Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey by Joseph Cottle

Part 8 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

spend two or three months with me. I trust this air will re-establish his
health, and that I shall restore him to his family and his friends a
perfect man."

"Stowey, Nov. 24, 1801.

I now expect daily to see Coleridge. He is detained I fear, by a thorn,
which he unfortunately took in his heel a day or two before he wrote to
me his last letter. He comes alone. As soon as he is here he shall write
to you."

"Stowey, Nov. 27, 1799.

... Coleridge went hence to Bristol as you know, to collect material for
his 'School-book.' (Qy.) There he received a letter concerning
Wordsworth's health, which he said agitated him deeply. He set off
immediately for Yorkshire. He has since been to the lakes. I suppose we
shall soon see him.

T. P."

"Stowey, March 15, 1804.

... Coleridge is still here with Tobin. He has taken his passage for
Malta and paid half the money, so I conclude his going is fixed. They are
waiting for convoy--the 'Lapwing' frigate.

T. P."

"16, Abingdon Street, April 3, 1804.

My dear Sir,

... Poor _Col_. left London, as I suppose you know, and is now at
Portsmouth, waiting for convoy. He was in a miserable state of health
when he left town. Heaven grant that this expedition may establish him,
body and mind. Northcote has been painting his picture for Sir George
Beaumont. I am told it is a great likeness. Davy is gone to Hungerford
for the holiday's fishing....

T. Poole.

T. Wedgewood, Esq."

Mr. Coleridge remarks, in his letter to Mr. T. Wedgewood, dated "16,
Abingdon Street, London:" "Poole looks so worshipful in his office among
his clerks, that it would give you a few minutes' good spirits to look in
upon him." The following letter will explain this allusion.

"Stowey, Sept. 14, 1803.

My dear Sir,

... I thank you heartily for your kindness, and I will tell you all about
my going to London. I became acquainted with Rickman, whom you saw, when
you set off from Cote-house with Coleridge and myself, to London, to hear
Davy's lectures at the Royal Institution. It was last January
twelvemonths. I liked Rickman, and if I may judge from his conduct since,
he liked me. I saw him frequently when I was in London in May and June
last. We often talked about the poor laws, the sin of their first
principle, their restraints, their contradictions, their abuses, their
encouragement to idleness, their immense burdens to those who pay, and
their degradation to those who receive. On this subject also some letters
have passed between us.

I have long imagined that the principles of benefit societies may be
extended and modified, so as to remedy the greater part of those evils,
and I have long had a plan in my mind which attempted something of this
sort, and which as soon as I had leisure I meant to detail in writing,
and perhaps to publish. I mentioned this to Coleridge when he was last
with me. He mentioned it to Rickman, who wrote to me on the subject.

Soon after this Sir George Eose introduced a bill into parliament for
obtaining information from the overseers of every parish, concerning the
poor, benefit societies, &c. He applied to Rickman to assist him in
framing the bill; and finally requested him to get some one to make an
abstract, to present to parliament, of the returns made by the overseers.
This office Rickman has desired me to undertake. He states to me a
variety of inducements; such as my being in London, getting much
information on a subject which interests me; and in short, I have agreed
to undertake it. Rickman says it will take me three months. I am to have
eight clerks under me, or more if I can employ them. He says there will
be twenty thousand returns. He proposes that my expenses should be paid
with a douceur of three or otherwise four hundred pounds. I stipulated
for the former, but told him the douceur would be the pleasure, I
trusted, of being useful to the poor....

T. P."

This was a rare instance of noble disinterestedness, especially in
respect of government transactions.

"London, 16, Abingdon Street, May 24, 1804.

I saw a letter this morning from Coleridge. It was written to Lamb, from
Gibraltar. He says his health and spirits are much improved, yet still he
feels alarming symptoms about him. He made the passage from England in
eleven days. If the wind permitted, they were to sail in two days for
Malta. He says he is determined to observe a strict regimen, as to eating
and drinking. He has drunk lately only lemonade, with a very small
quantity of bottled porter. He anticipates better health than he has
enjoyed for many years.

I heard by accident that Giddy was at Davy's. I have not seen Davy for
some time.

T. P."

* * * * *

[Illustration: Portrait of S. T. Coleridge]

* * * * *

If the public "bide their time," there is one memorial, resembling the
following, which will infallibly, if not soon, be attached to the busiest
and the most celebrated name.

"On Sept. 8, 1837, died at Nether Stowey, Somersetshire, Thomas
Poole, Esq. He was one of the magistrates for that county, the duties
of which station he discharged through a long course of years with
distinguished reputation. In early life the deceased was intimately
associated with Coleridge, Lamb, Sir H. Davy, Wordsworth, Southey,
and other men of literary endowments, who occasionally made long
sojournments at his hospitable residence, and in whose erudite and
philosophical pursuits he felt a kindred delight. His usefulness and
benevolence have been long recognized, and his loss will be
deplored."--_Exeter Paper_.

It appears that in the spring of 1816, Mr. Coleridge left Mr. Morgan's
house at Calne, and, in a desolate state of mind, repaired to London;
when the belief remaining strong on his mind, that his opium habits would
never be effectually subdued till he had subjected himself to medical
restraint, he called on Dr. Adams, an eminent physician, and disclosed to
him the whole of his painful circumstances, stating what he conceived to
be his only remedy. The doctor being a humane man, sympathized with his
patient, and knowing a medical gentleman who resided three or four miles
from town, who would be likely to undertake the charge, he addressed the
following letter to Mr. Gillman.

"Hatton Garden, April 9, 1816.

Dear sir,

A very learned, but in one respect an unfortunate gentleman, has applied
to me on a singular occasion. He has for several years been in the habit
of taking large quantities of opium. For some time past he has been
endeavouring to break himself of it. It is apprehended his friends are
not firm enough, from a dread, lest he should suffer by suddenly leaving
it off, though he is conscious of the contrary; and has proposed to me to
submit himself to any regimen, however severe. With this view he wishes
to fix himself in the house of some medical gentleman, who will have
courage to refuse him any laudanum, and under whose assistance, should he
be the worse for it, he may be relieved. As he is desirous of retirement,
and a garden, I could think of no one so readily as yourself. Be so good
as to inform me whether such a proposal is inconsistent with your family
arrangements. I should not have proposed it, but on account of the great
importance of the character, as a literary man. His communicative temper
will make his society very interesting, as well as useful. Have the
goodness to favor me with an immediate answer, and believe me, dear sir,

Your faithful humble servant,

Joseph Adams."

The next day Mr. Coleridge called on Mr. Gillman, who was so much pleased
with his visitor, that it was agreed he should come to Highgate the
following day. A few hours before his arrival, he sent Mr. G. a long
letter; the part relating to pecuniary affairs was the following: "With
respect to pecuniary remuneration, allow me to say, I must not at least
be suffered to make any addition to your family expenses, though I cannot
offer anything that would be in any way adequate to my sense of the
service; for that indeed there could not be a compensation, as it must be
returned in kind by esteem and grateful affection."

This return of esteem and grateful affection for his lodging and board,
was generously understood and acceded to, by Mr. Gillman, which, to a
medical man in large practice, was a small consideration. Mr. G.'s
admiration of Mr. Coleridge's talents soon became so enthusiastic,
equally creditable to both parties, that he provided Mr. Coleridge with a
comfortable home for nineteen years, even unto his death.

My original intention was, to prepare a memoir as a contribution to Mr.
Gillman's "Life of Mr. Coleridge." On my sending the MS. to Mr. Southey,
he observed, in his reply, "I apprehend if you send what you have written
about Coleridge and opium, it will not be made use of, and that
Coleridge's biographer will seek to find excuse for the abuse of that

I afterwards sent the MS. to my friend Mr. Foster, who had ever taken a
deep interest in all that concerns Mr. Coleridge. On returning it he thus

"Stapleton, Dec. 19, 1835.

My dear sir,

I have read through your MS. volume, very much to the cost of my eyes,
but it was impossible to help going on, and I am exceedingly obliged to
you for favouring me with it;--the more so as there is no prospect of
seeing any large proportion of it in print. It is I think about as
melancholy an exhibition as I ever contemplated. Why was such a sad
phenomenon to come in sight on earth? Was it to abase the pride of human
intellect and genius?

You have done excellently well to collect into a permanent substance what
must else have gone into oblivion, for no one else could have exhibited
even a shadow of it. But now, my dear sir, I hope you are prepared with
the philosophy, or by whatever name I should designate the
fortitude,--that can patiently bear the frustration of the main immediate
purpose of your long and earnest labour.--For you may lay your account
that the compiler of the proposed life of Coleridge will admit but a very
minor part of what you have thus furnished at his request:--that
especially he will not admit what you feel to be the most important, as
an emphatic moral lesson, and what it has cost you the most painful
resolution to set faithfully forth.

No, my dear sir, the operator of the work will not, will not, will not,
let the illustrious philosopher, genius, and poet, so appear. He will get
over that stage with a few general expressions, and a few indistinctly
presented facts. And then as to the dreadful tragical parts, he will
promptly decide that it would be utter profanation to expose them to view
in any such unveiled prominence as you have exhibited in your narrative.
And then the solemn warning and example will be nearly kept out of sight.
Quite naturally that this would be the course adopted, unless the
compiler were, like yourself, intent, as his first and highest
obligation, on doing faithful homage to truth, virtue, and religion. How
I despise biography, as the business is commonly managed. I cannot
believe that Coleridge's dreadful letters of confession will be admitted
in their own unmodified form; though they ought to be. Most truly yours,

John Foster."

These combined intimations led me to stipulate that, whatever else was
omitted, the opium letters should be printed verbatim. But this being
promptly refused, I determined to throw my materials into a separate

As this is the last time in which Mr. Southey's name will be mentioned,
it is a debt of justice to subjoin the following honourable testimonials.

As an evidence of the estimation in which Mr. Southey was held,--the
distinctions awarded to his memory have had few parallels. His friends at
Keswick, among whom he resided for thirty years, erected to him in their
Church a noble monument, as a permanent memorial of their respect. His
friends, in London, placed his bust in Westminster Abbey. Whilst another
set of his friends in Bristol (his native city) from respect to his
genius, and in admiration of his character, placed a bust of him in their
own Cathedral.


