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of his * appeared in Blackwood until seventeen months had passed away. And yet in this spring of 1819 he must have been in desperate need of money, for he had been unable to make any remittance to his wife out of the net proceeds of his lectures, and the fund for sending Derwent to college was still incomplete. Next, in the summer time, came the bankruptcy of Rest Fenner. • All the profits from the sale of my writings' (writes Coleridge to Allsop). I have lost; and not only so, but have been obliged, at a sum larger than all the profits of my lectures, to purchase myself my own books and the half copyrights. .. I have withdrawn thein from sale.' +
It was in April of this year that Coleridge met Keats in a Highgate lane, and felt death in the touch of his hand. When, thirteen years later, he related the incident to his nephew (Table Talk, Aug. 14, 1832) he had forgotten that the interview had lasted more than “a minute or so’; but Keats's own account, only recently given to the world, was contemporary : ‘Last Sunday I took a walk
' towards Highgate, and in the lane that winds by the side of Lord Mansfield's park, I meet Mr. Green, our demonstrator at Guy's, in conversation with Coleridge. I joined them after inquiring by a look whether it would be agreeable. I walked with him, at his alderman-after-dinner pace, for near two miles, I suppose. In those two miles he broached a thousand things. Let me see if I can give you a list -nightingales-poetry--on poetical sensation-metaphysics—different genera and species of dreams-nightmare-a dream accompanied with a sense of touch-single and double touch-a dream related first and second consciousness—the difference explained between will and volition—so many metaphysicians from a want of smoking the second consciousness—monsters—the Kraken-mermaids—Southey believes in them-Southey's belief too much diluted—a ghost story--Good morning. I heard his voice as he came towards me I heard it as he moved away—I had heard it all the interval-if it may be called so. He was civil enough to ask me to call on him at Highgate. Good-night! '
The spring of 1820 was brightened by a visit of the poet's sons, Hartley and Derwent. Would to Heaven' (he wrote to Allsop, April 10th) “their dear sister were with us—the cup of paternal joy would be full to the brim,' and he cites “the rapture' with which both brothers speak of Sara. At the same time Coleridge was invited to meet Scott at Charles Mathews': 'I seem to feel that I ought to feel more desire to see an extraordinary man than I really do feel, and I do not wish to appear to two
* Except 'Fancy in nubibus' (p. 190). See 'Note 203,' p. 639. With reference to this Lamb writes (to S. T. C. January 10, 1820 ; Ainger's Letters, ii. 31): 'Why you should refuse twenty guineas per sheet from Blackwood's or any other magazine, passes my poor comprehension,-But, as Strap says, "you know best.”. Another exception may perhaps be mentioned. It was an involuntary contribution. In August or September 1820, Coleridge wrote a rather effusive private letter to John Gibson Lockhart, who printed it (or a portion of it) in Blackwood for September 1820—calling it a ‘Letter to Peter Morris, M.D.' This abuse of his confidence was deeply resented by Coleridge.
† Letters, etc., pp. 8, 9. “I lost £1100 clear, and was forced to borrow £150 in order to buy up my
own books and half copyrights, a shock which has embarrassed me in debt (thank God, to one person only) even to this amount [? moment].' S. T. C. 8th May 1825 (BRANDL, P. 353). I have already expressed my estimate of this letter (p. xcviii. supra). The loss of such a sum as £1100 must have been purely imaginary, for it is improbable that he left money in his publisher's hands. One can hardly conceive such a variation of habit as possible. The failure was no doubt both a pecuniary loss and a discouragement, but these were assuaged to some extent by a gift of money, accepted as a loan, from Allsop, who, however, makes no mention of this in his book.
1 Keats's IVorks, ed. by H. Buxton Forman. Supp. vol. 1890 p. 147 ; and Letters of J. K., ed. by S. Colvin, 1891, p. 244.
or three persons (as the Mr. Freres, William Rose, etc.) as if I cherished any dislike to Scott respecting the Christabel, and generally to appear out of the common and natural mode of thinking and acting. All this, I own, is sad weakness, but I am weary of dyspathy.'1
One of the keenest sorrows of his life was about to fall on Coleridge. In 1819, Hartley had gained a Fellowship at Oriel. * At the close of his probationary year he was judged to have forfeited his Oriel Fellowship, on the ground, mainly, of intemperance.
