WITH OTHER MEMORIES
LITERARY AND POLITICAL
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
Bv THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
J. 8. Gushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith
Norwood Masi. U.S.A.
I OWE the suggestion of this volume to my friend,
Professor Albert H. Smyth. I am indebted to him
also for kind and efficient help in preparing it for
Professor Smyth's wide knowledge of English lit-
erature and his keen desire to further the love of it
in others make his influence in Philadelphia akin to
that of the late Professor Henry Reed.
The first of the following papers was written mainly
in 1889. I have made slight changes in it since.
The paper, " A Visit to Wordsworth," was in part
published by Dr. Christopher Wordsworth (afterward
Bishop of Lincoln), in 1851, in his life of the poet;
passages were omitted by him because of their ref-
erence to persons then living; there is no reason
now why my record should not appear as a whole.
I rejoice to be able to say something in regard
to Sir John Taylor Coleridge, better known as
Mr. Justice Coleridge, the friend at once of Dr.
Arnold and of Mr. Keble. Nothing in the way of
memoir of this eminent man has ever appeared in
this country, nor has any adequate life been written
in England. Dr. Arnold's letters to him form a very
important part of Stanley's " Life of Arnold." Judge
Coleridge's letters to Arnold unhappily were not pre-
served ; a like fate attended his letters to our great
lawyer, Horace Binney. Judge Coleridge told me
he had preserved all Mr. Binney's letters. Both Dr.
Arnold and Mr. Binney, I believe, thought it their
duty to direct that the letters they had received should
be destroyed. In these two cases, at least, the loss
to literature and to recent history has been serious.
In publishing what I can recall of William Edward
Forster, I cannot but be impressed by the thought
that what was his supreme desire as a statesman
seems now at last to be fulfilled, the essential
union of England and America, a union not of a
treaty or of diplomatic arrangement, but the declara-
tion, as by a common instinct, of two great peoples
that their interests are one, and that in their stand-
ing together lies the chief hope for the peace and
advancement of the world. Englishmen of far-reach-
ing view have at different times expressed a wish
for this union. As early as 1808 Bishop Watson,
Bishop of Llandaff, a man of much weight of
character and of high intelligence, declared it to be
his strong desire that England should enter " as speed-
ily as possible into an alliance, cordial, sincere, offen-
sive and defensive, with America." I may note also
that in 1804 Bishop Watson expressed it as his belief
that America was destined to become the greatest
naval power on the globe.
I have referred in my final paper to Mr. Bright's
deep interest in America, his strong belief in our
future, and his earnest wish for a cordial union of
all English-speaking men.
My thanks are due to the publishers of Lippin-
cotfs Magazine for permission to reprint the articles
" Walks and Visits in Wordsworth's Country " and
" Charles Kingsley : a Reminiscence."
MAY PLACE, HAVERFORD, PA.,
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS DURING SEVENTY YEARS ... I
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH, 1849 3 1
WALKS AND VISITS IN WORDSWORTH'S COUNTRY . . . 53
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS, HARTLEY AND DERWENT
SIR JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE (LORD CHIEF
JUSTICE OF ENGLAND) 143
CHARLES KINGSLEY: A REMINISCENCE 181
OXFORD, AND THE AUTHOR OF "THE CHRISTIAN YEAR" . . 197
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION, i860 . . . . 223
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER . . . 239
ENGLAND AND THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN THE CLOSING DAYS
OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 279
GIGANTIC daughter of the West,
We drink to thee across the flood;
We know thee most, we love thee best,
For art thou not of British blood?
Should war's mad blast again be blown,
Permit not thou the tyrant powers
To fight thy mother here alone,
But let thy broadsides roar with ours.
Hands all round !
God the tyrants' cause confound !
To our great kinsmen of the West, my friends,
And the great name of England round and round.
DURING SEVENTY YEARS
DURING SEVENTY YEARS
IT occurs to me to send my thoughts back over a
portion of the great space of life that I have travelled,
and to bring up in succession matters that were of
interest to me in a period, let us say, of sixty, or even
The coming of Lafayette to America in 1824, what
an event that was for young and old ! For days and
weeks there had been excitement and preparation
here in Philadelphia. A triumphal arch in front
of the State House, medals and badges for sale in
the streets, rows of lamps and candles in all windows
for the appointed illumination, all this was enough
to arouse a child's wonder. At last, the eagerly ex-
pected moment came, and there, in an open carriage,
drawn by six cream-coloured horses, sat the hero the
Nation's guest. I gazed on him with a boy's amaze-
ment and delight. In pomp like this he went over all
the land a great and rejoicing nation offering him
everywhere of their best. He had come to us in the
fervour of his youth, and now, after fifty years, he was
here to look on the land and the people whose inde-
pendence he had helped to win. There were three
millions at his first coming ; he found them ten mill-
4 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
ions, and there seemed no limit to the promise of
their future. It is good to think of that visit, and of
the gratitude expressed in every conceivable way by
an entire people.
There is a curious historical parallel in Lafayette's
two returns from America : five years after his first
return, on the closing of the War of the Revolution,
he took a leading part in the great French Revolu-
tion ; so, five years after his return from his visit to
us of 1824-5, he was the chief actor in the Revolution
of 1830, which drove Charles X. from the throne.
A vivid recollection which comes back to me of
1827 is the battle of Navarino. I wonder how many
people know of that great victory. Even as a boy I
shared in the transports of joy with which the news of
it was received. The combined fleets of England,
France, and Russia attacked the Turkish fleet in the
Bay of Navarino and destroyed it utterly. It was
clear at once, to the whole world, that this meant the
independence of Greece. For five years the hearts of
men in England and America had been wrung by tid-
ings of the bloody deeds of the Turks. At last the
great powers had intervened. But there was disquie-
tude in England at the weakening of the power of
Turkey, lessening her ability to make head against
Russia. A single word in the King's speech in the
opening of Parliament, the Duke of Wellington being
then Prime Minister, was in men's mouths for years :
the great batt.le was spoken of as an untoward occur-
rence. On the other hand, Lord John Russell spoke
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 5
of it as a glorious victory, and as honest a victory as
had been won since the beginning of the world. The
Turks die hard, and though they have lost wide lands
and millions of subjects in the past fifty years, they are
still a great power.
The years from 1829 to 1833 were years of vast and
sweeping change both in England and France. I re-
member, as if it were yesterday, the news of Catholic
Emancipation, and the passing of the first Reform
Bill, the tidings of the beginning of the Ministry of
Earl Grey with Brougham made Lord Chancellor and
raised to the peerage.
But in America there were great political struggles
to occupy the mind. With 1829 John Quincy Adams's
four years of rule came to an end, and our political
system took a great plunge downwards under the
Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Midway in that eight
years' rule there was a progress of General Jackson
through the Northern cities : he rode on horseback
probably the last President who so traversed our
streets. An imposing figure truly ! with his shock of
grey hair, and his resolute look, and his natural grace
of bearing, and his easy command of his horse, as with
hat in hand he acknowledged the cheers of the people
and bowed to the ladies who filled the windows on
either side. The popularity of Jackson was retained
to the last ; in his daring and his strength of will he
well represented the South. As his administration
closed in 1837, the predominance of the South seemed
assured to all time. But an agitation had begun at
6 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
the North which was to keep the subject of slavery
constantly before the people. The speeches and writ-
ings of the antislavery leaders infuriated the South,
and made them the more resolute to secure for their
bad system increased protection from the National
Government. Few in number though the Abolition-
ists were, their leaders were of such ability and ear-
nestness that they powerfully affected opinion. It
chanced that I had abundant opportunity of listening
to the talk of these leaders from the beginning of the
movement. Under the roof of my Aunt Lucretia
Mott, I met Benjamin Lundy, who might be called
the American Clarkson ; Harriet Martineau, who ap-
peared here just as the agitation began ; George
Thompson the English Abolitionist; Gerrit Smith,
the great landed proprietor of New York, who, from
being a munificent supporter of the scheme of Afri-
can colonization, had passed over to the antislavery
camp ; Wendell Phillips ; the poet Whittier ; and, last
and greatest, William Lloyd Garrison. Lucretia Mott,
the chief female figure of the movement, was a pow-
erful help to it by the charm of her personal presence,
her refinement, the deep earnestness of her manner,
and what one might call her intellectual spirituality.
In Mrs. Mott's house I met Dr. Channing, whose
writings against slavery were of earlier date than
that of the beginning of the movement. I recall his
grave, thoughtful face and the old-time dignity of his
bearing. My first meeting with Emerson was at the
same house. Frederika Bremer I met there, too, and
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 7
I recall her speaking of the devotion to Emerson
which she had found to be the feeling of the Boston
circle. A lady, herself of high accomplishments, had
said : " If he but mentions my name, I feel ennobled."
Emerson was not of the movement, though he was in
sympathy with it. He was so gracious in manner,
and so gentle in his ways, and so kind of heart, that I
could perfectly understand how strong was his hold
upon all who were about him.
I was a looker-on, as it were, while the antislavery
agitation was under full headway, for I never was con-
vinced that the mode of attack of which Garrison was
the chief champion was wise. The years went on,
and the condition of the slaves grew worse. The
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which denied the right
of trial by jury to a man seized in a Northern State
and claimed as a slave, greatly strengthened antislav-
ery feeling. There was case after case under this
law in Philadelphia, in Boston, and elsewhere, which
almost led to riot.
At the time of which I write I had come to know
Charles Sumner, who was for some months in Phila-
delphia for medical treatment, after the assault made
upon him in the Senate chamber by Brooks, of South
Carolina. Other years went by, and in the spring of
1860 I was arranging to go to Europe, and having
occasion to write to Mr. Sumner, I asked him his
opinion upon the political situation, or, what he
thought was at hand : it was the year for a Presiden-
tial nomination. He replied that he was confident
8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
that whoever was nominated by the Republicans at
Chicago would be elected ; that he felt equally sure
the Gulf or Cotton States would not acquiesce in the
result, but would raise the black flag, and attempt to
set up a separate government that he, for one,
would not lift a ringer to retain them. I reminded
him of this letter two years afterwards when we were
in the full tide of war. I was sitting with him in his
own apartment at Washington. He said he had
been of opinion that we ought to let the Slave States
go, until the actual breaking out of war that Judge
Chase was of the same opinion, and had come to him
" here in this room " and asked him to go to
New York and make a speech advocating this policy
of acquiescence, or rather, surrender. Suddenly, how-
ever, war was begun by the South. " I went at once
to Mr. Lincoln," said Mr. Sumner, " and told him I
was with him now, heart and soul ; that under the war
power the right had come to him to emancipate the
It will be remembered that Horace Greeley openly
advocated letting the Slave States go. " Erring sisters
depart in peace," were his words. I have always been
of the opinion that with him and with Judge Chase
there was a passionate longing for the Presidency
that each thought his chance would be good for a
nomination as Chief Magistrate of " the United States
of the North."
The summer of 1860 I passed in England. The
rain of all that season was incessant, and the wheat
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 9
harvest was ruined. There was one result of these
torrents which I, as an American, little foresaw. A
great market was given to our Northern and Western
States for their breadstuffs during the year that fol-
lowed, when a war had begun which was to strain our
resources to the utmost. But in that midsummer
season of 1860 one's thoughts in England were occu-
pied with the details of Garibaldi's brilliant descent
upon Sicily: of the melting away of all opposition;
of his crossing to Italy; of his entry in triumph into
Naples, the entire population hailing him with trans-
ports of joy as their deliverer.
I interrupt my survey, so to call it, of events, to
refer to Garibaldi's coming to England in 1862.
The wildest excitement was caused by his presence
in London. The Government feared an outbreak
should he proceed to Birmingham as was his plan.
At their suggestion Garibaldi's host, the Duke of
Sutherland, offered the hero his yacht, which was
then at Portsmouth, if he would like to proceed at
once to the Mediterranean, to his island home. Gari-
baldi was beginning to be weary of the adulation and
turmoil, and so fell in with the Duke's suggestion, and
the Government was relieved of their anxiety. Vari-
ous were the conjectures as to the cause of the sudden
flight. Punch said he had been pestered out of his
life by applications for his autograph, and had given
away the contents of two hair mattresses in reply to
requests for locks of his hair. I add, what has just
now a certain significance, that Archbishop Trench
10 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
notes in his journal of this date (1862) a saying
then current in London. The Dowager Duchess of
Sutherland had seemed greatly drawn to Garibaldi:
" Why should not Garibaldi marry the Duchess ? "
said some one. The instant reply was, " Garibaldi
has a wife already." " Oh," said Lord Palmerston,
"that doesn't matter Gladstone will explain her
To return to my proper narrative. News came to
England of the nomination of Lincoln at Chicago.
Who was Abraham Lincoln ? was on all sides the in-
quiry. I could tell my friends little about him. But
it was plain that a stormy season was at hand. I
returned to America in October and found intense
excitement prevailing. I obtained at once a volume
of 250 pages, containing a full report of speeches of
Lincoln and Douglas during the contest in Illinois
of 1858. Douglas's term of service as senator was
expiring, and if he failed to secure its renewal, his
chance for the Presidential nomination of 1860 would
be gone. He was a man of great ability, but unscru-
pulous as a politician, and of a coarse mind. Charles
Sumner, who had had bitter passages with him in the
Senate, spoke of him once in a letter to me in terms
of strong dislike. His restless energy, and his skill
as a demagogue, had given him extraordinary success.
But there had arisen in his own State a rival who,
besides gifts of mind, had the strength of high moral
purpose. The volume of which I have spoken was
the record of the long debate between these two men
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS II
the United States senatorship being the prize for
which each was striving. I read it with extreme care,
and saw that, throughout, Mr. Lincoln had clearly the
advantage. In a letter to England for publication in
The Guardian, of the date of October, 1860, I said:
" Mr. Lincoln is a man of vigorous understanding :
his utterances are marked by so much originality as
to stamp him as a man of genius." This favourable
judgment as to Mr. Lincoln, expressed before he had
become President, was more and more my conviction
as the weeks and months went on. December, Janu-
ary, and February, were months of intense agitation.
All minds were stirred. I talked with men of wisdom
and experience wherever I had opportunity. Horace
Binney, then eighty years of age, said to me, referring
to a plan of settlement known as the Crittenden Com-
promise, that he for one would never agree to it, let
the consequences of refusal be what they would. He
said he was old, and he might have added, as the
Duke of Wellington once said of himself, his "life
had been passed in honour." He said he would not
at the end of it take upon his conscience the sin of
slavery. The Crittenden Compromise would have
put this weight on the consciences of the people of
all the land.
One State after another declared itself out of the
Union, and neither the Government at Washington
nor any State Government except Massachusetts, was
making any preparation to bring back these " erring
sisters." Mr. Russell, as correspondent of the London
12 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERTDGES
Times, wrote, as the result of his intercourse in New
York with leading men, that there would be no war.
" Compromise, concession," was the burden of the talk
he heard. Even men of high patriotic spirit feared
the Union was gone. The late Morton McMichael,
a man for whom I felt warm regard, and in whose
judgment I had great confidence, said to me in Feb-
ruary, 1860, that no one could see the press of the
country (he was editor of the leading newspaper of
Philadelphia) as he saw it, without feeling that the
Union could not be preserved. All we could do, he
said, was to seek to lessen the difficulties which would
follow separation. On the other hand, the then
Bishop of Pennsylvania, Bishop Bowman, said people
might talk as they liked about the success of the
secession movement, but no one could see the interior
of Pennsylvania, as he saw it, without being con-
vinced that the body of the people would never con-
sent to the dismemberment of the country.
At the end of February came the progress of Abra-
ham Lincoln from Springfield, Illinois, to Washing-
ton. From city to city he went by a zigzag course,
welcomed everywhere by countless multitudes. His
reception in Philadelphia, though wanting in show or
accessories of every kind, was very impressive. As
I saw approaching, along the wide street, the dense
mass of men, with horses' heads and plumes rising
among them, and by and by the slowly moving con-
course drew near, it was impossible not to share in the
excitement that all felt at the thought that a man
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 13
chosen from among thirty millions was moving on-
ward to a work of awful perplexity, solemnity, and
peril. There was prodigious interest in the sight
of one on whom so heavy a responsibility had
fallen. Even in the distance I thought I discerned
a light in his eye showing him to be a man of
I may not say much of the uprising of the people
which followed the attack upon Fort Sumter, nor of
the four awful years of war. It was an amazing error
on the part of the South their beginning the war;
the Government at Washington would have had great
difficulty in beginning it there was doubt whether
a majority of the people would support them in
such beginning. It was the attempt to victual Fort
Sumter which drew the fire of the South, and made
them the aggressors.
About a month before Bull Run I spent a few
days in Washington, and had the honour of an inter-
view with the President. I was received by him in
the large audience chamber on the second floor of the
White House ; he sat at a table, at the end of the
room, with one of the windows at his right looking
down on the gardens. His manner was courteous,
his look open and resolute, and at the same time
gentle. His eyes were deep-set and of a certain full-
ness and lustre, and his features were expressive.
He was composed and cheerful ; there was a serenity
about him, indeed, which seemed surprising, consider-
ing the heavy responsibility which was upon him.
14 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
He talked quietly of the contest which was just
beginning: said the South had the advantage that
the fighting would be on their own ground. I re-
member thinking he overrated the Union feeling of
the South. He spoke a good deal of the attitude of
England toward us, and, what was thought, the too
early recognition of the South as belligerents. This
had caused great, perhaps undue, excitement at the
North. He said he had never been in England, but
he thought the state of things there was this: The
aristocracy, who had hitherto had control of the Gov-
ernment, might be unfriendly to us, regarding us as a
menace to their system " One of their lords has just
said 'the bubble has burst" 1 (this, I think, was a
remark of Sir John Burgoyne in the House of Com-
mons) and the cotton spinners of Manchester, either
from cupidity, or from a natural wish to obtain cotton,
so as to give employment to their hands, might wish
the South to succeed; but he believed the body of
the people the middle and the lower classes still
had their old feeling in regard to slavery. This last
remark showed the confidence felt by Mr. Lincoln in
the steadfastness of England as a whole, and also his
conviction that they knew slavery to be the real cause
of the quarrel, and that the fate of the system was
bound up in its issue. The President was certainly
right as to the feeling of the majority of the English
people. I was told in Liverpool, just before the war
closed, by men whose sympathies had been strongly
with the North, that nowhere in England had the
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 15
Southern sympathizers dared to call a public meeting
in support of the Confederate cause. ,
I was deeply impressed by this interview. Although
the struggle which was to decide so much had scarcely
begun, I felt that I was in the presence of a true leader
of men. I knew the humble life from which Abraham
Lincoln had come, and yet he seemed to me a man of
heroic mould, and one who was to do great deeds. I
went away from him with a rejoicing heart, feeling that,
in the hour of our deepest need, a man of clear mind
and singleness of purpose indeed of the noblest
impulses would be our supreme chief and leader.
A month from the time of this interview came the
catastrophe of Bull Run. Well do I remember hours
passed in the office of Morton McMichael, as the de-
tails came in of the terrible disaster. I recall the pale
faces, the gloom, almost despondency, written on every
countenance. " It is not, all is lost but honour," said
Mr. Henry Carey, " for honour has been lost as well."
Commodore, afterwards Admiral, Dupont came in:
he alone was serene ; his look was almost cheerful.
" Gentlemen," he said, " this is war ! "
The country rallied quickly, however, from this dis-
aster, and there can be no doubt that the prolonging
of the war, due to the defeat, led to the more effectual
making an end of slavery, and thus to a lasting peace.
I need say no more of the war and of our American
One incident of the year 1838 caused a thrill
of emotion on this continent, and I remember as
1 6 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
if it was yesterday my own feeling the arrival at
New York ol; a steamship from England, the steamer
Sirius. A tremendous event this truly ! as drawing
the New World nearer to the Old. Deep was the im-
pression that was made. The going abroad became a
vision of delight to old and young. I remember hear-
ing Emerson say, some forty years ago, with a certain
sarcasm : " The object of education in the United
States seems to be to fit persons to travel in Europe."
There was admonition in his question which followed,
41 Who are these Americans who are passing their
time in Paris and elsewhere who seem so little missed
in their own country ? "
My first voyage to England was in 1849. I have
always considered that we in America are Englishmen
over again, and so, when I landed in England, I still
felt myself, in a certain sense, at home. I say this,
although every ancestor of mine for two hundred
years was born in America. A deep interest in Eng-
lish literature and in English politics had animated
me always, true though, I consider, was my love for
my own country, and keen my desire for its advance-
ment. I venture to quote, as some justification for the
feeling which has always animated me, the words of
Mr. Phelps, our late Minister to England, at his leave-
taking in London, 1889. " You are not sending me
away," he said to the distinguished company he was
addressing, "you are not sending me away empty-
handed or alone. I go freighted and laden with
happy memories, inexhaustible and unalloyed, of Eng-
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 17
land, its warm-hearted people, and their measureless
kindness. Spirits more than twain will cross with
me, messengers of your good-will. Happy the nation
that can thus speed its parting guest ! Fortunate the
guest who has found his welcome almost an adoption,
and whose farewell leaves half his heart behind." I
put with this passage, so felicitous in expression, an
extract from a letter from Lord Coleridge to myself,
written immediately after the Phelps dinner.
"We sent away Mr. Phelps in a perfect gale of good
wishes. I like him very much, and truly grieve at his depar-
ture. I have known a good many American Ministers, and
some of them very remarkable, almost great men, but I never
knew one so delightful in all ways, learned, accomplished,
amiable, a most charming companion to spend a week with,
and yet a most prudent and dignified Minister ; he is one of
the very best men in all ways you have ever sent us. We
became real friends, and it would be a sorrow to me to think
that I should never see him again."
Lord Coleridge adds, in reference to a remark of
mine, for which I naturally take shame,
" I am surprised that he was, as you tell me, somewhat
unknown in America. I can only say it reminds me of Lord
Brougham's famous sarcastic dedication to Lord Wellesley in
which, after celebrating Lord Wellesley himself, he adds (to
the effect, I forget the words) the rare felicity of England
so rich in men of genius and capacity for affairs that she
can spare from her councils such men as he."
I saw in London, at my visit of 1849, tne Duke of
Wellington. I stood, at about five in the afternoon,
at the entrance of the House of Lords. Some one
1 8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
who was near gave me one famous name after another
as Peers, temporal and spiritual, went in. A great
debate was to take place on a motion of Lord
Brougham's. Soon a carriage drew up, and there
was the cry, " The Duke, the Duke ! " The Duke
of Wellington was handed out. I can never forget
the strangely softened, the benignant expression of
the aged face which I had now the happiness to look
upon. He acknowledged slightly the deferential bear-
ing of all who stood by, as he passed from his carriage
to the Peers' entrance of the House of Lords. His
meek look was what first struck me a mild serenity
the happiest result of advanced age. His hair was
white, but his complexion was clear and delicate. He
was in full evening dress, knee breeches and black
silk stockings, blue coat and white waistcoat, a broad
ribbon across his breast the ribbon of the Garter.
I was present afterwards at the debate, and watched
from my seat in the gallery the Duke as he sat close to
Lord Brougham, listening with his hand to his ear, to
the words of that great orator. He remained, I think,
during the whole of the speech, which lasted two and
a half hours. As I listened I hardly perceived the
passage of time. I am not sure whether it was then,
or on another occasion, that Lord Brougham said,
looking directly at the Duke, " For, my Lords, there
are few men who, like my noble friend, have been
equally great in council and in the field."
With my own impression of Wellington given
above, it was a delight to me to read Carlyle's ac-
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 19
count of him as he saw him in June, 1850, a year after
the date of my seeing him ; it was at a ball at Lady
Ashburton's. He says:
" By far the most interesting figure present was the old
Duke of Wellington, who appeared between twelve and one,
and slowly glided through the rooms truly a beautiful old
man : I had never known till now how beautiful : and what
an expression of graceful simplicity, veracity, and nobleness
there is about the old hero, when you see him close at hand !
His very size had hitherto deceived me. He is a shortish,
slightish figure, about five feet eight, of good breadth, how-
ever, and all muscle or bone. His legs I think the short part
of him, for certainly on horseback I have always taken him
to be tall. Eyes beautiful light blue, full of mild valour, with
infinitely more faculty and geniality than I had fancied be-
fore. The face wholly gentle, wise, valiant, and venerable.
The voice too, as I again heard, is aquiline, clear, perfectly
equable, uncracked that is and perhaps almost musical, but
essentially tenor, almost treble voice. Eighty-two, I under-
stand. He glided slowly along, slightly saluting this and
that other, clear, clean, fresh as this June morning itself, till
the silver buckle of his stock vanished into the door of the
next room. Except Dr. Chalmers I have not for many years
seen so beautiful an old man."
It is good to connect great men with each other, so
I add a description of Wellington of the date of 1826,
twenty-five years earlier than that of Carlyle's men-
tion of him. I quote from Eckermann's " Conversa-
tions with Goethe." Eckermann says :
" If you ever look at his face, all the portraits are naught.
One needs only see him once never to forget him, such an
impression does he make. His eyes are of the serenest brill-
20 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLER1DGES
iancy ; one feels the effect of his glance ; his mouth speaks
even when it is closed ; he looks a man who has had many
thoughts, and has lived through the greatest deeds, and whom
nothing more can disturb. He seemed to me as hard and
tempered as a Damascus blade. By his appearance he is
far advanced in the fifties ; is upright, slim and not very tall
or stout. There was something uncommonly cordial in his
salutation, as he passed through the crowd, and with a very
slight bow touched his hat with his finger. Goethe listened
to my description with visible interest. ' You have seen one
hero more,' said he, ' and that is saying something.' Napo-
leon was mentioned. Goethe said of him, ' What a compen-
dium of the world.' "
Lord John Russell was Prime Minister in that year
of my first visit to England, 1849. I heard him in
the House of Commons, a man of halting, hesitat-
ing speech, but whose words, all the same, were well
chosen and weighty. I had the good fortune, also, to
hear Sir Robert Peel, an orator of infinite grace. The
debate was on the Encumbered Estates Bill, the sec-
ond of the great measures for the relief of Ireland
passed by the British Parliament. The Catholic
Emancipation Bill of 1829 was the first. Mr. Napier,
member for Dublin University, followed Sir Robert
Peel. One sentence of his speech comes back to me.
Speaking of Ireland, he said, " Sir, I am sure there is
no member of this House who does not feel deep sym-
pathy with that unhappy country in its present mis-
ery." It was the year following the great famine.
I have spoken of the debate in the House of Lords
in which Lord Brougham made his great speech ; he
moved a resolution of censure of the Government for
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 21
not withholding assent to the action of the Canadian
Parliament by which the rebels of 1838 were to be
remunerated for their losses, chiefly in the burning of
houses, barns, etc. Lord Derby, " the Rupert of de-
bate," spoke with great fire and energy in support of
Brougham's motion. Lord Lyndhurst had spoken
on the same side, saying, at the end, that it was per-
haps the last time he should trouble their Lordships.
Lord Campbell, speaking for the Government, rather
jeered at this remark of Lyndhurst. Lord Derby de-
nounced Campbell for his sneering reference to the
speech of the venerable man. (As it happened, how-
ever, Lord Lyndhurst spoke at intervals for fifteen
Lord Brougham's motion prevailed by a good ma-
jority, but the House of Commons refused to follow
the Lords. Earl Grey was then the Colonial Secre-
tary : it was his wisdom that inspired Lord Russell's
Government in their refusal to withdraw from Can-
ada the self-rule they had but just conferred.
It scarcely befits the gravity of my record, but it
may perhaps help to the understanding of what the
going to Europe was fifty years ago, if I mention
the following incident. I was walking, soon after
my first return, in a street in Philadelphia with Dr.
Allibone, of Dictionary fame. There were cases of
merchandise or other obstruction, and we had to go
single file. " After you," said my friend ; " you have
been to Europe."
I have told in papers which follow of many of my
22 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
personal experiences in visits to England, subsequent
to that of 1849. It occurs to me to say here what I
can of a man of whom comparatively little is known
except as he appears in his writings. John Stuart
Mill never took part in what would be called
society ; he seemed to live only for intellectual cul-
tivation, and for setting forward in the world what
he thought would further the real improvement of
men. There is a noble passage in a speech made
by him in the House of Commons which I give here
as a key to the essential features of his character,
and as a preface to what I have to say as to my
personal sight of him.
" I beg very strongly indeed to press upon the House the
duty of taking these things into serious consideration, in the
name of that dutiful concern for posterity which has been
very strong in every nation that ever did anything great, and
which has never left the minds of any such nation until, as
in the case of the Romans under the Empire, it was already
falling into decrepitude and ceasing to be a nation. . . .
Whatever has been done for mankind by the idea of poster-
ity whatever has been done for mankind by philanthropic
concern for posterity by a conscientious sense of duty for
posterity even by the less pure but still noble ambition of
being remembered and honoured by them, all this we owe
to posterity, and all this it is our duty, to the best of our
limited ability, to repay. All the great deeds of the founders
of nations, and of those second founders of nations, the great
reformers; all that has been done for us by the authors of
those laws and institutions to which free countries are in-
debted for their freedom, and well-governed countries for
their good government, all the heroic lives which have
been led and the deaths which have been died in defence of
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 23
liberty and law against despotism and tyranny, from Mara-
thon and Salamis down to Leipsic and Waterloo all those
traditions of wisdom and of virtue which are enshrined in
the history and literature of the past, all the schools and
universities by which the culture of a former time has been
brought down to us, and all that culture itself all that we
owe to the great masters of human thought, to the great
masters of human emotion all this is ours, because those
who preceded us have taken thought for posterity."
It is well known that for many years perhaps
twenty Mr. Mill lived in the closest intellectual
companionship with Mrs. John Taylor; their thoughts
and speculations, he says, were completely in com-
mon. She was united, Mill also says, to one for
whom he had "the sincerest respect, and she the
strongest affection. Her incomparable worth," he
declares, "had made her friendship the greatest source
to him both of happiness and of improvement " dur-
ing many years in which they " never expected to be
in any closer relation to each other." Mr. Taylor's
premature death in July, 1849, was followed in April,
1851, by Mr. Mill's marriage to Mrs. Taylor; their
partnership of " thought, feeling, and writing, which
had long existed, became a partnership of their en-
It is proper to say that the Carlyles, and Mrs.
Grote and the Austins and Sir Henry Taylor, with
whom Mill had intimate companionship, seem hardly
to have had a share in his friendship with Mrs. Tay-
lor: he was not the man to make explanations to
them, or to crave their forbearing judgment. Mr.
24 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Carlyle speaks of her, in his caustic way, in one of
his letters, as Mrs. Platonica Taylor.
Mr. Taylor, as I have said, died in July, 1849. It
was in June of that year that Mr. Herbert Taylor, the
eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, with whom I had
become acquainted upon a visit he had made to Phila-
delphia some months before, said to me when I was
with him in London, " I cannot ask you to our house
for my father is dying." In 1851, my friend Herbert
Taylor was again in Philadelphia. He gave me a
paper on the " Enfranchisement of Women," which
he said was from the pen of his mother: he added,
"my mother has become Mrs. Mill." He told me
then of the long friendship there had been between
his mother and Mr. Mill, for whom he seemed to have
nothing but respect and regard. The following year,
1852, I was in London and received an invitation to
dine with Mr. and Mrs. Mill at their home, Black-
heath, near Greenwich. What I have written above
will show that I had no knowledge of Mrs. Mill but
what had been told me by her son. Seven years were
to pass before Mill gave to the world his estimate of
her mind and character in his dedication of his book
on Liberty. Some of his words are as follows :
"To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was
the inspirer and in part the author of all that is best in my
writings the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth
and right was my strongest incitement, and whose approba-
tion was my chief reward, I dedicate this volume. . . . Were
I but capable of interpreting to the world one-half the great
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 2$
thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I
should be the medium of a greater benefit to it than is ever
likely to arise from anything that I can write unprompted
and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom."
My visit to Mr. and Mrs. Mill was in the second
year of their marriage : the record in my journal is
mainly this :
" Mr. Mill is of dignified appearance, about forty-five years
of age, somewhat bald, complexion delicate, of a grave but
sweet courtesy. He has a nervous twitching of the eyelids,
which perhaps leads to his raising his hand now and again
to his brow. There is something almost of timidity in his
manner, which surprises one, considering his great place in
the world as a writer. He is especially courteous in giving
careful heed to what is said to him. You feel him to be a
man of good heart, and of entire simplicity. I was struck
with his deferential attention to remarks of his wife from
her end of the table. Mrs. Mill looks to be in very weak
health, having a curvature of the spine. Mr. Mill took her
out to dinner, I think because of her enfeebled condition. I
took out Mrs. Taylor, an old lady, I presume Mrs. Mill's
mother-in-law of her previous marriage. Her two sons and
her daughter, Miss Helen Taylor, made up the party. My
seat was at Mrs. Mill's right. Her face is thin and pale, but
her eyes are of a peculiar lustre, and they seem to dilate
when she speaks in an animated way, and her soul looks out
of them. A woman of keen intellect there can be no doubt
whatever marvellously in fellowship with her husband in
all his thought. When she looks fully at you and becomes
interested in her subject, she seems to put you under her
spell. I recalled my feeling when with Mrs. Henry Nelson
Coleridge ; it seemed strange to me that these two women,
each so gifted, living at the same time in London, should
have known nothing of each other.
26 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
" There was talk of the English Universities and of Eng-
lish scholarship Mr. Mill spoke disparagingly of both
said they were not to compare with the German. Mrs. Mill
was careful to impress upon me that her husband was
competent to give this opinion, being himself of excellent
classical learning. Mr. Mill spoke of our American slavery,
in answer to a remark of mine, with strong condemnation ;
he would not admit that any defence for it could be made.
Kossuth, who has lately been here, as also in America, he
expressed sympathy with as to his faults which people
spoke of, it was but another way of saying he was an Hun-
garian. 'Puseyism ' was spoken of. Mr. Mill said it was the
'romance of Church of Englandism.' Of Dr. Pusey both
Mr. and Mrs. Mill spoke as a true and a very earnest man,
for whom they felt sincere respect."
I have little other record of conversation on this, to
me, most interesting occasion. The feeling that chiefly
remains with me, after the great lapse of years, is my
sense of the intellectual companionship of Mr. Mill
and his wife. He had at that time written nothing
concerning her : * it seemed plain to me that here was
a mind which was on a level with his own.
John Stuart Mill became a Member of Parliament
in 1865. He consented to stand for Westminster
only on the condition that no money whatever was to
be contributed by himself toward the expenses of the
election. I remember standing with William Edward
Forster and Matthew Arnold in Forster's drawing-
room on the evening of the day the announcement
was made that Mill was to stand. Forster made the
1 Herbert Taylor told me that some of the copies of Mill's " Political
Economy" were dedicated to Mrs. Taylor, not the whole issue.
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 27
prediction that he would not succeed in the House.
His first speech was, it is true, a failure, but on every
subsequent occasion he was listened to with the great-
est interest. Mill stood again in 1868, but was de-
feated by W. H. Smith, a man of great wealth and
In 1849, I went by steamer from London to Rot-
terdam, so that my first sight of the continent was
Holland, with its canals, and its windmills, and its
quaint costumes, and customs, some of which are no
longer the delight of travellers. Ascending the Rhine,
I entered the Grand Duchy of Baden, and at the town
of Carlsruhe my further progress on the east bank of
the river was stopped by military operations. An in-
surrection against the rule of the Grand Duke had
only been put down by the coming of fifteen thousand
Prussian troops, with the Prince of Prussia at their
head, afterward the Emperor William. The remain-
ing insurgents were shut up in the walled town of
Rastadt, fifteen miles distant, and the Baden troops
with the Prussians were laying siege to it. With much
difficulty my companion and I obtained permission to
go down in a military train to look on at the siege. I
enjoyed hugely the excitement of it all, and the novel
feeling of being near to actual warfare. I mention
this because of the following curious circumstance.
A month or two ago (1889), at a Civil Service Reform
dinner in Philadelphia, my seat chanced to be next to
Mr. Carl Schurz, whom I had never met before. After
some preliminaries of talk, I said to him, " You, I be-
28 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
lieve, were of the force which was shut up in Rastadt
exactly forty years ago, when the Prussians and the
Baden troops laid siege to the town." He answered
quickly, " I was," and seemed much surprised. I told
him I was present on one of the days of the siege as
a looker-on. I spoke of a little old church in the vil-
lage of Mugglesturm close to Rastadt, the spire of
which we had ascended to look across to the walled
town. He said he knew the church well ; they " had
a fight there at a sortie on June 30." My visit was
on July 4. Mr. Schurz, as I knew, then a very
young man, was one of the leaders of the insurrection,
and would doubtless have been shot if he had been
captured. The place, I think, held out for six
weeks. " How did you get away ? " I asked. He
said, " Through the sewer ; " he and two compan-
ions ; they were for three days without food.
Little did I think that of the military leaders,
shut up in that small town, was one who was to fight,
in one of the decisive battles of the world, on the soil
of my own State, Pennsylvania. General Schurz com-
manded a division at Gettysburg.
I will not indulge in any raptures in regard to my
first sight of Switzerland, though the day of one's first
glimpse of a snow mountain is one to date from. I
may refer to my journey from Geneva to Paris, when
my Swiss tour was over, because the mode of travel is
entirely of the past. I went by malle-poste, limited to
two passengers. Railway there was none in that part
of France. At three in the afternoon we left Geneva
OCCASIONAL RECOLLECTIONS 29
in a sort of open barouche, with four horses, my
Geneva fellow-traveller and I. We had each a cold
chicken and a bottle of wine ; and my companion had
some macaroons which, he said, were a specialite of
Geneva. I remember their perfection to this day !
The postilion cracked his whip portentously, and the
guard, from his high seat behind, blew his horn. Off
we went at high speed. In ascending the glorious
slopes of the Jura we went at a fast trot, but for the
rest of the way, wherever the ground would permit, at
full gallop. So we sped along, night and day, through
the poplar valleys of France, by Dijon, and by many
a village of white-walled houses making the journey
of some 330 miles at an average speed of ten or eleven
miles an hour. I remember the irresistible appeal of
a beggar at Dijon it was that we would not refuse
him, we who were travelling so joyfully!
It was in the grey of the morning that I had my
first sight of Paris. Our entry was in the quarter
of the Place de la Bastille something truly to
awaken memory! on and on, through the then
silent streets to the beautiful Rue de Rivoli and to
the Hotel Meurice. The windows of the room
assigned me opened upon the leads. I stepped out
and there before me was the fair garden of the Tui-
leries; in the distance were the towers of Notre Dame
and the dome of the Invalides, to the right was the
Obelisk, and far away the Arc de Triomphe to the
left the stately palace of the Tuileries, glorious re-
naissance work now, alas! every stone of it gone.
To many who read, the mention of these names will
bring back happy memories. I found the great build-
ings daubed with the words " Liberte, Egalite, Frater-
nite." It was the first year of the Republic under the
presidency of Louis Napoleon. I had the strongest
sense that there was no stability in the then state of
things that there would be no continuance of con-
stitutional government under the then Chief Magis-
trate. " You don't suppose he is only to be President
for three years," Lucien Murat, then a member of the
Assemblee Nationale, said to me. In two years came
the coup d'etat, and then the miserable personal rule
of Louis Napoleon began, of which the end was not
to be for twenty years. When I next saw Paris in
1852, Murat, formerly of Bordentown, New Jersey,
had become his Imperial Highness, the Prince Lu-
cien Murat. Most true was the after remark of
Gambetta, " the Bonapartists were not a party, but a
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH, 1849
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH
IT was about noon on the eighteenth of August,
1849, that I started with my friends from their house
near Bowness to drive to Ambleside. Our route was
along the shore of Lake Windermere. My friends
congratulated me on the clearness of the atmosphere
and the bright skies. Sunlight is all important in
bringing out the full beauty of the Lake Region, and
in this respect I was very fortunate. I had been al-
ready deeply moved by the tranquil beauty of Win-
dermere, for as I came out of the cottage, Elleray,
formerly Professor Wilson's, where I had passed the
night, there it lay in all its grandeur, its clear
waters, its green islands, and its girdle of solemn
mountains. It was quite dark when I was conducted
to this cottage the night before, so that I saw the
lake for the first time in the light of early morning.
The first impression was confirmed by every new
prospect as we drove along. The vale seemed a very
paradise for its sweet seclusion. I had been told that,
after Switzerland, I should find little to attract me in
this region, but such was not the case. Nothing can
be more lovely than these lakes and mountains, the
latter thickly wooded and rising directly from the
water's edge. The foliage is of the darkest green,
34 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
giving to the lake in which it is reflected the same
It was half past one when we reached Ambleside,
when I left Mr. and Mrs. B and walked on alone
to Rydal Mount. At two o'clock I was at the wicket
gate opening into Wordsworth's grounds. I walked
along the gravel pathway leading through shrubbery
to the open space in front of the long two-story cot-
tage, the poet's dwelling. The view from it is its
chief charm. Rydalmere, with its islands, and the
mountains beyond it, are all in sight. I had but a
hasty enjoyment of all this beauty ; nor could I notice
carefully the flowers which were around. It was evi-
dent that the greatest attention had been paid to the
grounds, for the flowerbeds were tastefully arranged,
and the gravel walks were in complete order.
My letter of introduction was from my friend, Pro-
fessor Henry Reed, Wordsworth's chief American
disciple. I was shown to the drawing-room. It was
with a curious emotion that I felt myself in the house
of the great poet and awaiting his coming. It was
a long apartment, the ceiling low, with two windows
at one end looking out on the lawn and shrubbery.
Many engravings were on the walls. The famous
Madonna of Raphael, known as that of the Dresden
gallery, hung directly over the fireplace. Inman's
portrait of the poet, Professor Reed's gift to Mrs.
Wordsworth, had a conspicuous place. I could have
waited patiently a long time indulging the thoughts
which the place called up. In a few minutes, how-
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 35
ever, I heard steps in the entry, the door was opened,
and Wordsworth came in; it could be no other a
tall figure, a little bent with age, his hair thin and
grey, and his face deeply wrinkled. The expression
of his countenance was sad, mournful I might say;
he seemed one on whom sorrow pressed heavily. He
gave me his hand and welcomed me cordially, though
without smiling. Leading the way, he conducted me
at once to the dining room. I could not but notice
that his step was feeble. At the head of the table
sat Mrs. Wordsworth, and their three grandchildren
made up the party. It was a quaint apartment, not
ceiled, the rafters dark with age being visible ; having
a large old-fashioned fireplace with a high mantel-
Wordsworth asked after Mr. George Ticknor of
Boston, who had visited him a few months before,
and for whom he expressed much regard. Some
other questions led me to speak of the progress we
were making in America in the extension of our ter-
ritory; the settlement of California, which was then
going forward, the eager rush of population to the
Pacific coast all this involving the rapid spread of
our English speech. Wordsworth at this looked up,
and I noticed a fixing of his eye as if on some remote
object. He said that considering this extension of
our language, it behoved those who wrote to see to
it that what they put forth was on the side of virtue.
This remark, although thrown out at the moment,
was made in a serious, thoughtful way, and I was
36 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
much impressed by it. I could not but reflect that
to him a deep sense of responsibility had ever been
present; to purify and elevate had been the purpose/
of all his writings.
Some inquiries having been made as to my travels,
" What are they doing in France ? " was a question
that followed. I said every one felt there was no
stability in the existing government ; a speedy change
was looked for; all was uncertainty. Referring to the
revolution of the previous year, Wordsworth remarked
that Louis Philippe and Guizot had shown a sad want
of courage, but for this the result might have been
very different. Lamartine he spoke of very slight-
ingly, " a poor writer of verses, not having the least
claim to be considered a statesman."
Queen Victoria was mentioned ; her visit to Ire-
land which had just been made ; the courage she had
shown. " That is a virtue," said he, " which she has
to a remarkable degree."
Mrs. Wordsworth invited me to take wine with
her; and this reminds me that I have said nothing
about her. She seemed most refined and simple man-
nered, about the same age as her husband, slender, her
face much furrowed, features small ; she was dressed
in black. I could see that she was still mistress of
her household, presiding with dignity and natural
grace. Dinner being over, she rose, saying they fol-
lowed the American fashion of not sitting long at
the table, and led the way to the drawing-room. She
took a seat on one side of the bright fire, and Words-
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 37
worth on the other. He seemed now fully in the
vein for conversation, although the sadness of his
manner still continued. I knew the cause of this : it
was grief for the loss of his daughter, Mrs. Quillinan.
Inman's portrait of him I alluded to as being very
familiar to me, the copy which hung in the room call-
ing it to mind : this led him to speak of the one
painted by Pickersgill for St. John's College, Cam-
bridge. " I was a member of that college," he said,
" and the Fellows and students did me the honour
to ask me to sit, and allowed me to choose the artist.
I wrote to Mr. Rogers on the subject, and he recom-
mended Pickersgill, who came down soon afterwards,
and the picture was painted here." He believed he
had sat twenty-three times. My impression is he was
in doubt whether Inman's or Pickersgill's portrait
was the better one. I think it was this mention of
honours which had been paid to him which seemed
to bring to mind the University degrees he had re-
ceived. Oxford and Durham had made him D.C.L.
Cambridge would have done the same had he not
declined. Mrs. Wordsworth smiled as he said this,
though without looking up from her knitting, as if
he was speaking too much of his own dignities. But
there was perfect simplicity and naturalness in his
way of saying this.
Trinity College, Cambridge, was mentioned, which
was founded by Henry VIII. Of that king he spoke
in terms of the strongest abhorrence. I wish I could
recall his exact words ; the concluding sentence was.
38 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
V" I loathe his very memory." I alluded to Holbein's
portrait of Henry which I had lately seen at Oxford
at the Bodleian Library. "Yes, there he is," he
said, "his hand grasping the dagger." The subject
which came up next was the Chancellorship of Cam-
bridge. Prince Albert's election he much regretted.
The Earl of Powis, he thought, ought to have been
chosen, one who had served the Church faithfully, and
was an eminent member of the University. Prince
Albert, he considered, had no claim whatever : had he
(Wordsworth) still retained his connection with the
University, he should have gone up to give his vote
against him. The Heads of Houses and others had
allowed themselves to be influenced by a wish to
please the Queen ; which was not a worthy motive
in a case like this. He spoke strongly, saying, at the
same time, that he was not unmindful of the position
he held as Poet Laureate. He said Prince Albert's
German education, his training at Bonn, was in itself
a disqualification. He was supposed to entertain
opinions opposed to classical study as pursued at
the English Universities, and to have intimated a
wish for extensive changes. This Wordsworth dep-
recated strongly: he spoke with great animation of
V the importance of the study of the classics Greek
especially. " Where," said he, " would one look for a
greater orator than Demosthenes, or finer dramatic
poetry, next to Shakespeare, than that of ^Eschylus
and Sophocles, not to speak of Euripides?" Herod-
otus he thought " the most interesting and instruc-
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 39
tive book next to the Bible, which had ever been
written." Modern discoveries had only tended to
confirm the general truth of his narrative. In this,
and perhaps other things that Wordsworth said, there
was something of the extravagance which might be
allowed in talk to make one's meaning clear.
Continuing to speak of Cambridge, he considered
the rule an unfortunate one which obliged those
holding Fellowships to resign them at the end of
seven years unless they took Holy Orders. Many
men, he said, began the study of law when this period
was over, but finding their academic life had unfitted
them for this profession, leading them as it did to the
open world, they returned to the University, and took
Orders as though they could not help themselves.
Archdeacon Hare was one of these, and Bishop Thirl-
wall (the Bishop of St. David's). Of the former he
had a high opinion, although he did not agree with
him as to some of his judgments his extreme ad-
miration for Luther, for instance. Bishop Thirlwall,
he said, he did not altogether like, his manner was
disagreeable to him he had a "sneering way of talk-
ing." Mrs. Wordsworth reminded her husband, in
her quiet way, that he was now a bishop. " Well, I
hope he has improved, then. I speak of my own in-
tercourse with him some years ago." Moreover, Mr.
Thirlwall had proposed, while he was a Fellow at
Cambridge, that the attendance of the students at the
Daily Service should no longer be strictly required.
" This my brother, who was Master of Trinity, and
40 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
whose will was law at the University, strongly op-
France was our next subject, and one which seemed
very near his heart. He had been much in that coun-
try at the outbreak of the Revolution and afterward
during its wildest excesses. He was at Orleans at the
time of the September massacres in Paris. Address-
ing Mrs. Wordsworth, he said: " I wonder how I came
to stay there so long, and at a period so exciting."
He had known many of the abbe's and other ecclesi-
astics, and thought highly of them as a class : they
were earnest, faithful men : being unmarried, he must
say they were the better able to fulfil their sacred
duties ; they were married to their flocks. In the
towns there seemed, he admitted, very little religion ;
but in the country there had always been a great deal.
" I should like to spend another month in France," he
said, " before I close my eyes."
Seeing Manning's Sermons on the book-shelves, I
alluded to them, and mentioned that I had heard the
Archdeacon in London a short time before. Mrs.
Wordsworth took interest in my account and joined
almost for the first time in conversation. The ser-
mons were evidently well known to her and much
valued. Wordsworth said to her, calling her " Mary,"
" Did I buy that copy ? " " No," said she ; " it was a
present." " From the Archdeacon ? " he inquired.
" No ; a present to me from Miss Fenwick." There
was tenderness in the tones of his voice when speak-
ing with his wife.
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 41
" Peace settles where the intellect is meek," is a
familiar line from one of the beautiful poems which
Wordsworth addressed to her, and this seemed pecu-
liarly the temper of her spirit peace the holy
calmness of a heart to which Love had been " an un-
I cannot forbear to quote here that beautiful pas-
sage near the end of " The Prelude," in which he
speaks for the first time of his wife. After apostro-
phizing his sister, " Child of my parents ; Sister of my
soul," and dwelling on what she had been to him from
his boyhood up, he adds :
" Thereafter came
One whom with thee friendship had early paired ;
She came, no more a phantom to adorn
A moment, but an inmate of the heart,
And yet a spirit, there for me enshrined
To penetrate the lofty and the low ;
Even as one essence of pervading light
Shines, in the brightest of ten thousand stars
And the meek worm that feeds her lonely lamp
Couched in the dewy grass."
I have been led away from my narrative, but I
wished to note how much I felt drawn to Mrs. Words-
worth, as I saw her thus for the first time. She was
then in her eightieth year. Little could I foresee that
again, and yet again, I was to be under her roof, and
partake of her gracious hospitality. As the years
went on, and I knew her better, I could feel how true
the words were that she had been " like the Poet's
Guardian Angel for near fifty years."
42 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
After an hour or two had passed I rose to go.
Wordsworth, without rising himself, begged me to sit
down again : they had no engagements ; at this sea-
son they gave themselves up to visitors. For eight
months of the year they saw only their immediate
neighbours. " Pray sit down again, if you like." I
could not resist this. Mrs. Wordsworth added they
had visitors constantly, and from various quarters
more Americans by far than all other foreigners put
I ventured to remark to Wordsworth that I had
observed from a note, in the last-published volume
of his poems, that he looked with favour on what
is known as the Oxford movement in the English
Church, the results of which were everywhere visi-
ble. I asked him whether late events had led him
to alter his judgment. He replied deliberately that
his opinion was unchanged. " I foresaw," said he,
" that the movement was for good, and such I con-
ceive it has been beyond all question." Continuing
to speak of the English Church, he said there ought
to be an increase in the number of Bishops, they
ought to be five times as many ; the duties in Par-
liament of the present bench were important, and
took up much of their time. The clergy having
no representatives in the House of Commons, the
presence of the Bishops in the House of Lords was
the more necessary.
