It is with the greatest pain, however, that I express my conviction of the extreme improbability there is, after the disclosures which have been made to us, that the College should accede to your request of a further term of probation, if indeed such an indulgence were at all consistent with the spirit of our Foundation.
It may be some consolation to you to be assured that all the Fellows will continue to feel the most lively interest in your future welfare.
With every wish for your virtue and happiness.
I am, yours truly, EDWD. HAWKINS.
Letter from JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGEto JAMES GILLMAN-- June 29, 1820--announcing to him and so toS. T. COLERMGE--the decision of the Fellows of Oriel.
2 Pump Court, June 29, 1820.
I am not aware whether my Uncle may have received from any other quarter the distressing news which this note will bring; but in case he should not, as it has been in some measure officially communicated to me, I think I can not help informing him of it, and for a great many reasons it seems advisable to do so through you rather than directly to him.
I find that the Provost and Fellows of Oriel have come to a resolution not to admit Hartley to his fellowship on the expiration of his probationary year. I never remember a similar determination being taken, and I am assured that they have come to it with the greatest reluctance and not till after repeated warnings, and repeated promises of amendment made by Hartley and broken. The charges against him are very painful ones to repeat; but for the purposes of admonition and reproof it is fit that my Uncle should be in possession of the whole case--they are 'sottishness, a love of low company, and general inattention to college rules.' Coupled with this I am informed from other sources, that he has contracted an attachment for a young person, the daughter I think of an architect; I hear her well spoken of individually, but any such engagement at his time of life and under the circumstances is to be deplored, and peculiarly so in his case if it is to be considered as connected with the alleged love of company beneath his own station.
Altogether it is a case of a most afflicting nature; what to advise in it I really do not know, or how to render him any effectual service. The college have no desire to make any unnecessary exposure, and if any situation could be procured for him which would give him a pretext of resigning before October, he might still keep his place in the world, and if he might be depended on