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Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey by Joseph Cottle

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told me that the great man had recently made a feast for the officers of
his regiment, about a dozen of them, the substantial yeomen of the
neighbourhood. After the usual bumper had uproariously been offered to
the "King and Constitution; and confusion to all Jacobins," the Colonel,
Sir G. called on the Lieutenant-Colonel, after the glasses were duly
charged, for a lady-toast. "I'll give you," he replied, "Lady Rose." This
being received with all honours, the Major was now applied to for his
lady-toast "I can't mend it," he replied, "I'll give Lady Rose." A
Captain was now called on; said he, "I am sure I can't mend it, Lady
Rose." So that the whole of these military heroes, concurred in drinking
good Lady Rose's health.

One of the officers, it appeared, was a bit of a poet, and had composed a
choice song for this festive occasion, and which was sung in grand
chorus, the Right Honourable Colonel himself, heartily joining. The whole
ditty was supremely ludicrous. I remember only the last verse.

"Sir George Rose is our Commander,
He's as great as Alexander;
He'll never flinch, nor stir back an inch,
He loves fire like a Salamander.

CHORUS--He loves fire like a Salamander."

[59] Walter Savage Landor.

[60] The character of Exeter has been completely changed since the period
when this letter was written; and from a town, the least attractive, for
improvements of every description it may now vie with any town in

[61] Mr. Southey paid this second visit to Lisbon, accompanied by Mrs.

[62] By comparing Mr. Cattcott's copy with the original, it appeared that
Mr. C. had very generally altered the orthography so as to give the
appearance of greater antiquity, as 'lette' or 'let,' and 'onne' for
'on,' &c.

[63] The home of an 'Ap (son of) Griffiths, ap Jones, ap Owen, ap
Thomas.' Some of the old Welsh families carry their Apping pedigrees down
to Noah, when the progress is easy to Adam. Mr. Coleridge noticed how
little diversity there was in the Welsh names. Thus in the list of
subscribers to 'Owen's Welsh Dictionary,' to which none but Welshmen
would subscribe, he found of

The letter D, of 31 names, 21 were Davis or Davies
E, 30 16 ... ... Evans
G, 30 two-thirds ... ... Griffiths
H, all Hughes and Howell
I, 66 all ... ... Jones
L, all Lloyds, except 4 Lewises, and 1 Llewellyn
M, four-fiths ... ... Morgans
O, all ... ... Owen
R, all Roberts, or Richards
T, all ... ... Thomases
V, all ... ... Vaughans
W, 64 56 ... ... Williams

Mr. Southey felt great satisfaction when he had found a house in Wales
that exactly suited him. It was half way up one of the Glamorganshire
mountains; well wooded; the immediate scenery fine; the prospect
magnificent. The rent was approved, the time of entrance arranged, when,
before the final settlement, Mr. S. thought, on a second survey, that a
small additional kitchen was essential to the comfort of the house, and
required it of the proprietor, preparatory to his taking a lease. To so
reasonable a request the honest Welshman stoutly objected; and on this
slight occurrence, depended whether the Laurent should take up, perhaps,
his permanent residence in the Principality, or wend his way northward,
and spend the last thirty years of his life in sight of Skiddaw.

[64] Wm. Churchey was a very honest worthy lawyer, of Brecon, who
unfortunately adopted the notion that he was a poet, and to substantiate
his claim published the most remarkable book the world ever saw! It was a
poem called 'Joseph,' with other poems, in 4to, and of a magnitude really
awful! a mountain among the puny race of modern books. The only copy I
ever saw was af an old book stall, and I have regretted that I did not
purchase it, and get some stout porter to carry it home. Wm. Churchey was
a friend of John Wesley. His prodigious 4to was published by
subscription, and given away at the paltry sum of one guinea. I have an
autograph letter of John Wesley, to his friend Churchey, in which he

"My dear brother,

... I have procured one hundred guineas, and hope to procure fifty more.

John Wesley."

Mr. Churchey's pamphlet is thus entitled, "An Apology, by Wm. Churchey,
for his public appearance as a Poet. Printed at Trevecca, Breconshire, by
Hughes and Co., 1805; and sold by the author, at Brecon, price 6d."

The first paragraph in the 'Apology,' begins thus, the italics the
author's own.

"The author has been ostracised from Parnassus by some tribe of the
critics on his former work of _Weight_, if not _Merit_, one set of whom
--the most ancient, the wisest of them all--condemned it in the _lump_. A
whole volume of ten thousand lines, in _one_ paragraph of their _Monthly
Catalogue_, for which they were _paid--nothing!_ without quoting _one_
line! Whereas a _score (!)_ out of some idle _sonnet_, or some
_wire-drawn_ Cibberian ode, shall be _held up_ out of the _mud_ with a
placid grin of applause. The author _has_ forgiven them, and keeps,
therefore, the _name_ of their pamphlet in the back ground, in the
_charitable_ hope of their having fifteen years ago, _repented_ of that
_injustice_' This ponderous work however, to which the author alludes,
was his 'Poems and Imitations of the British Poets, in one _large_ vol.
in 4to, price only L1 1s. on _excellent_ paper and print! The same price
as even 'Jeffrey Gambado's _Gambol of Horsemanship_' went off as current,
at the same time. He _out-jockied_ me; I always was a bad Horseman." &c.,

