There, Molly. It's getting late. This is not an apology for a letter to your dear Mother--which shall come in proper time, but only a brief remembrancer
From your HARTLEY COLERIDGE.
Knabbe near Ambleside, Dec. 9, 1840.
Dear Mrs. Gillman
Do not be surprized--the hand was once familiar to you-- you have look'd on it, I flattered myself, with pleasure, ere now, and though it can never again be look'd on with the same hope and happiness, as heretofore; yet, I trust, you will not turn away from it, when it assures you, that you and yours have not been forgotten, though my gratitude has been silent for so many years. Our first meeting was joyous-- many days have we spent happily--you were, I believe, the last to despair of myself or my fortunes, but ere we parted, a dark cloud settled upon me, which ever since, I have been struggling though--with occasional glimpses of light, ever and anon baffled by sad returns of utter darkness. Yet neither in light nor in gloom, have I forgotten you, your manifold kindness great to myself, but far more worthily bestowed on him that is no more, who owed to you and to Mr. Gillman the peace of his latter days. My Father's departure had indeed been signified to me long before it took place, but your dear Husband's was sudden, very sudden to me--Would to God, I might have seen them, but once, and been reconciled, for I have been a heavy offender against both.
I have little to tell you of myself. What I have put forth, you may have seen. I have much on hand which will shortly see the light. But I feel myself so utterly unable to produce any thing, I will not say worthy of my Father's son, but in any way answering to your hopes of me, that you are the last person to whom I would speak of my literary doings, knowing, as I do, Mr. Gillman's disappointment, and low estimation of my writings. Do not think that I am less grateful or affectionate to his memory therefore. He could not think more lowly of aught I have done than I do myself. I wish he could have known how deeply I feel for his zeal and ardour in my father's cause. Alas, I never thank'd him for the Book.