Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/52

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

in later years Coleridge was attracted by the mysticism of Schelling.[1] A very different man, the jovial, turbulent Carteret—had as Swift told him—carried away from Oxford more Greek, Latin, and philosophy than became a person of his rank. Moreover, as we learn elsewhere, he could talk French, Italian, and Spanish; and to this it is added that he went so far as to study German, 'to ingratiate himself with his Sovereign.' His contemporary Chesterfield possibly took the hint. I am not aware that he knew German himself; but he certainly impressed the importance of the study upon his son, and was pleased to hear that the young man—if his manners might still be improvable—could talk German perfectly. The average English nobleman probably knew French then as well as he does now. Voltaire declares that Bolingbroke—one of whose early essays was published in French—spoke French with unsurpassed energy and precision. The young nobleman on his grand tour was easily admitted with his tutor to French society, and it is enough to mention the names of Horace Walpole, Hume, and Adam Smith, to suggest the importance of the relations which sometimes

  1. Law's translation, however, was not the first.