Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

brother for a young sister, and was on my part fed yet more by the beauties of his moral nature, than by my high appreciation of his intellect and his genius.'


LETTER 24
TO DERWENT COLERIDGE, ESQRE., St. John's Coll., Cambridge.

Ambleside, May 2, [1823.]

Dear Derwent

Long and anxiously have I hoped to hear from you, and, tho' God knows, I am not the man that should complain of your silence, I cannot but feel it as a privation--I am very dreary and damnably hip'd just now, and therefore, would not have you take every thing I may write in my present humour as a deliberate declaration of my feelings--but to tell the truth, I think you deserve to have a specimen of my low spirits, as a punishment for neglecting a very easy method of raising them. Considering indeed, my various and repeated failures, I have many, very many grounds of thankfulness. I am now fixt in something like a profession, with the prospect of obtaining orders1 after two years, should I then determine on that course--as is certainly my present intention. I have found more kindness both here and elsewhere than I have earn'd. I have been deliver'd, providentially deliver'd, when I was hopeless of delivering myself; and, what is almost equal to all, I cannot find that either my cares or my follies have materially impaired my bodily or intellectual vigour. I receive kind and cheerful letters from father, and mother, and dear Sara. I am in no immediate pecuniary distress--I am free from embarrassment, and need not fear for my future independence. All these, and more than all these, are claims upon my gratitude. They do make me thankful and they ought to make me cheerful, if that word 'ought' and cheerfulness have, indeed, any connection. Why should I trouble you with my complaints--my blighted hopes --my premature winter of the soul? Let them rest with myself--And now for you. What are you doing? How do you agree with Mathematics? What honor do you hope for? Have you any designs on a Fellowship? If you should be so

____________________
1
Hartley's plan to take orders never materialized; indeed, he later wrote: 'I do sincerely believe that the All Wise has suffered me to go astray in one path, as a judgment for my presumption in proposing to obtrude myself on another, that is most holy for those who are appointed thereto--most perilous and accursed to all others.'

-78-

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