3226. Robert Southey and [Sara Coleridge] to [Derwent Coleridge] [fragment], [late December 1818]

3226. Robert Southey and [Sara Coleridge] to [Derwent Coleridge] [fragment], [late December 1818]⁠* 

[MS missing; section in Sara Coleridge’s hand begins]onjecture of Hartley’s having taken a second class [MS missing] a few extracts from {a} letter of Miss Wordsworth’s on this su[MS missing] We have seen Mr William Jackson [1]  who gives a mo[MS missing] in account of Hartley’s examination: [2]  as far as it depen[MS missing]elf – In divinity and mathematics it was admirable [MS missing] as to astonish the listeners: but in the Classics in some [MS missing] deficient; and that was the sole reason why he was not in [MS missing] but this is no discredit to your son – Perhaps he did better {than any other} [MS missing] & Ambleside [3]  could possibly have done: Mr Jackson [MS missing; end of section in Sara Coleridge’s hand]

[MS missing; section in Southey’s hand begins]

These I believe are all the points which you specify. When you have got abo[MS missing] pages ready let me have them to look over, & I will send them off to Murr[MS missing] will perfectly understand that this translation is an adventure, x in which he may [MS missing] & you may lose your labour. But if there were not a good chance of its proving bene[MS missing] not be undertaken. You are to have half the eventual profits, – if there be any. [MS missing] amount to about 200£ – possibly, – probably. And with this effort on your own part [MS missing] look on to the University with good hope & no common satisfaction. [4] 

God bless you



* MS: Victoria University Library, Toronto, Coleridge Collection. ALS; 2p. (c).
Note on MS: only a fragment of the MS survives.
Dating note: Dating from content; references to Hartley Coleridge’s recent success at Oxford and to Derwent’s proposed translation of Dobrizhoffer suggest that the letter belongs to late December 1818. Derwent did not return to Greta Hall for the Christmas and New Year season and his mother, accompanied by her daughter and Edith May Southey, left for an extended visit to the Wordsworths on 31 December. This letter was probably written shortly before their departure. BACK

[1] William Jackson (1792–1878), Fellow, and later Provost, of Queen’s College, Oxford. He was the son of Thomas Jackson (1756–1821), Rector of Grasmere. BACK

[2] Hartley Coleridge had recently graduated from Merton College, Oxford with a Second Class Honours degree. His examiners had disagreed profoundly about his merits, with some wishing to award him a First and some a Fourth. BACK

[3] Hartley Coleridge had attended a school in Ambleside 1808–1815, run by John Dawes, the local clergyman. BACK

[4] Southey was urging Derwent Coleridge to fund his future university studies by undertaking a translation of Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus, Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariae Natione (1784), no. 783 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. The project was eventually completed by Sara Coleridge, and published by Murray in 1822. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Ambleside (mentioned 1 time)