It is of course impossible to give the whole of
what was said, or to do justice to the conversation
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 43
by what I am able to recall of it. I may note that
Wordsworth's manner throughout was animated, and
that his words were felicitous to such degree as to
enchain attention. There was sustained vigour, and
a mode of expression denoting habitual thought-
I rose a second time to go. Wordsworth told me
I was to say to his friends in America that he and
his wife were well, that they had had a great grief
of late in the loss of their only daughter. He
added, " I suppose we shall never get over it."
Two years had then passed since the death of Mrs.
Quillinan. I recalled that the poet had himself
condemned " long and persevering grief " for " ob-
jects of our love removed from this unstable world,"
reminding one so sorrowing of that state:
" Of pure, imperishable blessedness
Which reason promises, and Holy Writ
Ensures to all believers."
But, as if foreseeing his own case, he has added in
words of touching power:
" And if there be whose tender frames have drooped
Even to the dust, apparently, through weight
Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power
An agonizing sorrow to transmute,
Deem not that proof is here of hope withheld
When wanted most : a confidence impaired
So pitiably that, having ceased to see
With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love
Of what is lost, and perish through regret."
44 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
I could see most clearly that it was the weakness
of his bodily frame which took away his power of
tranquil endurance. Bowed down by the weight of
years, he had not strength to bear this further bur-
den, grief for the child who had always been the
object of his tenderest love; the one, too, who had
been, more than either of his other children, the
companion of his mind.
I turned to take leave of his granddaughter, who
had remained in the room. He said in his simple
way, " That is the child of our eldest son." I men-
tion this because his manner in telling me was
kind and gentle ; there seemed affection in the tones
of his voice. He walked out into the entry with
me, and then asked me to go again into the dining
room to look at an old oak cabinet richly and
curiously carved. It bore a Latin inscription stating
that it was made three hundred years ago for Will-
iam Wordsworth, " who was the son of," etc., giving
the ancestors of the said William for many genera-
tions, and ending, " On whose souls may God have
mercy." This Wordsworth repeated twice in an
emphatic way, as if taking comfort in the religious
spirit of his ancestor while adopting for himself the
I asked to see the cast from Chantrey's bust of
him, which he at once showed me; also a crayon
sketch by Haydon, and one by Margaret Gillies.
We went out together upon the lawn and stood
for a while to enjoy the views; Wordsworth pulled
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 45
aside the shrubbery or hedge in places, that I might
see to better advantage. He accompanied me to
the gate, and then said, if I had a few minutes
longer to spare, he would like to show me the
waterfall which was close by, the lower fall of
Rydal. I gladly assented, and he led the way
across the grounds of Lady Fleming which were
opposite to his own to a small summer house.
The moment we opened the door, the waterfall was
before us, the summer house being so placed as to
occupy the exact spot from which it was to be seen,
the rocks and shrubbery around closing it in on
every side. The effect was magical. The view from
the rustic house, the rocky basin into which the
water fell, and the deep shade in which the whole
was enveloped made it a lovely scene. Wordsworth
seemed to have much pleasure in exhibiting this
beautiful retreat; it is described in one of his
earlier poems, " The Evening Walk."
As we returned he walked very slowly, occasion-
ally stopping when he said anything of importance;
and again I noticed that looking into remote space
of which I have already spoken. His eyes, though
not glistening, had yet in them the fire which be-
tokened the greatness of his genius. This no painter
could represent, and this it was that gave his counte-
nance its high intellectual expression. His features
were not good ; indeed but for this keen grey eye with
its wondrous light his face could hardly have been
called pleasing; but this atoned for all. His step I
46 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
have already said was feeble, tottering ; there was, too,
this peculiarity that he walked with so uneven a gait
as to encroach on my side of the path. One hand
was generally thrust into his half-unbuttoned waist-
coat. His dress was a black frock coat, grey trousers,
a black waistcoat, and cravat of black silk carelessly
tied; his appearance, in fact, was somewhat rough,
but not slovenly; his clothes were not old fashioned,
nor did he dress as an old man in any peculiar way.
The few minutes I was to devote to the Falls be-
came a walk and further talk of three-quarters of
an hour. One of the questions Wordsworth asked
me at this time was, " What age do men reach in
America ? " He wished to know whether the aver-
age of life was longer with us than in England. He
spoke of Mr. Everett, whom he had seen and of whom
he thought highly. Webster he had also met; his
dark complexion and his eye gave him somehow the
look of our North American Indians.
I mentioned Henry Taylor's name to him. He
said he knew him well, that he was a very estimable
man, and of remarkable abilities. He added that he
was without the advantage of a classical education,
and this Wordsworth considered a great loss. He
had acted lately with much propriety and forbearance
in declining promotion which was offered him in the
Colonial Office where he had long been engaged ; he
was content with the lower station, although his sal-
ary would have been almost doubled had he accepted
the higher. With the former he had more leisure for
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 47
literary work and for his family; this, in short, was
more to him than money.
Of Hartley Coleridge he spoke with much affection :
he was beloved by all who knew him, notwithstanding
his wayward and careless life. " There is a single
line," he added, " in one of his father's poems which
I consider explains the after-life of the son. He is
speaking of his own confinement in London, and then
" ' But thou, my child, shalt wander like a breeze.' "
Of Southey he said that he had had the misfortune
to outlive his faculties; his mind, he thought, had
been weakened by long watching by the sick bed of
his wife, who had lingered for many years in a very
The last subject he touched on was the interna-
tional copyright question the absence of protection
in our country to the works of foreign authors. He
said mildly that he thought it would be better for us
if some acknowledgment, however small, was made.
The fame of his own writings, as far as pecuniary
advantage was concerned, he had long regarded with
indifference; happily he had now an income more
than sufficient for all his wants.
I happened to have in my pocket a small volume
of selections from his poems made some years before
by Professor Reed. I produced it and asked him if
he had ever seen it. He replied he had not. He
took it with evident interest, turned to the title-page,
48 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
which he read, with its motto. He began the preface
then, in the same way. But here I must record a
trifling incident, which may yet be worth noting.
We were standing together in the road when a man
accosted us, asking chanty, a beggar of the better
class. Wordsworth, scarcely looking off the book,
thrust his hand into his pockets, as if instinctively
acknowledging the man's right to beg by this prompt
action. He seemed to find nothing, however; and he
said, in a sort of soliloquy, " I have given to four or
five already to-day," as if to account for his being then
unprovided. Wordsworth, as he turned over one leaf
after another, said, " But I shall weary you." " By no
means," said I ; for I could have been content to
stand there for hours to hear, as I did, the Poet
read from time to time, with fitting emphasis, the
choice passages which Professor Reed had quoted
in the preface, and the biographical sketch which
followed. Most impressive was it to hear from the
lips of the venerable man such words as these: " His
has been a life devoted to the cultivation of the poet's
art for its best and most lasting uses, a self-dedication
as complete as the world has ever witnessed." A
further remark, that he had " outlived many of his
contemporaries among the poets," he read with affect-
ing simplicity, his manner being that of one who
looked backward to the past with tranquillity, and
forward with sure hope. It was clear that he felt that
his life was drawing rapidly to a close.
He made but little comment on Professor Reed's
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 49
notice of him. Occasionally he would say, as he
came to a particular fact, " That's quite correct," or
after reading a quotation from his own works, he
would add, " That's from my writings." These quota-
tions he read in a way that much impressed me; it
seemed almost as if he was awed by the greatness
of his own power, the gifts with which he had been
endowed. 1 It was a solemn time to me, this part of
my interview ; and I felt it to be indeed a crowning
happiness to stand, as I did, by his side on that bright
summer day, and listen to his voice. I thought of
his long life; that he was one who had felt himself!
from early youth a dedicated spirit,
" singled out
For holy services,"
one who had listened to the teachings of Nature, and
communed with his own heart in the seclusion of
these beautiful vales and mountains until his thoughts
were ready to be uttered for the good of his fellow-
men. And there had come back to him in all the
later years of his life offerings of love and gratitude
and admiration from perhaps as great a multitude
as had ever before paid their homage to a living
1 Mr. Lowell ("Among my Books") does me the honour to quote this
sentence. He says finely, to somewhat the same effect : " The fact that
what is precious in Wordsworth's poetry was a gift rather than an achieve-
ment should always be borne in mind in taking the measure of his power,"
and further, "Wordsworth's better utterances have the bare sincerity,!
the absolute abstraction from time and place, the immunity from decayJ
that belong to the grand simplicities of the Bible. They seem not morel
his own than ours and every man's, the word of the unalterable mind."
5O WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Still holding the little book in his hand, he said, " I
will write my name in it if you like." I produced my
pencil gladly, and he wrote with a trembling hand :
"William Wordsworth, Rydal, August i8th, 1849."
" You can mend it," he said. I am glad to note this
little act of kindness.
He walked with me as far as the main road to
Ambleside. As we passed the little church built by
Lady Fleming, there were persons, tourists evidently,
talking with the sexton at the door. Their inquiries,
I fancied, were about Wordsworth, perhaps as to the
hour of service the next day (Sunday), with the hope
of seeing him there. One of them caught sight of
the venerable man at the moment, and at once seemed
to perceive who it was, for she motioned to the others
to look, and they watched him with earnest gaze. He
stopped when we reached the main road, saying his
strength was not sufficient for a further walk. Giving
me his hand, he desired again to be remembered to
his friends in America, and wished me a safe return
to my own home, and so we parted. I went on my
way happy in the recollection of this to me memora-
ble interview. My mind was in a tumult of excite-
ment, for I felt that I had been in the familiar pres-
ience of one of the noblest of our race. The sense of
Wordsworth's intellectual greatness had been with me
during the whole interview. I may speak, too, of the
strong perception of his moral elevation which I had
at the same time. He seemed to me a man living as
in the presence of God by habitual recollection. A
A VISIT TO WORDSWORTH 51
strange feeling almost of awe had impressed me while
I was thus with him.
Believing as I do that his memory will be had
in honour in all coming time, I am indeed thankful
that I was permitted to have the intercourse with
him of which I have now sought to tell. I owed
this great happiness to my dear friend, Professor
Henry Reed. I was in a manner his representative
as I drew near to the great and gracious presence, v
The kindness with which I was received was the
acknowledgment which the poet was prompt to
make of a devotion as absolute and unwearied as
any of which literary history affords us an example.
Professor Reed was, during all his mature years,
the instant and unwearied upholder of Wordsworth's
poetry. He had the profoundest sense of its value,
and he accepted almost as a divine call the duty
of bringing its holy and elevating influences home
to the hearts of his countrymen. Wordsworth was
quick to discern that here across the sea was one
whose heart and mind were kindred to his own.
The letters to Professor Reed which Dr. Words-
worth's "Memoirs" contain would seem to have
been the most important that Wordsworth wrote.
Alas ! that it was not granted to this true-hearted
man to see face to face the great poet toward
whom he felt such utter loyalty of heart.
WALKS AND VISITS IN WORDS-
WALKS AND VISITS IN WORDS-
August n, 1855. In company with my friend,
the Rev. Derwent Coleridge, I called to-day at Rydal
Mount. I had great interest in entering again the
grounds and the house which six years ago I visited
with such eager expectation. Everything remains
as it was in the poet's lifetime the books and the
pictures and the furniture. Wordsworth's chair
stands in its accustomed place by the drawing-room
fireside. Mrs. Wordsworth seems also unchanged.
Her manners are simple and unpretending, but she
received me very cordially. As was natural, almost
the first inquiries were after Mrs. Henry Reed and
her children. She spoke with much feeling of Pro-
fessor Reed and Miss Bronson, who scarcely a year
ago perished in the Arctic. They left Rydal Mount
for Liverpool to embark, and it was little more than
a week after their parting from this dear venerable
lady that the waves closed over them. Mrs. Words-
worth is almost eighty-five, and is as clear in mind
as ever. You forget her great age in talking with
her. And what tenderness there is in the tones
of her voice, and what truthful simplicity in her
56 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
words ! We did not remain very long. I accepted
her invitation to drink tea the next evening in com-
pany with Mr. Coleridge. As we drove away, we
passed the spot where Wordsworth gave me his
hand in parting six years ago, and but six months
before his death. Later in the day, Mr. Coleridge
and I took a walk along the Brathay to Skelwith
Force and back, a round of six miles. The valley
through which we went was familiar ground to Mr.
Coleridge, he and his brother Hartley, " My poor
brother Hartley ! " as Mr. Coleridge says when he
speaks of him, having spent five or six years
there in their schoolboy days. We went to the
cottage where they had lived, and the well-remem-
bered rooms brought up to my friend a crowd of
recollections of forty years ago. He talked much
of those early days as we walked together along
that sweet valley. We reached the Force, which
is a pretty waterfall, and returned on the other side
of the valley. It rained occasionally, but one gets
used to this in England.
August 1 2, Sunday. I went to the new Amble-
side church this morning. It is one of Gilbert
Scott's works, but not altogether pleasing. I sat
with Dr. John Davy, brother of Sir Humphry. We
were close to the memorial window for which Dr.
Davy had applied, through Professor Reed, for
American contributions. When the service was
over, I remained to study this window. Its appro-
priate inscription is :
WALKS IN WORDSWORTWS COUNTRY 57
" Gulielmi Wordsworth Amatores et Amici,
partim Angli, partim Anglo-Americani."
Other smaller windows are near by, commemorating
members of the Wordsworth family, so that the cor-
ner becomes a Wordsworth chapel. One window re-
mains without inscription.
At two o'clock I started for my walk to Grasmere,
five miles distant, where I had agreed to meet Mr.
Coleridge. My way at first was along the Rothay by
the lovely road at the base of Loughrigg, which
mountain seems to embrace as with an encircling arm
one side of the Ambleside valley. There was deep
shade here and there, and for a part of the way there
was the shadow of the mountain itself. I passed Fox
How, where there are only servants at present.
Other pretty houses, with lovely shade about them, I
also passed, and the sweep of the road gave me a per-
petually changing view. Then I crossed a bridge,
and soon found myself in the Vale of Rydal. Skirt-
ing the small Rydalmere, I next entered the sweet
Grasmere Vale. In the distance was the church
which was my destination, the square tower being a
striking object in the view. It was a day of wonder-
ful brightness, and the green of the mountain sheep-
pastures and the purple of the slate rock, which is seen
here and there, made a lovely contrast in the sunlight.
The church, which I reached at length, is the one
commemorated by Wordsworth in the " Excursion " :
" Not raised in nice proportions was the pile,
But large and massy, for duration built,
58 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
With pillars crowded, and the roof upheld
By naked rafters intricately crossed,
Like leafless under-boughs 'mid some thick grove."
The interior is interesting. The pavement is of blue
flagstones worn and uneven. The pillars support two
rows of low stone arches, one above the other, and on
these rest the beams and other framework, black with
age, which uphold the roof. The pillars are square
and are of separate stones, and all has the look of rude
strength, the rough work of very ancient days. The
congregation was large. Mr. Coleridge preached.
When the service was over I waited a while to look
at the tablet to Wordsworth, which is on the wall di-
rectly over the pew he occupied for many years. The
inscription is a translation from the Latin of the dedi-
cation to him of Mr. Keble's " Lectures on Poetry,"
and is as follows :
" To the memory of
A true philosopher and poet,
Who by the special gift and calling of
Whether he discoursed on man or Nature,
Failed not to lift the heart
to holy things,
Tired not of maintaining the cause
of the poor and simple,
And so in perilous times was raised up
to be a chief minister,
Not only of noblest poesy,
but of high and sacred truth."
Mr. Coleridge and I now started for the walk we had
arranged to take together. It was to be a vigorous
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 59
climb, and then a descent and a circuit of the vales of
Rydal and Grasmere ; and we had two hours for it.
We took a narrow road leading up the mountain on
the west side of Grasmere Lake : coming down a
little, we ascended once more to look down on Rydal
Water. The views were very lovely, and the moun-
tain-air was exhilarating. These lakes, with their
dark mountain settings, are like mirrors in their black
transparency. Rydal Water is dotted with islands,
each with its few trees, everything seeming in minia-
ture. We went to a house which is the highest human
habitation in England, save one on the top of Kirk-
stone Pass. The people occupying it knew Mr.
Coleridge well: they showed me, at his request, the
kitchen with its pavement of flagstones, and the open-
ing between the rafters which served for the chimney
a curious specimen of Westmoreland cottage-life.
We reached at length Rydal Mount, which was
our destination, and found there Miss Edith Cole-
ridge, daughter of Sara Coleridge; William Words-
worth, a grandson of the poet; and Mr. Carter,
Wordsworth's secretary for forty years. Young
Wordsworth has his grandfather's face: he seems
thoughtful, and, though silent, his manner is prepos-
sessing. He is about twenty years of age, and is
an undergraduate of Balliol College, Oxford.
Mr. Coleridge left us soon after tea, having to re-
turn to Grasmere. I walked out on the terrace with
Mr. Carter, and enjoyed the fine view it commands
of the valley of the Rothay, with Lake Windermere
60 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
in the distance. It is a double terrace, with flower-
beds interspersed, rich in bloom and fragrance. On
either hand there is shrubbery of luxuriant growth,
and one wall of the house is ivy-grown. All speaks
of loving and tender care. Much of the work of
raising the terraces was done, I believe, by Words-
worth's own hands. There are seats here and there
on which one would be tempted to spend many an
hour watching the changing lights on the distant
hillsides and the fair valleys. Mr. Carter pointed
out to me the valley down which " the Wanderer "
and his party came to the "churchyard among the
mountains " (the Grasmere church). He showed me
also the stone with its inscription
" In these fair vales hath many a tree
At Wordsworth's suit been spared,
And from the builder's hand this stone,
For some rude beauty of its own,
Was rescued by the bard :
So let it rest, and time will come
When here the tender-hearted
May heave a gentle sigh for him
As one of the departed."
Mr. Carter was most helpful to the poet during
the long years of his association with him. One
could fancy that he appreciated from the first the
dignity of the service he was thus rendering. Mrs.
Wordsworth has only a lease of Rydal Mount: at
her death it must pass to strangers, for neither of
her sons will be able to live there. I have omitted
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 6 1
to say that she is rapidly losing her sight, but she
has scarcely any other infirmity of age.
August 13. Early this morning I started for an
excursion which had been planned for me by Mr.
Coleridge. I went by coach from Ambleside, ascend-
ing the Kirkstone Pass. I was outside, and could
enjoy at first, as I looked back, the sweet morning
view of Lake Windermere with its islands and its
fair green hillsides. But soon the sharp ascent of
the road brought us between steep mountain-declivi-
ties, shutting out all view except their desolate grey
slopes. There were but scanty patches of grass here
and there : all else was stony and barren. I walked
in advance of the coach, enjoying the silence and the
solitude, and the grand slopes of the naked moun-
tains on either hand. Up and up we went, until at
last the summit of the pass is reached. There stands
the old stone house said to be the highest inhabited
house in England a rude enough dwelling, and at
present an alehouse. Beginning now our descent
toward Patterdale, we had from the summit of the
pass a view of the little lake of Brotherswater, and
soon our road was along the margin of this fair high-
lying tarn. The mountains stand quite around the
lake, leaving only space for the road. From the foot
of the pass a drive of a few miles brought us to
Patterdale, and there my coach-journey ended. I
climbed to a stone-quarry on the hillside opposite,
and thence had a view of the valley through which
I had just passed, and of the lake of Ullswater
62 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
stretching off to the right. Returning to the inn at
Patterdale, I engaged a boat to take me to Lyulph's
Tower, distant five or six miles. A young man with
drawing-materials and pack slung over his shoulder
was about to leave the inn. I asked him to take a
seat with me, and we were soon side by side in the
open boat on the beautiful lake. From the level of
the water the mountains rising on either hand ap-
peared in their full dignity. The lake is quite shut
in by these steep and lofty hills. For a while the
clouds were threatening, but we dreaded wind more
than rain, for these lakes are often lashed by sudden
storms. We landed and climbed to Lyulph's Tower,
and there below, in its fair loveliness, lay the sweet
Ullswater, this upper reach of it being of quite won-
derful beauty. Thence we made our way to Aira
Force, a mile distant a dashing waterfall in a nar-
row gorge. Its height is about eighty feet. The
" woody glen " and the " torrent hoarse," as Words-
worth describes it, are appropriate words.
A mile farther we found a road and a little inn.
We asked for luncheon, but in the principal room,
to which we were shown, two travelling tailors were
at work. It seemed pleasanter to be in the open
air, so we had our table under the trees outside.
My companion proved to be a clergyman: he was
fresh from Oxford, and had just taken orders. We
had fallen at once into intimacy, but we had imme-
diately to part company. My way was onward to
Keswick, a walk of eleven miles. I ascended first a
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 63
long hill, and then my route wound along or around
the side of a mountain. Above and below me was
bare heath or mountain-moor: there were no trees
whatever. For near two hours I saw no house or
sign of cultivation, nor did I meet a human being.
The wind blew strongly in my face, but my blood
coursed through all my veins, and I had ever before
me a wide sweeping view. I descended at length
into the fair valley through which the Greta flows,
and about two hours more of steady walking brought
me to Keswick. My stopping-place, however, was at
the inn at Portinscale on the banks of Derwent-
water, a mile out of Keswick, where I had agreed
to meet Mr. Coleridge. I dined, and was resting
after my long walk, when I heard his voice in the
hall inquiring for me. With him were three other
gentlemen, one of them the friend with whom he
was staying, who asked me to return with them and
drink tea at his house. One of the four was Dr.
Carlyle, a brother of the Chelsea philosopher, him-
self a man of letters, the prose translator of Dante.
I soon found myself in a pretty drawing-room look-
ing out on Derwentwater. Mr. Leitch was our host.
We had a great deal of animated talk at the tea-
table, and later in the long twilight Mr. Coleridge
read to us the " Ancient Mariner " and " Genevieve,"
his father's matchless poems. He reads extremely
well. We sat by one of the large windows, and the
lake stretching before us and the mountains beyond
seemed to put one in the mood for the poetry.
64 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
August 14. I went to Mr. Leitch's to breakfast
this morning, meeting nearly the same party, and had
another hour of pleasant talk. Then Dr. Carlyle,
Mr. Coleridge, Mr. Leitch, and I rowed across the
lake. Landing near the town, Mr. Coleridge and I
took leave of the others and went up into Keswick,
and so out to Greta Hall, the former residence of
Southey, now occupied by strangers. It has a lovely
situation on a knoll, Skiddaw looking down upon it,
and other mountains standing around and in the dis-
tance, and the Greta flowing, or rather winding, by ;
for it is a stream which has many twists and turnings.
We called at the house, and Mr. Coleridge sent in his
name, telling the servant he had a friend with him,
an American, to whom he would like to show some of
the rooms, adding, " I was born here." There was a
little delay, for the occupant of the house was a bach-
elor and his hours were late. So we looked first at
the grounds, and my friend, as we walked slowly
along under the trees and looked down on the Greta,
seemed to be carried altogether back to his childhood.
On that spot it was that his brother Hartley used to
tell to him and to their sister Sara, as well as to
Southey's children, stories literally without end one
narration in particular in its ceaseless flow going on
year after year. " Here, too," said my friend, pointing
to a small house near by, " was the residence of the
Bhow Begum." Need I add that this reference was
to that strange book, " The Doctor " ?
We were now summoned to the house, and though
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH'S COUNTRY 65
we saw no one except the civil housekeeper who ac-
companied us, all was thrown open to us. My friend
at every room had some explanation to make : " This
was the dining-room;" "here was Mr. Southey's seat;"
" here sat my mother." One room was called Paul,
for some one had said its furniture was taken wrongly
from another room robbing Peter to pay Paul. Up-
stairs was the library, the room of all others sacred,
for there had passed so much of the thirty years of
Southey's life of unwearied labour. The very walls
seemed to speak of that honourable industry. I looked
from the windows on those glories of lake and moun-
tain which had been the poet's solace and delight, and
recalled his own description of the view in " The Vis-
ion of Judgment " :
" Mountain and lake and vale ; the hills that calm and majestic
Lifted their heads in the silent sky."
Near the library was the room in which he died after
years of mental darkness. In the same room Mrs.
Southey had been released from life after a still longer
period of mental decay.
Leaving Greta Hall with all its interesting associ-
ations, we returned to the road. Near the gateway
were some cottages. " An old fiddler used to live
here," said Mr. Coleridge. Then inquiring of some
men at work near by, he learned to his surprise that
he was still there. " But it is more than forty years
since I knew him : he used to teach me to play on the
violin." " He is still there," the men repeated ; and
66 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
we entered the cottage. An old man rose from his
seat near the fire as Mr. Coleridge asked for him by
name. " Do you remember me ? " said my friend.
" You gave me lessons on the violin more than forty
years ago, until my uncle Southey interfered and said
I should play no longer : he feared it would make me
idle." " I remember you perfectly," said the old man.
" You would have done very well if you had kept
on." Then followed mutual inquiries. The wife of
the old man sat by his side crippled with rheumatism,
from which he himself also suffered. " But she bears
it very patiently, sir," said he. There seemed Chris-
tian submission in the old people a tranquil waiting
for the end.
Our next visit was to Miss Katherine Southey, who
lives in a beautiful cottage close at the foot of Skid-
daw. Three little children, Robert, Edith, and Bertha
Southey, grandchildren of the poet, came out to meet
us. Miss Southey greeted her cousin warmly. She
is of cheerful, agreeable manners. We talked of Greta
Hall, and the cousins called up their old recollections.
Mr. Coleridge went upstairs to see the aged Mrs.
Lovell, his aunt, the last of her generation, so to say
sister of Mrs. Coleridge and Mrs. Southey. It
was one of Southey's good deeds that he cared for
this lady from the beginning of her early widowhood
as long as his own life lasted. She was, I believe,
one of his household and family for more than
forty years ; and since his death his children have
continued the same dutiful offices. (As I copy
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 67
these notes, now long after the date of my visit,
I may add that Mrs. Lovell died in 1862, aged
Miss Southey showed me some of the manuscripts
of her father very minute, but exquisitely neat and
clear. When the cousins took leave of each other,
Miss Southey 's eyes were filled with tears. We now
took to our boat again, and started for the Falls of
Lodore at the other end of Derwentwater. We
stopped at Marshall's Island, so called from the
owner, who has made it a summer residence of mar-
vellous beauty, though the extent of it is but five acres.
Trees of every variety adorn the grounds. The house
is in the centre, of stately proportions : the drawing-
room in the second story opens upon a balcony com-
manding a view which is beyond measure enchanting.
Books in profusion lay upon the table, and pictures
and drawings were upon the walls, all telling of refine-
ment as well as of abundance of this world's goods.
Returning to our boat, my friend and I took the oars.
Our next stopping-place was at St. Herbert's Island
a hermitage a thousand or more years ago. A few
remains of what may have been an oratory are still to
be seen. St. Herbert was the friend of the good St.
Cuthbert, whose especial shrine and memorial is Dur-
ham Cathedral. Once a year, according to Bede, he
left his cell to visit St. Cuthbert and " receive from
him the food of eternal life." And in Wordsworth's
verse is embalmed the tradition that, pacing on the
shore of this small island, St. Herbert prayed that he
68 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
and his friend might die in the same moment ; " nor
in vain so prayed he : "
"Those holy men both died in the same hour."
At length we reached Lodore. Here our real work
was to begin. We climbed to the top of the hill down
which the stream falls over rocks piled upon rocks,
forming a succession of cascades. It was a ladder-
like ascent of no little difficulty. After admiring the
view of the rocky chasm and the falls, we turned to
enjoy the prospect which opened before us from Lad-
derbrow, as it is called. Derwentwater lay stretched
before us, and Skiddaw rose in its giant majesty in the
distance. The view is a celebrated one. We then
entered the wood, crossed a beck or small stream,
losing our way once, and at length reached an upland
valley Watendlath very retired and secluded, with
its small hamlet, and near by a tarn "A little lake,
and yet uplifted high among the mountains." The
day was cloudy, but there was not much mist. Climb-
ing another ridge, we found ourselves looking down
upon Borrowdale and the little village of Rosthwaite,
one of the loveliest views I ever beheld. Sunlight was
upon the vale while we stood in the shadow. We were
looking up Borrowdale to the Sty-head Pass. As we
descended into the valley we could enjoy the view of
it every step of the way. At Rosthwaite we had
luncheon. It was half past three. We had still a
mountain to climb ; and as there was something of
danger, for we might lose our way should the mist
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 69
increase, we took a guide, a man well known to Mr.
Coleridge one of the dalesmen of Borrowdale. We
started at a vigorous pace, and, following the course
of a stony brook, ascended the steep mountain-side.
It was very sharp work, for it was an absolutely con-
tinuous ascent, and there was no pathway whatever.-
There was no sign of human habitation. On either
hand were only the stony mountain slopes. It seemed
a long and weary way, but at the end of two hours of
steady climbing we reached the summit. A cold mist
here enveloped us. We hastened on, our guide ac-
companying us a short distance over the moor as we
began our descent: he saw us clear of the mist and
safely on our way. When we had reached an emi-
nence from which we could look down into Far Eas-
dale, our route was clear to us, and we turned and
waved our adieus to our friendly guide. We were
already a long way off from him, and he was resting
where we had left him, waiting to see that we took
the right course. Descending rapidly, we went on
and on through the desolate and lonely valley of Far
Easdale a vale within a vale, for it opens into Eas-
dale. Hereabouts it was that George and Sarah Green
lost their way and perished on a winter's night, as the
story is recorded in Wordsworth's verse and De Quin-
cey's exquisite prose. So dreary is the solitude that
scarcely a sheep-track is to be found in the valley. All
around there is nothing but a bare and stony heath.
We hastened on, for Mr. Coleridge knew there
would be anxiety in regard to us, as evening was
70 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
drawing on. Another ascent being accomplished,
we looked down into Easdale, surrounded by its
mountain-girdle. The sun was setting, and as we
were drawing near our destination I almost forgot
my fatigue. At length we reached Mr. Coleridge's
cottage at the entrance to the Vale of Grasmere.
Mrs. Coleridge came out to meet us, and expressed
much relief at seeing us. She knew the perils of a
long walk over these lonely mountains.
I found an invitation for me from Mrs. Fletcher, a
venerable lady of eighty-five, who had been a friend
of Jeffrey, and one of the literary circle of Edinburgh
of sixty years and more ago. After refreshing our-
selves, my friend and I sallied forth. Lancrigg is
the name of Mrs. Fletcher's beautiful cotfage. We
found a brilliant company assembled. Mrs. Fletcher
welcomed me with sweet but stately courtesy. "I
am always glad to see Americans," she said; "my
father used to drink General Washington's health
every day of his life." Her look was radiant as she
said this: there was light in her eyes and colour in
her cheeks, and altogether her appearance was most
striking. I never saw a more beautiful old age. I
talked with her son, Mr. Angus Fletcher, a sculptor
of some distinction. A bust of Wordsworth and one
of Joanna Baillie, works of his, were in the drawing-
room. He told me of his having lately been to see
Tennyson, who is on Coniston Water in this neigh-
bourhood, in a house lent him by Mr. Marshall of
Marshall's Island. Mr. Fletcher said he asked Ten-
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 71
nyson to read some of his poetry to him. " No," was
the reply; " I will do no such thing. You only want
to take me off with the blue-stockings about here."
But they got on well together in their after-talk, and
Tennyson, softening a little, said he would read him
something. " Nothing of my own, however ; I will
not give you that triumph. I will read you some-
thing from Milton." "Oh, very well," said Mr.
Fletcher ; " I consider that quite as good poetry."
The evening over, a drive of six miles brought me
to the friends with whom I was staying at Rothay
Bank, near Ambleside.
August 15. Dined to-day at Rydal Mount the
one o'clock dinner which is always the hour there
with Mrs. Wordsworth, young William Wordsworth,
and Mr. Carter. Six years almost to a day since I
last sat in that quaint room in the familiar presence
of the great poet himself. It is a low room without
a ceiling the rafters showing. A great number of
small prints in black frames are on the walls, chiefly
portraits. There are portraits of the royal family
also, but these are in gilt frames ; they were the gift
of the Queen to Wordsworth. I was glad to see
again the bust of Wordsworth by Chantrey, and also
the old oak cabinet or armoire with its interesting
Latin inscription, both of which the great poet showed
to me as among his choice possessions. James, who
has lived there for thirty years, waited at the table.
Mrs. Wordsworth asked me to take wine with her,
the courtesy of the old days, the single glass of port
72 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
which she drinks daily. It was the last day of her
The library, which adjoins the drawing-room, is
smaller in size, and the collection of books is not
large. I noticed that many were presentation copies :
in one of them, a folio volume describing the Skerry-
vore Rock Lighthouse was the following inscription
(the author of the book was the architect of the light-
house) : " To William Wordsworth, a humble token of
admiration for his character as a man and his genius
as a poet, and in grateful remembrance of the peace
and consolation derived from the companionship of
his writings during the author's solitude on the
Skerryvore Rock." 1
John, the loquacious but intelligent coachman of
the friend at whose house I am staying, told me of
his waiting at dinner at Rydal Mount a good many
years ago : his then master was one of the guests.
Miss Martineau, Hartley Coleridge, and F. W. Faber
were present. Mr. Faber had then charge of the
little church at Rydal. There was a rush and flow
of talk, as one could well imagine such a chatter,
John said, as he had never heard but the instant
Wordsworth spoke all were attention. John himself
was awed by the great man's talk, and described well
its power. He told me also of a slight incident in
regard to Wordsworth's last hours. Very shortly
before his death it was thought he might be more
1 The architect was Alan Stevenson, uncle of Robert Louis Steven-
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 73
comfortable if he were shaved. Accordingly, he was
raised in the bed, and his faithful servant was about
to minister to him in this way when Wordsworth
said in his serious, calm voice, " James, let me die
easy." I may note here something which has been
told me in regard to poor Hartley Coleridge's last
days. During his illness a little child, the daughter
of an artist who lived near him, quite an infant, used
to be brought to him, and he would sit for hours
holding it in his arms and looking down upon it
with mournful tenderness.
Sunday, August 19. Walked to the Rydal church
this morning. Just as I reached the porch, I saw
Mrs. Wordsworth with her arm extended feeling for
the door. I went forward to assist her; she turned
her kind face toward me, not knowing who it was.
I told my name. " Oh," said she, " I am glad to see
you. You will take a seat with us, of course."
William, her grandson, was now close behind us.
We went to the pew, the nearest to the chancel on
the left, and I sat in what had doubtless been
Wordsworth's seat. The prayer-book I took up
had on the fly-leaf, " Dorothy Wordsworth to Will-
iam Wordsworth, Jr., 1819." The service over, Mrs.
Wordsworth said to me, " You will dine with us, of
course." She took my arm, and as we went out
of the church I was struck with the looks of affec-
tionate reverence in the faces of those we passed.
As we walked along she said in her kind way, " I
should have been glad if you had taken up your
74 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
abode with us while here, but you expected to leave
Ambleside immediately when I last saw you." The
Misses Quillinan, the step-daughters of the late Dora
Quillinan, who was Dora Wordsworth, were the
guests beside myself to-day. In the drawing-room
after dinner it was interesting to me to look at
the portrait of the elder Miss Quillinan (Jemima),
taken when a child six years old, and to recall the
lines addressed to her, or rather suggested by the
" Beguiled into forgetfulness of care,
Due to the day's unfinished task, of pen
Or book regardless, and of that fair scene
In Nature's prodigality displayed
Before my window, oftentimes and long
I gaze upon a portrait whose mild gleam
Of beauty never ceases to enrich
The common light."
The sonnet, too, beginning
" Rotha, my spiritual child ! this head was grey
When at the sacred font for thee I stood,
Pledged till thou reach the verge of womanhood,
And shalt become thy own sufficient stay "
came naturally to my mind as I talked with the
younger sister. These ladies are intelligent and re-
fined, and of very pleasing manners : their mother
was a daughter of Sir Egerton Brydges. They live
at a pretty cottage underneath Loughrigg, not far
from Fox How.
We went to church again at half past three : I
walked with Mrs. Wordsworth. She spoke of her-
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 75
self said she was rapidly growing blind: in the
last week she had perceived a great change. One
would get used to the deprivation, she supposed,
however. Her life had been a happy one, she
added : she had very much to be thankful for. Her
manner in church, I may mention, is most reverent,
her head bowed and her hands clasped. As I re-
turned from church with her, a tourist accosted me:
Could I tell him which was Mr. Wordsworth's house ?
I pointed it out to him. " We have many such in-
quiries," Mrs. Wordsworth said.
I had now to make my final adieus to the dear
venerable lady. (I little thought I should ever see
her again.) Her serene and tranquil old age, I said
to myself, would be a remembrance to me for life.
She wished me a good voyage and a safe return to
William Wordsworth kindly went with me for a
mountain-climb. We ascended Loughrigg, from
which we looked down on three lakes, Windermere,
Rydal, and Grasmere a last view of all this beauty.
How lovely were the evening lights on mountain
and valley! .
Rothay Bank, Ambleside, August 7, 1857. Again,
after a two years' absence, I find myself in this sweet
region. With my kind host, Mr. C , I went this
morning to call on Mrs. Arnold at Fox How. We
found six or eight persons in the drawing-room. It
was my first meeting with Mrs. Arnold : she came
forward to receive us, welcomed me cordially, and
76 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
presented me to her three daughters, Mrs. Twining,
Mrs. Cropper, and Miss Frances Arnold. I was fresh
from Wharfeside, the home of her eldest daughter,
Mrs. Forster. We talked about that home of such
peculiar intellectual brightness, and I told of the
happy days I had passed there. Mrs. Arnold's man-
ners are gentle and winning. She asked me what
evening I could spend with them, and Sunday was
agreed upon. Fox How I was most glad to see with
the stream of life flowing on in it: when I was last
here the family were away. Mr. Penrose, a brother
of Mrs. Arnold, a clergyman of Lincolnshire, Mrs.
Penrose, and Dr. and Mrs. Perry of Bonn were the
others in the room. Dr. Arnold's portrait was on
the wall, also prints of Mr. Justice Coleridge, of
Archbishop Whately, of Wordsworth, and of Julius
Hare. The views from the windows had their own
peculiar beauty, half hidden though the landscape
was to-day in rolling mist.
August 8. Walked to-day along the beautiful road
under Loughrigg, that huge winding mountain, past
Fox How and many other lovely country homes.
Went then into the Vale of Rydal and skirted this
beautiful lake, watched the reflections in the water,
and gazed on the noble hills which surround the
vale. I continued on : Grasmere came in sight a
large lake with a view in the distance of the square
white tower of the church under whose shadow
Wordsworth lies. I passed the cottage in which
Hartley Coleridge lived and in which he died. At
WALKS IN WORDSWORTWS COUNTRY 77
length I reached the head of the lake, and then the
church which was my destination. Once more I
stood at the grave of Wordsworth, that sacred spot
which, as I believe, many generations will visit, and
whence a voice, we may hope, will ever speak to men
of the beauty of this fair earth and the higher glory
of which it is the shadow. The great poet lies by
the side of his daughter, Dora Quillinan ; next to her
lies Dorothy Wordsworth, his sister; then Edward
Quillinan and his first wife ; and there is space left
for Mrs. Wordsworth. Sarah Hutchinson, Mrs.
Wordsworth's sister, also lies here: on the stone
which marks her grave is the following:
" Near the graves of two young children,
removed from a family to which through life she was
Here lies the body
the beloved sister and faithful friend
of mourners who have caused this stone to be erected
with an earnest wish that their own remains
may be laid by her side, and a humble hope
that through Christ they may together
be made partakers of the same Blessed Resurrection."
Here follow the dates of her birth and death, and then
" In fulfilment of the wish above expressed here repose
the remains of
[Space being left for Mary Wordsworth.] A little
farther on are the graves of the two young children
78 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
alluded to in the foregoing. On the tombstone of
one is this inscription :
" Six months to six years added he remained
Upon this sinful earth, by sin unstained.
O Blessed Lord, whose mercy then removed
A child whom every eye that looked on loved !
Support us, make us calmly to resign
What we possessed, but now is wholly Thine."
I lingered near an hour around these graves, and
then retraced my steps along the water-side and be-
neath the shade of the solemn hills. I passed Town
End, once the residence of Wordsworth, and halfway
between Grasmere and Rydal I climbed the old road
to the Wishing Gate, from which there is a beauti-
ful view of Grasmere. Looking down on this fair
and peaceful scene, I did not wonder that what
Wordsworth calls " the superstitions of the heart "
had invested the place with a magic power. It
seemed natural, too, to think that only what was
best and purest in each soul would be touched by
" The local Genius ne'er befriends
Desires whose course in folly ends,
Whose just reward is shame."
Continuing my walk, I reached the Vale of Rydal,
and then turned by the pretty shady ascending road
leading to Rydal Mount. I entered by the small
gateway the fair terraced garden so rich in bloom and
fragrance. I saw once more the old greeting, Salve!
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 79
as I stood on the threshold. James, the old servant,
welcomed me and conducted me to the drawing-room.
I found Mrs. Wordsworth seated in her old place by
the fireside. Her greeting was simple and cordial,
but only by my voice could she know me, for I saw at
once that she was quite blind. Her grandson Will-
iam was with her. She was cheerful and bright, and
talked of the events of the day in the sweet quiet man-
ner peculiar to her, and with clear intelligence, and
yet she was within a few days of being eighty-seven.
She was mindful, too, of the duties of hospitality, for
finding I had walked about eight miles she insisted
on ordering some luncheon for me. I had a good
deal of talk with young Wordsworth. His resem-
blance to his grandfather has become quite remark-
able. He has the same dreamy eyes and the same
forehead. But there seemed a benediction in the very
presence of Mrs. Wordsworth, so much did her coun-
tenance express peace and purity, so gentle and so
sweetly gracious was her bearing.
August 9, Sunday. I went this afternoon to the
little Rydal church, and I sat in Mrs. Wordsworth's
pew. No one was there but young Wordsworth.
Mrs. Arnold's pew is directly opposite, both being at
the end of the church nearest to the chancel. Mrs.
Arnold and her three daughters were present. The
old clerk from his desk near the pulpit said at the end
of the service, " Let us sing to the praise and glory of
God the 'undredth psalm the 'undredth psalm," and
then with feeble step walked down the aisle to take his
80 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
place as leader of the choir. The preacher was a
stranger, and the sermon was an appeal for missions.
He seemed a good and earnest man, but his manner
was odd, and some things he said were odd too. The
woman of Samaria was the text : " You remember
that when Dr. of the Scotch Church was in the
Holy Land he visited the well, and as he sat there he
took out his Bible to read the chapter, and he let it
fall into the well, and it was not recovered for a long
time afterward : the well was deep." But still stranger
was what followed. Speaking of our Lord's humility:
" We do not hear of His going about except on foot,
never in any vehicle. Once only do we hear of His
riding on an ass, and that was a borrowed one."
There was a quaintness in this that was worthy of the
old days, and certainly there was nothing of irrever-
ence in the preacher's manner. John Mason Neale, I
remember, quotes somewhere the following equally
quaint utterance from a Middle- Age writer :
" Be Thou, O Lord, the Rider,
And we the little ass,
That to the Holy City
Together we may pass."
After the service I walked up to Rydal Mount with
Mrs. Arnold. Mrs. Wordsworth was in the drawing-
room. It was an interesting sight to see the two
ladies talking with each other on the. one side rev-
erence and respect, on the other strong regard, and
on both manifest affection. I thought, would the
poet and the teacher have been what they were to the
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH'S COUNTRY 8 1
world but for the help and example which each had at
hand in his household life ?
At half past six I went to Fox How, where I was
to drink tea. We were a large party at the table :
we did not remain long, however, for we were to as-
cend Loughrigg to see the sun set. We had a
lovely climb in the long summer twilight. We wan-
dered on to a jutting rock, and from thence we saw
the sun go down in glory behind the mountains, leav-
ing a splendour of crimson in the light clouds for
long afterward. Below us was Loughrigg Tarn,
which Wordsworth has somewhere commemorated.
Mrs. Twining told us of a walk with the poet she
recalled, though she was very young at the time,
which occasioned the poem : her father too was with
them. A row of pines ascending a mountain on the
opposite side of the valley was pointed out as " Fan's
Funeral" " A joke against me," said Miss Arnold.
It seemed that in childhood she had somehow got the
impression that it was a troop of mourners following
a bier perhaps some one had said, " How like a
funeral ! " and many times afterward, in visiting the
spot, the child still supposed it was a funeral, and
wondered it should be so long stationary.
As we came down the mountain, Miss Arnold
spoke of her recollection of the day of Wordsworth's
death. She and one of her young friends were almost
alone at Fox How. They knew that the end was at
hand, and their minds were filled with the thought of
it. They climbed one of the hills looking down on
82 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Rydal Mount, their hearts bowed with a solemnity of
feeling burning, one might almost say, within them
as they thought of the moment that approached.
Suddenly as they looked they saw that the windows
of the house were being closed, and they knew thus
of the faring forth of the great soul. It was almost as
if they themselves had witnessed his departure. I
could well understand how the solemn Nature around
would have a grave and awful look to them as they
pondered in their young hearts that ending and that
beginning. I spoke of Wordsworth's own lines on
hearing that " the dissolution of Mr. Fox was hourly
expected " :
" A power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss ;
But when the great and good depart,
What is it more than this
" That man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return ?
Such ebb and flow must ever be :
Then wherefore should we mourn?"
At Fox How we assembled again in the pleasant
drawing-room : books were brought out, and passages
referred to which had been suggested in our walk.
At length the bell was rung for prayers, and the ser-
vants came in : Mr. Penrose officiated. One could
not but think how often Dr. Arnold's voice had been
heard there saying the same office. Some refresh-
ment was brought in. I remained but a few minutes
longer. Mrs. Arnold asked me to dine with them on
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 83
August 10. My kind host has arranged an excur-
sion of about three days, that I may see a part of this
Lake District which is seldom visited. We started
from his gate at ten o'clock by coach for Broughton,
by way of Coniston Water a beautiful drive, the
weather delightful and all very promising. At
Broughton we had a glimpse of the valley of the
Duddon. Thence we went by rail along the sea-
coast as far as Ravenglass, a lonely fishing village.
Here we hired a car for Strand's near Wast Water, a
distance of seven or eight miles. We stopped, how-
ever, a mile from Ravenglass, at Muncaster Castle,
" the seat of the ancient family of the Penningtons."
The guidebooks say that Henry VI. was entertained
here on his flight after the battle of Hexham, and that
when he left Muncaster he gave to Sir John Penning-
ton an enamelled glass vase. The glass has been care-
fully preserved in the castle, the tradition being that
the family would never want a male heir while it re-
mained unbroken. We drove through the park by a
winding road, which brought us to the castle. The
chief thing here is what is known as the terrace, cut
on a hillside, and commanding a view which is said to
be the finest in Cumberland. All around are noble
trees and beautiful shrubbery and gay flowers, so that
one could hardly think the great sea so near. Indeed,
it had seemed like enchantment, the turning in from
the bleak coast to all this rich foliage and summer
beauty. Very lovely are the grounds, because so
unartificial. Nature has been the great beautifier.
84 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
After we left the terrace we came to a little church
quite embosomed in the trees as secluded a nook as
one could imagine : it is in the castle grounds, but is
the church of the neighbourhood.
We continued our drive. Alas ! the promise of
the morning was not fulfilled. Clouds had gathered,
and at length the rain began. At Strand's we found
rooms in a very small inn, and concluded to stay
there quietly for the night. So we had our tea-
dinner, and composed ourselves to such indoor
occupation as was possible. Books there were few
of some volumes of Swift's works, two volumes
of poems Liverpool poets of fifty years ago who
had not achieved fame. However, with the aid of
these notes, which had fallen in arrear, and with
occasional talk, the hours were beguiled.
August ii. Still rainy and lowering. We break-
fasted and waited, hoping for fair-weather signs. The
rain did for a while cease, and I drove alone to Wast
Water, two miles distant. This lake of black waters,
with the bare mountains rising round it, showed well
under the sombre sky. The mountains were capped
with mist, so I could only imagine their height, but
the whole length of the lake lay stretched out before
me. In desolate savage beauty this surpasses all the
other lakes of the region. It is said to look its best
on gloomy days: its dark colour is perhaps due to
the great depth of the water.
Returning to the inn, I found my friends all ready
for our start for Seathwaite, eight miles distant. We
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH'S COUNTRY 85
had still to keep to the one-horse car, the only vehi-
cle to be had in these out-of-the-way places. At
Seathwaite we obtained an open carriage for the rest
of the journey, eighteen miles. We passed through
Egremont, and saw the ruins of the castle through
Ennerdale, and stopped to look at the churchyard,
the scene of Wordsworth's beautiful pastoral " The
Brothers." At Scale Hill, which was our destina-
tion, we had again good weather, and it was a lovely
view with which our journey for the day closed. My
friends' carriage was awaiting us at the hotel, and
the coachman had brought us our letters. He left
Rothay Bank this morning, and came by way of
Keswick, a drive of thirty miles. We dined, and
then, as the clouds had broken away and the sun
was about setting, we went out to enjoy the evening.
We climbed the hill, from which a beautiful view
of Crummock Water opened before us. John the
coachman came up afterward, bringing his bugle,
on which he plays very well. He soon set for us
" the wild echoes flying," and all the vale below was
filled with the sound. We then wandered away to
the edge of the lake and watched the play of the
evening light on the tranquil waters.
Aiigust 12. We started at half past six this morn-
ing to drive to Keswick to breakfast, twelve miles.
The weather was beautiful, and all the fair vales
and hills were in their full loveliness in the morning
light. As we drew near Keswick we saw from a
hill Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, and the
86 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
town in the centre of the valley, which lay below us.
We passed the church where Southey lies, and then
crossed the Greta and drove by Greta Hall, and so
into Keswick. Here we breakfasted, and our horses
had a two hours' rest, and we then started again for
Ambleside, seventeen miles. We ascended first the
long hill from which there is the noble view of the
Vale of Keswick and of its lakes, and of Skiddaw
and the other mountains a view which twice be-
fore I have had the happiness to see. When I last
looked down on it, it was under a cloudy sky: now
there was the full beauty of sunlight. But every
foot of the way between Keswick and Ambleside
has its charm : Southey calls it the most beautiful
drive in the world. Why should I attempt to de-
scribe it? I may note the wonderful reflections in
the lakes of Grasmere and Rydal, especially the
latter. There was no ripple to disturb the glassy
transparency. The islands, the sloping shores, the
hedges, and the grazing sheep, all were doubled,
and no water-line was to be seen. I suppose the
mountains around protect the lake from currents of
wind, and give a blackness to it which makes it so
excellent a mirror.
At a little after one, my friends set me down at
the entrance to Fox How. I was to dine there to
meet Thomas Arnold and William Wordsworth, and
we were to have a walk together in the afternoon.
