Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

Oxford Lady, and can't guess who she can be. A letter I certainly have had within these few last days, from the quondam Mary Harris, now Mrs. Barnard, but nothing to the purport which Mother mentioned. I am not sure whether more than 500 copies of the Poems were printed. Bingley sometimes talk'd of a thousand. If only 500, I think they must be nearly sold off. I am extremely sorry that I did not see Bertha and Kate when they were at Rydal. I was staying with John Wilson Jun. at Elleray, and did not hear of their being there till too late. Poor Aunt1--I am deeply sorry, but I must say, not at all surprized. May God put a speedy end to all our troubles--For hers, I fear, there is but one. Best love to Hal and the darlings--This is a terrible scrawl of a letter, but you will think it better than none. I must ascertain some[how] or other whether any of the annuals are going, for I have things which will just suit them.

Your affectionate Brother

H. C.


LETTER 49

To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, No 1 Downshire Place, Hampstead, London.

Grasmere, May 16, 1835.

My dear Mother

Your parcel by kind Mrs. Wordsworth of course arrived safe; the contents, particularly the handkerchiefs, will be very useful. I am quite delighted with the sweet little one's sweet little book.2 It is such an image of the tiny self--not perhaps as married life, and alas, sickness and sorrow have made her now, but as she was in those happy years when her Idea was shaped in my heart: an idea which will never be effaced till my own dissolution, and perhaps not even then. Could I see her now, that Idea would doubtless continue to modify my perceptions of the present, and something of the Numpet, the Fay, the Sylph, the Invisible, would enter into my internal representation of the pensive Matron. When I dream of Derwent, (which is almost every night) he always appears the same boy that he was when our quarrelling was complained of by some good officious people as a nuisance, and I shall have some difficulty, when we meet, in always bearing in mind the Rev'd, the Papa, and the Paedagogue.

____________________
1
About this time Mrs. Southey's mental difficulties terminated in insanity. She died two years later, in November 1837.
2
Cf. Sara Coleridge Pretty Lessons for Good Children, 1834.

-172-

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