LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
William Roscoe to the Rev. John Edwards, [1796?]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I had, some time since, the favour of a letter from you, intended to have been delivered by Mr. Coleridge, but had not the pleasure of seeing him, as I believe he altered his intended route, and did not pay a visit to Liverpool.

“I read with great pleasure his Conciones ad Populum, which I think contain marks of that disinterested ardour in the cause of liberty, and that abhorrence of violence and bloodshed under whatever pretence they may be resorted to, which in times like the present are so particularly necessary to be inculcated. Mr. Coleridge is one of the few individuals who have perceived the absurdity of the maxim, that it is lawful and expedient to shed the blood of those by whom it is likely that blood will be shed, and which thus authorises the commission of an immediate and actual crime, for the purpose of preventing one which is remote and uncertain, the pretexts of tyrants and of anarchists, at all times and in all countries.

“It was with much concern I found he had adopted the resolution of discontinuing his periodical paper of the ‘Watchman.’ I conceive he did not give it a sufficient trial, and that if he had persevered he would have found the extent of its circulation increase. Periodical works of
this nature are generally slow in taking root, but when once established are very lucrative; and I have no doubt but the paper in question would, if continued, have been of very extensive utility.

“With the little volume of Mr. Coleridge’s poems I have been greatly delighted—his genius is of the highest class. The characteristics of a fervid imagination and a highly cultivated taste are visible in every page. I must, however, be allowed to remark, that where excellence is so abundant selection might be employed to advantage. He ought not, for a moment, to forget that he writes for immortality, which many have attained by condensing their excellencies, and many have lost by diffusing them through too large a mass. There are few authors who would not lose a considerable share of their reputation were the public in possession of all they wrote.

“It would give me much pleasure to be informed, that Mr. Coleridge’s prospects in life are such as are likely to give free scope to the exertions of those uncommon talents of which he is possessed; and I shall esteem myself much obliged by any information you can give me respecting him.

“His concluding address to his ‘Watchman’ deeply affected me, as it spoke the regret of a virtuous mind disappointed in its efforts to do good. I have since heard that Bristol is not a
place likely to reward his merits. If so, might you not recommend it to him to pay a visit to Liverpool, where I know many who would be happy to see him, and who would have a particular pleasure in promoting any plan which he might suggest for rendering his talents advantageous to his country and to himself?”