Almighty God, by thy eternal Word, my Creator, Redeemer, and Preserver!
who hast in thy communicative goodness glorified me with the capability
of knowing thee, the only one absolute God, the eternal I Am, as the
author of my being, and of desiring and seeking thee as its ultimate
end;--who when I fell from thee into the mystery of the false and evil
will, didst not abandon me, poor self-lost creature, but in thy
condescending mercy didst provide an access and a return to thyself, even
to the Holy One, in thine only begotten Son, the way and the truth from
everlasting, and who took on himself humanity, yea, became flesh, even
the man Christ Jesus, that for man he might be the life and
resurrection!--O, Giver of all good gifts, who art thyself the only
absolute Good, from whom I have received whatever good I have; whatever
capability of good there is in me, and from thee good alone,--from myself
and my own corrupted will all evil, and the consequences of evil,--with
inward prostration of will, mind, and affections I adore thy infinite
majesty; I aspire to love thy transcendant goodness!

In a deep sense of my unworthiness, and my unfitness to present myself
before thee, of eyes too pure to behold iniquity, and whose light, the
beatitude of spirits conformed to thy will, is a consuming fire to all
vanity and corruptions;--but in the name of the Lord Jesus, of the dear
Son of thy love, in whose perfect obedience thou deignest to behold as
many as have received the seed of Christ into the body of this death;--I
offer this my bounden nightly sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, in
humble trust that the fragrance of my Saviour's righteousness may remove
from it the taint of my mortal corruption. Thy mercies have followed me
through all the hours and moments of my life; and now I lift up my heart
in awe and thankfulness for the preservation of my life through the past
day, for the alleviation of my bodily sufferings and languors, for the
manifold comforts which thou hast reserved for me, yea, in thy fatherly
compassion hast rescued from the wreck of my own sins or sinful
infirmities;--for the kind and affectionate friends thou hast raised up
for me, especially for those of this household, for the mother and
mistress of this family, whose love to me has been great and faithful,
and for the dear friend, the supporter and sharer of my studies and
researches; but above all for the heavenly Friend, the crucified Saviour,
the glorified Mediator, Christ Jesus, and for the heavenly Comforter,
source of all abiding comforts, thy Holy Spirit! that I may with a deeper
faith, a more enkindled love, bless thee, who through thy Son hast
privileged me to call thee Abba Father! O thou who hast revealed thyself
in thy word as a God that hearest prayer; before whose infinitude all
differences cease, of great and small; who like a tender parent
foreknowest all our wants, yet listenest, well-pleased, to the humble
petitions of thy children; who hast not alone permitted, but taught us to
call on thee in all our needs,--earnestly I implore the continuance of
thy free mercy, of thy protecting providence through the coming night.

Thou hearest every prayer offered to thee believingly with a penitent and
sincere heart. For thou in withholding grantest, healest in inflicting
the wound, yea, turnest all to good for as many as truly seek thee
through Christ the Mediator! Thy will be done! But if it be according to
thy wise and righteous ordinances, O shield me this night from the
assaults of disease, grant me refreshment of sleep, unvexed by evil and
distempered dreams; and if the purpose and aspiration of my heart be
upright before thee who alone knowest the heart of man, O, in thy mercy,
vouchsafe me yet in this my decay of life, an interval of ease and
strength, if so,--thy grace disposing and assisting--I may make
compensation to thy church for the unused talents thou hast entrusted to
me, for the neglected opportunities which thy loving-kindness had
provided. O let me be found a labourer in thy vineyard, though of the
late hour, when the Lord and Heir of the vintage, Christ Jesus calleth
for his servant.--_Lit. Rem._

S. T. C."

Mr. Coleridge wrote, in his life-time, his own epitaph, as follows:--

"Stop, Christian passer-by: stop, child of God,
And read, with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seemed he--
O, lift a thought in prayer for S. T. C.
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death;
Mercy for praise-to be forgiven for fame
He asked, and hoped through Christ. Do thou the same."

A handsome tablet, erected in Highgate New Church, to his memory, bears
the following inscription:--

"Sacred to the Memory of


Poet, Philosopher, Theologian.
This truly great and good man resided for
The last nineteen years of his life,
In this Hamlet.
He quitted 'the body of his death,'
July 25th, 1834,
In the sixty-second year of his age.
Of his profound learning and discursive genius,
His literary works are an imperishable record.
To his private worth,
His social and Christian virtues,


The friends with whom he resided
During the above period, dedicate this tablet.
Under the pressure of a long
And most painful disease,
His disposition was unalterably sweet and angelic.
He was an ever-enduring, ever-loving friend,
The gentlest and kindest teacher,
The most engaging home-companion.

'Oh, framed for calmer times and nobler hearts;
O studious poet, eloquent for _truth!_
Philosopher contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, child-like, full of life and love.'


On this monumental stone, thy friends inscribe thy worth,
Reader, for the world mourn.
A Light has passed away from the earth!
But for this pious and exalted Christian,
'Rejoice, and again I say unto you, rejoice!'"
S. T. C.


* * * * *


The name of John Henderson having appeared in several parts of the
preceding memoir, and as, from his early death, he is not known in the
Literary World, I here present a brief notice of this extraordinary man,
reduced from the longer account which appeared in my "Malvern Hills," &c.

John Henderson, was born at Limerick, but came to England early in life
with his parents. From the age of three years, he discovered the presages
of a great mind. Without retracing the steps of his progression, a
general idea may be formed of them, from the circumstance of his having
_professionally_ TAUGHT GREEK and LATIN in a public Seminary[112] at the
age of twelve years.

Some time after, his father commencing a Boarding-school in the
neighbourhood of Bristol, young HENDERSON undertook to teach the
classics; which he did with much reputation, extending, at the same time,
his own knowledge in the sciences and general literature, to a degree
that rendered him a prodigy of intelligence.

At the age of eighteen, by an intensity of application, of which few
persons can conceive, he had not only thoughtfully perused all the
popular English authors, of later date, but taken an extensive survey of
foreign literature. He had also waded through the folios of the
SCHOOLMEN, as well as scrutinized, with the minutest attention, the more
obsolete writers of the last three centuries; preserving, at the same
time, a distinguishing sense of their respective merits, particular
sentiments, and characteristic traits; which, on proper occasions, he
commented upon, in a manner that astonished the learned listener, not
more by his profound remarks, than by his cool and sententious eloquence.

So surprisingly retentive was his memory, that he never forgot what he
had once learned; nor did it appear that he ever suffered even an Image
to be effaced from his mind; whilst the ideas which he had so rapidly
accumulated, existed in his brain, not as a huge chaos, but in clear and
well-organized systems, illustrative of every subject, and subservient to
every call. It was this quality which made him so superior a disputant;
for as his mind had investigated the various sentiments and hypotheses of
men, so had his almost intuitive discrimination stripped them of their
deceptive appendages, and separated fallacies from truth, marshalling
their arguments, so as to elucidate or detect each other. But in all his
disputations, it was an invariable maxim with him never to interrupt the
most tedious or confused opponents, though, from his pithy questions, he
made it evident, that, from the first, he anticipated the train and
consequences of their reasonings.

His favourite studies were, Philology, History, Astronomy, Medicine,
Theology, Logic, and Metaphysics, with all the branches of Natural and
Experimental Philosophy; and that his attainments were not superficial,
will be readily admitted by those who knew him best.--As a Linguist, he
was acquainted with the Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin
languages; together with the French, Spanish, Italian, and German; and he
not only knew their ruling principles and predominant distinctions, so as
to read them with facility, but in the greater part conversed fluently.

About the age of twenty-two, he accidentally met with the acute and
learned Dr. Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, in a stage coach, who soon
discovered the superiority of his companion, and after a reasonable
acquaintance, in which the opinion he had at first entertained of John
Henderson's surprising genius was amply confirmed, he wrote to his
father, urging him to send a young man of such distinguished talents to
an UNIVERSITY, where only they could expand, or be rightly appreciated;
and, in the most handsome way, he accompanied this request with a present
of TWO HUNDRED POUNDS. Such an instance of generosity, will confer
lasting credit on the name of DEAN TUCKER.

On John Henderson's arrival at Oxford, he excited no small degree of
surprise among his tutors, who very naturally inquired his reason for
appearing at that place, and, as might be supposed, were soon contented
to learn, where they had been accustomed to teach.[113]

It might be stated also, the late Edmund Rack, a gentleman possessed of
much general knowledge, and antiquarian research, and whose materials for
the "History of Somersetshire," formed the acknowledged basis of
Collinson's valuable History of that county, thus expressed himself, in
writing to a friend in London.

"My friend, Henderson, has lately paid me a visit, and stayed with me
three weeks. I never spent a three weeks so happily, or so profitably. He
is the only person I ever knew who seems to be a complete master of every
subject in literature, arts, sciences, natural philosophy, divinity; and
of all the books, ancient and modern, that engage the attention of the
learned; but it is still more wonderful, that at the age of twelve, he
should have been master of the Latin and Greek; to which he subsequently
added, the Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, German, Persian, and Syriac
languages; and also, all the ancient rabbinical learning of the Jews, and
the divinity of the fathers; this was, however, the case. The learned DR.
KENNICOTT told me, four years since, 'That the greatest men he ever knew
were mere CHILDREN, compared to HENDERSON.' In company he is ever new.
You never hear a repetition of what he has said before. His memory never
fails, and his fund of knowledge is inexhaustible."

Dr. Kennicott, (before whom nothing superficial could have stood for a
moment,) died in the year 1783, and John Henderson, at the time Dr. K,
passed on him this eulogium, could have been only twenty-three years of
age! One year after he had entered at Oxford.

Though not of the higher order of attainments, it may not be improper to
mention his singular talent for IMITATION. He could not only assume the
dialect of every foreign country, but the particular tone of every
district of England so perfectly, that he might have passed for a native
of either: and of the variations of the human accent in different
individuals his recollection was so acute, and the modulation of his
voice so varied, that, having once conversed with a person, he could most
accurately imitate his gestures and articulation for ever after.[114]

No man had more profoundly traced the workings of the human heart than
himself. A long observation on the causes and effects of moral action,
with their external symbols, had matured his judgment in estimating the
characters of men, and from the fullest evidence, confirmed him in a
belief of the Science of PHYSIOGNOMY.

