There is one passage in Allsop's book, which involving a direct attack upon my Cousins, the Judge and the Bishop, and an implied one on my Uncle and Mr. Wordsworth, I shall certainly notice in my essay.1 I cannot undo what is done, but I think it incumbent upon me to shew that I do feel for the honour of my family and my friends, and it is only prudent to let the bags know that we are not to be stu[ng] with impunity. This, my dear Mother, is a long and uncomfortable digression grown out of Mrs. Claude's family. One of her daughters is as beautiful a creature, [. . . ? . . . 2] excepted, as I ever saw. She must have been married very young-- for her eldest daughter looks older than herself. I wish my father had known her--they could have talked German so well together. By the way, I am growing a famous German myself, which is good. When I can translate German I need never be out of work. I have been dining with Mrs. Claude to day and am now sitting in a room without a fire--the climate any thing but tropical, and the hour waxing late--so with my best of love to all--I trust Sara is by you to receive it--
I am, dear Mother,
To MRS. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, Downshire Place, Hampstead, London.
Grasmere, Dec. 26, 1836.
Thank you for the Almanac.
Your kind package came to hand this morning, which was most acceptable for all its contents, but most of all, for the dear note in Sara's own hand, which gave me hopes, sadly____________________
' Wordsworth one day said to me, when I [apparently Lamb] had been speaking of Coleridge, praising him in my way, "Yes, the Coleridgcs are a clever family." I replied, "I know one that is."'
To this conversation Allsop appends a footnote:
'My amiable and kind-hearted friend said here less than the truth, at least as I understand it. Cleverness was not at all a characteristic of Coleridge, whilst it happily suits those to whom Wordsworth alluded, who are or have been clever enough to appropriate their uncle's great reputation to their own advancement, and then to allow him to need assistance from strangers. No one who knows the character or calibre of mind, whether of the Bishop or the Judge, can doubt, cetiris paribus, that the one would still have been a curate and the other a barrister, with but little practice, had they borne the name of Smith--had they wanted the passport of his name.'