179. To Thomas Poole Address: Mr Thomas Poole MS. Victoria University Lib. Pub. with omis. Letters, i. 6. This is the second of the autobiographical letters. Sunday March 1797 My dear Poole My Father, (Vicar of, and Schoolmaster at, Ottery St. Mary, Devon) was a profound Mathematician, and well-versed in the Latin, Greek, & Oriental Languages. He published, or rather attempted to publish, several works: 1st, Miscellaneous Dissertations arising from the 17th and 18th Chapters of the Book of Judges; II. Sententiae excerptae, for the use of his own School; 3rd (& his best work) a Critical Latin Grammar; in the preface to which he proposes a bold Innovation in the names of the Cases. My father's new nomenclature was not likely to become popular, altho' it must be allowed to be both sonorous and expressive -exempli gratify -- he calls the ablative the Quippe-quare-quale-quiaquidditive Case! -- My Father made the world his confidant with respect to his Learning & ingenuity: & the world seems to have kept the secret very faithfully. -- His various works, uncut, unthumbed, have been preserved free from all pollution, except that of his Family's Tails. -- This piece of good-luck promises to be hereditary: for all my compositions have the same amiable homestaying propensity. -- The truth is, My Father was not a first-rate Genius -- he was however a first-rate Christian. I need not detain you with his Character -- in learning, good-heartedness, absentness of mind, & excessive ignorance of the world, he was a perfect Parson Adams. -- My Mother was an admirable Economist, and managed exclusively. -- My eldest Brother's name was John: he went over to the East Indies in the Company's Service; he was a successful Officer, & a brave one, I have heard: he died of a consumption there about 8 years ago. My second Brother was called William -- he went to Pembroke College, Oxford; and afterwards was assistant to Mr Newcome's School, at Hackney. He died of a putrid fever the year before my Father's death, & just as he was on the eve of marriage with Miss Jane Hart, the eldest Daughter of a very wealthy Druggist in Exeter. -- My third Brother, James, has been in the army since the age of sixteen -- has married a woman of fortune -- and now lives at Ottery St Mary, a respectable Man. My Brother Edward, the wit of the Family, went to Pembroke College; & afterwards, to Salisbury, as assistant to Dr Skinner: he married a woman 20 years older than his Mother. She is dead: -310- & he now lives at Ottery St Mary, an idle Parson. My fifth Brother, George, was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford; and from thence went to Mr Newcome's, Hackney, on the death of William. He stayed there fourteen [ten] years: when the living of Ottery St Mary 1 was given him -- there he now has a fine school, and has lately married Miss Jane Hart; who with beauty, & wealth, had remained a faithful Widow to the memory of William for 16 years. -- My Brother George is a man of reflective mind & elegant Genius. He possesses Learning in a greater degree than any of the Family, excepting myself. His manners are grave, & hued over with a tender sadness. In his moral character he approaches every way nearer to Perfection than any man I ever yet knew -- indeed, he is worth the whole family in a Lump. My sixth Brother, Luke (indeed the seventh, for one Brother, the second, died in his Infancy, & I had forgot to mention him) was bred as a medical Man -- he married Miss Sara Hart: and died at the age of 22 [25], leaving one child, a lovely Boy, still alive. My Brother Luke was a man of uncommon Genius, -- a severe student, & a good man. -The 8th Child was a Sister, Anne -- she died a little after my Brother Luke -- aged 21. Rest, gentle, Shade! & wait thy Maker's will; Then rise unchang'd, and be an Angel still! The 9th Child was called Francis: he went out as a Midshipman, under Admiral Graves -- his Ship lay on the Bengal Coast -- & he accidentally met his Brother John -- who took him to Land, & procured him a Commission in the Army. -- He shot himself (having been left carelessly by his attendant) in a delirious fever brought on by his excessive exertions at the siege of Seringapatam: at which his conduct had been so gallant, that Lord Cornwallis payed him a high compliment in the presence of the army, & presented him with a valuable gold Watch, which my Mother now has. -- All my Brothers are remarkably handsome; but they were as inferior to Francis as I am to them. He went by the name of 'the handsome Coleridge.' The tenth & last Child was S. T. Coleridge, the subject of these Epistles: born (as I told you in my last) October 20th, 1772. From October 20th, 1772 to October 20th, 1773. -- Christened Samuel Taylor Coleridge -- my Godfather's name being Samuel Taylor Esq. I had another Godfather, his name was Evans: & two Godmothers; both called 'Monday' [Mundy]. -- From October 20th, 1773 to October 20th 1774. -- In this year ____________________ 1 ' George Coleridge was Chaplain Priest, and Master of the King's School, but never Vicar of Ottery St. Mary.' Letters, i. 8 n. -311- I was carelessly left by my Nurse -- ran to the Fire, and pulled out a live coal -- burnt myself dreadfully -- while my hand was being Drest by a Mr Young, I spoke for the first time (so my Mother informs me) & said -- 'Nasty Doctor Young'! -- The snatching at fire, & the circumstance of my first words expressing hatred to professional men, are they at all ominous? This Year, I went to School -- My Schoolmistress, the very image of Shenstone's, was named, Old Dame Key -- she was nearly related to Sir Joshua Renyolds [sic]. -- From October 20th 1774 to October 1775. I was inoculated; which I mention, because I distinctly remember it: & that my eyes were bound -- at which I manifested so much obstinate indignation, that at last they removed the bandage -- and unaffrighted I looked at the lancet & suffered the scratch. -- At the close of this Year I could read a Chapter in the Bible. Here I shall end; because the remaining years of my Life all assisted to form my particular mind -- the three first years had nothing in them that seems to relate to it. [Signature cut off]