Southey, that you had
given up every principle--that confessedly you were going into the law,
more opposite to your avowed principles, if possible, than even the
Church--and that I had in my pocket a letter in which you charged me with
having withdrawn my friendship; and as to your barely hesitating about
your uncle’s proposal, I was obliged in my own defence to relate all that
passed between us, all on which I had founded a conviction so directly

I have, you say, distorted your conversation by “gross misrepresentation
and wicked and calumnious falsehoods. It has been told me by Mrs. Morgan
that I said: ‘I have seen my error! I have been drunk with principle!’”
Just over the bridge, at the bottom of the High Street, returning one
night from Redcliff Hill, in answer to my pressing contrast of your then
opinions of the selfish kind with what you had formerly professed, you
said: “I was intoxicated with the novelty of a system!” That you said, “I
have seen my error,” I never asserted. It is doubtless implied in the
sentence which you did say, but I never charged it to you as your
expression. As to your reserving bank bills, etc., to yourself, the charge
would have been so palpable a lie that I must have been madman as well as
villain to have been guilty of it. If I had, George Burnett and Sara would
have contradicted it. I said that your conduct in little things had
appeared to me tinged with selfishness, and George Burnett attributed, and
still does attribute, your defection to your unwillingness to share your
expected annuity with us. As to the long catalogue of other lies, they not
being particularised, I, of course, can say nothing about them. Tales may
have been fetched and carried with embellishments calculated to improve
them in everything but the truth. I spoke “the plain and simple truth”

And now for your conduct and motives. My hand trembles when I think what a
series of falsehood and duplicity I am about to bring before the
conscience of a man who has dared to write me that “his conduct has been
uniformly open.” I must revert to your first letter, and here you say:--

“The plan you are going upon is not of sufficient importance to justify me
to myself in abandoning a family, who have none to support them but me.”
The plan _you_ are going upon! What plan was I meditating, save to retire
into the country with George Burnett and yourself, and taking by degrees a
small farm, there be _learning_ to get my own bread by my bodily
labour--and then to have all things in common--thus disciplining my body
and mind for the successful practice of the same thing in America with
more numerous associates? And even if this should never be the case,
ourselves and our children would form a society sufficiently large. And
was not this your own plan--the plan for the realising of which you
invited me to Bristol; the plan for which I abandoned my friends, and
every prospect, and every certainty, and the woman whom I loved to an
excess which you in your warmest dream of fancy could never shadow out?
When I returned from London, when you deemed pantisocracy a _duty_--duty
unaltered by numbers--when you said, that, if others left it, you and
George Burnett and your brother would stand firm to the post of
virtue--what then were our circumstances? Saving Lovell, our number was
the same, yourself and Burnett and I. Our _prospects_ were only an
uncertain hope of getting thirty shillings a week between us by writing
for some London paper--for the remainder we were to rely on our
agricultural exertions. And as to your family you stood precisely in the
same situation as you now stand. You meant to take your mother with you,
and your brother. And where, indeed, would have been the difficulty? She
would have earned her maintenance by her management and
savings--considering the matter even in this cold-hearted way. But when
you broke from us our prospects were brightening; by the magazine or by
poetry we might and should have got ten guineas a month.

But if you are acting right, I should be acting right in imitating you.
What, then, would George Burnett do--he “whom you seduced

  “With other promises and other vaunts
   Than to repent, boasting _you_ could subdue

He cannot go into the Church, for you did “give him principles”! and I
wish that you had indeed “learnt from him how infinitely more to be valued
is integrity of heart than effulgence of intellect.” Nor can he go into
the law, for the same _principles_ declare against it, and he is not
calculated for it. And his father will not support any expense of
consequence relative to his further education--for Law or Physic he could
not take his degree in, or be called to, without sinking of many hundred
pounds. What, Southey, was George Burnett to do?

Then, even if you had persisted in your design of taking Orders, your
motives would have been weak and shadowy and vile; but when you changed
your ground for the Law they were annihilated. No man dreams of getting
bread in the Law, till six or eight years after his first entrance at the
Temple. And how very few even then? Before this time your brothers would
have been put out, and the money which you must of necessity have sunk in
a wicked profession would have given your brother an education, and
provided a premium fit for the first compting-house in the world. But I
hear that you have again changed your ground. You do not now mean to study
the Law, but to maintain yourself by your writings and on your promised
annuity, which, you told Mrs. Morgan, would be more than a hundred a year.
Could you not have done the same with _us_? I neither have nor could deign
to have a hundred a year. Yet by my own exertions I will struggle hard to
maintain myself, and my wife, and my wife’s mother and my associate. Or
what if you dedicated this hundred a year to your family? Would you not be
precisely as I am? Is not George Burnett accurate when he undoubtedly
ascribes your conduct to an unparticipating propensity--to a total want of
the boasted _flocci-nauci-nihili-pilificating_ sense? O selfish,
money-loving man! What principle have you not given up? Though death had
been the consequence, I would have spat in that man’s face and called him
liar, who should have spoken that last sentence concerning _you_ nine
months ago. For blindly did I esteem you. O God! that _such a mind_ should
fall in love with that low, dirty, gutter-grubbing trull, _Worldly

Curse on all _pride_! ’Tis a harlot that buckrams herself up in virtue
only that she may fetch a higher price. ’Tis a rock where virtue may be
planted, but cannot strike root.

Last of all, perceiving that your motives vanished at the first ray of
examination, and that those accounts of your mother and family which had
drawn easy tears down wrinkled cheeks had no effect on keener minds, your
last resource has been to calumniate me. If there be in nature a situation
perilous to honesty, it is this, when a man has not heart to _be_, yet
lusts to _seem_ virtuous. My _indolence_ you assigned to Lovell as the
reason for your quitting pantisocracy. Supposing it true, it might indeed
be a reason for rejecting _me_ from the system. But how does this affect
pantisocracy, that you should reject _it_? And what has Burnett done, that
he should not be a worthy associate? He who leaned on you with all his
head and with all his heart; he who gave his all for pantisocracy, and
expected that pantisocracy would be at least bread and cheese to him. But
neither is the charge a true one. My own lectures I wrote for myself,
eleven in number, excepting a very few pages which most reluctantly you
eked out for me. And such pages! I would not have suffered them to have
stood in a lecture of yours. To _your_ lectures I dedicated my whole mind
and heart, and wrote one half in _quantity_; but in quality you must be
conscious that all the _tug_ of brain was mine, and that your share was
little more than transcription. I wrote with vast exertion of all my
intellect the parts in the “Joan of Arc,” and I corrected that and other
poems with greater interest than I should have felt for my own. Then my
own poems, and the recomposing of my lectures, besides a sermon, and the
correction of some poems for a friend. I could have written them in half
the time and with less expense of thought. I write not these things
boastfully, but to excriminate myself. The truth is, you sat down and
wrote; I used to saunter about and think what I should write. And we ought
to appreciate our comparative industry by the quantum of mental exertion,
not the particular mode of it--by the number of thoughts collected, not by
the number of lines through which these thoughts are diffused. But I will
suppose myself guilty of the charge. How would an honest man have reasoned
in your letter and how acted? Thus: “Here is a man who has abandoned all
for what I believe to be virtue. But he professed himself an imperfect
being when he offered himself an associate to me. He confessed that all
his valuable qualities were ‘sloth-jaundiced,’ and in his letters is a
bitter self-accuser. This man did not deceive me. I accepted of him in the
hopes of curing him, but I half despair of it. How shall I act? I will
tell him fully and firmly, that much as I love him I love pantisocracy
more, and if in a certain time I do not see this disqualifying propensity
subdued, I must and will reject him.” Such would have been an honest man’s
reasoning, such his conduct. Did _you_ act so? Did you even mention to me,
“face to face,” my indolence as a motive for your recent conduct? Did you
ever mention it in Peircefield Walks? and some time after, that night when
you scattered some heart-chilling sentiments, and in great agitation I did
ask you _solemnly_ whether you disapproved of anything in _my_ conduct,
and you answered, “Nothing. I like you better now than at the commencement
of our friendship!” an answer which so startled Sara, that she affronted
you into angry silence by exclaiming, “What a story!” George Burnett, I
believe, was present. This happened after all our lectures, after every
one of those proofs of indolence on which you must found your charge. A
charge which with what indignation did you receive when brought against me
by Lovell! Yet _then_ there was some shew for it. I _had_ been criminally
indolent. But since then I have exerted myself more than I could have
supposed myself capable. Enough! I heard for the first time on Thursday
that you were to set off for Lisbon on Saturday morning. It gives me great
pain on many accounts, but principally that those moments which should be
sacred to your affections may be disturbed by this long letter.

Southey, as far as happiness will be conducive to your virtue, which alone
is final happiness, may you possess it! You have left a large void in my
heart. I know no man big enough to fill it. Others I may love equally, and
esteem equally, and some perhaps I may admire as much. But never do I
expect to meet another man, who will make me unite attachment for his
person with reverence for his heart and admiration of his genius. I did
not only venerate you for your own virtues, I prized you as the
sheet-anchor of mine; and even as a poet my vanity knew no keener
gratification than your praise. But these things are passed by like as
when a hungry man dreams, and lo! he feasteth, but he awakes and his soul
is empty.

May God Almighty bless and preserve you! and may you live to know and feel
and acknowledge that unless we accustom ourselves to meditate adoringly on
Him, the source of all virtue, no virtue can be permanent.

Be assured that G. Burnett still loves you better than he can love any
other man, and Sara would have you accept her love and blessing; accept it
as the future husband of her best loved sister. Farewell!



NOTTINGHAM, Wednesday morning, January 27, 1796.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--You will perceive by this letter that I have changed my
route. From Birmingham, which I quitted on Friday last (four o’clock in
the morning), I proceeded to Derby, stayed there till Monday morning, and
am now at Nottingham. From Nottingham I go to Sheffield; from Sheffield to
Manchester; from Manchester to Liverpool; from Liverpool to London; from
London to Bristol. Ah, what a weary way! My poor crazy ark has been tossed
to and fro on an ocean of business, and I long for the Mount Ararat on
which it is to rest. At Birmingham I was extremely unwell.... Business
succeeded very well there; about an hundred subscribers, I think. At Derby
tolerably well. Mr. Strutt (the successor to Sir Richard Arkwright) tells
me I may count on forty or fifty in Derby and round about.

Derby is full of curiosities, the cotton, the silk mills, Wright,[105] the
painter, and Dr. Darwin, the everything, except the Christian![106] Dr.
Darwin possesses, perhaps, a greater range of knowledge than any other man
in Europe, and is the most inventive of philosophical men. He thinks in a
_new_ train on all subjects except religion. He bantered me on the subject
of religion. I heard all his arguments, and told him that it was
infinitely consoling to me, to find that the arguments which so great a
man adduced against the existence of a God and the evidences of revealed
religion were such as had startled me at fifteen, but had become the
objects of my smile at twenty. Not one new objection--not even an
ingenious one. He boasted that he had never read one book in defence of
_such stuff_, but he had read all the works of infidels! What should you
think, Mr. Wade, of a man, who, having abused and ridiculed you, should
openly declare that he had heard all that your _enemies_ had to say
against you, but had scorned to enquire the truth from any of your own
friends? Would you think him an honest man? I am sure you would not. Yet
of such are all the infidels with whom I have met. They talk of a subject
infinitely important, yet are proud to confess themselves profoundly
ignorant of it. Dr. Darwin would have been ashamed to have rejected
Hutton’s theory of the earth[107] without having minutely examined it; yet
what is it to us _how_ the earth was made, a thing impossible to be known,
and useless if known? This system the doctor did not reject without having
severely studied it; but _all at once he makes up his mind_ on such
important subjects, as whether we be the outcasts of a blind idiot called
Nature, or the children of an all-wise and infinitely good God; whether we
spend a few miserable years on this earth, and then sink into a clod of
the valley, or only endure the anxieties of mortal life in order to fit us
for the enjoyment of immortal happiness. These subjects are unworthy a
philosopher’s investigation. He deems that there is a certain
_self-evidence_ in infidelity, and becomes an atheist by intuition. Well
did St. Paul say: “Ye have an evil _heart_ of unbelief.” I had an
introductory letter from Mr. Strutt to a Mr. Fellowes of Nottingham. On
Monday evening when I arrived I found there was a public dinner in honour
of Mr. Fox’s birthday, and that Mr. Fellowes was present. It was a piece
of famous good luck, and I seized it, waited on Mr. Fellowes, and was
introduced to the company. On the right hand of the president whom should
I see but an old College acquaintance? He hallooed out: “_Coleridge, by
God!_” Mr. Wright, the president of the day, was his relation--a man of
immense fortune. I dined at his house yesterday, and underwent the
intolerable slavery of a dinner of three courses. We sat down at four
o’clock, and it was six before the cloth was removed.

What lovely children Mr. Barr at Worcester has! After church, in the
evening, they sat round and sang hymns so sweetly that they overwhelmed
me. It was with great difficulty I abstained from weeping aloud--and the
infant in Mrs. Barr’s arms leaned forwards, and stretched his little arms,
and stared and smiled. It seemed a picture of Heaven, where the different
orders of the blessed join different voices in one melodious allelujah;
and the baby looked like a young spirit just that moment arrived in
Heaven, startling at the seraphic songs, and seized at once with wonder
and rapture.

My kindest remembrances to Mrs. Wade, and believe me, with gratitude and
unfeigned friendship, your



REDCLIFF HILL, February 22, 1796.

MY DEAR SIR,--It is my duty and business to thank God for all his
dispensations, and to believe them the best possible; but, indeed, I think
I should have been more thankful, if he had made me a journeyman
shoemaker, instead of an author by trade. I have left my friends; I have
left plenty; I have left that ease which would have secured a literary
immortality, and have enabled me to give the public works conceived in
moments of inspiration, and polished with leisurely solicitude; and alas!
for what have I left them? for ---- who deserted me in the hour of
distress, and for a scheme of virtue impracticable and romantic! So I am
forced to write for bread; write the flights of poetic enthusiasm, when
every minute I am hearing a groan from my wife. Groans, and complaints,
and sickness! The present hour I am in a quick-set hedge of embarrassment,
and whichever way I turn a thorn runs into me! The future is cloud and
thick darkness! Poverty, perhaps, and the thin faces of them that want
bread, looking up to me! Nor is this all. My happiest moments for
composition are broken in upon by the reflection that I must make haste. I
am too late! I am already months behind! I have received my pay
beforehand! Oh, wayward and desultory spirit of genius! Ill canst thou
brook a taskmaster! The tenderest touch from the hand of obligation wounds
thee like a scourge of scorpions.

I have been composing in the fields this morning, and came home to write
down the first rude sheet of my preface, when I heard that your man had
brought a note from you. I have not seen it, but I guess its contents. I
am writing as fast as I can. Depend on it you shall not be out of pocket
for me! I feel what I owe you, and independently of this I love you as a
friend; indeed, so much, that I regret, seriously regret, that you have
been my copyholder.

If I have written petulantly, forgive me. God knows I am sore all over.
God bless you, and believe me that, setting gratitude aside, I love and
esteem you, and have your interest at heart full as much as my own.



March 30, 1796.

MY DEAR POOLE,--For the neglect in the transmission of “The Watchman,” you
must blame George Burnett, who undertook the business. I however will
myself see it sent this week with the preceding numbers. I am greatly
obliged to you for your communication (on the Slave Trade in No. V.); it
appears in this number, and I am anxious to receive more from you, and
likewise to know what you _dislike_ in “The Watchman,” and what you like;
but particularly the former. You have not given me your opinion of “The
Plot Discovered.”[108]

Since last you saw me I have been well nigh distracted. The repeated and
most injurious blunders of my printer out-of-doors, and Mrs. Coleridge’s
increasing danger at home, added to the gloomy prospect of so many mouths
to open and shut like puppets, as I move the string in the eating and
drinking way--but why complain to you? Misery is an article with which
every market is so glutted, that it can answer no one’s purpose to export
it. _Alas! Alas! oh! ah! oh! oh!_ etc.

I have received many abusive letters, post-paid, thanks to the friendly
malignants! But I am perfectly callous to disapprobation, except when it
tends to lessen profit. There, indeed, I am all one tremble of
sensibility, marriage having taught me the wonderful uses of that vulgar
commodity, yclept _bread_. “The Watchman” succeeds so as to yield a
_bread-and-cheesish_ profit. Mrs. Coleridge is recovering apace, and
deeply regrets that she was deprived of seeing [you]. We are in our new
house, where there is a bed at your service whenever you will please to
delight us with a visit. Surely in spring you might force a few days into
a sojourning with me.

Dear Poole, you have borne yourself towards me most kindly with respect to
my epistolary ingratitude. But I know that you forbade yourself to feel
resentment towards me because you had previously made my neglect
ingratitude. A generous temper endures a great deal from one whom it has
obliged deeply.

My poems are finished. I will send you two copies the moment they are
published. In the third number of “The Watchman” there are a few lines
entitled “The Hour when we shall meet again,” “_Dim hour that sleeps on
pillowy clouds afar_,” which I think you will like. I have received two or
three letters from different _anonymi_, requesting me to give more poetry.
One of them writes:--

“Sir! I detest your principles; your prose I think very so-so; but your
poetry is so _exquisitely_ beautiful, so _gorgeously_ sublime, that I take
in your ‘Watchman’ solely on account of it. In justice therefore to me and
some others of my stamp, I intreat you to give us more verse and less
democratic scurrility. Your admirer,--not esteemer.”

Have you read over Dr. Lardner on the Logos? It is, I think, scarcely
possible to read it and not be convinced.

I find that “The Watchman” comes more easy to me, so that I shall begin
about my Christian Lectures. I will immediately order for you, unless you
immediately countermand it, Count Rumford’s Essays; in No. V. of “The
Watchman” you will see why. I have enclosed Dr. Beddoes’s late pamphlets,
neither of them as yet published. The doctor sent them to me. I can get no
one but the doctor to agree with me in my opinion that Burke’s “Letter to
a Noble Lord”[109] is as contemptible in style as in matter--it is sad

My dutiful love to your excellent mother, whom, believe me, I think of
frequently and with a pang of affection. God bless you. I’ll try and
venture to scribble a line and a half every time the man goes with “The
Watchman” to you.

N. B. The “Essay on Fasting”[110] I am ashamed of; but it is one of my
misfortunes that I am obliged to publish _extempore_ as well as compose.
God bless you,

  and S. T. COLERIDGE.


12th May, 1796.

Poole! The Spirit, who counts the throbbings of the solitary heart, knows
that what my feelings ought to be, such they are. If it were in my power
to give you anything which I have not already given, I should be oppressed
by the letter now before me.[111] But no! I feel myself rich in being
poor; and because I have nothing to bestow, I know how much I have
bestowed. Perhaps I shall not make myself intelligible; but the strong and
unmixed affection which I bear to you seems to exclude all emotions of
gratitude, and renders even the principle of esteem latent and inert. Its
presence is not perceptible, though its absence could not be endured.

Concerning the scheme itself, I am undetermined. Not that I am ashamed to
receive--God forbid! I will make every possible exertion; my industry
shall be at least commensurate with my learning and talents;--if these do
not procure for me and mine the necessary comforts of life, I can receive
as I would bestow, and, in either case--receiving or bestowing--be equally
grateful to my Almighty Benefactor. I am undetermined, therefore--not
because I receive with pain and reluctance, but--because I suspect that
you attribute to others your own enthusiasm of benevolence; as if the sun
should say, “With how rich a purple those opposite windows are burning!”
But with God’s permission I shall talk with you on this subject. By the
last page of No. X. you will perceive that I have this day dropped “The
Watchman.” On Monday morning I will go _per_ caravan to Bridgewater,
where, if you have a horse of tolerable meekness unemployed, you will let
him meet me.

I should blame you for the exaggerated terms in which you have spoken of
me in the Proposal, did I not perceive the motive. You wished to make it
appear an offering--not a favour--and in excess of delicacy have, I fear,
fallen into some grossness of flattery.

God bless you, my dear, very dear Friend. The widow[112] is calm, and
amused with her beautiful infant. We are all become more religious than we
were. God be ever praised for all things! Mrs. Coleridge begs her kind
love to you. To your dear mother my filial respects.



May 13, 1796.

MY DEAR THELWALL,--You have given me the affection of a brother, and I
repay you in kind. Your letters demand my friendship and deserve my
esteem; the zeal with which you have attacked my supposed _delusions_
proves that you are deeply interested for _me_, and interested even to
agitation for what you believe to be _truth_. You deem that I have treated
“systems and opinions with the furious prejudices of the conventicle, and
the illiberal dogmatism of the cynic;” that I have “layed about me on this
side and on that with the sledge hammer of abuse.” I have, you think,
imitated the “old sect in politics and morals” in their “outrageous
violence,” and have sunk into the “clownish fierceness of intolerant
prejudice.” I have “branded” the presumptuous children of scepticism “with
vile epithets and hunted them down with abuse.” “_These be hard words,
Citizen! and I will be bold to say they are not to be justified_” by the
unfortunate page which has occasioned them. The only passage in it which
appears _offensive_ (I am not now inquiring concerning the truth or
falsehood of this or the remaining passages) is the following: “You have
studied Mr. G.’s Essay on Politi[cal] Jus[tice]--but to think filial
affection folly, gratitude a crime, marriage injustice, and the
promiscuous intercourse of the sexes right and wise, may class you among
the despisers of vulgar prejudices, but cannot increase the probability
that you are a _patriot_. But you act up to your principles--so much the
worse. Your principles are villainous ones. I would not entrust my wife or
sister to you; think you I would entrust my country?” My dear Thelwall!
how are these opinions connected with the conventicle more than with the
Stoa, the Lyceum, or the grove of Academus? I do not perceive that to
attack _adultery_ is more characteristic of _Christian_ prejudices than of
the prejudices of the disciples of Aristotle, Zeno, or Socrates. In truth,
the offensive sentence, “Your principles are villainous,” was suggested by
the Peripatetic Sage who divides bad men into two classes. The first he
calls “wet or intemperate sinners”--men who are hurried into vice by their
appetites, but _acknowledge_ their actions to be vicious; these are
reclaimable. The second class he names _dry_ villains--men who are not
only vicious but who (the steams from the polluted heart rising up and
gathering round the head) have brought themselves and others to believe
that _vice_ is _virtue_. We mean these men when we say men of bad
_principles_--_guilt_ is out of the question. I am a necessarian, and of
course deny the possibility of it. However, a letter is not the place for
reasoning. In some form or other, or by some channel or other, I shall
publish my critique on the New Philosophy, and, I trust, shall demean
myself not _ungently_, and disappoint your auguries.... “But, you cannot
be a patriot unless you are a Christian.” Yes, Thelwall, the disciples of
Lord Shaftesbury and Rousseau as well as of Jesus--but the man who
suffers not his hopes to wander beyond the objects of sense will in
general be _sensual_, and I again assert that a sensualist is not likely
to be a patriot. Have I tried these opinions by the double test of
argument and example? I _think_ so. The first would be too large a field,
the second some following sentences of your letter forced me to....
_Gerrald_[113] you insinuate is an _atheist_. Was he so, when he offered
those solemn prayers to God Almighty at the Scotch conventicle, and was
this sincerity? But Dr. Darwin and (I suppose from his actions) Gerrald
think sincerity a folly and therefore vicious. Your atheistic brethren
square their moral systems exactly according to their inclinations.
Gerrald and Dr. Darwin are polite and good-natured men, and willing to
attain at good by attainable roads. They deem insincerity a necessary
virtue in the present imperfect state of our nature. Godwin, whose very
heart is cankered by the love of singularity, and who feels no
disinclination to wound by abrupt harshness, pleads for absolute
sincerity, because such a system gives him a frequent opportunity of
indulging his misanthropy. Poor Williams,[114] the Welsh bard (a very meek
man), brought the tear into my eye by a simple narration of the manner in
which Godwin insulted him under the pretence of reproof, and Thomas Walker
of Manchester told me that his indignation and contempt were never more
powerfully excited than by an unfeeling and insolent speech of the said
Godwin to the poor Welsh bard. Scott told me some shocking stories of
Godwin. His base and anonymous attack on you is enough for me. At that
time I had prepared a letter to him, which I was about to have sent to the
“Morning Chronicle,” and I convinced Dr. Beddoes by passages from the
“Tribune” of the calumnious nature of the attack. I was once and only once
in company with Godwin. He appeared to me to possess neither the strength
of intellect that discovers truth, nor the powers of imagination that
decorate falsehood; he talked sophisms in jejune language. I like Holcroft
a thousand times better, and think him a man of much greater ability.
Fierce, hot, petulant, the very high priest of atheism, he hates God “with
all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, and with all his
strength.” Every man not an atheist is only not a fool. “Dr. Priestley?
there is a _petitesse_ in his mind. Hartley? pshaw! _Godwin_, sir, is a
thousand times a better metaphysician!” But this intolerance is founded
on benevolence. (I had almost forgotten that horrible story about his

       *       *       *       *       *

On the subject of using sugar, etc., I will write you a long and serious
letter. This grieves me more than you [imagine]. I hope I shall be able by
severe and unadorned reasoning to convince you you are wrong.

Your remarks on my poems are, I think, just in general; there is a rage
and affectation of double epithets. “Unshuddered, unaghasted” is, indeed,
_truly_ ridiculous. But why so violent against _metaphysics_ in poetry? Is
not Akenside’s a metaphysical poem? Perhaps you do not like Akenside?
Well, but _I do_, and so do a great many others. Why pass an act of
_uniformity_ against poets? I received a letter from a very sensible
friend abusing love verses; another blaming the introduction of politics,
“as wider from true poetry than the equator from the poles.” “Some for
each” is my motto. That poetry pleases which interests. My religious
poetry interests the _religious_, who read it with rapture. Why? Because
it awakes in them all the associations connected with a love of future
existence, etc. A very dear friend of mine,[115] who is, in my opinion,
the best poet of the age (I will send you his poem when published), thinks
that the lines from 364 to 375 and from 403 to 428 the best in the
volume,--indeed, worth all the rest. And this man is a republican, and, at
least, a _semi_-atheist. Why do you object to “shadowy of truth”? It is, I
acknowledge, a Grecism, but, I think, an elegant one. Your remarks on the
della-crusca place of emphasis are just in part. Where we wish to point
out the _thing_, and the _quality_ is mentioned merely as a decoration,
this mode of emphasis is indeed absurd; therefore, I very patiently give
up to critical vengeance “_high_ tree,” “_sore_ wounds,” and “_rough_
rock;” but when you wish to dwell chiefly on the _quality_ rather than the
_thing_, then this mode is proper, and, indeed, is used in common
conversation. Who says good _man_? Therefore, “_big_ soul,” “_cold_
earth,” “_dark_ womb,” and “_flamy_ child” are all right, and introduce a
variety into the versification, [which is] an advantage where you can
attain it without any sacrifice of sense. As to harmony, it is all
_association_. Milton is _harmonious_ to me, and I absolutely nauseate
Darwin’s poems.

  Yours affectionately,

    Beaufort Buildings, Strand, London.


May 29, 1796.

MY DEAR POOLE,--This said caravan does not leave Bridgewater till nine. In
the market place stands the hustings. I mounted it, and, pacing the
boards, mused on bribery, false swearing, and other foibles of election
times. I have wandered, too, by the river Parret, which looks as filthy as
if all the parrots of the House of Commons had been washing their
consciences therein. Dear gutter of Stowey![116] Were I transported to
Italian plains, and lay by the side of the streamlet that murmured through
an orange grove, I would think of thee, dear gutter of Stowey, and wish
that I were poring on thee!

So much by way of rant. I have eaten three eggs, swallowed sundries of tea
and bread and butter, purely for the purpose of amusing myself! I have
seen the horse fed. When at Cross, where I shall dine, I shall think of
your happy dinner, celebrated under the auspices of humble independence,
supported by brotherly love! I am writing, you understand, for no worldly
purpose but that of avoiding anxious thoughts. Apropos of honey-pie,
Caligula or Elagabalus (I forget which) had a dish of nightingales’
tongues served up. What think you of the stings of bees? God bless you! My
filial love to your mother, and fraternity to your sister. Tell Ellen
Cruikshank that in my next parcel to you I will send my Haleswood poem to
her. Heaven protect her and you and Sara and your mother and, like a bad
shilling passed off between a handful of guineas,

  Your affectionate friend and brother,

P. S.--Don’t forget to send by Milton [carrier] my old clothes, and linen
_that once was clean, etcetera_. A pretty _periphrasis_ that!


Wednesday, June 22, 1796.

DEAR THELWALL,--That I have not written you has been an act of
self-denial, not indolence. I heard that you were electioneering, and
would not be the occasion that any of your thoughts should diverge from
that focus.

I wish very much to see you. Have you given up the idea of spending a few
weeks or month at Bristol? You might be _making way_ in your review of
Burke’s life and writings, and give us once or twice a week a lecture,
which I doubt not would be crowded. We have a large and every way
excellent library, to which I could make you a temporary subscriber, that
is, I would get a subscription ticket transferred to you.

You are certainly well calculated for the review you meditate. Your answer
to Burke is, I will not say, the best, for that would be no praise; it is
certainly the only good one, and it is a very good one. In style and in
_reflectiveness_ it is, I think, your _chef d’œuvre_. Yet the
“Peripatetic”[117]--for which accept my thanks--pleased me more because it
let me into your heart; the poetry is frequently _sweet_ and possesses the
_fire_ of feeling, but not enough (I think) of the _light_ of fancy. I am
sorry that you should entertain so degrading an opinion of me as to
imagine that I _industriously_ collected anecdotes unfavourable to the
characters of great men. No, Thelwall, but I cannot shut my ears, and I
have never given a moment’s belief to any one of those stories unless when
they were related to me at different times by professed democrats. My vice
is of the opposite class, a precipitance in praise; witness my panegyric
on Gerrald and that _black_ gentleman Margarot in the “Conciones,” and my
foolish verses to Godwin in the “Morning Chronicle.”[118] At the same
time, Thelwall, do not suppose that I admit your palliations. Doubtless I
could fill a book with slanderous stories of _professed Christians_, but
those very men would allow they were acting contrary to Christianity; but,
I am afraid, an atheistic bad man manufactures his system of principles
with an eye to his peculiar propensities, and makes his actions the
criterion of what is virtuous, not virtue the criterion of his actions.
Where the _disposition_ is not amiable, an acute understanding I deem no
blessing. To the last sentence in your letter I subscribe fully and with
all my inmost affections. “He who thinks and _feels_ will be virtuous; and
he who is absorbed in self will be vicious, whatever maybe his speculative
opinions.” Believe me, Thelwall, it is not his atheism that has prejudiced
me against Godwin, but Godwin who has, perhaps, _prejudiced_ me against
atheism. Let me see you--I already know a deist, and Calvinists, and
Moravians whom I love and reverence--and I shall leap forwards to realise
my _principles_ by _feeling_ love and honour for an atheist. By the bye,
are you an atheist? For I was told that Hutton was an atheist, and
procured his three massy quartos on the principle of knowledge in the
hopes of finding some arguments in favor of atheism, but lo! I discovered
him to be a profoundly pious deist,--“independent of fortune, satisfied
with himself, pleased with his species, confident in his Creator.”

God bless you, my dear Thelwall! Believe me with high esteem and
_anticipated_ tenderness,

  Yours sincerely,

P. S. We have a hundred lovely scenes about Bristol, which would make you
exclaim, O admirable _Nature_! and me, O Gracious _God_!


Saturday, September 24, 1796.

MY DEAR, VERY DEAR POOLE,--The heart thoroughly penetrated with the flame
of virtuous friendship is in a state of glory; but lest it should be
exalted above measure there is given it a thorn in the flesh. I mean that
when the friendship of any person forms an essential part of a man’s
happiness, he will at times be pestered by the little jealousies and
solicitudes of imbecile humanity. Since we last parted I have been
gloomily dreaming that you did not leave me so affectionately as you were
wont to do. Pardon this littleness of heart, and do not think the worse of
me for it. Indeed, my soul seems so mantled and wrapped around by your
love and esteem, that even a dream of losing but the smallest fragment of
it makes me shiver, as though some tender part of my nature were left
uncovered in nakedness.

Last week I received a letter from Lloyd, informing me that his parents
had given their joyful concurrence to his residence with me; but that, if
it were possible that I could be absent for three or four days, his father
wished particularly to see me. I consulted Mrs. Coleridge, who advised me
to go.... Accordingly on Saturday night I went by the mail to Birmingham
and was introduced to the father, who is a mild man, very liberal in his
ideas, and in religion _an allegorizing Quaker_. I mean that all the
apparently irrational path of his sect he allegorizes into significations,
which for the most part you or I might assent to. We became well
acquainted, and he expressed himself “thankful to heaven that his son was
about to be with me.” He said he would write to me concerning money
matters after his son had been some time under my roof.

On Tuesday morning I was surprised by a letter from Mr. Maurice, our
medical attendant, informing me that Mrs. Coleridge was delivered on
Monday, September 19, 1796, half past two in the morning, of a SON, and
that both she and the child were uncommonly well. I was quite annihilated
with the suddenness of the information, and retired to my own room to
address myself to my Maker, but I could only offer up to Him the silence
of stupefied feelings. I hastened home, and Charles Lloyd returned with
me. When I first saw the child,[119] I did not feel that thrill and
overflowing of affection which I expected. I looked on it with a
melancholy gaze; my mind was intensely contemplative and my heart only
sad. But when two hours after I saw it at the bosom of its mother, on her
arm, and her eye tearful and watching its little features, then I was
thrilled and melted, and gave it the KISS of a _father_.... The baby seems
strong, and the old nurse has over-persuaded my wife to discover a
likeness of me in its face--no great compliment to me, for, in truth, I
have seen handsomer babies in my lifetime. Its name is David Hartley
Coleridge. I hope that ere he be a man, if God destines him for
continuance in this life, his head will be convinced of, and his heart
saturated with, the truths so ably supported by that great master of
_Christian_ Philosophy.

Charles Lloyd wins upon me hourly; his heart is uncommonly pure, his
affection delicate, and his benevolence enlivened but not sicklied by
sensibility. He is assuredly a man of great genius; but it must be in
_tête-à-tête_ with one whom he loves and esteems that his colloquial
powers open; and this arises not from reserve or want of simplicity, but
from having been placed in situations where for years together he met with
no congenial minds, and where the contrariety of his thoughts and notions
to the thoughts and notions of those around him induced the necessity of
habitually suppressing his feelings. His joy and gratitude to Heaven for
the circumstance of his domestication with me I can scarcely describe to
you; and I believe that his fixed plans are of being always with me. His
father told me that if he saw that his son had formed habits of severe
economy he should not insist upon his adopting any profession; as then his
fair share of his (the father’s) wealth would be sufficient for him.

My dearest Poole, can you conveniently receive us in the course of a week?
We can both sleep in one bed, which we do now. And I have much, very much
to say to you and consult with you about, for my heart is heavy respecting
Derby,[120] and my feelings are so dim and huddled that though I can, I am
sure, communicate them to you by my looks and broken sentences, I scarce
know how to convey them in a letter. And Charles Lloyd wishes much to know
you personally. I shall write on the other side of the paper two of
Charles Lloyd’s sonnets, which he wrote in one evening at Birmingham. The
latter of them alludes to the conviction of the truth of Christianity,
which he had received from me, for he had been, if not a deist, yet quite
a sceptic.

Let me hear from you by post immediately; and give my kind love to that
young man with the soul-beaming face,[121] which I recollect much better
than I do his name.

God bless you, my dear friend.

  Believe me, with deep affection, your


[September 28, 1796.]

Your letter, my friend, struck me with a mighty horror. It rushed upon me
and stupefied my feelings. You bid me write you a religious letter. I am
not a man who would attempt to insult the greatness of your anguish by any
other consolation. Heaven knows that in the easiest fortunes there is much
dissatisfaction and weariness of spirit; much that calls for the exercise
of patience and resignation; but in storms like these, that shake the
dwelling and make the heart tremble, there is no middle way between
despair and the yielding up of the whole spirit unto the guidance of
faith. And surely it is a matter of joy that your faith in Jesus has been
preserved; the Comforter that should relieve you is not far from you. But
as you are a Christian, in the name of that Saviour, who was filled with
bitterness and made drunken with wormwood, I conjure you to have recourse
in frequent prayer to “his God and your God;” the God of mercies, and
father of all comfort. Your poor father is, I hope, almost senseless of
the calamity; the unconscious instrument of Divine Providence knows it
not, and your mother is in heaven. It is sweet to be roused from a
frightful dream by the song of birds and the gladsome rays of the morning.
Ah, how infinitely more sweet to be awakened from the blackness and
amazement of a sudden horror by the glories of God manifest and the
hallelujahs of angels.

As to what regards yourself, I approve altogether of your abandoning what
you justly call vanities. I look upon you as a man called by sorrow and
anguish and a strange desolation of hopes into quietness, and a soul set
apart and made peculiar to God! We cannot arrive at any portion of
heavenly bliss without in some measure imitating Christ; and they arrive
at the largest inheritance who imitate the most difficult parts of his
character, and, bowed down and crushed underfoot, cry in fulness of faith,
“Father, thy will be done.”

I wish above measure to have you for a little while here; no visitants
shall blow on the nakedness of your feelings; you shall be quiet, and your
spirit may be healed. I see no possible objection, unless your father’s
helplessness prevent you, and unless you are necessary to him. If this be
not the case, I charge you write me that you will come.

I charge you, my dearest friend, not to dare to encourage gloom or
despair. You are a temporary sharer in human miseries that you may be an
eternal partaker of the Divine nature. I charge you, if by any means it be
possible, come to me.

  I remain your affectionate


Saturday night, November 5, 1796.

Thanks, my heart’s warm thanks to you, my beloved friend, for your tender
letter! Indeed, I did not deserve so kind a one; but by this time you
have received my last.

To live in a beautiful country, and to enure myself as much as possible to
the labour of the field, have been for this year past my dream of the day,
my sigh at midnight. But to enjoy these blessings _near_ you, to see you
daily, to tell you all my thoughts in their first birth, and to hear
yours, to be mingling identities with you as it were,--the vision-wearing
fancy has indeed often pictured such things, but _hope_ never dared
whisper a promise. Disappointment! Disappointment! dash not from my
trembling hand the bowl which almost touches my lips. Envy me not this
immortal draught, and I will forgive thee all thy persecutions. Forgive
thee! Impious! _I will bless thee_, black-vested minister of optimism,
stern pioneer of happiness! Thou hast been “_the cloud_” before me from
the day that I left the flesh-pots of Egypt, and was led through the way
of a wilderness--the cloud that hast been guiding me to a land flowing
with milk and honey--the milk of innocence, the honey of friendship!

I wanted such a letter as yours, for I am very unwell. On Wednesday night
I was seized with an intolerable pain from my right temple to the tip of
my right shoulder, including my right eye, cheek, jaw, and that side of
the throat. I was nearly frantic, and ran about the house naked,
endeavouring by every means to excite sensations in different parts of my
body, and so to weaken the enemy by creating division. It continued from
one in the morning till half past five, and left me pale and fainting. It
came on fitfully, but not so violently, several times on Thursday, and
began severer threats towards night; but I took between sixty and seventy
drops of laudanum,[123] and _sopped_ the Cerberus, just as his mouth
began to open. On Friday it only _niggled_, as if the chief had departed
from a conquered place, and merely left a small garrison behind, or as if
he had evacuated the Corsica,[124] and a few straggling pains only
remained. But _this morning_ he returned in full force, and his name is
Legion. Giant-fiend of a hundred hands, with a shower of arrowy
death-pangs he transpierced me, and then he became a wolf, and lay
a-gnawing at my bones! I am not mad, most noble Festus, but in sober
sadness I have suffered this day more bodily pain than I had before a
conception of. My right cheek has certainly been placed with admirable
exactness under the focus of some invisible burning-glass, which
concentrated all the rays of a Tartarean sun. My medical attendant decides
it to be altogether nervous, and that it originates either in severe
application, or excessive anxiety. My beloved Poole! in excessive anxiety,
I believe it might originate. I have a blister under my right ear, and I
take twenty-five drops of laudanum every five hours, the ease and
_spirits_ gained by which have enabled me to write you this flighty but
not exaggerated account. With a gloomy wantonness of imagination I had
been coquetting with the hideous _possibles_ of disappointment. I drank
fears like wormwood, yea, made myself drunken with bitterness; for my
ever-shaping and distrustful mind still mingled gall-drops, till out of
the cup of hope I almost _poisoned_ myself with despair.

Your letter is dated November 2d; I wrote to you November 1st. Your sister
was married on that day; and on that day several times I felt my heart
overflowed with such tenderness for her as made me repeatedly ejaculate
prayers in her behalf. Such things are strange. It may be superstitious to
think about such correspondences; but it is a superstition which softens
the heart and leads to no evil. We will call on your dear sister as soon
as I am quite well, and in the mean time I will write a few lines to her.

I am anxious beyond measure to be in the country as soon as possible. I
would it were possible to get a temporary residence till Adscombe is ready
for us. I would that it could be that we could have three rooms in Bill
Poole’s large house for the winter. Will you try to look out for a fit
servant for us--simple of heart, physiognomically handsome, and scientific
in vaccimulgence? That last word is a new one, but soft in sound and full
of expression. Vaccimulgence! I am pleased with the word. Write to me all
things about yourself. Where I cannot advise I can condole and
communicate, which doubles joy, halves sorrow.

Tell me whether you think it at all possible to make any terms with
William Poole. You know I would not wish to touch with the edge of the
nail of my great toe the line which should be but half a barley-corn out
of the niche of the most trembling delicacy. I will write Cruikshank
to-morrow, if God permit me.

God bless and protect you, friend, brother, beloved!


Sara’s best love, and Lloyd’s. David Hartley is well, saving that he is
sometimes inspired by the god Æolus, and like Isaiah, “his bowels sound
like an harp.” My filial love to your dear mother. Love to Ward. Little
Tommy, I often think of thee.


Monday night, November 7, 1796.

MY DEAREST POOLE,--I wrote you on Saturday night under the immediate
inspiration of laudanum, and wrote you a flighty letter, but yet one most
accurately descriptive both of facts and feelings. Since then my pains
have been lessening, and the greater part of this day I have enjoyed
perfect ease, only I am totally inappetent of food, and languid, even to
an inward perishing.

I wrote John Cruikshank this morning, and this moment I have received a
letter from him. My letter written before the receipt of his contains
everything I would write in answer to it, and I do not like to write to
him superfluously, lest I should break in on his domestic terrors and
solitary broodings with regard to Anna Cruikshank.[125] May the Father and
lover of the meek preserve that meek woman, and give her a safe and joyful

I wrote this morning a short note of congratulatory kindliness to your
sister, and shall be eager to call on her, when _Legion_ has been
thoroughly exorcised from my temple and cheeks. Tell Cruikshank that I
have received his letter, and thank him for it.

A few lines in your last letter betokened, I thought, a wounded spirit.
Let me know the particulars, my beloved friend. I shall forget and lose my
own anxieties while I am healing yours with cheerings of sympathy.

I met with the following sonnet in some very dull poems, among which it
shone like a solitary star when the night is dark, and _one_ little space
of blue uninvaded by the floating blackness, or, if a _terrestrial_ simile
be required, like a red carbuncle on a negro’s nose. From the languor and
exhaustion to which pain and my frequent doses of laudanum have reduced
me, it suited the feeble temper of [my] mind, and I have transcribed it on
the other page. I amused myself the other day (having some _paper_ at the
printer’s which I could employ no other way) in selecting twenty-eight
sonnets,[126] to bind up with Bowles’s. I charge sixpence for them, and
have sent you five to dispose of. I have only printed two hundred, as my
paper held out to no more; and dispose of them privately, just enough to
pay the printing. The essay which I have written at the beginning I
like.... I have likewise sent you Burke’s pamphlet which was given to me;
it has all his excellences without any of his faults. This parcel I send
to-morrow morning, enclosed in a parcel to Bill Poole of Thurston.

God love you, my affectionate brother, and your affectionate



  With passive joy the moment I survey
  When welcome Death shall set my spirit free.
  My soul! the prospect brings no fear to thee,
  But soothing Fancy rises to pourtray
  The dear and parting words my Friends will say:
  With secret Pride their heaving Breast I see,
  And count the sorrows that will flow for me.
  And now I hear my lingering knell decay
  And mark the Hearse! Methinks, with moisten’d eye,
  CLARA beholds the sad Procession move
  That bears me to the Resting-place of Care,
  And sighs, “Poor youth! thy Bosom well could love,
  And well thy Numbers picture Love’s despair.”
  Vain Dreams! yet such as make it sweet to die.


  Saturday, November 19, [1796].
    Oxford Street, Bristol.

MY DEAR THELWALL,--Ah me! literary adventure is but bread and cheese by
chance. I keenly sympathise with you. Sympathy, the only poor consolation
I can offer you. Can no plan be suggested?... Of course you have read the
“Joan of Arc.”[127] Homer is the poet for the warrior, Milton for the
religionist, Tasso for women, Robert Southey for the patriot. The first
and fourth books of the “Joan of Arc” are to me more interesting than the
same number of lines in any poem whatever. But you and I, my dear
Thelwall, hold different creeds in poetry as well as religion.
_N’importe!_ By the bye, of your works I have now all, except your “Essay
on Animal Vitality” which I never had, and your _Poems_, which I bought on
their first publication, and lost them. From these poems I should have
supposed our poetical tastes more nearly alike than, I find, they are. The
poem on the Sols [?] flashes genius through Strophe I, Antistrophe I, and
Epode I. The rest I do not perhaps understand, only I love these two

  “Yet sure the verse that shews the friendly mind
     To Friendship’s ear not harshly flows.”

Your larger _narrative_ affected me greatly. It is admirably written, and
displays strong sense animated by feeling, and illumined by imagination,
and neither in the thoughts nor rhythm does it encroach on poetry.

There have been two poems of mine in the new “Monthly Magazine,”[128] with
my name; indeed, I make it a scruple of conscience never to publish
anything, however trifling, without it. Did you like them? The first was
written at the desire of a beautiful little aristocrat; consider it
therefore as a lady’s poem. Bowles (the bard of my idolatry) has written a
poem lately without plan or meaning, but the component parts are divine.
It is entitled “Hope, an Allegorical Sketch.” I will copy two of the
stanzas, which must be peculiarly interesting to you, virtuous
high-treasonist, and your friends the democrats.

  “But see, as one awaked from deadly trance,
     With hollow and dim eyes, and stony stare,
   Captivity with faltering step advance!
     Dripping and knotted was her coal-black hair:
   For she had long been hid, as in the grave;
     No sounds the silence of her prison broke,
   Nor one companion had she in her cave
     Save Terror’s dismal shape, that no word spoke,
   But to a stony coffin on the floor
   With lean and hideous finger pointed evermore.

  “The lark’s shrill song, the early village chime,
     The upland echo of the winding horn,
   The far-heard clock that spoke the passing time,
     Had never pierced her solitude forlorn:
   At length released from the deep dungeon’s gloom
     She feels the fragrance of the vernal gale,
   She sees more sweet the living landscape bloom,
     And while she listens to Hope’s tender tale,
   She thinks her long-lost friends shall bless her sight,
   And almost faints for joy amidst the broad daylight.”

The last line is exquisite.

Your portrait of yourself interested me. As to me, my face, unless when
animated by immediate eloquence, expresses great sloth, and great, indeed,
almost idiotic good-nature. ’Tis a mere carcass of a face;[129] fat,
flabby, and expressive chiefly of inexpression. Yet I am told that my
eyes, eyebrows, and forehead are physiognomically good; but of this the
deponent knoweth not. As to my shape, ’tis a good shape enough if
measured, but my gait is awkward, and the walk of the whole man indicates
_indolence capable of energies_. I am, and ever have been, a great reader,
and have read almost everything--a library cormorant. I am _deep_ in all
out of the way books, whether of the monkish times, or of the puritanical
era. I have read and digested most of the historical writers; but I do not
_like_ history. Metaphysics and poetry and “facts of mind,” that is,
accounts of all the strange phantasms that ever possessed “your
philosophy;” dreamers, from Thoth the Egyptian to Taylor the English
pagan, are my darling studies. In short, I seldom read except to amuse
myself, and I am almost always reading. Of useful knowledge, I am a so-so
chemist, and I love chemistry. All else is _blank_; but I _will_ be
(please God) an horticulturalist and a farmer. I compose very little, and
I absolutely hate composition, and such is my dislike that even a sense of
duty is sometimes too weak to overpower it.

I cannot breathe through my nose, so my mouth, with sensual thick lips, is
almost always open. In conversation I am impassioned, and oppose what I
deem error with an eagerness which is often mistaken for personal
asperity; but I am ever so swallowed up in the _thing_ that I perfectly
forget my _opponent_. Such am I. I am just going to read Dupuis’ twelve
octavos,[130] which I have got from London. I shall read only one octavo a
week, for I cannot _speak_ French at all and I read it slowly.

My wife is well and desires to be remembered to you and your _Stella_ and
little ones. N. B. Stella (among the Romans) was a man’s name. All the
_classics_ are against you; but our Swift, I suppose, is authority for
this unsexing.

Write on the receipt of this, and believe me as ever, with affectionate

  Your sincere friend,

P. S. I have enclosed a five-guinea note. The five shillings over please
to lay out for me thus. In White’s (of Fleet Street or the Strand, I
forget which--O! the Strand I believe, but I don’t know which), well, in
White’s catalogue are the following books:--

4674. Iamblichus,[131] Proclus, Porphyrius, etc., one shilling and
sixpence, one little volume.

4686. Juliani Opera, three shillings: which two books you will be so kind
as to purchase for me, and send down with the twenty-five pamphlets. But
if they should unfortunately be sold, in the same catalogue are:--

2109. Juliani Opera, 12s. 6d.

676. Iamblichus de Mysteriis, 10s. 6d.

2681. Sidonius Apollinaris, 6s.

And in the catalogue of Robson, the bookseller in New Bond Street, Plotini
Opera, a Ficino, £1.1.0, making altogether £2.10.0.

If you can get the two former little books, costing only four and
sixpence, I will rest content with them; if they are gone, be so kind as
to purchase for me the others I mentioned to you, amounting to two pounds,
ten shillings; and, as in the course of next week I shall send a small
parcel of books and manuscripts to my very dear Charles Lamb of the India
House, I shall be enabled to convey the money to you in a letter, which he
will leave at your house. I make no apology for this commission, because I
feel (to use a vulgar phrase) that I would do as much for you. P. P. S.
Can you buy them time enough to send down with your pamphlets? If not,
make a parcel _per se_. I hope your hurts from the fall are not serious;
you have given a _proof_ now that you are no _Ippokrite_, but I forgot
that you are not a Greekist, and perchance you hate puns; but, in Greek,
_Krites_ signifies a judge and _hippos_ a horse. Hippocrite, therefore,
may mean a _judge of horses_. My dear fellow, I laugh more and talk more
nonsense in a week than [most] other people do in a year. Farewell.

    Beaufort Buildings, Strand, London.


Sunday morning, December 11, 1796.

MY BELOVED POOLE,--The sight of your villainous hand-scrawl was a great
comfort to me. How have you been diverted in London? What of the theatres?
And how found you your old friends? I dined with Mr. King yesterday week.
He is _quantum suff_: a pleasant man, and (my wife says) very handsome.
Hymen lies in the arms of Hygeia, if one may judge by your sister; she
looks remarkably well! But has she not caught some complaint in _the
head_? Some _scurfy_ disorder? For her _hair_ was filled with an odious
white Dandruff. (“N. B. Nothing but powder,” Mrs. King.) About myself, I
have so much to say that I really can say nothing. I mean to work _very
hard_--as Cook, Butler, Scullion, Shoe-cleaner, occasional Nurse,
Gardener, Hind, Pig-protector, Chaplain, Secretary, Poet, Reviewer, and
_omnium-botherum_ shilling-Scavenger. In other words, I shall keep no
servant, and will cultivate my land-acre and my wise-acres, as well as I
can. The motives which led to this determination are numerous and weighty;
I have thought much and calmly, and calculated time and money with
unexceptionable accuracy; and at length determined not to take the charge
of Charles Lloyd’s mind on me. Poor fellow! he still hopes to live with
me--is now at Birmingham. I wish that little cottage by the roadside were
gettable? That with about two or three rooms--it would quite do for us, as
we shall occupy only _two rooms_. I will write more fully on the receipt
of yours. God love you and



December 12, 1796.

You tell me, my dear Poole, that my residence near you would give you
great pleasure, and I am sure that if you had any objections on your own
account to my settling near Stowey you would have mentioned them to me.
Relying on this, I assure you that a disappointment would try my
philosophy. Your letter did indeed give me unexpected and most acute pain.
I will make the cottage do. We want but three rooms. If Cruikshank have
promised more than his circumstances enable him to perform, I am sure that
I can get the other purchased by my friends in Bristol. I mean, the place
at Adscombe. I wrote him pressingly on this head some ten days ago; but he
has returned me no answer. Lloyd has obtained his father’s permission and
will return to me. He is willing to be his own servant. As to Acton, ’tis
out of the question. In Bristol I have Cottle and Estlin (for Mr. Wade is
going away) willing and eager to serve me; but how they can serve me more
effectually at Acton than at Stowey, I cannot divine. If I live at Stowey,
you indeed _can_ serve me effectually, by assisting me in the acquirement
of agricultural practice. If you can instruct me to manage an acre and a
half of land, and to raise in it, with my own hands, all kinds of
vegetables and grain, enough for myself and my wife and sufficient to
feed a pig or two with the refuse, I hope that you will have served me
_most_ effectually by placing me out of the necessity of being served. I
receive about forty guineas yearly from the “Critical Review” and the new
“Monthly Magazine.” It is hard if by my greater works I do not get twenty
more. I know how little the human mind requires when it is tranquil, and
in proportion as I should find it difficult to simplify my wants it
becomes my duty to simplify them. For there must be a vice in my nature,
which woe be to me if I do not cure. The less meat I eat the more healthy
I am; and strong liquors of any kind always and perceptibly injure me.
Sixteen shillings would cover all the weekly expenses of my wife, infant,
and myself. This I say from my wife’s own calculation.

But whence this sudden revolution in your opinions, my dear Poole? You saw
the cottage that was to be our temporary residence, and thought we might
be _happy_ in it, and now you hurry to tell me that we shall not even be
_comfortable_ in it. You tell me I shall be “too far from my _friends_,”
that is, Cottle and Estlin, for I have no other in Bristol. In the name of
Heaven, _what can_ Cottle or Estlin [do] for me? They do nothing who do
not teach me how to be independent of any except the Almighty Dispenser of
sickness and health. And “too far from the press.” With the printing of
the review and the magazine I have no concern; and, if I publish any work
on my own account, I will send a fair and faultless copy, and Cottle
promises to correct the press for me. Mr. King’s family may be very worthy
sort of people, for aught I know; but assuredly I can employ my time
wiselier than to gabble with my tongue to beings with whom neither my head
nor heart can commune. My habits and feelings have suffered a total
alteration. I _hate_ company except of my dearest friends, and
systematically avoid it; and when in it keep silence as far as social
humanity will permit me. Lloyd’s father, in a letter to me yesterday,
enquired how I should live without any companions. I answered him not an
hour before I received your letter:--

“I shall have six companions: My Sara, my babe, my own shaping and
disquisitive mind, my books, my beloved friend Thomas Poole, and lastly,
Nature looking at me with a thousand looks of beauty, and speaking to me
in a thousand melodies of love. If I were capable of being tired with all
these, I should then detect a vice in my nature, and would fly to habitual
solitude to eradicate it.”

Yes, my friend, while I opened your letter my heart was glowing with
enthusiasm towards you. How little did I expect that I should find you
earnestly and vehemently persuading me to prefer Acton to Stowey, and in
return for the loss of your society recommending _Mr. King’s_ family as
“very pleasant neighbours.” Neighbours! Can mere juxtaposition form a
neighbourhood? As well should the louse in my head call himself my friend,
and the flea in my bosom style herself my love!

On Wednesday week we must leave our house, so that if you continue to
dissuade me from settling near Stowey I scarcely know what I shall do.
Surely, my beloved friend, there must be some reason which you have not
yet told me, which urged you to send this hasty and heart-chilling letter.
I suspect that something has passed between your sister and dear mother
(in whose illness I sincerely sympathise with you).

I have never considered my settlement at Stowey in any other relation than
its advantages to myself, and they would be great indeed. My objects
(assuredly wise ones) were to learn agriculture (and where should I get
instructed except at Stowey?) and to be where I can communicate in a
literary way. I must conclude. I pray you let me hear from you
immediately. God bless you and



Monday night.

I wrote the former letter immediately on receipt of yours, in the first
flutter of agitation. The tumult of my spirits has now subsided, but the
Damp struck into my very heart; and there I feel it. O my God! my God!
where am I to find rest? Disappointment follows disappointment, and Hope
seems given me merely to prevent my becoming callous to Misery. Now I know
not where to turn myself. I was on my way to the City Library, and wrote
an answer to it there. Since I have returned I have been poring into a
book, as a shew for not looking at my wife and the baby. By God, I dare
not look at them. Acton! The very name makes me grind my teeth! What am I
to do there?

“You will have a good garden; you may, I doubt not, have ground.” But am I
not ignorant as a child of everything that concerns the garden and the
ground? and shall I have one human being there who will instruct me? The
House too--what should I do with it? We want but two rooms, or three at
the furthest. And the country around is intolerably flat. I would as soon
live on the banks of a Dutch canal! And no one human being near me for
whom I should, or could, care a rush! No one walk where the beauties of
nature might endear solitude to me! There is one Ghost that I _am_ afraid
of; with that I should be perpetually haunted in this same cursed
Acton--the hideous Ghost of departed Hope. O Poole! how could _you_ make
such a proposal to me? I have compelled myself to reperuse your letter, if
by any means I may be able to penetrate into your motives. I find three
reasons assigned for my not settling at Stowey. The first, the distance
from my friends and the Press. This I answered in the former letter. As to
my friends, what can they do for me? And as to the Press, even if Cottle
had not promised to correct it for me, yet I might as well be fifty miles
from it as twelve, for any purpose of correcting. Secondly, the expense of
moving. Well, but I must move to Acton, and what will the difference be?
Perhaps three guineas.... I would give three guineas that you had not
assigned this reason. Thirdly, the wretchedness of that cottage, which
alone we can get. But surely, in the house which I saw, _two_ rooms may be
found, which, by a little green list and a carpet, and a slight alteration
in the fireplace, may be made to exclude the cold: and this is all we
want. Besides, it will be but for a while. If Cruikshank cannot buy and
repair Adscombe, I have no doubt that my friends here and at Birmingham
would, some of them, purchase it. So much for the reasons: but these
cannot be the real reasons. I was with you for a week, and then we talked
over the whole scheme, and you approved of it, and I gave up Derby. More
than nine weeks have elapsed since then, and you saw and examined the
cottage, and you knew every other of these reasons, if reasons they can be
called. Surely, surely, my friend, something has occurred which you have
not mentioned to me. Your mother has manifested a strong dislike to our
living near you--or something or other; for the reasons you have assigned
tell me nothing except that there are reasons which you have not assigned.

Pardon, if I write vehemently. I meant to have written calmly; but
bitterness of soul came upon me. Mrs. Coleridge has observed the workings
of my face while I have been writing, and is entreating to know what is
the matter. I dread to show her your letter. I dread it. My God! my God!
What if she should dare to think that my most beloved friend has grown
cold towards me!

Tuesday morning, 11 o’clock.--After an unquiet and almost sleepless night,
I resume my pen. As the sentiments over leaf came into my heart, I will
not suppress them. I would keep a letter by me which I wrote to a mere
acquaintance, lest anything unwise should be found in it; but my friend
ought to know not only what my sentiments are, but what my feelings were.

I am, indeed, perplexed and cast down. My first plan, you know, was
this--My family was to have consisted of Charles Lloyd, my wife and wife’s
mother, my infant, the servant, and myself.

My means of maintaining them--Eighty pounds a year from Charles Lloyd, and
forty from the Review and Magazine. My time was to have been divided into
four parts: 1. Three hours after breakfast to studies with C. L. 2. The
remaining hours till dinner to our garden. 3. From after dinner till tea,
to letter-writing and domestic quietness. 4. From tea till prayer-time to
the reviews, magazines, and other literary labours.

In this plan I calculated nothing on my garden but amusement. In the mean
time I heard from Birmingham that Lloyd’s father had declared that he
should insist on his son’s returning to him at the close of a twelvemonth.
What am I to do then? I shall be again afloat on the wide sea, unpiloted
and unprovisioned. I determined to devote _my whole day_ to the
acquirement of practical horticulture, to part with Lloyd immediately, and
live without a servant. Lloyd intreated me to give up the Review and
Magazine, and devote the evenings to him, but this would be to give up a
permanent for a temporary situation, and after subtracting £40 from C.
Ll.’s £80 in return for the Review business, and then calculating the
expense of a servant, a less severe mode of general living, and Lloyd’s
own board and lodging, the remaining £40 would make but a poor figure. And
what was I to do at the end of a twelvemonth? In the mean time Mrs.
Fricker’s son could not be got out as an apprentice--he was too young, and
premiumless, and no one would take him; and the old lady herself
manifested a great aversion to leaving Bristol. I recurred therefore to
my first promise of allowing her £20 a year; but all her furniture must of
course be returned, and enough only remains to furnish one bedroom and a

If Charles Lloyd and the servant went with me I must have bought new
furniture to the amount of £40 or £50, which, if not Impossibility in
person, was Impossibility’s first cousin. We determined to live by
ourselves. We arranged our time, money, and employments. We found it not
only practicable _but easy_; and Mrs. Coleridge entered with enthusiasm
into the scheme.

To Mrs. Coleridge the nursing and sewing only would have belonged; the
rest I took upon myself, and since our resolution have been learning the
practice. With only two rooms and two people--their wants severely
simple--no great labour can there be in their waiting upon themselves. Our
washing we should put out. I should have devoted my whole head, heart, and
body to my acre and a half of garden land, and my evenings to literature.
Mr. and Mrs. Estlin approved, admired, and applauded the scheme, and
thought it not only highly virtuous, but highly prudent. In the course of
a year and a half, I doubt not that I should feel myself independent, for
my bodily strength would have increased, and I should have been weaned
from animal food, so as never to touch it but once a week; and there can
be no shadow of a doubt that an acre and a half of land, divided properly,
and managed properly, would maintain a small family in _everything_ but
clothes and rent. What had I to ask of my friends? Not money; for a
temporary relief of my want is nothing, removes no gnawing of anxiety, and
debases the dignity of man. Not their interest. What could their interest
(supposing they had any) do for me? I can accept no place in state,
church, or dissenting meeting. Nothing remains possible but a school, or
writer to a newspaper, or my present plan. I could not love the man who
advised me to keep a school, or write for a newspaper. He must have a hard
heart. What then could I ask of my friends? What of Mr. Wade? Nothing.
What of Mr. Cottle? Nothing.... What of Thomas Poole? O! a great deal.
Instruction, daily advice, society--everything necessary to my feelings
and the realization of my innocent independence. You know it would be
impossible for me to learn _everything_ myself. To pass across my garden
once or twice a day, for five minutes, to set me right, and cheer me with
the sight of a friend’s face, would be more to me than hundreds. Your
letter was not a kind one. One week only and I must leave my house, and
yet in one week you advise me to alter the plan which I had been three
months framing, and in which you must have known by the letters I wrote
you, during my illness, that I was interested even to an excess and
violence of Hope. And to abandon this plan for darkness and a renewal of
anxieties which might be fatal to me! Not one word have you mentioned how
I am to live, or even exist, supposing I were to go to Acton. Surely,
surely, you do not advise me to lean with the whole weight of my
necessities on the Press? Ghosts indeed! I should be haunted with ghosts
enough--the ghosts of Otway and Chatterton, and the phantasms of a wife
broken-hearted, and a hunger-bitten baby! O Thomas Poole! Thomas Poole! if
you did but know what a Father and a Husband must feel who toils with his
brain for uncertain bread! I dare not think of it. The evil face of Frenzy
looks at me. The husbandman puts his seed in the ground, and the goodness,
power, and wisdom of God have pledged themselves that he shall have bread,
and health, and quietness in return for industry, and simplicity of wants
and innocence. The AUTHOR scatters his seed--with aching head, and wasted
health, and all the heart-leapings of anxiety; and the follies, the vices,
and the fickleness of man promise him printers’ bills and the Debtors’
Side of Newgate as full and sufficient payment.

Charles Lloyd is at Birmingham. I hear from him daily. In his yesterday’s
letter he says: “My dearest friend, everything seems clearing around me.
My friends enter fully into my views. They seem altogether to have
abandoned any ambitious views on my account. My health has been very good
since I left you; and I own I look forward with more pleasure than ever to
a permanent connection with you. Hitherto I could only look forward to the
pleasures of a year. All beyond was dark and uncertain. My father now
completely acquiesces in my abandoning the prospect of any profession or
trade. If God grant me health, there now remains no obstacle to a
completion of my most sanguine wishes.” Charles Lloyd will furnish his own
room, and feels it his duty to be in all things his own servant. He will
put up a press-bed, so that one room will be his bedchamber and parlour;
and I shall settle with him the hours and seasons of our being together,
and the hours and seasons of our being apart. But I shall rely on him for
nothing except his own maintenance.

As to the poems, they are Cottle’s property, not mine. There is no
obstacle from me--no new poems intended to be put in the volume, except
the “Visions of the Maid of Orleans.”... But literature, though I shall
never abandon it, will always be a secondary object with me. My poetic
vanity and my political _furor_ have been exhaled; and I would rather be
an expert, self-maintaining gardener than a Milton, if I could not unite

My _friend_, wherein I have written impetuously, pardon me! and consider
what I have suffered, and still am suffering, in consequence of your

_Finally, my Friend! if your opinion of me and your attachment to me
remain unaltered, and if you have assigned the true reasons which urged
you to dissuade me from a settlement at Stowey, and if indeed (provided
such settlement were consistent with my good and happiness), it would give
you unmixed pleasure, I adhere to Stowey, and consider the time from last
evening as a distempered dream. But if any circumstances have occurred
that have lessened your love or esteem or confidence; or if there be
objections to my settling in Stowey on your own account, or any other
objections than what you have urged, I doubt not you will declare them
openly and unreservedly to me, in your answer to this_, which I shall
expect with a total incapability of doing or thinking of anything, till I
have received it. Indeed, indeed, I am very miserable. God bless you and
your affectionate


Tuesday, December 13, 1796.


December 17, 1796.

MY DEAR THELWALL,--I should have written you long ere this, had not the
settlement of my affairs previous to my leaving Bristol and the
organization of my _new plan_ occupied me with bulky anxieties that almost
excluded everything but self from my thoughts. And, besides, my health has
been very bad, and remains so. A nervous affection from my right temple to
the extremity of my right shoulder almost distracted me, and made the
frequent use of laudanum absolutely necessary. And, since I have subdued
this, a rheumatic complaint in the back of my head and shoulders,
accompanied with sore throat and depression of the animal spirits, has
convinced me that a man may change bad lodgers without bettering himself.
I write these things, not so much to apologise for my silence, or for the
pleasure of complaining, as that you may know the reason why I have not
given you a “strict account” how I have disposed of your books. This I
will shortly do, with all the veracity which that solemn incantation,
“_upon your honour_,” must necessarily have conjured up.

Your second and third part promise great things. I have counted the
subjects, and by a nice calculation find that eighteen Scotch doctors
would write fifty-four quarto volumes, each choosing his thesis out of
your syllabus. May you do good by them, and moreover enable yourself to do
more good, I _should_ say, to continue to do good. _My farm_ will be a
garden of one acre and a half, in which I mean to raise vegetables and
corn enough for myself and wife, and feed a couple of snouted and grunting
cousins from the refuse. My evenings I shall devote to literature; and, by
reviews, the magazine, and the other shilling-scavenger employments, shall
probably gain forty pounds a year; which economy and self-denial,
gold-beaters, shall hammer till it cover my annual expenses. Now, in
favour of this scheme, I shall say nothing, for the more vehement my
ratiocinations were, previous to the experiment, the more ridiculous my
failure would appear; and if the scheme deserve the said ratiocinations I
shall live down all your objections. I doubt not that the time will come
when all our utilities will be directed in one simple path. That time,
however, is not come; and imperious circumstances point out to each one
his particular road. Much good may be done in all. I am not _fit_ for
_public_ life; yet the light shall stream to a far distance from my
cottage window. Meantime, _do you_ uplift the _torch_ dreadlessly, and
show to mankind the face of that idol which they have worshipped in
darkness! And now, my dear fellow, for a little sparring about poetry. My
first _sonnet[133] is obscure_; but you ought to distinguish between
obscurity residing in the uncommonness of the thought, and that which
proceeds from thoughts unconnected and language not adapted to the
expression of them. Where you do find out the meaning of my poetry, can
you (in general, I mean) alter the language so as to make it more
perspicuous--the thought remaining the same? By “dreamy semblance” I _did_
mean semblance of some unknown past, like to a dream, and not “a semblance
_presented_ in a dream.” I meant to express that ofttimes, for a second or
two, it flashed upon my mind that the then company, conversation, and
everything, had occurred before with all the precise circumstances; so as
to make reality appear a semblance, and the present like a dream in sleep.
Now this thought is obscure; because few persons have experienced the same
feeling. Yet several have; and they were proportionably delighted with the
lines, as expressing some strange sensations, which they themselves had
never ventured to communicate, much less had ever seen developed in
poetry. The lines I have altered to,--

  Oft o’er my brain does that strange rapture roll
  Which makes the present (while its brief fit last)
  Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
  Mixed with such feelings as distress the soul
  When dreaming that she dreams.[134]

Next as to “mystical.” Now that the thinking part of man, that is, the
soul, existed previously to its appearance in its present body may be very
wild philosophy, but it is very intelligible poetry; inasmuch as “soul” is
an orthodox word in all our poets, they meaning by “soul” a being
inhabiting our body, and playing upon it, like a musician enclosed in an
organ whose keys were placed inwards. Now this opinion I do not hold; not
that I am a materialist, but because I am a Berkleyan. Yet as you, who are
not a Christian, wished you were, that we might meet in heaven, so I, who
did not believe in this descending and incarcerated soul, yet said if my
baby had died before I had seen him I should have _struggled_ to believe
it. Bless me! a commentary of thirty-five lines in defence of a sonnet!
and I do not like the sonnet much myself. In some (indeed, in many of my
poems) there is a garishness and swell of diction which I hope that my
poems in future, if I write any, will be clean of, but seldom, I think,
any _conceits_. In the second edition, now printing, I have swept the book
with the expurgation-besom to a fine tune, having omitted nearly one
third. As to Bowles, I affirm that the manner of his accentuation in the
words “brōad dāylīght” (three long syllables) is a beauty, as it admirably
expresses the captive’s dwelling on the sight of noon with rapture and a
kind of wonder.

  The common sun, the air, the skies
  To him are opening paradise.

But supposing my defence not tenable; yet how a blunder in metre stamps a
man Italian or Della Cruscan I cannot perceive. As to my own poetry, I do
confess that it frequently, both in thought and language, deviates from
“nature and simplicity.” But that Bowles, the most tender, and, with the
exception of Burns, the only _always natural_ in our language, that _he_
should not escape the charge of Della Cruscanism,--this cuts the skin and
surface of my heart. “Poetry to have its highest relish must be
impassioned.” True. But, firstly, poetry ought not always to have its
_highest_ relish; and, secondly, judging of the cause from its effect,
poetry, though treating on lofty and abstract truths, ought to be deemed
_impassioned_ by him who reads it with impassioned feelings. Now Collins’s
“Ode on the Poetical Character,”--that part of it, I should say, beginning
with “The band (as faery legends say) Was wove on that creating day,”--has
inspired and whirled _me_ along with greater agitations of enthusiasm than
any the most _impassioned_ scene in Schiller or Shakespeare, using
“impassioned” in its confined sense, for writing in which the human
passions of pity, fear, anger, revenge, jealousy, or love are brought into
view with their workings. Yet I consider the latter poetry as more
valuable, because it gives _more general_ pleasure, and I judge of all
things by their utility. I feel strongly and I think strongly, but I
seldom feel without thinking or think without feeling. Hence, though my
poetry has in general a hue of tenderness or passion over it, yet it
seldom exhibits unmixed and simple tenderness or passion. My philosophical
opinions are blended with or deduced from my feelings, and this, I think,
peculiarises my style of writing, and, like everything else, it is
sometimes a beauty and sometimes a fault. But do not let us introduce an
Act of Uniformity against Poets. I have room enough in _my_ brain to
admire, aye, and almost equally, the _head_ and fancy of Akenside, and the
heart and fancy of Bowles, the solemn lordliness of Milton, and the divine
chit-chat of Cowper.[135] And whatever a man’s excellence is, that will be
likewise his fault.

There were some verses of yours in the last “Monthly Magazine” with which
I was much pleased--calm good sense combined with _feeling_, and conveyed
in harmonious verse and a chaste and pleasing imagery. I wish much, very
much, to see your other poem. As to your Poems which you informed me in
the accompanying letter that you had sent in the same parcel with the
pamphlets, whether or no your verses had more than their _proper number of
feet_ I cannot say; but certain it is, that somehow or other they _marched
off_. No “Poems by John Thelwall” could I find. When I charged you with
anti-religious bigotry, I did not allude to your pamphlet, but to passages
in your letters to me, and to a circumstance which Southey, I _think_,
once mentioned, that you had asserted that the name of _God_ ought never
to be produced in poetry.[136] Which, to be sure, was carrying hatred _to
your Creator very far indeed_.

My dear Thelwall! “It is the principal felicity of life and the chief
glory of manhood to speak out fully on all subjects.” I will avail myself
of it. I will express _all_ my feelings, but will previously take care to
make my feelings benevolent. Contempt is hatred without fear; anger,
hatred accompanied with apprehension. But because hatred is always evil,
contempt must be always evil, and a good man ought to speak
_contemptuously_ of nothing. I am sure a wise man will not of opinions
which have been held by men, in _other_ respects at least, confessed of
more powerful intellect than himself. ’Tis an assumption of
_infallibility_; for if a man were wakefully mindful that what he now
thinks foolish he may himself hereafter think wise, it is not in nature
that he should _despise_ those who now believe what it is possible he may
himself hereafter believe; and if he deny the possibility he must _on that
point_ deem himself infallible and immutable. Now, in your letter of
yesterday, you speak with _contempt_ of two things: old age and the
Christian religion; though religion was believed by Newton, Locke, and
Hartley, after intense investigation, which in each had been preceded by
unbelief. This does not prove its truth, but it should save its followers
from _contempt_, even though through the infirmities of mortality they
should have _lost their teeth_. I call that man a bigot, Thelwall, whose
intemperate zeal, for or against any opinions, leads him to contradict
himself in the space of half a dozen lines. Now this you appear to me to
have done. I will write fully to you now, because I shall never renew the
subject. I shall not be idle in defence of the religion I profess, and my
books will be the place, not my letters. You say the Christian is a _mean_
religion. Now the religion which Christ taught is simply, first, that
there is an omnipresent Father of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, in
whom we all of us move and have our being; and, secondly, that when we
appear to men to die we do not utterly perish, but after this life shall
continue to enjoy or suffer the consequences and natural effects of the
habits we have formed here, whether good or evil. This is the Christian
_religion_, and all of the Christian _religion_. That there is no _fancy_
in it I readily grant, but that it is mean and deficient in _mind_ and
_energy_ it were impossible for me to admit, unless I admitted that there
_could be_ no dignity, intellect, or force in anything but _atheism_. But
though it appeal not itself to the fancy, the truths which it teaches
admit the highest exercise of it. Are the “innumerable multitude of angels
and archangels” less splendid beings than the countless gods and goddesses
of Rome and Greece? And can you seriously think that Mercury from Jove
equals in poetic sublimity “the mighty angel that came down from heaven,
whose face was as it were the sun and his feet as pillars of fire: who set
his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth. And he sent
forth a loud voice; and when he had sent it forth, seven thunders uttered
their voices: and when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, the
mighty Angel[137] lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that
liveth for ever and ever that _Time_ was no more”? Is not Milton a
sublimer poet than Homer or Virgil? Are not his personages more sublimely
clothed, and do you not know that there is not perhaps _one page_ in
_Milton’s_ Paradise Lost in which he has not borrowed his imagery from
the _Scriptures_? I allow and rejoice that _Christ_ appealed only to the
understanding and the affections; but I affirm that after reading Isaiah,
or St. Paul’s “Epistle to the Hebrews,” Homer and Virgil are disgustingly
_tame_ to me, and Milton himself barely tolerable. You and I are very
differently organized if you think that the following (putting serious
belief out of the question) is a mean flight of impassioned eloquence in
which the Apostle marks the difference between the Mosaic and Christian
Dispensation: “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched”
(that is, a material and earthly place) “and that burned with fire, nor
unto blackness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of
words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be
spoken to them any more. But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the
city of the living God, to an innumerable company of angels, to God the
Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.”[138] _You_ may
prefer to all this the quarrels of Jupiter and Juno, the whimpering of
wounded Venus, and the jokes of the celestials on the lameness of Vulcan.
Be it so (the difference in our tastes it would not be difficult to
account for from the different feelings which we have associated with
these ideas); I shall continue with Milton to say that

                                    “Zion Hill
  Delights me more, and Siloa’s brook that flow’d
  Fast by the oracle of God!”

“Visions fit for slobberers!” If infidelity do not lead to sensuality,
which in every case except yours I have observed it to do, it always takes
away all respect for those who become unpleasant from the infirmities of
disease or decaying nature. _Exempli gratiâ_, “the aged are
_slobberers_.”[139] The only vision which Christianity holds forth is
indeed peculiarly adapted to these _slobberers_. Yes, to these lowly and
despised and perishing slobberers it proclaims that their “corruptible
shall put on _incorruption_, and their mortal put on _immortality_.”

“Morals to the Magdalen and Botany Bay.” Now, Thelwall, I presume that to
preach morals to the virtuous is not quite so requisite as to preach them
to the vicious. “The sick need a physician.” Are morals which would make a
prostitute a wife and a sister, which would restore her to inward peace
and purity; are morals which would make drunkards sober, the ferocious
benevolent, and thieves honest, _mean morals_? Is it a despicable trait in
our religion, that its professed object is to heal the broken-hearted and
give wisdom to the poor man? It preaches _repentance_. What repentance?
Tears and sorrow and a repetition of the same crimes? No, a “repentance
unto good works;” a repentance that completely does away all superstitious
terrors by teaching that the past is nothing in itself, that, if the mind
_is_ good, that it _was_ bad imports nothing. “It is a religion for
democrats.” It certainly teaches in the most explicit terms the rights of
man, his right to wisdom, his right to an equal share in all the blessings
of nature; it commands its disciples to go everywhere, and everywhere to
preach these rights; it commands them never to use the arm of flesh, to be
perfectly non-resistant; yet to hold the promulgation of _truth_ to be a
law above law, and in the performance of this office to defy “wickedness
in high places,” and cheerfully to endure ignominy, and wretchedness, and
torments, and death, rather than _intermit_ the performance of it; yet,
while enduring ignominy, and wretchedness, and torments, and death, to
feel nothing but sorrow, and pity, and love for those who inflicted them;
wishing their oppressors to be altogether such as they, “excepting these
bonds.” Here is _truth_ in theory and in practice, a union of energetic
_action_ and more energetic _suffering_. For activity amuses; but he who
can _endure_ calmly must possess the seeds of true greatness. For all his
animal spirits will of necessity fail him; and he has only his mind to
trust to. These doubtless are morals for all the lovers of mankind, who
wish to _act_ as well as _speculate_; and that you should allow this, and
yet, not three lines before call the same _morals mean_, appears to me a
gross self-contradiction symptomatic of bigotry. I write freely, Thelwall;
for, though _personally_ unknown, I really love you, and can count but few
human beings whose hand I would welcome with a more hearty grasp of
friendship. I suspect, Thelwall, that you never read your Testament, since
your understanding was matured, without carelessness, and previous
contempt, and a somewhat like hatred. Christianity regards morality as a
process. It finds a man vicious and unsusceptible of noble motives and
gradually leads him, at least desires to lead him, to the height of
disinterested virtue; till, in relation and proportion to his faculties
and power, he is perfect “even as our Father in heaven is perfect.” There
is no resting-place for morality. Now I will make one other appeal, and
have done forever with the subject. There is a passage in Scripture which
comprises the whole process, and each component part, of Christian morals.
Previously let me explain the word faith. By faith I understand, first, a
deduction from experiments in favour of the existence of something not
experienced, and, secondly, the motives which attend such a deduction. Now
motives, being selfish, are only the beginning and the _foundation_,
necessary and of first-rate importance, yet made of vile materials, and
hidden beneath the splendid superstructure.

“Now giving all diligence, add to your faith _fortitude_, and to
_fortitude knowledge_, and to knowledge purity, and to purity
patience,[140] and to patience godliness,[141] and to godliness
brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness universal love.”[142]

I hope, whatever you may think of godliness, you will like the _note_ on
it. I need not tell you, that godliness is God-_like_ness, and is
paraphrased by Peter “that ye may be partakers of the divine nature,” that
is, act from a love of order and happiness, not from any self-respecting
motive; from the excellency into which you have exalted your _nature_, not
from the _keenness_ of mere _prudence_. “Add to your faith fortitude, and
to fortitude knowledge, and to knowledge purity, and to purity patience,
and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly-kindness, and to
brotherly-kindness universal love.” Now, Thelwall, putting _faith_ out of
the question (which, by the bye, is not mentioned as a virtue, but as the
leader to them), can you mention a virtue which is not here enjoined? and
supposing the precepts embodied in the practice of any one human being,
would not perfection be personified? I write these things not with any
expectation of making you a Christian. I should smile at my own folly, if
I conceived it even in a friendly day-dream.

