TO MRS. HENRY NELSON COLERIDGE, No. 10 Chester Place, Regent's Park, London.
Rydal, March 21, [Postmark 1843.]
My dear injured Sister
I feel myself too utterly unworthy to have been consulted at all in the case, to deliver any opinion with regard to the trusteeship,1 even were I, under any circumstances capable of giving one of weight.
Of course the Justice is the fittest person, but besides the delicacy of asking one so deeply engaged in important business, his necessary absences during Circuit might perhaps occasion inconvenience. Allsop, of course you would not condescend to ask, after his imprudent--to say the very least --imprudent exposure of our dear Father's somewhat hasty confidence. Mr. Montagu is perhaps as heavily task'd, as at his advanced period of life he can bear. Mr. Frere, I have not heard of lately. I know not, indeed, if he is living. He is probably the person my father would have preferred. His easy fortune would make the trouble comparatively less, but this I am afraid is out of the question. We must be beholden to the Judge.
I fear I am at present under such a cloud, I have shown myself so little worthy of reliance, that it is vain to make any offer of personal services in the only way in which I could be of use--that is to say, in regard to the care of the Works. Still I will finish the Essay on my Father's literary character, which he [ Henry Nelson Coleridge] intended to prefix to the Biographia, though I confess I would rather it appeared in connection with the Poems, or almost any other of the works; for admirable as much of the matter of the Biographia unquestionably is, it is more fragmentary and worse put together than any of them: and I do think, there are some things relative to W. W. he would not have written in a calmer state of mind. That, under the circumstances, he could compose any thing at all, displays a vigour of mind almost unparalleled.
Would to Heaven, I could myself supply the place so well filled up by him that is gone--but to say nothing of worse disqualifications--I am shockingly ignorant of business. I____________________