Skip to main content

Full text of "Memorials; being letters and other records, here first published. With communications from Coleridge, the Wordsworths, Hannah More, Professor Wilson, and others. Edited, with introd., notes, and narrative"

See other formats








Edited, with Introduction and Notes, from the Author's Original 
MSS., by 














[All rights reserved.] 
















OF MRS, HANNAH MORE . . . /', . . 69 






HENRY DE QUINCEY , , , . , , . . .144 






LETTERS OF 1836-8 177 











OF POPE 248 









THOMAS DE QUINCEY. From the drawing by James 
Archer, K.S.A., in the possession of Mrs. Baird 
Smith ...... Frontispiece 

Mrs. DE QUINCEY (Miss Elizabeth Penson). i. Before 
marriage. From a miniature in the possession 
of Mrs. Cocksedge. 2. After marriage. From a 
miniature in the possession of Mrs. Baird Smith To face page 90 



"Wednesday, May 17, 1809. 

" MARY has been reproaching me the whole week for 
not writing to you, which is a great shame, because 
your last letter was to her ; and, besides, you owe me 
some three or four already. After all, I don't know 
what it is she is so desirous I should impart to you, 
except that there is no reason why you should not 
come to us in ten days, as you say, or in one day if 
you please ; but I conclude there is no reason for 
repeating so old a truth, that we are always supremely 
happy in the honour and pleasure, &c., &c., &c. 

" I observe you always say ten days, a distance 
which as regularly recedes so that it is constantly at 
the same standing. We have heard of you to-day ; 
that is, from your favoured friend, Miss Wordsworth, 
through Mrs. Kelsall. When shall we hear anything 
more of this beautiful cottage ? I can't approve of 
the sitting-room being upstairs. Why did it not 
open on a sloping lawn, buried in the shade of 



venerable beeches, through which one should here and 
there discover the lake with the western sun sinking 
into it ? Here indeed would be a retreat worthy a 
philosopher ! I should like to know how you will 
pass your time whether you mean to bury yourself 
in total seclusion, or only in an elegant retirement, 
embellished with every unsophisticated pleasure. I 
can tell you that you will never endure it alone for 
two months. I should much like to know Miss Words- 
worth, and to see what sort of a woman you admire. 
I look with no small pleasure to the seeing all 
the divine things in Grasmere which you mention. 
I think that pleasure which I feel from beautiful 
country, or from anything in country not strictly 
beautiful, which I have associated, however remotely, 
with my ideas of fine scenery, would have power to 
rouse and delight me even at moments (if any such 
there were) when every other thing would be dis- 
gusting to me. 

" I think you will be pleased with our views from 
Westhay, though they are certainly of a very mild 
sort of beauty, and may appear tame after the 
northern sublimity. If you have any dislike to the 
worldly bustle of removing, I again conjure you to 
come immediately, since our time is finally fixed for 
leaving Clifton entirely at or rather before Mid- 
summer, and cannot now be altered, because this 
house is let from that period, and therefore we must 
leave whether we are so disposed or not. You can 
go with us to Westhay if you please, for we shall 
have rooms enough finished, though the house will 


be half full of workmen. How often have I told you 
that c hope deferred maketh the heart sick ' ? I am 
sure no mortal ever had so many prayers, adjurations, 
and imprecations showered upon them in vain as 
you have had. Above all things remember the 
Bible, as you value your peace on earth. 1 I hope 
you will bring some books with you, for we are in a 
dry and barren soil, where to this hour I believe it is 
the fashion to talk of nothing but ' Marmion ' and 
' Cselebs.' I suppose we shall have some more of 
Walter Scott's stolen goods soon. Do you know 
anything of him ? or can he prosecute me for a 
libellist if I say he borrows his ideas, often his words 
even sometimes ? You have not told us whether you 
understand Spanish. Mary has got the most stupid 
master in the world, and so unlike a noble Spaniard, 
he might rather pass for a low and vulgar Francese. 
Have you any Italian books with you ? I can get 
none, and I much wish to increase my slight ac- 
quaintance with the language. People sometimes 
argue with me that there is no use in learning Italian 
and Spanish, because there are so few books worth 
reading. You have given me a different idea ; at all 
events they are so easy to learn, and I have not the 
dislike that people in general have to languages. 

"Do you remember that you are to teach me 
German ? We hear by letters from India that my 
Uncle is just made a Major, so we expect he will 
come home. Eichard is still in the Baltic with 

1 A Bible in chaste and superb binding for a present to be given by 
Miss Brotlierton (see " Memoir," pp. 105-6). 


Admiral Keats. I fear you have never written to 
Miss Brotherton. Oh, if you break your promises to 
the fair unknown as you do to us, you will certainly 
be disgraced. I long to question you on some in- 
teresting topics which in a letter you would elude, 
but the truth cannot escape my penetrating eye. 
Can you tell me why Foster has never brought out 
the work which you said was preparing ? I suppose 
it will never come now. I do not think even of 
inquiring for the ' Friend/ Adieu. Your ever- 
affectionate sister, JANE BE QUINCEY. 

" I have heard that Miss Seward has left all her 
own letters, and all those of her correspondents, for 
publication I thank Heaven I was not one of 
them to come out 2 vols. a year. If it is true, 
what must have been the supreme vanity of the 
creature ! 1 

" I have been reading Miss Lee's ' Eecess,' and 
was foolish enough to be interested at the time, 
though, on cooler reflection, I find great fault with it 
for being so full of miseries and written in such a 
confused style. 


" 82 Gt. Tichfield St., London." 

1 Anna Seward was a well-known wiiter of the earlier part of 
the century. Her works consisted of dram-is, poems, biographies : 
" Louisa, a Poetical Novel," was perhaps the most popular of them. 
She wrote the Life of Dr. Darwin. She was the daughter of the Rev. 
Thomas Se war J, himself a poet of some repute, and editor of " Beaumont 
and Fletcher." She was born in 1747, and died in 1809. Sir Walter 
Scott, of whom she was the friend and correspondent, wrote a Life of 


"Monday, 2$rd. 

"Mr DEAR BROTHER, Enclosed I have sent you 
the ground plan of Westhay, though I own I am a 
little surprised at such a requisition from you a 
Metaphysician and an Architect ! A monstrous in- 
congruity ! I should almost as soon have thought of 
sending you the newest and most approved plan for 
making a Petticoat. If you really understand these 
things, you will perhaps think many improvements 
might be made. This is true, but all I have to say is, 
that though I could fancy many plans which I should 
like better, yet this is perhaps the best possible arrange- 
ment for us, with our numerous requirements and the 
comparatively small sum which must complete them. 
Above we have seven rooms, and one in the roof; be- 
hind are the coach-house, stable, and offices, intended 
to be concealed by the infant trees, of which we have 
planted about fifteen hundred. After all, if you were 
to come to us immediately from Westmoreland, you 
would think all our southern views very insipid, 
though they are beautiful in their style. I am deter- 
mined, if ever I come into possession of a grand castle, 
which lives in my imagination only at present, it 
shall be in Cumberland or Westmoreland ; but I shall 
prefer the former, as being rather more removed from 
the wicked haunts of men. Whenever I am in pos- 
session of the talisman which is to raise it, I shall 

her prefixed to her poems, and her letters were collected and published 
at Edinburgh in 1811, in six volumes, under the editorship of Mr. A. 
Constable, as arranged by herself. They were very carefully and 
critically weeded out, however, by herself : report had magnified her 
pistolary bequest, which still was large enough, in all conscience. 


request you to point out to me the most beautiful 
of the lakes small, rocky, and wooded to the very 
edge. The name of Ullswater pleases me, if it answers 
to my idea of it. You must also tell me the best 
place on the sea-coast of Wales, that I may fix my 
marine villa there. I never knew before this winter 
that a very fine effect may be produced by the snow 
covering a number of high trees, or a wood still more. 
I had always execrated snow as the only thing in 
nature totally foreign to every sort of beauty. 

"I have begun to learn Spanish by myself, and 
though it is indeed so easy that I can almost read it 
without translating, yet I am under a continual diffi- 
culty from the impossibility of teaching myself the 
pronunciation by any rules that can be given. And 
there is no master can be got here except one who 
is in reality a Frenchman. Mary has bought Gon- 
salvo de Cordoba, a dictionary and grammar. I don't 
believe I shall ever think, as I have heard some 
people say, that it is worth learning merely for the 
sake of ' Don Quixote/ which I have read lately in 
English, and am never much delighted with this kind 
of book. But it is an amusement to me to learn, 
and I suppose there are many books which I should 
like. I can't meet with any Italian Books but 
Metastasio. I was in hopes I had sprung a mine of 
them in opening your box to look for the copying 
machine, but judge of my horror when I discovered 
them to be all Greek, Latin, or German. Don't 
alarm yourself ; I replaced them carefully in the tomb, 
and shall never more trouble their repose. The only 


exceptions were ' Decameron,' which a Gentleman 
told Mary was not fit for a young Lady to read, and 
a French treatise on Logic, which I have opened 
several times in horror and despair. H. More has 
just published ' Cselebs in Search of a Wife/ which 
we have read ; very good advice to masters and 
misses, but quite out of your way. I don't know 
what she would think of me for learning Spanish 
when I don't half understand Italian, for she hates 
superficial ladies. This reminds me, though it would 
be too long a history to explain the connection to 
you ; but pray explain to me why Milton dares to 
make Eve inferior to Adam before the fall, when we 
know that they were created equal, and that her 
punishment was that she should be in ' subjection to 
her husband.' Allow me to observe that this is a mis- 
take which only a man, proud man, could have made. 
" I have been reading all Burns's works. I like 
his letters extremely ; only I wish he was not quite 
so wicked. As to his poetry, I meet here and there 
a few stanzas which please me, but all the Scotch 
pieces (and these are almost the whole) are perfectly 
unintelligible to me; and even if I should take the 
trouble to know the meaning of all the words, still 
I should have no pleasure, I think, because it would 
be ages before I could associate agreeable ideas with 
such uncouth-sounding words. I have been reading 
all Miss B.'s 1 plays. I could read 'De Montfort' 
a thousand times, and 'Basil' is a favorite; none 
of the others do I ever wish to see again. I believe 

1 Joanna Baillie, born 1762, died February 23, 1851. 


I have heard you mention some others of her writing 
besides the series, but I do not know them. I will 
not say anything about Coleridge's essay, but I am 
disappointed of a groat deal of pleasure by its non- 
appearance and everybody is disappointed of some- 
thing ; at least the glories of criticism promised a 
wide field of pleasure to many. 

"This is all very stupid for you, Monsieur le 
philosophe ; but if you will not furnish or inspire 
me with something to say, why, you must take the 
consequences. I have nofc forgotten the long letter, 
in answer to my dozen and a half, which you pro- 
mised about two months since, and this, I suppose, 
is always the case ; the few men in the world (and 
Heaven knows these are few enough !) whom one would 
desire ever to hear from always make themselves 
so scarce, that a letter once in a lustrum (isn't this 
the word I mean ?) is all one can reasonably expect. 

" I have been building and furnishing the most 
enchanting cottage for you, in imagination, that you 
can conceive. Seriously now, what do you mean 
to do ? Only choose your spot and furnish me with 
a moderate sum, and I am at your service. But 
then, don't marry this is the root of all evil, I 
assure you. Don't you know that you would be 
deceived \ Are you not aware that it would be the 
easiest thing in the world for any one who had a 
mind to make you believe her an angel for a few 
short months, when you would find out the melan- 
choly contrary ? And then my cottage is not large 
enough to accommodate a wife and a dozen small 


children, who, poor things ! must all learn to live 
upon air and philosophise themselves into feeling 
none of the vulgar necessities of mortals. But, alas ! 
I fear I am preaching to the deaf adder which 
refuseth to hear the voice of the charmer, charm he 
never so wisely ! ! ! 

" I do but counsel thee to the wise resolution 
which at present I have taken myself. I mean to 
live and die in the woods which mine own hand hath 
planted, and to please myself with mine own solitary 
grandeur. I am delighted to hear you say that 
Wordsworth understands gardening, and am im- 
patient to know what sort of a thing is a philosophy 
of gardening. I hope, as he is so well versed in 
the theory, he does not despise the practice. Mary 
desires me to say that she is in utter dismay about 
the prospectuses, and that till they come you well 
know we can get no subscriptions, for nobody will 
even offer to subscribe on the mere strength of our 
recommendations to a thing of which they know 
not even the nature. Two or three promises only 
we have had, and many people have been impatiently 
awaiting the prospectuses, but you are too much of 
philosophers, all of you too ethereal, not to ruin your 
own interests. You will let everybody cool, and they 
will not be easily roused again. Adieu. Believe me 
ever your most affectionate Sister, 



" William Wordsworth's, Esq., 

" Grasmere, near Kendal, Westmoreland." 


" WESTHAY, Thursday Night, December 14, 1809. 

" MY DEAR BEOTHEK, I have been deliberating for 
some weeks whether I should write to you or leave 
you to your fate as a punishment for your silence, 
but my extreme clemency has at length prevailed. 1 
wish very much to hear whether you will have your 
box sent now. I suppose in that case we may in- 
close the money for Coleridge. We do not happen 
at present to have any friend in London who might 
pay it is it not a shilling a number ? To be sure I 
should never have guessed that Coleridge would have 
had patience to carry it on so far, and to talk with 
confidence of the twentieth number. I know one of 
his dilatory friends who would not, though a most 
interesting young man in other respects. I have not 
been in the way of hearing many opinions about it 
lately, but I believe all wise and sober-minded people 
disliked the tale in the thirteenth number, which they 
say is so unnatural. 1 One Lady I have heard of is 
going to give it up, after having with difficulty held 
out till now. For my part, I can't think what the 
good people expected ; but I am tired of hearing 
their foolish criticisms. * Coleridge deals so much in 
paradox ; he is so extravagant, so incomprehensible,' 
is the ceaseless cry of those who have brains enough 
to make a remark at all. Those who think they have 
not content themselves with not reading him ; they 
own he is too deep for their humble capacities. I 
conclude C. gives these latter entertaining numbers 

1 The tale in the thirteenth number of The Friend was " Maria 
Eleanora Schoning," and was by Coleridge himself. 


to please the Ladies, poor things ! He talks, you 
know, of a female correspondent who complains of 
the dulness of some of the numbers. I dare say she 
was compelled to write this by some stupid husband 
or brother who was ashamed to confess so much on 
his own account. My mother likes his Taxation 
number, and wishes he would write politics chiefly. 1 
Then, and not till then, shall I call him uninteresting. 
I like his political papers when they come, but cer- 
tainly not to the exclusion of a thousand other 

" When are we to have the long-promised papers 
upon English literature ? Do you know who Satyrane 
was ? 2 I like his letters exceedingly. We should 
be seriously obliged to you to send or order to be 
sent the two copies of each of the two first numbers. 

1 The Taxation number was the twelfth, and is well worthy of the 
praise given to it ; but it is surprising that we do not find in these letters 
any queries about or reference to the series of sonnets now so well 
known on the Tyrolean patriots, &c., by Wordsworth, or the " Hymn 
before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamounia," by Coleridge, which ap- 
peared in the eleventh and twelfth numbers, as well as some specimens 
of Rabbinical wisdom from the Mishna. 

2 Satyrane was Coleridge himself. He wrote under that nom de 
plume a series of letters to a lady, describing his life and experiences in 
Germany. The letters are reprinted in the Biographi'a Literaria (vol. ii. 
pp. 182-254) ; and in the same work (vol. i. pp. 211-12) we find him 
writing : " By a gracious providence, for which I can never be suffi- 
ciently grateful, the generous and munificent patronage of Mr. Josiah 
and Mr. Thomas Wedgwood enabled me to finish my education in 
Germany. After acquiring in tolerable sufficiency the German language 
at Ratzeburg, which, with my voyage and the journey thither, I have 
described in The Friend, I proceeded through Hanover to Gottingen, 
where I regularly attended lectures on Physiology in the morning, and 
on Natural History in the evening under Blumenbach, a name dear 
to every Englishman who has studied at that University." Coleridge 
was born 2ist October 1772, and died July 25, 1834. 


Now, do for once in your life be a good boy, and defer 
not till to-morrow that which may be done to-day. 
Send these numbers, and with them a long letter 
telling us all about the northern poets and their 
children, and your own self and cottage. I want a 
sketch of the latter. Don't you find it very solitary 
sometimes, or is your friend Johnny sufficient com- 
pany ? With such a dilatory being as you, can I ever 
hope to see Westmoreland ? Not, at ]east, till grey 
hairs are nigh and the years come in which I shall 
say I have no pleasure in them. 

" I have been in Bath to visit Mrs. Kelsall, who, 
after spending a few days at Westhay, is returned to 
Manchester. We are of opinion that she is half mad. 
Westhay is very much improved since you were 
here, but has turned out much more expensive than 
was intended or feared. It is still in an unfurnished 
state, but will be a most beautiful place in time. 
Since you went we have walked so little on the down 
that we had nearly forgotten your old way to Brockley, 
and the other day I discovered with mortification 
that some malicious and evil-intentioned person has 
removed the old shoe placed by you as a landmark. 

" How beautiful your birch woods must look now ! 
We are planting weeping birches to produce the same 
effect in miniature. Have you any rose indicas ? 
I shall have great pleasure in ornamenting your little 
garden when I come. I should think Autumn must 
be a most beautiful season to see it in to me at least, 
who am an Anti-spring-ist 

11 Have you any new communications to make 


respecting books ? The other day we were afc Lans- 
down's, and with a true scholar-like contempt of 
dust, turned over all his old worm-eaten books, but 
we found nothing to please us. An old Tasso, which, 
being an Elzevir edition, I thought must be correct, 
I found had lost a volume, and Lansdown himself, 
civil and obliging as he is, has scarcely a pretension 
to know one book from another. Ours are all 
arranged in the book-cases, and look very well, 
though, to be sure, they are a pitiful collection. 
When I am rich I shall try to make it more respect- 
able. I have not been tempted to open Button yet, 
except a little in Geometry. Is this the most interest- 
ing of the branches of Mathematics which he treats of ? 
If it is, I am afraid my head is as unmathematical 
as ifc is unmetaphysical and unmetapolitical, to use 
C.'s learned and, I suppose, original term. A strange 
infatuation to have no exclusive taste for these 
sublime subjects ! One would have expected better 
things from the sister of a Philosopher. Nevertheless 
I read C/s papers with more attention and interest 
than, I dare say, half his friends ; and I do mean to 
try what I can do with Hutton. 

" Mary sends her love. She is going to put into 
the Lottery, and intends to have the twenty thou- 
sand ; in that case you will hear more of us. Is 
your avaricious design of growing rich by the same 
means gone off? I have made particular enquiries 
on the subject, but the general opinion seems to be 
that there is not any of the foul play which we 
suspected. I am still rather incredulous. 


" I conclude you have heard by this time from 
Kichard that he is at Plymouth, expected to sail 
soon, and made master's mate, which is a higher 
sort of midshipman. Henry is going to spend three 
weeks with us. He is much improved lately, and 
reads Homer. Henry Leeves is just arrived from 
Oxford, and Mr. Elsdale is expected for the holidays. 
We have very little intercourse with this accom- 
plished family. The Bridgers have been staying 
with us, and we are going to them for a week. The 
Mores never fail to enquire ' de vos nouvelles,' par- 
ticularly Sally, who calls you ( the sweet young 
man, Dr. Kantian/ With the Boaks too you are 
a great favorite ; but don't be vain of these perish- 
able honours ; if you don't return soon your dearest 
freundins may perhaps forget you. Do you re- 
member Sally More's prophecy that you would be 
a bishop, if you pleased ? I wish you would please 
to be something which would raise you above the 
vulgar wants of this wicked world a counsellor, for 
instance. You will come to this at last ; at least so 
prophesies your ever-affectionate Sister, 



" Grasmere, near Kendal, Westmoreland." 

" WESTHAT, Friday, May 3, 1811. 

"My DEAR BROTHER, I suppose you are quite 
amazed that you hear nothing of us and our intended 


proceedings, and perhaps conclude that we have for- 
gotten Grasmere and its attractions and its inha- 
bitants, I was going to add, but I recollect I ought 
to comprehend these under the second head; but 
you are mistaken, for Mary says we think of them 
all day and dream of them all night. Change all into 
every and I will swear to the assertion. Yet, alas ! 
this letter is not to fix the day for our departure, 
as it ought to do, but simply to regret that this is 
impossible, for our evil genius, in the form of Mr. 
Searth (Lord Darlington's agent), has arisen to tor- 
ment us. This man is to settle a dispute which you 
may remember concerning Lord D.'s claim to a part 
of our land, but, instead of coming in May, as he 
promised, he has announced the beginning of June 
for his appearance ; and my mother thinks she 
cannot stir till she has seen him. I will not attempt 
to describe to you what consternation ; yea, what 
indignation ; yea, finally, what calm despair was 
produced by these arrangements. You will perceive 
that by them not only is our patience tried must 
cruelly, and 'hope deferred,' we are told, ' maketh 
the heart sick,' but also we are thrown upon the 
hottest or the most rainy, and therefore, at any 
rate, the most disagreeable season of the year. At 
the same time neither Mary nor myself could 
patronise any plan for deferring our journey later 
than necessity requires, as a fine autumn, though 
the loveliest of all lovely things, is very uncertain. 

" So much for our grievances. Do write and 
console us say whether you are prepared to receive 


us when we do come, and whether you think we can 
scale your mountains in a July morning. We did 
talk of staying in Manchester first, but now this 
must be left till we return, a delightful contrast 
to Grasmere and its environs. 

" Pray, what do you sanguine politicians say to 
the evacuation of Portugal ? I know you have laid 
aside your philosophic indifference on this subject, 
and therefore I may venture to ask the question ; 
and do not you think Lord Wellington a great 
soldier ? I never used to like him, but if his friends 
in the House of Commons do not exaggerate his 
merits, I cannot but think there is something very 
heroic in bis disdaining to clear himself from the 
many aspersions and insinuations thrown out against 
him at home, and in the unwearied perseverance 
with which he follows up his own plans, which appear 
equally well conceived and well executed. Happily, 
however, he needs not my tribute of approbation, for 
most people seem to concur in acknowledging his merit 
now that he is fortunate, and perhaps is sufficiently 
rewarded in contemplating the effect of his exertions. 1 

" I expect to become a very able politician under 

1 And so, for a long period after Wellington's achievements were 
considerable, discussions arose about his powers and merits. It would 
seem that, though an aristocrat, he had to fight his way step by step, 
and in one of his own private papers declares that he was not favoured 
for a very long period either by the War Office or the Horse Guards ; 
and that, even after he was distinguished, was cumbered by what they 
pleased to call a second-in- command, which he declares that he could 
not understand. It is characteristic of him that he declined or even 
disdained to clear himself from many aspersions and insinuations 
thrown out against him. 


your tuition this summer, especially as I conclude 
you and your friends are generally agreed on im- 
portant points ; otherwise, according to an expression 
of an acquaintance of yours in this part of the world, 
I may chance to be thrown all abroad. 

" Letters from Richard lately announce that he 
has sailed in the Princess Caroline in the expedition 
for the Baltic. I cannot conceive what employment 
they can find for so large a fleet in that quarter. 
We have had very dismal weather here for the last 
week, which is unlucky ; for Mrs. Church and her two 
children are staying with us, and town people have 
scarcely an idea of the country being good for any- 
thing except in a sunshiny day. 

" Mary and I returned lately from Clifton, where 
we have been staying at different houses nearly two 
months, and this period, with that which has elapsed, 
makes it three months since we have been alone for 
one day ; otherwise I should have written sooner. 
And now I take to myself some shame for sending an 
epistle three hundred miles which has so little in it ; 
but I beg you to remember that it is written -in a 
moment of all others the least calculated for sharpen- 
ing the wits ; namely, between the utter extinction 
and the faint revival of hope. 

" My Mother desires her love, and bids me say we 
will come as soon as we can. Mary exists in the 
same hope. I told them just now, with a sigh, that 
it was this very day (4th May) on which in your last 
letter you hoped to see us drinking tea in your 
cottage. Alack ! that ever it should be otherwise. 



I must say, however, that we are beginning to look 
very beautiful in our spring dress ; the Elms and 
most of the trees, except Oaks, are quite in leaf, 
and everything is rejoicing in the rain we have had. 
Westhay is improving every day, and our friends 
here say that it is most unsentimental to leave it 
just the first summer it is finished, but we are deaf 
to their kind admonitions. 

" I mean while I am with you to read all the 
books in your library during the intervals of my 
climbing all the mountains ; but my mother still 
talks of a month, and I fear we cannot do half what 
we wish in that time. I have no news to send you 
from our part, except that Mr. Cotterell and J. Pratt 
have both got livings ; that Mr. C. has married Miss 
Boak, and J. P. is to lead off the other sister in a few 
months ; so that we are likely to have a clear field. 
Your worthy friend Mr. Leeves is well, and is our 
great friend also. His brother, I believe, is gone to 
be a private tutor in some family. We are to have 
a neighbour shortly in that beautiful field just above 
us an East India Colonel (Mackenzie). 

" Adieu ! I trust the next thing you hear of 
me will be how I am charmed with the ride from 
Winandermere to Grasmere. Pray write to my 
Mother, and believe me yours very affection- 


" Grasmere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 


" ARDWICK, 26th July 1811. 

"My DEAR BROTHER, Any man but yourself 
would Lave a right to wonder at our dilatory pro- 
ceedings, but you must consider us only as returning 
one of the many practical lessons which you in former 
times have bestowed upon us. I assure you, how- 
ever, that we are all longing to be at Grasmere ; to 
explain why we are not there I must travel back to 
Westhay. Two days before the one fixed for our 
departure Mary had been with Mrs. Hannah More 
to Brockley, and in alighting from the Barouche 
box of the carriage she fell and cut her face. This 
delayed us a week. However, it was healed and re- 
covered its looks, and Mary grew impatient to set 
out, although she had by no means recovered her 
strength or the complete shock which she had re- 
ceived. My mother acceded, but unhappily the 
consequences of three days' jolting in hack chaises 
to an already exhausted frame has been a violent 
bilious attack, which has confined her to the house 
almost since we came here, which was last Wednesday 

" Our intention was to have set off next Wednesday 
for Grasmere, but you will see the impossibility of 
this, or indeed of speaking with any certainty on the 
subject. We have Dr. Jarrold attending, and he 
gives us hope of a speedy recovery, but we do not 
know the exact degree of reliance to be placed on 
his promises. At present she is too weak to bear 
the slightest exertion. My mother says we will not 
fail to write again and give you the notice you 


desire ; as soon as she sees any probability of our 
coming, she means to dispatch a box containing 
some books of yours, and tracts, &c., for your 

" I am very assiduously renewing my acquaintance 
with the town of Manchester. I think it possible I 
may never see it again, and I am determined not to 
be guilty of forgetting the land of my nativity any 
more. We think it very much improved, and really, 
on the whole, it is not so vile a place as I imagined. 
Mr. Kel sail's house at least is airily situated, and 
one may discover from it something in the similitude 
of green trees and grass. A slight quarrel I have 
with the inhabitants for all looking alike ; one meets 
five hundred men in the course of a walk with 
scarcely, it seems to me, a shade of variety in the 
expression of their faces, but each appears to be 
struck off in the same mould with his neighbour. 
Lavater would find very little subject of speculation 
here. We have been finding out all our old friends. 
Mr. Hall, surprising to say, gave us a most cordial 
reception, and appears entirely to have forgotten 
that we have been any other than the best friends 
in the world. The young men are grown out of all 
recollection ; Eupel especially is a most singular- 
looking creature ; he is going to be tutor to two 
of the Duke of Beaufort's grandsons. We have 
been to see also the Belchers, Mrs. Wilkinson, for- 
merly Miss Eason, and several more whom you don't 
care about. 

"We expect Mr. and Mrs. Elsdale from Wrington 


to-morrow to enjoy the remainder of the summer 
in Long Milgate. I know not why I should write 
any more, seeing that I hope so soon to be with you. 
I have been solacing my impatience with a view 
which I have found of G-rasmere Church ; another 
comfort is that we have certainly avoided the least 
agreeable part of the summer and missed no very 
delightful weather. Mary and all the party send 
their lov r e. Believe me ever your affectionate 



" Grasinere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

"March 26, 1812. 

DEAR BROTHER, It may be as well to tell 
you before I begin to write that my sole intention 
in doing so at this moment is to ascertain a matter 
of fact, and therefore you will do well not to ex- 
pect to be greatly amused. Indeed, however much 
I might be disposed to exert my wonderful powers, 
it would at present be a vain attempt, as I am placed 
in the midst of a confusion of voices compared to 
which Babel would be a calm retreat. 

" To proceed to business. My mother having 
heard through Eichard that you are really agitating 
a remove to town, a sudden thought has started into 
her mind : ' What does he mean to do with Mary 
Dawson ? ' Perhaps you think of taking her with 


you, or you may mean to keep her still at Grasmere ; 
or, alas ! still more probably, this agitated remove 
may never take place ; but the most distant hope 
of importing southwards a genius so rare in these 
parts is not to be despised by us. She promised, 
if ever she left you, to come to us, but, in such a 
case, might expect the first advances to be on our 

"We are now at Clifton visiting the Kempes : 
we shall stay about a week, and if it is not too much 
to ask from mortal man, we should be very glad to 
know how the matter stands on the aforesaid sub- 
jects, as we are going to hire servants. This request 
will appear more modest if you count up the number 
of months which have elapsed since we heard of you, 
except indirectly. Your case affords a melancholy 
example of the degree of moral turpitude which, 
by continued habit, a man may learn to contemplate 
with composure. I can't help laughing in my heart 
to think of the believing sailor who has absolutely 
resolved to stay in London in the Ignis Fatuus 
hope of seeing you. He may wait long enough, I 

"We have been reading Pasley, and are much 
delighted. He seems to have a surprisingly clear 
and comprehensive view of his subject, which, were 
it a less general concern than it is, must be made 
interesting by so much talent; nevertheless, though 
on the whole we agreed with him, several things 
struck us both as contradictory. At first he is in 
the depth of despair, seems to think nothing can 


save us but measures which we certainly shall be 
far from pursuing, and even these would be very 
risky. In the latter part his spirits seem to rise 
with the consideration of his subject, and all things, 
even the conquest of the world, seem to be nothing 
more than putting one's gloves on. Perhaps a 
second reading might have reconciled these seeming 
contrarieties. I should have supposed that you 
would not approve the high opinions he seems to 
entertain of Buonaparte's abilities. 1 

" It just occurs to me to remind you of a piece of 
advice which you have often given me with respect 
to books Why, say you, don't you buy books in- 
stead of hiring them ? Now, I paid fifteen shillings 
to a Bristol library for six months three are elapsed, 
and I find I have read twenty-one vols. How many 
books, my good friend, could I have bought for 
73. 6d. ? and in the meantime I must have vegetated 
without any. Adieu. My mother will fill this paper. 
My love to all my friends. Ever your very affec- 

"We talk much of our enchanting walks in 
Westmoreland. I have always a strange feeling 
come across me when I think of Ulls water and 
twenty other places which take turns in my affec- 
tions. My mother and I have rung every possible 
change upon the possible alterations which can have 
occurred in Grasmere ; pray explain. I believe I 
have written exquisite nonsense, but I am indeed 

1 See footnote in re Pasley's book. 


quite bewildered with noise. Henry Leeves is here, 
just been to Oxford to take his Master's degree, and 
now very ill of a fever. He desires to be remembered 
to you. Mr. Elsdale has lost his election to the 
school here by a very small majority, and with great 
credit to himself- it is a great disappointment to 
the Leeves. 

" My dear Thomas, I have managed my acc ts of 
your Uncle's money so badly that I am obliged to 
go to everybody for help, and to you to tell me, if 
you can, what money you have ever had from your 
Uncle as a present through me or Mr. Kelsall. I do 
not expect to find any effectual clue in my applica- 
tion to you towards the clearing my acc ts , but I shall 
be obliged to you for a direct reply, Yrs affect ly , 

" E. Q. 

"Tnos. DE QUINCEY, Esq., 

" Grasmere, near AmLleside, Westmoreland." 

, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1812. 

" MY DEAR BROTHEE, By this day's post Mary 
has dispatched a letter to you at Grasmere, the 
strain of which 'is to this effect; namely, to beg 
that you will exert your influence wherever it may 
lie for Henry Leeves, in a way which I will tell you. 
You remember he had a cough when you were at 
home, which has hung upon him for some months, 


but was treated with little attention as a thing 
which his family ignorantly supposed of small conse- 
quence. Some unfavourable symptoms which appeared 
latterly, however, induced them to go with him to 
Clifton to consult Dr. Craufurd, who thinks every- 
thing depends upon his going abroad immediately, to 
escape wintering at home. Fortunately he has met 
with a friend who is Captain of a Sloop, and has offered 
to take him out with him directly to the Bermudas. 
He has got an introduction to the secretary of the 
governor of this island, but is ordered not to remain 
long on shore, but to proceed from one place to 
another in a more southernly direction. The result 
then is, that if you can procure from any of your 
friends letters to Portugal, Spain, Malta, Sicily, or, 
in short, any place in that direction, his course being 
quite uncertain, you will excite much gratitude in 
the family, who are in the utmost affliction at the 
possibility of losing this favourite, to which possi- 
bility they have only now opened their eyes. We 
thought that Southey would oblige you in this 
way, and perhaps Coleridge to Malta, If you are in 
London you may know others who have connections 
in some of these places. Need I add that whatever 
you do must be speedy, as Captain Kennedy is quite 
uncertain how soon his ship may receive sailing 
orders, but expects it very soon. To interest your- 
self you would only need to witness the distress of 
the family at this unlooked-for destruction of their 
prospects. Any letter must be sent under cover to 
us, as Henry Leeves is at Clifton. I shall be dis- 


mayed if you do not receive this. We have just had 
a disquisition on the great want of principle evinced 
in a man leaving home without the shadow of a 
direction where one may find him. Unless you are 
altered in this respect, we think you would hardly 
find in your heart to leave London while every day 
brings such interesting news from Eussia ; you will 
surely wait the illuminations for the capture of that 
varlet, as our paper designates him, though I begin 
to fear, alas ! that he will take care of his individual 
person whatever becomes of his army, which, I think, 
can hardly escape. Surely such a brilliant campaign 
in so short a space of time is scarcely recorded in 

" I expect to be in London about the latter end of 
January. I want to know whether I am likely to 
find you where and how ? and if I should have 
occasion to remain a day or two in London, can I be 
taken in at your lodgings ? The plan of my journey 
is not yet adjusted, for Henry, on whom I depended 
as an escort to town, writes word that an unforeseen 
circumstance (which is couched in mystery and dark- 
ness) detains him in Oxford this whole vacation. 
He has sent down a magnificent engraving of the 
High St., Oxford, with its college, handsomely 
framed ! ! ! 

" If you pass through Liverpool you will find 
Eichard at No. i Leece St., Eenshaw St. I fancy he 
means to take up his abode there, to the astonishment 
of his country neighbours. 

" Colonel Mackenzie has lost one of his children 


since you left us, with water in the head ; be is in 
too much sorrow now to be reproached for his pros- 
ing politics about the Kussians, but Mr. Boak we do 
not spare. Beally one can't help feeling sorry for the 
French soldiers, who are guiltless of either pleasure 
or profit in this expedition. If we can hardly bear 
the intense cold here, what must it be in those frozen 
regions almost without clothes ! 

" We are very busy in the prosecution of Dr. 
Bell's plan in our school, which improves as fast as 
we can expect, though we find great difficulty in its 
organisation from the beginning, simple as it appears 
to be, but we have all of us everything to learn 
and a great deal to unlearn. My mother received 
Southey's book. We lent it immediately to H. 
Leeves^, so have not read it. We dined last week at 
the Addingtons', who are, on the whole, pleasanter 
people than the generality of this neighbourhood. I 
hope the young heir will exert himself for Henry 
Leeves, who is his particular friend. We are trying 
in other quarters, but our principal dependence is on 
you ; so, pray, do not fail us. Let us know the par- 
ticulars of your health. I hope these hard frosts 
have prevented a recurrence of your indisposition, as 
I hear that effect ascribed to them in maladies of 
various descriptions. No news of the Fortescues 
since you left us. They all hate writing, or I should 
suppose them ill. I hope the agonies of uncertainty 
in which the direction of this letter is conceived will 
be an instructive lesson to your feelings not again to 
leave us in such perplexing ignorance. If this fail 


to affect you, add the consideration of my benumbed 
fingers in a cold room turning over the letters of the 
last five years to find where Great Tichfield Street 
resides, or even if there be any Great Tichfield St. 
All send kind love. Pray write immediately, I 
conjure you by whatever consideration is most likely 
to affect a heart so often flinty in this respect. 
Yours very affectionately, 




THE friendship of De Quincey and Professor Wilson 
was of such a remarkably close and constant char- 
acter bore, we may almost say, such a Damon-and- 
Pythias-like aspect that, though much has been 
written of their connection, the utter beauty of it 
has not probably been even yet fully realised. They 
were of very different types, but each could make 
allowances for and sympathise with and appreciate 
the other. Wilson, with his buoyant vivacity, found 
much to love in his friend, perhaps on the law of 
contrast rather than affinity, and never changed 
though he had certainly much to put up with in 
the erratic and unpractical character of the Opium- 
Eater ; but De Quincey, in an intellectual sense, 
had so much to confer ; his conversations and letters 
were so stimulating and suggestive to Wilson, that 
Wilson on many knotty points to the end found 
him the one man to whom he could make appeal for 
advice, suggestion, and aid. And even in their money- 
matters and " accommodations," which, as was only 
to be expected, went ajee, and through De Quincey's 

unbusiness-like ways, Wilson, when this was the 



case, shows the utmost consideration, and is ready 
to make the most affectionate brotherly excuses for 
his friend. We ourselves had no idea how much 
Wilson had to bear in this way till we read the 
letters that are to follow ; but we have never pre- 
tended that De Quincey in his earlier life, and 
whilst prostrated under opium, was anything but a 
perilous person to have much to do with in lending 
to or in accommodating ; and this, as we have said, 
from mere helplessness in practical matters. But, 
as will be seen from these letters, it was De Quincey 
who was first the lender ; another proof that, so long 
as he had it, his friends were welcome to his purse. 
And this generosity and timely assistance Wilson 
never forgot, but stood by his friend in all weathers, 
even when the horizon was most cloudy. It will 
perhaps be remembered that Wilson, through the 
fault of others, was suddenly deprived of his fortune, 
and plunged into difficulties, and, instead of peace 
and study at Elleray, had to think of making his 
way in the world ; and by-and-by proceeded to 
study for the Bar at Edinburgh. Hence the tone 
of the first letter : 


" Tuesday [May 1813]. 

" MY DEAR SIR, I was prevented from going with 
you to Borrowdale by very urgent business in Kendal, 
but had not time to tell you so in my note sent per 
coach yesterday. I am at present in greater diffi- 


culties about the business I spoke of than I at that 
time imagined. I heard on Sunday of several very 
considerable bills of which I had no remembrance ; 
others are far greater than I thought of; and, to 
complete my bad fortune, some money now due to 
me cannot be paid for some months. I therefore 
cannot conceive any way of settling my bills here 
and elsewhere without getting temporary assistance 
from a friend. By not settling them, I fear that 
very unpleasant effects would follow. 

i( When you so kindly offered your assistance on 
our walk t'other day, my acceptance of it to my mind 
seemed impossible. The shortness of our acquaint- 
ance renders it difficult for me to think that I can 
have any right to request or accept such a mark 
of kindness and regard, and, further, I have some 
doubt of the justice of availing myself of your bene- 
volent disposition, or of that friendly feeling you may 
entertain towards me. I hope, however, that on no 
occasion of my life have I preferred my own interests 
to those of a friend, and I w d face any difficulty, 
rather than be the cause of bringing a similar one 
on any Man. But your kindness suggested the relief, 
and when I contemplate the idea I have of your 
character, I venture to speak thus to you ; it being 
the first time that I have ever spoken it to any 

"^200 would, I believe, with what I shall be able 
to raise elsewhere, keep me afloat for the Summer. 
At Christmas, I shall be able to repay that sum, 
together with the interest. On this plan alone could 


my conscience allow me to accept of this sum from 
you. If you can advance that sum to me im- 
mediately, it w d be a kind of blessing ; for there are 
many feelings both of my own, and of one most 
dear to me, which it would save. I might say much 
to you on this request, but I cannot. 

"If I live till Christmas, you will sustain no 
loss whatever. If I do not, your debt will be among 
my sacred ones, and will be paid. Otherwise, I 
could not have written this letter to you. Let me 
have a few words from you. I shall be at home on 
Wednesday afternoon, and also all Thursday. If 
you cannot come here a day before you go, I will 
come over if you remain at Grasmere. Your affec- 
tionate Friend, J. WILSON." 


"GRASMERE, Tuesday afternoon, May ir, 1813. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Having made my offer to you 
the other day in perfect sincerity, I am truly happy 
to learn that you have determined to accept it. 

" I have detained your servant for the purpose of 
sending off by him a letter in time for to-morrow 
morning's post. Will ^200 be enough ? If you are 
in very immediate want of the money, could you not 
draw upon me at a short date ? The money will 
most probably reach Ambleside on Monday night 

" I am proud that you allow me so confidential a 


place in your friendship ; and, in the midst of my 
sympathy with you under your misfortunes, am glad 
that they have furnished me with an occasion for 
testifying (though by so trifling a service) that I am 
not unworthy of it. Believe me, my dear Sir, very 
faithfully your affectionate Friend, 


" Elleray. 

" P.S. Excuse me for not writing more at length. 
I was asleep when your servant arrived, not having 
got home yesterday from Borrowdale until midnight, 
and having had little sleep in the night from 
toothache. I shall be at home, I believe, all this 
week, but shall be most fully disengaged from busi- 
ness on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday next." 


And this was the letter that went by Wilson's 
servant to the post : 

"GRASMERE, Tuesday, May u, 1813. 

" DEAR Sm, I have an opportunity of rendering 
an important service to a friend by lending him im- 
mediately the sum of ^200. Can you conveniently 
furnish me with that sum or with a considerable 
part of it by next Monday ? I leave this place for 
London next Wednesday, and on Tuesday there is 
no post from Kendal ; so that if your answer does 



not leave Manchester by Sunday night, it cannot be 
here before I go away. I am, dear Sir, faithfully 


" Merchant, Manchester." 


"Friday, December 17 [1813]. 

"My DEAR FEIEND, When I last saw you I 
thought it probable that I might pay a visit to 
Elleray at Christmas, but I find that I cannot do so. 
The Law Class continues during the Christmas week, 
and regular attendance on it, tho' of little utility, is 
necessary to admission to the Faculty of Advocates. 
I cannot therefore hope to revisit "Westmoreland 
before the middle of April. 

" On my arrival here I found that in a few weeks 
a number of new regulations were to be adopted by 
the gentlemen of the Law regarding the examination 
of candidates. It became necessary, to avoid their 
operatioD, to pass my Civil Law trials immediately. 
As I boldly petitioned to be examined on the Corpus 
Juris, and last week was examined by nine wigs, who 
were pleased to express themselves satisfied with 
my knowledge of the Laws of Eome, which are the 
foundation of much of our Scottish Law. In a 
twelvemonth from that time I shall be at the Bar, 
though I have still an examination in Scottish Law 


to pass thro' to qualify myself even decently for 
which will require several hours' daily study. This 
I am told on high authority, tho' it seems not very 
consistent with reason. 

" I begin to feel myself quite a barrister, and 
attend Court regularly, where I improve myself in 
the principles of oratory by listening to the numerous 
old men eloquent with which the Court abounds. 

"In about a fortnight it falls upon me to open a 
debate in the Speculative Society (composed chiefly 
of Lawyers) on the question : ' Has the Peninsular 
War been glorious to the Spanish nation ? ' Now, I 
am sorry to say that I do not feel myself so well able 
to discuss this question as I ought to be, and if you 
have leisure to send me a few hints they will be most 
acceptable. I wish to be instructed by you in the 
following points : First, in what essential respects the 
Spanish people have shown themselves superior to, 
or equal to, the Americans, the Hollanders, &c. &c., 
in this struggle. Secondly, some general reasons to 
account for their supineness and want of exertion at 
particular periods of this war. Thirdly, an answer to 
that objection to the Spanish character drawn from 
the non-appearance of first-rate men among them. 
Fourthly, an explanation of the causes w h have pre- 
vented them from ever possessing one great and 
effective army. Fifthly, some good remarks on their 
behaviour during the year 1812, and at present. 
Sixthly, your opinion on what they w d have done 
without Lord Wellington at all, and of the value of 
his achievements. In short, you will oblige me by 


giving me weapons of any kind to wield against the 
raw-boned regiment who will attempt to deprive me 
of ratiocination in this enquiry. 

"The whole principle of such a debating Society 
as this is very absurd, but as all my friends and ac- 
quaintances will be present on this occasion, and as 
a little quackery is useful in the world, I w d prefer 
making a good speech to a bad one, and really with- 
out your assistance and advice I fear that this will 
not be in my power. 