       *       *       *       *       *

“The ardour of undisciplined benevolence seduces us into malignity,” and,
while you accustom yourself to speak so _contemptuously_ of doctrines you
do not accede to, and persons with whom you do not accord, I must doubt
whether even your _brotherly-kindness_ might not be made more perfect.
That is surely _fit_ for a man which his mind after sincere examination
approves, which animates his conduct, soothes his sorrows, and heightens
his pleasures. Every good and earnest Christian declares that all this is
true of the _visions_ (as you please to style them, God knows why) of
Christianity. Every earnest Christian, therefore, is on a level with
slobberers. Do not charge me with dwelling on one expression. These
expressions are always indicative of the habit of feeling. You possess
fortitude and purity, and a large portion of brotherly-kindness and
universal love; drink with unquenchable thirst of the two latter virtues,
and acquire _patience_; and then, Thelwall, should _your_ system be true,
all that can be said is that (if both our systems should be found to
increase our own and our fellow-creatures’ happiness), “Here lie and did
lie the _all_ of John Thelwall and S. T. Coleridge. They were both humane,
and happy, but the former was the more knowing;” and if my system should
prove true, we, I doubt not, shall both meet in the kingdom of heaven, and
I, with transport in my eye, shall say, “I _told_ you so, my _dear_
fellow.” But seriously, the faulty habit of feeling, which I have
endeavoured to point out in you, I have detected in at least as great
degree in my own practice, and am struggling to subdue it. I rejoice that
the bankrupt honesty of the public has paid even the small dividend you
mentioned. As to your second part, I will write you about it in a day or
two, when I give you an account how I have disposed of your first. My dear
little baby! and my wife thinks that he already begins to flutter the
callow wings of his intellect. Oh, the wise heart and foolish head of a
mother! Kiss your little girl for me, and tell her if I knew her I would
love her; and then I hope in your next letter you will convey _her love_
to me and my Sara. Your dear boy, I trust, will return with rosy cheeks.
Don’t you suspect, Thelwall, that the little atheist Madam Stella has an
abominable _Christian_ kind of _heart_? My Sara is much interested about
her; and I should not wonder if they were to be sworn sister-seraphs in
the heavenly Jerusalem. Give my love to her.

I have sent you some loose sheets which Charles Lloyd and I printed
together, intending to make a volume, but I gave it up and cancelled
them.[143] Item, Joan of Arc, with only the passage of my writing cut out
for the printers, as I am printing it in my second edition, with very
great alterations and an addition of four hundred lines, so as to make it
a complete and independent poem, entitled, “The Progress of Liberty,” or
“The Visions of the Maid of Orleans.” Item, a sheet of sonnets[144]
collected by me for the use of a few friends, who paid the printing. There
you will see my opinion of sonnets. Item, Poem by C. Lloyd[145] on the
death of one of your “slobberers,” a very venerable old lady, and a
Quaker. The book is dressed like a rich Quaker, in costly raiment but
unornamented. The loss of her almost killed my poor young friend; for he
doted on her from his infancy. Item, a poem of mine on Burns[146] which
was printed to be dispersed among friends. It was addressed to Charles
Lamb. Item, (Shall I give it thee, blasphemer? No! I won’t, but) to thy
Stella I do present the poems of my youth for a keepsake. Of this parcel I
do entreat thy acceptance. I have another Joan of Arc, so you have a
_right_ to the one enclosed. Postscript. Item, a humorous “Droll” on S.
Ireland, of which I have likewise another. Item, a strange poem written by
an astrologer here, who _was_ a man of fine genius, which, at intervals,
he still discovers. But, ah me! Madness smote with her hand and stamped
with her feet and swore that he should be hers, and hers he is. He is a
man of fluent eloquence and general knowledge, gentle in his manners, warm
in his affections; but unfortunately he has received a few rays of
supernatural light through a crack in his upper story. I _express_ myself
unfeelingly; but indeed my heart always aches when I think of him. Item,
some verses of Robert Southey to a college cat.[147] And, finally, the
following lines by thy affectionate friend,




  Hence that fantastic wantonness of woe,
    O youth to partial Fortune vainly dear!
  To plunder’d Want’s half-sheltered hovel go,
    Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear
    Moan haply in a dying mother’s ear.

  Or seek some _widow’s_ grave; whose dearer part
    Was slaughtered, where o’er his uncoffin’d limbs
  The flocking flesh-birds scream’d! Then, while thy heart
    Groans, and thine eyes a fiercer sorrow dims,
  Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind),
    What Nature makes thee mourn she bids thee heal.
  O abject! if, to sickly dreams resign’d,
    All effortless thou leave Earth’s common weal
  A prey to the thron’d Murderess of Mankind!

After the first five lines these two followed:--

  Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood
  O’er the rank church-yard with sere elm-leaves strew’d,
  Pace round some _widow’s_ grave, etc.

These they rightly omitted. I love sonnets; but _upon my honour_ I do not
love _my_ sonnets.

N. B.--Direct your letters, S. T. Coleridge, Mr. Cottle’s, High Street,


Sunday morning [? December 18, 1796.]

MY DEAR POOLE,--I wrote to you with improper impetuosity; but I had been
dwelling so long on the circumstance of living near you, that my mind was
thrown by your letter into the feelings of those distressful dreams[149]
where we imagine ourselves falling from precipices. I seemed falling from
the summit of my fondest desires, whirled from the height just as I had
reached it.

We shall want none of the Woman’s furniture; we have enough for ourselves.
What with boxes of books, and chests of drawers, and kitchen furniture,
and chairs, and our bed and bed-linen, etc., we shall have enough to fill
a small waggon, and to-day I shall make enquiry among my trading
acquaintance, whether it would be cheaper to hire a waggon to take them
straight to Stowey, than to put them in the Bridgwater waggon. Taking in
the double trouble and expense of putting them in the drays to carry them
to the public waggon, and then seeing them packed again, and again to be
unpacked and packed at Bridgwater, I much question whether our goods would
be good for anything. I am very poorly, not to say ill. My face
monstrously swollen--my recondite eye sits distent quaintly, behind the
flesh-hill, and looks as little as a tomtit’s. And I have a sore throat
that prevents my eating aught but spoon-meat without great pain. And I
have a rheumatic complaint in the back part of my head and shoulders. Now
all this demands a small portion of Christian patience, taking in our
present circumstances. My apothecary says it will be madness for me to
walk to Stowey on Tuesday, as, in the furious zeal of a new convert to
economy, I had resolved to do. My wife will stay a week or fortnight after
me; I think it not improbable that the weather may break up by that time.
However, if I do not get worse, I will be with you by Wednesday or
Thursday at the furthest, so as to be there before the waggon. Is there
any grate in the house? I should think we might Rumfordize one of the
chimneys. I shall bring down with me a dozen yards of green list. I can
endure cold, but not a cold room. If we can but contrive to make two rooms
_warm_ and _wholesome_, we will laugh in the faces of gloom and

I shall lose the post if I say a word more. You thoroughly and in every
nook and corner of your heart forgive me for my letters? Indeed, indeed,
Poole, I know no one whom I esteem more--no one friend whom I love so
much. But bear with my infirmities! God bless you, and your grateful and



December 31, 1796.

Enough, my dear Thelwall, of theology. In my book on Godwin, I compare the
two systems, his and Jesus’, and that book I am sure you will read with
attention. I entirely accord with your opinion of Southey’s “Joan.” The
ninth book is execrable, and the poem, though it frequently reach the
_sentimental_, does not display the _poetical-sublime_. In language at
once natural, perspicuous, and dignified in manly pathos, in soothing and
sonnet-like description, and, above all, in character and _dramatic_
dialogue, Southey is unrivalled; but as certainly he does not possess
opulence of imaginative lofty-paced harmony, or that toil of thinking
which is necessary in order to plan a _whole_. Dismissing mock humility,
and hanging your mind as a looking-glass over my idea-pot, so as to image
on the said mind all the bubbles that boil in the said idea-pot (there’s a
damned long-winded metaphor for you), I think that an admirable poet might
be made by _amalgamating him_ and _me_. I _think_ too much for a _poet_,
he too little for a _great_ poet. But he abjures _feeling_. Now (as you
say) they must go together. Between ourselves the _enthusiasm_ of
friendship is not with S. and me. We quarrelled and the quarrel lasted for
a twelvemonth. We are now reconciled; but the cause of the difference was
solemn, and “the blasted oak puts not forth its buds anew.” We are
_acquaintances_, and feel _kindliness_ towards each other, but I do not
_esteem_ or _love_ Southey, as I must esteem and love the man whom I dared
call by the holy name of _friend_: and vice versâ Southey of me. I say no
more. It is a painful subject, and do you say nothing. I mention this for
obvious reasons, but let it go no farther. It is a painful subject.
Southey’s direction at present is R. Southey, No. 8 West-gate Buildings,
Bath, but he leaves Bath for London in the course of a week. You imagine
that I know Bowles personally. I never saw him but once, and when I was a
boy and in Salisbury market-place.

The passage in your letter respecting your mother affected me greatly.
Well, true or false, heaven is a less gloomy idea than annihilation. Dr.
Beddoes and Dr. Darwin think that _Life_ is utterly inexplicable, writing
as materialists. You, I understand, have adopted the idea that it is the
result of organised matter acted on by external stimuli. As likely as any
other system, but you assume the thing to be proved. The “capability of
being stimulated into sensation” ... is my definition of _animal life_.
Monro believes in a plastic, immaterial nature, all-pervading.

  And what if all of animated nature
  Be but organic harps diversely framed,
  That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps
  Plastic and vast, etc.

(By the bye, that is the favourite of _my_ poems; do you like it?) Hunter
says that the _blood_ is the life, which is saying nothing at all; for, if
the blood were _life_, it could never be otherwise than life, and to say
it is _alive_ is saying nothing; and Ferriar believes in a _soul_, like an
orthodox churchman. So much for physicians and surgeons! Now as to the
metaphysicians. Plato says it is _harmony_. He might as well have said a
fiddlestick’s end; but I love Plato, his dear, _gorgeous_ nonsense; and I,
_though last not least_, _I_ do not know what to think about it. On the
whole, I have rather made up my mind that I am a mere _apparition_, a
naked spirit, and that life is, I myself I; which is a mighty clear
account of it. Now I have written all this, not to express my ignorance
(that is an accidental effect, not the final cause), but to shew you that
I want to see your essay on “Animal Vitality,” of which Bowles the surgeon
spoke in high terms. Yet _he_ believes in a _body_ and a _soul_. Any book
may be left at Robinson’s for _me_, “to be put into the next parcel, to be
sent to ‘Joseph Cottle, bookseller, Bristol.’” Have you received an
“Ode”[150] of mine from Parsons? In your next letter tell me what you
think of the _scattered_ poems I sent you. Send me any poems, and I will
be minute in criticism. For, O Thelwall, even a long-winded abuse is more
consolatory to an _author’s_ feelings than a short-breathed, asthma-lunged
panegyric. Joking apart, I would to God we could sit by a fireside and
joke _vivâ voce_, face to face--Stella and Sara, Jack Thelwall and I. As I
once wrote to my dear friend, T. Poole, “repeating--

  ‘Such verse as Bowles, heart-honour’d poet, sang,
   That wakes the Tear, yet steals away the Pang,
   Then, or with Berkeley or with Hobbes romance it,
   Dissecting Truth with metaphysic lancet.
   Or, drawn from up those dark unfathom’d wells,
   In wiser folly clink the Cap and Bells.
   How many tales we told! what jokes we made!
   Conundrum, Crambo, Rebus, or Charade;
   Ænigmas that had driven the Theban[151] mad,
   And Puns, then best when exquisitely bad;
   And I, if aught of archer vein I hit
   With my own laughter stifled my own wit.’”[152]








[STOWEY, 1797.]

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I was indeed greatly rejoiced at the first sight of a
letter from you; but its contents were painful. Dear, dear Mrs. Estlin!
Sara burst into an agony of tears that she _had_ been so ill. Indeed,
indeed, we hover about her, and think and talk of her, with many an
interjection of prayer. I do not wonder that you have acquired a distaste
to London--your associations must be painful indeed. But God be praised!
you shall look back on those sufferings as the vexations of a dream! Our
friend, T. Poole, particularly requests me to mention how deeply he
condoles with you in Mrs. Estlin’s illness, how fervently he thanks God
for her recovery. I assure you he was extremely affected. We are all
remarkably well, and the child grows fat and strong. Our house is better
than we expected--there is a comfortable bedroom and sitting-room for C.
Lloyd, and another for us, a room for Nanny, a kitchen, and outhouse.
Before our door a clear brook runs of very soft water; and in the back
yard is a nice _well_ of fine spring water. We have a very pretty garden,
and large enough to find us vegetables and employment, and I am already an
expert gardener, and both my hands can exhibit a callum as testimonials of
their industry. We have likewise a sweet orchard, and at the end of it T.
Poole has made a gate, which leads into his garden, and from thence
either through the tan yard into his house, or else through his orchard
over a fine meadow into the garden of a Mrs. Cruikshank, an old
acquaintance, who married on the same day as I, and has got a little girl
a little younger than David Hartley. Mrs. Cruikshank is a sweet little
woman, of the same size as my Sara, and they are extremely cordial. T.
Poole’s mother behaves to us as a kind and tender mother. She is very fond
indeed of my wife, so that, you see, I ought to be happy, and, thank God,
I am so....


    February 6, 1797.

I thank you, my dear Thelwall, for the parcel, and your letters. Of the
contents I shall speak in the order of their importance. First, then, of
your scheme of a school, I approve it; and fervently wish, that you may
find it more easy of accomplishment than my fears suggest. But try, by all
means, try. Have hopes without expectations to hazard disappointment. Most
of our patriots are tavern and parlour patriots, that will not avow their
principles by any decisive action; and of the few who would wish to do so,
the larger part are unable, from their children’s expectancies on rich
relations, etc., etc. May these remain enough for your Stella to employ
herself on! Try, by all means, try. For your comfort, for your
progressiveness in literary excellence, in the name of everything that is
happy, and in the name of everything that is miserable, I would have you
do anything honest rather than lean with the whole weight of your
necessities on the Press. Get bread and cheese, clothing and housing
independently of it; and you may then safely trust to it for beef and
strong beer. You will find a country life a happy one; and you might live
comfortably with an hundred a year. Fifty pounds you might, I doubt
not, gain by _reviewing_ and furnishing miscellanies for the different
magazines; you might safely speculate on twenty pounds a year or more from
your compositions published separately--50 + 20 = £70; and by severe
economy, a little garden labour, and a pigstye, this would do. And, if the
education scheme did not succeed, and I could get _engaged_ by any one of
the Reviews and the new “Monthly Magazine,” I would _try_ it, and begin to
farm by little and slow degrees. You perceive that by the Press I mean
merely _writing without a certainty_. The other is as secure as anything
else could be to _you_. With health and spirits it would stand; and
without health and spirits every other mode of maintenance, as well as
reviewing, would be impracticable. You are going to Derby! I shall be with
you in spirit. Derby is no common place; but where you will find
_citizens_ enough to fill your lecture-room puzzles me. Dr. Darwin will no
doubt excite your respectful curiosity. On the whole, I think, he is the
first _literary_ character in Europe, and the most original-minded man.
Mrs. Crompton is an angel; and Dr. Crompton a truly honest and benevolent
man, possessing good sense and a large portion of humour. I never think of
him without respect and tenderness; never (for, thank Heaven! I abominate
Godwinism) without gratitude. William Strutt[153] is a man of stern
aspect, but strong, very strong abilities. Joseph Strutt every way
amiable. He deserves his wife--which is saying a great deal--for she is a
sweet-minded woman, and one that you would be apt to recollect whenever
you met or used the words lovely, handsome, beautiful, etc. “While smiling
Loves the shaft display, And lift the playful torch elate.” Perhaps you
may be so fortunate as to meet with a Mrs. Evans whose seat is at Darley,
about a mile from Derby. Blessings descend on her! emotions crowd on me at
the sight of her name. We spent five weeks at her house, a sunny spot in
our life. My Sara sits and thinks and thinks of her and bursts into tears,
and when I turn to her says, “I was thinking, my dear, of Mrs. Evans and
Bessy” (that is, her daughter). I mention this to you, because things are
characterized by their effects. She is no common being who could create so
warm and lasting an interest in _our_ hearts; for _we_ are no common
people. Indeed, indeed, Thelwall, she is without exception the greatest
_woman_ I have been fortunate enough to meet with in my brief pilgrimage
through life.


At Nottingham you will surely be more likely to obtain audiences; and, I
doubt not, you will find a hospitable reception there. I was treated by
many families with kindliness, by some with a zeal of affection. Write me
if you go and when you go. Now for your pamphlet. It is well written, and
the doctrine sound, although sometimes, I think, deduced falsely. For
instance (p. iii.): It is _true_ that all a man’s children, “however
begotten, whether in marriage or out,” are his heirs in nature, and ought
to be so in true policy; but, instead of tacitly allowing that I meant by
it to encourage what Mr. B.[154] and the priests would call
licentiousness (and which surely, Thelwall, in the _present state of
society_ you must allow to be injustice, inasmuch as it deprives the woman
of her respectability in the opinions of her neighbours), I would have
shown that such a law would of all others operate most powerfully in
_favour_ of _marriage_; by which word I mean not the effect of spells
uttered by conjurers, but permanent cohabitation useful to society as the
best conceivable means (in the present state of society, at least) of
ensuring nurture and systematic education to infants and children. We are
but frail beings at present, and want such motives to the practice of our
duties. Unchastity may be no vice,--I think it is,--but it may be no vice,
abstractly speaking; yet from a variety of causes unchaste women are
almost without exception careless mothers. _Wife_ is a solemn name to me
because of its influence on the more solemn duties of _mother_. Such
passages (p. 30 is another of them) are offensive. They are mere
_assertions_, and of course can convince no person who thinks differently;
and they give pain and irritate. I write so frequently to you on this
subject, because I have reason to _know_ that passages of this order did
give very general offence in your first part, and have operated to retard
the sale of the second. If they had been arguments or necessarily
connected with your main argument, I am not the man, Thelwall, who would
oppose the filth of prudentials merely to have it swept away by the
indignant torrent of your honesty. But as I said before, they are mere
_assertions_; and certainly their truth is not self-evident. With the
exception of these passages, the pamphlet is the best I have read since
the commencement of the war; warm, not fiery, well-seasoned without being
dry, the periods harmonious yet avoiding metrical harmony, and the
ornaments so dispersed as to set off the features of truth without turning
the attention on themselves. I account for its slow sale partly from
your having compared yourself to Christ in the first (which gave great
offence, to my knowledge, although very foolishly, I confess), and partly
from the sore and fatigued state of men’s minds, which disqualifies them
for works of principle that exert the intellect without agitating the
passions. But it has not been reviewed yet, has it? I read your narrative
and was almost sorry I had read it, for I had become much interested, and
the abrupt “no more” jarred me. I never heard before of your variance with
Horne Tooke. Of the poems, the two Odes are the best. Of the two Odes, the
last, I think; it is in the best style of Akenside’s best Odes. Several of
the sonnets are pleasing, and whenever I was pleased I paused, and imaged
you in my mind in your captivity.... _My Ode_[155] by this time you are
conscious that you have praised too highly. With the exception of “I
unpartaking of the evil thing,” which line I do not think _injudiciously_
weak, I accede to all your remarks, and shall alter accordingly. Your
remark that the line on the Empress had more of Juvenal than Pindar
_flashed itself_ on my mind. I had admired the line before, but I became
immediately of your opinion, and that criticism has convinced me that your
nerves are exquisite _electrometers_[156] of taste. You forgot to point
out to me that the whole childbirth of Nature is at once ludicrous and
disgusting, an epigram smart yet bombastic. The review of Bryant’s
pamphlet is good--the sauce is better than the fish. Speaking of Lewis’s
death, surely you forget that the legislature of France were to act by
_laws_ and not by general morals; and that they violated the law which
they themselves had made. I will take in the “Corresponding Society
Magazine.” That good man, James Losh, has just published an admirable
treatise translated from the French of Benjamin Constant,[157] entitled,
“Consideration on the Strength of the Present Government of France.” “Woe
to that country when crimes are punished by crimes, and where men murder
in the name of justice.” I apply this to the death of the mistaken but
well-meaning Lewis.[158] I never go to Bristol. From seven till half past
eight I work in my garden; from breakfast till twelve I read and compose,
then read again, feed the pigs, poultry, etc., till two o’clock; after
dinner work again till tea; from tea till supper, _review_. So jogs the
day, and I am happy. I have society--_my friend_ T. Poole, and as many
acquaintances as I can dispense with. There are a number of very pretty
young women in Stowey, all musical, and I am an immense favourite: for I
pun, conundrumize, _listen_, and dance. The last is a recent acquirement.
We are very happy, and my little David Hartley grows a sweet boy and has
high health; he laughs at us till he makes us weep for very fondness. You
would smile to see my eye rolling up to the ceiling in a lyric fury, and
on my knee a diaper pinned to warm. I send and receive to and from Bristol
every week, and will transcribe that part of your last letter and send it
to Reed.

I raise potatoes and all manner of vegetables, have an orchard, and shall
raise corn with the spade, enough for my family. We have two pigs, and
ducks and geese. A cow would not answer the keep: for we have whatever
milk we want from T. Poole. God bless you and your affectionate



June, 1797.

MY DEAR COTTLE,--I am sojourning for a few days at Racedown, the mansion
of our friend Wordsworth, who has received Fox’s “Achmed.” He returns you
his acknowledgments, and presents his kindliest respects to you. I shall
be home by Friday--not to-morrow--but the next Friday. If the “Ode on the
Departing Year” be not reprinted, please to _omit_ the lines from “When
shall scepter’d slaughter cease,” to “For still does Madness roam on
Guilt’s bleak dizzy height,” inclusive.[160] The first epode is to end at
the words “murderer’s fate.” Wordsworth admires my tragedy, which gives me
great hopes. Wordsworth has written a tragedy himself. I speak with
heartfelt sincerity, and (I think) unblinded judgment, when I tell you
that I feel myself _a little man by his side_, and yet do not think myself
the less man than I formerly thought myself. His drama is absolutely
wonderful. You know I do not commonly speak in such abrupt and unmingled
phrases, and therefore will the more readily believe me. There are in the
piece those _profound_ touches of the human heart which I find three or
four times in “The Robbers” of Schiller, and often in Shakespeare, but in
Wordsworth there are no _inequalities_. T. Poole’s opinion of Wordsworth
is that he is the greatest man he ever knew; I coincide.

It is not impossible, that in the course of two or three months I may see
you. God bless you, and


Thursday.--Of course, with the lines you omit the notes that relate to

MR. COTTLE, Bookseller, High Street, Bristol.


July, 1797.

DEAR SOUTHEY,--You are acting kindly in your exertions for Chatterton’s
sister; but I doubt the success. Chatterton’s or Rowley’s poems were never
popular. The very circumstance which made them so much talked of, their
_ancientness_, prevented them from being generally read, in the degree, I
mean, that Goldsmith’s poems or even Rogers’ thing upon memory has been.
The sale was _never_ very great. Secondly, the London Edition and the
Cambridge Edition, which are now both of them the property of London
booksellers, are still in hand, and these booksellers will “hardly exert
their interest for a rival.” _Thirdly, these are bad times._ Fourthly, all
who are sincerely zealous for Chatterton, or who from knowledge of her are
interested in poor Mrs. Newton, will come forwards first, and if others
should drop in but slowly, Mrs. Newton will either receive no benefit at
all from those her friends, or one so long procrastinated, from the
necessity of waiting for the complement of subscribers, that it may at
last come too late. For these reasons I am almost inclined to think a
_subscription_ simply would be better. It is unpleasant to cast a damp on
anything; but that benevolence alone is likely to be beneficent which
_calculates_. If, however, you continue to entertain higher hopes than I,
believe me, I will shake off my sloth, and use my best muscles in gaining
subscribers. I will certainly write a preliminary essay, and I will
_attempt_ to write a poem on the life and death of Chatterton, but the
Monody _must not be reprinted_. Neither this nor the Pixies’ Parlour would
have been in the second edition, but for dear Cottle’s solicitous
importunity. Excepting the last eighteen lines of the Monody, which,
though deficient in chasteness and severity of diction, breathe a pleasing
spirit of romantic feeling, there are not five lines in either poem which
might not have been written by a man who had lived and died in the
self-same St. Giles’ cellar, in which he had been first suckled by a drab
with milk and gin. The Pixies is the least disgusting, because the subject
leads you to expect nothing, but on a life and death so full of
heart-going _realities_ as poor Chatterton’s, to find such shadowy
nobodies as cherub-winged _Death_, Trees of _Hope_, bare-bosomed
_Affection_ and simpering _Peace_, makes one’s blood circulate like
ipecacuanha. But so it is. A young man by strong feelings is impelled to
write on a particular subject, and this is all his feelings do for him.
They set him upon the business and then they leave him. He has such a high
idea of what poetry ought to be, that he cannot conceive that such things
as his natural emotions may be allowed to find a place in it; his learning
therefore, his fancy, or rather conceit, and all his powers of buckram are
put on the stretch. It appears to me that strong feeling is not so
requisite to an author’s being profoundly pathetic as taste and good

Poor old Whag! his mother died of a dish of clotted cream, which my mother
sent her as a present.

I rejoice that your poems are all sold. In the ballad of “Mary the Maid of
the Inn,” you have properly enough made the diction colloquial, but
“_engages_ the eye,” applied to a gibbet, strikes me as _slipshoppish_
from the unfortunate meaning of the word “engaging.” Your praise of my
Dedication[161] gave me great pleasure. From the ninth to the fourteenth
the five lines are flat and prosish, and the versification ever and anon
has too much of the rhyme couplet cadence, and the metaphor[162] on the
diverse sorts of friendship is _hunted down_, but the poem is dear to me,
and in point of taste I place it next to “Low was our pretty Cot,” which I
think the best of my poems.

I am as much a Pangloss as ever, only less contemptuous than I used to be,
when I argue how unwise it is to feel contempt for anything.

I had been on a visit to Wordsworth’s at Racedown, near Crewkerne, and I
brought him and his sister back with me, and here I have _settled them_.
By a combination of curious circumstances a gentleman’s seat, with a park
and woods, elegantly and completely furnished, with nine lodging rooms,
three parlours, and a hall, in the most beautiful and romantic situation
by the seaside, four miles from Stowey,--this we have got for Wordsworth
at the _rent of twenty-three pounds a year, taxes included_! The park and
woods are _his_ for all purposes _he_ wants them, and the large gardens
are altogether and entirely his. Wordsworth is a very great man, the only
man to whom _at all times_ and _in all modes of excellence_ I feel myself
inferior, the only one, I mean, whom _I have yet met with_, for the London
_literati_ appear to me to be very much like little potatoes, that is, _no
great things_, a compost of nullity and dullity.

Charles Lamb has been with me for a week.[163] He left me Friday morning.
The second day after Wordsworth came to me, dear Sara accidentally emptied
a skillet of boiling milk on my foot, which confined me during the whole
time of C. Lamb’s stay and still prevents me from all _walks_ longer than
a furlong. While Wordsworth, his sister, and Charles Lamb were out one
evening, sitting in the arbour of T. Poole’s garden[164] which
communicates with mine I wrote these lines, with which I am pleased. (I
heard from C. Lamb of Favell and Le Grice.[165] Poor Allen! I knew nothing
of it.[166] As to Rough,[167] he is a _wonderful fellow_; and when I
returned from the army, _cut_ me for a month, till he saw that other
people _were as much_ attached as before.)

  Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
  Lam’d by the scathe of fire, lonely and faint,
  This lime-tree bower my prison! They, meantime
  My Friends,[168] whom I may never meet again,
  On springy[169] heath, along the hill-top edge
  Wander delighted, and look down, perchance,
  On that same rifted Dell, where many an ash
  Twists its wild limbs beside the ferny[170] rock
  Whose plumy ferns forever nod and drip,
  Spray’d by the waterfall. But chiefly thou
  My gentle-hearted _Charles_! thou who had pin’d
  And hunger’d after Nature many a year,
  In the great City pent, winning thy way
  With sad yet bowed soul, through evil and pain
  And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
  Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
  Shine in the slant heaven of the sinking orb,
  Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds
  Live in the yellow Light, ye distant groves!
  Struck with joy’s deepest calm, and gazing round
  On[171] the wide view, may gaze till all doth seem
  Less gross than bodily; a living thing
  That acts upon the mind, and with such hues
  As clothe the Almighty Spirit, when He makes
  Spirits perceive His presence!
                                A delight
  Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
  As I myself were there! nor in the bower
  Want I sweet sounds or pleasing shapes. I watch’d
  The sunshine of each broad transparent leaf
  Broke by the shadows of the leaf or stem.
  Which hung above it: and that walnut-tree
  Was richly ting’d, and a deep radiance lay
  Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
  Those fronting elms, and now with blackest mass
  Makes their dark foliage gleam a lighter hue
  Through the late twilight: and though the rapid bat
  Wheels silent by, and not a swallow titters,
  Yet still the solitary humble bee
  Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
  That Nature ne’er deserts the wise and pure;
  No scene so narrow, but may well employ
  Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
  Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes
  ’Tis well to be bereav’d of promised good,
  That we may lift the soul and contemplate
  With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
  My Sister and my Friends! when the last rook
  Beat its straight path along the dusky air
  Homewards, I bless’d it! deeming its black wing
  Cross’d like a speck the blaze of setting day
  While ye stood gazing; or when all was still,
  Flew creaking o’er your heads, and had a charm
  For you, my Sister and my Friends, to whom
  No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.

I would make a shift by some means or other to visit you, if I thought
that you and Edith Southey would return with me. I think--indeed, I am
almost certain--that I could get a one-horse chaise free of all expense. I
have driven back Miss Wordsworth over forty miles of execrable roads, and
have been always very cautious, and am now no inexpert whip. And
Wordsworth, at whose house I now am for change of air, has commissioned me
to offer you a suite of rooms at this place, which is called “All-foxen;”
and so divine and wild is the country that I am sure it would increase
your stock of images, and three weeks’ absence from Christchurch will
endear it to you; and Edith Southey and Sara may not have another
opportunity of seeing one another, and Wordsworth is very solicitous to
know you, and Miss Wordsworth is a most exquisite young woman in her mind
and heart. I pray you write me immediately, directing Stowey, near
Bridgewater, as before.

God bless you and your affectionate



Saturday morning [October 16], 1797.

MY DEAR THELWALL,--I have just received your letter, having been absent a
day or two, and have already, before I write to you, written to Dr.
Beddoes. I would to Heaven it were in my power to serve you; but alas! I
have neither money or influence, and I suppose that at last I must become
a Unitarian minister, as a less evil than starvation. For I get nothing by
literature.... You have my wishes and, what is very liberal in me for such
an atheist reprobate, my prayers. I can _at times_ feel strongly the
beauties you describe, in themselves and for themselves; but more
frequently _all things_ appear _little_, all the knowledge that can be
acquired child’s play; the universe itself! what but an immense heap of
_little_ things? I can contemplate nothing but _parts_, and parts are all
_little_! My mind feels as if it ached to behold and know something
_great_, something _one_ and _indivisible_. And it is only in the faith of
that that rocks or waterfalls, mountains or caverns, give me the sense of
sublimity or majesty! But in this faith _all things_ counterfeit infinity.

  “Struck with the deepest calm of joy,”[172] I stand
   Silent, with swimming sense; and gazing round
   On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
   Less gross than bodily, a living Thing
   Which acts upon the mind and with such hues
   As clothe th’ Almighty Spirit, where He makes
   Spirits perceive His presence!...

It is but seldom that I raise and spiritualize my intellect to this
height; and at other times I adopt the Brahmin creed, and say, “It is
better to sit than to stand, it is better to lie than to sit, it is better
to sleep than to wake, but Death is the best of all!” I should much wish,
like the Indian Vishnu, to float about along an infinite ocean cradled in
the flower of the Lotus, and wake once in a million years for a few
minutes just to know that I was going to sleep a million years more. I
have put this feeling in the mouth of Alhadra, my Moorish Woman. She is
going by moonlight to the house of Velez, where the band turn off to wreak
their vengeance on Francesco, but

                She moved steadily on,
  Unswerving from the path of her resolve.

A Moorish priest, who has been with her and then left her to seek the men,
had just mentioned the owl, “Its note comes dreariest in the fall of the
year.” This dwells on her mind, and she bursts into this soliloquy:--

  The[173] hanging woods, that touch’d by autumn seem’d
  As they were blossoming hues of fire and gold,--
  The hanging woods, most lovely, in decay,
  The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the sands,
  Lay in the silent moonshine; and the owl,
  (Strange! very strange!) the scritch owl only waked,
  Sole voice, sole eye of all that world of beauty!
  Why such a thing am I? Where are these men?
  I need the sympathy of human faces
  To beat away this deep contempt for all things,
  Which quenches my revenge. Oh! would to Alla
  The raven and the sea-mew were appointed
  To bring me food, or rather that my soul
  Could drink in life from universal air!
  It were a lot divine in some small skiff,
  Along some ocean’s boundless solitude,
  To float for ever with a careless course,
  And think myself the only being alive!

I do not wonder that your poem procured you kisses and hospitality. It is
indeed a very sweet one, and I have not only admired your genius more, but
I have loved _you_ better since I have read it. Your sonnet (as you call
it, and, being a freeborn Briton, who shall prevent you from calling
twenty-five blank verse lines a sonnet, if you have taken a bloody
resolution so to do)--your sonnet I am much pleased with; but the epithet
“downy” is probably more applicable to Susan’s upper lip than to her
bosom, and a mother is so holy and divine a being that I cannot endure any
_corporealizing_ epithets to be applied to her or any body of
her--besides, damn epithets! The last line and a half I suppose to be
miswritten. What can be the meaning of “Or scarce one leaf to cheer,”
etc.? “Cornelian virtues”--pedantry! The “melancholy fiend,” villainous in
itself, and inaccurate; it ought to be the “fiend that makes melancholy.”
I should have written it thus (or perhaps something better), “but with
matron cares _drives away heaviness_;” and in your similes, etc., etc., a
little _compression_ would make it a beautiful poem. _Study compression!_

I presume you mean decorum by _Harum_ Dick. An affected fellow at
Bridgwater called truces “trusses.” I told him I admired his
pronunciation, for that lately they had been found “to suspend ruptures
without curing them.”

There appeared in the “Courier” the day before yesterday a very sensible
vindication of the conduct of the Directory. Did you see it?

Your news respecting Mrs. E. did not surprise me. I saw it even from the
first week I was at Darley. As to the other event, our non-settlement at
Darley, I suspect, had little or nothing to do with it--but the _cause_ of
our non-settlement there might perhaps--O God! O God! I wish (but what is
the use of _wishing_?)--I wish that Walter Evans may have talent enough to
appreciate Mrs. Evans, but I suspect his intellect is not tall enough even
to measure hers.

Hartley is well, and _will not_ walk or run, having discovered the art of
crawling with wonderful ease and rapidity. Wordsworth and his sister are
well. I want to see your wife. God bless her!...

Oh, my Tragedy! it is finished, transcribed, and to be sent off to-day;
but I have no hope of its success, or even of its being acted.

God bless, etc.,




  Saturday morning, Bridgwater.
    [Autumn, 1797.]

MY DEAR THELWALL,--Yesterday morning I miss’d the coach, and was ill and
could not walk. This morning the coach was completely full, but I was not
ill, and so did walk; and here I am, footsore very, and weary somewhat.
With regard to the business, I mentioned it at Howell’s; but I perceive he
is absolutely powerless. Chubb I would have called on, but there are the
Assizes, and I find he is surrounded in his own house by a mob of visitors
whom it is scarcely possible for him to leave, long enough at least for
the conversation I want with him. I will write him to-morrow morning, and
shall have an answer the same day, which I will transmit to you on Monday,
but you _cannot_ receive it till Tuesday night. If, therefore, you leave
Swansea before that time, or, in case of accident, before Wednesday night,
leave directions with the postmaster to have your letter forwarded.

I go for Stowey immediately, which will make my walk forty-one miles. The
Howells desire to be remembered to you kindly.

I am sad at heart about you on many accounts, but chiefly anxious for this
present business. The aristocrats seem to persecute _even
Wordsworth_.[174] But we will at least not yield without a struggle; and
if I cannot get you near me, it shall not be for want of a trial on my
part. But perhaps I am passing the worn-out spirits of a _fag_-walk for
the real aspect of the business.

God love you, and believe me affectionately your friend,


    To be left at the Post Office, Swansea, Glamorganshire.


[Autumn, 1797.]

DEAR THELWALL,--This is the first hour that I could write to you anything
decisive. I have received an answer from Chubb, intimating that he will
undertake the office of procuring you a cottage, provided it was thought
_right_ that you should settle _here_; but this (that is the whole
difficulty) he left for T. Poole and me to settle, and he acquainted Poole
with this determination. Consequently, the whole returns to its former
situation; and the hope which I had entertained, that you could have
settled without any the remotest interference of Poole, _has vanished_. To
such interference on his part there are insuperable difficulties: the
whole malignity of the aristocrats will converge to him as to the one
point; his tranquillity will be perpetually interrupted, his business and
his credit hampered and distressed by vexatious calumnies, the ties of
relationship weakened, perhaps broken; and, lastly, his poor old mother
made miserable--the pain of the stone aggravated by domestic calamity and
quarrels betwixt her son and those neighbours with whom and herself there
have been peace and love for these fifty years. Very great odium T. Poole
incurred by bringing _me_ here. My peaceable manners and known attachment
to Christianity had almost worn it away when Wordsworth came, and he,
likewise by T. Poole’s agency, settled here. You cannot conceive the
tumult, calumnies, and apparatus of threatened persecutions which this
event has occasioned round about us. If _you_, too, should come, I am
afraid that even riots, and dangerous riots, might be the consequence.
Either of us separately would perhaps be tolerated, but _all three_
together, what can it be less than plot and damned conspiracy--a school
for the propagation of Demagogy and Atheism? And it deserves examination,
whether or no as moralists we should be justified in hazarding the certain
evil of calling forth malignant passions for the contingent good, that
might result from our living in the same neighbourhood? Add to which, that
in point of the _public interest_, we must take into the balance the
Stowey Benefit Club. Of the present utility of this T. Poole thinks
highly; of its possible utility, very, very highly indeed; but the
interests, nay, perhaps the existence of this club, is interwoven with his
character as a peaceable and _undesigning_ man; certainly, any future and
greater excellence which he hopes to realize in and through the society
will vanish like a dream of the morning. If, therefore, you can get the
land and cottage near Bath of which you spoke to me, I would advise it on
many accounts; but if you still see the arguments on the other side in a
stronger light than those which I have stated, come, but not yet. Come in
two or three months--take lodgings at Bridgwater--familiarise the people
to your name and appearance, and, when the _monstrosity_ of the thing is
gone off, and the people shall have begun to consider you as a man whose
mouth won’t eat them, and whose pocket is better adapted for a bundle of
sonnets than the transportation or ambush place of a French army, then you
may take a house; but indeed (I say it with a very sad but a very clear
conviction), at _present_ I see that much evil and little good would
result from your settling here.

I am unwell. This business has, indeed, preyed much on my spirits, and I
have suffered for you more than I hope and trust you will suffer yourself.

God love you and yours.


    To be left at the Post Office, Swansea, Glamorganshire.


Tuesday morning, January, 1798.

MY DEAR WORDSWORTH,--You know, of course, that I have accepted the
magnificent liberality of Josiah and Thomas Wedgwood.[175] I accepted it
on the presumption that I had talents, honesty, and propensities to
perseverant effort. If I have hoped wisely concerning myself, I have acted
justly. But dismissing severer thoughts, believe me, my dear fellow! that
of the pleasant ideas which accompanied this unexpected event, it was not
the least pleasant, nor did it pass through my mind the last in the
procession, that I should at least be able to trace the spring and early
summer at Alfoxden with you, and that wherever your after residence may
be, it is probable that you will be within the reach of my tether,
lengthened as it now is. The country round Shrewsbury is rather tame. My
imagination has clothed it with all its summer attributes; but I still can
see in it no possibility beyond that of _beauty_. The Society here were
sufficiently eager to have me as their minister, and, I think, would have
behaved kindly and respectfully, but I perceive clearly that without great
courage and perseverance in the use of the monosyllabic _No!_ I should
have been plunged in a very Maelstrom of visiting--whirled round, and
round, and round, never changing yet always moving. Visiting with all its
pomp and vanities is the mania of the place; and many of the congregation
are both rich and expensive. I met a young man, a Cambridge undergraduate.
Talking of plays, etc., he told me that an acquaintance of his was
printing a translation of one of Kotzebue’s tragedies, entitled,
“Benyowski.”[176] The name startled me, and upon examination I found that
the story of my “Siberian Exiles” has been already dramatized. If Kotzebue
has exhibited no greater genius in it than in his negro slaves, I shall
consider this as an unlucky circumstance; but the young man speaks
enthusiastically of its merits. I have just read the “Castle Spectre,” and
shall bring it home with me. I will begin with its defects, in order that
my “But” may have a charitable transition. 1. Language; 2. Character; 3.
Passion; 4. Sentiment; 5. Conduct. (1.) Of styles, some are pleasing
durably and on reflection, some only in transition, and some are not
pleasing at all; and to this latter class belongs the “Castle
Spectre.”[177] There are no felicities in the humorous passages; and in
the serious ones it is Schiller Lewis-ized, that is, a flat, flabby,
unimaginative bombast oddly sprinkled with colloquialisms. (2.) No
character at all. The author in a postscript lays claim to _novelty_ in
_one_ of his characters, that of Hassan. Now Hassan is a negro, who _had_
a warm and benevolent heart; but having been kidnapped from his country
and barbarously used by the Christians, becomes a misanthrope. This is
all!! (3.) Passion--horror! agonizing pangs of conscience! Dreams full of
hell, serpents, and skeletons; starts and attempted murders, etc., but
positively, not _one_ line that marks even a superficial knowledge of
human feelings could I discover. (4.) Sentiments are moral and humorous.
There is a book called the “Frisky Songster,” at the end of which are two
chapters: the first containing _frisky_ toasts and sentiments, the second,
“_Moral_ Toasts,” and from these chapters I suspect Mr. Lewis has stolen
all his sentimentality, moral and humorous. A very fat friar, renowned for
gluttony and lubricity, furnishes abundance of jokes (all of them
abdominal _vel si quid infra_), jokes that would have stunk, had they been
fresh, and alas! they have the very _sæva mephitis_ of _antiquity_ on
them. _But_ (5.) the Conduct of the Piece is, I think, _good_; except that
the first act is _wholly_ taken up with explanation and narration. This
play proves how accurately you conjectured concerning _theatric_ merit.
The merit of the “Castle Spectre” consists wholly in its _situations_.
These are all borrowed and all absolutely _pantomimical_; but they are
admirably managed for stage effect. There is not much bustle, but
_situations_ for ever. The whole plot, machinery, and incident are
borrowed. The play is a mere patchwork of plagiarisms; but they are very
well worked up, and for stage effect make an excellent _whole_. There is a
pretty little ballad-song introduced, and Lewis, I think has great and
peculiar excellence in these compositions. The simplicity and naturalness
is his own, and not imitated; for it is made to subsist in congruity with
a language perfectly modern, the language of his own times, in the same
way that the language of the writer of “Sir Cauline” was the language of
_his_ times. This, I think, a rare merit: at least, I find, _I_ cannot
attain this innocent nakedness, except by _assumption_. I resemble the
Duchess of Kingston, who masqueraded in the character of “Eve before the
Fall,” in flesh-coloured Silk. This play struck me with utter
hopelessness. It would [be easy] to produce these situations, but not in a
play so [constructed] as to admit the permanent and closest beauties of
style, passion, and character. To admit pantomimic tricks, the plot itself
must be pantomimic. Harlequin cannot be had unaccompanied by the Fool.

I hope to be with you by the middle of next week. I must stay over next
Sunday, as Mr. Row is obliged to go to Bristol to seek a house. He and his
family are honest, sensible, pleasant people. My kind love to Dorothy, and
believe me, with affectionate esteem, yours sincerely,

  S. T. COLERIDGE.[178]


STOWEY, March 8, 1798.

MY DEAR COTTLE,--I have been confined to my bed for some days through a
fever occasioned by the stump of a tooth.... I thank you, my dear friend,
for your late kindness, and in a few weeks will either repay you in money
or by verses, as you like. With regard to Lloyd’s verses, it is curious
that _I_ should be applied to to be “persuaded to resign, and in hope that
I might” _consent_ to _give up_ a number of poems which were published at
the earnest request of the author, who assured me that the circumstance
was “of no trivial import to his happiness.” Times change and people
change; but let us keep our souls in quietness! I have no objection to any
disposal of C. Lloyd’s poems, except that of their being republished with
mine. The motto which I had prefixed, “Duplex,” etc.,[179] from
Groscollius, has placed me in a ridiculous situation; but it was a foolish
and presumptuous start of affectionateness, and I am not unwilling to
incur punishments due to my folly. By past experiences we build up our
moral being. How comes it that I have never heard from dear Mr. Estlin, my
fatherly and brotherly friend? This idea haunted me through my sleepless
nights, till my sides were sore in turning from one to the other, as if I
were hoping to turn from the idea. The Giant Wordsworth--God love him!
Even when I speak in the terms of admiration due to his intellect, I fear
lest those terms should keep out of sight the amiableness of his
manners.... He has written more than 1,200 lines of a blank verse,
superior, I hesitate not to aver, to anything in our language which any
way resembles it. Poole (whom I feel so consolidated with myself that I
seem to have no occasion to speak of him out of myself) thinks of it as
likely to benefit mankind much more than anything Wordsworth has yet
written. With regard to my poems, I shall prefix the “Maid of Orleans,”
1,000 lines, and three blank verse poems, making all three about 200, and
I shall utterly leave out perhaps a larger quantity of lines; and I should
think it would answer to you in a pecuniary way to print the third edition
humbly and cheaply. My alterations in the “Religious Musings” will be
considerable, and will lengthen the poem. Oh, Poole desires you _not_ to
mention his house to any one unless you hear from him again, as since I
have been writing a thought has struck us of letting it to an inhabitant
of the village, which we should prefer, as we should be certain that his
manners would be severe, inasmuch as he would be a Stow-ic.

God bless you and

  S. T. C.


April, 1798.

MY DEAR BROTHER,--An illness, which confined me to my bed, prevented me
from returning an immediate answer to your kind and interesting letter.
My indisposition originated in the stump of a tooth over which some matter
had formed; this affected my eye, my eye my stomach, my stomach my head,
and the consequence was a general fever, and the sum of pain was
considerably increased by the vain attempts of our surgeon to extract the
offending member. Laudanum gave me repose, not sleep; but you, I believe,
know how divine that repose is, what a spot of enchantment, a green spot
of fountain and flowers and trees in the very heart of a waste of sands!
God be praised, the matter has been absorbed; and I am now recovering
apace, and enjoy that newness of sensation from the fields, the air, and
the sun which makes convalescence almost repay one for disease. I collect
from your letter that our opinions and feelings on political subjects are
more nearly alike than you imagine them to be. Equally with you (and
perhaps with a deeper conviction, for my belief is founded on actual
experience), equally with you I deprecate the moral and intellectual
habits of those men, both in England and France, who have modestly assumed
to themselves the exclusive title of Philosophers and Friends of Freedom.
I think them at least _as_ distant from greatness as from goodness. If I
know my own opinions, they are utterly untainted with French metaphysics,
French politics, French ethics, and French theology. As to _the Rulers_ of
France, I see in their views, speeches, and actions nothing that
distinguishes them to their advantage from other animals of the same
species. History has taught me that rulers are much the same in all ages,
and under all forms of government; they are as bad as they dare to be. The
vanity of ruin and the curse of blindness have clung to them like an
hereditary leprosy. Of the French Revolution I can give my thoughts most
adequately in the words of Scripture: “A great and strong wind rent the
mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was
not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; and after the
earthquake a fire; and the Lord was not in the fire;” and now (believing
that no calamities are permitted but as the means of good) I wrap my face
in my mantle and wait, with a subdued and patient thought, expecting to
hear “the still small voice” which is of God. In America (I have received
my information from unquestionable authority) the morals and domestic
habits of the people are daily deteriorating; and one good consequence
which I expect from revolution is that individuals will see the necessity
of individual effort; that they will act as good Christians, rather than
as citizens and electors; and so by degrees will purge off that error,
which to me appears as wild and more pernicious than the πάγχρυσον and
panacea of the alchemists, the error of attributing to governments a
talismanic influence over our virtues and our happiness, as if governments
were not rather effects than causes. It is true that all effects react and
become causes, and so it must be in some degree with governments; but
there are other agents which act more powerfully because by a nigher and
more continuous agency, and it remains true that governments are more the
_effect_ than the cause of that which we are. Do not therefore, my
brother, consider me as an enemy to government and its rulers, or as one
who says they are evil. I do not say so. In my opinion it were a species
of blasphemy! Shall a nation of drunkards presume to babble against
sickness and the headache? I regard governments as I regard the abscesses
produced by certain fevers--they are necessary consequences of the
disease, and by their pain they increase the disease; but yet they are in
the wisdom and goodness of Nature, and not only are they physically
necessary as effects, but also as causes they are morally necessary in
order to prevent the utter dissolution of the patient. But what should we
think of a man who expected an absolute cure from an ulcer that only
prevented his dying. Of guilt I say nothing, but I believe most
steadfastly in original sin; that from our mothers’ wombs our
understandings are darkened; and even where our understandings are in the
light, that our organization is depraved and our volitions imperfect; and
we sometimes see the good without wishing to attain it, and oftener _wish_
it without the energy that wills and performs. And for this inherent
depravity I believe that the _spirit_ of the Gospel is the sole cure; but
permit me to add, that I look for the spirit of the Gospel “neither in the
mountain, nor at Jerusalem.”

You think, my brother, that there can be but two _parties_ at present, for
the Government and against the Government. It may be so. I am of no party.
It is true I think the present Ministry weak and unprincipled men; but I
would not with a safe conscience vote for their removal; I could point out
no substitutes. I think very seldom on the subject; but as far as I have
thought, I am inclined to consider the aristocrats as the most respectable
of our three factions, because they are more decorous. The Opposition and
the Democrats are not only vicious, they wear the _filthy garments_ of

                            He that takes
  Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
  Design’d by loud declaimers on the part
  Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust,
  Incurs derision for his easy faith
  And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough:
  For when was public virtue to be found
  Where private was not? Can he love the whole
  Who loves no part? He be a _nation’s_ friend,
  Who is, in truth, the friend of _no_ man there?
  Can he be strenuous in his country’s cause
  Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake
  That country, if at all, must be belov’d?

I am prepared to suffer without discontent the consequences of my follies
and mistakes; and unable to conceive how that which I am of Good could
have been without that which I have been of evil, it is withheld from me
to regret anything. I therefore consent to be deemed a Democrat and a
Seditionist. A man’s character follows him long after he has ceased to
deserve it; but I have snapped my squeaking baby-trumpet of sedition, and
the fragments lie scattered in the lumber-room of penitence. I wish to be
a good man and a Christian, but I am no Whig, no Reformist, no Republican,
and because of the multitude of fiery and undisciplined spirits that lie
in wait against the public quiet under these titles, because of them I
chiefly accuse the present ministers, to whose folly I attribute, in a
great measure, their increased and increasing numbers. You think
differently, and if I were called upon by you to prove my assertions,
although I imagine I could make them appear plausible, yet I should feel
the insufficiency of my data. The Ministers may have had in their
possession facts which alter the whole state of the argument, and make my
syllogisms fall as flat as a baby’s card-house. And feeling this, my
brother! I have for some time past withdrawn myself totally from the
consideration of _immediate causes_, which are infinitely complex and
uncertain, to muse on fundamental and general causes the “causæ causarum.”
I devote myself to such works as encroach not on the anti-social
passions--in poetry, to elevate the imagination and set the affections in
right tune by the beauty of the inanimate impregnated as with a living
soul by the presence of life--in prose to the seeking with patience and a
slow, very slow mind, “Quid sumus, et quidnam victuri gignimus,”--what our
faculties are and what they are capable of becoming. I love fields and
woods and mountains with almost a visionary fondness. And because I have
found benevolence and quietness growing within me as that fondness has
increased, therefore I should wish to be the means of implanting it in
others, and to destroy the bad passions not by combating them but by
keeping them in inaction.

                          Not useless do I deem
  These shadowy sympathies with things that hold
  An inarticulate Language; for the Man--
  Once taught to love such objects as excite
  No morbid passions, no disquietude,
  No vengeance, and no hatred--needs must feel
  The joy of that pure principle of love
  So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught
  Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose
  But seek for objects of a kindred love
  In fellow-nature and a kindred joy.
  Accordingly he by degrees perceives
  His feelings of aversion softened down;
  A holy tenderness pervade his frame!
  His sanity of reason not impair’d,
  Say, rather, that his thoughts now flowing clear
  From a clear fountain flowing, he looks round,
  He seeks for good; and finds the good he seeks.

I have laid down for myself two maxims, and, what is more I am in the
habit of regulating myself by them. With regard to others, I never
controvert opinions except after some intimacy, and when alone with the
person, and at the happy time when we both seem awake to our own
fallibility, and then I rather state my reasons than argue against his. In
general conversation to find out the opinions common to us, or at least
the subjects on which difference of opinion creates no uneasiness, such as
novels, poetry, natural scenery, local anecdotes, and (in a serious mood
and with serious men) the general evidences of our religion. With regard
to myself, it is my habit, on whatever subject I think, to endeavour to
discover all the good that has resulted from it, that does result, or that
can result. To this I bind down my mind, and after long meditation in this
tract slowly and gradually make up my opinions on the quantity and nature
of the evil. I consider this as the most important rule for the regulation
of the intellect and the affections, as the only means of preventing the
passions from turning reason into a hired advocate. I thank you for your
kindness, and propose in a short time to walk down to you: but my wife
must forego the thought, as she is within five or six weeks of lying-in.
She and my child, whose name is David Hartley, are remarkably well. You
will give my duty to my mother, and love to my brothers, to Mrs. S. and G.

Excuse my desultory style and illegible scrawl, for I have written you a
long letter, you see, and am in truth too weary to write a fair copy of
it, or rearrange my ideas, and I am anxious you should know me as I am.

God bless you, from your affectionate brother,



May [? 1798].

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I write from Cross, to which place I accompanied Mr.
Wordsworth, who will give you this letter. We visited Cheddar, but his
main business was to bring back poor Lloyd, whose infirmities have been
made the instruments of another man’s darker passions. But Lloyd (as we
found by a letter that met us in the road) is off for Birmingham.
Wordsworth proceeds, lest possibly Lloyd may not be gone, and likewise to
see his own Bristol friends, as he is so near them. I have now known him a
year and some months, and my admiration, I might say my awe, of his
intellectual powers has increased even to this hour, and (what is of more
importance) he is a tried good man. On one subject we are habitually
silent; we found our data dissimilar, and never renewed the subject. It is
his practice and almost his nature to convey all the truth he knows
without any attack on what he supposes falsehood, if that falsehood be
interwoven with virtues or happiness. He loves and venerates Christ and
Christianity. I wish he did more, but it were wrong indeed if an
incoincidence with one of our wishes altered our respect and affection to
a man of whom we are, as it were, instructed by one great Master to say
that not being against us he is for us. His genius is most _apparent_ in
poetry, and rarely, except to me in _tête-à-tête_, breaks forth in
conversational eloquence. My best and most affectionate wishes attend Mrs.
Estlin and your little ones, and believe me, with filial and fraternal
friendship, your grateful


    St. Michael’s Hill, Bristol.


Monday, May 14, 1798.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I ought to have written to you before; and have done very
wrong in not writing. But I have had many sorrows and some that bite deep;
calumny and ingratitude from men who have been fostered in the bosom of my
confidence! I pray God that I may sanctify these events by forgiveness
and a peaceful spirit full of love. This morning, half-past one, my wife
was safely delivered of a fine boy;[183] she had a remarkably good time,
better if possible than her last, and both she and the child are as well
as can be. By the by, it is only three in the morning now. I walked in to
Taunton and back again, and performed the divine services for Dr. Toulmin.
I suppose you must have heard that his daughter, in a melancholy
derangement, suffered herself to be swallowed up by the tide on the
sea-coast between Sidmouth and Bere. These events cut cruelly into the
hearts of old men; but the good Dr. Toulmin bears it like the true
practical Christian,--there is indeed a tear in his eye, but _that_ eye is
lifted up to the Heavenly Father. I have been too neglectful of practical
religion--I mean, actual and stated prayer, and a regular perusal of
scripture as a morning and evening duty. May God grant me grace to amend
this error, for it is a grievous one! Conscious of frailty I almost wish
(I say it confidentially to you) that I had become a stated minister, for
indeed I find true joy after a sincere prayer; but for want of habit my
mind wanders, and I cannot _pray_ as often as I ought. Thanksgiving is
pleasant in the performance; but prayer and distinct confession I find
most serviceable to my spiritual health when I can do it. But though all
my doubts are done away, though Christianity is my _passion_, it is too
much my _intellectual_ passion, and therefore will do me but little good
in the hour of temptation and calamity.

My love to Mrs. E. and the dear little ones, and ever, O ever, believe me,
with true affection and gratitude,

  Your filial friend,


  Monday, May 14, 1798.
    Morning, 10 o’clock.

MY DEAREST FRIEND,--I have been sitting many minutes with my pen in my
hand, full of prayers and wishes for you, and the house of affliction in
which you have so trying a part to sustain--but I know not what to
_write_. May God support you! May he restore your brother--but above all,
I pray that he will make us able to cry out with a fervent sincerity: Thy
will be done! I have had lately some sorrows that have cut more deeply
into my heart than they ought to have done, and I have found religion, and
_commonplace religion_ too, my restorer and my comfort, giving me
gentleness and calmness and dignity! Again and again, may God be with you,
my best, dear friend! and believe me, my Poole! dearer, to my
understanding and affections unitedly, than all else in the world!

It is almost painful and a thing of fear to tell you that I have another
boy; it will bring upon your mind the too affecting circumstance of poor
Mrs. Richard Poole! The prayers which I have offered for her have been a
relief to my own mind; I would that they could have been a consolation to
her. Scripture seems to teach us that our fervent prayers are not without
efficacy, even for others; and though my reason is perplexed, yet my
internal feelings impel me to a humble faith, that it is possible and
consistent with the divine attributes.

Poor Dr. Toulmin! he bears his calamity like one in whom a faith through
Jesus is the _Habit_ of the whole man, of his affections still more than
of his convictions. The loss of a dear child in so frightful a way cuts
cruelly with an old man, but though there is a tear and an anguish in his
eye, that eye is raised to heaven.

Sara was safely delivered at half past one this morning--the boy is
already almost as large as Hartley. She had an astonishingly good time,
better if possible than her last; and excepting her weakness, is as well
as ever. The child is strong and shapely, and has the paternal beauty in
his upper lip. God be praised for all things.

  Your affectionate and entire friend,


Sunday evening [May 20, 1798].

MY DEAREST POOLE,--I was all day yesterday in a distressing perplexity
whether or no it would be wise or consolatory for me to call at your
house, or whether I should write to your mother, as a Christian friend, or
whether it would not be better to wait for the exhaustion of that grief
which must have its way.

So many unpleasant and shocking circumstances have happened to me in my
immediate knowledge within the last fortnight, that I am in a nervous
state, and the most trifling thing makes me weep. Poor Richard! May
Providence heal the wounds which it hath seen good to inflict!

Do you wish me to see you to-day? Shall I call on you? Shall I stay with
you? or had I better leave you uninterrupted? In all your sorrows as in
your joys, I am, indeed, my dearest Poole, a true and faithful sharer!

May God bless and comfort you all!



[Spring of 1798.]

DEAR LAMB,--Lloyd has informed me through Miss Wordsworth that you intend
no longer to correspond with me. This has given me little pain; not that
I do not love and esteem you, but on the contrary because I am confident
that your intentions are pure. You are performing what you deem a duty,
and humanly speaking have that merit which can be derived from the
performance of a painful duty. Painful, for you would not without
struggles abandon me in behalf of a man[185] who, wholly ignorant of all
but your name, became attached to you in consequence of my attachment,
caught _his_ from _my_ enthusiasm, and learned to love you at my fireside,
when often while I have been sitting and talking of your sorrows and
afflictions I have stopped my conversations and lifted up wet eyes and
prayed for you. No! I am confident that although you do not think as a
wise man, you feel as a good man.

From you I have received little pain, because for you I suffer little
alarm. I cannot say this for your friend; it appears to me evident that
his feelings are vitiated, and that his ideas are in their combination
merely the creatures of those feelings. I have received letters from him,
and the best and kindest wish which, as a Christian, I can offer in return
is that he may feel remorse.

Some brief resentments rose in my mind, but they did not remain there; for
I began to think almost immediately, and my resentments vanished. There
has resulted only a sort of fantastic scepticism concerning my own
consciousness of my own rectitude. As dreams have impressed on him the
sense of reality, my sense of reality may be but a dream. From his letters
it is plain that he has mistaken the heat and bustle and swell of
self-justification for the approbation of his conscience. I am certain
that _this_ is not the case with me, but the human heart is so wily and
inventive that possibly it may be cheating me, who am an older warrior,
with some newer stratagem. When I wrote to you that my Sonnet to
Simplicity[186] was not composed with reference to Southey, you answered
me (I believe these were the words): “It was a lie too gross for the
grossest ignorance to believe;” and I was not angry with you, because the
assertion which the grossest ignorance would believe a lie the Omniscient
knew to be truth. This, however, makes me cautious not too hastily to
affirm the falsehood of an assertion of Lloyd’s that in Edmund
Oliver’s[187] love-fit, leaving college, and going into the army he had no
sort of allusion to or recollection of my love-fit, leaving college, and
going into the army, and that he never thought of my person in the
description of Oliver’s person in the first letter of the second volume.
This cannot appear stranger to me than my assertion did to you, and
therefore I will suspend my absolute faith.

I wrote to you not that I wish to hear from you, but that I wish you to
write to Lloyd and press upon him the propriety, nay the necessity, of his
giving me a meeting either _tête-à-tête_ or in the presence of all whose
esteem I value. This I owe to my own character; I owe it to him if by any
means he may even yet be extricated. He assigned as reasons for his
rupture my vices; and he is either right or wrong. If right, it is fit
that others should know it and follow his example; if wrong, he has acted
very wrong. At present, I may expect everything from his heated mind
rather than continence of language, and his assertions will be the more
readily believed on account of his former enthusiastic attachment, though
with wise men this would cast a hue of suspicion over the whole affair;
but the number of wise men in the kingdom would not puzzle a savage’s
arithmetic--you may tell them in every [community] on your fingers. I have
been unfortunate in my connections. Both you and Lloyd became acquainted
with me when your minds were far from being in a composed or natural
state, and you clothed my image with a suit of notions and feelings which
could belong to nothing human. You are restored to comparative saneness,
and are merely wondering what is become of the Coleridge with whom you
were so passionately in love; _Charles Lloyd’s_ mind has only changed his
disease, and he is now arraying his ci-devant Angel in a flaming San
Benito--the whole ground of the garment a dark brimstone and plenty of
little devils flourished out in black. Oh, me! Lamb, “even in laughter the
heart is sad!” My kindness, my affectionateness, he deems wheedling; but,
if after reading all my letters to yourself and to him, you can suppose
him wise in his treatment and correct in his accusations of me, you think
worse of human nature than poor human nature, bad as it is, deserves to be
thought of.

  God bless you and







The letters which Coleridge wrote from Germany were, with few exceptions,
addressed either to his wife or to Poole. They have never been published
in full, but during his life and since his death various extracts have
appeared in print. The earlier letters descriptive of his voyage, his two
visits to Hamburg, his interviews with Klopstock, and his settlement at
Ratzeburg were published as “Satyrane’s Letters,” first in
November-December, 1809, in Nos. 14, 16, and 18 of “The Friend,” and
again, in 1817, in the “Biographia Literaria” (ii. 183-253). Two extracts
from letters to his wife, dated respectively January 14 and April 8, 1799,
appeared in No. 19 of “The Friend,” December 28, 1809, as “Christmas
Indoors in North Germany,” and “Christmas Out of Doors.” In 1828,
Coleridge placed a selection of unpublished letters from Germany in the
hands of the late S. C. Hall, who printed portions of two (dated
“Clausthal, May 17, 1799”) in the “Amulet” of 1829, under the title of
“Fragments of a Journal of a Tour over the Brocken, by S. T. Coleridge.”
The same extract is included in Gillman’s “Life of Coleridge,” pp. 125,

After Coleridge’s death, Mr. Hall published in the “New Monthly Magazine”
(1835, No. 45, pp. 211-226) the three last letters from Germany, dated May
17, 18, and 19, which include the “Tour over the Brocken.” Selections from
Coleridge’s letters to Poole of April 8 and May 6, 1799, were published
by Mrs. Sandford in “Thomas Poole and his Friends” (i. 295-299), and four
letters from Poole to Coleridge are included in the same volume (pp.
277-294). A hitherto unpublished letter from Coleridge to his wife, dated
January 14, 1799, appeared in “The Illustrated London News,” April 29,
1893. For further particulars relative to Coleridge’s life in Germany, see
Carlyon’s “Early Years,” etc., 1856, i. 26-198, _passim_, and Brandl’s
“Life of Coleridge,” 1887, pp. 230-252.


September 15, 1798.

MY VERY DEAR POOLE,--We have arrived at Yarmouth just in time to be
hurried into the packet--and four or five letters of recommendation have
been taken away from me, owing to their being wafered. Wedgwood’s luckily
were not.

I am at the point of leaving my native country for the first time--a
country which God Almighty knows is dear to me above all things for the
love I bear to you. Of many friends whom I love and esteem, my head and
heart have ever chosen you as the friend--as the one being in whom is
involved the full and whole meaning of that sacred title. God love you, my
dear Poole! and your faithful and most affectionate


P. S. We may be only two days, we may be a fortnight going. The same of
the packet that returns. So do not let my poor Sara be alarmed if she do
not hear from me. I will write alternately to you and her, twice every
week during my absence. May God preserve us, and make us continue to be
joy, and comfort, and wisdom, and virtue to each other, my dear, dear


HAMBURG, September 19, 1798.

Over what place does the moon hang to your eye, my dearest Sara? To me it
hangs over the left bank of the Elbe, and a long trembling road of
moonlight reaches from thence up to the stern of our vessel, and there it
ends. We have dropped anchor in the middle of the stream, thirty miles
from Cuxhaven, where we arrived this morning at eleven o’clock, after an
unusually fine passage of only forty-eight hours. The Captain agreed to
take all the passengers up to Hamburg for ten guineas; my share amounted
only to half a guinea. We shall be there, if no fogs intervene, to-morrow
morning. Chester was ill the whole voyage; Wordsworth shockingly ill; his
sister worst of all, and I neither sick nor giddy, but gay as a lark. The
sea rolled rather high, but the motion was pleasant to me. The stink of a
sea cabin in a packet (what with the bilge-water, and what from the crowd
of sick passengers) is horrible. I remained chiefly on deck. We left
Yarmouth Sunday morning, September 16, at eleven o’clock. Chester and
Wordsworth ill immediately. Our passengers were: ‡Wordsworth, ✴Chester, S.
T. Coleridge, a Dane, second Dane, third Dane, a Prussian, a Hanoverian
and ✴his servant, a German tailor and his ✴wife, a French ‡emigrant and
✴French servant, ✴two English gentlemen, and ‡a Jew. All these with the
prefix ✴ were sick, those marked ‡ horribly sick. The view of Yarmouth
from the sea is interesting; besides, it was English ground that was
flying away from me. When we lost sight of land, the moment that we quite
lost sight of it and the heavens all round me rested upon the waters, my
dear babes came upon me like a flash of lightning; I saw their faces[188]
so distinctly! This day enriched me with characters, and I passed it
merrily. Each of those characters I will delineate to you in my journal,
which you and Poole alternately will receive regularly as soon as I arrive
at any settled place, which will be in a week. Till then I can do little
more than give you notice of my safety and my faithful affection to you
(but the journal will commence from the day of my arrival at London, and
give every day’s occurrence, etc.). I have it written, but I have neither
paper or time to transcribe it. I trust nothing to memory. The Ocean is a
noble thing by night; a beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary
intervals roars and rushes by the side of the vessel, and stars of flame
dance and sparkle and go out in it, and every now and then light
detachments of foam dart away from the vessel’s side with their galaxies
of stars and scour out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness.
What these stars are I cannot say; the sailors say they are fish spawn,
which is phosphorescent. The noisy passengers swear in all their
languages, with drunken hiccups, that I shall write no more, and I must
join them. Indeed, they present a rich feast for a dramatist. My kind love
to Mrs. Poole (with what wings of swiftness would I fly home if I could
find something in Germany to do her good!). Remember me affectionately to
Ward, and my love to the Chesters (Bessy, Susan, and Julia) and to
Cruickshank, etc., etc., Ellen and Mary when you see them, and to Lavinia
Poole and Harriet and Sophy, and be sure to give my kind love to Nanny. I
associate so much of Hartley’s infancy with her, so many of his figures,
looks, words, and antics with her form, that I shall never cease to think
of her, poor girl! without interest. Tell my best good friend, my dear
Poole! that all his manuscripts, with Wordsworth’s Tragedy, are safe in
Josiah Wedgwood’s hands; and they will be returned to him together.
Good-night, my dear, dear Sara!--“every night when I go to bed, and every
morning when I rise,” I will think with yearning love of you and of my
blessed babies! Once more, my dear Sara! good-night.

Wednesday afternoon, four o’clock.--We are safe in Hamburg--an ugly city
that stinks in every corner, house, and room worse than cabins,
sea-sickness, or bilge-water! The hotels are all crowded. With great
difficulty we have procured a very filthy room at a large expense; but we
shall move to-morrow. We get very excellent claret for a trifle--a guinea
sells at present for more than twenty-three shillings here. But for all
particulars I must refer your patience to my journal, and I must get some
proper paper--I shall have to pay a shilling or eighteenpence with every
letter. N. B. Johnson the bookseller, without any poems sold to him, but
purely out of affection conceived for me, and as part of anything I might
do for him, gave me an order on Remnant at Hamburg for thirty pounds. The
“Epea Pteroenta,” an Essay on Population, and a “History of Paraguay,”
will come down for me directed to Poole, and for Poole’s reading. Likewise
I have desired Johnson to print in quarto[189] a little poem of mine, one
of which quartos must be sent to my brother, Rev. G. C., Ottery St. Mary,
carriage paid. Did you receive my letter directed in a different hand,
with the 30_l._ banknote? The “Morning Post” and Magazine will come to you
as before. If not regularly, Stuart desires that you will write to him. I
pray you, my dear love! read Edgeworth’s “Essay on Education”--read it
heart and soul, and if you approve of the mode, teach Hartley his letters.
I am very desirous that you should teach him to read; and they point out
some easy modes. J. Wedgwood informed me that the Edgeworths were most
miserable when children; and yet the father in his book is ever vapouring
about their happiness. However, there are very good things in the
work--and some nonsense.

Kiss my Hartley and Bercoo baby brodder (kiss them for their dear father,
whose heart will never be absent from them many hours together). My dear
Sara! I think of you with affection and a desire to be home, and in the
full and noblest sense of the word, and after the antique principles of
_Religion_, unsophisticated by Philosophy, will be, I trust, your husband
faithful unto death,


Wednesday night, eleven o’clock.--The sky and colours of the clouds are
quite English, just as if I were coming out of T. Poole’s homeward with
you in my arm.



[RATZEBURG], October 20, 1798.

... But I must check these feelings and write more collectedly. I am well,
my dear Love! very well, and my situation is in all respects comfortable.
My room is large and healthy; the house commands an enchanting prospect.
The pastor is worthy and a learned man--a widower with eight children,
five of whom are at home. The German language is spoken here in the utmost
purity. The children often stand round my sofa and chatter away; and the
little one of all corrects my pronunciation with a pretty pert lisp and
self-sufficient tone, while the others laugh with no little joyance. The
Gentry and Nobility here pay me almost an adulatory attention. There is a
very beautiful little woman--less, I think, than you--a Countess
Kilmansig;[190] her father is our Lord Howe’s cousin. She is the wife
of a very handsome man, and has two fine little children. I have quite won
her heart by a German poem which I wrote. It is that sonnet, “Charles! my
slow heart was only sad when first,” and considerably dilated with new
images, and much superior in the German to its former dress. It has
excited no small wonder here for its purity and harmony. I mention this as
a proof of my progress in the language--indeed, it has surprised myself;
but I want to be home, and I work hard, very hard, to shorten the time of
absence. The little Countess said to me, “Oh! Englishmen be always sehr
gut fathers and husbands. I hope dat you will come and lofe my little
babies, and I will sing to you and play on the guitar and the pianoforte;
and my dear huspan he sprachs sehr gut English, and he lofes England
better than all the world.” (Sehr gut is very good; sprach, speaks or
talks.) She is a sweet little woman, and, what is very rare in Germany,
she has perfectly white, regular, French teeth. I could give you many
instances of the ridiculous partiality, or rather madness, for the
English. One of the first things which strikes an Englishman is the German
cards. They are very different from ours; the court cards have two heads,
a very convenient thing, as it prevents the necessity of turning the cards
and betraying your hand, and are smaller and cost only a penny; yet the
envelope in which they are sold has “Wahrlich Englische Karten,” that is,
genuine _English_ cards. I bought some sticking-plaister yesterday; it
cost twopence a very large piece, but it was three-halfpence farthing too
dear--for indeed it looked like a nasty rag of black silk which cat or
mouse dung had stained and spotted--but this was “Königl. Pat. Engl. Im.
Pflaster,” that is, Royal Patent _English Ornament_ Plaister. They affect
to write English over their doors. One house has “English Lodgement and
Caffee Hous!” But the most amusing of all is an advertisement of a quack
medicine of the same class with Dr. Solomon’s and Brody’s, for the spirits
and all weakness of mind and body. What, think you? “A wonderful and
secret Essence extracted with patience and God’s blessing from the English
Oaks, and from that part thereof which the heroic sailors of that Great
Nation call the Heart of Oak. This invaluable and infallible Medicine has
been godlily extracted therefrom by the slow processes of the Sun and
magnetical Influences of the Planets and fixed Stars.” This is a literal
translation. At the concert, when I entered, the band played “Britannia
rule the waves,” and at the dinner which was given in honour of Nelson’s
victory, twenty-one guns were fired by order of the military Governor, and
between each firing the military band played an English tune. I never saw
such enthusiasm, or heard such tumultuous shouting, as when the Governor
gave as a toast, “The Great Nation.” By this name they always designate
England, in opposition to the same title self-assumed by France. The
military Governor is a pleasant man, and both he and the Amtmann (_i. e._
the civil regent) are particularly attentive to me. I am quite
domesticated in the house of the latter; his first wife was an English
woman, and his partiality for England is without bounds. God bless you, my
Love! Write me a very, very long letter; write me all that can cheer me;
all that will make my eyes swim and my heart melt with tenderness! Your
faithful and affectionate husband,


P. S. A dinner lasts not uncommonly three hours!


RATZEBURG, November 26, 1798.

Another and another and yet another post day; and still Chester greets me
with, “No letters from England!” A knell, that strikes out regularly four
times a week. How is this, my Love? Why do you not write to me? Do you
think to shorten my absence by making it insupportable to me? Or perhaps
you anticipate that if I received a letter I should idly turn away from my
German to _dream_ of you--of you and my beloved babies! Oh, yes! I should
indeed dream of you for hours and hours; of you, and of beloved Poole, and
of the infant that sucks at your breast, and of my dear, dear Hartley. You
would be _present_, you would be with me in the air that I breathe; and I
should cease to see you only when the tears rolled out of my eyes, and
this naked, undomestic room became again visible. But oh, with what
leaping and exhilarated faculties should I return to the objects and
realities of my mission. But now--nay, I cannot describe to you the
gloominess of thought, the burthen and sickness of heart, which I
experience every post day. Through the whole remaining day I am incapable
of everything but anxious imaginations, of sore and fretful feelings. The
Hamburg newspapers arrive here four times a week; and almost every
newspaper commences with, “_Schreiben aus London_--They write from
London.” This day’s, with schreiben aus London, vom November 13. But I am
certain that you have written more than once; and I stumble about in dark
and idle conjectures, how and by what means it can have happened that I
have not received your letters. I recommence my journal, but with feelings
that approach to disgust--for in very truth I have nothing interesting to


December 2, 1798.

Sunday Evening.--God, the Infinite, be praised that my babes are alive.
His mercy will forgive me that late and all too slowly I raised up my
heart in thanksgiving. At first and for a time I wept as passionately as
if they had been dead; and for the whole day the weight was heavy upon me,
relieved only by fits of weeping. I had long expected, I had passionately
expected, a letter; I received it, and my frame trembled. I saw your hand,
and all feelings of mind and body crowded together. Had the news been
cheerful and only “We are as you left us,” I must have wept to have
delivered myself of the stress and tumult of my animal sensibility. But
when I read the danger and the agony--My dear Sara! my love! my wife!--God
bless you and preserve us. I am well; but a stye, or something of that
kind, has come upon and enormously swelled my eyelids, so that it is
painful and improper for me to read or write. In a few days it will now
disappear, and I will write at length (now it forces me to cease).
To-morrow I will write a line or two on the other side of the page to Mr.

I received your letter Friday, November 31. I cannot well account for the
slowness. Oh, my babies! Absence makes it painful to be a father.

My life, believe and know that I pant to be home and with you.


December 3.--My eyes are painful, but there is no doubt but they will be
well in two or three days. I have taken physic, eat very little flesh, and
drink only water, but it grieves me that I cannot read. I need not have
troubled my poor eyes with a superfluous love to my dear Poole.


RATZEBURG, Germany, December 3, 1798.

MY DEAR SIR,--There is an honest heart out of Great Britain that enters
into your good fortune with a sincere and lively joy. May you enjoy life
and health--all else you have,--a good wife, a good conscience, a good
temper, sweet children, and competence! The first glass of wine I drink
shall be a bumper--not to you, no! but to the Bishop of Gloucester! God
bless him!

  Sincerely your friend,


January 4, 1799--Morning, 11 o’clock.

My friend, my dear friend! Two hours have past since I received your
letter. It was so frightfully long since I received one!! My body is weak
and faint with the beating of my heart. But everything affects me more
than it ought to do in a foreign country. I cried myself blind about
Berkeley, when I ought to have been on my knees in the joy of
thanksgiving. The waywardness of the pacquets is wonderful. On December
the seventh Chester received a letter from his sister dated November 27.
Yours is dated November 22, and I received it only this morning. I am
quite well, calm and industrious. I now read German as English,--that is,
without any _mental_ translation as I read. I likewise understand all that
is said to me, and a good deal of what they say to each other. On very
trivial and on metaphysical subjects I can talk _tolerably_--so, so!--but
in that conversation, which is between both, I bungle most ridiculously. I
owe it to my industry that I can read old German, and even the old low
German, better than most of even the educated natives. It has greatly
enlarged my knowledge of the English language. It is a great bar to the
amelioration of Germany, that through at least half of it, and that half
composed almost wholly of Protestant States, from whence alone
amelioration can proceed, the agriculturists and a great part of the
artizans talk a language as different from the language of the higher
classes (in which all books are written) as the Latin is from the Greek.
The differences are greater than the affinities, and the affinities are
darkened by the differences of pronunciation and spelling. I have written
twice to Mr. Josiah Wedgwood,[192] and in a few days will follow a most
voluminous letter, or rather series of letters, which will comprise a
history of the bauers or peasants collected, not so much from books as
from oral communications from the Amtmann here--(an Amtmann is a sort of
perpetual Lord Mayor, uniting in himself Judge and Justice of Peace over
the bauers of a certain district). I have enjoyed great advantages in this
place, but I have paid dear for them. Including _all_ expenses, I have not
lived at less than two pounds a week. Wordsworth (from whom I receive long
and affectionate letters) has enjoyed scarcely one advantage, but his
expenses have been considerably less than they were in England. Here I
shall stay till the last week in January, when I shall proceed to
Göttingen, where, all expenses included, I can live for 15 shillings a
week. For these last two months I have drunk nothing but water, and I
eat but little animal food. At Göttingen I shall hire lodging for two
months, buy my own cold beef at an eating-house, and dine in my chamber,
which I can have at a dollar a week. And here at Göttingen I must
endeavour to unite the advantages of advancing in German and doing
something to repay myself. My dear Poole! I am afraid that, supposing I
return in the first week of May, my whole expenses[193] from Stowey to
Stowey, including books and clothes, will not have been less than 90
_pounds_! and if I buy ten pounds’ worth more of books it will have been a
hundred. I despair not but with intense application and regular use of
time, to which I have now almost accustomed myself, that by three months’
residence at Göttingen I shall have _on paper_ at least _all_ the
materials if not the whole structure of a work that will repay me. The
work I have planned, and I have imperiously excluded all waverings about
other works. That is the disease of my mind--it is comprehensive in its
conceptions, and wastes itself in the contemplations of the many things
which it might do. I am aware of the disease, and for the next three
months (if I cannot cure it) I will at least suspend its operation. This
book is a life of Lessing, and interweaved with it a true state of German
literature in its rise and present state. I have already written a little
life from three different biographies, divided it into years, and at
Göttingen I will read his works regularly according to the years in which
they were written, and the controversies, religious and literary, which
they occasioned. But of this say nothing to any one. The journey to
Germany has certainly _done me good_. My habits are less irregular and my
_mind_ more in my own power. But I have much still to do! I did, indeed,
receive great joy from Roskilly’s good fortune, and in a little note to my
dear Sara I joined a note of congratulation to Roskilly. O Poole! you are
a noble heart as ever God made! Poor ----! he is passing through a fiery
discipline, and I would fain believe that it will end in his peace and
utility. Wordsworth is divided in his mind,--unquietly divided between the
neighbourhood of Stowey and the North of England. He cannot think of
settling at a distance from me, and I have told him that I cannot leave
the vicinity of Stowey. His chief objection to Stowey is the want of
books. The Bristol Library is a hum, and will do us little service; and he
thinks that he can procure a house near Sir Gilford Lawson’s by the Lakes,
and have free access to his immense library. I think it better once in a
year to walk to Cambridge, in the summer vacation--perhaps I may be able
to get rooms for nothing, and there for a couple of months read like a
Turk on a given plan, and return home with a mass of materials which,
with dear, _independent_ Poetry, will fully employ the remaining year. But
this is idle prating about a future. But indeed, it is time to be looking
out for a house for me--it is not possible I can be either comfortable or
useful in so small a house as that in Lime Street. If Woodlands can be
gotten at a reasonable price, I would have it. I will now finish my
long-neglected journal.

