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Coleridge’s Laws

 | 
Barry Hough
, 
Howard Davis

1. The Battle of Self1

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 K. Coburn, The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1804-1808 (New York: Bollingen, 1961), 2, 1992 (...)
  • 2 S. T. Coleridge, ’The Friend’, in The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, general editor K (...)
  • 3 See Sultana, xviii-x.

1In 1809, when Coleridge was prompted to write about Malta, by the death of Sir Alexander Ball, the Civil Commissioner whom he so much admired, he concluded that he regarded his stay on the Island ”in many respects, the most memorable and instructive period of [his] life”.2 This assessment, no doubt, justified the hazards that he had ventured in making this difficult expedition, especially when its primary purpose – the pursuit of a cure for his addiction – seemed publicly to have failed. Sultana, who regarded Coleridge as distracted in public office and overly introspective, articulated the kind of criticism that perhaps Coleridge wished to pre-empt.3 But, Coleridge’s decision to make the journey poses important questions. Why did he choose to make an extended visit to Malta of more than a year? The decision to remove himself, travelling alone, to such a distant place, far from his family, his friends, and his Lake District residence, needs to be explained.

2This chapter fulfils three aims. First, we shall trace the labyrinthine complexities in his family life and career in order to understand what led him to seek this self-imposed exile abroad; secondly, we shall touch upon aspects of his authorial career, most notably his political journalism, to indicate the views he expressed on constitutional principle and political morality before taking office. This background is important in assessing what Coleridge would bring to public office and helps us to understand his achievement. Finally, we shall explore his public roles in Malta, first as Under-Secretary, and, subsequently, as Public Secretary in the administration of Sir Alexander Ball.

The Journey to Valletta

  • 4 To Matthew Coates, postmark 8 December 1803, CL 2, 1021.

”[P]erfect Tranquillity in a genial Climate”.4

  • 5 To William Sotheby, 27 March 1804, CL 2, 1106; see also to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 1 April 1804, CL 2 (...)

3The background to Coleridge’s Malta period is poignant. Loss of self-esteem as a poet, a problematic, asymmetric relationship with his collaborator, William Wordsworth, marital disharmony, declining health and an alarming drug addiction led him, at the age of thirty-one, to seek either death or renaissance abroad. Should he have recovered his health – for which the defeat of addiction was a sine qua non – he could return to England to pursue a literary career: if he failed, he could expire, almost unnoticed, amidst strangers on a distant Island, veiled in obscurity and far from public scrutiny. His reputation, and the good name of his family, might then be largely untarnished. Of these two possible outcomes, Coleridge may have hoped for the former, but he certainly expected the latter.5 The decision to leave England may have been dominated by his desire to pursue a cure, but this expedition was, perhaps, only possible because of the complexity and dilemmas associated with his close personal and professional relationships.

Seditionist

4Coleridge’s early reputation had been earned as a political firebrand who interested himself, somewhat dangerously, in radical politics. The French Revolution had destroyed France’s former political and social order, replacing it with entirely pristine structures that even extended to the calendar. All social and political institutions were to be re-fashioned, as if no trace of the ancien regime deserved to be continued. Coleridge’s political and economic thought was stimulated by the reactionary forces all around him.

5The philosophical energy underpinning the Revolution was responsible for a new conception of liberty based upon a vision of society in which all would be equal and where freedom was created and protected by the laws. According to this view, individual freedom flowed from, and was defined by, the state. Behind the ensuing war with France, from 1793, was the British determination to protect its rival conception of liberty, rooted in property and commerce, in which the main task of the state was to ensure peace and social stability. Individual freedom was comprised in all that which the law had not prohibited and not what the State cared to bestow.

6This contest of ideas immediately divided English intellectual opinion. In his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) Edmond Burke denounced the Revolution. He advocated a cooperative relationship between groups in society – the political élites and the less advantaged – in the belief that sudden constitutional upheaval risked destroying much of what was valued. It was an argument for continuity.

7Thomas Paine’s response, The Rights of Man (1791-1792), was founded upon the argument that it is the right of each generation to establish its own forms of government. Far from establishing peace and good order, governments that used force to perpetuate an unequal social and political system often destroyed it. He argued for equal political rights for all persons, since this was the natural state of all men, and a programme of social reform to address the plight of the poor.

  • 6 A Political Dialogue on the General Principles of Government, 1791.
  • 7 Coleridge had paid a fulsome tribute to Priestley (“patriot and saint and sage”) in his major poem (...)
  • 8 Uglow, 440-1.
  • 9 Uglow, 448.

8Joseph Priestley, a scientist, Unitarian and philosopher, published similar arguments advocating political reform6 – only he took the further, and dangerous step, of establishing a ”Constitution Society”, in Birmingham, to advocate the reform of Parliament.7 Its inaugural dinner, held somewhat auspiciously on Bastille Day 1791, attracted a mob of ”anti-Jacobins” who pelted the diners with mud and stones. The windows in the hotel were then smashed.8 Urged on by local Tories, comprising local justices of the peace, clergy and local landlords, the mob attacked and burned Priestley’s house, destroying his laboratory, his books and manuscripts and forcing him to flee, first to London but, ultimately, to the United States. The wave of organised violence resulted in the destruction of twenty-seven properties – all belonging to like-minded local intellectuals and reformers. Its slogan, chalked on the walls of Birmingham, was resounding: ”No philosophers-Church and King For Ever”. According to Uglow, polemics and empirical science alike were tainted: ”This”, she wrote, ”was a riot against intellectualism, and its abiding image is of book burning”.9 Inexorably, reform and revolution came to be seen as synonymous. And the Establishment was ready to fight back. The Edinburgh lawyer, Thomas Muir was sentenced to fourteen years transportation simply for advocating parliamentary reform. As far as the authorities were concerned, this was just the beginning.

  • 10 CL 1, 40; Holmes (1989) 44.
  • 11 To Southey, 13 July 1794, CL 1, 85.
  • 12 To Southey, ibid. at 98.

9This was the turbulent context to Coleridge’s undergraduate years at Cambridge University. Together with Robert Southey – another progressive undergraduate – he considered removing himself from a conservative, reactionary Britain. With others, they would emigrate to America to form an ideal self-governing commune of ”Pantisocrats”, sharing property and labour. The scheme eventually foundered but, whilst the possibilities of an ideal society were still under discussion, Coleridge left his University to undertake a walking tour of Wales. It was on this tour that he was exposed to the fervent, popular denunciation of political radicals. He was witnessing a flux of British public opinion toward conservatism.10 At one inn, as a response to Coleridge’s ”preaching of Pantisocracy and Asphetrism” a perplexed, burly, Welshman ”called for a large Glass of Brandy, and drank off ….his own Toast-God save the King”. Coleridge with unabashed revolutionary sentiment wrote to Southey: ”...may he be the Last!”11 Elsewhere on his travels, Coleridge was patronised as a ”open-hearted honest-speaking Fellow, tho’…a bit of a Democrat”.12 This reference to his politics suggested to him that, as far as his audiences were concerned, his opinions had fewer endearing qualities than his openness and honesty.

10Another enriching experience, for a young poet fresh from University, exposed him to the true state of the less privileged. Whilst he was about to dine at an inn, a young mother, bearing a ”half-famished sickly baby”, intruded upon his meal by begging for food. Coleridge, rather pompously, claimed to have been annoyed by the intrusion, but he fully understood that what was on trial was not the conduct of the individual but the unequal social and political system that led, for so many, to paupery and starvation. Coleridge’s response to a similarly bifurcated society, on Malta, will be considered in the ensuing chapters.

  • 13 John Thelwall was, of course, known and respected by Coleridge. He was a guest at Nether Stowey in (...)
  • 14 John Thelwall was, of course, known and respected by Coleridge. He was a guest at Nether Stowey in (...)
  • 15 He was forced to publish the first lecture as a pamphlet in order to demonstrate that there was no (...)
  • 16 Sandford,Thomas Poole and His Friends, quoted in Lefebure (1977), 137.

11One of his most powerful interventions was the delivery of three controversial lectures on political and religious themes, at Bristol, in 1795. In these, whilst renouncing, on moral and religious grounds, the violence practised in France, he associated himself with the democratic cause, and, particularly, with well-known radicals some of whom were tried for treason for their reformist principles. The public lectures took place at a time when the authorities had no scruples about seizing and detaining articulate political opponents. Such advocates of Parliamentary reform as Thomas Hardy, John Horne Tooke, John Thelwall,13 Bonney, Joyce, Kyd, and Holcroft14 were each arrested and detained for high treason. Coleridge’s courageous campaign for social and political renewal was far from being risk free; indeed, after receiving death threats, he seems to have abandoned the lecture series.15 By then he had made his stand, but in doing so he had acquired the reputation as a young man ”shamefully hot with Democratic rage as regards politics”.16

  • 17 See e.g., D. V. Erdman (ed.), Essays on His Times in ’The Morning Post’ and ’The Courier’, in The (...)

12In Malta, it would be a different story as Coleridge supported the Civil Commissioner in criminal trials arising from anti-Semitic disturbances. Even before Coleridge held public office on Malta, his commitment to popular suffrage had undoubtedly cooled as his political leaders, written for The Morning Post, revealed.17

”Fire, Famine and Slaughter”

13In January 1798 he published, pseudonymously, in The Morning Post, the poem Fire, Famine and Slaughter in which the three personifications of the poem explain that they have been sent to do work of misery by an individual whose name is unspeakable. Somewhat dangerously, given the nervous political climate, Coleridge’s personifications of fire, famine and slaughter, each confide that ”Letters four do form his name”. It was, of course, open to the readers to infer that the architect of the catastrophic evils, depicted in the poem, was none other than the Prime Minister, William Pitt the younger. This was all the more likely since Coleridge’s public position on the subject, Pitt, was already well-known: he had contributed a ”vehement” sonnet on the Prime Minister to the Morning Chronicle in 1794.

  • 18 See Barrell, Fire, Famine and Slaughter is discussed as an epilogue. However, as Barrell explains (...)

14In his maturity, Coleridge was to distance himself from some of the more inflammatory interpretations of this work. When, in 1817, in Sibylline Leaves, he republished the poem he did so with an explanation by way of an ”Apologetic Preface”. His argument was that a passionate protagonist may be a passive one and that vivid poetic imagery provided for the venting of the passions by acting as a safety valve to release excess. Imagining Pitt’s death, he argued, virtually precluded realising Pitt’s demise. Danger, he thought, lay in cold-blooded reasoning, not heated utterances.18

The Wordsworths and the ”Dear Gutter of Stowey”19

  • 19 To T. Poole 29 [28] May 1796, CL 1, 217, “Dear Gutter of Stowey (sic)! Were I transported to Itali (...)

15Coleridge’s friendship with the Wordsworths was, at first, mutually fulfilling and supportive. In time, the bonds between them attenuated. The weakening bond played its role in Coleridge’s willingness to travel alone to Malta.

  • 20 To John Thellwall, 13 May 1796, CL 1, 215-6

16Coleridge and Wordsworth had met briefly, and had begun to notice each others’ work, in Bristol in late 1795. Coleridge soon concluded that Wordsworth was ”the best poet of the age”.20 However, the unsatisfactory dynamic of the Coleridge/Wordsworth friendship and collaboration ultimately exerted a detrimental influence both upon Coleridge’s creative capacity, and his sense of identity as a poet.

17Following his alarming experiences in Bristol, Coleridge now sought a more secluded life in which he could devote himself to poetry. At the close of 1796, he settled with his family in a damp, mice-plagued, cottage in the main street of Nether Stowey, Somerset, by which time Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, were living, rent-free, at Racedown Lodge, Dorset. A visit by Coleridge to Racedown the following June, was a profoundly significant moment in the lives of each of them.

  • 21 To Joseph Cottle, circa 3 July 1797, CL 1, 195.
  • 22 To Mary Hutchinson (?) June 1797, De Selincourt, 188-9.

18Coleridge remained with the Wordsworths for more than a fortnight, reading and discussing their respective poetry and dramatic works. Each of the poets had a profound effect upon the other; and Coleridge regarded Dorothy as ”exquisite”. He wrote to Joseph Cottle, his publisher, that ”her taste (is) a perfect electrometer – it bends, protrudes, and draws in at subtlest beauties and most recondite faults”.21 She was a woman true to the romantic beau ideal of the child of nature. Dorothy would describe Coleridge as fluent, intelligent and sensitive to his surroundings. She proclaimed that he had a ”conversation that teems with soul, mind and spirit… he is so benevolent, so good tempered and cheerful”.22

19Coleridge heaped critical praise upon Wordsworth’s work. The chemistry of the relationship at this early stage had a deep, energising effect upon Coleridge’s imaginative life. A bond of mutual enchantment was formed that each poet wished to continue. Coleridge drove the Wordsworths back to his cottage in Stowey, where they remained for a fortnight. They impulsively determined to give up Racedown – Dorothy never returned to it. Thomas Poole, the ”democrat” tanner whose yard was adjacent to the cottage, and who had assisted the Coleridges find their cottage, now did the same for the Wordsworths. Within a couple of weeks of their arrival in the area they were settled at Alfoxden House (now Alfoxton Park Hotel), near Holford, just three miles from Coleridge’s cottage.

  • 23 Thelwall arrived on 17 July 1797 after having walked from London. Earlier he had been arrested and (...)
  • 24 The “surface (of the heath) restless and glittering with the motion of the scattered piles of with (...)
  • 25 D. Wordsworth, ibid. recorded on 7 March 1798: “One only leaf upon the top of a tree-the sole rema (...)
  • 26 Livingstone Lowes, 191.

20Coleridge and the Wordsworths enjoyed a nonpareil summer, out of doors, walking the Quantock Hills, gazing down, from the hill-tops, upon the sea, taking pleasure in the white sails of the ships that made their passage up and down the Channel from Bristol. Whether entertaining such political radicals as John Thelwall,23 wandering at night under the moon with the Wordsworths or dining in the open air under the broad-leafed trees of Alfoxden Park, Coleridge’s poetic imagination fed upon observations and endless, inquiring conversations. He experienced a heightened response to the landscape: the Quantocks, for example, supplied the topography for ”This Lime Tree Bower”. Critics have commented upon how the shared experience of the three writers enriched their work. Coleridge’s imagery may, for example, have benefited from what they witnessed on their walks. The ”restless gossameres” of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner may have been discovered together, and possibly found an alternative imaginative interpretation in Dorothy’s journal.24 Similarly, the ”(t)he one red leaf, the last of its clan” that appeared in Christabel might have resulted from the joys of shared observation.25 Livingstone Lowes described these as ”moments of exalted perception” from which each drew pleasure and inspiration.26

  • 27 De Quincey, Works II, 64-5. It seems that Dorothy Wordsworth, when her own clothes were soaked aft (...)

21Coleridge’s wife, Sara Coleridge, stood apart from these new friendships. She was left to take charge of Hartley, the Coleridge’s first-born child, and had to bear the brunt of menial and arduous house work. She began to tire of the Wordsworths and the manner in which they treated her.27 Sara’s reaction to being left at home when pregnant with Berkeley, the Coleridge’s second child, is easily imagined.

