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p. 101.

" It was a goodly sight
To see the embattled pomp, as with the step
Of stateliness the barbed steeds came on ;
To see the pennons rolling their long waves
Before the gale; and banners broad and bright
Tossing their blazonry; and high-plumed chiefs,
Vidames, and seneschals, and castellans,
Gay with their bucklers' gorgeous heraldry,
And silken surcoats on the buoyant wind

Billowing.” There are not many sketches, in these letters, of Southey's contemporaries, though we believe, from various indications, that he was very frank in stating his opinions about his intimate friends and public characters generally, that he was a shrewd judge of men, and very happy in his portraitures of them. From the many omissions that are indicated, we suspect that the editor has used superfluous care in striking out what might have been the most interesting portions of the book. The following, which is taken from a letter written in 1804, shows that Southey understood Coleridge perfectly at a very early period.

“ You are in a great measure right about Coleridge; he is worse in body than you seem to believe ; but the main cause lies in his own management of himself, or, rather, want of management. His mind is in a perfect St. Vitus's dance eternal activity without action. At times he feels mortified that he should have done so little ; but this feeling never produces any exertion. I will begin to-morrow, he says, and thus he has been all his life-long letting to-day slip. He has had no heavy calamities in life, and so contrives to be miserable about trifles. Poor fellow! there is no one thing which gives me so much pain as the witnessing such a waste of unequalled power. I knew one man resembling him, save that with equal genius he was actually a vicious man. “ A few individuals only remember him with a sort of horror and affection, which just serves to make them melancholy whenever they think of him or mention his name. This will not be the case with Coleridge; the disjecta membra will be found, if he does not die early; but having so much to do, so many errors to weed out of the world which he is capable of eradicating, if he does die without doing his work, it would half break my heart, for no human being has had more talents allotted." p. 177.

Here, also, is an amusing sketch of Wilberforce, for the


earnestness of whose evangelical sentiments, it should be understood, the writer had little sympathy.

“ Wilberforce, also, has been here with all his household, and such a household! The principle of the family seems to be that, provided the servants have faith, good works are not to be expected from them, and the utter disorder which prevails in consequence is truly farcical. The old coachman would figure upon the stage. Upon making some complaint about the horses, he told his master and mistress that, since they had been in this country, they had been so lake-and-river-and-mountain-and-valleymad, that they had thought of nothing which they ought to think of. I have seen nothing in such pell-mell, topsy-turvy, and chaotic confusion as Wilberforce's apartments since I used to see a certain breakfast-table in Skeleton Corner.* His wife sits in the midst of it like Patience on a monument, and he frisks about as if every vein in his body were filled with quicksilver; but, withal, there is such a constant hilarity in every look and motion, such a sweetness in all his tones, such a benignity in all his thoughts, words, and actions, that all sense of his grotesque appearance is presently overcome, and you can feel nothing but love and admiration for a creature of so happy and blessed a nature."

The following is chiefly interesting as it shows how personal intimacy, or even a casual acquaintance, tended to soften the severe judgments which Southey was wont to pass on any delinquency in the conduct or writings of those whom he knew at first only by report. His affections instantly clung about those with whom he was thrown in contact, if there was nothing flagitious in their actions at the moment. If Shelley had not happened to come into his immediate neighborhood, the indignant bard of Keswick, looking only at bis conduct and publications while in college, would have fitted up a niche for him in the lower regions hard by that into which he thrust the "Satanic school.” But this is a very good-natured account.

“ Here is a man at Keswick, who acts upon me as my own ghost would do. He is just what I was in 1794. His name is Shelley, son to the member for Shoreham; with £6000 a year entailed upon him, and as much more in his father's power to cut off. Beginning with romances of ghosts and murder, and with poetry at Eton, he passed, at Oxford, into metaphysics ; printed

p. 367.

* A part of Christ Church, so called, where Mr. Wynn's rooms were situated.