" On the same night I must also read an essay on 
some political or philosophical subject. I find that 
I have not time, inclination, nor ability to write one. 
If therefore you have any essay by you that you 
think w d surprise a Scottish intellect, or if you c d 
direct me to one not likely to be known here, I can 
inform you of the effect which y r reasoning produces 
in the Metropolis of Scotland. Something on litera- 
ture, as Mr. Skeffington says, would be desirable ; 
but if you can accommodate me with a paper of 
half-an-hour's length, the subject matters not, pro- 
vided I can read the language in which it is 

" I suppose you will receive this on Sunday. I go 
to Glasgow on Friday (this day week), so I should 
wish to hear from you about this essay before I go. 
If you have one, you can send it per mail directed 
to me at 53 Queen Street. Your lucubrations on 
the Spanish War will be most acceptable as soon as 
convenient to you. Perhaps Wordsworth w d write 
me a letter on the subject were you to inform him 


of the public appearance I am forced to make of 

" I remain in Glasgow only two or three days. I 
hope that your domestic concerns at the Town-end 
go on pleasantly, and that your new handmaid gives 
satisfaction. In your letter to me, and I take it for 
granted that you will let me hear from you, be so 
good as let me know what y r intentions are about the 
Spring months. I c d meet you at Grasmere about 
the middle of April, or indeed at any other part of 
the world, for six weeks. If you have any idea of 
a Highland walk, you can command me later on in 
the season. But, till I hear from you, no more. 
Mrs. Wilson, and indeed all the family, remember 
you with all possible kindness, and believe me, my 
dear Friend, yours most affectionately, 


Wilson, however, made up for his enforced absence 
from Elleray during the Christmas of 1813 by a 
longer stay in the autumn and winter of the follow- 
ing year, being there from the middle of September 
till after Christmas. We have one or two records of 
this stay : and our next letter may be regarded of 
interest by many as signifying to us that James 
Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, had either accompanied 
him to Elleray or paid him a visit, for we find De 
Quincey thus writing, inviting the pair to dinner : 



"GRASMERE, Friday, September 22nd, 1814. 

" MY DEAR WILSON, I am expecting Mr. and 
Mrs. Merritt this evening on their return from 
Keswick where I left them on Tuesday last : so 
that to-night I cannot possibly come over. More- 
over, it appears to me that Elleray is not in the way 
from this place to Wastwater ; but rather vice versa. 
However, if you and Mr Hogg will come to Gras- 
mere to-morrow and dine with us at ^ past 2 o'clock 
[I hope that hour will not be too early], we can 
arrange a plan for going thither in which possibly 
Merritt might be included ; and that would delight 
him. He can't walk ['damn his body ! ' as he says] ; 
but I think I can get a horse for him from Allan 

"Mrs. S r [damn her body!] has it in con- 
templation to run away from old S r [damn his 

body !]. She told this in confidence to Mrs. Merritt 
who told it in confidence to me who hereby, 
my friend, tell it in confidence to you. Mind that 
you keep the secret as well as I have done ; and 
then it will stand a chance of coming round to old 

S r to-morrow morning, by the Whitehaven 

coach. Faithfully yours, THOS. DE QUINCEY. 

" Elleray." 



And, of course, the festive season of Christmas 
comes in for due celebration. We find De Quincey 
thus writing to Wilson on Friday, December 23, 

" MY DEAR FRIEND, I have promised for you that 
you will meet a party, viz. : young Mr. Jackson, 
Miss Huddleston, the family from the Nab, and 
others on Christmas-eve, Saturday, Dec. 24. Now, 
therefore, I conjure you do not bring me, your 
sponsor, into discredit, nor disappoint the company 
[who are all anxious to see you], by not appearing. 
So may a just God prosper your Law Schemes as 
you attend to this request. This note will be 
delivered to you by young J. Simpson, who is kind 
enough to ride over on purpose. Most affectionately 



" P.S. Come to dinner if you can, but at any 
rate, Come. 

" Elleray." 


"53 QUEEN ST. [postmark, Mar. 22, 1820], 

" MY DEAR FRIEND, I begin to fear, indeed have 
feared for some time past, that you have not been 
well since we parted. If so, I shall be most sin- 


cerely sorry for it, and hope that with the approach- 
ing Spring weather you will pick up health and 
spirits. If not, I shall be extremely glad, and hope 
that you will let me hear from you at y r leisure. 

"When I last saw you at Bowness I wished to 
enjoy your society without alloy ; and therefore 
touched as lightly as possible on any topic that 
might have been uncomfortable as, for example, 
pecuniary affairs. The necessities of the situation 
in which I now stand drives me to write of these, 
and nothing but necessity w d drive me to do so. 

"A good many months ago I borrowed forty 
pounds from the only quarter which was within my 
power, to take up a bill or bills of yours, I forget 
which, to that amount. I knew that it w d be 
necessary for me to repay it at the precise time 
fixed by me, which time elapsed a few weeks before 
my last visit to Westmoreland. I did accordingly 
pay it with a difficulty and a misery of which I do 
not wish to recall the image to my remembrance. 
It was the utterly impotent situation in which I was 
left by that unavoidable payment which obliged me 
to write to you on the appearance of the two twenty 
pound drafts presented to me about a month before 
I visited Westmoreland, stating my inability to 
take them up. Mr. Cookson's twenty pounds I 
received only, but I mentioned to you that the 
twenty-five pound bill was not accepted by the 
person by whom it was drawn, and that I should 
have in all probability to refund the ^25 which I 
received for it from the Bank here. This has accord- 


ingly happened. The Bill was brought to me a few 
days ago, and I returned the ^25. This I did by 
borrowing the money from my brother's clerk for a 
couple of days, and next morning selling as many 
books as I could muster to an auctioneer for ready- 
money, by which I repaid the clerk at the time 
specified. The books did not bring one-third of 
their value. Soon after my return from Westmore- 
land the 25 draft of which you spoke to me in the 
Bowness Bowling Green was presented and paid. 
The letter from your Mother with money to that 
amount never has arrived, and a few days after I 
paid that Draft, a tax-gatherer came to me for ^14, 
which I had not, and he threatened me with an 
execution in my house. I got the money from 
Blackwood, and so avoided that evil which would 
have been ruinous to me all my lifetime. The case 
therefore stands thus : that, being in debt to the 
very lips, these last two 25 pounds, ^50 and the 
previous ^40 = ^90, have done me up : and I scarcely 
see how I can avoid bankruptcy. 

" If I know anything of my own heart at all, I 
know my affection and my gratitude to you, and 
believe myself incapable of a mean action. -Perhaps 
I ought not to have stated these things to you at 
all, for I know that it is not in your power to repay 
that money. I have, however, brought myself, most 
unwillingly, to tell you precisely how I am placed, 
and if I accept any more bills of yours, and am left 
to pay them, the necessary consequence is loss of 
credit, and an arrest. I declare to you, my dear 


Friend, that life is scarcely endurable to me under 
the ignominious shifts and subterfuges that I have 
been driven to in order to take up these two last bills. 
Pardon me, if I have said anything to hurt you for 
God knows that I love you, and w d assist you to the last 
farthing of what I have. My affairs are at a crisis 
not a hopeless one, but one that will be fatal to my 
whole future life if I should be forced to accept any 
more bills ! As it is, I do not know how to extricate 
myself from present embarrassments. Yet I do not 
fear in a year or two to make things square again. 

"I had wished to write about the Magazine, but 
know not now what to say. Unless something 
has occurred to make it impossible for you to send 
y r contribution as you so solemnly promised when 
we parted, no doubt you w d have done so. But 
I can never again mention the subject to Mr. Black- 
wood, who delayed the printing of the work several 
days on my assurance of a packet coming from you. 
It becomes daily a more difficult task for Mr. 
Lockhart and I to write almost the whole of the 
work, and when he is married it is not possible that 
for some months afterwards he can be in Edinburgh 
or at leisure to write. Your assistance is becoming, 
therefore, every day more desirable, and I have only 
to add that payment at the rate of ^10, los. a sheet 
shall be monthly transmitted for your communica- 
tions along with y r Nos. of the Magazine. This 
I again pledge myself to do, and for the last time ; 
for were I again to reiterate, I feel that I should be 
forcing the task upon you. Whatever and whenever 


you send, it shall be inserted, and nothing can ever 
come wrong. With kind regards to all y r house- 
hold, I am, my dear De Quincey, your most affec- 
tionate Friend, JOHN WILSON. 

" Send y r articles addressed to the Editor, No. 1 7 
Princes St., either in letters per post or in parcels 
per coach." 


In 1820 Wilson, on the death of Dr. Thomas Brown, 
was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy in the 
University of Edinburgh. 

" 53 QUEEN STEEET, August $th [1820]. 

"My DEAR FRIEND, In your letter of the 26th 
you proposed to send in a day or two your review 
of Malthus. It is now the 5th of August, and I am 
beginning to fear that something may have occurred 
to stop your composition. Ebony, who is the child 
of Hope and Fear, and who has shown a face of 
smiles for some days, begins to droop excessively ; 
and if the article does not come soon, no doubt he 
will commit suicide, which will be some considerable 
relief to me and many others of his well-wishers. 
Two sheets of the magazine was a promise that 
raised the mortal to the skies ; so do not draw the 
devil down ! 

" I am quite at a stand respecting my lectures, 
but have been reading some books, some of which 
even I understand. What is good in Clark's ' Light 


of Nature ' ? He is an insufferable "beast as to style, 
and seems to me to have no drift but to leewards. 
If you think otherwise, give me notice of those 
parts of his book that you think worth reading. As 
I have to lecture on Moral Philosophy, I should 
merely give such general views of the intellectual 
part of our nature as are essential to the understand- 
ing of Man as a Moral Being : and first of the phy- 
sical nature of Man. "What should I treat of in the 
Senses appetites and bodily powers ? It seems to me 
perhaps I said it before that I sh d have a lecture 
on 'The Origin of Knowledge' when treating of the 
Senses. What are the books ? and what theory is 
the true one ? And your objections to Locke. 

" Of the Intellectual Powers, I send you to-day 
a sketch by the late Professor Brown my pre- 
decessor. He had a great character here, and the 
book seems exceedingly ingenious. I wish during 
the winter probably about the ist of December, 
to explain his Theory to my students ; and hope 
that you will read it, at your leisure, and discuss its 
merits and demerits fully and freely exactly as you 
opine them to be, in letters addressed to me. I 
forget if I mentioned to you that I intend giving 
half-a-dozen lectures on the Greek Philosophy 
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, &c. Have you any books 
about them and their systems ; or can you write me 
some long letters about either, or their philosophy ? 

"What does, in your belief, constitute moral 
obligation ? and what ought to be my own doctrine 
on that subject? 


" Are there good essays on the Stoic and Epicurean 
Philosophy, and where ? What books ought I to 
read for disquisitions and views respecting the duties 
created by society. This branch, if I treat it at all 
this winter, and I think I must, is most exigeant. 

" I sincerely hope that you will not delay, should 
you not have written to me already, to send me 
such information as I now seek, for time is flying 
rapidly, and I have few books. 

" I write this letter, which probably contains 
repetitions, to remind you of the necessities of my 
present situation; and that nothing in the world 
w d benefit me so much as your advice and assist- 
ance at the present juncture. 

" In what I have said about your articles for the 
Magazine, do not imagine that I have any intention 
however remote of doubting that you will send 
them if you can. That, however, I know, does, with 
all men, depend on a thousand circumstances. I tried 
to convince Blackwood that you never had engaged 
to write for the Magazine, and his face was worth ten 
pounds for it was as pale as a sheet. I told him, 
however, that now you were engaged, so that if the 
articles don't come now, he will become a sceptic 
even in religion, and end in total disbelief of Earth, 
Heaven and Hell. Believe me to be, my dear 
Friend, ever yours most truly, JOHN WILSON. 

" P. S. Stewart's 'Elements of the Philosophy 
of the Mind ' consists of 2 vols. the latter of which 
contains ' Eeason/ &c., and the former ' Imagina- 


tion,' &c. Whatever of these you have not, I will 
send to you. There is a third volume of separate 
Essays, which I will send too immediately if you 
have it not ; do let me know how the matter stands. 

" I have received your long and entertaining letter 
of the 5th, so delayed sending this letter. Not 
hearing from you to-day (7th), I send it off. I see 
the necessity of secrecy. But I am working away. 
Can you give y r letters a less mysterious outward 
form ; and, pray, do not write anything on the 
backs. Time flies. I will not write again till I 
bear from you again. Adopt in your letters some 
ingenious disguise as to your object in writing. 

"J. W." 


" EDINBURGH, Sunday [postmark Feb. 17, 1821]. 

" MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, I feel some difficulty in 
knowing how to write to you, as I fear you may be, 
or may have been ill : and it is my wish at all 
times to write nothing that may be otherwise than 

" I. I hope that hitherto I have behaved accord- 
ing to the best laws of friendship regarding the 
bills you have lately been forced to draw upon me. 
I have subjected myself by paying them to the 
greatest indignities and degradations. I say no 
more. Should I, some day or other, refuse to accept 
a bill of yours, I trust that you will do justice to 


my motives. I have considered the subject in every 
possible view, and see no possibility of accepting 
another bill. I have suffered for your sake that 
which I w d not have voluntarily suffered for any 
other man alive. 

" II. With respect to Blackwood's Magazine, I 
do not think that I can press that subject upon you 
any more, for, if you c d write for it, surely you 
would; and therefore I am bound to believe that 
some cause exists to prevent you. This I most 
deeply lament, for, as money is necessary, and as 
;i2O, ^130, or even ^150 per annum could be 
made by you in this way the fact of your not 
writing to that amount, obliges me to believe that 
some distressing cause prevents you from writing. 
God knows that y r good is my object in having 
so often urged this request. Necessity makes me 
write, and nothing else almost. 

" III. I am anxious to know from you, if you 

have done or still intend to do the 8 for me 

before the ist of Novem r . I trust that you will. 
I wish you w d write one or two on Cause and Effect, 
but not unless you choose. I do not wish to say 

that by not fulfilling y r promise of these 8 you 

will distress me much, for perhaps it may distress 
you more to write them, but to trust to them and 
eventually be disappointed w d be a most serious 
calamity to me. 

" I wish, therefore, much to hear from you ; and 
speak of them as chapters in a work of your own, 
if you please, when you write to me. Could you 


contrive to give your letters a less mysterious out- 
ward appearance ? 

" I am greatly behind in my labours, having been 
ill of late with headaches and palpitation of my 
heart. It is in your power to confer a great benefit 
on me ; but, if you do not, I shall attribute it to 
any other cause than want of inclination. You 
promised me a scheme and a list of books, but do 
not trouble yourself about them if it will hinder you 
from writing. An early letter will be most accept- 
able. Your affectionate Friend, 




" Thursday [postmark 1825]. 

" MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, "We are all well and 
comfortable in our new house. Thank God, it is so ; 
for between Moss Paul and Hawick my dear wife 
was taken suddenly ill a fit of a hideous and 
appalling kind. I dare not think of the miseries of 
that hour night and solitude nor shall I distress 
you by any details. You who know her and me 
will know what must have been my agonies with 
her lying insensible and convulsed for half-an-hour 
in my arms in the mire of the road, with none to 
assist us, and Johnny and Bean weeping and wailing 
beside us. She is now perfectly recovered. Instead 
of reaching Edinburgh on Saturday night, we 


reached it on Tuesday. This fit was a repetition of 
that Mrs. W. had last summer, but its effects have 
not been nearly so severe, and the medical men say 
that nothing can be so cheering as to know that the 
second attack has been less violent than the first. 
I am grateful to God for her restoration, and live in 
hope that His mercy will be shown toward us. Do 
not speak of this ; but indeed you feel on all 
occasions in such a way that any caution is un- 

" I shall be looking out every day for your com- 
munications, which are much needed, I assure you. 
I almost hope that some beautiful things are winging 
their way hither at this time from Rydal Cottage. 
As soon as you have any one thing complete, send 
it off by letter, for the publisher is in a fever, and 
the volume must be shipped off to London in time 
to be published there, some weeks before the Neiv 
Year. This, he says, is the meaning of the appella- 
tion JANUS. Remember that everything you think 
good, on whatever subject, and however short, 
original or translated, will answer our purpose. 
Without your timely assistance the double-faced 
old gentleman will assuredly be damped, for Lockhart 
left Edinburgh this morning, and is all in a bustle 
about his change of life, and I have been palsied by 
that late terror. 

" Fifty guineas a year will add to your Incomings 
or Comings-in (which is the most abominable word it 
is hard to decide), and, if Janus prospers, that you 
will receive for 100 pages easily written, being but 



two sheets of a maga, every ist of December till 
Doomsday. Do not disappoint me then, my dear 
Friend, and believe me to be, now and always, yours 


" P.S. I trust that everything you send will 
leave Ambleside by post in letters on or before 
Thursday the loth, for Saturday the I2th is posi- 
tively the last day that can be allowed say then 
Saturday the I2th the last day on which your pen 
works. But unless I get copy (accursed word !) 
the press will be stopped before that." 

The following letter is of a date somewhat later, 
after Mrs. de Quincey had been some time in Edin- 
burgh, and had fallen ill : 

"MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, I am truly happy to 
hear that Mrs. de Quincey is much better ; and I 
hope ere long will be restored to her usual state. 
Dr. Abercrombie has the first character in Edinburgh 
for skill. 

" I am absolutely enslaved at present by my 
Political Economy Lectures, but you cannot come 
amiss any night except to-morrow this week. 
Yours affectionately, JOHN WILSON." 

It may be here necessary to add that, whilst the 
Editor's aim has been, as far as possible, to let the 


letters speak for themselves, it must be borne in 
mind that in hardly any case do we have the letters 
continuous and complete ; and that, if we had, fur- 
ther light might be thrown on some points and first 
impressions modified. In the case of Professor 
Wilson's letters, it hardly needs to be pointed out 
that they belong mainly to a period which De 
Quiucey himself has characterised, in very explicit 
terms, as one in which other economies besides 
political economy tended to go to wreck ; and that 
later letters, had they been preserved, would have 
done much to modify the impression that might be 
drawn from some of them, as though De Quincey, 
having once done Wilson a friendly favour, was ever 
after drawing bills upon him with the most awkward 
consequences for Wilson. For many years after the 
date of the last letters here given De Quincey wrote 
much in Blackivood's Magazine, of which Wilson 
was, in effect, editor ; and in this case, as in others, 
the lapses in business matters in a period of deep 
prostration were to a great extent atoned for. The 
handing of their purses to one another, with full 
faith, as it would seem, that the future would some- 
how, as if by a kind of magic, work out order for 
them, is not to be commended, as likely to lead to a 
deepening of respect and friendship ; but it is pretty 
clear that, at a certain time, it was practised by this 
circle pretty well all round : it is something to know 
that accounts were satisfactorily "squared" up, in 
so far, at all events, that Wilson and De Quincey to 
the end remained the most attached friends. 



THE letters from Sir William and Captain Hamilton 
are very few and short, a circumstance due to the 
fact that, after De Quincey became intimate with 
them, he was always in close neighbourhood, with 
many opportunities for personal intercourse, but the 
letters will suffice to show that neither he nor his 
biographers have exaggerated the intimacy. The 
letters from Captain Hamilton (" Cyril Thornton ") 
regarding Mrs. de Quincey's illness are those, surely, 
of a very attached and warm friend. It may be 
mentioned that " Cyril Thornton " was published in 
1827, and that Captain Hamilton also wrote a 
" History of the Campaigns of the British Armies in 
Spain, Portugal, and the South of France from 1808 
to 1814," which was published in 1828. Captain 
Thomas Hamilton died at Pisa on the 7th December 
1842 ; and there appears in Blachvood's Magazine 
for February 1843 an affectionate obituary notice of 
him. His last work was "Men and Manners in 
America," of which two German and one French 

translation had already appeared at the date of 



the Blackwood notice ; and of the work Blackwood 
then said that it was " eminently characterised by a 
tone of gentle, manly feeling, sagacious observation, 
just views of national character and institutions, 
and their reciprocal influence, and by tolerant 

The letters of Captain and Sir William Hamilton 
are uniformly without dates, but must belong to the 
years 1831-7 : 


" 5 DARNAWAY STREET, Saturday. 

" MY DEAR SIR, I find my brother is engaged on 
Tuesday, and I think it would be more pleasant for 
you to come on Monday, should you happen to be 
disengaged on that day. Believe me ever, my dear 
Sir, very truly yours, 




"My DEAR DE QUINCEY, Will you not break 
thro' your rules and dine with us to-day at 6 o'clock ? 
No party. -Only my brother and perhaps one other 
gentleman. Ever very truly yours, 


[Note by De Quincey -."Monday, March $rd. Dined there on this 



" MY DEAR DE QUINCE Y. Will you allow Maggy l 
to come to us on Monday next, as you were good 
enough to promise Mrs. Hamilton ? I Have been 
often threatening to call 011 you, but the days are so 
short, and I do not get out till so late, that I have 
never yet effected my purpose. I hope, however, your 
daughter's being here will be an inducement to you 
to offer us a dinner visit whenever you are so inclined. 
We are, I may say, always at home, and always shall 
be glad to see you. Believe me ever, my dear De 
Quincey, very truly yours, 




"MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, Mrs. Hamilton is in bed 
to-day with a headache, and therefore I fear your 
little girl would find it stupid work being with us 
to-day. To-morrow, however, we shall be delighted 
to receive her, tho' I fear, poor thing, she will find 
our house dull enough at best. Being absolutely 
alone, it would be an act of charity if you would 
come and dine tete-a-tete, but this I have not the 
conscience to press, tho' your doing so would give me 

1 Maggy Margaret, De Quincey's eldest daughter, later Mrs. Robert 
Craig, then a mere girl. 


the greatest pleasure. I hope Mrs. de Quincey is well, 
and with best wishes and regards, believe me ever, 
my dear De Quincey, very truly yours, 




" MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, I am very sorry indeed 
to hear of Mrs. de Quincey's illness. Mrs. Hamilton 
begs me to say that if there be anything this house 
can afford either esculent or potable, which would be 
either useful or agreeable, she begs you will let her 
know. In short, if she can be of use in any way it 
will give her and both of us the greatest pleasure. 
I hope, however, Mrs. r de Quincey is already in a fair 
way of amendment, and I now write to beg that if 
you can bear the society of a bookseller and a printer 
you will dine here in such vulgar company on Wed- 
nesday next. I sincerely hope Mrs. de Quincey's 
health will then be no obstacle. In the meantime I 
have only to say we shall be most happy to see little 
Maggy on Thursday. But never mind her dress. 
Annette will supply her with anything she wants. 
Ever, my dear De Quincey, yours, 




" MY DEAR Du QUINCEY, Our Cook calls to know 
whether she can dress anything for Mrs. de Quincey, 
who, I trust, is better. I have desired her to see 
you, and you will of course not scruple to order any- 
thing that may be either useful or agreeable to the 
invalid. If you can get away either to-day, to- 
morrow, or any other day, I trust you would come to 
dine with us, for you must be very solitary. We 
are quite ready for your little girl whenever she can 
be spared, Mrs. H. and I being quite re-established. 
Believe me ever, my dear De Quincey, very truly 
yours, T. HAMILTON. 

" Saturday Morning, 

" 1 8 Duncan St." 


"MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, I write to express my 
hope that Mrs. de Quincey is again recovered, and 
that Maggy is to come to us to-day according to 
promise. Mrs. Hamilton bids me expressly prohibit 
you from taking any trouble about her dress ; it really 
is entirely unnecessary, as we see no company. Mrs. 
Hamilton likewise bids me say that she would have 
called on Mrs. de Quincey, but she is at present not 
equal to the exertion of paying visits. We both 


Lope Mrs. de Quincey will be good enough to accept 
this apology, and that we shall have the pleasure of 
seeing both her and you at dinner as soon as she feels 
equal to such an exertion. Tell Willy to come at all 
hours to see his sister. Believe me ever, my dear 
De Quincey, very truly yours, T. HAMILTON." 


" MY DEAR SIR, I shall send you the book from 
Colquhoun to-night. He is coming to drink some 
negus with me to-night. Would you join him 
about ten with the children ? Yours ever truly, 


" Sunday Night, Dec. 23." 


DEAR SIR, If you are not better engaged 
this evening would you come over to Coffee with 
the Children ? Yours ever truly, 


" Sunday. 

" Give bearer only a verbal answer." 



" WRINGTON, Saturday, July $rd, 1813. 

U MY DEAR BROTHER, An important communica- 
tion which I ought to have made sooner, I am 
now afraid may come too late a certain parcel I 
left at Miss Hewson's directed to Miss Hazelfoot, 
Devonshire Place ; it was on the chimney-piece of 
my bed-room. If it was never sent for, can you 
contrive to convey it as directed? I shall be glad 
to pay porterage for the same. My mother is much 
better ; she is at Clifton for a fortnight in Dr. 
Bridge's house, where she can give you a bed if 
you please any time before next Tuesday week. 
I can't send you any news, as I am writing from the 
Eectory, where Henry and I are dining. The latter 
is still house-hunting. At present the Banks of 
the Wye preponderate in his esteem, but it is not 
impossible that the visit of this day may transfer 
his affections to the Yeo. You are much remem- 
bered here, and much expected to dance at the Club 
on Tuesday with Mrs. Elsdale. Ever your affec- 
tionate JANE QUINCEY. 

" Miss Leeves says : ' Tell him I must doubt his 

gallantry if he does not come.' ' 




"WRINGTON, Saturday, Sept. 9^, 1815. 

"My DEAR BROTHER, It is singular to see how 
long a man retains the power of surprising people, 
and, contrary to the maxim long established, how 
prone the wisest are to wonder, since even we cannot 
take in the circumstance of your three weeks of 
business being lengthened to three months. Let 
us hope that it is by this time satisfactorily settled, 
and that you will not delay your visit till the whole 
of this fine autumn is fled. Many people have in- 
quired after you, some to promote colloquy, and 
some from kinder or less idle motives, among whom 
always reckon the Mackenzies, who are very desirous 
to see you. Another person interested in your move- 
ments is Mr. Haviland Addington, who has thoughts 
of making a walking tour to the Lakes, and hopes 
to find you there. I have not seen him for a week, 
and when I did he was looking out for a companion, 
which is an article, when it must be found in the 
shape of a young man, so uncommon that I think 
he will probably be obliged to give it up till next 
year but I told him I should mention it to you. 
The Addingtons are the pleasantest people, on the 
whole, in this county, when you get well acquainted 
with them. I met at dinner there last week a 
Gentleman who had travelled in a coach with a cer- 
tain man who told him that Coleridge was separated 
entirely from his wife and had taken a house at Calne. 
Did he lie \ I hope for the sake of all concerned that 
this is only the exaggeration of malicious gossip. 


" I have bought Southey's ' Roderick/ which I 
prefer to anything / have seen of his poetry. How 
was it you did not join my mother and Mary in 
London ? They had a pleasant set of rooms in 
Berkeley Square, with a carriage, &c., which Mary 
did not enjoy much, for she was very ill during half 
the time. They were out only ten days. 

" I talked over the Lakes with young Addington 
the other day, till I fanned into a fever the con- 
stant desire I have to see them once more in my 
life, and I regret exceedingly that the state of society 
will not permit a lady to travel with any companion 
that may offer. If brass had been abundant we 
should certainly have looked in upon you. I can't 
imagine what you are doing or why we have never 

had those C we were to expect before Easter. 

Ah, my friend, how many fair years are passing 
away ! It appears to me that the world is at present 
in a very decayed state. I don't mean the shell 
itself, for that seems to me more beautiful than ever, 
but, in the first place, there is a sort of stagnation in 
public affairs, neither a war nor a tax to furnish 
a little excitement to the famishing politicians ; nay, 
to descend to minuter occurrences, there is not an 
earthquake nor a murder of any note to rouse one. 
A still more alarming fact, which seems to portend 
the approaching dissolution of the world, is the very 
rapid decline of all sorts of sense ; the increase of 
folly in my short experience being so great that I 
am fully persuaded the next generations will not, 
except in a few favoured instances, be able to keep 


themselves out of fire and water. As a temporary 
amendment of this evil, Mary and I propose to 
burn all our acquaintances whose mental or moral 
maladies place them in the list of incurables, and 
it is astonishing how few common honesty would 
permit us to save from the grand conflagration. 

" We have lived this summer in a state of pleasant 
vegetation, solacing ourselves with the charming sun 
and the beautiful country, and with visions of delight- 
ful people and delightful books, and regions of un- 
tried knowledge and travels beyond the seas ! Do 
send a letter like an angel visit and tell us some 
good thing. 

"Henry is still at Dulverton, where he has got 
acquainted with his neighbours. I wish you could 
give me any news of Eichard. We don't know 
where to write. We are expecting General and 

Mr. , Indian friends of my Uncle and the Kel- 

salls, for a short time on their way to or from Bath. 
The Kempes are all at Ilfracombe. 

" What more can I say unless you will write ? It 
is like writing to a man in distant spheres to whom 
you are ashamed of communicating the everyday oc- 
currences of poor humble earth, or to a friend of former 
years so long unseen that he may be grown over with 
hairs and eat grass like Nebuchadnezzar, and of course 
any allusion to his former state would be painful. 

" Mary sends love. This is the last frank we 
shall get this year ; remember Mr. A. is not restricted 
to any weight, a fact which some of the post-offices 
do not know, and one which we sent was charged 


73. 4d. from this mistake. Again I entreat you 
to send us some good news. With remembrances 
to our friends in your parts, ever yours, 


" Miss B. bids me say your rug is finished and 
will be sent in due time." 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 


" WRINGTON, Monday, May 3is, 1819. 

"MY DEAR BROTHER, I am sorry I could not 
at once reply to your letter, which I should have 
done had there been any money in the house which 
could render it serviceable. My Mother, intending 
to go to Bristol to-morrow, waited till that visit 
should enable her to get a proper bill drawn by her 
banker there. 

"The sum you mention sent last summer as an 
annual remittance from my uncle is intended to be 
so, and would have been forwarded to you naturally 
at the time answering to the date in my mother's 
note-book I think the I5th of July, and with it 
half a year's warehouse rent not yet paid, though 
due last Ladyday, and which Mr. Kelsall proposed 
to remit to my mother with her Midsummer quarter. 
I am surprised you should not have heard of his 
failure, which happened four or five months since, 


in consequence of extensive speculations in which 
you would have fancied plodding John was the last 
person to have thought of engaging. Of course 
we are in a degree sufferers by his losses. Most 
happily in the course of the last 2 years my mother 
has gradually removed about seven thousand pounds 
from his hands, to her no small matter. Now he 
has not above ^1000 among us all unsecured. He 
has compounded with his creditors for 153. in the 
pound, to be paid by instalments in 18 months. 
After this he fancies he shall still have something 
left to recommence business in a small way, and 
promises to pay off the remaining fourth part of our 
debt, but we think it safe not to expect it. 

<( Mary and Mr. Serle are settled at Brislington, 
in rather a pretty, well-wooded neighbourhood, 2^ 
miles from Bristol on the Bath road, and 14 from 
us. Mr. S. has the curacy and lectureship in the 
room of Mr. Simpson, who died lately ; the last is 
a perpetuity, and has the advantage of exempting 
him from residing on his living of Oddington, near 
Oxford, where there is a mere farm-house in, as 
you know, a direful country. They have been so 
fortunate as to get an excellent house, a little 
out of the village, with a beautiful garden, &c. I 
have not yet seen them since they went to reside 
there at Ladyday, but shall soon follow my mother, 
who is on her way to-morrow to stay there during 
Mary's confinement, which is to take place in a few 
weeks. You will probably hear of this event, if nob 
before, when the Manchester money is sent to you. 


We leave Westhay, which is now in high beauty, 
quite empty ; Mrs. Brotherton being on a visit to 
Boston, where it is thought Fitzwilliam cannot last 

" Henry s address at present is 5 Nelson Place, 
Clifton, but as he often changes, any letter had 
better be sent here. His wife, who is a lovely 
creature, has wretched health, and he nurses her 
with a devotion rare in any one, and almost amus- 
ing from him, who has not had much credit given 
him for constancy. He actually fainted dead away 
lately, when Mr. Burrough told him, with as much 
preparation as possible, that, tho' his wife was better 
for the present, he , was not without fears that her 
complaints might sooner or later terminate in con- 
sumption. I should be deeply grieved if he were 
to lose this only thing which seems to steady him, 
and if he were to marry again he would hardly find 
a person so amiable, circumstanced as he is, to take 
him, to say nothing of the alarming prospect of 
children, which she is happily free from. Of course 
they often get into scrapes about money, but on 
the whole get on better than could be expected. 

" Of Kichard we have heard nothing since he 
acknowledged the receipt of the money my mother 
sent. I suspect he is trying his fortune somewhere 
in the land of adventure, as he calls America. My 
Uncle continues at the Cape for his health, which 
improves. My Mother pretty well. 

" I have spent so much time in giving you this 
short account of our domestic affairs as to have left 


myself no room to speak of my Swiss tour and the 
extreme delight it gave me. I never feel perfectly 
satisfied as to scenery except in a mountainous 
country. I remember I felt the same vivid pleasure 
when I first opened my eyes on a mountain in 
Westmoreland, which had also the advantage of 
being the first that had enchanted me. It is odd 
that I felt comparatively very little of the same 
enthusiasm the year before last when we travelled 
thro' a great part of Wales. Many very fine, very 
lovely spots we certainly visited, but, in a general 
way, the objects seemed to me to want that keeping 
and proportion among themselves which holds, ac- 
cording to their respective magnitudes, in each of 
my other mountain impressions. The vallies are 
as large as those of Switzerland, without the corre- 
sponding majesty of their surrounding mountains. 
On the whole, I travelled thro' Switzerland with a 
pleasure almost amounting to pain, when I con- 
sidered how soon I must leave it ; and I live in the 
hope of some time returning to explore the wild 
country of the Grisons and other lands of romance 
which we had not time to visit. 

" My mother desires me to leave her a little room, 
so I must conclude with the fervent hope that you 
may find another fine summer, such as I hope we are 
going to have, effectual to the relief of your health 
and spirits. I am sure we have had days already 
which might, as you used to exclaim, * cure all sad- 
ness but despair.' I am a surprising doctress in the 
village, and think I could cure you if you were here. 



Everybody, you know, in this generation has stomach 
complaints, which, tho' they do not kill, are most 
wearing to the mind and spirits ; and you philosophers 
go the wrong way to work when you should take a 
few simple pillules and bitters, drink milk and keep 
early hours ; you sleep when you should wake, write 
when you should sleep, in a fit of absence eat the 
most unwholesome things, and then swallow opium 
for the whimsical cure of these heterogeneous ills. 
Lest you should distrust my medical skill, I give you 
an example quite out of the common way in a cure I 
have just made of a Cow of ours, who, given over by 
the professional men, was dying in the slow consum- 
ing agonies of a stomach complaint. I administered 
a powerful medicine first, which I do not discover to 
the uninitiated, and then dosed her with Quercus 
cortex till, in spite of the physicians, she began to 
hold up her head, and now eats and thrives like her 

"I hope you will, however, be able to write I 
think 10 guineas a sheet would make me do wonders. 
And, after all, the performances which you might 
execute with the least satisfaction to yourself would 
often be read with very different feelings by those 
whose spirits and interest in the subjects were more 
alive. Moreover, if you only got fairly into the 
midst of something, I should think exertion would 
more and more quicken your powers and make you 
forget your maladies. 

"I hope your family (what an odd word to write 
to you !) continues healthy and blooming, and that 


your wife has quite recovered Her indisposition. Pray 
make my kind regards to them all, and believe me 
your very affectionate JANE QUINCEY. 

"The Spectator somewhere says : ' I never do 
pardon mistakes by haste/ I hope you do, as I am 
in the midst of packing for Brislington, and cannot 
read over this morsel of eloquence." 

" MY DEAR THOMAS, I enclose a Bill on London 
value ^100, which is your Uncle's ^84 and your 
half-year's Warehouse rent which I am to receive from 
Mr. Kelsall. The rest I have made up, and it is all 
I can do. I will pay the interest to your Uncle of 
the 160 till you have recovered from the pillage of 
your dishonest serv*. With love to your wife and 
children, I am, your affectionate Mother, E. Q. 

" Pray acknowledge receipt to me at Kev d Philip 
Serle's, Brislington, near Bristol. 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

Jane de Quincey lived to a long age, and was never 
married. In her later years she, like her mother, 
adopted evangelical views ; and it was the business 
of more than one of Mr. de Quincey's daughters to 
cheer her lonely hours, after she was aged and feeble, 
by reading to her favourite books, of which she never 
tired, though not seldom the patience of the reader 


was so ; for they were mostly of the old-fashioned 
style of trivial dull story or treatise, with but little 
to meet the tastes or satisfy the cravings of the 
younger generation. She had a great love of garden- 
ing, and soon transferred the homely gardens at the 
various places where she lived into tasteful and beau- 
tifully laid out parterres ; and her careful economy 
and admirable management of her investments were 
equally remarkable her solicitor declaring that in 
these matters she scarcely ever made a mistake. 
She died on the loth of February 1873. 




" WESTHAY, July 24, 1809. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER, If this letter should meet 
you, it will inform you that the Queen's Head, Ked- 
cliffe St., is the place of rendezvous for the Wrington 

" What could be in Mrs. Kelsall's head, when she 
told you we were not on good terms with the Leeves 
family, I cannot imagine. Be assured, however, it is 
all a mistake. I conclude from your enquiries about 
Silver Leg you have not received a letter I wrote to 
you in the North. He is yet alive, the young man 
of whom ye spake ; and talking of Legs, his have 
to-day been splendidly arrayed in white silk hose in 
honour of his Sister's wedding. 

"We shall walk towards Brockley on Thursday 
evening ; to-morrow I think there is no chance of 
you. You have surely not forgotten the tall Thistle 
and the old shoe. Pursue that road and we shall 
meet. Till then farewell, my charming Brother. 

" But first I must tell you that Hannah More 



sends you word she is keeping some of her best 
Artichokes for you, and desires you will come and 
eat them without any delay. I met two of the ladies 
to-night, and told them we expected you on Thurs- 
day. Polly immediately exclaimed, ' There shall not 
be another artichoke ate till he comes ! ' Ever your 
affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 


"Miss de Quincey requests Miss Dyer will have 
the goodness to deliver this letter to her Brother if 
he should call in Broad St." 


" WESTHAT, April 26, 1810. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER, I have lately been in 
Bristol, and have made many enquiries concerning 
water carriage for your books. I find that there are 
Vessels frequently sailing from thence to Liverpool 
and sometimes to Lancaster, but even if they 
were sent to Liverpool I suppose they would be for- 
warded northward. I now wish to know where you 
would have them directed. You mention Kendal in 
your last, but I have not been able to ascertain 
whether there be any water conveyance between 
that place and Lancaster. You, who are so much 
nearer to the source of information, might easily 
enlighten yourself on that head. I wish, however, 
you would let me know soon, as it is really high 
time poor Mrs. Hall should be disburdened of three 


ponderous boxes which have remained in her house 
in Dowry Parade since we left it. I suppose it is 
in vain to ask you if you remember how many you 
ought to have. I concluded these three to contain 
books because of their weight. I hope when they 
arrive in Westmoreland they will not prove to 
contain any of our household goods. 

" My Mother has been expecting to hear from you 
ever since you left us. Have you forgotten that you 
were to write on the subject of your finances ? Are 
you not horribly poor ? and don't you find house- 
keeping a ruinous concern ? If you have discovered 
a mine of gold in your mountains, let me know, and 
I will come and see you immediately ; otherwise I 
shall not have the conscience to add to your poverty 
by increasing your expenses. If this difficulty were 
surmounted, pray tell me how I am to journey to 
you. These, alas ! are not the days when one can 
mount a white palfrey and ride unmolested through 
woods and vales, over hills and downs. From all 
this, I think it pretty evident that you ought to 
come to visit us, and then we might go back in 
company ; or what do you think of making a walking 
tour through Wales, by the way ? We have a very 
backward Spring in this part of the World. The 
woods are only now beginning to come out. Westhay 
improves but slowly, though I suppose you would 
find it much altered since you saw it. We have 
green grass plots, and budding trees, and a promise 
of a wilderness of sweet flowers, but unsightly heaps 
of brick and mortar still meet the eye. The Ladies 


of Barley Wood often enquire after you. They say 
you invited them to come and pay you a visit in 
your Cottage. Sally More says, ' Oh, 'tis a sweet 
young man ! ' Henry has just been to enter himself 
at Brazenose College. He does not reside till next 
spring. Jane is not at home, so I am not able to 
refer to your letter, in which I remember you men- 
tion several remedies for the toothache, upon which 
subject I have to observe that I believe all hot 
things apply'd to the teeth, though they will some- 
times give a temporary relief, are highly injurious 
in the end, and as you cannot put anything on one 
tooth without touching all the rest, you endanger 
your whole stock. Therefore I strongly recommend 
you to abstain from using them. Any outward 
application to the face, I should suppose, must be 
harmless. A Lady told me the other day that a 
Laurel leaf made warm at the fire and then bound 
on the cheek would often produce a very good effect. 
What is become of ' The Friend ' ? Believe me 
your affectionate Sister, M. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, Kendal, Westmoreland." 


" WESTHAY, June 30, 1810. 

" MY DEAR BEOTHER, Far be it from me to 
insinuate that you are_a man to be suspected of a 
deficiency in punctuality. Yet you know, to any 


person it might happen that, though they fix to leave 
a place the next week, they might defer it to the 
next, or the one after that, or even to a more distant 
period. These and some other considerations deter- 
mine me to hazard a letter to Grasmere ; if you 
should have left it, I suppose it will sleep quietly till 
you return. Before I proceed I must thank you for 
your plan and enchanting description of your Cottage. 
To give you an idea how ardently I desire to see it, 
to range those mountains and to hang in ecstasy over 
those clear waters which have been the subject of so 
many of my sleeping and waking dreams, is quite 
impossible. I do not, however, know whether we 
shall be able to persuade my Mother to fall into the 
plan which your journal proposes. I trust more to 
your eloquence than to my own, and therefore shall 
not urge her much till you arrive here. What will 
be the damage of the journey, think you ? I fear 
not less than thirty pounds there, and as much back. 
I do not quite understand from your letter whether 
you intend to visit Westhay before or after you go to 
London. I imagine the latter. If you should see any 
book bargains in Town, I leave it to your discretion to 
make a small purchase for me ; any tolerable Spanish 
or French work would be useful, as we have so few. 
If Mrs. Eadcliffe's ' Romance of the Forest ' and 
1 Italian ' are to be had for little, it would be pleasant 
to add them to our Mysteries. I don't mean by any 
means to confine your choice to these books. 

" I hope you are going to take a degree at Oxford. 
Does not your heart dance at the idea of adding B. A. 


or M.A. to your name ? We had a letter from Ki chard 
about a fortnight since, dated from the mouth of the 
Loire. If you do not already know it, it may be . 
well to inform you that no letter directed to him out 
at sea will reach him unless post and packet paid. If 
you direct to the Crown Hotel, Plymouth, it is still 
right to pay the postage. 

"You may expect to see our garden much im- 
proved, though still far from the excellence to which 
we hope it will attain. The season has been very 
unfavourable to the growth of our young shrubs. 
We have had as little rain as you, and of course suffer 
from a want of grass and hay. The two fields have, 
however, yielded about as much as will serve the 
pony and two cows during the winter. One luxury 
our southern situation procures for us that cannot be 
had in your beautiful country I mean the musical 
notes of the nightingale. Our woods abound with 
them they have now, indeed, almost concluded their 
singing for the season. Can you tell me whether 
they ever sing again in the autumn, as the Encyclo- 
paedia informs me ? for I don't think myself bound to 
believe them, as they also observe that their usual 
time of beginning to sing is often six o'clock, whereas 
they are to be heard at almost any hour in the day. 
Did not I tell you when I last wrote that my Mother 
had sent two pounds by post to the printer of ' The 
Friend ' at Penrith ? yet you say you have just paid 
for the whole quantity we have had. By the way, I 
must here mention that we have never had any ist 
or 2nd Nos., and but one 24. If you do not bring 


them with you I am persuaded we shall never get 

"This day (July i) we have witnessed what is 
become almost a phenomenon two showers of rain ; 
distant thunder is rolling all round us, and the air feels 
as hot as if we were near the crater of Mount Vesuvius. 
The news in this part of the world is that Miss Leeves 
is to be married to Mr. Elsdale in a week or two. 
Miss Boak also, it is said, is going to lead Mr. Cotterel 
to the altar, or he is to lead her, if you will. Silver 
Leg is become much more sociable than he used to 
be, and occasionally calls in at tea-time. He shall 
sing a glee for you when you come. My Mother 
sends her love, and will be very glad if you come as 
soon as you tell us. Give my love to little Dorothy 
Wordsworth, and tell her we must be sworn friends. 
It will be as well if you can write as soon as you 
arrive in London, for it is very possible we may 
trouble you with a few commissions if you send your 
direction. Jane and Henry desire their love. Ever 
your affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 

"My parting injunction is, come quickly. Is it 
not singular that the very day after I received your 
letter Jane went to Brockley and saw lying on the 
table the very book you mentioned the account of 
Tongataboo ? 


" Grasmere, nr. Kendal, Westmoreland." 



