Letters of Hartley Coleridge

By Grace Griggs Evelyn; Earl Griggs Leslie et al. | Go to book overview

time, that would enable me to see you--once--before I die.

Bertha and Herbert are as well as can be expected. Their Chicks!--Oh, that you could see the Darlings. It would rejoice your old heart; for I believe you to be a woman not ashamed of being old--nor am I a man to love a woman the less for being old.

Your truly affectionate Son
HARTLEY.


LETTER 78
TO DERWENT COLERIDGE, Herbert White, Stanley Grove, Chelsea, near London.

[Postmark August 22, 1842.]

My dear Derwent

I ought, long ere this, to have thank'd you for your pamphlet; but wish'd to give a more intelligent praise than it is yet in my power to do. I can only say, at present, that I admire your clearness of statement, your plain English, matter of fact style (at which I am a very bad hand) and wish your establishment all success, for your sake, and for the noble purposes to which it is devoted.1 It is sad, my dear brother, that our conversation is so intermittent. You I know, have little time for letter-writing; but I can plead no such preoccupation. Yet I would not have you think that mere laziness is the fault; far less could I endure you to suspect, that I have forgotten you. No, Derwent, you are in my daily thoughts--my nightly dreams. But in truth, I fear to address, as I should fear to meet you. I should tremble in your presence, and yet more in your wife's, not only because, for manifold derelictions I am unworthy to be call'd your brother; but because, even in my best of hours, in my wishes, hopes, and prayers, I am not as you are. I feel that there are possible cases in which I should think it my duty to oppose you.

I do not now recollect what I said in my last scrawl, but I believe I spoke with less respect than I ought to have done of itinerant societarian oratory--not, I hope, of your friend. May I, for three days' acquaintance call him my friend2--the dear deceased Macaulay--best of the name? I know that he himself felt keenly, that he was advocating a good cause, in a

____________________
1
Derwent was principal of St. Mark's College, Chelsea from 1841 to 1864.
2
Hartley refers to Zachary Macaulay, who died in 1838.

-255-

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