• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII
 Chapter XIII
 Chapter XIV
 Index
 Advertising














Title: Thomas Poole and his friends
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076584/00002
 Material Information
Title: Thomas Poole and his friends
Physical Description: 2 v. : illus. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Sandford, Margaret E. Poole
Publisher: Macmillan
Place of Publication: London
New York
Publication Date: 1888
 Subjects
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Henry Sandford.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00076584
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00847133

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 12
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        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Chapter II
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
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    Chapter III
        Page 51
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    Chapter IV
        Page 74
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    Chapter V
        Page 102
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    Chapter VI
        Page 121
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    Chapter VII
        Page 153
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    Chapter VIII
        Page 174
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    Chapter IX
        Page 207
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    Chapter X
        Page 226
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    Chapter XI
        Page 246
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    Chapter XII
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    Chapter XIII
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    Chapter XIV
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    Index
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    Advertising
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        Page 332
Full Text




















THOMAS POOLE

AND HIS FRIENDS











THOMAS POOLE



AND HIS FRIENDS








MRS. HENRY SANDFORD


IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II


MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND NEW YORK
1888


A Ir r-ikht. rese- er d




















N1 I I


















CHAPTER I


'The horrors of such a harvest as that of 1799 can only be
conceived by those who have witnessed them, and by those
who have witnessed, they will not easily be forgotten.'
TIIELWALL'S P/reja/ory 1em1oir.

NEWSPAPER work seems to have been the one
direction in which Coleridge achieved immediate
success and instant popularity; but Pegasus did
not take kindly to working in harness, and his
letters to Thomas Poole are at this time all written
in a spirit of craving to get away from London, and
to find, if possible, a house in the Stowey neigh-
bourhood. For to make another home near Stowey
still appears to be his reigning intention, though it
cannot but be suspected that he was already begin-
ning to feel unconsciously drawn northward by the
strong magnet of Wordsworth's influence, especially
as he had now become acquainted with the grander
beauty of the Lake scenery. A suitable house had
indeed been heard of at Aisholt ;' the situation,'
he writes, 'is delicious ; all I could wish.'
VOL. II B


] '







2 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS ci.\. I

But then it was very solitary-there would be
no society for his wife ; and the conviction presses
upon him daily that-

' Sara being Sara, and I being I, we must live in a
town or else close to one, so that she may have neigh-
bours and acquaintances. For my friends form not that
society which is of itself sufficient to a woman. I know
nowhere else but Stowey (for to Bristol my objections
are insurmountable), but our old house in Stowey, and
that situation will not do for us. God knows where we
can go; for that situation which suits my wife does not
suit me, and what suits me does not suit my wife.
However, that which is, is,-a truth which always remains
equally clear, but not always equally pleasant ..

Well! We all remember what Mrs. Carlyle
thought of the solitude of Ecclefechan, and Mrs.
Carlyle was an immeasurably stronger woman
mentally than Sara Coleridge. The fact that
Coleridge, abstracted as he was into regions where
she could never follow him, still remembered and
felt that he had not only himself to consider,
seems distinctly a point to his credit.
Tom Poole gave him no counsels to stay on in
London, for, as we have already seen, he never
could look on journalism as anything else but a
turning aside of Coleridge's powers from higher
ends. Thus on January 2 he writes:-

Whether by the employment you have chosen, you








A LETTER TO COLERIDGE


have exactly performed the duy, you owe yours/lf, is
what you can determine much better than I. However
that may be, I in truth long for the period when you
shall have gained that sum of money which is necessary
to replace what you last year expended beyond your
income, as it will give me solid satisfaction to see you
resume, or rather begin, employment more consonant
to your former intentions, more worthy of your abilities,
more permanently useful to society, to yourself now,
and to your family /ere'afckr, for cver. Where you begin
those employment it is for you to choose. I need not
say, if it be here, or in this neighbourhood, it will con-
tribute greatly to my happiness and v._111., -, as it
would be supposing affectation in you not to be aware
that your society here is that sort of acquisition which
nothing can replace. Yes, Coleridge, I am much in-
debted to you, and though you've found in my mind
perhaps an unfruitful, you never shall in my heart, an
ungrateful soil.
'I write to you with constraint, because I think you
treated me with unmerited silence, and when you wrote
you seemed to perform a duty, not a pleasure. I
remarked to Mrs. Coleridge that I was afraid my disposi-
tion was altered, and that I was acquiring the heart-
witi/erin, faculty of losing men's hearts though I retained
their heads. If this be true I must and will endeavour
to rectify it, and when I see errors and inconsistencies in
those whom I love, where I can't sympathise I will at
any rate be silent. Thus much, my dear Col., I have
written, and let it not give you pain, or draw from you
a long reply. The former would distress me beyond
measure, and the latter would take up more of your time








4 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

than I would wish you to expend in letter-writing. .
When I anxiously wish you to reside here, it is on this
sole condition, that you can do as well here what you
propose doing, as elsewhere. If this be not the case, it
would be weakness and imprudence, at any rate for the
present, to think of residing here ..

Stowey news follows, and suggestions as to
houses, and the letter concludes with remarks
upon the JMiorning Post :

I cannot but approve of what you have written in
the papers. It is done in a masterly manner. Your
observations... are, without doubt, just, though I think
you have borne hard on Buonaparte and the French
Constitution. There is more of Harrington in the
latter than you seem aware of. Read Harrington
and comment upon it; it will bring a neglected book,
which deserves the study of all politicians, into new
notice. But beware how you do it ; and conceal, I beg
you, your name, and your present avocations, from the
world. Your ode to the Dutchess was a delightful thing
-the letter from Talleyrand excellent. Do you know,
by the bye, that Talleyrand was in England during the
tyranny of Robespierre, and ordered to quit the country
by Lord Grenvill ? If anything occur to me worthy the
Mlornin/g Post I will send it to you. Purkis tells me
he dined with you, and was gratified at meeting those
I would not have given a button to meet. He speaks
that in conversation men talk boldly of Atheism, etc. I
implore you, my dear Col., not by any levity for a
moment to countenance such principles and sentiments;







18oo COLERIDGE WILL RETURN TO STOWEY 5

not to share the withering curse which God now scatters
upon men-a curse which causes men of no feeling to
give up all to feeling, contrary to the conviction which
intellect must award if allowed to act. You often, from
good nature, or from a certain perverseness of disposition,
or from vanity, give countenance to men and principles
at which in the moments of true self-possession you
would spurn and tremble. Purkis is one of your
lovers. He writes with great facility-tell him to send
you something for the newspaper; I've no doubt he
would. God bless you.-Yours ever, THOS. POOLE.

'P.S.-Say in the Post-that one of the subordinate
taxes of ministers will be an additional impost on male
servants, with some regulations to prevent evasion,
particularly that evasion of parish apprentices; that in
future every lad, without exception, above ten years old
who waits at table, or performs any womanly offices in
a house, will be liable to taxation.'

How could you take such an absurd idea into your
head,' wrote Coleridge in reply,' that my affections have
weakened towards you ? Sometimes I have thought you
rash in your judgments of my conduct, but I perceived
rather than felt it. But, enough of this. My affections
are what they are, and, in all human probability, ever will
be. I write merely to desire you to be on the look-out
for a house. I shall, beyond all doubt, settle at Stowey,
if I can get a house with a garden, and large enough
for me to have a study out of the noise of women and
children. This is absolutely necessary for me. I have

I February 14, ISoo. Postmark 449 Strand.








6 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

given up the Aforning Post, but the editor is importunate
against it. To-night I must go with him to the House
of Commons. .. If I can get a house, I should wish
to be settled at midsummer; but if no house is to be
got by that time, we shall take lodgings at Minehead or
Porlock .

'You have closed, you say, with the lMornhin Post,'
remonstrates Tom L'oole.1 I never liked your being a
newspaper writer, but I trust as you entered into an en-
gagement, that you have fulfilled it, and that you have not
closed without answering your on' and Stuart's purpose.
To do this would make the last error greater than the
first. When I say I do not wish you to be a newspaper
writer, I do not simply speak impartially, but contrary to
my own pleasure and interest; for the regular receipt
of the MAorni ng Pfos, and what you have written in it,
have given me great delight. I was highly pleased with
the last of your Pitt's speeches. It was an eminent
instance of the magic of language upon truth and
reason-the finest manufacture from the worst materials.
But wherefore deck out the minister in this way? Why
had you not reported Sheridan and his side? If you
have given up the paper, what are you doing ? Let me
know .

Then the letter, like the last, goes on to discuss
the chances of obtaining a house in Stowey.
Amongst the greetings with which it closes there
is a message of kind remembrances to Wordsworth;

SFebruary 22, ISoo.







8Ioo APPRECIATION OF WORDSWORTH 7

but perhaps it was not in human nature that so
eager an affection as Tom Poole's could endure
with perfect equanimity the spectacle of Coleridge's
growing devotion to the one man before whom he
habitually veiled his crest, joyfully owning in him
a superior. Tom Poole could not see it. He loved
Coleridge and admired Wordsworth; and when
the man whom he loved set the man whom he
admired above himself, he was irritated and im-
patient.

'Certainly no one, neither you or the Wedgwoods,
although you far more than any one else,' wrote Coleridge,1
'ever entered into the feeling due to a man like Words-
worth, of whom I do not hesitate in saying that, since
Milton, no one has manifested himself equal to him.'

Coleridge wrote from Lamb's, where, he said, he
was 'very quiet,' but wished himself at Stowey!
He wished, too, from the bottom of his heart, that
he could 'get Wordsworth to retake Alfoxden,'2
which Poole had told him remained unlet. It is
as if he would fain put back the hands of time, and
have 1798 again.
Poole's answer has not been preserved, but
he seems to have petulantly accused Coleridge of

1 Written from Lamb's, 36 Chapel Street, Pentonville, March
1800o.
SWas it, then, in Wordsworth's power to do so? And had
Poole's letter to Mrs. St. Albyn actually produced some effect ?







8 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

making an idol of Wordsworth, and prostrating
himself before him ; for-

You charge me,' wrote Coleridge,' with prostration
in regard to Wordsworth. Have I affirmed anything
miraculous of W. ? Is it impossible that a greater poet
than any since Milton may appear in our days ? Have
there any great poets appeared since him ? Future
greatness Is it not an awful thing, my dearest Poole ?
What if you had known Milton at the age of thirty, and
believed all you now know of him ?-What if you should
meet in the letters of any then living man, expressions
concerning the young Milton totidem verbis the same as
mine of Wordsworth, would it not convey to you a most
delicious sensation ? Would it not be an assurance to
you that your admiration of the Paradise Lost was no
superstition, no shadow of flesh and bloodless abstraction,
but that the MIan was even so, that the greatness was
incarnate and personal? Wherein blame I you, my best
friend ? Only in being borne down by other men's rash
opinions concerning W. You yourself, for yourself,
judged wisely ..

In relation to the question of lodgings Tom
Poole seems to have mentioned some possibility of
renting part of a farmhouse, which would, how-
ever, involve the joint-use of a kitchen. This
Coleridge fears would lead to continual squabbles
between their servant and the farmer's wife, and
'be worse than the old hovel fifty times over.'

1 March 31, i8oo.







ISoo NO SUITABLE HOUSE 9

Do not, my dearest Poole, deem me cold, or finical,
or indifferent to Stowey, full and fretful in objection ; but
on so important an affair to a man who has, and is likely
to have, a family, and who Mlst have silence and a
retired study, as a house is, it were folly not to consult
one's own feelings, folly not to let them speak audibly,
and having heard them, hypocrisy not to utter them. .
My dearest friend, when I have written to you lately, I
have written with a mind and heart completely worn out
with the fag of the day. I trust in God you have not
misinterpreted this into a change of character. I was a
little jealous at an expression in your last letter-" I am
happy you begin to feel your power." Truly and in simple
verity, my dear Tom, I feel not an atom more power
than I have ever done, except the power of gaining a few
more paltry guineas than I had supposed. On the con-
trary, my faculties appear to myself dwindling, and I do
believe if I were to live in London another half year, I
should be dried up wholly.'

Evidently fate was not propitious to a return to
Stowey, where all Tom Poole's researches could
not discover any residence which would fulfil the
required conditions. But it is difficult not to
believe that in any case Coleridge could never have
been contented to live in the west of England
whilst Wordsworth was living in the north. A
letter, dated July 4, 18oo, describes his arrival
at Keswick, and the commencement of his resi-
dence at Greta Hall. It is an unhappy omen that
the letter begins, as almost every letter that Poole








Io THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHa,. I

received from Coleridge during his stay at Greta
Hall does either begin or end, with a description
of illness. A cold caught on the journey north-
wards has increased almost to a rheumatic fever
he has been several days in bed, and it has left
him so weak and listless that writing was hateful
to him. And with that feeling never will I write
to you,' he adds. In a letter written about three
weeks later to Josiah Wedgwood,l he speaks of
himself as recovering, and describes the wonderful
beauty of his new surroundings. Nevertheless he
would rather have been at Stowcy !
'I parted from Poole with pain and dejection,' he
says,-' for him, and for myself in him. I should have
given Stowey a decided preference as a residence; .
but there was no suitable house, and no prospect ot
a suitable house .
On August 14 he wrote to Poole that he
was well, that Greta Hall was a delightful resi-
dence, that his landlord was a quiet, sensible man.
with as large a library as Tom Poole's, perhaps
larger, well stored with encyclopedias, dictionaries,
and histories, all modern ; and he has free access
to Sir Gilfred Lawson's magnificent library
besides. The same letter contains an acknowledg-
ment of some literary contributions sent by Tom
Poole for the Mormning Post:-
1 publishedd in Cottle's Rcyiniscences.







ISoo POOLE'S AGRICULTURAL LETTERS II

'Your two letters I received exactly four days ago .
I read them and liked them, and was working them off
in Agricultural Letters, with notes of my own, when I
received letters from Phillips so pressing, that I was oblig,
to put the thing I had engaged for out of hand. I meant
to have sent the letters to Stuart, with orders to have
them first in his paper, and then republished in the form
of a pamphlet. A most important question arises : Has
there been any scarcity? The newspapers are now
running down the monopolists, etc. Is it not a burning
shame that the Government have not taken absolute
means to decide a question so important ? It grieved
me that you had felt so much from my silence. Believe
me, I have been hiarrasscd with business, and shall remain
so for the remainder of the year. ... .God bless you,
and for God's sake never doubt that I am attached to
you beyond all other men, S. T. COLERIDGE.'

