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closet, but which you found to be a receptacle for a little white-curtained bed. The fire-place had large hobs, and what school-boys would call caves, where pipes rested. Over the mantel-piece hung a cocked hat and feather, and a sword I believe his father's—and a print of one of his father's earliest friends. Within arm's length of an old cushioned chair, with claws and grotesque arms, was the book he most used, Anderson's British Poets. Floor and table and window-seat were piled up with dusty papers.”
The hat and sword had been, it seems, his father's—relics of his military equipment, and memorials of a well-known episode in his early life.* I remember to have seen them when a child. The portrait was that of Thomas Poole, Esq., of Nether Stowey, “that remarkable and excellent man,” as he has justly been styled, whose name I gladly mention in this connection. Among the dusty papers might be seen heaps of old magazines and Athenæum newspapers, richly fringed with annotations in my brother's peculiar hand-writing -strong, black, rapid, and irregular, yet, for the most part, distinct and legible-running down the narrow margins; but his choicer manuscripts were stored away, with some care, in a little black box made for him when at school, by his friend, Robert Jameson, and which had been his companion ever since.
* See the biographical supplement to Coleridge's Biographia Literaria. Vol. ii. p. 337.
The number of those to whom the above details will recal a real scene may perhaps be counted by units. Thousands retain the image of the man himself as he was seen out of doors, standing immersed in thought, or strolling onwards, now slow, now fast, with gusty and irregular movement, along the lanes and roads of his own, and the adjoining vales—that wider home, for such it was to him, in which he was so long domesticated.
As I have before intimated, his purposeless wanderings had been sometimes pursued till he lost the power to return. Guided forward by feelings, the nature and intensity of which may rather be guessed than known, he seemed to fly from the sight of his own home and the presence of friends, whose very love was a constraint, till he was found by his anxious host perhaps in some remote vale. He could not fall among strangers. Go where he would, be where he might, he was treated with affectionate respect. Love followed him like his shadow. But this was not the habit of his latest years.
Among his friends we must count men, women, and children, of every rank and of every age. While he preserved the tone of his manners (which, though somewhat eccentric, were free from any tincture of vulgarity), and seldom, if ever, failed of being treated with due respect and considera
tion, he willingly overstepped the conventional distinctions by which society is divided. In the farm-house or the cottage, not alone at times of rustic festivity at a sheep-shearing, a wedding, or a christening, but by the ingle side with the grandmother or the “bairns," * he was made, and felt himself, at home. It may be that his social tendencies, his willingness to see the best side of every character, and his disposition to reluct against what he considered uncharitable censures and pharisaical restrictions, may have led him to be less select than might be desired in the choice of his casual associates in humble life, or in a rank more nearly approaching to his own. If it were so, I know it not. Certain it is, that the individuals with whom he held most intercourse, to whom he was most attached, and who regarded him with the deepest interest—the most affectionate admiration—and this for a long course of years ;those by whom his death was most sincerely mourned, and by whom his memory is most dearly cherished, were not merely in the highest degree estimable, but in many cases persons of peculiar refinement, moral and intellectual. The inference is obvious. It was in some small measure to repay, or at least to express, the pleasure that he
* In Westmoreland and Cumberland this word is pronounced "barns."
derived from the society of these friends, that many of his occasional poems were composed some of which will be found, I believe, to rank among the best of their kind. These were thrown off with the greatest facility, and in the most casual manner, though sometimes elaborated afterwards with considerable care. They exhibit the union of a graceful fancy, and highly cultivated powers of expression, with a certain thoughtful tenderness not unmixed with melancholy. They testify, in a peculiar manner, to his love of children—the young, the innocent, the beautiful, and the happy.
This love was returned in kind;-children doted upon him.—The exquiste sonnet, beginning
“ Hast thou not seen some aged rifted tower ?” gives a deep and pathetic meaning to this fondness. He would nurse an infant by the hour. A like overflowing of his affectionate nature was seen in his fondness for animals— for anything that would love him in return—simply, and for its own sake, rather than for his.
His manners and appearance were peculiar. Though not dwarfish either in form or expression, his stature was remarkably low, scarcely exceeding five feet, and he early acquired the gait and general appearance of advanced age. His once dark, lustrous hair, was prematurely silvered, and became latterly quite white. His eyes, dark, soft, and brilliant, were remarkably responsive to the movements of his mind, flashing with a light from within. His complexion, originally clear and sanguine, looked weather-beaten, and the contour of his face was rendered less pleasing by the breadth of his nose. His head was very small, the ear delicately formed, and the forehead, which receded slightly, very wide and expansive. His hands and feet were also small and delicate. His countenance, when in repose, or rather in stillness, was stern and thoughtful in the extreme, indicating deep and passionate meditation, so much so as to be at times almost startling. His low bow on entering a room, in which there were ladies or strangers, gave a formality to his address, which wore at first the appearance of constraint; but when he began to talk, these impressions were presently changed, — he threw off the seeming weight of years, his countenance became genial, and his manner free and gracious. . Of his conversation I am less able to speak from personal knowledge than many others. Let it not be thought that I speak of myself with any personal reference, when I say that he regarded his brother, the companion and friend of his happy boyhood, so long separated from him by the stern necessities of life, with very peculiar feelings. I had become