"Monday, August 12, 


" MY DEAR BROTHER, My hand is still weak and 
trembling, as you will see, but I wish to inform you 
myself that I am getting well very fast, and am 
now quite able to travel ; only, unfortunately, we are 
detained by my Mother, who has fallen sick as soon 
as I have begun to get well, so that when we shall 
be able to move I am at a loss to guess. Dr. 
Jarrold urges her to travel, but she says she has 
not strength. I hope she will feel herself much 
better in a day or two, but I fear we shall not leave 
this odious place this week. Mrs. Kelsall says we 
ought not to run away from her the moment we 
are beginning to be in a state to enjoy the company 
of our friends, and a great deal more to the same 
effect, which your knowledge of her will enable you 
to supply. She has been so kind during my sick- 
ness, and means to be so kind, even when she tor- 
ments one by her importunities, that we do not 
know how to act. I am in despair at the thought 
of remaining here another week, and I know very 
well I shall neither recover my strength nor lose 
my pale, sickly appearance, until I breathe your pure 
air and have the energies of my mind called forth 
by the glories of that delightful country. We have 
just heard of the King's death. 1 This is a doleful 

1 George III., born 1738 and died 1820. in the end of October 1810 
showed signs of derangement of mind ; and now and then, whilst he was 
in the worst crises of this disorder, reports were spread of his death. 


letter, but I cannot write otherwise than as I feel. 
I need not add with what joy I shall announce 
the day of our departure. Believe me your affec- 
tionate Sister, M. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 


"WESTHAY, Dec. 7, 1811. 

" My DEAR BROTHER, I have been talking of 
writing to you ever since I returned home. Last 
Monday fortnight I even made a kind of vow that 
1 would not delay beyond the next day, but lo ! that 
very night I was seized with a sore throat, and the 
next morning was pronounced to have got the scarlet 
fever, which has been very prevalent in this country 
for some weeks. As soon as the report got abroad, 
our house was avoided as though we had the plague. 
Our neighbour, Mrs. Mackenzie, did not venture to 
pass the gate, and was afraid to send for vegetables 
from our garden. The Mores were more courageous ; 
they came twice to make enquiries, and brought me 
grapes from their vinery. I don't know whether I 
am not indebted to you for a little of this attention. 
They were much gratified by your present of Char, 
though they were not so fortunate as to taste a morsel 
of it ; the reason whereof you shall hear. The two 
pots, you mayremember, were tied up together and 
wrapped in paper. When we arrived in Manchester, 
it was thought advisable to open them, and give 


them the advantage of fresh air in a cool place, 
which was no sooner done than they fell to pieces, 
having, I suppose, been cracked in the course of our 
journey. Not being able to procure other pots, the 
luckless Char could not be conveyed any further. 
You may conceal or impart this intelligence to Mary 
Dawson as you judge best, and may at any rate tell 
her it was thought excellent by all who ate of it. 
The old ladies, however, justly considered that the 
gallantry of the intention was the same, and they 
constantly aver that you are a sweet young man. 
Your picture is hung over the drawing-room chimney- 
piece, and is universally considered an excellent like- 
ness. I hear from Miss Austin that she has seen 
a gentleman who has seen your Cottage at Grasmere. 
He was told it belonged to Mr. de Quincey, a poet. 
She entreats me to send her some of your com- 
positions. I beg you will immediately pour forth 
an ode in her praise, or address a sonnet to her. 
You may begin to this effect : 

' thou ! who erst in shining steel array'd, 
My heart in famed Jericho betray'd,' &c., &c. 

* You cannot imagine how dreary I felt for the 
first fortnight after I returned home. The weather 
was miserable, and the whole country so saturated 
with wet that it was impossible to stir out. The 
hills, which in oiher times had appeared so re- 
spectable in my eyes, being compared with those I 
had left, seemed unworthy of the name. All this 
time I maintained a melancholy silence. Every- 


tiling I saw displeased me, and my soul blessed 
nothing on this side Orrest-head. These glooms 
have been greatly dispelled by my late fever, and 
I can now admire the rich tints which still linger 
on our Ash woods, and look with pleasure at our 
grassy nooks and sloping fields. I am visited at 
times with the most lively visions of particular 
scenes in your sweet country ; cay, I am .even in- 
clined to think that I have more than once been 
transported by some kind Fairy to several places 
which I could name. Once during my illness I was 
at Watenlath with you and Jane. We sat down 
by the warm stream, and ate the same mutton-bone 
which erst we gnawed on the descent into Borrow- 
dale. And I have walked with Miss Wordsworth 
through Tilberthwaite on the beautiful winding road 
which charmed us so much. By the assistance of 
my aerial friend it is highly probable I may frequently 
visit Grasmere, but as I observe I cannot always go 
exactly where I choose, I beg you will send me all 
manner of information concerning everything be- 
longing to the valley. Pray remember us all most 
affectionately at the Vicarage, and enquire after the 
welfare of my two birch-trees. The roots of the 
Osmunda regalis which we received from Mr. 
Wordsworth on the morning of our departure are 
planted, and I hope will appear in the spring. We 
have been making improvements in our garden, and 
are building a little rural hut of roots and moss 
and pieces of knotted trees, in a warm ever-green 
corner. We have, as far as the nature of the ground 


would permit, adopted Mr. Wordsworth's hint con- 
cerning fruit-trees planted on the lawn, and where 
these would not grow have planted ornamental forest 
trees. In a few years we shall have a very woody 
appearance. There is a great deal of planting going 
011 upon the hill behind our house. I am sorry to 
say that Larches abound, mixed indeed with Birch 
and Ash. 

" After all that was said on the subject, ' The 
Friend' was not remembered. We regret this very 
much, both on our own account and because we have 
so often promised Burroughs to bring his numbers. 
Pray send them by any opportunity that offers. If 
Mr. Johnson should take either of the canaries which 
my Mother has mentioned to him, he might bring 
them as far as Bristol. I think he is much better 
off at Grasmere. I was very much vexed about Mrs. 
Wordsworth's print and cotton commission. Some 
friends of ours, for whom we had made purchases 
when we were in Manchester before, had given Mr. 
Kelsall a deal of trouble by asking him to change 
certain articles which did not please them, and he 
told us, in consequence of this, that he had rather 
not be employed in this way for anybody but our- 
selves. After this I could not mention the Grasmere 
commissions without asking it as a particular favour 
for them, which, for many reasons you know of, I 
did not choose to dp, especially as I found it would 
only save a penny a yard. I often wish I had any 
means of sending poor P. Ashburner a bottle of the 
Asthmatic medicine. If it is to be had at Kendal, 


do buy a bottle for me, that she may give it a 

"Tell Mary Dawson 1 we continually long for her 
brown bread and nice mashed potatoes, and that we 
talk and think and dream of Grasmere without ceas- 
ing. How are 'my Parker' and the young man? 
I hope the latter will not give in to the expensive 
habit of furred and lined greatcoats this winter. 
I should strongly recommend him to court this 
acquaintance of our friend Miss Wilson ; she is the 
woman who will teach him to rein in his extravagant 
habits. We expect Henry in a few days ; he has 
had one of his old inflammatory attacks since he 
went to Oxford, but is partly well again. The ac- 
counts from Kichard are bad ; his cough increases, 
and the ship surgeon fears an affection of the lungs. 
He is endeavouring to get home that he may be able 
to attend to his health. He is now at anchor in 
Hosley Bay. When you go to Brathay carry our 
best remembrances to the Lloyds. When shall you 
be in London? I shall go through about the middle 
of June. Pray contrive to go before that time. 
Your affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, nr. Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

1 Mary Dawson was De Quincey's servant in Grasmere. 




"WESTHAY, Jany. zoth, 1813. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER, The same ship which 
brought this letter carried one also for my Mother. 
Hers contained Bills ; and yours being directed in 
the same hand, we immediately concluded it was of 
the same kind, arid therefore, thinking to save the 
expense of another letter, I have opened it, for the 
purpose of using the cover. I delayed acknowledg- 
ing your last and its valuable contents till I heard 
whether Henry Leeves had received that and another 
packet of letters which came soon after the first had 
been received. They were enclosed in a frank with 
Mr. Southey's compliments, who sent at the same 
time several from Miss Kempe. This day a note of 

thanks came for H. Leeves, who is at P . He 

desires his best remembrances to you, and many 
thanks for your kind exertions. He has given up 
his intention of going to the West Indies, having 
had the offer of a passage in the Aboukir 74, which 
is going to the Mediterranean, to touch first at 
Gibraltar. He has every reason to expect a perfect 
restoration from a warm climate, since he has already 
received great benefit by confining himself to a room 
kept at a certain temperature. Pray make our 
acknowledgments to Mr. Sou they. We were all 
very much grieved to hear of the affliction which 
the Wordswortbs have sustained in the loss of that 
sweet little boy. It is not surprising that they 
should sink under the pressure of such an unforeseen 


calamity, but it is distressing to hear that they are 
actually suffering in health. Mrs. Mackenzie has 
lately lost a little girl in that terrible complaint, 
water on the brain. The child from the commence- 
ment of the attack, which at first was not considered 
dangerous, refused to take any medicine ; and the 
horror which she felt to it, however concealed or 
disguised, was so great, that often she would abstain 
even from tasting water, though parched with the 
thirst of fever, from suspicion that something 
was mixed with it, and the strength of two men 
could seldom force a drop of medicine down her 
throat. She was rubbed with mercurial ointment 
to procure a salivation, and her head covered with 
blisters, which were very sore. The cruel treatment, 
being the only chance of removing the disease, was 
rigidly enforced by the mother, though the child 
was continually calling out to her to let her lie 
quietly. Poor little Tom Wordsworth was a favourite 
with my Mother, and she was much affected at the 
account of his death. I am sorry you think so ill of 
Kichard's appearance. He says his cough never 
troubles him in frosty weather, but hangs upon him 
at other times, particularly in damp and foggy 
weather. This sounds more like asthma than con- 

"Jane left us last week. She went to London 
with Mrs. Millard, and from thence to Boston with 
Fitzwilliam Hodgson. Henry has not left Oxford 
this vacation. He still thinks himself in love with 
Bessie Leeves, and he occasionally favours me with 


a closely written letter descriptive of the 'desola- 
tion of his heart, the ' torments under which he 
suffers/ the ' sleepless nights and the anxious days 
he passes/ &c. &c. My Mother desires me to say 
we are anxious to hear that you have brought your 
affairs into such a state as to be able to make your 
demand upon us. With best remembrances to the 
family at the Vicarage, in which my Mother joins, 
believe me your affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 

"My Mother says you had better endorse this 
Bill to Mr. Kelsall, or any other person, because it 
cannot then be used without a forgery. The Bill 
has been sent to Mrs. F., but pray write to her she 
will be much gratified. Please to acknowledge the 
receipt of this. 


" Grasmere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

Mary de Quincey, as has been said, married in 
1819 the Rev. Philip Serle, and settled at Brislington, 
near Bristol. She died in 1820 in childbed; and 
the two letters from Mrs. Hannah More which 
follow show something of the impresssion she had 
made on those with whom she had come into 
contact : 


" MY DEAR MADAM, I know not how to write to 
you, and still less do I know how to forbear. We 
have indeed been deeply interested in your sufferings, 
and I have lamented on this, as on some former 


similar occasioos, the impotence of human friendship, 
which can do so little, can do nothing for us, which 
can only feel, and whose feelings do not mitigate 
what they share. 

"Just as I had written so far, Mr. Serle's letter 
was put into my hands. I think I never shed so 
many tears over any letter, and I doubt whether 
there were not more joy than sorrow in those tears. 
There is indeed something so elevating in the tone 
and spirit of it as makes me consider the subject of 
it almost as much a matter of congratulation as 
of condolence. It presents a very striking and en- 
couraging instance of the power of divine grace to 
raise the devout heart above its sorrows, above its 
mortality, above itself. Much as I lament the loss 
of the dear departed (and she has been the frequent 
subject of our discourse with Mr. Inglis and the 
Thorntons, who are staying with us), I cannot but 
feel gratitude, joy, and encouragement in the con- 
sideration of such a dying bed. This sublime resig- 
nation of the dying Christian strengthens the faith 
of the survivors ; it is an animating evidence that 
Eeligion is a reality, and the only support, when 
flesh and heart fail ; the only relief and strength in 
that last great exigence of sinking nature. I feel 
deeply what the afflicted husband must have endured 
on witnessing sufferings so exquisite in one so dear to 
him. I hope her bitter but brief sufferings are over, 
and she is now, I trust, with those who came out of 
great tribulation, and who were brought out of it 
by the same blessed means, the blood of the Lamb. 


Such scenes as these, and even the representation of 
them in this letter, reduce all things relating to 
this world to their real littleness, reduce everything 
not connected with eternity to nothing ! Oh that 
such impressions were commonly more lasting ! I 
feel much for the widowed desolation of poor Mr. 
Serle, so soon bereaved! And this leads me back 
to the holy resignation expressed by her he has lost. 
Hers was a real evidence of religion. She was not 
one who was under trials and difficulties, and those 
disappointing and vexatious circumstances which 
help to wean from life. Submission in such cases 
often passes for more than it is worth ; death may 
be rather an escape than a trial, and to quit a world 
so little inviting costs but little. But she we lament 
was young, happy in her circumstances, happy in her 
husband ; all about her was prosperous, peaceful, and 
promising ! What a lesson to us all ! 

" If I had not begun tbis scrawl to you, I would 
have written to Mr. Serle, but in writing to one, I 
write to both. Pray thank him cordially for his 
letter, which in his situation must have been no 
inconsiderable effort. I hope I shall be as much 
edified by this letter as I have been affected. My 
sister has been deeply interested for you all, and joins 
in most affectionate sympathy to all three with, 
my dear Madam, the same from your very faithful 

" H. MORE. 

" Tuesday. 
" Mrs. QUINCEY, 

" Rev. Philip Serle's, 

" Brislington, Bristol." 



" MY DEAR MADAM, I have not lately been able 
to get any information relating to you. And it would 
be a gratification to us to hear that you and Mr. 
Serle are as well as can be expected. Alas ! how well 
is that? The health of your sad trio, however, I 
hope, has borne up under this severe shock. And so 
the poor little babe is escaped from all the perils and 
sorrows of a sinful and suffering world, and is gone to 
join its dear Mother. 

" We shall miss you very much at the Bible meet- 
ing on Thursday next. It is on a small concern 
connected with that meeting that I trouble you 
with this hasty line. How does Westhay stand at 
this time with regard to fruit ? If it abounds, you 
will perhaps have the goodness to bestow upon 
our Thursday dinner a portion of anything that can 
be spared without robbing your garden too much. 
Will you excuse this liberty? We shall be de- 
plorably off in the way of speechifying Bishop of 
Gloucester at the Isle of Wight, Dr. Randolph in 
Germany, poor Simpson dead, Biddulph and Boak 
absent, &c. &c. 

" We are under great concern for some other dear 
friends ; our favorite, Dr. Perceval, dying ; by this 
time probably dead ! His sweet Wife expecting every 
day to be confined ; several little ones already ! Oh ! 
it is a dying world, and that to which we are hasten- 
ing is the land of the living. 

" With our most affectionate regards to Mr. Serle 


and Miss Quincey, I am ever, my dear Madam, your 
faithful and affectionate and sympathising 

" H. MORE. 

" BARLEY WOOD, Saturday. 

" Eev. Philip Serle's, 

" Brislington, Bristol." 

It has to be remembered that Mrs. Hannah More 
was not alone distinguished for the educational and 
more strictly moral and religious works with which 
her name has come in more recent days to be popularly 
associated. Mr. Austin Dobson implicitly gives his 
countenance to this idea in the clever poem, "Lines 
on a Stupid Picture " : 

" Maybe this homely face may hide 
A Stael before whose mannish pride 
Our frailer sex may tremble. 

Or say the gingham shadows o'er 
An undeveloped Hannah More ! 
Or latent Mrs. Trimmer ! ! " 

In her earlier days she was an intimate of the 
circle that gathered round Dr. Johnson, Burke, and 
Garrick, and wrote several plays that were fairly 
successful ; among them, " The Inflexible Captive," 
" Percy," and " The Fatal Captive." She also wrote 
several novels and stories. About the year 1 799 she 
came under strong religious impressions, and allied 
herself with the evangelical revival, in the minds of 


modern readers associated with the rise and work of 
the " Clapham Sect ; " thenceforth she devoted herself 
entirely to work of a moral and religious tendency, 
or on education with reference to these. She is said 
to have realised more than ,30,000 by these works. 
She was born at Clifton about 1745, and died there 
in 1833. 




" WRINGTON, May 3is, 1811. 

"My DEAR THOMAS, I am much obliged to you 
for your long Letter, which ought to have had an 
earlier answer. If you are extreme to mark offences 
of this sort, I am afraid my excuses will do me no 
good, if I fill a sheet with petty interruptions and 
sorrowful headaches, from day to day obliging me 
to neglect your interesting commission. I have 
succeeded to admiration in obtaining the required 
information, and that altogether by my evil deeds, 
and therefore do not see why I should not follow 
great examples, and claim the praise of virtue ! I 
did not get to Barley "Wood till last night, where 
company and other objects so engaged the party 
that I trembled for my business, and said to myself, 
'This is for not coming before/ but at length I had my 
turn, and Mrs. H. More (previously ill and languid) 
roused up her attention and entered with her usual 
benevolence into the Christian politicks of Grasmere. 
She could only say that a Sunday School Society 

did somewhere exist in London, and that it afforded 





assistance to poor Parishes (as it could, not being 
itself affluent) in money and Books. Jane and I 
were coming away disconcerted at our failure on 
this point, though not without a promise from Mrs. 
Hannah and her sister Patty of a contribution in 
Tracts to the School when we come to you. At 
the very moment of our departure Mr. Venn from 
Clapham was announced, and Mrs. H. More with 
great readiness welcomed her guest and asked our 
questions in the same breath. I hope the answer 
will be to the purpose as far as it goes. The Gras- 
mere Clergyman must write to the Society's Secre- 
tary, Mr. Smith, No. 19 Little Moorfields, and will 
entitle himself to favor by simply stating the in- 
adequacy of his means, and the great objects de- 
pending on support, at least till experience recom- 
mends the Institution to more effectual patronage at 
home, where at present it is an experiment, and 
viewed with indifference, if not with suspicion, by 
people who must very feebly comprehend the value 
of religious instruction. We shall bring our little 
aid along with us, and I hope the encouragement 
and strength of Hannah More's name will cheer your 
good Pastor under his difficult labour. When we 
shall begin our journey I cannot yet ascertain." 


" June 8. 

"Your letter to Jane is just received, and has 
spurred on my lazy pace to make a very great 


attempt at a conclusion this night, which I should 
certainly effect but that a curious little Boy is just 
arrived with a Note in his hand from Hannah More, 
begging us to receive him for a couple of days 
(Barley Wood overflowing with company). This Boy 
is the Son of Mr. Macaulay, Editor of the Christian 
Observer; he is now sufficiently pleased by himself 
among the Books, and if he can be quiet without 
drawing upon me for attention, I shall deliver 
my conscience and relieve you from your various 

" First, I assure you the Letter upon which Mary 
Dawson has exercised her inquisitional talents to 
the death of your miserable Cobler, and the implica- 
tion, I suppose, of many beside, came safely and 
without any delay, as well as the one to me which 
I now answer. Your Boxes likewise are resting in 
peace where you left them, but Jane, under the 
quickening impulse of your complaints, is resolved 
to cord them forthwith. 

" We stay to see Mr. Scarth (my Lord Darlington's 
Steward), and to know assuredly whether he persists 
in his claim upon your Uncle's Land or gives it up. 
If he claim, I shall receive an ejectment and must 
take advice, and put the defence of our right into 
proper hands. How long this will take I cannot 
guess. Mr. Scarth is expected in a few days. I 
think I may safely say we shall not quit Wriugton 
till the very last of this month. We have many things 
to arrange if this most important affair wind up ever 
so smoothly, and then we shall come immediately to 


Grasmere. Ask Mary Dawson if other Articles, such 
as Table Cloths, Sheets, Knives, Forks, Spoons, not 
to mention Kettles and Pans, which we cannot 
accommodate, must come. 

" We enter sufficiently into the general joy at 
Lord Wellington's victorious career ; the dullest clod 
in Wrington understands it is better to win a battle 
in Portugal with great loss than try our strength 
here with the horrors of war at our doors, what- 
ever might be the result ; but our honest neighbour, 
Colonel Mackenzie, could never be tutored to your 
view of things, tho' he is very candid, and of course 
if we press him he will own his mistake. The ques- 
tion which Captain Pasley's Book l will stir, I think, 
will be hard to settle between the Politicians and 
Moralists ; I have thought about it, but am as much 
' abroad ' as Madam Leeves. I recollect a paper in 
the Friend, upon the affair at Copenhagen, which 
perhaps, if I had a better memory, I could bring to 
bear upon the present point, but you can better tell 
where the Friend is than anybody else. After all, 
Captain Pasley's arguments may probably stand too 
much on the support of expediency to satisfy my 

1 Captain Pasley [afterwards Major-General Sir Charles William 
Pasley, K.C.B.] wrote extensively on military matters and mathematics. 
He saw a geat deal of service was at the siege of Copenhagen and 
distinguished himself at Corimna. The essay on the " Military Policy 
and Institutions of the British Empire " (referred to above) was only 
the first part of the work as originally planned, and the continuation 
never appeared. It gave rise to much discussion Wordsworth dis- 
cussing it in a letter to the author of it which will be found in " Prose 
Works," vol. i. pp. 197-208. Pasley was born in 1781, and died 
April 19, 1 86 1. 


feelings, yet I should read the Book if it came in 
my way. 

" This little Macaulay is a clever Boy, and puts 
me in mind of the elder Coleridge, but he says 
such extraordinary things that he will be rained 
by praise. 

" We hear his Majesty the King of Eome (little 
beast), as Mr. Hughes says in a Parenthesis, has the 
Crown of England suspended below his royal canopy 
to accustom his eyes and fingers betimes to their 
proper object ! 

" Wrington weather has maintained a good cor- 
respondence with Grasmere ; however, I think it has 
been the sweetest spring I ever remember, pleasanter 
for the hundred changes in a week. The verdure 
is quite perfect, the nightingales all in song; very 
melancholy. I understand Jane shall give Mary 
Dawson satisfactory notice of our approach. Poor 
Lansdown is dead after three days' illness. 

"Mary is gone with the Bridges, who have been 
here all the Week. Miss Brotherton and Jane unite 
in kind regards with, dear Thomas, your very affec- 
tionate Mother, E. QUINCEY. 

" Mrs. H. More tells me, with great indignation, 
that Southey's Uncle has left his fortune to a 

" This Macaulay has half read over the ' Mysteries 
of Udulpho ' this evening ; he travels post, and 
amuses me inexpressibly with his motions and 


"I have scratched out much of our Baby genius 1 
to tell you that a Baronet's Son has written what 
he calls the * Necessity of Atheism.' He has sent 
it with a Letter to Hannah More, requesting, ' if 
she find the proof satisfactory, that she will not 
hinder the circulation of the Book by her intolerant 
Eeligion ! ' 


" Grasmere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

In a conversation with Mr. Ernest Hartley 
Coleridge, which we were recently privileged to have 
in London, he described to us a visit which he had 
paid, with his father (Derwent Coleridge), to Lord 
Macau! ay at Holly Lodge, and he remarked that 
he was then struck with the likeness in form of face 
and head to the portraits of his grandfather. It 
would thus appear that the general resemblance 
maintained itself to the end. Mrs. de Quincey was 
the first we are aware of to note the likeness, or, at 
all events, to make record of the impression. 

This Pasley book referred to in the above letter 
indeed caused a great stir. The minds of the 

Macaulay was born 25th October 1800, and was therefore in his 
eleventh year ; but what a pity De Quincey's mother should have 
scratched out anything about him, even to make room at the end of a 
letter to tell, what, of course, we now know so well, that Shelley was 
a most irrepressible propagandist of his then atheistical opinions ! But 
fancy the idea of Mrs. Hannah More propagating them ! Yet, it seems, 
she could not help talking of them and of him. 

Doubtless it was of this passage De Quincey was thinking when he 
wrote as follows in the essay on Shelley : " My own attention was first 
drawn to Shelley by the report of his Oxford labours as a missionary in 
the service of Atheism " (" Works," vol. v. p. 18). 


people were possessed as with a sense of some 
demoniac visitation in the person of Napoleon ; and 
every word spoken by a practical man was listened 
to and discussed in all quarters with an eagerness 
and keenness hardly credible to us now. No other 
topic rose into any competition with it. That 
Wordsworth was led to discuss the book at length 
is a proof of the interest it excited. His letter to 
Captain Pasley published in vol. i. of the " Prose 
"Works " as a kind of supplement to the " Convention 
of Cintra " pamphlet is a good illustration of his 
power as a publicist : had he chosen to devote him- 
self to work of this kind, he would have left a 
precious legacy of clear and yet impassioned writing, 
of which doubtless political writers and historians 
would have had to take note. And his speciality is, 
that, like all the true philosophers of the past, he 
desired to raise the level of the discussion to a higher 
platform than that of politics or military policy 
only. We are glad that the above reference has 
given us the opportunity to signalise, so far as we 
may, the remarkable qualities of "Wordsworth's earlier 
prose, and his keen interest in national development, 
true liberty, and social progress. 

Wordsworth, in his letter, acknowledges the interest 
he felt in Captain Pasley's book, but deals rather with 
the points on which he disagrees with him than on 
those in which he is agreed ; and the burden of all 
is, that our policy is war with France so long as 
she maintains the spirit of domination and military 
pretension ; that war is likely even to be cheaper and 


better for us than peace ; and that our efficiency 
for this purpose depends more on elements moral 
and social elements that did not properly come 
within Captain Pasley's purview as a military critic, 
than he is likely to believe. Wordsworth in the 
outset says : 

"You seem to wish to frighten the people into 
exertion ; and in your ardour to attain your object, 
that of rousing our countrymen by any means, I 
think you have caught far too eagerly at every 
circumstance with respect to revenue, navy, &c., that 
appears to make for the French. This, I think, 
was unnecessary. The people are convinced that 
the power of France is dangerous, and that it is 
our duty to resist it to the utmost. I think you 
might have , commenced from this acknowledged 
fact ; and, at all events, I cannot help saying that 
the first 100 pages or so of your book, contrasted 
with the brilliant prospects toward the conclusion 
have impressed me with a notion that you have 
written too much under the influence of feelings 
similar to those of a poet or novelist, who deepens 
the distress in the earlier part of his work, in order 
that the happy catastrophe which he has prepared 
for his hero and heroine may be more keenly relished. 
Your object is to conduct us to Elysium, and, lest 
we should not be able to enjoy that pure air and 
pnrpureal sunshine, you have taken a peep at 
Tartarus on the road. Now, I am of your mind, 
that we ought not to make peace with France, on 
any account, till she is humiliated and her power 



brought within reasonable bounds. It is our duty 
and our interest to be at war with her; but I do 
not think with you that a state of peace would give 
to France that superiority which you seem so clearly 
to foresee. In estimating the resources of the two 
Governments, as to revenue, you appear to make no 
allowance for what I deem of prime and paramount 
importance, the character of the two nations and of 
the two Governments. Was there ever an instance, 
since the world began, of the peaceful arts thriving 
under a despotism so oppressive as that of France 
is, and must continue to be, and among a people 
so unsettled, so depraved, and so undisciplined in 
civil arts and habits as the French nation must 
now be ? . . . 

"The spirit of Buonaparte's government is, and 
must continue to be, like that of the first conquerors 
of the New World who went raving about for gold 
gold ! and for whose rapacious appetites the slow- 
but mighty and sure returns of any other produce 
could have no charms. I cannot but think that 
generations must pass away before France, or any 
of the countries under its thraldom, can attain those 
habits, and that character, and those establishments 
which must be attained before it can wield its popu- 
lation in a manner that will ensure our overthrow. 
This (if we conduct the war upon principles of 
common-sense) seems to me impossible while we 
continue at war; and should a peace take place 
(which, however, I passionately deprecate), France 
will long be compelled to pay tribute to us, on 


account of our being so far before her in the race 
of genuine practical philosophy and true liberty. 
I mean that the mind of this country is so far 
before that of France, and that that mind has 
empowered the hands of the country to raise so 
much national wealth, that France must condescend 
to accept from us what she will be unable herself 
to produce. . . . 

" We must go deeper than the nature of your labour 
requires you to penetrate. Military policy merely 
will not perform all that is needful, nor mere military 
virtues. If the Eoman State was saved from over- 
throw, by the attacks of the slaves and the 
gladiators, through the excellence of its armies, yet 
this was not without great difficulty ; l and Kome 
would have been destroyed by Carthage, had she not 
been preserved by a civic fortitude in which she sur- 
passed all the nations of the earth. The reception 
which the Senate gave to Terentius Yarro, after the 
battle of Cannse, is the sublimest event in human 
history. What a contrast to the wretched conduct 
of the Austrian Government after the battle of 
Wagram ! England requires, as you have shown so 
ably and eloquently, a new system of martial policy ; 
but England, as well as the rest of Europe, requires 
what is more difficult to give it, a new course of 
education, a higher tone of moral feeling, more of 
the grandeur of the imaginative faculties, and less 
of the petty processes of the unfeeling and purblind 

1 " Totis imperii viribus consurgitur" says the historian, speaking 
of the war of the gladiators. 


understanding, that would manage the concerns of 
nations in the same calculating spirit with which it 
would set about building a house." 


" WESTHAY, Monday, March ist, 1813. 

11 MY DEAR THOMAS, I am going to write to you 
about business, and as I am not likely to be very 
luminous, nor you very attentive, I can assure you 
my credit in my neighbourhood is suspended upon 
the execution of a certain Bond, which is coming to 
you from Mr. Kelsall without a moment's delay. 
This is to make you lay down your Book and take 
up your Pen ; and I will explain to you on what 
ace* you are called upon to sign such a Paper. I 
have bought the Land on both sides of this place, or 
rather I have bought other Land for which my Lord 
Darlington gives me Land on each side this House, 
so that, as our old Clerk said to Mary, " I do zweere, 
Miss, that your ground do go to thick little orchert 
of Mister Leeves's to thick here gate," which is 
true ; and as soon as your Uncle sends me Money to 
make up the whole purchase, I shall transfer it to 
him. In the meantime I am obliged to borrow of 
the Quincey estate, but so fearful is Mr. Hall of 
being hurt, and I suppose he requires no more than 
is strictly in order, that on Saturday Night the 
Bond of Indemnity arrived, and was signed by us 
and sent on to Jane. I had so little notion of this 
Bond being to prove anything more than a simple 
requisition that all my Children should engage not 


to trouble the Guardians if any loss should eventu- 
ally be incurred to the Estate, which I knew was 
impossible, unless I should turn a robber of my 
Children, that I did not think it needful to ask 
any of them whether they would consent to sign ; 
but now I see that the Paper is for the whole sum 
borrowed, namely, ^2000, and doubled according 
to the usual tenor of Bonds, and you have never 
heard for what you were to become responsible. 
I think it is but decent to let you know that I 
expect to receive the whole money from India 
probably in two or three Months, but certainly as 
soon as your Uncle can remit in answer to my Letter 
by the Fleet just gone out, and the Land is safely 
mine till he can pay for it ; and I have also an India 
Bill of seven hundred pounds due in June to cover 
any loss if your Uncle should die in the interval. 
Therefore I conclude you will not see any hazard. 
Mr. Gee requires no such security, but Mr. Hall 
has put him into the Bond, and from Mr. Kelsall's 
Letter, I am almost afraid he (Mr. Hall) will not 
let the money be advanced till he sees every name 
to ' his bond ; ' and you may judge how I feel when 
you are told that the Lawyers on both sides are 
appointed (according to the terms of the purchase 
and the exchange) to meet on the 25th of this 
month, for the conveyance to be made, the papers 
being now ready and the money paid. I therefore 
beseech you to sign the Bond and send it off as 
directed instantly, and if you get this Letter first, 
enquire every day for it. If I am forced to appear 


without money, I shall be utterly dishonoured. I 
have written very strongly to Mr. Kelsall to re- 
monstrate with Mr. Hall against suffering me to 
be exposed to such a calamity, for it would be no 
less to have the story fly all over the county, and 
that merely because Mr. Hall is a trifler. Mary 
and Jane having signed certainly secures him from 
the very worst which my utmost knavery could 
bring upon him. Your Uncle, too, would be much 
injured, and most likely lose the land which he 
has constantly been desiring me to buy, and would 
have long ago sent the money for but that I 
assured him there was no prospect of ever having 
it. It is by a strange chance now that I have got 
it, and every Gentleman who has seen it says your 
Uncle's estate is increased in value ^500 beyond 
the cost of the Land, which, as land, is quite dear 

"Mary sent you a Bill of ^105 from India long 
since, and hopes you got it. We are both sincerely 
sorry for the Wordsworths. ' For young Children 
whom I never knew, I am more apt to feel how 
happily they are laid up in Heaven than to grieve 
that they have tasted little of life ; but for little 
Tom, whose image is very vivid to my recollection, 
especially that day when he drank tea with his 
Father and Mother at your Cottage with me, when 
you and your sisters were out, and upon Mr. W. 
giving him some slight reproof he was covered with 
blushes, and laid his face down in his poor little 
hands upon the Table, shedding many tears before he 


could be joyous again. I could have been glad and 
thankful for his recovery, though, of all Children, one 
of such sensibility was least fitted by Nature for 
living an easy life. We are much obliged to Mr. 
Southey for his exertions in favor of Henry Leeves. 
He is really almost well, except his tossing and sick- 
ness in the Bay of Biscay, where he has been heard 
of. We remember, and hope you do not forget, you 
are under some sort of promise to come here this 
spring or summer. We shall be very glad to see you. 
I have been expecting to hear from you any time 
since Christmas, and am in all ways wishing and 
ready for your communication. 

" I congratulate you on Bonaparte's disgrace ; I 
examine every paper and sift every sentence to find 
out something worse than is shown upon the surface. 
Mary sends her love to you. I am, my dear Thomas, 
your affectionate Mother, E. QUINCEY. 

"There is no sort of news here; only a few old, 
very old people dead ; and the chief object of interest 
in Wrington is the school upon Mr. Poole's system, 
which is Dr. Bell's with some alterations. I expect 
a large party of Children to-night, who are so athirst 
for learning as to come out here twice a week. 

" Mr. Belcher is dead. I am afraid his family are 
quite thrown upon the kindness of their friends, all 
able indeed, and I hope willing, to help them. 


" Grasmere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 



"WRINGTON, Feb. 9, 1814. 

"MY DEAR THOMAS, The Post arrives so late since 
it has arrived at all, that Letters cannot well be 
answered by its return ; at least not by me, for I 
cannot see to write by candle-light. 

" I will give you Henry's direction at the foot, but 
as to Kichard's wishes about his Trunk I can say 
nothing ; he is lodging at No. 2 Lower Church Street, 
Bath, and I suppose there may be time before he 
leaves it for Henry to receive his orders. Eichard has 
bathed and drunk the waters so successfully that after 
spending one fortnight here he means to take another 
dose. "What then I have not heard. Jane is with 
Eichard. If we had not interpreted your silence by 
the old comfortable rule of * no news being good news/ 
we should have added this to our dreary winter's mus- 
ings to fear some evil had befallen you, and after the 
best use of our rule we were not a little glad to hear 
by the Elsdales that you had appeared in Manchester. 

" The chief event, which at the time enlivened the 
monotonous sadness of being shut up in the snow, was 
that on Thursday the 2nd January, after midnight, 
we had the happiness to be instrumental in saving 
a family from the danger of perishing. A Father, 
Mother, and their two Daughters were on the way to 
Congresbury in a Chaise, when the party were quite 
buried. Their cries at length roused all the Sleepers, 
for all were fast asleep, and Moses by great efforts of 
strength dragged out the Women, who were in fits. 


The Men were sadly exhausted by their endeavour to 
reach the House from the back of our garden Wall, 
where the Chaise was wedged in. At last all were 
got in, and after due cherishing put to bed ; the 
Postillion, who was almost a dead man, was the longest 
before he recovered. Moses finish ed his patient labours 
at last by bringing the Horses out of their snow tomb 
into the Stable. We had the party till the next 
evening, when the road was cleared for their departure 
with four Horses ; and we were almost as glad to part 
as to meet with the Drawing- Eoom Guests ; the Pos- 
tillion and his Horses were the best of the Company. 
" I am terribly out of love with our flocks ; they 
are much like the Ladies and Gentlemen of the 
rational creation, so restless that they require a Man's 
time to be spent in bringing them home from broken 
bounds. They have torn and eaten all our shrubs, 
and the beautiful Ivy, which had reached the top of 
the hothouse, they have eaten down to the ground. 
Three lambs are dead, and considering the still likely 
accidents and consumption of Hay, the profit will be 
little and the mischief lasting. Your Grasmere news 
is all doleful. Poor Mary Dawson ! I fear she was 
never the same internal woman at least from the time 
she looked with favor on such a Man, and pro- 
bably continues unchanged and unrepentant, as it 
does not appear, from what you say, that either she 
or her Visitors made much account of the sin. The 
shame of her disappointed vanity and all her bitter 
anger against the Man may leave her where she is, 
and without other proof of repentance, I think Mr. 


Lloyd was quite right not to visit her. I cannot but 
be sorry for your loss of this poor Creature, for 
besides her housewifery, her age and homeliness 
rendered her a more proper person for the situation 
than a very young one. We shall be very glad to 
see you, come when you will. It is in vain to ask 
you who are the base or the foolish Men of whom 
you prophesy that they will waste our golden 

" I was casting about how to send the enclosed 
Letter to Mr. Salmond without giving him postage 
to pay. Kead it, as you will see by it what your 
Uncle ought to reap for his services. He has already 
sent a Copy to Salmond, but fearing it might be lost, 
sends another to be sure that his Masters may hear 
of his Merits enough. He does not expect much, 
as he has no great friends or powerful interest to help 
his suit. I suppose the twopenny post will be safe 
enough. You will put a Wafer in the Letter of 

"Mr. Kempe being just arrived, I must not say 
several things I had in store. I am half afraid that 
I may forget something relating to the document 
which you may perceive is of importance to your 
Uncle. Henry's direction is 35 Whitehall. 

" Mary desires her love. She says she has written 
by this post to Eichard telling him about his Trunk, 
and both she and I think it had best be sent to 
Henry's Lodgings if he will receive it. 

" Besides Salmond's Letter, I send also a Note to a 
Man in the Hay market which encloses a i Note for 


a parcel of Pills, with which I doctor my good neigh- 
bours so successfully that I am thought the most 
skilful Physician in these parts. I am, my dear Son, 
longing to see you. Your very affectionate Mother, 



" WRINGTON, Sept. qtfi, 1816. 

" MY DEAR THOMAS, So many times when I 
reckoned upon seeing you have passed in disappoint- 
ment that I seem to have no chance of exchanging a 
kind greeting ; therefore I catch the present oppor- 
tunity to tell you how much the hope of seeing you 
in London spurred me to the undertaking ! It was 
right for me to go, as your Uncle's affairs required it, 
but I assure you neither I nor my companion (your 
sister Mary) counted upon any pleasure unless we 
could find you there ; and indeed we had no pleasure, 
but great discomfort, for she was alarmingly ill, so 
that I thought for a short season she would surely 
die. I should except the satisfaction of having 
effected what I went about, and the positive refresh- 
ment and delight of hearing a Preacher after my 
own longing mind, whose Sermon seemed, at least to 
me, to contain deeper matter and sublimer views 
than one often meets with. As Ann Kempe said on 
hearing Robert Hall, who has lately been in Bristol, 
1 It is at such times we are made to feel what our 
nature is capable of, and to blush at the low and 


little objects which so generally absorb without satis- 
fying us/ 

"We saw my Friend Nancy's Brother in Town, 
whom we thought less amiable than ever, inasmuch 
as by making himself coaxed and courted among his 
fashionable Parishioners, his pride is desperately fed 
and his principles starved. It happened on the day 
that this piece of divinity dined with us, and by 
appointment escorted "us to the British Gallery of 
Paintings, young Thatcher from Madeira was of the 
Party, and perhaps you can hardly believe me, but 
indeed it is true, so gross was M.'s insolence that I 
was obliged to let the poor Madeira Lad go away 
from our Hotel in Berkeley Square into the City, and 
dine with us the next day. 

" The frank in which this goes was begged for the 
sake of your India Letter, and is a parting one, as 
Mr. Addington is summoned to Town on Monday. I 
have not a word from your Uncle, and as it appears 
by the Paper that the Gov. Gen. has his head- 
quarters at Futtyghar, where he is stationed, I am 
spinning hopes that his Excellency may be scattering 
favors. I therefore beg you will write to tell us if 
my Brother tells you that he gets aught. I do not 
expect it on any other ground but as a bribe to get 
his place for another who would make better use of 
it. So little does my Lord Moira like Eeformers, 
that when my Brother went up 800 miles to pay 
him respect, although he twice breakfasted with the 
great Man, he contrived to pass him without a single 
word. We are expecting, I think next week, a visit 


from General Poole, who is just arrived, and who 
went up with your Uncle to this ungracious Levee. 

" We never had a Courier. Was it because 
your Papers never appeared, or that the Editor 
forgot us ? 

" I wish to know whether any mortal presumes to 
dive into the mysteries of diplomacy so far as to 
guess at what is going on in France, or at any pro- 
bable result. I feel a very uneasy apprehension 
that, bad as the French are, the Allies are acting (to 
say the least) without either vigour or dignity, and 
when I think of the universal homage paid to Bona- 
parte even by our seamen, I am forced to conclude 
that all national distinctions are melting away. I 
went to see David's picture of the Corsican, in the 
hope of finding what I did really find in it, namely, 
the figure of a very mean man, as well as the expres- 
sion of wickedness. I mean the latest portrait ; the 
one by the same Master, taken years ago, is alto- 
gether the likeness of another man. 

' ( If you can prevail with yourself to write, I shall 
be very glad of a Letter. 

" I went to the National School when in Town, 
and was very highly gratified, but the Master I did 
not see. 

" I have wavered often while writing this note, and 
at last resolve to say a word of the report which we 
now suppose had no truth in it. It seemed to come 
from high authority that you were about to marry, 
and nothing short of an oracular Voice could have 
made us listen to the tale, considering your want of 


means to meet the demands of a family. I am, how- 
ever, so much entitled, and do really feel so affec- 
tionate an interest in your happiness, that I cannot 
help begging you to let me know your designs, and 
also to consider well before you trust the mere im- 
pulse of feeling, if, as I have but just now heard, the 
sober judgment of your Friends cannot approve the 
step. I can abate much of what the world demands 
in marriage, but I know there are congruities which 
are indispensable to you, which you may overlook in 
the delusion of fancy, and be forced to see every 
moment of your life after to be wanting to your 
comfort, when you are come to yourself. I am, my 
dear Thomas, your sincerely affectionate Mother, 


" Remember that Mr. A.'s privilege of frank is un- 
limited in weight and number, so do not pay." 

By 1818, as we know from the " Confessions," 
De Quincey had entered fully on the "pains of 
opium." Though he speaks prior to 1813 of years 
" set, as it were, and insulated in the gloom and 
cloudy melancholy of opium," he could still regard 
himself as having been, on the whole, a happy man 
till the middle of 1817; and 1818 finds him com- 
pletely overmastered helpless to write or produce 
anything of worth; his affairs in disorder, and the 
fear of creditors upon him. At length he aroused 
himself, and had two main points to contend for 
the reduction of the opium indulgence, and the 


discharge of debts that had become pressing. ILL 
these circumstances, and as a last resource, he made 
application to his mother. Among his papers we 
have found the following lengthened statement of his 
position, difficulties, prospects, and possibilities : 

" When I was a boy I was possessed by that kind 
of ambition which with most people is the highest 
that they ever attain. I planned and projected 
constantly in the ordinary spirit of ordinary minds 
to raise myself to high stations and honour in the 
State. With boyhood these purposes forsook me ; 
and I gradually substituted a different ambition (if 
I may call that ambition which in no degree partook 
of the feelings which belong to vulgar worldly 
ambition, being wholly disconnected from all love 
of applause) : my ambition was, that by long 
and painful labour, combining with such faculties 
as God had given me, I might become the intellec- 
tual benefactor of my species. I hoped, and have 
every year hoped with better grounds, that (if I 
should be blessed with life sufficient) I should 
accomplish a great revolution in the intellectual 
condition of the world, that I should, both as one 
cause and as one effect of that revolution, place 
education upon a new footing throughout all civilised 
nations, was but one part of this revolution : it was 
also but a part (though it may seem singly more 
than enough for a whole) to be the first founder 
of a true Philosophy : and it was no more than a 
part that I hoped to be the re-establisher in England 
(with great accessions) of Mathematics. It would 


be altogether useless for my purpose to stop here 
to justify myself for entertaining such hopes, and 
in fact impossible ; for such hopes can be justified 
in no other way than by their realisation. In 
that way I trust that more or less they will be 
justified. If I fail in the great purposes which 1 
have so long pursued, the failure will be grief 
enough ; and it cannot add any stings to it that 
such or such a person has sneered at me : mortifica- 
tion from contempt will be altogether swallowed up 
in the mortification or (to express it by a fitter word) 
the sorrow of failure. I mention these hopes now 
merely as explanations of my past life. It followed 
naturally that a person who pursued objects so 
really great, could not have much disposable ambi- 
tion for the puerile greatness attached to high 
stations in life. Accordingly for some years my 
thoughts never wandered in that direction. At 
length, however, I was compelled to think of some 
projects for enriching myself. The cause was this : 
I had received a patrimony of ^2600 : being denied 
by my guardians the sum necessary for my support, 
I was obliged to contract debts ; and paying a high 
interest (ij^ per cent.) for money borrowed, I 
was obliged on coming of age to deduct nearly 
,600 from my principal to acquit myself of en- 
gagements of honour. Then I had about ^2000 : 
from this I deducted in the year 1807 ^3 as a 
gift to Mr. Coleridge. I do not mention this by way 
of self-applause : it was better to spend money in 
that way than in self-indulgence, as most young 


men do : but, in strict morality, I admit that it was 
wrong : it was an act not for my fortune nor for my 
situation : nevertheless I did it in a right spirit : for 
my motive was this : I said to myself Here is a 
man of great genius who could accomplish great things 
for mankind, if he were for a while set above the 
anxieties and the distractions of immediate necessity : 
^"300 will not only enable him to get rid of any 
debts that he is likely to have on his scale of living, 
but will also leave him a surplus which, when added 
to his present income, may deliver him for two or 
three years from all necessity of diverting his thoughts 
to the mere drudgery of getting money, and will thus 
procure him ease of mind, and will disengage and, I 
may say, enfranchise his time for a period of duration 
sufficient for the accomplishment of great works. 
This was my purpose, and that I could not have had 
any other will appear from this that I sent, the 
money through the hands of Mr. Cottle, and I am 
uncertain whether Mr. C. to this day has ever learnt 
to whom he was indebted for the present ; and ex- 
cepting to yourself and one other person, I have never 
mentioned the case to this hour though it is now 
more than eleven years since it happened. 

