Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

with you is to put them into good humour with themselves. It is actually more than bed time--So, diddle-diddle-dumpling-Whack row de dow.


LETTER 33
To OWEN LLOYD.1

[ 1831.]

Dear Owen

My letters generally begin with an apology for not having written sooner. This should begin with an apology for the occasion of writing at all. I am well aware, that on Saturday morning, I exprest myself with a very foolish degree of vehemence on points whereon I knew well enough that you differ widely from me, and without that respect which is always due to your sacred calling, when vested in a person, who, as you do, feels its sacredness. The fact is--I mention it to explain, not excuse my violence of language--that I was irate at the sneering manner in which Mr. B. H. spoke of Whately and of Arnold--men whom I should deeply revere had I never known them, for their uncompromizing zeal in the cause of true Christianity--and to one of whom at least I feel indebted for greater kindness than I ever deserved, or can ever hope to repay. Perhaps too, the mere mention of their names recalled to my mind certain passages in my own life, the recollection of which is not likely to produce tranquility of spirit: wherein the conduct of Whately (I like him better by that name than by his present title of Archbishop)2 was strongly contrasted to that of other and it may be, more orthodox personages. Yet I cannot think that my words, inconsidered as they were, implied any reflection upon the church of which you are a worthy Minister. I only meant to declare my conviction that the Church would be far more efficient, and its ministers more beloved, more respected and therefore more powerfully useful, if the State had no lien upon the Church at all. But we shall understand each other better if I explain, as briefly as I can, what I do, and what I do not mean by that separation of Church and State for which I contend. Politically speaking, I am much more a

____________________
1
Owen Lloyd, a companion of Hartley's school days at Ambleside, was the son of Charles Lloyd. Hartley wrote two poems on the death of Owen Lloyd, 'A Schoolfellow's Tribute to the Memory of the Rev. Owen Lloyd' and 'Epitaph on Owen Lloyd' (cf. Poems, 225 and 238), which are a testimony of his friendship.
2
Richard Whately became Archbishop of Dublin in 1831.

-124-

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