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had been with us. Much as you would desire to believe me, I cannot expect that I could communicate to you all that Mrs. C. and I felt from his answers, they were so very sensible, accurate, and well-worded. I am convinced that we are under great obligations to Mr. Jackson, who, I have no doubt, takes every opportunity of making him observe the difference of things, for he pointed out without difficulty that there might be five Hartleys, Real Hartley, Shadow Hartley, Picture Hartley, Looking-glass Hartley, and Echo Hartley: and as to the difference between his shadow and the reflection in the looking-glass, he said that the shadow was black, and he could not see his eyes in it. One thing he said was very curious. I asked him what he did when he thought of anything. He answered, 'I look at it and then go to sleep.' "To sleep?' said I. “You mean that you shut your eyes.' 'Yes,' he replied, 'I shut my eyes, and put my hands so, (covering his eyes) and go to sleep, then I wake again, and away I run ! That of shutting his eyes and covering them was a recipe which I had given him some time ago; but the notion of that state of mind being sleep is very striking; and he meant more, I suspect, than that people when asleep have their eyes shut :-indeed I know it, from the tone and leap up of the voice with which he uttered the word 'wake.' To-morrow I am to exert my genius in making a paper balloon, and the idea of carrying up a bit of lighted candle into the clouds makes him almost insane with pleasure. As I have given you Hartley's metaphysics, &c.”
This tendency to metaphysical inquiry, not very uncommon in clever children, though rarely manifested in so striking a manner, did not, however, grow upon him, as it did upon his father, or become characteristic of his mind. Indeed, if I may trust my recollections, he was far more remarkable for the far-fetched fancies, spoken of in Wordsworth's exquisite poem (prefixed to this memoir), than for any extraordinary reach of thought in the mundus intelligibilis. Seated upon "Jacky's" knee, or standing by “Wilsy’s” apron (these were the names by which the friends above-mentioned were familiarly known), the chirp of whose knittingneedles formed an accompaniment to the chirrup of his voice, with flashing eyes, which those who have seen will not easily forget, the child Hartley would pour out his strange speculations, and weave his wild inventions, believing in his own tale; for indeed he had hardly become conscious of a difference between fact and fiction.*
As regards book-knowledge, his early education was interrupted and desultory, and his progress by no means remarkable. His father began to teach him Greek before he had learnt any Latin, when he was ten years old, and commenced the compilation of a Greek grammar for his use. This fragment, consisting partly of original. matter, partly of leaves cut out of a Westminster grammar, with the English written over the Latin, is now in my possession. It contains some curious attempts at simplification, some interesting philological remarks, and some very eloquent writing on the advantages of classical studies, combining, in a manner very characteristic of my father's mind, milk for the merest babes, with strong meat for men of ripest, years and understanding. * Beginning Greek nearly at the same time, and being somewhat more regularly instructed, I was soon sufficiently on a level with my brother to share his lessons, and thus became his class-fellow. His verbal memory was stronger than mine ; but his
** In a letter to his mother (1829) he thus alludes to the happiness of this period of his life :—“But Cuthbert is wel. come to the shells. I wish I could bequeath to him, along with them, a tithe of the pleasure I have felt in arranging them (not, perhaps, according to the most scientific system of mineralogy or conchology) on dear Wilsy's worm-eaten table, with that beloved check toilet-cover on it. On, could I impart but a tithe of the pride with which I used to exhibit these treasures, assigning them names and histories, with the fearless inventiveness of unsuspecting innocence ! Could I disburse from the treasure of my memory but one farthing in the pound of the mighty debt of happiness which I owe to dream-nourished childhood, and pay the dividend to the heirs and assignees of childhood !”
.* The title-page, if so it may be called, of this curious relic, is as follows :—“Hartley Coleridge: from his affectionate Father, S. T. Coleridge. Tuesday, 4th November, 1806. For his Greek exercises.
It must therefore have been written immediately after my father's return from Malta, where he had been residing for the recovery of his health.
On the next page is the Greek Alphabet, with a rhythmical enumeration of their names, in Hartley's own pot-hooks,
real superiority lay in his flow of thought and invention, and was shown rather out of school than in it. In arithmetic, for which study he had no aptitude, I soon surpassed him. which may serve for other very juvenile Grecians, as it served for us.
“ Alpha, Beta,
Nu, Xi, Omicron, Pi,
Sigma, Ro, Upsilon, Tau,
Omega, and Phi, and Chi and Psi.
Then follows, in my father's own handwriting, the Grammar; some further account of which, with extracts, will be given in the Appendix. As a monument not merely of overflowing paternal affection, but of patient, laborious pains-taking, in a man of whom far other things have been believed, it has a peculiar value in my eyes.
What the relations of father and son were at that time, may be gathered from the following observations written by the latter, in a fellow volume to the above exercise-book, more than twenty years afterwards :
“On the 4th November, 1806, my dear father presented this book to me, little thinking, I guess, that some pages of it would be still blank in 1830, and still less fureseeing through what dark and miry ways, what dull vicissitudes of ill, my own fancies would lead me before the last leaf was written. High were his hopes of me, for his love was strong, and finding an understanding and creative spirit in me, ready tears, repentance close upon offence, and simple notions of the nature of ill, he never thought the heart could be wrong."
The following year, A.D. 1807, was the annus mirabilis of my brother's childhood, of which he ever retained the liveliest and the fondest recollections. In the spring of the year he was taken by his father to Coleorton,* in Leicestershire, the
* In a note to an old number of the “European Magazine," I find the following reference to this period of his life :
“1807. Oh, public affairs ! I was then at Coleorton, in my zealous novitiate in politics. What an antigallican was I ! I read every scrap about the battle of Eylau, and was enraged, if a doubt of the Russian victory was hinted.”
It may be interesting to compare with the feelings of the child the reflections of the man, some forty years afterwards in his solitary chamber :
“How little this vile, faint, or rather false-hearted scribbler foresaw how irrecoverably the French skill, discipline, and numbers were destined to be destroyed by the Barbarians of Russia, aided, no doubt, by their barbarous climate, and yet more by that barbarism which set their own houses on fire rather than they should afford a shelter to the enemy. Still the kakouévtels of 1807 were right for the time. The hour was not yet come: the iniquity of France was not full, or rather it had not reached the level of Austrian, Prussian, and Russian iniquity. Napoleon had not then done anything to compete in wickedness with the partition of Poland. Besides, a curse hung upon the subsidising system of Pitt. Are we yet cured of putting our trust in princes? It will be seen should another continental war arise.
"In the blank period which succeeded the degradation of Russia in 1807, every straw was caught at. The King of Sweden and Miranda were two names of praise; and he would have been branded as an Infidel in human virtue, who had said that the chivalrous descendant of Gustavus was a madman, without personal courage, and the Creole adventurer no better than a buccaneer, nay, not near so good.