Sara, I suppose, is at Bristol--on Monday I shall write to her. The frost
here has been uncommonly severe. For two days it was 20 degrees under the
freezing point. Wordsworth has left Goslar, and is on his road into higher
Saxony to cruise for a pleasanter place; he has made but little progress
in the language. I am interrupted, and if I do not conclude shall lose the
post. Give my kind love to your dear mother. Oh, that I could but find her
comfortable on my return. To Ward remember me affectionately--likewise
remember to James Cole; and my grateful remembrances to Mrs. Cole for her
kindness during my wife’s domestic troubles. To Harriet, Sophia, and
Lavinia Poole--to the Chesters--to Mary and Ellen Cruickshank--in short,
to all to whom it will give pleasure remember me affectionately.

My dear, dear Poole, God bless us!


P. S. The Amtmann, who is almost an Englishman and an idolizer of our
nation, desires to be kindly remembered to you. He told me yesterday that
he had dreamt of you the night before.


RATZEBURG, Monday, January 14, 1799.

MY DEAREST LOVE,--Since the wind changed, and it became possible for me to
have letters, I lost all my tranquillity. Last evening I was absent in
company, and when I returned to solitude, restless in every fibre, a
novel which I attempted to read seemed to interest me so extravagantly
that I threw it down, and when it was out of my hands I knew nothing of
what I had been reading. This morning I awoke long before light, feverish
and unquiet. I was certain in my mind that I should have a letter from
you, but before it arrived my restlessness and the irregular pulsation of
my heart had quite wearied me down, and I held the letter in my hand like
as if I was stupid, without attempting to open it. “Why don’t you read the
letter?” said Chester, and I read it. Ah, little Berkeley--I have
misgivings, but my duty is rather to comfort you, my dear, dear Sara! I am
so exhausted that I could sleep. I am well, but my spirits have left me. I
am completely homesick, I must walk half an hour, for my mind is too
scattered to continue writing. I entreat and entreat you, Sara! take care
of yourself. If you are well, I think I could frame my thoughts so that I
should not sink under other losses. You do right in writing me the truth.
Poole is kind, but you do right, my dear! In a sense of _reality_ there is
always comfort. The workings of one’s imagination ever go beyond the worst
that nature afflicts us with; they have the terror of a superstitious
circumstance. I express myself unintelligibly. Enough that you write me
always the whole truth. Direct your next letter thus: An den Herrn
Coleridge, à la Poste Restante, Göttingen, Germany. If God permit I shall
be there before this day three weeks, and I hope on May-day to be once
more at Stowey. My motives for going to Göttingen I have written to Poole.
I hear as often from Wordsworth as letters can go backward and forward in
a country where fifty miles in a day and night is expeditious travelling!
He seems to have employed more time in writing English than in studying
German. No wonder! for he might as well have been in England as at Goslar,
in the situation which he chose and with his unseeking manners. He has now
left it, and is on his journey to Nordhausen. His taking his sister with
him was a wrong step; it is next but impossible for any but married women,
or in the suit of married women, to be introduced to any company in
Germany. Sister here is considered as only a name for mistress. Still,
however, male acquaintance he might have had, and had I been at Goslar I
would have had them; but W., God love him! seems to have lost his spirits
and almost his inclination for it. In the mean time his expenses have been
almost less than they [would have been] in England; mine have been very
great, but I do not despair of returning to England with somewhat to pay
the whole. O God! I do languish to be at home.

I will endeavour to give you some idea of Ratzeburg, but I am a wretched
describer. First you must imagine a lake, running from south to north
about nine miles in length, and of very various breadths--the broadest
part may be, perhaps, two or three miles, the narrowest scarce more than
half a mile. About a mile from the southernmost point of the lake, that
is, from the beginning of the lake, is the island-town of Ratzeburg.


● is Ratzeburg; [Symbol] is our house on the hill; from the bottom of the
hill there lies on the lake a slip of land, scarcely two stone-throws
wide, at the end of which is a little bridge with a superb military gate,
and this bridge joins Ratzeburg to the slip of land--you pass through
Ratzeburg up a little hill, and down the hill, and this brings you to
another bridge, narrow, but of an immense length, which communicates with
the other shore.


The water to the south of Ratzeburg is called the little lake and the
other the large lake, though they are but one piece of water. This little
lake is very beautiful, the shores just often enough green and bare to
give the proper effect to the magnificent _groves_ which mostly fringe
them. The views vary almost every ten steps, such and so beautiful are the
turnings and windings of the shore--they unite beauty and magnitude, and
can be but expressed by feminine grandeur! At the north of the great lake,
and peering over, you see the seven church-towers of Lubec, which is
twelve or fourteen miles from Ratzeburg. Yet you see them as distinctly as
if they were not three miles from you. The worse thing is that Ratzeburg
is built entirely of bricks and tiles, and is therefore all red--a clump
of brick-dust red--it gives you a strong idea of perfect neatness, but it
is not beautiful.[194] In the beginning or middle of October, I forget
which, we went to Lubec in a boat. For about two miles the shores of the
lake are exquisitely beautiful, the woods now running into the water, now
retiring in all angles. After this the left shore retreats,--the lake
acquires its utmost breadth, and ceases to be beautiful. At the end of the
lake is the river, about as large as the river at Bristol, but winding in
infinite serpentines through a dead flat, with willows and reeds, till you
reach Lubec, an old fantastic town. We visited the churches at Lubec--they
were crowded with gaudy gilded figures, and a profusion of pictures, among
which were always the portraits of the popular pastors who had served the
church. The pastors here wear white ruffs exactly like the pictures of
Queen Elizabeth. There were in the Lubec churches a very large attendance,
but almost _all women_. The genteeler people dressed precisely as the
English; but behind every lady sat her maid,--the caps with gold and
silver combs. Altogether, a Lubec church is an amusing sight. In the
evening I wished myself a painter, just to draw a German Party at cards.
One man’s long pipe rested on the table, by the fish-dish; another who was
shuffling, and of course had both hands employed, held his pipe in his
teeth, and it hung down between his thighs even to his ankles, and the
distortion which the attitude and effort occasioned made him a most
ludicrous phiz.... [If it] had been possible I would have loitered a week
in those churches, and found incessant amusement. Every picture, every
legend cut out in gilded wood-work, was a history of the manners and
feelings of the ages in which such works were admired and executed.

As the sun both rises and sets over the little lake by us, both rising and
setting present most lovely spectacles.[195] In October Ratzeburg used at
sunset to appear completely beautiful. A deep red light spread over all,
in complete harmony with the red town, the brown-red woods, and the
yellow-red reeds on the skirts of the lake and on the slip of land. A few
boats, paddled by single persons, used generally to be floating up and
down in the rich light. But when first the ice fell on the lake, and the
whole lake was frozen one large piece of thick transparent glass--O my
God! what sublime scenery I have beheld. Of a morning I have seen the
little lake covered with mist; when the sun peeped over the hills the mist
broke in the middle, and at last stood as the waters of the Red Sea are
said to have done when the Israelites passed; and between these two walls
of mist the sunlight burst upon the ice in a straight road of golden fire,
all across the lake, intolerably bright, and the walls of mist partaking
of the light in a _multitude_ of colours. About a month ago the vehemence
of the wind had shattered the ice; part of it, quite shattered, was driven
to shore and had frozen anew; this was of a deep blue, and represented an
agitated sea--the water that ran up between the great islands of ice shone
of a yellow-green (it was at sunset), and all the scattered islands of
_smooth_ ice were _blood_, intensely bright _blood_; on some of the
largest islands the fishermen were pulling out their immense nets through
the holes made in the ice for this purpose, and the fishermen, the
net-poles, and the huge nets made a part of the glory! O my God! how I
wished you to be with me! In skating there are three pleasing
circumstances--firstly, the infinitely subtle particles of ice which the
skate cuts up, and which creep and run before the skater like a low mist,
and in sunrise or sunset become coloured; second, the shadow of the skater
in the water seen through the transparent ice; and thirdly, the melancholy
undulating sound from the skate, not without variety; and, when very many
are skating together, the sounds give an impulse to the icy trees, and the
woods all round the lake _tinkle_. It is a pleasant amusement to sit in an
ice stool (as they are called) and be driven along by two skaters, faster
than most horses can gallop. As to the customs here, they are nearly the
same as in England, except that [the men] never sit after dinner [and
only] drink at dinner, which often lasts three or four hours, and in noble
families is divided into three gangs, that is, walks. When you have sat
about an hour, you rise up, each lady takes a gentleman’s arm, and you
walk about for a quarter of an hour--in the mean time another course is
put upon the table; and, this in great dinners, is repeated three times. A
man here seldom sees his wife till dinner,--they take their coffee in
separate rooms, and never eat at breakfast; only as soon as they are up
they take their coffee, and about eleven o’clock eat a bit of bread and
butter with the coffee. The men at least take a pipe. Indeed, a pipe at
breakfast is a great addition to the comfort of life. I shall [smoke at]
no other time in England. Here I smoke four times a day--1 at breakfast, 1
half an hour before dinner, 1 in the afternoon at tea, and 1 just before
bed-time--but I shall give it all up, unless, as before observed, you
should happen to like the smoke of a pipe at breakfast. Once when I first
came here I smoked a pipe immediately after dinner; the pastor expressed
his surprise: I expressed mine that he could smoke before breakfast. “O
Herr Gott!” (that is, Lord God) quoth he, “it is delightful; it
invigorates the frame and _it clears out the mouth so_.” A common
amusement at the German Universities is for a number of young men to smoke
out a candle! that is, to fill a room with tobacco smoke till the candle
goes out. Pipes are quite the rage--a pipe of a particular kind, that has
been smoked for a year or so, will sell here for twenty guineas--the same
pipe when new costs four or five. They are called Meerschaum.

God bless you, my dear Love! I will soon write again.


Postscript. Perhaps you are in Bristol. However, I had better direct it to
Stowey. My love to Martha and your mother and your other sisters. Once
more, my dearest Love, God love and preserve us through this long absence!
O my dear Babies! my Babies!


  Bei dem Radermacher Gohring, in der Bergstrasse, Göttingen,
    March 12, 1799. Sunday Night.

MY DEAREST LOVE,--It has been a frightfully long time since we have heard
from each other. I have not written, simply because my letters could have
gone no further than Cuxhaven, and would have stayed there to the [no]
small hazard of their being lost. Even now the mouth of the Elbe is so
much choked with ice that the English Pacquets cannot set off. Why need I
say how anxious this long interval of silence has made me! I have thought
and thought of you, and pictured you and the little ones so often and so
often that my imagination is tired down, flat and powerless, and I
languish after home for hours together in vacancy, my feelings almost
wholly unqualified by _thoughts_. I have at times experienced such an
extinction of _light_ in my mind--I have been so forsaken by all the
_forms_ and _colourings_ of existence, as if the _organs_ of life had been
dried up; as if only simply Being remained, blind and stagnant. After I
have recovered from this strange state and reflected upon it, I have
thought of a man who should lose his companion in a desart of sand, where
his weary Halloos drop down in the air without an echo. I am deeply
convinced that if I were to remain a few years among objects for whom I
had no affection I should wholly lose the powers of intellect. Love is the
vital air of my genius, and I have not seen one human being in Germany
whom I can conceive it _possible_ for me to _love_, no, not _one_; in my
mind they are an unlovely race, these Germans.

We left Ratzeburg, Feb. 6, in the Stage Coach. This was not the coldest
night of the century, because the night following was two degrees
colder--the oldest man living remembers not such a night as Thursday, Feb.
7. This whole winter I have heard incessant complaints of the unusual
cold, but I have felt very little of it. But _that night_! My God! Now I
know what the pain of cold is, and what the danger. The pious care of the
German Governments that none of their loving subjects should be suffocated
is admirable! On Friday morning when the light dawned, the Coach looked
like a shapeless idol of suspicion with an hundred eyes, for there were at
least so many holes in it. And as to rapidity! We left Ratzeburg at 7
o’clock Wednesday evening, and arrived at Lüneburg--_i. e._, 35 English
miles--at 3 o’clock on Thursday afternoon. This is a fair specimen! In
England I used to laugh at the “flying waggons;” but, compared with a
German Post Coach, the metaphor is perfectly justifiable, and for the
future I shall never meet a flying waggon without thinking respectfully of
its speed. The whole country from Ratzeburg almost to Einbeck--_i. e._,
155 English miles--is a flat, objectless, hungry heath, bearing no marks
of cultivation, except close by the towns, and the only remarks which
suggested themselves to me were that it was cold--very cold--shocking
cold--never felt it so cold in my life! Hanover is 115 miles from
Ratzeburg. We arrived there Saturday evening.

The Herr von Döring, a nobleman who resides at Ratzeburg, gave me letters
to his brother-in-law at Hanover, and by the manner in which he received
me I found that they were not _ordinary_ letters of recommendation. He
pressed me exceedingly to stay a week in Hanover, but I refused, and left
it on Monday noon. In the mean time, however, he had introduced me to all
the great people and presented me “as an English gentleman of first-rate
character and talents” to Baron Steinburg, the Minister of State, and to
Von Brandes, the Secretary of State and Governor of Göttingen University.
The first was amazingly _perpendicular_, but civil and polite, and gave me
letters to Heyne, the head Librarian, and, in truth, the real _Governor_
of Göttingen. Brandes likewise gave me letters to Heyne and Blumenbach,
who are his brothers-in-law. Baron Steinburg offered to present me to the
Prince (Adolphus), who is now in Hanover; but I deferred the honour till
my return. I shall make Poole laugh when I return with the visiting-card
which the Baron left at my inn.

The two things worth seeing in Hanover are (1) the conduit representing
Mount Parnassus, with statues of Apollo, the Muses, and a great many
others; flying horses, rhinoceroses, and elephants, etc.; and (2) a bust
of Leibnitz--the first for its excessive absurdity, ugliness, and
indecency--(absolutely I could write the most humorous octavo volume
containing the description of it with a commentary)--the second--_i. e._
the bust of Leibnitz--impressed on my soul a sensation which has ennobled
it. It is the face of a god! and Leibnitz was almost more than a man in
the wonderful capaciousness of his judgment and imagination! Well, we left
Hanover on Monday noon, after having paid a most extravagant bill. We
lived with Spartan frugality, and paid with Persian pomp! But I was an
Englishman, and visited by half a dozen noblemen and the Minister of
State. The landlord could not dream of affronting me by anything like a
reasonable charge! On the road we stopped with the postillion always, and
our expenses were nothing. Chester and I made a very hearty dinner of cold
beef, etc., and both together paid only fourpence, and for coffee and
biscuits only threepence each. In short, a man may travel cheap in
Germany, but he must avoid great towns and not be visited by Ministers of

In a village some four miles from Einbeck we stopped about 4 o’clock in
the morning. It was pitch dark, and the postillion led us into a room
where there was not a ray of light--we could not see our hand--but it felt
extremely warm. At length and suddenly the lamp came, and we saw ourselves
in a room thirteen strides in length, strew’d with straw, and lying by the
side of each other on the straw twelve Jews. I assure you it was curious.
Their dogs lay at their feet. There was one very beautiful boy among them,
fast asleep, with the softest conceivable opening of the mouth, with the
white beard of his grandfather upon his cheek--a fair, rosy cheek.

This day I called with my letters on the Professor Heyne, a little,
hopping, over-civil sort of a thing, who talks very fast and with
fragments of coughing between every ten words. However, he behaved very
courteously to me. The next day I took out my matricula, and commenced
student of the University of Göttingen. Heyne has honoured me so far that
he has given me the right, which properly only professors have, of sending
to the Library for an indefinite number of books in my own name.

On Saturday evening I went to the concert. Here the other Englishmen
introduced themselves. After the concert Hamilton, a Cambridge man, took
me as his guest to the Saturday Club, _where what is called_ the first
class of students meet and sup once a week. Here were all the nobility and
three Englishmen. Such an evening I never passed before--roaring, kissing,
embracing, fighting, smashing bottles and glasses against the wall,
singing--in short, such a scene of uproar I never witnessed before, no,
not even at Cambridge. I drank nothing, but all except two of the
Englishmen were drunk, and the party broke up a little after one o’clock
in the morning. I thought of what I had been at Cambridge and of what I
was, of the wild bacchanalian sympathy with which I had formerly joined
similar parties, and of my total inability now to do aught but meditate,
and the feeling of the deep alteration in my moral being gave the scene a
melancholy interest to me.

We are quite well. Chester will write soon to his family; in the mean time
he sends duty, love, and remembrance to all to whom they are due. I have
drunk no wine or fermented liquor for more than three months, in
consequence of which I am apt to be wakeful; but then I never feel any
oppression after dinner, and my spirits are much more equable, blessings
which I esteem inestimable! My dear Hartley--my Berkeley--how intensely do
I long for you! My Sara, O my dear Sara! To Poole, God bless him! to dear
Mrs. Poole and Ward, kindest love, and to all love and remembrance.



April 6, 1799.

MY DEAREST POOLE,--Your two letters, dated January 24 and March 15,[196]
followed close on each other. I was still enjoying “the livelier impulse
and the dance of thought” which the first had given me when I received the
second. At the time, in which I read Sara’s lively account of the miseries
which herself and the infant had undergone, all was over and well--there
was nothing to _think_ of--only a mass of pain was brought suddenly and
closely within the sphere of my perception, and I was made to suffer it
over again. For this bodily frame is an imitative thing, and touched by
the imagination gives the hour which is past as faithfully as a repeating
watch. But Death--the death of an infant--of one’s own infant! I read your
letter in calmness, and walked out into the open fields, oppressed, not by
my feelings, but by the riddles which the thought so easily proposes, and
solves--never! A parent--in the strict and exclusive sense a parent!--to
me it is a _fable_ wholly without meaning except in the _moral_ which it
suggests--a fable of which the moral is God. Be it so--my dear, dear
friend! Oh let it be so! La Nature (says Pascal) “La Nature confond les
Pyrrhoniens, et la Raison confond les Dogmatistes. Nous avons une
impuissance à prouver invincible à tout le Dogmatisme. Nous avons une idée
de la verité invincible à tout le Pyrrhonisme.” I find it wise and human
to believe, even on slight evidence, opinions, the contrary of which
cannot be proved, and which promote our happiness without hampering our
intellect. My baby has not lived in vain--this life has been to him what
it is to all of us--education and development! Fling yourself forward into
your immortality only a few thousand years, and how small will not the
difference between one year old and sixty years appear! Consciousness!--it
is no otherwise necessary to our conceptions of future continuance than as
connecting the present link of our being with the one immediately
preceding it; and _that_ degree of consciousness, _that_ small portion of
_memory_, it would not only be arrogant, but in the highest degree absurd,
to deny even to a much younger infant. ’Tis a strange assertion that the
essence of identity lies in _recollective_ consciousness. ’Twere scarcely
less ridiculous to affirm that the eight miles from Stowey to Bridgwater
consist in the eight milestones. Death in a doting old age falls upon my
feelings ever as a more hopeless phenomenon than death in infancy; but
_nothing_ is hopeless. What if the vital force which I sent from my arm
into the stone as I flung it in the air and skimmed it upon the
water--what if even that did not perish! It was _life_!--it was a particle
of _being_!--it was power! and how could it perish? _Life, Power, Being!_
Organization may and probably is their _effect_--their _cause_ it _cannot_
be! I have indulged very curious fancies concerning that force, that swarm
of motive powers which I sent out of my body into that stone, and which,
one by one, left the untractable or already possessed mass, and--but the
German Ocean lies between us. It is all too far to send you such fancies
as these! Grief, indeed,--

  Doth love to dally with fantastic thoughts,
  And smiling like a sickly Moralist,
  Finds some resemblance to her own concern
  In the straws of chance, and things inanimate.[197]

But I cannot truly say that I grieve--I am perplexed--I am sad--and a
little thing--a very trifle--would make me weep--but for the death of the
baby I have _not_ wept! Oh this strange, strange, strange scene-shifter
Death!--that giddies one with insecurity and so unsubstantiates the living
things that one has grasped and handled! Some months ago Wordsworth
transmitted me a most sublime epitaph. Whether it had any reality I cannot
say. Most probably, in some gloomier moment he had fancied the moment in
which his sister might die.


  A slumber did my spirit seal,
  I had no human fears;
  She seemed a thing that could not feel
  The touch of earthly years.
  No motion has she now, no force,
  She neither hears nor sees:
  Mov’d round in Earth’s diurnal course
  With rocks, and stones, and trees!


GÖTTINGEN, in der Wondestrasse, April 8, 1799.

It is one of the discomforts of my absence, my dearest Love! that we feel
the same calamities at different times--I would fain write words of
consolation to you; yet I know that I shall only fan into new activity the
pang which was growing dead and dull in your heart. Dear little Being! he
had existed to me for so many months only in dreams and reveries, but in
them existed and still exists so livelily, so like a real thing, that
although I know of his death, yet when I am alone and have been long
silent, it seems to me as if I did not understand it. Methinks there is
something awful in the thought, what an unknown being one’s own infant is
to one--a fit of sound--a flash of light--a summer gust that is as it were
_created_ in the bosom of the calm air, that rises up we know not how, and
goes we know not whither! But we say well; it goes! it is gone! and only
in states of society in which the revealing voice of our most inward and
abiding nature is no longer listened to (when we sport and juggle with
abstract phrases, instead of representing our feelings and ideas), only
then we say it _ceases_! I will not believe that it ceases--in this
moving, stirring, and harmonious universe--I _cannot_ believe it! Can cold
and darkness come from the sun? where the sun is not, there is cold and
darkness! But the living God is everywhere, and works everywhere--and
where is there room for death? To look back on the life of my baby, how
short it seems! but consider it referently to nonexistence, and what a
manifold and majestic _Thing_ does it not become? What a multitude of
admirable actions, what a multitude of _habits_ of actions it learnt even
before it saw the light! and who shall count or conceive the infinity of
its thoughts and feelings, its hopes, and fears, and joys, and pains, and
desires, and presentiments, from the moment of its birth to the moment
when the glass, through which we saw him darkly, was broken--and he became
suddenly invisible to us? Out of the Mount that might not be touched, and
that burnt with fire, out of darkness, and blackness, and tempest, and
with his own Voice, which they who heard entreated that they might not
hear it again, the most high God forbade us to use his _name vainly_. And
shall we who are Christians, shall we believe that he himself uses his
own power vainly? That like a child he builds palaces of mud and clay in
the common road, and then he destroys them, as weary of his _pastime_, or
leaves them to be trod under by the hoof of Accident? That God works by
_general_ laws are to me words without meaning or worse than
meaningless--ignorance, and imbecility, and limitation must wish in
generals. What and who are these horrible shadows necessity and general
law, to which God himself must offer _sacrifices_--hecatombs of
sacrifices? I feel a deep conviction that these shadows exist not--they
are only the dreams of reasoning pride, that would fain find solutions for
all difficulties without faith--that would make the discoveries which lie
thick sown in the path of the eternal Future unnecessary; and so
conceiting that there is sufficiency and completeness in the narrow
present, weakens the presentiment of our wide and ever widening
immortality. God works in each for all--most true--but more
comprehensively true is it, that he works in all for each. I confess that
the more I think, the more I am discontented with the doctrines of
Priestley. He builds the whole and sole hope of future existence on the
words and miracles of Jesus--yet doubts or denies the future existence of
infants--only because according to his own system of materialism he has
not discovered how they can be made _conscious_. But Jesus has declared
that _all_ who are in the grave shall arise--and that those who should
arise to perceptible progression must be ever as the infant which He held
in his arms and blessed. And although the _Man_ Jesus had never appeared
in the world, yet I am Quaker enough to believe, that in the heart of
every man the Christ would have revealed himself, the Power of the Word,
that was even in the wilderness. To me who am absent this faith is a real
consolation,--and the few, the slow, the quiet tears which I shed, are the
accompaniments of high and solemn thought, not the workings of pain or
sorrow. When I return indeed, and see the vacancy that has been made--when
nowhere anything corresponds to the form which will perhaps for ever dwell
on my mind, then it is possible that a keener pang will come upon me. Yet
I trust, my love! I trust, my dear Sara! that this event which has forced
us to think of the death of what is most dear to us, as at all times
probable, will in many and various ways be good for us. To have
shared--nay, I should say--to have divided with any human being any one
deep sensation of joy or of sorrow, sinks deep the foundations of a
lasting love. When in moments of fretfulness and imbecility I am disposed
to anger or reproach, it will, I trust, be always a restoring thought--“We
have wept over the same little one,--and with whom I am angry? With her
who so patiently and unweariedly sustained my poor and sickly infant
through his long pains--with her, who, if I too should be called away,
would stay in the deep anguish over my death-pillow! who would never
forget me!” Ah, my poor Berkeley! A few weeks ago an Englishman desired me
to write an epitaph on an infant who had died before its christening.
While I wrote it, my heart with a deep misgiving turned my thoughts


  Be rather than be _call’d_ a Child of God!
  Death whisper’d. With assenting Nod
  Its head upon the Mother’s breast
  The baby bow’d, and went without demur,
  Of the kingdom of the blest
  Possessor, not Inheritor.

It refers to the second question in the Church Catechism. We are well, my
dear Sara. I hope to be home at the end of ten or eleven weeks. If you
should be in Bristol, you will probably be shewn by Mr. Estlin three
letters which I have written to him altogether--and one to Mr. Wade. Mr.
Estlin will permit you to take the letters to Stowey that Poole may see
them, and Poole will return them. I have no doubt but I shall repay myself
by the work which I am writing, to such an amount, that I shall have spent
out of my income only fifty pounds at the end of August. My love to your
sisters--and love and duty to your mother. God bless you, my love! and
shield us from deeper afflictions, or make us resigned unto them (and
perhaps the latter blessedness is greater than the former).

  Your affectionate and faithful husband,


April 23, 1799.

MY DEAR SARA,--Surely it is unnecessary for me to say how infinitely I
languish to be in my native country, and with how many struggles I have
remained even so long in Germany! I received your affecting letter, dated
Easter Sunday; and, had I followed my impulses, I should have packed up
and gone with Wordsworth and his sister, who passed through (and only
passed through) this place two or three days ago. If they burn with such
impatience to return to their native country, _they_ who are all to each
other, what must I feel with everything pleasant and everything valuable
and everything dear to me at a distance--here, where I may truly say my
only amusement is--to labour! But it is, in the strictest sense of the
word, impossible to collect what I have to collect in less than six weeks
from this day; yet I read and transcribe from eight to ten hours every
day. Nothing could support me but the knowledge that if I return now we
shall be embarrassed and in debt; and the moral certainty that having done
what I am doing we shall be more than _cleared_--not to add that so large
a work with so great a quantity and variety of information from sources
so scattered and so little known, even in Germany, will of course
establish my character for industry and erudition certainly; and, I would
fain hope, for reflection and genius. This day in June I hope and trust
that I shall be in England. Oh that the vessel could but land at Shurton
Bars! Not that I should wish to see you and Poole immediately on my
landing. No!--the sight, the touch of my native country, were sufficient
for one _whole_ feeling, the most deep unmingled emotion--but then and
after a lonely walk of three miles--then, first of _all_, whom I knew, to
see you and my _Friend_! It lessens the delight of the thought of my
return that I must get at you through a tribe of _acquaintances_, damping
the freshness of one’s joy! My poor little baby! At this time I see the
corner of the room where his cradle stood--and his cradle too--and I
cannot help seeing him in the cradle. Little lamb! and the snow would not
melt on his limbs! I have some faint recollections that he had that
difficulty of breathing once before I left England--or was it Hartley? “A
child, a child is born, and the fond heart dances; and yet the childless
are the most happy.” At Christmas[198] I saw a custom which pleased and
interested me here. The children make little presents to their parents,
and to one another, and the parents to the children. For three or four
months before Christmas the girls are all busy, and the boys save up their
pocket-money, to make or purchase these presents. What the present is to
be is cautiously kept secret, and the girls have a world of contrivances
to conceal it, such as working when they are at a visit, and the others
are not with them, and getting up in the morning long before light, etc.
Then on the evening before Christmas Day, one of the parlours is lighted
up by the children, into which the parents must not go. A great yew bough
is fastened on the table at a little distance from the wall, a multitude
of little tapers are fastened in the bough, but not so as to burn it, till
they are nearly burnt out, and coloured paper, etc., hangs and flutters
from the twigs. Under this bough the children lay out in great neatness
the presents they mean for their parents, still concealing in their
pockets what they intend for each other. Then the parents are introduced,
and each presents his little gift--and then they bring out the others, and
present them to each other with kisses and embraces. Where I saw the scene
there were eight or nine children of different ages; and the eldest
daughter and the mother wept aloud for joy and tenderness, and the tears
ran down the cheek of the father, and he clasped all his children so tight
to his heart, as if he did it to stifle the sob that was rising within
him. I was very much affected, and the shadow of the bough on the wall,
and arching over on the ceiling, made a pretty picture--and then the
raptures of the very little ones, when at last the twigs and thread-leaves
began to catch fire and snap! Oh that was a delight for them! On the next
day in the great parlour the parents lay out on the tables the presents
for the children; a scene of more sober joy succeeds, as, on this day,
after an old custom, the mother says privately to each of her daughters,
and the father to each of his sons, that which he has observed most
praiseworthy, and that which he has observed most faulty in their conduct.
Formerly, and still in all the little towns and villages through the whole
of North Germany, these presents were sent by all the parents of the
village to some one fellow, who, in high buskins, a white robe, a mask,
and an enormous flax wig, personates Knecht Rupert, that is, the servant
Rupert. On Christmas night he goes round to every house and says that
Jesus Christ his Master sent him there; the parents and older children
receive him with great pomp of reverence, while the little ones are most
terribly frightened. He then enquires for the children, and according to
the character which he hears from the parent he gives them the intended
presents, as if they came out of Heaven from Jesus Christ; or, if they
should have been bad children, he gives the parents a rod, and, in the
name of his Master Jesus, recommends them to use it frequently. About
eight or nine years old, the children are let into the secret; and it is
curious, how faithfully they all keep it. There are a multitude of strange
superstitions among the bauers;--these still survive in spite of the
efforts of the Clergy, who in the north of Germany, that is, in the
Hanoverian, Saxon, and Prussian dominions, are almost all Deists. But they
make little or no impressions on the bauers, who are wonderfully religious
and fantastically superstitious, but not in the least priest-rid. But in
the Catholic countries of Germany the difference is vast indeed! I met
lately an intelligent and calm-minded man who had spent a considerable
time at Marburg in the Bishopric of Paderborn in Westphalia. He told me
that bead-prayers to the Holy Virgin are universal, and universally, too,
are magical powers attributed to one particular formula of words which are
absolutely jargons; at least, the words are to be found in no known
language. The peasants believe it, however, to be a prayer to the Virgin,
and happy is the man among them who is made confident by a priest that he
can repeat it perfectly; for heaven knows what terrible calamity might not
happen if any one should venture to repeat it and blunder. Vows and
pilgrimages to particular images are still common among the bauers. If any
one dies before the performance of his vow, they believe that he hovers
between heaven and _earth_, and at times hobgoblins his relations till
they perform it for him. Particular saints are believed to be eminently
favourable to particular prayers, and he assured me solemnly that a little
before he left Marburg a lady of Marburg had prayed and given money to
have the public prayers at St. Erasmus’s Chapel to St. Erasmus--for what,
think you?--that the baby, with which she was then pregnant, might be a
boy with light hair and rosy cheeks. When their cows, pigs, or horses are
sick they take them to the Dominican monks, who transcribe _texts out of
the holy books_, and perform exorcisms. When men or women are sick they
give largely to the Convent, who on good conditions dress them in Church
robes, and lay a particular and highly venerated Crucifix on their breast,
and perform a multitude of antic ceremonies. In general, my informer
confessed that they cured the persons, which he seemed to think
extraordinary, but which I think very natural. Yearly on St. Blasius’s Day
unusual multitudes go to receive the Lord’s Supper; and while they are
receiving it the monks hold a Blasius’s Taper (as it is called) before the
forehead of the kneeling person, and then pray to St. Blasius to drive
away all headaches for the ensuing year. Their wishes are often expressed
in this form: “Mary, Mother of God, make her Son do so and so.” Yet with
all this, from every information which I can collect (and I have had many
opportunities of collecting various accounts), the peasants in the
Catholic countries of Germany, but especially in Austria, are far better
off, and a far happier and livelier race, than those in the Protestant
lands.... I fill up the sheet with scattered customs put down in the order
in which I happened to see them. The peasant children, wherever I have
been, are dressed warm and tight, but very ugly; the dress looks a frock
coat, some of coarse blue cloth, some of plaid, buttoned behind--the row
of buttons running down the back, and the seamless, buttonless fore-part
has an odd look. When the peasants marry, if the girl is of a good
character, the clergyman gives her a Virgin Crown (a tawdry, ugly thing
made of gold and silver tinsel, like the royal crowns in shape). This they
wear with cropped, powdered, and pomatumed hair--in short, the bride looks
ugliness personified. While I was at Ratzeburg a girl came to beg the
pastor to let her be married in this crown, and she had had two bastards!
The pastor refused, of course. I wondered that a reputable farmer should
marry her; but the pastor told me that where a female bauer is the
heiress, her having had a bastard does not much stand in her way; and yet,
though little or no infamy attaches to it, the number of bastards is but
small--two in seventy has been the average of Ratzeburg among the
peasants. By the bye, the bells in Germany are not rung as ours, with
ropes, but two men stand, one on each side of the bell, and each pushes
the bell away from him with his foot. In the churches, what is a baptismal
font in our churches is a great Angel with a bason in his hand; he draws
up and down with a chain like a lamp. In a particular part of the ceremony
down comes the great stone Angel with the bason, presenting it to the
pastor, who, having taken _quant. suff._, up flies my Angel to his old
place in the ceiling--you cannot conceive how droll it looked. The graves
in the little village churchyards are in square or parallelogrammic wooden
cases--they look like boxes without lids--and thorns and briars are woven
over them, as is done in some parts of England. Perhaps you recollect that
beautiful passage in Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Dying, “and the Summer brings
briers to bud on our graves.” The shepherds with iron soled boots walk
before the sheep, as in the East--you know our Saviour says--“My Sheep
follow me.” So it is here. The dog and the shepherd walk first, the
shepherd with his romantic fur, and generally knitting a pair of white
worsted gloves--he walks on and his dog by him, and then follow the sheep
winding along the roads in a beautiful _stream_! In the fields I observed
a multitude of poles with bands and trusses of straw tied round the higher
part and the top--on enquiry we found that they were put there for the
owls to perch upon. And the owls? They catch the field mice, who do
amazing damage in the light soil all throughout the north of Germany. The
gallows near Göttingen, like that near Ratzeburg, is three great stone
pillars, square, like huge tall chimneys, and connected with each other at
the top by three iron bars with hooks to them--and near them is a wooden
pillar with a wheel on the top of it on which the head is exposed, if the
person instead of being hung is beheaded. I was frightened at first to see
such a multitude of bones and skeletons of sheep, oxen, and horses, and
bones as I imagined of men for many, many yards all round the gallows. I
found that in Germany the hangman is by the laws of the Empire
infamous--these hangmen form a caste, and their families marry with each
other, etc.--and that all dead cattle, who have died, belong to them, and
are carried by the owners to the gallows and left there. When their cattle
are bewitched, or otherwise desperately sick, the peasants take them and
tie them to the gallows--drowned dogs and kittens, etc., are thrown
there--in short, the grass grows rank, and yet the bones overtop it (the
fancy of _human_ bones must, I suppose, have arisen in my ignorance of
comparative anatomy). God bless you, my Love! I will write again speedily.
When I was at Ratzeburg I wrote one wintry night in bed, but never sent
you, three stanzas which, I dare say, you will think very silly, and so
they are: and yet they were not written without a yearning, yearning,
yearning _Inside_--for my yearning affects more than my _heart_. I feel it
all within me.


  If I had but two little wings,
  And were a little feath’ry bird,
  To you I’d fly, my dear!
  But thoughts like these are idle things--
  And I stay here.


  But in my sleep to you I fly:
  I’m always with you in my sleep--
  The World is all one’s own.
  But then one wakes--And where am I?--
  All, all alone!


  Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids:
  So I love to wake ere break of day:
  For though my sleep be gone,
  Yet while ’tis dark, one shuts one’s lids,
  And still dreams on![199]

If Mrs. Southey be with you, remember me with all kindness and
thankfulness for their attention to you and Hartley. To dear Mrs. Poole
give my filial love. My love to Ward. Why should I write the name of Tom
Poole, except for the pleasure of writing it? It grieves me to the heart
that Nanny is not with you--I cannot bear changes--Death makes enough!

God bless you, my dear, dear wife, and believe me with eagerness to clasp
you to my heart, your ever faithful husband,



May 6, 1799, Monday morn.

My dear Poole, my dear Poole!--I am homesick. Society is a burden to me;
and I find relief only in labour. So I read and transcribe from morning
till night, and never in my life have I worked so hard as this last month,
for indeed I must sail over an ocean of matter with almost spiritual
speed, to do what I have to do in the time in which I _will_ do it or
leave it undone! O my God, how I long to be at home! My _whole Being_ so
yearns after you, that when I think of the moment of our meeting, I catch
the fashion of German joy, rush into your arms, and embrace you. Methinks
my hand would swell if the whole force of my feeling were crowded there.
Now the Spring comes, the vital sap of my affections rises as in a tree!
And what a gloomy Spring! But a few days ago all the new buds were covered
with snow; and everything yet looks so brown and wintry, that yesterday
the roses (which the ladies carried on the ramparts, their promenade),
beautiful as they were, so little harmonized with the general face of
nature, that they looked to me like silk and made roses. But these
leafless Spring Woods! Oh, how I long to hear you whistle to the
Rippers![200] There are a multitude of nightingales here (poor things!
they sang in the snow). I thought of my own[201] verses on the
nightingale, only because I thought of Hartley, my _only_ Child. Dear
lamb! I hope he won’t be dead before I get home. There are moments in
which I have such a power of life within me, such a _conceit_ of it, I
mean, that I lay the blame of my child’s death to my absence. _Not
intellectually_; but I have a strange sort of sensation, as if, while I
was present, none could die whom I entirely loved, and doubtless it was no
absurd idea of yours that there may be unions and connections out of the
visible world.

Wordsworth and his sister passed through here, as I have informed you. I
walked on with them five English miles, and spent a day with them. They
were melancholy and hypped. W. was affected to tears at the thought of not
being near me--wished me of course to live in the North of England near
Sir Frederick Vane’s great library.[202] I told him that, independent of
the expense of removing, and the impropriety of taking Mrs. Coleridge to
a place where she would have no acquaintance, two insurmountable
objections, the library was no inducement to me--for I wanted old books
chiefly, such as could be procured anywhere better than in a gentleman’s
new fashionable collection. Finally I told him plainly that _you_ had been
the man in whom _first_ and in whom alone I had felt an _anchor_! With all
my other connections I felt a dim sense of insecurity and uncertainty,
terribly incompatible. W. was affected _to tears_, very much affected; but
he deemed the vicinity of a library absolutely _necessary_ to his health,
nay to his existence. It is painful to me, too, to think of not living
near him; for he is a _good_ and _kind_ man, and the only one whom in
_all_ things I feel my superior--and you will believe me when I say that I
have few feelings more pleasurable than to find myself, in intellectual
faculties, an inferior.

But my resolve is fixed, _not to leave you till you leave me_! I still
think that Wordsworth will be disappointed in his expectation of relief
from reading without society; and I think it highly probable that where I
live, there he will live; unless he should find in the North any person or
persons, who can feel and understand him, and reciprocate and react on
him. My many weaknesses are of some advantage to me; they unite me more
with the great mass of my fellow-beings--but dear Wordsworth appears to me
to have hurtfully segregated and isolated his being. Doubtless his
delights are more deep and sublime; but he has likewise more hours that
prey upon the flesh and blood. With regard to _Hancock’s_ house, if I can
get no place within a mile or two of Stowey I must try to get that; but I
confess I like it not--not to say that it is not altogether pleasant to
live directly opposite to a person who had behaved so rudely to Mrs.
Coleridge. But these are in the eye of reason trifles, and if no other
house can be got--in my eye, too, they shall be trifles.

       *       *       *       *       *

O Poole! I am homesick. Yesterday, or rather yesternight, I dittied the
following horrible ditty; but my poor Muse is quite gone--perhaps she may
return and meet me at Stowey.

  ’Tis sweet to him who all the week
  Through city-crowds must push his way,
  To stroll alone through fields and woods,
  And hallow thus the Sabbath-day.

  And sweet it is, in summer bower,
  Sincere, affectionate, and gay,
  One’s own dear children feasting round,
  To celebrate one’s marriage day.

  But what is all to his delight,
  Who having long been doomed to roam,
  Throws off the bundle from his back,
  Before the door of his own home?

  Home-sickness is no baby pang--
  This feel I hourly more and more:
  There’s only musick in thy wings,
  Thou breeze that play’st on Albion’s Shore.[203]

The Professors here are exceedingly kind to all the Englishmen, but to me
they pay the most flattering attentions, especially Blumenbach and
Eichhorn. Nothing can be conceived more delightful than Blumenbach’s
lectures, and, in conversation, he is, indeed, a most interesting man. The
learned Orientalist Tychsen[204] has given me instruction in the Gothic
and Theotuscan languages, which I can now read pretty well; and hope in
the course of a year to be thoroughly acquainted with all the languages
of the North, both German and Celtic. I find being learned is a mighty
easy thing, compared with any study else. My God! a miserable poet must he
be, and a despicable metaphysician, whose acquirements have not cost him
more trouble and reflection than all the learning of Tooke, Porson, and
Parr united. With the advantage of a great library, learning is
nothing--methinks, merely a sad excuse for being idle. Yet a man gets
reputation by it, and reputation gets money; and for reputation I don’t
care a damn, but money--yes--money I must get by all honest ways.
Therefore at the end of two or three years, if God grant me life, expect
to see me come out with some horribly learned book, full of manuscript
quotations from Laplandish and Patagonian authors, possibly, on the
striking resemblance of the Sweogothian and Sanscrit languages, and so on!
N. B. Whether a sort of parchment might not be made of old shoes; and
whether apples should not be grafted on oak saplings, as the fruit would
be the same as now, but the wood far more valuable? _Two ideas of
mine._--To extract _aqua fortis_ from cucumbers is a discovery not yet
made, but sugar from _bete_, oh! all Germany is mad about it. I have seen
the sugar sent to Blumenbach from Achard[205] the great chemist, and it is
good enough. They say that an hundred pounds weight of _bete_ will make
twelve pounds of sugar, and that there is no expense in the preparation.
It is the _Beta altissima_, belongs to the _Beta vulgaris_, and in Germany
is called _Runkelrübe_. Its leaves resemble those of the common red
_bete_. It is in shape like a clumsy nine pin and about the size of a
middling turnip. The flesh is white but has rings of a reddish cast. I
will bring over a quantity of the seed.

       *       *       *       *       *

A stupid letter!--I believe my late proficiency in learning has somewhat
stupified me, but live in hopes of one better worth postage. In the last
week of June, I trust, you will see me. Chester is well and desires love
and duty to his family. To your dear Mother and to Ward give my kind love,
and to all who ask after me.

My dear Poole! don’t let little Hartley die before I come home. That’s
silly--true--and I burst into tears as I wrote it. Yours









NETHER STOWEY, July 29, 1799.

I am doubtful, Southey, whether the circumstances which impel me to write
to you ought not to keep me silent, and, if it were only a feeling of
delicacy, I should remain silent, for it is good to do all things in
faith. But I have been absent, Southey! ten months, and if _you_ knew that
domestic affection was hard upon me, and that my own health was declining,
would you not have shootings within you of an affection which (“though
fallen, though changed”) has played too important a part in the event of
our lives and the formation of our character, ever to be _forgotten_? I am
perplexed what to write, or how to state the object of my writing. Any
participation in each other’s moral being I do not wish, simply because I
know enough of the mind of man to know that [it] is impossible. But,
Southey, we have similar talents, sentiments nearly similar, and kindred
pursuits; we have likewise, in more than one instance, common objects of
our esteem and love. I pray and intreat you, if we should meet at any
time, let us not withhold from each other the outward expressions of daily
kindliness; and if it be no longer in your power to soften your opinions,
make your feelings at least more tolerant towards me--(a debt of humility
which assuredly we all of us owe to our most feeble, imperfect, and
self-deceiving nature). We are few of us good enough to know our own
hearts, and as to the hearts of others, let us struggle to hope that they
are better than we think them, and resign the rest to our common Maker.
God bless you and yours.


[Southey’s answer to this appeal has not been preserved, but its tenor was
that Coleridge had slandered him to others. In his reply Coleridge “avers
on his honour as a man and a gentleman” that he never charged Southey with
“aught but deep and implacable enmity towards himself,” and that his
authorities for this accusation were those on whom Southey relied, that
is, doubtless, Lloyd and Lamb. He appeals to Poole, the “repository” of
his every thought, and to Wordsworth, “with whom he had been for more than
one whole year almost daily and frequently for weeks together,” to bear
him out in this statement. A letter from Poole to Southey dated August 8,
and forwarded to Minehead by “special messenger,” bears ample testimony to
Coleridge’s disavowal. “Without entering into particulars,” he writes, “I
will say generally, that in the many conversations I have had with
Coleridge concerning yourself, he has never discovered the least personal
enmity against, but, on the contrary, the strongest affection for you
stifled only by the untoward events of your separation.” Poole’s
intervention was successful, and once again the cottage opened its doors
to a distinguished guest. The Southeys remained as visitors at Stowey
until, in company with their host, they set out for Devonshire.]



  EXETER, Southey’s Lodgings, Mr. Tucker’s, Fore Street Hill,
    September 16, 1799.[206]

MY DEAR POOLE,--Here I am just returned from a little tour[207] of five
days, having seen rocks and waterfalls, and a pretty river or two; some
wide landscapes, and a multitude of ash-tree dells, and the blue waters of
the “roaring sea,” as little Hartley says, who on Friday fell down stairs
and injured his arm. ’Tis swelled and sprained, but, God be praised, not
broken. The views of Totness and Dartmouth are among the most impressive
things I have ever seen; but in general what of Devonshire I have lately
seen is tame to Quantock, Porlock, Culbone, and Linton. So much for the
country! Now as to the inhabitants thereof, they are bigots, unalphabeted
in the first feelings of liberality; of course in all they speak and all
they do not speak, they give good reasons for the opinions which they
hold, viz. they hold the propriety of slavery, an opinion which, being
generally assented to by Englishmen, makes Pitt and Paul the first among
the moral fitnesses of things. I have three brothers, that is to say,
relations by gore. Two are parsons and one is a colonel. George and the
colonel, good men as times go--very good men--but alas! we have neither
tastes nor feelings in common. This I wisely learnt from their
conversation, and did not suffer them to learn it from mine. What occasion
for it? Hunger and thirst--roast fowls, mealy potatoes, pies, and clouted
cream! bless the inventors of them! An honest philosopher may find
therewith preoccupation for his mouth, keeping his heart and brain, the
latter in his scull, the former in the pericardium some five or six inches
from the roots of his tongue! Church and King! Why I drink Church and
King, mere cutaneous scabs of loyalty which only ape the king’s evil, but
affect not the interior of one’s health. Mendicant sores! it requires some
little caution to keep them open, but they heal of their own accord. Who
(such a friend as I am to the system of fraternity) could refuse such a
toast at the table of a clergyman and a colonel, his brother? So, my dear
Poole! I live in peace. Of the other party, I have dined with a Mr.
Northmore, a pupil of Wakefield, who possesses a fine house half a mile
from Exeter. In his boyhood he was at my father’s school.... But Southey
and self called upon him as authors--he having edited a Tryphiodorus and
part of Plutarch, and being a notorious anti-ministerialist and
free-thinker. He welcomed us as he ought, and we met at dinner Hucks (at
whose house I dine Wednesday), the man who toured with me in Wales and
afterwards published his “Tour,” Kendall, a poet, who really looks like a
man of genius, pale and gnostic, has the merit of being a Jacobin or so,
but is a shallowist--and finally a Mr. Banfill, a man of sense,
information, and various literature, and most perfectly a gentleman--in
short a pleasant man. At his house we dine to-morrow. Northmore himself is
an honest, vehement sort of a fellow who splutters out all his opinions
like a fiz-gig, made of gunpowder not thoroughly dry, sudden and
explosive, yet ever with a certain adhesive blubberliness of elocution.
Shallow! shallow! A man who can read Greek well, but shallow! Yet honest,
too, and who ardently wishes the well-being of his fellowmen, and believes
that without more liberty and more equality this well-being is not
possible. He possesses a most noble library. The victory at Novi![208] If
I were a good caricaturist I would sketch off Suwarrow in a car of
conquest drawn by huge crabs!! With what retrograde majesty the vehicle
advances! He may truly say he came off with _éclat_, that is, a claw! I
shall be back at Stowey in less than three weeks....

We hope your dear mother remains well. Give my filial love to her. God
bless her! I beg my kind love to Ward. God bless you and


Monday night.


STOWEY, Tuesday evening, October 15, 1799.

It is fashionable among our philosophizers to assert the existence of a
surplus of misery in the world, which, in my opinion, is no proof that
either systematic thinking or unaffected self-observation is fashionable
among them. But Hume wrote, and the French imitated him, and we the
French, and the French us; and so philosophisms fly to and fro, in series
of imitated imitations--shadows of shadows of shadows of a farthing-candle
placed between two looking-glasses. For in truth, my dear Southey! I am
harassed with the rheumatism in my head and shoulders, not without
arm-and-thigh-twitches--but when the pain intermits it leaves my sensitive
frame _so_ sensitive! My enjoyments are so deep, of the fire, of the
candle, of the thought I am thinking, of the old folio I am reading, and
the silence of the silent house is so _most and very_ delightful, that
upon my soul! the rheumatism is no such bad thing as _people make for_.
And yet I have, and do suffer from it, in much pain and sleeplessness and
often sick at stomach through indigestion of the food, which I eat from
compulsion. Since I received your former letter, I have spent a few days
at Upcott;[209] but was too unwell to be comfortable, so I returned
yesterday. Poor Tom![210] he has an adventurous calling. I have so wholly
forgotten my geography that I don’t know where Ferrol is, whether in
France or Spain. Your dear mother must be very anxious indeed. If he
return safe, it will have been good. God grant he may!

_Massena!_[211] and what say you of the resurrection and glorification of
the Saviour of the East after his trials in the wilderness? (I am afraid
that this is a piece of blasphemy; but it was in simple verity such an
infusion of animal spirits into me.) Buonaparte! Buonaparte! dear, dear,
_dear_ Buonaparte! It would be no bad fun to hear the clerk of the Privy
Council read this paragraph before Pitt, etc. “You ill-looking frog-voiced
reptile! mind you lay the proper emphasis on the third _dear_, or I’ll
split your clerkship’s skull for you!” Poole ordered a paper. He has
_found out_, he says, why the _newspapers_ had become so indifferent to
him. _Inventive_ Genius! He begs his kind remembrances to you. In
consequence of the news he burns like Greek Fire, under all the wets and
waters of this health-and-harvest destroying weather. He flames while his
barley smokes. “See!” he says, “how it _grows out again_, ruining the
prospects of those who had cut it down!” You are harvest-man enough, I
suppose, to understand the metaphor. Jackson[212] is, I believe, out of
all doubt a bad man. Why is it, if it be, and I fear it is, why is it that
the studies of music and painting are so unfavourable to the human heart?
Painters have been commonly very clever men, which is not so generally the
case with musicians, but both alike are almost uniformly debauchees. It is
superfluous to say how much your account of Bampfylde[213] interested me.
Predisposition to madness gave him a cast of originality, and he had a
species of _taste_ which only genius could give; but his genius does not
appear a _powerful_ or _ebullient_ faculty (nearer to Lamb’s than to the
Gebir-man [Landor], so I judge from the few specimens _I_ have seen). If
you think otherwise, you are right I doubt not. I shall be glad to give
Mr. and Mrs. Keenan[214] the right hand of welcome with looks and tones in
_fit_ accompaniment. For the wife of a man of genius who sympathises
effectively with her husband in his habits and feelings is a _rara avis_
with me; though a vast majority of her own sex and too many of ours will
scout her for a _rara piscis_. If I am well enough, Sara and I go to
Bristol in a few days. I hope they will not come in the mean time. It is
singularly unpleasant to me that I cannot renew our late acquaintances in
Exeter without creating very serious uneasinesses at Ottery, Northmore is
so preëminently an offensive character to the aristocrats. He sent Paine’s
books as a present to a clergyman of my brother’s acquaintance, a Mr.
Markes. This was silly enough....

I will set about “Christabel” with all speed; but I do not think it a fit
opening poem. What I think would be a fit opener, and what I would humbly
lay before you as the best plan of the next Anthologia, I will communicate
shortly in another letter entirely on this subject. Mohammed I will not
forsake; but my money-book I must write first. In the last, or at least in
a late “Monthly Magazine” was an Essay on a Jesuitic conspiracy and about
the Russians. There was so much genius in it that I suspected William
Taylor for the author; but the style was so nauseously affected, so
absurdly pedantic, that I was half-angry with myself for the suspicion.
Have you seen Bishop Prettyman’s book? I hear it is a curiosity. You
remember Scott the attorney, who held such a disquisition on my simile of
property resembling matter rather than blood? and eke of St. John? and you
remember, too, that I shewed him in my face that there was no room for him
in my heart? Well, sir! this man has taken a most deadly hatred to me, and
how do you think he revenges himself? He imagines that I write for the
“Morning Post,” and he goes regularly to the coffee-houses, calls for the
paper, and reading it he observes aloud, “What damn’d stuff of poetry is
always crammed in this paper! such damn’d silly nonsense! I wonder what
coxcomb it is that writes it! I wish the paper was kicked out of the
coffee-house.” Now, but for Cruikshank, I could play Scott a precious
trick by sending to Stuart, “The Angry Attorney, a True Tale,” and I know
more than enough of Scott’s most singular parti-coloured rascalities to
make a most humorous and biting satire of it.

I have heard of a young Quaker who went to the Lobby, with a monstrous
military cock-hat on his head, with a scarlet coat and up to his mouth in
flower’d muslin, swearing too most bloodily--all “that he might not be
unlike other people!” A Quaker’s son getting himself christen’d to avoid
being remarkable is as _improbable_ a lie as ever self-delusion permitted
the heart to impose on the understanding, or the understanding to invent
without the consent of the heart. But so it is. Soon after Lloyd’s arrival
at Cambridge I understand Christopher Wordsworth wrote his uncle, Mr.
Cookson,[215] that Lloyd was going to read Greek with him. Cookson wrote
back recommending caution, and whether or no an intimacy with so marked a
character might not be prejudicial to his academical interests. (This is
his usual mild manner.) Christopher Wordsworth returned for answer that
Lloyd was by no means a democrat, and as a proof of it, transcribed the
most favourable passages from the “Edmund Oliver,” and here the _affair_
ended. You remember Lloyd’s own account of this story, of course, more
accurately than I, and can therefore best judge how far my suspicions of
falsehood and exaggeration were well-founded. My dear Southey! the having
a bad heart and not having a good one are different things. That Charles
Lloyd has a bad heart, I do not even think; but I venture to say, and that
openly, that he has not a good one. He is unfit to be any man’s friend,
and to all but a very guarded man he is a perilous _acquaintance_. _Your_
conduct towards him, while it is wise, will, I doubt not, be gentle. Of
confidence he is not worthy; but social kindness and communicativeness
purely intellectual can do you no harm, and may be the means of benefiting
his character essentially. _Aut ama me quia sum Dei, aut ut sim Dei_, said
St. Augustin, and in the laxer sense of the word “Ama” there is wisdom in
the expression notwithstanding its wit. Besides, it is the way of _peace_.
From Bristol perhaps I go to London, but I will write you where I am.
Yours affectionately,


I have great affection for Lamb, but I have likewise a perfect
Lloyd-and-Lambophobia! Independent of the irritation attending an
epistolary controversy with them, their _prose_ comes so damn’d dear!
Lloyd especially writes with a woman’s fluency in a large rambling hand,
most dull though profuse of feeling. I received from them in last quarter
letters so many, that with the postage I might have bought Birch’s
Milton.--Sara will write soon. Our love to Edith and your mother.


KESWICK,[216] Sunday, November 10, 1799.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I am anxious lest so long silence should seem
unaffectionate, or I would not, having so little to say, write to you
from such a distant corner of the kingdom. I was called up to the North by
alarming accounts of Wordsworth’s health, which, thank God! are but little
more than alarms. _Since_ I have visited the Lakes and in a pecuniary way
have made the trip answer to me. From hence I go to London, having had (by
accident here) a sort of offer made to me of a pleasant kind, which, if it
turn out well, will enable me and Sara to reside in London for the next
four or five months--a thing I wish extremely on many and important
accounts. So much for myself. In my last letter I said I would give you my
reasons for thinking “Christabel,” _were_ it finished, and finished as
spiritedly as it commences, yet still an improper opening poem. My reason
is it cannot be expected to please all. _Those_ who dislike it will deem
it extravagant ravings, and go on through the rest of the collection with
the feeling of disgust, and it is not impossible that were it liked by any
it would still not harmonise with the _real-life_ poems that follow. It
ought, I think, to be the last. The first ought _me judice_ to be a poem
in couplets, didactic or satirical, such a one as the lovers of genuine
poetry would call sensible and entertaining, such as the ignoramuses and
Pope-admirers would deem genuine poetry. I had planned such a one, and,
but for the absolute necessity of scribbling prose, I should have written
it. The great and master fault of the last “Anthology” was the want of
arrangement. It is called a collection, and meant to be continued
annually; yet was distinguished in nothing from any other single volume of
poems equally good. Yours ought to have been a cabinet with proper
compartments, and papers in them, whereas it was only the papers. Some
such arrangement as this should have been adopted: First. Satirical and
Didactic. 2. Lyrical. 3. Narrative. 4. Levities.

  “Sic positi quoniam suaves miscetis odores,
   Neve inter vites corylum sere”--

is, I am convinced, excellent advice of Master Virgil’s. N. B. A good
motto! ’Tis from Virgil’s seventh Eclogue.

  “Populus Alcidæ gratissima, vitis Iaccho,
   Formosæ myrtus Veneri, sua laurea Phœbo;
   Phyllis amat corylos.”

But still, my dear Southey! it goes grievously against the grain with me,
that _you_ should be editing anthologies. I would to Heaven that you could
afford to write nothing, or at least to publish nothing, till the
completion and publication of the “Madoc.” I feel as certain, as my mind
dare feel on any subject, that it would lift you with a spring into a
reputation that would give immediate sale to your after compositions and a
license of writing more at ease. Whereas “Thalaba” would gain you (for a
time at least) more ridiculers than admirers, and the “Madoc” might in
consequence be welcomed with an _ecce iterum_. Do, do, my dear Southey!
publish the “Madoc” _quam citissime_, not hastily, but yet speedily. I
will instantly publish an Essay on Epic Poetry in reference to it. I have
been reading the Æneid, and there you will be all victorious, excepting
the importance of Æneas and his connection with events existing in
Virgil’s time. This cannot be said of “Madoc.” There are other faults in
the construction of your poem, but nothing compared to those in the Æneid.
Homer I shall read too.

  (No signature.)


December 9, [1799].

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I pray you in your next give me the particulars of your
health. I hear accounts so contradictory that I know only enough to be a
good deal frightened. You will surely think it your duty to suspend all
intellectual exertion; as to money, you will get it easily enough. You may
easily make twice the money you receive from Stuart by the use of the
scissors; for your name is prodigiously high among the London publishers.
I would to God your health permitted you to come to London. You might have
lodgings in the same house with us. And this I am certain of, that not
even Kingsdown is a more healthy or airy place. I have enough for us to do
that would be mere child’s work to us, and in which the women might assist
us essentially, by the doing of which we might easily get a hundred and
fifty pounds each before the first of April. This I speak, not from guess
but from absolute conditions with booksellers. The principal work to which
I allude would be likewise a great source of amusement and profit to us in
the execution, and assuredly we should be a mutual comfort to each other.
This I should _press_ on you were not Davy at Bristol, but he is indeed an
admirable young man; not only must he be of comfort to you, but in whom
can you place such reliance as a medical man? But for Davy, I should
advise your coming to London; the difference of expense for three months
could not be above fifty pounds. I do not see how it could be half as
much. But I pray you write me all particulars, how you have been, how you
are, and what you think the particular nature of your disease.

Now for poor George.[217] Assuredly I am ready and willing to become his
bondsman for five hundred pounds if, on the whole, you think the scheme a
good one. I see enough of the boy to be fully convinced of his goodness
and well-intentionedness; of his present or probable talents I know
little. To remain all his life an under clerk, as many have done, and earn
fifty pounds a year in his old age with a trembling hand--alas! that were
a dreary prospect. No creature under the sun is so helpless, so unfitted,
I should think, for any other mode of life as a clerk, a mere clerk. Yet
still many have begun so and risen into wealth and importance, and it is
not impossible that before his term closed we might be able, if nought
better offered, perhaps to procure him a place in a public office. We
might between us keep him neat in clothes from our own wardrobes, I should
think, and I am ready to allow five guineas this year, in addition to Mr.
Savary’s twelve pounds. More I am not justified to _promise_. Yet still I
think it matter of much reflection with you. The commercial prospects of
this country are, in my opinion, gloomy; our present commerce is enormous:
that it must diminish after a peace is certain, and should any accident
injure the West India trade, and give to France a paramountship in the
American affections, that diminution would be vast indeed, and, of course,
great would be the number of clerks, etc., wholly out of employment. This
is no visionary speculation; for we are consulting concerning a _life_,
for probably fifty years. I should have given a more intense conviction to
the goodness of the former scheme of apprenticing him to a printer, and
would make every exertion to raise my share of the money wanting. However,
all this is talk at random. I leave it to you to decide. What does Charles
Danvers think? He has been very kind to George. But to whom is he not
kind, that body--blood--bone--muscle--nerve--heart and head--good man! I
lay final stress on his opinion in almost everything except verses; those
I know more about than he does--“God bless him, to use a vulgar phrase.”
This is a quotation from Godwin, who used these words in conversation with
me and Davy. The pedantry of atheism tickled me hugely. Godwin is no great
things in intellect; but in heart and manner he is all the better for
having been the husband of Mary Wollstonecraft. Why did not George Dyer
(who, by the bye, has written a silly milk-and-water life of you,[218] in
which your talents for _pastoral_ and _rural_ imagery are extolled, and in
which you are asserted to be a republican), why did not George Dyer send
to the “Anthology” that poem in the last “Monthly Magazine?” It is so very
far superior to anything I have ever seen of his, and might have made some
atonement for his former transgressions. God love him, he is a very good
man; but he ought not to degrade himself by writing lives of living
characters for Phillips; and all his friends make wry faces, peeping out
of the pillory of his advertisemental notes. I hold to my former opinion
concerning the _arrangement_ of the “Anthology,” and the booksellers with
whom _I_ have talked coincide with me. On this I am decided, that all the
_light_ pieces should be put together under one title with a motto[219]
thus: “_Nos hæc novimus esse nihil--Phillis amat Corylos_.” I am afraid
that I have scarce poetic enthusiasm enough to finish “Christabel;” but
the poem, with which Davy is so much delighted, I probably may finish time
enough. I shall probably _not_ publish my letters, and if I do so, I shall
most certainly _not_ publish any verses in them. Of course, I expect to
see them in the “Anthology.” As to title, I should wish a fictitious one
or none; were I sure that I could finish the poem I spoke of. I do not
know how to get the conclusion of Mrs. Robinson’s poem for you. Perhaps it
were better omitted, and I mean to put the thoughts of that concert poem
into smoother metre. Our “Devil’s Thoughts” have been admired far and
wide, most _enthusiastically_ admired. I wish to have my name in the
collection at all events; but I should better like it to better poems than
these I have been hitherto able to give you. But I will write again on
Saturday. Supposing that Johnson should mean to do nothing more with the
“Fears in Solitude” and the two accompanying poems, would they be excluded
from the plan of your “Anthology?” There were not above two hundred sold,
and what is that to a newspaper circulation? Collins’s Odes were thus
reprinted in Dodsley’s Collection. As to my future residence, I can say
nothing--only this, that to be near you would be a strong motive with me
for my wife’s sake as well as myself. I think it not impossible that a
number might be found to go with you and settle in a warmer climate. My
kind love to your wife. Sara and Hartley arrived safe, and here they are,
No. 21 Buckingham Street, Strand. God bless you, and your affectionate


Thursday evening.

P. S. Mary Hayes[220] is writing the “Lives of Famous Women,” and is now
about your friend _Joan_. She begs you to tell her what books to consult,
or to communicate something to her. This from Tobin, who sends his love.


Tuesday night, 12 o’clock [December 24], 1799.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--My Spinosism (if Spinosism it be, and i’ faith ’tis very
like it) disposed me to consider this big city as that part of the supreme
One which the prophet Moses was allowed to see--I should be more disposed
to pull off my shoes, beholding Him in a _Bush_, than while I am forcing
my reason to believe that even in theatres _He_ is, yea! even in the Opera
House. Your “Thalaba” will beyond all doubt bring you two hundred pounds,
if you will sell it at once; but _do_ not print at a venture, under the
notion of selling the edition. I assure you that Longman regretted the
bargain he made with Cottle concerning the second edition of the “Joan of
Arc,” and is indisposed to similar negotiations; but most and very eager
to have the property of your works at almost any price. If you have not
heard it from Cottle, why, you may hear it from me, that is, the
arrangement of Cottle’s affairs in London. The whole and total copyright
of your “Joan,” and the first volume of your poems (exclusive of what
Longman had before given), was taken by him at three hundred and seventy
pounds. You are a strong swimmer, and have borne up poor Joey with all his
leaden weights about him, his own and other people’s! Nothing has answered
to him but your works. By me he has lost somewhat--by Fox, Amos, and
himself _very much_. I can sell your “Thalaba” quite as well in your
absence as in your presence. I am employed from I-rise to I-set[221] (that
is, from nine in the morning to twelve at night), a pure scribbler. My
mornings to booksellers’ compilations, after dinner to Stuart, who pays
_all_ my expenses here, let them be what they will; the earnings of the
morning go to make up an hundred and fifty pounds for my year’s
expenditure; for, supposing _all clear_ my year’s (1800) allowance is
anticipated. But this I can do by the first of April (at which time I
leave London). For Stuart I write often his leading paragraphs on
Secession, Peace, Essay on the new French Constitution,[222] Advice to
Friends of Freedom, Critiques on Sir W. Anderson’s Nose, Odes to Georgiana
D. of D. (horribly misprinted), Christmas Carols, etc., etc.,--anything
not bad in the paper, that is not yours, is mine. So if any verses there
strike you as worthy the “Anthology,” “do me the honour, sir!” However, in
the course of a week I _do mean_ to conduct a series of essays in that
paper which may be of public utility. So much for myself, except that I
long to be out of London; and that my Xstmas Carol is a quaint
performance, and, in as strict a sense as is _possible_, an Impromptu,
and, had I done all I had planned, that “Ode to the Duchess”[223] would
have been a better thing than it is--it being somewhat dullish, etc. I
have bought the “Beauties of the Anti-jacobin,” and attorneys and
counsellors advise me to prosecute, and offer to undertake it, so as that
I shall have neither trouble or expense. They say it is a clear case,
etc.[224] I will speak to Johnson about the “Fears in Solitude.” If he
gives them up they are yours. That dull ode has been printed often enough,
and may now be allowed to “sink with dead swoop, and to the bottom _go_,”
to quote an admired author; but the two others will do with a little

My dear Southey! I have said nothing concerning that which most oppresses
me. Immediately on my leaving London I fall to the “Life of Lessing;” till
that is done, till I have given the Wedgwoods some proof that I am
_endeavouring_ to do well for my fellow-creatures, I cannot stir. That
being done, I would accompany you, and see no impossibility of forming a
pleasant little colony for a few years in Italy or the South of France.
Peace will soon come. God love you, my dear Southey! I would write to
Stuart, and give up his paper immediately. You should do nothing that did
not absolutely _please_ you. Be idle, be very idle! The habits of your
mind are such that you will necessarily do much; but be as idle as you

Our love to dear Edith. If you see Mary, tell her that we have received
our trunk. Hartley is quite well, and my talkativeness is his, without
diminution on my side. ’Tis strange, but certainly many things go in the
blood, beside gout and scrophula. Yesterday I dined at Longman’s and met
Pratt, and that honest piece of prolix dullity and nullity, young Towers,
who desired to be remembered to you. To-morrow Sara and I dine at Mister
Gobwin’s, as Hartley calls him, who gave the philosopher such a rap on the
shins with a ninepin that Gobwin in huge pain _lectured_ Sara on his
boisterousness. I was not at home. _Est modus in rebus._ Moshes is
somewhat too rough and noisy, but the cadaverous silence of Godwin’s
children is to me quite catacombish, and, thinking of Mary Wollstonecraft,
I was oppressed by it the day Davy and I dined there.

  God love you and


Saturday, January 25, 1800.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--No day passes in which I do not as it were yearn after
you, but in truth my occupations have lately swoln above smothering point.
I am over mouth and nostrils. I have inclosed a poem which Mrs. Robinson
gave me for your “Anthology.” She is a woman of undoubted genius. There
was a poem of hers in this morning’s paper which both in metre and matter
pleased me much. She overloads everything; but I never knew a human being
with so _full_ a mind--bad, good, and indifferent, I grant you, but full
and overflowing. This poem I _asked_ for you, because I thought the metre
stimulating and some of the stanzas really _good_. The first line of the
twelfth would of itself redeem a worse poem.[225] I think you will agree
with me, but should you not, yet still put it _in_, my dear fellow! for my
sake, and out of respect to a woman-poet’s feelings. Miss Hayes I have
seen. Charles Lloyd’s conduct has been atrocious beyond what you stated.
Lamb himself confessed to me that during the time in which he kept up his
ranting, sentimental correspondence with Miss Hayes, he frequently read
her letters in company, as a subject for _laughter_, and then sate down
and answered them quite _à la Rousseau_! Poor Lloyd! Every hour
new-creates him; he is his own posterity in a perpetually flowing series,
and his body unfortunately retaining an external identity, _their_ mutual
contradictions and disagreeings are united under one name, and of course
are called lies, treachery, and rascality! I would not give him up, but
that the same circumstances which have wrenched his morals prevent in him
any salutary exercise of genius. And therefore he is not worth to the
world that I should embroil and embrangle myself in his interests.

Of Miss Hayes’ intellect I do not think so highly as you, or rather, to
speak sincerely, I think not _contemptuously_ but certainly _despectively_
thereof. Yet I think you likely in this case to have judged better than I;
for to hear a thing, ugly and petticoated, ex-syllogize a God with
cold-blooded precision, and attempt to run religion through the body with
an icicle, an icicle from a Scotch Hog-trough! _I_ do not endure it; my
eye beholds phantoms, and “nothing is, but what is not.”

By your last I could not find whether or no you still are willing to
execute the “History of the Levelling Principle.” Let me hear. Tom
Wedgwood is going to the Isle of St. Nevis. As to myself, Lessing out of
the question; I must stay in England.... Dear Hartley is well, and in high
force; he sported of his own accord a theologico-astronomical hypothesis.
Having so perpetually heard of good boys being put up into the sky when
they are dead, and being now beyond measure enamoured of the lamps in the
streets, he said one night coming through the streets, “Stars are dead
lamps, they be’nt naughty, they are put up in the sky.” Two or three weeks
ago he was talking to himself while I was writing, and I took down his
soliloquy. It would make a most original poem.

You say, I illuminize. I think that property will some time or other be
modified by the predominance of intellect, even as rank and superstition
are now modified by and subordinated to property, that much is to be hoped
of the future; but first those particular modes of property which more
particularly stop the diffusion must be done away, as injurious to
property itself; these are priesthood and the too great patronage of
Government. Therefore, if to act on the belief that all things are the
process, and that inapplicable truths are moral falsehoods, be to
illuminize, why then I illuminize! I know that I have been obliged to
_illuminize_ so late at night, or rather mornings, that eyes have smarted
as if I had _allum in eyes_! I believe I have misspelt the word, and ought
to have written Alum; that aside, ’tis a _humorous pun_!

Tell Davy that I will soon write. God love him! You and I, Southey! know a
good and great man or two in this world of ours.

God love you, my dear Southey, and your affectionate


My kind love to Edith. Let me hear from you, and do not be angry with me
that I don’t answer your letters regularly.


(Early in 1800.)

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I shall give up this Newspaper business; it is too, too
fatiguing. I have attended the Debates twice, and the first time I was
twenty-five hours in activity, and that of a very unpleasant kind; and the
second time, from ten in the morning till four o’clock the next morning. I
am sure that you will excuse my silence, though indeed after two such
letters from you I cannot scarcely excuse it myself. First of the book
business. I find a resistance which I did not expect to the
_anonymousness_ of the publication. Longman seems confident that a work on
such a subject without a name would not do. Translations and perhaps
Satires are, he says, the only works that booksellers now venture on
_without a name_. He is very solicitous to have your “Thalaba,” and
wonders (most wonderful!) that you do not write a novel. That would be the
thing! and truly, if by no more pains than a “St. Leon”[226] requires you
could get four hundred pounds!! or half the money, I say so too! If we
were together we might easily _toss up_ a novel, to be published in the
name of one of us, or _two_, if that were all, and then christen ’em by
lots. As sure as ink flows in my pen, by help of an amanuensis I could
write a volume a week--and Godwin got four hundred pounds! for it--think
of that, Master Brooks. I hope that some time or other you will write a
novel on that subject of yours! I mean the “Rise and Progress of a
_Laugher_”--Le Grice in your eye--the effect of Laughing on taste,
manners, morals, and happiness! But as to the Jacobin Book, I must wait
till I hear from you. Phillips would be very glad to engage you to write a
school book for him, the History of Poetry in all nations, about 400
pages; but this, too, _must_ have your name. He would give sixty pounds.
If poor dear Burnett were with you, he might do it under your eye and with
your instructions as well as you or I could do it, but it is _the name_.
Longman remarked acutely enough, “The booksellers scarcely pretend to
judge the merits of the _book_, but we know the _saleableness_ of the
name! and as they continue to buy most books on the calculation of a
_first_ edition of a thousand copies, they are seldom much mistaken; for
the name gives them the excuse for sending it to all the Gemmen in Great
Britain and the Colonies, from whom they have standing orders for new
books of reputation.” This is the secret why books published by country
booksellers, or by authors on their own account, so seldom succeed.

As to my schemes of residence, I am as unfixed as yourself, only that we
are under the absolute necessity of fixing somewhere, and that somewhere
will, I suppose, be Stowey. There are all my books and all our furniture.
In May I am under a kind of engagement to go with Sara to Ottery. My
family wish me to fix there, but _that_ I must decline in the names of
public liberty and individual free-agency. Elder brothers, not senior in
intellect, and not sympathising in main opinions, are subjects of
occasional visits; not temptations to a co-township. But if you go to
Burton, Sara and I will waive the Ottery plan, if possible, and spend May
and June with you, and perhaps July; but she must be settled in a house by
the latter end of July, or the first week in August. Till we are with you,
Sara means to spend five weeks with the Roskillies, and a week or two at
Bristol, where I shall join her. She will leave London in three weeks at
least, perhaps a fortnight; and I shall give up lodgings and billet myself
free of expense at my friend Purkis’s, at Brentford. This is my present
plan. O my dear Southey! I would to God that your health did not enforce
you to migrate--we might most assuredly continue to fix a residence
somewhere, which might possess a sort of centrality. Alfoxden would make
two houses sufficiently divided for unimpinging independence.

Tell Davy that I have not forgotten him, because without an epilepsy I
cannot forget him; and if I wrote to him as often as I think of him, Lord
have mercy on his pocket!

God bless you again and again.


I pass this evening with Charlotte Smith at her house.


[Postmark February 18], 1800.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--What do you mean by the words, “it is indeed by
expectation”? speaking of your state of health. I cannot bear to think of
your going to a strange country without any one who loves and understands
you. But we will talk of all this. I have not a moment’s time, and my head
aches. I was up till five o’clock this morning. My brain is so overworked
that I could doze troublously and with cold limbs, so affected was my
circulation. I shall do no more for Stuart. Read Pitt’s speech[227] in
the “Morning Post” of to-day (February 18, Tuesday). I reported the whole
with notes so scanty, that--Mr. Pitt is much obliged to me. For, by
Heaven, he never talked half as eloquently in his life-time. He is a
_stupid, insipid_ charlatan, that _Pitt_. Indeed, except Fox, I, you, or
anybody might learn to speak better than any man in the House. For the
next fortnight I expect to be so busy, that I shall go out of London a
mile or so to be wholly uninterrupted. I do not understand the
Beguin-nings[228] of Holland. Phillips is a good-for-nothing fellow, but
what of that? He will give you sixty pounds, and advance half the money
now for a book you can do in a fortnight, or three weeks at farthest. I
would advise you not to give it up so hastily. Phillips eats no flesh. I
observe, wittily enough, that whatever might be thought of innate ideas,
there could be no doubt to a man who had seen Phillips of the existence of
innate beef. Let my “Mad Ox” keep my name. “Fire and Famine” do just what
you like with. I have no wish either way. The “Fears in Solitude,” I
fear, is not my property, and I have no encouragement to think it will be
given up, but if I hear otherwise I will let you know speedily; in the
mean time, do not rely on it. Your review-plan[229] _cannot_ answer for
this reason. It could exist only as long as the ononymous anti-anonymists
remained in life, health, and the humour, and no publisher would undertake
a periodical publication on so gossamery a tie. Besides, it really would
not be right for any man to make so many people have strange and
uncomfortable feelings towards him; which must be the case, however kind
the reviews might be--and what but nonsense is published? The author of
“Gebir” I cannot find out. There are none of his books in town. You have
made a sect of Gebirites by your review, but it was not a _fair_, though a
very kind review. I have sent a letter to Mrs. Fricker, which Sara
directed to you. I hope it has come safe. Let me see, are there any other

So, my dear Southey, God love you, and never, never cease to believe that
I am affectionately yours,


Love to Edith.


No. 21 Buckingham Street [early in 1800].

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I will see Longman on Tuesday, at the farthest, but I
pray you send me up what you have done, if you can, as I will read it to
him, unless he will take my word for it. But we cannot expect that he will
treat finally without seeing a considerable specimen. Send it by the
coach, and be assured that it will be as safe as in your own escritoire,
and I will remit it the very day Longman or any bookseller has treated for
it satisfactorily. Less than two hundred pounds I would not take. Have you
tried warm bathing in a high temperature? As to your travelling, your
first business must, of course, be to _settle_. The Greek Islands[230] and
Turkey in general are one continued Hounslow Heath, only that the
highwaymen there have an awkward habit of murdering people. As to Poland
and Hungary, the detestable roads and inns of them both, and the severity
of the climate in the former, render travelling there little suited to
your state of health. Oh! for peace and the South of France! What a
detestable villainy is not the new Constitution.[231] I have written all
that relates to it which has appeared in the “Morning Post;” and not
without strength or elegance. But the French are children.[232] ’Tis an
infirmity to hope or fear concerning them. I wish they had a king again,
if it were only that Sieyès and Bonaparte might be _hung_. Guillotining is
too republican a death for such reptiles! You’ll write another quarter for
Mr. Stuart? You will torture yourself for twelve or thirteen guineas? I
pray you do not do so! You might get without the exertion, and with but
little more expenditure of time, from fifty to an hundred pounds. Thus,
for instance, bring together on your table, or skim over successively
Brücker, Lardner’s “History of Heretics,” Russell’s “Modern Europe,” and
Andrews’ “History of England,” and write a history of levellers and the
levelling principle under some goodly title, neither praising or abusing
them. Lacedæmon, Crete, and the attempts at agrarian laws in Rome--all
these you have by heart.... Plato and Zeno are, I believe, nearly all that
relates to the purpose in Brücker. Lardner’s is a most amusing book to
read. Write only a sheet of letter paper a day, which you can easily do in
an hour, and in twelve weeks you will have produced (without any toil of
brains, observing none but chronological arrangement, and giving you
little more than the trouble of transcription) twenty-four sheets octavo.
I will gladly write a philosophical introduction that shall enlighten
without offending, and therein state the rise of property, etc. For this
you might secure sixty or seventy guineas, and receive half the money on
producing the first eight sheets, in a month from your first commencement
of the work. Many other works occur to me, but I mention this because it
might be doing great good, inasmuch as boys and youths would read it with
far different impressions from their fathers and godfathers, and yet the
latter find nothing alarming in the nature of the work, it being purely
historical. If I am not deceived by the _recency_ of their date, my “Ode
to the Duchess” and my “Xmas Carol” will _do_ for your “Anthology.” I have
therefore transcribed them for you. But I need not ask you, for God’s
sake, to use your own judgment without spare.

  (No signature.)


February 28, 1800.

It goes to my heart, my dear Southey! to sit down and write to you,
knowing that I can scarcely fill half a side--the postage lies on my
conscience. I am translating manuscript plays of Schiller.[233] They are
_poems_, full of long speeches, in very polish’d blank verse. The theatre!
the theatre! my dear Southey! it will never, never, never do! If you go to
Portugal, your History thereof _will_ do, but, for present money, novels
or translations. I do not see that a book said by you in the preface to
have been written merely as a book for young persons could injure your
reputation more than Milton’s “Accidence” injured _his_. I _would do_ it,
because you can do it so easily. It is not necessary that you should say
much about French or German Literature. Do it so. Poetry of savage
nations--Poetry of rudely civilized--Homer and the Hebrew Poetry,
etc.--Poetry of civilized nations under Republics and Polytheism, State of
Poetry under the Roman and Greek Empires--Revival of it in Italy, in
Spain, and England--then go steadily on with England to the end, except
one chapter about German Poetry to conclude with, which I can write for

In the “Morning Post” was a poem of fascinating metre by Mary Robinson;
’twas on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and entitled the “Haunted Beach.”[234] I was
so struck with it that I sent to her to desire that [it] might be
preserved in the “Anthology.” She was extremely flattered by the idea of
its being there, as she idolizes you and your doings. So, if it be not too
late, I pray you let it be in. If you should not have received that day’s
paper, write immediately that I may transcribe it. It falls off sadly to
the last, wants tale and interest; but the images are new and very
distinct--that “silvery carpet” is so _just_ that it is unfortunate it
should _seem_ so bad, for it is _really_ good; but the metre, ay! that
woman has an ear. William Taylor, from whom I have received a couple of
letters full of thought and information, says what astounded me, that
double rhymes in our language have always a _ludicrous_ association. Mercy
on the man! where are his ears and feelings? His taste cannot be _quite_
right, from this observation; but he is a famous fellow--that is not to be

Sara is poorly still. Hartley rampant, and emperorizes with your pictures.
Harry is a fine boy. Hartley told a gentleman, “Metinks you are _like
Southey_,” and he _was_ not wholly unlike you--but the chick calling you
simple “Southey,” so pompously!

