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ments and capabilities may be collected from his ers, who purchased the copyright for fifty guin letter of this period. He could sing eight songs, eas, in addition to fifty copies for subscribers. was deep in poetry, lived by his wits, was happy Every author knows the effect of type on a stanza in the full assurance of integrity, and “in the or paragraph. Joan, “ set up,” looked frightful: affection of a mild and lovely woman ; at once the a thorough revision was evidently required. object of hatred and admiration ; wondered at by “ About half the first book was left in its original all; hated by the aristocrats ; the very oracle of state ; the rest of the poem was recast and recomhis own party." But that was all.
posed while the printing went on. This occupied He had now ceased to reside at Oxford. Hav- six months." His three models of poetical style ing abandoned the church and physic, without were the Bible, Homer, and Ossian ; but he said “the gift of making shoes, or the happy art of that his taste had been “much meliorated by mending them,” his hopes turned to the great Bowles." That amiable poet has related with metropolis of suffering, glory, and shame. " The touching simpleness, in Scenes and Shadows of point is,” he wrote, “where can I best subsist ? Days Deparled, how particularly pleasing and London is certainly the place for all who, like me, handsome youth, lately from Westminster School," are on the world.” A fair face mingled with his called on the printer in Bath and commended the sad thoughts. Enough! this state of suspense recently published Sonnets of Bowles ; and howmust soon be over; I am worn and wasted with some forty years afterwards—he had the delight anxiety; and, if not at rest in a short time, shall of receiving the same person, as author of Thalabe disabled from exertion, and sink to a long ba and the Life of Nelson, in his own beautiful repose.
Poor Edith! Almighty God protect vicarage of Bremhill. her!"
Mr. Hill, abandoning all hope of overcoming But he did not sink without a struggle. A his nephew's clerical prejudices, invited him to go course of public lectures at Bristol was considered to Lisbon for a few months, and then return to to be the likeliest and easiest method of replenishing England in order to qualify himself for entering the very empty pockets of himself and Mr. Cole- the legal profession.” The breaking-off of what ridge. No trace of the lectures is preserved, but he deemed an imprudent attachment was another they were said to have been largely attended and reason for the journey. But Southey, if he did admired : their delivery occupied several months. not love wisely, was sure to love well. He To his brother he wrote :
pours out his heart very freely and warmly to
Mr. Bedford in a letter :-
Oct. 23, 1795. wrong. My company, of course, is sought by all
And where, Grosvenor, do you suppose the fates who love good republicans and odd characters. have condemned me for the next six months ?—to Coleridge and I are daily engaged. John Scott Spain and Portugal! Indeed, my heart is very has got me a place of a guinea and a half per week heavy. I would have refused, but I was weary of for writing in The Citizen, of what kind I know incessantly refusing all my mother's wishes, and it not, save that it accords with my principles : of this is only one mode of wearing out a period that must I daily expect to hear more. If Coleridge and I be unpleasant to me anywhere. can get 1501. between us we purpose marrying, I now know neither when I go, nor where, and retiring into the country, as our literary busi- except that we cross to Coruña, and thence by land ness can be carried on there, and practising agri- to Lisbon. Cottle is delighted with the idea of a culture, till we can raise money for America. volume of travels. My Edith persuades me to go, Still the grand object in view. So I have cut my and then weeps that I am going, though she would cable, and am drifting on the ocean of life; the not permit me to stay. It is well that iny mind is wind is fair, and the port of happiness, I hope, in never unemployed. I have about nine hundred view.-P. 235.
lines and half a preface yet to compose, and this I The prospectus of these lectures, we think, is am resolved to finish by Wednesday night next. printed in Mr. Cottle's Recollections of Coleridge. night.