But Arnold had been suddenly called to Dublin,
and had just started. Wordsworth, however, was
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 87
there, and with him Mr. Henry Crabb Robinson,
who had just come to spend a few days at Rydal
Mount an old man of eighty-three, but fresh and
gay and wonderfully fluent in discourse. He was
a great friend of Wordsworth's, and was twice his
companion in travelling on the Continent. Southey,
Coleridge, and Lamb he knew well also. I was pre-
sented to him, and reminded him that five years ago
I had the honour to breakfast with him in London
a fact which, I grieve to record, he seemed quite
to have forgotten.
Dinner was soon announced, and the large table
was again well filled. Mr. Robinson took the talk
pretty much. He sat on Mrs. Arnold's right, and I
was directly opposite. Perhaps it was having me in
full view that led him to speak so much of the Ameri-
cans he had known in the last forty years. He told
us of his chance meeting with young Goddard of
Boston in Switzerland in 1820, when he and Words-
worth were travelling together, and how that meeting
had caused poor Goddard's death. Wishing to be in
Wordsworth's company, he had asked Mr. Robinson's
permission to join them in the ascent of the Rigi.
He altered by so doing his course of travel, and a day
or two afterward, in crossing the Lake of Zug in an
open boat with a companion, a storm came on, the
boat was upset, and he was drowned ; his companion
escaped by swimming to shore. We recalled Words-
worth's elegiac stanzas on the occasion, and I ven-
tured to add, as a conclusion to the story, that when
88 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Professor Reed was getting together the American
contribution to the Wordsworth memorial window, a
letter came from Mrs. Goddard, the mother of the
young man who near forty years before had perished,
desiring to take part in the commemoration, and
referring to the imperishable monument to her son
which the great poet had reared. She was then
eighty-five, and had lived to give this token of her
Mr. Robinson had a great deal to say about the
Rev. James Richmond, an American, a man of genius,
but famous chiefly for his eccentricity. But I need
make no further note of his discourse. He diverged
perpetually, and sometimes did not come back to the
main track of his story. I was half sorry that my
presence should be the occasion of his talking so
much about my countrymen. I should have pre-
ferred a subject which would have been of more inter-
est to the others who were present. But it was
idle to attempt to direct the current of his speech.
Equally futile was Mrs. Arnold's effort to retain pos-
session of the joint which was placed before her, and
which she was about to carve. Mr. Robinson insisted
with peremptory courtesy on relieving her, and as he
brandished the great knife, continuing the while his
animated talk, there was naturally a less skilful per-
formance of the duty which was then of immediate
urgency. Glances were exchanged by Mrs. Arnold
with some of her guests, in part of apology and in
part of amusement at the spectacle. And, sooth to
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 89
say, the fair tablecloth suffered from Mr. Robinson's
I remained most of the afternoon at Fox How,
walking about the grounds or sitting under the shade
of trees near the house, talking with one or other of
the ladies. Seldom have I passed pleasanter hours.
In the evening I was again with Mrs. Arnold and her
daughters on a visit at one of the neighbouring houses.
Nine o'clock came, and with it the Times, which was
eagerly opened. The news from India is just now of
absorbing interest. [It will be remembered that this
was the year of the Sepoy Rebellion.] I should men-
tion that Mrs. Arnold read us this afternoon letters
from her son William, author of " Oakfield," from the
Punjaub. Under date of February last he speaks of
a Mohammedan secret organization, having its centre
at Delhi, and ramifications everywhere, which he
thinks means evil. He is the more of this opinion
because his Persian secretary, whom he thinks very
ill of, belongs to it. Writing under date of June 15,
he says the Bengal Sepoy no longer exists, and that
the civilization of fifty years has gone in a day. The
laying of the Atlantic cable is another matter of great
interest just now. All England is watching its prog-
ress. Despatches from the ship come almost hourly
as it steams westward.
August 16. My last Sunday in England. I went
by the beautiful Fox How road to Rydal to church,
and sat in Mrs. Wordsworth's pew. She and Mr.
Crabb Robinson and William Wordsworth were there.
QO WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Mrs. Wordsworth to-day enters her eighty-eighth
year. I sat by her side as I did two years ago, in
this same pew, the Sunday before I sailed. Her
meek countenance, her reverent look, I saw once
more the face of one to whom the angels seemed
already ministering. Service being over, I shook
hands with her, and received a kind invitation to dine
at Rydal Mount. Leaning on Mr. Robinson's arm, she
went out, Wordsworth and I following. Mrs. Arnold
and her daughters stopped to make their congratula-
tions on her birthday, as others did, following her
afterward with loving looks. We ascended the steep
hill, Mr. Robinson talking, as usual, a great deal.
Once more I was at Rydal Mount ; there were the
books, the pictures, the old chairs. I went upstairs
with Wordsworth to his room; it is the one that
Dorothy Wordsworth, the poet's sister, occupied so
long the room in which she died. The house is
very old, the passages narrow, the ceilings low, yet
there is an air of comfort everywhere. At dinner
Mr. Robinson was the talker, as he always is. He
told us of his intercourse with Goethe. He said he
never mentioned Wordsworth's name to Goethe, fear-
ing that he would either say he had never read his
poetry or that he did not like it. He said Southey
was only a collector of other men's thoughts : Words-
worth gave forth his own. Wordsworth was like the
spider, spinning his thread from his own substance ;
Southey the bee, gathering wherever he could. Mrs.
Wordsworth did not join us at table till the dessert '
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 91
came in. Then her one glass of port having been
poured out for her, she took it in her hand and turning
her face toward me, said, " I wish you your health, and
a prosperous voyage and a safe return to your friends ! "
The interval after dinner was short. I received, if
I may so say, Mrs. Wordsworth's final blessing and
went my way, thankful it had been given me to draw
near to one so pure, to a nature so nobly simple.
Not only her children, but all who have come in
contact with her, will rise up to call her blessed.
Surely, thrice blessed was the poet with such a wife ;
and indeed he himself with wonderful fulness has
declared she was almost as the presence of God to
" That sigh of thine, not meant for human ear,
Tells that these words thy humbleness offend ;
Yet bear me up else faltering in the rear
Of a steep march : support me to the end.
" Peace settles where the intellect is meek,
And Love is dutiful in thought and deed ;
Through thee communion with that love I seek ;
The faith Heaven strengthens where he moulds the creed."
My last evening in this sweet region was spent at
Fox How. With Mr. Thomas Arnold and Miss Ar-
nold I once more in the long twilight climbed Lough-
rigg Fell. There stretching out before us was range
after range of grey mountains, with Skiddaw in the
distance a solemn and peaceful view, and to me a
leave-taking of one of the loveliest regions of the earth.
Hotel, Windermere Station, July 4, 1873. Again,
92 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
after sixteen years' interval, I am on the threshold
of this lovely region. I have been walking in the
twilight hours through bowery lanes, hoping to reach
the lake ; but I took a wrong direction, and only when
it was time to return did I get from a high part of the
road a glimpse of the fair waters. I passed many gate-
ways, with broad gravelled drives leading from them,
doubtless to beautiful homes, for all this neighbour-
hood is occupied by lovely dwellings, more or less
secluded and embowered in all luxuriant greenery.
It was between nine and ten o'clock when I got
back to the solitude of the hotel. There were people
there, no one of whom I knew. I can stand being
alone with Nature ; but the constrained silence of the
coffee-room of an English inn is a trifle depressing.
July 5. I started early in a fly for the ferry at
Bowness, then crossed the lake in almost a toy
steamer to the Nab promontory, and thence took
my way on foot by a quickly ascending road toward
Hawkshead. From the summit of the ridge I looked
back upon Lake Windermere, with its wooded prom-
ontories and its islands and its encircling mountains.
The morning was beautiful, and the whole scene was
in its rich summer loveliness. I had forgotten how
fair and glorious were these Westmoreland lakes and
mountains. Farther on I came to Esthwaite Water,
a lake a mile and a half in length, and soon afterward
I entered the Vale of Hawkshead. The old church,
on a rocky eminence, is the chief object as you ap-
proach the town. At the base of the hill on which
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY 93
it stands is the grammar school at which Wordsworth
received his first lessons, as he tells us in " The Prel-
ude." I found carpenters at work in the old school-
room, and one of them told me he had himself been
a scholar there, and he showed me the desk at which
Wordsworth sat. The schoolhouse, the church, and
the streets of the town had all a quaint and antique
look. I could fancy there had been little change
since Wordsworth and his brother Christopher, after-
ward master of Trinity College, Cambridge, were
scholars here, near a hundred years ago. It had
been the chief object of my pilgrimage the sight of
this schoolhouse. Coniston was my further destina-
tion. A coach was standing at the door of an inn,
which I found was just starting for this place, so I
climbed to an outside seat, and found as my sole com-
panion a good-natured man who at once entered into
talk with me. He seemed a well-to-do man, and as
he told me soon whence he had come and whither
he was going, I naturally imparted to him what had
been the object of my pilgrimage to Hawkshead. He
seemed to find it hard to account to himself for my
enthusiasm ; still, the only inquiry he made of me in
endeavouring to enlighten himself was a singular
one. " Was he a rich man ? " he asked me, referring
to Wordsworth. I was obliged to admit that he was
not. Then we talked of the races at Newcastle, and
on this subject my companion had greatly the advan-
tage of me.
We descended upon Coniston Water by a long
94 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
steep hill. The hotel known as the Waterhead Inn
is beautiful as to architecture, and there were about
it flower-beds with geraniums in glorious bloom
such splendour of colour as I never saw before. I
went out in a boat on the lake, and enjoyed for a
while the view of the hills around. Then rain came
on, and I had to row quickly back, and my remaining
hours were spent at the inn. But the spacious coffee-
room commanded such a delightful view that there
was little hardship in remaining indoors. At about
five in the afternoon I started on the coach for Amble-
side. I was on top, by the coachman, a civil fellow
who knew every foot of the way. Three young ladies
sat on the still higher seat behind. They were of
severe propriety of manner, but they were refined, and
talked with a careful modulation of voice which is
peculiarly English. The afternoon was dull, but it
did not rain. The road was perpetually either up
hill or down, and the views every step of the way
were lovely. We went through Yewdale, and stopped
within a few minutes' walk of Skelwith Force, a water-
fall reminding one of a single portion of Trenton Falls.
Time was allowed us to see this, and then we climbed
to our high seats again, the young ladies having the
help of a ladder, and drove along the banks of the
Brathay, passing as I drew near Ambleside the gate-
way of the pretty house which had been a home to
me in two former visits. Alas ! the dispensers of that
gracious hospitality, my kind host and hostess, have
both been removed by death. At the Salutation Inn,
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 95
Ambleside, I received the welcome answer that I could
have a room : the travelling season has begun, and as
I had not written in advance, I had my fears.
July 6. It rained last night when I went to bed,
but the day broke gloriously, and this wonderful, this
enchanting region seemed to have a new and fresh
charm. A young Canadian joined me in my walk to
the Rydal church just under Rydal Mount. There
was the little church just as I had last seen it, only
that it had been greatly improved as to the exterior
architecture. Inside it was but little changed: the
old high-backed pews remained. There in her ac-
customed place, in the large square pew near the
chancel, sat Mrs. Arnold, and by her Miss Frances
Arnold, both fronting the small congregation. I
looked at the pew on the other side and missed
the sweet and aged face of Mrs. Wordsworth. But
the whole church seemed a memorial of her. My
meeting with Mrs. Arnold and Miss Arnold was very
pleasant and cordial when the service was over;
they asked me to dine with them, and introduced me
to the dean of Durham, who was with them. Mrs.
Arnold and the dean drove. Miss Arnold said she
would walk, so she and her nephew (a son of
Thomas Arnold, looking wonderfully like his uncle,
Matthew Arnold) and I went by that most lovely
road which winds underneath Loughrigg. The walk
and the talk were delightful to me ; the day was
of rare splendour, and there was the unspeakable
beauty of the valley and of the mountains around.
96 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
At Fox How, Mrs. Arnold and the dean were in
the garden; the dear old lady (she is now eighty-two)
came forward and made the kindest inquiries about
those I had left at home, and was in every way most
gentle and gracious. And then we walked into the
house, and into the drawing-room, and it seemed like
a bit of enchantment, the view from the window
looking back over the way we had come the sol-
emn mountains shutting all the beauty in, as it were,
giving a framework and a setting to it. We sat and
talked, and there was such a sense of kindly feeling
as to make the hospitality I was enjoying doubly
grateful. The ladies went away for a moment, and
I could look at the books and the pictures. Every-
thing spoke of culture and of thought. Much
seemed to have been added to the room since I
last saw it. A fine drawing in water-colour, a por-
trait of Mrs. Arnold, hung over the fireplace a
recent picture. On the table I saw two thick vol-
umes the memoir and letters of Sara Coleridge.
I had not known that the book was out: it seemed
strange that I should see it for the first time at Fox
Our talk at dinner was very pleasant. The dean
of Durham is Dr. Lake; he was, as Miss Arnold in-
formed me, Dr. Arnold's favourite pupil. The fact
of his being a dean was proof of his learning and
high reputation ; for in latter times these appoint-
ments are only given on the ground of distinguished
merit. He said Emerson dined with him some
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 97
months ago when at Durham; that he spoke of having
seen a good deal of Carlyle when in London ; that
he, Carlyle, was out of health and depressed. The
loss of his wife preyed on him ; he was unable to
sleep, and the chief comfort he found in his sleepless
hours was in saying over and over again the Lord's
Prayer. Emerson's daughter was travelling with him,
but being unwell, she could not go to dine at the
dean's. At the table something from Keble was
quoted, but neither Emerson nor the dean could get
it right. " Oh, I'll ask my daughter," said Emerson.
Emerson went with the dean to the cathedral service,
and seemed greatly impressed by it. We talked of
the Hare book, " Memorials of a Quiet Life." Miss
Arnold had known well both Augustus and Maria
Hare, as well as Julius and Esther Hare ; indeed, it
was probably at Fox How that the engagement of
Julius Hare to Esther Maurice took place. The
writer of the " Memorials " was well known to them
at Fox How a man of some eccentricity of char-
acter. Miss Arnold said she had within a few days
talked about the book with Miss Martineau, who de-
nounced it on some fantastic ground or other. Miss
Arnold said it was not pleasant to her to hear this
adverse criticism " But you know one cannot tell a
lady of great age, through a trumpet, that you utterly
object to what she is saying." The dean spoke of
Professor Jowett with admiration, though he could
not wholly agree with him. Of Maurice the dean
spoke with great respect; he said Hutton, the editor
98 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
of the Spectator, was the chief representative of his
opinions. Mr. Forster, too, might be mentioned as a
leading man on whom the teaching of Maurice had
had a strong influence. Mrs. Arnold took part with
much animation in all the talk ; she seemed perfectly
bright in mind. I was delighted to see her cheerful-
ness and serenity, and to feel that her closing days
had so much of joy in them.
As I climbed Loughrigg late in the afternoon I
thought of the long thirty years of Mrs. Arnold's
widowhood, and of how much had been given to
cheer its loneliness, the loving dutifulness of her
children, her home in this beautiful region, around
which must cling, for her, such vivid and tender
associations, the ever recurring evidences of the fruit-
fulness of her husband's teaching. All this must
have brought peace to her in the slowly passing
years. I thought of Wordsworth, too, when, my view
widening with each step, I at last reached a height
from which I could look down on Rydal Water as
well as Windermere. I wondered whether this grand
Nature had made the man, or whether his genius had
invested it with something of the charm which it has
now for all beholders. I stood among grey mossy
rocks ; sheep were browsing on the grassy spaces be-
tween; below me lay the whole Ambleside Valley,
with the church in the centre. A very Sabbath still-
ness seemed on all the hills and in the vale beneath.
I said to myself, " Surely to any man such sights as
these must give elevation of mind : how much more
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^S COUNTRY 99
to a poet!" I could understand the good that must
have come to Wordsworth, wandering as he did over
these hills, with the thought ever present to him that
Nature was to be his teacher, and that it was to be
his work to interpret her to men.
Late in the afternoon I called on the Misses Quil-
linan (Jemima and Rotha, commemorated by Words-
worth), and had pleasant talk with them over the past.
They told me that my friend of former visits, William
Wordsworth, the poet's grandson, was now at home
from India on a visit; he has been head of a college
at Poonah for twelve years. I shall hope to see him
when I reach Cockermouth. The ladies told me that
the old Wishing Gate had been removed, and a new
gate put in its place; they showed me a bar of the
old gate, and I sought to make trial once more of
its mystic power. The Misses Quillinan, as being
the step-daughters of Dora Quillinan, are the nearest,
and indeed the only, representatives of Wordsworth
remaining here in the neighbourhood of Rydal Mount.
July 7. I left Ambleside to-day for Keswick. I
was on the outside of the coach, and had a full view
of the slopes of the hills, the green of the pastures,
fretted here and there by crags; and I saw the
sweet lakes once more, Rydal and Grasmere, and
farther on there were numerous flocks of sheep com-
ing down the mountains, probably for the shearing.
Dogs were guiding them and keeping them together
with wonderful and unerring instinct. And then we
passed Thirlmere, which is the highest of the Eng-
100 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
lish lakes. Here the view had become wild and
desolate, the hillsides bare and rocky. We descended
from this high valley into a fair smiling country once
more. The coach stopped at the entrance to St.
John's Vale, and I determined to walk to Keswick
by that route. It is a narrow, winding valley, shut
in by deep hills, with a stream flowing through it.
On either side of the water there is thick wood, but
with open spaces here and there, and farmhouses.
The rocks which overhang the vale at about the
centre have the look of a fortress. I entered the
vale of the Greta, and then descended the long
Saddleback, and made my way at length to the
Portinscale Hotel; there I rested after my three
hours' walk, and in the evening went on by rail to
the neighbourhood of Cockermouth, where I was to
spend a few days at the house of some friends.
Of this visit I need make but little record. I saw
at Cockermouth the square and respectable mansion,
quite the most considerable house -in the town, in
which Wordsworth was born April 7, 1770. The
house has undergone but little change, it is said,
since that date. I met William Wordsworth, too, as
I had hoped I should. He and his wife were staying
with his father, the Rev. John Wordsworth, vicar of
Cockermouth. He was bearded and bronzed and
otherwise changed, as a man well might be after twelve
years in India. His wife showed more of the ill effect
of the climate ; her appearance was extremely delicate.
WALKS IN WORDSWORTH^ COUNTRY ioi
I may note one interesting incident which Mr.
Wordsworth told me. He had been on a visit to
Professor Jowett at Oxford, and was there on a
Saturday, the day on which Jowett gathers about
him people of distinction. " On this occasion," said
Wordsworth, " I was to hand out to dinner a par-
ticular lady, but her name was not mentioned to
me, or at least I did not catch it. She, however,
was told that I was a grandson of Wordsworth.
' Oh,' said she, ' I began to read Wordsworth when
I was fifteen, and have gone on ever since with con-
tinually increasing pleasure ; ' and then her talk
flowed on with such strength and power, and showed
such elevation of mind and such grasp and mastery
of all learning, that I was certain she could be no
other than Mrs. Lewes. So I asked her if she was
not the author of " Middlemarch," and she said she
was. In the drawing-room afterward she showed
herself on the same level with Greek scholars and
men of science, with whom she talked, rilling with
wonder all who listened."
Mr. Wordsworth spoke of his important position
at Poonah, giving him direction of the education
both of Hindoos and Europeans. I could not doubt
his fitness for the work he had undertaken ; but I
remembered what I thought was the promise of six-
teen years ago, and I fancied that whatever India
might have gained, England had lost a man of
letters perhaps a poet. He was the last of my
friends of the Lake District with whom I had inter-
102 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
course in that visit of 1873. It chanced that he
accompanied me on my journey from Cockermouth
to Carlisle, and there, on the threshold as it were
of the region, we parted he for the East when
his brief furlough should be over, I for the West.
I felt always that I had much in common with him ;
but now, with half the globe between us, and the
changes which the flowing years might bring, the
chance was small of our ever meeting again.
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS,
HARTLEY AND DERWENT COLERIDGE
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS,
HARTLEY AND DERWENT COLERIDGE.
MY introduction to the son and the daughter of
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was by a letter from Pro-
fessor Henry Reed. With the kindness of heart
peculiar to him, he came to me the evening before I
left Philadelphia, to tell me he had just received a
long and very interesting letter from Mrs. Henry
Nelson Coleridge, the poet's daughter Sara (she
had married her cousin), that she had written in a
manner so open and friendly that he felt quite justi-
fied in giving me a note of introduction to her here
I had known her, in a way, because of other re-
markable letters from her, which Professor Reed had
allowed me to see ; I had especially been brought into
association with her from the pleasure with which I
had read her notes to her father's " Biographia Lite-
raria." Marvels of learning and wisdom these notes
seemed to be ; but what especially had charmed me
was the criticism they contained, supplementing her
father's, of the poetry of Wordsworth. Henry Nel-
son Coleridge, a man of high accomplishment, had
106 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
begun the editing of the " Biographia Literaria,"
but, after his early death, it was left to his widow to
complete the commentary and to publish. A distinct
gain to literature are her additions and criticisms;
her soul speaks out to one as she aims to interpret
her father to the world. One cannot but think what
would have been the joy and comfort of Coleridge had
he known what his daughter was to do for his fame.
It was with something of the ardour of youth that
I called on Mrs. Coleridge in London in June of 1849.
I was now to have my first meeting in England with
one of the band of writers to whom I had been in-
debted for many happy hours. My love of literature
had been great from boyhood, and my feeling for
Wordsworth's poetry was almost a passion. The lady
I was soon to see was the one in all England who
best represented Wordsworth, her mind being in part
the creation of his own.
I see her now as she entered her pretty drawing-
room, her face pale, her complexion almost trans-
parent, her eyes large and of a peculiar lustre. I
could well understand that she had been beautiful in
youth. She received me with gentle cordiality. I
felt sure that her feeling for my introducer could not
but be warm, so like-minded was he in his interest in
literature, and so at one with her in his estimate of
her father's writings, and his deep sense of the value
to the world of the poetry of Wordsworth. I was
received, as I have said, with much kindness, and was
an eager listener to Mrs. Coleridge's pleasant and ani-
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 107
mated talk on the subjects of the day. The Oxford
Tract writers, Newman and others, were much in the
minds of men at the time. Manning, still in the Eng-
lish Church, had published sermons in the manner of
Newman, but much more rhetorical. Mrs. Coleridge
spoke of him as a " much weaker Newman." Dr.
Pusey she had been greatly impressed by as a
preacher. But she could not give her assent to the
theories of the Tract writers, as a whole, regarding
them as essentially at variance with the teaching of
the English Church. At that time men of the high-
est grasp were delivering themselves on questions of
theology. Sara Coleridge had inherited a deep inter-
est in these questions. Her talk impressed me much ;
for I felt how rich was her mental endowment, how
high and pure her thought. Aubrey de Vere, in
speaking of her, has dwelt on " the radiant spirituality
of her intellectual and imaginative being," and no
words can better describe the charm of her personal
presence. Yet there was, as I talked with her, a look
almost of languor in her eyes, an undefined something
showing that her health might be frail. The hand of
death was probably even then on her, known only to
herself. I learned afterward that she gave no sign
to those nearest to her of her dread anticipation.
I was able to see Mrs. Coleridge again after my
return from the Continent. I was with her for an
hour and a half. She talked with peculiar animation ;
there was the glow of genius in her face a radiant
expression that put one under a spell. She expressed
108 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
regret that I was not to remain in London to take
part in their Winter Society. I said to myself, what
joy would be greater !
The cholera was at that time a subject of dread in
London because of its ravages in Paris of two months
before, the deaths there having been nine hundred a
day for many days.
I may note here an incident, personal to myself, of
the cholera visitation in Paris of June, 1849. I was
in London at the time, and met, one morning, at a
house at which I had my lodgings, a gentleman who
had arrived from Paris the night before. I was pres-
ent as he told the lady of the house that he had left
Paris suddenly because he had been obliged to close
his establishment his men would not remain. " I
had no fear myself," he said, " my father died in my
arms; I kissed him when he died." He spoke with
strong emotion, and I remember the tears which were
in the eyes of the lady to whom he talked. He seemed
a man of cultivation and refinement; I did not learn
his name. Six weeks afterward I was in Paris, and
was asked by an American friend to go with him to
meet M. Henri Gerente, the leading maker of stained
glass in Paris. My friend wished to give him an order
for a window for the church of St. James the Less,
Philadelphia. M. Gerente was of high reputation ;
he had just done important work at Ely Cathedral ;
and the Government of Louis Philippe had given
over to him the restoration of the Sainte Chapelle,
especially the renewal of the great windows of that
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 109
glorious gem of thirteenth century Gothic. It was at
the Sainte Chapelle we were to meet him. We found
him there. Behold, it was the gentleman with whom
I had had my early morning meeting in London !
He drew rapidly for us the design he proposed for the
St. James the Less window a series of medallions
in which the figures would be very small, and thus a
jewel-like radiance secured. We instantly approved.
The east window at St. James the Less as glorious
a piece of colour as there is in America stands, I
trust, for all time, to sustain our judgment.
After some study of the lovely Sainte Chapelle,
under M. Gerente's guidance, he drove with us to
Notre-Dame, where very important work was going
on the rebuilding of the South Transept; Viollet-
le-Duc had charge of this, the most eminent architect
of France, perhaps of Europe. We were fortunate in
rinding him there. M. Gerente presented us to him,
a man tall and of striking presence. When my friend
and I drove away, we left M. Gerente standing on the
pavement in front of the great western towers; he
waved his hand to us ; I see him now as he smiled in
bidding us adieu. A fortnight afterward he died
of cholera. Though I did not then know of it, it was
about the time of my visit to Mrs. Coleridge.
I note here a passage from a letter of Mrs. Cole-
ridge to Professor Reed, of some months later, refer-
ring to my visit. I make the extract, partly because
of the message of kindness it contains, and partly be-
cause it is in itself somewhat singular.
1 10 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
" I think I have not written to you since I saw your friend
Mr. Yarnall. Will you give my kind remembrances to him,
and say that I look back to our last conversation with much
interest, and that both my brother and I should feel much
pleasure in seeing him again if he ever revisited England.
He was here at a fearful time, when the mysterious visitation
of cholera, and its sudden destruction of human life, kept me
in a perpetual tremor. I thought with concern that he was
about to go back into the cholera atmosphere of highest
intensity ; but he appeared calm and strong in spirit, and, in
the midst of pity for him, I felt envy, after a sort, of his firm-
ness and tranquillity."
I cannot recall the slightest feeling of anxiety on
my own part. Yet the fact remains that not long
after I left London the visitation came, and the
deaths were for a time over two thousand a day. I
went northward, after leaving London, and, from
some chance of travel, I was in the town of South
Shields, near Newcastle on Tyne, on a certain day in
August. I said to myself, as I walked in the narrow
streets, " What a place this would be for cholera to
find victims ! " A year later I read in the official
record of the ravages of the disease in England that
the place of greatest mortality in proportion to popu-
lation was this town of South Shields, and that the
day on which the deaths rose to the greatest number
was the day on which I chanced to walk through its
During the three years that passed before my next
visit to England, I had some correspondence with
Mrs. Coleridge. Once I wrote while on a journey to
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS ill
the Northwest. My letter was of some length, tell-
ing of the new country I was seeing, and speaking
also of matters of literature in which I had then inter-
est. There came at once a reply, fourteen pages
the large letter sheet of those days, closely written.
Its arrival is a vivid remembrance to me. I read it
again and again, struck always with its wisdom, its
felicity of expression, its keen and subtle criticism on
literary matters. It lies before me now in its faded
pages, and I find as I go over it that my judgment in
regard to it is the same as at my first reading. I had
told, in my letter, of the tragic death of a young man
of excellent promise to whom I was strongly bound.
Referring to this she speaks of such deaths as " an
evidence that here we have no abiding city that the
best estate of frail mortals, so frail as earthly beings,
so strong in the heavenly part of their constitution, is
when they feel themselves to be strangers and pilgrims
here below. What a depth," she says, " of consolation
there is in some of those expressions in the eleventh
chapter of the Hebrews! How they articulate the
voices of immortality within us, and countervail the
melancholy oracle of Lucretius with their calm and
confident assurances ! "
I give this as showing what was the supreme and
animating feeling of the writer. Through all the
intellectual brightness of the letter, and varied as are
its contents, there is manifest her deep sense of reli-
gion. She speaks of her weakened health, says she
cannot give a good account of herself ; but there is no
112 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
word of murmuring. At the end she says with what
seems the prompting of a saint-like thought for an-
other out of the depth of acquiescence in the hard
trial allotted for herself, " May you long have health
and strength to enjoy the infinite delights of litera-
ture, and the loveliness of this bright breathing world,
which the poets teach us to admire, and the Gospel
makes us hope to find again in that unseen world
whither we are all going." Strange that now, after
forty-eight years, I can record the fulfilment of this
gracious desire for me.
I had but one other letter from her after this long
one; it showed increasing bodily weakness, though the
same kind thought for others. With the feeling I have
for her memory I cannot deny myself the pleasure of
noting here that she speaks of a letter of mine telling,
among other things, of a winter visit to Niagara as
having quite brightened her invalid room.
Carlyle's " Life of Sterling " she comments on, " Very
beautiful and interesting as a biography, but very pain-
ful in its avowal of Pantheism." She resents Carlyle's
reference to her father, says the chapter on him is a
pure libel. She adds, " But my father's folly and sin
in the eyes of the Pantheist is his firm adherence to
Christianity, not only ideal, but historical, factual, and
doctrinal." She will write again if strength admits.
" If you do not hear again, you will understand that
strength has failed" She speaks of her longing to see
again her own native hills and streams and then ex-
claims, " O that my remains, and those of my dear
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 113
mother, could rest in that dear Keswick churchyard
where my Uncle Southey's lie, with those hills around ! "
I sailed for England four months after this letter was
written, having the hope strong within me that some
further personal intercourse might be granted me.
Alas ! it was not to be. I heard in Liverpool of the
death of Mrs. Coleridge ; it had occurred while I was
Sara Coleridge was, as to her mental part, almost
the child of Southey. She grew up under his roof at
Keswick, and drew in daily from the outpourings of his
affluent mind. His fine library was open to her, and
the example of his life of unwearied industry as a stu-
dent and a writer was ever before her. The In labore
quies of Southey's bookplate was the motto by which
her own life was guided. And in all matters of con-
duct, and of high endeavour, he was her loving and
unerring teacher. She said of him in emphatic words,
that he was upon the whole the best man she had ever
known. As to her intellectual part she was probably
even more indebted to Wordsworth, whose impressive
discourse she had constant opportunities of listening
to at Rydal Mount, and at Greta Hall, and in rambles,
in the company of the great poet, among the moun-
tains. With Dora Wordsworth, her bosom friend, she
grew up under the influence and in the companionship
of men of the noblest gifts. She showed in all her
after life the blessing which had come to her in heart
and mind in the opportunity which had been granted
her. It is said of her that in the serene and lofty
114 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
regions of the spiritual province of human nature she
walked hand in hand with her father ; her interests
were kindred with his own, but in her case there was
no alloy of lower impulse to weaken her thought.
Well does her own daughter say of her :
" Possessing, as she did, a knowledge of theology
rare in any woman (perhaps in any layman), she had
received from heaven a still more excellent gift, even
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit."
But to dwell more particularly on the early years of
Sara Coleridge in the house of Southey, one can
readily imagine what the charm to him must have been
of helping in the development of a mind so gifted as
that of this fair young creature, who seemed to live
only for intellectual effort and enjoyment. Under his
guidance she had taught herself French, Italian, Ger-
man, and Spanish ; before she was five and twenty she
had made herself acquainted with the leading Greek
and Latin classics. There could have been little op-
portunity, in that far Cumberland region, for a young
woman to obtain anything equivalent to college train-
ing. Had there been such opportunity, money would
have been wanting, and Southey had never a year's
income in advance. The charge of the three children
of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hartley, Derwent, and
Sara, and of their mother, was, in part at least, upon
Southey ; his reward came in their unceasing devotion
On my first visit to Mrs. Coleridge she referred with
much feeling to the loss of her brother Hartley ; he
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 115
had died in January of that year. Tears filled her eyes
as she spoke of him. Though she had been long sepa-
rated from him, he was the object of her tenderest love.
I may note here what I read when her letters were pub-
lished. Speaking of the death of Hartley, she says :
" Nothing has ever so shaken my hold upon earth. Our
long separation made me dwell the more earnestly on thoughts
of a reunion with him ; and the whole of my early life is so
connected with him, he was in my girlhood so deep a source
of pride and pleasure, and at the same time the cause of such
keen anguish and searching anxiety, that his departure brings
my own before me more vividly, and with more of reality,
than any other death ever has done."
Again she writes :
" He was the most attaching of men ; and if tributes of
love and admiration, of deep regard, in spite of his sad
infirmity, which did himself such wrong, could remove or
neutralize sorrow, my cup would have lost its bitterness.
Never was a man more loved in life or mourned in death."
The comfort and the joy which Sara Coleridge
must have been in her girlhood to both her brothers
can well be imagined. I remember at Heath's Court
Mr. Justice Coleridge, father of the late Lord Cole-
ridge, taking down from his shelves " An Account of
the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay," in
three volumes, octavo, from the Latin of Martin Dob-
rizhoffer. He told me that Hartley Coleridge had
begun the translation, the money he was to receive for
it from Murray befng needed for his college expenses.
He soon tired of the work, however, and his sister,
then twenty years of age, undertook it, and brought it
l 1 6 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
to completion truly an extraordinary achievement.
Her father said of it, " My dear daughter's transla-
tion of this book is unsurpassed for pure Mother-
English by anything I have read for a long time."
And Charles Lamb spoke of her as " the unobtrusive
quiet soul, who digged her noiseless way so persever-
ingly through that rugged Paraguay mine. How she
Dobrizhoffered it all out puzzles my slender latinity to
But no words can be better than those of Aubrey
de Vere to tell of the chief characteristics of this re-
markable woman. He says :
" With all her high literary powers she was utterly unlike
the mass of those who are called literary persons. Few have
possessed such learning; and when one calls to mind the
arduous character of those studies, which seemed but a re-
freshment to her clear intellect, like a walk in mountain air,
it seems a marvel how a woman's faculties could have grap-
pled with those Greek philosophers and Greek Fathers, just
as no doubt it seemed a marvel when her father, at the age
of fourteen, ' woke the echoes ' of that famous old cloister
with declamations from Plato and Plotinus. But in the
daughter as in the father, the real marvel was neither in the
accumulated knowledge nor in the literary power ; it was.
the spiritual mind.
" ' The rapt-one of the Godlike forehead,
The Heaven-eyed creature,'
was Wordsworth's description of Coleridge. Of her some
one had said, Her father had looked down into her eyes,
and left in them the light of his own.
" When Henry Taylor saw Sara Coleridge first, as she en-
tered Southey's study at Keswick, she seemed to him, as he
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 117
told me, a form of compacted light, not of flesh and blood, so
radiant was her hair, so slender her form, so buoyant her step
and heaven-like her eyes."
But beside the help which Sara Coleridge may have
given her brothers, it fell to her to comfort and sup-
port her mother during that excellent lady's long years
of trial. A single letter which the Memoir contains
makes it clear that the mother's reliance, up to a late
period of life, was upon the daughter for spiritual help
and consolation. Mrs. Coleridge, the elder, though
not without ability, was never the companion of her
husband in intellectual things, nor could she reach the
level of either of her gifted children. She was weak
of nerves and of anxious temperament. Until her
daughter's marriage at the age of twenty-seven, the two
were never separated. The mother was in a fever of
anxiety as to the daughter always, as to her health, and
as to everything concerning her. Strange had been
the trials in the life of the mother in the alienation of
her husband, and his long separation from her; for
the last twenty-five years of his life they had lived
With Samuel Taylor Coleridge genius was accom-
panied by eccentricity in largest measure. We must
take a great man as he is given to us, and in regard to
Coleridge we must follow his own rule as applied to
art criticism, and not judge of him by his defects.
Southey had upon him, in large degree, the stress and
burden of his brother-in-law's shortcomings. He said
of him, " Coleridge whenever he sees anything in the
Il8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
light of a duty is unable to perform it." In a further
moment of irritation, he said, even as to his intellectual
part, " Coleridge writes so that there are but ten men
in England who can understand him, and I am not
one of the ten." With Wordsworth and with his
sister Dorothy, with Mrs. Wordsworth and her sister
Sarah Hutchinson, Coleridge's companionship was of
the closest. The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth,
now given to the world in full, are the record of this
extraordinary fellowship. Sara Coleridge never failed
in filial devotion to her father, although she was sepa-
rated from him during almost her whole life.
I never saw Hartley Coleridge, but I seem almost
to have known him, so much have I heard of him, and
so vividly present does he seem to one in his writings,
fragmentary though they are. Great as the failure
of his life was, the impression he made on literature
was extraordinary. Now, near fifty years after his
death, his intellectual gifts and the charm of his per-
sonal character are constantly referred to. Aubrey de
Vere, in Reminiscences just published, says of him,
" He is said always to have lived an innocent life,
though astray; and he might, perhaps, have been
more easily changed into an angel than into a simple
strong man." At my first visit to the Lake country,
and at every later visit, I heard words of kindness
spoken of him from gentlefolk and simple. He could
never have had an enemy. Wordsworth himself spoke
to me of him with tender regard. The great poet felt
for him almost as a son, as did Mrs. Wordsworth; his
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 119
death affected them deeply. " Let him lie by us,"
was Wordsworth's request, as arrangement was being
made for his burial in the Grasmere churchyard.
Hartley Coleridge's one weakness was intemperance.
Probably until he went to Oxford the failing hardly
showed itself. It is stated that he was of premature
birth : perhaps to this fact his weakness of will was in
some way due. The undergraduate life of Oxford of
eighty years ago presented great temptations. His
wonderful gifts of intellect, as well as his oddity of
manner, made him a favourite guest at " wine parties."
Says Alexander Dyce :
" He knew that he was expected to talk, and talking was
his delight. Leaning his head on one shoulder, turning up
his dark bright eyes, and swinging backward and forward
on his chair, he would hold forth by the hour (for no one
wished to interrupt him) on whatever subject might have
been started, either of literature, politics, or religion,
with an originality of thought, a force of illustration, and
a facility and beauty of expression which I question if any
man then living, except his father, could have surpassed."
Hartley Coleridge's career at Oxford was distin-
guished, and he won a Fellowship at Oriel. At the
close of his probationary year, he was judged to have
forfeited this on the ground mainly of intemperance.
Says Derwent Coleridge:
"The stroke came upon his father with all the aggrava-
tions of surprise, as a peal of thunder out of a clear sky.
I was with him at the time, and have never seen any human
being, before or since, so deeply afflicted ; not, as he said,
120 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
by the temporal consequences of his son's misfortune, heavy
as these were, but for the moral offence which it involved."
Thus did what promised to be a brilliant career
come to an end. The thirty years that followed,
though blameless but for the one infirmity, were
years of little connected literary achievement.
" He lived " [as said James Spedding] " the life of a soli-
tary student by the banks of Grasmere and Rydal ; depend-
ent, indeed, upon the help of his relations for what small
provision he needed, but requiring no more than they could
cheerfully supply. Everywhere he was a welcome guest to
the high and low, the learned and the ignorant. Here his
defects could do least injury to himself or others. His wan-
derings were but transient eclipses. The shadow past, he
came forth as pure and bright as before. Once when some
of his friends thought of asking him to visit them in the
south of England, the project being mentioned to Words-
worth, he strongly disapproved of it, ' It is far better for
him to remain where he is,' said he, ' where everybody knows
him, and everybody loves and takes care of him.' "
It seems proper to note here words of Derwent
Coleridge in loving extenuation of Hartley's failure
" My brother's life at school was so blameless, he seemed
and was not merely so simple, tender-hearted, and affectionate,
but so truthful, dutiful, and thoughtful, so religious if not
devout, that if his after years had run in a happier course,
the faults of his boyhood might well have been overlooked,
and nothing seen but that which promised good. An eye
sharpened for closer observation may, in the retrospect,
descry the shadow of a coming cloud. A certain infirmity
of will the specific evil of his life had already shown
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 121
itself. His sensibility was intense, and he had not where-
withal to control it. He could not open a letter without
trembling. He shrank from mental pain he was beyond
measure impatient of constraint. He was liable to parox-
ysms of rage, often the disguise of pity, self-accusation, or
other painful emotion, anger it could hardly be called,
during which he bit his arm or finger violently. It looked
like an organic defect a congenital imperfection. I do not
offer this as a sufficient explanation. There are mysteries
in our moral nature upon which we can only pause and
I cannot but note here a remarkable incident of
his childhood as showing what one might almost
fancy to be the forbearance of a dumb animal in
regard to him. He came in one day with the mark
of a horse's hoof on his pinafore, and it was found
on inquiry that he had been pulling hairs out of a
horse's tail ; it was easy to imagine indeed, it was
his father's firm belief that the animal had pushed
him back with a gentle shove.
Little need be said of the poetry of Hartley Cole-
ridge ; it came near to excellence, and but for the
catastrophe of his life might have reached the high-
est level. His sonnets are probably nearest to those
of Wordsworth of all the moderns. His prose is
vigorous and of easy flow; the best of it is to be
found in his " Biographia Borealis, or Lives of Dis-
tinguished Northerns." I quote the following from
the "Life of Lord Fairfax":
" Fifty thousand subjects of one King stood face to face
on Marston Moor. The numbers on each side were not far
122 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
unequal, but never were two hosts, speaking one language,
of more dissimilar aspects. The Cavaliers flushed with recent
victory, identifying their quarrel with their honour and their
love, their loose locks escaping beneath their plumed helmets,
glittering in all the martial pride which makes the battle day
like a pageant or a festival ; and prancing forth with all the
grace of gentle blood, as they would make a jest of death;
while the spirit-rousing strains of the trumpets made their
blood dance and their steeds prick up their ears. The Round-
heads, arranged in thick dark masses, their steel caps and
high crown hats drawn close over their brows, looking de-
termination, expressing with furrowed foreheads and hard
closed lips the inly-working rage which was blown up to
furnace heat by the extempore effusions of their preachers,
and found vent in the terrible denunciations of the Hebrew
Psalms and Prophets. . . . The Royalists regarded their
adversaries with that scorn which the gay and high-born
always feel or affect for the precise and sour-mannered. The
Soldiers of the Covenant looked on their enemies as the ene-
mies of Israel, and considered themselves as the elect and
chosen people a creed which extinguished fear and re-
morse together. It would be hard to say whether there
were more praying on one side or swearing on the other,
or which, to a truly Christian ear, had been the most offen-
One other extract I give from its being of interest
as a condemnation, sixty years beforehand, of the
Revised Version. The passage is in the " Life of
Dr. Jno. Fothergill."
" We doubt whether any new translation, however learned,
exact, or truly orthodox will ever appear to English Christians
to be the real Bible. The language of the Authorized Version
is the perfection of English, and it can never be written again,
for the language of prose is one of the few things in which
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 123
the English have really degenerated. Our tongue has lost
I came to know the Rev. Derwent Coleridge
through the introduction of his sister immediately
after my first visit to her. I was very kindly received,
in part from the warm feeling of both the brother and
the sister for Henry Reed. Even by letter the sweet
nature and refined mind of the American professor
had become abundantly manifest, and their regard for
him was as though he was of their own blood. Der-
went Coleridge was then the Principal of St. Mark's
College, Chelsea, a training school for youths who
looked to become teachers, or who expected to pre-
pare themselves for Holy Orders. I spent a delightful
Sunday there. The chapel service was choral, Mr.
Helmore, the chief authority on Plain Song, being
the leader. It was the period when interest in choral
music had just been awakened. Mr. Coleridge in-
toned the service and preached the sermon. After-
wards I walked with him in the college grounds
the flowers and shrubbery being in all their June
freshness and we had full and pleasant talk. I felt
at once his intellectual brightness, and perceived how
wide had been his range of reading and of study.
His large dark eyes were fixed upon me as we talked,
seeming to look me through. Very soon I perceived
how kind he was of heart. At luncheon I first met
Mrs. Derwent Coleridge a beautiful woman of much
dignity and grace of manner. In the drawing-room
afterward, Mr. Coleridge placing his hands on either
124 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLER1DGES
side of the head of his daughter Christabel, then about
eight years old, said, " This is the best representative
of S. T. C. I can show you." I saw the full eyes of
the poet and something of the dreamy look of genius.
Miss Christabel Coleridge, I must mention, grew up
to be a writer of books, novels, and short stories of
I found myself drawing close to Derwent Cole-
ridge ; his affectionate nature was manifest to me from
the first. The day which I passed with him so happily
proved the beginning of a friendship to last until his
death, at the end of nearly thirty years. For twenty-
five years I had correspondence with him ; he had the
gift of letter writing common to his race. And in my
frequent visits to England I saw him nearly always.
I walked with him for days in the Lake country ; I
visited Rydal Mount with him after Wordsworth's
death ; and I made visits with him in Devonshire. Of
our talk on that first day I remember that he spoke
of the group of men who had been around him at
Cambridge Praed (of whom he was the biographer),
Moultrie, also a poet (who lived to advanced age),
Macaulay, Chauncey Hare Townshend, and Henry
Nelson Coleridge. With all of these his intimacy
had continued of the closest. He spoke with great
respect of our Washington Allston, and repeated a
remark of Allston's on his death-bed, concerning
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, " He was the greatest
man I ever knew, and more sinned against than sin-
ning." I record this because of what I know to have
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 12$
been a saying of Wordsworth's, " I have known many
remarkable men, but the most wonderful man I ever
knew was Coleridge." I feel compelled to add, how-
ever, the following as a deliverance of Wordsworth's,
in a moment, let us presume, of impatience, at a late
period of Coleridge's life. Wordsworth with Rogers
had spent an evening with Coleridge at Highgate.
As the two poets walked away together "I did not
altogether understand the latter part of what Cole-
ridge said," was the cautious remark of Rogers. " I
did not understand any of it," was Wordsworth's hasty
reply. " No more did I ! " exclaimed Rogers, doubt-
less much relieved.
Three years from the date of my first visit to Der-
went Coleridge I was again in England. I very soon
made my way to him at Chelsea, and was warmly
welcomed. He gave me the details of his sister's
illness and of her then very recent death. Her disease
was cancer. Two years before her medical attendant
had become aware of its existence and saw how great
was her danger. Hope for her, however, was cher-
ished; but for the last few months the progress of
the disease was rapid. She bore her sufferings with
remarkable fortitude. There was everything they
could desire as to her frame of mind ; there was stoi-
cism rather religious resignation which was re-
markable. Her own words had been, in a letter written
a few months before her death : " My great endeavour
is not to foreshape the future in particulars, but know-
ing that my strength always has been equal to my
126 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
day, when the day is come, to feel that it will be so
on to the end, come what may, and that all things,
except a reproaching conscience, are ' less dreadful '
than they seem." She quoted then from the " White
Doe of Rylstone,"
" Espouse thy doom at once, and cleave
To fortitude without reprieve,"
adding, " Wordsworth was more to my opening mind
in the way of religious consolation than all books put
together except the Bible."
Mr. Coleridge continued, in regard to his sister.
She had gone on with her literary labours to the last,
and was able to complete the preface to a forthcoming
edition of her father's poems in an admirable way. It
was wonderful that one so much the victim of disease
could have had such clearness of mind. My friend
showed deep feeling as he spoke of his own love for
his sister ; she had been his companion in childhood ;
he had been her tutor, had taught her Latin; they
had wandered together over the beautiful Cumber-
land region ; he had carried her on his back over the
streams. He turned his face from me, he could say
no more. My talk with him had been in his study.
He took me into the drawing-room to see Mrs. Cole-
ridge and his niece, Miss Edith Coleridge, the daugh-
ter of Sara Coleridge, the tones of whose voice
brought her mother vividly to my mind. I had a
most pleasant interview with them all ; their manner
was natural, though grave ; they seemed to look upon
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 127
me as one who had a right to share with them their
Mr. Coleridge accompanied me on my return to
London, a walk of two and a half miles. We talked
of poetry Mrs. Browning's, Mr. Coleridge said, with
all its beauty, was often imperfect, showed want of
finish. Mr. Browning's, though very powerful, was
rugged and rough ; neither were likely to live, because
of their defects. I may add here what I know to have
been a remark of Tennyson's. " Browning would do
well to add something of beauty to the great things
he gives to the world." Mr. Coleridge spoke of the
high art and finish of Tennyson's poetry and the
splendour of it, spite of the evidence everywhere of
great elaboration. His brother Hartley's poems he
thought the perfection of spontaneity. As we walked
on, he said to me, " You ought to see Mr. Rogers,"
then, after reflecting a moment, he added, " I am going
to breakfast with him to-morrow, and if you will call
at twelve at his house, St. James's Place, I think I shall
be able to introduce you to him. You must take
your chance," he said, "for he is in extreme old age
eighty-eight and may not be well enough to see
you." I thanked him, and said I was quite willing to
take the risk. He said Rogers was perhaps the only
man in London who had seen Garrick act. He might
have added that Rogers could have talked with Johnson,
for at the age of fifteen he had knocked at Johnson's
door, Bolt Court, but, his courage failing him, he ran
away before it was opened. Mr. Coleridge spoke also
128 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
of Mr. Henry Crabb Robinson as a notable person
whom I ought to see a link between the present
generation and the past (I did see Mr. Robinson
both at his house in London and some years after-
ward in the Lake Region). We stopped at Mr.
Moxon's, to whom Mr. Coleridge introduced me,
the publisher of the modern poets, himself, too, a
poet. He owed his position in life to Mr. Rogers,
who lent him money and enabled him to advance
himself in the world.
I drove the next day to St. James's Place, according
to appointment. Mr. Coleridge came to me at once
and said he had prepared the way for me with Mr.
Rogers, and that I must come in. I was ushered into
the famous breakfast room, where I found the venerable
man seated in a large armchair, dressed in black and
wearing a black cap his features fine, his look placid,
but his face very pale. His pallor, indeed, was what
first struck me. He welcomed me and said at once,
" You knew my friend Mr. Wordsworth." Mr. Cole-
ridge had told him this. I sat near him and we had a
few minutes' talk. But the appearance of great age
awes one almost as much as great reputation. Mrs.
Derwent Coleridge and her niece, Miss Edith, were
there, and another lady and Lord Glenelg. Mr. Cole-
ridge took me round the long room to see the pictures,
Raphael and Rembrandt, Rubens and the Poussins
and Claude, the famous Giotto, two heads taken
from the burial of St. John all most interesting. It
was a brief pleasure. When I was taking leave of Mr.
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 129
Rogers, he held my hand, evidently wishing to say
something. He rang for his attendant. " Edward,"
said he, "when can this gentleman breakfast with
me?" "There is no day till Friday," said Edward.
Then taking the book in which engagements were
noted, Edward corrected himself. " Thursday there
is, sir." " Put him down for Thursday," said Mr.
Rogers. Then to me. " You'll breakfast with me on
Thursday." I bowed my acknowledgments and took
A further instance of Mr. Coleridge's kindness in
giving me sight of a man of distinction in letters was
upon my visit to England in 1857, when he invited me
to meet Macaulay. I had declined going to dinner as
I knew the party had been made up some time before
I reached London. I accepted for nine o'clock.