22Coleridge’s best known works, Khubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, were composed at this productive time. The Ancient Mariner was originally conceived as a collaborative work between the two poets. Although Wordsworth is likely to have suggested some of the imagery, he soon removed himself from the project on the grounds of artistic differences, leaving Coleridge to complete the poem early in 1798. As we shall see, Wordsworth’s response to Coleridge’s tour de force was, subsequently, to contribute to Coleridge’s loss of self-assurance and declining morale.

23Nevertheless, all this lay in the future. Coleridge continued to ride the wave of his annus mirabilis. The great collaborative volume of the Lyrical Ballads, written with Wordsworth, appeared in 1798. On the whole, the poems were well-received, but, in an anonymous attack in the Critical Review, Southey (Coleridge’s brother in law) was highly dismissive of the Ancient Mariner. He condemned it as a poem of little merit. The real damage inflicted by Southey would emerge two years later when the second edition was in preparation.

Germany

24Coleridge had long entertained an ambition to study at a German University, and the opportunity to do so arose following the offer of a life-time annuity by the Wedgewood brothers, Josiah and Thomas. His plan was to study German literature and write a life of Lessing. The Wordsworths agreed to accompany Coleridge on this adventure, although the party eventually separated when William and Dorothy chose to winter in Goslar. Sara Coleridge, who was by now nursing Berkley, was again excluded and remained in England on practical grounds. It was, however, suggested that she might join the party later, once it was established in Germany, if it could be afforded, and when the baby was old enough to make the journey.

25During Coleridge’s absence, first at Ratzeburg and, subsequently, at Göttingen University, Sara endured a miserable time: she fell ill and then had to nurse her children through illness. Worse was to come. In February 1799, Berkeley died. Such was her grief that Sara’s hair fell out, and she was obliged to wear a wig for the remainder of her life.

26Their family friend and neighbour, Tom Poole, persuaded Sara that Coleridge should, so far as possible, be prevented from receiving bad news as it would distract him from his studies. This injunction further isolated the grieving woman. Eventually, she succumbed to her instinctive need to communicate news of their bereavement to her husband. On 24 March 1799, she wrote Coleridge a long, grief-stricken letter. It sought Coleridge’s return to his family: ”Hartley…talks of his father every day….if you will try to come to us soon”.

  • 28 To Southey, 29 July 1799, CL 1, 523.
  • 29 Ibid.

27But Coleridge did not return immediately; indeed, for reasons that are not altogether clear, he seems to have procrastinated by taking a walking tour in the Harz mountains. Sara came to regard this behaviour with some bitterness. He remained in Germany for several more months; and when he eventually returned to Nether Stowey, in July 1799, husband and wife were soon in conflict.28 His health also deteriorated.29

  • 30 DW CL 1, 105.

28Coleridge’s closest and most important professional relationship also came under strain at this period. During their stay in Germany, the Wordsworths, who suffered from powerful homesickness, began to think of returning to their native country in the North of England.30 When they landed in England they went to stay with relatives at Gallow Hill, Sockburn-on-Tees, rather than returning, with Coleridge, to Somerset.

The Lake District

  • 31 To Southey, 30 September 1799, CL 1, 534. Coleridge also reported that this diagnosis was probably (...)
  • 32 To Southey, 25 September 1799, CL 1, 530.
  • 33 Ibid. at 533.

29Once back in the small family home in Nether Stowey, Coleridge appears to have been restless and unable to settle. In September, the household was disrupted, and, worse still, stank of sulphur when Hartley was thought to have succumbed to scabies, then known as the ”Itch”.31 Sara was forced to work herself to exhaustion fumigating, washing and scrubbing. Her emotional state only drew adverse comments from Coleridge, who reported her ”hypersuperlative Grief”.32 Meanwhile, he withdrew from the furore, leaving her, it seems, to cope without the aid of a servant on her own. He wrote of himself, apparently without shame, ”I however, sunk in Spinoza, remain as undisturbed as a Toad on a rock”. 33

30Despite his ostensible tranquillity, Coleridge soon removed himself from Stowey. He pretended to Sara, no doubt to reconcile her to yet another absence, that he would travel to Bristol to locate his luggage because this had not yet reached him from Germany. This pretext probably disguised his ultimate purpose of visiting the Wordsworths. Sara did not hear directly from Coleridge that he had travelled from Bristol to join them in the North; indeed she did not hear from him for six weeks.

31Coleridge’s visit was propitious: he met Sara Hutchinson – soon to become ”Asra”– with whom he was, subsequently, to fall in love; and he witnessed for the first time, whilst on a walking tour with Wordsworth, the impressive tarns, fells and Lakes of Cumbria. It was on this tour that Wordsworth discovered ”Dove Cottage”, Town End, Grasmere. Shortly afterwards, in December 1799, he and Dorothy moved in and settled there. Some of Wordsworth’s finest poetry would be written whilst he resided in the cottage (until 1808); and it was here that Dorothy wrote her sensitive ”Grasmere Journals”. If the literary partnership with Coleridge was to continue, it would only do so in the North. Wordsworth had finally bid his farewell to the West Country.

  • 34 See e.g., Sara to George Coleridge, 10 September 1800, quoted in Lefebure (1986), 127.

32Coleridge now planned to move with his family to live in the Lake District in order to be close to the Wordsworths. Mrs Coleridge was, at first, reluctant to relocate so far from the support of her family and friends, most notably their stalwart neighbour, Thomas Poole, whose practical assistance had been of real value, especially whilst Coleridge had been abroad.34 She must also have been cautious about going so far to reside near to the Wordsworths whom she now regarded with some hostility. The decision to move away must have been another gritty and aggravating difference between the couple.

Special Parliamentary Correspondent and Commentator

  • 35 See D. Erdman cited in Hesell. Coleridge, who is thought to have been given a greater freedom than (...)
  • 36 Lefebure (1977), 305.

33After this first visit to the Lakes, Coleridge committed himself to earning money as a political leader-writer, special parliamentary correspondent35 and critic for The Morning Post – a paper generally unsympathetic to ministerial policies. In his parliamentary role, he seems to have been given the freedom to report upon that which intrigued him as significant and newsworthy. But this was only a part of his duties. In a five month period, between December 1799 and April 1800, he penned some forty leading articles, verses and other miscellaneous materials at a time when one of the major national policy dilemmas was whether to continue the hostilities against France.36

  • 37 EOT, 1, 64, 69, 73, 2-4 January 1800.
  • 38 Ibid., 4 January 1800, 73.
  • 39 E.g. ibid, 8 January 1800, 84.

34Overtures inviting negotiation had been received from the French: but the British government summarily rejected this initiative. Ministers were then compelled to give a public explanation of their reasons for continuing the struggle. In a series of incisive articles, Coleridge mounted a persuasive case that the Government’s arguments were flawed.37 The French Government, acting under the new constitution may have been a ”Usurpation”, ”Despotism” and ”Tyranny”,38 but it was no longer a threat to neighbouring States. The ”French principles” of liberty, equality, and democracy had lost their allure in an England that had witnessed the regicide, blood-letting and tyranny in France. In short, France could not now de-stabilise the British legal, political and constitutional order. Powerful, reasoned and effective journalism of this kind must have added to the widespread clamour to hold the British government to account for its rejection of the French overtures – all the more so as Coleridge portrayed these two French approaches as patient, dignified and respectful in the face of British ministerial obstinacy and reproach.39

  • 40 This eventually took place on 3 February 1800.

35The widespread dismay aroused by the uncompromising rejections eventually forced Pitt to come to Parliament to offer an account of ministerial policy. He had to face Charles Fox who now returned to the Commons after having withdrawn from it in 1797 in protest at the war policies of the Government. Coleridge’s treatment of this great set-piece confrontation is pre-eminent amongst his parliamentary reporting.40 Material that other newspaper reporters (and editors) chose to excise concerned the second part of Pitt’s speech in which he considered the implications of the new French constitution as well as Bonaparte’s character. However, Coleridge prioritised this material as an important political statement rather than Pitt’s reprise of the (well-known) origins of the war. Coleridge had clearly determined that appropriate British policy could only be established at a critical juncture in its history if France, its values, institutions and its leadership were properly understood. Later, when in public office in Malta, this acuity would be of value in his evaluation of the French intentions in the Mediterranean – a talent that no doubt contributed to the Civil Commissioner’s desire to keep Coleridge in Valletta after he stood down as Acting Public Secretary.

  • 41 This was the Constitution establishing the Consulate which placed military and political power in (...)
  • 42 This doctrine is particularly associated with the French writer Montesquieu whose work L’esprit de (...)
  • 43 EOT, 1, 46-7, 26 December 1799.
  • 44 Ibid. at 47.
  • 45 EOT, 1, 49, 26 December 1799.

36Coleridge’s understanding of constitutional doctrine is also revealed in a number of political leaders, on the proposed new French Constitution, published in The Morning Post.41 Coleridge subjected the new Constitution to a sustained attack in which one of his most damaging broadsides was intended to reveal that the proposed settlement failed to respect the doctrine of the separation of powers.42 Coleridge also condemned it’s over-elaborate design. It was, he argued, ”complex almost to entanglement” in its system of checks and balances.43 Despite this, the Constitution singularly failed to provide appropriate curbs upon the powers of the new Chief Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte.44 He was particularly concerned that France had created an oligarchy that would survive only with the use of military force – and that military was placed exclusively in the hands of the Chief Consul. In summary, Coleridge concluded that the reform was a failure that would not last ten years.45

37When the British, somewhat conveniently from their point of view, exercised autocratic powers under the Maltese Constitution, which lacked similar curbs upon governmental and authoritarian power, Coleridge expressed no criticism, and indeed, devoted much of The Friend (as we shall see below) to eulogising the way in which the Civil Commissioner exercised power. This contrast is illuminating.

  • 46 EOT, 1, 282, 3 December 1801.

38In this journalism, Coleridge also disclosed how far he had shifted from his earlier radicalism. Although it was a remark made in the context of French politics, he revealingly disclosed his view that Jacobinism was a ”raving madness”.46

  • 47 EOT, 1, 211-14: 11, 13 and 15 March 1800.
  • 48 19th March 1800, ibid. 219.
  • 49 See e.g., EOT, 1, 211, 13 March 1800. Note, however, that once war with France had resumed, Coleri (...)

39From his pen, there also emerged both a treatment of Bonaparte47 and a highly critical profile of Pitt.48 In the case of the former, he acknowledged the dictatorial powers that Bonaparte exercised: but he portrayed his conduct, in seeking to end the war, as sincere and dignified, in contrast to that of British ministry whose public behaviour was ”stupid”. Whereas Bonaparte and the French ministry behaved with scrupulous respect and restraint, the British response to their invitation to negotiate was carping and recriminatory. 49

  • 50 See also ’Fire, Famine and Slaughter’, The Morning Post, 8 January 1798.

40In the profile of Pitt, he castigated the Prime Minister as ”a being who had had no feelings connected with man or nature, no spontaneous impulses, no unbiased and desultory studies, no genuine science, nothing that constitutes individuality in intellect…” Pitt was portrayed as lacking a coherent response to the relationship with France, when the realpolitik of 1800 was very different from that at the outset of war in 1793. In effect, Pitt personified the illiberal and repressive policies, in stamping out mature political debate in England, which had also attracted Coleridge’s fire.50

41This opinion-forming and influential journalism was professional experience that he would be able to put to valuable effect on Malta when writing the Bandi and Avvisi (Proclamations and Public Notices). As we shall see, it was in the political use of government information that, from the British point of view, Coleridge was arguably most successful in public office. Also valuable in his later office was his recognition of the central relevance and importance of constitutional principles. This would also be put to the test on Malta – although, arguably, with less success.

Lirycal Ballads, 1800

  • 51 To T. Poole, 21 March 1800, CL 1, 582.

42As stated, in July 1800 Coleridge moved his family to Greta Hall, Keswick. Greta Hall house stood then, as now, upon a low hill by the River Greta. When the Coleridges resided there, it commanded excellent views of Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Borrowdale, the Coledale Fells and Skiddaw. Coleridge was much enthused by this landscape. The cloudscapes, storms and moonlight on the lakes, richly inspired his writing, especially in the private Notebooks. Proximity to his fellow poet was also, Coleridge argued, a ”priceless Value”.51

43The first edition of the Lyrical Ballads had been a success and now a second edition was projected. In this venture, however, Coleridge may have been over-willing to accommodate Wordsworth. Gradually, the latter began to assert himself as the dominant party in their literary relationship, and this contributed to Coleridge’s subsequent loss of confidence in his had resumed, Coleridge offered his support for possible British military action even if this included the annexation of territory belonging to a foreign power: see below. Note also Coleridge’s essay on International Law in The Friend which argues for the legitimacy of an assertive foreign policy which might include the anticipatory use of force – The Friend, I, 298 et seq. It’s also of interest that Coleridge had enlisted in, and briefly served with the dragoons in 1794. imagination. His loss of self-esteem as an artist is a significant feature of the traumatic years that lay ahead.

44First Wordsworth proposed, and Coleridge agreed, that the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads should be published under Wordsworth’s name only. Despite this, Coleridge retained his commitment to the project and struggled to move forward with the second part of his important poem, Christabel, that was planned for inclusion in the second volume of the new edition.

  • 52 Lyrical Ballads, vol 1, unnumbered page after the text, quoted in Livingstone Lowes, 475.
  • 53 Lefebure (1977), 325-6.
  • 54 Quoted in Lefebure (1977), 326.

45On 29 August 1800 Coleridge walked across the mountains, including traversing Helvellyn in moonlight, carrying a draft of Part II of Christabel to show Wordsworth. However, despite the ”increasing pleasure” that the Wordsworths derived from the poem, by 6 October 1800 it had been decided that Christabel would be excluded from the Lyrical Ballads. This was ostensibly on the grounds that it was not consistent with the literary aims of the project. But that was not all. Coleridge’s major work, the Ancient Mariner, had attracted most of the criticism levelled at the first edition of the poems. Wordsworth decided to publish an apology for the inclusion of the poem in the second edition.52 It is possible that Coleridge may neither have seen nor approved of this prior to its publication.53 In it Wordsworth wrote: ”The Poem of my Friend has indeed great defects…”,54 and he publicly acknowledged the criticism that the poem had attracted. Nonetheless he had, he stated, decided to publish it because its merits ”gave to the poem a value which is not often possessed by better Poems”. (Emphasis added).

  • 55 To Davey, 9 October 1800, CL 1, 631. Coleridge thought that Christabel would subsequently be publi (...)
  • 56 To Thomas Poole, 21 March 1800, CL 1, 582.
  • 57 To Thelwall, 17 December 1800, CL 1, 656.
  • 58 To Revd. Francis Wrangham, 19 December 1800, CL 1, 658.

