Channing caused the champion of orthodoxy to burst into a declamation on the folly and ignorance of Unitarianism,-its high unreasonableness '—a declamation which gained fresh impetus from Emerson's interjected avowal that he himself had been born and bred a Unitarian.' When at the end of an hour the visitor rose to go, Coleridge changed the note from negative to positive, reciting the lately-composed lines on his Baptismal Birthday; and when Emerson left, he felt that nothing had been satisfied but his curiosity.

Coleridge had then barely another year to live, and though it was one of everincreasing bodily pain and weakness, all witnesses testify that the spirit remained strong and willing to the very end. In the winter he took leave of himself in the well-known Epitaph,2 but his eyes were yet to be gladdened by another spring and summer. Within two months of the end, Poole found his old friend with 'a mind as strong as ever, seemingly impatient to take leave of its encumbrance.' 3 A month later another visitor, unnamed, observed that Coleridge's countenance was pervaded by a most remarkable serenity,' which, as the conversation showed, was a true reflection of his mind. In this atmosphere of peace, he assured his visitor, all things were seen by him 'reconciled and harmonised.' 4 On July 20th, dangerous symptoms appeared, and for several days his sufferings were great, but they abated during the final thirty-six hours. On the last evening of all, Coleridge, after recommending his faithful nurse to the care of his family, repeated to Mr. Green, who was with his master to the end, a certain part of his religious philosophy which he was especially anxious to have accurately recorded. He articulated with the utmost difficulty, but his mind was clear and powerful, and so continued until he fell into a state of coma, which lasted until he ceased to breathe, about six o'clock in the morning [July 25]. A few out of his many deeply attached and revering friends attended his remains to the grave, together with my husband and [his brother] Edward; and that body, which did him such "grievous wrong," was laid in its final restingplace in Highgate Churchyard.'

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None of Coleridge's oldest friends stood by the grave. Poole was far in the west, Wordsworth and Southey as far in the north, and Morgan was dead. Lamb was near, but his feelings would not permit him to join the sorrowing company. During the few months of life which remained to him, he never recovered from his sense of loss. Coleridge is dead,' was the abiding thought in his mind and on his lips. 'His great and dear spirit haunts me,' he wrote, five weeks before his own death-' never saw I his likeness, nor probably the world can see again. What was his mansion is consecrated to me a chapel.' When Wordsworth read the news his voice faltered and then broke, but he seems to have said little except of his friend's genius, calling him 'the most wonderful man that he had ever known.' What Southey said has not been recorded. What he wrote 7 is better forgotten. Doubtless he had the rights which his wrongs gave him, but he remembered both at an inappropriate moment. He had been, so to speak, a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widow, and it detracts nothing from the credit due to him, that in many ways, even in a pecuniary sense, he had been repaid to an extent larger than is generally sup

1 Page 210.
2 Page 210. See also Note 227,' p. 645.
3 T. Poole and his Friends, ii. 294.
4 Knight's Life of Wordsworth, iii. 236.
5 Mem. of Sara [Mrs. H. N.] Coleridge, i.
The funeral took place on August 2.

See also 'Note 225,' p. 645.

109, III.

6 Knight's Life, iii. 235.

7 Letter to Mrs. Hughes in Letters, etc., iv. 381. See also Thomas Moore's Memoirs (vii.. 69-73) quoted in Knight's Life of Wordsworth, iii. 248.

posed. But surely, just then, a sense of his own inestimable indebtedness to his dead comrade of forty years, for friendship, for inspiration, and for intellectual stimulus, should have been uppermost in his mind.

In his will Coleridge well described the Gillmans as his dear friends, his more than friends, the guardians of his health, happiness, and interests' during the latter sixteen years of his life, and no one who loves Coleridge, and all that he was and is to the world, can but share in his feelings of gratitude. The will, which is full of such acknowledgments, is, in other respects, thus summarised by the poet's daughter :1 'What little he had to bequeath (a policy of assurance worth about £2560) is my mother's for life, of course, and will come to her children equally after her time. Mr. Green has the sole power over my father's literary remains, and the philosophical part he will himself prepare for publication; some theological treatises he has placed in the hands of Mr. Julius Hare of Cambridge and his curate, Mr. J. Sterling (both men of great ability). Henry will arrange literary and critical pieces, notes on the margins of books' (etc.) How worthily Coleridge's nephew fulfilled his duty, so long as fading health permitted, and with what ability and filial piety the task which fell from his hands was taken up and carried on, first by the poet's daughter, and next by her brother Derwent, is well known to a grateful world. The tasks passed on by Green were possible tasks. That which was impossible he chivalrously kept for himself-the completion of the magnum opus.



About a year after Coleridge's death, an accession of fortune enabled Green to renounce the private practice of his profession, and in his country retirement he devoted the remaining twenty-eight years of his life to an attempt to realise his master's dream. It was in vain. There was no magnum opus—the existence of any such work was mere matter of moonshine,' says Green's biographer and editor. 'Coleridge had not left any available written materials. . except fragments--for the most part, inadaptable fragments- no system of philosophy, nor even the raw materials of one.' 3 Green probably accomplished more in the setting forth of Coleridge's philosophical views, in his Hunterian Orations of 1840 and 1847, than in the Spiritual Philosophy. But of these high matters I have no right to speak, and even were it otherwise, this would not be the place. Neither have I felt called on to discuss Coleridge's position as a poet. That has been settled, and is unlikely to be disturbed. But I had long felt that two things were awanting-first, a complete collection of his poems printed according to his own latest revised text, and arranged in some settled order; and, second, a fairly complete and accurate narrative of the events of his life. These desiderata I have attempted to supply in this volume, which is the imperfect result of many years' labour of love.

