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summer. 1 At the beginning of June, Coleridge informs Godwin 2 that his health is ' certainly better than at any former period of the disease,' and asks him to find a publisher for a work of six hundred pages octavo, the half of which can be ready for the printer at a fortnight's notice. I entitle it "Organum verè Organum, or an Instrument of Practical Reasoning in the Business of Real Life"; to which will be prefixed (1) a familiar introduction to the common system of Logic, namely, that of Aristotle and the Schools; (2) . . . and so on for a page of close print. When this work is fairly off his hands—more and more metaphysics to follow; not a word of the poetry, with the promise of which he pleased Poole. (Meantime, as a little relaxation, if Godwin will find a publisher for Hazlitt's abridgment of Search's-Tucker's -'Light of Nature pursued,' Coleridge will write a preface and see the sheets through the press.) I suppose Godwin knew as well as Coleridge that this newer Organum had not and never would pass beyond the stage of synopsis, and acted accordingly.
At Greta Hall, Coleridge seems to have remained with his 'mind strangely shut up' until Sunday the 14th August, when in company with William and Dorothy Wordsworth he set out on a Scotch tour.* Incidentally we learn that an Irish jaunting -car, drawn by a jibbing old screw, carried the party (when the road happened to be level or not very steep on either grade), and that poor Coleridge did not enjoy the bumping so much as his robuster companions enjoyed the scenery. In a fortnight, on the day after the meeting with that 'sweet Highland girl, ripening in perfect innocence,' by the Inversnaid ferry-house, Coleridge parted from his friends, professing to be very unwell, and unable to face the wet in an open carriage. He sent on his trunk to Edinburgh, and would follow it.4 On arriving at Tyndrum,5 a week later, the Wordsworths were astonished to learn that Coleridge, 'whom we had supposed was gone to Edinburgh, had dined at this very house on his road to Fort-William. on the day after we parted from him'-but the kindly Dorothy has no word of reproach for her errant friend. I suppose Coleridge had found the close companionship incompatible with that free indulgence in narcotics which had become to him a necessity of pleasurable or even tolerable existence. In his solitude, as he told Beaumont and Poole, he walked to Glencoe, on to Cullen (between Fochabers and Banff), back to Inverness, and thence over the moorland, by Tummel Bridge to Perth,-doing 263 miles in eight days, in the hope of forcing the disease into the extremities. . . While I am in possession of my will and my reason, I can keep the fiend at arm's-length; but with the night my horrors commence. During the whole of my journey, three nights out of four, I have fallen asleep struggling and resolving to lie awake, and awaking have blest the scream which delivered me from the reluctant sleep.' greet the Southeys who had arrived at with their lives. Taking coach via
At Perth, Coleridge received a summons to Greta Hall on the visit which ended only Edinburgh," he reached home on the 15th
1803; and APPENDIX K,' p. 545.
See Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland, A.D. 1803, by Dorothy Wordsworth. Edited by J. C. Shairp. 1874. A charming book. Coleridge's partial account is printed in Memorials of Coleorton, 1887, i. 6-8; and Wordsworth's, i. 35.
+ See The Pains of Sleep, p. 170, and the 'Note' thereto, p. 631; see also the other very interesting letters of this period addressed to Sir G. Beaumont in Coleorton Letters, vol. i.
1 See Lamb's letter to Coleridge of March 20,
2 Letter to Godwin, June 4, 1803, in William Godwin, ii. 92.
3 Letter to T. Wedgwood, September 16, 1803, in Cottle's Rem. p. 466: For five months past my mind has been strangely shut up.'
4 Tour, p. 117.
5 lb. p. 184.
6 See Epigram 53,' p. thereto, p. 653.
· 450, and Note'
September. A week later he informs Beaumont that he is doing translations from his (Beaumont's) drawings, and will go on and make a volume of them. None of these translations' have been traced. On October 1 he writes of the continuance of the night-horrors, and fears that a change of climate is his only medicine. He sends, too, a copy of the Chamouni poem.1 The kind Beaumont, having a most ardent desire to bring Wordsworth and Coleridge together, purchased at this time a small property at Applethwaite, a mile or two west of Greta Hall, . . . and presented it to Wordsworth, whom, as yet, he had not seen'; 2 but the 'severe necessities' which soon drove Coleridge from the neighbourhood prevented further action.3 At the end of November 4 Southey describes Coleridge as 'quacking himself for complaints that would tease anybody into quackery': he has made up his mind to go to Malta immediately.
