May 14, 1848

MS location unknown. Printed in Coleridge, Life, 157-158

My dear Driver
Thank you for all your encouragement with regard to Henrietta; I assure you I mean to have my own way, and if the Churchman finds he has caught a Tartar, he must make the best of it. I am very angry with Sister’s Care, for it has done the very thing I wished not to have been done, that is to say, in one way I am glad of it, for I made a bargain with Mary that if she killed her child she must leave me in peace to kill my mother, so now she only threatens me with Henry.1 However, I am of your opinion about the story, I think Lizzie is rather over-sentimental, at least I never saw the child (no, but once) who was not in too great raptures at getting out in the world to think of anything else. It is easy to think it the best in the Churchman without liking it nearly as well as Michael.2 I hope the cow goes on and prospers.3 I intended Warwick’s relationship to be the reason of his taking the York party. I have really set about the Cameos, and have done a bit of Rollo to get my hand in, and then a bit of ‘the kingdom of Northumbria’ by way of real beginning ‘for good’. I was thereto much encouraged by a letter to ‘the writer of The Kings of England’ from the sub-warden of St. Columba4, where it seems the younger class read it, suggesting some alterations, such as genealogical tables, etc., and notices of styles of architecture, etc., in the manner of Mr. Neale, also introductions of poetry, instancing Drayton’s Polyolbion and Gray’s Bard. To architecture and poetry I turned a deaf ear, because I think one thing at a time is enough; and as to Gray’s Bard, you know I have far too much tenderness for the ruthless king so to asperse him, and besides, I do not know what to say about the Christian temper of the old bard himself. He also wanted more about the Crusades, for which he referred me to Mr. Abraham’s lectures,5 and altogether I thought he was worthy to be encouraged with a promise of the Cameos. Also Mr. Mozley6 sends me a letter from a Mr. Douglas, a clergyman, wanting a cheap village school edition, but Mr. Mozley says we must get rid of some of the 2000 new ones first. I know I wish he would let me have some solid pudding as well as empty praise.7 How glad I am that they will have the wedding at Ottery after all, though I suppose there will be fewer of the people she would like to have.8 The Kebles have their great tea-drinking on Ascension Day, and on Whit Tuesday they go to Bisley, and on to Exeter to Tom’s ordination.9 I suppose Henry Coleridge will be ordained then too. I wonder if you have any later news than ours of Miss Sellon; I can hardly believe she will live, she is so much too good for the world, and I suppose there must be a martyr to make the cause come to good.

I imagine you under the tree where I first made your acquaintance, no, not first, for you once came to see the church, but where I made your acquaintance for good and put on the yoke of slavery. I wish I had some Alderney to send, but a slave can’t do more than she can do. By the bye, we have some Miss Yards10 come to live here, who seem disposed to do much in the school way.

Your very obedient and devoted
C. M. Y.

1Sister’s Care, a story by Mary Coleridge, was serialized in the Churchman’s Companion and published in volume form in 1849.
2Michael the Chorister, (London: Mozley n.d.) another story by Mary Coleridge, of which copies survive in the John Rylands and Bodleian libraries. Sister’s Care By the Author of Michael the Chorister was published anonymously in 1849.
3The matron at the Dysons’ school, the cow who looked after the calves. At the time of the 1851 census she was Eliza Stewart (b. Scotland 1809/10).
4A high church school on the model of Eton College, founded in Ireland in 1842 by the Rev. William Sewell (1804-1874), brother of Elizabeth Sewell. The sub-warden was perhaps the [[person:]Rev. Matthew Calley Morton].
5The Rev. Charles John Abraham, The Unity of History (Eton: Williams 1845).
6John Mozley (1805–1872), her publisher.
7Pope, Dunciad, I, 52: ‘Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale/Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs,/ And solid pudding against empty praise.’
8Alethea Buchanan Coleridge (d. 1909), sister of Mary, married the Rev. John Fielder Mackarness (1820-1889), later Bishop of Oxford, on 7 August 1849.
9Priscilla Lydia Sellon (1821-1876) began in 1848 to do social work in Plymouth, Devon, and founded the Society of Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Trinity, Devonport. She worked devotedly during the 1848 cholera epidemic, and was seriously ill in early 1849; she was also attacked for her close association with Pusey. CMY’s bank account shows a series of payments, probably charitable, made to Sellon from 1853.
10Eliza Yard (b.1804/5) and Adelaide Yard (b. 1806/7) are listed in the 1859 Hampshire directory as inhabitants of Otterbourne; they later went to live in Winchester, where Elizabeth Sewell stayed with them in 1864.
Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/2960/to-mary-anne-dyson-3

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