1842 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Nelson Coleridge

Thomas Campbell to an unnamed correspondent, 9 February 1842; William Beattie, Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell (1849) 3:324.



You may congratulate me on my mind being relieved from one of the most afflicting anxieties that ever tried me. I found myself obliged to prosecute a house in the city, who had published fifteen of my poems without leave or notice. I applied to the Court of Chancery for an injunction to get the book suppressed. Henry Coleridge, who was my counsel, told me that if I did not prosecute these pirates, I could never apply to a court of justice for redress, if, subsequently, pirates were to publish every line of poetry I ever wrote. The case seemed plain; but the pirates made a hard fight, and showed that they had only taken a page or two more than other collectors of poems had done — one of whom had gone so far as to take ten of my pieces. I had to swear — as I could well do — that I knew not of those piratical publications. Well, I got the injunction; but I was told that unless I had been before a sensible Vice-Chancellor, I might have been cast. My suspense was very painful.