In reply Mr. Poole wrote as follows :-

DEAR COL.-" A ,most important ylesti'o," you say,
arises.: Hats there been, any scarcity ? Is it not a bln/ringl
shane that Govrernnent h/are not taken absolute means to
decide a question so important ?" The thing is so obvious
that it would be ridiculous in Government to take any
further steps on the subject. I considered the existence
of scarcity so well ascertained that, in the little thing I
sent you, I took it for granted .... The very fact that
monopolists had been able to raise the price is a proof
of scarcity. Grain is an article too bulky, too widely
diffused, and too valuable to be monopolised, even by
the large capitals which exist in this country, without the
thing itself being actually scarce. .Moreover, most of








12 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

the large farmers have their senses about them, and do not
want capital, and if they see a probability of corn being
dearer, they keep it themselves to receive the advantage
of increased price; and we can hardly call that a mono-
poly where every individual producer of the article is the
possessor of it. Whether the farmers have kept back the
corn longer than the exigencies of the time required, is a
question to be answered by considering a very few facts.
Does any one see old stacks of corn about in the
farmer's yards? No. There used to be, at this season,
one or more in every respectable farmer's yard. We
hear of one man and another man having a few quarters
of corn-and ought it not to be so ? In a community so
numerous as this, in an article of the first necessity, can
or ought things to be so balanced that the last quarter
of old wheat shall be consumed on the day the new comes
into the market? Supposing the harvest had been a
month later, as it well might have been where then
would have been the superfluous quantity of old wheat ?
Or, supposing we had had wet weather during wheat
harvest, so that the wheat would not have been in a state
to be ground for two or three months, should we not
have been starved ? I do not believe that of English
wheat there is more by any means in the world than a
fortnight's consumption for this country. We hear of
one farmer refusing a guinea a bushel, another selling for
23s. or 24s. per bushel ; all this is bad in the individual,
and may be from infamous motives, but it was wholesome
restraint to the community. We hear of damaged corn
and flour being thrown into a river. An accident may
happen in scarce times as well as in plenty, and no
one in plenty would damage corn wilfully, or throw it









THE NATIONAL FOOD SUPPLY


into a river unless damaged. It is all stuff. What do
those quantities amount to ?-I suppose the city of
London alone, even with economy, consumes 10,000
quarters a week. There would not have been a handful
of wheat left but for the introduction of foreign wheat.
Who knew when this would come, or if it would come at
all ? ... When foreign wheat has been imported it must
be a species of monopoly, because few only can be the
importers ; but the price was raised before foreign wheat
came, so I cannot much blame the importers. The price
was raised by the natural scarcity of the article, but to
double the price, it never ought to be, even by any scarcity.
There should be a maximum fixed for wheat, and in times
of scarcity Government should import-or rather, the
government of every county, or of every hundred, and
the district should bear the loss. But on public granaries
I could say a great deal-but then, if corn be kept down
when crops are bad, the farmer ought to be remuner-
ated, or he is treated with injustice, and will be ruined.'

Tom Poole goes on to say that 'whether from
vanity or from better motives,' he is anxious to
see his Essay immediately published.

'But don't give yourself much trouble about altering
it, for I fear there will be great incongruity between
your writing and mine, and I fear, too, to alter it
to the principles of Mr. Stuart's paper, whatever they
may happen now to be, and to the opinions of
his Patrons, may give the thing a different spirit from
that which I intended. I think if you would write a
plain introduction, stating some of the arguments of this









14 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS c1I.'. 1

letter on the existence of scarcity, and correct the bad
English, and publish it as a pamphlet, it would be the best
way. If any loss should occur, I will pay it, however,
give me if it be but five lines, to say what you have done,
or can immediately conveniently do. God bless and pre-
serve you, and if it be possible, add to the great talents
you possess, the punctuality of a common man.-Yours
truly, TH-os. POOLE.'

Coleridge's letters to Thomas Poole have de-
generated into what must have been considered
mere notes in comparison with the immense sheets
that he used to fill in Germany. Who can wonder
at it, when we remember that he was now in the
regular harness of journalism, an occupation which
is apt to leave both hand and mind with very little
freshness to bestow on private correspondence?
But Tom Poole hardly considered this enough, and
was a little disposed to be hurt at the short
letters-not so very short after all, judged by
modern measurements-and the long silences,
which added a colder chill to the sense of separa-
tion involved in Coleridge's departure into the
North. It is curious to discover from his next
(endorsed October I 800 and written on a half-sheet
of foolscap) that, for some reason or other, Poole
did not take in the Jlforninig Post regularly, and
therefore never saw his own articles when they in
due course appeared. Coleridge begins by saying







ISoo ESSAYS IN TIE 'MORNING POST' 15

that he has been for some time 'about to write,'
but 'jolts, and ruts, and flings have constantly
unhorsed his resolves.'

'The essays have been published in the Mforning Post,
and have, to use the cant phrase, made great sensation.
In one place only I have ventured to make a slight altera-
tion, and I prefixed one essay, cliefly of my own writing,
and made two or three additions in the enumeration of
the effects of war. Now I wish all to be republished in
a small pamphlet, but should like to have one more essay
S. .detailing the effect of paper currency on the price
of the articles of life. In the meantime I wish you
could contrive ... to take in the Alorning Post. You
will see therein all I am able to say and reason, and your
arguments will come up in the rear, like the Roman
Triarii, on whom alone, you know, depended the stress
of the battle and the hope of the victory. Those hitherto
published I shall cut out, and enclose in a letter (paying
the postage, that you may not lose your temper !)'
The series of letters here spoken of appeared
in the Mlorning Post on October 3, October 4,
October 8, October 9, and October 14, 18oo.
They have been reprinted by Mrs. H. N. Coleridge,
in Coleridge's Essays on His Own Times, with
the following note:-
The Letters on AMonopolists and Farnersl 1 were
1 An inquiry into the truth of the popular opinion concerning
these classes of men. Essays on H/is Own Times, by S. T. Cole-
ridge, being his articles from the Akorning Post, etc., reprinted by his
daughter, vol. ii. p. 413.







16 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

chiefly the work of Mr. Poole of Nether Stowey, but as
my father had much to do with their composition and
appearance, I think they may be fitly introduced among
his contributions to the Morning Post. On the margin
of No. III. Part I., "Introduction only by S. T. C.," is
written in his hand; at the end of the second part he
has written, "Wholly Poole's." No. I. was composed by
himself, for the most part. The letter of October
14 is certainly my father's, since the writer speaks
of himself as living 300 miles from London, which
applied to him, and not to Mr. Poole.'
On a former article1 of Poole's, also reprinted
among Coleridge's Essays, Mrs. H. N. Coleridge
writes :-
This article was contributed by that "excellent and
remarkable man, Mr. Poole of Nether Stowey." I
need hardly apologise for not detaching it from those
contributions of Mr. Coleridge with which it first saw the
light, feeling sure that all who are interested in my
father's personal and literary career-and for such this
volume is especially intended-will receive it gladly, as
a slight sample of the early mind of the great friend of
his life, and a token or remembrance of that almost life-
long friendship. It was the opinion of many, who knew
Mr. Poole, that he might have commanded success in
literature, if it had suited him to pursue it persistently,
and I never heard a dissentient voice from my father's
declaration concerning "the originality and raciness of
his intellect." '-Note 'E' lo Essays on His Own Times.
1 An article on the Abolition of Slavery contributed to the
IWatchman.










EFFECTS OF PAPER MONEY


The next letter that has been preserved was
written on Tom Poole's birthday :-

ovember 14, 800o.
MY DEAR Coi.-It is my birthday, and I make a
point of collecting as many agreeable sensations on this
day as I possibly can. It is, I think, beginning the new
year of my existence well. To write to you is always
agreeable to me. We were most happy to hear of the
safety of Mrs. Col. and the newborn. ... .I congratulate
you both-I am glad it is a boy-why had you not
called him after his godfather, i.e. Thonas.
I also received your letter. You ask me the effect of
paper money on the price of provisions.-I had not
much thought of that part of the subject when I sent that
Essay. If I had, instead of merely hinting at it as a
cause of the rise of provisions, I should have dwelt
largely on it, for I am persuaded that the immense
emission of paper money has been a great cause of the
rise of the price of everything bought and sold, and
will, if not checked, greatly prevent the diminution
of that price, and, 2nd., that this excess of paper has
been principally occasioned by the financial system of
the present war. Paper money is now multiplied with-
out end. If a man has five guineas he takes it to a bank
and gets one of their bills for it; he immediately nego-
ciates the bill and the banker negociates the gold, so
that the money in the market is doubled by this single
operation. This five guineas on being sent out is carried
again to a banker. The same operation is repeated.
The five guineas is now come to fifteen, and so on from
fifteen to twenty, and from twenty to twenty-five, I will
VOL. II C










IS THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS i I

venture to say with every five guineas in the kingdom.
Money being thus immensely and easily increased, it
of course becomes of less value. How then can it
purchase as much of the necessaries of life, or anything
else, as it did before ? Is it not a cruel thing, when
money is thus decreased in value, to pay the labourer
the same coin for a certain quantum of labour which
was paid before that decrease ? This excess of paper
money has had precisely the same effect on the labourer
as a deterioration of the coin would have had the same
as if ... a groat was paid him for the same labour
for which before he received a shilling. And this excess
of paper has been mainly occasioned by the miserable
financial system of stopping payment at the Bank of
England, which was, to all intents and purposes, a
deterioration of the coin of the Kingdom-the last
miserable resource of sinking states. For if they added
one half, or whatever it might have been, of their paper
to the circulating medium, without engaging to give the
value which that paper represented whenever it was
required, the whole mass of the circulating medium was
consequently deteriorated in proportion to the quantity
so emitted. And this alloy is profusely circulated
throughout the kingdom by every petty agent of Govern-
ment, every ox or quarter of corn bought by contractors
is paid for with this paper. When we are thus made rich
by paper which represents nothing, is it any wonder that it
sells for nothing ? or, in other words, that it so deteriorates
the circulating medium that a much less quantity of
provisions, and of everything else, is exchanged for a
given quantity of the circulating medium so deteriorated,
than was exchanged before. The rise of everything will







ON THE PRICE OF PROVISIONS


be as permanent as the cause which has produced it.
If the Bank of England continues to emit more paper
than it pays, things will continue to rise, and vice 7,rsa.
But without this abominable vice of the Bank of England,
the operation of banking in general has produced the
fatal effects which I first stated, though the bills be bona
fule. One of the best measures (next to making the
Bank of England immediately pay their bills, which is
impossible) would be to limit //le trade f banking. No
bills should be issued from any bank of less than ,20
value. This would alter the price of provisions more than
all the laws against forestallers, etc., all the /ubbub against
farmers, etc. etc. But the measure which would cover
every machination of knaves, and every blunder of fools
-the measure which alone would be practicable, wise,
humane, and honest, would be to fix by law a ratio
between the price of labour and the price of provisions.
Suppose, for instance, a man in full vigour should always
be paid for a week's labour half a bushel of wheat and
20 lbs of beef, or the market price of those articles,-for I
would have them compounded,-a woman half the above
-justices to have power in case of age or decrepitude
to fix the diminution. Difficulties may at first appear in
carrying the plan into execution, but I am confident they
may be got over. I returned Monday last from
Gunville, where .. I found young Watt of Birmingham,
T. Wedgwood [and others]. .. The more I see of T.
W. the more I admire him, and the more I lament the
terrible state of health which he seems doomed to suffer.
It affects me almost to tears to see him hovering over
the fire, pinched with disease, and, at the same time, his
mind active and ardent, planning schemes of good and







20 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. I

pleasure for future years, and discriminating men and
things with a delicacy and an acuteness which I have rarely
seen equalled. God grant he may live. The two Miss
Wedgwoods are sensible women, apparently very good-
tempered. The eldest interested me very much ... We
talked and talked of you, and while I was there a letter
came from you. It gave us all great pleasure, and to
none more than to me. Why could you not confess to me
what you did in that letter ? What reason is there, Cole-
ridge, why you cannot write to me with as much pleasure
as heretofore ? We shall soon, I have little doubt, some-
how or other live near together again. If you feel the want
of my company I indeed feel the want of yours. I can
truly say I owe you much, very much indeed; but the debt
of gratitude does not oppress my affection for you ..
Mother is better than perhaps you ever knew her,
God be praised. Kind love to Mrs. Col. and to all.
We shall see you at Christmas. Heaven bless you,
THOSE POOLE.'
But that Christmas visit never came to pass.
Instead we find a letter, containing, indeed,
passages of great interest and beauty, but full of
those melancholy complaints of ill health with
which Coleridge's letters now begin to abound.
For months he has been afflicted with rheumatic
pains in the back of his head and chronic inflamma-
tion of his eyes.1 And all this illness has thrown
I See also letter of Coleridge to Davy, December 2, 18oo.
'For the last month I have been trembling on through the sands and
swamps of evil and bodily grievance. My eyes have been inflamed, etc.
etc.'-Fragienltay Remains of Sir H. Dayj, edited by his brother.







ISoo CIIRISTMAS GREETINGS 21

him so sadly behindhand with his work, that he
'almost fears he will not be able to raise money
enough by Christmas to make it prudent to journey
southward.'
'If I cannot come,' he concludes, I will write you a
very, very long letter, containing the most important of
the many thoughts and feelings which I want to com-
municate to you, but hope to do it face to face. ..
God have you ever in His keeping, making life
tranquil to you. Believe me to be what I have
been ever, and am, attached to you one degree more
at least than to any other living man.
'S. T. COLERIDGE.'








22 TIIOMAS POOLE AND) HIS FRIENDS CHAP. 11


CHAPTER II

For not to think of vhat I needs must feel,
But to be still and patient, all I can,
And haply by abstruse research to steal
From my own nature all the natural man-
This was my sole resource, my only plan :
Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.'
COL'IRI);lE'S jDe)t'c/on all OWt.

A GOOD deal of correspondence passed between
Poole and Coleridge in the year Sot. We find
Coleridge early in January writing from his
' wearisome bed pitiable letters, in which he dwells
much at length, as an invalid always will, to
any friend of whose patience and sympathy he
feels sure, upon the various miseries of his condition,
and that with a vividness of detail and simplicity
of impatience at all the pain he has had to go
through, and the length of time that he has been
ill, which it goes to one's heart to read.

0 me, my dear fellow,' he writes,' 'the notion of a
1 Letter undated, postmark Keswick. Endorsed, From Col.,
January 7, ISol.







A FRIENDLY REMONSTRANCE


soul is a comfortable one to a poor fellow who is begin-
ning to be ashamed of his body For the last four months
I have not had a fortnight of continuous health-bad
eyes, swoln eyelids, boils behind my ears and heaven
knows what! From this year I commence a Liver by
Rule-the most degrading, perhaps, of all occupations,
and which, were I not a husband and father, I should
reject, as thinking human life not worth it.
My visit to the South I must defer to the warm
weather-the remaining months of the winter and the
spring I must give totis 'iribus to health and money.'

For his illness has thrown him behindhand, and
he is grievously worried with petty anxieties and
embarrassments, whilst still so dizzy from long
lying in bed that he hardly knows whether he
writes 'legibly in manner or intelligibly in matter,'
and has scarce strength to fold up his letter.'
M D:AR COL.,' writes Poole in answer,1 I this
morning received yours of Jan. 7th. I need not describe
the pain which the contents have given me. I am afraid
you have been running about too much in the country
where you are ... You should not tumble about on
precipices, nor expose yourself to stormy wet weather,
nor remain with wet feet and wet clothes. Your mind
is too strong for your body. It proposes labours under
which the poor mortal sinks ..
I do, my dear Col., feel deeply interested for
you. I bitterly regret your leaving Stowey. I fancy if
you had continued here this would not have happened.
SStowey, January I. ISoi.







24 THIOMAS P'OOLE 2.NI) HIS FRIENDS cl.\Ar. 1

I could go on with this rough tenderness of reproach, but
of what avail ? Let me ber you to take care of your-
self, and to persevere in that plan of living by rule.
[n that rule, I need hardly observe, due attention must
be paid to appropriate exercise, and to appropriate clothing
during that exercise. Thes, are of more consequence
than dict-ex-ess (f if being excluded.
]sides being a husband and a father, there are
reasons which belong to few why you should take care
of your health. The only security which mankind hath
of retaining your spirit, is the health of the frail bonds
which enclose it. It is a -pirit of much power cast
among us-power, 1 trust, to be productive of good.
],ut, remember, it has not yel fulfilled its errand. You
are, I know, impressed with this truth.
'As to the money part of )our letter, I will write ...
to King desiring him to pay \Irs. Fricker Li5.1 You
may desire Mr. \\. to pay me or not, as you like.
There is no reason why you should not draw on Mr. W.
for the ,- I.o [I would receive the annuity but not
anticipatef it. Rather than do that, have some money of
me. The \.'s, I am certain, believe that if you have
done but little since they granted you the annuity, you
have been preparing to do muc-h.
They think the money you ;pent in Germany was well
spent, and spoke to me with much satisfaction of the
compleat manner in which all the objects you proposed
SOut of his slenlder means, Co( ridge regularly sent his wife's
motlhr 620 a year.
Coleridge had written, 'It is :all to me to receive any more
money from them till I can point to iomethiing I have done, with
an inward consciousness th thttherein I have exerted the whole of my
mind.'







