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Dgiiizodb, Google 


Shakespeare Collection 

in memory of 

Hereward Thimbleby Price 

i8 80-1964 
Professor o( English 1939-1950 
ProEessor Emeritus 1950-1964 

Teacher - Scholar - Friend 


Dgiiizodb, Google 












Dgiiizodb, Google 

[Beprinied /rom Stereotype plaUi.'] 


5- 3 nvo-z9 J 


This V^olume is a verbatim reprint of the original editions 
of CJoleridgo'a "Biographia Literaria" (1817); "The Statea- 
man's Manual," a Lay 3ermoa (1816) ; and " Blessed are ye 
that sow beside all waters," a Lay Sermon (1817). 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

b, Google 


MtaacwfW Lttcriutt. 

Cb> nsttiM at tba prewM mrk— Reixptloii or (br uita 

SoppoHd trriUblUty at inen of genius— Brought lu the l«( or fuu— Ouie«9 and <io 

Tlie autDOT'a obliffAtlnnB to crlUis, and Oa probablB occoaion — Pnndtdea oT Hudeni 

criUdas— Mr. SouUiej'g notka wnl dumwlec tt 

Tlu lyrical BallBda wltli llie prvfoce-.<Ur. WordsnorUi'a fiartler poenu—OD lu^ ud 

iaBp^stHioa-^Tbs invdligatioD of tbo dinUiidion iioportuib to Ibfl Ada uu , • M 

OntbeUw of MBdiUoD—IUiblilarjrtnosltromAitatotlet) Hartley . . . U 

nut Uanlty'a tjOem.ttlii a R dll&n frwi tbat rf ArlitoUe, !• ndUwi lenabla In 

l^earjaabiaaieaiahaM U 

Ol (be hrkiuiiT coiueiiDFnDa of ths Hartlelao Ituorr— Of Ibe original mittak* or «)bI< 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Tiii Conienlt. 


TM ^ttea of Dodtau iDtnillUKid b; Da Cul«— Itafinnl fl»t by SpliioB ud ifkr- 

nidi br I-enKitti Into Oie dootrliH of Harm" ' " ' "' 

riiUni— Ndtber or Umm 
onpenedH ■ UK017 of pe 

!■ phUoaDt^y poi^lo » A BLaxe. jukI wbat are Its oonditioiu f — Glardnno Gr1l1b>-> 
LlKruy arislocmc^, or the eKlaWDCf of b tadt compact BmnDg the leanbed aa n 
privileged order—Tlie antbor's obllgaltons to tbe HyMlo— To Immannel Kant— 11.0 
dilTennoe betweeri tJit letter aiid tbe aplrlt ot ECant'i writlDgs. and a vtDdlcatloDof pru- 
dence Is -tbe tucblng or pblLoeopby — Flchta'e attempt to CDinplele tbe criUcaL ^vtem 
— Ita partial aiii>E« ud Dltiniile fdlur^-Obllgalione to Scliellli«', undamoiiK 
tu«Uali wmen to Saamarei . M 

A duptar of dlsreaaloD and anecxlDtfo, aa an Inlfrlqde preceding that oa tlie natDrv ajid 
fcDeBla of the bnaglnatloD or pLa^Uc power-— On pedantry and pRlaDtio eipreielonfl 
"Advlco to yonng Bulbora respecting pnbUcation — VartoUftaneedoTeaof thouittlOf^ 
liKnij lue, ud tbe pcogresa of his opLnioiu In reUgliin and poUttca ... 11 

An alTutlonate oiboiiatloii to tboie wbo Id aaHy life Itel tbemaelTca dlQKMed to 

bBComeanihon IN 

A di>|iter of reqseils and premooJUoni (DDcemlne Ibe peraaal or "—''•'— of tha 
diHJtet thai foUnn 114 

On the toaghuttnii or wiein[Jiiflc power ....,..,, Itl 


OocHlan of tha lotloil Ballads and tbe objecta origloaUy propoaaj — Prefue to Dw 
ptnond edition— Tbe onaniog conlraverey, its aaeee aod acrtmoar— PhlloaofUa 
deBoltlaiu of a Poem and Foetty, witii ichalii ut 

Hie qiodflc ijmptoau of poetic power clntJdated bi a critical aoalyati of Bhaka- 
epeoro's Tcnni and Adonla and Bope of LocRca ...«.• Ill 

■MldatpalDH of diDem^ between (he poets of the praieDt agt and Uiaaa of Ilia m 
and IMh ontorlea— With eipreasHl for the union or the chuaaeriitia meHIa ot 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

dj-'< r' < • j> . \X, • 


Dm DioUTn of Ou promt work— KwxptkiD of U» Aslhor'i flnt publkulloii— The UtOt^ 
Line or Ub tute at school— Tbe eD«ct at ccnlemporaiy wrIUfI on ronlhfol mlmlil— 
Uowkfl'i SoEDetB— ComputBOD between tlie pne^i belbie ud ilnca Pope, 

IT has been mj lot to hare hadmynaiiie mtroduced, both m cua- 
-1- versation and in print, more fi'eqiientlj than I find it easy to 
explain, whether I coneider the fewness, nnimportance, and limited 
circulation of my writinga, or the retirement and distance in which 
I have lived, both from the literary and political world. Moat 
often it has been connected with som^ charge which I could not 
acknowledge, or some principle which t had never entertained. 
Nevertheless, had I had no other motive '>r incitement, the reader 
would not have been troubled with this eicnlpation. What my 
additional purposes were will be seen in the foUowing pages. It 
will be found that the least of what I have written concerns my- 
self personally. I have used the narration chiefly for the purpose 
of giving a continnit; to the work, in part for the sake of the mis- 
cellaneous reflections suggested to me by particular events; but 
still more as introdnctory to the statement of my principles in 
Politics, Beligion and FluloBophy, and the application of the rules, 
deduced from philosophical principles, to poetry and criticism. 
But of the objects which I pn>posed to myself, it was not tlie least 
important to effect, as far as possible, a settlement of the long- 
continued controversy concerning the true nature of poetic diction, 
and at the same time to define with the utmost impartiality the 
le poet, by whose writings this contro- 
d has been since fuelled and fanned, 
ely passed tho vei^e of manhood, I pnb- 
juvenUe poems.* They were received 
which, young as I was, I well knew was 

laamj; Jfsna College. CunbrMge. Icudofi. PHnini 


3 Siograpkia lAieraria. 

bestowed on tbem not ao mnch for any positive merit, as bec&ose 
they were conBidered bnda o£ liope and promiseH of better works 
to come. The critics of that daj, the moat flattering equallj with 
the severest, concurred in objecting to them obscurity, a general 
tnTgidneaa of diction, and a profnaion of new-coined doable epi- 
theta.* The first is the fault which a writer is the least able to 
detect in his own compOBitions ; and my mind was not then suffi- 
ciently disciplined to receive the authority of others as a substitutfl 
for my own conviction. Satisfied that the thoughts, such aa they 
were, could not have been expressed otherwise, or at least more 
perspicnoualy, I forgot to inquire whether the thoughts them- 
aelves did not demand a degree of attention unsuitable to the 
natia:* and objects of poetry. This remark, however, applies 
chiefly, though not exclusively, to the "Religious MuBingH." The 
remainder of the chai^ I admitted to ita full extent, and not with- 
out ainoere acknowledgments to both my private and public censors 
for their friendly admonitions. In the after editions I pruned 
the double epitheta with no sparing hand, and naed my best efibrta 
to tame the swell and glitter both of thought and diction; though, 
in truth, these parasite plants of youthful poetry had insinuated 
themselves into my longer poema with euch intricacy of union, 
that I waa often obliged to omit diaentangling the weed, from the 
fear of anapping the flower. From that period to the date of the 
present work I have published nothing with my name which could 
by any possibility have come before the board of anonymous 
criticism. Even Uie three or four poems, printed with the works 
of a friend, as far as they were censured at all, were charged with 
the same or similar defects, though I am persuaded, not with equal 
justice i with an excess of ornament, in addition to strained and 
elaborate diction.f Hay I be p^mtted to add, that, even at the 

■ The BuUiDrity of union uid Sbikecpein cam. Is Indeed tn tUTerygeDlnsiinfllKil for 
nay bs uselUII; poluled onl to Toung compnundi. If a writer, eTer? time iconi- 

of Id nun Ibere 

L la a euperDult; of double 

Jie ctanwi are alwayi gjeillT 

e PdwllBe EfMineil anirc* 1q favour of bii flndlne a bell*j word. 
'daalmostcqruU^ " Tantpuxn sa^tdtim vc vita innjJen* wr- 

. _, j'K Laboar*! Lost, Be 

jDllet, Venus and Adonic and Luni.., . 
par«d nilb the Leai, Macbetti, Olbellu, 
UamleC of " " " " """- 

grctt DcamaUiL Tbe rule iruiige 
Ji of double epillHtaBeemBio tUeia 
that llH7 alHHild be already for th 

^ ■ '■ ' ^lea of 1^ or unlTe 


ttiiivid, /error-ilTvkxn, t^-apriivdivg: ( 

WnuBof the prlnler'shyphen. A laogusge DllbEfltBlv 
mVeb. lUce Ihe Knglla^ Is almost niUHiM 


BicgrapJtUi LUeraria. 8 

taxlj period of my javenile poema, I nw and admitted the aape* 
Tioritj of axk aoeterer and more natural a^le, witlt an insiglit not 
lees (dear than I at present pomesa. Uj judgment was stronger 
than were mj powers of realizing its dictates, and the faults of 
my langa^e, though indeed partly owing to a wrong choice of 
subjects, and the deBire of giring a poetic colouring to abstract 
and metaphyaical truthH, in which a new world then seemed to 
open upon me, did yet, in part likewise, originate in nnfeigned 
diffidence of my own comparatiTe talent. During sereral years 
of my yontb and early manhood, I reverenced those who had re- 
introduced the manly simplicity of the Grecian, and of onr own 
elder poets, with such enthusiasm, as made the hope seem pre- 
somptaons of writing successfully in the same style. Perhaps a 
similar process has happened to others; but my earliest poema 
were marked by an ease and simplicity, which I have stndiod, 
perhaps with inferior success, to impress on my later compositions. 

At school I enjoyed the inestimableadvantage of avery sensible, 
though at the same time, a very severe master.* He early moulded 
my taste to the preference of Demosthenea to Cicero, of Homer 
and Theocritus to Tirgil, and again of Virgil to Ovid. He habi* 
tuated me to compare Lncretiaa (in each extracts as I then read), 
Terence, and, above all, the chaster poems of CatuUns, not only 
with the Boman poets of the so-called silver and brazen ages, but 
with even those of the Augustan era ; and, on grounds of plain 
sense and nniversal logic, to see and assert the superiority of the 
former, in the truth and nativeueas both of their thoughts and 
diction. At the same time that ne were studying the Greek Tragio 
Foets, he made ua read Shakespeare and Miltou as lessons ; and 
the^ were i^e lessons, too, which required most time and trouble 
to bring tip, so as to escape bis censure. I leamt from him that 
poetry, even that of the loftiest, and, seemingly, that of the wildest 
odea, had a logic of its own as severe as that of science, and more 
difficult, because more subtle, more comjiei, and d(^>endent on 
more and more fugitive causes. In the truly great poets, he 
would say, there ia a reason assignable, not only for every word, 
but for the position of every word ; and I well remember that, avail- 
ing himself of the synonymee to the Homer of Didymus, he made 
OS attempt to show, with regard to each, why it would not have 
answered the same purpose, and wherein consisted the peculiar fit- 
neae of the word in the original text. 

In our own English compositions (at least for the last three 
years of our school education) he showed no mercy to phrase, 

■ Xbe Bav. Junes Bowjcr, 111U17 jtut Ba4d Huter ot ChilEt'i BwpluL 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

4 Biogra^ua LUeratia. 

metaplior, or image, unanpported bj a «cniiid eenae, or where tlia 
same eeiiBe might have been convejed with equal force and dignity 
in plainer words. Lnte, harp, and lyre, moae, mtiBes, and inspi- 
rationa, Fegaane, Famassna, and Hippocrene, were ail an abomi' 
nation to him. In fancy I can almost bear bim now, exclaiming, 
" JSorp f Sarp 1 IiJ/re 7 Pen and ink, bog, ymi mean I Muse, boy, 
muse? YourNwe^tdan^ghteryoamean'. Pienan wpring 1 Oh, aye t 
the eltntta'-pv/ttvp, leu^oie}" Nay, certain introdnctions, eimilea, 
and examples were placed by name on a list of interdiction. 
Among tbe similes there was, I remember, thai of the manchineel 
fruit, aa suiting equally well with too many snbject«, in which, 
however, it yielded the palm a.t once to the example of Alexasder 
and Olytns, which was equally good and apt whatever might be 
the theme. Whs it ambition F Alexander and Cljtns ! Flattery F 
Alexander and Clytua! AngerP DronhenneBaP PrideP FriendehipP 
Ingratitude P Iiat« repentance P Still, still Alexander and Glytns ! 
At length tbe praises of agricultnre having been exemplified in tbe 
sagacious obaervation, that, had Alexander been holding the 
plough, he would not have run hie friend Clytns throngb with a 
spear ; this tried and serviceable old friend was banished by pnblio 
edict in sfEcuia «cEcu!o«mi, I have sometimes ventured to think that 
u Jiat of this kind, or am indet: esepvjrgaiorius of certain well known 
and ever returning phrases, both introdnctory and transitional, 
incladiog the large assortment of modest egotisms and flattering 
illeisme, Ac., &c„ might be hnng up in our law courts and both 
Houses of Parliament, with great advantage to tbe public as an 
important saving of national time, an incalculable relief to bis 
lU^estj'B ministers; but, above all, as insuring the thanks of 
country attorneys and their clients, who have private bills to cajry 
through the House. 

Be this as it may, there was one custom of our master's, wluch 
I cannot pass over in silence, because I tbink it imitable and 
worthy of imitation. He would often permit our theme exercises, 
under some pretext d want of time, to accumulate, till each lad 
had four or five to bo looked over. Then placing tbe whole num- 
ber abrea^ on his desk, be would a^ the writer why this or that 
sentence might not have found as appropriate a place under tlda 
or that other thesis; andif nosatis^ang answer could be returned, 
and two faults of the same kind were found in one exercise, 
the irrevocable verdict followed, the exercise was torn up, and 
another on the same subject to be produced, in addition to tho 
tasks of tbe day. The reader will, I trust, excuse this tribute 
<rf recollection to a man, wbose sfiTenties, even now, not seldf iP 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

StogrOfAia iMensnA, B 

funuBli tlie dreame bj which the blind f annj would f aiii interpret 
to the mind the painful sensations of distempered sleep ; bat 
neither leseen nor dim the deep Bense of mj mor^ and intellectual 
obligations. He sent na to the TTniveraitj excellent Latin and 
Qreek scholars, and tolerable Hebraists. Yet onr classical know- 
ledge was tie least of the good gifte which we deriTod from his 
zealous ajid couBcieutionB tutorage. He is now gone to his final 
reward, full of years and full of honours, eren of those honours 
which were deairest to hia heart, as gratefully bestowed by that 
school, ajid still binding him to the interests of that school in 
which he had been himself educated, and to which during his 
whole life he was a dedicated thing. 

From causes which this is not the place to inreatigate, no 
modds of past times, howerer perfect, can hare the same virid 
effect on the youthful mind, as the productionB of contemporary 
genius. The discipline my mind had undergone "Ne faUeretvr 
rotunda g<mo et versuum Borwa, cincinmU etfiorihvt ; $ed vi intpiceret 
quidnam eubesset, qucB aedee, }Uod,^mtamen^m, quitfuwdas verbis; 
anjUfwnB esseni mercL omatwa et oroHtmit fueaa ! vel tanffuinia e 
materitE ipgiiu ewAe egluentit rvbor gutdom ■naMmti ei incaleteentia 
gemiina ;" removed all obstacles to the appreciation of excellence 
in style without diminishing my deUght. That I was thus pre- 
pared for the pemsal of Mr. Bowles's eoimeta and earlier poems, 
at once increased their influence and my enthusiasm. The great 
works of past ^es seem to a young man things of another race, 
in respect to which his faculties must remain passire and submiss, 
eren as to the stars and mountains. But the writings of a con- 
temporary, i)erhaps not many years older than himself, sur- 
rounded by the same circumatances, and disciplined by the same 
manners, possess a reality for him, andinspire an actual friend- 
man. His very admiration is the wind 
hope. The poems themselves assume 
. blood. To recite, to extol, to contend 
nt of a debt due to one, who exiats to 

of t«aohing which have produced, and 
I very different stamp ; modes of teach. 
hioh we have been called on to despiso 
nd universities, 

" Id whow hallg are bung 
r of Ute iDTlncLble kntghu of old "— 

are to be metamorphosed into prodigies, 
igeane« baTe I known thus produced 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

8 Siographta IMeraria. 

Frodipes ot self-conc^t, shaUowne^, arrogance, and infidelifyl 
Instead of storing the memorj during the period when the memoiy 
ia the predominant f acnltj, wiih f aots for the after exercise of the 
judgmentj andinstead of awakening 'bjthenobleatmodelB the fond 
and nninixed lore and adnuration which is the nartnral and grace* 
fnl temper of early yonth, these nnralinga of improved pedagogy 
are taught to dispute and decide ; to suspect all, bnt their own and 
their lecturer's wisdom; and to hold nothing sacred from their 
contempt bnt their own contemptible arrogance i boy-gradiiates 
in all the techmcals, and in all the dirty passions and impudenoe, 
of anonymous criticism. To each dispositions alone can the ad- 
monition ot Pliny be requisite, " Neqve enim debet operSms eja» 
tAeeae, qmd mml. An ei Mer eo», guoe nun^WMn vidammg, florai^et, 
Non $olv/in libroe <yu», verv/m. etiam ima^inee con^irere/aivs, ejuedeia 
ntinc himor pnegenfui, et gratia qaan BtUietata lauigvegcet ? At hoe 
fravwm, 'midigrvamgue eet, nott athnirari hominem odrniiratAone 
Hgnieaim/wm, tpda viderre, amvpledi, nee laudare tantum,, vermn 
etiam amare conHagit," Flin. Epiat. Lib. I. 

I had just entered on my seventeenth year, when the sonnets of 
Mr. Bowles, twenty in number, and just then published in a 
quarto pamphlet, were first made known and presented to me by 
a schoolfellow, who had quitted ns for the University, and who, 
during the whole time that he was in our first form (or in our 
school language a Grecian), had been my patron and protector. 
I refer to Dr. Middleton, the truly learned, and every way excel- 
lent Bishop of Calcutta : 

" QiU lavdiJmi an^li$ 
mgcnium edebrare maim, catanumqat rHlbat, 
Caloar agens ati^» validinH. Jfon omnia terrm 
OJtrulaJ Visit arnor, vivit d^Aor I Ora jxgaitir 
D^iteiacontpicrre; atJUn ti Tncminuie* rrZLcTun nJ," 

Feti. ^L Lib. L E(iL L 

It was a double pleasure to me, and still remains a tender 
recollection, that I should have received from a friend so revered 
the first knowledge of a poet, by whose worts, year after year, I 
was so enthusiastically delighted and inspired. U!y eaxliest 
acquaintances will not have forgotten the undisciplined eagemess 
and impetuous zeal with which I laboured to make proselytes, not 
only of my. companions, but of all with whom I omversed, of 
whatever rank, and in whatever place. Aa my school finances did 

■ I Bm m»t bhppj lobm Uw nMeadtr 1m 1jt«; Rirtdin pwfbixf, Oiiit nlUi bli 

X Ibli pa»- lite onlr will Ui a 

twu, un .IV".. u. Dr, Middle- — ' —'-■•—■ — ■«■■ 
ID hiB tfova^ 10 IndlA lias beeo 
HSU. Be Ut« lud iaot att 

Dr, Ulddle- *ud Bptrltual Kelt 
A ias beeo Itaalted. psil.j 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siogrt^kia LUeraria. 7 

sot pemut me to pnrchaee copies, I made, wiUim less than a jonr 
and a half, more than fortj transcriptions, as the beat preeeuts I 
ooold offer to those who had in any way won my regard. And 
with almoHt equal delight did I receiTe the three or four following 
pablications of the same author. 

Though I hare eeen and known enongh of mankind to be wdl 
aware that I shall perhaps stand alone in my a«ed, and that it 
will be irell if I subject myself to no worse charge than that ol 
singuhirity ; I am not, therefore, deterred from avowing that I 
regard, and erer hare regarded the obligations of intellect among 
the most aaored of the claims of gratitade. A Taloable thonght, 
or a particular train c^ thoughts, gives me additional pleaanre 
when I can safely refer and attribute it to the conversation or 
correspondence of another. Uy obligations to Mr. Bowles were 
indeed important, and for radical good. At a very premature 
age, even before my fifteoith year, I had bewildered myself in 
metaphysics, and in theological oontroversy. Nothing else 
pleased me. History, and particular facta, lost all Interest in my 
mind. Poetry (though for a schoolboy of that age I was above 
par in English versification, and had already produced two oi- 
three compositions which, I may venture to say, without reference 
to my age, were somewhat above mediocrity, and which had 
gained me more credit than the aonnd good sense of mj old 
master was at all pleased with) poetry itself, yea novels and 
romances, hecajne insipid to me. In my friendless wanderings 
on our leare-daj^* (for I was an orphan, and had scarce any cim- 
nectiona in London), highly was I delighted if any passenger, 
especially if he were dressed in black, would enter into conver- 
sation with me. For I soon found the means of directing it to 
my favourite subjecte 

Filed kle, free will, ron-kwulalse ibHliUt, 
And IbDnd i» end la WAnderieg DUttv loBt" 

This preposterous pursuit was, beyond doubt, ii^nrious, both to 
my natural powera, and to the progress of my education. It 
would, perhaps, have been destructive had it been continued ; but 
from this I waa auspiciously withdrawn, partly, indeed, by an 
accidental introduction to an amiable family, chiefly, however, by 
the genial influence of a style of poetry, so t«aider and yet 8t> 
manly, so nataral and real, and yet so dignified and harmonious, 
as the sonnets, &c., of Mr. Bowles I Well were it for me, perhaps. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

8 Bwffrajihia LUeraria. 

L^ I never retapeed into the stuae mental disease ; if I had coo- 
tinued to pluck the flower and reap the harvest from the culti- 
Tated surface, instead of delving in the onwholesome qiucksilver 
mines of metaphjsic depths, Bnt if in after time I have sought 
a refuge from bodily pain and misman^;ed sensibility in abstruse 
researches, which exercised the strength and subtlety of the 
understanding without awakening the feelings of the heart, still 
there was a long and blessed interval, during which my natural 
faculties were ^owed to expand, and my original tendencies to 
develop themaelve*; my fancy, and the love of nature, and the 
sense of beauty in forms and sonnds. 

The second advantage, which I owe to my early perusal and ad- 
miration of these poems (to which, let me add, though known to 
me at a somewhat later period, the Lewesdon TTill of Mr. Crowe), 
bears more immediately on my present subject. Among those 
with whom I conversed, there were, of course, very many who had 
formed their taste and their notions of poetry from the writings 
of Pope and his followers ; or, to speak more generally, in that 
school of French poetry, condensed and invigorated by English 
understanding, which had predominated from the last ccntut^. I 
was not blind to the merits of this school ; yet, as from inexperi- 
ence of the world, and consequent want of sympathy with the 
general subjects of these poems, they gave me little pleasure, I 
donbtlesB undervalued the kind, and, with the presumption of 
youth, withheld from its masters the legitimate name of poets. 
I saw that the excellence of this kind consisted in just and acute 
observations on men and manners in an artifloial state of society, 
OS its matter and substance ; and, in the logic of wit, conveyed in 
smooth and strong epigrammatic couplets as its form. Even when 
the subject was addressed to the fancy or the intellect, as in the 
Biape of the Lock, or the Essay on Idiui ; nay, when it was a 
consecutive narration, aa in that astonishing product of match- 
less talent and ingenuity. Pope's Translation of the Iliad ; still 
a point was looked for at the end of each second line, and the 
whole was as it were a sorites, or, if I may ezchamge a logical for 
a grammatical metaphor, a conjunction di^unotive of epigrams. 
Meantime the matter and diction seemed to me charact«nzed not 
so much by poetic thoughts, as by thoughts translated into the 
language of poetry. On this last point I had occasion to render my 
own thoughts gradually more and more plain to myself by frequent 
amicable disputes concerning Darwin's Botanic Garden, which 
for some years was greatly extolled, not only by the reading public 
in general, hut even by thoee whose genius and natural robustnew 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

BiograpfAi lAlerana. 9 

of tmdeTBtandmg enabled them itfterwarde to act foremost in dia- 
aipatiii)^ these "painted miatB" thtit occaaionally rise fi'om the 
luaxslies at the foot of Famaaaiia. During m; firat Cambridge 
vacation I assisted a friead in a contribution for a literary society 
in Devonshire, and in this I remember to have compared Darwin's 
work to the Bussiaii palace of ice, glitterii:^, cold, and transitory. 
In the same essaj, too, I signed sundry reasons, chiefly drawn 
from a compariaon of passages in the Latin poets with the original 
Greek from which they were borrowed, for the preference of 
OoUina's odes to those Oi Gray, and of tbe simile in Shakespeare : 

to the imitation in the bard : 

■ Ftir laughs Uie raom. aai taft tbe upiiyr bbn 
While pDHidlr rldUig o'er Uhuur kbUh 
In gBlUot trim the gilded Teasel gon, 
YoCTH U Ok prow mA Plmidu at the bc'lni, 
Begardlea of the swecpliig wbMwiDil'i nHay, 
That huab^ Id grim rtpoK, OLpecta ItE cirenlpg prey," 

{In which, by-the-by, the words " realm" and " sway" are rhymes 
dearly purchased.) I preferred the original on the groond that, in 
the imitation, it depended wholly in the compositor's putting, or 
not putting, a small capital both in this and in many other pas- 
sages of the same poet, whether the words should be personifica- 
tions or mere abstracts. I mention this because, in referring 
varioQii lines in Gray to their original in Shakespeare and Milton 
— and in the clear perception how completely all the propriety was 
lost in the transfer — I was, at that early period, led to a conjectore 
which, many years afterwards, was recalled to me from the same 
thought baving been started in conversation, but far more ably, 
and developed more folly, by Hfr. Wordsworth, namely, that this 
style of poetry, which I have characterised above as translations 
of prose thoughts into poetic language, had been k^t up by, if it 
did not wholly arise from, the custom of writing Id:tin verses, and 
the great importance attached ix> these exercises in our public 
schools. Whatever might have been the case in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, when the use of the Latin toi^ne was so general among 
learned men, that Erasmus is said to have forgotten bis native 
language ; yet in the present day it is not to be supposed that a 
youth can think in Latin, or that he can have any other reliaiio* 


10 Biograpkta IM*raria. 

on the force or fitness of liia phraeea but \ha autbority of tha 
Author from whence he haa adopted them. Consequentljhe muat 
first prepare his thoughts, and then pick out from Tirgil, Horace, 
Ovid, or perhaps more compendiouslj, from his "Gradus,"* halves 
and quarters of lines in which to embody them. 

I nerer object to a certain degree of disputatiovRnese in a 
founi; man from the ^e of eevent^n to that of four or fire and 
twenty, provided I find him always arguing oii one Bide of the 
qnestion. The controversies, ocoasio&ed bj my unfeigned zcaJ 
for the honour of a favourite contemporary, t^en known to me 
only by his works, were of great advantage in the formation and 
establishment of my taste and critical opiniona. In my defence 
of the lines running into each other, instead of closing at each 
couplet; and of natural language, neither bookiah nor vidgar, 
neither redolent of the lamp or of the kennel, such as I will 
remember thee ; instead of the same thought tricked up in the rag- 
fair finei7 of 

" Thj haigs on itt ering 

Befim mj ^dct^ ^t aIuU uemory biiog," 

I had continually to adduce the metre and diction of the Gi'eck 
poets from Homer to Theocritus inclusive; and still more of our 
elder English poets from Chancer to Milton. Nor was this all. 
But as it waa my constant reply to authorities brought against 
me from later poets of great name, that no authority could avail 
in opposition to truth, nature, logic, and the laws of universal 
grammar i actuated too by my former passion for metaphysical 
inveatigations, I laboured at a solid foundation, on which per- 
manently to ground my opinions, ia the component faculties of 
the hnmBiL mind itself, and their comparative dignity and im- 
portance. According to the faculty or source from which the 
pleasure given by any jKiem or i>asaage was derived, I estimaJ^ the 
merit of snch poem or passage. An the result of all my reading 
and meditation, I abstracted two critical aphorisms, deeming 
them to comprise the conditions and oriferia of poetic style ( first, 
that not the poem which we have read, but that to which wb 
return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power 
and claims the name of essentiai poetry. Second, that whatever 

• In IheHotrlda or FoUtlin then occnnlUilfw:— 

" /Hfrv coforoffl inierjtr^t wida IqpfUof ." 
Cutliig lajeyeait Unlcenltr iBiie-poem, I met Itila 11»:^ 

" laelia parpunai inUrttr^S undo It^nWH." 
KowUnkoat In fJu^Ondtu" ktr purua. uidjaa find u (lu tin 
MforoCuf , and the Qnt synon^rDe Is jurpiireuf. I iDentioD Ifale by v 
tbt miMt onUtmrj' prooMxa b the / m' u w t na W iin at Uma oarica 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia Liieraria. 11 

liuea can be tranekted into othar words of the same lan^ai^e, 
iritlkout dimiantion of their Bignificance, either in sense or aaao- 
ciation. or in an; mnrthy feeUng, are bo tax viciona in tlieir 
diction. Be it, liowerer, observed, that I excluded from the list 
of worthy feelings the pleasnre deprived from mere nOT^ty in the 
reader, and the desire of exciting -woaderment at his powers in the 
aathor. Oftentimes since then, in pemsiag French tr^ediee, I 
have fancied two marks of admiration at the end of each line, as 
hieroglyphics of the author's own admiration at his own clerei- 
neaa. Our genuine admiration of a great poet ie a continuona 
nnder-eurreat of feeling; it is everywhere present, but seldom 
anywhere as a separate excitement I was wont boldly to affirm 
that it would be scarcely more difficult to push a stone out from 
the pyramids with the bare hand, thaji to alter a word, or the 
position of a word, in Milton or Shakespeare (in their most im- 
portant works at least) without making die author say something 
else, or something worse, than he does say. One great distinction 
I appeared to myself to see plainly, between even the character- 
istic faults of our elder poets and the false beauties of the moderns. 
In the former, from Donne to Cowley, we find the most fantastic 
out-of-the-way thoughts, but in the most pure and genuine mother 
English ; in the latter, the moat obrioiiB thoughts, in language 
the most fantastic and arbitrary, Onr faulty elder poets aacrificed 
the passion, and passionate flow of poetry, to the subtleties of 
intellect and to the starts erf wit; the modems to the glare and 
glitter of a perpetual yet broken and heterogeneous imageiy, or 
rather to an amphibionB something, made up, ^alf of image and 
half of abstract* meaning. The one sacrificed the heart to the 
head, the other both heaxt and head to point and drapeiy. 

The reader must make hi'miulf acquainted with the general 
style of composition that was at that time deemed poetry, in 
order to understand and account for the effect produced on me 
by the Sonnets, the Monody at Uatlock, and the Hope, of Mr. 
Bowles ; for it is peculiar to original genius to become less and 
less striking, iu proportion to its success in improving the taste 
and judgment of its contemporaries. The poems of West, indeed, 
had the merit of chaste and manly diction, but they were cold, 
and, if I may bo express it, only dead-coloured; while in the beat 
of Warton's there is a sti&ees, which too often givea them the 
appearance of imitations from the Greek. 'What«Ter relation. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

12 Blcffraphia LUeraria. 

therefore, >f CBiiBe or impnlBe Percy's collection of Ballads maj 
bear to the moat popular poenui of the present day, jct in the 
more soHtained and elevated s^le of the ttken living poete Bowlen 
and Cowper* were, to the beet of m; knowledge, the first who 
combined natnral thonghts with natural diction; the fii-st who 
reconciled tihe heart with tlie head. 

It is true, as I hare before mentioned, that &oin difBdence in 
my own powers, I for a short time adopted a laborioos and dorid 
diction, which I myself deemed, if not absolutely viciona, yet of 
very inferior worth. Gradiially, however, my practice conformed 
to my better judgment, and the compoaitions of my twenty-fourth 
and twenty-fifth years (for example, the ahorter blank verse poema, 
the lines which are now adopted in the introductory part of the 
Vision in the present collection in Mr. Southey's Joan of Arc, 
2nd book, lat edition, end the Tragedy of Eemorse) are not more 
below my present ideal in respect of the general tiasue of the 
style than those of the lateat date. Their faults were at least a 
remnant of the former leaven, and among the many who have 
done me the hononr of putting my poems in the same class with 
those of ray betters, the one or two who have pretended to bring 
eiamplea of affected simplicity from my volume, have been able 
to adduce but one instance, and that out of a copy of veraea Ti a l f 
ludicrous, half aplenetic, which I int^ided, and had myseU cha- 
racterised, aa ga^moai propriora. 

Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried 
to an esceaa, that itself will need reforming. The reader will 
excuse me for noticing that I myself was the first to expose rau 
lumeeto the three sins of poetry, one or the other of which is the 
moat likely to beaet a, young writer. So long ago aa the pub- 
lication of the aecond nnmber of the Monthly Magazine, under 
the name of Nehemiah Higginbottom I contributed three sonnets, 
the first of which had for its object to excite a good-natured 
laugh at the spirit of doleful egoUam, and at the recurrence of 
favourite phraaea, with the double defect of being at once trite and 
licentioua. The second on low, creeping language and thonghts, 
under the pretence of simplicity. And the third, the phraaes of 
which were boiTowed entirely from my own poems, on the in- 

■ Cowper'g Tuk vu pabUihed nme time tU RUglDa ; lod > gloom; reUglon (o Iutc 

fcefontlw SodihU of H[.Bin>'.a; bull wu led COwps to a lore of lutDre. The ona 

not AmdUH wlUi It till mu; jtm (>ite> would any hi* teuow-mon tlmig with bim 

mnb, ThBT^ofHttirowblcliriuulhnHieh Into nataire : tbe otber flka to Di4arv from hki 

ttit andleM poem, togethsr wllb the Bombre MIoh-dhil In chuUtr of dlctlnD however, 

batot lU TcUgloiifl (^lUiiolli^ HOQld probably, udlheliBniioiiyof b1uikv«nK,Cuirper1«TCfl 

M tliat time, im picTnled 11* lafliig mf TliomuD muHaturablr belon taiu ; jd Mm 

■bans Wold oo Bj ilIMtlODa. Tba lova of 1 feel tbe IMtei to luve been (be bom pxL. 
■Man Man Is bwaMThwnMatoadMX 

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SiogrcK^m lAieraria, 18 

diacriminate use of elaborate and swelling langnage and imageiy. 
The reader will find them in the not«* below., and will I tnut 
regard them, aa reprinted for biographical pTirpoees, and not for 
their poetdo merits. So general at tiiat time, and bo decided wa» 
the opinion concerning the characteristic vices of ■mj atjle, that 
a celebrated physician (now, alas I no more), speaking ^ me in 
other respects with his oBoal kindneae to a gentleman who was 
about to meet me at a dinner paxty, could not, however, resist 
giving him a hint not to mention the "Soute thai Jack bwU" in 
mj presence, for " that I was as sore as a boil about that sonnet," 
he not knowing that I was myself the author of it. 

• SosKii I Did he not Me her glenmlng ttroogh tba 

And 1117 poor bean vta wd ; aoMtbeaum WbU Ibough lUe millud ooaiv aithcnun- 

Igswdaod «lghed,uiil ilglHd: tw ab how pled hom, 

.J™'.^ . . .^.. , _, Yrt, nye she hmnM the *»le whB« erel eb» 

Ere inMma Into nWit ' mine ejes penned Etnjtd : 

Wilb (earful vKancjlhe dampy giMB And sye, beside her stelks ber unrDui 

That w^ uid gl^LeiHl In Lhe pal; ray : knight ! 

And Idldpmiseme.oiimr kmelywav Still on hit Uiighi their vonted bcogueg ua 

AiidmiiHdii>e,iiiitliewnlebalofieethiilpan nurn, 

©■erUiBbtaakbeattiotiKaKiw. Bniilmi And lh™ugh thoee bromwi, rtlll tattered Jim 

KoBtofinrMlfltlKnight! Kbenltbefcl. brtom, 

TnutUM«DoUi9il^iMofIb8breeiyB«id Hit blndwinl chaimi gleam an unearthly 

Breatbedlnmlneear: "AUtblalioeryneU. »hlta 

Bui much of one thing litiirnatMnEgcnd.'' Ab< thus through brakai cloudB at nlghtV 

Oh my poor heait'alneiptlciUfleeweMI high noon 

-^ , , fttps 111 fair fragmenli forth the ftiU-otbd 
On I da lore thee, meek StmpUdty I 

For of thy lays the Inllli^ timpleneaa The futlonlng awcdolc nil) tist be wholly 

JMfitrese though bdbII, yet haply gieat to me, pressed to a common friend. & strong ilealj« 

1 amblo on ^ and yet 1 know not why celling my frig's Immediate offer, on tba 

Frown, pout nod part, then 1 am very wd. solhor of a conlbuided aeiere epigram on m* 

And then with Bonneta and with Bvmpathy Andenl Mariner, which bad given me great 

My dreamy hoeom't mynic woes 1 psll; pahi." 1 assured my Itlind that If the epigram 

How o( my bl« friend plaining philnllvely. „„ , goqi one, n would only Increase mj 

NonnTtngatnUinlciDdk^neruli deilre tu toeonne acquainted with the aulhor, 

But whether aad or tierce, lis simple all, g,yi begged to hear It rodtrf ; when, to my 

All very simple, meek Simplicity I no less mirprto than ammcnient. It provfd Id 

BosMi 111. written and Inserted in the JfOrnina l-itt— 
Ann tbta left boose, ta that, the "bich be ^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^j ^^ Ancient Mar; 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia Lileraria, 


Sar^oKd IrtiUUU^ OF men of genlDs— BroBgtit to tbe tS8t of tkcts— Cuaet iM owulas 
of tbe charge — Itfllnjmtke, 

J HAVE often thought, that it would be neither iminetruotiTe 
nor unamuBing to analyze, and bring forward into distinct 
consciousness, that complex feeling, with which readers in general 
take part against the author, in fayonr of the critic; ajid the 
readiness -with which they apply to all poets the old sarcasm of 
Hoi'ace upon the scribblers of his time ; " Gteftw* irritahile vatwm." 
A debility and dimness of the imaginative power, and a conse- 
quent necessity of reliance on the immediate impressions of the 
senses, do, we well know, render the mind liable to superstition 
and fanaticism. Having a deficient portion of internal and 
proper warmth, minds of this class seek in the crowd circwm. fana 
for a warmth in common, which they do not possess singly. Cold 
and phlegmatic in their own nature, like damp hay, they heat and 
inflame by co-acervation ; or like bees they become restless and 
irritable through the increased temperature of collected multi- 
tudes. Hence the German word for fanaticism (such at least wafi 
its original import) is derived from the awaimlng of bees, namely, 
schwttrmen, schwarmerey. The passion being in an inverse pro- 
portion to the insight, that the more vivid, as this the less dis- 
tinct; anger is the inevitable consequence. The absence of all 
foundation within their own minds for that which they yet 
believe both true and indispensable for their safety and happiness, 
cannot but produce an uneasy atat« of feeling, an involuntary 
sense of fear from which nature has no meaos of rescuing herself 
but by anger. Experience informs us that the £rat defence of 
weak minds is to recriminate, 

" Tbde'i no pbiLoaopber but aat, 

Thoggb that may tnm, md tUs mir fwze. 
TbnfTe both alike the igue." 


3nt where the ideas are vivid, and there exists an endless power 
of combining and modifying them, the feelings and affections 
blend more easily and intimatcQy with these ideal creations than 
with the objects of the senses ; the mind is affected by thonghta 
rather than by things ; and only then feels the reqcisite interest 
even for the most important events, and accidents, when by means 
of meditation they have passed into thoughts. The sanity of tlu 
mind is between BOperstition with fanaticism on the one hand 


Biogra^itt Idlerana, 15 

bnd entliaaiasrii with iadiffere&M and a diseased (j>wiiess to action 
on the other- For the couceptiona of the mind m&j be bo vivid 
and adeqniiite, a^ to preclude that impnlae to the realizing of them, 
which ie atrongest and most reBtleaa in those who poseeBS more 
thaii mere talent (or the fa:0alt;f of appropriating and applying 
the knowledge of others) jet still want something of the creative, 
and self-anfficing power of absolute geniua. For thia reason, 
therefore, they are men of eoimnandmg genius. While the formar 
rest content between thought and reality, aa it were in an in/er- 
muTidiwm of which their own living apirit supplies the aubstancc, 
and their imagination the erer-varying form; the latter must 
impress their preconceptiona on the world without, in order to 
preaent them back to their own view with the satisfying degree of 
cleameea, distinctness, and individuality. These in tranquil times 
are formed to exhibit a perfect poem in palace or temple or land- 
scape-garden; or a tale of romance in canala that join sea with 
sea, or in walls of rock, which shouldering back the billows, 
imitate the power, and supply the benevolence of nature to shel- 
tered navies ; or in aqneduote that, arching the wide vale from 
mountain to mountain, give a Palmyra to the deaert But alas ! 
in times of tumult they are the men destined to come forth as the 
shaping apirit of Bnin, to deatroy the wisdom of ages in order to 
subatitute the fancies of a day, and to change kinga and king- 
doms, as the wind shifts and shapea the clouds.* The records of 
biography seem to confirm this theory. The men of the greatest 
genius, aa far as we can judge from their own works or from the 
accounts of their contemporaries, appear to have been of calm 
and tranquil temper, in all that related to themselves. In the 
inward assurance of permanent fame, they seem to have been 
either indifferent or resigned, with regard to immediate repnta- 
tion. Through all the works of Chaucer there reigns a cheerful- 
ness, a manly hilarity, which makes it almost impossible to doubt 
a correspondent habit of feeling in the author himaelf. Shake- 
speare'a evenness and sweetness of temper were almost proverbial 
in his own age. That this did not arise from ignorance of hia 
own comparative greatness, we have abundant proof in bis Son- 
nets, which could scarcely have been known to Pope,t when he 

• "OfoldUilnesinsnaia'old, t Pops wu Dnder the ommon Fmr oT 

Of good IhlngB Done are good amafit :— tail its. ui em*, dr from being inffictenUy 

Wr'U BhDV llut we can help to frome eiploded ev«a at the present day. It aa- 

A world at other stutf. tina (as 1 explained at Larffe, and proved In 

1 <oo wiU haM mr Hnga, Ibal take Jf"". In my pnbUc lortuns) Id mlstaW!^ fcr 

Fr™ n» Ihe sign of life and deatA : 't.T'JI ." ^. °^ certain ruloi, 

Kingdoms shall ^t about, like doofc "i™'' ,"'«"'" .I*"" jmpcwd upon than- 

oGedient la my IreaUi." "2^1",?°^' " ""?^. "^ I?™?!."! 

- - ra-fBtbltBtr l««>oru»diamaooi»lrtaitwrtlilbo«<h.. 

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16 Biograplua Ltteraria. 

asBeiiod, QuA our great bard " grew inunortial in liia own cli»pU«.* 
Speaking of one whom he had celebrated, and contracting th« 
dnration of his works with that of his pearsonal existence, Shake- 
speare adds ;— 

> Ywir Dune nim ham immortal Uft iluU Jam, 
TboDi^ I, an« gone, la 111 Iha world miut die ; 

Wben jtn entombed In men'j ejee ihall 11^ 

Yonr ntraiDnieDl duU be mf gentle vene. 

Which eT« not fet omted ibill o'S'-tEul ; 

And tonpiefl (o be joor being eh*]] rebeane, 

When lU tbe breiiUKn ct Ibla warM >n deiid : 
Ton Btlll ihftU lln, mch Tirtne hotb mj pen, 
Wben bi«alli moit teeMbei, •'so in the looatbB or men.' 

J have taken the first that occurred ; bat Shakospeare's readineea 
to praise his rivals, ore pleno, and the confidence of his own 
equality with those whom he deemed moat worthy of hia prais^ 
are alike manifested in the 86th Sonnet. 


uU or hta great veree 

Bound for the pri«o 

ell-too-preclout yoo. 

Kaklng thdr tomb, the womb wberelD the 


pints Uughl (o wri» 

Abovfl » InorUI pilth 

th» etmch me d«d 

No, neither he, nor hi 

Giving him »id, my v 

■ene mtonished. 


Which nightly guU. 

im with intelUgeoce, 

A> victor, ot my rikp« ™mo» ho»t ; 


lai trom thence ! 

But when jontcou 

In Spenser, indeed, we trace a mind coustitutionallj traidor, 
dolicate, and, in comparison with his three great compeers, I htui 
almost said, effeminate; and this additionally saddened bj the 
unjust persecation of Burleigh, and the severe calamities, which 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biograpkia Ltleraria. 17 

ntnrlielaied hie latter daja. Th.ese causes haTe diffused orer all 
tis compositions " a melancholy grace," and have drawn forth 
occasional strains, the more patjketic from their gentleness. But 
no where do we find the least trace of irritability, and still leas uf 
quarrelsome or affected contempt of hia censurers. 

The same calmnesa, and even greater aelf-possession, may be 
ei&rmed of Milton, as far as his poems and poetic character are 
concerned. He reserved his an^er for the enemies of religion, 
freedom, and his coimtry. My mind ia not capable of forming a 
more angust woiception than arises from the contemplation of 
this great man in his latter days : — poor, sick, old, blind, slandered. 

*■ Darknoii befbrp^ uid dBtig«r'« volca beblDd." 

in an age in which be w^ as little understood by the party for 
whom, as by that against whom, he had contended, and among 
men before whom he strode so far as to dwarf himself by the 
distance ; jet still listemng to the music of his own thoughts ; or, 
if additionally cheered, yefc cheered only by the prophetic faith of 
two or three solitary individuals, he did nevertheleBs 

AEi^oBt H»vBn-g hud nr will, UDT hale ■ Jot 
Of butt or hope j bnt aim bun np tal iiMT'd 

From others only do we derive onr knowledge that Hilton, in his 
latter day, hod his scomers and detractors ; and even in his day of 
youth and hope, that he had enemies would have been unknown to 
us, had they not been likewise the enemies of his countiy. 

I am well aware that in advanced stages of litorature, when there 
exist many and excellent models, a high degree of talent, combined 
with taato and judgment, and employed in works of imagination, 
will acquire for a man the name of a great genius ; though even 
that analogon of genina which, in certain states of society, may even 
a. the absoluto reality could 
a in the mind and tomper of 
nces of this kind, a close ex- 
irritability which has been 
s cause, did really originate 
e pain, or constitutional de- 
is chai^^ to the author be- 
ly have been still more im< 
oeB of the very pursuit which 

' credence generaUy given tv 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

18 Biographia LUeraria. 

' this charge, if the chaxge itself be not, as wo Lave endeaTonred tt 
show, anpported by experience? Thia seems to me of no tctj 
difficult Bolution. In whatever country literature ia widely dif- 
fused, there will be many who mistake an intense desire to possess 
the reputation of poetic genius for the a.ctual powers and original 
temdeuciea which oonatitute it. But men, whose dearest wishes 
we fixed on objects wholly out of their own power, become in all 
oases more or less impatient and prone to anger. Besides, thongli 
it may be paradoxical to aasert, that a man can know one thing 
and believe the opposite ; yet, assuredly, a vain person may have 
so habitually indulged the wish, and perserered in the attempt to 
appear what he is not, aa to become himself one of his own prose- 
lytes. Still, as this counterfeit and artificial persuasion must differ 
even in the person's own feelings, from a real sense of inward power, 
what can be more natural than that this difference should betray 
iteeli in suspicions and jealous irritability P Evem as the flowery 
sod which covers a hollow may be often detected by its shaking 
and trembling. 

But alas ! the multitude of books, and the general diffusion of 
literature, have produced other and more lamentable effects in the 
the world of letters, and such as are abundant to explain, though 
by no means to justify, the contempt with which the best-grounded 
complaints' of injured genius are rejected as frivolous, or enter- 
tained as matter of merriment. In the days of Chaucer and 
Gower, our language might (with due aDowance for the imperfec- 
tions of a simile) be compared to a wilderness of vocal reeds, 
from which the favourites only of Pan or Apollo could con- 
struct even the rude Syrinx { and from this the constmctora alone 
could elicit strains of music. But now, partly by the labours of 
successive poets, and in part by the more artificial state of society 
and social intercourse, language, mechanized as it were into a 
barrel-organ, supplies at once both instrument and tune. Thus, 
even the deaf may play so as to delight the many. Sometimes 
(for it is with similes, as it is with jests at a wine-table, one is sure 
to Bug^st another) I have attempted to illustrate ihe present stat« 
of onr language, in its relation to literature, by a press-room of 
larger and smaller stereotype pieces, which, in the present Anglo- 
Gallican fashion of unconnected epigrammatic periods, it requires 
but an ordinary portion of ingenuity to vary indefinitely, and jet 
etiU. produce something, which, if nof sense, will be so like it, as to 
do as welL Perhaps better ; for it spares the reader the trouble 
of thinking j prevents vacancy, while it indulges indolence; and 
secaree the memory from all danger af an intellectual plethgra. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogr^hia Liieraria. 


HoAc^, of all tradea, literatnreat present demanda the leaat talent 
01 mfonaation ; and, of all modes of literature, the manuf aotuiing 
of poenw. The difference indeed between these and the works at 
geoioB is not leaa than between an egg and an egg-sheU ; jet, at a 
distance, they both look alike. Now, it is no less remarkable than 
true, with how little eiami nation works of polite literature are com- 
monly peroaed, not only by the mass of readers, but by men of first- 
rate ability, tiU some accident or chance* discassion have roosed 

vbea ttj Ur. WonlawDrlh'J CODTeraatlon, 1 
hid bun Induced to T«4x«mliw wllh Im- 
IHrlial Etr1ctD» Gnr'a celebraloi Eleg;. [ 
bad ;«ii|; befur« dfl«cled tb4 def^u In tlie 

puugH, hu bffn mora thon riT«Ld lo wr, 
tar the ■ddlllontU del^t wllh wDicb 1 read 

I'unues the raging lUtii, tbrowing ihQ f(^ 
And dadlyvipour from hlmngry breub. 

Wbo« b«lefol barkinn brings in b 

Ptik, plagim. and dreary death 



-For this todced la moal FplcndM 

NoUdng can bf more iHmple aa » dMcripilon. 

or mora ™.raw a* a elmllf i which (i-i 

lys Mr, 

8.) is thus Ontly Iranslatad by Pop^ : 

-TerriflcGlay! tor bla burning bn 


Taint* llH rrd air with fevcn. pUKUes. 

bombast) tl» IKw SUr. ao called. Is 


IMO a not dog, a Teiy odd dog. a Arc 


i. liffil, 


nalchar the tbaugl>t la JusUBabii'i 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

30 Biographia lAteraria. 

Ihoir attentum, and pat them on their giiard. Andbence indiri- 
dnab below mediocrity, not leea in natural power than in cicquired 
knowledge; naj.bnnglersthBitliaTefailedintheloweBt mechanical 
crafta, and whou preBnmptioiL is in due proportion to tlieir want 
of eeose and senBibilitj; men who, being first Bcribblers from 
idleneas and ignorance, next become libellere front envy and maid- 
volence, hare been able to drive a successftd trade in the employ- 
ment of the boobellera ; nay, have raised thenuelves into tempo- 
rary name and reputation with the public at large by that moat 
powerful of all adulation, the appeal to the bad and malignant 
paBsione of mankind.* But as it is the nature of scorn, envy, and 
all malignant propensities, to require a quick change of objects, 
such writers are sure, sooner or later, to awake from their dream 
of vanity to disappointment and neglect inth embittered and en- 
venomed feelings. Even during their short-lived success, eensiblo 
in Bpite of themselves on what a shifting foundation it rested, they 
resent the mere refusal of praise as a robbery, and at the justest 
censures, kindle at once into violent and undisciplined abnae ; till 
the acute disease, changing into chronical, the more deadly as the 
less violent, they become the fit instruments of literary detraction 
and moral slander. They are then no longer to be qaeati<,>ned 
without exposing the complainant to ridicule, because, forsooth, 
they are anonymous critiee, and authorised as " synodical indi- 
viduBls"t to speak of themselveB as plwrali ■majestatico ! As if 
literature foimed a caste, like that of the paras in Hindostan, who, 
however maltreated, must not dare to deem themselves wronged ! 
As if that which, in all other cases, adds a dec^)Br dye to slander, 
the circumstance of its being anonymous, here acted only to mak« 

• Espffitally "in Ihls tee of penonilllj, IbeTer^ "lul yesrt rebmei-ln tlw T*ile» 

ttilA tfge Df IIHru; And poUticaL ioaalpplug, DUrr, are antwerpft kn ft aerloUB «t«^ " iia 

....._ ^t_ . i^^^_.^ ^^ worshipped mj Eatbtr'EdMlh" wlih (be dii~~ "" ■■■-■-■ oal; ut uf the eliglac (Edipiu n' 

.__ rva of Brilon^ ulvBrllanj with llw qwd-l recomoit , 

(hat ttom Ibfl rpfaem«ral sheet of a LoDdun that the sahl Epic Poem cotiEjiiiA more tbaq 

Tiewspuper. to the everlMling Scotch Profe^ ma hundrtd Dama of living pemna." 

KiriaiQiiw1o,almotlcvet7 pabllcallon eihl- The FuikdNo. ll^[OeL 1>, IHt,' 

bin or Sutteri the tfUtaaie dlBtcmper ; ttaU i A fhraae of Andrew Msrrril'i, 

Dgilizodb, Google 

iVealaaidereriuTiolablel TIiTie,i]ipart,fromtlteaoci(leiitaltempera 
d{ mdiyidiiala (men of undoubted talent, but not men of genios), 
tempers rendered jet more irritable bj their desire to appear men 
ot geoiuB ; but still more effectively by the eiceasea of the mere 
coonterteitsbotliof talent and genina; the number, too, being bo in* 
comparably greater of those who are thought to be, than those who 
really are, men of real genius i and io part from the natural, bnt not 
therefore the leeB partial and unjust distinction, made by the public 
itself between literary and all other property, I believe the pre- 
judice to have arisen, which coneidera an nnuanal irascibility cos- 
cerning the reception of ito products as characteristic of genins. 
It might correct the moral feelings of a numerous class of readers 
to aappose a review set on foot, the object of which was to criticise 
all the chief works presented to the public by our ribbon-weavers, 
calico-printeTS, cabinet-makers, and china-manufacturers ; a review 
conducted in the same spirit, and which ahonld take the same 
freedom with personal character, as our literary journals. They 
■would scarcely, I think, deny their belief, not only that the "genae 
irritabil^' would be fonnd to include many other species besides 
that of bards ; bnt that the irritability of trade would soon reduce 
the reflentments of poets into mere shadow-fights in the com- 
parison. Or is wealth the only rational object of human interest P 
Or, even if this were admitted, has the poet no property in hiu 
works ? Or is it a rare or culpable case, that he who serves at the 
altar of the Muses should be compelled to derive his maintenance 
from the altar, when, too, he has perhaps deliberately abandoned 
the fairest prospects of rank and opulence in order to devote himself, 
an entire and undistracted man, to the instruction or refinement 
of his fellow-citizens ? Or, should we pass by all higher objects 
and motives, all disinterested benevolence, and even that ambition 
of lasting praise which is at once the cmtch and ornament, which 
le infirmity of human virtue ; is 
le individual who labours for onr 
ed to a share of onr fellow.feeling 
or milliner ? Sensibility, indeed, 
ft characteristic feature, but may 
of genius. But it is no less an 
at its sensibility is excited by any 
ui by ite own personal interests ; 
man of genins lives most in the 
b is stiU constituted by the future 
eelings have been habitually as- 
, fes, to the number, clearness, and 

b^iizodb, Google 

32 ^ographia LUeraria. 

vivacity of wticli, the sensation of aelf is alwaja in an iiiverae ptn. 
portwn. And yet, should lie perchsnee have occasion to repel 
some false chao^e, or to rectify some erroneona censure, nothing 
IB more common than for the many to mistake the general liveli- 
ness of his majmer and language, whatever is the subject, for 
the effects of peculiar irritation from its accidental relation to 

For myself, if from my own feelingH,or from the lees saapicioua 
test of the observationB of others, I had been made aware of any 
literary testineae or jealousy ;' I trust that I should have been, 
however, neither silly or arrogant enough to have burthened the 
imperfection on genius. But an experience (and I should not 
need documents in abundance to prove my words if I added) a 
tried experience of twenty years has taught me that the original 
sin of my character consists in a careless indifference to publie 
opinion, and to the attacks of those who influence it ; that praise 
and admiration have become yearly less and less desirable, except 
as marks of sympathy; nay, that it is difficult and distressing to 
me to think with any interest, even about the sale and profit of 
my works, important, as in my present circumstances, such con- 
siderations nmst needs be. Yet it never occurred to me to 
believe or fancy, that the guondim of intellectual power bestowed 
on me by nature or education was in any way connected with thia 
habit of my feelings, or that it needed any other parents or 
fosterers than constitutional indolence, aggravated into languor 
by ill-health; the accumulating embarrassmenf« of procraatina,- 
tion ; the mental cowardice, which is the inseparable companion 
of procrastination, and which makes as anxious to think and con- 
verse on anything rather than on what concerns onraelves: in 
fine, all those dose vexations, whether chargeable on my faults or 
my fortunes, which leave me but little grief to spare for evils 
comparatively distant and alien. 

Indignation at literary wrongs I leave to men bom under 
happier stars. I cannot afford it. But so far from condemning 

nncementi but lb«i ■ mm Ihui nanl 
TiiridltT of uicdiitlon, 

•HDllUnE U» olber bilf, wben LI H ftooi their 

power cf pUBtag from Ihongfat b> Uuivht. 

and Imace to tiatgr. it a componenl equally 

Oh, nbale untb artoea, bs s taiium aliqaid 

dillmnt from eilher, Thns In Drrdenli 

each bj- tVe o.ter Uk genlu. Ii«lf <»n.l.t<i , 

IMOMia Udb "GtmI w[( " (wUlch here mMTi! 
geolas) ■'io madnoas mira U nar alUed." 
Sow u br u Ihe prothutid BeuIMIIVr, which 

K th»t It would bt jffit u fah' to dtacribt 

the earrh b> In ImminEpl dmger of eiprtiita- 
tinftor of falling inlo the lun, >a»rd»i« u 

the asaerlor of the ahrardLty umfloed hii 

attention etther to the pnlebdle or to Ibl 

It mlcht be btrlr deKzibed u Bmoglu the 
lDdiTU>nl ts » greMu «h«iM oT DHiS <b- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siographia Literafia. 23 

thoue who can, I deem it a writer'a duty, and think it clWitablo 
to luB heart, to feel and expreae a resentment proportioned to the 
groBsneas of the provocation., and the importance of the objoot. 
There is no profeeaioa on earth whicli reqnires on attention ho 
oarlj, so long, or ao imiD.tennittiiig, as that of poetry ; and, 
indeed, aa that of literary composition in ^nerai, if it be sach aa 
at all aatisfiea the demands both of taete and of eound logic. How 
difficult and delicate a task even the mere mechanism of verse is, 
may be conjectured from the failure of thoae who have attempted 
poetry late in life. Where, then, a man has, from hie earliest 
yonth, devoted his whole being to an object, which by the admis- 
sion of all civilized nations, in all ages, ia honourable as a pursnit 
and gloriooB as an attainment; what of all that relates to himself 
and his family, if only we except his moral character, can have 
fairer claims to his protection, or more anthorise acta of self- 
defence, than the elaborate products of his intellect, and intel- 
lectual industry ? Prudence itself would command us to show, 
even if defect or diversion of natural sensibility had prevented us 
from feeling, a due interest and qualified anxiety for the offsprii^ 
and representatives of our nobler being. I know it, alas! by 
woef ol ei^terience I I have laid too many egga in the hot sands 
of this wildemeaa, the world, with ostrich carelessness and ostrich 
oblivion. The greater part, indeed, have been trod under foot, 
and are f orgott«i ; but yet no small nnmber have crept forth into 
life, some to fnmish featliers for the caps of others, and still 
more to plume the shafts in the quivers of my enemies, of them 
that unprovoked have lain in wait against my soul. 
" Sic voe, 7wn volm melUficaUe, apes !" 


I— PriudplM of modem oJUcIb* 
'a oDd cnuacter. 

magazines, and news.jonmals 
[ to satirists with or without a 
:ext aided by prose-comment, 
that I owe full two-thirds of 
happen to possess. For when 
Ted so frequently, in so many 
le, the readei-e of these works 
a, Elegant Extracts, and Anas. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

14 Siographia LUermi/U 

form uiue-tentlis of the reading of the readin^f public*) catmoi 
but be familiar with tbe name, without diatinctl; remembecing 
whether it wb« introduced for eulogy or for censure. And this 
becomes the more likely, if (as I beliere) the hahit oi perusing 
periodical works may be properly added to Averroes't catalogue of 
Anti'mnemonicB, or weakeners of the memory- Bat where this 
has not been the case, yet the reader wiU be apt to suspect that 
there must be Bomething more than usually strong and extensive 
in a reputation, that could either require or stand so merciless 
and long continued a cannonading. Witbout any feeling of 
anger therefore (for which, indeed, on my own account, I have no 
preteict) I may yet be allowed to eipress some degree of surprise, 
that after having run the critical gauntlet for a certain claaa of 
faults which I had, nothing baTing come before the judgment- 
seat in the Interim, I should, year after year, quarter after quarter, 
month after month (not to mention sundry petty periodicals of 
still quicker rerolution, "or weekly or diurnal") have been for at 
least seventeen years consecutively, drag^^ forth by them into 
the foremost raiika of the proscribed, and forced to abide the 
brunt of abuse, for faults directly opposite, and which I certainly 
had not. How shall I explain this f 

Whatever may have been the case with others, I certainly cannot 
attribute this persecution to personal dislike, or to envy, or to 
feelings of vindictive animosity. Not to the former, for, with the 
exception of a very few who are my intimate friends, and were so 

ih teonlUVty ; • 

lb BuppUed lib fzCpu by « sort tt n>»ntaL f Prtlicuioi e ispHLit acerptM in 

wmtm obKuro manntictared at the prim- anvam jvsre ipcontutt'i ^ttlngof nnrl|4 

Llv oRce, wbfch pm tempore fixen, rvflpcts fnilt ; goilug on the dmid^ and (tn gPMiv) 

mua'a dellrluTr, » Ri to peopk the l^irrq]. rIdEng amonff a EnuLIiluJe of canielA; frp. 

wbo were T?«ver In Ui«]r catnpany, or reLnxA- Scotobmap, whicb aga.tii bytbt sanie unof 

never bent) ftom Ibe genua, ivudlng, to that dtne et a Wel&tiTnaD. and tbnt aoaEn 10 ■odio 

comprebeculve cUaa chnrBcttrirAl bj tbe hIj bit of a YurkBhlreman ; the bablt of reu^ 

power or lewndllfiff ttie two coDtrirr yet lomlvsloiKS In churcb-yardfi, kc. Jly.ibe* 

co-eilMlu pniKiuIiin or hntaan hatuiT, by, thti catalogue atriuige as It raar aprw, 

Dunelr, iDdiilirencA of iloth, and luCred of la not IntuKxptlble of a sound payfbotugk^l 

TJtauKj. In addition to novels and taleft cf AJBDmehttrj. 
tUntlrf iu proae « ik^me, Or which Liit I 

Dgilizodb, Google 

BiograpKta lAleraria. 2S 

before they wertt known aa autborg, I hare Iiad little otker 
scqaaintance witli literary charaeterB, than what may be implied 
in an occidental introduction, or caaual meeting in a mixed com- 
pany. And, 08 far aa words and looks can be trusted, I must 
believe that, even in these imrtancos, I had escit«d no imfriendly 
diaposition.* Neither by letter, or in conversation, have I ever 
kad dispute or controversy beyond the common socibI interchange 
of opinions. Kay, where I had reaeon to suppose my convictions 
fundamentally diffm'ent, it has been my habit, and I may add, the 
impulse of my nature, to assign the grounds of my belief, rather 
than the belief iteelf { H>nd not to express dissent till I could eata> 

I, the eUet tiorUtnat and •kfecU which characterlzal 

.wd review, oiirbcBt pnnewriKn.rrora the Rffarmatlon, 

Ui llr. Soulher, to the Bat MI of Obule* Ind : ind ikal of 

>|iriii a uiv ur I'u ai nn^lclc Tbit be thoie who h*d floDriibed durlDg the present 

<nr, Hliliout rllminDlion (m Ihii Kconnt. nign ind the prec«dbig ana. About twelve 

treated wUh every hospitable atlenikifi b7 months Afterwardi a review BppeArHl on the 

Mr. Sonthej and myaelf. I trnsl I need not ume rehject. In Ibe csnclqdlnit psnirripli of 

Hf. Bui one tblnglnayvEnrum 111 notice; which the reviewer UKrts, thai Ma cbief 

«d51, bed bwome neighbours i'ond' how u 
■ ■ jifounded was the supposition, tt 

b! lbs long-rtlabliabed models of the fuUowt. i have only heariav evtdma; h 

nei of Greece. Rome, I raij, and Erg- Jet anch as demaudB mybeflef ; Til. Ihit 

nTmed by 

published sc 

TloMly to any ucqnalntj 


th ha<! talked 

it i-ulfle he 

■rely because 

Qlhey and Woi 

■•• CoteSfee" 


Ji whil 

dlenla, hi 

>ir the 

uch 1 eliber 

myKlf know H 

en hicapable of tnlenliona] 


ning the chars 

cren, quali& 

Id moll' 


' onr reading 

public; 1 



the words or 

Hum UgttAer. and made lianpe ilujv]f, at 
fAd into the tfrofron'r moutk, and ro tlit dr 

taiii lu TBK QotM II woasHir." 

D 5 mod b, Google 

26 Siogn^iia IMerariit. 

blisli Boliie pointe of complete sympathy, some gronndB comtnon 
t:> both aides, from which to commence its explanation. 

Still leas can I place these attacks to the cbai^ of envy. The 
few pages which I have pabUshed are of too distant a date, and 
the extent of ^eir sale a proof too conclasive against their having 
heeai popular at any time, to render probable, I had almost said 
possible, the excitement of envy on their acconnt ; and the 
man who should, envy me on any other, verily he mtist be envy-mad 1 

Lastly, with as little semblance of reason, conld I suspect airy 
animosity towards me from Tindictive feelinga as the cause. I 
hare before said, that my acquaintance with literary men has been 
limited and distant, and that I hare had neither diBpnt* nor con- 
troversy. From my first entrance into Ufe, I have, with few and 
ithort intervals, lived either abroad or in retirement. My different 
easays on subjeota of national interest, published at different 
times, first in the Morning Post and then in the Cowier, with my 
courses of lectures on the principles of criticism as applied to 
Shakespeare and Milton, constitute ray whole publicity; the only 
occasions on which I could offend any member of the republic of 
letters. With one solitary exception, in which my words were first 
misstated, and then wantonly applied to an individoalj I covdd 
never learn that I had excited the displeasure of any among my 
literary contemporaries. Having annonnced my intention to give 
a course of lectures on the characteristic merits and defects of 
English poetry in its different eras ; first, from Chancer to 
]lf ilton ; second, from Dryden inclusive to Thomson ; and third, 
from Cowper to the present day ; I changed my pl&n, and con- 
fined my disquisition to the two former eras, that I might furnish 
no possible pretext for the unthinking to misconstrue, or the 
malignant to misapply my words, and having stamped their own 
meaning on them, to pass them as current coin in the marts of 
garmlity or detraction. 

Praises of the unworthy are felt by ardent minds as robberies 
of the deserving ; and it is too true, and too frequent, that Bacon, 
Harrington, Machiavel, and Spinoza are not read, because Hume, 
CondiUac, and Toltaire arc. But in promiscuous company no 
prudent man will oppugn the merits of a contemporary in his own 
supposed department ; contenting himself with praising in his 
turn tJiose whom he deem excellent. If I should ever deem it my 
duty at all to oppose the pretensions of individuals, I would 
oppose ihem in books which conld be weighed and answered, in 
which I could evolve the whole of my reasons and feelinga, with 
their requisite limii« and modifioatiwiB; not in ineoorerable oon- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

SiognpUa LUararia. 37 

twaatton, wliere, lowercr strong the reasons miglit be, tho feel- 
mgB that prompted ihem -would asstuedl^ be attributed by soui-) 
one or otlier to envj and discontent. Besides, I irell know, and I 
trast have acted on that knowle^^, that it mnat be the ignorant 
and injudicious who extol the unworthy; and the eulogies of 
eriticB without taste or jndgment are the natural reward of 
authors without feeling or genius. 8mt wniemqae ma prmaia. 

How then, diemiBaing, as I do, these three causes, am I to 
account for attadiB, the long continTuutce and inveteracy of which 
it would require all three to explain. The solution may seem to 
haye been giren, or at least suggested, in a note to a preceding 
page. Juxu in habUt of inlmuu^ teith Mr. Wordmnorth and Mr. 
8<mthey I This, howerer, traiufers rather than removes the ■ 
difficulty. Be it, that by an imconBciomible extension of the old 
adage, noeeHur a gocio, my literary friende are never under the 
water-fall of criticism, but I must be wet through with the spray; 
yet how came the torrent to descend upon them 7 

First, then, with regard to Mr. Southey. I well remember the 
general reception of his earlier publioations : viz., the poems pub- 
lished with Mt. liovell imder the names of Moschus and Bion 
(1795), the two volumes of poems under his own name (1797), and 
the Joan of Arc (1796). The censures of the critics by profession 
are extant, and may be easily referred to ;v-carelesa Unee, in- 
eqnaiity in the merit of the different poems, and (in the lifter 
works) a predilection for ihe strange and whimsical; in abort, 
such faults as might have been anticipated in a young and rapid 
writer, were indeed sufficiently enforced. Nor was there at that 
time wantmg a party spirit to af^ravate the defects of a poet, 
who, with all the course of nncorrapted youth, had avowed his 
Eeal for a cause which he deemed that of Uberty, and his abhor- 
rence of oppression by whatever name consecrated. But it was 
as little otgected by oUiers, as dreamt of by the poet himself, that 
he preferred careless and prosaic lines on role and of forethought, 
or indeed that he pretended to any other art or theory of poetic 
diction, besides that which we may all learn from Horace, Quin- 
tilian, the admirable dialogue De Caiuit Corrwptce EloquenMcB, or 
Strada's Prolusions ; if indeed natural good sense and the early 
study of the beet models in his own langiu^ had not infused the 
same Trf'^T'""■ more securely, and, if I may venture the expression, 
more vitally. All that couLl have been fairly deduced was, that 
in his taste and estimation of writers Mr. Sonthey agreed far 
more with Warton than with Johnson. Nor do I mean to deny, 
that at all times Mr. Southey was of the same mind with Biae 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

SS Bioyrt^Aia lAieraria. 

Philip Sidney in preferring an exoeUent ballad in the hombleai 
style of poetry to twenty indifferent poema that Btmtted in tha 
highest. And by what Imfe hia worke, publiehed since then, been 
characterized, each more strikingly than the preceding, but by 
greater igplendonr, a. deeper pathoB, profonnder reflections, and a 
moi-e sustained dignity of language and of metre P Distant may 
the period be, but irhenever the time shall come, when all his 
works shall be collected by some editor worthy to be hie biogra- 
pher, I trust that an exeerpia al all the passages in which his 
writings, name, and character hare been atbicked, from the 
pamphlets and periodical works of the last twenty years, may be 
on accompaniment. Tet that it would prore medicinal in after 
' times I d^ not hope; for as long as there are readers to be de- 
light«d with calumny, there will be found reriewers to calumniate. 
And Bucb readers vdll become in all probability more numerous, 
in proportion as a still greater diffusion of literature shall produce 
on increase of sciolists ; and scioUant bring with it petulance and 
presumption. In times of old, books were as religious oracles ; as 
lit^nture advanced, they next became venerable preceptors ; they 
then descended to the rank of instructive friends ; and as their 
numbers increased, they sank still lower to that of entertaining 
companions ; and at present they seem degraded into culprits to 
hold up their hands at the bar of every self-elected, yet not the 
less peremptory, judge, who chooaea to write from humour oi 
int«rest, from eumity or arrogance, and to abide the decision (m 
the words fA Jeremy Taylor) " of him that reads in malice, or him 
that reads after dinner." 

The same gradual retrograde movement may be traced in the 
rdation which the authors themselves have assumed towards iheir 
readers, IVom the loftj address of Bacon: "These are the me- 
ditations of Francis cf Terulam, which, that posterity should be 
possessed of, he deemed their interest;" or from dedication to 
Monarch or Pontiff, in which the honour given was asserted in 
(qnipoise to the patronage acknowledged from Pindar's 
.V 3Uo<- 

-»ri ffSXXoi lityaKot : ri Staj^aTov Kopv 

■4fioUTai ^airiktturt' Mijjctri 
najrmvt ir6pviov, 

vyoir XP^" S'or*!)', (fiJ 

AfuXtiv, irpd^turnw tropifv laxff ' EX- 
-XoMic i6vTa iriwri. 

Oltpk. Od. 1. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

htogra^iaLUerana. SV 

Poets and Philosopliers, rendered diffident hyOtaTrtTytMaher, 
addressed tliemselTeB to " Uarticd readers ;" tlien, aimed to con- 
ciliate the graces of "the candid reader ;" till, the critic Btillrinng 
BB the author Bank, the am&teura of literature colleotiTely wijre 
erected into a municipality of judges, and addreaeed as the Town ! 
And now finally, all men being supposed able to read, and all 
readers able to judge, the mnltitnidinous public, shaped into per- 
sonal unity by the magic of abstraction, site nominal de^K>t on 
the throne of criticism. But, alaal as in other de^totisms. it 
but echoes the deeisious of ite invisible minieteni, whose intellec- 
tual claims to the guardianship of the Muaes seem, for the greater 
part, analogous to the physical qualifications which adapt their 
oriental brethren for the superintendence of the Harem. Thus it is 
said that St. ilfepomuc was installed the guardian of bridges, be- 
cause he had fallen over one, and sunk out of sight. Thus, too, St. 
Ceciha, is said to have been first propitiated by musicians, because, 
having failed in her own attempts, she had taken a dislike to the art 
and all its successful professors. But I shall probably have occasion 
hereafter to deliver my convictions more at large concerning this 
state of things, and ite influences on taste, genius, and morality. 

In the Thalaba, the Madoc, and still nLOre evidently, in the 
unique* Cid, the Kehama, and aa last, so best, the Don Roderick, 
Sonthey has given abundant proof : " 8e cogU&ege qwfm Ht mapitaa 
dare aHqviA in mamas hominum, : nee perauadere mbi poue, Tion itr/pe 
iraelandwm quod placere et semper et ommiims cupiat."— Plin. Bp. 
Lib. 7, Ep. 17. But, on the other hand, I guess that Mr. Southey 
was quite unable to comprehend wherein could consist the crime 
or mischief of printing half a dozen or more playful poema ; or, to 
speak more generally, compositions which would be enjoyed or 
passed over, according aa the taete and humour of the reader 
might chance to be, provided they contained nothing immoraL 
In the present age "periiara parcere charUe" is emphatically an 
unreasonable demand. The merest trifle he ever sent abroad bad 
tenfold better claims to its ink and paper, than all the siUy criti- 
cisms which prove no more than that the critic was not one of 
those for whom the trifle was written, and than all the grave ex- 
hortations to a greater reverence for the public. As if the paaaive 
page of a book, by having an epigram or doggrel tale impressed 

...... ._._> ._ coD^ktlon, —*■'-*- '- -■-- — ■---- ---- 

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80 Bi(yri^ia Liierarta, 

en it, mstontlj assumed at Duce locomotiTO power and a Bort of 
obiquitj, bo as to flatter and box in the ear of the public, to tha 
Bore aamoyanoe of the said mjBterionB pereon^ie. Snt what girea 
an additional and more Indicrone absurdity to these lamentations 
b the onriouB fact, that if, in a volume of poetry, the critic should 
find poem or passa^ which he deems more especially worthless, 
he is Hare to select and reprint it in the review ; by which, on his 
own grounds, he wastes as much more paper than the author, as 
the copies of a fashionable review are more nnmerons than those 
of the original book i in some, and those the most prominent io- 
stances, as ten thousand to five hondred. I know nothing that 
surpasses the vilenesa of deciding on the merits i^ a poet or 
painter — not by characteristic defects, for where there is genius, 
these always point to his chara«teristio beauties — but by accidental 
failiirea'or faulty pass^es ; except the impmdence of defending 
it, as the proper duty and most instructiTe part of criticism. 
Omit, or pass slightly orer, the ezpreesion, grace, and grouping of 
Baffael's figures ; but ridicule in detail the knitting-needles and 
broom-twigs that are to represent trees in his back grounds, and 
never let him hear the last of his gallipots! Admit that the 
Allegro and Penseroso of Milton are not without merit ; but repay 
youraeU for this concession by reprinting at length the two poems 
on the University Cairier ! As a fair specimen of bis Sonnets, quote: 
■• A Book vu vril of lulg oillid Tstndiardoa ;* 

and aa characteristic of his rhythm aad metre, cite his Uteral trans- 
lation of the first and second Fsalm ! In order to justify yourself, 
you need only assert that, had you dwelt chiefly on the beauties 
and excellencies of the poet, the admiration of these might seduce 
the attention of future writers from the objects of their love and 
wonder, to an imitation of the few poems and passages in which 
the poet was most unlike himself. 

But till reviews are conducted on far other principles, and with 
far other motives; tUl in the place of arbitrary dictation and 
petulant sneers, the reriewers support their decisions by reference 
to fixed canons of criticism, previously establiehed and deduced 
from the nature of man ; reflecting minds will pronounce it arro- 
gance in them thus to announce themselves to men of letters as 
the guides of their taste and judgment. To the purchaser and 
mere reader it is, at all evenly, an injustice. He who tells me that 
there are defects in a new work, tells me nothing which I should 
not have taken for granted without his information. But h t who 
points out and elucidates the beautiet of an original work, doa; 
i::deed give me interesting information, such as experience wonld 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Blogra^ta lAteraria. SI 

not lufTO antliorued me in antdcipatiiig. And aa to oompoaitions 
which the aathorB themBelTes announce with "Hoe ipn novim»» 
erne nihU," why ehoold we jndge by a differoit mle two priutod 
wra^ra, oslj because the one anthor ie alive and the other in his 
grave P What literary man haa not regretted the pmdeiy of 
Spratt in rdumng to let his friend Cowley appear c hia elippera 
and dressing-gown P I am not perhaps the only one who has de- 
rived an innocent amiuement from the riddles, oonnndnuns, tri- 
syllable lines, &iC., &c., of Swift and hia correspondents, in hours 
of langnor, when to have read hia more finished works would have 
been useless to myself, and, in some sort, an act of injustice to the 
author. But I am at a losa to conceive by what perversity of 
judgment these relaxationa of hia genius conld be employed to 
diminish his fame as the writer of Golliver's Travels and the 
Tale of a Tub. Had Mr. Sonthey written twice as many poema of 
inferior merit or partial interest aa have enlivened the joumala of 
the day, they would have added to his hononr with good and wise 
men, not merely or principally as proving the versatility of his 
talents, but ae evidences of the parity of that mind, which even 
in its levities never wrote a line which it need i«gret on any moral 

I have in imagination transferred to the fatnre biographer the 
dntj of contrasting Sonthey's fixed and well-earned fame, with 
the abuse and indefatigable hostility i^ hie aoonymona critics 
from hia early youth to hia ripeet manhood. But I cannot think 
BO ill of human nature aa not to believe, that these critics have 
already taken shame to diemselves, whether they consider the 
object of their abuse in his moral or his literary character. For 
reflect but on the variety and extent of his acquirements! He 
stands second to no man, either as an historian or aa a biblio- 
grapher; and when I regard bim as a popular easayist, (for tb« 
articlea of hia compositions in the reviews are for the greater part 
essays on subjects of deep or curions interest rather than criti- 
ciams on particular worka*) — I look in vain for any writer, who 
lias conveyed so much information, from so many and snob recon- 
dite sources, with so many just and original reflections, in a style 
so lively and poignant, yet ao imiformly claesical and perspicuous ; 
no one in short who has combined so much wiadom with so 
ntuch wit; so much truth and knowledge with so much life 
aud fancy. His prose is always intelligible and always enter- 
taining. In poetry he has attempted almost every species ol 

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83 Biogn^hia LUerana. 

oompoBition known before, and he has added new ones ; and if ws 
except the highest lyric, (in which how £ew, how very few even oi 
the greatest uunds hare been fortunate) he has attempted every 
species snccessfully : from the political song of the day, thrown 
off in the playfnl OTerflow of hcmeat joy and patriotic exultation, 
to the wild baUadj* from epistolary ease and graceful nairativt^ 
to the austere and impetuous moral declamation ( frOTu the pastoral 
claims and wild streaming lights of the Thalaba, in which eenti* 
ment and imagery have given permanence even to the excitement 
of curiosity; and from the fuU blaze of the Eehama (a gallei; of 
finished pictures in one splendid fancy piece, in which, notwith- 
standing, the moral grandeur rises gradually above the bnllianoe 
of the colouring and the boldness and novelty of the machinery) 
to the more sober beauties of the Madoc ; and lastly, from the 
Madoo to his Roderick, in which, retaining all his former excel- 
lencies of a poet eminently inventive and picturesque, he has sur- 
passed himself in lai^oage and metre, in the conHtruction of the 
whole, and in the splendour of particular passages. 

Here then elu^ I conclude P No ! The characters of the de- 
ceased, like the enoomia on tombstones, as thej are described 
with religious tenderness, so are they read, with allowing sym- 
pathy indeed, bnt yet with rational deduction. There are men 
who deserve a higher record ; men with whose characters it is the 
interest of their contemporaries, no less than that of poeterity. to 
be made acquainted ; while it is yet possible for impartial censure, 
and even for quick-sighted envy, to cross-examine the talc without 
offence to the courtesies of honianity ; and while the eulogist de- 
tected in exaggeration or falsehood mnst pay the full penalty of 
his baseness in the contempt which brands the convicted flatterer. 
Publicly has Mr. Southed been reviled by men, who (I would fain 
hope for the honour of human nature) hurled fire-bnuade against 
a ^ure of their own imagination, publicly have his talents been 
depreciated, his principles denounced ; as publicly do I therdore, 
who have known him intimately, deem it my duty to leave re< 
corded, that it is Sonthey's almost unexampled felicity to possess 
the best gifts of talent and genius free from all their characteristic 
defects. To those who remember the state of our public schools 
and universities some twenty years past, it will appear no ordinary 
praise in any mail to have passed from innocence into virtue, not 
only free from all vicious habit, bnt unstained by one act of intem- 
perance, or the degradations akin to intemperance. That schema 
of head, heart, and habitual demeanour, which in his early mail- 

• See ttK IcomiFiiablc Ritiii3 to HoKov. ud Ibc 014 Womon of Boke^ff . 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siogrtgohia Litentric. tt 

hooA, oakA first controversial writingu, UiltoO, claiming tba 
privil^e of self-defence, asserts of himself, and challenges hia 
(adtunuiatorB to disprore ; this will hie achool-mates, his fellow- 
bollegiane, and his matures friends, with a confidence proportioned 
to the intimacy of their knowledge, bear witness to, as i^ain 
realized in the life of Robert Southey. But still more striking to 
those, who by biography or by their own experience are familiar 
with the general habits of genius, will appear tlie poet's matchless 
industry and perseverance in bis pnrsoits; the worthiness and 
dignity of those pnrsuitB ; his generous siibmisHion to tasks of 
transitory interest, or such as kis genius alone could make other- 
wise; and that having thus more than satisfied the claims of 
aiFection or prudence, he should yet have made for himself time 
and power, to achieve more, and in more various departments, 
than almost any other writer has done, though employed wboUy 
on subjects of his own choice and ambition. But as Southey 
possesses, and is not possessed by, his genius, even so is he the- 
master even of his virtues. The regular and methodical tenor of 
his daily labours, which wonld be deemed rare in the most me- 
chanical pursuits, and might be envied by the mere man of busi- 
ness, loses all semblance of formality in the dignified simplicity 
of his manners, in the spring and healthful cheerfulness of his 
spirits. Always employed, his friends find him always at leisure. 
No less punctual in trifles, than stedfast in the performance of 
highest duties, he inflicts none of those small pains and discom- 
forts which irregular men scatter about them, and which in the 
aggregate so often become formidable obstacles both to happiness 
and utility ; while on the contrary he bestows all the pleasures, 
and inspires all that ease of mind on those around him or con- 
nected with him, which perfect consistency, and (if such a word 
might be framed) absolute reliability, equally in small as in groat 
concerns, cannot but inspire and bestow: wh«i this too is softened 
without being weakened by kindness and gentleness. I know fev/ 
men who so well deserve the character which an ancient attributes 
to Marcus Gate, namely, that he was likest virtue, inasmuch n:S 
he seemed to act aright, not in obedience to any law or outward 
motive, but by the necessity of a happy nature which could not 
act otherwise. As son, brother, husband, father, ruastet, friend, 
he moves with fii'm yet light steps, plike unostentatious, and 
alike eitemplary. As a writer, he has ijiiformly made his talents 
subservient to the beat interests of humanity, of public virtue, 
and domestic piety; his cause has ever been the cause of pure 
leligiim and of lib^y, of naf lonal independence and of national 


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8A Siograjihia LUerarla. 

iUamination. Wten future critics shall weigh out his gnerdoD 
of praioe aJid censure, it will be Southej the poet onlj, that will 
aapplj them with the sca:nty materi^s for the Litter. The; vra]l 
lilcewiae not fail to record, Vha,t aa no man was ever a more con- 
staut friend, never had poet more frieada and honourere among 
the good of all parties ; and that quacks in education, quacks in 
poUtdca, and qnacke in criticism were his onlj enemies.* 

^^^^f CHAPTEK IV. 

er poems— On fkocy tai Imagl* 

I HAVE wandered far from the object in view, but aa I fancied 
to mjself rea.derB who would respect the feelings that had 
tempted me from the main road ; so I dare calculate on not a few, 
who win warmlj sympathize with them. At present it will be 
sufficient for my purpose, if I hare proved that Mr. Sonthey's 
writings no more than my own, furnished the original occasion to 
this fiction of a new school of poetry, and of clamours against ita 
supposed founders and proselytes. 
As little do I believe that Hr. Wordsworth's Lyrical . Ballads 

* It Is not atj la nttmits tt» effwU nbkli delllKnIe seiitlniHiM m record ; bnl In Kme 
i»inpleo( a Jonng man bs highly dl»- i 

Iff tbe duty and digiiily ot maidnc 

,_, > imord Willi thme prindplM, IxMh 

In wont utd deed. Tbe InvgalKnUn only — -. 

DM onlvenal nmoiw tba yoong men of my length u In 

■tiuidlu^ which 1 alWiQi Imew lo he iinme. d«naim«d InUel ud fttglHTc, vbt hid Irtt 

I then IwTiit to t^l u denujlng; learnt Co bta children ^nUirbuanil kit K(f- --— ~ ' ■ 

knoir thit HI oppgglle amdnct, HBtch «u ■( Iil(iiiiprlringttiiittiiiHiygo«lm 

that ttme eooiiased by ni u tbe euy virtue Ira^er tbaa perhapa they Dtbenrlae wonld 
et coid and eelflab prudence, migbl orlglnale have dona, advene to a pai^. whkh co- 
in lbs iMblat emoUona, In viewe tlie most connged and openly renuded tbe aDtluirBol 
dltfntereUed and imaglnitlTe. Itisnottaow- anchauwloiacalnmnli*) Qvatit a, tmeioi 
ara baa grateful recolleciiona ooly. thMl tetprrqualaagit.iciectaiito. 

Dgilizodb, Google 

^agraphia LUeraria. 88 

*ete in. tliemselTeB the cause. I speaik eioluBiTely of the two 
Tolomes ao entitled. A cai^ol and repeated eiflmination of theM 
coufixukS me in. tlie belief, that the omiBaion of lesa th^i a 
hundred, lines woold hare precluded niue-tenths of the criticiaiu 
on. fhia ■work, I hazard thia dedaiution, howerer, on the suppoHi- 
tioa, that tbe reader had taken it np, aa he would have done an; 
oUxer coUeotion of poems pnrportang to derire their Bnbjects or 
mt«reBtB from the incidoats of domeatic or ordinai7 life, inter- 
mingled with higher atnuita of meditation which the poet utters 
in his own person and character; with the proriao, that they 
were peraaed without knowledge of, or reference to, the author's 
peculiar opinions, and that the reader had not Had his attoitioa 
preTiously directed to those pecoliaritiee. In these, aa was 
actuaUj the case with Mr. Souther's earlier works, the lines and 
passages which might have offended the general taste, would hare 
been considered as mere inequalities, and attributed to inattention, 
not to perversitj of judgment. The men of business who had 
passed their lires cbieflj in cities, and who might therefore be 
expected to derive the highest pleasure from acute noticeB of men 
and manners conveyed in easy, yet correct and pointed language { 
and all those who, reading but little poetry, are most stimulated 
with that species of it which aeems moat distant from prose, 
would probably have passed by the volumes altogether. Others 
more catholic in their taste, and yet habituated to be moat pleased 
when most excited, would have contented themselves with deciding, 
that the author had been successful in proportion to the elevation 
of his style and subject. Not a few, perhaps, might by their 
aidmiration of the Lines written near Tintem Abbey, thosc: Left 
upon a Seat under a Tew-tree, the Old Oumberland Be^ar, and 
Knth, have been gradually led to pemse with kindred feeling. The 
Brothers, the Hart.lea,p Well, and whatever other poems in that 
collection may be described as holding a middle place between 
those written in the highest and those in the homhleat style ; aa 
for instance between the Tintem Abbey and The Thorn, or the 
Simon Lee. Should their taste submit to no further change, and 
still remain nnreconciled to the colloquial phrases, or the imita- 
tions of them, that are, more or less, scattered through the class 
last mentioned ; yet even from the small number of the latter, 
ihey would have deemed them but an inconsiderable subtraction 
from the merit of the whole work; or, what is sometimes not 
nupleasing in the publication of a new writer, as serving to ascer- 
tain the natural tenden<7, and conaequentl; the proper direction 
of ibe ftntlior'8 genius. 

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86 ]StogTt:^lm laterm-kt. 

!bi the critical temarke, therefore, prefixed and aiuidxed to tilt 
Ljiical BalladB, I beliere, that we maj aafelj rest, as the truA 
origin of the nneiaiiipM oppoaitioii which Mr. Wordeworth's 
writingB have been since doomed to encounter. The humbler 
paasagee in the poems themaelves were dwelt on and cited to 
joBtifj the ngection of the theorj. What in and for themHclves 
would haxe been ^ther foi^tten or f oi^ven as imperfections, or 
at least comparatire failaree, provoked direct bostUil; when 
annonnced as intentional, as the reenlt of choice after full ddibe- 
ration. Thus the poems, admitted by all as eicellent, joined with 
those which had pleaded the far greater nnmber, though thej 
formed two-thirds of the whole work, instead of being deemed (a« 
in all right they ehould have been, eren if ne take for granted 
that the reader judged aright) an atonement for the few excep- 
tions, gave wind and fuel to the animosity against both the poema 
and the poet. In all perplexity there ia a portion of fear, which 
prediapoeee the mind to anger. Not able to deny that the author 
possessed both genius and a powerful intellect, they felt very 
positive, but were not quite certain, that he might not be in tht 
right, and they themselves in the wrong; an unquiet state of 
mind, which seeks alleviation by quajrelling with the occasion of 
it, and by wondering at the perverscnees of the man, who hod 
written a long and argumentative essay to persuade them that — 

"Fiifr It fonl, »iid fonUB bit ;" 

in other words, that thej had been all their lives admiring without 
judgment, and were now about to censure without reason.* 

* In ofrinloDS of long contLDuance. mid En J^ amtfnpiatia. Now the chaDge or uit« 

which HB h&d never before been moisted b^ vIhubI touge fur anitther Invulve* In Iti-'lf no 

« ain^Ee doabl. to he auddmly wqvlncal at ahrairdity. and bewmes ateurd only bj Ebi Im- 

' '"IB belug convicted of a niFdlBteJiixla-pw&tkjD with the tint rhi-ncht. 

' llA pti0E coculJtlon, or ralher, ltd per- Handing 
Iradir under ibr — - - -• ^— - ■■ — ■—■ ■ 

ipplted by bi 
Uwt be Is truly nil 

feaigtiied llult pferiousl; to ban e> 

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Biogrw^na IMeraria. 87 

Thab this oonjectore is not vide from, the mark, I am indneed 
to be^ere from the noticeable fact, which I can state on mj own 
knowledge, that the name general censure should hare been 
groonded almost hj each difFerent person on some different poem. 
Among thoae whose candour and judgment I estimate highly, I 
distinctly remember six who expressed their objections to the 
Xiyrical Ballads almost in the same words, and altogether to the 
saiae purport, at ^e same time admitting that several of the 
poems had giTcn them great pleasure ; and, strange as it might 
seem, the composition which one had cited as execrable, another 
had quoted a» his favourite. I am indeed convinced in my own 
mind, that could the same experiment have been tried with these 
volumes, as was made in the well-known story of the picture, the 
resnlt would have been the same; the parts which had been 
covered by the number of the black spots on the one day, would 
be found equally albo lopida iiotatiB on the succeeding. 

However this maj be, it is assuredly hard and ni)just to fix the 
attention on a few separate and insulated poems with as much 
aversion aa if they had been so many plagne-apots on the whole 
work, instead of passing them over in aUence, as so much blank 
paper, or leaves of a bookseller's catalogue ; especially, as no one 
pretends to have found immorality or indelicacy; and the poems, 
therefore, at the worst, could only be regarded as bo many light 
or inferior coins in a rouleau of gold, not as so much alloy in a 
weight of buUion. A friend whose talents I hold in the highest 
respect, bat whose judgment and strong sound sense I have had 
almost continued occasion to revere, making the usual com- 
plaints to me concerning both the style and subjects of Mr. 
Wordsworth's minor poems ; I admitted that there were some few 
of the tales and incidents, in which I could not myself find a suffi. 
cient cause for their having been recorded in metre. I mentioned 
the Alice Fell as an instance. " Nay," replied my friend, witb 
more than usual quickness of manner, " I cannot agree with you 
there I that I own does seem to me a remarkably pleasing poem." 
In the Lyrical Ballads (for my experience does not enable me to 
extend the remark equally unqualified to the two subsequent 
volumes) I have heard at different times, and from different indi- 
vidoals, every single poem extolled and reprobated, with thd 
exception of those of loftier kind, which as was before observel, 

teniaicr to MBOCiole llwll »llh Uh peiwo ment, m kmwn to fcrt on IniolonWrj' ill»- 
rtoMilons It; emnaiiIw™».''''""iBve lllu lowirla Ihelr pbysidin. 

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88 BSogn^ia'lAlerana. 

s«em to have won niuTeraal pmiae. Thia fact of itself -would bftve 
made me diffident in my censures, had not a still stringer gionnd 
been {amished by the strange contrast of the heat and long con- 
tinuance of the oppositiMi, ■wiih, the nature of the faults stated aa 
justifjiug it. The Heductire faults, the duicia vitia of Gowlej, 
Marini, or Darwin, night reasonably be thought capable of cor- 
Tupting the public judgment for half a century, and require a 
twenty years' war, campaign after campaign, in order to dethrone 
the oaurper and re-establish the legitimate taste. But that a 
downright eimplcaesB, under the affectation of simplicity, prosaio 
vords in feeble metre, silly thoughts in childish phrases, and a 
preference of mean, degrading, or at beat triTial aasociationa and 
characters, should succeed in forming a school of imitators, a 
company of almost, religione admirers, and this too among youn^ 
men of ardent minds, libenl education, and not 

and that this bare and bald counterfeit of poetry, which is charac- 
torised as below criticism, should for nearly twenty years hare 
well-nigh engroHBed criticism, as the main, if not the only butt of 
review, m^azine, pamphlet, poem, and paragraph ; this is indeed 
matter of wonder! Oi yet greater is it, that the contest should 
atill continue as undecided* as that between Bacchus and the frogs 
in Aristophanes, when the former descended to the realms of the 
departed to bring back the spirit of old and genuine poesy : 

ou8(V yap lor' iSXX i; sodf . 
oififflffr' r ou yap fiof /ifXd, 

■at d^raded. The poor, nolKd, bmli buDUM 

^KiooiU and cODTvy wit and visdoni 

m uw icmblBnce of loUy uid dullnaia. u la w cpiBtnub 

Amr Ln Ibe clowna and fOola, naj Kveo in itM menlj Id q 

D«gb«i7, or ODr Sbaknpgtire. Is doabtlesa a ler'i bHrt. 

pnxirof lealiu, or at allevesti, of aaUriii talent; credit of bla 
but thu itaa atUmft to liiUcBis a Mjni 

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Biogn^^ lAeraria. 81 

y'iir6iror ^ ^pvy£ or q^Sr 

A. TOuTcp yof) ou FM^crtn, 

X. ovSJ fiJv ^fias iri iriyras, 

A. oi&i lil/r ufttU yt dlj ft' 
ovitwoTi' KtKpa^fiai yap 
xav fit iiji 3(' ifiipas, 
tat all VfiMV nrttporqiru mu KO^ \ 

X. pptKiittKi$, KOAS, KOXl! 

Durmg the last jear of my recddence at Cambridge, I became 
Acqaaiated witli Mi. WordflwortVs first publication, entitled, De- 
ecriptiTe Sketches ; and seldom, if ever, vas the emergence of an 
original poetic genins above the Ht^raj^ horizon more eridentlj 
announced. In the form, style, and manner of the whole poem, 
and in the Btmctnre of the particnlar linee and periods, there is a 
borahnesB and aceriiity connected and combined with words and 
images all a-glow .which might recall those products of the vegetable 
world, wKere gorgeous blossoms rise out of the hard and thorny 
rind and ehell, within which the rich fruit was elaborating. The 
language was not only peculiar and strong, but at timee knottj 
and contorted, as by its own impatient strength ; while the novelty 
and straggling crowd of im^ee acting in conjunction with the 
difficulties of the style, demanded always a greater closeness of 
attention than poetry (at all events than descriptive poetry) has a 
right to claim. It not seldom, therefore, justified the complaint 
of obsenrity. In the following extract I have sometimes fancied 
that I saw an emblem of the poem itself and of the author's gcniua 
VI it was then displayed : 


rm; uut hid in 

,' (be Boodi adB., 

The iky li Tclkd, ud anrr 

Dmttol*- ' "- 


ThDOidiiiDt an tlM boon uTtbe itanm. 
Cnuxe* the B»«lid eagle*! wheeling fonn; 
Eiamud, In long nnpMtivt gUUcriiiE, ehhie 
The womlMTDWiied din that ihx the lake recUiK 
WUe ote tha Alpia handTsdatranu unfbliL 
AtoimWiidlmliini'dthiitlLuiswtUi gold; 
Behind hliBall the peaMot aMna lo dmn 
The Wnt, ihit bnmi Ul» one dlliM sun. 
Wbereln a mlgtal; crucible expire 
Ihe moudUliiit glawing hiit,like(>M]>arare.* 

The poetic Fsydie, in its prooem to tall developm^t, nndergoa 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

4(1 Biographia LUeraria, 

SB mtLaj cliajigee bm its Gredc nameaake, tbe Bntterflj.* And it ia 
remarkable hoir Boon geniua cleara and purifies iteelf from the 
faults and errore of its earliest pradacta; faolts which, in its 
earlieat compositiona, are the more obtrosiTe and confluent, be- 
oanae, aa heterageneoue elements whicb had only a temporary nao, 
they constitnte the very ferment by which themaelTea are carried 
off. Or we may compare them to some diaeaaes, which must work 
on the humours, and be thrown out on the surface, in oi-der to 
secure the patient from their future reciuTence. I was in my 
twenty-fourth year when I had the happiness of knowing Mt-. 
"Wordaworth personally ; and, while memory laata, I ahall hardly 
forget the sudden effect produced on my mind by his recitation of 
a mannsoript poem which still remains unpubliahed, but of which 
the stanza and tone of atyle were the same as those of The Female 
Tagrant, as originally printed in the first Tolome of the Lyrical 
Ballads. There was here no mark of strained thought or forced 
diction, no crowd or turbulence of imagery ; and, as the poet hath 
himself well described in his Lines on re-viaiting the Wye, manly 
reflection and human aaaocintiona had given both variety and an 
additional interest to natural objects, which in the paasion and 
appetite of the first love they had seemed to him neither to need or 
permit. The occasional obscurities which had risen from an im- 
perfect control over the refiourcee of his native langat^ had 
almost wholly disappeared, together with that worse defect of 
arbitrary and illogical phrases, at once hackneyed and fantastic, 
which hold so diatinguiahed a place la the teekitique of ordinary 
poetry, and •mil, more or less, alloy the earlier poems of the troest 
gonios, unless the attention ha« been specifically directed to their 
worthleaanesa and incongruity .f I did not perceive anything par- 

• Tbe ttct, tbtt Id drttt Firchs li tbs psnrlaL It mtyhomTobBaioiipliaed, to- 

comnuD Dune fM ttie Hiil and the bDlterfly, ggiber wllb tlis huih and otsnire csiutruc- 

iftthud aUudul toluUufDUowiEiEBUinEafntia itoD. la whldjb* monoliai offended, tn the 

m uDpuMUbed poem oruu aulSor:— rolloving liaea:~ 

■* Tbe butter^ the ancient OrecUoi made '"Wd Uonor vaponn fivcr diiTiniE br. 

Tbe toul'e Wr anblan, lod In only "^ —^ ..''_.'— . 

Bui of Itae HHil, eeaped the ilaviih trade 

(Hmoitil IDs I For In Ibli eanhL; ftmiH Denied tlubrudofUtalbefoadful ar, 

Oar^ li the leplile't IM, mucli lull, much Dwkudlutbe pnr od autumn's laimiprar, 

blam^ And apple ticktnt palfi la aummer'B tiiy ^ 

HanUOId DDtlons miking little apeed, £ifn Acre amlmt km /ud jkcr Dtilaif 

And to deform and kLU the thln^ whereoa Ttiffn 

welbed." Wi&\ndtpendavr,chiidqfhiffKdiiiIain.'' 

^'^■'^ I hope, I need not »«y. that I have quoted 

f " Ut. Wordsworth, evea in bla two ear- theee Jbea for no otbcr purpoae thau to mak« 

■test, Tbe liradsg Walk and the Deicrlptlire mr meaning tnllj underBlood. II li to be 

Bketcbea, Is mote free fmn thie latitr delMt nsietted that Hr. Wordnonb baa oot jt. 

Ijfu aa* of ttw ^anog poet>,bl« agitim- puUli4)edt|KWlwopoeigiQ#re, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogn^hia IMenma. 41 

(icdlar in the mere style of the poem aUnded to during ito reciti^ 
tion, except indeed soch difference as waa not separable from the 
tknight and manner; and the Spenaerian abmza, which alwaja, 
mote or less, recalls to tike reader's mind Spenser's own style, 
woiild doabtlesB have authorized, in mj then opinion, a more fre- 
q^ient descent to the phrases of ordinary life, thaji could, without 
tm iU effect, hare been hazarded in the heroic couplet. It was 
not, liowever, the freedom from false taste, whether as to com- 
mon defects or to those more properly his own, which made so 
unusual an impression ou my feelings immediately, and aubse- 
qnently on my judgment. It was the union of deep feeling with 
pn^ound thought ; the fine balance of truth in observing, with the 
imaginatiTe faculty in modifying, the objects obserred ; and, abore 
all, the original gift of spreading the tone, the atmosphere, and 
with it the depth and height of the ideal world, around forms, 
incidents, and sitaationa of which, for the common riew, custom 
had bedimmed all the lustre, had dried np the sparkle and the 
dew-drop^. " To find no contradiction in the nnion of old and 
new; to contemplate the Ancient of Bays and all His works with 
feelings as fresh as if all bad then qirang forth at the first crea- 
tive fiat ; characterizes the mind that feels the riddle of the world, 
ajid may help to unravel it. To cany on the feelings of child- 
hood into the powers of manhood ; to combine the child's sense of 
-wonder and novelty with the appearances which ereiy day for 
perhaps forty years had rendered familiar : 

"With ran And iDMiikDdituilfaroDglHnltlbe JOT, 

this is the character and privilege of genius, and one of the marks 
which distinguish genius from talents. And, therefore, it is the 
prime merit of genius, and its most unequivocal mode of manifes- 
tation, 80 to represent familiar objects, as to awaken in the minds 
of others a kindred feeling concerning them, and tliat freshness of 
sensation which is the constant accompaniment of mental, no less 
than of bodily, convalescence. Who has not a thousand times 
seen snow fall on water P Who has not watched it with a new 
feeling from the time that he has read Btims' comparison of 
Bensnal pleasure : 

" To waow Uul tiHi npon > tiva 
A muDOit nbUe— ttuD grms ftic mr r 

Li poems, equally as in philosophic disquisitions, genius pro- 
duces the strongest impressions of novelty, whilst it rescues ths 
most admitted truths from the impotence caused by the very cir- 
OimwtaB?* of their iwiyerwd admission. Trutbp of )J1 othere fb? 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

43 Siogn^iia LtUraria. 

most awfol and mjsterioae, ^et being at tlie same time of mii< 
veraal interest, are too often considered as to tme, that tlicy lose 
all the life and efficiencj of truth, and lie bed-ridden in the ^rmi- 

tory of the soul aide by aide with the most deepiaed and eiploded 

Thia excellence, which in all Mr. Wordsworth's writings ia more 
or Icsa predominant, and which constitutes the character of hia 
mind, I no sooner felt, than I sought to understand. Repeated 
meditations led me firat to suspect (and a more intimate analysis 
of the human faculties, their appropriate marka, functions, and 
efieota, matured my ooqjecture into full conviction), that fancy 
and imagination were two distinct and widely different faculties, 
instead of being, according to the general belief, either two names 
with one meaning, or, at furthest, the lower and higher degree of 
one and the same power. It ia not, I own, easy to conceive a more 
opposite translation of the Gtreek ^ni>rairia than the Latin imagi- 
natk) ; but it is equally true that in all societies there exists an 
instiuct of growth, a certain collective unconscious good sense, 
working progressively to deaynonymizef those words originally of 
the same meaning, which the conflux of dialects had supplied to 
the more homogeneous languages, as the Greek and German, and 
which the same cause, joined with accidents of translation from 
original works of different countries, occasion in mixed languages 
like our own. The first and most important point to be proved is, 
that two conceptions perfectly distinct arc confused under one and 
the same word, and (this done) to appropriate that word exclusively 
to one meaning, and the synonyme, should there be one, to the 
other. But if (as will be often the case in the arts and sciences) 

Mit only by Uie iXBtlo fl very Umited num- 

"mlm," -ifand"glvo.'*tctt Tbwe Is 

ber o( aubdcribero, tbe lutbor hu it\l las 

a sore of minim ImmorUI amons the ani. 

oldetlkiD a qnote t™ni 11, Uwugh > work «t 

hiB own. To Uie publlo m large indeed it li 

eiUwr birth, or death. alwoH.le beginning, or 

th« e^me u s volume to muiiLKilpi. 

Bi*olute end : for xt a cenain i«rlod a •mall 

point app»re on IS buck, wblcb deepens and 
Lngtoen, (111 toe creature d^vido in two. and 

me word a generaU sud to the other an ex- 

cluilve sKi u, "to put on tie h«tk " md 

-to lodorMi- or by in acluol dlsllortion <4 

halve* now b-Mnc Integral. ITila may ba 
a fanciful, but It U b; no mean; a had emblem 

« bT dSe™. of relation >b " I,'' .nd - Mel' 
((■A of Willi* ttaa nutlca of our different 

imdiHEt ttUI hh Id alllhe ctuvs nlngnUr of 

byraiionaTbeliigBluainclalsbile. Fore*>ii 

thF am pmHwl pronoun). LVen Dm mero 

of Uie tuoK word. If R have become general. 

new appU«l.on. or oeltanent of the >amu 

will prodnce a n? " word wiih a dlBincl b g; 

»hl-b <«i.«t but affect Ibe pronun^^UloB. 

Thj after recollection of toe sound, wiiboui 

the"l,uier of w^cb, e»«i to the am: it 

the B.Die vivid Bensatlou wdl modify It stIU 

CbKle. 11. wa, toe .'riUen word lor aU toe 

firtber; tliiat lengtoaJ tnceoftoeoriglBtf 

MM or Dotli. Tbw loD 'vtaV Ml 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia IMerana. 48 

no Bynonyme exists we muat either iureiLt or borrow a word. In 
tive present instance the appropriatiou had aJreadj begtm, and 
been legUamflrted in the derivative adjective : Milton had a highly 
imaginatixe, Cowley a very farteiJvZ, mind. If, therefore, I ehoold 
snoceed in eetablifihing the aotnal esiatences of two faculties gene- 
rally different, the nomenclatiire would be at once determined. To 
the faculty by which I had characterized Milton, we should confine 
thetermimo^najion; while theotherwould be contra-disting^uiahed 
Bafanaj. Now were it once fully ascertained, that thia division is 
no less grounded in nature than that of delirium from mania, or 
Otway's ; 

" imea, lanreU km oT milk, and iblpi of uDbs," 

from Shakespeare's : 

" Wbat ] hare bis dan^ten bKinght bbrj lA thia paia 1" 

or from the preceding apostrophe to the elements, the theory of 
the fine arts, and of poetry in paxticular, could not, I thougbt, 
but derive some additional and important light. It would, in its 
immediate effects, furuisb a torch of guidance to the philosophical 
critic, and ultimately to tLe poet himself. In energetic minds 
truth soon changes by domestication into power ; and, f ixim direct- 
ing in the discrimination and appraisal of the product, becomes 
inflnencive in the production. To admire on principle is the only 
way to imitate witJiont loss of originality. 

It has been already hinted that metaphysics and psychology 
ha^ve long been my hobby-horse. Bat to have a hobby-horse, and 
to be vain of it, are so commonly found together, that they pass 
almost for the same, I troat, therefore, that tbere will be more 
good humour than contempt in the smile with which the reader 
chastises my self-complacency, if I confess myself uncertain whe- 
ther the satiafaotion for the perception of a truth new to myself 
may not have been rendered more poignant by the conceit that it 
'would be equally so to the public. There was a time, certainly, in 
which I took some littie credit to myself in the belief that I had 
been the first of my countrymen who had pointed out the diverse 
meaning of which the two terms were capaUe, and analyzed tlie 
ftimlties to which they should be appropriated. Mr. W. Taylor's 
recent volume of synonymes I have not yet seen;* bat his speci- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

44 Biogrt^hia LUeraria. 

fication of tiie terms in qoestioa haa berai clearly sbown to be Ixttk 
mBoffioient and erroneous by Ur. Wordsworth, in the prefac« 
added to the late coUecticai of his Lyrical Ballads, and other 
poems, The explanation which ISr. Wordsworth has himself 
given wiU be found to differ from mine chieflj, perhaps, as our 
objects are different. It could scarcely indeed happen otherwise, 
&om the advantage I have eigoyed of frequent conversation with 
him, on a subject to which a po^n of his own first directed my 
attention, and my conclnsiona concerning which he had made 
more lucid to myself by many happy instances drawn from the 
operation of natural objects on the mind. But it was Mr. Words* 
worth's pnrpose to consider the inflnences at fancy and imagina- 
tion as they are manifested in poetry, and from the differ^t effects 
to conclude their df-ersity in kind; while it is my object to inves- 
tigate the semina] principle, and then from the kind to deduce the 
degree. My frit'iid bas drawn a masterly sketeh of the branches, 
with theii- poet>c fruitage. I wish to add the trunk, and even the 
roots, as far aa they lift themselves above ground, and are visibM 
to the nakod eye of our common conacioasneea. 

Yet even in this attempt I am aware that I shall be obliged to 
draw m >re largely on the reader's attention than so immethodical 
a miscellany can authorize, when in such a work [the EceleeicutUal 
Polity) of such a mind as Hooker's the jndicions author, though 
110 less admirable for the perepiciiity than for the port and dignity 
of his language; and though he wrote for men of learning in a, 
learned age; saw nevertheless occasion to anticipate and gnard 
gainst " complaints of obscurity," as often as he was to trace his 

In wr UnSDitnF Nov 1 cunot mlxtlbiie IDr srHlmKiJciI knowlcdg*) h 
'■-■Uweuenuny vtalchnm^D then bt, tlut 11 la evidoit htcsniiwnH'Hi 

ftir oor iwstoriWW -„— „-. . .., _ . .. . 

prUt^ And whico 1 ngud u » mucb iwer- iicbl What wai bom ud duditoKd in tbe 

•luiuiT wenUli In uu inotfaa-4ongii£. Wti«n aidicipla pu»a b; degnM Inlo the world st 

two dMInct meuilngs m fmfbunded under larn. andbecomeatbepTopertf of thetnrket 

ono or xaan worda, (and iudi miut be tb« uu tbe tM-table; At feut I on dtocover no 

»iid or omrse Imperr^^t) «rnjn#oiu conK> It is to eaavfj aoT ipKl&c dlfterenn flpom 

1: i, J ,,j _i|,t !b trns in BHB8 ud Jodimait in odhk, *nd wbtra H 

alQmKd u la not uivd orhnliitfrnlTy tar tba wdrtnat 

——"■'-*■- , ThutntbereKDotOiiirhalt.ths 

rid wu odted to unu br tba 

,. __u ol Hoblng, ud ttae lUnt 

...n naWd thaoelTts tn tbg detecUoo 

the aubitlliitlon ot a new nord, or by the bs able lo confale bs tfas men nMllMUod, 

miroiirkUDi: of nrx of tbe two or mora worda Uut camptUti/m and obUgaiijm conrend (wo 

■bit bad helbre bocn used pTumlacuouslr. Idcu psfcctlT dinar*!*, and Ibat i^iat ap- 

WhentliiB distinction bas been Hnatunllwd pcitalned to tbe one, had ben t>bel;lnil»- 

Euage ilMlt doti aa It weie ufnl: fw ua (tike mat. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Btogra^^' tueraria. 46 

■bisect " to tlie tughest -weU-epring and foautBin." WhicH (din- 
tinueslie), "becanae men are not accustomed to, the pains we take 
axe more needful a great deal than acceptable ; and the mattera 
we handle seem hj reason of newness (till the mind grow better 
aoqaaiitted with them) dark and intricate." I wonld gladl; there- 
fore Bpare 1x>th mjself and others this labonr, if I knew how 
witiidat it to present an intelligible statement of my poetic creed ; 
not as my opinions, which weigh for nothing, bnt as deductions 
from eatablished premises conveyed in each a form, as is calcnlated 
either to effect a fundamental conviction, or to receive a f unda- 
mental confutation. If I may dare once more adopt the words of 
Hooker, " they, unto whom we shall seem tedioos, are in no wise 
injured by ns, because it ia in their own hajids to spare that 
labonr, which they are not willing to endure." Those at l^ist, 
let me be permitted to add, who have taken so much pains to 
render me ridiculous for a perversion of taate, and have supported 
the charge by attributing strange notions to me on no other 
authority than their own conjectnrea, owe it to themselves as well 
as to me not to refuse their attention to my own statement of the 
theory, which I do acknowledge ; or shrink from the trouble of 
examining the grounds on which I rest it, or the ai^uments which 
I oflfer in its juBtification. 


On the UH of asMUtion— Ita hliloiT tracal from Ariblotle 10 Huile^. 

TSERK have been men in all ^es who have been impelled, as 
l>y aai instinct, to propose their ownnature as aproblem, and 
■who devote their attempts to its solution. The first step was to 
construct a table of distinctions, which they seem to have formed 
on the principle of the absence or presence of the Will. Our 
various sensationa, perceptions, and movemeuta were claaaed as 
active or passive, or as media partaking of both. A still finer 
distinction was soon established between the voluntary and the 
spontaneous. In our perceptions we seem to ourselves merely 
passive to an external power, whether as a mirror reflecting the 
landscape, or as a blank canvas on which some unknown band 
paints it. For it is worthy of notice, that the latter, or the Bystem 
of idealism may be traced to sources equaUy remote with the 
former, or materialism i and Berkeley can boast an ancestry at 
Jeaat as renerable aa Gassendi or Hobbee. Theee conjectures, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

M Stogn^Ua lAleraria, 

however, coucemuig the mode ia which, our perceptions origin* 
kted, oould not alter the natoral difference of thiaga and Oumghtg. 
In tbs former, the cauee appeared wholly ertemaJ, while in the 
latter, sometimee oar will interfered as the prodacing or deter- 
mining caose, and BOmeUmes ovi natnre seemed to act tj a 
mechanism of ita own, without im; conscious effort of the will. t>r 
even against it. Our inward eiperiencea were thus arranged in 
three separate clasaes, the paaaiTe sense, or what the school-men 
call the merelj receptive quality of the "■'"'I ; the vohintarj, and 
the spontaneous, which holds the middle place between ixitti. 
But it is not in human natnre to meditate on any mode of action 
without inquiring after the law that governs it ; and in the ex- 
planation of the spontaneous movements of our heing, the meta- 
physician took the lead of the anatomist and natural pMloaopker. 
In Egypt, Palestine, Greece, and India the analysis of the mind 
had reached its noon and manhood, while experimental research 
was still in its dawn and infancy. For many, very many centuries, 
it has been difficult to advance a new truth, or even a new error, 
in the philosophy of the int^ect or morals. With regard, how- 
ever, to the laws that directthespontaneone movements of thought 
and the principle of their inteUectual mechanism there exists, it 
hae been assertiid, an important exception most honottrable to the 
modems, and in the merit of which onr own country claims the 
largest share. Sir James Mackintosh (who amid the variety of 
his talents and attainments is not of less repute for the depth and 
accuracy of his philosophical inquiries, than for the eloquence 
with which he is said to render their most difficult resnlto per- 
spicuous, and the driest attractive), affirmed in the lectures, de- 
livered by him at Lincoln's Tun Hall, that the law of association 
as established in the contemporaneity of the original impressions, 
formed the basis of all tme psychology ; and any ontological or 
metaphysical science not contained in such (i. e. empirical) psy- 
chology was but a web of abstractions and generalizations. Of 
this proliiic truth, of this great fundamental law, he declared 
Hobbesto have been the original discoverer, while its full applica- 
tion to the whole intellectual system we owe to David Hartley ; 
who stood in the same relati<m to Hobbes as Xewtou to Kepler ; 
the law of association being that to the mind, which gravitation 
is to matter. 

Of the former clause in this assertion, as it respects the com- 
paratire merits of the ancient metaphysicians, including their 
commentators, the school-men, and of the modom French and 
British philuHOphers &om Hobbes to Hume, Hartlej and Ooodil* 


Stographta lAiercofia, 43 

lac, tills is not the place to apeak. So yido indeed ia tha ctiaem 
Wtnreen this gentleman's pbiloeophical creed and nune, that bo 
(ai from, being able to join handa, we could scarce make oiu* voices 
intelligible to each other: and to bridge it over Tonld require 
more time, akill and power than I believe myself to possess. But 
the latter clause involveB for the greater pajrt a mere question of 
fact and historj, and the accnracj of the statement ia to be tried 
b J documente rather than reaaoning. 

First, then, I deny Hobbea'a claim in toto: for he had been 
anticipated by Dee Cwtes, whose work De Melhodo preceded 
Hobbes's De Natwra Humana by moK than a year. But what is 
of much more importance. Hobbeabuilda nothing on the principle 
which he had announced. He does not even annoimce it, aa 
differing in any respect from the general laws of material motion 
and impact : nor was it, indeed, possible for Mm so to do, com- 
patibly with his system, which was exduaiTely material and me- 
chanical. Par otherwiae is it with Dea Cartes ; greatly as he too 
in his after writings (and still more egregionsly his followers, De 
la Forge, and othera) obscured the truth by their attempts to ex- 
plain it on the theory of nervous fluids, and material configura- 
tions. But in his interesting work De Meihodo, Dea Cartea 
relates the circumatance which firat led him to meditate on this 
subject, and which since then has been often noticed and employed 
as an inatance and illustration of the law. A child who with ita 
eyea bandaged had lost aeveral of his fingers bj amputation, con- 
tinued to complain for many days aucceesively of pains, now in 
this joint and now in that of the very fingers which had been cut 
off. Dea Cartea was led by thia incident to reflect on the nnccr- 
taintj with which we attribute ajiy particular place to any inward 
pain or nneasiness, and proceeded after long consideration to 
establish it as a general law, that contemporaneous impressions, 
whether images or sensations, recall each other mechanically. On 
this principle, as a groond work, he built up the whole system of 
human language, aa one continued process of asaociation. He 
showed, in what sense not only general terms, but generic images 
(under the name of abstract ideas) actually existed, and in what 
consists their nature and power. Aa one word may beccme the 
general exponent of many, so by asaociation a simple image may 
represent a whole class. But in truth Eobbes himself makes no 
claims to any discovery, and introduces this law of association, or 
(in hia own language) tUaeursiu inentalu, as an admitted fact, in 
the solution alone of which, thia by causes purely physiological, 
he arroi^tea bxij originality. His system ia briefly tliie; whcn- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

48 Sio(irapkla JMerarta. 

erer tho Settees are impinged ou hy extarnal objects, wLettier b? 
tho rays «f light reflected from them, or by efflmea of their finer 
particles, there results a correapondeut motion of the innermost 
and aabtleat organs. This mc^on cosBtitntea a, reproBentation, 
and there remains on impreeeion ^i the same, or a certain dis- 
poaition to rq»eat the same motion. Whenever we feel sereral 
objects at the same time, the impressiona that are left (or in the 
language of Mr. Hume, ijie ideaa) are linked together. Whenerer 
therefore any one of the movements, which conatitnte a complex 
impression, is renewed through the senses, the others succeed 
mechimically. It follows of necessity therefore that Hobbes, aa 
well as Hartley and all others who derive association from the 
connection and interdependence of the supposed matter, the 
movements of which constitute our thoughts, mwfl have reduced 
all its forms to the one law of time. But eren the merit of 
announcing this law with philosophic precision cajmot be fairly 
conceded to him. For the objects of any two ideas" need not 
have co-esisted in the same sensation in orderto become mutually 
associable. The same result will follow when one only of the two 
ideas has been represented by the senses, "and the other by the 

Long however before either Hobbes or Des Cartes the law of 
association had been defined, and its important functions set forth 

kit iDtBsEUnc ei«mpUfl«Uon ttaa teibap 1 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Btogn^hia LUeraria. 49 

oj ULi^BAa&on, Ainmerbach, and Ludoricua Tivea; more eape. 
duUf bj the last. Phcaticuia, it ia to be noticed, ie employed b; 
YiTCBto express the mental power of compr«haiiBion, or the active 
tnnction of the mind; pnd imoffinalui for the receptivitj (vis 
MeepltDa) of impressions, or for the paagive perception. The power 
of combiaatiou he appropriates to the former : " qiue mngvia el 
timpliciier acceperai imaginaiio, ej ampmgit et dkjvngitphaniasia.'' 
And the law by which the thoughts are spontaneously presentee 
follows thus 1 " qwB eimid nml a phantagia comprehema H aUeru- 
intm occu/rrat, aolet secttm alterii/m repreaentare." To time therefore 
he snbordinatea all the other eicitiiig causes of association. The 
eonl proceeds " a cauea ad effectuin, ab hoe ad imtramentam, a parte 
ad totvan;" thence to the place, from place to person, and from 
tbia to whatever preceded or followed, all as being parte of a. tottil 
impression, each of which may recall the other. The apparent 
springs " gaUvs vel franaifiu eiiain longiseimoa," he explains by the 
Bame thought having been a component part of two or more total 
impressions. Thus "ex Scipione venio in eogiiationem potential 
Tarcicte, proper vittoriaa ^ita in e& parte Amai, in qua reynataf An- 

But from Tires I pass at once to the source of his doctrines, 
and (as far as we can judge from the remains yet extant of Greek 
philosophy) as to the first, so to the fullest and most perfe' t 
enunciation of the adsociative principle, viz. to the writings of 
Aristotle; and of these principally to the books De Anima. Ba 
Mcmoria, and that which is entitled in the old translations Pama 
NatnTalia. Inasmuch as later writers have either deviated from, 
or added to his doctrines, tbej appear to me to have introduced 
either error or groundless supposition. 

In the fimt place it is to be observed, that Aristotle's positions 
on this subject are unmixed with fiction. The wise Stagyrite 
speaks of no saccessive particles propagating motion like bUtiard 
balls (as Sobbea) ; nor of nervous or animal spirits, where inani- 
mate and irrational tolids arc thawed down, and distilled, or 
filtrated by ascension, into living and intelligent fluids, that etch 
kod«h engravings on the brain (as the followers of Dea 
logists in general) ; nor of an 
eflect the same service for the 
. solid fibres, as the animal spirits 
tion of hollow tubes (as Hartlev 
lore recent dreamers) of chemical 
or of an electric light at once th» 
to organ of inward vision, which 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

so Siogrt^a^ iMeraria. 

rises to the bram like an Aurorft Borealia, and thera disportitig 
m ToriooB shapes (as the balance of plus and minus, or negatire 
and positiTe, is destroyed or re-establiahed) inagee ont both past 
and present. Aristotle dehverB a just theoi; without pretending 
to an hypothesis ; or in other words a comprehenaiTe snrrey of 
the different facts, and of their relations to each other without 
supposition, i. e. a fact placed vmder a. number of facts, as their 
conunim support and explanation; thongh in the minority d 
instances these hypotheaes or snppositionB better deserre the nama 
of iiroimuitnU, or snffietioni. He uses indeed the word jEunjtrdf, to 
BipresB what we c^ representations or ideas, but he carefully 
distinguishes them from material motion, designating the latter 
always by annexing the words Iv iwf , or Kara rinov. On the 
contrary in his treatise De Anima, he excludes place and motion 
from ail the operations of thought, whether representations or 
ToUtions, as attributes utterly and absurdly heterogeneous. 

The general law of asBOciation, or more accurately, the common 
condition under which all exciting causes act, and in which they 
may be generalized, according to Aristotle is this. Ideas by 
having been together acquire a power of recalling each other; or 
ereiy partial representation awakes the total repreaimtation of 
which it had been a part In the practical determination of this 
common principle to parlacnlar recollections, he admits fire i^ents 
or occasionii^ causes : 1st, connection in time, whether simulta- 
neons, preceding or succeaaive ; 2nd, Ticinity or connection in space j 
3rd, interdepraidence or necessary connection, as cause and effect ; 
4th, likeness ; and 5th, contrast. As an additional solution of the 
occasional seeming chasms in the continuity of reproduction he 
proTes, that morements or ideas possessing one or the other of 
these five characters had passed through the mind as intermediate 
links, sufficiently clear to recall other parts of the same total im- 
pressions with which they had co- existed, though not vivid enough 
to excite that degree of attention which is requisite for distinct 
recollection, or as we may aptly express it, after-conscionsneaa. 
In association then consists the whole mechanism of the repro* 
duction of impTessions, in the Aristotelian Psychology. It ia the 
unirereal law of the passive fancy and mechuiical memory ; that 
which supplies to ail other faculties their objects, to all thought 
the elements of it« materials. 

In consulting the excellent commentary of St. Thomaa Aquinas 
on the Parva NaturaUa of Aristotle, I was struck at once with its 
cltMe resemblance to Hume's Essay on Association. The main 
thoughts were the same in Jboth, the order of the thoughts wan 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Stogr^Jtia Ztieraria. 61 

tlie same, and eren the tUiutTatioiis differed only bj Hnme'a 
occaaioual eabstitntion of more modem examples. I mentumed 
tiie ciicnmBtance to sereral of mj literaiy acqu&mtances, who 
admitted the cloaenesa of the reeemblance, cmd. that it eeemed too 
gnat to be explained b; mere coincidence; bat th^ Qionght it 
improbable that Hnme ^onld bare held the pages of tJie Angelio 
Doctor wortli ttiming over. But some time after Ur. FaTne, of 
the King's mews, Bhowed Sir Jamee iUackintoBh eome odd TolTunee 
of St. Tbomaa Aqninas, paftlf perhaps from haring heard that 
Sir Jamea (then. Mr.) MacHntoBh had in his lectures passed a 
high encomium, on this canonized philosopher, but chieflf from 
the fact that the TOlnmes had belonged to Mr. Hnme, and had 
here and there marginal marks and notes of reference in his own 
handwriting. Among these Tolomeswas that which contains the 
Parva Naturalia, in the old Latin version, swathed and swaddled 
in the commentarf afore mentioned ! 

It remains then for me, first to state wherein Hartley differs 
from Aristotle ; then, to exhibit the grounds of mj conviction, 
that he differed only to errj and next, as the result, to show bj 
what infinences of the choice and judgment the associatire power 
becomes either memory or fancy ; and, in conclusion, to appro- 
priate the remaining offices of the mind to the reason, and the 
imagination. With my best efforts to be as perspicnous as the 
nature of language will permit on such a subject, I earnestly 
solicit the good wishes and friendly patience of my readers, while 
I thns go " sounding on my dim and perilous way." 



Out of i,riitotk, ll nellfaer IcnabLe In 

~vF Hartley's hypothetical vibrations in his hypothetical osoil- 
latLng ether of the nerves, which is the first and most obvions 
diatjuction between his system and that of Aristotle, I shikll say 
httle. This, with all other similar attempts to render that an 
object of the sight which has no relation to sight, has been already 
■officiently exposed by the younger Beimants, Uaasz, &e. as out- 
laging the very axioms of mechanics in a scheme, the merit of 
which consietB in its being mechanical. Whether any othei' 
phUoBophy be possible, but the mechanical { and again, whether 
the mechanical system can have aiky claim to be called philosophy; 

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83 Stogi-afUa LUerarta. 

4ro qnaattoni tar another pla«e, It ia, however, o«rtaiti, that SM 
long aa we deny the former, and aiSnn the latter, we must be- 
vilder ourselves, whenever we would pierce into the adyta ot 
caosation ; and all that laboriotis conjecture can do, is to fill up 
the gaps of fancy. Under that despotfam of the eye {the emanci> 
pation from which Pythagoras by his numeral, and Plato by hie 
majgical, symbols, and boUt by geometric discipline, aimed at, aa 
the first irpoiralitvTuiov of the mind) — nnder this strong sensuous 
influence, we are restleHs because invisible things are net tbe 
objects of vision ; and metaphysical systems, for the most part, 
become popular, not for their truth, but in proportion as they 
attribnte to causes a susceptibility of being eeea, if only our visual 
organs were sufficiently powerful. 

From a hundred powible confutations let one suffice. According 
to this system tbe idea or vibration a from the external object A 
becomes associable with the idea or vibration m. from the external 
object M, because the oscillation o propagated itself so as to re- 
produce tbe oscillation m. — But the original impresaion from M 
was essentially different from the impression A : unless therefore 
different causes may produce the same effect, the vibration a 
could never produce ^e vibration m ; and this therefore could 
never be the means by which a and m are associated. To under- 
stand this, the attentive reader need only be reminded, tbat the 
ideas are themselves, in Hartley's system, nothing more than their 
appropriate oonflgurative vibrations. It is a mere delusion of the 
&ncy to conceive the pre-existence of the ideas, in any chain of 
association, as so many differentiy coloured billiard-baUs in contact, 
so that when an object, tbe billiard-stick, strikes tbe first or white 
ball, the same motion propagates itself through tlte red, green, 
blue, black, &o., and sets the whole in motion, So ! we must sup- 
pose tbe very same force, which conetUutea the white ball, to eon- 
ttUiUe the red or black : or the idea of a circle to constittite the idea 
of a triangle ; which is impossibfe. 

But it may be said, that, by the sensations from the objects A. 
and M, the nerves have acqunred a disposition to tbe vibrations a 
and m, and therefore a need only be repeated in order to ro-pro- 
ducem. Now we will grant, for a moment, the possibility of such 
a disposition in a material nerve, which yet seems acarculy less 
absurd than to say, that a weatber-cock has acquired a habit of 
turning to tbe east, from tbe wind having been so long in that 
quarter: for if it be replied, that we must take in tbe circumstance 
of life, what tben becomes of the mechanical philosophy P And 
what is the nerve, but the flint which the wag placed in tbe pot aa 

Dgilizodb, Google 

IHoffraphia lAleraria, £3 

the &tak mgredient of hie Btone-broth, reqairing onlfBolt, tiimips, 
and mutton, for tlie remainder I But if we waire thiB, and pre- 
luppoee tiie actual eiiatenoe of enoh a diBpoaition, two cases are 
pOHsiUe. ^ther, every idea has ita own nerre and correspondent 
oscillation, or this is not ihe case. If the Utter be the truth, we 
shonld gain nothing bj these diapoaitiona ; for then, CTerf nerve 
having aeveral dispositions, when the motion of anj other nerve 
ia propagated into it, there will be no ground or cause presettt 
whj exactly the oscillation m shonld arise, rather than any other 
to which it was equally pre-diHposed. Bat if we taike the former, 
and let every idea have a nerve of its own, then every nerve must 
be capable of propagating its motion into many other nerves; and 
again, there is no reason assignable why the vibration m should 
aiise, rather than any other ad lAUwm. 

It is faahionable to smile at Hartley's vibrations and vibrati- 
ancles ; and his work has been re-edit«d by Priestley, with the 
omission of the material hypothesis. But HcuiJey waa too great a 
man, too coherent a thinker, for tti'" to have been done either 
consistently or to any wise purpose. For all other parte of his 
system, as far as they are peculiar to that system, mice removed 
from their mechanical basis, not only lose their main support, but 
the very motive which led to their adoption. Thus the principle 
of contemporaneity, which Aristotle had made the common con- 
dition of all the lavs of association. Hartley was constrained to 
represent as being itself the sole law. For to what law can the 
action of material atoms be subject, but that of proximity in 
place? And to what law can their motions be snlgected, but 
that of time ? Again, from this results inevitably, that the will, 
the reason, the judgment, and the tmderstanding, instead of 
being the determining causes of association, must needs be repre- 
sented as its creatures, and among its mechanical effects. Con- 
ceive, for instance, a broad stream, winding through a moun- 
tainous country with an indefinite number of oorrents, Miiying 
and running into each other according as the gusts chance to 
blow from the opening of the mountains. The temporary nnioB 
of several cnrrenta in one, so as to form the main current of the 
accurate image of Hartley's theory of 

ase, the consequence would have been, 
:>e divided between the despotism of 
hat of senseless and passive memoryi 
j abstraction and most philosophic^ 
1 r^resestation recall? tfee t^tal reprft- 

D^iizodb, Google 

54 BiograpUa Ltteraria. 

BfaitaHon of which it was a part ; and the law beocaaoa nugatorf, 
were it onlj from its luuTeraality. ]jt practice it would indeed be 
mere lawlesBness. Consider, how imm^iee mnat be the sphere of 
a total impression from the top of St. Paul's church; and how 
n^id and oontinaoos the eeties of such total impressionB. If 
therefore we suppose the absence of all interference of the will, 
reason, and judgment, one or other of two consequences must 
residt. Either £be ideas (or reliqnes of such impression) will ex- 
<ictlj imitate the order of the impression ttaeU, which would bo 
absolute delirium. .- or any one part of that impression might recall 
anj other part, and (aa from the law of continnitj, there muat 
exist in ffrerj total Impreaaioa some one or more parts which are 
componeiite of some other following total impression, and so on 
ad imfinitvim) an j part d anj impression might recall any part of 
any other, without a cause present to determine what it should be. 
For to bring in the will, or reason, as causes of their own cause, 
that is, as at once cansea and effects, can satisfy those only who 
in their pret«nded evidences of a Ood having first demanded or- 
ganization, as the sole cause and ground of intellect, will then 
coolly douiaad the pre-eiist«nce of intellect, as the cause and 
ground-work of organization. There is in truth but one state to 
which this theoiy applies at all, namely, that of comfdete light- 
headednessj and even to this it applies but partially, because the 
will and reason are perhaps never wholly suspended. 

A case of this Vind occurred in a Catholic town in Germany, a 
year or two before my arrival at Gottingen, and had not then 
ceaaed to be a frequent subject of conversation. A yonug woman 
of four or five and twenty, who could neither read nor write, waa 
seized with a nervous fever; during which, according to the as* 
severations of all the priests and monks of the neighbonrhooi], 
she became possessed, and, as it appeared, by a very learned devih 
She continued incessanUy talking Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, in 
very pompooa tones and with most distinct enunciation. This 
possession was rendered more probable by the known fact, that 
she was or had been a heretic, Voltaire humorously advises 
the devil to decline all acquaintance with medical men ; and it 
would have been more to his reputation, if he had taken tliia 
advice in the present instance. The case had attracted the par- 
ticular attention of a young physician, and by his statement many 
eminent physiologists and psychologists visited the town, and 
cross-examined the case on the spot. Sheets full of her ravings 
were token down from her own mouth, and were found to consist 
of seatenoes, iwhereat and intelligible each for itself, bat witb 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biograpkia LOeraria. fid 

fitUe or no connectioti with eacli other. Of the Hebrew, a small 
portion, only could bo traced to tlio Bible ; the lemaioder Memed 
to be in. 'Qie XLarbbinical dialect. All trick or ccmepiracj was oat 
ot the qaestion. Not onlj^ had the fooug woman ever been a 
harmleaa, cdmple creSitDrei bnt she was eridentty labouring under 
a nerroTis f erer. In ihe town, in which ehe hod been resident for 
many years as a serrant in different f amiliea, no solution preeented 
itself. The young physician, howeTer, determined to trace her 
past life step by step ; for the patient herself was incapable of 
retnming a rational answer. He at length encceeded in discover- 
ing the pkice where her parents had lived : travelled thither, found 
them dead, but an uncle surviving; and from him learnt that the 
patient had been charitably taken by an old proteetant pastor at 
nine years old, and had remained with >iini some years, even tiU 
the oil man's death. Of this pastor the uncle knew nothing, but 
that he was a very good man. With gi-eat difficnltf, and aft«r 
mnch search, our young medical philosopher discovered a niece of 
the pastor's, who had lived with him as his hotisekeeper, and had 
inherited his effects. She remembered the girl ; I'olated that her 
venerable uncle had been too indulgent, and could not bear to 
hear the girl scolded ; that she was wilUng to have kept her, bnt 
that after her patron's death, the girl herself refused to stay. 
Anxious inquiries were then, of course, made concerning the 
pastor's habits ; and the soluticm of the phenomenon was soon ob- 
tained. For it appeared that it had been the old man's custom, 
for years, to walk up and down a passage of his house into which 
the kitchen door opened, and to read to himself with a loud voice, 
out of hie favomite books. A considerable number of these were 
still in the niece's posBession. She added, that he was a very 
learned man and a great Hebraist. Among the books were found 
a collection of Rabbinical writings, together with several of the 
Greek and Latin Fathers i and the physician succeeded in identi- 
fying so many passages with those taken down at the young 
woman's bedside, that no doubt could remain in any rational 
mind concerning the true origin of the impressiouB niade on her 
nervous system. 

This auUienticated case furnishes both proof and instance, that 
reliqnea of sensation may exist for an indefinite time in a latent 
stole, in the very same order in which they were originally im- 
pressed ; and as we oaimot rationally aupnose the feverish state of 
the brain to act in any other way than as a stimulus, this f set 
(and it would not be difficult to addnco several of the same hind) 
eoatrihutea to make it er^o. probable, that all thoughts are in 

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66 BiographM Ltteraria. 

themselves imperiahable ; and, that if the intelligeat laatiitf 
should be rendered more comprelieiiBiTe, it would require OHI7 a 
different and apportioned orgamzation, the body eeleeiud instciul 
of ihe body terrettrial, to bring hrfore erery buman sonl the col- 
lective experience of its whole pajst exiat^ice. And this, this, 
perchance, is the dread book of judgment, in whose mjaterimis 
hieroglTphics erery idle word is recorded! tea, hi the very 
nature of a living spirit, it may be more possible that heaven and 
earth should pass away, than that a single aot, a single thought, 
should be loosened or lost from that living chain of causes, to all 
whose links, oonscioas or nnconscioua, the free-will, our only 
absolute Self, is 00-eitensive and co-present. But not now dare I 
longer discourse of this, waiting for a loftier mood, and a, nobler 
subject, warned from within and from without, that it is a profa- 
nation to speak of these mysteriee roU p)Si ^ianvir0ti<riv, (w eoXAf 

tA t^c iucaioirir'lt inii <r<a^poavyit irpitranov, mii «C oSri fimipos oCrt 
iuot oitra (oX^ Ti y&p ip&y wplic ri 6piiji(tn>t tnryyryis Knl i/itiaif 
frottiiraiurov iti twi^oKKtir r,^ 6ff ou yap fiv nmrort tiiir 'oifiSaXiiAt 
jjXiop ^XuKiSijE fi7 ytytrrj/iiiiott oiii T& KoXAv &>> Xiji ^X^ 1*^ icoX^ 
ytvaiifvi]. — FlOTIN US,* 



f ths lUrtMu tbenj— Of Oa 
Bd idmiKlsa tar tba Uwoit— M 

JE wiU pass by the utter inoompatibiKty of such a law {if law it 
> maybe called, which would itself be the slave of chances) with 
even that appearance of rationality forced upon us by the outward 
phenomena of human conduct, abstiactcd from our own conscious- 
ness. We will agree to forget this for the moment, in order to fix 
our attention on that subordination of final to efficient causes in 
the human being, which flows of necessity from the assumption, 
that the will, and with the will aU acts of thought and attention, 
are parts and products of this blind mnchanism, instead of being 
distinct powers, whose function it is to control, determine, and 
modify the phantasmal cbaoa of association. The eoul becomes a 

to Uh olJHt bduld. New <wM U» fjt 

u^bt. It 1wIk»» Ibil Ok 

\^n nude himself oooKcqcTvu- ^um wmmiM^ 


pramM, ban beuitirnl Is Iha Iiaia brbeU Iben . 

orjuUceiDilwlKlaiiii ud (hut been ■oUliiim,"(i.( jn-ain/Aircillo Ui/*t if 
monilnE DC* Ifae evHilng >ur a tinuloritjr ^ eoanci vHli lAot of UgUl 

Biogn^kia LUeraria, ST 

more etu loffiemti, ; for am a, real eeparalble being, it would l>e mord 
worthleBS ajid ladicrons, than the grimalbiiiB in the cat-hBrpsi- 
chord, described in the Spectator, For these did form a part of 
the process ; bnt in Hartlej^s scheme the soul is present onlj to 
be pinched or stroked, while the Terj sqaeals or pairing are pro- 
duced bj an agencj whollj independent and alien. It inTolvoi 
all the difficulties, all the iilcomprehensibilitj (if it be not indeed, 
»( ffimyt ioKti, the absnrdity} of intercommunion between sub- 
stances that have no one property in common, without any of the 
oonveuien-t consequences that bribed the judgment to tho admis- 
idcn of the d'oalistie hypothesiB. Accordinglj. this caput morfuum 
of the Hartleian pi^ocess has been rqected bj his followers, and 
the conscionsnees considered as a remiU, as a time, the common 
product of the breeze and the harp : though this again is tho mere 
remotion of one absurdity to make way for another equally pre- 
posterous. For what is harmony but a mode of relation, the rery 
esw of which is peraipi f An «w jtrfwwmfc, which pre-supposes the 
power, that by perceiving creates it P The razor's edge becomes a 
saw to the armed -vision ; and the delicious melodies of Pnrcell or 
Oimaroea might be disjointed stammerings to a hearer whose 
partition of time should be a thonsand times subtler than oura. 
Bnt this obstacle too let us imt^ine ourselves to have sitnnounted, 
and " at one bonnd high overleap all bonnd ! " Tet according to this 
hypothesis the disquisition, to which I am at preaeut Boliciting the 
reader's attention, may be as truly said to be written by Saint Paul's 
church , as hyme: for it is the mere motion uf my muscleH and nerves; 
and these again are set iu motion from external causes eijuallyp^^- 
sive, which external caoBBB Htandthemselves in interdependent con- 
nection with everything that exists or has existed. Thus the whole 
universe co-operates to produce the minnteat stroke of every letter, 
save only that I myself, and I alone, have nothing to do with it, but 
merely the causeless and effectless beholding of it when it is t^one. 
Tet scarcely canit be calledabeholding; for it is neither an act nor 
an effect ; but an impossible creation of a sometkJtig-Tuithmg » it 
of its very contrary ! It is the mere quicksilver plating behind a 
looking-glass ; and in this alone consists the poor worthlet a 1 1 
The som total of my moral and intellectual intercourse dissclTol 
mto its elements is reduced to extension, motion, degrees of 
velocity, and those diminished copies of configurative motion, 
t^iich form what we call notions, and notions of notions. 0' 
UOb philosophy well might Bntler say : 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

BtogrofUa Literana, 

The inventor of the watch did not in reality invent it; he oulj 
looked on, while the blind cauBee, the only tnte artiBts, were un- 
folding themadves. So must it have been too with my friend 
Allston, when he aketched hia picture of the dead man reriTed by 
the bones of Uie prophet Elijah. So must it been with 
Mr. Southey and Lord Byron, when the one fancied himself com- 
pOHing his Boderick, and the other his Childe Harold. The same 
must hold g^ood of all systems of philosophy; of all arts, govern* 
ments. wars by sea and by land ; in short, of all things tluit ever 
have been or that cTer will be produced. For according to this 
system it is not the affections and passions that are at work, in aa 
far as they are eeneations or thoughts. We only fancy that we 
act from rational resolves, or prudent motives, or from impulses 
of anger, lore, or generosity. In aU these ca^es the real agent is 
u gomethtTig-wilhing-eaerything, which does all of which we know, 
and knows nothii^ of all that iteelf does. 

The existence of an infinite spirit, of an intelligent and holy 
will, mnert on tins system be mere articnlated motions of the air. 
For as the fnnction of the human understanding is no other than 
merely (to appear to itself) to combine and to apply the pheno- 
mena of tho association ; and as these derive all their reality 
from the primary sensations ; and the sensations again all their 
reality from the impresBiona ab extra ; a God not visilblo, audible, or 
tangible, can exist only in the sounds and letters that form Hia 
name and attributes. If in ourselves there be no such faculties 
ta those of the will, and the scientific reason, we must either hava 
on innate idea of them, which wonld overthrow the whole system, 
or we can have no idea at alL The process by which Hnme 
degraded the notion of oanse and effect into » blind product of 
delusion and habit, into the mere sensation of proceeding life 
(ituiu vitdUt) associated with the images of the memory; this 
tame process most be repeated to the equal degradation of ev^i^ 
fondamenta) idea in ethics or theology. 

Far, very far am I from burthening with the odium of tneee 
oonsoiaeaoes the moral character of those who firxt formed, or 

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KoffTophia LUeraria. 69 

liave since adopted the Bjetem! It is most notaoeable of Uia 
eicdleut and piooe Hortlej, that in the proofs of tlie exiatenoa 
and attributes of God, with wbioli bis second Tolnme conunences, 
Iio mokea no reference to the principles or reealta of the firsti 
Naj, he assnmes, as his fonndatioas, ideas which, if we embrace 
the doctrines of his first volume, can exist nowhere but in the 
vibrations of the ethereal medium common to tbe uerres and to 
the atmosphere. Indeed the whole of the eeoond volome is, with 
the fewest possible exceptions, independent of his pecnliar system. 
So true is it, t^at the faith, which saves and sanctifies, is a col- 
lective energy, a total act of the whole moral being ; that its living 
sencorium is in the heart; and that no errors of the nsderstand- 
ing can be morally arraigned unless they have proceeded from 
the heart. But whether they be such, no man can be certain in 
the caea of another, scarcely perhaps even in his own. Hence it 
follows by inevitable consequence, that man may perchance deter- 
mine what is a heresy; but God only can know who is a heretic 
It does not, however, by any means follow, tbat opinions funda- 
mentally false are harmless. A hundred causes may co-exist to 
form one complex antidote. Yet the sting of the adder remains 
venomous, though there are man; who have taken np the evil 
thing, and it hurted them not ! Some, indeed, there seem to have 
been, in an unfortunate neighbour-nation at least, who have 
embraced this system with a full view of all its moral and religions 
consequences; some 

Such men need discipline, not argument; they must bo made 
better m^i before they can become wiser. 

The attention will be more profitably employed in attempting 
to discover and expose the paralogisms, by the magic of which 
such a faith could find admission into minds framed for a nobler 
creed. These, it appears to me, may be all reduced to one sophism 
as their common genus ; the mistaking the conditions of a thing 
for its causes and essence; and the process by which we arrive at 
ttieknowledgeof ftfacultjr.fotthefMultyitBelf. The air I broatht 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

60 Biognqihia Literaria. 

is tha condition of m7lite,not its cauee. We could ncier hare learnt 
that we had eyes but bj the process of seeing ; yet having seen we 
know that the eyes must hare pre-eiiBted in order to render tbo 
process of sight possible. Let us cross-czamine Hartley's scheme 
under the guidance of this distinction ; and we shall discover, that 
contemporaneitj- (Leibnitz's Lex Continui) is the limit and con- 
<lition of the laws of mind, itaeU being rather a law of matter, at 
least of phenomena considered ae material. At the utmost, it is 
to thought the same aa the law of gravitation is to locomotion. 
In every voluntary movement we firat counteract graritation, in 
order to avail ourselves of it. It must exist, that there may be a 
something to be counteracted, and which, by ite reaction, aids the 
foi-ce that is exerted to resist it Let us consider what we do 
when we leap. We first resist the gravitating power by an act 
purely voluntary, and thm by anotber act, Tolnntary in part, we 
yield to it in order to light on the spot which we had previously 
proposed to ourselves. Now let a man watch his mind while he 
is composing; or, to take a stUl more common case, while he is 
trying to recollect a najne; and he will find the process com- 
pletely analogous. !Uost of my readers will have observed a small 
water-insect on the surface of rivuleta, which throws a cinque- 
spotted shadow fringed with prismatic colours on the sunny 
bottom of the brook; and will have noticed how the little animal 
wins its way up against the stream, by alternate pulses of active 
and passive motion, now resisting the current, and now yielding 
to it in order to gather strength and a momoitaTj fulerwn for a 
further propulsion. This is no nnapt emblem of the mind's self* 
experience in the act of thinking. There are evidently two 
powers at work which relatively to each other are active and pas- 
sive; and this is not possible without an intermediate faculty, 
which is at onoe both active and passive. (In philosophical 
language, we must denominate this intermediate faculty in all it« 
degrees and determinations, the Ihaqihatioii. But in common 
language, and especially on the enbject of poetry, we appropriate 
the name to a superior d^pt* of the faculty, joined to a superior 
voluntary control over it.) 

Contemporaneity then, being the common condition of all the 
laws of association, and a component element in all the materia 
ruhjeda, the parta of which are to be associated, mast needs be 
co-present with all. Nothing, therefore, can be more easy than 
to pass off on an incautious mind this oonstant companion of 
each, for the essential substance of alL Bat if we appeal to out 
QWO coneciQuaeesB, we sh^ll find that even tigw itaelf, as the fsmw 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siogrdphia lAlerarUt. 61 

\A a partlcnlat' act of association, is distinct kcm contemporaneitj, 
08 tlie condition of all association. Seeing a mackerel it ma; 
happen tbat I immediately think of gooseberries, because I at 
the same time ate mackerd mth gooseberries as the sauce. The ' 
first Bjllable of the latter word being that which had co-existed 
with tiie image of th'j bird so called, I maj then think of a goose. 
In the next moment the image of a swan nm; arise before me, 
tboogh I had never seen the two birds together. In the two 
former instances. I am conscions that their co-existence in time 
waa the circiunstance that enabled me ta recollect them ; and 
eqnallr coasciooB am I, that the latter was recalled to me bj the 
joint operation of likeness and contrast. So it is with cause and 
effect ; so too with order. So am I able to distingaish whether it 
was proximity in time, or continnitj in space, that occasioned me 
to recall B. on the mention of A. Thej cannot be indeed sepa- 
rated from contemporaneity ; for that would be to separate thctn 
from the mind itself. The act of conscionsneBB is indeed identical 
with time considered in ito essence. (I mean time per te, as 
contra-distinguished from, our notion of time ; for this is alwajs 
blended with the idea of space, which as the contrary of time, is 
therefore its measure.) Nevertheless the accident of seeing two 
objects at the same moment, acts as a distinguishable cause from 
that of having seen them in the same place : and tlie trne practical 
general law of association is this ; that whatever makes certain 
parte of a total impression more vivid or distinct than the rest, 
will determine the mind to recall theee in preference to others 
equally linked together by the common condition of contem- 
poraneity, or (what I deem a more appropriate and philosophical 
term) of continuity. But the wiU itself by confining and intensi- 
^ing* the attention may arbitrarily give vividness or distinctness 
to any object whatsoever ; and from hence we may deduce the 
nselessness, if not the absurdity, of certain recent schemes which 
promise an artificial memory, but which in reality can only pro- 
duce a confusion and debasement of the fancy. Sound logic, as 
the habitual subordination of the individual to the species, and of 
the species to the genus ; philosophical knowledge of facts under 
the relation of cause and effect ; a cheerful and communicative 

• I un aware Out tbHward orqors ncttber Bptitcim and Ae^mj Uiat harmonj of (be 

WTllfl'. Hut the word, "lo Intoid." whicb ofttethougbu, wbkli Isabesuly loill con. 

HenVnuidolbenbeGirebinieiiipkiy In Ibla jmsltlop. mvl more eapecliOl; dialmMe In ■ 

■mv. %* noiw ID o^tnpLctplT apftroriTlAlptL to ckue fthilosophlnl InveetEgiitiqn, I bave 

■potlkH' loeiuitQg. tbet 1 could ocA UH It wHb- Kberefore bavrded tti? "Aord^ ivlentij'yi 

out amblgnltj'; while to panplirue Ibe mie, auugh. I owfeiia, it umOa nnaiDtta In of 

Hl9r(n<UrfiU«iM.w«iliJaneDbnkapllie OBDMr. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

6S Siogn^phia lAleraria. 

tentptt tliot deposes as to notice the sunilarities and contrasta of 
thingi, that we may be abla to iUmrtrate the one bjthe other; a 
quiet conscience; a condition free from anxieties : sound health, 
and above all (aa far as relates to paBsire remembrance) a Lealth; 
digestion ; those are the best, tfaeae are the only Arts of If emorj. 


Tbc lyilan of Dnollan Inlrodimil by Da Carts— It«9n«l Bnl bjr Spltwu uid ifterwudi 
by LtibnKA into the doctrine of HarmonUL pnntabmta— UyUraoiiin— UatorlAlbHD^Nal' 
tiier of time ijvtenut OD aoy posdble timTTor aiftoclAttou, BuppllQB DT BDjieiwdeB B tbeotr 
of perception, or rapicioB Ibr ibmution of ibe ueociable. 

TO the best of my knowledge Dee Cartes was the firat philosopher 
who introdnced the absdate and essential heteri^eneity of the 
soul as intelligence, and the body as matter. The aseumption and 
the form of speaking hare remained, though the denial of all other 
properdea to matter but that of eztension, on which denial the 
whole system of dualism is grounded, has been long exploded. 
For since impenetrability is intelligible only as a mode of resist- 
ance, its admission places the essence of maUer in an act or power 
which it possesses in common with ^vrit, and body and spirit are 
therefore no longer absolutely heterogeneons, but may, without any 
absurdity, be supposed to be different modes, or degrees in perfec- 
tion, of aconunou substratum. To this possibility, howeTer,itwaa 
not the fashion to advert The soul was a thmimig substance, and 
the body a epaee-fiUing substance. Tet the apparent action of each 
on i^e other pressed heavy on the philosopher on the one hand, and 
no less heavily on the other hand pressed the evident truth that the 
law of causality holds only between homogeneous things, i.e., things 
having some common property, and cannot extend from one world 
into another, its opposite. A close analysis evinced it to be no less 
absurd than the question whether a man's affection for his wife lay 
north-east or south-west of the love he bore towards his chUd f 
Leibnitz's doctrine of a pre-established harmony, which he cer- 
tainly borrowed from Spinoza, who had himself taken the hint 
from Des Cartes' animal machines, was, iu its common interpreta- 
tion, too strange to snrvive the inventor, too repugnant to our 
common sense (iduch is not indeed entitled to a judicial voice in 
the courts of scientific philosophy, but whose whispers bMU exert 
a strong secret influence). Even Wolf, the admirer and iUuBtrioos 
lyatematizer of the Leibnltzian doctrine, contents himself with di>> 


SiagnipMa Litermia. 6S 

iinidbig the pooBibili^ of tlie idea, but does not adopt it aa a poll 
of the edifice. 

Tlie bjpothesis of Hylozoism, on the other aide, is the death ol 
b11 rational phTsiolog;, and indeed of all physical science ; for 
that reqnirea a limitatioii of t«niia, and cannot oonaist wiUi ths 
artHtraiy jwwer of nmltipljing attribates b; occnlt qtialitiea. Bo- 
■ides, it answers no purpoee ; omeaB, indeed, a difficulty can be 
aolred by mnltiplTiiig it, or that we can acquire a clearer uotioa of 
onr BOnl by being told that we have a million Bonis, and that ereiy 
atom of onrbodieshas a aonlof itsown. Farmorepmdaitisit to 
admit the difficulty once for all, and then let it lie at reet. There 
is a sediment indeed at the bottom of the Tesoel, but all the water 
above it ia clear and transparent. The Hylozoist only ahidces it 
np. and renders the whole turbid. 

Bnt it is not either the nature of man or the dnty of the philo- 
sopher to despair concerning any important problem, until, as in 
the squaring of the circle, the imposeibility of a solution has been 
demonstrated. How the erne assumed aa originally distinct from 
the adre, can ever unite itself with it ; how being can transform 
itself into a launmng, becomes conceiTable on one only condition ; 
namely, if it can be shown that the tna repretenioHva, or the Sen- 
tient, ia itself a species of being, i.e., either as a property or attri- 
bute, or as anfaypostasia or self -subsistence. The former is indeed 
the asBamption of materialism ; a syatem which conld not but be 
patronized by the philosopher, if only it aotoally performed what 
it promises. But Uow any affection from without can metamor- 
phose iteeli into perception or will, the materialist has hitherto 
left not only as incomprehensible as he found it, but has ^gra- 
vated it into a comprehensible absurdity. For, grant that an 
object from witliout could act upon the conscioos self as on a 
conanbatantial object; yet such an affection could only engender 
something homogeneous with itself. Motion could only pro- 
pagate motion. Uattv has no inward. We remore one surface, 
but to meet with another. We can bnt divide a partide into par- 
ticles ; and each atom comprehends in itself the properties of the 
material univei-ee. Let any reflecting mind make the experiment 
of explaining to itself the evidence of onr sensuous intuitions, from 
the hypothesie that in any given perception there is a something 
which has been communicated to it by an impact or an impression 
ab extra. In the first place, by the impact on the percipient or en* 
rq/nvaentatu, not the object itself, but only its action or effect, will 
pass into the same. Not tlie iron tongue, bnt its vibrations, pasa 
into the metal of the beU. Now, in oar inunediate perc^tion, it 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

64 BSygraphia LUemriA, 

is not the mere power or act of the object, but the object itself, 
wliicb is immediately present. We might indeed attempt to ex- 
plain thie reanlt by a chain of deductions and ooncluaiouB ; bat 
that, first, the Ter; faculty of deducing and concludint; would 
equally demand an explanation; and, secondlj, that there exiata 
in fact no suoh intermediation by logical notions, mich as those of 
cause and effect. It ia the object itself, not the product of a 
ajllogism, which is present to our conscionsneas. Or would we 
e^lain this superventioii of the ohject to the seusation, by a pre- 
dnctive faculty set in motion by an impulse; stiU. the transition 
into the percipient of the object it«elf, from which the impulse 
proceeded, assumes a power that can permeate and wholly possesa 
the soul: 

"At^ litem Ond b7 iplrttiul irt. 
Be ill In (11. ud ill Id erei? [Art." 


And how came the percipient here P And what is become of the 
wouder-promiaing Matter, that was to perform all these marrela 
by force of mere figure, weight, and motion ? The most consistent 
proceeding of the dogmatic materialist is to fall back into the 
common rank of gout-and-bodyiett ; to affect the mysterious, and 
dm^lare the whole process a revelation given and not to be under- 
stood, which it would be profane to examine too closely. Daiar 
non inteUurifur. But a revelation unconfirmed by miracles, and a 
faith not commanded by the couscieuce, a philosopher mayTentaro 
to pass by, without suspecting himself of any Irreligious tendency. 

Thus as materialiam has been generally taught, it is utterly un>i 
intelligible, and owes all its proselytes to the propensity so com* 
mon among men, to mistake distin^.t imi^es for clear conceptions, 
and vice veraa, to rf^eet as inconceivable whatever from its own 
nature is unim^iinable. But as sioon as it becomes intelligible, it 
ceases to be materialism. In order to explain thiitking, as a ma- 
terial nhenomenon. it is necessary to refine matter into a :nera 
modification of intelligence, with the twofold function of a^eoT' 
itig and pereeiving. Even so did Priestley in his controversy with 
Price. He stripped mattei* of all its material properties, substi* 
tuted spiritual powers, and when we expected to find a body, be- 
hold, we had nothing but its ghost ! the a^arition of a defunct 
substance I 

I shall not dilate further on this subject, because it will (if GoJ 
grant health and permission) be treated of at large and syaf.emati- 
cally in a work which I have many years been preparing, on th« 
Prodnddve Ijogos human and divine, wiUi, and aa an introduvtioa: 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Sioffrt^iKta Lit«raHtt. 66 

to, fc toll coumi£iitai7 on 'UieGospel of StJolm. Tu make mytieK 
iutdligible, as far aa my present subject requires, it will be suffi- 
cient 'briefly to observe ; 1. That all associatiDn demands and pre- 
Bupposee the exieteiuM of the thoughts and images to bo associnted. 
2. The hypothesis of an ettemal world exactly correspondent to 
tiiose imc^es or modifications of onr own being, which alone (ac> 
cording to this system) we actually behold, is as thorough idealism 
as Berkeley's, inasmuch as it equally {perhaps in a more perfect 
degree) removes all reality and inuaediatoness of perception, and 
places us in a dream-world of phantoms and spectres, the inexpli- 
cable swarm and equivocal generation of motions in our own 
brains. 3. That this hypothesis neither involves the explanation, 
nor precludes l^e necessity, of a mechanism and co-adequate forces 
in the percipient, which at the more than m^c touch of the impulse 
froni without is to create anew for itself the correspondent object. 
The formation of a copy is not solved by the mere pre-ezistence 
of an original; the copyist of Itaffael's Transfiguration must re- 
peat more or less perfectly the process of Raffael. It would bo 
easy to explain a thought irota the image on the retina, and that 
froni the geometry of light, if this very light did not present the 
▼ety same difficulty. We might as raUonaUy chant the Brahmin 
creed of the tortoise that supported the bear, that supported the 
elephant, that supported the world, to the tune of " Tlus is the 
bouse that Jack built." The sie Deo pladtma est we all admit as 
the sufficient cause, and the divine goodness as the sufficient 
reason ; but an answer to the whence ? and why ? is no answer to 
the how ? which alone is the physiologist's concern. It is a mere 
tophisma pignxm, and (as Bacon hath said) the arrogance of pu- 
aillaninuty, which lift« up the id(d of a mortal's fancy, and com- 
mands us to fall down and worship it as a work of divine wisdom, 
an mmUe or paUadiMn fallen from heaven. By the very some 
argument the supporters of the Ptolemaic system might have re< 
bofiTed the Newtonian, and pointing to the sky with self-com- 
placent grin,* hare appealed to common sense, whether the son 
did not move and the earth stand still. 


Siographia tA&rarbt. 


iipjlkaocfajpiMslbleu* Klniu,u^ wtatusltacimdWoiiei'-QiDrduu Br«no— Lllenri 
wialotiUT, « ilie cxMuxs of s Udt coajta HBme Uu IfnriKd u ■ prlvHeged ordrr 
—Tie uitbor'H «lillgiitl<ins to (be MjiOa ;— lo Immumel Kint—Tbe difTerenca bctwRU 

AFTEB I ha.A sncceaeiTelj etudied in tbe auhoob of Locke, 
Berkeley, Leibnitz, and Hartley, and oonld find in neither 
of them aji abiding place for my reason, I began to aiik myself, Is 
a system of philoeophy, as different from mere history and luBtoric 
classification possible F If possible, what are its necessary con- 
ditions P I was for a. while disposed to answer the first question 
in the negative, and to admit that the sole practicable employ- 
ment for the human mind was to observe, to collect, and to 
classify. Bnt I soon felt that human nature itself fonght up 
against this wilful resignation of intellect ; and as soon did I find, 
that the scheme taken with all its consequences and cleared of aJl 
inconsistencieB was not leas impracticable, than contra-natural. 
Assume in its full extent the position, nihU in inteUectui quod fitm 
priut in aensa, without Leibnitz's qaali^Tng prwter ipeum iniel- 
iectwm, and in the same sense, in which it was understood by 
Hartley and Condillac : and what Hnme had demonstratirely 
deduced from this concession concerning cause and effect, will 
apply with equal and crushing force to aU the other eleven 
categorical forms,* and the logical functions corresponding to 
them. How can we make bricks without straw p Or build with- 
out cement F We leam all things indeed fay occasion of exp&< 
rience; but the very facts so learnt force us inward on the 
antecedents, that must be pre-supposed in order to render ei- 
perience itself possible. The first book of Locke's Assays (if the 
supposed error, which it labours to subvert, be not a mere thing 
of straw, an absurdity which no man ever did, or indeed ever 
could believe) is formed on a SiS^Hrpi iTipoCirljatas, aud invo'.vea 
the old mistake of civm hoc -. ergo, propter hoc 

The term. Philosophy, defines itself as an affectionate seeking 
after the truth; bnt Truth is the correlative of Being. Tiiia 
again is no way conceivable, but by assuming as a postulate, that 
both are ab initio, identical and co-inherent j that intelligence and 

•Tlddk>l;qut[ttty,aiull^,re1at>aD,iiDd loe. S«t«ttnhi 

modbeKb estiliUiig of th «.^^— — .«— . 

VMi Mritlk ise niNcn Hr 

.^iizodb, Google 

Slograpkia Ltieiearta. .67 

btbtg aM lecipiucal^ each otJier'a enbatrnte. t pl^omed that 
Qda was a poaaiblc conc«ptioiL (i e. tJiat it inrolTcd uo logiual 
inoansonaitce) from the lengit of time dnring which the scholasoo 
definition of the 8<u,preme Being, aa adu* pwitnmiu tine vildpoUn' 
tialUate, was received in the schook of Theology, both by tho 
Pontifician and the Reformed divines. The early atndy of Plato 
and Plotinus, -with the commentaries and the Theologia Flatonica 
of the illaatrioua Florentine; of Proclna and Qemiirtiiia Pletho; 
and at a. later period of the " De Immtnto et Innwmerainli," and 
tlw "De la caiua, principio el una," of the philosopher of Nola, 
who could boairt of a Sir Philip Sidney, and Fullce Qreville among 
his patrons, and whom the idolatora of Bome bamt as an atheist 
in the year 1660 ; had all contributed to prepare my mind for the 
reception and welcoming of the Cogito quia »mn, et «um qaaa 
Cogiio; & philosophy of seeming hardihood, but certainly the 
moat ancient, and therefore presnmptively the moat natural. 

Why need I be afraid P Say rather how dare I be ashamed of 
the Teutonic theosophist, Jacob Behmen F Uany, indeed, and 
gross were his delusions ; and such as furnish freijuent and ample 
occasion for the triumph of the learned over the poor ignorant 
shoemaker, who had dared think for himself. But while we 
remember that these delusions were such as might be anticipated 
from hia otter want of all intellectual discipline, and from his 
ignorance of rational psychology, let it not be forgotten that the 
latter defect he had in common with the most learned theologians 
of his age. Neither with books nor with book-learned men was 
he conTersant. A meek and shy quietiat, his intellectual powers 
were never stimulated into feverous energy by crowds of prose- 
lytes, or by the ambition of proselyting. Jacob Behmen was an 
enthusiast in the strictest sense, as not merely distinguished, but 
as contra-dietinguiahed, from a fanatic. While I in part translate 
the following observations from a contemporary writer of the 
Continent, let me be permitted to premise, that I might have 
transcribed the subatance from memoranda of my own, which 
were written many years before his pamphlet was given to the 
world; and that I prefer another's words to my own, partly as a 
tribute dne to priority of publication; but Btill more from the 
pleasure of sympathy in a case where coincidence only was 

Whoever is acquainted with the history of philosophy durmg 
the two or three last centuries, cannot but admit that thera 
appears to have existed a sort of secret and taoit contact amons, 
Ae learned, not to pass b^ond a oertain limit in specnlativv 

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68 Sioyrt^la lAterarto. 

soienoB. The privilege of free thonght, bo higUy extdHei, haa M 
no time been beld valid in actaal practice, except within tliia 
limit; and not a single stride b^ond it baa ever been ventured 
without bringing obloqaj on the tranHgrcBsor. The few men of 
genina among the learned claaa, who aotnallj did overstep this 
boundary, anxiooalj avoided tbe appearance of having so done. 
Therefore the true depth of science, and the penetration to the 
inmost centre, from which all the lines of knowledge diverge to 
their ever distant ciranmfer^ioe, was abandoned to the illiterate 
and the simple, whom nnatilled yearning, and an original ebul- 
liency of spirit, had urged to the investigation of the indwelling 
and living ground of all things. Theae then, because their namea 
had never been enrolled in the guilds of the learned, were perse* 
cuted by the registered livery-men as interlopers on their rights 
and jnivileges. All without diatinotion were branded as fanatics 
and phantaets ; not only ^ose whose wild and exorbitant imagi- 
nations had actually engendered only extravagant and grotesque 
phantaame, and whose productions were, for the most part, poor 
copies and gross caricatures of genuine inspiration ; bat the truly 
inspired likewise, the originals themselves ! And this for no 
other reaaon, but because they were tlie unlesmed, men of humble 
and obscure occupations. When, and from whom among the 
literati by profession, have we ever heard the divine doiology 
repeated, " I thank Thee FaHher f Lord of Heaven and Earth ! 
becavte Thov hatt hid thete things from the wise and prvdeat, and 
had revealed fhern, wnto hahea," * No ! the haughty priests of 
learning, not only banished from the schools and marts of science 
all who had dared draw living waters from the/ounfatn, but drove 
them out of ihe very Temple, which meantime the imyere, and 
sellers, and ■numey-ehangera were snfTered to make a den of thieves. 

And yet it would not be easy to discover any substantial ground 
for this contemptnoos pride in those literati, who have most din- 
tiuguished themselves by their scorn of Behmen, Be Thoyraa, 
George Pox, io.; unless it be that th^ could write orthogra- 
phically, make smooth periods, and had the f asbicma of anthorship 
almost literally at their fingers* ends, while the latter, in simplicity 
of soul, made iheir words immediate echoes of iheir feelings. 
Hence the frequency of those phrases among tiiem, which hare 
been mistaken for pret^ices to immediate inspiration; as tor 
instance, "It was delivered wnio foe;" "I ttrovenot to speak;" "2 
said, IvnU ie silent ;" " but the word wu t» my heart as a bvming 
firsi" " antZ I cotUd not forbear." Hence too tJie unwillingness to 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Jitogn^Ma latenria. 6ft 

ghe offence; hence the foreu^t^ and the dread of the oUmotiTm 
which would be raised against them, so frequentlj avowed in tlie 
writiDgs of these men, and eipreaeed, aa was natnral, in the worda 
of the only book with which thej were' familiar. " Woe is me 
that I am become a man of strife, and a man of contention; 1 
love peace: the sools of men are dear nnto mei jet because I 
seek for l^ht every one of them doth coree me i" O ! it reqaires 
deeper feeling and a stronger imaginatioa than belong to most of 
thcwe to whom reasoning and fluent ezpression have been as a trade 
learnt in boyhood, to conceive with what might, with what inward 
strivings and commotion, the conception of a new and vital truth 
takespoBseseionof an uneducated man of genius. His meditations 
are ahnost inevitably employed on the eternal or the everlasting; 
for " the world is not his friend, nor the world's law." Need we, 
then, be surprised that, under an excitement at once so strong 
and so unusual, the man's body ehonld sympathise with the 
Btni^lea of bis mind; or that he should at times be bo far 
deluded as to mistake the tumultuona sensations of his nerves, and 
the co-existing spectres of his fancy, as parts or symbols of the 
trnthe which were opening on him P It bas indeed been plausibly 
obBeired, that in order to derive any advantage, or to collect any 
intelligible meaning from the writings <A these ignorant Mystics, 
the reader nmst bring with him a spirit and judgment superior 
to that of the writers themselves ; 

— A sophism, which I fully agree with Warbnrton, is unworthy of 
Hilton ; how mnch more so of the awful Person in whose month 
he has placed itP One assertion I wiU venture to make, as sug- 
gested by my own experience, that there exist folios on the human 
understanding, and the nature of man, which would have a far 
jnster claim to their h^h rank and celebrity, if in the whole huge 
volume there could be found as much fulness of heart and intellect 
ae burst forth in many a, simple page of George Fox, Jaeob 
Behmen, and even of B^unen's commentator, the pious and fervid 
William Iiaw. 

The feeling of gratitude, which I cherish towards those men, 
has caused me to digress further than I had foreseen or proposed ; 
tmt to have passed them over in an historical sketch of iny hterary 
life and opinions, would have seemed to me like the d^iial of a 
debt, the concealment of a boon. For the writings of these 
MjaucB acted in ng slight degree to prevent laj mind from beiny 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

TO Biograpkia l^leraria. 

Impmoned within the outline of anj single dogtuatio ef7atei& 
Thef oontribat«d to keep alive the heart in the head ; gave me 
Im indistinct, jet stirring and working presentiment, that all the ' 
prodnutB of the mere reflective faculty partook of death, and were 
as the rattling twigs and Bprajs in winter, into which a sap was 
yet to be propeBed, from some root to which I had not penetrated, 
if they were to afford my Bonl either food or shelter, If they 
were too often a moving cloud of smoke to me by day, yet they 
wure always a pJUar of fire throughout the night, during my 
wanderings through the wilderness of doubt, and enabled me to 
skirt, without crossing, the sandy deserts of utter nnbelief. That 
the system is capable of being converted into an irreligious 
Pantheism, I well know. The Ethics of Spinoza may, or may not, 
be an instonee. But at no time could I bdiere, that in iitelf and 
etteniialiy it is incompatible with religion, natural, or revealed : 
and now I am most thoroughly persuaded of the contrary. The 
writings of the illustrious sage of Eonigsberg, the founder of the 
Critical Philosophy, more than any other work, at once invigor- 
ated and disciplined my understanding. The originality, the 
depth, and the compression of the thoughts; the novelty and 
subtlety, yet solidity and importance, of the distinctions; the 
adamantine chain of the logic ; and I will venture to add (paradox 
&6 it will appear to those who have taken their notion of Inunanuel 
Kant, from Beviewers and Frenchmen) the clearness and evidence 
of the Critiqoo of the Pure Reason; of the Judgment; of the 
Metaphysical Elements of Natural Philosophy, and of his Religion 
within the bounds of Pare Reason, took possession of me as with 
a giant's hand. After fifteen years familiarity with them, I stiU 
read these and all his other productions with undiminished de- 
light and increasing admiration. The few paaeages that remained 
obscure to me, aftei- due efforts of thought, (as the chapter on 
original apperception), and the apparent contradictions which 
occur, I soon found were hints and insinnationB rderring to ideas, 
which Kant either did not think it prudent to avow, or which ho 
considered as consistently left behind in a pore analysis, not ot 
hnman nature in toto, bat of the speculative inteUect alone. 
Here therefore he wae constrained to commence at the point of 
reflection, or natural oonsCMasness : while in his moral system he 
was permitted to assume a higher gronnd (the autonomy of th« 
wiU) a^ a postulate dedncible from the nnoonditional command. 
or (in the technical laa^nage of his school) the categorical im- 
perative, of the consci^ice. He had been in imminwrt danger oC 
persecution during the reiga of the late kii>9 at Fnuaii, tfant 

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Biographia LUeraria. 71 

Mrangfl componnd of lawlesa debanclierj and prieat>riddan sapor- 
ttition: and it is probable that he liad little inclination, in fais 
old age, to. act over again th« fortonee and Hair-breadtiti eacapea 
of Wolf. The expulsion of the firat among Kant's diadplea, who 
attempted to complete hia sjBtem, &om tbe nniveraity of Jena, 
with the confiscation and prohibition of the obnoiioaa work by 
the joint efforts of the conrts of Saxonj and Hanover, supplied 
ezporimental proof that the renerable old man's caution was not 
groundleea. In spite therefore of hla own declarations, I conld 
never believe it was possible for him to have meant no more by 
his Novitn^non, or Thing in Itself, than his mere words express] 
or that in his own conception he confined the whole plastic power 
to the forms of the intellect, leavii^ for the external oaoee, for the 
materials of our sensations, a matter without form, which is 
doubtless inoonceiTaUe. I entertained donbta likewise, whether 
in his own mind, he even laid aU the stress, which he appears to 
do, on the moral postulates. 

An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be convejed 
bat bj a symbol; and, except in geometry, all symbols of neces- 
ritj involve an apparent contradiction, fuvijo'i SuvfToTo-u' : and for 
those who could not pierce through this symbolic husk, his writings 
were not intended. Questions which cannot be fully answered 
without exposing the respondent to personal danger, are not en- 
titled to a fair answer; and yet to say this openly would in many 
cases famish the rery advantage which the adversary is insidi- 
ously seeking after. Veracity does not consist in saying, but in 
the intention of communicating truth; and the philosopher who 
cannot ntter the whole truth without conveying falsehood, and at 
the same time, perhaps, exciting the most malignant passions, is 
constrained to express himaplf either mythically or equivocally. 
When Kant therefore vraa importuned to settle the disputes of 
his commentators himself, by declaring what he meant, how could 
ho decline the honours oE martyrdom with lees offence, than by 
simply replying, "I meant what I said, and at the ^;e of near 
toursoore, I have something else, and more important to do, than 
to write a commentary on mj own worics." 

Fichte's WietemehafiBlehre, or Lore of Ultiniate Science, was to 
add the key-stone of the arch : and by commencing with an act, 
instead of a thing or substance, Fichte assuredly gave the first 
mortal blow to ^inozism, as taught by Spinoza himself; and 
enppUed the idea of a system truly metaphysical, and of a meta- 
fkyeique truly systematie : (i. e. having its spring and principle 
witliin itself,) Pat this fandamentfi] idea he arerboilt with a 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

73 Biographta iMerca m. 

heciTj maas of mere notions, and pE^chological acts of a^HAteary 
i-eflection. Thus bis theory degenerated into a cmde egoismMg,* 
a boastful and hjperstoic hostilitf to Katnre, as lifeless, godless, 
and altogether nnholj : wliile liis religion consisted in the assump- 
tion of a mere ordo ordinoiu, which we were permitted exoteriei to 
oallQod; ondhisethica in anascetic,andalmoatmoiitisli,mortifi- 
cation of the natnral passions and desires. 

In ScheUing's Natvr-Phjloaoj^ie, and the Syetem dee transeen- 
deaicden Idealiemw, I first found a genial coincidence with mnch 
that I had toiled oat for mjself, and a powerful assistance in 
what I had yet to do. 

I haTS in^duced tliis statement as appropriate to the narrative 
nature of this sketch; yet rather in reference to the work which 
1 hire announced in a. preceding page, than to my present sub- 
ject. It would be but a mere act of justice to myself, were I to 
warn my future readers, that an identity of thought, or even 
similio'ity of phrase will not be at all times a certain proof that 
the passage haa been borrowed from Scheiling, or that the con- 
ceptions were originally learnt from him. In this instance, as 
in the dramatio lectures of Schlegel to which I have before 
alluded, from the same motive of sdf -defence t^^ainat the charge 
of plagiarism, many of the most striking resemblances, indeed all 
the main and fundamental ideas, were born and matured in my 
mind before I had ever seen a single page of the Qerman Philo- 
sopher; and I might indeed affirm with truth, before the more 
important works of SchelUng bad been written, or at least made 
DDtlK Flcbtun 


qaidntfil via It, m; mn- 

cyu lolertible b Ukencia of Ficb 

Tbe CAtegorlcjI ImiiantlTQ. or the inDiincka- 
Uon of tke nen TeuUmlc Oocl, 'ErtlENKAl. 
dlttirnmblc Ode, b; ~ 

b linp«rii(lv« be 8hon«— 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia LUerttria.. 73 

public "Sot is this coincidence at all to be wondered at. We 
had atadied in the some acliool; been disciplined bj the same 
pieporatoiy phik«oi>li;, namelj, the writinga of Kant; we had 
hoth equal obligatdons to the polar Ic^ic and dynamic philosophy 
of Cbordano Bruno ; and SchelUng bos latelj, and, aa of recent 
acqaiaition, avowed that eame affectionate reverence for the 
labours of Behmen, and other mj^Btica, which I had formed at u 
mach earlier period. The coincidence of Schellingi'B system with 
certain general ideas of Behmen, he declares to have been mero 
coincidence; while my obligations have been more dir«ct. He 
needs give to Behmen onlj feelings of ajmpathj; while I owe 
him a debt of gratitude. God forbid ! that I ahoold be suspected 
of a wiah to enter into a riTolry with SchelUng for the honours so 
nneqaiTocally hia r^ht, not onlj as a great and original genius, 
but as the founder of the Pbilosophj of Nature, and as the most 
succeasful improver of the Djnamic* System which, begun hy 
Bruno, was re-introduced (in a more philosophical form, and 
freed from all its impurities and visionary accompaniments) by 
Eont; in whom it was the native and neceasary growth of his 
own system. Kant's foUowera, however, on whom (for the greater 
part) their maeter's cloak had fallen without, or with a veiy 
scanty portion of, his spirit, had adopted hia dynamic ideas, only 
as a more refined species of mechanics. With exception of one 

rt fiT blgh tnd almost tud the cofilonBnesA of indnct 

. " Tbe Prini:!- dynamic phlloHpby in t^igland. Thru 

[d phyHlcil Scl«IK«/' viewi, u far as cancoms '^' '^ - 

~ — ' ■- ■'■- *■ ■—• ' -)inpletel^« t 

Id hIgfaLj iDgf ntuna. 

nsM 10 tl)' ^'"CTlJ 8»<9 "f 

the bouk ind to the wrl(er haie laken hia foDnduloiH Kmcwhat dsM 
" name nltb poalartt]', and nider to have >ilp««a)W • mrMoiitil* 

Dgiiizodb, Google 


ar two faudameotBl ideos, whiah cannot be withbeld bom Fuditeh 
to Schellmg we owe the completion, and the moat important 
victoriee, d this revolution in pluloeophy. To me it will be 
bappinesB and bonour enough, should I succeed in Tendering the 
Bjatem itself intelligible to mj countrfmen, and in the appUcatioS' 
of it to the most awful of subjects for the most important <d pur- 
poees. Whether a work is the offspring of a man's own spiiit, 
and the product of original thinldng, will be discovered bj those 
who are its sole Intimate judges, by better teats than the mere 
reference to dates. For readers in generaX let whaterer shall be 
found in this or any future work of mine that resembles, or coin- 
cides with, the docfarincH of my German predecessor, though con- 
temporary, be wholly attributed to him : provided, thatthe absence 
of distinct references to his books, which I could not at all timea 
make with truth as designating citations or thoughts actually de- 
rived from him; and which, I trust, would, after this general 
acknowledgment be superfluous ; be not charged on uie as an un- 
generous concealment or intentional plagiarism. I have not 
indeed (eheul Te» anguHa domil) been hitherto able to procure 
more than two of his books, viz. the lat volume of his coUected 
Tracts, and bis System of Transcendental Idealism; to which, 
however, I must add a email pamphlet against Kebte, the spirit 
^f which was to my feelings painfully incongruous with the prLn- 
ciplCB, and which (with the usual allowance afforded to an anti- 
^ thesis) displayed the love of wisdom rather than the wisdom of 
I love. I regard truth aa a. divine ventriloquist : I care not from 
^whoee mouth the sounds are supposed to proceed, if only the 
words are audible and intelligible. " Albeit, I must confess to be 
half in doubt, whether I should bring it f orib or no, it being eo 
contrary to the eye of the world, and the world so potent in most 
men's hearts, that I shall endanger either not to be r^;arded or 
not to be understood." — Miltos : Season of Church G<niertaaent. 

And to conclude the sultject of citation, with a cluster of cita- 
tions, which, aa taken from books not in common use, may contri- 
bute to the reader's amusement, a« a voluntary before a sermon. 
" Dolet mihi ([uidem deliciU literaram inescatoa gubiio jam &ofnin«a 
adeo esse, pmeerUm (fui ChrisiianoB ae profiteniur, el legere niri juod 
ad deUttiitionem faeii, euebiineani n^U .- vinde et ditaipUmB geveriore* 
et pkiioae^hia ipsa jam fere prorma etia/m a doetis tiegligwiiur. 
Quod quiidem prcpoxitum ttudutrwm, nisi mature eomgibwr, taan 
magtmm rebtia inetmi/modima iabit, tpuxm dedii Barbariee olim. 
PerHna^ rea Barbariee egt,faieor ; Bedmiyiaa potest tamea, gvam iOa 
vu^M^ea ^ persowA prudentu Hivnitvm, y»a n latione cord* 

Dgilizodb, Google 

e vvrtuMeqye epecie moriaUt miserii eiTeumdoKii. Baeeedet 
igiivr, vt arhibror, havd ita m,vMo pod, pro rudicand temdi noiiti 
Tudntaie captainte iHa commimi-loquentia rofrur animi vfrtlia omtw, 
omnem virtutem mcucidata projligatwra, niei cooefttr."* A. too pro- 
phetic remark, whicli has been in fulfilment from the year 1680, to 
the present 1815. 1^3. B; per*tii(u>* prudeniia, G'r3nisnu meana 
Belf'Complacent common senee as opposed to science and philoso- 
phic reason. 

"Ed m^dma ordo d vebd e^aethia Jnttntiorum quidota lagaciiiia 
d rebiu humonis amunodorwn, turn tamen in primam magniiudineM 
foianHwn. Eonun hmtiiv/ain, vi Ha dicam, mtyor onnona ett, 
Sedulma esse, nihil temerh logui, ateueteero labori, d vtaagtaie pra- 
daiMm d laodeetiae tegere anffiutioret pariet eapUtt dum exeroUa- 
tionem et utu/m, quo idi in eiviUbut rebut pi^ifrd, pro natara d mag' 
mtudine mgenii plerique occiptwnt." — BabciiAII Abqbnis, p. 71. 

" A3 th^-ef ore, physicians are manj times forced to leSiTe such 
methods of caring as themselTes know to be fittest, and being 
OTei-mled hj the sick man's impatience, are fain to try tlie beat 
they can : in like sort, considering how the case doth stand with 
the present age, fnll of tongue and weak of brain, behold we 
iFonld (■^ tnar tvbject p^^miiled it) yield to the stream thereof. 
That way we would be contented to prove our theais, which being 
the worse in itself, notwithstanding is now by reason of conunon 
imbecility th.e fitter and likelier to be brooked." — Hoosbk, 

If this fear conld be rationally entertained in the controversial 
age of Hooker, under the then robust discipline of the scholastic 
logic, pardonably may a writer of the present times anticipate a 
scanty audience for abatmsest themes, and tmths that can neither 
be commanicated or received without effort of thought, as well 
as patience of attention. 

" Cb« «'lo niw aro si oJcolar do' ponli, 
Fuch' jtiin<tu SItlUm ddI pndondiil, 
El SoDuce e'l C^mtroa si alui ronglontl. 
11 tempo <fApiileiopl>i ddusI poidSdI; 
CIb m lUon on uL Haoin Kmbrm on Adnj, 
HUls Arinl a' mid d) ruiapbiHii Hiumlnl !" 

Di Saivatok Rosi Satib. i. 1. 10. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

JHogtapkia tiitenma. 

chapter Df lIpairiDn adA uiecdata, u ad iDterlude prc«d[f ^ tli 
gFncdB of Ib« ImaglDiiUoa or ^utlo power—On podsnDy u ' 

la nllgloa lOd pollticL 

If Ox autfaor'a lileraiy 

" Esemplastie. The word ia not in Johnson, nor have I met 
with it elsewhere." Neither have I ! I constimcted it tajaeii from 
the Greek words, tU iv wXamiv i.e. to shape into one; because, 
harinf; to convey a new sense, I thonght that a. new term would 
both aid the recollection of mj meaning, and prevent its being 
confonnded with the nsnal import of the word, imagination. 
" But this is pedanti7 i" Not necessarily so, I hope. If I am not 
mia-infonned, pedantiy consists in the use of words unsuitable to 
the time, place, and companj. The langu^e of the market 
wonld be in the schools as pedantic, though it might not be re- 
probated hj that name, as the langm^ of the schools in the 
market, ^e mere "in^i of the world, -who inaiata that no otlier 
terms but auch as occur in common conversation should be em- 
plojed in a scientific disquisition, and with no greater precision, 
ia as truly a pedant as the man of letters, who either over-rating 
the a«quirementB of his auditors, or misled bj his own familiarity 
with technical or scholastic terms, convereea at the wine-table 
with hie mind fixed on hie museum or laboratory; even though 
the latter pedant instead of desiring his wife to make the tea, 
ehould bid her add to the gvmU. nyf. of thea Sinengu the oryd of 
hydrogen satxirated with caloric. To use the colloquial (and in 
truth somewhat vulgar) metaphor, if the pedant of the cloister, 
and the pedant of the lobby, both smell equally of the shop, yet 
the odour from the Kussian binding of good old authoitic-look- 
ing folios and quartos is less annoying than the steams from the 
tavern or bagnio. Nay, though the pedantry of the scholar 
ehould betray a little ostentation, yet a well-conditioned mind 
would more easily, methinks, tolerate the fox braah of learned 
vanity, than the saiis culotterie of a cimtemptuons ignorance, that 
assTunes a merit from mutilation in the self -consoling sneer at 
the pompous incumbrance of tails. 

The first lesson of philosophic discipline is to wean the stndent'a 
attention from the degrees of things, which alone form the voc»- 
biilaiy of common life, and to direct it to the kind abstracted 
from degree. Thns the chemical student is taught not to be 
etertled at disqnisitious m the beat in »«, or on latent mi fixibU 

Dgilizodb, Google 

SiograpKia taterartO. 7T 

Hglit. In Bddh discoorse the inetractor baa no other alternative 
tiian either to use old words with new meELninga (the plan adopted 
bj Dartfin in hia Zoonoinia;) or to introduce new terma, after the 
examplu of Limuena, and tiie framera of the present chemical 
nomeuclature. The latter mode is eridently preferable, were it 
onlj that the former demande a twofold exertion of thonght in 
one and the same act. For the reader (or hearer) is required not 
oulj to learn and bear in mind the new definition; bnt to nn- 
luam, and keep out of his view, the old and habitual meaning ; a 
far more difficult and perplexing task, and for which the mere 
acmblance of eschewing pedantry aeems to me an inadequate com* 
penaation. "Where indeed, it is in our power to recall an appro- 
propriate term that had without sufficient reason become obsolete, 
it is doubUese a leas evil to restore than to coin anew. Thus to 
express in one -word all that appertains to the perception consi- 
dered as passive, and merely recipient, I have adopted from our 
eld^ classics the word genswras ; because tenmuU is not at present 
□Bed, except in a bad sense, or at least as a moral distinction, 
while tengUive and emmble would each convey a different meaning. 
ThoB too I hsve followed Hooker, Sanderson, Milton, Ac. in 
designating the immediateuesa of any act or object of knowlege 
by the word itUuitum, used aometimes subjectively, sometimes 
objectively, even as we use the word thought ; now as the thought, 
or act ot thinking, and now as a thought, or the oltject of our 
reflestion ; and we do this without confusion or obscurity. The 
very worda, objective and eubjeclive, of such constant recnrrence in 
the schools of yore, I have ventored to re-introdnce, because I 
eould not so briefly or conveniently, by any more familiar terms, 
distingnisli the percipere from the pa-cipi. Lastly, I have cau- 
tiously discriminated the terma, the reason, and the understand- 
ing, enconragod and confirmed by the authority of our genuine 
dirines, and philosophers, before 1^e Revolution. 

Paxadus Lobt, Boot r. 

• B^t Kjr nuidT7 doIb on Sukap«ei«, tc Ibe mloil, <bo procMsn ot gawnllmiMi in] 
" wre, IliBt dJ>- Thni mio^pb]' bu Ulberta b«n diacur- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

7ft Siopraplta tUtrqria. 

I Ba7, tliat I wan confirmed hj authority BO v^nei-able : for I hal 
^vvioiiB and highec motiTeB in mj own. ooavJctioa of the import- 
ance, naj, of the neceaaitj of the distinction, as both an indispen- 
eable condition and a vital part of all Bound speonlatiou in 
metaphjmcs, ethical or theological. To establish thu distinction 
was one main object of The Priend ; if even in a biographj of my 
own literary life I can with propriety refer, to a work which was 
-printed rather than pnblished, or so published that it had been 
well for the unfortunate author if it had remained in mannaoript! 
X hare Bven at this time bitter cause for remembering that, which 
a number of my subscribers hare but a trifling motire for foT^et^ 
ting. This effusion might hare been spared ; but I would feign 
flatter myself that the reader will be lesa austere tlum an oriental 
profesaor of the baatioado, who, during axi attempt to extort per 
a/rgv/mentum bacviinwn a full coofeasioti from a culprit, inter- 
rupted his oatcry of pain by reminding him, that it waa " a. mere 
digression I" " All this noise, Sir ! is nothing to the point, and no 
sort of answer to my questions !" "Ah! hut" (replied the suf- 
ferer) " it is the moat pertinent reply in nature to your blows," 

An imprudent man of common goodness of heart, cannot but 
wish to turn even his impmdences to the benefit of others, as fai* 
as this is possible. If therefore any one of the readers of this 
semi-narrative should be preparing or intending a periodical 
work, I warn him, in the first place, gainst trosting in the 
nnmber of names on his subscription list. Por he cannot be 
certain that tbe names were put down by snfBcient authority ; or 
should that he ascertained, it BtUl remains to be known whether 
they were not extorted byaome over zealous friend's importunityj 
whether the subscriber had not yielded his name merely from 
want of courage to anawer, no ! and with tbe intention of drop- 
ping the work as soon as possible. One gentleman procured me 
nearly a hundred names for The Frigid, and not only to<^ 
frequent opportunity to remind me of his success in his canvaas, 
but laboured to impress my mind with the sense of the obligation, 
1 was under to the subscribers ; for [as he very pertinently admo- 
nished me) " fifty-two shillings a year was a lai^ sum to be 
bestowed on one individual, where there were so many objects of 
charity with strong claims to the assistance of the benevolent." 
Of these hundred patrons ninety threw up the publication before 
the fourth number, without any notice: though it was well knofm 
to them, that in consequence of the distance, and the slowneea 
and irr^nlarily of the oouveyanc^ I was compelled to lay in ■ 
•took of stamped papw for tA ieaat eight weeks beforehand ; cacb 

Dgilizodb, Google 

4mt of which stood me in five-pence previona lo its axrinl at laj 
|>mter'B; though the snbeciiption moaej was not to be reoeired 
till the twentf-first week after the commencement of the work t 
and lastlj, though it was in nine cases out of ten impracticahle 
for me to receive the money for two or three nombo^ witihont 
pajiflg an equtd snm for the 

In confirmation of mj first caveat, I will select one fact among 
many. On my list of subscribers, among a considerable nnmbei 
of names equfiUy flattering, was that of an Earl of Cork, with his 
address. He might as well have been an Earl of Bottle for aught 
I knew of him, who had been content to reverence the peerage in 
<A»iiwio, rather than in eoncreHs. Of oontse The Priend was 
regularly sent as far, if I remember right, as the eighteenth 
nnmber: i.e., till a fortnight before the subscription was to be 
paid. And lo ! just at this time I received a, letter from bis lord- 
ship, reproving me in language far more lordly than courteous 
for my impnd^ice in directing my pamphlets to him, who knew 
nothing of me or my work ! Seventeen or eighteen numbers of 
wliich, however, his lordship was pleased t« retain, probably for 
the culinary or the posUculinaiy conveniences of his servants. 

Secondly, I warn all others from the attempt to deviate from 
the ordinary mode of publishing a work by the trade. I thought, 
indeed, that to the purchaser it was indifferent whether thirty 
per cent, of the purchase-money went to the booksellers or to the 
government ; and that the convenience of receiving the work by 
the post at his own door would give the preference to the latter. 
It is hard, I own, to have been labouring for years in collecting 
and arranging the materials; to have spent every shilling that 
eotJd be spared after the necessaries of life had beoi furnished, 
in buying books, or in joumiee for the purpose of consulting them, 
or of acquiring facte at the f onntajn head ; then to buy the paper, 
pay for the printing, &c., all at least fifteen per cent, beyond what 
the trade would have paid ; and then after all to give thirty per 
cent., not of the net profits, bnt of the gross results of the sale, tc 
a man who has merely to give the books shelf or warehouse room, 
and permit his apprentice to hand them over the counter to those 
who may askfor them; and this too oc^y by copy, althongh if 
the work be on any philosophical or scientific subject, it may be 
years before the edition is aold off. Ail this, I confess, must 
seem a hardship, and one, to which the products of industry in 
no other mode of exertion are subject. Yet eren this is bett«r, 
bt brtter, than to attempt in any way to unite the functions of 
author and pnblisher. But the moat i^adatit mode is to sell th* 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

M Siographia LUerarki. 

d^yrigLt, at least of one or more editiouB, for the m.6at fhat UU 
trade will offer. Bj few only can a lai^ remuneration be 
expected; but fifty pounds and ease of mind are of more real 
advantage to a literary man,tban the chance of five hundred with 
the oertaintj of insult and degrading anxieties. I shidl hare 
been grievously misunderstood if this statement should be inter- 
preted as written with the desire of detracting from the character 
of bookseUerB or publiahera. The iudii-idnale did not make the 
laws and customs of their trade, but, as in every other trade, take 
them as they find them. Till the evil can be proved to be remoTC- 
able and without the substitution of an equal or greater incon- 
Tenieuce, it were neither wise or manly even to complain of it. 
Bnt to use it aa a pretext for speaking, or even for thinking oi 
feeling, unkindly or opprobrionsly of tlie tradesmen, ea individuals, 
would be BomelJiing worse than unwise or even than unmanly ; it 
would be immoral and caliunuious ! My motives point in a far 
different direction and to far other ol^jectB, as will be seen in the 
conclnsion of the chapter. 

A learned and exemplary old clergyman, who many years ago 
went to his reward followed by the regrets and blessinga of bia 
flock, published at his own expense two volumes octavo, entitled, 
A New Theory of Redemption. The work was most severely 
handled in the Monthly or Critical Review, I f oi^t which, and thte 
unprovoked hostility becanie the good old man's favourite topic of 
conversation among his friends. Well ! (he used to exclaim) in 
the second edition I shall have an opportimity of exposing botb 
the ignorance and the malignil^ of the anonymous critic. Two 
or thiee years however passed by without any tidings from tha 
bookseller, who had undertaken the printing and puhlieation ot 
the work, and who was perfectly at his ease, as the author waa 
known to be a man of large property. At length the acconnts 
were written for ; and in. the course of a few weeks they were 
presented by the rider for the house, in person- My old friend 
put on his spectacles, and holding the scroll with no very firm 
hand, began " Paper, ao mueh .- Oh, moderate enough — not at all 
beyond my expectation! Prifltinjf, ao much: well! moderate 
enough ! StUehing, eoten, advertkemenU, carnage, &e,, to mmeh." 
— Still nothing amies. SeUeridge (for orthography is no necessaix 
part of a bookseller's literary acquirements) £3 3». " Bless me I 
only three guineas for the what d'ye call it P the geUeridge 1" " No 
more, sir," replied the rider, " Nay, but that is too moderate," 
rejoined my old friend, " Only three guineas for telling a tbou- 
vand copies ot a work in two Tolumes F" „ Oh, sir 1" cries the 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biogrt^hia hileraria. gj 

yvaag tr&vdler, " 70Q have mietAken the word. Tbere bare been 
none of them told ; tbej have bem sent back from Loudon long 
ago ; and this £3 St. is for the cellarage, or warehonse-room in onr 
book ceUar." The work waa in conBeqneace preferrod from the 
ominoos cellar of the pubhsher'a to the author's garret; and on 
pieataiting a copy to an acquaintance, the old gentleman used to 
tell the anecdote with great hnmonr and still greater good 

With equal lack of worldly knowledge, I waa a far more than 
eqnal enfferer for it, at the xerj ontset of mj authorship. Toward 
the close of the first jear from the time that, in an inanspiciona 
hour, I left the f riendlj cloisters and the happif grove of quiet, 
ever honotired Jesus College, Cambridge, I waa persuaded hj 
sundry philanthropiata and anti-polemifrta to set on foot a periodi- 
cal work, entitled The Watchman, that (according to the general 
motto of the work) aU might Imow the truth, and that the truth 
might make us fiee ! In order to exempt it from the atamp-tai, 
and likewise to contribute as little as possible to the supposed 
guilt of a war against freedom, it was to be published on everf 
eighth day, thirtj-two pages, large octavo, closelj printed, and 
price onlj fourpence. Accordingly with a flaming prospectus, 
" Knowledge is Power," " To cry the state of the political atmo- 
sphere," and so forth, I set off on a tour to the north, from Bristol 
to Sheffield, for the purpose of procuring customers, preaching by 
the way in niost of the great towns, as an hireless volunteer, in a 
bine coat and white waistcoat, that not a rag of the woman of 
Babylon might be seen on me. For I was at that time and long 
after, though a, Trinitaiian (i.e., ad jiormam Plattnaa) in philoso- 
phy, jet a, zealous Unitarian in rel^on; more accurately, I was 
a p^lanthrvpid, one of those who believe our Lord to have been 
the real Son of Joseph, and who lay the main stress on the Resm'- 
Kction rather than on the Crucifixion. O ! never can I remember 
those days with either shame or regret. For I waa most sincere, 
most disinterested 1 My opinions were indeed in many and most 
important points erroneous; but my heart was single. Wealth, 
rank, life itself, then seemed cheap to me, compared with the inte^ 
Teats of {what I believed to be) the truth, and the will of tny 
Maker. I cannot even accuse myself of having been actuated by 
vanity ; for in the expansion of my enthusinsm I did not think of 
mysdl at all. 

My campaign commenced at Birmingham ; and my first attack 
waa on a rigid Calvinist, a twllow-chaadler by trade. He wae a 
Ull dingy man, in whom length wsa so predominant over breadth, 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

bi Blografiiia JJterarta. 

" that he mi^it ahniMt haie beea botnxwed for a foimdj7 poker, 
O that facet a ftuse Knr* iit/^amvl I hare it before me at this 
moment. The lank, black, twine-like hair, jnn^-niteccen^ cat in 
a. trtraight line along the black stubble of his thin gunpowder eye- 
brows, that looked like a scorched after-math from a last we^'a 
ehaTing. His coat coUar behind in perfect unison, both o£ coloni 
and lustre, with the coarse yet glib cordage that I suppose he 
called hia hair, and which with a bend inward at tbe nape of the 
neck (the only approach to fleinre in his whole figure) slunk in 
behind his waistcoat; while the countenance lank, dark, very 
hard, and wiUi strong, perpendicolar farrows, gave me a dim 
notion of some one loo^g at me through a used gridiron, all 
Boot, grease, and iron 1 Bat he was ooe of tbe thorough>bred, a 
tnie lover of liberty, and (I was informed) had proved to tbe 
satiafaction of many, that TSr. Pitt was one of the horns of the 
second beast in tbe Bevelations, that ^oke like a d/ragaa. A 
person to whom one of my letters of recommendation had been 
addressed was my introducer. It was a new event in my life, my 
first stroke in tlie new bosinesa I had undertaken of an author, 
yea, and of an author trading on his own account. My com- 
panion after some imperfect sentences and a multitude of hums 
and baas abandoned the clause to his client ; and I commenced an 
harangue of half an hoar to Phileleutheros, the tallow-chandler, 
-varying my notes throagb the whole gamut of eloquence from the 
ratiocinnti'A to the declamatory, and in the latter from the 
pathetic tc the indignant. I argued, I described, I promised. I 
prophesied, and beginning with the captivity of nations I ended 
with the near approach of the millenninni, finishing tbe whole with 
some of my own verses describing tbat glorious state out of the 
Bcligiont "' 

AdJ odoini mit c hfli from IwJb of Amnranth. 
And ttMT UuU frtui itiecrTBUl rtTer otllfe 
Spring up on fRtboKd vLngt UDbnsbl gdei. 

HEUstom llctmsa. 

lly taper man of lights listened with perserorant and pcaiae* 
worUiy patience, though (as I was aftowards told on complaining 
of certain gsl's Uiat were not altogetber ambrosial) it was a melt- 
tag day with hini. " And what, rr," be soifl, after a short pause, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Mographia LUeraria. 88 

"might the cost TmP" "OtJy fourpanoe," (0! how I felt the 
ULti-olimaz, the abyemal bathos of that fonrpence) '. " only fonr- 
peuce, Bir, eaoh nitmber, to be publuhed on every eighth daj." 
"That comee to a deal of money at the end of ayear. And how 
mach did you say there was to bo for the motley ?" " Thirty-two 
pages, air! large octavo, closely primtad." "Thirty and two 
pages ? Bless me, why except what I does in a family way on the 
Sabbath, that's more than I ever reads, sir ! all the year round. I 
am as great a one as any man. in Brummagem, sir! for liberty 
and truth, and all them sort of things, bat aH to this, no otfcDce, £ 
hope, sir, I must beg to be exoused." 

So ended my first canvass. From causes that I shall presently 
mention, I made but one other application in person. This took 
place at Manchester, to a stately and opulent wholesale dealer 
in cottons. He took my letter of introduction, and having 
perused it, measured me from head to foot, and again from foot 
to head, and then asked if Z had any biU or invoice of the thing. 
I presented my prospectus to him; he rapidly skimmed and 
hummed over the first side, and still more r^idly the second and 
conclodiug pa^; crushed it within his fingers and the palm at 
his hand ; then most deliberately and significantly rubbed and 
smoothed one part against the otiier; and, lastly, putting it into 
his pocket, turned his back upon me with an "over-mnwith these 
articles!" and so, without another syllable, retired into his count- 
ing-house i and, I can traly say, to my onepeakable amusement. 

This, as I have said, was my second and last attompt. On re- 
taming' bafBed from the first, in which I had vainly essayed to rer 
peat the miracle of Orpheus with the Brummagem patriot, I dined 
with the tradesman who had introduced me to him. After dinner 
he importuned me to smoke apipe with him and two or three other 
iRmamati of the same rank. I objected, both because I was en- 
gaged to spend the evening with a minister and his friends, and 
because I had never smoked except once or twice in my lifetime, 
and then it was herb tobacco mixed with Orouooko. On the as- 
toiance, however, that the tobaooo was equally mild, and seeing too 
that it was of a yellow colour (not forgetting the lamentable difii- 
col^ I have always experienced in saying no ! and in abstaining 
from what the people abont me were doing), I took half a pipe, 
filling the lower h^ of the bowl with salt I waa soon, however, 
compelled to resign it, in consequence of a giddiness and distress- 
ful feeling in my ^es, which, as I had drank but a single glass of 
ale, miist, I knew, have been the effect of the tobacco. Soon after, 
deeming myself tWOYcnd, I sallied forth to my engagement ; but 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

M Biograi^Ha LUeraria 

the walk and tlie fresh air broaght on all the symptoms {igAati,iutd 
X had scarcelj entered the mmiater'a drawing'i-oom, and opened a 
small packet of letters which he had recaived from Bristol for ma, 
ere I sank back on the sofa in a sort of swoon rather than sleep. 
Fortonatelj, I had found jost tims enough to inform him of the 
0(mfiiBed state of m7 feelings and of the oooasion. For here and 
''ihns I l»y, mj faoe like a wall that ia whitewaakLng, deathlj pale, 
and with the cold drops of perspiration mnning down it from mj 
forehead, while one after another there dropped in the different 
gentlemen who bad been invited to meet and spend the evening 
with me, to the niunber of from fifteen to twentj. As the poison 
of tobacco acte but for a short time, I at length awoke from in- 
sensibility, and looked round on the partj, my c^es dazzled by the 
oandlee which had been lighted in the interim. By way of reUer- 
ing my embarrasBment, one of the gentlemen began the conversa- 
tion with, " Have you seen a paper to day, Mr. Coleridge P" " Sir," 
I replied, rubbing my eyes, " I am far from convinced that a Clm8> 
tian is permitted to read either newspapers or any other works (A 
merely political and t^nporary intereet." This remark, so In- 
dicrously inapposite to, or rather incongraous with, the porpose 
for which I was known to have visited Birmingham, and to assist 
me in which they were all then met, produced an involuntary and 
general burst of laughter ; and seldom indeed have I passed so 
m&ny delightful hours as I enjoyed in that room from the mo- 
ment of that lat^h tUl an early hotir the next morning. Never, 
perhaps, in BO mixed and nnmeraus a party, have I since heard 
conversation sustained with such animation, enriched with snch 
variety of information, and enlivened with snch a flow of anecdote. 
Both then and afterwards they all joined in disSDading me from 
proceeding with my scheme ; assured me in the most friendly and 
yet moat flattering expressions that the employment was neither 
fit for me, nor I fit for the employment. Yet, if I had determined 
on persevering in it, they promised to exert themselves to the nt- 
most to procure subscribers, and insisted that I should m^e no 
more applications in person, but carry on the canvass by pro^. 
lie same hospitable reception, the same dissuasion, and (that 
failing) the some kind ezertionfl in my behalf, I metwith at Han- 
vhester, Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, indeed at every place in 
which I took up my sojourn. I often recall with affectionate plea* 
sure the many req>«ctable men who interested themselves for me, a 
perfect stranger to them, not a few of whom I can still name 
Among my friends. They will bsar witness for me how opposite 
even ^en my principles were to those of Jacobinisin, or even of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Mi^ft^ia LtieMria. 86 

Haoioeirtuxf, abd oam Meat the itiict wxmuej at fli« atatemeiit 
which. I hare left on record in tiie lOUi and llUi nnmbers of Th« 

From this rememherable torn I returned with nearly a tbonaand 
names on ihe sabBcriptiim list of The Watchman ; jet more than 
haU-oonvinoed that pradence dictated the abandonment cX tJia 
•cheme. Bnt for this veiy reason I perBevered in it ; for I ma at 
that period of my life bo completely hag-ridden by the fear of 
being influenced by adfish motifea, that to know a mode c^ con- 
duct to be the dictate of pmdence, waa a sort of jn^eanrnptire proof 
to my feelings that the contrary was the dictate of doty. Ac- 
cordingly I commenced the work, which was annonnced in London 
by long bills in letters larger than had ever been seen before, and 
which I have been informed, for I did not see them myself, eclipsed 
the glories even of the lottery puffs. Bnt, alas I the publication ol 
the Tery first number was delayed b«^nd the day annoonced foi 
ite appearance. In the second nnmber an essay against fast days, 
with a moat censurable application of a text from laaiah for itn 
motto, lost me near five hundred of my sobscribers at one blow. 
In the two following numbers I made enemies of all niy Jacobin 
and democratic patrons; for disgusted by their infidelity, and 
their adoption of French morals with French ptiJotophy ; and per- 
haps thinking that charity onght to begin nearest home, instead 
of abnsing the government and the aristocrats chiefly or entirely, 
as had been expected of me, I levelled my attacks at "modem pa- 
triotiam," and even ventured to declare my belief that, whatever 
the motiveB of ministers might have been for the sedition, or as it 
was then the fashion to call them, the gagging bills ; yet the hills 
themselves wonld produce an effect to be dedred by all the true 
friends of freedom, as far as they should contribute to deter men 
from openly declaiming <m subjects the principles of which they 
had never bottomed, and from " pleading to the poor and ignorant, 
instead of pleading for them." At the same time I avowed my 
eonviction, that national education and a concurring spread of the 
Gospel were the indispensable conditions of any true political 
amelioration. Thus, by the time the seventh number was pub- 
lished, I had the mortification (but why should I say this, vh^ in 
truth I cared too little for anything that concerned my worldly 
interests to be at all mortified about it P) of seeing the preceding 
numbers exposed in sondry old iron shops for a penny a piece. 
At the ninth number I dropped the work. But from the London 

publisher I conid not obtain a shilling. He was a and set me 

■t defiance. Trom other places I procured bnt little, and aftet 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

86 Biogrt^hia tiierarbl. 

mich delajra aa rendered that Uttle wQrtli notlmig i and- 1 ^oidd 
liave been insvitablj thrown into jail by mj ibiatol printer, who re- 
fused to wait even for a month for a sum between eighty and ninety 
pounds, if the money liad not been paid for me by a man hj no 
means affluent, a. dear friend who attached himself to me from my 
fint arrival in Bristol, vbo has continned my &iend with a fiddity 
nnconquered by time, or even by my own apparent neglect ; africnd 
£i;om whom I never reeeived au advice that was not wiae, or a re- 
monstrance Uiat was not gentle and affectionate. 

Conscientionsly an opponent of the first revolutionary war, yet 
^irith my eyes thoroughly opened to the true character and impo- 
tence of the farourers of revolntionaiy principles in England, 
pnno^iles which I held in ablunrence [for it was part of my poli- 
tical creed that whoever ceased to act as an individual, by making 
himself a member of any society not sanctioned by bis gov^n- 
ment, forfeited the rights of a citizen), a vehement anti-minis- 
terialiat, but after the invasion of Switzerland, a more vehement 
ftnti-Gallican, and still more intensely an anti- Jacobin, I retired to 
a cottage at Stowey, and provided for my scanty maintenance bj 
writing verses for & London Morning Paper. I saw plainly that 
literature was not a profession by which 1 could expect to live ; for 
I could not disguise from myself that, whatever my talents might 
or mig^t not be in other respects, yet they were not of the sort 
that could enable me to become a popular writer ; and tliat what- 
ever my opinions might be in themselvM, they were ahnotrt equi- 
distant from aU tke tliree prominent parties, the Pittites, the 
Foiites, and the Democrats. Of the unsaleable nature of my 
writings I had an amusing memento one morning from onr own 
servant girl, Por, bappening to rise at an earlier hoar than 
uanal, I observed her putting an extravagant quantity of paper 
into the grate in order to light the fire, and mildly checked her 
for her Trast«fulness : " La, sir," replied poor Nanny, " why, it is 
cnly Watchmen." 

I now devoted myself to poetty and the ttndy of ethics and 
psychology i and so profonnd was my admiration at this time of 
Hartley'B Essay on Man, that I gave his name to my first-bom. 
In addition to the gentleman, my neighbour, whose garden joined 
on to my little orchard, and the cultivation of whose friendship bad 
been my sole motive in choosing Stowey for my residence, I waa 
so fortunate as to acquire, shortly after my settlement therc^ an 
invaluable blessing in the society and neighbourhood of onn to 
whom I could look ap with equal reveroioe, whether I r^arded 
liimaaapoet,a^iiloaopher,oramaji. His conversatioii eactemded 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia Lttenuia. S7 
to almost aU mi1;ijectB. except phyeiaa and politics ; witb tlie latter 
he never troubled himsdf. Yet neither my retirement nor my 
ntter abstraction from all the disputes of the day conld secure me 
in those jealous times from saspioion and obloquy, which did not 
■top at me, bat CEtended to my excellent friend, whose perfect in- 
BOoence was eren adduced as a proof of his guilt. One of the 
nuHiy busy ayoophants* of that day (I here use tie word sycophant 
m its original sense, as a wretch who flatters the prerailing party 
by informing i^ainet his neighbours, under pretence that they ore 
exporters of prohibited figs or fancies ! for the moral application of 
the term it mattei's not which) ; one of these sycophantic law> 
mongrels, discoaTsing on the politics of the ndghbourhood, uttered 
the f cJlowing deep remark : " As to Coleridge, there is not so much 
harm in hitn, for he is a whirl-brain that talks whaterer comes up- 
permost; but that j he is the dark traitor. Yon nerer hear 

him say a syllable on the Butjeot" 

Kow that the hand of Providence has disciplined all Europe into 
Bohriety, aa men tame wild elephants, by alternate blows and ca> 
ressesj now that Englishmen of all classes are restored to their 
old English notions and feelings, it will with difficulty be credited 
how great an in£aence was at that time possessed and exerted by 
the spirit of secret defamation (the too constant attendant on 
party zeal !) dnring the restless interim from 1793 to the com- 
mencement of ^e Addington administration, or the yesr before 
the truce of Amiens. Por by the latter period the minds of the 
partisans, exhausted by excess of stimulation and humbled by 
mutual disappointment had become languid. The same causes 
that inclined the nation to peace, disposed the individnalB to recon- 
ciliation. Both parties had found themselves in the wrong. The 
one had confessedly mistaken the moral character of the revolution, 
and the other had miscalculated both its moral and its physical 
resonrces. The experiment was made at the price of great, almost, 
we may say, of humiliating sacrifices; and wise men foresaw that 
it would fail, at least in its direct and ostensible object. Yet it 
was purchased cheaply, and realized an object of equal value, and, 
if possible, of still more vital importanoe. For it brought about a 
national unanimity unexampled in our history ednce the reign at 
Elizabeth : and Providence, never wanting to a good work when 
men have done their parts, soon provided a common focus in the 
cause of Spain, which made us all once more Englishmen, by at 
once gratifying and correcting the predilections of both parties. 

* Juniat ^mr, iaibewiitMiMttgf,OiBi!tfiirU&isot-wiiclitiimAMttwntiaVIIUi» 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

86 Siogn^kia LUerarta. 

The aincei'e rererere at the ihnme felt the cause o( loyalty efi< 
nobled by ita alliance with that of freedom; -while the honeat 
Eealots of the people could not but admit that freedom itself an- 
Bumed a more winning form, humanized by loyalty, and conse- 
crated by reli^ooe principle. The youthjEul entlinsiasts who, 
flattered by the morning rainbow of Uie French revolution, had 
made a boast of expatriating their hopes and fears, now disciplined 
by the sacceeding atorma, and sobered by increase of years, had 
been taught to prize and honour the spirit of nationaiity aa the 
best saf^roard of national independence, and this again as tli* 
absolute pre-reqniaite and necessary basis of popular rights. 

If in Spain too disappointment haa nipped our too forward 
expectations, yet all is not deatroyed that is checked. The crop 
was perhaps springing up too rank in the stalk, to kern well ; and 
there were, doubtless, symptoms of the Gtallican blight on it. If 
anperittition and despotism hare been suffered to let in their wolvisli 
sheep to trample and eat it down even to the anrface.yet the root& 
remain alive, and the second growth may prove all the stronger 
and healthier for the temporary intemiption. At all events, to 
tu heaven has been just and gracions. The people of England 
did their best, and have received their rewards. Long may we 
continue to deserve it ! Canees, which it had been too generally 
the habit of former statesmen to regard as belonging to another 
world, ore now admitted by all ranks to have been the main agents 
of our success. " We fought from heaven ; the start m their eoweet 
fimght agaitut Sitera." If then, unanimity grounded on moral 
feelings has been among the least equivocal sources of our national 
gloiy, that man deserves the eateem of his countrymen, even as 
patriots, who devotes his life and the utmost efforts of his intellect 
to the preservation and continuance of that unanimity by the dis- 
closure and establishment of principles. For by these all Opinions 
must be ultimately tried ; and (as the feelings of men are worthj 
of regard only as far as they are the repreaentativea of their fixed 
opinions) on the knowledge of these all unanimity, not accidental 
and fleeting, must be grounded. Let the scholar, who doubts this 
assertion, refer only to the speeches and writings of Edmund 
Burke at the commencement of the American war, and compare 
them with his speeches and writii^ at the commencement of tha 
French revolution. He will find the principles exactly the same 
and the deductions the same ; but the practical inferences almost 
opposite in the one case from those drawn in the other; yet 
in both equally legitimate, and in both equally confirmed 1^ 
the results. Whence gained he this auperimily of foresights 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Bu<ffraphia JLitenna, 89 

Whence oroSi) the striUug difference, and in tnoet instances, 
even the discrepancy lietween the ^ronnda assigned hj him, and 
hj thoae who voted with him, on the same qnestionsp How 
are we to explain tAe notorious fact, that tlie speeches and 
writings of Edmund Borke are more interesting at the pre- 
sent daj' thaji thej' were found at the time of tlieir first publi* 
cation; while those of hia illnBtrioiiB confederates arc either 
forgotten, or exist onlj to famish proofs, that the same coacln- 
sion, which one man had dedaced scientificallj, may he brought 
out b; another in consequence of errors that luokilj chanced to 
neutralize each other. It would be tuihandsome as a conjecture, 
even were it not, as it actoally is, false in point of fact, to attribute 
this difference to deGmencj of talent on the part of Burke's friends, 
or of experience, or of historical knowledge. The satiefactoij 
solution is, that Edmund Burke possessed and had seduloualy 
ahaipened that eje, which sees all things, actions, and events, in 
relation to the laws that determine their existence and circum- 
scribe their posribility. He referred habitually to principles. 
He was a scientific statefimaa ; and therefore a seer. For every 
principle contains in itself the germs of a prophecy ; and as the 
prophetic power is the essential privilege of science, so the fulfil- 
ment of its oracles supplies the outward and (to men in general), 
the only test of its claim to the title. Wearisome as Burke's 
refinements appeared to hia parliamentary auditors, yet the culti- 
vated classes throughout Europe have reason to be thankful that 

' liB wtnt m reflnliif, 

And UnnEtat of canlDcIi«, wkDa llwjr Uoo^ 0f dining * 

Onr very sign-boards (said an iBustrioue friend to me) give 
evidence, that there haa been a Titian in the worid. In like 
manner, not only the debates in parliament, not only our pro- 
clamatious and state papery but the essays and leading para- 
graphs of our journals are so many remembrancers of Edmund 
Burke. Of this the reader may easily convince himself: if either 
by recollection or refeience he will compare the opposition news- 
papers at the commencement and during the five or six following 
years of the French revolution, with the sentiments and grounds 
of argument assumed in the same class of journals at present, and 
(or some years past. 

Whether the spirit of Jacobinism, which the writings of Burke 
exorcised from the higher and from the Hteraiy classes, may not 
like the ghost in Hamlet, be beard moving and Tnining in the 
underground chambers with an activity the more dangorona 
becanse less noisy, may admit of a question. I have given my 

D^iizodb, Google 

90 MograpJua Literaria. 

ot^nitaa on this point, and the gronnds of tbeAi, in m^ letter^ 
to Judge Hebsher, occasjimed b; his charge to the Wexford grand 
jai7, and pahliahed in the Cotirter, Be this as it may, the evil 
spirit of jealouBj, and with it the Oerfaerean whelpa ot fend and 
Zander, no longer walk their rounds in cnltivated aocietj. 

Far different were the da.^ to which theee aneodotea have 
earned me back. The dark gaeesee of some zealous Quidnunc, 
met with 80 congenial a boU in the grave alarm of a titled Dog- 
Deny of onr neighhonrhood, that a spj was iictusllj Bent down 
from the goremment pour mtrvtHlanee of mjaelf and friend. 
There must have been not onlj abondance, bnt Taxiekj of these 
" honourable men " at the disposal of miniatere : for this proved 
a very honest fellow. After three week's trolj Indian persever- 
ance in tracking uB (for we were oommonlj together), during all 
which time seldom were we ont of doors but he contrived to be 
within hearing (and all the while utterlj unsuspected; how, 
indeed, could such a suspicion enter our fancies?) he not only 
r^ected Sir Bt^berrT's request that he. wotdd try jet a little 
longer, but declared to bim his belief, that both mj friend and 
myself were s^ good sulgeote, for aught he could d^cover to the 
contrarj, as anj in His Majesty's dominions. He had repeatedly 
hid himself, he said, for hoOrs together, behind a bank at the 
sea-ride (our favourite seat), and oyerheard our conversation. At 
first he fancied, that we were aware of our danger; for be often 
heard me talk of one f^ tfozy, which he was inclined to interpret 
of himself, and of a remarkable feature belonging to him ; bnt he 
was speedilj convinced that it was the name of a inan who had 
made a book and lived long ago. Our talk ran most upon books,' 
and we were perpetually desiring each other to look at tkit, and to 
listen to that ; but he could not catch a word about politics. Once 
he had joined me on the road ; (this occurred as I was returning 
home alone from my friend's house, which wu about three miles 
from my own cottage), and passing himself off as a traveller, he 
had entered into conversation with me, and talked of purpose in a 
democrat way in order to draw me out. The result, it appears, 
not only convinced him that I was no friend of Jacobinism ; but 
(he added) I had " plainly made it out to be snch a silly as well as 
wicked tiling, that he felt ashamed, though he had only put ib 
on." I distinctly remembered the occurrence, and had mentioned 
it immediately on my return, repeating what the traveller witli 
his Bardolph nose bad said, with my own answer ; and so littl» 
did I suspect Uie true olg'ect <a my " t«mpter ere aocoMa:," that I 
sxpressed with no small pUasure my hag9 and belief that Hit 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biogn^iia Lttemria, 9t 

MXiTCTsation h&d been of some aervioeto ttie po<nr muled malocn- 
tent. This incidtHit thcreftov prerented all doubt aa to the troth 
of the report irhich, through % friendl; medium, came to me from 
the master of the village inn, vlio had be^i ordered to entertain 
the goTeniment gentleman in his beet manner, bnt above all to be 
■Jlent concerning Bach a peraon being in bis hoose. At length. 
he received Sir Di^ben^'B commands to accompany hie gaeat at 
the tinal interview ; and after the abeolviiig suffrage of the gentle* 
man honoured with the confidence of miniaterB, aaswered as 
followB, to the following qnraies: — D. Well, landlord 1 what do 
joa know of the person in question P L. I see him often pass by 

with moister , my landlord (i. e. the owner of the house), 

and sometimeB with the new-comere at Holford ; but I never said 
a word to him, or he to ma D. Bat do you not know that he 
hae distributed papers and handbUls of a seditious nature amtmg 
tk% common people P L. No, your honour I I never heard of 
such a thing. D. Have yon not seen this Mr. Coleridge, or heard 
of his haranguing and talking to knots and clusters of the in- 
habitants P — What are you grinning at, sir P L. Beg your 
honoDr's pardon 1 but 1 was only thinking how they'd have 
stared at him. If what I have heard be true, your honour ! they 
would not have understood a word he said. When our vicar was 
here, Dr. Xi. the master of the great school and Canon of 

Windsor, there wae a great dinner party at maister 's; 

and one of the fanners that was there told us that he and the 
Doctor talked real Hebrew Greek at each other for an hour to- 
gether after dinner. D. Answer the question, sir ! Does he ever 
harai^ne the people P L. I hope your honour an't angiy with 
ffie. I can say no more than I know. I nerer saw him talking 
with any one, but my landlord, and our curate, and the strange 
gentleman. D. Has he not been seen wandering on the hills 
towards the Channel, and along the shore, with books and papers 
inliis hand, taking charts and maps of the country ? L. Why,, 
as to that, your honour ! I own, I have heard; I am sure, I would 
not wish to say ill of imy body ; but it is certain that I have 

heaid D, Speak out, manl don't be afraid; you are doing 

your Aaty to your King and government. What have you heard P 
L. Why, folks do say, yonr hononrl as how that he is ■ Poe<,and 
that he is going to put Quantock and all about here in print ; and 
as th€7 be so much together, I suppose that the strange gentle- 
man has some oonsam in thebusmess. — So ended this fmmldable 
inqiusition,thelatter part of which alone TeqjainBex^anation,aiid 
at the same time entitlee the anecdote to a ^aoe IB my litecaiy lifft 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

9S Btographia lAteraria. 

1 bad considered it as a defect in the B-dmirable poem of " 1!ha 
Task," that the aabjeot, which gives the title to the work, was 
not, and indeed conld not be, carried on beyond the three or fonr 
firgt yagee, and that thronghont the poem the connections are fre- 
quently awkward, and the transitions abrupt and arbitrai7. I 
sought for a sabject that shotdd give equal room and freedom for 
description, incident, and impassioned reflections on men, nature, 
and societj, yet sapply in itself a natural conaecticai to the parts, 
and ouity to tlie whole. Sach a subject I conceived myself to 
have fonnd in a stream, traced from its source in the hills among 
the yellow-red moss and conical glass-shaped tufts of bent, to the 
first break or fall, where its drops became audible, and it begins 
to form a channel; thence to the peat and tuif bam, itself bnilt 
of the same dark squares as it sheltered ; to the sheep-fold ; to 
the first cultivated plot of ground ; to the lonely cottage and its 
bleak garden won from the heath ; to the hamlet, the Tillages, the 
market-town, the manufactories, and the sea-port. My walks, 
therefore, were almost diuly on tiie top of Quantock, and among 
its sloping coombs. With my pencil and memorandum-book in 
my hand, I was making studies, as the artists call them, and often 
monlding my thoughts into verse, with the olgects and imagery 
immediately before my senses. Uany circumstances, evil and 
good, intervened to prevent the completion i^ the poem, which 
was to have been entitled " The Brook." Had I finished the 
■work, it was my purpose in the heat of the moment to have dedi- 
cated it to onr then committee of public safety as containing the 
charts and maps with which I was to have supplied the French 
government in aid of their plans of invasion. And these too for 
a tract of coast that from Clevedon to Minehead scarcely permits 
the approach of a fishing-boat ! 

AU my experience, from my first entrance into life to the present 
hour, is in favour of the warning tn*"'" — that the man, who 
opposes tn toto tl e political or religions zealots of his age, is eater 
from their obloquy than he who differs from them in one or two 
points, or perhaps only in degree. By that transfer of the feel* 
ings of private life into the discussion of public questions, which 
is the qneen bee in the hive of party fBna,ticisni, the partdzan has 
more E^mpathy with an intemperate opposite than with a moderate 
friend. We now eiOoy an intermission, and long may it con- 
tinue ! In addition to far higher and more important merits, oar 
present Bible sociefcies, and other numerous associations for 
national or charitable otgects, may serve, perhaps, to cany off the 
■uperflnouB activity and fervour at stirnng minds in innocent 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biogn^lua Lileraria. 98 

l^peilxiles and the bnBlJe of management. But Uie poiBon-trea 
ia not de^ tLongli tbe Bap maj for a eesaon have sabsided to its 
roots. At least let na not be lolled into anch a notion of our 
eutire Becnritj, as not to keep watoh and ward, even on our best 
feelings. I have aeen groas intolerance ahown in eappott of 
toleration; sectarian antipathj most obtnuivelj diaplayed in 
the promotion of an nndistinguiBhiiig comprebensioii of seats; 
and acta of cruelty (I had almoat aaid of treachery), committed 
in furtherance of an object vitally important to the cauae of 
humanity i ajid all tTiig by men too of naturally kind dispositiona 
and exemplary conduct. 

The magic rod of fanaticism is preaerved in the very adyta of 
hmuan iia,ture; and needs only the re-erciting 'w&rmth of a 
master hand to bud forth afreah and produce the old f niita. The 
horror of the peasant's war in Germany, and the direful effecte 
of the Anabaptiata' teneta (which differed only from thoae of 
Jacobinism by the substitution of theological for philosophical 
jargon) Btmck all Europe for a time with affright. Yet little 
more than a century was sufficient to obliterate all effective 
memory of these events. The same principles, with similar 
thoi^h lees dreadful consequences, were again at work from the 
imprisonment of the first Charles to the restoration of hia son. 
The fanatic maxim of extirpating fanaticiam by persecution pro- 
duced a civil war. The war ended in the victoty of the insur- 
gents i but the temper survived, and Milton had abundant grounds 
for aaaertdng, that " Presbyter was bat Old Pbiest writ large '." 
One good result, thank heaven! of this zealotry was the re- 
establishment of the Ohurch. And now it might have been 
hoped, that the mischievous spirit would have been bound for a 
season, "and a seal aet upon him that he might deceive the 
nation no more." But no! The ball of persecution waa taken 
up with undiminished vigour by the persecuted. The same 
fanatic principle, that under the solemn oath and covenant bad 
tm-ned cathedrals into stables, destroyed the rarest trophies of art 
and ancestral piety, and hunted the brightest ornaments of team- 
ing and religion into holea and comers, now marched under 
episcopal banners, and bavii^ first crowded the prisons of Eng- 
land, emptied its whole vial of wrath on the miserable covenanters 
<d Scotland.* A merciful providence at length constrained both 
parties to join i^ainst a common enemy. A wise Govenmient 
followed; and the eatabliahed Church becante, and now ia, not 
<»ily the brighteat example, but our beat and only sure bulwai k of 

• IMifi Hin«7 Dt &Btluid^ HWo- Scaiet MnH UlMt, kg. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

M ^ogTOfiia LUeraria. 

tcJerBtion ! The tme and indispensable bank against a uewuiim- 
dation of perBecating zeal — Eslo perpetaa I 

A long interval oi quiet encceeded; or rather, the exhaustion 
had produced a cold fit of the a^e, which was sjmptomatized by 
indifTerence among the many, and a tendeacj' to infidelitj or acep- 
ticism in the educated <:la^es. At length those feelings of dia- 
gust and hatred, which for a brief while the mnltitnde had 
attached to the crimea and abauxdities of sectarian and demo- 
cratic f anaticisnt, were transferred to the oppresaiTe privil^^ of 
the noblesse, and the loxurj, intrignes, and faTOuritistn of the 
Continental conrts. The same principles dressed in the ostenta* 
tionB garb of a fashionable philosophy once more rose trinntphant 
and effected the French revotntion. And have we not within the 
last three or four years had reason to apprehend that the detest- 
able maxims and correspondent measures of the late French 
despotism had already bediuuned the public recollectionB of denio- 
cratic phrensy ; had drawn off to other objects the electric force 
of the feelings which had massed and upheld those recollections ; 
and that a favourable concurrence of occasions was alone wanting 
to awaken the thunder and precipitate the lightning from the 
opposite quarter of the political heaven F* 

In part from constitutional iadotence, which in the very hey- 
day of hope had kept my enthusiasm in check, but still more from 
4;he habits and influences of a classical education and academio 
puTBoits, scarcely had a year elapsed from the commencement of 
my literary and political adventures before my mind sank into a 
state of thorough disgust and despondency, both with regard ta 
the disputes and the parties disputant. With more than poetic 
feeling I exclaimed : 

HnvQ i punned ihu many b wry bovr ; 

Bui thou nor awpiret Oa vlcUtt'a pocDp, no 

Ilidst breHbe thy khiI In fonns of humiin | 

Allto from aU, buWer Ihcy priiM Ih 

(Ntjr prayer nor boutf al lurae delayi 

I retired to a cottage in Somersetshire at the foot of ^.aotijcl^ 

• Trot Fbiuo. Ewij .. Beet. m. 

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Bhgn^pUaLiteratia. 98 

sad dciToted mj tbovglifs anet eiodiee to the f onndatioiia of reli- 
gion and morsJe. Here I found myaelf all afloBit. Donbto nuhed 
in; broke upon me "from tlie fountains of the great Aeep," and 
fell " from the windows of heaven." The fontal traths of natoral 
religion and tha books of Bevelation alike contiibnted to the 
flood; and it was long ere my ark toached on an Amrat unil 
reBt«d. The idea of the Supreme Being appeared to me to be as 
neceaBarilj implied in all particular modee of being, as the idea of 
infinite apace in all the geometrical figures bj which apace is 
limited. I was pleased with the Cartesian opinion, that the idea 
of God is distinguished from all other ideas hy involving its 
realitj; bat I was not whollj satisfied. I begaji then to ask 
m^^aelf, what proof I bad of the ontward existence of anj thing p 
Of this sheet of paper for instance, as a thing in it«elf, separate 
from the phenomenon or image in mj perception. I saw, that in 
the nature of things such proof is impossible j and that of all 
modes of being, that are not objects of the senses, the existence is 
assumed by a logical necessity arising from the constitution of 
the mind itself, by the absence of all motive to doubt it, not from 
any absolute contradiction in the supposition of the contrary. 
Still the existence of a Being, the groimd of all existaice, was not 
yet the existence of a moral creator and governor. " In the posi- 
tion, that all reality is either contained in the necessary being as 
an attribute, or exists through him as its ground, it remains tin- 
decided whether the properties of intelligence and will are to he 
referred to the Supreme Being in the former or only in the latter 
sense ; as inherent attribntea, or only as consequences that have 
existence in other things through him. Thns organization and 
motion are regarded as from C|od not in GFod. Were the latter 
the truth, then notwithstanding all tJie pre-eminence which must 
be assigned to the Etebnai. Pikst from the sufBciency, unity, 
and independence of his being, as the dread ground of the oni- 
verse, bis nature wonld yet fall far short of that which we are 
bound to comprehend in the idea of God. For without any 
knowledge or determining resolve of its own it would only he a 
blind necessary ground of other things and other spirits; and 
thus would be distinguished from the fate of certain ancirait 
philOBopheirs in no respect, but that of being more definitely and 
intelligibly described."* 

For a very long time indeed I could not reconcile personality 
with infinity ; and my head was with Spinoza, though my wh< la 

tilin'itiiHiemettieliaBcirtltgrand: vemiiMt Sciri/ien, ^Biittr Sand, $ im. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

M Biographiu LUeraria. 

lioart I'ojnaiiied with Fanl and John. Yet there had dawned npim 
me, cvea before Ihad met with the "Critique of thePnre Bcasou," 
a certain guiding light. If the mere intellect conid make no cer- 
tain diacoreij of a holy and int«lligent firat cauae, it might yet 
supply a denionBtration, that no legitimate argument conld he 
dr&wn from the intellect ^[aiuBt ite truth. And what is this 
more than St. Paul's aaeertion, that by wisdom (more properly 
translated by the powers of reasoning), no man erer arrired at tba 
knowledge of GodP What morethan the snblimeBt, and proLablj 
the oldeet, book on earth has taught ub. 

Bringelh Ibe on oat of Uh wUi, ami dulin 


The iti;« crietb 1 11 It not Ld me 1 

Wben« then ameU. wisdom? 

Hidden from the er« ol (be Uvlng : 
Kept eecret from ll» lowU If baivf o ! 

Hell KDddaOi answer; 

We haireluatd the nmuDr IhereoT rrum b& 

God mulcetli ont Ibe mad ta It; 

id beneatJi tits b«^'«i 

Tba fear at the lard ig trialom fcr r 
That Is thf onderstiuidliig. 

I became convinced that religion, as both the comer-stone iind 
the key-stone of morality must have a moral origin; bo far at 
least, that the evidence of its doctrines could not, like the truths 
of abstract science, be wholly independent of the wilL It were, 
therefore, to be expected that its fundamental tmth would he 
snch as might be denied; though only, by the fool, and even by 
the fool from the msdneaH of the heart alone ! 

The nneation, thrai, concerning our faith in the existence of a 


Biogn^ia LU«raria. 97 

Qod, not caiiy as the grooad of Uie muTeree hj hu «Baeiic«, bat u 
its maker ajid jadge bj bis wisdom and I10I7 wiU, apprared to 
stand thus. Tbe sciential reason, whose objects are purely tboo- 
T^ical, remains neutral, as long as its name and semblance are 
not ttsorped bj the opponents of the doctrine. But it then 
becomee an efTectiTe allj bj erposing the faUe show of demon- 
stration, or hj evincing tbe equal demonstrability of the contrary 
from premises equally logioaL The understanding meantime 
Boggeets, the analogy of experience f acilitatea, the behef . Nature 
ezcitee and recalls it as by a perpetual revelation. Our feelings 
almost neceseitate it; and the law of conscience peremptorily 
commands it. The argnmente that at all apply to it, are in its 
favour ; and there is nothing against it, bat its own sabtimity. It 
could not be intellectiially more erident without becoming morally 
Iflss effective ; without counteracting its own end by sacrificing the 
life of faith to the cold mechanism of a worthless, because compul- 
sory, assent. The belief of a God and a, future state (if a passive 
acquiescence may be flattered with the name of belirf) does not 
indeed always beget a good heart, but a good heart so naturally 
b^ets tbe belief, that the very few exceptions mast be regarded as 
strange anomalies from strange and unfortunate cironmstancee. 

IVom these premises I proceeded to draw the following condu- 
rions. First, that having once fully admitted the ezist«nce of 
an infinite yet self-conscious Creator, we are not allowed to groimd 
the irrationality of any other article of faith on argamente which 
would equally prove that to he irrational, which we had allowed to 
be real. Secondly, that whatever is deduoible from the admiscion 
of a self-comprehending and creative spirit, may be legitimately 
used in proof of the possibility of any further mystery concemiuK 
the divine nature. Posaihilitatu/m TnysterU/rum, (TrinitaiU, &c.) 
wnira inmltiM Injidelimn, et fcereficoncm a eontradittioniiiug vindieo ; 
havd guidem veritatem., qwB revelalione $olS slabUiri poaeit ; says 
Leibnitz in a letter to bia Duke. He then adds the following just 
and important i-emark, " In vain will tradition or texts of scrip- 
ture be adduced in support of a doctrine, donee clava iTnpouihUU 
taiu et amtradictionia e manibvn horura Hercuhim, esdorta faeril. 
For the Heretic will still reply, that texts, the literal sense of 
which is not so much above as directly against all reason, must 
be understood figuratively, as Herod is a fox, &c." 

These principles I held philosophically, while in respect of re- 
vealed religion I remained a zealous Unitarian. I considered tbe 
idea of the Trinity a fair scholastic inference from tbe being of 
God as %ere9.tive iBtcUigencej and that it was therefore entitled 


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98 Biogn^hia I^eraria. 

to the rank of an esoteric doctrioeof natura. rfQigion. But se» 
ing ia the atime no practical or moral bearing, I confined it to tb« 
Bctiook of philoBophj. The admission of the logos, as hTpoct- 
tasized (i. e. neither a. mere attribute or a personification) is no 
respect removed my doubts concerning the Incamstion and the 
Bedemption hj the cross j irhich I could neither reconcile in 
reavm with the impsBBiveneea of the Dlrine Being, nor in my 
moral feeling irith the sacred distinotioa between things and 
persons, the Tioarions payment of a debt and the Ticariooe er- 
piation of gnUt. A more thorough rerolation in my philosophio 
principles, and a deeper insight into my own hrart, were yet 
wanting. Nevertbeless, I cannot doubt, that the difference of my 
metaphysical notions from those of Unitarians in general con- 
tributed to my final re-oonversion to the whole tratii in Christ ; 
even as according to his own confession the books of certain 
Platonic philosophers flibri jumuadam PlatonicorumJ commenced 
the rescne of St. Augustine's faith from the eajue error a^r&- 
vated by the far darker accompaniment of the UanichiBan heresy. 
While my mind was thus perplexed, by a gracious providence 
for which I can never be snfBciently grateful, the generous and 
munificent patronise of Ur. Josiah and Mr. Thomas Wedgwood 
enabled me to finish my education in Germany. IJistead of 
troubling others with my own crude notdims and juvenile oompo- 
eitions, I was thenceforward better em^Joyed in attempting to 
store my own head with the wisdom of otbfra. I made the bese 
use of my time and means; and there is th^«fore no period of my 
life on which I can look back with such unmingled satiaf action. 
After acquiring a tolerable sufficiency in the German language* 

the G«niun, jtl m oat likely to 


. . 'Udi I InlBTpnt. Tbtj nKtentuHl toii tbm, ud 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia LUeraria. M 

li Saitzebnrg, which nith mj rojage and joumej thither I nan 
described in The Friend, I proceeded throngh Haoover to Got- 

Here I regxHaxfy attended the lectures on phjeSfAogj in tha 
momii^, and on natural hiatoiy in the evening, under Blnmen- 
bach, a name as dear to every Englishman who haa studied at 
that nnivereitjr, aa it is Tenerable to men of science throaghont 
Eon^! Eichhom's lectures on the !New Testament were re- 
peated to me from notes hj a student from Batzeborg, a young 
man of sound learning and indefatigable indiiBtiy, who is now, I 
beliere, a profeeaor of the oriental langoagee at Heidelberg. But 
mj chief efforts were direcl«d towards a grounded knowledge of 
the German language and literature. From Professor Tydhsen I 
receired as many lessons in the Gothic of TJlphilas as sufficed to 
make me acquainted with its grammar, and the radical words td 
most frequent occurrence; and with the occasional assistance of 
the same philosophical lingniBt, I read through Ottfried'a me- 
trical paraphrase of the gospel,* and the moat important remaios 
of the Theotiscan, or the transitional state of the Teutonic 
language from the Gothic to the old German of the Swabiao 
period. Of this period (the polished dialect of which is analogous 
to that of our Chaucer, and which leaves the philosophic stadent 
in doabt whether the langaage haa not since then lost more in, 
sweetness a.nd flexibility, than, it has gained in condensation and 
copioasaess) I read with sedulous accuraoy the Minnesinger (or 
singers of Iovq, the Froveuf al poets of the Swabian court) and the 
metrical romances; and then laboured through sufficient speci* 
mens of the master singers, their d^enerate successors ; not how- 
erer, withont occaaional pleasure from the rode, yet interestijig 

■ ThlB panphnu, wrlttoi «boDt Ibe Urns nvmtbtt damp and cUUiflg air: 
*~ ' DidsBduttn BIea«d,blautd[ fgribelur 

Inable piKUi: With nicta a Babe in one blot tnl. 

rK. Tben la a Sow, md 

m In Ibe rDUDWiDg tinea (at Uie 

luptar XL) wuS even In the 

WUb bar Tlitfn Una iba kli 

. WlumawiMtadtolMr: 

Otttritd ia dMcilWng ■■ ~. . ..,_..., 

iUocM JmntediateW (olloniDg tbe birtb ot Us Babt (UtId* ttn Vkiki lb 
BBl/nO. Tb«Unnci(ontUa^of_„ 

_. ,,. , ,_ _i_j_ t__., . A morlal that ma dnc bar piiiae, 

Uo«tlDleT«tli«t9ltta oiDsldartlii 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

*00 Bioffraphia IMeraria, 

Kraiua of Hans Sachs, the cobbler <^ Noremberg. Of tHia mui'i 
■^nina five folio Tolnmea with double colanmB are extant in print* 
lad noEirlj an equal ntunber in niannscript; yet the indefatigable 
oari takes care to infonn his readers that he nerer made a shoe 
the less, bat had virtuonsly reared a large family by the labonr 
of hiB hands. 

In I'indar, Chaucer, Dante, Mjlton, &c. &c., we have instancee 
>f the close connection of poetic genius with the love of liberty 
Eind of genuine reformation. The moral sense at least will not be 
outraged, it I add to the list the name of this honeet ehoemakei 
(a trade, bj the bje, remarkable for the production of philo- 
sopheni and poets). Fin poem entitled the Homing Star, waa 
the veiy first publication that appeared in praise and support 
of Luther; and an excellent bjmn of Hans Sachs, which has 
been deaerredly translated into almost all the European languages, 
was commonlj sung iu the Protestant churches whenever the 
heroic reformer visited them. 

In Luther's own German writings, and eminentlj in his trans- 
lation of the Bible, the German language commenced. I mean 
the language as it is at present written ; that which is called the 
High German, as contra-distingniahed from the Flatt-Teutsch, 
the dialect of the flat or northern coontriee, and from the Ober- 
leutsch, the language of the Middle and Southern Germany. 
The High German is indeed a lingua coinmiiiaiB, not actnaUj'the 
native language of any province, but the choice and fragraDcj of 
all the dialects. From this cause it is at once the most copious 
and the most grammatical of all the European tongues. 

Within less than a century after Luther's death the German 
was inundated with pedantic barbariama. A few volumes of thia 
period I read through from motives of curiosity ; for it is not 
easy to imagine any thing more fantaatio than the vei? ^penr- 
ance of their pages. Almost eveiy third word is a Latin word 
with a Germanized ending, the Latin portion being always printed 
in Koman letters, while in the last syllable the German character 
is retained. 

At length, about the year 1620, Opitz arose, whose genius more 
nearly resembled that of Dryden iJian any other poet who at 
present occujs to my recollection. In the opinion of Leasing, the 
most acute of critics, and of Adelung, the first of Lexicographere, 
Opitz, and the Sileaian poets, hia followers, not only restored the 
language, but still remain the models of pure diction. A stranger 
has no vote on such a question ; but att«r repeated perusal of th« 
work my feeliuira ; latified the verdict, and I seemed to have to- 

Dgilizodb, Google 

BiograpUa LUerarta. 101 

({nlred £roin thorn a sort of tact for what ia gernime in the stf le 
of iatar ■writers. 

Of the aplendid era, which oommenced with Qellert, Elopetoct, 
Bamler, Tjeasmg, and their compeers, I need not speak. Witli 
the opportimitieB which I enjoyed, it would have been diBgmeefal 
not to hare been famihar with theii- writings ; and I hare already 
^d aa much as the present biographical afcetoh reqnirea con- 
cerning the Qennan philoBophere, whose works, for the greater 
part, I became acquainted with at a far later period. 

Socm after my return from Germany I was aohcit«d to under- 
take ihs literary and political department in the Mormng Post ; 
and I acceded t« the proposal on the condition that the paper 
shonld thenceforwards be conducted on certain fixed and an- 
noonced principles, and that I should be neither obliged or 
requested to deviate from them in faroor of any party or any 
event. In consequence, that Journal became and for many years 
continaed anti-miniHterial indeed, yet with a very qualified appro- 
bation of the opposition, and, with far greater eamcBtneas and 
zeal both anti-jacobin and anti-gaUican. To this hour I cannot 
find reason to approve of the first war cither in its commencement 
or its conduct. Nor can I understand with what reason either 
Mr. Perceval (whom I am singular enough to regard as the best 
end wisest minister of this reign), or the present administration, 
can be said to have pursued the plans of Mr. Pitt. The love of 
their country, and persoverant hostility to French principles and 
French ambition are indeed honourable qualities common to 
them and to their predeeessor. But it appears to me as cleai' ai 
the evidence of fa<3ts can render any question of history, that the 
auccesaes of the Perceval and oi the existing ministiy have been 
owing to their having pursued measuTOB the direct contrary to 
Mr. Pitt's. Such for instance are the concentration of the. 
national force to one object ; the abandonment of the subsidizing 
policy, so far at least as neither to goad or bribe the continental 
courts into war, till the convictions of their subjects had rendered 
it a war of their own seeking ; and above all, in their manly and 
generous reliance on the good sense of the English people, and 
tm that loyalty which is linked to the very heart rf the nation by 
the system of credit and the interdependence of property.* 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

102 Biogn^hia TJbirarUi. 

Be thii aa It mnj, I am perenaded that tke JtfiM'nifiiT' iM 
proved a for more nsefnl ttUf to the Qovertaaeat in ita muat im- 
portant oltjects, in conseqnenoe ol ite being geuerallj coosidend 
aa moderatelj anti-miniateria], than if it had been the avowed 
eulogist of Mr. Pitt. (The f ew, whoee cnriosil? or taitof ehonld lead 
them to turn otct the jonmala of that date, maj find a small proof 
of this in the frequent ohorgee made bj the Morning Cknmkle, 
that aoch and sneh eaaajs or leading par^raphs had beoi sent 
from the Treasury.) The rapid and nnnsnal increase is the sale 
of the MomiTig Post is a sufficient pledge that genuine impar- 
tiality, with a respectable portion of literary talent, will eecore the 
anccesB of a newspaper without the aid ck party or mimaterial 
patronage. Bat 1^ impartiality I mean an honest and enlight- 
ened adherence to a code of intelligible principled prerioualy 
aimoQuoed, and faithfully referred to in support of ever; judg- 
ment on men and eventa; not indiaarinunate abuse, net the indnl- 

■mn tbe cbM ., 

jount dlipnIUiB u 

Hod IbCT (Ttr mmied ttarou^ SloUn or tin nvdaUcn at the Belgic proilntai under 

•hcDngh Fnsca it tlie Urn cam&ig no or the FhtUp and ; tbe dvll win of Fiui« In iba 

— Dlmfoa I or «n *Ih I Umnigli nu mBnr pnoilUiB geDentloc ; the I1I1UH7 of tba 

heaorbwetafniliitntaludi tb^andd ■ " 

but hATa ehrnak from their own dedan- 

, , a boUi Id ficTTOwcUle ec 

w^ la nlfee-biHiKi ud pnblk tl . ... ^ ,.. 

" of Ihewaltbr.tber would Jotfoaa. OorittHMiowi 

••■g unu •» ■uroatn of exMbic Oovom- mmittr, whlob eiiiiU not _ _. ... 

Bent Afteni their cewe In tbe Unguge and aloni Id which It bud beea bfODCbt brth ; 

irliblbtbiiisot sKDwboura OMKlowtbat en> the adlgfateHd Boks UiugS Im oRni 

tber an kn a mlnan^. But In biglud. '-" '- " ■ 

ttbm On Uma wM >t "- •■'-' — ■ •'■ 

tBlUu and Ruonlng ai It ■ pBiMtiul and 
ockiiiIhiI anudiT bia been * poMUe thlnai 
Ttaiu while wa were warring igataut Prtucb 

■ nuonupcitcd of haldiag danDcnttc prtn- dootrlitta, wa took UKIa heed wbetber Uh 

dples ooiud DHTc ibrogid wKbont recelTliu ueina 1^ wbkb wa attemptad to OTerttarour 

MaennplatontinnraftbahatiallnwblS then wan not Ukdy to alif end ansment tba 

bit nppoiHl oplnkw wen held Inr [ha gnat hr nura (DnnMnble svU of Fnncta amMttoib 

PUlorllyaf thepK^e; andtbeonJjtaatHuea Uka cUMroi wa ran awaj* from tba Jelplng 

-' H ud Indlgoailon wen In a( a oar.iBd toOk OtOa M Utt bedi of • 

It the Qon 

lOtch. DM whj need 1 appeal la 


Siographia ZHeraria. IDS 

gence of an editor's own malignant pasBionB, and atiH less, if tliat 
be posdble, a determination to make money hj flattering the 
euTj and cnpiditj, th« rindiotive reetieBaneM and self-conceit of 
the half-witted m^ar; a detennination almost fiendish, bnt 
which, I have been informed, has been boastfuUj avowed bj one 
man, the mont notorions of those niob-ejcophsiiti ! From the 
commencement of the Addington adminiatration to the present 
daj, whatever I have written in the Morning Poet, or (after that 
paper was tranrfcrred to other proprietOTH) in the Cowner, haa- 
been in defence or f urtheraace of the meaanreB of Qovemment 

Con HiATodj luehl br 

Tet in fiheae labonra I employed, and in the belief of partial 
friends wasted, the prime and manhood of mj intellect Ifost 
assaredlj they added nothing to my fortune or my reputation. 
The industry of the week supplied the necessities of the week. 
From Govenunent or the friends of Government I not only nerei 
received remuneration, or ever expected it; but I was nevei 
honoured with a single acknowledgment or expression of satis* 
faction. Yet the retrospect is far from painful or matter of 
regret. I am not indeed Billy enough to take as any thing more 
than a violent hyperbole of party debate, Mr. Fox's assertion that 
tiie late wax (I ti-ust that the epithet is not prematurely applied) 
was a war pi'odnced hy the l£oming Pod ; or I should be proud 
to have the words inscribed on my tomb. Ab little do I regard 
tiie circumstance, that I was a specified object of Buonaparte's 
resentment during my residence in Italy in consequence of those 
essays in the Marning Post during the peace of Amiens. (Of 
this I was warned, directly, by Baron Von Humboldt, the Prus- 
•iim Plenipotentiary, who at that time was the minister of the 
Pruaeian court at Rome ; and indirectly, through his secretary, 
by Cardinal Pesoh himself.) Nor do I lay any greater weight on 
the confirming fact, that aii order for my arrest was aent from 
PoriB, from which danger I was rescued by the kindness of a 
noUe Bffliedictine, and the gracious connivance of tliat good old 
man, the present Pope. For the late tyrant's vindictive appetite 
was omnivctfous, and preyed equally on a Due d'Enghien,* and 

* I Rldom think of the murder oT this liutat hnu Tlrl, TlnDai]i» bind tnU Tj- 
nhutilDDs Prince wftSoat nccdlsiiUng tilt rvmo; 

Utw 01 Vileilm Flaci™>. '*Bi' intei™ metni, joTenonqne eifflln- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

104 biographia tiUrwta. 

tiie writer of II newspaper paiEgmph. Like a thie vultnr^* 
Napoleon with an eje not less telescopic, and with a taste eqaallr 
coarse in his raTin, conld descend from the most dazzling he^^hts 
to ponnoe on tbe leveret in the brake, or even on the field-moose 
amid the grass. Bnt I do derive & gratification from the know- 
ledge, that mj eaaays contributed to introduce the practice of 
placing the queetions and events of the da; in a moral point ot 
viewj in giving a dignity to particnlax measures b; tracing their 
policy or impolicy to permanent principles, and an interest to 
principles bj the application of them to individual measnres. In 
Mr. Burke's writings indeed the germs of almost all political 
tmths may be fomid. But I dare assume to mjself the merit of 
having first eipUcitly defined and analjzed the nature of Juco- 
biniam ; and that in disdnguiahing the Jacobin from the republi- 
can, the democrat and the mere demagogue, I both rescued the 
word from remaining a mere term oi abuse, and put on their 
guard manj honest minds, who even, in their beat of zeal ^lainst 
Jacobinism, admitted or supported principles from which the 
, worst parts of that system may be legitimately deduced. That 
these are not necessaiy practical results of euch principles, we 
owe to that fori;unate inconsequence of our nature which permits 
the heart to rectify the errors of the understanding. The 
detailed ezaminatiou of the consular Government and its pre- 
tended constitution, and the protrf given by me that it was a 
oonaummate despotism in masquerade, extorted a recantation 
even from the Horning CkronieU, which had previously extolled 
thie couBtitution as the perfection of a wise and regulated liberty. 
On every great occurrence I endeavoured to discover in pa^ 
history the event that most nearly resembled it. I procured, 
wherever it was poasiblej the contemporary historians, memorial- 
ifrta, and pamphleteers. Then fairly subtracting the points of 
difference from those of likeness, as the balance favoured the 
former or the latt«r, I conjectured that the result would be the 
same or different. In the series of essays.f entitled "A com- 
parison of France under N'apoleon with Home under the first 
OsMrs," and in those which followed "On the probable final 

" vlilcb 1 un DOH (onnMiiie. uM 
■m bo ibDTtlj publislKd. for I «■ 
T ay repobtlslKd, with tbs nuDdKn 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Mhgraphia LUerario. 105 

restoration of tha Boutbons," I feel mjself autLcmad to affirm, 
V l^e effect produced on many intelligent men, that were tha 
jitt«8 wanting, it might hare been snepeoted that the cssaje bad 
Men written within the last twelve months. The same plan 1 
pniBQed at the commencement of the Spanish rerotation, and 
wiUi the same eacceas, taking the war of tlie United FroTiuces 
with Philip H, as the gronnd work of the comparison. I hare 
mentioned thia from no fflotives of ranitj, nor even from motiTes 
of sdf-defence, which would jnstif j a certain degree of egotism, 
egp^ciallj if it be considered how often and grossly I have been 
attacked for sentiments which I had exerted mj best powers to 
coDfate and expose, and how giieTOBslj th«ae -dun^^ acted to 
my disadvantage while I waa in Malta. Or rather they wonld 
have done bo, if my own feelings had not precluded the wish of a 
settled establishment in tliat ialand. But I have mentioned it 
from the full persuasion that, armed with the two-fold knowledge 
of history and the human mind, a man will scarcely err in his 
judgment concerning the sum total of any future national event, 
if he have been able t« procure the original doonmenta of the 
past together with authentic accounts of the present, and if he 
have a philosophic tact for what ia truly important in facta, and 
in most inBtauces therefore for such facts as the dignity of hia- 
toiy haa excluded from the volumes of onr modem compilers, by 
Qie courtesy of the i^e entitled hiHtorians. 

To have lived in vain must be a painful thought to any man, 
and especially ao to him who has made literature hia profession. 
I should therefore rather condole than he angry with the mind, 
which could attribute to no worthier feelinga than those of 
vanity or self-love the satisfaction which I aclmowledge to have 
enjoyed from the republication of my political essays {either 
whole or aa extracts) not only in many of our own provincial 
papera, but in the federal joumab throughout America. I re- 
garded it aa some proof of my not having laboured altogether in 
vain, that from the articles written by me shortly before and at 
the commencement of the late nnhappy war vdOt America, not 
only the sentimenta were adopted, but in aome instance the very 
language, in aeveral of the Massachusetts state papera. 

But no one oi these motiTeB, nor all conjointly, wonld have im- 
pelled me to a atatement so uncomfortable to my own feelingf^ 
bad not my character been repeatedly attacked by an mgufitifiabla 
intmsion on private life, aa of a man incorrigibly idle, and who. 
intrusted not only with am^e talents, but favoured with unusual 
c^portunitiea of improving them, had nevertheleea suffered them 

D 5 mod b, Google 

1(TS Stographid Uleniria. 

to rust avay witLont auj efficient exertion either for Lis oWS 
good or that o£ his fellow-creatores. ETen if tbe compositioiia 
wbiuh I have made pnblic, and that too in a fonn the most certain 
of an ezteusive ciniulation. thongh the least flattering to an 
author's self-love, haA been published in booka, thej would have 
filled a respectable number of vtJnmes, thongh ererj passage of 
merulj temporarj interest were omitted. M; proee writuigs have 
been chatted with a disproportionate demand on the attention; 
with an excess of refinement in the mods of orriviiig at tiTiths; 
with beating the ground for that whicli might have been run 
down bj the eye) with the length and laborious construction of 
mj periods; in short with obscniitj and the love of paradox. 
But mj severest oritica have not pretended to have found in my 
compositions triviality, or traces of a mind that shrunk from, the 
toil of thinkiiig. No one has oharged me with tricking oat in 
other words the thoughts of others, or with hashing up anew the 
araaniie jam deeieii coctaim oi English literature O' philosophy. 
Seldom have I written that in a day, the aoqoisitioi: or investiga- 
tion of which had not cost me the previous labour of » month. 

But are books the only channel through which tlj > stream of 
itatellectual usefulness can flow? Is the diffusion of truth to be 
estimatod by publications ; or publications by the truth which 
they diffuse or at least contain P I speak it in tue excusable 
warmth of a mind stung by an accDsation which has not only 
been advanced in reviews of the widest circulation, not only re- 
gistered in the bulkiest works of periodical literature, but by 
frequency of repetition baa become an admitted fact in private 
literary circles, and thoughtlessly repeated by too many who call 
themselves my friends, and whose own recollections ought to have 
suggested a contrary testimony. Would that the criterion of a 
scholar's utility were the number and moral value of the truths 
which he has been the means of throwing into the general circu< 
latiouj or the number and value of the minds whom, by his con- 
versation or letters, he has excited into activity, and supplied 
with the gei'ms of their after-growth! A distlnguiBhed rank 
might not indeed, even then, be awarded to my exertions, but I 
should dare look forward with confidence to an honourable ao> 
quittal. I should dare appeal to the numerous and respectable 
audiences, which at different times and in different places honoured 
my lecture-rooms with their att«ndanoe, whether the points of 
view from which the subjects tareated of were suneyed, whether 
die gnmnds of my reasoning were such as they had heard or read 
dsetriiere, or have since found in pravioos publications. I con 

D^iizodb, Google 

BtogngAia Uttrarid. lOIT 

oc nscieiitioii^ AeSaxe, that the contploto swSceM of the RnBane 
on the firet lugM of ita representation did not give me as greait m 
M heart-felt a pleasare, as the obeervfttion that the pit and bozeo 
were crowded with faces familiar to me, though of individuals 
whose names I did not know, and of whom I knew nothing but 
tltat tbej had attended one or other of lay conrses of lectnres. 
It is an excellent, thoogh perhaps somewhat Tulgat proverb, that 
there are cases wh^% a man may be u well "in for a pound at 
for a pennj." To those who from ignorance of the serious injury 
1 have received from this rumour of having dreamt away my life 
to no purpose, injniieB which I unwillingly remember at all, muck 
less am disposed to record in a sketch of my literary life ; or to 
those, who from their own feelings, or the gratification they 
derive from thinking contemptuously of others, would like Job's 
comforters attribute these complaints, extorted from me by the 
sense of wrong, to self'Ocmceit or preaumptuona vanity, J have 
already fumiehed such ^ple materials, that I shall gain nothing 
by withholdicg the remainder. I will not therefore besitste to 
ask the consciences of those who from their long acquaintance 
with me and with the circnmstonces are beet qualified to decide 
or be my judges, whether the restitution of the Btmrn euique would 
increase or detract from my literary reputation. In this excul- 
pation I hope to be understood as speaking of myself compara- 
tively, and in proportion to the claims which others are entitled 
to nuke on my time or my talents. By what I have effected am 
I to be judged by my fellow men ; what I conld have done is a 
question for my own conscience. On my own account I may 
perhaps have h^d sufficient reason to lament my deficienoy in 
■elf-control, and the neglect of concentering my powers to the 
realization of some permanent work. But to verse rather than to 
prose, if tc either, belongs the voice of mourning for 

And geMiu given uid knoirltdg 
And lUlwUdi 1 li(d«nU'd In w 
A^ an wbUi pitlnt toll bad n 
OBmrnnaa wlUi Ib» iMd aprnt onl— but flo 

WlUlun yfaiiamtk.) 

e will exist, for tha tatare, I trust only in the poetia 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

X08 BiograjMa Littraria. 

Vtraiiu, wUoh. the feeliiiga at the time caUnd foitb, tn 'iliOK 
only, gentle reader, 

** Afftdm animi niK«, btUumique teqaadt 
PerleffU invidiit; cutatqut rmltit inann\ 


IT was a favoiuite remark of the Ute Mr. Wiitbread'e, that nn 
man does anything from a ain^e motrre. The aepamte 
motivea, or rather moods of mind, vhich produced the preceding 
reflections and anecdotes hare been laid open to the reader in 
each Beparate instance. But an interest in the welfare of thoso 
who at the present time maj be in circnmBtances not disaimilar 
to m.j own at caj first entrance into life, has been the constant 
accompaniment, and (aa it were) the under-song of all my feelings. 
Whitehead, exerting the prerogative of his laureateship, addressed 
to jonthful poets a, poetic char^^ which is perhaps the best, and 
certainlj the moat interesting of his worka. With no other privi> 
lege than that of sympathy and sincere good wishes, I woal&, 
address an affectionate exhortation to the yonthfnl literati, 
groimded on my own experience. ItwiU be but short; for the 
beginning, middle, and end converge to one charge : n^cer pttrtat 
lUeralm-e at a trade. With the exception of one extraordinary 
man, I have never known an individual, least of all an individua. 
of genius, healthy or happy without a profession, i. e. soma 
regular employment, which does not depend on the will of tbe 
moment, and which can be carried <ai so far mechanically that an 
average qnantum only of health, spirits, and intellectnal exertion 
are reqimit« to its faithful discharge. Three bonrs of leisure, 
unannoyed by any alien anxiety, and looked forward to with da* 
light aa a chiuge and recreatdoD, will aaffice to realize in literatnr« 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siogn^hia LUeraria. 109 

a lai^or pivjdact <A what is truly genial, -QiaiL weeks of cumpulaion. 
Honey, and immediate reputation form only au arbitrary and 
accidental end of literary labottr. The hope of increasing them 
by amy given exertion will often prove a stimulant to indnstiy; 
Irat the necessity of acquiring them will in all works of genins 
convert the Btdmnlant into a narcotic. Uotivea by excess reverse 
their very nature, and instead of exciting, stun and trtupify the 
mind. For it is one contradiatinction of genius from talent, that 
its predominant end is always comprised in the means ) and thib 
is one of the many points which establish an analogy between 
Renins and virtue. 14bw though talents may exist withont genius, 
yet as genius cannot exist, certainly not nianifest itself, without 
talents, I would advise every scholar who feels the genial power 
working within him, so &r to make a division between the two, 
SB that he sbould devote hie talents to the acquirement of com- 
petence in some known trade or profession, and his genius to 
ot^euts of his tranquil and unbiassed choice ; while the conscious- 
ness of being actuated in both alike by the sincere deeire to pcf- 
form his duty, will alike ennoble both. " My dear yoong friend " 
(I would say) "suppose yourself established in any honourable 
occupation. From the manufactory or counting-house, from the 
law court, or from having visited your last patient, you return at 

" Dnr tnaqnll time, vbm ttie mM HSH ofhiMDa 

to your family, prepared for ite social enjoyments, with the very 
countenances of your wife and children btightened, and their 
voice of welcome made doubly welcome, by the knowledge that, 
as far as they are concerned, you have satisfied the demands of 
the day by tbe labour of the day. Then, when you retire into 
your study, in the books on your shelves you revisit so many 
venevable friends with whom yon can converse. Tour own spirit 
scarcely less free from personal anxieties than the great minds 
that in those books are still livii^ for you ! Even your writing 
desk with its blank paper and all its other implements will appear 
as a chain of flowers, capable of linking your feelings as well as 
thoughts to events and characters pastor to come; not a chain of 
iron which binds you down to think of the futnre and the remote 
l^ recalling the olaims and feelings of the peremptory present. 
Bot why should I say retire F The habits of active life and daily 
intercourse witlk the stir of the world will tend to give you such 
self-commuid, tliat the presence of your f anuly will be no interrap* 
Ika. N^, the social silence, or undistorbing voices of a wife or 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

110 SioyrapAia Literaria, 

Bistor will be like a restorative atmoaphere, or wit m\mo wliiok 
moulds a dream, without becoming ita object. If facts are re- 
quired to prove the possibiKtyof combining weighty performanoes 
in literature with fuU and independent employment, the works of 
Cicero and Xenophon among the ancients; of Sir Thomas More, 
Bacon, Baxt«r, or to refer at oaoe to later and ocntemporar; in- 
stances, Darwin and Boscoe, are at once decisiTe of the qaestion. 

Bat all men may not dare promise themselves a sufficiency of 
HClf-oontrol for the imitation of those examples; though strict 
scrutiny should always be nude, whether indolence, restlessnesa, 
or a vanity impatient for immediate gratification, have not tam- 
pered with the judgment and assumed the vizard of hnnulity for 
the purposes of self-delusion. Still the cburoli presents to every 
man of leaming and genius a profession, in which he maycberiah 
a rational hope of being able to unite the widest scbemea of lite- 
rary utility with the strictest perfonnance of professional duties. 
Among the numerous blessings of Christianity, the introduction 
of an established church makes an especial claim on the gratitude 
of scholars and philosophers ; in England at least, where the prin- 
ciples of Froteetantism have conspired with the freedom of the 
government to double all its salnta:^ powers by the removal of ita 

That not only the miiTima, but the grounds of a pore morality, 
the mere fragments of which 

"tha lofty E^ve Iragcdlus lau^it 

Jn cboTUG or lambEc. tfAchvra bert 

Of nunil prudence, with deUgbt reoelvcd 

In brlrf KDleutloiu precatM ;" 


and that the sublime truths of the divine unity and attributes, 
which a Plato found most hard to learn, and deemed it still more 
difficult to reveal j t^t these should have become the almost here- 
ditary property of childhood and poverty, of the hovel and the 
workshop; that even to the unlettered they aoimd as common- 
place, is a phenomenon which must withhold all but minds of th& 
moat vulgar cast from undervaluing the services even of the pulpit 
and the reading-desk. Yet those who confine the efSdency of an 
established church to its public offices can hardly be placed in a 
much higher rank of intellect. That to every parish throughout 
the kingdom there ia transplanted a germ of civilisation ; f^t in 
Che remotest villages theru is a nucleus, round which the capabili- 
ties c^ tlie place may crystallize and brighten ; a model aufOcientl; 
superior to excite, yet sufficiently, near to encourage and facilitotf 

Dgilizodb, Google 

BiogrofUa lAlararik. Ill 

imitatioii ; tliis, tlie nnobtroeiTe, contmoons agency of a FroMa- 
taut oborch eetabliBbment, this it ia wUch the patriot and the 
pbilaathropifit, who vould fain tmite the lore of peace with the 
foith in the progressiTe amelioration ai mankind, cannot estimate 
sttoo h^h a price " It oaimot be valned with the gold of Ophir, 
with the precious onyx, or the sapphii'e. No mention ahaU be made 
of coral or of pearlB ; for the price of wisdom is above mbies." * 
The clergjmau iiwith his parishioners and among them; he is 
neither in the cloietered cell, or in thewildemeae, but a neighboor 
and a famil; man, whose edaoation and rank admit liim to the 
-mansion of the rich landholder, while his duties make him the 
frequent visitor of the farm-house and the cottage. He is, or he 
maj become, connected with Uie families of his parish or its vici- 
nity by marriage. And among the inslaacea of the blindness, or 
at best, the short-sightedness which it is the nature of cupidity to 
inflict, I know few more striking than the clamours of the farmers 
against chni-cb property. Whatever was not paid to the clergy- 
maD would inevitably at the next lease be paid to the landholder i 
while, as the case at present stands, the revenues of the church are 
in some sort the ivvereionarj property of eveiy family that may 
have a meniber educated for the church, or a daughter that may 
marry a clei^yman. Instead of beii^ foreclosed and immovable, 
it is in fact the only species of landed property that is essentially 
moving and circulative. That there exist no inconveniences, who 
will pretend to assert ? But I have yet to expect the proof, that 
the inconveniences are greater in this than in any other species : 
or that either the farmers or the clergy would be benefited by 
forcing the latter to become either 3Vu22iber«, or salaried placemen. 
Nay, I do not hesitate to declare my firm persuasion, that what- 
ever reason of discontent the farmers may assign, the true cause is 
this : that they may cheat the parson, but cannot cheat t^e steward ; 
uid that they are disappointed if they should have been able 
to withhold only two pounds less than lie legal claim, having ex- 
pected to withhold five. At all events, considered relatively to the 
encouragement of learning and genius, the establishment present* 
a patronage at once so effective and nnbuithenHome, that it would 
be impossible to afford the like or equal in any but a Christian 
and l4«testant country. There is scarce a department of human 
knowledge without some bearing on the various critical, histtnica:, 
philosophical, and moral truths, in which the scholar must be in* 
tea;e«ted^ a dergymaj] ; no cme pursuit worthy of aman of genius, 
which may not be followed without inc<mg(nity. To give tli« 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

112 SiograjMi Literaria. 

bigtorj of tlie Bible as a book, would be little less than to reUte 
the origin or first ezciteiaBiit of all the literature ajid science that 
we now possess. The very deoomm which the ptofeasioii imposes 
is favourable to the best purposes of genius, and tends to counter- 
act its moat frequent defects. Finally, that man mnat bo deficient 
in sensibility, who would not find an incentive to emulation in the 
great and burning Hghte whioh, in a long Beries, have illustrated 
the Ghnrch of England -, who would not hear from within an echo 
to the voice from their sacred shrinea ; 

But whatever be the profession or trade chosen, the advantagea 
are manj and important compared with the state of a mere literary 
man, who in any d^ree depends on the sale of his works for the 
necessarieB and comforts of life. In the former a man lives in 
sympathy with the world in which he lives. At least he acquires 
a better and quicker tact for the knowledge of that with which 
men in general can sympathize. He learns to manage his genius 
more prudently and efficaciously. His powei-s and acquirementa 
gain him likevrise more real admiration ; for they surpass the 
legitimate expectations of others. He is something besides an 
author, and is not therefore oonsidered merely ae an author. The 
hearts of men are open to him, as to one of their own class ; and 
whether he exerts himself or not in the conversational circles of 
his acquaintance, his silaice is not attributed to pride, nor his 
communicativeness to vanity. To these advantages I will venture 
to add a superior ehauee of happineaa in domestic life, were it only 
thac it is aa natural for the man to be out of the circle of his 
bousehold during the day, as it ia meritorious for the woman to 
remain for the most part within it. But thia subject involves 
points of consideration so numerous and so delicate, and would 
not only permit, bat require such ample documents from the bio- 
graphy of literary men, that I now merely allude to it in trantitu. 
When the same circnmstance has occurred at very different times 
to very different persons, all of whom have some one thing ia 
common, there is reason to suppose that such circumstance is not 
mei-ely attributable to the persons concerned, but ia in some mea- 
sure occasioned by the one point in common to them alL Instead 
of the vehement and almost slanderous dehortatton from marri^^ 
which the Misoffifne, Boccaccio,* addresses to literary men, I would 
substitute the aimple advice : be not merely a man of letters 1 Itei 
literature be an honourable augmentaUcn to your arms, bat not 
Qonstitnte the <K>at, or fill the escutcheon 1 

• vita B Cbttnml dl DnoM, p. 11, U. 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Sioffrapkia LUaratia, 118 

' 1V> otgetitioiie from oonscience I ctui of course answer in no other 
waj, than by requeBting the jonthful objector (as I have akcadj 
done on a former occafrion) to ascertain with strict self-eiamina- 
tion, whether other inflnences may not be at work; whether 
spirite, "not of health," and with whispers "not from heaven," 
ma; not be walking in the twilight of his canBcionsnesH. Let him 
catalogue his ecmples, and rednce them to a distinct intelligible 
form ; let him be certain that he has read with a docile mind ind 
favourable dispoBitions the beat and most fundamental works on the 
subject ; that he has had both mind and heart opened to the great 
and ilJnstrious qualities of the manj renowned characters who had 
doubted like himself, and whose researches had ended in the dear 
conviction that their doubts had been groundless, or at least in no 
proportion to the connter- weight. I Cappy will it be for such a man, 
it among his contemporaries, elder than himselt, he should meet 
with one who, with similar powers and feelings as acute as hisvwn. 
hadentcrtainedthesamescmpleB; had acted upon them; and who, 
by after-research (when the step was, alaa! irretrievable, but for that 
veiy reason, bia research undeniably -Jisintflrested) had discovered 
himself to have quarrelled with received opinions only to embrace 
errors ; to have left the direction tracked out for him on the high 
road of honourable eiertion, only to deviate into a labyrinth where, 
when he had wandered till his head was giddy, his best good for- 
tnne was finally to have found his way out again, too late for pru< 
deuce, thoDgh not too late for conscience or for truth ! Time 
spent in snch delay ts time won ; for manhood in the meantime is 
advancing, and with it increase of knowledge, strength of judg. 
meut, and above all, temperance of feelings. And even if these 
should effect no change, yet the delay will at least prevent the 
final approval of the decision from being alloyed by the inward 
ccname of the rashness and vanity by which it had been precipi- 
tated. It would be a sort of irreligion, and scarcely less than a 
libel on human nature, to believe that there is any established and 
reputable profession or employment in which a man may not con- 
tinue to act with honesty and honour ; and doubtless there is like- 
wise none which may not at times present temptations to the con- 
trary. But woefully wUl that man find himself mistaken who 
imagines that the profession of literature, or, to speak more 
plainly, the trade of authorship, besets its members with fewer or 
with leas insidious temptations than the Church, the law, or the 
different branches of commerce. But I have treated sufficiently 
on thia unpleasant snlqeot in an early chapter of this volnmo. 
I irill oonolnde the present therefore with a short extract froai 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Herdor, wlioae name I might hare added to the illas£ruRU MA of 
"thoBe who h&ve combined the HucceBsfnl pursuit of the Unses not 
onlj -with the fajthfol discharge, but with the highest hononra and 
honourable emolaments of an eBtablished profession. The trans- 
lation the reader will find in a note below : * " Am sorj^faltigaten, 
meiden e\c die Autorsohaft. Zu frnh oder iimnasaig gebranchl-, 
macht Bie den Eopf wiiate nnd daa Herz leer ; wenn sie auch sonal 
keine uble Folgen gabe. Ein Uenaclu der nw lieeet lua xa driicken, 
lieeet waJhrscheinlich ubel; nnd wer jeden Gedanken. der ihni 
anfstosst, durch Feder nnd Freeee Tersendet, hat sie in knrzw 
Zeit alle veraandt, nnd wird bald ein bloBBerDiener der Dracker^, 
ein BacbatabenBetzer werden." 


A Cbi^ffii' of reqnati and pTflDonitlDOa CDDcenilDg tlie penisal or raolBalaD of tba Ch^Ur 

IN the perusal of pbilosophical works I have been greatly bene- 
fitted by a resolve which, in the antithetic form and with the 
allowed quaintnesB of an adage or maxim, I have been accastomed 
to word thus : *' Until you understand a writer's ignorance, pre- 
Bnme yourself ignorant of his understanding." This golden rule 
of mine does, I own, resemble those of Pythagoras in its obscurity 
rather than in its depth. If, however, the reader will permit ma 
to be my own Hieroules, I trust that he will find its meaning folly 
explained by the following instances. I have now before me a 
treatise of a religious fanatic, full of dreams and supernatural ex- 
periences. I see dearly the writer's grounds, and their hoUow- 
ness. I have a complete insight into the causes which, through the 
medium of his body, had acted on bis mind; and by applicatioii 
of received and ascertained laws, I can satief aetorily explain to my 
own reason all the strange incidents which the writer records of 
himself. And this I can do without suspecting Tiim of any inten- 
tional falsehood. As when in broad daylight a mau tracks the 

employed, 11 miSes tie had wuto To which 1 may tM from myielf. thU 
i heut piopty ; evm were there do vhat medical phyBlotoglsta tilllnn ot ceniitii 

e prlntlng-^Dce, « 

lical iib;tl 

majie be lakea n agila 

KbdI the pnai ever? tbin^^ the moniiat In orda- to eunre a hfallhfDl vigom 
Kan WUsiiWlllIaii ilMrt time bm Ibe mbid wd to Ui laleUectod <d^ 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siogn^ia Lifeforia. l-Ifi 

steps of a traveller who had lost his irajr in. a fog, or bj tteaebaoaa 
moonshme; ereuBo.aiidwit^HthesBnie traaquileenseof certaintj, 
can I follow the traces of this bewildered Tisionary, I imderBtand 
Ub ignorance. 

On the other hand, I have been re-perusmg with the best energies 
of mj mind th« Tiiueus of Flato. Wbaterer I comprehend im- 
preases me with a rerereutial sense of the author's genina ; bnt 
.there ia a considerable portion of tlie work to which I can attach 
no consistent meeting. In other tretitises of the same philoaopher, 
intended for the average comprehensions of men, I have been de< 
lighted with tlie maaterlj good sense, with the perepicoitj of the 
laikguage, and the aptness of the inductions. I recollect, likewise, 
that nameroos passages in this author, which I thoroughlj com- 
prebend, were formerly no less maintelligible to me than the pa^S' 
ages now in question. It would, I am aware, be quite faabionable 
to dismiss them at once as Platonic jargon. But tbis I cannot do 
with satisfaction to my own mind, because I have sought in vain 
for causes adequate to the solution of the asetuned inconsistency. 
I have no insight into the poseibilit; of a man so eminently wise, 
nsing woi-ds with such half-meaninga to himself as must, per- 
force, pass into no meaning to his readers. When, in addition to 
the motives thus su^nested by my own reason, I bring into distinct 
remembrance the number and the series of great men who, after 
long and zealous study of these works, had jcdned in honouring 
the name of Flato with epithets that ahnoat tranacend humanity, 
I feel that a contemptuous verdict on my part might argue want 
of modesty, but would hardly be received by the judicious as evi- 
dence of superior penetration. Therefore, utterly baffled in all my 
attempts to iinderstajid the ignorance of Flato, I conclude myacU 
ignorant of his understanding. 

In lieu of the various requeste which the anxiety of authorship 
addresaea to the unknown reader, I advance but this one : that he 
will cither pass over the following chapter altogether, or read the 
whole connectedly. The fairest part of the most beautiful body 
will appear deformed and monstrous, if dissevered from its place 
in the organic whole. iNay, on delicate subjects, where a aeem- 
ingly trifling difference of more or less may constitute a difference 
in kind, even a faithful display of the main and supporting ideas, 
if yet they are separated from the forms by which they are at once 
clothed and modified, may perehance present a skeleton indeed, but 
a skeleton to alarm and deter. Though I might find numerous 
precedents, I shall not desire the reader to strip his mind of all 
prejudiceB, nor to keep all prior systems out of view during his ex- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

116 Stographia tttenmn. 

■minatian of llie present. For, in tmtli, such rec[lle8ta afipear to 
me not nmdh anHke the advice ^ven to hjpochoadriacal patienti 
in Dr. Bnoliaii's domestic medicine; viddioet, to preBerre them- 
selves nniformly tranquil and in good spirito. Till I had dis- 
oorered the art of destroying the memory a parte pott, -without 
iqjiuy to its fntnre operations, and without detriment to the 
judgment, I shordd mppress the request as prematnre; and, 
therefore, however much I may wish to be read with an nnpr<!)a- 
dioed mind, I do not presume to state it as a necessary condi- 

The extent of my daring is to suggest one criterion by which it 
may be rationally coigectured befor^iand whether or no a reader 
vould lose his time, and perhaps his temper, in -the perusal of this 
or any other treatise constructed on ""I'lif principles. But it 
would be cruelly misinterpreted, as implying the least disrespect 
either for the moral or intellectual qnalitjes of the individuals 
tliereby precluded. The criterion is this ; if a man receives as 
fnsdamental facts, and therefore of course indemonstrable and in* 
capable rd further analysiB, the general notions of matter, spirit, 
Bonl, body, action, passiveness, time, space, cause and effect, con- 
Bciouanese, perception, memory and habit; if he feels bis mind 
completely at rest concerning all these, and is satisfied, if only he 
can analyze all other notions into some one or more of these sup- 
posed elements with plausible sabordination and apt arrange- 
ment ; to such a mind I vrould as courteously as possible convey 
the hint that for him the chapter waa not wiitten, 
Tirbonuta, dodiv.frvdenl I atthaud (iHf|>Cnx 

Fortiiesetermsdoin truth include all the difficulties which the 
human mind can propose for solution. Taking them therefore in 
mass and unexamined, it requires only a decent apprenticeship in 
logic to draw forth their contents in aU forms and colours, as the 
professors of legerdemain at our vill^e fairs pull out ribbon after 
ribbon from their mouths. And not more difficult is it to rcdnce 
them back again to their different genera. But thot^h this 
analysis is highly useful in rendering our knowledge more distinct, 
it does not really add to it. It does not increase, though it gives 
us a greater mastery over, the wealth which we before possMsed. 
For forensic purposes, for all the established professions of society. 
this is sufficient But for philosophy in its highest sense, as the 
science of ultimate truths, and therefore toienlia gcienHaram, this 
mere analysis of terms is preparatiye only, though, as a prepnr* 
^e disdijine, indispensable. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogr<^Ma LUa-aria. 117 

Still less daxe a f avoimble perusal be antidpated from the pro- 
lelTtaB of that conrpendioTia philoBOpbf, -which, talkmg of mind 
bat thinking of brick and mortar, or other imi^^ equallj ab- 
atracted from body, contrivee a theoty of spirit by nickna m i n g 
matter, and in a. few hours can qualify its dnUeet disciples to ex- 
plain the omne toibUe \>j reducing all things to impreasioua, ideas, 
and senBations, 

But it is time to teU the truth, though it reqnii'es some courage 
to aron it in an age and country in which disquiaitions on all sub- 
jects not privileged to adopt technical terms or scientific symbols 
must be addressed to the public I say, then, that it is neither 
possible or necessary for all men, or for nnany, to be philosophers. 
There is a philosophic (and inasmoeh aa it is actualized by an 
effi>rt of freedom, an artificial) consciousness, which lies beneath 
or (aa it were} behind the spontaneous conscioUBueas natural to all 
reflectii^ beings. As the elder Somans distinguished their 
northern proTinces into Gis-Alpine and Trans-Alpine, so may we 
divide all the objects of human knowledge into those on this side, 
and those on the other side of the spontaneous consciousneas i 
Mini et trana consdeatiam comm/wiem. The latter is eiclnaiTely 
the domain of pure philosophy, which ia therefore properly en- 
titled transcendental, in order to discriminate it at once both from 
m^e reflection and re-presentation on the one hand, and on the 
other from those flights of lawleas specnlation which, abandoned 
by all distinct consciousness, because transgressing the bounds 
and pnrposes of our inteUectual facultiea, are justly condemned as 
transcendent.* The first range of blll>t that encircles the scanty 

• Tbii distlncUon betneoi truucendeiibl i 

fturoDgh BchoUr aoj hnl vciy qualided 

now employing Id «i« Mpubllcotion of 

Vtim of il, as a aicliomij. 1 sm not now 

SWphanoB augmenled, had not been applied 

•Uudtaf! la IJie number of BfnuiM worda 

pla^ with IjiT'KnXlirGmnBn^and^^iich 

■miuedi for Uiu la (and perhaps lo a grealsr 
etunl) tnie. aa Mr. Waksfleld his nutktd. 

SywnjTaea as weU aa ths J-atin, Inahoosl 

of our best Ilreek l.eiicons, and Ob too after 

every histance the pcec^ Indlvidoal mean- 

the lUocessivB labours of i« many gtantt In 

Ine might be given 'a an EngUsh or Gtrnmn 

word ; M'Hereaa Id UUd we muet loo ollen i« 

WW lim m Wf tciltep^ia, wUI to 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

118 Shgraphia lAteraria, 

Tale of hnmaD life is the horizon for tbe majoritj of ita iulialn- 
tautB. On ita ridges the common sim ia bom and depafts. From 
them the stArs rise, and touching them they vaniah. By the many 
even this range, the natural limit and bulwark of the vale, ia but 
imperfectly known. Its higher ascents are too often hidden by 
nuBta and clonds from nneultiFated ewampi, which few have cou- 
rage or curioaity to penetrate. To the multitude below these 
rapoors appear, now as th9 dark hannts of terrific agents, on 
whic li none may intrude with impunity ; and now all a-glow with 
colours not their own, they are gazed at as the splendid palacea of 
happiness and power. But in all ages there have been a few who, 
measming and sounding the risers of tbe vale at the feet of their 
furthest inaccessible falls, luive leamt that the sources mnat be 
far higher and far inward ; a few, who even in the level streams 
have detected elements which neither the vale itself nor the aur- 
ronnding mountains contained or could supply. How and whence 
to these thoughts, these strong probabilities, the ascertaining 
vision, the intuitive knowledge, may finally supervene, can be 
leamt only by the fact. I might oppose to the question the 
words with which Plotinus* supposes nature to answer a similar 
difficulty : " Should any one interrogate her, how she works, if 
graciously she vouchsafe to listen and speak, she will reply, it be- 
hoves thee not to disquiet me with interrogatories, but to under- 
stand in silence, even as I am silent, and work without words." 

we sUciDpt to render the mon cuplmis lui- 
guage ol tbfr world, tt» moat admJTabLe foT 
tbeDoepesaoCiisdiuliictioai, into one of the 
poorest eod most vague 1aDgm.g(a' Eflpe- 
_._„ . _■ ,. -mparalivi! 

wsalllir liuUvidiub DouU bestow ea their o-uanuoAt,) mi ^i 

nnntr; ind on mimklnd, 1 Dhoald not beJ- <gi >». t»w6ii '• snopw tn 

tale to SOBWer, " a pULosopblcal BllgliiJi die. ima^r t)ittv AoJetii^yi-Surifai. . , 

tionaiTi with the Qreek. LiUn. Qemun. ioihu^ v»°f>'"i ei ffixu^c e^t^ <U».; 

Frenoh. Spanieh »Bl Itatiiti eriionym™, and -■■"— -■-— ■" - 

wlUi conwpoiKleot iodHiea," That tbe ^ ... 

learned langnagei might tbereby be acquired, attd Ibac. whkh ia Ihua genermted, Is 

betM-, Id half tbe tlma. la but a part, and not nUuiea theorem, or fonn oT contempl 

which wouM aoiM from ancb * wwt O I Huitemplaliou, atuins lo bam 

If itaboiildbepeniiltt«lb7PrDvldeDce,thiit tive nature." So Syneslusi '( 

without detrltoent to freedom and Indepen- pi^i Tova. The after com[ 

'" " ' dK geometddan la drawn b 

heart of phlloaopbf 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siographia Literaria. 119 

. Idtewiae in the fifth book <d the fifth Eimead, spealdiig of ths 
highest luid intnitive bnowlsclge aa distixgaiahed £rom the diioais 
Bve, or in the lai^nage oi Wocdsworth : 

■• Tbe Tbkn ul tliB bcolty dlTluB r* 
he aaya : " it is Bot lawful to mqure &om -wheaux it sprang, ae if. 
iC were a thing snlject to place and motion ; for it neither ap- 
proached hither, nor again departs from hence to some other 
place; but it either appears to us or it does not appear. So that 
we ought not to pursue it with a view of detecting its secret 
source, but to watch in quiet till it snddenlj shines upon us ; pre> 
paring oureelves for the blessed spectacle, ae the eje waits pa- 
tiently for the rising sun." They, and thej on^, can acquire the 
philosophic imagination, the sucred power of seU-intuition, who 
within themBelTCB can interpret aud onderstand the symbol, that 
Uie winga of the air-sylph are forming within the skin of the 
caterpillar; those only, who feel in their own Hpirits the same 
instinct which impels the chrysalis of the homed &j to leare room 
in its involncnun for antemue jet to come. They know and fed 
that the potential works in tbem, even aa the actn^ works on 
them ! In short, all the organs of sense are framed for a corre- 
sponding world of sense, and we have it. All the organs of spirit 
are framed tor a correspondent world of spirit i though the latter 
oi^ans are not developed in all alike. But they exist in all, and 
their finit appearance discloses itself in the moral being. How 
else could it be, that even worldlings, not wholly debased, will con- 
template the man of simple and disinterested goodness with con- 
tradictory feelings of pity and respect ? " Poor man ! he is not 
made for this world." Ohl herein they utter a prophecy of nniversal 
fulfilment ; for man must either rise or sink. 

It is Qi9 essential mark of the tme philosopher to rest satisfied 
with no imperfect light, as long as the impossibility of attaining 
a fuller knowledge has not been demonstrated. That the common 
eonscionaness itself will furnish proofs by its own direction, that 
it is connected with mastAr-currente below the svuface, I shall 
merely assoiue as a postulate pro tempore. This having been 
granted, though but in expectation of the argument, I can safely 
deduce from it the eqnal truth of my/ormer aasertion, that phi- 
loeophy cannot be intelligible to all, even of the most learned and 
onltiTated classes. A system, the first principle of which it is to 
render the mind intoitire of the spiritual in man (i. e,, of that 
which lies on the other side of our natural c<msctoneness}, must 
nepcla bsn » fnat obsoijritf lor those wbo have never disciplined 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

120 Biogrtgiiiia lAteraria. 

and atoengtliened tbia ulterior conBcionaiieBe. It miiat, in tmtltt 
be aland of darkaess, a, perfect ajiti-Qoalieii,forineii towlioin the 
noblest treaaures of tbeirows being axe reported onljtliTongh the 
imperfect translation of lifeless and nghUess notions. Perhaps in 
great part, tbioogh words which are bnt the shadows of notions, 
even as the noticnial understanding itself is but the ebadowj ab- 
straction of living and actual tmtli. On the immediate, which dwells 
in every man, and on the original intuition, or absolute affiimatdon 
of it (which is likewise in every man, but does not in every man rise 
into conscionsnesfl), all the certainty of our knowledge depends ; 
and this becomes intelligible to no man by the ministry of mere 
words from without. The medium by which spirits understand 
eacb other is not the surroiinding air, but the freedom which they 
possess in common, as the common ethereal element of their being, 
the tremulous reciprocations o£ which propagate themselves ev^i 
CO the inmost of the soul. Where the spirit of a man is not filled 
with the consciousness of freedom (were it only from its restlesB- 
ness, as of one still straggling in bondage) all apiritoal intercourse 
is interrupted, not only with others, but even with himself. No 
wonder, then, that he remains incomprehensible to himself as well 
as to others. No wonder that, in the fearful desert of his con- 
sciousness, be wearies bi'miiralf out with empty words, to which no 
friendly echo answers, either from bis own heart, or the heart of a 
fellow being, or bewilders himself in the pursuit of notional phan- 
toms, the mere refractions from unseen and distant truths thronglt 
the distorting medium of his own unenlivened and stagnant nnder- 
standing! To remain unintell^ble to such a mind, exclaims 
Scbelling on a like occasion, is honour and a good name before Qod 
and man. 

The history of philosophy (the same writer observes) conttuns 
instances of systems which, for successive generations have re- 
mained enigmatic. Such he deems the system of licibnitz, whom 
another writer (rashly, I think, and invidiously) extols as the only 
philosopher who was himself deeply convinced of bis own doc- 
trines. As hitherto interpreted, however, they have not produced 
the effect which Leibnitz himaeU, in a most instructive passage, 
describes as the criterion c* a true philosophy ; namely, that it 
would at once explain and collect the fragments of truth scattered 
tlirongh systems apparently the most incongruous. The tratb, 
says be, is diffused more widely than is commonly believed ; hut it 
is often painted, yet oftener masked, and is sometimes mutilated, 
and sometimes, alas ! in close alliance with mischievons errors. 
The deeper, however, we penetrate into the tptmoA. of things, tbs 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia Lilenma. 121 

more trath. w« diaoorer in the doctrineB of the greater muober ol 
the pfailoEKtpMcal sects. The want of anbHtantial reality in the 
objects of the senses, aceording to the sceptics ; tike harmonies or 
ntuabera, the protol^peB and ideas, to which the PTthagoreans an{ 
Platonista reduced all things ; the one and all of Farmenides and 
Plotinns, without Spinozism ;* the neceesarj connection of things, 
according to the Stoics, reconcUeable with the spontaneitj of the 
other schools ; the vital-philoeophy of the Gabalista and Hermet- 
iats, who assumed the universality of sensation ; the substantial 
forma and enteiechiea at Aristotle and the schoolmen, together 
with the mechanical solution of all particular phenomena, accord- 
ing t« Democritos and the recent philosophers ; all these we shall 
find united in one perspectire central point, which shows regularity 
and a coincidence of all the parts in the rery object, which from 
every other point <A view mnst appear confused sjid distorted. 
The spirit of sectarianism has been hitherto our fault, and tht* 
cause of onr failures. We have imprisoned our own conceptions 
bj the lines which we have drawn, in order to exclude the concep- 
tions of others. J'ai irwivi que la plwpart dee eecUe oni raieon dane 
vine hoToie partw de ee gu'dlea OBancetd,, waU lumjpos tani en ce gu'elUe 

A system which aims to deduce the memory with all the other 
functions of intelligence, must of course place it« first position 
from beyond the memory, and anterior to it, othei'wise the prin- 
ciple of solution wonld be itself a part of the problem to be solved. 
Such a position, therefore, must in the first instance be demanded, 
and the first question will be, by what right is it demanded P On 
this account I think it expedient to mate some preliminary i-emarka 
on the introduction of Postulates in philosophy. The word pos> 

'Thia b lup]^ elfteted tn thm line* br Uti XsiiTSHrm'- 

Bjualia, In hiB Tbixl H/ma i— ii tq i»ii,i^fi»7», 

"Bf hu nBi«— (takai by ItselO Is Sfitui- ^^^ ipum/iimi- 

■Ef r -AmiFi-v-* mere imiina JfimdI. l^'' '"y^^ 

"ErnifAwiiyTKr-lt mechuiiMl Thrfam. ^iX^^^r 
Bat anile *U Unit, Hkt tbe mult Is tbe 

Tbelim of Saint l^nl ud ChrleUsDltr. pHntbelem is tlieivfore cut iwetwirllv 

SfTfUlns WBB cciuared Ibr bb ductrlDfl of Irrcllgloiu or hentlolj thonob It mmy b4 

(be I (f-f xlannoe of the Eonl 1 but deih-, that taught ■ttaelithsll}'. Thus SjAwia Hanld 

I an find. Biralgned or deenKd heretic*! Ibr tgi^e with Syiwaius In csUIng Odd ^w-fv iv 

BranD.or jBwb Bfthiacn «Ter avorrol it moro coula pot euIhctIIh to tbo prewdintf Nmlc 

MvirrtK il Nm. lolelllgiMit. ' 

To. -n vol Ta Aryn In thie blographkal sketdb 

'/kM^iYofi*^^^- ' bad IraosUted tbe elgbt Hymot of Sjncalua 


. ..„ ^ jiot of Sjncal 

Oreek bilo hXiflieb Awicdtn 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

123 Bio{jraphia lAterarta. 

tnlate is borrowed from the adeaoe of mathematice.* Is geomett^ 
the primarj oonatruotion is not demonatrated, but postulated.' 
This first and moat simple conetructioa in space is the point in 
motion, or the line. Whether the point ia movud in one and the 
sajne direction, or whether its direction is oontinoally changed, re- 
mains as jet undetermined. But if the direction of the point have 
been determined, it is either bj a point without it, and then there 
ariseB the straight line which encloses no space ; or the direction 
of the point is not determined by a, point without it, and then it 
must flow back again on itself; that is, there arises a cjclical line 
which does inclose a space. If the straight line be asaiimed as the 
poBitiTC, the cyclical is then the negation of the straight, it is a 
tine which at no point striken out into the straight, but changes 
its direction continnouslj. Bnt if the primaty line be conceired 
aa undetermined, and the straight line as determined thronghont, 
then the cyclical is the third compounded of both. It is at once 
undetermined and determined ; undetermined through anj point 
without, and determined through itself. Geometry therefore snp- 
plies philosophy with the example of a primary intuition, from 
which every science that lays claim to evidence must take its 
commencement. The mathematician does not begin with a de- 
monstrable propoaition, but with an intuition, a practical idea. 

Bnt here an important distinction presents itself. Philosophy 
ia employed on objects of the inner eense, and cannot, like geo- 
metry, appropriate to every constmction a correspondent outward 
intuition. Nererthcless philosophy, if it is to arrive at erideace, 
mustproceedfrom the most original constmction; and the qaee- 
tion then is, what is the most original constmction or first pro- 
ductive act for the inner sense. The answer to this question 
depends on the direction which is given to the inner sense. But in 
philosophy the inner sense cannot have its direction determined 
by any outward object. To the original construction of the line 
I can be compelled by a hue drawn before me on the Blat« or on 
sand. The stroke thus drawn is indeed not the line itself, but only 
the image or picture of the hne. It is not from it that we first 
learn to knew the line ; bat, on the contrary, we bring ttus strokb 
to the original line generated by the act of the imagination ; 
otherwise we could not define it as without breadth or thicknoss. 
Still however this stroke is the sensuous image of the original or 
ideal line, and an efficient mean to excite every imagination to the 
intuition of it. 

It ia demanded, then, whether there be found any means in phi- 
• Sm Scb^ tUuuKIL tut aiinW- <n M. 4u Wlw«9c)iaft4*!».. 

Dgilizodb, Google 

SiograjMa LiUraria. 139 

bBdpIi;f to deiteirmine the directioti of the inner eenM, as in matit«- 
matica it is determinable by its gpecaSo image or outward pictnre. 
New, the inner sense has ite direction determined for the greater 
part only by an act of freedom. One man's coneciousness extendji 
vnly to the pleaaant or unpleasant eensationa oaoaed in Tiim by ex- 
ternal impressions ; another enlarges his inner sense to a conecioiiB- 
sesa of forma and quantity; a third, in addition to the image, is 
conBciooB of the conception or notion of the thing; a fourth at- 
tains to a notion of his notions — he reflects on bis own reflections ; 
and thus we nia.y say, without impropriety, that the one posBeBsea 
more or lees inner sense than the other. This more or less betrays 
already that phUosophy, in its first principles, must have a prac- 
tical, or moral, as well as a theoi-etical or epeoulatire side. This 
difference is degree does not exist in the mathematics. Socrates, 
in Plato, abows that an ignorant slave may be brought to nnder- 
stand, and of himself to solve, the most difficult geometrical pro- 
blem. Socrates drew the figures for the slave in the sand. The 
disciples of the critical philosophy conld likewise (as was indeed 
actually done by La Forge and some other followers of Des Cartes) 
represent the origin of our representations in copper-plates, bat 
no one has yet attempted it, and it would be utterly useless. To 
an Eaquimanx or New Zealander our most popular philosophy 
would be wholly unintelligible. The sense, the inward organ ; for 
it ia not yet bom in him. So is there many a, one among us, yes, 
and some who think themselves philosophers too, to whom the 
philosophic organ is entirely wanting. To such a man philosophy 
is iimere play of words and notions, like a theory of music to the 
deaf, or li^e the geometry of light to the blind. He connection 
of the parte and their logical dependencies may be seen and re- 
membered 1 but the whole is groundless and hollow, unsustained 
by living contact, unaccompanied with any realizing intuition which 
exista by and in the act that affirms its existence, which is known, 
becanee it is, and is, because it is known. The words of Plotinns, 
in the assumed person of Nature, hold true of the phUosophio 

^nergy. T£ Snnpotii' fuiij Sdaprnia irot«i, Hmttp ol r<a>jU(T^ai Stupoiimi 
ypa^vaw' nXX' ijUiv fiq yija^vinjt, 0ia(iovai]t bi, {i^lirravTat al Tii» 

(rutfiOTav ypojjtfiau "With me the 'act of contemplation makes the 
thing contemplated, as the geometricians contemplating, describe 
lines correspondent ; but I not describing lines, bnt simply con- 
templating, the repreeentatave forms of thii^ rise up into exist- 

The postulate of philosophy, and at the same time the test of 
phUoaophic capacity, is no other tbao the beftT«n-dc«ceaded KKcm 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

124 Siogra^ia lAleraria. 

mrBELF I {E eailo deteendai, TraOi atavrSv). And this at oitAe 
practicallj and BpeonlatiTely. For as philoBophjr is neitli^ a 
science of the reason or nnderstanding onlj, nor merelj a acienoo 
of morals, bnt the science of BEtsa altogether, its primaiy gronnd 
can be neither merely Bpecnlative or merelj practical, but both in 
one. All knowledge rests on the coincidence of an object with a 
subject. (Mj readers have been warned in a former chapter that 
fur their couveuience as well as the writer's, the term subject is 
used bj me in its echolastio sense, as eqniyalent to mind or eeti- 
tient being, and as the necessaiy correlative of object, or qaicguid 
oijieilwf tnenti). For we can know that onlj which is true; and 
the tmth is universallj placed in the coincidence of the thought 
with the thing, of Uie representation with the object repre- 

Now, the sum of all that is mei'ely objective we will hence- 
forth call nature, confining the term to its passive and material 
sense, aa comprieing all the phenumena hj which its existence ia 
made known to ub. On the other hand, the sum of all that is sub- 
jective, wema; comprehend in the name of the self orinteUigence. 
Both conceptions areia necessary antithesis. Intelligence is con- 
ceived of aa esclnsivelj representative, nature as exclusively repi'e- 
sented ; the one as conscious, the other as without consciousueBB. 
Now, in all acts of positive knowledge there is required a reci- 
procal concurrence d both, namely of the conscious being, and of 
that which is in itself unconscious. Oar problem is to ezplaia 
this concurrence, ita possibility, and its neceesity. 

During the act of knowledge itself, the objective and subjective 
are bo instantly united, that we cannot determine to which of the 
two the priority belongs. There is here no first and no second ; 
both are coinstantaneons and one. While I am attempting to ei- 
plain this intimate coalition, I must suppose it dissolved. I must 
necessarily set out from the one, to which tiiej-efore I g^ve hypo- 
thetical antecedence, in order to arrive at the other. Bnt as there 
■are but two factors or elmnents in the problem, subject and object, 
and as it ia left indeterminate from which of them I should com- 
mence, there are two casce equally possible. 

1. Either the Objective ib taeek as the fiest, asd 
thbn tts have to accodmt fob the 8upbkvbktion op thb 
Subjective, which coalesces with it. 

The notion of the subjective is not contained in the notion of 
the objective. On the contrary, they mutually exclude each other. 
The subjective therefore must supervene to the objective. The con- 
cation of nature does Dot apparent^ involve the co-preaenc« of thf 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Sio^-aphia Literafta. 136 

inteUigoice, nmkiiig an ideal duplicate of it, i.e., repreaenting it. 
This desk, for inBtance, would, according to oar natural notioue, 
be, though there should exist no sentient being to look at it. This 
then is the problem of natofal philosophj. It aaemnes the objec- 
tire or anconsoioaB natoia as the first, and has therefore to explain 
how inteUigence can anpervene to it, or how itself can grow into 
intdligenoe. If it shoiild appear that all enlightened natnrallBts, 
without haTing distinctlj proposed the problem to themselves. 
have yet constantly moved in the lino of ita solntion, it most afford 
a strong presTunption that the problem itself is f oonded in nature. 
For if all knowledge has, as it were, two poles reciprocallj reqnired 
and presupposed, all sciences must proceed from the one or the 
other, and must tend towards the opposite as far as the equatorial 
point in which both are reconcOed and become identical The ne- 
ceaaai7 tendence therefore of all natural philosophy is from nature 
to iuteUigence ; and this, and. no other. Is the ti^e ground and oc- 
casion of the inetinctiTe striving to introduce theory into our views 
of natural phenomena. The h^hest perfection of natural phi- 
losophy would consist in the perfect spirituahzation of all the 
laws of nature into laws of intnitioii and inteUect. The pheno- 
mena (fhe material} must wholly disappear, and the laws alone {the 
formed nrast r^nain. Thence it comes, that in nature itself the 
more the principle of law breaks forth, the more does the hu^ 
drop off, the phenomena themselres become more spiritusJ, and at 
length cease altogether in our consciousness. The optical phe- 
nomena are but a geometry, the lines of which are drawn by light, 
and the matoriality of this light iteelf has already become mattor 
of doubt. In the appearances of magnetism all trace of matter 
is lost, and of the phenomena of gravitation, which not a few 
among the most illuatrioua Newtonians have declared no otherwise 
comprehensible than as an immediate spiritual influence, there re- 
mains nothing but its law, the execution of which, on a vast scale, is 
the mechanism of the heavenly motions. The theory of uatui'al phi- ^ 
losophy would then be completed, when all nature was demon. • 
Rtrated to be identical in essence with that which in its highest 
known power exists in man as intelligence and self -consciousness ; 
when the heavens and the earth shall declare not only the power of 
their Maker, but the glory and the presence of their Gkid, even as 
He appeared to the great prophet during the vision of the mount 
in the skirts of His divinity. 

This may suffice to show Hai, even natural science, which com- 
mffliceB with the material phenomenon as the reality uid substanctt 
•f things exietang, do^ yet, by the necessity of theorising uncon* 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Hi Sio^^kt tMenaia. 

•clonslf, and as it were mstinctiiTelf, end in uatuK as aa intd- 
ligence; and by this toidenoy the ecience of nature becomes 
finally nattuul pHloBopLy, the one of tlie two poles of f imdameattU 
2. Oe the Sobjsctivk la takbh as thb Fiaar, ahd thb 


DBNT Objective. 

In the pursiiit of these sciences, onr sncccss in ea(ih depends on 
an austere and faithful adherence to its own principles, with a 
careful separation and ezclueion of those which appertain to the 
opposite science. As the natural philosopher, who directs his 
news to the objective, avoids above all things the intermixtnre 
of the subjective in his knowledge; as for instance, arbitrary 
-suppositions, or rather suiBctions, occult qualifcieB, spiritual 
agents, and the substitution of final for efficient causes; so, on tiie 
otiier hand, the transcendental or inteUigential philosopher ia 
equally anxious to preclude all interpolation of the objective into 
the subjective principles of his science: as, for inst^uie, the aa- 
sumption of impresses or configurations in the brain, correspondent 
to miniature pictures on the retina painted by rays of light from 
supposed originals, which are not the immediate and real obgects 
of viaicm, but deductions from itior the pnrposes of explanation. 
This purification of the mind is efi'aoted by an absolute and scien- 
tific scepticism to which the mind voluntarily determines itself for 
the specific purpose of future certainty. Des Cartes, who, in his 
meditations, himself first, at least of the modems, gave a beau- 
tiful example of this voluntary doubt, this self-determined indeter- 
mination, happily expresses its utter difference from tibe scepticinu 
of vanity or irroligion : Nee ta/men m eo $eepUco» imUabar, gtti 
d/uiitant tantu/m vi dvbiient, et prmter wieeritfudtiwrn. ipeam n^il 
qjusmat. Nam contra toias in eo eram iti aHquid eerU reperirem.* 
ISor is it less distinct iu its motives and final aim, than in its 
proper objects, which are not, as in ordinaiy scepticism, the pre- 
judices of education and circumstance, but those original and 
innate prg'udices which nature herself has planted in all men, and 
which, to all but the philosopher, are the first principles of know- 
ledge, and tha final test of truth. 

Now, these essential prejudices are all reducible to the (me ftin- 
damenbd presumption, that there exist things without us. Aa 
rhia on the one hand originates neither in grounds or ui^uments, 
-nnd yet on the other hand remains proof against all attempts to 
Temove It by grounds or argomenta (naluront furca nspelZo* iamen 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siagrt^ta LUenavi. 1ST 

tMjKe rtdibU) ; on iihe one h^id laje claim to immediate certaintjr 
aa a poBttion nt onoe isdemonstr^e and iirMistible^ and jeia, on 
the other hand, iuaamach as it reCers to eomcthing essentially dif- 
ferent from onrBelres, uaj eren in opposition to oon^Tea, leaves 
it inconceiTable how it eould poeaibly become a part of onr im- 
mediate cooaoiotiBneBS ; in other worde, how that which ex kypo- 
thesi is and continues to be extrinsic and alien to our being should 
become a modification of om bein^; the philosopher, therefore, 
compels himaglf to treat thie faith sa nothing more than a pre- 
jndice, innate indeed and connatural, but still a prtsjudice. 

The other position, which not only olaims but necessitates the 
admission of its immediate certainty, equally for the scientific 
reason of the philosophy as for the conmion sense of mankind at 
large, namely, I am, cannot so properly be entitled a prqudice. 
It is gronndlesa indeed ; but then in the very idea it precludes all 
gronnd, and separtU^ frtnn the immediate conscioueness loses its 
whole sense and import. It is groundless ; but only because it is 
itself the ground of all other oertuuty. Now the apparent con- 
tradiction, that the former position, namely, the existence of 
things without us, which from its nature Gannot be immediately 
certain should be receiTed aa blindly and as independently of all 
grounds aa the existence of our own being, the transcendental 
philosopher can solve only by the suppositiou, that the former is 
nncousciously inTolved in the latter; that it is not only coherent 1 
hnt identical, and one and the same thii^ with onr own imme- I 
diate self-consoionsness. To demonstrate this identity is the | 
office and object of his philosophy. 

if it be said that this is idealism, let it be remembered that it is 
only BO far idealism, aa it is at the same time, and on that very 
account, the truest and moat binding realism. For wherein does 
the realism of mankind properly consist F In the assertion that 
there exists a something without them, what, or how, or where 
they know not, which occasions the objects of their perception P 
Oh no ! This is neither connatural or unirersaL It is what a 
few hare taught and learnt in the schools, and which the many 
repeat without asking themaelTcs concerning their own meaning. 
The realism common to all mankind is far elder and lies infinitely 
deeper than this hypothetical explanation of the origin of our 
perceptions, an explanation skimmed from the mere surface of 
mechanical philosophy. It is the table itself, which tiie iLan of 
common sense believes himself to see, not the phantom of a table, 
from which he may argumentatiTely deduce the reality of a table, 
wMoh he doee not see. If to destroy the reality of all that -nt 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

tS8 Btogng^hta Ltterana. 

BcbaaHj behold, be idealisin, vhat can be more egregioosly SO 
than the ejatem of modem metaphjsics, which baniafaes xatoa 
land of shadows, BoTTOoiids vs with apparitions, and diattugniahe* 
tmth from illusion onlj by the m^oiity of those who dream the 
same dream P "I aBeert«d that the world was mad," eiclaimed 
poor Lee, " and the world said, that I was mad, and confound 
them, they outrotod me." 

It is to the tme and original realism, that I wonld direct the 
attention. This belieres and requires neitber more nor less, than 
that the object whicb'it beholds or presents to itself, is the rod 
and Tery object In this sense, however much we may atriTO 
against it, we are all collectively bom idealists, and therefore, and 
only therefore, are we at the same time realists. Bat of this the 
philosopbers of the schools know nothing, or despise the faith as 
the prejudice of the ignorant vulgar, because they live and move 
in a crowd of phrases and notions from which human nature has 
long ago vanished. Oh, ye that reverence yourselves, and walk 
hnmbly with the divinity in yonr own hearts, je are worthy of a 
better philosophy ! IJet the dead bury the dead, but do yon pre- 
serve your human nature, the d^tii of which was never yet 
fathomed by a philosophy made up of notions and mere 1<^ch1 

In the third treatise of my Logoeophia, announced at the end 
of this volume, I shall give fDeo volealej the demonstrations and 
constructions of the Dpiamic Fhilmiophy scientifically arranged. 
It is, according to my conviction, no oUier than the system of 
Pythagoras and of Plato revived and purified from impure mix- 
tures. Doctrina per tot maims tradita tandem, in vappam de»iii ! 
The science of arithmetic famishes instances, that a rule may be 
useful in practical application, and for the particular purpose tnuy 
be sufficiently authenticated by the result, before it has itself been 
fully demonstrated. It is enough, if only it be rendered intel- 
ligible. This will, I trust, have been effected in the following 
Theses for those of my readers who are willing to accompany 
' me through the following chapter, in which the results will bo 
applied to the deduction of the imagination ; and with it tha 
principles of production and of genial criticism in the fine arts. 

Thbsib I. 

Truth is correlative to bcang. Knowledge without a corns 

spondent reality ia no knowledge; if we know, there must b« 

somewhat known by us. To know ia in its very essence a vori 


Dgilizodb, Google 

Biograjfiaa lateraria. 129 

Thesis IL 

All tratli is eiUier mediate, that is, derived from some other 
truth or trachir ; or immediate and original. The hitter ia abao- 
low, and its formala A. A. ; the former ie of dependent or con- 
didooal certaintj, and represented in the fcmnula B. A. The cer- 
tttintj, which inheres in A. is ftttribatable to B. 

ScHOLius. A chain without a staple, from which all the links 
derived their stabilitj, or a series without a first, has been not 
inaptlj allegorized as a string of blind men, each holding the 
skirt of the man before him, reaching far out of sight, but aU 
moving without the least deriatioa in one straight line. It would 
be naturallj taken for granted, that there was a guide at the head 
of the file : what if it were answered, "So ! Sir, the msu ^s 
without number, and infinite blindness supplies the place of 
sight P 

Equally inoonoeiTable is a cycle of equal truths without a com- 
mon and central principle, which prescribes to each its proper T 
sphere in the system of science. That the absurdity does not so 
immediately strike us, that it does not seem equally unimaginable, t 
is owing to a Borreptitions act of the imagination, which, instinc- \ 
tivdy and witihout our noticing the same, not only fills Up the in- \ 
terrening spaces, and contemplates the cycle of (B. C. D. E. F. : 
4c,) as a, cxmtinuous circle (A.) giriiig to all collectively the unity 
of their common orbit ; but likewise suppUes by a sort of nAinlel- 
lUfiiur th« one central power, which renders the movement har- 
monious and cyclical, 

THBsia in. 

We are to seek therefore for some absolute truth capable of 
conmmnicating to other positions a certainty, which it has not 
itself borrowed ; a truth self-gronnded, unconditional, and known 
by its own light. In short, we have to find a somewhat which is, 
simply because it is. In order to be snch, it mnst be one which is 
its own predicate, so far at least that all other nominal predicates , 
must be modes and repetitions of itself. Its existence too must 
be each as to preclude the possibility of requiring a cause or 
antecedent without an absurdity. 

Thesis tV. 

That there con be but one such principle, may he proved a 

priori; for were there two or more, each must refer to some other, 

ij which its equality is affirmed ; consequently, neither would be 

MU-establiahed, as the hypothesis demands. And a pogUriori, it 


ISO BiogrfKphia Lilerarta, 

will be proved hj the principle itaelf, when it ia discovered, aa in* 
volviag mtiTeraal antecedeate in its ver; conception. 

ScaoLiUH. If we affirm of a board that it is blue, the predicate 
(blue) ia accidental, and not implied in the aabject, board. If we 
affirm of a circle that it is eqni-radial, the predicate indeed ta 
implied in the definition of the anbject : but the eristence of the 
subject itself is contingent, and sapposes both a canae and a per- 

pient. The same reasoning will apply to the indefinite number 
id supposed indemonstrable truths exempted &om the prcfane 
approach of philosophic investigation by tii% amiable Beattde, and 
i-ther less eloquent and not more profound inauguratora of 
c:)mmon sense on the tbrone of phUoeophy; a fruitless attempt, 
were it only that it is the two-fold function of philosophy to 
reconcile reason with common sense, ami to elevate d 

Thesis T. 

Such a principle cannot be any thing or object. Each thing is 
what it is in conseqnence of some other thing. An infinite, inde- 
pendent thing,* is no less a contradiction than an infinite circle 
or a sideless triangle. Besides a thing is that which is capable 
of being an object of which itself is not the sole percipient. But 
an object is inconceivable without a subject as its antithesis. 
Onme jiereepfum pere^ptentein euf^onM, 

But neither can the principle be found in a subject as a sahjedt 
contra-distinguished from an object: for wtieuigue perelpimU 
ali^id ahjicUar percepUi/m. It is to be found therefore neither in 
object nor subject taken separately, and consequently, aa no other 
third is conceivable, it must be found in that which ia neither 
subject nor object eiclusively, but which is ^ejslmti^of boS 
Thkhis TL 

This principle, and so characterised, manifests itself in the Stnc 
or I AU ; which I shall hereafter indiscriminately eiprees by the 
words sfurit, sel^ and self-consciousness. In this, and in this 
alone, object and sntijeot, being and knowing, are identical, each 
involving and supposing the other. In other words, it is a sub- 
ject which becomes a subject by the act of oonetructing itself 
objectively to itself j but which never is an object except tor 
itself, and only bo far as by the v^y same act it becomes a aubject 
I It may be described therefore as a perpetual self-duplication of 

' ' • Tt» ImpoadbUltr of ni stBcAnU tliliig aoidils irnem, tUI be drawrutraud In Um 
mtounUn nnlu) u nelltaer genui, nwdaa, aMqaeai Spiooilmlii (laflftb tiuiiwil 
Aot Indliiduiiin: u »«U u (ta UCUr nnflt- mrLp|gKpif7 


Biogrofpkia lAetanm. 181 

one and tho same power into object and mibjecl, which pre-snp- 
pOBfl each other, and can exist onlj as aatitheaes. 

ScBOijiTH. If a man be asked how he knows that he ta P h« 
can onlj answer, sum ^ia sum. But if (the absoluteness of this 
certainty baring been admitted) he be again aaked, how he, th« 
mdiridual person, camo to be, tien, in relation to the ground o( 
his existence, not to the ^ronnd of his knowledge of that existence, 
he might replj, sum quia Z)«us eat, or still more pbUosophicallj, 
Rtm qaia in Deo sum. 

But if we elevate onr conception to the absolute self, the great 
eternal I ah, then the principle of bring, and of knowledge, of 
idea, and of Tcalitj, the ground of existenue, and the gi-ound of 
the knowledge of existence, are absolutely identical, Sum quia 
mm ;• I am, because I affirm myself to be ; I affirm myself to be, 
because I am. 

Thesis vn. 

If then I know myself only through myself, it is contradictory 
to reqaire any other predicate of self, bnt that of self- conscious- 
ness. Only in the self-conscionsnesg of a spirit is there the 
required identity of object and of representation ; for herein con- 
sists the essence of a spirit, that it is self-representative. If 
therefore this be the one only immediate truth, in the certainty 
(rf which the reality of our collective knowledge is grounded, it 
must feUow that the spirit in all the objects which it views, views 
only itself. If this could be proved, the immediate reality of 
■U intuitive knowledge would be aasnred. It has been shown, 

• It b mist nonh)' of notla, IhU In the 

Bi* wwliOon of HluuelC. not conllMd to In- 

i3 Sim OviUtii. TUi 1> elw by tbe Id. 

dlvHnJs, Indpfd in ILe yerj flm revcladwi 

or Hi. lUwiuu being. J«liovib at tlie kwb 

tnie, because 11 i> a niem ipplleation at ilio 

Mtn tbc mlBolate. or hive no dual nmim™»- 

(terry trse; therefore It it B tree. Bur, ot 

■nrnl;,.=.o«««opby. luonut 

fllW atfifol, i. mpgksl; fur 9.^1 Ml in q«^ 

iHit oxpraa mj regret, tlul in Ihe HiulYoml 

true. Iholillllobetrue.ilwt ^icflKi^'wi 


iderlmlve, notenlQUDedLlctTDth. H^ce 

between tbe egnditiontl flniU I (whicu u 

dOBttlon. 1 to, wh« I MB. whlcb mlitht be 

BVaaj ifflnocd ot hlmulf bj uq uinenl 

of °<MpeiieDce li oUtd hj Kaoft fcJIoHcn 


Tl* OnalBi (Urito crganaUt oljeotioii- 

ilto.b™n« dthtr U« nvtoiiOKdHlTO 

i^radam, tai ihf a It U inyolvoi In the no 

St Paul diyloel; ^ueru, dlller1l« wldFJy 

tnm tHe Tbelau of tbe medmle >cbo«l (u 

tie ipedei to tbe genin. Sir L Newton, Looke, fccj vbo mnit h* 
or ruber u > pBitkalu nndlBaaHO ta the from whom w* bad our beli« and vliki 
kotjKt modiBed ; wd lw« pre-ocdiiiutd aa life and tbe powcn of U*. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

133 Siogrcipkia lAleraria. 

Ihat a spirit i« that whidi is ita own olject, jet not originally an 
\ object, but an absolnte subject for wbiob all, iUdf included, jta.y 
become an object. It mnst therefore be an act ; for every object 
is, aa an object, dead, fixed, incapaUe in. itself of anj actios, and 
necesBarilj finite. Again, the spirit (originally the identity of 
object and subject) mnst in some eeuee disserve this identity, in 
order to be conscious of ii: fit alter et idem. But this implies an 
act, and it followe therefore that intelligence or self -consciousness 
is impossible, except by and in a will. The self-conscious spirit 
therefore is a will ; and freedom must be assumed as a gronnd of 
philosophy, and can never bo deduced from it. 
Thesis TIIL 

Whatever in its origin is objective, is likewise aa such necea- 
sarily finite. Therefore, since the spirit is not originally an 
object, and as the subject exists in antithesis to an object, the 
spirit cannot originally be finite. But neither can it be a subject 
without becoming an object, and as it is originally the identity of 
)M>th, it can be conceived neither as infinite nor finite ezolnsively, 
but as the most original union of both. In the existence, in the 
reconciling, and the recurrence of this contradiction conaiata 
the process and mystery of production and life. 
Thesis IX 

This prineipi'Oim efmimime e»eendi et cognoseendi, as subsisting in 
a will, or primary act of self- duplication, is the mediate or in- 
direct principle of every science ; but it is the immediate and 
direct principle of the ultimate science alone, t. e., of transoen- 
draital philosophy alone. For it must be remembered, that. all 
these Theses refer solely to one of the two Polar Sciences, namely, 
to that which commences with and rigidly confines itself withhi. 
the subjective, leaving the objective (as far as it is exclusively 
objective) to natural philosophy, which is its opposite pole. In 
its very idea therefore aa a systematic knowledge of our collective 
knowing r'^cianlia acUmticBj, it involves the necessity of eome one 
highest principle of knowing, as at once the source and the accom- 
panying form in all particular acts of intellect and perception. 
This, it has been shown, can be found ouly in the act and evoln- 
tion of self-conaciouBuess. We are not investigating an abaolnta 
prineipiwn ettendi; for then, I admit, many valid olgectiona 
might be started against our tlieoiy ; but an absolute j»^ncijinu« 
eognaixndi. The result of both the sciences, or their equatorial 
point, would be the principle of a total and undivided philoao^iy, 
u tor pmdential reasona, I have ohooen to anticipate in the Scbo> 

. Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia lAterana. 138 

liam to Theaia TL and the note snbjomed. In other words, pltilo- -< 
sophj wootd pacs into religion, and religion become inclusire of 
pMloaophy. We begin with the I leiuno tivyae^, in order to und I 
with the abBolate / am. We proceed from the aelf, in order to 
lose and find all self in God 

Thebis X. 

The trausoondentat puilosopher does not inquire what nltimiite 
ground of our knowledge there maj lie out of our knowing, but 
what is the last in our knowing itself, bejond which we cannot 
pass. The priaciple of our knowing is sought within the epbcre 
of our knowing. It must be something therefore which can 
itself be known. It is asserted onlj, that the act of self.con- 
scionsnesB is for u« the source SJid principle of all our possible 
knowledge. Whether abstracted from ns there eiists anything 
higher and bejond tbis primary self-knowing, which is for na the 
form, of all our knowii^, must be decided by the result. 

That the self-consciousness is the fixed point, to which for u« 
all is mortised and annexed, needs no further proof. But that 
the self-conscionsnesa nxay be the modification of a higher form 
of being, perhaps of a higher consciouBnesa, and this again of a 
yet higher, and so on in an infinite regretma ; in short, that aelf- 
conscionsness may be itself something explicable into something, 
which must lie beyond the poaaibilitj of our knowledge, becauae 
the whole synthesis of our intelligence is first formed in axid 
through the Belf-conaciouanesa, does not at all concern us as tranH- 
cendental philosophera. For to_UH the ap ]f-pnTiai;ifinnnpff fl j p not a _ - 
kin d of being, but a kind of knowing , and that too the highest 
and farthest that esists for us. It may however be shown, and 
has in part already been shown in pages 55, 56, that even when 
the objective is assumed as the first, we yet can never pass beyond 
the principle of eelf-conacionaness. Should we attempt it, we 
must be driven back from ground to ground, each of which would 
cease to be a ground the moment we pressed on it. We must be 
whirled down the golf of an infinite series. But this would make 
our reason baffle the end and purpose of all reason, namely, unity 
and system. Or we must break off the series arbitrarily, and 
afBrm an absolnte something that is in and of itself at once cause 
and effect fcaiua tvij aubjeot and object, or rather the absolnte 
identity of both. But as this is inconceivable, except in a seU- 
consciousnesa, it follows, that erra as natural philosophers we 
must arrive at the avue principle from which as transcendental 
philosophers we set outi that isiinaseU-oonsrEousnessinwhiob 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

134 Biographia LUerana. 

the prineipinm eseendi does not stand to the pHnctpiian eogttoieenJk 
in the relation of cause to effect, but both the one and the other ara 
co-inherent and identical. Hius the tme sjstem of n&tural philo- 
sopbj places the sole reality of thii^s in an absolnte, 'which is at 
once eausa tui et effecttit varrip atroiraTmp, flit tavToS — in the abao- 
lute identity of sabject and object, which it calls Katnre, and 
which is its highest power is nothing ^e bnt self-consciOTis will 
vr intelligence. In this sense the position of Halbranche, that 
we see all things in God, is a strict philosophical truth; and 
equally true is the aasertion of Hobbes, of Hartley, and of their 
masters in ancient Greece, that all real knowledge supposes a 
prior sensation. Por sensatioii itself is but vision nascent, not 
the cause of intelligence, bat intelligence itself revealed as ao 
earlier power in the process of self-construction. 

MoKap, iXaSi not t 
Odnp, Tkaffi /tot 
El wapa Kotrfiov, 
Et vapa fiolpar 
Tay ir£r tSiyor ! 

Bearing then this in mind, that intelligence is a self-develop- 
ment, not a quality superrening to a snbstance, we may abstract 
from all degree, and for the purpose of philosophic constmctioi: 
reduce it to kind, nnder the idea of an indestructible power with 
two Opposite and counteracting forces, which by a metaphor bor- 
rowed from astronomy, we may call the centrifugal and csntripedo. 
forces. The intelligence in the one tends to objectize itself, and 
in the other to know itself in the object. It will be hereafter my 
business to construct by a series of intuitions the progreasive 
schemes that must follow from snch a power with such forces, 
till I arrive at the fulness of the human intelligence. For my 
present purpose, I asBome such a power as my principle, in ordet 
to deduce from it a faculty, the generation, agency, and applica 
don of which form the contents of the ensuing chapter. 

In a preceding page I have justified the use of technical tcrma 
in philosophy, whenever they tend to preclude confusion of 
thooght, and when they assist the memory by the ezclnsive 
nngleness of their meaning more than they may, for a short 
time, bewilder the attention by their strangeness. I tmat, that 1 
have not extended this privilege beyond the grounds on which I 
have claimed it ; namely, the conveniency of the scholastic phrass 
to distinguish the kind traai all degrees, or rather to express th« 
kind with the abstractioD of d^ree, as for imrtaoce mnlteitj 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biogrt^hia Literaria. 136 

iLBtead of moltitude ; or secondly, for the aaka of con-espoudenca 
in soimd in interdependent or antithetioal terms, as subject and 
object ; or lastlj, to aroid the weaiying recurrence of circumlocu- 
tioiiB and definitiona. Thaa I shall venture to use potence, in 
order to expreea & apecifio degree of a power, in imitation of the 
Algebraiate. I have eren hazarded the new verb potentiate, with 
ita derivativeB, in order to expreaa the combination or transfer of 
powers. It is with new or unusual terms, as with privileges in 
conrts of jostice or legislature— there can be no Intimate privi- 
lege, where there already exists a positive law adequate to vbe 
purpose ; and when there ia no law in existence, the privilege ia 
to be justified bj its accordance with the end, or final cause, of all 
law. Unusual and new coined words are doubtless an evil; but 
vagueness, confusion, and imperfect convejonce of our thoughts, 
are a far greater. Every system, which ia under the necessity of 
DBing terms not familiarized by the metaphyaica in foahion, will 
he described as written in an nniutelligible style, and the author 
must expect the charge of having substitnted learned jargon for 
dear conception j while, according to the creed of our modern 
phdoaopheTB, nothing is deemed a clear conc^ttion, but what is 
representahle \>j a distiiict image. Thus the conceiTable is 
reduced within the bonndB of the piotorahlo. Sincpatet, gid fiat 
trf, cum iirepnesentabile et impossibile vuigo ejuedem tignificatilt 
habeaabir, evnevpiua tarn continui, gwnn infiniti, aplvaimia rgid- 
atiiar, quvppe quormn, secundum leges oognitionis intoitivEB, r^rm- 
ttniaiio est wnjHMsiMIu. Qaangiaam aulem haram e non pauci* 
teholU eapUmanmn noUonm>t,prwieTtim priorU, eauaam hie turn gero, 
vui^mi tatnett tnomenii erU monuiese : gravisiimo 'iUoa errt/re laM, 
yui lam pereergd argitmentandi raHone utuntu/r, Qwicqaid enim 
repngnat Ugibw intdleeKie et raiionis, litigiM eei impos$ibiU; qaod 
tmlem, cum raiionis pwcE eit oi^ectam, legibua eognUionia ii^iiiva 
tantammodo non subest, non item. Nam hie diseeneus inter faotU- 
iaiem sensittTam et intellectnaleni, fquamm indolem tnaa etponamj 
nihil indAgitai, niei, quas mens ab intelleota acceptas fert ideas 
absCnictas, illas in concrete exaequi, et in intuitus commntare 
swpenumero non posse. HiEC aittem relViBtantia subjectiva men- 
(ttur, vt plurtmum, repugnantiam dliqaam obgectiram, et ineauto* 
fyeOtfaUU, UiaiiibuB, qv/Sma mens homana cireu 
luiHia, quibwg ipsa rerum essentia amtinelw.* 

If SaaOrUa atqui AtiAf- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

»*aa/ormatIjTiii«pui, 1770. InflcllB. Ther taltc, niinely, 

waning; md, scoordfn 

136 Btographia I/Ueraria. 

Critics, who are most rtiady bo bring this cliarge of peilantiy 
and imintelligibilit;, are the most apt to overlook the important 
fact, that beaidea tjie langut^^e of words, there is a langn^e of . 
Bpirita r'sermo interiorj, and that the former is only the vehicle of 
the latter. Consequently their assurance, that they do not nndei- " 
Btand the philosopfaio writer, instead of proving anything 
against the philosophy, may fomiah an equal and (ccEterit 
parSnu) even a stronger presumption against their own phi* 
ioaophic talent. 

Great indeed are the obstaclea which an English metaphysician 
has to encounter. Amongst his moat respectable and intelligent 
judges, there will be many who have devoted their attention 
eEclnsively to the concerns and interests of hnman life, and who 
bring with them to the perusal of a philosophic system an habitoal 
aversion to all specnlations, the utility and application of which 
are not evident and immediate. To these I would in the first 
instance merely oppose an authority, which they themselvea hold 
venerable, that of Iiord Bacon : non invtikt BeieniicB exittimanda 
tuini, quarum in ee rmtliie eet iisw, n ingenia acaani et ordineid. 

There are others whose prejudices are still more formidable, 
inasmuch as they are grounded in their moral feelings and religioas 
principles, which had been alarmed and shocked by the impious 
and pernicious tenets defended by Hume, Priestley, and the 
French fatalists or necessitarians ; some <rf whom had perverted 
metaphymcal reasonings to the denial of the mysteries and indeed 
of all the peculiar doctrines of Christianity ; and others even to 
the subversion of all distinction between right and wrong. I 
would request such men to consider what an eminent and boo- 

riblk 1 am no* dow pleading tha can» of cit^ In the nature of maa) too ortsi pawi 

these lawA. whkb not a few nhoolj han for an looDngrul^ or ImposelbiU^ In the 

tboagbl proper to explode^ eapedallj the olject f<.e.tb»DoLluiBUiernBelve9)HHHdaoM 

(onDer (ttia law et wnUnolty). %Dt 11 la of the ImnUotiB to raiHate tbe UmHatkHU ol 

tbehigbnttmportjaioetoadmoDlsbUiBrader. thehDnuD facu]lle« for the LimHa gf tUngo, 

that Ihoae who adopt u perrarted a mode of aa tbey reaUT fiidBi.'' 

ieMoiilDg.imDDderagTkToti9e[Tcir. What- 1 take Ihla Ksuloii to obwrre, that ban 

oppoaa the formal prlndpLea of Mit ■"' '' — *"'"' """"" ""' ' '■--■"-- 

-"— dlDB "od the n '- — -—■"■- 

._. !.._ .. ..._ , — 7 .- __ — _' . — word. e»dnil™lj for this 

vented la ipace and tiiWL 

kct of pqie Idiellect. For tidi iioii4olnd- Ha tlHnAira nodsUntl; and rIgUly denM 

denes (} Uie eeiisDoni and the {ntellectul tha podbOltr of bilelUctii^ tatnltkn. But 

(the nature of which 1 ehall pieaend; la; as I ase no adeqnau reaam fi>r ttala tidiialft 

opoO pr^tvee Dotbln^ more, iat tbti the eoueoflhe 

ilgnUnHon anthorlied if onr dder tli 
kluiA and mtta-'^"-'"'""- -— *i_~ •- ^ 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia liUerarui. ISZ 

MBBfol defender of the Cliristiaii faith lias obaei'ved, that true meta- 
phjsioa are nothing else but true diviuitj, and that, in fact, the 
. writers, who hare given them snch juat offence, were sophistB, who 
bad taken advantage of the general neglect into which the science 
of l:^c has unhappily fallen, rather than metapbjdciana, a name 
indeed which those writers were the first to explode as trnmean- 
ing. Secondly, I would remind them, that as long aa there are 
men in the world to whom the TyaBi atmrriir ia an instinct and a 
command from their own nature, so long will there be metaphj- 
Eddans and metaphysical apecnlationa ; that false metaphysics 
can be effectually counteraeted by true metaphysics alone ; and 
that if the reasoning be clear, solid and pertinent, the truth 
deduced can never be the leas valnable on account of the depth 
from which it may have been drawn. 

A third claaa profeaa themselves friendly to metaphysics, and 
believe that they are themselves metaphysicians. They have no 
objection to system or terminology, provided it be the method 
and the nomenclatare to which they have been familiarized in the 
writings of Locke, Hnme, Hartley, CondUlac, or perhaps Dr. 
Beid, and Professor Stewart. To objections from this cause it is 
a sufficient answer, that one main object of my attempt was to 
demonstrate the vagneness or inanSciency of the terms nsed in 
the metaphysical schools of Prance and Great Britain since the 
Bevolntion, and that the errors which I propose to attack cannot 
subsist, except as they are concealed behind the maak of a plansi- 
ble and indefinite uomencla.tare. 

But the worst and widest impediment still remains. It is the 
predominance of a popular phUoaophy, at once the counterfeit 
and the mortal enemy of all tme and maolj metaphysical research. 
It is that oorraption, introduced by certain immethodical apho- 
risming Eclectics, who, dismissing not only aU system, bnt all 
logical connection, pick and choose whatever is most plansible 
and showy; who select whatever words can have some semblance 
of sense attached to them without the least expenditure of thought, 
in short, -whatever may enable men to talk of what they do not 
understand, with a careful avoidance of everything that might 
awaken them to a moment's suspicion of their ignorance. This, 
alau ! ia an irremediable disease, for it brings with it, not so 
nmch an indisposition to any particular system, but an utter loss 
id taBt« and faculty for all system and for all philosophy. Like 
echoes that beget each other amongst the mountains, the praise 
or Uame of snch men rolls in volleys long after the report from ths 
DriginBl blunderbnsiL Sequadtat e»t potim et toUio ^uam n 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

188 Bio^aphia Lileraria. 

§t tamen (quod ftuimum eat) puiillanimilaa isla nrm iHne arrogtmtiitl 
/attidio u offert.* 

1 aliall BOW proceed to tlie nature and generis of the imagina- 
tion; bnt I must first take leave to notice, tliat after a more 
accurate penual of Mr. Wordsworth's remarks on the Imagination 
in hia preface to the new edition of his poems, I find that mj con* 
cloaione are not so consentient with hie aa, I confess, I had taken 
for granted. In an article contribnted by me to Mr. SonthcT's 
" Omniana," Onl^e soul and its organs of sense, are the following 
sentences : — " These (the human faculties) I would arrange nndCT 
the different setiaee and powers ; as the eye, the ear, the touch, 
&c.; the imitative power, Tolnntaij and automatic ; the iniagin»- 
tion, or shaping or modifying power ; the fancy, or the aggrega- 
tive and asBociatiTe power ; the understanding, or the regulative, 
subatantiating and realizing power; the specnlative reason — nt 
theoretica et eoientifica, or the power by which we produce, or aim to 
produce, unity, necessity and universality in all onr knowledge by 
means of principles a prioH;f the will, or practical reason ; the 
faculty of choice (Oermaniee, Willkuhr) and (distinct both from 
the moral will and the choice) the sensation of volition, which I 
have fonnd reason to include under the head of single and double 
touch." To this, ae far aa it relates to the sabject in question, 
namely, the words (the i^gregative and associative power), Hr. 
Wordsworth's " only objecidon is that the definition is too general. 
To aggregate and to associate, to evoke and combine, belong as 
well to the imagination as the fancy." I reply, that if by the 
power of evoking and combining, Mr. W. means the same as, and 
no more than, I meant by the aggregative and associative, I con- 
tinue to deny that it belongs at all to the imagination ; and I am 
disposed to conjecture that he has mistaken the co-presence of 
fancy with imagination for the operation of the latter singly. A 
man may work with two very different tools at the same moment; 
each has its share in the work, but the work effected fay each is 
distinct and different. But it will probably appear in the next 
chapter, that deeming it necessary to go back much further than 
ISx. Wordsworth's sabject required or permitted, I have attached 
a meaning to both fonoy and imagination, which he had not in 

■ Bum'* XMuii f>iv<Mtii>>. pntsxs (i, e. miKttiliie utbie npn u frm 

t Tlilipbrue,a}>rM.Ulii«ainwniu«t wnbool), we (ten know tui H miut km 

aneatj mudbderfiCood. and id pljenrdLtj bqr- pre-exSitcd, or Oh apaieoot ItKlf mmU 

tbened on U, whicb U dooi not dnerre T Bj iuve bttn tanponlble, fij eip«r1ea» onlj ] - 

knonleig^ j prieri, w« do oat dhsh. Uist we hnoa tint I hm (?« ; but then mr itttm 

aa know ajijtbing prevlimfllj to experlenv, oonrlncs me Hut 1 muBt tuTC liAd ajv Ib 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siogn^hia LUeraria. 189 

ti«w, at least ■while he was writing that preface. He will judge. 
Would to heaven, I might meet with man; each readers. I wiU 
onnclnde with the words of Bishop Jeremy Taylor : "He to whom 
all things are one, who draweth all things to one, and secth all 
things in one, may enjoy tme peace and retrt of spirit."* 


Iw InugtutloD, or aemplulk pawo 
L r raw Almlgbtr Is. Iran niom 

Such to pafKtloii, raw flret nature atl 
IndDpd with vBrioDfl ronns, various dpfrea 
OInbilaiKe. and In thlogB Hut live, of llle; 
Bat more tefio'd, more ipirllona and pure. 

Sfiirtti odorous bwsUiM. SToweM and thdr frail, 
Xu'e nonrliliment. by gradual Kale lublini'd. 
To viCal iplrlla aaplrs : lo omiwl ; 
To tafcOxfuilf— KiTe t»(b ore and loue, 

: If ra eorponla nit nin' nofcnnlc contiiercnl, nfrOiine iictratur in fiuiu con 
tqut AdAera tubitarMaU qutcquaTH, qaanadnodttmi et Flalonici olfn Tftte agv6 
inc iffitur, jrMtr puri laathemiUica U pyiantKuia tubjicta. coVtyi quaiJaiA mfUt 
tol^ui mente perceptibiiia. 

LnBHTTi: Op.T.ILI.II.ji.eS,— T.JU.J1.311. 

Smao, StticlU.l m. 

D'ES CAKTES, speaking as a naturalist, and in imitation of 
Archimedes, said. Give me matter and motion and I will 
CDDstmct yon the oniverae. We mnat of conrse nttderstaod hini 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

110 JftograpKta laterarta. 

to havo meant, I will render the constractioii of the muTetse 
intelligible. In the aame seuae the transcendental philosopher 
sajs : Grant me a nature having two contrary forces, the one of 
which tends to expand infinitely, while the other etrives to 
apprehend or find itself in this infinity, and 1 will canee the world 
of inteUigences with the whole system of their repi'eeeutationH to 
rise up before yon. Every other science pre-aupposes intelligenci! 
as ahi-eady existing and complete ; the philosopher contemplates 
it in its growth, and as it were represents its history to the mind 
from its birth to its maturity. 

The venerable Sage af £oenigsberg has preceded the march of 
this master-thought as an eEFectiTe pioneer, in his essay on the 
introduction of n^ative quantities into philosophy, pnbllahed 
1763. In this he has shown, that instead of assaiUng the science 
ot mathematics by metaphysics, as Berkeley did in his " Analyst," 
or of sophisticating it, as Wolf did, by the vain attempt of deduc- 
ing the first principles of geometry from supposed deeper grounds 
of ontology, it behoved the metaphysician r&ther to examine 
whether the only province of knowled^ which man has succeeded 
in erectu^ into a pure science, might not furnish materials or at 
lea^t hints for establishing and pacifying the nnsettled. warring, 
and embroiled domain of philosophy. An imitation of the mathe- 
matical method hoa indeed been attempted with no better success 
than attended the essay of David to wear the armour of SanL 
Another use, however, is possible and of far greater promise, 
namely, the actual application of the positions which had so 
wonderfully enlai^ed the discoveries of geometry, mataUt mu- 
tantUg, to philosophical subjects. Eant having briefly illustrated 
the utility of snch an attempt in the questions of space, motion, 
and infinitely small quantities, as employed by the mathematician, 
proceeds to the idea of negative quantities and the transfer ot 
them to metaphysical investigation. Opposites, he well observes, 
are at two kinds, either logical, i.e., sach as are absolntely inoom* 
patjble i or real without being contradictory. The former he de- 
nominates Nihil negativum irreprccientaiite, the connection of which 
produces nonsense. A body in motion is something — MigiM 
cogitabUe ; but a body, at one and the same time in mdlon and not 
in motion, is nothing, or at most, air articulated into nonsense. 
But a motory force of a body in one direction, and kd equal force 
at the same body in an opposite direction, is not incompatible,- 
and the result, namely rest, is real and representable. For the 
purposes of mathematical calculus it is indifferent which force we 
t«rm negative, and which positive, and consequently we ^ipt^ 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia lAterana. 141 

priate the latter to that which happens to bo the prmuipal 
ahject in our thoughts. Thus if & man's capital be ten and hia 
dehts eight, the Bnhtraction will be the same, whether we call the 
capital uegatiTe debt, or the debt negatiTe capital. But inaa- 
mncU as the latter stands practicallj in reference to the former, 
we of course repreeent the mua aa 10 — 8. It is eqnallj clear that 
two eqn&l forces acting in opposite directions, both being finite 
and each distingniahed from the other bj its direction onlj, must 
neutralize or reduce each other to inaction. Now the trans- 
cendental philosophj demands, first, that two forces should be 
conceived which counteract each other by their essential nature ; 
not onl; not in consequence of the accidental direction of each, 
but as prior to all direction, naj, as the prinuuj forces from 
which the conditiona of all possible directions are deriTative and 
deducible : secondly, that these forces should be assumed to be 
both alike infinite, both alike indestructible. The problem wiU 
then be to discover the result or product of two such forces, as 
distinguiBhed from the result of those forces, which are finite, and 
derive their difference solely from the circumstance of their 
direction. When we have formed a scheme or outline of these 
two different kinds of force, and of their difierent results by the 
process of diBcnrsive reasoning, it will then remain for us to 
elevate the Thesis from notional to actual, by contemplating in- 
tuitively this one power with its two inherent indestructible yet 
counteracting forces, and the results or generations to which their 
inter-peneti-ation gives existence, in the living principle and in 
the process of our own self-conBciousness. By what instrument 
this is possible the solution itself will discover, at the same time 
that it will reveal to and for whom it is possible. Non omnia pat- 
tumus omnet. There is a philosophic, no less than a poetic geniu% 
which ia differenced from the highest perfection of talent, not by 
degree bat by kind. 

The counteraction then of the two assumed forces does not 
depend on their meeting from opposite directions; the power 
which acts in them is indestructible; it is therefore inexhaustibly 
i-e-ebollient ; and as something must be the result of these two 
forces, both alike infinite, and both alike indestructible ; and as 
rest or neutralization cannot be this result; no other conception 
is possible, but that the product must be a tertiura aiiquid, or 
finite generation. Consequently this conception is necessary. 
Now this tertiam (diquid can be no other than an inter-penetra* 
tion of the connteracting powers, partaking of both. 


142 Biogra^kia IiUeraria. 

Thus far hoA the work been traiucribed for the preoe, whffi I 
received the followi&g letter from a friend, whose practical judg> 
ment I have had ajnple reason to estimate and reTere, and whose 
tafrte and sensibilitj preclude all the escuees which my eell-loTe 
might poasihly have prompted me to set up in plea against the deci- 
sion of advisers of equal good sense, but with lese tact and feeling : , 

" Dear C. 
" Ymi ask my opinion concerning your chapter on tie Imagination, 
hotk as to the tmpressiotis it made on mj/i^, and as to those V'hich I 
tliink it will make on the publiu, i.e., that part of the public who, from 
the title qf the work aad from its forming a sort of introduction to a 
aolunie of poena, are likely to constitute the great m/yorily of your readers. 

"Alto vtyse^, and ttating in the firtt place the effect on my under- 
standing, your opinions and method of argument were not only so new 
to me, hut n directly the reverse of all I had ever been accustomed to 
cmteider as tmth, that even if I had comprehended your premi$es mffi- 
oiently to have admitted them, and had seen the necessity of your condu- 
lions, I should still have been in that state of mind, whidi in your note 
[see page 36] you have to ingeniously evolved, as the antithesis to that 
in which a man is, when lie makes a bull. In your own words, I should 
have felt at if I had been standing on my head. 

" The effect on my feelings, on the other hand, I cannot better re- 
pretent, than by supposing myself to have known only oar light airy 
modem chapelt <f ease, and thai for the first time to have been placed, 
and h/t alone, in one of our largest Gothic cathedrals, in a gusty moon- 
light night t^ autumn. ' Noai in glimmer, and now in gloom ,■" often in 
palpable darkness not without a chUly sensation qf terror; then suddenly 
emerging into broad yet visionary lights with coloured ihadows, ^ 
fantastic shapes, yet aU decked with holy insignia and mystic lymbott ; 
and ever artd onon comiiuj out full upon pictures and stone-work image* 
(f great men, with whose names I loas familiar, bat which looked upoK 
me with countenances amd an expression, the most dissimilar to all t 
had been in the habit qf connecting with those names. Those whom I 
had been taught to venerate as almost super-humo,n in magnitude ^ 
intellect, I found perched in little fret-work niches, aa grotesque dwarfs ; 
while the grotesques, in my hiilieiio belief, stood guarding the high altar 
with all the eharactert (f Apoiheotit, In short, what J had siippcted 
suhttanices were thinned away into shadows, whUt everyichere, shadow* 
were de^ened into tuhttancet : 

" Yet t^er all, I could not but repeat the lines which you had quUti 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siograpkia Literaria. 142 

fivm a MS. poem oj yoar own in The Fbiekd, and cyiplied to a work 
</ Mr, Wordsworth's though with a/ew qf the vwdt alttrti: 


Tb a ifmife mliric duauM t" 

"Be assured, however, that I hok /orwatd anxioudi/ to your great 
iaoA on the Constructive Philosophy, whkh you have promised and 
mmounced : and that I will do my Ixit to understand it. Only I will 
wA promise to descend into the dark cave of Trophoaius witii you, there 
to rah my own egei, tn order to roAke the gtarks and figured jbishes, 
which I am required to see. 

"SomucJi/or mys^. But as for the poblio, / do rwt hesitate a 
momeat in advising and urging you to withdraw the chapter from the 
pretest work, and to reserve it for your aimounced treatise on the Logos 
or communicative inteUect in Man astd Deity. First, because imper- 
fectly ai I wnderiiand the present chapter, I see dearly that you have 
done too much, and yet not enough. Tou have been Miged to omit so 
many linJes, from the necessity of compression, that what remains looks 
(if I may recur to my former iilustrationj like the fragmeats of tlie 
vrinding itepi of an old ruined tower. Secondly, a still stronger argu- 
ment fat least one that I am sure will be more forcible with youj it, 
thai your readers will have both right and reason to amtplain of you. 
This chcyder, which caTtnol, when it is printed, amount to so little as an 
hitadred pages, wiU of necessity greatly increase the expense qfthetvork; 
and every reader lofto, like mysdf, is neither prepared or perhaps cnZcu- 
laitd for the study ^ to abstruse a subject so abstrusely treated, will, as 
I have b^ore hinted, be almost tnlilled to accuse you of a sort of im- 
position on him. For who, he might truly observe, could from your 
tUh-page, viz., ' Mj Literary Life and Opiuions,' puUi^ed too as 
introductory to a vclume <^ miscdlaaeout poems, have anticipated, or 
even conjectured, a long treatise im ideal Bealtsm, which holds the same 
rdation tn abatrusenett to Blotinus, as Plotinui does to Plato. It wilt 
i» wtC, if already you have not too mueh of melaphysiad disquisition m 
your work, thouyh as the larger part of the disquisition u historical, it 
will doubtless be both interesting otttj instructive to many to whose 
unprepared miTids your speculationt on the esemplastic power would be 
utterly unintellig^e. Be assured, if you do publish this chapter in the 
present work, you will be reminded (^ Bishop Berkeley's Siris, announced 
as an Essay on Tar-water, which beginning with Tar ends with the 
Trinity, the omna seibile forming the interspace. I say in the present 
work. In that greater work to which you have devoted so many years, 
mtd study so intense and various, it wHl be in its proper place. Your 
prf)tpeetut wiU have described and atmouruxd both its contents and their 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

lil Siogrcgflna LUemrta. 

nature ; (Bui if any persona purchme it, laho fed no trUerett At Ut 
Mttfy'eett (fvihich it treats, they will have tkemerlvu only to Uame. 

" I nmld add to theie argumenit on* derived frimi pecuniary mititi, 
imd partieularly from the priAdble ejects on (Aa.aale of your pretext 
puHicatvini hut they would weigh little viiih you compared loith the 
preceding. Seaidei, I have long cbsemed, thai arguments drawn from 
your own personal interests more often act oa you as nareolies than ai 
stimulants, and that in mimey coicems you haiie tmne sm'/ll portion i^ 
pig-nature in your moral idiosyncracy, and lite these amiable crenturei, 
must occasionally be puUed backward from the boat in order to make 
you tnitr it. All »uaxu attend you, for if hard thinking and hard 
reading are merits, you have deserved it. 

" Four affeetionate, Jte." 

In consequence of thia very judicioUB letter, whieli produced 
complete convictiou on tnj mind, I ahall content mjeelf for tlte 
preeent with stating tlie main reenlt of the chapter, which I 
have reserred for that future publication, a, detailed proepectos of 
which the reader will find at the close of the second volume.* 

The imagimttion then I consider either as primar;, or se- 
oondaij. The primary imagination I hold to be the living power 
and prime t^ent of aU human perception, and aa a repetiticoi in 
the finite mind of the eternal act of creaticm in the infinite I ak. 
The secondaiy I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing 
with the co nBciouB j pU, yet ertUl as identical with the primary in 
the kind of its ag^cy, and differing only in degree, and in the 
mode of its operation. It diaeolTee, diffosea, diaaipatea, in order to 
re-create; or where thia proceaa is rendered imposaiblo, yet stiB, 
at all events, it stmgglea to idealize and to unify. It is eaaentially 
vital, even aa all objecta (aa objects) are eaa^tially fixed and dead. 

Fancy, ou the contrary, has no other counters to play with, but 
fixities and definitea. The Fancy is indeed no other than a mode 
of memory emancipated from the order of time and apace ; and 
blended with, and modified by that empirical phenomenon of tba 
will, which we express by the word choice. But equally with tha 
ordinary memory, it muet receive all its materials ready inada 
from the law of association. 

Whatever more than thia, I ahall think it fit to dedare c<mi* 
ceming the powers and privileges of the imagination in tlta 
present work, will be found in the Critical Essay on the uaes nt 
the Supernatural in poetry and the principlea that regnlat« Ha 
introduction : which the reader will find prefixed to the poem d 
The Ancient Miuiner. 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biograpkia tAUrarta. 

I^rlaJ BaUids, ud the ol(|«t 
taaa ud Poeti;, with gdiollA. 

DUIONG the firat year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neiRli- 
booTB, OUT cooversatiODB turned frequentlj on the two car- 
diual points of poetrj, the power of exciting the sympathy of the 
reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the 
power <^ giviag the iDt«reet of novelty by the modifying colours 
of imagination. The sudden charm, which accidents of light and 
shade, which moonlight or sunset, difFnsed over a known and 
familiar landscape, appeared tii represent the practicability of 
combining both. These are the poetry of nature. The thought 
Bnggeated itself (to whi<ih of ne I do not recollect) that a series of 
poems might be compoaed of two sorts. In the one, the incidents 
and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural j and the 
excellence aimed at was to consist in tlie interesting of the affec- 
tions by the dramatic truth of snch emotions, as wonld naturally 
accompany each situations, supposing them reaL And real in 
this sense they have been to every human being who, from what- 
ever souree of delusion, has at any time believed himself under 
supernatural agency. For the second class, subjects were to be 
chosen from ordinary life; the characters and incidents were to 
be such as will be found in every Tillage and its vicinity where 
there is a meditative and feeling mind to seek after theia, or to 
notice them when they present themselves. 

Li this idea originated the plan of the " Lyrical BaUada ;" in 
which it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to 
persona and characters supernatural, or at least romantic ; yet so 
as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a 
semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of 
imagination that willing anapension of disbelief for the moment, 
which constitutes poetic faith. Mr. Wordaworth, on the other 
hand, was to propose to himself as bis object, to give the charm 
of novelty to things of every day, and to escite a feeling ana 
logons to the supernatural, by awakening the mind's attention 
from the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness 
and the wonders of the world before ns ; an ineihanstible trea- 
sure, but for which, in consequence of the film of familiarity and 
sdfish scdicitnde, we have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not. 
■nd beaxt« that neither feel nor undersumd. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

116 Biogra^lua Zateraria. 

Witb this Tiew I wrote the " Ancient Uarmer," and Was pn> 
porii^, among other poems, the "Dark Ladie," and the " Chris- 
tabel," in which I should have more nearly realized my ideal than 
I had done in my first attempt. But Mr. WordBworUi'a industa; 
hod proved so mv-ih more enccessfnl, and the nnmber of his 
poems so much greater, that my compositions, instead of forming 
a balance, appeared rather an interpolation of heterogeneous 
matter. Mr. Wordsworth added two or three poems written in 
his own character, in the impasuoned, lofty, and sustained dic- 
tion which is characteristic of his genius. In this form the 
" Lyrical Ballads " were published ; and were presented by him, 
as an experiment, whether subjects, which from their nature 
rqected the usual omaments and extxa-colloquial style of poems 
in general, might not be so nuinaged in the language of ordinary 
life as to produce the pleasurable interest which it is the peculiar 
business of poetry to impart. To the second edition he added a 
preface of considerable length; in which, notwithstanding some 
passages of apparently a contrary import, he was nnderetood 
to contend for the extension of this style to poetiy of all kinds, 
and to rqect as Ticious and indefensilde all phrases and forms of 
style that were not included in what he (unfortunately, I think, 
adopting an eqnivoi^I expression) called the language of real life. 
Prom this preface, prefixed to poems in which it was impossible 
to deny the presence of ori^nal genius, however mistak^i its 
dii'ection might be deemed, arose the whtde long-continned ocm- 
troversy. For from the coiyunction of perceived power with 
supposed heresy I explain the inveteracy, and in some instances, 
I grieve to say, the acrimonious passions, with which the contro* 
versy has been conducted by the assailants. 

Biid Ur. Wordsworth's poems been the silly, the childish things 
which they were for a long time described as being ; had they been 
really distinguished from the compositions of other poets merely 
by meanness of langnage and inanity of thought ; had they indeed 
contained nothing more than what ia found in the parodies and 
pretended imitations of them ; they must have sunk at once, a 
dead weight, into the slough of oblivion, and have dragged the 
preface along with them. But year after year increased the 
number of Mr. Wordsworth's admirers. They were found, too, 
not in the lower classes of the reading public, but chiefly among 
young men of strong BeneibUity and meditative minds ; and their 
admiration (inflamed perhaps in some degree by oppoaitiim) wita 
distinguished by its intensity, I might almost say, by its rdigioni 
forvDur. These facts, and the intellectual energy of the aathor, 

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Siogra^tia LUeraria. 147 

trlucli was mora or lees consciooslj felt, where U was outwardl; 
and even boiaterotuilj denied, meetii^ with sentdmenta of aversion 
to hia opinions, and of alarm at their conseqnencee, prodnced an 
eddy of criticiem, which wonld of itself have bonie up the poems 
by the violence with which it whirled them round and round. 
With many parte of this prefuce, in the sense attributed to them, 
and which the words undoubtedly seem to authorize, I never con- 
curred ; bat, on the contrary, objected to them as erroneous in 
principle, and as contradictory (in appearance at least) both to 
other parts of the same preface and to the author's own practic* 
in the greater nnmher of the poems themselves. Ur. Words- 
worth, in hi^ recent collection, has, I find, degraded this prefatory 
disquisition to tike end of his second volume, to he read or not st 
the reader's choice. Snt he has not, as far as I can discover, an- 
nounced any change in his poetic creed. At all events, consider- 
ing it as the source of a controversy, in which I have been 
honoured more than I deserve by the frequent conjunction of my 
name with his, I think it expedient to declare, once for all, in 
what points I coincide witli his opinions, and in what points I 
alt<^^ther differ, Bnt in order to render myself intelligible, I 
must previously, in as few words as possible, explain my ideas, 
first, of a poem; and secondly, of poetiy itself, in kind and in 

The office of philosophical disquisition consists in just distinc- 
tion; while it is the privilege of the philosopher to preserve 
himself constantly aware that distinction is not division. In 
order to obtain adeqnate notions of any truth, we must intel- 
lectoaUy separate its distinguishable parts ; and this is the tech- 
nical process of philosophy. But having so done, we must then 
restore them in our conceptions to the unity in which they actu- 
ally co-eiist; and this is the result of philoBophy. A poem 
contains the same elements as a prose composition ; the difference, 
therefore, must consist in a difierent combination of them, in 
consequence of a different object proposed. According to the 
difference of the object will be tlie difference of the combination. 
It is possible that the object may be merdy to facilitate the 
recf^ectioQ of any given facts or observations by artificial ar- 
Tsngement ; and the composition wiU be a poem, merely because 
it is distinguished from prose by metre, or by rhyme, or by both 
conjointly. In this, the lowest sense, a man might attribut« tlw 
nnjim of a poem to the well-known enumeration of the days in the 
seraral months : 

' TMnt dtiTi hith Seplauber. 
April, June. *nl Htmtatm," fta 

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us Siographia JAterana. 

and others of the same class and parpoee. And as a partioiilar 
pleasure is fonnd iu anticipating the recurrence of eonuda and 
qnautitiea, all compositions that liave this charm superadded, 
whatever be their cant«iita, may be entitled poems. 

So mach for the superKcial form. A difference of object and 
contents supplies an additional gromtd of diatinction. The im- 
mediate purpose maj be the communication of truths ; either of 
truth abaolato and demonstrable, as in works of science ; or of 
facts experienced and recorded, as in history. Pleasure, and that 
of the highest and most permanent kind, maj resolt from the 
attainment of the end; but it is not itself the immediate end. In 
other works the communication of pleasure maj be the immediate 
purpose ; and though truth, either moral or intellectual, ooght to 
be the ultimate eaK, jet this will distinguish the character of the 
author, not the claas to which the work b^ot^. Blest indeed is 
that state of society, in which the immediate purpose would be 
baffled by the perversion of the proper ultimate end; in which no 
charm of diction or imagery could exempt the Bathyllns even of 
an Anacreon, or the Alaria of Yirgil, from disgust and averaion! 

But the communication of pleaaore may be the immediate 
object of a work not metrically composed ; and that object may 
have been in a high degree attained, as in novels and romances. 
"Would then the mere superaddition of metre, with or without 
rhyme, entitle these to the name of poems P The answer is, that 
nothing can permanently please, which does not contain in itadf 
J the reason why it is so, and not otherwise. If metre be super- 
added, all other parts moat be made consonant with it. Th^ 
must be such as to justify the perpetual and distinct attention to 
each part, which an exact correspondent recurrence of accent and 
aound are calctOatcd to excite. 13ie final definition then, so 
deduced, may be thus worded. A poem is that species of com- 
position, which is opposed to woAs of science, by proposing for 
its immediato object pleasure, not truth; and from all other 
species (having this object in common with it) it is discriminated 
' by proposing to itself such delight from the whole, as is compati- 
' hie with a distinct gratification from each component part. 

Controversy is not seldom excited in conseqoence of the dispu- 
tants attaching each a different meaning to Uie same word; and 
in few instances has this been more striking than in diqiutea 
concerning the present sutgect. If a man chooses to call &rtsrj 
composition a poem, which is rhyme, or meaaore, or bcth, I must 
leave his opinion unconti-oTorted. The distinction is at least 
iompetent to characterize the writer's intention. If it were snb> 

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BiograpTiia lAlerarta. 149 

Joined, tiha.t tlie whole is likewise entertaining or affecting, aa a 
tale, or as a aeries of iat«reBtiiig reflections, I <^ ooorse admit 
tUs as another fit ingredient ol a poem, and an additional merit. 
Bat if the definition songht for be that of a legitimate poem, Z 
answer, it most be one the parts of which mutuaUj snpport and 
explain each other; all in their proportion harmonizing with, and 
supporting the purpose and known influences of metrical arrange* 
ment. The philosophic critics of hU ages coincide with the nlti- 
mate judgment of all conntiiea, in eqnBllj denying the praiecB of 
a just poem, on the one hand to a series of striking lines or 
disticbs, each of which absorbing the whole attention of the 
reader to itself, diqoins it from its context, and makes it a 
sepcirate whole, instftad of a harmonizing part; and on the other 
hand, to an nnsnstain«d composition, from which the reader 
collects rapidlj the general result unattracted bj the component 
parts. The reader should be carried forward, not meralj or 
chiefly bj the mechanical impulse of curiosity, or by a restless 
desire to arrive at the final solution; but by the pleasurable 
actirity of mind ezoit«d bj the attractions of the journey itself. 
Uke the motion of a serpent, which the Egyptians made the 
emblem of intellectual power; or like the paUi ot sound through 
the air, at every step he pauses and half recedes, and from the 
retrc^jTesBive movement collectB the force which again carries Him 
onward. Praec^pitmtdiu ett liber gpmCtu, sajra Fetroniua Arbiter 
most happily. The epithet, liber, here balances the preceding 
verb : and it is not easy to conoeiTe more meaning condensed in 
fewer words. 

But if this should be admitted aa a Batiafactotj character of a 
poem, we have BtUl to seek for a definition of poetry. The 
writings of Plato, and Bishop Taylor, and the Theoria Sacra of 
Bomet, furnish undeniable proofs that poetiy of the highest kind 
ma3r exist without metre, and even without the contradistinguish' 
ing objects of a poem. The first cbapt«r of Isaiah (indeed a very 
lai^ proportion of the whole book) is poetry in the most em- 
phatic sense; 'yet it would be not less irrational than sti'ange to 
assert, that pleasure, and not tmth, waa the immediate object of 
the prophet. In short, whatever specific import we attach to the 
word poetry, there will be found involved in it, as a necessary 
consequence, that a poem of any length neither can be, nor 01^•ht 
to be, all poetry. Tet if a harmonious whole is to be produced, 
the remaining parts must be preserved in keeping with the 
poetry ; and this can be no otherwise effected than by such • 
•tadied selection ao^ artificial arrangement as wiU partake ct 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

ISO Biographia lAleraria. 

cue, Uioagk not a peculiar, property of poetry. And this again 
oaa be no otber tlun the property of exoitiiig a ntore oontuiaottt 
aad equal attentioa thim the language of prose aims at, whether 
ooUoqoial or mitten. 

U7 own conclusioiiB on the nature of poetry, in the etrictest use 
of the word, have been in part anticipated in the preceding die- 
qniaition on the fancy and imagination. What is poetry F is so 
nearly the same question with, what is a poetp that the answer 
to the one is inTidved in the solution of the other. Por it is a 
distinction resulting from the poetic genina itself, which sustains 
and modifies the inu^^ee, thoughts, and emotions of the poet's 
own mind. The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the 
whole soul (^ man into activity, with the subordination of its 
faculties to each other, according to their relative worth and 
dignity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, 
and (as it were) fuses, each into each, by that eyntiietic and 
m^cal power to which we bare exclusively appropriated the 
name of imagination. This power, first put in action by the will 
and understanding, and retained under their irremissive, though 
gentle and unnoticed, control {lateU effertw habenig) reveals 
itself in the balance or reconciliation at opposite or discor- 
dant qualities: of sameness, with difference; (d the general, vrith 
the concrete; the idea, with the image ; the individual, with the 
representatiTe; the sense of novelty and freshness, with di and 
familiar objects; a more than usual state of emotion, with more 
than usual order; judgment ever awa^e and steady self-posses- 
sion, with enthusiasm end feeling profound or v^ement; and 
while it blends and harmonizes the natural and the artificial, still 
snbordinatea art to nature ; the manner to the matter ; and our 
admiration of the poet to our STmpathy witli the poetry. 
" Doubtless," as Sir John Davies observes of the soul (and his 
words may with slight alteration be applied, and even more 
qipropriately, to the poetic imagination), — 

Diinba« UiU eodtd not be, Imt IbM >IH rarm 
Bo«» 10 iTiMH>7 nbllBuiJoa ■tnnge, 
A. fl« ™«m to a™ U» «ili«i it boim 
Ai WB onr ftBd Into oor Mlnni chjuigfc 

AomtbeltsRHmiUe ihe obttneM thdr tttn 
And diswi » Uad otqnlot™en« from tblnp j 

Tobcur them ligbl on her oeteatul iringi. 

Hkii dnei ebe, when from lodiTidiul itaia 

Sbe doth ilMtnct the nnlverul kindi; 

Whkh tben reKlolbol in dlven nemei md fiten 

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Biographia jAUroria. 151 

Finally, good sense is the body of poetie geuioa, fancy ita 
drapery, motion its life, and imaginatioii the soul that is every 
where, and in eacli ,' and forms aJl into one graceful and iuieUi' 

gent whole. 


Fthe application of these principles to pnrposea of pra:CticHl 
criticism as employed in the appraisal of works more or less 
imperfect, I have endeavoured to discover what the qualities in a 
poem are, which may be deemed promises and specific symptoms 
of poetic power, as distinguished from general talent determined 
to poetic composition by accidental motives, by an act of the will, 
rather than by the inspiration of a genial and productive natnre, 
In this investigation, I could not, I thought, do better, than keep 
before me the earliest work of the greatest genius, that perhaps 
human nature has yet produced, our tnyriad-minded,* Shake- 
speare. I mean the"Venus and Adonis," and the "Lucreccj" 
works which give at once st^ng promises of the strength, and 
yet obvious proofs of the immaturity, of his genius. From these 
I abstracted the following marks, as characteristics of original 
poetic genius in genei-al. 

1. In the "TenuB and Adonis," the first and moat obvious 
escdlence is the perfect sweetness of the versification ; its adap- 
tation to the subject 1 and the power displayed in varying th« 
marcli of the words without passing into a loftier and more 
mi^estic rhythm than was demanded by the thoughts, or per- 
mitted by the propriety of preserving a sense of melody predomi- 
nant, liie delight in richness and sweetness of sound, even to a 
faulty excess, if it be evidently original, and not the result of an 
easily imitable mechanism, I r^^ard aa a highly favourable pro- 
mise in the compositions of a young man. " The man that hath 
not music in his soul " can indeed never be a genuine poet. 
Imagery (even taken from nature, much more when transplanted 
&om books, as travels, voyi^es, and works of natural history) ; 
affecting incidents; just thoughts; interesting personal or do- 

• 'AtT* f^^ ..- , - - - - - -- -- 

inowed fromiOreekm'jnfc. who applieait ptare de jure tivgiitai^ ti 

I > PitTUrdi of Constanlinople. I lolKht " - 
•TCMMillMtl ten ni4*iiDal.nUHr iban 

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162 Biographia LUerariii. 

mestio feelings ; and with, these the art of their combinatitm or 
lutertexture in the form of a jwem ; may all by inceasant effort be 
acquired aa a trade, by a man of talente asd niiich reading, who, 
aa I once before observed, baa mistaken tax intense desire of poetic 
reputation for a natural poetic genius ; the love of the arbitrary 
end for a poBsession of the pecnliar means. But the sense of 
musical delight, with the power of producing it, is a gift of imagi- 
nation ; and this, together with the power of reducing multitude 
into Quity of effect, and modifying a series of thoughts by some 
one predominant thought or feeling, m^ be cultivated and im- 
proved, but can never be learnt. It is in these that "Poeta lua- 
titur nonjii." 

2. L second promise of genius is the choice of subjecta very 
remote from the private intereete and circumstances of the writer 
himself. At least I have found, that where the subject is taken 
immediately from the author's personal sensations and expe- 
riences, the excellence of a particular poem is but an equivocal 
mark, and often a fallacious pledge, of genuine poetic power. We 
may perhaps remember the tale of the atatnary, who had acquired 
considerable reputation for the legs of hia goddeaaes, though the 
rest of the statue accorded but indifferently with ideal beauty; 
till his wife, elated by her hnsband's praises, modestly acknow- 
ledged that she herself had been his >'onatant model. In the 
Venus and Adonis, this proof of poetic power exists even to 
exceaB. It ia throughout as if a superior spirit, more intuitive, 
more intimately conscious even than the characters themselves, 
not only of every outward look and act, but of the flux and reflux 
of the mind in all its subtlest thoughts and feelings, were placing 
the whole before our view ; himself meanwhile unparticipating in 
the passions, and actuated only by that pleasurable excitement 
which had reaulted from the energetic fervour of his own spirit, 
in BO vividly exhibiting what it had so accurately and profoundly 
contemplated. I think I should have conjectured from these 
poems, that even then the great instinct which impelled the poet 
to the drama was secretly working in him, prompting him by a 
series and never-broken chain of imagery, always vivid, and 
because unbroken, often minute ; by the highest effort of the 
picturesque in words, of which words are capable, higher perhaps 
than was ever realized by any other poet, even Dante not ex- 
cepted; to provide a substitute for that visual language, that 
constant intervention and running comment by tone, look, and 
gesture, which, in his dramatic works, he was entitied to expect 
from the players. Hi» Tenns and Adonis seem at once the 

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Siograpkia Liierana. 163 

damotora themselTes, and the whole represen'tation of those 
tdtaracters hj ihe most oouenmmate actors. Toa seem to be told 
nothing, but to see and hear eTerjthm^. Hence it is, that from. 
the perpetnal activity of attention required on the part of thr 
reader; from the rapid flow, the quick change, and the pluTfal 
nature of the thoughts and images; and, above all, from the 
ahenation, and, if I may hazard such an eipreseion, the utter 
aloofness of the poet's own feelings from those of which he is at 
once the painter and the analyst ; that though the very subject 
cannot hut detract from the pleasure of a delicate mind, yet never 
was poem less dangerous on a moral account. Instead of doing 
M Arioeto, and as, atill more offensively, Wieland has done; 
aatead of degrading and deforming passion into appetite, the 
trials of love into the straggles of concupiscence, Shakespeare has 
here represented the animal impulse itself, ao as to preclude all 
sympathy with it, by dissipating the reader's notice among the 
thousand outward images, and now beautiful, now fanciful cir- 
cumstances, which form its dresses and its scenery ; or by divert- 
ing our attention from the main subject by those frequent witty 
or profound i-eflections which the poet's ever active mind has 
deduced from, or connected with, the imagery and the incidents. 
The reader is forced into too much action to sympathise with the 
merely passive of our nature. As litUe can a mind thus roused 
and anrakened be brooded on by mean and instinct emotion, as 
the low, lazy mist can creep upon the surface of a lake while a 
strong gale is driving it onward in waves and billows. 

3. It has been before observed that images, however beautiful, 
though faithfnUy copied from natnre, and as accurately repre- 
aented in words, do not of themselves characterize the poet. Thej 
become proofs of original genius only as far aa they are modified 
hy a pn^ominant passion ; or by associated thoughts or images 
awakened by that passion ; or when they have the effect of re- 
ducing multitade to unity, or succession to an instant ; or lastly, 
when a human and intellectnal life is transferred to them from 
the poet's own spirit, 

■ Wliich Bboota lU being Uinngh arth, bu. and sir." 

In the two following lines, for instance, there is nothing objec- 
tionable, nothing which would preclude them from forming, in 
their proper pla<^c, part of a descriptive poem ; 

But with the small alteration of rhythm, the same words would 

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151 Siographia LU^arta. 

be ©qnaJly in their place in a boot of topog^pliy, o; in a dcwnip- 
live toor. The aanie image will rise into a semblance of pofittj if 

thuB conreyed : 

I hare giren tbis aa an illustration, hj no means as an instance, 
of that particular excellence which I had in view, and in which 
Shakespeare, eren in his earliest as in his latest woika, snrpaeses 
all other poets. It is hy this that he still gives a dignity and a 
passion to the objects which he presents. Unaided by any pre- 
Tions excitement, they burst upon us at once in life and in 

" Full nuDJ a glDiionB momtaig hive 1 te«i 
ylatUr (he mounudn-tops vllti uv«el)pi ey?. '' 

aiukeapeare'i 33ld. Somwt. 

WhiLe be Insulta o'er dull and spwohlsis Iriba. 

Whffl lynula' emu, and tomlii of bnes at ipatV 


As of higher worth, so doubtless trtiU more characteristic ol 
poetic genius does the imagery become, when it moulds and 
colours itself to the circumstances, passion, or character, present 
and foremost in the mind. For unrivalled instances of this 
excellence, the reader's own memory will refer him to the Lear. 
Othello, in short to which not of the "great, ever living, dtvd 
man'$" dramatic works P Inopemme eopiafeinl. How true it is 
to nature, he hoe himself finely eipreased in the instance of lore 
in Sonnet 98: 

- Froni yon have 1 been ohnenl In Uw uprlng, 

Or tmn Uidr |in»d l*p pbKk Iben) nbcn OKjfrtiw 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siographia lAterana. ISS 

. BwdUIwiala'BtlhBlllT'awhlfa^ ■ 
Nor iB«m Uw derp vemiUiiHi In the rh; 
Timj were, but >w«t, bat SgarKaf deU^t. 
DrmWQ A^H- roq, 70D petton of aJI IhoH, 
Tal Kfln'd II winter ttlU, ud Ton swar. 
Ji KiM jDur lAodow / wiU ItOB did fiay /" 

Bcarcelj less sure, or if a less valuable, not less indinpensabla 

will the ima^erj sapply, when, with more than the pover ot the 
painter, the poet gives ns the liveliest image of a 
the feeling of aimultaneonsueas ! 

St fflidn htinOt nitUfnm Fohw' lyt." 

Tanu *Dd Adoola, L 8II. 

4. The laat character I shall mention, which wonld prove indeed 
but little, except as taken oonjointlj with the former ; jet without 
which the former conld scarce exist in a high degree, and (even if 
this were possiWe) wonld give promisee only of transitory flashes 
and a met«oric power ; — is depth and energy of thonght. No man 
was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a pro* 
foond philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy 
of all hnman knowledge, human thoughts, hiiman passions, emo- 
tions, language. In ShakeBpeare's Poems, the creative power and 
the intellectaal energy wrestle ae in a war embrace. Ea^h in its 
excess of strength seems to threaten the extinction of the other. 
At length, in the drama they were reconciled, and fought each 
with its shield before the breast of the other. Or like two rapid 
streams that, at their first meeting within narrow and rocky 
banks, mntually strive to repel each other, and intermix reluc- 
tantly and in tomult, but soon finding a wider channel and more 
yielding shores, blend and dilate, and flow on in one current and 
with one voice. The Tenus and Adonis did not perhaps allow 
the display of the deeper paeidons. But the stoiy of Lncretia 
seems to favour, and even demand, their intensest workings. And 
yet we find in Shakespeare's management of the tale neither 
pathos nor any other dramatic quality. There is the same miunts 
and faithful imagery as in the former poem, in the same vivid 
colours, inspirited by the same impetuous vigour of thought, and 
diverging and contracting with the same activity of the assimi- 
lative and of the modifying focultjeei and wilii a yet larger 

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166 Biographia LUeraria. 

display, a yet wider range of knowledge and reflection ; &nd lastly, 
with Vhe same perfect dominion, often domination, over the whcda 
world of laogoage. What, then, shall we say? even this, that 
Shakespeare, no mere child of nature; no automaton of genias; 
no paseivo vehicle of inspiration posaessed by the spirit, not 
pOHBeasing itj first studied patiently, meditated deeply, Tmder* 
stood minutely, till knowledge, become habitcal and intuitive, 
wedded itself to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to 
that atupendons power, by which he stands alone, with no equal 
or second in his own class ; to that power which seated him en 
one of the two glory-smitten summits of the poetic mount^n, 
with Milton as his compeer, not rivaL While the former darts 
himself forth, and passes into all the forms of human character 
and passion, the one Froteus of the fire and the flood ; the other 
attracts all forms and things to himself, into the unity of his own 
ideal. All things and modes of action shape themselves anew in 
the being ot Hilton ; while Shakespeare becomes aU. things, yet 
for ever remaining hi'mn plf, O what great men hsst thou not 
produced, England ! my country 1 Truly, indeed, 

*' Must ve bQ ftee or dt«, who ipuk tbe tonsa^, 
Which Sh&k«|if&rQ Bpak« i the faith and morala hold, 
Whlc^ MtllDD held. Id everj Uiing we are spnmg 
Of nrtb's arat blood, hun titles DiuUMil I" 


Strildiig points of dmerencsbetirrKn Itie roeta of the preaqnt age and tboae of tbe isthapd 

CHBISTENDOU, from its first settlement on feudal rights, haa 
been so far one great body, however imperfectly organiised, that 
a similar spirit will be found in each period to have been acting in 
all its members. The study of Shakespeare's Poems (I do not 
include hie dramatic works, eminently as they too deserve that 
title) led me to a more careful examination of the contemporary 
poets both in this and in other countries. But my attention was 
especially fixed on those of Italy, from the birth to the death of 
Shakespeare; that being the twuntry in which the fine arts had 
been most sedulously, and hitherto most succeesfully, cultivated. 
Abstracted from the degrees and peculiarities of individual genius, 
the properties common to the good writers of each period seem to 
^tabUeh one striking point rf difTerence between the poetry of 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biographia Liieraria. 157 

the GftecntlL and eixleenth centnrieB, and tliat c^ the present age. 
The remark maj perhaps be extended to the aiater u-t of painting. 
At least tihe latter will serve to iUuetrate the former. In the 
present age the poet (I would wieh to be imderstood as speaking 
generaUy, and without allusion to indiridnal names) seems to 
propose to himseU as his main object, and as that which is the 
most characteristic of his art, new and striking images; with 
incidents that int^^et the affections or excite the curiositj. Both 
his characters and his descriptions he renders, as much as pos< 
Bible, specific and individual, errai to a degree of portraiture. In 
his diction and metre, on the other hand, he is comparatiTely 
careless. The measure is either constructed on no previous 
system, and acknowlei^^ no justif jing principle but that of the 
writer'a convenience ; or else some mechanical movement is 
adopted, of which one couplet or stanza is bo far an adequate 
specimen, as that the occasional differences appear eridentl; to 
arise from accident, or tlie qualities of the language itself, not 
from meditation and an intelligent purpose. And the language 
from Pope's translation of Homer, to Darwin's "Temple of 
Nature," maj, notwithstanding some illustrious exceptions, be 
too faithfuUj characterized as claiming to be poetical for no 
better reason than that it would be intolerable in conversation oi 
in prose. Though, alas 1 even our prose writings, nay, even the 
style of our more set discourses, strive to be in the fashion, and 
trick themselves out in the soiled and over-worn finer]' of the 
meretriciona muse. It is true, that of late a great improvement 
in this respect is observable in our most popular writers. But it 
is equally true, that this recurrence to plain sense and genuine 
mother English is far from being general; and that the compo- 
sition of our novels, magazines, public harangues, &&, is com- 
monlj as trivial in thought, and jet enigmatic in expression, as 
if £cho and Sphinx had laid their heads together to construct it. 
"Ssj, even of those who have most rescued themselves from this 
contagion, I should plead inwardly guilty to the charge of du- 
plicity or cowardice if I withheld my conviction, that few have 
guarded the purity of their native tongue with that jealous care, 
which the sublime Daute, in his tract, "De la mobile volgare 
eloqaeaoi," declares to be the first duty of a poet. Por language 
is the armoury of the human mind; and at once contains the 
trophies of its paat^ and the weapons of its futnre conquests. 
" Ammadnerte, qua^t gU ab improfmetale verbomm promtaa hojiimU 
btu prolabi in erraret oWca ret?'* " Sat veto, in iAa vUa breeitaU 

'Botam: Enteni. Mi. Mulli. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

IfiS Stograjihia tUetoHa. 

it nature obscitritale, rerti/m ed, guSiw coffooiaendis iemput ihijim> 
dutur, lU co<i^^tui» et mriUivoda sermoTobus inieUigeadw Uhtd coa* 
Bu/mere non opus est. Eheul quaatag »brage» pamwere verba niMIa, 
qme tot dieunt, iii nihil dieunt — niibea potiui, e gmbna et in rebu* 
politide et in ecdeaid turbineg et dmitrwi eratnpaTii I Et prcrind^ 
recle dielwm pwtamiM a Plaione in Qorgid : 8i Si- rii iii6iuiTa tltii, 
t'urtTM Koi rh itpayiiara: e( ob .^pirfeto, apxh irmSfutrtair h riir 
AroiiATav (jritTM^ic; et prtuUnMerime Oatenus acribit, ^ ™i 
XP^"^' irapax&tiiTa utaiT^f tbh ffpoyfidriui" (iriTupaTTti yiwo-iv. 
vero J. C, Scaliger, in Lib. I. de Plantis ; Est primam, inquit, 
eapientis oSieiwm, bene genUre, vi sibi vivat : proxmvm, bene logiii, 
ut patritE vvBoi."* 

Something aoalogona to the materials and atnictnre of modem 
poetry I seem to have noticed (but here I beg to be imderstood aa 
speaking with the utmoat diffidence) in our common landecape 
painters. Their foregrounds and intermediate distances are com- 
paratively iinattra«tiTe : while the main interest of the landscape 
is thrown into the back-grotind, where mountains and torrents 
and castles forbid the eye to proceed, and nothing tempts it to 
tra«e its way back again. But in the works of the great Italian 
and Flemish masterB, the front and middle objecto of the land- 
scape are the most ohriona and determinate, the interest gmdually 
dies away in the back-groimd, and the charm and peculiar wortii 
- of the picture consiflts, not so mnch in the specific objects which 
it conveys to the understanding in a -viaual language formed by 
the substitution of figurea for words, as in the beauty and har- 
mony of the colo'irs, lines and expression, with which the objecte 
are represented. Hence novelty of subject was rather avoided 
than sought for. Superior excdlence in the manner of treating 
the same subjects was the trial and teat of the artist's merit 

N^ot otherwise is it with the more polished poets of the ISth 
and 16th centuries, especially with those of Italy. The imageiy is 
almost always general; sun, moon, flowers, breezes, murmuring 
streams, warbling Bongsters, delicious shades, lovely damsela 
cruel as fair, nympha, naiads, and goddesses, are the materialii 
which are common to all, and which each shaped and arranged 
according to his judgment or fancy, little solicitous to add or to 
particularise. If we make an honourable exception in favonr d 
some English poets, the thonghts too are as little novel as th« 
images ; and the fable of their narrative poems, for the most put 
drawn from mythol(^y, or soarces of eqnal notoriety, derive their 
diiet attractionB from the manner of treating them, from im< 

*8iaaaTiJi(lc PvUi D^tniMi. 

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Siographia LUeraria. Ifi9 

pueioned flow, or pictnresqne airangement. In oppoaition to tlw 
prCBent age, and perhaps in aa faulty an extreme, tliej plaood 
the essence of poetry in the art. The excellence at which tbaj 
fumed consisted in the ezqniaite polieh of the diction, combined 
with perfect simplicitj. This, their prime object, they attained 
I^ the avoidance of every word which a gentleman would not use 
in dignified conversation, and of every word and phrase wbicb 
none bat a learned man wonld hbc; by the studied position of 
words and phrases, so that not only each part should be melodious 
in itself, but contribute to the harmony of the whole, each note 
referring and conducing to the melody of all the foregoing and 
following words of the same period or stanza; and, lastly, with 
equal labour, the greater because tmbetrayed, by the valuation and 
Tarions harmonies of their metrical movement. Their measures, 
however, were not indebted for their variety to the introduction of 
new metres, such as have been attempted of late in the " AJonzo 
and Imogen," and others borrowed from the German, having in 
their very mechanism a specific overpowering tune, to which the 
generous reader humoars his voice and emphasis, with more in- 
dulgence to the author than attention to the meaning or quantity 
of the words, but which, to an ear familiar with the numerouK 
sounds of the Greek and Roman poets, has an effect not unlike 
that of galloping over a paved road in a German stage-wt^^^ 
without springe. On the contrary, the elder bards, both of Italy 
and England, produced a far greater as well as more charming 
varie^, by countless modifications and subtle baUnces of sound 
in the common metres of their country. A lasting and miviable 
reputation awaits that man of genius who should attempt and 
realise a union ; who should recall the high finish, the appropri- 
ateness, the facility, the delicate proportion, and, above all, the 
perfusive and omnipresent grace which have preserved, as in a 
shrine of precious amber, the Sparrow of Catullus, the Swallow, the 
GraaBhopper,and all the other little loves of Anacreon ; and which. 
with bright thongh diminished glories, revisited the youth and 
early manhood of Christian Europe in the vales of Amo,* and the 

■TiKse tboDidita wen nugEated to ma nUecUoiiBeflUlkopoelir; md ullieUUIa 

daring Ibe peniul of thp Uidrlnli oT ™- —^ •- -' ' — " ' "- 

TunlKUalii Stfsul pnblUHid ui Fk 
(will Sumpeiic del Semurtelll) In IbJ, 
1U3. lor btfl HfB Lonnu tstd nuppD Sfr^"** 
vjib B dcdlnHon to tbelc d«BHtd jM 
■Dde, .tbsur Lttmt Stnai, Oenerait 

IniUKlieditUMKt tMua. Ail da no... „ .^ 

MHObcr Is turn HOI dtber tbe pDcmi or Cttulliu. TrUIn it tlK7 ir 
IMr ■mUwr mintJODed in uj I^gUih wock, biblj eUbontHi wllta gr ' 
w to hive fOuod than In injr of Ik camnHii penHliraRfrrttiemtoi 

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160 BiogregfUa LtUnria. 

grorea of Isis oad^ Gamj andirlio wiQitliefle BliouldcomLme ths 
keener istereflt, deeper patihos, manlier reflection, and the treehee 
aad more Toiioiu imager; whioh give a value and a name that 

_____ in ibrrli of SalLibary. i 

ID tMiu. tDdepmlcnl at the nuleriil In hli phOimphlial dlaqulsKions bu wrKteii <n 

wDioi Lt b nuuilHted, tbat nmfl but a odld- Uu ineaDt or uatiiriiig ■ Just (adie with Ite 

TBted bflU cui iioJervtuid or tpprfdato. precltlon ot AjMUle, mu tbe el4f.uH» of 

ARer wlut I bare idvuotd. <t wonLd QnLntllUui. 

■ppw (Hwomptloa to oR^ b (nuwlUloai UADRIQALB. 

''^■!Li!i?.'*^'*J?°? "iSi^'^W "? 6Wiitoti«riuole*fun>,eiraBaBiUo 

ttSuSTu Ilia cwdlUon of « high polish. ■ST^c^M^^a^JSS^i 

Uua tin lUIUn. 1 cbiimI but dsem 11 lite- i™" i^ «J»''«<"»?k""™o* 

Hum; stber nnecti Inarior to onr own, that cir,c«t a ctdi, dit furbar «o 1 ouUi i 

tbe tawutge rf pdeuy i« morejlbttoct (h™ g^^f laahiava. t'n Ma onbrou 

tint of pruie thu ullh ra. From the tarlier mondo 

imnnon md aUMUHl pWr of tho j,j'2a<a (flfcnta ol ma-immo- icff OB<la 
Tiuiaa poflts, ooDcomiig with the munber of 

lodepmdait •tilai.uid Uie diveralU of wriUen MADB1G4LE. 

dLilnta. tbg llaUuu hive gained ■ poetic , „ ~* luvaui. 

IdkOhUttaaQRekabefDratbHilbadoMahiHl Jm dr<I' mtfomow Dins- mu 

from Uw Hnie cuui, with gruts uid nwce E^i^Jti^rti 

tbdrberolo this; the aOio^tbdiluDbLo; JtiVl order, iHlnorir, otu' Aduio; 

endllielwomodBtof lb8dortc,the lyrlo or BA van gMaeco, e It milii, f t Itmiio rit 

noerdotal, und the pustonl, llM dlstiDEtloiu Ifit r o n ^ti m t aaaf, clu tmda cktara. 

ol which were doubOiw miJrt obvloui hi the ■* I amjm nim mm mi-o 

Qie^a ttaesuelTee thui they mre to na. ^ tdurtart, i tnnlnrjier nioi lnwifUJ 

1 will TeutDrt la add OM otber oteerratlon £ fmii i^r^ia at -iUtffrttia aUtUL 

before I proceed to ibe traiucriiAlaiL I am _ 

•wan that the eeottisenle wblch I liaia MASRIQALE. 

wiSi • [rieXwhSi"Se°L™.iil, a ^wibj ^™^|^(JrihSS"''^ ''*"""* '^ 

and KnUble wonwn, coining In, 1 placBi i „ te„ dta-Oh mga. a ■unincu 

before bar two eiwrivliig*, the one a |itaty- somnlo, o* loMra d'aiiiSroifa, ok rider 
cdoured plale of NMd*;, the oibera maeltrl; If^ j 

eWAigl^SolYaWwRoia.ftoinnriBDfhiBown MArtRlOALE. 

pMon*. On pnuUm her to lell us wiicli ^ . 

•be prefcmd.inaf »lltHeMu.lilngHidfluaer £<" s™* "" ™H«f t"™- 

oflWtoe.ibereriifd-"whj. ih<.l,Slr! to bo ^orcomeHn BwKn/as^ 

wnlSrtnlinguSe warefrtm tbeneet. ^ W cn^' o™ «««, 

«rertif£t.*Tp.). If. «n«..nd elegant i":^^ ^^J^l^ '^ ™^'^ 

AnTtBt wl^ wriUng. Jo K^lj IM OKiti.B Mm. Z«, iKula mla tagt 

TaliuWe than Ma wo^t^ and to whose ai^ A-on «, « Mn/t, « «W«. 

IhorllT more defc™™ will be wlLUnRly paid. ^w « » ^™m, •> "«^ 

thn I could even wish iboold be Siownto l-<mlo,itilulaiml 
■cbub^ v^and Ikom bli own enert- Minnmiio 

itoo, ttiit,B»d twu mtut be acqdred, __ _ MADRIOALB. 

Uwi^ and llH labiniMnnudy^ 

Bnt what >haU 1 IniialiahMiltiaia, 
I uu uBwn Id : - Pnaume thoe In Jala AitMei fv: 
twsl, Ibe nptuathm of whldl baa ^aoqiie Moiia MfiaM, 

wlMlom always has a Biial ma. JMwi JkobMote tiuia^ 
Dt by conTkUuB, jel b; aovitcB- Ogntr faan*^mit. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogn^hia lAterarta. 1 

«fll ikot pass awaj to the poeta who hare done hononr to our a 
times, and to thoee of our immediate predeceeaora. 



I lUs (iboTB la IDW ml 

AS far, then, as Ur. Wordsworth m his preface contended, and 
most ably contended, for a reformation in onr poetic diction ; 
as far as he has evinced the truth of passion, and the dramatic 
propriety of those figrtues and metaphors in the original poeta, 
wUch, stripped of their jnstiffing reasons and converted into 
mere artifices of connection or ornament, conatitnte the charac- 
teristic faMty in the poetic style of the modems ; and as far as he 
has, with eqnal aonteneas and cleameee, pointed out the process bj 
which this change was effected, and the resemblwiceB between that 
state into which the reader's mind is tJirown by the pleasurable 
confnsion of thought from an nnaccnstomed train of words and 
images, and that state which is induced by the natural language of 
impassioned feeding j he undertook a useful taek, and deserrea all 
praise, both for the attempt and for the execution. The provoca- 
tions to this remonstrance in behalf of truth and nature were still 
of peipetoal recurrence before and after the publication of this 


Dt\ A ta ripoti una Ul neUe, vn tora • 
Man It fere, i gli oiijiUi. ttiHtn Ulan 
Ha qvalAc jarK ; to guand>» 

Enaapianto, tmmprtiio/ tjiiolpar 

Mapmdiinm icnf, ejK odint, Xortt I 


Bof iu pur o^di giavi ; 
iSHmd oI ;tn jHi cm clliiiw I 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

26^ Biogn^iia LUeraria, 

preface. I cannot likewise but add that the oampariMm of snob 
poemH of merit as have been given to the public within the la«t tea 
or twelve jears, iritli the majorit]' of those produced prerionsly to 
the appearance of that preface, leaive no doubt on mj miad that 
Mr. Wordsworth is folly justified in believing his efforts to have 
be«u bj no means ineffeobTuiL STot only in the rerses of those who 
have professed their admiration of his genius, but even of those 
who have distinguished themaelves by hostility to his theoij and 
depreciation of hia writings, are the impressions at his principles 
plainly visible. It ia poeaible that with these principles others 
may have been blended, which are not equally evident, and some 
which are unsteady and sabvertible from the nairownesB or im- 
perfection of their basie. Bnt it is more than possible that these 
errors of defect or exaggeration, by kindling and feeding the con- 
troversy, may have conduced not only to the wider propagation of 
the accompanying truths, bnt that, by their frequent presentation 
to the mind in an excited state,they may have won for them amoro 
permanent and practical result. A man will borrow a part from 
his opponent the more eaaUy, if he feel himself justified in con- 
tinuing to rgect a part. "Wliile there renain important points in 
which he can still feel himself in the right, in which he still finds 
firm footing for continued resistance, he will gradually aidopt 
thoM opinions which were the least remote from hie own convic' 
tions, as not less congruous with his own theory than with that 
which he reprobates. In like manner, with a kind of instinctive 
prudence, he will abandon by little and little his weakest posts, 
till at length he seems to forget that they had ever belonged to 
him, or affects to consider them at most as accidental and " petty 
anneiments," the removal of which leaves the citadel unhurt and 

Uy own differences from certain supposed parte of Mr. Words- 
wortii's theory ground themselves on the assumption titat hia 
words had beffli rightly interpreted, as purporting that the proper 
dictdon for poetry in general consists altogether in a language 
taken, with due exceptions, from the mouths of men in real life, a 
langnage which actually constitutes the natural conversation of 
nten under the influence of natural feeUngs. Mj objection is, 
firat, that in any sense this rule is applicable only to certain diasses 
of poetry ; secondly, that even to these classes it is not applicable, 
except in such a sense as hath never by any one (as far aa I know 
or have read) been denied or doubted ; and, lastly, that as far as, 
and in that degree in which, it is practicable, it ia yet, as a mle^ 
tudesB, if not iqjnrious, wnd, therefor^ ei£Iur need not or ought 

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Biogn^hia LUerarta. 163 

not to be practised. The poet infonna liis reader that he had ge> 
neraJlj chosen low and rostic life, hut not at low and ruetic, or in 
order to repeat that pleaanre of donbtftd moral effect which peraonB 
of elevated raiik ajid of superior refioement oftentimes derive from 
a happy imitation of the rude nnpoliBhed manners and discoursp 
of their inferiors. For the pleasure so derived may be traced tc 
tliree excitii^ causee. The first ia the naturalness, in fact, of 
the things represented. The second is the apparent naturalness 
of the representation, aa raised and qualified by an imperceptible 
infusion of the author's own knowledge and talent, which infnsion 
does indeed constitute it an imitation, as distinguished from a 
mere copy. The third cause may be found in the reader's con- 
■eiouB feeling of his superioritj, awakened bj the contrast pre- 
sented to him ; eren as for the same purpose the kings and great 
barons of yore retained sometimes actual clowns and fools but 
more frequently shrewd and witty tellowH in that character. These, 
however, were not Mr. Wordsworth's objecte. He chose low and 
rustic life, " because in that condition the essential passions of the 
heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, 
are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic 
language ; because in that condition of life our elementary feelings 
co-exist in a state of greater simplicity, and consequently may be 
more acinrately cont«npIated and more forcibly conmnmicated; 
because the manners of rural life germinate from those elemen- 
tary feelings, and from the necessary character of rural oeonpa- 
tions are more easily comprehended and are more durable ; and, 
lastly, because iu tbat condition the passions of men are incor- 
porated with the beaiitiful and permanent fonns of nature," 

Now it is clear to me that in the most interesting of the poems, 
in which the author is more or less dramatic, as The Brothers, 
Michael, Bnth, The Mad Mother, &a., the persons introduced are 
by nO' mcana taken from low or rustic life in the common accep- 
tation of those words ; and it is not less clear, that the sentiments 
and language, aa far as they can be conceived to have been really 
transferred fi-om ^e minds and conversation of such persons, are 
attributable to causes and circumstances not necessarily connected 
with " their occupations and abode." The thoughts, feelings, lan- 
guage, and manners of the sh^^pherd.f armei-s in the v.iles of Cum- 
berland and "Westmoreland, as far aa they are actually adopted iu 
those poems, may be accounted for from causes which will and do 
produce the same results in every stjite of life, whether in town 
or ooimtry. As the two principal. I rank that independence which 
raises a man above servitude or daily toil for the profit of othen^ 

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161 BiognqMa LUeraria. 

yet not above tbe ne<»Bsitj of indnatt; and a. frugal simpliciity of 
donieetic life, and the accompanjiiig nDambitions, bat aoLd &iid 
TeligionB, ediication which has rendered few books familiar but the 
Bible and the littugy or hjmn-book. To thie latter cause indeed, 
which is so far accidental that it is the blessing of particolar 
coTmtries and a particnlar a^e, not the prodnct of particolar 
places or employments, tbe poet owes the show of prababilit7that 
his personages might reallj feel, think, and talk with anj tolerable 
resomblaace to bis representation. It is an excellent remark of 
Dr. Henry Uore's,* tbat " a man of confined education, bnt of good 
parte, bj constant reading of tihe Bible, will natorollf form a more 
winning ajid commanding rhetoric than those that are learned. 
the intermixture of tongues and of artificial phraaes debamng 
their style." 

It is, moreOTcr, to be considered, that to tbe formation of 
healthy feelings, and a reflectiag mind, negations involve impedi- 
ments not less formidable than sophistication and vicious inter- 
miitnre. I am convinced that for the human soul to prosper in 
mstio life a certain vantage-ground is pre-reqnisite. It is not 
every man that is likely to be improved by a country life or by 
country labours. Education, or original sensibility, or both, 
must pre-exiat, if tbe changes, forms, and incidents of nature are 
to prove a suf&cient stimulant. And where these are not suffi- 
cient, the mind contracts and hardens by want of stimulants, and 
the man becomes selfish, sensual, gross, and hard-hearted. Let 
the management of the Poor Laws in Liverpool, Manchester, or 
Bristol, be compared with the ordinary dispensation of tbe poor 
rates in f^ricultural viUages, where the fanners are the orcraeera 
and guardians of tbe jMOr. If my own experience has not been 
particularly unfortunate, as well as that of tbe many respectable 
country clergymen with whom I have conversed on the subject, 
the result would engender more than scepticism concerning the 
desirable infiuences of low and rustic life in and for it«elf. 
'Whatever may be concluded on the other side, from the stronger 
local attachments and enterprising spirit of tbe Swiss, and other 
mountaineera, applies to a particular mode of pastoral life, under 
forms of property that permit and beget manners truly repub- 
lican, not to rustic Ufe in general, or to the absence of artificial 
caltivation. On tbe contrary the mountaineers, whose mannsTB 
bare oeen so often eulogized, are in general better educated and 
greater readftrs than men of equal rank dsewhere. Bat where 
this is not the case, as among the peasantry of North 'Wales, the 

■ AtMwftmuii JtbmfMm, Sea, mi, 

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Biofffaphia LUeraria. 165 

ancient monntaine, with all their terrors and all their glories, oro 
[ictares to the blind and tnntdo to the deaf. 

I ehould not have entered bo much into detail ttpon this 
paasa^, bnt here seems to he the point to which all the lines of 
difference cortvei^ as to their sonroe and oeacre. (I mean, as far 
as. and in whatever respect, mj poetic creed doet differ from the 
doctrines promnlged in this preface.) I adopt with fiiU faith the 
principle of Aristotle, that poetry aa poetrj is essentially ideal,* 
that it avoids and exctndee all accidents ; that its apparent indivi- 
doalities of rank:, chaj-acter, or occnpaiioa most be representatiTe 
of a class ; and that the persona of poetry must be clothed witli 
generic attributes, with the common attributes of the class ; not 
with such as one gifted individoal might possibly possess, but 
Bach as from his situation it is most probable before-hand that 
he would poBsesB. If my premises are right, and my deductions 
Intimate, it follows that there can be no poetic medium between 
the swains of Theocritus and those of an imaginary golden age. 

The characters of the Ticai" and the shepherd-mariner in the 
poem of The Brothers, thoBe of the Shepherd of Green-head Gill 
in The Itichael, have all the verisimilitude and representative 
quality that the pnrpoaes of poetry can require. They are 
persons of a Lnown and abiding class, and their manners and 
sentiments the natural product of cirtnunstanceB common to the 
obiaa. Take Michael for instaiice : 

- An old naa Moat of iHUt, ml atrDog of Unbt 

i pHrticuUrl£«l ii_ „ ^ - 

wrsun Di uj« aiiaKfrGpnrLin diBUiB, thAt life ipoctatot^ b7 tvf 

IbiAl dun not etOte man dliUocUy tb^t ^inilfs of Ilulr o< 

•enw of IndirtdniJIV whicta belonga to nal citsllDg meuiDeu.a' to wmk on [Mr tlug- 

eilitaixe. Pindozictil u It ma; eoimd. om gUi qmratfala by i pathoa not ■ wbit man 

itil ttie^vBiiUl propertlHof geoiiKti? Ib Dot rsficctabletbiui ibemaiidJiD I«ars4f drunken* 

la« eneoUil to dnmiiUc ^icelloKG; and Deas. Their tnglciiEDEairerv man' tn-iTn^ 

ArislsUa bH KcocillDslr leqiilnd of tbg na lnd«ii bat jH wllbin tbe b 

Ct m Iniolatkn of ihi univBsa tn tbe plew" ' 

TUnaL Tbs chii!f dUfermiH an, Iha* In otou 
^eciiHtrj It Sa tha nnlverHl ti " 

tlK IndlTldwl Ibmiin wbkh ir 
Wltta tteandaiM, and not Hm 

dmnattiM of '^f''"^ ■"• — — ,. ._ _ 

oiiik4v ud tnCFdr wen muMatrd aa Und* happoH la be. uipendlng our Inditlduil 

tl pocMT. Thar IMlina lonriil la ciaH^r iwOBOIait and Igllkg them la ilwp anild 

to malv Da lan^ xaenlj ; mOdi Icaa to maka Iba muta of u(;A>ler Otaogbt^ 
<■ Uufa br wry fuea. acddenta of Jtrgta, Tbi Fueik 

rfa^pluwei fur ttaa dv. «r tiH <iBtn« of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

tCfr Biogrt^^ lAlerarUL 

Of bLuu of everr tone, sr 

Aod milyudl Umes the BKnm. Uut drlio 
Up tat1i«mouiiulPL K« bad l««D Alone 

So Uvfd be, till bl9 Fightlelta jt 
Aod grossly diat man errs, wh' 
Tlivt Ihe gre«ji v&lU^ uiU the 

Which IDu 1 bmk piHC 

So gral^ful Id tderaselves, the ceitaiDty 

Of hoBDunble s^ ; Uiek fldds. Uiew lillli 

Whlcta wete tla Uvlng being, even tnore 

Thui bis owD blood— what could Uiey loa ?—lua liiiil 

A plusDnble ^llng of Ulod loue,— 
The pleoBure wUch there Is bi llfc iUeli" 

On tlie other hand, in the poema which H>re pitched at a lowef 
not«, as the Hany Gill,, the Idiot B07, &c., the feelinga axe thoae 
of human nature in general ; though the poet has judiciously hud 
the Bcene in the country, in order to place himself in the ricinity 
of lnt«re8ting images, without the necessity of ascribing a sen- 
timeutal perception of their beauty to the persons of his drama. 
In the Idiot Boy, indeed, the mothw's character is not bo mnch & 
real and native product of a " sitoation where the essential pas- 
sions of the heart find a better soil, in which they can attain their 
maturity and speak a plainer and more emphatic langiu^;e," as 
it is an impersonatiou of an instinct abandoned by judgment. 
Hence the two following charges seem to me not wholly gronad- 
less ; at least, they are tiie only plausible objections which I have 
heard to that fine poem. The one is, that the author haa not, in 
the poem itself, taken sufficient care to preclude from the reader's 
fancy the disgnsting images of ordinary, morbid idiocy, which 
yot it was by no means his intention to represent. He has eves 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Stographia LOtraria. 1S7 

by tlie " burr, 'burr, burr," nncoimteracted by any preceding de- 
Bcription of the boy's beauty, assisted in recalling tbetn. The 
other is, that the idiocy of the boy is bo evenly balanced by the 
folly of the mother, as to present to the general reader rather a 
laughable barlesque on the blindnees of anile dotage, than an 
analytic display of maternal affection in its ordinary workings. 

In The Thorn, the poet himself acknowledges in a note the 
necessity of an introductory poem, in which he should bare ponr- 
trayed the character of the person from whom the words of the 
poem are supposed to proceed : a superstitious man moderately 
imafpnative, of slow faculties and deep feelings, " a captain of K 
smaU trading Tesael, for example, who, being post the middle age 
of life, had retired npon an annuity, or small independent income, 
to some Tillage or country town of which he wa« not a native, or 
in which he had not been accustomed to liva Such men, having 
nothing to do, become credidous and talkative from indolence." 
But in a poem, stiU more in a lyric poem (and the N^nrae in 
ghakeapeare's Bomeo and Juliet alone proventa me from extend- 
ing the remark even to dramatio poetry, if indeed the Nurse itself 
can be deemed altc^^ether a case in point), it is not possible to 
imitate tmly a dull and garmlons disconraer without repeating 
the effects of dnlnesa and garmlity. However this may be, I dare 
assert, that the parts (and these form the far larger portion of 
the whole) which might as well or stilt better have proceeded 
from the poef s own imagination, and have been spoken in his 
ovm character, are those which have given, and which will con- 
tinue to give, universal dulight ; mid that the passages exdusivelT 
appropriate to the supposed narrator, snob as the last conplet oi 
the tlurd stanza,* the seven last lines of the tenth,f and the five 

BM to Ofl ■nam, udli tha Fo^ -^od with tliti OtKt nuld U dmidi 

I vUi tlttt Ton wmU Bi Fun I[u£i r w thu metnl dij 

Tan uoetliliiE other Mia ata ttaos. l"" '>"' ""■' *** *™* < 

1,, -TT^nTS. h«. hdn r»n ■ A ftm m. HKUed Id hv brant, 

JS.'"!!?' .il^iirPi,'^ Which miEht Dot buii iudf lo mbL 

Up to lh> iiitxj manntija-lop. Thq' tt/f, toll ill monthi oltar lUa, 

Illlclljpoaallllciiov. Whac jcC ths nunmer luiu use sre 

Til DOW bohh two-ind.t*B^ rem Bbo lo tha moimlBhi-top wenU go, 

SliiB iba (her DWU !• Uuthi Rijr) And than wu otlm sacn. 

Omv*, with o Duldaa'a Inn Buod will, Tli uld. o child wh tn bee wcml^ 

Ba i-nmr*"? *0 SUnhoi BlQ ; A> now to 107 ej* wu pliln 1 

ADlthswublltbauidiir. She wu wlBi child, ud dia wu nuJ i 

And (ha wu hifqlj. himr lUU Yet Dttm iha wu aotKr Hd 

yufp. a aha thbvtbt <a St^ha HiU. Rom hv — »— "-g puln. 

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1S8 BioffrapUa Literaria. 

foUowuig stanzas, witli th« exception of the four udmiiable linM 
at the commencement of the fourteenth, are felt bj majij nnpre- 
jndiodd and unsophisticated hearts, as sadden aiid nnpleaaant 
sinkings from the height to which the poet had prerionslj lifted 
them, and to which h^ again re-elerates both himself and his 

If then I am compelled to doabt the theotj', bj which the 
choice of characters was to be directed, not only i priori, from 
groonds 4^ reason, bnt both from the few instances in which the 
poet lii'miiHlf need be supposed to have been governed b; it, and 
from the oomparatiTe inferiorily of those instances ; still more 
must I hesitate in mj asBent to the seiit«nce which immediately 
follows the former citation, and which I can neither admit as 
particular fact, or as general mle. " The language too of these 
men is adopted (purified indeed from what appear to be its real 
defects, from i^ lasting and rational canses of dislike or disgiuat) 
because sooh men hourly communicate with the beat objects from 
which the beet part of langoage is originally derived ; and be- 
cause, from their rank in sociely, and the sajnenesa and narrow 
circle irf their intercourse, being lees under the action of social 
vanity, they oonrey their feelings and notions in simple and nn- 
elabcvated expressions." To this I reply, that a rustic's langoage, 
purified from all provinci^ism and grosaness, and so far re-con- 
structed as to be made consistent with the rules of granuuai' 
(which are in ess«ice no other than the laws of aniversal logic, 
applied to psychological materiab), will not differ from the Ian* 
guage of any other man of common sense, however learned or 
refined he may be, except ae far as the notions which the nutio 
has to convey are fewer and more indiscriminate. This wiU be- 
come still dearer, if we add the consideration (equally important 
though less obrious] that the rustic, from the inore imperfect de- 
velopment of his faculties, and from the lower state of their 
cultivation, aims almost solely to convey insulated facts, either 
those of Ms scanty experience or his traditional belief; while the 
educated man chiefly eeeka to discover and express those conneo- 

Ohmel ten tbODBnod Umu ra ntbra No nwie 1 komr. 1 irlih I did, 

Ttut bt hid dted, ttut <nul tiUwr I Aod I vonld UU II dl to 71M ; 

Fur «bu buuDt of ibit poor cUld 

JMt Cbrbaniu nbBI we talked of Ihli, And If ■ cUM wu bom or no. 

OU tarmRr »mp«n dM nulnuin. There'i do gne tbU OKild erer teU i 

Thit In ber womb Oh IMmt wroujdil And If 'IwiB bom «Uiie or du4 

Abont iU molber'i bcart, ud brau^t There's no one knawa, u 1 ban hU ; 

Aiid ii'b''D at lutter lime drew near, That lluthi Kaj about Ifalt time 

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Siographia lAieraria. 169 

Umis of tihinga, or thoae relative bearingi of fact to fact, from 
vhich some more or leea general .law is deducible. For facts ar« 
ToloaUe to a wise nuui, chiefl; aa they lead to the diBOOTery of the 
indweUiug la,w, which is the true b^g of things, the aole aoln- 
tion of their modea of existence, and in the knowledge of which 
couaiHts onr dignity and onr power. 

Aa little can I agree with the assertion, that from the objects 
with which the rustic hourlj commnnicates the beet part of Ian- 
gn^e is formed. For, first, i£ to communioa.t« with an object 
imphes Boch an acquaintance with it as rondera it capable of 
bung diacriminat«lj reflected on, the distinct knowledge of an 
imedncated rustic would furnish a. very scanty vocabulary. The 
few things, and modes of action, requisite for his bodily con- 
veniences wonld alone be individualized; while all the rest of 
nature wonld be ezpresaed by a small number of ooofnaed 
general terms. Secondly, I deny that the words emA combina- 
tions of words derived &om the objects wit^ which the matic is 
famUiar, whether with distinct or confused knowledge, can be 
jnstly said to form the best part of langu^^ It is more than 
probable, that many clasBes of the brute creation possess dis- 
criminating sounds, by which they can convey to each othw 
notices of such objects as concern their food, shelter, or safety. 
Yet we hesitate to call the aggregate of such sounds a language 
otherwise than metaphorically. The best part <3l human ]axk- 
gnage, properly so called, is derived from reflection on the acta 
of the mind itself. It is formed by a voluntary appropriation of 
fixed symbols to internal acts, to processes and resolts of imagi- 
nation, Uie greater part of which have no place in the conscious- 
ness of uneducated man; thongh in civilized society, by imitation 
and passive remembrance of what they hear from their religions 
iuHtmctore and other superiors, the most uneducated share in the 
harveat which they neither sowed or reaped. If the history of 
the phrases in hourly currency among our peasants were traced, 
a person not previously aware of the fact would be surprised at 
finding so large a number, which three or four centuries ago were 
the exclusive property of the universities and the schools, and 
at the commencement of the Reformation had been transferred 
from the school to the pulpit, and thus gradually passed into 
oonunon life. The extreme difficulty, and o&aa the imposaibiltty, 
of finfiing words foT the simplest moral BAd intdlectoal prooeasee 
in the Imgnagea of uncivilized tribes has proved perhaps the 
ireightieat obstacle to the prc^;ress of our most zealous and adrtdt 
misBioiiariea. Tet these tribes are aorrounded by the sama 

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170 Biographta LUeraHa. 

nature as our peasants are i but in still more impreasiTe fonna; 
and thej are, moreover, obliged to particalaxize many more ol 
them. Wien therefore Mr. Wordsworth adds, " accordinglj snoh 
a langu^e" (meaning, as before, the language of rustic life 
purified from provincialism), " arising ont of repeated experience 
and regular feelings, is a more permanent, and a fur more philo- 
sophical, language than that -which is frequently substituted for it 
by poets, who think they arc conferring honour upon themselves 
and their art in proportion as they indulge in arbitrary and 
capricious habits of expression {" it may be answered, that the 
language which he has in view can be attributed to rustica with 
no greater right than the style of Hooker or Bacon to Tom 
Brown or Sir Roger L'Estrange. Doubtless, if what is peculiar 
to each were omitted in each, the result must needs be the same. 
Further, that the poet who uses an illogical diction, or a style 
fitted to excite only the low and changeable pleasure of wonder 
by means of groundless novelty, substitutes a langu^e of folly 
and vanity, not for that (d the rustic, but for that of good sense 
and natural feeling. 

Here let me be permitted to raniud the reader, that the posi- 
tions which I controvert are contained in the sentences — "a 
selection of the real language of men ; "•~" the language of these 
men (i.e., men in low and rustic life) I propose to myself to imi- 
tate, and aa far as possible lo adopt the very language of men." 
" Between the language of prose and that of metrical composition 
there neither is, nor can be, any essential difference." It is 
against theae excluaively that my opposition is directed. 

I object, in the very first insbince, to an equivocation in the uas 
of the word " real." Every man's language varies, according to 
the extent of bis knowledge, the activity (d his faculties, and 
the depth or quickness of his feelings. Every man's language 
haa, first, its individualities; secondly, the common proi>eTtiM 
of the class to which he belongs ; and thirdly, words and phraaes 
of universal nse. The langnage of Hooker, Bacon, Bishop Taylor, 
and Burko, differs from the common lajignage of the learned clasi 
only by the superior number and novelty of the thoughts and rela- 
tions which they had to convey. The language of Algernon Sidney 
differs not at all from that which every well-educated gentleman 
would wish to write, and (with dne allowances for the undeliberate 
ness, and leas connected train t^ thinking natural and proper to 
conversation) such as be would wish to talk. Neither one or ihe 
other differ half as much from the general language of cultrrated 
■ooiety as the language of Mr. 'W<»dsworth'B homeliest 0(MQpo»> 

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Biogrt^ia htia-ana 171 

n tliat of a common peaBant. For " real," therefore^ 
we must siibBtttnte ordinary, or littgita commimit. And this, we 
have prored, ie no more to be found in the phraseology of low and 
rustic life than in that of any otber class. Omit the peculiarities 
tit each, and the result of course must be common to ail. And 
axanredlj the omiBsions and changes to be made in the langut^ 
of rastica, before it could be transferred to anj species of poem, 
except the drajoa or other professed imitation, are at least aa 
munerooB and weighty as would be required ia adapting to the 
same purpose the ordinary language of tradesmen and manufac- 
tnrers. Not to mention that the language so highly extolled by 
Mr. Wordswortlx Taries in every county, nay, in erery TillS:ge, 
according to the accidental character of the clergyman, the exist- 
ence or non-existence of scIiooIb; or even, perhaps, as the excise- 
nmn, publican, or barber, happen to be, or not to be, zealous poli- 
ticians, and readers of the weekly newspaper pro bono publico. 
Anterior to cidtivation the lingwa eommvnit of every country, as 
Dante has well obeerred, exists everywhere in parts, and no- 
nhere as a whole. 

Neither is the case rendered at all more tenable by the addition 
of the words, "in a state of excitement." For the nature of a 
nun's words, when he ie strongly affected by joy, grief, or anger, 
most necessarily depend on the number and quality of the general 
traths, conceptions, and images, and of the words expressing them, 
with which his mind had been previously stored. For the pro- 
perty of passion is not to create, but to set in increased activity. 
At least, whatever new connections of thoughts or images, or 
(which is equally, if not more than equally, the appropriate effect 
of strong excitement) whatever generalizations of tmth or expe- 
rience the heat of passion may produce, yet the terms of theii 
conveyance must have pre-existed in his former conversations, 
and are only collected and crowded together by the unusual 
stimulation. It is indeed very possible to adopt in a poem the 
unmeaning repetitions, habitual phrases, and other blank counters 
which an unfurnished or confused understanding interposes at 
short interrsls in order to keep hold of his subject, whiidi is still 
slipping from him, and to give him time for recollection; or in 
nere aid of vacancy, as in the scanty companies of a country 
stage the same player pops backwards and forwards, in order to 
prevent the appearance of empty spaces, in the processions of 
Uacbeth or Henry Till. But what assistance to the poet, or 
omainent to the poem, these can supply, I am at a loss to conjeo- 
tme. Nothing oeauredly can differ either in origin or in mode 

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172 Biogra^ua LiterarM. 

main widelj from the appKrent toutologiea of intenac and turbo- 
lent feelimg. in which Hie p&agion is greater and of longer enda- 
taJice than to be eiJi&nBted or satisfied bj a single representatiiHi 
of the image or iacident exciting it. Such repetitions I admit to 
be a lieautj of the highest Idud; as illostrated b; l£r. Words* 
worth himself from the song of Deborah. " At her feet be bowed, 
he fell, he laj down : at her feet he bowed, he fell : where ha 
bowed, there he fell down A^iti."—JvDass t. 27, 

4^'^ CHAPTEB XVni. 

Lngange ot mctiicil compoilttaii, irbr niiil ■bo^n wnUjllj dll^nnl finm thst oT prat 
— Odgiii WhJ BloDeDtt of metre — jte neccHur oontequaaa, Bud the coudltiiHiB Ihenby 
Impowd OD tbe meliloil mlur iD tin cfaolca of tali lUctlm. 

J CONCLUDE, therefore, that the attempt is impracticable ; and 
that, were it not impracticable, it would etill be oseleBs. Foi 
the rery power of making the selection impUes the previous pos> 
session of the language selected. Or where can the poet bare 
lived? And by what rules could he direct his choice, which 
would not have enabled him to select and arrange his words bj 
the light of his own ju^pnent P We do not adopt the language (^ 
a class bj the mere adoption of such words exclusirely as that clasa 
would use, or at least understand; but likewise by following tne 
order in which the words of such men are wont to succeed each 
other. Now this order, in the interconrse of nnedncated men, ifl 
distingoished from the diction of their superiors in knowledge and 
power by the greater disjunction and a^paraiioH in the compo- 
nent parts of that, whatever it be, which they wish to eommniu- 
cate. There is a want of that prospectiveness of mind, that mr- 
view, which enables a man to foresee the whole of what he is to 
convey, appertaining to any one point; and by this means so b> 
sabordinate and arrange the different parts according to their r^ 
lativo importance, as to convey it at once, and aa an organized 

Now I win take the fii-st stanza, on which I have chanced to 
open, in the Lyrical Ballads. It is one the moat simple and Uie 
Irast peculiar in its language : 

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Biogrt^hia LUeraria. 178 

0Dt soA A out, OQ Fj^iKh grouDd, 
And In the bioid hlghiii>r. 1 met; 
Along the broad lilgbvAy ha cunt, 
Hli cbnlawUh tton ir«re «st 
Stiudj hfi seemed, (hon^ ha wu ud. 
And In Ua unu ■ lumb be had." 

The irotds here ore donbtlesa soch as are corrent in all ranks 
of life : and of conrHe not lesa bo in the hamlet and cottage, tluin 
in the shop, mannfactorj, college, or palaoe. But ia this tho 
order in Trhich the rostic would hare placed the words P I am 
grieroiiBlj' deceiTed, if the following less compact mode of com- 
mencing the Bame tale be not a far more faithful copy. " I have 
been in a manj parts far and near, and I don't know that I ever 
saw before a, man crjing hj himself in the public road; a grown 
man I mean, that was neither sick nor hurt," Su:. iu>. But when 
I torn t-o the following stanza in The Thorn : 

■ At all tlmw of the day and nl|b( 

When the bine <Uy-UgbCs In Ibe ek 
Or tnalT air Ib kecD and (ti'l : 

and compare this with the langu^ie of ordinarjr men, or with 
that which I can conceive at all likely to proceed, in real life, from 
snch a narrator as is supposed in the note to the poem — compare 
it either in the Buocession of the images or of the sentences — I am 
reminded of the sublime prayer and hymn of praise which Milton, 
in opposition to an established hturgy, preiaentB as a fair speci- 
men of common extemporary devotion, and such as we might 
expect to hear from erery self-inspired miniater of a conventicle ! 
And I reflect with delight, how little a mere theory, though of hia 
own workmanship, interferes with the processes of gennine ima< 
gination in a man of true poetic genius, who possesses, as 
Mr. Wordsworth, if ever man did, most asanredly does poBseas, 

" The ^iloa ud the Facnl^ divtw." 

One point then alone remains, but that ths most important; 
its exajnination having been, indeed, my chief inducem^it for the 
preceding inquisition. " There neither is or can be any essential 
difference between the langnage of prose and metrical composi- 
tion," Such is Mr. WordswcHrth's asBertion. Now prow itself. 

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174 Bi'^raphia lAfcraria. 

at least in all argnmetitatiTf! and consecutive works, differs, and 
onglit to differ, from the langai^^ of conversation ; even as read- 
ing ought to differ from talking* Unless, therefore, the differ- 
ence denied he that of the mere words, as materials common to 
all styles of writing, and not of the style itself in the TmiverBall/ 
admitted sense of the term, it might be natnrallj presumed that 
there must exist a still greater between the ordonnance of poetio 
composition and that of prose, than is eipectod to distinguish 
prose from ordinary conversation. 

There are not, indeed, examples wanting in the history of lite- 
ratui-e, of apparent paradoxes that have summoned the pnblio 
wonder as new and startliug truths, but which on examination 
have shrunk into tame and harmless truisms ; as the eyes of a 
cat, seen in the dark, have been mistaken for flames of fire. But 
Mr. Wordsworth is among the last men to whom a delusion of 
this kind would be attributed by any one who had enjoyed the 
slightest opportunity of understanding his mind and character. 
Where an objection has been anticipated by such an author as 
natural, hia answer to it must needs be interpreted in some sense 
which either ia, or has been, or is capable of being controverted. 
My object, then, must be to discover some other meaning for the 
term " essential difference " ia this place, exclusive of the indis- 
tinction ani community of the words themselves. Por whether 
there ought to exist a class of words in the EngLish in any degr«« 
I'esembling the poetic dialect of the Greek and Italian, is a quee- 
tiou of very subordinate importance. The number of such woids 
would he small indeed in our language ; and even in the Italian 
and Greek, they consist not so much of different words as of 
slight differeuces in the forms of declining and conjugating the 

tonoenl to (be poor children, » eaSora: the one ot hia BcbooI-fellowB. who w4Ua before, 

necoHltj of rpulng u they would talk. In doLffuLL; rbanta out the chlld'A but ipnik 

order to ciire tbem oF ilnglc^, a: it Is uUrd. and conlenlon, bb-th. pareoU^ and cdno- 

tlHt Hof toogreit adiS^ience. Ibe child la tlon. And tlite wal-benumblni IgDomlDT. 

made lo tepest the wonia "llJi bU ejw fnjoi this unholy and hean-hirdmiiig bsrlaqiH oa 

off the book i and Iben. Indeed, bis tones le- the lut fearful hilUcUon of outraged law. la 

tremhlinit will permit. Hut Bt tnon as the and famlliarlitd ludm not >ehji»n bants Ins 

ejo i? Hi^in dlrecf^ to tl» priD(ed page, (bff lMni» has been extolled on a bappy and li^ 

apeil levins anew^ for an InatincUve senie senious method of remedyina— wbati jud 

Mb lbs chOd's fMUn^ that to niter ■» own bow i—vbj, on« eitreme in oider to iutrodm 

oC anouier, 

must liier poBsiMe «fl»r- 

ii'B iuv^bte ayslciii. that contrut 
-» this laiilt of tbigfag. bf hanging (etleni assoditkni Itaa 

o lUoes. ^t be k 

gilizodb, Google 

Biographia Lileraria. I7B 

aaute words ; forme, doubtleae, whioli h&Tiug been, at aome period 
more or lees remote, the common grammatic flexions of soms 
tribe or province, liad been accid^itallj appropriated to poetry hy 
the general admiration of certain maciter intellects, the firat 
established lights of inspiration, to whom that dialect happened 
to be natdTe. 

Essence, hx its primary signification, means the principle of 
individnation, the inmost principle of the possibilitj of anj thing, 
as that particular thing. It is equivalent to the idea (J a thing, 
whenever we Tise the word idea with philosophic precision. Exist* 
cmce, on the other hand, is distinguished &om essence bj the 
saperindaction of reality. Thus we speak of the essence and 
essential properties of a circle; but we do not therefore assert, 
that any thing which reaUy exiats is mathematically circulai-. 
I^ns too, without any tautology, we contend for the existence of 
the Supreme Being ; that is, for a reality correspondent to the 
idea. There is, next, a secondary use of the word essence, in 
which it signifies the point or ground of contradistinction be- 
tween two modificationB of the same substance or subject. Thus 
wo should be allowed to say, that the style of architecture of 
Westminster Abbey is essentially different from that of Saiut 
Paul's, even though both had been built with blocks cut into the 
same form, and from the same quarry. Only in this latter sense 
of the term must it have been denied by Mr. Wordsworth (for in 
. this sense alone is it affirmed by the general opinion) that the 
language of poetry (i.e., the formal construction, or arehiteetuirc, 
of the words and phrases) is essentially different from that of 
prose. Kow the burthen of the proof lies with the oppugner, 
not witb the supporters of the common belief. Mr. Wordsworth , 
in conseqaence, assigns as the proof of his position, " that not 
only the language of a large portion of every good poem, even of 
the most elevated character, must necessarily, except with refer- 
ence to the metre, in no respect differ from that of good prose, 
but likewise that aome of the most interesting parts of the beat 
poems will be found to be strictly the language of prose, when 
prose is well written. The truth of this assertion might be de- 
monstrated by innumerable passages from almost all the poetical 
wntinga even of Milton himself." He then quotes Gray's sonnet ; 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

178 JBiagraphia lAteraria. 

J^ Imdy anfHid hhUi iw >«rl tut ««« 
And la nt brsul tin (npin/ecl jo^ expire I 
Tit moming imllH Ihe bu>j race to char. 
And pew-born pleamre brinia to h^ipis mm 
Ths Oetdi to bU their womed tribnle bar, 

//rvObB Doum to kirn li^ oinfiDt kHT, 
And viuf tkt more iwuiut ! vttp in vain f 

and adds the following remark : " It will easilj be pjrceJTCd, that 
the 011I7 part of thiH aonnet which is of any valno is the lines 
printed iu ivalios. It is equally obvious that, except in the rhyme, 
and in the nse of the single word ' f ruitleaa ' for fruitlessly, which 
is BO far a defect, the langu^e of these lines does in no respect 
differ from that of proae." 

An idealist defending his aysf«in by the fact, that when asleep 
we often betiere ouraelres awake, was well answered by his plain 
neighboor, "Ah ! but when awake do we ever beUere onrselvea 
asleep F" Things identical must be convertible. The preceding 
passage aeems to rest on a similar eophiam. For the qneatiou ia 
not, whether there may not oocor in prose an order of words, 
which would be equally proper in a poem; nor whether there are 
not beautiful lines and Bcntences of frequent oconrrence in good 
poema, which would be equally becoming as well as beantiftil in 
good proae; for neither the one or the other has ever been either 
denied or doubted by any one. The true questioii must be, whether 
there are not modes tit expression, a constmction, and an order of 
sentences, which are in their fit and natural place iu a seriooB 
proae composition, but would be disproportionate and hetero- 
geneous in metrical poetry ; and, vice ver»&, whether in the lan- 
goage of a serious poem there may not be an arrangement both o( 
words and sentences, and a use and selection of (what are called) 
figures at speech, both as to their kind, their frequency, and thcdr 
occasions, which on a subject of equal weight would be vicions 
and alien in correct and manly prose, I contend, that iu both 
cases thia unfitness of each for the place of the other frequently 
will and ought to exist. 

And, first, from the origin of metre. This I would trace to the 
balance in the miud effected by that spontaneous effort which 
strives to hold in check the workings of paseioii. It might ba 
easily explained likewise in what manner this salutary antagoniam 
is assisted by the very state which it connteracte ; and how this 
balance of ant^pnists became organized into metre (in the nsnal 
acceptation of that term) by a supervening act of the will and 
ju<^ment, conacionslj and for the foreseen purpose of pleasuTS 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogn^ut LUermia. 177 

AgnimiTig tLese principles u Ute data of our argument, w« 
deduce from them two Intimate conditionH, whicli the critic is 
entitled to expect in everj metrical work, riret, that as the 
elements of metre owe their existence to a state of increased 
excitement, ao the metre itself should be aeeompanied bj the 
jiatural langof^e of excitement. Secondly, that as these elements 
are formed into metre artificially, by a Toluntary act, with the 
design and for the purpose of blending delight with emotion, so 
the traces of present Tolition should throughout the metrical 
language be proportionally discernible. Now these two conditions 
mnst be rceouciled and co-present. There must be not only a 
partnership, but a union ; an interpeaetration of passion and of 
will, of Bpontaneoos impulse and of voluntary purpose. Again, 
this union can be manifested only in a frequency of forms anu 
figures of speech (originally the offspring of pa&sion, but now the 
adopted children of power) greater than would be desired or 
eudurad, where the emotion is not Tolontaiily encouraged, and 
kept Tjp for the sake of that pleasore, which such emotion so 
tempeied and mastered by the wiU is found capable of oommuni- 
catii^. It not only dictates, but of itself tends to produce, a 
more frequent employment of picturesque and vivifying language 
than would be natural in any other case in which there did not 
exist, as there does iu the present, a previoas and well understood, 
though tacit, compact between the poet and his reader, that the 
latter is entitled to expect, and the former bound to supply, this 
species and degree <tf pleasurable excitement We may in some 
measure apply to this union the answer of Polixenes, in the 
Winter's Tote, to Ferdita'a neglect of the streaked gilly-flowers, 
because she had heard it said : 

- Tben !• in art whkh in Uiali pieiliii?ae bIuit» 

Wilh great creattig nitoTB. 
Pd. SiiT Ibeni be. 

Yet D&lure ii nude better b; no maai, 

A gtntUr Ktoi to the vUditt ttock : 
Apd miLke cfiPceJTe a boric of baser kiad 

tVUch dos mead naturo—chinge LI nthcr ; but 

Secondly, I ai^e from the effects of metre. As far ba metre 
act« in and for itself, it tends to increase the vivacity and suscep- 
tibility both of the general feelings and of the attention. This 
dCect it prodnces by the continued excitement of surprise, and by 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

178 Siographia LUeraria. 

tbe qniok reciprocations of cnrioaitj still gratified and ^till «>■ 
excited, wlucli bto too sliglit indeed to bo at anj one moment 
objootB of dirtinct consciouaness. yet become considerable in their 
aggr^ate influence. Ajs a medicated atmoBphere, or as wine 
dnring animated conversation, thej act powerfully, thongt them- 
selvea nnnoticed. WLere, therefore, correepondeat food and ap- 
propriate matter are not provided for the attention and feelings 
thus ronaed, there must needs be a disappointment felt; like that 
of leaping in the dark from the la^ step of a etaircaae, when we 
had prepared our mnecles for a leap of three or four. 

The liscuBsion on the powers of metre in the preface is highly 
mgouious, and touches at all points on truth. But I cannot find 
any statement of its powers considered abstractly and separately. 
On the contrary, ]£r. Wordsworth seems always to estimate metre 
by the powers which it exerts during (and, as I think, in conee- 
(jnence of ) its combination with other elements of poetry. Thus 
the previous difficulty is left unanswered, what the elements are 
with which it must be combined in order to produce its own 
effects to any pleasurable purpose. Double and trisyllable 
rhymes, indeed, form a lower species of wit, and, attended to ei- 
clusively for their own sake, may become a iiource of momentary 
amusement ; as in poor Smart's distich to the Welch Squire who 
had promised him a hare ; 

■T^iDe,UMD HDorgmtCBdwalUdFrl 
Hut sHit tta« bm J or hut Ibou iHatlDw'd b« P" 

But for any poetic purposes, metre resembles (if the aptness of 
the simile may excase its meanness) yeast, worthless or disagree- 
able by itself, but giving vivacity and spirit to the liquor with 
which it is proportionally combined. 

The reference to the Children in the Wood by no means 
satisfies my jadgment. We all willingly throw ourselves back for 
awhile into the feelings of our childhood. This ballad, therefore, 
we read under such recollections of our own childish feelings, a« 
would equally endear to us poems which Mr. Wordsworth himttelf 
would regard as faulty in the opposite extreme of gandy and 
technical ornament. Before the invention of printing and, in a 
still greater degree, before the introduction of writing, metro, 
esi)ecially alliterative metre (whether alliterative at the beginning 
of the words, as in Pierce Plonmau. or at the end as in rhymes}, 
possessed an independent value as assisting the recollection, and 
consequently the preservation, of any series of trutha or ioci- 
dents. Bat I am not convinced by the collatioit of facts that tba 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Siographia Utera/na, 179 

Children in the "Wood owes either its preeeryation or its popa- 
laritf to its metrical fona. ]£r. WaTBhal's reepoBitorjr affords a 
uunber of tales in prose inferior in pathos and general merit 
some of aa old & date, and many as widelj popular. Tom Eicka- 
thrift, Jaek the G^ant Eiller, Ooodj Two Slioes, and Little Bed 
Biding Hood, are formidable riralB. And that thej hare con- 
tinued in prose cannot be fairlj explained b; the aaeiuaptioii 
that the comparative meauneas of their thoughts and imagee 
predaded even the humblest forms of metre. The Boene of Goodj 
Two Shoes in the church is perfectly sosceptible of metrical nar 
lationj and among the eauptra ^u/uivrdrara even of the present 
age, I do not recoUect a more astonishing image than that of the 
"whole rookery, that flew ont of the giant's beard," scared by the 
tremendons voice with which this monster answered the challenge 
of the heroic Tom Hickathrift ! 

If from these we tnm to compoaitiona niUT^-^y, and iadc- 
pendently of all early associations, beloved and admired, would 
the Maria, the Monk, or the Poor Man's Ass of St«nie, be read 
with more delight, or bare a better chance of immortality, had 
they, without any change in the diction, been composed in rhyme, 
than in their present state P If I am not grossly mistaken, the 
general reply would be in the negative. Nay, I mil confess, that 
in I£r. Wordsworth's own volumes, the Anecdote for Fathers, 
8imon Lee, Alice Fell, the Beggars, and tlie Sailor's Mother, not- 
withstanding the beanties which are to be found in each of them 
where the poet interposes the music of his own thoughts, would 
hare been more delightful to me in prose, told and managed, as 
by Mr. Wordsworth they would have been in a moral essay or 
pedeetrian tour. 

Metre in itself is simply a stimulant of the attention, and therefore 
excites the question. Why is the attention to be thus stimulated P 
Now the question cannot be answered by the pleasure of the metr« 
itself : for this we have shown to be conditional, and dependent 
on the appropriateness of the thoughts and expressions to which 
tlie metrical form is superadded. Neither can I conceive any 
other answer that can be rationally given, short of this : I write 
in metre, because I am about to use a language different from 
that of prose- Besides, where the langn^e is not snob, how inte- 
resting soever the refiections are that are capable of being drawn 
by a philosophic mind from the thoughts or incidents of the 
poem, the metre itseU must often become feeble. Take the three 
last stanzas of the Sailor's Mother, for instance. If I conld for a 
moment abetraot from the effect produced on tbe author's feelings 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

180 Biogra^ia LUeraria. 

M a man, bjlihe incident at the tune of its r«al ooconenca. I vcoU 
dan appeal to Us own judgment, whether in the metre it«elf he 
ffKind Boffioient reason for their being written metricallj P 

And 1 tuve InTellal fir u Hull, (0 
Wbit clottUH ha oiit^l lun left, « < 

K, perhaps, fnjni bodingB oT hll 

ltn]lilwlIhiiie,Siil bebnkwiDachMlcbllaU.* 

It diaproportionii^ the emphaaia we read theae ataiizas so aa 
to make the rhjmes perceptible, even triajllaible rhjmea could 
scarcely produce an equal aenee of odditj and strangeness, aa ire 
feel here in finding rhymea at all in aenteneea so eKlusively col- 
loqniaL I would further ask whether, but for that visiouaij state 
into which the figure of the woman and the susceptibilHy of his 
own genius had placed the poet's imagination (a state which 
spreads its influence and colouring orer all, that co-ezistB with 
the exciting canae, and in which 

" ThA Rfmplat, atA Ot» nmtt f>ittlH*r fliiofti 
Galu a strangQ pows* of qtnadlog awa utnmd Ibaa ""^ 

I would ask the poet whether he would not have felt an abrupt 
^wn-fall in these verses from the preceding stanza F 

• ThB indiDt ipbH la not dad ; 
Pnnd «■ L Hut my gmiDtrj bred 

•Altered frga ibe dMcrfptlDD of Hlf^b- WbOa eitrir loodlr «r bndlUi hem 

CalriD tbe BcmonL Had a waton powv cf ^CMd lD f Ism 

-Oh HBTMl'tna. frttfittilr Nownm rauUn". 

dowD uid stand •(. H.B. Tbon^ tShakcqnre hia Itr hk otra 

B; bldeom hhapu that canoot ba remem- aJl-jDBIl^iDg pqrpoBH intcnlaced (be Hlghfe 

Dgilizodb, Google 

BiograpJua JMenwia. ISl 

It must not be omitted, and is besides wortby of notice, that 
Uose stanzas fnrBish the onlj fair instance that I have been 
sUe to discover in all Ur. Wordsworth's writings iif an actual 
adoption, or true imitation, of the real and very language of low 
and rostic life, freed from provinoiaJisma. 

Thirdly, I deduce the position from all the causes elsewhere 
assigned, which render metro the proper form of poetry, and 
poetry imperfect and defective without metre. Metre therefore 
having been connected with poetry most often and by a peculiar 
fitness, whatever else is combined with metre must, thongh it be 
not itself essentially poetio, have nevertheless some property in 
common with poetry, as an intennedinm of affinity, a sort (if I 
may dare borrow a well-known phrase from technical chemiBtry] 
of mordawnt between it and the superadded metre. Now poetry, 
JSx. Wordsworth truly affirms, does always imply passion : which 
word must be here understood, in its most general sense, fta an 
excited state of the feelings and facultiea. And aa evety passion 
has it« proper pulse, so will it likewise have its characteristic modes 
of expression. But where there exists that degree of genius and 
talent which, entitles a writer to aim at the honours of a poet, the 
very act of poetio composition itself is, and is allowed to imply 
and to prodnoe, an nnnsnal state of eicitemeDt, which of course 
justifies and demands a correepondent difterence of language, as 
truly, thongh not perhaps in as marked a degree, as the excitement 
of love, fear, rage, or jealousy. The vividness of tho description s 
or declamations in Donne, or Bryden, is as mnch and as often 
derived from the force and fervour of the describer, as from the 
reflections, forms, or incidents which constitute their subject and 
materials. The wheels take fire from the mere rapidity of their 
motion. To what extent, and under what modifications, this 
may be admitted to act, I shall attempt to define in an after 
remark on Mr. Wordsworth's t^ly to this objection, or rather 
on his objection to this reply, as already anticipated in his 

Fourthly, and as intimately connected with this, if not the same 
aignment in a more general form, I addnce the high spiritual 
instinct of the human being impelling us to seek unity by harmo- 
nioiis a^ofrtnnent, and thus establishing the principle, that all tne 
parts of an organized whole must be assimilated to the more im< 
portant and essential parts. This and Hie preceding arguments 
may be strengthened by the reflection, that the composition of a 
poem is among the imitative arts ; and that imitation, u oi^pos«cl 
to vapjing, oonsista dther in the interfosion of the same tIaot)i;V 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

^82 Bto^ra^ia laterarta. 

out the radioaU^ different, or of the different tlironghout a baM 
radically the same. 

Lastly, I appeal to the practice of the beat poets, of aU countries 
and in all agee, as authorizing the opiniun (dednoed from all the 
foregoing) that in ereij import of the word essential, which wou^ 
not here involve a mere traism, there may be, is, and ought to 
be, an essential difference between the language of prose and of 
metrical composition. 

In Mr. Wordsworth'a criticism of Gray's Sonnet, the reader's 
sympathy with his praise or blame of the different parta ie taken 
for granted rather perhaps too easily. He has not, at least, 
attempted to win or compel it by argumentatiTe analysis. In my 
conception at least, the lines rejected as of no value do, with the 
exception of the two first, differ as mnch and as little from the 
language of common life, as those which he has printed in italics 
as possessing genuine excellence. Of the five lines thus honour- 
ably distinguiahed, two of them differ from prose even more 
widely than the lines which either precede or follow, in the 
position of the words : 

"A diffmmt rUfsi da tiutt tyanquire; 
ytj lODel; aainiLab melu no b»rt but mln ; 
.iltd in ny bnob Me iatpeiftetjiiyi apirt." 

But were it otherwise, what would this prove but a truth of 
which no man ever doubted P — videlicet, that there are sentences, 
which would be equally in th^ place both in verse and prose. 
Assuredly it does not prove the point which alone reqnirea proof; 
namely, that there are not passt^es, which would suit the one 
and not suit the other. The first line of this sonnet is distin- 
guished from the ordinary language of men by the epithet to 
morning. (For we will set aside, at preaent, the consideration, 
that the particular word "anuling" is hacknied, and — as it 
involves a sort of personification — not quite congruous with the 
common and material attribute of shining.) And, doubtless, this 
adjunction of epithets for the purpose of additional descriptioii, 
where no particular attention is demanded for the qnali^ of th« 
thing, would be noticed as giving a poetic cast to a man's con- 
veraation. Should the sporteman exclaim, "Come boys! the rosy 
morning calls you up," he will he supposed to have aome song in 
hie head. But no one suspects this when he says, "A. wet morn- 
ing shall not confine na to our beds." This then is either a defect 
in poetry, or it is not. ■Whoever should decide in the affirmatiTe^ 
I wonld request him to r&'peruse any one poem of any confessedly 
great poet from Homer to Milton, or from .^lachylus to Shak» 

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Siogrofhia lAteraria. 188 

■poare ; and to strike out (m thought I mean) evei7 instatice of 
this kind. If the number of theae fancied erasui'es did not startle 
him, or if be continued to deem the vork improved hj their total 
omisaioa, he must advance reasons of no ordinary strength and 
evidence, reasons grounded in the eaeence of human nature. 
Otherwise I should not hesitate to consider him aa a. man not bo 
much proof against all authoritj ae dead to it. 
The second line, 

has indeod almost as many faults as words. But then it is a bad 
line, not because the language is distinct from that of prose, but 
because it conveys incongnious images, because it confounds the 
cause and the effect, the real thing ivitb the personified represen- 
tative of the thing ; in short, because it differs from the language 
of good senac. That the " Fhaebns " ia hacknied, and a school- 
boy ini^ie, is an accidental fault, dependent on the age in which 
tiie author wrote, and not deduced from the nature of the thing. 
That it is part of an exploded mythology, ia an objection more 
deeply grounded Yet when the torch of ancient learning was 
rekindled, so cheering were its beams, that onr eldest poets, cnt off 
by Christiauity from all accredited machinery, and deprived of all 
acknowledged guardians and symbols of the great objects of nature, 
were naturally induced bo adopt, aa a. poetic language, those fabu- 
lous personages, those forms of the supernatural in nature,* which 
had given them such dear dcHght in the poems of their great 
masters. Nay, even at this day what scholar of genial taste will 
not ao far Bjrmpathize with them, as to read with pleasure in 
Fetrarch, Chancer, or Spenser, what he would perhaps condemn 
as puerile in a modem poet P 

I remember no poet, whose writings would safelier stand the 
teat of Mr. Wordsworth's theory, than Spenser. Tet will Mr, 
Wordsworth say, that the style of the following stanzas is either 
nndistinguished from prose, and the language of ordinary lifeP 
Or that it is vicious, and that the atanzaa are blots in the Paery 
Queen P 

" Bt thia the nortbern waggDiwr hid art 
ln> levesfold laoe beb^nd Ote nedfiwt aunt, 

But Bnne b Oit and Kndetli ligbt Itoni Sun 
To all tlut in the wlU deep muidfriDE hts. 

• But itm mm br tlu mct^iMiilcal lyMnu 
rf ptaUoKpbr wiKi Im [-■■-■-'-'-— 
aar Uteolciglal «itatc«^ui 
ouUir tlw world ia iM nlntloa to Qod, u of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Miogn^hia LUeraria, 

On the oontnuy, to how tnany paBeagea, both in hjnm booke and 
in blank Terse poems, could I (were it not invidious) direct the 
reader's attention, the stjle of which is most impoetic, becanae, 
and only because, it is the atjle of prose P He will not suppoaa 
mo capable of having in mj mind such verses aa 

" I put JDS hut iqioD hi; bend 
And walbd Into Ibe Bnwd ; 
And Iben 1 met umlbn mm, 
Whm hit wu In hli hand." 

To each specimens it would indeed be a fair and foil replj, that 
these lines are not bad because the>' are impoetic, bnt because 
thej are empty of all sense and feeling; and that it were an idla 
attempt to prove that " an ape is not a Newton, when it is evident 
that he is not a man." Bat the sense shall be good and weighty, 
the language correct and dignified, the subject interesting and 
treated with feeling ; and yet the style shall, notwiUistanding all 
these merits, 1>e justly blameable as prosaic, and solely becanae 
the words and the order of the words wonld find their appropriate 
place in prose, but are not suitable to metrical composition. Th« 
Civil Wars of Dajiielis an instructive, and even interesting work t 
bnt take the following stanzas (and from the hundred instance* 
which abound I might probably have selected others far mcB« 
•Iriking) : 

TltUthcKwenuiy wlibbrllerpToBlIc 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Will it be coateaded, oa the one side, that these lines are mean 
Kud senseleaa P Or on the other, that thej are not prosaic, and for 
that reason unpoetic P This poet's well-merited epithet is that of 
the " well-languagcd Danielj" but likenise and by the consent of 
his contemporaries no less than of all succeet^ng critics, the 
"prosaic Daniel." Tet those, who thns designate this wise and 
amiable writer from the frequent incoireBpondenoy of bis diction 
to his metre in the majority of his compositions, not only deem 
them, valuable and interesting on other accounts, but willingly 
admit that there are to be found throughout his poems, and 
especially in his Epistles and in his Hymen's Triumph, many and 
eiquisite specimens of that style which, as the neutral ground of 
prose and Terse, is common to both. A fine and almost faultless 
extract, eminent as for other beauties so for its perfection in this 
species of diction, may be seen in Lamb's Dramatic Specimens, 
Ac., a -work of raxious interest from the nature of the selections 
themselves (all from the plays of Shakespeare's contemporaries), 
and deriving a high additional value from the notes, which are 
full of just and original criticism, expressed with all the freshness 
of (jriginality. 

Among the possible efiects of practical adherence to a theory 
that aims to identify the style of prose and verse (if it does not 
indeed claim for the latter a jet nearer resemblance to the average 
style of men in the vivd voce intercourse of real life) we might 
anticipate the following as not the least likely to occvir. It will 
bappen, as I have indeed before observed, that the metre itself, 
the sole acknowledged difference, will occasionally become metm 
to the eye only. The existence of prosaisms, and that they detract 
from tlie merits of a poem, mnst at l^igth be ctmceded, when » 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

186 Sio^vphia Laexa-m. 

number of BaocesuTe lines can be rendured, even to tbe moat 
delicate ear, unrecognizable as Terse, or as having even been 
intended for Terae, by simplf transcribing them as prose : w-hoi 
if the poem be in blank verse, this can be effected without anjr 
alteration, or at most by merdy restoring one or two words to 
their propei- places, from which thej had been transplanted * for 
no assignable cauae or reason but that of the aathor'a convenience: 
bnt if it be in rhyme, by th« mere exchange of the final word (d 
each line for some other of the same meaning, equally appropriate, 
dignified and euphonic. 

The answer or objection in thepreface to the anticipated remark' 
" that metre paves the way to other distinctions," is contained in 
the following words : — "The distinction of rhyme and metre ia 
voluntaty and uniform, and not like that produced by (what is 
called) poetic diction, arbiti'ary ajid subject to infinite caprieea, 
upon which no calculation whatever can be made. In the one 
case the reader is utterly at the mercy of the poet respecting what 
iniageiy or diction he may choose to connect with Uie pasaion." 
But ia this a poet, of whom a poet is speaking F So, surely — 
rather of a fool or madman, or at best of a vain or ignorant 
phantast I And might not bi'ainB so wild and so deficient niake 
j\ist the aame havoc with rhymes and metres as they are supposed 
to effect with modes and figures of speech P How is the reader at 
the mercy of such men P If he continue to read their nonsense, is 
it not his own fault P The ultimate end of criticism is much more 
to establish the piinciples of writing than to furnish iiiles how to 
pass judgment on what has been written by others; if indeed it 

InniKiHaofUieTngk MiueQ-nCrlv«ilu>ilte. p(ilni«l place ■ 
■ 1 wlab jrou 1 guod momlng, f"' ■ ' — '-' 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia Liieraria. 187 

irer^ possible Uiat tlie two could be separated. But if it be nfiVed, 
b; wh&t principleB the poet is to regulate bis own stjle, if be da 
not adbei'e closel; to tbe sort and order of words wbicb be bears 
in the niarkefc, wake, bigb-road, or plougb-fiddP I reply, by 
principlee, the ignorance or neglect of which would coDvict him 
of being so poet, but a. aHj or preeumptQoas mmrper of tbe name ! 
By tbe principles of grammar, logic, paycbologj ! In one word, by 
SDcb a knowledge of tbe facts, material and qiiritnal, that moat 
appertain to bia oit, as, if it have be^i goTeraed and applied by 
good sense, and rendered InstdnctiTe by habit, becomes the repre- 
sentatire and reward of our past conscious reasonings, insigbts, 
and conclosioDB, and acquires tbe name of taste. By what rule 
that does not leave tbe reader at the poet's mercy, and tbe poet at 
his own, is tbe latter to distinguish between tbe language suitable 
to sappi^essed, and tbe language wbicb is characteristic of in- 
dulged, angerF Or between that of rage and that of jealousy ? 
Is it obtained by wandering about in search of angry or jealous 
people in uncultiTated society, in order to copy their words P Or 
not far rather by tbe power of imagination proceeding upon the 
all in each of bnman nature P By meditation, ratber than by 
observation P And by tbe ]a,tt«r in consequence only of the 
former F As eyes, for wbicb the former has predetermined their 
field of Tision, and to wbicb, as to its organ, it communicates a 
microscopic power P There is not, I firmly believe, a man now 
living, wbo bas from bis own inward experience a clearer intui- 
tion than Mr. Wordsworth himself, that the last mentioned are 
the trne sources of genial discrimination. Through the same pro> 
cess and by the same creative agency wiU tbe poet distinguish tbe 
degree and kind of tbe eicitement produced by the very act of 
poetic composition. As intuitively will be know, what differences 
(£ style it at once inspires and justifies; what intermixiure of 
consciooB volition is natural to that state i and in what instances 
sncb figures and colours of speech degenerate into mere creatures 
of an arbitraiy pnrpose, cold technical artifices of ornament or 
tonneot^on. For even as truth is its own light and evidence, 
discovering at once itself and falsehood, so is it tbe prerogative of 
poetic genius to distinguish by parental instinct its proper offspring 
from the changelings, which Uie gnomes of vanity or tbe fairies 
of fa^ibion may have laid in its cradle or called by its names. 
Gould a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be 
poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be /i^Kpava 
not iroH)<rir. Tbe rules of the imagination are themselves the 
yeiy powers of growth and production. Tbe words, to which tbey^ 

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188 Biographia LilemHa. 

are redndble, present only the outlines and ezLienial appearance 
of the fruit. A deceptiTe counterfeit of the snperfioial form and 
colours tOBj be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and 
heavj, and children onlj put it to tbeir mouths. We find no 
difficulty in admitting as excellent, and the legitimate language of 
poetic ferrour self-impasEdoned, Donne's apostrophe to the Son in 
the Beeond atansa of hie Progress of the Soul : 

Y«t but thoa not more luUoiu k«i Uun ihc. 

Wbo tefbra Ifaee one d&f begnalolie, 

And ttiy fnn ll|^ bdng itUFDChed. (hill Iflig, long odUIti tbMr 

Or the next stanza but o: 

For er'rr thing I Wbo, vbere we offipiiDg tao^ 

Knot of 111 anses I Thou, wbsae chmgclau brow 
K^v imUei or [nmn '. 1 voacbufe Uiou (o look. 
AM ituw 017 gtorj In lb; eierul book," Ac 

As little difficnlty do we find in eicloduig from the honoon of 
unaffected warmth and elevation the madness prepense of pseado- 
poesy, or the sbtrUing hysteric of weakness orer-exerting itself 
which bniBte on the unprqiared reader in sundry odes and apo- 
Htropbes to abstract terms. Such are the Odes to Jealou^, to 
Hope, to Oblivion, and the like, in Dodsley's Collection and the 
magazines of that day, which seldom fail to remind me at an 
Oxford copy of Terses on the Two Suttons, commencing with : 

" inocDlalloD, bavenlj maid ! deaccDd I" 

It is not to be denied that men of undoubted talents, and even 
poets of tiTie though not of first-rate genius, have, from a mis- 
taken theory, deluded both themselTes and others in the oppoeitA 
extreme. I once read to a company of sensible and well-edncated 
women the introductory period of Cowley's preface to his Findario 
odes, written in imitation of the style and manner of the ode« o£ 
Pindar. " If," saya Cowley, " a man should undertake to trans- 
late Findar, word tor word, it would be thought that one ""^"■-ti 
bad translated another; asmay appear when he Uiat nnderMuids 
Bot the ori^nal reads the verbal traduction of him into IjKia 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographui lAterarin. 189 

proae. tlian wliicli nothing eeems more raTing." I then proceeded 
with his o'wa free Tenion of tlie second Oljmpio, oomposed for tlio 
eharitable pTirpose of rationalizmg the Theban Eagle: 

Dindnc WDtda ud q^HklDg itiingi, 
WIbI Owi, irtiM ben wilt Ihoa dog t ' 
intthKfiff ma ta tqul (k*fM MmI 
Begbi, bctfn ttaf doMb chok^ 
And let tbe hllb unoDd nOsct tb* iDUfa or llv nfc«> 
Bn dos to Jan baknft 
Jure wd Pin ctelin tlv me. 
Tka tUr flnt-fniilt gf mr, th' Oljnpiii tm^ 
Alddea aDer'd Dp to Jove ; 

I* DM In FM't nad In VintM't no*; 

Hkenm there, ADd be aloDft, 

Er'n hlg own aoUt [onMben bo cnttnu^" 

One of the company exclaimed, with the fnU aaaent of the rest, 
thai if the original were madder than this, it must be incnnid; 
mad. I then translated tbe ode from the Greek, and as nearlj aa 
possible word for word ; and tlie impreasion was, that in the gene- 
ral moTement of the perioda, in the foim of the connectiona and 
traneitioiiB, andia the sober m^esty of loft; sense, it appeared to 
them to approach more nearly than any other poetry they hs^i 
beard to the style of onr Bible in the prophetic booke. The first 
■trophe irill suffice as a specimen : 

Of ramwned CikUivn 

Tile Flowff, «TtB blm 

Who [iM« n ei Ul naUn d^ erect Hd Hfe." 

Sat are anch rhetorical c^>rices condemnable only for their de> 
viation from the langoi^ of real life P and are they by no other 
meana to be precluded, bnt by the rqection of all distinctions be- 
tvrt^en proae and verse, save tliat of metre P Sorely, good sense 
^bA a moderate insij^t into the ocmBtitntion of the hnmaa mind 

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190 Bto<fr(^ma Lilerana. 

would be iunplj sufficient to prove that auoh language and sntdi 

eombinatlona are the native produce neither of the ioncj nor at 
the imagination ; that their operation coneiHts in the excitement * 
of Borprise by the juxtaposition and appaj'eat reconciliation of 
widelj different or incompatible things. Aa when, for imrtance, 
the bills are made to reflect the image of a voice. Surelj no nn- 
UBual taste iB requisite to see clearlj that this compulsory juxta- 
position is not produced by the preaeotation of impressive or de- 
lightful forma to the inward vision, nor by any sympathy with the 
modifying powers with which the genius of the poet had anit«d 
and inspirited aU the ol^ecta of his thought; that it ia therefore 
a q)ecies of wit, a pure work of the will, and implies a leisure and 
self-posBeasion both of thought and of feeling, incompatible with 
the steady ferronr of amind possessed and Med with tiie grandeur 
of ila snbjeot To sum np the whole in one sentence : When a 
poem, or a part of a poem, shall be adduced, which is evidently 
vicious in the figures and contexture of its style, yet for the con- 
demnation of which no reason can be asaigned, except that it 
differs from the style in which men actually converse, then, and 
not till then, can I hold thia theory to be either plausible or prac- 
ticable, or capable of furnishing either rule, guidance, or precau- 
tion, that might not, more easily and more safely, ae well as more 
naturally, have been deduced in the author's own mind from con- 
nderationa of grammar, logic, and the truth and nature of things, 
confirmed by the authority of works whose fame ia not of one 
country, nor of one age. 


IT might appear from some passages in the former part of Mr. 
Wordsworth's preface, that he meant to confine bis theory of 
style, and the necessity of a close accordance with the actual lan- 
guage of men, to those particular subjects from low and rustic 
life, which by way of experiment he had purposed to naturalize as 
a new species in our English poetry. But from the train of argu- 
ment that follows, from the reference to Milton, and from the 
spirit of his critic[ae on Gray's Sonnet, those sentences appear to 
have been rather courtesies of modesty than actual limitations of 
Ui ^stem. Yet so gi-oundless does this system appear on a cloaa 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia lAleraxia. 191 J axA SO strazige Bud orei'wlielinuig * in its conse* 
quences, that I cannot, and I do not, believe that the poet did 
ever himself adopt it in the unqualified sense in which his ezpres- 
bIodh Lave been understood by others, and which indeed, according 
to all the conunon laws of interpretation, thej seem to bear. What 
then did he mean P I apprehend that, in the dear perception, not 
unaccompanied with disgust or contempt, of the gaudy a£f©":ta- 
tions of a style which passed too current with too many for poetic 
diction (though, in truth, it had as little pretensions to poetry as 
to logic or common sense), he narrowed his view for the time; 
and feeling a justifiable preference for the language of nature and 
of good sense, even in its humblest and least ornamented forms, 
he suffered himself to express, in terms at once too large and too 
exclusive, his predilection for a style the most remote possible 
from the false and showy splendour which he wished to explode. 
It is possible that this predilection, at first merely comparative, 
deviated for a time into direct partiality. But the real object 
which he had in view was, I doubt not, a species of excellence 
which had been long before most happily cliaraoterized by the 
judicious and amialjle Garve, whose worts are so justly beloved 
and esteemed by the Germans, in his remarks on Gellert,'!' from 
which the following is literally translated ; — " The talent that is 
required, in order to make excellent verses, is perhaps greater than 
the philosopher is ready to admit, or would find it in hia power to 
acquire ; the talent to seek only the apt expression of the thought, 
ajid yet to find at the same time with it the rhyme and the metre. 
Gcllert possessed this happy gift, if ever any one of oar poets 
posaeesed it ; and nothing perhaps contributed more to the great 
and universal impression which his fables made on their first pub- 
lication, or conduces more to their continued popularity. It was a 
atraJ^r^ and curious phenomenon, and such as in Germany bad 
been previously unheard of, to read verses in which everything 
was expressed, jnst as one would wish to talk, and yet all dignified. 
attractive, and interesting; and all at the same time perfectly 
correct as to the measure of the syllables and the rhyme. It is 
certain that poetry, when it has attained this excellence, makes a 
eta'd in the happy marrlagB of svvi.'ct 

iD Ci0 ruflitf boA Utnt of compoDBd -fSn^ ,'^mmlunf Einigw Abkwidlu ng m ^ 
cpttheu. the OtnniiR Irom 'Jie number or Iti iDn cMtlian (faiH. 
CBM Bflil iDDrcOou qipradm U> the tim^ 


192 Bioffrapbia I^emrta. 

tojt ff^eaiar impresBion tlum prose. So mnch so indeed, that even 
tto gratification, which the very rhjraieB ' afford, be<iomeB then no 
lon^^ a contemptible or trifling gratification," 

However novel this phenomenon may hare been in Germanj at 
the time of Gellert, it is b j no means new, nor jet cf recent ex- 
istence in oar langnage. Spite of the licentiowmeSB with which 
Spenser occaeionaUj compels the orthographj of his words into a 
sabsernence to hia rhymes, the whole Faeiy Queen is an almost 
continued inetauce of this beanty. Waller's Bong, Gki, lovelj 
Boss, &c, is doubtless familiar to most of my readers ; but if I 
had happened to hare had by me the poems of Cotton, more but 
f ai- leas deservedly celebrated as the author of the Vii^ travestied, 
I should have indulged myself, and I think have gratified many 
who are not acquainted with his serious works, by selecting some 
admirable specimens of this style. There are not a few poems in 
that volume, repleto with every eicellence of thought, image, and 
passion, which we expect or desire in the poetiy of the milder mnae. 
and yet so wordod that the reader sees no one reason either in the 
selection or the order of the words why he might not have said 
the very same in an appropriate conversation, and cannot conceive 
how indeed he could have expressed such thoughts otherwise, 
without loss or injury to his meaning. 

But in truth our language is, and from the first dawn of poetry 
ever has been, particularly rich is compositions distinguished by 
tliis excellence. The final e, which is now mute, in Chaucer's age 
was either sounded or dropped indifferently. We ourselves still 
nse either beloved or belov'd according as lie rhyme, or meaBure, 
or the purpose of more or less solemnity may require. Let the 
reader, then, only adopt the pronunciation of the poet and of the 
court at which he lived, both with respect to the final e and to 
the accentuation of the last syllable : I would then venture to ask, 
what even in the colloquial language of elegant and unaffected 
women (who t re the peculiar mistresses cf " pure English and 
ondefiled ") — what could we hear more natui-al, or seemingly more 
unstudied, than the following stanzas fi-om Cliauccr's Troilus and 

Ther u Crewldi; out rode ■> fnl g»le piu : 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Biograj^ia lAlerana. 

lad rMid I uw ber to bs- nuUr tU> < 

FUr •omw of nhkbe mine taut duu u-d«*| 
lndUtblr home lama vban It wu'Ave; 
Aid hm I dml; oot-out from mlU J<^ 
And ilMl], HI I mile «6 bn «[U In Tnil& 

Ajki of hlDwalEe tanagliild be oTlo 
Totien dtbltk^ polftud wonn lew 
Tbu tas wu woDta, ud UtucMn uldliiaotu^ 
WbUnuvltbeF wbo an Ilie BtU goeu, 
WhrTnUiuJiuli ol IU> berlnMi? 
Andal tbbn'ubfit UnDelucoUe, 
Thit ba had of Unnelfe (Bdw bnlHie. 

AddUiIt time imiElatai he wonld 
ThAtB ffvuy v^hL, that paet him by the wej 
Had of Um rouUiB, and that thel ulen abould, 
1 m li^t lorrj, Trolliu wol dor I 
And ifana ha droTv a daJe yet forth or iwty 
Ae ye have herde : BtKbe Ufe gau b« to leda 
Aa hB Ihtf Bliide betwuin hope and drede: 

For vblcli him llktd bi hia aongks abews 
Tb' SDGbMDD DfUe wo aa be beat might. 

Aod tIkd he was from everr mannla a1| 
With aotU nilu be f€ Us iHtf dera, 
That AbiCDt wiOf gBD alng aa je maj ben 

TUi aoDg when be thu aongin had. ful 
Be Itl agoilniDblBdgbisolde: 
And every night, aa waa hia wonte to don 
Ha slod« the hr%bt mooot to bebolde 

AuoUicir ezqtuBite maater d thie species c^ atjle, where tho 
•oholar and tlie poet supplies the material, bub tlie perfect well- 
bred gentleman tlie ezpreasiouB and the arrangement, is Qeorge 
Herbort. As from the nature of the subject, and the too frequent 
qnaintnesB of the thoughts, his Temple, or Sacred PocmB and 
Private EjacnlationB, are comparativelT' but litUe known, I shall 
extract two poems. The first is a sonnet, equallj' admirable for 
the weight, number, and expression of the thoughts, and for the 
simple digmlj of the language (unless, indeed, a fastidious 
taate ebould object to the latter half of the sixth line). The 
second ia a poem of greater length, which I hare ch<Men not onlj 
for tbe present purpose, but likewise as a striking eiample and 
illustration of an assertion hazarded in a former page of these 
ftketcbes ; namely, that the characteristic fault of our elder poets 
is the Tererse of that which diBtingnishes too manj <A our more 
recent Teraifiers; the one conTeying the most fantastio thoughts 
io the most correct uid natural language, the other in the most 


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191 Btogn^hia LUeraria. 

fantastic lajignage conveying the most trivial tLonghta. Ths 
latter is a riddle of worda ; Uie former an enigma of thofigUii 
The one reminda me of tai odd passage in Drayton's Ideao : 

The other recalls a. BtUl odder passage in The Synagogae, or 
the Shadon of the Temple, a connected series of poems in imita- 
tion of Herbert's Temple, and in some editions annexed to it. 

LooH brokoi tuftfi 

An B17 torn DWdllaUoo'i nggei dolhUig. 
WUcti, woDod ind waveii,ah&peiit<Utf<irtiaUiilw; 
Ona wbile I tbSok. uid then I am In pain 
To tUnk how to uotUafe tbat Uiollslit Jigain I" 

Immediately after these burlesque passages, I cannot proceed 
to the extracts promised, without changing the ludicrous tone of 
feeling bj the interposition of the three following stanzas of 

Herbert's : 


The tnidBl of Uib eaith uul sk;: 
The d6w shBll weep Uij fall to-nl^t 

9w«et roGSt whoH hat angry and brsn 

Sweet iprli^t. full oTaweet dajs ud reus 

A box wliara aweela computKl Ue : 

Mr mule ahows y* hive jobi cIoh, 



Iflld, with wbU (an bait tbou b^rt ui mail 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siograj^ia I/Uerana. 

DtllTeriuUIam: tlK7 Kud ni boDod 
To nilfs of reasoD, lioly mMsmee™. 
PolplU and SondnjT. wrrow dogging! On. 
AmkUoqB sorted. Bnguiah of ill siiH, 

Yel all Uk» fences. 

Dnr ^1«nd» sit down, tbe toLo la long end ead: 

WHI more coDipl; Uuiu help. A Lord I had. 
And ha™, of whom Kiiiie groundi, which may iaj-ro 
I bold for two Uvea, and bolb llvn In me. 
TofalmllaYKight adUfaof frultoneday 
And In Uie middle placed mr bean. But be 

. (I idEta to «aj} 
LootdmaaeiveDtnliodMkiiowhli eye 

Than 1 mj«l£ The aeoauC IneLantlj 

h Ifflirtd from Ibe aldo 

beT« It was. dipped and djfd, 

And clean and fair, aa 1 1 

Bnt aa mr hear 1 did tender It, Cbe mi 

Who via to lalie 11 rram me, slipped hi> hand, 

U} bean Ibai broDghl II (do yoa uxtentand r) 
Tbe oflarra'a heart. " Yoni heut wai bard, 1 Irat 
Indeed tJs tme. 1 found a calloui matter 
Began to spread and to eipatlBU lit&v : 
But wltb a richer drug Ihan scaldlDcr irat4T 
I bsth'd it orteo, even wllta boly blood. 
Which at a board, while many drank harp irt». 

Kfm taken inwaidlf , and m 

D^iizodb, Google 

Siographia Litenria. 

Tn mppk tuirdaaiMa. Bat at the IcsgUi 
Out of the oldron getdnft noon I Oad 
0Qbj my bouse, vhen to npali the e&en^ 

Which I hwl loM, 1 huttd b> my bed ; 

Bat vbM I UHHtght to elecp oat lU lh«e tUlU 


1 fonnd Ihit HHiw had etnlTd the bed with tbonghta. 

I wenld ear Morni. D«r, could IS7 heait ODl break 

For 1 bad glyen Iha key to imi bat om: 

JInmetbebe, ■■ Yosr beut iru dnll, I far." 

lnderd a ilick and Blecpy atale of ndnd 

Did oft posKta nie «, that wbeo I pn^ed. 

Tboagb oiy Upa went, my h«n did rtay behind. 

BataU my acwea-wen by aoolher paid. 

Who look the debt npoo hlin.— " Truly, Mend, 

For moght 1 bear, your Matter ibowe to yon 

Uon (kvonrlhin ym wDl at: Mark Ibe cod 1 

The Imt did only wbal wai M renevi 

The caidroD mpplBl what wai grown 100 hard: 

Tbe Ihomt did unleken what waa grown too doll ; 

All did botatrin la mtai what yoa had nurr-d. 

Whorerore be dieered. and pralae hbn to tbs toU 

Who WwodM ha™ joou!!^, tender, qnki 1" 


The former ii 

I HATE no fear in declaring mj conviction, that the excellenot 
defined and exemplified in the preceding chapter is not the 
characteriHtiG excellence of Mr. Wordsworth'e stjle ; because I can 
add, with equal ainoeritj, that it is precladed bj higher powers. 
The praise of uniform adherence to geuoine l<^cal English is 
nudoubtcdly his; nay, laying the main emphaAia on the word 
uniform, I will dare add that, of all contemporaiy poets, it ia 
hia alone. For in a lesa abBoInt« sense of the word, I ahoold 
certainly include Mr. Bowles, Lord Byron, and, as to all his later 
writingB, Mr. Southej, the exceptions in their works being so few 
and nnimportant. Bnt of the specific excellence described in tLc 
quotation from Garre, I appear to find more and more nndonbted 
epecimena in the works of others ; for instance, among tlte minor 
poems of Mr. Thomas Moore, and of our illnstrioas Laureate. To 
me it will always remain a singnlar and noticeable fact, tliat a 
theory which vraold establish this Uttftut comnMHu*, not onlj m 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biograt^ia LUerana. 197 

the best, bnt aa the onlj commendable style, fikooM liare pro- 
eeeded from a poet, whose diction, neit to that of Shakespeare 
and !Adton, appears to me, of all otJiers, the most individualized 
and characteristic. And let it be remembered, too, that I am now 
interpreting the controrerted paasages of Mr. W.'a critical preface 
bj the pnrpoee and object which he may be supposed to hare 
intended, rather than by the sense which the words themselves 
must convej, if they ire taken without this allowance. 

A person of any taste, who had but stndied three or four of 
Shakespeare's principal plays, would, without the name affixed, 
scarcely fail to recognise as Shakespear</ii a quotation from any 
other play, thoogh but of a few lines. A HimiUr peculiarity, 
though in a less degree, attends Mr. Wordsworth's style, when- 
ever he speaks in his own person ; or whenever, though under a 
feigned name, it is clear that be himself is still speaking, as in 
the different dramatit penonce of The Recluse. Even in the other 
poems in which he purposes to be most dramatic, there are few 
in which it does not occasionally burst forth. The reader might 
often address the poet in his own words- with reference to persons 
introduced : 

" It leemB, u I ntnu the Mild Udb I7 liH, 
llml but bolf of it If UkI». ud (be bcUtr iMlfli Ouiw. ' 

Who, having been previously acquainted with any considerable 
portion of Mr. Wordsworth's publications, and having studied 
them with a full feeling of the author's genius, would not at onc« 
claim 03 Wordaworthian the little poem on the rainbow p 

Or in the Lucy GrayP 

Or in the Idle Shepherd Boys F 

" Aloi^the ilTei 

The thruih i> buty In 

And enroll loud ■»] B 

TtaoM boyt wilta IbeU 

Tbit plilDtlv* ciT 1 wblcta up ibe HI 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

It8 Btogrty^tia LUeraria. 

Noed I mentdon the eiqaieite desciiption of the Seft Loch in 
the Blind Highland Boy. Who but a. poet teUa a tale in aoch 
language to (he little onee hy the fire-eide aa — 

Id lbs water but UN Otm 
lor when tbelr cottd^ itood 

" Tbeu huiTles ba 
'iliU dM It who 

• A Dd wl Ih (hB coming o( tba Uil« 
Ghih boat! iDd ihlca tbU ■WNII7 lU« 
BeMWD tlH irngdi md Mlj rocki ; 
And to tba thepboda wMi thdrdockl 

I' m^ht quote abnoat tlie whole of bis Bntli, hut talie the 
tidlowing stanzas: 

** The wind, tbo tempest roarJnc high, 
The HunnB of a tioplc skj, 
Ul^t well be dtngenui feed 
Fot bim. . mill " "torn "■" Bl-™ 
&> mncli o( Mrm, to mudi or hen.eii, 
Ajid aucb ImpetuDue blood. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siographia Lilenria. 

FMr trtai ud toialr Downa; 
Tlie b»H» thelT own luguor l«t, 
'rhs itare bid fedlngB. wbldi Oarj hi 
Into ttaoaa ougla bowan. 
■ Yet In his wont pnnnlta, I ween, 
Tbit HmellmeB toen did InleneiH 

Bnt from tSx. Wordsworth's more elevated compositions, wliioh 
already form three-fonrtlis of his works, and will, I troat, oonsti- 
tttte hereafter a still greater proportion { — from Uiese, whether in 
rhyme or in blank verse, it would be diffiooLt and almost snper- 
flnons to select insttmces of a diction peculiarly his own, of a 
style wbich cannot be imitated without being at once recognised 
as originating in Mr, Wordsworth. It would not be ea^ to open 
on any one of bis loftier strains, that does not contain examples 
of this ; and more in proportion as the lines are more excellent 
and moat like the aothor. For those who may happen to be less 
familiar with Ms writing<i, I will give three specimens taken with 
little choice. The first from the lines on the Boy of Windermere,— 

ihey KODld ihool, 
id ahont tgfia 

\9, AQd fdioea loud 

□nd din : Arid wben It cbancfd, 
»p Bflmcs inot*'dhls ikllU 
in Vtat rUtncc, inhUe Ae hung 
LMtirlng, a gmOt Aock if mOd rurprtie 

t rhrme. nied thin von! 

e wbicb hu been diue 
lent eran In our beet witlen. lat 

(nnlbrtonitElr, 1 iWni;) 1> gfven tt t- "... ■ ... j^:_--^-^ \. - .- -v 
aS^tTwaHA be tikm br u IncautJoos ^l""' dmlBatlon fcU In the mini TTiu( 
Kwtar M IM jnuper won m amkespeue '"t*™ bb^' 
■od IBlton tb word k Dner iwdwlibont " Fnvut tlkee Ibr imttv nDi " 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

stioffTt^Aia LtttratiA. 

ma oK iti jDlaM imagerji, itt nda. 

The second shall be that noble imjtatiaii of Drayton * (if it « 
not ratlter a ooincidence) in the Joajma : 




voice, ULd laoghod ^ain 1 


D BUHd OD Helm-cng 




A uIh of Hurler 

: (Bnlhem Iionghrlgg tasvd. 


Hdnllrn &r InU (1» deu bLtie Ik; 




etJ-tacH mt of Ow dond. 

Tlie third, which is in rhyme, I take from the Song at the Feast 
of Brongham Gastle, upon the restoration of Lord Clifford, the 
■hepherd, to the estate of hia ancestors : 

" Kov iinotlier da j la come 

Annoor mating In t^ baUa 
On tbs Mood of aiDOtd nlli; 
Quell the Scot, addma ths lun 
Bear me to the heart of PniHE, 

Field Dfdeatli. vhere'ec Uum be, 
GroaD tbon wkb our rlctoty 1 
Happy iay, and migbtf bonr, 
When our ehepherd, bi lilft power. 
Mailed and horsed with lance and n 

• 'Which Coplliri Kuee hul apoke. bol Which, tow'rdi the m ■9lD,nooddn 

qntelclT ersrr hUl id Uetit. 

0poD her Terge thai suodi, the aelghboor. Thai Brodwaler. (hereirlDi wtthln hs 

WvaOltiflU; baoki aOannd, 

HelvllUm thm hla height. It throngh Ibe In uiUng to tbe na told It to bponoaiid, 

mouuUUni threw, WhoH tnllrlhigs. vilb and SeMi, wM 

iCUy comtund old Coplukd tm 

me ilaiB-tnphlal bead, 11 on the 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Buxp-aphia Literaria. 201 

■Alu I Ibe fervent hitiHr dJd not kiwir 

Tlut for * IruiqiiU bodI the I17 wu bamal, 
WliD, lang ojnipqlled In bumble walks to go, 
yfiz lofleHd Into feellog, aootbed, koA ttmed, 
"IxTQbikdbe fOoDdlnhntA vh«TepooTm«ille: 
Ills dEilf tcuben bad bma woodg tod lUh 
Tbe lUaiu Out 1h in the Btiny Bk)-. 
Tbe deep Itut Is tuLong ttae lonelT bills." 

The words UiemselTes in the foregoing extracts are, no donbt, 
Bufflcientlj common for the greater part. (But in what poem an) 
the^not so P if we except a few misadventnroas attempts to trana- 
late the arts and sciencen into veraeP) In The Hzonrsion the 
number of polyeyllabic (or what the common people call dio- 
tionarj) words is more than nsnallj great. And so must it needs 
be, in proportJon to the number and variety of an author's con- 
ceptions, and his solicitude to expreas them with precision. But 
are those wwds in those places commonly emph>7ed in real life to 
express the same thought or outwu^ thing f Are th^ the style 
need in the ordinary intercourse of spoken words? Ko; nor are 
the modes of connectiotts : and still lees the breaks and troneitionB. 
Would anj but a poet — at least could any one without being con- 
scious that he had expressed himself with noticeable viraoity — 
have described a bird singing loud by, " The thrush is buvj in the 
wood P" Or have spoken of boys with a string of dub-moee 
round their rusty hats, as the boys "wiik their green eonmal"? 
Or have translated a beautiful May-day into " Both earth and $ky 
Tteeg jabilee?" Or have brought all the different maiks and cir- 
cumstances of a sea-loch before the mind, as the actions of a 
living and acting power P Or have reyreaented the reflection of 
the sky in the water as, " That wnceriain heaven received into the 
boaotn of the ileady lake " 7 Even the grammatical construction is 
not unfreqnentlj peculiar ; as, " The wind, the tempest roaring 
high, the tumult of a tropic sky, might well be daTtgeroae food to 
him, a, youth to whom was given," &c. There is a peculiarity in 
the frequentuseofthediTuvapnjToi' (i.e., the omission of the connec- 
tive particle before the last of several words, or several sentences 
used grauunaticallyas singlewords, all being in the same case and 
governing or governed by the same verb], and not less in the con- 
struction of words by apposition (to Mm, a youth). la short, were 
there excluded from Mr. Wordsworth's poetic compositiona all 
that a literal adherence to the theory of his preface would 
exolnde, two-thirds at least of the marked beauties of his poetry 
most be erased. For a far greater number of lines would be 
sacrificed than in any other recent poet; because the pleasure 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

302 BiograiMa tMeraria, 

received from Wordaworth'B pcema being leas deiired eithtfr froit 
ezoitement of cnriosit j or tlie rapid flow of narratdon, the strikiiig 
paaeageafomi » larger proportion of theirTalne. I do not adduce 
it osafair criterion of comparatdTe excellence, nor do I even think 
it Bucli ; bnt merely aa matter of fact. I affirm, that from no con- 
temporarj writer cotdd ao majij linea be quoted, without reference 
to the poem in which tbej are found, for their own indep^ident 
weight or beauty. From the sphere d mj own experience, I can 
bring to my recollection three peraonB, of no every-day powers 
and acquirementB, who had read the poems of others with more 
and more unaUoyed pleasure, and had thooght more highly of 
their authors, as poets ; who yet have confesBed to me, that from 
no modern work had bo many passagea started up anew in their 
minds at different times, and as different occasions had awakened 
a meditative mood. 


Btmuka on tfae promt mode of condiicting critical joomib. 

LONG have I wished to aee a fair and philosophical inquisition 
into the character of Wordsworth, ae a poet, on the evidence 
of his published works; and a positive, not a comparative, appre- 
ciation of their characteristio excellences, deficiencies, and defects. 
I know no claim that the mere opinion of «dj individual can have 
to weigh down the opinion of the author himself ; against the pro- 
bability of whose parental partiality we ought to set that of his 
having thought longer and more deeply on the subject. But I 
should call that investigation fair and philosophical, in which the 
critic announces and endeavours to establish the principles, which 
he holds for the foundation of poetry in general, with the speci- 
fication of these in their aj^lioation to the different cZasee* of 
poetry. Having thus prepared his canons of oritioism for praise 
and condemnation, we would proceed to particularize the most 
striking passages to which he deems them applicable, faithfully 
noticing the frequent or infrequent recurrence of sinular merite 
or defects, and as faithfully distinguishing what is characteristic 
from what is accidental, or a mere flagging of the wing. Then if 
his premises be rational, his deductions legitimate, and his oon- 
elusions justly applied, the reader, and possibly the poet bimaelf, 
may adopt hie judgment in the light of jadgnunt and in the inda- 

Dgilizodb, Google 

SiograjMa lAeraria. SOS 

peadence of free agency. If he haa en-ed, he preaenia hia error* 
m a definite pla^e and tangible form, and holda the torch and 
gmdes the way to their detection. 

I raostwilliugly admit, and eatiniate at a Iii^Talne,tlieserTicea 
irhich the Sdiubnrgh Beview, and others formed afterwards on 
the same plan, have rendered to aociety in the diffosion of know- 
ledge. I think the commencement of the Edinburgh Review an 
important epoch in periodical criticiam ; and that it has a. claim 
npcm the gratitude of the literaiy republic, and indeed of the 
reading public at laj^e, for having originated the scheme of 
reviewing thoae hooka only, which are suaceptible and deserving 
of argumentative criticism. Kot less meritorious, and far more 
faithfully and in general far more ahly executed, ie their plan of 
anppljing the vacant place of the traah or mediocrity wisely left 
to sink into oblivion by their own weight, with original eaaaya on 
the moat intereating subjects of the time, religions or political ; 
in which the titlea of the booka or pamphlets prefixed furnish 
only the name and occasion of the disquisition. I do not arraign 
the keenness or asperity of its damnatory style, in and for itself, 
as long as the author is addressed or treated as the mere imperso- 
nation of the work then under trial. I have no quarrel with them 
on this account, as long as no personal allusions are admitted, and 
no re-commitment (for new trial) of juvemle performances, that 
were published, perhaps forgotten, many years before the com- 
mencement of the review ; aince for the forcing back of such works 
to public notice no motivee are easily aasignable, but auch as are 
furnished to the critic by hie own personal malignity ; or what is 
still worse, by a hahit of maJignity in the form of mere wantonness. 

" Ho prlvatQ e^^EQ ^^^^ need, no perHoal <plta : 
TbB cini tccKD Ib <ta awn dcUgM I 
AU ouDltT, all oiTf , thvT dladaim, 
tMaiaa<rA llitBvca af oar good Dsme; 
0»l, sober mardererB of liKlr □eighbonr'fl fomfl E" 

8. T. C. 

Bvery censure, every sarcaam reepecting a publication which 
the critic, with the criticized work before him, can make good, is 
the critio'a right. The wnter is authoiizod to reply, but not to 
complain. Neither can any one preacribe to the critic Low soft 
or how hard, how friendly or how hitter, shall be the phrases 
which he ia to select for the espreesion of such reprehension or 
ridicole. The critic must know what effect it is his object to 
produce; md with a view to this effect jnnat he weigh his words. 
But as Boou as the critic betrays that he knows more of hia 

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204 Bhgraphia Idlerarut. 

%aOiOT than the author's publications could have told him, as 
soon ds from this more intimate knowledge, elsewhere obtained, ha 
Avails himself of the el^htest ti'ait againet the author, hie censure 
instantlf becomes personal injmy, his sarcaemB personal insnlts. 
He ceases to be a critic, and takes on liim the moat contemptiblo 
character to which a rational creature can be degraded, that of a 
goBaip, backbiter, and pasquillant ; but with this heav; aggrwrit- 
tion, that he steals the nnquiet, the deforming paasions ot the 
world, into the mnaaum ; into the vet; place which, next to the 
chapel and oratory, should be our aanctnar^, and secure place ot 
refuge ; offers abomtnationa on the altar of the Uusea ; and makes 
ite sacred paling the very circle in which he conjures np the lying 
and profane spirit. 

This determination of unlicensfej personality, and of permitt«d 
and legitimate censure (which I owe in part to the illnstribus 
Lessing, himself a model of acute, spirited, sometimes stinging, 
but always argumentatiTe and honourable criticism) is, beyond con- 
troversy, the true one ; and though I would not myself exercise 
all the rights of the latter, yet, let but the former be excluded, I 
submit myself to its exercise in the hands of others, witltout 
complaint and without resentment. 

Let a communication be formed between any number of learned 
menin the various branches of science andliteratnre; and whether 
the presidmit or central committee be in London, or Edinburgh, 
if only they previously lay aside their individuality, and pledge 
themselves inwardly, aa well as ostensibly, to administer judgntent 
according to a constitution and code of laws ; and if by groimding 
this code on the two-fold basis of universal morab and philosophic 
reason, independentof all foreseen application to particular worim 
and authors, they obtain the right to speak each as the represen- 
tative of their body corporate ; they shall have hononr and good 
wishes from mc, and I shall accord to them their fair dignities, 
thoDgh seli-asHumed, not less cheerfully than if I conld inquire 
concerning them in the herald's office, or turn to them in the book 
of peerage. However loud may be the outcries for prevented or 
subverted reputation, however numerous and impatient the com* 
plaints of merciless severity and insupportable despotism, I shall 
neither feel nor utter aught but to the defence and justi£catiim 
of the critical machine. Should any literary Quixote find him- 
self provoked by its sounds and r^olar movements, I sbonld 
admonish him, with Sancho Fanza, that it is no giant, but a 
windmill; there it stands tm it« own plaoe and its own hillock 
never goes out of the way to attack any one, and to aaaa, ttui 

Dgilizodb, Google 

ita LUenria. 205 

from, none, eitner gives or asks aesiatAnce. When the public pren 
has poured in an; part of ita produce between ita mill-stones, it 
grinds it off, one man's sack the same as another, and with what- 
ever wind may then happen to be blowing. All the two-and- thirty 
winds are alike its friends. Of the whole wide atmoephere, it 
doee not desire a single finger-breadth more than what is necessary 
for it« sails to turn ronnd in. But this space must be left free 
and unimpeded. Gnats, beetles, wasps, bntterflies, and the whole 
tribe of ephemerals and in significants, may flit in and ont and be- 
tween ; may hum, and bnzz, and jar; may shrill their tiny pipes, 
and wind their puny horns, nnchaetia^ and unnoticed. But 
idlers and bravados of larger size and pronder show must beware 
how they place themselves within ita sweep. Hoch less may they 
presume to lay hands on the sails, the strength of which is neither 
greater or less than aa the wind is which drives them round. 
'Whomsoever the remorseless arm slings aloft, or whirls along 
with it in the air, he has himself alone to blame; though when the 
some arm throws bim from it, it will more often double than break 
the force of his fall. 

. Putting aside the too manifest and too frequent interference of 
national party, and even personal predilection or aversion, and re- 
serving for deeper feelings those worse and more criminal in- 
trusions into the sacrednees of private life, which not seldom 
merit legal rather than literary chastisement, the two principal 
olgects and occasions which I find for blame and regret in the 
uondnct of the review in question are, first, ita unfaithfulness to 
its own announced and excellent plan, by sulq'ecting to criticism 
works neither indecent or immoral, yet of such trifling importance 
even in point of size, and, according to the critic's own verdict, so 
devoid of all merit, as must excite iu the most candid mind the 
suspicion either that disUke or vindictive feeUngs were at work ; 
or that there was a cold prudential pre-defcermination to inci-eaae 
the sale of the Beview by flattering the malignant passions of 
human nature. That I may not myself become subject to the 
charge, which I am bringing against others, by an accusation 
-without proof, I refer to the article on Dr. Etennell's sermon in 
the very first number of the Edinboi^h Beview as an Ulnstra- 
tion of my meaning. If in looking through all the succeeding 
volumes the reader should find this a soUtary instance, I must 
Kubmit to that painful forfeiture of esteem which awaits a ground- 
lees or exaggerated charge. 

The second point of objection belongs to this review only in 
oommon with all other works of periodical criticism ; at least, it 

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308 Stographia Ltteraria. 

applies in oommoii to the geatxel sjatem of all, whatever eicep* 
tion there may be in favoitr of particnlar articlefl. Or if it ^ 
Goohea to the Ediiibnrgh Beriew, and to its only co-riTal, the 
Qnarterlj, irith aaj pecnliaf force, this reeulte from the auperi- 
ority of talent, acquirement, and information which both have so 
imdeniably displayed, and which doubtleea deepena the regret 
though not the blame. I am referring to the substitution of aeacr- 
tion for argument; to the frequMiey of arbitrary and aometimea 
petulant verdicts, not aeldom unsupported even by a single qnota< 
tion from the work condemned, which might at least have ex- 
plained the critic's meaning, if it did not prove the jostice of hia 
s^it^ice. Even where this ie not the case, the extraote are too 
often made withont reference to any general groonda or rules 
from which the fanltiness or inadmissibilitj of the qualities at- 
tributed may be deduced, and without any attempt to show that 
the qualifies are attributable to the passage extracted. I have 
met with such extracts from Mr. Wordsworth's poems, annexed to 
such assertions, as lead me to im^^e that the reviewer, having 
writt«n bis critique before he had read the work, had then pricked 
with apinforpaesageswherewithto illustrate the various branches 
of his preconceived opinions. By what principle of rational choice 
can we suppose a critic to lure been directed (at least in a, Chris- 
tian country, and himself, we hope, a Christian) who gives the 
following lines, portraying the fervour of solitaiy devotion excited 
hy the magnificent display of the Almighty's works, as a proof 
and example of an autboi^a tendency to downright ravings, uid 
absolute unintelligibility P 

" O tbBI what khI vu bit, vita on llw lops 
Of Uh high mouutalni he brheLil Uie no 

Ingladneu and dwp joy. The cloudfl were biuch^ 

NoruLj volnof jofj bU^)iiildrin 
TliB HprcLuig ! HoHtlod, louU utd fq 
All mriUd Into him. They •wallon 
HtaiDliiulbalBR: In ibtm did be 111 
And by Ibem did be lire: they nen 

Can it be expected that either the author or his admirers should 
be induced to pay any serious attention to decisions which prov« 
nothing but the pitiable state of the critic's own tasto and sensi- 
bility P On opening the Beriew they see a &vonrito passage, at 


BtograpMa Zaferaria. 207 

the force aad truth of which thej had an intoitire oertamtr in 
their own inward experience, confirmed, if confirmation it conld 
receire, by the sjmpathy of their mort oilightened &iende, some 
of whom perhaps, even in the world's opinion, hold a higher in- 
tellectual rank thii.ii the critic himself wonld presume to claim. 
And this Tery paesc^e they find selected as the characteristic 
etfasion of a mind deserted by reason; as fumlBhing evidence 
that the writer was raving, or he coold not have thus stmng words 
t-c^ether without sense or purpose ! No diversity of taste seems 
capable of eiplaiuiiig such a contrast in judgment. 

That I had overrated the merit of a passage or poem, that I 
had erred concerning the degree of its exc^ence, I might bo 
easily induced to beliere or apprehend. Bnt that lines, the sense 
of which I bad analyzed and found consonant with aU the beet 
convictions of my understanding, and the imagery and diction 
of which had collected roond those convictions my nobleat as 
well as my most delightful feelings; that I should admit such 
lines to be mere nonsense or lunacy, is too much for the most 
ingeniona ailments to efieet. But that snch a. revolution of 
taste should be brought about by a few broad assertiona, seems 
little less than impossible. On the contrary, it would require 
an efi»3rt of charity not to dismiss the criticism with the aphorism 
of the wise man, in aaimam malevolam, aapietdia haud intrare 

What then if this very critic should have cited a large number 
of single Unes, and even of long paragraphs, which he himself ac- 
knowledges to possess eminent and original beauty P What if ha 
himself has owned that beauties as great are scattered in abun- 
dance throughout the whole book P And yet, though under this 
impression, should have commenced his critique in vrdgar exalta^ 
tion with a prophecy meant to secure its own fulfilment ? With 
a " This won't do !" What if after such acknowledgments, ex. 
torted from his own judgment, he should proceed from charge to 
charge of tamenesa and raving, flights and flatness ; and at length, 
consigning the author to the houae of incurables, should conclude 
witb a strain of rudest contempt, evidently grounded in the dis- 
t«mpered state of hia own moral associations P Suppose, too, all 
Qa» done without a single leading principle established or even an- 
nonnced, and without any one attempt at argnmentative deduction, 
though the poet had presented a more than usual opportunity for 
it, by having previously made public his own principles of judg- 
ment in poeby, and supported them I^ tk connected train of 

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306 BiogragMa LUerariiL. 

■ The office and duty of tha poet is to select the moat dignified as 
veil as 

" Tbe gsfcst, bqiplnt ■tdtauls oT IhlagL" 

The reverse, for in all casea a. reverse is possible, is tbe appi'opriate 
bnsiiiess of borleaque and traveaiy, a predomiu&iit ta^te for which 
baa been alwajs deemed a mark of a low and degraded mind. 
When I was at Borne, among manj other visits to the tomb c£ 
Julius n., I went thither once with a FrusHian artiat, a man of 
genius and great vivainty of feeling. As we were gadng oil Uicliad 
Angela's Moses, our convocation turned on the horns and beard 
of that stupendous statue i of tbe necessity of each to support the 
oUieri of tha superhuman effect of the former, and the neceasitj 
of the existence of both to give a harmosj and integrity both t*> 
the image and the feeling excited by it. Conceive them removed, 
and tbe statue would become uti-natural, without being super- 
natural We called to mind the boms of the rising son, and I 
repeated the noble passage from Taylor's Holy Dying. That 
horns were the emblem i^ power and sovereignty among tbe 
Eastern nations, and are etill retained as such in Abyssinia; the 
Achelous of the ancient Greeks; and the probable ideas and feel- 
ings that originally suggested the mixture of the human and the 
brute form in tbe figure by which they realized the idea of their 
mysterious Pan, as representing intelligence blended with a darker 
power, deeper, mightier, and more universal than tbe conscious 
inteUect of man. I^an intelligence ; all these thoughts and recol- 
lections passed in procession before onr minds. My companion, 
who posaesaed more than bis share of the hatred which bis coun- 
trymen bore to the French, had just observed to me, " A French- 
man, sir, is the only n-nimnl in the human shape that by no 
possibility can lift itself up to religion or poetry;" when, lo! 
two French officers of diatinetion and rank entered the church ! 
"Mark you," whispered tbe Prussian, "thefirat thing which those 
Booundrcls will notice (for they will begin by instantly noticing 
the statue in parts, without one moment's pause of admiration 
impressed by the whole) will be the horns and the beard. And the 
associations which they will immediately connect with them will 
be those of a he-goat uid a cuckold." Never did man goees more 
Inckily. Had be inherited a portion of the great legislator's pro- 
phetic powers, whose statue we had been contemplating, he could 
scarcely have uttered words more coincident with the result ; for 
even as he bad said, so it came to pass. 
In The Excursion the poet has introduced an old man, bom in 

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Btogn^ia LUeraria. 90S 

humble but nut abject cinmiuHtaDceB, wbo liad e^jo^ed mora iltaii 
Tunol advantages of education, both from books and from the more 
awful discipline of nature. This persou he represents as having 
been driven by the restJessuess of fervid feelings and from a crav- 
ing iuteUect to an itinerant life, and as having, in consequence, 
passed the larger portion of his time, from earliest muihood, in 
villages and hamlets from door to door : 

•' A ragrtint ms'diut ln( bcDaOi Ui U»d." 

Now whether this be a character appropriate to a lofty didactic 
poem, is perhaps questionable. It presents a fair subject (or con- 
trover^; and the question is to be determined by the cougruity 
or incongruity of such a character with what shall be proved to 
be the essendal constituents of poetry. Bnt surely ^e critic 
who, passing by all the opportunities which such a mode of life 
would present to such a maji ; all the advantages of the liberty of 
nature, of solitude, and of solitary thought ; all the varieties of 
places and seasons, through which his track had iHiti, with all the 
varying imagery they bring with them ; and lastly, all the obser- 
vations of men, 

" Tlieir mumerfl, th^r Qi^nyiaaaa bid pnnuita. 
Their pahIddb and Uuir feeUngs,'* 

which the memory of these yearly journeys muat have given and 
recalled to such a mind — the critic, I say, who from tlie multitnd* 
of possible associations should pass by all these in order to fix his 
attention exclnsively on the pin-papers, and stay-tapes, which 
might have been among the wares of his pack : this critic, in my 
opinion, cannot be thonght to possess a much higher or much 
healthier state of moral feeling than the Frenchnian above 


The dBmctariiitlc defecls of Wwdawortli'B poelrjr, with tbe pri 
mcn^ that Uwy are defects, [s dgduced— Thelt propnrtliia to 
part cbUTCUTtnic of bla tbeory ODlj. 

IP Mr, Wordswoi-th has set forth principles of poetry which his 
arguments are insofflcient to snpport, let him and those who 
have adopted his sentiments be set right by the confatation of 
those w^nments, and by the substitntion of more ptulosophical 
principles. And still let the due credit be given to the ^rtion 
tad importance of the truths which are blended with his theory i 


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110 Stogn^Ma tiileraria. 

iraths, ike too excloUTe attention to whioh Lad oocaritmed itt 
eiTon, l^ tempting him to cany those traths beyimd tLeir prop^ 
limits. If hie mietaken theory has at aJl influenced hia poetio 
compoaitions, let the effects be pointed out, and the inatances 
given. Bnt let it likewise be shomL how far the influence has 
acted ; whether difiiurivel;, or onlj by starts ; whether the number 
and importance of the poems and passages thus infected be great 
or trifling compared with the sonnd portion ; and laatly, whether 
they are inwoven into the texture of his works, or are loose and 
separable. The resnlt of such a trial would evince beyond a 
doubt, what it is high time to announce decisively and aloud, that 
the supposed characteristics of Mr. Wordsworth's poetry, whether 
admired or reprobated ; whether they are simplicity or simple- 
ness ; faithful adherence to essential nature, or wilfol selections 
from human nature of its meanest forms and under the least 
attractive associations; are as little the real characteristics of 
his poetry at large, as of his genius and the constitution of his 

In a comparatively small number of poems, he chose to try an 
experiment ; and this eiperiment we will suppose to have fiuled. 
Yet even in these poems it is impossible not to perceive that the 
natural tendency of the poet's mind ia to great objects and 
elevated conceptions. The poem entitled fidehtf is for the 
greater part written in langoage as unraised and naked aa any 
perhaps in the two volumes. Yet take the following stanza and 
compare it witli the preceding stanzas of \ixe same poem: 

And mlau ttiKt Bprnd Uie flying ihrond; 
And tunbrami ; and Ihe aomidLiiit blast, 
Tbu Jf It cnuld woqld I1DTT7 feM, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Agraphia LUeraria. Sll 

Can any can^d and imt«lligeut mind heaitAto in detenuining 
wUch of these beat represeuts the tendencj and natire character 
of the poet's genius P Willhenot decide thattbe one waa written 
hecanse the poet would so write, and the other because he coidd 
not so entirely repress the force and grandeur of his mind, bnt 
that he mtiBt in Bome part or other of every composition write 
otherwise F In short, that his only disease is the being out of his 
element ; like the Bwan, that having amiised himaelf, for a while, 
with crushing the weeds on the river's bank, soon returns to his 
own m^'estic movements on its reflecting and sustaiiiing sorfaca 
Let it be observed, that I am here supposing the imagined judge, 
to whom I appeal, to have already decided against the poet's 
theory, as tar as it is different from the principles of the art, 
generally acknowledged. 

I cannot here enter into a detailed examination of Mr. Words- 
worth's works; hut I wiU attempt to give the main reaulte of my 
own judgment, after an acquaintance of many years, and repeated 
perusals. And thoogh, to appreciate the defects of a great mind 
it is necessary to understand previously its characteriatic excel- 
lences, yet I have already expressed myself with sufBcieut fulness 
to preclude most of the ill effects tJiat might arise from my 
pursuing a contrary arrangement. I will therefore commence 
with what I deem tiie prominent defecte of his poems hitherto 

The first characteristic, though only occasional defect, which I 
appear to myself to find in these poems is the inconstancy of the 
style. Under this name I refer to the sudden and unprepared 
transitions from lines or sentences of peculiar felicity (at all 
events striking and original) to a style, not only unimpaBsioned 
but undiatinguisbed. He sinks too often and too abruptly to that 
style which I should place in the second division of language, 
dividing it into the three species : first, that which is peculiar to 
poetry; second, that which is only proper in prose; and third, 
the neutral or common to both. There have been works, such as 
Cowley's Essay on CromweU, in which proae and verse are inter- 
mixed (not as in the Consolation of Boetius, or the Axgeuis ot 
Barclay, by the insertion of poems supposed to have been spoken 
or composed on occasions preriously related in prose, but) the 
poet passing from one to the other as the natve of the thoughte 
or his own feelings dictated. Yet this mode of composition does 
not satisfy a cultivated taste. There is something unpleasant in 
tiie being thus obUged to alternate states of feeling so dissimilar, 
priA thin t«o in a speciee of writii^, the pleasure from which is in 

_ ... _ , ,.. ... ... D 5 mod b, Google 

313 Siographia LOeraria. 

part deriTed from the preparation and prerionB eqiectation of tlw 
reader. A portion of that awkwarduees is felt nhich hanga upon 
the introdnction of eonga ia our modem comic operas ; and to 
prevent which the judicious MetastaBio (as to -nhoee eiqaieite 
taste there can be no hesitation, whatever doubts may be enter- 
tained as to hiii poetic genius) uniformlj placed tlie aria at the 
end of the scene, at the same time that he ahnoat always raises 
and impBSsionB the stjle of the recitative inunediatelj preceding. 
Even in real life, the difference is great and evident between 
words need as the arbitrary marks of thought, our smooth mtu'ket- 
ooin of intercourse with the image and superscription worn out 
by currency, and those which convey pictures either borrowed 
from (me ontward object to enliven and particularize some other ; 
or nsed aUegoricaJly to body forth the inward state of the person 
speaking ; or such as are at least the exponents of his peculiar 
turn and unusual extent of faculty. So much so, indeed, that in 
the social circlea of private life we often find a striking use 
of the latter put a stop to the general flow of conversation, and 
by the excitement arising from concentred attention produce 
a sort of damp and interruption for some nunutcs after. But 
in the perusal of works of Uterary art, we prepare ourselvea 
for such language ; and the business of the writer, like that 
of a painter whose subject requires unusual splendour and 
prominence, is so to raise the lower and neutral tints, that what 
in a different style would be the commanding colours, are here 
used as the means of that gentle degradation requisite in order 
to produce the effect of a whole. Wlere this ia not achieved 
in a poem, the metre merely reminds the reader of his claims 
in order to dieappoiat tliem ; and where this defect occurs fre< 
queutly, his feelings are alternately startled by anticlimax and 

I refer the reader to the exquisite stuizas cited for auotlier 
purpose from The Blind Highland Boy ; and then annex as beinij 
in my opinion instances of this disharmony in style the two fol> 

- Our HLgbland Bay sfl ylsUai 
The biHBe which h^ this pclu, aul M 
Br cbolu or chaoM <bd IhlUw <MBB 
Odd day. vbeo no onn wu at boiut, 
Aid bain Iki dMT umand.' 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siofjraphia LUeraria. 
Or page 17% vd. i. (The Emigraiit LEottier) : 

" TiB goDe IbTgDtten, lei 

I ban forgot Iboig nuUea atUmf 

Or page 269, vol i. (To a, Skylark) : 

n. Ibr thr Idtb ud Ibj n 

The iuoongmity wliicli I appear to find in this paasage, is that 
of the two noble lines in italics with the preceding and following. 
So ToL iL, page 30 (Beaolution and Independence) : 

" CloH bj A poDd» upon (be furtbu 1149 
Oe ilDOd tknm ; ■ mlmle'i i^iice I goaa. 
1 wklcbedbhn, hsamtiDiiliignMUaDlia; 
To (be pool's mrUKi mvglD Ibiu I drew ; 

- And lUU u I draw wai w[ib goiUa p«ce, 
Badda th* llULe pond or montita Oocd. 
HoUoDlen u ■ cloud tbe old man alsod: 
llimt hurelb not the loud idnda h Oef ali. 
And moveth ■lUsBlba', It It move It ilL' 

Or lastly , the second of the three following stanzas, compared 
both with the first and tbe third : 

' Ujr finDH' Ibon^tt rrtnnied. (he Inr thU klUei 
Aid hope tbet ii nnwUllng to tr fed; 
OdI^ pitbi, end labour, indaUOefiblflUBj 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biographia lAleraria. 

B* iritli 1 nullB did thea hli Uls npcot ; 
And nld. that, gaUifiiog leechu fkr ind wAv 
liB tarelW : Bilniug tbiu about his bet 

Bh Uiej hive dnlDdlel long liy sl^ 

WuderlDg sbwl skms aod BlIeDlly." 

Indeed, tliis fine poem ia especiallj clianicteriBtic of llie anOuift 
There is scarce a defect or excelleiice in his writings of vhioli it 
■would not present a specimen. But it would be ujvjnst not 
to repeat that this defect ia onlj' occasional. From a careful 
re-perosal of the two volumes of poems, I doubt whetlter tha 
objectionable pasai^^es would amount in the whole to one hundred 
lines; not the eighth part of the number of pages. In The Ex- 
cursion the feeling of iuoongmitj is seldom excited bj the diction 
of anj passage considered in itedf, but bj the sudden superiority 
of some other pasa^e forming the context. 

The second defect I could generalize with tolerable accaracy, if 
the reader will pardon an uncouth and new-coined word, lliere 
is, I should saj, not seldom a matter-of-faetTieaa in ceiiiain poems. 
This maj be divided into, first, a laborious minuteness and 
fidelitj in the representation of objects, and their positions, aa 
thej appeared to the poet himself; secondly, the insertion of 
ac«^ental circumstances, in order to the full explanation of his 
living characterB, their dispositiona and actions : which circum- 
stances might be necessarj to establish the probability of a state- 
ment in real life, where nothing is taien for giunted by the 
bearer, but appear superfluous in poetry, where the reader is will- 
ing to believe for his own Bake. To this accidentality, I object, as 
contravening the eaaence of poetry, which Aristotle pronounces 
to be iTiraiiSaKfraTDf Kat <^(Xoiro^«rarai' yt'vor, the moat intense, 
weighty, and philosophical product of human art ; adding, as th* 
reason, that it is the most catholic and abstract. The following 
passt^^fromDaTenant's prefatory letter to Hobbes well expresses 
this truth : " When I considered the actions which I meant to de- 
scribe (those inferring the persons) I was again persuaded rather 
to choose those of aformer age than, the present; and in a cen< 
tnry so far removed as might preserve me from their improper 
examinatioDs, who know not the requisites of a poem, nor how 
much pleasure they lose (and even the pleasures of heroic poe^ 
are not unprofitable) who take away the liberty of a poet, and 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Uwgrapiita Loeraria. 216 

fett«r hia feet in the aliacklea of an historiui. For yihj ihonld a 
poot donbt in atoiy to mend the intiigaes of foTtnne by more 
del^htfnl conTeyances of probable fiotiona, beoanae anatere hie- 
toriana have ent«red into bond to truth P An obligation, which 
were in poeta as fooliah and uonecesBBrj, as is tbe bcmdage of 
talee martjra, who lie in chaina for a miataken opinion, Bvi by 
this I would imply, that Iraih, narralive and j?ast, w the idol of hitlo- 
rians (who vsorthip a dead thing) and tnxOi operative, (ind by ^eett 
conHraiaily alive, ie the mitirete of poets, who hath not her exigence 
i» matter, but in reaeon." 

For thia minute accuracy in the painting of local imagery, the 
lines in The Excurakm, pp. 96, 97, and 98,' may be taken, it not 
us a atriking instance yet as an illustration of my meaning. It 
uinst be some strong motive (as, for instance, that the description 
waa necesaary to the intelligibility of the tale) which could induce 
me to deacribe in a number of verses, what a draftsman could 
present to the eye with incomparably greater satisfaction by half 
a dozen atrokea of his pencil, or the painter with aa many touchea 
of hia brush. Such descriptions too often occasion in the mind 
of a reader, who is determined to imderstand hia author, a 
feeling of labour, not very dissimilar to that with which he would 
conatmct a diagram, line by line, for a long geometrical proposi- 
tion. It seema to be like taking the pieces of a dissected map out 
of ita box. We firat look at one part and then at another, then 
join and dove-twl them ; and when the eaccessive acta of atten. 
tion have been completed, there is a i-etrogreesive effort of mind to 
behold it as a whole. The poet should paint to the imagination, 
not to the fancy ; and I know no happier case to exemplify the dis- 
tinction between these two faculties. Masterpieces of the former 
ntode of poetic paintii^ abound in the writings of Milton, ex. gr. 

'The fig-tne. not Uiiit Uwj 10[ rmlt rmonn'd, 
Bdtsudi VktLblBdii; to LndiaDB known 
Jn Malabar or Decao, uprpbla lur anna 
Brancbinff so broad wid ToDgj tbat in Che ground 
'fbe bended twigi tak« root, and davghUrt groto 

Skdtvi in tool, and Unit hit pattutinff ho-dt 
M loofAoZa cut Vinugh thicJcetl thade." 

HiLios-a Paradiit Liat.\T. IIH. 

This is creation rather thaji painting, or if painting, yet audi, 
and witib anoh co-preaeuce of the whole picture flashed at ones 
upon the eye, as the aun paints in a camera obaoora. But th« 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

tl6 l^ogrofUa lAUraria. 

poot tDoat likewiae understsiid and command what Baoim calls 
the twftitria eommunia of the senBM, the hitenoj of all in each, and 
more especially as by a magical p«iuui duplet the excitement of 
naion by sotuid and the eiponenta of aound, Thn*, " The echo- 
ing walks between," may be almost said to I'ererae the fable in 
traclitioii of the head of Memnon, in the Egyptian etatne. Stub 
mRy be deaerredly entitled the oreative words in the worid ol 

The Bcoond diTision respects an apparent minnte adhovnce to 
matter-of-fact in character and inoidente ; a biographical atten- 
tiun to probability, and an anxiety of explanation and retroepeoc 
Under this head I shall deliver, with no feigned diffidence, the 
results of my best reflection on the great point of controversy 
between Hr. Wordsworth and his objectors, namely, on the 
choice of his characters. I have already declared, and, I tmst 
jostified, my ntter dissent from the mode of ar^ment which hia 
critics have hitheii» employed. To their question, why did yon 
choose snch a character, or a character from such a rank of lUeP 
the poet might, in my opinion, fairly retort : why, with the con- 
ception of my character, did yon make wilful choice of mean or 
ludicrous associations not furnished by me, but supplied from 
your own sickly sjid fastidious feelings P How was it, indeed, 
probable, that such arguments could have any weight with on 
authcor, whose plan, whose guiding principle, and main object it 
was to attack and subdne that state of association, which leads us 
to place the chief value on those things on which man differs 
from man, and to forget or disregard the high d^nities which 
belong to human nature, the sense and the feeling which may be, 
and ought to be, found in all ranksP The feelings with which, 
as Ohristians, we contemplate a mixed congregation rising or 
kneeling before their common Maker, Mr. Wordsworth would 
have us entertain at all times, as men, and as readers; and by the 
excitement of this lofty, yet prideless impartiality in poetry, he 
might hope to have encouraged its continuance in real life. The 
praise of good men be his! In real life, and I tmst, even in my 
imagination, I honour a virtuous and wise man, without reference 
to the presence or absence of artificitJ advsjitages. Whether in 
the person of an armed baron, a laurelled bard, or of an old 
pedlar, or still older leech-gatherer, the same qualitdes of head 
and heart must claim the same reference. And eren in poetry, 
I am not conscious that I have ever sulFei'ed my feelings to be 
disturbed or offended by any thoughts or images which tiie po«t 
bimseU baa not pi-esented. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogri^ia lAteraria. 317 

Bni vet I object, nevertheless, and for the following reasonG. 
Ymt, because the object in view, as an immediate olg'ect, belongs 
to the moral pbiloaopber, and would be poreaed, not onlj more 
appropriately, but in 1117 opinion with far greater probability of 
raccesB, in sermons or moral essajs, than in an elorated poem. 
It seems, indeed, to destroy the main fundamental distinction, 
not only between a poem and prose, but even between philosophy 
and works of fiction, inasmuch a.B it proposes truth for its imme- 
diate object instead of pleasure. Now, till the blessed time shall 
oome, when;truth itself shall be pleaaure, and both shall be so 
nnited as to be distinguishable in words only, not in feeling, it 
win remain the poet's office to proceed upon that state of associa- 
tion which actuaUy exists as general ; instead of attempting first 
to make it what it ought to be, and then to let the pleasure follow. 
But here is unfortunately a small Hyeteron-Proteron. For the 
communication of pleasure is the introductory means by which 
alone the poet most expect to moralize his readers. Secondly: 
tbongh I were to admit, for a moment, this argument to be 
groundless ; yet how is the moral effect to be produced, by merely 
attaching the name of some low professioii to powers which are 
least likely, and to qualities which are assuredly not more likely, 
to be foniid in it F The poet, speaking in his own person, may 
at once delight and improre ue by sentiments which teaeh ns the 
indc^>endence of goodness, of wisdom, and even of genius, on the 
&TOiirs of fortune. And having made a due reverence before the 
throne of Antonine, he may bow with equal awe before Epictetus 
among his feUow-slaves — 

In tbe pbUa fnaeaa oF tala iipitj.- 

" muy in Um |w«t8 ttiaC ■» BowD 
BrNstara; mai endowed with UghM giAi, 
The TMon and lbs tusaitj dlvlDB, 
Yet wftptliig tbe uccmpUahmsil of ven^ 
HorhATLnge^, ulffeadvuicfdibKnlHl 
Bj dTCfunaUnce to take unto lie bel^t 
Tbe lOHBate of tbenuelTfe. Ukek ^toot^iI being 

UoBbanding tbbt "wblch iotj pwK« wlUiln, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

918 Biographia Literaria. 

To nse a colloquial phrase, snch eentimeiits, in sudi language, 
do one's heart good ; though I, for taj port, have not the fnllest 
faith in the truth of the observation. On the contrarj, I believe 
the instances to be exceedingly rare; and should feel almost as 
strong an objection to introduce such a character in a poetic fiction, 
HB a pair of black swans on a lake, in a fancj landscape. When 
I think bow man; and bow much better books than Homer, or 
even than Herodotna, Pindar, or ^Bcbylus, conld have read, 
are in the power of almost every man, in a country where almost 
overy man is instructed to read and write; and how restless, how 
difficultly hidden, the powers of genius are, and yet find even 
in situations the most £ivourable, according to Mr. Wordsworth, 
fur Uie formation of a pure and poetic langn^e — in situatitoiB 
which ensure familiarity with, the grandest objects of the imagi- 
nation — but one, Bums, among the shepherds of Scotland, and 
not a single poet of humble life among those of English lakes 
and mountains, I conclude, that Poetic Genina is not only a very 
delicate, but a very rare plant. 
But be this aa it may, the feelings with which 

' I Ihlnk of ChitterUin, Uie DurvillanB boy. 
The sl«|ila«» soul, ihit pfrish'd In fata phdc: 
Of Bonn, ll»l witt-dtn glory ind In joj 
Bthlnd hb ploogb npoo tt» mooDUJn-iidi." 

EtEaiLuniKi ixa Isnttanxict.r.l 

are widely different from those with which I should read a poem, 
where the author, having occasion for the character of a poet and 
a philosopher in the fable of his narration, had chosen to make 
him a chimney-sweeper ; and then, in order to remove all doubts 
on the subject, had invented an account of his birth, parentage 
and education, with all the strange and fortmiate accidents which 
had concurred in making him at once poet, philOBOpher, and 
sweep 1 Nothing bnt biography can justify this. If it be admis- 
sible even in a, novel, it must be one in the manner of De Foe's, 
that were meant to pass for histories, not in the manner of 
Fielding's ; in the life of Holl Flanders, or Colonel Jack, not in a 
Tom Jones, or even a Joseph Andrews. Mnch less thai, can it 
be legitimately introduced in a poem, the characters of which, 
amid the strongest individnaliiation, must still remain n^ire- 
eentative. The precepts of Horace, on this point, axe grounded 
on the nature both of poetry and of the human mind. They are 
not more peremptoiy, than wise and prudent. For, in the firat 
plact^ a deviation from tbem perplexes the reader's feelings, and 

Dgiiizodb, Google 


all Lhe circumatances which are feigned in order to make such 
acddenta less improluible, divide and disquiet his faith, rather 
than aid and support it. Spite of all attempts fiction will appear, 
and unfortunately not as fictitious hut as false. The reader not 
only knowB that the sentiments and the language are the poet's 
own, and his own too in hie artificial character, as poet ; but bj 
the fruitlesH endeavoura to make bim think the contruiT', he ia 
not even sufi'ered to forget it. The effect is similar to that pro- 
duced by an epic poet, when the fable and characters are derived 
&om Scripture history, as in the Messiah of Klopstock, or in 
Cumberland's Calvary : and not merely su^ested by it as in the 
Paradise Lost of Milton. That illusion, contradistinguished 
from delusion, that negative faith, which simply permits the 
images presented to work by their own force, without either 
denial or affirmation of t^eir real existence by the judgment, is 
rendered impossible by their immediate neighbourhood to words 
and facte of known and absolute truth. A faith which transcends 
even historic belief, must absolutely put out this mere poetic Ana- 
logon of faith, as the summer sun is said to extinguish our house- 
hold fires, when it shines full npon them. What would otherwise 
have been yielded to aa pleasing fiction, is repelled as revolting 
falsehood. The effect produced in this latter case by the Bolesm 
belief of the reader, is in a less degree brought about in the 
instances to which I have been objecting, by the baffled attempts 
of the antbor to make bim believe. 

Add to all the foregoing, the seeming ueelesBness both of the 
project and of the anecdotes from which it is to derive support. 
Is there one word, for instance, attributed to the pedlar in The 
Xiicursion, characteristic of a pedlar p One sentiment, that might 
not more plausibly, even without the aid of any previous explana- 
tion, have proceeded from any wise and beneficent old man of 
a ranlr or profession in which the language of learning and 
refinement are naturally to be expected? N^eed the rank hare 
been at all particularized, whei'e nothing follows which the know- 
ledge of that rank is to explain or illustrate P When on the 
contrary this information renders the man's language, feelings, 
sentiments, and information a riddle, which must itself be 
solved by episodes of anecdote? Finally, when this and this alone, 
could have induced a genuine poet to inweave in a poem of the 
loftiest style, and on subjects the loftiest and of the most 
universal interest, such minute mattera of fact, not unlike those 
fBrnisfaed for the obituary of a, magazine by the friends of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siofn^Ma LSerana. 


ae on » tauU 

Df Atholhovasboin. 
hertdllarT tami. 

allp of raffied ground. 


FsUier dwell 

While to, wb«» 

lowlj farBmf 1 lettaM, 



dukId™ of their Kl«. 


. eie be had outerowo his Inftmt dan 



EipoBBd the l«dKr ol the VUtaga School , 

Heeattl Uutiac» 





mmnier tended atUe tw the hill. ; 


lochmait and Ibe perilous daji 

Tm ExcDunn, Book I. 

For all th« admirable passages interposed in this narration, 
might, irith trifling alterations, have been far more appropriatdj, 
and -witli far greater Terifiimilitude, told of a poet in the cha- 
racter of a poeti and without incurring another defect which 
I ahali now mention, and a sufficient illustration of which will 
hare been here anticipated. 

Third ; an undue predilection for the dramatic form in cert^ 
poems, from which one or other of two evils reanlt. Either the 
thoughts and diction are different from that of the poet, aud then 
there arises an incongruity of style ; or they are the same and 
iudistinguisluible, and then it presents a species of ventriloqiiism, 
where two are represented as talking, while in truth one maa only 

The fonrtli class of defects is closely connected witli the former; 
but yet are such as arise likewise from an intensity of feeling die- 
proportionate to such knowledge and value of the objects de- 
scribed, as can be fairly anticipated of men in general, even of 
the most cultivated classes ; and with which therefore few only, 
and those few particularly circumstanced, can be supposed to 
sympathize : in this class, I comprise occasional prolixity, repeti> 
tion, and an eddying instead of progression of thought. Aj 
instances, see page 27, 28, of the Poems, vol. i.,* and the first 
eighty lines of tiie Sixth Book of The Excursion. 

Fifth and lAstj thoughts and images too great for tlie subjecti 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Biogrtg^hia Ltteraria. 221 

This is am approxuuationtowhaitm^it be called mental bombast, 
as dufinguished from verbal : for, aB in the latter there ia a dis- 
proportion of the eipresaions to the thoughts, eo in this tiiere is a 
disproportion of thought to the circmnstance and occasion. This, 
bythe-by, is a fault of which none but a man of genius ia capa- 
ble. It is the awkwardness and strength of Hercules with the 
distaff of Omphale. 

It is a well-known fact, that bright tx>lonrs in motion both 
make and leave the strongest impressions on the eje. tTotbing ia 
more likel; too, than that a Tivid image or visnal Bpectrom, thna 
originated, maj become the litiV of association in recalling the 
feelings and images that had accompanied the original impression. 
Bat if we describe this in such lines, as 

in what words shall we describe the joj of retrospection, when the 
im^^es and virtuous actions of a whole weU-spent life, pass before 
that conscience which ia indeed the inward eye : which is indeed 
" the bliss of Bohtade P" Assuredly we seem to sink most abruptly, 
sot to say buriesquely, and almost as in a medley, from this 
couplet to 

" And then m; hart vlQi pleasure flllB, 
Ajid duicH witli Ibe dnlTadik.'' 

The second is from voL ii., page 12 (Gipsies), where the poet 
having gone out for a day's tour of pleasure, meets early in the 
morning with a knot of Gipsies, who had pitched their blanket- 
tents and straw beds, tc^ether with their children and asses, in 
some field by the roadside. At the close of the day on his return 

r tourist found them in the same place. " Twelve honrs," 

says he, 

( ot cbADgfi And chwr, 

Whereat the poet, without seeming to reflect that the poor tawny 
wanderers might probably have been tramping for weeks together 
through road and lane, over moor and mountain, and cousequently 
must have been right glad to rest themselves, their children and 
cattle, for one whole day ; and overlooking the obvious truth, that 
noh repose might be quite as necessaiyfor them, as a walk of the 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

132 Siograj^tia LUerarta. 

■ame eontmoance wcia pleasiiig or healthful for the more f ortnnattt 
poet; expresses his mdignatiou in a eeriea of lines, the diction 
and imagerj of which would have been rather H.boTe, than bdoir 
the mark, had they been applied to the immenae empire of China 
iuprogresBiTe for thirty centuries : 

- Tlie vuiy Sou bilwk hJmKlf lo reA— 
Tboi Inoed Veaper from tbe fqlg^nt west 
VntililDliig. like ■ Tlidble God, 

The gloriogi pUta tn wblcb be (rod ! 
And now Mcinilliig. alia one liu-k lurar, 

Bebold Ok mtgblf Hood I Ihla vtj 
She Iculo, u If at ttaem— but they 
Hegardnotber:— oil, better wronf and ■trlA, 

The diledt UenveOB bavfl geio^ on; 

The elan htve tukgl-bnt Uuse bive mme I" 

The last instance of this defect (for I know no other than these 
already cited), ia from The Ode, p^e 351, vol. ii.,"where, t<peak- 
ing of a child, "a His year's darling of a pigmy size," he thus 
addresses him ; 

- Thon beat phlloaopher wlio yet d«t keep 
Tby heritage \ Thon eye among lie bHnU, 
That, deaf utd Ulent. read'st the eternal deep— 

Thm. ora whom tby imnHrullty 
Bmodg Uke the daf , a nualer o'er the elave. 
A prescDce whldi ia not to be pQt by !" 

Now here, not to stop at the daring spirit of metaphor which 
connects the epithets *' deaf and silent," with the apostrophised 
eye : or (if we are to refer it to the preceding word, philosopher) 
the faulty and equivocal syntax «E the passage; and without 
examining the propriety of making a " master brood o'er a slave," 
or the day brood at aU; we will merely ask, What does all this 
mean? In what sense is a, child of that ^e aphilagopherf In 
what sense does he read " the eternal deep P" In if nat sense is be 
declared to be "fin- ever haviaied " by the Supreme Being P or so 
inspired as to deserve the splendid titles of a mightg prophet, *. 
hlesged teer f By reflection P by knowledge P by conscious intuit 
tionP or by any form or modification of consciooanesa P Theae 
would be tidings indeed ; but such as would presuppose an imme- 
diate revelation to the inspired commnnicator, and require mii^ 
des to authenticate his inspiration. Ohildren at this age g^ve us 

lylWm H «Bo B wtl ai »i>t&riyCMMb»odi* 


Siogn^a tMerarla. 323 

Ho sndi information of themselTCB : and at what time were we 
dipped in tlie Letlie which has prodnced such utter oblivion of a 
state BO godlikeP There are many of na that still possess some 
rememhrances, more or less distinct, respecting themselves at six 
jeam old ; pity that the worthless straws only should float, while 
ti«aaurea, compared with which all the mines of Oolconda and 
Meiioo were hut straws, should be absorbed by some unknown 
gulf into some unknown abyss. 

But if this be too wild and esorbitant to be suspected as 
having been the poet's meaning ; if these mysterious gifts, facul- 
ties, and operations, are not accompanied with consciousness; 
who else is conscious of them P or bow can it be called the child, 
if it he no part of the child's conscious being P For aught I know, 
the thinking spirit within me may be substantially one with the 
principle of life, and of vital operation. For aught I know, it 
Bay be employed as a secondary agent in the marvellous organi- 
sation and oi^anic movements of my body. But, surely, it would 
be strange language to say, that I construct my heai't ! or that 1 
propel the finer infiuencea through my nerves ! or that I compress 
my brain, and draw the curtains of sleep round my own eyes '■ 
Spinoza and Bebmen were on different systems both Pantheists ; 
and among the ancients there were plulosophers, teachers of the 
EN KAI nAN, who not only taught that Gk>d was All, but tliat 
this All constituted God. Tet not even these would confound the 
part, aa a part, with the Whole, ae the whole. Nay, in no system 
is the distinction between the individual and God, between tht> 
modification, and the one only substance, more sharply drawn 
than in that of Spinoza. Jacobi, indeed, relates of Leasing, that 
after a conversation with him at the house of the poet Gleim (the 
Tytffins and Anacreon of the German Parnassus), in which con- 
versation Lessing had avowed privately to Jacobi his reluctance 
to admit any pergonal existence of the Supreme Being, or the 
poagibUity of personality except in a finite InteUect, and while 
they were sitting at table, a shower of rain came on unex- 
pectedly. Gleim expressed his regret at the circumstance, because 
they had meant to diink their wine in the garden: upon which 
Iiessing, in one of hia half-earnest, half-joking moods, nodded 
to Jacobi, and said, " It is I, perhaps, that am doing that." 
i.e., raining! and Jacobi answered, "Or perhaps I:" Gleim con- 
tested himself with staring at them both, without asking for nny 

So with regard to this passage. In what sense can the magni* 
ficent attributes, above auoted, be appropriated to a chiJd, whch 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

924 Bwgraphia LUeraria. 

wonld not make them equallj enitable to a bM, xir a dog, or ajUU 
of com ; or even to a eMp, or to the 'wind aod waves that propel 
HP The omnipresent Spirit -works eqnallj in them as in the 
child; and the child is eqnaUy unconscious of it aa thej. It 
cannot snrd^ be, that the four lines, immediately following, are 
to contrun the e^tanation F 

Surelj, it cajmot be that this wonder-rousing apostrophe is hut ft 
comment on the little poem of " We are Seven ?" that the whole 
meaning of the pasaage ia reducible to the assertion that a child, 
who, b;-the-bj, at six years old would have been better instructed 
in most Christian fanuliee, has no other notion of death than that 
of lying in. a dark, cold place ? And still, I hope, not as in a place 
of thought ! not the frightful notion of Ijing awake in his grave ! 
The analogy between death and sleep is too simple, too natural. 
to render so horrible a belief possible for children ; even had thej 
not been in the habit, as all Christian children are, of hearing the 
latter term used to eipreaa the former. But if the child's belief 
be only, that "he is not dead, but aleepeth:" wherein does it differ 
from that of his father and mother, or any other adult or in- 
structed person ? To form an idea of a thing'a becoming no- 
thing ; or of nothing becoming a thing ; is impossible to all finite 
beings alike, of whatever age, and however educated or unedu- 
cated. Thus it is with splendid paradoxes in general. If the 
words are taken in the common sense, they convey an absurdity ; 
and if, in contempt of dictionatiea and custom, they are so inter- 
preted as to avoid the absurdity, the meaning dwindles into soma 
bald truism. Thus you mnat at once understand the words con- 
trary to their common import, in order to arrire at any sense; 
and according to their common import, if you are to receive from 
them any feeling of sublimity or admiration. 

Thoi^fh the instances of this defect in Mr. Wordsworth's pocma 
are so few, that for themselves it would have been scarcely just to 
attract the reader's attention toward them ; yet I have dwelt (hi 
it, and perhaps the more for this very reason. For being so very 
few, they cannot sensibly detract from the reputation of an anthutt 
who is even characterised by the number of profonnd truths ia 
his writings, which will stand the severest atnalysis; and y^ few 
as they are, they are exactly those passages which hla Vtiai 
sdntirers wonld be most likely, and beat able, to imitate. But 

Dgilizodb, Google 

jMographia tOeraria. 22ft. 

Wordswortu, wliere lie is indeed Wordsworth, tn»y be miiaicked 
lij, copyiflta, he may be plundered by plagiariata ; but te cannot 
be imitated except by thoae who axe not bom to be imitators. 
For withont hie depth of feeling and hia imaginative power, his 
Bense would want its vital warmth and peculiarity; and without 
his strong sense, his myatioism would become sickly — mere fog, 
and dimness ! 

To these defects which, as appears by the exti-acta, are only 
occasional, I niaj oppose with far lees fear of encountering the 
dissent of any candid and intelligent reader, the following (for 
the most part correspondent) excellences. First, an anstere pnrit^ 
<A langoage both grammatically and logically i in short a prafect 
appropriateness of the words to the meajiing. Of how high value 
I deem this, and how particularly estimable I hold the example at 
the present day, has been already stated; and in part too the 
reasons on which I ground both the moral and intellectoal im- 
portance of habituating ourselves to a strict accnracy of eipres- 
sion. It is noticeable, how limited an acquaintaiu^ with the 
masterpieces of art will suffice to form a correct and even a 
sensitiTe taste, where none but masterpieces have be^i seen and 
admired ; while on the other hand, the most correct notions, and 
the widest aoqoaintance with the works of excellence of all ages 
and countries, -will not perfectly secure us gainst the conta^ous 
familiarity with the far more nnmerous offspring of tastelessness 
or of a perverted taste. If this be the case, as it notoriously is, 
with the arts of music and painting, much more difficult will it he, 
to Avoid the infection of multiplied and daily exajnples in the 
practice of an art, which uses words, and words only, as its in- 
struments. In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may 
pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, 
and barely possible, to attain that vUimatam which I have ven- 
tured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style, namely, 
ita untranslatableness in words of the same langnoge withont 
injury to the meaning. Be it observed, hnwever, that I include 
in the meaning of a word not «mly its correspondent object, bat 
likewise all the aasociations whic^ it recalls. For langoage is 
framed to convey not the object alone, but likewise the character, 
mood and intentions of the person who is repreeentiug it. In 
poetry it is practicable to preserve the diction nncorrupted by the 
affectations and misappropriationB, which promiscuona author- 
Bblp, and reading not promiscuous only because it is dispropor- 
tionally most conversant with the compositions of the day, have 
rendered general. Yet even to the poet, conqtosing in lus owu 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

336' Siographia lAtertsna, 

prorinoe, it is an arduous work : and as the reault and pledge of a 
watchful good sense, of fine and luminous distinction, asd nf 
complete seU-possession, dulj jnatly claim all the honour which 
belonga to an attainment equally difficult and valuable, and the 
more valuable for being rare. It is at all times the propei' food 
of the imderstandingi bnt in an age of corrupt eloquence it ia 
both food and antidote. 

In prose I doubt whether it be even possible to preserve our 
etjle whoUj unallowed bj the vicious phraseology which meets ua 
everywhere, from the sermon to the newspaper, from the harangue 
of the legislator to the speech from the convivial chair, announcing 
a toaat or sentiment. Our chains rattle, even whUe we are com- 
plaining of them. The poems of Boetius rise h%h in our estima- 
tion when we compare them with those of his contemporaries, as 
Sidoniua Apollinaris, &c. They might even be referred to a purer 
age, but that the prose in which they are set, as jewels in a crown 
of lead or iron, betrays the true age of the writer. Much how- 
ever may be effected by education. I believe not only from 
grounds of reason, but from having in great measure assured 
myself of the fact by actual though limited esperience, that to a 
youth led from his first boyhood to investigate the meaning of 
' every word and the reason of its choice and position, logic pre- 
sents itself as an old acquaintance under new names. 

On some future occasion, more especially demanding such dis- 
quisition, I shall attempt to prove the close connection betwe<n 
veracity and habits of mental accuracy ; the beneficial after-effecta 
of vertKil precision in the preclusion of fanaticism, which masters 
the feelings more especially by indistinct watch- words; and to 
display the advantages which language alone, at least which 
language with incomparably greater ease and certainty than any 
other means, presents to the instructor of impressing modes of 
intellectual enei^ so constantly, so imperceptibly, and as it were 
by such elements and atoms, aa to secure in due time the forma- 
tion of a second nature. When we reflect, that the cultivation of 
the judgment is a positive command of the moral law, since the 
reason can give the principle alone, and the conscience boare 
witness only to the motive, while the application and effects most 
depend on the judgment : when we consider, that the greater part ■ 
of our success and comfort in life depends on distinguishing the 
similar from the same, that which is peculiar in each thing from 
that which it has in common with others, so as still to seleet the 
most probable, instead of the merely possible or positively unfit, 
Fe shall learn to value earnestly and with a practical ecriouancssi 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siographta UteraruL ^7 

& BX&a, alrea:d7 prepared for us hy nature and societj, of teach- 
ing the young mind to think well and wisely hj the eame onre- 
membered proceea and with the eame never forgotten reBolte, as 
those by which it is taught to speak and converse. Kow how 
much waimer the interest is, how much more genial the feelings 
of reality and practicability, and thence how mach stronger the 
impulses to imitation are, which a contemporary writer, and 
especially a contemporary poet, excites in youth and commencing 
manhood, has been treated of in the earlier pages of these sketches. 
I have only to add, that all the praise which is due to the exertion 
of BQch influence for a purpose so important, joined with that 
which must be claimed for the infrequency of the same eicellenre 
in the same perfection, belongs in fuU right to Mr. Wordswordi. 
. I am far however from denying that we have poets whose general 
style possesses the same excellence, as Mr. Hoore, Lord Byron, 
lb. Bowles, and in all his latei- and more important works our 
laurel-hononring Laureate. But there are none, in whose works 
I do not appear to myself to find more exceptions than in those 
of Wordsworth. Quotations or speclm^is would here be wholly 
out of place, and must be left for the critic who doubts and would 
invalidate the justice of this enlogj so applied. 

The second characteristic excellence of Mr. "Wordsworth's works 
is : a correspondent weight and sanity of the thonghts and senti- 
ments,— won, not from books, but — from the poet's own medita- 
tive observation. They are fresh, and have the dew npon them. 
Sis muse, at least when in her strength of wing, and when she 
hovers aloft in her proper element, 

■ Mslces audible a linked lur or tnlh. 

B.T. C. 
Even throughout his smaller poems there is scarcely one, whioli 
is not rendered valuable by some just and original i-eflection. 

See page 25, vol. iu (Star Gazers) : or the two f uUowiiip 
paseages in o ae of his humblest compositions : 
" Q Header 1 had joa U 70DT mind 
Sod) Btorei u dknt Itaoupbt <Yin brin^ 
O gentle Vaia ! you would bua 
A lale in erejy Ihli^" 

Wllh coldDOB Mill Tetnmlng: 
AlsBl niegtHtltudeiirinen 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

398 ihogr^Kia tilentria. 

Or m a still lugher strain the eix beautiful iiuatraiiis, pafte 134 
(Tlie Fountain) : 

- Tbua run it lUtl In odt dnsjr: 

And ret Uh dIkc mlmt ' 

Than wbil Ic Iut« bcbiiuL 

"TheBlvkUnKn tkenimnialrea, 
Tbe Luk upon Uk hill. 
LfI Ioow tbeir mrols wbni (tw]r pl«M. 
Are quiet whea they wUL 

•■ Wtth Nalun never do Mc# nge 

AfooUihatrlte: tbefKi 

A biWT fMilli. ■»] tbeir oM tge 

]■ bauUful uid free ! 
■■ Btit «e are pteaeed by heavy laws 

And ott&x. gUd ni> more. 

ly FrEend, are alnwat coh. 

or the Sonnet on Buonaparte, page 202, vol ii. ; or finallj (for « 
Tolome vonld scarce suffice to exhaust the inetanoes), the last 
•tanza of the poem on The Withered Celandine. toI. ii. p. 212 

Both in respect of this and of the former excellence. Mr. Words- 
worth Btrikingl; resembles Samnel Daniel, one of the golden 
writers of onr golden Elizabethan age, now most caoselesa^ 
neglected : Samuel Daniel, nhose diction bears no marie of time^ 
no distinction of age, which has been, and as long as onr language 
shall last will be, so far the langnoge of the to-day and for ever, 
as that it is more intelligible to as, than the transitory' hshicHW 
of oar own particular age. A similar praise is dae to his serati> 
ments. No frequency of pwoaal can depriye them of their £r««h- 
ness. For though they are brought into the fall daylight of every 
reader's comprehension, yet are they drawn np &om oteptha wh|^ 
few in any age are priTileged to fisit, into which few in any ag« 
haTS ooaittge or inclination to descend. Jl ISr. Wwlswortb it 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

BtogngMa tAtemia. 329 

noi eqoally with Daniel alike intdligible to all reudere of aroi'age 
imdcarBtaiidit^ in all paaaages of lus works, tbe oomparative diffi- 
ciiltj does not arise from the greater iinparit;^ of tlie ore, but 
from the natoro and OBea of the metaL ApoemiBnotneoeBBarily 
obscnre, because it does not aim to be popular. It is enough, if i 
work be perspicnous to those for whom it ia written, and 

" nt muUeDCB Dad, thongh few." 

To the " Ode on the Intimationa of Immortality from Becollee* 
tions (d earlj Childhood" the poet might have prefixed the lines 
which Dante addresses to one of his own Canzoni— - 

Bat ihe ode was intended for such readers onlj aa had beeu 
accoBtonied to wat«h the flux and reflnx of their inmost nature, 
to Tentore at times int» the twilight realms of consciausnese, and 
to feel ft deep interest in modes of inmost being, to which they 
know that the attributes of tune and space are inapplicable and 
alien, but which yet cannot be conveyed, save in symbols of time 
and space. For such readers the sense is sufficiently plain, and 
they will be as little disposed to chai^ Mr. Wordsworth with 
believing the platonio pre-eriatence in the ordinaiy interpretation 
of the words, as I am to believe, that Plato himself ever meant or 
taught it : 

Third (and wherein he soars tar above Daniel) the sinewy 
Mtrei%:th and originality of single lines and par^raphs: the fre- 
qocnt cmriata feUeitat of his diction, of which I need not herd 
give specimens, having anticipated them in a preceding page. 
Tliif beauty, osd U eminently charaoteristiu of Wordswodrh's 


380 BiograpHia lAteraria. 

poetry, his radeet aaeailants have felt themeelTes compellL-d U> 

acknowledge HJid admire. 

Foiirth; the perfect tnith of nature in his ima^rea amd descrip^ 
UoBB aa t&ken immediatelj from nature, and proving a long and 
genial intimacy with the very spirit which gives the physiognomic 
oxpreaeion to all the worka of nature. Like a green field reflected 
in a calm and perfectly transparent lake, the image is distin- 
guished from the reality only by its greater softness and Inatre. 
Like the moisture or the polish on a pebble, genius neither dis- 
torts nor fabe-colours its objecta ; but on the contrary brings out 
mauy a vein and many a tint, which' escape the eye of common 
observation, thus raising to the rank of gems what had been often 
kicked away by the hurrying foot of the traveller on the dusty 
highroad of custom. 

Let me refer to the whole deacription of skating, voL i, page 12 
to 47 {Influence of Natural Objecta), especially to the lines 

So thntngh (be dukBui ud Uk isld w« Sen, 
Ami Dot kvolnwu Idle: wjitiilMdIii 
^l«anwhllfl the prei-lpitta rang Aloud ; 

Kfl9twBrd were 3t«rkUDg clear, and In the west 
ThHOFBDgQflkjorereningdled »MKy'' 

Or to the poem on The Green Linnet, vol i. p. 244. "What can 
be more accurate yet more lovely than the two conclnding 
stanzas ? 

- TTpoo yoD tnft of bud tre«, 
Tbat twlakle to Uk guitT bnsB, 
Behold him perched In 

Or the description of the blne-oap, and of the noontide ailenoec 
p. 284 i* or the poem to The Cuckoo, p. 299 ; or, lastly, though ) 

• to tb» poem alW Tba KMUn Hid tbeFillInt Lnna." 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siogrt^Ma LUentria. 981 

mjglit nmltipljr the referenoes to ten timei the iiaml>er, to tha 
poem BO completelj WordBworth'a commencing 

* nrtt jtm dw grwr hi son tai ihDwer." 

Fifth : a meditatiye pathos, a union of deep and subtle thought 
with sensibUi^i a sympathy with man as man; the sympathy 
indeed of a contemplator, rather than a fellow-sufferer or co-mate 
(spectator, havd particeps), but of a co]it«mpl»tor, from whoM 
view no difference of rank conceals the sameness of the nature; 
no injtiriea of wind or weather, of toil, or even of ignorance, 
whoUy disguise the human face divine. The superscription and 
the image of the Creator still remain legible to tiini under the 
dark lines, with which guilt or calamity had cancelled or cross- 
barred it. Here the "nt" and the poet low andfiud themselves in 
each other, the one as glorified, the latter as substantiated. In 
this mild and philosophio pathos, Wordsworth appears to me 
without a compeer. Such he i« : so he write*. See voL i. page 
134 to 1S6, " 'Tia said that some have died for love," or that most 

affecting composition, the " AMctdon rf Ua^;aret of ~ — ," 

page 165 to 168, which no mother, and if I may judge by my own 
experience, no parent can read without a tear. Or turn to that 
genuine lyric, in the former edition, entitled, the "Ifad Uother," 
page 174 to 178, of which I cannot refrain from quoting two of 
the etanzaa, both of them for their pathos, and the former for the 
fine transition in the two concluding Unea of the stanza, so expres- 
sive of that deranged state, in which from the increased sensibilitj 
the sufferer's attention is abruptly drawn off by eveiy trifle, and 
in the same instant plucked back again by the one deapotio 
thought, and bringing home with it, by the blending, fusing 
power of Imagination and Passion, the alien object to which it 
had been so abruptly diverted, no longer an alien but an ally and 
an inmate. 

■ Sua. IHUt talM, Ob lack agalD 1 
It coDta my blood, ft coolB mj bnln ; 
ThTllpi,lltalUieiii,bsb;l tbey 
Dnv fnm aj beut ibe pdo nw&jr. 
Oh I pros ma wlUi thj little tund j 
It iDOfloa umfllhliis at mj cbat ; 
Abmt t>«t tl^ ud dHdlr bud 
1 Ael thr Uttli flngen [imC 

Tteb««*iwaliliillnln«r < 

It («iiH> In onl m; btbg ud rag. 
Tbj tUb« ana »■ tOr 1117 braa^ 
■n* UiiiM^ )WMt bibr, then ID TBib 
Tk aU tUns m l->iud. II It* hu 
Be <tiiui(ed, Uiki vu mUirta Tte«. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

S83 ' Biographia Literarm. 

Ttt blr emagh fiir tbBs, my dove t 
Kr bnntf. llttiB <^ 1* fiovn. 

And wbat If my poor cheek be brown 

How pile ud nu ll elit irould ■».' 

Lostlj, and pre-eminently, I cbaJlenge for thie poet the gilt of 
Imagmation in the highest and strictest sense of the word. In 
the plaj of foncf, Wordsworth, to mj feelii^, is not always 
graceful, and sometimes recondite. The likeness is occasionally 
too strange, or demands too peculiar a point of riew, or is such 
H8 appears the creature of predetermined research, rather than. 
spontaneous presentation. Indeed Mb fancy seldom diaplaya 
itself aa mere and nnmodified fancy. But in imaginative power, 
he stands nearest of all modem writers to Shakespeare and 
Milton ; and yet in a kind perfectly nnborrowed and his own. To 
employ his own. words, which axe at once an instance and an 
illiutration, he does indeed to all thoughts and to all objects — 

I shall select afew examples aamost obviously manifesting this 
faculty; bot if I should ever 1>e fortnnate plough to render my 
analysis of im^ination, its origin and characters, thoroughly 
intelligible to the reader, he will scarcely open on a page of thu 
poet's works without recognizing, more or less, the presence and 
the influences of this faculty. 

From the poem on the Tew Trees, voL i. pages 303, 304: 

> Bat vortUw ttlU of note 
Are thoH rmernal four of Bomwdils, 
Joloed in one idema and ciptdona pun ; 
Ungv tnmln 1 — nod e*di ptrticokr tnnk ft powlb 
Otlntartwlited Hbr« •erintliM 
UpKolllDg, ud lamanialy coaTOlTSd,— 

_ robiw;-a pUlnred eliiide. 
UpoB fhoae gnnleit floor of rsMtrown hoe, 
" *» piiuU umliregB UDgoi 

WHb onr^DlcIng berrlei, gboeily ehiLpen 

Vtj meet st ownede— F<*r and Irsmbling Bop*, 

Silence ind FH<sl«h(— DetUi. tba ibMoa, 

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Bio^a^ia LUeraria. 388 

mih idUn nmliiliiTlHl ot idoh; itou, 
ttnlted mmhlp ; or in miitB repuw 
To lie. *Dd una to tbe monDliln Ond 

The effect of the old man's figure in the poem of It«aolation 
md Independence, vol. ii. page 33 : 

Or the 8th, 9tb, 19th, 26th, Slst, and 33rd, in the collection of 
MiBceUaneona Sonneto— the Sonnet on the subjugation of SwiU 
zerland, page 210, or the last ode, from which I especiaUj select 
the two following stanzas or paragraphs, page 349 to 350. (On 
thelnfimatione of Immortality from Becollections of earl j Child- 

" Oar birth Ib bat asleep utd 4 forgFtling; 
Ths BDOl Oui tlwB wlEb m. gucU&'i uar 
Hath had elgerban fU settlSK 
And <»meih tram ifv. 
TSot Id entire forgetfalueas, 

But tnUlng cUmdi of glor? do we aam 

Heavea lies alnnt us In our InfucjT 
Bhadu of the pr]w>n-houBB begin (o cloeo 

UpDD the growiue boj i 
Alt he beholds the ItghL, and Kiaax It Son, 

Hb ee« It in his jo;l 
The Touth who dally larlher IVom tiie teat 
UuBt travel, etlll la natnra'e priest, 

And bj U» Tlelon iplendid 

At length the man peicelTea It die 
And bde Into Ibt Ilfrtat of eommoi 

And pa^o 352 to 354 of the same ode : 

Wltb new-Hedged bop 
Not Ibr theK 1 ndH 
The mtg ortlMiikB an 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Siograpkia lAtenria. 

Wblcli. be Ihtj via thej nu}', 

Aic ;'el Uie fDDDtiia light of all nnr dmy, 

UpboW in— cherldi— inij tmo power to aaUt 
'* ' taloUu being 

Can uttcrlj' at 

Hence, In * hb»o ai csun naUMr, 

Tbnsgb IniiDd fitr we be. 

Our loiili bive idgbt (rf tt»t Imnraiid M 

Wbicb bnwgbl as bUber, 

Cu in t naoment travel ttillber— 

And as the dilUren ipoii opoD the tbora. 

And heu tbe migbtf waten To'.llDg tmnaan." 

And ainee it would be unfair to conclude with an extract, which 
thODgh highlj characteristic, mnat jet from the nature of the 
thoughts and the eubjecta be interesting, or perhaps intelligible, 
to but a limited number of readers ; I will add from the poet's last 
published work a passage equally Wordeworthian; of the beauty 
oi which, and of the imaginative power diaplajed therein, then 
can be bat one opinion, and one feeling (See The Wliite Doe, 

- Put tbe dmrcb-ywd fllli ;— unca 

Look ngiln unl ibBf in gone ; 

The dmter rcDod tbe porch, jmd tbe foLk 

And lanelf have tbej d1iq>peunl 
En the pi«liMtn tajiim li bard : 
'With one coiueiit the people rejoice, 
milic tbe cbDRbwLth ■ iDfly to1« I 
The; •)>« ■ lervlce wblcb the; leel 
»» 'Hi tbenuMin of their iMl 
Andlaiib UHthope are In thdr prima 
lu great Eliia'i goLdea time. 
*' A momait ends the ferretit din 
And all ii bnthed wllhonC and wHhta) 
For tbDi^ tbe prien more tranqBiUr 
Itedtei tbe hrHf mar%f, 
' The onlf Tolce whldi toq on bear 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

.Bio^ropJUa Zifarano. 

Wboi »n l-tte dtulQ' t™ bet- « 

AbiI doim Ihe pth thmugti tb« om ra 

Wbace 1> ■» U Kliif thIiiE to t» •«n I 

And through yon galsw.^, «lif re is fonnr 

BraesUi the urcti wilh (vy bmind. 

Free eotniia la the chun*-7inl groiinJ ; 

And rigbt unHs tm v«nUnt tod 

Towards the rei^ hoiuo o( God i 

0™« gliding in uirm nd Oaw, 



WheB out of oiEbt the cloitdi ue drim. 

Aiid ihe li len abms in huvtii 1 







Now 4 Btep or two her tmy 

Is through epw« of opeo dif . 

BrighleM hET Hurt WM eo bright: 

Now doth * MIoaM iduriow bdl. 

Falls npon her like i breUh 

From soma lallj arch or wiUI, 

The following analog; will, I am appreheaeive, appear dim and 
fantaatic, but in reading Baitram's TravelB I conld not lielp 
trajiacribing the following lines as a sort of allegory, or con- 
]iect«d simile and metaphor of Wordsworth's intellect and genina. 
" The soil is a deep, rich, daric mould, on a deep Htra1;um of tena- 
cious claj i and that on a foundation of rocks, whioh often break 
through both strata, lifting their ba«ka above the surface. The 
trees which chiefly grow here are the gigantic black oak; 
magnolia grandiflora; fraximns excelsior; platane; and a few 
stately tulip trees." What Mr. Wordsworth will produce, it is 
not for me to prophesy : but I could pronounce with the liveliest 
convictions what he is capaUe of prodncing. It is the Fibst 
OxNuiNi: Philosophic Poem. 

The preceding criticism will not, I am aware, avail to OTercome 
the prq'ndices of those who have made it a busineea to attack' and 
ridioole Mr. Wordsworth's compositions. 

Tmth and prudence might be imaged as concentric circles. 
The poet may perhaps have passed b^ond the latter, but he has 

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986 BuNrrofNUa Ltoraria. 

confined liuniielf far within, the boonds of the former, in designs 
ting Uieae nritics, bb too petulant to be passivn to a genuine poet, 
and too feeble to grupple with him ; — *' men of paJsied im^ina- 
tions, in whose mindB all Heatthj action is languid ; — who there- 
fore, feel aa the man; direct them, or -with thi. many are greedy 
iift«r ricious proTocatives," 

Let not Mr, Wordavorth be charged -with having eipreBaed 
tiiniBfllf too indigiiantl;, till the wantonneea and the sjstematio 
and malignant perseverance of the aggreeaionB have been taken 
into fair consideration. I mjaelf heard the commander-in-chief 
of this unmanlj warfare make a boast of hia private admiration 
of Wordsworth's genius. I have heard him declare, that whoever 
came into his room would probably find the Lyrical Ballads lying 
open on his table, and that (speaking exclusively of tliose written 
by Mr. Wordsworth himself) he could nearly repeat the whole of 
them by heart. But a Review, in order to be a saleable arti<^, 
must be pei'sonal, sharp, and pointed : and, since then, the poet 
has made hi'»»*f 1f, and with hiTn'***1f all who were, or were sup* 
posed to be, his friends and admirers, the object of the critic's 
revenge — howP by having spoken of a work so conducted in the 
terms which it deserved ! I once heard a clergyman in hoots and 
buckskin avow, that he would cheat his own father in a horse. A 
moral system of a similar nature seems to have been adopted by too 
many anonymous critics As we used to say at school, in review- 
ing they make believe being rogues ; and he who complains is tu 
he laughed at for his ignorance of the game. With the pen out 
of their hand they are honourable men. They exert indeed power 
(which is to that of the injured party who should attempt to 
eipose their glaring perversions and mis- statements, as twenty to 
one) to write down, and (where the author's circumstanoea 
permit) to impoverish the man, whose learning and genius they 
themselves in private have repeatedly admitted. They knowingly 
strive to make it imposaible for the man even to publish • any 
future work without exposing himself to all the wretchedness of 
debt and embarrassment. But this is all in their vocation : and 
batii^ what th^ do in their vocation, " who can say that bUck is 
thewhiteof their eyeP" 

So mnch for the detractors from Wordsworth's merits. On tha 
other hand, much as I might wish for tlieir fuller sympathy, I 

■Not manr monlhi Bn u (odnaiS book- oflitoll gar one booU give it t»: fbr ball 

KllerwuMkcdwluittieUHiii^iaf 1 nukai bnt lUghUr oL or not M iILln tk* 

Tte uiawer wu: ' I have tward bit powen Q°*tcrly Revtev : uid th« Edntnr^ ft« 

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JnograplUa LUararia. 287 

dare not datter mj^elf, that tHe freedom with whicii I luire de- 
clared mj opinionH concerning both Mb theorj and his defects, 
most of ivhicli are more or leaa connect«d with his theory either 
as canae or efiect, will be aatisfactorjr or pleasing to all the poet's 
admirers and advocates. Iilore indiscriminate thaji mine their ad- 
miration joa-j be : deeper and more sincere it uann^t be. But I 
have advanced-no opinion either for praise or ceuHure, other than 
as t«xts introductory to the reasons which compel me to form it. 
Above all, I was fnlly convinced that auch a criticiBm waa not 
only wanted ; bat that, if executed with adequate ability, it must 
conduce in no mean degree tolfr. Wordsworth's reputation. His 
fuue belongs to another age, and can neither be accelerated nor 
retarded. How small the proportion of the defects are to tba 
beanties, I have repeatedly declared ; and that no one of them 
originates in deficiency of poetic geuios. Had they been more 
and greater, I should still, as a friend to his literary character in 
the present age, consider an analytic display of them as pore 
gain ; if only it removed, as surely to all reflecting minds even the 
foregoing analysis must have removed, the strange mistake so 
slightly grounded, yet so widely and industriouiily propagated, of 
Ur. Wordsworth's turn for simplicity 1 I am not hodf as much 
irritated by hearing his enemies abuse him for vulgarity of style, 
sntgect, and conception, as I am disgusted with the gilded aide o( 
the same meaning, as displayed by some affected admirers with 
whom he ia, foraooth, " a aweet, simple poet!" and bo natural, that 
little ma£Fter Charles, and his younger sister, are so charmed witli 
them, that they plaj at Qoody Blake, or at Johnny and Betty Foy ! 

Were the collection of poems published with these biographical 
sketches, important enough (which I am uot vain enough tt> 
believe) to deserve such a distinction: even as I have done, bo 
would I be done unto. 

For more than eighteen months have the volume of Poems, 
entitled Sibtllihe Leaves, and the preaent volumes up to this 
page, been printed and ready for publication. But ere I speak of 
myself in the tones, which are alone natural to me under ^e cir- 
vumatances of late years, I would fain present myself to the 
reader as I was m the first dawn of my literary life: 

- What hope grew lumid dk, Vkit (he cUmtHiig tIih, 
And tniU, lai Miiae, not mT own, tKm'it nUH r" 

For this pnrpose I have selected from the letters which I wrote 
home from Germany, those which appeared likely to be most in- 
teresting, and at tan same time most pertinent to the title of thii 

Dgiiizodb, Google 




)1T Sonday morning, September 16, 1798, the Hamburg Packet 
set soil from Yarmouth : and I, for the first time in taj life, 
behold my native land retiring from me. At the moment of it* 
disappearance — in all the kirke, chnrchea, chapela, and meeting- 
hcniBea, in which the greatei' number, I hope, of my coontfjinen 
-were at that time aaeembled, I 'will dare question whether there 
was one more ardent prayer offered up to heaven, than that -which 
I then preferred for my connttj. Now then (said I to a gentle- 
man who was standing near me) wj are out of onr country. Not 
yet, not yet ! he replied, and pointed to the sea ; " This, too, is a 
Briton's country." This hoa moi gave a fiUip to my spirits, 1 
rose and looked around on my fellow-passengers, who were all on 
the deck. We were eighteen in number, videlicet, five English- 
men, an English lady, a French gentleman and his servant, an 
Hanoverian and his servant, a Frussian, a Swede, two Danes, and 
a Mulatto boy, a German tailor and his wife (the smallest couple 
I ever beheld) and a Jew, We were all on the deck i but in n 
short time I observed marks of dismay. The lady retii<ed to the 
cabin in some confusion, and many of tbe faces round me assuDied 
a very doleful and frog-coloured appearance ; and within an hour 
tbe number of those on deck was lessened by one half. I was 
giddy, but not sick, and the giddiness soon went away, but left a 
teverishueBS and want of appetite, which I attributed, in great 
measure, to the eteva MttphUie of the bilge-water ; ajid it was cer- 
tainly not decreased by the exportations from tlie cabin. How* 
ever, I was well enough to join the able-bodied passengers, one of 
whom observed not inaptly, that Momus might have discovered an 
vasier way to see a man's inside, than by placing a window in hia 
breast. He needed only have taken a salt-water trip in a packet- 

I am inclined to believe that a packet is far supei-ior to a Btagc* 
cooeh, as a means of making men open out to each other. In tlM 

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Salyrane'a Letters. 389 

latter the tmiformitj of posture disposea to dozLa^, and the defi- 
mtivenesa of the period at which the uompanj irill separate, makes 
each individiial think more of those to whom he is going, than 
of those with whom he is going. But at sea, more cnrioBity is 
excited, if only on this a«cotmt, that the pleasant or unpleasant 
qualities of jonr companions are of greater importance to yoa. 
from the uncertainty how long 70D maj be obliged to house with 
them, BeaideH, if jon are ooimtrymen, that now begins to form 
a distinction and a bond of brotherhood ; and if of different 
countries, there are new incitemente of conversation, more to ask 
and more to communicate. I found that I had interested the 
Banes in no common degree. I had crept into the boat on the 
deck and fallen asleep ; but was a,waked by one of them about 
throe o'clock in the afternoon, who told me that the; had been 
seeking me in every hole and comer, and insisted that I should 
join thdiT party and drink with them. He talked English with 
such fluency, as left me whoUy unable to account for the singular 
and even ludicrous incorrectness with which he spoke it. I went, 
and found some excellent winea and a, dessert of grapes with a 
pine apple. The Danes had christened me Docter Teology, and 
dressed as I was all in black, with large shoes and black worsted 
stockings, I might certainly have passed very well for a 
Methodist missionar;. However I disclaimed m; tiUe. What 
then may you be P A. maji of f ortime P No ! — A merohajit ? No 1 
— A merchant's traveUer? No! — A clerk? No! — Un Fhilceophe, 
perhaps P It was at that time in mj life, in which of aJl poasihle 
names and characters I had the greatest diaguet to that of wn 
Phitogophe. But I was weary of being questioned, and rather 
than be nothing, or at best only the abstract idea of a man, I 
submitted by a bow, even to the aspersion implied in the word un 
Philogophe. The Done then infdtoned me, that ail in the present 
party were philoBophers likewise. Certes we were not of the 
stoic schooL Por we drank and talked and anng, till we talked 
and BU^ all together; and then we rose and dajiced on the deck 
a set of dances, which in one sense of the word at least, were very 
intelligibly and appropriately entitied reels. The passengers who 
lay ia the cabin below in all the agonies of sea-aickneaa, must 
have found our bacchajialian merriment 

I thought so at the time ; and (bj way, I suppose, of supporting 
mj newly aaaumcd philosophical character) I thought, too, hfii 
cIoBelT' the greater number of our virtues are connected with the 

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3i0 Biograt^ia Looratia. 

fear of deati, and how little ijmpathy we bestow on pain, whtW 
tliere is no danger. 

Th« two Danea were brothers. The one waa a man wilili a clear 
white compleiiou, white hair, and white ejebrows, looked fdllj, 
and nothiog tbat he uttered gave the lie to hie looks. The other, 
whom, bj wa; of eminence I have called the Dane, hod likewise 
white hair, but was much shorter than his brother, with alender 
limbs, and a vety thin face sUghtly pock-fretten. This man con- 
vinced me of the justice of an old remark, that manj a. faithful 
portrait in our novels and farces has been rashlj censored for an 
outrageous caricature, or perhaps nonentity. I had retired U> my 
station in the boat — he eame and seated himagif by my side, and 
appeared not a little tipey. He commenced the conversation in 
the most magnific stfle, and aa a. sort of pioneering to his own 
vanity, he flattei'ed me with such groeeness ! The parasites of the 
old comedy were modest in ihe comparison. His language and 
accentuation wei'e so exceedingly singular, that I determined, for 
once in my life to take not«s of a conversation. Here it follows, 
somewhat abri^ed indeed, bat in all other respects as accnrately 
as Toy memoiy permitt«d. 

The Sane. Yat im^ination 1 vat language! vat vast scienoel 
and vat «fyoa! vat a milk-wite forehead! — O my heafenl vy, 
you're a Got! 

in8WEB. Ton do me too much honour, sir. 

The Dase. O me! if you shonld Aini I is flattering yon! — 
No, no, no ! I haf ten tousand a year — yes, ten toueaud a year — 
yea, ten tousand pound a year ! Yell — and vat is dhat P a mere 
trifle ! I 'ouldn't gif my sincere heart for ten times dhe money. 
— Tea, you're a Got ! I a mere man ! Bnt, my dear friend ! dhink 
of me, as a man! Is, is — I mean to ask you now, my dear friend 
— is I not very eloquent P Is I nat speak Ei^lish very fine P 

Answbb. Most admirably ! Believe me, sir ! I have seldmn 
heard even a native talk so,^uenJZy. 

TiTE Dajte. (Sguee^Ttg my hand voith, great vehenienee^ My 
dear friend ! vat an affection and fiddity ve have for each odher ! 
But tell me, do tell me,— Is I not, now and den, speak some fault ? 
Is I not in some wrongP 

Amsweb. Why, sir! perhaps it might be observed by nice 
critioa in the EngUsh language, that yon occasionally nse the word 
"Is" instead of "am." In our best companies we g^ierally aay 
I am, and not I is or Pae. Excuse me, air ! it is a mere txifle. 

TheDaits. 01 — is, is, am, am, am. Tee, yes— I know, I know. 

Ansites. I am, thou art, he is, we are, ye are, they are. 

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Saiyrwae'e Letters. 241 

Tkit Dane. Tea, yea — I know, I know— Am, am, am, ia dJi.s 
pNseaa, and Is is dhe pertectom— yea, yea — and are ia dhe plua- 
qwun perfectnm. 

AjrawEB. And " art,' air ! la 

The DA.MK- Ify dear friend! it ia dlie pluaquam perfectiun, 
no, no — dltat ia a great lia " Are " is dhe plmqnam perfectiun — 
and "art" is die plnsquam plneporfectnm— (t^e" twinging my 
kaad to csnd fro, and cocking hit liUle bright hazU eyet at me, thai 
danced toiik vaniig and wine) — yon set, my dear friend! that I to« 
hare some lehming. 

Answkb. Learning, sir ? Who dares suspect it P Who can 
listen to you for a minute, who can even look at yon, without per- 
ceiving the eit«nt of it ? 

The Dake. My dear friend! — itken vnth a vxmld-be hrnnbU 
Uioti, and in a tone of wwce at ^ he v>a» reoMning), I could 
not talk so c^ pruaena and imperfectum, and taturum and plus* 
qnam plueperfectum, and all dhat, my dear friend! without aoma 
lehming P 

Asbwes. Sir! a man like yon cannot talk on any subject with- 
out discoverii^ the depth of his information. 

The Dane. Dhe grammatic Greek, my friend! ha! ha! ha! 
{laughing, and twinging ni^ hand to and fro— then with a tuddeii 
trantiiion to great aolenmity), now I wiH tell you, my dear friend ! 
Dhcre did happen about, me vat de whole historia of Denmark 
record no inatonce about nobody elae. Dhe bishop did ask ma 
all dhe questions about all dhe i^gion in dhe Latin grammai'. 

AsswsB. The grammar, eirP The language, I presume 

The Dane. (A little offended.) Gnunmar is language, and 

Answer. Ten thousand pardons! 

The Dane. Tell, and I was only fourteen years 

Answeb. Only fourteen years old P 

The Dane. No more. I vas fourteen years old — and he aaked 
me all qneEtions, religion and philoaophy, and aU in dhe Latin 
language — and I answered him all every one, my dear friend! all 
in dhe Latin 1anguaf;e. 

ANawEB. A prodigy ! an abaolute prodigy ! 

Thb Dank. No, no, no 1 he was a bishop, a great anperin- 

Anbwkb. Yes! a bishop. 

The Dane. A bisbup — not a mure predicant, not a predlger — 

Akbivek. Uy dear sir ! we have misnuderstood Moh other. 4 
nid that your answering in Latin ac ao eariy an age waa a 

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212 £hh^j>Am LUeraria. 

prodigj, that is a thing that is wonderfal, that does not oftcii 

The Dane. Often! Dhere is not von instance recorditd in' 
dbe whole historU ot Denmark. 

Akswek. And since then, sir P 

The Dane. I was sent ofer to dhe Test Indies — to our island, 
and dhere I had no more to do v'A books. Sol no ! I put my 
genins anodher waj — and I hat mads ten tousand pound a year. 
Is not dhat ghemu$, m; dear friend ! — But Tat is monej 1 I dlunk 
the poorest man alive my equaL Tes, my dear friend 1 mj little 
fortune is pleasant to my generous heart, because I can do good — 
no man with so little a fortune ever did so much generosity — no 
person, no man person, no woman person, ever denies it. But we 
ai-e all Got's children. 

Here the Hanoverian interrupted him, and the other Dane, the 
Swede,and the Prussian, joined us, together with a jOungEngliah- 
man vrho spoke the German Uuently, and interpreted to me many 
ot the Frussiaji's jokes. The Prussian was a travelling merchant, 
turned of threescore, a hale man, tall, strong, and atout, full of 
stories, gesticulations, and buffoonery, with the soul as well as tho 
look of a monntebank, who, while he is making you laugh, picks 
your pocket. Amid all hia droll looks and di-oll gestures, there 
remained one look untouched by laughter ; and that one look was 
the true face, the others were but its mask. The Hanoverian was 
a pale, fat, bloated young man, whose father had made a large 
fortune in London, as an army-contractor. He seemed to emulute 
the manners of young Englishmen of fortune. He was a good* 
natured fellow, not without information or literature ; but a most 
egregious coxcomb. He had been in the habit of attending the 
Honse of Commons, and had once spoken, as he infoi-med me, 
with great applause in a debating society. For this he appeared to 
have quali&ed himself with laudable industry : for he was perfect 
in " Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary," and with an accent 
which forcibly reminded me of the Scotchman in " Eoderic, 
Kandom," who professed to teach the English pronimciation, he 
was constantly deferring to my auperior judgment, whether or 
no I bad pronounced this or that word with propriety, or " the 
true delicacy." When he spoke, though it were only half a dozen 
sentences, he always rose ; for which I could detect no other 
motive, than his partiality to that elegant phrase so liberally 
inti-oduced in the orations of OUT British legislators, ""Wliilelam 
on my legs." The Swede, whom for reasons that will soon 
appear, I ihiin distinguish by the name of "Noluli^," was a 

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Satsraw^t LeUen. 243 

itroug-featnied, scuirj-faced man, his comp>e,Tion reaembling, in 
colour, a red-hot poker begiiming to cooL He appeared miaerably 
dependent on the Dane; but was however inoomparalilj' the best 
informed and most rational of the partj. Indeed his utaunera 
and conTersation discovered Ti'tii to be both » man ol the world 
and a, gentleman. The Jew was in the hold ; the French gentle- 
man waa Ijing on the deck so ill that I could observe nothing 
oonceming him, except the affectionate attentions of his servant 
to him. The poor fellow was very sick himself, and every now and 
then ran to the Bide of the vessel, still keeping his eye on his master, 
bat returned in a moment and seated himself c^ain by hiin, now 
supporting his head, now wiping his forehead and talking to him 
all the while in the most soothing tones. There had been a 
matrimonial squabble of a very ludicrous kind in the cabin, 
between the little German tailor and Ms little wife. He had 
secured two beds, one for himself and one for her. This had 
struck the little woman as a very cruel action ; she insisted upon 
their having but one, and assured the mate in the most piteous 
tones, that she was his lawfol wife. The mate and the cabin-boy 
decided in her favour, abnsed the little man for his want of tender- 
ness with m.uch humour, and hoisted bim into the same compart- 
ment with his sea-sick wife. This quarrel was interesting to me, 
as it procured me a bed, which I otherwise should not have had. 

In the evening, at 7 o'clock, the sea rolled higher, and the Dane, 
by means of the greater agitation, eliminated enough of what he 
had been swallowing to make room for a great deal more. Bia 
favourite potation was sugar and brandy, t.e., a very little warm 
water with a large quantity of brandy, sugar, and nutmeg. His 
servant boy, a black-eyed Mulatto, had a good-natured round face, 
exactly tlie colour of the skin of the walnut-kemeL The Dane 
and I were again seated, iete-&-tHe, in the ship's boat. The con> 
versation, which was now indeed rather an onitian than a dialogue, 
became extravagant beyond all that I ever heard. He told me 
tlut he had made a large fortune in the island of Santa Omz, and 
was now returning to Dennidrk to eiyoy it. He expatiated on 
the str'le in which he meant to live, and the great undertakings 
which he proposed to bi'Ttiaalf to commence, till the brandy aiding 
his vanity, and his vanity and garrulity aiding the bruidy, he 
talked like a madman — entreated me to accompany him to Den- 
mark — there I should see his influence with the government, and 
lie would introduce me 'to the king, &c. &C. Thus he went on 
dreaming aloud, and then pa.Bsing with a very lyrical transition 
to tlie subject of general ^litics, he declaimed, like a member of 

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914 Biographia Jjiteraria, 

the CoTresponding Society, about {not ooucemiug) the Kighta <A 
Man, &ud aaaured ue that notwithatandiDg hie f ortjne, he thon^it 
the poorest miui ulive his equal, — All are equal, mj dear friend I 
■U are equal ! Ye are all Got'a children. The poorest man hat 
the Bame rights wiUi me. Jack 1 Jack I some more sugar and 
brandj. Dhcre is dhat fellow now ! He ia a Uolatto—bat he is 
my equal. — That's right, Jack ! [taking the engar and brandy.) 
Here, you sir ! shake hands with dhis gentLeman 1 Shake Tifttiil^ 
with me, you dog ! Dhere, dhere ! — We are all eqiial, my dea* 

friend ! Do I not speak like Socrates, and Plato, and Gab^^ 

they were all philosophers, m.y dear philosophy I all very great 
men 1 — and so was Homer and Yirgil — hut they were poets, yes, 
yes ! I know all about it ! — But what can anybody say mor« 
than this p we are all eqoal, all Got's children. I haf ten tonsand 
a year, bat I am no more dhan the meanest man aUve. I haf no 
pride ; and yet, my dear friend I I can aay, do 1 and it is done. 
Ha 1 ha I ha ! my dear friend 1 Now dhere is dhat gentleman 
ipoitdAng to " Nobility ") he is a Swedish baron — you shall see. 
Ho ! (colling to the Steede), get me, will you, a bottle of wine from 
the cabin. 

SwEDX. Here, Jack 1 go and get your master a bottle of wine 
from the cabin. 

D.UIB, No, no, no ! do yon go now — you go yourself — you go 

SwBUB. Fah ! 

Dahe. Now go 1 Go, I pray you. And the Swede went ! ! 

Atter this the Dane commenced an harangue on religion, and 
miatjiViiig me f or un phihsophe in the continental sense of the word, 
he talked of Deity in a declamatory style, very much resembling 
the devotional rante of that rude blunderer, Mr. Thomas Paine, in 
bis Age of Beason, and whispered in my eai-, what damned hypo- 
eriam all Jesus Christ's business was. I dare aver, that few moL 
have less reason to chai^ themselves with indulging in pereifiage 
than myself. I should hate it, if it were only that it is a Pr^ch- 
man's vice, and feel a prid« in avoiding it because our own lan- 
guage is too honest to have a word to express it by. But in this 
instance the temptation had been too powerful, and I have placed 
it on the list of my offences. Pericles answered one of his d«u«at 
friends, who had solicited bim on a case of life and death to tak« 
an equivocal oath for hia preservation : Deheo amieit opitulari, »ei 
tuqw ad Deoi." Friendship herself must place her last and boldest 
Btep on this side the altar. What Pericles would not do to save k 
• nwulahfli. Itlx^FanMtoaMairittinij frieoiU but wilj u ftr ■* tb* fndL 

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Satyane'a Letleri. 21S 

[fiend'a lifii, you may J:,easBiired I would not ImzardiliertJytomill 
the chocolate-pot of a drunken fool's vanity till it frothed over, 
Aaauming a ntsrioiu look, I professed myself a believer, and Bonk 
at once a hundred fathoma in bis good graces. He retired to his 
cabin, and £ wrapped myself up in my great coat, and looked at 
the water. A b^utifnl white cloud of foam at momently inter- 
vals coorsed by the side of the VMsel with a I'oar, and little stars 
^f flame danced and sparkled and went out in it ; and every now 
and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam darted 
off from the vessel's side, each with its own small constellation, 
3ver the sea, and sconred out of sight like a Tartar troop over & 

It wad cold, the cabin was at open war with my olfactories, and 
T found reason to r^oice in my great coat, a weighty, high-caped, 
respectable nig, the collar of which turned over, and played the 
part of a night-cap very passably. In looking up at two or three 
bright stars, which oscillated with the motion of the sails, I fell 
asleep, hat was awakened at one o'clock, Monday morning, by a 
shower of rain. I found myself compelled to go down into the 
cabin, where I slept very soundly, and awoke with a very good 
appetite at breakfast tinie, my nostrils, the most placable of all 
the senses, reconciled to or indeed insensible of the mqokitit. 

Monday, September 17tb, I had a long conversation with the 
Swede, who spoke with the most poignant contempt of the Sane, 
whom he described as a fool, parse-mad ; hut be confirmed the 
boasts of the Dane respecting the largeness of his fortune, which 
he had acquired in the first instance as an advocat«, and afterwards 
SB a planter. From the Dane and from himself I collected that 
he was indeed a Swedish nobleman, whobadsquanderedafortone, 
that was never very large, and had made over his prop«i.y to the 
Dane, on whom he was now utterly dependent. He seemed to 
sufiTer very little pain from the Dane's insolence. He was in a high 
d^ree humane and attentive to the English lady, who suffered 
most fearfully, and for whom he performed many little offices with 
a tenderness and delioaoy which seemed to prove real goodness of 
heart. Indeed, his general manners and conversation were not 
only pleasing, but even interesting; and I struggled to believe his 
insensibility respecting tho Dane philosophical fortitude. For 
though iSie Dane was now quite sober, his character oozed out of 
him at every pore. And after dinner, when he was again flashed 
with wine, every quarter of an hour or perhaps oftener he would 
shout out to the Swede, "Hoi Nobilit]'> go — do such a thing I 
Ur. ITobility I— tell the gentlemen such a story, and so forth," 

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M6 &ograpkia LUeraria. 

with on insoleiioe vUch most have ecoited diagaet and detestiidon, 
if his vulgar rants on &ie sticred rights of equality, joined to his 
wild ha,TOo of general gnumnar, no leBH than of the English Ian- 
goage, hod not rendered it so iireHiBtiblj laughable. 

At four o'clock I obeerred a wild duck swimming on the waves, a 
eingle solitary wild duck. It is not easy to conceive how interest- 
ing a thing it looked in that round objecUess desert of waters. I 
had associated such a feeling of immensity with the ocean, that I 
felt exceedingly dlaappointed, when I was out of sight of all land, 
at the narrowness and neameu, ae it w^-e, of the circle of tha 
horizon. So little are images capable of satisfying the ohscore 
feelings coimected with words. In the evening the sails were 
lowered, lest we should ran foul of the laud, which can be seen only 
at a small distance. And at four o'clock, on Tuesday morning, I 
was awakened by the cry of land! land! Itwasan ugly island 
rook at a distance on our left, called Heiligeland, well known to 
many passengers from Yarmouth to Hamburg, who have been, 
obliged by stormy weather to pass weeks and weeks in weary cap- 
tivity on it, stripped of all their money by tifte exorbitant demands 
of tlie wretches who inhabit it. So at least the eailoTs informed 
me. About nine o'clock we saw the main land, which B«emed 
scarcely able to hold its head above water, low, flat, and dreary, 
with light-houses and land-markswhich seemed to give a character 
and language to the dreariness. We entered tlie mouth of the 
Elbe, passing Nen-weit; though as yet the right bank only of the 
river was visible to ns. On this I saw a church, and thanked Qod 
for my safe voyage, not without affectionate thoughts of Uioee I 
had left in England. At eleven o'clock on the same morning ws 
arrived at Onxhaven, the ship dropped anchor, and the boat was 
hoisted out to carry the Hanoverian and a few others on shore. 
The captain agreed to take us, who remained, to Hambni^ for 
ten guineas, to which the Bane contributed so largely, that the 
otlier passengers paid bat half a guinea each. Accordingly we 
hauled anchor, and passed gently up the river. At Cuxhavenboth 
aides of the river may be seen in clear weather; we conld now see 
the right bank only. We passed a multitude of English traders 
that had been waiting many weeks for a wind. In a short time 
both banks became visible, both flat and evidencing the labour of 
human hands by their extreme neatness. On the left bank I saw 
a church or two in the distance ; on the right bank we passed by 
■teqile and windmill and cottage, and windmill and single honse^ 
windmill and windnull, and neat single house, and steeple. These 
were the objects and in the succession. "Pke shores wera very 

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Saiyratie'a Letters. 247 

groeu and planted with trees not iiuilegajitly. Tliirtj-fiTo milea 
froin Cnzhavon the night came on nn, and as th« n&Tigatitm of 
Uie Elbe is penlooB, we dropped onohor. 

Over what place, thonght I, does the moon hang b) yoter eje, my 
dearest friend P To me it hung over the left bank of the Elbe. 
Olose above the moon was a huge volume of deep black cloud, 
while a very thin fillet crossed the middle of the orb, as narrow 
and thin and black as a ribbon of crape. The long trembling 
road of moonlight, it'hich laj on the nater and reached to tbe stern 
of our vessel, glimmered dimly and obscurely. We saw two or 
three lighta from the right bank, probably from bed-rooms. I 
felt the striking contrast between the silence of this migestto 
stream, whose banks are populous with men and women and 
children, and flocks and herds — between the silence by night of 
this peopled river, and the ceaseless noise, and uproar, and loud 
agitations of the desolate solitude of the ocean. The passengers 
below had all retired to their beds ; and I felt the interest of this 
qniet scene the more deeply from the circumstance of having just 
quitted them. Tor the Fmssian had during the whole of the 
evening displayed all his talents to captivate the Dane, who hud 
admitted him into the train of his dependents. The young English- 
man continued to interpret the Prussian's jokes to me. They 
were all withoat exception, profane and abominable, but some suffi- 
ciently witty, and a few incidents, which he related in his own 
person, were valuable as illustrating the manners of the countries 
in which they had token place. 

Five o'cloi^ on Wednesday morning we hauled the anchor, but 
were soon obliged to drop it c^ain in consequence of a thick fog, 
which our captain feared would continue the whole day j but about 
nine it cleared off, and we sailed slowly along, close by the shore 
of a very beautiful island, forty miles from Cushaven, the wind 
continuing slack. This holme or island is about a mile and a haJf 
in length, wedge-shaped, well wooded, with glades of the liveliest 
green, and rendered more interesting by the remarkably neat farm- 
house on it. It seemed made for retirement without solitude — ^a 
place that would allure one's friends while it precluded the imper- 
tinent calls of mere visitors. The shores of the Elbe now became 
more beantiful, with rich meadows and trees running like a low 
wall along the river's edge, and peering over them, neat houses 
and (especially on Hhe right bank) a profusion of steeple -spires, 
whit«, black, or red. An instinctive taste teaches men to build 
their churches in flat countries with spire-steeples, which as they 
Mimot be referred to any other ol:^ect, point as with silent fingei 

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348 SiograpUa LUeraria. 

to the skf and Btan, and Bometmes, when tlie^ reflect the brazcc 
light of a. rich though raiuj aiin-set, appear like a pyramid of 
flame burning heaven-ward. I remember once, and once only, to 
buTe seen a spire in a narrow vallej of a mountainous countrj. 
The effect was not only mean but Indicrous, and reminded me 
against my will of an extinguUher ; the close neighbourhood of 
the high mountain, at the foot of which it stood, had so completely 
dwarfed it, and deprived it of all connection with the sky or cloudy 
Fortj-six English miles from GuxhuTen, and sixteen foom Ham- 
burg, the Danish Tillage Yeder ornaments the left bank with its 
black steeple, and close by it the wild and pastoral hamlet of 
Scbnlan. Hitherto both tlie right and left bank, green to tbs 
very brink, and level with the river, resembled the shores of a 
park canaL The trees and houses were alike low, sometimes the 
low trees overtopping the yet lower houses, sometimes the low 
houses rising above the yet lower trees. But at Schulau the left 
bank rises at once forty or fifty feet, and stares on the river with 
its perpendicular facade of sand, thinly patched with tnftA of 
green. The Elbe continued to present a more and u-ore lively 
spectacle from the multitude of fishing boats and the floi,!iB ot sea 
gulls wheeling round them, the clamorous rivaJs and companiona 
of the fishermen ; till we came to BlankanesB, a most interesting 
village scattered amid scattered trees, over three hilla in ihiee 
divisions. Each of the three hills stores upon the river, with faces 
of bare sand, witb which the boats with their bare poles, standing 
in files along the banks, made a sort of fantastic harmony. Between 
each facade lies a green and woody dell, each deeper than tlie 
othei*. In short it is a large village made up of indiridoal cottages, 
each cottage in the centre of its own litUe wood or orchard, and 
each witli its own separate path : a village with a labyrinth of 
paths, or rather a neighbovrhood of houses ! It is inhabited by 
fishermen and boat-makers, the Blankaneae boats being in great 
request through the whole navigation of the Elbe. Here first we 
saw the spires of Hamburg, and from hence as f ar aa Alt-uia th« 
left bank of the Elbe is uncommonly pleasing, considered as the 
Yicinity of an industrious and republican city — in that style 4^ 
beauty, or rather prettineas, that might tempt the citizen into the 
country, and yet gratify the taste which be had acquired in the 
town. Summer-houses and Chinese ahow-work are everywhere 
scattered along the high and green banks 1 the boards of the farm* 
houses left nnplastered and ^ily painted with greea and yellow; 
and scai-celj a tree not cut into shapes and made ti* remind tb> 
Iinman bang of his own jMwer and intelligenoe instead of tbi 

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StUynau^i fallen. 249 

wisl'tm <yi uattire. Still, however, these ai'e Units of coiuMHitioD 
between town and country, and far better than the affectation of 
tastes and etgojmente for which men's halnta havo duqnaJified 
iliem. Faae tbembjon Satnrdajs and Simdajs with the burghera 
of Hambni^ amoking their pipes, the women and children f canting 
in the alcoves of box and jew, and it becomes a nature of its own. 
On Wednesday, four o'clock, we left the Teasel, and passing with 
trouble through the huge masses of shipping that seemed to choke 
the wide Elbe from Altona upward, we were at length landed nt 
the Boom House, Eamhnrg, 

LETTER n. (To a Lady.) 

Meiiae liebe Freiinditm. 

See how natural the German eomegjrom me, though I hare 
not yet been six weeks in the country I — almost as fluently as 
English from my neighbour the Amteschreiber (or pubUo secre* 
tary) who so often as we meet, thongh it should be half a dozen 
times in the same day, never faila to greet me with— "•• ddam 
your ploot utit eyes, m/y dearest Snglanderl vkee goex iff" — which is 
certainly a proof of great generosity on his part, these words 
being his whole stock of English. I had, however, a better reason 
than the desire of displaying my pi-oficiency : for I wished to put 
you in good humour with a language, trom the acquirement of 
which I have promised myself much edification and the means 
too of coramunicatJDg a new pleasore to you and your sister, 
daring our winter readings. And how can I do this better than 
by pointing ont its gallant attention to the ladies F Our English 
affix, eM, is, I believe, confined either to words derived from the 
Iiatiii, aa actreie, direelre$«, &c. or from the French, as migireeg, 
dueheu, and the like. But the German, inn, enables us to desig- 
nate th« sex in every possible I'elation of life. Thus the Amt- 
mtmn's lady ia the Prau Amtmanntnit — the secretary's wife (by- 
the-by the handsomest woman I have jet seen in Gtermany) is 
die ^erliebstn Erau Axnteschreiberinn — the colonel's lady, die 
Fran Obristinn or Colonellinn — and even the parson's wife, dia 
frau pastorinn. But I am especially pleased witJi iiieir freundinii, 
which, unlike the aiaiea of the Romans, is seldom used but in its 
best and purest sense. Kow, I know, it will be said, that a friend 
ia already Bomething more than a friend, when a man feela an 

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360 Miogregahia lAterana, 

anxiety to express to himself tlub tliis friend is a. fomalej bat 
this I deny — in that seoso at leut in which the objection will be 
mode. I would hazard the impcaolunent of heresy, rather than 
abandon my bcUef that there ia a sex in our soula aa well as in 
their perishable garmantaj and be who does not feel it, never 
truly loved k siat^^ — nay, ia not capable even of loving a wife aa 
she deeervea to be loved, if she indeed be worthy of that holy 

Now I know, my gentle friend, what you are mtmnnring to 
yourself — "Thia ia bo like him I running away after the first 
bnbble, that chance has blomt off from the surface of his fancy ; 
when one is anxious to learn -where he is and what he has seen." 
Well then ! that I am aettted at Ratzebnrg, with my motived 

and the particulars of my journey hither, will iniorm yon. 

Uy first letter to him, with which doubtless he has edified yonr 
whole fireside, left me safely landed at Hamburg on the Elbe 
Stairs, at the Boom House. WhUe standing on the ataira, I was 
amused by the contents of the passage boat which crosses the 
river once or twice a day from Hamburg to Haarburg. It was 
stowed dose with all people of all nations, in all sorts of dresses; 
the men all with pipea in their mouths, and these pipes of all 
shapes and fancies — straight and wi'eathed, simple and complex, 
loi^ and short, cane, clay, porcelain, wood, tin, silver, and ivory; 
most of them with silver chains and aUrer bowl-coveis. Pipes 
and boots are the first universal characteristic of the male Hun- 
burgers that would strike the eye of a raw traveller. But I twge^ 
mj promise of journalizing as much as possible. — Therefore, 
Bepir. 19tk, Afternoon. Hj companion who, you recollect, speaks 
the French language with unnsnal propriety, had formed a kind 
of confidential acquaintance with l^e emigrant, who appeared to 
be a man of sense, and whose manners were those t^ a perfect 
gentleman. He seemed about fifty or rather more. Whatever 
is unpleasant in French manners from esceas in the degree, had 
been softened down by ^ge or affliction ; and all that is delightful 
in the Idad, alacrity and delicacy in little attentions, &e. remained, 
and without bustle, gesticulation, or disproportionate eagerness. 
His demeanour exhibited the minute philanthropy of a polished 
Frenchman, tempered by the sobriety of the English charactur 
disunited from its reserve. There ia eomethii^ sti'angely attrao- 
tive in the character of a ganiUman when yon apply the word 
emphatically, and yet in that sense of the term which it is mora 
easy to feel than to define. It neither includes the posacssioii of 
hi(^ moral excellency nor of oeceuity even thecanamental gtmaeg 

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Saiyrane'g LcUers. 251 

ol mamiei-. I have now in my mind's eye a pei-Bon wtoee life 
would Bcarcely stand Bcratiny even in the coart of honour, much 
leas in iliat of conscience; and hie manners, if nicely observed, 
would of the two eicite an idea of awkwardness rather than of 
fllegance ; and yet every one who conversed with him felt and ac- 
knowledged f Ae ffentlemm. The secret of the matter, I believe to 
be this — we feel the gentlemanly character present to us, when- 
ever tinder all the circumBtances of social intercourse, the trivial 
not less than the important, through the whole detail of his 
mnnners and deportment, and with the ease of a habit, a person 
shows respect to others in anch a way as at the same time implies 
in his own feelings an habitual and assured anticipation of reci- 
procal respect from them to himself. In short, Uie genllemanly 
character arises out of the feeling of equality acting as a habit, 
yet fleiible to the varieties of rank, and modified without being 
disturbed or superseded by them. This description will perhaps 
explain to you the ground of one of your own remarks, ae I was 
Englishing to yon the interesting dialogue concerning the causes 
of the corruption of eloquence. " What perfect gentlemen these 
old Bomans must have been ! I was impressed, I remember, with 
the same feeling at the time I was reading a translation of Cicero's 
philosophical dialogues and of bis epistolary correspondence ; 
while in Pliny's letters I seemed to have a different feeling — he 
gave me the notion ot a veajfine gentleman." — Tou uttered the 
words as if you had felt that the a^'unct had iiqared the sub- 
stano« and the increaaed degree altered the kind. Pliny was the 
courtier of an absolute monarch — Cicero an aristocratic republican. 
For this reason the character of gentleman, in the sense to which 
I have confined it, is frequent in England, rare in France, and 
found, where it is found, in age or the latest period d manhood; 
while in Q«rmany the character is almost unknown. But the 
proper anlyaode of a gentleman is to be sought for among the 
Anglo-American democrats. 

I owe this digression, as an act of justice, to this amiable 
Frenchman, and of humiliation for myself. For in a little con- 
troversy between us on the subject of French poetry, he made me 
feel my own ill behaviour by the silent reproof of contrast, and 
when I afterwards apologized to liim for the warmth of my lan- 
guage, he answered me with a cheerful expreaaion of surprise, 
and an immediate compliment, which a gentleman might both 
maike with d^nity and receiTe wi& pleasure. I was pleased, 
therefore, to find it agreed on tikat we should. If possible, take up 
our qaairters in the same honse, Xj friend went with him ia 

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352 Biogiapiiia LUeraria. 

search of xa bote, and I to dtillTer 1117 letters of recommen- 

I walked onwards at a brisk pace, enlivened not so much bj 
injthing I a^tnall; saw, as bj tbe confused sesee that I waa for 
the first time in n^ life on the eoniment of our planet. I seemed 
to myself like a liberated bird that hod been batched in an (kTwirj, 
whonowafterhisfirst soar of freedom poises himself in the opper 
air. Tety naturally I b^au to w<mder at oU things, some for 
being so like and some for being so nnlike the things in England 
—Dutch women with large umbrella hats shooting oat half a yard 
before them, with a prodigal plumpness of petticoat behind — the 
women of Hamburg with caps plaited on the caul with silTer or . 
gold, or both, bordered round with stiffened lace, which stood out 
befoi'C their eyes, but not lower, so that the eyes sparkled through 
it — the HanOTerian women with the fore ■pext of the head bare, 
then a stiff lace standing up like a wall perpendicnlar on the cap, 
»nd the cap behind iaUed with an enormous quantity of riblxai 
which hcfi or toasea on the back : 

Spnuil Id deOuM «I ill ciKiiiJ».~ 

• The ladies all in English dresses, all roaged, and all witli bad 

teeth 1 which you notice instanUy from their contrast to the 
almost animal, too glossy mother-of-pearl whiteness and the r^n> 
tarity of the teeth of ttie laughing, lond-talkiiig conntiywomen 
and BCrrant gu-ls, who with their clean white stockings, and with 
slippers without heel-quarters, tripped along the dirty streets, as 
if they were aeonred by a charm from the dirt : with a lightnexs 
too, which surprised me, who had always considered it as one of 
the annoyances of sleeping in an inn that I had to clatter up- 
stairs in a pair of them. The streets narrow; to my Ihiglish 
nose sufficiently offensive, and explaining at first sight the uni- 
yersal use of boots ; without any appropriate path for the foot- 
passengers ; the gable ends of the houses aU towards ^e street, 
some in the ordinary triangular form and entire as the botanists 
say, bat the greater number notched and scolloped with more thoa 
Chinese grotesqneness. Above all, I was stmak with the profusion 
of windows, so large and so many, that the houses look all glass. 
Ur. Pitt's window tax, with its pretty little addiiumals sprouting 
out from it like young toadlete on ijie back of a Soriniua toad, 
would certainly improve the appearance of the Hamburg houses^ 
which hare a alight summer look, not in keeping with thsir tiaa, 
■icongruona with the climate, and precluding that feeling of n- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Satyraneft Ltiter*. ' 3S8 

CiremeDt and sGlf-conteiit, wliich one wislieii to B«aoci&to witlL a 
house in a noisj citj. But a conflagration woold, I fear, be the 
preriona requisite to the productioii of anj architectural beauty 
in Hamburg : for Terilj it is a filthy town. I moTed on and 
crossed a multitude of ngly bridges, with huge black defomutie* 
of 'water wbeels doae by them. The -water intersects the city 
everywliere, and would have furnished to the genius of Italy the 
capabilities of all that is most beautiful and munificent in arcbi- 
tectore. It might have been the rival of Tenioe, and it is hnddle 
and ugliness, stench and stagna-tion. Hie Jiingfer Btieg, (i.e.. 
Young Ladies' Walk) to which my letAtae directed me, made an 
exception. It is a walk or promenade planted with treble rows of 
din-trees, which being yearly pruned and cropped, remain slim 
and dwarf-like. This -^dk occupies one side of a. square piece of 
water, with many swans on it perfectly tame, and moring among 
the scans showy pleasure boats with ladies in them, rowed by 
their husbands or lovers. •••••••••• 

I Some jaaragraphs have be»n here omitted.) 
* * thus embarrassed by sad and solemn politeness still more 
than by broken English, it sounded like the voice of an old friend 
when I heard the emigrant's servant inquiring aiter me. He hod 
come for the purpose of guiding me to our hot«L Through 
Btreeta and streets I pressed on as happy as a child, aiid, I doubt 
not, with a childish expression of wonderment in my busy eyes, 
amused by the wicker wagons with moveable benches across 
them, one behind the oth^ (these were the hackney coaches) ; 
amused by the sign-hoards of the shops, on which all the articles 
Bold withm are painted, and that too very exactly, though in a 
groteeque contusion (a useful substitute for language in this 
great mart of nations) amused with the incessant tinkling of the 
shop and house door bells, the bell hanging over each door and 
atrnck with a small iron rod at every entrance and exit; — and 
finally, amused by lookii^ in at the windows as I passed along ; 
the ladies and gentlemen drinking coffee or playing cards, and 
the gentlemen all smoking. I wished myself a painter, that 1 
might have sent you a sketch of one of the card parties. The 
long pipe of one gentleman rested on the table, its bowl half a 
yard from his month, fuming like a censer by the fish pool — the 
other gentleman, who was dealing the cards, and of coarse had 
both hands employed, held his pipe in his teeth, which bangii^ 
down l«tweeu his knees, smoked beside his ankles. Hogarth 
himself never drew a moi-e ludicrous distortion, both of attitude 
and physiognomy, than this effort occasioned: nor was tber» 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

KA BtognphaLUtraHa. 

wantmg beside it one of those beaatifnl female faoee wltit^ Um 
ume H<^>uth, in whom the aatariet never extingniehed that tove 
of beauty whioh belonged to him as a poet, so oft«n and so gladt; 
introduces as the central figure in a crowd of homorous deformi* 
ties, irhich figure (such is the power of trae genius !) neither acta, 
nor is meant to act as a contract; but diffuses through all, and 
over each of the group, a spirit of reconciliation and human kind- 
ness; and even when the attention is no longer conacioosfy 
directed to the cause of this feeling, still blends its tendemesa 
with our laughter : and thus prevents the instructive merriment 
at the whims of nature or the foibles or humours of ourfeUow-men 
from degenerating into the heart-poiaon of contempt or hatred. 

Our hotel JHe Wilde Manftibe sign of which was no bad likeneea 
of the landlord, who had engrafted on a very grim face a restless 
grin, that was at every man's service, and which indeed, like an 
actor rehearsing to himself, he kept playing in expectation of an 
occasion for it) — neither our hotel, I say, nor its landloi-d were of 
the genteelest class. But it has one great advantage for a stranger, 
by being in the market-place, and the next neighbour of the hng^ 
church of St. Nicholas : a church with shops and houses built np 
against it, ont of which wens and worts its high massy steepk' 
rises, neeklaeed near the top with a round of large gilt balls. A 
better pole-stai could scarcely be desired. Long shall I retain 
the impression made on my mind by the awful echo, so loud and 
long and tremulous, of the deep-toned clock within this church, 
which awoke me at two in the morning from a distressful dream, 
occasioned, I believe, by the feather bed, which is used here in- 
stead of bed clothes. I will rather cairy my blanket about with 
me like a wild Indian, than submit to this abominable costom. 
Our emigrant acquaintance was, we found, an intimate friend of 
the celebrated Abbe de Lisle ; and from the large fortune which 
he possessed under the monarchy, had rescued sufficient not only 
for independence, but for reepectability. He had offended some 
of his fellow'^migrants in London, whom he had obliged with 
considerable sums, by a refusal to make further advances, and in 
consequence of their intr^ues had received an order to quit the 
kingdom. I thought it one proof of his innocence, that he attached 
no blame either to the alien act, or to the minister who had 
uzerted it against him; and a stUl greater, that he spoke of 
London with rapture, and of hia favourite niece, who had married 
and settled in England, with all the fervour and all the pride ol a 
fond parent. A man sent by Itrce out of a country, obl^ped to 
mU out of the stocks at a great loss, and exiled from those ple^ 

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Satyreme^t Letters. 355 

aUTw and that style of aocietf wUdi habit had rendsred esBential 
to bis bappineBs, whose predommaut feelings were yet all of a 
private nature, resentment for friendship outraged, and anguish 
for domestic afTectionfi interrupted — such a man, I think, I ooold 
dare warrant guiltless of egpionage in any serrice, most of all in 
that of the present French Direotory, He spoke with ecstasy of 
Paris nnder tha monarchy : and yet the particular facts, which 
made np his description, left as deep a conviction on my mind, of 
Prench worthleesness, as his own tdJe had done of emigruit in- 
gratitude. Since my arriTal in 0«naany I have not met a single 
person, even among those who abhor the Berolution, that spoke 
with taxoar, or even charity, of the !French emigranta. Though 
the belief of their influence in the origination of this disastrous 
war (from the horrors of which Korth Germany deems itaelf 
only reprieved, not secured), may have some share in the general 
aversion with which they are regarded ; yet I am deeply persuaded 
that the far greater part is owing to their own profligacy, to their 
treachery and hard-heartedneas to each other, and the domestic 
misery or corrupt principles which so many of Ihem have carried 
into the families of their protectors. My heart dilat«d with 
honeat pride, as I recalled to mind tbe stem jet amiable characters 
of the EngUsh patriots, who sought refuge on the Continent at 
the Kestoration 1 Oh let not our civil war under the first Charles 
be paralleled with the IVench revolntion! In the former, the 
choice ovei-flowed from ©loesa of principle; in the latter, from 
the fermentation of the drags 1 The former was a, civil wai 
between the virtues and virtuous prqudices of the two parties; 
the latter between the vices. The Venetian glass of the French 
monarchy shivered and flew asunder with the working of a double 

Sept. 20th. I was introduced to Mr. Klopstock, the brother of 
the poet, who again intjiDduced me to Professor Ebeling, an in- 
telligent and lively man, though deaf : so deaf, indeed, that it was 
a painful efibrt to taJk with him, as we wp^e obliged to drop all 
our pearls into a huge ear-trumpet. From this courteous and 
kind-bearted man of letters (.1 hope the Oerman literati in general 
may resemble this first specimen) I beard a tolerable Italian pun, 
and an interesting anecdote. When Buonapai-te was in Italy, 
ha^-ing been irrit^ed by some instance of perfidy, he said in a 
loud and vehement tone, in a public company — "'tja a true pro- 
verb, gli Italiani tutti ladroni (i.e. the BaUant oU pUmdarers). A 
lady had the courage to reply, " Non tutti ; ma buona parte " (not 
aU, bvt a good part, or Suomiparte). TiuB, I confess, sounded to 

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S66 Jiiogra^iia iMerarta. 

my ears as oii« of the manj good thmga tba,t might have beeti said. 
The anecdote is more vaJuable; for it inetaacee the wa^s and 
means of French insinimtion. Hoche had received much infor* 
mation concerning the face of the countrj from a. map of nniisna] 
fnhiegB and acouracj, the maker of which, he heard, resided at 
Dusaeldorf. At the storming of Duaseldorf by the French army, 
Hoche previooely ordered that the house and property of this 
man shonld be preserred, and entroated the peiformance of the 
order to an officer on whose troop he could rely. Finding after- 
wards that the man had escaped before the storming commenced, 
Hoche exclaimed, " He had no reason to flee ! it is for snoh men, 
not against them, that the French nation makes war, and consents 
to died the blood of ita children." Tou remember Milton's 

•The great Emuhlu oooqiKm btd qnre 
Tba iHuw of Pludanu wboi Mmple and IDinr 
Wmt to Ibe grouncl " 

Now though the Dusaeldorf map-maker may stand in the eame 
relation to the Theban bard, as the snail that marks its path by 
lines of film on the waU it creeps over, to the eagle that soars 
snnward and beats the tempest with its wings; it does not there- 
fore follow, that the Jacobin of France may not be aa Taliaat a 
general and as good a politician as the madman of Uacsdon. 

From Professor Ebehi^'s Ur. Klopatock accompanied my 
friend and me to his own house, where I saw a fine bast of his 
brother. There was a solemn and heavy greatness in hia coimte- 
nance which corresponded t« my preconceptions of his style and 
genius. I saw there, likewise, a very fine portrait of Leasing, 
whose works are at present the chief object of my admiration. 
His eyes were uncommonly like mine, if anything, rather lai^er 
and more prominent. But the lower part of hiB face and his 
nose, what an exquisite expression of elegance and eenaibiti^I 
There appeared no depth, weight, or comprehensiveness, in the 
forehead. The whole face seemed to say that Leasing was a man 
of quick and volnptnous feelings i of an active hut light fancy ; 
acute; yet acute, not in the observation of actual life, but in the 
torangements ajid managements of the ideal world, t.e., in taste, 
and in metaphysics. I asBure yon that I wrote these very words 
m my memorandum book with the portrait before my eyes, and 
when I knew nothing of tiessing but his name, and that he was 
» German writer of eminence. 

We consumed two hours and more over a bad dinner, at tiM 
lable d^hole. " Patience at a Qerman ordinary, mailing at tims." 
The Gcrmaoa are the worst cooks in £urope. Thrae is placed for 

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SatyroHe't Lelten. 367 

e*ery two {Kj^ons a, bottle of commoii wine— BheniEli and Oloret 
altematdj ; but in tbe bouses of tbo . opulent, diirmg the majiy 
and long intervals of the dinner, the Berrauta hand round glasses 
of richer wines. At tbe Lord of Cnlpin's thej came in this 
order : Burgundj — Madeirai — Port — Frontignac — Pacohiaretti — 
Old Hock— Mountain — Champagne — Hock again — Bishop — and, 
lastlj. Flinch. A tolerable quantum, methinks ! The last dieh 
at tbe ordinary, viz. slices of roast pork (for all the larger dishes 
arebronght in, cut np, and firat banded round and then set on the 
table) with etewed prunes and other sweet fruits, and this followed 
bj cheese and butter, with plates of apples, reminded me of 
Shakespeare, * and Shakespeare put it in my head to go to the . 
French comedj. 

Blesa me I why it is worse than onr modem English plays ! The 
first act informed me, that a court martial is to be held on a 
Oonnt Tatron, who bad drawn hie sword on the Colonel, his 
brother-in-law. The officers plead in bis behalf— in Tain ! Hia 
wife, tbe Colonel's sister, pleads with most tempestuous agonies — 
in Tain ! She falls into hysterics and faints away, to the drop- 
ping of the inner curtain ! In the second act sentence of death 
is passed on tbe Count — his wife as frantic and bysterioal aa 
before; more so (good industrious creature!) she could not be. 
The third and last act, the wife still frantio, very frantic indeed 1 
the soldiers just about to fire, the handkerchief actually dropped, 
when reprieve ! repriere 1 is heard from behind tbe scenes : and in 
comes Prince Somebody, pardons the Count, and the wife is still 
frantic, only with joy ; that was all ! 

O dear ladyl this is one of the cases, in whicb laughter is 
followed by melancholy : for such is tbe hind of drama which is 
now substituted everywhere for Shakespeare and Bacine. Tou 
well know, th&t I offer violence to my own feelings in joining 
these names. But however meanly I may tbink id tbe French 
serious dra-ma, even in its most perfect specim^s ; and with vrhat- 
erer right I may complain of its perpetuid falsification of the 
language, and of tbe connections end transitions of thought, 
which nature 1ms appropriated to states of passion ; still, however, 
tbe French tragedies are consistent works of art, and the offspring 
of great intellectual power. Preservii^; a fitness in the parts, 
and a harmony in the whole, they form a satnie of their own, 

■ " jStoido'^'l bmlneil mT* lUn with 'fitfuit.— 1 wQInukA aafod of mydlmtfri 
pUrlDE Willi Aword md dUQ^ for ■ djah of thwD'a pipplm and dmsen yet to como."'^ 

•bUe Uh auUar bM HUM Knu." ' Soiola. 

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358 Biogn^ia lAlofona. 

Uicnigb a fdae lutiire. Still tbej excite the minds of the spec- 
taton to aotire thought, to a striTing after ideal exoeUence. The 
BOnl is not stnpefied into men Mnaa-tiona, "by a worthier irpn- 
patlij with our own ordinary anfferiiigB, or an empty (nmoeitj 
tcx Uie EnrpriBing, imdignified bj the langoage or the aituatious 
which awe and delight the imagination. What (I wonld ask of 
the crowd, that press forward to the pantomimic tragedies and 
weeping oomediea of Eotzeboe and his intitators) — what are 70a 
Beelong P Is it comedy P But in the comedy of Shakespeare and 
Uoliire the more accarat« my knowledge, and the more pro- 
foundly I think, the greater is the satisfaction that mingles with 
my langhter. 'Eat though the qualities which these writers pour- 
tray are Indicrona indeed, either from the kind or the excess, and 
exquisitely ludicrous, yet are th^ the natural growth of the 
human mind, and sodi as, with more or less change in the 
dra|>ei7, 1 can apply to my own heajii, or at least to whole daesea 
of my f eUow-creatnrea. How often are not the moralist and the 
metaphysiciaa obliged for the happiest illustrations of general 
truths and the sobordinate laws of hnman thought and action, to 
quotations not only from the tragic characters, but equally from 
the Jaqaee, Faletaff, and even from the fools and clowns of Shake- 
speare, or from the Miser, Hypochondriast, and Hypocrite of 
Holitee I Say not Uiat I am recommending abetractiona : for 
these olaaa-oharacteristics, which constitute the instmctiveness of 
a character, are so modified and particiilaTized in each person of 
the Shakespearian drama, that life itself does not excite more dia- 
tinctly that sense of individuality which belcrngs to real existence. 
FaradozicBl as it may sound, one of the essential properties of 
geometry is not less essential to dramatic excellence, and (if I 
may mention hie name without pedantry to a lady) Aristotle has 
accordingly required of the poet an involution of the uniTeraal in 
the individuaL The chief differences are, that in geometry it is 
the nniveraal truth itself which is uppermost iu the conscious- 
ness, in poetiy the individual form in which the Truth is clotiied. 
With the ancients, ajid not leas with the elder dramatists of Eng- 
land and France, both comedy and tragedy were considered as 
lands of poetry. They neither sought in comedy to make na 
laugh merely, much lees to make us laugh by wry faces, aocidenta 
of jargon, slaiig phrases for the day, or the clothiag of common- 
place morals in metaphors - drawn from the shops or mechuiie 
oocnpations of their, eharaotera ; nor did they condescend in 
tragedy to wheedle away the applause of the spectators, by repre- 
•eating before th<>m fac-similea of their own mean selves ja all 

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tkeii codstmg mBauneae, or to vork on their elnggish sympcttliieB 
bj a paUios not a whit more respectable than ilie maudlin tears of 
dmnkenneaa. ' Their tragic scenes were meant to affect hb indeed. 
hut within the bonnde of pleasure, and in anion with the actirit; 
both of our understanding and imagioation. Thej wished to 
transport the mind to a sense of its possible greatness, and te 
implant the germs of that greatness during the temporary 
obliTion ot the worthless "thing we are," and of the peculiar 
Btate in which each man happens to be ; suspending our indivi- 
dual reoollections and lulling them to sleep amid the mosic ot 
nobler thoughts. 

Sold I (Uethinks I hear the spokesman of the crowd reply, and 
we will listen to him. I am the plaintiff, and be he the defendant.) 

Bkfendant. Hold! are not our modem sentimental plays 
filled with the best Christian morality P 

Plaintiff. Yes ! just as much of it, and just that part of it, 
which jou can exercise without a single Christian virtue — with- 
out a single eacri£ce that b really painful to yon ! — just as much 
as flatters you, sends you away pleased with your own hearts, and 
quite reconciled to your vices, which can never be thought very ill 
of , when they keep such good company, and walk hand in hand 
with so much compaasion and generosity ; adulation en loathsome, 
that JOU would spit in the man's face who dared offer it to you in a 
private company ; unless you interpreted it as insulting irony, you 
appropriate with infinite satisfaction, when you share the garbage 
with the whole stye, and gobble it out of a common trough. No 
Ctesar must pace your boards — no Antony, no royal Dane, no 
Orestes, no Andromache ! 

D. No : or as few of them as possible. What has a plain 
citizen of London, or Hamburg, to do with your kings and queens, 
and your old school-boy Pagan heroes P Besides, everybody knows 
tlie stories : and what curiosity can we feel 

P. What, Sir, not for the manner ? not for the delightful 
langu^^ of the poet P notfor the situations, the action and reac- 
ticin of the paaaionaP 

D, Tou are hasty. Sir : the only cujioaity we feel is in the 
Btoiy : and how can we be anxious concerning the end of a play, 
or be anrprised by it, when we know how it will turn out P 

P. Your pardon for having interrupted you I we now under- 
stand each other. Tou seek, then, in a Imgedy, which wise men 
' of old held for the highest effort of human genius, the same gra- 
tification aa that jon rec«ivs from a new novel, the last German 
roioaace^ and other daintiea of the day, which can be enjoyed but 

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960 Biofrc^hia tUerarta. 

once. If 70a can7 these feelings to ihe Bister art of Fftinting, 
Uichael Angdo's Sistme Chapel, and the Scripture GaUery of 
Uapbacl, can expect no favour from jou. Ton krunu all aboui 
(Aem beforehand ; and are, donbtless, more familiar with the sub- 
jects of tliosepuntingB than with the tragic tales of the historic or 
teroic agea. Theru is a consistency, therefore, in your preference 
of contemporary it ritera : for the great men of former times, those 
at least who were deemed great by our ancestorB, sought bo little 
to gratify tki» kind of curioaity, that they seemed to have re- 
gto^ied the story in a not much higher light than the painter re- 
gards his canras : as that on, not by, which they were to display 
their appropriate excellence. No work, resembling a tale or 
romance, can well eQiow less rariety of invention in the incidenta, 
or less anxiety in weaving them together, than the Don Quixote of 
Ccrvantea. Ita admirers feel the disposition to go back and re- 
pemse some preceding chapter at least ten times for once tiat 
they find any eagerness to hnrry forwards ; or open the book on 
thoae parts which they best recollect, even as we visit those 
friends oftenest whom we love most, and with whose characters 
and actions we are the most intimately acquainted. In the divine 
Ariosto (as his countrymen call this, their darling poet) I 
queation whether there ho a single ixde of his own invention, or 
the elements of which were not familiar to the readers of "old 
romance." I will pass by the ancient Greeks, who thonght it 
even necessary to the fable of a tragedy that its subetance 
should be previously known. That there had been at least £ftj 
tragedies with the same title, would he one of the motives which 
determined Sophocles andSnripidea in the choice of "Electra" 
aa a subject. But Uilton 

D. Aye, Hilton, indeed ! but do not Dr. Johnson, and othOT 
great men, tell us, that nobody now reads Milton bnt as a task P 

P. So much the worse for them of whom this can be truly 
said ! Bnt why then do jrou pretend to admire Shakespeare F 
The greater part, if not all, of hia dramas were, as far as the 
names and the main incidents are concerned, already stock plays. 
All the atories, at least, on which they are built, pre-existed in 
the chronicles, ballads, or translations of contemporary or pre- 
ceding English writers. Why, I repeat, do yon pretend to admira 
Shakespeare P Is it, perhaps, tliat you only prstend to admira 
himP However aa, ouoe for all, yon have dismissed die weD- 
known events and personages of history, or the epic moae, what 
oave yon taken in their stead P Whoni has yonr tragiL miuo 
p-raed with her bowl and dasger P the sentimental muse 1 ahonU 

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8e±/ra«e'i LeUert. 261 

li.ive aaid, whom you have seated tit the tkrone of tragedy P What 
heroes has E>he reared on her buakins P 

D, O ! OTir good friends and next-door neighbours — honest 
tradesmen, Toliant tafs, high-spirited hal£-x>ay officers, philan- 
thropic Jews, Tirtuona courtezana, tender-hearted braziers, and 
sentimental rat-catchera ! (a little bluff or so. bnt all our very 
generooa, tender-hearted characters are a little mde or misan- 
thropic, and all our nuBanthropes very tender-hearted.) 

P, But I pray you, friend, in what actions, great or interesting, 
can BDch men be engaged P 

D. They give away a great deal of money : find rich dowries 
for young men and maidens whi: uive all other good qualities : 
they brow-beat lords, baronets, an ' kMices of the peace (for they 
are as bold as Hector !) — they rescue stage-coaches at the instant 
they are falling down precipices ; carry away infants in the sight 
of opposing armies ; and some of our performers act a muscular 
able-bodied man to such perfection, that our dramatic poets, who 
always have the actors in their eye, seldom fail to make their 
favourite male character as strong as Samson. And then they 
take such prodigious leaps ! ! And what is done on the stage is 
more striking even than what is acted. I once remember such a 
deafening explosion, that I could not hear a word of the play for 
h:ilf an act after it ; and a little real gunpowder b«ing set fire to 
at the same time, and smelt by all the spectators, the naturalness 
of the scene was quite astonifjung ! 

P. But how can you connect with such men and such actions 
that dependence of thousands on the fate of one, which gives so 
lofty an interest to the personages of Shakespeare and the Greek 
tr^ediana ? How can you connect with them that sublimest of 
all feelings, the power of destiny and ^le controlling might of 
heaven, which seems to elevate the chaxacters which sink beneath 
ita irresistible blow ? 

D. O mere fancies ! We seek and find on the present stage our 
1 wants and passions, our own vexations, losses, and embar- 

P. It is your own poor pettifogging nature, then, which you 
desire to have represented before you, not human nitture iit its 
height and vigour ? But surely you might find the former, with 
all its joys and sorrows, more conveniently in your own houses 
and parishes P 

D. True ! hut here comes a difference. Fortune is blind, but 
the poet has his eyes open, and is, besides, as complaisaui 
w fortune is capricious. He makes evenrthing turn out m. 

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863 Biogn^^ia Ltkraria. 

aaQj OB we would wish it. He gratifies ue bj repreeenting thuae 
aa I^tefol or contemptiUe whom we Ii»te ajid wish to despisck 

P. (AsUU.) That ia, ho gratifies yonr envy by libetliiig yoor 

D. He malces all those precise moralists, who afie^ to be better 
than their neighbours, turn out at last abject hypociitea, traitors, 
andbaxd-lieortedTillaias; and your men cf spirit, who take their 
girl and their glass with equal freedom, prore the trae men of 
honour, and (that no part of the audi ence mayremain uneatisfied) 
reform in the last scene, and leave no doubt on the minds of the 
ladies that they will make most faithful and excellent husbands : 
though it does seem a pity, that they should be obliged to get rid 
of qualities which, had made them so interesting! Besides, the 
poor become rich all at once ; and in the final matrimonial ciioice 
the opulent and high-bom themselves are made to confess, that 


P. Excellent ! Bat you have forgotten those brilliant flashen 
of loyalty, those patriotic praises of the King and Old England, 
which, HspeciaUy A conveyed in a metaphor from the ship or the 
shop, so often solicit and w inf ailingly rect ive the public plaudit 1 
I give your prudence i:redit for the omission. For the whole 
system of your drama is a moral and intellectual Jaeobinigm of 
the most dangerous kind, and those common-place rants of loyaltj 
are no better than hyjiocrisy in your playwrights, and yonr own 
sympathy with them a gross self-delusion. For the whole secret 
of dramatic popiilarity coi.'sists with you, in the confusion and 
subvei'sion of the natural order of things, their causes and their 
effects ; in the excitement of surprise, by representing the qualities 
of liberality, refined feeling, and a nice sense of honour (those 
things rather, which pass among you for such) in persona and in 
classes of life where experience teaches us least tr. expect tliem j 
and in rewarding with the sympathies that are the dues of virtue 
those criminab whom law, reason, and religion, have excom- 
municated from our esteem 1 

And now, good-night I Truly I might have written this last 
sheet without having gone to Qermany, but I fancied myself 
talking to you by your own fire-side: and canyon think it a small 
pleasore to me to forget, now and then, that I am nol there P 
Besides, you and my otiier good friends have made up your minds 
to me as I am, and from whatever place I writ« you will expect 
that part of my " Travels " will eonaiBt of tho nscnrainns in m^ 
own mind. 

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Sotgran^t LeUen. 


No little fish thrown back again into the water, no flj- oniin- 
prisoned from a child's hand, could more buojantlj a^oj itn 
eleuent, than I this clean and peaceful honae, with this lovely 
rioW of the town, groves, and lake of Ratzebnrg, from the window 
at wbich I ant writing. Uj spirits certainly, and my health, I 
fancied, were beginning to sink tmder the noiae, dirt, and on- 
wholesome air of onr Samborg hoteL I left it on Sunday, 
Sept. 23rd, with a letter of introdnction from the poet dopstock 
to the Amtmaim of Batzeburg. The Amtmaam received me with 
kindness, and introdnced me to the worthy pastor, 'who agreed to 
board and lodge me for any length of time not lees than a month. 
The Tehide, in which I took my place, was considerably lai^r 
than an English atage-ooach, to which it bore mnch the eame 
proportion and rude resemblance that an elephant's ear does to 
Uie human. Its top was composed of naked boards of different 
colours, and eeeming to have been parts ol different wainscots. 
Instead of windows there were leathern curtains with a little eye 
of glass in each : they perfectly answered the pnrpOBe of keeping 
oat the prospect and letting in the cold. I could observe little, 
therefore, bnt the inns and fann-honses at which we stopped. 
They were all alike, except in size ; one great room, like a bam, 
with a hay-loft over it, the straw and hay dangling in tofts 
through the boards which formed the ceiling of tlie room, and 
the floor of the loft. From this room, which is paved like a street^ 
sometimes one, sometimes two, smaller ones are enclosed at one 
cold. These are commonly floored. In the large room the cattle, 
pigs, pooltry, men, women, and children, live in amicable com. 
mnnity : yet there was an appearance of cleanlineaa and rustic 
comfort. One c^ these honses I measured. It was a hondred 
feet in laigth. The apartments were taken off from one comer. 
Bletween these and the staUs there was a Hmall interspace, and 
here the breadth was forty-eight feet, but thirty-two where the 
stalls were ; of course, the stalls were on each side eight feet in 
depth. The faces of the cows, io^ were turned towards the room ; 
indeed they were in it, so that they had at least the comfort of 
seeing each other's faces. Stall-feedii^ is universal in this part of 
Glennany, a practice concerning which the agricultnriat and the 
poet are like^ to entertain opposite c^inion*— or at least* to bar* 

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264 Siogn^kta JAterafia. 

very different fp pling H, The wood'work of these buildings on the 
onteide is left onpMstered, as in old houses tunong na, and being 
painted red and green, it onta and tceselatea the bnildinga very 
gaily. From within three miles of Hamburg almost to Uolln, 
which is thirty miles from it, the country, aa far aa I could aee it, 
was a dead flat, only varied by woods. At Moiln it became more 
beautiful I observed a small lake nearly Bmroonded with groves, 
and a palace in view belonging to the king of Grreat BritaJji, and 
inhabited by the inspector of the forests. We were nearly the 
same time in travelling the thirty-five mUes from Hamburg to 
BatzebuTg as we had been in going from London to Yarmouth, 
one hundred and twenty-six miles. 

The lake of Ratzebni^ rona from south to north, about nine 
milee in length, and varying in breadth from three milea to half a 
mile. Abont a mile from the southenunost point it ia divided 
into two, of conree very unequal, parts by an island, which being 
connected by a bridge and a narrow sUp of land with the one 
shore, and by another bridge of immense length with the other 
shore, forms a complete isthmus. On this island the town of 
Ratzeburg is built. The pastor's house or vicarage, together 
with the AmitmataCs, Awi^aehreiher'B, and IJie church, stands near 
the summit of a hiU, which slopes down to the slip of land and 
the little bridge, from which, through a superb military gate, yon 
step into the island-town of Batzebutg. This again is itself a 
little hilT, by ascending and descending which you arrive at the 
long bridge, and SO to the other shore. The water to the south of 
the town is called the Little Lake, which however almost engrosses 
the beauties of the whole: the shores being just often enough 
green and bare to give the proper effect to the magnificent groves 
which occupy the greater part of their circumference. From the 
turnings, windings, and indentations of the shore, the viewa vary 
almost every ten steps, and tbe whole has a sort of majestic 
beauty, a feminine grandem-. At the north of tbe Great li^e, 
and peeping over it, I see the seven church towers of Lnbeck, at 
the distance of twelve or thirteen miles, yet as distinctly as if 
they were not tbree. The only defect in the view is, that Batze- 
burg is built entirely of red bricks, and all the houses roofed witit 
red tiles. To the eye, therefore, it presents a clump of brick-dnst 
red. Yet this evening, Oct. lOth, twenty minutes past five, I Ba-* 
the town perfectly beautifid, and the whole softened down int» 
complete Tceeping, if I may borrow a term from the painters. Tho 
sky over Ratzeburg and all tbe east was a pure evening blue, 
n-liile 9ver the west it Wiw covered with Liirht sandy clonds. 

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Saiyrtme't LeOers. 366 

Hence a. deep red Ughb Bpread OTer the whole prospect, in. undis- 
tnrbed hanuonj with the red town, the brown-red woods, and the 
jellow-red reeda on the ekirta of the lake. Two or three boats, 
wiUi single persons paddling them, floated up and down in the 
rich light, which not onlj waa itaelf in harmon; with all, but 
brought all into harmonj. 

I should have tcJd you that I went back to Hambm^ on Thurs- 
day (Sept. 27th) to take leave of my friend, who travels south- 
ward, and retomed hither on the Monday following. From 
Elmpfelde, a village half-way from Batzebnrg, I walked to Ham- 
boi^ through deep sandy roads and a dreary flat : the soil every- 
where white, hungry, and eicesaively pulverized ; but the approach 
to the city is pleasing. Light cool country-houses, which you 
can look through and see the gardens behind them, with arbours 
and trellis work, and thick vegetable walls, and trees in cloisters 
and piazzas, each house with neat rails before it, and green seats 
within the rails. Bvery ol^ect, whether the growth of nature or 
the work of man, was neat and artificial. It pleased me far 
better than if the houses and gardens and pleasure-fields had 
been in a nobler taste : for this nobler taste would have been mere 
apery. The busy, anxious, money-loving merchant of Elamburg 
could only have adopted, he could not have enjoyed, the simplicity 
of nature. The mind b^ins to love nature by imitating human 
conveniences ia nature ; but this is a step in intellect, though a 
low one ; and were it not so, yet all around me spoke of innocent 
enjoyment and sensitive comforts, and I entered with unscru- 
pulous sympathy into the enjoyments and comforts even of the 
busy, anxious, money-loving merchants of Hamburg. In this 
charitable and catholic mood I reached the vast ramparts of the 
city. These are huge green cushions, one rising above the other, 
with trees growing in the interspaces, pledges, and sjonbols of a 
long peace. Of my return I have nothing worth communicating, 
except that I took extra post, which answers to posting in Eng- 
land. These north German post-chaises are uncovered wicker 
carts. An English dust-cart is a piece of finery, a chef d'teavre of 
mechanism, compared with them ; and the horses ! a savage 
might use their ribs instead of his fingers for a numeration table. 
"Wherever we stopped, the postilion fed his cattle with the brown 
ry« bread of which he ate himself, all breakfasting t^^ether, only 
the horses had no gin to their water, and the postilion no water 
to his gin. Now and henceforward for subjects of more interest 
to you, and to the objects in search of which I left you ; namely, 
the literati and literature c^ Qemuuiy. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Mf ^ogrofiia lAltforia. 

Beliere me, I walked witli an impreeeion oi aws on 1117 epiritet 

aa W and mjself accompanied T£i. EUopBtock to tlie bonee of 

Ilia brotter, tbe poet, which, ataads about & qaarter of a mile from 
the dtj gate. It is one of a row of little common-place annuner- 
honse8(for so they looked), with four or five rows of yonng meagre 
elm-trees before the windows, beyond which ia a green, and then 
a dead flat intersected with several roads. 'Whaterer beaaty 
(thought I) may be before the poet'B eyes at present, it mnst 
certainly be purely of his own creation. We waited a few 
minutes in a neat little parlour, ornamented with the figoree of 
two of the Muses and with prints, the Entbjects of which were from 
Elopstock's odes. The poet entered. I was much disappointed 
in his ooontenance, and recognized in. it no likeness to the bnst. 
There was no comprehension in the forehead, no weight over the 
i^e-brows, no expresaion of peculiarity, moral or inteUectnal, on 
the eyes, no massiveness in the general conntenajice. He is, if 
anything, rather below the middle size. He wore very large half- 
boota which hia legs filled, ao fearfully were they swollen. However, 

though neither W nor myself could discover any indications 

of sublimity or enthusiasm in hia phyaiognomy, we were both 
equally impressed with his liveliness, and hia kind and ready 
courtesy. He talked in Frratch with my friend, and with difficulty 
spoke a few aeutencea to me in English. TTih enunciatiimwBS not 
in the least affected by the entire want of his upper teeth. Tht 
conversation began on hia part by the eipreaeion of hia rapture at 
the aurrender of the deta<:hment of French trooja under General 
Humbert. Their prooeedinga in Ireland with regard to the com- 
mittee which they had appointed, with the rest of their orgajuzing 
system, seemed to have given the poet great entertainment. He 
then declared hia sanguine belief in Nelson'a victory, and antici- 
pated its confirmation with a keen and triumphant pleasure. Hia 
words, tones, looks, implied the moat vehement Auti-QaUicaniRin. 
The subject changed to literature, and I inquired in Latin concern- 
ing the history of German poetry and the older Qerroan poets. To 
my great aetoniahment he confessed, that he knew very little on 
the Bubject. He bad indeed occasionally read one or two of their 
elder writers, but not ao as to enable him to speak of tiieir merits. 
Professor Ebeling, he said, would prebaUy give me every infor* 
mation of thia kind ; the subject had not partionlaily exdted his 
curiosity. He then talked of Milton and Olover, and thought 
Glover's blank verse superior to Milton's. W— — Kid myrcU 
expressed our surprise: and my friend gave his definition and 
notion of hannoniouB verae^ that it conaiat^d (the ^'!"gi"*' iambio 

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Satgnm^i Letten. 167 

blank verse abore all) in the &pt arrangement ot pauses and 
cadences, and the sweep of whole paragraphs, 

— ■ nBh nuay « iriDdlnf bml 

Of .tnkel ivwtaea long dr 

and not in the even Qoyr, mnch. less in the prominence or antithetie 
Ttgoor, of single lines, which were indeed injurious to the total 
effect, except where they were introdnced for some epecifie por- 
poae. Elopstock oasented, and said that he meant to confine 
Glover's superiority to single lines. He told hb that he had read 
Milton, in » prose translation, when ha was fourteen.* I under* 

stood him thas myself, and W interpreted ElopatocfB French 

aa I had already cOnstmed it. He appeared to know very little of 
Hilton — or indeed of onr poebi in general. He spoke with great 
indignation of the English prose translation of his Messiah. All 
the translationB had heen bad, veiy bad — but the En^ish was no 
translation — there were pages on pi^;es not in the original : — and 

half the original was not to be found in the translation. W ■ 

told him that I intended to translate a few of his odea as Hpecimen> 
-ot Oennan lyrics; he then said to me in English, " Z wish you 
would render into English some select passages of the Mes^ah, 
and revenge me of your countryman !" It was the liveliest thing 
which he produced in the whole conversation. He told'na that his 
first ode was fifty years older tiian his last. I looked at him with 
much emotion — I considered him as the venerable father of 
Qerman poetry; asagoodmon,' asaChristian; seventy-four years 
old; withlegs'enonnously swollen; yet active, lively, cheerful, and 
kind and communicative. My eyes felt as if a tear were swelling 
into them. In the portrait lA Leasing there xas a toupee periwig, 
vfhich enormously injured the effect of hia phyaiognomy ; Klop- 
stock wore the same, powdered and frizzled. By the by, old men 
onght never to wear powder : the contrast betwe^i a kf ge snow- 
white vrig and the colour of an old man's skin is disgnatiug, and 
wrinkles in such a neighbanriiood appear only channels for dirt. 
It is an honour to poele and great men, that you think of them as 
parts of nature; and any thing of trick and fashion wonnds you 
in tJiiem as much as when you see vaierahle yews clipped into 
miserable peacocks. The author of the Meesiah shouldhave worn 
his own grey hair. His powder and periwig were to the eye what 
Mr. Tirgil would be tb the sax. 

* "nils wu Acddoitfllly ccnnnned to me by tiuu h4 yaoPB lat jiet a. putlcDlai TJUnt oq 

aaDUOBiiDim gEntlemui at HelmsUdl, who itmulallonefiliaPimllH L«t,iud*lwif| 

kail bam KIopAock'i ichaal ud bed ISUow. alept nlQi \\ nndac hla pllloff. 
itaBO% olber bojrtA «tiialiilea, ha ttU»i 

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268 Biographia LUerttria. 

Klopstock dwelt much on the superior power which the Germac 
Uugoage possessed of concentrating meaning. He said he had 
often tnuialated parts of Homer and Virgil, line by line, ajid a 
Gei*m&n line ptored always sofBcient for a Greek or Latin one. In 
English 70U cannot do this. I answered, that in English we conld 
commonly >%nder one Greek heioic line in a line and a half of our 
common htaroic metre, and I oonjectured that tibia line and a half 
would be found to contain no more syllablea than one German or 
Greek hexameter. He did not nnderetand me : * and I who wished 
to hear his opinions, not to correct them, was glad that he did not. 

We now took our leave. At the b^pnning of the French 
B«Tolution Klopstock wrote odes of congratulation. He received 
some honorary presents from the French Kepnhlic (a golden crown 
I believe), and, Uke onr Priestley, was invited to a seat in the legis- 
lature, which he declined. But when French liberty metamor- 
phosed herself into a fory, he sent back these presents with a 
palinodio, declaring his abhorreuce of their proceedings: and 
since then he has been perhaps more than enough an Anti-Galli- 
can. I mean, that in his just contempt and detestation of the 
crimes and follies of the Revolutionists, he suffers himself to for- 
get that the revolution itself is a process of the Divine Providence ; 

• KlDpntock'a otncrvitMn wu [ertly (me tbrongb nil Ihelr iblipls uid cHnpcmnd pn- 
■wl paril; ermnnuB. In Uk LllenI leiueiir potaUDiu. 4iid IDU17 oT their ulvntiH. uiil 
hli wunb. and If wa aaitine the cuDHKriHW tlHt Bltll moM at UWM Uh Ostium hive 
sune privilege u we bwn at dlTUiog 
m ftom the verb utd plidnc Ibem M tfae 
of lb* eenleDOe. jm wUl biTe ■» dUB- 

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Satf/rcme'a Letteri. . 369 

and tliat ab the follj of men is the wiedom of God, so are their 
iniqnities iastmmeiita of His goodness. From Elopstock's honaa 

we walked to the rampaxte, diBoonraing together on the po^ and 
bis conversation, till our attention was diverted to the beantj and 
singiilarity of the snnset and its effecti on the objects around na. 
There were woods in the distance. A rich sanify light (nay, of a 
much deeper colour than eandy) laj over these woods that black- 
ened in the blaze. Over that part of the woods which la; imme- 
diately nnder the intenser light, a brasaj mist floated. The trees 
. on the ramparts, and the people moving to and fro between them, 
were cut or divided into equal s^flienta of deep shade and brassy 
light. Had the trees, and the bodies of the men and women, been 
divided into equal aegmenta by a role or pair of compasses, the 
portions could not have been more regular. All else was obscure. 
It was a fairy scene ! and to increase its romantic character, among 
the moving objects thus divided into alternate shade and bright- 
ness was a beautiful child, dressed with the elegant simplicity of 
an English child, riding on a stately goat, the saddle, bridle, and 
other accoutrements of which were in a high degree costly and 
splendid. Before I quit the subject of Hamborg let me say, that 
I remained a day or two longer than I otherwise should have done, 
in order to be present at the feast of St. Michael, the patron saint 
sf Hamburg, expecting to see the civic pomp of this commercial 
Republic. I was, however, disappointed. There were no proces- 
sions ( two or three sormons were preached to two or Uiree old 
women in two or three churches, and Qt. Michael and his patron- 
a^ wished ekewhere by the higher classes, all places of entertain- 
ment, theatre, &c., being shut up on this day. In Hamburg there 
seems to be no religion at all : in Lubeck it is confined to the 
women. The men seem determined to be divorced from their 
wires in the other world, if they cannot in this. You will not 
easily conceive a more singular sight than is presented by the vast 
aisle of the principal church at Lnbeck seen torn the oi'gan-loft ; 
for being filled with female servants and persons in the same class 
of life, and all their caps having gold and silver cauls, it appeal's 
like a rich pavement of gold snd silver. 
I win conclude this letter with the mere transcription of notes, 

which my friend W made of his conversations with Klopstock 

during the interviews that took place after my departure. On 
these I shall make but one remark at present, and that will appear 
a presumptuous one, namely, that EHopstook's remarks on the 
venerable s^e of Eonigeberg are to my own knowledge injurious 
and mistaken; and so far is !t from being true that his system is 

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S70 SiografUa lAteratia. 

now given np. that Hironglioirt tte TTniTferHitieB of Gennany tbem 
i« not ft nni^ profeuor who is not eiUier a Kantean or a discipltt 
of Fichte, wluwe lyetem is built on the Eantean, and prasnppoaes 
ibi tzntli ; or lastly, who, though an antagonist of Eant as to hia 
theoretical work, has not embraced wholly or in part hia moral 
system, and adopted part of his nomenclatare. " Elopstock 
having wished to see the Calvary of Cumberland, and asked what 
was thought of it in England, I went to Bemnant's (the English 
bookseller), whsre I- procured the Analytical Beviewi in whioh ia 
oontained the review of Cumberland's Oalrary. I remembered to 
hKve read there some specimens of a blank verse translation of the 
Uessiah. I had mentioned this to E^opatock, and he had a great 
desire to see them. I walked 6ver to hia house and pat the book 
into his hands. On adverting to his own poem, he told ute be 
began the Mesaieli when he waseerenteen : he devoted three entire 
years to the plui without composing a single line. He was greatly 
at a loBs in what manner to execute his work. There were no 
snoceeafnl specimens of versification in the German language 
before this time. The first three cantos he wrote in a species of 
measured or nnmerons prose. This, though done with much 
laJxiur and some snocees, w(is far from satisfying him. He had 
composed heiameUre both Latin and Qreek as a school exercise, 
and there had been also in the German language attempts in that 
style of versifiuation. These were only of very moderate merit. 
One day he was strack with the idea of what could be done in this 
way— he kept hia room a whole day, even went without hia dinner. 
and found tiiat in the evening he had written twenty-three hexa- 
meters, versifying a part of what he had before written in prose. 
From that time, pleased with hia efforts, he composed no mdre in 
prose. TO'day he informed me that he had finished his plan before 
he read Wilton. He was enchanted to see an author who before 
bitn had trod the sajne path. This is a contradiction of what he 
said before. He did not wish to speak of his poem to any one til 
it waa finished : but some of his friends who had seen what he hixl 
finished, tormented him till he had consented to publish a feV 
books in a joomal. He waa then, I believe, very yonng. abont 
twenly.five. T^e rest was printed at different periods, four l>ook j 
at a time. The reception given to the first specimens was highly 
fiattering. He was nearly thirty years in finishing the wh:il« 
poem, but of these ttiirty yeara not more than two were employed 
in the oompoaition. He only uompo«ed \ti favonrable momenta; 
besides, he had other occupations. He vaJnes himself upon tbe 
pku of bii odei, and acnuw tbe modem ^^rical writers oi gro** 

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Satyrane's LeOen. 271 

dciiciency in iiaa respect. I laid the same a^ttsation again&t 
Horace; be would not hear of it, bnt waired tte diBcasBioii. Hu 
called BoiiBsean'B Ode to Fortone a moral dissertation in stanzBH. 
IdpokeofDiyden's St. Cecilia 1 but lie did not seem familiar yrith 
onr writers. He wished to know the distinctions between our 
dramatic and epic blank Terse. He recommended me to read his 
Hermannbeforelreadeitherthe Messiah or the odea. Heflattered 
himself that some time or other hie dramatic poems wonld be 
known in England, He had not heard of Cowper. He thought 
that Yoss in his translation of the Iliad had done Tiolence to the 
idiom of the Germaii, and had sacrificed it to the Greek, not 
remembering sufflcienUj that each language has its particular 
spirit and genius. He said Lessing was the first of their dramatic 
writers, I complained of Ifathan as t«diouB. He said there was 
not enough of action in it ; but that Lessing was the most chaste 
of their writers. He spoke f avouraMy of Qoethe ; bnt said that 
his Sorrows of "Werter was his best work, better than any of 
his dramas : he preferred the first written to the rest of Goethe's 
dramas. Schiller's Bobbers he found so eztravagaut, that he 
could not read it. I spoke of the scene of the setting sun. He 
did not know it. He said Schiller could not live. He thought 
Bon Carlos Hie best of his draonas j but said that the plot was 
inextricable. It was erident he knew little of SchUler's works : 
indeed, be said he could not read them. Burger, be said, was a 
true poet, and would live; that Schiller, on the contrary, most 
soon be forgotten ; that he gave himself np to the imitation of 
Shakespeare, who often was extravagant, but that Schiller was 
ten thousand times more so. He spoke Teryslightinglj of Kotze- 
bne, as an immoral author in the first place, and next as deficient 
in power. At Tienna, said be, thej are transported with him; 
bnt we do not reckon the people of Vienna either the wisest or the 
wittiest people of Germany. He said Wieland was a charming^ 
author, and a sovereign master of his own language : that in this 
respect Cioethe could not be compared to him, nor indeed could any- 
body else. He said that hia fault was to be fertile to eiuberanee. 
I told him the Oberon had just been translated into English. He 
asked me if I was not delighted with the poem, I answered that 
I thoagbt the story began to fiag about the seventh or eighth book, 
and observed lihat it was nnworthy of a man of genius to make 
the interest of a long poem turn entirely upon animnl gratification. 
He aeemed at first disposed to excuse thi^ by saying, that there 
ax6 different aabjeot^ for poeti;, and that poets are not willing tt> 
be restricted in Uwr choice. I answered) tiwt I thought thejMU* 

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272 Biogteg^hia Literaria. 

aura of lovo a^i well Bnited to the purposes of poetry as &nj othtf 
pajuion ; but that it wets a cheap waj of pleasing to fix the atten- 
tion of the reader throngh a long poem on the mere t^ipefite. Weill 
but, said he, you see that such poems please everybody. 1 
answered, that it was the province of a great poet to raise people 
up to his own level, sot to descend to theirs. He agreed, and con- 
fossed that on no account whatsoever would he have written a 
work like the Oberon. He spoke in raptures of Wieland'a style, 
aud pointed out the passage where Betzia is delivered of her 
child as exquisitely beautiful. I said that I did not perceive any 
very striking passages ; but that I made allowance for the imper* 
fections of a translation. Of the thefte of Wieland, he said, they 
were so exquisitely nuuu^ed, that the greatest writers might bo 
proud to steal as he did. He considered the books and fables o( 
old romance writers in the light of the ancient mythology, ajs a 
sort of common property, from which a man was free to take 
whatever he could make a good use of. An Englishman had pre- 
sented him with the odes of Collins, which he had read with 
pleasure. He knew little or nothing of Gray, ezoqit his Elegy in 
a Churchyard. He complained of the fool in Lear. I observed 
that he seemed to give a terrible wUdness to the distress, but still 
he complained. He asked whether it was not allowed, Utat Pope 
had written rhymed poetry with more skill than any of ow writers 
— I said I preferred Diyden, because hie couplets had great«r 
variety in their movement. He thought my reason a good one ; 
but a^ed whether the rhyme of Fope were not more exact. This 
question I understood as applying to the final terminations, and 
observed to him that I believed it was the case ; hut that I thought 
it was easy to excuse some inaccuracy in the final sounds if tho 
general sweep of the verse was superior. I told him that we were 
not so exact with regard to the final endings of lines as the French. 
He did not seem to know that we made no distinction between 
masculine and feminine (t.e. single or double) rhymes : at least be 
put inquiries to me on this subject. He seemed to think that no 
langnage could ever be so far formed as that it might not be en> 
riched by idioms borrowed from another tongue. I said this was 
a very dangerous practice, and added that I thought Milton bad 
often injured both his prose and verse by taking this liberty too 
frequently. I recommended to him the prose works of Dryden aa 
models of pure and native English. I was treading upon tender 
ground, as I have reason to suppose that he baa himiy^l f liberally 
indulged in the practice. 
The same day I dined at Hr. Elopstock's, where I bad the plea^ 

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Salyrane'* Jjetteit. 273 

anre of a, third interview with the poet. Wo talked principally 
atxrat indifferent things. I asked him what lie thought of Kant. 
He Boid that his reputation wag much on the decline in Germanj. 
That for hie own part he was not surprised to find it bo. as the works 
of Kirnt were to him utterly incomprehensible — that he had often 
been pestered by the Kanteaas ; but was rarely in the practice of 
ai^uing with them. Hie custom wa« to produce the book, open it, 
and point to a passage, and beg tliey would explain it. This tbcy 
ordinarily attempted to do by aubetituting their own ideas. I do 
not want, I say, an explanation of your own ideas, hut of tlie pass- 
age which is before us. In this way I generally bring the dispuw 
to an immediate conclusion. He spoke of Wolfe as the first meta- 
physician they had in Giennany. Wolfe hml foOomers, but they 
could hardly be called a sect ; and luckily till the appearance of 
Kant, about llfteen years ago, Germany had not been pestered by 
any sect of philosophers whatsoever, but that each man had 
separately pursued his inquiries uncontrolled by the dogmas of s 
master. Kant had appeared ambitious to be the founder of a sect ; 
that he had succeeded ; but that the Oermans were now comii^ to 
their senses t^ain. That Nicolai and Engel bad in different ways 
contributed to disenchant the nation, but above all the incompre- 
hensibility of the pbUosopber and his phUoaophy. He seemed 
pleased to hear that as yet Kant's doctrines had not met with 
many admirers in England — did not doubt but that we had too 
mack wisdom to be duped by a writer who set at defiance the 
eonunon sense and common understandings of men. We talked 
of tragedy. He seemed to rate highly the power of exciting tears ; 
X said that nothing was more easy than to deluge an audience — 
that it was done every day by the meanest writers. 

I must remind you, my friend, first, that thes<! notes, im., are 
not intended as specimens of Klopstock's intellectual power, or 
even " coUcqaial proweu," to ju<^ of which by an accidental con- 
versation, and this with strangers, and those, too, foreigners, 
would be not only unreasonable, but calumnious. Secondly. I 
attribute little other interest to the remarks than what is derived 
from the celebrity of the person who made them. Lastly, if you 
ask me whether I have read the Kessiah, and what I think of it. 
I answer — as yet the first four books only : and as to my opinion 
(the reasons of whifih hereafter) you may guess it from what I 
euuld not help muttering to mysidf, wh^ the good pastor this 

morning t6ld me that Klopsti>ck was the German Hilton " a 

"nry Qaiaan Hilton indeed! ! ! Heaven preserve you, and 



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SiograpUa Lilerwia. 


Quid quod pnr/aiione pnvmunitriJH l^^tuitt. qud Conor omam offtudicuU aitam prm' 
ciiJtrtr ffeque quiapum addiMlo. quM ea eawididia amrnbat fadat tat-u. Qttid attUm 
faciaxiitii, qtii retubirffettii jKrtinactajA tM tad^fltri iKUi%i.vd itupiiK/rrea nnl, ^nm 

tag quam id pouiM a It decipi, tia quotda^ viiitas atupidtora guam. vt ploooH qnfamL 
Ad^ulc,1^9Amir^tmat, fnvenirt qitei calvtHRittufquiniAilaliHdqjtarUnlti quodtja^um' 

IN the rifacimeiito of The Friend, I have ioaerted extracts from 
the Cowsioaes ad P^ptdum, prmted, though scarcely publiahod, 
in the year 1795, in the very heat and height of mj anti-ministeruil 
enthusiasm ; these in proof that mj principles of ■poliiiee have 
sustained no change. In the present chapter I have annexed to 
mj Letters from German}', with particular reference to thatf 
which contains a disquisition on the modem drama, a critique on 
the tragedy of Bertram, written within the last twelve months: 
in proof that I have heen as faleelj charged with anj fickleness in 
mj principles of taele. The letter was written to a friend, and the 
apparent ahmptnese with which it b^ins is owing to the onuasion 
of the introductory sentences. 

Ton remember, mj dear Sir, that Mr. Whitbread, ahortly before 
bia death, proposed to the Bsaembled sabscribers of Dmiy IJana 
Theatre, that the concern should be farmed to some responsible 
iadividnal under certain conditions and limitations : and that hia 
proposal was Kg'eoted, not without indignation, as subverBive <A 
the main object, for the attainment of which the enlightened and 
patriotic assemblage of philodramatists had been induced to risk 
their snhacriptions. Now this object was avowed to be no lees 
than the redemption of the British stage not only from horses, 
d<^, elephants, and the like zoological rarities, but also from the 
more pernicious barbarisms and Eotxehuisms in morals and tasto, 
Dmiy Lane was to be restored to its former classic renownj 
Shakespeare, Jonson, and Otwaj, with the expurgated muaea of 
Tanburgh, Congreve, and Wycherley, were to be re-inaugnrated in 
their rightful dominion over British aadiences ; and the Herooleon 
process was to commence, by exterminating the speaking monsterti 
imported from the banks of the Danube, compared witlt which 
their mute relations, the entigrants from Exeter "Ohange, utd 
PcJito Oato Fidoock'a} sbow-fiartB, were tarns , - - - - 

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CK%M on hertram. VIS 

Oonld an lieroio project, at ones bo refined and bo arduoiu, be 
conastenUj entrosted to, conld its success be rationallj expected 
from, a, mercenarf manager, at whoae critical qtiarantiue the luori 
bonus odor 'wotdd conciliate a biU of health to the pla^e in person ? 
No! Aa the work propoaed, sach mnst he the work-maatera. 
Bank, fortune, liberal education, and (their natnral accompani- 
menta or consequences) critical discernment, delicftt« tact, disin* 
tereetednesB, n&Baspect«d morals, notoriouB patriotiam, and tried 
UtDoenaaslup — these were the recommendations tbat influenced 
the votes of the proprietary snbscriben of Dmry Lane Theatre, 
these the motives tbat occasioned the election of its Supreme Com- 
mittee of Management. This circumstance alone would have 
excited a strong intereet in the public mind respecting the first 
production of the Tragic Huse, which had been annonmced under 
aoch auspices, and had passed the ordeal of such judgments : and 
the tragedy, on wbich jou have requested mj judgment, was the 
work on which the great expectations, justified bj so many cauaes, 
were doomed at lengtb to settle. 

Bat before I enter on the examination of Bertram, or the Oastle 
of St. Aldobrand, I shall interpose a few words on the phrase 
Qermau Drama, wbich I bold to be altogether a misnomer. At the 
time of Leasing, the German stage, such as it was, appears to have 
been a flat and servile copy of the French. It was Leasing who 
first introduced the name and the works of Shakespeare to tlie 
admiration of the Germans ; and I ahonld not, perhaps, go too far, 
if I add that it was Ijessing who first proved to all thinking men, 
even to Shakespeare's own countrymen, the true nature of hia 
apparent irregularities. These, be demonstrated, were deviations 
only from the aecidenU of the Greek Tragedy; and from such 
accidents as bui^ a heavy weight on the wings of the Greek 
poets, and narrowed their flight within the limits of what we may 
call the luroie opera. He proved that in all the essentials d art, 
no less than in the tmth of nature, the plays of Shakespeare were 
incomparably more coincident with the principles of Aristotie 
than the productions of Comeille and Bacine, notwithstanding 
tlie boaated regularity of the latter. Under these convictions 
were Leeaing's own dramatic works composed. Their deficiency 
ia in depth and in imagination : their exceUenoeisin the eonatruc- 
tion of the plot ; the good sense of the sentiments ; the sobriety of 
the morale, and the high polish of the diction and dialogue. In 
short, his dramas are the very antipodes of all those which it has 
been the fashion of late jeara at once to abuse and to ei^oy under 
ih&name of the German drama. Of tbia latter Schiller's Robbera 

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S7C Biographia LUeraria. 

wu ilie eailleeit apecimea ; the first fruita of iia yontli (I had 
almost said of Us boyhood), and as aach, the pledge and promise of 
no ordinary genius. Only a:S such did the maturer jadgment of 
the author tolerate the play. During hie whole life he expressed 
himself concerning this production with more than needful 
asperity, as a monster not lees ofFensive to good taste than to 
sound morals { and in bis latt«r years his indignation at the nn- 
wonted popularity of the Bobbers seduced him into the COTitrary 
eztremea, viz. a studied feebleness of interest (as far as the interest 
was to be derived from in<»dent« and the excitement of cariosity) ; 
a diction elaborately metrical, the affectation of rhymes, and the 
pedantry of the chorus. 

But to nnderstand the brae character of the Bobbers, and of the 
coontless imitations which were its spawn, I most inform yon, or at 
least call to your recollection, that about that time, and for some 
yeam before it, three of the most popnlar books in the German 
language were the translations of Young's Night Thoughts, 
Hervc/s Ueditations, and Biohardson'a Clarissa Harlowe. Now 
we have only to comMne the bloated style and peculiar rhythm of 
Hervey, vrhich is poetic only on account of its ntt«r unfititess for 
prose, and might as appropriately be called prosaic from its utt«r 
unfitness for poetry ; we have .only, I repeat, to combine these 
Herveyisms with the strained thoughts, the figurative metaphysics, 
and solemn epigrams of Tonng on the one band, and with the 
loaded sensibility, the minute detail, the morbid consciousness of 
every IJtougbt and feeling in the whole flnx and reflux of the mind ; 
in short, the self -involution and dreamlike continuity of Richard- 
son on the other hand; and then to add the horrific incidents and 
mysterious villains (geniuses of supernatural intellect, if you will 
bake the author's words for it, but on a level with the meanest 
ruffians of the condemned cells, if we are to judge by their actions 
and contrivances) — to add the ruined castles, the dungeons, the 
trap-doore, the skeletons, the flesh-and-blood ghosts, and the per- 
petual moonshine of a modem author (themselves the literaiy 
brood of the Castle of Otranto, the translations of which, with 
the imitations and improvements aforesaid, were about that time 
beginning to make as much noise in Germany as their originals 
were making in England) — and as the compound of these ingre- 
dients duly mixed, you will recognise the so-called German drama. 
The oUa podrida thus cooked up was denounced, by the best 
critics in Germany, as the mere cramps of weakness, and orgasms 
of a sickly imagination on the part of the author, and the lowest 
provocation of torpid feeling; on that of the readers. The ol4 

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Critiqite on HerlraM. il77 

blduder, liowerer, concerning the irregalarity and wildiiGBS of 
Shakeepeare, in wMch the Germaji did but echo Uie French, who 
i^in were bat the echoea of our own criticB, was atUI in vogae, 
.md Shakespeare was qaoted as authority for the most aati-Shaie- 
^pearian drama. We have indeed two poeta wbo wrote aa one, near 
,he age of Shakespeare, to whom (as the worst characteristic of 
their writings] the Coryphteus of the present drama may chal- 
lenge the honour of being a poor relation, or impoTerished de- 
scendant. Por if we would charitably consent to foi^t the comic 
humour, the wit, the felicities of style, in other words, tdl 
the poetry, and nine-tentha of all the genins of Beanmont and 
Fletcher, that which would remain becomes a Kotzebue. 

The so-called German drama, therefore, is English in its origin, 
English in its materials, and English by re-adoption ; and till we 
can prove that Eotzebne, or any of the whole breed of Eotzehues, 
whether dramatists or romantic writers, or writers of romantic 
dramas, were ever admitted to any other shelf in the libraries of 
well-educated Germans than were occupied by their originals, and 
apes' apes in their mother country, we shonld submit to carry onr , 
own brat on our own shoulders ; or rather consider it aa a lack- 
grace returned from transportation, with such improvements only 
in growth and manners aa young transported convicts OBually 
come home with. 

I know nothing that contributea more to a clear inaight into 
the true nature of any literary phenomenon than the comparison 
of it with some elder production, the Uheaees of which is striMng, 
yet only ajapa/rent : while the difference is real. In the present 
case this opportunity is furnished ns by the old Spanish play en- 
titled Atheisla Falminato, formerly, and perhaps stdll, acted in the 
churches and monasteries of Spain, and which, under various 
names (Don Juan, The Libertine, &c,) has had its day of favour in 
every country throughout Europe. A popularity so extensive, 
and of a work so grotesque and extravagant, claims and merits 
philosophical attention and investigation. The first point to be 
noticed is, that the play is throughout imaginative. N^othing of 
it belongs to the real world but the names of the places and per- 
sons. The comic parte equally with the tragic, the living equally 
with the defunct characters, are creatores of the brain ; as little 
amenable to the rules of ordinary probability, as the Satan of 
Paradise IiOst, or the Caliban of the Tempest, and therefore to be 
understood and judged of as impersonated abstractions. Bank, 
fortune, wit, talent, acquired knowledge, and liberal accomplish- 
menta, with beauty of person, vigorous health, and constitutional 

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378 Siogttgihia LUerana. 

hardihood'— all tiiMe adnaiAges, elevated by tlm nabita and sjm* 
|iaUii<>fl ot noble birth uid natioiial character, are Buppoeed to 
hare oombiued in Don Joan, bo as to ^ve liim the meana of car- 
rjiag into all its practical conseqnencea the doctrine of a godleea 
natore, as tbe sole ground and efficient caose not only of all tliiuga, 
erenta, and i^pearancea, but Ukewiee of all onr thoughts, acnaa- 
tions, impulBes, and actions. Obedience to uatore is tbe only 
Tirtne : the gratification of the passions and appetites ber only 
dictate : each individual's self -will the sole oi^an throngh wbich 
nature utters ber commands, and 

a la Ibe imir vrone 1 
Tor bf ths lin of aiMt, In the riflit 
Ig e<«i7 iDdlvMiul cluraclei 
nut acta In strict onulstenca wltb ItselL" 

That specnlative opinions, however impions and daring Ihciy 
may be, ore not always followed by correspondent conduct, is most 
true, as wdl as that they can scarcely in any instance be ayatem- 
atically realized on account of their nnauitahleness to hnman 
nature and to. the institutions of society. It can be hell only 
where it is all hell : and a separate -world of devils is necesBaiy for 
the enstenoe of ajiy one complete deviL But on the other hand 
it is no lees clear, nor, with iiie biography of Carrier and hia 
f ellow-atbeists before as, can it be denied -without -wilful blindness, 
that the (so called] system of nature (i.e., materiaJiam, with the 
ntter rq'ection of moral reapoosibility, of a present Providence, 
and of both present and future retribution) may infiaence the 
characters uid actiona of individuals, and even of communities, to 
a degree that almost doea away the distinction beitween m^i and 
devils, and will m^e the page ot the future historian resemble tiie 
narration of a madman's dreams. It is not the wiokeduesB of Dtm 
Juan, therefore, which constitutes -the character an abstraction, 
and removes it from the rules of probability ; bat the rapid sue- 
ceaaion of the correspondent acts and incidents, bis intellectual 
superiority, and the splendid accumulation of bib gifts and desir- 
able qualities, as co-exiatant -with entire -wickedness in one and the 
same person. But this likewise ia the vety circumstance which 
gives to this strange play its cbarm and -universal interest Don 
Juan is, from beginning to end, anintelligiblecbaracter: as much 
so as the Satan of Milton. The poet aaks only of the reader what 
as a poet he ia privileged to ask, viz., that sort of negative f aitb in 
the existence of such a being, which we willingly give to produe- 
tions professedly ideal, and a di^osition to the same state of 
feeling as that with which we cont^plate the idealized fignrea ot 

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Critique on Serlram. 379 

the Apc^o BelvideTe, and the Famese H«ruu]eB> What the Her- 
linles ia to the eye in corporeal atrength, Don Juan is to the miitd 
in strength of character. The ideal consists in tlte happy balajice 
of the generic with the individnaJ. The former makes the cha> 
rauter representative and ajmbolical. therefore instructive; becanse, 
mnUaiis mniandig, it is applicable to whole clasaea of men. The 
Uitter gives ita living interest ; for nothing lives or is real but aa 
definita and individual. To imderBtand this completely the reader 
need only recollect the specific state of his feelings when, in look- 
ing at a. picture of the historic {more properly of the poetic or 
heroic) olaee, he objecta to a particular figure as being too much 
of a, portrait; and this interruption of his complacency he feels 
withont the least reference to, or the least acquaintajice with, any 
person in real life whom he might recognise in this figure. It is 
enough that snch & figure is not ideal; and therefore not ideal, 
because one of the two factors or elements of the ideal ia in excess. 
A similar and more powerful objection he would feel towards a set 
of figores which were mere abstractions, like those of Cipriani, 
and what have been called Greek forms and faces, i.e., ontUnes 
drawn according to a recipe. These again are not ideal; be- 
cause in these the other element ia in excess. Xbrma fm-vumt p^ 
formam formatam Iraiabieena, is the definition and perfection of 
ideai art. 

This excellence is so happily achieved in the I>on Juan, that it 
is capable of interesting without poetry, nay, even without words, 
OS in oar pantomime of that name. We see clearly how the 
character ia formed; and the rery extravagance of the incidents, 
and the superhuman entirenees of Son Juan'a agency, prevents 
the wickedness from shocldug our minds to any painful degree. 
(We do not believe it enough for thia effect; no, not even with 
that kind of temporary and negative belief or acquiescence which 
I have described above.) Meantime IJte qualities of hia character 
are too desirable, too flattering to our pride and our wishes, not 
to make up on this aide aa much, additional faith aa vras lost on 
the other. There is no danger (thinks the spectator or reader) of 
my becoming snch a monster of iniquity as Don Joan ] I never 
shall be an atheist ! I shall never disallow all distinction between 
tight and wrong 1 I have not the least inclination to be so out- 
rageous a drawconmr in my love affairs i But to possess such a. 
power of captivating and enchanting the affections of the other 
aez! to be capable of inspiring in a charming and even avirtuons 
woman a love so deep, and so entirely personal to me, that even 
my wont vices (if I were vicious), even my cruelty and perfidy 

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280 Siographla IJInratia. 

(if I were orael and perfidious), could nut ei'adicaie tlie pjiasiou 
To be so loTed for nij own aelf, that evec with a distinct know- 
ledge of mj character she yet died to save me 1 This, sir, takes 
hold of two aides of our nature, the better and the woi-se. For 
the hei-oic disinterestedness, to which love can transport a woman, 
cannot be contemplated withont an honourable emotion of rever- 
ence towards womanhood : and on the other hand, it is among the 
miseriea, and abides in tlie dark gronnd-work of our natni'e. to 
crave an outward confirmation of that something within nft, 
which is our verf self, that something, not made up of onr qua- 
lities and relations, bnt itaelf the supporter and Bubstantia' 
Itasis of all these. liOTe me, and not my qualities, maj be i> 
vicious and an insime wish, but it is not a wish wholly without a 

Without powei-, virtue would be insufficient and incapable of 
revealing its being. It would resemble the mf^C tranaformation 
of Taaso's heroine into a tree, in which she could only groan and 
bleed. {Hence power is neoesBarily an object of our desire and of 
our admiration.) But of all power, that of the mind is, on every 
account, the grand desideratum of human ambition. We shall 
be as gods in knowledge, was and must have been the first tempt- 
ation: and the co-existence of great intellectual lordahip with 
guilt has never been adequately represented without exciting the 
strongest interest, and for this reaaon, that in this bad and hete- 
rogeneous co-ordination we can contemplate the intellect of man 
more exclusively ae a separate self-subaiatenee, than in iia proper 
state of subordination to hia own conscience, or to the will of an 
infinitely superior being. 

