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passages, and looks forward to the rapidly approaching result, with a sensation of pain ; for he must have a hard heart who, after perusing the accounts of Harriett given by Hogg and Peacock from personal knowledge, has not a kindly sympathy for her, and a reluctance to contemplate her as parted from her husband and her better self.

The first incident that now comes before us looks like the direct reverse of separation. On the 24th of March 1814 Shelley and Harriett were re-married at St George's, Hanover Square, “ in order” (as the marriage certificate sets forth) “ to obviate all doubts that have arisen, or shall or may arise, touching or concerning the validity” of the previous marriage according to the rites of the Church of Scotland. The fact is that Harriett was again pregnant; and, though there seems to be no real question of any sort as to the binding force of the original marriage, Shelley thought it prudent to make assurance doubly sure for the possible heir to his name and claims. A letter of his dated 21st October 1811 shows that, even at that early date, he was proposing to re-marry in England within a month or so, although in fact the matter dragged on till March 1814. His intention, as expressed in the letter in question, was to settle £700 a year on Harriett in the event of his death.

He first saw Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin soon after this renewed marriage-perhaps towards the middle or close of May.* Mr. Hogg records a brief interview “on the day of Lord Cochrane's trial” (this trial lasted two days, 8th and 9th June); and Mr. Peacock exhibits Shelley as helplessly in love with Mary before he had separated from Harriett. “Nothing that I ever read in tale or history could present a more striking image of a sudden, violent, irresistible, uncontrollable passion." Shelley said on this occasion : “Every one who knows me must know that the partner of my life should be one who can feel poetry and understand philosophy; Harriett is a noble animal, but she can do neither."

Mary, the only daughter of Godwin by his first wife, the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, was born on the 30th of August 1797, and was consequently now in her seventeenth year. She was rather short, remarkably fair and light-haired, with brownish-grey eyes, * a great forehead, striking features, and a noticeable air of sedateness. Her earliest youth was by no means the period of her best looks—of which probably Mr. Thornton Hunt gives too exalted an idea when he compares her to the antique bust of Clytie. She was a little hot-tempered and peevish in youth, and careless of dress and speech; outspoken and tenacious of her opinions; a faithful friend ; with “extraordinary powers of heart as well as head;" truthful and essentially simple, though somewhat anxious to make an impression in company. Shelley, in the last year of his life, said to Trelawny: “She can't bear solitude, nor I society--the quick coupled with the dead." The daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and of Godwin could not be expected to set any great store by the marriage-tie, considered simply as such, and apart from the question of heartfelt love and voluntary constancy.

* Mr. Peacock says it must have been between 18th April and 8th June that Shelley first saw Mary, and probably much nearer the later of the two dates than the earlier. If so, and if the Stanzas, April 1814 vol. ii. p. 144) really do, as I fancy, indicate a clear purpose of separation between Shelley and Harrieti, Mary cannot have been primarily responsible as the motive cause for that separation.

It was "in the beginning of the summer of 1814”+ that Shelley saw his birthplace for the last time. He walked down from Bracknell to Horsham, at his mother's request, his father and the three youngest children being then absent from Field Place. A very youthful military officer named Kennedy was on a visit there at the time; and, as Bysshe's advent was a secret, the two used to interchange costumes whenever the prodigal son walked out. Captain Kennedy has noted down his impressions of Shelley in a few paragraphs full of good feeling and much to the purpose. Let us appropriate one detail. “I never met a man who so immediately won upon me. The generosity of his disposition and utter unselfishness imposed upon him the necessity of strict self-denial in personal comforts: consequently he was obliged to be most economical in his dress. He one day asked us how we liked his coat, the only one he had brought with him : we said it was very nice, it looked as if new. "Well,' said he, “it is an old black coat which I have had done up, and smartened with metal buttons and a velvet collar.””

* Shelley ought to have known in 1818, when he wrote (see vol. ii. p. 309)

"O Mary dear, that you were here,

With your brown eyes bright and clear!”
Yet Mr. Trelawny says

grey eyes.” A portrait of Mary Shelley by Miss Curran, belonging to this gentleman, shows eyes that might be more fairly called grey than brown, but which have enough of a brownish linge to account for Shelley's epi

1 This is the date given by Hogg: Lady Shelley, who reproduces the letter printed by Hogs, says "1813," and may perhaps be right.

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X.—THE SEPARATION FROM HARRIETT. Somewhere about the 17th of June-not later at any ratethe married life of Shelley with Harriett came to a final close She returned, with Ianthe, to the care of her father and sister, then living in retirement at Bath. Shelley gave her all the money he possessed,t stating to Mr. Westbrook that he was unable for the time to make her such an allowance as he could wish. He did, however-at once or afterwards--make provision for her by a sum paid quarterly, which has been termed "sufficient." I

A great deal in this matter depends on the question of precise dates, which the materials at my coinmand do not enable me to determine. It is certain (for I have it on the most unexceptionable authority) that letters from Harriett are or were in existence, written in moving terms, and marked by all the eloquence of truth, proving that Shelley at some time disappeared from her cognizance, without making proper arrangements, or giving any warning or explanation of his intentions. Harriett had, for herself and her child, only fourteen shillings in ready money at the moment. I have some grounds for inferring that these letters date about the end of June. On the other hand, it is no less certain that full forty days elapsed between the separation of Shelley from Harriett, and his departure from London with Mary Godwin ; and that Harriett was in personal communication with him fourteen days before the latter event. On or about the 5th of July a letter of her own shows her to have been then at Bath, and to have heard from Shelley about the ist of the same month. It is also plainly presumable that, if (which, however, I am not very certain of) Mr. Westbrook did at this time really make an annual allowance of £200 to Shelley and his family, that source of income would continue accruing to the profit of Harriett when parted from Shelley; and it is known that her husband wrote to her, soon after leaving for the continent at the end of July, telling her “to take care of

* Mr. Garnett has good grounds for saying this, as he knows that Shelley came to London on 18th June. Mr. Thornton Hunt speaks of the separation as taking place about the 24th of June. + Middleton, vol

. 1. p. 268. The statement as to residence at Bath is taken from printed authorities, but I have some reason for doubting it.