ISOi MUTUAL REGRETS 25

to yourself by that journey were attained. When you
get well, be calm. Feel yourself settled for tihe present
where you are. I will come to sec you some time
during this year. I will, remember, at any time, if you
are very ill, or have any particular wish to see me, come
and see you ..
'We are all well. Mother is well. I never was
stronger, body and mind. I hope you'll soon say the
same. Mother begs her kind affection to you and to Mrs.
Coleridge. (od love the little Hartley.
'TIIOS. PooiE.'

Poole bilter/y regretted' his friend's departure
from Stowey, and Coleridge too, in writing to the
Wedgwoods,1 had let them plainly see, at the same
time, how sorely he misses that friend in whom,
as he once said, beyond all other friends he had
found an Anchor.'

My situation here is indeed a delightful situation,' he
writes, November i, So18, 'but I feel what I have lost
--feel it deeply ; it recurs more often and more painfully
than I had anticipated-indeed, so much so that I scarcely
ever feel myself impelled, that is to say, pleasurably
impelled, to write to Poole. I used to feel myself more
at home in his great windy parlour than in my own
cottage. We were well suited to each other,-my
animal spirits corrected his inclination to melancholy;

SLetter from Keswick of November I, I8oo, printed in Cottle's
Reminiiscences. It was received at Gunville whilst Poole was
staying there, and is the letter referred to in that which Poole wrote
on his birthday, November 14.







26 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS c.rA. 11

and there was something both in his understanding and
in his affections so healthy and manly that my mind
freshened in his company, and my ideas and habits of
thinking acquired, day after day, more of substance and
reality. .. Yet when I revise the step I have taken.
I know not how I could have acted otherwise than as I
did act. Everything I promised myself in this country
has answered far beyond my expectation. The room in
which I write commands six distinct landscapes-the
two lakes, the vale, the river and mountains, and mists,
and clouds and sunshine, make endless combinations, as
if heaven and earth were for ever talking to each other.
Often when in a deep study I have walked to the window,
and remained there looking without seeing; all at once
the lake of Keswick and the fantastic mountains at
the head of it have entered into my mind, with a sudden-
ness as if I had been snatched out of Cheapside, and
placed for the first time in the spot where 1 stood. And
that is a delightful feeling-these fits and trances of
novelty received from a long-known object .

'MY DEAR POOLE,' wrote Coleridge (February i,
180o), 'it mingles with the pleasures of convalescence,
with the breeze that trembles on my nerves, the thought
how glad you will be to hear that I am striding back to
my former health with manful paces. ... One week
more of repose I am enjoined to grant myself, and
then I gird up my loins, first, to disembarrass my cir-
cumstances by fulfilling all my engagements, and then
to a Work-O my dear, dear friend! that you were
with me by the fireside of my study here, that I might
talk it over with you to the tune of this nightwind that







ISol THE LYRICAL BALLADS 27

pipes its thin, doleful, climbing, sinking notes, like a
child that has lost its way and is crying aloud, half in
grief, and half in the hope to be heard by its mother.
But when your Ripping is over you will come, or, at
furthest, immediately after hay harvest. Believe me,
often and often in my walks amid these sublime land-
scapes I have trod the ground impatiently, irritated
that you were not with me ..

Ten days before, he had already written that,
though not without sorrowful relapses,' he was
'mending fast,' and had given proof of returning
health in the eagerness with which he speaks of
the forthcoming new edition of the Lyrical Ba/llas.

'For my sake, and Wordsworth's, and your own.
he says to Poole, you will purchase not only the new
volume, but likewise the 2d edition of the first volume,
on account of the valuable preface. By my advice, and
at Longman's expense, copies, with appropriate letters.
were sent to the Dutchess of Devonshire, Sir Bland Bur
gess, Mrs. Jordan, Mlr. lox, Mr. Wilberforce, and two
or three others. I dictated all the other letters, while
Wordsworth wrote the one to Mr. Fox. I have had that
letter transcribed for you, for its excellence, and mine to
Wilberforce, because the two contain a good view of our
notions and motives, poetical and political ..

And accordingly three sides of the foolscap
sheet on which he writes are occupied with copies
of these two letters in Mrs. Coleridge's hand.
Poole's next letter is dated February 8, 1 So :-







28 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS cll.\p. In

MY IlAR COL.-I am indeed happy to hear that you
are likely soon to get well. Be sure to take care of
yourself. Remember an indiscretion is a relapse, and a
relapse is worse than the first attack. I will assuredly
go into the North of England before next Michaelmas,
and probably early this Spring; what say you to the
beginning of May ? .
'Is the work to which you mean to apply anything
with which I am not acquainted ? Whatever it may be, I
trust you will have perseverance to execute it. Man and
God require it of you.
'I was much pleased by the letters to Fox and
Wilberforce. Are any answers returned, or do you
expect any ? I have sent for the Lyrical Ballads. .
I some time since received a letter from Mr. Jos.
W[edgwood], in which he says :-
WT/hen Tom nwas he/e re e enjoyed a highl satisfaction
iin eAplaining to Mackintosh the result of his metaphysical
speculations, and in finding Ai. concur wif/h him in his
opinions, after discussing the points, thollgh not at first
disposed to do so. lie has also convinced Sharip, as far as
he has opened fhe business to him. The subjects lie has
cleared are no less than Time, Space, and Motion; and
Mackintosh and Sharpe think a metaphysical rczolution
,. ito follow. It has given hii great pleasure to be
confirmed in the result (f several years' meditation, and to
acquire confidence to pursue what he has, I belieec, so well
begun, as far as s h miserable health will ermit...
Has T. W. ever said anything to you on this subject ?
I shall desire some further account of it, though it is very
improbable I shall be able to understand it .
I have sent you a bill for /18 : 18. I had not 20







ISol MONEY RELATIONS 29

except a bank bill,' which is dangerous to send by post.
God bless you, and restore you soon to perfect health
and life, body and soul.-Ever yours,
THOSE. POOLE.

'Write by return of post on account of the bill.
Before you pass this bill you must write your name on
the back of it.'

Unimportant details relating to a man's private
money affairs are, as a rule, to be omitted in
biographies, as belonging to that class of facts
which every one has a right to keep to himself,
and into which none but vulgar-minded persons
would desire to pry. Sometimes, however, such
details are too closely interwoven with character
to be altogether passed over, and the question of
Coleridge's money relations with his friends has
been so much discussed and commented upon,
that it may be well to remark here, that although
there was certainly an impression amongst those
who knew both well, that Tom Poole 'did a great
deal for Coleridge,' no memorandum or tradition
has been handed down in the Poole family show-
ing that he ever advanced any large sum of

In response to T. P.'s offer, p. 24, S. T. C. had entered in
some detail into the subject of the petty financial perplexities which
were haunting his thoughts and retarding his recovery; and had
said it would make his mind easy if Poole could, without inconveni-
ence. let him have 20 for six cweeks.--S. T. C. to T. P., February
I, ISoI.








30 TIIOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS Ac.\r. I

money to him at any one time. What does
appear to be true is, that they were upon such
brotherly terms that Coleridge could always send
to Poole without scruple for 5, ,io, or even
20, whenever he was for the moment straightened
for ready cash.
Coleridge's next letter was written in over-
flowing delight at the prospect of Poole's visit:
'If you come in the beginning of May, you will
make it joyous as an Italian month to me. Only let it
be in the middle of May, that the leaves may be all out.
I shall begin to look at the Lake and the encamped
host of mountains with a new interest-" Mtiat will delight
him." God ever bless you, my dear dear Friend.'
Then he goes on to say that he thinks as little
of Sharpe as he does of Mackintosh.2 Their
opinion weighs as nothing with him; but Tom
Wedgwood's own opinion is a very different
matter; he is exceedingly likely to have fallen
upon some valuable truth, if only it be not as he
almost fears it is, that his conclusions have been
anticipated :-
'Since I have been at Keswick I have read a great
deal, and my reading has furnished me with many
reasons for being exceedingly suspicious of supposed
discoveries in metaphysics.
1 February 13, ISo.
Coleridge's want of admiration for Mackintosh is noticed with
extreme indignation by Jeffrey.-LEinbutrgh Revie'izc, October IS35.










DISPARAGEMENT OF LOCKE


My letters to the Wedgwoods shall be copied out
and sent you. I do not think they will entertain
you very much, those already written I mean, for they
are crowded with dates and quotations, and relate
chiefly to the character of Mr. Locke,1 whom I think I
have proved to have gained a reputation to which he
had no honest claim; and Hobbes as little to the
reputation to which T. Wedgwood, and after him
Mackintosh, have laboured to raise him. But all this
inter os. Change of ministry interests me not. I
turn at times, half reluctantly, from Leibnitz or Kant, to
read a smoking new newspaper-such a p t-rs pstus
metaphysician am I become. .. Mrs. Coleridge desires
her kindest, very kindest love to your mother, and she
sends her love to Ward, and begs and intreats of him-
if your mother is not disposed to write-that he will
immediately write icr a letter full of news, Stowey news,
of Mr. and Mrs. Rich, of the Chesters, of everybody
and everything. She hates the sight of your nasty
S'Of Locke he spoke as usual with great contempt, that is, in
reference to his metaphysical work. lie considered him as having
led to the destruction of metaphysical science, by encouraging the
unlearned public to think that with mere common sense they might
dispense with disciplined study. lie praised Stillingileet as Locke's
opponent [T. Poole's copy of the )Origines Sacr, with S. T. C.'s
marginal notes, is in the British Museum], and he ascribed Locke's
popularity to his political character, being the advocate of the new
against the old dynasty; to his religious character as a Christian
though but an Arian-for both parties, the Christians against the
sceptics, and the liberally-minded against the orthodox, were glad
to raise his reputation; and to the nationality of the people, w\ho
considered him and Newton as the adversaries of the German
Leibnitz. Voltaire, to depress Leibnitz, raised Locke.'-S. T.
Coleridge's conversation, December 23, 1810. Reported in II. C.
Robinson's Diary, vol. i. chap. xiii.









32 TIOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. 0l

letters with not a word for a woman to read in them.
Put Ward is a bad hand. Do get your dear mother to
write.
"O May, best month of all the year !"
Derwent is going to be inoculated with the cow-pox.
He is a beautiful boy. And Hartley-I could fill sheets
about him.-God love my dearest friend,
'and S. T. COLERIDGE.'

When we remember Locke's position in relation
to French philosophic thought, and Tom Poole's
ardent sympathy with the aims and achievements
of the Constituent Assembly, and his admiration
for the French literature of the eighteenth century,
we shall not be surprised to find that the dis-
paragement of Locke contained in the foregoing
letter, and in the letters to the Wedgwoods, was
more than he could endure without protest.
MY DEAR COL.,' he writes,1 I received your letter and
the copy of your letter to Mr. J. Wedgwood. I thank
you for both, particularly the latter. You have, I think,
made a strong case against Mr. Locke's claim to origin-
ality if metaphysics were always written so plainly
I should be fond of the subject. .. And yet I could
have wished to have seen you draw your powerful
weapon against any one rather than Locke The image
of Locke comprises a large apartment of the materials
of every sound virtuous mind, and though in those
minds there are more attributes annexed to that
1 Stowey, March 14, 1801.









ISo1 DEFENCE OF LOCKE 33

image than (as you have clearly made appear) belong to
it, yet I am loath to mutilate it, lest the sound parts
should be discarded with those you prove to be defec-
tive. If you prove Locke's mind to have been less
powerful than has been believed, in the same proportion
his authority is lessened as an advocate for religion and
liberty; but if you prove him a liar, he ceases to be any
authority at all for either. I must believe, after having
read your letter, that Locke was unacquainted with the
authorities you quote (in which case he has the merit of
a discoverer); for considering the whole of Mr. Locke's
character, I think it was out of his nature to wish to
appear that which he did not believe himself to be.
Had he known those authorities, and understood them in
the sense we do, he would have acquired merit as new
and as important as that which we have been used to
give him, by illustrating in a popular way doctrines
which had hitherto been comprised in a few dogmas
found in books read only by the learned. Moreover,
by showing that those doctrines were general principles
on which the whole fabric of the human mind de-
pended, and that they led to consequences much more
important than the authors of them had any conception
of, he in this point of view would have had a claim to
originality-just as Dr. Priestley discovered that vege-
tables not only served for the food of animals, but for
the purification of that element in which animals live ;
as Newton, that gravity not only existed, but bound
the universe together, etc. etc.1

1 Poole was no metaphysician, and perhaps hardly understood
the points in question; it was, no doubt, as a recognized teacher of
the reforming party in politics that he chiefly reverenced Locke.
VOL. II D








34 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS crA\r. I

'I have said thus much, and could say much more,
as your mind will easily say for me. It will induce
you to think before you join the herd of Littlc-ists, who,
without knowing in what Locke is defective, wish to strip
the popular mind of him, leaving in his place nothing-
darkness, total darkness. In writing the progress of
Metaphysics, in God's name stick to truth. Say what
every one discovered. If Locke discovered anything,
or made a new extension of old principles, which I
suppose was the case, an extension so convincing that
it laid all opposite principles asleep-state this, for
it was new. But don't state what he did not do, nor
deprive a man of the character of benevolent, who,
giving all he had, and thinking it five thousand, on
the calculation of his successors it was found but five
hundred.
Lend me if you can (I won't say as you have promised)
the copies of the following letters to J. W. They are
great gratifications to me. But do not waste your own
time in copying them. Get some one to do it for you,
I entreat. If no one else I beg Mrs. Coleridge will
do it, and as an inducement, all that follows of this letter
is addressed to her.
MY DEAR MRS. COL.-You desire my mother to write
to you. You shall see that I can write as pleasant a
letter as she. .. .
And then there comes, covering something
more than a closely written page of foolscap,
a most thorough and painstaking record of every-
thing that Mr. Poole can imagine likely to interest
a little person who much prefers gossip to meta-









GOSSIP FOR MRS. COLERIDGE


physics. The Chesters, he tells her, are as usual.
The girls without husbands or sweethearts that
he can hear of. John is learning French of
Mr. Barbey, and says he understands it very well.
Mr. Barbey, on the contrary, says he knows little
about it. And so the letter goes on, with the
oddest miscellany of local news,-what babies have
been born, whose children have had the whooping
cough, what young lady is likely to be married,
and what relation of his own has bought a new
house. Lastly, he had almost forgotten to tell her
of his visit to Bristol, when he went to the play,
and saw Life and Paul and Virginia,-

'The last an instance of a good story mutilated and
ill-told. But my imagination supplied the defect from the
real story and I made myself much interested.

And then he bids her

kiss Hartley and the New-born, which I suppose is a fine
fellow, and believe me seriously, yours affectionately,
THOSE. POOLE.'

Coleridge's next communication, dated March
23, simply expresses satisfaction that 'the letter
respecting Locke' has been read with interest;
'those which follow are abundantly more enter-
taining and important,' but he has no one to tran-
scribe them. Yet although he is sure that' the
1 Who was in Gcrmany with Coleridge.