"In this way my fortune was reduced to ^1700 : 
about ^700 or ^800 was spent in books : this 
was almost necessary to the objects I had in view, 
and so far a duty if I lived in the country : but, 
as I might have lived in London, and have had 
the advantage of access to great libraries, it was 

not necessary, and so far it was wrong. It was 
VOL. n. H 


done, however, in my boyish days, and I cannot, 
therefore, have any interest in excusing it more 
than in defending the composition at my mature age 
of a school essay or a copy of verses. My fortune 
was thus reduced much below what could upon any 
terms support me. It was important, therefore, 
that I should turn to some mode of raising money. 
Like all persons who believe themselves in possession 
of original knowledge not derived from books, I 
was indisposed to sell my knowledge for money, 
and to commence trading author. I therefore 
fixed on the law as the only profession which, on 
many accounts, was now open to me, and I took 
the necessary steps preliminary to the practice of 
that profession. My purpose was not to engage in 
any petty chase after the honours of the profession, 
to which by that time I was wholly indifferent, and 
could not regard as fit objects of any but a childish 
ambition but simply to get money, of which I 
purposed to get the greatest possible quantity in 
the least possible time. The necessity of stopping 
in the midst of pursuits really great for such a petty 
purpose as the raising of a fortune was melancholy 
enough, and I need not say that I designed to get 
it over in as short a time as possible, and should 
have thought it to the last point wretched and 
insane for me, with rny views, to make my profession 
(as most do) the serious business of my life. If I, 
instead of labouring for years to mature a great 
scheme of philosophy and education, had pushed 
myself forward in the path of common vulgar 


ambition, and had risen to the honours which lie 
in these paths, I am sensible that I should have 
experienced a very different treatment from my 
female relations ; and yet the actual difference be- 
tween what, on that plan, I should have been and 
what I now am must be much in my favour : for 
whosoever gives himself up to law zealously must be 
very ignorant of most things which it is truly honour- 
able to know. But there are not many minds that 
are not in a captivity to external things. I do not 
doubt but that Lord Bacon and Milton were both 
more respected by their wives for the public offices 
which they held than for those great endowments 
which have made them venerable names to posterity. 
I need not say that I make this reference by way 
of illustration merely, and not as though their cases 
were strictly analogous to mine. 

" This, however, is digression, and it looks like 
complaint, but I would beg you to understand that 
I am not complaining : if there be anything sound 
in my hopes and projects, they ought to be well 
able to indemnify me for any losses, slights, mortifi- 
cations, or iu justice to which they have exposed me : 
they are able to do this, and they so indemnify me 
beyond the sense of it as any practical misfortune. 

" I did, however, pursue the study of the law as 
zealously as my means would allow me. On that errand 
it was, as you will remember, that I came down to 
the South, when I was last at Westhay. Soon after 
my return I came to the end of my fortune : for you 
do not seem to be aware that the last penny of it 


was gone in 1815. Whatever then remained was 
in Mr. KelsalFs hands. Hence arose a difficulty in 
the way of my further pursuit of the law. Soon 
after this, happened an event which increased it. I 
had long been attached to a young woman, and had 
visited her : for some time this was undiscovered ; but, 
when it was discovered, I felt myself as much bound 
in honour as I was inclined by affection to marry 
her ; a connection between a gentleman and the 
daughter of a 'Statesman * would have exposed her to 
a scandal which she could never have got over. I did 
marry her, but I did not communicate my marriage 
to you, believing that, from her station in life and 
want of fortune, it would give you pain. In justice to 
my wife, I must say that she is all I could desire, 
and has in every way dignified the position in which 
she stands to me. 

" Marriage brought with it many expenses : we 
have had two children the elder, a boy, born Nov. 
9, 1816, and therefore now more than two years 
old : as a joint memorial of affection for my brother 
and schoolfellow and my uncle, I had him baptized 
by the name of William Penson : the younger, a 
girl, born on June 5 of this year, and therefore now 
rather more than six months old : her, as a just 
expression of affection for my wife, I had baptized 
by her name Margaret Simpson. The expense of 
living, which by two confinements of my wife, and 
two sicknesses (one a fever, the other a long and 
painful affection of the breast), by keeping an addi- 
1 'Statesman contraction for Estates man = Westmoreland Yeoman. 


tional servant, and by the children's clothes, &c., 
were, of course, much increased, I have hitherto 
supported by my pen only that I have received 
during three years ^124, in aid [viz., a loan of 
from my sister Jane in 1817, and a present of 
this year, through you, from my uncle]. I should 
still have been able to get on very well, and gradually 
have saved a sum sufficient for my law pursuits, but 
for an unfortunate bad state of health which seized 
upon me in the latter end of last year, and has not 
yet left me. In October of last year I was bit three 
times running by a dog when sitting in a room ; 
and this being followed by some strange and painful 
sensations some weeks after, I suffered for a long 
time under fear of Hydrophobia. This may or may 
not have been the first origin of the long illness 
uuder which I have languished : be that as it may, 
it has been sufficient to incapacitate me for all con- 
siderable exertions. 

" I am now in arrears to various creditors to the 
amount of ^150, which must be paid in part, ^50, 
almost immediately ; in the other part about Candle- 
mas (Feb. 14) next. If this were paid, I have 
nothing which would enable me to transfer my 
family to London for the pursuit of the law. On 
account of my family I would wish to avoid a 
prison. This is the first request which I ever made 
for money; and, recollecting that in 1810 you offered 
to make me a yearly allowance which I have now 
declined for nine years, I know of no person to whom 
I can apply except yourself." 


In the Memoir we have spoken of the John-Bull 
element in De Quincey, and endeavoured to em- 
phasise and illustrate it. Here we have an indirect 
expression of it in De Quincey's views of women. 
He regarded the female sex with all knightly defer- 
ence, and was never wanting in courtesy and, in a 
sense, devotion to them. But he could not be 
brought to feel that in intellect and in insight in 
certain directions they were not more markedly 
limited than men ; more subject to certain inherent 
prejudices which he regarded as common to the sex 
as sex. Even in regard to the education of his 
family, this was felt ; for, though he was as fond of 
the girls as of the boys, if not more so, he was in 
a certain way indifferent to points of education in 
their case, whilst he was assiduously careful with 
the boys ; losing no opportunity of advancing them, 
and by every means in his power endeavouring to 
infect them, when mere children, with a love of 
study and knowledge for its own sake. He was the 
sole tutor two of his sons ever had, and they were 
as students highly successful. But the girls, it must 
in honesty be said, fared differently. Though he 
was fond of their company, and did all he could 
to please and to humour them, he did not feel 
called on, in the same way, to become exclusive 
tutor to all or either of them, and in their earlier 
years (for after they reached womanhood it was 
different) did not seem inclined to enlist them in 
sympathy with his own efforts and pursuits. As 
we shall see by-and-by, his mother was inclined to 


deal a little too severely with him on this very 

Instead, however, of sending the foregoing somewhat 
over-exhaustive statement, with so many reflections 
which could hardly have had the effect of conciliating 
his mother, he contented himself with a simple resume 
mainly of the latter part of it, dwelling more fully on 
the character and merits of his wife. And this letter 
had the desired effect ; for we find his mother thus 
replying to it without loss of time : 


" WRINGTOX, Dec, zyrd, 1818. 

DEAR THOMAS, I shall provide the sum of 
your use in a week or ten days, and now pro- 
ceed to explain the terms of this advance, leaving the 
execution of your part to an after day, not doubting 
its being done in good faith. I need not explain why 
I prefer the agency of Mr. Kelsall to any here, but 
from him you will receive the money in Bills on 
London ; and the whole Loan is from money in Mr. 
Kelsall's hands belonging to my Brother, for which 
Mr. K. allows 5 per Ct., and so must you, namely, % 
a year. I must now speak of myself, before I go on 
upon the Business, and with a heavy feeling that 
every word maybe taken in another sense from that 
in which it is spoken. I shall, however, abide in the 
course which I must take, and ascribe all such mis- 
readings of my real meaning either to my own want 
of precision or to the terrible irritation which you 


labour under both from disease and medicine. I 
hope it will satisfy you, because I think it ought, 
that I am not unkind or unjust, to know that I have 
settled my testamentary division of that moiety of 
your father's property which I receive the interest of, 
exactly as he left it. I have ample power to alter it 
to any extent among my Children, and I have power 
to fetter it with ..conditions as I see occasion, which 
power I have used as I have seen the necessity; and 
to this end I have left the whole in the care of 
Trustees for the use of all my Children, who will 
receive, on the proportion of Principal allotted by Mr. 
Quincey, just so much interest as the money brings ; 
those of the Men who leave Children can bequeath 
the Principal itself which will be paid as their Will 
directs to the surviving Eepresentatives of my Sons. 

" With this arrangement so made, and the views 
upon which it is made, I am bound to declare that I 
would not, if I had the liberty, knowingly waste or 
lessen the amount, but leave it as well as I found it. 
In addition to this, I can truly affirm that I am not 
unwilling to assist my Sons by reducing myself 
within a much smaller way of living, though neither 
to deprive Jane of a respectable asylum with me, 
nor to sink myself into so great poverty as my Sons 
are in, who by marrying, have really made what 
I could reasonably do quite unavailable. I- here 
repeat what I said before, that I offered to leave 
Westhay, and allow each of you, T. Q., E. Q., 
and H. Q., ^84 a year that is, ^252 a year out 
of my income of ^665, which for single Men, with 


your share of rent, I reckon at least equal to your 
full proportion at my death with a family ; I might 
say very far beyond it, and, I think, equal to my 
remaining share to maintain any establishment of 
comfort and to answer the claims which are upon me. 
Need I say that the first allowance to Henry has 
pinched me so much, that I have to maintain a con- 
stant struggle to answer those claims and to keep out 
of debt while I stay here ; and as your Uncle made 
this place solely for our comfort, I thought it my 
bounden duty to him to give him the choice of set- 
ting me at liberty to leave it or to supply my lack of 
assistance to you. He has taken the latter, and it is 
as broad as it is long, for I could not do more any- 
where without lessening the property, which I will 
not do ; and I am sure your Uncle has spent, and is 
spending, more upon us by far than he has for him- 
self if he were to come home, which he would now 
do, being in very bad health at the Cape, if he could 
fulfil his engagements and live at home. That he 
and I were sincere in saying we would do what we 
could to forward your study of the law is certain, 
though perhaps we had neither of us any precise idea 
how much would be necessary when your own fortune 
was gone. Perhaps had he advanced at once as 
much as your life-interest in ^84 a year is worth, 
that might have been enough as far as money went ; 
but had the scheme failed from your ill-health or any 
other cause, your affairs would have been worse than 
now ; and I am afraid, from your own account of your 
deranged health and nerves, though you have many 


sources opened at your door at Grasmere, it is 
doubtful whether you will use them. The Paper 
alone, if it is to be continued and you could go to 
Keudal, as a sure income I should think preferable to 
any more promising speculation, and surely the too 
well-known speculations of authors, most justly, are to 
be called, in your own Words, ( so many romances.' 
Therefore let me entreat you to hold fast the Kendal 
certainty, and though I am not sanguine enough to 
hope that you would or could regularly do all the 
labour of an Editor which is absolutely necessary, so 
that you could be without an assistant, I should 
think a cheaper Drudge might do, leaving you 
perhaps a hundred a year, with leisure to fulfil any 
literary engagement which your health and spirits will 
let you. More than this you cannot do anywhere, 
and you have really brought to you by your friends or 
your fortune more than you are able to accomplish. 
Why, then, go in search of more, and in so doing 
encounter a thousand evils, not the least of which is 
the bringing your wife and children away from the 
place where their natural affinities, tastes, and feelings 
may best be cherished ? We none of us dare recom- 
mend you to take the drudgery of the Paper, though 
we think you could do more and gain more by living 
at Kendal with a humbler Clerk, but to the proposal 
of transporting your Wife and Children to London 
we feel a reluctance insufferably strong and grievous. 
And being now at the Threshold, let me at once 
assure you we all think there can be but one reason- 
able view taken of the condition in life which you 


Lave described your "Wife's to be, and that view is 
the same as yours, that it is a happy and respectable 
oiie, and we are greatly rejoiced to find that she has 
dignified it by her conduct, as well as that she 
answers your wishes as a Companion and a Wife. 

" Henry married a very handsome, well-disposed, 
and well-mannered Young Woman, the Daughter of 
a Captain of a trading Vessel from Minehead. They 
live at Clifton just now, and manage to pay their 
debts, notwithstanding they have both very bad 
health and dress like people of fortune ; this is 
wonderful to us, and we think she should be willing 
to spare a little from her dress to nourish her life 
by better food ; but I assure you, when Mary gave 
her, lately, a very pretty cambric Muslin Gown, quite 
new out of the shop, with a narrow blue stripe, such 
a one as any young Lady would wear in a morning, 
she said Henry would not let her wear it. Mary 
begs you will never mention this to Henry. They 
have no Children, happily. She had not a penny. 

" I now go on to state the necessary condition on 
which I must insist in regard to the Loan, on which 
alone I could presume to advance it ; I mean that 
you must give the security of your Warehouse share 
to my Brother. I should recommend you, as you 
must acknowledge the receipt of the money directly 
to Mr. Kelsall, at the same time to direct him to 
send your whole share of Warehouse Kent to me. 
I will pay your interest to my Brother and remit you 
the : residue with your allowance, or keep it, which 
would be far better, as a little deposit, to be called 


for in a time of sickness or any other emergency. 
Should I have the power by an exemption from sick- 
ness or other contingencies myself, I will gladly put 
to such a deposit any little sum which I may be able 
to save at the end of a year ; a very little it must 
needs be in the present state of things, and not more 
in addition to your allowance if they were altered, 
and so little more if I were dead and your Uncle 
living at home on his Pension (which drops with 
him), and any other little means which he may bring 
with him, that there is nothing to say in any case, 
bat that you must mainly depend upon yourself to 
meet the exigencies which are created by your Family. 
To say I wish I could create funds as fast as your 
occasions is a cheap and fruitless wish, though it be 
a sincere one. Mrs. H. More and her only living 
sister Patty have had a miserable winter so far. 
Gen. Mackenzie is in very indifferent health at 

" Mary is here, and with Jane unites in love, and 
so do I join with them, to you and yours. We expect 
Mr. Serle to-morrow from Oxford. He has taken the 
United Curacy and Lectureship of Brislington, 2\ 
Miles from Bristol, going to Bath. He has no House 
on his Living. She desires me to say that she will 
write an account of their Tour, though she thinks 
she has no talent that way. We are all tolerably 
well here. 

" I certainly do not pretend to any political sagacity, 
but let me observe, which is an acknowledgment that 
I do receive the Paper, that I think you admit some- 


thing now and then like defences of indefensible things, 
which will lessen the credit of the Paper, and in the 
long-run tell against the cause of social order. I am 
sorry the search into the misapplied funds for schools, 
&c., has fallen into no better hands than Brougham's, 
but cheating should never be softened or excused. 
' Let the galled jade wince/ I am, my dear Son, your 
really affectionate Mother, E. QUINCEY. 

" We understand there is a very bad story about 
an estate in your Quarter belonging to a Charity, but 
really in the hands of a great Man. Short days and 
bad eyes, or I would try to write a more legible copy 
of this." 


" WRINGTON, Feb. 25, 1822. 

" MY DEAR THOMAS, I have your letter before me, 
and a very melancholy one I think it, for I see not 
at the bottom of your calamities any better hope than 
that which has ever cheated my unfortunate Children. 
I have written to Elton's for the Bill you want of 
^54 at two months on London in your favor, and if 
they send it to the Post in time I shall be able to 
enclose it to-day, if not to-morrow. I write without 
hope myself, and scarcely know what to say ; for I 
do know this, that I cannot express what I sincerely 
think and grieve over but you will call it being angry ; 
yet I cannot say what I do not think, and if I were 
to send an enclosure without a word, I should myself 
feel that at least I acted a cold, unkind part by you, 
when in truth I do not feel anything like it. You 


should be aware that with all the flattering accounts 
which you give me of your literary expectations and 
successes, and the numerous honourable testimonies 
which you receive from Men and Journals, and which 
you think important in proportion as I receive 
them as you do, I must consider you as not being 
driven to anticipate \vhat I now send. I do not, 
however, make any scruple about it, as I have the 
money. I am greatly troubled at your illness and 
the opinion of your Doctor as to its tendency, cer- 
tainly hoping that he is mistaken, though I can easily 
believe, and cannot but believe, that your stomach is 
miserably injured by the Opium you have swallowed. 
" There is one thing in your Letter which I must 
take notice of to remonstrate against so far as to 
show you the impropriety in future of such a measure, 
and that is your intention of sending expresses hither, 
and to Westmoreland, I suppose. In the first place, 
it is doubtful whether any time could be saved ; and 
in the next, to what purpose ? For, supposing the 
emergency the greatest possible, and the end designed 
completely answered, surely in such circumstances 
the pain and misery would have been extreme, and I 
should hope you did not want farther security than 
you have that I should do what is right by your poor 
Children, without doing wrong by others ; and indeed 
the utmost, if I were dead, must be so little, that the 
very money spent upon useless Expresses would be 
missed out of it sadly. I am almost afraid that you 
have greatly overrated what I have to divide, and 
therefore I state it here. What has been lost by 


Mr. Kelsall I have nearly made up to the estate, so 
that it may be said to stand in value as it did at first, 
namely, at ,13,000, which will be equally shared in 
four parts, the surviving Children of my Children to 
be equal sharers afterwards ; but the whole is so tied 
upon the Children (and yours seem likely to be the 
only Heirs after their Elders are removed) that none 
of mine can touch anything but their shares of interest 
for their lives, with power to settle upon their wives 
during life as they please. This is in substance my 
arrangement. ... I wish you may not be grievously 
mistaken about the sale of your Library. I can 
imagine nothing like the amount you expect. I 
ought to have said that Jane could not by any means 
have come to London by herself, if she had been 
ever so well disposed. 

"And now, my dear Thomas, let me say that, 
knowing how much your spirits are depressed, and 
that mine being equally so, I hope you will believe 
me that I feel for you, and as I am continually think- 
ing hour after hour upon your circumstances, and 
coming for ever to the same sad, hopeless conclusion, 
you will not wonder that I can offer you little com- 
fort ; but if you imagine from this that I do not wish 
to give it, you do me little justice. I am, in truth, 
always your affectionate Mother, E. QUINCEY. 

" I wish you would acknowledge the receipt. 
Elton's have chosen to draw at a shorter date, I see. 


" Fox Ghyll, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 



"WRINGTON, Jan. 13, 1825. 

" MY DEAR THOMAS, In answer to your Letter re- 
ceived on Tuesday, I must enter on a few explana- 
tions to let you know what I can and will endeavour 
to do. Things are altered with us, as you may suppose, 
by your Uncle's return, but not probably just as you 
may think. I am, however, able, and thankful that I 
am able, to undertake more than I could before that 
event ; that is to say, I have released him from his 
former engagement to help any belonging to me, 
because he is come home with so much less than he 
wants that he is really the poorest Member of this 
establishment, with a host of Eastern habits cleaving 
to him, which we had no notion of, but supposed he 
would find all that mortal man could desire for com- 
fort and pleasure. But this is far from being the 
case. He finds himself unable to live without things 
which will cost him a fearful sum to pay for ; and the 
discovery of his unequal means is not a whit more 
pleasant after I had fairly warned him of the pangs 
which would lay hold on him when he had relin- 
quished the power and wealth of his appointment. 
He has been spending 4000 a year for 14 years in 
India, and has realised very little so that with his 
pay he will not have more than ^700 a year. He is 
building a new dining-room in the place of the old 
Greenhouse the old dining-room taken to himself, 
and a new bed-room, bath, &e., attached to it, as his 
own suite of apartments ; a great deal of new stabling 


and servants' rooms ; the drawing-room enlarged by a 
bow-window and the west window closed. The house 
which Mrs. Church calls the Great Babylon is too 
large for its original character, and much too large for 
the master's pocket the alterations must cost him a 
thousand pounds out of his very moderate principal. 
He hopes he shall enjoy himself when these works 
are done and warm weather come ; and it will be well 
if he be not disappointed, which in my inmost thought 
I believe he will. In our present state of confusion 
we have no delight but what we can pick up out of 
distant views of order and beauty. 

" I have just written to Henry an often-told story, 
which he either does not or cannot understand, and 
I here send it to you. It is a statement of my ways 
and means at present, which, if I live, may be dis- 
turbed by various circumstances ; therefore I only say 
for the present, though, among many others, I mention 
two things which must set me free in part or make 
me unable to do what I now mean to do, Damely, that 
your literary productions bring you profit enough or 
that your Uncle take a Wife, not a more unlikely 
event than I hope the other is. 

" My nominal income, reduced as interest now is, 
amounts exactly to 600 a year. 

I have offered Henry . . . ^"looayear. 
I offer you the same . . . 100 
I pay to the Westhay Establishment 250 
Kemainder . . . .150 
And this 1 50 is to meet the following expenditure : 

Cloaths Journies Apothecary, this Xmas ^35 
VOL. n. I 


Books, Stationery, Charity, little enough, I assure 
you ; and a heavy but uncertain deduction from this 
^150 in Duckworth's yearly account, both as Agent 
and Solicitor, though he is a reasonable man and 
for allowance to Tenants for repairing from 20 to 
^"40 every year. I believe you will not think I have 
any great superfluity, but such is Henry's arithmetic 
and his need together, that he has written to beg of 
me to help and to lay his circumstances before his 
Uncle, which, indeed, if I had done, could only have 
exasperated and made things worse. In the prospect 
of this rich Uncle's return, Henry actually set up a 
House and furnished it, not doubting but a Nabob's 
purse would be open to him. The consequence, as 
I told him it would be, was that my Brother was 
so offended with this appropriation of his money, 
that he has positively refused to see or do any- 
thing for the really bewitched Creature, who, hear- 
ing of the alterations and many luxuries of the 
place, cannot comprehend that these expenses dry up 
the means of liberality, and will not admit that 
he himself forfeited any claim by his indelicate 

" I have, it may be, convinced him, if not of being 
in the wrong for that is impossible but that his 
only course is to give up his smart house and sell 
his furniture down to just enough for a very small 
cottage ; and burning as he is with anger, I do not 
know what he will do, but he has written such a 
Letter to me about his Uncle, that' if I were to show 
it, I am sure he would deserve to be blotted out of 


T. P.'s "Will. Being myself to receive some remunera- 
tion from the Commissioners at Manchester for damage 
done to the Warehouse, which I expect will lessen 
the rent, and therefore the money ought to go into 
the Funds I have promised to furnish 50 towards 
Henry's foolish debts in July, when I am to receive 
my recompense. I have no objection to consider 
your year as beginning the ist March, but having 
paid, and having yet to pay for furniture for new 
rooms, which indeed I did not want and am annoyed 
to have, I cannot send you more than 20, nor con- 
veniently the remaining till July, though, if you 
are in straits, I will send it in part by March, and 
the whole by May. 

"Having lived rent free for 14 years, I could not 
forbear to save my Brother what I could in furniture 
Bills, though my convenience is increased by none 
of these things, nor in anything else except an addi- 
tional horse to our one, making a pair for the carriage 
instead of the Wrington Inn Horses. 

" We return you our thanks for the promised 
Novel. On reading the review of it in the London 
Mag. we thought you were the translator. I wish 
to know, if there is no secret in it, what connection 
you have with the said Journal in the new series. 

"I cannot expect that your literary productions 
either as a Translator or an Author will rise in moral 
tone to my point, for I suppose you must please your 
Eeaders, and unfortunately little is required, and 
much will be lauded to the skies, and that by Church- 
men, sadly at variance with Christianity. I wish I 


could say that all who hold a purer creed were better 
people than many men of the world. 

" I am sorry for your sicknesses, and felt the irk- 
someness of writing on the spur of any disagreeable 
occasion ; at the same time believing that you do 
what you can, I am glad to do what I can, and hope 
nothing will lessen my means. I hope your poor 
Children will not get either of the dreadful fevers. 
Do you live at Fox Ghyll ? How many Children have 
you ? Henry heard that you had left Westmore- 
land and settled in London. I am glad it is not so 
for the Children's sake. 

" Jane has had great trouble with Teeth and Face 
and nervous affections a long time ; she and Mrs. 
Brotherton are in Bristol, or they would send their 
love. I am pretty well now, and, I thank God, much 
better than at my time I could expect. I am, my 
dear Son, your affectionate Mother, 



" 4 Eccleston Street, Pimlico, London." 



RICHARD DE QUINCEY, having secured a rating in 
the navy, served in various ships, the Diomede, the 
Superb, and the Prometheus, and was at least twice 
in London for a few months at a time, when, in the 
years 1812 and 1813, he saw something of his family, 
though it does not appear that he visited Westhay. 
In 1813 he journeyed to Westmoreland, and spent 
some time there, though Thomas was then absent 
from it. The following letters will attest these state- 
ments : 


14th Feby. 1812. 

" DEAR BROTHER, Having met with a number of 
unexpected Difficulties and delays in obtaining my 
Discharge, I did not leave the Ship till the 4th of 
this Month, and have been in Town a week. Mary 
and Miss Brotherton have also been the same time, 
and only left Town for Lincolnshire this Morning. 
My Time has been so much occupied in attending 
them, that I have done very little of my own business 

at present. 



"It is so long since I heard from you that I am 
uncertain whether you may not be in Town at the 
time I am addressing you at Grasmere. As Mary 
could give me no information on this point, I went 
to Murray, the Bookseller, to get Coleridge's address 
(expecting he might give me some intelligence), but 
found he was on the point of leaving Town. 

" Should you have any intention of visiting London 
this winter, I hope it will be shortly, as I do not 
intend, without any particular inducement, to remain 
here above a Month. 

" All were well at Westhay, according to the letter 
which Mary got yesterday. The Bellman is King- 
ing. Yours affectionately, K. DE QUINCEY. 

" Please to write immediately. 

"Tnos. DE QUINCEY, Esq., 

" Grasmere, nr. Kendal, Wstmoreland." 


" 2nd March 1812. 

" DEAR BROTHER, I think it necessary to apprise 
you of my having shifted my Lodgings, lest you 
should happen to address any letters to Sackville St. 
It is not likely that I shall be able to gain any in- 
formation on the point you wish, as I am not ac- 
quainted with a single person in town, except one or 
two half-pay Lieutenants. You may conceive I am 
therefore tolerably dull, especially as I have been 


rather unwell lately, and confined to the house. I 
expect to remain in Town all this Month. If you 
have not engaged any Lodgings you can have a 
Bedroom here, by which means you will save the 
expense of a Sitting-Eoom, as I have one. After all, 
however, I do not seriously expect to see you until 
I am on the point of going away, well knowing how 
variable you are on these points. 

" Jane, in a letter of last week, assures me in a 
most passionate manner that you had solemnly sworn 
to Mary to be in Town early in January. I hope I 
may not have to bring an indictment of a similar 
nature against you. Yours affectionately, 


"Tnos. DE QUINCEY, Esq., 

" Grasmere, near Kendal, Westmoreland." 


[From Jane to Thomas de Quincey.~] 

"BOSTON, Thursday, May 6th, 1813. 

"MY DEAR BROTHER, I had Eichard's letter on 
Monday. If it had come some little time since, I 
should have made no other arrangement for my 
journey than the meeting you in London ; as it is, I 
can accomplish this as you propose consistently with 
an engagement to go with Henry. He wishes to be 
in Somersetshire for a short time, and in consequence 
of such an intimation Miss Brotherton has invited 
him to visit her previously, that we may have a com- 


panion for the whole journey. We mean to post, 
having by an exact calculation ascertained that the 
difference is trifling for three at the present exorbitant 
rate of stage-coach travelling. If then you can con- 
descend to take a fourth in a chaise from London, we 
shall feel ourselves sublimely happy, supremely for- 
tunate, &c. &c. 

" Our plan is, shortly, this : we think of leaving 
Boston, if nothing unforeseen prevents it, on or about 
the ist of June, being in London the same night. 
Later in the evening we must spend two or three 
hours with a dentist ; then, leaving London in the 
middle of the day, propose to go so far the first night 
(forty or fifty miles, for instance) as will bring us 
to Bath in good time the next day to show Miss 
Hodgson every part of it which is worth a person's 
notice who has never seen a fine town, and never 
may again. 

If you approve of this plan and can vegetate with- 
out much food (two meals a day at most), it will at 
least be as economical as the generality of coaches, 
and much pleasanter. Let us hear your mind and 
where we may write to you in London, finally to 
adjust all particulars ; but first and chiefly let us 
know if we cannot come at once to your lodgings and 
get beds there, supper and breakfast ; which would 
be so much more agreeable, as well as cheaper, than 
a hotel. If I recollect, the house is not small, and I 
should think your recommendation could procure us 
this piece of service, even in the possible event of 
your changing your London destination, for they do 


say such things have been. Pray make my kindest 
regards and congratulations to the "Words worths. 
Not to mention the pecuniary advantages of a situa- 
tion (though I don't know what it is) of this kind, 
I do really think he changes his residence for one 
even more beautiful. How little to be expected in 
going from Grasmere ! I envy Eichard his stormy 
visit to the Lakes ; don't you remember how vainly 
we languished to see Windermere in a breeze ? I 
dined here in company with a Captain Smith, who 
professes to be intimately acquainted with the Lakes 
and all who live near them Wilson, Lloyd, King, 
Lough, &c. &c. and talked with me by the hour 
about them. I shall have abundance of questions 
to ask, which I may as well spare now, as we shall, 
I hope, so soon meet. 

" I had a long letter from Mary to-day. She 
observes very pathetically, ' We cannot hear from 
Thomas.' La ! how odd that is ! ! You will find 
them, as usual, very busy altering and improving the 
exterior in them this is the outward visible sign 
of the unhappy malady which we have all, I think, 
agreed reigns in our family. For my part, I yet 
feel so sane in some points that, were I not aware 
that this species of delusion is common among mad 
people, I should persuade myself that, by some happy 
chance, I had escaped the contagion. Henry's dis- 
temper rages violently just now. Take the following 
instance : instead of following the simple route from 
Oxford to Huntingdon, and from thence to Boston, 
he goes to London ; then, without making any stay 


there, by some truly wonderful contortions, and pass- 
ing thro' various mail-coaches, he at length writhes 
himself into Bourn thro' the most uninteresting 
bits of country, then takes a chaise for a seven- 
teen mile stage to Boston, by which plan he proposes 
not the smallest pleasure to himself, and succeeds in 
spending, as I can prove to a demonstration, three 
times as much money as was necessary. I hope 
Pink will pursue his intention of being in London 
with you, and still more that he will at length rest 
the sole of his foot at Westhay. 

"Mr. Leeves has had one letter from Henry, 1 
dated Gibraltar. I think he will very probably 
deliver all your recommendations. 

" I wonder to hear of such stormy weather in the 
north ; we have had a beautiful spring, only too hot 
and dry, and I understand the promise of fruit is 
everywhere very great apples especially. Mr. Gee 
has cut six or seven pines already. 

"All desire the kind remembrances to you both. 
My love to Eichard. I am now visiting Miss 
Brotherton ; the young Gees are in London for a 
short time. I have seen ' Kemorse ' 2 on the Boston 
Theatre boards. Pray write an answer to my queries, 
and believe me ever your affectionate 



" Grasmere, near Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

1 Henry Leeves, who, on account of ill-health, had gone to Malta 
and Spain, &c., and carried letters of introduction procured by De 
Quincey from Southey and others. 

2 Coleridge's drama. It was published early in 1813. 



On Friday, August the 6th, 1813, we find De 
Quincey thus writing from Westhay to Miss "Words- 
worth : 

DEAR MADAM, I will trouble you or Mrs. 
Wordsworth, when either of you happen to be in 
Grasmere, to let Mary Dawson know that I may 
possibly be at home on Saturday night, August 14. 
Before that day she need certainly not expect me, 
and I fear that not even then ; but that I may not, 
in any case, come upon her by surprise, I think it as 
well to give her notice that my present purpose is 
to reach Grasmere about that day, altho' it may 
happen that I shall be induced to stay a fortnight 
longer. But there can be no harm, and much advan- 
tage, in having things ready. 

" On Sunday last one of my sisters received a letter 
from my brother Eichard, dated London. I believe you 
know that he is as restless as the sea. So you may 
guess our astonishment at learning that he had only 
just left Westmoreland. If he had known that I was 
here, probably he w d have communicated more tidings 
from Grasmere or the neighbourhood ; as it was, his 
letter communicated nothing except a very short and 
indistinct mention of Mr. Lloyd's illness in July. 
This gave us all great concern ; but we collect from 
the wording of it, that he had recovered before my 
brother left the north. If Grasmere can be con- 


sidered a change of scene for Mr. Lloyd, I trust that 
you will not scruple to make use of my house : even 
if I return as early as I talk of, you know there is 
room for us all. 

" "We have company in the house, and I write in 
some hurry : else I have matter of one kind or 
another that might fill a long letter. This must wait 
till the next chance. Begging you to excuse my 
brevity, I remain, my dear Madam, yours very 
sincerely, THOS. DE QUINCEY." 


[From Henry to Thomas de Quincey^] 

i^ih Dec. 1813. 

" DEAR THOMAS, The design of this is purely to 
be informed whether you really are in existence or 
not. All parties agree in this, that nothing has 
either been seen or heard of you since you left Bristol 
to cross the Severn. Whether you arrived safe on 
the Cisalpine Side is, to all but yourself, unknown, 
but this is certain, that a few nights after your de- 
parture my Mother had this extraordinary dream, 
which, not being superstitious, she treated as a dream, 
but subsequent events, together with this dream, 
have contributed to a certain misgiving in my mind. 
She dreamt that she saw my Uncle's fine watch, 


consigned to your custody, floating in the tremendous 
waves of the sea, with its works, of course, completely 
spoiled. Such was the dream, you only can prove 
the fallacy of it, which I most particularly request 
you will do directly, if possible. If half a sheet be 
incompatible with your occupations, half a line (just 
a yes or a no) will satisfy me ; but I should like to 
have a sort of outline of your past, present, and 
future intentions whether you are coming to town, 
and so forth. All inquiries in Tichfield Street (where 
I know you have attractions superior to a Hewson) 
have been unsuccessful. 

" I have been in town and out of town so many 
times this year, that any account of myself would be 
but a tedious series of locomotions. Eichard was con- 
fined to his apartments in town for some time with 
liver complaint and rheumatism. He first lodged 
at Hewson's; afterwards at 13 George St., Portman 
Square ; and finally removed to Horseman's Hotel, 
Whitehall, where I was resident with him one fort- 
night. From thence we both proceeded, per Bristol 
Mail, to Bath, where he is remaining with one of the 
girls, for the advantage of warm bathing. I have 
been introduced, by means of Mrs. Thatcher, to a Mr. 
Stoakes, a Stock-broker in Throgmorton St., who has 
promised his services towards procuring me a situa- 
tion, either in one of the public offices or else in the 
Bank of England. He is a person of considerable 
influence, being nearly related to all the Scots, East 
India Directors, a family, you know, very numerous, 
and, in their way, powerful. I have called once on 


Stoakes, when he was in Bath for his health, and he 
gave me his address in London. In short, Sir, he 

means to introduce me to one St , a person of 

great power in the Treasury, and right-hand man to 
the Lord Chancellor. 

" A new operatic piece called ' Orange ' is all 

the fashion at Drury Lane ; and another new piece 
entitled 'Illusion; or, The Trances of Nourjahad' 
has been performed there 17 times without inter- 
mission. It is somewhat prosing, as the design is to 
show the miseries attending on a visionary and a 
drunkard, and one who makes pleasure his sole object. 
The apparatus of it, however, is more splendid than 
that of the ' Virgin of the Sun.' The Story is taken 
from a tale of the same nature by the late Mrs. 

" I have a free admission for the whole Season to 
Drury Lane. I have been rather tedious, and, of 
course, not very entertaining, as epistolary composi- 
tion, you know, is not the kind, of all others, in which 
I excel. I had almost forgot to mention that the new 
singer at C. Garden, Miss Stevens or Stephens, is 
quite equal, and I think will be superior, to Mrs. 
Billington, as is the general opinion. 

" Eichard is in great distress about his trunk, which 
he expected from your country. You, of course, know 
that Coleridge has been lecturing in Bristol. And 
now I hope you will absolve me from any imputation 
of having diverged from facts, simple facts, in this 
letter, unless indeed dreams be not facts. I only 
wish to be consistent, which many people are not. 


My direction as above, but only for a few days or a 
week. Your affectionate H. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 

EicLard de Quincey, whose life had been thus 
chequered and eventful, died about the early age of 
twenty-six, though no exact date could be given for 
the event. He had been with his ship in Jamaica, 
and at Port-au-Prince had gone on a sporting ex- 
pedition to the Blue Mountains. From this expedi- 
tion, so far as is known, he never returned probably 
fell a victim to accident or to wild beasts. 



HENRY, the youngest of the brothers, if he did not, 
like his elders, run away from school, was constantly 
in scrapes, which gave his mother and sisters no little 
concern. He was, as Thomas describes him, " head- 
strong," but a clever, high-spirited boy, averse to 
discipline, like the others, but with more of worldly- 
wisdom and, it may be, of calculation. Of his dis- 
position and character some notion may be derived 
from the following letters, as well as from stray refer- 
ences to him here and there in other chapters. With 
all his tutors he was soon at loggerheads, with the 
exception of the last, the Rev. W. Gambier, from 
whose school he had, however, to be removed for other 
reasons, as will be seen. He married the daughter of 
a sea-captain, a poorly educated girl ; but she managed 
very quickly, as some women of her rank do, to pick 
up some measure of education and good manners. It 
is characteristic of Henry that he set up a considerable 
establishment on the faith of a large allowance from 
what he regarded as his rich nabob uncle from India, 
and was disappointed ; for Colonel Penson, though he 

had a fair income of ,700 a year on retirement, had 



learned many expensive habits in India, which he 
could not wholly give up, and, with the fullest affec- 
tion and utmost desire to help, had little to spare to 
his nephews after that time. 


"BOSTON, August 27, 1807. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER, I was not a little surprised 
to find by your letter received to-day that you were 
still at Everton. If I could have supposed that you 
had been there I should have written before. I 
believe I told you that Mrs. Pratt and Fanny came 
to our house (in April, I think) for the health of the 
latter, who was advised to try the Hot Wells air and 
Water. After some weeks, poor Fanny continuing to 
grow worse, Mr. Pratt and the whole of the family 
came to be with her. My Mother gave up the house 
in Dowry Parade to them, and Mr. Pratt took Lodg- 
ings for us in Princes Buildings. After suffering very 
greatly, the poor Fanny died about six weeks since. 
In a short time after the family left for Shaftesbury, 
Joseph for Cambridge. I came here soon after, and 
my Mother is now gone to Shaftesbury, where the 
Pratts took Lodgings for her. She intends to remain 
there for some weeks. Henry is with her. 

" I find I am expected to stay here six months. 
Whether I shall or not, time must show. I shall 
return through London, of course, if it were only to 
see Jane. I called on her as I came. She says you 
have never written to her. We have not heard any- 
thing more of Richard, but his ship is daily expected. 



" After having given you an account of myself, I 
must now beg you will let me know something of 
your proceedings. Why have you not been to the 
Lakes ? Do you mean (I hope you do) to return to 
Oxford next term ? 

" I have not yet been able to get the ' Polish 
Chieftain/ Did you not tell me that Chalmers' 
edition of Shakespeare was the best ? What is the 
price? I have ordered Graglia's Italian Grammar. 
Is Poarretti's Die. the best ? I am afraid you will 
not have patience to answer all these questions. 

" I hope you will come to Oxford, for I shall feel 
much more happy in the idea of your being so much 
nearer to me. Believe me ever your affectionate 

"M. Q. 

" I hope you have written to my Uncle. 


"At Mrs. Best's, Everton, near Liverpool." 


"BOSTON, Oct. 2nd, 1807. 

"MY DEAR BROTHER, I believe you are right in 
supposing that no argument which could be used to 
Henry would have sufficient weight to inspire him 
with resolution and constancy enough to form and 
maintain any plan of conduct. Yet I think it is 
a pity not to make any exertion. You might write 
to him and inquire what were his plans for his future 
life, and, without appearing to persuade, give such 
a fascinating description of a College life, for in- 


stance, as should at least divert his imagination from 
rioting in the delightful paths of tare and tret, as 
you technically express yourself. If you could get 
him entered as a student in Christ Church, it would, I 
think, be an irresistible bribe to all parties ; especially 
as my Mother has not any particular desire to have 
him a merchant, but acquiesces in it as a means 
which she expects will be likely to subdue the lofty 
ideas inherent in the family, and because such a 
choice requires the least exertion on her own part. 
If a school could be found such as she would approve, 
she would, for the present at least, I doubt not, be 
happy to have him removed there. No one can have 
a greater objection than myself to his present situa- 
tion, for there, of all places, his ideas are the least 
likely to be enlarged, as every boy is intended to 
occupy the same station to which he aspires. Pray 
let me hear your further ideas on this subject. I 
remain your truly affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 

"Mr. Thomas Gee arrived from France about a 
fortnight since. He obtained his passport through 
the interest of Sir Joseph Banks. 


" At Mrs. Best's, Everton, near Liverpool." 


"BROCKLEY, Jan. 26th, 1810. 

"Mr DEAR BROTHER, About two months ago I 
wrote to you, begging you to send me the books you 
promised me when you went away. I conclude, as I 

1 48 ] HE NR Y DE Q UINCE Y. 

have heard nothing from you, that it never came to 

" I shall, however, be glad if you will send them 
soon, as I am in great want of them, and I am being 
continually asked whether you intend to send them 
or not. 

" I suppose you have heard that Eichard has had 
the measles, and the usual concomitant, a bad cough. 

" My Mother and Mr. Boak have canvassed over 
a certain letter which appeared in The Friend 
(signed c Mathetes ') about a dozen times. They 
both agree that you are the author of it. 1 

" Doctor Bridges asked me the other day what 
college I was going to. I told him that I believed I 
was to go to Christ Church, at Oxford, but that I was 
not certain. He immediately exclaimed what an ex- 
pensive college it was, and said that nobody but 
Noblemen's sons went there, and told me that 
Queen's at Cambridge was by far the best, as there is 
a very pious head there. 

" I have been at home for these 5 weeks past, and 

1 In this they were wrong, however ; " Mathetes " was not De Quincey, 
but Wilson. Others, and good judge?, made the same mistake, so that 
there may have been a little of De Quincey in " Mathetes" after all (see 
"Memoir," i. p. 179). We find De Quincey himself, however, writing 
thus on the point : "Professor Wilson, in conjunction with Mr. (now 
Dr.) Blair, an early friend then visiting Mr. Wordsworth on Winder- 
mere, wrote the letter signed 'Mathetes,' the reply to which came from Mr. 
Wordsworth " (" Samuel Taylor Coleridge," p. 100 vol. ii. of " Collected 
Essays," original edition). The letter, along with Mr. Wordsworth's 
reply, is printed in Wordsworth's " Prose Works," vol. i. pp. 297-308 
(and answer, pp. 309-326), without the slightest indication of authorship, 
so that the unwary reader might easily be led to the idea that " Mathetes " 
was a mere ruse for Wordsworth, an editorial device to give him the 
opportunity of reply. But it was not so. 


we spent a week at Doctor Bridges' ; a most un- 
pleasant week it was, too, for we had nothing at all 
but discussions of Church preferment, and great and 
small tithes ; how much one man's living amounted 
to, and what he might make of it, if he would but 
raise the tithes on cheese and apples. How is your 
cottage ? Have you finished the grand alterations you 
were making in the shrubbery ? Is the sweep made 
up to the door ; for I shall expect to be set down 
close to your door when I come in my carriage. My 
Mother and all join in love to you, and I close my 
letter in hopes that you will condescend to honour 
me with a letter and a few books which I am much 
in want of. Believe me ever your truly affectionate 
Brother, H. DE. QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, near Anibleside, Westmoreland." 