God love you and your Edith.









August 14, 1800.

MY DEAR POOLE,--Your two letters[235] I received exactly four days
ago--some days they must have been lying at Ambleside before they were
sent to Grasmere, and some days at Grasmere before they moved to
Keswick.... It grieved me that you had felt so much from my silence.
Believe me, I have been harassed with business, and shall remain so for
the remainder of this year. Our house is a delightful residence, something
less than half a mile from the lake of Keswick and something more than a
furlong from the town. It commands both that lake and the lake of
Bassenthwaite. Skiddaw is behind us; to the left, the right, and in front
mountains of all shapes and sizes. The waterfall of Lodore is distinctly
visible. In garden, etc., we are uncommonly well off, and our landlord,
who resides next door in this twofold house, is already much attached to
us. He is a quiet, sensible man, with as large a library as yours,--and
perhaps rather larger,--well stored with encyclopædias, dictionaries, and
histories, etc., all modern. The gentry of the country, titled and
untitled, have all called or are about to call on me, and I shall have
free access to the magnificent library of Sir Gilfrid Lawson. I wish you
could come here in October after your harvesting, and stand godfather at
the christening of my child. In October the country is in all its blaze of

We are well and the Wordsworths are well. The two volumes of the “Lyrical
Ballads” will appear in about a fortnight or three weeks. Sara sends her
best kind love to your mother. How much we rejoice in her health I need
not say. Love to Ward, and to Chester, to whom I shall write as soon as I
am at leisure. I was standing at the very top of Skiddaw, by a little shed
of slate stones on which I had scribbled with a bit of slate my name among
the other names. A lean-expression-faced man came up the hill, stood
beside me a little while, then, on running over the names, exclaimed,
“Coleridge! I lay my life that is the _poet Coleridge_!”

God bless you, and for God’s sake never doubt that I am attached to you
beyond all other men.



Thursday night, October 9, 1800.

MY DEAR DAVY,--I was right glad, glad with a _stagger_ of the heart, to
see your writing again. Many a moment have I had all my France and England
curiosity suspended and lost, looking in the advertisement front column of
the “Morning Post Gazeteer” for _Mr. Davy’s Galvanic habitudes of
charcoal_.--Upon my soul I believe there is not a letter in those words
round which a world of imagery does not circumvolve; your room, the
garden, the cold bath, the moonlight rocks, Barristed, Moore, and
simple-looking Frere, and dreams of wonderful things attached to your
name,--and Skiddaw, and Glaramara, and Eagle Crag, and you, and
Wordsworth, and me, on the top of them! I pray you do write to me
immediately, and tell me what you mean by the possibility of your
assuming a new occupation. Have you been successful to the extent of your
expectations in your late chemical inquiries?


As to myself, I am doing little worthy the relation. I write for Stuart in
the “Morning Post,” and I am compelled by the god Pecunia--which was one
name of the supreme Jupiter--to give a volume of letters from Germany,
which will be a decent _lounge_ book, and not an atom more. The
“Christabel” was running up to 1,300 lines,[236] and was so much admired
by Wordsworth, that he thought it indelicate to print two volumes with his
name, in which so much of another man’s was included; and, which was of
more consequence, the poem was in direct opposition to the very purpose
for which the lyrical ballads were published, viz., an experiment to see
how far those passions which alone give any value to extraordinary
incidents were capable of interesting, in and for themselves, in the
incidents of common life. We mean to publish the “Christabel,” therefore,
with a long blank-verse poem of Wordsworth’s, entitled “The Pedlar.”[237]
I assure you I think very differently of “Christabel.” I would rather have
written “Ruth,” and “Nature’s Lady,” than a million such poems. But why do
I calumniate my own spirit by saying “I would rather”? God knows it is as
delightful to me that they _are_ written. I _know_ that at present, and I
_hope_ that it _will be so_; my mind has _disciplined_ itself into a
willing exertion of its powers, without any reference to their comparative

I cannot speak favourably of W.’s health, but, indeed, he has not done
common justice to Dr. Beddoes’s kind prescriptions. I saw his countenance
darken, and all his hopes vanish, when he saw the _prescriptions_--his
_scepticism_ concerning medicines! nay, it is not enough _scepticism_!
Yet, now that peas and beans are over, I have hopes that he will in good
earnest make a fair and full trial. I rejoice with sincere joy at
Beddoes’s recovery.

Wordsworth is fearful you have been much teased by the printers on his
account, but you can sympathise with him. The works which I gird myself up
to attack as soon as money concerns will permit me are the Life of
Lessing, and the Essay on Poetry. The latter is still more at my heart
than the former: its title would be an essay on the elements of
poetry,--it would be in reality a disguised system of morals and politics.
When you write,--and do write soon,--tell me how I can get your essay on
the nitrous oxide. If you desired Johnson to have one sent to
Lackington’s, to be placed in Mr. Crosthwaite’s monthly parcel for
Keswick, I should receive it. Are your galvanic discoveries important?
What do they lead to? All this is _ultra-crepidation_, but would to Heaven
I had as much knowledge as I have sympathy!

My wife and children are well; the baby was dying some weeks ago, so the
good people would have it baptized; his name is Derwent Coleridge,[238] so
called from the river, for, fronting our house, the Greta runs into the
Derwent. Had it been a girl the name should have been Greta. By the bye,
Greta, or rather Grieta, is exactly the Cocytus of the Greeks. The word,
literally rendered in modern English, is “the loud lamenter;” to griet in
the Cambrian dialect, signifying to roar aloud for grief or pain, and it
does _roar_ with a vengeance! I will say nothing about spring--a thirsty
man tries to think of anything but the stream when he knows it to be ten
miles off! God bless you!

  Your most affectionate


October 18, 1800.

MY DEAR DAVY,--Our mountains northward end in the mountain Carrock,--one
huge, steep, enormous bulk of stones, desolately variegated with the heath
plant; at its foot runs the river Calder, and a narrow vale between it and
the mountain Bowscale, so narrow, that in its greatest width it is not
more than a furlong. But that narrow vale is _so_ green, _so_ beautiful,
there are moods in which a man might weep to look at it. On this mountain
Carrock, at the summit of which are the remains of a vast Druid circle of
stones, I was wandering, when a thick cloud came on, and wrapped me in
such darkness that I could not see ten yards before me, and with the cloud
a storm of wind and hail, the like of which I had never before seen and
felt. At the very summit is a cone of stones, built by the shepherds, and
called the Carrock Man. Such cones are on the tops of almost all our
mountains, and they are all called _men_. At the bottom of the Carrock Man
I seated myself for shelter, but the wind became so fearful and tyrannous,
that I was apprehensive some of the stones might topple down upon me, so I
groped my way farther down and came to three rocks, placed on this wise
[Symbol], each one supported by the other like a child’s house of cards,
and in the hollow and screen which they made I sate for a long while
sheltered, as if I had been in my own study in which I am now writing:
there I sate with a total feeling worshipping the power and “eternal link”
of energy. The darkness vanished as by enchantment; far off, far, far off
to the south, the mountains of Glaramara and Great Gable and their family
appeared distinct, in deepest, sablest _blue_. I rose, and behind me was a
rainbow bright as the brightest. I descended by the side of a torrent, and
passed, or rather crawled (for I was forced to descend on all fours), by
many a naked waterfall, till, fatigued and hungry (and with a finger
almost broken, and which remains swelled to the size of two fingers), I
reached the narrow vale, and the single house nestled in ash and
sycamores. I entered to claim the universal hospitality of this country;
but instead of the life and comfort usual in these lonely houses, I saw
dirt, and every appearance of misery--a pale woman sitting by a peat fire.
I asked her for bread and milk, and she sent a small child to fetch it,
but did not rise herself. I eat very heartily of the black, sour bread,
and drank a bowl of milk, and asked her to permit me to pay her. “Nay,”
says she, “we are not so scant as that--you are right welcome; but do you
know any help for the rheumatics, for I have been so long ailing that I am
almost fain to die?” So I advised her to eat a great deal of mustard,
having seen in an advertisement something about essence of mustard curing
the most obstinate cases of rheumatism. But do write me, and tell me some
cure for the rheumatism; it is in her shoulders, and the small of her back
chiefly. I wish much to go off with some bottles of stuff to the poor
creature. I should walk the ten miles as ten yards. With love and honour,
my dear Davy,



GRETA HALL, Tuesday night, December 2, 1800.

MY DEAR DAVY,--By an accident I did not receive your letter till this
evening. I would that you had added to the account of your indisposition
the probable causes of it. It has left me anxious whether or no you have
not exposed yourself to unwholesome influences in your chemical pursuits.
There are _few_ beings both of hope and performance, but few who combine
the “are” and the “will be.” For God’s sake, therefore, my dear fellow, do
not rip open the bird that lays the golden eggs. I have not received your
book. I read yesterday a sort of medical review about it. I suppose
Longman will send it to me when he sends down the “Lyrical Ballads” to
Wordsworth. I am solicitous to read the latter part. Did there appear to
you any remote analogy between the case I translated from the German
Magazine and the effects produced by your gas? Did Carlisle[239] ever
communicate to you, or has he in any way published his facts concerning
_pain_ which he mentioned when we were with him? It is a subject which
_exceedingly interests_ me. I want to read something by somebody expressly
on _pain_, if only to give an _arrangement_ to my own thoughts, though if
it were well treated I have little doubt it would revolutionize them. For
the last month I have been trembling on through sands and swamps of evil
and bodily grievance. My eyes have been inflamed to a degree that rendered
reading and writing scarcely possible; and, strange as it seems, the act
of metre composition, as I lay in bed, perceptibly affected them, and my
voluntary ideas were every minute passing, more or less transformed into
vivid spectra. I had leeches repeatedly applied to my temples, and a
blister behind my ear--and my eyes are now my own, but in the place where
the blister was, six small but excruciating boils have appeared, and
harass me almost beyond endurance. In the mean time my darling Hartley has
been taken with a stomach illness, which has ended in the yellow jaundice;
and this greatly alarms me. So much for the doleful! Amid all these
changes, and humiliations, and fears, the sense of the Eternal abides in
me, and preserves unsubdued my cheerful faith, that all I endure is full
of blessings!

At times, indeed, I would fain be somewhat of a more tangible utility than
I am; but so I suppose it is with all of us--one while cheerful, stirring,
feeling in resistance nothing but a joy and a stimulus; another while
drowsy, self-distrusting, prone to rest, loathing our own self-promises,
withering our own hopes--our hopes, the vitality and cohesion of our

I purpose to have “Christabel” published by itself--this I publish with
confidence--but my travels in Germany come from me now with mortal pangs.
Nothing but the most pressing necessity could have induced me--and even
now I hesitate and tremble. Be so good as to have all that is printed of
“Christabel” sent to me per post.

Wordsworth has nearly finished the concluding poem. It is of a mild,
unimposing character, but full of beauties to those short-necked men who
have their hearts sufficiently near their heads--the relative distance of
which (according to citizen Tourdes, the French translator of Spallanzani)
determines the sagacity or stupidity of all bipeds and quadrupeds.

There is a deep blue cloud over the heavens; the lake, and the vale, and
the mountains are all in darkness; only the _summits_ of all the mountains
in long ridges, covered with snow, are bright to a dazzling excess. A
glorious scene! Hartley was in my arms the other evening, looking at the
sky; he saw the moon glide into a large cloud. Shortly after, at another
part of the cloud, several stars sailed in. Says he, “Pretty creatures!
they are going in to see after their mother moon.”

Remember me kindly to King. Write as often as you can; but above all
things, my loved and honoured dear fellow, do not give up the idea of
letting me and Skiddaw see you. God love you!


Tobin writes me that Thompson[240] has made some lucrative discovery. Do
you know aught about it? Have you seen T. Wedgwood since his return?


GRETA HALL, KESWICK, Saturday night, December 5, 1800.

MY DEAREST FRIEND,--I have been prevented from answering your last letter
entirely by the state of my eyes, and my wish to write more fully to you
than their weakness would permit. For the last month and more I have
indeed been a very crazy machine.... _That_ consequence of this
long-continued ill-health which I most regret is, that it has thrown me so
sadly behindhand in the performance of my engagements with the bookseller,
that I almost fear I shall not be able to raise money enough by Christmas
to make it prudent for me to journey southward. I shall, however, try hard
for it. My plan was to go to London, and make a faint trial whether or no
I could get a sort of dramatic romance, which I had more than half
finished, upon the stage, and from London to visit Stowey and Gunville.
Dear little Hartley has been ill in a stomach complaint which ended in the
yellow jaundice, and frightened me sorely, as you may well believe. But,
praise be to God, he is recovered and begins to look like himself. He is a
very extraordinary creature, and if he live will, I doubt not, prove a
great genius. Derwent is a fat, pretty child, healthy and hungry. I
deliberated long whether I should not call him Thomas Poole Coleridge, and
at last gave up the idea only because your nephew is called Thomas Poole,
and because if ever it should be my destiny once again to live near you, I
believed that such a name would give pain to some branches of your family.
You will scarcely exact a very severe account of what a man has been doing
who has been obliged for days and days together to keep his bed. Yet I
have not been altogether idle, having in my own conceit gained great light
into several parts of the human mind which have hitherto remained either
wholly unexplained or most falsely explained. To one resolution I am
wholly made up, to wit, that as soon as I am a freeman in the world of
money I will never write a line for the express purpose of money (but only
as believing it good and useful, in some way or other). Although I am
certain that I have been greatly improving both in knowledge and power in
these last twelve months, yet still at times it presses upon me with a
painful weight that I have not evidenced a more tangible utility. I have
too much trifled with my reputation. You have conversed much with Davy; he
is delighted with you. What do you think of him? Is he not a great man,
think you?... I and my wife were beyond measure delighted by your account
of your mother’s health. Give our best, kindest loves to her. Charles
Lloyd has settled at Ambleside, sixteen miles from Keswick. I shall not
see him. If I cannot come, I will write you a very, very long letter,
containing the most important of the many thoughts and feelings which I
want to communicate to you, but hope to do it face to face.

Give my love to Ward, and to J. Chester. How is poor old Mr. Rich and his

God have you ever in his keeping, making life tranquil to you. Believe me
to be what I have been ever, and am, attached to you _one_ degree more at
least than to any other living man.



February 3, 1801.

MY DEAR DAVY,--I can scarcely reconcile it to my conscience to make you
pay postage for another letter. Oh, what a fine unveiling of modern
politics it would be if there were published a minute detail of all the
sums received by government from the post establishment, and of all the
outlets in which the sums so received flowed out again! and, on the other
hand, all the domestic affections which had been stifled, all the
intellectual progress that would have been, but is not, on account of the
heavy tax, etc., etc. The letters of a nation ought to be paid for as an
article of national expense. Well! but I did not take up this paper to
flourish away in splenetic politics. A gentleman resident here, his name
Calvert,[241] an idle, good-hearted, and ingenious man, has a great desire
to commence fellow-student with me and Wordsworth in chemistry. He is an
intimate friend of Wordsworth’s, and he has proposed to W. to take a house
which he (Calvert) has nearly built, called Windy Brow, in a delicious
situation, scarce half a mile from Greta Hall, the residence of S. T.
Coleridge, Esq., and so for him (Calvert) to live with them, that is,
Wordsworth and his sister. In this case he means to build a little
laboratory, etc. Wordsworth has not quite decided, but is strongly
inclined to adopt the scheme, because he and his sister have before lived
with Calvert on the same footing, and are much attached to him; because my
health is so precarious and so much injured by wet, and his health, too,
is like little potatoes, no great things, and therefore Grasmere (thirteen
miles from Keswick) is too great a distance for us to enjoy each other’s
society without inconvenience, as much as it would be profitable for us
both; and, likewise, because he feels it more necessary for him to have
some intellectual pursuit less closely connected with deep passion than
poetry, and is of course desirous, too, not to be so wholly ignorant of
knowledge so exceedingly important. However, whether Wordsworth come or
no, Calvert and I have determined to begin and go on. Calvert is a man of
sense and some originality, and is, besides, what is well called a handy
man. He is a good practical mechanic, etc., and is desirous to lay out any
sum of money that is necessary. You know how long, how ardently I have
wished to initiate myself in chemical science, both for its own sake and
in no small degree likewise, my beloved friend, that I may be able to
sympathise with all that you do and think. Sympathise blindly with it all
I do even _now_, God knows! from the very middle of my heart’s heart, but
I would fain sympathise with you in the light of knowledge. This
opportunity is exceedingly precious to me, as on my own account I could
not afford the least additional expense, having been already, by long and
successive illnesses, thrown behindhand so much that for the next four or
five months I fear, let me work as hard as I can, I shall not be able to
do what my heart within me _burns_ to do, that is, to _concentre_ my free
mind to the affinities of the feelings with words and ideas under the
title of “Concerning Poetry, and the nature of the Pleasures derived from
it.” I have faith that I do understand the subject, and I am sure that if
I write what I ought to do on it, the work would supersede all the books
of metaphysics, and all the books of morals too. To whom shall a young man
utter _his pride_, if not to a young man whom he loves?

I beg you, therefore, my dear Davy, to write me a long letter when you are
at leisure, informing me: Firstly, What books it will be well for me and
Calvert to purchase. Secondly, Directions for a convenient little
laboratory. Thirdly, To what amount apparatus would run in expense, and
whether or no you would be so good as to superintend its making at
Bristol. Fourthly, Give me your advice how to _begin_. And, fifthly, and
lastly, and mostly, do send a _drop_ of hope to my parched tongue, that
you will, if you can, come and visit me in the spring. Indeed, indeed, you
ought to see this country, this beautiful country, and then the joy you
would send into me!

The shape of this paper will convince you with what eagerness I began this
letter; I really did not see that it was not a sheet.

I have been _thinking_ vigorously during my illness, so that I cannot say
that my long, long wakeful nights have been all lost to me. The subject of
my meditations has been the relations of thoughts to things; in the
language of Hume, of ideas to impressions. I may be truly described in the
words of Descartes: I have been “res cogitans, id est, dubitans,
affirmans, negans, pauca intelligens, multa ignorans, volens, nolens,
imaginans etiam, et sentiens.” I please myself with believing that you
will receive no small pleasure from the result of these broodings,
although I expect in you (in some points) a determined opponent, but I say
of my mind in this respect: “Manet imperterritus ille hostem magnanimum
opperiens, et mole suâ stat.” Every poor fellow has his proud hour
sometimes, and this I suppose is mine.

I am better in every respect than I was, but am still _very feeble_. The
weather has been woefully against me for the last fortnight, having rained
here almost incessantly. I take quantities of bark, but the effect is (to
express myself with the dignity of science) _x_ = 0000000, and I shall not
gather strength, or that little suffusion of bloom which belongs to my
healthy state, till I can walk out.

God bless you, my dear Davy! and your ever affectionate friend,


P. S. An electrical machine, and a number of little knickknacks connected
with it, Mr. Calvert has.--_Write._


Monday, March 16, 1801.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--The interval since my last letter has been filled up by
me in the most intense study. If I do not greatly delude myself, I have
not only _completely extricated the notions of time and space_, but have
overthrown the doctrine of association, as taught by Hartley, and with it
all the irreligious metaphysics of modern infidels--especially the
doctrine of necessity. This I have _done_; but I trust that I am about to
do more--namely, that I shall be able to evolve all the five senses, that
is, to deduce them from one sense, and to state their growth and the
causes of their difference, and in this evolvement to solve the process of
life and consciousness. _I write this to you only, and I pray you, mention
what I have written to no one._ At Wordsworth’s advice, or rather fervent
entreaty, I have intermitted the pursuit. The intensity of thought, and
the number of minute experiments with light and figure, have made me so
nervous and feverish that I cannot sleep as long as I ought and have been
used to do; and the sleep which I have is made up of ideas so connected,
and so little different from the operations of reason, that it does not
afford me the due refreshment. I shall therefore take a week’s respite,
and make “Christabel” ready for the press; which I shall publish by
itself, in order to get rid of all my engagements with Longman. My German
Book I have suffered to remain suspended chiefly because the thoughts
which had employed my sleepless nights during my illness were imperious
over me; and though poverty was staring me in the face, yet I dared behold
my image miniatured in the pupil of her hollow eye, so steadily did I look
her in the face; for it seemed to me a suicide of my very soul to divert
my attention from truths so important, which came to me almost as a
revelation. Likewise, I cannot express to you, dear Friend of my heart!
the loathing which I once or twice felt when I attempted to write, merely
for the bookseller, without any sense of the moral utility of what I was
writing. I shall therefore, as I said, immediately publish my
“Christabel,” with two essays annexed to it, on the “Preternatural” and on
“Metre.”--This done, I shall propose to Longman, instead of my Travels
(which, though nearly done, I am exceedingly anxious not to publish,
because it brings me forward in a _personal_ way, as a man who relates
little adventures of himself to _amuse_ people, and thereby exposes me to
sarcasm and the malignity of anonymous critics, and is, besides, _beneath
me_, ...) I shall propose to Longman to accept instead of these Travels a
work on the originality and merits of Locke, Hobbes, and Hume, which work
I mean as a _pioneer_ to my greater work, and as exhibiting a proof that I
have not formed opinions without an attentive perusal of the works of my
predecessors, from Aristotle to Kant.

I am confident that I can prove that the reputation of these three men has
been wholly unmerited, and I have in what I have already written traced
the whole history of the causes that effected this reputation entirely to
Wordsworth’s satisfaction.

You have seen, I hope, the “Lyrical Ballads.” In the divine poem called
“Michael,” by an infamous blunder[242] of the printer, near twenty lines
are omitted in page 210, which makes it nearly unintelligible. Wordsworth
means to write to you and to send them together with a list of the
numerous errata. The character of the “Lyrical Ballads” is very great, and
will increase daily. They have extolled them in the “British Critic.” Ask
Chester (to whom I shall write in a week or so concerning his German
books) for Greenough’s address, and be so kind as to send it immediately.
Indeed, I hope for a _long_ letter from you, your opinion of the L. B.,
the preface, etc. You know, I presume, that Davy is appointed Director of
the Laboratory, and Professor at the Royal Institution? I received a very
affectionate letter from him on the occasion. Love to all. We are all
well, except, perhaps, myself. Write! God love you and



Monday, March 23, 1801.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I received your kind letter of the 14th. I was agreeably
disappointed in finding that you had been interested in the letter
respecting Locke. Those which follow are abundantly more entertaining and
important; but I have no one to transcribe them. Nay, three letters are
written which have not been sent to Mr. Wedgwood,[243] because I have no
one to transcribe them for me, and I do not wish to be without copies. Of
that letter which you have I have no copy. It is somewhat unpleasant to me
that Mr. Wedgwood has never answered my letter requesting his opinion of
the utility of such a work, nor acknowledged the receipt of the long
letter containing the evidences that the whole of Locke’s system, as far
as it was a system, and with the exclusion of those parts only which have
been given up _as absurdities_ by his warmest admirers, preëxisted in the
writings of Descartes, in a far more pure, elegant, and delightful form.
Be not afraid that I shall join the party of the _Little-ists_. I believe
that I shall delight you by the detection of their artifices. _Now Mr.
Locke was the founder of this sect, himself a perfect Little-ist._

My opinion is thus: that deep thinking is attainable only by a man of deep
feeling, and that all truth is a species of revelation. The more I
understand of Sir Isaac Newton’s works, the more boldly I dare utter to my
own mind, and therefore to _you_, that I believe the souls of five hundred
Sir Isaac Newtons would go to the making up of a Shakespeare or a Milton.
But if it please the Almighty to grant me health, hope, and a steady mind
(always the three clauses of my hourly prayers), before my thirtieth year
I will thoroughly understand the whole of Newton’s works. At present I
must content myself with endeavouring to make myself entire master of his
easier work, that on Optics. I am exceedingly delighted with the beauty
and neatness of his experiments, and with the accuracy of his _immediate_
deductions from them; but the opinions founded on these deductions, and
indeed his whole theory is, I am persuaded, so exceedingly superficial as
without impropriety to be deemed false. Newton was a mere materialist.
_Mind_, in his system, is always _passive_,--a lazy _Looker-on_ on an
external world. If the mind be not _passive_, if it be indeed made in
God’s Image, and that, too, in the sublimest sense, the _Image of the
Creator_, there is ground for suspicion that any system built on the
passiveness of the mind must be false, as a system. I need not observe, my
dear friend, how unutterably silly and contemptible these opinions would
be if written to any but to another self. I assure you, solemnly assure
you, that you and Wordsworth are the only men on earth to whom I would
have uttered a word on this subject.

It is a rule, by which I hope to direct all my literary efforts, to let my
opinions and my proofs go together. It is _insolent_ to _differ_ from the
public _opinion_ in _opinion_, if it be only _opinion_. It is sticking up
little _i by itself_, _i_ against the whole alphabet. But one _word_ with
_meaning_ in it is worth the whole alphabet together. Such is a sound
argument, an incontrovertible fact.

_Oh, for a Lodge_ in a land where human life was an end to which labour
was only a means, instead of being, as it is here, a mere means of
carrying on labour. I am oppressed at times with a true heart-gnawing
melancholy when I contemplate the state of my poor oppressed country. God
knows, it is as much as I can do to put meat and bread on my own table,
and hourly some poor starving wretch comes to my door to put in his claim
for part of it. It fills me with indignation to hear the _croaking_
account which the English emigrants send home of America. “The society so
bad, the manners so vulgar, the servants so insolent!” Why, then, do they
not seek out one another and make a society? It is arrant ingratitude to
talk so of a land in which there is no poverty but as a consequence of
absolute idleness; and to talk of it, too, with abuse comparatively with
England, with a place where the laborious poor are dying with grass in
their bellies. It is idle to talk of the seasons, as if that country must
not needs be miserably governed in which an unfavourable season introduces
a famine. No! no! dear Poole, it is our pestilent commerce, our unnatural
crowding together of men in cities, and our government by rich men, that
are bringing about the manifestations of offended Deity. I am assured that
such is the depravity of the public mind, that no literary man can find
bread in England except by mis-employing and debasing his talents; that
nothing of real excellence would be either felt or understood. The annuity
which I hold, _perhaps by a very precarious tenure_, will shortly from the
decreasing value of money become less than one half what it was when first
allowed to me. If I were allowed to retain it, I would go and settle near
Priestley, in America. I shall, no doubt, get a certain price for the two
or three works which I shall next publish, but I foresee they will not
sell. The booksellers, finding this, will treat me as an unsuccessful
author, that is, they will employ me only as an anonymous translator at a
guinea a sheet. I have no doubt that I could make £500 a year if I liked.
But then I must forego all desire of truth and excellence. I say I would
go to America if Wordsworth would go with me, and we could persuade two or
three farmers of this country, who are exceedingly attached to us, to
accompany us. I would go, if the difficulty of procuring sustenance in
this country remain in the state and degree in which it is at present; not
on any romantic scheme, but merely because society has become a matter of
great indifference to me. I grow daily more and more attached to solitude;
but it is a matter of the utmost importance to be removed from seeing and
suffering want.

God love you, my dear friend.



GRETA HALL, KESWICK, [May 6, 1801].

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I wrote you a very, very gloomy letter; and I have taken
blame to myself for inflicting so much pain on you without any adequate
motive. Not that I exaggerated anything, as far as the immediate present
is concerned; but had I been in better health and a more genial state of
sensation, I should assuredly have looked out upon a more cheerful future.
Since I wrote you, I have had another and more severe fit of illness,
which has left me weak, very weak, but with so calm a mind that I am
determined to believe that this fit was _bonâ fide_ the last. Whether I
shall be able to pass the next winter in this country is doubtful; nor is
it possible I should know till the fall of the leaf. At all events, you
will (I hope and trust, and if need were, _entreat_) spend as much of the
summer and autumn with us as will be in your power, and if our _healths_
should permit it, I am confident there will be no other solid objection to
our living together in the same house, divided. We have ample room,--room
enough, and more than enough, and I am willing to believe that the blessed
dreams we dreamt some six years ago may be auguries of something really
noble which we may yet perform together.

We wait impatiently, anxiously, for a letter announcing your arrival.
Indeed, the article _Falmouth_ has taken precedence of the _Leading
Paragraph_ with me for the last three weeks. Our best love to Edith.
Derwent is the boast of the county; the little river god is as beautiful
as if he had been the child of Venus Anaduomene previous to her emersion.
Dear Hartley! we are at times alarmed by the state of his health, but at
present he is well. If I were to lose him, I am afraid it would
exceedingly deaden my affection for any other children I may have.

  A little child, a limber elf
  Singing, dancing to itself;
  A faery thing with red round cheeks
  That always _finds_, and never _seeks_,
  Doth make a vision to the sight,                       5
  Which fills a father’s eyes with light!
  And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
  Upon his heart that he at last
  Must needs express his love’s excess
  In words of wrong and bitterness.                     10
  Perhaps it is pretty to force together
  Thoughts so all unlike each other;
  To mutter and mock a broken charm;
  To dally with wrong that does no harm.
  Perhaps ’tis tender, too, and pretty,                 15
  At each wild word to feel within
  A sweet recoil of love and pity;
  And what if in a world of sin
  (Oh sorrow and shame! should this be true)
  Such giddiness of heart and brain                     20
  Comes seldom, save from rage and pain,
  So talks as it’s most used to do.[244]

A very metaphysical account of fathers calling their children rogues,
rascals, and little varlets, etc.

God bless you, my dear Southey! I need not say, Write.


P. S. We shall have peas, beans, turnips (with boiled leg of mutton),
cauliflowers, French beans, etc., etc., endless! We have a noble garden.


Wednesday, July 22, 1801.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--Yesterday evening I met a boy on an ass, winding down
_as picturisk a glen_ as eye ever looked at, he and his beast no mean part
of the picture. I had taken a liking to the little blackguard at a
distance, and I could have downright hugged him when he gave me a letter
in your handwriting. Well, God be praised! I shall surely see you once
more, somewhere or other. If it be really impracticable for you to come to
me, I will doubtless do anything rather than not see you, though, in
simple truth, travelling in chaises, or coaches even, for one day is sure
to lay me up for a week. But do, do, for heaven’s sake, come and go the
shortest way, however dreary it be; for there is enough to be seen when
you get to our house. If you did but know what a flutter the old moveable
at my left breast has been in since I read your letter. I have not had
such a fillip for many months. My dear Edith; how glad you were to see old
Bristol again!

I am again climbing up that rock of convalescence from which I have been
so often washed off and hurried back; but I have been so unusually well
these last two days that I should begin to look the damsel Hope full in
the face, instead of sheep’s-eyeing her, were it not that the weather has
been so unusually hot, and that is my joy. Yes, sir! we will go to
Constantinople; but as it rains there, which my gout loves as the devil
does holy water, the Grand Turk shall shew the exceeding attachment he
will no doubt form towards us by appointing us his viceroys in Egypt. I
will be Supreme Bey of that showerless district, and you shall be my
supervisor. But for God’s sake make haste and come to me, and let us talk
of the sands of Arabia while we are floating in our lazy boat on Keswick
Lake, with our eyes on massy Skiddaw, so green and high. Perhaps Davy
might accompany you. Davy will remain unvitiated; his deepest and most
recollectable delights have been in solitude, and the next to those with
one or two whom he loved. He is placed, no doubt, in a perilous desert of
good things; but he is connected with the present race of men by a very
awful tie, that of being able to confer immediate benefit on them; and the
cold-blooded, venom-toothed snake that winds around him shall be only his
coat of arms, as God of Healing.

I exceedingly long to see “Thalaba,” and perhaps still more to read
“Madoc” over again. I never heard of any third edition of my poems. I
think you must have confused it with the L. B. Longman could not surely be
so uncouthly ill-mannered as not to write to me to know if I wished to
make any corrections or additions. If I am well enough, I mean to alter,
with a devilish sweep of revolution, my Tragedy, and publish it in a
little volume by itself, with a new name, as a poem. But I have no heart
for poetry. Alas! alas! how should I? who have passed nine months with
giddy head, sick stomach, and swoln knees. My dear Southey! it is said
that long sickness makes us all grow selfish, by the necessity which it
imposes of continuously thinking about ourselves. But long and sleepless
nights are a fine antidote.

Oh, how I have dreamt about you! Times that _have been_, and never can
return, have been with me on my bed of pain, and how I yearned towards you
in those moments. I myself can know only by feeling it over again. But
come “strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Then shall
the lame man leap as a hart, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

I am here, in the vicinity of Durham, for the purpose of reading from the
Dean and Chapter’s Library an ancient of whom you may have heard, _Duns
Scotus_! I mean to set the poor old Gemman on his feet again; and in order
to wake him out of his present lethargy, I am burning Locke, Hume, and
Hobbes under his nose. They stink worse than feather or assafœtida. Poor
Joseph! [Cottle] he has scribbled away both head and heart. What an
affecting essay I could write on that man’s character! Had he gone in his
quiet way on a little pony, looking about him with a sheep’s-eye cast now
and then at a short poem, I do verily think from many parts of the
“Malvern Hill,” that he would at last have become a poet better than many
who have had much fame, but he would be an Epic, and so

  “Victorious o’er the Danes, I Alfred, preach,
   Of my own forces, Chaplain-General!”

... Write immediately, directing Mr. Coleridge, Mr. George
Hutchinson’s,[245] Bishop’s Middleham, Rushiford, Durham, and tell me
when you set off, and I will contrive and meet you at Liverpool, where, if
you are jaded with the journey, we can stay a day or two at Dr.
Crompton’s, and chat a bit with Roscoe and Curry,[246] whom you will like
as men far, far better than as writers. O Edith; how happy Sara will be,
and little Hartley, who uses the air of the breezes as skipping-ropes, and
fat Derwent, so beautiful, and so proud of his three teeth, that there’s
no bearing of him!

God bless you, dear Southey, and


P. S. Remember me kindly to Danvers and Mrs. Danvers.

  [Care of] MRS. DANVERS,
    Kingsdown Parade, Bristol.


DURHAM, Saturday, July 25, 1801.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I do loathe cities, that’s certain. I am in Durham, at
an inn,--and that, too, I do not like, and have dined with a large parcel
of priests all belonging to the cathedral, thoroughly ignorant and
hard-hearted. I have had no small trouble in gaining permission to have a
few books sent to me eight miles from the place, which nobody has ever
read in the memory of man. Now you will think what follows a lie, and it
is not. I asked a stupid haughty fool, who is the Librarian of the Dean
and Chapter’s Library in this city, if it had Leibnitz. He answered, “We
have no Museum in this Library for natural curiosities; but there is a
Mathematical Instrument setter in the town, who shews such animalcula
through a glass of great magnifying powers.” Heaven and earth! he
understood the word “_live nits_.” Well, I return early to-morrow to
Middleham; to a quiet good family that love me dearly--a young farmer and
his sister, and he makes very droll verses in the northern dialects and in
the metre of Burns, and is a great humourist, and the woman is so very
good a woman that I have seldom indeed seen the like of her. Death! that
everywhere there should be one or two good and excellent people like
these, and that they should not have the power given ’em ... to whirl away
the rest to Hell!

I do not approve the Palermo and Constantinople scheme, to be secretary to
a fellow that would poison you for being a poet, while he is only a lame
verse-maker. But verily, dear Southey! it will not suit you to be under
any man’s control, or biddances. What if you were a consul? ’Twould fix
you to one place, as bad as if you were a parson. It won’t do. Now mark my
scheme! St. Nevis is the most lovely as well as the most healthy island in
the W. Indies. Pinney’s[247] estate is there, and he has a country-house
situated in a most heavenly way, a very large mansion. Now between you and
me I have reason to believe that not only this house is at my service, but
many advantages in a family way that would go one half to lessen the
expenses of living there, and perhaps Pinney would appoint us sinecure
negro-drivers, at a hundred a year each, or some other snug and reputable
office, and, perhaps, too, we might get some office in which there is
quite nothing to do under the Governor. Now I and my family, and you and
Edith, and Wordsworth and his sister might all go there, and make the
Island more illustrious than Cos or Lesbos! A heavenly climate, a heavenly
country, and a good house. The seashore so near us, dells and rocks and
streams. Do now think of this. But say nothing about it on account of old
Pinney. Wordsworth would certainly go if I went. By the living God, it is
my opinion that we should not leave three such men behind us. N. B. I have
every reason to believe Keswick (and Cumberland and Westmoreland in
general) full as dry a climate as Bristol. Our rains fall more certainly
in certain months, but we have fewer rainy days, taking the year through.
As to cold, I do not believe the difference perceptible by the human body.
But I feel that there is no relief for me in _any part_ of England. Very
hot weather brings me about in an instant, and I relapse as soon as it

You say nothing of your voyage homeward, or the circumstances that
preceded it. This, however, I far rather hear from your mouth than your
letters. Come! and come quickly. My love to Edith, and remember me kindly
to Mary and Martha and Eliza and Mrs. Fricker. My kind respects to Charles
and Mrs. Danvers. Is Davy with you? If he is, I am sure he speaks
affectionately of me. God bless you! Write.



SCARBOROUGH, August 1, 1801.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--On my return from Durham (I foolishly walked back), I
was taken ill, and my left knee swelled “pregnant with agony,” as Mr.
Dodsley says in one of his poems. Dr. Fenwick[248] has earnestly
persuaded me to try horse-exercise and warm sea-bathing, and I took the
opportunity of riding with Sara Hutchinson to her brother Tom, who lives
near the place, where I can ride to and fro, and bathe with no other
expense there than that of the bath. The fit comes on me either at nine at
night, or two in the morning. In the former case it continues nine hours,
in the latter five. I am often literally _sick_ with pain. In the daytime,
however, I am well, surprisingly so indeed, considering how very little
sleep I am able to snatch. Your letter was sent after me, and arrived here
this morning, and but that my letter _can_ reach you on the 5th of this
month, I would immediately set off again, though I arrived here only last
night. But I am unwilling not to try the baths for one week. If,
therefore, you have not made the immediate preparation you may stay one
week longer at Bristol. But if you have, you must look at the lake, and
play with my babies three or four days, though this grieves me. I do not
like it. I want to be with you, and to meet you even to the very verge of
the Lake Country. I would far rather that you would stay a week at
Grasmere (which is on the road, fourteen miles from Keswick), with
Wordsworth, than go on to Keswick, and I not there. Oh, how you will love

All I ever wish of you with regard to wintering at Keswick is to stay with
me till you find the climate injurious. When I read that cheerful
sentence, “We will climb Skiddaw this year and scale Etna the next,” with
a right piteous and humorous smile did I ogle my poor knee, which at this
present moment is larger than the thickest part of my thigh.

A little Quaker girl (the daughter of the great Quaker mathematician
Slee, a friend of anti-negro-trade Clarkson, who has a house at the foot
of Ulleswater, which Slee Wordsworth dined with, a pretty parenthesis!),
this little girl, four years old, happened after a very hearty meal to
_eructate_, while Wordsworth was there. Her mother _looked_ at her, and
the little creature immediately and _formally_ observed: “Yan belks when
yan’s fu, and when yan’s empty.” That is, “One belches when one’s full and
when one’s empty.” Since that time this is a favourite piece of slang at
Grasmere and Greta Hall, whenever we talk of poor Joey, George Dyer, and
other perseverants in the noble trade of scribbleism.

Wrangham,[249] who lives near here, one of your anthology friends, has
married again, a lady of a neat £700 a year. His living by the Inclosure
[Act] will be something better than £600, besides what little fortune he
had with his last wife, who died in the first year. His present wife’s
cousin observed, “Mr. W. is a _lucky_ man: his present lady is very weakly
and delicate.” I like the idea of a man’s _speculating in sickly wives_.
It would be no bad character for a farce.

That letter £ was a kind-hearted, honest, well-spoken citizen. The three
strokes which _did_ for him were, as I take it, (1), the Ictus Cardiacus,
which devitalized his moral heart; (2ondly) the stroke of the apoplexy in
his _head_; and (thirdly) a stroke of the palsy in his right hand, which
produces a terrible shaking and impotence in the very attempt to reach his
breeches pocket. O dear Southey! what incalculable blessings, worthy of
thanksgiving in Heaven, do we not owe to our being and _having_ been
_poor_! No man’s heart can wholly stand up against property. My love to



KESWICK, September 19, 1801.

By a letter from Davy I have learnt, Poole, that your mother is with the
Blessed. I have given her the tears and the pang which belong to her
departure, and now she will remain to me forever, what she had long
been--a dear and venerable image, often gazed at by me in imagination, and
always with affection and filial piety. She was the only being whom I ever
_felt_ in the relation of Mother; and she is with God! We are all with

What shall I say to _you_! I can only offer a prayer of thanksgiving for
you, that you are one who has habitually connected the act of thought with
that of feeling; and that your natural sorrow is so mingled up with a
sense of the omnipresence of the Good Agent, that I cannot wish it to be
other than what I know it is. The frail and the too painful will gradually
pass away from you, and there will abide in your spirit a great and sacred
accession to those solemn Remembrances and faithful Hopes in which, and by
which, the Almighty lays deep the foundations of our continuous Life, and
distinguishes us from the Brutes that perish. As all things pass away, and
those habits are broken up which constituted our own and particular Self,
our nature by a moral instinct cherishes the desire of an unchangeable
Something, and thereby awakens or stirs up anew the passion to promote
_permanent_ good, and facilitates that grand business of our
existence--still further, and further still, to generalise our affections,
till Existence itself is swallowed up in _Being_, and we are in Christ
even as He is in the Father.

It is among the advantages of these events that they learn us to associate
a keen and deep feeling with all the old good phrases, all the reverend
sayings of comfort and sympathy, that belong, as it were, to the whole
human race. I felt this, dear Poole! as I was about to write my old

God bless you, and love you for ever and ever!

  Your affectionate friend,

Would it not be well if you were to change the scene awhile! Come to me,
Poole! No--no--no. You have none that love you so well as I. I write with
tears that prevent my seeing what I am writing.



DEAR SOUTHEY,--On Xmas Day I breakfasted with Davy, with the intention of
dining with you; but I returned very unwell, and in very truth in so utter
a dejection of spirits as both made it improper for me to go anywhither,
and a most unfit man to be with you. I left London on Saturday morning, 4
o’clock, and for three hours was in such a storm as I was never before out
in, for I was atop of the coach--rain, and hail, and violent wind, with
vivid flashes of lightning, that seemed almost to alternate with the
flash-like re-emersions of the waning moon, from the ever-shattered,
ever-closing clouds. However, I was armed cap-a-pie in a complete panoply,
namely, in a huge, most huge, roquelaure, which had cost the government
seven guineas, and was provided for the emigrants in the Quiberon
expedition, one of whom, falling sick, stayed behind and parted with his
cloak to Mr. Howel,[250] who lent it me. I dipped my head down, shoved it
up--and it proved a complete tent to me. I was as dry as if I had been
sitting by the fire. I arrived at Bath at eleven o’clock at night, and
spent the next day with Warren, who has gotten a very sweet woman to wife
and a most beautiful house and situation at Whitcomb on the Hill over the
bridge. On Monday afternoon I arrived at Stowey. I am a good deal better;
but my bowels are by no means de-revolutionized. So much for me. I do not
know what I am to say to you of your dear mother. Life passes away from us
in all modes and ways, in our friends, in ourselves. We all “die daily.”
Heaven knows that many and many a time I have regarded my talents and
requirements as a porter’s burthen, imposing on me the capital duty of
going on to the end of the journey, when I would gladly lie down by the
side of the road, and become the country for a mighty nation of maggots.
For what is life, gangrened, as it is with me, in its very vitals,
domestic tranquillity? These things being so, I confess that I feel for
you, but not for the _event_, as for the event only by an act of thought,
and not by any immediate _shock_ from the like feeling within myself. When
I return to town I can scarcely tell. I have not yet made up my mind
whether or no I shall move Devonward. My relations wish to see me, and I
wish to avoid the uneasy feeling I shall have, if I remain so near them
without gratifying the wish. No very brotherly mood of mind, I must
confess--but it is, nine tenths of it at least, a work of their own doing.
Poole desires to be remembered to you. Remember me to your wife and Mrs.

God bless you and



KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN, [February 24, 1802.]

MY DEAR LOVE,--I am sure it will make you happy to hear that both my
health and spirits have greatly improved, and I have small doubts that a
residence of two years in a mild and even climate will, with God’s
blessing, give me a new lease in a better constitution. You may be well
assured that I shall do nothing rashly, but our journey thither I shall
defray by letters to Poole and the Wedgwoods, or more probably addressed
to Mawman, the bookseller, who will honour my drafts in return. Of course
I shall not go till I have earned all the money necessary for the journey
that I can. The plan will be this, unless you can think of any better.
Wordsworth will marry soon after my return, and he, Mary, and Dorothy will
be our companions and neighbours. Southey means, if it is in his power, to
pass into Spain that way. About July we shall all set sail from Liverpool
to Bordeaux. Wordsworth has not yet settled whether he shall be married
from Gallow Hill or at Grasmere. But they will of course make a point that
either Sarah shall be with Mary or Mary with Sarah previous to so long a
parting. If it be decided that Sarah is to come to Grasmere, I shall
return by York, which will be but a few miles out of the way, and bring
her. At all events, I shall stay a few days at Derby,--for whom, think
you, should I meet in Davy’s lecture-room but Joseph Strutt? He behaved
most affectionately to me, and pressed me with great earnestness to pass
through Darley (which is on the road to Derby) and stay a few days at his
house among my old friends. I assure you I was much affected by his kind
and affectionate invitation (though I felt a little awkward, not knowing
_whom_ I might venture to ask after). I could not bring out the word “Mrs.
Evans,” and so said, “Your sister, sir? I _hope she_ is well!”

On Sunday I dined at Sir William Rush’s, and on Monday likewise, and went
with them to Mrs. Billington’s Benefit. ’Twas the “Beggar’s Opera;” it was
_perfection_! I seem to have acquired a new sense by hearing her. I wished
you to have been there. I assure you I am quite a man of _fashion_; so
many titled acquaintances and handsome carriages stopping at my door, and
fine cards. And then I am such an exquisite judge of music and painting,
and pass criticisms on furniture and chandeliers, and pay such very
handsome compliments to all women of fashion, that I do verily believe
that if I were to stay three months in town and have tolerable health and
spirits, I should be a Thing in vogue,--the very _tonish_ poet and
Jemmy-Jessamy-fine-talker in town. If you were only to see the tender
smiles that I occasionally receive from the Honourable Mrs. Damer! you
would scratch her eyes out for jealousy! And then there’s the _sweet_ (N.
B. musky) Lady Charlotte ----! Nay, but I won’t tell you her name,--you
might perhaps take it into your head to write an anonymous letter to her,
and distrust our little innocent amour.

Oh that I were at Keswick with my darlings! My Hartley and my fat Derwent!
God bless you, my dear Sarah! I shall return in love and cheerfulness, and
therefore in pleasurable convalescence, if not in health. We shall try to
get poor dear little Robert into Christ’s Hospital; that wretch of a
Quaker will do nothing. The skulking rogue! just to lay hold of the time
when Mrs. Lovell was on a visit to Southey; there was such low cunning in
the thought.

Remember me most kindly to Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson, and tell Mr. Jackson
that I have not shaken a hand since I quitted him with more esteem and
glad feeling than I shall soon, I trust, shake his with. God bless you,
and your affectionate and faithful husband (notwithstanding the Honourable
Mrs. D. and Lady Charlotte!),




GRETA HALL, KESWICK, Tuesday, July 13, 1802.

MY DEAR SIR,--I had written you a letter and was about to have walked to
the post with it when I received yours from Luff.[251] It gave me such
lively pleasure that I threw my letter into the fire, for it related
chiefly to the “Erste Schiffer” of Gesner, and I could not endure that my
first letter to you should _begin_ with a subject so little interesting to
my heart or understanding. I trust that you are before this at the end of
your journey, and that Mrs. and Miss Sotheby have so completely recovered
themselves as to have almost forgotten all the fatigue except such
instances of it as it may be pleasant to them to remember. Why need I say
how often I have thought of you since your departure, and with what hope
and pleasurable emotion? I will acknowledge to you that your very, very
kind letter was not only a pleasure to me, but a relief to my mind; for,
after I had left you on the road between Ambleside and Grasmere, I was
dejected by the apprehension that I had been unpardonably loquacious, and
had oppressed you, and still more Mrs. Sotheby, with my many words so
impetuously uttered! But in simple truth, you were yourselves, in part,
the innocent causes of it. For the meeting with you, the manner of the
meeting, your kind attentions to me, the deep and healthful delight which
every impressive and beautiful object seemed to pour out upon you; kindred
opinions, kindred pursuits, kindred feelings in persons whose habits, and,
as it were, walk of life, have been so different from my own,--these and
more than these, which I would but cannot say, all flowed in upon me with
unusually strong impulses of pleasure,--and pleasure in a body and soul
such as I happen to possess “intoxicates more than strong wine.” However,
_I promise to be a much more subdued creature when you next meet me_, for
I had but just recovered from a state of extreme dejection, brought on in
part by ill health, partly by other circumstances; and solitude and
solitary musings do of themselves impregnate our thoughts, perhaps, with
more life and sensation than will leave the balance quite even. But you,
my dear sir! looked at a brother poet with a brother’s eyes. Oh that you
were now in my study and saw, what is now before the window at which I am
writing,--that rich mulberry-purple which a floating cloud has thrown on
the lake, and that quiet boat making its way through it to the shore!

We have had little else but rain and squally weather since you left us
till within the last three days. But showery weather is no evil to us; and
even that most oppressive of all weathers, hot, small _drizzle_, exhibits
the mountains the best of any. It produced such new combinations of ridges
in the Lodore and Borrowdale mountains on Saturday morning that I declare,
had I been blindfolded and so brought to the prospect, I should scarcely
have known them again. It was a dream such as lovers have,--a wild and
transfiguring, yet enchantingly lovely dream, of an object lying by the
side of the sleeper. Wordsworth, who has walked through Switzerland,
declared that he never saw anything superior, perhaps nothing equal, in
the Alps.

The latter part of your letter made me truly happy. Uriel himself should
not be half as welcome; and indeed he, I must admit, was never any great
favourite of mine. I always thought him a bantling of zoneless Italian
muses, which Milton heard cry at the door of his imagination and took in
out of charity. However, come as you may, _carus mihi expectatusque
venies_.[252] _De cœteris rebus si quid agendum est, et quicquid sit
agendum, ut quam rectissime agantur omni meâ curâ, operâ, diligentiâ,
gratiâ providebo._[253]

On my return to Keswick, I reperused the “Erste Schiffer” with great
attention, and the result was an increasing disinclination to the business
of translating it; though my fancy was not a little flattered by the idea
of seeing my rhymes in such a gay livery.--As poor Giordano Bruno[254]
says in his strange, yet noble poem, “De Immenso et Innumerabili,”--

  “Quam Garymedeo cultu, graphiceque venustus!
   Narcissis referam, peramarunt me quoque Nymphæ.”

But the poem was too silly. The first conception is noble, so very good
that I am spiteful enough to hope that I shall discover it not to have
been original in Gesner,--he has so abominably maltreated it. First, the
story is very inartificially constructed. We should have been let into the
existence of the girl by her mother, through the young man, and after
_his_ appearance. This, however, is comparatively a trifle. But the
machinery is so superlatively contemptible and commonplace; as if a young
man could not dream of a tale which had deeply impressed him without
Cupid, or have a fair wind all the way to an island without Æolus. Æolus
himself is a god devoted and dedicated, I should have thought, to the Muse
of Travestie. His speech in Gesner is not deficient in fancy, but it is a
girlish fancy, and the god of the wind, exceedingly disquieted with animal
love, makes a very ridiculous figure in my imagination. Besides, it was
ill taste to introduce Cupid and Æolus at a time which we positively know
to have been anterior to the invention and establishment of the Grecian
Mythology; and the speech of Æolus reminds me perpetually of little
engravings from the cut stones of the ancients,--seals, and whatever else
they call them. Again, the girl’s yearnings and conversations with him are
something between the nursery and the _Veneris volgivagæ templa, et
libidinem spirat et subsusurrat, dum innocentiæ loquillam, et virginiæ
cogitationis dulciter offensantis luctamina simulat_.

It is not the thought that a lonely girl could have; but exactly such as a
boarding-school _miss_, whose imagination, to say no worse, had been
somewhat stirred and heated by the perusal of French or German pastorals,
would suppose her to say. But this is, indeed, general in the German and
French poets. It is easy to clothe imaginary beings with our own thoughts
and feelings; but to send ourselves out of ourselves, to _think_ ourselves
into the thoughts and feelings of beings in circumstances wholly and
strangely different from our own, _hic labor hoc opus_; and who has
achieved it? Perhaps only Shakespeare. Metaphysics is a word that you, my
dear sir, are no great friend to, but yet you will agree with me that a
great poet must be _implicité_, if not _explicité_, a profound
metaphysician. He may not have it in logical coherence in his brain and
tongue, but he must have the ear of a wild Arab listening in the silent
desert, the eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an
enemy upon the leaves that strew the forest, the touch of a blind man
feeling the face of a darling child. And do not think me a bigot if I say
that I have read no French or German writer who appears to me to have a
_heart_ sufficiently pure and simple to be capable of this or anything
like it. I could say a great deal more in abuse of poor Gesner’s poems,
but I have said more than I fear will be creditable in your opinion to my
good nature. I must, though, tell you the malicious motto which I have
written in the first part of Klopstock’s “Messias:”--

  “Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta!
   Quale sopor!”

Only I would have the words _divine poeta_ translated “verse-making
divine.” I have read a great deal of German; but I do dearly, dearly,
dearly love my own countrymen of old times, and those of my contemporaries
who write in their spirit.

William Wordsworth and his sister left me yesterday on their way to
Yorkshire. They walked yesterday to the foot of Ulleswater, from thence
they go to Penrith, and take the coach. I accompanied them as far as the
seventh milestone. Among the last things which he said to me was, “Do not
forget to remember me to Mr. Sotheby with whatever affectionate terms so
slight an intercourse may permit; and how glad we shall all be to see him

I was much pleased with your description of Wordsworth’s character as it
appeared to you. It is in a few words, in half a dozen strokes, like one
of Mortimer’s[255] figures, a fine portrait. The word “homogeneous” gave
me great pleasure, as most accurately and happily expressing him. I must
set you right with regard to my perfect coincidence with his poetic creed.
It is most certain that the heads of our mutual conversations, etc., and
the passages, were indeed partly taken from note of mine; for it was at
first intended that the preface should be written by me. And it is
likewise true that I warmly accord with Wordsworth in his abhorrence of
these poetic licenses, as they are called, which are indeed mere tricks of
convenience and laziness. _Ex. gr._ Drayton has these lines:--

  “Ouse having Ouleney past, as she were waxed mad
   From her first stayder course immediately doth gad,
   And in meandered gyres doth whirl herself about,
   _That, this_ way, here and there, backward in and out.
   And like a wanton girl oft doubling in her gait
   In labyrinthian turns and twinings intricate,” etc.[256]

The first poets, observing such a stream as this, would say with truth and
beauty, “it _strays_;” and now every stream shall _stray_, wherever it
prattles on its _pebbled way_, instead of its bed or channel. And I have
taken the instance from a poet from whom as few instances of this vile,
commonplace, trashy style could be taken as from any writer [namely], from
Bowles’ execrable translation[257] of that lovely poem of Dean Ogle’s
(vol. ii. p. 27). I am confident that Bowles good-naturedly translated it
in a hurry, merely to give him an excuse for printing the admirable
original. In my opinion, every phrase, every metaphor, every
personification, should have its justifying clause in some _passion_,
either of the poet’s mind or of the characters described by the poet. But
metre itself implies a passion, that is, a state of excitement both in the
poet’s mind, and is expected, in part, of the reader; and, though I stated
this to Wordsworth, and he has in some sort stated it in his preface, yet
he has not done justice to it, nor has he, in my opinion, sufficiently
answered it. In my opinion, poetry justifies as poetry, independent of any
other passion, some new combinations of language and _commands_ the
omission of many others allowable in other compositions. Now Wordsworth,
_me saltem judice_, has in his system not sufficiently admitted the
former, and in his practice has too frequently sinned against the latter.
Indeed, we have had lately some little controversy on the subject, and we
begin to suspect that there is somewhere or other a radical difference in
our opinions. _Dulce est inter amicos rarissimâ dissensione condere
plurimas consentiones_, saith St. Augustine, who said more good things
than any saint or sinner that I ever read in Latin.

Bless me! what a letter! And I have yet to make a request to you. I have
read your Georgics at a friend’s house in the neighbourhood, and in
sending for the book, I find that it belonged to a book-club, and has been
returned. If you have a copy interleaved, or could procure one for me and
will send it to me per coach, with a copy of your original poems, I will
return them to you with many thanks in the autumn, and will endeavour to
improve my own taste by writing on the blank leaves my feelings both of
the original and your translation. Your poems I want for another purpose,
of which hereafter.

Mrs. Coleridge and my children are well. She desires to be respectfully
remembered to Mrs. and Miss Sotheby. Tell Miss Sotheby that I will
endeavour to send her soon the completion of the “Dark Ladie,” as she was
good-natured enough to be pleased with the first part.

Let me hear from you soon, my dear sir! and believe me with heartfelt
wishes for you and yours, in every-day phrase, but, indeed, indeed, not
with every-day feeling.

  Yours most sincerely,

I long to lead Mrs. Sotheby to a scene that has the grandeur without the
toil or danger of Scale Force. It is called the White Water Dash.[258]


KESWICK, July 19, 1802.

MY DEAR SIR,--I trouble you with another letter to inform you that I have
finished the First Book[259] of the “Erste Schiffer.” It consists of 530
lines; the Second Book will be a hundred lines less. I can transcribe both
legibly in three single-sheet letters; you will only be so good as to
inform me whither and whether I am to send them. If they are likely to be
of any use to Tomkins he is welcome to them; if not, I shall send them to
the “Morning Post.” I have given a faithful translation in blank verse. To
have decorated Gesner would have been, indeed, “to spice the spices;” to
have lopped and pruned _somewhat_ would have only produced incongruity; to
have done it sufficiently would have been to have published a poem of my
own, not Gesner’s. I have aimed at nothing more than purity and elegance
of English, a keeping and harmony in the colour of the style, a smoothness
without monotony in the versification. If I have succeeded, as I trust I
have, in these respects, my translation will be just so much better than
the original as metre is better than prose, in their judgment, at least,
who prefer blank verse to prose. I was probably too severe on the _morals_
of the poem, uncharitable perhaps. But I am a downright Englishman, and
tolerate downright grossness more patiently than this coy and distant
dallying with the appetites. “Die pflanzen entstehen aus dem saamen,
gewisse thiere gehen aus dem hervor andre so, andre anders, ich hab es
alles bemerkt, was hab ich zu thun.” Now I apprehend it will occur to
nineteen readers out of twenty, that a maiden so _very curious_, so
exceedingly _inflamed_ and harassed by a difficulty, and so _subtle_ in
the discovery of even comparatively _distant_ analogies, would necessarily
have seen the difference of sex in her flocks and herds, and the marital
as well as maternal character could not have escaped her. Now I avow that
the grossness and vulgar plain sense of Theocritus’ shepherd lads, bad as
it is, is in my opinion less objectionable than Gesner’s refinement, which
necessarily leads the imagination to ideas without _expressing them_.
Shaped and clothed, the mind of a pure being would turn away from them
from natural delicacy of taste, but in that shadowy half-being, that state
of nascent existence in the twilight of imagination and just on the
vestibule of consciousness, they are far more incendiary, stir up a more
lasting commotion, and leave a deeper stain. The suppression and obscurity
arrays a simple truth in a veil of something like guilt, that is
altogether meretricious, as opposed to the matronly majesty of our
Scripture, for instance; and the conceptions as they _recede_ from
distinctness of _idea_ approximate to the nature of _feeling_, and gain
thereby a closer and more immediate affinity with the appetites. But,
independently of this, the whole passage, consisting of precisely one
fourth of the whole poem, has not the least influence on the action of
the poem, and it is scarcely too much to say that it has nothing to do
with the main subject, except indeed it be pleaded that _Love_ is induced
by compassion for this maiden to make a young man _dream_ of her, which
young man had been, without any influence of the said Cupid, deeply
interested in the story, and, therefore, did not need the interference of
Cupid at all; any more than he did the assistance of Æolus for a fair wind
all the way to an island that was within sight of shore.

I translated the poem, partly because I could not endure to appear
_irresolute_ and _capricious_ to you in the first undertaking which I had
connected in any way with your person; in an undertaking which I connect
with our journey from Keswick to Grasmere, the carriage in which were your
son, your daughter, and your wife (all of whom may God Almighty bless! a
prayer not the less fervent, my dear sir! for being a little out of place
here); and, partly, too, because I wished to force myself out of
metaphysical trains of thought, which, when I wished to write a poem, beat
up game of far other kind. Instead of a covey of poetic partridges with
whirring wings of music, or wild ducks _shaping_ their rapid flight in
forms always regular (a still better image of verse), up came a
metaphysical bustard, urging its slow, heavy, laborious, earth-skimming
flight over dreary and level wastes. To have done with poetical prose
(which is a very vile Olio), sickness and some other and worse afflictions
first forced me into downright metaphysics. For I believe that by nature I
have more of the poet in me. In a poem written during that dejection, to
Wordsworth, and the greater part of a private nature, I thus expressed the
thought in language more forcible than harmonious:[260]--

      Yes, dearest poet, yes!
  There was a time when tho’ my path was rough,
  The joy within me dallied with distress,
  And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
  Whence fancy made me dreams of happiness:
  For Hope grew round me, like the climbing vine,
  And fruit, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.
  But now afflictions bow me down to earth:
  Nor care I, that they rob me of my mirth,
  But oh! each visitation
  Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
  My shaping spirit of Imagination.

         *       *       *       *       *

  For not to think of what I needs must feel,
  But to be still and patient, all I can;
  And haply by abstruse research to steal
  From my own nature all the natural man--
  This was my sole resource, my wisest plan:
  And that which suits a part infects the whole,
  And now is almost grown the temper of my soul.

Thank heaven! my better mind has returned to me, and I trust I shall go on
rejoicing. As I have nothing better to fill the blank space of this sheet
with, I will transcribe the introduction of that poem to you, that being
of a sufficiently general nature to be interesting to you. The first lines
allude to a stanza in the Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence: “Late, late
yestreen I saw the new moon with the old one in her arms, and I fear, I
fear, my master dear, there will be a deadly storm.”

Letter, written Sunday evening, April 4.

  Well! if the Bard was weatherwise, who made
  The dear old Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
  This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
  Unrous’d by winds, that ply a busier trade
  Than that, which moulds yon clouds in lazy flakes,
  Or the dull sobbing draft, that drones and rakes
  Upon the strings of this Eolian lute,
  Which better far were mute.
  For lo! the New Moon, winter-bright!
  And overspread with phantom light
  (With swimming phantom light o’erspread,
  But rimmed and circled with a silver thread)
  I see the Old Moon in her lap foretelling
  The coming on of rain and squally blast!
  And O! that even now the gust were swelling,
  And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast.

         *       *       *       *       *

  A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear!
  A stifling, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
  That finds no natural outlet, no relief,
  In word, or sigh, or tear!
  This, William, well thou know’st,
  Is that sore evil which I dread the most,
  And oftnest suffer. In this heartless mood,
  To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo’d,
  That pipes within the larch-tree, not unseen,
  The larch, that pushes out in tassels green
  Its bundled leafits, woo’d to mild delights,
  By all the tender sounds and gentle sights
  Of this sweet primrose-month, and vainly woo’d!
  O dearest Poet, in this heartless mood,
  All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
  Have I been gazing on the Western sky,
  And its peculiar tint of yellow-green:
  And still I gaze--and with how blank an eye!
  And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
  That give away their motion to the stars;
  Those stars, that glide behind them, or between,
  Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen;
  Yon crescent moon, as fix’d as if it grew
  In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue,
  A boat becalm’d! thy own sweet sky-canoe![261]
  I see them all, so exquisitely fair!
  I see, not _feel_! how beautiful they are!
      My genial spirits fail;
      And what can these avail,
  To lift the smoth’ring weight from off my breast?
      It were a vain endeavour,
      Though I should gaze for ever
  On that green light that lingers in the west;
  I may not hope from outward forms to win
  The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.

         *       *       *       *       *

  O Wordsworth! we receive but what we give,
  And in our life alone does Nature live;
  Ours is her wedding garment, ours her shroud!
  And would we aught behold, of higher worth,
  Than that inanimate, cold world, _allow’d_
  To the poor, loveless, ever-anxious crowd,
  Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth,
  A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
      Enveloping the earth!
  And from the soul itself must there be sent
  A sweet and powerful voice, of its own birth,
  Of all sweet sounds the life and element!
  O pure of heart! thou need’st not ask of me
  _What_ this strong music in the soul may be?
  What and wherein it doth exist,
  This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
  This beautiful and beauty-making Power.
  Joy, blameless poet! Joy that ne’er was given
  Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,
  Joy, William, is the spirit and the power
  That wedding Nature to us gives in dower,
      A new Earth and new Heaven,
  Undream’d of by the sensual and proud--
      We, we ourselves rejoice!
  And thence comes all that charms or ear or sight,
  All melodies an echo of that voice!
  All colours a suffusion from that light!
  Calm, steadfast spirit, guided from above,
  O Wordsworth! friend of my devoutest choice,
  Great son of genius! full of light and love,
      Thus, thus, dost thou rejoice.
  To thee do all things live, from pole to pole,
  Their life the eddying of thy living Soul!
  Brother and friend of my devoutest choice,
  Thus mayst thou ever, ever more rejoice!

         *       *       *       *       *

I have selected from the poem, which was a very long one and truly written
only for the solace of sweet song, all that could be interesting or even
pleasing to you, except, indeed, perhaps I may annex as a fragment a few
lines on the “Æolian Lute,” it having been introduced in its dronings in
the first stanza. I have used Yule for Christmas.

  Nay, wherefore did I let it haunt my mind,
  This dark, distressful dream?
  I turn from it and listen to the wind
  Which long has rav’d unnotic’d! What a scream
  Of agony by torture lengthened out,
  That lute sent out! O thou wild storm without,
  Bare crag, or Mountain Tairn, or blasted tree,
  Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
  Or lonely house, long held the witches’ home,
  Methinks were fitter instruments for thee
  Mad Lutanist! that, in this month of showers,
  Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
  Mak’st devil’s Yule, with worse than wintry song,
  The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among!
  Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds!
  Thou mighty Poet, even to frenzy bold!
        What tell’st thou now about?
  ’Tis of the rushing of an host in rout,
  With many groans from men, with smarting wounds--
  At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold!
  But hush! there is a pause of deeper silence!
  Again! but all that noise, as of a rushing crowd,
  With groans, and tremulous shudderings--all is over!
  And it has other sounds, less fearful and less loud--
        A tale of less affright,
        And tempered with delight,
  As thou thyself had’st fram’d the tender lay--
        ’Tis of a little child,
        Upon a heath wild,
  Not far from home, but she has lost her way--
  And now moans low in utter grief and fear;
  And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother _hear_.

       *       *       *       *       *

My dear sir! ought I to make an apology for troubling you with such a
long, verse-cramm’d letter? Oh, that instead of it, I could but send to
you the image now before my eyes, over Bassenthwaite. The sun is setting
in a glorious, rich, brassy light, on the top of Skiddaw, and one third
adown it is a huge, enormous mountain of cloud, with the outlines of a
mountain. This is of a starchy grey, but floating past along it, and upon
it, are various patches of sack-like clouds, bags and woolsacks, of a
shade lighter than the brassy light. Of the clouds that hide the setting
sun,--a fine yellow-red, somewhat more than sandy light, and these, the
farthest from the sun, are suffused with the darkness of a stormy colour.
Marvellous creatures! how they pass along! Remember me with most
respectful kindness to Mrs. and Miss Sotheby, and the Captains Sotheby.

  Truly yours,


GRETA HALL, KESWICK, July 29, 1802.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--Nothing has given me half the pleasure, these many, many
months, as last week did Edith’s heralding to us of a minor Robert; for
that it will be a boy, one always takes for granted. From the bottom of my
heart I say it, I never knew a man that better deserved to be a father by
right of virtues that eminently belonged to him, than yourself; but beside
this I have cheering hopes that Edith will be born again, and be a healthy
woman. When I said, nothing had given me half the pleasure, I spoke truly,
and yet said more than you are perhaps aware of, for, by Lord Lonsdale’s
death, there are excellent reasons for believing that the Wordsworths will
gain £5,000, the share of which (and no doubt Dorothy will have more than
a mere share) will render William Wordsworth and his sister quite
independent. They are now in Yorkshire, and he returns in about a month
_one of us_.... Estlin’s Sermons, I fear, are mere moral discourses. If
so, there is but small chance of their sale. But if he had published a
_volume_ of _sermons_, of the same kind with those which he has published
singly, _i. e._ apologetical and ecclesiastico-historical, I _am almost_
confident, they would have a respectable circulation. To publish single
sermons is almost always a foolish thing, like single sheet quarto poems.
Estlin’s sermon on the Sabbath really surprised me. It was well written in
style, I mean, and the reasoning throughout is not only sound, but has a
cast of novelty in it. A superior sermon altogether it appeared to me. I
am myself a little theological, and if any bookseller will take the
risque, I shall in a few weeks, possibly, send to the press a small volume
under the title of “Letters to the British Critic concerning Granville
Sharp’s Remarks on the uses of the Definitive article in the Greek Text of
the New Testament, and the Revd C. Wordsworth’s Six Letters, to G. Sharp
Esqr, in confirmation of the same, together with a Review of the
Controversy between Horsley and Priestley respecting the faith of the
Primitive Christians.” This is no mere dream, like my “Hymns to the
Elements,” for I have written more than half the work. I purpose
afterwards to publish a book concerning Tythes and Church Establishment,
for I conceit that I can throw great light on the subject. You are not
apt to be much surprised at any change in my mind, active as it is, but it
will perhaps please you to know that I am become very fond of History, and
that I have read much with very great attention. I exceedingly like the
job of Amadis de Gaul. I wish you may half as well like the job, in which
I shall very shortly appear. Of its sale I have no doubt; but of its
prudence? There’s the rub. “Concerning Poetry and the characteristic
merits of the Poets, our contemporaries.” One volume Essays, the second
Selections.--The Essays are on Bloomfield, Burns, Bowles, Cowper,
Campbell, Darwin, Hayley, Rogers, C. Smith, Southey, Woolcot,
Wordsworth--the Selections from every one who has written at all, any
being above the rank of mere scribblers--Pye and his Dative Case Plural,
Pybus, Cottle, etc., etc. The object is not to examine what is good in
each writer, but what has _ipso facto_ pleased, and to what faculties, or
passions, or habits of the mind they may be supposed to have given
pleasure. Of course Darwin and Wordsworth having given each a defence of
their mode of poetry, and a disquisition on the nature and essence of
poetry in general, I shall necessarily be led rather deeper, and these I
shall treat of either first or last. But I will apprise you of one thing,
that although Wordsworth’s Preface is half a child of my own brain, and
arose out of conversations so frequent that, with few exceptions, we could
scarcely either of us, perhaps, positively say which first started any
particular thought (I am speaking of the Preface as it stood in the second
volume), yet I am far from going all lengths with Wordsworth. He has
written lately a number of Poems (thirty-two in all), some of them of
considerable length (the longest one hundred and sixty lines), the greater
number of these, to my feelings, very excellent compositions, but here and
there a daring humbleness of language and versification, and a strict
adherence to matter of fact, even to prolixity, that startled me. His
alterations, likewise, in “Ruth” perplexed me, and I have thought and
thought again, and have not had my doubts solved by Wordsworth. On the
contrary, I rather suspect that somewhere or other there is a radical
difference in our theoretical opinions respecting poetry; this I shall
endeavour to go to the bottom of, and, acting the arbitrator between the
old school and the new school, hope to lay down some plain and
perspicuous, though not superficial canons of criticism respecting poetry.
What an admirable definition Milton gives, quite in an “obiter” way, when
he says of poetry, that it is “_simple, sensuous, passionate_!” It truly
comprises the whole that can be said on the subject. In the new edition of
the L. Ballads there is a valuable appendix, which I am sure you must
like, and in the Preface itself considerable additions; one on the dignity
and nature of the office and character of a Poet, that is very grand, and
of a sort of Verulamian power and majesty, but it is, in parts (and this
is the fault, _me judice_, of all the latter half of that Preface),
obscure beyond any necessity, and the extreme elaboration and almost
constrainedness of the diction contrasted (to my feelings) somewhat
harshly with the general style of the Poems, to which the Preface is an
introduction. Sara (why, dear Southey! will you write it always Sarah?
Sar_a_, methinks, is associated with times that you and I cannot and do
not wish ever to forget), Sara, said, with some acuteness, that she wished
all that part of the Preface to have been in blank verse, and _vice
versâ_, etc. However, I need not say, that any diversity of opinion on the
subject between you and myself, or Wordsworth and myself, can only be
small, taken in a _practical_ point of view.

I rejoice that your History marches on so victoriously. It is a noble
subject, and I have the fullest confidence of your success in it. The
influence of the Catholic Religion--the influence of national glory on the
individual morals of a people, especially in the downfall of the nobility
of Portugal,--the strange fact (which seems to be admitted as with one
voice by all travellers) of the vileness of the Portuguese nobles compared
with the Spanish, and of the superiority of the Portuguese commonalty to
the same class in Spain; the effects of colonization on a small and not
very fruitful country; the effects important, and too often forgotten of
absolute accidents, such as the particular character of a race of Princes
on a nation--Oh what awful subjects these are! I long to hear you read a
few chapters to me. But I conjure you do not let “Madoc” go to sleep. Oh
that without words I could cause you to _know_ all that I think, all that
I feel, all that I hope concerning that Poem! As to myself, all my poetic
genius (if ever I really possessed any _genius_, and it was not rather a
mere general _aptitude_ of talent, and quickness in imitation) is gone,
and I have been fool enough to suffer deeply in my mind, regretting the
loss, which I attribute to my long and exceedingly severe metaphysical
investigations, and these partly to ill-health, and partly to private
afflictions which rendered any subjects, immediately connected with
feeling, a source of pain and disquiet to me.

  There was a Time when tho’ my Path was rough,
    I had a heart that dallied with distress;
  And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
    Whence Fancy made me dreams of Happiness;
  For Hope grew round me like the climbing Vine,
  And Fruits and Foliage, not my own, seemed mine!
  But now afflictions bow me down to earth,
  Nor car’d I that they robb’d me of my mirth.
    But oh! each visitation
  Suspends what Nature gave me at my Birth,
    My shaping Spirit of Imagination!

Here follow a dozen lines that would give you no pleasure, and then what

  For not to _think_ of what I needs must feel,
    But to be still and patient, all I can;
  And haply by abstruse Research to steal
    From my own Nature all the Natural Man,
    This was my sole Resource, my wisest Plan!
    And that which suits a part, infects the whole,
    And now is almost grown the Temper of my Soul.

Having written these lines, I rejoice for you as well as for myself, that
I am able to inform you, that now for a long time there has been more love
and concord in my house than I have known for years before. I had made up
my mind to a very awful step, though the struggles of my mind were so
violent, that my sleep became the valley of the shadows of Death and my
health was in a state truly alarming. It did alarm Mrs. Coleridge. The
thought of separation wounded her pride,--she was fully persuaded that
deprived of the society of my children and living abroad without any
friends I should pine away, and the fears of widowhood came upon her, and
though these feelings were wholly selfish, yet they made her _serious_,
and that was a great point gained. For Mrs. Coleridge’s mind has very
little that is _bad_ in it; it is an innocent mind; but it is light and
_unimpressible_, warm in anger, cold in sympathy, and in all disputes
uniformly _projects itself forth_ to recriminate, instead of turning
itself inward with a silent self-questioning. Our virtues and our vices
are exact antitheses. I so attentively watch my own nature that my worst
self-delusion is a complete self-knowledge so mixed with intellectual
complacency, that my quickness to see and readiness to acknowledge my
faults is too often frustrated by the small pain which the sight of them
gives me, and the consequent slowness to amend them. Mrs. C. is so stung
with the very first thought of being in the wrong, because she never
endures to look at her own mind in all its faulty parts, but shelters
herself from painful self-inquiry by angry recrimination. Never, I
suppose, did the stern match-maker bring together two minds so utterly
contrariant in their primary and organical constitution. Alas! I have
suffered more, I think, from the amiable propensities of my nature than
from my worst faults and most erroneous habits, and I have suffered much
from both. But, as I said, Mrs. Coleridge was made _serious_, and for the
first time since our marriage she felt and acted as beseemed a wife and a
mother to a husband and the father of her children. She promised to set
about an alteration in her external manners and looks and language, and to
fight against her inveterate habits of puny thwarting and unintermitting
dyspathy, this immediately, and to do her best endeavours to cherish other
feelings. I, on my part, promised to be more attentive to all her feelings
of pride, etc., etc., and to try to correct my habits of impetuous
censure. We have both kept our promises, and she has found herself so much
more happy than she had been for years before, that I have the most
confident hopes that this happy revolution in our domestic affairs will be
permanent, and that this external conformity will gradually generate a
greater inward likeness of thoughts and attachments than has hitherto
existed between us. Believe me, if you were here, it would give you a
_deep_ delight to observe the difference of our minutely conduct towards
each other, from that which, I fear, could not but have disturbed your
comfort when you were here last. Enough. But I am sure you have not felt
it tedious.

So Corry[263] and you are off? I suspected it, but Edith never mentioned
an iota of the business to her sister. It is well. It was not your
destiny. Wherever you are, God bless you! My health is weak enough, but it
is so far amended that it is far less dependent on the influences of the
weather. The mountains are better friends in this respect. Would that I
could flatter myself that the same would be the case with you. The only
objection on my part is now,--God be praised!--done away. The services and
benefits I should receive from your society and the spur of your example
would be incalculable. The house consists--the first floor (or rather
ground floor) of a kitchen and a back kitchen, a large parlour and two
nice small parlours; the second floor of three bedrooms, one a large one,
and one large drawing-room; the third floor or floors of three
bedrooms--in all twelve rooms. Besides these, Mr. Jackson offers to make
that nice outhouse or workshop either two rooms or one noble large one for
a study if I wish it. If it suited you, you might have one kitchen, or (if
Edith and Sara thought it would answer) we might have the two kitchens in
common. You might have, I say, the whole ground floor, consisting of two
sweet wing-rooms, commanding that loveliest view of Borrowdale, and the
great parlour; and supposing we each were forced to have two servants, a
nursemaid and a housemaid, the two housemaids would sleep together in one
of the upper rooms, and the nursemaids have each a room to herself, and
the long room on the ground floor must be yours and Edith’s room, and if
Mary be with you, the other hers. We should have the whole second floor,
consisting of the drawing-room, which would be Mrs. Coleridge’s parlour,
two bedrooms, which (as I am so often ill, and when ill cannot rest at
all, unless I have a bed to myself) is absolutely necessary for me, and
one room for you if occasion should be, or any friend of yours or mine.
The highest room in the house is a very large one intended for two, but
suffered to remain one by my desire. It would be a capital healthy
nursery. The outhouse would become my study, and I _have_ a couch-bed on
which I am now sitting (in bed) and writing to you. It is now in the
study; of course it would be removed to the outhouse when that became my
study, and would be a second spare bed. I have no doubt but that Mr.
Jackson would willingly let us retain my present study, which might be
your library and study room. My dear Southey, I merely state these things
to you. All our lot on earth is compromise. Blessings obtained by
blessings foregone, or by evils undergone. I should be glad, no doubt, if
you thought that your health and happiness would find a home under the
same roof with me; and I am sure you will not accuse me as indelicate or
obtrusive in mentioning things as they are; but if you decline it
altogether, I shall know that you have good reasons for doing so, and be
perfectly satisfied, for if it detracted from your comfort it could, of
course, be nothing but the contrary of all advantage to me. You would have
access to four or five libraries: Sir W. Lawson’s, a most magnificent one,
but chiefly in Natural History, Travels, etc.; Carlton House (I am a
_prodigious_ favourite of Mrs. Wallis, the owner and resident, mother of
the Privy Counsellor Wallis); Carlisle, Dean and Chapter; the Library at
Hawkshead School, and another (of what value I know not) at St. Bees,
whither I mean to walk to-morrow to spend five or six days for bathing. It
is four miles from Whitehaven by the seaside. Mrs. Coleridge is but
poorly, children well. Love to Edith and May, and to whom I am at all
interested. God love you. If you let me hear from you, it is among my
firmest resolves--God ha’ mercy on ’em!--to be a regular correspondent of


P. S. Mrs. C. must have one room on the ground floor, but this is only
putting one of your rooms on the second floor.


Monday night, August 9, 1802.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--Derwent can say his letters, and if you could but see
his darling mouth when he shouts out Q! This is a digression.

On Sunday, August 1st,[264] after morning church, I left Greta Hall,
crossed the fields to Portinscale, went through Newlands, where “Great
Robinson looks down upon Marden’s Bower,” and drank tea at Buttermere,
crossed the mountains to Ennerdale, and slept at a farm-house a little
below the foot of the lake, spent the greater part of the next day
mountaineering, and went in the evening through Egremont to St. Bees, and
slept there; returned next day to Egremont, and slept there; went by the
sea-coast as far as Gosforth, then turned off and went up Wasdale, and
slept at T. Tyson’s at the head of the vale. Thursday morning crossed the
mountains and ascended Scafell, which is more than a hundred yards higher
than either Helvellyn or Skiddaw; spent the whole day among clouds, and
one of them a frightening thunder-cloud; slipped down into Eskdale, and
there slept, and spent a good part of the next day; proceeded that evening
to Devock Lake, and slept at Ulpha Kirk; on Saturday passed through the
Dunnerdale Mountains to Broughton Vale, Tarver Vale, and in upon
Coniston. On Sunday I surveyed the lake, etc., of Coniston, and proceeded
to Bratha, and slept at Lloyd’s house; this morning walked from Bratha to
Grasmere, and from Grasmere to Greta Hall, where I now am, quite sweet and
ablute, and have not even now read through your letter, which I will
answer by the night’s post, and therefore must defer all account of my
very interesting tour, saying only that of all earthly things which I have
beheld, the view of Scafell and from Scafell (both views from its own
summit) is the most heart-exciting.