Great efforts were made to reverse the decision. He wrote letters to many of the Fellows. His father went to Oxford to see and expostulate with the Provost. It was in vain. ... The sentence might be considered severe, it could not be said to be unjust.' So writes Hartley's brother of this painful business. To Allsop, Coleridge wrote of it, July 31, 18203 : Before I opened your letter ... a heavy, a very heavy affliction came upon me with all the aggravations of surprise, sudden as a peal of thunder from a cloudless sky.' The father's conscience smote him. *This ’ (he says of Hartley) was the sin of his nature, and this has been fostered by the culpable indulgence, at least non-interference, on my part,' and then he asks Allsop to pray that he may not pass such another night as the last.' The grief appears to have tempted Coleridge into a resort to an extra consumption of laudanum, with the consequence that the horrors described in The Pains of Sleep were revived. In August poor Hartley was settled in London under the fostering care of the Basil Montagus—some reconciliation with whom must have been effected—and set agoing by his father on some literary tasks. Of himself Coleridge writes 4: 'I at least am as well as I ever am, and my regular employment, in which Mr. [J. H.] Green is weekly my amanuensis, the work on the books of the Old and New Testaments. . You would not entertain the thoughts and hauntings that tamper with the love of life if I could transfer into you . . . the sense what a hope, promise, impulse, you are to me in my present efforts to realise my past labours to enable you and my two (may I not say other ?) sons to affirm,- Vivit, quia non frustra vixit.' 5
In October, Coleridge, accompanied by Allsop, went to Oxford, and had an interview with the Provost of Oriel—Coplestone, afterwards Bishop of Llandaff-on Hartley's behalf. The compensation of £300 subsequently paid to Hartley may have been an effect of the interview. “Of this journey to Oxford' (says Allsop) • I have a very painful recollection; perhaps the most painful recollection (one excepted) connected with the memory of Coleridge.' A few days after his return, Coleridge was still hankering after the publication of a pamphlet on the affairs of Queen Caroline, from which he had been twice over dissuaded by Gillman. A month later he has been more than usually unwell, and disheartened by finding Hartley in process of developing some of his own morbid weaknesses—procrastination, shrinking from the performance of duties which are surrounded by painful associations—stimulant motives acting on both as narcotics, “in exact proportion to their strength.' For
1 Unfortunately no record of this meeting has come down to us. It is not mentioned by Lockhart. A very interesting criticism of Scott (as an author) was written in the form of a letter to Allsop on April 8, 1820 (Letters, etc., pp. 24-29).
2 Memoir prefixed to Poems by H. C. 1851, i. Ixxiv. 3 Letters, etc., p. 40.
See Table Talk for Jan. 2, 1833 : ‘Can anything be more dreadful
than the thought that an innocent child has inherited from you a disease or a weakness, the penalty in yourself of sin, or want of caution.'
4 August 8, 1820. Letters, etc., p. 57.
5 For the sake of compactness I have here ventured to alter slightly the order of Coleridge's words. The letter is one of the most interesting Coleridge ever wrote.
Intercourse with Lamb was kept up intermittently. In March 1826, one finds him preparing for a Thursday evening that he may not appear unclassic,' but a private undraped Wednesday in May was probably more to his taste. In the summer of this year Coleridge paid a visit to the cottage at Islington, meeting Thomas Hood and praising his Progress of Cant and some little drawings the silent young man had brought with him. An anonymous member of the party relates that when the evening was far spent Coleridge walked back alone to Highgate-a distance of three or four miles—and describes the affectionate leave-taking of the friends 'as if they had been boys,' and how Coleridge gave Mary a parting kiss. In March, Coleridge
1 had thoughts of varying his employments by writing a pantomime, possibly to be founded on Decker's old Fortunatus, as Lamb, who was consulted, offered to lend one of that dramatist's plays, if Coleridge thought he could filch something out of it.'2
In picturesque apposition to this, one finds Coleridge at the same time informing Stuart 3 that his mind during the past two years, and particularly during the last, has been undergoing a change as regards personal religion. He finds himself thinking and reasoning on all religious subjects with a more cheerful sense of freedom, because he is secure of his faith in a personal God, a resurrection and a Redeemer, and further, and practically for the first time, "confident in the efficacy of prayer. This strengthened feeling of assurance it may have been which caused him to be a little censorious of the delightfully vivacious Six Months in the West Indies, published by his nephew, H. N. Coleridge, in the winter of 1825-26. “You are a little too hard on his morality,' wrote Lamb, though I confess he has more of Sterne about him than of Sternhold.'