It is more than probable that I shall go in a fortIn the same work an annusing and characteristic Then the advantageous possibility of being capanecdote is told of Coleridge's offer to deliver a tured by the French, or the still more agreeable lecture for Southey upon a subject included in the chance of going to Algiers *
# # Then to give scheme of the latter, viz., the progress of the my inside to the fishes on the road, and carry my Roman Empire. The day came and the hour, outside to the bugs on my arrival ; the luxury of but not the lecturer. He was probably a thou- sleeping with the mules, and if they should kick sand leagues at sea with the Ancient Mariner ; or lonely heart! *
in the night. And to travel, Grosvenor, with a
When I am returned I shall with Cristabel, where the dying embers shot up be glad that I have been. The knowledge of two into that marvellous flame which showed the languages is worth acquiring, and perhaps the shield of Sir Leoline, and the eye of the mysteri- climate may agree with me, and counteract a cerous Lady.
tain habit of skeletonization, that, though I do not The first stone of his poetical re tion was apprehend it will hasten me to the worms, will, if now about to be laid. Joan of Arc, written in the it continues, certainly cheat them of their sup
* We will write a good opera ; my summer of 1793, had long been waiting for a
expedition will teach me the costume of Spain. printer. That adventurous person was found in By the by, I have made a discovery respecting Mr. Cottle, a name familiar to most of our read- ) the story of the Mysterious Mother. Lord O. tells
it of Tillotson : the story is printed in a work of |lishing news was not encouraging. Joan had Bishop, Hall's, 1652 ; he heard it from Perkins caused no sensation in the “ Row.” Cadell sold (the clergyman whom Fuller calls an excellent chirurgeon at jointing a broken soul: he would only three copies. But in-door life was pleaspronounce the word “ damn” with such an empha- himself in the preparation of Letters from Spain
anter. He took lodgings at Bristol, and busied sis as left a doleful echo in his auditors' ears a good while aster. Warton-like I must go on with and Portugal. Time had mellowed down his Perkins, and give you an epigram. He was lame opinions. The enthusiasm which had, as he exof the right hand : the Latin is as blunt as a good pressed it, so lately fevered his whole character, humored joke need to be :
was rapidly subsiding into a calm strength and Dextera quantumvis fuerat tibi manca, docendi devotion of intellect. His wishes were bounded by Pollebas mirà dexteritate tamen :
the circle of his friends, and the most magnificent Though Nature thee of thy right hand hereft, Right well thou writest with thy hand that's left;
object of his ambition was a little room to arrange
his books in. He had discovered a secret, which and all this in a parenthesis.) Hall adds, that he atterwards discovered the story in two German so many thousands never find. that happiness authors, and that it really happened in Germany. dwells within doors and not without, “ like a If you have not had your transcription of the Vestal watching the fire of the Penates." He tragedy bound, there is a curious piece of informa- compared his youthfuller passions to an ungoverntion to annex to it.
I hope to become able horse. Now he rode Bucephalus with a master of the two languages, and to procure some curb. The rythmical impulse alone retained its of the choicest authors; from their miscellanies and collections that I cannot purchase, I shall original force and fire. He said that to go on transcribe the best or favorite pieces, and trans- with Madoc was almost necessary to his happilate, for we have little literature of those parts, ness, and that he had rather leave off eating that and these I shall request some person fond of poetizing. But he was no longer in a condition poetry to point out, if I am fortunate enough to to think for himself only. London he knew to find one.
Mais, hélas ! J'en doute, as well as be the scene of enterprise. He told Mr. Bedford you, and fear me I shall be friendless for six
“I want to be there ; I want to feel myself months !
settled.” It was a struggle between the prudenGrosvenor, I am not happy. When I get to bed reflection comes with solitude, and I think of all tial and imaginative feelings. He hated cities of the objections to the journey ; it is right, however, every kind and degree, and preferred a corner of to look at the white side of the shield. The Alge- Stonehenge to the sunny side of Park Lane. He rines, if they should take me, it might make a never approached London without feeling his very pretty subject for a chapter in my Memoirs ; heart sink within him ; its atmosphere oppressed but of this I am very sure, that my biographer him, and all its associations were painful. He would like it better than I should. Have you seen the Mæriad? The poem is not
was, moreover, essentially and unchangeably us
social. equal to the former production of the same author,
He playfully declared that God never but the spirit of panegyric is more agreeable than intended that he should make himself agreeable that of satire, and I love the man for his lines to to anybody; and that if a window could have his own friends; there is an imitation of Otium been opened in his breast, he should have immediDivos, very eminently beautiful. Merry has been ately put up the shutter. A snail popping into satirized too much, and praised too much.
the shell when he was approached, or a hedgehog I am in hopes that the absurd fashion of wearing powder has received its death-blow; the scarcity rolling himself up in his bristles if only looked at, we are threatened with (and of which we have as
were the emblems by which he chose to indicate yet experienced only a very slight earnest) renders his own temperament. it now highly criminal. I am glad you are with- With all these hindrances, to London he came, out it.
a student of the law. In the beginning of 1797 God bless you!
he paid his fees, and was a member of Gray's Robert Southey.