Though the "Physiognomical Sensation," in a greater or less degree, may
exist in all, yet the data which support it are so obscure, and at all
times so difficult to be defined, that if nature does not make the
Physiognomist, study never will: and to be skilled in this science
requires the combination of such rare talents, that it cannot excite
wonder, either that the unskilful should frequently err, or that the
multitude should despise, what they know they can never attain.

But John Henderson's discrimination qualified him to speak of all
persons, in judging from their countenances, with an almost infallible
certainty: he discovered, in his frequent decisions, not an occasional
development of character, but a clear perception of the secondary as well
as predominant tendencies, of the mind.

"Making his eye the inmate of each bosom."

It would appear like divination, if John Henderson's friends were to
state the various instances they have known of that quick discernment
which he possessed, that, as it were, penetrated the veil of sense, and
unfolded to him the naked and unsophisticated qualities of the soul.
There are many who will cordially admit the fact, when it is said, that,
his eye was scarcely the eye of a man. There was a luminousness in it--a
calm but piercing character, which seemed to partake more of the nature
of spirit than of humanity.

His conversation was such as might have been expected from a man whose
fancy was so creative, whose knowledge omnifarious, and whose
recollection so unbounded. He combined scholastic accuracy with
unaffected ease; condensed and pointed, yet rich and perspicuous. Were it
possible for his numerous friends, by any energy of reminiscence, to
collect his discourse, John Henderson would be distinguished as a
voluminous author, who yet preserved a Spartan frugality of words.

His contemporaries at Oxford well remember, the enthusiasm with which
every company received him; and his friends, in that University,
consisted of all who were eminent for either talent or virtue.

It would be injustice to his memory not to mention the great marks of
attention which were paid him, and the high estimation in which he was
held by the late Edmund Burke and Dr. Johnson; the former of whom
strenuously urged him either to apply to the bar, or to the church, and
told him, that, in that case, it was impossible to doubt, but that he
would become either a judge or a bishop. Such was the great
lexicographer's admiration, also, of John Henderson, that in his annual
visits to Oxford, to whatever company he was invited, he always
stipulated for the introduction of his young friend, John Henderson,[115]
which, in the result, converted a favour into an obligation. It might be
named also, that many of the heads of colleges and other eminent
characters, habitually attended his _evening parties_; an honour unknown
to have been conferred before on any other _under-graduate_.

So great was John Henderson's regard for truth, that he considered it a
crime, of no ordinary magnitude, to confound in any one, even for a
moment, the perceptions of right and wrong; of truth and falsehood; he
therefore never argued in defence of a position which his understanding
did not cordially approve, unless, in some unbending moment, he intimated
to those around him, that he wished to see how far error could be
supported, in which case he would adopt the weakest side of any question,
and there, intrenched, like an intellectual veteran, bid defiance to the
separate or combined attacks of all who approached him.

On these occasions it was highly interesting to remark the felicity of
his illustration, together with his profound logical acuteness, that knew
how to grant or deny, and both, it may be, with reference to some distant
stage of the argument, when the application was made with an unexpected,
but conclusive effect.

From possessing this rare faculty of distinguishing the immediate, as
well as of tracing the remote consequences of every acknowledgment; and,
by his peculiar talent at casuistic subtleties, he has been frequently
known to extort the most erroneous concessions, from men distinguished
for erudition and a knowledge of polemic niceties, necessarily resulting
from premises unguardedly admitted.

Henderson's chief strength in disputation seemed to consist in this clear
view in which he beheld the diversified bearings of every argument, with
its precise congruity to the question in debate; and which, whilst it
demonstrated the capacity of his own mind, conferred on him, on all
occasions, a decided and systematic superiority. It must, however, be
granted, that when contending for victory, or rather for the mere
sharpening of his faculties, instead of convincing, he not unfrequently
confounded his opponent; but whenever he had thus casually argued, and
had obtained an acknowledged confutation, like an ingenious mechanic, he
never failed to organize the discordant materials and to do homage to
truth, by pointing out his own fallacies, or otherwise, by formally
re-confuting his antagonist.

It might be expected that, by such a conduct, an unpleasant impression
would sometimes be left on the mind of an unsuccessful disputant, but
this effect is chiefly produced when the power of the combatants is held
nearly in equilibrium; no one, however, considered it a degradation to
yield to John Henderson, and the peculiar delicacy of his mind was
manifested in nothing more than in the graceful manner with which he
indulged in these coruscations of argument. He obtained a victory without
being vain, or even, from his perfect command of countenance, appearing
sensible of it; and, unless he happened to be disputing with pedantry and
conceit, with a dignified consciousness of strength, he never pursued an
enemy who was contented to fly, by which means a defeat was often
perceived rather than felt, and the vanquished forgot his own humiliation
in applauding the generosity of the conqueror.

In all companies he led the conversation; yet though he was perpetually
encircled by admirers, his steady mind decreased not its charms, by a
supercilious self-opinion of them; nor did he assume that as a right,
which the wishes of his friends rendered a duty. He led the conversation;
for silence or diminished discourse, in him, would have been deservedly
deemed vanity, as though he had desired to make his friends feel the
value of his instructions from the temporary loss of them. But in no
instance was his superiority oppressive; calm, attentive, and cheerful,
he confuted more gracefully than others compliment; the tone of dogmatism
and the smile of contempt were equally unknown to him. Sometimes indeed
he raised himself stronger and more lofty in his eloquence, then chiefly,
when, fearful for his weaker brethren, he opposed the arrogance of the
illiterate deist, or the worse jargon of sensual and cold-blooded
atheism. He knew that the clouds of ignorance which enveloped their
understandings, steamed up from the pollutions of their hearts, and,
crowding his sails, he bore down upon them with salutary violence.

But the qualities which most exalted John Henderson in the estimation of
his friends, were, his high sense of honour, and the great benevolence of
his heart; not that honour which originates in a jealous love of the
world's praise, nor that benevolence which delights only in publicity of
well-doing. His honour was the anxious delicacy of a christian, who
regarded his soul as a sacred pledge, that must some time be re-delivered
to the Almighty lender; his benevolence, a circle, in which self indeed
might be the centre, but, all that lives was the circumference. This
tribute of respect to thy name and virtues, my beloved Henderson! is paid
by one, who was once proud to call thee tutor and friend, and who will do
honour to thy memory, till his spirit rests with thine.

Those who were unacquainted with John Henderson's character, may
naturally ask, "What test has he left the world of the distinguished
talents thus ascribed to him?"--None!--He cherished a sentiment, which,
whilst it teaches humility to the proud, explains the cause of that
silence so generally regretted. Upon the writer of this brief notice once
expressing to him some regret at his not having benefited mankind by the
result of his deep and varied investigations--he replied, "More men
become writers from ignorance, than from knowledge, not knowing that they
have been anticipated by others. Let us decide with caution, and write
late." Thus the vastness and variety of his acquirements, and the
diffidence of his own mental maturity alike prevented him from
illuminating mankind, till death called him to graduate in a sphere more
favourable to the range of his soaring and comprehensive mind.--He died
on a visit to Oxford, in November, 1788, in the 32nd year of his age.

Few will doubt but that the possession of pre-eminent colloquial talents,
to a man like John Henderson, in whom so amply dwelt the spirit of
originality, must be considered, on the whole, as a misfortune, and as
tending to subtract from the permanency of his reputation; he wisely
considered posthumous fame as a vain and undesirable bubble, unless
founded on utility, but when it is considered that no man was better
qualified than himself to confound vice and ennoble virtue; to unravel
the mazes of error, or vindicate the pretensions of truth, it must
generally excite a poignant regret, that abilities like his should have
been dissipated on one generation, which, by a different application,
might have charmed and enlightened futurity.

It is however by no means to be concluded that he would not have written,
and written extensively, if he had attained the ordinary age of man, but
he whose sentiments are considered as oracular, whose company is
incessantly sought by the wise and honourable, and who never speaks but
to obtain immediate applause, often sacrifices the future to the present,
and evaporates his distinguished talents in the single morning of life.

But whilst we ascribe attributes to John Henderson, which designate the
genius, or illustrate the scholar, we must not forget another quality
which he eminently possessed, which so fundamentally contributes to give
stability to friendship, and to smooth the current of social life. A
suavity of manner, connected with a gracefulness of deportment, which
distinguished him on all occasions.

His participation of the feelings of others, resulting from great native
sensibility, although it never produced in his conduct undue complacency,
yet invariably suggested to him that nice point of propriety in behaviour
which was suitable to different characters, and appropriate to the
various situations in which he might be placed. Nor was his sense of
right a barren perception. What the soundness of his understanding
instructed him to approve, the benevolence of his heart taught him to
practise. In his respectful approaches to the peer, he sustained his
dignity; and in addressing the beggar, he remembered he was speaking to a

It would be wrong to close this brief account of John Henderson, without
naming two other excellencies with which he was eminently endowed. First,
the ascendancy he had acquired over his temper. There are moments, in
which most persons are susceptible of a transient irritability; but the
oldest of his friends never beheld him otherwise than calm and collected.
It was a condition he retained under all circumstances,[116] and which,
to those over whom he had any influence, he never failed forcibly to
inculcate, together with that unshaken firmness of mind which encounters
the unavoidable misfortunes of life without repining, and that from the
noblest principle, a conviction that they are regulated by Him who cannot
err, and who in his severest allotments designs only our ultimate good.
In a letter from Oxford, to my brother Amos, his late pupil, for whom
John Henderson always entertained the highest esteem, he thus expresses
himself: "See that you govern your passions. What should grieve us, but
our infirmities? What make us angry, but our own faults? A man who knows
he is mortal, and that all the world will pass away, and by-and-by, seem
only like a tale--a sinner who knows his sufferings are all less than his
sins, and designed to break him from them--one who knows that everything
in this world is a seed that will have its fruit in eternity--that GOD is
the best, the only good friend--that in him is all we want--that
everything is ordered for the best--so that it could not be better,
however we take it; he who believes this in his heart is happy. Such be
you--may you always fare well, my dear Amos,--be the friend of GOD!
again, farewell."

The other excellence referred to, was the simplicity and condescension of
his manners. From the gigantic stature of his understanding, he was
prepared to trample down his pigmy competitors, and qualified at all
times to enforce his unquestioned pre-eminence; but his mind was
conciliating, his behaviour unassuming, and his bosom the receptacle of
all the social affections.