"BROOKLET, Dec. nth, 1810. 

"Mr DEAR BROTHER, Having long since given up 
all hopes of hearing from )^ou, I now sit down to 
write to you, though much in doubt whether or not 
you still enjoy the light of the sun. But though you 
may not perhaps be absolutely lost to nature, you 
certainly are to the world in general ; for I believe 
you never use a quire of epistolary paper from 
January to December. You know, I suppose, that 
Eichard has just now been home, and returns to 
Portsmouth to-morrow. His health, though lately in 


a precarious state, is now, I am happy to say, restored. 
He lias not yet got a ship, but expects to, very 
shortly ; and, what is very probable, a ship that will 
require to be laid in dock for perhaps a couple of 
months, which time he may, very comfortably, pass 
at home. 

" I am now going to inform you of a thing by no 
means either uninteresting or unpleasant to myself. 
"We break up on the iQth inst., and I have now but 
one tedious week to remain in this place. Never was 
a reprieved malefactor more extravagantly joyful or 
more unexpectedly released. 

" Where I am to take up my quarters next, time 
only can discover. But of this I am satisfied, that, 
wherever it be, it cannot be worse than this place. 

" The manner in which I have been calumniated 
behind my back and reviled to my face is dreadful. 
It is, however, all comprehended under the sweeping 
sentence of ' restraining the vicious ' and ' turning one 
out of many to the fear of the Lord,' for this is what 
he includes in his prayer every evening. He takes 
also every opportunity of cutting me up, by reading 
particular parts in 'Bobinson's Scripture Chapters' 
and 'Burder's Sermons/ which he thinks applicable 
to me, pronouncing them with a fiendish pleasure, 
and frequently enlarging upon them out of his own 
head. This, he thinks, puts me on the rack ; but, 
poor ignorant fool, how grievously art thou mis- 
taken ! 

" I am extremely curious to hear some intelligence 
of you ; at least whether you are dead or alive. If 


you think you can possibly make up your mind to 
dictate your thoughts, and have a scribe to execute 
the mechanical parts of a letter, it would be very 
thankfully received. Indeed it is so long since I 
have seen a letter from you, that I am quite curious 
to see what sort of a thing it is. Pray send me 
some account of the Grasmerian affairs, how many 
hundreds you have received for metaphysical works, 
&c. &c. My Mother, Mary, Jane, and Richard de- 
sire their love. Believe me your truly affectionate 
Brother, H. DE QUINCE Y." 


"LANGLEY, May 13^, 1811. 

<f MY DEAR BROTHER, Here am I in Kent, very 
much delighted with my situation. The Gambiers 
are a very pleasant and genteel family, and very 
kind to me. The only thing I find at all disagreeable 
is, that people are too lazy to write to me, and so I 
wait from week to week without receiving a com- 
munication from any part of the world. It is, I 
believe, some seven ages since I heard from you. 
' My brethren, these things ought not so to be/ One 
reason why I now write to you is to request you to 
send me my certificate of being a member of Brazen 
Nose, which you know I brought from Oxford with 
me, and which you, being afraid I should lose it, said 
you would keep for me. I hope you will not have 
to tax yourself with the same thing as you suspected 
me of, viz., having lost it yourself. Another reason 


why I write is this ; i.e., if you could conveniently 
lend me 2. The reason is, that I have but a very 
short time ago written home for some money, and 
they sent me some, commenting at the same time 
very keenly upon my extravagance, and hoping I 
should not make another call very soon. Now, from 
various unforeseen accidents, I am at present reduced 
to great poverty ; nevertheless, I would rather endure 
to be penniless than let them know I am so soon 
in want of a fresh supply ; so that if you could be 
good enough to lend me the sum above mentioned, 
I will return it the first time I have a reinforce- 
ment from Westhay. By the bye, I think my 
Mother and Sisters are by this time at Grasmere. 
If they are, do not let them know one syllable of 
my poverty. 

" I will now tell you what my studies are. Ever 
since I came here I have been employing the after- 
noons in studying Algebra. Mr. G. is a violent lover 
of Mathematics, and has indeed attended a great 
deal more to that than to the classics. He was of 
Sydney Sussex at Cambridge. I have just read with 
him a most difficult piece of Greek, and, as I am 
told, the most difficult in the language : I mean the 
1 Funeral Oration of Pericles/ extracted from Thucy- 
dides. At present I am. reading e Longinus de 
Sublimitate ' and Quintilian, previously to which 
latter I read a good deal in Livy ; but finding it too 
easy to improve myself in the difficulties of the 
language, I, by the advice of Mr. G., am now read- 
ing Quintiliau. Mr. G. is a man as different to old 


Boak as Nero was from Trajan. He is a perfect 
Gentleman, being related to several noble families 
in the Kingdom, and having been accustomed to mix 
in the higher circles. He permits me to do exactly 
what I choose, equally as if I was at the Univer- 
sity, and on that account never finds his easiness 
abused. The whole family is perfectly genteel, 
especially the daughters. They have been brought 
up in the solid and useful branches of education, 
without all those vain and contemptible things which 
are at present thought to be necessary ' accomplish- 
ments. 1 Mrs. G. is a woman of good family, and 
still retains much of her former beauty. Miss G. is 
about 28, being a complete Mathematician and Latin 
and Greek scholar. All the others have learnt 
more or less of Mathematics. There are 4 daughters 
and 2 sons. By the bye, Mr. G. published a book 2 or 
3 years ago entitled c An Introduction to the Study 
of Moral Evidence, or of that Species of Eeasoning 
which relates to Matters of Fact and Practice/ It 
went through two editions. Have you ever met 
with it ? If you have not, you can see mine when- 
ever we meet. It is a book which the Edinburgh 
Review, seemed afraid to handle. 1 Price 43. 6d. 
Will you let me hear from you as soon as 
possible ? 

1 Mr. Gambler's book appears to have met with a considerable suc- 
cess. It was originally published in 1806 ; a second edition appeared 
in 1808; and a third and much enlarged edition was issued in 1844. 
The title is correctly given above, and it contained an Appendix " On 
Debating for Victory and not for Truth "certainly not the least wise 
and practical part of the book. He was incumbent of St. Mary-le- 
Strand, Westminster, as well as Hector of Langley, Kent. 


" If the Westhayians are with you, give my love, 
and believe me your truly affectionate Brother, 



" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 


"LANGLEY, June yd, 1811. 

DEAR BROTHER, Some time ago I wrote to 
you for the purpose of requesting you to lend me, if 
it were convenient to you, 2. As, however, I have 
not yet had any communication from you, I con- 
clude that my letter never reached the place of its 
destination. If this should be the case, it will be 
necessary for me to re-explain, as I did in that letter, 
the causes which have reduced me to making this 
request. It was not long since I wrote to my 
Mother for a supply, which she transmitted me ; 
but it was accompanied with a veto against making 
another call soon. This call, however, I am under 
the necessity of making somewhere or other; but 
I would rather be penniless (as I at present am) 
than ask my Mother for any more. She would say 
I am dreadfully extravagant, though, in fact, she is 
totally unaware that I have to pay every little bill 
which I incur here, since Mr. G. is not in the habit 
of paying any small bills for us. So it comes to pass 
that I have scarcely had any money to spend upon 
myself. Nay, I have not even wherewith to pay a 
letter's postage. If, however, you could be good 
enough, without inconvenience to yourself, to lend me 


^2, I should be much obliged to you. I forget 
whether I told you my direction ; but lest I should 
not, be good enough to direct to me at ' Eev d J. E. 
Gambler's, Langley, Maidstone, Kent/ I will return 
it, the next instalment I receive from Westhay. I 
also requested in my last letter (which I suppose to 
be lost) that you would send at the same time my 
certificate of being a member of Brazen Nose. If 
you remember, you told me that, as I might possibly 
lose it, you would keep it for me. In case, though, 
you should yourself have lost it (which I should not 
be greatly surprised to hear, as I suppose it migrated 
into those bottomless chests of metaphysics 'from 
which no traveller returns '), I say that in this case 
it will not, as I should imagine, be of any material 
consequence to go to Oxford without it. If, how- 
ever, it should be forthcoming, I will be obliged to 
you to send it when you write. Let me know also 
whether my Mother and sisters are with you at this 
present time. I know that was their intention, but 
have not heard one syllable from them or from any 
one else since the loth of April. ' tempora ! 
Mores ! ' I wrote to Eichard a short time since, but 
have not heard one word from him yet. I fear that 
that letter also miscarried. 1 intended, had my 
finances permitted, to have made a pedestrian tour 
from hence to Chatham, and so all along the sea-coast 
to Dover, during the holidays, which commence on 
the 2oth, but I fear I must relinquish the scheme. 

" I have a great wish to know how you stand as 
to health. Is not your cottage now surrounded with 


roses, and do you not ' rifle all the breathing 
spring ' ? I am fagging hard at Longinus, Quintilian, 
and Mathematics. 

All the family are well. Pray write immediate] y, 
if possible. Believe me your truly affectionate 
Brother, H. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, "Westmoreland." 


"GRASMERE, Saturday, June 8th, 1811. 

(< MY DEAR BROTHER, Your second letter respect- 
ing the loan of 2 [dated June 3rd], I received late 
last night: your former letter, dated May I3th, had 
not [as you suppose] miscarried ; it had reached me 
duly ; but the truth is that it found me without any 
money ; I had therefore, first of all, to write to 
Manchester for money ; and then a second delay in 
sending the bill, which I received from Manchester, 
to Keswick that it might be discounted. This being 
effected, I was just purposing to write by the next 
post, when your last letter arrived. I now enclose 
you two Bank-of-England notes for one pound each 
Nos. 1/430 and 18992. I shall be in Town some 
time next winter ; so that it will be better to repay 
me then [if you should find it convenient] than at 
any earlier time ; since, by sending the money in a 
letter, double postage at the least is incurred which 
I dislike as an expense out of proportion to the 
smallness of the sum. I am sorry that it should be 


necessary for me to say anything about repayment ; 
but my present income is so limited that every 
shilling is important to me. I take the liberty of 
suggesting to you that, if bills are presented to you 
for payment which my mother supposes to be paid 
by Mr. Gambler, it cannot be necessary to do 
more than barely to state that fact for your full 
justification in drawing upon her for more money. 
Do not suppose, from my saying this, that I feel any 
reluctance to lend you the money ; on the contrary, 
I have great pleasure in accommodating you ; and 
beg that, if you should be in any difficulties hereafter, 
you will at least mention them to me, that I may 
assist you as far as my means allow. But yet excuse 
me for reminding you how impossible it is, with 
your fortune, to live without economy ; and yet, if 
undilapidated, what an invaluable freedom as to 
your choice of profession and what vast assistance 
for creating a gentleman's competency in any pro- 
fession that fortune will secure to you ! 

" The Westhay party are not yet arrived ; nor, I 
believe, on their road. My last account of them was 
dated May 3rd, at which time they were waiting to 
adjust the dispute about the tithes with an agent of 
Lord Darlington's, who was not expected before the 
beginning of this month. I shall of course say 
nothing to them about your application. 

" Mr. Gambier's tract I have not read, though I 
have often heard of it. As to the approbation of the 
Edinburgh Keviewers whether expressed, or [more 
honourably to Mr. G.] implied in their fear to grapple 


with it, whether sincere or insincere, I cannot say 
that with me it has any weight at all : in whatever 
numbers of the Edinburgh Review I have ever seen, 
their errors and ignorance in those parts of know- 
ledge which deal with definite and tangible subjects 
even [as Political Economy, &c.], would alone have 
been sufficient to convince me that their power is 
grounded on the weakness of their readers and their 
opponents. But tbat on which I chiefly rest my 
contempt of the Edinburgh Review is its utter 
feebleness [not merely error, which may often 
consist with strength] as intellectual power in 
all those parts of knowledge which are employed 
about the indefinite [e.g., Moral Philosophy ^Esthe- 
tics Legislation Metaphysics, in the English latitu- 
diuarian use of that word] ; on subjects of which 
class only can any truly great and Kare^o^v intellec- 
tual power be manifested. Their papers on mathe- 
matics, I am told, have gained them much credit ; 
but I must ask with whom ? What known mathe- 
maticians are there at this time in England whose 
testimony to their merits can be of any value ? 
These papers, however, I have never examined, and 
upon them therefore am not entitled to an opinion ; 
[once, indeed, I read a page or two, in their account 
of a work of La Place's or some other French mathe- 
matician, which convinced me that they were utterly 
unacquainted with the history at least of Continental 
mathematics and with the claims of the Germans]. 
I shall, however, go through those articles the next 
time that the Edinb. Rev. falls in my way. From 


all tins I do not mean to infer that Mr. Gambler's 
book cannot be a good one because the Ed. Reviewers 
have happened [whether positively or indirectly] to 
express their respect for it ; for it may be a good 
book in spite of their respect ; but simply to remind 
you [for I think I must have said it to you before] 
that to me at least such respect is no recommenda- 
tion of a book. 

"To-morrow morning is a post-morning from 
Ambleside ; and, as we have but four post-days in a 
week from Ambleside, and have also much difficulty 
in getting our letters conveyed as far as Ambleside 
[which is between 3 and 4 miles from my house], I 
think it not right to miss an opportunity which now 
offers, of sending it thither by a careful person ; as I 
should thus not only miss to-morrow's post but also 
be obliged to keep the letter back, several days per- 
haps, for want of a conveyance to the post-office. 
I would otherwise have written more at length. 
Believe me, dear brother, most affectionately 

" If you write soon to Westhay, you can mention 
to them that you have heard from me, which I shall 
understand as an intimation that the money reached 

" I had nearly forgotten to say anything about 
your certificate of matriculation : I have it very 
safe ; but, as I never heard of anybody's being re- 
quired to produce his certificate, I think that I had 
better return it to you in the winter when perhaps 


you can join me in London for a few days : for it 
would add to the postage ; and, if the letter should 
be lost, would be irrecoverable. You need have no 
doubt of its being safe in my hands ; I never lose 


" Rev. J. E. Gambler's, Langley, Maidstone, Kent." 


"ARDWICK, August 1811. 

" MY DEAR BROTHER, Last week my Mother re- 
ceived a letter from Mr. Gnmbier, informing her that, 
having discovered the existence of an attachment 
between Henry and one of his daughters, and having, 
as he said, spoken to both parties on the subject 
without success, he must beg her to inform her son 
where to go, as he could not keep him any longer 
in his house. He regrets to part with him, but 
considers himself bound in honour to put a stop to 
anything of this kind which concerns one of his 
pupils. My Mother has written to endeavour to 
prevail on Mr. G. to keep him till October, when he 
goes to Oxford, hinting to him that violent measures 
were not likely to produce the effect he desired. 
This being done, she informed us that if Mr. Gambier 
would not keep him, it would be necessary to return 
home and receive him there. Jane and I were at 
that moment going out to dine with Mrs. Elsdale, 
and had therefore no time to combat this plan, but 
contented ourselves with thinking it too monstrous 


to be put in execution. The next morning, however, 
she got up, having determined that it was more 
advisable to go on to you, and endeavour to procure 
a lodging for him at Grasmere. But as she had told 
Mr. G. she would await his answer here, and none 
having arrived this morning, I am under the grievous 
necessity of informing you that we are not to set off 
till Thursday. If we do not arrive at your door on 
Friday Evening just as the Kettle boils over, con- 
clude we are dead, dying, or mad. The valuables 
you enquire after were put into a box containing 
books, which was sent off three weeks since in the 
waggon. My Mother's illness has been of the same 
nature as mine, and was probably hastened on by 
her attendance upon me. She is still weak and 
unable to bear company. Northern air, our Doctor 
says, is the best thing in the world for both of us. 

11 After dinner: Mrs. Kelsall waiting for my 
letter. I am very sorry that you will not receive 
this till "Wednesday. Notwithstanding the checks 
which I have received by these continual delays, my 
spirits have risen to such an extraordinary height 
in the near prospect of seeing you that I am hardly 
like a civilised creature. Once more adieu till we 
meet. Your affectionate M. DE QUINCEY. 


" Grasmere, Ambleside, Westmoreland." 




"2gth August 1814. 

"DEAR THOMAS, After calling at Townend at 6 
or 7 different periods, and remaining there latterly 
the whole of 22nd and 23rd inst., T at length 'gave 
up the ghost/ for I perceived that at least nothing 
more than your ghost made its appearance, and not 
even that to my waking visions. After visiting the 
Scotch Lakes and the Clyde falls, I stepped down 
to the English Lakes all which, as well as Lowther 
Castle, I saw in 4^- days, to my full satisfaction, for 
with most of them I was much disappointed. From 
thence I went to Liverpool, where I stayed 4 days, 
and then departed for Whitehaven. With the help 
of 4 horses, I reached it just as the mail was going 
on board. Went on board and cleared the harbour 
at 1 1 at night ; and after a dreadful passage of 40 
hours (during which nothing but puking was heard 
on the gale) we arrived in Douglas Harbour, Isle of 
Man. Next Day but one, hired the packet, and 
sailed from Peel town, and after a passage of 18 
hours (during which we were driven 30 miles down 
Channel) landed at Ardglass, county of Down. Hence 
I procured a carr (i.e., a common cart) as far as 
Downpatrick, 8 miles, from which place I proceeded 
in chaises to Newry, Co. of Armagh, arriving there 
at 9 in the evening. The Dublin Mail being quite 
full that night, I was content to sleep there, and in 
the morning proceeded in chaises to Dublin, 50 miles 


(64 English) ; and owing to bad driving did not pass 
Santiy Wood (the nest of Collyer and his Satellites, 
and the place where the Belfast mail was stopped) till 
10 that night. The post-boys drove past it at full 
speed, being much more alarmed than I was, as they 
said they never had passed it so late in their lives. 

" We arrived, however, safely at Prince of Wales's 
Hotel, Sackville St., where I stayed 5 days, for the 
sake of viewing Dublin and being present at the 
grand musical festival, attended by Catalani, M dme 
Bianchi Lacy, and M dme Ferlendio, as also Signor 
Chiodi, a very fine Bass singer. It was Sunday 
evening when I got to Dublin, and on Monday 
morning heard the * Messiah' very finely performed. 
Catalani exerted all her powers. As soon as the 
Lord Lieutenant and Duchess of Dorset entered, the 
whole orchestra struck up ' God save the King,' 
which was most divinely sung by Catalani solo. 
The following day I attended a concert at the Rotunda 
at which was a very crowded, though rather mixed 
company. Madame Gerbini on the violin and Lindley 
on the violoncello astonished without pleasing. But 
a performer who accompanied Catalani on the Oboe 
was most enchanting. On the following Friday was 
exhibited a very grand display of Fireworks given 
by Lord Whitworth but at these I did not think 
it worth while to be present, so departed the day 
previous for Limerick, thence to Killarney, Cork, 
Cove of Cork, Clonmell, Waterford, Wexford, and 
Wicklow, back to Dublin ; thence to Belfast, which 
is the most beautiful brick-built town in the 3 


KiDgdoms, and contains 40 thousand inhabitant?. 
Proceeding to Donaghadee, I crossed in Packet to 
Port Patrick, arriving there at 1 2 night of Saturday 
2Oth August, where I found to my joy that, the mail 
for Carlisle not starting till next morning, I might 
enjoy 6 hours' sleep, having travelled 108 hours 
without closing my eyes. Monday at 4 A.M. arrived 
at Carlisle, and went by chaises to Grasmere, where 
I stayed two days then proceeded to Bolton Abbey 
and Leeds, whence the Mail brought me to London. 
As I did not think it worth while to stop till morn- 
ing for Eockingham, the fare in which is raised as 
high as Mail fare, i.e., 4 guineas ; but I was sorry 
I did not take the Eockingham, as it is only one 
night on the road, and the Mail 2 nights. Nothing 
should induce me to set foot in Ireland again, as I 
may safely affirm it to be in all respects the most 
detestable country in the world with not one beauti- 
ful spot but Killarney, and even there the air is 
poisoned with Eoman Catholics. Excuse this abrupt 
ending, but truly a Eoman Catholic is to me so 
detestable, that if I thought one of them could go 
to Heaven, I should prefer the other World. 

"The two Theatres are coming out in a fort- 
night with such magnificent alterations as cannot till 
seen be conceived. In a fortnight or so I think of 
going to Bath. Your affectionate 


" When last in Kendal I had no money, but a bill 
on London, which Kelsall had sent me. On present- 


ing it for cash at the bank there, they did not much 
like changing it, as the two first names of indorse- 
ment were scratched out ; and they would not have 
it without I could mention some respectable name 
about Kendal. I therefore mentioned tbat you were 
my Brother. If, therefore, they send the bill back to 
you, be so kind as to pay it for me (15 pounds), and 
I will immediately enclose you the money, on re- 
ceiving the bill enclosed from you, as in that case 
I must return it to Kelsall. 


" Wrington, Bristol." 

Henry de Quincey, who, on attaining manhood, 
developed very decided marks of phthisis, died at 
the early age of twenty-seven, at Bristol. 



" Feb. 23, i CHURCH ST., BATHWICK, 
"BATH, 1829. 

"My DEAR SON, I am so exceedingly anxious for 
some further Tidings that I can no longer endure 
the feverish watching of the post-hour day by day ; 
not only Margaret's state, but your whole condition 
I would know, if I possibly could ; for you may re- 
member that you not only left very fearful appre- 
hensions alive as to the twofold evils of your wife's 
affliction, but also made me feel that your own 
health and spirits were much broken, as well as, by 
implication at least, to draw something very like 
a conclusion that on the I4th of this month your 
resources would be closed up. Now, the whole 
account, so much beyond most former grievous com- 
munications, has left an abiding foreboding with me 
on all and every part of your trouble. And as I feel 
much, I must also say, having no intention of stand- 
ing aloof from your family in distress, I wrote to 
my Brother after your first letter, and have received 
more than one enquiry from him, and on Friday 
could no longer delay telling him that I heard no 



more ; so I suppose he may think all things restored 
to their usual state, though I told him I did not, but, 
on the contrary, was entirely occupied in preparing 
my mind to meet a difficult and painful development 
of affairs. 

" Your Uncle is a kind Man, with some pecu- 
liarities, but none which bring his good qualities into 
question ; and though he will not come here to meet 
Jane, with whom he is sadly offended, certainly not 
without reason, he expressed a wish to meet me, and 
that to discuss the means of giving help in case your 
poor Children should be left without the care of a 
Mother, though he would on no account appear in 
the matter. When I was staying at Mr. Roworth's 
in July, this really kind Man came down to Bristol 
privately to meet me fur one day at an Hotel, when, 
though I neither could nor would attempt to persuade 
him to live with us again, I thought I might have 
brought him nearer, but failed utterly : so that 
(as I cannot but say my good Brother's infirmity is 
suspicion, where there is the least appearance of 
reserve, of something in the background) I cannot 
but wish myself more in possession of the whole 
truth of your condition, quite as much, I am sure, 
on account of your family as for any other reason ; 
I may certainly say for no reason which is not com- 
bined with that one paramount interest. 

"Mr. Serle and Jane have both thought that an 
Indian family, who have laid themselves down to 
serve and please my Brother, have crooked ends to 
secure. 1 do not, however, lend myself to that 


thought ; first, because I think well of these friends ; 
and, secondly, I believe my Brother to be a Man of 
the strictest justice ; and although he will not en- 
counter Jane, he offered in her suffering state to 
take her to Cheltenham, that is, to find the money, 
if medical men advised the trial, so that his kindness 
is no more extinguished than his integrity. 

" Strictly, I believe I am not quite right in saying 
this much, but surely you will see what impels me 
to say it. I am now ever your affectionate Mother, 



"Porteous's Lodgings, 18 Duncan Street, Edinburgh." 


"April 1 8, 1829, BATH, 

" MY DEAR SON, Doubly pressed to write by my 
anxiety to hear of you and by my intelligence yester- 
day that my Brother will be here on Thursday next, 
23rd, from whom I have had several enquiries which 
I could only answer by saying ' no letter.' Yesterday 
he says, ' I wish I could hear anything good of poor 
Mr. Quincey's wife.' Oh then, good or bad, do not 
let your Uncle think you scorn his really kindly 
excited interest for Margaret. I wonder it does not 
occur to you that I can hardly help fearing, since 
what you said of William and your promise of a letter 
in 4 days on 28th March, that something dreadful 
may have occurred about William or as you were 
sick with grief then (though that is a slow-killing 


malady), you may now by more channels than one be 
drinking deeply of sorrow. I do sincerely advise you 
to write immediately, for your Uncle makes only a 
flying visit in his road elsewhere, and must needs 
think affairs not so bad which are not worth com- 
municating to anxious friends. Surely at the worst 
you could use another pen to say a few words. 

" I will say no more on this subject, and only, in 
answer to other parts of your last letter, tell you, if 
you knew how my mind has been disturbed by the 
Catholic business, you would easily believe that I 
require no apology for the like effect on others, and 
though I do not feel exactly with you, I see enough 
to make me tremble. I have had long misgivings 
of any judgment I could form about it. Had the 
time, and spirit of the time, been more favourable 
for enquiry, I felt that my scanty knowledge and 
mere common sense (as I saw in others) might 
sooner make me a Babbler than a Judge, so that, at 
the utmost, on the direct point at issue, I only said 
my feelings are not satisfied that the Bill should pass, 
neither could I repose myself on the integrity of anti- 
Christian Rulers to legislate for us in this great affair. 
After saying this much, I can now add that I do not 
think emancipation the worst thing now before us : 
it comes of our wicked misrule of Ireland, and could 
not perhaps be long delayed ; and being convinced 
that a large proportion of the best men, and very 
able ones too, have long been of that opinion, not 
only that we could not help it, but that the measure 
is absolutely a right and a duty owing; though few, 


I presume, think the Catholics will desist from the 
prosecution of all their objects. The College of 
Maynooth, and our thereby providing an idolatrous 
Priesthood, this long-since committed transgression, 
still continued, is most grievous. I fully expect that, 
sooner or later, the bitter trial will come upon our 
Church and nation which both good and bad men 
have seen from far. It is but too clear that infidelity 
holds one-half of our Houses of Parliament fast, and 
formality or indifference the rest. The best hope is 
that there is a spirit in the people at large, not yet 
extinct, of religious feeling, and a zealous application 
is now being made to that feeling by hundreds of good 
men not to disturb the country, but to submit to 
the laws, and to turn to God in earnest care for their 
souls : these men are the true friends of all, though 
equally hated by the High Churchmen and Infidels. 
Lords Eldon and Lansdown, I fancy, like Herod and 
Pilate, w r ould be good friends if they could effect the 
laudable service of extirpating the Evangelicals. 

" On the Catholic question, the letter of Dr. 
Wilson met the floating, confused thoughts which 
had taken possession of my mind indeed I had the 
thoughts, but knew not how to turn them to any 
use ; but his letter has at least given me the con- 
viction that so it must be, and I seem to perceive 
a light springing up in the gloom, of a revival of 
religion : to use Mr. Serle's words now before me, 
' I consider the Duke of Wellington as an instrument 
to work for higher and better ends than any he has 
proposed or ever dreamed of/ You need not, how- 


ever, fancy that I subscribe to Mr. Wilson's sanguine 
Lopes without a fiery purification. The truth is, as 
to my feelings, that a Church like ours, arrived at 
such overgrown wealth, filled with the profligate sons 
or relations of the nobility, wants pulling down. 

" I now finish as I began, begging for a letter 
by Friday Morning, and am ever your affectionate 
Mother, E. QUINCEY. 


"Porteous's Lodgings, 18 Duncan Street, Edinburgh." 


" WESTON LEA, July 30, 1835. 

" MY DEAR SON, We are now about to send off the 
Chest containing your Uncle's Wardrobe, plate, and 
household linen, devised to you. I should now ouly 
be rejoicing to think of its comfort to you all, but I 
must now append to this announcement some uneasy 
thoughts which are busy to disturb my complacency, 
for I cannot help recollectiug that when, in a time 
past, you were contriving one of your migrations, you 
spoke of selling your Goods and Chattels as an agree- 
able expedient ! Now, as I may truly say we have 
not kept to the amount named in the will, in plate 
and linen, and have sent the Chest fuller and closer 
packed than it was received, it would add to my 
bitter regrets, both to think of my folly and your 
scorn, of our goodwill in the surrender of our rights 
and your disrespect to your Uncle's memory ; and I 
need hardly add you would sell for a small sum, 


plated things for nothing, what you could not buy 
for a large one. 

" I have sent also, packed at the bottom of the 
Chest, the Books promised, namely, Scott's Bible and 
Commentary, with the manuscript Prayers, and also 
a small vol. of printed prayers, which with all the 
Scotch words, or, I should say, combinations of words 
which do not always suit my ear, I think much better 
than my labours have produced; that is to say, breath- 
ing a higher, purer air than mine ; so you may see I 
do not, like you and Mr. Ord, contemn all Scotch 
things : of English things, men, and manners I have 
not much good to say at present. The exposure of 
popery as it ever was and must be has just given 
a shake to English sleepers, but I fear they will soon 
go to sleep again. This City [Bath] is perfectly 
entranced and in love with Dr. Baines' popery and 
music : I mean its gentry, and two-thirds of the 
whole population, if not more, thoroughly Radical. 
I have a good hope young Margaret will like Char- 
lotte Elizabeth's ' Siege of Derry,' which I send her 
with a Grandmother's love. My poor Brother was 
listening to the conclusion of this story, the tears 
falling down his furrowed cheeks, at the moment of 
his seizure, which in 16 hours ended the mortal 

" The Cheltenham Executor has been here, and 
is now in London, with the other acting Executor. 
"When they have proved the Will and wound up the 
affairs, I suppose you will receive your first payment; 
but, lest you should be deceiving yourself about the 


amount of your Uncle's property, I can, with sufficient 
precision, assure you it is little, though quite as much 
as I expected it could be. His income as Senior 
Col. in the service, with off reckonings, Batta, and 
other outlandish things, were altogether considerable, 
but died with him ; and his disposable property, all 
very honestly obtained, when the various legacies, 
debts, and last expenses are discharged, over and 
above your ^100 a year, will be to me for my life 
as residuary Annuitant, and probably at the utmost 
may amount to ^400 per an. ,200 of which I 
have received from my Brother ever since Westhay 
was sold, which he gave me in place of the ^6000 
which it sold for ; so that my addition will be about 
more or less than ^200. At my death this divides 
between you and Jane ; I mean the whole ^400 
divides between you as income. "While I Jive I 
shall pay you ^100 a year, and conditionally some- 
thing more. But I must now enter on some very 
painful subjects : ist. I have heard and noticed 
before, though you replied not, that you are still 
an Opium-Eater, and this dreadful Drug, as it is its 
nature to ruin the unhappy recipient, thus acts on 
you, destroying alike both the will and the power to 
discharge all bounden duties, to the full extent which 
the more common forms of intoxication effect ! Well, 
with all you wrote so well before me, of poor Cole- 
ridge's dying opium misery, I am lost in the saddest 
wonder, and what I have further to say, however 
grievous, can be no wonder at all. That you write, 
in a disreputable Magazine, on subjects and in a 


spirit afflicting, as I hear too, to your real friends, 
I suppose may be accounted for in this way, that to 
the last moment of opium delirium, you will not write 
where you might with honor and no compromise of 
your professed principles ; money being spent, and 
no choice left, you take up with Mr. Tait ! Another 
report I rejected as quite incredible, namely, that your 
Children's education is neglected. 

"I am so overcome with the great heat of the 
weather that I find it difficult to write at all, being 
by reflection, I believe, from Jane's afflicting malady, 
almost as nervous as she, poor creature ! is ; but I am 
so touched with your Children's misfortune, that I 
am ready to help them, if I may be permitted. I 
therefore propose that you shall procure and enforce 
the instruction which I will pay for ; but observe, I 
must and will only pay the School Bills, or if, as is 
here the case, a day Governess is to be had who gives 
a certain set time, which the Pupils are diligently 
to work upon, so as to produce the expected results to 
the Teacher the next day. I mention this mode, if 
to be had, as the best ; but you may conclude that 
this is an object close upon my best affections, and 
for nothing else will I advance the money. I have 
long been too certain that you were bringing up 
your Sons in idleness, but hoping they were to be 
made scholars and their minds taught to work, I 
supposed they would be kept from falling necessarily 
into profligacy, and live by literature, but I know 
not where or what now to hope ; and my son, if 
they are all brought up in idle ignorance, what but 


the worst can be expected ? I am sure of this, that 
a Parent with your means who does this is utterly 
unworthy of Children ; but still, in the present time, 
where must the wages of this bad work fall the 
heaviest ? In this time, bad as it is in many points, 
to bring up girls in idle ignorance is only to make 
them victims, not prepared to take their place among 
industrious people labouring for bread, yet too igno- 
rant to be received elsewhere ! ! I cannot express 
my feelings as I ought ; I can only proffer my help ; 
and if you can possibly be angry to hear the truth, I 
too well remember what you said touching my respect 
for the lowly virtues to be surprised, though not 
shaken in my well-assured convictions." 

[It is all too evident from this letter that De 
Quincey's mother was the recipient of mischievous 
gossip on many points ; and her very formal and 
severe condemnation of Mr. Tait and his magazine 
would suffice to show how little she was fitted to 
judge or to advise in such matters, while the very 
spirit and tone of her letter was only too likely to 
rob it of any such effect as she intended and honestly 
meant that it should have. As to the education of 
the children, though in their more youthful years it 
was perhaps more fitful and irregular than it might 
have been, it was always attended to ; and not only 
so, but many lessons in generosity and self-denial 
towards each other enforced in the most winning 
and touching ways. As to the sons, as they grew 
up their education was made a special care ; and the 


positions they secured and maintained with honour 
is the best witness for their father's carefulness in 
this respect, for he was the only tutor they ever had. 
But in this letter of his mother's, as in many others, 
it is evident at once how anxious and tender was 
her concern for the welfare of her children and her 
children's children, and how apt, by too strong ex- 
pressions and too ready acceptance of other people's 
opinions, she was to undo all the effects which other- 
wise she might have produced.] 


LETTERS OF 1836-8. 

AMONG the letters for the years 1836-8, we find the 
following three, which may be given here the first 
for the illustration it gives of Mrs. de Quincey's 
resolution and self-denial ; for it tells that she rose 
from her bed in her last illness (she died in August 
1837) to serve the interests of her children. In 
explanation of the letter, it may be mentioned that 
Francis, De Quincey's son, had been sent, for change 
of air and scene, to a place near Penrith : 


" Postage Paid. Keep this letter. Half-a-crown for it. 

" Wednesday, March 2, 1836. 

" MY DEAR FRANCIS, Here is your money; namely, 
One Five-Pound Note of Sir W m Forbes's Bank, 
N 4" a ? , 2 May 1829. To-morrow comes Anne's 
money ; namely, Twenty Pounds in 2 Ten-Pound 
Notes of the same Bank. 

" Now then, as to the use and application of 
this money : First of all, order your clothes after 
your own fancy : only, do not get any long coat 

VOL. II. I77 M 

178 LETTERS OF 1836-8. 

but a jacket of any form you like. In to-morrow's 
letter I will say everything about your journey ; and 
I will advise you about the day : but observe I 
will leave you free to do as you please as to the time. 
Only, you must attend to my direction about the 
mode of coming. 

" Farewell till to-morrow. Your Mama sends you 
a thousand kisses : and much you are indebted to 
her in this very matter of the money. For had she 
not got out of her bed, though very ill, to go before 
the Lord Provost and sign various Deeds, no money 
could have been got for you. Your affectionate 


The next letter, which must belong to 1837 or 
1838 (it is wholly without date), shows the annoy- 
ances De Quincey received from the liberties taken 
by sub-editors and printers' readers with his proofs, 
as they are very apt to do with the proofs of other 
people. Here is De Quincey's protest thoroughly 
characteristic : 

" Mr. de Quincey presents his Compliments to Mr. 
Hughes, and would beg the favour of his interfering, 
before it is too late, to recover for him either the 
MS. or the Proof of 

" i. The close of his paper on Maynooth : 
" 2. A note on the speech of Mr. Macaulay. 

LETTERS OF 1836-8. 179 

" At the same time he would observe that some 
unknown person at the Press is constantly doing 
him the most serious injuries. He has a list of some 
15 to 25 cases, where capricious and generally most 
injurious changes have been made after the whole 
press arrangements Proofs, Eevises, &c. had been 
closed ; never with any application to himself for 
a sanction of these changes ; and, if the changes 
happened to be by omissions, never with the slight 
courtesy of transmitting a copy to himself. 

"A striking instance of the rashness with which 
such changes are made occurred last month. The 
unknown persecutor, who follows in Mr. de Quincey's 
steps doing secretly whatever mischief he can, took 
upon himself to make the two following changes : 
" i. A note upon the word Transcendental, ab- 
solutely indispensable to liberate the word 
from the grossest pedantry, he struck out : 
" 2. But, which was worse (as totally perverting 
the sense) he altered ' The dust to dust 
ascended' into c The dust to dust descended/ 
If this had been right, he, the unknown 
corrector, might have relied on it that Mr. 
de Quincey's eye is too accurate to have 
neglected it. His mistake arose from under- 
standing the dust to dust of the thing, where- 
as it was the word [viz., in English Burial 
Service] which was really meant. The thing 
descended ; but the words ascended. 
" In the papers on Ricardo it was probably the 
same person who substituted for the correct word 

i8o LETTERS OF 1836-8. 

Calendar, and 3 times over, the monster of a word 
Calenderer : which evidently grew out of the follow- 
ing blunder : It is a local peculiarity of Edinburgh 
to call a ' mangle ' a calender : which arose originally 
on the same principle as the term * Dumb-waiter ; ' 
i.e., the name of a person, indicating an office, trans- 
ferred to a thing. The calender of Edinb., though 
expressing a thing, does so under the idea of a 
person. But this unknown critic, not aware of this, 
supposing a calender always to indicate a thing, and 
seeing that in the Ric. papers a person was meant, 
fancied he would make it a person by adding the 
syll. er, which made up such a monster of a word as 
was never heard of before." 

And it is evident that he suffered evils of the same 
kind later. Here is one of his protests : 


"Mr. Troup is quite unaware of the injury he has 
already done me. 

" i. Who is answerable for the beauty, for the 
grandeur, for the effect of my papers ? Can he 
pretend to say I will be so ? He cannot. He might 
as well say : You shall act as I think morally right, 
and I become answerable for the result. It is im- 
possible. Every man must answer for himself. He 
cuts away one-half from Michael Angelo's Sistine 
Chapel, and says I will be responsible. He sends 
for a house-painter to coat with paint the Trans- 

LETTERS OF 1836-8. 181 

figuration of Kaphael, and holds that if he bears the 
blame, no harm is done. 

" 2. But where or how does he bear the blame? 
My name is there : his is not." 


The fourth is a funny little note to one of his 
best friends of that period, Miss Elizabeth Miller : 

" Wednesday, May 9, 1838. 

" MY DEAR Miss ELIZABETH, You see what a very 
little shred I have left of note-paper; from which 
follows one consequence that you will and must 
approve, if you should find nothing else to approve, 
in this billet viz., its brevity : brief, you perceive, 
it must be ; that is its necessity. But I shall endea- 
vour to turn this necessity into a merit : and how ? 
simply by substituting for this brevity of pure 
negation [viz., the not saying much] a positive and 
meritorious brevity, the difficult Spartan brevity, 
which does say much and even piques itself on 
saying much, but within a very little compass. 

" Well : having thus spent one side of my paper, 
one page out of two, upon mere preface, how hard 
I must work to fetch up the lost ground ! And how 
can I be so absurd as to go on wasting more of my 
narrow space in idle regrets for having already wasted 
so much ? How indeed ? Vastly I should admire 
the man that could throw any light upon that 

182 LETTERS OF 1836-8. 

problem : but I have a notion that much of tins 
absurdity is due to the steel pen with which I am 
now writing ; for I find that these metallic pens are 
always leading me astray. However, if I ever am to 
come to business, let it be whilst I still have a little 
relique of space at my disposal. 

"First, then, and this (be it known to you, fair 
lady !) formed the original and the sole purpose of 
my billet, the one only reason for writing at all, 
I am uneasy to-day, aud in fact very uneasy under 
an apprehension that last night by what I meant 
for the most inoffensive and playful raillery never- 
theless and in fact you were sometimes annoyed or 
even hurt. "What reason have I for this apprehen- 
sion ? Little or none, I must admit, beyond your 
having once or twice suddenly looked grave : and 
that is not much undoubtedly : but a little reason 
becomes a strong one, you know, where the thing 
feared would being realised inflict more than 
usual pain ; as upon me it would to have caused 
even a moment's annoyance to any member of your 
family. Secondly, but that, being the most interest- 
ing article of my note, its Spartan gem, I shall [after 
the example of your sex generally, unless they are 
grievously belied] throw into a Postscript. Mean- 
time I remain ever, my dear Miss Eliz., your faithful 



THE fact that so many letters of De Quincey's were 
already used in the Memoir gave little hope of any 
fresh " finds " from his hands ; but, from various 
sources, a few belonging to the years 1854 and 1856 
have come to our hands ; and these we shall present 
here, just stitched together, as we may say, with a 
thread or two of comment. The first is a playful 
diatribe against a friend for failing to date his letters, 
a fault from which, as De Quincey recognises, he was 
not himself by any means exempt. He was prone 
not only to substitute the day of the week, written at 
full, instead of day of month or the year, and, what is 
still worse (particularly in view of autographs, and 
their increased value by age), he was prone to give 
no signature at all, as if his sign-manual lay so in- 
dubitably dispersed through the whole tenor of the 
letter that there was no necessity to gather it up 
in full-beaming individuality at the end. To his 
daughters, indeed, he hardly ever signed himself one 
way or another, and would sometimes despatch his 
missives with no winding-up whatever, as though his 

correspondence was meant to be continuous, and one 



epistle just to be tacked on to the end of the other. 
But here is the letter : 


"MAVIS BUSH COTTAGE, March 30, 1854. 
" MY DEAR SIR, This morning I received, and 
with very great pleasure, your letter dated not at all ; 
that is, not dated by yourself, but by the motherly 
old Post Office [whose dilapidated roof, you know, 
finds itself of late clothed in purple and gold as a 

' national grievance '] dated thus MAR. 29 H . I am 

sure it must be a secret spiritual consolation to 
every gentleman who in his race and strife with 
Brandy knows how easily he may be overtaken by 
the dreadful potentate, that in such a case his own 
errata and oversights will be corrected and sup- 
plied by the benign old lady in Glassford Street. 
A good creature she really is but also a mysterious 
creature. For mark those deep cryptical symbols, 
held aloft like blazing cressets to some distant 
corresponding scoundrel H close after the 29, 
and underneath the whole, as the basis of some 
inconceivable knavery, that tetragonic numeral or 
digit 4. What is the first impulse on finding 
oneself imcferwritten [as they say at Lloyd's], and 
overwritten [as they say in no rational place that I 
am aware of], and round-about-written [as they never 
will say] in short, s^erscribed, subtersciibed, cir- 


c^wscribed what, I ask, is the first, the earliest 
impulse ? Why, this Like the faithful slave in the 
Forty Thieves [what is her name is it Margiana ?], 
one seeks to indorse H and 4 upon all the letters of 
one's friends ; so that, if one has no chance of being 
symbolic anywhere else, he might indulge it here, 
and rely on the motherly old Post Office to be more 
specific as it suits her. How much we of these later 
days have to be thankful for; not Mercury, swift- 
footed of the olden time, would or could have 
attempted to do so much, though one half of his 
mission was to mend the helpless failures of heroic 
strugglers." . . . 

The next two letters of the many addressed to him 
by Professor J. P. Nichol of Glasgow are all we can 
recover. They sufficiently explain themselves : 


"OBSERVATORY, Glasgow, Feb. [1854]. 

" MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, We have read your 
second volume with increasing pleasure as we turned 
over every successive page. But I now write for 
business, not compliment. The Students here publish 
an Album or Miscellany every two years. This year 
it happens to be edited by my son. He wants to 
insert ' The Elder Coleridge/ by Thomas de Quincey. 
Would you object ? If not, don't answer me until 
you are otherwise disposed. Eecollect you promised 
to stay at the Observatory on your progress to 


Ireland : I do trust that Florence and Emily will 
count on us as a half-way house. "Would you further 
oblige by telling me Mrs. Craig's real address ? Ever 
faithfully yours, J. P. NICHOL." l 


"OBSERVATORY, Glasgow, i6th April 1854. 

" MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, I fear I must solicit you 
to make my respectful apologies to Miss Florence 
because of a crime of whose stain you, of course, 
know nothing my defect of correspondence. I did 
not infer, however, from what she wrote that an 
immediate reply was absolutely requisite, nor did I 
know, until Lushington told me a fe\v days ago, that 
you felt anxious about that Nebula. Certainly you 
can get a copy of it taken if you desire it, and my 
brother James, bookseller of Bank Street, will indicate 
the article. I think an aquatint plate would cost 
only about 303. But I must use this great liberty 
to ask you to reconsider about the paper. It may 
seem presumptuous in me to say so ; but I recollect 
that I did state at the time that your resolution of 
the Nebula into something very different from Matter 

1 John Pringle Nichol, LL.D., was born in 1804 at Brechin, in 
Forfarshire, Scotland. He was a licensed preacher of the Scottish 
Church, but early turned his attention to astronomy, to which science 
he made valuable contributions : making an end of the nebular 
hypotheses of La Place. In 1836 he was appointed Professor of 
Astronomy in Glasgow University. He wrote many books, the chief 
of which are " The Architecture of the Heavens " and " Contemplations 
of the Solar System." He died in 1859. 


was hardly so effective as might have been ; indeed, 
notwithstanding its singular and undeniable power. 
And the reason perhaps is that our other and real 
ideas are so firmly nailed to such things, that it is 
next to impossible, if not altogether impossible, to 
detach them, and substitute anything else. 

" But this first reason of mine may not be a 
good one, or go farther than indicate the inveteracy 
of my own materialism. Secondly, however, the 
Nebula, as known now, is wholly different from what 
it seemed then. Its form is not the same thanks 
to the great telescopes, which have revealed so much 
more of it ; and its composition is not now a mystery. 
All which goes to render your way difficult, or, as 
one might say (if one had been born in Tipperary), 
yet more impossible for even your genius to accom- 
plish the resolution aforesaid. You must pardon me 
for writing that : nay, you cannot help it ; because 
you thoroughly know how eagerly I have read every- 
thing from your pen within my reach, and how heartily 
I wish that you would turn out a real Almansor, 
and that your pen would write on for ever ! 

"As to John's Album : he had many thanks to 
offer you for your kindness. But he felt from the 
first that he could not ask you to take any specific 
trouble on his account, and the publication, besides, 
could not wait. He will send you a copy one of these 
days. His productions are signed J. N., 2, and 
Basalt. He was obliged to put in more from his 
own pen than he cared to acknowledge. Pray read 
them and tell me what you think of them. I rather 


like Iris, Psammanitus, and the Ode from Catullus. 
You will find in the same volume a brief appeal to 
yourself concerning Kant. Don't imagine that / 
have any pretensions to enter on controversy with 
you on such a matter. But I think it would be 
well if so important a matter in philosophical history 
were set at rest. Do, therefore, take up the question 
again, and by authorities set it at rest. 1 

"Are you coming to Glasgow? If so, you will 
not forget the Observatory. Say to Miss Florence 
and Miss Emily that Mrs. Nichol and I should be 
very glad if they could find occasion to make this a 
resting-place on their way to Tipperary. Ever very 
affectionately yours, J. P. NICHOL." 


The next is addressed to his daughter Florence, 
and tells of an escape which it almost looks as though 
he had from personal violence by taking a round- 
about ; for doubtless the villains who assailed and 
beat the muscular carpenter would have found it an 
easier matter to deal with him : 

" Wednesday, September 26, 1854. 

" MY DEAR FLORENCE, This day week, under coer- 
cion of the Press, I was obliged to go away not an 
hour, I believe, before you returned : and strangely 

1 See Appendices iii. and iv. 


enough, having gone a roundabout road by Pentland 
and Morningside, I missed by one 30 minutes (it 
was just dusk) a couple of villains who attacked 
robbed and left almost for dead a master carpenter 
well known to Mrs. Wilson of this house. He is 
still lying ill in bed. 

"On Friday or Sat., roaming along the Queen's 
Ferry road, I met the two Misses Todd driving home ; 
which home is Cramond House. Their Papa has been 
very seriously ill. I promised to go over. Yester- 
day I dined in George Square with Mr. Findlay and 
Mr. Eussel (editors of The Scotsman). 

" To-morrow or next day I will come over. The 
4th vol. is about 200 pp. on its road to completion. 
Yesterday, Mr. Findlay tells me, a London daily 
paper (Globe, I think) had some large extracts from 
the 3rd vol. : it is well that the book is thus kept 
alive in men's remembrance. Forgive this egotism 
Ever yours, dear F." 

The next letter, the original of which is in the 
possession of Mr. Alfred Mudie, is interesting as 
anew showing the keen interest he took in all the 
great questions of the day, and the delight he found 
in throwing off his thoughts in letters to his daughters, 
if no other channel opened. Mr. Mudie, in kindly 
transmitting a copy of the letter, said : " The original 
exactly fills the sheets of paper, leaving no room for 
a signature. Miss de Quincey, in kindly sending me 
the autograph, said that he seldom wrote letters, and 
very seldom signed them. She offered a beautifully 


written signature winch, she suggested, might possibly 
have belonged to it. But I think the letter is com- 
plete as it is. The signature was probably written 
much earlier : the paper, pen, ink, and mental state 
were all different : " 


"Tuesday, Dec. 12 [1854]. 

" MY DEAR EMILY, Parliament is at this moment 
[J past 2] opening its sittings, unless some new Guy 
Fawkes should kindly have endeavoured to warm its 
damp cushions, squabs, and woolsacks, with a few 
hogsheads of gunpowder. But what good will their 
assembly do ? They will remove certain technical 
hindrances to the free interchange of men and fire- 
locks between one service and another. A militia- 
man will be authorized to volunteer into the line. 
But, when all is done, here comes the inevitable 
result. Three months ago, when our people were 
gathering at Varna c frequent and full ' for a run 
over to the Crimea, I [and doubtless thousands beside] 
said ' Within 2 months you, that now play the rdle 
of Besiegers, will have become the Besieged.' Well, 
that happened : the storm was a killing one ; but we 
pulled through it by means of divine self-devotion 
such as never ought to be looked for at the price of 
i shilling a day. What follows ? Why, this that 
possibly during the winter state of the roads out- 
side of the Crimea, and altogether in consequence 


of that state, we, the Allies, may so far obtain 
the upper hand as to master the august fortress 
[2e/3ao-To?, Sebastos, is the Greek version of the 
Eoman Augustus]. Suppose this to happen on some 
day bet. S* Valentine [Feb. 14 is it not ?] and 
Lady-Day (March 25) which day, until the learned 
L d Macclesfield interfered about 1752, ecclesiastically 
opened the year. Good. The Park and Tower guns 
will be fired ; Clonmell, perhaps even Tipperary, will 
be illuminated ; and Eva * will crow exultingly a 
little too early in the morning. And in Paris or 
London there will be published by some great Artiste 
des Modes the Sebastople for ladies, whether a bonnet 
mantle or new variety of Chaussure, my pro- 
phetic telescope does not enable me to decide. But 
wait a little : in less than 2 months comes May-Day, 
viz., May 12 0. Style; on which morning I fancy 
that through my glass I descry the haughty stan- 
dards of Eng. and France flying above the ruins of 
the Citadel, but outside the walls a girdle of 1 50,000 
RUSSIANS. It is true, we shall still have the advan- 
tage of an open communication by sea. But the 
enormous cost of a permanent defence against Russia 
is what we never can support. Not to speak of 
feuds that will too probably arise bet. the Allied 
Armies, either through drunken rows among the 
privates, or disgusts bet. officers, or jealousies in the 
division of advantages and spoils. Now this special 
case unhappily is the universal case. Nowhere has 

1 De Quincey's first grandchild, a few months old. 


Russia a Vulnerable point ; no heel of Achilles. Or, 
if she had, and it were in the extremities and outer- 
most limbus of her mighty disk, of what avail would 
it be ? This we can do : we can mount guard upon 
the Black, the White, and the Baltic Seas. That is 
something. And if besides, in conjunction with the 
Sultan, we can keep the Danube open, we shall have 
improved our own position, and also that of our 
client Turkey. The sword of the assassin, as you 
know, is always hanging over the Czar, when his 
foreign policy thwarts the interest of his nobility. 
Tallow is good : but Tallow, that will not sell for 
English candles, stenches in the nostrils of Asia. 
Neither will Europe abide it. Hemp is good : good 
for hanging people that you and I know: but, if 
Hemp hangs nobody, and only hangs on hand, wast- 
ing its sweet powers of suffocation upon the desert 
air, then ' be hang'd to it ' say all the grandees of 
Russia. And therefore through the commerce of 
Russia always we can reach the Czar ; but in a pain- 
ful way ; for surely none of us wishes the Czar to be 
strangled ; which really was the fate of Paul the 
last Russian Emperor that ranged himself steadily 
against England. Alex, might do so theatrically, but 
seriously all was understood to be nonsense. Here 
then is my profession of faith : All is Vanity. We 
shall fail yes, as much as if we fought the sea, or 
fought the air. Sea and Air is Russia. 'Well/ 
you say, 'here is a long polit. lecture that I 
didn't want/ Didn't you ? Well, then you can 
make it over to Eva, who certainly does want it." 



The next letter has to do with Dr. Samuel Brown, 
and the estimate his friends formed of him, and 
the more sober estimate of the world and of pos- 
terity : 

" Tuesday night, Sept. 23, 1856. 

" MY DEAR EMILY, By this morning's newspaper 
I learned for the first time the DEATH OF D B SAMUEL 
BROWN. Not that I might not have learned it by 
the same paper [Daily Express] of yesterday's date. 
But it so happens that every morning, just as the 
good old clock [which, by the way, Mrs. Wilson and 
her sister generally call the knock] gives its 4 minutes' 
warning that very soon it will reveal the hour of 
9 A.M., I send off my daily penny newspaper to the 
other [viz., the Northern] side of the entrance hail- 
where sojourneth an English family named Worry^ 
pronounced not, as by the ill-disposed it will calumni- 
ously be pronounced, but as the noble word WAR 
would be pronounced with the addition of an affix ee ; 
in fact, as the two first syllables of the word warrior. 
They have been co-lodgers for a full week ; and every 
morning of this week I, the undersigned, have duly 
forwarded the said Daily Express, price one pennjr 
for each several publication. Consequence of which 
is that yesterday I did not observe at the very head 
of the Obituary the following notice : 

1 I have since found it to be Warry. 


" ' DEATHS. 

"'At Canaan Grove, Morningside, on the 2oth inst, Dr. 
Samuel Brown, after a severe and protracted illness of eight 

"But on this morning, viz., Tuesday, it was not 
possible to escape the notification ; seeing that there 
is an enormous art. from the Editor, clearly an 
extravagant admirer, an outrageous adulator in fact, 
calling himself by the vague name of friend which 
sort of person it is that has so much mystified and 
perplexed the whole atmosphere investing Dr. B., 
that finally no plain and honest judge, seeking neither 
to disparage nor hyperbolically to exalt, has known 
what to think of him. This night, for example, for 
the first time my co-tenant, Dr. "Worry, called upon 
me ; and naturally, as an Englishman who had never 
heard till this morning so much as the name of 
Samuel Brown, he applied to me for some informa- 
tion on the subject. f It is hard for me/ he said, ' to 
go along with such raptures as these of the Editor, 
who says glibly that S. B. ' mounted by a single leap 
far over the heads of Dalton, Davy, Faraday, and 
all the foreign chemical celebrities. 1 Faraday, Dr. 
W. went on to say, that personally he knew, and it 
was, to his knowledge, not quite so easy a thing to 
take a flying leap over him, or over Dalton and 
Liebig. I told Dr. W. all that I knew, that Dr. 
Samuel Brown was a very ingenious and able man, 
but doubtless, in the eyes of practical chemists, 
floored himself, to use a vulgarism, by aspiring too 


high and aiming at too much; and, like Icarus, had 
his wings singed, though he could walk well enough 
on the solid earth, and deserved more credit for work 
which his friends and admirers did not deign to con- 
sider or in any way commemorate. And all that 
comes, my dear Florence, of people erring through 
extravagance and exaggeration, even with the most 
amiable intentions. Dr. S. Brown had many good 
and amiable traits, and was a man of penetrating and 
powerful intellect, but his real claims are left in 
the background, or overshadowed by crazy excessive 
adulation, at which discerning people, as you see, can 
only shrug their shoulders and laugh consumedly. 

" Comes there any more of it ? Yes, just such 
another half, which, when found, 111 take a note of 
and forward. 

" ANTELOPE, [By this you will agnize the corre- 
spond g Half when found]. " 


The sixth and last letter of this sheaf conveys 
something of De Quincey's estimate of the Bronte 
family, whose genius he admired, more especially 
that of Charlotte and Emily, but whose defects of 
character he duly notes : 

" Do you hear much about Miss Madeleine Smith 
of Glasgow ? "What a strange case, when the sole 


possible accuser, so far as / know, is in his grave. 
Have you seen Miss Bronte's posthumous novel, The 
Professor ? The Brontes, meaning the girls, had 
some very noble features in their characters, but not 
many that were amiable. The males of the family 
were scamps. Think of this the elder scamp (Papa, 
I mean) always dined alone, like the Savages in so 
many regions, and even Mahometan Barbarians, whose 
wives eat apart (or perhaps after) their tyrants. Now 
what excuse did the " leathery Herr Papa " make for 
this practice ? Why (says Mrs. Gaskell), his stomach 
being peculiarly delicate, it became requisite that he 
should not be tempted away by a wider and mis- 
cellaneous choice from his own simple diet. Simple ! 
So then his daughters no doubt had a luxurious 
a tempting table ! Now elsewhere it comes out 
that these poor girls, who through life were models of 
self-denying abstinence, had mere plain potatoes for 
dinner, without any animal accompaniment, and I 
believe without any seasoning or sauce. Condiment 
is pedantic. One after one, in regular succession, the 
3 younger girls i. Charlotte, 2. Emily, 3. Anne 
were turned out of doors to get their own bread in a 
far worse service, to my thinking, than that of a 
housemaid : for surely it is better by much to go 
down on one's knees to scour the front door-steps, 
with the prospect at night of creeping to an undis- 
turbed bed, in humble respectability, than to make 
one in a crowd of most vulgar Belgian girls ; gener- 
ally vicious, inquisitive, scandalous, spiteful, silly, and 
ignoble, gathered into one huge dormitory. 


" Write to me, please, some short answer to my 
questions. As to the loan, if you cannot conveniently, 
never mind it. By the way, you must not suppose 
that I am still holding the relation of Debtor to the 
Inc. Tax Commissioners, as possibly you might F* 
the sums being the same. 1 settled that at once. 
No tick there, unless Tic douloureux. Yours affec- 



THE following letter from the Rev. Thomas Grin- 
field, Rector of Clifton, frequently referred to in the 
" Memoir," may find a place at this point : 

"CLIFTON, Feb. 4, 1847. 

" MY DEAR SIR, Happening only yesterday to 
glance over, 'Notes on Landor, by Thomas de Quincey,' 
in the January No. of Tait's Magizine, the brilliant 
Writer's name, like a spell, wakened up such a train 
of early recollections, that I resolved (unwisely per- 
haps) to intrude on your ever-bright and busy mind 
in this form of a few dull lines, and thus allow myself 
the chance of a few, certain to interest me, from 
your pen. Just 20 years ago, recovering from ill- 
ness, I read with admiring interest (like others) your 
* Confessions of an Opium-Eater/ afterwards your 
' Autobiography,' and both, with the same revival of 
young days and feelings, which prompts me now at 
last to trouble you with this hasty and most unex- 
pected letter." 



[Here follows much information of a private kind 
concerning his life and family during a quarter of a 
century, and then he proceeds.] 

" As though I had not enough tired you already, 
I have taken (you see) another formidable sheet, as 
the old Puritan divines sometimes turned the hour- 
glass at the middle of their homilies, and announced 
another glass ! The truth is, I rather recoil from 
these last probably, as well asjirst words, with you, 
to whom I must have long been an unknown rather 
than unforgotten Stranger. You have redde your 
history in the nation's eyes. Mine has been quite 
the obscure and * fallentis semita vitce? But I have 
never ceased to be ' Musis Amicus ! ' My elder- 
daughter was united last summer to a literary and 
a gifted person, whose name may have reached you, 
Francis Barham, who has published the political 
works of Cicero in his own Version, and re-edited 
Collier's ' Eccles. Hist.' He has also printed a tragedy 
of his own called ' Socrates/ and a Version of 
Grotius's remarkable poem, 'Adamus Exul/ the sup- 
posed germ of the ' Paradise Lost/ * He resides with 
me, where I have passed the principal part of my 
days ; now retired from the long-practised duty of 
a parochial clergyman, for which declining health 

1 Mr. Francis Barham, who was born in 1808 and died in 1871, 
was the son of Thomas Foster Barham, a musician of some note. He 
was a most voluminous writer and a man of most active mind. He 
was the author of some nineteen works besides those mentioned, 
among them being " The Alist or Divine," and was the founder of the 
Society of Alists and of a Syncretic Society. He left behind him a 
very large number of manuscripts. 


would often disqualify me. I can remember your 
very intelligent Mother and your Sisters, whom I 
have met in an evening (many years ago) at the 
late Mrs. Ford's house, of Clifton. It may interest 
you to know that I enjoyed the acquaintance of 
those two variously admirable men who adorned 
this neighbourhood, Robert Hall and John Foster, 
the latter of whom you must have specially liked to 
converse with, and (so far as you might) explore the 
hidden treasures of his so deeply meditative and reflec- 
tive mind. But let me have mercy and regard to your 
use of time. I hope that you are still favoured with 
the blessing of nearly unimpaired health and vigour, 
physical, as well as intellectual : and, assured 
that you will excuse this friendly, however other- 
wise unwelcome, invasion of your leisure, I remain, 
with sincere best wishes for your happiness, your 
Winkfield Schoolfellow and Friend, 


This letter was addressed, "Thomas de Quincey, 
Esq., College Post Office, Edinburgh," and is en- 
dorsed in De Quincey's neat handwriting: "Beceived 
on this day, Friday, April 30, 1847, 3 P - M -" tne 
delay doubtless having been caused by its lying at 
the University Post-Office till some friend told him 
of it. 



IN a vast sheaf of letters and papers from strangers 
connected with the later years, there are some 
peculiar requests and confessions. That people in 
the Western States of America should write gusLing 
letters merely to tell the " Opium-Eater " how much 
they had been interested in his works ; that others 
should write asking where such-and-such an article 
they had heard spoken of would be found ; that others 
should write urging him to do what he was just then 
doing collect his works ; and that some should 
inquire whether he had ever written anything on 
Moral Philosophy (!) and where, and should confuse 
" Walladmor " with " Vladimir," is only perhaps what 
might have been expected, as well as urge requests 
for autographs, demands for opinions on scraps of 
poetry, little essays, handsomely copied out or privately 
printed ; and that young folks should ask for counsel 
about embarking on a literary career. Medical men 
in foreign countries seem to have been particularly 
anxious to cultivate his acquaintance by corre- 
spondence. It is most characteristic of him that he 
struggled to answer these letters, and that mnny 


of them were answered ; and that in the case of 
almost each one he has noted on the back when 
received, even to the hour of the day, and also the 
nature of the contents. In this mass, however, there 
were some bits of interesting and characteristic 
quality, and most of all those in which the writers, 
with that wonderful demand for comprehension and 
sympathy which lies so deep in human nature, con- 
fess themselves to him, and though hardly expecting 
an answer, seem to find a satisfactory relief in having 
thus unbosomed themselves, though in some cases 
desirous of preserving the veil of anonymity or 
pseudonymity. Here is one of that class, which he 
has docketed and endorsed, " Keceived this morning, 
May 3, 1853," with such exactitude and care as im- 
portant or business communications too frequently 
failed to secure from him : 

"PROVIDENCE, E. L, April iqth, 1853. 

" Who is this presuming to sit down and write a 
letter to Thomas de Quincey, a man more honoured 
by all who are capable of appreciating him than any 
other English writer dead or living ? Indeed I 
hardly dare tell him, for it is a lady, a young lady 
who is confessing herself the vainest of her sex by 
this simple act. And she will not tell him how 
many sheets she has covered with her illegible hiero- 
glyphics, and then sent them to enliven and enlighten 
the dark heaps of sea-coal and anthracite, in her 
humiliation at the thought of her presumption. 


Yet I am very sure lie would forgive her if he knew 
the homage her heart has been so long rendering him, 
an homage far surpassing anything he could have 
felt for the idol of his young affections. For the 
man he loved had no soul, a splendid intellect he 
had, which I could equally admire, but I should 
never dream of loving him. How could you ? But 
you were better able to appreciate that intellect in 
all its length and breadth and depth, and not being 
a woman, the heart perhaps was not of quite so much 

" This young lady will honestly confess that Mr. 
de Quincey is too profound for her woman's under- 
standing and woman's education in his learned essays, 
though he has not written a word that she has not 
attempted to interpret. The ' Confessions ' was the 
first book from his pen that she read, and she fell in 
love with the boy, with his noble soul, his fearless 
pursuit of what he thought right, and his manly 
defence of all whom he loved. And perhaps it was 
her love that blinded her to all his faults and foibles, 
and made the sins, that many think almost heinous, 
only little compared to the beams that should obscure 
the eyes of those who criticise and condemn. But 
when he went to live in Grasmere, and she wandered 
with him for the thousandth and ten thousandth 
time through all its woods and dells and sunny 
vales, he would almost pity her if he could see the 
tears she shed, such as no fiction ever wrung from 
her eyes. And her woman's heart has yearned to 
tell him of its fulness and its gratitude to one who 


could retain through so many trials a soul as pure 
and young and warm and fresh as it was in boy- 
hood's days. Often and often she takes up the book 
and lays it down to weep for his sorrows have 
been in some respects like her sorrows, and her 
intellect, like his, though not in degree or in pro- 
portion, has been quickened and expanded by almost 
unparalleled physical sufferings, and her heart has 
been wrung and wrung with agony, while she has, 
to all appearance, remained as blithe and joyous as 
if a shadow had never crossed her path. 

" Before she had heard of Mr. de Quincey, when 
only a little girl, she had read all Prof. Wilson's 
stories, and loved them and loved him with no 
ordinary effection, but she never thought of writing 
him a letter, never was in danger of ' falling down 
and worshipping him,' as she would be if she should 
see the author of 'The Household Wreck' and the 
' Spanish Nun ; ' and had she the means, she would 
cross the ocean for no other purpose than to sit at 
his feet, not to learn wisdom, feast though indeed 
it would be, but to pour out her heart, with, all its 
deep and strong enthusiasm, to one who could under- 
stand her, and would not only counsel wisely, but 
chicle gently. She would visit Grasmere, oh yes ! 
and pluck one rose or blade of grass, more hallowed 
in her eyes than moss or ivy from castle, hall, or 
tower ; but nothing else could turn aside her steps 
till she was in the city where he dwells, and she 
had listened to the sound of his voice, and looked 
upon a countenance in which, to her imagination, 


is blended the expression of all that is great and 
noble and good. 

" He must be now nearly an old man, with sons 
and daughters grown up around him; and if he is 
what he seems, and also in this respect like others 
who have grown old, it is more pleasant to be re- 
membered with affection than with admiration ; and 
a man who is not ashamed to confess that he feels 
as well as thinks, will pardon this expression of her 
love in one who is a stranger, and must ever be, to 
him who is so wise that she would be afraid to speak 
in his presence, and yet so unpretending and so good 
that she might feel the confidence of a little child 
and scarcely fear to caress him. 

" Sometimes when persons have been reading what 
he has written in my presence, they have exclaimed, 
' Indeed you are very like him this sounds exactly 
like you? but only in those places where there is 
some heart and soul revelation some proof of the 
peculiar effect of sorrow in the influence of some 
great joy, which others would never make known. 
I have often wished there could be given to us more 
true heart histories, that those who are capable of 
deep and holy enthusiasm would speak what they 
feel. It is for this sympathy, to know how others 
love and hate, that the young resort to novels, where 
they find so much that is false and wicked, that they 
are corrupted and unfitted for real life. When a 
Biography is written, everything that ordinary people 
care to know is left out. The heart is treated as if 
it were an ' accursed thing,' and anything concern- 


iiig the affections as they really exist, as if it would 
be pollution to portray them. Until History and 
Biography tell us the truth, fiction will feed the 
most readers, and in some respects it is really more 
true and more beneficial than the prosy stuff which 
prosy people recommend in its stead ! 

" How I would like to introduce you to my 
mountain home in one of the most beautiful of New 
England valleys ! How you would love its wild 
woods, dells, and dingles, its canny brooks and silver 
streams. Why will you not come ? Perhaps you 
have a daughter whom I should love as a sister, and 
there are many, many homes in our bonny land to 
which you and yours would be welcome. 

" I am one of those ladies whom you so often 
commend for preferring to be wed to my pen and 
books than to a heart which could not appreciate 
mine, but I have never given my name to be bandied 
about by heartless critics, and do not think I shall 
ever acquire the amount of courage and resolution 
necessary for this sacrifice. So I have not become 
famous, and should not, even if I were worthy to be. 
I never had a single aspiration for notoriety, and 
should not trouble my head about learning or litera- 
ture if my heart had something to satisfy its yearn- 
ings ; but your advice in your allusions to Miss 
Wordsworth has done me good. I will cultivate 
letters as a resource when I am old and there is 
nothing living left for the lone heart to love. 

"It would gratify me more than any words can 
express to know that this reaches you safely, and 


that you smile, not with ridicule but with approba- 
tion, at my girlish frankness and unsophisticated 

" A line directed to M. M., care of A. G. Johnson, 
Editor, Troy Daily Post, Troy, Neiv York, would 
find me. I give my nom de plume, confessing it is 
not polite or respectful to conceal my own, after 
such an epistle, lest you will believe it is from pure 
timidity and conscious unworthiness. If you pardon 
me this I am not sure but I shall tell you all I am 
and all I know ! M. M. 

" I have the impression that you do not reside 
permanently in Edinburgh, so I direct to Care of 
Prof. Wilson, who will, of course, know where you 
are. You cannot think how I blush at the thought 
of what I am doing." 

It was told by Miss de Quincey in her father's 
Memoir that he received many letters from the 
Brontes while yet they were merely to the world 
Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, as well as afterwards 
with copies of their works. These letters, unfortu- 
nately, have been lost or given to autograph col- 
lectors, with the sole exception of the first, which 
we print below a letter which will be admitted to 
be very characteristic : 

" SIR, My relations, Ellis and Acton Bell, and 
myself, heedless of the repeated warnings of various 
respectable publishers, have committed the rash act 
of printing a volume of poems. 


" The consequences predicted have, of course, over- 
taken, us ; our book is found to be a drug ; no man 
needs it or heeds it ; in the space of a year our 
publisher has disposed but of two copies, and by 
what painful efforts he succeeded in getting rid of 
those two, himself only knows. 

" Before transferring the edition to the trunk- 
makers we have decided on distributing as presents 
a few copies of what we cannot sell : and we beg to 
offer you one in acknowledgment of the pleasure 
and profit we have often and long derived from your 
works. I am, Sir, yours very respectfully, 


"June i6th, '47. 

" T. DE QUINCEY, Esq. " 

That remarkable brother, Patrick Branwell Bronte, 
a genius, but in his last days, at all events, a mournful 
wreck, round whom, as we know from Charlotte's 
letters, the thoughts and anxieties of the sisters so 
long painfully circled, seems also to have written 
frequently to the Opium-Eater letters which, so 
far as they can now be remembered, were full of 
confessions, of regrets, of hopes, and aspirations 
mingled together in the most affecting and striking 
manner. That correspondence has left token of 
itself in some copies of poems, which, as we are not 
aware that they have been preserved elsewhere, we 
here venture partially to give, in memory of that weak, 


wayward, unfortunate man, but singular genius so 
singular that Mr. Leyland, 1 indeed, essays to prove 
that the leading idea of one at least of the sisters' 
stories was due to him; and that, in fact, he had written 
a novel with the same plot, characters, and incidents 
as " Wutheriug Heights," quoting Mr. Grundy 2 to 
this effect : " Patrick declared to me, and what his 
sister said bore out the assertion, that he wrote a 
great portion of ' Wuthering Heights' himself." Mr. 
Leyland, with full knowledge and refined sympathy, 
abundantly establishes the fact that much misknow- 
ledge and exaggeration characterised the writing of 
Mrs. Gaskell in her Memoir of Charlotte Bronte, so 
far as it related to Patrick, and that she has been 
only too closely followed in many of her misrepre- 
sentations by Mr. Swinburne, Miss Mary F. Eobinson, 
and other writers of more recent date. Patrick Bronte 
has enough to bear in his inherited constitution, his 
tendency to disease, his morbid predisposition to 
melancholy, and the reactions from it favouring out- 
bursts of excess in many directions, without having 
fables fathered upon him. " The defects of faith, and 
taints of blood," of which the Laureate sings, were 
very strong in him ; and great allowance should be 
made for a man of such a temperament and such 
inheritances. But it is clear, from Mr. Leyland's 
volumes, that there must have been great exaggera- 
tion with regard to many things in the career of 

1 " The Bronte Family, with special reference to Patrick Branwell 
Bronte." By Francis A. Leyland. Hurst & Blackett, vol. ii. 

2 " Pictures of the Past." 



Patrick Bronte. Mr. Leyland, in his picture up to 
the last few years, would have us to regard him as 
a shy, sensitive, fanciful, excitable creature, with high 
aspirings, but without steadiness or will to adhere to 
fixed resolutions, and finally losing his balance, and 
surrendering himself to hallucinations of many kinds. 
This, at all events, is at once the more charitable 
and the more grateful view to take ; and certainly 
in Mr. Leyland, Patrick Bronte has found a very 
thoughtful and well-informed apologist, if not a 
defender. His portrait of Bran well, at all events, is 
not that of a half-madman, half-fiend, half-poet, 
half-reprobate ; rather that of a man with many fine 
impulses, but without ballast, and finally surrender- 
ing himself to indulgences that did much to wreck 
his career and shorten his life. 

While disproving wholly the truth of the assertion 
of Miss Mary Robinson that Patrick Bronte was an 
opium-eater at twenty, he goes on to speak of the 
attraction of De Quincey's writings for the whole 
family, and is fain to admit that when, later, Bran- 
well betook himself to opium, he may have in some 
degree been led thereto by study of De Quincey's 
"Confessions." Rewrites: 

" There is no reliable evidence whatever that Bran- 
well at this period of his life [his twentieth year] 
was an opium-eater ; and, considering the fact 
that the biographer of Emily has assigned the art- 
practice at Bradford to a period subsequent to his 
tutorship at Broughton-in-Furness, one may, perhaps, 
be permitted to suspect that she is equally in error 


in her assertions as to his opium-eating so young. 
Branwell did, indeed, later fall into the baneful habit, 
and suffered at times in consequence ; but there is 
DO reason to believe that he became wholly subject 
to it, or was greatly injured by the practice either 
in mind or body. "We can only surmise as to the 
original cause of his use of opium ; but, when we 
consider the extraordinary fascination which De 
Quincey's wonderful book had for the younger genera- 
tion of literary men of his day, we shall recognise 
that Branwell, who read the book, in all probability fell 
under its influence. Let us remember, moreover, 
that the young man's two sisters had died of con- 
sumption, and that De Quincey declares the use of 
the drug had saved him from the fate of his father, 
who had fallen a victim to the same scourge. De 
Quincey had used the drug intermittently, and we 
have reason to believe that Branwell, who followed 
him, did the same. Let us, then, imagine the young 
Bronte revelling in the realm of the dreamy and 
impassioned, and hoping fondly that consumption 
might be driven away, resolving to try the effect of 
the ' dread agent of unimaginable pleasure and pain/ 
a proceeding from which many less brave would have 
shrunk. Branwell had doubtless read in the ' Con- 
fessions of an English Opium-Eater' that the drug 
does not disorder the system, but gives tone, a sort 
of health, that might be natural, if it were not for 
the means by which it is procured." 

Mr. Ley land has devoted a good deal of space to 
Patrick Bronte's poetical efforts, and cites extracts 


from many of them, but of those which are before us 
it does not seem that he had any knowledge. Prob- 
ably they were written at a time when neither he 
nor his friends were in personal association or corre- 
spondence with Bronte and it is certain that they 
reached De Quincey at a time of sickness and great 
prostration, which may account for their having been 
swallowed up in his vast piles of papers and never 
recovered till his death. We give the most striking 
passages of the poem together with the translations 
of Horace's Odes, which accompanied it : 


'Tis only afternoon but midnight's gloom 

Could scarce seem stiller, in the darkest room, 

Than does this ancient mansion's strange repose, 

So long ere common cares of daylight close. 

I hear the clock slow ticking in the Hall ; 

And far away the woodland waterfall 

Sounds, lost, like stars from out the noon-day skies 

And seldom heard until those stars arise. 

The parlour group are seated all together, 
With long looks turned toward the threat'ning weather, 
Whose grey clouds, gathering o'er the moveless trees, 
Nor break nor brighten with the passing breeze. 

Why seems that group attired with such a care ? 
And who's the visitor they watch for there ? 
The aged Father, on his customed seat, 
With cushioned stool to prop his crippled feet, 
Averting from the rest his forehead high 
To hide the drop that quivers in his eye ; 
And strange the pang which bids that drop to start ; 
Tor hope and sadness mingle in his heart ; 


A trembling hope for what may come to-day 

A sadness sent from what has passed away ! 

Fast by the window sits his daughter fair ; 

Who, gazing earnest on the clouded air, 

Clasps close her mother's hand, and paler grows 

With every leaf that falls, or breeze that blows : 

Sickened with long hope bursting into morn 

Too bright for her, with longer pining worn ! 

Even those young children o'er the table bent ; 

And on that map with childish eyes intent, 

Are guiding fancied ships through ocean's foam, 

And wondering " what he's like " and " when he'll come." 

But long that house has lost all trace of him, 
Whose very form in memory waxes dim. 
Long since his childhood's chosen friends have died ; 
The shaggy pony he was wont to ride 
The dog, so faithful to its Master's side 
The rooks and doves that hover round the door 
Are not the same his young hand fed of yore ; 
The flowers he planted many seasons past 
Have drooped and died and disappeared at last ; 
For him afar, tempestuous seas had torn, 
Before the children round that map were born : 
And, since, so many years have passed between 
The voiceless farewells of that parting scene, 
That scarce they saw it then through gathering tears 
So dim as now through intervening years. 
" But still "said Mary " still I think I see 
The Soldier's plumed helmet bent o'er me, 
The arm that raised me to a last embrace, 
The calmness settled o'er his youthful face, 
Save when I asked ' how soon he'd come again ' 
And all that calm was lost a moment then ! 
Our Father shook his hand, but could not speak, 
Our weeping Mother kissed his sunny cheek, 


Our Sisters spoke not 'twas a mute farewell, 

And yet no voice could speak it half so well. 

We saw our Henry on his charger spring, 

We heard his swift hoofs o'er the pavement ring, 

There long we stopped as if he still was there 

Hand clasped in hand, and full eyes fixed on air : 

He scarce seemed gone so long as we beheld 

The chequered sunshine and the open field, 

But when we turned within when closed the door 

On that bright Heaven we felt that all was o'er ; 

That never more those rooms should hear his call, 

That never more his step should cross that Hall. 

We sat together till the twilight dim, 

But all the world to us seemed gone with him. 

We gathered close, but could not drive away 

The dreary solitude that o'er us lay. 

We felt when one has left the home fireside 

It matters not though all be there beside, 

For still all hearts will wander with that one, 

And gladness stays not when the heart is gone, 

And where no gladness is a crowd may feel alone. 

" Since then how oft we've sat together here 
With windows opening on the twilight air, 
Silently thinking of the climes afar 
Beneath the shining of that evening star, 
Dear as a friend unto our loneliness 
Because it seemed to link those lands with us. 
He saw it, perhaps, whom time's and ocean's tide 
So many years had sundered from our side, 
And 'twas the same he used to look upon 
While all beside so different had grown. 
Our woods, our house, ourselves, were not the same 
As those that floated through his boyhood's dream. 
Is he too changed ? Alas ! the cannons' roar, 
The storms and summers of that burning shore, 


May have made the last great change ! Too well I know 

Even our calm words cannot escape that blow ! 

We cannot greet him if again he come 

With the same group that made his ancient home 

The Heart that he loved best is clad in clay 

She is laid in lasting rest she is far away ! " 

So Mary spoke but she said nothing now, 
Turning so earnestly her pallid brow 
On the dull Heavens to which they all were turning 
With looks that could not clear the shade of mourning 
Worn far too constantly upon each face 
For that one day of feverish hope to chase ; 
That day, determined from Madeira's shore, 
When they their wanderer might behold once more ; 
Not now the boyish ensign he had gone, 
But full of honours from his foes o'erthrowru 
Time after time fresh tidings of his fame 
Had roused to life his aged Father's frame, 
When the old Man would raise his gushing eye, \ 

And lose his sighs of grief in smiles of joy. 

At last, that letter with Sir Henry s crest 
The tidings of his swift approach expressed, 
A Victor General to his England's shore 
At last that sixteen years' suspense seemed o'er. 
At last the fresh-rolled walks, the shaven lawn 
That long a look of such neglect had worn, 
The rooms so fairly decked the expectant calm 
O'er all things brooding like a magic charm, 
At last, proclaimed the mighty moment come 
When hope and doubt should both give place to doom. 

Stay what was that which broke the hush profound ? 
Like rapid wheels I heard its murmur sound. 
Why are the servants' footsteps heard within 
So sudden intermixed with hasty din ? 
What pales each cheek what lights each swimming eye 
Through the close circle of that company ? 


I cannot paint the start of mute surprise, 
The tears that flashed in scarce-believing eyes, 
The long embrace the silence eloquent 
Of more than language ever could give vent ; 
The Father's face that said, "Thy will be done 
Take me if fit since Thou hast given my son ; " 
The Mother's look, too fond to turn above 
Her Son beholding with a mother's love ; 
The Sister's eyes that shone in youth's o'erflow 
Of feelings such as age could never know, 
With whom this world was not the earth it seems, 
But all surrounded by the light of dreams, 
With whom even Sorrow took a heavenly die, 
Since where it darkened Hope seemed shining by ; 
So thus, while, speechless, held in His embrace, 
She saw, she knew, her long-lost Henry's face, 
She let past times part hurrying down the wind, 
And years of vain repinings leave her mind. 

Not so Old Age for Sorrow breaks it in, 
And used to harness it can ill begin 
Existence o'er again. Dissolved in tears 
Of heartfelt gratitude, the head of years 
Was bowed before that Soldier but in vain 
Each parent strove to shake off Sorrow's chain, 
Their eyes were dim to present joys yet still 
Past joys to them were far more visible. 
They saw their first-born's golden locks appear 
Shining behind the cloud of memories dear ; 
They looked and was this war-worn warrior Him ? 
Ah ! how the golden locks waned dark and dim ! 
Their innocence destroyed for India's clime 
Had touched him with the iron hoar of time ; 
Wast him ? They gazed again a look, a tone 
Can sometimes bring the past 'twas Henry 'twas their 

own ! 

They did not mark his restless glances roam 
As if he sought but could not find his home ; 


They did not mark the sternness of his cheek 
Even if to smiles its muscles chose to break ; 
They only saw the stately Soldier's form 
Confirmed, not altered by the battle's storm ; 
They only saw the long-lost face again, 
Darkened by climate, not by crime or pain. 

But what He thought it would be hard to tell, 
Since worldly life can mask the heart so well, 
Can hide with smiles a sorrow-eaten cheek, 
Can bitter thoughts in cheerful accents speak, 
Can give to icy minds heart-eloquence, 
And " clothe no meaning in the words of sense " 
Words he poured forth of warm and welcome greeting, 
For " Heaven," he said, " smiled in this happy meeting." 
By turns he wandered o'er each long-lost face 
By turns he held them in a fast embrace 
Then Mary saw though nought her parents knew 
For youthful love has eyes of eagle view 
She saw his features in a moment alter, 
Their rapture vanish and their fondness falter ; 
And in that moment Oh how cold seemed all 
The mind that lurked beneath that passion's pall ! 
A corse beneath a gilded shroud the corse 
Of him who left them on his battle-horse 
Sixteen long years ago ! 

Sir Henry broke 

A sudden pause where only glances spoke, 
With a request for one half-hour alone 
To call his spirits to a steadier tone 
And moderate their swell. He left them then 
To spend that time in calling back again 
The ancient image to their wildered view, 
To mark the difference 'twixt the old and new : 
But strange whene'er they strove to realise 
The form erewhile enshrined in their eyes, 
The visioned Idol of each vanished year 
How like a vision did it now appear ! 


They could not bear to see it shrink from view, 
Like a vain dream but ever came the new 
Before the old thus on a sudden faded 
When by life's stern realities invaded. 

Changed like life's dreary paths from youth to years, 
And dull as age. The twilight hour appears, 
The hour ordained by God for man's repose, 
Yet often made by man an hour of woes, 
A summing-up of daylight's toils and grief, 
Of moody musing, not of mild relief. 

That dull hour darkened in the boding sky, 
And bore the breeze in mournful murmurs by, 
With promise of a storm. Within the room 
No cheerful candle shone to cheat its gloom, 
Nor cheerful countenance smiled for only one 
Lone tenant held it, seated still as stone 
Sir Henry Tunstall with a vacant gaze, 
As if his mind were wandering through a maze 
Of alien thoughts, though on that very bed 
Long years ago had lain his infant head 
In sleep unstained by sorrow. Still there hung 
Wrecks of a time when all the world looked young 
His guns his rods wherewith he'd often trod 
The breezy hills or wandered by the flood, 
And breasted mountain winds, and felt within 
The first bold stirrings of the Man begin. 
There, pictured as of yore, the self-same wall 
Showed England's victory, and her Hero's fall 
On cold Canadian hills. With strange delight, 
In other days the child would fix his sight, 
Whene'er he wakened, on that time-dimmed view, 
And inly burn to be a hero too ; 
Would fill his spirit with the thoughts divine 
Of the loud cannon, and the charging line, 
And Wolfe, departing 'mid commingling cries 
To join immortal spirits in the skies ! 


'Twas that dim print that over Indian seas 

First led his feet and fixed his destinies. 

So why on what was childhood's chief delight 

Will manhood hardly deign to bend his sight ? 

The old print remains but does the old mind remain ? 

Ah World ! why wilt thou break enchantment's chain ! 

Bending his brows, at last Sir Henry said 
" Well, now I know that Time has really sped 
Since last my head has in that chamber lain 
That nothing has my Now to do with Then ! 
Yes now at last I've reached my native home, 
And all who loved me joy to see me come, 
And memory of departed love is nigh 
To cast a holier halo round their joy. 
I have seen my Father full of honoured days, 
Whom last I saw adorned with manhood's grace, 
Who has lived since then long winters but to see 
Once more his first-born world-divided me. 
I have seen those eyes rekindle, that have mourned 
For me. I have seen those grey locks that have turned 
From raven black for me. I have seen Her too 
The first I loved on earth the first I knew 
She who was wont above that very bed 
To bend with blessings o'er my helpless head ; 
I have seen my Sister I have seen them all 
All but myself. They have lost me past recall, 
As I have them. And vainly have I come 
These thousand leagues my Home is not my Home. 

Yet let me recollect myself for strange 
And vision-like appears this sudden change ; 
In what consists it ? I am still the same 
In flesh and blood, and lineaments and name. 
Still wave the boughs of my ancestral trees, 
Still these old gables front the western breeze, 
Still hang these relics round this chamber lone, 
I still can see can call them still my own. 


" They fancied, when they saw me home returning, 
That all my soul to meet with them was yearning, 
That every wave I'd bless which bore me hither ; 
They thought my spring of life could never wither, 
That in the dry the green leaf I could keep, 
As pliable as youth to laugh or weep ; 
They did not think how oft my eyesight turned 
Toward the skies where Indian sunshine burned, 
That I had perhaps left an associate band, 
That I had farewells even for that wild Land ; 
They did not think my head and heart were older, 
My strength more broken, and my feelings colder, 
That spring was hastening into autumn sere 
And leafless trees make loveliest prospects drear 
That sixteen years the same ground travel o'er 
Till each wears out the mark which each has left before. 

" So old affection is an empty name 
"When nothing that we loved remains the same, 
But while we gaze upon the vapour gay, 
The light that gave it glory fades away. 
And Home Affection where have we a home ? 
For ever doomed in thought or deed to roam, 
To lay our parents in their narrow rest 
Or leave their hearthstones when we love them best ; 
Nay, sometimes scarce to know we love at all, 
Till o'er love's object Death has spread his pall ! 
I feel 'tis sad to live without a Heart, 
But sadder still to feel dart after dart 
Eankling within it sad to see the dead, 
But worse to see the sick man's tortured bed. 

" Well I have talked of change but oh how changed 
Am I from him who o'er those dim hills ranged 
With trusty dog poor Eover ! where art thou ? 
I seem to see thee looking upward now 
To thy young Master's face, with honest eye 
Shining all over with no selfish joy, 


He paused with heavy eye, and round the room 
Looked, through the shadows of descending gloom, 
Like one heart-sick, for ''twas a bitter task 
The hollowness of spirit to unmask 
And show the wreck of years. To change his mind 
He took a book lying by, in which to find 
Some other course for thought and, turning o'er 
Its leaves, he thought he'd known that book before ; 
And on one page some hand had lightly traced 
These lines, by Time's dim finger half-effaced : 

" My Father and my childhood's guide, 

If oft I've wandered far from Thee, 

Even though Thine only Son has died 

To save from death a child like me, 

Oh ! still, to Thee when turns my heart 
In hours of sadness frequent now ! 

Be still the God that once Thou wert, 
And calm my breast and clear my brow. 

