Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

I remember) it was only by amendment I could vindicate it. I spoke of the charges being exaggerated; he said--He hoped so, but added 'It's useless to deny the facts.' I stated that I did not intend to deny the fact of having been intoxicated more than once, but the habitual frequency of drunkenness. He replied--'You are availing yourself of vague terms-- Frequency and Intoxication'; and then added--'I would not mind the intemperance, so much, if I could separate it from the praedilection for low company.' Whereby I understood him to mean: 'The preference of the Society of men below my own station in the University'--or at the utmost--the carelessly contracting acquaintance and even engagements as Tutor with men not famous for regularity of conduct-- 'above all, men of Colleges not liked by Oriel.' As I saw he was bent on not believing or hearing me, I bad him farewell. This was my last transaction till I dined with Dr. Copleston previously to my quitting Oxford. He spoke to me kindly-- as to a young man, who had shewn himself unfit for his situation--as to an incautious man who needed warning--but still as to an unblemished character in the worldly acceptation of the word, whom the College had rejected partly as not being the sort of man they wanted--partly--as being more likely to do honour to another station--Up to that moment I had had but one . . .

[The remaining portion of this letter has not been preserved.]


LETTER 12
To SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, Highgate.

Bedford Square [Basil Montagu's], October 2d [1820].

My dear Father

In obedience to the letter of your commands, I write immediately, although I do not think my epistle will reach you a moment sooner than if I had slept upon it. I cannot speak for certain to the day when the fellows will meet for confirmation, but think it may be about the 19th, but I will write to ascertain. The account I have given you in that immeasurable scrawl is the truth, and, as far as my recollections carry me, the whole truth; but I am tempted to say a few more words to you on the subject, that you may not

-41-

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