Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

able. Pray remember me to Worship. I cannot say, remember me to Henry. Do you ever see Townsend? Not much matter, tho' entre nous I believe our dear Sara likes him better than the generality of he-creatures. God bless her, and our excellent mother. I am afraid I should feel small penitence for my faults, if they were not affected by them. I have not room for a bit of politics.

Write to me soon. Damn the post duty. Let me know all about it and I will tell you more in my next. How do you manage with Tutors etc. Prenez garde.

Yours
H. C.


LETTER 21
TO DERWENT COLERIDGE, ESQRE., St. John's College, Cambridge.

Grays Inn, August 27, 1821.

My dear Derwent

Do not think yourself obliged to me for this letter, tho I intend it for a very kind one. Don't be frighten'd now; I've no more intention of begging a favour than conferring one. I'm not going to dun you, nor to give you good advice--yet after all, I can't pretend to draw a bill upon your gratitude, for I have several motives for writing, that take precedence of that old-fashion'd one--kindness to you. You must know then, that I do not, in the course of the day, talk half as much nonsense as my health requires--in consequence whereof, so great an accumulation of that substance takes place upon my brain, that the vessels occasionally discharge their contents in my most serious conversation, nay, even in my gravest compositions. This truly mortifying accident occurr'd on the day whereon we parted, in the course of a very interesting discourse on capital punishment. Now, my present intention is (if I be allow'd to use a metaphor of no very delicate origin) to ruck off and clear my intellectual decks for action.

I am thoroughly convinced there is nothing so wholesome for mind and body, as talking Nonsense. Writing it is not half so good--it's like sending Sal volatile by the waggon with the cork out, but situated as we are, what can one do better? Nonsense, however, should never be written except to one's very intimate friends--good folks, whose careful memories can supply the proper looks and tones, and whose imaginations can restore our stalest good thing[s] to their original

-68-

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