* The nephew had to be taken into favour again when, about the beginning of 1827, his sweetheart arrived on a second and longer visit to her father. An attempt was then being made to procure some sinecure place for Coleridge. Frere had obtained from the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, a promise, apparently, of the Paymastership of the Gentleman Pensioners--vacant by the death of William Gifford !—and the negotiations dragged on until the autumn, when the death of Canning, who had accepted the legacy of his predecessor’s promise, put an end to Coleridge's hopes. On February 24 he informs Stuart that “Mr. Gillman, with Mr. Jameson, has undertaken to superintend an edition of all his poems, to be brought out by Pickering : that is to say, I have given all the poems, as far as this edition is concerned, to Mr. Gillman.'6 This was the edition in three volumes (it had been advertised to appear in four) which was published in 1828.7 Three hundred copies only were printed, and before October all had been sold, and another edition was prepared—to appear, after much revision, in 1829.8 The earliest glimpse
* C. L. to S. T. C. March 26, 1826 (Ainger's 2 C. L. to S. T. C. March 22, 1826 (Ainger's ed. ii. 144). I fear that Coleridge was making ed. ii. 144). things hard for the lovers. Uncle and nephew 3 April 19, 1826 (Letters from the Lake appear to have held no Table Talk between June Poets, p. 294). 10, 1824, and February 24, 1827. Of this long 4 See Table Talk, June 1, 1830, note; also period H. N. C.'s absence only accounts for De- Cottle's Rem. pp. 370, 382. cember 1824 to September 1825; and it was in 5 Letters from the Lake Poets, pp. 301-307, July 1826 that Coleridge had his renewed doubts February and October 1827. as to the propriety of marriage between first 6 Ibid. p. 306. Jameson was a friend of Hartcousins. (See p. cxi. supra, foot-note 4.) There ley, and the husband of Mrs. Jameson, the wellis another great gap in the Table Talk-August known writer on Art. 30, 1827, to April 13, 1830. The marriage took 7 See ' APPENDIX K, XII. p. 552 place in September 1829 at Keswick.
See 1 Monthly Repository for 1835, pp. 162-169.
8 Letters from the Lake Poets, p. 319.
also 'APPENDIX K,' XIII. p. 552,
one gets of the poet in 1828 is in Scott's Journal for April 22 :
-Lockhart and I dined with Sotheby, where we met a large party, the orator of which was that extraordinary man Coleridge. After eating a hearty dinner, during which he spoke not a word, he began a most learned harangue on the Samothracian mysteries. . . . He then diverged to Homer, whose Iliad he considered a collection of poems by different authors. . . . Morritt . . · gave battle with keenness and was joined by Sotheby. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. “Zounds, I was never so bethumped with words,” said Morritt.'1 Coleridge was a Wolfian (without having read Wolf), and the creed is vigorously expressed in Table Talk.
Two months later Coleridge, accompanied by Wordsworth and his daughter Dora, spent six pleasant weeks on the Rhine. Fortunately, two not inconsiderable records of portions of the tour have been preserved by outside observers. T. Colley Grattan, then resident in Brussels, acted as the helpful and intelligent guide of the party to Waterloo and other places in the neighbourhood, and in his Beaten Paths ? he gives a pleasant account of the time. When the tourists moved up to Godesberg to stay with the Aderses at their villa, they found a fellow-guest in the much-reminiscent Julian Young, then a giddy but observant youth just escaped from Oxford. In his Journal (to which a slight memoir of his father is prefixed 3) Young gives a lively account of his intercourse with the poets. Their fame, he tells us, “soon attracted to Mrs. Aders's house all the “illuminati” of Bonn - Niebuhr, Becker, Augustus Schlegel, and many others,' and copious talk ensued-in German. Little of it, however, could have been for edification, for Wordsworth had probably forgotten most of his slender Goslar attainment, while Coleridge's pronunciation was so unintelligible that Schlegel, the only one of the “illuminati' who understood English, had to beg him to use his native tongue. When the two poets were together, Wordsworth 'as a rule allowed Coleridge to have all the talk to himself,' and Young 'never saw any manifestations of small jealousy' between the friends—being good enough to add an expression of his pleased surprise, considering the vanity possessed by each.' Both diarists describe Coleridge's general appearance as suggesting “a dissenting minister.' Grattan was glad to find him unlike his “engraved portrait :-(he evidently means Northcote's scowling counterfeit) — face extremely handsome, mouth particularly pleasing, grey eyes “full of intelligent softness,' cheeks unsurrowed and lit with a healthy bloom, figure “full and lazy, but not actually stout,' black coat with shorts and silk stockings. Young's portrait is, in essentials, not inconsistent, but in some details is (naturally perhaps) less flattering—build uncouth, hair long and neglected, 'stockings of lavender-coloured worsted,' white starchless neck-cloth tied in a limp bow, shabby suit of dusky black.