When I reached Chelsea I found the ladies already in
the drawing-room. Mrs. Coleridge told me to go at
once to the dining room the servant would announce
me. Accordingly I was ushered in, was warmly re-
ceived by Mr. Coleridge, who made room for me next
to himself. On his left sat the great man. I looked
with keen interest on the pale but handsome counte-
nance. Age was beginning, prematurely, to give signs
of its approach, though he was but fifty-seven ; his hair
was grey, his complexion pallid. But the flash of the
eye, the rapid change of expression, the vivacity, the
quick movement of the head all showed a keenness
of the mental faculties as yet unimpaired.
The talk at first was about Nollekens some details
130 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
as to his parsimony Macaulay gave. Then he came
to speak of art in general ; he did not consider the
faculty for it a high gift of mind. He told of Francis
Grant, an eminent portrait painter to whom Sir
George Cornewall Lewis had lately been sitting. The
artist, knowing Lewis was an author, thought he ought
to make acquaintance with his books that he might
talk with him about them. Accordingly he read " The
Monk." Lewis, in order to show him it was quite im-
possible he could have written the novel in question,
said it appeared two years before he was born. All
who know the author of the " Credibility of Early Ro-
man History " would appreciate his appealing to dates
to show he was not also the author of " The Monk."
Music, Macaulay also maintained, was an art which it
required no high mental power to master ; he could
conceive of a great musician and composer being a
dull man. Mozart, the Raphael of music, he believed
was not in other ways remarkable ; he was a wonderful
performer at six years old. " Now," said Macaulay,
" we cannot conceive of any one being a great poet at
the age of six a Shakespeare, for instance." Some
one said, " But we know very little about Mozart."
The talk somehow turned to Homer, whether or no
the Homeric poems were the product of one mind.
Macaulay maintained they were; it was inconceiv-
able that there could have been at the Homeric
period more than one poet equal to the production
of the " Iliad " and the " Odyssey." He considered
there had been six great poets, Homer, Shakespeare,
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 131
Dante, Milton, Sophocles, and ^schylus. Appearing,
as these had, at long intervals of time, could it be
supposed that at the Homeric age there was more
than one with a great endowment of " the vision and
the faculty divine ? " Then as to the " Iliad " and the
"Odyssey" being both the production of Homer
the first being admitted to be, that the other was
seemed to follow as a matter of course; it was the
test of Paley over again the finding the watch and
the presumption from it of a maker; and in this case
there was the watchmaker's shop close by. He urged,
too, that Homer was the only great poet who did not,
in narrating past events, use the present tense
speak of them as happening at the moment. He
quoted a long passage from " Paradise Lost," to show
how Milton would fall into the present tense having
begun in the past. The fact that, throughout the
many thousand lines of Homer, no instance of the
sort could be found, seemed to make it clear that
but one person produced them. Other quotations
Macaulay made from Burns and from old ballads
all showing his wonderful memory. The full flow of
the great man's talk was sometimes checked by the
wish of others at the table to be heard. Among the
persons present were Blore, the architect of Abbots-
ford (a friend of Sir Walter Scott's), Mr. Helmore,
the writer on Plain Song, and Mr. Herbert Cole-
ridge, son of Sara Coleridge, a young man of brilliant
promise. The year after his mother's death he had
won a double First Class at Oxford. Macaulay and
132 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
he had the discussion about Homer chiefly to them-
Macaulay declined returning to the drawing-room ;
his carriage was in waiting ; he was afraid to make
the exertion of going again upstairs. A shortness of
breath troubled him. I will add, it was in the follow-
ing year he was made a peer; and in the year after-
ward, 1859, he died. A saying of his, perhaps at
the dinner table, reported by Mr. Coleridge, was that
what troubled us most in life were trifles insignifi-
cant things. " If a hundred megatheriums were let
loose on the world, in twenty-four hours they would
all be in museums."
I put with this slight record of a meeting with
Macaulay the following note of Hawthorne's sight of
the same remarkable man in 1856, a year previous
to my interview. .At a breakfast given by Monckton
Milnes, Hawthorne, who had taken in Mrs. Browning,
says he had been too much engaged in talk with her
to attend much to what was going on elsewhere :
" But," he adds, " all through breakfast I had been more
and more impressed by the aspect of one of the guests sit-
ting next to Milnes. He was a man of large presence,
grey haired, but scarcely as yet aged ; and his face had a
remarkable intelligence, not vivid nor sparkling, but con-
joined with great quietude, and if it gleamed or brightened
at one time more than another, it was like the sheen over a
broad surface at sea. There was a somewhat careless self-
possession, large and broad enough to be called dignity ; and
the more I looked at him, the more I knew that he was a dis-
tinguished personage and wondered who. He might have
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 133
been a Minister of State ; only there is not one of them who
has any right to such a face and presence. At last I do
not know how the conviction came but I became aware
that it was Macaulay, and began to see some slight resem-
blances to his portraits. As soon as I knew him I began to
listen to his conversation, but he did not talk a great deal
contrary to his usual custom ; for I am told he is apt to
engross all the talk to himself. Mr. Ticknor and Mr. Pal-
frey were among his auditors and interlocutors, and as the
conversation seemed to turn much on American subjects, he
could not well have assumed to talk them down. I am glad
to have seen him a face fit for a scholar, a man of the world,
a cultivated intelligence."
Derwent Coleridge had something of his father's
power of continuous and most impressive discourse
on questions of high import. I listened again and
again to deliverances which were revelations to me, as
by a sudden flash, of the departed eloquence. I would
fain have made record at once of what seemed to me
expressions of subtle and ingenious thought. Alas !
the effort was beyond me.
I remember Mrs. Derwent Coleridge's telling me of
her recollections of her father-in-law in her early mar-
ried life. She listened with great wonder, she said, to
the flow of his discourse ; there was no hesitation or
pause on and on it went. The bedroom candles
would be brought in and placed on a table near the
door of the drawing-room. Coleridge would move
slowly across the room, continuing his discourse the
while, continuing it as he went through the hall to the
staircase, continuing it as he slowly mounted the stairs,
until his voice was lost in the distance. Mrs. Cole-
134 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
ridge said also that it was her wish and that of Mr.
Coleridge, soon after their marriage, that their father
should come to live with them. This was proposed
to him and he gave consent, but when Mr. and Mrs.
Gillman heard of the matter they said it would be im-
possible for them to let him go. Wherever he went,
they would have to go too : they could not be sepa-
rated from him.
Well does Ernest Coleridge, the son of Derwent
and grandson of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, say of this
wonderful devotion of the Gillmans :
" With Coleridge's name and memory must ever be associ-
ated the names of James and Anne Gillman. It was beneath
the shelter of their friendly roof that he spent the last eighteen
years of his life, and it was to their wise and loving care that
the comparative fruitfulness and well-being of those years
was due. They thought themselves honoured by his pres-
ence, and he repaid their devotion with unbounded love and
gratitude. Friendship and loving kindness followed Cole-
ridge all the days of his life. What did he not owe to Poole,
to Southey, for his noble protection of his family ; to the Mor-
gans for their long-tried faithfulness and devotion to himself ?
But to the Gillmans he owed the ' crown of his cup and gar-
nish of his dish,' a welcome which lasted till the day of his
death. Doubtless there were chords in his nature which
were struck for the first time by these good people, and in
their presence, and by their help he was a new man. But,
for all that, their patience must have been inexhaustible, their
loyalty unimpeachable, their love indestructible. Such friend-
ship is rare and beautiful and merits a most honourable re-
Ernest Hartley Coleridge, who pays this noble trib-
ute to the Gillmans, has given to the world within
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 135
the last few years the Letters of his grandfather, and
has so done his work as distinctly to raise one's esti-
mate of the great poet.
I am glad to note here the following which I find
in the Life of Tennyson.
" Arthur Hallam, after visiting Coleridge at High-
gate in 1830, wrote :
' Methought I saw a face whose every line
Wore the pale cast of thought, a good old man
Most eloquent, who spoke of things divine.
Around him youths were gathered, who did scan
His countenance so grand, and drank
The sweet sad tears of wisdom.' "
Withdrawn as Samuel Taylor Coleridge was, dur-
ing almost all his married life, from care of his fam-
ily, his spirit seemed nevertheless to overshadow
them; the three children were bound together by
the closest ties, and were at one with each other
in their feeling for their father. The household life
of Derwent Coleridge I looked upon again and
again for five and twenty years. It was a home of
peculiar intellectual brightness. Books were every-
where, for Mr. Coleridge's library was of eight thou-
sand volumes, and he read in all languages. After
twenty-three years of service as Principal of St.
Mark's College, the time for retirement had come ;
his labour had been great, and it had borne abun-
dant fruit, but rest was needed. He accepted the
living of Hanwell, a village about seven miles
from Paddington, offered him by the Bishop of
136 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
London. The rectory, a spacious, rambling building,
ivy-covered, with a beautiful lawn and garden, became
his home for sixteen years. The parish work was
heavy, but the ladies of his family, among them
Miss Edith Coleridge, the daughter of Sara Cole-
ridge, were efficient helpers. But a love of teaching
was strong with Derwent Coleridge, and at the sug-
gestion of the Rev. Dr. Coit, Rector of St. Paul's
School, Concord, he consented to receive into his
family a few American pupils. Four or five St.
Paul's boys came to him in this way as a beginning.
One of them, Mr. Augustus M. Swift, paid a noble
tribute to his "dear master" in an address delivered
before St. Paul's School in 1880. In it he says: "I
shall always count among the greatest blessings and
happiest chances of my life my becoming a member
of the family at Hanwell Rectory." Mr. Coleridge's
drawing toward America was gratified by receiving
in succession under his roof ten or twelve American
youths. " We were received," says Mr. Swift, " almost
as sons into one of the most intellectual and delight-
ful homes in England." They were hardly pupils ;
Mr. Coleridge was to them as a father and friend.
His talk with them at his table and in his walks
with them was in itself instruction. The extent of
his knowledge, his amazing linguistic attainments,
and his delight in giving forth his acquirements
made him an incomparable instructor. Dean Stan-
ley said once at a garden party at Fulham Palace,
" You young Yankees may not realize that you are
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 137
reading with the greatest master of language in Eng-
land." The refining influence of the ladies of the
household was no small part of the good which came
to these youths. Mr. Swift tells of his having gone
to Miss Edith Coleridge for help over more than
one difficult passage in Plato. Mrs. Coleridge, with
her native grace and dignity, could further her hus-
band in every way in his work of training. It is a
satisfaction to me to record her saying to me, in
speaking of these youths, that their charge of them
had brought them no anxiety. " We could hardly,"
she said, "have admitted to our family life English
young men of the same age." The gentle and cour-
teous ways of the American youths made them
agreeable inmates always. They were constant in
their devotion to Mr. Coleridge, were eager to do
small services for him, to see that his hat and his
coat were in proper trim when he went out. They
were all delighted to walk with him, and to listen
to his talk. In the drawing-room and at the table
they were refined and considerate. There is, per-
haps, more of the sense of companionship between
young men and their elders in America than in
I can scarcely refer much in this paper to letters
I received from Derwent Coleridge during a long
course of years. In one of them, of the date of 1874,
he said finely, " As we grow old we get to be more
and more content with home comforts, the family
circle, the fireside, the returns of food and rest, and,
138 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
in my case, books, the only earthly pursuit for
which I should desire the assurance of long life."
He lived but six years after thus writing, dying in
1880. He was born, as Macaulay was, with the
century. One further extract I will give as it refers
to the dear friend to whom I owed my introduction
to Sara and to Derwent Coleridge as also to Words-
worth. The awful catastrophe of the loss of the
Arctic, occurring though it did a lifetime since,
awakens the keenest sorrow in remembrance even
now. Derwent Coleridge wrote to me :
" You will know how Professor Reed has been mourned
by all who knew him in this country to which he did honour,
as assuredly he did to his own ; he honoured us, I speak
advisedly, by his esteem and regard. He was a golden link
between us. His knowledge and fine appreciation of our
literature (I speak of our modern literature, for our elder
worthies of course we share in common) joined to his very
attractive personal qualities, made him, as it were, one of
ourselves. Yet he was every inch an American. To me, in
particular, his loss is irreparable. Yet, while I say this, I do
not forget that I have other friends across the Atlantic whom
I shall henceforward value more than ever for his sake as
well as for their own."
I add here an extract from a letter of Thackeray to
the late William B. Reed, on the tidings of the awful
shipwreck reaching England :
" I have kept back writing, knowing the powerlessness of
consolation, and having I don't know what vague hopes that
your brother and Miss Bronson might have been spared.
That ghastly struggle over, who would pity any man that
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 139
departs? It is the survivors one commiserates, of such a
good, pious, tender-hearted man as he seemed whom God
Almighty has just called back to Himself. He seemed to
me to have all the sweet domestic virtues, which make the
pang of parting only the more cruel to those who are left
behind ; but that loss what a gain to him ! A just man, sum-
moned by God, for what purpose can he go but to meet the
Divine Love and Goodness ? I never think about deploring
such ; and as you and I send for our children, meaning them
only love and kindness, how much more Pater Noster ? So we
say, and weep the beloved ones, whom we lose all the same, with
the natural selfish sorrow. I remember quite well my visit to
your brother; the pictures in his room which made me see which
way his thoughts lay ; his sweet melancholy pious manner.
That day I saw them here in Dover Street, I don't know
whether I told them, but I felt at the time that to hear their
very accents affected me somehow ; they were just enough
American to be national ; and where shall I ever hear voices
in the world that have spoken more kindly to me ? It was
like being in your grave, calm, kind, old Philadelphia over
again, and behold ! now they are to be heard no more !
" I only saw your brother once in London ... I believe
I said I should like to be going with him in the Arctic, and
we parted with a great deal of kindness, please God, and
friendly talk of a future meeting. May it happen one day, for
I feel sure he was a just man."
There is, indeed, peculiar fitness in the commemo-
ration of Henry Reed in a paper which seeks to do
honour to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his children.
Had Professor Reed been brother in blood of Sara
Coleridge, there could not have been more of sympathy
with her in mind and heart. The " sweet domestic
virtues," to use Thackeray's words, were characteristic
of both. With both study, intellectual effort, was the
140 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
law of their being, and with both there was the keenest
desire to quicken the interest of others in literature,
and to raise the thoughts of men to noble themes.
Henry Reed was acquiring always, and was eager
always to impart knowledge. He would tell with fine
animation of some gem of literature he had lighted
upon, seeking to convey to another the pleasure he
himself felt in the new acquisition. With his intense in-
terest in English literature, and his sense of fellowship
with modern English writers he was in heart and soul
a lover of his country. I recall the delight with which
he showed me a note which Wordsworth, at his sug-
gestion, had added to the sonnet " To the Pennsylva-
nians." The sonnet reflected severely on the people
of Pennsylvania because of the suspension or delay of
payment for a year or two of interest on the State
debt ; and the note was to the effect that the reproach
was no longer applicable. The note was on the fly-
leaf of the fifth volume of the last edition of the poems
published in the poet's lifetime, and was probably the
last sentence composed by Wordsworth for the press.
I have spoken of Henry Reed's personal influence
and of his desire to awaken in others the interest in
literature which so peculiarly characterized him. As
a college professor his influence was invaluable, for
nothing gave him more pleasure than helping young
inquirers in the path of knowledge. But as he moved
in society, and as he appeared now and again as a
lecturer, an influence for good always went out from
SARA COLERIDGE AND HER BROTHERS 141
Can I ever forget an interview forty-four years ago,
in a late October evening, with one of the survivors of
the wreck of the Arctic ? It was at the house of Pro-
fessor Reed's brother. The survivor was one of a very
small number of persons, who by a desperate effort had
saved themselves on a miserably constructed raft. Mr.
William B. Reed asked Mr. Morton Me Michael and
myself to be with him when he received the young
man. He was shown photographs of Henry Reed and
of his sister-in-law, Miss Bronson. He at once re-
called them as having been near him at the table ; he
had never had speech with them. The last sight he
had of them they were sitting quietly, side by side, on
the deck, in the awful hours of suspense, when they
awaited their doom. For four hours they doubtless
knew there was no hope. Discipline on the ship there
had been none; firemen and crew, with certain of the
passengers, had seized the boats, and had gone most
of them only to perish. The few that clung to the
raft saw the great ship, with its precious remaining
freight, sink beneath the waters.
So perished a true scholar and gentleman. One
who was the soul of honour, and whose life was pure
from all stain. So long as Wordsworth's verse is
valued in this land will the name of Professor Henry
Reed be cherished as that of his chief American
As I began my paper with the mention of the friend
to whom in all my life I seem to have owed the most,
with his name I will make an end.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND
(LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF ENGLAND)
SIR JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND
(LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF ENGLAND)
THE father and son, whose names I have placed
together, figure to me a friendship which I count as
among the choicest gains of my life. At my visit to
England, in 1855, I had introduction to each, and from
each there came prompt and cordial response. They
made at that time one household, both in London and
at Ottery St. Mary, Devon. John Duke Coleridge,
the son, I saw first. Our real knowledge of each
other began in a walk from his chambers in the
Temple, northward for a mile or more, by Regent
Street to All Saint's Church, Margaret Street, a very
interesting work of Butterfield's, then nearing com-
pletion. I felt instantly at one with my new friend.
Life was bright with promise before him ; success had
already come in his profession, and his future was
assured. But it was plain that his supreme love was
for literature. A brilliant career at Oxford, and his
family traditions, had made intellectual things his
chief interest. It was plain to me that he had genius,
and that his memory was remarkable, and that he had
been an omnivorous reader. Our best American
L I 4S
146 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
writers were dear to him, and I especially remember
his glowing words as to Hawthorne ; they brought to-
me a feeling of self-reproach, for I had hardly at that
time taken the full measure of the author of the
" Scarlet Letter." But in that first conversation it
was the genius of Burke on which my friend dwelt
with especial animation; his writings he considered
superior to those of any man of his time. It showed,
I thought, my friend's fine instinct that at the outset
of his own career he should have this devotion to one,
who, as philosopher, statesman, scholar, figures to us
all excellence as an upholder of Constitutional Gov-
The object of our walk was to visit, as I have said,
a church in which Coleridge took a deep interest,
because of his friendship for Butterfield, the architect,
and his admiration for his genius. It was a church of
red and black brick, the windows having brown stone
mullions and arches, the spire covered with slate.
The chief merit seemed to me the skilful way in which
the architect had made use of all the ground he had
ordinary building lots in a street of dwelling houses.
Tower, nave, and choir were sideways with the street,
parish buildings, with gables on the street front at
either end of the church lot, leaving space between
for the Gothic gateway or portal, and an opening
sufficient to disclose the nave windows and the win-
dows of the clerestory. The interior was unfinished,
but already there was rich adornment of marbles and
alabaster. There could be no east window, but
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 147
the wall which was in place of it was to be covered
with frescoes by Dyce. One, of the Ascension, was
already finished. We climbed the long ladder to
the platform in front of it ; even a near view showed
it to be a work of great beauty. The great west
window the chief light of the church is by
Gerente of Paris. The cost of the church up to
that time had been ,26,000, of which Mr. Beres-
ford Hope had given .5000, Mr. Tritton, a banker,
had given the remainder, but his name was for some
years unknown. The church for a long time was
incorrectly spoken of as Mr. Hope's.
In this year, 1855, the Oxford Movement still had
the strongest hold on men who, like Coleridge, had,
during their University career, been under its full in-
fluence. He spoke of Newman's sermons at St.
Mary's, and described the effect produced on the young
men who listened ; he told of their standing on either
side of the path by which the preacher walked as he
went from the pulpit, eager to get a near view of his
striking face. It was about the time of the closing of
Coleridge's Oxford career (1845) that Newman left the
Church of England. In 1851 Manning and James
Hope (afterward Hope-Scott) went over. It is of this
period that Gladstone has spoken as " eminently the
time of secessions. Then departed from us James
Hope, who may with little exaggeration be called the
flower of his generation. The Papal Brief, very closely
followed by the Gorham Judgment, was a powerful
cause of a blast which swept away, to their own great
148 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
detriment as well as ours, a large portion of our most
learned, select, and devoted clergy." I give this as a
somewhat remarkable deliverance of Gladstone, and
also as showing what was the atmosphere in the years
immediately before the time at which my acquaintance
with John Coleridge began.
My first sight of Sir John Taylor Coleridge, better
known as Mr. Justice Coleridge, was at dinner a few
days after my first meeting with John Duke Coleridge.
This was at Park Crescent, the joint home of father
and son. The party was eighteen ; but the guests of
chief interest to me were a young Hindoo and his wife,
who were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Tangar. Judge
Coleridge introduced me immediately. I said, " You
are from the East and I from the West." The Hin-
doo's reply was, " Sir, England and America and Aus-
tralia will divide the globe." How often in the more
than forty years which have followed has this remark
occurred to me; and now, in 1898, has come the prac-
tical alliance between England and America which
presages a rapid increase in the progress of English
civilization over the earth.
My Hindoo friend asked me questions about Amer-
ica, showing wide range of reading; he wished to know
whether our Judge Story was a Unitarian. It was
perhaps natural that a great writer on Constitutional
Government should be of interest to a student; the
young man was a graduate of King William's College,
Calcutta. He was small, narrow-chested, with straight
black hair, and large lustrous eyes. His dress was a
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 149
black tunic, and he wore a red scarf round his neck.
His wife was small and black haired ; she wore a dress
of green silk, embroidered with gold. As she sat by
Judge Coleridge as he and this young Hindoo woman
sat side by side in the midst of a brilliant company I
thought what a contrast they presented ; they figured
to me the conquering race and the subject one, and
the superiority of our own race as to bodily develop-
ment was strikingly shown. The Judge's face charmed
me from the first a peculiar benignity was expressed,
the sweetest courtesy. His hair was grey, but his
complexion clear ; the look of health which is so much
more the characteristic of the English than it is of our-
selves. He wore a ruffled shirt the last I have known
of this old-time badge of a gentleman. Alas ! that it
is no more seen. I remember of the after-dinner talk,
Sir Cornewall Lewis's " Credibility of Early Roman
History " being a subject, John Coleridge asked, had
any one at the table ever read that book ? The Hindoo
was the only one who answered, he had read it. The
English of the young man was perfect ; he was fluent,
but his language was measured and stately, almost
that of books. I may note one of his remarks, though
it was not made to myself an Oriental view of mar-
riage. Referring to his wife, he said with dignity, " I
was under obligation to her father, and I married his
I saw no more of father or son in that year, 1855.
Two years later I enjoyed their joint hospitality, and
was further witness to their true companionship of
150 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
heart and mind. They had kept alive the same love
of literature with all their devotion to the profession
in which each had achieved such great success. With
each, too, there was deep interest in whatever con-
cerned the Church of England. Sir John had been
the lifelong friend of Keble, and the son was of the
intellectual following of Newman a feeling which
mastered him all his years. Father and son, while
manifesting the utmost affection each for the other,
argued together as if they were of equal age. Sir John,
it will be remembered, had, early in his career, for a
short time been editor of the Quarterly Review. I
refer to this as showing the bent of his mind toward
literature as the possible work of his life. His brother,
Henry Nelson Coleridge, was another instance of high
literary attainment, united to eminence in the profes-
sion of the law.
At a dinner in Park Crescent, in 1857, I met Dean
Milman and Dr. Hawtrey, Provost of Eton. Sir John
told me that these two with himself had been contem-
poraries at Eton, and, I think, at Oxford. The Dean
was a striking personality, small, bent with rheumatism,
swarthy of complexion, with bright piercing eyes. In
his knee-breeches and his black silk stockings, and his
apron, and his great shoe-buckles, he seemed the very
pattern of a scholar and a high ecclesiastic. I was
opposite to him at table. He talked to me of Panizzi
and the struggle it had cost to get him elected Libra-
rian of the British Museum ; he was opposed because
of his being a foreigner. The Dean had taken the
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 151
strongest interest in the contest. Already great good
had come from the election. The great reading room,
the Dean said, was Panizzi's suggestion, the finest
single room in Europe, accommodation for three
hundred readers, costing ,170,000. He complained,
half seriously, of the stream of old books, priceless in
value, that was now going across the Atlantic, to the
great loss of English scholars books that would never
come back. He mentioned as something for me, as
an American, to carry away, that he had been at a
dinner lately at which there had been present the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Cornewall Lewis, and an
ex-Chancellor, Gladstone ; and Lord Aberdeen, an ex-
Prime Minister, was to have been present, and the
occasion of the dinner was that there might be a dis-
cussion about Homer. Judge Coleridge supplemented
this by saying that pages upon pages of criticism of
Homer had been passing lately between Cornewall
Lewis and Gladstone, until the former's Budget as
Chancellor of the Exchequer came out. Then, said
Sir John, Gladstone's knife was at Lewis's throat in a
At another dinner at Judge Coleridge's I met Mr.
Butterfield, the distinguished architect of whom I have
already spoken. It was curious to me to hear the ac-
count which he and John Coleridge gave of the close
of the remarkable case in the Court of Queen's Bench
in which Dr. Achilli sued Dr. John Henry Newman
for having published a defamatory libel. The verdict
of the jury had been for the plaintiff the sentence
152 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
was a fine of ^300. The judgment was delivered by
Mr. Justice Coleridge, and was of the nature of a rep-
rimand. The court room was crowded, the deepest
interest was felt in the case all over England, and
almost to a like extent in this country. Dr. Achilli,
an ex-Catholic priest, had been delivering addresses
in England denouncing the Church of Rome. On his
arriving in Birmingham Dr. Newman published in a
newspaper of the city, in great detail, a statement of
wicked and loathsome deeds of Achilli, specifying
places in Italy and giving dates. The general opin-
ion was that the story thus published was true, and
in consequence Dr. Achilli's crusade came soon to an
end. All that was left to him was to sue. Dr. New-
man was then put to great expense in bringing on wit-
nesses, from Italy and elsewhere. Unfortunately for
him evidence in support of many of the charges could
not be produced ; hence the verdict. The two young
men, John Coleridge and his friend, listened with in-
tense interest to the carefully considered, trenchant,
and at the same time tender and touching words from
the Bench feeling for the Judge, as well as for the
ecclesiastic who was receiving sentence, almost the
same reverence and affection. They told me of
the half-smile on the lips of Newman as he received
the admonition of the Judge, and then, as the final
words came, his promptly paying the ^"300, and, with
certain of his friends, going his way.
But however serene might have been Newman's
bearing at the close of this passage of his life, we
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 153
know what the affair had been to him from his dedi-
cation of his " Discourses on University Education,"
published in 1854, " To the Friends and Benefactors
who by their prayers and munificent alms had broken
for him the stress of a great anxiety."
There are few things in literature or in the history
of religious opinion more striking than this judgment
of Sir John Coleridge in pronouncing the sentence of
the Court of Queen's Bench on Dr. Newman for the
misdemeanour of having published a defamatory libel
reflecting on Dr. Achilli. Judge and defendant had
met early in the race of life ; each had won high dis-
tinction ; and each through all divergence of opinion
had retained deep respect for the other. They met
now in a court of justice, the one to be condemned
by the other. There is a tone of deep tenderness in
the Judge's words, while there is no shrinking from
duty in his comment on the misdemeanour of which
the defendant had been convicted. At the outset
there is the very careful statement, that in the opinion
of every member of the court Dr. Newman had hon-
estly believed the allegations he had made against
Dr. Achilli. But it was then very clearly stated that
proof had not been produced for some of the gravest
of the charges. There was reproof, moreover, for
what seemed the tone in which the allegations were
" A spirit of ferocious merriment, partly in triumph, partly
in exultation over the unhappy man whose foul offences you
were producing before your hearers." " It is sad," Judge
154 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Coleridge continues, "to see that speaking of the Reformed
Church you should begin with such a sentence as this ' In
the midst of outrages such as these, my brethren of the Ora-
tory, wiping its mouth and clasping its hands, and turning up
its eyes, it trudges to the town hall to hear Dr. Achilli expose
the Inquisition.' "
Yet Judge Coleridge refers to writings which had
proceeded from the pen of Dr. Newman while he was
a member of the Church of England, in which,
" Great as was their ability, sound as was their doctrine,
urgent as they were in teaching holiness of life, nothing was
more remarkable than the tenderness and gentleness of spirit
that pervaded the whole."
Some of the final words of the judgment were as
" Firmly attached as I am to the Church of England in
which I have lived and in which I hope to die, yet there is
nothing in my mind on seeing you now before me but the
deepest regret. I can hardly expect that you will take in
good part many of the observations I have felt it my duty to
make. Suffer me, however, to say one or two words more.
The great controversy between the churches will go on, we
know not, through God's pleasure, how long. Whether,
henceforward, you will take any part in it or not, it will be
for you to determine, but I think the pages before you should
give you this warning, upon calm consideration, that if you
again engage in this controversy, you should engage in it
neither personally nor bitterly. The best road to unity is
by increase of holiness of life."
John Coleridge, the son, had always an immense
drawing to Newman. Better for him it would have
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 155
been had Keble, his father's friend, been more the
guide of his life. In a striking letter contributed by
John Coleridge to his father's Memoir of Keble,
he speaks of a walk he took with the poet, " He en-
joying the sunshine and the air, and I the kindness,
perhaps I may presume to say the affection which
he showed me then, as always, and which I recall
always with a sense of self-reproach." Later on in
this letter John Coleridge says:
"Our conversation fell upon Charles I. with regard to
whose truth and honour I had used some expressions in a
review, which had, as I heard, displeased him. I referred to
this, and he said it was true. I replied that I was very sorry to
displease him by anything I said or thought, adding that a man
could but do his best to form an honest opinion upon histori-
cal evidence, and, if he had to speak, to express that opinion.
On this, he said, I remember, with a tenderness and humility
not only most touching, but to me most embarrassing, that
'it might be so; what was he to judge of other men ; he was
old, and things were now looked at very differently ; that he
knew he had many things to unlearn, and to learn afresh, and
that I must not mind what he had said, for that, in truth, be-
lief in the heroes of his youth had become a part of him.' "
I give this as showing what was John Coleridge's rev-
erence of feeling toward his father's friend. When
he first went to Oxford Keble was no longer in resi-
dence there, and the Newman influence was at its
height. The young undergraduate came under the
spell of that marvellous rhetoric ; he remained under
it in a sense for all his life. Coleridge, the father,
was of the same entirely religious mind as Keble,
156 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
whose " Christian Year " shows a devout feeling akin
to that of St. Augustine or St. Bernard.
I spent the summer of 1860 in England. John
Coleridge had thriven greatly by that time, and had
his own establishment in London, his father having
retired from the Bench on his pension after twenty-
five years of service; he had been sworn in, more-
over, of the Privy Council; Heath's Court, Ottery
St. Mary, being thenceforth his only home. John,
the son, told me of his own great success at the
bar; he said he had become the fashion, and re-
tainers were flowing in. So rapidly, indeed, had his
reputation risen that he had been offered the Chief
Justiceship of Calcutta, at a salary of ^"8000, with a
retiring pension after ten years of service of ,3000.
Very wisely he had declined this, though he could
not have foreseen that in fifteen or eighteen years
he was to be Lord Chief Justice of England. In
speaking to me of the beginning of his career he
said that for the few years that followed his first
admission to the bar he had taken charge of the
literary department of the Guardian, of which his
friend Mountague Bernard was the editor. A sharp
controversy with Charles Kingsley had arisen be-
cause of a review by Coleridge of " Yeast." Fred-
erick Maurice had come to the defence of Kingsley,
and it became a fierce passage at arms, leaving, as I
know, bitter memories on both sides. The Guardian
rose rapidly in circulation and influence. John Cole-
ridge's connection with it, no doubt, gave him increased
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 157
facility as a writer. But his profession soon claimed
him. Never, however, did his interest in matters of
literature suffer abatement. It could be said of him
eminently that he had genius. His brilliant power
of talk made him a delight to dinner-table guests at
his own house or elsewhere. It was at his table in
1860 that I first met Matthew Arnold.* A very brill-
iant person was Arnold in those days, but of sweet
and winning manner; as an especial mark of emi-
nence he was singularly urbane and gracious. Ex-
quisite was he in dress, and his black hair and fine
eyes, and his easy bearing and pleasant talk, made
him altogether fascinating. The friendship between
him and Coleridge was of the closest: it was but
the continuing of the almost brotherhood of Mr.
Justice Coleridge and Dr. Arnold. One remark of
Matthew Arnold at this first meeting I recall. Cole-
ridge had said to his wife from his end of the table,
referring to the Guardian period, " We were very
poor in those days, J " " Yes, we were," was the
quick reply. " Ah," said Arnold, " you talk of having
been poor, when at any time you could sit down and
in an hour write an article for the Guardian for which
you would get your ten pounds. Now it costs me
a great deal of trouble to write." I have often
thought of this in reading the smoothly flowing sen-
tences of Arnold ; their very simplicity showing that
infinite pains had been bestowed upon them.
With Arnold and with Coleridge there was a pecul-
iar interest in Americans, an eagerness to learn what
158 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
they could of the civilization across the sea. Coleridge
told me of his receiving a copy of Arnold's first pub-
lished volume of poems they were anonymous poems
by " A." Meeting Arnold soon afterward Coleridge
spoke of having received such a volume, " Ah, yes,"
said Arnold, " by an American." I mentioned this
half seriously at a dinner given to Arnold in Phila-
delphia, as showing how desirous our distinguished
guest had been from a very early period of life to
identify himself with our great country !
My first visit to Heath's Court, Ottery St. Mary,
was in this year, 1860. I had full opportunity then of
observing how close was the friendship, so to call it,
of father and son. The fact that the father had been
of high distinction as a judge, and that the son was
midway in his brilliant career at the bar, made them
companions in mind to a remarkable degree. Each
was proud of the other. Judge Coleridge was of rare
sweetness and nobleness of character, of great refine-
ment of mind, of great literary acquirement, and of an
interest in literature which had never flagged in all
his professional career. Before his work at the bar
had engrossed him he was, as I have said, for a year or
two editor of the Quarterly Review. Southey helped
to obtain his appointment to this position, and ex-
pressed his satisfaction at it, for the reason especially
that kindlier reference to American writers was thence-
forth assured. But John Taylor Coleridge had pecul-
iar qualification for the Bench, and in the roll of
English judges there is no more honourable name.
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 159
It was a joy to me to be under his roof, and every
hour of his society was a delight. Endless was the
talk that went on. I could not but be amused at the
vehemence with which the son would utter opinions
startling to the father ; there would be gentle and
mild remonstrance, then a further burst from my im-
petuous friend, but in all the warmth of discussion
there was never a sign of any straining of affection.
I was not in England between 1860 and 1865. I
had active correspondence, however, in that interval
with John Coleridge, and some interchange of letters
with his father. Writing under the date of May, 1861,
Sir John says :
" John's progress is all I could have wished much more
than I could have hoped. All through his younger days, at
school, at college, and in training, for the law, I used to fancy
he was never doing himself justice, always suffering in the
next stage from want of due preparation in the one preced-
ing. But he has gone beyond my hopes in the present por-
tion of his career : nothing but doubts as to his bodily strength
stand between him and the highest place ; and then the older
he gets, and the greater, I find him the more loving and con-
Sir John speaks in the same letter of his brother-in-
law, Sir John Patteson, the father of the Bishop,
John Coleridge Patteson :
" He is dying," he says, " of a hopeless disease, and he
knows it, and you could scarcely contemplate a voyage to Eng-
land with more calmness, hope, and resignation than he does
his death and passage to another world. Yet there is not a
grain of presumption. . . . He knows whom he has served
160 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
and in whom he has trusted all his life long. From Eton,"
he adds, "up to this hour we have lived in unbroken and
close intimacy, of the same profession, and on the same
Bench, my brother by marriage, and always living near to
each other since we left college, you may fancy what it is
to me at seventy-one to part with him." Sir John goes on to
say, " I have just lost my nephew, Herbert Coleridge, grand-
son of the poet, and only son of Henry Nelson and Sara
Coleridge. They all sleep side by side, and there could
hardly be another plot of ground in which so much genius,
learning, and goodness sleep. Herbert Coleridge, owing to
circumstances, used to look up to me as what he called his
father and mother, and I certainly loved him as my own
There is so much that is worth dwelling on in
regard to the Coleridge race that I may here insert
one or two passages from a paper in Macmillaris
Magazine of November, 1861, by John, Duke Cole-
ridge on his cousin Herbert. Henry Nelson Coleridge,
the father, editor of the works of Samuel Taylor Cole-
ridge, is first spoken of a person whose intellectual
and social qualities were of the highest order as
editor of the Literary Remains, the chief contributor
to the permanent fame of the poet-philosopher. Sara
Coleridge, Herbert's mother, her nephew refers to
with great warmth of affection. Her scholarship and
wide and varied learning he dwells on, and then
" And when to these endowments there is added great
power of conversation and remarkable personal beauty, it is
easy to understand the striking impression she made on the
society wherein her lot was cast. Those, however, who only
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE i6l
saw her in society could not know how tender and feminine a
nature lay under that bright and attractive exterior."
John Coleridge tells in his paper the story of his
cousin's achievement in his short life, and then speaks
of the strong impression of power and promise he
made upon all who knew him well.
" They think," he says, " with a certain sad regret of his
unfulfilled renown. They will treasure the memory of his
warm heart and affectionate disposition ; of his character,
temper softened from any harshness, and refined and purified
from any selfishness into considerate and almost tender gen-
tleness, by the affliction which he took, as becomes a Chris-
tian to take, what it pleases God to send ; of his religion,
sincere and deep, thoughtful, as might be expected in the
grandson and profound admirer of Samuel T. Coleridge,
but remarkably free from pretence or display ; of a man
careless, perhaps too careless, about general society and
ordinary acquaintance, but giving his whole heart where he
gave it at all, and giving it steadfastly."
Returning to my correspondence with Sir John
Coleridge, he speaks, under date of September, 1863,
of a family reunion they had had at Heath's Court,
" For a few days," he says " we had our Jesuit son with
us, after some years' absence, and very happy we were
together, he as gentle, as natural, as affectionate, as
full of old recollections as ever." This was the only
reference Sir John ever made either by letter or in
conversation to one of the sorrows of his life, the
going away of his second son Henry from the Church
of England, a defection due to the influence of
Newman, or rather to the combined influence of cer-
1 62 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
tain of the Oxford writers when the Movement was.
in its period of highest activity. Father Coleridge, as
he became, was highly prized in the Roman Com-
munion during the more than thirty years that fol-
lowed his change ; he was editor for many years of
the Catholic magazine, The Month.
During the period of our war, I had important
letters from Sir John; they were admirable in their
expression of sympathy with the people of the North,,
though there were now and then criticisms of our
action, and expressions of fear as to the possibility of
our success. There was the further foreboding that
the restoration of the old Union would be impractica-
ble even in the event of our complete military triumph.
Englishmen were slow to realize the strength which
the cause of the North had in the leadership of Lin-
coln. In an interview I had with Mr. Gladstone in
March, 1865, I drew from him an admission of the
great qualities of Lincoln ; but this was just as the
war was closing.
In 1867 I made my second visit to Heath's Court.
Sir John welcomed me with sweet cordiality. I was
more than ever impressed with his simple, natural
manner, and the courtesy which influenced every
word and action. John Coleridge arrived after I did,
from a house he had taken for a time on Dartmoor.
Welcomes were said and then followed animated talk
on events of the day, and again I looked on at the
companionship which was that of the closest friend-
ship between father and son. John was by this time
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 163
in Parliament, being member for Exeter. I may note
as one of the records of the days of my visit my friend's
comment on Gladstone from his House of Commons
experience of him. (I am writing, it will be remem-
bered, of a period more than thirty years ago.) My
friend considered him wanting in worldly wisdom,
deficient in skill as a political leader. Mrs. Glad-
stone, he said, gave him no help in keeping the party
together. The two were not to be named with Lord
and Lady Palmerston in tact and sagacity as to such
management. John Coleridge considered the Liberal
Party irretrievably broken up by reason of this imper-
fection in Gladstone's temperament. Bright, he said,
was incontestably the leading mind in the House as
to the Reform legislation. John Stuart Mill my
friend spoke of with warmth of admiration. " I can-
not tell you," he said, " the satisfaction it is to me to
sit next him as I do in the House." Mill's shy
refined ways attracted him ; his quiet humour he
dwelt on. Once Mill had to take notice of the fre-
quent quotations members on the opposite side made
from his writings in order, really, to badger him. Of
course they were passages which these men had seen
as extracts and had committed. Mill said, " I feel
greatly the compliment paid me by these frequent
quotations : it is, perhaps, not good for me to be thus
referred to, yet my vanity is kept down by what
becomes more and more obvious to me, that hon-
ourable gentlemen who thus quote me have really
read no other portions of my writings? The House
1 64 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
roared at this clever turn, so discomfiting to Mill's
Of Sir John Coleridge's conversation I have the
record of what he told me of Nassau Senior, who was
with him at Eton and afterward at Oxford. Senior
was of excellent parts, but he professed to care noth-
ing for university honours, said a degree was all he
wanted, and accordingly he was idle, but cutting the
thing rather too close, he was plucked. This being
very mortifying to him he put himself under Whately
to be coached. His friends believed in him, and a bet,
the curious one of those wine-drinking days, " A rump
and a dozen," (a rump steak and a dozen of port) was
made that he would still take honours. Sure enough,
in six months he had won a place in the first class.
He went to the bar afterward and was appointed a
Master in Chancery. Subsequently his particular of-
fice was abolished, but his salary was continued as a
pension. So for the rest of his life he had his ^"2000
a year with nothing to do. He wasted no moment of
his time, however, and as he had to travel a good deal
in search of health he kept careful journals, chiefly
notes of the talk of leading men. His way was, after
a conversation with any one, for instance, with Guizot,
to write out what had been said and then submit to
Guizot the record, and ask him for his approval of it.
Then he would go, perhaps, to Thiers, and say, " Here
is what Guizot thinks, what comment have you to
make." Of course men, knowing they were to be
reported, would talk in a less simple, natural way
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 165
than otherwise ; but, as confidence was felt in Senior,
things of great importance were said to him. He was
received everywhere ; he was known to be a very close
friend of De Tocqueville, and this gave him distinc-
tion in France. It was universally known that at a
proper time the Journals would be published. Sir
John had seen them and could bear witness to their
The Journals of Nassau Senior began to be pub-
lished some two years after the date of this conversa-
tion. They are most valuable as records of the
opinions of leading men in all the countries visited.
The picture of Egypt of the date of 1856, when the
Suez Canal was first projected, is very striking, from
the opportunity given for comparison with the benefi-
cent change which has come with the English occu-
pation. It is the glory of England that this benefit
has been wrought : well is it for us in America, at the
moment when we are undertaking the responsibilities
of similar rule, that so noble an example is before us.
Hardly since the world began has greater good come
to a subject race. India as a whole is a like example,
but Egypt, with its ten millions of people is an
object lesson from which it is impossible to turn
My last sight of dear Sir John Coleridge was as
he gave me his blessing at the end of my visit of
At a short visit to England of 1869, I dined with
William Edward Forster at the Reform Club to meet
1 66 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Sir John Duke Coleridge, as he had then become,
having been knighted on his appointment as Solicitor
General. Mr. Forster had tried to get his brother-in-
law, Matthew Arnold, also, but telegrams had failed
to reach him. The chief subject of talk at this pleas-
ant dinner was the Alabama controversy, which was
then at its height. I was put to it to defend our
American view against men of such distinction. I
could only dwell on the danger to England of her
allowing it to stand as a precedent that neutrals could
allow warships to go out to prey upon the commerce
of belligerents rather that neutrals were not to be
held to account if ships fitted for war escaped from
their ports. Forster, I remember, rejected utterly
what had been urged in America by Mr. Sumner and
others, that England was to be held answerable for
the standing given to the Southern cruisers by the
acknowledgment of the South as belligerents. He
said that he had himself urged on Lord Palmerston's
Government this acknowledgment, thinking it neces-
sary on the ground of humanity. I may add that
three years later came the settlement known as the
Geneva Arbitration, and the payment by England of
three millions sterling as compensation to us for the
ravages of the Alabama.
Forster and Coleridge, at the time of this Reform
Club dinner, were both members of the first Gladstone
Government, and were each of great promise of dis-
tinction. I saw in Coleridge the fine result of uni-
versity training founded on unmistakable genius, and
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 167
in Forster the instinct of rule, rather the quiet inward
feeling that the highest position might one day be his.
Through all I perceived in Forster an absolute devo-
tion to his country, with a supreme desire for the ad-
vancement of its best interests. As I looked on at
the intercourse of these gifted men I perceived that
Coleridge was fully conscious of Forster's power : he
deferred to him, almost unconsciously, as to one who
was born to rule.
Four years passed before I again saw Sir John
Duke Coleridge. During this period his name had
been much in the mouths of people from his having
been counsel of the Tichborne family in their famous
case. His speech for the defence occupied some
twenty days, covering two whole sides of the Times
daily perhaps the longest speech on record in a
jury trial. His cross-examination of the claimant had
lasted fourteen days; that it should have lasted so
long was evidence of the cunning and audacity of the
claimant. Strange that such a man should have had
his upholders among people of education ! Coleridge
said to me, " Sir Roger Tichborne, who disappeared
at the age of seventeen was a proficient in music ;
when I handed the claimant a music-book, and he
held it upside down, I thought no further evidence
was needed of his being an ignorant pretender." For
almost a year the English Courts were occupied with
the case, first with the suit brought by the man Orton
(the claimant) and then by his trial for perjury. I
read almost the whole of Coleridge's speech, as the
1 68 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
numbers of the Times came here, and found it of re-
markable interest. While the case was in progress
Coleridge became Attorney General. In 1874, as one
of the last acts of the Gladstone Government, which
ended in that year, he was made Lord Chief Justice
of the Common Pleas and raised to the peerage, be-
coming Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary. On the
death of Sir Alexander Cockburn in the following
year, he became Lord Chief Justice of England.
Lord Selborne in " Memorials Personal and Politi-
cal " (I. 324), writes:
"In 1874, Sir John Duke Coleridge received with a peer-
age, the promotion due, not only to his official position and
his great powers and services, but to the self-denial with
which, when no such prospect was in view, he had declined
the Mastership of the Rolls. I rejoiced that his father, my
constant friend, then in his eighty-fourth year, should have
lived to see these crowning honours of the intellectual emi-
nence, which had descended in that remarkable family
through three generations."
Sir John Coleridge's health had begun to fail during
the years of his son's rapid advancement. It was at
this time that he wrote the " Life of Keble " a book
which was almost of the nature of an autobiography,
as he told of the closeness of his personal union with
the subject of his Memoir. It remains as a model of
sympathetic biography, and as showing that in the
busiest career there is abundant opportunity for up-
Sir John Coleridge, as I know from Lord Coleridge,
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 169
declined a peerage which was offered him by Mr.
Gladstone. One of his reasons was that as he had
never been in the House of Commons he was without
the parliamentary experience needed for debating in
the House of Lords. But he was more influenced,
doubtless, by unwillingness to exchange the quiet of
his Devonshire home for the turmoil of London. It
was granted him to decline slowly, preserving his fac-
ulties to the last, dying in 1876 at the age of eighty-
six. From the letter I wrote to Lord Coleridge on
this news reaching me I extract as follows :
"... The sweet graciousness of his hospitality first of all
charmed me and then I came to see on what a deep feeling
of religious thoughtfulness his character rested. I feel it to
be one of the chief blessings of my life to have known him.
It was indeed a great privilege to have familiar intercourse
with one who had taken part in such important matters
one whose gifts of mind and whose high cultivation, and
whose purity of thought made him a guide and example.
All this comes to my mind as I think of his long life passed
in honour, and of his sweet and noble presence. Even to me
the world seems other than it was now that he is gone.
What then must be your feeling ! I know well what the love
was between you how that besides the affection that was
natural, there was deep respect each for the other, and, as
one might say, a most tender friendship. What joy for you
that your father lived to witness your own high advance-
ment! What joy for you that his help and guidance re-
mained to you so long beyond the time when such strength is
ordinarily vouchsafed ! But while to you and to all belong-
ing to him he has been thus so priceless a blessing, in another
sense he has been to all who have drawn near to him a bene-
factor of the mind and heart."
1 70 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
"... I knew that you, and some other brothers across
the water, would feel with us and for us in our sorrow a
very great and indeed at times almost a crushing sorrow it
is. I think my father was the most beautiful character I
ever knew. Looking back on fifty years of life, I really
cannot recollect one single thing in which, now, I think
my father did or said wrong. His gentleness, tenderness
never failed to any one, or under any circumstances, and
yet he was as brave and manly a man as ever lived. He
never shrank from doing an act or saying a thing, which he
thought right, because it might give offence. He was, all
his life, the most liberal of Conservatives, and was constantly
shocking his High Church Tory friends, by doing and saying
things which they could not understand, but which he felt it
right to do and say, though it pained him to pain them. It
is quite indescribable the loss he is to me, and even more to
my dear sister who lived with him. To her he was the very
centre of her life, and her life seems torn up by the roots.
To me he was the one person to whom I could turn for
sympathy and counsel in all my public and professional life,
and never did he fail me : so that a large portion of my life
must now needs be lonely, and it is not easy to measure the
sadness which this brings with it. To be always looking
down instead of looking up, as hitherto I have done all my
life, is a solemn change. Our loss had every comfort which
such a loss can have; the kindness of friends, the respect
and regard shown him by the whole county as evidenced in
his funeral are great comforts, no doubt; and the thought
that he was fit to go and did not wish to stay is, perhaps,
the greatest of all. He did not suffer much pain, not
even in the very last illness, but he was weak and weary:
his journal shows that life was a sorrow to him, and cer-
tainly he was taken when no one who really loved him could
wish that he should be left. All this is comforting, and
I pray God it may be more so but my father is dead."
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE I/I
In 1878 a great blow fell upon Lord Coleridge in
the death of his wife. His letter in reply to my
words of sympathy is an expression of deepest grief,
from which I hardly feel that I can quote ; it showed
what the companionship was that had come to an
end. Lady Coleridge was distinctly of genius as an
artist. Her first work was in miniature painting;
later on she drew, in crayon, life-size portraits, of
which the most notable were of her father-in-law,
Sir John Coleridge, Cardinal Newman, and Lord
Coleridge. These are of remarkable excellence. She
drew also for the staircase at Sussex Square Lord
Coleridge's London residence copies from Michael
Angelo, reproductions in crayon, which, under great
sheets of glass, are very striking.
In the Abbey Church of St. Mary Ottery is the
memorial by Lord Coleridge of his wife, a recum-
bent effigy of singular beauty; at the base is this
inscription : -
" To the fair and tender memory of
Jane Fortescue, Baroness Coleridge,
her husband dedicates this marble,
thankful for his happiness, sorrowing for
his loss, hoping steadfastly, through
God's mercy, to meet her when the
night is passed, in the perfect and
Five years after this bereavement of Lord Cole-
ridge, he made a visit to America. He came in 1838
at the invitation of the Bar Association of New
York. The event was important, seeing that he
172 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
was the highest English official that had ever crossed
the Atlantic. His only superior was the Lord Chan-
cellor, but his coming was not to be thought of, con-
sidering his solemn charge of the Great Seal. When
Lord Brougham was Chancellor, he was meditating
a trip to the Rhine, but found he would be unable
to leave England unless he placed the Great Seal
in commission. The cost of this would have been
^1400. I remember hearing Mr. Forster, then a
Cabinet Minister, ask in a cheerful way at his own
table whether the Lord Chancellor slept with the
The legal profession, wherever Lord Coleridge
went in the United States, received him with great
distinction. He figured to them the source and cen-
tre of their knowledge. He charmed every one by
his urbanity, by the silver tones of his voice, by his
delightful talk, and his great store of knowledge.