36 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS CIIA. II

whole of Locke's system, as far as it was a system,
and to the exclusion of those parts only which
have been given up as absurdities by his warmest
admirers, pre-existed in the writings of Descartes
in a far more pure, elegant, and delightful form,'
Tom Poole, he goes on to say, must never be
afraid
'that I shall join the party of the Litt/c-ists. I believe
that I shall delight you by the detection of their artifices.
Now Mr. Locke was the founder of this sect, himself a
perfect Little-ist. My opinion is this-that deep thinking
is attainable only by a man of deep feeling, and that all
Truth is a species of Revelation.'
Coleridge's metaphysical opinions do not, how-
ever, come within the limits of the present work,
except in so far as the interchange of thought
upon such subjects illustrates the nature of his
friendship with Tom Poolc; so I must not go on
to quote the rather wild speculations concerning
Sir Isaac Newton with which the letter continues,
and which, indeed, only represented a first super-
ficial impression, formed whilst endeavouringg to
master his easier work, that on Optics,' and so
little in accordance with his later convictions that
he afterwards wrote to beg that his former letter
may be burnt.
I am afraid very few people do make it a point
of conscience to burn interesting letters when







'THE BARD'


requested to do so, and certainly at this date
Coleridge's reputation stands far too high to be
injured by the discovery that when he was a young
man he, like other young men, was not exempt
from the propensity to hasty conclusions; and
though gifted beyond others with the noble
capacity for reverence and admiration, which is a
characteristic of all true greatness, he had also the
unlimited intellectual audacity which finds no name
too high, no reputation too established, to be
brought to the bar and proved and questioned.
And with Coleridge thought always hutrricd to
clothe itself in expression. It was not without
reason that the little circle at Stowey named him
'the Bard,' for the very idea of a bard is, not a
poet merely, but the poet of a peoplec,-a gifted and
inspired nature, with an inborn power of awakening
responsive chords in the hearts of those whom he
addresses, pouring himself forth in winged words.
His true position would have been the position of
a philosopher of old, speaking by word of mouth
to a group of trained disciples. The pen can never

I A people, that is, as distinguished from a nation. It is hardly
to be said of Coleridge 'he was not of an age but for all time.' lie
was born to be a power in his own generation, touching other
generations mainly through those whose minds were shaped by his
influence. Of course the An.ciwot Marinecr will live as long as the
language; but ballads, as a rule, detach themselves from person-
ality ; of the most celebrated the composer's name has been entirely
forgotten.








38 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS ciA'. 11

have been to him a very congenial instrument,
and it is characteristic of him that his poems
seem always to have been composed and rccitcd
before, by laborious after-process, they were com-
mitted to paper. It is probable that there are
many writers of the present day who so entirely
reverse the operation that they could not be sure
of being able to recite any part even of their own
best verses, unless they had definitely committed
them to memory. Coleridge's was the more ancient
method, and, perhaps, some of the unsuccess of his
life, in a worldly point of view, was due to the
want of correspondence of the bardic nature with
the conditions of modern life. When he wrote, he
was apt to write as he talked, and it may well be
that his writings can be best understood, and more
certainly best enjoyed, by reading them aloud. In
his letters, he simply uses that means to convey
the impressions of the moment with the most
prodigal waste of material. When he was not in-
clined to do this he disliked to write at all. When,
on the other hand, he was in the mood to hold
written communion with a friend, he would give
himself up to the task with a careless excess of in-
dustry, which, turned in a different direction, might
have easily produced a good income. To such a
friend as Tom Poole the thought, the fancy, the
burden, yes, even the irritation of the moment,







FEELING FOR TIE POOR


dropped from his pen with as little self-restraint
as they might have dropped from his lips in the
book-room at Stowey. Unformed notions and
half-shaped beginnings of thought are to be found
side by side with carefully-worded opinions, which
are evidently the result of serious and energetic
meditation.
All the letters of this period, whether to Poole,
to the Wedgwoods, or to Davy, show us Coleridge
absorbed in metaphysical speculations.
'I have been thinking vigorously during my illness.'
he writes to Davy,1 'so that I cannot say that my long.
long wakeful nights have been all lost to me. The sub-
ject of my meditations has been the relation of thoughts
to things-in the language of Hume, of ideas to im
pressions. '
Metaphysics, it is clear, was the dominant oc-
cupation of his mind,-an occupation from which
neither profit, nor even poetry, neither Words-
worth's counsels, nor Poole's suggestions, had power
to detach his attention. It is characteristic of the
depth of his patriotism and the warmth of his
sympathies that the one only subject which could,
and did, break in upon his abstraction, and change
the whole current of his thoughts, was the alarming
condition of his country, and the wretchedness of
the labouring poor. To 'sigh and cry' 2 over the
1 FraIment. Rem., p. SS. Compare Ezekiel ix. 4.







40 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. II

sins and the miseries of his age and nation was a
part of his very being, and we have here the true
key both to the passionate crudities of his early
youth, and to the extraordinary depth and fruit-
fulness of the political ideas of his later life.
But Poole was not overpleased when his friend
wrote to him in what he himself owns to have
been a wildly wailing strain,' now longing to
escape to America to get out of sight of the
wretchedness of the destitute beggars wandering
about the country with their half-famished children,
and denouncing the ignorance and hard-hearted-
ness of all parties alike,' now retracting his words
because his country is his country, and he will
never leave it till he is starved out of it'-a not
unlikely contingency, he thinks, for his works will
never sell. No one buys books except rich men,
and what can he write that can please a rich man?

'. Dear Poole, a man may be so kindly tempered by
nature, and so fortunately placed by unusual circum-
stances, as that, for a while, he shall, though rich, bear
up against the anti-human Influences of Riches; but
they will at last conquer him. It is necessary for the
human being, in the present state of society, to have
felt the pressures of actual hardships, in order to be a
moral being. ..
Write to ime,' he concludes. 'I cannot express to
you what a consolation I receive from your letters.
'S. T. C.'







I8oi PRACTICAL IIELP 41

Tom Poole had not written a line since that
letter which began with metaphysics and ended
with gossip, for the same distress amongst the
poor, the very sight of which cut Coleridge to the
heart, and filled him with bitter thoughts and
gloomy forebodings, was giving occupation to all
his energies, and absorbing every moment that he
could snatch from his necessary business. Food
riots had taken place throughout the west of
England, and much alarm and anxiety prevailed.
At Stowcy Thomas Poole was endeavouring to
allay the general discontent in the only way that
was practically possible, by careful and sympathetic
attention to all available measures of relief. Per-
haps he scarcely deserved the hard words against
the rich which Coleridge had written in the haste
and indignation of the moment; perhaps he was
so entirely conscience free as actually not to apply
them to himself, though we shall see by a later
letter that it was even Tom Poole himself that
Coleridge had in his mind when he wrote; per-
haps he was well accustomed to meet eager over-
statements with a tolerant smile. For truly there
are no such two classes-the Rich and the Poor
-as Coleridge, in the wrath of his heart, depicted,
but rather an infinite series of gradations, as little
capable of being separated by a hard-and-fast
boundary-line as the colours of the sunset sky.








42 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. nL

The abstracts Rich and Poor can only be used
very generally, or as the denominations of ex-
tremes ; but the terrible chasms which do actually
yawn between those who go in carriages and
those who want for bread are of a nature to dis-
pose the human mind to the contemplation of ex-
tremes, and pity which cannot find a vent in
active helpfulness is apt to work itself off in ex-
travagant expressions.
STOWEY, P-lil 9, ISol.
'MY DEAR COLERIDGE-I am sure you have been ex-
pecting a letter from me for some days past; I therefore
write, though I cannot say half what I wish to say.
Ever since the receipt of your last three letters (i.e. two
metaphysical and one miscellaneous) we have been in a
continued state of agitation and alarm by the riots con-
cerning the price of provisions. It began in Devonshire,
and has gradually travelled down to the Land's End and
upwards to this neighbourhood, so that last week it might
have been said that from the Land's End to Bridgwater
the whole people had risen en masse. It is not now
much otherwise, though there is a momentary calm. It
is now, I understand, all in arms at Bristol, and among all
the colliers, miners, and P'ill-men of that neighbourhood.
Here, for the present, the people have succeeded in
lowering the price of provisions as follows :-the
quarter loaf1 from 2 id. to iod.; butter, cheese, and
bacon from is. and 14d. to Sd. ; shambles meat from
9d. to 6d. per lb.
I This at a time when labourers' wages did not exceed 7s. a
week, and often fell lower.







ISoi PERILOUS TIMES 43

'The men of Stogursey and the neighboring parishes
joined the people here, and patrolled the country .
They committed no violence, indeed they met with no
opposition. I have been, as you may suppose, engaged
enough by this business-a hundred people calling on
me, being with the magistrates, etc. It is a curious phc-
nomenon, but we see the people doing what Governmentl
dared not do, and Government permitting them to do it.
Is Government timid, weak, or ignorant? One of the
three it must be. .. Remember me kindly to Words-
worth. Tell him he is not only the best, but will soon be
the most popular poet of his age. In a future letter I
will give you my opinions at large of the preface and the
new volume of the Lyrical Ballads. God bless you,
and preserve you in these perilous times-and direct you
to the production of that good which you are capable ol
producing.-Yours ever, Trios. Poon..'

A letter from Coleridge followed, in which all
consideration for metaphysics seems to have com-
pletely receded into the background in comparison
with the all-absorbing question of the condition of
the poor. He writes in a gloomy and despondent
strain ; as if hope had deserted him, and he had
no other expectation but that of seeing a con-
tinual downward progress from bad to worse ; but
the close of the letter partly explains this tone of
desolate depression. He is ill again, and thinks
himself very ill. What he suffers in mere pain is
'almost incredible.' Every movement is attended







44 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS cHAr. II

with suffering, and even in his bed he feels the
transitions of the weather.

Another winter in England would do for me,' he
writes. 'Besides, I am rendered useless and wretched.
Not that my bodily pain afflicts me; God forbid !-
Were I a single man and independent I should be
ashamed to think myself wretched merely because I
suffered pain. That there is no evil which may not
ultimately be reduced into pain is no part of my creed.
S. .It is not my bodily pain, but the gloom and dis-
tresses of those around me, for whom I ought to be
labouring and cannot. But enough of this. You
have perplexities enough of your own. God love you
and S. 1'. COLERIDGE.'

It is hard for the healthy to realise the effect
of illness on the mind and spirits, and the tone of
Tom Poole's reply, affectionate as it may be, is
rather too blunt and bracing, even in its friend-
ship, to have been entirely acceptable to sick
sensibilities and exhausted nerves:
STow\EY, lay 7, 1SoI.
MY VERY DEAR COL.-The latter part of your last
letter afflicted me sorely, and what shall I say to you?
I cannot help suspecting that much of your indisposition
arises from the little plagues in pecuniary matters which are
continually harassing you. You say, if you were an inde-
pendent man, etc. etc. In God's name, why do you not
think yourself independent ? You have, after deducting
Mrs. Fricker's 20o a year, 130 a year clear, besides







A BRACING COUNSELLOR


what your own labours may produce. It is true ;130 a
year (as times are) is a small sum; but how many do I
see, with a larger number in family than you have, live in
a manner which would make you happy, upon less. With
respect to your family, care nothing for them. Think
only of the present moment. Should anything happen to
you, there is certainly a good Providence that will take
care of them. What I mean by Providence is, that by
the common course of cause and effect, there are bearings
upon your person and mind which will inevitably insure
a provision for your family in case of your death.
Of your death What a curious thing to talk of to
a man under thirty; but you appear in so melancholy a
mood that we must meet this mood and discuss it. If
I continue unmarried, I promise you, if you and Mrs.
Coleridge consent to it, in case of your death, to take
one of your boys into my own house, and bring him up,
and put him in a way to go through the world with
credit and happiness. If I marry, being in my own
house, must, in some measure, I easily feel, depend upon
the will of another, but the pecuniary assistance to
produce those ends will ever depend (with God's bless-
ing) on myself alone. Do you suppose that I could not
find others who would act similarly to other branches
of your family ? Wherefore then this despondency ? If
you can, as I doubt not you will, find means yourself to
provide for your family, so much the better; but if you
cannot, for God's sake, be happy. Have courage, and
make Mrs. Coleridge have courage to live within your
income, be it what it will. What have you to do with
the poverty, and misery, and sufferings around you? Have
you caused the havock ?








46 TIOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. n1

'If your disease be really bodily, and not the conse-
quence of an irritated mind, and if that bodily disease will
be lessened or healed by a warmer climate, to a warmer
climate you must go; but I never yet heard that
complaints like yours were particularly alleviated by a
warmer climate. However, if this be thought advisable,
try, by all means, to get out as a companion to some one
going to a warm climate. Write to all your friends on the
subject, and I will write to mine. Dr. Langford is willing,
and probably has more means of being able to be of use
in this way than any man I know. Shall I write to him?
If you went abroad and saw a place where you would
like to remain, Mrs. Col. may come to you. In the
meantime set your house in order in the best way you
can-your actual house and your metaphorical house-
the place in which you dwell and yourself Let rigid
economy and order prevail in the former, and your
natural elevation and tranquillity in the latter. God
knows, if I were disposed to perplex myself, I may be per-
plexed enough; for though I have considerable property,
my affairs are very wide. I get money and I lend it,
and I borrow to lend; so that every day I am richer
and more in debt. But I feel I have credit to carry on
this stream, and that I do good by it.
'In your literary labours for the present moment, do
throw aside metaphysicks and poetry. They both re-
quire too great exertions of mind for a valetudinarian.
Lay in your box the valuable things you have of the
former, and, for the latter, let Wordsworth write it and
you attend to it. Occupy yourself with something you
can throw of easily ; something which will amuse you
without overwhelming you, or giving you the weight of a







TIlE CRAVINGS OF PAIN


task. Could you think of a humorous philosophical
novel, a farce, or anything in this way? You will
perceive by my writing in this kind of way that I can't
come to you immediately. I am 07'erseer, and I must
not, nor cannot, for the present moment leave the neigh-
bourhood. Would a sea-voyage be of use to you? Is
there any trade between your nearest port and Bridg-
water, so that you could come down in a vessel, stay here
while the vessel stays, and return with her? I need not
say how glad I should be to see you. I sacrifice much in
giving up my jaunt to you in this month. Let me hear
from you immediately. I should have written before, but
I have been so much occupied by the poor people and my
own business that literally I have not had time ..

It will be observed that there is not one word
in the foregoing letter to show that Coleridge's
account of his bodily sufferings had made any
impression on the writer's mind. The sympathy
and consideration is all for the mental anxiety
which Poole could easily understand and enter
into ; but no one who has ever suffered pain will
doubt that Poole was mistaken in supposing that
the apprehensions of the mind as to worldly affairs
outweighed the anguish of the body. Nothing
else is ever so vividly present to the imagination
as the intolerableness of actual pain, and to poor
suffering Coleridge there may well have seemed a
want of tenderness in his friend's failure to
recognize this.







48 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. lI

'If your disease be really bodily' was an
expression that rankled ; and though Coleridge
thanked him 'with a full heart' for a letter which
'was as wise as it was kind,' yet he adds'-

'Ah, dear friend! had you seen me a few days
before the date of it, you would have needed no other
evidence that my gloom and forcbodingness respecting
pecuniary affairs were the effects, and in no degree the
causes, of my personal indisposition.'
If he could but get well, he would soon cut
through his pecuniary entanglements, if not-

God's will be done I must do what I can, though it
would be unusually painful to me to continue in debt
even to those who love me, desirous as I am that no one
should, with truth, impute my disregard of wealth for
myself to want of strict honesty and punctuality in my
money-dealings with others. I have written you many
letters ; and yet from all of them you will scarcely have
been able to collect a connected story of my health and
its downfalls. I will give it now as briefly as I can ..
And then come three closely written pages of
sorrowful details of the pain and sickness which had
been the leading feature of his existence for more
than five tedious months.
'I pray God with a fervent heart, my beloved
and honoured Poole, that these words may ever
remain words to you, unconstrued by your own
I Sunday evening, 1ay 17, ISoi.







SO WROTE COLERI)(GE


experience,' is a mournful little parenthesis on the
third page. He concludes the sad record by
mentioning for the first time that he has' heard
much from Captain \ordsworth (W.'s brother,
and worthy to be so),' of the cheapness of living
at the Azores, and that, if his health does not
mend, he is thinking that, 'even in a pecuniary
light,' it might be a good plan to winter there.

had hopes when I began this letter that half of it
would have sufficed for my story,' he concludes, crowding
his last words into the little space under the direction.
Sand now I am at the end, and have no room to say
aught about my disappointment in not seeing you. And
now, too, the country is in its very lustre of beauty, and
hitherto unpestered by the tourists.'