And now for business. The rent of the whole house, including taxes and the
furniture we have, will not be under forty, and not above forty-two,
pounds a year. You will have half the house and half the furniture, and of
course your share will be either twenty pounds or twenty guineas. As to
furniture, the house certainly will not be wholly, that is, completely
furnished by Jackson. Two rooms we must somehow or other furnish between
us, but not immediately; you may pass the winter without it, and it is
hard if we cannot raise thirty pounds in the course of the winter between
us. And whatever we buy may be disposed of any Saturday, to a moral
certainty, at its full value, or Mr. Jackson, who is uncommonly desirous
that you should come, will take it. But we can get on for the winter well

Your books may come all the way from Bristol either to Whitehaven,
Maryport, or Workington; sometimes directly, always by means of Liverpool.
In the latter case, they must be sent to Whitehaven, from whence waggons
come to Keswick twice a week. You will have twenty or thirty shillings to
lay out in tin and crockery, and you must bring with you, or buy here
(which you may do at eight months’ credit), knives and forks, etc., and
all your linen, from the diaper subvestments of the young jacobin[265] to
diaper table clothes, sheets, napkins, etc. But these, I suppose, you
already have.

What else I have to say I cannot tell, and indeed shall be too late for
the post. But I will write soon again. I was exceedingly amused with the
Cottelism; but I have not time to speak of this or of other parts of your
letter. I believe that I can execute the criticisms with no offence to
Hayley, and in a manner highly satisfactory to the admirers of the poet
Bloomfield, and to the friends of the man Bloomfield. But there are
certainly other objections of great weight.

Sara is well, and the children pretty well. Hartley is almost ill with
transport at my Scafell expedition. That child is a poet, spite of the
forehead, “villainously _low_,” which his mother smuggled into his face.
Derwent is more beautiful than ever, but very backward with his tongue,
although he can say all his letters.--N. B. Not out of the book. God bless
you and yours!


If you are able to determine, you will of course let me know it without
waiting for a second letter from me; as if you determine in the
affirmative[266] of the scheme, it will be a great motive with Jackson,
indeed, a most infallible one, to get immediately to work so as to have
the whole perfectly furnished six weeks at least before your arrival.
Another reason for your writing immediately is, that we may lay you in a
stock of coals during the summer, which is a saving of some pounds; when I
say _determine_, of course I mean such determination as the thousand
contingencies, black and white, permit a wise man to make, and which would
be enough for me to act on.

Sara will write to Edith soon.

I have just received a letter from Poole; but I have found so many letters
that I have opened yours only.


Thursday, August 26, 1802.

MY DEAR SIR,--I was absent on a little excursion when your letter arrived,
and since my return I have been waiting and making every enquiry in the
hopes of announcing the receipt of your “Orestes” and its companions, with
my sincere thanks for your kindness. But I can hear nothing of them. Mr.
Lamb,[267] however, goes to Penrith next week, and will make strict
scrutiny. I am not to find the “Welsh Tour” among them; and yet I think I
am correct in referring the ode “Netley Abbey” to that collection,--a poem
which I believe I can very nearly repeat by heart, though it must have
been four or five years since I last read it. I well remember that, after
reading your “Welsh Tour,” Southey observed to me that you, I, and himself
had all done ourselves harm by suffering an admiration of Bowles to bubble
up too often on the surface of our poems. In perusing the second volume of
Bowles, which I owe to your kindness, I met a line of my own which gave me
great pleasure, from the thought what a pride and joy I should have had at
the time of writing it if I had supposed it possible that Bowles would
have adopted it. The line is,--

  Had melancholy mus’d herself to sleep.[268]

I wrote the lines at nineteen, and published them many years ago in the
“Morning Post” as a fragment, and as they are but twelve lines, I will
transcribe them:--

  Upon a mouldering abbey’s broadest wall,
  Where ruining ivies prop the ruins steep--
  Her folded arms wrapping her tatter’d pall
  Had Melancholy mused herself to sleep.
    The fern was press’d beneath her hair,
    The dark green Adder’s Tongue was there;
  And still as came the flagging sea gales weak,
  Her long lank leaf bow’d fluttering o’er her cheek.

  Her pallid cheek was flush’d; her eager look
  Beam’d eloquent in slumber! Inly wrought,
  Imperfect sounds her moving lips forsook,
  And her bent forehead work’d with troubled thought.

I met these lines yesterday by accident, and ill as they are written there
seemed to me a force and distinctness of image in them that were buds of
promise in a schoolboy performance, though I am giving them perhaps more
than their deserts in thus assuring them a reading from you. I have
finished the “First Navigator,” and Mr. Tomkins[269] may have it whenever
he wishes. It would be gratifying to me if you would look it over and
alter anything you like. My whole wish and purpose is to serve Mr.
Tomkins, and you are not only much more in the habit of writing verse than
I am, but must needs have a better tact of what will offend that class of
readers into whose hands a showy publication is likely to fall. I do not
mean, my dear sir, to impose on you ten minutes’ thought, but often
_currente oculo_ a better phrase or position of words will suggest itself.
As to the ten pounds, it is more than the thing is worth, either in German
or English. Mr. Tomkins will better give the true value of it by kindly
accepting what is given with kindness. Two or three copies presented in
my name, one to each of the two or three friends of mine who are likely to
be pleased with a fine book,--this is the utmost I desire or will receive.
I shall for the ensuing quarter send occasional verses, etc., to the
“Morning Post,” under the signature Ἔστησε, and I mention this to you
because I have some intention of translating Voss’s “Idylls” in English
hexameter, with a little prefatory essay on modern hexameters. I have
discovered that the poetical parts of the Bible and the best parts of
Ossian are little more than slovenly hexameters, and the rhythmical prose
of Gesner is still more so, and reads exactly like that metre in Boethius’
and Seneca’s tragedies, which consists of the latter half of the
hexameter. The thing is worth an experiment, and I wish it to be
considered merely as an experiment. I need not say that the greater number
of the verses signed Ἔστησε be such as were never meant for anything else
but the _peritura charta_ of the “Morning Post.”

I had written thus far when your letter of the 16th arrived, franked on
the 23d from Weymouth, with a polite apology from Mr. Bedingfell (if I
have rightly deciphered the name) for its detention. I am vexed I did not
write immediately on my return home, but I waited, day after day, in hopes
of the “Orestes,” etc. It is an old proverb that “extremes meet,” and I
have often regretted that I had not noted down as they _in_curred the
interesting instances in which the proverb is verified. The newest
subject, though brought from the planets (or asteroids) Ceres and Pallas,
could not excite my curiosity more than “Orestes.” I will write
immediately to Mr. Clarkson, who resides at the foot of Ulleswater, and
beg him to walk into Penrith, and ask at all the inns if any parcel have
arrived; if not, I will myself write to Mr. Faulder and inform him of the
failure. There is a subject of great merit in the ancient mythology
hitherto untouched--I believe so, at least. But for the _mode_ of the
death, which mingles the ludicrous and terrible, but which might be easily
altered, it is one of the finest subjects for tragedy that I am acquainted
with. Medea, after the murder of her children [having] fled to the court
of the old King Pelias, was regarded with superstitious horror, and
shunned or insulted by the daughters of Pelias, till, hearing of her
miraculous restoration of Æson, they conceived the idea of recalling by
her means the youth of their own father. She avails herself of their
credulity, and so works them up by pretended magical rites that they
consent to kill their father in his sleep and throw him into the magic
cauldron. Which done, Medea leaves them with bitter taunts of triumph. The
daughters are called Asteropæa, Autonoe, and Alcestis. Ovid alludes
briefly to this story in the couplet,--

  “Quid referam Peliæ natas pietate nocentes,
     Cæsaque virgineâ membra paterna manu?”
                                Ovid, Epist. XII. 129, 130.

What a thing to have seen a tragedy raised on this fable by Milton, in
rivalry of the “Macbeth” of Shakespeare! The character of Medea, wandering
and fierce, and invested with impunity by the strangeness and excess of
her guilt, and truly an injured woman on the other hand and possessed of
supernatural powers! The same story is told in a very different way by
some authors, and out of their narrations matter might be culled that
would very well coincide with and fill up the main incidents--her imposing
the sacred image of Diana on the priesthood of Iolcus, and persuading them
to join with her in inducing the daughters of Pelias to kill their father;
the daughters under the persuasion that their father’s youth would be
restored, the priests under the faith that the goddess required the death
of the old king, and that the safety of the country depended on it. In
this way Medea might be suffered to escape under the direct protection of
the priesthood, who may afterwards discover the delusion. The moral of
the piece would be a very fine one.

Wordsworth wrote a very animated account of his difficulties and his
joyous meeting with you, which he calls the happy rencontre or fortunate
rainstorm. Oh! that you had been with me during a thunder-storm[270] on
Thursday, August the 3d! I was sheltered (in the phrase of the country,
_lownded_) in a sort of natural porch on the summit of Sca Fell, the
central mountain of our Giants, said to be higher than Skiddaw or
Helvellyn, and in chasm, naked crag, bursting springs, and waterfall the
most interesting, without a rival. When the cloud passed away, to my right
and left, and behind me, stood a great national convention of mountains
which our ancestors most descriptively called Copland, that is, the Land
of Heads. Before me the mountains died away down to the sea in eleven
parallel ridges; close under my feet, as it were, were three vales:
Wastdale, with its lake; Miterdale and Eskdale, with the rivers Irt, Mite,
and Esk seen from their very fountains to their fall into the sea at
Ravenglass Bay, which, with these rivers, form to the eye a perfect

Turning round, I looked through Borrowdale out upon the Derwentwater and
the Vale of Keswick, even to my own house, where my own children were.
Indeed, I had altogether a most interesting walk through Newlands to
Buttermere, over the fells to Ennerdale, to St. Bees; up Wastdale to Sca
Fell, down Eskdale to Devock Lake, Ulpha Kirk, Broughton Mills, Tarver,
Coniston, Windermere, Grasmere, Keswick. If it would entertain you, I
would transcribe my notes and send them you by the first opportunity. I
have scarce left room for my best wishes to Mrs. and Miss Sotheby, and
affectionate wishes for your happiness and all who constitute it.

With unfeigned esteem, dear sir,

  Yours, etc.,

P. S. I am ashamed to send you a scrawl so like in form to a servant
wench’s first letter. You will see that the first half was written before
I received your last letter.


GRETA HALL, KESWICK, September 10, 1802.

MY DEAR SIR,--The books have not yet arrived, and I am wholly unable to
account for the delay. I suspect that the cause of it may be Mr. Faulder’s
mistake in sending them by the Carlisle waggon. A person is going to
Carlisle on Monday from this place, and will make diligent inquiry, and,
if he succeed, still I cannot have them in less than a week, as they must
return to Penrith and there wait for the next Tuesday’s carrier. I ought,
perhaps, to be ashamed of my weakness, but I must confess I have been
downright vexed by the business. Every cart, every return-chaise from
Penrith has renewed my hopes, till I began to play tricks with my own
impatience, and say, “Well, I take it for granted that I shan’t get them
for these seven days,” etc.,--with other of those half-lies that fear
begets on hope. You have imposed a pleasing task on me in requesting the
minutiæ of my opinions concerning your “Orestes.” Whatever these opinions
may be, the disclosure of them will be a sort of _map_ of my mind, as a
poet and reasoner, and my curiosity is strongly excited. I feel you a man
of genius in the choice of the subject. It is my faith that the _genus
irritabile_ is a phrase applicable only to bad poets. Men of great genius
have, indeed, as an essential of their composition, great sensibility, but
they have likewise great confidence in their own powers, and fear must
always precede anger in the human mind. I can with truth say that, from
those I love, mere general praise of anything I have written is as far
from giving me pleasure as mere general censure; in anything, I mean, to
which I have devoted much time or effort. “Be minute, and assign your
reasons often, and your first impressions always, and then blame or
praise. I care not which, I shall be gratified.” These are _my_
sentiments, and I assuredly believe that they are the sentiments of all
who have indeed felt a _true call_ to the ministry of _song_. Of course,
I, too, will act on the golden rule of doing to others what I wish others
to do unto me. But, while I think of it, let me say that I should be much
concerned if you applied this to the “First Navigator.” It would
absolutely mortify me if you did more than look over it, and when a
correction suggested itself to you, take your pen and make it, and let the
copy go to Tomkins. What they have been, I shall know when I see the thing
in print; for it must please the present times if it please any, and you
have been far more in the fashionable world than I, and must needs have a
finer and surer tact of that which will offend or disgust in the higher
circles of life. Yet it is not what I should have advised Tomkins to do,
and that is one reason why I cannot and will not accept more than a brace
of copies from him. I do not like to be associated in a man’s mind with
his losses. If he have the translation gratis, he must take it on his own
judgment; but when a man pays for a thing, and he loses by it, the idea
will creep in, spite of himself, that the failure was in part owing to the
badness of the translation. While I was translating the “Wallenstein,” I
told Longman it would never answer; when I had finished it I wrote to him
and foretold that it would be waste paper on his shelves, and the dullness
charitably laid upon my shoulders. Longman lost two hundred and fifty
pounds by the work, fifty pounds of which had been paid to me,--poor pay,
Heaven knows! for a thick octavo volume of blank verse; and yet I am sure
that Longman never thinks of me but “Wallenstein” and the ghosts of his
departed guineas dance an ugly waltz round my idea. This would not disturb
me a tittle, if I thought well of the work myself. I should feel a
confidence that it would win its way at last; but this is not the case
with Gesner’s “Der erste Schiffer.” It may as well lie here till Tomkins
wants it. Let him only give me a week’s notice, and I will transmit it to
you with a large margin. Bowles’s stanzas on “Navigation”[271] are among
the best in that second volume, but the whole volume is wofully inferior
to its predecessor. There reigns through all the blank verse poems such a
perpetual trick of moralizing everything, which is very well,
occasionally, but never to see or describe any interesting appearance in
nature without connecting it, by dim analogies, with the moral world
proves faintness of impression. Nature has her proper interest, and he
will know what it is who believes and feels that everything has a life of
its own, and that we are all _One Life_. A poet’s heart and intellect
should be _combined_, intimately combined and unified with the great
appearances of nature, and not merely held in solution and loose mixture
with them, in the shape of formal similes. I do not mean to exclude these
formal similes; there are moods of mind in which they are natural,
pleasing moods of mind, and such as a poet will often have, and sometimes
express; but they are not his highest and most appropriate moods. They are
“sermoni propriora,” which I once translated “properer for a sermon.” The
truth is, Bowles has indeed the _sensibility_ of a poet, but he has not
the _passion_ of a great poet. His latter writings all want _native_
passion. Milton here and there supplies him with an appearance of it, but
he has no native passion because he is not a thinker, and has probably
weakened his intellect by the haunting fear of becoming extravagant.
Young, somewhere in one of his prose works, remarks that there is as
profound a logic in the most daring and dithyrambic parts of Pindar as in
the “Organon” of Aristotle. The remark is a valuable one.

  Poetic feelings, like the flexuous boughs
  Of mighty oaks! yield homage to the gale,
  Toss in the strong winds, drive before the gust,
  Themselves one giddy storm of fluttering leaves;
  Yet, all the while, self-limited, remain
  Equally near the fix’d and parent trunk
  Of truth in nature--in the howling blast,
  As in the calm that stills the aspen grove.[272]

That this is deep in our nature, I felt when I was on Scafell. I
involuntarily poured forth a hymn[273] in the manner of the Psalms,
though afterwards I thought the ideas, etc., disproportionate to our
humble mountains.... You will soon see it in the “Morning Post,” and I
should be glad to know whether and how far it pleased you. It has struck
me with great force lately that the Psalms afford a most complete answer
to those who state the Jehovah of the Jews, as a personal and national
God, and the Jews as differing from the Greeks only in calling the minor
Gods Cherubim and Seraphim, and confining the word “God” only to their
Jupiter. It must occur to every reader that the Greeks in their religious
poems address always the Numina Loci, the Genii, the Dryads, the Naiads,
etc., etc. All natural objects were _dead_, mere hollow statues, but there
was a Godkin or Goddessling _included_ in each. In the Hebrew poetry you
find nothing of this poor stuff, as poor in genuine imagination as it is
mean in intellect. At best, it is but fancy, or the aggregating faculty of
the mind, not imagination or the _modifying_ and coadunating faculty. This
the Hebrew poets appear to me to have possessed beyond all others, and
next to them the English. In the Hebrew poets each thing has a life of its
own, and yet they are all our life. In God they move and live and _have_
their being; not _had_, as the cold system of Newtonian Theology
represents, but _have_. Great pleasure indeed, my dear sir, did I receive
from the latter part of your letter. If there be any two subjects which
have in the very depths of my nature interested me, it has been the Hebrew
and Christian Theology, and the Theology of Plato. Last winter I read the
Parmenides and the Timæus with great care, and oh, that you were
here--even in this howling rainstorm that dashes itself against my
windows--on the other side of my blazing fire, in that great armchair
there! I guess we should encroach on the morning ere we parted. How little
the commentators of Milton have availed themselves of the writings of
Plato, Milton’s darling! But alas, commentators only hunt out verbal
parallelisms--_numen abest_. I was much impressed with this in all the
many notes on that beautiful passage in “Comus” from l. 629 to 641. All
the puzzle is to find out what plant Hæmony is; which they discover to be
the English spleenwort, and decked out as a mere play and licence of
poetic fancy with all the strange properties suited to the purpose of the
drama. They thought little of Milton’s platonizing spirit, who wrote
nothing without an interior meaning. “Where more is meant than meets the
ear,” is true of himself beyond all writers. He was so great a man that he
seems to have considered fiction as profane unless where it is consecrated
by being emblematic of some truth. What an unthinking and ignorant man we
must have supposed Milton to be, if, without any hidden meaning, he had
described it as growing in such abundance that the dull swain treads on it
daily, and yet as never _flowering_. Such blunders Milton of all others
was least likely to commit. Do look at the passage. Apply it as an
allegory of Christianity, or, to speak more precisely, of the Redemption
by the Cross, every syllable is full of light! “_A small unsightly
root._”--“To the Greeks folly, to the Jews a stumbling-block”--“_The leaf
was darkish and had prickles on it_”--“If in this life only we have hope,
we are of all men the most miserable,” and a score of other texts. “_But
in another country, as he said, Bore a bright golden flower_”--“The
exceeding weight of glory prepared for us hereafter”--“_But not in this
soil; Unknown and like esteemed and the dull swain Treads on it daily with
his clouted shoon_”--The promises of Redemption offered daily and hourly,
and to all, but accepted scarcely by any--“_He called it Hæmony_.” Now
what is Hæmony? αἷμα οἶνος, Blood-wine. “And he took the wine and blessed
it and said, ‘This is my Blood,’”--the great symbol of the Death on the
Cross. There is a general ridicule cast on all allegorising of poets. Read
Milton’s prose works, and observe whether he was one of those who joined
in this ridicule. There is a very curious passage in Josephus [De Bello
Jud. 6, 7, cap. 25 (vi. § 3)] which is, in its literal meaning, more wild
and fantastically absurd than the passage in Milton; so much so, that
Lardner quotes it in exultation and says triumphantly, “Can any man who
reads it think it any disparagement to the Christian Religion that it was
not embraced by a man who would believe such stuff as this? God forbid
that it should affect Christianity, that it is not believed by the learned
of this world!” But the passage in Josephus, I have no doubt, is wholly

Ἔστησε signifies “He hath stood,”[274] which, in these times of apostasy
from the principles of freedom or of religion in this country, and from
both by the same persons in France, is no unmeaning signature, if
subscribed with humility, and in the remembrance of “Let him that stands
take heed lest he fall!” However, it is, in truth, no more than S. T. C.
written in Greek--Es tee see.

Pocklington will not sell his house, but he is ill, and perhaps it may be
to be sold, but it is sunless all winter.

  God bless you, and


GRETA HALL, KESWICK, Tuesday, September 27, 1802.

MY DEAR SIR,--The river is full, and Lodore is full, and silver-fillets
come out of clouds and glitter in every ravine of all the mountains; and
the hail lies like snow, upon their tops, and the impetuous gusts from
Borrowdale snatch the water up high, and continually at the bottom of the
lake it is not distinguishable from snow slanting before the wind--and
under this seeming snow-drift the sunshine _gleams_, and over all the
nether half of the Lake it is _bright_ and _dazzles_, a cauldron of melted
silver boiling! It is in very truth a sunny, misty, cloudy, dazzling,
howling, omniform day, and I have been looking at as pretty a sight as a
father’s eyes could well see--Hartley and little Derwent running in the
green where the gusts blow most madly, both with their hair floating and
tossing, a miniature of the agitated trees, below which they were playing,
inebriate both with the pleasure--Hartley whirling round for joy, Derwent
eddying, half-willingly, half by the force of the gust,--driven backward,
struggling forward, and shouting his little hymn of joy. I can write thus
to you, my dear sir, with a confident spirit; for when I received your
letter on the 22nd, and had read the “family history,” I laid down the
sheet upon my desk, and sate for half an hour thinking of you, dreaming of
you, till the tear grown cold upon my cheek awoke me from my reverie. May
you live long, long, thus blessed in your family, and often, often may you
all sit around one fireside. Oh happy should I be now and then to sit
among you--your pilot and guide in some of your summer walks!

  “Frigidus ut sylvis Aquilo si increverit, aut si
   Hiberni pluviis dependent nubibus imbres,
   Nos habeat domus, et multo Lar luceat igne.
   Ante focum mihi parvus erit, qui ludat, Iulus,
   Blanditias ferat, et nondum constantia verba;
   Ipse legam magni tecum monumenta Platonis!”

Or, what would be still better, I could talk to you (and, if you were here
now, to an accompaniment of winds that would well suit the subject)
instead of writing to you concerning your “Orestes.” When we talk we are
our own living commentary, and there are so many _running notes_ of look,
tone, and gesture, that there is small danger of being misunderstood, and
less danger of being imperfectly understood--in writing; but no! it is
foolish to abuse a good substitute because it is not all that the original
is,--so I will do my best and, believe me, I consider this letter which I
am about to write as merely an exercise of my own judgment--a something
that may make you better acquainted, perhaps, with the architecture and
furniture of _my_ mind, though it will probably convey to you little or
nothing that had not occurred to you before respecting your own tragedy.
One thing I beg solicitously of you, that, if anywhere I appear to speak
positively, you will acquit me of any correspondent feeling. I hope that
it is not a frequent feeling with me in any case, and, that if it appear
so, I am belied by my own warmth of manner. In the present instance it is
impossible. I have been too deeply impressed by the work, and I am now
about to give you, not criticisms nor decisions, but a history of my
impressions, and, for the greater part, of my first impressions, and if
anywhere there seem anything like a tone of warmth or dogmatism, do, my
dear sir, be kind enough to regard it as no more than a way of conveying
to you the _whole_ of my meaning; or, for I am writing too seriously, as
the dexterous _toss_, necessary to turn an idea out of its pudding-bag,
round and _unbroken_.

  [No signature.]

Several pages of minute criticisms on Sotheby’s “Orestes” form part of the
original transcript of the letter.


ST. CLEAR, CAERMARTHEN, Tuesday, November 16, 1802.

MY DEAR LOVE,--I write to you from the New Passage, Saturday morning,
November 13. We had a favourable passage, dined on the other side, and
proceeded in a post-chaise to Usk, and from thence to Abergavenny, where
we supped and slept and breakfasted--a vile supper, vile beds, and vile
breakfast. From Abergavenny to Brecon, through the vale of Usk, I believe,
nineteen miles of most delightful country. It is not indeed comparable
with the meanest part of our Lake Country, but hills, vale, and river,
cottages and woods are nobly blended, and, thank Heaven, I seldom permit
my past greater pleasures to lessen my enjoyment of present charms. Of the
things which this nineteen miles has in common with our whole vale of
Keswick (which is about nineteen miles long), I may say that the two vales
and the two rivers are equal to each other, that the Keswick vale beats
the Welsh one all hollow in cottages, but is as much surpassed by it in
woods and timber trees. I am persuaded that every tree in the south of
England has three times the number of _leaves_ that a tree of the same
sort and size has in Cumberland or Westmoreland, and there is an
incomparably larger number of very large trees. Even the Scotch firs
luxuriate into beauty and pluminess, and the larches are magnificent
creatures indeed, in S. Wales. I must not deceive you, however, with all
the advantages. S. Wales, if you came into it with the very pictures of
Keswick, Ulleswater, Grasmere, etc., in your fancy, and were determined to
hold them, and S. Wales together with all its richer fields, woods, and
ancient trees, would needs appear flat and tame as ditchwater. I have no
firmer persuasion than this, that there is no place in our island (and,
saving Switzerland, none in Europe perhaps), which really equals the vale
of Keswick, including Borrowdale, Newlands, and Bassenthwaite. O Heaven!
that it had but a more genial climate! It is now going on for the
eighteenth week since they have had any rain here, more than a few casual
refreshing showers, and we have monopolized the rain of the whole kingdom.
From Brecon to Trecastle--a churchyard, two or three miles from Brecon, is
belted by a circle of the largest and noblest yews I ever saw--in a belt,
to wit; they are not so large as the yew in Borrowdale or that in Lorton,
but so many, so large and noble, I never saw before--and quite _glowing_
with those heavenly-coloured, silky-pink-scarlet berries. From Trecastle
to Llandovery, where we found a nice inn, an excellent supper, and good
beds. From Llandovery to Llandilo--from Llandilo to Caermarthen, a large
town all whitewashed--the roofs of the houses all whitewashed! a great
town in a confectioner’s shop, on Twelfth-cake-Day, or a huge snowpiece at
a distance. It is nobly situated along a hill among hills, at the head of
a very extensive vale. From Caermarthen after dinner to St. Clear, a
little hamlet nine miles from Caermarthen, three miles from the sea (the
nearest seaport being Llangan, pronounced _Larne_, on Caermarthen
Bay--look in the map), and not quite a hundred miles from Bristol. The
country immediately round is exceedingly bleak and dreary--just the sort
of country that there is around Shurton, etc. But the inn, the _Blue
Boar_, is the most comfortable little public-house I was ever in. Miss S.
Wedgwood left us this morning (we arrived here at half past four yesterday
evening) for Crescelly, Mr. _Allen’s_ seat (the Mrs. Wedgwood’s father),
fifteen miles from this place, and T. Wedgwood is gone out cock-shooting,
in high glee and spirits. He is very much better than I expected to have
found him--he says, the thought of my coming, and my really coming so
immediately, has sent a new life into him. He will be out all the
mornings. The evenings we chat, discuss, or I read to him. To me he is a
delightful and instructive companion. He possesses the _finest_, the
_subtlest_ mind and taste I have ever yet met with. His mind resembles
that miniature in my “Three Graves:”[275]--

  A small blue sun! and it has got
    A perfect glory too!
  Ten thousand hairs of colour’d light,
  Make up a glory gay and bright,
    Round that small orb so blue!

I continue in excellent health, compared with my state at Keswick.... I
have now left off beer too, and will persevere in it. I take no tea; in
the morning coffee, with a teaspoonful of ginger in the last cup; in the
afternoon a large cup of ginger-tea, and I take ginger at twelve o’clock
at noon, and a glass after supper. I find not the least inconvenience from
any quantity, however large. I dare say I take a large table-spoonful in
the course of the twenty-four hours, and once in the twenty-four hours
(but not always at the same time) I take half a grain of purified opium,
equal to twelve drops of laudanum, which is not more than an eighth part
of what I took at Keswick, exclusively of beer, brandy, and tea, which
last is undoubtedly a pernicious thing--all which I have left off, and
will give this regimen a _fair, complete_ trial of one month, with no
other deviation than that I shall sometimes lessen the opiate, and
sometimes miss a day. But I am fully convinced, and so is T. Wedgwood,
that to a person with such a stomach and bowels as mine, if any stimulus
is needful, opium in the small quantities I now take it is incomparably
better in every respect than beer, wine, spirits, or any _fermented_
liquor, nay, far less pernicious than even tea. It _is my particular wish
that Hartley and Derwent should have as little tea as possible, and always
very weak, with more than half milk_. Read this sentence to Mary, and to
Mrs. Wilson. I should think that ginger-tea, with a good deal of milk in
it, would be an excellent thing for Hartley. A teaspoonful piled up of
ginger would make a potful of tea, that would serve him for two days. And
let him drink it half milk. I dare say that he would like it very well,
for it is pleasant with sugar, and tell him that his dear father takes it
instead of tea, and believes that it will make his dear Hartley grow. The
whole kingdom is getting ginger-mad. My dear love! I have said nothing of
Italy, for I am as much in the dark as when I left Keswick, indeed much
more. For I now doubt very much whether we shall go or no. Against our
going you must place T. W.’s improved state of health, and his exceeding
dislike to continental travelling, and horror of the sea, and his
exceeding attachment to his family; for our going, you must place his past
experience, the transiency of his enjoyments, the craving after change,
and the effect of a cold winter, especially if it should come on _wet_ or
_sleety_. His determinations are made so rapidly, that two or three days
of wet weather with a raw cold air might have such an effect on his
spirits, that he might go off immediately to Naples, or perhaps for
Teneriffe, which latter place he is always talking about. Look out for it
in the Encyclopædia. Again, these latter causes make it not impossible
that the pleasure he has in me as a companion may languish. I must
subscribe myself in haste,

  Your dear husband,

The mail is waiting.


  CRESCELLY, near Narbarth, Pembrokeshire,
    December 7, 1802.

MY DEAR FRIEND,--I took the liberty of desiring Mrs. Coleridge to direct a
letter for me to you, fully expecting to have seen you; but I passed
rapidly through Bristol, and left it with Mr. Wedgwood immediately--I
literally had _no time_ to see any one. I hope, however, to see you on my
return, for I wish very much to have some hours’ conversation with you on
a subject that will not cease to interest either of us while we _live_ at
least, and I trust that is a synonym of “for ever!”... Have you seen my
different essays in the “Morning Post”?[276]--the comparison of Imperial
Rome and France, the “Once a Jacobin, always a Jacobin,” and the two
letters to Mr. Fox? Are my politics yours?

Have you heard lately from America? A gentleman informed me that the
progress of religious Deism in the middle Provinces is exceedingly rapid,
that there are numerous congregations of Deists, etc., etc. Would to
Heaven this were the case in France! Surely, religious Deism is infinitely
nearer the religion of our Saviour than the _gross_ idolatry of Popery, or
the more decorous, but not less genuine, idolatry of a vast majority of
Protestants. If there be meaning in words, it appears to me that the
Quakers and Unitarians are the only Christians, altogether pure from
Idolatry, and even of these I am sometimes jealous, that some of the
Unitarians make too much an _Idol_ of their _one_ God. Even the worship of
one God becomes _Idolatry_ in my convictions, when, instead of the Eternal
and Omnipresent, in whom we live and move and _have_ our Being, we set up
a distinct Jehovah, tricked out in the _anthropomorphic_ attributes of
Time and _successive_ Thoughts, and think of him as a _Person_, _from_
whom we _had_ our Being. The tendency to _Idolatry_ seems to me to lie at
the root of all our human vices--it is our original Sin. When we dismiss
_three Persons_ in the Deity, only by subtracting _two_, we talk more
intelligibly, but, I fear, do not feel more religiously--for God is a
Spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit.

O my dear sir! it is long since we have seen each other--believe me, my
esteem and grateful affection for you and Mrs. Estlin has suffered no
abatement or intermission--nor can I persuade myself that my opinions,
fully stated and fully understood, would appear to you to differ
_essentially_ from your own. My creed is very simple--my confession of
Faith very brief. I approve altogether and embrace entirely the _Religion_
of the Quakers, but exceedingly dislike the _sect_, and their own notions
of their own Religion. By Quakerism I understand the opinions of George
Fox rather than those of Barclay--who was the St. Paul of Quakerism.--I
pray for you and yours!



Christmas Day, 1802.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I arrived at Keswick with T. Wedgwood on Friday
afternoon, that is to say, yesterday, and had the comfort to find that
Sara was safely brought to bed, the morning before, that is on Thursday,
half-past six, of a healthy GIRL. I had never thought of a girl as a
possible event; the words child and man-child were perfect synonyms in my
feelings. However, I bore the sex with great fortitude, and she shall be
called Sara. Both Mrs. Coleridge and the Coleridgiella are as well as can
be. I left the little one sucking at a great rate. Derwent and Hartley are
both well.


I was at Cote[277] in the beginning of November, and of course had
calculated on seeing you, and, above all, on seeing little Edith’s
physiognomy, among the certain things of my expedition, but I had no
sooner arrived at Cote than I was forced to quit it, T. Wedgwood having
engaged to go into Wales with his sister. I arrived at Cote in the
afternoon, and till late evening did not know or conjecture that we were
to go off early in the next morning. I do not say this for you,--you must
know how earnestly I yearn to see you,--but for Mr. Estlin, who expressed
himself wounded by the circumstance. When you see him, therefore, be so
good as to mention this to him. I was much affected by Mrs. Coleridge’s
account of your health and eyes. God have mercy on us! We are all sick,
all mad, all slaves! It is a theory of mine that virtue and genius are
diseases of the hypochondriacal and scrofulous genera, and exist in a
peculiar state of the nerves and diseased digestion, analogous to the
beautiful diseases that colour and variegate certain trees. However, I
add, by way of comfort, that it is my faith that the virtue and genius
produce the disease, not the disease the virtue, etc., though when present
it fosters them. Heaven knows, there are fellows who have more vices than
scabs, and scabs countless, with fewer ideas than plaisters. As to my own
health it is very indifferent. I am exceedingly temperate in everything,
abstain wholly from wine, spirits, or fermented liquors, almost
wholly from tea, abjure all fermentable and vegetable food, bread
excepted, and use _that_ sparingly; live almost entirely on eggs, fish,
flesh, and fowl, and thus contrive not to be _ill_. But well I am not, and
in this climate never shall be. A deeply ingrained though mild scrofula is
diffused through me, and is a very Proteus. I am fully determined to _try_
Teneriffe or Gran Canaria, influenced to prefer them to Madeira solely by
the superior cheapness of living. The climate and country are heavenly,
the inhabitants Papishes, all of whom I would burn with fire and faggot,
for what didn’t they do to us Christians under bloody Queen Mary? Oh the
Devil sulphur-roast them! I would have no mercy on them, unless they
drowned all their priests, and then, spite of the itch (which they have in
an inveterate degree, rich and poor, gentle and simple, old and young,
male and female), would shake hands with them ungloved.

By way of _one_ impudent half line in this meek and mild letter--will you
go with me? “I” and “you” mean mine and yours, of course. Remember you are
to give me Thomas Aquinas and Scotus Erigena.

  God bless you and

I can have the best letters and recommendation. My love and their sisters
to Mary and Edith, and if you see Mrs. Fricker, be so good as to tell her
that she will hear from me or Sara in the course of ten days.


[The text of this letter, which was first published in Cottle’s
“Reminiscences,” 1849, p. 450, has been collated with that of the

KESWICK, January 9, 1803.

MY DEAR WEDGWOOD,--I send you two letters, one from your dear sister, the
second from Sharp, by which you will see at what short notice I must be
off, if I go to the Canaries. If your last plan continue in full force in
your mind, of course I have not even the phantom of a wish thitherward
struggling, but if aught have happened to you, in the things without, or
in the world within, to induce you to change the plan in itself, or the
plan relatively to me, I think I could raise the money, at all events, and
go and see. But I would a thousand-fold rather go with you whithersoever
you go. I shall be anxious to hear how you have gone on since I left you.
Should you decide in favour of a better climate somewhere or other, the
best scheme I can think of is that in some part of Italy or Sicily which
we both liked. I would look out for two houses. Wordsworth and his family
would take the one, and I the other, and then you might have a home either
with me, or, if you thought of Mr. and Mrs. Luff, under this modification,
one of your own; and in either case you would have neighbours, and so
return to England when the homesickness pressed heavy upon you, and back
to Italy when it was abated, and the climate of England began to poison
your comforts. So you would have abroad, in a genial climate, certain
comforts of society among simple and enlightened men and women; and I
should be an alleviation of the pang which you will necessarily feel,
always, as often as you quit your own family.

I know no better plan: for travelling in search of objects is, at best, a
dreary business, and whatever excitement it might have had, you must have
exhausted it. God bless you, my dear friend. I write with dim eyes, for
indeed, indeed, my heart is very full of affectionate sorrowful thoughts
toward you.

I found Mrs. Coleridge not so well as I expected, but she is better
to-day--and I, myself, write with difficulty, with all the fingers but one
of my right hand very much swollen. Before I was half up _Kirkstone_ the
storm had wetted me through and through, and before I reached the top it
was so wild and outrageous, that it would have been unmanly to have
suffered the poor woman (guide) to continue pushing on, up against such a
torrent of wind and rain; so I dismounted and sent her home with the storm
to her back. I am no novice in mountain mischiefs, but such a storm as
this was I never witnessed, combining the intensity of the cold with the
violence of the wind and rain. The rain-drops were pelted or, rather,
slung against my face by the gusts, just like splinters of flint, and I
felt as if every drop _cut_ my flesh. My hands were all shrivelled up like
a washerwoman’s, and so benumbed that I was obliged to carry my stick
under my arm. Oh, it was a wild business! Such hurry-skurry of clouds,
such volleys of sound! In spite of the wet and the cold, I should have had
some pleasure in it but for two vexations: first, an almost intolerable
pain came into my right eye, a _smarting_ and _burning_ pain; and
secondly, in consequence of riding with such cold water under my seat,
extremely uneasy and burthensome feelings attacked my groin, so that, what
with the pain from the one, and the alarm from the other, I had _no
enjoyment at all_!

Just at the brow of the hill I met a man dismounted, who could not sit on
horseback. He seemed quite scared by the uproar, and said to me, with much
feeling, “Oh, sir, it is a perilous buffeting, but it is worse for you
than for me, for I have it at my back.” However I got safely over, and,
immediately, all was calm and breathless, as if it was some mighty
fountain just on the summit of Kirkstone, that shot forth its volcano of
air, and precipitated huge streams of invisible lava down the road to

I went on to Grasmere. I was not at all unwell when I arrived there,
though wet of course to the skin. My right eye had nothing the matter with
it, either to the sight of others, or to my own feelings, but I had a bad
night, with distressful dreams, chiefly about my eye; and awaking often
in the dark I thought it was the effect of mere recollection, but it
appeared in the morning that my right eye was bloodshot, and the lid
swollen. That morning, however, I walked home, and before I reached
Keswick my eye was quite well, but _I felt unwell all over_. Yesterday I
continued unusually unwell all over me till eight o’clock in the evening.
I took no _laudanum or opium_, but at eight o’clock, unable to bear the
stomach uneasiness and aching of my limbs, I took two large teaspoonsfull
of ether in a wine-glass of camphorated gum water, and a third
teaspoonfull at ten o’clock, and I received complete relief,--my body
calmed, my sleep placid,--but when I awoke in the morning my right hand,
with three of the fingers, was swollen and inflamed.... This has been a
very rough attack, but though I am much weakened by it, and look sickly
and haggard, yet I am not out of heart. Such a _bout_, such a “perilous
buffeting,” was enough to have hurt the health of a strong man. Few
constitutions can bear to be long wet through in intense cold. I fear it
will tire you to death to read this prolix scrawled story, but my health,
I know, interests you. Do continue to send me a few lines by the market
people on Friday--I shall receive it on Tuesday morning.

  Affectionately, dear friend, yours ever,

[Addressed “T. Wedgwood, Esq., C. Luff’s Esq., Glenridding, Ulleswater.”]


[LONDON], Monday, April 4, 1803.

MY DEAR SARA,--I have taken my place for Wednesday night, and, barring
accidents, shall arrive at Penrith on Friday noon. If Friday be a fine
morning, that is, if it do not rain, you will get Mr. Jackson to send a
lad with a horse or pony to Penruddock. The boy ought to be at Penruddock
by twelve o’clock that his horse may bait and have a feed of corn. But if
it be rain, there is no choice but that I must take a chaise. At all
events, if it please God, I shall be with you by Friday, five o’clock, at
the latest. You had better dine early. I shall take an egg or two at
Penrith and drink tea at home. For more than a fortnight we have had
burning July weather. The effect on my health was manifest, but Lamb
objected, very sensibly, “How do you know what part may not be owing to
the excitement of bustle and company?” On Friday night I was unwell and
restless, and uneasy in limbs and stomach, though I had been extremely
regular. I told Lamb on Saturday morning that I guessed the weather had
changed. But there was no mark of it; it was hotter than ever. On Saturday
evening my right knee and both my ankles swelled and were very painful;
and within an hour after there came a storm of wind and rain. It continued
raining the whole night. Yesterday it was a fine day, but cold; to-day the
same, but I am a great deal better, and the swelling in my ankle is gone
down and that in my right knee much decreased. Lamb observed that he was
glad he had seen all this with his own eyes; he now _knew_ that my illness
was truly linked with the weather, and no whim or restlessness of
disposition in me. It is curious, but I have found that the weather-glass
changed on Friday night, the very hour that I found myself unwell. I will
try to bring down something for Hartley, though toys are so outrageously
dear, and I so short of money, that I shall be puzzled.

To-day I dine again with Sotheby. He had informed me that ten gentlemen
who have met me at his house desired him to solicit me to finish the
“Christabel,” and to permit them to publish it for me; and they engaged
that it should be in paper, printing, and decorations the most magnificent
thing that had hitherto appeared. Of course I declined it. The lovely lady
shan’t come to that pass! Many times rather would I have it printed at
Soulby’s on the true ballad paper. However, it was civil, and Sotheby is
very civil to me.

I had purposed not to speak of Mary Lamb, but I had better write it than
tell it. The Thursday before last she met at Rickman’s a Mr. Babb, an old
friend and admirer of her mother. The next day she _smiled_ in an ominous
way; on Sunday she told her brother that she was getting bad, with great
agony. On Tuesday morning she laid hold of me with violent agitation and
talked wildly about George Dyer. I told Charles there was not a moment to
lose; and I did not lose a moment, but went for a hackney-coach and took
her to the private mad-house at Hugsden. She was quite calm, and said it
was the best to do so. But she wept bitterly two or three times, yet all
in a calm way. Charles is cut to the heart. You will send this note to
Grasmere or the contents of it, though, if I have time, I shall probably
write myself to them to-day or to-morrow.

  Yours affectionately,


KESWICK, Wednesday, July 2, 1803.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--You have had much illness as well as I, but I thank God
for you, you have never been equally diseased in voluntary power with me.
I knew a lady who was seized with a sort of asthma which she knew would be
instantly relieved by a dose of ether. She had the full use of her limbs,
and was not an arm’s-length from the bell, yet could not command voluntary
power sufficient to pull it, and might have died but for the accidental
coming in of her daughter. From such as these the doctrines of materialism
and mechanical necessity have been deduced; and it is some small argument
against the truth of these doctrines that I have perhaps had a more
various experience, a more intuitive knowledge of such facts than most
men, and yet I do not believe these doctrines. My health is _middling_. If
this hot weather continue, I hope to go on endurably, and oh, for peace!
for I forbode a miserable winter in this country. Indeed, I am rather
induced to determine on wintering in Madeira, rather than staying at home.
I have enclosed ten pounds for Mrs. Fricker. Tell her I wish it were in my
power to increase this poor half year’s mite; but ill health keeps me
poor. Bella is with us, and seems likely to recover. I have not seen the
“Edinburgh Review.” The truth is that Edinburgh is a place of literary
gossip, and even _I_ have had my portion of puff there, and of course my
portion of hatred and envy. One man puffs me up--he has seen and talked
with me; another hears him, goes and reads my poems, written when almost a
boy, and candidly and logically hates me, because he does not admire my
poems, in the proportion in which one of his acquaintance had admired me.
It is difficult to say whether these reviewers do you harm or good.

You read me at Bristol a very interesting piece of casuistry from Father
Somebody, the author, I believe, of the “Theatre Critic,” respecting a
double infant. If you do not immediately want it, or if my using it in a
book of logic, with proper acknowledgment, will not interfere with your
use of it, I should be extremely obliged to you if you would send it me
without delay. I rejoice to hear of the progress of your History. The only
thing I dread is the division of the European and Colonial History. In
style you have only to beware of short, biblical, and pointed periods.
Your general style is delightfully natural and yet striking.

You may expect certain explosions in the “Morning Post,” Coleridge
_versus_ Fox, in about a week. It grieved me to hear (for I have a sort of
affection for the man) from Sharp, that Fox had not read my two letters,
but had heard of them, and that they were mine, and had expressed himself
more wounded by the circumstance than anything that had happened since
Burke’s business. Sharp told this to Wordsworth, and told Wordsworth that
he had been so affected by Fox’s manner, that he himself had declined
reading the two letters. Yet Sharp himself thinks my opinions right and
true; but Fox is not to be attacked, and why? Because he is an amiable
man; and not by me, because he had thought highly of me, etc., etc. O
Christ! this is a pretty age in the article _morality_! When I cease to
love Truth best of all things, and Liberty the next best, may I cease to
live: nay, it is my creed that I should thereby cease to live, for as far
as anything can be called probable in a subject so dark, it seems to me
most probable that our immortality is to be a work of our own hands.

All the children are well, and love to hear Bella talk of Margaret. Love
to Edith and to Mary and


I have received great delight and instruction from _Scotus Erigena_. He is
clearly the modern founder of the school of Pantheism; indeed he expressly
defines the divine nature as _quæ fit et facit, et creat et creatur_; and
repeatedly declares creation to be _manifestation_, the epiphany of
philosophers. The eloquence with which he writes astonished me, but he had
read more Greek than Latin, and was a Platonist rather than an
Aristotelian. There is a good deal of _omne meus oculus_ in the notion of
the dark ages, etc., taken intensively; in extension it might be true.
They had _wells_: we are flooded ankle high: and what comes of it but
grass rank or rotten? Our age eats from that poison-tree of knowledge
yclept “Too-Much and Too-Little.” Have you read Paley’s last book?[278]
Have you it to review? I could make a dashing review of it.


KESWICK, July, 1803.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--... I write now to propose a scheme,[279] or rather a
rude outline of a scheme, of your grand work. What harm can a proposal do?
If it be no pain to you to reject it, it will be none to me to have it
rejected. I would have the work entitled Bibliotheca Britannica, or an
History of British Literature, bibliographical, biographical, and
critical. The two _last_ volumes I would have to be a chronological
catalogue of all noticeable or extant books; the others, be the number six
or eight, to consist entirely of separate treatises, each giving a
critical biblio-biographical history of some one subject. I will, with
great pleasure, join you in learning Welsh and Erse; and you, I, Turner,
and Owen,[280] might dedicate ourselves for the first half-year to a
complete history of all Welsh, Saxon, and Erse books that are not
translations that are the native growth of Britain. If the Spanish
neutrality continues, I will go in October or November to Biscay, and
throw light on the Basque.

Let the next volume contain the history of _English_ poetry and poets, in
which I would include all prose truly poetical. The first half of the
second volume should be dedicated to great single names, Chaucer and
Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton and Taylor, Dryden and Pope; the poetry of
witty logic,--Swift, Fielding, Richardson, Sterne; I write _par hasard_,
but I mean to say all great names as have either formed epochs in our
taste, or such, at least, as are representative; and the great object to
be in each instance to determine, first, the true merits and demerits of
the _books_; secondly, what of these belong to the age--what to the author
_quasi peculium_. The second half of the second volume should be a history
of poetry and romances, everywhere interspersed with biography, but more
flowing, more consecutive, more bibliographical, chronological, and
complete. The third volume I would have dedicated to English prose,
considered as to style, as to eloquence, as to general impressiveness; a
history of styles and manners, their causes, their birth-places and
parentage, their analysis....

These three volumes would be so generally interesting, so exceedingly
entertaining, that you might bid fair for a sale of the work at large.
Then let the fourth volume take up the history of metaphysics, theology,
medicine, alchemy, common canon, and Roman law, from Alfred to Henry VII.;
in other words, a history of the dark ages in Great Britain: the fifth
volume--carry on metaphysics and ethics to the present day in the first
half; the second half, comprise the theology of all the reformers. In the
fourth volume there would be a grand article on the philosophy of the
theology of the Roman Catholic religion; in this (fifth volume), under
different names,--Hooker, Baxter, Biddle, and Fox,--the spirit of the
theology of all the other parts of Christianity. The sixth and seventh
volumes must comprise all the articles you can get, on all the separate
arts and sciences that have been treated of in books since the
Reformation; and, by this time, the book, if it answered at all, would
have gained so high a reputation that you need not fear having whom you
liked to write the different articles--medicine, surgery, chemistry, etc.,
etc., navigation, travellers, voyagers, etc., etc. If I go into Scotland,
shall I engage Walter Scott to write the history of Scottish poets? Tell
me, however, what you think of the plan. It would have one prodigious
advantage: whatever accident stopped the work, would only prevent the
future good, not mar the past; each volume would be a great and valuable
work _per se_. Then each volume would awaken a new interest, a new set of
readers, who would buy the past volumes of course; then it would allow you
ample time and opportunities for the slavery of the catalogue volumes,
which should be at the same time an index to the work, which would be in
very truth a pandect of knowledge, alive and swarming with human life,
feeling, incident. By the bye, what a strange abuse has been made of the
word encyclopædia! It signifies properly, grammar, logic, rhetoric, and
ethics, and metaphysics, which last, explaining the ultimate principle of
grammar--log.--rhet., and eth.--formed a circle of knowledge.... To call a
huge unconnected miscellany of the _omne scibile_, in an arrangement
determined by the accident of initial letters, an encyclopædia is the
impudent ignorance of your Presbyterian book-makers. Good night!

  God bless you!
    S. T. C.


KESWICK, Sunday, August 7, 1803.

(Read the last lines first; I send you this letter merely to show you how
anxious I have been about your work.)

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--The last three days I have been fighting up against a
restless wish to write to you. I am afraid lest I should infect you with
my fears rather than furnish you with any new arguments, give you impulses
rather than motives, and prick you with _spurs_ that had been dipped in
the vaccine matter of my own cowardliness. While I wrote that last
sentence, I had a vivid recollection, indeed an ocular spectrum, of our
room in College Street, a curious instance of association. You remember
how incessantly in that room I used to be compounding these half-verbal,
half-visual metaphors. It argues, I am persuaded, a particular state of
general feeling, and I hold that association depends in a much greater
degree on the recurrence of resembling states of feeling than on trains of
ideas, that the recollection of early childhood in latest old age depends
on and is explicable by this, and if this be true, Hartley’s system
totters. If I were asked how it is that very old people remember
_visually_ only the events of early childhood, and remember the
intervening spaces either not at all or only verbally, I should think it a
perfectly philosophical answer that old age remembers childhood by
becoming “a second childhood!” This explanation will derive some
additional value if you would look into Hartley’s solution of the
phenomena--how flat, how wretched! Believe me, Southey! a metaphysical
solution, that does not instantly _tell_ you something in the heart is
grievously to be suspected as apocryphal. I almost think that ideas
_never_ recall ideas, as far as they are ideas, any more than leaves in a
forest create each other’s motion. The breeze it is that runs through
them--it is the soul, the state of feeling. If I had said no _one_ idea
ever recalls another, I am confident that I could support the assertion.
And this is a digression.--My dear Southey, again and again I say, that
whatever your plan may be, I will contrive to work for you with equal zeal
if not with equal pleasure. But the arguments against your plan weigh upon
me the more heavily, the more I reflect; and it could not be otherwise
than that I should feel a confirmation of them from Wordsworth’s complete
coincidence--I having requested his deliberate opinion without having
communicated an iota of my own. You seem to me, dear friend, to hold the
dearness of a scarce work for a proof that the work would have a general
sale, if not scarce. Nothing can be more fallacious than this. Burton’s
Anatomy used to sell for a guinea to two guineas. It was republished. Has
it paid the expense of reprinting? Scarcely. Literary history informs us
that most of those great continental bibliographies, etc., were published
by the munificence of princes, or nobles, or great monasteries. A book
from having had little or no sale, except among great libraries, may
become so scarce that the number of competitors for it, though few, may be
proportionally very great. I have observed that great works are nowadays
bought, not for curiosity or the _amor proprius_, but under the notion
that they contain all the _knowledge_ a man may ever want, and if he has
it on his _shelf_ why there it is, as snug as if it were in his _brain_.
This has carried off the encyclopædia, and will continue to do so. I have
weighed most patiently what you said respecting the persons and classes
likely to purchase a catalogue of all British books. I have endeavoured to
make some rude calculation of their numbers according to your own
numeration table, and it falls very short of an adequate number. Your
scheme appears to be in short faulty, (1) because, everywhere, the
generally uninteresting, the catalogue part will overlay the interesting
parts; (2) because the first volume will have nothing in it tempting or
deeply valuable, for there is not time or room for it; (3) because it is
impossible that any one of the volumes can be executed as well as they
would otherwise be from the to-and-fro, now here, now there motion of the
mind, and employment of the industry. Oh how I wish to be talking, not
writing, for my mind is so full that my thoughts stifle and jam each
other. And I have presented them as shapeless jellies, so that I am
ashamed of what I have written--it so imperfectly expresses what I meant
to have said. My advice certainly would be, that at all events you should
make _some classification_. Let all the law books form a catalogue _per
se_, and so forth; otherwise it is not a book of reference, without an
index half as large as the work itself. I see no well-founded objection to
the plan which I first sent. The two main advantages are that, stop where
you will, you are in harbour, you sail in an archipelago so thickly
clustered, (that) at each island you take in a completely new cargo, and
the former cargo is in safe housage; and (2dly) that each labourer working
by the _piece_, and not by the _day_, can give an undivided attention in
some instances for three or four years, and bring to the work the whole
weight of his interest and reputation.... An encyclopædia appears to me a
worthless monster. What surgeon, or physician, professed student of pure
or mixed mathematics, what chemist or architect, would go to an
encyclopædia for _his_ books? If valuable treatises exist on these
subjects in an encyclopædia, they are out of their place--an equal
hardship on the general reader, who pays for whole volumes which he
_cannot_ read, and on the professed student of that particular subject,
who must buy a great work which he does not want in order to possess a
valuable treatise, which he might otherwise have had for six or seven
shillings. You omit those things only from your encyclopædia which are
excrescences--each volume will _set up_ the reader, give him at once
connected trains of thought and facts, and a delightful miscellany for
lounge-reading. Your treatises will be long in exact proportion to their
general interest. Think what a strange confusion it will make, if you
speak of each book, according to its date, passing from an Epic Poem to a
treatise on the treatment of sore legs? Nobody can become an enthusiast in
favour of the work.... A great change of weather has come on, heavy rain
and wind, and I have been _very_ ill, and still I am in uncomfortable
restless health. I am not even certain whether I shall not be forced to
put off my Scotch tour; but if I go, I go on Tuesday. I shall not send off
this letter till this is decided.

  God bless you and
    S. T. C.


Friday afternoon, 4 o’clock, Sept. (1), [1803].

MY DEAR SARA,--I write from the Ferry of Ballater.... This is the first
post since the day I left Glasgow. We went thence to Dumbarton (look at
Stoddart’s tour, where there is a very good view of Dumbarton Rock and
Tower), thence to Loch Lomond, and a single house called Luss--horrible
inhospitality and a fiend of a landlady! Thence eight miles up the Lake to
E. Tarbet, where the lake is so like Ulleswater that I could scarcely see
the difference; crossed over the lake and by a desolate moorland walked to
another lake, Loch Katrine, up to a place called Trossachs, the Borrowdale
of Scotland, and the only thing which really beats us. You must conceive
the Lake of Keswick pushing itself up a mile or two into Borrowdale,
winding round Castle Crag, and in and out among all the nooks and
promontories, and you must imagine all the mountains more _detachedly_
built up, a general dislocation; every rock its own precipice, with trees
young and old. This will give you some faint idea of the place, of which
the character is extreme intricacy of effect produced by very simple
means. One rocky, high island, four or five promontories, and a Castle
Crag, just like that in the gorge of Borrowdale, but not so large. It
rained all the way, all the long, long day. We slept in a hay-loft,--that
is, Wordsworth, I, and a young man who came in at the Trossachs and joined
us. Dorothy had a bed in the hovel, which was varnished _so rich_ with
peat smoke an apartment of highly polished [oak] would have been poor to
it--it would have wanted the metallic lustre of the smoke-varnished
rafters. This was [the pleasantest] evening I had spent since my tour; for
Wordsworth’s hypochondriacal feelings keep him silent and self-centred.
The next day it still was rain and rain; the ferry-boat was out for the
preaching, and we stayed all day in the ferry wet to the skin. Oh, such a
wretched hovel! But two Highland lassies,[281] who kept house in the
absence of the ferryman and his wife, were very kind, and one of them was
beautiful as a vision, and put both Dorothy and me in mind of the Highland
girl in William’s “Peter Bell.”[282] We returned to E. Tarbet, I with the
rheumatism in my head. And now William proposed to me to leave them and
make my way on foot to Loch Katrine, the Trossachs, whence it is only
twenty miles to Stirling, where the coach runs through to Edinburgh. He
and Dorothy resolved to fight it out. I eagerly caught at the proposal;
for the _sitting_ in an open carriage in the rain is death to me, and
somehow or other I had not been quite comfortable. So on Monday I
accompanied them to Arrochar, on purpose to see the _Cobbler_ which had
impressed me so much in Mr. Wilkinson’s drawings; and there I parted with
them, having previously sent on all my things to Edinburgh by a Glasgow
carrier who happened to be at E. Tarbet. The worst thing was the money.
They took twenty-nine guineas, and I six--all our remaining cash. I
returned to E. Tarbet; slept there that night; the next day walked to the
very head of Loch Lomond to Glen Falloch, where I slept at a cottage-inn,
two degrees below John Stanley’s (but the good people were very
kind),--meaning from hence to go over the mountains to the head of Loch
Katrine again; but hearing from the gude man of the house that it was 40
miles to Glencoe (of which I had formed an idea from Wilkinson’s
drawings), and having found myself so happy alone (such blessing is there
in perfect liberty!) I walked off. I have walked forty-five miles since
then, and, except during the last mile, I am sure I may say I have not met
with ten houses. For eighteen miles there are but two habitations! and all
that way I met no sheep, no cattle, only one goat! All through moorlands
with huge mountains, some craggy and bare, but the most green, with deep
pinky channels worn by torrents. Glencoe interested me, but rather
disappointed me. There was no _superincumbency_ of crag, and the crags not
so bare or precipitous as I had expected. I am now going to cross the
ferry for Fort William, for I have resolved to eke out my cash by all
sorts of self-denial, and to walk along the _whole line of the Forts_. I
am unfortunately shoeless; there is no town where I can get a pair, and I
have no money to spare to buy them, so I expect to enter Perth barefooted.
I burnt my shoes in drying them at the boatman’s hovel on Loch Katrine,
and I have by this means hurt my heel. Likewise my left leg is a little
inflamed, and the rheumatism in the right of my head afflicts me sorely
when I begin to grow warm in my bed, chiefly my right eye, ear, cheek, and
the three teeth; but, nevertheless, I am enjoying myself, having Nature
with solitude and liberty--the liberty natural and solitary, the solitude
natural and free! But you must contrive somehow or other to borrow ten
pounds, or, if that cannot be, five pounds, for me, and send it without
delay, directed to me at the Post Office, Perth. I guess I shall be there
in seven days or eight at the furthest; and your letter will be two days
getting thither (counting the day you put it into the office at Keswick as
nothing); so you must calculate, and if this letter does not reach you in
time, that is, within five days from the date hereof, you must then direct
to Edinburgh. I will make five pounds do (you must borrow of Mr. Jackson),
and I must _beg_ my way for the last three or four days! It is useless
repining, but if I had set off myself in the Mail for Glasgow or Stirling,
and so gone by foot, as I am now doing, I should have saved twenty-five
pounds; but then Wordsworth would have lost it.

I have said nothing of you or my dear children. God bless us all! I have
but one untried misery to go through, the loss of Hartley or Derwent, ay,
or dear little Sara! In my health I am middling. While I can walk
twenty-four miles a day, with the excitement of new objects, I can
_support_ myself; but still my sleep and dreams are distressful, and I am
hopeless. I take no opiates ... nor have I any temptation; for since my
disorder has taken this asthmatic turn opiates produce none but positively
unpl[easant effects].

  [No signature.]

    Greta Hall, Keswick, Cumberland, S. Britain.


[EDINBURGH], Sunday night, 9 o’clock, September 10, 1803.

MY DEAREST SOUTHEY,--I arrived here half an hour ago, and have only read
your letters--scarce read them.--O dear friend! it is idle to talk of what
I feel--I am stunned at present by this beginning to write, making a
beginning of living feeling within me. Whatever comfort I can be to you I
will--I have no aversions, no dislikes that interfere with you--whatever
is necessary or proper for you becomes _ipso facto_ agreeable to me. I
will not stay a day in Edinburgh--or only one to hunt out my clothes. I
cannot chitchat with Scotchmen while you are at Keswick, childless![283]
Bless you, my dear Southey! I will knit myself far closer to you than I
have hitherto done, and my children shall be yours till it please God to
send you another.

I have been a wild journey, taken up for a spy and clapped into Fort
Augustus, and I am afraid they may [have] frightened poor Sara by sending
her off a scrap of a letter I was writing to her. I have walked 263 miles
in eight days, so I must have strength somewhere, but my spirits are
dreadful, owing entirely to the horrors of every night--I truly dread to
sleep. It is no shadow with me, but substantial misery foot-thick, that
makes me sit by my bedside of a morning and cry.--I have abandoned all
opiates, except ether be one.... And when you see me drink a glass of
spirit-and-water, except by prescription of a physician, you shall despise
me,--but still I cannot get quiet rest.

  When on my bed my limbs I lay,
  It hath not been my use to pray
  With moving lips or bended knees;
  But silently, by slow degrees,
  My spirit I to Love compose,                       5
  In humble trust my eyelids close,
  With reverential resignation,
  No wish conceiv’d, no thought exprest,
  Only a _Sense_ of supplication,
  A _Sense_ o’er all my soul imprest                10
  That I am weak, yet not unblest,
  Since round me, in me, everywhere
  Eternal strength and Goodness are!--

  But yester-night I pray’d aloud
  In anguish and in agony,                          15
  Awaking from the fiendish crowd
  Of shapes and thoughts that tortur’d me!
  Desire with loathing strangely mixt,
  On wild or hateful objects fixt.
  Sense of revenge, the powerless will,             20
  Still baffled and consuming still;
  Sense of intolerable wrong,
  And men whom I despis’d made strong!
  Vain glorious threats, unmanly vaunting,
  Bad men my boasts and fury taunting;              25
  Rage, sensual passion, mad’ning Brawl,
  And shame and terror over all!
  Deeds to be hid that were not hid,
  Which all confus’d I might not know,
  Whether I suffer’d or I did:                      30
  For all was Horror, Guilt, and Woe,
  My own or others still the same,
  Life-stifling Fear, soul-stifling Shame!

  Thus two nights pass’d: the night’s dismay
  Sadden’d and stunn’d the boding day.              35
  I fear’d to sleep: Sleep seemed to be
  Disease’s worst malignity.
  The third night, when my own loud scream
  Had freed me from the fiendish dream,
  O’ercome by sufferings dark and wild,             40
  I wept as I had been a child;
  And having thus by Tears subdued
  My Trouble to a milder mood,
  Such punishments, I thought, were due
  To Natures, deepliest stain’d with Sin;           45
  Still to be stirring up anew
  The self-created Hell within,
  The Horror of the crimes to view,
  To know and loathe, yet wish to do!
  With such let fiends make mockery--               50
  But I--Oh, wherefore this _on me_?
  Frail is my soul, yea, strengthless wholly,
  Unequal, restless, melancholy;
  But free from Hate and sensual Folly!
  To live belov’d is all I need,                    55
  And whom I love, I love indeed,
        And etc., etc., etc., etc.[284]

I do not know how I came to scribble down these verses to you--my heart
was aching, my head all confused--but they are, doggerel as they may be, a
true portrait of my nights. What to do, I am at a loss; for it is hard
thus to be withered, having the faculties and attainments which I have. We
will soon meet, and I will do all I can to console poor Edith.--O dear,
dear Southey! my head is sadly confused. After a rapid walk of
thirty-three miles your letters have had the effect of perfect
intoxication in my head and eyes. Change! change! change! O God of
Eternity! When shall we be at rest in thee?



EDINBURGH, Tuesday morning, September 13, 1803.

MY DEAR SOUTHEY,--I wrote you a strange letter, I fear. But, in truth,
yours affected my wretched stomach, and my head, in such a way that I
wrote mechanically in the _wake_ of the first vivid idea. No conveyance
left or leaves this place for Carlisle earlier than to-morrow morning,
for which I have taken my place. If the coachman do not turn Panaceist,
and cure all my ills by breaking my neck, I shall be at Carlisle on
Wednesday, midnight, and whether I shall go on in the coach to Penrith,
and walk from thence, or walk off from Carlisle at once, depends on two
circumstances, first, whether the coach goes on with no other than a
common bait to Penrith, and secondly, whether, if it should not do so, I
can trust my clothes, etc., to the coachman safely, to be left at Penrith.
There is but eight miles difference in the walk, and eight or nine
shillings difference in the expense. At all events, I trust that I shall
be with you on Thursday by dinner time, if you dine at half-past two or
three o’clock. God bless you! I will go and call on Elmsley.[285] What a
wonderful city Edinburgh[286] is! What alternation of height and depth! A
city looked at in the polish’d back of a Brobdingnag spoon held
lengthways, so enormously _stretched-up_ are the houses! When I first
looked down on it, as the coach drove up on the higher street, I cannot
express what I felt--such a section of wasps’ nests striking you with a
sort of bastard sublimity from the enormity and infinity of its
littleness--the infinity swelling out the mind, the enormity striking it
with wonder. I think I have seen an old plate of Montserrat that struck me
with the same feeling, and I am sure I have seen huge quarries of lime and
free stone in which the shafts or strata stood perpendicularly instead of
horizontally with the same high thin slices and corresponding interstices.
I climbed last night to the crags just below Arthur’s Seat--itself a rude
triangle-shaped-base cliff, and looked down on the whole city and
firth--the sun then setting behind the magnificent rock, crested by the
castle. The firth was full of ships, and I counted fifty-four heads of
mountains, of which at least forty-four were cones or pyramids. The smoke
was rising from ten thousand houses, each smoke from some one family. It
was an affecting sight to me! I stood gazing at the setting sun, so
tranquil to a passing look, and so restless and vibrating to one who
looked stedfast; and then, all at once, turning my eyes down upon the
city, it and all its smokes and figures became all at once dipped in the
brightest blue-purple: such a sight that I almost grieved when my eyes
recovered their natural tone! Meantime, Arthur’s Crag, close behind me,
was in dark blood-like crimson, and the sharpshooters were behind
exercising minutely, and had chosen that place on account of the fine
thunder echo which, indeed, it would be scarcely possible for the ear to
distinguish from thunder. The passing a day or two, quite unknown, in a
strange city, does a man’s heart good. He rises “a sadder and a wiser

I had not read that part in your second requesting me to call on Elmsley,
else perhaps I should have been talking instead of learning and feeling.

Walter Scott is at Lasswade, five or six miles from Edinburgh. His house
in Edinburgh is divinely situated. It looks up a street, a new magnificent
street, full upon the rock and the castle, with its zigzag walls like
painters’ lightning--the other way down upon cultivated fields, a fine
expanse of water, either a lake or not to be distinguished from one, and
low pleasing hills beyond--the country well wooded and cheerful. “I’
faith,” I exclaimed, “the monks formerly, but the poets now, know where to
fix their habitations.” There are about four things worth going into
Scotland for,[287] to one who has been in Cumberland and Westmoreland:
First, the views of all the islands at the foot of Loch Lomond from the
top of the highest island called Inch devanna (_sic_); secondly, the
Trossachs at the foot of Loch Katrine; third, the chamber and ante-chamber
of the Falls of Foyers (the fall itself is very fine, and so, after rain,
is White-Water Dash, seven miles below Keswick and very like it); and how
little difference a height makes, you know as well as I. No fall of
itself, perhaps, can be worth giving a long journey to see, to him who has
seen any fall of water, but the pool and whole rent of the mountain is
truly magnificent. Fourthly and lastly, the City of Edinburgh. Perhaps I
might add Glencoe. It is at all events a good make-weight and very well
worth going to see, if a man be a Tory and hate the memory of William the
Third, which I am very willing to do; for the more of these fellows dead
and living one hates, the less spleen and gall there remains for those
with whom one is likely to have anything to do in real life....

I am tolerably well, meaning the day. My last night was not such a noisy
night of horrors as three nights out of four are with me.[288] O God! when
a man blesses the loud screams of agony that awake him night after night,
night after night, and when a man’s repeated night screams have made him a
nuisance in his own house, it is better to die than to live. I have a joy
in life that passeth all understanding; but it is not in its present
Epiphany and Incarnation. Bodily torture! All who have been with me can
bear witness that I can bear it like an Indian. It is constitutional with
me to sit still, and look earnestly upon it and ask it what it is? Yea,
often and often, the seeds of Rabelaisism germinating in me, I have
laughed aloud at my own poor metaphysical soul. But these burrs by day of
the will and the reason, these total eclipses by night! Oh, it is hard to
bear them. I am complaining bitterly to others, I should be administrating
comfort; but even this is one way of comfort. There are states of mind in
which even distraction is still a diversion; we must none of us _brood_;
we are not made to be brooders.

God bless you, dear friend, and


Mrs. C. will get clean flannels ready for me.


GRETA HALL, KESWICK, December 5, 1803.

DEAR SIR,--After a time of sufferings, great as mere bodily sufferings can
well be conceived to be, and which the horrors of my sleep and night
screams (so loud and so frequent as to make me almost a nuisance in my own
house) seemed to carry beyond mere _body_, counterfeiting as it were the
tortures of guilt, and what we are told of the punishment of a spiritual
world, I am at length a convalescent, but dreading such another bout as
much as I dare dread a thing which has no immediate connection with my
conscience. My left hand is swollen and inflamed, and the least attempt to
bend the fingers very painful, though not half as much so as I could wish;
for if I could but fix this Jack-o’-lanthorn of a disease in my hand or
foot, I should expect complete recovery in a year or two! But though I
have no hope of this, I have a persuasion strong as fate, that from twelve
to eighteen months’ residence in a genial climate would send me back to
dear old England a sample of the first resurrection. Mr. Wordsworth, who
has seen me in all my illnesses for nearly four years, and noticed this
strange dependence on the state of my moral feelings and the state of the
atmosphere conjointly, is decidedly of the same opinion. Accordingly,
after many sore struggles of mind from reluctance to quit my children for
so long a time, I have arranged my affairs fully and finally, and hope to
set sail for Madeira in the first vessel that clears out from Liverpool
for that place. Robert Southey, who lives with us, informed me that Mrs.
Matthew Coates had a near relative (a brother, I believe) in that island,
the Dr. Adams[290] who wrote a very nice little pamphlet on Madeira,
relative to the different sorts of consumption, and which I have now on my
desk. I need not say that it would be a great comfort to me to be
introduced to him by a letter from you or Mrs. Coates, entreating him to
put me in a way of living as cheaply as possible. I have no appetites,
passions, or vanities which lead to expense; it is now absolute habit to
me, indeed, to consider my eating and drinking as a course of medicine. In
books only am I intemperate--they have been both bane and blessing to me.
For the last three years I have not read less than eight hours a day
whenever I have been well enough to be out of bed, or even to sit up in
it. Quiet, therefore, a comfortable bed and bedroom, and still better than
that, the comfort of kind faces, English tongues, and English hearts now
and then,--this is the sum total of my wants, as it is a thing which I
_need_. I am far too contented with solitude. The same fullness of mind,
the same crowding of thoughts and constitutional vivacity of feeling which
makes me sometimes the first fiddle, and too often a watchman’s rattle in
society, renders me likewise independent of its excitements. However, I am
wondrously calmed down since you saw me--perhaps through this unremitting
disease, affliction, and self-discipline.

Mrs. Coleridge desires me to remember her with respectful regards to Mrs.
Coates, and to enquire into the history of your little family. I have
three children, _Hartley_, seven years old, _Derwent_, three years, and
_Sara_, one year on the 23d of this month. _Hartley_ is considered a
genius by Wordsworth and Southey; indeed by every one who has seen much of
him. But what is of much more consequence and much less doubtful, he has
the sweetest temper and most awakened moral feelings of any child I ever
saw. He is very backward in his book-learning, cannot write at all, and a
very lame reader. We have never been anxious about it, taking it for
granted that loving me, and seeing how I love books, he would come to it
of his own accord, and so it has proved, for in the last month he has made
more progress than in all his former life. Having learnt everything almost
from the mouths of people whom he loves, he has connected with his words
and notions a passion and a feeling which would appear strange to those
who had seen no children but such as had been taught almost everything in
books. _Derwent_ is a large, fat, beautiful child, quite the _pride_ of
the village, as Hartley is the _darling_. Southey says wickedly that “all
Hartley’s guts are in his brains, and all Derwent’s brains are in his
guts.” Verily the constitutional differences in the children are great
indeed. From earliest infancy Hartley was absent, a mere dreamer at his
meals, put the food into his mouth by one effort, and made a second effort
to remember it was there and swallow it. With little Derwent it is a time
of rapture and jubilee, and any story that has not _pie_ or _cake_ in it
comes very flat to him. Yet he is but a baby. Our girl is a darling little
thing, with large blue eyes, a quiet creature that, as I have often said,
seems to bask in a sunshine as mild as moonlight, of her own happiness.
Oh! bless them! Next to the Bible, Shakespeare, and Milton, _they_ are the
three books from which I have learned the most, and the most important
and with the greatest delight.

I have been thus prolix about me and mine purposely, to induce you to tell
me something of yourself and yours.

Believe me, I have never ceased to think of you with respect and a sort of
yearning. You were the first man from whom I heard that article of my
faith enunciated which is the nearest to my heart,--the pure fountain of
all my moral and religious feelings and comforts,--I mean the absolute
Impersonality of the Deity.

I remain, my dear sir, with unfeigned esteem and with good wishes, ever



  Abergavenny, 410.

  Abergavenny, Earl of, wreck of the, 494 n.;
    495 n.

  Abernethy, Dr. John, 525;
    C. determines to place himself under the care of, 564, 565.

  Achard, F. C., 299 and note.

  Acland, Sir John, 523 and note.

  Acting, 621-623.

  Acton, 184, 186-188, 191.

  Adams, Dr. Joseph, 442 and note.

  Addison’s _Spectator_, studied by C. in connection with _The Friend_,
        557, 558.

  _Address on the Present War, An_, 85 n.

  _Address to a Young Jackass and its Tethered Mother_, 119 and note, 120.

  Aders, Mrs., 701 n., 702 n., 752;
    letters from C., 701, 769.

  Adscombe, 175, 184, 188.

  Advising, the rage of, 474, 475.

  Adye, Major, 493.

  _Æschylus, Essay on the Prometheus of_, 740 and note.

  _Aids to Reflection_, 688 n.;
    preparation and publication of, 734 n., 738;
    C. calls Stuart’s attention to certain passages in, 741;
    favourable opinions of, 741;
    756 n.

  Ainger, Rev. Alfred, 400 n.

  Akenside, Mark, 197.

  Albuera, the Battle of, C.’s articles on, 567 and note.

  Alfoxden, 10 n.;
    Wordsworth settles at, 224, 227;
    326, 515.

  Alison’s _History of Europe_, 628 n.

  Allen, Robert, 41 and note, 45, 47, 50;
    extract from a letter from him to C., 57 n.;
    63, 75, 83, 126;
    appointed deputy-surgeon to the Second Royals, 225 and note;
    letter to C., 225 n.

  Allsop, Mrs., 733 n.

  Allsop, Thomas, friendship and correspondence with C., 695, 696;
    publishes C.’s letters after his death, 696;
    his _Letters, Conversations, and Recollections of S. T. Coleridge_,
        41 n., 527 n., 675 n., 696 and note, 698 n., 721 n.;
    C.’s letter of Oct. 8, 1822, 721 n.;
    letter from C., 696.

  Allston, Washington, 523;
    his bust of C., 570 n., 571;
    his portraits of C., 572 and note;
    his art and moral character, 573, 574;
    581, 633;
    his genius and his misfortunes, 650;
    695 and notes;
    letter from C., 498.

  Ambleside, 335;
    Lloyd settles at, 344;
    577, 578.

  America, proposed emigration of C. and other pantisocrats to, 81, 88-91,
        98, 101-103, 146;
    prospects of war with England, 91;
    progress of religious deism in, 414;
    C.’s letter concerning the inevitableness of a war with, 629.

  Amtmann of Ratzeburg, the, 264, 268, 271.

  _Amulet, The_, 257.

  _Ancient Mariner, The_, 81 n.;
    written in a dream or dreamlike reverie, 245 n.;

  _Animal Vitality, Essay on_, by Thelwall, 179, 212.

  _Annual Anthology_, the, edited by Southey, 207 n., 226 n., 295 n., 298
    C. suggests a classification of poems in, 313, 314, 317;
    318, 320, 322 and note, 330, 331, 748 n.

  _Annual Review_, 488, 489, 522.

  _Anti-Jacobin, The Beauties of the_, its libel on C., 320 and note.

  _Antiquary, The_, by Scott, C.’s portrait introduced into an
        illustration for, 736 and note.

  _Ants, Treatise on_, by Huber, 712.

  _Ardinghello_, by Heinse, 683 and note.

  Arnold, Mr., 602, 603.

  Arrochar, 432 and note.

  Arthur’s Crag, 439.

  A-seity, 688 and note.

  Asgill, John, and his Treatises, 761 and note.

  Ashburton, 305 n.

  Ashe, Thomas, his _Miscellanies, Æsthetic and Literary_, 633 n.

  Ashley, C. with the Morgans at, 631.

  Ashley, Lord, and the Ten Hours Bills, 689 n.

  Ashton, 140 and note.

  _As late I roamed through Fancy’s shadowy vale_, a sonnet, 116 n., 118.

  Atheism, 161, 162, 167, 199, 200.

  _Athenæum, The_, 206 n., 536 n., 753 n.

  _Atlantic Monthly_, 206 n.

  Autobiographical letters from C. to Thomas Poole, 3-21.

  Baader, Franz Xavier von, 683 and note.

  Babb, Mr., 422.

  Bacon, Lord, his _Novum Organum_, 735.

  Badcock, Mr., 21.

  Badcock, Harry, 22.

  Badcock, Sam, 22.

  Bala, 79.

  Ball, Lady, 494 n., 497.

  Ball, Sir Alexander John, 484, 487, 496, 497;
    mutual regard of C. and, 508 n.;
    524, 554;
    C.’s narrative of his life, 579 n.;
    his opinions of Lady Nelson and Lady Hamilton, 637.

  _Ballad of the Dark Ladie, The_, 375.

  Bampfylde, John Codrington Warwick, his genius, originality, and
        subsequent lunacy, 309 and note;
    his _Sixteen Sonnets_, 309 n.

  Banfill, Mr., 306.

  Barbauld, Anna Lætitia, 317 n.

  _Barbou Casimir, The_, 67 and notes, 68.

  Barlow, Caleb, 38.

  Barr, Mr., his children, 154.

  Barrington, Hon. and Rt. Rev. John Shute, Bishop of Durham, 582 and note.

  Bassenthwaite Lake, 335, 376 n.;
    sunset over, 384.

  _Beard, On Mrs. Monday’s_, 9 n.

  Beaumont, Lady, 459, 573, 580, 592, 593;
    procures subscribers to C.’s lectures, 599;
    644, 645, 739, 741;
    letter from C., 641.

  Beaumont, Sir George, 440 n., 462;
    his affection for C. preceded by dislike, 468;
    extract from a letter from Wordsworth on John Wordsworth’s death, 494
    lends the Wordsworths his farmhouse near Coleorton, 509 n.;
    C. explains the nature of his quarrel with Wordsworth to, 592, 593;
    595 n., 629;
    on Allston as an historical painter, 633;
    739, 741;
    letter from C., 570.

  _Beauties of the Anti-Jacobin, The_, its libel on C., 320 and note.

  Becky Fall, 305 n.

  Beddoes, Dr. Thomas, 157, 211, 338;
    C.’s grief at his death, 543 and note, 544 and note;
    his advice and sympathy in response to C.’s confession, 543 n.;
    his character. 544.

  Bedford, Grosvenor, 400 n.

  Beet sugar, 299 and note.

  Beguines, the, 327 n.

  Bell, Rev. Andrew, D. D., 575, 582 and note, 605;
    his _Origin, Nature, and Object of the New System of Education_, 581
        and note, 582.

  _Bell, Rev. Andrew, Life of_, by R. and C. C. Southey, 581 n.

  Bellingham, John, 598 n.

  Bell-ringing in Germany, 293.

  Belper, Lord (Edward Strutt), 215 n.

  Bennett, Abraham, his electroscope, 218 n., 219 n.

  Bentley’s Quarto Edition of Horace, 68 and note.

  Benvenuti, 498, 499.

  _Benyowski, Count, or the Conspiracy of Kamtschatka, a Tragi-comedy_, by
        Kotzebue, 236 and note.

  Berdmore, Mr., 80, 82.

  Bernard, Sir Thomas, 579 and notes, 580, 582, 585, 595 n., 599.

  _Betham, Matilda, To. From a Stranger_, 404 n.

  _Bible, The_, as literature, C.’s opinion of, 200;
    slovenly hexameters in, 398.

  Bibliography, Southey’s proposed work, 428-430.

  _Bibliotheca Britannica, or an History of British Literature_, a
        proposed work, 425-427, 429, 430.

  Bigotry, 198.

  Billington, Mrs. Elizabeth Weichsel, 368.

  Bingen, 751.

  _Biographia Literaria_, 3, 68 n., 74 n., 152 n., 164 n., 174 n., 232 n.,
        257, 320 n., 498 n., 607 n., 669 n., 670 n.;
    C. ill-used by the printer of, 673, 674;
    679, 756 n.

  Birmingham, 151, 152.

  Bishop’s Middleham, 358 and note, 360.

  _Blackwood’s Magazine_, 756.

  Blake, William, as poet, painter, and engraver, 685 n., 686 n.;
    C.’s criticism of his poems and their accompanying illustrations,
    his _Songs of Innocence and Experience_, 686 n.

  Bloomfield, Robert, 395.

  Blumenbach, Prof., 279, 298.

  _Book of the Church, The_, 724.

  Books, C.’s early taste in, 11 and note, 12;
    in later life, 180, 181.

  Booksellers, C.’s horror of, 548.