46Early in October 1800, Humphrey Davey received a letter from Coleridge. This broached the subject of the second edition and appeared to show that Coleridge had accepted Wordsworth’s actions with equanimity.55 But this may merely have been Coleridge’s public mask. In fact, the rejection of two of his major works by a poet whose achievement he considered not to have been surpassed since Milton profoundly undermined Coleridge’s confidence and self-esteem.56 Coleridge subsequently wrote to Thelwall: ”As to Poetry, I have altogether abandoned it, being convinced that I never had the essential poetic Genius”.57 A letter to Francis Wrangham also revealed what are likely to have been his true feelings: ”As to our literary occupations, they are still more distant than our residences – He is a great, true poet – I am only a kind of Metaphysician”.58

  • 59 MS New York Public Library, quoted in Griggs, CL 1, 631.

47When, in 1818, Coleridge revisited this subject, he referred to the Wordsworths’ ”cold praise and effective discouragement of every attempt of mine to roll onward in a distinct current of my own”. He continued, ”[They] admitted that the Ancient Mariner [and] the Christabel…were not without merit, but they were abundantly anxious to acquit their judgements of any blindness to the very numerous defects”.59 Coleridge paid a high price for the Wordsworths’ ruthless intellectual integrity. Their damaging attitude can also be seen as influential in Coleridge’s eventual decision to spend an extended period away from their collaborations and friendship.

Addiction

  • 60 Lefebure (1977), 338.
  • 61 ibid., 333 et seq.

48During the stormy winter of 1800-1801 Coleridge’s health deteriorated. Fever and rheumatic symptoms predominated. He was confined to bed for long periods and resorted to opiates, which was the primary remedy within the limited pharmacopoeia of the period. Coleridge had previously resorted to it as laudanum which was easily procured as a palliative. He appears to have used opium throughout the previous decade.60 This undermines his subsequent argument that he became ”seduced” into addiction. He claimed that he had read, in borrowed medical journals, of a case similar to his own that was successfully treated by these means. This possibility has been contested.61 However, it seems beyond doubt that, by 1801, Coleridge was addicted.

49Medical science did not, at this time, appreciate the nature of addiction. Neither Coleridge nor those of his friends who took it upon themselves to warn him about excessive opium consumption, realised that he could not withdraw from the drug merely by determined abstention. Withdrawal symptoms would occur each time he attempted it. Over the next three years, Coleridge came to realise that he was hopelessly, irredeemably, hooked on opium. But this understanding would only be reached after long struggles with the drug. Each failed attempt to give it up was succeeded by the unremitting cycle of an unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, followed by renewed dosing. Then he had to steel himself for yet another attempt at renunciation. Somehow he had to break the cycle of withdrawal and renewed consumption.

Morning Post

  • 62 To Thomas Poole, 19 February 1802, CL 1, 787.

50An early strategy was to remove himself from both his wife and the rigours of a Lake District winter. In the autumn of 1801, he returned to London to resume journalism for The Morning Post. Hard work, discipline and a drier climate would, he believed, serve him well. Nonetheless, his hopes of renouncing opium were dashed by severe withdrawal symptoms, which he confidently brushed aside as food poisoning.62

  • 63 March 1801. Pitt had resigned over the question of Catholic Emancipation, but would subsequently r (...)

51Even so, he was effective and industrious. He provided a sustained critique of the new Ministry and, in particular, Addington, the recently appointed Prime Minister.63 He was acutely aware that in time of war or other emergency, the power of the Executive increases leading to the introduction of laws that are inimical to civil liberties and the rule of law – a problem he would encounter in Malta, where his support for the Civil Commissioner would be contentious and morally complex. Most controversial in Britain at this time were questions surrounding the moral and constitutional legitimacy of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Acts.

  • 64 Vol. III, Chapter XI, 10-24.

52The writ of Habeas Corpus is one of the principal bulwarks of civil liberty. It is a writ issued by a court requiring the state to justify in law the arrest or detention of a subject. If the court is satisfied that the detention is unlawful, it will order the prisoner’s release. Habeas Corpus thus prevents arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without trial. In the words of Erskine May, ”It brings to light the cause of every imprisonment, approves its lawfulness, or liberates the prisoner”.64 In other words, it underpins the right, conferred by Magna Carta in 1215, that an individual should be free from imprisonment until properly convicted. It further provides the foundation of the right to a fair trial and judgement by peers.

  • 65 Erskine May, 16. The Government deployed the familiar assertion that officials accused of having a (...)

53Legislation ”suspending” the writ was first introduced in 1794 and this was renewed annually until the legislation expired in 1802. The Suspension Acts had serious consequences for civil liberties. For example, one individual was held for six years without trial and others for three years. 65

  • 66 There were, however, advocates of reform in the House of Commons, most notably Francis Burdett, wh (...)

54The influence of demagogues, during the Revolution in France, encouraged the British government to fear the small but articulate minority of individuals who sought constitutional reform in England.66 Imprisonment, upon mere suspicion of guilt, became possible and, after suspension of the writ, there would be no means of testing the credibility of any evidence underlying a detention order. Detainees would not, necessarily, know who had accused them, nor upon what evidence they had been detained. They had no right to demand a trial. This is why Coleridge’s political lectures risked him being seized and imprisoned during the anti-democratic hysteria of 1795.

55Political discourse advocating social and constitutional reform was, in the government’s view, high treason. The harsh treatment of a number of its prominent political opponents revealed the lengths to which it was prepared to go to suppress free discussion of democratic reform. Nonetheless, the prosecutions failed as the juries had found the state’s evidence of a public emergency to be inadequate.

  • 67 EOT, 1, 282-4, 3 December 1801.
  • 68 EOT, 1, 308. Within a week of coming to power, Addington’s administration opened negotiations with (...)

56Shortly after taking office, in March 1801, Addington had released political prisoners, but, to Coleridge’s chagrin, soon effected a volte face by re-suspending Habeas Corpus. Addington’s defence of this apparent inconsistency relied upon undisclosed ”evidence” that had been presented to ”Committees of Secrecy” in both Houses of Parliament, which (according to Coleridge) Addington accepted uncritically. Notoriously, these Committees, which comprised Government loyalists, excluded even senior members of the Opposition. Coleridge’s central thrust attacked Addington’s moral weakness in this affair. 67Practices such as these forced him to conclude that, Addington was ”beneath mediocrity”.68

57Thus, the Acts of Suspension were renewed until the end of 1801. But this was not all because Addington’s Ministry also secured the passage through Parliament of the Act of Indemnity 1801. This was a measure intended to protect, from liability, any official who had authorised detention since the passing of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act 1794. The former measure put beyond doubt that there could be no accountability to the law for the arbitrary detentions.

58The passage of the Indemnity Bill 1801 was a matter of heated political debate, and drew fierce criticism from Coleridge’s pen. He used it to develop a conception of the Constitution that essentially rejected positivist theories of legitimacy. For Coleridge, a law could not be legitimate merely because Parliament had been persuaded to enact it and place it on the Statute Book; indeed, enacted law could actually be ”unconstitutional” – an idea that was inimical to a system that lacked a written constitution. Coleridge’s argument was, however, consistent with Natural Law theorists according to whom man-made norms are only valid if they conform to a morally and legally superior law. The latter system is not, however, enshrined in the English legal system. According to constitutional orthodoxy in Britain, Parliament is a legislature having unlimited law-making powers, so anything that is enacted becomes ”law” and thus legitimate. Validity does not depend upon conformity to some higher moral order, which is the basis of legal authority.

  • 69 EOT, 1, 272, 27 November 1801; ibid., 282, 3 December 1801; ibid. 287, 11 December 1801.
  • 70 EOT, 1, 284, 3 December 1801.

59Undeterred by this, Coleridge repeatedly argued that the British Constitution is founded upon certain fundamental moral principles, including principles designed to protect the individual from the unlawful predations of Government.69 Laws that undermined those entrenched moral principles could, properly, be condemned as violating the Constitution. This was particularly so in the case of both the Suspension and Indemnity Acts. The latter, for example, would deny victims of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment (i.e. the victims of the Suspension Acts) a remedy in damages in the courts. Coleridge’s use of language in describing the consequences of this reveal his idea of a hierarchy of laws within the constitutional system. He stated that the Indemnity Act was a ”barrier between the individual and the law” (and thus not law itself).70 This discloses his idea the ”law” is something permanent and inviolable that lies beyond even the powers of (an inferior) Parliament to amend.

  • 71 Although, it can be argued that Coleridge had to invoke natural law theory to defend what saw as t (...)
  • 72 EOT, 1, 281, 3 December 1801; ibid., 295, 11 December 1801.

60His further concern about these controversial measures also revealed an emerging constitutional conservatism.71 The danger in violating fundamental political freedoms, he argued, was that it established a precedent that would make it easier for future governments to pursue similar repression. When this future conduct established its own precedent, the repressive measures could harden into accepted constitutional practices, destroying, by degrees, the fundamental principles of the British Constitution.72

  • 73 See EOT, 1, 295, 11 December 1801.

61He was acutely aware that repressive measures such as the Suspension and Indemnity Acts each violated the principle of the rule of law, which was one of the bulwark principles of the British Constitution. In summary, he warned that these measures were a fundamental erosion of the nation’s constitutional morality, weakening the very foundations of a stable society.73 His principled approach invoking natural law, as opposed to positivist legal theory, once more revealed his ability to locate contemporary political controversy within the framework of fundamental constitutional doctrine.

  • 74 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1178.
  • 75 In The Friend he also described how Ball’s naval vessels, prompted by the threat of mutinous revol (...)

62However, in 1802, Coleridge’s political journalism had not yet been enriched by that significant engagement with practical politicians that would occur in Malta. He had not yet experienced at first hand the need for prudent rather than principled governmental decision-making. Whether the public good could be mediated only through principled action would force Coleridge to consider a doctrine that made it permissible for government to override principles of the constitutional, legal or political order to achieve general welfare. In his official capacity, Coleridge would have to confront the need to manipulate Maltese public opinion to gain consent to legislation that overwhelmingly served Imperial interests. He could not avoid the problem that the legitimacy of British rule was questionable in the absence of a congruence between governmental policies and Maltese sympathies. In drafting such measures, promulgating them above his signature, and in offering a highly partial and incomplete public account of their purposes, Coleridge was complicit, and his actions sparked questions of legitimacy that he could not avoid.74 But that was in the future. He had yet to experience the moral dilemmas of power.75

63Notwithstanding this, Coleridge’s second period on The Morning Post must be regarded as unenhanced by his later experiences of governmental power in action; his high reputation as a political commentator and journalist was now assured.

”Asra”

  • 76 To Thomas Wedgewood, 20 October 1802, CL 2, 876.

64Coleridge’s relationship with his wife, which had been under strain since their Stowey days, was now becoming increasingly traumatic. Withdrawal from an uncongenial marriage would also have attracted him to overseas travel. He complained to Tom Wedgewood of Sara’s ”ill tempered Speeches…my friends received with freezing looks, the least opposition or contradiction occasioning screams of passion”.76

  • 77 To George Coleridge, 2 April 1806 [1807], CL 3, 7.
  • 78 To Thomas Wedgewood, 20 October 1802, CL 2, 875.
  • 79 To Robert Southey, 29 July 1802, CL 2, 830-3.

65Coleridge’s deepening fascination for Sarah Hutchinson (Asra), which was not concealed from Sara Coleridge, broke open another fissure in their marital relationship. Sara demanded loyalty; Coleridge refused to renounce what he endeavoured to pass off as simply a virtuous friendship. Sara, (his wife) he argued, was the cause of his unhappiness. Friends whom he kept abreast of his domestic troubles advocated separation, and it is possible that the advice was first offered at about this time.77 By the summer of 1802, Coleridge reluctantly summoned the courage to broach the subject to his wife. Her reaction appears to have been an incandescent blend of anger, alarm and betrayal. Coleridge, who later wrote of this episode to Tom Wedgewood,78 recoiled with ”stomach spasms” and may have had some kind of seizure, which shocked and frightened his wife. They then resolved to talk about their difficulties and agreed to attempt reconciliation.79 Coleridge’s efforts to restore his marriage conspicuously fell short of renouncing Asra whom he continued to visit.

66Wordsworth had, by the spring of 1802 embarked upon one of his greatest creative periods. In contrast, Coleridge who had written little, felt a deepening sense of failure. In late March, the Wordsworths came to stay at Greta Hall. Wordsworth brought with him examples of his recent work including part of the Intimations of Immortality. On the evening of 4 April 1802, Coleridge retreated to his study and began to pen the first version of the ”Dejection” Ode. This was first composed as the highly confessional ”Letter to Asra”. Its autobiographical themes are the unattainable Asra and the failure of his marriage.

67In the summer of 1802, the Wordsworths took advantage of the temporary peace established after the Treaty of Amiens which we shall consider later (see Appendix 2). They travelled to France to meet Annette Vallon, who had born William a child, Caroline, almost ten years earlier. The purpose of the visit was to prepare for William’s impending marriage to Mary Hutchinson and, doubtless, to make other arrangements for Caroline.

  • 80 Ibid. at 832.

68During their absence the Coleridges’ marriage unexpectedly thrived: ”Love and Concord” were rediscovered at Greta Hall. 80Moreover, Coleridge enjoyed himself in other ways, not least by making the first recorded ascent of Scafell.

Further Struggles with Addiction

  • 81 To Mrs Coleridge, 13 December 1802, CL 2, 894.
  • 82 To Mrs Coleridge, 4 December 1802, CL 2, 889.
  • 83 To Mrs Coleridge, 5 January 1803, CL 2, 908.

69The return of the Lakeland autumn, in 1802, heralded the onset of the wild weather which Coleridge blamed for his poor health and increased opium consumption. He now planned to escape abroad with Tom Wedgewood. In the event, they ventured no further than South Wales and the West Country. Even so, it meant leaving Sara who was now heavily pregnant – a decision that must have put their marriage under further strain. His visit to Asra, en route, aggravated her further. An important exchange of letters between husband and wife ensued. Although Sara’s letters have not survived, those sent to her by Coleridge reveal a mixture of assertiveness, contrition and apology. Their future depended, he proclaimed, on ”your (Sara’s) loving those whom I love” (i.e. Asra).81 This condition clearly verged on a repudiation of their marriage, but Coleridge’s tone was in other respects more accommodating. He repeated his commitment to the marriage, and told her that it was difficult to be apart from her.82 He even apologised for his own faults, not least his quick-tempered outbursts against her.83 Eventually, Sara seems to have been willing to pursue renewed reconciliation. Coleridge persuaded Wedgewood to travel to the Lakes so that Coleridge could rejoin his wife at the birth of their child. Needless to add, he was too late; Coleridge learned at Grasmere of the birth of his daughter (also called Sara).

  • 84 CN 2, 2990.
  • 85 To Robert Southey, 16 April 1804, CL 2, 1129.

70Unable to travel abroad, Coleridge’s health declined once more when he fell ill with rheumatic fever. This probably resulted in an increased consumption of opium. Fearful nightmares, which awakened him screaming at night were but one of the unpleasant symptoms of addiction. It was at this period that Coleridge at last may have begun to admit to himself that he had hitherto misunderstood cause and effect. Many of his ailments, for which he took opium, were in fact caused by it. His private Notebooks eventually revealed this.84 However, at this period, he stoically insisted, to those who had begun to suspect the true nature of his problem, that nothing he consumed was habit forming.85 Nevertheless, he made a will and took out a life assurance policy to provide his wife with £1000 in the event of his death.