It is these virtues alone which can disarm superiority of its terrors,
and make the eye which is raised in wonder, beam at the same moment with
affection. There have been intellectual, as well as civil despots, whose
motto seems to have been, "Let them hate, provided they fear." Such men
may triumph in their fancied distinctions; but they will never, as was
John Henderson, be followed by the child, loved by the ignorant, and yet
emulated by the wise....

J. C.


The following is an extract from the extended view of the question
between Rowley and Chatterton, which appeared in my "Malvern Hills," &c.
(Vol. 1. p. 273.)

"... Whoever examines the conduct of Chatterton, will find that he was
pre-eminently influenced by one particular disposition of mind, which
was, through an excess of ingenuity, to impose on the credulity of
others. This predominant quality elucidates his character, and is
deserving of minute regard by all who wish to form a correct estimate of
the Rowleian controversy. A few instances of it are here recapitulated.

1st. The Rev. Mr. Catcott once noticed to Chatterton the inclined
position of Temple church, in the city of Bristol. A few days after, the
blue-coat boy brought him an old poem, transcribed, as he declared, from
Rowley, who had noticed the same peculiarity in his day, and had moreover
written a few stanzas on the very subject.

2ndly. A new bridge is just completed over the river Avon, at Bristol,
when Chatterton sends to the printer a genuine description, in antiquated
language, of the passing over the old bridge, for the first time, in the
thirteenth century, on which occasion two songs are chanted, by two
saints, of whom nothing was known, and expressed in language precisely
the same as Rowley's, though he lived two hundred years after this event.

3rdly. Mr. Burgham, the pewterer, is credulous, and, from some whimsical
caprice in his nature, is attached to heraldic honours. Chatterton, who
approaches every man on his blind side, presents him with his pedigree,
consecutively traced from the time of William the Conqueror, and coolly
allies him to some of the noblest houses in the kingdom!

4thly. Mr. Burgham, with little less than intuitive discernment, is one
of the first persons who expresses a firm opinion of the authenticity and
excellence of Rowley's Poems. Chatterton, pleased with this first blossom
of success, and from which he presaged an abundant harvest, with an
elated and grateful heart, presents him (together with other
testimonials,) with the 'Romaunte of the Cnyghte,' a poem written by John
De Burgham, one of his own illustrious ancestors, who was the great
ornament of a period, four hundred and fifty years antecedent; and the
more effectually to exclude suspicion, he accompanies it with the same
poem, modernized by himself!

5thly. Chatterton wishes to obtain the good opinion of his relation, Mr.
Stephens, leather-breeches maker of Salisbury, and, from some quality,
which it is possible his keen observation had noticed in this Mr.
Stephens, he deems it the most effectual way, to flatter his vanity, and
accordingly tells him, with great gravity, that he traces his descent
from Fitz-Stephen, son of Stephen, Earl of Ammerle, who was son of Od,
Earl of Bloys, and Lord of Holderness, who flourished about A.D. 1095!

6thly. The late Mr. George Catcott, (to whom the public are so much
indebted for the preservation of Rowley,) is a very worthy and religious
man, when Chatterton, who has implements for all work, and commodities
for all customers, like a skilful engineer, adapts the style of his
attack to the nature of the fortress, and presents him with the fragment
of a sermon, on the divinity of the Holy Spirit, as 'wroten by Thomas

7thly. Mr. Barrett is zealous to establish the antiquity of Bristol. As a
demonstrable evidence, Chatterton presents him with an escutcheon (on the
authority of the same Thomas Rowley) borne by a Saxon, of the name of
Ailward, who resided in Bristow, A.D. 718!

8thly. Mr. Barrett is also writing a comprehensive History of Bristol,
and is solicitous to obtain every scrap of information relating to so
important a subject. In the ear of Chatterton he expressed his anxiety,
and suggested to him the propriety of his examining all Rowley's
multifarious manuscripts with great care for an object of such weight.

Soon after this, the blue-coat boy came breathless to Mr. Barrett,
uttering, like one of old, 'I have found it!' He now presented the
historian with two or three notices, (in _his own hand-writing_, copied,
as _he declared_, faithfully from the originals,) of some of the ancient
Bristol churches; of course, wholly above suspicion, for they were in the
true old English style. These communications were regarded as of
inestimable value, and the lucky finder promised to increase his
vigilance, in ransacking the whole mass of antique documents for fresh
disclosures. It was not long before other important scraps were
discovered, conveying just the kind of information which Mr. Barrett
wanted, till, ultimately, Chatterton furnished him with many curious
particulars concerning the castle, and every church and chapel in the
city of Bristol! and these are some of the choicest materials of Mr.
Barrett's otherwise, valuable history!

9thly. Public curiosity and general admiration are excited by poems,
affirmed to be from the Erse of Ossian. Chatterton, with characteristic
promptitude, instantly publishes, not imitations, but a succession of
genuine translations from the Saxon and Welsh, with precisely the same
language and imagery, though the Saxon and Welsh were derived from
different origins, the Teutonic and Celtic; (which bishop Percy has most
satisfactorily shown in his able and elaborate preface to 'Mallet's
Northern Antiquities,') and whose poetry, of all their writings, was the
most dissimilar; as will instantly appear to all who compare Taliessin,
and the other Welsh bards, with the Scandinavian Edda of Saemond.

10thly. Mr. Walpole is writing the history of British painters;
Chatterton, (who, to a confidential friend, had expressed an opinion that
it was possible, by dexterous management, to deceive even this master in
antiquities,) with full confidence of success, transmits to him 'An
Account of eminent Carvellers and Peyncters who flourished in Bristol,
and other parts of England, three hundred years ago, collected for Master
Canynge, by Thomas Rowley!'

Chatterton's communication furnishes an amusing specimen of the quaint
language with which this beardless boy deceived the old antiquarian. It
commences thus:

'Peyncteynge ynn Englande, haveth of ould tyme bin in use; for sayeth the
Roman wryters, the Brytonnes dyd depycte themselves yn soundry wyse, of
the fourmes of the sonne and moone, wythe the hearbe woade: albeytte I
doubt theie were no skylled carvellers,' &c. &c.

Mr. Walpole was so completely imposed upon, that, in his reply, without
entertaining the slightest suspicion of the authenticity of the document,
he reasons upon it as valid, and says, 'You do not point out the exact
time when Rowley lived, which I wish to know, as I suppose it was long
before John al Ectry's discovery of oil painting; if so, it confirms what
I have guessed, and have hinted in my anecdotes, that oil painting was
known here much earlier than that discovery, or revival.'

Another important argument, may be adduced from the following reflection:
all the poets who thus owe their existence to Chatterton, write in the
same harmonious style, and display the same tact and superiority of
genius. Other poets living in the same, or different ages, exhibit a wide
diversity in judgment, fancy, and the higher creative faculty of
imagination, so that a discriminating mind can distinguish an individual
character in almost every separate writer; but here are persons living in
different ages; moving in different stations; exposed to different
circumstances; and expressing different sentiments; yet all of whom
betray the same peculiar habits, with the same talents and facilities of
composition. This is evidenced, whether it be--

The Abbatte John, living in the year - - 1186
Seyncte Baldwin - - - - - - 1247
Seyncte Warburgie - - - - - - 1247
John De Burgham - - - - - - 1320
The Rawfe Cheddar Chappmanne - - - - 1356
Syr Thybbot Gorges - - - - - - 1440
Syr Wm. Canynge - - - - - - 1469
Thomas Rowley - - - - - - 1479
Carpenter, Bishoppe of Worcester
Ecca, Bishoppe of Hereforde
Elmar, Bishoppe of Selseie
John Ladgate, or,
Mayster John a Iscam.

And the whole of these poets, with the exception of Ladgate, completely
unknown to the world, till called from their dormitory by Chatterton!
Such a fact would be a phenomenon unspeakably more inexplicable than that
of ascribing Rowley to a youth of less than sixteen, who had made
'Antique Lore' his peculiar study, and who was endued with precocious,
and almost unlimited genius.

Those who are aware of the transitions and fluctuation, which our
language experienced in the intermediate space comprised between Chaucer
and Sir Thomas More; and still greater between Robert of Gloucester,
1278, and John Trevisa, or his contemporary Wickliffe, who died 1384,
know, to a certainty, that the writers enumerated by Chatterton, without
surmounting a physical impossibility, could not have written in the same
undeviating style.

Perhaps it may be affirmed that numerous old parchments were obtained
from the Muniment Room or elsewhere. This fact is undeniable; but they
are understood to consist of ancient ecclesiastical deeds, as unconnected
with poetry, as they were with galvanism.

Let the dispassionate enquirer ask himself, whether he thinks it possible
for men, living in distant ages, when our language was unformed, and
therefore its variations the greater, to write in the same style? Whether
it was possible for the Abbatte John, composing in the year 1186, when
the amalgamation of the Saxon and the Norman formed an almost
inexplicable jargon, to write in a manner, as to its construction,
intimately resembling that now in vogue. On the contrary, how easy is the
solution, when we admit that the person who wrote the first part of the
"Battle of Hastings," and the death of "Syr Charles Bawdin," wrote also
the rest.

Does it not appear marvellous, that the learned advocates of Rowley
should not have regarded the ground on which they stood as somewhat
unstable, when they found Chatterton readily avow that he wrote the first
part of the "Battle of Hastings," and discovered the second, as composed
three hundred years before, by Thomas Rowley? This was indeed an
unparalleled coincidence. A boy writes the commencement of a narrative
poem, and then finds in the Muniment-Room, the second part, or a
continuation, by an old secular priest, with the same, characters,
written in the same style, and even in the same metre!

Another extraordinary feature in the question, is the following; there
are preserved in the British Museum, numerous deeds and proclamations, by
Thomas Rowley, in Chatterton's writing, relating to the antiquities of
Bristol, all in modern English, designed no doubt, by the young bard, for
his friend Mr. Barrett; but the chrysalis had not yet advanced to its
winged state.

One of the proclamations begins thus:

"To all Christian people to whom this indented writing shall come,
William Canynge, of Bristol, merchant, and Thomas Rowley, priest, send
greeting: Whereas certain disputes have arisen between," &c., &c.