As illustrating one of the extreme points of human nature, I may casually
mention that, after Mr. Churchey's death, which soon succeeded the
issuing of his 'Apology,' from understanding that his widow was in
straitened circumstances, and meeting with a gentleman who was going to
Brecon, I requested the favour of him to convey to her a guinea, as a
small present. A week after, I received a letter from the widow, thanking
me for my kind remembrance, but she said that she was not benefited by
it, as Mr. ---- said to her, 'This is a guinea, sent to you from Mr.
Cottle, of Bristol, but as your husband owed me money, I shall carry it
to the credit of his account'; when, buttoning his pocket, he walked
away.' I immediately sent another guinea, and requested her not to name
so disreputable an action, in one, from whom I had hoped better conduct.
This gentleman, till the period of his death, twenty years after, always
shunned me! At the time the abstraction took place, he was a wealthy man,
and kept his carriage; but from that time he declined in prosperity, and
died in indigence.

[65] In a better sent to me by Mr. Foster, dated June 22, 1843, he thus
explains the mysterious circumstances, relating to the publication of
"Wat Tyler."

"My dear sir,

... I wonder if Mr. Southey ever did get at the secret history of that
affair. The story as I heard it was, that Southey visited Winterbottom in
prison, and just as a token of kindness, gave him the M.S. of 'Wat
Tyler.' It was no fault of Winterbottom that it was published. On a visit
to some friends at Worcester, he had the piece with him; meaning I
suppose, to afford them a little amusement, at Southey's expense, he
being held in great reproach, even contempt, as a turn-coat. At the
house where Winterbottom was visiting, two persons, keeping the piece in
their reach at bed-time, sat up all night transcribing it, of course
giving him no hint of the manoeuvre. This information I had from one of
the two operators....

[66] Poor John Morgan was the only child of a retired spirit merchant of
Bristol, who left him a handsome independence. He was a worthy
kind-hearted man, possessed of more than an average of reading and good
sense; generally respected, and of unpresuming manners. He was a great
friend and admirer of Mr. Coleridge; deploring his habits, and labouring
to correct them. Except Mr. Gillman, there was no individual, with whom
Mr. Coleridge lived gratuitously so much, during Mr. M's. residence in
London, extending to a domestication of several years. When Mr. Morgan
removed to Calne, in Wiltshire, for a long time, he gave Mr. C. an
asylum, and till his affairs, through the treachery of others, became
involved, Mr. Coleridge, through him, never wanted a home. That so
worthy, and generous a minded man should have been thus reduced, or
rather ruined in his circumstances, was much deplored by all who knew
him, and marked the instability of human possessions and prospects, often
little expected by industrious parents.

[67] A large collection of animal bones, many of them in fossil state,
consisting of the jaws and other bones, of tigers, hyenas, wolves, foxes,
the horse, the bos, &c., the whole obtained by me, in the year 1822, from
the Oreston caves, near Plymouth. The number of bones amounted to nearly
two thousand. Many of the specimens were lent to Professor Buckland, to
get engraved, for a new geological work of his. The major part of the
collection I presented to the Bristol Philosophical Institution.

[68] The decrease of the remarkable young lady, Sarah Saunders, my niece,
to whom the later Mr. Foster addressed a series of letters, during her
illness. These letters are printed in Mr. F's. "Life and Correspondence."

TO APRIL, 1825.


1 Baptist Mission in India

2 Portuguese Literature

3 South Sea Missions

-- Lord Valentia's Travels

4 American Annals

5 Life of Nelson

6 Season at Tongataboo

-- Graham's Georgics

7 Observador Portuguez

8 Feroe Islands

-- On the Evangelical Sects

11 Bell and Lancaster

12 The Inquisition

-- Montgomery's Poems

13 Iceland

14 French Revolutionists

15 Count Julian

-- Calamities of Authors

16 Manufacturing system and the Poor

19 Bogue and Bennett's History of the Dissenters

21 Nicobar Islands

-- Montgomery's World before the Flood

22 23 British Poets

23 Oriental Memoirs

24 Lewis and Clark's Travels

-- Barre Roberts

25 Miot's Expedition to Egypt

25 Life of Wellington

26 do. do.

28 Alfieri

29 Me. La Roche Jacqueline

-- The Poor

30 Ali Bey's Travels

-- Foreign Travellers in England

31 Parliamentary Reform

32 Porter's Travels

-- Rise and Progress of Disaffection

33 Tonga Islands

35 Lope de Vega

37 Evelyn on the means of Improving the People

41 Copy-Right Act

42 Cemeteries

43 Monastic Institutions

45 Life of Marlborough

46 New Churches

48 Life of Wm. Huntington, S.S.

50 Life of Cromwell

52 Dobrizhoffer

53 Camoens

55 Gregorie's Religious Sects

56 Infidelity

57 Burnett's Own Times

59 Dwight's Travels

62 Hayley

-- Mrs. Baillie's Lisbon

Mr. Southey expressed an intention of sending me a list of all his
remaining papers, in the "Quarterly," which intention was not fulfilled.
Presuming on the accuracy of the present list, from Mr. S. himself, there
must be some mistakes in the account of Mr. Southey's contributions, as
stated in that old and valuable periodical, the "Gentleman's Magazine,"
for 1844 and 1845.