I am now no more a guileless child 
O'ershadowed by Thine angel wing, 

For even my dreams are far more wild 
Than those my slumbers used to bring ; 

I farther see, I deeper feel, 

With hopes more warm, but heart less mild, 
And ancient things new forms reveal, 

All strangely brightened or despoiled ; 

I am entering on life's open tide, 

So fare ye well, lost shores divine ! 
And, my Father ! deign to guide 

Through its wild waters CAKOLINE ! " 


Long o'er that dark'ning page Sir Henry pondered, 

Nor from its time-worn words his eyesight wandered ; 

Yet scarce he comprehended what they were, 

For other words were sounding in his ear 

Sent to him from the grave far-off and dim, 

As if from Heaven a spirit spoke to him, 

That bade the shadows of past time glide by 

Till present times were hidden from his eye 

By their strange pictured veil scene after scene 

Sailing around him of what once had been. 

He saw a Drawing-room revealed in light 

From the red fireside of a winter night, 

With two fair beings seated side by side, 

The one arrayed in all a soldier's pride, 

The other sadly pale, with angel eyes, 

O'er whose fair orbs a gushing gleam would rise 

Whenever, tremblingly, she strove to speak, 

Though scarce a sound the voiceless calm would break, 

So silent seemed despair. He took her hand 

And told her something of a distant land 

Soon to be won with fame, and soon again 

Of his return victorious o'er the main. 

" Oh no ! "at last she said" I feel too well 
The hollow vanity of all you tell. 
You'll go, you'll join the ranks by Ganges' flood, 
You'll perhaps survive through many a field of blood, 
You'll perhaps gain fame's rewards but nevermore 
Those far-off climes my Henry shall restore 
To England's hills again. Another mind 
Another heart than that he left behind 
And other hopes he'll bring if hope at all 
Can outlive fancy's flight and feeling's fall 
To flourish on an iron-hardened brow. 
The Soldier may return but never Thou ! 
And, further, know, our meeting must not be, 
For even thyself wilt not be changed like me. 
I shall be changed, my Love, to change no more ; 


I shall be landed on a farther shore 

Than Indian Isles a wider sea shall sever 

My form from thine a longer time For ever ! 

Oh ! when I am dead and mouldering in my grave, 
Of me at least some dim remembrance have, 
Saved from the sunken wrecks of ancient time, 
Even if to float o'er thoughts of strife and crime : 
Then on the grave of Her who died for thee 
Cast one short look and, oh ! Eemember Me ! " 

" Alas, Lost Shade ! why should I look upon 
The mouldering letters of thy burial-stone ! 
Why should I strive thine image to recall, 
And love thy beauty's flower and weep its fall ? 
It cannot be for far too well I know 
The narrow house where thou art laid below. 
I know its lifeless chill, its rayless gloom, 
Its voiceless silence, and its changless doom. 
I know that if from weeds I cleared thy name 
And gazed till memories crowding round me came 
Of all that made the sunshine of my home, 
'Twould be of no avail Thou couldst not come 
That I might almost think I saw thee stand 
Beside me almost feel thy fairy hand. 
Still would that form be pressed 'neath earth and stones. 
And still that hand would rest in dust and bones. 

No, Caroline the hours are long gone by 
When I could call a shade reality, 
Or make a world of dreams, or think that one 
Was present with me who, I knew, was gone. 
No if the sapling lends to every breeze, 
Their force shall rather break the full-grown trees. 
If Infancy will catch at every toy, 
Pursuits more solid must the Man employ. 
He feels what is, and nought can charm away 
The rough realities of present day. 


Thou art dead I am living my word is not thine, 
So keep thy sleep and, Farewell, Caroline ! 

" Yet while I think so, while I speak farewell, 
'Tis not in words the dreariness to tell 
Which sweeps across my spirit for my soul 
Feels such a midnight o'er its musings roll 
At losing though it be a vapour vain 
What once was rest to toil and ease to pain. 
I knew not, while afar, how utterly 
These memories of youth were past from me. 
It seemed as if, though business warped my mind, 
I could assume them when I felt inclined ; 
That though like dreams they fled my wakened brain, 
I, if I liked, could dream them o'er again. 
I did not think I could be seated here, 
After the lapse of many a toilsome year 
Once more returning to accustomed places 
Amid the smiles of ' old familiar faces ; ' 
Yet shrinking from them hiding in the gloom 
Of this dull evening and secluded room, 
Not to recall the spirit of the boy, 
But all my world- worn energies to employ 
In pondering o'er some artifice to gain 
A seat in council or command in Spain. 

" Well world, oh world ! as I have bowed to thee, 
I must consent to suffer thy decree ; 
I asked Thou'st given me my destiny ; 
I asked when gazing on that pictured wall, 
Like England's Hero to command or fall ; 
I asked when wandering over mountains lone, 
Some day to wander over lands unknown ; 
I asked for gain and glory place and power ; 
Thou gavest them all I have them all this hour ; 
But I forgot to ask for youthful blood, 
The thrill divine of feelings unsubdued, 


The nerves that quivered to the sound of fame, 

The tongue that trembled o'er a lover's name, 

The eye that glistened with delightful tears, 

The Hope that gladdened past and gilded future years ; 

So I have rigid nerves and ready tongue, 

Fit to subdue the weak and serve the strong ; 

And eyes that look on all things as the same, 

And Hope no, callousness, that thinks all things a name ! 

So, Caroline I'll bid farewell once more, 
Nor mourn, lost shade ; for though thou'rt gone before, 
Gone is thy Henry too and didst not thou, 
While just departing from this world below, 
Say thou no longer wert a guileless child, 
That all old things were altered or despoiled ? 
And hadst thou lived thine angel heart, like mine, 
Would soon have hardened with thy youth's decline 
Cold, perhaps, to me, if beating, as when laid 
Beneath its grave-stone 'neath the churchyard shade. 

" I home returned for rest but feel to-day 
Home is no rest and long to be away, 
To play life's game out where my soldiers are, 
Returned from India to a wilder war 
Upon the hills of Spain again to ride 
Before their bayonets at Wellesley's side, 
Again to sleep with horses trampling round, 
In watch-cloak wrapped, and on a battle-ground ; 
To waken with the loud commencing gun, 
And feed life's failing flame and drive the moments on 
There is our aim to that our labours tend 
Strange we should love to hurry on our end ! 
But so it is, and nowhere can I speed 
So swift through life as on my battle-steed ! " 

He ceased unconsciously declined his head, 
And stealingly the sense of waking fled, 
Wafting his spirit into weeping Spain : 


226 HORACE. 

Till starting momently he gazed again, 
But all looked strange to his beclouded brain : 
And all was strange for, though the scenes were known, 
The thoughts that should have cherished them were gone, 
Gone like the sunshine and none others came 
To shake the encroaching slumbers from his frame. 
So, while he lay there, twilight deepened fast, 
And silent, but resistless, hours swept past, 
Till chairs and pictures lost themselves in gloom, 
And but a window glimmered through the room, 
With one pale star above the sombre trees, 
Listening from Heaven to earth's repining breeze. 
That Star looked down with cold and quiet eye, 
While all else darkened, brightening up the sky, 
And though his eye scarce saw it, yet his mind, 
As, half awake and half to dreams resigned, 
Could scarce help feeling in its holy shine 
The solemn look of sainted Caroline, 
With mute reproach fulness reminding him 
That faith and fondness were not all a dream ; 
That form, not feeling, should be changed by clime ; 
That looks, not love, should suffer hurt by time ; 
That o'er life's waters, guiding us from far, 
And brightening with life's night, should glisten Memory's 
Star. P. B. B. 

BROUGHTON-IN-FURNESS, April 15, 1840. 



'TWAS when the treacherous shepherd bore 

His Eoyal prize away, 
In Phrygian ship from Spartan shore 

Across the ^Egean Sea, 

HORACE. 227 

That Nereus raised his awful brow, 

And hushed each favouring breeze, 
Till not a ship its path could plough 

Upon the slumbering seas ; 

And thus did that old Sea-god sing 

His prophecy of doom 
" Vain Man ! ill-omened thou dost bring 

Thine hostess to thy home, 

Whom Greece shall seek with mighty host, 

Conjured to overwhelm 
Thy pleasures, bought at such a cost, 

And thy ancestral realm. 

Alas ! what strife round Xanthus' wave 

Thy treachery shall bring ! 
What fiery funerals o'er the grave 

Of Ilion and her king ! 

Now Pallas lays her olive by, 

And grasps her shield and spear, 
And mounts her chariot in the sky, 

And wakes her rage for war. 

In vain thy guardian goddess* care 

Thy spirit may inspire ; 
In vain thou comb'st thy curling hair, 

Or wakest thy wanton lyre ; 

In vain the shouts the lances' thrust 

Or Ajax, thou may'st fly, 
For, with thy long locks trailed in dust, 

Adulterer ! thou shalt die ! 

Ulysses see, and Nestor grave 

Thy hapless people scourge ; 
And Sthenelus and Teucer brave 

Thy flying footsteps urge : 

228 . HORACE. 

'Tis Sthenelus the reins can guide, 

While noble Diomede, 
Greater than Tydeus, at his side 

Hunts for the adulterer's head ; 

Whom thou shalt fly as flies the wind 

In vale or woodland lone, 
From the deep death-bark, heard behind, 

Of wild wolf hastening on ; 

With beating heart and bated breath, 
O'er mountain and through grove 

Was this the victory this the death 
Thou promisedst thy love ? 

Pelides' ships, Pelides' arm 
O'er Phrygia's fated shore 

For these thy deeds, the avenging storm 
Eesistlessly shall pour ; 

And after years of weary wars, 
Shall wrap in funeral flame, 

Unquenched by all her blood and tears, 
My Ilion's very name." 


LEUCOK&, seek no more 

By magic arts t' explore 
How long a life our God has given to thee or me. 

If we've winters yet in store ; 

Or if this whose tempests roar 
Across the Tyrrhene deep, is the last that we shall see. 

HORACE. 229 

Be cheerful wisdom thine ; 

My goblet fill with wine ; 
And shape thy hopes to suit the hour that hastes away ; 

For while we speak, that hour 

Is past beyond our power ; 
So do not trust to-morrow, ~but seize upon to-day. 


SEE'ST thou not amid the skies 
White with snow Soracte rise ; 
While the forests on the plain 
Scarce their hoary weight sustain ; 
And congealed the waters stand 
'Neath the frost's arresting hand. 

Drive away the winter wild ; 
On the hearths be fuel piled ; 
And from out its sacred cell 
Kept in Sabine vase so well 
Generous bring thy four years' wine, 
Wakener of the song divine. 

Wisely leave the rest to Heaven, 
Who, when warring winds have striven 
With the forests or the main, 
Bids their raging rest again. 

Be not ever pondering 
Over what the morn may bring. 
Whether it be joy or pain 
Wisely count it all as gain, 
And, while age upon thy brow 
Shall forbear to shed his snow, 
Do not shun the dancers' feet, 
Nor thy loved one's dear retreat. 

230 HORACE. 

Hasten to the plain or square ; 
List the whisper, telling where, 
"When the calm night rules above, 
Thou may'st meet thy dearest love : 
When the laugh round corner sly 
Shall instruct thee where to spy : 
When the wanton's feigned retreating 
Still shall leave some pledge of meeting 
Perhaps a ring or bracelet bright, 
Snatched from arm or finger white. 


FOR what does the poet to Phoebus pray 
With new wine from his vessels flowing ? 

Not for the flocks o'er Calabria that stray ; 
Nor for corn in Sardinia growing ; 

Nor prays he for ivory, or gold, or land 

Which the Liris, gently gliding, 
Would crumble away into fugitive sand 

Down its silent waters sliding. 

Let him gather the grapes who has planted the vine ; 

Let the Merchant whom Jupiter favours, 
His Syrian treasures exchange for wine 

Which a golden goblet flavours : 

Thrice in a season o'erpassing the sea, 

Nor by waters or winds prevented, 
While olives and mallows shall satisfy me, 

With the lot fortune gives me contented. 

HORACE. 231 

Son of Satona ! oh grant me to taste 

The goods thou hast placed before me ; 
And a spirit undimmed, and an age undisgraced, 

And a Harp with whose strains to adore thee ! 


THE mother of love and the father of wine 

And passion resuming its throne, 
Backward command me my mind to incline 
And kindle the flame that seemed gone. 
For Glycera warms 
My heart with her charms 
Whiter than Parian stone. 

Her sweet arts inflame me, her countenance beams 

Too bright to be gazed upon, 
Till Venus, departing from Cyprus, seems 
To rush upon me alone : 

And no longer my verse 
The deeds can rehearse 
By Scythian or Parthian done. 

Raise me an altar of living sod, 

And crown it with garlands and bear 
Wine undiluted, a drink for a god, 
That Glycera, hearing my prayer, 
May know I adore, 
And be cruel no more, 
But an answering passion declare. 

There are doubtless many mistakes of sense and language except 
the first. I had not, when I translated them, a Horace at hand, so was 
forced to rely on memory. P. B. BRONTE. 


The following is a note from Robert Montgomery 
" Satan" Montgomery with whom De Quincey 
had had some intimacy : 

"March 1831. 

"MY DEAR DE QUINCEY, You will do me a great 
favour in accepting a copy of ' Oxford ' and my free 
and unaffected confession of the pleasure and pride 
I feel in being acquainted with the author of the 
c Opium-Eater.' 

" May I venture to anticipate a line from you in 
the course of a week? How happy I should be 
could I fancy any page in 'Oxford' calculated to 
touch or thrill a chord of memory in your heart, 
linked with associations that reach back into other 
years when you were (as Wordsworth says) 

' An eager Novice robed in fluttering gown ! ' 

At all events, ever believe me, my dear De Quincey, 
with great admiration, your very obliged 

" With a copy of ' Oxford/ Blackwood's Parcel. 

"Tn. DE QUINCEY, Esq., 

"7 Great Queen [King] Street, Edinburgh." 

In later years, names still more familiar appear. 
Here is one instance : 


" nth of March '$1. 

" SIR, Will you oblige me by accepting the ac- 
companying volume? And pray allow me to use 
the opportunity of saying that I have associated 
respect and admiration with your name ever since 
I became acquainted with it for it is delightful to 
me to give so much expression, however unimportant 
to you, of that feeling. 

" I wish it were in my power to send (but the 
thing is not in esse, but in posse) a copy of a 
Second Edition of the Verses, ' thoroughly revised/ 
for the experience of the short time, during which 
they have been standing in the market-place 
and remarked upon by a few cobblers and others, 
has opened my eyes to many things ; an effect 
caused partly too, I hope, by regular advance in my 
own mind. 

" I am a young man, not regularly educated, 
living without personal intellectual intercourse in 
this corner of Ireland, anxious to be sincere and to 
improve. Should you think it worth while to send 
me any observations of yours on my first literary 
publication (I fear, too hastily put forth), it would 
please me greatly. Believe me sincerely and respect- 
fully yours, 




And here is another : 

"$tfiDec. 1853. 

"My DEAR SIR, I forward you with this a short 
Eeview on the c Autobiography ' inserted on the first 
of this month in a little magazine named the Educa- 
tional Expositor. It is a liberty, I know, to criticize 
any man's writings : a liberty to blame them, and 
a still greater liberty to give them commendation. 
The utmost apologies are therefore in this case what 
I am bound to offer : but by a few words at the 
close of your Preface I am encouraged to hope that 
you will not look unkindly on any attempt, however 
imperfect, to express sympathy not only with the 
aim and the result, but with the mind that has 
directed them in your writings. 

" May I be allowed the additional liberty of ex- 
pressing the high interest and expectation with which 
many besides myself look forward to the appearance 
of the second volume, and the Chapter entitled 
Laxtonf I have the honour to be, dear Sir, yr. 
obedt. Servant, F. T. PALGRAVE. 

" T. DE QUINCEY, Esq." 

The following is from an American gentleman who 
had visited De Quincey at Lasswade : 

"LONDON, Dec. 4, 1853. 

"My DEAR SIR, When at Lasswade I promised 
to write you, but have neglected it so long that it 


is now hard to write at all. If neglect has been 
long, remembrance has also been long ; so, late 
acknowledgment carries in its heart its own 

" Since my blessed visit to you, I have travelled 
through the more interesting portions of Ireland, 
Wales, and Central England. During the past few 
weeks in London, I have been translating M. Cousin's 
lectures on the True, the Beautiful, and the Good, 
so have been abroad but little. The book will be 
published in t\vo or three weeks by Messrs. Clark, 
in Edinborough. Shall do myself the pleasure and 
honor of sending the author of the ' Caesars ' a 

11 Met Carlyle the other day by appointment, and 
walked with him an hour or more. He was in a 
merry humor. The lion was gentle enough, allowed 
his terrible mane to be stroked with some pleasantries 
about those ' eighteen millions of bores/ the long 
nails of satire were withdrawn and his tread was 
sweetly soft. In fact, I love Carlyle, have read him 
thoroughly, and I think understand him well. Two 
or three times I mischievously repeated to him one 
of his own great sayings. He immediately said the 
same thing in other words, adding humorously enough, 
* As you say/ 

"I shall go to Paris in about two weeks. You 
remarked to me that you should be there some time 
during the winter. If I can be of any service to you 
there, please command me. 

" Give my regards to your daughters. Please 


remind one of them of that perverted quotation that 
she showed me in Sir William Hamilton's book. 
Very truly yours, 0. W. WIGHT. 


Knowing Mr. de Quincey's aversion to travel, I 
was in doubt whether, in reading the above letter, 
I was right in making the word which occurs in it 
Paris. But so it was. Mrs. Baird Smith informs me 
that it was one of the childlike foibles of her father 
to allow himself to be interestedly enlisted in the 
talk of his guests about visits to foreign places, and 
that he would often advance to the point of speaking 
as though it were possible for him to join his friends 
in their excursions on the Continent many of the 
historical places and scenes in which he much wished 
to see. He had actually at one time made up his 
mind to go with Mr. Wight who was himself a 
literary man to Paris, just as he had made up 
his mind to accompany Mr. J. T. Fields to many 
places ; but he never actually set out on any of these 

As an illustration of the pains De Quincey took to 
satisfy these various correspondents by polite replies, 
the following note may be given, a copy of which 
was found docketed beside the letters to which it 
related : 

"July 8, 1854. 

" The gentleman, who has waited so long for an 
Autograph, expresses by his patience a compliment 


to myself far greater than any which I can flatter 
myself with deserving. For this I thank him sin- 
cerely. At the same time I am painfully sensible 
how little I can seem to have met this courtesy on 
his part by any corresponding expressions of cour- 
tesy on my own. My delays must have appeared 
unaccountable. Yet they are not so, but have 
real grounds of palliation in facts notorious to my 
friends. The first is this that through some acci- 
dental oversight in the boyish stage of my education 
I was never taught to make (or consequently to 
mend) a pen. 

" The second is this : I suffer now, and have long 
suffered, from such a shattering of the nervous system 
as causes a sense of distraction, and even of horror, 
to connect itself with the manual act of writing or 
indeed with any act requiring a close effort of atten- 
tion. Hence it has arisen that, for some years, I 
have transferred in all cases where the circumstances 
allowed it all my duties of letter- writing to one of 
my daughters ; that it is mainly accounts for the 
delay and appearance of discourtesy, but with this I 
trust any impression of wilful discourtesy will be 



OUT of a considerable sheaf of letters written to the 
family immediately after Mr. de Quincey's death 
letters sympathetic, grateful, and consoling from 
almost all parts of the world, from the United States, 
from Canada, from British India and the West 
Indies, we here limit ourselves to presenting two, 
because both of the writers are well known, and had 
enjoyed intimate intercourse with him, and both 
remained on the most friendly terms with the family. 
The first is Professor Lushington, who at the time 
of Mr. de Quincey's death and burial was in the 
midst of his most pressing labours of the session 
connected with the Greek Chair in Glasgow. He 
wrote as follows : 

"GLASGOW COLLEGE, Dec. 13, '59. 

" MY DEAR MRS. CRAIG, I am much obliged and 
gratified by your kind letter in many ways. I thank 
you very heartily for your wish that I sh d choose 
one of your dear Father's books, and for what you 

say of his regard for me, which I shall always re- 



member with gratitude, while I must feel that the 
commendation you quote is far more than I merit. 
I do not at present particularly recollect any book 
that I should wish to have, but any one referring to 
the subjects we used so often to talk about, mental 
philosophy or the old English writers, would be 
a highly prized memorial of him all the more if 
there happened to be any notes by himself scattered 
about the pages. There has been for some years in 
my keeping here a box which belonged to him, filled, I 
believe, mainly with books, among which one of mine 
is included. What steps would you like me to take 
about forwarding this box ? If you will let me know 
I will do accordingly. I shall be in Edinbro' for a 
few hours on Saturday, when I shall try to see you. 
Thanks also for the details about the place of his 
burial, which I shall look on with deep interest. As 
yet I have not seen the notice of Dr. Begbie which 
was to appear in the Scotsman perhaps it is deferred 
for a day or two. I did not see the letter you 
mention of Mr. Grinfield. With kindest regards to 
Mr. Craig and your sisters, believe me ever yrs. 
most sincerely, E. L. LUSHINGTON." 

The second was Mr. James T. Fields of Boston, 
who was then in London : 

"LONDON, June yd, 1860. 

" MY DEAR MRS. BAIRD SMITH, Thank you very 
sincerely for your most kind letter of May 3oth. It 


is now our intention to leave town to-morrow, thank- 
ful to get away from the fatigues of a London mouth 
during the season. We shall go first to the Lakes, 
and then fiud our way to Edinburgh for a day or 
two. My wife will drop a note telling you when 
we shall probably have the pleasure of meeting you 
and your sisters at Lasswade. One of our most 
cherished prospects on leaving home was the hope 
of offering our bands for a hearty shake with the 
De Quinceys. To find you at home is a great 
surprise, but it greatly rejoices us that we are in 
Europe while you are not in India. Miss Emily 
too we shall be so glad to see. Mrs. Craig we would 
go a long way to greet, but Ireland is too far off 
for our very limited time. I had always looked 
forward to hearing the sound of your father's voice 
again. In my whole life I have never met a man 
of genius who won upon my affectionate interest 
more. He was so great a man, and yet so gentle 
and kind ! As I walked with him to Eoslin he 
talked with an eloquence I have never heard sur- 
passed of the men he had lived among and the 
scenes of his early days, till it seemed as if it were 
sinful not to note down his wonderful sentences. 
I hope some one has made a record of his daily talk, 
for since Plato I cannot believe a mortal has equalled 
him. You know how deeply his writings have 
impressed the world, especially our American side 
of it, but I think his conversation quite equal to 
his printed pages. I can never forget my day at 
Lasswade when I met you all at your own little 


table in that pleasant cottage. Your father, when 
we parted under the misty Scotch hills, spoke of you, 
his children, with an affection I well remember as 
most touching. Dear old man ! Some of the best 
moments of my life I owe to him, the great Master 
of English Prose. 

"My wife joins me in most sincere regards to you 
and your sister, and anticipates much pleasure in 
making your acquaintance. I think of you as old 
friends always, and long to see you again. Very 
faithfully yours, JAMES T. FIELDS." 





SOME very interesting points arise in the case of De Foe 
and his adoption of the " De " in the name. In Mr. Lee's 
valuable " Life and Uncollected Writings of De Foe " we 
read : 

" Daniel Foe, or De Foe, as he chose afterwards to call 
himself, was born in the Parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, 
in the year 1661. 

" The assertions of Oldmixon and Browne, and the con- 
jectures of biographers, as to De Foe's reasons for altering 
his name, appear to be without foundation. He was called 
De Foe several years before the death of his venerated 
father, who never used any other name than that of Foe. 
The son was not a man to be ashamed of the surname of 
his living parent, nor the True-born Englishman likely to 
have been actuated by the vanity of assuming a Norman 
prefix. His practice disproves the assertion, and shows 
rather that the form of his signature was a matter of per- 
sonal indifference, which continued to the end of his life. 
It is true that he used the surname of De Foe, but I am 
inclined to think that it began accidentally, or was adopted 
for convenience, about 1703, to distinguish him from his 
father. The latter from his age and experience, and the 
f jrmer from his commanding ability, were both influential 
members of the Dissenting interest in the City. They would 
respectively be spoken of and addressed orally as Mr. Foe 



and Mr. D. Foe. The name, as spoken, would in writing 
become Mr. De Foe, and thus what originated in accident, 
might be used for convenience, and become more or less 
fixed and settled by time. The simple explanation is 
favoured by the following proofs of De Foe's indifference 
in the matter. His initials and name appear in various 
forms in his works, subscribed to dedications, prefaces, &c., 
and this may be presumed to have been done by himself. 
Before 1703 I find only D. F. In that year Mr. De Foe 
and Daniel De Foe. In the following year D. D. F., De 
Foe, and Daniel De Foe. In 1705, D. F., and three auto- 
graph letters, all addressed within a few months to the 
Earl of Halifax, are successively signed D. Foe, De Foe, 
Daniel De Foe. In 1709, D. F., De Foe, Daniel De Foe. 
In 1 7 1 o, a letter to Dyer signed De Foe. Two autograpli 
signatures by himself, in 1723 and 1727, and two of the 
same dates by his daughter Hannah, are Daniel De Foe 
and Hannah De Foe. Yet in 1729 a letter to his printer 
is signed D. Foe, and the one to his son-in-law in 1730 
is D. F." 

It is, however, odd that the inconvenience out of which 
Mr. Lee says the difference of the names arose did not 
suggest itself or, at all events, find a practical remedy till 
Daniel Defoe was forty- two years of age, having already 
been in trade under the name of Foe both as hosier in 
Cornhill, and as brick and tile maker at Tilbury ; and just 
as odd that after his brick and tile business was brought to 
an end in 1703, with the greatest loss to himself, he should 
begin to use the form De Foe. It was when bis father 
was in business and he was in business within a short dis- 
tance of each other in the City of London that incon- 
venient mistakes were most likely to arise, not after De 
Foe had launched into the sea of public life and pamphlet 
writing and authorship, and was not in such near neigh- 
bourhood to his father. Mr. Lee's explanation, therefore, 
loses all its force when facts and dates are carefully 
attended to ; and it is certain as anything can be that the 
accidental transference of the " D " initial for Daniel into 


" De " of the surname would sooner have had effect, if its 
origin had been such as Mr. Lee is inclined to hold. 

We read that De Foe's grandfather was a man of means 
in Northamptonshire, a landowner, who himself cultivated 
a part, if not the whole, of his land ; and that he actually 
kept a pack of hounds. My idea would be that in earlier 
times the " De " had been used by the family, just as in 
the case of " De " in De Quincey ; and that in the stormy 
times of the Commonwealth it was dropped, and not 
revived again while the male members of the family were 
mostly engaged in trade butchers, hosiers, &c. ; and the 
assumption of the " De " by De Foe just at the moment 
when he escaped from association with trade has certainly 
its own significance. 

But it would appear that De Foe suffered insinuations 
and insults on the ground of his Normanised name too. 
For when he chanced to have a quarrel with journalists, 
notably so in the case of Bead's Journal, they declined 
to write his name De Foe, as he now did himself, and 
dubbed him Foe. This is the way in which one series of 
attacks is wound up : 

" N.B. Foe is desired to declare whether he did not 
authorise a certain publisher, not long ago, to come to Mr. 
Eead, to desire a Cessation of all Personal Hostilities. If 
so, why he treacherously breaks the articles," &c. (Lee, 
vol. i. p. 300). 

Mr. Lee proves that there was no treaty whose articles 
could be broken, and that De Foe was not guilty of using 
the phrases found in Mist's Journal which had roused 
anew the ire of Eead. 

Now, this insult was given to De Foe on the I oth October 
1719? by which time the name of De Foe was in many ways 
famous. The first volume of " Eobinson Crusoe " had been 
published on the 2 5th April of that same year, and was at 
once exhausted ; and a second published only seventeen days 
after ; a third followed only twenty-five days later ; and a 
fourth on the 8th of August. But still to Read's Journal he 
is Foe ; " Mist's Author," " Mist's Man " (as the leading writer 


of Mist's Journal), in one breath, abundantly showing the 
animus ; for why else should it be only enemies who per- 
sisted in using the Foe unless it was a term that might in 
the reader's mind carry some latent sting, after he had 
become so well and widely known as De Foe ? This style 
of thing exactly reproduces and recalls to us Dr. Maginn's 
" Quin Daisy," &c., &c., as well as the somewhat spiteful 
and vulgar hints of some of his followers with respect to 
the use of the " De " by De Quincey. So history repeats 
itself even in so small a matter as this a matter in 
which every man, if he has no dishonourable intention, is 
free to do as he pleases. 



A recent writer on De Quincey has said : " I doubt 
whether De Quincey really cared much for poetry as poetry ; 
he liked philosophical poets : Milton, Wordsworth, Shake- 
speare (inasmuch as Shakespeare was, as he said, the greatest 
of philosophical poets), Pope even in a certain way " (the 
italics are our own). 

Now this, we confess, surprised, and even somewhat 
shocked us, as being at once most erroneous and perverse. 
Assuredly, as regards Pope, the words " in a certain way," 
should have been " in an -^certain way," as we shall con- 
clusively show in a moment. But meanwhile, let us 
ask, what of the Greek dramatists, ^Eschylus, Sophocles, 
Euripides ? what of Homer ? Did De Quincey not relish 
his hexameters ? And yet more emphatically, what of 
Chaucer ? Was he, under any construction, a philoso- 
phical poet, and did not De Quincey " like " him ? 
Why, he even preferred him to Homer, declaring this pre- 
ference in terms so strong as to be unmistakable, and to 
seem exaggerated. " Show me a piece of Homer's handi- 
work," he says, " that comes within a hundred leagues of 


that divine Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, or of the 
Knight's Tale, or of the Man of Law's Tale, or of the 
Tale of the patient Griselda ? " 

And then as to Milton : was it the philosophy on which 
he laid stress when he wished to convict Dr. Johnson of 
error and malice when the practical-minded Doctor declared 
that the " Paradise Lost " was tedious ? No ; it was the 
scenery ; the incidents, the processions of majestic imagina- 
tions ; the pictures from near and far, from all the high places 
of history and mythology from the "grandeur that was 
Greece and the glory that was Kome ; " from India, Syria, 
Babylon the great, Persia in its prime, Phoenicia in its zenith. 
This is from one of the notes he added to his article on 
Milton in defence of his position as a poet tedious or little 
read, any more than the monumental work of any other 
great classic is necessarily so : 

a ln the older and larger poem ["Paradise Lost"], the 
scenical opportunities are more colossal and more various. 
Heaven opening to eject her rebellious children ; the un- 
voyageable depths of ancient Chaos, with its ( anarch old,' 
and its eternal war of wrecks ; these traversed by that great 
leading angel that drew after him the third part of the 
heavenly host : earliest paradise dawning upon the warrior- 
angel out of this far-distant ' sea without shore ' of chaos ; 
the dreadful phantoms of sin and death, prompted by secret 
sympathy, and snuffing the distant scent of mortal change 
on earth,' chasing the steps of their great progenitor 
and sultan ; finally, the heart-freezing visions, shown and 
narrated to Adam, of human misery, through vast successions 
of shadowy generations ; all these scenical opportunities 
offered in the < Paradise Lost ' become in the hands of the 
mighty artist elements of undying grandeur not matched on 
earth. The compass being so much narrower in the c Para- 
dise Regained,' if no other reason operated, inevitably the 
splendours are sown more thinly. But the great vision of 
the temptation, the banquet in the wilderness, the wilderness 
itself, the terrific pathos of the ruined archangel's speech, 
6 'Tis true I am that spirit unfortunate,' &c. (the effect of 


which, when connected with the stern unpitying answer, is 
painfully to shock the reader) ; all these proclaim the ancient 
skill and the ancient power. And, as regards the skill 
naturally brightened by long practice, that succession of 
great friezes which the Archangel unrolls in the pictures 
of Athens, Rome, and Parthia, besides their native and 
intrinsic beauty, have an unrivalled beauty of position 
through the reflex illustration which reciprocally they give 
and take." 

Are these the words of a man who liked only philosophical 
poets and did not care for poetry as poetry ? 

Again, in the article on Roscoe's " Pope," when illus- 
trating the difference between the literature of knowledge 
and the literature of power, he writes : " What do you 
learn from * Paradise Lost ' ? Nothing at all. What do 
you learn from a cookery-book ? Something that you did 
not know before in every paragraph. But would you there- 
fore put the wretched cookery-book on a higher level of 
estimation than the divine poem ? What you owe to 
Milton is not any knowledge, of which a million separate 
items are still but a million of advancing steps on the 
same earthly level ; what you owe is power, that is, exercise 
and expansion to your latent capacity of sympathy with the 
infinite, where every pulse and each separate influx is a 
long step upwards a step ascending as upon a Jacob's 
ladder from earth to mysterious altitudes above the earth : 
All the steps of knowledge, from first to last, carry you 
further on the same plane, but could never raise you one 
foot above your ancient level of earth; whereas, the very 
first step in power is a flight is an ascending into another 
element where earth is forgotten. 

" The very highest work that has ever existed in the 
literature of knowledge (say Sir Isaac Newton's Principia 
or Kant's Kritique) is but a provisional work : a book upon 
trial and sufferance ; whereas the feeblest works in the litera- 
ture of power, surviving at all, survive as finished and un- 
alterable among men. . . . The great moral, the last re- 
sult of the ' Paradise Lost ' is once formally announced ; but 


it teaches itself only by diffusing its lesson through the 
entire poem in the total succession of events and purposes ; 
and even this succession teaches it only when the whole is 
gathered into a unity by a reflex act of meditation ; just as 
the pulsation of the physical heart can exist only when ail 
the parts in an animal system are locked into one organisa- 
tion. To address the insulated understanding is to lay aside 
the Prospero's robe of poetry." 

And then as to Coleridge : it is, of course, open to any 
critic to declare his opinion that it was the residuum of 
philosophical thought in Coleridge's verse that De Quincey 
admired, and that he never efficiently separated between the 
poetry as poetry of Coleridge and the poetry plus philosophy 
of Coleridge. But it has to be remembered that De Quincey 's 
conviction of the appearance of a great poet was based 
simply on " The Ancient Mariner," published in Words- 
worth's volume as the work of an anonymous friend, and 
that he deeply regretted that opium, in Coleridge's as in 
his own case, had stimulated the metaphysical faculties at 
the expense of the imaginative or poetical. Here are his 
own words : 

* * Nobody is happy under opium except for a very short 
term of years. But in what way did that operate upon 
his exertions as a writer ? We are of opinion that it killed 
Coleridge as a poet. The ' harp of Quantock ' was silenced 
for ever by the torment of opium ; but proportionately it 
roused and stung by misery his metaphysical instincts into 
more spasmodic life. Poetry can flourish only in the atmos- 
phere of happiness. But subtle and perplexed investiga- 
tions of difficult problems are amongst the commonest 
resources for beguiling the sense of misery, and for this we 
have the direct authority of Coleridge himself speculating 
on his own case. In the beautiful though unequal ode 
entitled ' Dejection,' stanza six, occurs the following 

1 For not to think of what 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.' 

" Considering the exquisite quality of some poems which 
Coleridge has composed, nobody can grieve (or has grieved) 
more than ourselves at seeing so beautiful a fountain choked 
up with weeds. But had Coleridge been a happier man, it 
is our fixed belief that we should have had far less of his 
philosophy, and perhaps, but not certainly, might have had 
more of his general literature." 

And this suggests a point about De Quincey himself 
that he, despite the opium, should have preserved so clear a 
perception of poetry as poetry, and to the end was enabled 
not only to dream his dream, but to record his phantasies 
in such pieces as " The Daughter of Lebanon " and "The 
Three Ladies of Sorrow," while all the time his intellect 
was preternaturally active in logic, metaphysics, and political 
economy, and most of the speculations that have at once 
enticed and vexed the mind of man from the beginning. 

It might, of course, be argued that De Quincey, in the 
above-quoted passage, lays too much stress on "happiness," 
as the only atmosphere in which poetry can flourish. And 
De Quincey's opponent here might cite Wordsworth's famous 
verse : 

" We poets in our youth begin in gladness, 
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness." 

But Wordsworth is there speaking for the class whose high- 
strung nervous phantasy had done something to undo them ; 
for certainly this was not Wordsworth's own case, and that 
very stanza also contains these lines : 

" Of him who walked in glory and in joy 
Behind his plough upon the mountain-side." 

Possibly, too, the case of Milton might be cited here, 
rolling his majestic metres in the midst of his personal 
trials and his domestic miseries, when all seemed against 
him national events, household j airings, his blindness, and 
so much else. But Milton's muse, for all that, made an 


atmosphere of joy for him in the very heart of life, and in 
spite of his saddened circumstances. The fact that he could 
sing remained ; and just as the darkened bowers, which the 
trainers of the Harz find so essential in training, teach the 
birds to concentrate themselves in their notes, and find glad- 
ness in the sweet sounds they make when all is dark around 
them, so it is with the poet ; and he is a poet or singer 
because he can make this gladness for himself in the 
fact that he can sing. If it had not been so, how 
could Milton have sustained himself in his work and 
constructed his grand oratorios ? He had no hope of 
reward in coin of the realm; publishers were not besieg- 
ing him for " copy " and for copyright, nor did it seem as if 
the nation were waiting hushed for his numbers. What 
sustained him then in his work ? It was the joy he had in 
the doing of it the sense of youthful power and impulse, 
the consciousness of creative fervour, the grand imaginings 
that were their own reward, and made a glorious world 
of his own around him, wherein he walked apart, if not 
lonely as a star, like a star dwelling in its own radiance 
and glad in the light it shed, whether men were ready to 
witness it or not. It was this inward " light of joy " that 
De Quincey meant this consciousness of power to interpret 
and to express, in a word, to create the beautiful and minister 
to the good and true ; for we cannot for one moment think 
of De Quincey dwelling on a merely coarse, outward, sensible 
happiness if such there can be, at such a moment, and in 
such a connection ; but even if he did, whilst we should then 
be compelled to range ourselves against him, his position 
would still be in our favour as against the critic with whom 
we are concerned ; for either form of happiness is opposed 
to the metaphysical or abstractive temper. Opium, we may 
add, taken in excess, disturbs the sense of creative function 
at its very roots, annihilates the capacity of continuous and 
joyous exertion; and translates the very abstractive func- 
tions, which it preternaturally quickens, into a mere mode of 
fitful escape from a misery which it has itself created. In 
this sense, too, Milton's words are true : "To le weak is to 


l>e miserable" Probably also George Eliot's lines in " Arm- 
gart" may have, in the eyes of most readers, a very close 
illustrative bearing here, we mean when she makes one 
speak thus of her heroine : 

" For herself, 

She often wonders what her life had been 
Without that voice for channel of her soul ; 
She says it must ha\ 7 e leaped through all her limhs, 
Made her a Msenad made her snatch a brand 
And fire some forest that her rage might mount 
In crashing roaring flames through half a laud, 
Leaving her still and patient for a while. 
' Poor wretch ! ' she says of any murderess, 
' The world was cruel, and she could not sing ; ' 
I carry my revenges in my throat, 
I love in singing and am loved again." 

Coleridge himself was decisively of this opinion, if we may 
judge from the fifth stanza of the ode on " Dejection : " 

" This light, this glory, this fair, luminous mist, 
This beautiful and beauty-making power, 

Joy, virtuous Lady ! joy that ne'er was given 
Save to the pure, and in their purest hour ; 
Life and life's effluence, cloud at once and shower, 
Joy, Lady ! is the spirit and the power 
Which wedding Nature to us, gives in dower 

A new earth and new heaven, 
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud 
Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud. 

We in ourselves rejoice ! 
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, 

All melodies the echoes of that voice, 
All colours or suffusion from that light. 
There was a time when, though my path was rough, 

This joy within me dallied with distress. 
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff 

Whence fancy made me dreams of happiness ; 
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine, 
And fruits and foliage not my own seemed mine. 
But now afflictions bow me down to earth, 
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth ; 

But oh ! each visitation 
Suspends what Nature gave me at my birth, 

My shaping spirit of imagination." 

And then follow the lines which De Quincey has quoted, 


wliich are imperfect and less emphatic without these pre- 
ceding ones. 

Then as to Wordsworth : it is certainly not the philosophy 
qua philosophy that De Quincey admires in " The Excur- 
sion." That dissatisfies him. He finds fault with the episode 
of Margaret because it has been so overlaid by the Solitary's 
philosophy, and so also with the Sceptic. " Indirectly, be- 
sides, it ought not to be overlooked that, as regards the 
French Revolution, the whole college of philosophy in * The 
Excursion' makes the same mistake that he [the Sceptic] 
does. ... It is not easy to see how the Laureate can avoid 
making some change in the constitution of his poem, were it 
only to rescue his philosophers, and therefore his own philo- 
sophy, from the imputation of precipitancy of judgment." 
On account of the philosophy in " The Excursion " operating 
to break up and disconnect, it was laid down that " The 
Excursion " would live only as a series of fragments ; fol- 
lowed by this most telling passage : " Not therefore in 
' The Excursion ' must we look for that reversionary in- 
fluence which awaits Wordsworth with posterity. It is the 
vulgar superstition in behalf of big books and sounding 
titles ; it is the weakness of supposing no book entitled 
to be considered a power in the literature of the land, unless 
physically it is weighty, that must have prevailed upon 
Coleridge and others to undervalue, by comparison with the 
direct philosophic poetry of Wordsworth, those minor poems 
which are all short, but generally scintillating with gems 
of far profounder truth. Let the reader understand, how- 
ever, that by ' truth ' I understand not merely that truth 
which takes the shape of a formal proposition, reducible to 
' mood ' and ' figure,' but truth which suddenly strengthens 
into solemnity an impression very feebly acknowledged 
previously, or truth which suddenly unveils a connection 
between objects always before regarded as irrelate and 
independent." How then could it be said that De Quincey 
preferred the philosophical to the purely imaginative poems 
of Wordsworth ? In truth, De Quincey admired " The Ex- 
cursion " in spite of its philosophy, and not because of it. It 


was not merely that it was wrong, but that it was there, as 
one might say in chemical phrase, unprecipitated. No ; what 
De Quincey admired and liked in Wordsworth were these 
four things : (i.) an eye for new aspects and new meanings 
in Nature's shows and pomps, especially in the forms of 
cloud architecture; (2.) his hold on, and interpretation of, 
certain sentiments which poetry had heretofore greatly 
overlooked or inadequately and perversely treated; (3.) his 
hold on the permanent in human feeling ; and (4.) the 
depth of his sympathy. ' ' The great distinction of Words- 
worth," he says, " and the pledge of his increasing popularity, 
is the extent of his sympathy with what is really permanent 
in human feelings, and also the depth of his sympathy." 
De Quincey therefore based his liking for Wordsworth, and 
his conviction of his profound influence, on elements that 
are opposed to philosophy, though they may be allied with 
meditative moods, and may sometimes draw effect from them. 

But even as to Pope, it was not as the philosophical poet, 
moralist, or satirist that De Quincey liked or admired him, 
but rather as the fanciful and inventive artist in such things 
as " The Kape of the Lock," especially in the final form, with 
its machinery of sylphs and gnomes, or as the painter of 
human nature in emotive crises, as in the "Abelard and 
Heloise." Let the writer from whom we quoted at the out- 
set, and those who are inclined to swear by him, read that 
portion of "Lord Carlisle on Pope," pp. 22 to 32 (author's 
original edition), and they will see how little, when De 
Quincey was free to wield his critical weapon and give verge 
to personal opinion (which he hardly was in writing for the 
" Encyclopaedia Britannica," though even there he takes care 
to rebuke those who have very unreasonably fancied the 
" Essay on Criticism " Pope's best performance, which he 
there decides to be " The Eape of the Lock "), he gave 
countenance to this statement, and certainly no support could 
be found for it in the essay on Eoscoe's " Pope." 

" Pope valued upon that scale [as an original philosopher 
or philosophic moralist] is nobody ; or, in Newmarket lan- 
guage, if ranked against Chrysippus, or Plato, or Aristotle, 


or Epicurus, lie would be found 'nowhere/ He is there- 
fore reduced at one blow to the level of a pulpit moralist. 
. . . And in a function so exceedingly humble, philosophi- 
cally considered, how could he pretend to precedency in 
respect of anybody, unless it were the Amen Clerk or the 
Sexton ? 

" In reality, however, the case is worse Whatever 

service Pope may have meditated to the philosophy of morals, 
he has certainly performed none. The direct contributions 
which he offered to this philosophy in his ' Essay on Man,' 
are not of a nature to satisfy any party ; because at present 
the whole system may be read into different, and sometimes 
into opposing meanings, according to the quality of the 
integrations supplied for filling up the chasm in the chain 
of development. The sort of service, however, expected 
from Pope in such a field falls in better with the style of 
his satires and moral epistles than of a work professedly 
metaphysical. Here, however, most eminently it is that 
the falseness and hypocrisy which besieged his satirical 
career have made themselves manifest. . . . Untruly, there- 
fore, was it ever fancied of Pope that he belonged, by his 
classification, to the family of the Drydens. Dryden had 
within him a principle of continuity, which was not satisfied 
without lingering upon his own thoughts, brooding over 
them, and oftentimes pursuing them through their unlinkirigs 
with the sequaciousness (pardon a Coleridgean word) that 
belongs to some process of creative nature, such as the un- 
folding of a flower. But Pope was all jets and tongues of 
flame ; all showers of scintillation and sparkle. Dryden 
followed, genially, an impulse of his healthy nature. Pope 
obeyed, spasmodically, an overmastering febrile paroxysm. 
. . . Pope was habitually false in the quality of his thoughts, 
always insincere, never by accident in earnest, and conse- 
quently many times caught in ruinous self-contradiction. 
The satires offend against philosophical truth more heavily 
than the ' Essay on Man/ but not in the same way. . . . 
The two brilliant poets [Horace and Pope] fluttered on 
butterfly wings to the right and to the left, obeying no 



guidance but that of some instant and fugitive sensibility 
to some momentary phases of beauty. In this dream of 
drunken eclecticism, and in the original possibility of such 
an eclecticism, lay the ground of that enormous falsehood 
which Pope practised from youth to age." 

