as the objectionable parts generally admit of easy separation. I must praise Gifford1 for his services as an Editor, and need not say much of my very low opinion of his abilities as a Critic. Or what say you to Retzsch Illustrations of Macbeth,2 which might furnish occasion for an ingenious if not very profound examination of 'Ut Pictura, Poesis' which is not more than half true? But I must conclude, the rather as I shall have occasion to write again in two or three days, and have to shave before I can take this to the post. Miss Wordsworth is, I fear, much the same, nor likely to be much better. There are, I fear also, small hopes for Aunt. Dora improves. Mrs. Parry is a sad sufferer. Why are good people ever ill? It is a sad mistake in education to persuade young people that virtue will exempt them from suffering, or turn the world into a happy valley. The trick is soon found out, and then they think with Brutus--'Virtue, what art thou but a name'--and a bore? An excellent paper might be written, 'On the inutility of lying, considered as a mean of moral improvement.' I am delighted to hear that Sara goes on so well. Give ten thousand loves to her. Mama never says any thing about her own health. I will write to Derwent soon. We have had an unusually gay Christmas. I had Sweet's 2d. Ed., a bible, and Worthies. I know not how to get a Janus3 but could learn. Love to the dears.
Yours, in great haste H.C.
To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, No. 27 Downshire Hill, Hampstead.
Grasmere, Jan. 18, 1836. Raining Cats and Dogs.
My dear Mother and Sister
After posing for some time which of you to address, I have determined, like the widow'd queen of Chrononhotonthologos,4 to have you both. But this is not a proper strain to commence with, considering the solemn subject of dear Henry's last letter,5 which with its black seal and edges, almost made me faint (I am not exaggerating, I was as sick as____________________