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I shall here for the present leave the narrative of Mr. C. in other and better hands, and proceed to remark, that Mr. Davy, and Mr. Coleridge continued their friendly feeling toward each other, through life. Mr. Davy, in a letter to Mr. Poole, thus expresses himself. (1804.)
“I have received a letter from Coleridge within the last three weeks. He writes from Malta, in good spirits, and, as usual, from the depth of his being. God bless him! He was intended for a great man. I hope and trust he will, at some period, appear such.”
Mr. Davy, after a continuance in Bristol of more than two years, sent me the following letter, with a copy of Burns's Life and Works, by Dr. Currie.
“ Dear Cottle,
I have been for the last six weeks, so much hurried by business, and the prospect of a change
It was never received, nor could he ever learn what became of it. It may be lying, at this moment in some custom-house-wareroom, waiting for the payment of the duty! Of which liability Mr. C. probably, was not aware,
of situation, that I have not had time to call on you. I am now on the point of leaving the Hotwells, and had designed to see you this morning, but engagements have unluckily prevented me. I am going to the Royal Institution, where, if you come to London, it will give me much pleasure to see you.
Will you be pleased to accept the copy of Burn's Life and Poems, sent with this, and when you are reading with delight, the effusions of your brother bard, occasionally think of one who is, with sincere regard and affection,
H. Davy. March 9th, 1801.”
In the following letter, received by me from Sir H. Davy, so late as June, 1823, he refers to Mr. Coleridge.
“My dear Sir,
* * * I have often thought on the subject of the early history of our planet, and have some peculiar views, but I have some reserve in talking here about it, as all our knowledge on such matters is little more than ignorance.
What I stated to the Royal Society, in awarding the medal to Professor Buckland, has not been correctly given in the Journals. I merely said that the facts lately brought forward, proved the occurrence of that great catastrophe, which had been recorded in sacred and profane history, and of which traditions were current, even amongst the most barbarous nations. I did not say they proved the truth of the Mosaic account of the deluge, that is to say, of the history of the Ark of Noah, and the preservation of animal life. This is Revelation; and no facts, that I know of, have been discovered in science that bear upon this question, and the sacred history of the race of Shem. My idea was to give to Cæsar what belonged to Cæsar, &c. &c. and not to blend divine truths, with the fancies of men.
I met Coleridge this morning, looking very well. I had not seen him for years. He has promised to dine with me on Monday. * * * Very sincerely yours,
H. Davy. June 11th, 1823.”
In a letter of Sir H. Davy, addressed to his friend Mr. Poole, 1803, he thus writes of S. T. C.
“ Coleridge has left London for Keswick. During his stay in town, I saw him seldomer than usual : when I did see him, it was generally in the midst of large companies, where he is the image of power and activity. His eloquence is unimpaired ; perhaps it is softer and stronger. His will is less than ever commensurate with his ability. Brilliant images of greatness float upon his mind, like images of the morning clouds on the waters. Their forms are changed by the motion of the waves, they are agitated by every breeze, and modified by every sun-beam. He talked in the course of an hour, of beginning three works; and he recited the poem of Christabel unfinished, and as I had before heard it. What talent does he not waste in forming visions, sublime, but unconnected with the real world ! I have looked to his efforts, as to the efforts of a creating being; but as yet he has not laid the foundation for the new world of intellectual forms."
Sir H. Davy was the chief agent, in prevailing on Mr. Coleridge to give a course of lectures on Shakspeare, at the Royal Institution, which he did, eighteen in number, in the year 1808. Sir H. D. in writing to Mr. Poole, this year, thus refers to Mr. C.
“ Coleridge after disappointing his audience twice from illness, is announced to lecture again this week, He has suffered greatly from excessive sensibility, the disease of genius. His mind is a wilderness, in which the cedar and the oak, which might aspire to the skies, are stunted in their growth by underwood, thorns, briars, and parasitical plants. With the most exalted genius, enlarged views, sensitive heart, and enlightened mind, he will be the victim of want of order, precision, and regularity. I cannot think of him without experiencing the mingled feelings of admiration, regard, and pity,"
To this testimony in confirmation of Mr. Coleridge's intellectual eminence, high and numerous additional authorities might be cited, but I shall restrict myself to the estimate of Mr. C. expressed by Professor Wilson.
66 If there be any man of great and original genius alive at this moment, in Europe, it is