1864 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Zilla Wiffen Watts, 1864 ca.; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 1:242-43.



We made the personal acquaintance of Mr. Coleridge at a somewhat later period [than Wordsworth], soon after we came to London from Manchester, though some correspondence had, I think, passed between him and my husband when we resided at Leeds. He visited us frequently at our residence at North Bank, Regent's Park, and in Torrington Square, an easy walk to him from Highgate, where he was at that time residing with the Gillmans. The bond of union with my husband had its origin, I think, less in his metaphysical opinions and conversations, than in a certain harmony of critical taste in poetry, and a substantial agreement of opinion in politics. To the former was, I think, to be attributed the desire he once expressed to associate my husband with him in the editorship of an edition of Shakespeare; while the latter led to contributions from him to the new evening journal, the Standard, with which my husband was at that time associated in connection with his friend, Dr. Stanley Lees Giffard. There should be amongst my husband's papers a characteristic letter addressed to me by the poet about this time, which would give a good idea of him and our intercourse with him. We named after him a son, Francis Coleridge Watts, born to us in 1827; and I perfectly remember being not displeased, when informed by some good-natured mutual friend, that Mrs. Gillman had been good enough to say she was rather jealous of me.