Who does not perceive that these were the first rough sketches of genuine
old documents that _were to be?_

In an account of "St. Marie Magdalene's Chapele, by Thomas Rowley,"
deposited also in the British Museum, there is the following sentence,
which implies much: "Aelle, the founder thereof, was a manne myckle
stronge yn vanquysheynge the Danes, as yee maie see ynne mie unwordie
Entyrlude of Ella!"

It is Rome or Carthage. It is Rowley or Chatterton: and a hope is
cherished that the public, from this moment, will concur in averring that
there is neither internal nor external evidence, to authorize the belief
that a single line of either the prose or the verse, attributed to
Rowley, or the rest of his apocryphal characters, was written by any
other than that prodigy of the eighteenth century, Thomas Chatterton.

The opinion entertained by many, that Chatterton found part of Rowley,
and invented the rest, is attended with insurmountable objections, and is
never advanced but in the deficiency of better argument; for in the first
place, those who favor this supposition, have never supported it by the
shadow of proof, or the semblance even of fair inferential reasoning; and
in the second place, he who wrote half, could have written the whole; and
in the third, and principal place, there are no inequalities in the
poems; no dissimilar and incongruous parts, but all is regular and
consistent, and without, in the strict sense of the word, bearing any
resemblance to the writers of the period when Rowley is stated to have

Whoever examines the beautiful tragedy of Ella, will find an accurate
adjustment of plan, which precludes the possibility of its having been
conjointly written by different persons, at the distance of centuries.
With respect, also, to the structure of the language, it is
incontrovertibly modern, as well as uniform with itself, and exhibits the
most perfect specimens of harmony; which cannot be interrupted by slight
orthographical redundancies, nor by the sprinkling of a few uncouth and
antiquated words.

The structure of Rowley's verse is so unequivocally modern, that by
substituting the present orthography for the past, and changing two or
three of the old words, the fact must become obvious, even to those who
are wholly unacquainted with the barbarisms of the "olden time." As a
corroboration of this remark, the first verse of the song to Aella may be

"O thou, or what remains of thee,
Aella, thou darling of futurity.
Let this, my song, bold as thy courage be,
As everlasting--to posterity."

But, perhaps, the most convincing proof of this modern character of
Rowley's verse, may be derived from the commencement of the chorus in

"When Freedom, dress'd in blood-stain'd vest,
To every knight her war-song sung,
Upon her head wild weeds were spread,
A gory anlace by her hung.
She danced on the heath;
She heard the voice of death;
Pale-eyed Affright, his heart of silver hue,
In vain essay'd his bosom to acale, [freeze]
She heard, enflamed, the shivering voice of woe,
And sadness in the owlet shake the dale.
She shook the pointed spear;
On high she raised her shield;
Her foemen all appear,
And fly along the field.

Power, with his head exalted to the skies,
His spear a sun-beam, and his shield a star,
Round, like two flaming meteors, rolls his eyes,
Stamps with his iron foot, and sounds to war:
She sits upon a rock,
She bends before his spear;
She rises from the shock,
Wielding her own in air.
Hard as the thunder doth she drive it on,
And, closely mantled, guides it to his crown,
His long sharp spear, his spreading shield, is gone;
He falls, and falling, rolleth thousands down."

Every reader must be struck with the modern character of these extracts,
nor can he fail to have noticed the lyrical measure, so eminently
felicitous, with which the preceding ode commences; together with the
bold image of freedom triumphing over power. If the merits of the
Rowleian Controversy rented solely on this one piece, it would be
decisive; for no man, in the least degree familiar with our earlier
metrical compositions, and especially if he were a poet, could hesitate a
moment in assigning this chorus to a recent period.

It is impossible not to believe that the whole of Rowley was written at
first in modern English, and then the orthographical metamorphose
commenced; and to one who had prepared himself, like Chatterton, with a
dictionary, alternately modern and old, and old and modern, the task of
transformation was not difficult, even to an ordinary mind. It should be
remembered also, that Chatterton furnished a complete glossary to the
whole of Rowley. Had he assumed ignorance, it might have checked, without
removing suspicion, but at present it appears inexplicable, that our sage
predecessors should not have been convinced that one who could write, in
his own person, with such superiority as Chatterton indisputably did,
would be quite competent to give words to another, the meaning of which
he so well understood himself.

But the thought will naturally arise, what could have prompted
Chatterton, endued as he was, with so much original talent, to renounce
his own personal aggrandizement, and to transfer the credit of his
opulence to another. It is admitted to be an improvident expenditure of
reputation, but no inference advantageous to Rowley can be deduced from
this circumstance. The eccentricities and aberrations of genius, have
rarely been restricted by line and plummet, and the present is a
memorable example of perverted talent; but all this may be conceded,
without shaking the argument here contended for.

There is a process in all our pursuits, and the nice inspector of
associations can almost uniformly trace his predilections to some
definite cause. This, doubtless, was the case with Chatterton. He found
old parchments early in life. In the first instance, it became an object
of ambition to decipher the obscure. One difficulty surmounted,
strengthened the capacity for conquering others; perseverance gave
facility, till at length his vigorous attention was effectually directed
to what he called "antique lore:" and this confirmed bias of his mind,
connected as it was, with his inveterate proneness to impose on others,
and supported by talents which have scarcely been equalled, reduces the
magnified wonder of Rowley, to a plain, comprehensible question.

Dean Milles, in his admiration of Rowley, appeared to derive pleasure
from depreciating Chatterton, who had avowed himself the writer of that
inimitable poem, "The Death of Syr Charles Bawdin," but well knowing the
consequences which would follow on this admission, he laboured hard to
impeach the veracity of our bard, and represented him as one who, from
vanity, assumed to himself the writing of another! Dean Milles affirms,
that of this "Death of Syr Charles Bawdin," "A greater variety of
internal proofs may be produced, for its authenticity, than for that of
any other piece in the whole collection!" This virtually, was abandoning
the question; for since we know that Chatterton did write "The Death of
Syr Charles Bawdin," we know that he wrote that which had stronger proofs
of the authenticity of Rowley than all the other pieces in the

The numerous proofs adduced of Chatterton's passion for fictitious
statements; of his intimate acquaintance with antiquated language; of the
almost preternatural maturity of his mind; of the dissimilitude of
Rowley's language to contemporaneous writers; and of the obviously modern
structure of all the compositions which the young bard produced, as the
writings of Rowley and others, form, it is presumed, a mass of
Anti-Rowleian evidence, which proves that Chatterton possessed that
peculiar disposition, as well as those pre-eminent talents, the union of
which was both necessary and equal to the great production of Rowley...."

J. C.


Weary Pilgrim, dry thy tear,
Look beyond these realms of night;
Mourn not, with redemption near,
Faint not, with the goal in sight.

Grief and pain are needful things,
Sent to chasten, not to slay;
And if pleasures have their wings,
Sorrows quickly pass away.

Where are childhood's sighs and throes?
Where are youth's tumultuous fears?
Where are manhood's thousand woes?
Lost amidst the lapse of years!

There are treasures which to gain,
Might a seraph's heart inspire;
There are joys which will remain
When the world is wrapt in fire.

Hope, with her expiring beam,
May illume our last delight;
But our trouble soon will seem,
Like the visions of the night.

We too oft remit our pace,
And at ease in slumbers dwell;
We are loiterers in our race,
And afflictions break the spell.

Woe to him, whoe'er he be,
Should (severest test below!)
All around him like a sea,
Health, and wealth, and honors, flow!

When unclouded suns we hail,
And our cedars proudly wave;
We forget their tenure frail,
With the bounteous hand that gave.

We on dangerous paths are bound,
Call'd to battle and to bleed;
We have hostile spirits round,
And the warrior's armour need.

We, within, have deadlier foes,
Wills rebellious, hearts impure;
God, the best physician, knows
What the malady will cure.

Earth is lovely! dress'd in flowers!
O'er her form luxuriant thrown,
But a lovelier world is ours,
Visible to faith alone.

Here the balm and spicy gales,
For a moment fill the air;
Here the mutable prevails,
Permanence alone is there.

Heaven to gain is worth our toil!
Angels call us to their sphere;
But to time's ignoble soil
We are bound, and will not hear.

Heaven attracts not! On we dream;
Cast like wrecks upon the shore
Where perfection reigns supreme,
And adieus are heard no more.

What is life? a tale! a span!
Swifter than the eagle's flight;
What the boasted age of man?
Vanishing beneath the sight.

Yet, our ardours and desires
Centred, circumscribed by earth;
Whilst eternity retires--
As an object nothing worth!

Oh, the folly of the proud!
Oh, the madness of the vain!
After every toy to crowd,
And unwithering crowns disdain!

Mighty men in grand array,
Magnates of the ages past,
Kings and conquerors, where are they?
Once whose frown a world o'ercast?

Faded! yet by fame enroll'd,
With their busts entwined with bays;
But if God his smile withhold,
Pitiful is human praise.

With what sadness and surprise,
Must Immortals view our lot;--
Eager for the flower that dies,
And the Amaranth heeding not.

May we from our dreams awake,
Love the truth, the truth obey;
On our night let morning break--
Prelude of a nobler day.

Harmony prevails above,
Where all hearts together blend;
Let the concords sweet of love,
Now begin and never end.

Have we not one common sire?
Have we not one home in sight?
Let the sons of peace conspire
Not to sever, but unite.

Hence, forgetful of the past,
May we all as brethren own,
Whom we hope to meet at last--
Round the everlasting throne.

Father! source of blessedness,
In thy strength triumphant ride;
Let the world thy Son confess,
And thy name be magnified!

Let thy word of truth prevail,
Scattering darkness, errors, lies;
Let all lands the treasure hail--
Link that binds us to the skies.

Let thy spirit, rich and free,
Copious shed his power divine,
Till (Creation's Jubilee!)
All Earth's jarring realms are thine!

Saints who once on earth endured--
Beating storm and thorny way,
Have the prize they sought secured,
And have enter'd perfect day.

Wiser taught,--with vision clear,
(Kindled from the light above)
Now their bitterest woes appear--
Charged with blessings, fraught with love:--

For, as earthly scenes withdrew,
In their false, but flattering guise,
They, rejoicing, fix'd their view--
On the mansions in the skies.

