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'Be taught, O faithful consort, to control
Ah, wherefore ? Did not Hercules by force
"The gods to us are merciful: and they
• But if thou goest, I follow.' Peace!' he said:
He spake of love, such love as spirits feel
Of all that is most beanteous-imaged there
"And while my youthful peers before my eyes-
The wished-for wind was given: I then revolved
. Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter was the pang,
And thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
A constant interchange of growth and blight! Memoirs of Wordsworth were published in 1851, two volumes, by the poet's nephew, CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH, D. D. This is rather a meagre, unsatisfactory work, but no better has since appeared. Many interesting anecdotes, reports of conversation, letters, &c., will be found in the Diary' of Henry Crabb Robinson, 1869. In 1874 was published “Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland, A. D. 1803,' by DOROTHY WORDSWORTH, sister of the poet, to whose talents and
observation, no less than to her devoted affection, her brother was largely indebted.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, a profound thinker and rich imaginative poet, enjoyed a high reputation during the latter years of his life for his colloquial eloquence and metaphysical and critical powers, of which only a few fragmentary specimens remain. His poetry also indicated more than was achieved. Visions of grace, tenderness, and majesty seem ever to have haunted him. Some of these he embodied in exquisite verse ; but he wanted concentration and steadiness of purpose to avail himself sufficiently of his intellectual riches. A happier destiny was also perhaps wanting ; for much of Coleridge's life was spent in poverty and dependence, amidst disappointment and ill-health, and in the irregularity caused by an unfortunate and excessive use of opium, which tyrannised over him for many years with unrelenting severity. Amidst daily drudgery for the periodical press, and in nightly dreams distempered and feverish, he wasted, to use his own expression, the prime and manhood of his intellect.'
The poet was a native of Devonshire, born on the 20th of October 1772 at Ottery St. Mary, of which parish his father was vicar. He received the principal part of his education at Christ's Hospital, where he had Charles Lamb for a school-fellow. He describes himself as being, from eight to fourteen, “a playless day-dreamer, a hellua librorum;' and in this instance, 'the child was father of the man,' for such was Coleridge to the end of his life. A stranger whom he had accidentally met one day on the streets of London, and who was struck with his conversation, made him free of a circulating library, and he read through the catalogue, folios and all. At fourteen, he had, like Gibbon, a stock of erudition that might have puzzled a doctor, and a degree of ignorance of which a school-boy would have been ashamed. He had no ambition; his father was dead, and he actually thought of apprenticing himself to a shoemaker who lived near the school. The head-master, Bowyer, interfered, and prevented this additional honour to the craft of St. Crispin, made illustrious by Gifford and Bloomfield. Coleridge became deputyGrecian, or head-scholar, and obtained an exhibition or presentation from Christ's Hospital to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he remained from 1791 to 1793. In his first year at college he gained the Brown gold medal for the Greek ode; next year he stood for the Craven scholarship, but lost it; and in 1793 he was again unsuccessful in a competition for the Greek ode on astronomy. By this time he had incurred some debts, not amounting to £100; but this so weighed on his mind and spirits, that he suddenly left college, and went to London. He had also become obnoxious to his superiors from his attachment to the principles of the French Revolution.
When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared,
And with that oath which smote air, earth, and sea
Stamped her strong foot, and said she would be free,
Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band;
The monarchs marched in evil day,
Had swollen the patriot emotion,
To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance,
But blest the pæans of delivered France,
France, an Ode. In London, Coleridge soon felt himself forlorn and destitute, and he enlisted as a soldier in the 15th, Elliott's Light Dragoons. On his arrival at the quarters of the regiment,' says his friend and biographer, Mr. Gillman, “the general of the district inspected the recruits, and looking hard at Coleridge, with a military air, inquired: “What's your name, sir?” “Comberbach.” (The name he had assumed.) “What do you come here for, sir?" as if doubting whether he had any business there. “Sir,” said Coleridge," for what most other persons come-to be made a soldier.” “Do you think,” said the general, “ you can run-a Frenchman through the body?” “I do not know,' replied Coleridge, “as I never tried; but I'll let a Frenchman run me through the body before I'll run away.” “That will do," said the general, and Coleridge was turned into the ranks.' The poet made a poor dragoon, and never advanced beyond the awkward squad. He wrote letters, however, for all his comrades, and they attended to his horse and accoutrements. After four months' service-December 1793 to April 1794—the history and circumstances of Coleridge became known. According to one account, he had written under his saddle on the stable-wall, Eheu! quam infortunii miserrimum est fuisse felicem, which led to inquiry on the part of the captain of his troop, who had more regard for the classics than Ensign Northerton in Tom Jones.' Another account attributes the termination of his military career to a chance recognition on the street. His family being apprised of his situation, his discharge was obtained on the 10th of April 1794.*
* Miss Mitford states that the arrangement for Coleridge's discharge was made at her father's house at Reading. Captain Ogle-in whose troop the poet served-related at table one day the story of the learned recruit, when it was resolved to make exertions for his discharge. There would have been some difficulty in the case, had not one of the servauts waiting at table been induced to enlist in his place. The poet, Miss Mitford says, never forgot her father's zeal in the cause.
He seems then to have set about publishing his ' Juvenile Poems' by subscription, and while at Oxford in June of the same year, he met with Southey, and an intimacy immediately sprung up between them. Coleridge was then an ardent republican and a Socinian-full of high hopes and anticipations, the golden exhalations of the dawn.'. In conjunction with his new friend Southey; with Robert Lovell, the son of a wealthy Quaker; George Burnett, a fellow-colle gian from Somersetshire; Robert Allen, then at Corpus Christi College; and Edmund Seward, of a Herefordshire family, also a fellowcollegian, Coleridge planned and proposed to carry out a scheme of emigration to America. They were to found in the New World a Pantisocracy, or state of society in which each was to have his portion of work, and their wives—all were to be married were to cook and perform domestic offices, the poets cultivating literature in their hours of leisure, with neither king nor priest to mar their felicity. * From building castles in the air, as Southey has said, “to framing commonwealths was an easy transition.' For some months this delu. sion lasted; but funds were wanting, and could not be readily raised. Southey and Coleridge gave a course of public lectures, and wrote a tragedy on the 'Fall of Robespierre,' and the former soon afterwards proceeding with his uncle to Spain and Portugal, the Pantisocratic scheme was abandoned. Coleridge and Southey married two sisters -Lovell, who died in the following year, had previously been mar ried to a third sister-ladies of the name of Fricker, amiable, but wholly without a fortune.
Coleridge, still ardent, wrote two political pamphlets, concluding *that truth should be spoken at all times, but more especially at those times when to speak truth is dangerous.' He established also a periodical in prose and verse, entitled The Watchman,' with the motto, “That all might know the truth, and that the truth might make us free.' He watched in vain. Coleridge's incurable want of order and punctuality, and his philosophical theories, tired out and disgusted his readers, and the work was discontinued after the minth number. Of the unsaleable nature of this publication, he relates an amusing illustration. Happening one day to rise at an earlier hour than usual, he observed his servant-girl putting an extravagant quantity of paper into the grate, in order to light the fire, and he mildly checked her for her wastefulness. “La, sir,' replied Nanny. 'why, it is only “Watchmen,”! He went to reside in a cottage at Nether Stowey, at the foot of the Quantock Hills-a rural retreat which he has commemorated in his poetry:
And now, beloved Stowey! I behold