  • 86 Stoddart was a literary critic who reviewed Scott’s work in the Edinburgh Review, No. II, January (...)
  • 87 To Sir George and Lady Beaumont, 12 August 1803, CL 2, 965.
  • 88 Coleridge wrote that John Stoddart had visited him on “Monday past”, that is, Monday, 27 October, (...)

71There were renewed plans to go abroad. He planned either to take up an invitation to stay in Malta, with a John Stoddart, a school friend from his Christ’s Hospital days,86 or to visit Madeira.87 Stoddart, a prominent journalist and literary critic, who had just been appointed Kings and Admiralty Advocate in Malta, visited Coleridge in October 180388 and may have then issued an invitation to stay with him. Stoddart was eventually to become a Chief Justice of Malta.

The Walking Tour of 1803

  • 89 To Thomas Poole, CL 2, 1012, 14 October 1803.

72Meanwhile, Coleridge and the Wordsworths had decided to set off for a tour of Scotland. If this was an attempt to rekindle their exciting and halcyon days of Stowey/Alfoxden it was a dismal failure. Coleridge seemed, to Wordsworth, to be in bad spirits. For his part, Coleridge resented Dorothy’s fondness for reciting William’s verses aloud. The group of friends eventually separated. Coleridge left the Wordsworths at Loch Lomond and marched alone across the Highlands with a renewed sense of purpose and vigour. This was not the end of their friendship, but it signals a rupture whose origins lie, perhaps, in the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads and, in particular, the suppression of Christabel and the apology for Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. Coleridge saw little of them after his return to Greta Hall.89

  • 90 To Sir George and Lady Beaumont, 22 September 1803, CL 2, 993; also to George Coleridge, 2 October (...)
  • 91 To Tom Wedgewood, 16 September 1803, CL 2, 991.
  • 92 To Thomas Poole, 3 October 1803, CL 2, 1010.
  • 93 To Sir George Beaumont, 17 October 1803, CL 2, 1017.

73Once free to pursue his own goals, Coleridge sought physical renewal in almost obsessive exercise. He appears to have believed that he might achieve a cure by driving the illness to the extremities of his body. In pursuit of this desperate and hopeless strategy, he covered 263 miles in 8 days on foot – as he proudly told his friends once back at Greta Hall.90 However, his addiction simply refused to yield. Letters that resound with his physical prowess on the Scottish tour also reveal acute nocturnal struggles. Coleridge wrote to Thomas Wedgewood the ”Night is my Hell, Sleep my tormenting Angel”.91 ”Night-screams”, he reported, ”have almost made me a nuisance in my own House”.92 He nevertheless vowed to take up armed resistance if the apparently imminent French invasion took place. If the country were in danger he would fight the enemy.93 This assertion of loyalty and patriotism is interesting because it reveals his willingness to use armed force to defend a country whose social, economic and political system he had earlier identified as oppressive. It is an early expression of his jingoism, which allows us to contextualise understanding of his complex responses to the behaviour of the British administration on Malta.

Preparing to Sail

  • 94 I.e. Sara Coleridge’s sisters.
  • 95 To Matthew Coates, 5 December 1803, CL 2, 1021; also to Robert Southey, 13 January 1804, CL 2, 102 (...)
  • 96 To John Rickman, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1089.

74At this time, his brother in law, Southey, had been bereaved by the loss of his only daughter. He came with his wife, Edith, and her sister Mary94 to stay with the Coleridges at Greta Hall. Their visit eventually became permanent. Coleridge, whose health continued to be in a ”distressful state” throughout the autumn, could now travel abroad knowing that Sara and the children would be cared for by close family. He determined to leave the Lake District hoping that he could recover his health in a warmer climate.95 He claimed that his departure was ”a choice of Evils”: to remain in England was to court death; the fulfilment of his desire for transcendence in the warm South was his final hope.96

  • 97 To John Thelwall, 26 November, 1803, CL 2, 1019. By January Catania was added to the list of poten (...)
  • 98 To Richard Sharp, 15 January 1804, CL 2, 1035.
  • 99 To George Bellas Greenough, 31 January 1804, CL 2, 1050, but his procrastina-tion was not fully co (...)
  • 100 He seems to have made two ascents of the volcano: to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 12 December 1804, CL 2, (...)

75Madeira or Malta?97 Each seemed likely possibilities, although he seemed to favour the former.98 Coleridge would only make up his mind, to accept Stoddart’s invitation to travel to Malta, on 31 January 1804.99 Even then he had no plan to spend much time there since he regarded Malta as merely a staging post for Sicily, to which he was attracted by the possibility of an ascent of Etna.100

  • 101 To J. G. Rideout, 23 March 1804, CL 2, 1098; see also to John Rickman, 26 March 1804, CL 2, 1098.
  • 102 To William Sotheby, 27 March 1804, CL 2, 1106.; see also to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 1 April 1804, CL (...)
  • 103 CL 2, 1123.

76As the day of his departure drew near his letters acquired a valedictory tone. His health and morale had deteriorated once more: and he recognised that his resting place was likely to be some corner of a foreign field:101 ”..if I return, we shall be Friends: if I die, as I believe I shall, you will remember me”.102 ”Death…”, he wrote to Sir George Beaumont, ”will only be a Voyage – a Voyage not from but to our native Country”.103

”Bear up and sail large”104

  • 104 CN 2, 2016, 6 April 1804.
  • 105 The passage, which Coleridge arranged on 12 March 1804, was, he judged, expensive. It cost 35 guin (...)
  • 106 She was a 74 gun ship of the line that was to become the third ship after Victory to pass through (...)
  • 107 To William Sotheby, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1086.

77Coleridge arrived in Portsmouth on the morning of the 28 March 1804, ready to board his ship, the fast 130-ton merchant brig, Speedwell. The ship’s voyage from London had been delayed by adverse winds and it had not yet arrived.105 It was only on 9 April, after yet more contrary winds, that Speedwell weighed anchor and set sail in a convoy, which was to be escorted as far as Gibraltar by the Leviathan.106 Coleridge carried with him letters of introduction to Major-General Villettes, the commander of the British army on Malta, and Sir Alexander Ball, the Civil Commissioner.107

  • 108 CN 2, 1996.
  • 109 CN 2, 2002.
  • 110 CN 2, 2002.

78The novelty of the journey, the talk of sailors, the idiosyncrasies of his fellow travellers, the routines of the convoy and the sight of ships in convoy under sail intrigued Coleridge. Seated upon the duck coop with the ducks quacking at his feet, and using the rudder case as a desk, Coleridge noted all that he saw and learned. He listened to the sounds of the ship, noting the ”creaking of (the) Main top irons, & squeak of the rudder rope”;108 he learned that in certain winds the ship would travel faster with less sail;109 he recorded the latitude of the ship and regularly noted its speed; he looked forward to his first glimpse of Cape Ortegal.110

  • 111 CN 2, 2014.
  • 112 To Mrs Coleridge, 5 June 1804, CL 2, 1136.

79Portugal sighted, he flung on his greatcoat and hurried shoeless on to the deck to observe it and the fishing boats laying off each side of the ship.111 He marvelled at the apparently magical progress of the Leviathan in contrast to the laboured rolling of his own vessel. This powerful ship-of-the-line was, he wrote, ”upright, motionless, as a church with its Steeple – as tho’ it moved by its own will, as tho’ its speed were spiritual-the being and essence without the body of motion”.112

  • 113 To Robert Southey, 16 April 1804, CL 2, 1127.

80But the excitement was not to last. For the greater part of the journey between Gibraltar and Malta, as the weather deteriorated, he became seriously unwell. Lying in his bunk he returned to opium as the ship was alternately storm-blasted or becalmed. In adverse weather, the ship drifted backwards; when becalmed there hung the danger of attack from pirate vessels using oar rather than sail.113 These could dart into the convoy when even the most heavily armed escort ship would be powerless to help them.

1. A view of Valletta from South Street with the Marsamxett or Quarantine Harbour on the left.

81He drifted into opium saturated reveries unable to return to the deck. At last, his body fell victim to the effects of opium; his bowels would not function. Tormented by self-disgust and guilt he suffered until finally the Captain of the Speedwell called upon the services of a surgeon. The remedy was humiliating and painful.

Malta

  • 114 Major-General Villettes had been appointed commander in chief of the British troops in Malta in 18 (...)
  • 115 The Crown may have withheld the title of “Governor” as the status of Malta was unresolved, althoug (...)
  • 116 CN 2, 2101.
  • 117 To William Sotheby, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1086.
  • 118 The Palace lies about one hundred metres from the Valletta to Rabat road.
  • 119 The Friend, II, 250-3 (1809).
  • 120 The Friend, I, 533.

82When Speedwell reached Malta, on 18 May 1804, Coleridge fled the ship. Leaving his baggage aboard, he went ashore and went directly to Stoddart’s house in Valletta, the Casa di San Poix (a former auberge of the Knights of St John), where he was warmly received and given rooms. (fig. 1) Two days later he called upon Major-General William Villettes114 and Sir Alexander Ball, the Civil Commissioner, who was universally, albeit unofficially, known as the ”Governor” of the Island.115 Coleridge recorded of the meeting with Ball that it was unlikely to lead to his appointment to a colonial post.116 This was a disappointment since Coleridge had thought it possible some small post might be offered by which he could defray the expenses of the voyage.117 Fortunately for Coleridge, this unaccommodating first meeting was not to remain Ball’s final position. The following day, Ball invited Coleridge to the country palace at San Antonio (now St Anton, fig. 2).118 Riding back to Valletta, Ball posed the question whether fortune favours fools. Coleridge’s articulate response, on the subject of chance and superstition, clearly impressed Ball and a friendship was firmly established.119 Coleridge was to write that this was ”one of the most delightful mornings I ever passed”.120

2. San Antonio Palace, now the official residence of the President of Malta, at St Anton, Attard. During the Maltese uprising of 1799-1800 Captain Ball used it as his residence. He returned when he became Civil Commissioner in 1802.

Coleridge spent much of his time there.

Sir Alexander Ball

  • 121 To William Sotheby, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1141.
  • 122 CN 2, 2438.
  • 123 The Friend, I, 169.
  • 124 CN 2, 2438. Coleridge privately referred to Ball as Sophosophron: CN 2, 2439.

83As early as 1804, but most notably after Ball’s death in 1809, Coleridge presented Ball as ”the abstract Idea of a wise & good Governor”.121 In a Notebook written whilst he was acting Public Secretary on Malta, he recorded that Ball was ”a great man”,122 and he subsequently eulogised Ball, in The Friend, as ”[a] truly great man, (the best and greatest public character that I had ever the opportunity of making myself acquainted with)”.123 Ball’s prudence, he wrote, resembled wisdom; ”his Intellect (was) ”so clear and comprehensive”.124 This unity of wisdom and prudence allowed Coleridge to present Ball as the essence of morally-legitimate political authority. In the Civil Commissioner, Coleridge thus considered that wisdom governed the inherent fallibility of acting prudentially. This idea was developed and emerged as a major theme of The Friend in 1809-1810.

  • 125 The Friend, I, 552.

84Coleridge’s accounts have left us with important evidence as to how government in Malta operated. The qualities of the Civil Commissioner to which Coleridge drew the most attention were his willingness to consult and his open mindedness, evidenced by his readiness to seek the opinion even of those who might have very different opinions from his own.125 Had Ball pursued his naval career, Coleridge considered that he would, like Nelson, have had a ”band of brothers”, a team of fellow officers, whose opinions he could trust and upon whose initiative he could rely. Coleridge arrived at this conclusion because, it seems, that was Ball’s modus operandi in conducting the civil government of the Island.

  • 126 The Friend, I, 552-4.
  • 127 Kooy (1999), 102-8.

85Importantly, Coleridge also described Ball as a good listener who would make time to invite all opinion, even from those whose judgement would, it seems, not carry much weight. Coleridge made it clear that Ball was ”zealous in collecting the opinions of the well-informed”; although, once he had consulted he would be careful to make up his own mind and not slavishly follow what he might perceive to be the wishes of authority. Coleridge also described Ball’s passion for fully reasoned, reflective decision-making. The impression that Coleridge was careful to leave is of an independent, evidence-led decision-maker concerned to gather all relevant information and opinion before reaching a decision.126 And, Coleridge carefully emphasised that Ball was guided by principles of morality and justice. As Kooy describes, this is an idealised expression of ”pure politics”. It is Coleridge’s deployment of conscience as the necessary means of subjecting politics to Reason.127

86Coleridge provided direct evidence that he was amongst those whose formal, written opinion Ball invited. He also celebrated Ball’s openness by revealing to us the latter’s pleasure in finding that Coleridge had identified a wider range of argument than Ball had at first appreciated.

  • 128 The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, manuscript WLMS A/ Ball, Alexander, Sir/4 Ball to Coleridge.
  • 129 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

87However, it would be wrong to assume that their relationship was always harmonious. As a surviving undated note from Ball to Coleridge128 reveals, the two men seem to have held implacably opposed views upon certain political subjects, although the nature of these is not disclosed. Even so, the disagreement was such that Ball would not again raise the subject with Coleridge. Moreover, Ball was prepared to reprimand Coleridge quite severely for critical views that the latter had indiscreetly expressed. This may suggest that Coleridge had difficulty in accepting the strictures of collective cabinet responsibility, although this is but one possibility. Coleridge’s irritated claim, in letters home, that Ball frustrated his attempts to return, also suggests that the two men were not always in harmony.129

  • 130 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166. He added that, in other ways, Ball treated him kindly.
  • 131 CN 2, 2271, Friday, 23 November 1804. The Royal Commissioners, who report-ed in 1812, also found t (...)
  • 132 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1178.
  • 133 To Daniel Stuart, ibid.

88Whilst on Malta, Coleridge became troubled by the political morality of those in power, which can only be a judgement upon Ball’s conduct in office. Whilst still on the Island he had confided to Stuart: ”But the Promises of men in office are what everyone knows them to be…”.130 This was a reference to Ball apparently breaking a promise that he had made to Coleridge himself, specifically that Coleridge should receive the whole salary of the combined offices of Treasurer and Public Secretary (although he did not act as Treasurer). He lamented the ”heart-depraving Habits & Temptations of men in power, as Governors….is to make instruments of their fellow creatures-& the moment they find a man of Honor & Talents, instead of loving and esteeming him, they wish to use him”.131 More damning still was his conclusion that the public office entailed ”intrigue”.132 He even confided to Stuart that he now knew ”by heart the awkward & wicked machinery, by which all our affairs abroad are carried on”.133 The truth is that Coleridge’s eulogy of Ball, in The Friend, almost certainly conceals from the public the limitations of the man and his government.

  • 134 Kew, CO 158/19.