Art thou fearful of the end?
Dread not Jordan's swelling tide;
With the Saviour for thy friend!
With the Spirit for thy guide!

Why these half subdued alarms--
At the prospect of thy flight?
Has thy Father's house no charms?--
There to join the Saints in Light?

Terrors banish from thy breast,
Hope must solace, faith sustain;
Thou art journeying on to rest,
And with God shalt live and reign.

Then, fruition, like the morn,
Will unlock her boundless store;--
Roses bloom without a thorn,
And the day-star set no more.

But, an ocean lies between--
Stormy, to be cross'd alone;
With no ray to intervene--
O'er the cold and dark unknown!

Lo! a soft and soothing voice
Steals like music on my ears;--
"Let the drooping heart rejoice;
See! a glorious dawn appears!"

"When thy parting hours draw near,
And thou trembling view'st the last;
Christ and only Christ can cheer,
And o'er death a radiance cast!"

Weary Pilgrim, dry thy tear,
Look beyond these shades of night;
Mourn not with Redemption near,
Faint not with the goal in sight.

J. C.

_Bristol, March 9, 1846._


[1] The reader will bear in mind that the present work consists of
Autobiography, and therefore, however repugnant to the writer's feelings,
the apparent egotism has been unavoidable.

[2] Robert Lovell, himself was a poet, as will appear by the following
being one of his Sonnets.


Was it a spirit on yon shapeless pile?
It wore, methought, a holy Druid's form,
Musing on ancient days! The dying storm
Moan'd in his lifted locks. Thou, night! the while
Dost listen to his sad harp's wild complaint,
Mother of shadows! as to thee he pours
The broken strain, and plaintively deplores
The fall of Druid fame! Hark! murmurs faint
Breathe on the wavy air! and now more loud
Swells the deep dirge; accustomed to complain
Of holy rites unpaid, and of the crowd
Whose ceaseless steps the sacred haunts profane.
O'er the wild plain the hurrying tempest flies,
And, mid the storm unheard, the song of sorrow dies.

[3] I had an opportunity of introducing Mr. Southey at this time, to the
eldest Mrs. More, who invited him down to spend some whole day with her
sister Hannah, at their then residence, Cowslip Green. On this occasion,
as requested, I accompanied him. The day was full of converse. On my
meeting one of the ladies soon after, I was gratified to learn that Mr.
S. equally pleased all five of the sisters. She said he was "brim full of
literature, and one of the most elegant, and intellectual young men they
had seen."

[4] It might he intimated, that, for the establishment of these lectures,
there was, in Mr. Coleridge's mind, an interior spring of action. He
wanted to "build up" a provision for his speedy marriage with Miss Sarah
Fricker: and with these grand combined objects before him, no effort
appeared too vast to be accomplished by his invigorated faculties.

[5] Copied from his MS. as delivered, not from his "Conciones ad Populum"
as printed, where it will be found in a contracted state.

[6] Muir, Palmer, and Margarot.

[7] An eminent medical man in Bristol, who greatly admired Mr.
Coleridge's conversation and genius, on one occasion, invited Mr. C. to
dine with him, on a given day. The invitation was accepted, and this
gentleman, willing to gratify his friends with an introduction to Mr. C.
invited a large assemblage, for the express purpose of meeting him, and
made a splendid entertainment, anticipating the delight which would be
universally felt from Mr. C. a far-famed eloquence. It unfortunately
happened that Mr. Coleridge had forgotten all about it! and the
gentleman, [with his guests, after waiting till the hot became cold]
under his mortification consoled himself by the resolve, never again to
subject himself to a like disaster. No explanation or apology on my part
could soothe the choler of this disciple of Glen. A dozen subscribers to
his lectures fell off from this slip of his memory.

"Sloth jaundiced all! and from my graspless hand
Drop friendship's precious perls, like hour-glass sand.
I weep, yet stoop not! the faint anguish flows,
A dreamy pang in morning's feverish doze,"

[8] This honest upholsterer, (a Mr. W. a good little weak man) attended
the preaching of the late eloquent Robert Hall. At one time an odd fancy
entered his mind, such as would have occurred to none other; namely, that
he possessed ministerial gifts; and with this notion uppermost in his
head, he was sorely perplexed, to determine whether he ought not to
forsake the shop, and ascend the pulpit.

In this uncertainty, he thought his discreetest plan would be to consult
his Minister; in conformity with which, one morning he called on Mr.
Hall, and thus began. "I call on you this morning, Sir, on a very
important business!" "Well Sir." "Why you must know, Sir--I can hardly
tell how to begin." "Let me hear, Sir." "Well Sir, if I must tell you,
for these two months past I have had a strong persuasion on my mind, that
I possess ministerial talents."--Mr. Hall (whose ideas were high of
ministerial requisites) saw his delusion, and determined at once to check
it. The Upholsterer continued: "Though a paper-hanger by trade, yet, sir,
I am now satisfied that I am called to give up my business, and attend to
something better; for you know, Mr. Hall, I should not bury my talents in
a napkin." "O Sir," said Mr. H. "you need not use a napkin, a
pocket-handkerchief will do."

This timely rebuke kept the good man to his paper-hangings for the
remainder of his days, for whenever he thought of the ministry, this same
image of the pocket-handkerchief, always damped his courage.

[9] Gilbert's derangement was owing to the loss of a naval cause at
Portsmouth, in which he was concerned as an Advocate. Among other
instances, one time when at his lodgings, he interpreted those words of
Christ personally, "Sell all that thou hast and distribute to the poor,"
when, without the formality of selling, he thought the precept might be
more summarily fulfilled, and therefore, one morning he tumbled every
thing he had in his room, through the window, into the street, that the
poor might help themselves; bed, bolsters, blankets, sheets, chairs! &c.,
&c, but unfortunately, it required at that season a higher exercise of
the clear reasoning process than he possessed, to distinguish accurately
between his own goods and chattels and those of his landlady!

He had all the volubility of a practised advocate, and seemed to delight
in nothing so much as discussion, whether on the unconfirmed parallactic
angle of Sirius, or the comparative weight of two straws. Amid the circle
in which he occasionally found himself, ample scope was often given him
for the exercise of this faculty. I once invited him, for the first time,
to meet the late Robert Hall. I had calculated on some interesting
discourse, aware that each was peculiarly susceptible of being aroused by
opposition. The anticipations entertained on this occasion were
abundantly realized. Their conversation, for some time, was mild and
pleasant, each, for each, receiving an instinctive feeling of respect;
but the subject happened to be started, of the contra-distinguishing
merits of Hannah More and Ann Yearsley. By an easy transition, this led
to the quarrel that some time before had taken place between these two
remarkable females; the one occupying the summit, and the other moving in
about the lowest grade of human society; but in genius, compeers. They at
once took opposite sides. One argument elicited another, till at length
each put forth his utmost strength, and such felicitous torrents of
eloquence could rarely have been surpassed; where on each side ardour was
repelled with fervency, and yet without the introduction of the least
indecorous expression.

Gilbert was an astrologer; and at the time of a person's birth, he would
with undoubting confidence predict all the leading events of his future
life, and sometimes (if he knew anything of his personal history) even
venture to declare the past. The caution with which he usually touched
the second subject, formed a striking contrast with the positive
declarations concerning the first.

I was acquainted at this time with a medical man of enlarged mind and
considerable scientific attainments; and accidentally mentioning to him
that a friend of mine was a great advocate for this sublime science, he
remarked, "I should like to see him, and one half hour would be
sufficient to despoil him of his weapons, and lay him prostrate in the
dust." I said, "if you will sup with me I will introduce you to the
astrologer, and if you can beat this nonsense out of his head, you will
benefit him and all his friends." When the evening arrived, it appeared
fair to apprise William Gilbert that I was going to introduce him to a
doctor, who had kindly and gratuitously undertaken to cure him of all his
astrological maladies. "Will he?" said Gilbert. "The malady is on his
side. Perhaps I may cure him."

Each having a specific business before him, there was no hesitation or
skirmishing, but at first sight they both, like tried veterans, in good
earnest addressed themselves to war. On one side, there was a
manifestation of sound sense and cogent argument; on the other, a
familiarity with all those arguments, combined with great subtlety in
evading them; and this sustained by new and ingenious sophisms. My
medical friend, for some time stood his ground manfully, till, at length,
he began to quail, apparently from the verbal torrent with which he was
so unexpectedly assailed. Encountered thus by so fearful and consummate a
disputant, whose eyes flashed fire in unison with his oracular tones and
empassioned language, the doctor's quiver unaccountably became exhausted,
and his spirit subdued. He seemed to look around for some mantle in which
to hide the mortification of defeat; and the more so from his previous
confidence. Never was a more triumphant victory, as it would
superficially appear, achieved by ingenious volubility in a bad cause,
over arguments, sound, but inefficiently wielded in a cause that was
good. A fresh instance of the man of sense vanquished by the man of

[10] I would here subjoin, that when money, in future, may thus be
collected for ingenious individuals, it might be the wisest procedure to
transfer the full amount, at once, to the beneficiary, (unless under very
peculiar circumstances.) This is felt to be both handsome and generous,
and the obligation is permanently impressed on the mind. If the money
then be improvidently dissipated, he who acts thus ungratefully to his
benefactors, and cruelly to himself, reflects on his own folly alone. But
when active and benevolent agents, who have raised subscriptions, will
entail trouble on themselves, and with a feeling almost paternal, charge
themselves with a disinterested solicitude for future generations,
without a strong effort of the reasoning power, the favour is reduced to
a fraction. Dissatisfaction almost necessarily ensues, and the accusation
of ingratitude is seldom far behind.

[11] The Rev. James Newton, was Classical Tutor at the Bristol Baptist
Academy, in conjunction with the late Dr. Caleb Evans, and, for a short
season, the late Robert Hall. He was my most revered and honoured friend,
who lived for twenty years an inmate in my Father's family, and to whom I
am indebted in various ways, beyond my ability to express. His learning
was his least recommendation. His taste for elegant literature; his fine
natural understanding, his sincerity, and conciliating manners justified
the eulogium expressed by Dr. Evans in preaching his Funeral Sermon,
1789, when he said (to a weeping congregation), that "He never made an
enemy, nor lost a friend."

