Letters of Hartley Coleridge

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

LETTER 90
To JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE.

Rydal, January 9, 1846.

My dear Sir

It is hardly necessary to say, how thankfully I assent to the arrangement you propose, which appears to me far best for all of us; but were my own surmises different, I have that reliance on your knowledge of business, and that consciousness of my own ignorance thereof, that I should surrender unconditionally to your judgement. It will probably be necessary that I should signify my assent to Mr. Green in something like a formal instrument. On this head, I crave further information. Fear no delay on my part.1 Other arrangements I must make with Sara to render the care of my concerns less burdensome both to her, and to good Mrs. Wordsworth than they have hitherto been to the latter and my blessed Mother.

I hope, almost I promise, that you will see me in the press ere long. Tho' shockingly dilatory in putting forth, I assure [you] I have not been altogether idle, tho' much less doggedly diligent than with His aid I propose to be. Would that I could take from Sara the toil of preparing the Biographia--which must needs be great and harassing.

I have not forgotten my promise with regard to the introduction, which I am still ready to supply, only with the proviso that I am to speak in general of the characteristics of the intellect of S. T. C. with a more particular examination of what he has attained and what he might have attained as a Poet. I do not feel competent to speak of him as Politician, Philosopher, or Theologian, tho' I shall certainly speak of him as a Christian-Man.

All whom you know and love in this neighbourhood are, I believe, in health, but Mr. and Mrs. Wordsworth are afflicted at the death of a little grandchild, the youngest Son of the Revd. John, who has died in Italy, where his Mother has long been with little hope of recovery. The last year has been one of much mortality among my friends. May the next be happier and better.

____________________
1
This probably refers to the settlement of Hartley's mother's estate, which consisted mainly of the proceeds from the insurance policy (about £2,500) left by Coleridge. In the codicil added to his will Coleridge had especially provided for Hartley, appointing executors to disburse the money for Hartley after Mrs. Coleridge's death. John Taylor Coleridge (on the death of H. N. Coleridge) and Joseph Henry Green seem to have administered the estate.

-287-

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