89Other, perhaps more objective, evidence of Ball’s competence as an administrator reveals that Ball’s second period of office had only qualified success, especially during the difficult years of 1805-1806. As we shall see, in Chapter 2, the policies pursued by the administration were structurally flawed and the administration was, in some respects, ineffective. An over-arching complaint would be that the oversight of the complex system of government was completely inadequate. For example, amongst the proliferating problems, it seems that the system of financial control was particularly weak, resulting in a waste of British taxpayers’ money.134

Other Members of the Civil Establishment

  • 135 CN 2, 2430.
  • 136 Ball to Windham, 28 February 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/19

90Apart from the Civil Commissioner, the dramatis personae of the British Civil Establishment, in Malta in 1804, included the Public Secretary and Treasurer, Alexander Macaulay, (at Ball’s suggestion the offices had been combined in 1803). Although Coleridge regarded Macaulay as intelligent, honest and amiable135 he was, at about eighty years of age, perhaps no longer effective in his role. Ball reported to Lord Windham that, even by 1802, it was a Mr Eton who was taking ”the most active part in the administration of the civil Government”.136 Eton, who had left the Island sometime in September 1802 (but who retained his appointment), was to cause much trouble for Ball, both locally and in London.

  • 137 Edmond Chapman did not remain long as an active Public Secretary following his return from the Bla (...)
  • 138 National Archive of Malta, Rabat, Malta LIBR A22 PS01/1. Hereafter referred to as NAM.

91Prior to Coleridge’s appointment, Edmond Chapman, the Under-Secretary,137 and Giuseppe Nicolo Zammit, the ”Maltese Secretary”, probably bore the brunt of the Public Secretary’s work. The archives reveal that whilst some of the written instructions to the departments of government were still being issued under Macaulay’s signature, most were issued under Zammit’s.138 The frailty of the Public Secretary can clearly be seen in his markedly deteriorating handwriting during the latter part of 1804. At this period Ball was arranging for Macaulay’s permanent successor to be appointed

  • 139 Laing, who had been appointed as Acting Public Secretary during Chapman’s medical leave eventually (...)

92The British staff also included the Reverend Francis Laing (who, at this time, acted as the private secretary to Ball139) and Edmond Chapman, the Under-Secretary.

  • 140 See Kew, CO 158/10. As we shall see, the Island was unable to produce sufficient foodstuffs for it (...)
  • 141 It was planned that, en route to Glasgow, they would stay with Mrs Coleridge and Southey at Greta (...)
  • 142 With the salary of the Under-Secretary during Chapman’s absence. To Wil-liam Sotheby, 5 July 1804, (...)

93Ball had to confront significant staffing shortages when Coleridge reached Malta. Chapman was absent from the Island pursuing an important official mission to the Black Sea region to secure corn supplies.140 Laing, who also acted as tutor to Ball’s only child, Keith, was going on leave to Scotland with the boy and one Anthony Sucheareau was intended as a temporary replacement for him.141 Given the staffing problems, Ball made Coleridge the offer of Chapman’s post as Under-Secretary during the latter’s absence.142 After an assurance that the work would be ”nominal” Coleridge accepted because the salary would defray the expenses of his planned journey to Sicily. Coleridge’s contribution must have been most welcome, if not absolutely necessary. Coleridge thus began his official tasks as Under-Secretary to Ball.

Under-Secretary

94In 1804 Ball was seeking to persuade British policymakers not only of the case for the permanent retention of Malta but also, more generally, to influence British political and military strategy in the Mediterranean. He decided to use Coleridge’s talent and experience, as a political leader-writer, to help him with these tasks and to make the case that the Island should be permanently occupied by the British.

  • 143 Note CN 2, 2143. It was important inter alia to deny French trading opportunities in the Levant.
  • 144 A Political Sketch on the Views of the French in the Mediterranean, originally drafted by the Civi (...)
  • 145 To Daniel Stuart, 6 July 1804, CL 2, 1146.

95Coleridge was soon drafting a series of substantial memoranda on such issues as ”future British policy and war aims’ and ”the intentions of the French”.143 Foreign policy in relation to Egypt, Sicily, and the North African coastal states were all subjects of papers from his pen.144 In them, Coleridge was willing to advocate the aggressive assertion of the British national interest even if this meant annexing sovereign territory, as he argued in the case of Egypt. These papers were passed either directly to Granville Penn, an official in the office of the Secretary of State for War in London, or to Nelson who was then commanding the British Mediterranean fleet blockading the French at Toulon. In order to inform and influence opinion at home, Coleridge discreetly ”leaked” material advocating the importance of Malta to Daniel Stuart of the Courier, directing him to use the material, but to avoid quoting him.145

  • 146 See Observations on Egypt and Kooy (1999).

96Coleridge, notoriously, became as willing as Ball to advocate selfish British national interests, even if this meant abandoning principles (such as public international law). This was so, for example, in Coleridge’s advocacy of the annexation of Egypt, simply to frustrate French ambitions – an aggressive policy that would appear to make Britain imperially ambitious and little better than France had been in its annexation of sovereign territories.146

  • 147 To William Sotheby, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1140.

97Such was the contribution Coleridge was making that Ball’s confidence in him grew and by early July he was given ”cool & commanding Rooms”147 in the Governor’s Palace. (figs. 3 and 4). His success at this work, and his new regime – which included swimming before sunrise – dramatically lifted his spirits and improved his health.

  • 148 Ball to Camden, 26 November 1804, Kew, CO 158/9/52.
  • 149 Ibid. And see Ball to Cooke, 1 February 1806, Kew, CO 158/11/9 in which a financial statement conc (...)

98In late November, Ball informed the Earl of Camden that Coleridge was to be sent, with Captain Leake, on the signally important mission to the Black Sea to purchase corn.148 The success of this mission was critical to the maintenance of the Island’s population who, as we shall see in Chapter 2, were highly dependent upon imported grain. According to Ball’s plan, should Captain Leake be called away from the region, Coleridge would have been empowered to act as his substitute. In that event, he would have had sole responsibility for the success of this strategic mission, the funds for which amounted to £98,680.149 Coleridge now seemed to be on the verge of building a career in the colonial service. Privately, however, he was reluctant to go. As matters turned out, he was not actually called upon to do so.

Coleridge, the Most Illustrious Lord, The Public Secretary

  • 150 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170 (Figs. 3 and 4).

”..Like a mouse in a Cathedral on a Fair or Market Day”.150

  • 151 He declined the Treasurership, which meant that he received only half the salary otherwise due to (...)
  • 152 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1167.

99On 18 January 1805 Alexander Macaulay died in his sleep. Ball, thereupon, appointed Coleridge as acting Public Secretary.151 Coleridge declined to serve as Treasurer and, eventually, drew only half the salary. Even so, the decision to assume, even temporarily, the Public Secretary’s responsibilities was one that Coleridge later regretted.152

3. The interior of the President’s Palace, Valletta. It would not have been less opulent when Coleridge resided there.

4. The Governor’s [Civil Commissioner’s] Palace with the Treasury Building in the background (now the Casino Maltese). Coleridge moved from the Civil Commissioner’s Palace in Valletta to the Treasury in late 1804.

  • 153 CN 2, 2408 see also 2430; also to Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1163; and to Daniel Stuar (...)
  • 154 Ball to Camden, 30 January 1805, Kew, CO 158/10/1. Ball informed his superior of the death of Mr M (...)
  • 155 To the Wordsworths, 19 January 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1163.

100As Coleridge’s Notebooks make clear, his appointment as the effective head of the civil service was ”pro tempore of Mr Chapman’s Absence”153 and that Chapman would have the permanent appointment upon his return from the Black Sea region. The previous British government had earlier approved Chapman’s appointment, so there was no question of Coleridge taking over permanently.154 Moreover, Ball expected Chapman’s return ”almost daily” from Smyrna, so Coleridge’s new position was expected to be particularly short-lived. The day following Macaulay’s death Coleridge confirmed to the Wordsworths that he was still planning to leave the Island no later than at the end of March 1805.155

101The Public Secretary played a key role in the administration. As we shall see in Chapters 2 and 3, the British plan for the government of Malta was that legislative, executive and judicial power would be placed in the hands of the Civil Commissioner. That ultimate authority was co-ordinated and managed through the office of the Public Secretary, who served as head of the executive. The office-holder represented the authority of the Civil Commissioner in the day to day administration of the islands. As such, he was centrally important in the government of Malta and was placed second in civil dignity to the ”Governor”.

  • 156 By 1814 there were twenty-one staff in the Public Secretary’s office. There would not have been si (...)
  • 157 CN 2, 2552.
  • 158 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1170.
  • 159 Passports other than those to serving military officers were to be issued under the authority of t (...)
  • 160 Coleridge, who may have been required to attend the Court regularly, provided advocacy in a wig an (...)
  • 161 See below Chapter 4 and Sultana, 270-1.
  • 162 Sultana, 149-50.
  • 163 Ball to Edward Cooke 30 November 1807 Kew, CO 158/13/463.

102The scope of the role was, legally, undefined when Coleridge held office, but its usual demands placed Coleridge in charge of a number of civil servants.156 It gave him a place in Ball’s cabinet, as well as in the Segnatura or Council. The office-holder would normally have been required to oversee157 about a dozen government departments, administer oaths and affidavits and arbitrate disputes between merchants – a constant task that Coleridge dreaded above all.158 He had also to issue passports,159 attend the Court of Vice-Admiralty,160 and draft the Bandi and Avvisi.161 Records of these had to be maintained locally, and, in some instances, copies had to be sent to England. The Public Secretary also held a magisterial appointment.162 There is also evidence that Ball felt unable to take on the audit function and, thus, relied heavily upon the Public Secretary to perform it.163

  • 164 Ball to Cooke 30 November 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/463at 465: “The superin- tendence, indeed, of the p (...)
  • 165 He received Harbour Reports: see e.g., CN 2, 2446 and CN 2, 2583; also the Av-viso of 9 March 1805 (...)
  • 166 Ball had reported that the hospitals, one for men and another for women, were a principal expense (...)

103The departments whose work Coleridge had to oversee164 included the Public Treasury, the Lazaretto and Quarantine department; the Custom House; the harbour;165 the Grand Almoner’s Office for the Maintenance of the Poor; the Government Printing Office; the Tribunals; Two hospitals;166 the Foundling and Invalids Hospital; and the Post Office.

104Additio90

105ally, there was the Università, the function of which had become central to Ball’s policies for the Island. This important issue is more fully considered in Chapter 2 together with an account of the other departments of state.

  • 167 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1169 & 1170; CN 2, 2451 (Notes), 15 February 1805 and (...)
  • 168 The Royal Commission of 1812 was to recommend its abolition: Kew, CO 158/19.
  • 169 To Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1164.

106A significant burden upon Coleridge’s time, and a duty Coleridge found particularly disagreeable, was the arbitration and the settlement of disputes involving British merchants.167 These disputes, ostensibly, fell within the jurisdiction of the Maltese Court, the Consolato del Mare. In his instructions, Charles Cameron (the first British Civil Commissioner, 1801-1802) had been ordered to abolish it, but it continued to function through Coleridge’s period in office. However, the proceedings in this court were lengthy and complicated and the court did not win the confidence of the British mercantile class who, much to the chagrin of Maltese lawyers, (and the Public Secretary) preferred arbitration to expensive litigation.168 Coleridge described himself (with reference to the requirement that he provide advocacy in the Court of Vice-Admiralty) as a ”jack-of-all-trades”.169

  • 170 He usually referred to the Bandi and Avvisi as public memorials: see Sultana, 271. His role in the (...)
  • 171 See e.g., Ball to Camden, 4 August 1804, Kew, CO 158/9/42.
  • 172 To Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165.

107Soon after his appointment Coleridge reported that he was employed from 8am until 5pm on official business. This included writing ”public letters and memorials’,170 – i.e. the laws and public notices with which we are presently concerned. He described this as a most anxious duty. He was also engaged, from time to time, in writing despatches.171 It seems that this work would not normally have fallen to his Office but, according to Coleridge, his talents were such that this work was assigned to him.172 Burdened as he was by persistent ill-health, by drug addiction, by poor morale, and the eclectic cacophony of his diverse governmental responsibilities it would be a tour de force if Coleridge entirely succeeded as a draftsman of Maltese law.

  • 173 CN 2, 2552.
  • 174 To Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165.
  • 175 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166.
  • 176 Ibid.

108By Easter, Coleridge was complaining that he had ”for months past… incessantly employed in official tasks, subscribing, examining, administering oaths, auditing, etc”.173 For the first time he found that he had no time to write to his friends and family in England.174 He complained that the work left him so tired, and his spirits so ”exhausted” that he was almost unable to undress himself at night.175 He regarded his official duties not only as excessive, but also stressful.176 The role may simply have been too multi-faceted, requiring a range of skills that any office-holder, no matter how talented, would find difficult to discharge.

109Coleridge’s decision to decline the office of Treasurer was perhaps a judicious one. As we shall see in Chapter 2, the policy of introducing inexperienced Maltese into the civil service had disastrous consequences for accounting, auditing and record-keeping and there were insuperable problems with the national finances. At the same time, Ball’s Administration was embarking upon a disastrous financial speculation in the purchase of corn resulting in significant losses affecting the public finances

  • 177 Ball to Cooke, 30 Nov Ibid.ember 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/465, and also Ball to Shee, 12 May 1807, Kew (...)
  • 178 Sullivan to Ball, 31 December 1803, NAM Libr 531 18.

110There was, eventually, to be some recognition that the spread of responsibility was too great. Ball was later to seek permission from London to appoint an auditor or comptroller-general to take over some of the responsibilities of the Public Secretary, since even that part of the role demanded ”exclusive and individual attention”.177 This was something of a volte face on his part, for it was Ball who had initiated the overloading of the Public Secretary/Treasurer by securing the agreement of his superiors, in 1803, that one office-holder perform the combined roles.178 This blunder, which suggests the limited nature of Ball’s understanding, may have contributed to some of the serious structural failings of the British Administration. In an official acknowledgement that the workload of the combined Offices was too onerous, the roles were split in 1811.

Zammit and Coleridge’s role

111There is strong evidence that Coleridge did not perform some of the key duties associated with the office of Public Secretary. There was, in effect, a gulf between what might be described as the informal, customary job description – the responsibilities and duties placed upon the office-holder – and those that Coleridge actually performed. However much Coleridge complained of overwork, it is likely that he did less than might otherwise have been expected. Leaving aside concerns about his health, and the effect that might have had on his effectiveness, he was not fully proficient in Italian, and not at all familiar with the unique system of administration on Malta. It is, therefore, unsurprising that others assisted him. We know that Coleridge worked closely with Zammit, the Maltese Secretary, a fellow member of the Segnatura and chief legal adviser to the government. Surviving records reveal that, after Macaulay’s death, Zammit’s role was enhanced. Despite his age, Zammit retained considerable energy: not only did he discharge a considerable workload, but he managed to do so until standing down on 15 June 1814.

  • 179 See National Library of Malta, Valletta, Malta, Univ 42 (hereafter referred to as NAM). Letters fr (...)
  • 180 E.g., NLM Univ 425, 16 May 1806.

