Letters of Hartley Coleridge

By Grace Griggs Evelyn; Earl Griggs Leslie et al. | Go to book overview

ascertain. But I speak of a certain cold-heartedness--and confined feeling--which every body of fellows have more or less of. College pride is as specific a feeling as Family pride and far less connected with inward nobleness. This you will find-- let the discovery never prevent you from performing your duty. Write to me when you please, citius melius. I think Mr. Gillman has told you about the money for your bill, which he will pay into the Bank if it does not exceed £30.

Father has been unwell--but is better.

Yours H.

Southey A Vision of Judgement (the Laureate's elegy on George III) was published in 1821. It was natural for Mrs. Coleridge to give Hartley 'a hint to praise in her last letter', for she and Sara (now 18) were still inmates of the Southey household at Greta Hall.


LETTER 20
TO DERWENT COLERIDGE, St. John's College, Cambridge.

1821.]

My dear Derwent

Once in my life, I'll be as good as my word. I've just finish'd a folio sheet letter to the Maum, in which I stated that I would write to you this very day, and behold, this very day am I writing. What a reformation! Not that I've much to say, except to thank you for your last--(in which only one sentence was absolutely illegible) to chatter an hour upon paper, and talk worse nonsense than I could get any body to listen to. To begin with complaints, I have been very poorly for the last fortnight, with considerable oppression on the chest, soreness, and difficulty of breathing, palpitation of the heart, and a general debility of Body. I was at Highgate, and at Mrs. Milne's (the kindest of the kind) during this attack, from which I am now pretty well recovered. It is a sad nuisance to be so susceptible of cold as I am. A month among the mountains would make me twice the man I am now, but I hope that will come by and by.

I dare say there was some symbolical, and some literal truth in your tirade against strong Beer, but I much doubt whether it is truth applicable to your own case. I don't believe a word about your 'fading into the light of common day', but I dare say you feel the poetic spirit flow more

-63-

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