death, and it is with Nab Cottage that he is most often associated. The Nab is about a half-mile from Rydal Mount, so that Hartley was now settled almost at the feet of Wordsworth.
Certain changes have been made in Nab Cottage, but when one looks into Hartley's room something of the romantic flavour seems to remain. Fortunately a good description of the cottage and Hartley's room has been preserved.
'The cottage, is close upon the road which winds right under the scar and by the Lake, very low, and somewhat darkened by the mass of ivy which has got a footing on the old bird-nest chimney. Most days the window-blind was down, so that when you were in the room you had "a light much like a shade." Hartley was seldom in in summer or fine weather, it was only on dull cold days or in the evenings that he was at home and the fire was lit. Then the little chamber looked snug and cosy-- one side was occupied by something which resembled rather a pigeon-box than a book-case. Then there was a door covered with red baize that looked like the entrance to a closet, but which you found to be the receptacle for a little white- curtained bed. The fire-place had large hobs, and what schoolboys would call "caves" where pipes rested. Over the mantlepiece hung a cocked Hat and feather and a sword, I believe his father's, and a print of one of his earliest friends --within arm's length of an old cushioned chair with dark grotesque arms was the book he most used, Anderson's British Poets. Floor and table and window-seat were piled up with dusty papers. When a visitor came the landlady brought an extra candle, and on special occasions bannock cakes.'
To HENRY NELSON COLERIDGE, No. 10 Chester Place, Regent's Park.
The Nab, July 10, [Postmark 1840.]
Your request deeply affected me, so deeply indeed, that notwithstanding your urgency, for an immediate answer, I have not been able till now to girdle up the loins of my resolution to a definite reply. As I have already no less than five God-children, in none of whom I have the same interest of blood as in your expected--I can of course plead no scruple of conscience. It will not--I trust--fall to my lot to train up the child in the way it should go. The Church could never mean to exonerate Christian parents from their most sacred and peculiar duty. How or in what cases, Sponsors should be allowed or call'd on to interfere or assist, is a question of