So wrote Coleridge, in just the old strain of
intimate affection and confidence ; and yet, as we
shall later perceive, there was in his mind a certain
reserve of dissatisfaction, which he withheld from
expression, but which, in the sequel, led to an
outburst of irritated feeling quite disproportionate
to the particular occasion that called it forth, and
to a short period of angry misunderstanding, during
which Coleridge allowed himself to write words
of such bitter and unjust disparagement as might
almost have been the death of any friendship less
deeply rooted, and less tolerant of faults and
peculiarities on either side. For Tom Poole had
VOL. II E








50 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS clAr. II

his faults and peculiarities as well as Coleridge, and
it will probably have occurred to many readers
that his didactic tone, and too constant tendency
to give advice, cannot always have been acceptable,
and may sometimes have been felt to be rather
provoking. Still, even here, we must make due
allowance for the sententiousness of the time, and
remember that if Poole used great freedom in
advising Coleridge, he always gave at the same
time the largest possible measure of recognition to
his friend's genius and greatness.









LETTERS FROM WORDSWORTH


CHAPTER III

'But that this long illness has impoverished me, I should im-
mediately go to St. Aliguels, one of the Azores-the baths and
the delicious climate might restore me. But the scheme,
from the present state of my circumstances, is rather the thing
of a wish than of a hioec.'-Coleriq i to Dazy, May 4, iSoi.

THE first of the two following letters from
William Wordsworth to Thomas Poole was written
in April i So, to ask his opinion of one partic-
ular poem contained in the newly published edition
of the Lyrical Ballads. It will be noticed that he
speaks of having lately seen Coleridge, and says
that he was looking in better health than he had
been for months; and this corresponds with the
statement made in the last chapter that there
appears to have been a short interval during the
months of March, April, and May (i 8o ) in which,
for the moment, Coleridge was almost well.1 But
the respite did not last. The last two letters from
which quotations have been made were written in
1 'My health is better, etc.'-Letter to Davy, May 20, ISo].
public hed in Fi)-,,mentary Remains.









52 TIIOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS cIl.\i. Il

grievous suffering and despondency-perhaps, who
can tell? his condition was even then aggravated by
the laudanum to which he had again resorted as a
refuge from pain,-and the notion that he should
never get well unless he spent the following winter
in a warm climate had become dominant in his
mind. Wordsworth, it is clear, believed him to be
very ill, and thought it a matter of real urgency
that he should escape the severity of the northern
winter, and in considering the question of ways
and means he, perhaps rather too easily, and yet,
I think, not at all unnaturally, concluded that the
simplest expedient would be to lay the matter
before Tom Poole, and to ask him whether he
would be willing to advance 50 or 0oo for the
necessary expenses of a voyage and of a winter
residence at the Azores. In reply Tom Poole
wrote, not to Wordsworth but to Coleridge
himself, making various suggestions, and offering
to join with others in advancing 20 each, but
declining to lend the larger sum-why it does not
clearly appear, but it seems not altogether unlikely
that it may really have been because he actually
had not just then the ready money to spare.1
Those were difficult times for men of business ; and

I Indeed the extract from Coleridge's letter of July I shows that
lie, at least, was well aware that it was not the right moment to
ask Poole to advance money.







ISor A MISUNDERSTANDING 53

we may besides be sure that Tom Poole did not
give his time and energies to the relief of the poor,
without opening his purse likewise to the full
extent of his means.
The fact of his refusal, and the fancy that the
will was wanting, hurt Coleridge very much. For
more than a month he brooded over his wounded
feelings, and then they took shape in a somewhat
bitter letter which, by one of the cruel chances of
life, was received by Tom Poole just at the very
time of the death of his much-loved mother, which
was rather sudden at the last. Coleridge wrote a
tender letter of consolation and sympathy directly
he heard the news, and was greatly troubled at
the unlucky coincidence of time; but he did not
repent of his resentment, and even when, in answer
to a letter from his friend asking counsel as to
the ordering of his future life, he breaks into
enthusiastic appreciation of Poole's excellence and
superiority, he cannot refrain from a meaning
allusion to the narrowing and hardening influence
of wealth as though the possession of a good
income had been a moral disadvantage, condemning
him to a spiritual short-sightedness which must
disable him for ever from seeing eye to eye with
himself and Wordsworth.
Poole's replies have not been preserved, bul
it will be seen that he was indignant, and justly so.








54 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS cln.\. Ill

Anger, however, never lasted long between these
two friends who so sincerely loved one another;
and the year closes with a long visit of Coleridge
to Stowey, a kind of renewal of old times which
must have been very delightful to both.
Yet, even when hasty words are forgiven and
forgotten, their effect is apt to remain ; the
affection between the friends remains unbroken,
but their correspondence from this time forward
becomes a little less regular and unreserved, and
the tone of mutual trust and comprehension is
never again quite so perfect as it was before.
And now, after these introductory remarks, the
letters may well be left to speak for themselves,
and I give them accordingly, in the order of their
dates :-
'GRASMFRE, A/ri/ 9.
MY DEAR POOLE-I am afraid that you will not
think the subject of this letter of sufficient consequence
to justify my putting you to the expense of postage in
these hard times. Should you feel disposed to blame
me, I have an excuse to make, beyond what I feel does
exist in anything which gives me an opportunity of
assuring you how highly I esteem your character, and
what affectionate recollections I carry about with me of
you and your good mother.
'In the last poem of my2ndvolume ["Michael"] I have
attempted to give a picture of a man, of strong mind and
lively sensibility, agitated by two of the most powerful affec-







ISor WORDS\WORTII ASKS IIIS OPINION 55

tions of the human heart-the parental affection, and the
love of property, landed property, including the feelings
of inheritance, home and personal and family independ-
ence. This poem has, I know, drawn tears from the
eyes of more than one-persons well acquainted with the
manners of the Statesmen," as they are called, of this
country; and, moreover, persons who never wept in
reading verse before. This is a favourable augury for
me. But nevertheless I am anxious to know the effect
of this poem upon you, on many accounts ; because you
are yourself the inheritor of an estate which has long
been in possession of your family and above all, because
you are so well acquainted, nay, so familiarly conversant
with the language, manners, and feeling of the middle
order of people who dwell in the country. Though from
the comparative infrequency of small landed properties
in your neighbourhood, your situation has not been
altogether so favourable as mine, yet your daily and
hourly intercourse with these people must have far more
than counterbalanced any disadvantage of this kind; so
that all things considered, perhaps in England there is
not a more competent judge than you must be of the
skill and knowledge with which my pictures are drawn.
I had a still further wish that this poem should please
you, because in writing it I had your character often
before my eyes, and sometimes thought I was delineating
such a man as you yourself would have been under the
same circumstances. Do not suspect me of a wish to bribe
you into an admiration of the poem in question ; by this
time no doubt you must have read it, and it must have
had a fair trial upon you.
I am now come to the circumstance which was the







56 THIOMAS POOLE AND I[IS FRIENDS CHAr. HI

idfi'cr/iiiig cause of my writing to you. Thesecondvolume
is throughout miserably printed, and after the line, page
210-
Recciving from his father hire of praise,"
by a shameful negligence of the printer there is an
omission of fifteen lines absolutely necessary to the con-
nection of the poem. If in the copy sent to you this
omission has not been supplied, you may be furnished
with half a sheet which has been reprinted, if you have
any acquaintance who will call at Longman's for it and
send it down to you. In the meanwhile my sister will
transcribe for you the omitted passage. I should be vexed
if your copy is an imperfect one, as it must have then
been impossible for you to give the poem a fair trial.
Remember me affectionately to your mother and also
to Ward, and believe me, dear Poole, yours sincerely,
W. W\ORDSWVORTH.
Tell whether you think the insertion of these lines
an improvement.
'We shall be highly delighted to see you in this
country. I hope you will be able to stay some time
with us. Coleridge was over at Grasmere a few days
ago ; he was both in better health and in better spirits
than I have seen him for some time. He is a great
man, and if God grant him life will do great things.
My sister desires to be affectionately remembered to
you and your mother, not forgetting Ward. WV. W.
Christabc/ is to be printed at the lulmerian Press,
with Vignettes, etc. etc. I long to have the book in
my hand; it will be such a beauty. Farewell.'

A letter from Coleridge to Poole, dated July








HEALTH OF COLERII)(;E


I, i So comes next-it is a long letter, full of
petty, harassing money perplexities, and mournful
complaints of pain and sickness. Nine dreary
months, and has he had even a fortnight's full
and continuous health?' The desirability of
wintering in a warm climate, and the question
how to raise means for going to the Azores, is
then discussed in much detail, and the letter con-
cludes as follows :-

'I do not apply to you, partly because I am
vexed that I have not yet been able to repay you the
;37 I already owe, and partly because I know how
manifold and vexatious your pecuniary responsibilities
already are, and am somewhat too proud willingly to
force you to think of mc, at the time you are thinking of
poor -- and --. I shall apply, therefore, elsewhere,
if I can think of anybody else. If not, I will try my
rhetoric to persuade some bookseller to advance the sum
without security; and not till that have failed, shall I ask
you. Consider this letter, therefore, only as one giving
you occasion for writing to advise me, if you have any ad-
vice to offer, or any reason for believing that I am wrong
in my present determination. Something I must do, and
that speedily. .. Wordsworth mentioned to me that
he meant to write to you. I told him I should certainly
write myself, and was about to state what I meant to
say-but he desired me not to do it, that he might write
with his opinions unmodified by mine. Ve' are all well
but I. Best love to your mother. God for ever bless
you, my dear Poole, and S. T. COLERIDGE.'








58 TIIOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS cla.\. in

The following letter from Wordsworth, un-
dated, but endorsed July ISoi, must be the one
above alluded to.

My m:AR PooLE-Your long and kind letter I
received some time ago; it gave me the highest pleasure
to learn that in the poems about which alone I was
anxious, I had pleased you ; and your praise was expressed
with such discrimination as gave it a high value indeed.
On some future occasion I will write to you at length on
the subject of your letter. In the meantime, accept my
best thanks for it.
'At presentI have taken up thepen solely on Coleridge's
account, and must confine mv letter to him and his affairs.
I know how much you will be concerned to hear that
his health cannot be said to be much better, indeed any
better at all. He is apparently quite well one day, and
the next the fit comes on him again with as much
violence as ever. These repeated shocks cannot but
greatly weaken his constitution; and he is himself afraid
that, as the disease (which is now manifestly the gout),
keeps much about his stomach, he may be carried off by
it with little or no warning. I would hope to God
that there is no danger of this; but it is too manifest
that the disease is a dangerous one; it is the gout in a
habit not strong enough to throw it out to the extremities.
At all events, as I have said, his body must be grievously
weakened by the repeated attacks under which he is at
present labouring. We all here feel deeply persuaded
that nothing can do him any effectual good but a change
of climate. And it is on this subject that I have now
written to you. The place which he thinks of going to








WAYS AND MEANS


is the Azores-both for the climate and the baths, which
are known to be exceedingly salutary in cases of gout
and rheumatism; and on account of the cheapness of
living there, and the little expense in getting thither.
But you know well how poor Coleridge is situated with
respect to money affairs ; indeed it will be impossible for
him to accomplish the journey without some assistance.
He has been confined to his bed, one may say, the half
of the last ten months; this has rendered it impossible
for him to earn anything, and his sickness has also been
expensive. It was the more unfortunate that this sick-
ness should have come upon him just after an expensive
journey, and other expenses necessary, previously to his
settling in this country. In short, I see it will be utterly
out of his power to take this voyage, and pass some time
there, without he can procure a sum amounting at
the lowest to o50. Further, it seems to me absolutely
necessary that this sum should be procured in a manner
the least burthensome to his feelings possible. If the
thought of it should hang upon his mind when he is
away, it will undo or rather prevent all the salutary effects
of the climate. I have thought it my duty to mention
these circumstances to you as being a person more
interested perhaps than any other in what befalls our
common friend. Wade of Bristol is, I know, a most
excellent and liberal man, and one who highly values
Coleridge, and one whom Coleridge values also greatly,
but he has a family, and I have therefore thought it right
not to speak to him on the subject before I had con-
sulted with you.
As Coleridge at present does not intend to take his
wife or children with him, I should hope that 50 might









60 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS CHAP. til

be enough; if she goes, I am sure he will want io0.
or near it.
Now it is my opinion, and I daresay will be yours.
that the money should be lent to him, in whatever way
you think will ultimately hang the least upon his mind.
He has mentioned to me a scheme of this sort, viz.
that he would write to Godwyn desiring him to call
upon some bookseller to request him to advance ioo
upon some work to be written by Coleridge within a
certain time, for the repayment of which ioo Coleridge
would request you or some other of his friends to be
security, if the work were not forthcoming at the time
appointed. This plan, for my own part, though I did
not like to say so abruptly to Coleridge, I greatly
disapprove, as I am sure it would entangle him in an
engagement which it is ten to one he would be unable
to fulfil, and what is far worse, the engagement, while
useless in itself, would prevent him from doing anything
else.
My dear Poole, you will do what you think proper
on this statement of facts ; if, in case of Coleridge's death,
you could afford to lose Z50, or more if necessary, it
may perhaps appear proper to you to lend him that
sum, unshackled by any conditions, but that he should
repay it when he shall be able; if he dies, if he should
be unwilling that any debt of his should devolve on his
brothers, then let the debt be cancelled. This is what I
should propose to him myself if I could do it with any
propriety.
'I therefore need not apologize to you for what I
have said. If a larger sum than 50 would be wanted,
Wade or some other of his friends would be willing to







VARIOUS SUGGESTIONS


divide the risque or loss among them. I have said this
because it would perhaps be fair in itself, and would
give them pleasure.
'Pray be so good as to excuse this letter. I only
half know what I have been writing; a friend came in
just as I began, and my sister and he have been talking
all the time, to my great confusion.'
[The letter is unsigned.]

In reply Poole writes-July 21, ISoI-as
follows, to Coleridge himself.
'MY DEAR Coi.-To hear of the state of your health
grieves me more than I can express. \hat really would
be of service undoubtedly ought to be done. You
speak, I trust, from autll/rily, when you say that a warm
climate would probably repair your constitution. From
what you have written I should think it would, and,
from this persuasion, before I received your last letter, 1
had, in answer to a letter from \Ir. Jos. Wedgwood,
informing me of his brother's intention of wintering in
Sicily, ventured to say that it would probably do you
good if you accompanied him as a companion. To this
letter I have received no answer, and, indeed, waiting for an
answer has so long delayed my writing to you. If you go
to the Azores money must be raised, and you must take
care to get a letter of credit to some one to supply you
while you are there, in case of any unforeseen delays or
any unforeseen exigencies. Of the propriety of the
different plans you have mentioned for raising money
here you are the best judge, because you know best your
own feelings. ..
: I have received a letter from Wordsworth in which







62 TIIOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS ca\r. in

he proposes my lending you 50, or if Mrs. Col. went
with you rioo; or, if it were inconvenient to me to
advance the whole, for me to join with some of your
friends. Coleridge, you know I have many claims, and
to all it is my duty, or I believe it my duty, to attend.
What I do I do with all my heart, and I am sure you
would think me less worthy of your friendship if I did
more than I did with that full feeling of satisfaction.
I will lend you ,20, and send it to you, if you go, as
soon as you desire me to. Let Wade and one or two
other of your friends do the same. Suppose one or two
of the booksellers advanced each so small a sum as this-
which I am sure would not be refused-it would be no
weight on your mind, and there would be no parade of
security. This seems to me the most rational plan,
and that which I advise you to adopt if you go abroad.
Remember me kindly to Wordsworth. Show him what I
have written, as it will prevent my troubling him with a
letter. Tell him I thank him sincerely for his com-
munication, and soon expect the letter he has promised
me in answer to my last.
'Coleridge-God, I hope, will preserve you. It
seems to me impossible to imagine that you would not
be well, if you could have a mind freely at ease. Make
yourself that mind. Take from it-its two weak parts-
its tendency to restlessness and its tendency to torpor,
and it would make you great and happy. It would in a
moment see what is right, and it would possess the
power, and that steadily, to execute it. Live, dear
Coleridge, and make us live. God forbid that the
organisation should be weak which contains your spirit.
Don't let the asperities of the sword (to use a very







ISoI VEXATION AND DISAPPOINTMENT 63

hackneyed metaphor) destroy the scabbard. Let me
hear from you soon. .. .-Yours ever,
THOSE POOLE.'