112Records reveal that there were at least two areas of responsibility in which Coleridge was not engaged. The first concerns the Università, the supervision of which, as we have described, normally fell to the Public Secretary. Before Coleridge took office the greater number of letters from the Jurats (directors of the Università) were addressed to Macaulay, although some were addressed to Zammit or even to Ball himself.179 But after Macaulay’s death, when Coleridge took over, letters from the Jurats were never addressed to him. Instead the Jurats communicated either with Ball or Zammit. Once Coleridge quit Malta, and Chapman took office, the Jurats communicated with him as well as to Zammit.180 This raises the question about the extent to which the acting Public Secretary was fulfilling his responsibility of supervising the Università.

  • 181 The functions of the Luogotenenti were defined in a Bando of 14th December 1801: NAM LIBR/MS 430 B (...)
  • 182 An illustrative list of these receiving formal written instructions in 1805 and their source appea (...)

113But this is not all, because a further important function of the Public Secretary’s office was the issuing of formal written instructions (’ordini’) to the departments of government and other officials such as, for example, the Luogotenente or civil magistrates of the villages (casals).181 Asimilar pattern to that observed in the case of the Università emerges here. In 1804, whilst most ordini were issued in Zammit’s name, others were issued by Macaulay, as Public Secretary. After Macaulay’s death, no instructions are recorded as having been issued by Coleridge. Much of the work was undertaken by Zammit, although Ball issued all instructions to the Treasury.182 Chapman, upon assuming office, after Coleridge’s departure, issued his first instruction on 4 October 1805 and continued to do so regularly thereafter. Thus, a gap emerges. In cases where it might have been expected that Coleridge would have issued instructions, none are recorded under his signature. He seems to have been entirely inactive in this respect.

  • 183 CN 2, 2446.
  • 184 CN 2, 2552.
  • 185 CN 2, 2557.
  • 186 CN 2, 2560.
  • 187 CN 2, 2468.
  • 188 E.g. to Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166; to the Wordsworths of the same date, CL 2, 1168; to (...)
  • 189 To Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165. In the same letter Coleridge described how, prior to (...)

114Despite this evidence, Coleridge was stretched by the volume of the work. Even in the early days of his tenure of office his desk already laboured under a ”cumulus” of hospital and harbour reports – an irritation that he seems to have resolved by using them to light his candle, an act of destruction only committed with a ”trembling” conscience.183 References to the workload, and its effect upon him, occur more frequently from April 1805. He reported that official work had kept him ”incessantly employed”,184 working ”from morn to night”.185 There was undoubted stress, which left him unable to sleep. In late April he recorded: ”So hard have I worked lately, & to so little effect in consequence of my Health, so many calls and claims – & such agitation and anxiety in consequence that this morning (awaking) very early – a little after 2 – mistaking the light of the Lamp… for the Dawn, my Heart sunk within me”.186 The nightmares and nocturnal screaming had not left him.187 References to deteriorating health, in April 1805, become apparent in his letters home.188 When the letters and papers he had sent home (documents that he had entrusted to the Captain in his capacity as Public Secretary) were thrown overboard from the Arrow when she was attacked by French frigates (figs. 5 and 6) he felt exasperated at what he described as ”an evil destiny”.189

5. Aquatint bearing the inscription: ”To the R.t Hon.ble. Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B. Duke of Bronte &c. &c. &c., This Print of the commencement of the gallant defence, made by His Majesty’s Sloop Arrow of 23 Guns & 132 Men, Richard Budd Vincent Esq.r Commander; and His Maj: Bomb Vessel Acheron of 8 Guns and & 57 Men, Arthur Farquhar Esq.r Com.r against the French Frigate, L’Hortense and L’Incorruptible of 44 Guns & 550 Men each, including troops of the Line, which took place on the Morning of the 4.th of Feb.y 1805, off Cape Palos; for the preservation of a Valuable Convoy is by Permission most humbly Dedicated by his most obliged humble Servant, George Andrews. [&] To the R.t Hon.ble. Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B. Duke of Bronte &c. &c. &c.,” Painted by F. Sartorius. Engraved by J. Jeakes. Published Oct. 21. 1805, by G. Andrews, No. 7, Charing Cross.

  • 190 A’ Court, William to Bunbury, 10 November 1812, Kew, CO 158/18.

115The work Coleridge encountered was onerous. This is so not only in its volume but also in its significance, for Coleridge found himself at the heart of government with responsibilities for its successful administration as well as financial rectitude. As we shall see, some of the public action he was required either to take or, at least, to support was of questionable morality. Such conduct does not cohere well either with the idea of the rule of law or the separation of powers. But it does fit with expectations of the role. When the Revd Francis Laing subsequently took over the role, an independent observer noted that the role of Public Secretary ”certainly requires the exercise of talents not very compatible with the clerical character”.190 This speaks volumes about the hard-edged nature of Coleridge’s new role, which was entirely subservient to the overriding British strategic goals.

6. Coloured aquatint of the sinking of His Majesty’s Sloop Arrow. Painted by F. Sartorius. Engraved by J. Jeakes. Published Oct. 21. 1805, by G. Andrews, No. 7, Charing Cross.

  • 191 CN 2, 2412, 23 January 1805.
  • 192 The Friend, I, 167.

116The somewhat tainting experience of raw political action prompted Coleridge towards an intellectual response that strove to subject practical politics to Reason and principle. This struggle began within days of his appointment as Acting Public Secretary. He posed a question for himself in his private Notebooks: ”Wherein is Prudence distinguishable from Goodness (or Virtue) – and how are they both nevertheless one and indivisible”.191 The Friend is a sustained engagement with this project. Indeed, it concludes, ”Nothing is to be deemed rightful in civil society, or to be tolerated as such, but what is capable of being demonstrated out of the laws of pure Reason”.192

  • 193 The Friend, I, 314. It is revealing that in his Notebook Coleridge had interested himself in the r (...)
  • 194 Coleridge regarded the Treaty as disregarding British national honour: The Friend, I, 571. See App (...)
  • 195 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1177.

117His experience of public office, and reflections upon it, eventually led him to reject a utilitarian conception of political morality. Governmental action should not merely be concerned with the consequences of a political decision but the impulses that directed and motivated it. A concern with actions and consequences should not make government indifferent to considerations of morality. Coleridge concluded that these ”inward” motives contributed the essence of morality to the outward expression of public policy.193 This meant that governmental action, that might appear to be justified after a purely empirical analysis, might nevertheless fall short of the appropriate standard for public action. He later offered, as an example, the terms under which the British concluded the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Whilst the Treaty ended hostilities with France, Malta had been forced by the British to accept the return of the despotic Order of St John which would fall under French influence and expose the Maltese (who had rebelled against their former French occupiers) to the risk of reprisals.194 We can surmise that it was his disappointment with the ethical standards of colonial administration that led him, upon his return to England, to express such powerful condemnations of the ”wickedness” of colonial government.195

Our names, and but our names can meet196

  • 196 From An Exile thought to have been composed by Coleridge whilst on Malta.
  • 197 CN 2, 2372.
  • 198 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1169.
  • 199 CN 2, 2510; CN 2, 2527; CN 2, 2557.
  • 200 CN 2, 2486, Sunday, 17 March 1805.
  • 201 CN 2, 2560.
  • 202 CN 2, 2536.
  • 203 CN 2, 2536. But letters to her were reassuring. For example on 21 August 1805 he wrote to his wife (...)

118He gradually sank into renewed opium consumption that confined him to his room for substantial periods. He thought that he appeared efficient in his public role. Ruminating in his Notebooks over Christmas 1804 he concluded that, in Malta, he was seen as a ”quiet well meaning man, rather dull indeed”.197 At weekends he seems to have withdrawn to his books and opium. Notebook entries, sometimes barely coherent, were scribbled in the small hours of the night. Unable to free himself from his addiction, his thoughts rambled from homesickness198 to suicide.199 Privately, especially when Chapman did not appear as expected, Coleridge was struggling with despair.200 He began to wonder whether he would survive to see his family and friends.201 He was glad when one convoy was delayed – it might mean that he could return in it, for he could not endure the possibility it should depart without him. But he was also at a loss to know where to go.202 He had clearly decided not to return to Greta Hall, and had resolved to separate from his wife.203

  • 204 CN 2, 2614.
  • 205 CN 2, 2547.
  • 206 CN 2, 2614.
  • 207 CN 2, 2635; CN 2, 2641.
  • 208 CN 2, 2614.

119His early enchantment with Malta left him. He grumbled about the incessant noise of life in Valletta.204 The Easter festivities, which involved the firing of guns and letting off of fireworks – behaviour that remains to this day a feature of the many Catholic festivals of the Island – seemed particularly irksome.205 Even the ”torture” of reveillée and the parade drums of the English garrison eventually grated upon him.206 He bewailed the other denizens of street life: the courtship of Maltese cats, the pigs (which yelled rather than grunted) and ”revival and playfulness” after sunset of the noisy packs of dogs, and, worse still, their night-long combat with the pigs.207 He lamented the street cries, and the priests; even the Maltese advocates were a noisy and an abrasive profession.208

  • 209 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.
  • 210 Notwithstanding his claim that he missed his friends and family in England he extended his travels (...)
  • 211 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

120The intense summer heat caused prickly heat on his body, although without unpleasant sensations.209 Performing his many tasks in the extreme heat must have been debilitating. He awaited Chapman’s return with almost desperate, homesick, eagerness.210 He wrote to his wife, in August, that he could leave once he had completed ”six public letters and examined into the Law forms of the Island” – a commitment that would not burden him for more than a week.211 It is not at all clear what work Coleridge meant by the ”Law forms of the Island”. Following this letter, only one further proclamation (Bando) was issued under his signature; and there are no further surviving Public Notices (Avvisi).

  • 212 Coleridge, mistakenly, dated the Monday as 21 September 1805: CN 2, 2673.

121His health was not as robust as he would have wished. For this he blamed the lack of exercise caused by his duties. His departure still depended, however, upon Chapman’s much delayed return to Malta; and, when this eventually occurred, on 6 September 1805, the Notebook exudes relief. An Avviso, signed by Ball, was issued on 21 September 1805 announcing that Chapman had been appointed to the office of Public Secretary. Coleridge recorded, in his Notebook, that he quit Malta on Monday, 23 September, 1805.212 He was never to return.

An Assessment

  • 213 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.
  • 214 A draft letter in which Ball recommended Coleridge’s “talents and good moral character” to his bro (...)
  • 215 If this proposal had been accepted, Ball would also have rid himself of a bitter
  • 216 Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, manuscript WLMS A/ Ball, Alexander, Sir/2.

122Although questions can be posed about Coleridge’s effectiveness in office (see Chapter 6), it seems that he continued to enjoy the Civil Commissioner’s trust and confidence. Coleridge even claimed, in August 1805, that Ball had ”contrived” to keep him on the Island and prevent his return.213 Some corroborating evidence for this assertion survives. On 18 September 1805, Ball wrote to Granville Penn, assuring him that Coleridge had fulfilled the duties of Public Secretary to Ball’s ”satisfaction”.214 Significantly, Ball proposed that Coleridge should be offered William Eton’s post at a salary of three hundred pounds a year.215 Because the Superintendency of the Lazaretto and Quarantine Department would not over-extend him, Ball felt that Coleridge could continue to assist Ball’s Government. He particularly wanted to exploit Coleridge’s experience as a political journalist in so far as Coleridge should work with Barzoni, the editor of the Malta Gazette, to make that newspaper an effective propaganda tool for advocating British policy. However, the letter makes clear that wider, perhaps ad hoc, responsibilities were also envisaged. Ball’s emphasis that Coleridge’s appointment would serve an important public interest itself suggests an intention to keep Coleridge on the pay roll at the heart of Government.216

  • 217 See further Chapter 2. His book Materials for an Authentic History of Malta which was made ready f (...)

123Whilst Ball was genuinely keen to retain Coleridge’s services, we must also acknowledge the possibility of some mixed motives. Ball had powerful reasons for wishing to be rid of Eton. The appointment of Coleridge in his place would achieve this. Eton was a conspiratorial political opponent who would agitate for many years to alter British policy and undermine Ball’s authority.217 This dangerous political enemy was eventually discredited and dismissed from office. Regrettably, from Ball’s perspective, this only occurred after Ball’s premature death in 1809.

  • 218 Suicidal thoughts were expressed in verse: see, for example, his fragmentary “Come, come thou blea (...)

124Nothing came of Ball’s proposal to retain Coleridge. After spending the winter of 1805-1806 in Italy, Coleridge eventually returned to England in August 1806. His opium addiction was unresolved, and his health and morale actually seemed to have deteriorated during his absence. When the moment had come to sail he described himself as exhausted. The prospect of his homecoming offered little joy.218

  • 219 Dorothy Wordsworth to Catherine Clarkson, 6 November 1806, De Selincourt, 277; See also Gittings, (...)
  • 220 Ibid.

125Dorothy Wordsworth was deeply moved at their reunion when he eventually returned to the North: ”..never, never did I feel such a shock as at first sight of him”.219 She was convinced that he was ailing: ”..but that he is ill I am well assured; and must sink if he does not grow more happy. His fatness has quite changed him-it is more like the flesh of a person in a dropsy than one in health; his eyes are lost in it”.220

  • 221 Coleridge found it impossible to return to live permanently with his wife, but his children remain (...)

126She offered a vivid description of a man in decline: ”He is utterly changed; and yet sometimes, when he was animated in conversation concerning things removed from him, I saw something of his former self. But never when we were alone with him. He then scarcely ever spoke of anything that concerned him, or us, or our common friends nearly, except we forced him to it; and immediately he changed the conversation to Malta, Sir Alexander Ball, the corruption of government, anything but what we were yearning after”. Dorothy portrayed a man who was distant and abstracted, ill and unhappy.221 Such comments invite the conclusion that he might have failed in his primary goal in travelling to the Mediterranean, and sunk further into addiction and illness, without worthwhile gain.

  • 222 Shaffer (1989).
  • 223 Kooy (1999).
  • 224 E.g., the punishment of mandatory exile was extended to those who let lodgings to unregistered for (...)
  • 225 See Bando 8 March 1805, NAM LIBR/MS 430 2/2 Bandi 1805 AL 1814 f.2. The official line inferring th (...)

127Coleridge refuted this assessment; and powerful advocates would support him. Shaffer, for example, has demonstrated how Coleridge’s period in the Mediterranean contributed to his understandings and ideas on art, art criticism and philosophy.222 And Kooy has shown how, when Coleridge was forced to confront the grim, pragmatic compromises of practical politics, it forced him to renew his endeavours in political theory to advance the case for a ”purer” politics founded in reason and principle.223 This engagement first emerged in The Friend. When Coleridge offered an account of Malta he was unequivocal: his administrative experience, in particular his close association with Sir Alexander Ball, had been an instructive and valuable experience. He had seen how government worked, had experienced at first hand the vigorous pursuit of national self-interest; he had witnessed the careful and, arguably misleading, manoeuvrings of a Civil Commissioner determined to retain Malta; he had even lent his pen to these projects. He had exercised governmental power in his own right, drafting Proclamations and Public Notices, for the good government of Malta, that could entail the severest punishment of those who committed ostensibly trivial crimes.224 He had even indulged in manipulative ”spin”, having been prepared to exploit the well-known Maltese dislike of foreigners in order to secure public support for otherwise unpopular taxation.225 He could, in future, write with the authoritative knowledge, of how politics worked, that his earlier works necessarily lacked.