A fortnight later' Coleridge is going to Devonshire,'-anywhere, apparently, away from Greta Hall. Poole was at this time temporarily established at a lodging in Abingdon Street, Westminster, and on the 20th December, Coleridge started for London that he might consult him. But on the way he went to Dove Cottage, where he fell ill. By the middle of January he had been, by the tender care of Mrs. and Miss Wordsworth, nursed into sufficient wellness to permit of his continuing his journey, and after spending a week at Liverpool he arrived at Poole's lodging about the 23rd. He did not, however, remain long at Abingdon Street; before the 18th February, he took up his quarters with Tobin in Barnard's Inn, and remained there until he left England for Malta. In February, he paid a short visit to the Beaumonts at Dunmow, their place in Essex. He saw much of Davy, then the spoilt child of society, of Sotheby, of Godwin, of John Rickman-Lamb's 'pleasant hand'-and, above all, of Lamb himself. And he was not idle, for, though Mrs. H. N. Coleridge has failed to trace any contributions of that period, during part of his stay he was at the Courier office from nine till four.5 He saw Mackintosh, who was about to go to Bombay, and who offered to take Coleridge with him, and provide him with a place. Judging from a letter to Poole (Jan. 26, 1804), Coleridge treated the offer with amused scorn. He met George Burnett-ci-devant Pantisocrat, and the only one who had taken the craze seriously enough to be seriously affected by its abandonment. He had become almost a waif, and Coleridge tells Rickman with the prettiest air of sympathetic innocence, that George's eyes look like those of 'an opium-chewer,' though he hopes to Heaven he may be mistaken. There were schemes, too, for publishing great works. One of them was to be entitled 'Consolations and Comforts from the exercise and right application of the Reason, the Imagination, and the Moral Feelings, addressed especially to those in
* Whether John, the solicitor and dramatist, or his 'dear brother Jim,' so unceremoniously dismissed from 'We are seven,' I know not; but, I believe, the former. See Wordsworth's Mem. i. 109. 1 See p. 521.
2 Preface to Memorials of Coleorton, i. xii. See also Wordsworth's sonnet At Apple
⚫ Beaumont, it was thy wish that I should rear
In neighbourhood with one to me most dear."
this arose from Coleridge's domestic situation'
4 R. S. to Miss Barker, November 27, 1803, in
5 So he tells Rickman in a letter of Feb. 25. All the references to Rickman here, and some of the facts are taken from unpublished correspondence. In one letter Coleridge seems to allude to writings in the Courier: 'As soon as my Volunteer Essays and whatever of a Vindicia Addingstonianæ I can effect by simple attack on the antagonists of the Ministers are published, they shall be sent to you without fail.'
Sickness, Adversity, or Distress of Mind, from Speculative Gloom, etc.'-materials
Gibraltar was reached in ten days, and Coleridge greatly enjoyed the short stay on shore. On April 25th, the convoy set sail again, but so baffling were the winds, that it was the 18th May when the 'Speedwell' reached Valetta harbour. The passage from England had been to Coleridge a time of much activity of mind, but also of much home-sick brooding, and the want of exercise had told unfavourably on his health. His first letter was to his wife, and was dated from Dr. Stoddart's, June 5, 1804,' no earlier opportunity of despatching letters having occurred. There was a pleased flutter in the kindly coterie over the news of the forlorn wanderer,' as Mary Lamb styled Coleridge in thanking her constant correspondent, Miss Stoddart, for the tidings, and for the kindness extended to him. But he did not for long remain the guest of Stoddart, mention of whom became so rare in the poet's letters to Lamb, that Mary felt suspicious, and asked, 'Did your brother and Col. argue long argue. ments, till between the two great arguers there grew a little coolness?' Before the 6th July he had become the honoured guest, and in some measure the private secretary, of the Governor (his official title was Civil Commissioner), Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander John Ball, who had been one of Nelson's captains, and to whom Coleridge had carried letters of recommendation. 'Sir A. Ball is, indeed, in every
p. 27; for Coleridge's farewell letters.
