311. To the Editor of the 'Morning Post' Pub. Morning Post, 10 January 1800. January 10, 1800 Mr. Editor, An unmetrical letter from Talleyrand 1 to Lord Grenville 2 has already appeared, and from an authority too high to be questioned: otherwise I could adduce some arguments for the exclusive authenticity of the following metrical epistle. 3 The very epithet which the wise ancients used, 'aurea carmina,' might have been ____________________ 1 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord ( 1754-1838) was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Bonaparte in 1799. 2 William Wyndham Grenville( 1759-1884), Baron Grenville, was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1791 until 1801. 3 Coleridge lines, Talleyrand to Lord Grenville, were published in the Morning Post along with this letter. See Poems, i. 341. -560- supposed likely to have determined the choice of the French Minister in favour of verse; and the rather, when we recollect that this phrase of 'golden verses' is applied emphatically to the works of that philosopher, who imposed silenceon all with whom he had to deal. Besides, is it not somewhat improbable that Talleyrand should have preferred prose to rhyme, when the latter alone has got the chink? Is it not likewise curious, that in our official answer, no notice whatever is taken of the Chief Consul, Bonaparte, as if there had been no such person existing; notwithstanding that his existence is pretty generally admitted, nay, that some have been so rash as to believe, that he has created as great a sensation in the world as Lord Grenville, or even the Duke of Portland? But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Talleyrand, is acknowledged, which, in our opinion, could not have happened, had he written only that insignificant prose-letter, which seems to precede Bonaparte's, as in old romances a dwarf always ran before to proclaim the advent or arrival of knight or giant. That Talleyrand's character and practices more resemble those of some regular Governments than Bonaparte's I admit; but this of itself does not appear a satisfactory explanation. However, let the letter speak for itself. The second line is supererogative in syllables, whether from the oscitancy of the transcriber, or from the trepidation which might have overpowered the modest Frenchman, on finding himself in the act of writing to so greata man, I shall not dare to determine. A few Notes are added by Your servant, GNOME. P.S. -- As mottoes are now fashionable, especially if taken from out of the way books, you may prefix, if you please, the following lines from Sidonius Apollinaris: Saxa, et robora, corneasque fibras Mollit dulciloquâ, canorus arte!