[70] Every effort was made by me both by advertising and inquiry, but no
tidings of the first edition of Bunyan could be obtained in these parts.
Very recently I learnt that the first edition had been discovered, and
that the particulars might be learned of E. B. Underhill, Esq., Newmarket
House, near Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. Upon my writing to this
gentleman he politely favoured me with the following gratifying reply.

"Feb. 27, 1847.

Dear Sir,

In answer to your inquiry, the first edition of the first part of the
Pilgrim's Progress is the property of J. S. Holford, Esq., a gentleman of
large possessions in this county. It was first made known I believe, by
the Art Union, that this unique volume was in existence. Some time last
summer I applied to Mr. H. for liberty to inspect it, and if agreeable to
him, to reprint it. This he at once most liberally granted, and at the
request of the council of the Hanserd Knollys' Society, George Offer,
Esq., one of our members undertook the task of editor. The book is in a
high state of preservation; both the paper and binding being as fresh as
they left the hands of the binder. Mr. Offer has most laboriously
collated it with subsequent editions, and has found many curious and
singular discrepancies.

I remain, yours most truly,

Edwd. B. Underhill.

Jos. Cottle."

In this publication will be found all the desired information on this
interesting subject.

Letter from Mr. Offer to Mr. Cottle, on transmitting to him Mr. O.'s
correspondence with Mr. Southey, relating to a charge of Plagiarism in
John Bunyan.

"Hackney, March 6, 1847.

Dear sir,

Enclosed I send you copies of the correspondence relative to 'Bunyan's
Pilgrim's Progress,' with Mr. Southey.

About the year 1825, two gentlemen called to see my book rarities, and
among them a copy of 'Duyfken's ande Willemynkyns Pilgrimagee,' with five
cuts by Bolswert, published at Antwerp, 1627, the year before Bunyan's
birth. The first plate represents a man asleep--a pilgrim by his
bed-side--in the perspective two pilgrims walking together, they are then
seen on the ground by some water--in the extreme distance the sun
setting. Another plate represents the two pilgrims in a fair, Punch and
Judy, &c. A third, one pilgrim under a rock, within a circle of candles,
a magician with his wand, smoke and demons over the dismayed pilgrim's
head. A fourth, two pilgrims ascending a steep hill, one of them falling
head-long down. From a glance of a few moments at this curious book,
there shortly afterwards appeared in a newspaper in the North, an account
of Banyan's having borrowed some of his plot from this work. This was
answered by Mr. Montgomery, and others. Upon Mr. Southey not being able
to find the book, when he had undertaken to write the 'Life and Times of
Bunyan,' he addressed a letter to his publisher, Mr. Major, in which he
says, 'Can you give me Mr. Donce's direction, that I may ask him for some
account of the French poem? Cottle refers me to 'Dunlop's History of
Fiction,' for an account of a German book, which is of the same
character. Bunyan I am sure knew nothing either of the one or the other.
If the allegory was not an extension of the most common and obvious of
all similitudes--the _germ_ of it might be found in his own works.' Major
asked my advice, and I shewed him the book and gave him some little
account of it; and soon after I received from Dr. Southey the following

'Keswick, 16 April, 1829.

Sir,--Mr. Major has favoured me with your account of the Dutch work in
your possession, which in many parts bears a remarkable resemblance to
the 'Pilgrim's Progress.' It would require the strongest possible
evidence to convince me, against my will, that Bunyan is not an original
writer. The book we know he could not have read in the original; and if
there had been a translation of it, it is hardly likely that it should
have remained undiscovered till this time; it being almost impossible
that it should come into the hands of any one who had not read the
Pilgrim's Progress. This is possible, that Bunyan may have heard an
account of the book from some Dutch baptist in England, or some English
one who had seen it in Holland. I do not think that his obligations to it
can have been more than this; but of this I can better judge when I have
perused the book, which my knowledge of the language enables me to do, if
you favor me with it.

Great men have sometimes been plagiarists; a grave charge of this kind
has recently been proved upon Lord Bacon,--no less than that of having
taken the fundamental principle of his philosophy from his name-sake,
Roger, and claimed it as his own. Bunyan, I am fully persuaded, was too
honest and too righteous a man to be guilty of any such baseness. He was
in a beaten path of Allegory,--a name, a hint he may have taken, but I
think nothing more. You will judge from this, sir, how very far from my
intentions or inclination, it would be, in the slightest respect, to
depreciate John Bunyan, whose book I have loved from my childhood. And
whatever his obligations to the Dutchman may have been, if any there
should prove to be, it is surely better that they should be stated by one
who loves and honours his memory, than brought forward hereafter by some
person in a different spirit; for nothing of this kind can long escape
discovery now. My present persuasion is, that he owes nothing to it
directly. Something perhaps, indirectly, but not much. And I promise you
that I will do him no wrong.