Inn. His up-hill path was smoothed by the genWhen the day was fixed for the voyage, erosity of his friend, Mr. Winn, who fulfilled an Southey named it for that of his own marriage; Oxford promise by an annuity of 1601. His and on the 14th of November, 1795, he was spirits rose. Happiness is a flower that will united to Edith Fricker, at Bristol, in Radclift blossom anywhere," and he expected “ to be happy church. They parted at the doors, and Mrs. even in London.” He gives a glimpse of his Southey wore her wedding-ring round her neck, doings to his friend, the Bristol printer :and retained her maiden name until the marriage became known. “Never," he said, “ did man
To Joseph Cottle. stand at the altar with such strange feelings as I
London, Feh. 3, 1797. did.” One of his motives was highly honorable My dear Friend, I am now entered on a new to him. He wished to protect the lady of his way of life, which will lead me to independence. affections from the mortification of receiving You know that I neither lightly undertake any assistance from one who was not bound to her by scheme, nor lightly abandon what I have under a religious sanction. During his absence his wife taken. I am happy because I have no wants, and
because the independence I labor to obtain, and of remained as a parlor boarder with the sisters of attaining which my expectations can hardly be dis Mr. Cottle.
appointed, will leave me nothing to wish. I am He returned to England in May, 1796. Pub- indebted to you, Cottle, for the comforts of my
latter time. In my present situation I feel a pleas- produced more exquisite marine views; and we ure in saying thus much.
doubt if the English “ Parnassus” can excel the As to my literary pursuits, after some consider description of Ladurlad, in Kehama, advancing ation I have resolved to postpone every other till I have concluded Madoc. This must be the greatest
into the sea, which opens before his footsteps, and of all my works. The structure is complete in my makes a roof of crystal over his head :mind ; and my mind is likewise stored with appro
With steady tread he held his way priate images. Should I delay it these images
Adown the sloping shore ; may become fainter, and perhaps age does not im
The dark green waves with emerald view prove the poet.
Imbue the beams of day, Thank God ! Edith comes on Monday next. I
And on the wrinkled sand belowo, say, thank God! for I have never, since my return,
Rolling their mazy net-work to and fro,
Light shadows shift and play. been absent from her so long before, and sincerely hope and intend never to be so again. On Tuesday we shall be settled : and on Wednesday my legal opportunities of studying sea-appearances. The
Along the Hampshire coast he had admirable studies begin in the morning, and I shall begin with Madoc in the evening. Of this it is needless to
ocean prospect is softened and variegated by the caution you to say nothing, as I must have the sylvan. character of a lawyer; and, though I can and will
This New Forest (he wrote) is very lively; I unite the two pursuits, no one would edit the
should like to have a house in it and dispeople the possibility of the union. In two years the poem shall be finished, and the many years it must lie rest, like William the Conqueror. Of all land by will afford ample time for correction. Mary objects a forest is the finest. The feelings that fill has been in the Oracle ; also some of my sonnets in another in all the majesty of years, are neither to
me when I lie under one tree and contemplate the Telegraph, with outrageous commendation. I have declined being a member of a Literary Club be defined nor expressed, and these indefinable and which meets weekly, and of which I had been inexpressible feelings are those of the highest deelected a member. Surely a man does not do his light. They pass over the mind like the clouds of duty who leaves his wife to evenings of solitude, the summer evening—too fine and too fleeting for and I feel duty and happiness to be inseparable. i memory to detain. am happier at home than any other society can possibly make me. God bless you !