KESWICK, Sep/ember 7, ISOI.
'IMY DEAR POOLE-It has been, you may be well
assured, neither a fallingff f of my affection to you, nor
doubt of your's to me, which has produced my long
silence, but simply confusion, and ignorance, and inde-
cision, and want of means respecting the disposal of
myself in order to the preservation of a life which,
Heaven knows, but for a sense of duty I would resign as
quietly and blessedly as a baby fallen asleep lets the
mother's nipple slip from its innocent gums.
'I have such an utter dislike to all indirect ways of
going about anything, that when Wordsworth mentioned
his design of writing to you, but would not explain to
me, even by a hint, what he meant to write, I felt a
great repugnance to the idea, which was suppressed by
my habitual deference to his excellent good sense. I
wish I had not suppressed it. He wrote without know-
ing you, or your circumstances, your habitual associa-
tions in the whole growth of your mind, or the accidental
impressions of disgust made by your many losses, and
the squandering of your exertions on objects that had
proved themselves unworthy of them. It is impossible
that you should feel, as to pecuniary affairs, as Wordsworth
or as I feel-or even as men greatly inferior to you in
all other things that make man a noble being. But
this I always knew and calculated upon, and have
applied to you in my little difficulties, when I could have
procured the sums with far less pain to myself from







64 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS cn\l'. il

persons less dear to me, only that I might not estrange
you wholly from the outward and visible realities of my
existence, my wants and sufferings. In all my afflictions
I never dreamt, however, for a moment, of making such
an application to you as Wordsworth did. He acted
erroneously, but not wrongly; for you, I understand,
had requested him to write to you freely on all that, in
his opinion, concerned my welfare. However, error
generates error. His letter untuned your mind. You
wrote to me when you ought assuredly to have written to
him : and you wrote to the Wedgwoods, and made a
most precipitate and unwise request, which, coming
from you will, I am sorry to say, in all human proba-
bility connect in their minds a feeling of disgust with
my character and relations to them-a feeling of disgust,
and a notion of ljrotub/l'so~enlless. Besides the request
itself!-0 God how little you must have compre-
hended the state of my body and mind not to have
seen that to have accompanied Tom Wedgwood was
the very last thing I could have submitted to. Two
invalids And two men so utterly unlike each other in
opinions, habits, requirements, and feelings. ..
But enough of this. Let us, for the future, abstain
from all pecuniary matters. If I live, I shall soon pay all
I at present owe-and if I die, the thought of being in
your debt will never disquiet me on my sickbed. I love
you too well to have one injurious thought respecting you.
You deem me, too often perhaps, an enthusiast.
Enthusiast as I may be, Poole! I have not passed through
life without learning that it is a heart-sickening degrada-
tion to borrow of the rich, and a heart-withering affliction
to owe to the poor .








DEATH OF HIS MOTHER


The letter concludes with a very despondent
view of his own health, and the description of a
new plan for spending the winter at his friend
Pinny's house in the island of Nevis. He has
given up all idea of the Azores on account of the
reported dampness of the climate. A passing
mention of Southey and Wordsworth follows, and
the usual greetings.
KESWICK, SCtemlber 19, ISOI.
'By a letter from Davy I have learnt, Poole, that your
mother is with the Blessed. I have given her the tears
and the pang which belong to her departure, and now
she will remain to me for ever, what she has long been
-a dear and venerable image, often gazed at by me in
imagination, and always with affection and filial piety.
She was the only being whom I ever fe/t in the relation
of mother: and she is with God! We are all with God
What shall I say to you ? I can only offer a prayer
of thanksgiving for you, that you are one who has habit-
ually connected the act of thought with that of feeling ;
and that your natural sorrow is so mingled up with a
sense of the omnipresence of the Good Agent, that I
cannot wish it to be other than what, I know, it is. The
frail and the too painful will gradually pass away from
you, and there will abide in your spirit a great and sacred
accession to those solemn Remembrances and faithful
Hopes, in which, and by which, the Almighty lays deep
the foundations of our continuous Life, and distinguishes
us from the Brutes that perish. As all things pass away,
and those Habits are broken up which constituted our
VOL. II F








66 TIOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS i.\i.. in

own and particular Self, our nature by a moral instinct
cherishes the desire of an unchangeable Something, and
thereby awakens, or stirs up anew, the passion to promote
permanent good, and facilitates that grand business of
our Existence-still further and further still to generalize
our affections, till Existence itself is swallowed up in
Being, and we are in Christ, even as He is in the
Father.
'It is among the advantages of these events that they
learn us to associate a new and deep feeling with all the
good old phrases, all the reverend sayings of comfort and
sympathy, that belong, as it were, to the whole human
race. I felt this, dear Poole, as I was about to write my
old-God bless you and love you for ever and ever.
Your affectionate Friend, S. T. COL.: imDc1'.
Would it not be well if you were to change the
scene awhile ? Come to me, Poole No-no-no. You
have none that love you so well as I. I write with tears
that prevent my seeing what I am writing.'
'GRETA IHALL, October 5, ISol.
My DEAR POOL:-I have this evening received your
letter. That I felt many and deep emotions of tenderness
and sympathy, you will know without my telling you, and
in truth minds like mine, and (in its present mood) yours
too, require to be braced rather than su/pid Your
plan for your own life appears to me wise and judicious ;
and I cannot too earnestly impress upon you the solemn
duty you owe to yourself, your fellowmen, and your Maker,
to exert your faculties, to give evidence of that which
God has delivered to your keeping, first, to your own
mind, and next to that of your countrymen. Great talents







ISoI URGED TO SOME GREAT WORK 67

you undoubtedly possess. Indeed, when I consider the
vast disadvantages that you have laboured under as an
intellectual being, from the circumstances of having been
born to a patrimony, and of having had, almost from
your birth, hourly doings with monty-all dear relation-
ships,' all social intercourse, in some measure modified
or interrupted by influences of money-and compare with
these disadvantages your opinions, powers, and habits of
feeling, I experience an indfiniteness in my conception of
your talents, a faith that they are greater than even to
your own mind they have hitherto appeared to be.
'To some great work I expect you to devote yourself
as soon as ever the hurry of grief and mutation is over,
as soon as the darkness of sorrow has thinned away into
gloom; to some great work which shall combine a pre-
dominance of self-collected fact and argument with the
necessity of wide and extensive reading. Poole I have
seen only two defects in your making up that are of any
importance. (Let me premise before I write the next
sentence that by family attachment I do not mean
domestic attachment, but merely family- Cousinslups; not
brother, or sister, or son, for these are real relations-
but family as far as it is mere accident.) The two defects
which I have seen in you are : i. Excess offamily and
local attachment, which has fettered your moral free-agency,
and bedimmed your intellectual vision. It has made you
half a coward at times when (I dream at least that) I

1 Those who feel tempted to pass a rather severe judgment on this
part of the letter should remember, as no doubt T. Poole did, the
sad petulance and irritability, the disposition to take up everything by
the wrong handle, which is perhaps the heaviest burden that a long-
continued and depressing illness is apt to bring in its train.








6S THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS cHAr. III

should have been more than brave ; 2. A too great desire
and impatience to produce immediate good; to see with
your own eyes the plant of which you have sown the seed.
Mustard cress may be raised this way ; and we will raise
mustard cress. But acorns, acorns-to plant them is
the work, the calling, the labour, of our moral being.
'This, in this awful tone, I have been powerfully im-
pelled to say; though, in general, I detest anything like
giving advice. I was with an acquaintance lately, and
we passed a poor ideot boy, who exactly answered my
description ; he-
Stood in the sun, rocking his sugar-loaf head.
And staring at a bough from morn to sunset,
Sce-sawed his voice in inarticulate noises."
" I wonder," says my companion, what that ideot means
to say." To give advice," I replied. I know not what
else an ideot can do, and any ideot can do that."
'It is more accordant with my general habits ot
thinking to resign every man to himself, and to the quiet
influences of the Great Being-and, in that spirit, and
with a deep, a 'ery dap .., I now say-God bless
you, Poole .
I am sorry that my letter affected you so painfully,
and I need not say what a pang I felt at the accident of
the time in which it must have reached you. The letter
itself I cannot, after the most dispassionate review, con-
sider objectionable. Why should you feel pain at my
affirming that it is impossible for you and me to feel alike
in money concerns? From my childhood I have
associated nothing but pain with money. I have had no
wish, no dream, no one pleasure connected with wealth.
The only pleasure which the possession of a few pounds







VEXATION OF SPIRIT


has ever given me is this :--Well, for a week or two, I
shall have no occasion to interrupt my thoughts and feel-
ings by any accursed consideration about money. .
own I have formed long and meditative habits of aversion
to the Rich, love to the Poor or the anwealthy, and belief
in the excessive evils arising from Property. How is it
possible, Poole, that you can have all these feelings ? You
would not wish to have them. I ,was vexed that
Wordsworth should have applied to you; for I know
enough of the human heart to have felt that there is
a great difference between our foreseeing that such or
such an answer oould Ah the result of such or such an
application, and that such or such an answer Ihas bc&n the
result. That / should not have refused the 5 o, though it
had been my only 50 beyond the expenses of the ensu-
ing month, is saying nothing; because I should not have
refused it, on a less important necessity, to many a man
for whom I have but a very diluted love and esteem,
and to whom I should refuse many a sacrifice of much
greater difficulty, which you would willingly make for me.
But different as our fcclings are respecting money, I am
assured that you would not have refused twice the sum,
if necessary, had you believed the state of my health to
he that which I know it to be. No, Poole I love you,
and I know that you love me. Even at this moment it
almost irritates me that Wordsworth should have applied
to you-the money might have been raised from so many
quarters; indeed, I was prevented from going to the
Azores, not by this but by intelligence received of the
exceeding dampness of the climate. ..
(od love you, my dear Poole, and restore you to that
degree of cheerfulness which is necessary for virtue and







70 TIHOMAS POOLE AN) HIS FRIENDS ciAP. III

energetic welldoing. May He vouchsafe the same bless-
ings to your affectionate friend, S. T. COLERIDGE.

There is no more perfect test of the reality and
depth of any affection than the manner in which
it will endure a real strain. Superficial likings,
however cordial and pleasant, are often entirely
destroyed by intimacy-but a genuine friendship
has in it this measure of the nature of genuine
love, that it is gifted with an almost unlimited
power of making allowances. Yet it is rather rash
when those who love one another presume too
much, as they sometimes do on the assurance 'I
love you, and I know that you love me.' The
affection which once flowed in a never-failing
stream may be pent back to its source until, if it
be not lost, it is for the moment gone!
What is it then ? I scarce dare tell,
A comfortless and hidden well.'
The time was to come when even the friendship
between Poole and Coleridge should thus, as it
were, run underground for years; but that time
was not yet. Just now they were both vexed
with one another ; Coleridge, because he thought
Poole had failed in sympathy, or would he ever have
refused a paltry 50 to such an appeal as Words-
worth's; Poole, because Coleridge's resentment
was expressed in a manner which seemed to him







AGAINST ADVICE-GIVING


both wounding and outrageous ; but only let them
meet-that, they both seem to feel-and it is
scarcely necessary to say that all will be clear as
daylight between them in a moment.
Ocober; 21, iSo.
MI DEAR PooLE-Was my society then useless to you
during my abode at Stowey? Yet I do not remember
that I ever once offered you advice If, indeed, under
this word you chuse to comprehend all that free con-
munication of thought and feeling which distinguished
our intercourse, I have nothing to do but to subscribe to
your INca/nilg, referring you to the dictionary for the
better wording thereof. By the quiet influences of the
great Being I wished to convey all that all things do
from natural impulse, rather than direct and prospective
volition : not that I meant to interdict the latter-on the
contrary, in that very letter I felt it my duty to give you
plump advice. Nay, I admit that man is an ar/h'sil
animal, even as he is a concupiscent one. Now as Reli
gion has directed its main attacks against Concupiscence.
because we are too much inclined to it, so does Prudence
against Advicc-giving, and for the same reason. In short.
I meant no more than that it is well to have a general
suspicion of ourselves in the moment of an inclination
to advise ; this suspicion not as a ham-stringer to crippk.
but as a curb-rein to check. As to myself, advice from
almost anybody gives me pleasure, because it informs me
of the mind and heart of the adviser : but from a verN,
very dear friend it has occasionally given me great pain ;
but, so help me Heaven, as I bc/i'eve at least that I speak
truly, on his account alone, or if on my own, on my own







72 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS Cii.\1. Il

only as a disruption of that sympathy in which friend-
ship has its being. A thousand people might have
advised all that you did, and I might have been pleased;
but it is the 'you, you part of the business that afflicted
me, though by what figure of speech any part of my
letter could be called outrageous, I can discover by the
science of metaphysics rather than by any hitherto pub-
lished art of Rhetoric. And here ends, I trust, the
controversial, from which I have seldom seen much good
come even in conversation, and never anything but evil
when letters have been the vehicle.
'I will come to you as soon as I can get the money
necessary. ..

And as if in proof that the late cloud between
them is to be regarded as a thing of the past, the
usual minute details of his pecuniary situation
follow. Altogether 2 5 in ready money is wanted,
and if Poole can spare that sum for four months
Coleridge will be glad to receive it from him.
Under a fold of the letter is written the
words, Yesterday was my birthday [the 2 1st was
his birthday], 'twenty-nine years of age! 0 that I
could write it without a sigh, or rather without
occasion for one! '
The next letter acknowledges the receipt of
the sum in question, and announces Coleridge's
intention of starting the following Saturday, if he
can, for London, where he proposes taking medical
advice, and settling literary business, and then he







iSoi TiHE GREAT SCATTERER OF THOUGHTS 73

is coming down to Stowey for a two months' visit.
His health was much improved, speaking generally,
but, with the ill-luck peculiar to that year ISoi,
he had broken a thorn into his leg in crossing a
fence, and was not merely lame, but completely laid
up, and suffering very acutely in consequence,-
a state of affairs in which 'valuable lights thrown
upon the exceedingly interesting and obscure
subject of pain' can hardly have been a sufficient
consolation, though he professes to be 'quite in
spirits about it. O how I watch-d myself (he says)
while the lancet was at my leg !'
Six weeks later and he was in London, writing for
the Jforlning Post, and hunting up 'curious meta-
physical works in the old Libraries,' though it was
all 'buz, buz, buz with his poor head.' But he
has met Tom Wedgwood, who spoke to him of
Poole with such 'an enthusiasm of friendship' that
it brought the tears into his eyes, and wellnigh
caused him to make a fool of himself in the streets ;
and in health, he is better than he could expect,
and would so much rather talk than write to Poole
that he is right glad to think that they will soon
be together.

See letter to Davy, October 31, ISoI (published in Frawmentary
Remains) : 'But that I have metaphysicized most successfully on Pain,
in consequence of the accident, by the Great Scatterer of Thoughts. I
should have been half mad. As it is, I have borne it like a wnomain,
which I believe to be two or three degrees at least beyond a stoic.'








74 THOMAS POOLE AND HIIS FRIENDS CHAP. iv


CHAPTER IV

'Is it a reed that's shaken by the wind,
Or what is it that ye go forth to see ?-
Lords, lawyers, statesmen, squires o[ low degree.
Men known, and men unknown, sick, lame, and blind,
Post forward all. .. '
France hired me forth .
WORIu)SWO1RTiI.
SonncI, August 1802 : and 7'lic Picl/ud.