Mr. G. W. Russell, a man of great experience of
English society, has recently said :
" I had an almost fanatical admiration for Lord Coleridge's
genius ; in many of the qualities which make an agreeable
talker he was unsurpassed. Every one who heard him at the
Bar or on the Bench, must recall that silvery voice, and that
perfect elocution, which prompted a competent judge of such
matters to say, ' I should enjoy listening to Coleridge if he
only read out a page of Bradshaw.' To these gifts were
added an immense store of varied knowledge, a genuine
enthusiasm for whatever is beautiful in literature or art, an
inexhaustible copiousness of anecdote, and a happy knack of
exact yet not offensive mimicry. All this, at a dinner table
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 173
was delightful ; and everything derived a double zest from
the exquisite precision of English in which it was conveyed."
Lord Coleridge, I am glad to say, was very favour-
ably impressed with the leading lawyers and judges
whom he met in the United States. In the West
especially, he came to know men who seemed to
him of real distinction. Judge Drummond, of Chi-
cago, I remember, impressed him greatly. He had
grateful recollection always of the kindness that had
been shown him. " I should be afraid to go again,"
he said, " lest I should be found out." He said also,
writing eight years after his visit, " I am never tired of
thinking of the noble Americans I met, and whom I
shall never see again." It is curious to note, as show-
ing a state of things which we can hope has passed
away, that an army officer was detailed by our Gov-
ernment to accompany Lord Coleridge in his jour-
neyings, and detectives also were at hand for his
protection. It was the time when Irish outrages were
of constant occurrence. It was the wish of his own Gov-
ernment that he should not visit Canada ; they thought
the danger would be greater there than in the United
States. I remember telling him that if a murderous
attack were made upon him, there might be consola-
tion in the thought that in America and in England
indignation would be so great as to put an end for-
ever to Irish violence. He refused to admit there
would be any comfort in this consideration. " You
would prefer," I said, " that the risk should be taken
by a minor canon ? " reminding him of a story of his
1/4 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
father's of a meeting with Sydney Smith. A bishop
who was present had just finished the rebuilding of
his palace, and was doubtful whether it would be safe
to occupy it at once. " My Lord," said Sydney,
" could you not send down one of the minor canons
to begin residence ? "
While Lord Coleridge was in America, some family
matters, very distressing to him, culminated, making
his home dreary on his return. Two years later he
married Mrs. Lawford, daughter of an English judge,
whose chief service had been in India. Nine years
remained to him of life, in which the duties of his
high office occupied him, relieved in London by the
exercise of a graceful hospitality. His stately home
in Sussex Square had the especial adornment of a
magnificent library. His chief enjoyment, however,
was probably his Devonshire residence, Heath's Court,
which he had enlarged and beautified under the di-
rection of his lifelong friend, Mr. Butterfield. There,
too, he delighted to show hospitality, entertaining dur-
ing the long vacation a constant succession of visitors.
The drawing-room there remained as it was in the
time of his father. The library was new, a room
of great size, large spaces on the shelves were
unoccupied, for the books at Sussex Square were to
be placed there on Lord Coleridge's retiring from the
Bench. Alas ! he did not live to complete the term
of service that would entitle him to retire on a pen-
sion. The books already in the great room were some
4000 in number, chiefly the collection of his father.
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 175
My last visit to Lord Coleridge at his Devonshire
home was at the beginning of June, 1891. In his
kind note, asking me to come, he said he and Lady
Coleridge would be alone there; there would be no
other guests; nothing to disturb or distract. So I
went, and had three days of the happiest companion-
ship, and was more than ever struck with the affec-
tionate nature of my friend. " Lord Coleridge has
been unendingly kind," was the remark of Mrs. Mat-
thew Arnold to me, referring to what he had done for
her since the death of her husband. I can add from
my own experience that as a friend he was the most
steadfast of men.
Within a week after my leaving Heath's Court I
was Lord Coleridge's guest in London. He had
arranged for my being present at a great dinner in
the Hall of the Middle Temple at which he was to
preside. The chief guest for this occasion was to be
the young Duke of Clarence, the heir to the throne.
The company gathered for the banquet in one of
the drawing-rooms of the great hall. Each on arriv-
ing was announced in a loud voice. All were ready
except the chief guest. " How long must we wait
fora Royal Highness?" asked Lord Strafford of the
one next him. " Oh, till he comes," was the reply.
At length came the announcement," His Royal High-
ness, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale." A tall
youth, self-possessed, his face with a pleasant expres-
sion, a broad blue ribbon, I suppose of the Garter,
was across his breast. An equerry accompanied him.
176 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Lord Coleridge advanced to meet him. Soon came
the great voice at the door, "Your Royal Highness,
my Lords and Gentlemen, dinner is served." Then
names were called and men walked out two by two.
Each guest was assigned to a bencher. What a sight
it was as we entered the great hall ! The long tables
running at right angles to the dais were filled with a
great multitude either of barristers or students. All
were standing as our procession, headed by Lord
Coleridge and the Prince, walked up. I noticed
some dark skinned men among the students, one of
inky blackness. We took our allotted places at the
table on the dais; then grace was read by Canon
Ainger, Reader of the Temple an ancient form.
The Prince was on the right of Lord Coleridge ;
behind his chair was his own footman or servant in
the royal scarlet .and gold a fine-looking fellow.
In the middle of the dinner came three loud raps
on the table from the Master of Ceremonies. " My
Lords and Gentlemen, I pray you charge your
glasses ! " All rose, and Lord Coleridge gave " the
health of her Majesty the Queen." A hip, hip,
hurrah, followed, and we sat down. A little later
came another three raps and another " Charge your
glasses," and the health of his Royal Highness, the
Duke of Clarence was proposed. The Duke as he
sat bowed gracefully and repeatedly from side to side
to the standing company. It is the settled rule or
understanding at the dinners of the Middle Temple
that there are to be no speeches. At a great dinner
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 177
there of the previous month the Prince of Wales
was the chief guest. Lord Coleridge proposed his
health, and the Prince, as being above ordinary rules,
gave a few words of acknowledgment, and ended by
proposing the health of the Lord Chief Justice. Lord
Coleridge rose and acknowledged the courtesy, add-
ing, "The text that rises to my mind as I thus re-
turn my thanks is ' Put not your trust in Princes.' "
He then sat down. The Prince's little scheme failed
of success. Later came the loving cup, and at last
another rap on the table when all rose and Canon
Ainger read a quaint form of words which was the
giving of thanks. The dinner was not over, for,
Lord Coleridge and the Prince leading the way, we
retired from the noble hall, in procession as we had
come in, and entered another apartment in which
was a table with dessert. Our final move was into
a drawing-room where there was coffee.
The Prince and his equerry having at length de-
parted, the rest of the company were free to go their
At breakfast, the morning after this Middle Temple
function, Lord Coleridge asked me if I would not like
to look in on the Gordon Cumming trial the famous
baccarat case. I would, certainly. I would not have
asked for admission knowing the pressure there had
been on the Chief for seats. I drove down with him
to the Law Courts. People were waiting to see the
Lord Chief Justice arrive. The Chief went to his
apartment to put on his robes and wig. I was
1/8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
shown a seat on the Bench. As I entered there
was the entire space of the Court filled with barris-
ters in costume sitting closely together, and above
was the crowded gallery. A bevy of ladies came in
and filled the space on the right of the Judge's seat.
My seat, I should say, was on the extreme left. Im-
mediately next the Judge's seat on the left was a red
cushioned armchair for the Prince of Wales. Lord
Coleridge came in and all in the Court rose. Soon
afterward came the Prince of Wales. He bowed
pleasantly to the Chief Justice and then to the ladies
to the right and to the left. My recollection is that
no one rose as he entered except the Chief Justice.
I saw his side face as I sat. His bearing was quiet
and composed. At eleven Sir Charles Russell (now
the Lord Chief Justice) rose to begin his speech for
the defence. It will be remembered that Sir William
Gordon Cumming was the plaintiff; the defendants
were five persons whom he charged with defamation
of character. Sir Charles bore terribly upon Gordon
Cumming in his speech, which lasted for an hour
and a half; his guilt seemed clear beyond question.
Yet one hoped against hope for him, for he was a
soldier of gallant record and was of ancient family.
The first witness for the defence was young Wil-
son ; he had been the first to see the foul play. He
told his story well. I could not stay for the cross-
examination, nor could I go next day to hear Lord
Coleridge's charge. A masterpiece this seemed to
me as I read it in the Times ; it occupied four hours
JOHN TAYLOR COLERIDGE AND LORD COLERIDGE 179
in the delivery. Lord Coleridge, as I know, dreaded
having to try the case ; but once it was entered upon
he gave it the most careful thought.
I may mention that when the Prince of Wales
was examined as a witness in the case, the lawyers
on both sides forbore to ask the direct question
whether he believed the plaintiff was guilty. At
the end of his testimony, one of the jury rose and
asked, " Your Royal Highness, did you believe Sir
Gordon Gumming was cheating ? " The Prince's
immediate reply was, " I could not resist the testi-
mony of five persons."
I had other experience of the administration of
law in England, as I chanced to be Lord Coleridge's
guest when he was on circuit, at Gloucester, at
Bury St. Edmund's, and at Manchester. The old-
time pomp of these occasions was interesting to
me, the going in state from the Judges' Lodgings
to the Court, or, if it were Sunday, to the Cathedral,
the new liveries and perhaps the new equipages of
the high sheriffs, the javelin men in procession,
and the " God save the Queen " from a single trum-
pet at the departure from the Lodgings, or when
the Cathedral or the Court was reached, all this
was striking. The buildings known as the Judges'
I o Igings in the Assize towns, though often quaint
and ancient, are ample for the exercise of hospitality
of bed and board.
Every hour of my stay with my friend was of en-
joyment to me, wherever it might be. I have not
180 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
spoken of the happiness enjoyed by me and mine
in receiving him under our roof. He was fasci-
nating to young and old. He could not but feel
how absolutely at one with him we all were, and he
could feel as to myself, as I did as to him, that
friendship had been cemented by a great lapse of
Lord Coleridge died in London, on June 14,
1894. On that day I wrote in my journal:
"... The blow to me is heavy. I came to know John
Coleridge, as he then was, in 1855. My correspondence
with him began in the following year, and has had no check
until now. I have kept every letter. I have some of them
near me as I write ; and as I read them, here and there, he
is again before me, and I am listening to the tender, sweet
tones of his voice. They are a priceless possession, for, at
any moment, I can feel that I am once more with him. I
owe to him more than I can say. His fine intellect fasci-
nated me, and gave bent to my thoughts, and left on me
He said to me in almost his last letter, " I have
kept all your letters." I have not as yet received
these from London, but their return is promised me.
It may chance that those who come after me will
put in print a correspondence between England and
America during thirty-seven eventful years. Whether
I receive back my letters or no, there will be safe-
keeping here of his. They are more than one hun-
dred in number, and hardly one of them is without
passages of distinct literary value.
CHARLES KINGSLEY: A REMINIS-
CHARLES KINGSLEY: A REMINIS-
THE heat of London in the midsummer of 1857,
even to my American apprehension, was intense.
The noise of the streets oppressed me, and perhaps
the sight now and again of freshly- watered flowers,
which beautify so many of the window-ledges, and
which seem to flourish and bloom whatever the
weather, filled me the more with a desire for the
quiet of green fields and the refreshing shade of
trees. I had just returned from Switzerland, and
the friends with whom I had been journeying in
that land of all perfections had gone back to their
home among the wealds and woods of Essex. I
began to feel that sense of solitude which weighs
heavily on a stranger in the throng of a great city ;
so that it was with keen pleasure I looked forward
to a visit to Mr. Kingsley. A most kind invitation
had come from him, offering me "a bed and all
hospitality in their plain country fashion."
At four in the afternoon of a hot July day, I
started for Winchfield, which is the station on the
London and Southampton Railway nearest to Evers-
ley a journey of an hour and a half. I took a fly
at Winchfield for Eversley, a distance of six miles.
1 84 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
My way lay over wide silent moors; now and then
a quiet farmstead came in view moated granges
they might have been but these were few and far
between, this part of Hampshire being owned in
large tracts. It was a little after six when I drew
near to the church and antique brick dwelling-house
adjoining it which were the church and rectory of
Eversley. There were no other houses near, so that
it was evidently a wide and scattered parish. Old
trees shaded the venerable, irregularly-shaped par-
sonage, ivy and creeping plants covered the walls,
and roses peeped out here and there. Mr. Kingsley
himself met me at the open hall-door, and there
was something in his clear and cheerful tone that
gave a peculiar sense of welcome to his greeting.
" Very glad to see you," said he. Then taking my
bag from the fly, " Let me show you your room at
once, that you may make yourself comfortable." So,
leading the way, he conducted me upstairs and along
a somewhat intricate passage to a room in the oldest
part of the house. It was a quaint apartment, with
leaden casements, a low ceiling, an uneven floor
a room four hundred years old, as Mr. Kingsley told
me, but having withal a very habitable look. " I
hope you'll be comfortable here," said my host as
he turned to go " as comfortable as one can be in
a cottage. Have you everything you want? There
will be a tea-dinner or a dinner-tea in about half an
hour." Then, as he lingered, he asked, " When did
you see Forster last ? "
CHARLES KINGS LEY: A REMINISCENCE 185
"Six weeks ago," I said "in London. He had
just received news of the vacancy at Leeds, and at
once determined to offer himself as the Liberal
candidate. He went to Leeds for this purpose, but
subsequently withdrew his name. I gather from his
speech at the banquet his supporters gave him after-
ward that this was a mistake, and that if he had
stood he would have been elected."
" Ah," said Kingsley, " I should like to see Fors-
ter in Parliament. He is not the man, however,
to make head against the tracasseries of an election
Some other talk we had, and then he left me,
coming back before long to conduct me to the
drawing-room. Two gentlemen were there, one a
visitor who soon took leave; the other, the tutor
to Mr. Kingsley's son. Mrs. Kingsley came in now
and shook hands with me cordially, and I had very
soon the sense of being at one with them all. Our
having mutual friends did much toward this good
understanding, but it was partly that we seemed at
once to have so much to talk of on the events of
the day, and on English matters in which I took
India was naturally our first subject, and the
great and absorbing question of the mutiny. I told
what the London news was in regard to it, and how
serious was the look of things. Kingsley said there
must be great blame somewhere that as to the
British rule in India, no man could doubt that it
1 86 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
had been a great blessing to the country, but the
individual Englishman had come very far short of
his duty in his dealings with the subject race ; a
reckoning was sure to come. " Oakfield " was men-
tioned, a story by William Arnold of which the
scene was laid in India, and which contained evi-
dence of this ill-treatment of the Hindoos by their
white masters. Kingsley spoke highly of this book.
I said I thought it had hardly been appreciated in
England. Kingsley thought the reason was it was
too didactic there was too much moralizing. Only
the few could appreciate this ; the many did not care
for it in a novel.
Our tea-dinner was announced : it was served in
the hall. Mrs. Kingsley spoke laughingly of their
being obliged to make this their dining room. The
talk at the table -fell on American affairs. Sumner's
name was mentioned. I said he was in London, and
that I had had a long conversation with him a few
days before. Would I give them his address ? they
asked : they must have a visit from him. I said he
would be glad to visit them, I was sure, for when I
told him I was coming here he said he envied me.
He was at present engaged in a round of dinners
expected to go to France in August to stay with De
Tocqueville, but would be again in England in the
autumn. Kingsley spoke of Brooks's death of the
suddenness of it seeming almost a judgment. I said
Brooks, as I happened to know, was thought a good
fellow before the assault that he really had good
CHARLES KINGSLEY i A REMINISCENCE 187
qualities, and was liked even by Northern men. " So
we have heard from others," said Kingsley, " and one
can well believe it. The man who suffers for a bad
system is often the best man one with attractive
qualities." Charles I. and Louis XVI. were instances
he gave to illustrate this. A recent article in the
Edinburgh Review on slavery was spoken of. I said
it had attracted a good deal of attention with us, be-
cause we saw immediately it could only have been
written by an American. Of slavery Mr. Kingsley
spoke in calm and moderate words. I told him his
introductory chapter to " Two Years Ago " showed that
he appreciated the difficulties with which the question
was encumbered. He said it would be strange if he
did not see these difficulties, considering that he was
of West Indian descent (his grandfather had married
a West Indian heiress). He admitted that the result
of emancipation in the West Indies was not encourag-
ing as it regarded the material condition of the isl-
ands, especially of Jamaica, and he was quite able to
understand how powerfully this fact would weigh on
our Southern planters, and how it tended to close
their ears to all antislavery argument. They could
hardly be expected to look beyond this test of sugar-
production to the moral progress of the black race
which freedom alone could insure.
Our pleasant meal being over, we strolled out on
the lawn and sat down under one of the fine old trees,
where we continued our talk about slavery. Mr.
Kingsley said he could quite believe any story he
1 88 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
might hear of cruelty practised upon slaves. He
knew too well his own nature, and felt that under the
influence of sudden anger he would be capable of
deeds as violent as any of which we read. This, of
course, was putting out of view the restraints which
religion would impose ; but it was safe for no man to
have the absolute control of others.
He left us to go into the house, and Mrs. Kingsley
then spoke of his parochial labours. She wished I
could spend a Sunday with them " I should so like
you to see the congregation he has. The common
farm labourers come morning and afternoon : the rea-
son is, he preaches so that they can understand him.
I wish you could have been with us last Sunday, we
had such an interesting person here Max Miiller,
the great linguist and Orientalist. But we can't have
pleasant meets here : we have only one spare room."
" How old is Max Miiller ? " I asked.
" Twenty-eight, and he scarcely looks to be twenty-
" How long has Mr. Kingsley been here ? " I asked.
" Fifteen years two years as curate, and then the
living becoming vacant, it was given to him."
She told me a funeral was to take place directly
that of a poor woman who had been a great sufferer.
"Ah, here it comes," she said.
There was the bier borne on men's shoulders and
a little company of mourners, the peasantry of the
neighbourhood, the men wearing smock-frocks. They
were awaiting the clergyman at the lich-gate. Mr.
CHARLES KINGSLEY: A REMINISCENCE 189
Kingsley appeared at the moment in his surplice, and
the procession entered the churchyard, he saying as he
walked in front the solemn sentences with which the
service begins. It was the scene which I had witnessed
in another part of Hampshire some years before, when
the author of " The Christian Year " was the officiat-
ing clergyman. Mrs. Kingsley and I joined the proces-
sion and entered the church. It was a small, oddly
arranged interior brick pavements, high-backed
pews, the clerk's desk adjoining the reading-desk, but
a little lower. Mr. Kingsley read the service in a
measured tone, which enabled him to overcome the
defect in his utterance noticeable in conversation.
At the grave the rest of the office was said, and here
the grief of the poor mourners overcame them. The
family group consisted of the husband of the deceased,
a grown-up daughter, and a son, a boy of fifteen. All
were much moved, but the boy the most. He cried
bitterly a long wail, as if he could not be comforted.
Mr. Kingsley tried to console him, putting his arm
over his shoulders. He said words of sympathy to
the others also. They went their way over the heath
to their desolate home. Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley spoke
of the life of toil which had thus ended, and of the
patience with which long-continued bodily pain had
been borne. It was clear that the popular author was
first of all a parish priest.
We went now into his study, where he lighted a
long pipe, and we then returned to a part of the lawn
which he called his quarter-deck, and where we walked
190 WORDSWOR7H AND THE COLERIDGES
up and down for near an hour. What an English sum-
mer evening it was ! dewy and still. Now and then
a slight breeze stirred in the leaves and brought with
it wafts of delicate odours from the flowers somewhere
hidden in deep shadows, though as yet it was not
night and the sweet twilight lay about us like a charm.
He asked if I knew Maurice. I did slightly had
breakfasted with him six weeks before, and had
seen enough of him to understand the strong per-
sonal influence he exerted. " I owe all that I am
to Maurice," said Kingsley. " I aim only to teach
to others what I get from him. Whatever facility
of expression I have is God's gift, but the views I
endeavour to enforce are those which I learn from
Maurice. I live to interpret him to the people of
A talk about the influence of the Oxford writers
came next : on this subject I knew we should not
agree, though of course it was interesting to me to
hear Mr. Kingsley's opinion. He spoke with some
asperity of one or two of the leaders, though his chief
objection was to certain young men who had put
themselves forward as champions of the movement.
Of Mr. Keble he spoke very kindly. He said he
had at one time been much under the influence
of these writings. I mentioned Alexander Knox
as being perhaps the forerunner of the Oxford men.
"Ah," he said, "I owe my knowledge of that good
man to Mrs. Kingsley ; you must talk with her
about him." We joined the party in the drawing-
CHARLES KINGS LEY: A REMINISCENCE 191
room, and there was some further conversation on
At about ten o'clock the bell was rung, the servants
came in, prayers were said, and the ladies (Mrs.
Kingsley and their daughter's governess) bid us good
night. Then to Mr. Kingsley 's study, where the rest
of the evening was spent from half-past ten to half-
past twelve the pipe went on, and the talk a con-
tinuous flow. Quakerism was a subject. George Fox,
Kingsley said, was his admiration : he read his " Jour-
nal" constantly thought him one of the most remark-
able men that age produced. He liked his hostility to
Calvinism. " How little that fellow Macaulay," he
said, " could understand Quakerism ! A man needs
to have been in Inferno himself to know what the
Quakers meant in what they said and did." He
referred me to an article of his on Jacob Boehme and
the mystic writers, in which he had given his views in
regard to Fox.
We talked abdut his parish work: he found it, he
said, a great help to him, adding emphatically that his
other labour was secondary to this. He had trained
himself not to be annoyed by his people calling on
him when he was writing. If he was to be their
priest, he must see them when it suited them to
come ; and he had become able if called off from his
writing to go on again the moment he was alone.
I asked him when he wrote. He said in the morn-
ing almost always: sometimes, when much pushed, he
had written for an hour in the evening, but he always
192 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
had to correct largely the next morning the work
thus done. Daily exercise, riding, hunting, together
with parish work, were necessary to keep him in a
condition for writing: he aimed to keep himself in
rude health. I asked whether " Alton Locke " had
been written in that room. "Yes," he said "from
four to eight in the mornings ; and a young man was
staying with me at the time with whom every day I
used to ride, or perhaps hunt, when my task of writ-
ing was done."
A fine copy of St. Augustine attracted my attention
on his shelves five volumes folio bound in vellum.
" Ah," he said, " that is a treasure I must show you ; "
and taking down a volume he turned to the fly-
leaf, where were the words " Charles Kingsley from
Thomas Carlyle," and above them " Thomas Carlyle
from John Sterling." One could understand that
Carlyle had thus handed on the book, notwithstand-
ing its sacred associations, knowing that to Kingsley
it would have a threefold value. My eye caught also
a relic of curious interest a fragment from one of
the vessels of the Spanish Armada. It lay on the
mantelpiece: I could well understand Kingsley's
pleasure in possessing it.
At the breakfast-table the next morning we had
much talk in regard to American writers. Kingsley
admitted Emerson's high merit, but thought him too
fragmentary a writer and thinker to have enduring
fame. He had meant that this should be implied
as his opinion in the title he gave to - " Phaethon "
CHARLES KINGS LEY: A REMINISCENCE 193
"Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers" a book he
had written in direct opposition to what he under-
stood to be the general teaching of Emerson. I re-
marked upon the great beauty of some of Emerson's
later writings and the marvellous clearness of insight
which was shown in his " English Traits." Kingsley
acquiesced in this, but referred to some American
poetry, so called, which Emerson had lately edited,
and in his preface had out-Heroded Herod. Kings-
ley said the poems were the production of a coarse,
sensual mind. His reference, of course, was to Walt
Whitman, and I had no defence to make. Of Lowell,
Mr. Kingsley spoke very highly : his " Fable for Critics "
was worthy of Rabelais. Mr. Froude, who is Kings-
ley's brother-in-law, had first made him acquainted
with Lowell's poetry. Hawthorne's style he thought
was exquisite : there was scarcely any modern writing
equal to it. Of all his books he preferred the " Blithe-
We talked of Mr. Froude, whom Kingsley spoke
of as his dearest friend : he thought Froude sincerely
regretted ever having written the " Nemesis of Faith."
Mr. Helps, author of " Friends in Council," he spoke
of as his near neighbour there in Hampshire, and his
intimate friend. Mr. Charles Reade he knew, and I
think he said he was also a neighbour: his "Christie
Johnstone," he thought showed high original power.
Mrs. Gaskell we talked of, whose " Life of Charlotte
Bronte " had just then been published : Mr. Kingsley
thought it extremely interesting and " slightly slan-
194 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
derous." He told me of the author of " Tom Brown's
School-days," a copy of which, fresh from the publish-
ers, was lying on his table. Mr. Hughes is now so
well known to us I need only mention that Mr.
Kingsley spoke of him as an old pupil of Arnold's
and a spiritual child of Maurice. He spoke most
warmly of him, and offered me a letter of introduc-
tion to him. I could not avail myself of this, having
so little time to remain in London.
I must mention, as showing further Mr. Kingsley's
state of mind toward Maurice, that he had named his
son after him. He spoke of the boy as being in-
tended for the army; the family, he said, had been
soldiers for generations. " That is the profession Eng-
land will need for the next five-and-twenty years."
Of Forster he said, " What a pity he had not been
put in the army at the age of eighteen ! he would
have been a general now. England has need of such
men." I note this as showing the curious apprehen-
sion of war which he, an Englishman, felt eighteen
years ago, 1 and which he expressed to me, an Ameri-
can. How little either of us thought of the struggle
which men of English blood were to engage in in
three years from that time ! How little I could dream
that one of the decisive battles of the world was so
soon to be fought in my own State, Pennsylvania !
Our morning was spent in all this varied talk, walk-
ing partly on the lawn, partly in the study. His pipe
was still his companion. He seemed to need to walk
1 Written in 1895.
CHARLES KINGSLEY: A REMINISCENCE 195
incessantly, such was his nervous activity of tempera-
ment. He asked me if it annoyed me for him to
walk so much up and down his study. The slight
impediment in his speech one forgot as one listened
to the flow of his discourse. He talked a volume
while I was with him, and what he said often rose to
eloqyence. There was humour too in it, of which I
can give no example, for it was fine and delicate.
But what most impressed me was his perfect sim-
plicity of character. He talked of his wife with the
strongest affection wished I could remain longer
with them, if only to know her better. Nothing could
be more tender than his manner toward her. He
went for her when we were in the study, and the last
half hour of my stay she sat with us. She is one of
five sisters who are all married to eminent men.
It occurs to me to note, as among my last recollec-
tions of our talk, that I spoke of Spurgeon, whom I
had heard in London a short time before, and was
very favourably impressed with. I could not but com-
mend his simple, strong Saxon speech, the charm of
his rich, full voice, and above all the earnest aim
which I thought was manifest in all he uttered. Mr.
Kingsley said he was glad to hear this, for he had
been told of occasional irreverences of Spurgeon's,
and of his giving way now and then to a disposition
to make a joke of things. Not that he objected alto-
gether to humour in sermons: he had his own temp-
tations in this way. " One must either weep at the
follies of men or laugh at them," he added. I told
196 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
him Mr. Maurice had spoken to me of Mr. Spurgeon
as no doubt an important influence for good in the
land, and he said this was on the whole his own
opinion. He told me, however, of teaching of quite
another character, addressed to people of cultivation
mainly, and to him peculiarly acceptable. His refer-
ence was to Robertson's " Sermons " ; he showecj me
the volume the first series just then published.
The mention of this book perhaps led to a reference
by Mr. Kingsley to the Unitarians of New England,
of whom he spoke very kindly, adding, in effect, that
their error was but a natural rebound from Calvinism,
that dreary perversion of God's boundless love.
But I had now to say good-by to these new friends,
who had come to seem old friends, so full and cordial
had been their hospitality, and so much had we found
to talk of in the quickly-passing hours of my visit.
Mr. Kingsley drove me three miles on my way to
Winchfield. His talk with me was interspersed with
cheery and friendly words to his horse, with whom
he seemed to be on very intimate terms. " Come and
see us again," he said, as we parted ; " the second visit,
you know, is always the best."
OXFORD, AND THE AUTHOR OF
"THE CHRISTIAN YEAR"
OXFORD, AND THE AUTHOR OF
"THE CHRISTIAN YEAR"
IT was on a bright morning in June, 1852, that I
left London for my second visit to Oxford. The fifty
miles journey was made in little over an hour, and
soon afterward I was comfortably quartered at the
quaint old inn, " The Mitre."
I found the streets well filled ; it was term-time and
the undergraduates, as well as the Fellows, and other
university men were everywhere to be seen ; their
caps and gowns, which by rigid law they are com-
pelled to wear, adding much to the quaint old-time
look of the city.
I called in the afternoon at Oriel College to deliver
a letter of introduction to the Rev. Charles Marriott,
Fellow of Oriel and Vicar of St. Mary the Virgin's
the successor of Mr. Newman, holding precisely his
position in the university, and occupying his rooms.
Not finding him, I went at four to the cathedral, which
is really the chapel of Christ Church College, to even-
ing service. I had the hope that Dr. Pusey would
be there. The small congregation had already assem-
bled. I was shown by the verger to one of the high
stalls. There were several of the canons, or students
of the college, answering to the Fellows of other col-
200 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
leges, present, but no one of these could be Dr. Pusey.
At the very stroke of four a quick step was heard, a
man of middle age, of grave countenance, pale, but
seeming vigorous, came in and went to a stall very
near me. He wore, as the others did, a surplice and
rose-lined hood. When the service was over he
passed me in going out, and I had a full view of his
countenance. I was struck with its intellectual ex-
pression his serious thoughtful look. " Is that Dr.
Pusey ? " I asked the verger at the door. " Yes," said
he, and so my wish was gratified. I had felt for him,
for years, admiration and reverence ; the sight of him,
though it was nothing more, gave me pleasure. Al-
ready he had become the most conspicuous figure at
Oxford, though the period of which I write was forty-
seven years ago ; and this in spite of his shrinking
from any personal distinction, or even notice. It was
a true instinct of the popular heart that affixed his
name to the great movement of 1833, although New-
man had more to do with its actual beginning than
he. Dr. Newman informs us that he felt for him, as
early as 1827-28, enthusiastic admiration. He adds,
" His great learning, his immense diligence, his
scholar-like mind, his simple devotion to the cause of
religion overcame me." Newman speaks of him fur-
ther, of the date of 1834, as having a vast influence in
consequence, in part, of his deep religious seriousness,
and the munificence of his charities.
But to return to my passing sight of him. He
was joined as he crossed what is known as the " Tom
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 2OI
Quadrangle " so called because of the great bell,
" Tom of Oxford " that sounds over it from its cupola,
by a youth whom I noticed in the cathedral, who
was quite lame ; also by a young lady. The two were,
as I afterward learned, his son and daughter. His
wife had died ten years before. I stood looking after
them until they had reached the opposite side of the
Quadrangle, and entered their own apartments that
part of the old range of buildings which constituted
Dr. Pusey's residence as Canon of Christ Church.
I may note here that Dr. Pusey's weight and influ-
ence in Oxford was at the first in some degree due to
the fact of his holding a professorship, and also to his
family connections. He was of an ancient family; his
brother, the late Philip Pusey, of Pusey, Member of
Parliament, and a great agriculturalist, was long at the
head of it. At a celebration some fifty years ago, of
the thousandth anniversary of the birthday of Alfred,
the Pusey horn was produced a precious posses-
sion, the tradition being that their direct ancestor, then
a boy, had sounded it from a hill-top to give notice of
a Danish invasion.
Dr. Pusey's son, whom I have spoken of as accom-
panying him, bore the name of Philip. He was very
lame, in fact deformed. It is probable that on this
account he did not take Orders. He became, how-
ever, as I have understood, a man of curious learning
and especially an authority in regard to the text of
the New Testament. He made journeys to the Le-
vant and elsewhere, spite of his infirmities, in search
202 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
of manuscripts. A visitor at Mt. Athos was inquired
of by the monks, some years after one of young
Pusey's visits, for tidings of " Philip of England."
To return to my narrative. Later in the afternoon
I wandered from one college to another, entering the
Quadrangles, and studying the architecture, and look-
ing at the old statues of founders, many of them
crumbling away under the gnawing tooth of Time.
The spire of St. Mary's I stood long to admire ; it
had just been almost completely rebuilt one of the
most beautiful spires in England, not lofty, but of
admirable proportions. The High Street, the noblest,
perhaps, in Europe, with colleges and churches on
either side, was the one along which I was walking.
I reached Magdalen, and passing through the Quad-
rangle came at length to the gardens, and the famous
water-walk along the banks of the Cherwell. The
noble trees formed a green archway. As I walked
along I thought of the many to whom these sweet
shades had brought peace, and with it elevation of
mind. Addison's name is perhaps the most famous
in literature of the students of Magdalen (Maudlin,
as it is mostly called). Besides this water-walk there
is a park connected with the college grounds. There
were many deer under the noble trees.
I met by chance Mr. Marriott in the Chapel of
Merton, with some friends to whom he was showing
the beautiful restorations in this chapel. He had
been to " The Mitre " he said, to look for me. He
welcomed me cordially. His manners were grave
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 203
and quiet. He pointed out to me the beauty of the
chapel we were in, and afterward some very ancient
parts of the college perhaps the most ancient archi-
tecture in Oxford. We went into the library where
there were some books chained to their shelves.
Thence we walked to Christ Church meadows and
along the banks of the " Silver Isis." A boat-race
was going on, and a large number of the young
Oxford men were gathered, representing, doubtless,
some of the best blood of England. We stood to
watch the gay scene, and I thought of Wordsworth's
lines referring to a similar scene at Cambridge
"Who . . .
Could have beheld, with undelighted heart,
So many happy youths, so wide and fair
A congregation in its budding time
Of health, and hope, and beauty, all at once
So many divers samples from the growth
Of life's sweet season could have seen unmoved
That miscellaneous garland of wild flowers
Decking the matron temples of a place
So famous through the world?"
The beautiful tower of Magdalen was often in view
as we followed the windings of the water-walk ; it
seemed almost to move as we did, and ever to end
the prospect. We had some pleasant talk. One sub-
ject was Mr. Gladstone, and the canvass which was
then going on at the University; a general election
was at hand. The Oxford men were beginning to
be restive under the leaning toward liberal opinions
which they discovered in their then representative.
204 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Mr. Marriott said he was going in the evening to
Dr. Acland's afterward Sir Henry Acland a son
of Sir Thomas Acland, and that he would be glad if
I would accompany him. I accordingly joined him
at his rooms at a little after eight. His study, as I
have said, was once Mr. Newman's: here the Paro-
chial Sermons were written, those remarkable produc-
tions which to so many persons stood for years in
the place of a living teacher. Principal Shairp, who
heard these sermons, has said of them:
" The look and bearing of the preacher were as of one who
dwelt apart ; who, though he knew his age well, did not live
in it. From his seclusion of study, and abstinence and prayer,
from habitual dwelling in the unseen, he seemed to come forth
that one day of the week to speak to others of the things he
had seen and known. To call these sermons eloquent would
not be the word for them ; high poems they rather were, as
of an inspired singer, or the outpourings of a prophet, rapt,
yet self-possessed. And the tone of voice in which they were
spoken, once you grew accustomed to it, sounded like a fine
strain of unearthly music. After hearing these sermons you
might come away still not believing the tenets of the High
Church system ; but you would be harder than most men if
you did not feel more than ever ashamed of coarseness, self-
ishness, worldliness, if you did not feel the things of faith
brought close to the soul."
I had never myself the happiness to hear Mr. New-
man, but the associations of the room in which I
found myself were of strange interest. Books were
everywhere in the apartment, so that there was, indeed,
but little space left for the piano and table which were
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 205
in the middle of the room. Music appeared to be the
one recreation of Mr. Marriott's studious solitude.
We set off soon on our walk. The spire of St.
Mary's we looked at long as we drew near to it in the
evening light ; the reflected glow of the western sky
was upon it, tinting it with pale gold. It was in this
church that Mr. Newman's sermons were preached.
At Dr. Acland's I met agreeable, cultivated people.
The Rev. Sir George Prevost I had much talk
with. I enjoyed the quiet evening extremely ; it was
yet another glimpse to me of the best household life
of England an experience of the sort from which
an American traveller may gain a true knowledge of
" Our Old Home."
I breakfasted the next morning with Mr. Marriott
to meet Sir George Prevost and a few others, one of
them the Rev. Charles Page Eden, editor of the new
edition of Jeremy Taylor. I had wondered, when Mr.
Marriott had asked me, the evening before, how he
could entertain us in his room in which books had so
much the upper hand ; but, behold ! his large library
table had been cleared of its usual occupants, and a
cloth was spread, and there was promise of a sub-
Mr. Marriott made the coffee and the tea, for there
was fire on the hearth. His "grace" was "Benedictus
benedicat" a form of words which has been in use at
Oriel since the Middle Ages. There was animated
talk, chiefly upon Church matters, though many ques-
tions were asked me about America. Mr. Eden I was
206 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
glad to meet; he had just completed a stupendous work,
verifying every quotation made by Jeremy Taylor,
giving the reference at the foot of each page a task
requiring almost the learning of Jeremy himself.
Sir George Prevost in parting asked me to visit
him in Gloucestershire, and offered to introduce me
to his brother-in-law, the Rev. Isaac Williams, author
of " The Cathedral " and other poems, and one of the
leading Oxford Tract writers a man for whom I
had high admiration. This visit I was unable to
accomplish, nor did I ever see afterward Sir George
Prevost. He was a baronet as well as a clergyman, and
had always much weight and influence in the English
Church. He was very simple and gentle in manner.
When our pleasant breakfast party was over I
walked for a while in the beautiful gardens of New
College. Never was there richer green than that of
the turf on which the shadows of these colleges, and
their walls and towers, now and again fall, and never
fuller, richer, more abundant foliage.
I returned to Oriel to take my leave of Mr. Mar-
riott. He inquired very kindly as to my further
journeying in England, and offered me introductions,
among them one to Mr. Keble. I gladly accepted
this, and he then wished me God-speed and I went
my way. I must note that he died some years after-
ward, and what was printed in regard to him at the
time showed that his life had been saintly in its zeal
and devotion. He impressed me as a man of great
singleness of mind, of high and unworldly aims.
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 207
My thoughts had been, naturally, much of Mr.
Newman while I was in the room which spoke so
continually of his presence. But indeed the whole
air of Oriel College seemed to tell of him. In the
very year of my visit he uttered this half-wistful recol-
lection of it, speaking with something of the narrow-
ness which had come to him with his new faith.
" In the heart of Oxford there is a small plot of ground,
hemmed in by public thoroughfares, which has been the pos-
session and the home of one Society for above five hundred
years. In the old time of Boniface the Eighth and John the
Twenty-second, in the age of Scotus and Occam and Dante,
before Wicklif or Huss had kindled those miserable fires
which were to be the ruin of souls innumerable down to this
day, an unfortunate King of England, Edward the Second,
flying from the field of Bannockburn, is said to have made a
vow to the Blessed Virgin to found a religious house in her
honour if he got back in safety. Prompted and aided by his
almoner, he decided on placing this house in the City of
Alfred ; and the Image of Our Lady which is opposite its
entrance, is the token of the vow and its fulfilment to this
day. King and almoner have long been in the dust, and
strangers have entered into their inheritance, and their creed
has been forgotten, and their holy rites disowned ; but day
by day a memento is still made in the Holy Sacrifice by at
least one Catholic priest, once a member of that College, for
the souls of those Catholic benefactors who fed him there for
so many years."
Against this passage, with its strangely unchari-
table words, I place one other showing Newman's
deep love for Oxford as a whole, and what a wrench
it must have been to his spirit to leave it.
208 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
"There are those [he says] who, having felt the influ-
ence of this ancient school and being smit with its splendour
and its sweetness, ask wistfully if never again it is to be Catho-
lic, or whether at least some footing for Catholicity may not
be found there. All honour and merit to the charitable and
zealous hearts who so enquire ! Nor can we dare to tell what,
in time to come, may be the inscrutable purposes of that Grace
which is ever more comprehensive than human hope and as-
piration. But for me, from the day I left its walls, I never,
for good or bad, have had anticipation of its future; and
never for a moment have I had a wish to see again a place
which I have never ceased to love, and where I lived for
nearly thirty years."
It was with the sweet influence of Oxford still upon
me that I arrived at Winchester on a Saturday after-
noon, intending the next day to present myself at
Hursley, the home of Mr. Keble. But Winchester
had its own attractions, chiefest of all the cathedral.
I found the same open space of greensward about it,
which adds so much to the beauty of the English
cathedrals as compared with those of the Continent.
I entered by the west door, and was delighted and
astonished at the grandeur of the nave. It is as long
as that of York, 250 feet; the extreme length of the
cathedral is 560 feet. The noble pillars, white and
fair as if the work of yesterday, and the view of them
from the west door with the vista of the distant choir
opening beyond, and the aisles in like manner, with
their springing arches in long perspective, afford a
whole which it is a deep delight to look upon. Haw-
thorne says of York that it is the most " wonderful
work that ever came from the hands of man, seeming
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 209
indeed like a house not made with hands, but to have
come down from above, bringing an awful majesty
and sweetness with it." He adds, " I thank God that
I saw this cathedral again, and I thank Him that He
inspired the builders to build it, and that mankind
has so long enjoyed it, and will continue to enjoy it."
One may not go beyond such glowing words as these,
and yet the interior of Winchester surpasses in some
respects that of York.
I was taking my full of pleasure as I walked slowly
up the nave, and I had paused opposite the chantry
and tomb of William of Wykeham, when the verger
approached and asked me to join the party to whom
he was then showing the cathedral. We went into
the choir, and there the first object that struck me
was the tomb of William Rufus. I was rather fresh
at the time from Lingard, and so I looked with pecul-
iar interest on the very spot where the hasty burial
took place, in the year 1 100, of the second of the Nor-
man kings. His life, Lingard says, had been base and
impious, and so there were no religious rites.
"... they laid him in the Cathedral Church
Because he had been a King.
" But never a heart at his death was sore
And never an eye was dim ;
The Church bells toll for rich and poor,
But they never toll'd for him."
And here is this further record of him from Neale's
version of the old chronicler's story :
210 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
" There was never a night but he lay down
A worse man than he rose ;
And never a morning but up he sprung
Worse than at evening's close."
Another interesting historical association of Win-
chester Cathedral is the fact that there, at the high
altar, the marriage of Philip and Mary was solemnized.
In the south transept under a plain slab in the pave-
ment lies Izaak Walton, and not far off is a monu-
ment to Jane Austen. Such are the contrasts of an
English cathedral the associations utterly separated
as to time and strangely various in character.
After my dinner at " The George," I walked in the
sweet summer evening to the hospital of St. Cross,
about a mile distant. This is one of the quaint relics
of the Middle Ages which happily are still preserved
in England : originally called " The Almshouse of
Noble Poverty," it is a house for a certain number of
poor men. The buildings are of the thirteenth cen-
tury and are of curious interest. At the porter's gate
a dole of bread and beer is given to all who apply for
it until the supply for the day is exhausted. Some
years after the date of my visit, an immense stir was
made about this endowment, and its perversion from
its true use, by the then Earl of Guilford. Mr. Trol-
lope's novel, " The Warden," is based upon the story
of this old foundation, and the abuses of long years
which were brought to light at the time of which I
speak. As I saw the hospital of St. Cross it was
wonderfully picturesque, and nothing indicated to me
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 211
the sham and hypocrisy that I suppose it really was.
The beer did appear to me of the smallest as I tasted
my pilgrim's share of it.
I was up betimes the next morning, Sunday, that I
might attend morning prayers at the cathedral at half
past seven. I was shown to one of the high stalls in
the choir. Somehow in the freshness of the early
morning there seemed a sublimer beauty in pillar and
lofty arch. The service was short, morning prayer
only, as far as the litany, but it seemed to give a
glory to the day.
Two hours later I started for Hursley, five miles
distant the parish of which Mr. Keble was vicar.
I had a delightful walk over the Hampshire hills.
Now and again I came upon a flock of sheep with a
shepherd and his dog attending them quiet pas-
toral scenes. From the first ridge or eminence after
leaving Winchester I had a fine view of the town
with the cathedral in its majesty rising far above all
the other buildings, seeming to gather them under its
sheltering arms. It was interesting to think of the
importance of the city in the old days and of the
great things which had come to pass there. It was
a most important post or encampment of the Romans,
and when their power passed away it fell into the
hands of the Saxons and became the capitol of Wes-
sex. Alfred held his witan there; and there in 1522
the great Emperor Charles V. was entertained by
It was eleven o'clock when I reached the village
212 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
church at Hursley a new and beautiful church,
built in the main, as I afterward learnt, out of the
profits of " The Christian Year." I could give no
study to the exterior, for service had begun. The
church was well filled ; the men and women sat on
different sides. The men were for the most part the
peasantry of the neighbourhood, wearing the white
smock-frock peculiar to this part of England. There
were no pews, so that rich and poor were in a true
sense met together. The psalms for the day were
chanted, and I noticed that the entire congregation
seemed to take part in the singing. There were three
clergymen in the chancel, and one of them I saw at
once was Mr. Keble. A print of him which I had
long possessed, from a portrait by Richmond, guided
me, though the picture was of twenty years earlier
date the period indeed of his prime. Now his hair
was grey, and the spectacles he wore gave a further
look of age. The choristers had their seats in the
chancel boys in white surplices. I mention this
fact because of a little incident of a later period of my
narrative. Mr. Keble read the litany and a part of
the ante-communion service, but he did not preach.
To my disappointment, one of the other clergymen,
also grey-haired, went into the pulpit. But the ser-
mon was excellent, plain, and earnest, and quite of the
character of those of Mr. Keble's I had read.
I lingered for a while in the church and church-
yard when the service was over, and then entered
the garden or grounds of the vicarage. Mr. Keble
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 21$
at the moment appeared at the hall door, and I
delivered in person my line of introduction from
Mr. Marriott. " What a pleasing countenance ! " I
said to myself, as I thus saw him. " What a look
of gentleness and benignity ! " He led me to the
drawing-room, and then asked me about my travels.
There was a certain shyness or half timidity of man-
ner at the first, but this soon passed off. I was
struck with the brightness of his eye, and at the
same time with his look of purity and guilelessness.
The print, of which I have spoken, gives with re-
markable fidelity the sweet smile and the lustre of
the eye, which, as it were, constituted the charm of
his countenance. I thought I had never seen a
more winning look in one on whom age had begun
to tell. The room was pretty and bright, looking
out on the garden, which was gay with its summer
bloom, and across to the church and churchyard.
On the walls were some fine prints, among them
the Dresden Madonna engraved by Miiller. Books
were there in abundance, showing that the library
had overflowed into the drawing-room.
I had no thought of making my visit other than
a call, but, when I rose to go, Mr. Keble rose at the
same moment, and, taking my hat from me, said,
" You will stay and take luncheon with us, and din-
ner afterward at six, after Evening Service." The
invitation was in the light of a command, and I was
only too happy to obey. Soon afterward luncheon
was announced. Mr. Keble said: "Let me explain
214 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
to you whom you will see. My wife will be at the
head of the table ; the gentleman is my brother, the
elderly lady is my sister, two of the young ladies are
my brother's daughters, the other is Miss Richards.
Except the last, the names are all Keble." So we
went to the dining room, and I was duly presented.
I was struck with Mrs. Keble's sweet expression of
countenance. Mr. Keble's brother proved to be
the preacher to whom I had just listened, the
Rev. Thomas Keble, vicar of Bisley. Somehow I
felt drawn to him at once. I knew of him as hav-
ing been one of the Oxford Tract writers. The
meal was informal, and I think no servant was
present. Mr. Keble himself went round the table
offering wine to his guests. There seemed some-
thing characteristic in this simple act.
When we returned to the drawing-room, Mr.
Keble soon said that he had his school to look
after/ but that his brother would remain with me.
So for an hour or two I talked with the good vicar
of Bisley, and was charmed with his quiet humour,
and the quick intelligence which was manifest under
the quaint simplicity of his manner. He asked me
many questions about my country, but our talk was
chiefly about Church matters. I felt at the time
lively interest in the Oxford Movement, and was
especially curious to know about Hurrell Froude,
who was the bosom friend of Keble and of Newman,
and who was as much answerable as any man for the
great awakening, so to speak, of 1834. "A man of
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 215
the highest gifts," Newman testifies ; " so truly many-
sided," he says, " that it would be presumptuous in
me to attempt to describe him." " Would he have
been likely," I asked, " if he had lived, to follow
Newman in his great change ? " " A question diffi-
cult to answer," said the good vicar of Bisley, with
a smile. " Newman thinks he would certainly have
gone with him, but I believe myself that he would
have remained with my brother and Dr. Pusey."
He added that Froude had never been betrayed
into sharp denunciation of Rome, as Newman had,
so there was no rebound of feeling. Mr. Keble said
further that there was something of strangeness in
Froude, and that people did not at first understand
him ; he had been himself a little afraid of him, be-
cause of his abrupt way of speaking, but, as he came
to know him better, he saw the essential nobleness
and beauty of his character.
The afternoon service was at three o'clock, and
was well attended, and this time the sermon was by
the author of " The Christian Year." It was very
simple ; the text was, " Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but my word shall not pass away." There
was no gesture, nor were there any high-wrought
expressions ; the tones of the preacher's voice were
touching in their earnestness, but the matter of the
discourse was level to the understanding of the most
unlearned of his hearers. He held his manuscript
in his hand as he read, but his manner now and
then had a sort of plaintive tenderness which com-
2l6 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
pelled attention. It was impossible not to feel that
he was speaking to those whose inmost souls lay
open to him. The people of the scattered hamlets
which formed the village of Hursley were almost as
his own household. I had been told I should find
him a pattern vicar, and that Sir William Heath-
cote, his lifelong friend and the lord of the manor,
might well be considered a pattern squire. Cer-
tainly everything in the church and out of it seemed
to speak of watchful care and guidance.
Service being over, I remained in the church to
study the windows, which are beautiful ; the designs
for them were contributed by various artists, Copley
Fielding, Mr. Dyce, and others. The church itself
was paid for, as I have said, almost wholly out of the
profits of " The Christian Year," and the cost of the
windows was in part defrayed from receipts from
the same source. Mr. Keble had told me there would
be a funeral shortly, and in a few minutes I saw him
standing at the lich-gate to meet the mourners. From
a distance I looked on. The procession came very
slowly up the avenue of old trees, the vicar repeating
at intervals the solemn sentences with which the burial
service begins. It was the funeral of a child; they were
poor people who followed, women chiefly, with black
dresses, but wearing white veils or hoods, and the coffin
was covered with a fair linen cloth. Mr. Keble looked
upward to the clear heavens, and seemed as if awed
by the solemnity of the duty he had to perform ; cer-
tainly if it had been a child of the noblest of the land
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 2I/
he could not, with more touching earnestness, have
uttered the consoling words of the service. The sweet
summer afternoon, and the beautiful church, and the
quiet country around made the scene memorable to me.