I find this stated in the article on Shelley in the Penny Cyclopedia. That article was, I believe, written by a distinguished man of letters who had at the time carefully investigated the facts of Shelley's life.

her money”-thus manifestly implying that she had then some money to take care of. After weighing all these counteracting and authentic details as well as I am able, I come to the provisional conclusion that Shelley did at some time and in a certain sense "abandon” Harriett-though, as likely as not, without any intention, even at that moment, of leaving his absence long unexplained ; and that at any rate he came to an explanation, and some sort of arrangement on her behalf, before he left England.

Though I cannot regard Shelley as, in any correct sense of the words, irresponsible for his actions, it is right to add here that I am further informed, and again on excellent authority, that about this period his sufferings from spasmodic attacks, and consequent free use of laudanum, were so extreme that he might have committed any wildness of action without surprising those who were in the habit of seeing him. He would carry the laudanum bottle about in his hand, and gulp from it repeatedly as his pangs assailed him.

The parting from Harriett has been called a separation by mutual consent. Harriett denied to Peacock that there was any consent on her part. There is such a thing as reluctant but unquerulous submission to the inevitable: unless one interchanges that term with the term consent, the materials as yet published do nothing to invalidate Harriett's denial.* Soon afterwards she gave birth to a child, Charles Bysshe, who died in 1826.

Either before or after the final separation-we are not told

See, in the Notes, vol. ii. p. 578, an extract from what Mr. Garnett has very ably said on the subject--with a view to the vindication of Shelley, but by no means to the depreciation of Harriett. His main point is that, at some time between a day of June When Shelley wrote a poem to Mary, and the 28th of July when Shelley and Mary left England together, the poet must have discovered ihai Harriett was not anxious to continue living as his wife. For my own part, I question whether the poem indicates that Shelley, being in love with Mary, was then endeavouring to control his passion ont of regard to Harriett: it may not less plausibly be construed as an evidence of the mutual love of Shelley and Mary, kept from the observation of outsiders through motives of prudence alone. If this latter view is adopted, the poem in quenzion does not furnish a suggestion that any indifference of Harriett to Shelley was discovered afterwards, or at all. Distinct testimony to that effect may exist, but has not yet been published. I find, however, a very remarkable statement in Dr. Polidon's Diary (18th June', which I give for what it is worth :-“He [Shelley) mar. ried; and, a friend of his liking his wife, he tried all he could to induce her to love him in turn." This Catonian transaction, if true at all, must no doubt be understood in the sense that Shelley, after he had discovered the mutual incompatibility between hinself and Harriett, found also that the happiness of a friend of his could be promoted by Harriett, and that he then furthered his suit with her. I have good reason to know that, at an earlier period of his wedded life, his disrespect for the marriagetie was by no means such as to make him tolerant of conduct which he regarded as an interference with its obligations in his own and Harriett's case.- Mr. Forster, in his Life of Landor, intimates that he is in possession of documents which throw light upon the entire affair of the separation, but to what particular purport he does not disclose.

which-Shelley avowed to Mary the love which he had, before that event, conceived for her. I will here borrow Lady Shelley's words, the only authentic or precise published record of the fact. To her, as they met one eventful day in St Pancras churchyard, by her mother's grave, Bysshe, in burning words, poured forth the tale of his wild past-how he had suffered, how he had been misled, and how, if supported by her love, he hoped in future years to enroll his name with the wise and good who had done battle for their fellow-men, and been true through all adverse storms to the cause of humanity. Unhesitatingly she placed her hand in his, and linked her fortune with his own." On the 28th of July they left England. Before his departure with Mary, which had been notified to Harriett, Shelley had ordered a settlement for the benefit of the latter (whether this settlement took full effect is not specified), and he set money apart for her in 1815, as we shall see further on; he corresponded with her during his stay on the continent, and after his return; called upon her immediately after relanding in England; and, at least as late as December 1814, he gave her good advice, and took trouble to advantage her. Mary also continued on amicable terms with Harriett—at any rate no open hostility ensued. I am told that, at some time after the return of Shelley and Mary from the continent in this year 1814, he consulted a legal friend with a view to reintroducing Harriett into his household as a permanent inmate—it is to be presumed, as strictly and solely a friend of the connubial pair, Mary and himself: and it required some little cogency of demonstration on the part of the lawyer to convince the primæval intellect of Shelley that such an arrangement had its weak side.

Some points remain still to be revealed in this whole matter of the separation ; but we are probably in a position to estimate already the main facts and their bearings. We shall never do justice to any one of the three parties concerned unless we consider these facts from their point of view, and not from that of persons whose opinions are fundamentally different.

Firstly, then, as regards Shelley, it appears to be certain that, after some two years or more of marriage, he found that Harriett did not suit him, partly through the limitations of her own mind and character, and partly through the baneful influence of her sister ; that, having already reached this conclusion, he fell desperately in love with Mary Godwin; that this attachment

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