Mr. Newton was on intimate terms with the late Dean Tucker, and the Rev.
Sir James Stonehouse, the latter of whom introduced him to Hannah More,
who contracted for him, as his worth and talents became more and more
manifest, a sincere and abiding friendship. Mr. Newton had the honour of
teaching Hannah More Latin. The time of his instructing her did not
exceed ten months. She devoted to this one subject the whole of her time,
and all the energies of her mind. Mr. Newton spoke of her to me as
exemplifying how much might be attained in a short time by talent and
determination combined; and he said, for the limited period of his
instruction, she surpassed in her progress all others whom he had ever
known. H. More was in the habit of submitting her MSS. to Mr. N.'s
judicious remarks, and by this means, from living in the same house with
him, I preceded the public in inspecting some of her productions;
particularly her MS. Poem on the "Slave Trade," and her "Bas Bleu." When
a boy, many an evening do I recollect to have listened in wonderment to
colloquisms and disputations carried on in Latin between Mr. Newton and
John Henderson. It gives me pleasure to have borne this brief testimony
of respect toward one on whom memory so often and so fondly reposes! Best
of men, and kindest of friends, "farewell till we do meet

[12] From his natural unassumed dignity, Mr. Foster used to call Mr. Hall

[13] Mr. Hall broke down all distinction of sects and parties. On one of
his visits to Bristol, when preaching at the chapel in Broadmead, a
competent individual noticed in the thronged assembly an Irish Bishop, a
Dean, and thirteen Clergymen. The late Dr. Parr was an enthusiastic
admirer of Mr. Hall. He said to a friend of the writer, after a warm
eulogium on the eloquence of Mr. H. "In short, sir, the man is inspired."
Hannah More has more than once said to the writer, "There was no man in
the church, nor out of it, comparable in talents to Robert Hall."

[14] I presented Mr. C. with the three guineas, but forbore the

[15] I received a note, at this time, from Mr. Coleridge, evidently
written in a moment of perturbation, apologising for not accepting an
invitation of a more congenial nature, on account of his "Watch
drudgery." At another time, he was reluctantly made a prisoner from the
same cause, as will appear by the following note.

"April, 1796.

My dear Cottle,

My eye is so inflamed that I cannot stir out. It is alarmingly inflamed.
In addition to this, the Debates which Burnet undertook to abridge for
me, he has abridged in such a careless, slovenly manner, that I was
obliged to throw them into the fire, and am now doing them myself!...

S. T. C."

[16] This "sheet" of Sonnets never arrived.

[17] A late worthy bookseller of Bristol, who by his exertions obtained
one hundred and twenty subscribers for Mr. C.

[18] "My Bristol printer of the Watchman refused to wait a month for his
money, and threatened to throw me into jail for between _eighty_ and
_ninety_ pounds; when the money was paid by a friend."--_Biographia
Literaria_. Mr. C.'s memory was here grievously defective. The fact is,
Biggs the printer (a worthy man) never threatened nor even importuned for
his Money. Instead also of _nine_ numbers of the Watchman, there were
_ten_; and the printing of these ten numbers, came but to _thirty five_
pounds. The whole of the Paper (which cost more than the Printing) was
paid for by the Writer.

[19] It is evident Mr. C. must have had cause of complaint against one or
more of the booksellers before named. It could not apply to myself, as I
invariably adhered to a promise I had at the commencement given Mr.
Coleridge, not to receive any allowance for what copies of the 'Watchman'
I might be so happy as to sell for him.

[20] In all Mr. Coleridge's lectures, he was a steady opposer of Mr.
Pitt, and the then existing war; and also an enthusiastic admirer of Pox,
Sheridan, Grey, &c., &c., but his opposition to the reigning politics
discovered little asperity; it chiefly appeared by wit and sarcasm, and
commonly ended in that which was the speaker's chief object, a laugh.

Few attended Mr. C.'s lectures but those whose political views were
similar to his own; but on one occasion, some gentlemen of the opposite
party came into the lecture-room, and at one sentiment they heard,
testified their disapprobation by the only easy and safe way in their
power; namely, by a hiss. The auditors were startled at so unusual a
sound, not knowing to what it might conduct; but their noble leader soon
quieted their fears, by instantly remarking with great coolness, "I am
not at all surprised, when the red-hot prejudices of aristocrats are
suddenly plunged iuto the cool water of reason, that they should go off
with a hiss!" The words were electric. The assailants felt as well as
testified, their confusion, and the whole company confirmed it by immense
applause! There was no more hissing.

[21] A law just then passed.

[22] It is this general absence of the dates to Mr. C.'s letters, which
may have occasioned me, in one or two instances, to err in the

[23] Mr. Wordsworth, at this time resided at Allfoxden House, two or
three miles from Stowey.

[24] How much is it to be deplored, that one whose views were so enlarged
as those of Mr. Coleridge, and his conceptions so Miltonic, should have
been satisfied with theorizing merely; and that he did not, like his
great Prototype, concentrate all his energies, so as to produce some one
august poetical work, which should become the glory of his country.

[25] Sister of the Premier.

[26] It appears from Sir James Macintosh's Life, published by his son,
that a diminution of respect towards Sir James was entertained by Mr.
For, arising from the above two letters of Mr. Coleridge, which appeared
in the Morning Post. Some enemy of Sir James had informed Mr. Fox that
these two letters were written by Macintosh, and which exceedingly
wounded his mind. Before the error could be corrected, Mr. Fox died. This
occurrence was deplored by Sir James, in a way that showed his deep
feeling of regret, but which, as might be supposed, did not prevent him
from bearing the amplest testimony to the social worth and surpassing
talents of that great statesman.

Mr. Coleridge's Bristol friends will remember that once Mr. Fox was
idolized by him as the paragon of political excellence; and Mr. Pitt
depressed in the same proportion.

[27] The following is the Sonnet to Lord Stanhope, in the first edition,
now omitted.

"Not STANHOPE! with the _patriot's_ doubtful name
I mock thy worth, FRIEND OF THE HUMAN RACE!
Since, scorning faction's low and partial aim,
Aloof thou wendest in thy stately pace,
Thyself redeeming from that leprous stain--
NOBILITY! and, aye unterrified,
Pourest thy Abdiel warnings on the train
That sit complotting with rebellious pride
'Gainst her, who from th' Almighty's bosom leapt,
With whirlwind arm, fierce minister of love!
Wherefore, ere virtue o'er thy tomb hath wept.
Angels shall lead thee to the throne above,
And thou from forth its clouds shalt hear the voice--
Champion of FREEDOM, and her God, rejoice!

[28] The Skylark.

[29] It is to be regretted that Mr. C. in his emendations, should have
excluded from the second verse of the first poem, the two best lines in
the piece.

"And thy inmost soul confesses
Chaste Affection's majesty."

[30] Mr. C. afterward requested that the "allegorical lines" might alone
be printed in his second edition, with this title: "To an Unfortunate
Woman, whom the Author had known in the days of her innocence." The first
Poem, "Maiden, that with sullen brow," &c. he meant to re-write, and
which he will be found to have done, with considerable effect.

[31] Mr. Wordsworth lived at Racedown, before he removed to Allfoxden.

[32] Mr. C. after much hesitation, had intended to begin his second
edition with this Poem from the "Joan of Arc," in its enlarged, but
imperfect state, and even sent it to the press; but the discouraging
remarks, which he remembered, of one and another, at the last moment,
shook his resolution, and occasioned him to withdraw it wholly. He
commenced his volume with the "Ode to the Departing Year."


Here Savage lingered long, and here expired!
The mean--the proud--the censored--the admired!

If, wandering o'er misfortune's sad retreat,
Stranger! these lines arrest thy passing feet,
And recollection urge the deeds of shame
That tarnish'd once an unblest Poet's fame;
Judge not another till thyself art free,
And hear the gentle voice of charity.
"No friend received him, and no mother's care
Sheltered his infant innocence with prayer;
No father's guardian hand his youth maintained,
Call'd forth his virtues, or from vice restrain'd."
Reader! hadst thou been to neglect consign'd,
And cast upon the mercy of mankind;
Through the wide world, like Savage, forced to stray,
And find, like him, one long and stormy day;
Objects less noble might thy soul have swayed,
Or crimes around thee cast a deeper shade.
While poring o'er another's mad career,
Drop for thyself the penitential tear;
Though prized by friends, and nurs'd in innocence,
How oft has folly wrong'd thy better sense:
But if some virtues in thy breast there be,
Ask, if they sprang from _circumstance_, or _thee!_
And ever to thy heart the precept bear,
When thine own conscience smites, a wayward brother spare!

J. C.

[34] My brother, when at Cambridge, had written a Latin poem for the
prize: the subject, "Italia, Vastata," and sent it to Mr. Coleridge, with
whom he was on friendly terms, in MS. requesting the favor of his
remarks; and this he did about six weeks before it was necessary to
deliver it in. Mr. C. in an immediate letter, expressed his approbation
of the Poem, and cheerfully undertook the task; but with a little of his
procrastination, he returned the MS. with his remarks, just one day after
it was too late to deliver the poem in!

[35] Verbatim, from Burns's dedication of his Poems to the nobility and
gentry of the Caledonian Hunt.

[36] It appears that Mr. Burnet had been prevailed upon by smugglers to
buy some prime cheap brandy, but which Mr. Coleridge affirmed to be a
compound of Hellebore, kitchen grease, and Assafoetida! or something as

[37] Mr. George Burnet died at the age of thirty-two, 1807.

[38] The reader will have observed a peculiarity in most of Mr.
Coleridge's conclusions to his letters. He generally says, "God bless
you, and, or eke, S. T. C." so as to involve a compound blessing.

[39] Mrs. Newton, Chatterton's sister, had complained to me of the
dishonorable conduct of a gentleman, who, some years prior, had called on
her, expressing an enthusiastic admiration of her brother's genius, and
requesting the melancholy pleasure of seeing all the letters, then in her
and her mother's possession. The gentleman appeared quite affected when
he saw her brother's writings, and begged to be allowed to take them to
his inn, that he might read them at leisure; the voice of sympathy
disarmed suspicion, and the timely present of a guinea and a half induced
them to trust him with the MSS., under the promise of their being
returned in half an hour. They were never restored, and some months
afterwards the whole were incorporated and published in a pamphlet,
entitled "Love and Madness," by Mr. Herbert Croft. Mrs. Chatterton felt
the grievous wrong that had been done her by this publication for the
benefit of another, as she often received presents from strangers who
called to see her son's writings; she remonstrated with Mr. Croft on the
subject, and received L10 with expressions of his regard.