’Let Eagles Bid the Tortoise Sunward Soar’226

  • 226 CN 2, 2932 (October-November 1806).

128Sadly for Coleridge, the hoped-for cure for his addiction had been chimeric. The decade after his return was plagued by separation from his wife and children, fitful literary achievement, unsuccessful quackery and opium collapses. Only when he went to live with Dr Gillman in Highgate, in 1816, did he receive appropriate and (by the standards of the time) successful treatment. His condition stabilised and, whilst remaining a controversial figure, he largely re-established his position in the pantheon of the English Romantic movement. It is a testament to the skill with which Gillman treated him that a long-term heart condition rather than the toxic effects of opium caused his premature death at Highgate on 25 July 1834. He was just sixty-one years of age.

Notes

1 K. Coburn, The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1804-1808 (New York: Bollingen, 1961), 2, 1992. Hereafter referred to as CN. Coleridge grimly recorded some epitaphs of deceased soldiers after reaching Portsmouth at the end of March 1804. The voyage to Valletta would commence as soon as the adverse wind altered direction. This epitaph recorded that the “Battle of Self in the conquest of sin” was the “hardest engagement that [the deceased] was ever in”.

2 S. T. Coleridge, ’The Friend’, in The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, general editor Kathleen Coburn, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, Bollingen Series, 1969, vol 1, 533. Hereafter The Friend. Comments made whilst still in public office were, however, less enthusiastic: see e.g. To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, Griggs, E.L., Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 6 vols., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956- 71, vol 2, 1167. Hereafter CL 2.

3 See Sultana, xviii-x.

4 To Matthew Coates, postmark 8 December 1803, CL 2, 1021.

5 To William Sotheby, 27 March 1804, CL 2, 1106; see also to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 1 April 1804, CL 2, 1115.

6 A Political Dialogue on the General Principles of Government, 1791.

7 Coleridge had paid a fulsome tribute to Priestley (“patriot and saint and sage”) in his major poem Religious Musings, lines 371-6. Priestly (sic) was also the subject of a sonnet first published in the Morning Chronicle in December 1794. At one point, it seemed possible that Priestley might join Coleridge and his fellow Pantisocrats in America: see letter to Robert Southey, 1 September 1794, CL 1, 98.

8 Uglow, 440-1.

9 Uglow, 448.

10 CL 1, 40; Holmes (1989) 44.

11 To Southey, 13 July 1794, CL 1, 85.

12 To Southey, ibid. at 98.

13 John Thelwall was, of course, known and respected by Coleridge. He was a guest at Nether Stowey in July 1797. Fruitless efforts were made to find a cottage that he might rent in the vicinity.

14 John Thelwall was, of course, known and respected by Coleridge. He was a guest at Nether Stowey in July 1797. Fruitless efforts were made to find a cottage that he might rent in the vicinity.

15 He was forced to publish the first lecture as a pamphlet in order to demonstrate that there was nothing treasonable about its contents: Letter to George Dyer. CL 1, 152. A fourth lecture appears to have been planned, but threats to his life prevented him from delivering it: ibid.

16 Sandford,Thomas Poole and His Friends, quoted in Lefebure (1977), 137.

17 See e.g., D. V. Erdman (ed.), Essays on His Times in ’The Morning Post’ and ’The Courier’, in The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, vol 3: 1-3 (General Editor: Kathleen Coburn) (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978), 1, 32, 7, December 1799. Hereafter referred to as EOT.

18 See Barrell, Fire, Famine and Slaughter is discussed as an epilogue. However, as Barrell explains the argument depends entirely on Coleridge’s conception of the imagination.

19 To T. Poole 29 [28] May 1796, CL 1, 217, “Dear Gutter of Stowey (sic)! Were I transported to Italian Plains, and lay by the side of a streamlet which murmured thro’ an orange grove, I would think of thee, dear Gutter of Stowy, and wish that I were poring on thee!”

20 To John Thellwall, 13 May 1796, CL 1, 215-6

21 To Joseph Cottle, circa 3 July 1797, CL 1, 195.

22 To Mary Hutchinson (?) June 1797, De Selincourt, 188-9.

23 Thelwall arrived on 17 July 1797 after having walked from London. Earlier he had been arrested and tried under the Treasonable Practices Act 1794, but was acquitted at trial. With the intention of retreating from London and retiring from active political life he briefly considered settling with his family near Coleridge.

24 The “surface (of the heath) restless and glittering with the motion of the scattered piles of withered grass and the waving of the spiders’ threads”. Knight, (ed.), Wordsworth, 8.

25 D. Wordsworth, ibid. recorded on 7 March 1798: “One only leaf upon the top of a tree-the sole remaining leaf-danced round and round like a rag blown by the wind”. Cf. Christabel, I, 49.

26 Livingstone Lowes, 191.

27 De Quincey, Works II, 64-5. It seems that Dorothy Wordsworth, when her own clothes were soaked after walking in the rain, would simply borrow Sara’s without asking her permission.

28 To Southey, 29 July 1799, CL 1, 523.

29 Ibid.

30 DW CL 1, 105.

31 To Southey, 30 September 1799, CL 1, 534. Coleridge also reported that this diagnosis was probably inaccurate.

32 To Southey, 25 September 1799, CL 1, 530.

33 Ibid. at 533.

34 See e.g., Sara to George Coleridge, 10 September 1800, quoted in Lefebure (1986), 127.

35 See D. Erdman cited in Hesell. Coleridge, who is thought to have been given a greater freedom than others by his editor, was arguably more faithful to the original than some of his rivals who focused on more “newsworthy” material, selected according to idiosyncratic political prejudices.

36 Lefebure (1977), 305.

37 EOT, 1, 64, 69, 73, 2-4 January 1800.

38 Ibid., 4 January 1800, 73.

39 E.g. ibid, 8 January 1800, 84.

40 This eventually took place on 3 February 1800.

41 This was the Constitution establishing the Consulate which placed military and political power in the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was formally adopted on 24 December 1799. His articles appeared on 7, 26, 27 and 31 December, 1799: EOT, 1, 31-57.

42 This doctrine is particularly associated with the French writer Montesquieu whose work L’esprit des lois, 1748, asserted that the three functions of government (legislative, executive and judicial) should be performed by separate bodies. Misgovernment, or tyranny, would result if any two of those functions were performed by one body. Ironically Montesquieu, who was an admiring visitor to Britain, wrongly concluded that the British constitution exemplified these enlightened principles. Amongst its many controversial arrangements, the legislature in Britain is dominated by the Executive. As we shall see, under the Maltese constitution under which Coleridge worked whilst in office all legislative, executive and ultimatejudicial authority was vested in the British civil commissioner.

43 EOT, 1, 46-7, 26 December 1799.

44 Ibid. at 47.

45 EOT, 1, 49, 26 December 1799.

46 EOT, 1, 282, 3 December 1801.

47 EOT, 1, 211-14: 11, 13 and 15 March 1800.

48 19th March 1800, ibid. 219.

49 See e.g., EOT, 1, 211, 13 March 1800. Note, however, that once war with France had resumed, Coleridge offered his support for possible British military action even if this included the annexation of territory belonging to a foreign power: see below. Note also Coleridge’s essay on International Law in The Friend which argues for the legitimacy of an assertive foreign policy which might include the anticipatory use of force – The Friend, I, 298 et seq. It’s also of interest that Coleridge had enlisted in, and briefly served with the dragoons in 1794.

50 See also ’Fire, Famine and Slaughter’, The Morning Post, 8 January 1798.

51 To T. Poole, 21 March 1800, CL 1, 582.

52 Lyrical Ballads, vol 1, unnumbered page after the text, quoted in Livingstone Lowes, 475.

53 Lefebure (1977), 325-6.

54 Quoted in Lefebure (1977), 326.

55 To Davey, 9 October 1800, CL 1, 631. Coleridge thought that Christabel would subsequently be published with Wordworth’s The Pedlar.

56 To Thomas Poole, 21 March 1800, CL 1, 582.

57 To Thelwall, 17 December 1800, CL 1, 656.

58 To Revd. Francis Wrangham, 19 December 1800, CL 1, 658.

59 MS New York Public Library, quoted in Griggs, CL 1, 631.

60 Lefebure (1977), 338.

61 ibid., 333 et seq.

62 To Thomas Poole, 19 February 1802, CL 1, 787.

63 March 1801. Pitt had resigned over the question of Catholic Emancipation, but would subsequently return to Prime Ministerial Office in 1804.

64 Vol. III, Chapter XI, 10-24.

65 Erskine May, 16. The Government deployed the familiar assertion that officials accused of having acted unlawfully could not defend themselves without disclosing secret information or the sources of intelligence.

66 There were, however, advocates of reform in the House of Commons, most notably Francis Burdett, who held the rotten borough of Boroughbridge after 1797. He was elected the Member for Middlesex in 1802.

67 EOT, 1, 282-4, 3 December 1801.

68 EOT, 1, 308. Within a week of coming to power, Addington’s administration opened negotiations with France to end the war. Its eagerness to end hostilities persuaded it to it agree to evacuate Malta on unfavourable terms. Had this occurred, the outcome could easily have been highly damaging to British interests. In the end, Malta was neither evacuated by British forces nor returned to its pre-British government. The war resumed in May 1803 with Malta as the casus bellum.

69 EOT, 1, 272, 27 November 1801; ibid., 282, 3 December 1801; ibid. 287, 11 December 1801.

70 EOT, 1, 284, 3 December 1801.

71 Although, it can be argued that Coleridge had to invoke natural law theory to defend what saw as the “true” Constitution, this theory was actually foreign to it. Thus, Coleridge’s “conservatism” is of a particular kind which emphasises morality – as an inherent and unchanging guiding value-over historical and legal precedent.

72 EOT, 1, 281, 3 December 1801; ibid., 295, 11 December 1801.

73 See EOT, 1, 295, 11 December 1801.

74 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1178.

75 In The Friend he also described how Ball’s naval vessels, prompted by the threat of mutinous revolt amongst the allied army, threatened force against Sicilian merchants who refused to relinquish grain that was needed do badly on Malta. Ball was eulogised for not using his legal authority to punish the starving mutineers as much as for breaching established legal order in his adopted means of securing the grain from a friendly power: The Friend, I, 558-60. See also Chapter 5.9: Passports.

76 To Thomas Wedgewood, 20 October 1802, CL 2, 876.

77 To George Coleridge, 2 April 1806 [1807], CL 3, 7.

78 To Thomas Wedgewood, 20 October 1802, CL 2, 875.

79 To Robert Southey, 29 July 1802, CL 2, 830-3.

80 Ibid. at 832.

81 To Mrs Coleridge, 13 December 1802, CL 2, 894.

82 To Mrs Coleridge, 4 December 1802, CL 2, 889.

83 To Mrs Coleridge, 5 January 1803, CL 2, 908.

84 CN 2, 2990.

85 To Robert Southey, 16 April 1804, CL 2, 1129.

86 Stoddart was a literary critic who reviewed Scott’s work in the Edinburgh Review, No. II, January 1803, “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border”. Earlier he had published Remarks on the Local Scenery and Manners in Scotland during the years 1799 and 1800 (1801). He was political editor for the London Times from 1812-1816. He was eventually to serve as Chief Justice of the Vice-Admiralty court, Malta from 1826. His sister married William Hazlitt.

87 To Sir George and Lady Beaumont, 12 August 1803, CL 2, 965.

88 Coleridge wrote that John Stoddart had visited him on “Monday past”, that is, Monday, 27 October, 1800: CL 1, 643. Coleridge and Stoddart had travelled together to Keswick on 23 October 1800: Purton, V., 49.

89 To Thomas Poole, CL 2, 1012, 14 October 1803.

90 To Sir George and Lady Beaumont, 22 September 1803, CL 2, 993; also to George Coleridge, 2 October 1803 CL 2, 1005, and to T. Poole, 3 October 1803, CL 2, 1009.

91 To Tom Wedgewood, 16 September 1803, CL 2, 991.

92 To Thomas Poole, 3 October 1803, CL 2, 1010.

93 To Sir George Beaumont, 17 October 1803, CL 2, 1017.

94 I.e. Sara Coleridge’s sisters.

95 To Matthew Coates, 5 December 1803, CL 2, 1021; also to Robert Southey, 13 January 1804, CL 2, 1029.

96 To John Rickman, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1089.

97 To John Thelwall, 26 November, 1803, CL 2, 1019. By January Catania was added to the list of potential destinations: to Sir George Beaumont, 30 January 1804, CL 2, 1049.

98 To Richard Sharp, 15 January 1804, CL 2, 1035.

99 To George Bellas Greenough, 31 January 1804, CL 2, 1050, but his procrastina-tion was not fully conquered by his apparent resolve: see To the Wordsworths, 16 February 1804, CL 2, 1065.

100 He seems to have made two ascents of the volcano: to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 12 December 1804, CL 2, 1157.

101 To J. G. Rideout, 23 March 1804, CL 2, 1098; see also to John Rickman, 26 March 1804, CL 2, 1098.

102 To William Sotheby, 27 March 1804, CL 2, 1106.; see also to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 1 April 1804, CL 2, 1115.

103 CL 2, 1123.

104 CN 2, 2016, 6 April 1804.

105 The passage, which Coleridge arranged on 12 March 1804, was, he judged, expensive. It cost 35 guineas, with Coleridge having to purchase his mattress, three sheets, two blankets a pillow and pillow case as well as his own wine and spirits to the cost of a further £7 or £8; but Captain Findlay, the Commander of the ship, furnished everything else required for the journey.

106 She was a 74 gun ship of the line that was to become the third ship after Victory to pass through the enemy line at the Battle of Trafalgar. On the Gibraltar-Valletta leg of the journey the convoy was escorted by the Frigate Maidstone which was also shortly to see action against French ships off Hyères near Toulon, where the French fleet was blockaded by Nelson.

107 To William Sotheby, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1086.

108 CN 2, 1996.

109 CN 2, 2002.

110 CN 2, 2002.

111 CN 2, 2014.

112 To Mrs Coleridge, 5 June 1804, CL 2, 1136.

113 To Robert Southey, 16 April 1804, CL 2, 1127.

114 Major-General Villettes had been appointed commander in chief of the British troops in Malta in 1801.

115 The Crown may have withheld the title of “Governor” as the status of Malta was unresolved, although an alternative possibility is ventured in Chapter 4. Normally, the use of the title might signal internationally that Britain would be un-willing to give up sovereignty over the island and Britain was reluctant to give offence, especially to Russia. Coleridge was later to point to other, more conspiratorial reasons touching upon inter-service rivalry between the army (Major-General Villettes) and the navy (the Civil Commissioner). Villettes was not subordinate to Ball in matters outside the civil administration. See The Friend, I, 544 n. and later Table Talk, I, 475, April 1834. The first Governor, properly so called, was appointed in 1813 at a time when British sovereignty would not be disputed.