4 Letters of Jan. 30 and Feb 1, 1804, in Mem. of Coleorton, i. pp. 41, 43.
1 I take this from an unpublished letter to Poole, but there is a shorter title and a fuller account of the 'book' in a letter to Beaumont. In the same letter Coleridge gives a prospectus of another great work to follow, and states, that while at present he is giving only a quarter of his time to poetry, one half shall be devoted to it as soon as 'Consolations' is off his hands (Mem. of Coleorton, i. 44-48).
2 Letter to Davy, March 25, 1804 (Frag. Rem. P. 95).
3 See T. Poole and his Friends, ii. 138; Frag. Rem. p. 95; and Letters from the Lake Poets,
5 Other details of the passage, and of his impression of Gibraltar, are given to Stuart in a letter of April 21, 1804, printed in Letters from the Lake Poets, pp. 33-41.
6 Stoddart was then not, as is commonly stated, Chief Justice of Malta, but King's Advocate (Attorney-General), and he enjoyed besides good private practice in the Vice-Admiralty Court. He became Chief Justice, but many years later.
respect as kind and attentive to me as possible,' he writes, and, so far, he is quite satisfied of the wisdom of leaving England and its inward distractions.' This was written on July 6th to Stuart, to whom he sends 'some Sibylline Leaves which he wrote for Sir A. B., who has sent them home to the ministry.' They will give you,' he adds, my ideas on the importance of the island,' and Stuart may publish them, 'only not in the same words.' He considers himself a sort of diplomatic understrapper hidden under the Governor's robes,' so that Stuart must be discreet. Early in August, the demon of restlessness drove him to Sicily, with the intention of returning to Malta in the late autumn. He accordingly left Malta under convoy of Major Adye (who was carrying despatches to Gibraltar)," for Syracuse, where he remained till the beginning of November. Sir Alexander Ball proposed to make some use of Coleridge in Sicily. On the 24th August he wrote thus to the English representative at Syracuse, Mr. Leckie: You have admirably described the leading features of my friend Coleridge, whose company will be a delightful feast to your mind. We must prevail on him to draw up a political paper on the revenue and resources of Sicily, with the few advantages which His Sicilian Majesty derives from it, and the danger he is in of having it seized by the French. We should then propose to H. M. to transfer it to Great Britain upon condition that she shall pay him annually the amount of the present revenue.'* In a letter to Stuart, dated Syracuse, Oct. 22, 1804,' Coleridge writes: "I leave the publication of THE PACQUET which is waiting convoy at Malta for you to your own opinion. If the information appear new or valuable to you, and the letters themselves entertaining, etc., publish them; only do not sell the copyright of more than the right of two editions to the booksellers.' What this pacquet' may have been, I do not know. It probably never reached Stuart. Coleridge adds that he has drawn on Stuart for £30 to the order of Stoddart. By the 22nd November Coleridge was back in Malta, occupying a 'garret in the Treasury,' and acting as private secretary to Sir Alex. Ball. In a despatch of Jan. 2, 1805, to the Secretary of State, the Governor, in referring to a commission issued by him to Captain Leake, R.A., to proceed to the Black Sea to buy oxen, etc., says that he takes with him a Mr. Coleridge'—an intimation which shows that there was good foundation for certain rumours which reached Coleridge's friends, probably through Stoddart's letters." But a better appointment prevented the ci-devant Watchman' from aiding the prosecution of Pitt's wicked wars in the character of Assistant-Commissary. On the 18th January, Mr. Alex.
The whole letter, which is unprinted, is very curious. Ball proposes for Sicily just what in our own time has been done with Cyprus.
1 Letters from the Lake Poets, p. 41. A letter to the same effect was written to Sir G. Beaumont on Aug. 1 (see Mem. of Coleorton, i. 70). In neither is Stoddart mentioned.
2 Major Adye also undertook to forward a ⚫ series of letters which Coleridge says he had written to Beaumont, but these were destroyed at Gibraltar among Adye's papers on his death by the plague, four days after his arrival (Letter to Stuart in Letters from the Lake Poets, p. 47).