  Borrowdale, 431.

  Borrowdale mountains, the, 370.

  _Botany Bay Eclogues_, by Robert Southey, 76 n., 116.

  Bourbons, C.’s Essay on the restoration of the, 629 and note.

  Bourne, Sturges, 542.

  Bovey waterfall, 305 n.

  Bowdon, Anne, marries Edward Coleridge, 53 n.

  Bowdon, Betsy, 18.

  Bowdon, John (C.’s uncle), C. goes to live with, 18, 19.

  Bowdons, the, C.’s mother’s family, 4.

  Bowles, the surgeon, 212.

  _Bowles, To_, 111.

  Bowles, Rev. William Lisle, C.’s admiration for his poems, 37, 42, 179;
    63 n., 76 and note;
    C.’s sonnet to, 111 and note;
    his sonnets, 177;
    his _Hope, an Allegorical Sketch_, 179, 180;
    196, 197, 211;
    his translation of Dean Ogle’s Latin Iambics, 374 and note;
    school life at Winchester, 374 n.;
    C.’s, Southey’s, and Sotheby’s admiration of, and its effect on their
        poems, 396;
    borrows a line from a poem of C.’s, 396;
    his second volume of poems, 403, 404;
    637, 638, 650-652.

  Bowscale, the mountain, 339.

  Box, 631.

  Boyce, Anne Ogden, her _Records of a Quaker Family_, 538 n.

  Boyer, Rev. James, 61, 113, 768 n.

  Brahmin creed, the, 229.

  Brandes, Herr von, 279.

  Brandl’s _Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the English Romantic School_, 258,
        674 n., 740 n.

  Bratha, 394, 535.

  Bray, near Maidenhead, 69, 70.

  Brazil, Emperor of, an enthusiastic student and admirer of C., 696.

  Bread-riots, 643 n.

  Brecon, 410, 411.

  Bremhill, 650.

  Brent, Mr., 598, 599.

  Brent, Miss Charlotte, 520, 524-526;
    C.’s affection for, 565;
    577, 585, 600, 618, 643, 722 n.;
    letter from C., 722.
    _See_ Morgan family, the.

  Brentford, 326, 673 n.

  Bridgewater, 164.

  Bright, Henry A., 245 n.

  Bristol, C.’s bachelor life in, 133-135;
    138, 139, 163 n., 166, 167, 184, 326, 414, 520, 572 n., 621, 623, 624.

  _Bristol Journal_, 633 n.

  _British Critic_, the, 350.

  Brookes, Mr., 80, 82.

  _Brothers, The_, by Wordsworth, the original of Leonard in, 494 n.;
    C. accused of borrowing a line from, 609 n.

  Brown, John, printer and publisher of _The Friend_, 542 n.

  Brun, Frederica, C.’s indebtedness to her for the framework of the _Hymn
        before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni_, 405 n.

  Bruno, Giordano, 371.

  Brunton, Miss, 86 and note, 87, 89;
    verses to, 94.

  Brunton, Elizabeth, 86 n.

  Brunton, John, 86 n., 87.

  Brunton, Louisa, 86 n.

  Bryant, Jacob, 216 n., 219.

  Buchan, Earl of, 139.

  Buclé, Miss, 136.
    _See_ Cruikshank, Mrs. John.

  Buller, Sir Francis (Judge), 6 n.;
    obtains a Christ’s Hospital Presentation for C., 18.

  Buonaparte, 308, 327 n., 329 and note;
    his animosity against C., 498 n.;
    530 n.;
    C.’s cartoon and lines on, 642.

  Burdett, Sir Francis, 598.

  Burke, Edmund, C.’s sonnet to, 116 n., 118;
    his _Letter to a Noble Lord_, 157 and note;
    Thelwall on, 166;

  Burnett, George, 74, 121, 140-142, 144-151, 174 n., 325, 467.

  Burns, Robert, 196;
    C.’s poem on, 206 and note, 207.

  Burton, 326.

  Burton’s _Anatomy of Melancholy_, 428.

  Busts of C., 570 n., 571, 695 n.

  Butler, Samuel (afterwards Head Master of Shrewsbury and Bishop of
        Lichfield), 46 and note.

  Buttermere, 393.

  Byron, Lord, his _Childe Harold_, 583;
    666, 694, 726.

  _Byron, Lord, Conversations of_, by Capt. Thomas Medwin, 735 and note.

  Cabriere, Miss, 18.

  Caermarthen, 411.

  Caldbeck, 376 n., 724.

  Calder, the river, 339.

  Caldwell, Rev. George, 25 and note, 29, 71, 82.

  Calne, Wiltshire, C.’s life at, 641-653.

  Calvert, Raisley, 345 n.

  Calvert, William, proposes to study chemistry with C. and Wordsworth,
    his portrait in a poem of Wordsworth’s, 345 n.;
    proposes to share his new house near Greta Hall with Wordsworth and
        his sister, 346;
    his sense and ability, 346;
    347, 348.

  Cambridge, description of, 39;
    137, 270.

  _Cambridge, Reminiscences of_, by Henry Gunning, 24 n., 363 n.

  _Cambridge Intelligencer, The_, 93 n., 218 n.

  Cambridge University, C.’s life at, 22-57, 70-72, 81-129;
    C. thinks of leaving, 97 n.;

  Cameos and intaglios, casts of, 703 and note.

  Campbell, James Dykes, 251 n., 337 n.;
    his _Samuel Taylor Coleridge_, 269 n., 527 n., 572 n., 600 n., 631 n.,
        653 n., 666 n., 667 n., 674 n., 681 n., 684 n., 698 n., 752 n.,
        753 n., 772 n.

  Canary Islands, 417, 418.

  Canning, George, 542, 674.

  Canova, Antonio, on Allston’s modelling, 573.

  Cape Esperichel, 473.

  Carlisle, Sir Anthony, 341 and note.

  Carlton House, 392.

  Carlyle, Thomas, his portrait of C. in the _Life of Sterling_, 771 n.

  Carlyon, Clement, M. D., his _Early Years and Late Recollections_, 258,
        298 n.

  Carnosity, Mrs., 472.

  Carrock, the mountain, a tempest on, 339, 340.

  Carrock man, the, 339.

  Cartwright, Major John, 635 and note.

  Cary, Rev. Henry, his _Memoir of H. F. Cary_, 676 n.

  _Cary, H. F., Memoir of_, by Henry Cary, 676 n.

  Cary, Rev. H. F., his translation of the _Divina Commedia_, 676, 677 and
        note, 678, 679;
    C. introduces himself to, 676 n.;
    685, 699;
    letters from C., 676, 677, 731, 760.

  _Casimir, the Barbou_, 67 and notes, 68.

  Castlereagh, Lord, 662.

  _Castle Spectre, The_, a play by Monk Lewis, C.’s criticism of, 236 and
        note, 237, 238;

  Catania, 458.

  Cat-serenades in Malta, 483 n., 484 n.

  Catherine II., Empress of Russia, 207 n.

  Cathloma, 51.

  Catholic Emancipation, C.’s Letters to Judge Fletcher on, 629 and note,
        634 and note, 635, 636, 642.

  Catholicism in Germany, 291, 292.

  Catholic question, the, letters in the _Courier_ on, 567 and note;
    C. proposes to again write for the _Courier_ on, 660, 662;
    arrangements for the proposed articles on, 664, 665.

  Cattermole, George, 750 n.;
    letter from C., 750.

  Cattermole, Richard, 750 n.

  Cattle, disposal of dead and sick, in Germany, 294.

  Chalmers, Rev. Thomas, D. D., calls on C., 752 and note.

  Chantrey, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Francis, R. A., C.’s impressions of, 699;

  Chapman, Mr., appointed Public Secretary of Malta, 491, 496.

  _Character, A_, 631 n.

  _Charity_, 110 n.

  _Chatterton, Monody on the Death of_, 110 n., 158 n.;
    C.’s opinion of it in 1797, 222, 223;
    620 n.

  Chatterton, Thomas, unpopularity of his poems, 221, 222;
    Southey’s exertions in aid of his sister, 221, 222.

  Chemistry, C. proposes to study, 345-347.

  Chepstow, 139, 140 n.

  Chester, John, accompanies C. to Germany, 259;
    265, 267, 269 n., 272, 280, 281, 300.

  _Childe Harold_, by Byron, 583.

  Childhood, memory of, in old age, 428.

  Children in cotton factories, legislation as to the employment of, 689
        and note.

  Christ, both God and man, 710.

  _Christabel_, written in a dream or dreamlike reverie, 245 n.;
    310, 313, 317, 337 and note, 342, 349;
    Conclusion to Part II., 355 and note, 356 n.;
    Part II., 405 n.;
    a fine edition proposed, 421, 422;
    437 n., 523;
    C. quotes from, 609, 610;
    the broken friendship commemorated in, 609 n.;
    the copyright of, 669;
    the _Edinburgh Review’s_ unkind criticism of, 669 and note, 670;
    Mr. Frere advises C. to finish, 674;

  _Christianity, the one true Philosophy_ (C.’s _magnum opus_), outline
        of, 632, 633;
    fragmentary remains of, 632 n.;
    the sole motive for C.’s wish to live, 668;
    J. H. Green helps to lay the foundations of, 679 n.;
    694, 753;
    plans for, 772, 773.

  _Christian Observer_, 653 n.

  _Christmas Carol, A_, 330.

  _Christmas Indoors in North Germany_, 257, 275 n.

  _Christmas Out of Doors_, 257.

  Christmas-tree, the German, 289, 290.

  Christ’s Hospital, C.’s life at, 18-22;
    173 n.

  _Christ’s Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago_, by Charles Lamb, 20 n.

  _Christ’s Hospital, List of Exhibitioners, from 1566-1885_, 41 n.

  _Chronicle, Morning_, 111 n., 114, 116 n., 119 n., 126, 162, 167, 505,
        506, 606 n., 615, 616.

  Chubb, Mr., of Bridgwater, 231.

  _Church, The Book of the_, by Southey, 724.

  Church, the English, 135, 306, 651-653, 676, 757.

  Church, the Scottish, in a state of ossification, 744, 745.

  Church, the Wesleyan, 769.

  Cibber, Colley, and his son, Theophilus, 693.

  Cibber, Theophilus, his reply to his father, 693.

  Cintra, Wordsworth’s pamphlet on the Convention of, 534 and note, 543
        and note;
    C.’s criticism of, 548-550.

  Clagget, Charles, 70 and note.

  Clare, Lord, 638.

  Clarke, Mrs., the notorious, 543 n.

  Clarkson, Mrs., 592.

  Clarkson, Thomas, 363, 398;
    his _History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade_, 527 and note,
    his character, 529, 530;
    C.’s review of his book, 535, 536;
    538 n., 547, 548;
    on the second rupture between C. and Wordsworth, 599 n.

  Clement, Mr., a bookseller, 548.

  Clergyman, an earnest young, 691.

  Clevedon, C.’s honeymoon at, 136.

  Clock, a motto for a market, 553 and note, 554 n.

  Coates, Matthew, 441 n.;
    his belief in the impersonality of the deity, 444;
    letter from C., 441.

  Coates, Mrs. Matthew, 442, 443.

  Cobham, 673 n.

  Cole, Mrs., 271.

  _Coleorton, Memorials of_, 369 n., 440.

  Coleorton Farmhouse, C.’s visit to the Wordsworths at, 509-514.

  Coleridge, Anne (sister--usually called “Nancy”), 8 and note, 21, 26.

  Coleridge, Berkeley (son), birth of, 247 and note, 248, 249;
    taken with smallpox, 259 n., 260 n.;
    262, 267, 272;
    death of, 247 n., 282-287, 289.

  Coleridge, David Hartley (son--usually called “Hartley”), birth of, 169;
    176, 205, 213, 220, 231, 245, 260-262, 267 n., 289, 296, 305, 318;
    his talkativeness and boisterousness at the age of three, 321;
    his theologico-astronomical hypothesis as to stars, 323;
    a pompous remark by, 332;
    illness, 342, 343;
    early astronomical observations, 342, 343;
    an extraordinary creature, 343, 344;
    345 n., 355, 356 n., 359;
    a poet in spite of his low forehead, 395;
    408, 413, 416, 421;
    at seven years, 443;
    plans for his education, 461, 462;
    468, 508;
    visits the Wordsworths at Coleorton Farmhouse with his father, 509-514;
    as a traveller, 509;
    his character at ten years, 510, 512;
    under his father’s sole care for four or five months, 511 n.;
    spends five or six weeks with his father and the Wordsworths at Basil
        Montagu’s house in London, 511 n.;
    portraits of, 511 n.;
    his appearance, behavior, and mental acuteness at the age of thirteen,
    at fifteen, 576, 577;
    at Mr. Dawes’s school, 576 and note, 577;
    583 n.;
    friendly relations with his cousins, 675 and note;
    C. asks Poole to invite him to Stowey, 675;
    visits Stowey, 675 n.;
    684, 721, 726;
    letter of advice from S. T. C., 511.

  Coleridge, Derwent (son of S. T. C. and father of the editor), birth
        baptism of, 338 and note;
    344, and 355, 359;
    learns his letters, 393, 395;
    408, 413, 416;
    at three years, 443;
    462, 468, 521;
    at nine years, 564;
    at eleven years, 576, 577;
    at Mr. Dawes’s school, 576 and note, 577;
    580, 605 n., 671 n.;
    John Hookham Frere’s assistance in sending him to Cambridge, 675 and
    707, 711.

  Coleridge, Miss Edith, 670 n.

  Coleridge, Edward (brother), 7, 53-55, 699 n.

  Coleridge, Rev. Edward (nephew), 724 n.;
    letters from C., 724, 738, 744.

  Coleridge, Frances Duke (niece), 726 and note, 740.

  Coleridge, Francis Syndercombe (brother), 8, 9, 11, 12, 13;
    his boyish quarrel with S. T. C., 13, 14;
    becomes a midshipman, 17;
    dies, 53 and note.

  Coleridge, Frederick (nephew), 56.

  Coleridge, Rev. George (brother), 7, 8;
    his character and ability, 8;
    12, 21 n., 25 n.;
    his lines to Genius, _Ibi Hæc Incondita Solus_, 43 n.;
    his self-forgetting economy, 65;
    extract from a letter from J. Plampin, 70 n.;
    95, 97 n., 98 and note, 261;
    visit from S. T. C. and his wife, 305 n., 306;
    467, 498 n., 512;
    disapproves of S. T. C.’s intended separation from his wife and
        refuses to receive him and his family into his house, 523 and note;
    699 n.;
    approaching death of, 746-748;
    S. T. C.’s relations with, 747, 748;
    letters from S. T. C., 22, 23, 42, 53, 55, 59, 60, 62-70, 103, 239.

  _Coleridge, the Rev. George, To_, a dedication, 223 and note.

  Coleridge, Rev. George May (nephew), his friendly relations with Hartley
        C., 675 and note;
    letter from C., 746.

  _Coleridge, Hartley, Poems of_, 511 n.

  Coleridge, Henry Nelson (nephew and son-in-law), 3, 553 n., 570 n., 579
        n., 744-746;
    sketch of his life, 756 n.;
    letter from S. T. C., 756.

  Coleridge, Mrs. Henry Nelson (Sara Coleridge), 9 n., 163 n.;
    extract from a letter from Mrs. Wordsworth, 220 n.;
    320 n., 327 n., 572 n.

  Coleridge, James, the younger, (nephew), his narrow escape, 56.

  Coleridge, Colonel James (brother), 7, 54, 56, 61, 306, 724 n., 726 n.;
    letter from S. T. C., 61.

  Coleridge, Mrs. James (sister-in-law), 740.

  Coleridge, John (brother), 7.

  Coleridge, John (grandfather), 4, 5.

  Coleridge, Mrs. John (mother), 5 n., 7, 13-17, 21 n., 25, 56;
    letter from S. T. C., 21.

  Coleridge, Rev. John (father), 5 and note, 6, 7, 10-12, 15, 16;
    dies, 17, 18;
    his character, 18.

  Coleridge, John Duke, Lord Chief-Justice (great-nephew), 572 n., 699 n.,
        745 n.

  Coleridge, Sir John Taylor (nephew), his friendly relations with Hartley
        C., 675 and note;
    editor of _The Quarterly Review_, 736 and note, 737;
    his judgment and knowledge of the world, 739;
    delighted with _Aids to Reflection_, 739;
    740 n., 744, 745;
    letter from S. T. C., 734.

  Coleridge, Luke Herman (brother), 8, 21, 22.

  COLERIDGE, SAMUEL TAYLOR, his autobiographical letters to Thomas Poole,
    ancestry and parentage, 4-7;
    birth, 6, 9 and note;
    his brothers and sister, 7-9;
    christened, 9;
    infancy and childhood, 9-12;
    learns to read, 10;
    early taste in books, 11 and note, 12;
    his dreaminess and indisposition to bodily activity in childhood, 12;
    boyhood, 12-21;
    has a dangerous fever, 12-13;
    quarrels with his brother Frank, runs away, and is found and brought
        back, 13-15;
    his imagination developed early by the reading of fairy tales, 16;
    a Christ’s Hospital Presentation procured for him by Judge Buller, 18;
    visits his maternal uncle, Mr. John Bowdon, in London, 18, 19;
    becomes a Blue-Coat boy, 19;
    his life at Christ’s Hospital, 20-22;
    enters Jesus College, Cambridge, 22, 23;
    becomes acquainted with the Evans family, 23 and note, 24;
    writes a Greek Ode, for which he obtains the Browne gold medal for
        1792, 43 and note;
    is matriculated as pensioner, 44 and note;
    his examination for the Craven Scholarship, 45 and note, 46;
    his temperament, 47;
    takes violin lessons, 49;
    enlists in the army, 57 and note;
    nurses a comrade who is ill of smallpox in the Henley workhouse, 58
        and note;
    his enlistment disclosed to his family, 57 n., 58, 59;
    remorse, 59-61, 64, 65;
    arrangements resulting in his discharge, 61-70;
    his religious beliefs at twenty-one, 68, 69;
    returns to the university and is punished, 70, 71;
    drops his gay acquaintances and settles down to hard work, 71;
    makes a tour of North Wales with Mr. J. Hucks, 72-81;
    falls in love with Miss Sarah Fricker, 81;
    proposes to go to America with a colony of pantisocrats, 81, 88-91,
    his interest in Miss Fricker cools and his old love for Mary Evans
        revives, 89;
    his indolence, 103, 104;
    on his own poetry, 112;
    considers going to Wales with Southey and others to found a colony of
        pantisocrats, 121, 122;
    his love for Mary Evans proves hopeless, 122-126;
    in lodgings in Bristol after having left Cambridge without taking his
        degree, 133-135;
    marries Miss Sarah Fricker and spends the honeymoon in a cottage at
        Clevedon, 136;
    breaks with Southey, 136-151;
    happiness in early married life, 139;
    his tour to procure subscribers for the _Watchman_, 151 and note,
    poverty, 154, 155;
    receives a communication from Mr. Thomas Poole that seven or eight
        friends have undertaken to subscribe a certain sum to be paid
        annually to him as the author of the monody on Chatterton, 158 n.;
    discontinues the _Watchman_, 158;
    takes Charles Lloyd into his home, 168-170;
    birth of his first child, David Hartley, 169;
    considers starting a day school at Derby, 170 and note;
    has a severe attack of neuralgia for which he takes laudanum, 173-176;
    early use of opium and beginning of the habit, 173 n., 174 n.;
    selects twenty-eight sonnets by himself, Southey, Lloyd, Lamb, and
        others and has them privately printed, to be bound up with
        Bowles’s sonnets, 177, 206 and note;
    his description of himself in 1796, 180, 181;
    his personal appearance as described by another, 180 n., 181 n.;
    anxious to take a cottage at Nether Stowey and support himself by
        gardening, 184-194;
    makes arrangements to carry out this plan, 209;
    his partial reconciliation with Southey, 210, 211;
    in the cottage at Nether Stowey, 213;
    his engagement as tutor to the children of Mrs. Evans of Darley Hall
        breaks down, 215 n.;
    his visit at Mrs. Evans’s house, 216;
    daily life at Nether Stowey, 219, 220;
    visits Wordsworth at Racedown, 220 and note, 221;
    secures a house (Alfoxden) for Wordsworth near Stowey, 224;
    visits him there, 227;
    finishes his tragedy, _Osorio_, 231;
    suspected of conspiracy with Wordsworth and Thelwall against the
        government, 232 n.;
    accepts an annuity of £150 for life from Josiah and Thomas Wedgwood,
        234 and note, 235 and note;
    declines an offer of the Unitarian pastorate at Shrewsbury, 235 and
        note, 236;
    writes Joseph Cottle in regard to a third edition of his poems, 239;
    rupture with Lloyd, 238, 245 n., 246;
    first recourse to opium to relieve distress of mind, 245 n.;
    birth of a second child, Berkeley, 247;
    temporary estrangement from Lamb caused by Lloyd, 249-253;
    goes to Germany with William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, and John
        Chester, for the purpose of study and observation, 258-262;
    life _en pension_ with Chester in the family of a German pastor at
        Ratzeburg, after parting from the Wordsworths at Hamburg, 262-278;
    learning the German language, 262, 263, 267, 268;
    writes a poem in German, 263;
    proposes to proceed to Göttingen, 268-270;
    proposes to write a life of Lessing, 270;
    travels by coach from Ratzeburg to Göttingen, passing through Hanover,
    enters the University, 281;
    receives word of the death of his little son, Berkeley, 282-287;
    learns the Gothic and Theotuscan languages, 298;
    reconciliation with Southey, after the return from Germany, 303, 304;
    with his wife and child he visits the Southeys at Exeter, 305 and note;
    accompanies Southey on a walking-tour in Dartmoor, 305 and note;
    makes a tour of the Lake Country, 312 n., 313;
    in London, writing for the _Morning Post_, 315-332;
    life at Greta Hall, near Keswick, 335-444;
    proposes to write an essay on the elements of poetry, 338, 347;
    proposes to study chemistry with William Calvert as a fellow-student,
    proposes to write a book on the originality and merits of Locke,
        Hobbes, and Hume, 349, 350;
    spends a week at Scarborough, riding and bathing for his health,
    divides the winter of 1801-1802 between London and Nether Stowey,
    domestic unhappiness, 366;
    writes the _Ode to Dejection_, addressing it to Wordsworth, 378-384;
    discouraged about his poetic faculty, 388;
    a separation from his wife considered and harmony restored, 389, 390;
    makes a walking-tour of the Lake Country, 393 and note, 394;
    makes a tour of South Wales with Thomas and Sarah Wedgwood, 410-414;
    his regimen at this time, 412, 413, 416, 417;
    birth of his daughter Sara, 416;
    with Charles and Mary Lamb in London, 421, 422;
    takes Mary Lamb to the private madhouse at Hugsden, 422;
    his tour in Scotland, 431-441;
    love for and delight in his children, 443;
    visits Wordsworth at Grasmere and is taken ill there, 447, 448;
    his rapid recovery, 451;
    plans and preparations for going abroad, 447-469;
    his mental attitude towards his wife, 468;
    voyage to Malta, 469-481;
    dislike of his own first name, 470, 471;
    life in Malta, 481-484;
    a Sicilian tour, 485 and note, 486 and note, 487;
    in Malta again, 487-497;
    his duties as Acting Public Secretary at Malta, 487, 491, 493, 494 and
        note, 495-497;
    his grief at Captain John Wordsworth’s death, 494 and note, 495 and
        note, 497;
    in Italy, 498-502;
    returns to England, 501;
    remains in and about London, writing political articles for the
        _Courier_, 505-509;
    invited to deliver a course of lectures at the Royal Institution, 507;
    visits the Wordsworths at Coleorton Farmhouse with his son Hartley,
    spends five or six weeks with Hartley in the company of the Wordsworths
        at Basil Montagu’s house in London, 511 n.;
    outlines his course of lectures at the Royal Institution, 515, 516,
    begins his lectures, 525;
    a change for the better in health, habits, and spirits, the result of
        his placing himself under the care of a physician, 533 and note,
        543 n.;
    with the Wordsworths at Grasmere, devoting himself to the publication
        of _The Friend_, 533-559;
    in London, 564;
    determines to place himself under the care of Dr. John Abernethy, 564,
    visits the Morgans in Portland Place, Hammersmith, 566-575;
    life-masks, death-mask, busts, and portraits, 570 and note, 572 and
    last visit to Greta Hall and the Lake Country, 575-578;
    misunderstanding with Wordsworth, 576 n., 577, 578, 586-588;
    visits the Morgans at No. 71 Berners Street, 579-612;
    preparations for another course of lectures, 579, 580, 582, 585;
    writes Wordsworth letters of explanation, 588-595;
    his Lectures on the Drama at Willis’s Rooms, 595 and notes, 596, 597,
    reconciled with Wordsworth, 596, 597, 599;
    second rupture with Wordsworth, 599 n., 600 n.;
    Josiah’s half of the Wedgwood annuity withdrawn on account of C.’s
        abuse of opium, 602, 611 and note;
    successful production of his tragedy, _Remorse_ (_Osorio_ rewritten),
        at Drury Lane Theatre, 602-611;
    sells a part of his library, 616 and note;
    anguish and remorse from the abuse of opium, 616-621, 623, 624;
    at Bristol, 621-626;
    proposes to translate _Faust_ for John Murray, 624 and note, 625, 626;
    convalescent, 631;
    with the Morgans at Ashley, near Box, 631;
    writing at his projected great work, _Christianity, the one true
        Philosophy_, 632 and note, 633;
    with the Morgans at Mr. Page’s, Calne, Wilts, 641-653;
    resolves to free himself from his opium habit and arranges to enter
        the house of James Gillman, Esq., a surgeon, in Highgate (an
        arrangement which ends only with his life), 657-659;
    submits his drama _Zapolya_ to the Drury Lane Committee, and, after
        its rejection, publishes it in book form, 666 and note, 667-669;
    publishes _Sibylline Leaves_ and _Biographia Literaria_, 673;
    disputes with his publishers, Fenner and Curtis, 673, 674 and note;
    proposes a new Encyclopædia, 674;
    his reputation as a critic, 677 n.;
    visits Joseph Henry Green, Esq., at St. Lawrence, near Maldon, 690-693;
    his snuff-taking habits, 691, 692 and note;
    his friendship and correspondence with Thomas Allsop, 695, 696;
    delivers a course of Lectures on the History of Philosophy at the
        Crown and Anchor, Strand, 698 and note;
    criticises his portrait by Thomas Phillips, 699, 700;
    at the seashore, 700, 701;
    a candidate for associateship in the Royal Society of Literature, 726,
    elected as a Royal Associate, 728;
    at Ramsgate, 729-731;
    prepares and publishes _Aids to Reflection_, 734 n., 738;
    reads an _Essay on the Prometheus of Æschylus_ before the Royal
        Society of Literature, 739, 740;
    another visit to Ramsgate, 742-744;
    takes a seven weeks’ continental tour with Wordsworth and his
        daughter, 751;
    illness, 754-756, 758;
    convalescence, 760, 761;
    begins to see a new edition of his poetical works through the press,
        769 n.;
    writes a letter to his godchild from his deathbed, 775, 776.

  _Coleridge, Early Recollections of_, by Joseph Cottle, 139 n., 140 n.,
        151 n., 219 n., 232 n., 251 n., 616 n., 617 n., 633 n.

  _Coleridge, Life of_, by James Gillman, 3, 20 n., 23 n., 24 n., 45 n.,
        46 n., 171 n., 257, 680 n., 761 n.

  _Coleridge, Samuel Taylor_, by James Dykes Campbell, 269 n., 527 n.,
        572 n., 600 n., 631 n., 653 n., 666 n., 667 n., 674 n., 681 n.,
        684 n., 698 n., 752 n., 753 n., 772 n.

  _Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, and the English Romantic School_, by Alois
        Brandl, 258, 674 n., 740 n.

  _Coleridge, S. T., Letters, Conversations, and Recollections of_, by
        Thomas Allsop, 41 n., 527 n., 675 n.;
    the publication of, regarded by C.’s friends as an act of bad faith,
        696 and note, 721 n.;
    698 n.

  _Coleridge, S. T., Spiritual Philosophy, founded on the Teaching of_, by
        J. H. Green, 680 n.

  _Coleridge’s Logic_, article in _The Athenæum_, 753 n.

  _Coleridge and Southey, Reminiscences of_, by Joseph Cottle, 268 n., 269
        n., 417, 456 n., 617 n.

  Coleridge, Mrs. Samuel Taylor (Sarah Fricker, afterwards called “Sara”),
        edits the second edition of _Biographia Literaria_, 3;
    136, 145, 146, 150, 151;
    illness and recovery of, 155, 156;
    birth of her first child, David Hartley, 169;
    174 n., 181, 188-190, 205, 213, 214, 216, 224, 245;
    birth of her second child, Berkeley, 247-249;
    257, 258, 259 n.;
    extract from a letter to S. T. C., 263 n.;
    extract from a letter to Mrs. Lovell, 267 n.;
    271, 297, 312 n., 313, 318, 321, 325, 326, 332;
    birth and baptism of her third child, Derwent, 338 and note;
    her devotion saves his life, 338 n.;
    fears of a separation from her husband operate to restore harmony,
        389, 390;
    her faults as detailed by S. T. C., 389, 390;
    392, 393 n., 395, 396;
    birth of a daughter, Sara, 416;
    418, 443, 457, 467, 490, 491, 521;
    extract from a letter to Poole, 576 n.;
    John Kenyon a kind friend to, 639 n.;
    letters from S. T. C., 259-266, 271, 277, 284, 288, 367, 410, 420,
        431, 460, 467, 480, 496, 507, 509, 563, 579, 583, 602;
    letter to S. T. C. after her little Berkeley’s death, 282 n.

  Coleridge, Sara (daughter), her birth, 416;
    in infancy, 443;
    at the age of nine, 575, 576;
    580, 724;
    marries her cousin, Henry Nelson C., 756 n.
    _See_ Coleridge, Mrs. Henry Nelson.

  _Coleridge, Sara, Memoir and Letters of_, 461 n., 758 n.

  Coleridge, the Hundred of, in North Devon, 4 and note.

  Coleridge, the Parish of, 4 n.

  Coleridge, William (brother), 7.

  Coleridge, William Hart (nephew, afterwards Bishop of Barbadoes),
        befriends Hartley C., 675 n.;
    his portrait by Thomas Phillips, R. A., 740 and note.

  Coleridge, William Rennell, 699 n.

  Coleridge family, origin of, 4 n.

  Collier, John Payne, 575 n.

  Collins, William, his _Ode on the Poetical Character_, 196;
    his _Odes_, 318.

  Collins, William, A. R. A. (afterward, R. A.), letter from C., 693.

  Colman, George, the younger, genius of, 621;
    his _Who wants a Guinea?_, 621 n.

  Columbus, the, a vessel, 730.

  Combe Florey, 308 n.

  Comberbacke, Silas Tomkyn, C.’s assumed name, 62.

  Comic Drama, the downfall of the, 616.

  _Complaint of Ninathoma, The_, 51.

  _Concerning Poetry_, a proposed book, 347, 386, 387.

  _Conciones ad Populum_, 85 n., 161 n., 166, 454 n., 527 n.

  _Confessions of an Enquiring Spirit_, originally addressed to Rev.
        Edward Coleridge, 724 n.;
    756 n.

  Coniston, 394.

  _Connubial Rupture, On a late_, 179 n.

  Consciousness of infants, 283.

  Conservative Party in 1832, the, 757.

  Consolation, a note of, 113.

  _Consolations and Comforts, etc._, a projected book, 452, 453.

  Constant, Benjamin, his tract _On the Strength of the Existing
        Government of France, and the Necessity of supporting it_, 219
        and note.

  Contempt, C.’s definition of, 198.

  _Contentment, Motives of_, by Archdeacon Paley, 47.

  Conversation, C.’s, 181, 752 and note;
    C.’s maxims of, 244.

  Conversation evenings at the Gillmans’, 740, 741, 774.

  Cookson, Dr., Canon of Windsor and Rector of Forncett, Norfolk, 311 and

  Copland, 400.

  Cordomi, a pseudonym of C.’s, 295 n.

  _Cornhill Magazine_, 345 n.

  Cornish, Mr., 66.

  Corry, Right Hon. Isaac, 390 and note.

  Corsham, 650, 652 n.

  Corsica, 174 n.

  Corsican Rangers, 554.

  Cote House, Josiah Wedgwood’s residence, C. visits, 416;
    455 n.

  Cottle, Joseph, agrees to pay C. a fixed sum for his poetry, 136;
    his _Early Recollections of Coleridge_, 139 n., 140 n., 151 n., 219
        n., 232 n., 251 n., 616 n., 617 n., 633 n.;
    144, 184, 185, 191, 192, 212;
    his _Reminiscences of Coleridge and Southey_, 268 n., 269 n., 417,
        456 n., 617 n.;
    his financial difficulties, 319;
    his _Malvern Hill_, 358;
    his publication of C.’s letters of confession and remorse deeply
        resented by C.’s family and friends, 616 n., 617 n.;
    convalescent after a dangerous illness, 619;
    letters from C., 133, 134, 154, 218 n., 220, 238, 251 n., 616, 619.

  _Courier_, the, 230;
    C. writes for, 505, 506, 507 n., 520;
    534 and note, 543;
    its conduct during the investigation of the charges against the Duke
        of York universally extolled, 545;
    articles and recommendations for, 567 and notes, 568;
    C. as a candidate for the place of auxiliary to, 568-570;
    568 n.;
    C. breaks with, 574;
    598, 629 and notes, 634 and note;
    change in the character of, 660-662, 664;
    C. proposes to write on the Catholic question for, 660, 662;
    arrangements for the proposed articles, 664, 665.

  _Courier_ office, C. lodges at the, 505, 520.

  Cowper, William, “the divine chit-chat of,” 197 and note;
    his _Task_, 242 n.

  Craven, Countess of, 86 n.

  Craven Scholarship, C.’s examination for the, 45 and note, 46.

  Crediton, 5 n., 11.

  _Critical Review_, 185, 489.

  Criticism welcome to true poets, 402.

  Crompton, Dr., of Derby, 215;
    letter from Thelwall on the Wedgwood annuity, 234 n.

  Crompton, Mrs., of Derby, 215.

  Crompton, Mrs., of Eaton Hall, 758.

  Crompton, Dr. Peter, of Eaton Hall, 359 and note, 758 n.

  Cruikshank, Ellen, 165.

  Cruikshank, John, 136, 177, 184, 188.

  Cruikshank, Mrs. John (Anna), 177;
    lines to, 177 n.;
    _See_ Buclé, Miss.

  Cryptogram, C.’s, 597 n.

  Cunningham, Rev. J. W., his _Velvet Cushion_, 651 and note.

  _Cupid turned Chymist_, 54 n., 56.

  Currie, James, 359 and note.

  _Curse of Kehama, The_, by Southey, 684.

  Curtis, Rev. T., partner of Fenner, C.’s publisher, his ill-usage of
        C., 674.

  Cuxhaven, 259.

  Dalton, John, 457 and note.

  Damer, Hon. Mrs., 368.

  Dana, Miss R. Charlotte, 572 n.

  Dante and his _Divina Commedia_, 676, 677 and note, 678, 679, 731 n.,

  Danvers, Charles, his kindness of heart, 316.

  _Dark Ladie, The Ballad of the_, 375.

  Darnley, Earl, 629.

  Dartmoor, a walking-tour in, 305 and note.

  Dartmouth, 305 and note.

  Darwin, Dr. Erasmus, C.’s conversation with, 152, 153;
    his philosophy of insincerity, 161;
    C.’s opinion of his poems, 164;
    the first literary character in Europe, and the most original-minded
        man, 215;
    386, 648.

  Dash Beck, 375 n., 376 n.

  Davy, Sir Humphry, 315-317, 321, 324, 326, 344, 350, 357, 365, 379 n.,
    a Theo-mammonist, 455;
    C. attends his lectures, 462 and note, 463;
    C.’s esteem and admiration for, 514;
    his successful efforts to induce C. to give a course of lectures at
        the Royal Institution, 515, 516;
    seriously ill, 520, 521;
    hears from C. of his improvement in health and habits, 533 n.;
    673 n.;
    letters from C., 336-341, 345, 514.

  _Davy, Sir Humphry, Fragmentary Remains of_, edited by Dr. Davy, 343 n.,
        533 n.

  Dawe, George, R. A., his life-mask and portrait of C., 572 and note;
    his funeral and C.’s epigram thereon, 572 n.;
    immortalized by Lamb, 572 n.;
    engaged on a picture to illustrate C.’s poem, _Love_, 573;
    his admiration for Allston’s modelling, 573;
    his character and manners, 581;
    a fortunate grub, 605.

  Dawes, Rev. John, teacher of Hartley and Derwent C., 576 and note, 577.

  Death, fear of, responsible for many virtues, 744;
    the nature of, 762, 763.

  Death and life, meditations on, 283-287.

  Death-mask of C., a, 570 n.

  _Death of Mattathias, The_, by Robert Southey, 108 and note.

  Deism, religious, 414.

  _Dejection: An Ode_, 378 and note, 379 and note, 380-384, 405 n.

  Della Cruscanism, 196.

  Democracy, C. disavows belief in, 104-105;
    134, 243.
    _See_ Republicanism _and_ Pantisocracy.

  Denbigh, 80, 81.

  Denman, Miss, 769, 770.

  Dentist, a French, 40.

  De Quincey, Thomas, 405 n., 525;
    revises the proofs and writes an appendix for Wordsworth’s pamphlet
        _On the Convention of Cintra_, 549, 550 n.;
    563, 601, 772 n.

  Derby, 152;
    proposal to start a school in, 170 and note;
    the people of, 215 and note, 216.

  Derwent, the river, 339.

  Descartes, René, 351 and note.

  _Destiny of Nations, The_, 278 n., 178 n.

  _Deutschland in seiner tiefsten Erniedrigung_, by John Philip Palm, C.’s
        translation of, 530.

  De Vere, Aubrey, extract from a letter from Sir William Rowan Hamilton
        to, 759 n.

  _Devil’s Thoughts, The_, by Coleridge and Southey, 318.

  Devock Lake, 393.

  Devonshire, 305 and note.

  _Devonshire, Georgiana, Duchess of, Ode to_, 320 and note, 330.

  Dibdin, Mr., stage-manager at Drury Lane Theatre, 666.

  _Disappointment, To_, 28.

  _Dissuasion from Popery_, by Jeremy Taylor, 639.

  _Divina Commedia_, C. praises the Rev. H. F. Cary’s translation of, 676,
        677 and note, 678, 679;
    Gabriele Rossetti’s essay on the mechanism and interpretation of, 732.

  _Doctor, The_, 583 n., 584 n.

  Döring, Herr von, 279.

  Dove, Dr. Daniel, 583 and note, 584.

  Dove Cottage, Grasmere, 379 n.
    _See_ Grasmere.

  Dowseborough, 225 n.

  Drakard, John, 567 and note.

  Drayton, Michael, his _Poly-Olbion_, 374 n.

  Dreams, the state of mind in, 663.

  Drury Lane Theatre, C.’s _Zapolya_ before the committee of, 666 and
        note, 667.

  Dryden, John, his slovenly verses, 672.

  Dubois, Edward, 705 and note.

  _Duchess, Ode to the_, 320 and note, 330.

  Dunmow, Essex, 456, 459.

  Duns Scotus, 358.

  Dupuis, Charles François, his _Origine de tous les Cultes, ou Religion
        Universelle_, 181 and note.

  Durham, Bishop of, 582 and note.

  Durham, C. reading Duns Scotus at, 358-361.

  Duty, 495 n.

  Dyer, George, 84, 93, 316, 317;
    his article on Southey in _Public Characters for 1799-1800_, 317 and
    363, 422;
    sketch of his life, 748 n.;
    C.’s esteem and affection for, 748, 749;
    his benevolence and beneficence, 749;
    letter from C., 748.

  Earl of Abergavenny, the wreck of, 494 n.;
    495 n.

  _Early Recollections of Coleridge_, by Joseph Cottle, 139 n., 140 n.,
        151 n., 219 n., 232 n., 251 n., 616 n., 617 n., 633 n.

  _Early Years and Late Recollections_, by Clement Carlyon, M. D., 258,
        298 n.

  East Tarbet, 431, 432 and note, 433.

  Echoes, 400 n.

  Edgeworth, Maria, her _Helen_, 773, 774.

  Edgeworth, Richard Lovell, 262.

  Edgeworth’s _Essay on Education_, 261.

  Edgeworths, the, very miserable when children, 262.

  Edinburgh, a place of literary gossip, 423;
    C.’s visit to, 434-440;
    Southey’s first impressions of, 438 n.

  _Edinburgh Review, The_, 438 n.;
    Southey declines Scott’s offer to secure him a place on, 521 and note,
    its attitude towards C., 527;
    C.’s review of Clarkson’s book in, 527 and note, 528-530;
    636, 637;
    severe review of _Christabel_ in, 669 and note, 670;
    Jeffrey’s reply to C. in, 669 n.;
    re-echoes C.’s praise of Cary’s _Dante_, 677 n.;
    its broad, predetermined abuse of C., 697, 723;
    its influence on the sale of Wordsworth’s books in Scotland, 741, 742.

  _Edmund Oliver_, by Charles Lloyd, drawn from C.’s life, 252 and note;

  _Education, Practical_, by Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Maria Edgeworth,

  Education through the imagination preferable to that which makes the
        senses the only criteria of belief, 16, 17.

  Edwards, Rev. Mr., of Birmingham, extract from a letter from C. to, 174

  Edwards, Thomas, LL. D., 101 and note.

  Egremont, 393.

  _Egypt, Observations on_, 486 n.

  Egypt, political relations of, 492.

  Eichhorn, Prof., of Göttingen, 298, 564, 707, 773.

  Einbeck, 279, 280.

  Elbe, the, 259, 277.

  Electrometers of taste, 218 and note.

  _Elegy_, by Robert Southey, 115.

  Elleray, 535.

  Elliot, H., Minister at the Court of Naples, 508 and note.

  Elliston, Mr., an actor, 611.

  Elmsley, Rev. Peter, 438 and note, 439.

  _Encyclopædia Metropolitana_, a work projected by C., 674, 681.

  Encyclopædias, 427, 429, 430.

  Ennerdale, 393.

  Epitaph, by C., 769 and note, 770, 771.

  _Epitaph_, by Wordsworth, 284.

  Erigena, Joannes Scotus, 417;
    the modern founder of the school of pantheism, 424.

  Erskine, Lord, his Bill for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 635
        and note.

  _Erste Schiffer, Der_ (The First Navigator), by Gesner, 369, 371, 372,
        376-378, 397, 402, 403.

  Eskdale, 393, 401.

  _Essay on Animal Vitality_, by Thelwall, 179, 212.

  _Essay on Fasting_, 157.

  _Essay on the New French Constitution_, 320 and note.

  _Essay on the Prometheus of Æschylus_, 740 and note.

  _Essay on the Science of Method_, 681 and note.

  _Essays on His Own Times_, 156 n., 157 n., 320 n., 327 n., 329 n., 335
        n., 414 n., 498 n., 567 n., 629 n., 634 n.

  _Essay on the Fine Arts_, 633 and note, 634.

  _Essays upon Epitaphs_, by Wordsworth, 585 and note.

  Estlin, Mrs. J. P., 190, 213, 214.

  Estlin, Rev. J. P., 184, 185, 190, 239, 287, 288;
    his sermons, 385;
    letters from C., 213, 245, 246, 414.

  Ether, 420, 435.

  Etna, 458, 485 n., 486 n.

  Evans, Mrs., C. spends a fortnight with, 23 and note;
    C.’s filial regard for, 26, 27;
    her unselfishness, 46;
    letters from C., 26, 39, 45.

  Evans, Anne, 27, 29-31;
    letters from C., 37, 52.

  Evans, Eliza, 78.

  Evans, Mrs. Elizabeth, of Darley Hall, her proposal to engage C. as
        tutor to her children, 215 n.;
    her kindness to C. and Mrs. C., 215 n., 210;
    231, 367.

  Evans, Mary, 23 n., 27, 30;
    an acute mind beneath a soft surface of feminine delicacy, 50;
    C. sees her at Wrexham and confesses to Southey his love for her, 78;
    97 and note;
    song addressed to, 100;
    C.’s unrequited love for, 123-125;
    letters from C., 30, 41, 47, 122, 124;
    letter to C., 87-89.

  Evans, Walter, 231.

  Evans, William, of Darley Hall, 215 n.

  Evolution, 648.

  _Examiner, The_, its notice of C.’s tragedy, _Remorse_, 606.

  _Excursion, The_, by Wordsworth, 244 n., 337 n., 585 n.;
    C.’s opinion of, 641;
    the _Edinburgh Review’s_ criticism of, 642;
    C. discusses it in the light of his previous expectations, 645-650.

  Exeter, 305 and note.

  Ezekiel, 705 n.

  Faith, C.’s definition of, 202;

  _Fall of Robespierre, The_, 85 and note, 87, 93, 104 and notes.

  Falls of Foyers, the, 440.

  _Farmer, Priscilla, Poems on the Death of_, by Charles Lloyd, 206 and

  _Farmers_, 335 n.

  _Farmhouse_, by Robert Lovell, 115.

  _Fasting, Essay on_, 157.

  _Faulkner: a Tragedy_, by William Godwin, 524 and note.

  Fauntleroy’s trial, 730.

  _Faust_, C.’s proposal to translate, 624 and note, 625, 626.

  Favell, Robert, 86, 109 n., 110 n., 113, 225 and note.

  _Fayette_, 112.

  _Fears in Solitude_, published, 261 n.;
    318, 321, 328, 552, 703 and note.

  Fellowes, Mr., of Nottingham, 153.

  _Female Biography, or Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women_, by
        Mary Hayes, 318 and note.

  Fenner, Rest, publishes _Zapolya_ for C., 666 n.;
    his ill-usage of C. in regard to _Sibylline Leaves_, _Biographia
        Literaria_, and the projected _Encyclopædia Metropolitana_, 673,
        674 and note.

  Fenwick, Dr., 361 and note.

  Fenwick, Mrs. E., 465 and note.

  Fernier, John, 211.

  Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, the philosophy of, 682, 683, 735.

  Field, Mr., 93.

  _Fine Arts, Essays on the_, 633 and note, 634.

  _Fire, The_, by Robert Southey, 108 and note.

  _Fire and Famine_, 327.

  _First Landing Place, The_, 684 n.

  _First Navigator, The_, translation of Gesner’s _Der Erste Schiffer_,
        369, 371, 372, 376-378, 397, 402, 403.

  Fitzgibbon, John, 638.

  Fletcher, Judge, C.’s _Courier_ Letters to, 629 and note, 634 and note,
        635, 636, 642.

  Florence, 499 n.

  Flower, Benjamin, editor of the _Cambridge Intelligencer_, 93 and note.

  _Flower, The_, by George Herbert, 695.

  Flowers, 745, 746.

  Fort Augustus, 435.

  _Foster-Mother’s Tale, The_, 510 n.

  Fox, Charles James, his _Letter to the Westminster Electors_, 50;
    Coleridge _versus_, 423, 424;
    proposed articles on, 505;
    death of, 507 and note;
    629 and note.

  Fox, Dr., 619.

  Foyers, the Falls of, 440.

  _Fragment found in a Lecture Room, A_, 44.

  _Fragments of a Journal of a Tour over the Brocken_, 257.

  France, political condition of, in 1800, 329 and note.

  _France, an Ode_, 261 n., 552.

  Freeling, Sir Francis, 751.

  French, C. not proficient in, 181.

  _French Constitution, Essay on the New_, 320 and note.

  French Empire under Buonaparte, C.’s essays on the, 629 and note.

  French Revolution, the, 219, 240.

  Frend, William, 24 and note.

  Frere, George, 672.

  Frere, Right Hon. John Hookham, 672 and note;
    advice and friendly assistance to C. from, 674, 675 and note;
    698, 731, 732, 737.

  Fricker, Mrs., 98, 189;
    C. proposes to allow her an annuity of £20, 190;
    423, 458.

  Fricker, Edith (afterwards Mrs. Robert Southey), 82;
    marries Southey, 137 n.;
    163 n.
    _See_ Southey, Mrs. Robert.

  Fricker, George, 315, 316.

  Fricker, Martha, 600.

  Fricker, Sarah, C. falls in love with, 81;
    C.’s love cools, 89;
    marries C., 136;
    138, 163 n.;
    letter from Southey, 107 n.
    _See_ Coleridge, Mrs. Samuel Taylor.

  _Friend, The_, 11 n., 25 n., 86 n., 257, 274 n., 275 n., 351 n., 404 n.,
        412 n., 453 n., 454 n.;
    preliminary prospectus of, and its revision, 533, 536 and note,
        537-541, 542 n.;
    arrangements for the publication of, 541, 542 and note, 544, 546, 547;
    its vicissitudes during its first eight months, 547, 548, 551, 552,
    Addison’s _Spectator_ compared with, 557, 558;
    the reprint of, 575, 579 and note, 580 n., 585 and note;
    606, 611, 629 and note, 630, 667 n.;
    J. H. Frere’s advice in regard to, 674;
    the object of the third volume of, 676;
    684 n.;
    697, 756 n., 768 and note.

  Friends, C. complains of lack of sympathy on the part of his, 696, 697.

  _Friend’s Quarterly Examiner, The_, 536 n., 538 n.

  _Frisky Songster, The_, 237.

  _Frost at Midnight_, 8 n., 261 n.

  Gale and Curtis, 579 and note, 580 n.

  Gallow Hill, 359 n., 362, 379 n.

  Gallows and hangman in Germany, 294.

  Gardening, C. proposes to undertake, 183-194;
    C. begins it at Nether Stowey, 213;
    recommended to Thelwall, 215;
    at Nether Stowey, 219, 220.

  _Gebir_, 328.

  _Gentleman’s Magazine, The_, 455 n.

  _Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, Ode to_, 320 and note, 330.

  German language, the, C. learning, 262, 263, 267, 268.

  German philosophers, C.’s opinions of, 681-683, 735.

  German playing-cards, 263.

  Germans, their partiality for England and the English, 263, 264;
    their eating and smoking customs, 276, 277;
    an unlovely race, 278;
    their Christmas-tree and other religious customs, 289-292;
    superstitions of the bauers, 291, 292, 294;
    marriage customs of the bauers, 292, 293.

  Germany, 257, 258;
    C.’s sojourn in, 259-300;
    post coaches in, 278, 279;
    the clergy of, 291;
    Protestants and Catholics of, 291, 292;
    bell-ringing in, 293;
    churches in, 293;
    shepherds in, 293;
    care of owls in, 293;
    gallows and hangman in, 294;
    disposal of dead and sick cattle in, 294;
    beet sugar in, 299.

  Gerrald, Joseph, 161 and note, 166, 167 n.

  Gesenius, Friedrich Heinrich Wilhelm, 773.

  Gesner, his _Erste Schiffer_ (The First Navigator), 369, 371, 372,
        376-378, 397, 402, 403;
    his rhythmical prose, 398.

  Ghosts, 684.

  Gibraltar, 469, 473, 474;
    description of, 475-479;
    480, 493.

  Gifford, William, his criticism of C.’s tragedy, _Remorse_, 605, 606;
    669, 737.

  Gillman, Alexander, 703 n.

  Gillman, Henry, 693 n.

  Gillman, James, his _Life of Coleridge_, 3, 20 n., 23 n., 24 n., 45 n.,
        46 n., 171 n., 257;
    442 n., 680 n., 761 n.;
    his faithful friendship for C., 657;
    C. arranges to enter his household as a patient, 657-659;
    C.’s pecuniary obligations to, 658 n.;
    character and intellect of, 665;
    670 n., 679, 685, 692, 704;
    C.’s gratitude to and affection for, 721, 722;
    on C.’s opium habit, 761 n.;
    extracts from a letter from John Sterling to, 772 n.;
    letters from C., 657, 700, 721, 729, 742.

  Gillman, James, the younger, passes his examination for ordination with
        great credit, 755.

  Gillman, Mrs. James (Anne), her faithful friendship for C., 657;
    character of, 665;
    679, 684, 685, 702 n., 705, 721, 722, 729, 733;
    illness of, 738;
    C.’s attachment to, 746;
    C.’s gratitude to and affection for, 754;
    764, 774;
    letters from C., 690, 745, 754.

  Ginger-tea, 412, 413.

  Glencoe, 413, 440.

  Glen Falloch, 433.

  Gloucester, 72.

  Gnats, 692.

  Godliness, C.’s definition of, 203 n., 204;
    St. Peter’s paraphrase of, 204.

  Godwin, William, 91, 114;
    C.’s sonnet to, 116 n., 117;
    lines by Southey to, 120;
    his misanthropy, 161, 162;
    161 n., 167;
    C.’s book on, 210;
    316, 321;
    his _St. Leon_, 324, 325;
    a quarrel and reconciliation with C., 457, 464-466;
    his _Faulkner: a Tragedy_, 524 and note;
    C. accepts his invitation to meet Grattan, 565, 566;
    letter from C., 565.

  _Godwin, William: His Friends and Contemporaries_, by Charles Kegan
        Paul, 161 n., 324 n., 465 n.

  Godwin, Mrs. William, 465, 466, 566.

  Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, his _Faust_, C.’s proposal to translate,
        624 and note, 625, 626;
    his _Zur Farbenlehre_, 699.

  Gosforth, 393.

  Goslar, 272, 273.

  Göttingen, C. proposes to visit, 268-270, 272;
    268 n., 269 n.;
    C. calls on Professor Heyne at, 280;
    C. enters the University of, 281;
    the Saturday Club at, 281;
    the gallows near, 294;
    C.’s stay at, 281-300.

  Gough, Charles, 369 n.

  Governments as effects and causes, 241.

  Grasmere, 335, 346, 362, 379 n., 394, 405 n., 419, 420;
    C. visits and is taken ill there, 447, 448;
    C. visits, 533-569.
    _See_ Kendal.

  Grattan, Henry, C.’s admiration for, 566.

  Greek Islands, the, 329.

  Greek poetry contrasted with Hebrew poetry, 405, 406.

  Greek Sapphic Ode, _On the Slave Trade_, 43 and note.

  Green, Mr., clerk of the _Courier_, 568 and note.

  Green, Joseph Henry, 605, 632 n.;
    his eminence in the surgical profession, 679 n.;
    C.’s amanuensis and collaborateur, 679 n.;
    C. appoints him his literary executor, 679 n.;
    his published works, 679 n., 680 n.;
    his character and intellect, 680 n.;
    his faithful friendship for C., 680 n.;
    his _Spiritual Philosophy, founded on the Teaching of S. T.
        Coleridge_, 680 n.;
    receives a visit from C. at St. Lawrence, near Maldon, 690-693;
    753 n.;
    letters from C., 669, 680, 688, 699, 704, 706, 726, 728, 751, 754, 767.

  Green, Mrs. Joseph Henry, 691, 692, 699, 705.

  Greenough, Mr., 458 and note.

  Greta, the river, 339.

  Greta Hall, near Keswick, C.’s life at, 335-444;
    situation of, 335;
    description of 391, 392;
    C. urges Southey to make it his home, 391, 392, 394, 395;
    Southey at first declines but subsequently accepts C.’s invitation to
        settle there, 395 n.;
    Southey makes a visit there which proves permanent, 435;
    460 n.;
    sold by its owner in C.’s absence, 490, 491;
    C.’s last visit to, 575 and note, 576-578;
    724, 725.
    _See_ Keswick.

  Grey, Mr., editor of the _Morning Chronicle_, 114.

  “Grinning for joy,” 81 n.

  Grisedale Tarn, 547.

  Grose, Judge, 567 and note.

  Grossness _versus_ suggestiveness, 377.

  _Group of Englishmen, A_, by Eliza Meteyard, 269 n., 308 n.

  _Growth of the Individual Mind, On the_, C.’s extempore lecture, 680 and
        note, 681.

  Gunning, Henry, his _Reminiscences of Cambridge_, 24 n.

  Gwynne, General, K. L. D., 62.

  Hæmony, Milton’s allegorical flower, 406, 407.

  Hague, Charles, 50.

  Hale, Sir Philip, a “titled Dogberry,” 232 n.

  Hall, S. C., 257, 745 n.

  Hamburg, 257, 259;
    C.’s arrival at, 261;
    268 n.

  Hamilton, a Cambridge man at Göttingen, 281.

  Hamilton, Lady, 637 and note.

  Hamilton, Sir William Rowan, 759 and note, 760.

  _Hamlet, Notes on_, 684 n.

  Hancock’s house, 297.

  Hangman and gallows in Germany, 294.

  Hanover, 279, 280.

  _Happiness_, 75 n.

  _Happy Warrior, The_, by Wordsworth, the original of, 494 n.

  Harding, Miss, sister of Mrs. Gillman, 703.

  _Harper’s Magazine_, 570 n., 571 n.

  Harris, Mr., 666.

  Hart, Dick, 54.

  Hart, Miss Jane, 7, 8.

  Hart, Miss Sara, 8.

  Hartley, David, 113, 169, 348, 351 n., 428.

  _Haunted Beach, The_, by Mrs. Robinson, 322 n.;
    C. struck with, 331, 332.

  Hayes, Mary, 318 and note;
    her _Female Biography_, 318 and note;
    her correspondence with Lloyd, 322;
    C.’s opinion of her intellect, 323.

  Hazlitt, William, supposed to have written the _Edinburgh Review_
        criticism of _Christabel_, 669 and note.

  Hebrew poetry richer in imagination than the Greek, 405, 406.

  Heinse’s _Ardinghello_, 683 and note.

  _Helen_, by Maria Edgeworth, 773, 774.

  Helvellyn, 547.

  Henley workhouse, C. nurses a fellow-dragoon in the, 58 and note.

  _Herald, Morning_, its notice of C.’s tragedy, _Remorse_, 603.

  Herbert, George, C.’s love for his poems, 694, 695;
    his _Temple_, 694;
    his _Flower_, 695.

  _Heretics of the first two Centuries after Christ, History of the_, by
        Nathaniel Lardner, D. D., 330.

  Herodotus, 738.

  Hertford, C. a Blue-Coat boy at, 19 and note.

  Hess, Jonas Lewis von, 555 and note.

  Hessey, Mr., of Taylor and Hessey, publishers, 739.

  Hexameters, parts of the Bible and Ossian written in slovenly, 398.

  Heyne, Christian Gottlob, 279;
    C. calls on, 280;

  Higginbottom, Nehemiah, a pseudonym of C.’s, 251 n.

  _Highgate, History of_, by Lloyd, 572 n.

  _Highland Girl, To a_, by Wordsworth, 549.

  Highland lass, a beautiful, 432 and note, 459.

  High Wycombe, 62-64.

  Hill, Mrs. Herbert. _See_ Southey, Bertha.

  Hill, Thomas, 705 and note.

  _History of Highgate_, by Lloyd, 572 n.

  _History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade_, by Thomas Clarkson, C.’s
        review of, 527 and note, 528-530, 535, 536.

  _History of the Heretics of the first two Centuries after Christ_, by
        Nathaniel Lardner, D. D., 330.

  _History of the Levelling Principle_, proposed, 323, 328 n., 330.

  Hobbes, Thomas, 349, 350.

  Holcroft, Mr., C.’s conversation on Pantisocracy with, 114, 115;
    the high priest of atheism, 162.

  _Hold your mad hands!_, a sonnet by Southey, 127 and note.

  Holland, 751.

  Holt, Mrs., 18.

  _Home-Sick, Written in Germany_, quoted, 298.

  Homesickness of C. in Germany, 265, 266, 272, 273, 278, 288, 289, 295,
        296, 298.

  Hood, Thomas, his _Odes to Great People_, 250 n.

  _Hope, an Allegorical Sketch_, by Bowles, 179, 180.

  Hopkinson, Lieutenant, 62.

  Horace, Bentley’s Quarto Edition of, 68 and note.

  Hospitality in poverty, 340.

  _Hour when we shall meet again, The_, 157.

  Howe, Admiral Lord, 262 and note.

  Howe, Emanuel Scoope, second Viscount, 262 n.

  Howell, Mr., of Covent Garden, 366 and note.

  Howick, Lord, 507.

  Howley, Miss, 739.

  Huber’s _Treatise on Ants_, 712.

  Hucks, J., accompanies C. on a tour in Wales, 74-81;
    his _Tour in North Wales_, 74 n., 81 n.;
    76, 77 and note, 81 and note, 306.

  Hume, David, 307, 349, 350.

  Hume, Joseph, M. P., a fermentive virus, 757.

  Hungary, 329.

  _Hunt, Leigh, Autobiography of_, 20 n., 41 n., 225 n., 455 n.

  Hunter, John, 211.

  Hurwitz, Hyman, 667 n.;
    his _Israel’s Lament_, 681 n.

  Hutchinson, George, 358 and note, 359 n., 360.

  Hutchinson, Joanna, 359 n.

  Hutchinson, John, of Penrith, 358 n.

  Hutchinson, John, of the Middle Temple, 359 n.

  Hutchinson, Mary, marries William Wordsworth, 359 n.;

  Hutchinson, Sarah, 359 n., 360, 362, 367, 393 n.;
    her motherly care of Hartley C., 510;
    C.’s amanuensis, 536 n., 542 n.;
    582, 587, 590 n.

  Hutchinson, Thomas, of Gallow Hill, 359 n., 362.

  Hutton, James, M. D., 153 and note;
    his _Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge_, 167.

  Hutton, Lawrence, 570 n.

  Hutton Hall, near Penrith, 296.

  _Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni_, origin of, 404 and 405
        and note.

  _Ibi Hæc Incondita Solus_, by George Coleridge, 43 n.

  Idolatry of modern religion, the, 414, 415.

  Illuminizing, 323, 324.

  _Illustrated London News, The_, 258, 453 n., 497 n., 768 n.

  Imagination, education of the, 16, 17.

  _Imitated from the Welsh_ (a song), 112 and note, 113.

  _Imitations from the Modern Latin Poets_, 67 n., 122.

  Impersonality of the Deity, 444.

  Indolence, a vice of powerful venom, 103, 104.

  Infant, the death of an, 282-287.

  _Infant, who died before its Christening, On an_, 287.

  Ingratitude, C. complains of, 627-631.

  Insincerity, a virtue, 161.

  Instinct, definition of, 712.

  _In the Pass of Killicranky_, by Wordsworth, 458.

  _Ireland, Account of_, by Edward Wakefield, 638.

  _Ireland, View of the State of_, by Edmund Spenser, 638 n.

  Irving, Rev. Edward, 723;
    a great orator, 726;
    on Southey and Byron, 726;
    741, 742, 744, 748, 752.

  Isaiah, 200.

  _Israel’s Lament_, by Hyman Hurwitz, C. translates, 681 and note.

  Jackson, Mr., owner of Greta Hall, 335, 368, 391, 392, 394, 395, 434,
        460 and note, 461;
    godfather to Hartley C., 461 n.;
    sells Greta Hall, 491;
    Hartley C.’s attachment for, 510.

  Jackson, William, 309 and notes.

  Jackstraws, 462, 468.

  Jacobi, Heinrich Freidrich, 683.

  Jacobinism in England, 642.

  Jardine, Rev. David, 139 and note.

  _Jasper_, by Mrs. Robinson, 322 n.

  Jeffrey, Francis (afterwards Lord), 453 n., 521 n.;
    C. accuses him of being unwarrantably severe on him, 527;
    536 n., 538 n.;
    C.’s accusation of personal and ungenerous animosity against himself
        and his reply thereto, 669 and note, 670;
    his attitude toward Wordsworth’s poetry, 742;
    letters from C., 527, 528, 534.
    See _Edinburgh Review_.

  Jerdan, Mr., of Michael’s Grove, Brompton, 727.

  Jesus College, C.’s life at, 22-57, 70-72, 81-129.

  Jews in a German inn, 280.

  _Joan of Arc_, by Southey, 141, 149, 178 and note, 179;
    Cottle sells the copyright to Longman, 319.

  John of Milan, 566 n.

  Johnson, J., the bookseller, lends C. £30, 261;
    publishes _Fears in Solitude_, for C., 261 and notes, 318;

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, on the condition of the mind during stage
        representations, 663.

  Johnston, Lady, 731.

  Johnston, Sir Alexander, 730 and note;
    C.’s impressions of, 731.

  Josephus, 407.

  Kant, Immanuel, 204 n., 351 n.;
    C.’s opinion of the philosophy of, 681, 682;
    his _Kritik der praktischen Vernunft_, 681, 682 and note;
    his _Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft_, 682;
    valued by C. more as a logician than as a metaphysician, 735;
    his _Critique of the Pure Reason_, 735.

  Keats, John, 764 n.

  Keenan, Mr., 309.

  Keenan, Mrs., 309 and note.

  _Kehama, The Curse of_, by Southey, 684.

  Kempsford, Gloucestershire, 267 n.

  Kendal, 447, 451, 452, 535, 575.
    _See_ Grasmere.

  Kendall, Mr., a poet, 306.

  Kennard, Adam Steinmetz, 762 n.;
    letter from C., 775.

  Kennard, John Peirse, 762 n.;
    letter from C., 772.

  Kenyon, Mrs., 639, 640.

  Kenyon, John, 639 n.;
    letter from C., 639.

  Keswick, 174 n.;
    C. passes through, during his first tour in the Lake Country, 312 n.;
    a Druidical circle near, 312 n.;
    C.’s house at, 335;
    climate of, 361;
    405 n., 530, 535, 724, 725.
    _See_ Greta Hall.

  Keswick, the lake of, 335.

  Keswick, the vale of, 312 n., 313 n.;
    its beauties, 410, 411.

  Kielmansegge, Baron, and his daughter, Mary Sophia, 263 n.

  Kilmansig, Countess, C. becomes acquainted with, 262, 263.

  King, Mr., 183, 185, 186.

  King, Mrs., 183.

  Kingsley, Rev. Charles, 771 n.

  Kingston, Duchess of, her masquerade costume, 237.

  Kinnaird, Douglas, 666, 667.

  Kirkstone Pass, a storm in, 418-420.

  _Kisses_, 54 n.

  Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb, 257;
    his _Messias_, 372, 373.

  Knecht, Rupert, 289 n., 290, 291.

  Knight, Rev. William Angus, LL.D., his _Life of William Wordsworth_,
        164 n., 220 n., 447 n., 585 n., 591 n., 596 n., 599 n., 600 n.,
        733 n., 759 n.

  Kosciusko, C.’s sonnet to, 116 n., 117.

  Kotzebue’s _Count Benyowski, or the Conspiracy of Kamtschatka, a
        Tragi-comedy_, 236 and note.

  _Kubla Khan_, when written, 245 n.;
    437 n.

  Kyle, John, the Man of Ross, 77, 651 n.

  Lake Bassenthwaite, 335, 376 n.;
    sunset over, 384.

  Lake Country, the, C. makes a tour of, 312 n., 313;
    another tour of, 393 and note, 394;
    C.’s last visit to, 575 n.
    _See_ Grasmere, Greta Hall, Kendal, Keswick.

  _Lalla Rookh_, by Moore, 672.

  _Lamb, C., To_, 128 and note.

  Lamb, Charles, love of Woolman’s Journal, 4 n.;
    visit to Nether Stowey, 10 n.;
    his _Christ’s Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago_, 20 n.;
    a man of uncommon genius, 111;
    writes four lines of a sonnet for C., 111, 112 and note;
    and his sister, 127, 128;
    C.’s lines to, 128 and note;
    163 n.;
    correspondence with C. after his (Lamb’s) mother’s tragic death, 171
        and note;
    extract from a letter to C., 197 n.;
    206 n.;
    his _Grandame_, 206 n.;
    C.’s poem on Burns addressed to, 206 and note, 207;
    extract from a letter to C., 223 n.;
    visits C. at Nether Stowey, 224 and note, 225-227;
    temporary estrangement from C., 249-253;
    his relations to the quarrel between C. and Southey, 304, 312, 320 n.;
    visits C. at Greta Hall with his sister, 396 n.;
    a Latin letter from, 400 n.;
    405 n., 421, 422, 460 n., 474;
    his _Recollections of a Late Royal Academician_, 572 n.;
    his connection with the reconciliation of C. and Wordsworth, 586-588,
    on William Blake’s paintings, engravings, and poems, 686 n.;
    his _Superannuated Man_, 740;
    his acquaintance with George Dyer, 748 n.;
    751 n., 760;
    letter of condolence from C., 171;
    other letters from C., 249, 586.

  _Lamb, Charles, Letters of_, 164 n., 171 n., 197 n., 396 n., 400 n., 465
        n., 466 n., 686 n., 748 n.

  _Lamb’s Prose Works_, 4 n., 20 n., 25 n., 41 n.

  Lamb, Mary, 127, 128, 226 n.;
    visits the Coleridges at Greta Hall with her brother Charles, 396 n.;
    becomes worse and is taken to a private madhouse, 422;
    learns from C. of his quarrel with Wordsworth, 590, 591;
    endeavors to bring about a reconciliation between C. and Wordsworth,

  Lampedusa, island, essay on, 495 and note.

  Landlord at Keswick, C.’s, 335.
    _See_ Jackson, Mr.

  Lardner, Nathaniel, D. D., his _Letter on the Logos_, 157;
    his _History of the Heretics of the first two Centuries after Christ_,
    on a passage in Josephus, 407.

  Latin essay by C., 29 n.

  Laudanum, used by C. in an attack of neuralgia, 173 and note, 174 and
        note, 175-177;
    193, 240, 617, 659.
    _See_ Opium.

  Lauderdale, James Maitland, Earl of, 689 and note.

  Law, human as distinguished from divine, 635, 636.

  Lawrence, Miss, governess in the family of Dr. Peter Crompton, 758 n.;
    letter from C., 758.

  Lawrence, William, 711 n.

  Lawson, Sir Gilford, 270;
    C. has free access to his library, 336;

  _Lay of the Last Minstrel, The_, by Scott, 523.

  _Lay Sermon_, the second, 669.

  Leach, William Elford, C. meets, 711 and note.

  Lecky, G. F., British Consul at Syracuse, 458;
    C. entertained by, 485 n.

  Lectures, C.’s at the Royal Institution, 506 n., 507, 508, 511, 515,
        516, 522, 525;
    at the rooms of the London Philosophical Society, 574 and note, 575
        and note;
    a proposed course at Liverpool, 578;
    preparations for another course in London, 579, 580, 582, 585;
    at Willis’s Rooms on the Drama, 595 and note, 596, 597, 599;
    602, 604;
    an extempore lecture _On the Growth of the Individual Mind_, at the
        rooms of the London Philosophical Society, 680 and note, 681;
    regarded as a means of livelihood, 694;
    on the History of Philosophy, delivered at the Crown and Anchor,
        Strand, 698 and note.

  _Lectures on Shakespeare_, 575 n.

  _Lectures on Shakespeare and Other Dramatists_, 756 n.

  Leghorn, 498, 499 and note, 500.

  Le Grice, Charles Valentine, 23, 24;
    his _Tineum_, 111 and note;
    225 and note, 325.

  Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Baron von, 280, 360, 735.

  Leighton, Robert, Archbishop of Glasgow, his genius and character, 717,
    his orthodoxy, 719;
    C. proposes to compile a volume of selections from his writings, 719,
    C. at work on the compilation, which, together with his own comment
        and corollaries, is finally published as _Aids to Reflection_, 734
        and note.

  Leslie, Charles Robert, 695 and note;
    his pencil sketch of C., 695 n.;
    introduces a portrait of C. into an illustration for _The Antiquary_,
        736 and note.

  _Lessing, Life of_, C. proposes to write, 270;
    321, 323, 338.

  Letters, C.’s reluctance to open and answer, 534.

  _Letters from the Lake Poets_, 25 n., 86 n., 267 n., 366 n., 369 n., 527
        n., 534 n., 542 n., 543 n., 705 n.

  Letter smuggling, 459.

  _Letters on the Spaniards_, 629 and note.

  _Letter to a Noble Lord_, by Edmund Burke, 157 and note.

  Leviathan, the man-of-war, 467;
    a majestic and beautiful creature, 471, 472;

  Lewis Monk, his play, _Castle Spectre_, 236 and note, 237, 238, 626.

  _Liberty, the Progress of_, 206.

  Life and death, meditations on, 283-287.

  Life-masks of C., 570 and note.

  _Lime-Tree Bower my Prison, this_, 225 and note, 226 and notes, 227, 228

  _Lines on a Friend who died of a Frenzy Fever_, 98 and note, 103 n., 106
        and note.

  _Lines to a Friend_, 8 n.

  _Lippincott’s Magazine_, 674 n.

  Lisbon, the Rock of, 473.

  _Literary Life._ See _Biographia Literaria_.

  _Literary Remains_, 684 n., 740 n., 756 n., 761 n.

  Literature, a proposed History of British, 425-427, 429, 430.

  Literature as a profession, C.’s opinion of, 191, 192.

  Live nits, 360.

  Liverpool, 578.

  Liverpool, Lord, 665, 674.

  Llandovery, 411.

  Llanfyllin, 79.

  Llangollen, 80.

  Llangunnog, 79.

  Lloyd, Mr., father of Charles, 168, 186.

  Lloyd, Charles, and Woolman’s Journal, 4 n.;
    goes to live with C., 168-170;
    character and genius of, 169, 170;
    184, 189, 190, 192, 205, 206;
    his _Poems on the Death of Priscilla Farmer_, 206 n.;
    207 n., 208 n.;
    with C. at Nether Stowey, 213;
    a serious quarrel with C., 238, 245 n., 246, 249-253;
    his _Edmund Oliver_ drawn from C.’s life, 252 and note;
    his relations to the quarrel between C. and Southey, 304;
    reading Greek with Christopher Wordsworth, 311;
    unworthy of confidence, 311, 312;
    his _Edmund Oliver_, 311;
    his moral sense warped, 322, 323;
    settles at Ambleside, 344;
    C. spends a night with him at Bratha, 394;
    his _History of Highgate_, 572 n., 578.

  Llyswen, 234 n., 235 n.

  Loch Katrine, 431, 432 and note, 433.

  Loch Lomond, 431, 432 n., 433, 440.

  Locke, John, C.’s opinion of his philosophy, 349-351, 648;

  Lockhart, Mr., 756.

  Lodore, the waterfall of, 335, 408.

  Lodore mountains, the, 370.

  _Logic, The Elements of_, 753 n.

  _Logic, The History of_, 753 n.

  _Logos, Letter on the_, by Dr. Nathaniel Lardner, 157.

  London, Bishop of, 739;
    his favourable opinion of _Aids to Reflection_, 741.

  London Philosophical Society, C.’s lectures at the rooms of, 574 and
        note, 575 and note, 680 n.

  Longman, Mr., the publisher, 319, 321;
    on anonymous publications, 324, 325;
    328, 329, 341, 349, 357;
    loses money on C.’s translation of _Wallenstein_, 403;

  Lonsdale, Lord, 538 n., 550, 733 n.

  Losh, James, 219 and note.

  Louis XVI., the death of, 219 and note.

  _Love_, George Dawe engaged on a picture to illustrate C.’s poem, 573.

  _Love and the Female Character_, C.’s lecture, 574 n., 575 and note.

  Lovell, Robert, 75;
    C.’s opinion of his poems, 110;
    his _Farmhouse_, 115, 121, 122, 139, 147, 150;
    dies, 159 n.;
    317 n.

  _Lovell, Robert, and Robert Southey of Balliol College, Bath, Poems by_,
        107 n.

  Lovell, Mrs. Robert (Mary Fricker), 122, 159 and note, 485.

  _Lover’s Complaint to his Mistress, A_, 36.

  _Low was our pretty Cot_, C.’s opinion of, 224.

  Lubec, 274, 275.

  Lucretius, his philosophy and his poetry, 648.

  Luff, Captain, 369 and note, 547.

  _Luise, ein ländliches Gedicht in drei Idyllen_, by Johann Heinrich
        Voss, quotation from, 203 n.;
    an emphatically original poem, 625;

  Lüneburg, 278.

  Lushington, Mr., 101.

  Luss, 431.

  _Lycon, Ode to_, by Robert Southey, 107 n., 108.

  _Lyrical Ballads_, by Coleridge and Wordsworth, 336, 337, 341, 350 and
        note, 387, 607, 678.

  Macaulay, Alexander, death of, 491.

  Mackintosh, Sir James, his rejected offer to procure a place for C.
        under himself in India, 454, 455;
    C.’s dislike and distrust of, 454 n., 455 n.;

  Macklin, Harriet, 751 and note, 764.

  Madeira, 442, 451, 452.

  _Madoc_, by Southey, C. urges its completion and publication, 314, 467;
    C.’s enthusiasm for, 388, 489, 490;
    a divine passage of, 463 and note.

  _Mad Ox, The_, 219 n., 327.

  Magee, William, D. D., 761 n.

  _Magnum Opus._ See _Christianity, the one true Philosophy_.

  _Maid of Orleans_, 239.

  Malta, C. plans a trip to, 457, 458;
    the voyage to, 469-481;
    sojourn at, 481-484, 487-497;
    army affairs at, 554, 555.

  Maltese, the, 483 and note, 484 and note.

  Maltese, Regiment, the, 554, 555.

  _Malvern Hills_, by Joseph Cottle, 358.

  Manchester Massacre, the, 702 n.

  Manchineel, 223 n.

  Marburg, 291.

  Margarot, 166, 167 n.

  Markes, Rev. Mr., 310.

  Marriage as a means of ensuring the nature and education of children,
        216, 217.

  Marsh, Herbert, Bishop of Peterborough, his lecture on the authenticity
        and credibility of the books collected in the New Testament, 707,

  Martin, Rev. H., 74 n., 81 n.

  _Mary, the Maid of the Inn_, by Southey, 223.

  Massena, Marshal, defeats the Russians at Zurich, 308 and note.

  Masy, Mr., 40.

  Mathews, Charles, C. hears and sees his entertainment, _At Home_, 704,
    letter from C., 621.

  _Mattathias, The Death of_, by Robert Southey, 108 and note.

  Maurice, Rev. John Frederick Dennison, 771 n.

  Maxwell, Captain, of the Royal Artillery, 493, 495, 496.

  McKinnon, General, 309 n.

  Medea, a subject for a tragedy, 399.

  Meditation, C.’s habits of, 658.

  Medwin, Capt. Thomas, his _Conversations of Lord Byron_, 735 and note.

  Meerschaum pipes, 277.

  _Melancholy, a Fragment_, 396 and note, 397.

  Memory of childhood in old age, 428.

  Mendelssohn, Moses, 203 n., 204 n.

  _Men of the Time_, 317 n.

  Merry, Robert, 86 n.

  Messina, 485, 486.

  Metaphysics, 102, 347-352;
    C. proposes to write a book on Locke, Hobbes, and Hume, 349, 350;
    in poetry, 372;
    effect of the study of, 388;
    C.’s projected great work on, 632 and note, 633;
    of the German philosophers, 681-683, 735;
    712, 713.
    See _Christianity, the One True Philosophy_, Philosophy, Religion.

  Meteyard, Eliza, her _Group of Englishmen_, 269 n., 308 n.

  _Method, Essay on the Science of_, 681 and note.

  Methuen, Rev. T. A., 652 and note.

  _Microcosm_, 43 and note.

  Middleton, H. F. (afterwards Bishop of Calcutta), 23, 25, 32, 33.

  Milman, Henry Hart, 737 and note.

  Milton, John, 164, 197 and note;
    a sublimer poet than Homer or Virgil, 199, 200;
    the imagery in _Paradise Lost_ borrowed from the Scriptures, 199, 200;
    his _Accidence_, 331;
    on poetry, 387;
    his platonizing spirit, 406, 407;
    678, 734.

  Milton, Lord, 567 and note.

  Mind _versus_ Nature, in youth and later life, 742, 743.

  _Minor Poems_, 317 n.

  _Miscellanies, Æsthetic and Literary_, 711 n.

  _Miss Rosamond_, by Southey, 108 and note.

  Mitford, Mary Russell, 63 n.

  Molly, 11.

  Monarchy likened to a cockatrice, 73.

  _Monday’s Beard, On Mrs._, 9 n.

  Money, Rev. William, 651 n.;
    letter from C., 651.

  _Monody on the Death of Chatterton_, 110 n., 158 n., 620 n.

  _Monologue to a Young Jackass in Jesus Piece_, 119 n.

  _Monopolists_, 335 n.

  Montagu, Basil, 363 n., 511 n.;
    causes a misunderstanding between C. and Wordsworth, 578, 586-591,
        593, 599, 612;
    endeavours to have an associateship of the Royal Society of Literature
        conferred on C., 726, 727;
    his efforts successful, 728;

  Montagu, Mrs. Basil, her connection with the quarrel between C. and
        Wordsworth, 588, 589, 591, 599.

  _Monthly Magazine_, the, 179 and note, 185, 197, 215, 251 n., 310, 317.

  Moore, Thomas, his _Lalla Rookh_, 672;
    his misuse of the possessive case, 672.

  Moors, C.’s opinion of, 478.

  Morality and religion, 676.

  Moreau, Jean Victor, 449 and note.

  Morgan, Mrs., 145, 148.

  Morgan, John James, 524, 526;
    a faithful and zealous friend, 580;
    C. confides the news of his quarrel with Wordsworth to, 591, 592;
    596, 650, 665;
    letter from C., 575.

  Morgan, Mrs. John James, C.’s affection for, 565;
    578, 600, 618, 650, 722 n.;
    letter from C., 524.

  Morgan family, the (J. J. Morgan, his wife, and his wife’s sister, Miss
        Charlotte Brent), C.’s feelings of affection, esteem, and
        gratitude towards, 519, 520, 524-526, 565;
    C. visits, 566-575 and note, 579-622;
    C. confides the news of his quarrel with Wordsworth to, 591, 592;
    C. regards as his saviours, 592;
    600 n.;
    with C. at Calne, 641-653;
    their faithful devotion to C., 657, 722 n.;
    letters from C., 519, 524, 564.

  Mortimer, John Hamilton, 373 and note.

  _Motion of Contentment_, by Archdeacon Paley, 47.

  Motley, J. C., 467-469, 475.

  Mountains, of Portugal, 470, 473;
    about Gibraltar, 478.

  Mumps, the, 545 and note.

  Murray, John, 581;
    proposes to publish a translation of _Faust_, 624-626;
    his connection with the publication of _Zapolya_, 666 and note,
    offers C. two hundred guineas for a volume of specimens of Rabbinical
        wisdom, 667 n.;
    699 n.;
    proposal from C. to compile a volume of selections from Archbishop
        Leighton, 717-720;
    his proposal to publish an edition of C.’s poems, 787;
    letters from C., 624, 665, 717.