116 CN 2, 2101.

117 To William Sotheby, 13 March 1804, CL 2, 1086.

118 The Palace lies about one hundred metres from the Valletta to Rabat road.

119 The Friend, II, 250-3 (1809).

120 The Friend, I, 533.

121 To William Sotheby, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1141.

122 CN 2, 2438.

123 The Friend, I, 169.

124 CN 2, 2438. Coleridge privately referred to Ball as Sophosophron: CN 2, 2439.

125 The Friend, I, 552.

126 The Friend, I, 552-4.

127 Kooy (1999), 102-8.

128 The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, manuscript WLMS A/ Ball, Alexander, Sir/4 Ball to Coleridge.

129 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

130 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166. He added that, in other ways, Ball treated him kindly.

131 CN 2, 2271, Friday, 23 November 1804. The Royal Commissioners, who report-ed in 1812, also found that the Civil Commissioners had legally “despotic” powers: see, British National Archive, Kew, CO 158/19 (hereafter referred to as Kew). This is discussed further in Chapter 3.

132 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1178.

133 To Daniel Stuart, ibid.

134 Kew, CO 158/19.

135 CN 2, 2430.

136 Ball to Windham, 28 February 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/19

137 Edmond Chapman did not remain long as an active Public Secretary following his return from the Black Sea in September 1805. Ball informed Windham, the Secretary of State that Chapman had been given six months’ leave on the grounds of ill health and that Laing had been appointed as acting Public Secretary: Ball to Windham, Kew, 4 June 1806, CO, 158/12/17. The illness might possibly have been a diplomatic convenience since the corn mission, for which Chapman had been partly responsible, had recently failed. Ball may have wished to be rid of him: see further Chapter 2.

138 National Archive of Malta, Rabat, Malta LIBR A22 PS01/1. Hereafter referred to as NAM.

139 Laing, who had been appointed as Acting Public Secretary during Chapman’s medical leave eventually took over the latter’s post. Laing was Public Secretary from 1807-1813 whereupon the office became that of the Chief Secretary. He held this post until 1814.

140 See Kew, CO 158/10. As we shall see, the Island was unable to produce sufficient foodstuffs for its own needs. By a peace treaty between France and Naples of 1801, the weak Neapolitan king had been forced to impose an embargo on corn supplies to Malta, thus cutting off food supplies from the customary source. Finding an alternative source, safe from French control, resulted in the corn mission to the Black Sea area. Coleridge was subsequently nominated for one of these missions (see below). Chapman’s expedition was only partly successful: see further Chapter 2.

141 It was planned that, en route to Glasgow, they would stay with Mrs Coleridge and Southey at Greta Hall. Laing had been below Southey at Balliol College, Oxford University: To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1142.

142 With the salary of the Under-Secretary during Chapman’s absence. To Wil-liam Sotheby, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1142, In this letter Coleridge mistakenly refers to himself as Ball’s private secretary.

143 Note CN 2, 2143. It was important inter alia to deny French trading opportunities in the Levant.

144 A Political Sketch on the Views of the French in the Mediterranean, originally drafted by the Civil Commissioner but edited and polished by Coleridge; Insults and Abuses which Great Britain Received from the Government of Algiers During the Period of 18 Years from 1785-1803; a further paper on the retention of Malta by the British; also Observations on Egypt and a paper on Sicily in November 1804: see The Friend, I, 168-78; 382-4;. See further letter To Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1164; also the Coleridge Collection at the Victoria University library, Toronto. This material reveals the extent to which Coleridge was committed to Imperial expansion.

145 To Daniel Stuart, 6 July 1804, CL 2, 1146.

146 See Observations on Egypt and Kooy (1999).

147 To William Sotheby, 5 July 1804, CL 2, 1140.

148 Ball to Camden, 26 November 1804, Kew, CO 158/9/52.

149 Ibid. And see Ball to Cooke, 1 February 1806, Kew, CO 158/11/9 in which a financial statement concerning the corn mission was enclosed. Ball was later rebuked for appointing Leake without the prior consent of the Secretary of State: Camden to Ball, 12 February 1805, Kew, CO 159/3/153.

150 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170 (Figs. 3 and 4).

151 He declined the Treasurership, which meant that he received only half the salary otherwise due to the combined offices (i.e. £500). The roles had been combined since 1802: see Hobart to Ball, Kew, CO 159/3/108. It is likely that the role of Treasurer was not performed until Chapman’s return to the Island in September 1805.

152 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1167.

153 CN 2, 2408 see also 2430; also to Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1163; and to Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165.

154 Ball to Camden, 30 January 1805, Kew, CO 158/10/1. Ball informed his superior of the death of Mr Macaulay and l continued, “I expect Mr Chapman daily from Constantinople, whom I shall put into the office of Public Secretary and Treasurer in conformity to the Orders sent me by the Earl of Buckinghamshire”. These had been dated 9 January 1804. His lordship replied to Ball confirming the appointment of Mr Chapman on 24 March 1805: Kew, CO 158/10/26. See also CN 2, 2430.

155 To the Wordsworths, 19 January 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1163.

156 By 1814 there were twenty-one staff in the Public Secretary’s office. There would not have been significantly fewer in Coleridge’s time: Kew, CO 158/25/233.

157 CN 2, 2552.

158 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1170.

159 Passports other than those to serving military officers were to be issued under the authority of the Civil Commissioner and be signed by the “Secretary of Government”: Kew, CO 158/1/209.

160 Coleridge, who may have been required to attend the Court regularly, provided advocacy in a wig and gown: see to Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1163.

161 See below Chapter 4 and Sultana, 270-1.

162 Sultana, 149-50.

163 Ball to Edward Cooke 30 November 1807 Kew, CO 158/13/463.

164 Ball to Cooke 30 November 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/463at 465: “The superin- tendence, indeed, of the public departments more immediately devolves on the joint office of Public Secretary and Treasurer; but the various duties attached to that situation must necessarily prevent the investigation of accounts which requires exclusive and undivided attention”. A list of the public departments was enclosed and can be found at Kew, CO 158/13/469. See also Ball to Shee, 12 May 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/ 315.

165 He received Harbour Reports: see e.g., CN 2, 2446 and CN 2, 2583; also the Av-viso of 9 March 1805 concerning the shallow water in the Grand Harbour.

166 Ball had reported that the hospitals, one for men and another for women, were a principal expense of government. There had been spending abuses therein and he thought that it was possible to reduce the cost of maintaining them by about half: Ball to Dundas, 26 December 1800, Kew, CO 158/1/12-25. Cameron was directed to investigate, reform and to impose strict controls: see his Instructions of 14 May 1801. By 1805 one of the hospitals had been taken over for military purposes, although Coleridge retained a responsibility to conduct inspections: see CN 2, 2420 and Sultana, 277.

167 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1169 & 1170; CN 2, 2451 (Notes), 15 February 1805 and see also Sultana, 347.

168 The Royal Commission of 1812 was to recommend its abolition: Kew, CO 158/19.

169 To Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1164.

170 He usually referred to the Bandi and Avvisi as public memorials: see Sultana, 271. His role in their production is discussed in Chapter 4.

171 See e.g., Ball to Camden, 4 August 1804, Kew, CO 158/9/42.

172 To Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165.

173 CN 2, 2552.

174 To Robert Southey, 2 February 1805, CL 2, 1160; to Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165.

175 To Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166.

176 Ibid.

177 Ball to Cooke, 30 Nov Ibid.ember 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/465, and also Ball to Shee, 12 May 1807, Kew, CO 158/13/463; also ibid. 315-6.

178 Sullivan to Ball, 31 December 1803, NAM Libr 531 18.

179 See National Library of Malta, Valletta, Malta, Univ 42 (hereafter referred to as NAM). Letters from the Jurats to Macaulay in 1804 are dated 27 June, 10 July, 4 September and 26 October.

180 E.g., NLM Univ 425, 16 May 1806.

181 The functions of the Luogotenenti were defined in a Bando of 14th December 1801: NAM LIBR/MS 430 Bandi 1805 AL 1814. This was to keep the peace, safe-guard of weights and measures in their districts as well as general responsibilities to look after the welfare of the local population, including particular responsibilities in relation to the poor and also to represent in their community the authority of the Civil Commissioner: see Galea (1949). Coleridge visited Giuseppe Abdillo, the Luogotenente of Casal Safi and his family on 27 March 1805. Coleridge considered him a “good” official: CN, 2 2506.

182 An illustrative list of these receiving formal written instructions in 1805 and their source appears in NAM LIBR A22 PS01/2. These would include the Universita della Valletta, 52 (Ball); Concessione del Ballo di Marmuscetto (Zammit), 52; Presi-dente della Gran Corte della Valletta 53 (Ball); Presidente della Gran Corte della Valletta 57 (Zammit); Amministratori de Bene Publiche 59 (Zammit); Giurati della Valletta, 60 (Zammit); Commissari di Sanità, 61 (Zammit); Intendente di Polizia, 67(Zammit); Circolare alli Luogotenenti di Campagna, 90 (Zammit); Presidenti degli Ospedali, 91 (Zammit); Tesoreria del Goveno (Ball); Luogotenente di casal Attard, 97 (Zammit) and Casal Zebbug, 102 (Zammit); Capitan di Verga, 108 (Zammit); Giurati della Valletta, 108 (Ball); Luogotenente in Birchircarà, 111 (Zammit).

183 CN 2, 2446.

184 CN 2, 2552.

185 CN 2, 2557.

186 CN 2, 2560.

187 CN 2, 2468.

188 E.g. to Daniel Stuart, 1 May 1805, CL 2, 1166; to the Wordsworths of the same date, CL 2, 1168; to Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1169.

189 To Daniel Stuart, 30 April 1805, CL 2, 1165. In the same letter Coleridge described how, prior to the Arrow incident, a further, large, set of papers had been burnt. He had entrusted them to a Major Adye who had died of plague in Gibraltar. It was standard practice to burn the effects of the deceased for fear of contagion.

190 A’ Court, William to Bunbury, 10 November 1812, Kew, CO 158/18.

191 CN 2, 2412, 23 January 1805.

192 The Friend, I, 167.

193 The Friend, I, 314. It is revealing that in his Notebook Coleridge had interested himself in the relationship between positive law and “the dictates of right reason= inter Jus et aequitatem”. CN B 2413 21.578.

194 Coleridge regarded the Treaty as disregarding British national honour: The Friend, I, 571. See Appendix 2.

195 To Daniel Stuart, 22 August 1806, CL 2, 1177.

196 From An Exile thought to have been composed by Coleridge whilst on Malta.

197 CN 2, 2372.

198 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 July 1805, CL 2, 1169.

199 CN 2, 2510; CN 2, 2527; CN 2, 2557.

200 CN 2, 2486, Sunday, 17 March 1805.

201 CN 2, 2560.

202 CN 2, 2536.

203 CN 2, 2536. But letters to her were reassuring. For example on 21 August 1805 he wrote to his wife: “My dear Sara! May God bless you be assured, (sic) I shall never, never cease to do every thing that can make you happy”. CL 2, 1172.

204 CN 2, 2614.

205 CN 2, 2547.

206 CN 2, 2614.

207 CN 2, 2635; CN 2, 2641.

208 CN 2, 2614.

209 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

210 Notwithstanding his claim that he missed his friends and family in England he extended his travels in Italy thereby delaying his return to England until August 1806. He separated from his wife following his eventual return to the Lake District, Holmes (1998), 77-80.

211 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

212 Coleridge, mistakenly, dated the Monday as 21 September 1805: CN 2, 2673.

213 To Mrs S. T. Coleridge, 21 August 1805, CL 2, 1170.

214 A draft letter in which Ball recommended Coleridge’s “talents and good moral character” to his brother also survives: Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, manuscript WLMS A/ Ball, Alexander, Sir/2.

215 If this proposal had been accepted, Ball would also have rid himself of a bitter

political enemy.

216 Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, manuscript WLMS A/ Ball, Alexander, Sir/2.

217 See further Chapter 2. His book Materials for an Authentic History of Malta which was made ready for printing in 1805 but not published until 1807 was highly critical of the administration on Malta.

218 Suicidal thoughts were expressed in verse: see, for example, his fragmentary “Come, come thou bleak December wind” composed at Leghorn on 7 June 1806.

219 Dorothy Wordsworth to Catherine Clarkson, 6 November 1806, De Selincourt, 277; See also Gittings, and Manton, 157.

220 Ibid.

221 Coleridge found it impossible to return to live permanently with his wife, but his children remained a joy: see e.g., the lines written to Hartley at about the time of his return from Malta: “Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge/ See a man who so loves you as your fond S. T. Coleridge”.

222 Shaffer (1989).

223 Kooy (1999).

224 E.g., the punishment of mandatory exile was extended to those who let lodgings to unregistered foreigners. A landlord who was deceived-for example, by the production of false papers- had no defence. He may also have approved of the decision to exile a boy of 12 years of age for spreading malicious rumours: see Chapter 5: Public Order and Crime.

225 See Bando 8 March 1805, NAM LIBR/MS 430 2/2 Bandi 1805 AL 1814 f.2. The official line inferring that foreigners were somehow less deserving than the Maltese might have had unfortunate consequences given the uprising against the local Jewish community a few weeks later.

226 CN 2, 2932 (October-November 1806).

Table des illustrations

Légende 1. A view of Valletta from South Street with the Marsamxett or Quarantine Harbour on the left.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 421k
Légende 2. San Antonio Palace, now the official residence of the President of Malta, at St Anton, Attard. During the Maltese uprising of 1799-1800 Captain Ball used it as his residence. He returned when he became Civil Commissioner in 1802.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 417k
Légende 3. The interior of the President’s Palace, Valletta. It would not have been less opulent when Coleridge resided there.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 350k
Légende 4. The Governor’s [Civil Commissioner’s] Palace with the Treasury Building in the background (now the Casino Maltese). Coleridge moved from the Civil Commissioner’s Palace in Valletta to the Treasury in late 1804.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 355k
Légende 5. Aquatint bearing the inscription: ”To the R.t Hon.ble. Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B. Duke of Bronte &c. &c. &c., This Print of the commencement of the gallant defence, made by His Majesty’s Sloop Arrow of 23 Guns & 132 Men, Richard Budd Vincent Esq.r Commander; and His Maj: Bomb Vessel Acheron of 8 Guns and & 57 Men, Arthur Farquhar Esq.r Com.r against the French Frigate, L’Hortense and L’Incorruptible of 44 Guns & 550 Men each, including troops of the Line, which took place on the Morning of the 4.th of Feb.y 1805, off Cape Palos; for the preservation of a Valuable Convoy is by Permission most humbly Dedicated by his most obliged humble Servant, George Andrews. [&] To the R.t Hon.ble. Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B. Duke of Bronte &c. &c. &c.,” Painted by F. Sartorius. Engraved by J. Jeakes. Published Oct. 21. 1805, by G. Andrews, No. 7, Charing Cross.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 268k
Légende 6. Coloured aquatint of the sinking of His Majesty’s Sloop Arrow. Painted by F. Sartorius. Engraved by J. Jeakes. Published Oct. 21. 1805, by G. Andrews, No. 7, Charing Cross.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/384/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 234k

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