Letters of Hartley Coleridge

By Hartley Coleridge; Grace Griggs Evelyn et al. | Go to book overview

by Henry Nelson Coleridge and Sara. Fragments of Hartley's essay on his father have been preserved and were published in the Publications of the Modern Language Association. ( 'Hartley Coleridge on His Father' , E. L. Griggs, December 1931.)


LETTER 54

To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, 21 Downshire Place, Hampstead, London.

Grasmere, August 21, [1836.]

Dear Mother

Though I have not a very great deal to tell you, yet recollecting my promise of the 4th anent, to write again within a fortnight, I prefer breaking the Sabbath to breaking my word. My principle object, however is to apologize for the very hasty, blotted, and rather testy epistle which I wrote upon the spur of the moment, in much mental agitation, and very considerable bodily pain, having a rived heel, the result of new shoes, which had blistered sadly; and when nearly well, were rubbed once again by the necessity of putting on shoes, and walking (very fast) to Rydal to breakfast with the Judge,1 (for Dr. Arnold's note reach'd me only just in time). Moreover, being obliged to go with shoe-heel down, I had run a thorn into my foot. All this, which must appear almost ludicrous to you, accustomed as you are to serious maladies, is now quite better, and I am indeed remarkably well. I call'd at Rydal Mount yesterday and ask'd if they had aught to say, but nothing except love. I am afraid all there, is more in statu quo than we could wish. Mr. Wordsworth is better than could be expected and his spirits wonderfully good, all things considered--he is busy about his poems, which is good for him. Mrs. Wordsworth as kind and sweet, almost as cheerful as ever--but, alas--she looks very, very aged. Dora, dear creature, too manifestly tries to seem as well as she can, without much success. Mr. Quillinan, Willy and John (not the Rev. but Ap. Richard), are there. They had nothing new from Keswick. I wish the Doctor may do some good. Talking of Doctors, there is another volume of the Doctor forthcoming. What a wonderful energy of intellect, that can produce such a work under such circumstances. And yet, it is possible, that poor Uncle finds a relief in writing happy nonsense. He says he cannot now bear to write serious poetry. It is

____________________
1
John Taylor Coleridge became a Justice of the King's Bench in 1835.

-195-

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