3 Coleridge frequently alluded to his 'ascents of Etna,' but it is improbable that he went much higher than the village of Nicolosi, mentioned in a note to Table Talk, July 25, 1831.
4 The extract from the official copy of the despatch in the archives at Malta was kindly procured for me by a friend there.
5 Coleridge is confidential secretary to Sir A. Ball, and has been taking some pains to set the country right as to Neapolitan politics, in the hope of saving Sicily from the French. He is going with Capt. into Greece, and up the Black Sea to purchase corn of the Government. Odd, but pleasant enough, if he would but learn to be contented in that state of life into which it has pleased God to call him-a maxim which I have long thought the best in the Catechism' (Southey to Rickman, Feb. 16, 1805, in Life and Corr. ii. 315). See also A Group of Englishmen, p. 305.
Macaulay, the Public Secretary, died somewhat suddenly, and Coleridge received the acting appointment, pending the absence of Mr. E. T. Chapman, for whom the office was destined. The full salary attached to it was £1200, and in accordance with custom Coleridge was promised the half, £,600 a year. It is vastly amusing to think of him “having the honour to be the obedient humble servant' of the 'infamous Castlereagh,' who at this time happened to be the Secretary of State for War and Colonies. But few traces of Coleridge's official life remain at Malta, for some years ago the records of the Chief Secretary's office previous to 1851 were burnt. A collection of State papers, however, which was printed not long ago, contains a good many documents signed or countersigned by "S. T. Coleridge, Pub. Sec. to H.M. Civ. Commissr.'; and the mere routine work must have been very considerable, for there lies before me a highly unimportant document, Affidavit of the Paymaster of the Maltese Artillery,' sworn before, and signed by Coleridge as Public Secretary, on March 13, 1805. In a letter to Stuart (May 1, 1805) he complains of overwork, and wishes to Heaven he had never accepted his office as Public Secretary, or the former one of Private Secretary, as, even in a pecuniary point of view, he might have gained twice as much and improved his reputation.' He adds : 'I have the title and the palace of the Public Secretary, but not half the salary, though I had promise of the whole. But the promises of one in office are what every one knows them to be, and Sir A. B. behaves to me with real personal fondness, and with almost fatherly attention.' In this letter, as in one of April 27th,2 Coleridge bewails the irregularity of the opportunities of communication. He gets few letters, and his own go to the fishes. It is, he believes, a judgment on him for former “indolence and procrastination' that now when all his gratification is in writing letters to England, he has seldom a chance of despatching them. On April 27th it is his intention to return home overland by Naples, Ancona, and Trieste, etc., on or about the end of next month. On May Day his heart is almost broken' that he cannot go by this convoy ; Chapman has not arrived to relieve him, and he may not come till July. He begs Stuart to write to Mrs. Coleridge and say that his constitution is, he hopes, improved by the abode here, but that accidents, partly by an excess of official labour and anxiety, partly from distress of mind at his not hearing from his friends, and knowledge that they could not have heard from him, etc. etc. etc., has produced an alteration in him for the worse, and that he hopes to get away, homewards, by the end of May. In February the Wordsworths lost their sailor brother, John, to whom Coleridge was much attached, and when the news reached Malta, Coleridge was so much affected that, as he wrote to his wise, he kept his bed for a fortnight.' The fear of similar consequences prompted Mrs. Coleridge to refrain from informing him of the death of his friend, Thomas Wedgwood, which took place in July 1805.3 In the same letter Mrs. Coleridge says that she has received one from her husband of July 21, informing her that he cannot leave until Mr. Chapman arrives ; "he is unhappy in the extreme, not having received above three or four letters from home during his residence in the island. I myself have only had four from him.' Mr. Chapman arrived on Sep. 6, and Coleridge lest Malta on the 2 Ist. He went to Rome in company with a gentleman, unnamed, who paid all expenses, meaning to stay only a fortnight, and then return for the winter to Naples,
1 He seems also to have acted as a magistrate. 3 Mrs. S. T. C. to J. Wedgwood, Oct. 13, Sec the amusing story in the additional 'Omniana' 1805, in A Group of Englishmen, p. 303, an in Lit. Remains, 1836, i. 335.
admirably expressed letter. 2 Letters from the Lake Pocts, p. 46.