Here the affair rested, till 1796, when Mrs. Newton was advised to write
to Mr. Croft, for further remuneration. To this letter, no answer was
returned. Mrs. N. then wrote again, intimating that, acting by the advice
of some respectable friends, if no attention was paid to this letter,
some public notice would he taken of the manner in which he had obtained
her brother's papers. Upon this he replied, "The sort of threatening
letter which Mrs. Newton's is, will never succeed with me ... but if the
clergyman of the parish will do me the favour to write me word, through
Mrs. Newton, what Chatterton's relations consist of, and, _what
characters they bear!_ I will try by everything in my power, to serve
them; yet certainly not, if any of them pretend to have the smallest
_claim_ upon me."

During Mr. Southey's residence in Bristol, I informed him of this
discreditable affair, and accompanied him to Mrs. Newton, who confirmed
the whole of the preceding statement. We inquired if she still possessed
any writings of her brother's? Her reply was, "Nothing. Mr. Croft had
them all," with the exception of one precious relic of no value as a
publication, which she meant to retain till death.--The identical pocket
book, which Chatterton took with him to London, and in which he had
entered his cash account while there, with a list of his political
letters to the Lord Mayor, and the first personages in the laud. I now
wrote to Mr. Croft, pointing out Mrs. Newton's reasonable chums, and
urging him, by a timely concession, to prevent that publicity which,
otherwise, would follow. I received no answer. Mr. Southey then
determined to print by subscription, all Chatterton's works, including
those ascribed to Rowley, for the benefit of Mrs. Newton and her
daughter. He sent "Proposals" to the Monthly Magazine, in which he
detailed the whole case between Mrs. Newton and Mr. Croft, and published
their respective letters. The public sympathized rightly on the occasion,
for a handsome subscription followed. Mr. Croft, at that time resided at
Copenhagen, when having heard of Mr. S.'s exposure, he published a
pamphlet, with the following title.

"Chatterton, and Love and Madness. A Letter from Denmark, respecting an
unprovoked attack made upon the writer, during his absence from England,
&c." By the Rev. Sir Herbert Croft, Bart. In this he says:--

"I cannot be expected, by any man of honour! or feeling, to descend to
answer a scurrilous person, signing himself Robert Southey.

"I have ever reverenced the little finger of Chatterton, more than Mr.
Southey knows how to respect the poor boy's whole body.

"I learn so much of Mr. Southey's justice from his abuse, that I should
be ashamed of myself, were this person ever to disgrace me by his praise;
which might happen, did he wish to gain money, or fame! by becoming the
officious editor of MY WORKS!

"Innocence would less often fall a prey to villany, if it boldly met the
whole of a nefarious accusation!

"The great Mr. Southey writes prose somewhat like bad poetry, and poetry
somewhat like bad prose.

"Chatterton was the glory of that Bristol which I hope Mr. S. will not
farther disgrace.

"Mr. Southey, not content with trying to 'filch from me my good name,' in
order to enrich himself, (conduct agreeable enough to what I have heard
of BRISTOL Pantisocracy,) but condescends to steal from me my humble
prose!" &c. &c.

This edition of Chatterton's works was published in three volumes, 8vo.
during a ten months' residence of mine, in London, in the year 1802. Mr.
Southey allowed me to make what observations I thought proper in the
course of the work, provided that I affixed to them my initials; and,
with the generosity which was natural to him, thus wrote in the preface:
"The editors (for so much of the business has devolved on Mr. Cottle,
that the plural term is necessary) have to acknowledge," &c. &c. "They
have felt peculiar pleasure, as natives of the same city, in performing
this act of justice to Chatterton's fame, and to the interests of his

The result of our labours was, that Mrs. Newton, received more than three
hundred pounds, as the produce of her brother's works. This money
rendered comfortable the last days of herself and daughter, and Mr
Southey and myself derived no common satisfaction in having contributed
to so desirable an end.

In this edition Mr. Southey arranged all the old materials, and the
consideration of the authenticity of Rowley, I regret to say, devolved
exclusively on me. Mr. S. would doubtless have been more successful in
his investigations at the Bristol Museum and Herald's College than
myself. I however did not spare my best efforts, and was greatly assisted
by the late Mr. Haslewood, who had collected one copy of every work that
had been published in the Controversy. And as I had obtained much new
documentary evidence since that period, besides knowing many of
Chatterton's personal friends, I condensed the arguments in his favor
into four essays, distinguished by the initials, "J. C."

In the year 1829, having received still an accession of fresh matter, I
enlarged these Essays, and printed them in the fourth edition of "Malvern
Hills, Poems, and Essays." I thought the subject worthy a full
discussion, and final settlement; and to this point I believe it now to
be brought.

Higher authority than that of Mr. Wordsworth could hardly be adduced, who
on being presented by me with a copy of the above work thus replied,

"My dear sir,

I received yesterday, through the hands of Mr. Southey, a very agreeable
mark of your regard, in a present of two volumes of your miscellaneous
works, for which accept my sincere thanks. I have read a good deal of
your volumes with much pleasure, and, in particular, the 'Malvern Hills,'
which I found greatly improved. I have also read the 'Monody on
Henderson,' both favorites of mine. And I have renewed my acquaintance
with your observations on Chatterton, which I always thought very highly
of, _as being conclusive on the subject of the forgery_....

With many thanks, I remain, my dear Mr. Cottle,

Your old and affectionate friend,

William Wordsworth.

Patterdale, August 2nd, 1829."

[40] War, a Fragment.

[41] John the Baptist, a Poem.

[42] Monody on John Henderson.

[43] Miss Sarah Fricker, afterwards, Mrs. Coleridge.

[44] Relating to these Sonnets, chiefly satirising himself, Mr. C. has
said, in his "Biographia;" "So general at that time, and so decided was
the opinion concerning the characteristic vices of my style, that a
celebrated physician, (Dr. Beddoes) speaking of me, in other respects,
with his usual kindness, to a gentleman who was about to meet me at a
dinner party, could not however resist giving him a hint not to mention,
in my presence, 'The House that Jack Built' for that I was as sore as a
boil about that sonnet, he not knowing that I myself was the author of

Mr. Coleridge had a singular taste for satirising himself. He has spoken
of another ludicrous consequence arising out of this indulgence.

"An amateur performer in verse, expressed to a common friend, a strong
desire to be introduced to me, but hesitated in accepting my friend's
immediate offer, on the score that 'he was, he must acknowledge, the
author of a confounded severe epigram on Mr. C.'s 'Ancient Mariner,'
which had given him great pain.' I assured my friend, that if the epigram
was a good one, it would only increase my desire to become acquainted
with the author, and begged to hear it recited; when, to my no less
surprise than amusement, it proved to be one which I had myself, sometime
before, written and inserted in the Morning Post."


Your Poem must eternal be,
Dear Sir, it cannot fail,
For 'tis incomprehensible,
And without head or tail."

[45] The motto was the following:

Duplex nobis vinculum, et amicitae et similium junctarumque Camoenarum;
quod utinam neque mors solvat, neque temporis longinquitas!--_Groscoll.
Epist. ad Car. Utenhov. et Ptol. Lux. Tast._

[46] Eminent writers, particularly poets, should ever remember, they
wield a mighty engine for evil or for good. An author, like Mr.
Coleridge, may confidently talk of consigning to "pitch black oblivion,"
writings which he deems immoral, or calculated to disparage his genius;
but on works once given to the world, the public lay too tenacious a
hold, to consult even the wishes of writers themselves. Improve they may,
but withdraw they cannot! So much the more is circumspection required.

[47] Chemical Lectures, by Dr. Beddoes, delivered at the Red Lodge.

[48] A portrait of Mr. Wordsworth, correctly and beautifully executed, by
an artist then at Stowey; now in my possession.

[49]Joan of Arc, 4to. first edition, had twenty lines in a page.

[50] Did the report of the "still," in the former page, originate in this
broken bottle of brandy?

[51] "Robert Southey and Edith Pricker were married, in St. Mary
Redcliffe Church, in the City of Bristol, the 14th day of November, 1795,
as appears by the Register of the Parish.

George Campbell, Curate.

Witnesses--Joseph Cottle, Sarah Cottle."

[52] At the instant Mr. Southey was about to set off on his travels, I
observed he had no stick, and lent him a stout holly of my own. In the
next year, on his return to Bristol, "Here" said Mr. S. "Here is the
holly you were kind enough to lend me!"--I have since then looked with
additional respect on my old igneous traveller, and remitted a portion of
his accustomed labour. It was a source of some amusement, when, in
November of 1836, Mr. Southey, in his journey to the West, to my great
gratification, spent a few days with me, and in talking of Spain and
Portugal, I showed him his companion, the Old Holly! Though somewhat bent
with age, the servant (after an interval of forty years) was immediately
recognised by his master, and with an additional interest, as this stick,
he thought, on one occasion, had been the means of saving his purse, if
not his life, from the sight of so efficient an instrument of defence
having intimidated a Spanish robber.

[53] See page 32 [Paragraph starting with "The deepest sorrow often
admits...." Transcriber.].

[54] During the French war, Spanish dollars received the impression of
the King's head, and then passed as the current coin at 4s 6d.

[55] Dr. Hunter, translated St. Pierre.

[56] Dr. Gregory's life was prefixed entire the collection of
Chatterton's works, 8 vols. 8vo. Mr. Southey never fulfilled his
intention of writing a life Shatterton. The able review of this week, in
the Edinburgh was written by Sir Walter Scott.

[57] It was not true, but a vain fancy; causelessly entertained, by, at
least, four other ladies, under the same delusion as Miss. W.

[58] On visiting Mr. Southey, at Christ-Church, he introduced to me this
Mr. Rickman, whom I found sensible enough, and blunt enough, and
seditions enough; that is, simply anti-ministerial. The celebrated Sir G.
Rose, had his seat in the vicinity. Sir George was a sort of King of the
district. He was also Colonel of a regiment of volunteers. Mr. Rickman

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest