Biographia Literaria. Vol. I (1817)

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Biographical Sketches




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S. Curtis, Printer, Camberwell.

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Biographical Sketches

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So wenig er auch bestimmt seyn mag andere zu belehren,
sa w¨¹nscht er dock sich denen mitzutheilen, die er sieh
gleichgesinnt weiss oder hofft, deren Anzahl aber in der
Breite der Welt zerstreut ist: er w¨¹nscht sein Verhältniss
zu den ältesten Freunden wieder anzukn¨¹pfen, mit neuen es
fortzusetzen, und in der letzen generation sich wieder andere
f¨¹r sein ¨¹brige Lebenszeit zu geivinnen. Er w¨¹nscht der
Jugend die Umwege zu ersparen, auf denen er sich selbst

TRANSLATION. Little call as he may have to instruct
others, he wishes nevertheless to open out his heart to such
as he either knows or hopes to be of like mind with himself,
but who are widely scattered in the world: he wishes to knit
anew his connections with his oldest friends, to continue
those recently formed, and to win other friends among the
rising generation for the remaining course of his life. He
wishes to spare the young those circuitous paths, on which
he himself had lost his way.

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3   The motives of the present work -- Reception of
4   the Author's first publication -- The discipline
5   of his taste at school -- The effect of contem-
6   porary writers on youthful minds -- Bowles's
7   sonnets -- Comparison between the Poets before
8   and since |Mr.| Pope.

9   IT has been my lot to have had my
10 name introduced both in conversation, and in
11 print, more frequently than I find it easy to
12 explain, whether I consider the fewness, unim-
13 portance, and limited circulation of my writings,
14 or the retirement and distance, in which I have
15 lived, both from the literary and political world.
16 Most often it has been connected with some
17 charge, which I could not acknowledge, or
18 some principle which I had never entertained.
19 Nevertheless, had I had no other motive, or
20 incitement, the reader would not have been

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21 troubled with this exculpation. What my ad-
22 ditional purposes were, will be seen in the fol-
23 lowing pages. It will be found, that the least
24 of what I have written concerns myself per-
25 sonally. I have used the narration chiefly for
26 the purpose of giving a continuity to the work,
27 in part for the sake of the miscellaneous reflec-
28 tions suggested to me by particular events, but
29 still more as introductory to the statement of
30 my principles in Politics, Religion, and Phi-
31 losophy, and the application of the rules, dedu-
32 ced from philosophical principles, to poetry and
33 criticism. But of the objects, which I proposed
34 to myself, it was not the least important to
35 effect, as far as possible, a settlement of the
36 long continued controversy concerning the true
37 nature of poetic diction: and at the same time
38 to define with the utmost impartiality the real
39 poetic character of the poet, by whose writings
40 this controversy was first kindled, and has been
41 since fuelled and fanned.

42 In 1794, when I had barely passed the verge
43 of manhood, I published a small volume of
44 juvenile poems. They were received with a
45 degree of favor, which, young as I was, I well
46 knew, was bestowed on them not so much for
47 any positive merit, as because they were consi-
48 dered buds of hope, and promises of better
49 works to come. The critics of that day, the
50 most flattering, equally with the severest, [[con-]]

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51 ||con||curred in objecting to them, obscurity, a general
52 turgidness of diction, and a profusion of new
53 coined double epithets.* The first is the fault
54 which a writer is the least able to detect in
55 his own compositions: and my mind was not
56 then sufficiently disciplined to receive the au-
57 thority of others, as a substitute for my own
58 conviction. Satisfied that the thoughts, such as
59 they were, could not have been expressed other-
60 wise, or at least more perspicuously, I forgot
61 to enquire, whether the thoughts themselves

* The authority of Milton and Shakspeare may be use-
fully pointed out to young authors. In the Comus, and earlier
Poems of Milton there is a superfluity of double epithets;
while in the Paradise Lost we find very few, in the Paradise
Regained scarce any. The same remark holds almost equally
true, of the Love's Labour Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Venus
and Adonis, and Lucrece compared with the Lear, Macbeth,
Othello, and Hamlet of our great Dramatist. The rule for
the admission of double epithets seems to be this: either
that they should be already denizens of our Language, such
as blood-stained, terror-stricken, self-applauding: or when
a new epithet, or one found in books only, is hazarded, that
it, at least, be one word, not two words made one by mere
virtue of the printer's hyphen. A language which, like the
English, is almost without cases, is indeed in its very genius
unfitted for compounds. If a writer, every time a com-
pounded word suggests itself to him, would seek for some
other mode of expressing the same sense, the chances are
always greatly in favor of his finding a better word. "Tan-
quam scopulum sic vites insolens verbum," is the wise advice
of Cæsar to the Roman Orators, and the precept applies
with double force to the writers in our own language. But
it must not be forgotten, that the same Cæesar wrote a gram-
matical treatise for the purpose of reforming the ordinary
language by bringing it to a greater accordance with the
principles of Logic or universal Grammar.

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62 did not demand a degree of attention unsuitable
63 to the nature and objects of poetry. This re-
64 mark however applies chiefly, though not ex-
65 clusively to the Religious Musings. The re-
66 mainder of the charge I admitted to its full
67 extent, and not without sincere acknowledg-
68 ments to both my private and public censors
69 for their friendly admonitions. In the after
70 editions, I pruned the double epithets with no
71 sparing hand, and used my best efforts to tame
72 the swell and glitter both of thought and dic-
73 tion; though in truth, these parasite plants of
74 youthful poetry had insinuated themselves into
75 my longer poems with such intricacy of union,
76 that I was often obliged to omit disentangling
77 the weed, from the fear of snapping the flower.
78 From that period to the date of the present
79 work I have published nothing, with my name,
80 which could by any possibility have come be-
81 fore the board of anonymous criticism. Even
82 the three or four poems, printed with the works
83 of a friend, as far as they were censured at all,
84 were charged with the same or similar defects,
85 though I am persuaded not with equal justice:
86 with an EXCESS OF ORNAMENT, in addition to
88 criticisms on the "Ancient Mariner," in the
89 Monthly and Critical Reviews of the first volume
90 of the Lyrical Ballads.) May I be permitted
91 to add, that, even at the early period of my [[ju-]]

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92 ||ju||venile poems, I saw and admitted the superior-
93 ity of an austerer, and more natural style, with
94 an insight not less clear, than I at present pos-
95 sess. My judgment was stronger, than were
96 my powers of realizing its dictates; and the
97 faults of my language, though indeed partly
98 owing to a wrong choice of subjects, and the
99 desire of giving a poetic colouring to abstract
100 and metaphysical truths in which a new world
101 then seemed to open upon me, did yet, in part
102 likewise, originate in unfeigned diffidence of my
103 own comparative talent.--During several years
104 of my youth and early manhood, I reverenced
105 those, who had re-introduced the manly sim-
106 plicity of the Grecian, and of our own elder
107 poets, with such enthusiasm, as made the hope
108 seem presumptuous of writing successfully in
109 the same style. Perhaps a similar process has
110 happened to others; but my earliest poems
111 were marked by an ease and simplicity, which
112 I have studied, perhaps with inferior success,
113 to impress on my later compositions.

114 At school I enjoyed the inestimable advan-
115 tage of a very sensible, though at the same
116 time, a very severe master. He* early moulded
117 my taste to the preference of Demosthenes to
118 Cicero, of Homer and Theocritus to Virgil,

*The Rev. James Bowyer, many years Head Master of
the Grammar-School, Christ Hospital.

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119 and again of Virgil to Ovid. He habituated
120 me to compare Lucretius, (in such extracts as
121 I then read) Terence, and above all the chaster
122 poems of Catullus, not only with the Roman
123 poets of the, so called, silver and brazen ages;
124 but with even those of the Augustan era: and
125 on grounds of plain sense and universal logic
126 to see and assert the superiority of the former, in
127 the truth and nativeness, both of their thoughts
128 and diction. At the same time that we were
129 studying the Greek Tragic Poets, he made us
130 read Shakspeare and Milton as lessons: and
131 they were the lessons too, which required most
132 time and trouble to bring up, so as to escape
133 his censure. I learnt from him, that Poetry,
134 even that of the loftiest, and, seemingly, that of
135 the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as
136 severe as that of science; and more difficult,
137 because more subtle, more complex, and de-
138 pendent on more, and more fugitive causes.
139 In the truly great poets, he would say, there is
140 a reason assignable, not only for every word,
141 but for the position of every word; and I well
142 remember, that availing himself of the syno-
143 nimes to the Homer of Didymus, he made us
144 attempt to show, with regard to each, why it
145 would not have answered the same purpose;
146 and wherein consisted the peculiar fitness of
147 the word in the original text.

148 In our own English compositions (at least for

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149 the last three years of our school education)
150 he showed no mercy to phrase, metaphor, or
151 image, unsupported by a sound sense, or where
152 the same sense might have been conveyed with
153 equal force and dignity in plainer words. Lute,
154 harp, and lyre, muse, muses, and inspirations,
155 Pegasus, Parnassus, and Hipocrene, were all
156 an abomination to him. In fancy I can almost
157 hear him now, exclaiming" Harp? Harp? Lyre?
158 Pen and ink, boy, you mean! Muse, boy, Muse?
159 your Nurse's daughter, you mean! Pierian spring?
160 Oh 'aye! the cloister-pump, I suppose!" Nay
161 certain introductions, similies, and examples,
162 were placed by name on a list of interdiction.
163 Among the similies, there was, I remember,
164 that of the Manchineel fruit, as suiting equally
165 well with too many subjects; in which how-
166 ever it yielded the palm at once to the example
167 of Alexander and Clytus, which was equally
168 good and apt, whatever might be the theme.
169 Was it ambition? Alexander and Clytus!--
170 Flattery? Alexander and Clytus!--Anger ?
171 Drunkenness? Pride? Friendship? Ingratitude?
172 Late repentance? Still, still Alexander and
173 Clytus! At length, the praises of agriculture
174 having been exemplified in the sagacious obser-
175 vation, that had Alexander been holding the
176 plough, he would not have run his friend Clytus
177 through with a spear, this tried, and serviceable
178 old friend was banished by public edict in [[se-]]

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179 ||se||cula seculorum. I have sometimes ventured to
180 think, that a list of this kind, or an index expur-
181 gatorius of certain well known and ever return-
182 ing phrases, both introductory, and transitional,
183 including the large assortment of modest ego-
184 tisms, and flattering illeisms, |&c.| |&c.| might be
185 hung up in our law-courts, and both houses of
186 parliament, with great advantage to the public,
187 as an important saving of national time, an in-
188 calculable relief to his Majesty's ministers, but
189 above all, as insuring the thanks of country
190 attornies, and their clients, who have private
191 bills to carry through the house.

192 Be this as it may, there was one custom of
193 our master's, which I cannot pass over in si-
194 lence, because I think it imitable and worthy
195 of imitation. He would often permit our theme
196 exercises, under some pretext of want of time,
197 to accumulate, till each lad had four or five to
198 be looked over. Then placing the whole num-
199 ber abreast on his desk, he would ask the
200 writer, why this or that sentence might not
201 have found as appropriate a place under this or
202 that other thesis: and if no satisfying answer
203 could be returned, and two faults of the same
204 kind were found in one exercise, the irrevocable
205 verdict followed, the exercise was torn up, and
206 another on the same subject to be produced,
207 in addition to the tasks of the day. The reader
208 will, I trust, excuse this tribute of recollection

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209 to a man, whose severities, even now, not sel-
210 dom furnish the dreams, by which the blind
211 fancy would fain interpret to the mind the pain-
212 ful sensations of distempered sleep; but neither
213 lessen nor dim the deep sense of my moral and
214 intellectual obligations. He sent us to the Uni-
215 versity excellent Latin and Greek scholars, and
216 tolerable Hebraists. Yet our classical know-
217 ledge was the least of the good gifts, which we
218 derived from his zealous and conscientious
219 tutorage. He is now gone to his final reward,
220 full of years, and full of honors, even of those
221 honors, which were dearest to his heart, as
222 gratefully bestowed by that school, and still
223 binding him to the interests of that school, in
224 which he had been himself educated, and to
225 which during his whole life he was a dedicated
226 thing.

227 From causes, which this is not the place to
228 investigate, no models of past times, however
229 perfect, can have the same vivid effect on the
230 youthful mind, as the productions of contem-
231 porary genius. The Discipline, my mind had
232 undergone, "Ne falleretur rotundo sono et ver-
233 suum cursu, cincinnis et floribus; sed ut inspi-
234 ceret quidnam subesset, quæ sedes, quod firma-
235 mentum, quis fundus verbis; an figuræ essent
236 mera ornatura et orationis fucus: vel sanguinis
237 e materiæ ipsius corde effluentis rubor quidam
238 nativus et incalescentia genuina;" removed all

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239 obstacles to the appreciation of excellence in
240 style without diminishing my delight. That
241 I was thus prepared for the perusal of |Mr.|
242 Bowles's sonnets and earlier poems, at once
243 increased their influence, and my enthusiasm.
244 The great works of past ages seem to a young
245 man things of another race, in respect to which
246 his faculties must remain passive and submiss,
247 even as to the stars and mountains. But the
248 writings of a contemporary, perhaps not many
249 years elder than himself, surrounded by the
250 same circumstances, and disciplined by the
251 same manners, possess a reality for him, and
252 inspire an actual friendship as of a man for a
253 man. His very admiration is the wind which
254 fans and feeds his hope. The poems themselves
255 assume the properties of flesh and blood. To
256 recite, to extol, to contend for them is but the
257 payment of a debt due to one, who exists to
258 receive it.

259 There are indeed modes of teaching which
260 have produced, and are producing, youths of
261 a very different stamp; modes of teaching, in
262 comparison with which we have been called
263 on to despise our great public schools, and
264 universities

265 "In whose halls are hung
266 Armoury of the invincible knights of old"--

267 modes, by which children are to be metamor-
268 phosed into prodigies. And prodigies with a

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269 vengeance have I known thus produced! Pro-
270 digies of self-conceit, shallowness, arrogance,
271 and infidelity! Instead of storing the memory,
272 during the period when the memory is the
273 predominant faculty, with facts for the after
274 exercise of the judgement; and instead of
275 awakening by the noblest models the fond and
276 unmixed LOVE and ADMIRATION, which is the
277 natural and graceful temper of early youth;
278 these nurselings of improved pedagogy are taught
279 to dispute and decide; to suspect all, but their
280 own and their lecturer's wisdom; and to hold
281 nothing sacred from their contempt, but their
282 own contemptible arrogance: boy-graduates in
283 all the technicals, and in all the dirty passions
284 and impudence, of anonymous criticism. To
285 such dispositions alone can the admonition of
286 Pliny be requisite, "Neque enim debet operi-
287 "bus ejus obesse, quod vivit. An si inter eos,
288 "quos nunquam vidimus, floruisset, non solum
289 "libros ejus, verum etiam imagines conquire-
290 "remus, ejusdem nunc honor præsentis, et gratia
291 "quasi satietate languescet? At hoc pravum,
292 "malignumque est, non admirari hominem admi-
293 "ratione dignissimum, quia videre, complecti,
294 "nec laudare tantum, verum etiam amare con-
295 "tingit." Plin. Epist. Lib. I.

296 I had just entered on my seventeenth year
297 when the sonnets of |Mr.| Bowles, twenty in
298 number, and just then published in a quarto

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299 pamphlet, were first made known and pre-
300 sented to me by a school-fellow who had
301 quitted us for the University, and who, during
302 the whole time that he was in our first form
303 (or in our school language a GRECIAN) had
304 been my patron and protector. I refer to |Dr.|
305 Middleton, the truly learned, and every way
306 excellent Bishop of Calcutta:

307 "Qui laudibus amplis
308 "Ingenium celebrare meum, calamumque solebat,
309 "Calcar agens animo validum. Non omnia terræ
310 "Obruta! Vivit amor, vivit dolor! Ora negatur
311 "Dulcia conspicere; at flere et meminisse* relictum est."
312 Petr. Ep. Lib. I. Ep. I.

313 It was a double pleasure to me, and still
314 remains a tender recollection, that I should
315 have received from a friend so revered the first
316 knowledge of a poet, by whose works, year
317 after year, I was so enthusiastically delighted
318 and inspired. My earliest acquaintances will
319 not have forgotten the undisciplined eagerness
320 and impetuous zeal, with which I laboured to
321 make proselytes, not only of my companions,
322 but of all with whom I conversed, of whatever
323 rank, and in whatever place. As my school

* I am most happy to have the necessity of informing the
reader, that since this passage was written, the report of
Middleton's death on his voyage to India has been proved
erroneous. He lives and long may he live; for I dare pro-
phecy, that with his life only will his exertions for the tem-
poral and spiritual welfare of his fellow men be limited.

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324 finances did not permit me to purchase copies,
325 I made, within less than a year, and an half,
326 more than forty transcriptions, as the best pre-
327 sents I could offer to those, who had in any
328 way won my regard. And with almost equal
329 delight did I receive the three or four following
330 publications of the same author.

331 Though I have seen and known enough of
332 mankind to be well aware, that I shall perhaps
333 stand alone in my creed, and that it will be
334 well, if I subject myself to no worse charge
335 than that of singularity; I am not therefore
336 deterred from avowing, that I regard, and ever
337 have regarded the obligations of intellect among
338 the most sacred of the claims of gratitude.
339 A valuable thought, or a particular train of
340 thoughts, gives me additional pleasure, when
341 I can safely refer and attribute it to the con-
342 versation or correspondence of another. My
343 obligations to |Mr.| Bowles were indeed import-
344 ant, and for radical good. At a very premature
345 age, even before my fifteenth year, I had be-
346 wildered myself in metaphysicks, and in theolo-
347 gical controversy. Nothing else pleased me.
348 History, and particular facts, lost all interest
349 in my mind. Poetry (though for a school-boy
350 of that age, I was above par in English versi-
351 fication, and had already produced two or three
352 compositions which, I may venture to say, with-
353 out reference to my age, were somewhat above

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354 mediocrity, and which had gained me more
355 credit, than the sound, good sense of my old
356 master was at all pleased with) poetry itself,
357 yea novels and romances, became insipid to
358 me. In my friendless wanderings on our leave-*
359 days, (for I was an orphan, and had scarce
360 any connections in London) highly was I de-
361 lighted, if any passenger, especially if he were
362 drest in black, would enter into conversation
363 with me. For I soon found the means of di-
364 recting it to my favorite subjects

365 Of providence, fore-knowledge, will, and fate,
366 Fix'd fate, free will, fore-knowledge absolute,
367 And found no end in wandering mazes lost.

368 This preposterous pursuit was, beyond doubt,
369 injurious, both to my natural powers, and to
370 the progress of my education. It would per-
371 haps have been destructive, had it been con-
372 tinued; but from this I was auspiciously with-
373 drawn, partly indeed by an accidental intro-
374 duction to an amiable family, chiefly however,
375 by the genial influence of a style of poetry, so
376 tender, and yet so manly, so natural and real,
377 and yet so dignified, and harmonious, as the
378 sonnets, |&c.| of |Mr.| Bowles! Well were it for
379 me perhaps, had I never relapsed into the same

* The Christ Hospital phrase, not for holidays altogether,
but for those on which the boys are permitted to go beyond
the precincts of the school.

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380 mental disease; if I had continued to pluck
381 the flower and reap the harvest from the cul-
382 tivated surface, instead of delving in the un-
383 wholesome quicksilver mines of metaphysic
384 depths. But if in after time I have sought a
385 refuge from bodily pain and mismanaged sen-
386 sibility in abstruse researches, which exercised
387 the strength and subtlety of the understanding
388 without awakening the feelings of the heart;
389 still there was a long and blessed interval, dur-
390 ing which my natural faculties were allowed
391 to expand, and my original tendencies to deve-
392 lope themselves: my fancy, and the love of
393 nature, and the sense of beauty in forms and
394 sounds.

395 The second advantage, which I owe to my
396 early perusal, and admiration of these poems
397 (to which let me add, though known to me
398 at a somewhat later period, the Lewsdon Hill
399 of |Mr.| CROW) bears more immediately on my
400 present subject. Among those with whom I
401 conversed, there were, of course, very many
402 who had formed their taste, and their notions
403 of poetry, from the writings of |Mr.| Pope and
404 his followers: or to speak more generally, in
405 that school of French poetry, condensed and
406 invigorated by English understanding, which
407 had predominated from the last century. I
408 was not blind to the merits of this school, yet
409 as from inexperience of the world, and [[conse-]]

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410 ||conse||quent want of sympathy with the general sub-
411 jects of these poems, they gave me little plea-
412 sure, I doubtless undervalued the kind, and
413 with the presumption of youth withheld from
414 its masters the legitimate name of poets. I
415 saw, that the excellence of this kind consisted
416 in just and acute observations on men and man-
417 ners in an artificial state of society, as its matter and
418 substance: and in the logic of wit, con-
419 veyed in smooth and strong epigramatic cou-
420 plets, as its form. Even when the subject was
421 addressed to the fancy, or the intellect, as in
422 the Rape of the Lock, or the Essay on Man;
423 nay, when it was a consecutive narration, as in
424 that astonishing product of matchless talent
425 and ingenuity, Pope's Translation of the Iliad;
426 still a point was looked for at the end of each
427 second line, and the whole was as it were a
428 sorites, or, if I may exchange a logical for a
429 grammatical metaphor, a conjunction disjunc-
430 tive, of epigrams. Meantime the matter and
431 diction seemed to me characterized not so much
432 by poetic thoughts, as by thoughts translated
433 into the language of poetry. On this last point,
434 I had occasion to render my own thoughts
435 gradually more and more plain to myself, by
436 frequent amicable disputes concerning Darwin's
437 BOTANIC GARDEN, which, for some years, was
438 greatly extolled, not only by the reading public
439 in general, but even by those, whose genius

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440 and natural robustness of understanding ena-
441 bled them afterwards to act foremost in dis-
442 sipating these "painted mists" that occasionally
443 rise from the marshes at the foot of Parnassus.
444 During my first Cambridge vacation, I assisted
445 a friend in a contribution for a literary society
446 in Devonshire: and in this I remember to have
447 compared Darwin's work to the Russian pa-
448 lace of ice, glittering, cold and transitory. In
449 the same essay too, I assigned sundry reasons,
450 chiefly drawn from a comparison of passages in
451 the Latin poets with the original Greek, from
452 which they were borrowed, for the preference
453 of Collins's odes to those of Gray; and of the
454 simile in Shakspeare

455 " How like a younker or a prodigal,
456 "The skarfed bark puts from her native bay
457 "Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind!
458 "How like a prodigal doth she return,
459 "With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails,
460 "Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!"

461 to the imitation in the bard;

462 "Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows
463 "While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
464 "In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,
465 "YOUTH at the prow and PLEASURE at the helm,
466 "Regardless of the sweeping whirlwinds sway,
467 "That hush'd in grim repose, expects it's evening prey."

468 (In which, by the bye, the words "realm" and
469 " sway" are rhymes dearly purchased.) I pre-
470 ferred the original on the ground, that in the

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471 imitation it depended wholly in the composi-
472 tor's putting, or not putting a small Capital,
473 both in this, and in many other passages of the
474 same poet, whether the words should be person-
475 ifications, or mere abstracts. I mention this,
476 because in referring various lines in Gray to
477 their original in Shakspeare and Milton; and in
478 the clear perception how completely all the
479 propriety was lost in the transfer; I was, at
480 that early period, led to a conjecture, which,
481 many years afterwards was recalled to me from
482 the same thought having been started in con-
483 versation, but far more ably, and developed
484 more fully, by |Mr.| WORDSWORTH; namely, that
485 this style of poetry, which I have characterised
486 above, as translations of prose thoughts into
487 poetic language, had been kept up by, if it did
488 not wholly arise from, the custom of writing
489 Latin verses, and the great importance at-
490 tached to these exercises, in our public schools.
491 Whatever might have been the case in the fif-
492 teenth century, when the use of the Latin
493 tongue was so general among learned men, that
494 Erasmus is said to have forgotten his native
495 language; yet in the present day it is not to be
496 supposed, that a youth can think in Latin, or
497 that he can have any other reliance on the force
498 or fitness of his phrases, but the authority of
499 the author from whence he has adopted them.
500 Consequently he must first prepare his thoughts,

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501 and then pick out, from Virgil, Horace, Ovid, or
502 perhaps more compendiously from his* Gradus,
503 halves and quarters of lines, in which to embody
504 them.

505 I never object to a certain degree of disputa-
506 tiousness in a young man from the age of seven-
507 teen to that of four or five and twenty, provided
508 I find him always arguing on one side of the
509 question. The controversies, occasioned by my
510 unfeigned zeal for the honor of a favorite con-
511 temporary, then known to me only by his works,
512 were of great advantage in the formation and
513 establishment of my taste and critical opinions.
514 In my defence of the lines running into each
515 other, instead of closing at each couplet; and
516 of natural language, neither bookish, nor vulgar,
517 neither redolent of the lamp, or of the kennel,
518 such as I will remember thee; instead of the
519 same thought tricked up in the rag-fair finery of,

520 ----Thy image on her wing
521 Before my FANCY'S eye shall MEMORY bring,

522 I had continually to adduce the metre and

* In the Nutricia of Politian there occurs this line:

" Pura coloratos interstrepit unda lapillos."
Casting my eye on a University prize-poem, I met this line,
" Lactea purpureos interstrepit unda lapillos."
Now look out in the Gradus for Purus, and you find as
the first synonime, lacteus; for coloratus and the first sy-
nonime is purpureus. I mention this by way of elucidating
one of the most ordinary processes in the ferrumination of
these centos.

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523 diction of the Greek Poets from Homer to
524 Theocritus inclusive; and still more of our
525 elder English poets from Chaucer to Milton.
526 Nor was this all. But as it was my constant
527 reply to authorities brought against me from
528 later poets of great name, that no authority
529 could avail in opposition to TRUTH, NATURE,
531 actuated too by my former passion for meta-
532 physical investigations; I labored at a solid
533 foundation, on which permanently to ground
534 my opinions, in the component faculties of the
535 human mind itself, and their comparative dig-
536 nity and importance. According to the faculty
537 or source, from which the pleasure given by
538 any poem or passage was derived, I estimated
539 the merit of such poem or passage. As the
540 result of all my reading and meditation, I ab-
541 stracted two critical aphorisms, deeming them
542 to comprize the conditions and criteria of poetic
543 style; first, that not the poem which we have
544 read, but that to which we return, with the
545 greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power,
546 and claims the name of essential poetry. Second,
547 that whatever lines can be translated into other
548 words of the same language, without dimi-
549 nution of their significance, either in sense,
550 or association, or in any worthy feeling, are
551 so far vicious in their diction. Be it however
552 observed, that I excluded from the list of [[wor-]]

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553 ||wor||thy feelings, the pleasure derived from mere
554 novelty, in the reader, and the desire of ex-
555 citing wonderment at his powers in the author.
556 Oftentimes since then, in perusing French tra-
557 gedies, I have fancied two marks of admiration
558 at the end of each line, as hieroglyphics of the
559 author's own admiration at his own cleverness.
560 Our genuine admiration of a great poet is a
561 continuous under-current of feeling; it is every
562 where present, but seldom any where as a se-
563 parate excitement. I was wont boldly to affirm,
564 that it would be scarcely more difficult to push
565 a stone out from the pyramids with the bare
566 hand, than to alter a word, or the position of a
567 word, in Milton or Shakspeare, (in their most
568 important works at least) without making the
569 author say something else, or something worse,
570 than he does say. One great distinction, I
571 appeared to myself to see plainly, between, even
572 the characteristic faults of our elder poets, and
573 the false beauty of the moderns. In the former, from
574 DONNE to COWLEY, we find the most fan-
575 tastic out-of-the-way thoughts, but in the most
576 pure and genuine mother English; in the latter,
577 the most obvious thoughts, in language the
578 most fantastic and arbitrary. Our faulty elder
579 poets sacrificed the passion, and passionate
580 flow of poetry, to the subtleties of intellect, and
581 to the starts of wit; the moderns to the glare
582 and glitter of a perpetual, yet broken and [[hete-]]

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583 ||hete||rogeneous imagery, or rather to an amphibious
584 something, made up, half of image, and half of
585 abstract* meaning. The one sacrificed the heart
586 to the head; the other both heart and head to
587 point and drapery.

588 The reader must make himself acquainted
589 with the general style of composition that was
590 at that time deemed poetry, in order to under-
591 stand and account for the effect produced on
592 me by the SONNETS, the MONODY at MATLOCK,
593 and the HOPE, of |Mr.| Bowles; for it is pecu-
594 liar to original genius to become less and less
595 striking, in proportion to its success in improv-
596 ing the taste and judgement of its contempora-
597 ries. The poems of WEST indeed had the
598 merit of chaste and manly diction, but they
599 were cold, and, if I may so express it, only
600 dead-coloured; while in the best of Warton's
601 there is a stiffness, which too often gives them
602 the appearance of imitations from the Greek.
603 Whatever relation therefore of cause or impulse
604 Percy's collection of Ballads may bear to the
605 most popular poems of the present day; yet in
606 the more sustained and elevated style, of the

* I remember a ludicrous instance in the poem of a young

" No more will I endure love's pleasing pain,
Or round my heart's leg tie his galling chain."

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607 then living poets Bowles and Cowper* were, to
608 the best of my knowledge, the first who com-
609 bined natural thoughts with natural diction;
610 the first who reconciled the heart with the head.

611 It is true, as I have before mentioned, that
612 from diffidence in my own powers, I for a short
613 time adopted a laborious and florid diction,
614 which I myself deemed, if not absolutely vici-
615 ous, yet of very inferior worth. Gradually,
616 however, my practice conformed to my better
617 judgement; and the compositions of my twenty-
618 fourth and twenty-fifth year (ex. gr. the shorter
619 blank verse poems, the lines which are now
620 adopted in the introductory part of the VISION
621 in the present collection in |Mr.| Southey's Joan
622 of Arc, 2nd book, 1st edition, and the Tragedy
623 of REMORSE) are not more below my present
624 ideal in respect of the general tissue of the style,
625 than those of the latest date. Their faults were

* Cowper's task was published some time before the son-
nets of |Mr.| Bowles; but I was not familiar with it till many
years afterwards. The vein of Satire which runs through
that excellent poem, together with the sombre hue of its re-
ligious opinions, would probably, at that time, have pre-
vented its laying any strong hold on my affections. The
love of nature seems to have led Thompson to a chearful re-
ligion; and a gloomy religion to have led Cowper to a love
of nature. The one would carry his fellow-men along with
him into nature; the other flies to nature from his fellow-
men. In chastity of diction however, and the harmony of
blank verse, Cowper leaves Thompson unmeasureably below
him; yet still I feel the latter to have been the born poet.

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626 at least a remnant of the former leaven, and
627 among the many who have done me the honor
628 of putting my poems in the same class with
629 those of my betters, the one or two, who have
630 pretended to bring examples of affected sim-
631 plicity from my volume, have been able to ad-
632 duce but one instance, and that out of a copy
633 of verses half ludicrous, half splenetic, which
634 I intended, and had myself characterized, as
635 sermoni propriora.

636 Every reform, however necessary, will by
637 weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself
638 will need reforming. The reader will excuse
639 me for noticing, that I myself was the {fi}rst to
640 expose risu honesto the three sins of poetry, one
641 or the other of which is the most likely to beset
642 a young writer. So long ago as the publica-
643 tion of the second number of the monthly ma-
644 gazine, under the name of NEHEMIAH HIGGEN-
645 BOTTOM I contributed three sonnets, the first of
646 which had for its object to excite a good-natur-
647 ed laugh at the spirit of doleful egotism, and at
648 the recurrence of favorite phrases, with the
649 double defect of being at once trite, and licen-
650 tious. The second, on low, creeping language
651 and thoughts, under the pretence of simplicity.
652 And the third, the phrases of which were bor-
653 rowed entirely from my own poems, on the
654 indiscriminate use of elaborate and swelling

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655 language and imagery. The reader will find
656 them in the note* below, and will I trust regard
657 them as reprinted for biographical purposes,
658 and not for their poetic merits. So general at


* PENSIVE at eve, on the hard world I mused,
And my poor heart was sad; so at the MOON
I gazed, and sighed, and sighed; for ah how soon
Eve saddens into night! mine eyes perused
With tearful vacancy the dampy grass
That wept and glitter'd in the paly ray:
And I did pause me, on my lonely way
And mused me, on the wretched ones that pass
O'er the bleak heath of sorrow. But alas!
Most of myself I thought! when it befel,
That the soothe spirit of the breezy wood
Breath'd in mine ear: "All this is very well
But much of ONE thing, is for NO thing good."
Oh my poor heart's INEXPLICABLE SWELL!


OH I do love thee, meek SIMPLICITY!
For of thy lays the lulling simpleness
Goes to my heart, and soothes each small distress,
Distress tho' small, yet haply great to me,
'Tis true on Lady Fortune's gentlest pad
I amble on; and yet I know not why
So sad I am! but should a friend and I
Frown, pout and part, then I am very sad.
And then with sonnets and with sympathy
My dreamy bosom's mystic woes I pall;
Now of my false friend plaining plaintively,
Now raving at mankind in general;
But whether sad or fierce, 'tis simple all,
All very simple, meek SIMPLICITY!


AND this reft house is that, the which he built,
Lamented Jack! and here his malt he pil'd,
Cautious in vain! these rats, that squeak so wild,
Squeak not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did he not see her gleaming thro' the glade!
Belike 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
What tho' she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray'd:*

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659 that time, and so decided was the opinion con-
660 cerning the characteristic vices of my style, that
661 a celebrated physician (now, alas! no more)
662 speaking of me in other respects with his usual
663 kindness to a gentleman, who was about to
664 meet me at a dinner party, could not however
665 resist giving him a hint not to mention the
666 " House that Jack built" in my presence, for
667 " that I was as sore as a boil about that sonnet ;"
668 he not knowing, that I was myself the author
669 of it.

And aye, beside her stalks her amarous knight!
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And thro' those brogues, still tatter'd and betorn,
His hindward charms glean an unearthly white.
Ah! thus thro' broken clouds at night's high Noon
Peeps in fair fragments forth the full-orb'd harvest-moon!

The following anecdote will not be wholly out of place
here, and may perhaps amuse the reader. An amateur per-
former in verse expressed to a common friend, a strong de-
sire to be introduced to me, but hesitated in accepting my
friend's immediate offer, on the score that "he was, he must
acknowledge the author of a confounded severe epigram on
my ancient mariner, which had given me great pain. I as-
sured my friend that if the epigram was a good one, it would
only increase my desire to become acquainted with the au-
thor, and begg'd to hear it recited: when, to my no less
surprise than amusement, it proved to be one which I had
myself some time before written and inserted in the Morning

To the author of the Ancient Mariner.

Your poem must eternal be,
Dear-sir! it cannot fail,
For 'tis incomprehensible
And without head or tail.

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671 Supposed irritability of men of Genius -- Brought
672 to the test of Facts -- Causes and Occasions of
673 the charge -- Its Injustice.

674 I have often thought, that it would be neither
675 uninstructive nor unamusing to analyze, and
676 bring forward into distinct consciousness, that
677 complex feeling, with which readers in general
678 take part against the author, in favor of the
679 critic; and the readiness with which they apply
680 to all poets the old sarcasm of Horace upon
681 the scriblers of his time: "Genus irritabile
682 vatum." A debility and dimness of the imagi-
683 native power, and a consequent necessity of
684 reliance on the immediate impressions of the
685 senses, do, we well know, render the mind
686 liable to superstition and fanaticism. Having a
687 deficient portion of internal and proper warmth,
688 minds of this class seek in the crowd circum
689 fana for a warmth in common, which they do
690 not possess singly. Cold and phlegmatic in their
691 own nature, like damp hay, they heat and in-
692 flame by co-acervation; or like bees they be-
693 come restless and irritable through the increased
694 temperature of collected multitudes. Hence

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695 the German word for fanaticism (such at least
696 was its original import) is derived from the
697 swarming of bees, namely, Schwärmen, Sch-
698 wärmerey. The passion being in an inverse
699 proportion to the insight, that the more vivid,
700 as this the less distinct; anger is the inevitable
701 consequence. The absence of all foundation
702 within their own minds for that, which they yet
703 believe both true and indispensible for their
704 safety and happiness, cannot but produce an
705 uneasy state of feeling, an involuntary sense of
706 fear from which nature has no means of res-
707 cuing herself but by anger. Experience informs
708 us that the first defence of weak minds is to
709 recriminate.

710 " There's no Philosopher but sees,
711 That rage and fear are one disease,
712 Tho' that may burn, and this may freeze,
713 They're both alike the ague."
714 MAD OX.

715 But where the ideas are vivid, and there exists
716 an endless power of combining and modifying
717 them, the feelings and affections blend more
718 easily and intimately with these ideal creations,
719 than with the objects of the senses; the mind
720 is affected by thoughts, rather than by things;
721 and only then feels the requisite interest even
722 for the most important events, and accidents,
723 when by means of meditation they have passed
724 into thoughts. The sanity of the mind is be-
725 tween superstition with fanaticism on the one

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726 hand; and enthusiasm with indifference and a
727 diseased slowness to action on the other. For
728 the conceptions of the mind may be so vivid
729 and adequate, as to preclude that impulse to
730 the realizing of them, which is strongest and
731 most restless in those, who possess more than
732 mere talent (or the faculty of appropriating
733 and applying the knowledge of others) yet
734 still want something of the creative, and self-
735 sufficing power of absolute Genius. For this
736 reason therefore, they are men of commanding
737 genius. While the former rest content between
738 thought and reality, as it were in an intermun-
739 dium of which their own living spirit supplies
740 the substance, and their imagination the ever-
741 varying form; the latter must impress their
742 preconceptions on the world without, in order
743 to present them back to their own view with
744 the satisfying degree of clearness, distinctness,
745 and individuality. These in tranquil times are
746 formed to exhibit a perfect poem in palace or
747 temple or landscape-garden; or a tale of ro-
748 mance in canals that join sea with sea, or in walls
749 of rock, which shouldering back the billows
750 imitate the power, and supply the benevolence
751 of nature to sheltered navies; or in aqueducts
752 that arching the wide vale from mountain to
753 mountain give a Palmyra to the desert. But
754 alas! in times of tumult they are the men des-
755 tined to come forth as the shaping spirit of Ruin.

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756 to destroy the wisdom of ages in order to
757 substitute the fancies of a day, and to change
758 kings and kingdoms, as the wind shifts and
759 shapes the clouds. The records of biography
760 seem to confirm this theory. The men of the
761 greatest genius, as far as we can judge from
762 their own works or from the accounts of their
763 contemporaries, appear to have been of calm
764 and tranquil temper, in all that related to them-
765 selves. In the inward assurance of permanent
766 fame, they seem to have been either indifferent
767 or resigned, with regard to immediate reputa-
768 tion. Through all the works of Chaucer there
769 reigns a chearfulness, a manly hilarity, which
770 makes it almost impossible to doubt a corres-
771 pondent habit of feeling in the author himself.
772 Shakspeare's evenness and sweetness of temper
773 were almost proverbial in his own age. That
774 this did not arise from ignorance of his own
775 comparative greatness, we have abundant proof
776 in his sonnets, which could scarcely have been

"Of old things all are over old,
Of good things none are good enough:--
We'll show that we can help to frame
A world of other stuff.

I too will have my kings, that take
From me the sign of life and death:
Kingdoms shall shift about, like clouds,
Obedient to my breath."


{{Page 33}}

777 known to |Mr.| Pope,* when he asserted, that
778 our great bard "grew immortal in his own
779 "despite." Speaking, of one whom he had cele-
780 brated, and contrasting the duration of his
781 works with that of his personal existence,
782 Shakspeare adds:

783 " Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
784 Tho' I once gone to all the world must die;
785 The earth can yield me but a common grave,
786 When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie.
787 Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
788 Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read;
789 And tongues to be your being shall rehearse,
790 When all the breathers of this world are dead:
791 You still shall live, such virtue hath my pen,
792 Where breath most breathes, e'en in the mouth of men."

793 SONNET 81st.

794 I have taken the first that occurred; but Shaks-
795 peare's readiness to praise his rivals, ore pleno,
796 and the confidence of his own equality with

* |Mr.| Pope was under the common error of his age, an
error, far from being sufficiently exploded even at the pre-
sent day. It consists (as I explained at large, and proved in
detail in my public lectures) in mistaking for the essentials of
the Greek stage certain rules, which the wise poets imposed
upon themselves, in order to render all the remaining parts
of the drama consistent with those, that had been forced
upon them by circumstances independent of their will; out
of which circumstances the drama itself arose. The cir-
cumstances in the time of Shakspeare, which it was equally
out of his power to alter, were different, and such as, in my
opinion, allowed a far wider sphere, and a deeper and more
human interest. Critics are too apt to forget, that rules are
but means to an end; consequently where the ends are [[dif-]]*

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797 those whom he deem'd most worthy of his
798 praise, are alike manifested in the 86th sonnet.

799 " Was it the proud full sail of his great verse
800 Bound for the praise of all-too-precious you,
801 That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
802 Making their tomb, the womb wherein they grew ?
803 Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
804 Above a mortal pitch that struck me dead?
805 No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
806 Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
807 He, nor that affable familiar ghost,
808 Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
809 As victors of my silence cannot boast;
810 I was not sick of any fear from thence!
811 But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
812 Then lack'd I matter, that enfeebled mine.

813 In Spencer indeed, we trace a mind consti-
814 tutionally tender, delicate, and, in comparison
815 with his three great compeers, I had almost
816 said, effeminate; and this additionally sad-
817 dened by the unjust persecution of Burleigh,

*||dif||ferent, the rules must he likewise so. We must have ascer-
tained what the end is, before we can determine what the
rules ought to be. Judging under this impression, I did not
hesitate to declare my full conviction, that the consummate
judgement of Shakspeare, not only in the general construc-
tion, but in all the detail, of his dramas impressed me with
greater wonder, than even the might of his genius, or the
depth of his philosophy. The substance of these lectures I
hope soon to publish ; and it is but a debt of justice to my-
self and my friends to notice, that the first course of lectures,
which differed from the following courses only, by occa-
sionally varying the illustrations of the same thoughts, was
addressed to very numerous, and I need not add, respect-
able audiences at the royal institution, before |Mr.| Schlegel
gave his lectures on the same subjects at Vienna.

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818 and the severe calamities, which overwhelmed
819 his latter days. These causes have diffused
820 over all his compositions "a melancholy grace,"
821 and have drawn forth occasional strains, the
822 more pathetic from their gentleness. But no
823 where do we find the least trace of irritability,
824 and still less of quarrelsome or affected con-
825 tempt of his censurers.

826 The same calmness, and even greater self-
827 possession, may be affirmed of Milton, as far
828 as his poems, and poetic character are con-
829 cerned. He reserved his anger, for the enemies
830 of religion, freedom, and his country. My
831 mind is not capable of forming a more august
832 conception, than arises from the contempla-
833 tion of this great man in his latter days: poor,
834 sick, old, blind, slandered, persecuted,

835 " Darkness before, and danger's voice behind,"

836 in an age in which he was as little understood
837 by the party, for whom, as by that, against
838 whom he had contended; and among men be-
839 fore whom he strode so far as to dwarf him-
840 self by the distance; yet still listening to the
841 music of his own thoughts, or if additionally
842 cheered, yet cheered only by the prophetic
843 faith of two or three solitary individuals, he did
844 nevertheless

845 --" Argue not
846 Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
847 Of heart or hope; but still bore up and steer'd
848 Right onward."

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849 From others only do we derive our knowledge
850 that Milton, in his latter day, had his scorners
851 and detractors; and even in his day of youth
852 and hope, that he had enemies would have been
853 unknown to us, had they not been likewise the
854 enemies of his country.

855 I am well aware, that in advanced stages of
856 literature, when there exist many and excellent
857 models, a high degree of talent, combined with
858 taste and judgement, and employed in works
859 of imagination, will acquire for a man the name
860 of a great genius; though even that analogon of
861 genius, which, in certain states of society, may
862 even render his writings more popular than the
863 absolute reality could have done, would be
864 sought for in vain in the mind and temper of the
865 author himself. Yet even in instances of this
866 kind, a close examination will often detect, that
867 the irritability, which has been attributed to the
868 author's genius as its cause, did really originate
869 in an ill conformation of body, obtuse pain, or
870 constitutional defect of pleasurable sensation.
871 What is charged to the author, belongs to the
872 man, who would probably have been still more
873 impatient, but for the humanizing influences of
874 the very pursuit, which yet bears the blame of
875 his irritability.

876 How then are we to explain the easy cre-
877 dence generally given to this charge, if the
878 charge itself be not, as we have endeavoured to

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879 show, supported by experience? This seems
880 to me of no very difficult solution. In what-
881 ever country literature is widely diffused, there
882 will be many who mistake an intense desire to
883 possess the reputation of poetic genius, for the
884 actual powers, and original tendencies which
885 constitute it. But men, whose dearest wishes
886 are fixed on objects wholly out of their own
887 power, become in all cases more or less impa-
888 tient and prone to anger. Besides, though it
889 may be paradoxical to assert, that a man can
890 know one thing, and believe the opposite, yet
891 assuredly, a vain person may have so habitu-
892 ally indulged the wish, and persevered in the
893 attempt to appear, what he is not, as to become
894 himself one of his own proselytes. Still, as this
895 counterfeit and artificial persuasion must differ,
896 even in the person's own feelings, from a real
897 sense of inward power, what can be more na-
898 tural, than that this difference should betray
899 itself in suspicious and jealous irritability ?
900 Even as the flowery sod, which covers a hol-
901 low, may be often detected by its shaking and
902 trembling.

903 But, alas! the multitude of books, and the
904 general diffusion of literature, have produced
905 other, and more lamentable effects in the world
906 of letters, and such as are abundant to explain,
907 tho' by no means to justify, the contempt with
908 which the best grounded complaints of injured

{{Page 38}}

909 genius are rejected as frivolous, or entertained
910 as matter of merriment. In the days of Chaucer
911 and Gower, our language might (with due al-
912 lowance for the imperfections of a simile) be
913 compared to a wilderness of vocal reeds, from
914 which the favorites only of Pan or Apollo
915 could construct even the rude Syrinx; and
916 from this the constructors alone could elicit
917 strains of music. But now, partly by the la-
918 bours of successive poets, and in part by the
919 more artificial state of society and social inter-
920 course, language, mechanized as it were into a
921 barrel-organ, supplies at once both instrument
922 and tune. Thus even the deaf may play, so as
923 to delight the many. Sometimes (for it is with
924 similies, as it is with jests at a wine table, one
925 is sure to suggest another) I have attempted to
926 illustrate the present state of our language, in
927 its relation to literature, by a press-room of
928 larger and smaller stereotype pieces, which,
929 in the present anglo-gallican fashion of uncon-
930 nected, epigrammatic periods, it requires but
931 an ordinary portion of ingenuity to vary inde-
932 finitely, and yet still produce something, which,
933 if not sense, will be so like it, as to do as well.
934 Perhaps better: for it spares the reader the
935 trouble of thinking; prevents vacancy, while it
936 indulges indolence; and secures the memory
937 from all danger of an intellectual plethora.
938 Hence of all trades, literature at present [[de-]]

{{Page 39}}

939 ||de||mands the least talent or information; and, of
940 all modes of literature, the manufacturing of
941 poems. The difference indeed between these
942 and the works of genius, is not less than be-
943 tween an egg, and an egg-shell; yet at a distance
944 they both look alike. Now it is no less re-
945 markable than true, with how little examina-
946 tion works of polite literature are commonly
947 perused, not only by the mass of readers, but
948 by men of first rate ability, till some accident
949 or chance* discussion have roused their atten-

* In the course of my lectures, I had occasion to point out
the almost faultless position and choice of words, in |Mr.|
Pope's original compositions, particularly in his satires and
moral essays, for the purpose of comparing them with his
translation of Homer, which, I do not stand alone in re-
garding as the main source of our pseudo-poetic diction.
And this, by the bye, is an additional confirmation of a re-
mark made, I believe, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, that next to
the man who formed and elevated the taste of the public, he
that corrupted it, is commonly the greatest genius. Among
other passages, I analyzed sentence by sentence, and almost
word by word, the popular lines,

" As when the moon, resplendent lamp of light," |&c.|

much in the same way as has been since done, in an excellent
article on Chalmers's British Poets in the Quarterly Review.
The impression on the audience in general was sudden and
evident: and a number of enlightened and highly educated
individuals, who at different times afterwards addressed me
on the subject, expressed their wonder, that truth so ob-
vious should not have struck them before; but at the same
time acknowledged (so much had they been accustomed, in
reading poetry, to receive pleasure from the separate images
and phrases successively, without asking themselves whether
the collective meaning was sense or nonsense) that they might
in all probability have read the same passage again twenty*

{{Page 40}}

950 tion, and put them on their guard. And hence
951 individuals below mediocrity not less in natural
952 power than in acquired knowledge; nay, bung-
953 lers that had failed in the lowest mechanic
954 crafts, and whose presumption is in due pro-
955 portion to their want of sense and sensibility;
956 men, who being first scriblers from idleness and
957 ignorance next become libellers from envy and
958 malevolence; have been able to drive a suc-
959 cessful trade in the employment of the book-
960 sellers, nay have raised themselves into tempo-
961 rary name and reputation with the public at
962 large, by that most powerful of all adulation,

times with undiminished admiration, and without once re-
flecting, that "asra thaein{ee}n amphi sel{ee}n{ee}n phainet ariprepea"
(i. e. the stars around, or near the full moon, shine pre-
eminently bright) conveys a just and happy image of a moon-
light sky: while it is difficult to determine whether in the

"Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole,"

the sense, or the diction be the more absurd. My answer
was; that tho' I had derived peculiar advantages from my
school discipline, and tho' my general theory of poetry was
the same then as now, I had yet experienced the same sen-
sations myself, and felt almost as if I had been newly
couched, when by |Mr.| Wordsworth's conversation, I had
been induced to re-examine with impartial strictness Grey's
celebrated elegy. I had long before detected the defects in
" the Bard ;" but "the Elegy" I had considered as proof
against all fair attacks; and to this day I cannot read either,
without delight, and a portion of enthusiasm. At all events,
whatever pleasure I may have lost by the clearer perception
of the faults in certain passages, has been more than repaid
to me, by the additional delight with which I read the

{{Page 41}}

963 the appeal to the bad and malignant passions
964 of mankind.*But as it is the nature of scorn,
965 envy, and all malignant propensities to require
966 a quick change of objects, such writers are
967 sure, sooner or later to awake from their dream
968 of vanity to disappointment and neglect with
969 embittered and envenomed feelings. Even [[du-]]

* Especially "in this AGE OF PERSONALITY, this age of
literary and political GOSSIPING, when the meanest insects
are worshipped with a sort of Egyptian superstition, if only
the brainless head be atoned for by the sting of personal
malignity in the tail! When the most vapid satires have be-
come the objects of a keen public interest, purely from the
number of contemporary characters named in the patch-
work notes (which possess, however, the comparative merit of
being more poetical than the text) and because, to increase
the stimulus, the author has sagaciously left his own name
for whispers and conjectures! In an age, when even ser-
mons are published with a double appendix stuffed with
names--in a generation so transformed from the characteris-
tic reserve of Britons, that from the ephemeral sheet of a
London newspaper, to the everlasting Scotch Professorial
Quarto, almost every publication exhibits or flatters the
epidemic distemper; that the very "last year's rebuses" in
the Ladies Diary, are answered in a serious elegy " on my
father's death" with the name and habitat of the elegiac
Œdipus subscribed; and " other ingenious solutions were
likewise given" to the said rebuses--not as heretofore by
Crito, Philander, A, B, Y, |&c.| but by fifty or sixty plain
English sirnames at full length with their several places of
abode! In an age, when a bashful Philalethes, or Phileleu-
theros is as rare on the title-pages, and among the signatures
of our magazines, as a real name used to be in the days of
our shy and notice-shunning grandfathers! When (more
exquisite than all) I see an EPIC POEM (spirits of Maro and
Mæonides make ready to welcome your new compeer!)
advertised with the special recommendation, that the said
EPIC POEM contains more than an hundred names of living persons."
FRIEND No. 10.

{{Page 42}}

970 ||du||ring their short-lived success, sensible in
971 spite of themselves on what a shifting foundation it
972 rested, they resent the mere refusal of praise,
973 as a robbery, and at the justest censures kindle
974 at once into violent and undisciplined abuse;
975 till the acute disease changing into chronical,
976 the more deadly as the less violent, they be-
977 come the fit instruments of literary detraction,
978 and moral slander. They are then no longer to
979 be questioned without exposing the complain-
980 ant to ridicule, because, forsooth, they are ano-
981 nymous critics, and authorised as "synodical
982 individuals"* to speak of themselves plurali
983 majestatico! As if literature formed a cast, like
984 that of the PARAS in Hindostan, who, however
985 maltreated, must not dare to deem themselves
986 wronged! As if that, which in all other cases
987 adds a deeper die to slander, the circumstance
988 of its being anonymous, here acted only to
989 make the slanderer inviolable! Thus, in part,
990 from the accidental tempers of individuals (men
991 of undoubted talent, but not men of genius)
992 tempers rendered yet more irritable by their
993 desire to appear men of genius; but still more
994 effectively by the excesses of the mere counter-
995 feits both of talent and genius; the number
996 too being so incomparably greater of those who
997 are thought to be, than of those who really are


* A phrase of Andrew Marvel's.

{{Page 43}}

998 men of real genius; and in part from the natu-
999 ral, but not therefore the less partial and unjust
1000 distinction, made by the public itself between
1001 literary, and all other property; I believe the
1002 prejudice to have arisen, which considers an
1003 unusual irascibility concerning the reception of
1004 its products as characteristic of genius. It
1005 might correct the moral feelings of a numerous
1006 class of readers, to suppose a Review set on
1007 foot, the object of which was to criticise all the
1008 chief works presented to the public by our rib-
1009 bon-weavers, calico-printers, cabinet-makers,
1010 and china-manufacturers; a Review conducted
1011 in the same spirit, and which should take the
1012 same freedom with personal character, as our
1013 literary journals. They would scarcely, I think,
1014 deny their belief, not only that the "genus
1015 irritabile" would be found to include many
1016 other species besides that of bards; but that the
1017 irritability of trade would soon reduce the re-
1018 sentments of poets into mere shadow-fights
1019 skiomachias in the comparison. Or is wealth the
1020 only rational object of human interest? Or even
1021 if this were admitted, has the poet no property
1022 in his works? Or is it a rare, or culpable
1023 case, that he who serves at the altar of the
1024 muses, should be compelled to derive his main-
1025 tenance from the altar, when too he has per-
1026 haps deliberately abandoned the fairest pros-
1027 pects of rank and opulence in order to devote

{{Page 44}}

1028 himself, an entire and undistracted man, to the
1029 instruction or refinement of his fellow-citizens?
1030 Or should we pass by all higher objects and
1031 motives, all disinterested benevolence, and even
1032 that ambition of lasting praise which is at once
1033 the crutch and ornament, which at once sup-
1034 ports and betrays, the infirmity of human vir-
1035 tue; is the character and property of the in-
1036 dividual, who labours for our intellectual plea-
1037 sures, less entitled to a share of our fellow
1038 feeling, than that of the wine-merchant or mil-
1039 liner? Sensibility indeed, both quick and deep,
1040 is not only a characteristic feature, but may be
1041 deemed a component part, of genius. But it is
1042 no less an essential mark of true genius, that
1043 its sensibility is excited by any other cause
1044 more powerfully, than by its own personal
1045 interests; for this plain reason, that the man
1046 of genius lives most in the ideal world, in which
1047 the present is still constituted by the future
1048 or the past; and because his feelings have been
1049 habitually associated with thoughts and images,
1050 to the number, clearness, and vivacity of which
1051 the sensation of self is always in an inverse
1052 proportion. And yet, should he perchance
1053 have occasion to repel some false charge, or to
1054 rectify some erroneous censure, nothing is more
1055 common, than for the many to mistake the
1056 general liveliness of his manner and language
1057 whatever is the subject, for the effects of [[pecu-]]

{{Page 45}}

1058 ||pecu||liar irritation from its accidental relation to
1059 himself.*

1060 For myself, if from my own feelings, or from
1061 the less suspicious test of the observations of
1062 others, I had been made aware of any literary
1063 testiness or jealousy; I trust, that I should
1064 have been, however, neither silly or arrogant
1065 enough, to have burthened the imperfection on
1066 GENIUS. But an experience (and I should not
1067 need documents in abundance to prove my
1068 words, if I added) a tried experience of twenty
1069 years, has taught me, that the original sin of
1070 my character consists in a careless indifference
1071 to public opinion, and to the attacks of those
1072 who influence it; that praise and admiration

* This is one instance among many of deception, by the
telling the half of a fact, and omitting, the other half, when
it is from their mutual counteraction and neutralization,
that the whole truth arises, as a tertiam aliquid different
from either. Thus in Dryden's famous line "Great wit"
(which here means genius) "to madness sure is near allied."
Now as far as the profound sensibility, which is doubtless
one of the components of genius, were alone considered,
single and unbalanced, it might be fairly described as expos-
ing the individual to a greater chance of mental derange-
ment; but then a more than usual rapidity of association, a
more than usual power of passing from thought to thought,
and image to image, is a component equally essential; and
in the due modification of each by the other the GENIUS
itself consists; so that it would be as just as fair to describe
the earth, as in imminent danger of exorbitating, or of falling
into the sun according as the assertor of the absurdity con-
fined his attention either to the projectile or to the attractive
force exclusively.

{{Page 46}}

1073 have become yearly,less and less desirable,
1074 except as marks of sympathy; nay that it is
1075 difficult and distressing to me, to think with
1076 any interest even about the sale and profit of
1077 my works, important, as in my present circum-
1078 stances, such considerations must needs be.
1079 Yet it never occurred to me to believe or fancy,
1080 that the quantum of intellectual power be-
1081 stowed on me by nature or education was in
1082 any way connected with this habit of my feel-
1083 ings; or that it needed any other parents or
1084 fosterers, than constitutional indolence, aggra-
1085 vated into languor by ill-health; the accumulat-
1086 ing embarrassments of procrastination; the
1087 mental cowardice, which is the inseparable
1088 companion of procrastination, and which makes
1089 us anxious to think and converse on any thing
1090 rather than on what concerns ourselves; in
1091 fine, all those close vexations, whether charge-
1092 able on my faults or my fortunes which leave
1093 me but little grief to spare for evils compara-
1094 tively, distant and alien.

1095 Indignation at literary wrongs, I leave to
1096 men born under happier stars. I cannot afford
1097 it. But so far from condemning those who
1098 can, I deem it a writer's duty, and think it
1099 creditable to his heart, to feel and express a
1100 resentment proportioned to the grossness of the
1101 provocation, and the importance of the object.
1102 There is no profession on earth, which requires

{{Page 47}}

1103 an attention so early, so long, or so unintermit-
1104 ting as that of poetry; and indeed as that of lite-
1105 rary composition in general, if it be such, as at
1106 all satisfies the demands both of taste and of
1107 sound logic. How difficult and delicate a task
1108 even the mere mechanism of verse is, may be
1109 conjectured from the failure of those, who have
1110 attempted poetry late in life. Where then a
1111 man has, from his earliest youth, devoted his
1112 whole being to an object, which by the admis-
1113 sion of all civilized nations in all ages is hono-
1114 rable as a pursuit, and glorious as an attain-
1115 ment; what of all that relates to himself and
1116 his family, if only we except his moral cha-
1117 racter, can have fairer claims to his protection,
1118 or more authorise acts of self-defence, than the
1119 elaborate products of his intellect, and intel-
1120 lectual industry? Prudence itself would com-
1121 mand us to show, even if defect or diversion of
1122 natural sensibility had prevented us from feel-
1123 ing, a due interest and qualified anxiety for the
1124 offspring and representatives of our nobler being.
1125 I know it, alas! by woeful experience! I have
1126 laid too many eggs in the hot sands of this
1127 wilderness the world, with ostrich careless-
1128 ness and ostrich oblivion. The greater part
1129 indeed have been trod under foot, and are for-
1130 gotten; but yet no small number have crept
1131 forth into life, some to furnish feathers for the
1132 caps of others, and still more to plume the

{{Page 48}}

1133 shafts in the quivers of my enemies, of them
1134 that unprovoked have lain in wait against my
1135 soul.

1136 " Sic vos, non vobis mellificatis, apes!"
[[no footnote marker]]

[[no footnote marker]]An instance in confirmation of the Note, p. 39, occurs to
me as I am correcting this sheet, with the FAITHFUL
SHEPHERDESS open before me. |Mr.| Seward first traces
Fletcher's lines;

" More soul-diseases than e'er yet the hot
"Sun bred thro' his burnings, while the dog
"Pursues the raging lion, throwing the fog
"And deadly vapor from his angry breath,
"Filling the lower world with plague and death."--

To Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar,

" The rampant lion hunts he fast
"With dogs of noisome breath;
"Whose baleful barking brings, in haste,
"Pyne, plagues, and dreary death!"

He then takes occasion to introduce Homer's simile of the
sight of Achilles' shield to Priam compared with the Dog
Star, literally thus--

" For this indeed is most splendid, but it was made an
"evil sign, and brings many a consuming disease to wretched
"mortals." Nothing can be more simple as a description, or
more accurate as a simile; which (says |Mr.| S.) is thus finely
translated by |Mr.| Pope:

" Terrific Glory! for his burning breath
Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death!"

Now here (not to mention the tremendous bombast) the
Dog Star, so called, is turned into a real Dog, a very odd
Dog, a Fire, Fever, Plague, and death-breathing, red-air-
tainting Dog: and the whole visual likeness is lost, while the
likeness in the effects is rendered absurd by the exaggeration.
In Spencer and Fletcher the thought is justifiable; for the
images are at least consistent, and it was the intention of the
writers to mark the seasons by this allegory of visualized

{{Page 49}}


1138 The author's obligations to critics, and the proba-
1139 ble occasion--Principles of modern criticism--
1140 |Mr.| Southey's works and character.

1141 To anonymous critics in reviews, maga-
1142 zines, and news-journals of various name and
1143 rank, and to satirists with or without a name,
1144 in verse or prose, or in verse-text aided by
1145 prose-comment, I do seriously believe and pro-
1146 fess, that I owe full two thirds of whatever
1147 reputation and publicity I happen to possess.
1148 For when the name of an individual has oc-
1149 curred so frequently, in so many works, for
1150 so great a length of time, the readers of these
1151 works (which with a shelf or two of BEAUTIES,
1152 ELEGANT EXTRACTS and ANAS, form nine-tenths
1153 of the reading of the reading public*) cannot but

* For as to the devotees of the circulating libraries, I dare
not compliment their pass-time, or rather killtime, with the
name of reading. Call it rather a sort of beggarly day-
dreaming, during which the mind of the dreamer furnishes
for itself nothing but laziness and a little mawkish sensibi-
lity; while the whole materiel and imagery of the doze is
supplied ab extra by a sort of mental camera obscura ma-
nufactured at the printing office, which pro tempore fixes,
reflects and transmits the moving phantasms of one man's*

{{Page 50>

1154 be familiar with the name, without distinctly
1155 remembering whether it was introduced for
1156 an eulogy or for censure. And this becomes
1157 the more likely, if (as I believe) the habit of
1158 perusing periodical works may be properly
1159 added to Averrhoe's* catalogue of ANTI-MNE-
1160 MONICS, or weakeners of the memory. But
1161 where this has not been the case, yet the reader

*delirium, so as to people the barrenness of an hundred other
brains afflicted with the same trance or suspension of all
common sense and all definite purpose. We should there-
fore transfer this species of amusement, (if indeed those can
be said to retire a musis, who were never in their company,
or relaxation be attributable to those, whose bows are never
bent) from the genus, reading, to that comprehensive class
characterized by the power of reconciling the two contrary
yet co-existing propensities of human nature, namely; indul-
gence of sloth, and hatred of vacancy. In addition to novels
and tales of chivalry in prose or rhyme, (by which last I
mean neither rhythm nor metre) this genus comprizes as its
species, gaming, swinging, or swaying on a chair or gate;
spitting over a bridge; smoking; snuff-taking; tete a tete
quarrels after dinner between husband and wife; conning
word by word all the advertisements of the daily advertizer
in a public house on a rainy day, |&c.| |&c.| |&c.|

*Ex. gr. Pediculos e capillis excerptos in arenam jacere
incontusos; eating of unripe fruit; gazing on the clouds, and
(in genere) on moveable things suspended in the air; riding
among a multitude of camels; frequent laughter; listening
to a series of jests and humourous anecdotes, as when (so to
modernise the learned Saracen's meaning) one man's droll
story of an Irishman inevitably occasions another's droll story
of a Scotchman, which again by the same sort of conjunction
disjunctive leads to some etourderie of a Welchman, and
that again to some sly hit of a Yorkshireman; the habit of
reading tomb-stones in church-yards, |&c.| By the bye, this
catalogue strange as it may appear, is not insusceptible of a
sound pcychological commentary.

{{Page 51}}

1162 will be apt to suspect, that there must be
1163 something more than usually strong and exten-
1164 sive in a reputation, that could either require or
1165 stand so merciless and long-continued a can-
1166 nonading. Without any feeling of anger there-
1167 fore (for which indeed, on my own account, I
1168 have no pretext) I may yet be allowed to ex-
1169 press some degree of surprize, that after having
1170 run the critical gauntlet for a certain class of
1171 faults which I had, nothing having come before
1172 the judgement-seat in the interim, I should,
1173 year after year, quarter after quarter, month
1174 after month (not to mention sundry petty pe-
1175 riodicals of still quicker revolution, "or weekly
1176 or diurnal") have been for at least 17 years
1177 consecutively dragged forth by them into the
1178 foremost ranks of the proscribed, and forced to
1179 abide the brunt of abuse, for faults directly
1180 opposite, and which I certainly had not. How
1181 shall I explain this?

1182 Whatever may have been the case with others,
1183 I certainly cannot attribute this persecution to
1184 personal dislike, or to envy, or to feelings of
1185 vindictive animosity. Not to the former, for,
1186 with the exception of a very few who are my
1187 intimate friends, and were so before thencty were
1188 known as authors, I have had little other ac-
1189 quaintance with literary characters, than what
1190 may be implied in an accidental introduction,
1191 or casual meeting in a mixt company. And,

{{Page 52}}

1192 as far as words and looks can be trusted, I
1193 must believe that, even in these instances, I had
1194 excited no unfriendly disposition.* Neither by

* Some years ago, a gentleman, the chief writer and con-
ductor of a celebrated review, distinguished by its hostility
to |Mr.| Southey, spent a day or two at Keswick. That he
was, without diminution on this account, treated with every
hospitable attention by |Mr.| Southey and myself, I trust I
need not say. But one thing I may venture to notice; that
at no period of my life do I remember to have received so
many, and such high coloured compliments in so short a space
of time. He was likewise circumstantially informed by what
series of accidents it had happened, that |Mr.| Wordsworth,
|Mr.| Southey, and I had become neighbours; and how ut-
terly unfounded was the supposition, that we considered
ourselves, as belonging to any common school, but that of
good sense confirmed by the long-established models of the
best times of Greece, Rome, Italy, and England; and still
more groundless the notion, that |Mr.| Southey (for as to my-
self I have published so little, and that little, of so little im-
portance, as to make it almost ludicrous to mention my name
at all) could have been concerned in the formation of a poetic
sect with |Mr.| Wordsworth, when so many of his works had
been published not only previously to any acquaintance be-
tween them; but before |Mr.| Wordsworth himself had written
any thing but in a diction ornate, and uniformly sustain-
ed; when too the slightest examination will make it evident, that
between those and the after writings of |Mr.| Southey, there
exists no other difference than that of a progressive degree
of excellence from progressive developement of power, and
progressive facility from habit and increase of experience.
Yet among the first articles which this man wrote after his
return from Keswick, we were characterized as "the School
of whining and hypochondriacal poets that haunt the Lakes."
In reply to a letter from the same gentleman, in which he
had asked me, whether I was in earnest in preferring the
style of Hooker to that of |Dr.| Johnson; and Jeremy Taylor
to Burke; I stated, somewhat at large, the comparative ex-
cellences and defects which characterized our best prose
writers, from the reformation, to the first half of Charles
2nd; and that of those who had flourished during the present
reign, and the preceding one. About twelve months [[after-]]*

{{Page 53}}

1195 letter, or in conversation, have I ever had dis-
1196 pute or controversy beyond the common social
1197 interchange of opinions. Nay, where I had
1198 reason to suppose my convictions fundament-
1199 ally different, it has been my habit, and I may
1200 add, the impulse of my nature, to assign the
1201 grounds of my belief, rather than the belief
1202 itself; and not to express dissent, till I could

*||after||wards, a review appeared on the same subject, in the con-
cluding paragraph of which the reviewer asserts, that his
chief motive for entering into the discussion was to separate
a rational and qualified admiration of our elder writers, from
the indiscriminate enthusiasm of a recent school, who praised
what they did not understand, and caracatured what they
were unable to imitate, And, that no doubt might be left
concerning the persons alluded to, the writer annexes the
COLERIDGE. For that which follows, I have only ear-say
evidence; but yet such as demands my belief; viz. that on
being questioned concerning this apparently wanton attack,
more especially with reference to Miss Bailie, the writer had
stated as his motives, that this lady when at Edinburgh had
declined a proposal of introducing him to her; that |Mr.|
Southey had written against him; and |Mr.| Wordsworth had
talked contemptuously of him; but that as to Coleridge he
had noticed him merely because the names of Southey and
Wordsworth and Coleridge always went together. But if
it were worth while to mix together, as ingredients, half the
anecdotes which I either myself know to be true, or which
I have received from men incapable of intentional falsehood,
concerning the characters, qualifications, and motives of our
anonymous critics, whose decisions are oracles for our read-
ing public; I might safely borrow the words of the apocry-
phal Daniel; "Give me leave, O SOVEREIGN PUBLIC, and I
shall slay this dragon without sword or staff." For the com-
pound would be as the "Pitch, and fat, and hair, which
Daniel took, and did seethe them together, and made lumps
thereof, and put into the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon
burst in sunder; and Daniel said LO; THESE ARE THE

{{Page 54}}

1203 establish some points of complete sympathy,
1204 some grounds common to both sides, from
1205 which to commence its explanation.

1206 Still less can I place these attacks to the
1207 charge of envy. The few pages, which I have
1208 published, are of too distant a date; and the
1209 extent of their sale a proof too conclusive
1210 against their having been popular at any time;
1211 to render probable, I had almost said possible,
1212 the excitement of envy on their account; and
1213 the man who should envy me on any other,
1214 verily he must be envy-mad!

1215 Lastly, with as little semblance of reason,
1216 could I suspect any animosity towards me from
1217 vindictive feelings as the cause. I have before
1218 said, that my acquaintance with literary men
1219 has been limited and distant; and that I have
1220 had neither dispute nor controversy. From
1221 my first entrance into life, I have, with few and
1222 short intervals, lived either abroad or in retire-
1223 ment. My different essays on subjects of na-
1224 tional interest, published at different times, first
1225 in the Morning Post and then in the Courier,
1226 with my courses of lectures on the principles of
1227 criticism as applied to Shakspeare and Milton,
1228 constitute my whole publicity; the only occa-
1229 sions on which I could offend any member of
1230 the republic of letters. With one solitary ex-
1231 ception in which my words were first mis-
1232 stated and then wantonly applied to an [[indivi-]]

{{Page 55}}

1233 ||indivi||dual, I could never learn, that I had excited the
1234 displeasure of any among my literary contem-
1235 poraries. Having announced my intention to
1236 give a course of lectures on the characteristic
1237 merits and defects of English poetry in its dif-
1238 ferent æras; first, from Chaucer to Milton;
1239 second, from Dryden inclusive to Thompson;
1240 and third, from Cowper to the present day; I
1241 changed my plan, and confined my disquisition
1242 to the two former æras, that I might furnish no
1243 possible pretext for the unthinking to miscon-
1244 strue, or the malignant to misapply my words,
1245 and having stampt their own meaning on them,
1246 to pass them as current coin in the marts of
1247 garrulity or detraction.

1248 Praises of the unworthy are felt by ardent
1249 minds as robberies of the deserving; and it is
1250 too true, and too frequent, that Bacon, Har-
1251 rington, Machiavel, and Spinosa, are not read,
1252 because Hume, Condilliac, and Voltaire are.
1253 But in promiscuous company no prudent man
1254 will oppugn the merits of a contemporary in
1255 his own supposed department; contenting him-
1256 self with praising in his turn those whom he
1257 deems excellent. If I should ever deem it my
1258 duty at all to oppose the pretensions of indivi-
1259 duals, I would oppose them in books which
1260 could be weighed and answered, in which I
1261 could evolve the whole of my reasons and feel-
1262 ings, with their requisite limits and [[modifica-]]

{{Page 56}}

1263 ||modifica||tions; not in irrecoverable conversation, where
1264 however strong the reasons might be, the feel-
1265 ings that prompted them would assuredly be
1266 attributed by some one or other to envy and
1267 discontent. Besides I well know, and I trust,
1268 have acted on that knowledge, that it must be
1269 the ignorant and injudicious who extol the
1270 unworthy; and the eulogies of critics without
1271 taste or judgement are the natural reward of
1272 authors without feeling or genius. "Sint uni-
1273 cuique sua premia."

1274 How then, dismissing, as I do, these three
1275 causes, am I to account for attacks, the long
1276 continuance and inveteracy of which it would
1277 require all three to explain. The solution may
1278 seem to have been given, or at least suggested,
1279 in a note to a preceding page. I was in habits
1280 of intimacy with |Mr.| Wordsworth and |Mr.|
1281 Southey! This, however, transfers, rather than
1282 removes, the difficulty. Be it, that by an un-
1283 conscionable extension of the old adage, "nos-
1284 citur a socio" my literary friends are never
1285 under the water-fall of criticism, but I must be
1286 wet through with the spray; yet how came the
1287 torrent to descend upon them ?

1288 First then, with regard to |Mr.| Southey. I
1289 well remember the general reception of his
1290 earlier publications: viz. the poems published
1291 with |Mr.| Lovell under the names of Moschus
1292 and Bion; the two volumes of poems under his

{{Page 57}}

1293 own name, and the Joan of Arc. The censures
1294 of the critics by profession are extant, and may
1295 be easily referred to:--careless lines, inequality
1296 in the merit of the different poems, and (in the
1297 lighter works) a prediliction for the strange and
1298 whimsical; in short, such faults as might have
1299 been anticipated in a young and rapid writer,
1300 were indeed sufficiently enforced. Nor was
1301 there at that time wanting a party spirit to
1302 aggravate the defects of a poet, who with all
1303 the courage of uncorrupted youth had avowed
1304 his zeal for a cause, which he deemed that of
1305 liberty, and his abhorrence of oppression by
1306 whatever name consecrated. But it was as
1307 little objected by others, as dreamt of by the
1308 poet himself, that he preferred careless and
1309 prosaic lines on rule and of forethought, or in-
1310 deed that he pretended to any other art or
1311 theory of poetic diction, besides that which we
1312 may all learn from Horace, Quintilian, the ad-
1313 mirable dialogue de Causis Corruptæ Eloquen-
1314 tiæ, or Strada's Prolusions; if indeed natural
1315 good sense and the early study of the best
1316 models in his own language had not infused
1317 the same maxims more securely, and, if I may
1318 venture the expression, more vitally. All that
1319 could have been fairly deduced was, that in his
1320 taste and estimation of writers |Mr.| Southey
1321 agreed far more with Warton, thall with John-
1322 son. Nor do I mean to deny, that at all times

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1323 |Mr.| Southey was of the same mind with Sir
1324 Philip Sidney in preferring an excellent ballad
1325 in the humblest style of poetry to twenty in-
1326 different poems that strutted in the highest.
1327 And by what have his works, published since
1328 then, been characterized, each more strikingly
1329 than the preceding, but by greater splendor, a
1330 deeper pathos, profounder reflections, and a
1331 more sustained dignity of language and of
1332 metre? Distant may the period be, but when-
1333 ever the time shall come, when all his works
1334 shall be collected by some editor worthy to be
1335 his biographer, I trust that an excerpta of all
1336 the passages, in which his writings, name, and
1337 character have been attacked, from the pamph-
1338 lets and periodical works of the last twenty
1339 years, may be an accompaniment. Yet that it
1340 would prove medicinal in after times, I dare
1341 not hope; for as long as there are readers to
1342 be delighted with calumny, there will be found
1343 reviewers to calumniate. And such readers
1344 will become in all probability more numerous,
1345 in proportion as a still greater diffusion of lite-
1346 rature shall produce an increase of sciolists;
1347 and sciolism bring with it petulance and pre-
1348 sumption. In times of old, books were as reli-
1349 gious oracles; as literature advanced, they next
1350 became venerable preceptors; they then de-
1351 scended to the rank of instructive friends; and
1352 as their numbers increased, they sunk still

{{Page 59}}

1353 lower to that of entertaining companions; and
1354 at present they seem degraded into culprits to
1355 hold up their hands at the bar of every self-
1356 elected, yet not the less peremptory, judge,
1357 who chuses to write from humour or interest,
1358 from enmity or arrogance, and to abide the
1359 decision (in the words of Jeremy Taylor) "of
1360 him that reads in malice, or him that reads after
1361 dinner."

1362 The same gradual retrograde movement may
1363 be traced, in the relation which the authors
1364 themselves have assumed towards their readers.
1365 From the lofty address of Bacon: "these are
1366 "the meditations of Francis of Verulam, which
1367 "that posterity should be possessed of, he deemed
1368 "their interest :" or from dedication to Monarch
1369 or Pontiff, in which the honor given was as-
1370 serted in equipoise to the patronage acknow-
1371 leged from PINDAR'S

1372 --ep alloi-
1373 -si dalloi megaloi. to deschaton koru-
1374 -phoutai basileusi. m{ee}keti
1375 Paptaine porsion.
1376 Ei{ee} se te touton
1377 Upsou chronon patein, eme
1378 Te tossade nikarorois
1379 Omilein, prophanton sorian kad El-
1380 -lanas eonta panta.

1381 OLYMP. OD. I.

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1382 Poets and Philosophers, rendered diffident
1383 by their very number, addressed themselves to
1384 "learned readers ;" then, aimed to conciliate
1385 the graces of "the candid reader ;" till, the critic
1386 still rising as the author sunk, the amateurs of
1387 literature collectively were erected into a muni-
1388 cipality of judges, and addressed as THE TOWN!
1389 And now finally, all men being supposed able
1390 to read, and all readers able to judge, the mul-
1391 titudinous PUBLIC, shaped into personal unity
1392 by the magic of abstraction, sits nominal des-
1393 pot on the throne of criticism. But, alas! as
1394 in other despotisms, it but echoes the decisions
1395 of its invisible ministers, whose intellectual
1396 claims to the guardianship of the muses seem,
1397 for the greater part, analogous to the phy-
1398 sical qualifications which adapt their oriental
1399 brethren for the superintendance of the Harem.
1400 Thus it is said, that |St.| Nepomuc was installed
1401 the guardian of bridges because he had fallen
1402 over one, and sunk out of sight; thus too |St.|
1403 Cecilia is said to have been first propitiated by
1404 musicians, because having failed in her own
1405 attempts, she had taken a dislike to the art,
1406 and all its successful professors. But I shall
1407 probably have occasion hereafter to deliver my
1408 convictions more at large concerning this state
1409 of things, and its influences on taste, genius
1410 and morality.

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1411 In the "Thalaba" the "Madoc" and still
1412 more evidently in the unique* "Cid," the
1413 "Kehama," and as last, so best, the "Don
1414 "Roderick;" Southey has given abundant proof,
1415 "se cogitässe qu¨¢m sit magnum dare aliquid
1416 "in manus hominum: nec persuadere sibi posse,
1417 "non sæpe tractandum quod placere et semper
1418 "et omnibus cupiat." Plin. Ep. Lib. 7. Ep. 17.
1419 But on the other hand I guess, that |Mr.| Southey
1420 was quite unable to comprehend, wherein could
1421 consist the crime or mischief of printing half a
1422 dozen or more playful poems; or to speak
1423 more generally, compositions which would be
1424 enjoyed or passed over, according as the taste
1425 and humour of the reader might chance to be;
1426 provided they contained nothing immoral. In
1427 the present age "perituræ parcere chartæ" is
1428 emphatically an unreasonable demand. The
1429 merest trifle, he ever sent abroad, had tenfold
1430 better claims to its ink and paper, than all the
1431 silly criticisms, which prove no more, than that

* I have ventured to call it "unique ;" not only because I
know no work of the kind in our language (if we except a
few chapters of the old translation of Froissart) none, which
uniting the charms of romance and history, keeps the imagi-
nation so constantly on the wing, and yet leaves so much for
after reflection; but likewise, and chiefly, because it is a
compilation, which in the various excellencies of translation,
selection, and arrangement, required and proves greater ge-
nius in the compiler, as living in the present state of society,
than in the original composers.

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1432 the critic was not one of those, for whom the
1433 trifle was written; and than all the grave ex-
1434 hortations to a greater reverence for the public.
1435 As if the passive page of a book, by having an
1436 epigram or doggrel tale impressed on it, in-
1437 stantly assumed at once loco-motive power and
1438 a sort of ubiquity, so as to flutter and buz in
1439 the ear of the public to the sore annoyance of
1440 the said mysterious personage. But what gives
1441 an additional and more ludicrous absurdity to
1442 these lamentations is the curious fact, that if in
1443 a volume of poetry the critic should find poem
1444 or passage which he deems more especially
1445 worthless, he is sure to select and reprint it in
1446 the review; by which, on his own grounds, he
1447 wastes as much more paper than the author, as
1448 the copies of a fashionable review are more
1449 numerous than those of the original book; in
1450 some, and those the most prominent instances,
1451 as ten thousand to five hundred. I know
1452 nothing that surpasses the vileness of deciding
1453 on the merits of a poet or painter (not by cha-
1454 racteristic defects; for where there is genius,
1455 these always point to his characteristic beauties;
1456 but) by accidental failures or faulty passages;
1457 except the impudence of defending it, as the
1458 proper duty, and most instructive part, of cri-
1459 ticism. Omit or pass slightly over, the ex-
1460 pression, grace, and grouping of Raphael's
1461 figures; but ridicule in detail the [[knitting-]]

{{Page 63}}

1462 ||knitting-||needles and broom-twigs, that are to represent
1463 trees in his back grounds; and never let him
1464 hear the last of his galli-pots! Admit, that
1465 the Allegro and Penseroso of Milton are not
1466 without merit; but repay yourself for this con-
1467 cession, by reprinting at length the two poems
1468 on the University Carrier! As a fair specimen
1469 of his sonnets, quote " a Book was writ of late
1470 called Tetrachordon ;" and as characteristic of
1471 his rhythm and metre cite his literal translation
1472 of the first and second psalm! In order to
1473 justify yourself, you need only assert, that had
1474 you dwelt chiefly on the beauties and excel-
1475 lencies of the poet, the admiration of these
1476 might seduce the attention of future writers
1477 from the objects of their love and wonder, to
1478 an imitation of the few poems and passages in
1479 which the poet was most unlike himself.

1480 But till reviews are conducted on far other
1481 principles, and with far other motives; till in
1482 the place of arbitrary dictation and petulant
1483 sneers, the reviewers support their decisions by
1484 reference to fixed canons of criticism, previ-
1485 ously established and deduced from the nature
1486 of man; reflecting minds will pronounce it ar-
1487 rogance in them thus to announce themselves
1488 to men of letters, as the guides of their taste
1489 and judgment. To the purchaser and mere
1490 reader it is, at all events, an injustice. He
1491 who tells me that there are defects in a new

{{Page 64}}

1492 work, tells me nothing which I should not
1493 have taken for granted without his information.
1494 But he, who points out and elucidates the
1495 beauties of an original work, does indeed give
1496 me interesting information, such as experience
1497 would not have authorised me in anticipating.
1498 And as to compositions which the authors
1499 themselves announce with "Hæc ipsi novimus
1500 esse nihil," why should we judge by a dif-
1501 ferent rule two printed works, only because
1502 the one author was alive, and the other in his
1503 grave? What literary man has not regretted
1504 the prudery of Spratt in refusing to let his friend
1505 Cowley appear in his slippers and dressing
1506 gown? I am not perhaps the only one who
1507 has derived an innocent amusement from the
1508 riddles, conundrums, tri-syllable lines, |&c.| |&c.|
1509 of Swift and his correspondents, in hours of
1510 languor when to have read his more finished
1511 works would have been useless to myself, and,
1512 in some sort, an act of injustice to the author.
1513 But I am at a loss to conceive by what perver-
1514 sity of judgement, these relaxations of his genius
1515 could be employed to diminish his fame as the
1516 writer of "Gulliver's travels," and the "Tale
1517 of a Tub." Had |Mr.| Southey written twice as
1518 many poems of inferior merit, or partial inte-
1519 rest, as have enlivened the journals of the day,
1520 they would have added to his honour with
1521 good and wise men, not merely or principally

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1522 as proving the versatility of his talents, but as
1523 evidences of the purity of that mind, which even
1524 in its levities never wrote a line, which it need
1525 regret on any moral account.

1526 I have in imagination transferred to the future
1527 biographer the duty of contrasting Southey's
1528 fixed and well-earned fame, with the abuse and
1529 indefatigable hostility of his anonymous critics
1530 from his early youth to his ripest manhood.
1531 But I cannot think so ill of human nature as not
1532 to believe, that these critics have already taken
1533 shame to themselves, whether they consider the
1534 object of their abuse in his moral or his literary
1535 character. For reflect but on the variety and
1536 extent of his acquirements! He stands second
1537 to no man, either as an historian or as a biblio-
1538 grapher; and when I regard him, as a popular
1539 essayist, (for the articles of his compositions in
1540 the reviews are for the greater part essays on
1541 subjects of deep or curious interest rather than
1542 criticisms on particular works*) I look in
1543 vain for any writer, who has conveyed so much
1544 information, from so many and such recondite
1545 sources, with so many just and original reflec-
1546 tions, in a style so lively and poignant, yet so
1547 uniformly classical and perspicuous; no one in
1548 short who has combined so much wisdom with

* See the articles on Methodism, in the Quarterly Review;
the small volume on the New System of Education, |&c.|

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1549 so much wit; so much truth and knowledge
1550 with so much life and fancy. His prose is
1551 always intelligible and always entertaining. In
1552 poetry he has attempted almost every species
1553 of composition known before, and he has added
1554 new ones; and if we except the highest lyric,
1555 (in which how few, how very few even of the
1556 greatest minds have been fortunate) he has
1557 attempted every species successfully: from
1558 the political song of the day, thrown off in
1559 the playful overflow of honest joy and pa-
1560 triotic exultation, to the wild ballad ;* from
1561 epistolary ease and graceful narrative, to the
1562 austere and impetuous moral declamation; from
1563 the pastoral claims and wild streaming lights of
1564 the "Thalaba," in which sentiment and imagery
1565 have given permanence even to the excitement
1566 of curiosity; and from the full blaze of the
1567 "Kehama," (a gallery of finished pictures in
1568 one splendid fancy piece, in which, notwith-
1569 standing, the moral grandeur rises gradually
1570 above the brilliance of the colouring and the
1571 boldness and novelty of the machinery) to the
1572 more sober beauties of the "Madoc;" and
1573 lastly, from the Madoc to his "Roderic," in
1574 which, retaining all his former excellencies of a
1575 poet eminently inventive and picturesque, he has

* See the incomparable "Return to Moscow," and the
"Old Woman of Berkeley."

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1576 surpassed himself in language and metre, in
1577 the construction of the whole, and in the splen-
1578 dor of particular passages.

1579 Here then shall I conclude? No! The cha-
1580 racters of the deceased, like the encomia on
1581 tombstones, as they are described with religious
1582 tenderness, so are they read, with allowing sym-
1583 pathy indeed, but yet with rational deduction.
1584 There are men, who deserve a higher record;
1585 men with whose characters it is the interest of
1586 their contemporaries, no less than that of poste-
1587 rity, to be made acquainted; while it is yet pos-
1588 sible for impartial censure, and even for quick-
1589 sighted envy, to cross-examine the tale without
1590 offence to the courtesies of humanity; and while
1591 the eulogist detected in exaggeration or false-
1592 hood must pay the full penalty of his baseness
1593 in the contempt which brands the convicted flat-
1594 terer. Publicly has |Mr.| Southey been reviled
1595 by men, who (I would feign hope for the honor
1596 of human nature) hurled fire-brands against a
1597 figure of their own imagination, publicly have
1598 his talents been depreciated, his principles de-
1599 nounced; as publicly do I therefore, who have
1600 known him intimately, deem it my duty to leave
1601 recorded, that it is SOUTHEY'S almost unexam-
1602 pled felicity, to possess the best gifts of talent and
1603 genius free from all their characteristic defects.
1604 To those who remember the state of our public
1605 schools and universities some twenty years past,

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1606 it will appear no ordinary praise in any man to
1607 have passed from innocence into virtue, not only
1608 free from all vicious habit, but unstained by
1609 one act of intemperance, or the degradations
1610 akin to intemperance. That scheme of head,
1611 heart, and habitual demeanour, which in his
1612 early manhood, and first controversial writings,
1613 Milton, claiming the privilege of self-defence,
1614 asserts of himself, and challenges his calumnia-
1615 tors to disprove; this will his school-mates, his
1616 fellow-collegians, and his maturer friends, with
1617 a confidence proportioned to the intimacy of their
1618 knowledge, bear witness to, as again realized
1619 in the life of Robert Southey. But still more
1620 striking to those, who by biography or by their
1621 own experience are familiar with the general
1622 habits of genius, will appear the poet's match-
1623 less industry and perseverance in his pursuits;
1624 the worthiness and dignity of those pursuits;
1625 his generous submission to tasks of transitory
1626 interest, or such as his genius alone could make
1627 otherwise; and that having thus more than sa-
1628 tisfied the claims of affection or prudence, he
1629 should yet have made for himself time and
1630 power, to achieve more, and in more various de-
1631 partments than almost any other writer has done,
1632 though employed wholly on subjects of his own
1633 choice and ambition. But as Southey possesses,
1634 and is not possessed by, his genius, even so is
1635 he the master even of his virtues. The regular

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1636 and methodical tenor of his daily labours, which
1637 would be deemed rare in the most mechanical
1638 pursuits, and might be envied by the mere man
1639 of business, loses all semblance of formality in
1640 the dignified simplicity of his manners, in the
1641 spring and healthful chearfulness of his spirits.
1642 Always employed, his friends find him always
1643 at leisure. No less punctual in trifles, than
1644 stedfast in the performance of highest duties, he
1645 inflicts none of those small pains and discom-
1646 forts which irregular men scatter about them
1647 and which in the aggregate so often become
1648 formidable obstacles both to happiness and
1649 utility; while on the contrary he bestows all the
1650 pleasures, and inspires all that ease of mind on
1651 those around him or connected with him, which
1652 perfect consistency, and (if such a word might
1653 be framed) absolute reliability, equally in small
1654 as in great concerns, cannot but inspire and
1655 bestow: when this too is softened without
1656 being weakened by kindness and gentleness.
1657 I know few men who so well deserve the cha-
1658 racter which an antient attributes to Marcus
1659 Cato, namely, that he was likest virtue, in as
1660 much as he seemed to act aright, not in obedi-
1661 ence to any law or outward motive, but by the
1662 necessity of a happy nature, which could not
1663 act otherwise. As son, brother, husband, father,
1664 master, friend, he moves with firm yet light
1665 steps, alike unostentatious, and alike exem.

{{Page 70}}

1666 plary. As a writer, he has uniformly made his
1667 talents subservient to the best interests of huma-
1668 nity, of public virtue, and domestic piety; his
1669 cause has ever been the cause of pure religion
1670 and of liberty, of national independence and of
1671 national illumination. When future critics shall
1672 weigh out his guerdon of praise and censure, it
1673 will be Southey the poet only, that will supply
1674 them with the scanty materials for the latter.
1675 They will likewise not fail to record, that as no
1676 man was ever a more constant friend, never had
1677 poet more friends and honorers among the good
1678 of all parties; and that quacks in education,
1679 quacks in politics, and quacks in criticism were
1680 his only enemies.*

* It is not easy to estimate the effects which the example
of a young man as highly distinguished for strict purity of
disposition and conduct, as for intellectual power and lite-
rary acquirements, may produce on those of the same age
with himself, especially on those of similar pursuits and con-
genial minds. For many years, my opportunities of inter-
course with |Mr.| Southey have been rare, and at long inter-
vals; but I dwell with unabated pleasure on the strong and
sudden, yet I trust not fleeting influence, which my moral
being underwent on my acquaintance with him at Oxford,
whither I had gone at the commencement of our Cambridge
vacation on a visit to an old school-fellow. Not indeed on
my moral or religious principles, for they had never been
contaminated; but in awakening the sense of the duty and
dignity of making my actions accord with those principles,
both in word and deed. The irregularities only not univer-
sal among the young men of my standing, which I always
knew to be wrong, I then learnt to feel as degrading; learnt
to know that an opposite conduct, which was at that time
considered by us as the easy virtue of cold and selfish pru-
dence, might originate in the noblest emotions, in views the*

{{Page 71}}


1682 The lyrical ballads with the preface--|Mr.| Words-
1683 worth's earlier poems--On fancy and imagi-
1684 nation--The investigation of the distinction
1685 important to the fine arts.

1686 I have wandered far from the object in view,
1687 but as I fancied to myself readers who would
1688 respect the feelings that had tempted me from

*most disinterested and imaginative. It is not however from
grateful recollections only, that I have been impelled thus to
leave these, my deliberate sentiments on record; but in some
sense as a debt of justice to the man, whose name has been so
often connected with mine, for evil to which he is a stranger.
As a specimen I subjoin part of a note, from "the Beauties
of the Anti-jacobin," in which, having previously informed
the public that I had been dishonor'd at Cambridge for
preaching deism, at a time when for my youthful ardor in
defence of christianity, I was decried as a bigot by the pro-
selytes of French Phi- (or to speak more truly, Psi) losophy,
the writer concludes with these words "since this time he
has left his native country, commenced citizen of the world,
left his poor children fatherless, and his wife destitute. Ex
his disce, his friends, LAMB and SOUTHEY. "With severest
truth it may be asserted, that it would not be easy to select
two men more exemplary in their domestic affections, than
those whose names were thus printed at full length as in the
same rank of morals with a denounced infidel and fugitive,
who had left his children fatherless and his wife destitute!
Is it surprising, that many good men remained longer than
perhaps they otherwise would have done, adverse to a party,
which encouraged and openly rewarded the authors of such
atrocious calumnies! Qualis es, nescio; sed per quales
agis, scio et doleo.

{{Page 72}}

1689 the main road; so I dare calculate on not a
1690 few, who will warmly sympathize with them.
1691 At present it will be sufficient for my purpose,
1692 if I have proved, that |Mr.| Southey's writings
1693 no more than my own, furnished the original
1694 occasion to this fiction of a new school of poetry,
1695 and of clamors against its supposed founders
1696 and proselytes.

1697 As little do I believe that "|Mr.| WORDS-
1698 WORTH'S Lyrical Ballads" were in themselves the
1699 cause. I speak exclusively of the two volumes
1700 so entitled. A careful and repeated examina-
1701 tion of these confirms me in the belief, that the
1702 omission of less than an hundred lines would
1703 have precluded nine-tenths of the criticism on
1704 this work. I hazard this declaration, however,
1705 on the supposition, that the reader had taken it
1706 up, as he would have done any other collection
1707 of poems purporting to derive their subjects or
1708 interests from the incidents of domestic or or-
1709 dinary life, intermingled with higher strains of
1710 meditation which the poet utters in his own
1711 person and character; with the proviso, that
1712 they were perused without knowledge of, or
1713 reference to, the author's peculiar opinions, and
1714 that the reader had not had his attention previ-
1715 ously directed to those peculiarities. In these,
1716 as was actually the case with |Mr.| Southey's
1717 earlier works, the lines and passages which
1718 might have offended the general taste, would

{{Page 73}}

1719 have been considered as mere inequalities, and
1720 attributed to inattention, not to perversity of
1721 judgement. The men of business who had
1722 passed their lives chiefly in cities, and who
1723 might therefore be expected to derive the high-
1724 est pleasure from acute notices of men and
1725 manners conveyed in easy, yet correct and
1726 pointed language; and all those who, reading
1727 but little poetry, are most stimulated with that
1728 species of it, which seems most distant from
1729 prose, would probably have passed by the
1730 volume altogether. Others more catholic in
1731 their taste, and yet habituated to be most pleas-
1732 ed when most excited, would have contented
1733 themselves with deciding, that the author had
1734 been successful in proportion to the elevation
1735 of his style and subject. Not a few perhaps,
1736 might by their admiration of "the lines written
1737 near Tintern Abbey," those "left upon a Seat
1738 under a Yew Tree," the "old Cumberland beg-
1739 gar," and "Ruth," have been gradually led to
1740 peruse with kindred feeling the "Brothers," the
1741 "Hart leap well," and whatever other poems in
1742 that collection may be described as holding a
1743 middle place between those written in the high-
1744 est and those in the humblest style; as for
1745 instance between the "Tintern Abbey," and
1746 "the Thorn," or the "Simon Lee." Should
1747 their taste submit to no further change, and
1748 sill remain unreconciled to the colloquial

{{Page 74}}

1749 phrases, or the imitations of them, that are,
1750 more or less, scattered through the class last
1751 mentioned; yet even from the small number of
1752 the latter, they would have deemed them but
1753 an inconsiderable subtraction from the merit of
1754 the whole work; or, what is sometimes not
1755 unpleasing in the publication of a new writer,
1756 as serving to ascertain the natural tendency,
1757 and consequently the proper direction of the
1758 author's genius.

1759 In the critical remarks therefore, prefixed
1760 and annexed to the "Lyrical Ballads," I be-
1761 lieve, that we may safely rest, as the true
1762 origin of the unexampled opposition which
1763 |Mr.| Wordsworth's writings have been since
1764 doomed to encounter. The humbler passages
1765 in the poems themselves were dwelt on and
1766 cited to justify the rejection of the theory.
1767 What in and for themselves would have been
1768 either forgotten or forgiven as imperfections, or
1769 at least comparative failures, provoked direct
1770 hostility when announced as intentional, as
1771 the result of choice after full deliberation.
1772 Thus the poems, admitted by all as excellent,
1773 joined with those which had pleased the far
1774 greater number, though they formed two-thirds
1775 of the whole work, instead of being deemed (as
1776 in all right they should have been, even if we
1777 take for granted that the reader judged aright)
1778 an atonement for the few exceptions, gave wind

{{Page 75}}

1779 and fuel to the animosity against both the poems
1780 and the poet. In all perplexity there is a por-
1781 tion of fear, which predisposes the mind to
1782 anger. Not able to deny that the author pos-
1783 sessed both genius and a powerful intellect,
1784 they felt very positive, but were not quite certain,
1785 that he might not be in the right, and they
1786 themselves in the wrong; an unquiet state of
1787 mind, which seeks alleviation by quarrelling
1788 with the occasion of it, and by wondering at the
1789 perverseness of the man, who had written a long
1790 and argumentative essay to persuade them, that

1791 " Fair is foul, and foul is fair ;"

1792 in other words, that they had been all their lives
1793 admiring without judgement, and were now
1794 about to censure without reason.*

* In opinions of long continuance, and in which we had
never before been molested by a single doubt, to be sud-
denly convinced of an error, is almost like being convicted of
a fault. There is a state of mind, which is the direct anti-
thesis of that, which takes place when we make a bull. The
bull namely consists in the bringing together two incompa-
patible thoughts, with the sensation, but without the sense, of
their connection. The psychological condition, or that
which constitutes the possibility of this state, being such
disproportionate vividness of two distant thoughts, as extin-
guishes or obscures the consciousness of the intermediate
images or conceptious or wholly abstracts the attention
from them. Thus in the well known bull, "I was a fine
child, but they changed me ;" the first conception expressed
in the word" I," is that of personal identity--Ego contem-
plans: the second expressed in the word "me," is the visual
image or object by which the mind represents to itself its
past condition, or rather, its personal identity under the
form in which it imagined itself previously to have existed,--*

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1795 That this conjecture is not wide from the
1796 mark, I am induced to believe from the notice-
1797 able fact, which I can state on my own know-
1798 ledge, that the same general censure should
1799 have been grounded almost by each different
1800 person on some different poem. Among those,
1801 whose candour and judgement I estimate highly,
1802 I distinctly remember six who expressed their
1803 objections to the "Lyrical Ballads" almost in
1804 the same words, and altogether to the same
1805 purport, at the same time admitting, that se-
1806 veral of the poems had given them great plea-
1807 sure; and, strange as it might seem, the com-
1808 position which one had cited as execrable,

*Ego contemplatus. Now the change of one visual image for
another involves in itself no absurdity, and becomes absurd
only by its immediate juxta-position with the first thought,
which is rendered possible by the whole attention being suc-
cessively absorbed in each singly, so as not to notice the in-
terjacent notion, "changed" which by its incongruity with
the first thought, "I," constitutes the bull. Add only, that
this process is facilitated by the circumstance of the words
"I," and "me," being sometimes equivalent, and sometimes
having a distinct meaning; sometimes, namely, signifying
the act of self-consciousness, sometimes the external image
in and by which the mind represents that act to itself, the
result and symbol of its individuality. Now suppose the
direct contrary state, and you will have a distinct sense of
the connection between two conceptions, without that sen-
sation of such connection which is supplied by habit. The
man feels, as if he were standing on his head, though he can-
not but see, that he is truly standing on his feet. This, as a
painful sensation, will of course have a tendency to associate
itself with the person who occasions it; even as persons, who
have been by painful means restored from derangement, are
known to feel an involuntary dislike towards their physician.

{{Page 77}}

1809 another had quoted as his favorite. I am
1810 indeed convinced in my own mind, that could
1811 the same experiment have been tried with these
1812 volumes, as was made in the well known story
1813 of the picture, the result would have been the
1814 same; the parts which had been covered by the
1815 number of the black spots on the one day,
1816 would be found equally albo lapide notatæ on
1817 the succeeding.

1818 However this may be, it is assuredly hard
1819 and unjust to fix the attention on a few separate
1820 and insulated poems with as much aversion, as
1821 if they had been so many plague-spots on the
1822 whole work, instead of passing them over in
1823 silence, as so much blank paper, or leaves of
1824 bookseller's catalogue; especially, as no one
1825 pretends to have found immorality or indeli-
1826 cacy; and the poems therefore, at the worst,
1827 could only be regarded as so many light or
1828 inferior coins in a roleau of gold, not as so much
1829 alloy in a weight of bullion. A friend whose
1830 talentsI hold in the highest respect, but whose
1831 judgement and strong sound sense I have had
1832 almost continued occasion to revere, making
1833 the usual complaints to me concerning both the
1834 style and subjects of |Mr.| Wordsworth's minor
1835 poems; I admitted that there were some few
1836 of the tales and incidents, in which I could not
1837 myself find a sufficient cause for their having
1838 been recorded in metre. I mentioned the "Alice

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1839 Fell" as an instance; "nay," replied my friend
1840 with more than usual quickness of manner,
1841 " I cannot agree with you there! that I own
1842 does seem to me a remarkably pleasing poem."
1843 In the "Lyrical Ballads" (for my experience
1844 does not enable me to extend the remark equally
1845 unqualified to the two subsequent volumes) I
1846 have heard at different times, and from different
1847 individuals every single poem extolled and re-
1848 probated, with the exception of those of loftier
1849 kind, which as was before observed, seem to
1850 have won universal praise. This fact of itself
1851 would have made me diffident in my censures,
1852 had not a still stronger ground been furnished
1853 by the strange contrast of the heat and long
1854 continuance of the opposition, with the nature
1855 of the faults stated as justifying it. The seduc-
1856 tive faults, the dulcia vitia of Cowley, Marini,
1857 or Darwin might reasonably be thought capable
1858 of corrupting the public judgement for half a
1859 century, and require a twenty years war, cam-
1860 paign after campaign, in order to dethrone the
1861 usurper and re-establish the legitimate taste.
1862 But that a downright simpleness, under the
1863 affectation of simplicity, prosaic words in feeble
1864 metre, silly thoughts in childish phrases, and
1865 a preference of mean, degrading, or at best
1866 trivial associations and characters, should suc-
1867 ceed in forming a school of imitators, a com-
1868 pany of almost religious admirers, and this too

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1869 among young men of ardent minds, liberal
1870 education, and not

1871 "with academic laurels unbestowed ;"

1872 and that this bare and bald counterfeit of poetry,
1873 which is characterized as below criticism, should
1874 for nearly twenty years have well-nigh engrossed
1875 criticism, as the main, if not the only, butt of
1876 review, magazine, pamphlets, poem, and para-
1877 graph;--this is indeed matter of wonder! Of
1878 yet greater is it, that the contest should still
1879 continue as* undecided as that between

* Without however the apprehensions attributed to the
Pagan reformer of the poetic republic. If we may judge
from the preface to the recent collection of his poems, |Mr.|
W. would have answered with Xanthias --

Su d ouk edeisas ton psophon t{o}n r{ee}mat{o}n,
Kai tas apeilas; XAN. ouma Di, oud ephrontisa.

And here let me dare hint to the authors of the numerous
parodies, and pretended imitations of |Mr.| Wordsworth's
style, that at once to conceal and convey wit and wisdom in
the semblance of folly and dulness, as is done in the clowns
and fools, nay even in the Dogberry, of our Shakespear, is
doubtless a proof of genius, or at all events, of satiric talent;
but that the attempt to ridicule a silly and childish poem,
by writing another still sillier and still more childish, can
only prove (if it prove any thing at all) that the parodist is a
still greater blockhead than the original writer, and what is
far worse, a malignant coxcomb to boot. The talent for
mimicry seems strongest where the human race are most de-
graded. The poor, naked, half human savages of New Hol-
land were found excellent mimics: and in civilized society,
minds of the very lowest stamp alone satirize by copying.
At least the difference, which must blend with and balance
the likeness, in order to constitute a just imitation, existing
here merely in caricature, detracts from the libeller's heart,
without adding an iota to the credit of his understanding.

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1880 ||Bac||chus and the frogs in Aristophanes; when the
1881 former descended to the realms of the departed
1882 to bring back the spirit of the old and genuine
1883 poesy.

1884 Choros Batrach{o}n; Dionusos

1885 Ch. brekekekex, koax, koax !

1886 D. all exoloisd aut{o} koax.
1887 ouden gar esi, {ee} koax.
1888 oim{o}zet : ou moi melei.

1889 Ch. alla m{ee}n kekraxomesda
1890 goposon {ee} pharugx an {ee}m{o}n
1891 chandan{ee} di {ee}meras
1892 brekekekex, koax, koax!

1893 D. tout{o} gar ou nik{ee}sete.

1894 Ch. oude men {ee}mas su {o}ant{o}s.

1895 D. oude men umeis ge d{ee} me
1896 oudepote kekraxomai gar
1897 kan me dei di {ee}meras,
1898 e{o}s an um{o}n epikrat{ee}so{o} t{o} Koax!

1899 Ch. brekekekex, KOAX, KOAX!

1900 During the last year of my residence at Cam-
1901 bridge, I became acquainted with |Mr.| Words-
1902 worth's first publication entitled "Descriptive
1903 Sketches;" and seldom, if ever, was the emer-
1904 gence of an original poetic genius above the
1905 literary horizon more evidently announced. In
1906 the form, style, and manner of the whole poem,
1907 and in the structure of the particular lines and
1908 periods, there is an harshness and acerbity
1909 connected and combined with words and images

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1910 all a-glow, which might recall those products
1911 of the vegetable world, where gorgeous blos-
1912 soms rise out of the hard and thorny rind and
1913 shell, within which the rich fruit was elaborat-
1914 ing. The language was not only peculiar and
1915 strong, but at times knotty and contorted, as
1916 by its own impatient strength; while the no-
1917 velty and struggling crowd of images acting in
1918 conjunction with the difficulties of the style,
1919 demanded always a greater closeness of atten-
1920 tion, than poetry, (at all events, than descrip-
1921 tive poetry) has a right to claim. It not seldom
1922 therefore justified the complaint of obscurity.
1923 In the following extract I have sometimes fan-
1924 cied, that I saw an emblem of the poem itself,
1925 and of the author's genius as it was then
1926 displayed.

1927 "'Tis storm; and hid in mist from hour to hour,
1928 All day the floods a deepening murmur pour;
1929 The sky is veiled, and every cheerful sight:
1930 Dark is the region as with coming night;
1931 And yet what frequent bursts of overpowering light!
1932 Triumphant on the bosom of the storm,
1933 Glances the fire-clad eagle's wheeling form;
1934 Eastward, in long perspective glittering, shine
1935 The wood-crowned cliffs that o'er the lake recline;
1936 Wide o'er the Alps a hundred streams unfold,
1937 At once to pillars turn'd that flame with gold;
1938 Behind his sail the peasant strives to shun
1939 The West, that burns like one dilated sun,
1940 Where in a mighty crucible expire
1941 The mountains, glowing hot, like coals of fire."

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1942 The poetic PSYCHE in its process to full
1943 developement, undergoes as many changes as
1944 its Greek name-sake, the* butterfly. And it is
1945 remarkable how soon genius clears and puri-
1946 fies itself from the faults and errors of its earliest
1947 products; faults which, in its earliest compo-
1948 sitions, are the more obtrusive and confluent,
1949 because as heterogeneous elements, which had
1950 only a temporary use, they constitute the very
1951 ferment, by which themselves are carried off.
1952 Or we may compare them to some diseases,
1953 which must work on the humours, and be
1954 thrown out on the surface, in order to secure
1955 the patient from their future recurrence. I
1956 was in my twenty-fourth year, when I had the
1957 happiness of knowing |Mr.| Wordsworth per-
1958 sonally, and while memory lasts, I shall hardly
1959 forget the sudden effect produced on my mind,
1960 by his recitation of a manuscript poem, which

* The fact, that in Greek Psyche is the common name for
the soul, and the butterfly, is thus alluded to in the following
stanza from an unpublished poem of the author:

" The butterfly the ancient Grecians made
The soul's fair emblem, and its only name--
But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade
Of mortal life! For in this earthly frame
Our's is the reptile's lot, much toil, much blame,
Manifold motions making little speed,
And to deform and kill the things, whereon we feed."


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1961 still remains unpublished, but of which the
1962 stanza, and tone of style, were the same as
1963 those of the "Female Vagrant" as originally
1964 printed in the first volume of the "Lyrical
1965 Ballads." There was here, no mark of strained
1966 thought, or forced diction, no crowd or turbu-
1967 lence of imagery, and, as the poet hath him-
1968 self well described in his lines "on re-visiting
1969 the Wye," manly reflection, and human as-
1970 sociations had given both variety, and an ad-
1971 ditional interest to natural objects, which in
1972 the passion and appetite of the first love they had
1973 seemed to him neither to need or permit. The
1974 occasional obscurities, which had risen from an
1975 imperfect controul over the resources of his na-
1976 tive language, had almost wholly disappeared,
1977 together with that worse defect of arbitary and
1978 illogical phrases, at once hackneyed, and fan-
1979 tastic, which hold so distinguished a place in
1980 the technique of ordinary poetry, and will, more
1981 or less, alloy the earlier poems of the truest
1982 genius, unless the attention has been specifically
1983 directed to their worthlessness and incongruity.*
1984 I did not perceive any thing particular in the
1985 mere style of the poem alluded to during its
1986 recitation, except indeed such difference as was

* |Mr.| Wordsworth, even in his two earliest "the Evening
Walk and the Descriptive Sketches," is more free from this
latter defect than most of the young poets his [[contempora-]]*

{{Page 84}}

1987 not separable from the thought and manner;
1988 and the Spencerian stanza, which always, more
1989 or less, recalls to the reader's mind Spencer's
1990 own style, would doubtless have authorized in
1991 my then opinion a more frequent descent to the
1992 phrases of ordinary life, than could without an ill
1993 effect have been hazarded in the heroic couplet.
1994 It was not however the freedom from false taste,
1995 whether as to common defects, or to those more
1996 properly his own, which made so unusual an
1997 impression on my feelings immediately, and
1998 subsequently on my judgement. It was the
1999 union of deep feeling with profound thought;
2000 the fine balance of truth in observing with the
2001 imaginative faculty in modifying the objects
2002 observed; and above all the original gift of
2003 spreading the tone, the atmosphere, and with

*||contempora||ries. It may however be exemplified, together with the
harsh and obscure construction, in which he more often
offended, in the following lines:--

" 'Mid stormy vapours ever driving by,
Where ospreys, cormorants, and herons cry;
Where hardly given the hopeless waste to cheer,
Denied the bread of life the foodful ear,
Dwindles the pear on autumn's latest spray,
And apple sickens pale in summer's ray;
Ev'n here content has fixed her smiling reign
With independence, child of high disdain."

I hope, I need not say, that I have quoted these lines for no
other purpose than to make my meaning fully understood.
It is to be regretted that |Mr.| Wordsworth has not repub-
lished these two poems entire.

{{Page 85}}

2004 it the depth and height of the ideal world
2005 around forms, incidents, and situations, of
2006 which, for the common view, custom had be-
2007 dimmed all the lustre, had dried up the sparkle
2008 and the dew drops. "To find no contradic-
2009 tion in the union of old and new; to contemplate
2010 the ANCIENT of days and all his works with
2011 feelings as fresh, as if all had then sprang forth
2012 at the first creative fiat; characterizes the mind
2013 that feels the riddle of the world, and may
2014 help to unravel it. To carry on the feelings of
2015 childhood into the powers of manhood; to
2016 combine the child's sense of wonder and no-
2017 velty with the appearances, which every day
2018 for perhaps forty years had rendered familiar;

2019 "With sun and moon and stars throughout the year,
2020 And man and woman ;"

2021 this is the character and privilege of genius,
2022 and one of the marks which distinguish genius
2023 from talents. And therefore is it the prime
2024 merit of genius and its most unequivocal mode
2025 of manifestation, so to represent familiar objects
2026 as to awaken in the minds of others a kin-
2027 dred feeling concerning them and that freshness
2028 of sensation which is the constant accompani-
2029 ment of mental, no less than of bodily, conva-
2030 lescence. Who has not a thousand times seen
2031 snow fall on water? Who has not watched it
2032 with a new feeling, from the time that he has
2033 read Burn's comparison of sensual pleasure

2034 "To snow that falls upon a river
2035 A moment white--then gone for ever! "

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2036 In poems, equally as in philosophic disqui-
2037 sitions, genius produces the strongest impres-
2038 sions of novelty, while it rescues the most
2039 admitted truths from the impotence caused by
2040 the very circumstance of their universal admis-
2041 sion. Truths of all others the most awful and
2042 mysterious, yet being at the same time of uni-
2043 versal interest, are too often considered as so
2044 true, that they lose all the life and efficiency of
2045 truth, and lie bed-ridden in the dormitory of the
2046 soul, side by side, with the most despised and ex-
2047 ploded errors." THE FRIEND,* page 76, No. 5.

2048 This excellence, which in all |Mr.| Words-
2049 worth's writings is more or less predominant,
2050 and which constitutes the character of his mind,
2051 I no sooner felt, than I sought to understand.
2052 Repeated meditations led me first to suspect,
2053 (and a more intimate analysis of the human fa-
2054 culties, their appropriate marks, functions, and
2055 effects matured my conjecture into full convic-
2056 tion) that fancy and imagination were two dis-
2057 tinct and widely different faculties, instead of
2058 being, according to the general belief, either
2059 two names with one meaning, or at furthest,
2060 the lower and higher degree of one and the

* As "the Friend" was printed on stampt sheets, and sent
only by the post to a very limited number of subscribers, the
author has felt less objection to quote from it, though a work
of his own. To the public at large indeed it is the same as
a volume in manuscript.

{{Page 87}}

2061 same power. It is not, I own, easy to con-
2062 ceive a more opposite translation of the Greek
2063 Phantasia, than the Latin Imaginatio; but
2064 it is equally true that in all societies there
2065 exists an instinct of growth, a certain collec-
2066 tive, unconscious good sense working progres-
2067 sively to desynonymize* those words originally
2068 of the same meaning, which the conflux of
2069 dialects had supplied to the more homogeneous
2070 languages, as the Greek and German: and

* This is effected either by giving to the one word a gene-
ral, and to the other an exclusive use; as "to put on the
back" and "to indorse;" or by an actual distinction of
meanings as "naturalist," and "physician;" or by difference
of relation as "I" and "Me;" (each of which the rustics of
our different provinces still use in all the cases singular of
the first personal pronoun). Even the mere difference, or
corruption, in the pronunciation of the same word, if it have
become general, will produce a new word with a distinct
signification; thus "property" and "propriety;" the latter
of which, even to the time of Charles II. was the written
word for all the senses of both. Thus too "mister" and
" master" both hasty pronounciations of the same word
" magister," " mistress," and "miss," "if," and "give,"
|&c.| |&c.| There is a sort of minim immortal among the ani-
malcula infusoria which has not naturally either birth, or
death, absolute beginning, or absolute end: for at a certain
period a small point appears on its back, which deepens and
lengthens till the creature divides into two, and the same
process recommences in each of the halves now become inte-
gral. This may be a fanciful, but it is by no means a bad
emblem of the formation of words, and may facilitate the
conception, how immense a nomenclature may be organized
from a few simple sounds by rational beings in a social state.
For each new application, or excitement of the same sound,
will call forth a different sensation, which cannot but affect
the pronunciation. The after recollection of the sound,
without the same vivid sensation, will modify it still further;
till at length all trace of the original likeness is worn away.

{{Page 88}}

2071 which the same cause, joined with accidents of
2072 translation from original works of different
2073 countries, occasion in mixt languages like our
2074 own. The first and most important point to be
2075 proved is, that two conceptions perfectly dis-
2076 tinct are confused under one and the same
2077 word, and (this done) to appropriate that word
2078 exclusively to one meaning, and the synonyme
2079 (should there be one) to the other. But if (as
2080 will be often the case in the arts and sciences)
2081 no synonyme exists, we must either invent or
2082 borrow a word. In the present instance the
2083 appropriation had already begun, and been
2084 legitimated in the derivative adjective: Milton
2085 had a highly imaginative, Cowley a very fanciful
2086 mind. If therefore I should succeed in estab-
2087 lishing the actual existences of two faculties
2088 generally different, the nomenclature would be
2089 at once determined. To the faculty by which
2090 I had characterized Milton, we should confine
2091 the term imagination; while the other would
2092 be contra-distinguished as fancy. Now were it
2093 once fully ascertained, that this division is no
2094 less grounded in nature, than that of delirium
2095 from mania, or Otway's

2096 " Lutes, lobsters, seas of milk, and ships of amber,"

2097 from Shakespear's

2098 " What! have his daughters brought him to this pass ?"

2099 or from the preceding apostrophe to the elements;
2100 the theory of the fine arts, and of poetry in [[par-]]

{{Page 89}}

2101 ||par||ticular, could not, I thought, but derive some
2102 additional and important light. It would in its
2103 immediate effects furnish a torch of guidance
2104 to the philosophical critic; and ultimately to
2105 the poet himself. In energetic minds, truth
2106 soon changes by domestication into power; and
2107 from directing in the discrimination and ap-
2108 praisal of the product, becomes influencive in
2109 the production. To admire on principle, is the
2110 only way to imitate without loss of originality.

2111 It has been already hinted, that metaphysics
2112 and psychology have long been my hobby-horse.
2113 But to have a hobby-horse, and to be vain of
2114 it, are so commonly found together, that they
2115 pass almost for the same. I trust therefore,
2116 that there will be more good humour than con-
2117 tempt, in the smile with which the reader chas-
2118 tises my self-complacency, if I confess myself
2119 uncertain, whether the satisfaction from the per-
2120 ception of a truth new to myself may not have
2121 been rendered more poignant by the conceit,
2122 that it would be equally so to the public.
2123 There was a time, certainly, in which I took
2124 some little credit to myself, in the belief that I
2125 had been the first of my countrymen, who had
2126 pointed out the diverse meaning of which the
2127 two terms were capable, and analyzed the fa-
2128 culties to which they should be appropriated.
2129 |Mr.| W. Taylor's recent volume of synonimes I

{{Page 90}}

2130 have not yet seen;* but his specification of the
2131 terms in question has been clearly shown to be
2132 both insufficient and erroneous by |Mr.| Words-
2133 worth in the preface added to the late collection
2134 of his "Lyrical Ballads and other poems."
2135 The explanation which |Mr.| Wordsworth has
2136 himself given, will be found to differ from mine,

* I ought to have added, with the exception of a single
sheet which I accidentally met with at the printers. Even
from this scanty specimen, I found it impossible to doubt the
talent, or not to admire the ingenuity of the author. That
his distinctions were for the greater part unsatisfactory to
my mind, proves nothing, against their accuracy; but it may
possibly be serviceable to him in case of a second edition, if
I take this opportunity of suggesting the query; whether he
may not have been occasionally misled, by having assumed,
as to me he appeared to have done, the non-existence of any
absolute synonimes in our language? Now I cannot but
think, that there are many which remain for our posterity to
distinguish and appropriate, and which I regard as so much
reversionary wealth in our mother-tongue. When two dis-
tinct meanings are confounded under one or more words,
(and such must be the case, as sure as our knowledge is pro-
gressive and of course imperfect) erroneous consequences
will be drawn, and what is true in one sense of the word, will
be affirmed as true in toto. Men of research startled by the
consequences, seek in the things themselves (whether in or
out of the mind) for a knowledge of the fact, and having dis-
covered the difference, remove the equivocation either by the
substitution of a new word, or by the appropriation of one
of the two or more words, that had before been used pro-
miscuously. When this distinction has been so naturalized
and of such general currency, that the language itself does
as it were think for us (like the sliding rule which is the me-
chanics safe substitute for arithmetical knowledge) we then
say, that it is evident to common sense. Common sense, there-
fore, differs in different ages. What was born and christened
in the schools passes by degrees into the world at large, and
becomes the property of the market and the tea-table. At
least I can discover no other meaning of the term, common*

{{Page 91}}

2137 chiefly perhaps, as our objects are different. It
2138 could scarcely indeed happen otherwise, from
2139 the advantage I have enjoyed of frequent con-
2140 versation with him on a subject to which a poem
2141 of his own first directed my attention, and my
2142 conclusions concerning which, he had made
2143 more lucid to myself by many happy instances
2144 drawn from the operation of natural objects on
2145 the mind. But it was |Mr.| Wordsworth's pur-
2146 pose to consider the influences of fancy and
2147 imagination as they are manifested in poetry,
2148 and from the different effects to conclude their
2149 diversity in kind; while it is my object to
2150 investigate the seminal principle, and then from
2151 the kind to deduce the degree. My friend has
2152 drawn a masterly sketch of the branches with
2153 their poetic fruitage. I wish to add the trunk,
2154 and even the roots as far as they lift themselves
2155 above ground, and are visible to the naked eye
2156 of our common consciousness.

2157 Yet even in this attempt I am aware, that I
2158 shall be obliged to draw more largely on the

*sense, if it is to convey any specific difference from sense
and, judgement in genere, and where it is not used scho-
lastically for the universal reason. Thus in the reign of
Charles II. the philosophic world was called to arms by the
moral sophisms of Hobbs, and the ablest writers exerted
themselves in the detection of an error, which a school-boy
would now be able to confute by the mere recollection, that
compulsion and obligation conveyed two ideas perfectly dis-
parate, and that what appertained to the one, had been
falsely transferred to the other by a mere confusion of terms.

{{Page 92}}

2159 reader's attention, than so immethodical a mis-
2160 cellany can authorize; when in such a work
2161 (the Ecclesiastical Policy) of such a mind as
2162 Hooker's, the judicious author, though no less
2163 admirable for the perspicuity than for the port
2164 and dignity of his language; and though he
2165 wrote for men of learning in a learned age; saw
2166 nevertheless occasion to anticipate and guard
2167 against "complaints of obscurity," as often as
2168 he was to trace his subject "to the highest
2169 well-spring and fountain." Which, (continues
2170 he) "because men are not accustomed to, the
2171 pains we take are more needful a great deal,
2172 than acceptable; and the matters we handle,
2173 seem by reason of newness (till the mind grow
2174 better acquainted with them) dark and intri-
2175 cate." I would gladly therefore spare both
2176 myself and others this labor, if I knew how
2177 without it to present an intelligible statement
2178 of my poetic creed; not as my opinions, which
2179 weigh for nothing, but as deductions from
2180 established premises conveyed in such a form,
2181 as is calculated either to effect a fundamental
2182 conviction, or to receive a fundamental confu-
2183 tation. If I may dare once more adopt the
2184 words of Hooker, "they, unto whom we shall
2185 "seem tedious, are in no wise injured by us,
2186 "because it is in their own hands to spare that
2187 "labour, which they are not willing to endure."
2188 Those at least, let me be permitted to add,

{{Page 93}}

2189 who have taken so much pains to render me
2190 ridiculous for a perversion of taste, and have
2191 supported the charge by attributing strange
2192 notions to me on no other authority than their
2193 own conjectures, owe it to themselves as well
2194 as to me not to refuse their attention to my own
2195 statement of the theory, which I do acknow-
2196 ledge; or shrink from the trouble of examining
2197 the grounds on which I rest it, or the argu-
2198 ments which I offer in its justification.

{{Page 93}}


2200 On the law of association--Its history traced
2201 from Aristotle to Hartley.

2202 There have been men in all ages, who have
2203 been impelled as by an instinct to propose their
2204 own nature as a problem, and who devote their
2205 attempts to its solution. The first step was to
2206 construct a table of distinctions, which they
2207 seem to have formed on the principle of the
2208 absence or presence of the WILL. Our various
2209 sensations, perceptions, and movements were
2210 classed as active or passive, or as media par-
2211 taking of both. A still finer distinction was
2212 soon established between the voluntary and the
2213 spontaneous. In our perceptions we seem to
2214 ourselves merely passive to an external power,
2215 whether as a mirror reflecting the landscape, or
2216 as a blank canvas on which some unknown
2217 hand paints it. For it is worthy of notice, that
2218 the latter, or the system of idealism may be
2219 traced to sources equally remote with the
2220 former, or materialism; and Berkeley can boast
2221 an ancestry at least as venerable as Gassendi or
2222 Hobbs. These conjectures, however, [[concern-]]

{{Page 95}}

2223 ||concern||ing the mode in which our perceptions origin-
2224 ated, could not alter the natural difference of
2225 things and thoughts. In the former, the cause
2226 appeared wholly external, while in the latter,
2227 sometimes our will interfered as the producing
2228 or determining cause, and sometimes our na-
2229 ture seemed to act by a mechanism of its own,
2230 without any conscious effort of the will, or even
2231 against it. Our inward experiences were thus
2232 arranged in three separate classes, the passive
2233 sense, or what the school-men call the merely
2234 receptive quality of the mind; the voluntary,
2235 and the spontaneous, which holds the middle
2236 place between both. But it is not in human
2237 nature to meditate on any mode of action,
2238 without enquiring after the law that governs
2239 it; and in the explanation of the spontaneous
2240 movements of our being, the metaphysician
2241 took the lead of the anatomist and natural
2242 philosopher. In Egypt, Palestine, Greece, and
2243 India the analysis of the mind had reached its
2244 noon and manhood, while experimental re-
2245 search was still in its dawn and infancy. For
2246 many, very many centuries, it has been difficult
2247 to advance a new truth, or even a new error,
2248 in the philosophy of the intellect or morals.
2249 With regard, however, to the laws that direct
2250 the spontaneous movements of thought and the
2251 principle of their intellectual mechanism there
2252 exists, it has been asserted, an important [[ex-]]

{{Page 96}}

2253 ||ex||ception most honorable to the moderns, and in
2254 the merit of which our own country claims the
2255 largest share. Sir James Mackintosh (who
2256 amid the variety of his talents and attainments
2257 is not of less repute for the depth and accuracy
2258 of his philosophical enquiries, than for the elo-
2259 quence with which he is said to render their most
2260 difficult results perspicuous, and the driest at-
2261 tractive) affirmed in the lectures, delivered by
2262 him at Lincoln's Inn Hall, that the law of
2263 association as established in the contempora-
2264 neity of the original impressions, formed the
2265 basis of all true psychology; and any ontolo-
2266 gical or metaphysical science not contained in
2267 such (i. e. empirical) phsychology was but a
2268 web of abstractions and generalizations. Of
2269 this prolific truth, of this great fundamental law,
2270 he declared HOBBS to have been the original
2271 discoverer, while its full application to the whole
2272 intellectual system we owe to David Hartley;
2273 who stood in the same relation to Hobbs as
2274 Newton to Kepler; the law of association being
2275 that to the mind, which gravitation is to matter.

2276 Of the former clause in this assertion, as it
2277 respects the comparative merits of the ancient
2278 metaphysicians, including their commentators,
2279 the school-men, and of the modern French and
2280 British philosophers from Hobbs to Hume,
2281 Hartley and Condeliac, this is not the place to
2282 speak. So wide indeed is the chasm between

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2283 this gentleman's philosophical creed and mine,
2284 that so far from being able to join hands, we
2285 could scarce make our voices intelligible to
2286 each other: and to bridge it over, would require
2287 more time, skill and power than I believe myself
2288 to possess. But the latter clause involves for
2289 the greater part a mere question of fact and
2290 history, and the accuracy of the statement is
2291 to be tried by documents rather than reasoning.

2292 First then, I deny Hobbs's claim in toto: for
2293 he had been anticipated by Des Cartes whose
2294 work "De Methodo" preceded Hobbs's "De
2295 Natura Humana," by more than a year. But[[raised t]]
2296 what is of much more importance, Hobbs
2297 builds nothing on the principle which he had
2298 announced. He does not even announce it, as
2299 differing in any respect from the general laws of
2300 material motion and impact: nor was it, indeed,
2301 possible for him so to do, compatibly with his
2302 system, which was exclusively material and
2303 mechanical. Far otherwise is it with Des
2304 Cartes; greatly as he too in his after writings
2305 (and still more egregiously his followers De la
2306 Forge, and others) obscured the truth by their
2307 attempts to explain it on the theory of nervous
2308 fluids, and material configurations. But in his
2309 interesting work "De Methodo," Des Cartes
2310 relates the circumstance which first led him to
2311 meditate on this subject, and which since then
2312 has been often noticed and employed as an

{{Page 98}}

2313 instance and illustration of the law. A child
2314 who with its eyes bandaged had lost several of
2315 his fingers by amputation, continued to com-
2316 plain for many days successively of pains, now
2317 in his joint and now in that of the very fingers
2318 which had been cut off. Des Cartes was led
2319 by this incident to reflect on the uncertainty
2320 with which we attribute any particular place
2321 to any inward pain or uneasiness, and pro-
2322 ceeded after long consideration to establish it
2323 as a general law; that contemporaneous im-
2324 pressions, whether images or sensations, recal
2325 each other mechanically. On this principle, as
2326 a ground work, he built up the whole system
2327 of human language, as one continued process
2328 of association. He showed, in what sense not
2329 only general terms, but generic images (under
2330 the name of abstract ideas) actually existed,
2331 and in what consists their nature and power.
2332 As one word may become the general exponent
2333 of many, so by association a simple image
2334 may represent a whole class. But in truth
2335 Hobbs himself makes no claims to any disco-
2336 very, and introduces this law of association, or
2337 (in his own language) discursûs mentalis, as an
2338 admitted fact, in the solution alone of which, this
2339 by causes purely physiological, he arrogates any
2340 originality. His system is briefly this; when-
2341 ever the senses are impinged on by external ob-
2342 jects, whether by the rays of light reflected

{{Page 99}}

2343 from them, or by effluxes of their finer parti-
2344 cles, there results a correspondent motion of
2345 the innermost and subtlest organs. This motion
2346 constitutes a representation, and there remains
2347 an impression of the same, or a certain disposi-
2348 tion to repeat the same motion. Whenever we
2349 feel several objects at the same time, the impres-
2350 sions that are left (or in the language of |Mr.|
2351 Hume, the ideas) are linked together. When-
2352 ever therefore any one of the movements, which
2353 constitute a complex impression, are renewed
2354 through the senses, the others succeed mecha-
2355 nically. It follows of necessity therefore that
2356 Hobbs, as well as Hartley and all others who
2357 derive association from the connection and
2358 interdependence of the supposed matter, the
2359 movements of which constitute our thoughts,
2360 must have reduced all its forms to the one law
2361 of time. But even the merit of announcing this
2362 law with philosophic precision cannot be fairly
2363 conceded to him. For the objects of any two
2364 ideas* need not have co-existed in the same

* I here use the word "idea" in |Mr.| Hume's sense on ac-
count of its general currency among the English metaphysi-
cians; though against my own judgement, for I believe that
the vague use of this word has been the cause of much error
and more confusion. The word,Idea, in its original sense
as used by Pindar, Aristophanes, and in the gospel of
Matthew, represented the visual abstraction of a distant ob-
ject, when we see the whole without distinguishing its parts.
Plato adopted it as a technical term, and as the antithesis to
Eid{o}la, or sensuous images; the transient and perishable*

{{Page 100}}

2365 sensation in order to become mutually associa-
2366 ble. The same result will follow when one
2367 only of the two ideas has been represented by
2368 the senses, and the other by the memory.

2369 Long however before either Hobbs or Des
2370 Cartes the law of association had been defined,

*emblems, or mental words, of ideas. The ideas themselves he
considered as mysterious powers, living, seminal, formative,
and exempt from time. In this sense the word became the pro-
perty of the Platonic school; and it seldom occurs in Aristotle,
without some such phrase annexed to it, as according to Plato,
or as Plato says. Our English writers to the end of Charles
2nd's reign, or somewhat later, employed it either in the origi-
nal sense, or platonically, or in a sense nearly correspondent
to our present use of the substantive, Ideal, always however
opposing it, more or less, to image, whether of present or ab-
sent objects. The reader will not be displeased with the
following interesting exemplification from Bishop Jeremy
Taylor. "|St.| Lewis the King sent Ivo Bishop of Chartres
on an embassy, and he told, that he met a grave and stately
matron on the way with a censor of fire in one hand, and a
vessel of water in the other; and observing her to have a
melancholy, religious, and phantastic deportment and look, he
asked her what those symbols meant, and what she meant to
do with her fire and water; she answered, my purpose is with
the fire to burn paradise, and with my water to quench the
flames of hell, that men may serve God purely for the love
of God. But we rarely meet with such spirits which love
virtue so metaphysically as to abstract her from all sensible
compositions, and love the purity of the idea." Des Cartes
having introduced into his philosophy the fanciful hypothesis
of material ideas, or certain configurations of the brain,
which were as so many moulds to the influxes of the external
world; |Mr.| Lock adopted the term, but extended its signi-
fication to whatever is the immediate object of the minds
attention or consciousness. |Mr.| Hume distinguishing those
representations which are accompanied with a sense of a
present object, from those reproduced by the mind itself,
designated the former by impressions, and confined the word
idea to the latter.

{{Page 101}}

2371 and its important functions set forth by Me-
2372 lanchthon, Ammerbach, and Ludovicus Vives;
2373 more especially by the last. Phantasia, it is to
2374 be noticed, is employed by Vives to express
2375 the mental power of comprehension, or the
2376 active function of the mind; and imaginatio for
2377 the receptivity (vis receptiva) of impressions,
2378 or for the passive perception. The power of
2379 combination he appropriates to the former:
2380 " quæ singula et simpliciter acceperat imagi-
2381 natio, ea conjungit et disjungit phantasia." And
2382 the law by which the thoughts are spontane-
2383 ously presented follows thus; "quæ simul sunt
2384 "a phantasia comprehensa si alterutrum occur
2385 "rat, solet secum alterum representare." To
2386 time therefore he subordinates all the other
2387 exciting causes of association. The soul pro-
2388 ceeds "a causa ad effectum, ab hoc ad instru-
2389 "mentum, a parte ad totum ;" thence to the
2390 place, from place to person, and from this to
2391 whatever preceded or followed, all as being
2392 parts of a total impression, each of which may
2393 recal the other. The apparent springs "Saltus
2394 "vel transitus etiam longissimos," he explains by
2395 the same thought having been a component
2396 part of two or more total impressions. Thus
2397 " ex Scipione venio in cogitationem potentiæ
2398 "Turcicæ proper victorias ejus in eâ parte Asiæ
2399 "in qua regnabat Antiochus."

2400 But from Vives I pass at once to the source

{{Page 102}}

2401 of his doctrines, and (as far as we can judge
2402 from the remains yet extant of Greek philoso-
2403 phy) as to the first, so to the fullest and most
2404 perfect enunciation of the associative principle,
2405 viz. to the writings of Aristotle; and of these
2406 principally to the books "De Anima," "De
2407 Memoria," and that which is entitled in the
2408 old translations "Parva Naturalia." In as
2409 much as later writers have either deviated from,
2410 or added to his doctrines, they appear to me
2411 to have introduced either error or groundless
2412 supposition.

2413 In the first place it is to be observed, that
2414 Aristotle's positions on this subject are unmixed
2415 with fiction. The wise Stagyrite speaks of no
2416 successive particles propagating motion like
2417 billiard balls (as Hobbs;) nor of nervous or
2418 animal spirits, where inanimate and irrational
2419 solids are thawed down, and distilled, or fil-
2420 trated by ascension, into living and intelligent
2421 fluids, that etch and re-etch engravings on the
2422 brain, (as the followers of Des Cartes, and the
2423 humoral pathologists in general ;) nor of an
2424 oscillating ether which was to effect the same
2425 service for the nerves of the brain considered
2426 as solid fibres, as the animal spirits perform for
2427 them under the notion of hollow tubes (as
2428 Hartley teaches)--nor finally, (with yet more
2429 recent dreamers) of chemical compositions by
2430 elective affinity, or of an electric light at once

{{Page 103}}

2431 the immediate object and the ultimate organ of
2432 inward vision, which rises to the brain like an
2433 Aurora Borealis, and there disporting in various
2434 shapes (as the balance of plus and minus, or ne-
2435 gative and positive, is destroyed or re-establish-
2436 ed) images out both past and present. Aristotle
2437 delivers a just theory without pretending to an
2438 hypothesis; or in other words a comprehen-
2439 sive survey of the different facts, and of their
2440 relations to each other without supposition,
2441 i. e. a fact placed under a number of facts, as
2442 their common support and explanation; tho'
2443 in the majority of instances these hypotheses
2444 or suppositions better deserve the name of
2445 Upopoi{ee}seis, or suffictions. He uses indeed the
2446 word Kin{ee}seis, to express what we call represen-
2447 tations or ideas, but he carefully distinguishes
2448 them from material motion, designating the
2449 latter always by annexing the wordsEn top{o}, or
2450 kata topon. On the contrary in his treatise "De
2451 Anima," he excludes place and motion from
2452 all the operations of thought, whether repre-
2453 sentations or volitions, as attributes utterly and
2454 absurdly heterogeneous.

2455 The general law of association, or more ac-
2456 curately, the common condition under which all
2457 exciting causes act, and in which they may be
2458 generalized, according to Aristotle is this. Ideas
2459 by having been together acquire a power of
2460 recalling each other; or every partial [[represen-]]

{{Page 104}}

2461 ||represen||tation awakes the total representation of which
2462 it had been a part. In the practical determina-
2463 tion of this common principle to particular
2464 recollections, he admits five agents or occasion-
2465 ing causes: 1st, connection in time, whether
2466 simultaneous, preceding or successive; 2nd,
2467 vicinity or connection in space; 3rd, interde-
2468 pendence or necessary connection, as cause and
2469 effect; 4th, likeness; and 5th, contrast. As an
2470 additional solution of the occasional seeming
2471 chasms in the continuity of reproduction he
2472 proves, that movements or ideas possessing one
2473 or the other of these five characters had passed
2474 through the mind as intermediate links, suffici-
2475 ently clear to recal other parts of the same total
2476 impressions with which they had co-existed,
2477 though not vivid enough to excite that degree
2478 of attention which is requisite for distinct re-
2479 collection, or as we may aptly express it, after-
2480 consciousness. In association then consists the
2481 whole mechanism of the reproduction of im-
2482 pressions, in the Aristolelian Pcychology . It
2483 is the universal law of the passive fancy and
2484 mechanical memory; that which supplies to all
2485 other faculties their objects, to all thought the
2486 elements of its materials.

2487 In consulting the excellent commentary of
2488 |St.| Thomas Aquinas on the Parva Naturalia of
2489 Aristotle, I was struck at once with its close
2490 resemblance to Hume's essay on association.

{{Page 105}}

2491 The main thoughts were the same in both, the
2492 order of the thoughts was the same, and even
2493 the illustrations differed only by Hume's occa-
2494 sional substitution of more modern examples.
2495 I mentioned the circumstance to several of my
2496 literary acquaintances, who admitted the close-
2497 ness of the resemblance, and that it seemed too
2498 great to be explained by mere coincidence; but
2499 they thought it improbable that Hume should
2500 have held the pages of the angelic Doctor worth
2501 turning over. But some time after |Mr.| Payne, of
2502 the King's mews, shewed Sir James Mackin-
2503 tosh some odd volumes of |St.| Thomas Aquinas,
2504 partly perhaps from having heard that Sir James
2505 (then |Mr.|) Mackintosh had in his lectures past
2506 a high encomium on this canonized philosopher,
2507 but chiefly from the fact, that the volumes had
2508 belonged to |Mr.| Hume, and had here and there
2509 marginal marks and notes of reference in his
2510 own hand writing. Among these volumes was
2511 that which contains the Parva Naturalia, in the
2512 old latin version, swathed and swaddled in the
2513 commentary afore mentioned!

2514 It remains then for me, first to state wherein
2515 Hartley differs from Aristotle; then, to exhibit
2516 the grounds of my conviction, that he differed
2517 only to err; and next as the result, to shew,
2518 by what influences of the choice and judgment
2519 the associative power becomes either memory
2520 or fancy; and, in conclusion, to appropriate

{{Page 106}}

2521 the remaining offices of the mind to the reason,
2522 and the imagination. With my best efforts to
2523 be as perspicuous as the nature of language
2524 will permit on such a subject, I earnestly soli-
2525 cit the good wishes and friendly patience of
2526 my readers, while I thus go "sounding on my
2527 dim and perilous way."


2529 That Hartley's system, as far as it differs from
2530 that of Aristotle, is neither tenable in theory,
2531 nor founded in facts.

2532 Of Hartley's hypothetical vibrations in his
2533 hypothetical oscillating ether of the nerves,
2534 which is the first and most obvious distinction
2535 between his system and that of Aristotle, I
2536 shall say little. This, with all other similar
2537 attempts to render that an object of the sight
2538 which has no relation to sight, has been alrea-
2539 dy sufficiently exposed by the younger Reima-
2540 rus, Maasse, |&c.| as outraging the very axioms
2541 of mechanics in a scheme, the merit of which
2542 consists in its being mechanical. Whether any
2543 other philosophy be possible, but the mechani-
2544 cal; and again, whether the mechanical system
2545 can have any claim to be called philosophy;
2546 are questions for another place. It is, how-
2547 ever, certain, that as long as we deny the for-
2548 mer, and affirm the latter, we must bewilder
2549 ourselves, whenever we would pierce into the
2550 adyta of causation; and all that laborious con-
2551 jecture can do, is to fill up the gaps of fancy.
2552 Under that despotism of the eye (the [[emanci-]]

{{Page 108}}

2553 ||emanci||pation from which Pythagoras by his numeral,
2554 and Plato by his musical, symbols, and both
2555 by geometric discipline, aimed at, as the first
2556 propaidentikon of the mind)--under this strong
2557 sensuous influence, we are restless because
2558 invisible things are not the objects of vision;
2559 and metaphysical systems, for the most part,
2560 become popular, not for their truth, but in
2561 proportion as they attribute to causes a suscep-
2562 tibility of being seen, if only our visual organs
2563 were sufficiently powerful.

2564 From a hundred possible confutations let one
2565 suffice. According to this system the idea or
2566 vibration a from the external object A becomes
2567 associable with the idea or vibration m from
2568 the external object M, because the oscillation
2569 a propagated itself so as to re-produce the
2570 oscillation m. But the original impression
2571 from M was essentially different from the im-
2572 pression A: unless therefore different causes
2573 may produce the same effect, the vibration a
2574 could never produce the vibration m: and this
2575 therefore could never be the means, by which
2576 a and m are associated. To understand this,
2577 the attentive reader need only be reminded,
2578 that the ideas are themselves, in Hartley's sys-
2579 tem, nothing more than their appropriate con-
2580 figurative vibrations. It is a mere delusion of
2581 the fancy to conceive the pre-existence of the
2582 ideas, in any chain of association, as so many

{{Page 109}}

2583 differently colored billiard-balls in contact, so
2584 that when an object, the billiard-stick, strikes
2585 the first or white ball, the same motion propa-
2586 gates itself through the red, green, blue, black,
2587 |&c.| and sets the whole in motion. No! we
2588 must suppose the very same force, which con-
2589 stitutes the white ball, to constitute the red or
2590 black; or the idea of a circle to constitute the
2591 idea of a triangle; which is impossible.

2592 But it may be said, that, by the sensations
2593 from the objects A and M, the nerves have ac-
2594 quired a disposition to the vibrations a and m,
2595 and therefore a need only be repeated in order
2596 to re-produce m. Now we will grant, for a
2597 moment, the possibility of such a disposition
2598 in a material nerve, which yet seems scarcely
2599 less absurd than to say, that a weather-cock
2600 had acquired a habit of turning to the east,
2601 from the wind having been so long in that quar-
2602 ter: for if it be replied, that we must take in
2603 the circumstance of life, what then becomes of
2604 the mechanical philosophy? And what is the
2605 nerve, but the flint which the wag placed in
2606 the pot as the first ingredient of his stone-broth,
2607 requiring only salt, turnips and mutton, for the
2608 remainder! But if we waive this, and pre-sup-
2609 pose the actual existence of such a disposition;
2610 two cases are possible. Either, every idea has
2611 its own nerve and correspondent oscillation, or
2612 this is not the case. If the latter be the truth,

{{Page 110}}

2613 we should gain nothing by these dispositions;
2614 for then, every nerve having several disposi-
2615 tions, when the motion of any other nerve is
2616 propagated into it, there will be no ground or
2617 cause present, why exactly the oscillation m
2618 should arise, rather than any other to which it
2619 was equally pre-disposed. But if we take the
2620 former, and let every idea have a nerve of its
2621 own, then every nerve must be capable of pro-
2622 pagating its motion into many other nerves; and
2623 again, there is no reason assignable, why the
2624 vibration m should arise, rather than any other
2625 ad libitum.

2626 It is fashionable to smile at Hartley's vibra-
2627 tions and vibratiuncles; and his work has been
2628 re-edited by Priestley, with the omission of the
2629 material hypothesis. But Hartley was too
2630 great a man, too coherent a thinker, for this to
2631 have been done, either consistently or to any
2632 wise purpose. For all other parts of his sys-
2633 tem, as far as they are peculiar to that system,
2634 once removed from their mechanical basis, not
2635 only lose their main support, but the very mo-
2636 tive which led to their adoption. Thus the
2637 principle of contemporaneity, which Aristotle
2638 had made the common condition of all the laws
2639 of association, Hartley was constrained to re-
2640 present as being itself the sole law. For to
2641 what law can the action of material atoms be
2642 subject, but that of proximity in place? And to

{{Page 111}}

2643 what law can their motions be subjected, but
2644 that of time? Again, from this results inevita-
2645 bly, that the will, the reason, the judgment,
2646 and the understanding, instead of being the de-
2647 termining causes of association, must needs be
2648 represented as its creatures, and among its me
2649 chanical effects. Conceive, for instance, a broad
2650 stream, winding through a mountainous coun-
2651 try with an indefinite number of currents, vary-
2652 ing and running into each other according as
2653 the gusts chance to blow from the opening of
2654 the mountains. The temporary union of seve-
2655 ral currents in one, so as to form the main cur-
2656 rent of the moment, would present an accurate
2657 image of Hartley's theory of the will.

2658 Had this been really the case, the consequence
2659 would have been, that our whole life would be
2660 divided between the despotism of outward im-
2661 pressions, and that of senseless and passive me-
2662 mory. Take his law in its highest abstraction
2663 and most philosophical form, viz. that every par-
2664 tial representation recalls the total representa-
2665 tion of which it was a part; and the law be-
2666 comes nugatory, were it only from its universa-
2667 lity. In practice it would indeed be mere law-
2668 lessness. Consider, how immense must be the
2669 sphere of a total impression from the top of |St.|
2670 Paul's church; and how rapid and continuous
2671 the series of such total impressions. If therefore
2672 we suppose the absence of all interference of

{{Page 112}}

2673 the will, reason, and judgement, one or other
2674 of two consequences must result. Either the
2675 ideas (or relicts of such impression) will exactly
2676 imitate the order of the impression itself, which
2677 would be absolute delirium: or any one part
2678 of that impression might recal any other part,
2679 and (as from the law of continuity, there must
2680 exist in every total impression some one or
2681 more parts, which are components of some
2682 other following total impression, and so on ad
2683 infinitum) any part of any impression might
2684 recal any part of any other, without a cause
2685 present to determine what it should be. For
2686 to bring in the will, or reason, as causes of their
2687 own cause, that is, as at once causes and effects,
2688 can satisfy those only who in their pretended
2689 evidences of a God having first demanded or-
2690 ganization, as the sole cause and ground of
2691 intellect, will then coolly demand the pre-exist-
2692 ence of intellect, as the cause and ground-work
2693 of organization. There is in truth but one state
2694 to which this theory applies at all, namely, that
2695 of complete light-headedness; and even to this
2696 it applies but partially, because the will, and
2697 reason are perhaps never wholly suspended.

2698 A case of this kind occurred in a Catholic
2699 town in Germany a year or two before my
2700 arrival at Göttingen, and had not then ceased
2701 to be a frequent subject of conversation. A
2702 young woman of four or five and twenty, who

{{Page 113}}

2703 could neither read, nor write, was seized with
2704 a nervous fever; during which, according to the
2705 asseverations of all the priests and monks of
2706 the neighbourhood, she became possessed, and,
2707 as it appeared, by a very learned devil. She
2708 continued incessantly talking Latin, Greek, and
2709 Hebrew, in very pompous tones and with most
2710 distinct enunciation. This possession was ren-
2711 dered more probable by the known fact, that
2712 she was or had been an heretic. Voltaire hu-
2713 mourously advises the devil to decline all ac-
2714 quaintance with medical men; and it would
2715 have been more to his reputation, if he had
2716 taken this advice in the present instance. The
2717 case had attracted the particular attention of a
2718 young physician, and by his statement many
2719 eminent physiologists and psychologists visited
2720 the town, and cross-examined the case on the
2721 spot. Sheets full of her ravings were taken
2722 down from her own mouth, and were found to
2723 consist of sentences, coherent and intelligible
2724 each for itself, but with little or no connection
2725 with each other. Of the Hebrew, a small por-
2726 tion only could be traced to the Bible; the
2727 remainder seemed to be in the rabinical dialect.
2728 All trick or conspiracy was out of the question.
2729 Not only had the young woman ever been an
2730 harmless, simple creature; but she was evidently
2731 labouring under a nervous fever. In the town,
2732 in which she had been resident for many years

{{Page 114}}

2733 as a servant in different families, no solution
2734 presented itself. The young physician, how-
2735 ever, determined to trace her past life step by
2736 step; for the patient herself was incapable of
2737 returning a rational answer. He at length suc-
2738 ceeded in discovering the place, where her pa-
2739 rents had lived: travelled thither, found them
2740 dead, but an uncle surviving; and from him
2741 learnt, that the patient had been charitably
2742 taken by an old protestant pastor at nine years
2743 old, and had remained with him some years,
2744 even till the old man's death. Of this pastor
2745 the uncle knew nothing, but that he was a very
2746 good man. With great difficulty, and after
2747 much search, our young medical philosopher
2748 discovered a niece of the pastor's, who had
2749 lived with him as his house-keeper, and had
2750 inherited his effects. She remembered the girl;
2751 related, that her venerable uncle had been too
2752 indulgent, and could not bear to hear the girl
2753 scolded; that she was willing to have kept her,
2754 but that after her patron's death, the girl her-
2755 self refused to stay. Anxious enquiries were
2756 then, of course, made concerning the pastor's
2757 habits; and the solution of the phenomenon
2758 was soon obtained. For it appeared, that it
2759 had been the old man's custom, for years, to
2760 walk up and down a passage of his house into
2761 which the kitchen door opened, and to read to
2762 himself with a loud voice, out of his favorite

{{Page 115}}

2763 books. A considerable number of these were
2764 still in the niece's possession. She added, that
2765 he was a very learned man and a great Hebraist.
2766 Among the books were found a collection of
2767 rabbinical writings, together with several of the
2768 Greek and Latin fathers; and the physician
2769 succeeded in identifying so many passages with
2770 those taken down at the young woman's bed-
2771 side, that no doubt could remain in any rational
2772 mind concerning the true origin of the impres-
2773 sions made on her nervous system.

2774 This authenticated case furnishes both proof
2775 and instance, that reliques of sensation may
2776 exist for an indefinite time in a latent state,
2777 in the very same order in which they were
2778 originally impressed; and as we cannot ration-
2779 ally suppose the feverish state of the brain to
2780 act in any other way than as a stimulus, this
2781 fact (and it would not be difficult to adduce
2782 several of the same kind) contributes to make it
2783 even probable, that all thoughts are in them-
2784 selves imperishable; and, that if the intelligent
2785 faculty should be rendered more comprehen-
2786 sive, it would require only a different and ap-
2787 portioned organization, the body celestial instead
2788 of the body terrestrial, to bring before every
2789 human soul the collective experience of its[[dropped s]]
2790 whole past existence. And this, this, perchance,
2791 is the dread book of judgement, in whose mys-
2792 terious hieroglyphics every idle word is [[re-]]

{{Page 116}}

2793 ||re||corded! Yea, in the very nature of a living
2794 spirit, it may be more possible that heaven and
2795 earth should pass away, than that a single act,
2796 a single thought, should be loosened or lost
2797 from that living chain of causes, to all whose
2798 links, conscious or unconscious, the free-will,
2799 our only absolute self; is co-extensive and co-
2800 present. But not now dare I longer discourse
2801 of this, waiting for a loftier mood, and a nobler
2802 subject, warned from within and from without,
2803 that it is profanation to speak of these mysteries*
2804 tois m{ee}depote phantasdeisin, {o}s kalon to t{ee}s dikaiosun{ee}s kai
2805 s{o}phrosun{ee}s pros{o}pon, kai {o}s oute esperos oute e{o}os out{o} kala.
2806 Ton lar or{o}nta pros to or{o}menon suggenes kai omoion poi{ee}s-
2807 amenon dei epiballein t{ee} ea ou gar an papote eiden Ophthal-
2808 mos {Ee}lion {ee}lioeid{ee}s m{ee} gegen{ee}menos, oude to Kalon an id{ee}
2809 psuch{ee} m{ee} kal{ee} genomen{ee}. PLOTINUS.

*"To those to whose imagination it has never been presented,
how beautiful is the countenance of justice and wisdom; and
that neither the morning nor the evening star are so fair.
For in order to direct the view aright, it behoves that the
beholder should have made himself congenerous and similar
to the object beheld. Never could the eye have beheld the
sun, had not its own essence been soliform," (i. e. pre-con-
figured to light by a similarity of essence with that of light)
"neither can a soul not beautiful attain to an intuition of

{{Page 117}}


2811 Of the necessary consequences of the Hartleian
2812 theory--Of the original mistake or equivoca-
2813 tion which procured admission for the theory--
2814 Memoria Technica.

2815 We will pass by the utter incompatibility of
2816 such a law (if law it may be called, which would
2817 itself be the slave of chances) with even that
2818 appearance of rationality forced upon us by the
2819 outward phænomena of human conduct, ab-
2820 stracted from our own consciousness. We will
2821 agree to forget this for the moment, in order to
2822 fix our attention on that subordination of final
2823 to efficient causes in the human being, which
2824 flows of necessity from the assumption, that
2825 the will, and with the will all acts of thought
2826 and attention, are parts and products of this
2827 blind mechanism, instead of being distinct pow-
2828 ers, whose function it is to controul, determine,
2829 and modify the phantasma chaos of association.
2830 The soul becomes a mere ens logicum; for as
2831 a real separable being, it would be more worth-
2832 less and ludicrous, than the Grimalkins in the
2833 Cat-harpsichord, described in the Spectator.
2834 For these did form a part of the process; but
2835 in Hartley's scheme the soul is present only to
2836 be pinched or stroked, while the very squeals

{{Page 118}}

2837 or purring are produced by an agency wholly
2838 independent and alien. It involves all the dif-
2839 ficulties, all the incomprehensibility (if it be
2840 not indeed,{o}s emoige dokei, the absurdity) of in-
2841 tercommunion between substances that have
2842 no one property in common, without any of the
2843 convenient consequences that bribed the judge-
2844 ment to the admission of the dualistic hypothe-
2845 sis. Accordingly, this caput mortuum of the
2846 Hartleian process has been rejected by his fol-
2847 lowers, and the consciousness considered as a
2848 result, as a tune, the common product of the
2849 breeze and the harp: tho' this again is the mere
2850 remotion of one absurdity to make way for
2851 another, equally preposterous. For what is
2852 harmony but a mode of relation, the very esse
2853 of which is percipi? An ens rationale, which
2854 pre-supposes the power, that by perceiving
2855 creates it? The razor's edge becomes a saw
2856 to the armed vision; and the delicious melo-
2857 dies of Purcell or Cimarosa might be disjointed
2858 stammerings to a hearer, whose partition of
2859 time should be a thousand times subtler than
2860 ours. But this obstacle too let us imagine our-
2861 selves to have surmounted, and "at one bound
2862 high overleap all bound!" Yet according to this
2863 hypothesis the disquisition, to which I am at
2864 present soliciting the reader's attention, may
2865 be as truly said to be written by Saint Paul's
2866 church, as by me: for it is the mere motion of

{{Page 119}}

2867 my muscles and nerves; and these again are
2868 set in motion from external causes equally pas-
2869 sive, which external causes stand themselves
2870 in interdependent connection with every thing
2871 that exists or has existed. Thus the whole
2872 universe co-operates to produce the minutest
2873 stroke of every letter, save only that I myself,
2874 and I alone, have nothing to do with it, but
2875 merely the causeless and effectless beholding of
2876 it when it is done. Yet scarcely can it be
2877 called a beholding; for it is neither an act
2878 nor an effect; but an impossible creation of a
2879 something-nothing out of its very contrary! It
2880 is the mere quick-silver plating behind a looking-
2881 glass; and in this alone consists the poor
2882 worthless I! The sum total of my moral and
2883 intellectual intercourse dissolved into its ele-
2884 ments are reduced to extension, motion, degrees
2885 of velocity, and those diminished copies of con-
2886 figurative motion, which form what we call
2887 notions, and notions of notions. Of such phi-
2888 losophy well might Butler say--
2889 "The metaphysics but a puppet motion
2890 "That goes with screws, the notion of a notion;
2891 "The copy of a copy and lame draught
2892 "Unnaturally taken from a thought:
2893 "That counterfeits all pantomimic tricks,
2894 "And turns the eyes, like an old crucifix;
2895 "That counterchanges whatsoe'er it calls
2896 "B' another name, and makes it true or false;
2897 "Turns truth to falsehood, falsehood into truth,
2898 "By virtue of the Babylonian's tooth."

{{Page 120}}

2900 The inventor of the watch did not in reality
2901 invent it; he only look'd on, while the blind
2902 causes, the only true artists, were unfolding
2903 themselves. So must it have been too with
2904 my friend ALLSTON, when he sketched his pic-
2905 ture of the dead man revived by the bones of
2906 the prophet Elijah. So must it have been with
2907 |Mr.| SOUTHEY and LORD BYRON, when the one
2908 fancied himself composing his "RODERICK,"
2909 and the other his "CHILD HAROLD." The
2910 same must hold good of all systems of philoso-
2911 phy; of all arts, governments, wars by sea and
2912 by land; in short, of all things that ever have
2913 been or that ever will be produced. For ac-
2914 cording to this system it is not the affections
2915 and passions that are at work, in as far as they
2916 areI sensations or thoughts. We only fancy, that
2917 we act from rational resolves, or prudent mo-
2918 tives, or from impulses of anger, love, or gene-
2919 rosity. In all these cases the real agent is a
2920 something-nothing-every-thing, which does all
2921 of which we know, and knows nothing of all
2922 that itself does.

2923 The existence of an infinite spirit, of an intel-
2924 ligent and holy will, must on this system be
2925 mere articulated motions of the air. For as the
2926 function of the human understanding is no other
2927 than merely (to appear to itself) to combine and
2928 to apply the phænomena of the association;
2929 and as these derive all their reality from the

{{Page 121}}

2930 primary sensations; and the sensations again
2931 all their reality from the impressions ab extra;
2932 a God not visible, audible, or tangible, can
2933 exist only in the sounds and letters that form
2934 his name and attributes. If in ourselves there
2935 be no such faculties as those of the will, and
2936 the scientific reason, we must either have an
2937 innate idea of them, which would overthrow
2938 the whole system; or we can have no idea at
2939 all. The process, by which Hume degraded
2940 the notion of cause and effect into a blind pro-
2941 duct of delusion and habit, into the mere sen-
2942 sation of proceeding life (nisus vitalis) associated
2943 with the images of the memory; this same pro-
2944 cess must be repeated to the equal degradation
2945 of every fundamental idea in ethics or theology.

2946 Far, very far am I from burthening with the
2947 odium of these consequences the moral charac-
2948 ters of those who first formed, or have since
2949 adopted the system! It is most noticeable of
2950 the excellent and pious Hartley, that in the
2951 proofs of the existence and attributes of God,
2952 with which his second volume commences, he
2953 makes no reference to the principles or results
2954 of the first. Nay, he assumes, as his founda-
2955 tions, ideas which, if we embrace the doctrines
2956 of his first volume, can exist no where but in the
2957 vibrations of the ethereal medium common to
2958 the nerves and to the atmosphere. Indeed the
2959 whole of the second volume is, with the fewest

{{Page 122}}

2960 possible exceptions, independent of his peculiar
2961 system. So true is it, that the faith, which
2962 saves and sanctifies, is a collective energy, a
2963 total act of the whole moral being; that its liv-
2964 ing sensorium is in the heart; and that no errors
2965 of the understanding can be morally arraigned
2966 unless they have proceeded frum the heart.--
2967 But whether they be such, no man can be cer-
2968 tain in the case of another, scarcely perhaps
2969 even in his own. Hence it follows by inevitable
2970 consequence, that man may perchance deter-
2971 mine, what is an heresy; but God only can
2972 know, who is a heretic. It does not, however,
2973 by any means follow, that opinions fundament-
2974 ally false are harmless. An hundred causes
2975 may co-exist to form one complex antidote.
2976 Yet the sting of the adder remains venemous,
2977 though there are many who have taken up the
2978 evil thing; and it hurted them not! Some in-
2979 deed there seem to have been, in an unfortunate
2980 neighbour-nation at least, who have embraced
2981 this system with a full view of all its moral and
2982 religious consequences; some--

2983 "--who deem themselves most free,
2984 "When they within this gross and visible sphere
2985 "Chain down the winged thought, scoffing assent,
2986 "Proud in their meanness; and themselves they cheat
2987 "With noisy emptiness of learned phrase,
2988 "Their subtle fluids, impacts, essences,
2989 "Self-working tools, uncaus'd effects, and all
2990 "Those blind omniscients, those Almighty slaves,
2991 "Untenanting Creation of its God!"

{{Page 123}}

2992 Such men need discipline, not argument; they
2993 must be made better men, before they can be-
2994 come wiser.

2995 The attention will be more profitably em-
2996 ployed in attempting to discover and expose
2997 the paralogisms, by the magic of which such a
2998 faith could find admission into minds framed
2999 for a nobler creed. These, it appears to me,
3000 may be all reduced to one sophism as their
3001 common genus; the mistaking the conditions
3002 of a thing for its causes and essence; and the
3003 process by which we arrive at the knowledge
3004 of a faculty, for the faculty itself. The air I
3005 breathe, is the condition of my life, not its cause.
3006 We could never have learnt that we had eyes
3007 but by the process of seeing; yet having seen
3008 we know that the eyes must have pre-existed
3009 in order to render the process of sight possible.
3010 Let us cross-examine Hartley's scheme under
3011 the guidance of this distinction; and we shall
3012 discover, that contemporaneity (Leibnitz's Lex
3013 Continui) is the limit and condition of the laws
3014 of mind, itself being rather a law of matter, at
3015 least of phænomena considered as material. At
3016 the utmost, it is to thought the same, as the law
3017 of gravitation is to loco-motion. In every vo-
3018 luntary movement we first counteract gravita-
3019 tion, in order to avail ourselves of it. It must
3020 exist, that there may be a something to be coun-
3021 teracted, and which by its re-action, aids the

{{Page 124}}

3022 force that is exerted to resist it. Let us con-
3023 sider, what we do when we leap. We first re-
3024 sist the gravitating power by an act purely vo-
3025 luntary, and then by another act, voluntary in
3026 part, we yield to it in order to light on the spot,
3027 which we had previously proposed to ourselves.
3028 Now let a man watch his mind while he is com-
3029 posing; or, to take a still more common case,
3030 while he is trying to recollect a name; and he
3031 will find the process completely analogous.
3032 Most of my readers will have observed a small
3033 water-insect on the surface of rivulets, which
3034 throws a cinque-spotted shadow fringed with
3035 prismatic colours on the sunny bottom of the
3036 brook; and will have noticed, how the little
3037 animal wins its way up against the stream, by
3038 alternate pulses of active and passive motion,
3039 now resisting the current, and now yielding to
3040 it in order to gather strength and a momentary
3041 fulcrum for a further propulsion. This is no
3042 unapt emblem of the mind's self-experience in
3043 the act of thinking. There are evidently two
3044 powers at work, which relatively to each other
3045 are active and passive; and this is not possible
3046 without an intermediate faculty, which is at
3047 once both active and passive. (In philosophi-
3048 cal language, we must denominate this inter-
3049 mediate faculty in all its degrees and determina-
3050 tions, the IMAGINATION. But in common lan-
3051 guage, and especially on the subject of poetry,

{{Page 125}}

3052 we appropriate the name to a superior degree
3053 of the faculty, joined to a superior voluntary
3054 controul over it.)

3055 Contemporaneity then, being the common
3056 condition of all the laws of association. and a
3057 component element in all the materia subjecta,
3058 the parts of which are to be associated, must
3059 needs be co-present with all. Nothing, there-
3060 fore, can be more easy than to pass off on an
3061 incautious mind this constant companion of
3062 each, for the essential substance of all. But
3063 if we appeal to our own consciousness, we shall
3064 find that even time itself, as the cause of a par-
3065 ticular act of association, is distinct from con-
3066 temporaneity, as the condition of all associa-
3067 tion. Seeing a mackarel it may happen, that I
3068 immediately think of gooseberries, because I at
3069 the same time ate mackarel with gooseberries
3070 as the sauce. The first syllable of the latter
3071 word, being that which had co-existed with the
3072 image of the bird so called, I may then think
3073 of a goose. In the next moment the image of
3074 a swan may arise before me, though I had
3075 never seen the two birds together. In the two
3076 former instances, I am conscious that their co-
3077 existence in time was the circumstance, that
3078 enabled me to recollect them; and equally
3079 conscious am I, that the latter was recalled to
3080 me by the joint operation of likeness and con-
3081 trast. So it is with cause and effect; so too

{{Page 126}}

3082 with order. So am I able to distinguish whe-
3083 ther it was proximity in time, or continuity in
3084 space, that occasioned me to recall B. on the
3085 mention of A. They cannot be indeed separated
3086 from contemporaneity; for that would be to
3087 separate them from the mind itself. The act of
3088 consciousness is indeed identical with time con-
3089 sidered in its essence. (I mean time per se, as
3090 contra-distinguished from our notion of time;
3091 for this is always blended with the idea of space,
3092 which as the contrary of time, is therefore its
3093 measure.) Nevertheless the accident of seeing
3094 two objects at the same moment acts, as a dis-
3095 tinguishable cause from that of having seen
3096 them in the same place: and the true practical
3097 general law of association is this; that what-
3098 ever makes certain parts of a total impression
3099 more vivid or distinct than the rest, will deter-
3100 mine the mind to recall these in preference to
3101 others equally linked together by the common
3102 condition of contemporaneity, or (what I deem
3103 a more appropriate and philosophical term) of
3104 continuity. But the will itself by confining and
3105 intensifying* the attention may arbitrarily give

* I am aware, that this word occurs neither in Johnson's
Dictionary or in any classical writer. But the word, "to
intend," which Newton and others before him employ in this
sense, is now so completely appropriated to another mean-
ing, that I could not use it without ambiguity: while to pa-
raphrase the sense, as by render intense, would often break
up the sentence and destroy that harmony of the position of
the words with the logical position of the thoughts, which is*

{{Page 127}}

3106 vividness or distinctness to any object what-
3107 sover; and from hence we may deduce the
3108 uselessness if not the absurdity of certain recent
3109 schemes which promise an artificial memory,
3110 but which in reality can only produce a con-
3111 fusion and debasement of the fancy. Sound
3112 logic, as the habitual subordination of the indi-
3113 vidual to the species, and of the species to the
3114 genus; philosophical knowledge of facts under
3115 the relation of cause and effect; a chearful and
3116 communicative temper that disposes us to no-
3117 tice the similarities and contrasts of things, that
3118 we may be able to illustrate the one by the
3119 other; a quiet conscience; a condition free from
3120 anxieties; sound health, and above all (as far
3121 as relates to passive remembrance) a healthy
3122 digestion; these are the best, these are the only

*a beauty in all composition, and more especially desirable in
a close philosophical investigation. I have therefore ha-
zarded the word, intensify; though, I confess, it sounds un-
couth to my own ear.

{{Page 128}}


3125 The system of DUALISM introduced by Des
3126 Cartes--Refined first by Spinoza and after-
3127 wards by Leibnitz into the doctrine of Har-
3128 monia præstabilta--Hylozoism--Materialism
3129 --Neither of these systems on any possible
3130 theory of association, supplies or supersedes
3131 a theory of perception, or explains the form-
3132 ation of the associable.

3133 To the best of my knowledge Des Cartes
3134 was the first philosopher, who introduced the
3135 absolute and essential heterogeneity of the soul
3136 as intelligence, and the body as matter. The
3137 assumption, and the form of speaking, have re-
3138 mained, though the denial of all other proper-
3139 ties to matter but that of extension, on which
3140 denial the whole system of dualism is grounded,
3141 has been long exploded. For since impenetra-
3142 bility is intelligible only as a mode of resistance;
3143 its admission places the essence of matter in an
3144 act or power, which it possesses in common
3145 with spirit; and body and spirit are therefore
3146 no longer absolutely heterogeneous, but may
3147 without any absurdity be supposed to be dif-
3148 ferent modes, or degrees in perfection, of a

{{Page 129}}

3149 common substratum. To this possibility, how-
3150 er, it was not the fashion to advert. The
3151 soul was a thinking substance; and body a
3152 space-filling substance. Yet the apparent ac-
3153 tion of each on the other pressed heavy on the
3154 philosopher on the one hand; and no less hea-
3155 vily on the other hand pressed the evident
3156 truth, that the law of causality holds only be-
3157 tween homogeneous things, i. e. things having
3158 some common property; and cannot extend
3159 from one world into another, its opposite. A
3160 close analysis evinced it to be no less absurd,
3161 than the question whether a man's affection for
3162 his wife, lay North-east, or South-west of the
3163 love he bore towards his child? Leibnitz's
3164 doctrine of a pre-established harmony, which
3165 he certainly borrowed from Spinoza, who had
3166 himself taken the hint from Des Cartes's animal
3167 machines, was in its common interpretation too
3168 strange to survive the inventor--too repugnant
3169 to our common sense (which is not indeed enti-
3170 tled to a judicial voice in the courts of scien-
3171 tific philosophy; but whose whispers still exert
3172 a strong secret influence.) Even Wolf the ad-
3173 mirer, and illustrious systematizer of the Leib-
3174 nitzian doctrine, contents himself with defend-
3175 ing the possibility of the idea, but does not
3176 adopt it as a part of the edifice.

3177 The hypothesis of Hylozoism on the other
3178 side, is the death of all rational physiology, and

{{Page 130}}

3179 indeed of all physical science; for that requires a
3180 limitation of terms, and cannot consist with the
3181 arbitrary power of multiplying attributes by oc-
3182 cult qualities. Besides, it answers no purpose;
3183 unless indeed a difficulty can be solved by multi-
3184 plying it, or that we can acquire a clearer notion
3185 of our soul, by being told that we have a million
3186 souls, and that every atom of our bodies has a
3187 soul of its own. Far more prudent is it to
3188 admit the difficulty once for all, and then let it
3189 lie at rest. There is a sediment indeed at the
3190 bottom of the vessel, but all the water above it
3191 is clear and transparent. The Hylozoist only
3192 shakes it up, and renders the whole turbid.

3193 But it is not either the nature of man, or the
3194 duty of the philosopher to despair concerning
3195 any important problem until, as in the squaring
3196 of the circle, the impossibility of a solution has
3197 been demonstrated. How the esse assumed as
3198 originally distinct from the scire, can ever unite
3199 itself with it; how being can transform itself
3200 into a knowing, becomes conceivable on one
3201 only condition; namely, if it can be shown that
3202 the vis representativa, or the Sentient, is itself
3203 a species of being; i. e. either as a property or
3204 attribute, or as an hypostasis or self subsistence.
3205 The former is indeed the assumption of mate-
3206 rialism; a system which could not but be pa-
3207 tronized by the philosopher, if only it actually
3208 performed what it promises. But how any

{{Page 131}}

3209 affection from without can metamorphose itself
3210 into perception or will; the materialist has
3211 hitherto left, not only as incomprehensible as
3212 he found it, but has aggravated it into a com-
3213 prehensible absurdity. For, grant that an ob-
3214 ject from without could act upon the conscious
3215 self, as on a consubstantial object; yet such
3216 an affection could only engender something
3217 homogeneous with itself. Motion could only
3218 propagate motion. Matter has no Inward. We
3219 remove one surface, but to meet with another.
3220 We can but divide a particle into particles;
3221 and each atom comprehends in itself the pro-
3222 perties of the material universe. Let any re-
3223 flecting mind make the experiment of explain-
3224 ing to itself the evidence of our sensuous in-
3225 tuitions, from the hypothesis that in any given
3226 perception there is a something which has been
3227 communicated to it by an impact or an impres-
3228 sion ab extra. In the first place, by the impact
3229 on the percepient or ens representans not the
3230 object itself, but only its action or effect, will
3231 pass into the same. Not the iron tongue, but
3232 its vibrations, pass into the metal of the bell.
3233 Now in our immediate perception, it is not the
3234 mere power or act of the object, but the object
3235 itself, which is immediately present. We might
3236 indeed attempt to explain this result by a chain
3237 of deductions and conclusions; but that, first,
3238 the very faculty of deducing and concluding

{{Page 132}}

3239 would equally demand an explanation; and
3240 secondly, that there exists in fact no such in-
3241 termediation by logical notions, such as those
3242 of cause and effect. It is the object itself, not
3243 the product of a syllogism, which is present to
3244 our consciousness. Or would we explain this
3245 supervention of the object to the sensation, by
3246 a productive faculty set in motion by an im-
3247 pulse; still the transition, into the percepient,
3248 of the object itself, from which the impulse
3249 proceeded, assumes a power that can permeate
3250 and wholly possess the soul

3251 " And like a God by spiritual art,
3252 "Be all in all, and all in every part."
3253 COWLEY.

3254 And how came the percepient here? And what
3255 is become of the wonder-promising MATTER,
3256 that was to perform all these marvels by force
3257 of mere figure, weight, and motion? The most
3258 consistent proceeding of the dogmatic material-
3259 ist is to fall back into the common rank of
3260 soul-and-bodyists; to affect the mysterious, and
3261 declare the whole process a revelation given,
3262 and not to be understood, which it would be
3263 prophane to examine too closely. Datur non
3264 intelligitur. But a revelation unconfirmed by
3265 miracles, and a faith not commanded by the
3266 conscience, a philosopher may venture to pass
3267 by, without suspecting himself of any irreligi-
3268 ous tendency.

{{Page 133}}

3269 Thus as materialism has been generally taught,
3270 it is utterly unintelligible, and owes all its pro-
3271 selytes to the propensity so common among
3272 men, to mistake distinct images for clear con-
3273 ceptions; and vice versa, to reject as incon-
3274 ceivable whatever from its own nature is un-
3275 imaginable. But as soon as it becomes intel-
3276 ligible, it ceases to be materialism. In order
3277 to explain thinking, as a material phænomenon,
3278 it is necessary to refine matter into a mere
3279 modification of intelligence, with the two-fold
3280 function of appearing and perceiving. Even so
3281 did Priestley in his controversy with Price!
3282 He stript matter of all its material properties;
3283 substituted spiritual powers; and when we
3284 expected to find a body, behold! we had no-
3285 thing but its ghost! the apparition of a defunct
3286 substance!

3287 I shall not dilate further on this subject;
3288 because it will (if God grant health and per-
3289 mission) be treated of at large and systemati-
3290 cally in a work, which I have many years been
3291 preparing, on the PRODUCTIVE LOGOS human
3292 and divine; with, and as the introduction to,
3293 a full commentary on the Gospel of |St.| John.
3294 To make myself intelligible as far as my pre-
3295 sent subject requires, it will be sufficient briefly
3296 to observe--1. That all association demands
3297 and presupposes the existence of the thoughts
3298 and images to be associated.--2. The [[hypothe-]]

{{Page 134}}

3299 ||hypothe||sis of an external world exactly correspondent
3300 to those images or modifications of our own
3301 being, which alone (according to this system)
3302 we actually behold, is as thorough idealism as
3303 Berkeley's, inasmuch as it equally (perhaps, in
3304 a more perfect degree) removes all reality and
3305 immediateness of perception, and places us in
3306 a dream-world of phantoms and spectres, the
3307 inexplicable swarm and equivocal generation
3308 of motions in our own brains.--3. That this
3309 hypothesis neither involves the explanation, nor
3310 precludes the necessity, of a mechanism and
3311 co-adequate forces in the percepient, which at
3312 the more than magic touch of the impulse from
3313 without is to create anew for itself the corres-
3314 pondent object. The formation of a copy is not
3315 solved by the mere pre-existence of an original;
3316 the copyist of Raphael's Transfiguration must
3317 repeat more or less perfectly the process of
3318 Raphael. It would be easy to explain a thought
3319 from the image on the retina, and that from the
3320 geometry of light, if this very light did not
3321 present the very same difficulty. We might as
3322 rationally chant the Brahmin creed of the tor-
3323 toise that supported the bear, that supported
3324 the elephant, that supported the world, to the
3325 tune of "This is the house that Jack built."
3326 The sic Deo placitum est we all admit as the
3327 sufficient cause, and the divine goodness as the
3328 sufficient reason; but an answer to the whence?

{{Page 135}}

3329 and why? is no answer to the how? which
3330 alone is the physiologist's concern. It is a
3331 mere sophisma pigrum, and (as Bacon hath
3332 said) the arrogance of pusillanimity, which lifts
3333 up the idol of a mortal's fancy and commands
3334 us to fall down and worship it, as a work of
3335 divine wisdom, an ancile or palladium fallen
3336 from heaven. By the very same argument
3337 the supporters of the Ptolemaic system might
3338 have rebuffed the Newtonian, and pointing to
3339 the sky with self-complacent* grin have ap-
3340 pealed to common sense, whether the sun did
3341 not move and the earth stand still.

*" And Coxcombs vanquish Berkeley with a
grin." Pope.

{{Page 136}}


3343 Is philosophy possible as a science, and what are
3344 its conditions?--Giordano Bruno--Literary
3345 aristocracy, or the existence of a tacit compact
3346 among the learned as a privileged order--
3347 The author's obligations to the Mystics;--to
3348 Emanuel Kant--The difference between the
3349 letter and the spirit of Kant's writings, and a
3350 vindication of prudence in the teaching of
3351 philosophy--Fichte's attempt to complete the
3352 critical system--Its partial success and ultimate
3353 failure--Obligations to Schelling; and among
3354 English writers to Saumarez.

3355 After I had successively studied in the schools
3356 of Locke, Berkeley, Leibnitz, and Hartley, and
3357 could find in neither of them an abiding place
3358 for my reason, I began to ask myself; is a
3359 system of philosophy, as different from mere
3360 history and historic classification possible? If
3361 possible, what are its necessary conditions? I
3362 was for a while disposed to answer the first
3363 question in the negative, and to admit that the
3364 sole practicable employment for the human
3365 mind was to observe, to collect, and to classify.
3366 But I soon felt, that human nature itself fought

{{Page 137}}

3367 up against this wilful resignation of intellect;
3368 and as soon did I find, that the scheme taken
3369 with all its consequences and cleared of all
3370 inconsistencies was not less impracticable, than
3371 contra-natural. Assume in its full extent the
3372 position, nihil in intellectu quod non prius in
3373 sensa, without Leibnitz's qualifying præter ip-
3374 sum intellectum, and in the same sense, in which
3375 it was understood by Hartley and Condilliac:
3376 and what Hume had demonstratively deduced
3377 from this concession concerning cause and ef-
3378 fect, will apply with equal and crushing force
3379 to all the* other eleven categorical forms, and
3380 the logical functions corresponding to them.
3381 How can we make bricks without straw? Or
3382 build without cement? We learn all things
3383 indeed by occasion of experience; but the very
3384 facts so learnt force us inward on the antece-
3385 dents, that must be pre-supposed in order to
3386 render experience itself possible. The first
3387 book of Locke's Essays (if the supposed error,
3388 which it labours to subvert, be not a mere
3389 thing of straw, an absurdity which, no man
3390 ever did, or indeed ever could believe) is formed
3391 on a Sophisma Eterox{ee}t{ee}se{o}s, and involves the old
3392 mistake of cum hoc: ergo, propter hoc.

* Videlicet; quantity, quality, relation, and mode, each
consisting of three subdivisions. Vide Kritik der reineu
Vernunft, p. 95, and 106. See too the judicious remarks in
Locke and Hume.

{{Page 138}}

3393 The term, Philosophy, defines itself as an
3394 affectionate seeking after the truth; but Truth
3395 is the correlative of Being. This again is no
3396 way conceivable, but by assuming as a postu-
3397 late, that both are ab initio, identical and
3398 co-inherent; that intelligence and being are re-
3399 ciprocally each others Substrate. I presumed
3400 that this was a possible conception (i. e. that it
3401 involved no logical inconsonance) from the
3402 length of time during which the scholastic
3403 definition of the Supreme Being, as actus pu-
3404 rissimus sine ullâ potentialitate, was received
3405 in the schools of Theology, both by the Pon-
3406 tifician and the Reformed divines. The early
3407 study of Plato and Plotinus, with the com-
3408 mentaries and the THEOLOGIA PLATONICA, of
3409 the illustrious Florentine; of Proclus, and
3410 Gemistius Pletho; and at a later period of the
3411 "De Immenso et Innumerabili," and the "De
3412 causa, principio et uno," of the philosopher
3413 of Nola, who could boast of a Sir Philip
3414 Sidney, and Fulke Greville among his patrons,
3415 and whom the idolaters of Rome burnt as an
3416 atheist in the year 1660; had all contributed
3417 to prepare my mind for the reception and
3418 welcoming of the Cogito quia sum, et sum quia
3419 Cogito; a philosophy of seeming hardihood, but
3420 certainly the most ancient, and therefore pre-
3421 sumptively the most natural.

3422 Why need I be afraid? Say rather how dare

{{Page 139}}

3423 I be ashamed of the Teutonic theosophist,
3424 Jacob Behmen? Many indeed, and gross were
3425 his delusions; and such as furnish frequent and
3426 ample occasion for the triumph of the learned
3427 over the poor ignorant shoemaker, who had
3428 dared think for himself. But while we re-
3429 member that these delusions were such, as
3430 might be anticipated from his utter want of all
3431 intellectual discipline, and from his ignorance of
3432 rational psychology, let it not be forgotten that
3433 the latter defect he had in common with the
3434 most learned theologians of his age. Neither
3435 with books, nor with book-learned men was
3436 he conversant. A meek and shy quietist, his
3437 intellectual powers were never stimulated into
3438 fev'rous energy by crowds of proselytes, or by
3439 the ambition of proselyting. JACOB BEHMEN
3440 was an enthusiast, in the strictest sense, as not
3441 merely distinguished, but as contra-distin-
3442 guished, from a fanatic. While I in part trans-
3443 late the following observations from a contem-
3444 porary writer of the Continent, let me be per-
3445 mitted to premise, that I might have trans-
3446 cribed the substance from memoranda of my
3447 own, which were written many years before his
3448 pamphlet was given to the world; and that I
3449 prefer another's words to my own, partly as a
3450 tribute due to priority of publication; but still
3451 more from the pleasure of sympathy in a case
3452 where coincidence only was possible.

{{Page 140}}

3453 Whoever is acquainted with the history of
3454 philosophy, during the two or three last cen-
3455 turies, cannot but admit, that there appears to
3456 have existed a sort of secret and tacit compact
3457 among the learned, not to pass beyond a certain
3458 limit in speculative science. The privilege of
3459 free thought, so highly extolled, has at no time
3460 been held valid in actual practice, except
3461 within this limit; and not a single stride beyond
3462 it has ever been ventured without bringing
3463 obloquy on the transgressor. The few men
3464 of genius among the learned class, who actually
3465 did overstep this boundary, anxiously avoided
3466 the appearance of having so done. Therefore
3467 the true depth of science, and the penetration
3468 to the inmost centre, from which all the lines
3469 of knowledge diverge to their ever distant cir-
3470 cumference, was abandoned to the illiterate
3471 and the simple, whom unstilled yearning, and
3472 an original ebulliency of spirit, had urged to
3473 the investigation of the indwelling and living
3474 ground of all things. These then, because
3475 their names had never been inrolled in the
3476 guilds of the learned, were persecuted by the
3477 registered livery-men as interlopers on their
3478 rights and priviledges. All without distinction
3479 were branded as fanatics and phantasts; not
3480 only those, whose wild and exorbitant imagi-
3481 nations had actually engendered only extra-
3482 vagant and grotesque phantasms, and whose

{{Page 141}}

3483 productions were, for the most part, poor
3484 copies and gross caricatures of genuine in-
3485 spiration; but the truly inspired likewise, the
3486 originals themselves! And this for no other
3487 reason, but because they were the unlearned,
3488 men of humble and obscure occupations.
3489 When, and from whom among, the literati by
3490 profession, have we ever heard the divine dox-
3491 ology repeated, "I thank thee O father! Lord
3492 of Heaven and Earth! because thou hast hid
3493 these things from the wise and prudent, and
3494 hast revealed them unto babes." No! the
3495 haughty priests of learning, not only banished
3496 from the schools and marts of science all, who
3497 had dared draw living waters from the fountain,
3498 but drove them out of the very temple, which
3499 mean time "the buyers, and sellers, and money-
3500 changers" were suffered to make " a den of
3501 thieves."

3502 And yet it would not be easy to discover
3503 any substantial ground for this contemptuous
3504 pride in those literati, who have most distin-
3505 guished themselves by their scorn of BEHMEN,
3506 DE THOYRAS, GEORGE FOX, |&c.|; unless it be,
3507 that they could write orthographically, make
3508 smooth periods, and had the fashions of author-
3509 ship almost literally at their fingers ends, while
3510 the latter, in simplicity of soul, made their
3511 words immediate echoes of their feelings.
3512 Hence the frequency of those phrases among

{{Page 142}}

3513 them, which have been mistaken for pretences
3514 to immediate inspiration; as for instance, "it
3515 was delivered unto me," "I strove not to speak,"
3516 " I said, I will be silent," "but the word was in
3517 heart as a burning fire," "and I could not
3518 forbear." Hence too the unwillingness to give
3519 offence; hence the foresight, and the dread of
3520 the clamours, which would be raised against
3521 them, so frequently avowed in the writings of
3522 these men, and expressed, as was natural, in
3523 the words of the only book, with which they
3524 were familiar. "Woe is me that I am become
3525 a man of strife, and a man of contention,--I
3526 love peace: the souls of men are dear unto me:
3527 yet because I seek for Light every one of them
3528 doth curse me!" O! it requires deeper feeling,
3529 and a stronger imagination, than belong to most
3530 of those, to whom reasoning and fluent ex-
3531 pression have been as a trade learnt in boyhood,
3532 to conceive with what might, with what inward
3533 strivings and commotion, the perception of a
3534 new and vital TRUTH takes possession of an
3535 uneducated man of genius. His meditations
3536 are almost inevitably employed on the eternal,
3537 or the everlasting; for "the world is not his
3538 friend, nor the world's law." Need we then be
3539 surprised, that under an excitement at once
3540 so strong and so unusual, the man's body
3541 should sympathize with the struggles of his
3542 mind; or that he should at times be so far

{{Page 143}}

3543 deluded, as to mistake the tumultuous sensa-
3544 tions of his nerves, and the co-existing spec-
3545 tres of his fancy, as parts or symbols of the
3546 truths which were opening on him? It has
3547 indeed been plausibly observed, that in order
3548 to derive any advantage, or to collect any in-
3549 telligible meaning, from the writings of these
3550 ignorant mystics, the reader must bring with
3551 him a spirit and judgement superior to that of
3552 the writers themselves:
3553 "And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek?"

3555 --A sophism, which I fully agree with War-
3556 burton, is unworthy of Milton; how much
3557 more so of the awful person, in whose mouth
3558 he has placed it? One assertion I will venture
3559 to make, as suggested by my own experience,
3560 that there exist folios on the human under-
3561 standing, and the nature of man, which would
3562 have a far juster claim to their high rank and
3563 celebrity, if in the whole huge volume there
3564 could be found as much fulness of heart and
3565 intellect, as burst forth in many a simple page
3566 of GEORGE FOX, JACOB BEHMEN, and even of
3567 Behmen's commentator, the pious and fervid

3569 The feeling of gratitude, which I cherish
3570 towards these men, has caused me to digress
3571 further than I had foreseen or proposed; but
3572 to have passed them over in an historical sketch

{{Page 144}}

3573 of my literary life and opinions, would have
3574 seemed to me like the denial of a debt, the
3575 concealment of a boon. For the writings of
3576 these mystics acted in no slight degree to pre-
3577 vent my mind from being imprisoned within
3578 the outline of any single dogmatic system.
3579 They contributed to keep alive the heart in the
3580 head; gave me an indistinct, yet stirring and
3581 working presentment, that all the products of
3582 the mere reflective faculty partook of DEATH,
3583 and were as the rattling twigs and sprays in
3584 winter, into which a sap was yet to be propelled,
3585 from some root to which I had not penetrated,
3586 if they were to afford my soul either food or
3587 shelter. If they were too often a moving cloud
3588 of smoke to me by day, yet they were always
3589 a pillar of fire throughout the night, during my
3590 wanderings through the wilderness of doubt,
3591 and enabled me to skirt, without crossing,
3592 the sandy deserts of utter unbelief. That the
3593 system is capable of being converted into an
3594 irreligious PANTHEISM, I well know. The
3595 ETHICS of SPINOZA, may, or may not, be an
3596 instance. But at no time could I believe, that
3597 in itself and essentially it is incompatible with
3598 religion, natural, or revealed: and now I am
3599 most thoroughly persuaded of the contrary.
3600 The writings of the illustrious sage of Königs-
3601 berg, the founder of the Critical Philosophy,
3602 more than any other work, at once invigorated

{{Page 145}}

3603 and disciplined my understanding. The ori-
3604 ginality, the depth, and the compression of the
3605 thoughts; the novelty and subtlety, yet solidity
3606 and importance, of the distinctions; the ada-
3607 mantine chain of the logic; and I will venture
3608 to add (paradox as it will appear to those who
3609 have taken their notion of IMMANUEL KANT,
3610 from Reviewers and Frenchmen) the clearness
3611 and evidence, of the "CRITIQUE OF THE PURE
3612 REASON;" of the JUDGMENT; of the "METAPHI-
3615 OF PURE REASON," took possession of me as
3616 with a giant's hand. After fifteen years famili-
3617 arity with them, I still read these and all his
3618 other productions with undiminished delight
3619 and increasing admiration. The few passages
3620 that remained obscure to me, after due efforts
3621 of thought, (as the chapter on original apper-
3622 ception,) and the apparent contradictions which
3623 occur, I soon found were hints and insinua-
3624 tions referring to ideas, which KANT either did
3625 not think it prudent to avow, or which he con-
3626 sidered as consistently left behind in a pure
3627 analysis, not of human nature in toto, but of
3628 the speculative intellect alone. Here therefore
3629 he was constrained to commence at the point
3630 of reflection, or natural consciousness: while
3631 in his moral system he was permitted to assume
3632 a higher ground (the autonomy of the will) as

{{Page 146}}

3633 a POSTULATE deducible from the unconditional
3634 command, or (in the technical language of his
3635 school) the categorical imperative, of the con-
3636 science. He had been in imminent danger of
3637 persecution during the reign of the late king of
3638 Prussia, that strange compound of lawless
3639 debauchery, and priest-ridden superstition:
3640 and it is probable that he had little inclination,
3641 in his old age, to act over again the fortunes,
3642 and hair-breadth escapes of Wolf. The expul-
3643 sion of the first among Kant's disciples, who at-
3644 tempted to complete his system, from the
3645 university of Jena, with the confiscation and
3646 prohibition of the obnoxious work by the joint
3647 efforts of the courts of Saxony and Hanover,
3648 supplied experimental proof, that the venerable
3649 old man's caution was not groundless. In spite
3650 therefore of his own declarations, I could never
3651 believe, it was possible for him to have meant
3652 no more by his Noumenon, or THING IN ITSELF,
3653 than his mere words express; or that in his
3654 own conception he confined the whole plastic
3655 power to the forms of the intellect, leaving for
3656 the external cause, for the materiale of our
3657 sensations, a matter without form, which is
3658 doubtless inconceivable. I entertained doubts
3659 likewise, whether in his own mind, he even laid
3660 all the stress, which he appears to do on the
3661 moral postulates.

3662 An IDEA, in the highest sense of that word,

{{Page 147}}

3663 cannot be conveyed but by a symbol; and,
3664 except in geometry, all symbols of neces-
3665 sity involve an apparent contradiction. Ph{o}n{ee}se
3666 Sunetoisen: and for those who could not pierce
3667 through this symbolic husk, his writings were
3668 not intended. Questions which can not be
3669 fully answered without exposing the respon-
3670 dent to personal danger, are not entitled to a
3671 fair answer; and yet to say this openly, would
3672 in many cases furnish the very advantage,
3673 which the adversary is insidiously seeking
3674 after. Veracity does not consist in saying,
3675 but in the intention of communicating truth;
3676 and the philosopher who can not utter the
3677 whole truth without conveying falsehood, and
3678 at the same time, perhaps, exciting the most
3679 malignant passions, is constrained to express
3680 himself either mythically or equivocally. When
3681 Kant therefore was importuned to settle the
3682 disputes of his commentators himself, by de-
3683 claring what he meant, how could he decline
3684 the honours of martyrdom with less offence,
3685 than by simply replying "I meant what I
3686 "said, and at the age of near four score, I have
3687 "something else, and more important to do,
3688 "than to write a commentary on my own works."

3689 FICHTE'S Wissenschaftslehre, or Lore of Ul-
3690 timate Science, was to add the key-stone of the
3691 arch: and by commencing with an act, instead
3692 of a thing or substance, Fichte assuredly gave

{{Page 148}}

3693 the first mortal blow to Spinozism, as taught by
3694 Spinoza himself; and supplied the idea of a
3695 system truly metaphysical, and of a metaphy-
3696 sique truly systematic: (i. e. having its spring
3697 and principle within itself.) But this funda-
3698 mental idea he overbuilt with a heavy mass of
3699 mere notions, and psychological acts of arbitrary
3700 reflection. Thus his theory degenerated into a
3701 crude* egoismus, a boastful and hyperstoic hos-
3702 tility to NATURE, as lifeless, godless, and alto-
3703 gether unholy: while his religion consisted in
3704 the assumption of a mere ORDO ORDINANS, which
3705 we were permitted exoteric¨¦ to call GOD; and
3706 his ethics in an ascetic, and almost monkish,
3707 mortification of the natural passions and desires.

3708 In Schelling's "NATUR-PHILOSOPHIE," and
3710 ISMUS," I first found a genial coincidence with
3711 much that I had toiled out for myself, and a
3712 powerful assistance in what I had yet to do.

3713 I have introduced this statement, as appro-
3714 priate to the narrative nature of this sketch; yet
3715 rather in reference to the work which I have
3716 announced in a preceding page, than to my

*The following burlesque on the Fichtean Egoismus may,
perhaps, be amusing, to the few who have studied the system,
and to those who are unacquainted with it, may convey as
tolerable a likeness of Fichte's idealism as can be expected
from an avowed caracature.

3717 The categorical imperative, or the annunciation of the
3718 new Teutonic God, EG{O}ENKAIPAN: a dithyrambic Ode,*

{{Page 149}}

3719 present subject. It would be but a mere act
3720 of justice to myself, were I to warn my future
3721 readers, that an identity of thought, or even
3722 similarity of phrase will not be at all times a
3723 certain proof that the passage has been borrow-
3724 ed from Schelling, or that the conceptions were
3725 originally learnt from him. In this instance, as

*by QUERKOPF VON KLUBSTICK, Grammarian, and Subrec-
tor in Gymnasio. ****

Eu! Dei vices gerens, ipse Divus,
(Speak English, Friend!) the God Imperativus,
Here on this market-cross aloud I cry:
I, I, I! I itself I!
The form and the substance, the what and the why,
The when and the where, and the low and the high,
The inside and outside, the earth and the sky,
I, you, and he, and he, you and I,
All souls and all bodies are I itself I!
All I itself I!
(Fools! a truce with this starting!)
All my I! all my I!
He's a heretic dog who but adds Betty Martin!
Thus cried the God with high imperial tone:
In robe of stiffest state, that scoff'd at beauty,
A pronoun-verb imperative he shone--
Then substantive and plural-singular grown
He thus spake on! Behold in I alone
(For ethics boast a syntax of their own)
Or if in ye, yet as I doth depute ye,
In O! I, you, the vocative of duty!
I of the world's whole Lexicon the root!
Of the whole universe of touch, sound, sight
The genitive and ablative to boot:
The accusative of wrong, the nom'native of right,
And in all cases the case absolute!
Self-construed, I all other moods decline:
Imperative, from nothing we derive us;
Yet as a super-postulate of mine,
Unconstrued antecedence I assign
To X, Y, Z, the God infinitivus!

{{Page 150}}

3726 in the dramatic lectures of Schlegel to which I
3727 have before alluded, from the same motive of
3728 self-defence against the charge of plagiarism,
3729 many of the most striking resemblances, indeed
3730 all the main and fundamental ideas, were born
3731 and matured in my mind before I had ever seen
3732 a single page of the German Philosopher; and
3733 I might indeed affirm with truth, before the
3734 more important works of Schelling had been
3735 written, or at least made public. Nor is this
3736 coincidence at all to be wondered at. We
3737 had studied in the same school; been discip-
3738 lined by the same preparatory philosophy,
3739 namely, the writings of Kant; we had both
3740 equal obligations to the polar logic and dyna-
3741 mic philosophy of Giordano Bruno; and Schel-
3742 ling has lately, and, as of recent acquisition,
3743 avowed that same affectionate reverence for the
3744 labors of Behmen, and other mystics, which I
3745 had formed at a much earlier period. The
3746 coincidence of SCHELLING'S system with cer-
3747 tain general ideas of Behmen, he declares to have
3748 been mere coincidence; while my obligations
3749 have been more direct. He needs give to Beh-
3750 men only feelings of sympathy; while I owe
3751 him a debt of gratitude. God forbid! that I
3752 should be suspected of a wish to enter into a
3753 rivalry with SCHELLING for the honors so une-
3754 quivocally his right, not only as a great and
3755 original genius, but as the founder of the [[PHI-]]

{{Page 151}}

3756 ||PHI||LOSOPHY OF NATURE, and as the most success-
3757 ful improver of the Dynamic* System which,
3758 begun by Bruno, was re-introduced (in a more
3759 philosophical form, and freed from all its impu-
3760 rities and visionary accompaniments) by KANT;
3761 in whom it was the native and necessary growth
3762 of his own system. KANT'S followers, how-
3763 ever, on whom (for the greater part) their mas-
3764 ter's cloak had fallen without, or with a very
3765 scanty portion of, his spirit, had adopted his
3766 dynamic ideas, only as a more refined species
3767 of mechanics. With exception of one or two
3768 fundamental ideas, which cannot be with-held
3769 from FICHTE, to SCHELLING we owe the [[com-]]

* It would be an act of high and almost criminal injustice to
pass over in silence the name of |Mr.| RICHARD SAUMAREZ,
a gentleman equally well known as a medical man and as a
philanthropist, but who demands notice on the present oc-
casion as the author of "a new System of Physiology" in two
volumes octavo, published 1797; and in 1812 of "an Exa-
mination of the natural and artificial Systems of Philosophy
which now prevail" in one volume octavo, entitled, "The
Principles of physiological and physical Science." The latter
work is not quite equal to the former in style or arrangement;
and there is a greater necessity of distinguishing the princi-
ples of the author's philosophy from his conjectures con-
cerning colour, the atmospheric matter, comets, |&c.| which
whether just or erroneous are by no means necessary conse-
quences of that philosophy. Yet even in this department
of this volume, which I regard as comparatively the inferior
work, the reasonings by which |Mr.| Saumarez invalidates the
immanence of an infinite power in any finite substance are
the offspring of no common mind; and the experiment on
the expansibility of the air is at least plausible and highly in-
genious. But the merit, which will secure both to the book
and to the writer a high and honorable name with posterity,
consists in the masterly force of reasoning, and the [[copious-]]*

{{Page 152}}

3770 ||com||pletion, and the most important victories, of
3771 this revolution in philosophy. To me it will be
3772 happiness and honor enough, should I succeed
3773 in rendering the system itself intelligible to my
3774 countrymen, and in the application of it to the
3775 most awful of subjects for the most important
3776 of purposes, Whether a work is the offspring
3777 of a man's own spirit, and the product of ori-
3778 ginal thinking, will be discovered by those who
3779 are its sole legitimate judges, by better tests
3780 than the mere reference to dates. For readers
3781 in general, let whatever shall be found in this
3782 or any future work of mine, that resembles, or
3783 coincides with, the doctrines of my German

*||copious||ness of induction, with which he has assailed, and (in my
opinion) subverted the tyranny of the mechanic system in
physiology; established not only the existence of final causes,
but their necessity and efficiency in every system that merits
the name of philosophical; and substituting life and pro-
gressive power, for the contradictory inert force, has a right
to be known and remembered as the first instaurator of the
dynamic philosophy in England. The author's views, as far
as concerns himself, are unborrowed and compleatly his own,
as he neither possessed nor do his writings discover, the
least acquaintance with the works of Kant, in which the
germs of the philosophy exist; and his volumes were pub-
lished many years before the full developement of these
germs by Schelling. |Mr.| Saumarez's detection of the Brau-
nonian system was no light or ordinary service at the time;
and I scarcely remember in any work on any subject a con-
futation so thoroughly satisfactory. It is sufficient at this
time to have stated the fact; as in the preface to the work,
which I have already announced on the Logos, I have ex-
hibited in detail the merits of this writer, and genuine philo-
sopher, who needed only have taken his foundations some-
what deeper and wider to have superseded a considerable
part of my labours.

{{Page 153}}

3784 predecessor, though contemporary, be wholly
3785 attributed to him provided, that the absence
3786 of distinct references to his books, which I could
3787 not at all times make with truth as designating
3788 citations or thoughts actually derived from him;
3789 and which, I trust, would, after this general ac-
3790 knowledgment be superfluous; be not charged
3791 on me as an ungenerous concealment or inten-
3792 tional plagiarism. I have not indeed (eheu! res
3793 angusta domi!) been hitherto able to procure
3794 more than two of his books, viz. the 1st volume
3795 of his collected Tracts, and his System of Trans-
3796 cendental Idealism; to which, however, I must
3797 add a small pamphlet against Fichte, the spirit
3798 of which was to my feelings painfully incongru-
3799 ous with the principles, and which (with the
3800 usual allowance afforded to an antithesis)
3801 displayed the love of wisdom rather than the
3802 wisdom of love. I regard truth as a divine
3803 ventriloquist: I care not from whose mouth the
3804 sounds are supposed to proceed, if only the
3805 words are audible and intelligible. "Albeit, I
3806 "must confess to be half in doubt, whether I
3807 "should bring it forth or no, it being so contrary
3808 "to the eye of the world, and the world so po-
3809 "tent in most men's hearts, that I shall endanger
3810 "either not to be regarded or not to be under-
3811 "stood."

3812 MILTON: Reason of Church Government.

{{Page 154}}

3813 And to conclude the subject of citation,
3814 with a cluster of citations, which as taken
3815 from books, not in common use, may con-
3816 tribute to the reader's amusement, as a vo-
3817 luntary before a sermon."Dolet mihi qui-
3818 dem deliciis literarum inescatos subito jam ho-
3819 mines adeo esse, præsertim qui Christianos se
3820 profitentur, et legere nisi quod ad delectationem
3821 facit, sustineant nihil: unde et disciplinæ se-
3822 veriores et philosophia ipsa jam fere prorsus
3823 etiam a doctis negliguntur. Quod quidem pro-
3824 positum studiorum, nisi mature corrigitur, tam
3825 magnum rebus incommodum dabit, qu¨¢m dedit
3826 Barbaries olim. Pertinax res Barbaries est,
3827 fateor: sed minus potest tamen, qu¨¢m illa mol-
3828 lities et persuasa prudentia literarum, quæ si
3829 ratione caret, sapientiæ virtutisque specie mor-
3830 tales miser¨¨ circumducit. Succedet igitur, ut
3831 arbitror, haud ita multo post, pro rusticanâ
3832 seculi nostri ruditate captatrix illa communi-
3833 loquentia robur animi virilis omne, omnem
3834 virtutem masculam profligatura, nisi cavetur."

3835 SIMON GRYNÆUS, candido lectori, prefixed to
3836 the Latin translation of Plato, by Marsilius
3837 Ficinus. Lugduni, 1557. A too prophetic re-
3838 mark, which has been in fulfilment from the
3839 year 1680, to the present 1815. N. B. By
3840 " persuasa prudentia," Grynæus means self-
3841 complacent common sense as opposed to science
3842 and philosophic reason.

{{Page 155}}

3843 "Est medius ordo et velut equestris Ingeni-
3844 "orum quidem sagacium et rebus humanis com-
3845 "modorum, non tamen in primam magnitudinem
3846 "patentium. Eorum hominum, ut ita dicam,
3847 "major annona est. Sedulum esse, nihil temer¨¨
3848 "loqui, assuescere labori, et imagine prudentiæ
3849 "|&| modestiæ tegere angustiores partes captûs
3850 "dum exercitationem et usum, quo isti in civi-
3851 "libus rebus pollent, pro natura et magnitudine
3852 "ingenii plerique accipiunt."

3854 " As therefore, physicians are many times
3855 "forced to leave such methods of curing as them-
3856 "selves know to be fittest, and being over-ruled
3857 "by the sick man's impatience, are fain to try
3858 "the best they can: in like sort, considering how
3859 "the case doth stand with the present age, full
3860 "of tongue and weak of brain, behold we would
3861 "(if our subject permitted it) yield to the stream
3862 "thereof. That way we would be contented to
3863 "prove our thesis, which being the worse in
3864 "itself, notwithstanding is now by reason of com-
3865 "mon imbecility the fitter and likelier to be
3866 "brooked."--HOOKER.

3867 If this fear could be rationally entertained in
3868 the controversial age of Hooker, under the then
3869 robust discipline of the scholastic logic, par-
3870 donably may a writer of the present times an-
3871 ticipate a scanty audience for abstrusest themes,
3872 and truths that can neither be communicated

{{Page 156}}

3873 or received without effort of thought, as well
3874 as patience of attention.

3875 " Che s'io non erro al calcular de' punti,
3876 "Par ch' Asinina Stella a noi predomini,
3877 "E'l Somaro e'l castron si sian congiunti.
3878 "Il tempo d'Apuleio piu non si nomini:
3879 "Che se allora un sol Huom sembrava un Asino,
3880 "Mille Asini ¨¢ miei d¨¬ rassembran Huomini!"

3881 Di SALVATOR ROSA Satir. I. 1. 10.

{{Page 157}}


3883 A chapter of digression and anecdotes, as an
3884 interlude preceding that on the nature and
3885 genesis of the imagination or plastic power--
3886 On pedantry and pedantic expressions--Ad-
3887 vice to young authors respecting publication--
3888 Various anecdotes of the author's literary life,
3889 and the progress of his opinions in religion
3890 and politics.

3891 " Esemplastic. The word is not in Johnson,
3892 nor have I met with it elsewhere." Neither
3893 have I! I constructed it myself from the Greek
3894 words, eis en plattein i. e. to shape into one;
3895 because, having to convey a new sense, I
3896 thought that a new term would both aid the
3897 recollection of my meaning, and prevent its
3898 being confounded with the usual import of
3899 the word, imagination. "But this is pedantry!"
3900 Not necessarily so, I hope. If I am not mis-
3901 informed, pedantry consists in the use of words
3902 unsuitable to the time, place, and company.
3903 The language of the market would be in the
3904 schools as pedantic, though it might not be re-
3905 probated by that name, as the language of the
3906 schools in the market. The mere man of the

{{Page 158}}

3907 world, who insists that no other terms but
3908 such as occur in common conversation should
3909 be employed in a scientific disquisition, and
3910 with no greater precision, is as truly a pedant
3911 as the man of letters, who either over-rating
3912 the acquirements of his auditors, or misled by
3913 his own familiarity with technical or scholastic
3914 terms, converses at the wine-table with his
3915 mind fixed on his musæum or laboratory; even
3916 though the latter pedant instead of desiring his
3917 wife to make the tea, should bid her add to the
3918 quant. suff. of thea sinensis the oxyd of hy-
3919 drogen saturated with caloric. To use the
3920 colloquial (and in truth somewhat vulgar)
3921 metaphor, if the pedant of the cloyster, and the
3922 pedant of the lobby, both smell equally of the
3923 shop, yet the odour from the Russian binding
3924 of good old authentic-looking folios and quartos
3925 is less annoying than the steams from the
3926 tavern or bagnio. Nay, though the pedantry
3927 of the scholar should betray a little ostentation,
3928 yet a well-conditioned mind would more easily,
3929 methinks, tolerate the fox brush of learned
3930 vanity, than the sans culotterie of a contemptu-
3931 ous ignorance, that assumes a merit from
3932 mutilation in the self-consoling sneer at the
3933 pompous incumbrance of tails.

3934 The first lesson of philosophic discipline
3935 is to wean the student's attention from the
3936 DEGREES of things, which alone form the

{{Page 159}}

3937 vocabulary of common life, and to direct it to
3938 the KIND abstracted from degree. Thus the
3939 chemical student is taught not to be startled at
3940 disquisitions on the heat in ice, or on latent
3941 and fixible light. In such discourse the in-
3942 structor has no other alternative than either to
3943 use old words uith new meanings (the plan
3944 adopted by Darwin in his Zoonomia;) or to
3945 introduce new terms, after the example of
3946 Linnæus, and the framers of the present che-
3947 mical nomenclature. The latter mode is evi-
3948 dently preferable, were it only that the former
3949 demands a twofold exertion of thought in one
3950 and the same act. For the reader (or hearer)
3951 is required not only to learn and bear in mind
3952 the new definition; but to unlearn, and keep
3953 out of his view, the old and habitual meaning;
3954 a far more difficult and perplexing task, and
3955 for which the mere semblance of eschewing
3956 pedantry seems to me an inadequate compen-
3957 sation. Where, indeed, it is in our power to
3958 recall an appropriate term that had without
3959 sufficient reason become obsolete, it is doubt-
3960 less a less evil to restore than to coin anew.
3961 Thus to express in one word, all that apper-
3962 tains to the perception considered as passive,
3963 and merely recipient, I have adopted from our
3964 elder classics the word sensuous; because sen-
3965 sual is not at present used, except in a bad
3966 sense, or at least as a moral distinction, while

{{Page 160}}

3967 sensitive and sensible would each convey a
3968 different meaning. Thus too I have followed
3969 Hooker, Sanderson, Milton, |&c.| in designating
3970 the immediateness of any act or object of know-
3971 lege by the word intuition, used sometimes
3972 subjectively, sometimes objectively, even as we
3973 use the word, thought; now as the thought, or
3974 act of thinking, and now as a thought, or the
3975 object of our reflection; and we do this without
3976 confusion or obscurity. The very words, ob-
3977 jective and subjective, of such constant recur-
3978 rence in the schools of yore, I have ventured
3979 to re-introduce, because I could not so briefly,
3980 or conveniently by any more familiar terms
3981 distinguish the percipere from the percipi.
3982 Lastly, I have cautiously discriminated the
3983 terms, the REASON, and the UNDERSTANDING,
3984 encouraged and confirmed by the authority of
3985 our genuine divines, and philosophers, before
3986 the revolution.

3987 --"both life, and sense,
3988 Fancy, and understanding: whence the soul
3989 Reason receives, and REASON is her being,
3990 DISCURSIVE or INTUITIVE, Discourse*
3991 Is oftest your's, the latter most is our's,
3992 Differing but in degree, in kind the same."


* But for sundry notes on Shakspeare, |&c.| which have
fallen in my way, I should have deemed it unnecessary to
observe, that discourse here, or elswhere does not mean what
we now call discoursing; but the discursion of the mind, the
processes of generalization and subsumption, of deduction*

{{Page 161}}

3994 I say, that I was confirmed by authority so ve-
3995 nerable: for I had previous and higher motives
3996 in my own conviction of the importance, nay,
3997 of the necessity of the distinction, as both an
3998 indispensable condition and a vital part of all
3999 sound speculation in metaphysics, ethical or
4000 theological. To establish this distinction was
4001 one main object of THE FRIEND; if even in a
4002 biography of my own literary life I can with
4003 propriety refer to a work, which was printed
4004 rather than published, or so published that it
4005 had been well for the unfortunate author, if it
4006 had remained in manuscript! I have even at
4007 this time bitter cause for remembering that,
4008 which a number of my subscribers have but a
4009 trifling motive for forgetting. This effusion
4010 might have been spared; but I would feign
4011 flatter myself, that the reader will be less aus-
4012 tere than an oriental professor of the bastinado,
4013 who during an attempt to extort per argumen-
4014 tum baculinum a full confession from a culprit,
4015 interrupted his outcry of pain by reminding him,
4016 that it was "a mere digression!" All this noise,
4017 Sir! is nothing to the point, and no sort of
4018 answer to my QUESTIONS! Ah! but (replied
4019 the sufferer) it is the most pertinent reply in na-
4020 ture to your blows.

*and conclusion. Thus, Philosophy has hitherto been DISCUR-
SIVE: while Geometry is always and essentially INTUITIVE.

{{Page 162}}

4021 An imprudent man of common goodness of
4022 heart, cannot but wish to turn even his impru-
4023 dences to the benefit of others, as far as this is
4024 possible. If therefore any one of the readers of
4025 this semi-narrative should be preparing or in-
4026 tending a periodical work, I warn him, in the
4027 first place, against trusting in the number of
4028 names on his subscription list. For he cannot
4029 be certain that the names were put down by
4030 sufficient authority; or should that be ascer-
4031 tained) it still remains to be known, whether
4032 they were not extorted by some over zealous
4033 friend's importunity; whether the subscriber
4034 had not yielded his name, merely from want of
4035 courage to answer, no! and with the intention
4036 of dropping the work as soon as possible. One
4037 gentleman procured me nearly a hundred names
4038 for THE FRIEND, and not only took frequent
4039 opportunity to remind me of his success in his
4040 canvas, but laboured to impress my mind with
4041 the sense of the obligation, I was under to the
4042 subscribers; for (as he very pertinently admo-
4043 nished me) "fifty-two shillings a year was a
4044 large sum to be bestowed on one individual,
4045 where there were so many objects of charity
4046 with strong claims to the assistance of the be-
4047 nevolent." Of these hundred patrons ninety
4048 threw up the publication before the fourth
4049 number, without any notice; though it was
4050 well known to them, that in consequence of

{{Page 163}}

4051 the distance, and the slowness and irregularity
4052 of the conveyance, I was compelled to lay in
4053 a stock of stamped paper for at least eight weeks
4054 beforehand; each sheet of which stood me in
4055 five pence previous to its arrival at my printer's;
4056 though the subscription money was not to be
4057 received till the twenty-first week after the com-
4058 mencement of the work; and lastly, though it
4059 was in nine cases out of ten impracticable for
4060 me to receive the money for two or three
4061 numbers without paying an equal sum for the
4062 postage.

4063 In confirmation of my first caveat, I will se-
4064 lect one fact among many. On my list of sub-
4065 scribers, among a considerable number of names
4066 equally flattering, was that of an Earl of Cork,
4067 with his address. He might as well have been
4068 an Earl of Bottle, for aught I knew of him,
4069 who had been content to reverence the peerage
4070 in abstracto, rather than in concretis. Of course
4071 THE FRIEND was regularly sent as far, if I re-
4072 member right, as the eighteenth number: i. e.
4073 till a fortnight before the subscription was to be
4074 paid. And lo! just at this time I received a
4075 letter from his Lordship, reproving me in lan-
4076 guage far more lordly than courteous for my
4077 impudence in directing my pamphlets to him,
4078 who knew nothing of me or my work! Seven-
4079 teen or eighteen numbers of which, however,
4080 his Lordship was pleased to retain, probably

{{Page 164}}

4081 for the culinary or post-culinary conveniences
4082 of his servants.

4083 Secondly, I warn all others from the attempt
4084 to deviate from the ordinary mode of publishing
4085 a work by the trade. I thought indeed, that to
4086 the purchaser it was indifferent, whether thirty
4087 per cent. of the purchase-money went to the
4088 booksellers or to the government; and that the
4089 convenience of receiving the work by the post
4090 at his own door would give the preference to
4091 the latter. It is hard, I own, to have been la-
4092 bouring for years, in collecting and arranging
4093 the materials; to have spent every shilling that
4094 could be spared after the necessaries of life had
4095 been furnished, in buying books, or in journies
4096 for the purpose of consulting them or of acquir-
4097 ing facts at the fountain head; then to buy the
4098 paper, pay for the printing, |&c.| all at least fif-
4099 teen per cent. beyond what the trade would
4100 have paid; and then after all to give thirty per
4101 cent. not of the net profits, but of the gross re-
4102 sults of the sale, to a man who has merely to
4103 give the books shelf or warehouse room, and
4104 permit his apprentice to hand them over the
4105 counter to those who may ask for them; and
4106 this too copy by copy, although if the work be
4107 on any philosophical or scientific subject, it
4108 may be years before the edition is sold off. All
4109 this, I confess, must seem an hardship, and
4110 one, to which the products of industry in no

{{Page 165}}

4111 other mode of exertion are subject. Yet even
4112 this is better, far better, than to attempt in any
4113 way to unite the functions of author and pub-
4114 lisher. But the most prudent mode is to sell
4115 the copy-right, at least of one or more editions,
4116 for the most that the trade will offer. By few
4117 only can a large remuneration be expected;
4118 but fifty pounds and ease of mind are of more
4119 real advantage to a literary man, than the chance
4120 of five hundred with the certainty of insult and
4121 degrading anxieties. I shall have been griev-
4122 ously misunderstood, if this statement should
4123 be interpreted as written with the desire of
4124 detracting from the character of booksellers or
4125 publishers. The individuals did not make the
4126 laws and customs of their trade, but as in every
4127 other trade take them as they find them. Till
4128 the evil can be proved to be removable and with-
4129 out the substitution of an equal or greater in-
4130 convenience, it were neither wise or manly even
4131 to complain of it. But to use it as a pretext for
4132 speaking, or even for thinking, or feeling, un-
4133 kindly or opprobiously of the tradesmen, as
4134 individuals, would be something worse than un-
4135 wise or even than unmanly; it would be im-
4136 moral and calumnious! My motives point in a
4137 far different direction and to far other objects,
4138 as will be seen in the conclusion of the chapter.

4139 A learned and exemplary old clergyman,
4140 who many years ago went to his reward [[fol-]]

{{Page 166}}

4141 ||fol||lowed by the regrets and blessings of his flock,
4142 published at his own expence two volumes
4143 octavo, entitled, a new Theory of Redemption.
4144 The work was most severely handled in the
4145 Monthly or Critical Review, I forget which,
4146 and this unprovoked hostility became the good
4147 old man's favorite topic of conversation among
4148 his friends. Well! (he used to exclaim) in the
4149 SECOND edition, I shall have an opportunity of
4150 exposing both the ignorance and the malignity
4151 of the anonymous critic. Two or three years
4152 however passed by without any tidings from
4153 the bookseller, who had undertaken the print-
4154 ing and publication of the work, and who was
4155 perfectly at his ease, as the author was known
4156 to be a man of large property. At length the
4157 accounts were written for; and in the course of
4158 a few weeks they were presented by the rider
4159 for the house, in person. My old friend put on
4160 his spectacles, and holding the scroll with no
4161 very firm hand, began--Paper, so much: O
4162 moderate enough--not at all beyond my expec-
4163 tation! Printing, so much: well! moderate
4164 enough! Stitching, covers, advertisements, car-
4165 riage, |&c.| so much.--Still nothing amiss. Sel-
4166 leridge (for orthography is no necessary part
4167 of a bookseller's literary acquirements) |L|3. 3s.
4168 Bless me! only three guineas for the what d'ye
4169 call it? the selleridge? No more, Sir! replied
4170 the rider. Nay, but that is too moderate! [[re-]]

{{Page 167}}

4171 ||re||joined my old friend. Only three guineas for
4172 selling a thousand copies of a work in two
4173 volumes? O Sir! (cries the young traveller)
4174 you have mistaken the word. There have been
4175 none of them sold; they have been sent back
4176 from London long ago; and this |L|3. 3s. is for
4177 the cellaridge, or warehouse-room in our book
4178 cellar. The work was in consequence prefer-
4179 red from the ominous cellar of the publisher's,
4180 to the author's garret; and on presenting a
4181 copy to an acquaintance the old gentleman
4182 used to tell the anecdote with great humor and
4183 still greater good nature.

4184 With equal lack of worldly knowledge, I
4185 was a far more than equal sufferer for it, at the
4186 very outset of my authorship. Toward the
4187 close of the first year from the time, that in an
4188 inauspicious hour I left the friendly cloysters,
4189 and the happy grove of quiet, ever honored
4190 Jesus College, Cambridge, I was persuaded by
4191 sundry Philanthropists and Anti-polemists to
4192 set on foot a periodical work, entitled THE
4193 WATCHMAN, that (according to the general motto
4194 of the work) all might know the truth, and that
4195 the truth might make us free! In order to
4196 exempt it from the stamp-tax, and likewise to
4197 contribute as little as possible to the supposed
4198 guilt of a war against freedom, it was to be
4199 published on every eighth day, thirty-two pa-
4200 ges, large octavo, closely printed, and price

{{Page 168}}

4201 only FOUR-PENCE. Accordingly with a flaming,
4202 prospectus, "Knowledge is Power," |&c.| to cry the
4203 state of the political atmosphere, and so forth,
4204 I set off on a tour to the North, from Bristol
4205 to Sheffield, for the purpose of procuring cus-
4206 tomers, preaching by the way in most of the
4207 great towns, as an hireless volunteer, in a blue
4208 coat and white waistcoat, that not a rag of the
4209 woman of Babylon might be seen on me. For
4210 I was at that time and long after, though a
4211 Trinitarian (i. e. ad normam Platonis) in philo-
4212 sophy, yet a zealous Unitarian in Religion;
4213 more accurately, I was a psilanthropist, one of
4214 those who believe our Lord to have been the
4215 real son of Joseph, and who lay the main stress
4216 on the resurrection rather than on the cruci-
4217 fixion. O! never can I remember those days
4218 with either shame or regret. For I was most
4219 sincere, most disinterested! My opinions were
4220 indeed in many and most important points er-
4221 roneous; but my heart was single. Wealth, rank,
4222 life itself then seemed cheap to me, compared
4223 with the interests of (what I believed to be) the
4224 truth, and the will of my maker. I cannot even
4225 accuse myself of having been actuated by va-
4226 nity; for in the expansion of my enthusiasm I
4227 did not think of myself at all.

4228 My campaign commenced at Birmingham;
4229 and my first attack was on a rigid Calvinist, a
4230 tallow chandler by trade. He was a tall dingy

{{Page 169}}

4231 man, in whom length was so predominant over
4232 breadth, that he might almost have been bor-
4233 rowed for a foundery poker. O that face! a
4234 face katemphasin! I have it before me at this
4235 moment. The lank, black, twine-like hair,
4236 pingui-nitescent, cut in a strait line along the
4237 black stubble of his thin gunpowder eye brows,
4238 that looked like a scorched after-math from a last
4239 week's shaving. His coat collar behind in per-
4240 fect unison, both of colour and lustre with the
4241 coarse yet glib cordage, that I suppose he
4242 called his hair, and which with a bend inward
4243 at the nape of the neck (the only approach to
4244 flexure in his whole figure) slunk in behind
4245 his waistcoat; while the countenance lank,
4246 dark, very hard, and with strong perpendicular
4247 furrows, gave me a dim notion of some one
4248 looking at me through a used gridiron, all soot,
4249 grease, and iron! But he was one of the
4250 thorough-bred, a true lover of liberty, and (I
4251 was informed) had proved to the satisfaction of
4252 many, that |Mr.| Pitt was one of the horns of the
4253 second beast in the Revelations, that spoke like
4254 a dragon. A person, to whom one of my letters
4255 of recommendation had been addressed, was
4256 my introducer. It was a new event in my life,
4257 my first stroke in the new business I had under-
4258 taken of an author, yea, and of an author trad-
4259 ing on his own account. My companion after
4260 some imperfect sentences and a multitude of

{{Page 170}}

4261 hums and haas abandoned the cause to his
4262 client; and I commenced an harangue of half
4263 an hour to Phileleutheros, the tallow-chandler,
4264 varying my notes through the whole gamut of
4265 eloquence from the ratiocinative to the decla-
4266 matory, and in the latter from the pathetic to
4267 the indignant. I argued, I described, I promi-
4268 sed, I prophecied; and beginning with the cap-
4269 tivity of nations I ended with the near approach
4270 of the millenium, finishing the whole with some
4271 of my own verses describing that glorious state
4272 out of the Religious Musings:

4273 --Such delights,
4274 As float to earth, permitted visitants!
4275 When in some hour of solemn jubilee
4276 The massive gates of Paradise are thrown
4277 Wide open: and forth come in fragments wild
4278 Sweet echoes of unearthly melodies,
4279 And odors snatch'd from beds of Amaranth,
4280 And they that from the chrystal river of life
4281 Spring up on freshen'd wings, ambrosial gales!
4282 Religious Musings, l. 356.

4283 My taper man of lights listened with perse-
4284 verant and praise-worthy patience, though (as
4285 I was afterwards told on complaining of certain
4286 gales that were not altogether ambrosial) it was
4287 a melting day with him. And what, Sir! (he
4288 said after a short pause) might the cost be?
4289 Only FOUR-PENCE (O! how I felt the anti-climax,
4290 the abysmal bathos of that four-pence!) only
4291 four-pence, Sir, each number, to be published on

{{Page 171}}

4292 every eighth day. That comes to a deal of
4293 money at the end of a year. And how much
4294 did you say there was to be for the money?
4295 Thirty-two pages, Sir! large octavo, closely
4296 printed. Thirty and two pages? Bless me,
4297 why except what I does in a family way on the
4298 Sabbath, that's more than I ever reads, Sir!
4299 all the year round. I am as great a one, as any
4300 man in Brummagem, Sir! for liberty and truth
4301 and all them sort of things, but as to this (no
4302 offence, I hope, Sir!) I must beg to be excused.

4303 So ended my first canvas: from causes that
4304 I shall presently mention, I made but one other
4305 application in person. This took place at Man-
4306 chester, to a stately and opulent wholesale
4307 dealer in cottons. He took my letter of intro-
4308 duction, and having perused it, measured me
4309 from head to foot and again from foot to head,
4310 and then asked if I had any bill or invoice of
4311 the thing; I presented my prospectus to him;
4312 he rapidly skimmed and hummed over the first
4313 side, and still more rapidly the second and
4314 concluding page; crushed it within his fingers
4315 and the palm of his hand; then most delibe-
4316 rately and significantly rubbed and smoothed
4317 one part against the other; and lastly putting
4318 it into his pocket turned his back on me with
4319 an "over-run with these articles!" and so with
4320 out another syllable retired into his counting-
4321 house. And I can truly say, to my unspeakable
4322 amusement.

{{Page 172}}

4323 This I have said, was my second and last
4324 attempt. On returning baffled from the first,
4325 in which I had vainly essayed to repeat the
4326 miracle of Orpheus with the Brummagem pa-
4327 triot, I dined with the tradesman who had
4328 introduced me to him. After dinner he im-
4329 portuned me to smoke a pipe with him, and
4330 two or three other illuminati of the same
4331 rank. I objected, both because I was engaged
4332 to spend the evening with a minister and his
4333 friends, and because I had never smoked ex-
4334 cept once or twice in my life time, and then it
4335 was herb tobacco mixed with Oronooko. On
4336 the assurance however that the tobacco was
4337 equally mild, and seeing too that it was of a
4338 yellow colour; (not forgetting the lamentable
4339 difficulty, I have always experienced, in saying,
4340 No! and in abstaining from what the people
4341 about me were doing) I took half a pipe, filling
4342 the lower half of the bole with salt. I was soon
4343 however compelled to resign it, in consequence
4344 of a giddiness and distressful feeling in my eyes,
4345 which as I had drank but a single glass of ale,
4346 must, I knew, have been the effect of the to-
4347 bacco. Soon after, deeming myself recovered,
4348 I sallied forth to my engagement, but the walk
4349 and the fresh air brought on all the symptoms
4350 again, and I had scarcely entered the minister's
4351 drawing-room, and opened a small paquet of
4352 letters, which he had received from Bristol for

{{Page 173}}

4353 me; ere I sunk back on the sofa in a sort of
4354 swoon rather than sleep. Fortunately I had
4355 found just time enough to inform him of the
4356 confused state of my feelings, and of the oc-
4357 casion. For here and thus I lay, my face like
4358 a wall that is white-washing, deathy pale and
4359 with the cold drops of perspiration running
4360 down it from my forehead, while one after
4361 another there dropt in the different gentlemen,
4362 who had been invited to meet, and spend the
4363 evening with me, to the number of from fifteen
4364 to twenty. As the poison of tobacco acts but
4365 for a short time, I at length awoke from insen-
4366 sibility, and looked round on the party, my eyes
4367 dazzled by the candles which had been lighted
4368 in the interim. By way of relieving my embar-
4369 rassment one of the gentlemen began the con-
4370 versation, with "Have you seen a paper to day,
4371 |Mr.| Coleridge?" Sir! (I replied, rubbing my
4372 eyes) "I am far from convinced, that a chris-
4373 tian is permitted to read either newspapers or
4374 any other works of merely political and tem-
4375 porary interest." This remark so ludicrously
4376 inapposite to, or rather, incongruous with, the
4377 purpose, for which I was known to have visited
4378 Birmingham, and to assist me in which they
4379 were all then met, produced an involuntary
4380 and general burst of laughter; and seldom in-
4381 deed have I passed so many delightful hours,
4382 as I enjoyed in that room from the moment of

{{Page 174}}

4383 that laugh to an early hour the next morning.
4384 Never, perhaps, in so mixed and numerous a
4385 party have I since heard conversation sustained
4386 with such animation, enriched with such va-
4387 riety of information and enlivened with such a
4388 flow of anecdote. Both then and afterwards
4389 they all joined in dissuading me from proceed-
4390 ing with my scheme; assured me in the most
4391 friendly and yet most flattering expressions,
4392 that the employment was neither fit for me, nor
4393 I fit for the employment. Yet if I had deter-
4394 mined on persevering in it, they promised to
4395 exert themselves to the utmost to procure sub-
4396 scribers, and insisted that I should make no
4397 more applications in person, but carry on the
4398 canvass by proxy. The same hospitable re-
4399 ception, the same dissuasion, and (that failing)
4400 the same kind exertions in my behalf, I met
4401 with at Manchester, Derby, Nottingham, Shef-
4402 field, indeed, at every place in which I took
4403 up my sojourn. I often recall with affectionate
4404 pleasure the many respectable men who inte-
4405 rested themselves for me, a perfect stranger to
4406 them, not a few of whom I can still name among
4407 my friends. They will bear witness for me,
4408 how opposite even then my principles were to
4409 those of jacobinism or even of democracy, and
4410 can attest the strict accuracy of the statement
4411 which I have left on record in the 10th and
4412 11th numbers of THE FRIEND.

{{Page 175}}

4413 From this rememberable tour I returned with
4414 nearly a thousand names on the subscription
4415 list of the Watchman; yet more than half con-
4416 vinced, that prudence dictated the abandon-
4417 ment of the scheme. But for this very reason I
4418 persevered in it; for I was at that period of my
4419 life so compleatly hag-ridden by the fear of
4420 being influenced by selfish motives that to know
4421 a mode of conduct to be the dictate of prudence
4422 was a sort of presumptive proof to my feelings,
4423 that the contrary was the dictate of duty. Ac-
4424 cordingly, I commenced the work, which was
4425 announced in London by long bills in letters
4426 larger than had ever been seen before, and
4427 which (I have been informed, for I did not see
4428 them myself) eclipsed the glories even of the
4429 lottery puffs. But, alas! the publication of the
4430 very first number was delayed beyond the day
4431 announced for its appearance. In the second
4432 number an essay against fast days, with a most
4433 censurable application of a text from Isaiah for
4434 its motto, lost me near five hundred of my sub-
4435 scribers at one blow. In the two following
4436 numbers I made enemies of all my Jacobin and
4437 Democratic Patrons; for disgusted by their in-
4438 fidelity, and their adoption of French morals
4439 with French psilosophy ; and perhaps thinking,
4440 that charity ought to begin nearest home; in-
4441 stead of abusing the Government and the Aris-
4442 tocrats chiefly or entirely, as had been expected

{{Page 176}}

4443 of me, I levelled my attacks at " modern pa-
4444 triotism", and even ventured to declare my be-
4445 lief that whatever the motives of ministers might
4446 have been for the sedition (or as it was then the
4447 fashion to call them, the gagging) bills, yet the
4448 bills themselves would produce an effect to be
4449 desired by all the true friends of freedom, as
4450 far as they should contribute to deter men from
4451 openly declaiming on subjects, the principles
4452 of which they had never bottomed, and from
4453 " pleading to the poor and ignorant, instead of
4454 pleading for them." At the same time I avowed
4455 my conviction, that national education and a
4456 concurring spread of the gospel were the indis-
4457 pensable condition of any true political amelio-
4458 ration. Thus by the time the seventh number
4459 was published, I had the mortification (but
4460 why should I say this, when in truth I cared
4461 too little for any thing that concerned my world-
4462 ly interests to be at all mortified about it?)
4463 of seeing the preceding numbers exposed in
4464 sundry old iron shops for a penny a piece. At
4465 the ninth number I dropt the work. But from
4466 the London publisher I could not obtain a shil-
4467 ling; he was a ----- and set me at defiance.
4468 From other places I procured but little, and
4469 after such delays as rendered that little worth
4470 nothing: and I should have been inevitably
4471 thrown into jail by my Bristol printer, who re-
4472 fused to wait even for a month, for a sum [[be-]]

{{Page 177}}

4473 ||be||tween eighty and ninety pounds, if the money
4474 had not been paid for me by a man by no means
4475 affluent, a dear friend who attached himself to
4476 me from my first arrival at Bristol, who has
4477 continued my friend with a fidelity unconquered
4478 by time or even by my own apparent neglect;
4479 a friend from whom I never received an advice
4480 that was not wise, or a remonstrance that was
4481 not gentle and affectionate.

4482 Conscientiously an opponent of the first re-
4483 volutionary war, yet with my eyes thoroughly
4484 opened to the true character and impotence of
4485 the favorers of revolutionary principles in Eng-
4486 land, principles which I held in abhorrence
4487 (for it was part of my political creed, that who-
4488 ever ceased to act as an individual by making
4489 himself a member of any society not sanctioned
4490 by his Government, forfeited the rights of a
4491 citizen) -- a vehement anti-ministerialist, but after
4492 the invasion of Switzerland a more vehement
4493 anti-gallican, and still more intensely an anti-
4494 jacobin, I retired to a cottage at Stowey, and
4495 provided for my scanty maintenance by writing
4496 verses for a London Morning Paper. I saw
4497 plainly, that literature was not a profession, by
4498 which I could expect to live; for I could not
4499 disguise from myself, that whatever my talents
4500 might or might not be in other respects, yet
4501 they were not of the sort that could enable me
4502 to become a popular writer; and that whatever

{{Page 178}}

4503 my opinions might be in themselves, they were
4504 almost equi-distant from all the three prominent
4505 parties, the Pittites, the Foxites, and the De-
4506 mocrats. Of the unsaleable nature of my writ-
4507 ings I had an amusing memento one morning
4508 from our own servant girl. For happening to
4509 rise at an earlier hour than usual, I observed
4510 her putting an extravagant quantity of paper
4511 into the grate in order to light the fire, and
4512 mildly checked her for her wastefulness; la,
4513 Sir! (replied poor Nanny) why, it is only
4514 "WATCHMEN."

4515 I now devoted myself to poetry and to the
4516 study of ethics and psychology; and so pro-
4517 found was my admiration at this time of Hart-
4518 ley's Essay on Man, that I gave his name to my
4519 first born. In addition to the gentleman, my
4520 neighbour, whose garden joined on to my little
4521 orchard, and the cultivation of whose friend-
4522 ship had been my sole motive in choosing
4523 Stowey for my residence, I was so fortunate
4524 as to acquire, shortly after my settlement there,
4525 an invaluable blessing in the society and neigh-
4526 bourhood of one, to whom I could look up with
4527 equal reverence, whether I regarded him as a
4528 poet, a philosopher, or a man. His conversa-
4529 tion extended to almost all subjects, except
4530 physics and politics; with the latter he never
4531 troubled himself. Yet neither my retirement
4532 nor my utter abstraction from all the disputes

{{Page 179}}

4533 of the day could secure me in those jealous
4534 times from suspicion and obloquy, which did
4535 not stop at me, but extended to my excellent
4536 friend, whose perfect innocence was even ad-
4537 duced as a proof of his guilt. One of the many
4538 busy sycophants* of that day (I here use the
4539 word sycophant, in its original sense, as a
4540 wretch who flatters the prevailing party by in-
4541 forming against his neighbours, under pretence
4542 that they are exporters of prohibited figs or
4543 fancies! for the moral application of the term
4544 it matters not which)--one of these sycophan-
4545 tic law-mongrels, discoursing on the politics of
4546 the neighbourhood, uttered the following deep
4547 remark: "As to Coleridge, there is not so much
4548 harm in him, for he is a whirl-brain that talks
4549 whatever comes uppermost; but that -----!
4550 he is the dark traitor. You never hear HIM say
4551 a syllable on the subject."

4552 Now that the hand of providence has dis-
4553 ciplined all Europe into sobriety, as men tame
4554 wild elephants, by alternate blows and cares-
4555 ses; now that Englishmen of all classes are
4556 restored to their old English notions and feel-
4557 ings; it will with difficulty be credited, how
4558 great an influence was at that time possessed
4559 and exerted by the spirit of secret defamation
4560 (the too constant attendant on party-zeal!)

*Sukous Phainein, to shew or detect figs, the exportation of
which from Attica was forbidden by the laws.

{{Page 180}}

4561 during the restless interim from 1793 to the
4562 commencement of the Addington administra-
4563 tion, or the year before the truce of Amiens.
4564 For by the latter period the minds of the
4565 partizans, exhausted by excess of stimulation
4566 and humbled by mutual disappointment, had
4567 become languid. The same causes, that in-
4568 clined the nation to peace, disposed the indi-
4569 viduals to reconciliation. Both parties had
4570 found themselves in the wrong. The one had
4571 confessedly mistaken the moral character of the
4572 revolution, and the other had miscalculated both
4573 its moral and its physical resources. The ex-
4574 periment was made at the price of great, almost
4575 we may say, of humiliating sacrifices; and wise
4576 men foresaw that it would fail, at least in its
4577 direct and ostensible object. Yet it was pur-
4578 chased cheaply, and realized an object of equal
4579 value, and, if possible, of still more vital import-
4580 ance. For it brought about a national una-
4581 nimity unexampled in our history since the
4582 reign of Elizabeth; and providence, never want-
4583 ing to a good work when men have done their
4584 parts, soon provided a common focus in the
4585 cause of Spain, which made us all once more
4586 Englishmen by at once gratifying and correct-
4587 ing the predilections of both parties. The sin-
4588 cere reverers of the throne felt the cause of
4589 loyalty ennobled by its alliance with that of
4590 freedom; while the honest zealots of the people

{{Page 181}}

4591 could not but admit, that freedom itself assumed
4592 a more winning form, humanized by loyalty
4593 and consecrated by religious principle. The
4594 youthful enthusiasts who, flattered by the morn-
4595 ing rainbow of the French revolution, had made
4596 a boast of expatriating their hopes and fears,
4597 now disciplined by the succeeding storms and
4598 sobered by increase of years, had been taught
4599 to prize and honor the spirit of nationality as
4600 the best safeguard of national independence,
4601 and this again as the absolute pre-requisite and
4602 necessary basis of popular rights.

4603 If in Spain too disappointment has nipt our
4604 too forward expectations, yet all is not destroyed
4605 that is checked. The crop was perhaps spring-
4606 ing up too rank in the stalk, to kern well; and
4607 there were, doubtless, symptoms of the Gallican
4608 blight on it. If superstition and despotism have
4609 been suffered to let in their woolvish sheep to
4610 trample and eat it down even to the surface,
4611 yet the roots remain alive, and the second
4612 growth may prove all the stronger and healthier
4613 for the temporary interruption. At all events,
4614 to us heaven has been just and gracious. The
4615 people of England did their best, and have
4616 received their rewards. Long may we continue
4617 to deserve it! Causes, which it had been too
4618 generally the habit of former statesmen to re-
4619 gard as belonging to another world, are now
4620 admitted by all ranks to have been the main

{{Page 182}}

4621 agents of our success. "We fought from
4622 heaven; the stars in their courses fought against
4623 Sisera." If then unanimity grounded on moral
4624 feelings has been among the least equivocal
4625 sources of our national glory, that man deserves
4626 the esteem of his countrymen, even as patriots,
4627 who devotes his life and the utmost efforts of
4628 his intellect to the preservation and continuance
4629 of that unanimity by the disclosure and estab-
4630 lishment of principles. For by these all opinions
4631 must be ultimately tried; and (as the feelings
4632 of men are worthy of regard only as far as they
4633 are the representatives of their fixed opinions)
4634 on the knowledge of these all unanimity, not
4635 accidental and fleeting, must be grounded.
4636 Let the scholar, who doubts this assertion,
4637 refer only to the speeches and writings of
4638 EDMUND BURKE at the commencement of the
4639 American war, and compare them with his
4640 speeches and writings at the commencement of
4641 the French revolution. He will find the prin-
4642 ciples exactly the same and the deductions the
4643 same; but the practical inferences almost op-
4644 posite, in the one case from those drawn in the
4645 other; yet in both equally legitimate and in
4646 both equally confirmed by the results. Whence
4647 gained he this superiority of foresight? Whence
4648 arose the striking difference, and in most in-
4649 stances even the discrepancy between the
4650 grounds assigned by him, and by those who

{{Page 183}}

4651 voted with him, on the same questions? How
4652 are we to explain the notorious fact, that the
4653 speeches and writings of EDMUND BURKE are
4654 more interesting, at the present day, than they
4655 were found at the time of their first publica-
4656 tion; while those of his illustrious confede-
4657 rates are either forgotten, or exist only to
4658 furnish proofs, that the same conclusion, which
4659 one man had deduced scientifically, may be
4660 brought out by another in consequence of er-
4661 rors that luckily chanced to neutralize each
4662 other. It would be unhandsome as a con-
4663 jecture, even were it not, as it actually is,
4664 false in point of fact, to attribute this difference
4665 to deficiency of talent on the part of Burke's
4666 friends, or of experience, or of historical know-
4667 ledge. The satisfactory solution is, that Edmund
4668 Burke possessed and had sedulously sharpened
4669 that eye, which sees all things, actions, and
4670 events, in relation to the laws that determine
4671 their existence and circumscribe their possibi-
4672 lity. He referred habitually to principles. He
4673 was a scientific statesman; and therefore a
4674 seer. For every principle contains in itself the
4675 germs of a prophecy; and as the prophetic
4676 power is the essential privilege of science, so
4677 the fulfilment of its oracles supplies the outward
4678 and (to men in general) the only test of its claim
4679 to the title. Wearisome as Burke's refinements
4680 appeared to his parliamentary auditors, yet the

{{Page 184}}

4681 cultivated classes throughout Europe have rea-
4682 son to be thankful, that

4683 --he went on refining,
4684 And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining.

4685 Our very sign boards (said an illustrious friend
4686 to me) give evidence, that there has been a
4687 TITIAN in the world. In like manner, not
4688 only the debates in parliament, not only our
4689 proclamations and state papers, but the essays
4690 and leading paragraphs of our journals are so
4691 many remembrancers of EDMUND BURKE. Of
4692 this the reader may easily convince himself, if
4693 either by recollection or reference he will com-
4694 pare the opposition newspapers at the com-
4695 mencement and during the five or six following
4696 years of the French revolution with the senti-
4697 ments, and grounds of argument assumed in
4698 the same class of Journals at present, and for
4699 some years past.

4700 Whether the spirit of jacobinism, which the
4701 writings of Burke exorcised from the higher and
4702 from the literary classes, may not like the ghost
4703 in Hamlet, be heard moving and mining in the
4704 underground chambers with an activity the
4705 more dangerous because less noisy, may admit
4706 of a question. I have given my opinions on
4707 this point, and the grounds of them, in my
4708 letters to Judge Fletcher occasioned by his
4709 CHARGE to the Wexford grand jury, and pub-
4710 lished in the Courier. Be this as it may, the

{{Page 185}}

4711 evil spirit of jealousy, and with it the cerberean
4712 whelps of feud and slander, no longer walk
4713 their rounds, in cultivated society.

4714 Far different were the days to which these
4715 anecdotes have carried me back. The dark
4716 guesses of some zealous Quidnunc met with so
4717 congenial a soil in the grave alarm of a titled
4718 Dogberry of our neighbourhood, that a SPY was
4719 actually sent down from the government pour
4720 surveillance of myself and friend. There must
4721 have been not only abundance, but variety of
4722 these "honorable men" at the disposal of Mi-
4723 nisters: for this proved a very honest fellow.
4724 After three week's truly Indian perseverance in
4725 tracking us (for we were commonly together) du-
4726 ring all which time seldom were we out of doors,
4727 but he contrived to be within hearing (and all
4728 the while utterly unsuspected; how indeed
4729 could such a suspicion enter our fancies?) he
4730 not only rejected Sir Dogberry's request that
4731 he would try yet a little longer, but declared to
4732 him his belief, that both my friend and myself
4733 were as good subjects, for aught he could dis-
4734 cover to the contrary, as any in His Majesty's
4735 dominions. He had repeatedly hid himself, he
4736 said, for hours together behind a bank at the
4737 sea-side (our favorite seat) and overheard our
4738 conversation. At first he fancied, that we were
4739 aware of our danger; for he often heard me
4740 talk of one Spy Nozy, which he was inclined

{{Page 186}}

4741 to interpret of himself, and of a remarkable
4742 feature belonging to him; but he was speedily
4743 convinced that it was the name of a man who
4744 had made a book and lived long ago. Our
4745 talk ran most upon books, and we were perpe-
4746 tually desiring each other to look at this, and
4747 to listen to that; but he could not catch a word
4748 about politics. Once he had joined me on the
4749 road; (this occurred, as I was returning home
4750 alone from my friend's house, which was about
4751 three miles from my own cottage) and passing
4752 himself off as a traveller, he had entered into
4753 conversation with me, and talked of purpose in
4754 a democrat way in order to draw me out. The
4755 result, it appears, not only convinced him that
4756 I was no friend of jacobinism; but (he added)
4757 I had "plainly made it out to be such a silly as
4758 well as wicked thing, that he felt ashamed,
4759 though he had only put it on." I distinctly
4760 remembered the occurrence, and had mentioned
4761 it immediately on my return, repeating what
4762 the traveller with his Bardolph nose had said,
4763 with my own answer; and so little did I sus-
4764 pect the true object of my "tempter ere ac-
4765 cuser," that I expressed with no small pleasure
4766 my hope and belief, that the conversation had
4767 been of some service to the poor misled malcon-
4768 tent. This incident therefore prevented all
4769 doubt as to the truth of the report, which
4770 through a friendly medium came to me from

{{Page 187}}

4771 the master of the village inn, who had been
4772 ordered to entertain the Government Gentleman
4773 in his best manner, but above all to be silent
4774 concerning such a person being in his house.
4775 At length, he received Sir Dogberry's com-
4776 mands to accompany his guest at the final in-
4777 terview; and after the absolving suffrage of
4778 the gentleman honored with the confidence of
4779 Ministers answered, as follows, to the follow-
4780 ing queries? D. Well, landlord! and what do
4781 you know of the person in question? L. I see
4782 him often pass by with maister -----, my
4783 landlord (i. e. the owner of the house) and some-
4784 times with the new-comers at Holford; but I
4785 never said a word to him or he to me. D.
4786 But do you not know, that he has distributed
4787 papers and hand-bills of a seditious nature
4788 among the common people! L. No, your
4789 honor! I never heard of such a thing. D.
4790 Have you not seen this |Mr.| Coleridge, or heard
4791 of, his haranguing and talking to knots and
4792 clusters of the inhabitants?--What are you
4793 grinning at, Sir! L. Beg your honor's pardon!
4794 but I was only thinking, how they'd have stared
4795 at him. lf what I have heard be true, your
4796 honor! they would not have understood a
4797 word, he said. When our vicar was here,
4798 |Dr.| L. the master of the great school and canon
4799 of Windsor, there was a great dinner party at
4800 maister -------'s; and one of the farmers,

{{Page 188}}

4801 that was there, told us that he and the Doctor
4802 talked real Hebrew Greek at each other for an
4803 hour together after dinner. D. Answer the
4804 question, Sir! Does he ever harangue the peo-
4805 ple? L. I hope, your honor an't angry with
4806 me. I can say no more than I know. I never
4807 saw him talking with any one, but my land-
4808 lord, and our curate, and the strange gentle-
4809 man. D. Has he not been seen wandering on
4810 the hills towards the Channel, and along the
4811 shore, with books and papers in his hand,
4812 taking charts and maps of the country? L.
4813 Why, as to that, your honor! I own, I have
4814 heard; I am sure, I would not wish to say ill
4815 of any body; but it is certain, that I have
4816 heard--D. Speak out man! don't be afraid,
4817 you are doing your duty to your King, and
4818 Government. What have you heard? L. Why,
4819 folks do say, your honor! as how that he is a
4820 Poet, and that he is going to put Quantock and
4821 all about here in print; and as they be so much
4822 together, I suppose that the strange gentleman
4823 has some consarn in the business.--So ended
4824 this formidable inquisition, the latter part of
4825 which alone requires explanation, and at the
4826 same time entitles the anecdote to a place in
4827 my literary life. I had considered it as a
4828 defect in the admirable poem of the TASK, that
4829 the subject, which gives the title to the work,
4830 was not, and indeed could not be, carried on

{{Page 189}}

4831 beyond the three or four first pages, and that
4832 throughout the poem the connections are fre-
4833 quently awkward, and the transitions abrupt
4834 and arbitrary. I sought for a subject, that
4835 should give equal room and freedom for de-
4836 scription, incident, and impassioned reflections
4837 on men, nature, and society, yet supply in itself
4838 a natural connection to the parts, and unity to
4839 the whole. Such a subject I conceived myself
4840 to have found in a stream, traced from its source
4841 in the hills among the yellow-red moss and
4842 conical glass-shaped tufts of Bent, to the first
4843 break or fall, where its drops became audi-
4844 ble, and it begins to form a channel; thence
4845 to the peat and turf barn, itself built of the
4846 same dark squares as it sheltered; to the sheep-
4847 fold; to the first cultivated plot of ground; to
4848 the lonely cottage and its bleak garden won
4849 from the heath; to the hamlet, the villages, the
4850 market-town, the manufactories, and the sea-
4851 port. My walks therefore were almost daily
4852 on the top of Quantock, and among its sloping
4853 coombs. With my pencil and memorandum
4854 book in my hand, I was making studies, as
4855 the artists call them, and often moulding my
4856 thoughts into verse, with the objects and imagery
4857 immediately before my senses. Many circum-
4858 stances, evil and good, intervened to prevent
4859 the completion of the poem, which was to have
4860 been entitled "THE BROOK." Had I finished

{{Page 190}}

4861 the work, it was my purpose in the heat of the
4862 moment to have dedicated it to our then com-
4863 mittee of public safety as containing the charts
4864 and maps, with which I was to have supplied
4865 the French Government in aid of their plans of
4866 invasion. And these too for a tract of coast
4867 that from Clevedon to Minehead scarcely per-
4868 mits the approach of a fishing boat!

4869 All my experience from my first entrance
4870 into life to the present hour is in favor of the
4871 warning maxim, that the man, who opposes in
4872 toto the political or religious zealots of his age,
4873 is safer from their obloquy than he who differs
4874 from them in one or two points or perhaps only
4875 in degree. By that transfer of the feelings of
4876 private life into the discussion of public ques-
4877 tions, which is the queen bee in the hive of
4878 party fanaticism, the partizan has more sympa-
4879 thy with an intemperate Opposite than with a
4880 moderate Friend. We now enjoy an intermis-
4881 sion, and long may it continue! In addition
4882 to far higher and more important merits, our
4883 present bible societies and other numerous
4884 associations for national or charitable objects,
4885 may serve perhaps to carry off the superfluous
4886 activity and fervor of stirring minds in innocent
4887 hyperboles and the bustle of management. But
4888 the poison-tree is not dead, though the sap may
4889 for a season have subsided to its roots. At
4890 least let us not be lulled into such a notion of

{{Page 191}}

4891 our entire security, as not to keep watch and
4892 ward, even on our best feelings. I have seen
4893 gross intolerance shewn in support of tolera-
4894 tion; sectarian antipathy most obtrusively dis-
4895 played in the promotion of an undistinguishing
4896 comprehension of sects; and acts of cruelty
4897 (I had almost said) of treachery, committed in
4898 furtherance of an object vitally important to
4899 the cause of humanity; and all this by men
4900 too of naturally kind dispositions and exem-
4901 plary conduct.

4902 The magic rod of fanaticism is preserved in
4903 the very adyta of human nature; and needs
4904 only the re-exciting warmth of a master hand
4905 to bud forth afresh and produce the old fruits.
4906 The horror of the peasant's war in Germany,
4907 and the direful effects of the Anabaptist's tenets
4908 (which differed only from those of jacobinism
4909 by the substitution of theological for philoso-
4910 phical jargon) struck all Europe for a time
4911 with affright. Yet little more than a century
4912 was sufficient to obliterate all effective memory
4913 of these events. The same principles with
4914 similar though less dreadful consequences were
4915 again at work from the imprisonment of the
4916 first Charles to the restoration of his son. The
4917 fanatic maxim of extirpating fanaticism by per-
4918 secution produced a civil war. The war ended
4919 in the victory of the insurgents; but the temper
4920 survived, and Milton had abundant grounds

{{Page 192}}

4921 for asserting, that "Presbyter was but OLD
4922 PRIEST writ large!" One good result, thank
4923 heaven! of this zealotry was the re-establish-
4924 ment of the church. And now it might have
4925 been hoped, that the mischievous spirit would
4926 have been bound for a season, "and a seal set
4927 upon him that he might deceive the nation no
4928 more." But no! The ball of persecution was
4929 taken up with undiminished vigor by the per-
4930 secuted. The same fanatic principle, that un-
4931 der the solemn oath and covenant had turned
4932 cathedrals into stables, destroyed the rarest
4933 trophies of art and ancestral piety, and hunted
4934 the brightest ornaments of learning and religion
4935 into holes and corners, now marched under
4936 episcopal banners, and having first crowded
4937 the prisons of England emptied its whole vial of
4938 wrath on the miserable covenanters of Scotland.
4939 (Laing's History of Scotland.--Walter Scott's
4940 bards, ballads, |&c.|) A merciful providence at
4941 length constrained both parties to join against
4942 a common enemy. A wise Government fol-
4943 lowed; and the established church became,
4944 and now is, not only the brightest example,
4945 but our best and only sure bulwark, of tolera-
4946 tion! The true and indispensable bank against
4947 a new inundation of persecuting zeal--ESTO

4949 A long interval of quiet succeeded; or ra-
4950 ther, the exhaustion had produced a cold fit of

{{Page 193}}

4951 the ague which was symptomatized by indif-
4952 rence among the many, and a tendency to
4953 infidelity or scepticism in the educated classes.
4954 At length those feelings of disgust and hatred,
4955 which for a brief while the multitude had at-
4956 tached to the crimes and absurdities of secta-
4957 rian and democratic fanaticism, were trans-
4958 ferred to the oppressive privileges of the no-
4959 blesse, and the luxury, intrigues and favoritism
4960 of the continental courts. The same principles
4961 dressed in the ostentatious garb of a fashionable
4962 philosophy once more rose triumphant and
4963 effected the French revolution. And have we
4964 not within the last three or four years had rea-
4965 son to apprehend, that the detestable maxims
4966 and correspondent measures of the late French
4967 despotism had already bedimmed the public
4968 recollections of democratic phrensy; had drawn
4969 off to other objects the electric force of the
4970 feelings which had massed and upheld those
4971 recollections; and that a favorable concurrence
4972 of occasions was alone wanting to awaken
4973 the thunder and precipitate the lightning from
4974 the opposite quarter of the political heaven?
4975 (See THE FRIEND, p. 110.)

4976 In part from constitutional indolence, which
4977 in the very hey-day of hope had kept my en-
4978 thusiasm in check, but still more from the
4979 habits and influences of a classical education
4980 and academic pursuits, scarcely had a year

{{Page 194}}

4981 elapsed from the commmencement of my literary
4982 and political adventures before my mind sunk
4983 into a state of thorough disgust and despon-
4984 dency, both with regard to the disputes and
4985 the parties disputant. With more than poetic
4986 feeling I exclaimed:

4987 "The sensual and the dark rebel in vain,
4988 "Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game
4989 "They break their manacles, to wear the name
4990 "Of freedom, graven on an heavier chain.
4991 "O liberty! with profitless endeavor
4992 "Have I pursued thee many a weary hour;
4993 "But thou nor swell'st the victor's pomp, nor ever
4994 "Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power!
4995 "Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee
4996 "(Nor prayer nor boastful name delays thee)
4997 "From superstition's harpy minions
4998 "And factious blasphemy's obscener slaves,
4999 "Thou speedest on thy cherub pinions,
5000 "The guide of homeless winds and playmate of the waves!"
5001 FRANCE, a Palinodia.

5002 I retired to a cottage in Somersetshire at the
5003 foot of Quantock, and devoted my thoughts
5004 and studies to the foundations of religion and
5005 morals. Here I found myself all afloat. Doubts
5006 rushed in; broke upon me "from the fountains
5007 of the great deep," and fell "from the windows
5008 of heaven." The fontal truths of natural religion
5009 and the books of Revelation alike contributed
5010 to the flood; and it was long ere my ark touched
5011 on an Ararat, and rested. The idea of the
5012 Supreme Being appeared to me to be as [[neces-]]

{{Page 195}}

5013 ||neces||sarily implied in all particular modes of being
5014 as the idea of infinite space in all the geometri-
5015 cal figures by which space is limited. I was
5016 pleased with the Cartesian opinion, that the
5017 idea of God is distinguished from all other
5018 ideas by involving its reality; but I was not
5019 wholly satisfied. I began then to ask myself,
5020 what proof I had of the outward existence of
5021 any thing? Of this sheet of paper for instance,
5022 as a thing in itself, separate from the phæno-
5023 menon or image in my perception. I saw, that
5024 in the nature of things such proof is impossible;
5025 and that of all modes of being, that are not
5026 objects of the senses, the existence is assumed
5027 by a logical necessity arising from the constitu-
5028 tion of the mind itself, by the absence of all
5029 motive to doubt it, not from any absolute con-
5030 tradiction in the supposition of the contrary.
5031 Still the existence of a being, the ground of all
5032 existence, was not yet the existence of a moral
5033 creator, and governor. "In the position, that
5034 "all reality is either contained in the necessary
5035 "being as an attribute, or exists through him, as
5036 "its ground, it remains undecided whether the
5037 "properties of intelligence and will are to be
5038 "referred to the Supreme Being in the former or
5039 "only in the latter sense; as inherent attributes,
5040 "or only as consequences that have existence in
5041 "other things through him. Thus organization,
5042 "and motion, are regarded as from God not in

{{Page 196}}

5043 "God. Were the latter the truth, then notwith-
5044 "standing all the pre-eminence which must be
5045 "assigned to the ETERNAL FIRST from the suf-
5046 "ficiency, unity, and independence of his being,
5047 "as the dread ground of the universe, his nature
5048 "would yet fall far short of that, which we are
5049 "bound to comprehend in the idea of GOD. For
5050 "without any knowledge or determining resolve
5051 "of its own it would only be a blind necessary
5052 "ground of other things and other spirits; and
5053 "thus would be distinguished from the FATE of
5054 "certain ancient philosophers in no respect, but
5055 "that of being more definitely and intelligibly
5056 "described." KANT's einzig möglicher Beweis-
5057 grund: vermischte Schriften, Zweiter Band,
5058 ¡ì 102, and 103.

5059 For a very long time indeed I could not re-
5060 concile personality with infinity; and my head
5061 was with Spinoza, though my whole heart re-
5062 mained with Paul and John. Yet there had
5063 dawned upon me, even before I had met with
5064 the Critique of Pure Reason, a certain guid-
5065 ing light. If the mere intellect could make no
5066 certain discovery of a holy and intelligent first
5067 cause, it might yet supply a demonstration,
5068 that no legitimate argument could be drawn
5069 from the intellect against its truth. And what
5070 is this more than |St.| Paul's assertion, that by
5071 wisdom (more properly translated by the powers
5072 of reasoning) no man ever arrived at the [[know-]]

{{Page 197}}

5073 ||know||ledge of God? What more than the sublimest,
5074 and probably the oldest, book on earth has
5075 taught us,

5076 Silver and gold man searcheth out:
5077 Bringeth the ore out of the earth, and darkness into light.

5078 But where findeth he wisdom?
5079 Where is the place of understanding?

5080 The abyss crieth; it is not in me!
5081 Ocean echoeth back; not in me!

5082 Whence then cometh wisdom?
5083 Where dwelleth understanding?

5084 Hidden from the eyes of the living:
5085 Kept secret from the fowls of heaven!

5086 Hell and death answer;
5087 We have heard the rumour thereof from afar!

5088 GOD marketh out the road to it;
5089 GOD knoweth its abiding place!

5090 He beholdeth the ends of the earth;
5091 He surveyeth what is beneath the heavens!

5092 And as he weighed out the winds, and measured the sea,
5093 And appointed laws to the rain,
5094 And a path to the thunder,
5095 A path to the flashes of lightning!

5096 Then did he see it,
5097 And he counted it;
5098 He searched into the depth thereof,
5099 And with a line did he compass it round!

5100 But to man he said,
5101 The fear of the Lord is wisdom for THEE!
5102 And to avoid evil,
5103 That is thy understanding.

5104 JOB, CHAP. 28th

{{Page 198}}

5105 I became convinced, that religion, as both
5106 the corner-stone and the key-stone of morality,
5107 must have a moral origin; so far at least, that
5108 the evidence of its doctrines could not, like the
5109 truths of abstract science, be wholly indepen-
5110 dent of the will. It were therefore to be ex-
5111 pected, that its fundamental truth would be
5112 such as MIGHT be denied; though only, by the
5113 fool, and even by the fool from the madness of
5114 the heart alone!

5115 The question then concerning our faith in
5116 the existence of a God, not only as the ground
5117 of the universe by his essence, but as its maker
5118 and judge by his wisdom and holy will, ap-
5119 peared to stand thus. The sciential reason,
5120 whose objects are purely theoretical, remains
5121 neutral, as long as its name and semblance are
5122 not usurped by the opponents of the doctrine.
5123 But it then becomes an effective ally by expos-
5124 ing the false shew of demonstration, or by
5125 evincing the equal demonstrability of the con-
5126 trary from premises equally logical. The un-
5127 derstanding mean time suggests, the analogy of
5128 experience facilitates, the belief. Nature ex-
5129 cites and recalls it, as by a perpetual revela-
5130 tion. Our feelings almost necessitate it; and
5131 the law of conscience peremptorily commands
5132 it. The arguments, that at all apply to it, are
5133 in its favor; and there is nothing against it, but
5134 its own sublimity. It could not be [[intellec-]]

{{Page 199}}

5135 ||intellec||tually more evident without becoming morally
5136 less effective; without counteracting its own
5137 end by sacrificing the life of faith to the cold
5138 mechanism of a worthless because compulsory
5139 assent. The belief of a God and a future state
5140 (if a passive acquiescence may be flattered with
5141 the name of belief) does not indeed always be-
5142 get a good heart; but a good heart so naturally
5143 begets the belief, that the very few exceptions
5144 must be regarded as strange anomalies from
5145 strange and unfortunate circumstances.

5146 From these premises I proceeded to draw
5147 the following conclusions. First, that having
5148 once fully admitted the existence of an infinite
5149 yet self-conscious Creator, we are not allowed
5150 to ground the irrationality of any other article
5151 of faith on arguments which would equally
5152 prove that to be irrational, which we had
5153 allowed to be real. Secondly, that whatever
5154 is deducible from the admission of a self-com-
5155 prehending and creative spirit may be legiti-
5156 mately used in proof of the possibility of any
5157 further mystery concerning the divine nature.
5158 Possibilitatem mysteriorum, (Trinitatis, |&c.|)
5159 contra insultus Infidelium et Hereticorum a con-
5160 tradictionibus vindico; haud quidem verita-
5161 tem, quæ revelatione solâ stabiliri possit; says
5162 LEIBNITZ in a letter to his Duke. He then
5163 adds the following just and important remark.
5164 " In vain will tradition or texts of scripture be

{{Page 200}}

5165 "adduced in support of a doctrine, donec clava
5166 "impossibilitatis et contradictionis e manibus
5167 "horum Herculum extorta fuerit. For the he-
5168 "retic will still reply, that texts, the literal sense
5169 "of which is not so much above as directly
5170 "against all reason, must be understood figura-
5171 "tively, as Herod is a fox, |&c.|"

5172 These principles I held, philosophically, while
5173 in respect of revealed religion I remained a
5174 zealous Unitarian. I considered the idea of
5175 the Trinity a fair scholastic inference from the
5176 being of God, as a creative intelligence; and
5177 that it was therefore entitled to the rank of an
5178 esoteric doctrine of natural religion. But seeing
5179 in the same no practical or moral bearing, I
5180 confined it to the schools of philosophy, The
5181 admission of the logos, as hypostasized (i. e.
5182 neither a mere attribute or a personification) in
5183 no respect removed my doubts concerning the
5184 incarnation and the redemption by the cross;
5185 which I could neither reconcile in reason with
5186 the impassiveness of the Divine Being, nor in
5187 my moral feelings with the sacred distinction
5188 between things and persons, the vicarious pay-
5189 ment of a debt and the vicarious expiation of
5190 guilt. A more thorough revolution in my phi-
5191 losophic principles, and a deeper insight into
5192 my own heart, were yet wanting. Nevertheless,
5193 I cannot doubt, that the difference of my me-
5194 taphysical notions from those of Unitarians in

{{Page 201}}

5195 general contributed to my final re-conversion to
5196 the whole truth in Christ; even as according
5197 to his own confession the books of certain
5198 Platonic philosophers (libri quorundam Plato-
5199 nicorum) commenced the rescue of |St.| Augus-
5200 tine's faith from the same error aggravated by
5201 the far darker accompaniment of the Mani-
5202 chæan heresy.

5203 While my mind was thus perplexed, by a
5204 gracious providence for which I can never be
5205 sufficiently grateful, the generous and munifi-
5206 cent patronage of |Mr.| JOSIAH, and |Mr.| THOMAS
5207 WEDGEWOOD enabled me to finish my educa-
5208 tion in Germany. Instead of troubling others
5209 with my own crude notions and juvenile com-
5210 positions I was thenceforward better employed
5211 in attempting to store my own head with the
5212 wisdom of others. I made the best use of my
5213 time and means; and there is therefore no
5214 period of my life on which I can look back
5215 with such unmingled satisfaction. After ac-
5216 quiring a tolerable sufficiency in the German
5217 language* at Ratzeburg, which with my voyage

* To those, who design to acquire the language of a coun-
try in the country itself, it may be useful, if I mention the
incalculable advantage which I derived from learning all the
words, that could possibly be so learnt, with the objects
before me, and without the intermediation of the English
terms. It was a regular part of my morning studies for the
first six weeks of my residence at Ratzeburg, to accompany
the good and kind old pastor, with whom I lived, from the*

{{Page 202}}

5218 and journey thither I have described in THE
5219 FRIEND, I proceeded through Hanover to
5220 Göttingen.

5221 Here I regularly attended the lectures on
5222 physiology in the morning, and on natural his-
5223 tory in the evening, under BLUMENBACH, a
5224 name as dear to every Englishman who has
5225 studied at that university, as it is venerable to
5226 men of science throughout Europe! Eich-
5227 horn's lectures on the New Testament were

*cellar to the roof, through gardens, farm yard, |&c.| and to
call every, the minutest, thing by its German name. Ad-
vertisements, farces, jest books, and the conversation of
children while I was at play with them, contributed their
share to a more home-like acquaintance with the language,
than I could have acquired from works of polite literature
alone, or even from polite society. There is a passage of
hearty sound sense in Luther's German letter on interpreta-
tion, to the translation of which I shall prefix, for the sake
of those who read the German, yet are not likely to have
dipt often in the massive folios of this heroic reformer, the
simple, sinewy idiomatic words of the original. "Denn
"man muss nicht die Buchstaben in der Lateinischen
"Sprache fragen wie man soll Deutsch reden; sondern man
"muss die mutter im Hause, die Kinder auf den Gassen, den
"gemeinen Mann auf dem Markte, darum fragen: und densel-
"bigen auf das Maul sehen wie sie reden, und darnach doll-
"metschen. So verstehen sie es denn, und merken dass man
"Deutsch mit ihnen redet."


For one must not ask the letters in the Latin tongue, how
one ought to speak German; but one must ask the mother
in the house, the children in the lanes and alleys, the common
man in the market, concerning this; yea, and look at the
moves of their mouths while they are talking, and thereafter
interpret. They understand you then, and mark that one
talks German with them.

{{Page 203}}

5228 repeated to me from notes by a student from
5229 Ratzeburg, a young man of sound learning
5230 and indefatigable industry, who is now, I be-
5231 lieve, a professor of the oriental languages at
5232 Heidelberg. But my chief efforts were di-
5233 rected towards a grounded knowledge of the
5234 German language and literature. From pro-
5235 fessor TYCHSEN I received as many lessons in
5236 the Gothic of Ulphilas as sufficed to make me
5237 acquainted with its grammar, and the radical
5238 words of most frequent occurrence; and with
5239 the occasional assistance of the same philoso-
5240 phical linguist, I read through* OTTFRIED's
5241 metrical paraphrase of the gospel, and the most
5242 important remains of the THEOTISCAN, or the
5243 transitional state of the Teutonic language from
5244 the Gothic to the old German of the Swabian
5245 period. Of this period (the polished dialect of
5246 which is analogous to that of our Chaucer, and
5247 which leaves the philosophic student in doubt,
5248 whether the language has not since then lost
5249 more in sweetness and flexibility, than it has
5250 gained in condensation and copiousness) I read
5251 with sedulous accuracy the MINNESINGER (or
5252 singers of love, the provencal poets of the
5253 Swabian court) and the metrical romances;

*This paraphrase, written about the time of Charlemagne,
is by no means deficient in occasional passages of consider-
able poetic merit. There is a flow, and a tender enthusi-
asm in the following lines (at the conclusion of Chapter V.)*

{{Page 204}}

5254 and then laboured through sufficient specimens
5255 of the master singers, their degenerate succes-
5256 sors; not however without occasional pleasure

*which even in the translation will not, I flatter myself, fail to
interest the reader. Ottfried is describing the circumstances
immediately following the birth of our Lord.

She gave with joy her virgin breast;
She hid it not, she bared the breast,
Which suckled that divinest babe!
Blessed, blessed were the breasts
Which the Saviour infant kiss'd;
And blessed, blessed was the mother
Who wrapp'd his limbs in swaddling clothes,
Singing placed him on her lap,
Hung o'er him with her looks of love,
And soothed him with a lulling motion.
Blessed! for she shelter'd him
From the damp and chilling air;
Blessed, blessed! for she lay
With such a babe in one blest bed,
Close as babes and mothers lie!
Blessed, blessed evermore,
With her virgin lips she kiss'd,
With her arms, and to her breast
She embraced the babe divine,
Her babe divine the virgin mother!
There lives not on this ring of earth
A mortal, that can sing her praise.
Mighty mother, virgin pure,
In the darkness and the night
For us she bore the heavenly Lord!

Most interesting is it to consider the effect, when the feel-
ings are wrought above the natural pitch by the belief of
something mysterious, while all the images are purely na-
tural. Then it is, that religion and poetry strike deepest.

{{Page 205}}

5257 from the rude, yet interesting strains of HANS
5258 SACHS the cobler of Nuremberg. Of this man's
5259 genius five folio volumes with double columns
5260 are extant in print, and nearly an equal number
5261 in manuscript; yet the indefatigable bard takes
5262 care to inform his readers, that he never made a
5263 shoe the less, but had virtuously reared a large
5264 family by the labor of his hands.

5265 ln Pindar, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, |&c.| |&c.|
5266 we have instances of the close connection of
5267 poetic genius with the love of liberty and of
5268 genuine reformation. The moral sense at least
5269 will not be outraged, if I add to the list the
5270 name of this honest shoemaker (a trade by the
5271 bye remarkable for the production of philo-
5272 sophers and poets.) His poem intitled the
5273 MORNING STAR, was the very first publication
5274 that appeared in praise and support of LUTHER;
5275 and an excellent hymn of Hans Sachs, which
5276 has been deservedly translated into almost all
5277 the European languages, was commonly sung,
5278 in the Protestant churches, whenever the heroic
5279 reformer visited them.

5280 In Luther's own German writings, and emi-
5281 nently in his translation of the bible, the German
5282 language commenced. I mean the language as
5283 it is at present written; that which is called the
5284 HIGH GERMAN, as contra-distinguished from the
5285 PLATT-TEUTSCH, the dialect of the flat or north-
5286 ern countries, and from the OBER-TEUTSCH,

{{Page 206}}

5287 the language of the middle and Southern Ger-
5288 many. The High German is indeed a lingua
5289 communis, not actually the native language of
5290 any province, but the choice and fragrancy of
5291 all the dialects. From this cause it is at once
5292 the most copious and the most grammatical of
5293 all the European tongues.

5294 Within less than a century after Luther's
5295 death the German was inundated with pedantic
5296 barbarisms. A few volumes of this period I
5297 read through from motives of curiosity; for it is
5298 not easy to imagine any thing more fantastic,
5299 than the very appearance of their pages. Almost
5300 every third word is a Latin word with a Ger-
5301 manized ending, the Latin portion being al-
5302 ways printed in Roman letters, while in the
5303 last syllable the German character is retained.

5304 At length, about the year 1620, OPITZ arose,
5305 whose genius more nearly resembled that of
5306 Dryden than any other poet, who at present
5307 occurs to my recollection. In the opinion of
5308 LESSING, the most acute of critics, and of
5309 ADELUNG, the first of Lexicographers, Opitz,
5310 and the Silesian poets, his followers, not only
5311 restored the language, but still remain the
5312 models of pure diction. A stranger has no
5313 vote on such a question; but after repeated
5314 perusal of the work my feelings justified the
5315 verdict, and I seemed to have acquired from
5316 them a sort of tact for what is genuine in the
5317 syle of later writers.

{{Page 207}}

5318 Of the splendid era, which commenced with
5319 Gellert, Klopstock, Ramler, Lessing, and their
5320 compeers, I need not speak. With the op-
5321 portunities which I enjoyed, it would have
5322 been disgraceful not to have been familiar with
5323 their writings; and I have already said as much,
5324 as the present biographical sketch requires,
5325 concerning the German philosophers, whose
5326 works, for the greater part, I became acquainted
5327 with at a far later period.

5328 Soon after my return from Germany I was
5329 solicited to undertake the literary and political
5330 department in the Morning Post; and I ac-
5331 ceded to the proposal on the condition, that
5332 the paper should thenceforwards be conducted
5333 on certain fixed and announced principles, and
5334 that I should be neither obliged or requested
5335 to deviate from them in favor of any party or
5336 any event. In consequence, that Journal be-
5337 came and for many years continued anti-
5338 ministerial indeed, yet with a very qualified
5339 approbation of the opposition, and with far
5340 greater earnestness and zeal both anti-jacobin
5341 and anti-gallican. To this hour I cannot find
5342 reason to approve of the first war either in its
5343 commencement or its conduct. Nor can I un-
5344 derstand, with what reason either |Mr.| Percival
5345 (whom I am singular enough to regard as the
5346 best and wisest minister of this reign) or the
5347 present administration, can be said to have [[pur-]]

{{Page 208}}

5348 ||pur||sued the plans of |Mr.| PITT. The love of their
5349 country, and perseverant hostility to French
5350 principles and French ambition are indeed
5351 honourable qualities common to them and to
5352 their predecessor. But it appears to me as
5353 clear as the evidence of facts can render any
5354 question of history, that the successes of the
5355 Percival and of the existing ministry have been
5356 owing to their having pursued measures the
5357 direct contrary to |Mr.| Pitt's. Such for instance
5358 are the concentration of the national force to
5359 one object; the abandonment of the subsidizing
5360 policy, so far at least as neither to goad or
5361 bribe the continental courts into war, till the
5362 convictions of their subjects had rendered it a
5363 war of their own seeking; and above all, in
5364 their manly and generous reliance on the good
5365 sense of the English people, and on that loyalty
5366 which is linked to the very* heart of the nation
5367 by the system of credit and the interdependence
5368 of property.

5369 Be this as it may, I am persuaded that the
5370 Morning Post proved a far more useful ally to
5371 the Government in its most important objects,
5372 in consequence of its being generally considered

* Lord Grenville has lately re-asserted (in the House of
Lords) the imminent danger of a revolution in the earlier
part of the war against France. I doubt not, that his Lord-
ship is sincere; and it must be flattering to his feelings to
believe it. But where are the evidences of the danger, to*

{{Page 209}}

5373 as moderately anti-ministerial, than if it had
5374 been the avowed eulogist of |Mr.| Pitt. (The
5375 few, whose curiosity or fancy should lead them
5376 to turn over the Journals of that date, may find
5377 a small proof of this in the frequent charges
5378 made by the Morning Chronicle, that such and
5379 such essays or leading paragraphs had been

*which a future historian can appeal? Or must he rest on
an assertion? Let me be permitted to extract a passage on the
subject from THE FRIEND. "I have said that to withstand
"the arguments of the lawless, the Antijacobins proposed to
"suspend the law, and by the interposition of a particular
"statute to eclipse the blessed light of the universal sun, that
"spies and informers might tyrannize and escape in the omin-
"ous darkness. Oh! if these mistaken men intoxicated and
"bewildered with the panic of property, which they them-
"selves were the chief agents in exciting, had ever lived in a
"country where there really existed a general disposition to
"change and rebellion! Had they ever travelled through
"Sicily; or through France at the first coming on of the re-
"volution; or even alas! through too many of the provinces
"of a sister island; they could not but have shrunk from their
"own declarations concerning the state of feeling, and opinion
"at that time predominant throughout Great Britain. There
"was a time (heaven grant! that that time may have passed by)
"when by crossing a narrow strait, they might have learnt the
"true symptoms of approaching danger, and have secured
"themselves from mistaking the meetings and idle rant of
"such sedition, as shrunk appalled from the sight of a consta-
"ble, for the dire murmuring and strange consternation which
"precedes the storm or earthquake of national discord. Not
"only in coffee-houses and public theatres, but even at the
"tables of the wealthy, they would have heard the advocates
"of existing Government defend their cause in the language
"and with the tone of men, who are conscious that they are
"in a minority. But in England, when the alarm was at its
"highest, there was not a city, no not a town or village, in
"which a man suspected of holding democratic principles
"could move abroad without receiving some unpleasant proof
"of the hatred, in which his supposed opinions were held by *

{{Page 210}}

5380 sent from the Treasury.) The rapid and un-
5381 usual increase in the sale of the Morning Post
5382 is a sufficient pledge, that genuine impartiality
5383 with a respectable portion of literary talent will
5384 secure the success of a newspaper without the
5385 aid of party or ministerial patronage. But by
5386 impartiality I mean an honest and enlightened

*the great majority of the people; and the only instances of
popular excess and indignation were in favor of the Govern-
ment and the Established Church. But why need I appeal
to these invidious facts? Turn over the pages of history
and seek for a single instance of a revolution having been
effected without the concurrence of either the nobles, or the
ecclesiastics, or the monied classes, in any country, in which
the influences of property had ever been predominant, and
where the interests of the proprietors were interlinked!
Examine the revolution of the Belgic provinces under Philip
2nd; the civil wars of France in the preceding generation;
the history of the American revolution, or the yet more re-
cent events in Sweden and in Spain; and it will be scarcely
possible not to perceive, that in England from 1791 to the
peace of Amiens there were neither tendencies to confede-
racy nor actual confederacies, against which the existing
laws had not provided sufficient safeguards and an ample pu-
nishment. But alas! the panic of property had been struck
in the first instance for party purposes; and when it became
general, its propagators caught it themselves and ended in
believing their own lie; even as our bulls in Borrowdale
sometimes run mad with the echo of their own bellowing.
The consequences were most injurious. Our attention was
concentrated to a monster, which could not survive the con-
vulsions, in which it had been brought forth: even the en-
lightened Burke himself too often talking and reasoning, as if
a perpetual and organized anarchy had been a possible
thing! Thus while we were warring against French doc-
trines, we took little heed, whether the means, by which we
attempted to overthrow them, were not likely to aid and aug-
ment the far more formidable evil of French ambition. Like
children we ran away from the yelping of a cur, and took
shelter at the heels of a vicious war-horse."

{{Page 211}}

5387 adherence to a code of intelligible principles
5388 previously announced, and faithfully referred
5389 to in support of every judgment on men and
5390 events; not indiscriminate abuse, not the in-
5391 dulgence of an editor's own malignant passions,
5392 and still less, if that be possible, a determina-
5393 tion to make money by flattering the envy and
5394 cupidity, the vindictive restlessness and self-con-
5395 ceit of the half-witted vulgar; a determination
5396 almost fiendish, but which, I have been in-
5397 formed, has been boastfully avowed by one
5398 man, the most notorious of these mob-syco-
5399 phants! From the commencement of the
5400 Addington administration to the present day,
5401 whatever I have written in the MORNING
5402 POST, or (after that paper was transferred to
5403 other proprietors) in the COURIER, has been
5404 in defence or furtherance of the measures of
5405 Government.

5406 Things of this nature scarce survive the night
5407 That gives them birth; they perish in the sight,
5408 Cast by so far from after-life, that there
5409 Can scarcely aught be said, but that they were!

5410 CARTWRIGHT'S Prol. to the Royal Slave.

5411 Yet in these labors I employed, and in the
5412 belief of partial friends wasted, the prime and
5413 manhood of my intellect. Most assuredly,
5414 they added nothing to my fortune or my [[repu-]]

{{Page 212}}

5415 ||repu||tation. The industry of the week supplied the
5416 necessities of the week. From Government or
5417 the friends of Government I not only never re-
5418 ceived remuneration, or ever expected it; but
5419 I was never honoured with a single acknow-
5420 legement, or expression of satisfaction. Yet
5421 the retrospect is far from painful or matter of
5422 regret. I am not indeed silly enough to take,
5423 as any thing more than a violent hyperbole of
5424 party debate, |Mr.| Fox's assertion that the late
5425 war (I trust that the epithet is not prematurely
5426 applied) was a war produced by the MORNING
5427 POST; or I should be proud to have the words
5428 inscribed on my tomb. As little do I regard
5429 the circumstance, that I was a specified object
5430 of Buonaparte's resentment during my residence
5431 in Italy in consequence of those essays in the
5432 Morning Post during the peace of Amiens. (Of
5433 this I was warned, directly, by Baron VON
5434 HUMBOLDT, the Prussian Plenipotentiary, who
5435 at that time was the minister of the Prussian
5436 court at Rome; and indirectly, through his
5437 secretary, by Cardinal Fesch himself.) Nor
5438 do I lay any greater weight on the confirming
5439 fact, that an order for my arrest was sent from
5440 Paris, from which danger I was rescued by
5441 the kindness of a noble Benedictine, and the
5442 gracious connivance of that good old man, the
5443 present Pope. For the late tyrant's vindictive
5444 appetite was omnivorous, and preyed equally

{{Page 213}}

5445 on a * Duc D'Enghien, and the writer of a
5446 newspaper paragraph. Like a true† vulture,
5447 Napoleon with an eye not less telescopic, and
5448 with a taste equally coarse in his ravin, could de-
5449 scend from the most dazzling heights to pounce
5450 on the leveret in the brake, or even on the
5451 field-mouse amid the grass. But I do derive a
5452 gratification from the knowledge, that my essays
5453 contributed to introduce the practice of placing
5454 the questions and events of the day in a moral
5455 point of view; in giving a dignity to particular
5456 measures by tracing their policy or impolicy to
5457 permanent principles, and an interest to princi-
5458 ples by the application of them to individual
5459 measures. In |Mr.| Burke's writings indeed the
5460 germs of almost all political truths may be
5461 found. But I dare assume to myself the merit
5462 of having first explicitly defined and analized
5463 the nature of Jacobinism; and that in distin-
5464 guishing the jacobin from the republican, the

* I seldom think of the murder of this illustrious Prince
without recollecting the lines of Valerius Flaccus (Argonaut.
Lib. I. 30.)

--Super ipsius ingens
Instat fama viri, virtusque haud læta Tyranno;
Ergo ante ire metus, juvenemque exstinguere pergit.

Th{ee}ra de kai ton ch{ee}na kai t{ee}n Dorkada,
Kai ton Lag{o}on, kai to t{o}n Taur{o}n genos.

PHILE de animal. propriet.

{{Page 214}}

5465 democrat, and the mere demagogue, I both
5466 rescued the word from remaining a mere term
5467 of abuse, and put on their guard many honest
5468 minds, who even in their heat of zeal against
5469 jacobinism, admitted or supported principles
5470 from which the worst parts of that system may
5471 be legitimately deduced. That these are not
5472 necessary practical results of such principles,
5473 we owe to that fortunate inconsequence of our
5474 nature, which permits the heart to rectify the
5475 errors of the understanding. The detailed
5476 examination of the consular Government and
5477 its pretended constitution, and the proof given
5478 by me, that it was a consummate despotism in
5479 masquerade, extorted a recantation even from
5480 the Morning Chronicle, which had previously
5481 extolled this constitution as the perfection of a
5482 wise and regulated liberty. On every great
5483 occurrence I endeavoured to discover in past
5484 history the event, that most nearly resembled it.
5485 I procured, wherever it was possible, the con-
5486 temporary historians, memorialists, and pamph-
5487 leteers. Then fairly substracting the points of
5488 difference from those of likeness, as the balance
5489 favored the former or the latter, I conjectured
5490 that the result would be the same or different.
5491 In the series of * essays entitled "a comparison

* A small selection from the numerous articles furnished
by me to the Morning Post and Courier, chiefly as they [[re-]]*

{{Page 215}}

5492 of France under Napoleon with Rome under
5493 the first Cæsars," and in those which followed
5494 " on the probable final restoration of the Bour-
5495 bons," I feel myself authorized to affirm, by the
5496 effect produced on many intelligent men, that
5497 were the dates wanting, it might have been
5498 suspected that the essays had been written
5499 within the last twelve months. The same plan
5500 I pursued at the commencement of the Spanish
5501 revolution, and with the same success, taking
5502 the war of the United Provinces with Philip
5503 2nd, as the ground work of the comparison. I
5504 have mentioned this from no motives of vanity,
5505 nor even from motives of self-defence, which
5506 would justify a certain degree of egotism, es-
5507 pecially if it be considered, how often and
5508 grossly I have been attacked for sentiments,
5509 which I had exerted my best powers to confute
5510 and expose, and how grievously these charges
5511 acted to my disadvantage while I was in Malta.
5512 Or rather they would have done so, if my own
5513 feelings had not precluded the wish of a settled

*||re||gard the sources and effects of jacobinism and the connec-
tion of certain systems of political economy with jacobinical
despotism, will form part of "THE FRIEND," which I am
now completing, and which will be shortly published, for I
can scarcely say republished, with the numbers arranged in
Chapters according to their subjects.

Accipe principium rursus, corpusque coactum
Desere; mutata melior procede figura.

{{Page 216}}

5514 establishment in that island. But I have men-
5515 tioned it from the full persuasion that, armed
5516 with the two-fold knowledge of history and the
5517 human mind, a man will scarcely err in his
5518 judgement concerning the sum total of any fu-
5519 ture national event, if he have been able to
5520 procure the original documents of the past
5521 together with authentic accounts of the pre-
5522 sent, and if he have a philosophic tact for what
5523 is truly important in facts, and in most instances
5524 therefore for such facts as the DIGNITY OF HIS-
5525 TORY has excluded from the volumes of our
5526 modern compilers, by the courtesy of the age
5527 entitled historians.

5528 To have lived in vain must be a painful
5529 thought to any man, and especially so to him
5530 who has made literature his profession. I
5531 should therefore rather condole than be angry
5532 with the mind, which could attribute to no
5533 worthier feelings, than those of vanity or self-
5534 love, the satisfaction which I acknowledge to
5535 have enjoyed from the republication of my
5536 political essays (either whole or as extracts)
5537 not only in many of our own provincial papers,
5538 but in the federal journals throughout America.
5539 I regarded it as some proof of my not having
5540 labored altogether in vain, that from the articles
5541 written by me shortly before and at the com-
5542 mencement of the late unhappy war with Ame-
5543 rica, not only the sentiments were adopted, but

{{Page 217}}

5544 in some instances the very language, in several
5545 of the Massachussets state-papers.

5546 But no one of these motives nor all conjointly
5547 would have impelled me to a statement so un-
5548 comfortable to my own feelings, had not my
5549 character been repeatedly attacked, by an un-
5550 justifiable intrusion on private life, as of a man
5551 incorrigibly idle, and who intrusted not only
5552 with ample talents, but favored with unusual
5553 opportunities of improving them, had never-
5554 theless suffered them to rust away without any
5555 efficient exertion either for his own good or
5556 that of his fellow-creatures. Even if the com-
5557 positions, which I have made public, and that
5558 too in a form the most certain of an extensive
5559 circulation, though the least flattering to an
5560 author's self-love, had been published in books,
5561 they would have filled a respectable number of
5562 volumes, though every passage of merely tem-
5563 porary interest were omitted. My prose writ-
5564 ings have been charged with a disproportionate
5565 demand on the attention; with an excess of
5566 refinement in the mode of arriving at truths;
5567 with beating the ground for that which might
5568 have been run down by the eye; with the length
5569 and laborious construction of my periods; in
5570 short with obscurity and the love of paradox.
5571 But my severest critics have not pretended to
5572 have found in my compositions triviality, or
5573 traces of a mind that shrunk from the toil of

{{Page 218}}

5574 thinking. No one has charged me with trick-
5575 ing out in other words the thoughts of others,
5576 or with hashing up anew the crambe jam decies
5577 coctam of English literature or philosophy.
5578 Seldom have I written that in a day, the acqui-
5579 sition or investigation of which had not cost me
5580 the previous labor of a month.

5581 But are books the only channel through which
5582 the stream of intellectual usefulness can flow?
5583 Is the diffusion of truth to be estimated by pub-
5584 lications; or publications by the truth, which
5585 they diffuse or at least contain? I speak it in the
5586 excusable warmth of a mind stung by an ac-
5587 cusation, which has not only been advanced in
5588 reviews of the widest circulation, not only re-
5589 gistered in the bulkiest works of periodical
5590 literature, but by frequency of repetition has
5591 become an admitted fact in private literary
5592 circles, and thoughtlessly repeated by too many
5593 who call themselves my friends, and whose
5594 own recollections ought to have suggested a
5595 contrary testimony. Would that the criterion
5596 of a scholar's utility were the number and moral
5597 value of the truths, which he has been the means
5598 of throwing into the general circulation; or the
5599 number and value of the minds, whom by his
5600 conversation or letters, he has excited into acti-
5601 vity, and supplied with the germs of their after-
5602 growth! A distinguished rank might not indeed,
5603 even then, be awarded to my exertions, but I

{{Page 219}}

5604 should dare look forward with confidence to an
5605 honorable acquittal. I should dare appeal to
5606 the numerous and respectable audiences, which
5607 at different times and in different places ho-
5608 nored my lecture-rooms with their attendance,
5609 whether the points of view from which the
5610 subjects treated of were surveyed, whether the
5611 grounds of my reasoning were such, as they had
5612 heard or read elsewhere, or have since found
5613 in previous publications. I can conscientiously
5614 declare, that the complete success of the RE-
5615 MORSE on the first night of its representation
5616 did not give me as great or as heart-felt a plea-
5617 sure, as the observation that the pit and boxes
5618 were crowded with faces familiar to me, though
5619 of individuals whose names I did not know,
5620 and of whom I knew nothing, but that they had
5621 attended one or other of my courses of lectures.
5622 It is an excellent though perhaps somewhat
5623 vulgar proverb, that there are cases where a
5624 man may be as well "in for a pound as for a
5625 penny." To those, who from ignorance of the
5626 serious injury I have received from this rumour
5627 of having dreamt away my life to no purpose,
5628 injuries which I unwillingly remember at all,
5629 much less am disposed to record in a sketch of
5630 my literary life; or to those, who from their own
5631 feelings, or the gratification they derive from
5632 thinking contemptuously of others, would like
5633 Job's comforters attribute these complaints,

{{Page 220}}

5634 extorted from me by the sense of wrong, to
5635 self-conceit or presumptuous vanity, I have
5636 already furnished such ample materials, that I
5637 shall gain nothing by with-holding the remain-
5638 der. I will not therefore hesitate to ask the
5639 consciences of those, who from their long ac-
5640 quaintance with me and with the circumstances
5641 are best qualified to decide or be my judges
5642 whether the restitution of the suum cuique
5643 would increase or detract from my literary re-
5644 putation. In this exculpation I hope to be
5645 understood as speaking of myself compara-
5646 tively, and in proportion to the claims, which
5647 others are intitled to make on my time or my
5648 talents. By what I have effected, am I to be
5649 judged by my fellow men; what I could have
5650 done, is a question for my own conscience.
5651 On my own account I may perhaps have had
5652 sufficient reason to lament my deficiency in self-
5653 controul, and the neglect of concentering my
5654 powers to the realization of some permanent
5655 work. But to verse rather than to prose, if to
5656 either, belongs the voice of mourning" for
5657 Keen pangs of love awakening as a babe
5658 Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart,
5659 And fears self-will'd that shunn'd the eye of hope,
5660 And hope that scarce would know itself from fear;
5661 Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain
5662 And genius given and knowledge won in vain,
5663 And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild
5664 And all which patient toil had rear'd, and all
5665 Commune with thee had open'd out--but flowers
5666 Strew'd on my corpse, and borne upon my bier
5667 In the same coffin, for the self-same grave! S. T. C.

{{Page 221}}

5668 These will exist, for the future, I trust only in
5669 the poetic strains, which the feelings at the time
5670 called forth. In those only, gentle reader,

5671 Affectus animi varios, bellumque sequacis
5672 Perlegis invidiæ; curasque revolvis inanes;
5673 Quas humilis tenero stylus olim effudit in ævo.
5674 Perlegis et lacrymas, et quod pharetratus acutâ
5675 Ille puer puero fecit mihi cuspide vulnus.
5678 Ipse mihi collatus enim non ille videbor;
5679 Frons alia est, moresque alii, nova mentis imago,
5680 Vox aliudque sonat. Jamque observatio vitæ
5681 Multa dedit:--lugere nihil, ferre omnia; jamque
5682 Paulatim lacrymas rerum experientia tersit.

{{Page 222}}


5684 An affectionate exhortation to those who in early
5685 life feel themselves disposed to become authors.

5686 It was a favorite remark of the late |Mr.|
5687 Whitbread's, that no man does any thing from
5688 a single motive. The separate motives, or ra-
5689 ther moods of mind, which produced the pre-
5690 ceding reflections and anecdotes have been laid
5691 open to the reader in each separate instance.
5692 But an interest in the welfare of those, who at
5693 the present time may be in circumstances not
5694 dissimilar to my own at my first entrance into
5695 life, has been the constant accompaniment, and
5696 (as it were) the under-song of all my feelings.
5697 WHITEHEAD exerting the prerogative of his
5698 laureatship addressed to youthful poets a poetic
5699 CHARGE, which is perhaps the best, and cer-
5700 tainly the most interesting, of his works. With
5701 no other privilege than that of sympathy and
5702 sincere good wishes, I would address an af-
5703 fectionate exhortation to the youthful literati,
5704 grounded on my own experience. It will be
5705 but short; for the beginning, middle, and end
5706 converge to one charge; NEVER PURSUE LITE-

{{Page 223}}

5707 RATURE AS A TRADE. With the exception of
5708 one extraordinary man, I have never known an
5709 individual, least of all an individual of genius,
5710 healthy or happy without a profession, i. e.
5711 some regular employment, which does not
5712 depend on the will of the moment, and which
5713 can be carried on so far mechanically that an
5714 average quantum only of health, spirits, and
5715 intellectual exertion are requisite to its faithful
5716 discharge. Three hours of leisure, unannoyed
5717 by any alien anxiety, and looked forward to
5718 with delight as a change and recreation, will
5719 suffice to realize in literature a larger product
5720 of what is truly, genial, than weeks of compul-
5721 sion. Money, and immediate reputation form
5722 only an arbitrary and accidental end of literary
5723 labor. The hope of increasing them by any
5724 given exertion will often prove a stimulant to
5725 industry; but the necessity of acquiring them
5726 will in all works of genius convert the stimu-
5727 lant into a narcotic. Motives by excess reverse
5728 their very nature, and instead of exciting, stun
5729 and stupify the mind. For it is one contra-
5730 distinction of genius from talent, that its pre-
5731 dominant end is always comprized in the
5732 means; and this is one of the many points,
5733 which establish an analogy between genius and
5734 virtue. Now though talents may exist without
5735 genius, yet as genius cannot exist, certainly
5736 not manifest itself, without talents, I would

{{Page 224}}

5737 advise every scholar, who feels the genial power
5738 working within him, so far to make a division
5739 between the two, as that he should devote his
5740 talents to the acquirement of competence in
5741 some known trade or profession, and his genius
5742 to objects of his tranquil and unbiassed choice;
5743 while the consciousness of being actuated in
5744 both alike by the sincere desire to perform his
5745 duty, will alike ennoble both. My dear young
5746 friend (I would say) "suppose yourself estab-
5747 lished in any honourable occupation. From
5748 the manufactory or counting-house, from the
5749 law-court, or from having, visited your last pa-
5750 tient, you return at evening,

5751 "Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of home
5752 Is sweetest--"

5753 to your family, prepared for its social enjoy-
5754 ments, with the very countenances of your wife
5755 and children brightened, and their voice of wel-
5756 come made doubly welcome, by the knowledge
5757 that, as far as they are concerned, you have sa-
5758 tisfied the demands of the day by the labor of
5759 the day. Then, when you retire into your
5760 study, in the books on your shelves you revisit
5761 so many venerable friends with whom you can
5762 converse. Your own spirit scarcely less free
5763 from personal anxieties than the great minds,
5764 that in those books are still living for you!
5765 Even at your writing desk with its blank paper
5766 and all its other implements will appear as a

{{Page 225}}

5767 chain of flowers, capable of linking, your feel-
5768 ings as well as thoughts to events and charac-
5769 ters past or to come; not a chain of iron which
5770 binds you down to think of the future and the
5771 remote by recalling the claims and feelings of
5772 the peremptory present. But why should I say
5773 retire? The habits of active life and daily in-
5774 tercourse with the stir of the world will tend to
5775 give you such self-command, that the presence
5776 of your family will be no interruption. Nay,
5777 the social silence, or undisturbing voices of a
5778 wife or sister will be like a restorative atmos-
5779 phere, or soft music which moulds a dream
5780 without becoming its object. If facts are re-
5781 quired to prove the possibility of combining
5782 weighty performances in literature with full and
5783 independent employment, the works of Cicero
5784 and Xenophon among the ancients; of Sir
5785 Thomas Moore, Bacon, Baxter, or to refer
5786 at once to later and cotemporary instances,
5787 DARWIN and ROSCOE, are at once decisive of
5788 the question.

5789 But all men may not dare promise themselves
5790 a sufficiency of self-controul for the imitation of
5791 those examples; though strict scrutiny should
5792 always be made, whether indolence, restless-
5793 ness, or a vanity impatient for immediate grati-
5794 fication, have not tampered with the judgement
5795 and assumed the vizard of humility for the
5796 purposes of self-delusion. Still the church

{{Page 226}}

5797 presents to every man of learning and genius a
5798 profession, in which he may cherish a rational
5799 hope of being able to unite the widest schemes
5800 of literary utility with the strictest performance
5801 of professional duties. Among the numerous
5802 blessings of christianity, the introduction of an
5803 established church makes an especial claim on
5804 the gratitude of scholars and philosophers; in
5805 England, at least, where the principles of Pro-
5806 testantism have conspired with the freedom of
5807 the government to double all its salutary pow-
5808 ers by the rernoval of its abuses.

5809 That not only the maxims, but the grounds
5810 of a pure morality, the mere fragments of which

5811 "-- the lofty grave tragedians taught
5812 "In chorus or iambic, teachers best
5813 "Of moral prudence, with delight received
5814 "In brief sententious precepts ;"


5816 and that the sublime truths of the divine unity
5817 and attributes, which a Plato found most hard
5818 to learn and deemed it still more difficult
5819 to reveal; that these should have become the
5820 almost hereditary property of childhood and
5821 poverty, of the hovel and the workshop; that
5822 even to the unlettered they sound as common
5823 place, is a phenomenon, which must withhold
5824 all but minds of the most vulgar cast from
5825 undervaluing the services even of the pulpit
5826 and the reading desk. Yet those, who coufine

{{Page 227}}

5827 the efficiency of an established church to its
5828 public offices, can hardly be placed in a much
5829 higher rank of intellect. That to every parish
5830 throughout the kingdom there is transplanted
5831 a germ of civilization; that in the remotest
5832 villages there is a nucleus, round which the
5833 capabilities of the place may crystallize and
5834 brighten; a model sufficiently superior to ex-
5835 cite, yet sufficiently near to encourage and
5836 facilitate, imitation; this, the inobtrusive, con-
5837 tinuous agency of a protestant church estab-
5838 lishment, this it is, which the patriot, and the
5839 philanthropist, who would fain unite the love
5840 of peace with the faith in the progressive
5841 amelioration of mankind, cannot estimate at
5842 too high a price. "It cannot be valued with
5843 the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or
5844 the sapphire. No mention shall be made of
5845 coral or of pearls; for the price of wisdom is
5846 above rubies." The clergyman is with his
5847 parishioners and among them; he is neither in
5848 the cloistered cell, or in the wilderness, but a
5849 neighbour and a family-man, whose education
5850 and rank admit him to the mansion of the rich
5851 landholder, while his duties make him the
5852 frequent visitor of the farm-house and the cot-
5853 tage. He is, or he may become, connected
5854 with the families of his parish or its vicinity by
5855 marriage. And among the instances of the
5856 blindness, or at best of the short-sightedness,

{{Page 228}}

5857 which it is the nature of cupidity to inflict, I
5858 know few more striking, than the clamors of
5859 the farmers against church property. What-
5860 ever was not paid to the clergyman would
5861 inevitably at the next lease be paid to the land-
5862 holder, while, as the case at present stands, the
5863 revenues of the church are in some sort the
5864 reversionary property of every family, that may
5865 have a member educated for the church, or a
5866 daughter that may marry a clergyman. Instead
5867 of being foreclosed and immovable, it is in fact
5868 the only species of landed property, that is
5869 essentially moving and circulative. That there
5870 exist no inconveniences, who will pretend to
5871 assert? But I have yet to expect the proof,
5872 that the inconveniences are greater in this than
5873 in any other species; or that either the farmers
5874 or the clergy would be benefited by forcing the
5875 latter to become either Trullibers, or salaried
5876 placemen. Nay, I do not hesitate to declare
5877 my firm persuasion, that whatever reason of
5878 discontent the farmers may assign, the true
5879 cause is this; that they may cheat the parson,
5880 but cannot cheat the steward; and they are
5881 disappointed, if they should have been able
5882 to withhold only two pounds less than the
5883 legal claim, having expected to withhold five.
5884 At all events, considered relatively to the en-
5885 couragement of learning and genius, the estab-
5886 lishment presents a patronage at once so [[effec-]]

{{Page 229}}

5887 ||effec||tive and unburthensome, that it would be im-
5888 possible to afford the like or equal in any but a
5889 christian and protestant country. There is
5890 scarce a department of human knowledge with-
5891 out some bearing on the various critical, histo-
5892 rical, philosophical, and moral truths, in which
5893 the scholar must be interested as a clergyman;
5894 no one pursuit worthy of a man of genius,
5895 which may not be followed without incon-
5896 gruity. To give the history of the bible as a
5897 book, would be little less than to relate the
5898 origin or first excitement of all the literature
5899 and science, that we now possess. The very
5900 decorum, which the profession imposes, is fa-
5901 vorable to the best purposes of genius, and
5902 tends to counteract its most frequent defects.
5903 Finally, that man must be deficient in sensibi-
5904 lity, who would not find an incentive to emula-
5905 tion in the great and burning lights, which
5906 in a long series have illustrated the church of
5907 England; who would not hear from within an
5908 echo to the voice from their sacred shrines,
5909 " Et Æneas et avunculus excitat Hector."

5910 But whatever be the profession or trade
5911 chosen, the advantages are many and import-
5912 ant, compared with the state of a mere literary
5913 man, who in any degree depends on the sale
5914 of his works for the necessaries and comforts
5915 of life. In the former a man lives in sympathy
5916 with the world, in which he lives. At least he

{{Page 230}}

5917 acquires a better and quicker tact for the know-
5918 ledge of that, with which men in general can
5919 sympathize. He learns to manage his genius
5920 more prudently and efficaciously. His powers
5921 and acquirements gain him likewise more real
5922 admiration; for they surpass the legitimate ex-
5923 pectations of others. He is something besides
5924 an author, and is not therefore considered
5925 merely as an author. The hearts of men are
5926 open to him, as to one of their own class; and
5927 whether he exerts himself or not in the conver-
5928 sational circles of his acquaintance, his silence
5929 is not attributed to pride, nor his communica-
5930 tiveness to vanity. To these advantages I will
5931 venture to add a superior chance of happiness
5932 in domestic life, were it only that it is as natural
5933 for the man to be out of the circle of his house-
5934 hold during the day, as it is meritorious for the
5935 woman to remain for the most part within it.
5936 But this subject involves points of considera-
5937 tion so numerous and so delicate, and would
5938 not only permit, but require such ample do-
5939 cuments from the biography of literary men,
5940 that I now merely allude to it in transitu.
5941 When the same circumstance has occurred at
5942 very different times to very different persons,
5943 all of whom have some one thing in common;
5944 there is reason to suppose that such circum-
5945 stance is not merely attributable to the persons
5946 concerned, but is in some measure occasioned

{{Page 231}}

5947 by the one point in common to them all. In-
5948 stead of the vehement and almost slanderous
5949 dehortation from marriage, which the Misogyne,
5950 Boccaccio (Vita e Costumi di Dante, p. 12, 16)
5951 addresses to literary men, I would substitute
5952 the simple advice: be not merely a man of
5953 letters! Let literature be an honourable aug-
5954 mentation to your arms; but not constitute the
5955 coat, or fill the escutchion!

5956 To objections from conscience I can of course
5957 answer in no other way, than by requesting the
5958 youthful objector (as I have already done on a
5959 former occasion) to ascertain with strict self-
5960 examination, whether other influences may not
5961 be at work; whether spirits, " not of health,"
5962 and with whispers " not from heaven," may not
5963 be walking in the twilight of his consciousness.
5964 Let him catalogue his scruples, and reduce
5965 them to a distinct intelligible form; let him be
5966 certain, that he has read with a docile mind
5967 and favorable dispositions the best and most
5968 fundamental works on the subject; that he
5969 has had both mind and heart opened to the
5970 great and illustrious qualities of the many re-
5971 nowned characters, who had doubted like him-
5972 self, and whose researches had ended in the
5973 clear conviction, that their doubts had been
5974 groundless, or at least in no proportion to the
5975 counter-weight. Happy will it be for such a
5976 man, if among his contemporaries elder than
5977 himself he should meet with one, who with

{{Page 232}}

5978 similar powers, and feelings as acute as his
5979 own, had entertained the same scruples; had
5980 acted upon them; and who by after-research
5981 (when the step was, alas! irretrievable, but for
5982 that very reason his research undeniably disin-
5983 terested) had discovered himself to have quar-
5984 relled with received opinions only to embrace
5985 errors, to have left the direction tracked out
5986 for him on the high road of honorable exertion,
5987 only to deviate into a labyrinth, where when he
5988 had wandered, till his head was giddy, his best
5989 good fortune was finally to have found his way
5990 out again, too late for prudence though not too
5991 late for conscience or for truth! Time spent
5992 in such delay is time won; for manhood in the
5993 mean time is advancing, and with it increase of
5994 knowledge, strength of judgement, and above
5995 all, temperance of feelings. And even if these
5996 should effect no change, yet the delay will at
5997 least prevent the final approval of the decision
5998 from being alloyed by the inward censure of
5999 the rashness and vanity, by which it had been
6000 precipitated. It would be a sort of irreligion,
6001 and scarcely less than a libel on human nature
6002 to believe, that there is any established and
6003 reputable profession or employment, in which
6004 a man may not continue to act with honesty
6005 and honor; and doubtless there is likewise
6006 none, which may not at times present tempta-
6007 tions to the contrary. But woefully will that
6008 man find himself mistaken, who imagines that

{{Page 233}}

6009 the profession of literature, or (to speak more
6010 plainly) the trade of authorship, besets its
6011 members with fewer or with less insidious
6012 temptations, than the church, the law, or the
6013 different branches of commerce. But I have
6014 treated sufficiently on this unpleasant subject
6015 in an early chapter of this volume. I will
6016 conclude the present therefore with a short
6017 extract from HERDER, whose name I might
6018 have added to the illustrious list of those, who
6019 have combined the successful pursuit of the
6020 muses, not only with the faithful discharge,
6021 but with the highest honors and honorable
6022 emoluments, of an established profession. The
6023 translation the reader will find in a note below. *
6024 " Am sorgfältigsten, meiden sie die Autors-
6025 chaft. Zu fr¨¹h oder unmässig gebraucht, macht
6026 sie den Kopf w¨¹ste und das Herz leer; wenn
6027 sie auch sonst keine uble Folgen gäbe. Ein
6028 Mensch, der nur lieset um zu dr¨¹cken, lieset
6029 wahrscheinlich ¨¹bel und wer jeden Gedanken,
6030 der ihm aufstosst, durch Feder und Presse


" With the greatest possible solicitude avoid authorship.
"Too early or immoderately employed, it makes the head
"waste and the heart empty; even were there no other worse
"consequences. A person, who reads only to print, in all
"probability reads amiss; and he, who sends away through
"the pen and the press every thought, the moment it occurs*

{{Page 234}}

6031 versendet, hat sie in kurzer Zeit alle versandt,
6032 und wird bald ein blosser Diener der Druc-
6033 kerey, ein Buchstabensetzer werden.

6034 HERDER.

*to him, will in a short time have sent all away, and will be-
come a mere journeyman of the printing-office, a compositor."

To which I may add from myself, that what medical phy-
siologists affirm of certain secretions, applies equally to our
thoughts; they too must be taken up again into the circulation,
and be again and again re-secreted in order to ensure a health-
ful vigor, both to the mind and to its intellectual offspring.

{{Page 235}}


6036 A Chapter of requests and premonitions concern-
6037 ing the perusal or omission of the chapter that
6038 follows.

6039 In the perusal of philosophical works I have
6040 been greatly benefited by a resolve, which, in
6041 the antithetic form and with the allowed quaint-
6042 ness of an adage or maxim, I have been ac-
6043 customed to word thus: "until you understand
6044 a writer's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant
6045 of his understanding." This golden rule of mine
6046 does, I own, resemble those of Pythagoras in
6047 its obscurity rather than in its depth. If how-
6048 ever the reader will permit me to be my own
6049 Hierocles, I trust, that he will find its meaning
6050 fully explained by the following instances. I
6051 have now before me a treatise of a religious
6052 fanatic, full of dreams and supernatural expe-
6053 riences. I see clearly the writer's grounds, and
6054 their hollowness. I have a complete insight
6055 into the causes, which through the medium of
6056 his body had acted on his mind; and by ap-
6057 plication of received and ascertained laws I
6058 can satisfactorily explain to my own reason all

{{Page 236}}

6059 the strange incidents, which the writer records
6060 of himself. And this I can do without sus-
6061 pecting him of any intentional falsehood. As
6062 when in broad day-light a man tracks the steps
6063 of a traveller, who had lost his way in a fog
6064 or by treacherous moonshine, even so, and
6065 with the same tranquil sense of certainty, can
6066 I follow the traces of this bewildered visionary.

6068 On the other hand, I have been re-perusing
6069 with the best energies of my mind the Timæeus
6070 of PLATO. Whatever I comprehend, impresses
6071 me with a reverential sense of the author's
6072 genius; but there is a considerable portion of
6073 the work, to which I can attach no consistent
6074 meaning. In other treatises of the same philo-
6075 sopher intended for the average comprehen-
6076 sions of men, I have been delighted with the
6077 masterly good sense, with the perspicuity of
6078 the language, and the aptness of the inductions.
6079 I recollect likewise, that numerous passages in
6080 this author, which I thoroughly comprehend,
6081 were formerly no less unintelligible to me, than
6082 the passages now in question. It would, I am
6083 aware, be quite fashionable to dismiss them at
6084 once as Platonic Jargon. But this I cannot
6085 do with satisfaction to my own mind, because
6086 I have sought in vain for causes adequate to
6087 the solution of the assumed inconsistency. I
6088 have no insight into the possibility of a man so

{{Page 237}}

6089 eminently wise, using words with such half-
6090 meanings to himself, as must perforce pass
6091 into no-meaning to his readers. When in ad-
6092 dition to the motives thus suggested by my
6093 own reason, I bring into distinct remembrance
6094 the number and the series of great men, who
6095 after long and zealous study of these works
6096 had joined in honoring the name of PLATO
6097 with epithets, that almost transcend humanity,
6098 I feel, that a contemptuous verdict on my part
6099 might argue want of modesty, but would hardly
6100 be received by the judicious, as evidence of
6101 superior penetration. Therefore, utterly baffled
6102 in all my attempts to understand the ignorance

6105 In lieu of the various requests which the
6106 anxiety of authorship addresses to the unknown
6107 reader, I advance but this one; that he will
6108 either pass over the following chapter altoge-
6109 ther, or read the whole connectedly. The
6110 fairest part of the most beautiful body will
6111 appear deformed and monstrous, if dissevered
6112 from its place in the organic Whole. Nay, on
6113 delicate subjects, where a seemingly trifling
6114 difference of more or less may constitute a
6115 difference in kind, even a faithful display of the
6116 main and supporting ideas, if yet they are
6117 separated from the forms by which they are at
6118 once cloathed and modified, may perchance

{{Page 238}}

6119 present a skeleton indeed; but a skeleton to
6120 alarm and deter. Though I might find nume-
6121 rous precedents, I shall not desire the reader
6122 to strip his mind of all prejudices, or to keep
6123 all prior systems out of view during his examin-
6124 ation of the present. For in truth, such re-
6125 quests appear to me not much unlike the ad-
6126 vice given to hypochondriacal patients in |Dr.|
6127 Buchan's domestic medicine; videlicet, to pre-
6128 serve themselves uniformly tranquil and in good
6129 spirits. Till I had discovered the art of de-
6130 stroying the memory a parte post, without in-
6131 jury to its future operations, and without detri-
6132 ment to the judgement, I should suppress the
6133 request as premature; and therefore, however
6134 much I may wish to be read with an unpre-
6135 judiced mind, I do not presume to state it as a
6136 necessary condition.

6137 The extent of my daring is to suggest one
6138 criterion, by which it may be rationally con-
6139 jectured before-hand, whether or no a reader
6140 would lose his time, and perhaps his temper,
6141 in the perusal of this, or any other treatise
6142 constructed on similar principles. But it would
6143 be cruelly misinterpreted, as implying the least
6144 disrespect either for the moral or intellectual
6145 qualities of the individuals thereby precluded.
6146 The criterion is this: if a man receives as
6147 fundamental facts, and therefore of course in-
6148 demonstrable and incapable of further analysis,

{{Page 239}}

6149 the general notions of matter, spirit, soul, body,
6150 action, passiveness, time, space, cause and
6151 effect, consciousness, perception, memory and
6152 habit; if he feels his mind completely at rest
6153 concerning all these, and is satisfied, if only he
6154 can analyse all other notions into some one or
6155 more of these supposed elements with plausible
6156 subordination and apt arrangement: to such a
6157 mind I would as courteously as possible con-
6158 vey the hint, that for him the chapter was not
6159 written.

6160 Vir bonus es, doctus, prudens; ast haud tibi spiro.

6161 For these terms do in truth include all the
6162 difficulties, which the human mind can propose
6163 for solution. Taking them therefore in mass,
6164 and unexamined, it requires only a decent
6165 apprenticeship in logic, to draw forth their
6166 contents in all forms and colours, as the pro-
6167 fessors of legerdemain at our village fairs pull
6168 out ribbon after ribbon from their mouths.
6169 And not more difficult is it to reduce them
6170 back again to their different genera. But though
6171 this analysis is highly useful in rendering our
6172 knowledge more distinct, it does not really add
6173 to it. It does not increase, though it gives us
6174 a greater mastery over, the wealth which we
6175 before possessed. For forensic purposes, for
6176 all the established professions of society, this
6177 is sufficient. But for philosophy in its highest
6178 sense, as the science of ultimate truths, and

{{Page 240}}

6179 therefore scientia scientiarum, this mere analysis
6180 of terms is preparative only, though as a pre-
6181 parative discipline indispensable.

6182 Still less dare a favorable perusal be antici-
6183 pated from the proselytes of that compendious
6184 philosophy, which talking of mind but thinking
6185 of brick and mortar, or other images equally ab-
6186 stracted from body, contrives a theory of spirit
6187 by nicknaming matter, and in a few hours can
6188 qualify its dullest disciples to explain the omne
6189 scibile by reducing all things to impressions,
6190 ideas, and sensations.

6191 But it is time to tell the truth; though it
6192 requires some courage to avow it in an age
6193 and country, in which disquisitions on all sub-
6194 jects, not privileged to adopt technical terms
6195 or scientific symbols, must be addressed to the
6196 PUBLIC. I say then, that it is neither possible
6197 or necessary for all men, or for many, to be
6198 PHILOSOPHERS. There is a philosophic (and
6199 inasmuch as it is actualized by an effort of
6200 freedom, an artificial) consciousness, which lies
6201 beneath or (as it were) behind the spontaneous
6202 consciousness natural to all reflecting beings.
6203 As the elder Romans distinguished their north-
6204 ern provinces into Cis-Alpine and Trans-Alpine,
6205 so may we divide all the objects of human
6206 knowledge into those on this side, and those
6207 on the other side of the spontaneous conscious-
6208 ness; citra et trans conscientiam communem.

{{Page 241}}

6209 The latter is exclusively the domain of PURE
6210 philosophy, which is therefore properly enti-
6211 tled transcendental, in order to discriminate it
6212 at once, both from mere reflection and re-
6213 presentation on the one hand, and on the other
6214 from those flights of lawless speculation which
6215 abandoned by all distinct consciousness, be-
6216 cause transgressing the bounds and purposes
6217 of our intellectual faculties, are justly con-
6218 demned, as* transcendent. The first range of

* This distinction between transcendental and transcendent
is observed by our elder divines and philosophers, whenever
they express themselves scholastically. |Dr.| Johnson indeed
has confounded the two words; but his own authorities do
not bear him out. Of this celebrated dictionary I will ven-
ture to remark once for all, that I should suspect the man of
a morose disposition who should speak of it without respect
and gratitude as a most instructive and entertaining book,
and hitherto, unfortunately, an indispensable book; but I
confess, that I should be surprized at hearing from a philo-
sophic and thorough scholar any but very qualified praises
of it, as a dictionary. I am not now alluding to the number
of genuine words omitted; for this is (and perhaps to a
greater extent) true, as |Mr.| Wakefield has noticed, of our
best Greek Lexicons, and this too after the successive labors
of so many giants in learning. I refer at present both to
omissions and commissions of a more important nature.
What these are, me saltem judice, will be stated at full in
THE FRIEND, re-published and completed.

I had never heard of the correspondence between Wake-
field and Fox till I saw the account of it this morning (16th
September 1815) in the Monthly Review. I was not a little
gratified at finding, that |Mr.| Wakefield had proposed to him-
self nearly the same plan for a Greek and English Dictionary,
which I had formed, and began to execute, now ten years
ago. But far, far more grieved am I, that he did not live to
compleat it. I cannot but think it a subject of most serious
regret, that the same heavy expenditure, which is now [[em-]]*

{{Page 242}}

6219 hills, that encircles the scanty vale of human
6220 life, is the horizon for the majority of its inha-
6221 bitants. On its ridges the common sun is born
6222 and departs. From them the stars rise, and
6223 touching them they vanish. By the many, even
6224 this range, the natural limit and bulwark of the
6225 vale, is but imperfectly known. Its higher
6226 ascents are too often hidden by mists and
6227 clouds from uncultivated swamps, which few
6228 have courage or curiosity to penetrate. To
6229 the multitude below these vapors appear, now

*||em||ploying in the republication of STEPHANUS augmented, had
not been applied to a new Lexicon on a more philosophical
plan, with the English, German, and French Synonimes as
well as the Latin. In almost every instance the precise in-
dividual meaning might be given in an English or German
word; whereas in Latin we must too often be contented with
a mere general and inclusive term. How indeed can it be
otherwise, when we attempt to render the most copious lan-
guage of the world, the most admirable for the fineness of
its distinctions, into one of the poorest and most vague lan-
guages? Especially, when we reflect on the comparative
number of the works, still extant, written, while the Greek and
Latin were living languages. Were I asked, what I deemed
the greatest and most unmixt benefit, which a wealthy indi-
vidual, or an association of wealthy individuals could bestow
on their country and on mankind, I should not hesitate to
answer, "a philosophical English dictionary; with the Greek,
Latin, German, French, Spanish and Italian synomines, and
with correspondent indexes." That the learned languages
might thereby be acquired, better, in half the time, is but a
part, and not the most important part, of the advantages
which would accrue from such a work. O! if it should be
permitted by providence, that without detriment to freedom
and independence our government might be enabled to be-
come more than a committee for war and revenue! There
was a time, when every thing was to be done by government.
Have we not flown off to the contrary extreme?

{{Page 243}}

6230 as the dark haunts of terrific agents, on which
6231 none may intrude with impunity; and now all
6232 a-glow, with colors not their own, they are gazed
6233 at, as the splendid palaces of happiness and
6234 power. But in all ages there have been a few,
6235 who measuring and sounding the rivers of the
6236 vale at the feet of their furthest inaccessible falls
6237 have learnt, that the sources must be far higher
6238 and far inward; a few, who even in the level
6239 streams have detected elements, which neither
6240 the vale itself or the surrounding mountains con-
6241 tained or could supply. How and whence to
6242 these thoughts, these strong probabilities, the
6243 ascertaining vision, the intuitive knowledge, may
6244 finally supervene, can be learnt only by the
6245 fact. I might oppose to the question the words
6246 with which * Plotinus supposes NATURE to

* Ennead iii. l. 8. c. 3. The force of the Greek sunienai is
imperfectly expressed by "understand;" our own idiomatic
phrase "to go along with me" comes nearest to it. The
passage, that follows, full of profound sense, appears to me
evidently corrupt; and in fact no writer more wants, better
deserves, or is less likely to obtain, a new and more correct
edition.--ti oun sunienai; oti to genomenon esi deama emon, si{o}p{ee}sis
( mallem, deama, emou si{o}p{o}s{ee}s,) kai Phusei genomenon de{o}r{ee}ma kai
moi genomen{ee} ek de{o}rias t{ee}s {o}di, t{ee}n phusin echein philodeamona uparkei.
(mallem, kai moi {ee}e genomen{ee} ek de{o}rias aut{ee}s {o}dias).
"what then
are we to understand? That whatever is produced is
an intuition, I silent; and that, which is thus generated, is
by its nature a theorem, or form of contemplation; and
the birth, which results to me from this contemplation, attains
to have a contemplative nature." So Synesius;{O}dis ira,
Arr{ee}ta Gond.
The after comparison of the process of the
natura naturans with that of the geometrician is drawn from
the very heart of philosophy.

{{Page 244}}

6247 answer a similar difficulty. "Should any one
6248 interrogate her, how she works, if graciously
6249 she vouchsafe to listen and speak, she will
6250 reply, it behoves thee not to disquiet me with
6251 interrogatories, but to understand in silence,
6252 even as I am silent, and work without words."

6253 Likewise in the fifth book of the fifth Ennead,
6254 speaking of the highest and intuitive knowledge
6255 as distinguished from the discursive, or in the
6256 language of Wordsworth,

6257 "The vision and the faculty divine;"

6258 he says: "it is not lawful to enquire from
6259 "whence it sprang, as if it were a thing subject
6260 "to place and motion, for it neither approached
6261 "hither, nor again departs from hence to some
6262 "other place; but it either appears to us or it
6263 "does not appear. So that we ought not to pur-
6264 "sue it with a view of detecting its secret source,
6265 "but to watch in quiet till it suddenly shines
6266 "upon us; preparing ourselves for the blessed
6267 "spectacle as the eye waits patiently for the
6268 "rising sun." They and they only can acquire
6269 the philosophic imagination, the sacred power
6270 of self-intuition, who within themselves can
6271 interpret and understand the symbol, that the
6272 wings of the air-sylph are forming within the
6273 skin of the caterpillar; those only, who feel in
6274 their own spirits the same instinct, which im-
6275 pels the chrysalis of the horned fly to leave

{{Page 245}}

6276 room in its involucrum for antennæ yet to
6277 come. They know and feel, that the potential
6278 works in them, even as the actual works on
6279 them! In short, all the organs of sense are
6280 framed for a corresponding world of sense; and
6281 we have it. All the organs of spirit are framed
6282 for a correspondent world of spirit: tho' the
6283 latter organs are not developed in all alike.
6284 But they exist in all, and their first appearance
6285 discloses itself in the moral being. How else
6286 could it be, that even worldlings, not wholly
6287 debased, will contemplate the man of simple
6288 and disinterested goodness with contradictory
6289 feelings of pity and respect? "Poor man!
6290 he is not made for this world." Oh! herein
6291 they utter a prophecy of universal fulfilment;
6292 for man must either rise or sink.

6293 It is the essential mark of the true philoso-
6294 pher to rest satisfied with no imperfect light, as
6295 long as the impossibility of attaining a fuller
6296 knowledge has not been demonstrated. That
6297 the common consciousness itself will furnish
6298 proofs by its own direction, that it is connected
6299 with master-currents below the surface, I shall
6300 merely assume as a postulate pro tempore.
6301 This having been granted, though but in ex-
6302 pectation of the argument, I can safely deduce
6303 from it the equal truth of my former assertion,
6304 that philosophy cannot be intelligible to all,
6305 even of the most learned and cultivated classes.

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6306 A system, the first principle of which it is to
6307 render the mind intuitive of the spiritual in
6308 man (i.e of that which lies on the other side of
6309 our natural consciousness) must needs have a
6310 great obscurity for those, who have never dis-
6311 ciplined and strengthened this ulterior consci-
6312 ousness. It must in truth be a land of dark-
6313 ness, a perfect Anti-Goshen, for men to whom
6314 the noblest treasures of their own being are
6315 reported only through the imperfect tansla-
6316 tion of lifeless and sightless notions. Perhaps,
6317 in great part, through words which are but
6318 the shadows of notions; even as the notional
6319 understanding itself is but the shadowy ab-
6320 straction of living and actual truth. On the
6321 IMMEDIATE, which dwells in every man, and
6322 on the original intuition, or absolute affirm-
6323 ation of it, (which is likewise in every man, but
6324 does not in every man rise into consciousness)
6325 all the certainty of our knowledge depends;
6326 and this becomes intelligible to no man by the
6327 ministery of mere words from without. The
6328 medium, by which spirits understand each
6329 other, is not the surrounding air; but the
6330 freedom which they possess in common, as the
6331 common ethereal element in their being, the
6332 tremulous reciprocations of which propagate
6333 themselves even to the inmost of the soul.
6334 Where the spirit of a man is not filled with the
6335 consciousness of freedom (were it only from

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6336 its restlessness, as of one still struggling in
6337 bondage) all spiritual intercourse is interrupted,
6338 not only with others, but even with himself.
6339 No wonder then, that he remains incomprehen-
6340 sible to himself as well as others. No won-
6341 der, that in the fearful desert of his conscious-
6342 ness, he wearies himself out with empty words,
6343 to which no friendly echo answers, either from
6344 his own heart, or the heart of a fellow being;
6345 or bewilders himself in the pursuit of notional
6346 phantoms, the mere refractions from unseen and
6347 distant truths through the distorting medium
6348 of his own unenlivened and stagnant under-
6349 standing! To remain unintelligible to such a
6350 mind, exclaims Schelling on a like occasion,
6351 is honor and a good name before God and man.

6352 The history of philosophy (the same writer
6353 observes) contains instances of systems, which
6354 for successive generations have remained enig-
6355 matic. Such he deems the system of Leibnitz,
6356 whom another writer (rashly I think, and invi-
6357 diously) extols as the only philosopher, who
6358 was himself deeply convinced of his own doc-
6359 trines. As hitherto interpreted, however, they
6360 have not produced the effect, which Leibnitz
6361 himself, in a most instructive passage, describes
6362 as the criterion of a true philosophy; namely,
6363 that it would at once explain and collect the
6364 fragments of truth scattered through systems
6365 apparently the most incongruous. The truth,

{{Page 248}}

6366 says he, is diffused more widely than is com-
6367 monly believed; but it is often painted, yet
6368 oftener masked, and is sometimes mutilated
6369 and sometimes, alas! in close alliance with
6370 mischievous errors. The deeper, however, we
6371 penetrate into the ground of things, the more
6372 truth we discover in the doctrines of the greater
6373 number of the philosophical sects. The want
6374 of substantial reality in the objects of the senses,
6375 according to the sceptics; the harmonies or
6376 numbers, the prototypes and ideas, to which
6377 the Pythagoreans and Platonists reduced all
6378 things; the ONE and ALL of Parmenides and
6379 Plotinus, without * Spinozism; the necessary
6380 connection of things according to the Stoics,
6381 reconcileable with the spontaneity of the other
6382 schools; the vital-philosophy of the Cabalists
6383 and Hermetists, who assumed the universality
6384 of sensation; the substantial forms and ente-
6385 lechies of Aristotle and the schoolmen, together
6386 with the mechanical solution of all particular

* This is happily effected in three lines by SYNESIUS, in
his Fourth Hymn:

En kai Panta--(taken by itself) is Spinosism.
En d Apant{o}n--a mere anima Mundi.
En te pro p s nt{o}n--is mechanical Theism.

But all unite all three, and the result is the Theism of Saint
Paul and Christianity.

Synesius was censured for his doctrine of the Pre-exist-
ence of the Soul; but never, that I can find, arraigned or*

{{Page 249}}

6387 phenomena according to Democritus and the
6388 recent philosophers--all these we shall find
6389 united in one perspective central point, which
6390 shows regularity and a coincidence of all the
6391 parts in the very object, which from every other
6392 point of view must appear confused and dis-
6393 torted. The spirit of sectarianism has been
6394 hitherto our fault, and the cause of our failures.
6395 We have imprisoned our own conceptions by

*deemed heretical for his Pantheism, tho' neither Giordano
Bruno, or Jacob Behmen ever avowed it more broadly.

Muras de Noos,
Ta te kai ta legei,
Budon arr{ee}ton
Su to tikton ephus,
Su to tiktomen on
Su to ph{o}tixion,
Su to lampomenon
Su to phainomenon,
Su to kruptomenon
Idiais augais.
En kai panta,
En kad eauto,
Kai dia pant{o}n

Pantheism is therefore not necessarily irreligious or here-
tical; tho' it may be taught atheistically. Thus Spinoza
would agree with Synesius in calling God Phusis en Noerois, the
Nature in Intelligences; but he could not subscribe to the
preceding Nous kai Noeros, i. e. Himself Intelligence and intel-

In this biographical sketch of my literary life, I may be
excused, if I mention here, that I had translated the eight
Hymns of Synesius from the Greek into English Anacreon-
tics before my 15th year.

{{Page 250}}

6396 the lines, which we have drawn, in order to
6397 exclude the conceptions of others. I'ai trouv¨¦
6398 que la plupart des sectes ont raison dans une
6399 bonne partie de ce q¨²elles avancent, mais non
6400 pas tant en ce q¨²elles nient.

6401 A system, which aims to deduce the memory
6402 with all the other functions of intelligence,
6403 must of course place its first position from
6404 beyond the memory, and anterior to it, other-
6405 wise the principle of solution would be itself a
6406 part of the problem to be solved. Such a po-
6407 sition therefore must, in the first instance be
6408 demanded, and the first question will be, by
6409 what right is it demanded? On this account
6410 I think it expedient to make some preliminary
6411 remarks on the introduction of POSTULATES in
6412 philosophy. The word postulate is borrowed
6413 from the science of mathematics. (See Schell.
6414 abhandl. zur Erläuter. des id. der Wissenschaft-
6415 slehre). In geometry the primary construction
6416 is not demonstrated, but postulated. This first
6417 and most simple construction in space is the
6418 point in motion, or the line. Whether the
6419 point is moved in one and the same direction,
6420 or whether its direction is continually changed,
6421 remains as yet undetermined. But if the di-
6422 rection of the point have been determined, it is
6423 either by a point without it, and then there
6424 arises the strait line which incloses no space;
6425 or the direction of the point is not determined

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6426 by a point without it, and then it must flow
6427 back again on itself, that is, there arises a
6428 cyclical line, which does inclose a space. If
6429 the strait line be assumed as the positive, the
6430 cyclical is then the negation of the strait. It
6431 is a line, which at no point strikes out into the
6432 strait, but changes its direction continuously.
6433 But if the primary line be conceived as un-
6434 determined, and the strait line as determined
6435 throughout, then the cyclical is the third com-
6436 pounded of both. It is at once undetermined
6437 and determined; undetermined through any
6438 point without, and determined through itself.
6439 Geometry therefore supplies philosophy with
6440 the example of a primary intuition, from which
6441 every science that lays claim to evidence must
6442 take its commencement. The mathematician
6443 does not begin with a demonstrable proposi-
6444 tion, but with an intuition, a practical idea.

6445 But here an important distinction presents
6446 itself. Philosophy is employed on objects of
6447 the INNER SENSE, and cannot, like geometry
6448 appropriate to every construction a correspon-
6449 dent outward intuition. Nevertheless philoso-
6450 phy, if it arrive at evidence, must proceed
6451 from the most original construction, and the
6452 question then is, what is the most original
6453 construction or first productive act for the
6454 INNER SENSE. The answer to this question
6455 depends on the direction which is given to the

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6456 INNER SENSE. But in philosophy the INNER
6457 SENSE cannot have its direction determined by
6458 any outward object. To the original construc-
6459 tion of the line, I can be compelled by a line
6460 drawn before me on the slate or on sand. The
6461 stroke thus drawn is indeed not the line itself,
6462 but only the image or picture of the line. It is
6463 not from it, that we first learn to know the line;
6464 but, on the contrary, we bring this stroke to
6465 the original line generated by the act of the
6466 imagination; otherwise we could not define it
6467 as without breadth or thickness. Still how-
6468 ever this stroke is the sensuous image of the
6469 original or ideal line, and an efficient mean to
6470 excite every imagination to the intuition of it.

6471 It is demanded then, whether there be found
6472 any means in philosophy to determine the di-
6473 rection of the INNER SENSE, as in mathematics
6474 it is determinable by its specific image or out-
6475 ward picture. Now the inner sense has its
6476 direction determined for the greater part only
6477 by an act of freedom. One man's conscious-
6478 ness extends only to the pleasant or unpleasant
6479 sensations caused in him by external impres-
6480 sions; another enlarges his inner sense to a
6481 consciousness of forms and quantity; a third
6482 in addition to the image is conscious of the
6483 conception or notion of the thing; a fourth
6484 attains to a notion of his notions--he reflects
6485 on his own reflections; and thus we may say

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6486 without impropriety, that the one possesses
6487 more or less inner sense, than the other. This
6488 more or less betrays already, that philosophy in
6489 its first principles must have a practical or
6490 moral, as well as a theoretical or speculative
6491 side. This difference in degree does not exist
6492 in the mathematics. Socrates in Plato shows,
6493 that an ignorant slave may be brought to un-
6494 derstand and of himself to solve the most dif-
6495 ficult geometrical problem. Socrates drew the
6496 figures for the slave in the sand. The disci-
6497 ples of the critical philosophy could likewise
6498 (as was indeed actually done by La Forge and
6499 some other followers of Des Cartes) represent
6500 the origin of our representations in copper-
6501 plates; but no one has yet attempted it, and it
6502 would be utterly useless. To an Esquimaux
6503 or New Zealander our most popular philosophy
6504 would be wholly unintelligible. The sense,
6505 the inward organ, for it is not yet born in him.
6506 So is there many a one among us, yes, and
6507 some who think themselves philosophers too,
6508 to whom the philosophic organ is entirely
6509 wanting. To such a man, philosophy is a
6510 mere play of words and notions, like a theory
6511 of music to the deaf, or like the geometry of
6512 light to the blind. The connection of the parts
6513 and their logical dependencies may be seen
6514 and remembered; but the whole is groundless
6515 and hollow, unsustained by living contact, [[un-]]

{{Page 254}}

6516 ||un||accompanied with any realizing intuition which
6517 exists by and in the act that affirms its existence,
6518 which is known, because it is, and is, because
6519 it is known. The words of Plotinus, in the
6520 assumed person of nature, hold true of the
6521 philosophic energy. Io de{o}roun mou de{o}r{ee}ma poiei,
6522 {o}ster oi Ge{o}metrai de{o}rountes graphousin. all emou m{ee}
6523 graphous{ee}s, de{o}rous{ee}s de, uphisantai ai t{o}n s{o}mat{o}n grammai.
6524 With me the act of contemplation makes the
6525 thing contemplated, as the geometricians con-
6526 templating describe lines correspondent; but
6527 I not describing lines, but simply contemplat-
6528 ing, the representative forms of things rise up
6529 into existence.

6530 The postulate of philosophy and at the same
6531 time the test of philosophic capacity, is no
6532 other than the heaven-descended KNOW THY-
6533 SELF! (E cælo descendit, Gn{o}di seauton). And this
6534 at once practically and speculatively. For as
6535 philosophy is neither a science of the reason or
6536 understanding only, nor merely a science of
6537 morals, but the science of BEING altogether, its
6538 primary ground can be neither merely specula-
6539 tive or merely practical, but both in one. All
6540 knowledge rests on the coincidence of an ob-
6541 ject with a subject. (My readers have been
6542 warned in a former chapter that for their con-
6543 venience as well as the writer's, the term,
6544 subject is used by me in its scholastic sense as
6545 equivalent to mind or sentient being, and as

{{Page 255}}

6546 the necessary correllative of object or quic-
6547 quid objicitur menti.) For we can know that
6548 only which is true: and the truth is universally
6549 placed in the coincidence of the thought with
6550 the thing, of the representation with the object
6551 represented.

6552 Now the sum of all that is merely OBJECTIVE,
6553 we will henceforth call NATURE, confining the
6554 term to its passive and material sense, as com-
6555 prising all the phænomena by which its exist-
6556 ence is made known to us. On the other hand
6557 the sum of all that is SUBJECTIVE, we may
6558 comprehend in the name of the SELF or INTEL-
6559 LIGENCE. Both conceptions are in necessary
6560 antithesis. Intelligence is conceived of as ex-
6561 clusively representative, nature as exclusively
6562 represented; the one as conscious, the other as
6563 without consciousness. Now in all acts of
6564 positive knowledge there is required a reci-
6565 procal concurrence of both, namely of the con-
6566 scious being, and of that which is in itself
6567 unconscious. Our problem is to explain this
6568 concurrence, its possibility and its necessity.


6569 During the act of knowledge itself, the ob-
6570 jective and subjective are so instantly united,
6571 that we cannot determine to which of the two
6572 the priority belongs. There is here no first,
6573 and no second; both are coinstantaneous and
6574 one. While I am attempting to explain this
6575 intimate coalition, I must suppose it dissolved.

{{Page 256}}

6576 I must necessarily set out from the one, to
6577 which therefore I give hypothetical antece-
6578 dence, in order to arrive at the other. But as
6579 there are but two factors or elements in the
6580 problem, subject and object, and as it is left
6581 indeterminate from which of them I should
6582 commence, there are two cases equally possible.


6587 The notion of the subjective is not contained
6588 in the notion of the objective. On the contrary
6589 they mutually exclude each other. The sub-
6590 jective therefore must supervene to the objec-
6591 tive. The conception of nature does not ap-
6592 parently involve the co-presence of an intel-
6593 ligence making an ideal duplicate of it, i. e.
6594 representing it. This desk for instance would
6595 (according to our natural notions) be, though
6596 there should exist no sentient being to look at
6597 it. This then is the problem of natural philo-
6598 sophy. It assumes the objective or uncon-
6599 scious nature as the first, and has therefore to
6600 explain how intelligence can supervene to it,
6601 or how itself can grow into intelligence. If it
6602 should appear, that all enlightened naturalists
6603 without having distinctly proposed the problem
6604 to themselves have yet constantly moved in the
6605 line of its solution, it must afford a strong [[pre-]]

{{Page 257}}

6606 ||pre||sumption that the problem itself is founded in
6607 nature. For if all knowledge has as it were
6608 two poles reciprocally required and presup-
6609 posed, all sciences must proceed from the one
6610 or the other, and must tend toward the op-
6611 posite as far as the equatorial point in which
6612 both are reconciled and become identical.
6613 The necessary tendence therefore of all natural
6614 philosophy is from nature to intelligence; and
6615 this, and no other is the true ground and oc-
6616 casion of the instinctive striving to introduce
6617 theory into our views of natural phænomena.
6618 The highest perfection of natural philosophy
6619 would consist in the perfect spiritualization of
6620 all the laws of nature into laws of intuition and
6621 intellect. The phænomena (the material) must
6622 wholly disappear, and the laws alone (the
6623 formal) must remain. Thence it comes, that in
6624 nature itself the more the principle of law
6625 breaks forth, the more does the husk drop
6626 off, the phænomena themselves become more
6627 spiritual and at length cease altogether in our
6628 consciousness. The optical phænomena are
6629 but a geometry, the lines of which are drawn
6630 by light, and the materiality of this light itself
6631 has already become matter of doubt. In the
6632 appearances of magnetism all trace of matter
6633 is lost, and of the phænomena of gravitation,
6634 which not a few among the most illlustrious
6635 Newtonians have declared no otherwise [[com-]]

{{Page 258}}

6636 ||com||prehensible than as an immediate spiritual in-
6637 fluence, there remains nothing but its law, the
6638 execution of which on a vast scale is the me-
6639 chanism of the heavenly motions. The theory
6640 of natural philosophy would then be completed,
6641 when all nature was demonstrated to be iden-
6642 tical in essence with that, which in its highest
6643 known power exists in man as intelligence
6644 and self-consciousness; when the heavens and
6645 the earth shall declare not only the power of
6646 their maker, but the glory and the presence of
6647 their God, even as he appeared to the great
6648 prophet during the vision of the mount in the
6649 skirts of his divinity.

6650 This may suffice to show, that even natural
6651 science, which commences with the material
6652 phænomena as the reality and substance of
6653 things existing, does yet by the necessity of
6654 theorising unconsciously, and as it were in-
6655 stinctively, end in nature as an intelligence; and
6656 by this tendency the science of nature becomes
6657 finally natural philosophy, the one of the two
6658 poles of fundamental science.

6663 In the pursuit of these sciences, our success
6664 in each, depends on an austere and faithful
6665 adherence to its own principles with a careful

{{Page 259}}

6666 separation and exclusion of those, which apper-
6667 tain to the opposite science. As the natural
6668 philosopher, who directs his views to the ob-
6669 jective, avoids above all things the intermixture
6670 of the subjective in his knowledge, as for in-
6671 stance, arbitrary suppositions or rather suf-
6672 fictions, occult qualities, spiritual agents, and
6673 the substitution of final for efficient causes; so
6674 on the other hand, the transcendental or intel-
6675 ligential philosopher is equally anxious to pre-
6676 clude all interpolation of the objective into the
6677 subjective principles of his science, as for in-
6678 stance the assumption of impresses or configu-
6679 rations in the brain, correspondent to miniature
6680 pictures on the retina painted by rays of light
6681 from supposed originals, which are not the
6682 immediate and real objects of vision, but de-
6683 ductions from it for the purposes of explana-
6684 tion. This purification of the mind is effected
6685 by an absolute and scientific scepticism to which
6686 the mind voluntary determines itself for the spe-
6687 cific purpose of future certainty. Des Cartes
6688 who (in his meditations) himself first, at least
6689 of the moderns, gave a beautiful example of
6690 this voluntary doubt, this self-determined inde-
6691 termination, happily expresses its utter dif-
6692 ference from the scepticism of vanity or irreli-
6693 gion: Nec tamen in eo scepticos imitabar, qui
6694 dubitant tautum ut dubitent, et preter incerti
6695 tudinem ipsam nihil quærunt. Nam contra

{{Page 260}}

6696 totus in eo eram ut aliquid certi reperirem.
6697 DES CARTES, de Methodo. Nor is it less dis-
6698 tinct in its motives and final aim, than in its
6699 proper objects, which are not as in ordinary
6700 scepticism the prejudices of education and cir-
6701 cumstance, but those original and innate pre-
6702 judices which nature herself has planted in all
6703 men, and which to all but the philosopher are
6704 the first principles of knowledge, and the final
6705 test of truth.

6706 Now these essential prejudices are all redu-
6707 cible to the one fundamental presumption, THAT
6709 on the one hand originates, neither in grounds
6710 or arguments, and yet on the other hand re-
6711 mains proof against all attempts to remove it
6712 by grounds or arguments (naturam furca expel-
6713 las tamen usque redibit;) on the one hand lays
6714 claim to IMMEDIATE certainty as a position at
6715 once indemonstrable and irresistable, and yet
6716 on the other hand, inasmuch as it refers to
6717 something essentially different from ourselves,
6718 nay even in opposition to ourselves, leaves it
6719 inconceivable how it could possibly become a
6720 part of our immediate consciousness; (in other
6721 words how that, which ex hypothesi is and
6722 continues to be extrinsic and alien to our being,
6723 should become a modification of our being) the
6724 philosopher therefore compels himself to treat
6725 this faith as nothing more than a prejudice, in-
6726 nate indeed and connatural, but still prejudice.

{{Page 261}}

6727 The other position, which not only claims
6728 but necessitates the admission of its immediate
6729 certainty, equally for the scientific reason of
6730 the philosopher as for the common sense of
6731 mankind at large, namely, I AM, cannot so
6732 properly be intitled a prejudice. It is ground-
6733 less indeed; but then in the very idea it pre-
6734 cludes all ground, and separated from the im-
6735 mediate consciousness loses its whole sense
6736 and import. It is groundless; but only be-
6737 cause it is itself the ground of all other cer-
6738 tainty. Now the apparent contradiction, that
6739 the former position, namely, the existence of
6740 things without us, which from its nature can-
6741 not be immediately certain should be received
6742 as blindly and as independently of all grounds
6743 as the existence of our own being, the tran-
6744 scendental philosopher can solve only by the
6745 supposition, that the former is unconsciously
6746 involved in the latter; that it is not only cohe-
6747 rent but identical, and one and the same thing
6748 with our own immediate self-consciousness.
6749 To demonstrate this identity is the office and
6750 object of his philosophy.

6751 If it be said, that this is Idealism, let it be
6752 remembered that it is only so far idealism, as
6753 it is at the same time, and on that very account,
6754 the truest and most binding realism. For
6755 wherein does the realism of mankind properly
6756 consist? In the assertion that there exists a

{{Page 262}}

6757 something without them, what, or how, or
6758 where they know not, which occasions the
6759 objects of their perception? Oh no! This is
6760 neither connatural or universal. It is what a
6761 few have taught and learnt in the schools, and
6762 which the many repeat without asking them-
6763 selves concerning their own meaning. The
6764 realism common to all mankind is far elder and
6765 lies infinitely deeper than this hypothetical ex-
6766 planation of the origin of our perceptions, an
6767 explanation skimmed from the mere surface of
6768 mechanical philosophy. It is the table itself,
6769 which the man of common sense believes him-
6770 self to see, not the phantom of a table, from
6771 which he may argumentatively deduce the
6772 reality of a table, which he does not see. If to
6773 destroy the reality of all, that we actually be-
6774 hold, be idealism, what can be more egregiously
6775 so, than the system of modern metaphysics,
6776 which banishes us to a land of shadows, sur-
6777 rounds us with apparitions, and distinguishes
6778 truth from illusion only by the majority of those
6779 who dream the same dream? "I asserted that
6780 the world was mad," exclaimed poor Lee,
6781 "and the world said, that I was mad, and con-
6782 found them, they outvoted me."

6783 It is to the true and original realism, that I
6784 would direct the attention. This believes and
6785 requires neither more nor less, than that the
6786 object which it beholds or presents itself, is

{{Page 263}}

6787 the real and very object. In this sense, how-
6788 ever much we strive against it, we are all
6789 collectively born idealists, and therefore and
6790 only therefore are we at the same time realists.
6791 But of this the philosophers of the schools
6792 know nothing, or despise the faith as the pre-
6793 judice of the ignorant vulgar, because they live
6794 and move in a crowd of phrases and notions
6795 from which human nature has long ago va-
6796 nished. Oh, ye that reverence yourselves, and
6797 walk humbly with the divinity in your own
6798 hearts, ye are worthy of a better philosophy!
6799 Let the dead bury the dead, but do you pre-
6800 serve your human nature, the depth of which
6801 was never yet fathomed by a philosophy made
6802 up of notions and mere logical entities.

6803 In the third treatise of my Logosophia, an-
6804 nounced at the end of this volume, I shall give
6805 (deo volente) the demonstrations and construc-
6806 tions of the Dynamic Philosophy scientifically
6807 arranged. It is, according to my conviction,
6808 no other than the system of Pythagoras and of
6809 Plato revived and purified from impure mix-
6810 tures. Doctrina per tot manus tradita tandem
6811 in VAPPAM desiit. The science of arithmetic
6812 furnishes instances, that a rule may be useful
6813 in practical application, and for the particular
6814 purpose may be sufficiently authenticated by
6815 the result, before it has itself been fully de-
6816 monstrated. It is enough, if only it be [[ren-]]

{{Page 264}}

6817 ||ren||dered intelligible. This will, I trust, have been
6818 effected in the following Theses for those of my
6819 readers, who are willing to accompany me
6820 through the following Chapter, in which the
6821 results will be applied to the deduction of the
6822 imagination, and with it the principles of pro-
6823 duction and of genial criticism in the fine arts.

6824 THESIS I.

6825 Truth is correlative to being. Knowledge
6826 without a correspondent reality is no know-
6827 ledge; if we know, there must be somewhat
6828 known by us. To know is in its very essence
6829 a verb active.


6831 All truth is either mediate, that is, derived
6832 from some other truth or truths; or immediate
6833 and original. The latter is absolute, and its
6834 formula A.A.; the former is of dependent or
6835 conditional certainty, and represented in the
6836 formula B.A. The certainty, which inheres
6837 in A, is attributable to B.

6838 SCHOLIUM. A chain without a staple, from
6839 which all the links derived their stability, or a
6840 series without a first, has been not inaptly
6841 allegorized, as a string of blind men, each hold-
6842 ing the skirt of the man before him, reaching
6843 far out of sight, but all moving without the
6844 least deviation in one strait line. It would be
6845 naturally taken for granted, that there was a

{{Page 265}}

6846 guide at the head of the file: what if it were
6847 answered, No! Sir, the men are without num-
6848 ber, and infinite blindness supplies the place of
6849 sight?

6850 Equally inconceivable is a cycle of equal truths
6851 without a common and central principle, which
6852 prescribes to each its proper sphere in the
6853 system of science. That the absurdity does
6854 not so immediately strike us, that it does not
6855 seem equally unimaginable, is owing to a sur-
6856 reptitious act of the imagination, which, in-
6857 stinctively and without our noticing the same,
6858 not only fills at the intervening spaces, and
6859 contemplates the cycle (of B. C. D. E. F. |&c.|)
6860 as a continuous circle (A.) giving to all col-
6861 lectively the unity of their common orbit; but
6862 likewise supplies by a sort of subintelligitur the
6863 one central power, which renders the movement
6864 harmonious and cyclical.


6866 We are to seek therefore for some absolute
6867 truth capable of communcating to ther posi-
6868 tions a certainty, which it has not itself bor-
6869 rowed; a truth self-grounded, unconditional
6870 and known by its own light. In short, we
6871 have to find a somewhat which is, simply be-
6872 cause it is. In order to be such, it must be
6873 one which is its own predicate, so far at least
6874 that all other nominal predicates must be modes

{{Page 266}}

6875 and repetitions of itself. Its existence too
6876 must be such, as to preclude the possibility of
6877 requiring a cause or antecedent without an
6878 absurdity.


6879 That there can be but one such principle,
6880 may be proved a priori; for were there two
6881 or more, each must refer to some other, by which
6882 its equality is affirmed; consequently neither
6883 would be self-established, as the hypothesis
6884 demands. And a posteriori, it will be proved
6885 by the principle itself when it is discovered, as
6886 involving universal anticedents in its very con-
6887 ception.

6888 SCHOLIUM. If we affirm of a board that
6889 it is blue, the predicate (blue) is accidental,
6890 and not implied in the subject, board. If we
6891 affirm of a circle that it is equi-radial, the pre-
6892 dicate indeed is implied in the definition of the
6893 subject; but the existence of the subject itself
6894 is contingent, and supposes both a cause and a
6895 percipient. The same reasoning will apply to
6896 the indefinite number of supposed indemon-
6897 strable truths exempted from the prophane ap-
6898 proach of philosophic investigation by the ami-
6899 cable Beattie, and other less eloquent and not
6900 more profound inaugurators of common sense
6901 on the throne of philosophy; a fruitless at-
6902 tempt, were it only that it is the two-fold func-
6903 tion of philosophy to reconcile reason with
6904 common sense, and to elevate common sense
6905 into reason.

{{Page 267}}

6906 THESIS V.

6907 Such a principle cannot be any THING or
6908 OBJECT. Each thing is what it is in conse-
6909 quence of some other thing. An infinite, inde-
6910 pendent *thing, is no less a contradiction, than
6911 an infinite circle or a sideless triangle. Besides
6912 a thing is that, which is capable of being an
6913 object of which itself is not the sole percipient.
6914 But an object is inconceivable without a sub-
6915 ject as its antithesis.Omne perceptum perci-
6916 pientem supponit.

6917 But neither can the principle be found in a
6918 subject as a subject, contra-distinguished from
6919 an object: for unicuique percipienti aliquid
6920 objicutur perceptum. It is to be found there-
6921 fore neither in object nor subject taken sepa-
6922 rately, and consequently, as no other third is
6923 conceivable, it must be found in that which is
6924 neither subject nor object exclusively, but
6925 which is the identity of both.


6927 This principle, and so characterised, mani-
6928 fests itself in the SUM or I AM; which I shall
6929 hereafter indiscriminately express by the words

* The impossibility of an absolute thing (substantia unica)
as neither genus, species, nor individuum: as well as its
utter unfitness for the fundamental position of a philosophic
system will be demonstrated in the critique on Spinozism in
the fifth treatise of my Logosophia.

{{Page 268}}

6930 spirit, self, and self-consciousness. In this,
6931 and in this alone, object and subject, being and
6932 knowing, are identical, each involving and sup-
6933 posing the other. In other words, it is a sub-
6934 ject which becomes a subject by the act of
6935 constructing itself objectively to itself; but
6936 which never is an object except for itself, and
6937 only so far as by the very same act it becomes
6938 a subject. It may be described therefore as
6939 a perpetual self-duplication of one and the
6940 same power into object and subject, which pre-
6941 suppose each other, and can exist only as an-
6942 titheses.

6943 SCHOLIUM. If a man be asked how he knows
6944 that he is? he can only answer, sum quia sum.
6945 But if (the absoluteness of this certainty having
6946 been admitted) he be again asked, how he, the
6947 individual person, came to be, then in relation
6948 to the ground of his existence, not to the ground
6949 of his knowledge of that existence, he might
6950 reply, sum quia Deus est, or still more philoso-
6951 phically, sum quia in Deo sum.

6952 But if we elevate our conception to the abso-
6953 lute self, the great eternal I AM, then the prin-
6954 ciple of being, and of knowledge, of idea, and
6955 of reality; the ground of existence, and the
6956 ground of the knowledge of existence, are ab-
6957 solutely identical, Sum quia sum;* I am,

* It is most worthy of notice, that in the first revelation
of himself, not confined to individuals; indeed in the very*

{{Page 269}}

6958 because I affirm myself to be; I affirm myself
6959 to be, because I am.


6961 If then I know myself only through myself,
6962 it is contradictory to require any other [[predi-]]

*first revelation of his absolute being, Jehovah at the same
time revealed the fundamental truth of all philosophy, which
must either commence with the absolute, or have no fixed
commencement; i. e. cease to be philosophy. I cannot but
express my regret, that in the equivocal use of the word
that, for in that, or because, our admirable version has ren-
dered the passage susceptible of a degraded interpretation
in the mind of common readers or hearers, as if it were a
mere reproof to an impertinent question, I am what I am,
which might be equally affirmed of himself by any existent

The Cartesian Cogito, ergo sum is objectionable, because
either the Cogito is used extra Gradum, and then it is involv-
ed in the sum and is tautological, or it is taken as a particu-
lar mode or dignity, and then it is subordinated to the sum
as the species to the genus, or rather as a particular modifi-
cation to the subject modified; and not pre-ordinated as the
arguments seem to require. For Cogito is Sum Cogitans.
This is clear by the inevidence of the converse. Cogitat
ergo est is true, because it is a mere application of the logi-
cal rule: Quicquid in genere est, est et in specie. Est
(cogitans) ergo est. It is a cherry tree; therefore it is a
tree. But, est ergo cogitat, is illogical: for quod est in
specie, non necessario in genere est. It may be true. I hold
it to be true, that quicquid vere est, est per veram sui af-
firmationem; but it is a derivative, not an immediate truth.
Here then we have, by anticipation the distinction between
the conditional finite I (which as known in distinct con-
sciousness by occasion of experience is called by Kant's
followers the empirical l) and the absolute I AM, and like-
wise the dependence or rather the inherence of the former in
the latter; in whom "we live, and move, and have our
being," as |St.| Paul divinely asserts, differing widely from the
Theists of the mechanic school (as Sir J. Newton, Locke, |&c.|)
who must say from whom we had our being, and with it life
and the powers of life.

{{Page 270}}

6963 ||predi||cate of self, but that of self-consciousness.
6964 Only in the self-consciousness of a spirit is
6965 there the required identity of object and of
6966 representation; for herein consists the essense
6967 of a spirit, that it is self-representative. If
6968 therefore this be the one only immediate truth,
6969 in the certainty of which the reality of our col-
6970 lective knowledge is grounded, it must follow
6971 that the spirit in all the objects which it views,
6972 views only itself. If this could be proved, the
6973 immediate reality of all intuitive knowledge
6974 would be assured. It has been shown, that a
6975 spirit is that, which is its own object, yet not
6976 originally an object, but an absolute subject
6977 for which all, itself included, may become an
6978 object. It must therefore be an ACT; for every
6979 object is, as an object, dead, fixed, incapable
6980 in itself of any action, and necessarily finite.
6981 Again the spirit (originally the identity of object and
6982 subject) must in some sense dissolve
6983 this identity, in order to be conscious of it: fit
6984 alter et idem. But this implies an act, and it
6985 follows therefore that intelligence or self-con-
6986 sciousness is impossible, except by and in a
6987 will. The self-conscious spirit therefore is a
6988 will; and freedom must be assumed as a ground
6989 of philosophy, and can never be deduced from it.

{{Page 271}}


6991 Whatever in its origin is objective, is likewise
6992 as such necessarily finite. Therefore, since
6993 the spirit is not originally an object, and as the
6994 subject exists in antithesis to an object, the
6995 spirit cannot originally be finite. But neither
6996 can it be a subject without becoming an object and,
6997 as it is originally the identity of both, it
6998 can be conceived neither as infinite or finite
6999 exclusively, but as the most original union of
7000 both. In the existence, in the reconciling, and
7001 the recurrence of this contradiction consists
7002 the process and mystery of production and
7003 life.


7005 This principium commune essendi et cogno-
7006 scendi, as subsisting in a WILL, or primary ACT
7007 of self-duplication, is the mediate or indirect
7008 principle of every science; but it is the im-
7009 mediate and direct principle of the ultimate
7010 science alone, i. e. of transcendental philoso-
7011 phy alone. For it must be remembered, that
7012 all these Theses refer solely to one of the two
7013 Polar Sciences, namely, to that which com-
7014 mences with and rigidly confines itself within,
7015 the subjective, leaving the objective (as far as
7016 it is exclusively objective) to natural philoso-
7017 phy, which is its opposite pole. In its very
7018 idea therefore as a systematic knowledge of our
7019 collective KNOWING, (scientia scientiæ) it [[in-]]

{{Page 272}}

7020 ||in||volves the necessity of some one highest prin-
7021 ciple of knowing, as at once the source and
7022 the accompanying form in all particular acts of
7023 intellect and perception. This, it has been
7024 shown, can be found only in the act and evolu-
7025 tion of self-consciousness. We are not investi-
7026 gating an absolute principium essendi; for
7027 then, I admit, many valid objections might be
7028 started against our theory; but an absolute
7029 principium cognoscendi. The result of both
7030 the sciences, or their equatorial point, would
7031 be the principle of a total and undivided philo-
7032 sophy, as for prudential reasons, I have chosen
7033 to anticipate in the Scholium to Thesis VI. and
7034 the note subjoined. In other words, philoso-
7035 phy would pass into religion, and religion be-
7036 come inclusive of philosophy. We begin with
7037 the I KNOW MYSELF, in order to end with the
7038 absolute I AM. We proceed from the SELF, in
7039 order to lose and find all self in GOD.

7040 THESIS X.

7041 The transcendental philosopher does not
7042 enquire, what ultimate ground of our know-
7043 ledge there may lie out of our knowing, but
7044 what is the last in our knowing itself, beyond
7045 which we cannot pass. The principle of our
7046 knowing is sought within the sphere of our
7047 knowing. It must be something therefore,
7048 which can itself be known. It is asserted only,

{{Page 273}}

7049 that the act of self-consciousness is for us the
7050 source and principle of all our possible know-
7051 ledge. Whether abstracted from us there exists
7052 any thing higher and beyond this primary self-
7053 knowing, which is for us the form of all our
7054 knowing, must be decided by the result.

7055 That the self-consciousness is the fixt point,
7056 to which for us all is morticed and annexed,
7057 needs no further proof. But that the self-
7058 consciousness may be the modification of a
7059 higher form of being, perhaps of a higher con-
7060 sciousness, and this again of a yet higher, and
7061 so on in an infinite regressus; in short, that
7062 self-consciousness may be itself something ex-
7063 plicable into something, which must lie beyond
7064 the possibility of our knowledge, because the
7065 whole synthesis of our intelligence is first formed
7066 in and through the self-consciousness, does not
7067 at all concern us as transcendental philoso-
7068 phers. For to us the self-consciousness is not
7069 a kind of being, but a kind of knowing, and
7070 that too the highest and farthest that exists for
7071 us. It may however be shown, and has in part
7072 already been shown in pages 115-116, that even
7073 when the Objective is assumed as the first, we
7074 yet can never pass beyond the principle of self-
7075 consciousness. Should we attempt it, we must
7076 be driven back from ground to ground, each of
7077 which would cease to be a Ground the moment
7078 we pressed on it. We must be whirl'd down

{{Page 274}}

7079 the gulph of an infinite series. But this would
7080 make our reason baffle the end and purpose of
7081 all reason, namely, unity and system. Or we
7082 must break off the series arbitrarily, and affirm
7083 an absolute something that is in and of itself at
7084 once cause and effect (causa sui) subject and
7085 object, or rather the absolute identity of both.
7086 But as this is inconceivable, except in a self-
7087 sciousness , it follows, that even as natural phi-
7088 losophers we must arrive at the same principle
7089 from which as transcendental philosophers we
7090 set out; that is, in a self-consciousness in
7091 which the principium essendi does not stand to
7092 the principium cognoscendi in the relation of
7093 cause to effect, but both the one and the other
7094 are co-inherent and identical. Thus the true
7095 system of natural philosophy places the sole
7096 reality of things in an ABSOLUTE, which is at
7097 once causa sui et effectus,

7098 pat{ee}r autopat{o}r, Uios
7099 eautou--

7100 in the absolute identity of subject and
7101 object, which it calls nature, and which in its
7102 highest power is nothing else than self-conscious
7103 will or intelligence. In this sense the position
7104 of Malbranche, that we see all things in God, is
7105 a strict philosophical truth; and equally true
7106 is the assertion of Hobbes, of Hartley, and of
7107 their masters in ancient Greece, that all real
7108 knowledge supposes a prior sensation. For
7109 sensation itself is but vision nascent, not the
7110 cause of intelligence, but intelligence itself re-
7111 vealed as an earlier power in the process of

{{Page 275}}

7112 self-construction.

7113 Makar, iladi moi!
7114 Pater, iladi moi
7115 Ei para kosmon,
7116 Ei para moiran
7117 T{o}n s{o}n edigon.

7118 Bearing then this in mind, that intelligence is
7119 a self-developement, not a quality supervening
7120 to a substance, we may abstract from all degree,
7121 and for the purpose of philosophic construc-
7122 tion reduce it to kind, under the idea of an in-
7123 destructible power with two opposite and coun-
7124 teracting forces, which, by a metaphor borrowed
7125 from astronomy, we may call the centrifugal and
7126 centripetal forces. The intelligence in the one
7127 tends to objectize itself, and in the other to
7128 know itself in the object. It will be hereafter
7129 my business to construct by a series of intui-
7130 tions the progressive schemes, that must follow
7131 from such a power with such forces, till I ar-
7132 rive at the fulness of the human intelligence.
7133 For my present purpose, I assume such a
7134 power as my principle, in order to deduce
7135 from it a faculty, the generation, agency, and
7136 application of which form the contents of the
7137 ensuing chapter.

7138 In a preceding page I have justified the use
7139 of technical terms in philosophy, whenever they
7140 tend to preclude confusion of thought, and

{{Page 276}}

7141 when they assist the memory by the exclusive
7142 singleness of their meaning more than they
7143 may, for a short time, bewilder the attention by
7144 their strangeness. I trust, that I have not ex-
7145 tended this privilege beyond the grounds on
7146 which I have claimed it; namely, the conveni-
7147 ency of the scholastic phrase to distinguish the
7148 kind from all degrees, or rather to express the
7149 kind with the abstraction of degree, as for in-
7150 stance multeity instead of multitude; or se-
7151 condly, for the sake of correspondence in sound
7152 in interdependent or antithetical terms, as sub-
7153 ject and object; or lastly, to avoid the weary-
7154 ing recurrence of circumlocutions and defini-
7155 tions. Thus I shall venture to use potence, in
7156 order to express a specific degree of a power,
7157 in imitation of the Algebraists. I have even
7158 hazarded the new verb potenziate with its deri-
7159 vatives in order to express the combination or
7160 transfer of powers. It is with new or unusual
7161 terms, as with privileges in courts of justice or
7162 legislature; there can be no legitimate privi-
7163 lege, where there already exists a positive law
7164 adequate to the purpose; and when there is no
7165 law in existence, the privilege is to be justified
7166 by its accordance with the end, or final cause,
7167 of all law. Unusual and new coined words are
7168 doubtless an evil; but vagueness, confusion,
7169 and imperfect conveyance of our thoughts, are
7170 a far greater. Every system, which is under

{{Page 277}}

7171 the necessity of using terms not familiarized by
7172 the metaphysicks in fashion, will be described
7173 as written in an unintelligible style, and the
7174 author must expect the charge of having sub-
7175 stituted learned jargon for clear conception;
7176 while, according to the creed of our modern
7177 philosophers, nothing is deemed a clear concep-
7178 tion, but what is representable by a distinct
7179 image. Thus the conceivable is reduced within
7180 the bounds of the picturable. Hinc patet, quî
7181 fiat ut, cum irrepræsentabile et impossibile vulgo
7182 ejusdem significatus habeantur, conceptus tam
7183 Continui, quam infiniti a plurimis rejeciantur,
7184 quippe quorum, secundum leges cognitionis in-
7185 tuitivæ, repræsentatio est impossibilis. Quan-
7186 quam autem harum e non paucis scholis explo-
7187 sarum notionum, præsertim prioris, causam
7188 hic non gero, maximi tamen momenti erit mo-
7189 nuisse: gravissimo illos errore labi, qui tam
7190 perversâ argumentandi ratione utuntur. Quic-
7191 quid enim repugnat legibus intellectûs et ra-
7192 tionis, utique est impossibile; quod autem,
7193 cum rationis puræ sit objectum, legibus cogni-
7194 tionis intuitivæ tantummodo non subest, non
7195 item. Nam hinc dissensus inter facultatem
7196 sensitivam et intellectualem, (quarem indolem
7197 mox exponam) nihil indigitat, nisi, quas mens
7198 ab intellectu accerptas fert ideas abstractus, illas
7199 in concreto exequi, et in Intuitus commutare
7200 sæpenumero non posse. Hæc autem reluctantia

{{Page 278}}

7201 subjectiva mentitur, ut plurimum, repugnantiam
7202 aliquam objectivam, et incautos facile fallit,
7203 limitibus, quibus mens humana circumscribitur,
7204 pro iis habitis, quibus ipsa rerum essentia con-
7205 tinetur. * -->Kant de Mundi Sensibilis atque In-
7206 telligibilis forma et principiis, 1770.


"Hence it is clear, from what cause many reject the
notion of the continuous and the infinite. They take,
namely, the words irrepresentable and impossible in one and
the same meaning; and, according to the forms of sensuous
evidence, the notion of the continuous and the infinite is
doubtless impossible. I am not now pleading the cause of
these laws, which not a few schools have thought proper to
explode, especially the former (the law of continuity). But
it is of the highest importance to admonish the reader, that
those, who adopt so perverted a mode of reasoning, are un-
der a grievous error. Whatever opposes the former princi-
ples of the understanding and the reason is confessedly im-
possible; but not therefore that, which is therefore not
amenable to the forms of sensuous evidence, because it is
exclusively an object of pure intellect. For this non-coinci-
dence of the sensuous and the intellectual (the nature of
which I shall presently lay open) proves nothing more, but
that the mind cannot always adequately represent in the con-
crete, and transform into distinct images, abstract notions
derived from the pure intellect. But this contradiction,
which is in itself merely subjective (i.e. an incapacity in the
nature of man) too often passes for an incongruity or im-
possibility in the object (i.e. the notions themselves) and
seduce the incautious to mistake the limitations of the hu-
man faculties for the limits of things, as they really exist."
I take this, occasion to observe, that here and elsewhere
Kant uses the terms intuition, and the verb active (Intueri,
germanice Auschauen) for which we have unfortunately no
correspondent word, exclusively for that which can be re-
presented in space and time. He therefore consistently and
rightly denies the possibility of intellectual intuitions. But
as I see no adequate reason for this exclusive sense of the
term, I have reverted to its wider signification authorized by
our elder theologians and metaphysicians, according to whom
the term comprehends all truths known to us without a medium.

{{Page 279}}

7207 Critics, who are most ready to bring this
7208 charge of pedantry and unintelligibility, are the
7209 most apt to overlook the important fact, that
7210 besides the language of words, there is a lan-
7211 guage of spirits (sermo interior) and that the
7212 former is only the vehicle of the latter. Con-
7213 sequently their assurance, that they do not
7214 understand the philosophic writer, instead of
7215 proving any thing against the philosophy, may
7216 furnish an equal, and (cæteris paribus) even a
7217 stronger presumption against their own philo-
7218 sophic talent.

7219 Great indeed are the obstacles which an Eng-
7220 lish metaphysician has to encounter. Amongst
7221 his most respectable and intelligent judges,
7222 there will be many who have devoted their
7223 attention exclusively to the concerns and in-
7224 terests of human life, and who bring with them
7225 to the perusal of a philosophic system an ha-
7226 bitual aversion to all speculations, the utility
7227 and application of which are not evident and
7228 immediate. To these I would in the first
7229 instance merely oppose an authority, which
7230 they themselves hold venerable, that of Lord
7231 Bacon: non inutiles scientiæ existimande sunt,
7232 quarum in se nullus est usus, si ingenia acuant
7233 et ordinent.

7234 There are others, whose prejudices are still
7235 more formidable, inasmuch as they are grounded
7236 in their moral feelings and religious principles,

{{Page 280}}

7237 which had been alarmed and shocked by the
7238 impious and pernicious tenets defended by
7239 Hume, Priestley, and the French fatalists or
7240 necessitarians; some of whom had perverted
7241 metaphysical reasonings to the denial of the
7242 mysteries and indeed of all the peculiar doc-
7243 trines of Christianity; and others even to the
7244 subversion of all distinction between right and
7245 wrong. I would request such men to consider
7246 what an eminent and successful defender of the
7247 Christian faith has observed, that true meta-
7248 physics are nothing else but true divinity,
7249 and that in fact the writers, who have given
7250 them such just offence, were sophists, who
7251 had taken advantage of the general neglect into
7252 which the science of logic has unhappily fallen,
7253 rather than metaphysicians, a name indeed
7254 which those writers were the first to explode
7255 as unmeaning. Secondly, I would remind
7256 them, that as long as there are men in the
7257 world to whom the Gn{o}di seauton is an instinct
7258 and a command from their own nature, so long
7259 will there be metaphysicians and metaphysical
7260 speculations; that false metaphysics can be
7261 effectually counteracted by true metaphysics
7262 alone; and that if the reasoning be clear, solid
7263 and pertinent, the truth deduced can never be
7264 the less valuable on account of the depth from
7265 which it may have been drawn.

7266 A third class profess themselves friendly to [[me-]]

{{Page 281}}

7267 ||me||taphysics, and believe that they are themselves
7268 metaphysicians. They have no objection to
7269 system or terminology, provided it be the method
7270 and the nomenclature to which they have been
7271 familiarized in the writings of Locke, Hume,
7272 Hartley, Condiliac, or perhaps |Dr.| Reid, and
7273 Professor Stewart. To objections from this
7274 cause, it is a sufficient answer, that one main
7275 object of my attempt was to demonstrate the
7276 vagueness or insufficiency of the terms used in
7277 the metaphysical schools of France and Great
7278 Britain since the revolution, and that the errors
7279 which I propose to attack cannot subsist, except
7280 as they are concealed behind the mask of a
7281 plausible and indefinite nomenclature.

7282 But the worst and widest impediment still
7283 remains. It is the predominance of a popular
7284 philosophy, at once the counterfeit and the
7285 mortal enemy of all true and manly metaphy-
7286 sical research. It is that corruption, introduced
7287 by certain immethodical aphorisming Eclectics,
7288 who, dismissing not only all system, but all
7289 logical connection, pick and choose whatever
7290 is most plausible and showy; who select, what-
7291 ever words can have some semblance of sense
7292 attached to them without the least expenditure
7293 of thought, in short whatever may enable men
7294 to talk of what they do not understand, with a
7295 careful avoidance of every thing that might
7296 awaken them to a moment's suspicion of their

{{Page 282}}

7297 ignorance. This alas! is an irremediable dis-
7298 ease, for it brings with it, not so much an in-
7299 disposition to any particular system, but an
7300 utter loss of taste and faculty for all system and
7301 for all philosophy. Like echos that beget each
7302 other amongst the mountains, the praise or
7303 blame of such men rolls in vollies long after the
7304 report from the original blunderbuss. Sequa-
7305 citas est potius et coitio quam consensus: et
7306 tamen (quod pessimum est) pusillanimitas ista
7307 non sine arrogantiâ et fastidio se offert. Novum
7308 Organum.

7309 I shall now proceed to the nature and gene-
7310 sis of the imagination; but I must first take
7311 leave to notice, that after a more accurate peru-
7312 sal of |Mr.| Wordsworth's remarks on the imagin-
7313 ation in his preface to the new edition of his
7314 poems, I find that my conclusions are not so
7315 consentient with his, as I confess, I had taken
7316 for granted. In an article contributed by me
7317 to |Mr.| Southey's Omniana, on the soul and its
7318 organs of sense, are the following sentences.
7319 "These (the human faculties) I would arrange
7320 under the different senses and powers; as the
7321 eye, the ear, the touch, |&c.|; the imitative power,
7322 voluntary and automatic; the imagination, or
7323 shaping and modifying power; the fancy, or
7324 the aggregative and associative power; the
7325 understanding, or the regulative, substantiating
7326 and realizing power; the speculative reason --

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7327 vis theoretica et scientifica, or the power by
7328 which we produce, or aim to produce unity,
7329 necessity, and universality in all our knowledge
7330 by means of principles * a priori; the will, or
7331 practical reason; the faculty of choice (Ger-
7332 manice, Willk¨¹hr) and distinct both from the
7333 moral will and the choice) the sensation of
7334 volition, which I have found reason to include
7335 under the head of single and double touch."
7336 To this, as far as it relates to the subject in
7337 question, namely the words (the aggregative
7338 and associative power) |Mr.| Wordsworth's "only
7339 "objection is that the definition is too general.
7340 "To aggregate and to associate, to evoke and
7341 "combine, belong as well to the imagination as
7342 "the fancy." I reply, that if by the power of
7343 evoking and combining, |Mr.| W. means the
7344 same as, and no more than, I meant by the
7345 aggregative and associative, I continue to deny,
7346 that it belongs at all to the imagination; and I
7347 am disposed to conjecture, that he has mis-

* This phrase, a priori, is in common most grossly mis-
understood, and an absurdity burthened on it, which it does
not deserve! By knowledge, a priori, we do not mean, that
we can know any thing previously to experience, which
would be a contradiction in terms; but that having once
known it by occasion of experience (i.e. something acting
upon us from without) we then know, that it must have pre-
existed, or the experience itself would have been impossible.
By experience only I know, that I have eyes; but then my
reason convinces me, that I must have had eyes in order to
the experience.

{{Page 284}}

7348 taken the co-presence of fancy with imagination
7349 for the operation of the latter singly. A man
7350 may work with two very different tools at the
7351 same moment; each has its share in the work,
7352 but the work effected by each is distinct and
7353 different. But it will probably appear in the
7354 next Chapter, that deeming it necessary to go
7355 back much further than |Mr.| Wordsworth's
7356 subject required or permitted, I have attached
7357 a meaning to both fancy and imagination, which
7358 he had not in view, at least while he was
7359 writing that preface. He will judge. Would to
7360 heaven, I might meet with many such readers.
7361 I will conclude with the words of Bishop
7362 Jeremy Taylor: he to whom all things are one,
7363 who draweth all things to one, and seeth all
7364 things in one, may enjoy true peace and rest of
7365 spirit. (J. Taylor's VIA PACIS.)

Copytext: Coleridge 1817.
Source: S. T. Coleridge. Biographia Literaria; or Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life and Opinions. Vol. I. London: Rest Fenner, 23, Paternoster Row, 1817.
Ed. (text): Ian Lancashire, Rep. Criticism On-line (1996).

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