1 Mem. of S. Coleridge, i. iii. Most of the will (dated Sep. 17, 1829) is given in the Gent. Mag. for Dec. 1834. It is printed in full, with the codicil of July 2, 1830, in Coleridge's Poems. London: J. T. Cox, 1836, pp. liii.-lx.

2 What became of the theological treatises' --what they were, or whether they ever reached the hands of Hare and Sterling, I know not. One may have been Confessions of an Enquir

ing Spirit, edited by H. N. Coleridge; and another, the Theory of Life-the joint composition of Coleridge and Gillman-published in 1848.

3 Spiritual Philosophy, founded on the teaching of the late S. T. Coleridge, by the late J. H. Green, F.R.S., D.C.L., edited with a Memoir of the Author's Life, by John Simon. F.R.S., 2 vols. 1865, p. xxxviii.


I would fain leave the narrative to work its own impression on the mind of the reader. If its somewhat fuller and more orderly presentment of what I honestly believe to be the truth, be not found to tend, on the whole, to raise Coleridge in the eyes of men, I shall, I confess, feel both surprised and disappointed. It is neither by glossing over his failings, nor by fixing an exclusive eye on them, that a true estimate of any man is to be arrived at. A better way is to collect as many facts as we can, set them in the light of the circumstances in which they were born, sort them fairly into the opposing scales, and weigh them in an atmosphere as free as possible from cant and prejudice. To my own mind it seems that Coleridge's failings are too obvious to require either all the insistence or all the moralising which have been lavished on them; and that his fall is less wonderful than his recovery. His will was congenitally weak, and his habits weakened it still farther; but his conscience, which was never allowed to sleep, tortured him; and, after many days, its workings stimulated the paralysed will, and he was saved.


A brief dawn of unsurpassed promise and achievement; 'a trouble' as of 'clouds and weeping rain'; then, a long summer evening's work done by the setting sun's pathetic light-such was Coleridge's day, the after-glow of which is still in the sky. I am sure that the temple, with all the rubble which combined with its marble, must have been a grander whole than any we are able to reconstruct for ourselves from the stones which lie about the field. The living Coleridge was ever his own apology— men and women who neither shared nor ignored his shortcomings, not only loved him, but honoured and followed him. This power of attraction, which might almost be called universal, so diverse were the minds and natures attracted, is itself conclusive proof of very rare qualities. We may read and re-read his life, but we cannot know him as the Lambs, or the Wordsworths, or Poole, or Hookham Frere, or the Gillmans, or Green knew him. Hatred as well as love may be blind, but friendship has eyes, and their testimony may wisely be used in correcting our own impressions.

Coleridge left three children. Hartley, his eldest born, was also a poet and a man of letters. Not a few of his sonnets have taken a place in permanent literature, and as a critic and essayist he is remarkable for lucidity of style, and balance of thought and judgment. He was a gentle, simple, humble-minded man, but his life was marred and broken by intemperance. He lies, in death as in life, close to the heart of Wordsworth, and his name still lingers in affectionate remembrance by those lakes and sandy shores' beside which he was, as his father had prophesied, to wander like a breeze.' The career of Derwent, both as to the conduct of life and its rewards, was in marked contrast to his brother's. His bent was to be a student, but he was forced into action, partly by circumstance, partly by an honourable ambition. During a long and useful life, more than twenty years of which were spent as Principal of St. Mark's College, Chelsea, he did signal service to the cause of national education. He cannot be said to have left his mark on literature, but his chief work, The Scriptural Character of the English Church, won the admiration of F. D. Maurice for its calm scholar-like tone and careful English style.' He was appointed a Prebendary of St. Paul's in 1846, and Rector of Hanwell in 1863. The leisure of his later years was devoted to linguistic and philological studies, in which his attainments were remarkable. At rare intervals, to the inner circle

of his friends, he would talk by the hour, and though in these 'conversational monologues' he resembled rather than approached his father, he delivered himself with a luminous wisdom all his own. He edited the works of his father, his brother, and of his two friends, Winthrop Mackworth Praed and John Moultrie. Of his sister Sara, it has been said that her father looked down into her eyes, and left in them the light of his own.' Her beauty and grace were as remarkable as her talents, her learning, and her accomplishments; but her chief characteristic was 'the radiant spirituality of her intellectual and imaginative being.' This, with other rare qualities of mind and spirit, is indicated in Wordsworth's affectionate appreciation in The Triad, and conspicuous in her fairy-tale Phantasmion, and in the letters which compose the bulk of her Memoirs.



MAID of my Love, sweet Genevieve ! In Beauty's light you glide along : Your eye is like the star of eve, And sweet your voice as seraph's song. Yet not your heavenly beauty gives This heart with passion soft to glow: Within your soul a voice there lives! It bids you hear the tale of woe. When sinking low the sufferer wan Beholds no hand outstretcht to save, Fair, as the bosom of the swan That rises graceful o'er the wave, I've seen your breast with pity heave, And therefore love I you, sweet Genevieve !



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1 State, Grandeur. This school exercise written in the 15th year of my age does not contain a line that any clever schoolboy might not have written, and like most school poetry is a Putting of Thought into Verse; for such Verses as strivings of mind and struggles after the Intense and Vivid are a fair Promise of better things.-S. T. C. ætat suæ 51. [1823.]


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