Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Friend


‘June 7th, 1809.

DEAR Coleridge,—I congratulate you on the appearance of “The Friend.” Your first number promises well, and I have no doubt the succeeding numbers will fulfil the promise…’

Charles Lamb’s letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge (begun above) references Coleridge’s publication  “The Friend”, which was to ultimately reach 28 volumes.  Coleridge mentioned Sir Walter Scott more than once in “The Friend”.  The following is found in the notes to “The Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge” (edited by James Dykes Campbell).

‘…in after years, Coleridge himself looked back on his Wallenstein with some complacency.  In a note to Essay XVI of The Friend (1818, i. 204 – it is suppressed in later editions), he thanks Sir Walter Scott for quoting it ‘with applause’.  Sir Walter certainly said ‘Coleridge had made Schiller’s “Wallenstein” far finer than he found it’ (Lockhart’s Life, iv 193).  In another passage in The Friend (1818, iii. 99) Coleridge again makes his acknowledgements to Sir Walter and other ‘eminent and even popular literati.’

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