This is the sacred charm of Shakespeare's male characters in 
general. They are all cast in the mould of Shakespeare's own 
gigantic intellect; and this ia the open attraction of his Bichard, 
lago, Edmund, &c. in particular. But, again, of all intellectual 
power, that of superiority to the fear of the invisible world ia the 
most dazzling. Ita influence is abundantly proved by the one 
circumatance, tliat it can bribe us into a voluntary submission of 
our better knowledge, into suspension of all our judgment derived 
from constant experience, and enable as to peruse with the live- 
liest interest the wildest tales of ghosts, wizards, genii, and secret 
talismans. On this propencity. so deeply rooted in our nature, a 
apectfic dramatic probability may be raised by a true poet, if the 
whole ot his work be in harmony : a dramatic probability, snffi- 
eient for dramatic pleasure, even when the component characters 
and incidents border on imposaibUity. The poet does not require 

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Criiigue oh Serlram. 281 

Cfl to be awaJce and believo; he •olicits na only to jteld onraelTes 
to a, dream ; and tliia too with our eyes open, and with our jndg- 
ment perdue behind the ouTtain, readj to awaken us at the first 
motion of our will : and meantime, only, not to rfisheheve. And 
in such a, state of mind, who hut must he impresaed with the cn3oI 
intrepidity of Don John on the appearance of his father's ghoatP 

-'iHwr.— Mongterl bebold tbtw nDnnia ! 
1\ JOHri.— 1 do T They were well meuit uid veLL perfWnied. 1 Ke. 
Ghht, Repent, repen t of all tL^ vUlanlea: 

John. — Faren-ell, tfaon art a fooUsb gbnat Itcpcnt. qnolh he I nhotcould Ibla.mcml 

LOPBJ (anottn-KpuSolc).— I ne'er bellei'ed IhoM foolish lales beforr, 
JuHH.— Come 1 Tis DO muUer. l«t It be wht[[t wllUUmiut benauinL 

Juas.—lia (rue I The nsCure ot t. ghett ao not change am. 

'Who also can deny a portion of aahlimity to the tremendous 
consistency with which he stands ont the last fearful trial, Uke a 
second Frometbeus P 

" (Clu/ral iif Jnfli.) 
- STiTBtQHCBr.— will jon not relent audi feel remorse ? 
U. JoHH.— Could'st Uion bestow loDtbet Imrt on me, I mlEbl. But with this heart 1 


Abtobiu.— We 

e impious wret 

iies! so tsi find (he pan 


Gbmi (Io />. /o*n 
I).JOHK— Thnifc 

not to fright m 


imd D. Mtmio art luaUtir 
fslei, and IDWO that thjr last 
ghosli ni hreafc your mart 

And ahufBed ill Into their fOimer ch 

he ffkvti ttf one u^m Ae had murdrttd) 

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283 BtogngpHa tUerana. 

Jn &ie, the ohonotm- of Don JiAn couaiato in the nmon of 
eferjtiibxg desirable to hamon nature, aa meami, and wUcli there- 
fore bj the well-known law of associaliion become at length de> 
•irable on their own acconnt. On their own a««ount, and in their 
own dignitj, the^ are here displaTed, as being emplojed to cmda 
so unhnmau, that in the effect, the; appear almort as meana 
without an end. The ingredients too are mixed in the happiest 
proportion, bo as to nphold and relieve each other— more espe- 
eiallj in that oonatant interpoiae of wit, gaiety, and social gene- 
rositj, which prevents the criminal, even in his most atrocious 
momenta, from sinking into the mere ruffian, as far at least aa 
onr imagination sits in judgment. Above all, the fine suAuion 
through tiie whole, with the oharacteristio manners and feelings 
of a highly bred gentleman, gives life to the drama. Thus, having 
invited the statue-ghost of the governor, whom he had mnrdered, 
to snpper, which invitation the marble ghost accepted by a nod of 
the head, Don John has prepared a banquet : 

■ D. Joar^^aau vbM, dmb I Haift In Don Pedro'i gboit— he afaoiild hiva Imn wd- 

O. LOFU.— Ths luoa b tinli of ;mi liter dath. 

(0« knoela l-ara at Ot doar.) 
D, JoHii (In tilt tBrrant).— -BlM eni to jmt dntr- 

SnTAHT.— M (bo darll, Ihs dsrDl (MmtU glum oiUn.) 

D. Junn.— Hi I 'Ui the gboM J lei** rlK ind iradn lilm t Conu Goif mar, tod an 
iKlociBi^-Blttliera; |[ireluilUioiight;aii would 1ut« came, we -woiililhiivsBtiild far joo. 

lu him wiA vepgetmct^ 
D.JOH>.— Weuetaomnchamaniwd— coneoDtblidiTdlKoiirae. CaaB,brn{Hii jaut 
ndBtrcA-^oah>daiH«lKUjoaifentlTiDg:iiMri>rgaitli]|!jonr>wteiil(ter, (OtvA sibr.) 
" ~ le afTonr letlnna ? Devils say ;aa r I'ib. >on7 1 bin no bnrU 

H>f> drink Bt tat devils," be. 

Nor is the scene from which we quote interesting in dramatio 
probability alone ; it is susceptible likewise of a sound moral ; of 
a moral that has more than common claims on the notice of a to-t 
numerous class, who are ready to receive the qualities of gentle- 
manly courage and scmpoloiis honour (in all the recognised laws 
of honour) as the imbit^ida of virtues, iuetead of its onuttnentt. 
This, ind^d, is the moral value of the play at large, nnd that 
which places it at a world's distance from the spirit of modem 
Jacobiniam. The latter introduces to ne clumsy copies of these 
showy instrumental qualities, in order to reconcile ns to vice 
and want of principle; while the Atkeitta FuimMato presents an 
exquisite portraiture of the eame qnalities, in all their gloss and 
glow, bnt presents them for the atJe pnrpoae of displaying th«i 

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Oritique m Bertram. 383 

boUowuGse, and in order to put na on otir guard bj dejuonstntting 
tlieir utter indifferenoa to vice and virtue, wbenerer these and 
the like acooraplieluneiita are contemplated for themBelTes alone. 

Eighteen years ago I observed, that the whole secret of the 
modem Jacobinical drama {which, and not the German, is its 
appropriate designation), and of all its popolaritf , consists in the 
confusion and subversion of the natural order of things in their 
causes and effects : namely, in the eicitemait of sorprise by re- 
presenting the qualities of liberality, refined feeling, and a nice 
sense of hononr (those things rather which pass amongst us for 
such) in persons and in classes where experience teaches us least 
to expect them ; and by rewarding with all the sympa,thiee which 
are the due of virtue Uiose criminals whom law, reason, and 
religion have excommunicated from our esteem, 

This of itself would lead me ba:ck to Bertram, or the Caatle of 
St. Aldobrajjd ; bnt, in my own mind, this tragedy was brought 
into, connection with The Libertine (Shadwell's adaptation of tht 
Jiheitta FahnimUo to the English stage in the reign of Obarlea 
the Second) by the fact, that onr modem drama is taken, in the 
substance of it, from the first scene of the third act of The Liber- 
tine. But with what palpable ouperiority of judgment in the 
original! Bsrth and hell, men and spirits, areup in arms against 
Don John ; the two former acts of the play have not only prepared 
US for t^e supernatural, but accustomed na to the prodigious. It 
is, therefore, neither more nor less than we anticipate when the 
Oaptain eiclaims : " In all the dangers I have been, sucU horrors 
I never knew. I am quite unmanned." And vrhen the Hermit 
says, "thali he had beheld the ocean in wildest rage, yet ne'er 
boFore saw a storm so dreadful; such horrid flashes of lightning, 
and Buch claps of thunder, were never in my remembrance." And 
Don John's burst of startling impiety is equally intelligible in 
its motive as dramatic in its effect. 

But what is there to account for the prodigy of the tempest at 
Bertram's shipwreck P It is a mere supernatural effect without 
even a hint of any supernatural i^ency; a prodigy without any 
OTCumstance mentioned that is prodigious ; and a. miracle intro- 
duced without a ground, and ending without a result. Every 
event and every scene of the play might have taken place as well 
if Bertram and his vessel had been driven in by a oommon hard 
gale, or from want of provisions. The first act would have indeed 
lost its greatest and most sonorous picture { a scene for the sake 
of a scene, without a word spoken; as such, therefore (a rarity 
without a precedent), we mntt take it, and be thankful I In tlw 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

SS4 Biographia Liieraria. 

opinion of not a few, it was, in every sense of the word, tile best 
scone in the play. I am quite certain it vas the most innocent: 
and the stead;, quiet nprightnese of the flame of the wax candles 
whi^h the monie held over the roaring billows amid die storm of 
wind and rain, was really miraculous. 

The Sicilian sea coast: a, convent of monke: night i a moat 
portentous, unearthly atorni : a vessel is wrecked : contrary to 
all human expectation, one man eaves himself by his prodigious 
powers as a swimmer, aided by the peculiarity of his destination ; 

PBH>a.-^I idit no 

3d HONE^No. there wu one did tattle with the eU 

Hie Ufa »u mm end ket, u Ibovgb be recked iwl- 
No Mod dtd aid him. lul he tidal noiH— 
Alone he breuted the 1>ntAd wave ; 4ioae 

Well ! This man is led in by the monks, supposed dripping wet, 
and to very natural inquiries he either remains silent or gives 
most brief and surly answers, and after three or four of tieae 
half-line courtesies, " dashing off the monks " who had saved him, 
he exclaims in the true sublimity of our modem misanthropic 

"OftI jeare nicB— there'! pohm In yimr louiJi. 
But 1 miul field, Dn this (ukiU O hath leu me itrengthlts." 

So end the three first scenes. In the nest (the Castle of St. 
Aldobrand) we find the servants there equally lightened with 
this unearthly storm, though wherein it differed from other 
violent storms we are not told, except that Hugo i 
page 9: 

" PtBT^Hngo, well me*. Doea e'en thy age bear 

Hdoo,— li^ have been Ireqaent lately. 
Prsr.— Thej are ever so hi Sicily. 

A most perplexing theory of Sicilian storms is this of old Hugo 
and what is very remarkable, not apparently founded on anj 
great familiiirity of his own with this troublesome article. For 
when Pietro asserts the " ever more frequency " of tempests in 
Sicily, the old man professes to know nothing more of the fao^ 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Critique on BertnaK. 385 

bnt bj fa.eaj-saj'. " So it is eaid." Bui vhy he asBtuned this 
BtiOrm to be uuaeasonable, and on what be grounded his prophecy 
(for the atorm is still in foil fuiy) that it would be profitless, and 
without the physical powers common to aU other violent sea-winda 
in purifying the atmosphere, wc are left in the dark ; as well con- 
cerning the pai-ticulax points in which he knew it (during its 
continuance) to differ from those that he had been acquainted 
with in his youth. We are at length introduced to tbe Lady 
Imogine, who, we learn, had not rested " through " the night, not 
on account of the tempest, for 

FortBde lU )K>fe tg »e ber blent nlUi slHp * 

Sitting at a table, and looking at a portrait, she informs ns— 
First, that portrait-painters may make a portrait from memory ; 

For surely these words could nexer mean, that a pMnter may 
Iiave a person sit to him who afterwards may leave the room or 
perhaps the country ? Second, that a portrait-painter can enable 
a mourning lady to possess a good likeness of her absent lover, 
but that the portrait-painter cannot, and who shall 

"BratonlliBBceiHbi which tli^ met and paUi!" 

The natural answer would have been — Why the scene-painter, to 
be sure ! But this unreasonable lady requires in addition sundry 
things to be painted that have neither lines nor colours ; 

"The Ihonghls, Ihe ncellecUons >vh( and Mtur, 
Or the Elyidan dnams of Imera when Ihej lovel" 

"Which last sentence must be supposed to mean, icften. they were 
present, and making love to each other. Then, if this portrait 
could speak, it would " acquit tlie faith of womankind." How F 
Had she remained constant? No, she has been married to 
another man. whose wife she now is. How then P Why, that, in 
spite of her marriage vow, she had continued to yearn and crave 
for her former lover ; 

The lover, however, was not contented with this precious 
arrangement, as we shall soon find. The lady proceeds to inform 
UB, that during the many years of their separation, there have 
happened in the different parts of the world a number of " such 
things;" even such iw in a course of yeora'slvrays have, and till 

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986 Biogmfhia LUararia. 

tbe Milletuunm doobUeas always will b^pen Bomewliera oi 
other. Yet tttia pasaage, both in longoage and in metre, iB per- 
Iiaps among the best parts of the play. The lad/s lored com- 
panion and moat esteemed attendant, Clotilda, now enters and 
explains this love and este^n by proving herself a most passive 
and dispassionate listener, as well as a brief and Inoky querist, 
who asks bj chance questions that we shoold have thought made 
for the veiy sake of answers. In short, she very much reminds 
ns of those poppet-heroines, for whom the showman contrives to 
dialogue withoat any skill in ventriloquism. This, notwithstanding, 
is the beet scene in the play, and though crowded with solecisins, 
cormpt diction, and offences against metre, would possess meriC« 
sufficient to outweigh them, if we conld suspend the moral sense 
dnring the pemsaL It tells well and passionately the preliminary 
circumstances, and thus overcomes the main ^ffiooltj of most 
first acts, viz. that of retrospective narration. It t«lls ns of her 
having been honourably addressed by a noble yontli, ot rank 
and fortune vastly superior to her own: of their mutual lov^ 
h^ht«ned on her part by gratitude ; of his loss of his sovereigu's 
favour; his disgrace j his attainder and flight; that he (thus 
degraded) souk into a vile ruffian, the chieftain of a murderous 
banditti ; and that from the habitual indulgence of the most re- 
probate habits and ferocious passions, he had become so changed, 
even in his appearance SJid features, 

• Tbit ilu vba tun Ud bid raooUKI mm Uu, 
N« kDOVD lbs lUcD rings of htr cUM, 
Yet iCiU lit (ImogbM) loyM him.' 

She M compelled by the silent entreaties of a father, perishing 
with " bitter ehsLmeful want on the cold earth," to give her hand, 
with a heart thus irrecoverably pre.«i^aged, to Lord Aldobrand, 
the enemy of her lover, even to the very man who had baffled his 
ambitioas schemes, and was, at the present time, entrusted with 
the execution of the sentence of death which had been passed on 
Bertram. Now, the proof of "woman's love," so industriouslj 
held forth for the sympathy, if not the esteem, of the audience, 
consists in this : that though Bertram bad become a robber and a 
murderer by trade, a ruffian in manners, yea, with form and 
featoTM at which his oum mothsr could not but " recoil," yet she 
(I^y Imogine), "the wife ot a most noble, honoured lord," estim- 
able as a man, exemplary and affectionate aa a husband, and the 
fond father of her only child — that she, notwithstanding all thia, 
striking her heart, dares to say to it : 

' Bat ttwD ut Biitraa • •UU. UMl BartaUB'* nw." 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

OriHifHe m Sanram. 387 

A mimk now enters, and entreats in liia prior'a name for the 
wontod liospitalitf, and " free noble u$age " of the Oostle of St. 
Aldobrand for eome wretched shipwrecked wnls, and from this 
learn, for the first time, to onr infinite surprise, that tiotwitb> 
standing the sapemafenrslness of the storm aforesaid, not only 
Berti^m, bat the whole of his gang, had been sared, bj what 
means we are left to conjectnre, and can onlj conclnde that they 
bad all the same desperate swimming powers, and the same 
saving destiny as the hero, Bertram himself. So ends the first 
act. and with it the tale of the events, both those with which the 
tragedy begins, and those which had occnrred previous to the date 
of ita commencement. The second displays Bertram in dis' 
tnrbed slec^, which the Prior who hangs over him prefers calling 
a " starting trance," and with a strained voice, that wonld have 
awakened one of the seven sleepers, observes to the audience : 

The dramatio effect of which passage we not only concede to the 
admirers of this tn^edy, but acknowledge the farther advantage 
of preparing the andience for the most Borprising series of 
wry faces, proflated months, and lonatio gestures, that were ever 
"launched" on an andience to "tetwY thetente," 

Thia is rather a whimsical applicatitm of the verb refiei, we 
mnst confess, thoogh we rememher a omilar transfer of the ^ent 
to the patient in a mannscript tragedy, in which the Bertram of 
the piece, prostrating a man with a single blow of hia fist, ex- 
claims — " SInock me thee down, then ask thee if thou liv'st." — 
Well, the stranger obeys, and whatever his sleep might have 
been, his waking was perfectly natural, for lethargy itself conld 
not withstand the scolding stentorship of Mr. Holland, the Prior. 

• -TheMgrooaltMii 

Canntd sob uotlier tlown Ui Immot 

nM .U. to taioicepl Iw ;mjm for "il 


dj2ffl.w_mui. ia <tep««. «,», » 

ilTbud OTB > •lr»m; nMonllr W lb» 

- Th, whea Uw lumdKd baft did Bw h 

mWod of Ihfl hwL uiii nmt tmoUfollr 
Kdu lb* iwdWlon >^ Dm piendme lmag«. 

Her HVl^ deep sriMB wn* brHUwd 

him; ^ 

of U» thue. In i-Mcb, •' the poor ««iil«lCTy 

tt, l-Urn ■ rtd*ot boll iMDdHd t b 

■ug from tbe banWi Urn lad (a'cn ■ hnrt." 

from ■ UxiBde^dKid had anurbed 1 

HKtophor. ff Dot lift loM in lb. preprtoff 

n^i«l, d« kept eea pnylM on.*^ °'" 
"Wh ■»»_ tUi kiTe{ Th, Ikng do 

• c<iBMiirlih>Ww 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

988 jBit^phia LUeraria. 

We next laam frum the best anthoiitj — Iub own otaleeaaa — Uiai 
the mlBORthropio hero, whose destinj vas incompatiUe with 
drowning, is Count Bertram, who not onl; reveals faia past 
fortonea, but htowb, with open atrocit;, bia eatanic hatred of 
Imogine'a lord, and his frantio thirat of revenge; and so the 
raving character ravee, and the ecolding character scolds — and 
what else F Does not the Prior act ? Does he not send for a 
posse of conetablea or thief-takers to handcuff the villain, and 
take him either to Bedlam or Newgate P Nothing of the kind ; 
the aathor preseiyes the nnitj of character, and the scolding 
Prior from first to last does nothing bnt scold, with the exception 
indeed of the last scene of the last act, in which with a most 
surprising revolntion he whines, weeps, and kneels to the con- 
demnod bU^heming assassin oat of pure affection to the high* 
hearted man, the sablimitj of whose angel-sin rivals the star- 
bright apostate (i.e., who was as prond as Lnoifer, and aa wicked 
as the Devil), and " had thrilled him " (Prior Holland aforesaid) 
with wild admiration. 

Accordinglj, in the verj next scene we have this tragic Mac- 
heath, with his whole gang, in the CaaUe of St. Aldobrand, with- 
out any attempt on the Prior's part either to prevent him, or to 
put the mistress and servante of the castle on their guard against 
their new inmates, though he (the Prior) knew, and confessed that 
he knew, that Bertram's " fearful mates " were assassins so habita- 
Jtted and naturalized to guilt, tliat 

and though he also knew that Bertram was the leader of a band 
whose trade was blood. To the castle however he goes, thus with 
the holj Prior's consent, if not with his assistance ; and thither 
let us follow him. 

Ko sooner is our hero safely housed in the Castle of St. Aldu 
>)rand, than he attracts the notice of the lady and her confidante, 
by his " wild and terrible dark eyes," " muffled form," " fearful 
form,"' "darklj wild," "proudly stem," and the like common- 

• ThiJ »rt of repetttim Ig on. of thla 

flare of HelL- ]Jn» 39, "D holy Prior, tfaii li 

no «-t*lj, «orm.''-Uiie 38, ■■ThI. 1. a. 

page which ion not luniWi one or mom 
Wuncn-Ei. gr. In IbeBnl page or t»<>. 

t^iklt, ilo™."-- Line 43, - Ihaling wtlh 

U>."-Une .3. -fleal Ihna sternly. -_Um 

Act 1, line ttli. -iMI domed OM 1 might 

44, ■■ Spenk r thon hut mmrlliiiio trai '.-— 
-A/Mr/-.<tntfW,'"-Llne*S."Vh« hM 

U«B"-Llne 10, - DU rock and guiiw In 
lhcbickprtngi|tar.-."-l,1n«H, 16. ia,"But 

thon ««f A ,.li™«, /«rftj rte»t.-_ 

l.vllifnioniHitlyillMiKorsherKdbHie, DM 
Ibe pale nurbla plan «. ileinly on me. I 


dm^ dceiuJ they 1I»L"-Liik 31. ' Tke 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

Critique on Sertram. 3SS 

{^aoe indcifimtes, seasoned hj merely verbal autitheeea, uid at beat 
ci^ied with very alight change from the Oonrade of Sonthej'B 
Joan of Arc. The Lady Imogine, who has been (as is the 
caee, she tells ns, with all soft and eolenm apirita) uwftjp- 
ping the moon on a terrace or rampart within vieir of the 
eastle, inaiste on having an interrievr with our hero, and this 
too tSte-d-l&e. Woold the reader learn why and wherefore the 
confidante is excluded, who very properly remonatrates against 
such " conference, alone, at n^ht, with one who bears snch fearful 
form," the reason follows — "why, ther^ore, send Th'th I" I say 
follows, because the next line, " all things of fear hare lost their 
power over me," is separated from the former bya break or panse, 
and besides, that it is a very poor answer to the danger, is no 
answer at aU to the gross indelicacy of this wilful exposure. We 
most therefore regard it as a mere after-thonght, that a little 
softens the mdeness, but adds nothing to the weight, of that exqui- 
site woman's reason aforesaid. And so exit Clotilda and enter 
Bertram, who " stands without looking at her," that is, with his 
lower limbs forked, his arms akimbo, his side to the lady's front, 
the whole figure resembling an inverted Y. He is soon howevei 
roused from the state surly to the state frantic, and then follow 
raving, yelling, cursing, she fainting, he relenting, in runs Imo- 
gine'a tibAi, squeaks " mother 1" He snatcbee it up, and with a 
" G«d bless thee, child ! Bertram has kissed thy child," — the 
curtain drops. The third act is short, and short be our account 
of it. It introduces JjotA St. Aldobrand on his road homeward, 
and next Imoglne in the convent, confeesing the foulness of her 
heart to the prior, who first indulges his old humour with a fit of 
senseless scolding, then leaves her alone with her ruffian para' 
moor, with whom she makes at once an infamous appointment, 
and the curtain drops, that it may be carried into act and con- 

I want words to describe the mingled horror and disgnst, with 
which I witnessed the opening of the fourth act, considering it as 
A melancholy proof of tiie depravation of the pubKc mind. The 
shocking spirit of Jacobinism seemed no longer confined to 
politics. The familiarity with atrocious events and characters 
appeared to have poisoned the taste, even where it had not 
directly disorganized the moral principles, and left the feelings 
callous to all the mild appeals, and craving alone for the grossest 
and most outrt^eons stimulants. The very fact then present to 
oar senses, that a British audience conld remain passive imder 
such an insult to common decenoj, nay, receive with a thunder of 


Dgiiizodb, Google 

290 Btogn^hia Literana. 

applanse a human bong sappoaed to have come reeking from Uie 
commmmatioD of this complex foulness and baseness, these and 
the like reflections so pressed as with the weight of lead npon my 
heart, tliat actor, anthor, and tragedy wonld have been forgotten, 
had it not been tor a plain elderly man Bitting beside me, who. 
with a veij aerioae face, that at once expressed BorpriBe and 
aTereioB, touched mj elbow, and pointing to the actor, s^d to me 
in a half whiBper— " Do you see that little fellow there P he has 
just been conmiitting adoltery !" Somewhat relieved by the laugh 
which t^i" droll address occasioned, I forced back my att«ntion to 
the stage sufficiently to leam, that Bertram is recoTered from a 
transient fit of remorse, by the information that St. Aldobrand 
was oonimiBBioned (to do what every honest man must have done 
without commissioii, if he did htE dntj) to eeize ^'''^ and ddlTST 
him. to 1^ jnat vengeance of the law ; an information which (as he 
had long known hiTnwIf to be an attained traitor and proclaimed 
outlaw, and not only a trader in blood himself, but notoriously the 
Captain of a gang of thieves, piVat«s, and assassins) assuredly 
could not have been new to him. It is this, however, which alone 
and instantly restores him to his accustomed state of raving, 
blasphemy, and nonsense. Next follows Inu^ine's constrained 
interview with her injured husband, and his Bndden departure 
again, all in love and kindness, in order to attend the feast ol 
St. Anselm at the convent. This was, it must be owned, a -rerj 
Btrange engagement for bo tender a, hnsband to make within a 
few minutes aft«r so long an absence. But first his lady has told 
him that she has " a vow on her," and wishes " that black perdi- 
tion may gulf her pei^jured soul " (Note : she is lying at the veiy 
time) if ahe ascends his bed till her penance is accomplished. 
How, therefore, is the poor husband to amuse TiJnmnlf in. this 
interval of her penance? But do not be distressed, reader, on 
acconnt of the St. Aldobrand's absence ! As the author has oon' 
trived to send liit" ont of the house, when a husband would be in 
his and the lover's way, so he will doubtless not be at a loss to 
bring him back again as Boon as he is waDt«d. Well! the husband 
gone in on the one aide, out pops the lover from the other, and for 
the fiendish purpose of harrowing up the soul of his wretched 
accomplice in guilt, by announcing to her with moet brutal and 
blasphemoua execrations his fixed and deliberate reeolve to assaa> 
mnate her husband ; all this too is for no discoverable purpose oa 
Hm part of the antlior, but that of introducing a series cf supetv 
trogio starts, pMues, soreama, struggling, d^^er-throwing, falling 
on the ground, starting up again wild^, swearing, outcries for hdiik 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

OrUiqM m Bertram. Stf 1 

faUing again on the grotmd, risiiig again, faintly totteiuigtowardB 
the door, and, to end Uie scene, a most oonvenient lainting fib of 
our lady's, jnst in time to give Bertram an opportunity of seek- 
ing the object of his hatred, before ehe alanua the boose, which 
indeed she has had fall time to hare done before, but that the 
author rather ohose she should amuse herself and the audience by 
the aboTe-desoribed ravinga and startings. She recovers slowly, 
and to her enter Clotilda, the confidante and mother confessor ; 
then commences, what in theatrical language is called the mad- 
ness, but which the author more accurately entitles delirium, it 
appearing indeed a sort of intermittent fever with fits of liglit- 
hradednesa off and on, whenever occasion and stage effect happen 
to call for it. A convenient return of the storm (we told tha 
reader beforehand how it would be) had changed 

- The livulet. Ihit litUied Ibe Oonvrail nUi. 
IdId t RwinliiB Bwd : upon tla Miik 
Tha Lord iDd hla m 

Talk of the devil, and his horns appear, says the proverb i and 
sure enough, within t«n lines of the exit of the messenger sent to 
stop him, the arrival of Lord St. Aldobrand is announced. Ber< 
tnun's ruffian band now enter, and range themselves across the 
stage, giving fresh cause for Imogine's screams and madness. 
St. Aldobrand having received his mortal wound behind the 
scenes, totters in to welter in hia blood, and to die at the feet of 
this double-damned adulteress. 

Of her, as far as she is concerned in this fourth act, we have two 
additional points to notice; first, the low cunning and Jesuitical 
trick with which she deludes her husband into words of forgive- 
ness, which he himself does not understand j and secondly, that 
everywhere she ia made the olgecb of interest and sympathy, and 
it is not the author's fault if at any moment she excites feelings 
less gentle than those we are accuetomed to associate with the 
self-aecnsationa of a sincere, religious penitent. And did a British 
aodience endure all this P — They received it with plaudits, which, 
but for the rivalry of the carts and hackney coaches, might have 
disturbed the evening prayers of the scanty week-day congrega- 
tion at St. Paul's OathedTsl : 

Of the fifth act, the only thing noticeable (for rant and nonseuso, 
though abundant as ever, have long before the last act become 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

293 BiogrwpJua JJterana. 

things ot coorae) is the prc^ane Tepreaentatiou of the high altar 
m a chapel, with all the TesBels and other preparafioiiB for the 
bolj Bocrameat. A hjnm ia aijtnallf eong on the stage \!j Uw 
chorister boja ! For t^e rest, Imogine, who now and then talks 
delirious! J, but who is alwaja light-headed aa far u her gomt and 
hair can make her so, wanders about in dark woods with caTem- 
rocks and precipices in the back scene; and a number of mute 
dramattM pemnue more in and out coutmoally, for whose presaice 
there is alwaja at least 'Uiis reason, that they afford something to 
oe seen b; that ver; large paxt of a Dmrj Lane audience who 
have small chance ot hearing a wuid. She had, it appears, taken 
her child with her, but what becomns of the child, whether she 
murdered it or not, nobody can tell, nobodj can learn; it was a 
liddle at the representation, and after a most attentive pemsal of 
the plaj, a riddle it remains : 

A Dd I wonld tell U all Id yiHi ; 
Tben'i Done tlut tm knsw." 

Our whole information * is derived from the following woi'da i 


Cumi- (jtiifilingtiiOKcatemfmoiiMchackiitMlreil): 
Ob, he Ilea »ld wHUd hii ami Kmb 1 
Wbf doM Uuu urge ber wllh Uh borrU thong; 

Puok (wlui inO not. the nadir >ui|rritWTTic 6a dir^fotnled ifliii dew ef taUlnt'i 
1% was ut miika (^wry wake) ou living chord o' th' heart. 
And I will trj, iba' m; irwa IhhUu at IL 
When la thy child P 

Tbe fiinsl-DeiHl halh sulcbed hlpi~ 

Ht(,v*Bt UKjbiulorHccAilIdr]itdeaUHiilght-manthni'thewtiardwoo^" 

Now these two lines consiirt in a senseless plagiarism from the 
CDunterfeited maduesB of Ddgar in Iiear, who, in imitation of the 
gipsj incantations, puns on the old word mair, a Lag ; and the no 
liiss seneeleBS adoption of Brfden's forest-fiend, and tlie wizard- 
stream bj which Uilton, in his Ljcidas, so finely characterises the 
spreading Seva,/aiu£»iuanmi8. Observe, too, these images stand 
unique in the speeches of Imogine, without the slightest resem- 
blance to any thing she says before or after. But we are weaiy. 
The characters in this act frisk about, here, there, and everywhere, 
as teaaingly as tie Jack oXantem lights which mieohievons boys. 

• ThU chilli laaolmpottint peramuge, for Hit fOr Hi Unmlr a^* 
luir rul th« an tnnW ts 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Oim^Mst<m. 293 

from Across & narrov street, throw with a looking-glass on the 
faces o{ their opporite neighbonrs. Bertram disarmed, oat~ 
li«rodii)g Charles de lUCoor ia the Bobbers, befacee the coUected 
knights of St. Anaehn (aJl in complete annonrj, and so, by pnre 
dint of black looks, he outdares them into passive poltroons. The 
Budden revolntion in the Prior's manners we have before noticed, 
amd it is indeed so oatre, that a niunber of the audience imagined 
a great secret was to come out, viz. that the Prior was one of the 
manj instances of a jonthfnl sinner metamoiphosed into an old 
scold, and that this Bertram wonld appear at last to be his son. 
Imog^iie reappears at the convent, and dies of her own accord. 
Bertram stabe himself, and dies bj her side, and that the plaj 
may conclude as it began, viz. in a superf etation of blasphemy 
npon nonsense, because he had snatched a sword from a des> 
picable <K>ward, who retreats in terror when it is pointed towards 
him in sport; iiasfelo de se.anA thief-captain, this loathsome and 
leproos confluence of robbery, adultery, murder, and cowardly 
assassination, this monster whose beet deed is, the having saved 
his betters from the degradation of hEmgiug him, by taming Jack 
Ketch to bimself, first recommends the charitable lUConks and 
holy Prior to pray for his soul, and then has the folly and impu- 
dence to exclaim : 



IT sometimes happens that we are punished for our faults by 
incidents, in the causation of which these faults had no share ; 
and this I hnye always felt the severest punishment. The wound 
indeed is of the same dimensions; but the edges are jagged, and 
there is a dull under-pain that survives the smart which it had 
a^ravated. For there ia always a consolatoiy feeling that 
accompanies the sense of a proportion between antecedents and 
oonaeqnents. The sense of Before and After becomes both intel- 
ligible and intellectnal when, and only when, we contemplate the 
■nocession in the relations of Cause and Effect, which like the 
two poles of the magnet manifest the being and unity of the one 
power by relative oppoaitca, and give, as it were, a substratum 
of permanence, of identic, and therefore of reality, to the shadowy 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

3H Biogn^tia iMerwia. 

flux of Time. It is Etemitj revealing itself in the phenomeua of 
Time : BJid the perception and ackuowledgmeab of the propor- 
Qonalitj and appropriateness of the Present to the Fast, prove to 
|he afflicted Soul, that it has not jet been deprived of the sight of 
God, that it can still recognise the effective presence of a lather, 
though throngh a darkened glass and a, turbid atmosphere, though 
of a Father that is chastising it. And for this cause, donbtleas, 
are we so framed in mind, and even so organized in brain and 
nerve, that all confoaion is painful. It is within the experience 
of many medical practitionera, that a patirait, vritb sti-ange and 
nnnsnal STmptoms of disease, has been more distressed in mind, 
more wretched, from the fact of bnng unintelligible to himself and 
otiiers, than from the pain or dai^ei' of the dises^ : naj, that 
the patient has received the most solid comfort, and reeunted a 
genial and enduring cheei'fulneas, from some new symptom or 
product, that had at once determined the name and nature of his 
complaint, and rendered it an intelligible effect of an intelligible 
cause : even though the AiBcorerj did at the same moment pre- 
clude all hope of restoiution. Hence the mjstic theologians, 
whose delusions we ma.j more coufidentlj hope to separate &om 
their actual intuitions, when we condescend to read their works 
without the presumption that whatever our fancy {always the ape, 
and too often the adulterator and counterfeit of our memory) ham 
not made or cannot mate a picture of, must be nonsense, — hence, 
I say, the Mystics have joined in representing the Bt«te of the 
reprobate spirits as a dr^dful dream in which there is no sense 
of reality, not even of the pangs they are enduring — an eternity 
without time, and as it were below it — God present without 
manifestation of His presence. But these are depths, which we 
dare not linger over. Let ns tnm to an instance more on a level 
with the ordinary sympathies of mankind. Here, then, and in 
this same healing influence of Iiight and distinct Beholding, we 
may detect the final cause of that instinct which in the great 
miy'ority of instances leads and almost compels the Afflicted to 
communicate their sorrows. Hence too flows the alleviation that 
results from "opening <iui our griefs:" which are thus presented 
in distinguishable forms instead of the mist, through which what- 
ever is shapeless becomes magnified and (literally) enormmu. 
Casimir, in the Fifth Ode of his Third Book, has happily • ex. 
pressed this thought. 

• CbfrioiIIjr taw, u (Br u oduIiU vtlb with which iLb paeby of tbe iDolBiti rt/l4eU 

Iba ■Uwnliliig fuiiy of tb* ludini, IhU tbt warU wUbont. Oidmjr iBanl&psl^h 

MUl (tiMiv (B r^i''* tba taw^ taator tlM nmct Mrikliv bulUM at tUt ctar^ 

AMigiUAu ItaU mm tha iMaiing «m« JaM^ WOtfOM. lUMii^ uatUMm 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

^toqtuflttu iatryma perdUur, 
I Ate/orMKBiu^ tlfWriwHiis 

dura vAU raUEtju nuuu. 
' T^ra tpnieU ferUt in aaribiu 
Ptr nVitaptmiuut toffori 

I ehall not make thia an excuse, however, for troubling mjreaden 
irith any complaints or explanatioiie, with which, as readerH, they 
Dave little or no concern. It may suffice (for the present at leaat) 
to declare that the causes that have delayed the pnblication of 
these volnmes for so long a period after they had been printed off, 
■weta not connected with any neglect of my own; and that they 
would form an instructive comment on the chapter concerning 
anthorehip as a trade, addressed to young men of genius in the 
firstvolnmeof this work. I remember the ludicrous effect produced 
an Toj mind by the first sentence of an autobiography, which 
happily for the writer was as meagre in incidents as it is well 
possible for the life of an individual to be—" The eventfid life which 
I am about to record, from the hour in which I rose into existence 
on this planet, &c." Yet when, notwithstanding this warning ex- 
ample of self-importance before me, I review my own life, I cannot 
letrain from applying the same epithet to it, and with more than 
ordinary emphasu — and no private feeling, that affected myself 
only, should prevent me from ^puhlieking the same (for write it I 
assuredly shall, should life and leisure be granted me) if con- 
tinued reflection should strengthen my present belief, that my 
history would add its contingent to the enforcement of one im- 
portant truth, viz. that we must not only love our neighbours as 
ouTBelrea, but ourselves likewise as our neighbonrB ; and that we 
can do neither unless we love God above both. 


Jf9( Siogrt^%ia Liiertma. 

riejAved or AtpnTtM t Wbo dlo. lAat beart 
AM gw ipunt to Ai grave^-if Ihtir/ritndf gi/tl' 

Strange as the delneion may ftppeor, jet it is most tnio that tliruc 
jeors t^o I did not knov or believe that I had an enemj in the 
world : and now even mj etrongeat sensations of gratitude are 
mingled with fear, and I reproach mTself for being too often die* 
posed to afik, — Have I one friend P — Curing the manj years 
which intervened between the composition and the publication 
of the Ohristabel, it became almost as well known among 
literary men as if it had been on common sale ; the same refer- 
ences were made to it, and the same liberdea taken with it, even 
to the very namee of the imaginary persona in the poem. From 
almost all of onr moat celebrated poete, and from some with 
whom I had no personal aoqnaintance, I either received or heard of 
eipreaaions of admiration that (I can truly say) appeared to myself 
utterly disproportionato to a work, that pretended to be nothing 
more than a common Faery Tale. Many, who had allowed no 
merit to my other poems, whether printed or manoacript, and 
who have &ankly told me as much, uniformly made an excep- 
tion in favour of the Ohristabel and the poem entitled I<ore. 
Tear after year, and in societies of the most different kinds, I had 
been entreated to recite it : and the result waa atdU the aame in 
all, and alti^ether different in tliis respect from the effect pro- 
duced by the ocoaaional recitation of any other poems I had com- 
posed. This before the publication. And since then, with very 
few eiceptiona, I have heard nothing bat abuse, and thia too in a 
spirit of bitterness at least as disproportionate to the pretensions 
of the poem, had it been ibe most pitiably below mediocrity, aa 
the previous eulogies, and far more inexplicable. In the " Edin- 
burgh Review," it was assailed with a malignity and a spirit cA 
personal hatred that ought to have injured only the work in 
which such a tirade was sufTered to appear : and this review was 
generally attributed (whether rightly or no I know not) to a man. 
who both in my presence and in my absence has repeatedly pro- 
nounced it the finest poem of it« kind in the language. Thia may 
aerve a^ a warning to authors, that in their calcuhitions on the 
probable reception of a poem they must subtract to a large 
amount from ^e panegyric, which may have encouraged them to 
publish it, however unsuspicious, and however various the sonrcea 
of this panegyric may have been. And, first, allowances must b« 
made for private enmity, of the very eristence of which they had 
perhaps entertained no ansplcion — for peraonal enmi^ behind ths 

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mask of Anonymous criticisin: secondlj, for the ueoeasity of a 
certain proportion of abiue and ridicule in a Review, in order lo 
make it saleable^ in conaequence of which, if they have no friends 
behind the ecenea, the chance mnBt needs be t^ainst them j but 
lastly and chiefly, for the excitement and temporary sympathy of 
feeling, which the recitation of the poem by an admiier, especially 
if he be at once a. warm admirer and a man of acknowledged 
celebrity, caUs forth in the audience. For this is really a species 
of ftTiimal magnetism, in which the enkindling reciter, by per- 
petual comment of looks and tonea, lends his own will and appre- 
hensive faculty to bis auditors. They live for the time within the 
dilated sphere of hia intellectoal being. It is eqnally possible, 
though not equally common, that a i-eader left to himeeU shoidd 
sink below the poem, aa that the poem left to itself should flag 
beneath the feelings of the reader. But in my own instance, I 
had tbe additional misfortune of having been gossiped about, as 
devoted to metaphysics, and woi'se than all to a system incom- 
parably nearer to the visionary flights of Plato, ajid even to the 
jargon of the Mystics, thnn to the estabUshed tenets of Loeke. 
Whatever therefore appeared with my name, was condemned 
beforehand as predestined metaphysics. In a dramatic poem, 
which had been submitted by me to a gentleman of great influ- 
ence in tbe theatrical world, occurred the following passage : — 

'OvsinqaBTDloiucmtiirat UlUslega 

Aje, here now (exclaimed the critic) — here comes Coleridge'a 
metaphyaiea ! And the very same motive (that is, not that the 
lines were unfit for the present state of our immense theatres, 
but that they were metaphysics •) was assigned elsewhere for the 
ng'ection of tbe two following passages. The first is spokes in 
answer to a usurper, who had rested lus plea on the circumstance, 
that he had been chosen by the acclamations of the people : — 

'WhUpeopUr Haw 
MnM not that nugic 

a A> Df aumla KfMi. Know tbrKtl; 

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be rocka flitler Ibee, ml the voUerlng ilr, 


fd, ehaot bick to thn, KIhe Emerlch t 


To dee 

pen hj ratralnl ; aod by prevtmlon 

«• will to UDUi UKl guide the Qgod 

In Lie rasJeeUo chinnel. la mM'a tuk 


e tiM tatilot's glory 1 laiUelee. 

Km HleU^r Intel to buvoi Ihuto tlumielrw 


The second passage is in the 111611th of an old and eiperienood 
ooartier, betrayed hj the man in whom he had most trusted : 

el BflTDlIa, Bimple, IneiiKrieiiced. 

WbenceltBrnlebeUiU; ehs nu Imwcsit 

Tbe fledge-dore koowt th« piswlen or the il 
FSi'd Hon le acen, and autlcra beck to ibeb 
And the jmmg Bt«al recoils upon bit baundi 
Tbe nBrer-yel-Men eddor'e bin firat lieotd 1 

As therefore mj character as a writer could not easilj be more 
injured by an or^ act than it was already in consequence of the 
report, I published a work, a large portion of which waa profes- 
sedly metaphysical. A long delay occurred between its first 
annunciation and its appearance ; it was reviewed therefore by an* 
ticipation with a malignity ea avowedly and eiclosiTely personal 
as is, I believe, unprecedented even in the present contempt of all 
common tiiunanity that disgraces and endangvs tlie liberty of the 
press. After its appearance, the author of this lampoon was 
chosen to review it in the " Edinburgh Beview :" and under the 
single condition, that he should have written what he him- 
self really thought, and have criticized the work as he woold 
have done had its author been iudifTerent to him, I should have 
chosen that man myself, both from the vigour and the originality 
of his mind, and from his particular acuteness in speonltttiTC 
reasoning, before all others. I remembered CatuUus's linea : 

" Dairv de qiu/quam ffuictfuan iKPe vdU merrrij 
Atd aliqarm firritauepulan pCum. 
Omnia tunt iagrata : nihil Ji^uc benifftu at . 

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GMcAwtoM. 298 

But I can tnilj aaj, that the giief with -which I read this 
rhqwod^ of predetermined insult had the rhapsodiet himaelf foi 
its whole and sole olg'ect: and that the indignant contempt whicb 
it excited in me, waa aa exclnsiTelj confined to hia employer and 
enbomer. I refer to this review at present, in consequence of 
information having been given me that the Inimendo of mj 
" potential infidelity," grounded on one passage (d mj first La; 
Sermon, haa been received and propagated with a degree of cre- 
dence, of which I can safely acquit the originator of the calnmnj, 
I give the sentences aa thej stand in the sermon, premising only 
that I was epeaking exdusivelj of miracles worked for the out- 
ward senses of men. " It was only to overthtow the usurpation 
exercised in and through the senses, that the senses were miracu- 
lously appealed to. Beaboh and Belioiok abe tueib owk 
BviDBNCB. The natural sun is in this respect » symbol of the 
spiritual. Sre he is fully arisen, and while his glories are still 
under veil, he calls up the breeze to chase away the usurping 
vapours of the night-season, and thus converts the air itself into 
the minister of its own purification : not surely in proof or eluci- 
dation of the light from heaven, but to prevent its interception. 

" Wherever, therefore, similar circumstances co-exiat with thft 
same moral canses, the principles revealed, and the examples 
recorded, in the inspired writLugs render miracles superfluous; 
and if we u^lect to apply truths in expectation of wonders, or 
under pretext of the cessation of the latter, we tempt God, amd 
mmt the same reply which our Lord gave to the Pharisees on a 
like oocacdon." 

In the sermon, and the notes both the historical truth and the 
necessity of the miracles are strongly and frequently asserted. 
" The testimony of boolts of history (i.e., relatively to the signs 
and wonders, with which Christ came) is one of tbe strong and 
stately piUar* of the church; but it is not the foundation!" 
Instead, therefore, of defending myself, which I could easily 
effect by a series of passages, expressing the same opinion, from 
the FaQiers and the most eminent Protestant divines, from the 
Reformation to the Bevolution, I shall merely state what my 
belief is concerning the true evidences of Chnstianity. 1. Its 
consistency with right reason, I consider as the outer comt of 
the temple — the common area within which it stands. 2. The 
miracles, with and through which the religion was first revealed 
■nd attrated, I regard as the steps, the vestibule, and the portal 
of the temple. 3. The sense, the inward feeling, in the sonl of 
«ach beli«Ter of ita exceeding dedrablenew—Oia experience, that 

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800 Biogrc^hia lAteraria. 

he netdm Mmiething, joined with tlie strong foratokening that the 
redemption and the graces propounded to oa in Christ are mliA 
he needs — this I hold to !>« the trae foundation of the spiritual 
edifice. With the strong d priori probabilitj that flows in from 
1 and 3 on the correspondent historical evidence of 2, no man can 
refuse or neglect to make the experiment without guilt. But, 4, 
it is the experience derived from a practical conformit; to the 
conditions of the Gospel — it is the opening eje; the dawning 
light; the terrors and the promiaes of spiritual growth; the 
blessedness of loving God as Qod, the nascent sense of sin hated 
as sin, and of the incapabilitj of attaining to either without 
Christ ; it is the sorrow that still rises ap from beneath and the 
consolation that meets it from above ; the bosom treacheries of the 
principal in the warfare and the exceeding faithfnlneas and long- 
suffering of the oninterested allj ; — in a word, it is the actual 
Iriai of the faith in Christ, with its accompaniments and results, 
that must form the arched roof, and the faith itself is the coni- 
pleting keystone. In order to an efficient belief in Christianity, a 
man must have been a Christian, and this is the seeming ar^- 
metdvmi in drculo incident to all spiritual truths, to every sub- 
ject not presentable undec the forms of time and space, as lonf; aa 
we attempt to master by the reflex acts of the understanding 
-what we can only kaow by the act of becoming, " Do the will of 
My Father, and ye shall know whether I am of God."* These 
four evidences I believe to have been and still to be, for tha 
world, for the whole church, all necessary, all equally necessary ; 
but that at present, and for the nl^ority of Christians bom in 
Christian countries, I believe the third and the fourth evidence* 
to be the most operative, not aa superseding, but a« involving 
a glad undonbting faith in the two former. CredaM, ideo^ue 
tnfeUeati, appears to me the dictate equally of philosophy and 
religion, even as I believe redemption to be the antecedent of 
aanctification, and not its consequent. All spiritual predicates 
may be construed indifferently as modes of action or as states (if 
being. Thus holiness and blessedness are the same idea, now 
seen in relation to act and now to existence. The ready belief 
which has been yielded to the slander of my " potential infidelity," 
I attribute in part to the openness with which I have avowed my 
doubts, whether the heavy interdict under which the name of 
Benedict de Spinoza lies is merited on the whole or to the wholu 
extent. Be this as it may, I wish, however, that I could find in 
the books of philosophy, theoretical or moral, which at« alone 

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Oondanxm. 801 

noommended to tlie present etadents of theology in uor eeta< 
'.^lialied schools, a few passages as tlioroaghlj Fauline, as com- 
^letelj accordant with the doctriuea of the eetabliahed Cbiirch, 
as the following sentences in the concluding p^e of Spinoza's 
Ethics : — D^mde qui mens hoe omore divino aeu, beatitvMae magit 
gavdet, eo phu inieHiffii, e6 ma^ore-n in affedut luAel potenHam, et 
eiiminag abaffect3nu,quimali gimt,paiitnr: atqae ade6 ex eo, qaSd 
niens Jwc amore divmo «eu beaHtadiTte gaudet, polettaiem HoM 
lUiidinet coercendi, nemo beaiitvdiite gmidet gvAa a^ectua coercuit ; 
led contra poteetat UbiMnea coereemM ex iptd beaiUvdme oritur. 

With r^ard to the UnitariaiiB, it has been Hhamelesslj' asserted 
that I have denied them to be Christians. God forbid ! For hov, 
shonld I know what the piety of the heart may be, or what ^pwn. 
turn of error in the understanding may consist with a saving f EutL 
in the intentiona ajid actual dispoaitioiiB of the whole moral being 
in any one indiridoal F Never will God rf^ect a sonl that sin- 
cerely loTes Him, be his speculative opinions what they may: 
and whether in any given instance certain opinions, be they 
unbelief or misbelieE, are compatible with a sincere lore of God, 
God only cmi know. But this I have said, and shall continue to 
Bay : that if the doctrines, the sum of which I believe to constituto 
the truth in Ohrist, be Christianity, then UnitarianiMn is not, and 
vice versa .■ and that in Bpeaking theologically and impersonaUy, 
i^., of FsUanthropiam and Theanthropism as schemes of belief, 
without reference to individuals who profess either the one or 
tiie other, it wiU be absurd to use a different language aa long 
SB it is the dictate of common sense that two opposites cannot 
property be called by the same name. I should feel no offence if 
a Unitarian applied the same to me, any more than if he were to 
eaj that two and two being four, four and four must be eight : 

iJiyoftlfW.... _ __ 

This has been my object, and this alone can be my defence — 
and ! that with this my personal as well as my litebart life 
might conclude ! the unquenched desire I mean, not without the 
consciousness of having earnestly endeavoured to kindle young 
minds, and to guard them ^^ainst the temptations of scomers, by 
showing that the scheme of Christianity, as taught in the liturgy 

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303 BiogmpUa l^lmwia. 

•ud luHuilus ot oor Ohnrcli, thongh not diBcoveraUe by haman 
leBBon, iB yet in accordance with it; that link follows link l:^ 
necesBaiy coneeqnence; that religion passes oat of tha ken oC 
reason only where the eye of reason baa reached its own horizon ; 
and that Faith is then but it« continnation : eren as the daj 
softens away into the sweet twilight, and twilight, hushed and 
breathless, steals into the dsrknees. It is night, sacred night ! 
the upraised eye views only the starry heaven which manifests 
-tseW alone : and the outward beholding is fixed on the -Bparka 
twinkling in the awfnl depth, thot^h sons of other worlds, 
only to preserve the sonl steady and collected in its pnre act cd 
inward adoration to the great I AM, and to the filial Wobd 
tbat re-aJBrmeth it from Eternity to Eternity, whose i^ral echo 
is the univcTBc. 


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SI Ian pennon, 






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PSALM LXXTIU. t. 5. 6. 7. 

•HHuldeclHB lliemtoUKlrdilUnii: I. Thit Iber mjgbl set tbdr hope In Oed, and nl 

IF OUT whole knowledge and inf onnatioii ooncerniog Uie Bible liad 
been confined to the one fact of its immediate denTation from 
God, we Bhonld etUl presume that it contained ralee and aesis- 
timcee for ^1 conditions of men under £dl circunuitancGfl ; and thei^' 
fore for commonities no lesa than for individaals. The cantents 
of ererj work mnat correspond to the character and designs of the 
vork-mastcr ; and the inference In the present caee is too ohrioua 
to he overlooked, too plain to be resisted. It reqniree, indeed, all 
the might of saperstition to ctmceal from a man cJ common imder- 
Btanding the further truth, that the interment of snch a treasure 
in a dead langnage must needs be contrary to the intentions of the 
gracioua Donor. Apostaoy itself dared not question the premises, 
and that the practical consequence did not follow, is conceiTsble 
only under a complete Bjstem of delnmon, which from the cradle 
to the death-bed ceases not to orer-awe the will by obecore fears, 
while it pre-occupiea the senses by vivid imagery and ritual panto- 
mime. But to such a scheme all forms of sophistry are native. 
The very excellence of the Giver has been made areason for with- 
holding the gift; nay, the transcendent valne of the gift itaelf 
assigned aa the motive of its detention. We may he shooked at 
the presumption, but need not be snrprised at the fact, that a 
jealous priesthood should have ventured to represent the a{>plica' 
bility of the Bible to all the wants and occasions of men aa a wax- 
like pliability to all their fancies and prepossessions. Faithful 
guardians of Holy Writ 1 they are constrained to make it useless 
in order to gnard it from profanation ; and those whom they have 
most defrauded are the readiest to justify the frand. For impos- 
turei organized into a ctmiprchensive and self-consistent whoIe> 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

808 A Lay Seman. 

forma a world of its own, in which iaveraion becomea tlie order c^ 


Let it not be foi^tten, however (and I recommend the fact to 
Iho especial attention of those among ourselves who are disposed to 
Test contented with on implicit faith and paasiTe acquiescence), that 
the church of suporstitiou nerer ceased to avow the prof oondest 
Tererence for the Scriptures themselves, and what it forbids its 
Tassals to ascertain, it not only permits, but commands them to 
take for granted. 

Whether, and to what extent, this suspension of the rational 
fnnoticms, this epiritnal slnmber, will be impnted as a sin to the 
Bonla who are etUl under chains of papal darkness, we are neither 
enatded or authorized to detennine. It is enough for us to know 
that the land in which we abide has like another Goshen been 
severed &om the plagne, and that we have light in oar dwellings. 
The ipad of salvation for us is a, high road, and the waj-farerg, 
though " simple, need not err therein." The 01«apel lies open in 
the market-place, and on every window seat, so that (virtuaUj at 
least) the deaf may hear the words of the Book ! It is preached 
at every turning, BO that the blind may see them. (Isai. inrir, 
18.) The circumstancee then being so different, if the result should 
prove similar, we may be quite certain that we shall not be held 
guiltless. The ignorance, which may be the excuse of others, will 
be our crime. Our birth and denizenship in an enlightened and 
protestant land will, with all our rights and franchisee to boot, be 
brought In judgment against us, and stand first in the fearful list 
of blessings abused. The glories of our country wiU form the 
blazonry of our own impeachment, and the very name of Englieh- 
men, which we are almost all of us too proud of, and scarcely any 
of us enough thankful for, will be annexed to that of Christians 
only to light np our shante, and aggravate our condemnation. 

I repeat, therefore, that the habitual nnrefleotii^iiess, which 
in certain countries may be susceptible of more or less pallia- 
tion in most instances, can in this country be deemed blamelesa 
in none. The humblest and least educated of our countiyinen 
must have wilfully neglected the inestimable privileges, secured to 
all alike, if he has not himself found, if he has not from his own 
personal experience discovered, the sufficiency of the Scriptures 
in all knowledge requisite for a right performance of his duty 
u a man and a. Christian (see Appendix A.). Of the labouring 
9, who in all countries form the great majority of the in- 
nts, more than this is not demanded, more than tliis is not 
perhaps generally desirable—" They are not song^ for in public 

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The Sateimm'a MmvaL 809 

GomiBei, nor need they be foiiud where politic saitencei arn 
■poken. It is enougti if eveiy one is mae in the working ol 
lua own craft : so beat will they maintain the state of the world." 

Bnt yon, my friends, to whom the following pages are more 
particolarly addressed, as to men muTing in the higher olaaa of 
society : — ^Tou will, I hope, have availed yonrselTeB of the ampler 
meauB entrusted to yon by God's proridenoe, to a more exteariTe 
study and a wider use of His revealed wiU and word. From yon 
welmve aright to expeotasoberandmeditatiTeaccommodation to 
yonr own times and country of those important troths declared in 
the inspired writings "for a thonsand generations," and of the 
awful examples, belonging to all ^cs, by which those truths ar4 
at once illustrated and confirmed. Wonld you feel conscious that 
yon had shown yourselves unequal to your station in society-^ 
would you stand degraded in your own eyes, if you betrayed an 
utter want of information respecting the acts of homan sovereign* 
and legislators P And should yon not much rather be both 
ashamed and afraid to know yourselves inconversant with the 
acts and oonsCitutionB of Qod, whose law executeth itself, and 
whose Word is the foundation, the power, and the life of the uni- 
verse? Do you hold it a requisite of yourrank to show yourselves 
inquisitive concerning the expectations and plans of statesmen and 
state-councillors F Do you excuse it aa natural curiosity, that 
you lend a listening ear to the guesses of state gazers, to the dark 
hint« and open revilings of our self-inspired state fortune-tellers, 
" the wizards that peep and mutter" and forecast, alarmists by 
trade, and malcontents for their bread? And should you not 
feel a deeper interest in predictions which are permanent prophe- 
cies, because they are at the same time eternal truths P Predic- 
tiona which in containing the grounds c^ fulfilment involve the 
principles of foresight, and teach the science of the fnture in its 
perpetual elements P 

But I will struggle to believe that of those whom I now suppose 
myadf addressing, there are few who have not so employed their 
greater Insure and superior advantages as to render these remarks, 
if not wholly superfluous, yet personally inapplicable. In common 
with your worldly inferiors, you will indeed have directed your 
main attenticm to the promises and the information convE^ed in 
the records of the Evangelists and Apostles^ promises, that need 
only a lively trust in them, on our own part, to be the means aa 
well as the pledges of our eternal welfare ! information that opens 
oat to our knowledge a kingdom that is not of this world, thrones 
tli^tcttuut be shaken, and sceptres that oan neither be broken noi 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

810 A Lojf Senium. 

tniDHtemA ! Yet not the leas on thia account will joa have looked 
back irith a proportianatB interest oa the t^nipca^ de^inieB <i 
men and nations, etored up for oar instraotion in the archives of 
the Old Testament : not the lees will jon delight to retrace the 
paths by which Proridenoe has led the kingdoms of thia worid 
through the valley of mortal life — paths engraved with the foot- 
marks of captains sent forth from the God of armies ! Nations in 
whose goidance or chaatieemaiit the arm of Omnipotence itself 
was made bare. 

Becent occnrrenoes have given additional strength and fresh 
force to our sage poet's eulogy on the Jewish prophets ; 

■■ Ab lutii dirludf taught Hid bett« iMcblng 
Ilia nUd nUcfl of dvH eoranraeDt 
Id tbdr P uJ crti o DiuilteUd i^la, 
Tbu 111 Uie omtcnr of Oreeog uiil Kome. 
Id thoD !■ pkiocat taniht and Hflkab Innit 
Whit Dukn 1 niUDa lupPT uil kupa It », 

If there bo any antidote to that restless craving for the wondera 
of the day, which in coojniiction with the ajipeUte for publicity is 
spreading like an effloreeoence on the aiuface of our national 
character ; if there exist means for derivii^ resignation from gene- 
ral discontent, means of building up with the very materials of 
political gloom that stedfast frame of hope which affords the on^ 
certain shelter from the throng of self- realizing alorma, at the 
same time that it is the natoral home and workshop of all the active 
virtues ; that antidote and these means must be sought for in the 
collation of the present with the past, in the habit of thooghtfully 
asBinulating the events of our own a^e to those of the time before 
us. If thia be a moral advantage derivable from history in gene- 
ral, rendering its study therefore a moral duty for such as poaaeaa 
the opportnnitieB of books, leiaure and education, it would be incon- 
sistent even with the name of beHev^a not to recur with pre-emi- 
nent interest to events and revolutions, the records of which are 
as much distinguished from all other history by their especial 
claims to divine authority, as the facte themselves wem from all 
other facta by especial manifestation of divine interference. 
" Whataoever things," saith St. Paul {Romans xv. 4) " were writ* 
ten aforetime, were written for our learning ; that we throng 
patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." 

In the infancy of the world, signs and wonders were requisita 
in order to startle and break down that superstition, id<datroiu ia 
itself and the source of all other idolatry, which tempts the natii' 

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Tie £B<ite$man'» Mamial. 311 

nl nun to bq^ the tme cause and origin, of iraUic calamities in 
outward circamstaiices, pereona and incidents : in agents, theiv- 
fore, that were themselTes but surges of the some tide, pasBiT« 
conductors of the one iuTiBible influence, nnder which the total 
host of billowB, in the whole line of snoceasiTe impnlse, awcdl and 
roll Bhoreward ; there finallj, each in its turn, to fitrike, roar, and 
be diBsijHiited. 

But with each miracle worked there was a trath revealed, which 
thenceforward was to act as its substitute: and if we think the 
Bible less applicable to ub on account of the miracles, we degrade 
ourselTes into mere slaves of sense and fancj, which are indeed 
the appointed medium between eai-th and heaven, but for that 
very cause stand in a desirable relation to spiritual truth then 
ojHj, when, as a mere and passive medium, the; yield a free pas- 
sage to its light. It was onlj to overthrow the usui-pation exercised 
in and throagh the senses, that the seuses were miracnlousl; 
appealed to. Reason and religion (Appendii B.) arc tbeir own 
evidence. The natural Sun is in this respect a sjmbol of the 
spiritual. Ere he is follj arisen, and while his glories are still 
under veil, he calls up the freeze to chase away the UBnrping 
Tapoors of the night season, and thus converts the air itself into 
the minister of its own purification: not surely in proof or eluci- 
dation of the light from heaven, but to prevent its interception. 

Wherever, therefore, similar circumstances co-exist vrith the 
same moral causes, the principles rerealed, and the examples re- 
corded, in the inspired writings render miraoles superfluous ; and 
if we neglect to apply truths in expectation of wonders, or nnder 
pretext of the cessation of the latter, we tempt God and merit the 
same reply which our Lord gave to the Pharisees on a like occa- 
sion. "A wicked and aa adulterous generation seeketh after a 
sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the 
prophet Jonas :" that is, a threatening call to repentance. (Appen- 
dix C.) Equally applicable and prophetic will the following verses 
be : " The men of Kineveh shall rise in judgment with this gene- 
ration and ^all condemn it, because they repented at the preach- 
ing of Jonas, and behold, a greater than Jonas ie here. The 
queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this gene- 
ration, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost 
parts of the earth to bear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a 
greater than Solomon is here." For have we not divine assur- 
ince that Christ ia with His ohurth, even to the end of the world ? 
And what oould the queen of the south, or the men, of Nineveh 
haTB beheld, that could enter into competiti<m with tlie eventn of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

813 A La«/ Serwkm, 

onr omi time*, in importance, in aplendour, or oven in atraDg;e- 

ucHB and aignificnncj ? 

The tme origin of Imman events is bo little Bosceptible of that 
kind of evidence which can compel cmr belief ; bo many are the 
dtBturbing forces which in every cyde or ellipse of changes modify 
the motion given by the first projection; and erery age has, or 
imaginee it has, its own circumBtanoes which render past experi< 
ence no longer applicable to the present case; that there will 
never be wanting answers, and explanations, and speciona flatteries 
of hope to perauiuJe a p<jople and ite government that the history 
of the paet is inapplicable to their case. And no wonder, if we 
i-ead history for the facts instead of reading it for the sake of the 
general principles, which are to the facts as the root and sap of a, 
tree to its leaves : and no wonder, if history so read should find a 
dangerous rival in novels, nay, if the latter should be preferred to 
the former on the score even of probability, I well remember, 
that when the examples of former Jacobins, as Jnlius Cssar, 
Cromwell, and the like, were adduced in France and England at 
the commencement of the French ConHulate, it was ridiculed as 
pedantry and pedant's ignorance to fear a repetition of usurpation 
and military despotism at the close of the enlightened eighteenth 
century ! Even so, in the very dawn of the late tempestuous day, 
when the revolutions of Corcyra, the proscriptions of the Ee- 
formers, Marius, Ctesax, &«., and the direful efFecta of the level- 
ling tenets in the Peasants' War in Germany (differenced from 
the tenets of fJie first French constitution only by the mode of 
wording them, the figures of speech being borrowed in the one 
instance from theology, and in the other from modem meta- 
physics), were urged on the Ctmvention, ajid its vindicators ; the 
Magi of the day, the true citizens of the world, the plnsqvam- 
perfecti of patriotism, gave ns set proofs that similar results were 
impossible, and that it was an insult to so philosophical as age, 
tti BO enlightened a nation, to dare direct the public eye to\vard8 
them as to lights of warning ! A.lnal like lights in the stem of a 
vessel they illumined the path only that had been passed ovei- ! 

The x>olitic Florentine * haa observed, that there are brains of 
thi-ce races. The one understands of itself; the other nnder> 
stands as much as is shown it by others ; the third neither under- 
stands of itself, nor what is shown it by others. In our times 
there are moi'e perhaps who belong to the third class from vanity 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

The Saiesmtrn's Xanual. 318 

tmd ncqoired frirolitj of mind, than from natnral incapacitj. It 
is uo uncommon foible with those who are hononred witji the 
acquaintance of tbe great, to attrihate national erenta to parti- , 
colar perBons, particnkf measnrea, to the errors of one man, to 
the intrig^ues of another, to anj poasihlo spark of a particnlar 
occaaion, rather than to the true proximate cause (and which 
alone deserves the name of a cause), the predominant state of 
pnbUc opinion. And still less are they inclined to refer toe latter 
to the aacendancj of speculative principles, and the scheme or 
mode of thinking in vogne. I have known men, who with aigni- 
ficant nods and the pitying contempt of smiles, have denied all 
influence to the corruptions of moral and pohtical philoaophy, 
and with much solenmitj have proceeded to solve the riddle of 
the French Bevolntion hj anecdotes ! Yet it would not be diffi- 
cult, bj an nnbroken chain of historic facts, to demonstrate that 
the most important changes in the commercial relations of the 
world had their ori|^ in the closeta or lonely walks of uninter- 
ested theorists J — that the mighty epochs of commerce, that have 
changed the face of empires, nay, the most important of those 
discoTories and improvements in the mechanic arts, which have 
nomerically increased our population beyond what the wisest 
statesmen of Bbzaheth's reign deemed p->HHible, and i^ain doubled 
this population virtuaUy ; the most important, I say, of those 
inventions that in their results 

. hMtopboW 

Ws[ by ber two nmin aenta. Iron and gaU, 

had their oiigin not in the cabinets of statesmen, or in the 
praotical insight of men of bnaineae, but in the closets of uninter- 
ested theorists, in the visions of recluse genius. To the immense 
majority of men, even in civilized countries, speculative philo- 
sophy has ever been, and nraat ever remain, a terra incognita. 
Yet it is not the less true, that all the epoch-forming revolutions 
of the Christian world, the revolutions of rehgion and vrith them 
the cavil, social, and domestic habits of the nations concei'ned, 
IiavB coincided with the rise and fall of metaphysical aystcms. 
So few are the minds that really govern the machine of society, 
and BO incomparably more numerous and more important are the 
indirect consequences of things than their foreseen and direct 

It is with nations as witli individuals. In tranquil moods and 
peaceable times we ore quite practical. Facts only and cool com- 
mon sense are then in fashion. But let the winds of paesion 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

81i A Lag Sermon. 

■wdl, uid stra^htmy men b^pn to g^ieratize ; to coimect hf 
remotest aualogiee ; to express the most universal poattioiis d 
reason in the moat Jtlowing figures of fanc^ ; in short, to feel 
poruoular trntha and mere facts, as poor, cold, nairow, and in- 
commensurate with their feelings. 

The Apostle of the Oentiles quoted from a Greek comic poet 
Let it not then be condemned as nnaeasonable or out of phice. if 
I remind jou that in th^ intuitive knowledge of this truth, and 
with his wonted fidelity to nature, our own great poet has placed 
the greater nuihber of his profoundost maxims and general 
truths, both political and moral, not in the mouths of men at 
ease, but of men under the influence of passion, when the mighty 
thoughts over-maeter and become the tyrants of the mind that 
. has brought them forth. In his Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, 
principles of deepest insight and widest interest fly off like sparks 
from the glowing iron under the loud anvil. It seeniB a paradox 
only to the unthinking, and it is a fact that none but the nnread 
in history will deny, that in periods of popular tumult and inno- 
vation the more abstract a notion is, the more readily has it been 
found to combine, the closer has appeared its affinity, with ihe 
feelings of a people and with all their immediate impulses to 
action. At the commencement of the French Revolution, in the 
remotest villages ereiy tongue was employed in echoing and 
enforcing the almost geometrical abstractions of the physiocratii! 
politicians an^ economists. The public roads were crowded with 
armed enthusiaste disputing on the inalienable sovereignty of 
the people, the imprescriptible laws of the pure reason, and the 
universal constitution, which, as rising out of the nature and 
rights of man as man, all nations aUke were under the obligation 
of adopting. Turnover the fugitive writings, that are still eitant, 
of the age of Luther ; peruse the pamphlets and loose sheets that 
came out in flights during the reign of Charles tbc First and the 
Republic ; and you will find in these one continued comment on 
the aphorism of Lord Chancellor Bacon (a man assuredly anS* 
cientty acquainted with the extent of secret aud personal influ- 
ence), that the knowledge of the speculative piinciplea of men in 
geuwal between the age of twenty and thirty, is the one great 
source of political prophecy. And Sir Philip Sidney regarded the 
adoption of one set of principles in the Netherlands as a proof at 
the divine agency and the fountain of all the events and successes 
of that revolution. 

A calm and detailed examination of the facts justifies me to 
my own mind in hazarding tbe bold assertion, that the fearfnl 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

" The Stateman't Manaal SIB 

blandera of the late dread revolution, asd aU tho CAlajtutona 
mistakes of its opponente, from its commenoemeiit even to the 
era of loftier principles and wiaer meaanrea (an era tliat l>egan 
with, and ought to be named from, the war of the Spanish, and 
PoitiigTieae insw^ente), erery failure with all its gloomj resnlts, 
maj be nnamrwerablj deduced from the neglect ot some maxim 
or other that had bwn establialied by clear reasoning and plain 
facts in the writings of Thncydides, Tacitus, MachiaTel, Baoon, or 
Harrington. These are red-letter names even in the almanacs of 
worldly wisdonv ; and yet I dare ch^lenge all the critical benches 
uf infidelitjr to point out any one important truth, any one 
efficient, practical direction or warning, which did not pre-exist, 
and for the most part in a sounder, more intelligible, and more 
COmprehensiTe form, in the Bible. 

In addition to this, the Hebrew legislator, and the othar in* 
qiired poets, propheta, historians and moralists of the Jewish 
church have two immense advantages in their favour. First, 
their particular rules and prescripts flow directly and visibly 
from nniversal principles, as from a fountain: they flow from 
principles and ideas that are not so properly said to be confirmed 
by reason as to be reason itself. Principles, in act and proces- 
sion, di^oined from which, and from, the emotions that inevitably 
accompany the actual intuition of their truth, the widest marims 
of prudence are like arms without liearts, muscles without nerves, 
Secondly, from the very nature of these principles, as taught iu 
the Bible, they are understood in exact proportion as they are 
believed and felt. The regulator is never separated from the 
main spring. For the words of the apostle are literally and 
philosophically true : We (that is, the human race) live by faith. 
Whatever we do or know, that in kind is different from the brute 
creation, has its origin in a determination of the reason to have 
faith and trust in itself. This, its first act of faith is scarcely 
leas than identical with its own being. Impliciii, it is the copula 
— it contains the possibility— of every position, to which there 
exists any correspondence in reality. It is itself, therefore, the 
realizing principle, the spiritual substratum of the whole complex 
body of truths. This primal act of faith is enunciated in the 
woTd, God ; a faith not derived from experience, but its ground 
and Bonrce, and without which the fleeting chaos of facts would 
tut more form experience, than the dust of the grave can of itself 
make a living man. The imperative nnd oracular form of the 
inspired Scripture is the form of reason itself in .ill things purely 
ntional and moral. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

316 A Lag Sermon. 

If it be tlie word of Divine Wisdim, -ne might anticipate that 
it would in all things be distiiigmshod from other books, ae tho 
Supreme Beason, nhose knowledge is creative, and antecedent to 
the things known, is dietiuguiBhed from the underatandin^, (-r 
- creatnrel; mind of the individual, the acts of which are pos- 
terior to the things it records ajid arranges. UJm alone vas 
created in the image of God ; a podtioa groundless and ineiph- 
cable, if the reason in man do not differ from the understand- 
ing. Tor this the inferior mijnmiif (manj at least) possess in 
degree : and assuredly the divine image or idea is not a thing of 

Hence it follows that what is expressed in the inspired writings, 
is implied in all absolute science. The latter whispers what ^e 
former ntf«r as with the voice of a tmnipet. As sure as God 
liveth, is the pledge amd assurance of every positive tmth, that is 
asserted hj the reason. The hnmao understanding musing fsa 
manj things, snatches at tmth, bnt is frastrated and disheartened 
by the flactnating nature of its objects ;* its conclnsions there- 
fore are timid and imeertain, and it hath no way of giving per- 
manence to things but by reducing them to abstractions : hardly 
{saith the author of the " Wisdom of Solomon," of whose words 
the preceding sentence is a paraphrase), hardly do we gaess 
aright at things that are Upon earth, and with labour do we find 
the things that are before us ; but all certain knowledge is in the 
power of God, and a presence from above. So only have the ways 
of men been reformed, and evei7 doctrine that contains a saving 
truth, and all acts pleasing to God (in other words, all actions 
consonant with human natore, in its original intention], are 
through wisdom : that is the rational spirit of man. 

This, then, is the prerogative of the Bible; this is the privilege 
of its believing students. With them the principle of knowledge 
is likewise a spring and principle of action. And as it is the only 
certain knowledge, so are the actions that flow fnom it the only 
ones on which a secure reliance can be placed. The understand* 
ing may suggest motives, may avail itself of motives, and make 
judicious conjoctures respecting the probable consequences of 
actions. But the knowledge taught in the Scriptures produce! 
the motives, involves the consequences ; and its highest formula 
is still : As Hui'e as God liveth, so will it be unto thee ! Strange 

■^ KoS'WfiiKkuTiir oijn 6iiw%i irinriat lui anuri Mir oif tk i^ ilni nwai'ni >t 

llf ir^mv^ai tari iitv oAAi nfvnin itoi ym^imiir otrflt Tip (.ijMmm AtP"' Ctl" 

liX*"^' fToBoABc trn'(n;(T. Jia! BiAup <rvp- WTiio#ot riiv Wiwoiv.— PLUTABeil, BM. 

•yniltaMatiiiiiUsiMrtiSiimfiiiriM^' Suk.a^iML K4.1z.jl13*. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

t^e Stalemmn'a Manidl. S17 

u this position will appear to aach as forget that motiveB caji be 
canees only in a> secoudai; and improper sense, inasmuch as the 
man makes the mofciTe, not th.e motive the loan ; and tliat the 
■ame thonght shall be a motive to one "ihti and no motive to his 
neighbour; (a sufficient proof that the motives themselves are 
effects, the principle of which, good or evil, lies far deeper) — 
matter for ecom and insult though this position will furnish to 
those, who think (or try to think) ererj man oat of hia senses 
who has not lost his reason (or alienated it bj wilful sophistry, 
demanding reasons for reason itself), yet aH history bears evidence. 
to ita trath. The sense of expedimc^, the cautious balancing of 
comparative advant^^, the constant wakefulness to the cui borto 7 
— in connection with the ^id mAhi 1 — all these arc in their places 
in the routine of conduct, by which the individual provides for 
himself the real or supposed wants of to-day and to-morrow ; and 
in quiet times and prosperous circumstances a nation presentx 
an aggregate of such individnals, a busy ant-hill in calm and 
snnahine. By the happy oi^anization of a well-governed society, 
the contradictory intereste of ten millions of such individuals 
may neutralize each other, and be reconciled in the unity of the 
national interest. Bat whence did this happy organization firsb 
come P — Was it a tree transplanted from Paradise, with all its 
branches in full fruit*^ P — Or was it sowed in ennshine P — Was 
it in vernal breezes and gentle rains that it fixed its roots, and 
grew and strengthened P Let history anawer these questions ! 
With blood was it planted— it was rocked in tempests — the goat, 
the ass, and the st^ gnawed it— the wild boar has whetted his 
tusks on its bark. The deep scars are atill extant on its trunk, 
and the path of the lightning may be traced among its higher 
branches. And even after ita fuU growth, in the season of its 
strength, "when its height reached to the heaven, and the sighL 
thereof to all the earth," the whirlwind has more than once forced 
ita stately top to touch the ground ; it has been bent like a bow. 
and sprai^ back like a shaft. Mightier powers were at work 
than expedi^ioy ever yet called up ! — yea, mightier than the mere 
understanding can comprehend ! One confirmation of the latter 
aasertion you may find in the history of onr country, written by 
the same Scotch philosopher, who devoted his life to the under- 
mining of the Christian religion ; and expended his last breath 
in a blaaphemoDB regret that he had not survived it ! — by the 
Fame heartleas sophist who, in this island, waa the main pioneer 
of that atheistic philosophy, which in France transvenomed tlie 
vatural thirst of truth into the hydrophobia fA a wild and 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

818 A Lag Senum. 

uomdeaB Bcaptioism ; Uie Elias of that Spirit o£ Antiobristi 

FmAxa.iUM toe waxati to bf tree, 
Folsoog lUS'i HBMet mi cbeaU tbe BOnt 
OrtiUta, (od ViM tufH ud lU that llRa 
ADdiU thitmttwtbe^Mtl 

Tliis inadequacy of the mere trnderetandrng to the appreliensioil 
of moral greatness wtTmay Q^^e'm Ihis '^morian's cool sjstem- 
atio attempt to steal awaj ereiy feeling of rerereace for eveiy 
great name by a scheme of motiTea, in, which as often as posBible 
the efforts and enterpriaes of heroic spirits are attributed to thu 
or tJiat paltry view of the most despicablo aelfishnese. But in the 
m^ority of instances this would bare been too palpably false and 
slanderous; aadthereforethofoundera and martyrs of our cboreh 
and constitution, of our civil and religious liberty, are represented 
as fanatics and bewildered entbuaiasts. But histories incom- 
parably more authentic than Mr. Hume's (nay, spite of himself 
even hia dwn history), confirm by irrefragable evidence the aphor- 
ism of ancient wisdom, that uotbjng great was ever achieved 
without enthusiasm. For what is en thuaia gm but tbe oblivion 
^ and swaUowing-np of self in an object deajer'than self, or in an 
idea more vivid? — How th^i ia produced in the enthusiasm of 
wickedness, I hare explained in tbe third comment annexed to 
thia diacourae. But in the genuine enthosiasin of morala, reli- 
gion, and patrtotism, this enlai^ment and elevation of the sonl 
above its mere self attest the presence, and accompany the intui- 
tion of ultimate principles alone. These alone can interest the 
imd^raded human spirit deeply and enduringly, because these 
alone belong to its essence, and will remain with it permanently. 
\ Notions, tbe deptbleas abstractions of fleeting phenomena, the 
I shadows of sailing vapours, the colourless repetitions of rainbows, 
have effected their utmoat when they have added to the distinct- 
' nesa of our knowledge. For this veiy cause they are of them- 
; selves adrerae to lofty emotion, and it requires tbe influence of a 
light and warmth, not their own, to mate them ciTstallize into a 
aemblance of growth. Bnt every principle is aetualized by an 
' idea; and every idea is living, productive, partakeUi of infinity, 
and (aa Bacon has sublimely observed) containeth an endless 
I power of semination. Hence it ie, that science, which consiatB 
' wholly in ideas and principles, is power. BetenUa et pataMa 
(soith the same philosopher) in idem ooinoidiait. Hence too it is, 
that notions, linked arguments, reference to particular facta and 
calculations of prudence, influence raily 'Uie oomparatiTely few, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

2%e Statemum's Xanaal. 819 

He men of laisurdy minds who have been trained up to them : 
Bud even those few thef iuflaeuce bat faintlj. But for the re- 
verae, I appeal to the general character of the doctrines which 
have collected the moat numerous sects, and a.cted upon the moral 
being of tbe converts, with a force that might well aeem super> 
natural I The great priuciplee of our religion, the sublime ideas I 
Bpoten oat everywhere in the Old and New Testament, resemble I 
the fixed stara, which appear of the same size to the nalced aa to \ 
the armed eye ; tbe magnitnde of which the telescope may rather j 
seem to diminish than to increase. At the annunciation of prin- 
ciples, of ideas, the soul of man awakes, and starts up, a^ an exile 
in a far distant laud at the unexpected sounds of his native lan- 
l^n^e, when after long years of absence, and almost of obUviou, 
he is suddenly addressed in his own mother-tongue. He we^a 
for joy, and embraces the speater as his brother. How else can 
we explain the fact so honourable to Great Britain, and the 
poorest * amongst us will contend with aa much enthusiasm as the 
richest for the rights of property ? These rights are the spheres 
and necessary conditions of free agency. Bat free agency con- 
tains the idea of the free wiO; and in this he intuitively knows 
the sublimity, and the infinite hopes, fears, and capabilities of his 
}wn nature. On what other grotmd but tbe cognatenees of ideas 
and principles to man as man, does tbe nameless soldier rush to 
ihe combat in defence of the liberties or the honour of his country P 
Elven men wofully neglectful of the precepts of religion will shed 
their blood for its tmth. 

Alas ! — the main hindrance to the use of the Scriptm-es, as your 
manual, lies in the notion that you are already acquainted with 
its contents. Something new must be presented to you, wholly 
new and wholly out of yourselves ; for whatever is within us must 
be as old as the first dawn of human reason. Truths of all ethers 
tbe most awful and mysterious and at the same time of universal 
interest, are considered as bo true as to lose all tbe powers of 
truth, and lie bediidden in tbe dormitory of the soul, aide by side, 
with tbe most deapised and exploded errors. But it should not 
be so with you ! The pride of education, the aense of consistency, 
ahonld pi'eclade tbe objection : for would yon not be ashamed to 
apply it to the works of Tacitus, or of Shakespeare? Above all, 
the rank which you hold, the influence you possess, the powers 
you may he called to wield, give a special unfitness to this frivo- 

■ Tbe raider will mwmber Uw uiecdols nutter of sdmlnttlDii dud eterating tlmctat 

told wHb » much humour In OoldgmlUi'i (a drcumaunDea thM In a dlBcroit iiik4 

l-^ihaT. But tfalii la Dol Ibe tnt iiutaDce had eulled lu mirth. 
Wtan Uw mini In ItahDiir of medXitiiiD flmdi 

D 5 mod b, Google 

820 ALojfSermtM. 

Ions craving for navdtj. To find no contradiction in the nmoli 
of old and new, to contemplate the Ancient of Da^, His words 
and His works, with a feeling as freeh as if thej were novr*firM 
springing forth at His fiat — this characterizes the minds that 
feel the riddle of the world and ma; help to nnraTel it ! This, moat 
of all things, will raise you above the maas of mankind, and there- 
fore will beet entitle and qoahfy you to guide and control them! 
You say, you are already familiar with the Scriptures. With 
the words, perhaps, hut in any other sense you might as wisely 
boast of your familiar acquaintance with the rays of the sun, and 
under that pretence torn away your eyes from the light of Heaven. 
Or would you wish for authorities P — for great examples ? Too 
may find them in the writings of Thuanus, of Lord Clarendon, of 
Sir Thomas More, of Baleigh ; and in the life and letters of the 
heroic Gustavus Adolphue. But these, though eminent states- 
men were Christians, and might He under the thraldom of habit 
and prejudice. I will refer you then to the authorities of two great 
men, both pagans ; but removed from each other by many cen- 
tunes, and not more distant in their ages than in their character) 
and situations. The first shall be that of Heraclitus, the sad and 
recluse philosopher. IloXupidii) root ou BtSaann- Si|3uXXa it /uuro- 
lf*v^ <rr6fuiTt ayt\cnrTti xa* ajcaXXtdrrAOTa koI afivpitrra ^Bfyyofitvij 

X^itar iTuv (fiKwIrai t^ ^115 6ii to* 8(6v.* Shall we hesitate to 
apply to the prophets of God, what could be affirmed of the Sibyls 
by a philosopher whom Socrates, the prince of philosophers, vene- 
rated for the profundity of his wisdom P 

For the other, I will refer you to the darling of the polished 
court of Augustus, to the man whose works have been in all ages 
deemed the models of good sense, and are still the pocket com- 
panions of those who pride themselves on uniting the scholar 
with the gentleman. This accomplished man of the world haa 
given an account of the subjects of conversation between the 
illustrious statesmen who governed, and the brightest luminariei 
who then adorned, the empire of the civilized world : 

Snu oridir nun de niOii dmOutH nlitnit 
jr« null, ntcne Ltpai t 
fMrHael, et nacire Kulu 
Diiitiu lamiiut. an tint 
Et ifual tit lutHis boni : 

- - • • iciiDwledE«) dos timogt 
It U» Sib^l wUh t TIL 

I) ■hrtiung forth UH oonDeniiiw tiw 1 

D 5 mod b, Google 

The Statetman't JUanuo/. 821 

Berkeley indiied asBcrtB, and is supported in his assertion bj 
tlie great statesmen, Lord Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh, that 
without an habitual interest in theec subjects a man may be a 
dexterous intrt^er, but never con be a statesman. 

But do you require some one or more particular paeaage from 
the Bible, that may at once illuBtrato and esemplify its applica- 
bility to the changes and fortunes of empires ? Of the numerous 
chapters that relate to the Jewish tribes, their enemies and allies, 
before and after their division into two kingdoms, it would be 
more difficult to state a single one, from which some g uiding 
light might not be struct. And in nothing is Scriptural "history 
Tnofe" strongly contrasted with the histories of highest note in 
the present age. than in its freedom from the hoUowness of 
abstractions. While the latter present a shadow-fight of things 
and qqajititiea, the former gives us the hiattuy of men, and 
balances the important influence of individual minds with the 
previous state of the national morals and manners, in which, as 
oonstitnting a specific susceptibility, it presents to us the true 
cause both of the infiuence itself, and of the weal or woe that 
were its consequents. How should it be otherwise P The histories 
and pohtical economy of the present and preceding century par- 
take in the general contagion of its mechanic philosophy, and are 
the product of an unenlivened generalizing understanding. In 
the Scriptures they are the living educts of the imagination; of 
that reconciling and mediatory power, which incorporating the 
reason in images of the sense, and organizing (as it were) the flux 
of the senses by the permanence and sclf-circhng energies of the 
il^goi^ gives birth to a system of symbols, harmonous in them- 
selvee, and consnbstantial with the truiha of which they are the 
conductors. These are the wheels which Ezekiel beheld, when 'n 
the hand of the Lord was upon him, and he saw visions of Grod as | 
he sate among the captives by the river of Chebar. " Whither' 
soever the Spirit was te go, the wheels went, and thither was their i 
spirit to go : for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheeU 
also." (Ezekiel i. 20.) The truths and the symbols that represent 
them move in conjunction and form the living chariot that bears 
up (for ns) the throne of the Divine Humanity, Hence, by a 
derivative, indeed, bnt not a divided influence, and though in a j 
■eoondai; jeb in more than a metaphorical sense, the Sacred 

auKlng bars psrlMiIKd wsU at 111 

Gkqh nbM mora nearly osKen 

wUcb It It u erll nit lo knan: wtuuier moi imi 

■nBiiid*lu^rtirw»Uhoib;TlinHr 1> 


D 5 mod b, Google 

833 A las Sermon. 

. Book u wortliil; entitled the Word of God. Hence too, its coB- 

I tents present to ns tlie etream of time continnoue aa life and a 

' aymbol of Etemitj, inaemiich as the paat and the fnture are 

Tirtaally contained in the present. According therefore to onr 

relative poeitioti on its banks the Sacred Hiatoij becomes pro- 

i phetio, the Sacred Prophecies historical, while the power and 

Bnbstanoe of both inhere in its laws, its promisee, and its 

I comminationB. In the S^riptntes - therefore both facts and 

persons most of necessit; hare a twofold sigmhcanoe. a past 

and B future, a temporary and a perpetual, a particular and 

a nniTCrsal application. The; must be at once portraits and 

Ehtu ! paupertma pkihgophia in patiperHitamreli^umem dueit -. — 
A hunger-bitten and idealesa philosophj naturallj produces a 
staireling and comfortless religion. It is anumg the miseries <A 
the present age that it recognises no niedinm between literal and 
metaphorical. Faith is either to be buried in the dead letter, or 
its name and honours usurped bj a counterfeit product of the 
mechanical understanding, -vrhich in the blindness of aeU-^ompla- 
xency confounds symbols with allegories. Now an allegoi^ is 
'^but a translation of abstract notions into a picture-language, 
which is itself nothing but an abstraction from objects of the 
senses ; the principal being moie worthless even than its phantom 
proxy, both alike unsubstantial, and the former shapeless to boot. 
On the other hand a symbol (oifrru'dtiTaimjyifpuoi') is characterized 
by a translucenoe of the special in the individual, or of the general 
in the eepecial, or of the nniversal in the gaieral Above all bj 
the translucenoe of the eternal through and in the temporal It 
always pertakea of the reality which it renders mtelligiUe; and 
while it enunciates the whole, abides itself as a living paxt in that 
unity, of which it is the representative. The other are bnt empty 
echoes which the fancy arbitrarily associates with apparitions i^ 
matter, less beautiful bnt not less shadowy than the sloping 
orchard or hill-side pasture-field seen in the transparent lake 
below. Alas for the flocks that are to be led forth to such 
pastures ! " It shall even be as when the hungry dreameth, and 
behold ! he eateth ; but he waketh and his eonl is empty ; or as 
when the thirsty dreameth, and behold he drinketh; but he 
awaketh and is ^int I" (Isaiah xziz. 8.) 1 that we wonld sedc 
for the bread which was given from heaven, that we shonid eat 
thereof and be strengthened! O that we would draw at the well 
at which the flocks of our forefathers had Uving wat«F drawn for 
them, even thai water which, instead of mocking the Uiirst ol 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

tie Staiemwm'i Mawtal. 828 

him to whom it is given, becomes a well within timself springing 
np to life everlaetmgl 

When we reflect how large a purt of our present knowledge and 
civilizatioii is owing, directlj or indirectlj, to the Bible; when we 
are compelled to admit, as a ^t of historj, that the Bible h»a 
been the main lever b; which the moral and inteUectnal character 
of Europe has been raised to its present comparative height ; we 
should be stmek, methinks, b^ the marked and prominent differ- . 
ence of this book from the' works which it is now the fashion to 
quoto as guides and authorities in morals, politics, and historj. 
I will point out a few of the excellencies by which the one is dis- 
tinguished, and shall leave it to your own judgment and recollec- 
tion to perceive and apply the contrast to the productions of 
highest name in these latter days. In the Kble every agent 
appears and acte as a self-subsisting individual : each has a life of 
its own, and yet all are one life. The elements of necessity and 
free-will are reconciled in the higher power of an omnipresent 
Providence, that predestinates the whole in the moral freedom of 
the int^ral parts. Of this the Bible never suffers us to lose 
sight. The root is never detached from the gi-ound. It is God 
everywhere : and all creatures conform to His decrees, the right- 
eous by performance of the law. the disobedient by the sufferance 
of the penalty. 

Suffer me to inform or remind you that there is a threefold 
necessity. There is a l<^cal and there is a mathematical neces- 
sity; but the latter is always hypothetical, and both subsist 
formally only, not in any real object. Only by the intuition and 
unmediato spiritnal consciousness of the idea of God, as the One 
and Absolute, at once the Ground and the Cause, who alone con- 
:;aineth in Himself the ground of His own nature, and therein of 
aU natures, do we arrive at the third, which alone is a real oh- 
jective necessity. Here the immediato consciousness decides : the 
idea is its own evidence, and is insusceptible of aU other. It is 
necessarily groundless and indemonsti'able ; because it is itself 
the ground of all possible demonstration. The reason hath faith 
in itself, in its own revelations. 'O \oyos (0i]. Ipse dixit ! So it' 
is ; for it is so ! AU the necessity of casual relations (which the 
mere understanding reduces, and must reduce, to co-existence and 
regular succession * in the objects of which they are predicated, 
and to habit and association in tiie mind predicadi^) depends oa 
or rather inheres in, the idea of the omnipresent and absolute : for 

• See Hume's Ewarn. The eopblst stuIh, of the predirament. nblcb la not " pnein 
U Oeao loDf leo nmaiked, ttae betia btlf but " t^deater pralK." 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

831 A Lag Herman. 

tliis it in, in which the possible ia one and the eame with the real 
and the aecesaavy. Herein the Bible differa from all the books of 
Greek philoeophy, and in a twofold manner. It doth not affirm a 
Divine Nature only, but a God : and not a God only, bat the 
livii^ God. Hence, in the Scriptures alone is the Jut diviiatm, ot 
direct relation of th4 state and its magistracj to the Supreme 
Being, tanght as a vital and tudispenaable part of all moral and 
^t all political wisdom, even as the Jewish alone whb a true 

But I refer to the demand. Were it my object to touch on &» 
present state of public affairs in this kingdom, or on the proepeo- 
tive measures in agitation respecting our sister island, I would 
direct your most serious meditations to the latter period of the 
reign of Solomon, and to the revolntions in the reign of Rehoboam, 
his successor. But I should tread on glowing embers. I will torn 
to a subject on which all men of reflection are at length in agree- 
ment — ^e causes of the rerolntioD and fearful ohaetiBentent <^ 
France. We have learned to trace them back to the rising im- 
portance of the commercial and nmnnfacturing class, and its 
incompatibility with the old feudal privileges and prescription*; 
to the spirit of sensuality and ostentation, which from the court 
iiad spread through aU the towns and cities of the empire ; to the 
predominance of a presumptuons and irreligious philosophy; to 
the extreme over-rating of the knowledge und power given by the 
improvements of the arts and sciences, especially those of astro- 
nomy, mechanics, and a wonder-working chemistry ; to an assump- 
tion of prophetic power, and the general conceit that states and 
goveinments might be and ought to be constructed as machinci, 
every movement of which might be foreseen and taken into 
pi-evious calculation ; to the consequent multitude of plana and 
conetitations, of planners and conatitution-makers, and the re- 
morseless arrogance with which the authors and proselytes ai 
every new proposal were i-eady to realize it, be the cost what it 
might in the established rights, or even in the lives, of men ; in 
short, to restlessness, presumption, sensual indulgence, and tho 
idolatrous reliance on false philosophy in the whole domeatio, 
social, and political life of the stirring and eCFective part of the 
community : these all acting at once and tc^^ether on a mass <d 
materials supplied by the unfeeling extravagance and oppressions 
nt the government, which " showed no aiexcj, and veij heavily 
laid its yoke." 

Turn then to the chapter from which the last words wore cite^ 
and read the following seven verses : and I am deceived if yoB 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

I^ Slaletman'e Manwd. 325 

wQl iiot be compelled to admit tliaL the prophet laaiiili revealed 
the true philoaophj of the French Berolution more than tiro thou- 
Hmd jears before it became a aad irrevocable truth of history. 
" And thon saidnt, I ehaU be a lady for ever : so that thou didst 
not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the 
latter end of it. Therefore, hear now this, thou that art given to 
pieosvires, that dwellest carelessly, that aayest in thint heart, 
I am, and none else beside me! I shaU not ait as a widow, 
neither shall I know the loss of children. Bnt these two things 
shall come to thee in a moment, in one day : the loss of children 
and widowhood ; they shall come upon thee in their perfection, for 
the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the abundance of thine 
enchantments. For thou hast ti'usted in thy wickedness -, thon 
hast said, there is no overseer, Tkj wisdom and thy knowledge, 
it hath perverted thee; and thoa hast said in thine heart, I am, 
and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee, 
thoQ shalt not know* from whence itriseth: and mischief shall 
fall upon thee, thou shalt not be able to put it off; and desolation 
shall come upon ih^ suddenly, which thou shalt not know. Stand 
now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy 
sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth ; if so hn 
thou shalt he able to profit, if so be thoa mayest prevail. Thou 
art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels ; let now the astro- 
logers, the stargazers, the monthly prognostioators, stand up, and 
save thee from these things that shall come upon thee." 

There is a grace that would enable ua to take up vipers, and th« 
evil thing shall not hurt us : a spiritual alchemy which can trans- 
mute poisons into a panacea. We are counselled by our Lord 
Himsdf to make unto ourselves friends of the mammon of nn- 
rigbt«ousness ; and in this ^e of sharp contrasts and grotesque 
combinations it would he a wise method of sympathizing with the 
tone and spirit of the times, if we elevated even our daily news- 
papers and political journals into comments on the Bible. 

When 1 named this essay a sermon. I sought to prepare the 
inquirers after it for the ahsenoe of all the usual softenings sug- 
gested by worldly prudence, of aU compromise between truth and 

■ The resder will war 


abln. ba:H 





Hep', off nt 

rale dsta 



w of UK 

a dI 


The I'^IMi 1 

the real. 




Thsnk h 

'avcn, Uie 

b™,. otUw 

laiiimj » 

tue core. 

liMfi burned Uie |di;alul f:rp 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

836 A Lay Sermon. 

conrteajr. But not even as & sermon would I have addressed tha 
present discourse to a prumiscnoue audience; ajid for thU reason 
I likewise annonnoed it in the title-pa^ as exclnelTelj ad clerum; 
i.e., (in the old and wide sense of the word) to men *ȣ clerkly 
acquirements, of whatever profession. I wonld that tlie greater 
part of our pnblioations could be thus directed, each to its appro- 
priate class of readers. But this cannot be. For among other 
odd burrs and kecksies, the misgrowth of our Inxmianb activity, 
we have now a reading public,* as strange a phrase, mothinks, as 
. ever forced a splenetic smile on the staid countenance of medita- 
tion ; and yet no fiction 1 For our readers have, in good truth, 
multiplied exceedingly, and have waxed proud. It would require 
the intrepid accuracy of a Colqnhoun to venture at the precise 
number <^ that vast company only, whose heads and hearts are 
dieted at the two public ordinaries of literature, the circulating 

• Soma iHrtLclple putive In tbo dlmlnullvs old HonllsU. 
mn. ^ntdUutomm Sofia for liHiUnK, might nncendne U 

™er tM phraa, owura u > ttfp or swlr 1.. t, 
■Xm.x of irony. Hy w^ of e>mmpl8 wto 

VBt iuUiwifA exdiulTfly for thd prlmltlva out la tbe ka 

10 Ibelt ntejDdfo^ Ubi to of no auUhTltJ. u 4 and dEnkurulraclon. Kvpry 
nile ol btlh, for Cbiiitliuu In grnaaL - The diya baa an iilm : lye. and 1 

uf Uieir iniprwcrtnilbic uhI liuUfnabla Klght reiuniliig hJKhlv grailBeil fiun a ahuwman* 

to Jiid)^ and dA'lde Ibr tlKtnseLvbt on aU Im. caravan, ntilcbha hud bwn Ipmpl^l lo mier 

poitont qufetlonaorgDVentinfnCandTpllglon. by the wonb, 'i'h*^ L«ani4?d I1{^ glH on ihn 

The acbolastic iKfsa of jarring artkrW and pannela. met another oarnnui of a Blmllar 

mctaphyiiEal crwda nuf contlnus lor a tinio shape, with The K'tdliig Fl7<init.ln Irtim 

In dclucin' our Ohiinzh-mabliahmEnt; and of ibe aanie iJiu: and nploDilour. " Wfaf. dU 

our old gothlc caihedrali ma; ■erve to re- l>Dtc:hnuui. takes Ills aeaL ta fim comer, and 

, — , --- — aniuspd ly theauppustdibowmaB 

matter In aerloui bof yow place taktrir Art vru tnimdalt 

riklng. Tba samu Uc vny f<r Etadi'S r'—Vov a rwUng 

ila IIS In th.> dcidl- uuhllc la ciamr mind) man niamlliMi atlf 

o ihinl tier ol " TDOpilen itoiit 

Hbll> Un <rarailad> i^ oiv 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

1^ SaUtmarCa Wmnal. 827 

Ebmiica and tbc periodical press. But what ia the reault P Doeo 
the inward man thrive on this regimen. P Alas ! if the averago 
health of the consumers may be judged of by the artioies of largest 
conBumptdou ; if the seoretiooa may be coiijectured from the in- 
gredieata of the dishes that are found beet suited to their palates ; 
from all that I have seen, either of the banquet or the goeets, I 
shall utter atjprofOfCeia with a desponding sigh. From a popular 
philosophy and a philosophic populace, good sense deliver us ! 

At present, however, I am to imagine for myself a very different 
audience. I appeal exclnsively to men from whose station and 
opportunities I may dare anticipate a respectable portion of that 
" sound book leamedness" into which our old public schools still 
continue to initiate their pupils, I appeal to men in whom I may 
hope to find, if not philosophy, yet occasional impulses at least to 
philosophic thought. And here, as far as my own experience 
extends, I can announce one favourable symptom. The notion of 
onr measureless superiority in good sense to our ancestors, so 
general at the conunencemeut of the IVcnch Revolution and foi 
some years before it, is out of fashion. We hear, at least, less of 
the jargon of this enlightened age. After fatiguing itself as per- 
former or spectator in the giddy ^ore-dauce of political changes, 
Europe has seen the shallow foundations of its self-complacent 
faith give way ; and among men of influence and property, we 
have now more reason to apprehend the stupor of despondence 
than the estravagances of hope unsuatiuned by experience, or 
oS self-confidence not bottomed on principle. 

In this rank of life the danger lies, not in. any tendency to inno- 
vation, but in the choice of the means for preventing it. And 
here my apprehensions point to two opposite errors, each of 
which deserves a separate notice. The first consists in a disposi- 
tion to think that, as the peace of nations has been disturbed by 
tiie difittsion of a false light, it may be re-established by excluding 
the people from all knowledge and all prospect of amelioration. 
1 nevei', never ! Befleotdon and stirrings of mind, with all their 
restlessness and all the errors that result from their imperfection, 
from the too much, because too little, are come into the world. 
The powera that awaken and foster the spirit of curiosiiy are to 
be found in every village : books are in every hoveL The infant's 
cries are hushed with picture-books; and the cottager's child 
sheds his first bitter tears over p^^, which render it impossible 
for the man to be treated or governed as a child. Here, as in so 
many other cases, the inoonvenienoeB that have arisen from a thing's 
bavmg I >ecome too general, are beet removed by making it murersal, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

338 A 1.111/ Ocrmon 

Tho other and contraiy mistake proceeds from tlie aseuioptioii 
that a natrioiial edncation will hare been realized whenever the 
people at large hare been taught to read and write. Now, among 
the many means to the deeired end, this is doDbtteas one, and not 
the least important. But neither is it the moat bo. Much lem 
can it be held to constitute education, which consists in edncing 
the faculties and forming the habita ; the means Tarjing according 
to the sphere in which the individuals to be educated are likely to 
act and become useful. I do not hesitate to declare that whether 
I consider the nature of the discipline adopted,' or the plan <d 
poisoning the children of the poor with a sort of potential infi- 
delity under the "liberal idea" of teaching those points only of 
religions faith in which aU denominations agree, I cannot hut 
denounce the BO>caJled Lancastrian schools aa pernicious beyond 
all power of compensation by the new acquirement of reading and 
writing. But take even Dr. Bell'a original and unsophistdcsted 
|dan, which I myself regard as an especial gift of Providence to 
the human race; and auppose this incomparable machine, this 
vast moral steam-engine, to have been adopted and in free motion 
throughout the empire ; it would yet appear to me a most dan- 
gerouB delusion to rely on it as if this of itself formed an efficient 
national education. We cannot, I repeat, honoor the scheme too 
highly as a prominent and necessary part of the great process; 
but it will neither supersede, nor can it be substituted for, atmdry 
other meaaurea that are at least equally important. And these 
are such measures, too, as unfortunately inrolve the necessity of 
sacriflcea on the side of the rich and powerful, more costly, and 
far more difficult, than tlie yearly aubscription of a few pounds ! — 
such measurea aa demand more self-denial than the expenditure 
of time in a committee or of eloquence in a public meeting. 

Nay, let Dr. Bell's philantbropic end have been realized, and 
the proposed modicum of learning unireraal : yet convinced of its 
insufficiency to stem up against the strong currents set in from 
an opposite point, I dare not assure myself, that it may not be 
driven backward by them and become confluent with the evils it 
was intended to preclude. 

What othev measures I had in contemplation, it has been my 
endcavotir to explain elsewhere. But I am greatly deceived, if 

• S« Mi. BanUwy'j tract im the iww or (cboola. tlwt tmd to be c . 

kUdraa Bvalfni oT cduucton : ««p4C[&tly to- tluH irt, 1 belieTt, dlBcomdnned. The Inn 

-»rd m the cuncLuslqo, wbert wltn tiqulsllB pHfccUon of (UadpUaa In > school ii -Tbt 

humour u well lu wltbhta luiud potpianc; iiwjdiDDm of vAtcf r^liiCM vlib'ben' 

of wll be lus deui\l«l Joieph 1 jncasif r*B dis- of pnnlihannt. 
ClfttuKui Inventlmu, B«l eten Id Chk 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Tie Slalegman'a Mantud. S<i9 

me prellmuiai7 io an efficient echication of the kboniing clasBAa 
bo not the rocnrrence to a more manlj discipline of tixo intellect 
(ML the part of tha learned themaelTea, in short, a thorough re- 
outing of the moulds, in which the niinda of our gentrj, the 
characters of our future land-owners, magistratea and eenators, 
are to' receive their shape and faahion. O what treasures of 
practical wisdom would he once more brought into open day by 
the solution of this problem ! Suffice it for f.Le present to hint 
the master- thonght. The first r<\ nn on whom the light of an idea 
dawned, did in that same moment receive the spirit and the cre- 
dentials of a lawgiver : and as long as man shall exist, so long 
will the possession of that antecedent knowledge (the maker and 
master of aU profitable experience) which exists only in the 
power of an idea, be the one lawful qualification of all dominion 
in the world of the senses. Without this, experience itself is but 
a Cyclops walking backwards, niider the fascination of the past : 
and we are indebted to a lucky coincidence of ontward circum- 
stances and contingencies, least of all things to be calculated on 
in times like the present, if this one-eyed experience does not 
seduce its worshipper into practical anachronisms. 

Bnt alas! the haUs of old philosophy have been so long de- 
serted, that we circle them at shy distance as the hannt of phan- 
toms and chimeras. The sacred grove of Academus is held in 
like regard with the nnfoodful trees in the shadowy world of 
Uaro that had a dream attached to every leaf. The very terms of 
ancient wisdom are worn out, or, far worse, stamped on baser 
metal : (see App. E.) and whoever should have the hardihood to 
reproclaim its solemn truths must conunence with a glossaiy. 

In reviewing the foregoing p^^es, I am -apprehensive that they 
may be thonght to resemblo the oversow of an earnest mind 
rather than an orderly premeditated composition, Tet this im- 
perfection of form will not be altogether uncompensated, if it 
should be the means of presenting with greater liveliness the 
feelings and impressions under which they were written. Still 
less shall I regret this defect if it should induce some f>:ture 
traveller engi^ed in the like journey to take the same station and 
to look through the same medium at the one main object whic'h 
amid all my diacursions I have stiU held in t-iew. The more, how- 
ever, doth it behove me not to conclude this address without 
attempting to recapitulate in as few and as plain words as poe- 
BiUe, the sum and snbstance of its contents. 

There is » state of mind indispensable for all perusal of the 
ScriptnrM to edtficAtiou irhioh mn'rt be learnt by experience, and 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

S80 A Lay Sermton. 

can bo described only by negatives. It is th« direct opposite o£ 
th&t whiob (snppoBing a moral passage of Scripture to have been 
cited) would prompt a man to reply, " Who does not bnoir this ?" 
But if the quotation should have been made in support of some 
article of faith, this same habit of. mind will betray itself, in dif- 
ferent individuals, by apparent amtraries, which ye*- are bat the 
two poles, or plus and minus states, of the same influence.' The 
latter, or the negative pole, m»y be suspected as often aa yon 
heai' a comment on some high and doctrinal text introduced with 
the words, " It only means so and so !" For instance I object to a 
professed free-thinking Christian, the following solemn enuncia- 
tion of " the riches of the glory of the mystery hid from ages and 
from generations " by the philosophic Apostle of the Gentiles. 
" Who (viz. the Father) hath delivered us from the power of dark- 
ness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Sou ; in 
whom we have redemption tbi-ough His blood, even the forgive- 
ness of sins : Who is the image of the invisible God, the first- 
bom* of every creature : For by Him were all things created, that 
are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether 
they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers : all 
things were created by Him, and for Him : And He is before all 
things, and by Him all things consist. And He ia the Head of the 
body, the Church ; who is the beginning, the Srat-bom from the 
dead ; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it 
pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell: and 
having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to re- 
concUe all things unto Himself ; by Him, I say, whether they be 
things in eaith, or things in heaven." What is the reply P Why, 
that by these words (very boldjind figurative words it must be 
confessed, yet still) St. Paul^fwmeant that the' imiversal and 
eternal truths of morality an&~-tc future state had been re-pro< 
claimed by an inspired teacher and confirmed by miracles ! The 
words only mean, sir, that a state of retribution after this life had 
been proved by the fact of Christ's Resurrection — that is all I 
But I shall scarcely obtain an answer to certain difficulties in- 
volved in this free and liberal interpretation : ex. gr. that with 
the exception of a handful of rich men, considered as little bett«r 
than infidels, the Jem were as fully persuaded of these truths aa 
CbristianB in general are at the present day. Moreover, that this 
mspired Teacher had Himself declared, that if the Jews did not 

■ A mlglsksn tmnlBtlan. The words the aa 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

TTie Siateman's Manwd. S31 

believe on the evidence of liosea and the Propbcts, neither would 
they though a man should rise from the dead. 

Of the positive pole, on the other hand, to the follow- 
ing purpart ia the usual exponent. " It is a mystery ; and we are 
bound to beUere the worda without presuming to inquire into the 
meaning of them." That is, we believe in St. Paul's veracity ; 
and that is enough. Yet St. Paul repeatedly presses on his 
hearers that thoughtful perusal of the sacred writings, and those 
habits of earnest though humble inquiry, which if the heart only 
have been previously regenerated would lead them " to a full 
assurance of underetandutg cic (wiyvatni', (to an entire assent of 
the mind ; to a spiritual intuition, or positive inward knowledge 
by eiperienoe) of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of 
Christ, in which {nempe, livtmipia) are hid all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge. 

To expose the inconsistency of both these extremes, and by in- 
ference to recommend that state of mind, which looks forward to 
" the fellowship of the mystery of the faith as a spirit of wisdom 
and revelation in the knowledge of God, the eyes of the under- 
standing being enlightened" — this formed my general purpose. 
Long baa it been at my heart! I consider it as the contra-^ 
distinguishing principle of Christianity that in it alone wnr nXoOrot 
TtiftrXijiKHpopiatTijt iTij»'[rt«E (the understanding in its utmost power 
and (opulence) culminates in faith, as in its crown of glory, at once 
its light and its remuneration. On this most important point I 
attempted long ago to preclude, if possible, all misconception 
and miBinterpretation of my opinions, though in. a work which 
from the mode of its publication and other circumstances must 
be unknown or known but by name to the great majority of my 
present readers. Alas! in this time of distress and embarrass' 
ment the sentimente have a more especial interest, a more im- 
mediate application, than when they were first written. If, I 
observed, it be a truth attested alike by common feeling and 
;?mmon sense, that the greater part of hiunan misery depends 
directly on human vices, and the remainder indirectly, by what 
means can we act on men, so as to remove or preclude their vices 
and purify their principles of moral election ? The question is 
not by what means each man is to alter his own character — in 
order to this, all the means prescribed, and all the aidances given 
by religion, may be necessary for him. Tain of themselveb Tnn J 

' TIk nylngi of the V-'ue 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

8n A Lay Sermon. 