It was on his way home that Coleridge sniffed the two-and-seventy stenches of Cologne 4 -at their worst, probably, in a hot July—but he thoroughly enjoyed his tour, and reported himself to Stuart as improved by it in health, spirits, and mental activity. This was in October, when he took another pleasant outing in a week's visit to the Lambs at Enfield Chase. Ilere he describes himself as “living temperately and taking a good deal of exercise, but, unfortunately, the visit wound itself up in a twelve-mile walk in tight shoes. Poets enjoy no immunity from the penalties 1 LOCKHART (1838), vii. 126.
3 A Memoir of Charles Mayne Young, Tra2 Beaten Paths, and those who trod them, gedian, with Exxtracts from his Son's Journal. by Thomas Colley Grattan, 2 vols. 1865, ii. 107- By Julian Charles Young. 2nd ed. 1871, pp. 145. See also 'Note 205,' p. 640; and some 115-123 lines printed at p. 654.
4 Page 452, post.
of such follies, and the consequent confinement to the sofa brought on "an indescribable depression of spirits' and 'a succession of disturbed nights'-nights which prompted him to quote significantly from The Pains of Sleep.1 A smart attack of erysipelas followed, which he “strongly suspected to be, in his constitution, a substitute for the gout, to which his father was subject.' He had apparently forgotten that a quarter of a century before he had attributed a good many things to the gout in his own system. At all events, he is going to recruit by spending the month of November at Ramsgate, when he will do nothing but write verses and finish the correction of the last part of his work on the Power and Use of Words.'2 Whether either of these duties occupied his sea-side leisure, or whether the 'work' ever existed, I am unaware. This and the previous year (1827) saw the production of a few verses not unworthy of a place in his Tribuna, or Salon carré.3 They have little of the jewel tints which glow in the Ancient Mariner and Christabellittle of the sweep of brush which distinguishes the early odes; but, although now 'a common greyness silvers everything,' the old magic still mingles with the colours on the palette. Coleridge's attitude as he now looked over the wide landscape where all nature seemed at work, and he, held in the bondage of a spell of his own creating, the sole unbusy thing, recalls Browning's picture of Andrea del Sarto watching the lights of Fiesole die out one by one, like his own hopes and ambitions. Coleridge also remembered days when he could leave the ground and ‘put on the glory, Rafael's daily wear'—now he, himself a very Rafael, asks only to “sit the grey remainder of his evening out,' and 'muse perfectly how he could paint-were he but back in France.'
In the winter of 1827-28 the Highgate ‘Thursdays' began to be attended by a clever and enthusiastic young man, who, like Coleridge himself, had left Cambridge without taking a degree. The reasons were probably the same in each case, though the divergencies between tests and beliefs were, in John Sterling's case, much narrower than they had been in Coleridge's. Like his college tutor, Julius Hare, and his chief undergraduate friend, F. D. Maurice, * Sterling had been steeped in the philosophy of the Biographia, The Friend, and Aids to Reflection, and until Coleridge's death was one of the most assiduous of his Highgate disciples. Unfortunately, he took notes of none but his first conversation with the master, whose manner and address struck him as “formally courteous,' and in keeping with his rather “old-fashioned ' appearance. He always speaks in the tone and in the gesture of common conversation, and laughs a good deal, but gently. ... He speaks perhaps rather slowly, but never stops, and seldom even hesitates.' On this first occasion Sterling was in his company about three hours ; and of that time he spoke during two and three-quarters.' 4
In 1834 Sterling entered the Church and worked as Hare's curate for six months. “This clerical aberration,' writes Carlyle (p. 138), "we have ascribed to
* It is commonly assumed that Maurice, who, Hope, and Patience in Education, belong to the perhaps, did more than any other man to spread following year, 1829. the influence of Coleridge's teaching, went much to Highgate, but I am assured that he never 4 Essays and Tales by John Sterling ... even saw Coleridge.
with a Memoir of his Life, by J. C. Hare, M.A. 1 Page 170, post.
(2 vols. 1848), i. xxiv. The memoir is not en2 Letters from the Lake Poets, pp. 324-328. cumbered by over-precision, either in the matter
3 The Two Founts (p. 196); Duty surviving of dates, or otherwise. In common with its Self-Love (p. 197); The Improvisatore (p. 200); subject, its final cause seems to have been The Work without Hope (p. 203); and The Garden Life of John Sterling, by T. Carlyle. London, of Boccaccio (p. 204). The beautiful lines, Love, 1851.