He succeeded, after some trouble and walking Yours sincerely,
to and fro, in finding lodgings near Christchurch. Robert SoutheY. His mother came to him from Bath, with his
brother Thomas, a midshipman in the navy, The literary people whom he met did not im- just then released from a French prison at Brest. press him with favorable sentiments. The coun- The season, the country, and his friends, all helped tenance of every lion exhibited some unpleasant to endear the holyday. "The only drawbacks trait. He was particularly struck by the “noble
were his detested legal studies, and the idea of eyes and most abominable nose” of the late Mr.
returning to London." Godwin. The latter feature of that gentleman he
The unequal contest between Poetry and Law never saw“ without longing to cut it off.” He also was not waged long. Blackstone and Coke, with met Gilbert Wakefield, with “a most critic-like that Littleton to whom for so many years he has been voice, as if he had snarled himself hoarse." In
a sort of rough-rider, retreated before a gathering this respect he must have offered a strange contrast rank-and-file of literary enterprises. He abanto Godwin, whose speech was delightfully soft and doned his London residence for a small house at silvery. We remember him, in our youth, at Westbury, a village near Bristol, and spoke of the Monday suppers of John Martin, the painter. this season as among the happiest of his life. A noticeable man, truly, with his white hair, One of the pleasantest walks in England led him broad expanse of forehead, and large, solemn gray to young Humphry Davy, in the bloom of maneyes.
The nose was more massive than is usually hood and intellect, who repaid the recitation of worn, but it did not haunt us with any grotesque passages from Madoc, with the exhibition of some remembrance. His talk-for we kept to wind
new chemical experiment. He called his house ward of republicans, rights of women, and such- Martin Hall, in honor of the flourishing colonies like trumpery—was exceedingly pleasant, with a of that bird which surrounded and built in it. It seasoning of dry humor and sarcasm, frosty but
was old, but affording delicious prospects, with an kindly. The most striking and remarkable por- abundant garden and incomparable currant pudtrait we have ever seen from a modern pencil, was dings. And here, in a Kamtschatkan winter, a head of Godwin in Pickersgill's studio. It was December 14, 1798, enveloped in a great-coat, the old man himself looking through a frame.
formidable and“ hirsute,” in the twenty-fifth Edith by his side, and taking Blackstone and Madoc together, the poet managed to jog on with year of his age, and under a fixed, though not
pleasing conviction, that his heart was affected, small discomfort, vamping up an occasional trans- the first volume ends its story of Robert Southey. lation for the booksellers, and looking forward to a country trip in the summer and autumn. A bath- The second volume opens with a picture of the ing-place on the Hampshire coast was his desire. poet in full activity—“play plots maturing in his He loved the sea and its scenery ; to lie along its head, but none ripe.” They were of all kinds Bands ; to catch its morning, mid-day, and even- classical, European, and domestic. All this time ing appearances for poetry. Perhaps no poet has his health was shattered.
I thought (he wrote) I was like a Scotch fir, small vigor to the poet. Soon after his return, a and could grow anywhere; but I am sadly altered, nervous fever laid him on his bed in a state of and my nerves are in a vile state. I am almost deplorable weakness. In search of medical help ashamed of my own feelings, but they depend not upon volition. These things throw a fog over the he again visited Bristol, a city which he afterwards prospect of life. You know not the commended, in the Life of Wesley, as one of the alteration I feel. I could once have slept with the most ancient, most beautiful, and most interesting Seven Sleepers without a miracle; now the least in England. Nor is the surrounding scenery less sound wakes me, and with alarm. remarkable, with "its elm-shadowed fields, and and Coleridge we find charming sketches of the prospect-bounding sea. In the poetry of Southey walks and landscapes :
These were painful confessions, but he strug gled on to keep his terms at Gray's Inn. pleasanter episode in his life was the growth of His Madoc, thoroughly to his own satisfaction. first poems were also going to press for a third edition.