' WE, i.e. Wordsworth and myself, regard the Peace
as necessary, but the terms as most alarming.'
wrote Coleridge to Tom Poole in October ISoI.
The allusion is, of course, to that Treaty of Amiens
which'everybody was glad of and nobody was proud
of.' Fox, speaking at the Shakespeare Tavern on
the I oth of the same month, expressed himself far
more warmly, and indeed could not refrain from
open exultation over the complete failure of the
Second Coalition :-

'It may he said that the peace we have made is
glorious to the French Republic, and glorious to the First
Consul.' Thus he is reported to have spoken. Ought it
Il ornintg C/hronicle of Monday, October 12, iSoi, quoted in








THE TREATY OF AMIENS


it not to be so?-ought not glory to he the reward of such a
glorious struggle? France stood against a confederacy com-
posed of all the great kingdoms of Europe : she complete!
baffled the attempts of those who menaced her independ-
ence ... Some complain that we have not gained the
object ot the war. The object of the war we have not gained
most certainly, and I like the peace by so much the better.

When we remember Tom Poole's detestation
of the war, we cannot doubt but that his sentiments
in regard to these early triumphs of the genius of
Napoleon must have been very nearly of the same
description, though I think he was far too
thoroughly an Englishman to share entirely in
feelings, which even Fox himself admitted to be
such as could not with prudence be avowed,' when,
in answer to a remonstrance from Grey, he wrote :
'The triumph of the French Government over
the English does, in fact, afford me a degree of
p/casu7r' which it is very difficult to disguise.'

Stanhope's .;'; of 'P'll. Sc also Coleridge's letter to Fox,
Nove(mblr 4, ISo2: Essays on /is (aw Timns, vol. ii. 'I am
at a loIs to determine, sir, which was the greater, the inconsistency
or the rolly of this speech, the impolicy or the unfeelingness.'
1 Letter to Mr. Grey, October 22. ISOI, quoted in Stanhope's
/ ife of 'it'.
-' 'Quoiqrue la guerre cuit donnie I'Angleterre 1'cmpire de 1'Inde
et la domination de l'ocIan, cette paix ctait la plus humiliate
qu'dlle cut faite depuis deux sicles. Deux iles semblaient Ie prise
unique de Io ans d'efforts et de 4 milliards de dette et on laissa la
Revolution Francaise maitresse e la Belgique, des provinces du
Rhin, de l'Italie, ayant sous son protectorat la IIollande, I'Alleningne,
la Suiie, I'Espagne '--Lavalle, His/. i'e Framn', iv. 343.








76 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS ciiAr. iv

It was only the Preliminaries that were signed
on October I ; then Lord Cornwallis met Joseph
Buonaparte at Amiens, and five months of
negotiations dragged their weary length before
the actual treaty was finally concluded on March
27, 1802. It was, in reality, nothing more than
an armistice, and did not last many weeks beyond
the first twelvemonth; but even a year's respite
was of importance, if only to separate those early
chapters of the war, in which the sympathies of
Englishmen were so deeply and unalterably
divided, from those latter chapters, in which almost
the entire nation was aware that everything they
possessed that was dear and sacred was at stake,
in the prolonged duel with the mighty conqueror,
who, for the time, seemed to have gathered all the
available resources of Europe into his single hand.
Meanwhile the first effect of the Treaty of
Amiens was to throw open the gates of Paris to a
crowd of eager visitors, amongst whom Tom Poole
was one of the earliest. In the following letter to
Coleridge he gives some account of his plans, and
there is one to Thomas Wedgwood of almost the
same date,1 in which he thanks him for a letter
of introduction to the Swiss Minister, and begs
him, as to the question of their travelling together
to consider himself only, and 'not to allow any
1 May 1, ISo2.







1802 AN OMINOUS SENTENCE 77

apprehension of being a dead weight' on his
friend's plans, to influence his decision. In the
end Thomas Poole started on his journey alone,
and although there was in his disposition a tender
affectionateness which might have made him a
very acceptable companion to an invalid, it is
probable that his own opportunities of observation
and enjoyment would really have been seriously
hampered by associating himself with a man in
such broken health, and so grievous a sufferer
from depression of spirits, as poor Tom Wedgwood
had become. It may be well to remark that, after
a few weeks' visit to Stowey,' Coleridge had
returned to London, whither Tom Poole seems to
have accompanied him, for there is a note, dated
February 19, 1802, in which he writes that, with
the exception of a passing indisposition, his 'health
has been on the mend ever since Poole left town,
nor has / htad occasion for opiates of any kind.'
There is something ominous in this last
sentence. I do not believe that any one who
carefully considers the records that remain to us
of the life of Coleridge can doubt that the
beginning of the thraldom which was to exercise
so sinister an influence both on mind and body, is
to be sought for in a natural recourse to opiates as
a relief from acute pain. It would almost seem
1 December ISoi-February 1802.







S7 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS ii\ iv

that Tom Poole's friendship had already detected
a danger lest the occasional practice should become
a habit, and the habit an imperative'necessity, and
that some word of warning, some promise to take
care, must have already passed between the friends.
After this note it is evident that Coleridge did not
write again for more than two months, and Tom
Poole did not even know for certain when he had
left London.
"J1Z, 2, So02.
)ly i.\R CoiLun mI;-\Why is there so little
communication between us? I suppose this letter will
reach you, but 1 certainly do not know where you are by
any information which you have given me. Can you
suppose me uninterested in your welfare, and in your
happiness in every point ? Then wherefore this silence?
'The plan which I had in view when we parted I am
about to realize. I shall leave home perhaps in a fort-
night, and, for certain warringg accidents which 1 cannot
foresee), 1by the 31st of this month. I go to JBristol,
London, where I shall remain a little, then to Paris, to
the South of France, Geneva, and Switzerland. .. Tell
me anything which suggests itself to you as to route,
inquiries, objects worthy of attention, men, conduct, and
company suitable for me. With whom I shall go I know
not. )avy talked of going ; Purkis talked of going;
and, perhaps, at last, 1 shall be alone..
'Recommend me any books which I ought to read
before I go, or which I ought to buy to bring home with
me. I say nothing about your health-your employment







GOING TO FRANCE


-or your future intentions, but all you zill say of those
things will be abundantly interesting to me.
'This is a short letter to send so far, but a new
correspondence is always deficient in topicss1 Let me
hear from you. I shall write to you again before I go. ...
I have at last received your German pictur-e.2 It is a
good picture-certainly like you-but it wants character.
Nevertheless, I value it much. It is a very agreeable
picture, and it gives one pleasure to look at, but it is
Mr. Colcrid/a e and not Colcridg z. You are in the drawing-
room, and not in the vales of Quantock, or on the top
of Skiddaw.'

The above letter found Coleridge at Keswick,
and was answered within a week :-

'I were sunk low indeed,' he wrote," 'if I had neglected
to write to you from any lack of affection. I have written
to no human being-which I mention, not as an excuse,
but as preventive of any exaggeration of my fault.
'And you are going to France, Switzerland, Italy!
Good go with you, and with you return. I have, you well
know, read nothing in French but metaphysical French
-of French books I know nothing, of French manners
nothing. Wordsworth, to whom I shall send your letter
to-morrow, may, perhaps, have something to communicate,
he having been the same route. Eut what can you
want ? I never saw you in any company in which you

I Does this mean a new beginning after the autumn's misunder-
standing ?
I link this must be the portrait now in the possession of the
AMiss Wards.
3 May 7, ISo2.


8o02








8o THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIENDS CHAP. iv

did not impress every one present as a superior man,
and you will not be three days in France without having
learnt the way of learning all you want.
'I advise one thing only; that, before you go, you
skim over Adam Smith, and that, in France, you look
through some of the most approved writers on Political
Economy, and that you keep your mind intent on this.
I am sure that it is a Science in its Infancy. Indeed,
Science it is none-and you, I would fain anticipate, will
be a benefactor to your species by making it so.
Had I been you I would have gone through France
and Switzerland, and returned by Paris, and not gone to
Paris first. Such a crowd of eager Englishmen will be
there at the same time with you, all pressing forward
with their letters of recommendation, and you will find
it difficult, perhaps, to remain disentangled by their
society-to which, as a more important reason, I may
add the superior skill and fluency in French and French
manners-the naturalization of look and tongue-which
will enable you to converse with the li/erati of Paris
on a better footing if you take Paris last. You will
(though I have little claim upon you, I confess) give me
the delight of hearing from you .

A memorandum in Tom Poole's handwriting,
written on the back of his letter to Tom Wedg-
wood, of which he seems to have kept a copy,
records-

'I went to Paris. Thence through Champaign,
Lorrain, and Alsace, to Bale. Through Switzerland,
back across France, by Lions, again to Paris. Through







A CURIOUS STORY


Flanders to Holland. Home again about Christmas.
Brought with me the Walchcrcn 'ever.'
Two of his letters to Coleridge, written from
Paris, have been preserved. The point which
appears to me the most remarkable in them
is the ease and immediateness with which
he obtained access not alone to places, but
also to people of remarkable interest. He writes
as though it were the simplest thing in the world
to find opportunities of seeing, and even convers-
ing with, many of the distinguished men of the
day. A curious story has been handed down of
his accidentally meeting Sir James Mackintosh at
the Louvre, and making acquaintance over the
picture of an albatross. The story runs 1 that,
whilst both were looking at this picture, Poole
overheard a stranger repeat, with much emphasis,
the words-
ie shot tf/e a/batrss,'
whereupon he eagerly exclaimed, 'Sir, you are
quoting the poem of my dearest friend.'
'He is a friend of mine too,' was the answer,
and on exchanging cards, each must have found
that the other's name was already well known to
him, through their common friends the Wedg-
woods.
Sir James is said to have told Poole that the
1 Told me by Mrs. Joseph Anstice.
VOL. II G







82 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS cII.'. iv

First Consul was holding a lev6e that same after-
noon, and to have offered to present him. By all
means,' said Tom Poole; and presented he ac-
cordingly was. But when the news crept out at
home it caused so much scandal that it really
seemed as though 'people would not have been at
all more shocked if he had been presented to His
Satanic Majesty.'' Those who think this anecdote
preposterous and exaggerated should look at the
account of Sir Humphrey Davy's visit to Paris a
few years later, when Napoleon, in pure homage
to his genius, having heard of his desire to
prosecute certain inquiries in connection with the
extinct volcanoes in Auvergne, had magnanimously
sent him a free permission to visit France, that his
scientific researches might not suffer hindrance,
even in time of war; and notice the dogged
determination, obstinate even to discourtesy, of his
resolve that at least he will never be pr-csented to
the Emperor. It may also be noticed that Fox's
attendance at Bncaparte's Leve met with the
most vehement disapproval from Coleridge,'' as an
unpatriotic action.
The two following letters were written by Poole
to Coleridge during his stay in Paris:-

1 Mrs. Joseph Anstice.
2 Sec his second letter on this subject to the Mornin 1 '.,
November 9, 1So2.--Essays on HIis O'wnZ Times.







AT PARIS


I[OTEI DE COURI.ANDE, PLACE 1D'; 1.A CONO 'RDE,
',\Alar, jl/y 20, ISo2.
M DEAR COL.-I hope you received a letter which
I wrote you a few days before I left London. From
,ondon I went to I)over and was on the giddy height
of Shakespeare's Cliff, as it is called-saw the old castle
and the famous cannon-took a good dinner, and,
between dinner and coffee, in six minutes less than three
hours, sat down, surrounded by French, at Calais.
'Calais is a clean, quiet town ; and I was much pleased
to see the women, in particular, belonging to the common
people, cleaner than any I had seen in the same station
in England. They are also, I think, very pretty. I
walked round the ramparts, castle, etc., and recollected
the feats of our forefathers on those walls. \\e passed
through a pleasant country to Boulogne, where we heard
the people laugh at Lord Nelson-not a single shell
came within half a mile of the town-the ships were not
chained, but moored in the common manner-one boat
only was destroyed. At Montreuil we saw the ruins of
eleven churches, which were destroyed, out of twelve, in
the Revolution. An agreeable and iel-cult/ivatld country
brought us to Paris and on my way I a thousand times
thought of poor Mary Queen of Scots when going to her
barbarous countrymen. At Clermont I met, to my
astonishment, Mr. T. Wedgwood returning to England.
He recommended me to this Hotel. ... This part of Paris
is delightful; our hotel is the mass of building which
answers to the Gard'-Imicubl of the king. Wordsworth
can describe it to you. But the streets of Paris, in
general, are abominable.
And now for the wonders here and they are, without


ISo02







84 THOMAS POOLE AND HIlls FRIENDS CIn.p. I\

doubt, great. The French have wisely collected en masse
whatever France, or the countries they have conquered,
possessed, of great or interesting, on any particular subject:
and these form a series of objects more interesting than
anything which the world before has had to offer. I
feel how little the compass of a letter is capable of giving
you anything like an idea of these things, and at any rate
in this letter I will not attempt it. Yet of the Apollo
Belvidere I must say a few words. The first view of this
statue astonishes you-it awes you-you can hardly look
at it. A further contemplation has really a sublime moral
effect. The stone makes you eloquent and perspicuous;
it elevates your mind, and you feel that you are in the
company of a superior being. You leave it with regret,
and you anticipate your return to it with a pure pleasure;
it is not the feeling of returning to see a sight, but it is
the feeling of being made wiser and better, of having your
whole being dilated by its presence. I have said, and I
repeat, that I can easily imagine that this statue could
chain a man at Paris in the same way that the passion
of love might.
There are other statues of a less sublime nature, whose
effects are not less astonishing. They have in the
collection at present-and more are coming-214 of
the finest remains of antiquity. lut I know you would
rather I talked of living beings than of statues and
pictures.
I dined with Monsieur Barthelemy the banker the
other day, where I met with Barthdlemy the Ex-I)irector.
I had always a great respect for this man, and when I saw
him, his appearance did not lessen it. I almost melted
into tears. His aspect is, upon the whole, melancholy,








AT PARIS


and though he was tolerably cheerful, and often smiled,
yet the smiles seemed to come as strangers to his face.
His features are small and regular, but impressive. He
has a quick, dark eye and a fine forehead. He is a
stout man, and I think nearly an inch taller than I am.
I was placed next but one to him at dinner ; nothing rc-
markable was said.
have heard Fourcroy 1 lecture twice. Nothing can
he more pleasant. I could hardly have conceived such
elegance, variety, and rapidity of language, consistent
with great perspicuity. I should have liked the man if
I had not recollected tie share he had in the murder of
Lavoisier. No one by looking at Fourcroy would imagine
him able to speak as ie does.
SI called one morning on Thomas Paine. He is an
original, amusing fellow. Striking, strong physiognomy.
Said a great many quaint things, and read us part of a
reply which he intends to publish to Watson's -,//,{'.
We have in this Hotel with us Kemble-our Kemblc.
He is a hearty, pleasant fellow. .... He went with us last
night to Al iss Williams's 2 house. We there met, first Mliss
W. herself, who is a very obliging woman, but a little
affected. Lord Holland was there, who is Charles Fox
diminished into a common, good-natured man. Carnot

1 Anthony Francis de Fourcroy, chemi t and natural philosopher.
olirn 1755, died 1809.
S1I lelcn Maria W\illiams, born 1762. She was a political novelist
and a warm supporter of the ]French Revolution, but, for her
advocacy of the Girondistes, was imprisoned in the Temple at
Paris until the fall of Robespierre. She returned to Paris in 1796,
and died there December 1827. In her later writings she has
changed her political opinions, and become a friend of the lourbons.
-A /iiiiw.


