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of intelligent youths prepared and anxious to profit by his instructions. His lessons were now in the higher classics ; and I have heard from one of his scholars that they were highly appreciated by the boys themselves, his teaching being eminently distinct, impressive, and interesting. My informant dwelt particularly on the clearness of his explanations. This was characteristic of his mind. The following letter from one of his pupils, afterwards his admiring friend, refers to this period of his life :
“8, Beaufort-terrace, Seacombe, near Liverpool, “ DEAR SIR,
Oct. 25, 1850. “The few letters that Hartley Coleridge wrote to me, with a sonnet or two, were left at Mrs. Nelson Coleridge's in the spring of this year, to be used in what way his literary executors might think best. Some time I should like to have them again, for I have no other record of such kindness and such friendship as I cannot hope to find again. I first saw Hartley in the beginning, I think, of 1837, when I was at Sedbergh, and he heard us our lesson in Mr. Green's parlour. My impression of him was what I conceived Shakspere's idea of a gentleman to be, something which we like to have in a picture. He was dressed in black, his hair, just touched with grey, fell in thick waves down his back, and he had a frilled shirt on; and there was a sort of autumnal ripeness and brightness about him. His shrill voice, and his quick, authoritative right ! right !' and the chuckle with which he translated 'rerum repetundarum' as 'peculation, a very common vice in governors of all ages,' after which he took a turn round the sofa-all struck me amazingly; his readiness astonished us all, and even himself, as he afterwards told me; for, during the time he was at the school, he never
had to use a Dictionary once, though we read Dalzell's selections from Aristotle and Longinus, and several plays of Sophocles. He took his idea, so he said, from what De Quincy says of one of the Eton masters fagging the lesson, to the great amusement of the class, and, while waiting for the lesson, he used to read a newspaper. While acting as second master he seldom occupied the master's desk, but sat among the boys on one of the school benches. He very seldom came to school in a morning, never till about eleven, and in the afternoon about an hour after we had begun. I never knew the least liberty taken with him, though he was kinder and more familiar than was then the fashion with masters. His translations were remarkably vivid; of uoyepà moyepôs ‘toiling and moiling;' and of some ship or other in the Philoctetes, which he pronounced to be “scudding under main-top sails,' our conceptions became intelligible. Many of his translations were written down with his initials, and I saw some, not a long while ago, in the Sophocles of a late Tutor at Queen's College, Oxford, who had them from tradition. He gave most attention to our themes; out of those sent in he selected two or three, which he then read aloud and criticised ; and once, when they happened to agree, remarked there was always a coincidence of thought amongst great men. Out of school he never mixed with the boys, but was sometimes seen, to their astonishment, running along the fields with his arms outstretched, and talking to himself. He had no pet scholars except one, a little fair-haired boy, who he said ought to have been a girl. He told me that was the only boy he ever loved, though he always loved little girls. He was remarkably fond of the travelling shows that occasionally visited the village. I have seen him clap his hands with delight; indeed, in most of the simple delights of country life, he was like a child. This is what occurs to me at present of what he was when I first knew him; and, indeed, my after recollections are of a similarly fragmentary kind, consisting only of those little, numerous, noiseless, everyday acts of kindness, the sum of which makes a Christian
life. His love of little children, his sympathy with the poor and suffering, his hatred of oppression, the beauty and the grace of his politeness before women, and his high manliness,—these are the features which I shall never forget while I have anything to remember. I shall be glad to go into particulars, if you think it worth while, next week.
“I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
The following letters to his friends may be taken as specimens of his talent as a correspondent :
“Many days, not to say weeks, I have been meditating an epistle, but the weather has been so humorsome, sometimes so fine, it was a sin to stay within doors-sometimes so confoundedly hipp'd, it would have been mere rebellion to be cheerful even on paper, and I know that there is no vacancy for dumps in your soul. Sunday, for example, began in tears, to be sure, like a fair babe weeping at its own nativity ; but that passed over in the matutinal chambers of day, into which I reverently refrain from intruding. Then, how sweet the infant face of half-past nine, not smiling through its tears, but smiling on them
“ Turning the relics of departed grief
Into bright promise of approaching joy,
But it was horribly hot in Rydal chapel; and I was seated so directly within the scope and malice of a gaudy, painted
window, that I am afraid I thought far more of Archimedes and his burning-glass, and Vitalianus and the Goths (vide Lempriere, Gibbon, and the Byzantine historians), and Apollo killing Niobe's children with his arrows, and folks driven crazy in the wilds of America by a coup de soleil, and a particular passage of Southey's Kehama, where somebody or other turns a stake of teak-wood into white flaky ashes with a sun-beam, than of Ahab, and Naboth, and Jezebel, in the first lesson. A friendly cloud enabled me to give my attention to the second, as well as to my cousin-in-law's admirable discourse on the Gospel—'If thou hadst known,' &c. I dined at Mr. — , and saw that most interesting of all sights, a pair of youthful lovers whose love was blessed with parental approval. I could not make out what Miss saw in her swain, except a pretty young gentleman in a white neckcloth and Deacon's Orders; but I saw in her almost as much as he could imagine, only I saw it calmly, as I might have done a fair picture illustrating an ingenious tale of possible goodness. Thank Heaven, I have arrived at the point which one of my early doggrel compositions foretold as my best state.
“To find my proper joy in others' bliss.'
“It is indeed no small comfort to me to be assured that my vicarious ministration in the school is not unpleasantly remembered by the boys; but it is yet more consolatory to contrast your present state of health and spirits with the despondent mood in which I found you in 1837. Should ever need occur again I shall ever be glad to give any aid in my power.
“But what of my dear little god-daughter? Is the sweet creature as sweetly provoking and as provokingly sweet as ever? I should like to pat her dear little curly head. My sister requested me to undertake the sponsor's responsibility for the coming babe, but it was ordered otherwise ; the child, though safely delivered and promising, never lived to be carried to church. It was privately baptised, and returned to its Maker within a fortnight after its birth. There is a mystery in this, but I doubt not there is a mercy and a blessing also. My brother had, as you have had, a severer trial : a lovely girl lived long enough for love and hope, and then was snatched away.
"I trust soon to send you a second volume of my poems. I hardly anticipate for them so kind a reception as the first have met with. In truth, I find it now more difficult than ever to please myself.”
"To the Rev. Isaak Green, Sedbergh."
“ Grasmere, September 15, 1837. “DEAR MADAM,
“Your letter shot like a sunbeam across my solitude; for very solitary I am, even now, beside my solitary taper, glad to transfer my thoughts to your cheerful fireside, inasmuch as they were engaged in nothing better than a speculation about the present abode of the vital particle of the sheep whose tallow is my present substitute for day. I am, in fact, a dweller on a desolate island, yet not so utterly excommunicated from the church and conversation of my species that I need inquire of the winds whether my friends do ‘now and then send a wish or a thought after me.' The post occasionally gives me more substantial intelligence of their continuance in this dirty planet; nor are callers and invitations wanting to assure me that I am not quite alone in the world. Still, it is much, very much, to a creature divided from all his natural kin to be reminded that he abides in the memories of good people, and my sojourn under your roof is one of the few stations of my mortal pilgrimage on which I can look back with satisfaction. Glad shall I be if it prove equally acceptable to you, and that your excellent husband may believe that my visit in anywise contributed to his recovery. I need not say that I congratulate him on his resumption of his pædagogic and pastoral duties. Should a recess from the former be