Should you favor me by entrusting me with the book, I shall of course
make due mention of the obligation you have conferred.

I remain, sir, yours with respect,

Robert Southey.

To George Offer, Esq.'

The book was immediately sent, and shortly returned with the following
note and letter.

'Keswick, 25 April, 1829.

Sir,--Your book has been four and twenty hours in my possession, and I
return it with many thanks, having perused it carefully, made notes from
it, and satisfied myself most completely, that there is not the slightest
reason for supposing Bunyan had ever heard of it, nor that he could ever
have taken even a hint from it, if he had read it.

I remain, sir, yours truly,

Robert Southey.

To George Offer, Esq.'

The following letter was addressed to Mr. Major.

'Keswick, April 25,1829.

Dear Sir,

You will perceive by the return of one of your treasures, that the
precious parcel arrived safely. I have read through the 'Dutch Original,'
and made notes from it;--there is not the slightest resemblance in it to
anything in the 'Pilgrim's Progress. The three striking circumstances
which you mentioned of the 'Hill of Difficulty,' the 'Slough of Despond,'
and 'Vanity Fair,' do not afford any ground for supposing that Bunyan had
ever heard of this book; or that even if he had read it, he should have
taken one hint from it. Here the incidents are, 1st that the wilful
Pilgrim stops in a village crowd to see some juggler's tricks at a fair,
and certain vermin in consequence shift their quarters from some of the
rabble close to her, to her person. 2nd. That by following a cow's track
instead of keeping the high road, she falls into a ditch. And 3rd. That
going up a hill at the end of their journey, from whence Jerusalem is in
sight, she climbs too high in a fit of presumption, is blown down, and
falls into the place whence there is no deliverance. I am very glad to
have had an opportunity of comparing it with the French translation, in
which, as you may suppose, every thing which is national, and peculiar,
and racy, is lost.

The author's name is not to be found in 'Poppen's Bibliotheca Belgica.'
Another and larger bible of the same country, ought to be on its way to
me from Brussels at this time, and there I shall no doubt find an account
of him. But the inquiry is not worth much trouble, seeing how completely
all imitation or even resemblance will be disproved by an account of the
book. By the by, it cannot be very rare in its own country, seeing it was
popular enough for a French translation to be _re_-printed more than a
hundred years after its first appearance. Believe me, dear sir,

Yours faithfully,

Robert Southey.'

The volume contains 294 pages in Dutch. Read, analysed, and a very
correct account of it completed in 24 hours!!

I am, my dear sir, yours truly,

George Offer.

Joseph Cottle."

[71] Mr. Southey in a letter to me, dated May 13, 1799, thus writes:
"Arch, who purchased of you the first edition of Wordsworth's 'Lyrical
Ballads,' tells me, that he expects to lose by them!"

It reflects credit on Hannah More, to whom I had presented the first
volume, that she immediately perceived the merits of the "Lyrical
Ballads." On my visiting Barley Wood soon after, she said to me, "Your
young friend Wordsworth, surpasses all your other young friends," when
producing the book, she requested me to read several of the poems, which
I did, to the great amusement of the ladies. On concluding, she said, "I
must hear 'Harry Gill,' once more." On coming to the words, "O, may he
never more be warm!" she lifted up her hands, in smiling horror.

[72] The house of the Pneumatic Institution was situated in Dowry Square,
Hotwells; the house in the corner, forming the north-east angle of the

[73] Mr. Davy often asked me to attend his experiments, at the Wells, and
as an evidence of the zeal with which he wished to induce as many as he
could to pursue his favourite chemistry, in consequence of my taking
great interest in his proceedings, he urged me to pursue chemistry, as a
science. To prove that he was in earnest, he bought for me a box of
chemical tests, acids, alkalies, glass tubes, retorts, blow-pipe, trough,
&c. &c. and assisted me in some of my first experiments. The trough I
occasionally use at the present time.

[74] This young Philosopher was suspected to be Mr. Davy, himself.

[75] The late Archdeacon Wrangham.

[76] Afterwards incorporated in another poem.

[77] These three initials would be the proper S. T. C. affixed to his

[78] This account of Mr. Coleridge's military life, I read to Mr. Wade,
who remarked that the greater part of what he had heard, Mr. Coleridge
had, at different times, repeated to him. Mr. W. having been an old and
steady friend of Mr. C. I expressed a desire that, he would read the
whole MS. Memoir thoughtfully, in my presence, on successive mornings,
and, without hesitation, dissent, if he thought it needful, from any of
my statements. He afterwards remarked, "I have read deliberately the
whole manuscript with intense interest, as all who knew Coleridge will,
and, I think, those who knew him not. It is Coleridge himself,
undisguised. All the statements I believe to be correct. Most of them I
know to be such. There is nothing in this Memoir of our friend to which I
object; nothing which I could wish to see omitted." He continued, "With
respect to those letters relating to opium, I think you would be
unfaithful, if you were to suppress them: but that letter addressed to
me, must be published, (according to Mr. Coleridge's solemn injunction,)
either by you, or myself. The instruction to be derived from this and his
penitential letters addressed to you, is incalculable. All my friends
unite with me in this opinion."

