Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

I find too late, that the first and eighth lines end with the same word. But perhaps you will excuse this defect. Let no unfriendly eye behold it.


LETTER 66
To MRS. HENRY NELSON COLERIDGE

Greta Hall, February 23, 1839.

My dear Sara

Here I am in the old dining room--which with the exception of the original study is the least alter'd of any room about the house. Well might Mother ask--what would Jacky and Wilsy think could they rise again to see what work has been made at Greta-Hall!! There is no need to say, considering who has made it, that it is good work in the main, but nevertheless, it is melancholy work in my eyes. Perhaps it is partly the weather, which is, as Uncle has call'd it half a dozen times, rascally. There is nothing sublime or satanic in its depravity--rascally is the very word. Hard, harsh, uncomfortable, mirky frost-melted rather than thaw'd by sleety rain--a patchy covering of ragged--dirty snow--the mountains looking like great black giants badly whitewash'd--the trees reduced by the late tempest to more than wintry bareness--the ever greens, whose verdure is always of a sombre cast, cold, grim, and rusty--hardly one indication of approaching Spring at a time when I have often seen the gardens all in a glow, the birds and insects busy, the buds bursting with the pimply parturition of vegetable life, the rathe primrose, and the starry celandine 'telling tales about the Sun'. In plain speech, it is a very late season, and I can't help thinking, that the sky and the earth who are certainly in the agricultural interest, are consumedly in the sulk at corn-law agitation. I confess, I rather miss, the uncarpeted vacancy of Wilsy's parlour and Papa's study--though, they are furnished with the best of all furniture, good books. Now I am as impartial in my tastes for books as the old Toper in 'Gammar Gurton' in regard to Ale. Give me but enough and good enough, I care not 'whether it be new or old'. But in this house, one is reminded of the apparent paradox of the late Lord Liverpool, which attributed want to superabundance. It weighs upon the spirit to see so many excellent writings and to know how few of them any individual can ever read, but it is still more distressing to reflect how many of them I

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