  _Murray, John, Memoirs of_, 624 n., 666 n.

  Music, 49.

  Myrtle, praise of the, 745, 746.

  Mythology, Greek and Roman, contrasted with Christianity, 199, 200.

  Nanny, 260, 295.

  Naples, 486, 502.

  Napoleon, 308, 327 n., 329 and note;
    his animosity against C., 498 n.;
    530 n.;
    C.’s cartoon and lines on, 642.

  _Napoleon Bonaparte, Life of_, by Sir Walter Scott, 174 n.

  _Natural Theology_, by William Paley, 424 n., 425 n.

  Nature, her influence on the passions, 243, 244;
    Mind and, two rival artists, 742, 743.

  _Natur-philosophen_, C. on the, 682, 683.

  _Navigation and Discovery, The Spirit of_, by William Lisle Bowles, 403
        and note.

  Necessitarianism, the sophistry of, 454.

  Neighbours, 186.

  Nelson, Lady, 637.

  Nelson, Lord, 637 and note.

  Nesbitt, Fanny, C.’s poem to, 56, 57.

  Netherlands, the, 751.

  Nether Stowey, 165 and note;
    C. proposes to move to, 184-194;
    arrangements for moving to, 209;
    settled at, 213;
    C.’s description of his place at, 213;
    Thelwall urged not to settle at, 232-234;
    the curate-in-charge of, 267 n.;
    297, 325, 366;
    C.’s last visit to, 405 n.;
    497 n.

  Neuralgia, a severe attack of, 173-177.

  Newcome’s (Mr.) School, 7, 25 n.

  Newlands, 393 and note, 411, 725.

  _New Monthly Magazine_, 257.

  Newspapers, freshness necessary for, 568.

  New Testament, the, Bishop March’s lecture on the authenticity and
        credibility of the books collected in, 707, 708.

  Newton, Mr., 48.

  Newton, Mrs., sister of Thomas Chatterton, 221, 222.

  Newton, Sir Isaac, 352.

  _Nightingale, The, a Conversational Poem_, 296 n.

  _Ninathoma, The Complaint of_, 51.

  Nixon, Miss Eliza, unpublished lines of C. to, 773 n., 774 n.;
    letter from C., 773.

  Nobs, Dr. Daniel Dove’s horse, in _The Doctor_, 583 and note, 584.

  _No more the visionary soul shall dwell_, 109 and note, 208 n.

  Nordhausen, 273.

  Northcote, Sir Stafford, 15 and note.

  Northmore, Thomas, C. dines with, 306, 307;
    an offensive character to the aristocrats, 310.

  North Wales, C.’s tour of, 72-81.

  _Notes on Hamlet_, 684 n.

  _Notes on Noble’s Appeal_, 684 n.

  _Notes Theological and Political_, 684 n., 761 n.

  Nottingham, 153, 154, 216.

  Novi, Suwarrow’s victory at, 307 and note.

  Nuremberg, 555.

  Objective, different meanings of the term, 755.

  _Observations on Egypt_, 486 n.

  Ocean, the, by night, 260.

  _Ode in the manner of Anacreon, An_, 35.

  _Ode on the Poetical Character_, by William Collins, 196.

  _Odes to Great People_, by Thomas Hood, 250 n.

  _Ode to Dejection_, 378 and note, 379 and note, 380-384, 405 n.

  _Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire_, 320 and note, 330.

  _Ode to Lycon_, by Robert Southey, 107 n., 108.

  _Ode to Romance_, by Robert Southey, 107 and note.

  _Ode to the Departing Year_, 212 n.;
    C.’s reply to Thelwall’s criticisms on, 218 and note;

  _Ode to the Duchess_, 320 and note, 330.

  _O gentle look, that didst my soul beguile_, a sonnet, 111, 112 and note.

  Ogle, Captain, 63 and note.

  Ogle, Lieutenant, 374 n.

  Ogle, Dr. Newton, Dean of Westminster, his Latin Iambics, 374 and note.

  Oken, Lorenz, his _Natural History_, 736.

  _Old Man in the Snow_, 110 and note.

  _Omniana_, by C. and Southey, 9 n., 554 n., 718 n.

  _On a Discovery made too late_, 92 and note, 123 n.

  _On a late Connubial Rupture_, 179 n.

  _On an Infant who died before its Christening_, 287.

  _Once a Jacobin, always a Jacobin_, 414.

  _On Revisiting the Sea-Shore_, 361 n.

  Onstel, 97 n.

  _On the Slave Trade_, 43 and note.

  Opium, C.’s early use of, and beginning of the habit, 173 and note, 174
        and note, 175;
    first recourse to it for the relief of mental distress, 245 n.;
    daily quantity reduced, 413;
    regarded as less harmful than other stimulants, 413;
    its use discontinued for a time, 434, 435;
    anguish and remorse from its abuse, 616-621, 623, 624;
    in order to free himself from the slavery, C. arranges to live with
        Mr. James Gillman as a patient, 657-659;
    a final effort to give up the use of it altogether, 760 and note;
    the habit regulated and brought under control, but never entirely done
        away with, 760 n., 761 n.

  Oporto, seen from the sea, 469, 470.

  _Orestes_, by William Sotheby, 402, 409, 410.

  Original Sin, C. a believer in, 242.

  _Original Sin, Letter on_, by Jeremy Taylor, 640.

  _Origine de tous les Cultes, ou Religion universelle_, by Charles
        François Dupuis, 181 and note.

  _Origin, Nature, and Object of the New System of Education_, by Andrew
        Bell, D. D., 581 and note, 582.

  _Osorio_, a tragedy, 10 n., 229 and note, 231, 284 n., 603 n.
    See _Remorse_.

  Ossian, hexameters in, 398.

  Otter, the river, 14, 15.

  Ottery St. Mary, 6-8, 305 n.;
    C. wished by his family to settle at, 325;
    C.’s last visit to, 405 n.;
    a proposed visit to, 512, 513;
    745 n.

  Owen, William, 425 n.

  _O what a loud and fearful shriek was there_, a sonnet, 116 n., 117.

  Owls, care of, in Germany, 293.

  Oxford University, C.’s feeling towards, 45, 72.

  Paignton, 305 n.

  _Pain_, a sonnet, 174 n.

  Pain, C. interested in, 341.

  _Pains of Sleep, The_, 435-437 and note.

  Paley, William, Archdeacon of Carlisle, his _Motives of Contentment_, 47;
    his _Natural Theology_, 424 and note;

  Palm, John Philip, his pamphlet reflecting on Napoleon leads to his
        trial and execution, 530 and note;
    C. translates his pamphlet, 530.

  Pantisocracy, 73, 79, 81, 82, 88-91, 101-103, 109 n., 121, 122, 134,
        135, 138-141, 143-147, 149, 317 n., 748 n.

  _Paradise Lost_, by Milton, its imagery borrowed from the Scriptures,
        199, 200.

  Parasite, a, 705.

  Parliamentary Reform, essay on, 567.

  Parndon House, 506 n., 507, 508.

  Parret, the river, 165.

  Parties, political, in England, 242.

  Pasquin, Antony, 603 and note.

  Patience, 203 and note.

  Patteson, Hon. Mr. Justice, 726 n.

  Paul, Charles Kegan, his _William Godwin: His Friends and
        Contemporaries_, 161 n., 324 n., 465 n.

  _Pauper’s Funeral_, by Robert Southey, 108 and note, 109.

  _Peace and Union_, by William Friend, 24 n.

  Pearce, Dr., Master of Jesus College, 23, 24, 65, 70-72.

  _Pedlar, The_, former title of Wordsworth’s _Excursion_, 337 and note.

  Peel, Sir Robert, 689 n.

  Penche, M. de la, 49.

  Penmaen Mawr, C.’s ascent of, 81 n.

  Penn, William, 539.

  Pennington, W., 541, 542 n., 544.

  Penrith, 420, 421, 547, 548, 575 n.

  Penruddock, 420, 421.

  Perceval, Rt. Hon. Spencer, assassination of, 597, 598 and note.

  Perdita, _see_ Robinson, Mrs. Mary.

  _Peripatetic, The, or Sketches of the Heart, of Nature, and of Society_,
        by John Thelwall, 166 and note.

  Perry, James, 114.

  _Perspiration. A Travelling Eclogue_, 73.

  Peterloo, 702 n.

  _Philip Van Artevelde_, by Sir Henry Taylor, 774 and note.

  Phillips, Elizabeth (C.’s half sister), 54 n.

  Phillips, Sir Richard, 317 and note, 325, 327.

  Phillips, Thomas, R. A., 699;
    his two portraits of C., 699 and note, 700, 740;
    his portrait of William Hart Coleridge, Bishop of Barbadoes and the
        Leeward Islands, 740 and note.

  _Philological Museum_, 733 n.

  Philosophy, 648-650;
    German, 681-683;
    C.’s lectures on the History of, 698 and note.
    _See_ Metaphysics _and_ Religion.

  Pickering, W., 579 n.

  _Picture, The: or The Lover’s Resolution_, 405 n., 620 n.

  Pinney, Mr., of Bristol, 163 n.;
    his estate in the West Indies, 360, 361.

  Pipes, meerschaum, 277.

  Pisa, C.’s stay at, 499 n., 500 n.;
    his account of, 500 n.

  Pitt, Rt. Hon. William, C.’s report in the _Morning Post_ of his speech
        on the continuance of the war with France, 327 and note;
    proposed articles on, 505;
    C.’s detestation of, 535 and note;
    629 and note.

  _Pixies’ Parlour, The_, 222.

  Plampin, J., 70 and note.

  Plato, his _gorgeous_ nonsense, 211;
    his theology, 406.

  Playing-cards, German, 263.

  Pleasure, intoxicating power of, 370.

  Plinlimmon, C.’s ascent of, 81 n.

  _Plot Discovered, The_, 156 and note.

  _Poems by Robert Lovell and Robert Southey of Balliol College, Bath_,
        107 n.

  Poems and fragments of poems introduced by C. into his letters, 28, 35,
        36, 51, 52, 54, 56, 73, 75, 77, 83, 92, 94, 98, 100, 111-113, 207,
        212, 225, 355, 379-384, 388, 389, 397, 404, 412, 435-437, 553,
        609, 620, 642, 646, 702, 770, 771.

  _Poems on the Death of Priscilla Farmer_, by Charles Lloyd, 206 and note.

  _Poetical Character, Ode on the_, by Collins, 196.

  _Poetry, Concerning_, a proposed book, 347, 386, 387.

  Poetry, C. proposes to write an essay on, 338, 347, 386, 387;
    Greek and Hebrew, 405, 406.

  Poetry, C.’s, not obscure or mystical, 194, 195.

  Poland, 329.

  Political parties in England, 242.

  Politics, 240-243, 546, 550, 553, 574, 702, 712, 713, 757.
    _See_ Democracy, Pantisocracy, Republicanism.

  Poole, Richard, 249.

  Poole, Mrs. Richard, 248.

  Poole, Thomas, contributes to _The Watchman_, 155;
    collects a testimonial in the form of an annuity of £35 or £40 for C.,
        158 n.;
    C.’s gratitude, 158, 159;
    C. proposes to visit, 159;
    C.’s affection for, 168, 210, 258, 609, 610, 753;
    C. proposes to visit him with Charles Lloyd, 170;
    C.’s happiness at the prospect of living near, 173;
    his connection with C.’s removal to Nether Stowey, 183-193, 208-210;
    213, 219, 220;
    his opinion of Wordsworth, 221;
    232 and note, 233, 239, 257, 258, 260, 282 n., 289;
    effects a reconciliation between C. and Southey, 390;
    308, 319;
    C.’s reasons for not naming his third son after, 344;
    death of his mother, 364;
    396, 437 n.;
    nobly employed, 453;
    his rectitude and simplicity of heart, 454;
    456 n.;
    his forgetfulness, 460;
    515, 523;
    extract from a letter from C., 533 n.;
    a visit to Grasmere proposed, 545;
    his narrative of John Walford, 553 and note;
    C. complains of unkindness from, 609, 610;
    639 n., 657;
    meets C. at Samuel Purkis’s, Brentford, 673;
    extract from a letter from C. about Samuel Purkis, 673 n.;
    autobiographical letters from C., 3-18;
    other letters from C., 136, 155, 158, 168, 172, 176, 183-187, 208,
        248, 249, 258, 267, 282, 305, 335, 343, 348, 350, 364, 452, 454,
        541, 544, 550, 556, 609, 673, 753.

  _Poole, Thomas, and his Friends_, by Mrs. Henry Sandford, 158 n., 165
        n., 170 n., 183 n., 232 n., 234 n., 258, 267 n., 282 n., 391 n.,
        335 n., 456 n., 533 n., 553 n., 673 n., 676 n.

  Poole, William, 176.

  Pope, the, C. leaves Rome at a warning from, 498 n.

  Pope, Alexander, his _Essay on Man_, 648;
    a favorite walk of, 671.

  Pople, Mr., publisher of C.’s tragedy, _Remorse_, 602.

  Porson, Mr., 114, 115.

  Portinscale, 393 and note.

  Portraits of C., crayon sketch by Dawe, 572 and note;
    full-length portrait by Allston begun at Rome, 572 and note;
    portrait by Allston taken at Bristol, 572 n.;
    pencil sketch by Leslie, 695 n.;
    two portraits by Thomas Phillips, 699 and note, 700, 740;
    Wyville’s proofs, 770.

  Portugal, C. on Southey’s proposed history of, 387, 388, 423;
    the coast of, 469-471, 473.

  Possessive case, Moore’s misuse of the, 672.

  _Post, Morning_, 310;
    C. writing for, 320 and note, 324, 326, 327 and note, 329 and note;
    331, 335 n., 337, 376, 378 n., 379 n., 398, 404 n., 405, 414, 423,
        455 n.;
    Napoleon’s animosity aroused by C.’s articles in, 498 n.;
    its notice of C.’s tragedy, _Remorse_, 603 n.

  Postage, rates too high, 345.

  _Posthumous Fame_, 29 n.

  Potter, Mr., 97 and note, 106.

  Poverty, in England, 353, 354;
    blessings of, 364.

  Pratt, 321.

  _Prelude, The_, by Wordsworth, a reference to C. in, 486 n.;
    C.’s lines _To William Wordsworth_ after hearing him recite, 641, 644,
        646, 647 and note;
    C.’s admiration of, 645, 647 n.

  Pride, 149.

  Priestley, Joseph, C.’s sonnet to, 116 and note;
    his doctrine as to the future existence of infants, 286.

  _Progress of Liberty, The_, 296.

  _Prometheus of Æschylus, Essay on the_, 740 and note.

  Property, to be modified by the predominance of intellect, 323.

  Pseudonym, Ἔστησε, 398;
    its meaning, 407 and note, 408.

  _Public Characters for 1799-1800_, published by Richard Phillips, 317 n.

  _Puff and Slander_, projected satires, 630 and notes, 631 n.

  Purkis, Samuel, 326, 673 n.

  Quack medicine, a German, 264.

  _Quaker Family, Records of a_, by Anne Ogden Boyce, 538 n.

  Quaker girl, inelegant remark of a little, 362, 368.

  Quakerism, 415;
    C.’s belief in the essentials of, 539-541;
    C.’s definition of, 556.

  Quakers, as subscribers to _The Friend_, 556, 557.

  Quakers and Unitarians, the only Christians, 415.

  Quantocks, the, 405 n.

  _Quarterly Review, The_, 606;
    its review of _The Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton_, 637 and
        note, 667;
    reëchoes C.’s praise of Cary’s Dante, 677 n.;
    its attitude towards C., 697, 723;
    John Taylor Coleridge editor of, 736 and notes, 737.

  _Rabbinical Tales_, 667 and note, 669.

  Racedown, C.’s visit to Wordsworth at, 163 n., 220 and note, 221.

  _Race of Banquo, The_, by Southey, 92 and note.

  Rae, Mr., an actor, 611, 667.

  _Rainbow, The_, by Southey, 108 and note.

  Ramsgate, 700, 722, 729-731, 742-744.

  Ratzeburg, 257;
    C.’s stay in, 262-278;
    the Amtmann of, 264, 268, 271;
    description of, 273-277;
    C. leaves, 278;

  “Raw Head” and “Bloody Bones,” 45.

  Reading, _see_ Books.

  Reading, Berkshire, 66, 67.

  Reason and understanding, the distinction between, 712, 713.

  _Recluse, The_, a projected poem by Wordsworth of which _The Excursion_
        (q. v.) was to form the second part and to which _The Prelude_
        (q. v.) was to be an introduction, C.’s hopes for, 646, 647 and
        note, 648-650.

  _Recollections of a Late Royal Academician_, by Charles Lamb, 572 n.

  _Records of a Quaker Family_, by Anne Ogden Boyce, 538 n.

  Redcliff, 144.

  Redcliff Hill, 154.

  _Reflection, Aids to_, 688 n.

  _Reflections on having left a Place of Retirement_, 606 n.

  Reform Bill, 760, 762.

  Reich, Dr., 734, 736.

  _Rejected Addresses_, by Horace and James Smith, 606.

  Religion, beliefs and doubts of C. in regard to, 64, 68, 69, 88, 105,
        106, 127, 135, 152, 153, 159-161, 167, 171, 172, 198-205, 210,
        211, 228, 229, 235 n., 242, 247, 248, 285, 286, 342, 364, 365,
        407, 414, 415, 444, 538-541, 617-620, 624, 676, 688, 694, 706-712,
        746-748, 750, 754, 758-760, 762, 763, 771, 775, 776.

  _Religious Musings_, 239.

  _Reminiscences of Cambridge_, by Henry Gunning, 24 n., 363 n.

  _Reminiscences of Coleridge and Southey_, by Cottle, 268 n., 269 n.,
        417, 456 n., 617 n.

  Remorse, C.’s definition of, 607.

  _Remorse, A Tragedy_ (_Osorio_ rewritten), rehearsal of, 600;
    has a brief spell of success, 600 n., 602, 604, 610, 611;
    business arrangements as to its publication, 602;
    press notices of, 603 and note, 604;
    William Gifford’s criticism of, 605;
    the underlying principle of the plot of, 607, 608;
    wretchedly acted, 608, 611;
    metres of, 608;
    lack of pathos in, 608;
    plagiarisms in, 608;
    labors occasioned to C. by its production and success, 610;
    financial success of, 611;
    _Quarterly Review’s_ criticism of, 630;

  Repentance preached by the Christian religion, 201.

  Reporting the debates for the _Morning Post_, 324, 326, 327.

  Republicanism, 72, 79-81, 243.
    _See_ Democracy, Pantisocracy.

  _Retrospect, The_, by Robert Southey, 107 and note.

  Revelation, 676.

  Reynell, Richard, 497 and note.

  Rheumatism, C.’s sufferings from, 174 n., 193, 209, 307, 308, 432, 433.

  Rhine, the, 751.

  Richards, George, 41 and note.

  Richardson, Mrs., 145.

  Richter, Jean Paul, his _Vorschule der Aisthetik_, 683 and note.

  Rickman, John, 456 n., 459, 462, 542, 599.

  Ridgeway and Symonds, publishers, 638 n.

  _Robbers, The_, by Schiller, 96 and note, 97, 221.

  Roberts, Margaret, 358 n.

  Robespierre, Maximilian Marie Isidore, 203 n., 329 n.

  _Robespierre, The Fall of_, 85 and note, 87, 93, 104 and notes.

  Robinson, Frederick John (afterwards Earl of Ripon), his Corn Bill, 643
        and note.

  Robinson, Henry Crabb, 225 n., 593, 599, 670 n.;
    in old age, 671 n.;
    reads William Blake’s poems to Wordsworth, 686 n.;
    extract from a letter from C. to, 689 n.;
    his _Diary_, 225 n., 575 n., 591 n., 595 n., 686 n., 689 n.;
    letter from C., 671.

  Robinson, Mrs. Mary (“Perdita”), contributes poems to the _Annual
        Anthology_, 322 and note;
    her _Haunted Beach_, 331, 332;
    her ear for metre, 332.

  Roman Catholicism in Germany, 291, 292.

  _Romance, Ode to_, by Southey, 107 and note.

  Rome, C.’s flight from, 498 n.;
    501, 502.

  _Rosamund, Miss_, by Southey, 108 and note.

  _Rosamund to Henry; written after she had taken the veil_, by Southey,
        108 n.

  Roscoe, William, 359 and note.

  Rose, Sir George, 456 and note.

  _Rose, The_, 54 and note.

  Rose, W., 542.

  Roskilly, Rev. Mr., 267 n., 270;
    letter from C., 267.

  Ross, 77.

  Ross, the Man of, 77, 651 n.

  Rossetti, Gabriele, 731 and note, 732, 733.

  Rough, Sergeant, 225 and note.

  Royal Institution, C. obtains a lectureship at the, 506 n., 507, 508,
    an outline of proposed lectures at the, 515, 516, 522;
    C.’s lectures at the, 525.

  Royal Society of Literature, the, Basil Montagu’s endeavors to secure
        for C. an associateship of, 726, 727;
    C. an associate of, 728;
    an essay for, 737, 738;
    C. reads an _Essay on the Prometheus of Æschylus_ before, 739, 740.

  Rulers, always as bad as they dare to be, 240.

  Rush, Sir William, 368.

  Rushiford, 358.

  Russell, Mr., of Exeter, C.’s fellow-traveller, 498 n., 500 and note.

  Rustats, 24, 43.

  _Ruth_, by Wordsworth, 387.

  Ruthin, 78.

  St. Albyn, Mrs., the owner of Alfoxden, 232 n.

  St. Augustine, 375.

  St. Bees, 392, 393.

  St. Blasius, 292.

  St. Clear, 411, 412.

  St. Lawrence, near Maldon, description of, 690-692.

  _St. Leon_, by Godwin, the copyright sold for £400, 324, 325.

  St. Nevis, 360, 361.

  St. Paul’s _Epistle to the Hebrews_, 200.

  Salernitanus, 566 and note.

  Salisbury, 53-55.

  Samuel, C.’s dislike of the name, 470, 471.

  Sandford, Mrs. Henry, 183 n.;
    her _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, 158 n., 165 n., 170 n., 183 n.,
        232 n., 234 n., 258, 267 n., 282 n., 319 n., 335 n., 456 n., 533
        n., 553 n., 673 n., 676 n.

  Saturday Club, the, at Göttingen, 281.

  _Satyrane’s Letters_, 257, 274 n., 558.

  Savage, Mr., 534.

  Savory, Mr., 316.

  Scafell, 393, 394;
    in a thunderstorm on, 400 and note;
    view from the summit of, 400, 401;
    suggests the _Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni_, 404 and
        note, 405 and note.

  Scale Force, 375.

  Scarborough, 361-363.

  Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von, the philosophy of, 683, 735.

  Schiller, his _Robbers_, 96 and note, 97, 221;
    C. translates manuscript plays of, 331;
    C.’s translation of his _Wallenstein_, 403, 608.

  Scholarship examinations, 24, 43, 45 and note, 46.

  Schöning, Maria Eleanora, the story of, 555 and note, 556.

  Scoope, Emanuel, second Viscount Howe, 262 n.

  Scotland, C.’s tour in, 431-441;
    the four most wonderful sights in, 439, 440.

  Scott, an attorney, his manner of revenging himself on C., 310, 311.

  Scott, Sir Walter, his _Life of Napoleon Bonaparte_, 174 n.;
    his house in Edinburgh, 439;
    takes Hartley C. to the Tower, 511 n.;
    his offer to use his influence to get a place for Southey on the
        staff of the _Edinburgh Review_, 522 and note, 522;
    his _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, 523;
    605, 694;
    his _Antiquary_, 736 and note.

  Sea-bathing, 361 n., 362 and note.

  Seasickness, no sympathy for, 743, 744.

  _Sermoni propriora_, 606 and note.

  Shad, 82, 89, 96.

  Shaftesbury, Lord, 689 n.

  _Shakespeare, Lectures on_, 557 n.

  _Shakespeare and other Dramatists, Lectures on_, 756 n.

  Sharp, Richard, 447 n.;
    letter from C., 447.

  Shepherds, German, 293.

  _Sheridan, R. B., Esq., To_, 116 n., 118.

  Shrewsbury, C. offered the Unitarian pastorate at, 235 and note, 236.

  _Sibylline Leaves_, 178 n., 378 n., 379 n., 404 n.;
    C. ill-used by the printer of, 673, 674;
    678, 770.

  Sicily, C. plans to visit, 457, 458;
    C.’s first tour in, 485 and note, 486 and note, 487;

  Siddons, Mrs., 50.

  Sieyès, Abbé, 329 and note.

  _Sigh, The_, 100 and note.

  _Simplicity, Sonnet to_, 251 and note.

  Sin, original, C. a believer in, 242.

  Sincerity, regarded by Dr. Darwin as vicious, 161.

  _Sixteen Sonnets_, by Bampfylde, 369 n.

  Skiddaw, 335, 336;
    sunset over, 384.

  Skiddaw Forest, 376 n.

  Slavery, question of its introduction into the proposed pantisocratic
        colony, 89, 90, 95, 96.

  _Slave Trade, History of the Abolition of the_, by Thomas Clarkson, C.’s
        review of, 527 and note, 528-530, 535, 536.

  _Slave Trade, On the_, 43 and note.

  Slee, Miss, 362, 363.

  Sleep, C.’s sufferings in, 435, 440, 441, 447.

  Smerdon, Mrs., 21, 22.

  Smerdon, Rev. Mr., Vicar of Ottery, 22, 106 and note.

  Smith, Charlotte, 326.

  Smith, Horace and James, their _Rejected Addresses_, 606.

  Smith, James, 704.

  Smith, Raphael, 701 n.

  Smith, Robert Percy (Bobus), 43 and note.

  Smith, William, M. P., 506 n., 507 and note.

  Snuff, 691, 692 and note.

  _Social Life at the English Universities_, by Christopher Wordsworth,
        225 n.

  _Something Childish, but Very Natural_, quoted, 294.

  _Song_, 100.

  _Songs of the Pixies_, 222.

  _Sonnet_, an anonymous, 177, 178.

  _Sonnet composed on a journey homeward, the author having received
        intelligence of the birth of a son_, 194 and note, 195.

  Sonnets, 111, 112, and note;
    to Priestley, 116 and note;
    to Kosciusko, 116 n., 117;
    to Godwin, 116 n., 117;
    to Sheridan, 116 n., 117, 118;
    to Burke, 116 n., 118;
    to Southey, 116 n., 120;
    a selection of, privately printed by C., 177, 206 and note;
    by “Nehemiah Higginbottom,” 251 n.

  _Sonnets, Sixteen_, by Bampfylde, 309 n.

  _Sonnet to Simplicity_, 251 and note.

  _Sonnet to the Author of the Robbers_, 96 n.

  Sorrel, James, 21.

  Sotheby, William, C. translates Gesner’s _Erste Schiffer_ at his
        instance, 369, 371, 372, 376-378, 397, 402, 403;
    his translation of the Georgics of Virgil, 375;
    his _Poems_, 375;
    his _Netley Abbey_, 396;
    his _Welsh Tour_, 396;
    his _Orestes_, 402, 409, 410;
    proposes a fine edition of _Christabel_, 421, 422;
    492, 579, 595 n., 604, 605;
    letters from C., 369, 376, 396-408.

  Sotheby, Mrs. William, 369, 375, 378.

  Soul and body, 708, 709.

  South Devon, 305 n.

  Southey, Lieutenant, 563.

  Southey, Bertha, daughter of Robert S., born, 546, 547 and note, 578.

  Southey, Catharine, daughter of Robert S., 578.

  Southey, Rev. Charles Cuthbert, his _Life and Correspondence of Robert
        Southey_, 308 n., 309 n., 327 n., 329 n., 384 n., 395 n., 400 n.,
        425 n., 488 n., 521 n., 584 n., 748 n.;
    on the date of composition of _The Doctor_, 583 n.

  Southey, Edith, daughter of Robert S., 578.

  Southey, Dr. Henry, 615 and note.

  Southey, Herbert, son of Robert S., 578;
    his nicknames, 583 n.

  Southey, Margaret, daughter of Robert S., born, 394 n., 395 n.;
    dies, 435 n.

  Southey, Mrs. Margaret, mother of Robert S., 138, 147.

  Southey, Robert, his and C.’s _Omniana_, 9 n., 554 n., 718 n.;
    his _Botany Bay Eclogues_, 76 n., 116;
    proposed emigration to America with a colony of pantisocrats, 81, 82,
        89-91, 95, 96, 98, 101-103;
    his sonnets, 82, 83, 92, 108;
    his connection with C.’s engagement to Miss Sarah Fricker, 84-86, 126;
    his _Race of Banquo_, 92 and note;
    97 n.;
    his _Retrospect_, 107 and note;
    his _Ode to Romance_, 107 and note;
    his _Ode to Lycon_, 107 n., 108;
    his _Death of Mattathias_, 108 and note;
    his sonnets, _To Valentine_, _The Fire_, _The Rainbow_, 108 and notes;
    his _Rosamund to Henry_, 108 and notes;
    his _Pauper’s Funeral_, 108 and note, 109;
    his _Chapel Bell_, 110 and note;
    C. prophesies fame for, 110;
    his _Elegy_, 115;
    C.’s sonnet to, 116 n., 120;
    lines to Godwin, 120;
    suggestion that the proposed colony of pantisocrats be founded in
        Wales, 121, 122;
    his sonnet, _Hold your mad hands!_, 127 and note;
    his abandonment of pantisocracy causes a serious rupture with C.,
    marries Edith Fricker, 137 n.;
    his _Joan of Arc_, 141, 149, 178 and note, 210, 319;
    163 n.;
    the poet for the patriot, 178;
    198 and note;
    his verses to a college cat, 207;
    C. compares his poetry with his own, 210;
    personal relations with C. after the partial reconciliation, 210, 211;
    his exertions in aid of Chatterton’s sister, 221, 222;
    his _Mary the Maid of the Inn_, 223;
    C.’s _Sonnet to Simplicity_ not written with reference to, 251 and
    a more complete reconciliation with C., 303, 304;
    visits C. at Stowey with his wife, 304;
    C., with his wife and child, visits him at Exeter, 305 and note;
    accompanies C. on a walking tour in Dartmoor, 305 and note;
    his _Specimens of the Later English Poets_, 309 n.;
    his _Madoc_, 314, 357, 388, 463 and note, 467, 489, 490;
    his _Thalaba the Destroyer_, 314, 319, 324, 357, 684;
    out of health, 314;
    C. suggests his removing to London, 315;
    George Dyer’s article on, 317 and note;
    _The Devil’s Thoughts_, written in collaboration with C., 318;
    320 n.;
    thinks of going abroad for his health, 326, 329, 360, 361;
    an advocate of the establishment of Protestant orders of Sisters of
        Mercy, 327 n.;
    proposes the establishment of a magazine with signed articles, 328 n.;
    extract from a letter to C. on the condition of France, 329 n.;
    C. begs him to make his home at Greta Hall, 354-356, 362, 391, 392,
        394, 395;
    367, 379 n.;
    his proposed history of Portugal, 387, 388, 423;
    secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland for a short
        time, 390 and note;
    birth of his first child, Margaret, 394 n., 395 n.;
    his admiration of Bowles and its effect on his poems, 396;
    400 n.;
    his prose style, 423;
    his proposed bibliographical work, 428-430;
    makes a visit to Greta Hall which proves permanent, 435;
    death of his little daughter, Margaret, 435 and note, 437;
    his first impressions of Edinburgh, 438 n.;
    on Hartley and Derwent Coleridge, 443;
    460, 463, 468, 484, 488 n.;
    poverty, 490;
    his _Wat Tyler_, 507 n.;
    declines an offer from Scott to secure him a place on the staff of the
        _Edinburgh Review_, 521 and note;
    542 n.;
    extract from a letter to J. N. White, 545 n.;
    on the mumps, 545 n.;
    birth of his daughter Bertha, 546, 547 and note;
    corrects proofs of _The Friend_, 551 and note;
    C.’s love and esteem for, 578;
    his family in 1812, 578;
    C.’s estimate of, 581;
    on the authorship of _The Doctor_, 583 n., 584 n.;
    C. states his side of the quarrel with Wordsworth in conversation
        with, 592;
    604, 609 n., 615, 617 n.;
    writes of his friend John Kenyon, 639 n.;
    his protection of C.’s family, 657;
    C.’s letter introducing Mr. Ludwig Tieck, 670;
    his _Curse of Kehama_, 684;
    694, 718, 724;
    his _Book of the Church_, 724;
    his acquaintance with George Dyer, 748 n.;
    letters from C., 72-101, 106-121, 125, 134, 137, 221, 251 n., 303,
        307-332, 354-361, 365, 384, 393, 415, 422-430, 434, 437, 464,
        469, 487, 520, 554, 597, 605, 670;
    letter to Miss Sarah Fricker, 107 n.
    See _Annual Anthology_, the, edited by Southey.

  _Southey, Robert, Life and Correspondence of_, by Rev. Charles Cuthbert
        Southey, 108 n., 308 n., 309 n., 327 n., 329 n., 384 n., 395 n.,
        400 n., 425 n., 488 n., 521 n., 584 n., 736 n., 748 n.

  _Southey, Robert, Selections from Letters of_, 305 n., 438 n., 447 n.,
        543 n., 545 n., 583 n., 584 n., 736 n.

  _Southey, Robert, of Balliol College, Bath, Poems by Robert Lovell and_,
        107 n.

  Southey, Mrs. Robert (Edith Fricker), Southey’s sonnet to, 127 and note;
    384, 385, 390-392;
    birth of her first child, Margaret, 394 n., 395 n.;
    birth of her daughter Bertha, 546, 547 and note;

  Southey, Thomas, 108 n., 109 n., 147;
    a midshipman on the Sylph at the time of her capture, 308 and note.

  South Molton, 5.

  _Spade of a Friend (an Agriculturist), To the_, by Wordsworth, in honor
        of Thomas Wilkinson, 538 n.

  Spaniards, C.’s opinion of, 478.

  _Spaniards, Letters on the_, 629 and note.

  Sparrow, Mr., head-master of Newcome’s Academy, 24, 25 n.

  _Specimens of the Later English Poets_, by Southey, 309 n.

  _Spectator_, Addison’s, studied by C. in connection with _The Friend_,
        557, 558.

  Speedwell, the brig, 467;
    on board, 469-481.

  Spenser, Edmund, his _View of the State of Ireland_, 638 and note;
    quotation from, 694.

  Spillekins, 462, 468.

  Spinoza, Benedict, 632.

  _Spirit of Navigation and Discovery, The_, by William Lisle Bowles, 403
        and note.

  _Spiritual Philosophy, founded on the Teaching of S. T. Coleridge_, by
        J. H. Green, with memoir of the author’s life, by Sir John Simon,
        680 n.

  Spurzheim, Johann Kaspar, his life-mask and bust of C., 570 n.

  Stage, illusion of the, 663.

  _Stamford News_, 567 n.

  Stanger, Mrs. Joshua (Mary Calvert), 345 n.

  _Stanzas written in my Pocket Copy of Thomson’s Castle of Indolence_, by
        Wordsworth, 345 n.

  Steam vessels, 730 and note, 743.

  Steffens, Heinrich, 683.

  Steinburg, Baron, 279.

  Steinmetz, Adam, C.’s letter to his friend, John Peirse Kennard, after
        his death, 762;
    his character and amiable qualities, 763, 764, 775.

  Steinmetz, John Henry, 762 n.

  Stephen, Leslie, on C.’s study of Kant, 351 n.

  Stephens (Stevens), Launcelot Pepys, 25 and note.

  _Sterling, Life of_, by Carlyle, 771 n., 772 n.

  Sterling, John, his admiration for C., 771 n., 772 n.;
    letter from C., 771.

  _Sternbald’s Wanderungen_, by Ludwig Tieck, 683 and note.

  Stevens (Stephens), Launcelot Pepys, 25 and note.

  Stoddart, Dr. (afterwards Sir) John, 477 and note, 481, 508;
    detains C.’s books and MSS., 523;

  Stoke House, C. visits the Wedgwoods at, 673 n.

  Storm, on a mountain-top, 339, 340;
    with lightning in December, 365, 366;
    on Scafell, 400 and note;
    in Kirkstone Pass, 418-420.

  Stowey, _see_ Nether Stowey.

  Stowey Benefit Club, 233.

  Stowey Castle, 225 n.

  Street, Mr., editor of the _Courier_, 506, 533, 567, 568, 570, 616, 629,
    his unsatisfactory conduct of the _Courier_, 661, 662.

  Strutt, Mr., 152, 153.

  Strutt, Edward (Lord Belper), 215 n.

  Strutt, Joseph, 215 n., 216, 367.

  Strutt, Mrs. Joseph, 216.

  Strutt, William, 215 and note.

  Stuart, Miss, a personal reminiscence of C. by, 705 n.

  Stuart, Daniel, proprietor and editor of the _Morning Post_ and
        _Courier_, 311, 315;
    engages C. for the _Morning Post_, 319, 320;
    321, 329;
    engages lodgings in Covent Garden for C., 366 n.;
    on C.’s dislike of Sir James Mackintosh, 454 n., 455 n.;
    458, 468, 474, 486 n., 507, 508, 519, 520, 542, 543 n.;
    a friend of Dr. Henry Southey, 615 n.;
    his steadiness and independence of character, 660;
    his public services, 660;
    his knowledge of men, 660;
    letters from C., 475, 485, 493, 501, 505, 533, 545, 547, 566, 595,
        615, 627, 634, 660, 663, 740.
    See _Courier_ and _Post, Morning_.

  Stutfield, Mr., amanuensis and disciple of C., 753 and note.

  Sugar, beet, 299 and note.

  _Sun, The_, 633.

  Sunset in the Lake Country, a, 384.

  Supernatural, C.’s essay on the, 684.

  Superstitions of the German bauers, 291, 292, 294.

  Suwarrow, Alexander Vasilievitch, 307 and note.

  Swedenborg, Emanuel, his _De Cultu et Amore Dei_, 684 n.;
    his _De Cœlo et Inferno_, 684 n.;
    688, 729, 730.

  Swedenborgianism, C. and, 684 n.

  Swift, Jonathan, his _Drapier_ Letters, 638 and note.

  Sylph, the gun-brig, capture of, 308 n.

  Sympathy, C.’s craving for, 696, 697.

  _Synesius_, by Canterus, 67 and note, 68.

  Syracuse, Sicily, 458;
    C.’s visit to, 485 n., 486 n.

  _Table Talk_, 81 n., 440 n., 624 n., 633 n., 684 n., 699 n., 756 n.,
        763 n., 764 n.

  _Table Talk and Omniana_, 9 n., 554 n., 571 n., 718 n., 764 n.

  Tatum, 53, 54.

  Taunton, 220 n.;
    C. preaches for Dr. Toulmin in, 247.

  Taxation, C.’s Essay on, 629 and note.

  Taxes, 757.

  Taylor, Sir Henry, his _Philip Van Artevelde_, 774 and note.

  Taylor, Jeremy, his _Dissuasion from Popery_, 639;
    his _Letter on Original Sin_, 640;
    a complete man, 640, 641.

  Taylor, Samuel, 9.

  Taylor, William, 310;
    on double rhymes in English, 332;
    488, 489.

  Tea, 412, 413, 417.

  Temperance, suggestions as to the furtherance of the cause of, 767-769.

  _Temple, The_, by George Herbert, 694.

  Teneriffe, 414, 417.

  Terminology, C. wishes to form a better, 755.

  _Thalaba the Destroyer_, by Southey, 414;
    C.’s advice as to publishing, 319;
    324, 357, 684.

  _The Hour when we shall meet again_, 157.

  Thelwall, John, his radicalism, 159, 160;
    his criticisms of C.’s poetry, 163, 164, 194-197, 218;
    on Burke, 166;
    his _Peripatetic, or Sketches of the Heart, of Nature, and of
        Society_, 166 and note;
    his _Essay on Animal Vitality_, 179, 212;
    his _Poems_, 179, 197;
    his contemptuous attitude towards the Christian Religion, 198-205;
    two odes by, 218;
    C. criticises a poem and a so-called sonnet by, 230;
    C. advises him not to settle at Stowey, 232-234;
    letter to Dr. Crompton on the Wedgwood annuity, 234 n.;
    extract from a letter from C. on the Wedgwood annuity, 235 n.;
    letters from C., 159, 166, 178, 193, 210, 214, 228-232.

  Thelwall, Mrs. John (Stella, first wife of preceding), 181, 205, 206 n.,
        207, 214.

  Theology, C.’s great interest in, 406;
    C.’s projected great work on, 632 and note, 633.

  _Theory of Life_, 711 n.

  _The piteous sobs which choke the virgin’s breast_, a sonnet by C., 206

  _This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison_, 225 and note, 226 and notes, 227, 228

  Thompson, James, 343 and note.

  Thornycroft, Hamo, R. A., 570 n.;
    his bust of C., 695 n.

  _Thou gentle look, that didst my soul beguile_, see _O gentle look_, etc.

  _Though king-bred rage with lawless tumult rude_, a sonnet, 116 and note.

  Thought, a rule for the regulation of, 244, 245.

  _Three Graves, The_, 412 and note, 551, 606.

  Thunder-storm, in December, 365, 366;
    on Scafell, 400 and note.

  Tieck, Ludwig, a letter of introduction from C. to Southey, 670;
    two letters to C. from, 670 n.;
    671, 672, 680;
    his _Sternbald’s Wanderungen_, 663 and note;

  _Times, The_, 327 n.;
    its notice of C.’s tragedy _Remorse_, 603 and note.

  _Tineum_, by C. Valentine Le Grice, 111 and note.

  Tiverton, 56.

  _To a Friend, together with an Unfinished Poem_, 128 n., 454 n.

  _To a friend who had declared his intention of writing no more poetry_,
        206 n.

  _To a Gentleman_, 647 n.
    See _To William Wordsworth_.

  _To a Highland Girl_, by Wordsworth, 459.

  _To a Young Ass; its mother being tethered near it_, 119 and note, 120,
        606 and note.

  _To a Young Lady, with a Poem on the French Revolution_, 94 and note.

  _To a Young Man of Fortune who had abandoned himself to an indolent and
        causeless melancholy_, 207 and note, 208 and note.

  Tobin, Mr., his habit of advising 474, 475.

  Tobin, James, 460 n.

  Tobin, John, 460 n.

  _To Bowles_, 111 and note.

  _To Disappointment_, 28.

  Tomalin, J., his _Shorthand Report of Lectures_, 11 n., 575 n.

  _To Matilda Betham. From a Stranger_, 404 n.

  Tomkins, Mr., 397, 402, 403.

  _To my own Heart_, 92 n.

  Tooke, Andrew, 455 n.;
    his _Pantheon_, 455 and note.

  Tooke, Horne, 218.

  _To one who published in print what had been intrusted to him by my
        fireside_, 252 n.

  Torbay, 305 n.

  _To R. B. Sheridan, Esq._, 116 n., 118.

  _To the Spade of a Friend (an Agriculturist)_, by Wordsworth, in honor
        of Thomas Wilkinson, 538 n.

  Totness, 305.

  Toulmin, Rev. Dr., 220 n.;
    tragic death of his daughter, 247, 248.

  _Tour in North Wales_, by J. Hucks, 74 n., 81 n.

  _Tour over the Brocken_, 257.

  _Tour through Parts of Wales_, by William Sotheby, 396.

  _To Valentine_, by Southey, 108 and note.

  Towers, 321.

  _To William Wordsworth_, 641, 644;
    C. quotes from, 646, 647;
    647 n.

  Treaty of Vienna, 615 and note.

  Trossachs, the, 431, 432, 440.

  Tuckett, G. L., 57 n.;
    letter from C., 57.

  Tulk, Charles Augustus, 684 n.;
    letters from C., 684, 712.

  Turkey, 329.

  Turner, Sharon, 425 n., 593.

  _Two Founts, The_, 702 n.

  _Two Round Spaces on a Tombstone, The_, the hero of, 455.

  _Two Sisters, To_, 702 n.

  Tychsen, Olaus, 398 and note.

  Tyson, T., 393.

  Ulpha Kirk, 393.

  Understanding, as distinguished from reason, 712, 713.

  Unitarianism, 415, 758, 759.

  Upcott, C. visits Josiah Wedgwood at, 308.

  Usk, the vale of, 410.

  _Valentine, To_, by Southey, 108 and note.

  Valetta, Malta, C.’s visit to, 481-484, 487-497.

  Valette, General, 484;
    given command of the Maltese Regiment, 554, 555.

  Vane, Sir Frederick, his library, 296.

  _Velvet Cushion, The_, by Rev. J. W. Cunningham, 651 and note.

  Vienna, Treaty of, 615 and note.

  Violin-teacher, C.’s, 49.

  Virgil’s _Æneid_, Wordsworth’s unfinished translation of, 733 and note,

  Virgil’s _Georgics_, William Sotheby’s translation, 375.

  _Visions of the Maid of Orleans, The_, 192, 206.

  Vital power, definition of, 712.

  Vogelstein, Karl Christian Vogel von, a letter of introduction from
        Ludwig Tieck to C., 670 n.

  Von Axen, Messrs. P. and O., 269 n.

  Voss, Johann Heinrich, his _Luise_, 203 n., 625, 627;
    his _Idylls_, 398.

  Voyage to Malta, C.’s, 469-481.

  Wade, Josiah, 137 n., 145, 151 n., 152 n., 191, 288;
    publication by Cottle of Coleridge’s letter of June 26, 1814, to, 616
        n., 617 n.;
    letters from C., 151, 623.

  Waithman, a politician, 598.

  Wakefield, Edward, his _Account of Ireland_, 638.

  Wales, proposed colony of pantisocrats in, 121, 122, 140, 141.

  _Wales, Tour through Parts of_, by William Sotheby, 396.

  Wales, North, C.’s tour of, 72-81.

  Wales, South, C.’s tour of, 410-414.

  Walford, John, Poole’s narrative of, 553 and note.

  Walker, Thomas, 162.

  Walk into the country, a, 32, 33.

  _Wallenstein_, by Schiller, C.’s translation of, 403, 608.

  Wallis, Mr., 498-500, 523.

  Wallis, Mrs., 392.

  _Wanderer’s Farewell to Two Sisters, The_, 722 n.

  Ward, C. A., 763 n.

  Ward, Thomas, 170 n.

  Wardle, Colonel, leads the attack on the Duke of York in the House of
        Commons, 543 and note.

  Warren, Parson, 18.

  Wastdale, 393, 401.

  _Watchman, The_, 57 n.;
    C.’s tour to procure subscribers for, 151 and note, 152-154;
    discontinued, 158;
    174 n., 611.

  Watson, Mrs. Henry, 698 n., 702 n.

  _Wat Tyler_, by Southey, 506 n.

  Wedgwood, Josiah, 260, 261, 268, 269 n.;
    visit from C. at Upcott, 308;
    his temporary residence at Upcott, 308 n.;
    337 n., 350, 351 and note, 416 n.;
    withdraws his half of the Wedgwood annuity from C., 602, 611 and note;
    C.’s regard and love for, 611, 612.

  Wedgwood, Josiah and Thomas, settle on C. an annuity for life of £150,
        234 and note, 235 and note;
    269 n., 321.

  Wedgwood, Miss Sarah, 412, 416, 417.

  Wedgwood, Thomas, 323, 379 n.;
    with C. in South Wales, 412, 413;
    his fine and subtle mind, 412;
    proposes to pass the winter in Italy with C., 413, 414, 418;
    415, 416;
    a genuine philosopher, 448, 449;
    C.’s gratitude towards, 451;
    456 n., 493;
    C.’s love for, mingled with fear, 612;
    letter from C., 417.

  Welles, A., 462.

  Wellesley, Marquis of, 674.

  Welsh clergyman, a, 79, 80.

  Wensley, Miss, an actress, and her father, 704.

  Wernigerode Inn, 298 n.

  West, Mr., 633.

  Whitbread, Samuel, 598.

  White, Blanco, 741, 744.

  White, J. N., extract from a letter from Southey, 545 n.

  White Water Dash, 375 and note, 376 n.

  Wilberforce, William, 535.

  Wilkie, Sir David, his portraits of Hartley C., 511 n.;
    his _Blind Fiddler_, 511 n.

  Wilkinson, Thomas, 538 n.;
    letter from C., 538.

  Will, lunacy or idiocy of the, 768.

  Williams, Edward (Iolo Morgangw), 162 and note.

  Williams, John (“Antony Pasquin”), 603 n.

  Wilson, Mrs., housekeeper for Mr. Jackson of Greta Hall, 461 and note,
    Hartley C.’s attachment for, 510.

  Wilson, Professor, 756.

  Windy Brow, 346.

  _Wish written in Jesus Wood, February 10, 1792, A_, 35.

  _With passive joy the moment I survey_, an anonymous sonnet, 177, 178.

  _With wayworn feet, a pilgrim woe-begone_, a sonnet by Southey, 127 and

  Wolf, Freiherr Johann Christian von, 735.

  Wollstonecraft, Mary, 316, 318 n., 321.

  Woodlands, 271.

  Woolman, John, 540.

  _Woolman, John, the Journal of_, 4 and note.

  Worcester, 154.

  Wordsworth, Catherine, 563.

  Wordsworth, Rev. Christopher, D. D., 225 n.;
    Charles Lloyd reads Greek with, 311.

  Wordsworth, Rev. Christopher, M. A., his _Social Life at the English
        Universities in the Eighteenth Century_, 225 n.

  Wordsworth, Rt. Rev. Christopher, D. D., his _Memoirs of William
        Wordsworth_, 432 n., 585 n.

  Wordsworth, Dorothy, 10 n.;
    C.’s description of, 218 n.;
    visits C. with her brother, 224-227;
    228, 231, 245 n., 249;
    goes to Germany with William Wordsworth, Coleridge, and John Chester,
    with her brother at Goslar, 272, 273;
    returns with him to England, 288, 296;
    311 n., 346, 367, 373, 385;
    accompanies her brother and C. on a tour in Scotland, 431, 432 and
    577, 599 n.

  Wordsworth, John, son of William W., 545.

  Wordsworth, Captain John, and the effect of his death on C.’s spirits,
        494 and note, 495 and note, 497.

  Wordsworth, Thomas, death of, 599 n.;
    C.’s love of, 600.

  Wordsworth, William, 10 n., 163 and note, 164 and note, 218 n.;
    visit from C. at Racedown, 220 and note, 221;
    greatness of, 221, 224;
    settles at Alfoxden, near Stowey, 224;
    at C.’s cottage, 224-227;
    C. visits him at Alfoxden, 227;
    228, 231, 232;
    suspected of conspiracy against the government, 232 n., 233;
    memoranda scribbled on the outside sheet of a letter from C., 238 n.;
    his greatness and amiability, 239;
    his _Excursion_, 244 n., 337 n., 585 n., 641, 642, 645-650;
    C.’s admiration for, 246;
    250 n.;
    accompanies C. to Germany, 259;
    268, 269 n.;
    considers settling near the Lakes, 270;
    at Goslar with his sister, 272, 273;
    an _Epitaph_ by, 284;
    returns to England, 288, 296;
    wishes C. to live near him in the North of England, 296;
    his grief at C.’s refusal, 296, 297;
    304, 313;
    his and C.’s _Lyrical Ballads_, 336, 337, 341, 350 and note, 387;
    his admiration for _Christabel_, 337;
    338, 342;
    proposal from William Calvert in regard to sharing his house and
        studying chemistry with him, 345, 346;
    his _Stanzas written in my Pocket Copy of Thomson’s Castle of
        Indolence_, 345 n.;
    348, 350;
    marries Miss Mary Hutchinson, 359 n.;
    363, 367, 370, 373;
    his opinion of poetic license, 373-375;
    C. addresses his _Ode to Dejection_ to, 378 and note, 379 and note,
    his _Ruth_, 387;
    400, 418, 428;
    with C. on a Scotch tour, 431-434;
    his _Peter Bell_, 432 and note;
    441, 443;
    receives a visit at Grasmere from C., who is taken ill there, 447;
    his hypochondria, 448;
    his happiness and philosophy, 449, 450;
    a most original poet, 450;
    his _To a Highland Girl_, 459;
    464, 468;
    his reference to C. in _The Prelude_, 386 n.;
    his _Brothers_, 494 n., 609 n.;
    his _Happy Warrior_, 494 n.;
    extract from a letter to Sir George Beaumont on John Wordsworth’s
        death, 494 n.;
    511 and note, 522;
    his essays on the Convention of Cintra, 534 and note, 543 and note,
    his _To the Spade of a Friend_, 558 n.;
    543 and note, 546, 522, 553 n., 556;
    C.’s misunderstanding with, 576 n., 577, 578, 586-588, 612;
    his _Essays upon Epitaphs_, 585 and note;
    a long-delayed explanation from C., 588-595;
    reconciled with C., 596, 597, 599, 612;
    death of his son Thomas, 599 n.;
    second rupture with C., 599 n., 600 n.;
    his projected poem, _The Recluse_, 646, 647 and note, 648-650;
    on William Blake as a poet, 686 n.;
    his unfinished translation of the _Æneid_, 733 and note, 734;
    felicities and unforgettable lines and stanzas in his poems, 734;
    influence of the _Edinburgh Review_ on the sale of his works in
        Scotland, 741, 742;
    759 n.;
    letters from C., 234, 588, 596, 599, 643, 733.

  _Wordsworth, William, Life of_, by Rev. William Angus Knight, LL. D.,
        164 n., 220 n., 447 n., 585 n., 591 n., 596 n., 599 n., 600 n.,
        733 n., 759 n.

  _Wordsworth, William, Memoirs of_, by Christopher Wordsworth, 432 n.,
        550 n., 585 n.

  _Wordsworth, William, To_, 641, 644;
    C. quotes from, 646, 647;
    647 n.

  Wordsworth, Mrs. William, extract from a letter to Sara Coleridge, 220;
    _See_ Hutchinson, Mary.

  Wordsworths, the, visit from C. and his son Hartley at Coleorton
        Farmhouse, 509-514;
    letter from C., 456.

  Wrangham, Francis, 363 and note.

  Wrexham, 77, 78.

  Wright, Joseph, A. R. A. (Wright of Derby), 152 and note.

  Wright, W. Aldis, 174 n.

  Wynne, Mr., an old friend of Southey’s, 639 n.

  Wyville’s proofs of C.’s portrait, 770.

  Yarmouth, 258, 259.

  Yates, Miss, 39.

  Yews near Brecon, 411.

  York, Duke of, 543 n., 555 n., 567 and note.

  Young, Edward, 404.

  _Youth and Age_, 730 n.

  _Zapolya: A Christmas Tale, in two Parts_, its publication in book form
        after rejection by the Drury Lane Committee, 666 and note, 667-669.


[1] Pickering, 1838.

[2] The Journal of John Woolman, the Quaker abolitionist, was published in
Philadelphia in 1774, and in London in 1775. From a letter of Charles
Lamb, dated January 5, 1797, we may conclude that Charles Lloyd had, in
the first instance, drawn Coleridge’s attention to the writings of John
Woolman. Compare, too, _Essays of Elia_, “A Quakers’ Meeting.” “Get the
writings of John Woolman by heart; and love the early Quakers.” _Letters
of Charles Lamb_, 1888, i. 61; _Prose Works_, 1836, ii. 106.

[3] I have been unable to trace any connection between the family of
Coleridge and the Parish or Hundred of Coleridge in North Devon.
Coldridges or Coleridges have been settled for more than two hundred years
in Doddiscombsleigh, Ashton, and other villages of the Upper Teign, and to
the southwest of Exeter the name is not uncommon. It is probable that at
some period before the days of parish registers, strangers from Coleridge
who had settled farther south were named after their birthplace.

[4] Probably a mistake for Crediton. It was at Crediton that John
Coleridge, the poet’s father, was born (Feb. 21, 1718) and educated; and
here, if anywhere, it must have been that the elder John Coleridge “became
a respectable woollen-draper.”

[5] John Coleridge, the younger, was in his thirty-first year when he was
matriculated as sizar at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, March 18, 1748.
He is entered in the college books as _filius Johannis textoris_. On the
13th of June, 1749, he was appointed to the mastership of Squire’s Endowed
Grammar School at South Molton. It is strange that Coleridge forgot or
failed to record this incident in his father’s life. His mother came from
the neighbourhood, and several of his father’s scholars, among them
Francis Buller, afterwards the well-known judge, followed him from South
Molton to Ottery St. Mary.

[6] George Coleridge was Chaplain Priest, and Master of the King’s School,
but never Vicar of Ottery St. Mary.

[7] Anne (“Nancy”) Coleridge died in her twenty-fifth year. Her illness
and early death form the subject of two of Coleridge’s early sonnets.
_Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_, Macmillan, 1893, p. 13. See,
also, “Lines to a Friend,” p. 37, and “Frost at Midnight,” p. 127.

[8] A mistake for October 21st.

[9] Compare some doggerel verses “On Mrs. Monday’s Beard” which Coleridge
wrote on a copy of Southey’s _Omniana_, under the heading of “Beards”
(_Omniana_, 1812, ii. 54). Southey records the legend of a female saint,
St. Vuilgefortis, who in answer to her prayers was rewarded with a beard
as a mark of divine favour. The story is told in some Latin elegiacs from
the _Annus Sacer Poeticus_ of the Jesuit Sautel which Southey quotes at
length. Coleridge comments thus, “_Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixere!_
What! can nothing be one’s own? This is the more vexatious, for at the age
of eighteen I lost a legacy of Fifty pounds for the following Epigram on
my Godmother’s Beard, which she had the _barbarity_ to revenge by striking
me out of her Will.”

The epigram is not worth quoting, but it is curious to observe that, even
when scribbling for his own amusement, and without any view to
publication, Coleridge could not resist the temptation of devising an
“apologetic preface.”

The verses, etc., are printed in _Table Talk and Omniana_, Bell, 1888, p.
391. The editor, the late Thomas Ashe, transcribed them from Gillman’s
copy of the _Omniana_, now in the British Museum. I have followed a
transcript of the marginal note made by Mrs. H. N. Coleridge before the
volume was cut in binding. Her version supplies one or two omissions.

[10] The meaning is that the events which had taken place between March
and October, 1797, the composition, for instance, of his tragedy,
_Osorio_, the visit of Charles Lamb to the cottage at Nether Stowey, the
settling of Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy at Alfoxden, would hereafter
be recorded in his autobiography. He had failed to complete the record of
the past, only because he had been too much occupied with the present.

[11] He records his timorous passion for fairy stories in a note to _The
Friend_ (ed. 1850, i. 192). Another version of the same story is to be
found in some MS. notes (taken by J. Tomalin) of the Lectures of 1811, the
only record of this and other lectures:--

_Lecture 5th_, 1811. “Give me,” cried Coleridge, with enthusiasm, “the
works which delighted my youth! Give me the _History of St. George, and
the Seven Champions of Christendom_, which at every leisure moment I used
to hide myself in a corner to read! Give me the _Arabian Nights’
Entertainments_, which I used to watch, till the sun shining on the
bookcase approached, and, glowing full upon it, gave me the courage to
take it from the shelf. I heard of no little Billies, and sought no praise
for giving to beggars, and I trust that my heart is not the worse, or the
less inclined to feel sympathy for all men, because I first learnt the
powers of my nature, and to reverence that nature--for who can feel and
reverence the nature of man and not feel deeply for the affliction of
others possessing like powers and like nature?” Tomalin’s _Shorthand
Report of Lecture V._

[12] Compare a MS. note dated July 19, 1803. “Intensely hot day, left off
a waistcoat, and for yarn wore silk stockings. Before nine o’clock had
unpleasant chillness, heard a noise which I thought Derwent’s in sleep;
listened and found it was a calf bellowing. Instantly came on my mind that
night I slept out at Ottery, and the calf in the field across the river
whose lowing so deeply impressed me. Chill and child and calf lowing.”

[13] Sir Stafford, the seventh baronet, grandfather of the first Lord
Iddesleigh, was at that time a youth of eighteen. His name occurs among
the list of scholars who were subscribers to the second edition of the
_Critical Latin Grammar_.

[14] Compare a MS. note dated March 5, 1818. “Memory counterfeited by
present impressions. One great cause of the coincidence of dreams with the
event--ἡ μήτηρ ἐμή.”

[15] The date of admission to Hertford was July 18, 1782. Eight weeks
later, September 12, he was sent up to London to the great school.

[16] Compare the autobiographical note of 1832. “I was in a continual low
fever. My whole being was, with eyes closed to every object of present
sense, to crumple myself up in a sunny corner and read, read, read; fixing
myself on Robinson Crusoe’s Island, finding a mountain of plumb cake, and
eating a room for myself, and then eating it into the shapes of tables and
chairs--hunger and fancy.” Lamb in his _Christ’s Hospital Five and Thirty
Years Ago_, and Leigh Hunt in his _Autobiography_, are in the same tale as
to the insufficient and ill-cooked meals of their Bluecoat days. _Life of
Coleridge_, by James Gillman, 1838, p. 20; Lamb’s _Prose Works_, 1836, ii.
27; _Autobiography of Leigh Hunt_, 1860, p. 60.

[17] Coleridge’s “letters home” were almost invariably addressed to his
brother George. It may be gathered from his correspondence that at rare
intervals he wrote to his mother as well, but, contrary to her usual
practice, she did not, with this one exception, preserve his letters. It
was, indeed, a sorrowful consequence of his “long exile” at Christ’s
Hospital, that he seems to have passed out of his mother’s ken, that
absence led to something like indifference on both sides.

[18] Compare the autobiographical note of 1832 as quoted by Gillman. About
this time he became acquainted with a widow lady, “whose son,” says he,
“I, as upper boy, had protected, and who therefore looked up to me, and
taught me what it was to have a mother. I loved her as such. She had three
daughters, and of course I fell in love with the eldest.” _Life of
Coleridge_, p. 28.

[19] Scholarship of Jesus College, Cambridge, for sons of clergymen.

[20] At this time Frend was still a Fellow of Jesus College. Five years
had elapsed since he had resigned from conscientious motives the living of
Madingley in Cambridgeshire, but it was not until after the publication of
his pamphlet _Peace and Union_, in 1793, that the authorities took alarm.
He was deprived of his Fellowship, April 17, and banished from the
University, May 30, 1793. Coleridge’s demeanour in the Senate House on the
occasion of Frend’s trial before the Vice-Chancellor forms the subject of
various contradictory anecdotes. See _Life of Coleridge_, 1838, p. 55;
_Reminiscences of Cambridge_, Henry Gunning, 1855, i. 272-275.

[21] The Rev. George Caldwell was afterwards Fellow and Tutor of Jesus
College. His name occurs among the list of subscribers to the original
issue of _The Friend_. _Letters of the Lake Poets_, 1889, p. 452.

[22] “First Grecian of my time was Launcelot Pepys Stevens [Stephens],
kindest of boys and men, since the Co-Grammar Master, and inseparable
companion of Dr. T[rollop]e.” _Lamb’s Prose Works_, 1835, ii. 45. He was
at this time Senior-Assistant Master at Newcome’s Academy at Clapton near
Hackney, and a colleague of George Coleridge. The school, which belonged
to three generations of Newcomes, was of high repute as a private academy,
and commanded the services of clever young schoolmasters as assistants or
ushers. Mr. Sparrow, whose name is mentioned in the letter, was

[23] A Latin essay on _Posthumous Fame_, described as a declamation and
stated to have been composed by S. T. Coleridge, March, 1792, is preserved
at Jesus College, Cambridge. Some extracts were printed in the College
magazine, _The Chanticleer_, Lent Term, 1886.

[24] _Poetical Works_, p. 19.

[25] _Ibid._ p. 19.

[26] _Poetical Works_, p. 20.

[27] Robert Allen, Coleridge’s earliest friend, and almost his exact
contemporary (born October 18, 1772), was admitted to University College,
Oxford, as an exhibitioner, in the spring of 1792. He entertained
Coleridge and his _compagnon de voyage_, Joseph Hucks, on the occasion of
the memorable visit to Oxford in June, 1794, and introduced them to his
friend, Robert Southey of Balliol. He is mentioned in letters of Lamb to
Coleridge, June 10, 1796, and October 11, 1802. In both instances his name
is connected with that of Stoddart, and it is probable that it was through
Allen that Coleridge and Stoddart became acquainted. For anecdotes
concerning Allen, see Lamb’s Essay, “Christ’s Hospital,” etc., _Prose
Works_, 1836, ii. 47, and _Leigh Hunt’s Autobiography_, 1860, p. 74. See,
also, _Letters to Allsop_, 1864, p. 170.

[28] George Richards, a contemporary of Stephens, and, though somewhat
senior, of Middleton, was a University prize-man and Fellow of Oriel. He
was “author,” says Lamb, “of the ‘Aboriginal Britons,’ the most spirited
of Oxford prize poems.” In after life he made his mark as a clergyman, as
Bampton Lecturer (in 1800), and as Vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. He
was appointed Governor of Christ’s Hospital in 1822, and founded an annual
prize, the “Richards’ Gold Medal,” for the best copy of Latin hexameters.
_Christ’s Hospital._ _List of Exhibitioners, from 1566-1885_, compiled by
A. M. Lockhart.

[29] Robert Percy (Bobus) Smith, 1770-1845, the younger brother of Sydney
Smith, was Browne Medalist in 1791. His Eton and Cambridge prize poems, in
Lucretian metre, are among the most finished specimens of modern Latinity.
The principal contributors to the _Microcosm_ were George Canning, John
and Robert Smith, Hookham Frere, and Charles Ellis. _Gentleman’s
Magazine_, N. S., xxiii. 440.

[30] For complete text of the Greek Sapphic Ode, “On the Slave Trade,”
which obtained the Browne gold medal for 1792, see Appendix B, p. 476, to
Coleridge’s _Poetical Works_, Macmillan, 1893. See, also, Mr. Dykes
Campbell’s note on the style and composition of the ode, p. 653. I possess
a transcript of the Ode, taken, I believe, by Sara Coleridge in 1823, on
the occasion of her visit to Ottery St. Mary. The following note is

“Upon the receipt of the above poem, Mr. George Coleridge, being vastly
pleased by the composition, thinking it would be a sort of compliment to
the superior genius of his brother the author, composed the following


  Say _Holy Genius_--Heaven-descended Beam,
  Why interdicted is the sacred Fire
  That flows spontaneous from thy golden Lyre?
  Why _Genius_ like the emanative Ray
  That issuing from the dazzling Fount of Light
  Wakes all creative Nature into Day,
  Art thou not all-diffusive, all benign?
  Thy _partial_ hand I blame. For _Pity_ oft
  In Supplication’s Vest--a weeping child
  That meets me pensive on the barren wild,
  And pours into my soul Compassion soft,
  The never-dying strain commands to flow--
  Man sure is vain, nor sacred Genius hears,
  Now speak in melody--now weep in Tears.
                                          G. C.”

[31] He was matriculated as pensioner March 31, 1792. He had been in
residence since September, 1791.

[32] For the Craven Scholarship. In an article contributed to the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_ of December, 1834, portions of which are printed in
Gillman’s _Life of Coleridge_, C. V. Le Grice, a co-Grecian with Coleridge
and Allen, gives the names of the four competitors. The successful
candidate was Samuel Butler, afterwards Head Master of Shrewsbury and
Bishop of Lichfield. _Life of Coleridge_, 1838, p. 50.

[33] Musical glee composer, 1769-1821. _Biographical Dictionary._

[34] _Poetical Works_, p. 20.

[35] Francis Syndercombe Coleridge, who died shortly after the fall of
Seringapatam, February 6, 1792.

[36] Edward Coleridge, the Vicar of Ottery’s fourth son, was then
assistant master in Dr. Skinner’s school at Salisbury. His marriage with
an elderly widow who was supposed to have a large income was a source of
perennial amusement to his family. Some years after her death he married
his first cousin, Anne Bowdon.

[37] The husband of Coleridge’s half sister Elizabeth, the youngest of the
vicar’s first family, “who alone was bred up with us after my birth, and
who alone of the three I was wont to think of as a sister.” See
Autobiographical Notes of 1832. _Life of Coleridge_, 1838, p. 9.

[38] The brother of Mrs. Luke and of Mrs. George Coleridge.

[39] A note to the _Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_, Moxon, 1852, gives
a somewhat different version of the origin of this poem, first printed in
the edition of 1796 as Effusion 27, and of the lines included in Letter
XX., there headed “Cupid turned Chymist,” but afterwards known as

[40] G. L. Tuckett, to whom this letter was addressed, was the first to
disclose to Coleridge’s family the unwelcome fact that he had enlisted in
the army. He seems to have guessed that the runaway would take his old
schoolfellows into his confidence, and that they might be induced to
reveal the secret. He was, I presume, a college acquaintance,--possibly an
old Blue, who had left the University and was reading for the bar. In an
unpublished letter from Robert Allen to Coleridge, dated February, 1796,
there is an amusing reference to this kindly _Deus ex Machina_. “I called
upon Tuckett, who thus prophesied: ‘You know how subject Coleridge is to
fits of idleness. Now, I’ll lay any wager, Allen, that after three or four
numbers (of the _Watchman_) the sheets will contain nothing but
parliamentary debates, and Coleridge will add a note at the bottom of the
page: “I should think myself deficient in my duty to the Public if I did
not give these interesting debates at _full_ length.”’”

[41] It would seem that there were alleviations to the misery and
discomfort of this direful experience. In a MS. note dated January, 1805,
he recalls as a suitable incident for a projected work, _The Soother in
Absence_, the “_Domus quadrata hortensis_, at Henley-on-Thames,” and “the
beautiful girl” who, it would seem, soothed the captivity of the forlorn

[42] In the various and varying reminiscences of his soldier days, which
fell “from Coleridge’s own mouth,” and were repeated by his delighted and
credulous hearers, this officer plays an important part. Whatever
foundation of fact there may be for the touching anecdote that the Latin
sentence, “_Eheu! quam infortunii miserrimum est fuisse felicem_,”
scribbled on the walls of the stable at Reading, caught the attention of
Captain Ogle, “himself a scholar,” and led to Comberbacke’s detection, he
was not, as the poet Bowles and Miss Mitford maintained, the sole
instrument in procuring the discharge. He may have exerted himself
privately, but his name does not occur in the formal correspondence which
passed between Coleridge’s brothers and the military authorities.

[43] The Compasses, now The Chequers, High Wycombe, where Coleridge was
billeted just a hundred years ago, appears to have preserved its original

[44] See Notes to _Poetical Works of Coleridge_ (1893), p. 568. The
“intended translation” was advertised in the _Cambridge Intelligencer_ for
June 14 and June 16, 1794: “Proposals for publishing by subscription
_Imitations from the Modern Latin Poets, with a Critical and Biographical
Essay on the Restoration of Literature_. By S. T. Coleridge, of Jesus
College, Cambridge....

“In the course of the Work will be introduced a copious selection from the
Lyrics of Casimir, and a new Translation of the Basia of Secundus.”

One ode, “Ad Lyram,” was printed in _The Watchman_, No. 11, March 9, 1796,
p. 49.

[45] The _Barbou Casimir_, published at Paris in 1759.

[46] Compare the note to chapter xii. of the _Biographia Literaria_: “In
the Biographical Sketch of my Literary Life I may be excused if I mention
here that I had translated the eight Hymns of Synesius from the Greek into
English Anacreontics before my fifteenth year.” The edition referred to
may be that published at Basle in 1567. _Interprete G. Cantero._ Bentley’s
Quarto Edition was probably the Quarto Edition of Horace, published in

[47] Charles Clagget, a musical composer and inventor of musical
instruments, flourished towards the close of the eighteenth century. I
have been unable to ascertain whether the songs in question were ever
published. _Dictionary of Music and Musicians_, edited by George Grove, D.
C. L., 1879, article “Clagget,” i. 359.

[48] The entry in the College Register of Jesus College is brief and to
the point: “1794 Apr.: _Coleridge admonitus est per magistrum in præsentiâ

[49] A letter to George Coleridge dated April 16, 1794, and signed J.
Plampin, has been preserved. The pains and penalties to which Coleridge
had subjected himself are stated in full, but the kindly nature of the
writer is shown in the concluding sentence: “I am happy in adding that I
thought your brother’s conduct on his return extremely proper; and I beg
to assure you that it will give me much pleasure to see him take such an
advantage of his experience as his own good sense will dictate.”

[50] A week later, July 22, in a letter addressed to H. Martin, of Jesus
College, to whom, in the following September, he dedicated “The Fall of
Robespierre,” Coleridge repeated almost verbatim large portions of this
_lettre de voyage_. The incident of the sentiment and the Welsh clergyman
takes a somewhat different shape, and both versions differ from the report
of the same occurrence contained in Hucks’ account of the tour, which was
published in the following year. Coleridge’s letters from foreign parts
were written with a view to literary effect, and often with the
half-formed intention of sending them to the “booksellers.” They are to be
compared with “letters from our own correspondent,” and in respect of
picturesque adventure, dramatic dialogue, and so forth, must be judged
solely by a literary standard. _Biographia Literaria_, 1847, ii. 338-343;
J. Hucks’ _Tour in North Wales_, 1795, p. 25.

[51] The lines are from “Happiness,” an early poem first published in
1834. See _Poetical Works_, p. 17. See, too, Editor’s Note, p. 564.

[52] Quoted from a poem by Bowles entitled, “Verses inscribed to His Grace
the Duke of Leeds, and other Promoters of the Philanthropic Society.”
Southey adopted the last two lines of the quotation as a motto for his
“Botany Bay Eclogues.” _Poetical Works of Milman, Bowles, etc._, Paris,
1829, p. 117; Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 71.

[53] Southey, we may suppose, had contrasted Hucks with Coleridge. “H. is
on my level, not yours.”

[54] _Poetical Works_, p. 33. See, too, Editor’s Note, p. 570.

[55] Hucks records the incident in much the same words, but gives the name
of the tune as “Corporal Casey.”

[56] The letter to Martin gives further particulars of the tour, including
the ascent of Penmaen Mawr in company with Brookes and Berdmore. Compare
_Table Talk_ for May 31, 1830: “I took the thought of _grinning for joy_
in that poem (_The Ancient Mariner_) from my companion’s remark to me,
when we had climbed to the top of Plinlimmon, and were nearly dead with
thirst. We could not speak from the constriction till we found a little
puddle under a stone. He said to me, ‘You grinned like an idiot.’ He had
done the same.” The parching thirst of the pedestrians, and their
excessive joy at the discovery of a spring of water, are recorded by
Hucks. _Tour in North Wales_, 1795, p. 62.

[57] Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 93.

[58] Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 94.

[59] See Letter XLI. p. 110, note 1.

[60] “A tragedy, of which the first act was written by S. T. Coleridge.”
See footnote to quotation from “The Fall of Robespierre,” which occurs in
the text of “An Address on the Present War.” _Conciones ad Populum_, 1795,
p. 66.

[61] One of six sisters, daughters of John Brunton of Norwich. Elizabeth,
the eldest of the family, was married in 1791 to Robert Merry the
dramatist, the founder of the so-called Della Cruscan school of poetry.
Louisa Brunton, the youngest sister, afterwards Countess of Craven, made
her first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre on October 5, 1803, and at
most could not have been more than twelve or thirteen years of age in the
autumn of 1794. Coleridge’s Miss Brunton, to whom he sent a poem on the
French Revolution, that is, “The Fall of Robespierre,” must have been an
intermediate sister less known to fame. It is curious to note that “The
Right Hon. Lady Craven” was a subscriber to the original issue of _The
Friend_ in 1809. _National Dictionary of Biography_, articles “Craven” and
“Merry.” _Letters of the Lake Poets_, 1885, p. 455.

[62] This sonnet, afterwards headed, “On a Discovery made too late,” was
“first printed in _Poems_, 1796, as Effusion XIX., but in the Contents it
was called, ‘To my own Heart.’” _Poetical Works_, p. 34. See, too,
Editor’s Note, p. 571.

[63] “The Race of Banquo.” Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 155.

[64] The Editor of the _Cambridge Intelligencer_.

[65] “To a Young Lady, with a Poem on the French Revolution.” _Poetical
Works_, p. 6.

[66] Compare “Sonnet to the Author of The Robbers.” _Poetical Works_, p.

[67] The date of this letter is fixed by that of Thursday, November 6, to
George Coleridge. Both letters speak of a journey to town with Potter of
Emanuel, but in writing to his brother he says nothing of a projected
visit to Bath. There is no hint in either letter that he had made up his
mind to leave the University for good and all. In a letter to Southey
dated December 17, he says that “they are making a row about him at
Jesus,” and in a letter to Mary Evans, which must have been written a day
or two later, he says, “I return to Cambridge to-morrow.” From the date of
the letter to George Coleridge of November 6 to December 11 there is a
break in the correspondence with Southey, but from a statement in Letter
XLIII. it appears plain that a visit was paid to the West in December,
1794. But whether he returned to Cambridge November 8, and for how long,
is uncertain.

[68] “Lines on a Friend who died of a Frenzy Fever,” etc. _Poetical
Works_, p. 35. A copy of the same poem was sent on November 6 to George

[69] “The Sigh.” _Poetical Works_, p. 29.

[70] Probably Thomas Edwards, LL. D., a Fellow of Jesus College,
Cambridge, editor of Plutarch, _De Educatione Liberorum_, with notes,
1791, and author of “A Discourse on the Limits and Importance of Free
Inquiry in Matters of Religion,” 1792. _Natural Dictionary of Biography_,
xvii. 130.

[71] Compare “Lines on a Friend,” etc., which accompanied this letter.

  To me hath Heaven with liberal hand assigned
  Energic reason and a shaping mind,

         *       *       *       *       *

  Sloth-jaundiced all! and from my graspless hand
  Drop Friendship’s precious pearls, like hour-glass sand.

_Poetical Works_, p. 35.

[72] The lines occur in Barrère’s speech, which concludes the third act of
the “Fall of Robespierre.” _Poetical Works_, p. 225.

[73] “Fall of Robespierre,” Act I. l. 198.

  O this new freedom! at how dear a price
  We’ve bought the seeming good! The peaceful virtues
  And every blandishment of private life,
  The father’s care, the mother’s fond endearment
  All sacrificed to Liberty’s wild riot.

_Poetical Works_, p. 215.

[74] See “Fall of Robespierre,” Act I. l. 40. _Poetical Works_, p. 212.

[75] For full text of the “Lines on a Friend who died of a Frenzy Fever,”
see Letter XXXVIII. See, too, _Poetical Works_, p. 35.

[76] Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 263.

[77] See _Poems by Robert Lovell, and Robert Southey of Balliol College_.
Bath. Printed by A. Cruttwell, 1795, p. 17. “Ode to Lycon,” p. 77.

The last stanza runs thus:--

  Wilt thou float careless down the stream of time,
    In sadness borne to dull oblivious shore,
  Or shake off grief, and “build the lofty rhyme,”
    And live till time shall be no more?
  If thy light bark have met the storms,
    If threatening cloud the sky deforms,
  Let honest truth be vain; look back on me,
    Have I been “sailing on a Summer sea”?
  Have only zephyrs fill’d my swelling sails,
    As smooth the gentle vessel glides along?
  Lycon! I met unscar’d the wintry gales,
    And sooth’d the dangers with the song:
  So shall the vessel sail sublime,
    And reach the port of fame adown the stream of time.
                            BION [_i. e._ R. S.].

Compare the following unpublished letter from Southey to Miss Sarah

    October 18, 1794.

    “Amid the pelting of the pitiless storm” did I, Robert Southey, the
    Apostle of Pantisocracy, depart from the city of Bristol, my natal
    place--at the hour of five in a wet windy evening on the 17th of
    October, 1794, wrapped up in my father’s old great coat and my own
    cogitations. Like old Lear I did not call the elements unkind,--and on
    I passed, musing on the lamentable effects of pride and
    prejudice--retracing all the events of my past life--and looking
    forward to the days to come with pleasure.

    Three miles from Bristol, an old man of sixty, most royally drunk,
    laid hold of my arm, and begged we might join company, as he was going
    to Bath. I consented, for he wanted assistance, and dragged this foul
    animal through the dirt, wind, and rain!...

    Think of me, with a mind so fully occupied, leading this man nine
    miles, and had I not led him he would have lain down under a hedge and
    probably perished.

    I reached not Bath till nine o’clock, when the rain pelted me most
    unmercifully in the face. I rejoiced that my friends at Bath knew not
    where I was, and was once vexed at thinking that you would hear it
    drive against the window and be sorry for the way-worn traveller. Here
    I am, well, and satisfied with my own conduct....

    My clothes are arrived. “I will never see his face again [writes Miss
    Tyler], and, if he writes, will return his letters unopened;” to
    comment on this would be useless. I feel that strong conviction of
    rectitude which would make me smile on the rack.... The crisis is
    over--things are as they should be; my mother vexes herself much, yet
    feels she is right. Hostilities are commenced with America! so we must
    go to some neutral fort--Hambro’ or Venice.

    Your sister is well, and sends her love to all; on Wednesday I hope to
    see you. Till then farewell,


    Bath, Sunday morning.

Compare, also, letter to Thomas Southey, dated October 19, 1794.
_Southey’s Life and Correspondence_, i. 222.

[78] _Poems_, 1795, p. 123.

[79] See Southey’s _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 91:--

  “If heavily creep on one little day,
   The medley crew of travellers among.”

[80] _Poems_, 1795, p. 67.

[81] _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 92.

[82] “Rosamund to Henry; written after she had taken the veil.” _Poems_,
1795, p. 85.

[83] _Poetical Works_, 1837, ii. 216. Southey appears to have accepted
Coleridge’s emendations. The variations between the text of the “Pauper’s
Funeral” and the _editio purgata_ of the letter are slight and

[84] In a letter from Southey to his brother Thomas, dated October 21,
1794, this sonnet “on the subject of our emigration” is attributed to
Favell, a convert to pantisocracy who was still at Christ’s Hospital. The
first eight lines are included in the “Monody on Chatterton.” See
_Poetical Works_, p. 63, and Editor’s Note, p. 563.

[85] Printed as Effusion XVI. in _Poems_, 1796. It was afterwards headed
“Charity.” In the preface he acknowledges that he was “indebted to Mr.
Favell for the rough sketch.” See _Poetical Works_, p. 45, and Editor’s
Note, p. 576.

[86] Southey’s _Poetical Works_, ii. 143. In this instance Coleridge’s
corrections were not adopted.