Mr. W. related, at this time, one circumstance, received by him from Mr.
Coleridge, which was new to me, and which is as follows. One of the men
in Mr. C.'s company, had, it appeared a bad case of the small pox, when
Mr. C. was appointed to be his _nurse_, night and day. The fatigue and
anxiety, and various inconveniences, involved in the superintendence on
this his sorely diseased comrade, almost sickened him of hospital
service; so that one or two more such cases would have reconciled him to
the ranks, and have made him covet, once more, the holiday play of
rubbing down his horse.

[79] At the time Mr. Coleridge belonged to the 15th Light Dragoons, the
men carried carbines, in addition to swords and pistols. More recently, a
shorter gun has been substituted, called a fusce.

[80] Mr. Stoddart was a gentleman of whom he often talked, and spoke
feelingly of Mr. S.'s chagrin, in the earlier part of his professional
career. Briefs were then scarce, yet one evening an attorney called with
the object of his desire, but Mr. S. was not at home, and the urgency of
the case required it to be placed in other hands. This was long a subject
of lamentation to the young barrister, and also to his friends; but
success followed.

[81] Mr. Coleridge sustained one serious loss, on quitting Malta, which
he greatly deplored. He had packed in a large case, all his books and
MSS. with all the letters received by him during his residence on the
island. His directions were, to be forwarded to England, by the first
ship; with Bristol, as its ultimate destination. It was never received,
nor could he ever learn what became of it. It may be lying at this moment
in some custom-house wareroom, waiting for the payment of the duty! Of
which Mr. C. probably was not aware.

[82] It was a remarkable quality in Mr. Coleridge's mind, that _edifices_
excited little interest in him. On his return from Italy, and after
having resided for some time in _Rome_, I remember his describing to me
the state of society; the characters of the Pope and Cardinals; the
gorgeous ceremonies, with the superstitions of the people, but not one
word did he utter concerning St. Peter's, the Vatican, or the numerous
_antiquities_ of the place. As a further confirmation, I remember to have
been with Mr. Coleridge at York on our journey into Durham, to see Mr.
Wordsworth, when, after breakfast at the inn, perceiving Mr. C. engaged,
I went out alone, to see the York Minster, being, in the way, detained in
a bookseller's shop. In the mean time, Mr. C. having missed me, he set
off in search of his companion. Supposing it _probable_ that I was gone
to the _Minster_, he went up to _the door_ of that magnificent structure,
and inquired of the porter, whether such an individual as myself had gone
in there. Being answered in the negative, he had _no further curiosity_,
not even _looking_ into the _interior_, but turned away to pursue his
search! so that Mr. C. left York, without beholding, or wishing to
behold, the chief attraction of the city, or being at all conscious that
he had committed by his neglect, _high treason against all architectural
beauty!_ This deficiency in his regard for edifices, while he was
feverishly alive to all the operations of _mind_, and to all intellectual
inquiries, formed a striking and _singular_ feature in Mr. Coleridge's
mental constitution worthy of being noticed.

[83] It was a favourite citation with Mr. Coleridge, "I in them, and thou
in me, that they all may he one in us."

[84] In corroboration of this remark, an occurrence might be cited, from
the Life of Sir Humphry, by his brother, Dr. Davy.--Sir Humphry, in his
excursion to Ireland, at the house of Dr. Richardson, met a large party
at dinner, amongst whom, were the Bishop of Raphoe, and another
Clergyman. A Gentleman, one of the company, in his zeal for Infidelity,
began an attack on Christianity, (no very gentlemanly conduct) not
doubting but that Sir H. Davy, as a Philosopher, participated in his
principles, and he probably anticipated, with so powerful an auxiliary,
an easy triumph over the cloth. With great confidence he began his
flippant sarcasms at religion, and was heard out by his audience, and by
none with more attention than by Sir Humphry. At the conclusion of his
harangue, Sir H. Davy, instead of lending his _aid_, entered on a
comprehensive defence of Christianity, 'in so fine a tone of eloquence'
that the Bishop stood up from an impulse similar to that which sometimes
forced a whole congregation to rise at one of the impassioned bursts of

The Infidel was struck dumb with mortification and astonishment, and
though a guest for the night, at the assembling of the company the next
morning at breakfast, it was found that he had taken _French leave_, and
at the earliest dawn had set off for his own home.

[85] The father's remark on the occasion was, "There's an end of him! A
fine high-spirited fellow!"

[86] Perhaps, the most valuable production of Mr. Foster, as to style and
tendency, is the Essay which he prefixed to the Glasgow edition of
Doddridge's "Rise and Progress of Religion." Mr. F. having sent me a
letter relating to the above Essay, just as it was completed, it may not
be unacceptable to the Reader; where he will behold a fresh instance of
the complex motives, in which the best of human productions often

"Sept. 10, 1825.