It was, therefore, not " in a certain way " that De Quin- 
cey admired Pope as a philosophical poet, but " in a most 
uncertain way," far more "in a certain way " does he 
admire Pope in "The Rape of the Lock," &c., when Pope 
tried to write poetry as poetry ; so that this critic is 
doubly wrong wrong in what he positively asserts ; wrong 
in what he omits ; wrong alike in what he sees and signalises 
and in what he omits to see and to signalise ; wrong as to 
the fact and wrong as to the criticism ; wrong both before 
and behind, as one might say, and this surely is a sad plight 
to put oneself in ! 

Thus, putting aside the point about Shakespeare 
(" Shakespeare, inasmuch as Shakespeare was, as he said, 
the greatest of philosophical poets ") on which much might 
be said, we have advanced quite enough to show that this 
writer's statement is not to be implicitly accepted, and is 
likely to be misleading if accepted as an accurate, faithful, 
or discriminating interpretation of Thomas de Quincey's 
views of poets and poetry. 

This same writer is wrong on one other point, and con- 
tradictory on a second. He is wrong when he says that 
De Quincey shifted his lodgings after his pecuniary troubles 
had ceased. He did not ; and that is the very reason why 
the cottage at Lasswade and 42 Lothian Street, Edinburgh, 
are now so familiar to us. Then (2), while we are told that 
" nobody can be held to have known De Quincey during his 
later years " [were then Mr. Hill Burton, Professor Lushing- 
ton, Mr. J. E. Findlay nobodies ? not to speak of the want 
of gallantry in so ignoring De Quincey's daughters, or in 
relegating them to the same rank], in another page we are 
told this : " Indeed what we do hear [about De Quincey] 


dates almost entirely from the last days of his life " the 
legitimate inference from which, in the light of the other 
statement, is not very complimentary to all or to any of those 
who have told us anything regarding him. 


The last clause of Professor J. P. ISTichol's letter on 
page 1 86 would be very obscure without some explanation. 
In the second volume of De Quincey's " Collected Works " 
appeared the Eeminiscences of " Samuel Taylor Coleridge," 
in which De Quincey took occasion to make some remarks 
on the inconsistencies of points in Coleridge's philosophy 
with the tenets of Unitarianism with which Coleridge was 
credited ; and he passes on to illustrate the contradictions 
that befall philosophers by citing the case of Kant, who, 
in spite of much in his published works, was yet, he asserts, 
apt in private conversation to express doubts as to the 
inspiration of the Bible and the immortality of the soul. 
Professor J. P. Nichol contributed to the Glasgow Uni- 
versity Album for 1854 a few pages, calling in question 
the assertions of De Quincey on this point, though in the 
friendliest spirit, and asking him to give authorities and 
set the matter thoroughly at rest. The following is 
Professor Nichol's little paper, to which he has directed 
De Quincey's attention in the letter : 

Mr. de Quincey versus Immanuel Kant. 

No reader of this Miscellany can require to be informed 
that Mr. de Quincey is now engaged in revising and super- 
intending the publication of his principal writings. Nor 
is it needful that in sympathy with the whole literary 
world we add our expression of congratulation, that this 


admirable Writer and most interesting Man lias found 
leisure and opportunity to complete and perfect a Monument 
which will certainly be as enduring as any other that has 
been erected by Genius in the present age. In the second 
volume of the Selections, however, there is a paragraph 
to which we venture to take grave exception, a paragraph 
so very important that we feel persuaded Mr. de Quincey 
will not be the last to recognise the propriety of this 
formal and public request for his renewed attention to 
the statement it contains. In pages 162, 163 is recorded 
as follows : 

" Who can read without indignation of Kant, that at 
his own table, in social sincerity and confidential talk, let 
him say what he would in his books, he exulted in the 
prospect of absolute and ultimate annihilation ; that he 
planted his glory in the grave, and was ambitious of rotting 
for ever ! The King of Prussia, though a personal friend 
of Kant's, found himself obliged to level his state-thunders 
at some of his doctrines and terrified him in his advance : 
else, I am persuaded that Kant would have formally de- 
livered atheism from the Professor's Chair, and would have 
enthroned the horrid Ghoulish creed (which privately he 
professed) in the University of Konigsberg. It required 
the artillery of a great King to make him pause ; his 
menacing or warning letter to Kant is extant. The general 
notion is, that the royal logic, applied so austerely to the 
public conduct of Kant in the Professor's Chair, was of the 
kind which rests its strength ' upon thirty legions.' My 
own belief is, that the King had private information of 
Kant's ultimate tendencies, as revealed in his table-talk." 

It is very evident that an imputation so serious on the 
memory of one of the greatest Thinkers in modern Europe 
ought not to be sent abroad unless the grounds of it are 
definite and above question. Now, we take leave to say 
that, in the current and open literature of Germany 
nothing authorising that imputation has up to the present 


moment found a place. We have several biographies of 
Kant ; and his metaphysical system was, from the hour of 
its birth, subjected to much and even angry criticism ; but 
neither in any reputable biography, nor in any decent 
criticism known to us, have we been able to detect the 
vestige of such a charge. The Critical Philosophy could 
not escape, indeed, much vehement denunciation. It met 
the fate of all grand innovations, being quite unacceptable 
at first to a party in the German Churches. Pamphlets, 
nothing tolerant either of Philosophy or philosophers, but 
very fiery and furious, came in hordes from the press ; we 
have sufficient experience, however, of the weight and 
worth of such things, even in our own comparatively quiet 
country, to deem it a matter of much consequence, although 
sundry Pamphleteers of that cast may be known to have 
associated Kant with Apollyon himself. A serious state- 
ment by Mr. de Quincey is confessedly an affair of a 
different order ; and we submit that he owes it to himself 
as well as to Kant, and all the young minds whose 
opinions his genius will yet influence to examine and 
PRODUCE his Authorities. Will he forgive our recording 
our own strong impression that the whole story of the 
Ghoulish table-talk, and of the King of Prussia's letter, 
may be found to have a certain undeniable family re- 
semblance to the famous " Three Hack crows " ? 

This conviction of ours rests not merely on what is 
accepted in his own land regarding Kant personally, but 
also on the nature of the Critical Philosophy, and the 
character of the high intellect that evolved it. An 
impression, indeed, was once afloat in this country that 
Kant's system is, in so far, an Ideal one tending towards 
the denial of Ontological Eealities ; but that has waned in 
exact proportion as our insular Metaphysicians have ceased 
to despise German Literature, and to refrain from under- 
standing [ ? undervaluing] courses of thought originating 
elsewhere than in some Scottish preserve. The mistake 
arose in this wise. After achieving that memorable task, 
for the accomplishment of which all modern Speculation 


must ever be indebted to him, the task, namely, of vindi- 
cating the authority of Absolute Truths by tracing them 
to a dynamic force inherent in Mind itself, we asked how, 
from the platform of Subjective KNOWLEDGE, can we reach 
the height of objective BEING ? How from PSYCHOLOGY pass 
to ONTOLOGY ? And, in discussing this the most thorny 
and arduous problem within reach of the Human Eeason 
we showed that, while there is one way by which the 
transition can be effected, there is another by which it 
cannot. By the speculative faculty, Kant said, we cannot 
construct a requisite bridge ; it does not follow, because we 
have a speculative longing for Unity that there must be 
an objective unchangeable Substance corresponding to that 
notion of Unity. The Speculative Faculty has merely to 
recognise those controlling notions, as its own absolute Laws ; 
and it is, in itself, complete and adequate to itself, irre- 
spective of Externality. Now, this memorable Critique at 
once discredited multitudes of paralogisms popularly current 
and held by as satisfactory ; and as lack of ability to think 
is usually accompanied by lack of courage, the terror went 
abroad that " the foundations of Ontology " were being 
quite removed by this remorseless destroyer of Konigsberg. 
Terror blinds alike Intellect and Conscience. It was not 
observed that Kant had really proposed and established for 
evermore the surest foundation of Ontology. It may be, 
that even he has not seen deep enough among the capacities 
of the Speculative Faculty. It is not improbable that a 
clearer view of certain Intuitions would remove a portion 
of the difficulties which confronted him. But two aver- 
ments may be hazarded. First, the difficulties in question 
were not removed in his time, and still stand where he 
found them stern as ever. And, secondly, there is a strong 
a priori probability that we shall discern the Eealities of 
Ontology easiest at least by aid of that portion of our 
complex Nature on which these dread Eealities the most 
directly act ; viz., our MORAL NATURE, or, as it was named 
by Kant, the PRACTICAL EEASON. It has been alleged that 
Kant, either shrinking from the consequences of his former 


conclusions, or desirous to conciliate popular belief, sought 
this outlet ; and that he proposed it, although it is clearly 
discredited by the very considerations which swayed him 
in the previous case. An averment of Irreflection or Ignor- 
ance. The cases bear no resemblance. The Speculative 
Faculty, acting in obedience to its own Laws, is, as we 
have said, complete in itself; wherefore, it demands no 
supplementing through Externality. The Practical Reason, 
on the other hand, is essentially extra-regardant. It cannot 
act at all, unless in relationship with other Minds, equal 
and superior : its Laws presuppose an Ontology ; and thus 
constrain our Belief in Ontology. Whether this reasoning 
be sound or riot, assuredly it was earnestly put ; and we 
have yet to learn that it has been overthrown. 

In further exercise of that frankness any departure from 
which Mr. de Quincey would consider the reverse of com- 
plimentary, we protest also against the content of the ex- 
pression, " let Mm say what he would in his books." Kant's 
confidence in God and Immortality, in the Moral Attributes 
and Responsibility of Man, was not, as presented by him- 
self, the result of any questionable Speculation. It forms, 
on the contrary, in its various modes, the ground of a fair 
half of all his philosophic labours, witness the Critique of 
the Practical Reason, the Metaphysic of Ethics, and his essay 
on Religion. Were works like these nothing but an 
" organised hypocrisy " ? Observe the amount involved in 
so monstrous a charge ! Not merely the character of Kant 
a great man who, through much worthy service, has left 
on the world an obligation to protect his name ; but this 
further, the untenable the impossible proposition, that any 
illustrious Thinker, any human Spirit gifted with the ability 
to explore new regions of Moral Truth, can be tainted by the 
mean vice of insincerity. On the Socratic doctrine in its 
broadest sense that Knowledge is identical with Virtue 
we shall not at present dilate ; but we aver that this vice 
of Insincerity is utterly inconsistent with the power to 
advance one hair's-breadth among untrodden districts of 
the Moral World. There is not an instance in History 


that goes to contradict our averment ; nor is the ground of 
it remote ; no man can discover new Moral Truth who does 
not know Truth, and love it. A maxim at the root of all 
the Teaching of Socrates as well as at that of One higher 
still : let it be written with Pen of Iron on the heart of 
every young Man who longs for insight and desires a guide ! 
Mr. de Quincey assuredly will not quote against us the 
venerable name of BACON. Eesearch, honestly undertaken 
and unremittingly pursued, is fast clearing away the false- 
hoods that to the disgrace of what is called History 
have so long obscured the lustre of one of England's 
proudest possessions ; to us, d priori considerations ever 
seemed sufficient. . . . 

The Author of these exquisite Essays, which now that 
they are being collected we shall henceforth frequently 
enjoy, cannot feel surprised at our express claim of justice 
at his hands on behalf of so marked a leader of European 
Thought, or that we are unwilling to resign the character 
of Kant. And yet further. Of Prejudice, inane Terror, and 
the poorest Appreciation regarding Teutonic Philosophy) 
there is still enough and to spare amongst us ; nor are there 
wanting persons in the garb of Truth-seekers who, instead 
of grieving lest imputations like the foregoing should have 
even a shadow of foundation, receive them gladly, and 
for the purpose of discrediting the Philosophy are pre- 
pared eagerly to diffuse them. Now, without meaning 
to stand answerable either for the whole or any special 
part of the result of recent Continental Speculation, we 
hold it a heavy misfortune that a course of Thought so 
remarkable continues virtually disregarded among young 
Men who aspire to be Teachers of the next generation ; 
that, while History must describe it as a memorable phase 
in the intellectual and moral unfolding of Humanity, they 
consider it safe very nearly to ignore it. Alas ! it is not 
thus that influence over the future may now be attained : 
even Scotland is insular no longer. He w r ho would sway 
Scotchmen henceforward must be able to sway Men ; and 
no combatant ambitious to do service for Truth need per- 


suade himself that he can correct error merely by resolving 
not to comprehend it. With the counsel implied in these 
sentences, and respectfully but earnestly as well as affec- 
tionately commended, it is perhaps not unfitting that one 
volume of the University Album should close. J. P. N. 

This passage which Professor J. P. Nichol animadverts 
upon in the section of the " Literary Reminiscences " 
headed " Samuel Taylor Coleridge," follows a paragraph 
in which De Quincey contrasts the great constructive powers 
of Coleridge with those of the same order which were so 
weak, as he holds, in Kant. With that weakness De 
Quincey connects a tendency to scepticism, allied with a 
lack of love, faith, humility, self-distrust, child-like docility, 
so pronouncedly features of Coleridge's character ; and then 
follows the paragraph quoted by Professor Nichol. But in 
the article on " Kant in his Miscellaneous Essays," origin- 
ally published in Blaclcwood's Magazine in August 1830, in 
the form of a letter to Christopher North, he had written : 

" It must not be concealed that Kant is an enemy to 
Christianity. Not content with the privilege of speaking 
in an infidel tone, and with philosophic liberty, he mani- 
festly thinks of Christianity with enmity nay, with spite. 
/ will never believe that Kant was capable (as some have 
represented him) of ridiculing in conversation the hopes of 
immortality ; for that is both incredible for itself, and in 
contradiction to many passages in his writings. But that he 
was mean and little-minded in his hatred to Christianity is 
certain. Nor is it at all unintelligible that, philosopher as 
he was, and compelled to do homage, therefore, unwilling 
homage, to the purity and holiness which so transcendently 
belong to the Christian morals (a subject which he could 
not decline or evade, having himself treated that part of 
philosophy with such emphatic truth and grandeur), after 
confessing, as, in fact, he did, its superiority to the Stoic 
morality, which certainly approaches nearest to the Christian 
in uncompromising rigour of principle, it is still not unin- 
telligible that he should harbour enmity to Christianity 


as an entire scheme of religious philosophy. Though at 
first sight startling, I repeat that this coexistence of two 
opposite states of feeling with regard to Christianity is no 
inexplicable phenomenon." 

But the letter of the King of Prussia and Kant's reply 
to it were real enough, and in this article De Quincey gives 
a translation of the former and a kind of resuwit of the 
latter ; so that Professor J. P. Nichol was quite wrong 
when he expressed the conviction that they would be found 
of the same order as the " Three Black Crows." It is clear 
that Kant's relation to Christianity was not exactly what 
Professor Nichol would fain have made it out to be. And 
it would seern that, whereas in August 1830 De Quincey 
was inclined to doubt what had been said of Kant's dis- 
belief in immortality as expressed in his table-talk, by 
1854 he .had convinced himself that it was well attested : 
hence there was no necessity for further investigation or 
further argument. So far as we are aware, he did not 
publicly take any notice of Professor J. P. Nichol's paper ; 
nor did he himself reprint in his " Collected Works " 
the paper on " Kant in his Miscellaneous Essays " from 
Blackwood for August 1830, else probably he would in 
notes to that essay have made some reply to the stric- 
tures of Professor Nichol in the Glasgow University Album 
for 1854. 


The contributions of Professor John Nichol, then a 
student in Glasgow, to which his father refers in the 
letter directing De Quincey's attention to them, are cer- 
tainly remarkable alike as regards originality and felicity 
of form for so young a man. Both under his initials and 
under the pseudonyms of " Isis " and " Basalt " he con- 


tributed, and in each of the contributions we detect traces 
of great promise such traces as would lead one to expect 
later such a work as "Hannibal." 

" Psammenitus," indeed, is, in our opinion, a poem of 
considerable finish arid fancy. It is in blank verse, with 
perhaps a suggestion of Tennyson's influence, yet is original 
and happy in phrase here and there. It tells the story of 
of the descent of Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, on Psammenitus, 
to wrest from him the throne of Egypt. The poem opens 
with some fine lines on Egypt : 

" Deep-shrouded Egypt, lone, mysterious land ; 
A land of mingled shrines and palaces, 
Where the stern shades of Death o'ershadowing, 
Subdues the pillar and the pomp of life, 
And mellows all things to a dreadful calm : 
There greatness moulders slow the tombs of kings 
Are their own most enduring monument. 
Still Ammon rules across the desert sands 
That melt away beyond the dreary waste, 
But all the empire of the land has passed. 
No longer do the shafts of triumph speed 
From conquering chariots of avenging chiefs ; 
And now no more the sound of Memnon's voice 
Wakes up the far glad music of the Vale ', 
No more ascending from the hills of Thebes 
Is incense curling upwards to the Gods, 
No longer now from congregated crowds 
The clang of symbols unto Isis sounds ; 
Silent the hum of worshippers, and low 
In crumbling ruins, stately temples rest." 



When severe or satirical remarks are made on the lack 
of practicality in De Quincey, and on the constant scrapes 
and embarrassments in which he found himself, some lack 
of insight is shown into the whole bearings of the case. 


Had De Quincey been practical, and careful to invest even 
his small fortune with skill, not to speak of judicious cal- 
culation, instead of making gifts and spending injudiciously, 
he would in all probability have passed through life a 
very amiable and respected gentleman, famed for his 
extensive knowledge, his power in conversation, and his 
out-of-the-way reading. But he would not have troubled 
the world with any of his lucubrations. He had none of 
the itch of writing which pursues some people. He was 
content to live and to enjoy. His intellectual faculties 
and sympathies would at all times have found exercise, as 
well as his quaint and gentle humour ; but he would never 
probably have joined the army of writers for the press. Pos- 
sibly his superabundant thought and fancy and felicity of 
expression might have found some scope in letters to his 
friends and acquaintances ; and possibly these might have 
been gathered together by some intimate or admirer ; 
the world would have laughed over the extravagances, the 
paradoxes, and the gentle raillery which thus he would 
have fired off'; but his fame would only have been short- 
lived. Unless, indeed, he had met with some friend who 
had had the sagacity to become his alter ego, and treasure 
up his table-talk Boswell-like more especially in those 
early hours when, if in congenial and appreciative society, 
his discourse was said to be brilliant and novel beyond 
expression. He himself repeatedly confesses that he wrote 
only under the spur of necessity. " Failing which case of 
dire necessity," he confesses at one place, " I believe that 
I should never have written a line for the press." To the 
necessities, therefore, we owe what we have. 




It would appear that doubts of a similar tenor to those 
recently expressed were cast on sundry points in the " Con- 
fessions " when first published doubts which, it may be, 
De Quincey had in his rnind when he replied to James 
Montgomery's remarks ; but he made no particular reference 
to them then. Five-and-twenty years after, however, in the 
third instalment of the " Suspiria de Profundis " in Hack- 
wood's Magazine for July 1845, p. 49, he referred to them 
at some length and with some humour also. He writes : 

" I saw in one journal an intimation that the incidents 
in the preliminary narrative were possibly without foun- 
dation. To such an expression of mere gratuitous malig- 
nity, as it happened to be supported by no one argument 
except a remark, apparently absurd, but certainly false, I 
did not condescend to answer. In reality the possibility 
had never occurred to me that any person of judgment 
would seriously suspect me of taking liberties with that 
part of the work, since, though no one of the parties 
concerned but myself stood in so central a position to 
the circumstances as to be acquainted with all of them, 
many were acquainted with each separate section of the 
Memoir. Relays of witnesses might have been summoned 
to mount guard, as it were, upon the accuracy of each 
particular in the whole succession of incidents ; and some 
of these people had an interest, more or less strong, in 
exposing any deviation from the strictest letter of the truth, 
had it been in their power to do so. It is now (1845) 
twenty-two years since I saw the objection here alluded to ; 
and, in saying that I did not condescend to notice it, the 
reader must not find any reason for taxing me with a blame- 
able haughtiness. But every man is entitled to be haughty 


when his veracity is impeached, and, still more, when it is 
impeached by a dishonest objection, or, if not that, by an 
objection which argues a carelessness of attention almost 
amounting to dishonesty, in a case where it was meant to 
sustain an imputation of falsehood. Let a man read care- 
lessly, if he will, but not when he is meaning to use his 
reading for a purpose of wounding another man's honour. 
Having thus, by twenty-two years' silence, sufficiently ex- 
pressed my contempt for the slander, I now feel myself 
at liberty to draw it into notice for the sake, inter alia, of 
showing in how rash a spirit malignity often works." 

And then he proceeds to show that certain of the features 
in his description of the house in the street off Oxford 
Street where lived the shady attorney who allowed him a 
gratuitous lodging there had been missed, and this made 
the ground of fastening on him a charge that he had said 
the house was in Oxford Street, and that no house answer- 
ing to the description could be found in Oxford Street. 

" Meantime, it happens," he goes on, " that, although the 
true house was most obscurely indicated, any house what- 
ever in Oxford Street was most luminously excluded. In 
all the immensity of London there was but one single street 
could be challenged by an attentive reader of the Confes- 
sions as peremptorily not the street of the attorney's house 
and that one was Oxford Street ; for, in speaking of my 
own renewed acquaintance with the outside of this house, 
I used some expression implying that, in order to make 
such a visit of reconnaissance, I had turned aside from 
Oxford Street. The matter is a perfect trifle in itself, but it 
is no trifle in a question affecting a writer's accuracy. ... I 
may now mention the Herod being dead whose persecu- 
tions I have reason to fear that the house in question 
stands in Greek Street, on the west, and is the house on that 
side nearest to Soho Square, but without looking into the 
square. This it was hardly safe to mention at the date of 
the published Confessions. It was my private opinion, 
indeed, that there were twenty-five chances to one of my 
friend the attorney having been by that time hanged. But 


then this argued inversely : one chance to twenty-five that 
my friend might be unhanged, and knocking about the 
streets of London ; in which case it would have been a 
perfect God-send to him that here lay an opening (of my 
contrivance, not his) for requesting the opinion of a jury 
on the amount of solatium due to his wounded feelings 
in an action on the passage in the Confessions. To have 
indicated even the street would have been enough. 
Because there could surely be but one such Grecian in 
Greek Street, or but one that realised the conditions of 
that unknown quantity. There was also a separate danger, 
not absolutely so laughable as it sounds. Me there was 
little chance that the attorney should meet; but my book he 
might easily have met (supposing always that the warrant 
of Sus. per coll. had not yet on his own account travelled 
down to Newgate). For he was literary, admired litera- 
ture ; and, as a lawyer, he wrote on some subjects fluently : 
might he not publish his Confessions ? Or, which would 
be worse, a supplement to mine printed so as exactly 
to match ? In which case I should have had the same 
Affliction that Gibbon the historian dreaded so much, viz., 
that of seeing a refutation of himself, and his own answer 
to the refutation, all bound up in one and the same self- 
combating volume. Besides, he would have cross-examined 
me before the public in Old Bailey style : no story, the 
most straightforward that ever was told, could be sure to 
stand that. And my readers might be left in a state of 
painful doubt whether he might not, after all, have been a 
model of suffering innocence I (to say the kindest thing 
possible) plagued with the natural treacheries of a school- 
boy's memory. ... I never succeeded in tracing his steps 
through the wilderness of London until some years back, 
when I ascertained that he was dead.' r 

The letters we have been able to give in this volume, 
indeed, are decisive on the points with which they deal ; 
and the presumption is, that, had complete collections of 
letters existed, every point in detail however strange 
would have been confirmed by contemporary testimony. 




The letters printed in the first volume from the Marquis 
of Sligo have an interest for students of literature and 
lovers of De Quincey over and above the testimony they 
afford of his truthfulness in narration. They form a part 
of that very parcel of letters which he tells us in the 
" Confessions " he carried about with him, during his sad 
novitiate in London, and presented to the money-lending 
Jews and their attorneys as proofs of his identity. The 
passage in which he states these facts we may here 
reproduce : 

" To this Jew [Dell] and to other advertising money- 
lenders [some of whom were, I believe, also Jews] I had 
introduced myself with an account of my expectations, 
which account, on examining my father's will at Doctor's 
Commons, they had ascertained to be correct. The person 

fehere mentioned as the second son of was found to 

have all the claims [or more than all] that I had stated, 
but one question still remained which the faces of the Jews 
pretty significantly suggested was I that person ? This 
doubt had never occurred to me as a possible one ; I had 
rather feared whenever my Jewish friends scrutinised me 
keenly that I might be too well known to be that person, 
and that some scheme might be passing in their minds for 
entrapping me, and selling me to my guardians. It was 
strange to me to find my own self, materialiter considered 
(so I expressed it, for I doated on logical accuracy of dis- 
tinctions), accused, or at least suspected, of counterfeiting 
my own self formaliter considered. However, to satisfy 
their scruples, I took the only course in my power. Whilst 
I was in Wales I had received various letters from young 


friends ; these I produced, for I carried them constantly in 
my pocket, being, indeed, by this time almost the only 
relics of my personal incumbrances (excepting the clothes I 
wore, which I had not in one way or other disposed of. 
Most of these letters were from the Earl of [Altamont], 
who was at that time my chief (or rather only) confidential 
friend. These letters were dated from Eton. I had also 
some from the Marquis of [Sligo], his father, who, though 
absorbed in agricultural pursuits, yet having been an 
Etonian himself, and as good a scholar as a nobleman needs 
to be, still retained an affection for classical studies and for 
youthful scholars. He had, accordingly, from the time that 
I was fifteen, corresponded with me ; sometimes upon the 
great improvements which he had made or was meditating 

in the counties of M and 81 since I had been 

there ; sometimes upon the merits of a Latin poet, at 
other times suggesting subjects on which he wished me to 
write verses." 


The perusal 'of letters in this later " find " of materials 
has led to correction of two errors in the Memoir, which, 
so far as we are aware, have passed unnoticed : 

i^ At p. 37 of Eevised Edition, line 2 from top, 
" Ballinasloe " should be " Ballinrobe." 

2. At p. 76 of Revised Edition, lines 7 and 10 

from bottom, " contempt " should be " contem- 
And a printer's error : 

3. At p. 426, line 5 from top, " scientific " should be 

" simple." 

(Ballinasloe is twice referred to in the former page, and 


repeated at top of p. 37 would imply going backward 
instead of forward to breakfast.) 

The Mr. Oliver White referred to at p. 293 of Memoir 
is the same person as Mr. 0. W. Wight from whom a 
letter is quoted on pp. 238240 of vol. ii. of this work. 
And the latter is the correct designation. 





MARCH 1891. 





The Bodks mentioned in this List t&n 
Ixt obtained to order by any Book* 
seller if not in stock, or will be sent 
by the Publisher post free on receipt 


Now Ready. 

In Two Volumes, Demy 8vo, with Portraits, 
303. net. 



Edited-, with Introduction, Notes, and Narrative, 

THESE volumes include letters to De Quincey from his mother 
whilst he was still at school, from his sisters Jane and Mary, 
his brothers Henry and Richard, and his guardian, the Rev. 
Samuel Hall. Letters also from the Marquis of Sligo, Pro- 
fessor Wilson, Sir W. Hamilton, " Cyril Thornton," Hannah 
More, the Brontes, Coleridge, Professor T. P. Nichol, the 
Wordsworths, and many others, add to the value of the book, 
and with De Quincey's OAVH letters, throw new light on many 
points in his career, and present confirmation by documentary 
evidence of the truth of some of his statements regarding 
the most extraordinary incidents in his early career, some of 
which have been doubted at various times. 

The work is handsomely printed, in two volumes, and is 
illustrated by portraits of De Quincey and members of the 
De Quincey family. 



Early in 1891. 

In Volumes, Crown 8vo. 











Edited, with Introduction and Notes, from the Author's Original 
MSS., by 


THE above posthumous works of Thomas De Quincey will 
form an essential addition to every library containing the 
already printed works of the Opium-eater. The additional 
Suspiria alone would justify this claim, some of them being 
absolutely necessary to complete the significance of those 
already published. There are also other essays of importance, 
essays on history, speculation, criticism, and theology, and 
some very remarkable Brevia, which will give readers a closer 
access to De Quincey's private life and innermost thoughts 
than anything that has ever been published. 



In the Press. 





President of the Gypsy Lore Society, <frc. &c. 

A WANT has long been felt and often expressed by different 
writers for a complete English edition of Heine's works. 
That this has never been done is the more remarkable, 
because HEINE is, next to GOETHE, the most universally 
popular author in Germany, and one who, although he 
termed himself an unlicked Teutonic savage, wrote in a 
style and manner which have made him a leading favourite 
in all countries. 

Early volumes will contain the REISEBILDER, or PICTURES 
OP TRAVEL, probably the most brilliant and entertaining, 
while at the same time the most instructive or thought- 
inspiring, work of its kind ever written ; FLORENTINE 
SONGS. Others will be announced later. 

Dr. Garnett is preparing a "Life of Heine," which will 
be uniform with this edition of Heine's works. 

%* A Large Paper Edition will be printed, limited to one hundred 
ind fifty copies, numbered, and signed by the translator. 



Now Ready. 
In One Volume, 8vo. 




The Coming Terror : A Dialogue between Alienatus, a Provincial, 
and Urbanus, a Cockney Are Men Born Free and Equal? a 
Controversy On Descending into Hell : a Protest against Over- 
Legislation in Matters Literary The Modern Young Man as 
Critic Is Chivalry still Possible ? Imperial Cockney dom Is the 
Marriage Contract Eternal? Flotsam and Jetsam: I. What is 
Sentiment? II. Emma Wade's Martyrdom. III. The Apotheosis 
of the Gallows. IV. The Defeat of the Total Abstainer. V. The 
Carnival of Robert Burns. VI. Beneficent "Murder " (1). VII. 
Beneficent "Murder" (2). VIII. Booksellers' Romance. IX. 
Professor Huxley's Miraculous Conversion (1). X. Professor 
Huxley's Miraculous Conversion (2). XI. "The Journalist in 
Absolution." XII. The Courtesan on the Stage. XIII. Goethe 
and Criticism. XIV. "Dramatic Criticism as she is Wrote " 
Final Words: I. The Paradox. II. The Social Sanction. III. 
The Outcome in Minor Literary Criticism. IV. Types of Egois- 
mus. V. "Morality" as Literature. VI. The Outcome in 
Idealism. VII. "Poor Humanity." 

In Two Volumes 8vo, 3, 133. 6d. 







Member of the Virginia Historical Society and of the American His- 
torical Association, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

With 100 Portraits, Maps, and Plans. 



In One Volume, Crown 8vo, 35. 6d. 



Author of " The House on the Marsh," "A Witch of the Hills," &c. 

The author has constructed a powerful romance of love, mystery, 
and intrigue, crowded with absorbing incidents, skilfully worked out. 

In One Volume, Crown 8vo, 33. 6d. 





Author of "Through the Zulu Country," &c. 

One Volume, Crown 8vo, 33. 6d. 




Author of "Hermia Suydam," and " What Dreams may Come. 

One Volume, Crown 8vo, 33. 6d. 





Now Ready. 
In One Volume, Small 4to, 53. 




With Portrait in Photogravure, 
%* Also a limited Large Paper Edition. Price on application. 

Liverpool Mercury. "Displays all his wonted brilliancy in dra- 
matic development, his firmness of touch, and his unique faculty . . . 
free from any sign of declining power , . . and minutely drawn as only 
Ibsen of living men could draw it. ... It is masterly." 

Saturday Review. "A stronger thing than any the author has 
done since the 'Wild Duck.' . . . The Norwegian dramatist's dialogue 
throws great difficulties in the way of his translators; but Mr. Gosse 
has, on the whole, surmounted them better than any one," 

Star. "A masterpiece of tragic art." 

Globe. " Realistic to the last degree." 

Daily News. "The translation seems literal and fluent." 

In One Volume, Demy 8vo, ias. 6d. 




With a Coloured Map. 
*/ Dedicated, by Permission, to H.R.H. The Princess of Waks. 

Times. " Much valuable information." 

Morning Post. "An excellent account of everything relating to 
this Northern country." 

Nearly Ready. 
In Three Volumes, Crown 8vo. 





Now Beady. 
In One Volume, Crown 8vo, Illustrated, 73. 6d. 




BY A. B. GRIFFITHS, Ph.D., F.R.S. (Edin.), F.C.S. 

Colliery Guardian. "A delightful and fascinating book." 
Financial World. "The most complete and practical manual on 

everything which concerns assaying of all which have come before vis. " 
North British Economist. "With this book the amateur my 

become an expert. Bankers and Bullion Brokers are equally likely 

to find it useful." 

In One Volume, Crown 8vo, Illustrated, 53. 



Chemical News. "The man of culture who wishes for a general 

and accurate acquaintance with the physical properties of gases, will 

find in Mr. Kimball's work just what he requires." 
Iron. "We can highly recommend this little book." 
Manchester Guardian. "Mr. Kimball has the too rare merit of 

describing first the facts, and then the hypotheses invented to limn 

them together. " 

In One "Volume, Crown 8vo, Illustrated, 53. 



Manchester Examiner. "Bears out the character of its prede- 
cessors for careful and correct statement and deduction under the 
light of the most recent discoveries." 

Scotsman. "A popular account of what science has to say of 
heat as a form of energy. There is not a more interesting chapter in 
all science, and the book bus solid qualities enough to recommend it 



Nearly Ready. 

Small Crown 8vo. Illustrated. 




In 8vo. 



With Drawings and Studies by the youthful Artist. 

In preparation. 

In One Volume, Small 4to. 






In One Volume, Small 4to. 



In One Volume, Crown 8vo. 




Author of "A Lover's Litanies," and "Love Letters of a Violinist." 




Each Volume has an Introduction specially written by 
the Editor. 


Translated from the Norwegian by ELIZABETH CAR- 
MICHAEL. In One Volume, crown 8vo, 33. 6d. ; or Paper 
Covers, 2S. 6d. 

Athenaeum. "Without doubt the most important, and the most 
interesting work published during the twelve months. . . . There are 
descriptions which certainly belong to the best and cleverest things 
our literature has ever produced. Amongst the many characters, the 
doctor's wife is unquestionably the first. It would be difficult to find 
anything more tender, soft, and refined thau this charming per- 

Saturday Review. "The English reader could desire no better 
introduction to contemporary foreign fiction than this notable novel." 

Speaker. " ' In God's "Way ' is really a notable book." 


Translated from the French by CLARA BELL. In One 
Volume, crown 8vo, 33. 6d. ; or Paper Covers, 2s. 6d. 

Pall Mall Gazette. "So fine and faultless, so perfectly balanced, 
so steadily progressive, so clear and simple and satisfying. It is 
admirable from beginning to end." 

Athenaeum. " Ranks amongst the best gems of modern French 


Author of "For the Right," &c. Translated from the 
German by MILES CORBET.- One Volume, crown 8vo, 
35. 6d. ; or Paper Covers, 2s. 6d. 

The New Review. "Few novels of recent times have a more 
sustained and vivid human interest. " 

Christian World. A story of wonderful power ... as free from 
anything objectionable as ' The Heart of Midlothian.'" 

Manchester Guardian. "Simple, forcible, and intensely tragic. 
It is a very powerful study, singularly grand in its simplicity." 

Sunday Times. "A series of dramatic scenes welded together 
with a never-failing interest and skill." 




COUNT LTOF TOLSTOI. Translated from the Russian by 
E. J. DILLON, Ph.D. In One Volume, crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.; 
or Paper Covers, 2s. 6cl. 

Glasgow Herald. "Mr. Gosse gives a brief biographical sketch of 
Tolstoi, and an interesting estimate of his literary productions." 

Scotsman. "It is impossible to convey any adequate idea of the 
simplicity and force with which the work is unfolded ; no one who 
reads the book will dispute its author's greatness." 

Liverpool Mercury. "Marked by all the old power of the gi^it 
Russian novelist." 

Manchester Guardian. "Readable and well translated; full of 
high and noble feeling." 

FANTASY. By MATILDE SERAO. Translated from 
In One Volume, crown Svo, 33. 6d. ; or Paper Covers, 

28. 6d. 

Daily Telegraph. "A work of genius." 

Scottish Leader. "The book is full of a glowing and living 
realism. . . . There is nothing like ' Fantasy ' in modern literature. 
... It is a work of elfish art, a mosaic of life aud love, of right and 
wrong, of human weakness and strength, and purity and wantonness, 
pieced together in deft and witching precision." 

Daily Graphic. "Clever beyond all need of praise." 

Translated from the Spanish by CLARA BELL. In One 
Volume, crown Svo, 33. 6d. ; or Paper Covers, 2S. 6d. 

In the Press. 


LIE. Translated from the Norwegian by H. L. BRJEK- 

Translated from the Dutch by CLARA BELL. 



IRew Worfes of ffictiom 

CAINE. Fourth Edition (Fifteenth Thousand). In One 
Volume. Crown 8vo, 33. 6d. 

Mr. Gladstone. "The 'Bondman' is a work of which I recognise 
the freshness, vigour, and sustained interest no less than its integrity 
of aim." 

Count Tolstoi." A book I have read with deep interest." 
Standard. "Its argument is grand, and it is sustained with a 
power that is almost marvellous." 


FREDERIC, Author of "The Lawton Girl," "Seth's 
Brother's Wife," &c. &c. In Three Volumes. Crown 
8vo, with Illustrations. 

Athenaeum. "A romantic story, both graphic and exciting, not 
merely in the central picture itself, but also in its weird surroundings. 
This is a novel deserving to be read." 

Manchester Examiner. "Certain to win the reader's admiration. 
' In the Valley ' is a novel that deserves to live." 

Scotsman. "A work of real ability; it stands apart from the 
common crowd of three- volume novels." 

A MARKED MAN : Some Episodes in his 

Life. By ADA CAMBRIDGE, Author of "Two Years' 
Time," "A Mere Chance," &c. &c. In Three Volumes, 
crown SAO. 

Morning Post." A depth of feeling, a knowledge of the human 
heart, and an amount of tact that one rarely finds. Should take a 
prominent place among the novels of the season." 

Illustrated London News. "The moral tone of this story, rightly 
considered, is pure and noble, though it deals with the problem of 
an unhappy marriage." 

PaU Mall Gazette. " Contains one of the best written stories of a 
mesalliance that is to be found in modern fiction." 



IRew Morfes of ffiction* 
THE MOMENT AFTER: A Tale of the Un- 

seen, By ROBERT BUCHANAN. In One Volume, crown 
8vo, i os. 6d. 

Athenaeum. " Should be read in daylight." 
Observer." A clever tour deforce." 

Guardian. "Particularly impressive, graphic, and powerful." 
Bristol Mercury. "Written with the same poetic feeling and 
power which have given a rare charm to Mr. Buchanan's previous 
prose writings." 

and HERBERT D. WARD. In One Volume, imperial 
i6mo, 73. 6d. 

Scotsman. "'Come Forth ! ' is the story of the raising of Lazarus, 
amplified into a dramatic love-story. ... It has a simple, forthright 
dramatic interest such as is seldom attained except in purely imagina- 
tive fiction. " 


In One Volume, imperial i6mo, 73. 6d. 
The Athenaeum. "A success in Biblical fiction." 


BY KATE ELIZABETH CLARK. In One Volume, crown 
8vo, 53. 
Speaker. " A very romantic story." 


F. W. ROBINSON, Author of "Grandmother's Money," 
" Lazarus in London," &c. &c. In One Volume, crown 
8vo, 33. 6d. 

Glasgow Herald. "An ingeniously-devised plot, of which the 
interest is kept up to the very last page. A judicious blending of 
humour and pathos further helps to make the book delightful reading 
from start to finish." 



mew Worfes of ffiction. 
HAUNTINGS: Fantastic Stories. By VERNON 

LEE, Author of " Baldwin," " Miss Brown," &c. &c. In 
One Volume, crown 8vo, 6s. 

Pall Mall Gazette. "Well imagined, cleverly constructed, power- 
fully executed. 'Dionea* is a fine and impressive idea, and 'Oke of 
Okehurst ' a masterly story." 


E. MURRAY GILCHRIST. In One Volume, crown 8vo, 6s. 

Athenaeum. " This well- written story must be read to be appre- 
Yorkshire Post." A book to lay hold of the reader." 

IRecent publications. 

By KICHARD T. ELY, Ph.D., Associate in Political 
Economy, Johns Hopkins University. In One Volume, 
crown 8vo, 53. 

Weekly Despatch. " There is much fco interest and instruct." 
Saturday Review. " Both interesting and valuable." 
England. "Full of information and thought. 1 " 
National Reformer. "Chapter iii. deals with the growth and 
present condition of labour organisations in America . . . this forms 
a most valuable page of history." 

ARABIC AUTHORS: A Manual of Arabian 

History and Literature. ByF.F.ARBUTHNOT,M.K.A.S., 

Author of "Early Ideas," "Persian Portraits," &c. In 
One Volume, 8vo, los. 

Manchester Examiner. "The whole work has been carefully 
indexed, and will prove a handbook of the highest value to the 
student who wishes to gain a better acquaintance with Arabian 



IRecent publications. 

As pleasingly exemplified in many instances, wherein 
the serious ones of this earth, carefully exasperated, have 
been prettily spurred on to indiscretions and unseemli- 
ness, while overcome by an undue sense of right. By J. 
M'NEIL WHISTLER. In One Volume, pott 4to, ics. 6d. 

Punch, June 21. "The book in itself, in its binding, print, and 
arrangement, is a work of art." 

Punch, June 28. " A work of rare humour, a thing of beauty and 
a joy for now and ever." 


1890. By F. W. FARRAR, D.D., F.R.S., Archdeacon and 
Canon of Westminster, &c. &c. In One Volume, small 
4to, 2s. 6d. 

Spectator. " Among the many accounts that have been written 
this year of ' The Passion Play,' one of the most picturesque, the most 
interesting, and the most reasonable, is this sketch of Archdeacon 
Farrar's. . . . This little book will be read with delight by those who 
have, and by those who have not, visited Oberammergau." 

THE GARDEN'S STORY; or, Pleasures and 

Trials of an Amateur Gardener. By G. H. ELL- 
WANDER. With an Introduction by the Kev. C. WOLLEY 
DOD. In One Volume, izmo, with Illustrations, 53. 

Scotsman. "Deserves every recommendation that a pleasant- 
looking page can give it ; for it deals with a charming subject in a 
charming manner. Mr. Ellwanger talks delightfully, with instruc- 
tion but without pedantry, of the flowers, the insects, and the birds. 
... It will give pleasure to every reader who takes the smallest 
interest in flowers, and ought to find many readers." 



IRecent publications. 


JAEGER. Translated by CLARA. BELL. With the Verse 
done into English from the Norwegian Original by 
EDMUND GOSSE. In One Volume, crown 8vo, 6s. 

St. James's Gazette. " Admirably translated. Deserves a cordial 
and emphatic welcome." 

Guardian. " Ibsen's dramas at present enjoy a considerable vogue, 
and their admirers will rejoice to fiud full descriptions and criticisms 
in Mr. Jaeger's book." 

Academy. "We welcome it heartily. An unqualified boon to 
the many English students of Ibsen." 


Authorised Translation. 8vo, Wrapper, is. ; or Limp 
Cloth, is. 6d. 

From The Times, leading article, November 17, 1890: "It has 
been acknowledged, at any time during the last year or two, that the 
discovery of a cure for tuberculosis was not only possible but even 
likely ; and that which is now announced comes with the highest 
recommendations and from the most trustworthy source." 

IDLE MUSINGS: Essays in Social Mosaic. 

By E. CONDER GRAY, Author of " Wise Words and 
Loving Deeds," &c. &c. In One Volume, crown 8vo, 6s. 

Saturday Review. "Light, brief, and bright are the 'essays in 
social mosaic.' Mr. Gray ranges like a butterfly from high themes to 
trivial with a good deal of dexterity and a profusion of illustrations." 

Graphic. "Pleasantly written, will serve admirably to wile away 
an idle half-hour or two." 


GERARD BENDALL, Author of "Estelle," &c. &c. I2mo, 
38. 6d. 

Scotsman. " Will be read with pleasure." 

Woman. "There is a delicacy of touch and simplicity about the 
poems which is very attractive." 

Musical World. "The poems are delicate specimens of art, grace- 
ful and polished." 

VERSES. By GERTRUDE HALL. i2mo, 33. 6d. 

Musical World. "Interesting volume of verse." 
Woman. "Very sweet and musical." 

Manchester Guardian. " Will be welcome to every lover of poetry 
who takes it up." 


1 100/2/3/91. 

PR De Quincey, Thomas 

536 Memorials