[87] Published in 1794.

[88] First version, printed in _Morning Chronicle_, December 26, 1794. See
_Poetical Works_, p. 40.

[89] First printed as Effusion XIV. in _Poems_, 1796. Of the four lines
said to have been written by Lamb, Coleridge discarded lines 13 and 14,
and substituted a favourite couplet, which occurs in more than one of his
early poems. See _Poetical Works_, p. 23, and Editor’s Note, p. 566.

[90] Imitated from the Welsh. See _Poetical Works_, p. 33.

[91] A parody of “Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina, Mævi.” Virgil,
_Ecl._ iii. 90. Gratio and Avaro were signatures adopted by Southey and
Lovell in their joint volume of poems published at Bristol in 1795.

[92] Implied in the second line.

[93] Of the six sonnets included in this letter, those to Burke,
Priestley, and Kosciusko had already appeared in the _Morning Chronicle_
on the 9th, 11th, and 16th of December, 1794. The sonnets to Godwin,
Southey, and Sheridan were published on the 10th, 14th, and 29th of
January, 1795. See _Poetical Works_, pp. 38, 39, 41, 42.

[94] First published in the _Morning Chronicle_, December 30, 1794. An
earlier draft, dated October 24, 1794, was headed “Monologue to a Young
Jackass in Jesus Piece. Its Mother near it, chained to a Log.” See
_Poetical Works_, Appendix C, p. 477, and Editor’s Note, p. 573.

[95] Compare the last six lines of a sonnet, “On a Discovery made too
late,” sent in a letter to Southey, dated October 21, 1794. (Letter
XXXVII.) See _Poetical Works_, p. 34, and Editor’s Note, p. 571.

[96] The first of six sonnets on the Slave Trade. Southey’s _Poetical
Works_, 1837, ii. 55.

[97] Prefixed as a dedication to Juvenile and Minor Poems. It is addressed
to Edith Southey, and dated Bristol, 1796. Southey’s _Poetical Works_,
1837, vol. ii. The text of 1837 differs considerably from the earlier
version. Possibly in transcribing Coleridge altered the original to suit
his own taste.

[98] To a Friend [Charles Lamb], together with an Unfinished Poem
[“Religious Musings”]. _Poetical Works_, p. 37.

[99] This farewell letter of apology and remonstrance was not sent by
post, but must have reached Southey’s hand on the 13th of November, the
eve of his wedding day. The original MS. is written on small foolscap. A
first draft, or copy, of the letter was sent to Coleridge’s friend, Josiah

[100] The Rev. David Jardine, Unitarian minister at Bath. Cottle lays the
scene of the “inaugural sermons” on the corn laws and hair powder tax,
which Coleridge delivered in a blue coat and white waistcoat, in Mr.
Jardine’s chapel at Bath. _Early Recollections_, i. 179.

[101] If we may believe Cottle, the dispute began by Southey attacking
Coleridge for his non-appearance at a lecture which he had undertaken to
deliver in his stead. The scene of the quarrel is laid at Chepstow, on the
first day of the memorable excursion to Tintern Abbey, which Cottle had
planned to “gratify his two young friends.” Southey had been “dragged,”
much against the grain, into this “detestable party of pleasure,” and was,
no doubt, rendered doubly sore by his partner’s delinquency. See _Early
Recollections_, i. 40, 41. See, also, letter from Southey to Bedford,
dated May 28, 1795. _Life and Correspondence_, i. 239.

[102] At Chepstow.

[103] A village three miles W. S. W. of Bristol.

[104] During the course of his tour (January-February, 1796) to procure
subscribers for the _Watchman_, Coleridge wrote seven times to Josiah
Wade. Portions of these letters have been published in Cottle’s _Early
Recollections_, i. 164-176, and in the “Biographical Supplement” to the
_Biographia Literaria_, ii. 349-354. It is probable that Wade supplied
funds for the journey, and that Coleridge felt himself bound to give an
account of his progress and success.

[105] Joseph Wright, A. R. A., known as Wright of Derby, 1736-1797. Two of
his most celebrated pictures were _The Head of Ulleswater_, and _The Dead
Soldier_. An excellent specimen of Wright’s work, _An Experiment with the
Air Pump_, was presented to the National Gallery in 1863.

[106] Compare _Biographia Literaria_, ch. i. “During my first Cambridge
vacation I assisted a friend in a contribution for a literary society in
Devonshire, and in that I remember to have compared Darwin’s works to the
Russian palace of ice, glittering, cold, and transitory.” Coleridge’s
_Works_, Harper & Bros., 1853, iii. 155.

[107] Dr. James Hutton, the author of the Plutonian theory. His _Theory of
the Earth_ was published at Edinburgh in 1795.

[108] The title of this pamphlet, which was published shortly after the
_Conciones ad Populum_, was “The Plot Discovered; or, an Address to the
People against Ministerial Treason. By S. T. Coleridge. Bristol, 1795.” It
had an outer wrapper with this half-title: “A Protest against Certain
Wills. Bristol: Printed for the Author, November 28, 1795.” It is
reprinted in _Essays on His Own Times_, i. 56-98.

[109] The review of “Burke’s Letter to a Noble Lord,” which appeared in
the first number of _The Watchman_, is reprinted in _Essays on His Own
Times_, i. 107-119.

[110] _Ibid._ 120-126.

[111] The occasion of this “burst of affectionate feeling” was a
communication from Poole that seven or eight friends had undertaken to
subscribe a sum of £35 or £40 to be paid annually to the “author of the
monody on the death of Chatterton,” as “a trifling mark of their esteem,
gratitude, and affection.” The subscriptions were paid in 1796-97, but
afterwards discontinued on the receipt of the Wedgwood annuity. See
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 142.

[112] Mrs. Robert Lovell, whose husband had been carried off by a fever
about two years after his marriage with my aunt.--S. C.

[113] Compare _Conciones ad Populum_, 1795, p. 22. “Such is Joseph
Gerrald! Withering in the sickly and tainted gales of a prison, his
healthful soul looks down from the citadel of his integrity on his
impotent persecutors. I saw him in the foul and naked room of a jail; his
cheek was sallow with confinement, his body was emaciated; yet his eye
spake the invincible purpose of his soul, and he still sounded with
rapture the successes of Freedom, forgetful of his own lingering

Together with four others, Gerrald was tried for sedition at Edinburgh in
March, 1794. He delivered an eloquent speech in his own defence, but with
the other prisoners was convicted and sentenced to be transported for
fifteen years. “In April Gerrald was removed to London, and committed to
Newgate, where Godwin and his other friends were allowed to visit him....
In May, 1795, he was suddenly taken from his prison and placed on board
the hulks, and soon afterwards sailed. He survived his arrival in New
South Wales only five months. A few hours before he died, he said to the
friends around him, ‘I die in the best of causes, and, as you witness,
without repining.’” Mrs. Shelley’s Notes, as quoted by Mr. C. Kegan Paul
in his _William Godwin_, i. 125. See, too, “the very noble letter”
(January 23, 1794) addressed by Godwin to Gerrald relative to his defence.
_Ibid._ i. 125. Lords Cockburn and Jeffrey considered the conviction of
these men a gross miscarriage of justice, and in 1844 a monument was
erected at the foot of the Calton Hill, Edinburgh, to their memory.

[114] Edward Williams (Iolo Morgangw), 1747-1826. His poems in two volumes
were published by subscription in 1794. Coleridge possessed a copy
presented to him “by the author,” and on the last page of the second
volume he has scrawled a single but characteristic marginal note. It is
affixed to a translation of one of the “Poetic Triades.” “The three
principal considerations of poetical description: what is obvious, what
instantly engages the affections, and what is strikingly characteristic.”
The comment is as follows: “I suppose, rather what we recollect to have
frequently seen in nature, though not in the description of it.”

[115] The allusion must be to Wordsworth, but there is a difficulty as to
dates. In a MS. note to the second edition of his poems (1797) Coleridge
distinctly states that he had no personal acquaintance with Wordsworth as
early as March, 1796. Again, in a letter (Letter LXXXI.) to Estlin dated
“May [? 1797],” but certainly written in May, 1798, Coleridge says that he
has known Wordsworth for a year and some months. On the other hand, there
is Mrs. Wordsworth’s report of her husband’s “impression” that he first
met Coleridge, Southey, Sara, and Edith Fricker “in a lodging in Bristol
in 1795,”--an imperfect recollection very difficult to reconcile with
other known facts. Secondly, there is Sara Coleridge’s statement that “Mr.
Coleridge and Mr. Wordsworth first met in the house of Mr. Pinney,” in the
spring or summer of 1795; and, thirdly, it would appear from a letter of
Lamb to Coleridge, which belongs to the summer of 1796, that “the personal
acquaintance” with Wordsworth had already begun. The probable conclusion
is that there was a first meeting in 1795, and occasional intercourse in
1796, but that intimacy and friendship date from the visit to Racedown in
June, 1797. Coleridge quotes Wordsworth in his “Lines from Shurton Bars,”
dated September, 1795, but the first trace of Wordsworth’s influence on
style and thought appears in “This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison,” July, 1797.
In May, 1796, Wordsworth could only have been “his very dear friend”
_sensu poetico_. _Life of W. Wordsworth_, i. 111; Biographical Supplement
to _Biographia Literaria_, chapter ii.; _Letters of Charles Lamb_,
Macmillan, 1888, i. 6.

[116] On the side of the road, opposite to Poole’s house in Castle Street,
Nether Stowey, is a straight gutter through which a stream passes. See
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 147.

[117] _The Peripatetic, or Sketches of the Heart, of Nature, and of
Society_, a miscellany of prose and verse issued by John Thelwall, in

[118] January 10, 1795. See _Poetical Works_, p. 41, and Editor’s Note, p.
575. Margarot, a West Indian, was one of those tried and transported with

[119] See _Poetical Works_, p. 66.

[120] Early in the autumn of 1796, a proposal had been made to Coleridge
that he should start a day school in Derby. Poole dissuaded him from
accepting this offer, or rather, perhaps, Coleridge succeeded in procuring
Poole’s disapproval of a plan which he himself dreaded and disliked.

[121] Thomas Ward, at first the articled clerk, and afterwards partner in
business and in good works, of Thomas Poole. He it was who transcribed in
“Poole’s Copying Book” Coleridge’s letters from Germany, and much of his
correspondence besides. See _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 159, 160,
304, 305, etc.

[122] This letter, first printed in Gillman’s _Life_, pp. 338-340, and
since reprinted in the notes to Canon Ainger’s edition of _Lamb’s Letters_
(i. 314, 315), was written in response to a request of Charles Lamb in his
letter of September 27, 1796, announcing the “terrible calamities” which
had befallen his family. “Write me,” said Lamb, “as religious a letter as
possible.” In his next letter, October 3, he says, “Your letter is an
inestimable treasure.” But a few weeks later, October 24, he takes
exception to the sentence, “You are a temporary sharer in human miseries
that you may be an eternal partaker of the Divine nature.” Lamb thought
that the expression savoured too much of theological subtlety, and
outstepped the modesty of weak and suffering humanity. Coleridge’s
“religious letter” came from his heart, but he was a born preacher, and
naturally clothes his thoughts in rhetorical language. I have seen a note
written by him within a few hours of his death, when he could scarcely
direct his pen. It breathes the tenderest loving-kindness, but the
expressions are elaborate and formal. It was only in poetry that he
attained to simplicity.

[123] Coleridge must have resorted occasionally to opiates long before
this. In an unpublished letter to his brother George, dated November 21,
1791, he says, “Opium never used to have any disagreeable effects on me.”
Most likely it was given to him at Christ’s Hospital, when he was
suffering from rheumatic fever. In the sonnet on “Pain,” which belongs to
the summer of 1790, he speaks of “frequent pangs,” of “seas of pain,” and
in the natural course of things opiates would have been prescribed by the
doctors. Testimony of this nature appears at first sight to be
inconsistent with statements made by Coleridge in later life to the effect
that he began to take opium in the second year of his residence at
Keswick, in consequence of rheumatic pains brought on by the damp climate.
It was, however, the first commencement of the secret and habitual resort
to narcotics which weighed on memory and conscience, and there is abundant
evidence that it was not till the late spring of 1801 that he could be
said to be under the dominion of opium. To these earlier indulgences in
the “accursed drug,” which probably left no “disagreeable effects,” and of
which, it is to be remarked, he speaks openly, he seems to have attached
but little significance.

Since the above note was written, Mr. W. Aldis Wright has printed in the
_Academy_, February 24, 1894, an extract from an unpublished letter from
Coleridge to the Rev. Mr. Edwards of Birmingham, recently found in the
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. It is dated Bristol, “12 March,
1795” (read “1796”), and runs as follows:--

“Since I last wrote you, I have been tottering on the verge of madness--my
mind overbalanced on the _e contra_ side of happiness--the blunders of my
associate [in the editing of the _Watchman_, G. Burnett], etc., etc.,
abroad, and, at home, Mrs. Coleridge dangerously ill.... Such has been my
situation for the last fortnight--I have been obliged to take laudanum
almost every night.”

[124] The news of the evacuation of Corsica by the British troops, which
took place on October 21, 1796, must have reached Coleridge a few days
before the date of this letter. Corsica was ceded to the British, June 18,
1794. A declaration of war on the part of Spain (August 19, 1796) and a
threatened invasion of Ireland compelled the home government to withdraw
their troops from Corsica. In a footnote to chapter xxv. of his _Life of
Napoleon Bonaparte_, Sir Walter Scott quotes from Napoleon’s memoirs
compiled at St. Helena the “odd observation” that “the crown of Corsica
must, on the temporary annexation of the island to Great Britain, have
been surprised at finding itself appertaining to the successor of Fingal.”
Sir Walter’s patriotism constrained him to add the following comment: “Not
more, we should think, than the diadem of France and the iron crown of
Lombardy marvelled at meeting on the brow of a Corsican soldier of

In the _Biographia Literaria_, 1847, ii. 380, the word is misprinted
Corrica, but there is no doubt as to the reading of the MS. letter, or to
the allusion to contemporary history.

[125] It was to this lady that the lines “On the Christening of a Friend’s
Child” were addressed. _Poetical Works_, p. 83.

[126] See Letter LXVIII., p. 206, note.

[127] The preface to the quarto edition of Southey’s _Joan of Arc_ is
dated Bristol, November, 1795, but the volume did not appear till the
following spring. Coleridge’s contribution to Book II. was omitted from
the second (1797) and subsequent editions. It was afterwards republished,
with additions, in _Sibylline Leaves_ (1817) as “The Destiny of Nations.”

[128] The lines “On a late Connubial Rupture” were printed in the _Monthly
Magazine_ for September, 1796. The well-known poem beginning “Low was our
pretty Cot” appeared in the following number. It was headed, “Reflections
on entering into active Life. A Poem which affects not to be Poetry.”

[129] Compare the following lines from an early transcript of “Happiness”
now in my possession:--

  “Ah! doubly blest if Love supply
     Lustre to the now heavy eye,
   And with unwonted spirit grace
     That fat vacuity of face.”

The transcriber adds in a footnote, “The author was at this time, at
seventeen, remarkable for a plump face.”

The “Reminiscences of an Octogenarian” (The Rev. Leapidge Smith),
contributed to the _Leisure Hour_, convey a different impression: “In
person he was a tall, dark, handsome young man, with long, black, flowing
hair; eyes not merely dark, but black, and keenly penetrating; a fine
forehead, a deep-toned, harmonious voice; a manner never to be forgotten,
full of life, vivacity, and kindness; dignified in person and, added to
all these, exhibiting the elements of his future greatness.”--_Leisure
Hour_, 1870, p. 651.

[130] _Origine de tous les Cultes, ou Religion universelle._

[131] Thelwall executed his commission. The Iamblichus and the Julian were
afterwards presented by Coleridge to his son Derwent. They are still in
the possession of the family.

[132] The three letters to Poole, dated December 11, 12, and 13, relative
to Coleridge’s residence at Stowey, were published for the first time in
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_. The long letter of expostulation, dated
December 13, which is in fact a continuation of that dated December 12, is
endorsed by Poole: “An angry letter, but the breach was soon healed.”
Either on Coleridge’s account or his own it was among the few papers
retained by Poole when, to quote Mrs. Sandford, “in 1836 he placed the
greater number of the letters which he had received from S. T. Coleridge
at the disposal of his literary executors for biographical purposes.”
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 182-193. Mrs. Sandford has kindly
permitted me to reprint it _in extenso_.

[133] “Sonnet composed on a journey homeward, the author having received
intelligence of the birth of a son. September 20, 1796.”

The opening lines, as quoted in the letter, differ from those published in
1797, and again from a copy of the same sonnet sent in a letter to Poole,
dated November 1, 1796. See _Poetical Works_, p. 66, and Editor’s Note, p.

[134] Coleridge’s _Poetical Works_, p. 66.

[135] Compare Lamb’s letter to Coleridge, December 5, 1796. “I am glad you
love Cowper. I could forgive a man for not enjoying Milton, but I would
not call that man my friend who should be offended with the ‘divine
chit-chat of Cowper.’” Compare, too, letter of December 10, 1796, in which
the origin of the phrase is attributed to Coleridge. _Letters of Charles
Lamb_, i. 52, 54. See, too, Canon Ainger’s note, i. 316.

[136] “Southey misrepresented me. My maxim was and is that the name of God
should not be introduced into _Love Sonnets_.” MS. Note by John Thelwall.

[137] Revelation x. 1-6. Some words and sentences of the original are
omitted, either for the sake of brevity, or to heighten the dramatic

[138] Hebrews xii. 18, 19, 22, 23.

[139] “In reading over this after an interval of twenty-three years I was
wondering what I could have said that looked like contempt of age. May not
slobberers have referred not to age but to the drivelling of decayed
intellect, which is surely an ill guide in matters of understanding and
consequently of faith?” MS. Note by John Thelwall, 1819.

[140] Patience--permit me as a definition of the word to quote one
sentence from my first Address, p. 20. “Accustomed to regard all the
affairs of man as a process, they never hurry and they never pause.” In
his not possessing _this_ virtue, all the horrible excesses of Robespierre
did, I believe, originate.--MS. note to text of letter by S. T. Coleridge.

[141] Godliness--the belief, the habitual and efficient belief, that we
are always in the presence of our universal Parent. I will translate
literally a passage [the passage is from Voss’s _Luise_. I am enabled by
the courtesy of Dr. Garnett, of the British Museum, to give an exact
reference: _Luise, ein ländliches Gedicht in drei Idyllen_, von Johann
Heinrich Voss, Königsberg, MDCCXCV. Erste Idylle, pp. 41-45, lines
303-339.--E. H. C.] from a German hexameter poem. It is the speech of a
country clergyman on the birthday of his daughter. The _latter part_ fully
expresses the spirit of godliness, and its connection with
brotherly-kindness. (Pardon the harshness of the language, for it is
translated _totidem verbis_.)

“Yes! my beloved daughter, I am cheerful, cheerful as the birds singing in
the wood here, or the squirrel that hops among the airy branches around
its young in their nest. To-day it is eighteen years since God gave me my
beloved, now my only child, so intelligent, so pious, and so dutiful. How
the time flies away! Eighteen years to come--how far the space extends
itself before us! and how does it vanish when we look back upon it! It was
but yesterday, it seems to me, that as I was plucking flowers here, and
offering praise, on a sudden the joyful message came, ‘A daughter is born
to us.’ Much since that time has the Almighty imparted to us of good and
evil. But the evil itself was good; for his loving-kindness is infinite.
Do you recollect [to his wife] as it once had rained after a long drought,
and I (Louisa in my arms) was walking with thee in the freshness of the
garden, how the child snatched at the rainbow, and kissed me, and said:
‘Papa! there it rains flowers from heaven! Does the blessed God strew
these that we children may gather them up?’ ‘Yes!’ I answered,
‘full-blowing and heavenly blessings does the Father strew who stretched
out the bow of his favour; flowers and fruits that we may gather them with
thankfulness and joy. _Whenever I think of that great Father then my heart
lifts itself up and swells with active impulse towards all his children,
our brothers who inhabit the earth around us; differing indeed from one
another in powers and understanding, yet all dear children of the same
parent, nourished by the same Spirit of animation, and ere long to fall
asleep, and again to wake in the common morning of the Resurrection; all
who have loved their fellow-creatures, all shall rejoice with Peter, and
Moses, and Confucius, and Homer, and Zoroaster, with Socrates who died for
truth, and also with the noble Mendelssohn who teaches that the divine one
was never crucified._’”

Mendelssohn is a German Jew by parentage, and _deist_ by election. He has
written some of the most acute books possible in favour of natural
immortality, and Germany deems him her profoundest metaphysician, with the
exception of the most unintelligible Immanuel Kant.--MS. note to text of
letter by S. T. Coleridge.

[142] 2 Peter i. 5-7.

[143] They were criticised by Lamb in his letter to Coleridge Dec. 10,
1796 (xxxi. of Canon Ainger’s edition), but in a passage first printed in
the _Atlantic Monthly_ for February, 1891. The explanatory notes there
printed were founded on a misconception, but the matter is cleared up in
the _Athenæum_ for June 13, 1891, in the article, “A Letter of Charles

[144] The reference is to a pamphlet of sixteen pages containing
twenty-eight sonnets by Coleridge, Southey, Lloyd, Lamb, and others, which
was printed for private circulation towards the close of 1796, and
distributed among a few friends. Of this selection of sonnets, which was
made “for the purpose of binding them up with the sonnets of the Rev. W.
L. Bowles,” the sole surviving copy is now in the Dyce Collection of the
South Kensington Museum. On the fly-leaf, in Coleridge’s handwriting, is a
“presentation note” to Mrs. Thelwall. For a full account of this curious
and interesting volume, see Coleridge’s _Poetical and Dramatic Works_, 4
vols., 1877-1880, ii. 377-379; also, _Poetical Works_ (1893), 542-544.

[145] A folio edition of “_Poems on the Death of Priscilla Farmer_, by her
grandson Charles Lloyd,” was printed at Bristol in 1796. The volume was
prefaced by Coleridge’s sonnet, “The piteous sobs which choke the virgin’s
breast,” and contained Lamb’s “Grandame.” As Mr. Dykes Campbell has
pointed out, it is to this “magnificent folio” that Charles Lamb alludes
in his letter of December 10, 1796 (incorrectly dated 1797), when he
speaks of “my granny so gaily decked,” and records “the odd coincidence of
two young men in one age carolling their grandmothers.” _Poetical Works_,
note 99, p. 583.

[146] “To a friend (C. Lamb) who had declared his intention of writing no
more poetry.” _Poetical Works_, p. 69. See, too, Editor’s Note, p. 583.

[147] Printed in the _Annual Anthology_ for 1799.

[148] These lines, which were published with the enlarged title “To a
Young Man of Fortune who had abandoned himself to an indolent and
causeless melancholy,” may have been addressed to Charles Lloyd.

The last line, “A prey to the throned murderess of mankind,” was
afterwards changed to “A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind.” The
reference is, doubtless, to Catherine of Russia. Her death had taken place
a month before the date of this letter, but possibly when Coleridge wrote
the lines the news had not reached England. It is not a little strange
that Coleridge should write and print so stern and uncompromising a rebuke
to his intimate and disciple before there had been time for coolness and
alienation on either side. Very possibly the reproof was aimed in the
first instance against himself, and afterwards he permitted it to apply to

[149] Compare the line, “From precipices of distressful sleep,” which
occurs in the sonnet, “No more my visionary soul shall dwell,” which is
attributed to Favell in a letter of Southey’s to his brother Thomas, dated
October 24, 1795. Southey’s _Life and Correspondence_, i. 224. See, also,
Editor’s Note to “Monody on the Death of Chatterton,” _Poetical Works_, p.

[150] The _Ode on the Departing Year_.

[151] Œdipus.

[152] _Poetical Works_, p. 459.

[153] William and Joseph Strutt were the sons of Jedediah Strutt, of
Derby. The eldest, William, was the father of Edward Strutt, created Lord
Belper in 1856. Their sister, Elizabeth, who had married William Evans of
Darley Hall, was at this time a widow. She had been struck by Coleridge’s
writings, or perhaps had heard him preach when he visited Derby on his
_Watchman_ tour, and was anxious to engage him as tutor to her children.
The offer was actually made, but the relations on both sides intervened,
and she was reluctantly compelled to withdraw her proposal. By way of
consolation, she entertained Coleridge and his wife at Darley Hall, and
before he left presented him with a handsome sum of money and a store of
baby-linen, worth, if one may accept Coleridge’s valuation, a matter of
forty pounds. _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 152-154; _Estlin
Letters_, p. 13.

[154] Probably Jacob Bryant, 1715-1804, author of _An Address to Dr.
Priestley upon his Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity_, 1780; _Treatise
on the Authenticity of the Scriptures_, 1792; _The Sentiments of
Philo-Judæus concerning the Logos or Word of God_, 1797, etc. Allibone’s
_Dictionary_, i. 270.

[155] “Ode to the Departing-Year,” published in the _Cambridge
Intelligencer_, December 24, 1796. The lines on the “Empress,” to which
Thelwall objected, are in the first epode:--

          No more on Murder’s lurid face
  The insatiate Hag shall gloat with drunken eye.

_Poetical Works_, p. 79.

[156] Compare the well-known description of Dorothy Wordsworth, in a
letter to Cottle of July, 1797: “W. and his exquisite sister are with me.
She is a woman, indeed,--in mind I mean, and heart. Her information
various. Her eye watchful in minutest observation of nature; and her taste
a perfect electrometer. It bends, protrudes, and draws in, at subtlest
beauties and most recondite faults.”

Bennett’s, or the gold leaf electroscope, is an instrument for “detecting
the presence, and determining the kind of electricity in any body.” Two
narrow strips of gold leaf are attached to a metal rod, terminating in a
small brass plate above, contained in a glass shade, and these under
certain conditions of the application of positive and negative electricity
diverge or collapse.

The gold leaf electroscope was invented by Abraham Bennett in 1786.
Cottle’s _Early Recollections_, i. 252; Ganot’s _Physics_, 1870, p. 631.

[157] His tract _On the Strength of the Existing Government (the
Directory) of France, and the Necessity of supporting it_, was published
in 1796.

The translator, James Losh, described by Southey as “a provincial
counsel,” was at one time resident in Cumberland, and visited Coleridge at
Greta Hall. At a later period he settled at Jesmond, Newcastle. His name
occurs among the subscribers to _The Friend_. _Letters from the Lake
Poets_, p. 453.

[158] Compare stanzas eight and nine of “The Mad Ox:”--

  Old Lewis (’twas his evil day)
    Stood trembling in his shoes;
  The ox was his--what could he say?
    His legs were stiffened with dismay,
  The ox ran o’er him mid the fray,
    And gave him his death’s bruise.

  The baited ox drove on (but here,
    The Gospel scarce more true is,
  My muse stops short in mid career--
    Nay, gentle reader, do not sneer!
  I could chuse but drop a tear,
    A tear for good old Lewis!)

_Poetical Works_, p. 134.

[159] The probable date of this letter is Thursday, June 8, 1797. On
Monday, June 5, Coleridge breakfasted with Dr. Toulmin, the Unitarian
minister at Taunton, and on the evening of that or the next day he arrived
on foot at Racedown, some forty miles distant. Mrs. Wordsworth, in a
letter to Sara Coleridge, dated November 7, 1845, conveys her husband’s
recollections of this first visit in the following words: “Your father,”
she says, “came afterwards to visit us at Racedown, where I was living
with my sister. We have both a distinct remembrance of his arrival. He did
not keep to the high road, but leaped over a high gate and bounded down
the pathless field, by which he cut off an angle. We both retain the
liveliest possible image of his appearance at that moment. My poor sister
has just been speaking of it to me with much feeling and tenderness.” A
portion of this letter, of which I possess the original MS., was printed
by Professor Knight in his _Life of Wordsworth_, i. 111.

[160] This passage, which for some reason Cottle chose to omit, seems to
imply that the second edition of the poems had not appeared by the
beginning of June.


            ... Such, O my earliest friend!
  Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
  At distance did ye climb life’s upland road,
  Yet cheered and cheering: now fraternal love
  Hath drawn you to one centre.

_Poetical Works_, p. 81, l. 9-14.


          ... and some most false,
  False, and fair-foliaged as the Manchineel,
  Have tempted me to slumber in their shade
  E’en mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damp
  Mixed their own venom with the rain from Heaven,
  That I woke poisoned.

_Poetical Works_, p. 82, l. 25-30.

Compare Lamb’s humorous reproach in a letter to Coleridge, September,
1797: “For myself I must spoil a little passage of Beaumont and Fletcher’s
to adapt it to my feelings:--

                  ... I am prouder
  That I was once your friend, tho’ now forgot,
  Than to have had another true to me.

“If you don’t write to me now, as I told Lloyd, I shall get angry, and
call you hard names--Manchineel, and I don’t know what else.”

_Letters of Charles Lamb_, i. 83.

[163] Charles Lamb’s visit to the cottage of Nether Stowey lasted from
Friday, July 7, to Friday, July 14, 1797.

[164] According to local tradition, the lime-tree bower was at the back of
the cottage, but according to this letter it was in Poole’s garden. From
either spot the green ramparts of Stowey Castle and the “airy ridge” of
Dowseborough are full in view.

[165] “He [Le Grice] and Favell ... wrote to the Duke of York, when they
were at college, for commissions in the army. The Duke good-naturedly sent
them.” _Autobiography of Leigh Hunt_, p. 72.

[166] Possibly he alludes to his appointment as deputy-surgeon to the
Second Royals, then stationed in Portugal.

His farewell letter to Coleridge (undated) has been preserved and will be
read with interest.


    My Beloved Friend,--Farewell! I shall never think of you but with
    tears of the tenderest affection. Our routes in life have been so
    opposite, that for a long time past there has not been that
    intercourse between us which our mutual affection would have otherwise
    occasioned. But at this serious moment, all your kindness and love for
    me press upon my memory with a weight of sensation I can scarcely

           *       *       *       *       *

    You have heard of my destination, I suppose. I am going to Portugal to
    join the Second Royals, to which I have been appointed Deputy-Surgeon.
    What fate is in reserve for me I know not. I should be more
    indifferent to my future lot, if it were not for the hope of passing
    many pleasant hours, in times to come, in your society.

    Adieu! my dearest fellow. My love to Mrs. C. Health and fraternity to
    young David.

      Yours most affectionate,
        R. ALLEN.

[167] A friend and fellow-collegian of Christopher Wordsworth at Trinity
College, Cambridge. He was a member of the “Literary Society” to which
Coleridge, C. Wordsworth, Le Grice, and others belonged. He afterwards
became a sergeant-at-law. He was an intimate friend of H. Crabb Robinson.
See H. C. Robinson’s _Diary_, _passim_. See, too, _Social Life at the
English Universities_, by Christopher Wordsworth, M. A., Fellow of
Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1874, Appendix.

[168] Not, as has been supposed, Charles and Mary Lamb, but Wordsworth and
his sister Dorothy. Mary Lamb was not and could not have been at that time
one of the party. The version sent to Southey differs both from that
printed in the _Annual Anthology_ of 1800, and from a copy in a
contemporary letter sent to C. Lloyd. It is interesting to note that the
words, “My sister, and my friends,” ll. 47 and 53, which gave place in the
_Anthology_ to the thrice-repeated, “My gentle-hearted Charles,” appear,
in a copy sent to Lloyd, as “My Sara and my friend.” It was early days for
him to address Dorothy Wordsworth as “My sister,” but in forming
friendships Coleridge did not “keep to the high road, but leaped over a
gate and bounded” from acquaintance to intimacy. _Poetical Works_, p. 92.
For version of “This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison,” sent to C. Lloyd, see
_Ibid._, Editor’s Note, p. 591.

[169] “Elastic, I mean.”--S. T. C.

[170] “The ferns that grow in moist places grow five or six together, and
form a complete ‘Prince of Wales’s Feathers,’--that is, plumy.”--S. T. C.

[171] “You remember I am a _Berkleian_.”--S. T. C.

[172] “This Lime-Tree Bower,” l. 38. _Poetical Works_, p. 93.

[173] “Osorio,” Act V., Sc. 1, l. 39. _Poetical Works_, p. 507.

[174] Thelwall’s visit brought Coleridge and Wordsworth into trouble. At
the instance of a “titled Dogberry,” Sir Philip Hale of Cannington, a
government spy was sent to watch the movements of the supposed
conspirators, and, a more serious matter, Mrs. St. Albyn, the owner of
Alfoxden, severely censured her tenant for having sublet the house to
Wordsworth. See letter of explanation and remonstrance from Poole to Mrs.
St. Albyn, September 16, 1797. _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 240.
See, too, Cottle’s _Early Recollections_, i. 319, and for apocryphal
anecdotes about the spy, etc., _Biographia Literaria_, cap. x.

[175] Their proposal was to settle on Coleridge “an annuity for life of
£150, to be regularly paid by us, no condition whatever being annexed to
it.” See letter of Josiah Wedgwood to Coleridge, dated January 10, 1798.
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 258. An unpublished letter from
Thelwall to Dr. Crompton dated Llyswen, March 3, 1798, contains one of
several announcements of “his good fortune,” made by Coleridge at the time
to his numerous friends.

    To DR. CROMPTON, Eton House, Nr. Liverpool.

    LLYSWEN, 3d March, 1798.

    I am surprised you have not heard the particulars of Coleridge’s good
    fortune. It is not a legacy, but a gift. The circumstances are thus
    expressed by himself in a letter of the 30th January: “I received an
    invitation from Shrewsbury to be the Unitarian minister, and at the
    same time an order for £100 from Thomas and Josiah Wedgwood. I
    accepted the former and returned the latter in a long letter
    explanatory of my motive, and went off to Shrewsbury, where they were
    on the point of electing me unanimously and with unusual marks of
    affection, where I received an offer from T. and J. Wedgwood of an
    annuity of £150 to be legally settled on me. Astonished, agitated, and
    feeling as I could not help feeling, I accepted the offer in the same
    worthy spirit, I hope, in which it was made, and this morning I have
    returned from Shrewsbury.” This letter was written in a great hurry in
    Cottle’s shop in Bristol, in answer to one which a friend of mine had
    left for him there, on his way from Llyswen to Gosport, and you will
    perceive that it has a dash of the obscure not uncommon to the rapid
    genius of C. Whether he did or did not accept the cure of Unitarian
    Souls, it is difficult from the account to make out. I suppose he did
    not, for I know his aversion to preachings God’s holy word for hire,
    which is seconded not a little, I expect, by his repugnance to all
    regular routine and application. I also hope he did not, for I know he
    cannot preach very often without travelling from the pulpit to the
    Tower. Mount him but upon his darling hobby-horse, “the republic of
    God’s own making,” and away he goes like hey-go-mad, spattering and
    splashing through thick and thin and scattering more _levelling_
    sedition and constructive treason than poor Gilly or myself ever
    dreamt of. He promised to write to me again in a few days; but, though
    I answered his letter directly, I have not heard from him since.

[176] _Count Benyowsky, or the Conspiracy of Kamtschatka, a Tragi-comedy._
Translated from the German by the Rev. W. Render, teacher of the German
Language in the University of Cambridge. Cambridge, 1798.

[177] Coleridge’s copy of Monk Lewis’ play is dated January 20, 1798.

[178] The following memoranda, presumably in Wordsworth’s handwriting,
have been scribbled on the outside sheet of the letter: “Tea--Thread
fine--needles Silks--Strainer for starch--Mustard--Basil’s shoes--Shoe

“The sun’s course is short, but clear and blue the sky.”

[179] “Duplex nobis vinculum, et amicitiæ et similium junctarumque
Camœnarum; quod utinam neque mors solvat, neque temporis longinquitas.”

[180] _The Task_, Book V., “A Winter’s Morning Walk.”

[181] A later version of these lines is to be found at the close of the
fourth book of “The Excursion.” _Works of Wordsworth_, 1889, p. 467.

[182] In the series of letters to Dr. Estlin, contributed to the privately
printed volumes of the Philobiblon Society, the editor, Mr. Henry A.
Bright, dates this letter _May_ (? 1797). A comparison with a second
letter to Estlin, dated May 14, 1798 (Letter LXXXII.), with a letter to
Poole, dated May 28, 1798 (Letter LXXXIV.), with a letter to Charles Lamb
belonging to the spring of 1798 (Letter LXXXV.), and with an entry in
Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal for May 16, 1798, affords convincing proof
that the date of the letter should be May, 1798.

The MS. note of November 10, 1810, to which a previous reference has been
made, connects a serious quarrel with Lloyd, and consequent distress of
mind, with the retirement to “the lonely farm-house,” and a first recourse
to opium. If, as the letters intimate, these events must be assigned to
May, 1798, it follows that “Kubla Khan” was written at the same time, and
not, as Coleridge maintained in the Preface of 1816, “in the summer of

It would, indeed, have been altogether miraculous if, before he had
written a line of “Christabel,” or “The Ancient Mariner,” either in an
actual dream, or a dreamlike reverie, it had been “given to him” to divine
the enchanting images of “Kubla Khan,” or attune his mysterious vision to
consummate melody.

[183] Berkeley Coleridge, born May 14, 1798, died February 10, 1799.

[184] The original MS. of this letter, which was preserved by Coleridge,
is, doubtless, a copy of that sent by post. Besides this, only three of
Coleridge’s letters to Lamb have been preserved,--the “religious letter”
of 1796, a letter concerning the quarrel with Wordsworth, of May, 1812
[Letter CLXXXIV.], and one written in later life (undated, on the
particulars of Hood’s _Odes to Great People_).

[185] Charles Lloyd.

[186] The three sonnets of “Nehemiah Higginbottom” were published in the
_Monthly Magazine_ for November, 1797. Compare his letter to Cottle (_E.
R._ i. 289) which Mr. Dykes Campbell takes to have been written at the
same time.

“I sent to the _Monthly Magazine_, three mock sonnets in ridicule of my
own Poems, and Charles Lloyd’s and Charles Lamb’s, etc., etc., exposing
that affectation of unaffectedness, of jumping and misplaced accent, in
commonplace epithets, flat lines forced into poetry by italics (signifying
how well and mouthishly the author would read them), puny pathos, etc.,
etc. The instances were all taken from myself and Lloyd and Lamb. I signed
them ‘Nehemiah Higginbottom.’ I hope they may do good to our young bards.”

The publication of these sonnets in November, 1797, cannot, as Mr. Dykes
Campbell points out (_Poetical Works_, p. 599), have been the immediate
cause of the breach between Coleridge and Lamb which took place in the
spring or early summer of 1798, but it seems that during the rise and
progress of this quarrel the Sonnet on Simplicity was the occasion of
bitter and angry words. As Lamb and Lloyd and Southey drew together, they
drew away from Coleridge, and Southey, who had only been formally
reconciled with his brother-in-law, seems to have regarded this sonnet as
an ill-natured parody of his earlier poems. In a letter to Wynn, dated
November 20, 1797, he says, “I am aware of the danger of studying
simplicity of language,” and he proceeds to quote some lines of blank
verse to prove that he could employ the “grand style” when he chose.

A note from Coleridge to Southey, posted December 8, 1797, deals with the
question, and would, if it had not been for Lloyd’s “tittle-tattle,” have
convinced both Southey and Lamb that in the matter they were entirely

       *       *       *       *       *

I am sorry, Southey! very sorry that I wrote or published those
sonnets--but ‘sorry’ would be a tame word to express my feelings, if I had
written them with the motives which you have attributed to me. I have not
been in the habit of treating our separation with levity--nor ever since
the first moment thought of it without deep emotion--and how could you
apply to yourself a sonnet written to ridicule infantine simplicity,
vulgar colloquialisms, and lady-like friendships? I have no conception,
neither I believe could a passage in your writings have suggested to me or
any man the notion of _your_ ‘plainting plaintively.’ I am sorry that I
wrote thus, because I am sorry to perceive a disposition in you to believe
evil of me, of which your remark to Charles Lloyd was a painful instance.
I say this to you, because I shall say it to no other being. I feel myself
wounded and hurt and write as such. I believe in my letter to Lloyd I
forgot to mention that the Editor of the _Morning Post_ is called Stuart,
and that he is the brother-in-law of Mackintosh. Yours sincerely,


Thursday morning.

Post-mark, Dec. 8, 1797.

MR. SOUTHEY, No. 23 East Street, Red Lion Square, London.

[187] Charles Lloyd’s novel, _Edmund Oliver_, was published at Bristol in
1798. It is dedicated to “His friend Charles Lamb of the India House.” He
says in the Preface: “The incidents relative to the army were given me by
an intimate friend who was himself eye-witness of one of them.” The
general resemblance between the events of Coleridge’s earlier history and
the story of Edmund Oliver is not very striking, but apart from the
description of “his person” in the first letter of the second volume,
which is close enough, a single sentence from Edmund Oliver’s journal, i.
245, betrays the malignant nature of the attack. “I have at all times a
strange dreaminess about me which makes me indifferent to the future, if I
can by any means fill the present with sensations,--with that dreaminess I
have gone on here from day to day; if at any time thought-troubled, I have
swallowed some spirits, or had recourse to my laudanum.” In the same
letter, the account which Edmund Oliver gives of his sensations as a
recruit in a regiment of light horse, and the vivid but repulsive picture
which he draws of his squalid surroundings in “a pot-house in the
Borough,” leaves a like impression that Coleridge confided too much, and
that Lloyd remembered “not wisely but too well.” How Coleridge regarded
Lloyd’s malfeasance may be guessed from one of his so-called epigrams.


  Two things hast thou made known to half the nation,
  My secrets and my want of penetration:
  For oh! far more than all which thou hast penned,
  It shames me to have called a wretch, like thee, my friend!

_Poetical Works_, p. 448.

[188] In a letter dated November 1, 1798, Mrs. Coleridge acquaints her
husband with the danger and the disfigurement from smallpox which had
befallen her little Berkeley. “The dear child,” she writes, “is getting
strength every hour; but ‘when you lost sight of land, and the faces of
your children crossed you like a flash of lightning,’ you saw _that_ face
for the last time.”

[189] “Fears in Solitude, written in 1798, during the alarm of an
invasion. To which are added, France, an Ode; and Frost at Midnight. By S.
T. Coleridge. London: Printed for J. Johnson, in St. Paul’s Churchyard.

[190] According to Burke’s _Peerage_, Emanuel Scoope, second Viscount
Howe, and father of the Admiral, “Our Lord Howe,” married, in 1719, Mary
Sophia, daughter of Baron Kielmansegge, Master of the Horse to George I.
Coleridge’s countess must have been a great-granddaughter of the baron. In
her reply to this letter, dated December 13, 1798, Mrs. Coleridge writes:
“I am very proud to hear that you are so forward in the language, and that
you are so gay with the ladies. You may give my respects to them, and say
that I am not at all jealous, for I know my dear Samuel in her affliction
will not forget entirely his most affectionate wife, Sara Coleridge.”

[191] The “Rev. Mr. Roskilly” had been curate-in-charge of the parish of
Nether Stowey, and the occasion of the letter was his promotion to the
Rectory of Kempsford in Gloucestershire. Mrs. S. T. Coleridge, in a late
letter (probably 1843) to her sister, Mrs. Lovell, writes: “In March
[1800] I and the child [Hartley] left him [S. T. C.] in London, and
proceeded to Kempsford in Gloucestershire, the Rectory of Mr. Roskilly;
remained there a month. Papa was to have joined us there, but did not.”
See _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 25-27, and _Letters from the Lake
Poets_, p. 6.

[192] In his letter of January 20, 1799, Josiah Wedgwood acknowledges the
receipt of a letter dated November 29, 1798, but adds that an earlier
letter from Hamburg had not come to hand. A third letter, dated Göttingen,
May 21, 1799, was printed by Cottle in his _Reminiscences_, 1848, p. 425.

[193] Miss Meteyard, in her _Group of Englishmen_, 1871, p. 99, gives
extracts from the account-current of Messrs. P. and O. Von Axen, the
Hamburg agents of the Wedgwoods. According to her figures, Coleridge drew
£125 from October 20 to March 29, 1799, and, “conjointly with Wordsworth,”
£106 10_s._ on July 8, 1799. Mr. Dykes Campbell, in a footnote to his
_Memoir_, p. xliv., combats Miss Meteyard’s assertion that these sums were
advanced by the Wedgwoods to Coleridge and Wordsworth, and argues that
Wordsworth merely drew on the Von Axens for sums already paid in from his
own resources. Coleridge, he thinks, had only his annuity to look to, but
probably anticipated his income. In a MS. note-book of 1798-99, Coleridge
inserted some concise but not very business-like entries as to
expenditures and present resources, but says nothing as to receipts.

“March 25th, being Easter Monday, Chester and S. T. C., in a damn’d dirty
hole in the Burg Strasse at Göttingen, possessed at that moment eleven
Louis d’ors and two dollars. When the money is spent in common expenses S.
T. Coleridge will owe Chester 5 pounds 12 shillings.

“NOTE.--From September 8 to April 8 I shall have spent £90, of which £15
was in Books; and Cloathes, mending and making, £10.

“May 10. We have 17 Louis d’or, of which, as far as I can at present
calculate, 10 belong to Chester.”

The most probable conclusion is that both Coleridge and Chester were
fairly well supplied with money when they left England, and that the £178
10_s._ which Coleridge received from the Von Axens covered some portion of
Chester’s expenses in addition to his own. I may add that a recent
collation of the autograph letter of Coleridge to Josiah Wedgwood dated
May 21, 1799, Göttingen, with the published version in Cottle’s
_Reminiscences_, pp. 425-429, fully bears out Mr. Campbell’s contention,
that though Coleridge anticipated his annuity, he was not the recipient of
large sums over and above what was guaranteed to him.

[194] A portion of this description of Ratzeburg is included in No. III.
of _Satyrane’s Letters_, originally published in No. 10 of _The Friend_,
December 21, 1809.

[195] The following description of the frozen lake was thrown into a
literary shape and published in No. 19 of _The Friend_, December 28, 1809,
as “Christmas Indoors in North Germany.”

[196] A letter from Mrs. Coleridge to her husband, dated March 25, 1799,
followed Poole’s letter of March 15. (_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i.
290.) She writes:--

“MY DEAREST LOVE,--I hope you will not attribute my long silence to want
of affection. If you have received Mr. Poole’s letter you will know the
reason and acquit me. My darling infant left his wretched mother on the
10th of February, and though the leisure that followed was intolerable to
me, yet I could not employ myself in reading or writing, or in any way
that prevented my thoughts from resting on him. This parting was the
severest trial that I have ever yet undergone, and I pray to God that I
may never live to behold the death of another child. For, O my dear
Samuel, it is a suffering beyond your conception! You will feel and lament
the death of your child, but you will only recollect him a baby of
fourteen weeks, but I am his mother and have carried him in my arms and
have fed him at my bosom, and have watched over him by day and by night
for nine months. I have seen him twice at the brink of the grave, but he
has returned and recovered and smiled upon me like an angel,--and now I am
lamenting that he is gone!”

In her old age, when her daughter was collecting materials for a life of
her father, Mrs. Coleridge wrote on the back of the letter:--

“No secrets herein. I will not burn it for the sake of my sweet Berkeley.”

[197] From “Osorio,” Act V. Sc. 1. _Poetical Works_, p. 506.

[198] The following description of the Christmas-tree, and of Knecht
Rupert, was originally published, almost verbatim, in No. 19 of the
original issue of _The Friend_, December 28, 1809.

[199] First published in _Annual Anthology_ of 1800, under the signature
_Cordomi_. See _Poetical Works_, p. 146, and Editor’s Note, p. 621.

[200] The men who rip the oak bark from the logs for tanning.


                      My dear babe,
  Who capable of no articulate sound,
  Mars all things with his imitative lisp,
  How he would place his hand beside his ear,
  His little hand, the small forefinger up,
  And bid us listen.

--“The Nightingale, a Conversation Poem,” written in April, 1798.
_Poetical Works_, p. 133.

[202] Hutton Hall, near Penrith.

[203] First published in the _Annual Anthology_ of 1800. See _Poetical
Works_, p. 146, and Editor’s Note, p. 621. According to Carlyon the lines
were dictated by Coleridge and inscribed by one of the party in the
“Stammbuch” of the Wernigerode Inn. _Early Years_, i. 66.

[204] Olaus Tychsen, 1734-1815, was “Professor of Oriental Tongues” at
Rostock, in Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

[205] F. C. Achard, born in 1754, was author of an “Instruction for making
sugar, molasses, and vinous spirit from Beet-root.”

[206] The Coleridges were absent from Stowey for about a month. For the
first fortnight they were guests of George Coleridge at Ottery. The latter
part of the time was spent with the Southeys in their lodgings at Exeter.
It was during this second visit that Coleridge accompanied Southey on a
walking tour through part of Dartmoor and as far as Dartmouth.

[207] Coleridge took but few notes during this tour. In 1803 he
retranscribed his fragmentary jottings and regrets that he possessed no
more, “though we were at the interesting Bovey waterfall [Becky Fall],
through that wild dell of ashes which leads to Ashburton, most like the
approach to upper Matterdale.” “I have,” he adds, “at this moment very
distinct visual impressions of the tour, namely of Torbay, the village of
Paignton with the Castle.” Southey was disappointed in South Devon, which
he contrasts unfavourably with the North of Somersetshire, but for “the
dell of ashes” he has a word of praise. _Selections from Letters of Robert
Southey_, i. 84.

[208] Suwarrow, at the head of the Austro-Russian troops, defeated the
French under Joubert at Novi near Alessandria, in North Italy, August 15,

[209] A temporary residence of Josiah Wedgwood, who had taken it on lease
in order to be near his newly purchased property at Combe Florey, in
Somersetshire. Meteyard’s _Group of Englishmen_, 1871, p. 107.

[210] Southey’s brother, a midshipman on board the Sylph gun-brig. A
report had reached England that the Sylph had been captured and brought to
Ferrol. _Southey’s Life and Correspondence_, ii. 30.

[211] Marshal Massena defeated the Russians under Prince Korsikov at
Zurich, September 25, 1799.

[212] William Jackson, organist of Exeter Cathedral, 1730-1803, a musical
composer and artist. He published, among other works, _The Four Ages with
Essays_, 1798. See letter of Southey to S. T. Coleridge, October 3, 1799,
_Southey’s Life and Correspondence_, ii. 26.

[213] John Codrington Warwick Bampfylde, second son of Richard Bampfylde,
of Poltimore, was the author of _Sixteen Sonnets_, published in 1779. In
the letter of October 3 (see above) Southey gives an interesting account
of his eccentric habits and melancholy history. In a prefatory note to
four of Bampfylde’s sonnets, included by Southey in his _Specimens of the
Later English Poets_, he explains how he came to possess the copies of
some hitherto unpublished poems.

“Jackson of Exeter, a man whose various talents made all who knew him
remember him with regret, designed to republish the little collection of
Bampfylde’s Sonnets, with what few of his pieces were still unedited.

“Those poems which are here first printed were transcribed from the
originals in his possession.”

“Bampfylde published his Sonnets at a very early age; they are some of the
most original in our language. He died in a private mad-house, after
twenty years’ confinement.” _Specimens of the Later English Poets_, 1808,
iii. 434.

[214] “A sister of General McKinnon, who was killed at Ciudad Rodrigo.” In
the same letter to Coleridge (see above) Southey says that he looked up to
her with more respect because the light of Buonaparte’s countenance had
shone upon her.

[215] Dr. Cookson, Canon of Windsor and Rector of Forncett, Norfolk.
Dorothy Wordsworth passed much of her time under his roof before she
finally threw in her lot with her brother William in 1795.

[216] The journal, or notes for a journal, of this first tour in the Lake
Country, leaves a doubt whether Coleridge and Wordsworth slept at Keswick
on Sunday, November 10, 1799, or whether they returned to Cockermouth. It
is certain that they passed through Keswick again on Friday, November 15,
as the following entry testifies:--

“1 mile and ½ from Keswick, a Druidical circle. On the right the road and
Saddleback; on the left a fine but unwatered vale, walled by grassy hills
and a fine black crag standing single at the terminus as sentry. Before
me, that is, towards Keswick, the mountains stand, one behind the other,
in orderly array, as if evoked by and attentive to the white-vested
wizards.” It was from almost the same point of view that, thirty years
afterwards, his wife, on her journey south after her daughter’s marriage,
took a solemn farewell of the Vale of Keswick once so strange, but then so
dear and so familiar.

[217] George Fricker, Mrs. Coleridge’s younger brother.

[218] A gossiping account of the early history and writings of “Mr. Robert
Southey” appeared in _Public Characters for 1799-1800_, a humble
forerunner of _Men of the Time_, published by Richard Phillips, the
founder of the _Monthly Magazine_, and afterwards knighted as a sheriff of
the city of London. Possibly Coleridge was displeased at the mention of
his name in connection with Pantisocracy, and still more by the following
sentence: “The three young poetical friends, Lovel, Southey, and
Coleridge, married three sisters. Southey is attached to domestic life,
and, fortunately, was very happy in his matrimonial connection.” It was
Sir Richard Phillips, the “knight” of Coleridge’s anecdote, who told Mrs.
Barbauld that he would have given “nine guineas a sheet for the last hour
and a half of his conversation.” _Letters, Conversations_, etc., 1836, ii.
131, 132.

[219] “These various pieces were rearranged in three volumes under the
title of _Minor Poems_, in 1815, with this motto, _Nos hæc novimus esse
nihil_.” _Poetical Works of Robert Southey_, 1837, ii., xii.

[220] Mary Hayes, a friend of Mary Wollstonecraft, whose opinions she
advocated with great zeal, and whose death she witnessed. Among other
works, she wrote a novel, _Memoirs of Emma Courtney_, and _Female
Biography, or Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women_. Six volumes.
London: R. Phillips. 1803.

[221] He used the same words in a letter to Poole dated December 31, 1799.
_Thomas Poole and his Friends_, i. 1.

[222] “Essay on the New French Constitution,” _Essays on His Own Times_,
i. 183-189.

[223] The Ode appeared in the _Morning Post_, December 24, 1799. The
stanzas in which the Duchess commemorated her passage over Mount St.
Gothard appeared in the _Morning Post_, December 21. They were inscribed
to her children, and it was the last stanza, in which she anticipates her
return, which suggested to Coleridge the far-fetched conceit that maternal
affection enabled the Duchess to overcome her aristocratic prejudices, and
“hail Tell’s chapel and the platform wild.” It runs thus:--

  Hope of my life! dear _children_ of my heart!
    That anxious heart to each fond feeling true,
  To you still pants each pleasure to impart,
    And soon--oh transport--reach its home and you.

_From a transcript in my possession of which the opening lines are in the
handwriting of Mrs. H. N. Coleridge._

[224] The libel of which Coleridge justly complained was contained in
these words: “Since this time (that is, since leaving Cambridge) he has
left his native country, commenced citizen of the world, left his poor
children fatherless and his wife destitute. _Ex his disce_ his friends
Lamb and Southey.” _Biographia Literaria_, 1817, vol. i. chapter i. p. 70,

[225] Mrs. Robinson (“Perdita”) contributed two poems to the _Annual
Anthology_ of 1800, “Jasper” and “The Haunted Beach.” The line which
caught Coleridge’s fancy, the first of the twelfth stanza, runs thus:--

  “Pale Moon! thou Spectre of the Sky.”

_Annual Anthology_, 1800, p. 168.

[226] _St. Leon_ was published in 1799. _William Godwin, his Friends and
Contemporaries_, i. 330.

[227] See “Mr. Coleridge’s Report of Mr. Pitt’s Speech in Parliament of
February 17, 1800, On the continuance of the War with France.” _Morning
Post_, February 18, 1800; _Essays on His Own Times_, ii. 293. See, too,
Mrs. H. N. Coleridge’s note, and the report of the speech in _The Times_.
_Ibid._ iii. 1009-1019. The original notes, which Coleridge took in
pencil, have been preserved in one of his note-books. They consist, for
the most part, of skeleton sentences and fragmentary jottings. How far
Coleridge may have reconstructed Pitt’s speech as he went along, it is
impossible to say, but the speech as reported follows pretty closely the
outlines in the note-book. The remarkable description of Buonaparte as the
“child and champion of Jacobinism,” which is not to be found in _The
Times_ report, appears in the notes as “the nursling and champion of
Jacobinism,” and, if these were the words which Pitt used, in this
instance, Coleridge altered for the worse.

[228] “The Beguines I had looked upon as a religious establishment, and
the only good one of its kind. When my brother was a prisoner at Brest,
the sick and wounded were attended by nurses, and these women had made
themselves greatly beloved and respected.” Southey to Rickman, January 9,
1800. _Life and Correspondence_, ii. 46. It is well known that Southey
advocated the establishment of Protestant orders of Sisters of Mercy.

[229] In a letter from Southey to Coleridge, dated February 15, 1800
(unpublished), he proposes the establishment of a Magazine with signed
articles. But a “History of the Levelling Principle,” which Coleridge had
suggested as a joint work, he would only publish anonymously.

[230] See Letter from Southey to Coleridge, December 27, 1799. _Life and
Correspondence_, ii. 35.

[231] “Concerning the French, I wish Bonaparte had staid in Egypt and that
Robespierre had guilloteened Sieyès. These cursed complex governments are
good for nothing, and will ever be in the hands of intriguers: the
Jacobins were the men, and one house of representatives, lodging the
executive in committees, the plain and common system of government. The
cause of republicanism is over, and it is now only a struggle for
dominion. There wants a Lycurgus after Robespierre, a man loved for his
virtue, and bold and inflexible, who should have levelled the property of
France, and then would the Republic have been immortal--and the world must
have been revolutionized by example.” From an unpublished letter from
Southey to Coleridge, dated December 23, 1799.

[232] “Alas, poor human nature! Or rather, indeed, alas, poor Gallic
nature! For Γραῖοι ἀεὶ μαῖδες the French are always children, and it is an
infirmity of benevolence to wish, or dread, aught concerning them.” S. T.
C., _Morning Post_, December 31, 1797; _Essays on His Own Times_, i. 184.

[233] See _Poetical Works_, Appendix K, pp. 544, 545. Editor’s Note, pp.


  “The _winter_ Moon upon the sand
     A silvery Carpet made,
   And mark’d the sailor reach the land--
   And mark’d _his Murderer_ wash his hand
     Where the green billows played!”

_Annual Anthology_, 1800: “The Haunted Beach,” sixth stanza, p. 256.

[235] These letters, under the title of “Monopolists” and “Farmers,”
appeared in the _Morning Post_, October 3-9, 1800. Coleridge wrote the
first of the series, and the introduction to No. III. of “Farmers,” “In
what manner they are affected by the War” _Essays on His Own Times_, ii.
413-450; _Thomas Poole and his Friends_, ii. 15, 16.

[236] It is impossible to explain this statement, which was repeated in a
letter to Josiah Wedgwood, dated November 1, 1800. The printed
“Christabel,” even including the conclusion to Part II., makes only 677
lines, and the discarded portion, if it ever existed, has never come to
light. See Mr. Dykes Campbell’s valuable and exhaustive note on
“Christabel,” _Poetical Works_, pp. 601-607.

[237] A former title of “The Excursion.”

[238] “Sunday night, half past ten, September 14, 1800, a boy born

“September 27, 1800. The child being very ill was baptized by the name of
Derwent. The child, hour after hour, made a noise exactly like the
creaking of a door which is being shut very slowly to prevent its
creaking.” (_MS._) S. T. C.

My father’s life was saved by his mother’s devotion. “On the occasion here
recorded,” he writes, “I had eleven convulsion fits. At last my father
took my mother gently out of the room, and told her that she must make up
her mind to lose this child. By and by she heard the nurse lulling me, and
said she would try once more to give me the breast.” She did so; and from
that time all went well, and the child recovered.

[239] Afterwards Sir Anthony, the distinguished surgeon, 1768-1840.

[240] According to Dr. Davy, the editor of _Fragmentary Remains of Sir H.
Davy_, London, 1858, the reference is to the late Mr. James Thompson of

[241] William, the elder brother of Raisley Calvert, who left Wordsworth a
legacy of nine hundred pounds. In that mysterious poem, “Stanzas written
in my Pocket Copy of Thomson’s Castle of Indolence,” it would seem that
Wordsworth begins with a blended portrait of himself and Coleridge, and
ends with a blended portrait of Coleridge and William Calvert. Mrs. Joshua
Stanger (Mary Calvert) maintained that “the large gray eyes” and “low-hung
lip” were certainly descriptive of Coleridge and could not apply to her
father; but she admitted that, in other parts of the poem, Wordsworth may
have had her father in his mind. Of this we may be sure, that neither
Coleridge nor Wordsworth had “inventions rare,” or displayed beetles under
a microscope. It is evident that Hartley Coleridge, who said “that his
father’s character and habits are here [that is, in these stanzas]
preserved in a livelier way than in anything that has been written about
him,” regarded the first and not the second half of the poem as a
description of S. T. C. “The Last of the Calverts,” _Cornhill Magazine_,
May, 1890, pp. 494-520.

[242] On page 210 of vol. ii. of the second edition of the _Lyrical
Ballads_ (1800), there is a blank space. The omitted passage, fifteen
lines in all, began with the words, “Though nought was left undone.”
_Works of Wordsworth_, p. 134, II. 4-18.

[243] During the preceding month Coleridge had busied himself with
instituting a comparison between the philosophical systems of Locke and
Descartes. Three letters of prodigious length, dated February 18, 24 (a
double letter), and addressed to Josiah Wedgwood, embodied the result of
his studies. They would serve, he thought, as a preliminary excursus to a
larger work, and would convince the Wedgwoods that his _wanderjahr_ had
not been altogether misspent. Mr. Leslie Stephen, to whom this
correspondence has been submitted, is good enough to allow me to print the
following extract from a letter which he wrote at my request: “Coleridge
writes as though he had as yet read no German philosophy. I knew that he
began a serious study of Kant at Keswick; but I fancied that he had
brought back some knowledge of Kant from Germany. This letter seems to
prove the contrary. There is certainly none of the transcendentalism of
the Schelling kind. One point is, that he still sticks to Hartley and to
the Association doctrine, which he afterwards denounced so frequently.
Thus he is dissatisfied with Locke, but has not broken with the philosophy
generally supposed to be on the Locke line. In short, he seems to be at
the point where a study of Kant would be ready to launch him in his later
direction, but is not at all conscious of the change. When he wrote the
_Friend_ [1809-10] he had become a Kantian. Therefore we must, I think,
date his conversion later than I should have supposed, and assume that it
was the study of Kant just after this letter was written which brought
about the change.”

[244] Nothing is known of these lines beyond the fact that in 1816
Coleridge printed them as “Conclusion to Part II.” of “Christabel.” It is
possible that they were intended to form part of a distinct poem in the
metre of “Christabel,” or, it may be, they are the sole survival of an
attempted third part of the ballad itself. It is plain, however, that the
picture is from the life, that “the little child, the limber elf,” is the
four-year-old Hartley, hardly as yet “fitting to unutterable thought, The
breeze-like motion, and the self-born carol.”

[245] George Hutchinson, the fourth son of John Hutchinson of Penrith, was
at this time in occupation of land at Bishop’s Middleham, the original
home of the family. He migrated into Radnorshire in 1815, being then about
the age of thirty-seven; but between that date and his leaving Bishop’s
Middleham he had resided for some time in Lincolnshire, at Scrivelsby,
where he was engaged probably as agent on the estate of the “Champion.”
His first residence after migration was at New Radnor, where he married
Margaret Roberts of Curnellan, but he subsequently removed into
Herefordshire, where he resided in many places, latterly at Kingston. He
died at his son’s house, The Vinery, Hereford, in 1866. It would seem from
a letter dated July 25, 1801 (Letter CXX.), that at this time Sarah
Hutchinson kept house for her brother George, and that Mary (Mrs.
Wordsworth) and Joanna Hutchinson lived with their elder brother Tom at
Gallow Hill, in the parish of Brompton, near Scarborough. The register of
Brompton Church records the marriage of William Wordsworth and Mary
Hutchinson, on October 4, 1802; but in the notices of marriages in the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_, of October, 1802, the latter is described as “Miss
Mary Hutchinson of Wykeham,” an adjoining parish.

[From information kindly supplied to me by Mr. John Hutchinson, the keeper
of the Library of the Middle Temple.]

[246] The historian William Roscoe (afterwards M. P. for Liverpool), and
the physician James Currie, the editor and biographer of Burns, were at
this time settled at Liverpool and on terms of intimacy with Dr. Peter
Crompton of Eaton Hall.

[247] The Bristol merchant who lent the manor-house of Racedown to
Wordsworth in 1795.

[248] In the well-known lines “On revisiting the Sea-shore,” allusion is
made to this “mild physician,” who vainly dissuaded him from bathing in
the open sea. Sea-bathing was at all times an irresistible pleasure to
Coleridge, and he continued the practice, greatly to his benefit, down to
a late period of his life and long after he had become a confirmed
invalid. _Poetical Works_, p. 159.

[249] Francis Wrangham, whom Coleridge once described as “admirer of me
and a pitier of my political principles” (Letter to Cottle [April], 1796),
was his senior by a few years. On failing to obtain, it is said on account
of his advanced political views, a fellowship at Trinity Hall, he started
taking pupils at Cobham in Surrey in partnership with Basil Montagu. The
scheme was of short duration, for Montagu deserted tuition for the bar,
and Wrangham, early in life, was preferred to the benefices of Hemmanby
and Folkton, in the neighborhood of Scarborough. He was afterwards
appointed to a Canonry of York, to the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, and
finally to a prebendal stall at Chester. He published a volume of _Poems_
(London, 1795), in which are included Coleridge’s Translation of the
“Hendecasyllabli ad Bruntonam e Grantâ exituram,” and some “Verses to Miss
Brunton with the preceding Translation.” He died in 1842. _Poetical
Works_, p. 30. See, too, Editor’s Note, p. 569; _Reminiscences of
Cambridge_, by Henry Gunning, London, 1855, ii. 12 _seq._

[250] “I took a first floor for him in King Street, Covent Garden, at my
tailor’s, Howell’s, whose wife is a cheerful housewife of middle age, who
I knew would nurse Coleridge as kindly as if he were her son.” D. Stuart,
_Gent. Mag._, May, 1838. See, too, _Letters from the Lake Poets_, p. 7.

[251] Captain Luff, for many years a resident at Patterdale, near
Ulleswater, was held in esteem for the energy with which he procured the
enrolment of large companies of volunteers. Wordsworth and Coleridge were
frequent visitors at his house, For his account of the death of Charles
Gough, on Helvellyn, and the fidelity of the famous spaniel, see
_Coleorton Letters_, i. 97. _Letters from the Lake Poets_, p. 131.

[252] _Ciceronis Epist. ad Fam._ iv. 10.

[253] _Ib._ i. 2.

[254] The lines are taken, with some alterations, from a kind of _l’envoy_
or epilogue which Bruno affixed to his long philosophical poem, _Jordani
Bruni Nolani de Innumerabilibus Immenso et Infigurabili; seu de Universo
et Mundis libri octo_. Francofurti, 1591, p. 654.

[255] John Hamilton Mortimer, 1741-1779. He painted _King John granting
Magna Charta_, the _Battle of Agincourt_, the _Conversion of the Britons_,
and other historical subjects.

[256] Drayton’s _Poly-Olbion_, Song 22, 1-17.

[257] The Latin Iambics, in which Dean Ogle celebrated the little Blyth,
which ran through his father’s park at Kirkley, near Ponteland, deserve
the highest praise; but Bowles’s translation is far from being execrable.
He may not have caught the peculiar tones of the Northumbrian burn which
awoke the memories of the scholarly Dean, but his irregular lines are not
without their own pathos and melody. Bowles was a Winchester boy, and Dr.
Newton Ogle, then Dean of Winchester, was one of his earliest patrons. It
was from the Dean’s son, his old schoolfellow, Lieutenant Ogle, that he
claimed to have gathered the particulars of Coleridge’s discovery at
Reading and discharge from the army. “Poems of William Lisle Bowles,”
_Galignani_, 1829, p. 131; “The Late Mr. Coleridge a Common Soldier,”
_Times_, August 13, 1834.

[258] One of a series of falls made by the Dash Beck, which divides the
parishes of Caldbeck and Skiddaw Forest, and flows into Bassenthwaite

The following minute description is from an entry in a note-book dated
October 10, 1800:--

“The Dash itself is by no means equal to the Churnmilk (_sic_) at Eastdale
(_sic_) or the Wytheburn Fall. This I wrote standing under and seeing the
whole Dash; but when I went over and descended to the bottom, then I only
_saw_ the real _Fall_ and the curve of the steep slope, and retracted. It
is, indeed, so seen, a fine thing. It falls parallel with a fine black
rock thirty feet, and is more shattered, more completely atomized and
white, than any I have ever seen.... The Fall of the Dash is in a
horse-shoe basin of its own, wildly peopled with small ashes standing out
of the rocks. Crossed the beck close by the white pool, and stood on the
other side in a complete spray-_rain_. Here it assumes, I think, a still
finer appearance. You see the vast rugged net and angular points and
upright cones of the black rock; the Fall assumes a variety and
complexity, parts rushing in wheels, other parts perpendicular, some in
white horse-tails, while towards the right edge of the black [rock] two or
three leisurely fillets have escaped out of the turmoil.”

[259] I have been unable to discover any trace of the MS. of this

[260] The “Ode to Dejection,” of which this is the earliest version, was
composed on Sunday evening, April 4, and published six months later, in
the _Morning Post_ of October 4, 1802. It was reprinted in the _Sibylline
Leaves_, 1817. A comparison of the Ode, as sent to Sotheby, with the first
printed version (_Poetical Works_, Appendix G, pp. 522-524) shows that it
underwent many changes before it was permitted to see the “light of common
day” in the columns of the _Morning Post_. The Ode was begun some three
weeks after Coleridge returned to Keswick, after an absence of four
months. He had visited Southey in London, he had been a fellow guest with
Tom Wedgwood for a month at Stowey, he had returned to London and attended
Davy’s lectures at the Royal Institution, and on his way home he had
stayed for a fortnight with his friend T. Hutchinson, Wordsworth’s
brother-in-law, at Gallow Hill.

He left Gallow Hill “on March 13 in a violent storm of snow, wind, and
rain,” and must have reached Keswick on Sunday the 14th or Monday the 15th
of March. On the following Friday he walked over to Dove Cottage, and once
more found himself in the presence of his friends, and, once again, their
presence and companionship drove him into song. The Ode is at once a
confession and a contrast, a confession that he had fled from the conflict
with his soul into the fastnesses of metaphysics, and a contrast of his
own hopelessness with the glad assurance of inward peace and outward
happiness which attended the pure and manly spirit of his friend.

  But verse was what he had been wedded to,
  And his own mind did like a tempest strong
  Come thus to him, and drove the weary wight along.

A MS. note-book of 1801-2, which has helped to date his movements at the
time, contains, among other hints and jottings, the following almost
illegible fragment: “The larches in spring push out their separate bundles
of ... into green brushes or pencils which ... small tassels;”--and with
the note may be compared the following lines included in the version
contained in the letter, but afterwards omitted:--

              In this heartless mood,
  To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo’d,
  _That pipes within the larch-tree, not unseen
  The larch that pushes out in tassels green
  Its bundled leafits--woo’d to mild delights,
  By all the tender sounds and gentle sights
  Of this sweet primrose-month, and vainly woo’d!_
  O dearest Poet, in this heartless mood--

Another jotting in the same note-book: “A Poem on the endeavour to
emancipate the mind from day-dreams, with the different attempts and the
vain ones,” perhaps found expression in the lines which follow “My shaping
spirit of Imagination,” which appeared for the first time in print in
_Sibylline Leaves_, 1817, but which, as Mr. Dykes Campbell has rightly
divined, belonged to the original draft of the Ode. _Poetical Works_, p.
159. Appendix G, pp. 522-524. Editor’s Note, pp. 626-628.

[261] “A lovely skye-canoe.” _Morning Post._ The reference is to the
Prologue to “Peter Bell.” Compare stanza 22,

  “My little vagrant Form of light,
   My gay and beautiful Canoe.”

Wordsworth’s _Poetical Works_, p. 100.

[262] For Southey’s reply, dated Bristol, August 4, 1802, see _Life and
Correspondence_, ii. 189-192.

[263] The Right Hon. Isaac Corry, Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland,
to whom Southey acted as secretary for a short time.

[264] “On Sunday, August 1st, ½ after 12, I had a shirt, cravat, 2 pairs
of stockings, a little paper, and half dozen pens, a German book (Voss’s
Poems), and a little tea and sugar, with my night cap, packed up in my
natty green oil-skin, neatly squared, and put into my net knapsack, and
the knapsack on my back and the besom stick in my hand, which for want of
a better, and in spite of Mrs. C. and Mary, who both raised their voices
against it, especially as I left the besom scattered on the kitchen floor,
off I sallied over the bridge, through the hop-field, through the Prospect
Bridge, at Portinscale, so on by the tall birch that grows out of the
centre of the huge oak, along into Newlands.” MS. Journal of tour in the
Lake District, August 1-9, 1802, sent in the form of a letter to the
Wordsworths and transcribed by Miss Sarah Hutchinson.

[265] “The following month, September (1802), was marked by the birth of
his first child, a daughter, named after her paternal grandmother,
Margaret.” _Southey’s Life and Correspondence_, ii. 192.

[266] Southey’s reply, which was not in the affirmative, has not been
preserved. The joint-residence at Greta Hall began in September, 1803.

[267] Charles and Mary Lamb’s visit to Greta Hall, which lasted three full
weeks, must have extended from (about) August 12 to September 2, 1802.
_Letters of Charles Lamb_, i. 180-184.


  “_Here melancholy, on the pale crags laid,
   Might muse herself to sleep_; or Fancy come,
   Watching the mind with tender cozenage
   And shaping things that are not.”

“Coombe-Ellen, written in Radnorshire, September, 1798.” “Poems of William
Lisle Bowles,” _Galignani_, p. 139. For “Melancholy, a Fragment,” see
_Poetical Works_, p. 34.

[269] I have not been able to verify this reference.

[270] “O my God! what enormous mountains there are close by me, and yet
below the hill I stand on.... And here I am, _lounded_ [i. e.,
sheltered],--so fully lounded,--that though the wind is strong and the
clouds are hastening hither from the sea, and the whole air seaward has a
lurid look, and we shall certainly have thunder,--yet here (but that I am
hungered and provisionless), _here_ I could be warm and wait, methinks,
for to-morrow’s sun--and on a nice stone table am I now at this moment
writing to you--between 2 and 3 o’clock, as I guess. Surely the first
letter ever written from the top of Sca Fell.”

“After the thunder-storm I shouted out all your names in the
sheep-fold--where echo came upon echo, and then Hartley and Derwent, and
then I laughed and shouted Joanna. It leaves all the echoes I ever heard
far, far behind, in number, distinctness and humanness of voice; and then,
not to forget an old friend, I made them all say Dr. Dodd etc.” _MS.
Journal_, August 6, 1802. Compare Lamb’s Latin letter of October 9,

“Ista tua Carmina Chamouniana satis grandia esse mihi constat; sed hoc
mihi nonnihil displicet, quod in iis illæ montium Grisosonum inter se
responsiones totidem reboant anglicé, _God, God_, haud aliter atque temet
audivi tuas [sic] montes Cumbrianas [sic] resonare docentes, _Tod, Tod_,
nempe Doctorem infelicem: vocem certe haud Deum sonantem.” _Letters of
Charles Lamb_, i. 185. See, too, Canon Ainger’s translation and note,
_ibid._ p. 331. See, also, Southey’s Letter to Grosvenor Bedford, January
9, 1804. _Life and Correspondence_, ii. 248.

[271] “The Spirit of Navigation and Discovery.” “Bowles’s Poetical Works,”
_Galignani_, p. 142.

[272] These lines form part of the poem addressed “To Matilda Betham. From
a Stranger.” The date of composition was September 9, 1802, the day before
they were quoted in the letter to Sotheby. _Poetical Works_, p. 168.

[273] The “Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni” was first printed
in the _Morning Post_, September 11, 1802. It was reprinted in the
original issue of _The Friend_, No. xi. (October 16, 1809, pp. 174-176),
and again in _Sibylline Leaves_, 1817. As De Quincey was the first to
point out, Coleridge was indebted to the Swiss poetess, Frederica Brun,
for the framework of the poem and for many admirable lines and images, but
it was his solitary walk on Scafell, and the consequent uplifting of
spirit, which enabled him “to create the dry bones of the German outline
into the fulness of life.”

Coleridge will never lose his title of a _Lake Poet_, but of the ten years
during which he was nominally resident in the Lake District, he was absent
at least half the time. Of his greater poems there are but four, the
second part of “Christabel,” the “Dejection: an Ode,” the “Picture,” and
the “Hymn before Sunrise,” which take their colouring from the scenery of
Westmoreland and Cumberland.

He was but twenty-six when he visited Ottery for the last time. It was in
his thirty-fifth year that he bade farewell to Stowey and the Quantocks,
and after he was turned forty he never saw Grasmere or Keswick again. Ill
health and the _res angusta domi_ are stern gaolers, but, if he had been
so minded, he would have found a way to revisit the pleasant places in
which he had passed his youth and early manhood. In truth, he was well
content to be a dweller in “the depths of the huge city” or its outskirts,
and like Lamb, he “could not _live_ in Skiddaw.” _Poetical Works_, p. 165,
and Editor’s Note, pp. 629, 630.

[274] Coleridge must have presumed on the ignorance of Sotheby and of his
friends generally. He could hardly have passed out of Boyer’s hands
without having learned that Ἔστησε signifies, “He hath placed,” not “He
hath stood.” But, like most people who have changed their opinions, he
took an especial pride in proclaiming his unswerving allegiance to fixed
principles. The initials S. T. C., Grecised and mistranslated, expressed
this pleasing delusion, and the Greek, “Punic [sc. punnic] Greek,” as he
elsewhere calls it, might run the risk of detection.

[275] Parts III. and IV. of the “Three Graves”--were first published in
_The Friend_, No. vi. Sept. 21, 1809. Parts I. and II. were published for
the first time in _The Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_,
Macmillan, 1893. The final version of this stanza (ll. 509-513) differs
from that in the text. “A small blue sun” became “A tiny sun,” and for
“Ten thousand hairs of colour’d light” Coleridge substituted “Ten thousand
hairs and threads of light.” See _Poetical Works_, p. 92, and Editor’s
Note, pp. 589-591.

[276] The six essays to which he calls Estlin’s attention are reprinted in
_Essays on His Own Times_, ii. 478-585.

[277] The residence of Josiah Wedgwood.

[278] Paley’s last work, “_Natural Theology_; or, Evidences of the
Existence and Attributes of A Deity, collected from the Appearances of
Nature,” was published in 1802.

[279] For Southey’s well known rejoinder to this “ebullience of
schematism,” see _Life and Correspondence_, ii. 220-223.

[280] Southey’s correspondence contains numerous references to the
historian Sharon Turner [1768-1847], and to William Owen, the translator
of the _Mabinogion_ and author of the _Welsh Paradise Lost_.

[281] It may be interesting to compare the following unpublished note from
Coleridge’s Scotch Journal with the well known passage in Dorothy
Wordsworth’s Journal of her tour in the Highlands (_Memoir of Wordsworth_,
i. 235): “Next morning we went in the boat to the end of the lake, and so
on by the old path to the Garrison to the Ferry House by Loch Lomond,
where now the Fall was in all its fury, and formed with the Ferry cottage,
and the sweet Highland lass, a nice picture. The boat gone to the
preaching we stayed all day in the comfortless hovel, comfortless, but the
two little lassies did everything with such sweetness, and one of them,
14, with such native elegance. Oh! she was a divine creature! The sight of
the boat, full of Highland men and women and children from the preaching,
exquisitely fine. We soon reached E. Tarbet--all the while rain. Never,
never let me forget that small herd-boy in his tartan-plaid, dim-seen on
the hilly field, and long heard ere seen, a melancholy voice calling to
his cattle! nor the beautiful harmony of the heath, and the dancing fern,
and the ever-moving birches. That of itself enough to make Scotland
visitable, its fields of heather giving a sort of shot silk finery in the
apotheosis of finery. On Monday we went to Arrochar. Here I left W. and D.
and returned myself to E. Tarbet, slept there, and now, Tuesday, Aug. 30,
1803, am to make my own way to Edinburgh.”

Many years after he added the words: “O Esteese, that thou hadst from thy
22nd year indeed made thy _own_ way and _alone_!”


  A sweet and playful Highland girl,
  As light and beauteous as a squirrel,
  As beauteous and as wild!

  Her dwelling was a lonely house,
  A cottage in a heathy dell;
  And she put on her gown of green
  And left her mother at sixteen,
  And followed Peter Bell.
              _Peter Bell, Part III._

[283] Margaret Southey, who was born in September, 1802, died in the
latter part of August, 1803.

[284] The “Pains of Sleep” was published for the first time, together with
“Christabel” and “Kubla Khan,” in 1816. With the exception of the
insertion of the remarkable lines 52-54, the first draft of the poem does
not materially differ from the published version. A transcript of the same
poem was sent to Poole in a letter dated October 3, 1803. _Poetical
Works_, p. 170, and Editor’s Note, pp. 631, 632.

[285] The Rev. Peter Elmsley, the well known scholar, who had been a
school and college friend of Southey’s, was at this time resident at
Edinburgh. The _Edinburgh Review_ had been founded the year before, and
Elmsley was among the earliest contributors. His name frequently recurs in
Southey’s correspondence.

[286] Compare Southey’s first impressions of Edinburgh, contained in a
letter to Wynn, dated October 20, 1805: “You cross a valley (once a loch)
by a high bridge, and the back of the old city appears on the edge of this
depth--so vast, so irregular--with such an outline of roofs and chimneys,
that it looks like the ruins of a giant’s palace. I never saw anything so
impressive as the first sight of this; there was a wild red sunset
slanting along it.” _Selections from the Letters of R. Southey_, i. 342.

[287] Compare _Table Talk_, for September 26, 1830, where a similar
statement is made in almost the same words.

[288] The same sentence occurs in a letter to Sir G. Beaumont, dated
September 22, 1803. _Coleorton Letters_, i. 6.

[289] The MS. of this letter was given to my father by the Rev. Dr.
Wreford. I know nothing of the person to whom it was addressed, except
that he was “Matthew Coates, Esq., of Bristol.”

[290] Dr. Joseph Adams, the biographer of Hunter, who in 1816 recommended
Coleridge to the care of Mr. James Gillman.

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translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.