I returned to the vicarage, where I had some further
talk with Mr. Thomas Keble. I may note that I
afterward learned in regard to this good man that he
exercised much influence on those associated with
him, though modest and retiring to an extreme de-
gree. He was but two years younger than his
brother. Dr. Pusey said of him that, though known
to the world only as a simple parish priest, he exer-
cised a silent and unconscious influence on such a
mind as Newman's. " It used to be noted at an early
period," Dr. Pusey says, " that a visit to the vicar of
Bisley was attended by the unconscious reappearance
of some of his thoughts in the pulpit of St. Mary's."
At six o'clock the same company that I had met at
luncheon assembled in the drawing-room, and dinner
was announced. Mr. Keble had been occupied with
the duties of the day up to this time, but now his
work was over and he seemed happy to be again with
his family and friends. His poet's eye was bright and
his countenance gay and smiling. Mrs. Keble seemed
to me a charming person, sympathizing with her
husband, I could readily see, in all his thoughts and
feelings. She was some fifteen years younger than he.
She seemed frail in health. When the ladies left us,
Mr. Keble took his wife's place at the table, and thus
I was close to him. The talk which went on was free
21 8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
and flowing. I mentioned my having lately seen Dr.
Pusey, and that I thought his appearance was that of
vigorous health. Mr. Keble said he was stronger
than he had been for a year or two previous. He had
felt deeply " the cruel attacks " upon him of Mr.
Dodsworth and others men who had gone over
to Rome, and had alleged Dr. Pusey's influence as a
cause, and had upbraided him for not accompanying
them. One of these men, Mr. Keble said, had been
greatly beholden to Dr. Pusey, and then came the
half involuntary ejaculation, " Nasty conceited prig ! "
Mr. Keble turned to me, after he said this, with a
pleasant smile, as if apologizing for his vehemence.
The two brothers talked further of certain persons
who, while they had not gone over to Rome, were very
harsh in their judgment of matters in England, speak-
ing, Mr. Keble said, in a " miserably undutiful way of
the English Church." Manning's going over had
taken place a year or two before; I had alluded to
this and to the pain it had caused in America. Mr.
Keble said there had, of course, been great feeling in
England. "But," he added, "the strength of the
Church of England is not with her leading men ;
there are old women in my parish, please God, with
whom I should far rather say is found the true life of
the Church ; such as they are our true witnesses,
the simple-hearted poor."
I have mentioned in speaking of the morning ser-
vice at the church that the boy choristers had their
seats in the chancel. While I was sitting with the
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 2IQ
two brothers in this after-dinner talk, Mr. Keble in
drawing his handkerchief from his pocket found a
knot in it. He seemed to puzzle over this for a
moment, and then said, "Oh, I remember. One of
the boys of the choir was eating an apple while the
service was going on, fancying that nobody could see
him. I put a knot in my handkerchief that I might
remember to tell his mother to give him no more
apples for a while." I felt a certain pity for the small
offender, and I thought the incident showed, as in the
case of the sharp remark before quoted, something
of the severity which Mr. Keble was no doubt equal
to on occasion. But I fancied he was half amused,
all the same, at the young rogue's delinquency.
In Mr. Thomas Keble there was a rich overflow
of this kindly humour which went far, no doubt, to
make him dear to his friends. But in England a
quick sense of humour is very often to be found in
highly educated men. As I sat by the two brothers,
I felt strongly that matters of the deepest and gravest
thought were unceasingly present to them, and yet
with them both there was a sort of sunny radiance
that gave a peculiar charm to their conversation. In
looking as I have done since I began to copy out
these notes, at that delightful book, Sir John Cole-
ridge's " Life of Keble," I find a passage in a letter
of Mr. Keble's of a date some years later than that
of my visit; he is speaking of a visit he had paid
his brother at Bisley, and of their going together to
the Musical Festival at Gloucester Cathedral, where
220 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
" The Elijah " was given, and " where," to quote his
own words, " the two old codger Kebles were seen
sitting side by side."
I may note that the more than brotherhood of
these two extended over a period of seventy years
and upward. Thomas Keble survived the poet five
or six years. Each was the main help and stay of
the other. They were the children of a clergyman
whose living was of small value, but who, educating
them himself, as far as preparation for college went,
so fitted them that each won scholarships. More-
over, John Keble, when scarcely eighteen, obtained a
double First Class, a distinction which up to that time
no one had earned but Sir Robert Peel, with whose
examination the University was ringing, Sir John Cole-
ridge says, when Keble began his Oxford residence.
Keble's success was the more remarkable because of
his youth, and of what might well have seemed his
imperfect preparation for college. It was understood
that his father had never compelled him to study, and
that he was taught only when he liked to learn.
As I draw to an end with my own very slight
narrative, I recall a remarkable incident which is told
by Sir John Coleridge, the visit of Dr. Newman to
Hursley in the last year of Keble's life. The account
is mainly given in a letter of Newman's to Sir John.
He came without being expected. Mr. Keble was at
his door speaking to a friend. He did not know
Newman, and asked him his name. What was more
wonderful, Newman did not know him, though he
OXFORD, AND JOHN KEBLE 221
had come purposely to see him. He gave him his
card without speaking. Then they found each other
out, and Keble with that " tender flurry of manner "
which Newman says " he recollected so well," told
him Pusey was there. Then came the meeting of
the three. They had not seen each other for twenty
years they who had been so closely united for so
many years. Four or five hours passed in this re-
newed intercourse. Newman tells very little of their
talk. Dr. Pusey, he says, was full of the question of
the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and Keble ex-
pressed his joy that it was a common cause on which
there could be substantial agreement. Pusey left
them, and Keble and Newman walked a little way,
and " stood looking," the latter says, " at the church
and churchyard so beautiful and calm." Newman
adds that Keble began then to converse with him
with more than his old intimacy, as if they had never
been parted. Newman went away to the Isle of
Wight, intending to repeat his visit, but Mrs. Keble's
illness prevented. Many notes, he says, passed be-
tween him and Keble about this time ; in one of
them the latter made a reference to the lines in
" Macbeth " :
"When shall we three meet again?
When the hurly-burly's done,
When the battle's lost and won."
The date of this remarkable and last meeting of the
three was September, 1865 ; the following April Keble
was gathered to his rest.
222 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
I have little more to tell of my own day at Hursley.
Mr. Keble asked me to visit them again on my re-
turn from the Continent. Mrs. Keble, too, said some
kind words to me, and then the two brothers walked
with me to the wicket-gate, and, with the blessing of
the elder, I went my way.
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION,
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION,
DURING a visit to Oxford in June of 1860, I wit-
nessed a " Commemoration." I was a guest of one of
the Fellows of St. John's College, Mr. William West
Jones a Fellow, as I have said, though still an under-
graduate. He looked to taking orders, and certainly
there was everything in his personal bearing to make
this seem natural. May I say it, his sweet cheerful-
ness of spirit betokened a purity of heart and mind
which was of rich promise for his future life. The
years have brought their fulfilment, for my kind host
of those days became afterward bishop of Cape Town
and Metropolitan of South Africa.
On the Sunday morning of that Oxford visit we
went to St. Mary's to hear the sermon to be preached
before the University the last of the Bampton
Lectures of that year. Many of the Dons were there ;
the Vice-Chancellor in a pew raised above the others
and sitting alone ; the proctors and heads of houses
around him. A large congregation was present. It
was eleven o'clock; there was no service because in
all the colleges there had been morning service at
eight. A metrical psalm was exquisitely sung by the
226 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
choristers present, and then the preacher read that
admirable collocation of words the " bidding prayer."
It is a calling upon men to pray for the sovereign, for
the nobility, for the magistrates, for the institutions
of learning, for all, in short, who are in any way in
authority, and for every earthly means through which
blessings can come ; and then there is a giving of
thanks for all the good which has flowed to men in
times past for the great departed whose labours
have blessed the world " and herein I am especially
bound to name the founder of the college of St. John,
and Dr. William Laud and Dr. William Juxon, suc-
cessively heads of that college, and Archbishops of
Canterbury." These last are some of the words I
recall of this impressive prayer. The preacher was of
course a member of St. John's College.
On the Monday there was a visit to the Bodleian,
where wonderful manuscripts were shown us, and
where various portraits by Holbein looked down upon
us from the walls. I lunched with my kind host at
St. John's on that Monday with a small party; we
had some of the old college plate huge tankards of
silver, and wine-coolers ; and the cheer was bountiful
as well as scholastic. I should mention that our
host, while he entertained us with university gossip,
was briskly compounding the love cup. It proved
a delicious beverage, and it contained the borage,
which is, I believe, indispensable to give mystic sig-
nificance to the draught. The tankard used for it
was especially antique in form, and so heavy that
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION 22 7
the two handles had to be grasped to raise it to the
Of the procession of boats on that sweet summer
evening one of the spectacles of Commemoration
week and of the flower-show the next day in the
gardens of Worcester College, where the Woolwich
band was in attendance, I need say little. All Oxford
was gay with the company which the coming cere-
monies had gathered. I may mention my dining on
the Tuesday with my friend Mr. Jones in the hall
of St. John's. A curious Oxford scene that was:
the Dons, at the high table on the dais at the upper
end of the hall, and also at a table at right angles
with it extending down the centre, had their friends
with them, many of them ladies, who had come up for
the Commemoration. Among the dignitaries present
was Professor Mansel, the chief ornament then of St.
John's, afterward dean of St. Paul's a robust, well-
looking man. All the college plate was displayed,
and there were flowers and other decorations. From
the walls portraits of Laud and Juxon and others
looked down on the scene, and far above was the
open-work roof. My place was with J at the
undergraduates' table, where there was perhaps a
trifle more freedom than at the high table. My com-
panions were certainly a jolly set. One of them de-
clared that the president of St. John's the august
head of the college had just sent for " gooseberry
fool " for himself and his especial guest, and that the
order which went sounding from the hall to the but-
228 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
tery adjoining was " president and friend, two fools."
We adjourned before long to Jones's room, and then
followed what is known as an Oxford wine. J 's
scout was sent out to order dessert, and soon oranges
and ices were brought, and sherry-cobblers were made,
and claret was produced, and talk went on, and the thing
was like a chapter out of " Tom Brown." There is the
utmost freedom with each other on the part of the
Oxford men, but there is courtesy and evident good
feeling. They love Oxford intensely and all belong-
ing to it. The wine-drinking, I may say, was very
At length the great day dawned Wednesday. I
breakfasted with Mr. Mountague Bernard at All Souls'
Professor of International Law at Oxford and a
very accomplished man. He was a Fellow of All
Souls'; this college has the distinction which I am
sure all professors elsewhere will thoroughly appre-
ciate, that it has no students. Such was the case at
the time of which I write. But a period of change
was then beginning, and the stately leisure of the All
Souls' Fellows and professors may have since been en-
croached upon. (I may mention that Mr. Bernard
twelve years later was one of the High Commis-
sioners who arranged the Geneva Arbitration.) -The
time came for us to go, and my host, putting on his
cap and his embroidered gown being that which
his professorship entitled him to wear conducted
me to the entrance to the theatre. All was excite-
ment there. A mob was assembled to see the privi-
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION 229
leged ones go in, and carriages were going about, and
there was all the movement and stir that marks a great
day. Under Mr. Bernard's protection I passed safely
through the files of university police and entered the
theatre. What a scene it was ! A huge semicircular
room with seats all around it, those in the middle be-
ing for ladies, tier above tier. And over their seats a
gallery in which the undergraduates were gathered,
piled, as it were, thick upon each other, and roaring
and yelling like madmen. My place was on the floor
standing-room only there were no seats. It was
ten o'clock; the ceremonies would not begin until
eleven. The ladies were nearly all in their places,
but a few who were late came dropping in. Of
course the undergraduates thought it necessary to
remonstrate with them for being late; they thought
it right also to urge the proctors to find seats for
these fair ones without delay. " Do your duty, Ben ! "
was their cry addressed to the warden of Wadham,
who in his red robes of office was the chief figure in
conducting these late comers. The ladies themselves,
on whom all eyes were thus turned, looked sufficiently
uncomfortable. Then the attention of the young men
would be drawn to persons entering the theatre with-
out uncovering. " Hats off ! " was the peremptory
cry. Once a straw hat was observed. " Out with
that straw ! Officers, do your duty ! " was the long-
continued shout. Names were called to be cheered.
The " Bishop of Oxford " (Wilberforce) was among
the first proposed ; then " Garibaldi," who had just
230 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
begun his splendid Italian career. Gladstone's name
was much disputed over cheers and groans. Groans
for John Bright were given very heartily. It was the
period when the aristocracy of England had little
love for that great man. Cheers for the "ladies
in pink," " in mauve," for the " ladies under twenty-
one " ; tremendous cheers for the " Prince of Wales " ;
then " for ourselves " ; " for everybody " " except John
Bright," a single voice added. 1 It was all very excit-
ing. The ladies assembled showed lively interest in
all that was going on ; they were a brilliant company,
their costumes making a splendour of colour in the
The Vice-Chancellor's seat was, as it were, flanked
by the seats of the ladies, and it was directly opposite
the grand entrance. I may mention that the Vice-
Chancellor is the head of the whole University. The
Chancellor is always a nobleman of the highest rank,
but he appears only on great occasions, and at rare
intervals. The Duke of Wellington was Chancellor
for many years ; at the time of which I write the Earl
of Derby held the office ; it is now held by the Mar-
quis of Salisbury. To the right of the Vice-Chancel-
lor's chair was a seat on the back of which was a gilt
crown or crest surmounted by gilded plumes. It was
the chair used by the Prince Regent at the visit of the
1 S,ome twenty years later Oxford did honour to itself by conferring
its degree on John Bright. Time had wrought its wholesome change in
opinion. The appearance in the theatre of the great Liberal chief in his
doctor's robes was the signal for a tempest of cheers ; the new genera-
tion showed themselves of one mind in their wish to do him honour.
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION 23 1
Allied Sovereigns, and was now to be occupied by the
Prince of Wales.
Eleven o'clock at length struck; the great doors
were thrown open, and " God save the Queen," was
given forth by the organ. First of all in the proces-
sion, as ranking all, came the Prince a fair, slender
boy. True, he was between eighteen and nineteen,
but he had a very youthful look. (It will be perceived
I am speaking of a period nearly forty years ago, when
the Prince was an Oxford student). His face had a
certain sweetness a grave, pensive expression. He
smiled pleasantly as he bowed. There was little that
was intellectual in his countenance, yet he seemed in-
terested in what went on around him. I fancied in
him a certain repose or serenity befitting a royal per-
sonage. To me there was, at that time, a fascination
about the youth. Doubtless it was the remembrance
of the long line of kings from whom he has sprung,
and there was something, too, in the thought of his
tender years, and the cares which were by and by to
come on him. A storm of applause greeted him as
he ascended to his seat. The ladies, and all the com-
pany, stood up. He bowed again and again to those
of them he knew. Mrs. Gladstone, who was nearest
him, he shook hands with a handsome woman,
sprightly in manner.
The Vice-Chancellor took his seat, and the other
dignitaries, all in grand costume, ranged themselves
in their allotted places. Canon Stanley, as he then
was, afterward the famous Dean, was in professorial
232 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
robes of scarlet, or black and scarlet. The first busi-
ness of the day was the reading by the Vice-Chancel-
lor of a Latin paper setting forth the especial claim or
merit of the persons on whom degrees were to be con-
ferred ; and then the proposing to the members of the
University their names for approval or otherwise,
"Placetne Vobis Domini Doc fores ? " said he, address-
ing the Doctors present, and then "Placcfae Vobis
Magistri ? " turning to two Masters of Arts who stood
in cap and gown to figure that entire portion of the
Lord Brougham was one of those who were that
day to be honoured. The time had at length come
when Oxford was willing to recognize the eminence
of the great Whig leader. When his name was read
in the list there was tremendous applause, and it was
some time before the Vice-Chancellor could go on.
The Swedish Ambassador and some other foreign
dignitary were two of the names read and accepted
without much disturbance. Next in order was the
name of Sir Richard Bethell. No sooner had this
been uttered than shouts of dissent came from the
galleries, and there was prodigious uproar. The un-
dergraduates, it was plain, were utterly opposed to
this Whig lawyer's receiving a degree. He was ob-
noxious to the Conservative party as being a leading
member, in the Whig interest, of Lord Palmerston's
Government, and as the author of the Divorce Bill. I
may add that he was afterward Lord Chancellor under
the title of Lord Westbury.
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION 233
The Vice-Chancellor waited, as well he might, for no
word of his could have been heard. At length there
was a slight lull ; the "Placetne Vobis" was hurried
over as quickly as possible, but not without the yells of
disapproval being again sent forth. Then came the
name of Sir Leopold McClintock discoverer of the
remains of Sir John Franklin's expedition an adroit
arrangement this, for a popular name would appease
the incensed crowd. Instantly a shout of approval
burst forth, and cheer after cheer was given. Last of
all was the name of John Lothrop Motley; this was
received respectfully but calmly.
Now came the entry into the theatre of the men who
were to be thus honoured. Each was in flowing robes of
scarlet. The Regius Professor of Civil Law, Dr. Twiss,
conducted them singly toward the Vice-Chancellor, and
then in sonorous Latin set forth their achievements
or their fame. First, the Swedish Ambassador ; his
merits having been recited by Dr. Twiss, the Vice-
Chancellor addressed him as " Vir illustrissime" and
then conferred the degree. The Ambassador wore
his scarlet robe over his foreign uniform, or court
dress. He ascended the steps, and the Vice-Chancel-
lor gave him his hand, and he took his seat among
the other dignitaries. Lord Brougham was the next,
and his appearance was the signal for such a frenzy of
cheering as, I fancy, had not often before been heard
within those walls. I was close to the old man, and
watched the play of muscles in his countenance, as
with downcast eyes he received the recognition of the
234 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
young men of England of his great name and fame.
He was then over eighty, and his hair was entirely
white. I thought, as I looked at him, of the great
part he had played in modern English history of
the trial of Queen Caroline, the stormy debates in
regard to Catholic Emancipation and the Reform
Bill, the long struggle for the freedom of the West
Indian slaves. I could not foresee that in the very
next year, when the great cause of emancipation in
my own country was in sore need of moral support
from Lord Brougham, that support would be coldly
withheld. But it is charitable to suppose that age had
in those last days dimmed faculties that were once so
At length the Professor of Civil Law was allowed to
go on. When the Vice-Chancellor addressed the ven-
erable man, there was a renewed burst of enthusiasm,
and when he gave him his hand, there was another.
Turning round and facing the assembly, the aged
peer bowed with dignity in acknowledgment of his
great reception. At length there was quiet. Now
appeared Sir Richard Bethell. At once there were
groans and hisses and cries of all kinds a fearful
din. Again I watched the countenance of the man
who was standing thus, the object of all eyes and
of every one's thoughts. His brow grew dark. I
feared that the proceedings might be brought to a
sudden end. Dr. Stanley had told us, at his break-
fast-table the day before, that the Vice-Chancellor
had resolved, if the uproar exceeded a certain limit,
OXFORD COMMEMORATION 235
he would at once break up the convocation. By
and by there was a pause ; hastily the concluding
words of the orator were said, and quickly, too, the
Vice-Chancellor did his part; then Sir Richard
ascended the steps, and, turning round, looked up
at the galleries and bowed, as though he had some-
thing to thank the young men for. This unexpected
act seemed to awaken their better feelings, and there
was at once applause. And so the matter ended
better than it began.
What a contrast there was when McClintock ap-
peared ! The Oxford men appreciate hardihood ;
here was a hero they could thoroughly understand.
I thought what a reward it was for long trials and
endurance to receive honours from this renowned
University. McClintock was a small man, unpre-
tending in look. He wore his naval uniform under
his doctor's robes. When he ascended the steps,
it seemed difficult at first to find a place for him.
He took a low seat, but immediately room was made
for him higher up, quite among the ladies. " None
but the brave deserve the fair," came in a clear
voice from the undergraduates' gallery, and immedi-
ately there was a shout of laughter and cheers.
Mr. Motley was next in order, and with him the
list of doctors closed. His form and features are
familiar to us now, but to me he was until then a
stranger, and I certainly saw no finer face in all that
company than his. The young Oxford men seemed
to know little of him (only his " Dutch Republic " had
236 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
then appeared), for they received him with but mod-
erate cheers. I should mention that when, at the
beginning of the proceedings, the Vice-Chancellor
recited his claim to the honour it was proposed to
confer, and dwelt on his merits as an author, he
used the word luculentissime (most luminous, per-
spicuous), and for some reason or other it caused
a laugh. The Vice-Chancellor himself smiled.
Whether it was that the phrase was a stilted one,
the learned must decide. I remember further that
when the question Placetne was put, " Oh, by all
means ! " was the prompt reply from the gallery.
I must mention here a little incident as showing
how pitiless young men are. One of the eminent
personages on whom a degree was to be conferred
indeed it was Mr. Motley had as a measure of
precaution brought, his umbrella in with him. He
might cling to it any day of that rainy summer of
1860. He doubtless thought he had it well hidden
under his scarlet robes, but a quick-sighted and un-
merciful youth in the gallery got a glimpse of it,
as the new-made D. C. L. was taking his seat, and at
once there came the shrill cry, " Three cheers for
the umbrella ! "
The conferring of degrees had now ended, but
the address which gives title to the day was yet to
be delivered an address commemorating Founders
and Benefactors. There was stir and confusion, for
people were arranging to depart. The address was
to be in Latin. Matthew Arnold was the orator;
THE OXFORD COMMEMORATION 237
he appeared in a reading-desk or pulpit projecting
from a side gallery, and began his task. Nobody
seemed to listen, but Mr. Arnold's manner gave
one the impression that he did not in the least
expect attention would be paid to him. With the
ending of his address, the proceedings closed.
I have said little of Oxford as a whole, for I
shrink from attempting to define its especial dig-
nity and charm. Again and again I have been
there, and each time, "smit with its splendour and
its sweetness," I have felt envy of the men whose
minds have been moulded under influences so pecul-
iar and so enduring. I have experienced what New-
man describes as the fascination which the very face
and smile of a University possess over those who
come within its range. Oxford has indeed attrac-
tions quite indescribable ; and it would be well if
more of our countrymen would seek to enter into
the spirit of the place, and experience, as they as-
suredly would, its manifold impressiveness. At the
visit of which I have now told, certain ladies were
my companions. From a letter from one of them
I give the following, which I deem a fit ending of
" Surely never was there a place that had such
a subtle charm as that old city, sitting like some
ancient sibyl among her deep, flowery meadows and
embowering trees, with such a mystery of learning
and wisdom in her musing eyes."
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE WILLIAM
ON my first visit to England in 1849, among my
letters of introduction in those days a very im-
portant part of one's preparation for travel was
a letter to Robert Forster of Tottenham, a leading
member of the Society of Friends. I was received
by him and his four sisters very cordially, at their
pleasant home in one of the quietest of the small
towns of the London radius. They were all past mid-
dle age, and none of them had married. Their elder
brother, William, had married a sister of Sir Thomas
Fowell Buxton, and the son and only child of this
marriage, William Edward Forster, was then begin-
ning to make himself a name. He was the one repre-
sentative of his generation, of this excellent family,
and it is of him that I have now chiefly to speak.
I was greatly impressed with the purity and uplifted
souls of this Tottenham household their interest in
works of charity of every kind, and their deep sense of
religion. The saintly life has its illustration in quiet
and retired family groups everywhere here it was
peculiarly manifest. Robert Forster I sat with, in a
summer-house of his garden, late in the sweet June
242 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
evening, and it was natural to me to open, in a way,
my mind to him. It was interesting to him to know
how it was that as my family had been Friends from
almost George Fox's time, I had strayed from the fold.
I made what explanation I could, and at the end, the
good old man put his arm round my neck, saying,
almost with emotion, " I hope thou wilt keep thy
mind open to conviction." I felt in regard to him
and his, I can truly say, after this first meeting, that
they were a family which had been " ennobled by
purity of moral life for many generations."
Some three years later I was travelling in Switzer-
land, and at Interlachen met again Robert Forster
and his four sisters. I was with them for a day or
two, and felt once more the influence that went out
from them, making it good to be near them. They
were kind to me. in every way, regarding me, perhaps,
as a " proselyte of the gate." They said to me, " Thou
must know our nephew, William Edward Forster ; we
will write to him, and will hope thou canst make him
a visit." I was only too glad to respond to this, for I
knew of him, and of literary work he had already done,
and I had read especially his reply to Macaulay in de-
fence of Penn a vigorous and convincing pamphlet,
showing that questionable acts attributed by Macaulay
in his history, to William Penn, were really the work
of quite another person, a certain George Penne. I
knew also of William Edward Forster's keen interest
in all political matters in England, and in the great
question of slavery in America. I knew, too, of his
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 243
having been, on his first coming of age, private secre-
tary to his uncle, Sir Thomas Powell Buxton. This,
in fact, had been the beginning of his efforts to fit
himself for the career of a statesman. I was eager,
therefore, to meet one from whom I could learn so
much, and whose future seemed to me so full of prom-
ise. I knew that he had married, a year or two before,
the eldest daughter of Dr. Arnold of Rugby; this
fact was of great interest to me.
On my return to England I received a note from
William Forster, asking me to come to them at their
Yorkshire home at Burley, in the valley of the Wharfe.
I replied that I should arrive at Ben Rhyding, a
watering-place within a mile or two of their residence,
on a Saturday night, and should perhaps see them at
church the next day. I was early at the church, and,
as I sat on one side of the main aisle, a young lady of
slight and graceful figure passed me, and took a seat
on the opposite side, higher up. I knew by a sort of
instinct that this was no other than the daughter of
Dr. Arnold. Soon a tall man, thin and wiry, with a
resolute expression, walked up and took a seat beside
her; this was Forster, I felt no doubt. The service went
on. At the end of the sermon, as it was a Communion
Sunday, many of the congregation went out Mr.
Forster among them. I remained for the second service.
He stopped for a moment where I was sitting, told me
his name, and said his wife would remain, and asked if
I would walk with her to their home. At the church
door my acquaintance with this admirable person
244 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
began now forty-six years ago; her age then was
about thirty. My instant feeling was that intelligence,
refinement, high and pure thought, met in her, to-
gether with all feminine charm. Long afterward I
learned that Wordsworth had said that in all that
went to make up excellence in women Jane Arnold
was as fine an example as he had known.
What a vision it is for my memory, that pretty
home at Wharfeside, where I first came to know Will-
iam Edward and Jane Forster! Never was there
closer intellectual companionship; each, as it were,
supplementing the other his rugged strength, his
quick mind, his wide knowledge of books, of men,
and of affairs her keen intelligence, her grace of
manner, her sweet dignity, her tenderness of feeling.
The pretty river, the Wharfe, flowed at the foot of
their grounds, and soon after our pleasant meal we
went out on its waters Forster rowed, Mrs. Forster
and I sitting in the stern. I remember his saying to
me, " I understand you have become an Episcopal
that is, that you have given up a religious fellowship
in which there were no slaves, for one in which there
are more slaves per head than any other." His wife
reproved him for his seeming discourtesy, but, as his
look showed anything but malice, I could forgive him.
The remark showed where we were in that year of
grace, 1852. It was the year of the "Uncle Tom's
Cabin " excitement. I may mention that I arrived at
Liverpool at the end of April of that year, and told of
that remarkable book in various households in which
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 245
I had chanced to visit. These friends have always
since maintained that I brought the news of the book
to England. Certainly, when I came back from the
Continent at the end of four months, I found the
whole land ringing with it.
Another characteristic remark of Forster's was
after inquiring after my Aunt Lucretia Mott "I
remember listening in London in 1840 to a discussion
between Mrs. Mott and a Reverend Someone, I think
an American, on the woman question." After a
pause, Forster added, " She whipped him to everlast-
ing smash." Mr. Forster perhaps thought it polite
to use the language of my country in telling me of
The few days of my visit went quickly by, and
every hour was of enjoyment. The evening talks
in the library a large room which was, at the same
time, the drawing-room gave me the keenest pleas-
ure. The walls were covered with books, showing
interest in literature of the widest range. But it was
plain that all literary interests were subordinate to
a deep concern in questions of politics and Govern-
ment. My new friend was to me a striking example
of a man of affairs, a man giving close attention to
business, and yet securing to himself always the in-
finite solace of books and study. Yet it was clear
that the hope ever before him was the taking part
in Government. He caught eagerly at every oppor-
tunity of informing himself on all matters of public
concern, on all Colonial questions, on our American
246 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
slavery, and on subjects of chief discussion and con-
troversy in the United States. He seemed from the
first to have a vague feeling that America was to
go hand in hand with England in influencing the
future of the world. With his wife he was abso-
lutely one in thought and feeling, and she "for-
warded him unweariedly," to use Carlyle's words,
"as none else could in all of worthy he did or at-
tempted." She had come to him from an atmos-
phere purely intellectual. Fox How had been the
gathering place, always, of men of distinction Bun-
sen and Whately, Julius Hare, Wordsworth, Mr. Jus-
tice Coleridge, Hartley Coleridge, Frederick Faber,
Crabb Robinson, Caroline Fox, Mrs. Fletcher, Dr.
John Davy, Lady Richardson, and Harriet Martineau,
are the names that rise first to one's mind. But
Wordsworth was the commanding figure to whom
all paid instinctive reverence.
Dr. Arnold stood for literary cultivation as much
as any man in England ; his name had become a
household word in America from the wide circula-
tion of "Stanley's Life" far wider, owing to the
'cheap reprint, than had been reached in England.
Mrs. Forster seemed to me peculiarly to reflect her
father. When I came later to know her sisters at
Fox How, one of them said to me ; " You know the
one of us who most resembles our father." I felt
from the first how remarkably she was fitted to be
the wife of a statesman. She could well cherish the
hope that when the opportunity he longed for came
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 247
to her husband, she could aid him in work which
would have been dear to her father's heart.
I took my leave after this first visit, trusting a be-
ginning had been granted me of a friendship that
would endure. It did last until Forster's death
thirty-four years later, and now twelve more years
have passed, and I can count as a blessing which
remains to me, my friendship with Mrs. Forster.
Three of my children, too, have seen and known her,
and I can truly say for them their feeling is alto-
gether that of reverent affection and admiration.
My second visit to Wharfeside was in 1855. I
rejoiced to take part once more in that keenly in-
tellectual life. My friends very kindly went with me
on a visit to Fountains Abbey as glorious a ruin
as any in England. I remember noticing that in
the group of persons who were that day making the
round of the Abbey there was an unconscious
leadership on the part of Forster; I was strength-
ened by this in the feeling that rule or government
would one day fall to him. It was something, as I
have said, unconscious on his part the bearing of
a born ruler of men. It was at this visit I asked
him whether he did not look to entering Parliament.
He said he did, but that as yet he was hardly well
enough off. It was clear to me that during the in-
terval of my visits he had been steadily preparing
himself for the work of a legislator. He had written
for the Westminster Review a paper on " American
Slavery " in regard to which I had had correspondence
248 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
with him. In common with all thoughtful men, he
was considering what could be the outcome of the
slavery agitation in America, which was each year
becoming more acute. As yet the war was five
years distant. But the Crimean war was at that
time a subject of keenest interest and anxiety.
Gladstone and Lord John Russell had just retired
from the Aberdeen Government, declaring that peace
ought to be made, although Sebastopol had not as
yet fallen. I find in my journal the record that
Forster was furious against Gladstone especially, for
thus abandoning his colleagues, he having been
answerable equally with them for the beginning of
I remember asking Forster whether he could look
forward to a time when John Bright would become
a member of the Government. He said the ques-
tion was a difficult one because of Bright's views
as to war and in regard to the Church. He added,
however, his conviction that whatever Government
Bright became a member of he would practically
control so great, he considered, was his ability.
Some twelve years afterward, Bright did become
one of the Ministry, and the Irish Land Bill of
1870 was his work; this, with the Bill for Disestab-
lishing the Irish Church, and Forster's Education
Bill, were the chief acts of the Gladstone Govern-
ment of 1868-1874.
Forster, at the time of my visit of 1855, was em-
ploying in his mills some eight hundred people,
WILL JAM EDWARD FORSTER 249
he and his partner, and yet in some way he seemed
to secure a good deal of leisure, and to be able to
give thought to literature and public concerns. He
was fortunate then, and later, when he entered Par-
liament, in having a partner who was willing to
release him for public duty, taking upon himself
the full burden of their important manufacturing
operations. These operations prospered, however,
through all, and Forster, when he became a mem-
ber of Parliament and afterwards of the Govern-
ment, was wholly without anxiety as to his business
But at my visit of 1855, the prospect of a seat in
Parliament was as yet remote. The work of prepa-
ration was going on unceasingly, so that delay was
only fitting him more for the position he could feel
sure would be his, if life lasted. I may note here
a prediction of the first Sir Powell Buxton in regard
to his nephew Forster, then twenty-two. " I shall
not live to see it, but that young man will make
his mark." I give this from the " Life of W. E.
Forster," by Wemyss Reid. I can truly say that a
like conviction was never absent from my mind from
my first knowledge of my friend.
In this waiting time of 1855, literary matters could
claim much of Forster's attention. In that month
of August " Maud " had just appeared, and had
caused a great stir. I remember that in railway
carriages you constantly found people reading it.
Much talk of it went on at Wharfeside. The " Ode
2$0 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
to the Duke of Wellington," which appeared in the
same volume, impressed Forster profoundly. I re-
member the feeling with which he read it aloud to
us that and the "Charge of the Six Hundred."
The two poems seemed to go to his inmost heart.
Charles Kingsley, whom I came to know in 1857,
said to me Forster should have gone into the army :
" He would have been a major-general by this
time." But he was an Englishman before all things,
animated by an extreme desire for liberal progress
and for the true advancement of his country.
The Crimean war ended, and our slavery matters
were more and more occupying the attention of
statesmen on both sides the Atlantic. I was in
England again in 1857, and was staying at Fenton's
Hotel, St. James's Street, London. A knock at my
door in the morning there was my friend! He
had come up to London suddenly, because of a
parliamentary vacancy which had just occurred. He
had seen my name on the books of the hotel. He
had strong hope of securing the nomination, but, by
some chicanery of a committee, it was given to
another. As I have already quoted from Charles
Kingsley, Forster was hardly the man to deal with the
tracasseries of an election contest ; his time of waiting
and of preparation was to go on for yet three years.
In a month or two I was once more at Wharfe-
side. I found there Thomas Arnold, Mrs. Forster's
brother, with his wife and little children, fresh
from Tasmania. Arnold's history, as Forster in-
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 2$ I
formed me, was that, after a distinguished career
at Oxford, he went out to New Zealand, Dr. Arnold
having bought land there. The young scholar gave
himself to sheep farming. Happily, before much
time had been wasted on this occupation, Captain
Owen Stanley, brother of the afterwards famous
Dean, calling at Auckland in command of one of
her Majesty's ships, heard of young Arnold, and,
meeting him, saw at once how unfitted he was for
bucolic pursuits. Captain Stanley's next call was
at a port in Tasmania then known as Van Diemen's
Land. He told Sir William Denison, the governor,
of Arnold. Sir William at once sent for him and
made him Inspector of Schools for Tasmania. He
remained there, and there also became a Roman
Catholic. I asked Forster if this change was the re-
sult of Oxford and High Church influences. " Quite
the contrary," said Forster; "it was a reaction from
Latitudinarianism." My impression is that Jowett
had more influence on him than any one else in
his Oxford days. His wife had not followed him
in his change. Mrs. Forster remarked to me that,
though it would seem strange for her to say it, she
could almost regret that her sister-in-law had not
gone with her husband. The little children who were
playing there were too young for me to take much
note of. One of them is now Mrs. Humphry Ward.
I had delightful walks and talks with Forster and
his brother-in-law "our Papist brother" he called
him. I was much impressed with Thomas Arnold;
252 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
he seemed a keenly intellectual man, and to have
deep conviction of the truth of the opinions he had
embraced. He is, I think, the only man I have ever
known, who has made that change, who awakened any
questionings in my own mind. He had made sacri-
fice, I think, of his worldly fortune by his change.
I remember Forster's saying to him one day after
dinner, " Tom, I had an experience lately at a meeting
to consider my nomination for Parliament. A story
had got about that I had High Church leanings, and
that as my brother-in-law had turned Papist, I might
go the same way. I was anxious to meet this, so I
arranged for some one to put the question to me.
The meeting, however, silenced the questioner at
once, and my little scheme failed."
But the animated conversations on political and
literary matters in the large drawing-room-library are
the chief memory for me of my visit of that year.
Each evening the talk went on, Mrs. Forster making
tea for us. The Indian mutiny was of absorbing
interest, the arrival of the Times in the early after-
noon being the chief event of the day. William
Arnold, another brother of Mrs. Forster, was at that
time Inspector of Schools in the Punjaub. Letters
from him were read showing his forebodings of three
months before ; his latest letters were read, also show-
ing his belief that the Punjaub would be a tower of
strength to the English rule in India. The Punjaub,
under the lead of Sir John Lawrence, did, in fact, save
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 253
Ireland was another of the subjects of our talk,
then, and for long years before, of chief concern to
English legislators. Forster had been Carlyle's com-
panion on a short Irish tour in 1849. But Carlyle's
feeling at the misery they witnessed was more of
wrath than of pity, for to him the suffering was but
the people's deserving. Forster, who had seen the
famine of two years before, and had taken an active
part in administering relief, was shocked at the almost
exultation of Carlyle at the wretchedness of the peo-
ple. The travelling companionship soon came to an
end, and the intercourse between the two thereafter
was slight. A scene described by Forster in a letter
may be worth quoting here, of the date of 1847, some
years before his marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle were
Forster's guests at Rawdon for three weeks. He took
them to the Derbyshire region, and at Buxton at a
table d'hote Forster was at the bottom as last comer,
Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle at his right, and a tall, starched,
gentlemanly Irish parson on his left.
" For a time all went on easily [says Forster], in silent
feeding or low grumbling, till at last Carlyle began to con-
verse with parson, then to argue with him on Ireland, then
to lose thought of all arguments or table d'hote, and to de-
claim. How they did stare ! All other speech was hushed ;
some looked aghast, others admiring ; none of them had ever
heard or seen anything approach to such monster. We re-
mained incog the whole time, spite of all the schemes of the
guests, and the entreaties of the waiter to book our names,
and my proposal to Mrs. Carlyle to save our expenses by
showing him at so much a head."
254 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERWGES
Another incident of this visit of the Carlyles to
Forster was his being thrown from a gig when driv-
ing with Mrs. Carlyle. The horse took fright and
dashed down a long hill. Mrs. Carlyle showed won-
derful presence of mind turning her back to the
horse and embracing the gig, and so when it was over-
turned, rolling out without being hurt. Forster was
a somewhat reckless driver. He tells himself this
further story of his bachelor days. He had picked
up an old man, one of his work people. " The pace
down the hill astonished the old man, who shut his
eyes and clenched the seat in mortal fear. He
reached his home, however, safely, and soon after his
son came in looking very glum : ' What's t' matter
with thee, lad ? ' ' What's t' matter with thee, fey-
ther? Why could na' thou see me, a bit sin'?
Thou might have taken notice of thy son, though
thou was in Mr. Forster's gig.' ' Eh, bless thee,
lad ; I had more to do than to take notice of thee.
I was ower throng (busy) making my peace with my
Forster's comment on Carlyle after the three weeks'
visit was : " He certainly is a most delightful com-
panion, a rich store of hearty, genial, social kindness
shining through his assumed veil of misanthropy, and
often the more conspicuous from his efforts to con-
ceal or disown it, and his eccentric humour, striking
laughter out of all manner of every-day, trivial
A proposal to abolish the Lord Lieutenantship of
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 255
Ireland was a subject of discussion in 1857, and I
remember Forster's taking down from his shelf
Thackeray's Ballads and reading with inimitable
effect " Molony's Lament "
" O Tim, did ye hear of thim Saxons,
And read what the peepers repoort?
They're goan to recal the Liftinant,
And shut up the Castle and Coort !
Our desolate counthry of Oireland,
They're bint, the Blagyards, to desthroy,
And now, having murthered our counthry,
They're goin' to kill the viceroy,
Dear boy ;
'Twas he was our proide and our joy ! "
and again :
" And what's to become of poor Dame Sthreet,
And who'll ait the puffs and the tarts,
When the Coort of imparial splindor
From Doblin's sad city departs ?
And who'll have the fiddlers and pipers,
When the deuce of a Coort there remains?
And wher'll be the bucks and the ladies,
To hire the Coort-shuits and the thrains?
It's thus that ould Erin complains ! "
Forster had a true sense of humour; I remember
the delight with which he read, at a later visit, bits
from Artemus Ward. But the conversation on Ire-
land, at the time of which I speak, and the quotation
from Thackeray, were of peculiar interest to me in
recollection thirteen years later, when my friend had
taken on himself the awful burden and responsibility
of the government of that unhappy country.
256 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
In my visit of 1857, I saw in Forster's intense
interest in all that concerned his country how much
there was in him of the making of a statesman,
and I longed more than ever for his entry into
Parliament. In February, 1861, he was returned for
Bradford, and that constituency he represented for
five and twenty years though he had contest after
contest to sustain.
My correspondence with my friend continued after
my return to America in 1857. The clouds were
gathering, and it was plain that momentous days were
at hand. The nomination of Lincoln in 1860, or,
perhaps I should say, the debate between Lincoln
and Douglas in Illinois in 1858, was the first signal
of the great conflict. No Englishman had more thor-
oughly informed himself as to the question involved
in the great struggle. Our war went on, and its
varying fortunes were watched by Forster with in-
tense solicitude, and both in Parliament and before his
constituents his voice was raised in our behalf. No
one, except Mr. Bright, was more conspicuous than
he in our defence, for no one spoke with fuller know-
ledge. He felt, as Mr. Bright did, that the cause of
free institutions was involved in the issue. He was
vigilant in the House of Commons in making head
against the men who were in sympathy with the
South. I regret to say that Lord Robert Cecil, now
the Marquis of Salisbury, was very prominent among
the friends of the Confederates. Few men in public
life have advanced more, morally as well as intellec-
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 257
tually, with advancing life, than the present Prime
Minister of England.
William Forster was in constant communication
with Charles Francis Adams during the war, giving
him all the aid he could. Mr. Adams told me this,
and especially of his suggestion to him of a legal
adviser when, as to the matter of the Alabama, it
became necessary to employ English counsel. The
opinion then given compelled the English Govern-
ment to act though all too late.
Forster made his mark in the House very early,
though he was not what would be called a good
speaker. His force of character, his clearness of
mind, and his wide knowledge were at once recog-
nized. In 1865, he had been four years in Parlia-
ment ; before the year closed he was a member of
the Ministry. Lord Palmerston had died and Lord
Russell was once more Prime Minister. The Reform
Bill the Government brought in failed because of the
defection of Robert Lowe. Lord Russell resigned
and Lord Derby came in. Disraeli, as leader of the
House in the new Government, brought in another
Reform Bill more advanced than the one which had
been defeated. Disraeli's object in this measure was
to "dish the Whigs." "Household suffrage," Sir
Henry Maine says, " was introduced into towns to
dish one side, and into counties to dish the other."
Sir Henry Maine makes the further acute remark
that " universal suffrage in England would have pro-
hibited the spinning-jenny and the power-loom." " A
2 $8 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
leap in the dark," Lord Derby called this bill of Dis-
raeli's, but, all the same, he accepted it as a party meas-
ure, and the Tories and landed proprietors voted for
it, and it became law. I was present at the final vote
oft this measure in the House of Lords in August,
1867. I had my own thoughts at this further widening
of the suffrage in view of our American experience.
" Shooting Niagara," Carlyle called it, saying, " it is
well that he they call Dizzy is to do it a superlative
Hebrew conjuror, spellbinding all the great Lords,
great Parties, great Interests of England, to his hand
in this manner, and leading them by the nose, like
helpless, mesmerized, somnambulant cattle."
I anticipate events by stating that while Disraeli's
bill became law, he did not remain long in power.
The Liberals came in and went on with reform in
their own fashion. In 1872 there seemed a pause,
and Disraeli took the opportunity to say in a speech
at Manchester :
" As I sat opposite the treasury bench the Ministers
reminded me of those marine landscapes not unusual
on the coasts of South America. You behold a range
of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame flickers on a
single pallid crest. But the situation is still danger-
ous. There are occasional earthquakes, and ever and
anon the dark rumbling of the sea."
Walter Bagehot said of Disraeli, " His wheat is
worthless, but his chaff the best in the world." Of
this latter the above is a fine example.
I had but brief sight of William Forster in that
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 259
year, 1867. In 1868 Gladstone came into office for
the first time as Prime Minister, and Forster was
made vice-president of the Council, though, to the
surprise of many, he was not of the Cabinet proper.
It was not until the death of Lord Clarendon in 1870,
that he was sworn in as one of the group of ten or
twelve men on whom the Government of England
rests. I had companionship with him in this year,
and looked on for a night or two as he was carrying
through the House his great Education Bill, a
measure to give common school education to the
English people. I remember a speech from below
the gangway on the Government side, which was flow-
ing and eloquent and which was in support of the
bill, though it closed with the offer of an amendment.
The speaker was Sir William Harcourt. When he
sat down Forster rose, and said he must express the
satisfaction of the Government at the support of the
honourable and learned member, but that this satis-
faction would have been greater if the support had
been offered at an earlier stage of the bill. With
regard to the particular amendment offered by the
honourable and learned member he must take leave
to say that no amendment had been offered that had
less to recommend it. I saw plainly enough from
Forster's remark that there was something of political
rivalry between these two eminent men.
The Education Act of 1870 was the especial work
of William Edward Forster. Again and again
schemes for common school education had been
260 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
brought forward, and again and again there had been
failure. The leading feature of Forster's plan was
the recognition of the schools which had been estab-
lished by the different religious bodies of the country,
for the education of the poor continuing them and
subsidizing them. Wherever there was no school,
the Government would establish and maintain one,
the local authority directing it such school to be
known as a Board School. Forster had full charge of
the difficult work of carrying through Parliament this
great measure. He told me he had always the cor-
dial support of Gladstone, as his chief, but the meas-
ure was essentially his, and he had ever to be on the
watch to meet opposers. Alas ! for human weakness,
the Nonconformists raised the cry that the Church
of England would receive benefit from the measure.
Members of the Church had been far more active than
the Dissenters had been ; hence the Government aid
would seem to be especially extended to them. Fors-
ter knew that this would be complained of, but he knew
also that there would be no possibility of carrying
through a scheme of education for the whole of Eng-
land except by the plan he proposed. Any other plan
would have involved the building of schoolhouses
everywhere, and the throwing over of the schools,
which, as works of charity and religion, had already
been set up. William Forster was not himself a
Churchman ; he was aiming before all things to edu-
cate the people ; in no other way could he accomplish
this. He saw how seriously his personal popularity
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 261
would be affected by the course he took, but he acted
in the light of duty. His scheme, moreover, involved
the recognition of religion as a primary influence in
the beginning of education. His heart was made
heavy by the outcry that was raised. He told me the
opposition of the Nonconformists was a blow struck
at once at religion, and at education. Even John
Bright was not free from what I must call sectarian
prejudice, in the half-hearted support he gave to Fors-
ter. Yet Forster was almost of the same faith as
Bright. He told me that, while he had ceased to be
in formal membership with the Society of Friends,
he could never be of any other religious body. The
Friends, he said, had disowned him for the best act
of his life, which was his marriage (marrying, as the
phrase is, "out of meeting"). This in no way affected
his feeling for them. The memory of his father was,
moreover, to him almost a religion. William Forster
the elder was a man of saintly life, considering, through
all his days, the supreme duty laid upon him to be the
deepening a sense of religion in the souls of men. I
must add, however, a remark once made to me by
Forster : " It was hard on my mother. I was but a
year old when my father made his first religious visit
to America, and he was gone five years." His mother
remained alone in a cottage in Dorsetshire with her
young child, and, though frail in health, made occa-
sional religious journeys ; for she too was a minister
among Friends. Forster used to tell of an incident
of his childhood. He was travelling in a coach in the
262 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
charge of his nurse when a benevolent old gentleman
began to talk to him. " Where is your papa, my
dear ? " said his fellow-passenger. " Papa is preaching
in America," was the reply. " And where is your
mamma ? " continued the gentleman. " Mamma is
preaching in Ireland," was the answer which the
astonished stranger received.
It will readily be seen how strong were the influ-
ences favourable to Quakerism in his youth, and how
closely he was bound to that religious body in heart
and mind. It was not from them that opposition
came to his education measure, but from the class
that Matthew Arnold called " Political Dissenters."
Very serious to Forster was this opposition. He had
ambition, a passion which, as Burke has said, is the
instinct of all great souls, indeed a necessary quali-
fication for a statesman. His rise in the House of
Commons had been so rapid that his reaching the
leadership had seemed altogether a possibility. Now
arose a cry against him which could not be disre-
garded. He went on, however, without faltering, and
his bill became a law. For several years there was
no relaxing of the opposition. In 1872, Lord Salis-
bury spoke as follows :
" Nothing is more surprising to me than the plea on which
the present outcry is made against the Church of England. I
could not believe that in the nineteenth century the charge
against the Church of England should be that churchmen,
and especially the clergy, had educated the people. If I
were to fix on one circumstance more than another which
redounded to the honour of churchmen it is that they should
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 263
fulfil this noble office, and, next to being 'Stewards o f Divine
Mysteries,' I should think the greatest distinction of the clergy
is the admirable manner in which they have devoted their
lives and their fortunes to this first of national objects. I
have due and great respect for the Non-Conformist body. If
I could have found that, in the Education Act, any injustice
had been done to the Non-Conformists, I should have voted
I quote this because it bears on the opposition
the Education Act had, in its first years, to meet
with. In the year 1874 the Gladstone Government
came to an end. In the next year (1875) Mr. Glad-
stone by reason of his then advanced age retired from
the leadership of his party. He felt admonished, he
said, by declining strength, to betake himself some-
what to seclusion and study. (A pretty lively hermit
he was, we must all admit!) A successor had, how-
ever, to be chosen. Forster's name was the only one
mentioned in opposition to Lord Hartington; but
for the education matter the contest would have
been close. The result seemed the loss to Mr.
Forster of the chief place, when next there was a
change of government, but as Gladstone very soon
resumed, practically, the leadership, Lord Harting-
ton's position became altogether nominal.
As proof of what I have stated as to the high
position Forster had reached in the country, I may
cite here a passage from the diary of the late Dr.
Norman Macleod of the date of 1872. "At Bal-
moral I met Forster, the Cabinet Minister. He, and
Helps and I, had great arguments on theological sub-
264 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
jects till very late. I never was more impressed by
any man as deep, independent, thoroughly honest, and
sincere. I conceived a great love for him. I never met
a statesman whom for high-minded honesty and justice
I would sooner follow. He will be Premier some day."
In visits to England of 1869 and 1870, it was a
peculiar satisfaction to me to see my friend at last
in his true position as a member of the Government.