In the summer of 1799 he enjoyed a short ramble along the northern coast of Devonshire; and we are tempted to extract one sketch, as the most agreeable specimen of his style which these volumes have hitherto presented to us. Gilpin would have delighted in it, and even Price, "the Picturesque man," have seen in it something to praise:
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep;
Mr. Bowles traced his earliest associations of poetry with picturesque scenery, to that charming Brockley-Combe, from whence the eye takes in a long reach of the Severn, woods, villages, and the
glimmering hill-outline of Wales. A very differ
ent person, Robert Hall, was almost equally enMy walk to Ilfracombe led me through Lynmouth, thusiastic. the finest spot, except Cintra and the Arrabida, "Were you ever in Bristol?" he that I ever saw. "There is scenery worth Two rivers join at Lynmouth. asked Dr. Gregory. You probably know the hill streams of Devonshire looking upon, and worth thinking of." -each of these flows down a coombe, rolling down At this time, however, scenery shone very dimly over huge stones like a long waterfall; immediately upon Southey. His letters give distressing glimpses at their junction they enter the sea, and the rivers of his sufferings. "I start from sleep, as if death and the sea make but one sound of uproar. Of had seized me. I am sensible of every pulsation, these coombes the one is richly wooded; the other runs between two high, bare, stony hills. From and compelled to attend to the motion of my heart the hill beween the two is a prospect most magnifi- till that attention disturbs it." A change of clicent; on either hand, the coombes and the river mate seeming to offer the likeliest remedy, his before the little village. The beautiful little vil- thoughts reverted to his uncle at Lisbon. That lage, which I am assured by one who is familiar affectionate friend did not fail him. He cordially with Switzerland, resembles a Swiss village-this invited his sick relative to try the southern air, and alone would constitute a view beautiful enough to to come as quickly as possible. Southey was very repay the weariness of a long journey; but, to complete it, there is the blue and boundless sea, for the willing to obey the summons. His uncle possessed faint and feeble line of the Welsh coast is only to an excellent library, and a pleasant brook ran before be seen on the right hand if the day be perfectly his door. Several of the poet's letters from Porclear. Ascending from Lynmouth up a road of tugal are printed in this volume, and are very serpentining perpendicularity, you reach a lane, entertaining. One remark upon the national apwhich by a slight descent leads to the Valley of pearance is worthy of Tacitus or Macchiavelli :Stones-a spot which, as one of the greatest wonders, indeed, in the West of England, would attract many visitors if the roads were passable by carriages. Imagine a narrow vale between two ridges of hills somewhat steep; the southern hill turfed; the vale which runs from east to west covered with huge stones and fragments of stones among the fern that fills it; the northern ridge completely bare, and excoriated of all turf and all soil, the very bones and skeleton of the earth-rock reclining upon rock, stone piled upon stone, a huge and terrific mass. A palace of the pre-Adamite kings, a city of the Anakim, must have appeared so shapeless, and yet so like the ruins of what had been shaped after the waters of the flood subsided. I ascended with some toil the highest point; two large stones inclining on each other formed a rude portal on the summit. Here I sat down. A little level platform, about two yards long, lay before me, and then the eye immediately fell upon the sea, far, very far below. I never felt the sublimity of solitude before.-Vol. ii., p. 22, 3.
But the sweet breezes of Devonshire wafted
I meet the galley-slaves sometimes, and have looked at them with a physiognomic eye to see if they differed from the rest of the people. It appeared to me that they had been found out. the others had not.
Lisbon is chiefly supplied from gardens scattered
A listless climate made, where, sooth to say,
which the rider was too lazy to beat, in picking was now on the road to political distinction, they oranges and figs, in drinking Colares wine--the were to be disappointed. The chancellor, having flower of claret and port, distilled and interfused — nothing for his secretary to do, proposed to him and in a voluptuous siesta of two hours! The the education of his son, as a sort of employment days had no cloud, and purple evenings glimmered of spare time. The secretary declined the offer, and fainted into such balmy and visionary moon and lost his salary with his pupil. Southey could light, as Claude might have felt, or Mariana have not have been ignorant of the value of that pecuseen on the old tapestry in the Moated Grange. niary independence which he was almost rashly
But the poet did not yield to Capua. In the casting away. In one of his letters he speaks of enchanted garden of Circe he heard the voice of his early struggles, with something of the sadness Minerva. He worked. Thalaba was finished, the and reality that lend such power to the journal of Indian story was begun, and Madoc rose in broader Crabbe :outline on the inward eye. A short residence in
When Joan of Arc was in the press I had as Wales was required to give the true tone to the
many legitimate causes for unhappiness as any Cambrian hero, and the author anxiously contem- man need have-uncertainty for the future and plated it. He returned to England with improved immediate want, in the literal and plain meaning health. Southern sunshine had done much for of the word. I often walked the streets at dinnerhim, but the casting off the burden of law did time for want of a dinner, when I had not eighteen
The ghost of Blackstone was laid, and the pence for the ordinary, nor bread and cheese at my poet could look the Epic Muse in the face.