My dear sir,

I am truly sorry not to have seen you, excepting on one short evening for
so long a time, and as I expect to go on Monday next to Lyme, I cannot be
content without leaving for you a line or two, as a little link of
continuity, if I may so express it, in our friendly communications. The
preventive cause of my not seeing you, has been the absolute necessity of
keeping myself uninterruptedly employed to finish a literary task which
had long hung as a dead weight on my hands.

Dr. Chalmers some three years since started a plan of reprinting in a
neat form a number of respectable religious works, of the older date,
with a preliminary Essay to each, relating to the book, or to any
analagous topic, at the writer's discretion. The Glasgow booksellers,
Chalmers and Collins, the one the Doctor's brother, and the other his
most confidential friend, have accordingly reprinted a series of perhaps
now a dozen works, with essays, several by Dr. C.; several by Irving; one
by Wilberforce; one by Daniel Wilson, &c. &c. I believe Hall, and
Cunningham promised their contributions. I was inveigled into a similar
promise, more than two years since. The work strongly urged on me for
this service, in the first instance, was "Doddridge's Rise and Progress,"
and the contribution was actually promised to be furnished with the least
possible delay, on the strength of which the book was immediately printed
off--and has actually been lying in their warehouse as dead stock these
two years. I was admonished and urged again and again, but in spite of
the mortification, and shame, which I could not but feel, at these
occasioning the publisher a positive loss, my horror of writing, combined
with ill health, invincibly prevailed, and not a paragraph was written
till toward the end of last year, when I did summon resolution for the
attempt. When I had written but a few pages, the reluctant labour was
interrupted, and suspended, by the more interesting one of writing those
letters to our dear young friend, your niece. (Miss Saunders.) Not of
course that this latter employment did not allow me time enough for the
other, but by its more lively interest it had the effect of augmenting my
disinclination to the other. Soon after her removal, I resumed the task,
and an ashamed to acknowledge such a miserable and matchless slowness of
mental operation, that the task has held me confined ever since, till
actually within these few days. I believe that nothing but a strong sense
of the duty of fulfilling my engagement, and of not continuing to do a
real injury to the publishers, could have constrained me to so much time
and toil. The article is indeed of the length of nearly one half of
Doddridge's book, but many of my contemporary makers of sentences, would
have produced as much with one fifth part of the time and labour. I have
aimed at great correctness and condensation, and have found the labour of
revisal and transcription not very much less than that of the substantial
composition. The thing has been prolonged, I should say spun out to three
times the length which was at first intended, or was required. It has
very little reference to the book which it accompanies; has no special
topic, and is merely a serious inculcation of the necessity of Religion
on young persons, and men of the world. In point of merit, (that you know
is the word in such matters) I rate it very moderately, except in respect
to correctness, and clearness of expression. If it do not possess this
quality, a vast deal of care and labour has been sadly thrown away. I
suppose the thing is just about now making up to be sent from the
publishers' warehouse. I shall have a little parcel of copies, and shall
presume to request the acceptance of one in Dighton Street.

My dear sir, I am absolutely ashamed to have been led into this length of
what is no better than egotism, when I was meaning just in five lines, to
tell what has detained me from the pleasure of seeing you.... My dear

Yours most truly,

John Foster."

[87] "I think Priestley must be considered the author of modern
Unitarianism. I owe, under God, my return to the faith, to my having gone
much farther than the Unitarians, and so having come round to the other
side. I can truly say, I never falsified the scriptures. I always told
them that their interpretations of scripture were intolerable, on any
principles of sound criticism; and that, if they were to offer to
construe the will of their neighbour, as they did that of their Maker,
they would be scouted out of society. I said, plainly and openly, that it
was clear enough, John and Paul were not Unitarians.

I make the greatest difference between 'ans' and 'isms.' I should deal
insincerely, if I said, that I thought _Unitarianism_ was Christianity.
No, as I believe, and have faith in the doctrine, it is not the truth in
Jesus Christ. By-the-by, what do you (Unitarians) mean, by exclusively
assuming the title of Unitarians? As if Trio-Unitarians were not
necessarily Unitarians, as much (pardon, the illustration) as an
apple-pie, must of course be a pie! The schoolmen would perhaps have
called you _Unicists_, but your proper name is _Psilanthropists_,
believers in the mere human nature of Christ.... Unitarianism, is in
effect, the worst of one kind of Atheism, joined to one of the worst
kinds of Calvinism. It has no covenant with God, and it looks upon prayer
as a sort of self-magnetizing;--a getting of the body and temper into a
certain _status_, desirable, _per se_, but having no covenanted reference
to the Being to whom the prayer is addressed.