At his table in London there was naturally talk of
the heated feeling which remained in America grow-
ing out of the Alabama matter. I could report the
universal opinion with us that the position of Eng-
land was one of peril so long as the dispute re-
mained unsettled that while the Alabama precedent
remained, our Government could not prevent the
going out of privateers in case of England being at
war with a Continental power. I remember a singu-
lar offhand reply of Forster's hardly a serious one
that this risk could be covered by insurance, and
that the cost to England would not be greater than
the loss which had been caused by the Overend-Gur-
ney failure. All the same, no man in England worked
harder than Forster did to bring about the great set-
tlement. Charles Sumner by his elaborate, but un-
wise, speech demanding that the indirect claims
should be presented at Geneva, among them a claim
for an enormous sum for England's having acknow-
ledged the South as belligerents, caused intense ex-
citement and indignation, making it doubtful whether
the English Government could proceed with the arbi-
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 26$
tration. Forster made a very careful speech in reply
to Sumner, whom he knew personally, and had regard
for. Then as a member of the Cabinet he laboured
with the utmost ardour to prevent the abandonment
of the arbitration. " As toward America," as has been
well said, "his record was clear, for no American
could doubt his sympathy with the party and the
Government which had triumphed in the war. On
the other hand his English self-respect was clear."
Gladstone, to his great honour, stood firm, and the
Court of Arbitration met. It is proper to add that
at this supreme crisis in the history of the two coun-
tries, Grant and Fish displayed conspicuous wisdom.
The English Cabinet awaited news of the first pro-
ceedings at Geneva with anxiety, Forster with
breathless interest. At length the tidings came: "The
indirect claims ruled out." This was for Forster one
of the happiest moments of his political life.
In 1874, when the Gladstone Government went
out, Mr. Forster took advantage of his leisure to pay
a visit to America. A chief object was to visit the
grave of his father, who had died in Tennessee when
on a religious visit some twenty years before. Fors-
ter's companion was his cousin, Sir Fowell Buxton,
grandson of the first Sir Fowell, now the governor of
South Australia. I cannot but record here that my
wife, who saw Mr. Forster then for the first time, had
an instant sense of his power, while she saw very
plainly the tender and loving traits there were in him.
Writing to an English relative, my wife said :
266 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
" Mr. Forster strikes me as a man a head and shoulders,
morally and intellectually, above other men. His individu-
ality is singularly strong, and you are instantly at rest with
him because he is *so true and single-hearted. He impresses
you immensely as a man of character, a man entirely himself,
not influenced by those around him ; but he has deep feeling
and refinement, and a shrinking from display of all kinds.
" He has met many of our political men while in this coun-
try ; some, I hope, have felt, from personal intercourse with
him, how grand and great the office of a statesman is when
the heart is pure and true and duty-loving. There is a beau-
tiful sermon of Maurice's, which I remember reading years
ago, in which he says how different rulers and those in au-
thority would be if they but realized at all that it was God
who was allowing them to help Him to govern the world."
Every one who saw him was impressed by him. I
remember a dinner at Mr. John Welsh's, a party of
sixteen, which lasted for four hours and was extremely
pleasant. Mr. Welsh placed Mr. Forster at the mid-
dle of the table on one side, Sir Powell Buxton at the
middle on the other, himself and Mr. William Welsh
were at the two ends. The talk was general. Men
of distinction were present. I mention only the names
of Judge Sharswood and Morton McMichael. Mr.
Forster said to the company that his wife in a late
letter had asked the cause of the political change here
as shown by the elections then just over. Many re-
plies and explanations were given. At the end Fors-
ter said : " Gentlemen, this is all extremely interesting,
but what am I to write to my wife ? " Forster enjoyed
the occasion much. He said to me afterward Judge
Sharswood was the strongest man of all that company.
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 267
Forster made two speeches in America, one here in
Philadelphia at the celebration of the fiftieth anniver-
sary of the founding of the Historical Society, the
other before the Union League of New York. The
burden and drift of each was a plea for the essential
union and co-working of English-speaking men. This
I may say was the dream and desire of his whole po-
litical life. My own sight of my friend ended with
his visit here of 1874. I was not in England between
1874 and 1886. Two of my children received kind-
ness from him in London and were greatly impressed
by him. He introduced my eldest daughter and a
friend to the Ladies' Gallery of the House of Com-
mons. As they followed him up the narrow staircase
my daughter said she felt as if she was being con-
ducted by a friendly lion. His tall figure had by this
time become broad, and he was, perhaps, somewhat
shaggy, but there was that in him always that denoted
distinction. My eldest son, then nineteen, was much
touched by the gracious kindness of his manner toward
him ; he cherishes this as among his best recollec-
tions. In early life Forster was long-limbed and
slim, and seemed loosely knit together, his look of a
half-humorous sternness. Mrs. Forster once asked
me if I did not think he looked like an American.
Though born in the South of England, and resident
there through all his youth, he had the look of York-
shire ; it used to be said of him that he was a very
" stage Yorkshireman."
Of the years that followed 1875, I need not speak
268 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
at length. He was not wholly of accord with Glad-
stone in regard to the Bulgarian question. He trav-
elled through Servia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, to see
with his own eyes the state of things there. He felt
the utmost horror of Turkish oppression and misrule,
but could hardly give assent to the " bag and bag-
gage " policy until he saw what was to take its place.
He was especially cautious as a statesman wise in
judgment and was misunderstood, because of his
determination to hear both sides, by men of extreme
opinions. His training as a man of affairs had taught
him this wisdom. His constituents, again and again,
complained that he was not true to his party. Caucus
rule, a system which had been begun at Birmingham,
sought to establish itself at Bradford. Forster made
strenuous resistance to this from the first ; he stood
for the absolute independence of a member of Parlia-
ment, and fought against the rule of wire-pullers,
which he saw would result from caucus supremacy.
The very moderation of his position in 1877 and 1878
made his influence the greater in opposing Disraeli's
policy of that period, which threatened to involve
England in war with Russia in behalf of Turkey.
In 1880 came the overthrow of Lord Beaconsfield's
* Ministry and the accession of Gladstone. Forster, it
was generally thought, would be Secretary for the
Colonies. But the Parnell agitation in Ireland was
then at its height, and a statesman of the first class
was needed for the Chief Secretaryship the Chief
Secretary being practically the chief ruler. Forster
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 269
took the place because, as he said, he thought it would
have been his father's wish that he should do so.
Then followed two years of storm, and anxiety, and
peril, on which I need not now dwell. Mrs. Forster
said, in a letter to me from the Chief Secretary's
Lodge, it was hard there should be all this crime and
outrage to contend with when a Government was in
power every member of which was pledged to do all
that possibly could be done for Ireland. Again and
again assassins lay in wait for Forster, their plans only
failing by strange accident. His courage never for-
sook him. In the very height of the agitation he
made a journey to the Tipperary region, County Clare,
- the most disturbed district, without guard of mil-
itary and scarcely of police. He addressed the people
several times and no harm came to him. In a speech
he made to his Bradford constituents soon afterward,
he spoke of his journey and of his safety in it. His
sense of humour would not, however, allow of his fail-
ing to tell them of resolutions which had been passed
by the women's branch of the National League at a
place not far from Tipperary. These resolutions were
in stern condemnation of the Tipperary Nationalists,
that they had allowed the opportunity to pass of deal-
ing with the Chief Secretary as he deserved, adding
that if the " old gorilla " would come their way they
would show him !
Gladstone's policy of surrender to Parnell, which
began with the Kilmainham Treaty of 1882, Forster
was wholly unable to acquiesce in ; he retired from
2/0 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
office with great dignity, accepting calmly isolation,
and what to many seemed the closing of his political
career. No one of his colleagues accompanied him.
Strange to say Chamberlain, afterward to be so emi-
nent in opposing Gladstone's Irish policy, was a
leader who was behind Gladstone in refusing to sup-
port Forster. In less than three years Gladstone's
complete surrender was made, and then Bright,
Chamberlain, Lord Hartington, Goschen, the Duke of
Argyll, Lord Selborne, nearly all the great chiefs of
the Liberal party, were by the side of Forster, being
absolutely one in mind with him in opposition to
Gladstone. Bright wrote to Gladstone that if any
one else had proposed the Home Rule scheme there
would not have been twenty men in the House of
Commons, apart from the Irish members, to support
it. I dwell on this Irish matter to illustrate the
wisdom which I have maintained was Forster's char-
acteristic. He was before all men in noting the
limitations of Gladstone "a bewitching, a fasci-
nating personality," to use Matthew Arnold's words,
" but a dangerous minister."
The subject of Imperial Federation, as yet but a
shadowy beginning, occupied much of Forster's atten-
tion during the period of his retirement from office.
South Africa and Egypt were also matters of close
study to him. The vacillating policy of the Govern-
ment in regard to Egypt he strongly condemned in
the beginning of the session of 1884. His anxiety in
regard to Gordon was then very great; he was mad-
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 271
dened by the delay of the Government in despatching
an expedition for his rescue. Finally he delivered
himself in the House of Commons as follows. Speak-
ing of the danger of Gordon's position, he said : " I
believe every one but the Prime Minister is already
convinced of that danger, and I attribute his not being
convinced to his wonderful power of persuasion. He
can persuade most people of most things, and, above
all, he can persuade himself of almost anything." The
words made a profound impression, although party
leaders at the time condemned them.
I may venture to add the following as almost a
personal confirmation of this charge of Forster's that
the delay of the starting of the Nile expedition was
due to Gladstone. My son, then nineteen, at the end
of June, 1884, sat alongside Sir Redvers Buller at
dinner in an English country house. Sir Redvers
Buller was next to Lord Wolseley, in command of the
expedition. He said, " I have always been a Liberal,
but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the
Government delays ordering the expedition to start."
Two months were yet to pass. The starting was in
September. Alas ! for the result.
The Queen, in writing to Gordon's sister when the
news of his death came, said, " That the promises of
support were not fulfilled, which I so frequently and
so constantly pressed on those who asked him to go
is to me grief inexpressible, indeed, it has made me
ill." These words seem to me to imply censure for
2/2 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
But almost as I write my eye falls on a copy of the
London Times in which I read that at a dinner given
in Edinburgh to Lord Wolseley, the Earl of Wemyss,
who presided, said that Lord Wolseley dined with
him shortly before starting on the Nile expedition.
Lord Wolseley said to the lady next to him at that
dinner, " What would I not give for those three
months when Gladstone was trying to make up his
mind." I have reason to believe that Gladstone gave
reluctant consent to the sending out of Gordon ; he
clung, too, to the belief that, if he had to abandon
Khartoum, he could escape to the southward.
I cannot but add, as some relief to the painful story
on which I have been dwelling, the following, which
was told me by an eminent London artist, Edward
Clifford. Gordon sat to Clifford for his portrait just
before starting for Khartoum. He said to Clifford he
had one objection to the expedition on which the
Government was sending him, viz.: that if he suc-
ceeded, they would be giving him one of their
" beastly titles."
To return to Mr. Gladstone. Forster was as sensi-
ble as any man of his great qualities, but, as I have
said, he noted very early certain intellectual defi-
ciencies. When he became associated with him as a
ministerial colleague, and especially when he was under
him as his chief, his feeling for him was of affec-
tion, as well as respect and admiration. But the trial
to Forster was great when suddenly his chief refused
longer to support him. He could but retire and
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 273
await, but with a heavy heart, what the future would
bring. This was in 1882. In 1886 I chanced to hear
Dean Burgon say to Sir Thomas Acland, referring to
Gladstone, that it was " the great moral fall of the age."
The dean was a man of learning and ability, but
unrestrained in speech ; Sir Thomas was Gladstone's
lifelong friend; he smiled at the vehemence of the
dean. It was a parting shot of the sturdy ecclesiastic.
I visited Mrs. Forster soon afterward at Fox Ghyll,
and mentioning to her the dean's remark, she said in
her gentle way, " Perhaps a better word would be a
moral deterioration? Then she added, holding her
hand before her, " Mr. Gladstone when he decides
on a view or opinion or course of conduct will listen
to no contrary views or arguments, he will see only
the line he has determined to take."
I venture to think that the late Bonamy Price, a
distinguished Oxford professor, stated with wonder-
ful clearness Gladstone's chief characteristic : " Glad-
stone sees every side of the truth, but he only sees
one side at once. You will find him fervent on one
side; a little time goes by, and that whole point
of view has passed away from him ; he has forgotten
that he ever held it; with equal fervour and perfect
sincerity, he urges a quite different side. He never
balances the two together. I call that a dangerous
At the end of December, 1885, when William
Forster was on what proved to be his death-bed,
a rumour reached Mr. Gladstone that he might not
274 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
be unfavourable to the Home Rule scheme which
was about to be brought forward. A letter came
to him from Mr. Gladstone, expressing a hope that
this report had foundation. Forster dictated a re-
ply, acknowledging the kind tone of Mr. Gladstone's
letter, adding, however, this distinct utterance :
" This Irish matter is indeed most full of difficul-
ties, and I wish to say that I have looked at Home
Rule with a most earnest endeavour to form an
impartial judgment. I have employed hours, I may
say days, in overhauling my previous views, but I
cannot come to any other conclusion than the one
I gave in a late-published letter." In this letter
he had stated, explicitly, that he believed a Parlia-
ment in Dublin would be fraught with danger to
both England and Ireland.
In Mrs. Forster's very touching account of her
husband's last illness, there is a record of a fortnight
later date than that of the letter to Gladstone, which
is as follows :
"January 15, 1886. This afternoon I read him a letter
I had had from Mr. Tuke, in which he said that he thought
Mr. Forster would like to know that in the Friends' ' Meet-
ing for Sufferings' his recovery had been earnestly prayed
for. My beloved husband was greatly moved. ' The Church
of my fathers has not forgotten me ! ' he said, bursting into
William Edward Forster died on the 5th of April,
1886. His death made a profound impression. At
the suggestion of the Times, a funeral service was
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 275
held in Westminster Abbey, which was attended by
a vast throng of his old political associates and
friends, by representatives of the Colonies, and by
the general public. The next day, April loth, there
was the simple Quaker funeral on the hillside bury-
ing-ground at Burley, near the home he had loved
so well. His biographer says of those who stood
around on that wild winter's day, that they wit-
nessed " the last farewell to the friend and neigh-
bour, who had risen high in the councils of the
State, but whose heart had remained unaffected by
all the changes of fortune ; who had never varied
in his affection for the friends of his youth, or in
his bearing toward the humblest of those among
whom his lot was cast ; whose temper had not been
soured by trials, nor his sympathies narrowed by
the growth of years; whose spirit had remained
young whilst his head grew grey; and the horizon
of whose mental vision had seemed ever to grow
wider and brighter as he drew nearer to the end
William Forster was childless, and was the last of
his race. In 1859 he adopted the four orphan chil-
dren of his brother-in-law, William Arnold ; their
mother had died in the Punjaub, their father at
Gibraltar, on his way to England. Forster at once
took upon him the whole charge of these children ;
they grew up to be, to both Mr. and Mrs. Forster, as
if they had been of their own blood. Never had a
good action received an ampler reward, and never was
2/6 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
there a fuller return of love and gratitude. One of
these adopted sons, Mr. Oakley Arnold-Forster is a
member of Parliament of distinction and promise, and
a writer of ability. One of the daughters is married
to a nephew of Aubrey de Vere. This lady, then
Miss Florence Arnold-Forster, tells in her journal of
Mr. Forster's energy and enthusiasm as a traveller,
his eagerness to obtain information. She says :
" Whether it was with an enthusiastic Czech professor at
Prague, or with a cultivated Austrian merchant returning to
his home in the Bukowina, or a gentlemanly whist-playing
Pole at some German watering-place, or a party of Russian
volunteers going to help the Servians, or a Hungarian Honved
officer, or a government official in a Roumanian railway car-
riage, or a shrewd English man of business in the fair at Nijni
Novgorod, or some high diplomatic magnate at Constanti-
nople or Vienna, or an active politician and deputy at Berlin,
Pesth, or Athens wherever or with whomsoever it might
be, my father seemed always to have the faculty of getting
straight on to some topic that thoroughly interested both him-
self and the man he was talking to, if it was only for a five
In what I have written in regard to William Ed-
ward Forster I have had chiefly in mind the example
which his career affords for instruction here. The
fact that he always spoke of himself as a politician
shows the meaning which the term bears in England
in contrast with the lower meaning which attaches
to it in this country. With us it has become almost
a term of reproach. But no words can be better than
his own to illustrate this contrast. In 1876 he was
WILLIAM EDWARD FORSTER 277
chosen Lord Rector of the University of Aberdeen.
In the address he made there, he thus summed up the
qualifications of the true politician :
" There remain these two absolute necessities the know-
ledge, the quick perception, of right and wrong ; and the
desire to do right. It is not for me to turn this address into
a sermon, or to attempt to preach the lessons which many a
man here has learned in his Highland home from the Bible
read by the father or mother ; but remember this, that the
politician you have so kindly heard to-day declares that, of
all possible occupations, politics is the most unprofitable, the
least worth following, if for any personal, or still more tempting
party object its true aim be forgotten ; and that true aim is
this the fulfilment by our country of her duty, by which
fulfilment, and by which alone, can be secured her power
and her superiority and the well-being of her sons."
ENGLAND AND THE HOUSE OF COM-
MONS IN THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
ENGLAND AND THE HOUSE OF COM-
MONS IN THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
I SAILED from New York for Liverpool on the
Australasian on the 22d of February, 1865. Our
voyage was prosperous, and on the tenth day we
were in sight of land. Some hours later we were
following the line of the Irish coast, looking with
keen interest on the green, treeless headlands. The
sea was calm and the sun was bright, and there was
the peculiar gladness in one's heart which comes
from the thought of the safe passage over the great
waters. I know few sights which are more exhila-
rating, and of which the recollection is more vivid,
than that of the Irish coast after a voyage from
America. But now we had the further pleasure of
being the bearers of news of victory. It was the
year before the laying 01 the Atlantic cable.
When we were perhaps a hundred miles from the
entrance to the harbour of Queenstown, a small
steamer was seen to put out from the shore and
head toward us. Soon a tin box with a long float
of wood was brought on deck, and, when the little
steamer was near, the box or canister, with its long
pole attached, was thrown into the sea. We saw
282 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
the little steamer hook it up, and then turn and
make for the land. We knew that the box con-
tained despatches with the latest war news, and
that in an hour London and Liverpool and all of
Europe would know of the fall of Charleston.
I landed in Liverpool on March 4 the day
of Mr. Lincoln's second inauguration. I had occa-
sion to remain there for a few days, and was glad
of the opportunity of conferring with the small
group of persons who, in that city, had been in
sympathy with the North from the beginning of the
war. Mr. Dudley, our consul, lived chiefly in the
society of this handful of persons. He could look
for little other companionship as opinion then was.
Perhaps his high-tariff principles helped to make
the Liverpool merchants shy of him. But hardly
anywhere in England was there stronger desire for
the success of the South than in that busy city
which owed so much of its growth and prosperity
to American cotton. Mr. Dudley told me of the
hard life he had led there in the watch he had to
keep over the efforts of the Confederates to get
out their cruisers. He said he had also to keep up
the hopes of the friends of the North as well as he
could, during the long period of our adverse for-
tune. Mr. Bright, he said, had several times come
to him with a feeling almost of despair. He spoke
of the mass of testimony he had sent to Mr. Adams
in London to support the representation the latter
had constantly to make to Lord John Russell, then
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 283
Foreign Secretary, in regard to the action of Con-
federate agents in Liverpool in violation of inter-
national law. Mr. Dudley's whole soul was enlisted
in the effort to resist these Confederate schemes;
and his skill and experience as a lawyer made him
an efficient representative of our Government in that
period of its trial.
I remember one dinner-table experience in Liver-
pool, when I was in an atmosphere entirely hostile
to the cause of the North. Our host and all the
guests but myself were in sympathy with the South.
Our host, I should say, was an old friend of mine,
an agreeable and cultivated man. The talk at the
beginning was chiefly in regard to the war. Our host
was careful to ground his opposition to it on what
he called its fratricidal character. He said the spec-
tacle in this age of the world was a sad one truly
the bloody strife of men of the same brotherhood ;
that all war seemed contrary to the spirit of the
present day. He hoped we would soon see our
way to the settling of our contest and letting the
South go. The others at the table supported this
advocacy of peace, and especially a legal gentleman
who urged it with great zeal and earnestness. Talk
took another direction; and, some little time having
passed, I referred to the Trent matter, and asked
my legal friend whether he really thought there
would have been war if the United States had re-
fused to deliver up Mason and Slidell. He replied
instantly that England would have given her " last
284 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
man and her last shilling" to compel the surrender
of the envoys. The very mention of the matter
seemed to set his soul on fire. " Oh," I said, " then
you think it would be the duty of a nation to carry
on a contest at any sacrifice of life because two
men, not its own citizens, had been taken from one
of its mail steamers, but that it is not right for peo-
ple to resist by force of arms the dismemberment
of their country the blotting out of their national
existence." Our host laughed, and upbraided his
legal guest at having so seriously damaged himself
and the common cause by his unfortunate admission.
I reached London within a week from the time of
my landing. I soon saw my friend, then of many
years, William Edward Forster, and had a prolonged
conversation with him in regard to our war. He had
been our strenuous defender through the whole of it,
and had greatly aided our minister, Mr. Adams, in the
heavy work which had been upon him from the mo-
ment of his reaching London.
I was with Mr. Forster the day before he was to
speak on the general subject of the relations of Eng-
land with America. The particular occasion was this.
Lord Derby, in the House of Lords, had called upon
the Government to see to it that Canada was provided
with adequate defences as against attack from the
United States. He had urged that hostility to Eng-
land was deep-seated in America, and that, as the war
was probably drawing to a close, there was imminent
danger that the forces which would then be free to
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 285
act elsewhere would be turned against Canada. The
Times had taken up this foolish cry, and at the
moment the excitement which had been caused was
sufficient to affect the funds. I could, of course, tell
Mr. Forster how absurd such a suggestion was, that
the one desire of the people of the North was for an
honourable peace; that such a peace would be wel-
comed with passionate joy, and once it was secured
armies would disband. Mr. Forster fully understood
this, and was eager to reply to Lord Derby and the
Times. The opportunity offered in a debate which
was appointed for March 13 on the Canadian De-
fences Bill. My friend kindly arranged for my being
present at that debate, and for my having a seat upon
what is called the floor of the house. I went in with
him at four o'clock, and was taken to a bench at the
end of the house, immediately fronting the Speaker.
There were two benches there precisely alike.
I may mention here a slight incident showing the
curious care of the House of Commons to magnify
the office of the Speaker as a mode of maintaining
their Own dignity. In one of the pauses of the pro-
ceedings of the evening a member, with whom I had
slight acquaintance, very civilly came to shake hands
with me. He was behind me and I turned half round
to talk with him. When he was about to go I rose to
say good-by to him, turning fully round. Instantly
with a look of alarm he said to me, " Don't turn your
back on Mr. Speaker." I am told that when the
Speaker proceeds from the House to his apartments
286 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
persons of whatever dignity who may be in the cor-
ridors are swept from his path by men with great
staves of office who exclaim with solemnity, " Make
way for Mr. Speaker ! "
From my excellent seat I looked on for near an
hour on what to me was an interesting scene, though
the immediate proceedings were not wholly intelli-
gible. Name after name was called by the Speaker,
and a member would rise and say a few words rapidly,
and then descend, with what appeared to be a peti-
tion, to the clerks' table. Then one member after
another rose to ask a question, notice of which he had
given previously, and a short reply was at once made
from the Treasury Bench. I was glad to hear on one
of these occasions the clear, ringing voice of Mr. Glad-
stone, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. During this
time the House was gathering, and it was evident from
the full attendance that an important debate was ex-
pected. A flood of mild light poured suddenly on
the scene near five o'clock ; it came from the ceiling
through squares of ground glass, and thus was every-
I noticed that members entering the House, or
going out, were always uncovered, and that when
they took their seats they generally put their hats
on. If a member rose to speak to another only a
few feet distant he instantly removed his hat. This
little custom is, however, well known. Side by side,
sitting closely together, were the men from England,
Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, who were the real rulers
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN i8t> 5 287
of England Sovereign and Ministers being but the
servants of their will. As I looked I could well un-
derstand why to be a member of Parliament was so
extreme an object of desire.
At five o'clock Mr. Fitzgerald, from the front
Opposition bench, rose to begin the evening's dis-
cussion ; his seat was next to that of Mr. Disraeli.
In his opening remarks he showed much solicitude
lest offence should be given to the Americans. But
he urged upon the Government increase of energy
in the construction of fortifications at Quebec and
elsewhere. He said England was especially bound
to defend Canada against the Americans, because it
was only the conduct of England which had excited
American hostility. It was England, and not Canada,
that had precipitately given to the South belligerent
rights, and it was England, and not Canada, that had
suffered the Alabama to escape. Remarkable lan-
guage this, I thought, to come from the Tory side
of the House ; it amounted almost to a confession
that these particular acts could not be defended.
The whole speech was based on the idea of there
being irritation against England in America which
might at any moment lead to war. It was admitted
that good feeling between the two Governments then
existed, this being largely due to the " wise, discreet,
and prudent conduct " of the American representa-
tive in England, who had done more than any man
living to preserve peace between the two countries.
Cheers came from both sides of the House at this
288 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
reference to Mr. Adams. Mr. Fitzgerald went on to
point out how imperfect were the present defences of
the Canadian frontier; how feeble the force on the
Lakes. He said the Guards were in Canada, the
flower of the army; that there were in all 8,000 or
10,000 troops; that had war broken out during the
previous three years the only counsel to be given to
these troops would be to take to their ships. He
suggested, in conclusion, that, in the intoxication pro-
duced by a successful ending of the war, the popula-
tion of the North might insist on attacking Canada
under the belief that she was incapable of making
While Mr. Fitzgerald was speaking a slight move-
ment on the bench immediately before the one on
which I sat led me to glance that way. A young
man was sitting down and several other persons
were rising as he did so. " Do not move," he said
quietly, and all was still again. Another glance at
the side face of the young man thus taking his place
as a peer to listen to a debate in the Commons
House of Parliament confirmed my first thought
it was the Prince of Wales. The expression of his
countenance was pleasing ; it was to me that of a man
of kind heart. This, too, was my feeling when I saw
him five years before at Oxford and in Philadelphia.
Mr. Forster was given the floor to reply to Mr.
Fitzgerald. He remarked first that the expense of
fortifications as proposed would be enormous, and
that there was no feeling in America toward England
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IK 1865 289
that would justify the outlay. He said the alarm that
prevailed was due first to the speech of Lord Derby,
and next to the leaders of the Times. In a late arti-
cle there had been this passage, " If the Federals
can go to war with the prospect of success, they will
go to war ; " the article concluding with the expres-
sion of the hope that the present contest in America
might continue so that the Northern people might
become exhausted and unable to attack. Mr. Forster
admitted that articles hostile to England had ap-
peared in the American papers, but he asked whether
what the English papers had said at different times
was not a fair offset to them. He attributed the then
excitement to the influence of Confederate agents and
Confederate sympathizers who sought, as a last effort,
to frighten England into some action hostile to the
North ; and, further, to the efforts of persons who had
foretold from day to day the miserable failure of the
Federal power, and who now sought to divert atten-
tion from their mistakes by urging that the success
of the North would but herald war with England.
He said the people of the North were not greedy of
empire and of dominion ; they were fighting to pre-
vent the destruction of their country; neither were
they vindictive, and eager for revenge ; nor was it true
that their Government was unable to control them.
Further, the Americans could not but appreciate the
adherence of the Lancashire operatives to their cause.
He said : " For one man in this country who has
deluded himself into the belief that the greatest ex-
290 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
periment of modern times is a failure, there are a hun-
dred who have hoped from the beginning that the
great Republic would come out of the struggle un-
scathed, and who rejoice now that it seems likely that
she will emerge purified from that slavery which has
been her weakness and shame, because it has been
her sin." Mr. Forster concluded by saying that peace
in the United States would be the best defence for
Canada ; that the prosperity of the country North and
South, which would surely follow, would put away all
thought of war ; that the time, he trusted, was at hand
when all English-speaking men, either in the British
Islands or their dependencies, or in the great Repub-
lic, would feel themselves so bound together by com-
mon interests, by ties of language, blood, faith, and
common freedom, as to make them essentially one
people and brotherhood.
Mr. Disraeli was one of the next speakers ; he said
he was not one of the mortified and baffled prophets
to whom the honourable member (Mr. Forster), had
referred. " Now the right honourable gentleman
opposite " (Mr. Gladstone) " made the most confident
predictions of the success of the South." He sought
also to defend his chief, Lord Derby, by saying that
living, as he did, with that eminent statesman in per-
fect confidence, he could declare that they shared the
same sentiments as to American affairs. He said he
had from the first been of opinion that the Govern-
ment of the United States, under circumstances of
unprecedented difficulty, had conducted itself with
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 291
great energy and great discretion. He thought there
was no immediate danger of war; the Americans of
the North were a sagacious people, and were not
likely to seize the moment of exhaustion as the one
most favourable for beginning another contest. The
talk of some of their newspapers rowdy rhetoric he
might call it was no more to be considered the
settled judgment of the people, than the strange and
fantastic drinks of which England heard so much
were to be regarded as their ordinary potations. The
American democracy, he said, was a territorial de-
mocracy ; he added, " Aristotle, who has taught us
most of the wise things we know, never said a wiser
thing than that the cultivators of the soil are the class
least inclined to sedition and violent courses."
But, he said, a strong central government would be
necessary in the United States to preserve order in
the South, and an army would be required to uphold
it. This might entail danger to Canada. It was Eng-
land's duty to defend Canada so long as she desired
to continue her connection with the mother country.
On this general ground he was in favour of greater
energy in carrying on works of fortification.
Disraeli was followed by Mr. Lowe at that time
a distinguished member of the House a man of the
most acute and vigorous mind. He spoke with ex-
traordinary rapidity and animation. He urged the
House to take a common-sense view of matters ; said
that it was impossible to cope with the Americans on
the Lakes; that in 1813 and 1814 they, the English,
292 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
had got well thrashed there. Then there were no
railways ; now by means of the New York Central and
the Erie Railroads the Americans could put ten gun-
boats on Lake Erie or Lake Ontario to the Cana-
dians' one. As to troops, the Americans could invade
with ten times the number that Canada could bring
into the field. " Could anything be more wild," he
said, " than an attempt to vie with America on her
own ground?" He reminded the House that General
Montgomery, in the War of Independence, had to
struggle through almost impenetrable woods, in the
depth of winter. America, he said, now has railways
which could transport to the frontier any number of
men she pleased. In regard to Quebec, he said Gen-
eral Wolfe cannonaded it from Point Levi, three quar-
ters of a mile from the town, even with the artillery of
that day. If Point Levi were seized, it was certain
that, with modern artillery, Quebec would be abso-
lutely at the mercy of the enemy. He said he had
never seen a place which seemed to be commanded
from more points. When Wolfe attacked it and gained
the Heights of Abraham, Montcalm judged it pru-
dent to march out into the open field instead of await-
ing the assault behind his fortifications. Mr. Lowe
added, what sounded oddly to me after all this, that he
would not object to improving the fortifications, but
he thought it impossible, when the troops were once
hunted into Quebec and Montreal, that they should
ever escape again. It had been assumed, he said, that
you could only make war in Canada during the sum-
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 293
mer, and then ships in the St. Lawrence could aid in
the defence ; but General Montgomery, who besieged
Quebec, had made his way through Maine in the depth
of a severe winter. He assaulted the city at that time
of year, and if an extraordinary casualty had not hap-
pened if he with seventeen of his staff had not been
killed by the discharge of a single cannon he might
have taken Quebec, and the destinies of Canada might
have been entirely changed. Mr. Lowe urged the
withdrawal of the British troops from Canada because
their presence there would be an incentive, in Amer-
ica, to war the desire to capture a small army and
lead it in triumph through the States would be irresis-
tible. He said he grudged the Americans this gratifi-
cation, and he wished to take away every motive for
war. War with America he said, in conclusion, would
be the greatest calamity that could befall either coun-
try, perhaps the whole human race.
Mr. White, member for Brighton, who was one of
the next speakers, referred to the satisfactory tone and
temper of the Opposition speeches of the evening, as
contrasted with the speech of their leader, Lord Derby,
in the House of Lords. He thought that noble Lord
would not have ventured on such inflammatory lan-
guage had he regarded his early return to power as
One of the most sensible things said in the debate
was a remark of Mr. Ayrton's, viz., that, instead of for-
tifying Canada, it would be better to yield to the
American demand for arbitration that Lord Rus-
294 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
sell's refusal to entertain this was the real cause of irri-
tation in the United States ; the demand would be
repeated when the United States had again become
strong, and then England might have to yield it or go
Prophetic words these were, for though six years
later the Government of Mr. Gladstone, to its great
honour, yielded to the demand, unaccompanied by a
threat of war, yet England had come to see the peril-
ous position she was in by allowing it to stand as a
precedent that the escape of the Alabama was not
a matter for which she was to be called to account.
To Mr. Gladstone the credit of the great act of the
Geneva Arbitration is mainly due ; this is some offset
to what was the prodigious error of his previous politi-
cal life the public and confident prediction of the
success of the South.
Lord Robert Cecil, now the Marquis of Salisbury,
spoke next; he scouted the idea of arbitration, and
urged the most vigorous efforts for the defence of
Canada. At eleven o'clock Mr. Bright took the floor,
beginning what proved to be one of his greatest
speeches the last, I think, of the splendid orations
by which that eminent man upheld the cause of the
American Union during the period of its awful trial.
He addressed himself to the particular matter of the
vote asked for, and said at once there was no power
in the United Kingdom to defend successfully the
territory of Canada against the power of the United
States. He begged honourable gentlemen not to talk
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 295
folly, and be called afterward to act folly. He said
there was not a man in the United States whose
opinion was worth considering who desired to attack
Canada ; nor had the Canadians any real hostility to
their neighbours. They had been unwise in not pre-
venting the raids which bands of Confederates had
made across the frontier; but the Government of
Canada was now doing all in its power to check these
raids. All was calm in that region, and the United
States was making no complaint. It was plain then
that if war broke out it would be because of hostility
between America and England, between the Govern-
ment of Washington and the Government of London.
Was there any one in that House, he asked, who
desired such a war? He noticed with delight the
change which had come over the House in regard to
American questions. Honourable members had come
to the conclusion that England was not in favour of
war with America. The Government had preserved,
in the main, its neutrality during the struggle ; it had
resisted a motion to break the blockade ; it had re-
sisted the efforts of the Confederate Government to
obtain recognition, although France had urged Eng-
land to join her in granting this. The question then
came up : Did the United States wish war? Mr. Bright
maintained that the relations between the two coun-
tries were entirely amicable, and had been growing
more and more so during the past months. He said
there never was an administration in the United
States, since the time of the Revolutionary War, more
296 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
favourable to peace with England than the Govern-
ment of which President Lincoln was the head. Not
a line of President Lincoln's could be shown, since
his accession to power, which betrayed anger against
England. But if the United States did not want war,
and Canada did not, and England did not, whence
was it to come? Why the anxiety? People said
" the City " was alarmed. Well, he never knew the
City to be right. As to the newspapers, he agreed
with Mr. Forster in thinking the course they were
taking showed a wish to hide their own confusion.
Mr. Bright asked the House whether they had not in
their heart of hearts a feeling that their course in the
past four years had not been fair toward the United
States whether some stings of conscience were not
the cause of the uneasiness which was felt.
He proceeded then to review some of the acts of
England of which America, he said, had cause to
complain. First the acknowledgment of the bellig-
erent rights of the South. He did not condemn the
Government for this action, except on the ground of
the undue haste of it. Fort Sumter was fired on on
the 1 2th of April, 1861. Mr. Dallas, the then Ameri-
can Minister, declined to discuss any important matter
with the Government, as he did not represent the
President ; his successor was on the way, and would
arrive on such a day. Mr. Adams did arrive on the
1 3th of May, and, on opening his newspaper the next
morning, he found the proclamation of neutrality, and
the acknowledgment of the belligerent rights of the
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 297
South. Mr. Bright said the Government should have
awaited Mr. Adams's arrival in order to explain the
need of the action they contemplated, and that they
might thus disclaim unfriendly feeling toward the
United States Government. Their not doing so made
the act seem to the Americans almost hostile ; it
caused grief and irritation at the North, while it gave
comfort and courage at Richmond.
Then, as to the Trent matter, undoubtedly the
Americans were wrong in seizing the envoys. True,
there were English precedents for such action, but
they belonged to the long past. The Government
was right in demanding explanation, but no defence
could be made for their instant conclusion that the
United States Government would justify the act,
nor for their at once preparing for war. There was
not the slightest evidence that Captain Wilkes had
acted under orders from Washington. But this was
not all. It became known later that the American
Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, the moment the news
of the seizure reached Washington, wrote to Mr.
Adams informing him the Government had not au-
thorized it, and that they were ready to enter into
consideration of it with the British Government. The
despatch was communicated by Mr. Adams to the
Foreign Secretary, and was conclusive as to the fact
that the Americans were ready for friendly discussion
of the matter. The Government, strange to say, with-
held from the public the knowledge that such a des-
patch had been received, and went on with war
298 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
preparations. Further than this, a journal, supposed to
be the organ of the Prime Minister (Lord Palmerston),
had denied with solemnity that any such despatch had
been received. The result was that for almost a month
the English people were allowed to remain in full ex-
pectation of war. It might almost have seemed that
the purpose of the Government was to fan the flames
of war, even when the ground for it had been removed.
I may mention here that I had myself evidence of
this withholding of important evidence of the friendly
feeling of the Americans at that critical time, for a
copy of the newspaper of the date of about Decem-
ber 15, referred to by Mr. Bright, containing a de-
nial of the report that a despatch friendly in tone
had been received by Mr. Adams, was sent to me
from London. It was on November 15 that news of
the seizure of the envoys was received in America,
and late in the month the news reached England.
The despatch of Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams reached
him about December 10. News of the settlement at
Washington of the Trent matter reached England
about January 10, 1862.
I may venture further to interrupt my abstract of
Mr. Bright's speech, by quoting two passages from
letters of mine to the London Guardian, one bear-
ing date before the settlement was accomplished, the
other when the crisis was at an end. On December
17, 1 86 1, I wrote:
" The news which has come to-day has caused indescribable
excitement, for it seems almost to amount to a declaration of
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN t86 5 299
war by England. The law officers of the Crown, it is said,
have decided against us ; and at once, without awaiting the
reply of our Government, vast military preparations have
been ordered. One statement is that our very forbearance
in not stopping the voyage of the Trent, and sending her
into port for adjudication, makes our act illegal. Thus, on
a lawyer's opinion that our exercise of the belligerent right
of search has in this instance been marked by some circum-
stance of informality, England is about to begin a war with
a nation allied to her in blood, and at a time when she was
especially bound to show that nation forbearance and consid-
eration. Long ago I ventured to express the opinion that we
were fighting England's battle, inasmuch as our domestic con-
test was to prevent the spread of slavery. Of late it has
seemed that slavery would everywhere cease in this land un-
less the men who had taken up arms to extend and strengthen
it should prevail in the struggle, and unless England should
interfere in their behalf. This latter contingency, it may be,
is now to become a reality, and the ruin, for a time, of my
country and the triumph of slavery to be hereafter on the
consciences of Englishmen. In the awful solemnities of the
hour you will not deny me the utterance of these sad forebod-
ings, if so be that a single voice might help to stay a fearful
wrong. A demand made on this country for the surrender of
the men taken from the Trent, with war as the alternative of
the refusal, must, of course, have but one reply. We cannot
yield to menace, when we consider law to be on our side, and
expect to hold hereafter our position among the nations. Wide-
spread ruin may, it is true, follow to all our material interests,
but we shall not be alone in our suffering. England has vast
interests in this country which will at once be imperilled ; the
market here for her products will cease to exist ; her commerce
in every quarter of the globe may be assailed. The little navy,
which the Times says can be swept so quickly from the seas,
is one that has grown in seven months from 46 vessels to
264. But it is distressing to write such words as these ; and
300 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
they lead one away from the question of chief concern to
Christian men. Is England about to begin an unjust war ?
I think our people would be willing to refer the case to any
impartial umpire, or even to a neutral prize court. Every-
where I hear suggestions like these, while the opinion is uni-
versal that to yield simply to a display of force is utterly
On the 6th of January, 1862, I wrote:
" Although the case of the Trent is settled and beginning
to fade from the remembrance of people here, it is proper
I should state the fact that much soreness of feeling toward
England remains. The conviction that we had overstepped
the limits of law does, it is true, gain strength, but men are
unable to see that the offence was such as to warrant an
instant beginning of war by England. We cannot but con-
sider, too, that there was little of the charity that hopeth
all things in the action of your Government, presuming, as
they seem to have done, that this country would not listen
to reason, and was incapable of wishing to make reparation
if wrong had been done. The hasty embarkation of troops
for Canada, and the vast warlike preparations of every kind,
of which each steamer now brings us accounts, leads us the
more to dwell on this low view of America which has been
taken by England. We ask ourselves further, what must
be the judgment of the world on the spectacle which has
been presented to it ? What effect, it might be questioned,
has Christianity had upon the nations, if the two of all others
the nearest allied in blood, and in which it is claimed that
religion has most influenced the lives of men, are ready on
so trivial a pretext to rush to arms ? "
I have given the above passages because they
show plainly enough the fever of excitement in
which we all lived in those days. It is not to be
forgotten that two ill-judged actions on our part
THE HOUSE OF COMMON'S IN 1865 301
afforded some justification for the steps taken by
England. One was a hasty letter of our Secretary
of the Navy, Gideon Welles, commending the action
of Captain Wilkes; the other, a public meeting in
Boston, in which a Judge of the United States
Supreme Court took part, the purpose of it being
to express approval of the seizure of the envoys.
The sober second thought of the people of this
country was, I think, to the effect that while, by
British decisions and British precedents, the act of
Captain Wilkes might readily be defended, it failed
of justification under that interpretation of inter-
national law for which the United States had always
The final remark to be made on the Trent matter
is that it was given to Prince Albert to do a service
to civilization as great as any man has been able
to perform in these latter times. The despatch in
which the surrender of the envoys was demanded
being submitted to him, he insisted, on behalf of
the Queen, on such modification of it as would re-
move from it everything which was of the nature
of menace. It may well be said that by this change
war was averted.
To resume my notice of Mr. Bright's important
speech. He took a final opportunity of referring to
Mr. Laird, the builder of the Alabama, "a mem-
ber of the House who is careful not to be present
this evening." He said, " I do not complain of the
friendship of that honourable member for Captain
302 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Semmes, who might be described, as another sailor
once was, as "the mildest-mannered man that ever
scuttled a ship " ; but he did complain -that he, a
member of Parliament and a magistrate of a county,
should, by his building of the Alabama, drive Eng-
land into an infraction of international law. He
referred to a retort of Mr. Laird's to him, Mr.
Bright, of two years before, that he would rather
be the builder of a dozen Alabamas than be one
to stir up class against class, words which had
been received with repeated cheering on the Oppo-
sition side of the House. He referred to the fact
that this same gentleman or firm, after they had
seen the peril into which the country was drifting
on account of the Alabama, had gone on audaciously
to build the two rams. These great vessels, Mr.
Bright said, the Government had only summoned
up courage to seize when war was on the eve of
breaking out on account of them.
Mr. Bright made impressive allusion to the stead-
fastness of the bulk of the great counties of Yorkshire
and Lancashire under their sufferings from the failure
of the cotton supply. Not an expression of sympathy
with the Confederacy could ever be wrung from them.
Indeed, the fact that peace had been preserved between
England and America was due more to the laborious
millions than to the wealthy and the cultivated.
Very striking was the conclusion of this great
speech. " Nature," he said, " will not be baffled be-
cause we are jealous of the United States. The
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 303
decrees of Providence will not be overthrown by aught
we can do." He dwelt then on the certain growth of
population; it was then 35,000,000; the increase
would be more than a million persons per year. Jeal-
ousies were sure to disappear ; there had been undue
excitement in America, and there had been inadequate
knowledge of the real state of events in that country
since the beginning of the war, even among persons
high in rank and distinguished in culture in England.
Mr. Bright said finally :
" It is on record that when the author of ' The Decline
and Fall of the Roman Empire ' was about beginning his
great work, David Hume wrote a letter to him urging him
not to employ the French, but the English tongue, because,
he said, our establishments in America promise superior sta-
bility and duration to the English language. How far that
promise has been in part fulfilled, we who are living now can
state; but how far it will be more largely and more com-
pletely fulfilled in after times, we must leave to after times to
tell. I believe that in the centuries which are to come, it will
be the greatest pride and the highest renown of England that
from her loins have sprung a hundred millions it may be
two hundred millions of men who dwell and prosper on that
continent which the old Genoese gave to Europe. Sir, if the
sentiments which I have uttered shall become the sentiments
of the Parliament and people of the United Kingdom if the
moderation which I have described shall mark the course and
Government of the people of the United States then, not-
withstanding some present irritation and some present distrust,
and I have faith both in us and them, I believe that these
two great commonwealths will march abreast, the parents and
the guardians of freedom and justice, wheresoever their lan-
guage shall be spoken and their power shall extend."
304 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
A day or two after the important debate of which
I have been telling I had an interesting interview with
Mr. Adams. As I looked forward to meeting him,
I recalled what Mr. Sumner told me seven years
before, that Charles Francis Adams, having finished
the Life of his grandfather, was about to enter public
life that he was to be elected to Congress; and
that he was as great a man as his father or his
grandfather. I little foresaw the great service he was
to render to his country, as her representative in Eng-
land, at a time when only the highest wisdom would
avail for the duties of an American Minister. I found
him hale and cheerful, with a serenity of bearing,
indeed, which told of difficulties overcome, and a path-
way now clear. I could not but endeavour to express
to him, almost at once, the feeling of gratitude toward
him common to us all at the North for the great work
it had been given him to perform in London. I might
have said, indeed, that he had seemed to me, from the
first, to have the same marvellous qualifications for
his high and difficult position, that Mr. Lincoln had
for the Presidency. But I did say to him that it was
a great pleasure to me to hear, as I had a night or
two before, in the House of Commons, the cheers
which came from both sides of the House at every
mention of his name. He replied :
" Oh, the English have always been kind to me personally.
One matter which occurred early helped me with them. My
letter of instructions I had been ordered to read to the For-
eign Secretary on my first interview with him, and to give
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 305
him a copy of it. But as I read this paper of Mr. Seward's
myself carefully, I felt satisfied that portions of it would give
offence. I was certain that in the extremely delicate condi-
tion of our then relations with England, it would be danger-
ous to lay before the Foreign Secretary a document in which
our attitude toward the British Government, and the demands
we made, were stated so uncompromisingly indeed, in al-
most the language of menace. I accordingly determined to
disobey this particular of my instructions, although I knew I
ran a risk in doing so. I resolved to make my communica-
tion to Lord John Russell in my own words, rather than in
Mr. Seward's. Of course I had fully possessed my mind with
the substance of the letter. I soon had my interview with
the Foreign Secretary ; I was with him for three hours, and
was able, I thought, to remove many wrong impressions
which he had received, and under which the Government had
been acting. The truth is that Lord Lyons had misled them.
Living as he did at Washington, where the controlling influ-
ences of society were distinctly Southern, and seeing how
resolute the Southern leaders were, and how intense was
their feeling, it was natural for him to make up his mind that
the slave States would certainly succeed in establishing their
separate government. Such, clearly, had been the tenor of
his despatches on the breaking out of the war, and for months
preceeding it. All this, I had to show Lord John Russell, was
a hasty conclusion, not warranted by the full facts of the case.
I was satisfied with the impression I made, and felt that I had
done all that I could be expected to do, as I had been per-
mitted to state thus fully the grounds on which the North
built their hopes of success. I, of course, acquainted our
Government with the fact that I had withheld the letter. I
was aware that letters or despatches addressed by the Secre-
tary of State to a foreign minister are sometimes intended
mainly for the home public ; such, I supposed, might be the
case in this instance. I took a similar responsibility, to this
that I have stated, by withholding the full text of Mr. Seward's
306 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
instructions to me in the event of the refusal of the British
Government to prevent the going out of the two rams from
the port of Liverpool. In this latter case Mr. Seward, find-
ing I had not given to the Foreign Secretary copies of the
despatches he had addressed to me, ordered them to be pub-
lished. They appeared, accordingly, precisely as though
they had been communicated to Lord John Russell. At
once there were stern enquiries in both Houses of Parlia-
ment how it was that the Foreign Secretary had allowed
such language to be laid before him. Lord John made the
quiet reply that no such words had been submitted to him,
that he saw them then for the first time. The fact that I had
withheld them was considered to my credit, and strengthened
the good feeling of the English toward me."
I said to Mr. Adams it had been matter of great
surprise to me that the Government had allowed the
building of the two rams to go on so long as they did ;
their being ships of war without any armament made
their very preparation so flagrant a violation of inter-
national law. 1 asked whether he thought there was
real danger of their being allowed to go out. He said
certainly there was ; he had again and again submitted
evidence to the Foreign Secretary showing the char-
acter of the vessels, and always the reply was that
Government was assured they were private property,
and therefore they could not interfere. One final
batch of testimony, Mr. Adams said, he submitted,
intimating plainly that his instructions were to de-
mand his passports in case the vessels were allowed
to go out. Lord John replied that he saw no more
in the evidence submitted than in that which the Gov-
ernment had already considered. Mr. Adams then
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 307
replied briefly that this was war. On receipt of these
very serious words Lord John summoned Lord Palm-
erston, the Prime Minister, to London, and the result
of the consultation was that an order was issued to
seize the rams. The precise words of Mr. Adams, in
the note referred to, as I learnt afterward, were as fol-
lows. After expressing profound regret at the conclu-
sion to which her Majesty's Government had come,
he added, " It would be superfluous in me to point out
to your Lordship that this is war."
Mr. Adams went on further to explain to me in re-
gard to the action of the Government, that they had,
from the beginning of the war, been compelled to pro-
ceed warily ; the Opposition were constantly on the
watch to trip them up on the American Question ;
the Tories, as a party, were in sympathy with the
Some curious particulars Mr. Adams mentioned in
regard to the tardy efforts of the Government to pre-
vent the going out of the Alabama. He said Mr.
Dudley brought him some evidence, which they both
thought was conclusive, as to the character of the ves-
sel ; it was not stronger than other evidence which
Mr. Adams had submitted to counsel, with no satis-
factory result ; he hesitated about throwing away
more of the money of the American Government in
lawyer's fees. Just then Mr. Forster came in, and
Mr. Adams asked his advice. He said he thought
Mr. Collier, who was a member of the House and an
eminent Queen's counsel, would give a good opinion.
308 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
Mr. Adams submitted the evidence, which Mr. Dud-
ley had brought, to Mr. Collier, who soon gave the
opinion that if the Foreign Enlistment Act was not
sufficient to hold the vessel it was no better than waste
paper. Fortified with this, Mr. Adams made a further
appeal to the Foreign Secretary. By him the papers
were referred to the Advocate General, and exactly at
this point of time this functionary became insane. A
delay of a few days followed, and this was one of the
causes of the escape of the Alabama. She went out,
as is well known, under pretence of a trial trip, and
did not return.