18o2








S6 THOMAIS POULE ANI) IIIS FRIENDS cHA.. IV

the Ex-Director was there; he is a shrewd-looking fellow-
long, quick eyes, and a large nose, broad a t /he nostrils. I
had some conversation with him-not about war or
politics, but about the stereotype printing here. Car-
not was one of the two who lately had courage to
oppose in the Senate ]iuonaparte's being consul for life.
At this party were also Mr. Livingston (the American
Ambassador), Joel Barlow, Italian Princesses and German
Princes many of the l//lrati of Paris, etc. etc.
'I was at the National Institute, where, contrary to
what I had heard, everything was conducted with the
utmost decorum. ,alande read an astronomical paper.
Several papers were read, and a poet recited, in a
theatrical, vehement manner, a translation of a (reek
ode. You at any rate sawz here all their celebrated men.
'The audience, too, was interesting. There were placed
in a seat of particular distinction, Mesdames de Roche-
foucauld and 1)e Montmorency. Sicard's lecture, and his
deaf and dumb pupils, which I heard and saw at his
house, interested me much. A deaf and dumb boy takes
a book, and reads it by signs to another, who writes it
down correctly, etc.
'And now, my dear Col., for myself. I intend
remaining at Paris, and applying closely to the language
(for I lind it a sile /qudi wll,), at least six weeks longer.
Then to the south, to Switzerland. etc. Whether I shall
winter in Italy will depend on circumstances. Let me
hear from you, my dear Col. Tell me your plans for
the winter, and all which interests you. How, above
all things, is your health ? Fuffin will take this to
London. He leaves Paris to-morrow, and I go into a
pleasant French family. Direct for me A Monsieur Th.










Poole, chez Monsieur Bataillard, Rue de Verneuil,
No. 839, Paris. Heaven bless you.-Yours with sincere
affection, THOS. POOLE.'

PARIS, ye 22d AugUlls I1So2.
MV DEAR COL.--I had hopes you would have found
time to have written to me, as I trust you received a
letter which I wrote you more than a month ago. You
must be satisfied that a letter from you would give me
most sincere pleasure, for however gay the scene is
around you, there are moments when nothing will give
satisfaction but the certitude of being beloved. I
am going to-morrow to Switzerland. If you write and
direct thus, I shall receive your letter :-A Monsieur,
M. Poole, Gentilhomme Anglais. A Geneve, Poste
Restante. But before I get to Geneva I shall, unless
prevented by the little disturbances there, make the
compleat tour of Switzerland. I shall enter at Basle-
go to the Lake of Constance and the little Cantons-and
after a great many zigzags, get to Zurich, Lausanne, and
Berne; then round about to the Vallais and Chamouny,
and at last to Geneva. From Geneva (unless T. Wedg-
wood should meet me there to go to Italy) I shall go
to the south of France, by the canal of Languedoc to
Bordeaux, and so to Paris again. On my return, which
I suppose will be in about two months, I will write to
you. ..
'Since I have been here a revolution has passed in
France; very quietly, I assure you, for no one says
anything-a very bad symptom of its popularity. Those
who do speak, speak as you may suppose men would
who had hopes of being free. We will talk of this


IS02


AT PARIS








88 THOMAS POOLE AND HIS FRIIENI)S C ai. iv

hereafter. You know the English newspapers are
prohibited in France.
'Fox is here. He has been treated with great atten-
tion. Before I left England I was introduced to General
de Grave. He came with me to France. (He was WTar
M1/inister with Ro/land.) He has behaved with un-
common kindness to me here. Fox treated him with
great kindness in England, and has made him his Fac-
totum on coming to Paris. I have seen his letters to
him ; they are written with great ease and simplicity of
style, some in French and some in English. He writes
very good French.' His great object here is to examine
the archives and libraries which contain any documents
relative to the history he is writing. All these are
opened to him with the greatest politeness, for 1 was
with General de Grave when he applied to Talleyrand's
secretary on the occasion. By the bye, this same
secretary is a very amiable man, and a great friend of
mine. Fox seems much interested about his history.
He desired that his lodgings may be very near the great
national library, in which case, said he, I shall be able to
go there afoot, and I shall spend many half-hour,, and
perhaps hours, in the library, which I should not if I am
obliged to go in a carriage. His lodgings are accordingly
near Hotel de Richelieu. I was there with )e Grave.
They are uncommonly pleasant, with windows which
open from the floor into a pretty garden, ornamented
with orange-trees. If I remained at Paris it is very

Slie did not speak very good French. 'Premier Consul, I/ez
vouns done cea de zvot'iv /c ,' was his frequent remark to Napoleon,
during this very visit, when the First Consul used to insist that the
English Ministry had attempted his assassination.









AT VERSAILLES


likely I should see something of him. He has brought
Mrs. Armstead here with him, and she is announced as
JlIs. Fo-.l It is curious that I should write to you
about an Englishman from Paris; but there are few
subjects so interesting as Fox to be found in France.
'I was at Versailles. It is here you see Louis XIV.
better than by any picture, or in any history. It is the
residence of a great king, magnificent and imposing.
You can form no conception of its majesty without
seeing it. I was of course at Trianon, the favourite
haunt of poor Marie Antoinette. The people of Ver-
sailles weep when they talk of past days. One poor man
said to me in speaking of the king, "11 1oit trfy bon el
trop doux."
'T/e kbig hi/ilsJf actually used to go to the bedside
of the poor of Versailles when they were sick. The man
who comes to me every morning to do what I have to
do, was one of the guards round the guillotine at the
execution of the queen. He said she rose, herself, from
the cart in which she was drawn to execution, and mounted
the steps to the guillotine, as if she was ascending to the
throne. She looked round on the Palaces which sur-
round the place where she was executed, and submitted
herself to death without the least change of countenance.
He said she looked thin. Her hair was got gray. But
she was beautiful and noble to the last.
'This is the account of a common soldier. I have
heard since I have been here such pictures-of the
most atrocious crimes and the most sublime virtues,
being performed in the same hour, by the same men.
1 They had been privately married for seven years, but she was
now first acknowledged as his wife.








90 THOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS CHAP. I-

The night of the proscription of Robespierre was one
day painted to me by a lady in such terms as would
have made your heart leap again. But what is a letter
to speak of those things, where the whole beauty, except
the gross fact, depends on detail ? You may as well show
an oak-tree in the dockyard, for an oak adorned with all
its branches and foliage, as tell such a story in a letter.
I have seen most, and discoursed with many, of the
distinguished men here. Among the rest I passed a
most interesting morning with Bernardin de St. Pierre.
He is an interesting old man of sixty-seven, but still vigor-
ous, as you may judge from his having a young wife and
two children. I will give you his conversation in detail
hereafter, for it is worth hearing. I have been boarding
here with a very respectable man and an author; his
wife is a very pleasant woman. He gives me French
lessons, and I hear nothing but French; I feel I am
much improved in the language. I have been three
times to Helen Marie Williams's cin7'ersatiofis. You
meet here a very interesting society. Many of the
litera/i. A poet and a poetess recited some verses about
to be published. I met here Lord Holland, the
American and Swiss Ambassadors, Carnot, etc. etc. I
keep a Journal in French.
Heaven bless you, my dear Col. Let me hear from
you soon.-Yours most affectionately,
STHOS. POOLE.'
No account has been preserved of Poole's visit
to Switzerland, except that there is a tradition
that he either travelled with Sir James Mackintosh
or else met him at some point on his journey, and







I IOM EWARD JOURNEY


that Sir James Mackintosh took him to Coppct,
and introduced him to Madame de Stael.1 Of
the 'journal in French,' mentioned above, only
a scanty fragment remains, containing a few
notes taken on his homeward way through Belgium
and Holland, when he was evidently sickening
with fever and extremely wretched and homesick.
Scanty as the notes are, however, they possess a
special interest from the time at which they were
taken, but they are rather difficult to make out,
being written partly in pencil, in disjointed
fragments, and in a curious mixture of French and
English. The French is not elegant, and in no
way above the mark of a school exercise.

'Left Paris Novembler 12.-At two leagues' distance
detained by the wheel. Dined at Senlis. Passed
Cambray. Fortified place. The population 1ooo less
since the Revolution. There were 600 Rcliicu v of
both sexes. 7 Religious Houses. Population now not
i2,000. The Church and Castle where lived Fenelon
destroyed. Still speak of him with veneration. Well-
built place. Great commerce of wheat. 2000 sacks sold
of a Market-day; each sack three quintain. Miserable
cabaret. Good coffee.
Valenciennes. Walked round the ramparts. Breach
made during the siege. Three-fourths of the town sur-
Told me by Mrs. Joleph Anstice.
SOn very rough paper in a notebook bought at ( ;neva, Ocloler
19. I802. It was placed in my hands by the kindness ,of the Inate
Mr. X. I'oole King, of liristol.







92 THOMAS POOLE AND IIS I IS NDS CH i '. i

rounded by water; shut up 22d May, surrendered the
beginning of August. Bombardment 42 days. 3000
citizens lost their lives during the siege, and 3000 after-
wards by the sickness. The Austrians levied money on
the city to be paid afterwards, 7,hich lt, / fre/ch tl hook.
3000 balls to be seen in the f/ace, fired at the Cap of
Liberty on the tower. An immense quantity of houses
now in ruins. The disease by the dead not well buried,
and the stagnant waters. They are going to plant trees
on the ramparts. Population at present i8,ooo.
'.NovWember 14, my birthday.-P'assed by Onay.
Rich Flanders black earth. People ploughing though
Sunday. I see nothing extraordinary in the husbandry
as yet. Before you come to QuiLvrain, the first town
in Flanders, the land changes to a Cornish sand. Not
a stone to be seen. ]I'(,oden ha-rraows. Houses of
brick. Fortifications of Valenciennes of brick. They
sow here three crops of wheat-oats, fallow, wheat again.
As you approach the towns you see the earth get
black. The truth is, they don't carry their manure far.
Bossus. Saw a plough enter the yard of a very pretty
house. Lands very neatly put out of hand. Water
furrows and odd corners done with the spade. Three-
fourths of the land to wheat. All looking good and
clean. Roads paved. Country like our marsh,' not
quite so heavy. Women very interesting. Fair, and like
English women. Ploughs the small wheel plough with
two horses. Windmills begin to be well built, the
houses clean, and the whole to smell a little of Holland.
Passed Carion, a large village. Thus in the seven
leagues from Valenciennes to Mons you find a little
The fertile marsh country of Somerset.







I S02SICKENING WITH FEVEk


town almost at every league. Passed several coal-pits.
It was no small pleasure to me to see, for the first time
since I left England, a coal-fire at Cambray.
'On arriving at Mons I found all in a bustle by a
Fair which lasts for ten days. The merchandise was
exposed for sale as if it had not been Sunday, and this
in Flanders, auitdfois si reliieux I have suffered from
a sort of feverishness for the last two days. I intend to
rest here to-morrow that I may try and get rid of it.
'l oi'iC/icr 15.-I perspired freely during the night,
and this morning I feel better, though my pulse is at 9S,
and I still have headache. I took some tea with bread
and butter, a la ImNod aniliaise, and went out to deliver
a letter that I had from Monsieur Chevalier to Monsieur
le Prefet here. He received me politely, and gave me
directions for seeing the battlefield of Jemappes, at half
a league's distance from the town. We talked also of
the Pattle of Malplaquet, which began at the wood of
Bruges in this department of Jemappes. He told nm
they were beginning to re-establish the cloth manufac-
ture, but very quietly. On the subject of agriculture
he could not give me much information. Last year's
harvest was superb, nevertheless corn was dear. Lus
fermiers etaient fort riches et savoicnt retenir les grains."
They had greatly enriched themselves by the sale of the
Church lands. Tiree-fourths of this country /bcloni,d to h,'
Church. A farmer has often bought his land with the pro-
ceeds of one year's harvest. The whole was sold at a very
low price, and the farmers bought the greater part of it.'

I It will be remembered that the Revolutionary Government at
Paris insis'td on the sale of Church lands, and the issue of Assignost
in Flanders as in France.


IS02







94 THIOMAS I)OOLE AND I'IS FRIENDS cii.\'. IV

'The Prccet of a department lives like a little Prince.
Sentinels at his door. People who wait in the Ante-
room, etc. etc. Whilst speaking of the battles I had
occasion to see the exact statement which is kept of the
department, for he wanted to look up some papers on the
subject. He told me also of the Austrian General namee
wanting) to whom the First Consul had given his lands in
this department ; and he added with much emphasis, that
it was on account of the personal est:ee in which the
First Consul held him, and this cause was set forth as the
motive of the gift. The First Consul had fought against
him in Italy. The lands in question are very considerable.
"After my visit to Monsieur le Pirfet 1 ascended the
tower of the old castle, which is very lofty, and whence
one can see Valenciennes on the one side, and almost
as far as lrussels on the other. The bloody battle of
jemappes, which lasted for four days, was fought at less
than a league's distance from this town. 1 passed the
place in coming from Valenciennes, and intended to
revisit it to-day: but I have been so ill I could not
venture to make the attempt. From this tower one can
see the field of Jemappes better perhaps than on the
spot itself. You see the height upon which the Austrians
were encamped, and the places where the French made
their reiterated attacks. There was a coal mine on the
field of battle-they filled the shafts of this mine with
the dead. ..
Mons is situated on the Trouille, rather a pretty
town. Before the Revolution it numbered forty churches
and chapels; now there are twenty....
'Both the country and the customs here are in all
respects very like England, and perhaps even more like







A FIT OF STIVIERIN(;


the England of thirty years ago. The ila~c'cr/tn cs at
the fair, with their wares, reminded me of Nancy Cussens.
The various shows-the noise-even the drunken men
-all these things gave me pleasure. It was almost the
first time I had seen a drunken man since leaving
England. I really could have liked to go and get drunk
with them. In the houses all is like England in the
olden time. You eat off tin plates .
'The Flemings arc like the men of our marsh. The
women have, almost all of them, very rosy cheeks, which
astonishes me, as I should have expected pale faces in a
town surrounded with almost stagnant waters. The\
are very obliging ; but rather rough. Every one combines
to take advantage of a foreigner, but especially of nn
Englishman. At the inn they made me pay double
what a native would have paid. It is the same every-
where, except, cr/h'aps, at Berne and at Geneva.
'.Avei'/L/" 16, h;-lss/ls.-I started for Brussels at
live with a bad headache, but not nearly so bad as
yesterday. We dined at Ilal, very cheaply, and reached
this town at half-past two. I went out at once with a
guide to see the town.'

And then he gives a description of all the
principal sights of Brussels,1 and adds that he
had thought of going to the theatre, but whilst he
was in the streets a horrible shivering fit attacked
him,' accompanied by internal spasms. He tried

1 Omitted, because of no special interest.
P'cndant que j'etois Idhors, mon ami Ic s/hiz, 'r me saisit. Je
marciais plus fort quo jamais. mais tout en vain i je n'avain
pas entrC dans une boutique, j'aurois peut-ttre tombc dans la rue.'


1802







96 THIOMAS POOLE AND IIIS FRIENDS (Hu.. i

hard to walk on in spite of it, but in vain. He
was forced to seek shelter in a shop, for he could
scarcely stand, and on returning to the inn found
his pulse was at 16.
I am convinced that this country has given
me the ague,' he writes, as he sits in his room
drinking tea, and consoling himself with the
thought that he has after all seen, though with
great exertion,' everything that was best worth
seeing in Brussels. To-morrow he will go to
Antwerp, and the next day, he hopes, to Rotter-
dam, when he really must shake off this horrid
malady.
I am writing,' he says, with much dilficulty; but
what one sees so rapidly one must either write down or
forget.'
And he even tries to write down his observa-
tions on the state of agriculture between Mons
and Brussels, but writing and spelling are alike
indistinct, and at nine o'clock he winds up with
his usual declaration that he is better, and goes to
bed.

'November 17.-Mtuch fever during the night; but
after having had some tea, I felt better than I have
felt for three days. ... We arrived at Antwerp at half-past
twelve, having passed many beautiful Il ..-, and the
pretty little town of Mechlin, where the 1)uke of York
encamped when retreating before Pichegru. The tower




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