lodgings. But do not suppose that I thought of my
dinner when I was walking. My head was full of While searching about for a resting place where what I was composing : when I lay down at night, he might receive her visits, in the quiet and peace I was planning my poem; and when I rose up in that she loves, he was fortunately directed to that the morning, the poem was the first thought to mountain-home, which was to be “ his abode for which I was awake. The scanty profits of that the longest period of his life, the birth-place of all poem I was then anticipating in my lodging-house his children, (save one,) and the place of his final bills for tea, bread, and butter, and those little
&c.'s which amount to a formidable sum when a rest." It happened at that period to be occupied
man has no resources.-P. 208. by Coleridge, who thus pleasantly describes its character and charins :
After relinquishing his secretaryship he took Our house stands on a low hill, the whole front up his abode at Bristol, covered his tables with of which is one field and an enormous garden, nine folios, and labored for immortality and Longman. tenths of which is a nursery garden. °Behind the Poetry had been almost laid aside; he found that house is an orchard, and a small wood on a steep tugging at the historical oar was more likely to slope, at the foot of which flows the river Greta, bring him into port; and his chief attention was which winds round and catches the evening lights turned to finding beds, chairs, and a table for a in the front of the house. In front, we have a house—when he could get one. Not that the giant's camp—an encamped army of tent-like moun
muse was utterly forgotten. To assist the destitains ; which, by an inverted arch, gives a view of another vale. On our right, the lovely vale and the cute relations of Chatterton, he busied himself in wedge-shaped lake of Bassenthwaite ; and on our
preparing an edition of his poems for the press, left Derwentwater, Lodore full in view, and the which appeared at the close of 1802, and yielded fantastic mountains of Borrodale. Behind us the more than 3001. to the benevolent design of the massy Skiddaw, smooth, green, high, with two editor. He had no intention of selling himself chasms and a tent-like ridge in the larger. A at Bristol. Keswick, with the ghost of old Skidfairer scene you have not seen in all your wander- daw lowering over it, had many attractions in his ings.-Vol. ii., p. 147.
eye. But to him-a greenhouse plant, and pining Southey did not immediately appreciate the for the sun-its cold, rainy climate was a strong enthusiasm of his friend. He sighed for the objection. He did not know where to choose. Mondego and the Tagus, for the great Mouchique Now he thought of green Richmond, with its and Cintra. But his studies of the picturesque glorious river; and now of a still shadier hermitwere suddenly interrupted by the most promising age in the vale of Neath ; where he might pursue invitation he had hitherto received. His kind his history, learn Welsh, keep an otter, and teach protector and associate, Mr. Wynn, had obtained him to catch a trout for dinner. for him the appointment of private secretary to the Irish chancellor of exchequer, with a salary of toad to catch flies, and it shall be made murder to
I will have (he told his friend, Mr. Bedford,) a 3501. He accordingly sailed for Dublin, but re- kill a spider in my domains; then, when you come mained there only a short time, and spent the to visit me, you will see puss on one side, and the remainder of the year in London. His official otter on the other, both looking for bread and milk, duties were not burdensome ; and frequent holy- and Margery in her little great chair, and the toad days interspersed pleasant intervals of literary upon the tea-table, and the snake twisting up the leisure. Meanwhile Thalaba moved slowly, but leg of the table to look for his share. he introduced the writer to Holland House. In But a dispute with a Cambrian landlord about the beginning of the following year he lost his the repairs of a kitchen, dissolved this agreeable mother, and with her the last friend of his infancy dream of a happy family, and the death of his and childhood. If his admirers hoped that he liule girl put an end to his doubts about a residence