The _pet_ texts of Socinians are quite enough for their confutation with
acute thinkers. If Christ had been a mere man, it would have been
ridiculous in him to call himself the 'Son of Man;' but being God and
_man_, it then became, in his own assumption, a peculiar and mysterious
title. So, if Christ had been a mere man, his saying, 'My father is
greater than I,' (John xv. 28.) would have been as unmeaning. It would be
laughable, for example, to hear me say, my 'Remorse' succeeded indeed,
but Shakspeare is a greater dramatist than I,' But how immeasurably more
foolish, more monstrous, would it not be for a man, however honest, good,
or wise, to say 'But Jehovah is greater than I.'

"Either we have an immortal soul, or we have not. If we have not, we are
beasts; the first and wisest of beasts it may be, but still true beasts.
We shall only differ in degree, and not in kind; just as the elephant
differs from the slug. But by the concession of all the materialists, of
all the schools, or almost all, we are not of the same kind as beasts;
and this also we say, from our own consciousness. Therefore, methinks, it
must be the possession of a soul within us, that makes the difference.

"Read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis without prejudice, and you
will be convinced at once. After the narrative of the creation of the
earth and brute animals, Moses seems to pause, and says, 'And God said,
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' And in the next
chapter, he repeats the narrative.--'And the Lord God formed man of the
dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;'
and then he adds these words, 'and man became a living soul.' Materialism
will never explain these last words."

[88] The following notice of Mr. C.'s opium habits, with the reasons for
disclosing them, were prefixed to the "Early Recollections," ten years
ago, but the arguments are equally applicable at this time, 1847.

[89] A Dissenting minister of Bristol.

[90] It is apprehended that this must be a mistake. I sent Mr. Coleridge
five guineas for my Shakespeare ticket, and entertain no doubt but that
some others did the same. But his remark may refer to some succeeding
lecture, of which I have no instinct recollection.

[91] A request of permission from Mr. Coleridge, to call on a few of his
known friends, to see if we could not raise an annuity for him of one
hundred a year, that he might pursue his literary objects without
pecuniary distractions.

[92] A worthy medical Friend of Bristol, who first in that city,
interested himself in the establishment of infant schools.

[93] This long sentence, between brackets, was struck out by Mr. Southey,
in perusing the MS., through delicacy, as it referred to himself; but the
present occasion it is restored.

[94] Some supplemental lecture.

[95] Mr. Coleridge, in his "Church and State," speaks of employing a
drawer in which were "too many of my _unopened letters._"

[96] These four lines in the edition of Mr. C.'s Poems, published after
his death, are oddly enough thrown into the "Monody on Chatterton," and
form the four opening lines. Many readers may concur with myself in
thinking, that the former commencement was preferable; namely;--

"when faint and sad o'er sorrow's desert wild,
Slow journeys onward poor misfortune's child;" &c.

[97] This man must hare been just the kind of vigilant superintendent Mr.
C. desired; ready to fetch a book, or a box of snuff, &c., at command.
The preceding occurrence would not have been introduced, but to
illustrate the supreme ascendancy which opium exercises over its unhappy

[98] This statement requires an explanation, which none now can give. Was
the far larger proportion of this L300 appropriated to the discharge of
Opium debts? This does not seem unlikely, as Mr. C. lived with friends,
and he could contract few other debts.

[99] Such were omitted in the published work.

[100] When Coleridge dwelt at the 'Oat and Salutation,' in Newgate
Street, and talked of leaving it, his conversation had brought so many
customers to the house, that the landlord offered him _free-quarters_ if
he would only stay and continue to talk.

[101] Mr. Poole, who requested it as a favour, came all the way from
Stowey to peruse my MS. "Recollections of Coleridge," and who I have good
reason to believe, without any unkind intention, communicated a report to
_C.'s relations._

[102] Mr. Southey's grandfather lived in the old manor-house at
Bedminster, where, in his younger days. Mr. S. passed many of his
happiest hours. When spending a week with me at Bedminster, with a year
of the date of this letter, he went to the old house, and requested
permission of the strangers who inhabited his grandfather's mansion, to
walk round the garden, and renew his acquaintance with the old trees
which he used to climb nearly six years before; a request which was
readily granted. The revival of such interesting associations, had they
occurred at a former period, would doubtless have produced some exquisite
poetical record.

[103] The illness of Mrs. Edith Southey.

[104] Mr. S. deemed it an admirable likeness of Mr. W. as he appeared in
younger life; and said that it bore at the present time, a striking
resemblance to Mr. W.'s son.

[105] The eminent Edinburgh Professor. For three years the private tutor
of Mr. T. Wedgewood.

[106] Westbury, near Bristol, the then residence of Mr. John Wedgewood,

[107] The then residence of Mr. Wordsworth.

[108] List of Works and Poems which Mr. Coleridge _intended_ to write,
with the pages in which they are noticed.

[Transcriber's note: After the page number the starting words of the
matching paragraph are given.]

Poem on the Nativity (800 lines), p. 66 ["He speaks in the same

Plan of General Study, p. 66 ["In a letter of Mr. C. dated"]

Pantisocracy, 4to., p. 73 ["Before I enter on an important"]

17 other works, p. 73 [See previous.]

