Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol. 3

By Earl Leslie Griggs; Samuel Taylor Coleridge | Go to book overview

639. To Derwent Coleridge

Address: Mr. Derwent Coleridge | Greta Hall | Keswick | Cumberland MS. Lord Latymer. Pub. E. L. G.i. 366. The top of pages one and two of the manuscript is cut off.

When he returned from Malta, Coleridge was finally convinced that he could no longer live with his wife, and in December 1806 he took Hartley with him to join the Wordsworths at Coleorton in Leicestershire. While there he determined to continue his domestication with them, and since they wished to return to the north, he thought of Greta Hall, Keswick, as a possible residence. He 'had an idea' that Southey intended to vacate Greta Hall and settle in the south, and it seemed likely, too, that Mrs. Coleridge planned to migrate southward. First, however, it was necessary to know for certain whether Southey was actually leaving Keswick. The part of the manuscript 'cut off from' Derwent's letter, then, contained a letter of inquiry, now no longer extant, to Mrs. Coleridge concerning Southey's plans. See Letter 640 and Middle Years, i. 108 and 119.

Stamped: Ashby de la Zouch.

Saturday Night, Feb. 7. 1807. Coleorton.

My dear Derwent!

It will be many times the number of years, you have already lived, before you can know and feel thoroughly, how very much your dear Father wishes and longs to have you on his knees, and in his Arms. Your Brother, Hartley, too whirls about, and wrings his hands, at the thought of meeting you again: he counts the days and hours, and makes sums of arithmetic of the time, when he is again to play with you, and your sweet Squirrel of a Sister. He dreams of you, and has more than once hugged me between sleeping and waking, fancying it to be you or Sara: and he talks of you before his eyes are fully open in the morning, and while he is closing them at Night. And this is very right: for nothing can be more pleasing to God Almighty and to all good people, than that Brothers and Sisters should love each other, and try to make each other happy; but it is impossible to be happy without being good—and the beginning and A.B.C. of Goodness is to be dutiful and affectionate to their Parents; to be obedient to them, when they are present; and to pray for [them, and to write] frequent Letters from a thankful and loving [heart], when both or either of them chance to be absent. For you are a big Thought, and take up a great deal of Room in your Father's Heart; and his Eyes are often full of Tears thro' his Love of you, and his Forehead wrinkled from the labor of his Brain, planning to make you good, and wise and happy. And your Mother has fed and cloatbed and taught you, day after day, all your Life; and has passed many sleepless nights, watching and lulling you, when you were sick and helpless; and she gave you nourishment out

-1-

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Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • List of Illustrations xi
  • List of Letters xiii
  • Abbreviations and Principal References xxvii
  • Introduction xxix
  • 639. to Derwent Coleridge 1
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