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half a dozen pages, which he entitled "The Necessity of Atheism;' sent one anonymously to Coplestone, in expectation, I suppose, of converting him ; was expelled in consequence; married a girl of seventeen, after being turned out of doors by his father; and here they both are, in lodgings, living upon £200 a year, which her father allows them. He is come to the fittest physician in the world. At present he has got to the Pantheistic stage of philosophy, and, in the course of a week, I expect he will be a Berkeleyan, for I have put him upon a course of Berkeley. It has surprised him a good deal to meet, for the first time in his life, with a man who perfectly understands him, and does him full justice. I tell him that all the difference between us is that he is nineteen and I am thirty-seven, and I dare say it will not be long before I shall succeed in convincing him that he may be a true philosopher, and do a great deal of good with £6000 a year, the thought of which troubles him a great deal more at present than ever the want of a sixpence (for I have known such a want) did me.

God help us ! the world wants mending, though he did not set about it exactly in the right way." p. 280.

It remains only to add Southey's own picture of his family and home, as they appeared to him on his return from his Pilgrimage to Waterloo, whither he had been accompanied by an invalid daughter. The verses have been often copied before ; but we cannot withstand the temptation to insert them here, though with some omissions. “O joyful hour, when to our longing home

The long-expected wheels at length draw nigh!
When the first sound went forth, “They come, they come !'

And hope's impatience quicken'd every eye!
Never had man whom heaven would heap with bliss

More glad return, more happy hour than this. “ Aloft on yonder bench, with arms dispread,

My boy stood, shouting there his father's name,
Waving his hat around his happy head ;

And there, a younger group, his sisters came :
Smiling they stood with looks of pleased surprise,

While tears of joy were seen in elder eyes.
“Soon all and each came crowding round to share

The cordial greeting, the beloved sight ;
What welcomings of hand and lip were there !.

And when those overflowings of delight
Subsided to a sense of quiet bliss,
Life hath no purer, deeper happiness.

“ The young companion of our weary way.

Found here the end desired of all her ills ; She who in sickness pining many a day

Hunger'd and thirsted for her native hills, Forgetful now of sufferings past and pain,

Rejoiced to see her own dear home again. “ Recover'd now, the homesick mountaineer

Sat by the playmate of her infancy,
The twin-like comrade — render'd doubly dear

For that long absence: full of life was she,
With voluble discourse and eager mien

Telling of all the wonders she had seen. “ Here silently between her parents stood

My dark-eyed Bertha, timid as a dove;
And gently oft from time to time she woo'd

Pressure of hand, or word, or look of love.
With impulse shy of bashful tenderness,
Soliciting again the wish'd caress.

younger twain in wonder lost were they, My gentle Kate and my sweet Isabel : Long of our promised corning, day by day

It had been their delight to hear and tell ;
And now, when that long-promised hour was come,

Surprise and wakening memory held them dumb. “Soon they grew blithe as they were wont to be ;

Her old endearments each began to seek : And Isabel drew near to climb my knee,

And pat with fondling hand her father's cheek, With voice, and touch, and look reviving thus

The feelings which had slept in long disuse. “But there stood one whose heart could entertain

And comprehend the fulness of the joy ; The father, teacher, playmate, was again

Come to his only and his studious boy, And he beheld again that mother's eye,

Which with such ceaseless care had watch'd his infancy. “ Bring forth the treasures now — a proud display —

For rich as Eastern merchants we return ! Behold the black Beguine, the sister gray,

The friars whose heads with sober motion turn, The ark well filled with all its numerous hives, Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japhet, and their wives. p. 323.

“Scoff ye who will! but let me, gracious Heaven,

Preserve this boyish heart till life's last day !
For so that inward light by Nature given

Shall still direct, and cheer me on my way,
And, brightening as the shades of life descend,

Shine forth with heavenly radiance at the end.” To complete the picture, we must give also Southey's poetical account of himself, and his tastes and pursuits, though these verses, too, have been frequently in print. Never did limner present a more faithful outline.

“My days among the dead are past;

Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,

The mighty minds of old :
My never failing friends are they,

With whom I converse day by day.
“ With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe ;
And while I understand and feel

How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedewed
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
“My thoughts are with the dead, with them

I live in long past years ;
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears ;
And from their lessons seek and find

Instruction with an humble mind.
“My hopes are with the dead! Anon

My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on

Through all futurity ;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,

That will not perish in the dust." The view which we have thus attempted to piece together, from Southey's memoirs and correspondence, of the condition, whether in England or in this country, of a man of genius exclusively devoted to literary pursuits, and entirely dependent on them for a livelihood, is a sorrowful and an instructive one. It should operate as a warning to those, especially among the young, who feel the stirrings of literary ambition, and are

p. 407.

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