Translations of Modern Latin Poets 2 vols. 8vo., p. 73 [See

8 Sonnets, p. 81 ["With regard to the Poems I mean to"]

A book on Morals, in answer to Godwin, p. 102 ["Wordsworth's
conversation aroused me"]

Oberon of Wieland (Trans.), p. 160 ["P. S. I am translating the"]

Ballad. 340 lines, p. 173 ["I have finished my Ballad, it is"]

3 Works, promised, p. 292 ["Coleridge has left London for

New Review, p. 306 ["The preceding letter of Mr. Coleridge led"]

Lectures on Female Education, p. 357 ["Even so the two far, far

Odes on the different sentences of the Lord's Prayer, p. 387
["You will wish to know something of myself"]

Treatise on the Corn Laws, p. 390 ["Indeed from the manner in
which it"]

Hist. of German Belles Lettres, p. 427 ["What have I done in

Life of Lessing, p. 427 [See previous.]

Introduction to Lessing's Life, p. 437 ["Have you seen my

Progressiveness of all Nature, p. 430 ["Now I make up my mind to
a sort"]

Principles of Population, p. 431 ["I shall remain in London till

Finishing of Christabel, p. 438 ["There happen frequently little

Letters and condition of German Boors, p. 442 [See previous.]

A Comedy, p. 442 ["My littlest one is a very stout boy"]

Essay on writing in Newspapers, p. 445 ["I cannot write that

Essay on Style in Prose and Verse, p. 446 ["Very soon however I
shall present"]

Essay on Hall, Milton, and Taylor, p. 446 [See previous.]

Essay on Johnson and Gibbon, p. 446 [See previous.]

Book on the subject of Poetry, p. 446 [See previous.]

Heroic Poem on the Siege of Jerusalem, p. 447 ["I have, since my
twentieth year"]

[109] An intention not fulfilled.

[110] Mr. Thomas Wedgewood visited the continent in 1803, with Mr.
Underwood as his travelling companion. He purposed to have proceeded to
the continent in 1804; but his disorders increasing, he retired to his
seat, near Blandford, and died July 10, 1805, aged 34. Mr. Coleridge, in
vain, recommended a continental journey.

Josiah Wedgewood, Esq., died July 13, 1843, aged 74.

[111] Mr. Coleridge, when at the University of Gottingen, found pleasant
English society. With several gentlemen (students) whom he there met,
(Dr. Parry, the present eminent physician of Bath; Dr. Carlyon, the no
less eminent physician of Truro; Captain Parry, the North Pole Navigator;
and Mr. Chester.) They together made an excursion to the Hartz mountains.
Many striking incidents respecting this pedestrian excursion are before
the public, in Mr. C.'s own letters; and it may here be added, Dr.
Carlyon has published a work, entitled "Early Years and Late
Reflections," which gives among other valuable matter, many additional
particulars connected with this visit to the Brockhen, as well as
interesting notices concerning Mr. Coleridge, during his residence in
Germany. Dr. C. has more recently published a second volume, with able
dissertations, chiefly on Medical Science.

[112] Trevecka, a college established by Lady Huntingdon.

[113] After JOHN HENDERSON'S acquaintance and friendship had been matured
with Dean Tucker, he informed a particular friend, the Rev. James Newton,
"that whenever he was in the company of young Henderson, he considered
himself as a Scholar in the presence of his Tutor." The late Robert Hall
also well knew John Henderson, and in the latter part of his life,
referring to him, told me, that he considered John Henderson to have been
a Prodigy, and that, when in his company, he always considered himself as
a pupil.

[114] A German at Oxford was once much frightened by coming into the room
while JOHN HENDERSON was exercising his mimicry, for, as he protested, he
thought he heard himself talking at a distance. No person needed to have
gone out of HENDERSON'S company to have heard and almost seen Dr.
Johnson. During one of the Doctor's annual visits to Oxford, HENDERSON
and he one evening, for several hours, amused those around them, by
conversing expressly in hard words. It was generally admitted that JOHN
HENDERSON discovered the greater talent at this verbal forgery. And to
meet the Doctor on his own ground, was indeed a presumptuous thing. Their
conversations, in Latin, (often extending through a whole evening,) were
deemed splendid, as they were classically chaste. Dr. Adams, it was said,
was the only man in Oxford who approximated toward an equality with JOHN
HENDERSON in Latin colloquisms.

[115] His rooms, at Pembroke College, were those which had been occupied
by _Dr Johnson_.

[116] As a proof of his self-command, the following incident may be
adduced. During his residence at Oxford, a student of a neighbouring
college, proud of his logical acquirements, was solicitous of a private
disputation with the renowned Henderson; some mutual friends introduced
him, and having chosen his subject, they conversed for some time with
equal candour and moderation; but at length Henderson's antagonist,
perceiving his confutation inevitable, in the height of passion, threw a
full glass of wine in John Henderson's face. J. H. without altering his
features or changing his position, gently wiped his face, and then coolly
replied, "This, sir, is a digression; now for the argument." It is hardly
necessary to add, the insult was resented by the company turning the
aggressor out of the room.

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