I had a few other meetings in London which were
of much interest tome in those days of March, 1865,
when here, on this side the ocean, the great drama of
war was drawing toward its closing scene. At Mr.
Forster's table I had the happiness to find myself next
to John Bright. I could tell him of the gratitude
which was felt toward him in all loyal American
hearts. He remarked to me that the American war
had caused him more anxiety than any event of his
whole political life. I understood him to mean that
he felt that the cause of free constitutional govern-
ment was staked on its issue. Of the company pres-
ent was Matthew Arnold, and I remember being
struck with the fact that he and Mr. Bright met then
for the first time. Next to me on my right was a
clergyman, a Mr. Fraser, of pleasing manners, and as
I felt, from my talk with him, of high intelligence.
Five years afterward I again met him ; he was then
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1X65 309
Bishop of Manchester. He died but a few years ago,
after a distinguished and honoured episcopate of fifteen
years. It was Mr. Forster to whom his elevation was
chiefly due. He selected him, when only the vicar of
a country parish, to go out to America to examine as
to our common-school system. The report he made
drew Mr. Gladstone, the Prime Minister's attention to
him ; he was made Bishop of Manchester. He threw
himself into his work with such ardour, and with so
truly catholic a spirit, that by some one's happy in-
stinct he was designated as the " Bishop of all Denom-
inations." But I recall his saying to me when I met
him, after his elevation, that he would have preferred
to remain in his simple way of life.
On the 28th of March I was present at another
field-night in the House of Commons. It was a de-
bate on the Church Establishment in Ireland. Very
important this proved in its after results. I went be-
tween four and five. Members with their hats on
were sitting carelessly on the cushioned benches, and
others, hats off, were moving about. There was the
hum of conversation everywhere, and somehow there
was that in the atmosphere which betokened a stirring
debate at hand. At five o'clock a certain Mr. Darby
Griffith, member for Devizes, rose, and at once there
broke from every part of the House cheer after cheer.
There was something peculiar in the sound, and yet
it was natural for me to suppose that here was some
notable member appearing after a long absence, and
greeted accordingly. I soon found my mistake ; the
310 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
cheers were ironical, and the House was merely ex-
pressing its vexation at the thought of the infliction
that awaited it ; the member for Devizes was an insuf-
ferable bore. He stood firm, notwithstanding the ridi-
cule thus levelled against him at the outset. At
length there was a pause, and he began with entire
calmness his dreary harangue, and maundered on,
spite of efforts, again and again renewed, to stop him.
Conversation went on at a high key during such inter-
vals as there were between the bolder efforts at inter-
ruption. The drowsy " Order, order, "of the Speaker
had little effect to restrain the House. For three
quarters of an hour the infliction lasted.
The speech of Mr. Dillwyn, with which the de-
bate of the evening opened, was rather a halting
one ; its purpose was to show that the Irish Church
Establishment was a great wrong to the body of
people. An Irish member, known as " The O'Don-
oghue," seconded the resolution with which Mr.
Dillwyn's speech had closed. Sir George Grey on
the part of the Government opposed the motion.
His speech was fluent and very direct and clear;
it was that of a practised debater, to whom long
years of parliamentary life had given grace of man-
ner. He admitted there was a grievance, but urged
that to attempt to redress it would involve the coun-
try in dissensions which would be totally destructive
to peace and progress. Mr. Gathorne Hardy fol-
lowed in what struck me as a brilliant oration,
lasting for an hour and a half. He spoke from the
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 311
front Opposition bench. He urged that to attack
the Irish Church was to attack the English ; but
he seemed sincere in his conviction that the con-
tinuance of the Establishment in Ireland was for
the good of the Irish people. There was a charm
in his readiness and his perfect self-possession. I
listened without a thought of fatigue, though it was
nine o'clock when he came to an end.
Five hours had now passed. Members who had
gone away for dinner were returning. I noticed,
however, that Lord Palmerston and Mr. Gladstone
had scarcely been absent at all. The Speaker left
the chair, and there was a pause of ten minutes.
Then Mr. Gladstone took the floor. For one hour
this great orator enchained the attention of the
House, controlling it in part by his eloquence, and
in part by the interest which was excited by the
desire to know what line he would take in regard
to the perplexing subject under discussion. To the
surprise of, I think, most of those who listened, he
gave his adhesion, clearly and distinctly, to the
statement that the condition of the Irish Church
Establishment was unsatisfactory. He stated that
condition to be this: in a nation of between five
and six millions of people, about 600,000 or 700,000
had the exclusive possession of the ecclesiastical
property of the country intended to be applied to
the religious instruction of all. He argued that this
state of things could not continue, but he denied
that the time for dealing with the question had yet
312 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
fully come. The speech seemed eminently wise,
and it was uttered in an earnest way, enforcing one's
assent. The moment he came to an end, an emi-
nent Opposition orator, Mr. Whiteside, started to
his feet, and, with the air of a man confident in
himself and rejoicing in his opportunity, addressed
himself to the work of a reply. It was a splendid
arena on which he looked round, for the House
was now crammed, and it was evident the speaker
was one to whom all delighted to listen. He spoke
mainly from the inspiration of the moment, for Mr.
Gladstone's speech was in great part his text. He
knew well the importance of the declaration to
which he was thus replying, and he was conscious,
too, that the great body of his Tory supporters, sit-
ting in close phalanx behind him, relied on him to
do his best. So his Irish blood, one could suppose,
was all aglow at the thought of his being thus a
recognized champion in what was likely to prove
a memorable contest. Not for a moment did he
pause to collect his ideas, but, starting at once in
a high strain of eloquence, he swept on with irre-
sistible force and effect. It was a flood of denun-
ciation and of sarcasm, and there was withal a sort
of rollicking humour showing itself through the
scholarly refinement that really characterized his
speech. Once the House was moved to uncon-
trollable laughter at the orator's expense ; he was
betrayed into the curious Hibernian statement that
the province of Ulster returned thirty members to
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1863 313
this House, some of whom had sat in Parliament
for two centuries. He explained, in some adroit
way, his meaning as soon as the House would listen,
and the flow of his eloquence swept on. He closed
his speech soon afterward in a tempest of cheers.
It was after eleven o'clock when he sat down, and
the chief interest of the debate was now over. What
gave great importance to the evening's discussion was
that it had been the occasion of one of the memorable
declarations of Mr. Gladstone's life, committing him
further as a Liberal, but involving the sacrifice of
something dear to him, his seat as a member for the
University of Oxford. The honour he lost in the
general election of 1868 was bestowed upon his oppo-
nent in this debate of 1865, Mr. Gathorne Hardy. It
has been sometimes charged against Mr. Gladstone
that he assailed the Irish Church, and urged disestab-
lishment, when he was out of office, and as a means
of recovering power. The record of this debate
shows that he pronounced against it in 1865, when
he was in office. The bill for disestablishment was
passed in 1869.
The day after the debate of which I have been
telling, I had the great satisfaction of an interview of
an hour with Mr. Gladstone. He had appointed half
past ten for my call at Carlton House Terrace. As
I entered the wide hall he was entering it from the
staircase. He had a book or review in his hand. As
the House had sat late, it was natural that his face
should show signs of short hours of sleep. He led
314 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
me at once into the library, a large room, and gave
me a seat near the fire. He referred, of course, very
soon to the war, and asked me what I thought was
likely to be the course of it. I said it was plain to
me it was near its close. But, he asked, had not the
South still resources to draw on ; he had seen the state-
ment that they were about themselves to declare the
slaves free, and put arms in their hands. I said this sug-
gestion was really one of despair, that a Confederate
officer had told me it came from Mr. Benjamin, who
owned no slaves himself. Moreover, I said, the blacks
knew the North to be their friends. Northern soldiers
escaping from prisons at the South had always been
helped on their way by the slaves. I then added that
two governments were really impossible within the
limits of the United States. He asked at once why
they were impossible, and rather held me to precise and
definite objections. I said there was no natural boun-
dary; that the West and Northwest could never allow
the mouth of the Mississippi to be beyond their control ;
that New Orleans could never be surrendered by the
Federal Government, nor could the control of Chesa-
peake Bay be given up. I referred to the fact that
separate governments would imply frontier fortresses
and separate fleets.
Mr. Gladstone then referred to his own state of
mind in regard to the war ; said he had thought the
North was t attempting the impossible; he had never
opened his mouth on the merits of the contest. He
added with warmth that it was a vulgar error to sup-
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1865 315
pose that any but the most inconsiderable portion of
the English people desired the downfall of the United
States. He went on to say that he, with many others,
thought our system of government was not capable of
bearing the strain of a great civil war ; that the States
seemed too loosely knit together. " But," he said,
speaking with great animation, "in the constancy
which has been shown, the fortitude, the self-sacrifice,
I for one perceive the extraordinary strength which is
given by free institutions." He said further, though I
cannot give his precise words, that the love of country
which had been exhibited had given to the world a
very striking lesson. He qualified this by saying that
a similar heroic spirit had been shown by the South.
It was natural for me to wish to obtain from Mr.
Gladstone some expression in regard to Mr. Lincoln.
I said I hoped he appreciated the advantage the
United States had had, in this great crisis, in the
gifts of mind of the President and his singleness of
heart. He replied at once, with his peculiar anima-
tion, almost vehemence of manner, that he did most
fully. He had always, he said, thought well of Mr.
Lincoln, and considered that he had high qualities as
a leader; but his Inaugural Address, which had just
come, filled him with admiration ; he saw in it evi-
dence of a moral elevation most rare in a statesman,
or indeed in any man. " I am taken captive," he said
in substance, " by so striking an utterance as this. I
see in it the effect of sharp trial when rightly borne to
raise men to a higher level of thought and feeling.
316 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
It is by cruel suffering that nations are sometimes
born to a better life; so it is with individual men.
Mr. Lincoln's words show that upon him anxiety and
sorrow have wrought their true effect." Mr. Glad-
stone spoke with approval of Mr. Forster's bearing in
regard to the war. " Mr. Bright," he said, " does cruel
injustice to the South." This remark I thought
showed that Mr. Gladstone's sympathies had been
with the South, though they might, if the phrase is
allowable, be called unconscious sympathies.
I cannot forbear to give here those last words of
President Lincoln which made so profound an impres-
sion on Mr. Gladstone, and which will cause men to
lift up their hearts while our English tongue endures.
"The Almighty has his own purposes. 'Woe unto the
world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences
come,' 'but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.'
If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of these
offences, which in the providence of God must needs come,
but which, having continued through His appointed time, He
now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and
South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the
offence came, shall we discern there any departure from those
divine attributes which the believers in a living God always
ascribe to Him. Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray,
that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet
if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the
bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil
shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the
lash be paid by another drawn by the sword, as it was said
three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that ' the
judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1863 317
" With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firm-
ness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish
the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care
for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow
and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cher-
ish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all
On the 3d of April England was startled by news
of the death of Richard Cobden. In the House of
Commons Lord Palmerston and Mr. Disraeli spoke,
the same evening, in sober and graceful eulogy of
him; the latter characterized him as, without doubt,
the greatest political character the pure middle class
of England had yet produced. Mr. Bright's few and,
I think, broken words were as follows:
" Sir, I feel that I cannot address the House on this occa-
sion ; but every expression of sympathy which I have heard
has been most grateful to my heart. But the time which has
elapsed since in my presence, the manliest and gentlest spirit
that ever tenanted or quitted a human form took its flight, is
so short that I dare not even attempt to give utterance to the
feelings by which I am oppressed. I shall leave to some
calmer moment, when I may have an opportunity of speaking
before some portion of my countrymen, the lesson which I
think may be learned from the life and character of my friend.
I have only to say that, after twenty years of most intimate
and almost brotherly friendship with him, I little knew how
much I loved him until I found that I had lost him."
On the 8th of April I embarked at Liverpool for
my return voyage, and on the iQth, at six o'clock in
the morning, we took on board a pilot, who brought
318 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERTDGES
us news of the fall of Richmond and the surrender of
Lee. Although we were but one hundred miles from
New York, the intelligence we thus received only
reached to the date of Friday, the i4th. The Ameri-
cans on board had six hours of high rejoicing over
our glorious successes, little knowing what a terrible
calamity had, on the night of that same Friday,
befallen the country. Our good ship, the Persia,
steamed rapidly on, and the American coast grew
more and more distinct. The day was of marvellous
brightness, and most of the passengers were on deck
to enjoy the interesting approach. All, too, were
happy in the thought of the speedy ending of a
prosperous voyage. We paused off Sandy Hook,
just at the entrance to the Narrows, for there we
were to deliver a letter bag to be put on board the
China, the steamer of that day for Europe, and which
was already under way. I leaned over the ship's
side, watching the approach of the small boat which
was thus to convey letters from one steamer to the
other. Slowly it came over the bright waters ; the
bag was thrown down to it, and some late English
newspapers ; and in return a New York paper of that
day was handed up to our captain. Looking from
above, I saw that the paper was in mourning. Some-
thing very serious, it was plain, had happened. An
Englishman near me suggested that the mourning
might be for Cobden. " No," said I, " that cannot be
the explanation." Fifteen minutes passed before Cap-
tain Lot, who had taken the paper to his cabin, re-
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN 1863 319
turned with it, and handed it to his passengers, with
its terrible announcement. Then the tidings went
instantly from one to another, " Mr. Lincoln is dead,
he has been assassinated." Who that was of suffi-
cient years to understand the meaning of the words
can ever forget the shock and horror of them ! To
us, on the ship, there was the further element of be-
wilderment that the when, where, and how of the
murder were still unknown to us. The one news-
paper we had was chiefly filled with details of the
pursuit of the assassin, and the acts of the new Presi-
dent, Johnson. This suspense lasted for an hour or
two. With the coming of the quarantine officers we
received the full tidings.
I landed, and everywhere signs of sorrow met my
eye. It was the day of the funeral at Washington ;
and, in town and country, work and business were
alike suspended. Other days of lamentation followed,
for in every household the feeling was that of personal
The funeral at Washington was the beginning of
the slow, solemn tread of a procession which went
from city to city, awakening grief anew, as one eager
waiting multitude after another was reached. I saw,
in Philadelphia, the hearse drawn slowly onward along
the same streets by which the living man had gone,
attended by rejoicing multitudes, to begin his solemn
work. He had uttered here on that memorable occa-
sion, in front of the Hall of Independence, words which
almost expressed foreboding of his doom. Momentous
320 WORDSWORTH AND THE COLERIDGES
years came and went; his steady hand guided us
through our awful danger, until at last his country's
deliverance was wrought. Then to his great and pure
soul came the release, the relief shall we not say the
reward of death.
Abbotsford, built by Blore, 131.
Aberdeen, Lord, 151, 248.
Aberdeen, University of, 277.
Achilli, Dr., sues Dr. Newman, 151-
Acland, Sir Henry, 204.
Acland, Sir Thomas, 204, 273.
Adams, Charles Francis, 257, 282, 287,
288, 296, 297, 298; interview with,
Adams, John Quincy, 5.
Addison, Joseph, 202.
Ainger, Canon, 176, 177.
Aira Force, 62.
Alabama Controversy, the, 166, 257,
264, 265, 287, 301, 302, 307, 308.
Alfred, the thousandth anniversary of
King, 201; City of, 207, 211.
All Saints' Church, the building of, 145,
All Souls' College, 228.
Allibone, S. A., 21.
Allston, Washington, 124.
"Alton Locke" (Kingsley), 192.
Ambleside, 33, 61, 75, 86, 94, 98.
Ambleside Church, memorial window to
Wordsworth in, 56-57.
American Literature, how treated in the
Quarterly Review, 158.
" Ancient Mariner " (Coleridge), 63.
Antislavery movement, 6-7.
Arctic, wreck of, 55, 139, 141.
Argyll, Duke of, 270.
Arnold, Frances, 75, 76, 81-82.
Arnold, Jane, see Mrs. W. E. Forster.
Arnold, Matthew, 26, 95, 157, 158, 1 66,
236, 237, 262, 270, 308.
Arnold, Matthew (Mrs.), 175.
Arnold, Thomas, 86, 90, 95, 250-252.
Arnold, Thomas (Dr.), 76, 82, 96, 194,
Arnold, Thomas (Mrs.), 75, 76, 79, 80,
82, 87, 88, 89, 90, 95, 96, 98.
Arnold, William D., 89, 186, 252, 275.
Arnold-Forster, Florence (Miss), 276.
Arnold-Forster, H. O., 276.
Ashburton, Lady, 19.
Atlantic cable, laying of the, 89, 281.
Australasian, steamship, 281.
Ayrton, his part in a debate in the
House of Commons (1865), 293.
Baccarat case, the, 177-179.
Bagehot, Walter, 258.
Baillie, Joanna, bust of, 70.
Balliol College, Oxford, 59.
Hampton Lectures, 225.
Bassenthwaite, Lake, 85.
Beaconsfield, Lord, 268.
Belligerent rights of the South, English
acknowledgment of, 296-297.
Ben Rhyding, 243.
Benjamin, Judah P., 314.
Bernard, Mountague, editor of the
Guardian, 156, 157, 228.
Bethell, Sir Richard, 232, 234, 235.
Bhow Begum, 64.
Bidding Prayer, the, 226.
Binney, Horace, n.
" Biographia Borealis," 121.
" Biographia Literaria," 105, 106.
Birmingham, 152, 268.
" Bishop of all Denominations," the
(Bishop of Manchester), 309.
Bishop of Cape Town, 225.
Bishop of Oxford, 229.
Bisley, Vicar of, 214, 215, 217, 219.
Black Heath, home of John Stuart
"Blithedale Romance" (Hawthorne),
Blore, architect of Abbotsford, 131.
Board Schools, 260.
Bodleian Library, 38, 226.
Boehme, Jacob, 191.
Bolt Court, Rogers's visit to, 127.
Boniface VIII., 207.
Borage, the, 226.
Bowman, Bishop, 12.
Bradford, 268, 269.
Bremer, Frederika, 6.
Bright, John, 163, 230, 248, 256, 261,
270, 282, 294-298, 301-303; inter-
view with, 308; 316.
British Museum, reading room, 150-151.
Bronson, Miss (sister-in-law of Henry
Reed), 55, 141.
Bronte, Charlotte, life of, 193.
Brooks, Preston S., 1 86, 187.
Brougham, Lord, 5, 18, 172, 232, 233,
Browning, E. B., 127, 132.
Browning, Robert, 127.
Brydges, Sir Egerton, 74.
Bulgarian atrocities, 268.
Buller, Sir Redvers, 271.
Burgon, Dean, 273.
Burgoyne, Sir John, 14.
Burke, Edmund, 146, 262.
Burley, W. E. Forster buried at, 275.
Bury St. Edmunds, 179.
Butterfield, architect of All Saints'
Church, 145, 146, 151, 174.
Buxton, Sir Thomas Fowell, 241, 249,
Calcutta, 148; chief justiceship of, 156.
California, the settlement of, 35.
Campbell, Lord, 21.
Canadian Defences Bill, 284-285, 287-
Carey, Henry, 15.
Carlton House Terrace, home of Glad-
Carlyle, Jane Welsh, 253, 254.
Carlyle, John, translator of Dante, 63, 64.
Carlyle, Thomas, description of Welling-
ton, 1 8, 19; allusion to Mrs. Taylor,
24; 112, 192, 246; visit to Ireland,
253; Forster's comment on, 254; 258.
Carter, Mr., secretary to Wordsworth,
59, 60, 71.
Catholic emancipation, 5, 20, 234.
Cecil, Lord Robert, see Marquess of
Chalmers, Thomas, 19.
Chamberlain, Joseph, 270.
Chancellorship of Cambridge Univer-
Chancellorship of Oxford University,
Channing, W. E., 6.
Chantrey's bust of Wordsworth, 44, 71.
"Charge of the Six Hundred" (Tenny-
Charles I., 155, 187.
Charles V., 211.
Charles X., banishment of, 4.
Charleston, fall of, 282.
Chase, Judge, 8.
Cherwell, the, 202.
China, steamship, 318.
Cholera, in France and England (1849),
Choral music, awakened interest in, 123.
Christ Church College, Oxford, 199, 201,
"Christian Year" (Keble), 156, 212,
" Christie Johnstone " (Reade), 193.
Church establishment in Ireland, debate
Civil War in America, 11-15.
Clarence and Avondale, Duke of, 175,
Clarendon, Lord, 259.
Clarkson, Thomas, 6.
Clifford, Edward, artist, 272.
Cobden, Richard, death of, 317-318.
Cockburn, Sir Alexander, death of, 168.
Cockermouth, 99, 100, 102.
Coit, Rev. Dr., rector of St. Paul's
School, Concord, 136.
Coleridge, Christabel, 124.
Coleridge, Derwent, 55, 61, 63, 64, 114,
119, 120; personal memories of, 123-
Coleridge, Derwent (Mrs.), 123, 128,
Coleridge, Edith (daughter of Sara
Coleridge), 59, 126, 128, 129; her
recollections of S. T. C., 133.
Coleridge, Ernest (son of Derwent
Coleridge, Hartley, his wayward life, 47,
56, 64, 72; his last days, 73, 76; 114,
115, 118-122, 246.
Coleridge, Henry Nelson, 105, 124, 150.
Coleridge, Henry Nelson (Mrs.), see
Coleridge, Herbert, 131.
Coleridge, John Duke, see Lord Cole-
Coleridge, John Taylor, 76, 115, 148-
165; his "Life of Keble," 168; 169,
170, 174, 219, 220, 246.
Coleridge, Lady, 171.
Coleridge, Lord, 17, 115, 145-150* 154-
Coleridge, Mr. Justice, see John Taylor
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 87, 105, 1 14,
1 1 6, 117, 124, 125; conversation of,
133-134; '35 '39-
Coleridge, Sara, 25, 59, 64,96, 105-117;
death of, 125, 126, 131, 136, 138, 139.
Collier, Mr., a Queen's Counsel, 307-
Confederate schemes, 282-283.
Coniston, 70, 93.
Coniston Water, 83.
" Credibility of Early Roman History "
(Lewis), 130, 149.
Creweian Oration, the, 236.
Crimean War, 248, 250.
Crittenden Compromise, II.
Cropper, Mrs., daughter of Dr. Arnold,
Crummock Water, 85.
Cumberland, scenery of, 83, 114, 126.
Dallas, George M., Minister to England,
Dante, translated by Dr. Carlyle, 63 ;
Davy, John (Dr.), 56, 246.
Davy, Sir Humphry, 56.
Delhi, during the Mutiny, 89.
Dennison, Sir William, Governor of Van
Diemen's Land, 251.
De Quincey, Thomas, 69.
Derby, Lord, 21, 230, 257, 258, 284-
Derwentwater, 63, 67, 68, 85.
De Tocqueville, 165, 186.
De Vere, Aubrey, 107, 116, 118, 276.
Devizes, 309, 310.
Dillwyn, Mr., speech on the Irish Church
" Discourses on University Education "
Disraeli, Benjamin, 257, 258, 287, 290,
Dissenters object to the Education Bill,
Dobrizhoffer, Martin, 115.
Dodsworth, his attack upon Keble, 218.
Douglas, debate with Lincoln, 10, u,
Drummond, Judge, 1 73.
Duddon, valley of the, 83.
Dudley, Thomas H., consul at Liver-
pool, 282, 283, 307, 308.
Dupont, Admiral, 15.
Durham Cathedral, 67.
Dyce, his frescoes in All Saints' Church,
Dyce, Alexander, 119.
Easdale, 69, 70.
Eckermann, conversations with Goethe,
Eden, Charles Page (Rev.), 205.
Edinburgh, literary circle of, 70.
Edinburgh Review, 187.
Education Bill, Forster's, 248, 259-263.
Egremont, castle of, 85.
Egypt (in 1856), 165; (in 1884), 270.
Elleray, home of Professor Wilson, 33.
Ely Cathedral, 108.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 6, 7, 16, 96;
Kingsley's opinion of, 192-193.
Encumbered Estates Bill, 20.
" Enfranchisement of Women " (Mrs.
"English Traits" (Emerson), 193.
Esthwaite Water, 92.
Everett, Edward, 46.
Eversley, home of Kingsley, 183, 184.
Exeter, John Duke Coleridge, member
Faber, F. W., 72, 246.
"Fable for Critics" (Lowell), 193.
Fellowships, conditions of holding, 39.
Fenton's Hotel, St. James's Street, Lon-
Fielding, Copley, 216.
Fish, Hamilton, 265.
Fitzgerald, Mr., his speech in the House
of Commons (1865), 287-288.
Fleming, Lady, 50.
Fletcher, Angus, 70.
Fletcher, Mrs., 70, 246.
Foreign Enlistment Act, 308.
Forster, Robert, 241, 242.
Forster, William, 241, 261.
Forster, William Edward, prediction
concerning J. S. Mill, 26 ; a disciple
of Maurice, 98; the Alabama claims,
165167; Kingsley's opinion of, 184,
185, 194; 241-277, 284, 285, 288-
290, 296, 308, 309.
Forster, W. E. (Mrs.), 76, ?j\/\, 246, 247,
250, 251, 252, 266, 269, 273, 274, 275.
Fountains Abbey, 247.
Fox, Caroline, 246.
Fox, Charles James, lines on the death
Fox, George, 191, 242.
Fox Ghyll, home of W. E. Forster, 273.
Fox How, home of Dr. Arnold, 57, 74,
76, 81, 82, 86-89, 9*> 96, 246.
Franklin, Sir John, 233.
Fraser, Mr. (Bishop of Manchester),
"Friends in Council" (Helps), 193.
Froude, Hurrell, 214, 215.
Froude, J. A., 193.
Fugitive Slave Law, 7.
Funeral, a rural, 188-189, 216-217.
Garibaldi's descent upon Sicily, 9, 229.
Garrick, David, 127.
Garrison, William Lloyd, 6, 7.
Gaskell, Mrs., 193.
Geneva Arbitration, 166, 228, 264, 265,
"Genevieve" (Coleridge), 63.
George Eliot, 101.
Gerente, H., 108-109, 147.
Gibbon, Edward, 303.
Gibraltar, William Arnold's death at,
Gillies, Margaret, 44.
Gillman, James and Anne, their care of
S. T. Coleridge, 134.
Gladstone, W. E., 10; account of the
Oxford movement, 147, 148; his
scholarship, 151; his appreciation of
Lincoln, 162, 315, 316; Lord Cole-
ridge's opinion of, 163; his govern-
ment, 1 66; offers a peerage to Sir
John Coleridge, 169; Oxford feeling
for, 203, 230; the Crimean War, 248;
as Prime Minister, 259, 260; his re-
tirement in 1865, 263, 265; succeeds
Lord Beaconsfield, 268 ; his Irish
Policy, 269-270 ; the desertion of
Gordon, 270-272 ; the character of,
273-274, 286 ; his attitude toward
the Civil War, 290 ; promotes the
Geneva Arbitration, 294 ; appoints
the Bishop of Manchester, 309 ;
speech upon Church Establishment in
Ireland, 311313 ; an interview con-
cerning American affairs, 313-316.
Gladstone, W. E. (Mrs.), 231.
Glenelg, Lord, 128.
Gloucester Cathedral, musical festival
Goddard, Wordsworth's lines on the
death of, 87-88.
Goethe, 20, 90.
Gordon, Chinese, desertion of, 270-272.
Gordon Gumming trial, the, 177-179.
Gorham Judgment, the, 147.
Goschen, Hon. G. J., 270.
" Grace," at Oriel College, 205.
Grant, Sir Francis, 130.
Grant, U. S., 265.
Grasmere, 57, 59, 60, 70, 75, 86, 99, 119.
Great Seal, charge of, 172.
Greek, the study of, 39.
Greeley, Horace, 8.
Greta, 63, 64, 86, 100.
Greta Hall (home of Southey), 64, 65,
Grey, Earl, 5, 21.
Grey, Sir George, 310.
Griffith, Darby, 309-310.
Grote, Mrs., 23.
Guardian, the, II, 156, 157, 298.
Guilford, Earl of, 210.
Guizot, Wordsworth's opinion of, 36;
Nassau Senior's acquaintance with,
Hallam, Arthur (quoted), 135.
Hanwell, Derwent Coleridge accepts the
living of, 135.
Harcourt, Sir William, 259.
Hardy Gathorne, 310-311, 313.
Hare, Augustus, 97.
Hare, Esther, 97.
Hare, Julius, 39, 76, 97, 246.
Hare, Maria, 97.
Hartington, Lord, 263, 270.
Hawkshead, 92, 93.
Hawthorne, N., his description of Ma-
caulay, 132; Lord Coleridge's appre-
ciation of, 146; Kingsley's criticism
of, 193; his description of York
Hawtrey, Dr., Provost of Eton, 150.
Heathcote, Sir William, 216.
Heath's Court, home of Mr. Justice
Coleridge, 115, 156, 158, 162, 174, 175.
Heights of Abraham, 292.
Helmore, Mr., authority on Plain Song,
Helps, Arthur, 193, 263.
Henry VI., flight after battle of Hexham,
Henry VIII., Wordsworth's opinion of,
37; his entertainment of Charles V.,
Hexham, battle of, 83.
Highgate, home of S. T. Coleridge, 125,
High Street, Oxford, 202.
Holbein, portrait of Henry VIII., 38;
portraits by, 226.
Homer, authorship of, 130-131; criti-
cism of, 150.
Home Rule, 269-270, 272-274.
Hope, Beresford, 147.
Hope, James, 147.
Hope-Scott, see James Hope.
Hughes, Thomas, 194.
Hume, David, 303.
Hursley, the home of John Keble, 208,
211, 212, 2l6, 22O, 222.
Hutchinson, Sarah, Mrs. Wordsworth's
sister, 77, 118.
Hutton, R. H., 97, 98.
Imperial Federation, 270.
Inaugural address, Lincoln's, 315-317.
Inman, his portrait of Wordsworth,
International copyright, 47.
Ireland, Carlyle's visit to, 253; Lord
Lieutenantship of, 254-255.
Irish Church, bill for disestablishing
Irish Land Bill (of 1870), 248.
Irish outrages, 173.
Irish policy, Gladstone's, 270.
Isis, the (river in Oxford), 203.
Isle of Wight, Newman at the, 221.
Jackson, Andrew, 5.
Jeffrey, Francis, 70.
John XXII., 207.
Johnson, Andrew, 319.
Johnson, Samuel, 127.
Jones, William West, Bishop of Cape
Town, 225, 227, 228.
Jowett, B., Master of Balliol, 101,
Juxon, William (Dr.), founder of St.
John's College, Oxford, 226, 227.
Keble, John, the dedication to Words-
worth of his " Lectures on Poetry,"
58; quoted by Emerson, 97; friend-
ship for Sir John Coleridge, 150, 155,
156; friendship for Kingsley, 189,
190; 206, 208, 211-222.
Keble, John (Mrs.), 217.
Keble, Thomas (Rev.), 214, 216, 217,
Keswick, 62, 63, 85, 86, 99, 100, 113,
Kilmainham Treaty (1882), 269.
Kingsley, Charles, controversy with Sir
John Coleridge, 156; interview with,
183196; his comment on British
rule in India, 185, 186; on American
affairs, 186; on slavery, 187, 1 88; on
the Oxford Movement, 190; on Quak-
erism, 191; on American writers, 192,
193; his feeling for Maurice, 194;
on Spurgeon's sermons, 195; opinion
of Forster, 250.
Kingsley, Charles (Mrs.)', 185, 1 86, 188,
189, 190, 191.
King William's College, Calcutta, 148.
Kirkstone Pass, 59, 61.
Knox, Alexander, 190.
Lafayette, his reception in Philadelphia
in 1824, 3-4.
Laird, Mr., the builder of the Alabama,
Lamb, Charles, 87, n 6.
Lancashire operatives, their sympathy
with the Northern States, 289, 302.
Lancrigg, home of Mrs. Fletcher, 70.
Laud, Dr. William, 226, 227.
Lawford, Mrs., wife of Lord Coleridge,
Lawrence, Sir John, 252.
Lee, General R. E., 318.
Leeds, Forster at, 185.
Leitch, Mr., 63, 64.
Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, 130, 149,
" Liberty " (J. S. Mill), dedication of,
"Life of Dr. Arnold" (Stanley), 246.
" Life of Dr. John Fothergill " (Hartley
"Life of Keble " (Sir John Coleridge),
"Life of Lord Fairfax" (Hartley Cole-
" Life of Sterling " (Carlyle), 112.
Lincoln, Abraham, nomination of, 10,
256 ; debate with Douglas, 10-1 1 ;
progress to Washington, 12-13; i n '
terview with, 13-15; Gladstone's
opinion of, 162, 315-316; second in-
auguration of, 282; feeling toward
England, 296; 304.
Lingard, John, 209.
Liverpool, 113, 281, 282, 283, 306, 317.
Lodore, Falls of, 67, 68.
Lord Chancellor, his charge of the
Great Seal, 172, 232.
Lot, Captain, commander of the Persia,
Loughrigg, 57, 74, 75, 76, 81, 91, 95.
Louis XVI. cited by Kingsley, 187.
Louis-Philippe, 36; government of, 108.
Lovell, Mrs., 66, 67.
Lowe, Robert, 257, 291, 292, 293.
Lowell, James Russell, 49 (note) ; 193.
Lundy, Benjamin, 6.
Luther, Thirwall's admiration of, 39.
Lyndhurst, Lord, 21.
Lyons, Lord, English Minister at Wash-
Lyulph's Tower, 62.
Macaulay, T. B., 129-133, 191, 242.
Macleod, Norman, 263.
Madonna di San Sisto, 34, 213.
Magdalen College, 202, 203.
Maine, Montgomery's march through,
Maine, Sir Henry, 257.
Malle-poste, travelling by, 28-29.
Manning, Cardinal, 40, 107, 147, 218.
Mansel, Professor, 227.
Marriage, an Oriental view of, 149.
Marriott, Charles, Fellow of Oriel and
Vicar of St. Mary's, 199, 202, 204,
Marshall's Island, 67, 70.
Martineau, Harriet, 6, 72, 97, 246.
Mason and Slidell, 283-284.
Master in Chancery, Nassau Senior,
" Maud " (Tennyson), 249.
Maurice, Esther, 97.
Maurice, F. D., Hutton and Forster dis-
ciples of, 97-98 ; his defence of
Kingsley, 156, 190; Thomas Hughes
a disciple of, 194; his estimate of
Spurgeon, 196, 266.
McClintock, Sir Leopold, 233, 235.
McMichael, Morton, 12, 15, 141, 266.
"Memorials of a Quiet Life" (Hare),
Merton, chapel of, 202.
Metropolitan of South Africa, 225.
Michael Angelo, 171.
" Middlemarch " (George Eliot), IOI.
Middle Temple, banquet at the, 175-
Mill, John Stuart, 22-27, '63. 164.
Milman, Dean, 150-151.
Milnes, Monckton, 132.
Milton, John, Tennyson reciting, 71,
Mitre, the, an Oxford inn, 199, 202.
" Molony's Lament" (Thackeray), 255.
Montcalm, at Quebec, 292.
Montgomery, General, 292, 293.
Motley, J. L., 233, 235, 236.
Mott, Lucretia, 6, 245.
Moultrie, John, 124.
Moxon, poet and publisher, 1 28.
Miiller, engraving of the Dresden Ma-
Miiller, Max, 188.
Muncaster Castle, 83.
Murat, Lucien, 30.
Napier, Mr., Member for Dublin Uni-
Napoleon, Louis, 30.
Navarino, battle of, 4-5.
Neale, John Mason, 80, 209.
" Nemesis of Faith " (Froude), 193.
New College, 206.
Newman, John Henry, 107 ; effect of
his sermons, 147; his followers, 150;
sued by Dr. Achilli, 151-154; influ-
ence upon Keble, 155; portrait of,
171; his successor at St. Mary's, 199,
204; his admiration for Pusey, 200;
visit to Keble, 220, 221; 205.
New Zealand, 251.
Nollekens, his parsimony, 129.
Nonconformists, their objection to the
Education Act of 1870, 260-263.
Notre Dame, rebuilding of the South
"Oakfield" (W. D. Arnold), 89, 186.
"O'Donoghue, The," 310.
"Ode to the Duke of Wellington"
(Tennyson), 249, 250.
Oriel College, Hartley Coleridge at, 119.
Orton (the Tichborne claimant), 167.
Ottery St. Mary, Devon, home of Mr.
Justice Coleridge and Lord Cole-
ridge, 145, 156, 158, 168, 171.
Overend-Gurney failure, 264.
Oxford, 199-222, 288.
Oxford Commemoration, the, 225-237.
Oxford Movement, 42, 107, 147, 190,
Oxford wine, an, 228.
Paley, William, 131.
Palfrey, John Gorham, 133.
Palmerston, Lord, 10, 163, 166, 232,
257' 2 98,307. 3' I. 3' 7-
Panizzi, A., 150-151.
Paris, first sight of (1849), 29.
Park Crescent, London, home of Mr.
Justice Coleridge and Lord Coleridge,
Parnell, C. S., Gladstone's surrender to,
" Parochial Sermons " (Newman), 204.
Patterdale, 61, 62.
Patteson, Sir John, 159.
Patteson, John Coleridge, 159.
Peel, Sir Robert, 20, 220.
Penn, William, 242.
Penne, George, 242.
Penningtons, ancient family of the, 83.
Pennsylvania Historical Society, cele-
bration of the fiftieth anniversary of,
Penrose, Mr., a brother of Mrs. Thomas
Arnold, 76, 82.
Perry, Dr. (of Bonn), 76.
Persia, steamship, 318.
"Phsethon" (Kingsley), 192.
Phelps, E. J., 1 6, 17.
Philadelphia, 288, 319 ; reception of
Philip and Mary, marriage of, 210.
Phillips, Wendell, 6.
Pickersgill, portrait of Wordsworth, 37.
Plain Song, 123, 131.
Plato, 1 1 6.
Plotinus, 1 1 6.
Point Levi, 292.
Political Dissenters, 262.
" Political Economy " (Mill), Dedica-
tion of, 26 (note).
Politician, the meaning of the word in
Poonah, college at, 99, 101.
Portinscale Hotel, 100.
Powis, Earl of, 37.
Praed, W. M., 124.
Prevost, Sir George, 205, 206.
Price, Bonamy, his opinion of Glad-
Prince Albert, his German education,
38; his action in the affair of the
Prince of Wales, 177-179; 230, 231,
Punch, quoted, 9.
Punjaub, schools in the, 252, 275.
Pusey, E. B., Mill's opinion of, 26; Sara
Coleridge's opinion of, 107; his per-
sonal appearance, 199-200; his family,
201-202; 215, 217, 218; meeting with
Keble and Newman, 221.
Pusey, Philip, of Pusey, 201.
Pusey, Philip, son of Dr. Pusey, 201
Puseyism, Mill's definition of, 26.
Quakerism, Kingsley on, 191, 261-263.
Quarterly Review, edited by Sir John
Taylor Coleridge, 150, 158.
Quebec, fortifications at, 287, 292, 293.
Queen Caroline, trial of, 234.
Queen Victoria, her visit to Ireland, 36;
her letter upon hearing the news of
Gordon's death, 271; her action in
the affair of the Trent, 301.
Quillinan, Dora, death of, 37, 43, 74.
Quillinan, Jemima, 74, 99.
Quillinan, Rotha, 74, 99.
Rastadt, battle of, 27-28.
Reade, Charles, 193.
Reed, Professor Henry, 34, 47, 48, 51,
55, 56, 88, 105, 109, 123; death of,
Reed, William B., letter from Thackeray
to, 138, 141.
Reform Bill, 5, 234, 257.
Reid, Wemyss, 249.
Richardson, Lady, 246.
Richmond, Va., 297, 318.
Richmond, portrait of Keble by, 212.
Richmond, James (Rev.), 88.
Rigi, ascent of the, 87.
" Rise and Fall of the Dutch Republic "
Robertson, F. W. 196.
Robinson, Henry Crabb, 87, 89, 128,
Rogers, Samuel, 37, 125, 127-129.
Rothay, 57, 59.
Rothay Bank, 71, 75, 85.
Russell, Sir Charles, 1 78.
Russell, George W., 172.
Russell, Lord John, on the battle of
Navarino, 4-5; his oratory, 20; his
conferring home rule upon Canada,
21 ; his retirement from the Aberdeen
government, 248; failure of the Re-
form Bill (1865), 257; as Foreign
Secretary, 282-283, 293 ; C. F.
Adams's official relations with, 305,
Rydal, 75, 76, 86, 89, 95.
Rydal, vale of, 57.
Rydal, waterfall of, 45.
Rydal Church, 72, 73, 74.
Rydal Mount, the home of Wordsworth,
34. 55. 59, 60, 71, 72, 87, 90, 95, 99,
Rydal Water, 59, 98.
St. Augustine, 156, 192.
St. Bernard, 156.
St. Cross, hospital of (Winchester),
St. Cuthbert, 67.
St. Herbert's Island, 67.
St. James the Less (church in Phila-
St. John's College, Cambridge, 37.
St. John's College, Oxford, 225, 226,
St. John's Vale, 100.
St. Mark's College, Chelsea, Derwent
Coleridge principal of, 123, 135-136.
St. Mary's, Oxford, Newman's preach-
ing at, 147, 199, 202, 217, 225.
St. Paul's (London), 227.
St. Paul's School (Concord), 136.
Sainte Chapelle, restoration of, 108-
Salisbury, Marquess of, 230, 256, 262, 294.
Salutation Inn (Ambleside), 94.
Scale Hill, 85.
"Scarlet Letter" (Hawthorne), 146.
Schurz, Carl, his escape from Rastadt,
Scott, Gilbert, 56.
Scott, Sir Walter, 131.
Seathwaite, 84, 85.
Selborne, Lord, appreciation of Lore
Coleridge, t68; opposition to Glad-
Semmes, Captain, 302.
Senior, Nassau, 164-165.
Sepoy Rebellion, 89, 185, 252.
September massacres, 40.
Seward, William H., 297, 298, 305, 306.
Shairp, Principal, 204.
Sharswood, Judge, 266.
"Shooting Niagara" (Carlyle), 258.
Sirius, the first steamship from Eng-
land, 1 6.
Skelwith Force, 56, 94.
Skerryvore Rock Lighthouse, 72.
Skiddaw, 64, 66, 68, 90.
Slavery, Garrison's attack upon, 6, 7;
Kingsley on, 187-188; freedom of the
West Indian slaves, 234; in America,
242, 244, 246, 247, 248, 250.
Smith, Gerrit, 6.
Smith, Sydney, 74.
Smith, W. H., 27.
South Australia, governor of, 265.
South Shields, cholera in, 1 10.
Southey, Katherine, 66, 67.
Southey, Robert, 47, 64, 65, 66, 86, 87,
90, 113, 114, 116.
Southey's book-plate, 113.
Spanish Armada, fragment from one of
the vessels of, 192.
Speaker of the Commons, respect paid
Spedding, James, account of Hartley
Spurgeon, C. H. (Rev.), 195, 196.
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (Dean), 136,
231, 234, 246, 251.
Stanley Owen (Captain), 251.
Sterling, John, 192.
Stevenson, Alan, builder of the Skerry-
vore Rock Lighthouse, 72 (note).
Stevenson, R. L., 72 (note).
Story, Judge, 148.
Straff ord, Lord, 175.
Sty-head Pass, 68.
Suez Canal, 165.
Suffrage, household, 257.
Suffrage, universal, 257, 258.
Suinner, Charles, assault upon, 7, 1 86;
attitude toward the Civil War, 7-8,
166; his opinion of Douglas, 10;
upon the indirect claims, 264, 265;
opinion of C. F. Adams, 304.
Sumter, Fort, 13, 296.
Sussex Square (Lord Coleridge's Lon-
don residence), 171, 174.
Sutherland, Dowager Duchess of, 10.
Sutherland, Duke of, 9.
Swedish Ambassador, honoured at Ox-
ford, 232, 233.
Swift, Augustus M., 136.
Swift, Dean, 84.
Tangar, Mr. and Mrs., 148.
Tasmania, 250, 251.
Taylor, Sir Henry, 23, 46, 116.
Taylor, Herbert, 24.
Taylor, Jeremy, 205, 206.
Taylor, Mrs. John (Mrs. Mill), 23-25.
Tennyson, Lord, 70, 71; opinion of
Browning, 1 27 ; Life by Hallam Ten-
Thackeray, W. M., his letter to William
B. Reed, 138-139; " Molony's La-
"The Brothers" (Wordsworth), 85.
" The Cathedral " (Isaac Williams), 206.
"The Doctor" (Southey), 64.
The George, inn at Winchester, 210.
The Month, 162.
" The Warden " (Trollope), 210.
Thirlwall, Bishop of St. David's, 39.
Thompson, George, 6.
Tichborne Case, the, 167.
Tichborne, Sir Roger, 167.
Ticknor, George, 35, 133.
Times, 12, 285, 289, 299.
Tipperary, disturbances in, 269.
Tipperary Nationalists, 269.
" To the Pennsylvanians " (Words-
"Tom Brown's School Days " (Hughes),
"Tom Quadrangle," the, 200, 201.
Tottenham, Robert Forster, of, 241.
Town End, home of Wordsworth, 78.
Townshend, Chauncey Hare, 124.
Trench, Archbishop, 9.
Trent, affair of the, 283, 284, 297, 298,
299, 300, 301.
Trinity College, Cambridge, foundation
Tritton, Mr., his liberal gift to AIL
Saints' Church, 147.
Trollope, Anthony, 210.
Twining, Mrs., daughter of Dr. Arnold,.
Twiss, Dr., Regius Professor of CiviL
" Two Years Ago " (Kingsley), 187.
Ullswater, 61, 62.
" Uncle Tom's Cabin " (Stowe), 744.
Union League of New York, 267.
Unitarians of New England, 148, 196.
Van Diemen's Land, 251.
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, 230, 231,
232, 233, 234, 235, 236.
" Vision of Judgment " (Southey), 65.
Wadham, Warden of, 229.
Walton, Izaak, 210.
Ward, Artemus, 255.
Ward, Mrs. Humphry, 251.
Washington, drinking the health of, 70.
Washington, funeral of Lincoln at, 319.
Waterhead Inn, Coniston, 94.
Welles, Gideon, Secretary of the Navy,
Wellington, Duke of, 4, II, 17-20, 230,
Welsh, John, entertains W. E. Forster,
Welsh, William, 266.
Wemyss, Earl of, 272.
Westbury, Lord, 232.
Westminster Abbey, funeral service for
Hon. W. E. Forster held in, 275.
Westminster Review, 247.
Wharfe, the, 243, 244.
Wharfeside, home of W. E. Forster, 76,
244, 249, 250.
Whately, Archbishop, 76, 164, 246.
White, Mr., member for Brighton, 293.
"White Doe of Rylstone" (Words-
Whiteside, Mr., reply to Gladstone, 312-
Whitman, Walt, 193.
Wilberforce, Samuel, 229.
Wilkes, Captain, 293, 301.
William of Wykeham, 209.
William Rufus, 209.
Williams, Isaac, 206.
Wilson, Professor John, 33.
Winchester, 208, 209, 210, 21 1.
Winch field, station for Eversley, 183,
Windermere, Lake, 33, 59, 61, 75, 92, 98.
Wishing Gate, 78, 99.
Wolfe, General, 292.
Wolseley, Lord, 271, 272.
Woolwich Band, 227.
Worcester College, 227.
Wordsworth, Christopher, master of
Trinity, 39, 93.
Wordsworth, Dora, 74, 113.
Wordsworth, Dorothy, 73, 90, 118.
Wordsworth, John (vicar of Cocker-
Wordsworth, William, a visit to (1849),
33-5 1 ; portraits of, 37 ; university
honours, 37 ; his thought of the
classics, 38; reflections upon uni-
versity life, 39; recollections of the
French Revolution, 40 ; attitude
toward the Oxford movement, 42;
opinion on international copyright,
47; memorial tablet to, 58, 62, 70;
his grammar school, 93; 71, 72, 73,
76, 77, 78, 82, 85, 87, 88, 98, 99;
death of, 81-82; 105, IO*6, 113, 118;
estimate of Hartley Coleridge, 120;
opinion of S. T. Coleridge, 125; on
Pennsylvania, 140; 203, 243, 246.
Wordsworth, William (Mrs.), 35, 40, 41,
42, 55, 60, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 80, 89,
Wordsworth, William (grandson of the
poet), 59, 71, 73, 75, 86, 89, 90, 99,
"Yeast" (Kingsley), 156.
York Cathedral, compared with Win-
Zug, Lake of, 87.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
A MEMOIR, BT HIS SON
Two Vols. 8vo. Cloth. In Box. Price, $10.00, net
These volumes of over 500 pages each contain many letters written
or received by Lord Tennyson, to which no other biographer could
have had access, and in addition a large number of Poems hitherto
Several chapters are contributed by such of his friends as Dr. Jowett,
the Duke of Argyll, the late Earl of Selborne, Mr. Lecky, Professor
Francis T. Palgrave, Professor Tyndall, Mr. Aubrey de Vere, and
others, who thus expressed their Personal Recollections.
There are many illustrations, engraved after pictures by Richard
Doyle, Samuel Lawrence, G. F. Watts, R.A., etc., in all about twenty
full-page Portraits and other Illustrations.
" The biography is easily the biography not only of the year, but of the decade,
and the story of the development of Tennyson's intellect and of his growth
whatever may be the varying opinions of his exact rank among the greatest poets
into one of the few masters of English verse, will be found full of thrilling
interest not only by the critic and student of literature, but by the average
reader." rA* New York Times.
" Hallam Lord Tennyson has done wisely. His very self-effacement has en-
abled him to present a biography that deserves to have applied to it his father's
line ' in its simplicity sublime.' In the most unostentatious manner it reveals
the grandeur of its subject." The New York Herald.
"The poet's son has done his duty in a way which should be an example; and
many choice spirits among Tennyson's closest friends have added their recollec-
tions and impressions with generous and loving hands. Such a book is a new
and priceless gift from the spirit of one of the loveliest and purest poets who have
set human speech to immortal music." The Century Afagazine.
" It is no exaggeration to say that it is the most important literary biography
since Lockhart's ' Scott ' and Moore's ' Byron.' Two reasons combine to give
this memoir its great value : First, the unique position of Lord Tennyson among
nineteenth-century poets; and, second, the skill, tact, and taste with which it is
written." Hartford Daily Times.
"This Memoir is a witness to the genius, gravity, dignity, and essential sin-
cerity of its central figure." London Academy.
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY,
66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK.
THE LETTERS OF
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
EDITED WITH BIOGRAPHICAL ADDITIONS
FREDERIC G. KENTON
Two Volumes. Crown 8vo. Price, $4.00
The earliest correspondence quoted took place when the writer
was a young girl, and every period of her life is represented in these
frank and simple letters. She knew many interesting people, was in
Paris during the Coup (Fetat in 1851, and lived in Florence during
years of great excitement in Italy. Among other pen pictures she
gives one of the few English sketches we have of George Sand, whom
she met several times.
" Mr. Kenyon has edited this large collection of Mrs. Browning's
letters in the most perfect way. They tell a chronological story and
form almost an autobiography. . . . Books and humanity, great
deeds, and, above all, politics, which include all the grand questions
of the day, were foremost in her thoughts, and, therefore, oftenest
on her lips."
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY,
66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK.
Wordsworth and the