Unliw be l«l within 

Shih joara oTcootoUtiaa froB abore, 

Hscrst reftHfalngi, Uul PEpllr hla Snu^th. 

S^HBa:! .IcDsnru. 
Thia is not the qnestion. Virtue wonld not be virtue could it 
be given by one fellow-creature to another. To make use of all tke 
means and applianccn in our power to the actual attainment o( 
rectitude, is the abstract of the duty which we owe to ourselvcB. 
To en^^ly those means ae far as we can, compriaes our duty to 
others. The qneetion then is, what are these means P Can they 
be any other than the oommimicatioa of knowledge and the 
removal of those evils and impedimenta which prevent its re- 
ception F It may not be in our power to combine both, but it is in 
the power of every man. to c<mtribute to the former, who is siiffi- 
eieutly informed to feel that it is his duty. If it be said that we 
should endeavour not so much to remove ignorance, as to make 
the ignorant religious, religion herself, throughher sacred oracles, 
answers for me, that all effective faith pre-supposes knowledge and 
individual conviction. If the mere acquiescence in truth, oncom- 
prebended and unfathomed, were snScient, few indeed would be 
the vicious and the miserable; in this country at least, where 
speculative infidelity is, heaven be praised, confined to a small 
number. Like bodily deformity, there is one instance here and 
another there ; but three in one place are already an undue pro- 
portion. It is highly worthy of observation, that the inspired 
writings received by Christians ai-e distinguishable from all othe 
books pretending to inspiration, from the scriptures of the 
Srahmins, and even from the £oran, in their sta«ng and frequent 
recommendations of tmth. I do not here mean veracity, which 
cannot but be enforced in every code which appeals to the religious 
principle of man; but knowledge. This is not only extolled as 
the crown and honour of a man, but to seek after it is again and 
i^ain commanded us ae one of our most sacred duties. Tea, the 
very perfection and final bliss of the glorified spirit is represented 
by tlie apostle as a plain aspect, or intnitive beholding of truth in 
its eternal and immutable soni-ce. Kot that knowledge can of 
itself do all 1 The light of religion is not that of the moon, light 
without heat; but neither is its wannth that of the stove, warmth 
without light. Religion is the sun whose warmth .'ndeed swells 
and stirs and actuates the life of nature, but who, at the same 
time, beholds all the growth of life with a master-eye, makea all 
objects glorious on which he looks, and by that glory visible t> 
others. " For this cause I bow my knees nnto the Father o( oni 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

2&e SUUesman a Matmal. 338 

Lord Jesns Ohriut, that He would grant you according to the 
richea of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit 
in the inner man ; that Christ may dwell in. your hearts by faith ; 
that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to com- 
prehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and 
depth, and height ; and to know the love of Christ which passeth 
all knowledge that ye might be filled with the fulness of Qod." 
For to know Grod is (by a vital and spiritual act in which to know 
and to possess are one and indivisible) to acknowledge Him as the 
Infinite Clearness in the Incomprehensible FnlneBH, and Fulness 
Incomprehensible with Infinite Clearness. 

This then comprises my first purpose, which is in a twofold 
sense general. For in the substance, if not in the form, it belongs 
to all my countrymen and foUow-chriHtians witiout distinction of 
Uaes ; while for its oltject it embraces the whole of the inspired 
Scriptures from the recorded first day of heaven and earth, ere the 
light was yet gathered into celestial lamps or reflected from their 
rerolving mirrors, to the predicted Sabbath of the new creation, 
when heaven and earth shall have become one city with neither 
" sun nor moon to shine in it : for the glory of God shall lighten 
it and the Lamb be the light thereof." Uy second purpose is after 
thesamemannerinatwofold sense specific; for as this disquisition 
is nominally addressed to, so was it for the greater part exclusively 
intended for, the perusal of the learned ; and its object likewise is 
to urge men so qualified to apply their powers and attainments to 
an especial study of the Old Testament as teaching the elements of 
politdoal science. 

Is it asked in what sense I use these words P I answer, in the 
same sense as the terms are employed when we refer to Euclid for 
the elements of the science of geometry, only with one diffei'ence 
aiieing from the diversity of the subject. With one difference 
only t but that one how momentona ! All other sciences are con- 
fined to abstractions, unless when the term science is used in an 
improper and flattering sense : thus we may speak without boast 
of natural history ; but we have not yet attained to a suience of 
natiii-e. The Bible alone contains a science of realities; and 
therefore each of its elements is at the same time a living germ, 
in which the present involves the futiire, and in the finite the 
infinite exists potentially. That hidden ti^Bt«ry in every, the 
minutest form of existence, which contemplated under the relations 
uf time presents itself to the understanding retrospectively, as an 
infinite ascent ot causes, and prospectively as an interminable 
^ogresuon at efibetA^that whkh contemplated in space is 

■ Dgiiizodb, Google 

tSi ALaji ServuM, 

bdidd intoitiTelj 08 a law of action and re-action, coBtmnooaalid 
wUindmg beyond all bound — this same m jstety freed from tbo 
phenomena <^ time and apace, and seen in tiie depth of real being, 
Hweals itaelf to the gnrerraspn OB the ootoal immanence of all in 
each. Are we stm^with admiration at beholding the cope of 
h^iv«n imaged in a dew-drop ? The least of the animalcala to 
which that drop would be an ocean contains in itself an infinita 
problem of wUch God omnipresent is the onlj eolntdoo. The 
alare of custom is ronsed hy the rare and the accidental alone i 
bnt the aiicms of the nnthinking are to the philosopher the 
deepest problems as being the nearest to the mysteriouB root, and 
partaking at once of its darkness and ita pr^nancj. 

O what a mine of undiscovered treasnres, what a new wi^d of 
power and troth woold the Bible promise to oar future meditatjan, 
if in some gracious moment one sectary text of all its inspired 
contents should hut dawn upon as in the pure nutronbled bright- 
ness of an idea, that most glorious birth of the God-like within m, 
which even as the light, its material spabol, reflects itself from a 
thoosand surfaces, and flies homeward to its parent mind enriched 
with a thonsand forms, itself above form, and still remaining in 
its own simplicity and identity ! for a flash of that same light, 
in which the first position of geometric science that ever loosed 
itself from the generalizations of a groping and insecnre exr 
perience, did, for the first time, reveal its«U to a human intellect, 
in all its evidence and all its fruitfulnees, transparence without 
vacuum, and [denitude without opacity I that a single gleam 
of our own inward experience would make comprehensible to us 
the rapturous £ureka, and the grateful hecatomb, of the philo- 
sopher of SamoB I or that vision which, from the contemplation of 
an arithmetical harmony, rose to the eye of Eepler, presenting the 
planetary world, and all its orbits in the divine order of their 
ranlcs and distances ; or which, in the falling of an apple, revealed 
to the ethereal intuition of our own Newton the constructive prin- 
ciple of the material universe. The promises which I have 
ventured to hold forth concerning the hidden treasures of the Law 
and the Prophets will neither be condemned as paradox nor as 
exaggeration, by the mind that has learnt to understand the 
possibility, that the reduction of the sands of the sea to number 
should be found a less stupendous problem by Archimedes than 
the simple conception of the Farmenidean One. What however 
is achievable by the human understanding without this light* may 
be comprised in the epithet, Ktvianovioi -. »nd a meluicholy com- 
tnent on that phrase would the history of hiunui cabineto and 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

The SUUeman's Mamud. 835 

IcgisIatorB for tte last thirty years fnmiBli! The eicellent 
Barrow, the last of the dieciplea of Plato and Archimedes ajuoi^ 
our modem mathematiciaHBi shall give the deacription and stat^ 
the value : and in hie words 1 shall conclude. 

Alivd agere, to be impei-tinently busy, doing tha,t which con- 
duceth to no good purpose, is in some respects worse than to do 
nothing. '■Of such induatiy we may nnderstand that of the 
Pctacher, " The labour of the foolish wearietb every one of them." 

i^fzodb, Google 




IN this use of the word "Bnffieieney," I presuppose on tlie port 
of the reader or hearer, a htuuble and docile state of mind, and 
tboTe all the practice of prajer, as the neceasarj condition of snch « 
state, and the beet if not ^e only means of becoming sincere to 
our own hearts. Cbi-istianitj ia especially differenced from all 
ocher religious bj being grounded on facts which all men alike 
have the means of ascertaining, the same means, with equal 
facilitj, and which no man can ascertain for another. Each 
person mnst be herein qneriat and respondent to himself; Aqi I 
sick, and therefore need a physician P Am I in spiritual slareiy, 
and therefore need a ransomer f Have I gives a pledge, which 
must be redeemed, and which I cannot redeem by my own re- 
sources F Am I at one with God, and is my will concentric with 
that holy power, which is at once the constitutiTe will and the 
supreme reason of the universe P If not. must I not be mad if I 
do not seek, and miserable if I do not discover and embrace, the 
means of at one-mentP To collect, to weigh, and to appreciate 
historical proofs and presumptions ia rwt equally within the means 
and opportunities cf every man alike. The testimony of books of 
history is one of the strong and stately pillars of the Church of 
Christ; but it is not the foundation, nor can it without loss 
of essential faith be mistaken or substituted for th« founda- 
tion. There is a sect, which in its scornful pride of antipathy 
to mysteries (that ia to all those doctrines of the pore and in- 
tuitive reason, which transcend the understuiding, and can never 
be contemplated by it, but through a false and talaiijiag par- 
speetire), affecta to condemn all inward and preliminaiy experieoiM 


Jfpmdtx B. 337 

aa enlhuBiastio deloeioii or fanatical contagioti. Historic evi- 
dence, Ob the other hand, these men treftt, as the Jews of old 
Seated the brazen serpent, which was the relio and evidence of 
the miracles worked by Moaes in the wildemeas. They turned it 
into an idol: and therefore Hezekiah {" whodai-etotheLord, and 
did r^ht in the sight of the Lord, bo that after him was none 
like him, tunosg all the kings of Jndah, nor any that were before 
liim,") not only " removed the high places, and brake the images, 
and cut down the groves/' but likewise "brake in pieces the 
brazen serpent that Moses had made : for the children of Israel 
did biun incense to it." 

To preclude an error so pernicious, I request that to the wilful 
neglect of those outward miniHtrations of the Word which all 
Englishmen have the privilege of attending, the reader will add 
the setting at nought likewise of those inward means of grace, 
without wliich the language of the Soriptures, in the most faithful 
translation and in the purest and plainest English, must never- 
theless continue to be a dead language : a sim-dial by moonlight. 


Not without great hesitation should 1 eipi-ess a suspiciou con- 
cei'niiig the genuineness of any, the least important passage in the 
New Testament, unless I could adduce the moat conclusive evi- 
dence from the earliest manuscripts and commentators, in support 
of its interpolation : well knowing that such permission has 
already opened a door to the most fearful licence. It is indeed, 
in its consequences, no less than an assumed right of picking aad 
choosing oiu* religion out of the Scriptures. Sfost assuredly I 
would never hazard a suggestion of this kind in any instance in 
which the retention or the omission of the words could make the 
slightest difference with regard to fact, miracle, or precept. Still 
less would I start the question, where the hypothesis of their 
intei'polation could be wrested to the discountenancing of any 
article of doctrine concerning which dissension existed ; no, not 
though the donbt or disbelief of the doctrine had been confined 
to those, whose faith few but themselves would honour with the 
name of Christianity; however reluctant we might be. both from the 
com-t^sies of social life and the nobler charities of humility, to 
withhold fiom the persons themselves the title of Christians. 

But as there is nothing in t. 40 of Matthew, c. xii. which would 
fall within this general rule, I dare permit myself to propose 
the qaery, whether there does not exist internal evidence ai its 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

338 ^ Laslkntum. 

being a glou of aoitaa imlearaed, Uioogb piona, OlniBtiui of ttw 
lirnt cetAvry, which had dipt into tbe text P The following are 1117 
reamna : — 1. It is at all events a comment on the wordfi of onr 
Savioor, and no part of Hia speech. 2. It uit«rrnptB the cooiso 
and breaks down the jot and application of our Lord's argument, 
as addressed to men who from their nnwillingTieBs to sacrifice 
their Tain traditions, gainful hypocris;, and pride both of heart 
and of demeanour, demanded a miracle for the confirmation of 
moral tmths that must have borne witness to their own divinity 
in the consciences of all who had not rendered themaelTea con- 
science-proof. 3. The text strictlj taken is irreconcilable wiUt 
the fact as it is afterwards related, and ae it is nniversally 
accepted. I at least remember no calcnlation of time, according 
ia which the interspace from Friday evening to the earliest dawn 
of Sunday morning, conld be represented h^ three days and three 
nights. As three days our Savionr Himself speaks <^ it (John ii. 
19), and so it would be described in common language as well as 
aceoi'ding to the nse of the Jews ; but I can find no other part of 
Scripture which authorizes the phrase of three nights. This 
gloss is not found either in the repetition of the circumBtance 
by Matthew himself (ivi. 4), nor in Mai^ {viii. 12), nor in Luke 
(xii. 54). Varic's narration doth indeed moat strikingly confirm 
my second reason, drawn from the purpose of our Saviour'a 
ai^ument : for the allusion to the prophet Jonas is omitted 
altogether, and the refusal therefore reats on the depravity (rf 
the applicants, as proved by the wantonness of the application 
itself. All signs must liave been useleae to such men as long as 
the great sign of the tames, the call to repentance, remained with- 
out effect. 4. The gloss correaponds with the known fondness of 
the earlier Jewish converts, and indeed of the ChristianB in 
general, of the second century, to bring out in detail and into 
exact square every accommodation of the Old Testament, which 
they either found in the gospels, or made for themselves. It is too 
notoi-iouB into what strange fancies (not always at safe die- 
tance from dangerous errors) the oldest uninspired writers of the 
Ohristian church were seduced by tjiis passion of ta-ansmutang 
without Scriptural authority incidents, names, and even mnre 
sounds of the Hebrew Scriptures, into evangelical types and 

An additional reason may perhaps occur to those who alone would 
be qualifiedto appreciate its force; viz. to biblical scholars familiar 
with the opinions and arguments of auudiy doctors. Rabbinical ■■ 
wdl as Christian, respecting the first and second chapter of Jonali. 

Dgilizodb, Google 

.^tpendtxC. 389 

KeoBon sai rdigion differ only ae a twofold applioafioii of thd 
Damo power. Bat if we are obliged to diatinguisli, we mnst 
ideally aepa.rate. In this sense I affirm, that reaaon is the know- 
ledge of the lawa nt the whole •ouaidered a^ one : and as such it 
is oontcadistingoished from the understanding, which concerns 
itself eEclnBiTely with the quantities, qualities, and relations of 
particulars in time and space. The understanding, therefore, 
ia the science of phenomena^ and their subsnmption under 
distinct kinds and sorts (genns^ and species). Its fonctiona 
supply the rules and constitute the possibility of experience ; but 
remain mere logical forms, except as far as materials are given 
bj the senses or sensations. The reason, on the other hand, is 
the science of the universal, having the ideas of oneness and 
aUneae as its two elements or primaiy factors. In the langnago 
of the old schools, 

Unity + Onmeity 


The reason first manifests itself in man by the tendency to tha 
comprehension of all as one. ' We can neither rest in an infinite 
that is not at the saine time a whole, nor in a whole that is not 
infinite. Hence the natural Man is always in a state either of 
resistance or of captivity to the understanding and the fancy, 
which cannot represent totahty without limit : and he eithei- 
loses the one in the striving after the infinite, (i.e., atheism with 
or without polytheism), or the infinite in the striving after the 
one (i.e., anthropomorphic monotheism). 

The rational instinct, therefore, teken abstractedly and un- 
balanced, did in itself (" Ye shall be as gods !" Qen. iii. 5), and 
in its consequences (the lusts of the flesh, the eye, and the under- 
standing, as in verse the sixth), form the original temptation, ^ 
through which man fell: and in all ages has continued to 
originate the same, even fcom Adam, in whom we all fell, to the 
atheist who deified the human reason in the person of a harlot 
during the earlier period of the French devolution. 

To this tendency, therefore, religion, as the consideration, of 
the partionlar and individual (in which respect it takes up and 
identifies with itself the excellence of the understanding) hut. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

840 A Lag Sermon. 

<>f tli« indiTidnaJ, aa it exists and has its being in 
(in wbioh respect it is one with the pore reaai»i),—to this ten- 
dencj, I sa;, religion assigns the due limits, and ia the echo of 
the " Toioe of the Lord God walking in the garden." Hence in 
sU the ages and oountries of civilization Beligion has been the 
parent and fosterer of the Fine Arte, aa of Foetrj, Unsic, Faint- 
ing, Ac., the conunoB essence of which consiats in a edmilar nnioiL 
of the Universal and the Individual. In this union, moreover, i> 
contained the true sense of the ideal Under tbe old law the 
altar, the curtains, the priestlj vostments, and whatever ebe was 
to represent the heant; of holiness, had an ideal character : and 
the Temple itself was a masterpiece of ideal beauty. 

There exists in the human being, at least in man f nllj developed, 
no mean symhol of Tri-nnitj, in reason, rdigion, and the will. 
For each of the three, though a distinct agency, implies and 
demands the other two, and loses ita own natnre at the moment 
that from distinction it passes into division or separation. The 
perfect frame of a man is the perfect frame of a state : and in the 
■ light of this idea we must read Plato's " i{iq>nblic." For, if 
I judge rightly, this celebrated work is to "The History of the 
Town of Man-Boul," what Plato was to John Bnnyan. 

The comprehension, impartiality, and far-sightedness of reascMi 
(the legislative of our natnre), taken siugly and ezchisively, becomes 
mere visionarineBa in intellect, and indolence or hard-heartedness in 
morals. It is the science of cosmopolitism without country, of phi- 
lanthropy without neighboui'liness or consanguinity, in short, of all 
the impostures of that philosophy of the Frei-cbltevolution, which 
ivonld sacrifice each to the shadowy idol of aU. For Jacobinism 
is monetrum hyMdrnn, made up in part of despotism, and in part 
of abstract reason misapplied to objects that belong entirely to e«- 
perience and the understanding. Its instincts and mode of action 
areinstrictcorreapondencewith its origin. In all places, Jacobin- 
ism betrays its mixed parentage and nature, by applying to the 
brute passions and physical force of the multitude (that is, to man 
as a mere animal), in order to build up government and the frame 
of society on natural rights instead of social privileges, on the 
universals of abstract reason instead of positive institutiona, the 
.ights of specific experience, and the modifications of existing 
circumstances. Bight in its moat proper sense is the creature <it 
law and statute, and only in the technical langus^e of the coorte 
has it any substantial and indqiendent sense. In morals, righi 
is a word without meaning except as the correlative of dntj. 
From all this it f ollowa, that reason as the science of all aa thn 

Dgilizodb, Google 

Appendix C. Ml 

whole, ninst be interpenetrated by a. power, that represents tho 
eoncentration of all in each. — a power that acta by contraction of 
TuuTersal tratihs into individual duties, as the only form in which 
those tratha can attain life and reality. Now this is religion, ivliicb 
is the executive of our natnre, and on this account the same of 
higheat dignity, and the symbol of sovereignty. 

Tet iJiis again — yet even religion itself, if ever in it« too esclu* 
aive devotion to the specific and individnsi it neglects to interpose 
the contemplation of the universal, changes its being into super- 
stition, and becoming more and more earthly and servile, as more 
and more estranged from the one in all, goes wandering at lengtb 
with ita pack of amulets, bead-rolls, periapts, fetisches, and the 
like |>edlary, on pilgrimages to Loretto, Mecca, or the temple of 
Jaggemaut, anu-in-axm with sensuality on one side and seU- 
torhure on the other, followed by a motley group of friars, par- 
doners, faquirs, gamesters, flSigellante, monntebanks, and harlots. 

Bat neither can reason nor religion exist or co-exist as reason 
and religioii, except as far as they aie actuated by the Will (the 
platonic 6vit^s), which is the snstajning, coercive and ministerial 
power, the functions of which in the individual correspond to the 
of&cera of war and police in the ideal Republic of Flato. In its 
state of immanence (or indwdling) in reason and religion, the 
Will appears indifferently, aa wisdom or as love i two names of 
the aame power, the former more inteUigential, the latter more 
apiritnal, the former more frequent in the Old, the latter in the 
Kew Testament. But in its utmost abstraction and consequent 
state of reprobation, the WUl becomes satanic pride and rebeUious 
self -idolatry in the jetationS of the spirit to itself, and remorseless 
despotism relatively to others; the more hopeless aa the more 
obdurate by its eul^jngation of sensual impulses, by its superiority 
to toil and pain and pleasure ; in short, by the fearful resolve to 
find in itself alone the one absolute motive of action, under which 
nil other motives from within and from without most be either 
subordinated or crushed. 

This is the character which Milton has so phUosophically as well 
as sublimely embodied in the Satan of his Paradise Lost. Alas! 
too often has it been embodied in real life! Too often has it 
given a dark and savage grandeur to the historic page! And 
wherever it has appeared, under whatever circumstances of time 
and country, the same ingredients have gone to its composition ; . 
and it has been identified by the same attributes. Hope in which 
there is no cheerfulness; stedfasfness within and immovable 
resolve, with outirardreatleBsness and whirling activity i >Fiolenc« 

" - D 5 mod b, Google 

819 A Lay Sermon. 

with gnfle; temeritj irith crumingi and, as tbe result of all, 
intenninableneaa of object with perfect indiffereace of meaaa; 
tbeee are the qualities that have constituted the oommandii^ 
geniua I these are the marks that lia,ve characteriBcd the masten 
of miachief, the liberticidee and mighty hnutera of mankind, from 
Nimrod to Napoleon. And from inattention to the possibilitj of 
such a chanuter as well as from ijinoranco of its elements, eren 
men of honest intentions too frequently become fascinated. Nay, 
whole nations have been so far duped by this want of insight and 
refiection as to regard viHii palliative admiratioD, instead of wonder 
and abhorrence, the Kolocbs of human nature, who are indebted 
for the far larger portion of their meteoric success to their total 
want of principle, sod who surpass the generality of their fellow* 
creatures in one act of courage only, that of daring to say with their 
whole heart, "Evil,bethon my good!" All system so far is power; 
and a systematic criminal, self -consistent and entire in wickedness, 
who entrenches nllany within villany, and barrioadoes crime by 
crime, has removed a world of obstacles by the mere decision, 
that he will hare no obstacles but those of force and brute matter. 

I have only to add a few sentences in completion of this note, 
on the conscience and on the understanding. The conscience is 
neither reason, religion, nor will, but an experience {ww generis) of 
the coincidence of the human, will with reason and rdigion. It 
might, perhaps, be called a spiritual sensation ; but that there 
lurks a contradiction in the terms, and that it is often deceptive 
to give a common or generic name to that, which being unique, 
can have no fair analogy. Strictly speaking, therefore, the con- 
science is neither a sensation nor a sense; but a testifying state, 
beet described in the words of our liturgy, as the peace of Qod 
tkat pcu$eth aU vnderstamding. 

Of this latter faculty considered in and of itself the peripatetic 
«pbioriam,nihilininleUeetugvcd7Mnpriiuiti sentu, isstricfly tme, 
as well as ihe legal maxim, de rebtu tioti apparmUbtu el turn e»igl- 
eaUiMe eadem ett raHo. The eye is not more inappropriate to sound, 
than, the mere understanding to the modes and laws of spiritual 
existence. In this sense I have used the term ; and in this sense 
I assert that " the understanding or experiential faculty, uniira- 
diated by the reason and the spirit, has no appropriate ol^ect 
but the mateiial world in relation to our worldly interests. The 
faz-sighted prudence of man, and the more narrow bnt at tba 
same time far less fallible cunning of the fox, are both no other 
than a nobler substitute for salt, in order that the ht^ moj not 
putrefy before its dwtintid hour 1 1" {The Frwnd.) 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

JjipeacUa; C. 343 

It most not, however, be overlooked, that this uunlation oC the 
uaderstaading is onr own act and deed. The man of healthfnl 
■nd undivided intellect naes hia undemtanding in Uiis stale o( 
fthstractaon only as a tool or OTgan: even as the arithmeticioa 
uses nmnbera, that is, as the means not the end of knowledge. 
Our Shakespeare in E^preement both with truth and the philosophj 
of bia age, n&mes it " diBCOorBe of reason," as an instrumental 
faculty belonging to reason ; and Hilton opposes the discursive 
to the intuitive, as the lower to the higher, 

• DlffoliV but In dvrce, In fcjnd the HUH r 

Of the disouTBiTe nndoratanding, which forms for itsdf genei-al 
notions and terms of classification for the purpose of comparing 
and arranging phenomena, the chaj-acteristic is clearness without 
depth. It conteiiipla,tes the unity of things in their limits only, 
and is consequently a knowledge of superficies without substance. 
So much BO indeed, that it entangles itself in contradictions, in 
the very effort of comprehending the idea of substance. The 
completing power which nnit«s cleamesa with depth, the pleni- 
tude of the sense with the comprehensibility of the understanding, 
is the imagination, impregnated with which the understanding 
itself becomes intuitive, and a living power. The reaso n (not the 
abstract reason, not the reason as the mere organ of science, or 
aa the faculty of scientific principles and schemes a priori ; but 
reason), as the integral spirit of the regenerated man, reason 
substantiated and vital, " one only, yet manifold, overseeing all. 
and going through all understanding; thejfieath of the power of 
f}od, and a pure influence from the glory of the Almighty ; which 
remaining in itself regenerateth all other powers, and in all 
ages entering into holy sonle maketh them friends of God and 
prophets " (Wisdom of Solomon, c. vii.) ; this reason without being 
either the sense, the nnderstandiug, or ^e imagination, contains 
all three witiiin itself, even as the mind contains its thoughts and 
is present in and through them all ; or as the eipreasion pervades 
the different features of an inteUigent countenanca Each indi- 
vidual mnat bear witness of it to bis own mind, even as he 
describes life and light : and with the sUeuce of light it describes 
itself and dwells in ua only as far as we dwell in it. It cannot iu 
strict langoage be called a faculty, much less a personal property, 
of any human mind 1 He, with whom it is present, can m little 
appropriate it, whether totally or by partition, as he can claim 
ownership in the breathing air, or make an inclosurc in the copv 
of heaven. 

D^iizodb, Google 

314 ■ A La^ Senium. 

Tho object of the preceding discourse was to i-ecMimmcnd tlie 
Bible, as the end and centre of onr reading and meditation. I 
can trulj affinu of mjeelf, that mj studies have been profitable 
and avaUing to me onlj eo far, as I bave endeavoured to use all 

my other knowledge as a glass enabling me to receive more light 
in a wider field of vision from the Word of God. If you have 
accompanied me thus far, thoughtful reader, let me not wearf 
you if I digreaa for a, few momentB to another book, likewise a 
revelation of God — the gi'eat book of His aervant Nature. That 
in its obvious eense and liteial interpretation, it declai-es the 
oemg and attributes of the Almigbty Father, none but the fool 
in heart has ever dared gainsay. But it has been the music of 
gentle and pious ndnds in all ages, it is tbe poetry of all human 
nature, to read it likewise in a figurative Hense, and to find therein 
correspondences and symbols of tbe spiritual world. 

I have at this moment before me, in the floweiy meadow, on 
which my eye is now reposing, one of its moat soothing chapters, 
in which there is no lamenting word, no one character of guilt or 
anguish. For never can I look and meditate on the v egetable 
creat ion, without a feelii^ similar to that with which we gazS 
at a beautiful infant that has fed itself asleep at its mother's 
bosom, and smiles in its strange di-eam of obscure yet happy 
sensations. The same tender and genial pleasure takes possession 
of me, and this pleasure is checked and drawn inward by the 
like aching melancholy, by the same whispered remonstrance, and 
made restless by a similar impulse of aspiration. It seems as if 
the soul said to herself ; From this state bast them fallen I Such 
shouldst thou still become, thy Sdf all permeable to a holier 
power I thy self at once hidden and glorified by its own traospa' 
rency, as the accidental and dividuous in this quiet and harmonionu 
object is subjected to tbe life and light of nature wbicb shines in 
it, even as the transmitted power, lor^ and wisdom, of God over 
all, fills and shines through nature 1 But what the plant is, by an 
act not its own and unconsciously— ^that must thou make thyself 
to become! must by prayer and by a watchful and unresisting 
spirit, join at least with the preventive and assisting grace to 
make thyself, in that light of conscience which inflameth not, and 
with that knowledge which pufTctb not up I 

But further, and with particular reference to that undivided 
reason, neither merely speculative nor merely practical, but both 
in one, which I have in this annotation endeavoured to contra- 
distinguish from the understanding, I seem to myself to behold 
in the qniet objects im which I am gazing, more than an arbitrary 

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Qlueiration, more th&n a mere Bimile, the work of my own. fancj. 
I feel an anc, as if there were before my eyes ihe siune power an 
thut of the 1*609011 — the sajne power in a lower dignity, and there- 
fore a Byinbol'establiahed in the truth of thinge. t feel it alike, 
whether I contemplate a single tree or flower, or meditate on 
vegetation throughout the world, as one of the great organs of 
the life of nature. Lo ! — with the rieiug sun it commences its out* 
ward life and enters into open communion with all the element^ 
at once assimilating them to itself and to each other. At the same 
moment it strikea ita roots and unfolds its leaves, absorbs and 
respires, steams forth ita cooling vapour and finer fragrance, and 
breathes a, repairing spirit, at once the food and tone of the atmo- 
sphere, into the atmosphere that feeds it. ho I — at the touch of 
tight how it returns an air akin to light, and yet with the same 
pulse effectuates its own secret growth, still contracting to fix 
what expanding it had refined. Lo ! — how upholding the cease- 
less plastic motion of the parts in the profoundest rest of the 
whole it becomes the visible organitmuB of the whole silent or 
elementary life of nature, and therefore, in incorporatingjbe.ime 
extreme becomes the symbol of the other ; t£e natural ja^nbol/^f 
■tllafEgher life of reason, m wEicE Ihe whole Buries (known to us 
in our present state of being) i s perfected , in which, therefore, all 
the snbordinate gradations recur, and are re-ordained " in more 
abundant honour." We had seen each in ita own cast, and we 
now recognise tltem all as co-existing in the unity of a higher 
form, the crown and completion of the earthly, and the mediator 
of a new and heavenly series. Thus finally, the vegetable 
creation, in the simplicity and miiformity of its internal structnre 
symbolizing Ihe unity of nature, while it represents the omni- 
formity of her delegated functions in its eitemal variety and 
manifoldness, becomes the record and chronicle of her ministerial 
acts, and inchases the vast unfolded volume of the e^rth with the 
iuerogljphics of her history. 

! if as the plant if the orient beam, we would but open out 
our minds to that holier light, which " being compared with light 
is found before it, mora, beautiful than the sun, and above all the 
order of stars " (Wisdom of Solomon, vii, 29), ungenial, alien, and 
adverse to onr very nature would appear the boastful wisdom 
•rhich, beginning in France, gradually tampered with the taste 
and literature of all the most 'Civilized natiims of Christendom, 
seducing the understanding from its natural aU^iance, and 
therewith from all its own lawful claims, titles, and privil^^ee.' It 
was placed as a ward of* honour in the courts of faith and reason i 

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8U ALag SemtM. 

bat it ohoB49 to dvrell akme, and became a harlot I7 the wajBidft 
TkA oommeroiaJ spirit, and the asoendnaicy of the cxperinumtul 
philoBophj which took phice at the dose of the seventeentA centuiy, 
though both good and beneficial in theii own kinds, combined to 
foater its oormption. Flattered and dazzled b; the real or sup- 
posed discorerieB which it had made, the more the understanding 
was enriched, the more did it become debased j tUl science itself 
put on a selfish and aensnal character, and immediat« ntilit;, in 
exclueiTe reference to the gratification of the wants and appetites 
of the w-nimw], the Tanities and caprices of the social, and the 
ambition of the political, man was imposed as the test of all intel- 
]«ctual powers and pnrsnita. Worth was degraded into a lazy 
synonym of value ; and value was ezclusiTely attached to t^ iut«- 
i-est of tke senses. But though the growing alienation and self- 
sufficiency of the nnderstAnding was perceptible at an earlier 
period, yet it seems to have been about the middle of the last 
century, under the influence of Toltaire, D'Alembert, Diderot, say 
generally of the so-called encydopfedists, and alas ! of their 
crowned proselyt«e and disciples, iVederick, Joseph, and Catha- 
rine, that the human understanding, and this too in its narrowest 
form, was tempted to throw off all show of reverence to the spirit- 
ual and even to the moral powers and impulses of the sonl ; and, 
usurping the name of reason, openly joined Ute banners of Anti- 
christ, at once the pander and the prostitute of sensnalitT' ; and 
whether in the cabinet, laboratory, the dissecting-room, or the 
brothel, alike busy in the schemes of vice and irreligion. "Well 
and truly might it, thus personified in our fancy, have been ad- 
dressed in the words of the evangelical proph^, which I have once 
before quoted : " Thou hast said, none is my overseer ! — thy wisdom 
and thy knowledge, it hath pervert«d thee 1 — and thou hast said in 
thy heart, I am, and there is none beside mel" (Isa^iah zlvii. 

Prurient, bustling, and revolutionary, this French wisdom has 
never more than grazed the surfaces of knowledge. As political 
economy, in its zeal for the increase of food, it habitually over- 
looked the qualities and even the sensations of those that were to 
feed on it. As ethical phUosophy, it recognised no duties which 
it could not reduce into debtor and creditor aocounte on the 
ledgers of self-love, where no coin was sterling which could not be 
rendered into agreeable sensations. And even in its height of 
self-complacency as chemical art, greatly am I deceived if it haa 
not from the very begmning mistaken the products of destruction, 
cadaieera rermn, for the elements of conqwoitaon : and moot »• 

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Appeitdix C 347 

Baredly it lias dearlj purcliased a. few brilliant inveiitioiia at the 
loHs of all communion with life and the spirit of natare. Ae tto 
proceBB, Bnch the result !— a heartlesa frivolity alternating with a 
BentimentaKty as heartless — an ignorant contempt of antiqmty — a 
neglect of moral Belf-diacipliae — a deadening of the religious 
sense, eiven in the less reflecting forms of natural pietj — a scom- 
fnl reprobation of all consolations and secret refreshings from 
above — and aa the eapiit mjortifum. of human natare evaporated, a 
French, nature of rapaitity, levitj, f erocitj, and presumption. 

Man of understanding, caRst thou command the stone to lie, 
const thon bid the flower bloom, where thou haat placed it in thy 
classification P Canst tbon persuade the living or the inanimate 
to stand separate even as thou haat separated them P And do not 
far rather all things spread, out before thee in glad confusion and 
heedless intermixture, even as a lightsome chaos on which the 
Spirit of Ood is moving P Do not all press and swell under one 
attraction, and live together in promiscuous harmony, each jojona 
in its own kind, and in the immediate neighbourhood of myriad 
others that in ihe system of thy understanding are distant aa the 
poles P If to mint and to remember names delight thee, etiU 
arrange and classify and pore and pull to pieces, and peep into 
death to look for life, as monkeys put their hands behind a look- 
ing-glass 1 Tet consider, in the first sabbath which thou imposest 
on the busy discursion of thought, that all this is at best little 
more than a technical memory : that like can only be known by 
like : that as truth is the correlative of being, so is the aet of 
being the great organ of truth : that in natural no less than in 
moral science, rfuontum gmim$, ernn/ue. 

That which we find in ourselves is {groAv, mutaio) the substance ' 
and the life of all onr knowledge. Without this lat^it presence of 
the " I am," all modes of existence in the external world would flit 
before us afi coloured shadows, with no greater depth, root, or fix- 
ture, than the imi^^ of a rock hath in a gliding stream, or the 
rainbow on a fast-sailing rain-storm. The human mind is the' 
compass, in which the laws and actuations of all outward essences 
are revealed as the dips and declinations. (The application of 
geometry to the forces and movements of the material world is 
both proof and instance.) The fact, therefore, that the mind of 
man, in its own primary and constituent forms, represents the 
laws of nature, is a mystery which of itself should suffice to mako 
UH religious : for it is a problem of which God is the only solntion 
— God, the One before all, and of all, and through all ! " True 
natural philosophy ia comprised in Ihe study of t^ science and 

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UuKuage of Bjmbok. The power delegated to nature U iill la 
ever; part; and by a epnbol I mean, not a nLdsplior or eiiegixy 
or IU17 otlier flgnre of speech or form ot fancj, but an actual and 
eaeential part of that, the wliole of wMch it repreBenta. Thoa our 
Lord speaks symbolically when He says that " the eye ia the light 
of the body." The genuine naturalist is a dramatio poet in his 
own line : and each ba out myriad-minded Shakespeare is, com* 
pared with the Bacinea and iUetaatasioa, such and by a HiiFiiln* 
process of sdf-transformation would the man be, oompared with 
the doctors of the mechanio school, who ehould construct his 
physiology on the heaven-descended, Elnow thyself. 

Even "the visions of the night " speak to us of powers. within 
ns that are not dreamt of in their day-dream of philosophy. The 
dreams which we most often remember are produced by Hie 
nascent sensations and inward motiuneute (the fluxions) of the 
waldmg state. Hence, too, they are more capable of being remem- 
bered, because, passing more gradually into our waking thoughts, 
they are more likely to associate with our first perceptions after 
sleep. Accordingly, when the nervous system is approaching to 
the waking state, a sort of under-conscioufoiesa blends with our 
dreams, Uuit in all we imagine aa seen nr heard, our own self is 
the Tentriloquist, and moves the slides in the magio-lanthom. 
Wp dream about things I 

But there are few persons of tender feelings and refledang 
habits who have not, more or less often in the course of their 
lives, experienced dreams of a very different kind, and during the 
profoundest sleep that is ccnupatible with after-recollection — 
states of which it would be scarcely too bold to say Uiat we dream 
the things themselves; so exact, minute, and vivid beyond all 
power of ordinary memory is the portraiture, so marvellously 
perfect is our brief metempsychosis into the very being, as it 
were, of the person who seems to address ns. If I may be allowed 
to quote from myself [The JViend), " the dullest wight is at times 
a ^lakespeare in his dreams." Not only may we expect that men 
of strong religious feelings, but little religious knowledge, will 
ooca^onally be tempted to r^ard such occurrences as ^poT' 
natural visitations ; bnt it ought not to surprise us if such dreams 
should sometimes be confirmed by the event, as though th^ had 
actually posseesed a character ot divination. For who shall deoids 
how far a perfect reminiscence of paat experiences (of muy 
perhaps that had escaped our reflex consciousness at the time)--* 
who shall determine to what extent this reproduotiro imaginati<ai, 
unsophisticated by the will, and undistracted by intmsiona from 

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Appendix C. 349 

the eeoBes, may or naj not he concentred and enblimed into f oro- 
ri^t and preeentiment P There would be nothing herein either to 
fotrter snperstitioii, on the one hajid, or to jiiatif y contemptaoue dis- 
belief, on the other. lucredulitj ia but credulitj seen from behind, 
bowing and nodding asaent to the habitual amd the faahionable. 

To the touch (or feeling) belongs the proximate ; to the eje, the 
distant. Now, little as I might be disposed to believe, I should be 
atill less inclined to ridicule, the conjecture that in the recesses of 
our nature, and undereloped, there might exiat an inner sense 
(and therefore appertaining whoUj to time) — a sense hitherto 
" witbout a name," which as a higher third combined and poten- 
tiallj included both the former. Thns gravitation combines and 
includes the powers of attraction and repulsion, which are the 
constitaents of matter, as dietingnished from body. And thus, 
not as a compound, but as a higher third, it realizes matter (of 
itaeU eiw fiwdonaie ei prmfiuvm.) and constitutes it body. Now, 
snppose that thie nameless inner sense stood to the relations of 
time as the power of gravitation to those of space F A priori, a 
presence to the future is not m,ore mysterious or transoendeni 
than a presence to the distant : ihan a power eqdally immediato 
to the most remote objects, as it is to the central mass of its own 
body, toward which it seems, as it were, enchanting them : for in- 
stajice, the gravity in the sun and moon to the spring tides of our 
ocean. The true reply to such an hypothesia would be, that as 
there is nothing to be said against its possibility, there is likewise 
nothing to be urged for its reality ; and that the facts may be 
rationally explained without it. 

It has been asked why, knowing myself to be the object of 
personal slander (slander as unprovoked as it is groundless, unless 
acts of kindness are provocation), I furnish this matorial for it, by 
pleading in palliation of so chimerical a fancy. With that half- 
playful sadneas, which at once sighs and smileB, I answered ; Why 
not for that very reason? — viz., in order that my calnmniator 
might have, if not a material, yet some basis for the poison-gas of 
his invention to combine with f But no ; pure falsehood is often 
for the time the most effective; for how can a man confute what 
be can only contradict P Our opinions and principles cannot 
prove an alibi. Think only what your feelings would be if yon 
heazd a wretch deliberately perjure himself in support of an 
infamous accusation, so remoto from all fact, so smooth and 
homogeneous in its untruth, such a round robin of mere lies, that 
you knew not which to begin with P What could yon do but look 
round with horror and astonishment, pleading silently to human 

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850 li LeofSeitton. 

nature itedf, and perliapa (m haih really been the case nitli me) 
forget botti the slanderer and the Blander in the anguish, inflicted, 
1^ the passiTeuess of jonr manj profeesed friends, whose charao 
ters joa had ever been as eager to clear from the least stain (d 
reproach as if a coal of fire had been on your own akin p Bnt 
■ enough of this, which would not have occurred to me at all at this 
time, had it not been thus suggested. 

The feeling that, in point of fact, chiefly influenced me in the 
' preceding half apology for the supposition of a divining pow^ in 
the human mind, arose out of the conviction that an age or nation 
may become ft^ from certain prejudices, beliefs, and superstitioua 
practices, in two ways. It may have really risen above them ; or 
it may have fallen below them, and become too bad for their con- 
tinuance. " The rustic would have little reason to thank the 
philosopher who should give him true conceptions of ghosts, 
omena, dreams, and presentiments, at the price of aban^ning his 
faith in Providence, and in the continued existence of his fellow- 
creatures after their death. The teeth of the old serpent sowed 
by the Gadmuses of French literature under Louis SV, produced 
a plenteous crop of such philosophers and tmth-trumpeters in 
the reign of his iU-fated successor. They tanght many facts, 
historical, political, physiological, and ecclesiastical, diffusing 
their notions so widely that the very ladies and hoir-dressers oi 
Paris became fluent encyclopedists; and the sole price which 
their scholars paid for these treasnreB of new light, was to believ* 
Christianity an imposture, the Scriptures a forgery, the worship 
of God superstition, hell a fable, heaven a dream, our life without 
Providence, and onr death withont hope, "What can be conceiTed 
more natural than the result: that self 'acknowledged beastt 
should first act, and neit suffer themselTea to be treated, a* 
beasts P" {The Friend.) 

Thank heaven ! — notwithstanding the attempts of Thomaj 
•Pajme and his compeers, it is not so bad with us. Ox>en infidelity 
' has.oeased to be a means even of gratifying vanity; for the 
leaders of the gang themselves turned apostates to Saton, as soon 
as the number of their proselytes became so large, that atheisn: 
ceased to give distinction. Kay, it became a mark of original 
thinking to defend the Belief and the Ten Commandments ; so 
the sti«ng minds veered round, and religion came again into 
fashion. But still I exceedingly doubt, whether the superannu- 
ation of sundry superstitious fancies be the result of any real dit 
fusion of sound thiuHng in the nation at large. For instance^ 
ther« is now no call for a Ficu? Ujrandula to write seven books 

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ApprntOtB 0, 3K1 

ogaLDst astroU^^. It might seexo, indeed, tliat a amgle fact like 
tliat of the loss of Eempenfeldt and hia crew, or the exploeicm of 
the L'Orient, wodd prove to the common aenBe of tte most igno- 
rai&t, that eren if aatfologj oottld be trae, the astrologers must be 
false ; for if each a science were possible it could be a science 
only for gods, Tet Erasmus, the prince of sound common sense, 
is known to have disapproved of his friend's hardihood, and did 
not himself venture bejond scepticism.: and the immortal Newton, 
to whom more than to anj other human being, Eai:ope owes the 
purification of its general notions concerning the heavenly bodies, 
studied astrology with mnch earnestness, and di^ notWect it till 
he had demonstrated the falsehood of all its 'jlKtended grounds 
and principles. The exit of two or three superstitions is no mora 
a proof of the entry of good sense, than the strangling of a despot 
at Algiers or Constantinople is a syntptom of freedom. If there- 
fore not the mere disbelief, but the grounds of such disbelief, 
nrast decide the question of our superior illumination, I confess 
that I coold not from my own obeervationa on the books and con- 
versation of the age vote for the affirmative without much hesita- 
tion. As many errors are despised by men from ignorance as 
from knowled^ Whether that be not the case with regard to 
divination, is a query that risee in my mind (notwithstanding my 
fullest conviction of the non-existence of such a power) aa ofteii 
M I read the names of the great statesmen and philosophers, 
which Cicero enumerates in the introductory paragraphs of his 
work De Divinatione. — Socraiei, onmesqvie Soeratici, plu/rimigqiie 
hm* fframg Auctor Democritiu, Crati^^ueque.famUiaritnogter.qaem 
egoparem mmimis PeripaielicU juctieo, &c. lEc.— jM^esennonemrerum 
futaranem, eomprobdnutt. Of all the theistic phUosopfaere, Xeno- 
phanes was the only one who wholly rejected it, " A Stoici* 
degeao'at PawBHvt, nee iamen aagut ett negare, vim e>»e dMnandi, 
led dainiare m dimi." Nor was this a mere outward assent to the 
opinions of the state. Uany of them subjected the question to 
the most exquisit« ai^nmente, and snpported the afBrmative not 
merely by eiperienoe, but (eepeoially the Stoics, who of all decte 
most cultivated psychology) by a minute analysis of human 
nature and its faculties ; while on the mind of Cicero himself [as 
on that of Plato with regard to a state of retributiim after death) 
the universality of the faith in all times and countries appears to 
have made the deepest impression. ' OetUmn qaidem nwltom mdeo, 
neque fam humana/m atcpie doctaim,, luque ia/m imimainetn lamqat 
barbaram, jimb non gign'ificari fulwra, el a guHmgdmn intelU^i 
pnetUeique poi»e eeaeeat.' 

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862 A Lay Semon. 

I f«ar that the decrease in our feelinge of reverence towardi 
tuankind at large, and oar increaBing averaiou to every opinion 
not groonded in some appeal to the eenaea, have a larger share in 
this our emancipation from the prejudicee of Socrates and Cicero, 
than reflection, ineight, or a fair collation of tlie facte and ai^* 
mente. For mjeelf, I would far rather see the English people st 
large believe somewhat too mnch than merelj juat enough, if tiw 
latter is to be produced, or must be accompanied, hy a contempt 
or neglect ol the faith and intellect of their forefathers. For not 
to say vhat yet is moat certain, that a people cannot believe just 
enongh, and that tliere are errors which no wise man will treat 
with rudeness, while there is a probability that they may be the 
refraction of some great truth as yet below the Korizon ; it re- 
maina most worthy of our seriotis consideration, whether a fancied 
superiority to their ancestors' intellects must not be speedily 
followed in the popular mind by disrespect for their ancestors' 
institntions. Assuredly it is not easy to place any confidence in 
a form of church or state, of whose founders we have been taught 
to believe, that their philosophy was jargon, and their fedings 
and notions rank superstition. Yet are we never to grow wiser P 
Are we to he credulous by birthright, and take ghosts, omens, 
visions, and witehcraf t, as an heirloom ? Qod forbid ! A dis- 
tinction must be made, and such a one aa shall be equally availing 
and profitable to men of all ranks. Is this practicable P Yes ! 
it exists. It is found in the study of the Old and New Test^ 
roent, if only it be combined with a spiritual partaking of the 
Redeemer's Blood, of which, mysterious as the symbol may be, 
the sacramental wine is no mere or arbitrary memento. This is 
the only certain, and this is the imiversal preventive of all de- 
basing superstitions ; this ia the true Hsmony (iTpi, blood : owcc, 
wine) which our Milton has beautifully allegorized in a passage 
strangely overlooked by all bis commentators. B^r in mind, 
reader, the character of a militant Christian, and the resnlts (ia 
this life and in the next) of the Redemption by the Blood ^ 
Christ, and so peruse the passage ! 

id hia prickla on II, 
net, but nut In tfals toi 

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Appendix C 

Uieee Imcs mij;lit be emplojed as oa amulet ^amat delnsions : 
for the man, who is indeed a ChriBtian, will as little think of in- 
fomiiiig himself concerning the future by dreams or preaentd* 
ments, as of looking for a distant object at broad noon-daj with a 
lighted taper in his hand. 

But whatever of good and infcellecfcaal nature worketh in us, it 
is onr appointed ta^ to render graduallj our own work. For all 
things that aurronnd ns, and all things that happen unto ns, have 
(each doubtless its own providential purpose, but) all one common 
final cause ; namely, the increase of consciousness, in such wise, 
that whatever part of the terra inaigiaia of onr nature the in- 
creased consciousness discovers, our will may conquer and bring 
into subjection to itself under the sovereignty of reason. 

The leading differences between mechanic and vital philosophy 
may all be drawn from one point ; namely, that the former de- 
manding for every mode and act of existence real or possible 
visibility, knows only of distance and nearness, composition (or 
rather jnxta-positiou) and decomposition, in short, the relations of 
unproductive particles to each other ; ao that in every instance the 
result is the exact snm of the component quantities, as in arith- 
metical addition. This is the philosophy of death, and only of 
a dead nature can it hold good. In life, much more in spirit, and 
in a living and spiritual philosophy, the two component counter- 
powers actually interpenetrate eaeh other, and generate a higher 
third, innlnding both the former, Ua tamen ut sit alia et moQor. 

To apply this to the subject of this present essay. The dements 
'the factors, as it were) of religion are reason and understanding. 
If the composition stopped ia itself, an understanding thus 
rationalized would lead to the admiaaion of the general doctrines 
of natural religion, the belief of a God, and of inuuortalitj ; and 
probably to an acquiescence in the history and ethics of the 
Qospel. But still it would be a speculative faith, and in the 
nature of a theory; as if the main chject of religion were to solve 
diffieulties for the satisfaction of the intellect. Now this state 
of mind, which alas ! is the state of too many among our self- 
entitled rational religionists, is a mere balance or compromise of 
the two powers, not that Uving and generative interpenetration 
of both which would give being to essential religion — to the re- 
ligion, at the birth of which " we receive the spirit of adoption, 
wherehy we cry, Abba, Father; ^e spirit itself bearing witncea 

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851 A Lag Sermon. 

with our spun, that we are the childi«n of God" (Bom. viii. 15, 16). 
In reli^on there is iu> abatraotdon. To the xaatj and iufimtj ol 
the Divine Nature, of which it is the partaker, it adds the falaesa, 
and to the fohieaB the grace and the creative overflowing. That 
which intoitiTelj it at once beholda and adores, praying always, 
uid r^oicing always — that doth it tend to become. In all things 
and in each thing— for the Almighty goodneaa does not creatfl 
generalities or abide in abatractions — in each, the meanest, object 
it bears witness to a mystery of infinite solution. Thus " behold- 
ing as in a gla^s the glory of the Lord, it is changed into the 
same image from glory to glory" (2 Cor. ilL 18). For as it is 
bom and not made, so mnat it grow. As it is the image or 
symbol of its great object, by the organ of this similitude, as by 
an eye, it seeth that same image throughout the creation ; and 
from the same cause sympathiseth with all creation in its groans 
to be redeemed. " For we know that the whole creation groaneth 
and travaileth in earnest expectation" CR<*°- Tiii. 20 — 23) of a 
renewal of its forfeited power, the power, namely, of retiring into 
tliat image, which ia its substantial form and true life, from the 
vanity of self, which then only is when for itself it has ceased tc 
"be.' ilven so doth religion finitely express the unity of the In- 
fin^ Spirit by being a total act of the souL And even so doth it 
represent Tfia fulness by its depth, by its sabstantiality, and by 
an all-pervading vital warmth which — relaxing the rigid, consoli- 
dating the dissolute, and gi^™? cohesion to that which ia about 
to sink down and fall abroad, as into the dust and crumble of 
the grave — is a life within life, evermore organizing the soul 

Nor doth it express the fulness only of the Spirit. It likewise 
represents His overflowing by its communicativeneBe, budding 
and blossoming forth in all earnestness of persuasion, and in aV 
words of sound doctrine: while, Uke the citron in a genial soiL 
and climate, it bears a golden fruitage of good works at the same 
time, the example waxing in contact with the exhortation, as the 
ripe orange beside the opening orange flower. Tea, even His 
area.tiveness doth it shadow out by its own powers of impreg- 
nation and production, " being such a one as Paul the aged, and 
also ft prisoner for Jesus Christ, who begat to a lively hope his 
son Onesimua in his bonds," regenerating in and through thd 
Spirit the slaves of corruption, and fugitives from a far greater 
master than Philemon. The love of God, and therefore God 
himself, who is lore, religion strives to express by love, and 
measures ite growth by the increase and activity of its lore. For 

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Appendix C. 866 

Obrietiazk love is the last and dirineat birth, tha harmony, tmitj, 
and god-lite trauBfiguratioD of all the Tital, iutelieotual, moral, 
and spiritual powers. Ifow it manifesto itself as the sparkling 
and ebullient spring of well-doing in gifto ajid in labonie ; and 
now as a ailent fountain ot patience and loi^-auffering, the ful- 
ness of which no hatred or persecution can eihaust or diminish; 
a more tlian conqueror in tlie persuasion, " that neither death, nor 
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, 
nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to Bepaiate it from the love of God which is in 
Christ Jesus the Lord" (Eom. viii, 38, 39). 

From God's love through His Son, crucified for us from the 
beginning of the world, rdigion begins : and in love towards Qoi 
and the creatures of Clod it hath its end and completion. how 
heaven-like it is to sit among brethren at the feet of a minister 
who speaks under the influence of love, and is heard under the 
same influence ! for aU abiding and spiritual knowledge, infused 
into a grateful and affectionate feUow-Chriatian, is as the child of 
the mind that infuses it. The delight which he gives be receives ; 
and in that bright and liberal hour the gladdened preacher can 
scarce gather the ripe produce of to-daj wilJiout discovering and 
looking forward to the green fruits and embryons, the heritage 
and reverEdonary wealth of the days to come; till he bnrsts forth 
in prayer and thanksgiving — " The harvest tmly is plenteous, but 
the labourers few. O gracious Lord of the Harvest, send forth 
labourers into Thy harvest ! There is no difference between the 
Jew and the Gre^. Thou, Lord over all, art rich to all that call 
upon Thee. But how shall they call on Him in whom they have 
not beheved F and how shall they believe in Him of whom they 
have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher P 
and how shall they preach except they be sent F And 1 how 
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of T"""! that bringeth 
good tidings, and pablieheth peace, that hringeth glB:d tidings of 
good things, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto the capti «'i 
BOul, Thy God reigneth ! God manifested in the flesh hath re- 
deemed thee ! O Lord of the Harvest, send forth labourers into 
Thy harvest !" 

Join with me, reader, in the ferveni, prayer, uiat we may seek 
within ns, what we can never find elsewhere ; that we may £nd 
wiUiin ns what no words can put there ; that one only true religion, 
which elevateth knowing into bemg, which is at once the science 
ot being, and the being and the life of all genuine science. 

D^iizodb, Google 

886 . ^ Las Sermon. 


InallageaoftheCliriBtiajiclinrclk, and in the later period of tha 
Jewish (that is, aa booh as from their acquaintance first with the 
Oriental and afterwards with, the Greek philoHoph;, the precnraoij 
and preparative iuflaences of the gospel began to work), there hare 
existed indiTiduals— Laodiceans in spirit, Minima in faith, and 
Nominalists in philosophy — who mistake ontUnes for substance, 
and distinct images for clear conceptions ; with whom therefore 
not to he a thii^, is the same as not to he at alL The contempt 
in which such persona hold the works and doctrines of all theo- 
logians before Orotiiis, and of all philosophers before Locke and 
Hartlej (at least before Bacon and Hobbes), is not accidental, nor 
yet altogether owing to that epidemic of a proud ignoranoe 
occasioned \y a diffiised sciolism, which gave a sickl; and hectie 
showinesa to the latter half of the last centmy. It ia a real 
instinct of self-defence acting offensively bj anticipation. For 
tlie anthority of all the greatest names of antiquity is full and 
decisive against them; and man, by the very nature of his birth 
and growth, is so much the creature of authority, that there 
was no way of effectually resisting it but by undermining the 
reverence for the past in, toio. Thus the Jewish prophets have, 
forsooth, a certain degree of antiquarian value, as being the only 
specimens extant of the oracles of a barbarous tribe ; the Evan- 
gelista are to be interpreted with a due allowance for their super- 
stitions prgudicea concerning evil spirits, and St. Paul never 
suffers them to foi^t that he had been brought up at the feet of 
a Jewish Babbi ! The Greeks indeed were a fine people in works 
of taste ; but as to their philosophers ! the writings of Plato are 
smoke and flash from the witch's cauldron of a disturbed imagin< 
ation ! Ariatotle'a works a qniekset hedge of fmitlesa and thorny 
distinctions! and all the phitosophera before Plato and Aristotle 
fablers and allegorisers ! 

But these men have had their day : and there are signs of tha 
times dearly announcing tliat that day is verging to Its cIosa 
Even now the^ are not a tew, on whose convictions it will not be 
nninfinencive to know, that the power hy which men are led to tha 
truth of things, instead of the appearances, was deemed and 
entitled the living and aubatantial Word of God by the aonndsat 
of the Hebrew doctors ; that the eldest and most profound of tha 
Greek philoaopters demanded assent to their doctrine, mainly »a 
crcHJiia SfDn-KpiiSoToc, i. e., a traditionary wisdom that had ita origin 
in inspiration J that these men referred the same power t4t dia 

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Appmdix D. 367 

*Cf) atifuov imi fiiomourror AOTOY ; and tliat thej were Bcarcely 
loBB erpress than theii* acliolar Philo Jadsus ia their affii-matioDU 
id the liOgoB, as no mere attribute or quality, no mode of abatrac- 
tion, uo pereonificatioD, but literaJIj aud mjsterioualj Dene alter 
el idem. 

When edncation has dieciplined the mindB of oiir gentry for 
anaterer study; when educated men wiU be ashamed to lot>k 
abroad for truths that can be only fonnd within; within thcut- 
^vee thoy will discover, intnitively will they discover, the dis- 
tinctions between "the light tlmt lighteth every man that cometh 
into the world," and the understanding, which forms the 'peculivm 
of eB.cb man, aa different in extent and value from another man's 
understanding as his estate may be from his neighbour's estate. 
The words of St. John, from the 7th to the 12th verse of his first 
chapter, are in their whole eitent interpretable of the under- 
standing, which derives ita rank and mode of being in the human 
race (that is, as far as it may b« contrasted with the instinct of 
the dog or elephant, in all which constitutea it human undei*- 
standing] from the nniversal light. This light, therefore, comes 
as to its own. Being r^ected, it leaves the understanding to a 
world of dreams and darkness : for in it alone is life, and the life 
is the light of caen. What then but apparitions can remain to a 
philosophy which strikes death through all things visible and 
invisible ; satisfies itself then only when it can explain those ab- 
stractions of the outward senses, which by an unconscious irony 
it names indiffei-ently facts and phenomena, mechanically that id, 
by the laws of death ; and brands with the name of mysticism 
every solution grounded in life, or the powers and intuitiona of 

On the other band, if the light be received by faith, to sooh 
understandings it delegates the privilege {i^ovaiav) to become sons 
st God, expuiding while it elevates, even as the beams of the 
sun incorporate with the iftist, and make its natural darkness and 
earthly nature the bearer and interpreter of their own glory. 

The very same truth is found in a fragment of the Ephesian 
Heraclitua, preaerved by Stobaeus, and in somewhat different words 
by Diogenes Laertius. Xvr v6<f XiyoirTac icrj^upifxr^oi xp^ t^ fut^ 

(A<iyou') KpOTil yap roo-oDroi' okod-oi' tSikti. tai t^pKtl icaai nai irtpi- 

flvmu. Translation: — To discourse rationally (=if we would 
render the discursive understanding "discourae of reaaon"), it be- 
bores us to derive atrenifth from that which is common to dU 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

8B8 A hay Sermon. 

men (=tke lig^t that lightetli every man). For bU luumiB 
iinderetandiiigs are nooriahed bj the one Diriue Word, whom 
power is commenearate with His will, and is sufficient for all and 
overfloweth (=shineth in darkness, amd ui not contained therein, 
or comprehended hy the darknesB). 

This was HeraclituB, whose book is neai'lj six hundred yean 
older than the gospel of St. John, and who was proverbiallr 
entitled the dark {i atortitios:). But it was a dat'knesa whicn 
Socrates would not condemn, and which would probably appeal 
to enlightened Christians the darkness of prophecy, had the work 
which he hid in the temple been preserred to us. But obscnritj 
is a word of many meanings. It may be in the subject; itmaybe 
in the author; or it may be in the reader; and this again maj 
originate in the state of the reader's heart ; t^ in that of his 
capacity; or in his temper; or in his accidental associations. 
Two kinds are especially pointed oat by the diyine Plato in his 
Sophistes. The beauty of the original is beyond my reach. On 
my anxiety to give the fulness of the thoaght, I must ground my 
excuse for construing rather than translating. The fidelity <j 
the version may well atone for its harshnesa in a passage that 
deserves a meditation bejond the ministry of words, even the 
words of Plato himself, Uiough ia them, or nowhere, are to be 
heard the sweet sounds that issued from the head of Memuon at 
the touch of light. " One thing is the hardness-to-be-nnderstood 
of the sophist, another that of the philosopher. The former 
retreating into the obscurity of that which hath not true being 
(toC fii) SiToc), and by long intercourse accnstomed to the same, is 
hard to be known on account of the dusIdneBS of the place. But 
the philosopher by contemplation of pure reason evermore ap- 
proximating to the idea of true being (tou Srros), is by no means 
easy to be seen on accoont of the splendour of that region. For the 
intelleotual eyes of the many flit, and are incapable of looking 
fixedly towards the god-like." 

There are, I am aware, persons who willingly admit that not in 
artideB of faith alone, but in the heights of geometry, and even in 
the necessary first principles of natural philosophy, there exist 
ti'uths of apodictic force in reason, which the mere underatanding 
strives in vain to comprehend. Take, as an instance, the ascend- 
ing series of infinites in every finite, a position which involvea m 
contradiction for the understanding, yet follows deraonstrsbly 
from the very definiUou of body as that which fills a space. Fir 
wherever there is a apace filled, there must be an extension t<^ btt 
divided. "Wben therefore maanmB generalised from appearanool 

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JppemiiicE. 359 

(phenomena) are applied to subataiices ; trlien rules, abstracted or 
deduced from the formB in time and epace, are twed as measureH 
of spiritoal being, yea, even of the Divine Nature, -whieli cannot be 
compared or classed (" for My thoughts are not your ttoughte, 
nor are My waya your ways, saith the Lord "— lea^ It. 8) — such 
profesaora cannot but protest against the whole process, aa 
grounded on a groea metathesis etc oXXo yiyos. Yet atQI they are 
disposed to tolerate it ae a sort of sanative couut«r-excitement, 
that holds in check the more dangerous dieea;se of methodiam. 
Bat I more than doubt of both the positions. I do not think 
methodism, Calvinistic or Wesleyan, the more dangerous disease; 
and even if it were, I should dieny that It is at all likely to be 
counteracted by the rational Christianity of our modem Alogi 
(X6yos irtWfidc oXoyos!), who, mistaking unity for sameness, Lave 
been pleased by a misnomer not less contradictoiy to th^ own 
tenets than intolerant to those of Christians in general, to entitle 
themselves Unitarians. The two contagions attack each a wholly 
different class of minds and tempers, and each tends to produce 
and justify the other, according as the predisposition of the 
patient may chance to be. If fanaticism be as a fire in the 
flooring of the church, the idolism of the unspiritualised under- 
standing is the dry rot in its beams and timbers, 'Y^pip xpn 
a^tmnittv ii.a>Oi,ov 9 mpiailJiv, says Heraclitus. It is not the sect 
of Unitarian dissenters, but the spirit of unitaiianism in the 
members of the Established Church, that alarms me. To what open 
rerilings, and to what whispered slanders, I subject my name by 
this public avowal, I well know : anlarout yhp nvai tlvai iicttrriii^av 
'HpdiA«T&, <^Jimy, aKOvaiu oun oricrra/wimuF out' ilirilv' aXka (ol, kmhc 
^Sf j3au{<nimv ov &v flff yira(JKa<n^ 


The term idea, is an instanoe in point; and I hazard this 
assertion, together with the preceding sentences, in the fuU con- 
sciousness that they must be unintelligible to those who have yet 
to learn that an idea is equidistant in its signification from 
sensation, imi^e, fact, and notion; that it is the antithesis not 
the aynonyme of ttdaXor. The magnificent sou of Cosmo wae 
wont to discourse with Ficiao, PoUtiaji, and the princely Mirandnla 
on the ideas of wiU, Qod, and immortality. The accomplished 
sathor of the Arcadia, the star of serenest brilliance in the 
glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court, oiur England's Sir 
Ftulip Sidney I He, the paiamoant gentleman of 'Eoxope, tlw 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

SSO A tag Sermtm. 

poH, waiTior, and Btateeman, held high converse with Speuser on 
the idea of superaeiisual beauty ; on all " earthly fair and amiable," 
as the Bynibol of tliat idea ; and on music and poeej aa its living 
educta. With the same genial reverence did the jovinger Algernon 
conunnne with Harrington and Milton on the idea of a perfect 
■tate ; and in what sense it is true, that the men (i. e., the aggre- 
gate of the inhabitants of a country at any one tune) are made 
for the state, not the state for the men. Bat these lights shine no 
longer, or for a few. Exev/at .- and enter in their stead Kolofemea 
and Costard, masked as Metaphysics and Gonunonsense. And 
these, too, have their ideas J The former has an idea, that Home, 
Hartley, and Condillac have exploded all ideas but those of sensa- 
tion; he has anidea'that hewas particularly pleased with the fine 
idea of the last-named philosopher, that there is no absurdity in 
Bfiking what colour virtue is of P inasmuch as the proper philoso- 
phic answer would be black, blue, or bottle-green, according as the 
coat, waistcoat, and emall-clothea might chance to be of the.per- 
son the series of whose motions had excited the sensations which 
formed our idea of vi^ue. The latter has no idea of a better- 
flavoured haunch of venison than he dined off at the Albion : he 
admits that the French tare an excellent idea of cooking in gene- 
ral, but holds that their best cooks have no more idea of dressing 
a turtle than the gourmands themselves, at Paris, have of the true 
taste and colour of the fat ! 

It is not impossible that a portion of the high value attached of 
'' late years to the dates and margins of our old folios and quartos, 
may he transferred to their contenta Even now there exists a 
shrewd suspicion in the minds of reading men, that not only Plato 
and Aristotle, bat even Scotus Erigena, and the schoolmen from 
Peter Lombard to Duns Scotns, are not such mere blockheads as 
they pass for with those who have never perused a line of their 
writings. What the results may be should this ripen into con- 
viction, I can but gueaa. But all history seems to favour the 
persuasion I entertain, that in every age the speculative philo> 
sophy in general acceptance, the metaphysical opinions that 
happen to be predominant, wUl influence the theology of that age. 
Whatever is proposed for the belief, as true, must have been pre- 
viously admitted by reason as possible, as involving no contradic- 
tion to the aniversal forms (or taws) of thought, no incompatibility 
in the terms of the propoaitionj and the determination on this 
head belongs exclusively to the science of metaphysics. In each 
article of faith embraced on conviction, the mind determines. 
Brat, intuitively on its logical possibility; secondly, discursively 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Appetidix K S61 

on its analogy to doctiiaee already believed, as well eib oq its 
AorrcBpondenoe to the wfiatB and faculties of our nature; and 
fihirdlj, bistoricallj, on the direct and indirect evideaces. But 
the probabUitj of an event is a, part of ite historic evideoce, and 
ConstitnteB its presiunptive proof, or tie eyidence d ptwn. Now, 
as the evidence d poaterii>n requisite in order to a satiafa^toiy 
proof of the actnal occurrence of any fact stands in an inverse 
ratio to the strength or weakneBS of the evidence A priori (that ia, 
a tact probable in itself may be believed on alight teatimonj), it ia 
maiiifeBt that of the thre« factora, by which the mind ia deter- 
mined to the admisrion or rejection of the point in question, the 
laat must be greatly influenced by the second, and that both 
depend on the first, not indeed as their cause or preconstituent, hnt 
aa their indiapenaable condition ; so that the very inquiry concern- 
ing them is preposterons (^a-d^iu/ia roD 'Yaripov Uporipov) as long 

aa the first remains undetermined. Again : the histoiy of human 
opinions (ecclesiastical and philosophical history) confirms, by 
manifold instances, what attentive consideration of the position 
itself might have authorized us to presume ; namely, that on all 
guch snbjecta as are out of the sphere of the senses, and therefore 
incapable of a direct proof from outward experience, the question 
whether any given position is logically impossible (incompatible 
with reason) or only incomprehensible (t. e. not reducible to the 
forma of sense ; namely, time and apace, or those of the under- 
standing; namely, quantity, quality, and relation) — in other 
words, ^e question, whether an assertion be in itself incon- 
ceivable, or only by us unimaginable, will be decided by each 
individual according to the positions assumed as first principles 
in the metaphysicttl system which he had. previously adopted. 
Thus the existence of a Supreme Beason, the Creator of th« 
material universe, involved a contradiction for a disciple of Epi- 
cnms, who had convinced himself that causative thought was 
tantamount to something ont of nothing, or substance out of 
shadow, and incompatible with the aiciom Nihil ex nihilo : while, 
on the contrary, to a Platonist the position is necessarily pre- 
supposed in every other truth, as that without which every fact 
of eiperience would involve a contradiction in reason. Now it is 
not denied that the framers of our Church Liturgy, Honuliea and 
Articles, entertained metaphysical opinions irreconcUeable in 
their firat principles with the system of speculative philosophy 
which has been taught in this country, and only not universally 
received, since the aaserted and generally believed defeat of the 
Bishop of Worcester (the excellent Stillingfleet] in his famons 

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862 A Lag Semon. 

controvenj witli Ur. Iiock& AsBnredlif theref oie it ia well worth 
the conaiderfttioii of our Established Clergy whether it is at all 
jirobable in itself or congruous with experience, that the diapnted 
Articles of OUT Church de revelaiit et eredeadii should be adopted 
with Biugleueas of heart, and in the light of knowledge, when the 
grounda and first philosophy, on which the framers themselves 
rested the antecedent credibilitj (may we not add even the reveal- 
ability P) of the Articles in question, have been exchanged for 
principles the most dissimilar, if not contrary f It may be said, 
and truly, that the Scriptures, and not metaphysical systemB, are 
our best and ultimate authority. And, doubtless, on Revelation 
must we rely for the truth of the doctrines. Yet what is held in- 
capable of being conceived as possible will be deemed incapable 
of having been revealed as real; and that philosophy has hitherto 
had a negative voice, as to the interpretation of the Scriptures in 
high and doctrinal points, is proved by the course of argument 
adopted in the controversial volumes of all the orthodox divines 
from Origen to Bishop Bull, as well as by the very different sense 
attached to the same texts by the disciples of the modern meia- 
phytiqae, wherever tbey have been at liberty to form their own 
creeds according to their own eipositionfl. 

I repeat the question then: Is it likely that the faith of our. 
ancestors will be retained when their philosophy is rejected P re- 
jected d priori, as baseless notions not worth inquiring into, as 
obsolete errors which it would be slaying the slain to confute P 
Should the answer be in the n^ative, it would be no strained in- 
ference that the Clergy at least, as the couaervators of the national 
faith, and the accredited representatives of learning in general 
amongst ns, might with great advanti^^ to tlieir own peace of 
mind qualify themselves to judge for themselveB concerning the 
comparative worth and solidity of the two schemes. Let them 
make the experiment, whether a patient re-hearing of their pre- 
decessors' cause, with enough of predilection for the men to 
counterpoise the prejudices against their Bystem,niight not induce 
them to move for a new trial — a result of no mean importance in 
my opinion, were it on this account alone, that it would recall 
certain ex-dignitaries in the book-republic from their long exile 
on the shelves of our public libraries to their old familiar station 
on the reading desks of our theobgical students. However strong 
the presumption were in favour of principles anUionzed by names 
that must needs be so dear and venerable to a minister of thi> 
Church of England, as those of Hooker, Whitaker, Field, Donnc^ 
Uelden, Stilljngfieet (masculine intellects, formed under the robiut 

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Ajipendix E. 363 

disoipline of an age memorable for keeimesa of research and iron 
mdostry), jet no undue prepoaderance from anj previoos weight 
in Utis scale will be apprehended bj minda capable of eatimatiiig 
thi> cotmten-wcights, which it must first bring to a balance in the 
scale opposite ! The obstinacy of opinions that have alwaja been 
taken for granted ! opinions unassailable eren bj the remembrajice 
of a doubt 1 the silent accrescence of belief from the unwatched 
depositions of a general, nerer-contradicted, hearsay, the concur' 
ring Buffr^e of modem books, aU pre-supposing or re-asserting 
the same principles with the same confidence, and with the same 
contempt for aH prior ayatems! — and among these, works of 
liighest authority, appealed to in onr legislature aJid lectui-ed on 
at our TJniversities; the very books, perhaps, that called foi+h 
oar own first efibrta in thinking 1 the solutions and confutations 
in which must therefore have appeared tenfold more satisfactory 
from their having given us our first information of the difficulties 
to be solved, of the opinions to be confuted ! — Verily, a clergy- 
man's partiality towards the tenets of his forefathers must be 
intense beyond all precedent, if it can more than sustain itself 
gainst antagonists so strong in themselvea, and with such mighty 

!N^or in this enumeration dare I (though fully awaxe of the 
obloquy to which I am exposing myself) omit the noticeable fact, 
that we have attached a portion even of our national glory {not 
only to the system itaelf, that aystem of disguised and decorous 
Epicureanism, which has been the only orthodox philosophy of the 
laai hundred years ; but also, and more emphatically) to the name 
of the assumed father of the system, who raised it to its present 
"pride of place," and almost universal acceptance throughout 
Europe. And how was this effected? ExtrinsicaUy, by all the 
causes, consequences, and accompaniments of the Bevolntion in 
1688 : by all the opiniona, intereats, and passions which counter- 
acted by the sturdy prtjudieea of the malcontents with the Revo- 
lution j qualified by the compromiaing character of its chief con- 
duotors) not more propelled by the spirit of entei-prise and hazard 
in our commercial towns, than held in check by the characteristic 
vis -vaertkB of the peasantry and landholders ; both parties cooled 
and lessoned by th* equal failure of the destruction, and of the 
restoration, of monarchy; it was effected extrinstcaUy, I say, by 
tho same influences, which (not in and of themselves, hat with all 
these and sundry other modifications) combined under an especial 
control of Providence to perfect and secure the majestic temple 
of the British Oonatitnlion ! — Bat the very same which in France 

.^iizodb, Google 

861 A Lajf Sermtm. 

without this providential counterpoise, overthrew the laotlejr 
fabric of feudal oppression to build up in itfi stead the madhouae 
of Jacobinism ! Intrinsicallj, and aa far as the philosophic scheme 
itself is alone concerned, it was effected by the mixed policy and 
bonhomie with which the author contrived to retain in hie cele- 
brated work whatever the system possesses of soothing for the 
indolence, and of flattering for the vanity, of men's average 
understandings: while he kept out of sight all its darker features, 
that outraged the instinctive faith and moral feelings of man 
ingenioaaly threading on the dried and Bhrivelled, yet still whole- 
some and nutritions fruits, plucked from the rich grafts of ancie 
-wisdom, to the barren and worse than barren fig-tree of the n 
chanic philosophy. Thus the sensible Christians, "the angels 
the church of Laodicea," with the numerous and mighty sect 
their admirers, delighted with the discovery that they could pur- 
chase the decencies and the creditableness of religion at so small 
au expenditure of faith, extolled the work for its pious concli 
sions: while the infidels, wiser in their generation ^an the chil- 
dren (at least than these nominal children) of light, eulogized ' 
with no less zeal for the sake of its principles and aeaumptioue, 
and with the foresight of those obvious and only legitimate co 
elusions that might and would be deduced from them. Great 
oU times and almost incalculable are the influences of party spiril 
in exaggerating contemporary reputation; but never perhaps 
" from the first syllable of recorded time " were they exerted 
under such a concurrence and conjunction of fortunate accidents, 
of helping and furthering events and circumstances, as in the 
inttance of Mr. Locke. 

I am moat fully persuaded, that the principles both of taste, 
moi'als, and religion, taught in our most popular compendia of 
moral and political philosophy, natural theology, evidences of 
Christianity, &e., arc false, injurious, and debasing. But I am 
likewise not less deeply convinced, that all the well-meant attacks 
on the writings of modern infidels and heretics, in support either 
of the miraeles or of the mysteiies of the Christian rdigion, can 
be of no permanent utility, while the authors themselves join iu 
the vulgar appeal to common sense as the one infallible judge in 
matters which become subjects of philosophy only, because they 
involve a contradiction between this common sense and our mora) 
instincts, and require therefore an arbiter, which containing both 
{eminenter) must be higher than either. We but mow down the 
rank of misgrowth instead of cleansing the soil, aa long as wu 
ourselves protect and mannre, as the pride of oar garden, a tme 

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Appendia! E. 865 

tA falae knowledge, wbich 'ooka fair and ahowy and variegated 
with fruits not ita own, that hang from the branchea which have 
at Tarious times been ingrafted on ita stem ; but from the roots 
of which underground the ninnera are sent off, that shoot up at 
a diatajice and bring forth tha true and natural crop. I will 
flpeak plainly, though in so doing I must bid defiance to all 
the flatterers of the follj and foolish self-opinion of "the half- 
instructed many, Tho articlea of onr Church, and the tme prin* 
ciples of government and social order, will never be effectual^ 
and consistently maintained against their antagonists till the 
chanipiona have themselves ceaeed to worship the same Baal with 
their enemies, tiil they have cast ont the common idol from the 
receasea of their own convictions, and with it the whole service and 
ceremonial of idoUsm. While all parties agree in their abjura- 
tion of Plato and Aristotle, and in their contemptnous neglect 
of the Schoolmen and the scholastic logic, without which the 
excellent Selden (that genuine English mind whose erudition, 
broad, deep, and manifold aa it was, is yet lesa remarkable than 
his robust healthftd common sense) affirms it (see his Table-Talk) 
impossible for a Divine thoroughly to comprehend or reputably 
to defend the whole tmdiminished and tmadulterated scheme of 
Catholic faith ; while all alike pre-assume, with Mr. Locke, that* 
the mind contains only the relics of the senses, and therefore 
proceed with him to explain the substance from the shadow, the 
voice from the echo : they can but'detect each the other's incon- 
sistencies. The champion of orthodoxy will victoriously expose 
the bald and staring incongruity of the Socinian scheme with the 
language of Scripture and with the tiiiil causes of all revealed 
religion: — the Socinian will retort on the orthodox the incon- 
gruity of abelief in mysteries, with iiia own adoiissiona concerning 
the origin and nature of all tenable idea8,'and as triumphantly 
expose the pretences of believing in a form of words, to which the 
believer himself admits that he can attach no consistent meaning. 
Lastly, the godless materialist, as the only consistent because the 
only consequent reasoner, will secretly laugh at both. If these 
sentiments should be just, the consequences are so important 
that every well-educated man who has given proofs that he has 
at leaat partially studied the subject, deserves a patient hearing. 
Had I not the authority of the greatest and noblest intellects for 
at least two thousand years on my side, yet from the vital inteiest 
of the opimona themaelvee, and their natural, unconstrained, and 
las it were) spontaneous coalescence with the faith of the Catholia 
Chnrcb (they being, moreover, the opinions of its most eminent 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

866 -A Lay Sermon. 

Fathers), I might appeal to all orthodoc Christiaus, whether the; 
adhere to the faith only, or both to the faith and forms of 
the Established Chnrch, in the words of my motto : Ad inOujet 
^MMO vo», qwdiacaaique yrimo videardtar a^peetw, attendUe vt qui 
volm foTMn ttuonirfl videar, ealiem gvibug iagaiaiani rationUfus 

There are etiU a few, however, young men of loftiest miitd| 
and the very stuff ont of which the Hword and shield of tmth and 
honour are to be made, who will not withdraw all confidcmoe ima 
the writer, although 

Tbe bDllDW puppetfl of a hollow 4ge, 
Evfli IdoUtioufit aiKl cbuk^Dg « ver 

a few there are, who will still less be indisposed to follow h 
his milder mood, whenever their Friend, 

1 have hinted above at the neceseity of a glossary, and I will 
conclude these supplementary remarks with a nomenclature of 
the principal teims that occur in the elements of speculative 
philosophy, in their old and rightful sense, according to my 
belief; at aU events, the sense in which I have myself employed 
them. The most general term (^enu« gummum) belonging to the 
speculative intellect, as distinguished from acts of the will, is 
-.■epresentation, or (still better) presentation. 

A conscious presentation, if it refers exclusively to the subject 
L'9 a modification of his own stato of being is ^ sensation. 

The same if it refers to an object is =^ perception. 

A perception, immediate and individual, is ^ an intuition. 

The same, mediate, and by means of a chai-act«r or mark 
common to several things, is = a conception. 

A conception, extrinsic Knd sensuous, is =: a fact, or a cognitiou. 

The same, purely mental and abstracted from the forms of the 
understanding itself, =^ a notion. 

A notion m^y be realised, and becomes cognition ; but that 
which is neither a sensation or a perception, that which is neithor 
ndividual (i. e. a sensible intuition) nor general (i .e. a. ooneeptiM^, 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Ajipertdix K 367 

wliioh iKiither refers to outward facte, nor yet ie abatracted from 
the forms of perception contained in tie understanding, but 
which is on educt of the im^uation actuated by the pore reason, 
to which there neither ia nor can be an adequate correspondent in 
the world of the senses — this and this alone is ^ an idea. Whether 
ideas are regulatiTe only, according to Aristotle and Eant; or 
likewise constitutiye, and one with the power and life of Nature, 
according to Plato aud Flotinus (ir \6y^ (afi ^v, xal j) (aff ^v to tfias 
rSv avdpinrav), is the highest prohlem of philosophy, and not part of 

Dgiiizodb, Google 


•* £less<id are ye that sow hesuU all waiers I " 



BiSiussts antt Bistonieiit^. 


IUp fill (AvIfTT^, ^nfun^TW obn npijoen, afvffp* 



Dgiiizodb, Google 

QoA and t}i« world we worship still togetliflr. 

Draw uot our lawa ta Him, bet His to ours; 

TJntn'? Ui h'lili. ao proBperona in neither. 

The uaperteAt will brings forth but barren tlowaral 

TTQwise OB all distracted intei'eata he, 

Strangers to God, fools in humanity ; 

Too good for great things and too great for goo6, 

While still " T dare not" vaita rpon "IwouUf 

Dgilizodb, Google 


FELLOW.COTJNTE.TlIElJf! Tou, I mean, wto fiU tiie higher 
and middle stations of society! The comtorte, perchance the 
aplendonre, that smroimd joa designate your rank, but caimot 
constitute your moral and perBoual fitness for it. Be it enough for 
others to Imow, that you are its legal — bnt by what mark shall you 
atand accredited to your own conaciences aa its worthy — poasesaoraP 
Ifot by common sense or common honesty; for theae are equally 
demanded of all classes, and therefore mere negative quaMcationa 
in yonr rank of life, or characteiTatio only by the aggravated igno- 
miny consequent on their abaencc. Not by genius or splendid 
talent : for these, as being gifts of nature, are objects of moral 
interest for those alone to whom they have been allotted. ITor 
yet by eminence in leamiug ; for thia aupposes such a devotion of 
time and thought, as would in many cases be incompatible with 
the claima of active life. Erudition is, doubtLeaa, an ornament 
that especially beseems a high station : but it is professional 
rank only that renders its attainment a duty. 

The mark in question must be so far common, that we may be 
entitled to look for it in yon from the mere circumstance of 
yonr situation, and ao far dietinctive that it muat be auch as 
eaniiot be expected generally from the inferior classes. Now, 
either there ia no such ciiterion in existence, or the desideratum 
is to be fonnd in an habitual consciousness of the ultimate prin- 
ciples to which your opinions are traceable. The least that can 
be demanded of theleastfavouredamongyou, is an earnest endea- 
vour to wait in the light of your own knowledge; and not, at, 
the mass of mankind, by laying hold on the skirtB of cnstom. 
Blind followers of a blind and capricious guide, forced likewise 
(though oftener, I fear, by their own improvidence,* than by the 

■ A. tnilfa, Out iboDid not however lie sibl md Ibe Four Liiwg. WJth vhU gntltsde I 

HTQ IP Iha spirit of chul^, uul with the veneittta m; coDDtrj uhl lu lavs, luv ham* 

palUatttiK Tfmctloii. thit thla very tmpr^ biopnbUcauanB[tiiinU»"FeanlnSb1ltade" 

vkkDcs bu hltherU ban, thoagb not llie prtnled la DSS. U Ibe amem dlacouw b^ 

tainlUbte.r<t tbeutunl nault of povdly witnea. YetllupooiWBuidUiBniaiHJ 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

lownesfl of thoir estate) to conBume lifo in tlie meana of liviug^ 
tbe miiltitade natj make the sad coufeBsion, 

" nmpnu Kwlaiilur i mutt mHtaHur in aUt," 

lutabaahed. But to English Protestants in tlie ei^oTment of a 
present competency, nmcli more to snch ae are defended against 
the anxious f utore, it must needs be a grievous dishonoTir (and 
not the less grievous, though perhaps leas stnkiiig, £rom ita 
frequennj) to change with the times, and thus to debase then- 
motives and majimg. the sacred household of conscience, into 
slaves and creatures of fashion. Thou, therefore, art inexcusable, 
O man I (Bom. ii. 1) if thou dost not give to thyself a reason for the 
faith that is in thee : if thou dost not thereby leam the safely 
and the blesBedneas of that other apostolic precept. Whatsoever 
ye do, do it in faith. Tour habits of reflection should at least 
be equal to your opportunities of leisure, and to that which is 
itself a tpecieg of leisure — yoor immunity from bodily labour, 
from the voice and lash of the imperious ever- recurring this day! 
Tour attention to the objects, that stretch away below yon in 
the living landscape of good and evil, and your researches into 
their existing or practicable bearings on each other, should be 
proportional to the elevation that extends and diversifies your 
prospect. If you possess more than is necessary for your own 
wants, more than your own wants ought to be tdt by you as your 
own int«reBtB. Ton are pacing on a smooth terrace, which yon 

(a fBncT Uut ADfTeTi no drsuni to pus (W 
ud cnlniBt^d to Arpu, Brliireiu. imd GiHTafl, cMDcenwdTtiie iDBOIptlon over 

a iiaglnt ■ miK^^is 

be the Dantean : 

difflcolt Id exad pnportLoD to tiu experieoce 

and giodsaueoflheaeeltet. Ilul eioellMil Wo Jiu^ haiBhly becioM wa aoKl Im- 

nun. If r. Fenlevai nbom 1 reguil u Itae best tlouidly. Bui. on tho other tauKl, tlili dlipn- 

■eued doGG the rcroluClon (£ Judge ooly mtm or later, end ia Ihat tome efqnleacaica !■ 

bb nuunrei UKl tbe reports of bit jpcccbeft thingB u tiay are,whkb li Uh sod mnptoaoi 

bi ptrlltuuent : tirlcever uw blm, ttuC 1 of a moral fwrWI omiiiiendat. Anitam- 

know of), «ent Into t)ie ministry, wtita Iha meoce It sill, if Ita cania ue not ooonur- 

design H well H the wlab of iboUiblng lo«- Kcted by tbe pbUeBopby of bMoir. Itiit li, by 

terteL 1 wu preeent at it tablo, wben Oils hlatorr read In ti»B]dtlt ofprolUB^I If ury 

lOteMkn WH uuunHsd by » fweniUp in Dot avaeDoie l>y the blih which. Mill n- 

RlHinoftliedapa[ledn(itanu,wbok>Te4 UDdUnghope.HlUre4nllTenidMHt]t. VUh 

And boMHind the mu, bnt wlde^ Auoucd out tha knowledge of nun, (ha knovladn uf 

from bSm as a poUUcUn. Bu^naieltall i In hiiiaiil ml iiiiiiiiill! n '?lim iiflilil 

paaHit weraparilEanaoftbeopiHittliBi t»t ml^t noi onr atafaiwTi aondre frm tta 

allavowad theb determlnition od thli won Kadyar tbafilbla manly w bMnr, V ootr 

akaMt ae & fcntt manl precedmL to mppoTt thqr had b«a prsrlonily accuatoDed %t 

the ne» mlnletsr. What waa the nenUf atudr hlatory In i^ Hua antail a* tbal In 

Two Inttslea In tha tint year inaiead of m I wUdi food meo tiad (ha Blbla I 
Tba door of the ablnet haa a qoaU^ ibt 

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Ttitrodtictioii. 373 

owe ti> the happy ioetitutioaB of your coimtry — & teracs on tlis 
tBOUntain's breast. To what purpoBe, by what moral right, if 
yott continue to gaze only on the sod beneath yoar feet P Or if, 
converting means into ends, and with all your thoughta and efforts 
absorbed in eelfiah echemes of climbing cloudward, yen turn yoor 
back on the wide landscape and stoop the lower the higher jou 
ascend ? 

The remedial and prospective advantages that may be rationally 
anticipated from the habit of contemplating particulars in their 
nniversal laws ; ila tendency at once to fix and to liberalize the 
morality of private life, at once to produce and enlighten the 
spirit of public zeal and, let me add, its especial utility in 
recalling the origin and primary purport of the term generosity • 
to the heart and thoughts of a populace tampered with by 
BOphists and incendiaries of the revolutionary school ; these 
advantages I have felt it my duty and have made it my main 
object to press on your serious attention during the whole period 
of my literary labours from earliest manhood to the present 
hour.f Whatever may have been the specific theme of my com- 
munications, and whethei" they related to criticism, politics, or 
religion, still principles, their subordination, their connection, 
and their application in all the divisions of our tastes, duties, 
rules of conduct and schemes of belief, have constituted my 
chapter of contents. 

It is an unsafe partition, that divides opinions without prin- 
ciple from unprincipled opinions. If the latter are not followed 
by correspondent actions, we are indebted for the escape, not to 
the agent himself, bat to his habits of education, to the sympa- 
thies of superior rant, to the necessity of character, often, 
perhaps, to the absence of temptation from providential circum- 
Btances or the accident of a gracious nature. These, indeed, are 

«1 prtnclplo tmye uodf isone, I might appeal of the Ifnii. The numlwra printf d "cetly on 

Id the CDndooeB ad Pvpulum, denvertd at iLaniped pater weir uent by ibe post to a 

few copl^ were prlnWd, tbey con scarcely bo kiuporbtnt cLIfitlDoUun 1) to a Btill BcaiitlfFr 

Ibue " I^ -Senuona " (whicb *ia likewiae rokTiv is ^i lit Uof iptittvl'iti x'^T'i'^' 

IbB tmtllOK of my aultorship) I inltmlln [The edlUon of TbP Krf end h™ referrsllo 

lifKr wort, b«»«« fvsrj- pan will be 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

874 IfOroduetiott. 

tanUks of bU timem and placeaj but I seemed to see eepeciat 
reason for iiia.«|fing on Uiem m crar own timee. A long and 
attentive obserrSition had conrinoed me, that formerly men were 
worse than their principles, but that at present the principles are 
worse than the men. 

Few are snfficientlj aware how mach reason most of ne hav^ 
eren as common moral livers, to thank God for being Englishmen, 
It would famish gronnda both (or humility towards Proridenoe 
and for increaded attachment to our oonntry, if ea^h individu^ 
ooold bub see end feel how lai^ a part of his iimocence he owes 
to his birth, breeding, and residence in Great Britain. The 
administration of the laws ; the almost continual preaching of 
morel prudence ; the number and respectability of our sects ; the 
pressure of our ranks on each other, with the consequent reserve 
and watohfnlneas of demeanour in the superior ranks, and the 
emulation in the subordinate; the vast depth, expansion, and 
^^tematic movements of our trade; and the consequent inter- 
dependence, the arterial or nerre-like net- work of property, which 
make every deviation from outward integrity a calculable loss to 
the ofFenduig individual himself from ita mere effects, a^ obstruc* 
tion and irregnlarity; and lastly, the naturalness of doing as 
others do : — these and the like influences, peculiar, some in the 
kind and all in the degree, to this privileged island, are the bnt> 
tresses on which our fonndationless well-doing is upheld, even 
as a house of cards, the architecture of our infaxicj, in which each 
is supported by alL 

Well then may we pray. Give us peace in our time, Lord! 
"Well for us if no revolution or other general visitatioQ betray the 
true state of our national morality I But, above all, well will it 
be for uB if enen mnc we dare disclose the secret to our own souls! 
"Well will it be for aa many of us as have duly reflected on the 
Prophet's assurance, that we must take root downwards if we 
would bear fruit upwards ; if we would bear fruit, and eonHmte to 
bear fruit, when the foodful plants that stand straight, only 
because they grow in company, or whose slender sorface-rooto 
owe their whole stedfastneas to their inter-tanglement, have been 
beaten down by the continued rains, or whirled aloft by the 
sadden hurricane ! Nor have we far to seek for whatever it ia 
most important that we should find. The wisdom from above 
bas not ceased for us : " The principles of the oracles of God " 
(Hd>. V. 12) are atill uttered from before fiie altar 1 Oracles, 
whioh we may consult without cost 1 Bef (»re an altar, whera no 
Morifioe is required, bat of the vices whiobiuunanUB I noviotiini 

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Introdvetion. 875 

demanded, bat the uDolean and tmimal pa^siotiH, wljcb we may 
h&Te suffered to house within us, foi^etful of our baptismal 
dedication — no victim, but the apiritual sloth, or goat, or foi, or 
hog, -which lay waste the vineyard that the Lord had fenced and 
phmted for TTimaulf 

I have endeavoured in iny previona disconrBC to persuade the 
more highly gifted and educated part of mj fiiends and fellow- 
Christians, that as the New Testament sets forth the meanB and 
conditions of spiritual convalesoence, with all the laws of con- 
Bcieuce relative to our future state and permanent being, so 
does the Bible present to us the elements of public prudence, 
instructing us in the true causes, the surest preventives, and the 
onlycnrea of public evils. The authorities of Raleigh, Clarendon, 
and MUton must at least exempt me from the blame of singu- 
larity if, undeterred by the contradictoi-y charges of paradoiy 
from one party and of adherence to vulgar and old-fashioned 
prq'udices from the other, I persist in avowing my conviction, 
that the inspired poets, historians, and sententiaries of the Jews 
are the clearest teachers of political economy: in short, that their 
writings * are the Statesman's best manual, not only as containing 
the iirst principles and ultimate grounds of state-policy, whether 
in prosperous times or in those of danger and dJutreas, but as 

• To which I thould be t«n]i(ed wHh tbe neitl; tantamunnt In a dental of i ftilon 

Iau Ldmund Biirk4 to bodck that treaaure Blate, and bfiir bKi Ereac a r^seniMBiKV lo tiie 

of prudentlil wlBd«n. the Evdeelaetlcuf^ 1 ethics "f tbe lirefn. pwla and oratorB in tlie 

not onl; jlcld, bowcver, to the autlMrilT ot Bubdltiitliin of poeibumene fame for a Itiia 

our Ckurcb. bnt reverence the JudnoeDt of reeurrection, aoa a consequent peiAhnaJ en- 

Ite fbundera la «e])u«thK (tali work from the duvance ; the cubatttution, [n abort, of a nc^ 

lbtofl]ieQiiioiilcalBoiike,«>dliiie(IHlrRlo ndaaLlora real Immnitality ; and la«ly.ftoni 

^iplyittotbe cstablliluiieDtof snxdocdipe, the pntdenLlal bplrll of the mazfime In gc- 

of lEfft and liHtTuddou of mannere." Kxcel- od lie own grouuda Instead i.f being recom- 

plaifi ea^gued to 

ir divine authority li 

Chcr^ci^thatplacB princip 



Ttawlf tandiJ\y it°lsiS 

of Qod-ai 

Ugber Btnse than every writer ia entillad to 
make nbo. having qualified himself by the 

to tbe inaplred^ltlngj. and tl»t tbae 

caretal atndy of the boolu of other men, had 

been drawn on to »iite something himself. 

Blblea. The reniaftilDg boom might wllhout 

oliectiona derirel from certain paasiges of 

•Dj loss have been kit for the learned <a 

tbTboot which savour too plainly of (be 

<«. the Mth and astta verees ot Chapter 1. ; 

ot the Maccabees not above a Ihlrd part can 

and of r«<" sUW "» ohleetloos drawn from 
other ^aBges, aa from Chapter XLL, which 

bo aald to poaaeaa any hleloric .alne. U U- 
thenllc araounta. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

S76 Inirodiietion. 

Huppijing jkewie^ the details of their application, and as being 

ft fall and Bpacioos repoeitoiy of precedents and facts in proof. 

Well therefore (again and again I repeat to jou) — well trill it be 
for UB if we have provided ouraelTes from thie armoury while 
" yet the day of trouble and of treading down and of perplesity " 
appear? at far diatauce only " in the vaUey of Yision," if we 
have humbled ourselves and have confeBsed our thin and unsound 
atate. even while " from the uttermost paj^ of the earth we 
were hearing songs of praise and glory to the upright nation." 
(Isaiah sziL 5 ; zxiv. 16.) 

But if, indeed, the day of treading down is present, it is still in 
our power to convert it into a time of subatantial discipline for 
ourselves, and of enduring benefit to the present generation and 
to posterity. The splendour of our eiploita daiing the lat« war 
ia less honourable to us than the magnanimity of our views, 
and our generous confidence in the victory of the better cause. 
Accordingly, we have obtained a good name, so that the nations 
around us have displayed a disposition to follow our ciample and 
imitate our institutions — too often, I fear, even in parts where, 
from the difference of our relative circumstaaces, the imitation 
had little chance of proving more than mimicry. But it will 
be far more glorious, and to our neighbours incomparably more 
instructive, if, in distresses to which all countries are liable, we 
bestir ourselves in remedial and preventive arrangements which 
all nations may more or less adopt; inasmuch as they are 
grounded on principles intelligible to all i-ational and obligatory 
on all moral beings; inasmuch as, having been tanght by God's 
word, exampled by God's providence, commanded by God's law, 
and recommended by promises of God's grace, they alone can 
form the foundations of a Christian community. Do we love our 
countTjP These are the principles by which the true friend of 
the people is contra-distinguished from the factious demagogue. 
They are at once the rock and the quarry. On these alone and 
with these alone is the solid welfare of a i)eople to be built. Do 
we love OttT own souls ? These are the principles, the neglei;t of 
which writes hypocrite and suicide on the brow of the professing 
Christian. For these are the keystone of that arch on which 
alone we can cross the ton'ent of life and death with safety on 
the passage ; with peace in the retrospect j and with hope shining 
upon us from through the cloud toward which we are travelling. 
Not, my Christian friends, by all the lamps of worldly wisdom 
olnsteved in one blaze, can we guide our paths so securely as by 
''xinK our eyes on this iueritable cloud, through which alJ inuBt 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

ItUrodwtion. 877 

psBB, which at every atep becomea darker and more threatening 
•o the children of thia world, but to the children of faith and 
obedience atill thins away as we approach, to melt at length and 
diBBolve into that glorious light, from which as so many gleaiaa 
And reflections of the same falling on us during our mortal pUgrim- 
•ge, we derive all principles of true and lively knowledge, alike 
in Bcienoe and in morals, alike in communities and in individuals. 
It has been my purpose thioughout the following discourse to 
guard myself and my readers from extremes of all kinds : I will 
therefore conclude this Introduction by inf orcing the maxim in 
its relation to our religions opinions, out of which, with or with- 
ont our consciousness, all our other opinions flow, as from their 
spring-head and perpetual feeder. And that I might neglect no 
innocent mode of attracting or relieving the reader's attention, I 
have moulded my reflections into the foUowing 


A feeling of sadness, a peculiar melancholy, is wont to take 
possession of me alike in spring and in autumn. But in spring 
it is the melancholy of hope : in autumn it is the melancholy of 
resignation. As I was journeying on foot through the Apennines, 
I fell in with a pilgrim in whom the spring and the autumn 
and the melancholy of both seemed to have combined. In his 
discourse there were tbe freshness and the colours of April: 

But aa I gazed on his whole form and figore, I bethought me of 
the not unlovely decays, both of age and of the late season, in 
the Btat«Iy elm, after the clusters have been plucked from its 
entwining vines, and the vines are as bands of dried withiea 
around its trunk and branches. Even so there was a memory on 
his smooth and ample forehead, which blended with the dedica- 
tion of his steady eyes, that still looked — I know not, whether 
upward, or far onward, or rather to the line of meetingwhere the 
sky rests upon the distance. But how may I express — the 
breathed tarnish, shall I name it P — on the lustre of the pilgrim's 
eyes P Yet bad it not a sort of strange accordance with their 
slow and reluctant movement, whenever he turned them to any 
object on tbe right hand or on the left P It seemed, methought, 
W if there ]^j uj>oq tbe brightness » sbttdowy preseoce of dis< 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

878 JnfrwbKtKXi. 

appointmenta now mtfelt, bnt never totgotieai. It waa at once 
the meliuicholj of hope and of reaignatiou. 

We had not long been fellow-traTellers, ere a sndden tempeat 
of wind and rain forced ob to seek protection in the vanlted door* 
my of & lone chapebj : and we eat face to face, each on the atone 
bench alongaide the low, weatber-etained wall, and aa close ai 
posaiUe to the maBsy door. 

After a pause of eilence: "Even thus," said he, "like two 
etrangei-s that have fled to the saiae shelter from the same eLona, 
not seldom do despair and hope meet for the first time in the porch 
of death !" " All eitremea meet," I answered ; " but jonra waa a 
strange and Tisionarj thought." "The better then doth it beseem 
both the place and me," he replied. " Prom a vieionary wilt tbon 
bear a vision? Mark that vivid flash throngh this torrent of rain! 
Fire and water. Even here thy ad^e holds true, and ita truth is 
the moral of my vision." I entreated him to proceed. Sloping 
bis face toward the arch and yet averting his eye from it, he 
teemed to seek and prepare his words: till listening to the wind 
that echoed within the hollow edifice, and to the rain withont, 

" Wbich stole on his thoughts olth Ita two-fold Bimd, 
The club hard by tmil the marmiii ill loaiid," 

be gradually sank away, alike from me and from his own purpose, 
and amid the gloom of the storm and in the duskiness of that 
place he sat like an emblem on a rich man's sepulchre, or lika 
an aged mourner on the sodded grave of an only one, who ia 
watching the waned moon and sorroweth not. Starting at length 
from his brief trance of abstraction, with courtesy and an atoning 
smile he renewed his discourse, and commenced his parable : 

" Dniing one of those abort furloughs from the service of the 
body, which the soul may sometimes obtain eren in this, ita 
militant state, I found myself in avast plain, which I immediately 
knew to be the Talley of Life. It possessed an astonishing 
diversity of aolla : and here waa a sunny spot, and there a dark 
one, forming just such a mixture of snnshine and shade as we 
may have observed on tho mountain's side in an April day, when 
the thin broken clouda are scattered over heaven. Almost in the 
very entrance of the valley stood a large and gloomy pile, into 
which I aeemed constrained to enter. Every part of the building 
waa crowded with tawdry omamenta and fantaatio deformity. 
On every window was portrayed, in glaring and inelegant txiaxaa, 
Bome horrible tale or pretmiatural incident, ao that iu>t a raj 
of light conld enter, nntinged by the medium through which it 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

Imtrodudion. 879 

pasied. The bodj of the building vae full of people, aoino of 
Uiem dancing in and out, in unintelligible figures, mtb etrange 
ceremonies ajid antic meniment, while others seemed convulaed 
with horror, or pining in mad melancholy. Intenniugled with 
tiiese, I ohaerred a number of men, clothed in ceremonial robes, 
who appeared now to marshal the Tarious groups and to direct 
their movements ; and now, with menacing countenances, to drag 
scone relnctant riotim to a vast idol, framed of iron bars inter- 
croBsed, which formed at the same time an immense cage, and the 
f omk of a human Ooloasas. 

" I stood for a while lost in wonder what these things might 
mean ; when lo ! one of the directors came up to me, and with a 
stem and reproachf nl look bade me tmcover mj head ; for that 
the place, into which I had entered, was the temple of the onlj 
tmo religion, in the holier recesses of which the great goddess 
personally resided. Himself too he bade me reverence, as the 
consecrated minister of her rites. Awe-stmck by the name of 
religion, I bowed before the priest^ and humbly and earnestly ia- 
treated him to conduct me into her presence. He assented. 
Offerings he took from me, with mystic sprinklings of water and 
with salt he purified, and with strange sufflations he exorcised 
me; and then led me through many a dark and winding alley, the 
dew-damps of which chilled my flesh, and the hollow echoes 
under my feet, mingled, methought, with meanings, affrighted 
me. At length we entered a large hall where not even a single 
lamp glimmered. It was made half vieible by the wan phos- 
phorio raya which proceeded from inscriptions on the walls, 
in letters of the same pale and sepulchral light. I could read 
Qiem, methought; but though each one of the words taken 
separately I seemed to understand, yet when I took them in 
sentences, tt^iy were riddles and incomprehensible. As I stood 
meditating on tliese hard sayings, my guide thus addressed me : 
' The fallible becomes infallible, and Uie infallible remains f allibla 
Bead and believe : these are mysteries !' In the middle of the 
TBSt hall the goddess was placed. Her features, blended with 
darkness, rose out to my Tiew, terrible, yet vacant. Ko definite 
thought, no distinct image was afforded me : all was uneasy and 
obscure feeling. I prostrated myself before her, and then retired 
with my guide, soul-withered, and wondering, and dissatisfied. 

" As I re-entered the body of the temple, I heard a deep buzz as 
ot discontent. A few whose eyes were bright, and either piercing 
or steady, and whose ample foreheads, with the weighty bar, 
lidge-likek above the eyebrows, bespoke observation fdlowed Igr 

3 b, Google 

880 Inlrodttdion. 

tneditatiTe thoog^t, and a Dtach larger number whd were en- 
raged hj the Bevetiij and msolence of the prieate in exacting 
their offerings, had collected in one tnnmltuous groap, and with 
a confnaed outcry of ' Thia is the Temple of Superstition !' after 
ranch contnmelj, and turmoil, and cmel mal-treatment on all 
Bides, ruBhed out of the pile : and I, methought, joined them. 

" We speeded from the temple with hasty steps, and had nuw 
nearly gone round half the valley, when we were addreeaed by < 
woman, tall beyond the stature of mortals, and with a something 
more ^an human in her countenance and mien, which yet could 
by mortals be only felt, not conveyed by words or intelligibly dis- 
tinguished. Deep reflection, animated by ardent feelings, was 
displayed in them; and hope, without its uncertainty, and a 
something more than all these, which I understood notj but 
which yet seemed to blend all these into a divine nnity of expres- 
sion. Her garments were white and matronly, and of the simplest 
ti'xture. We inquired her name. lUy name, she replied, is 

" The more numerous part of our company, affrighted by the 
very sound, and sore from recent impostures or sorceries, harried 
onwards and eiandned no farther. A few of us, struck by the 
manifest opposition of her form and manner to those of the 
living Idol, whom we had so recently abjured, t^eed to follow 
her, though with cautious circiiniBpection. She led us to an emi- 
nence in the midst of the valley, from the top of which we could 
command the whole plain, and observe the relation of the dif' 
ferent parts, of ea«h to the other, and of each to the whole, and of 
all to each. She then gave us an optic glass which assisted with- 
out contradicting our natural vision, and enabled us to see far 
beyond the limits of the Talley of Life ; though our eye even thus 
assisted permitted us only to behold a light and a glory, hut what 
we could not descry, save only that it vxm, and that it was most 

"And now, with the rapid transition of a dream, I had overtaken 
and rejoined the more numerous party, who had abruptly left us, 
indignant at the very name of religion. They journeyed on, 
goading each other with remembrances of past oppressions, and 
never looking back, till in the eagerness to recede from the 
Temple of Superstition they had i-ounded the whole circle of the 
valley. And lo ! there faced us the mouth of a vast cavern, at 
the base of a lofty and almost perpendicular rock, the interior 
side of which, unknown to them, and unsuapected, formed thn 
eiti'cme and backward wall of the temple. An impatient crowd, 

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Introduclim. S81 

we sutered tixe vaat and dusky c^ve. which was the onlj perfora- 
tion of the precipice. At the mouth of the care sat two figorea ; 
the first, by her dresa and gestures, I knew to be Sensuality ; the 
second form, from the fierceness of hie demeanour, and the brutal 
scomfulnese of his looks, declared himself to be the monster 
Blaephemy. He uttered big words, and yet ever and bjioh I 
obiierred that he tamed pale at his own courage. We entered. 
Some remained in the opening of the cave, with the one or the 
other of its guardians. The rest, and I among them, pressed on, 
tUl we reached an ample chamber, that seemed the centre of the 
rock. The climate of the place was imnatnrally cold. 

" In the furthest distance of the chamber sat an old dim-eyed 
man, poring with a microscope over the torso of a statue, which 
had neither base, nor feet, nor head; but on its breast was 
carved, N'ature ! To this he continnally applied his glass, and 
seemed enraptured with the various inequalities which it ren- 
dered visible on the Beemingly polished surface of the marble, 
Tet evermore was this delight and triumph followed by expres- 
sions of hatred, and vehement railing against a Being who yet, 
he assured us, had no existence. This mystery suddenly recalled 
to me what I had read in the holiest recess of the Temple of 
Supersiilion. The old man spoke in divers tongues, and con- 
tinaed to utter other and most strange mysteries. Among the 
rest he talked much and vehemently concerning an infinite series 
of causes and effects, which he explained to be— a string of blind 
m^i, the last of whom caught hold of the skirt of the one before 
^'"1, he of the next, and so on till they were all out of sight ; and 
that they all walked inf alUbly straight, without making one false 
stop, though all were alike blind. Methought I borrowed courage 
from surprise, and asked him — Who then is at the head to guide 
them F He looked at me with ineffable contempt, not unmixed 
with an angry suspicion, and then replied, 'No one; — the string 
of blind men went on for ever without any beginning ; for 
although one blind man conld nut move without stumbling, yet 
infinite blindness supplied the want of sight.' I burst into langh- 
ter, which instantly turned to terror — for as he started forward 
in rage, I <*aught a glance of him from behind ; and 1o i I beheld 
a monster biform and Janns-headed, in the hinder face and shape 
(rf which I instantly recognised the dread oonntonance of Super- 
stition — and in the terror I awoke." 

Dgiiizodb, Google 



" BtoKd in j« that uw bealdc mil wi 

ON ckll occasions tlie begmniag ehonld look toward the cnAi and 
most of aJl when we offer connsel concerning circnmetanceB 
of great distreaa, and of atill greater alarm. But snch ia mj bnsi- 
aess a.t present, and the common dutj of aU whose competence 
justifies the attempt. And therefore, my ChriBtian friends and 
fellow-Englishmen, have I in a day of iroxible and of treading 
down and of perplexity, taken my beginning from this animating 
aBsnrance of an inspired messenger to the devisers of liheral 
thingi (laa. inii 8), who, confident inhope, are fearless in charity. 
For to enforce the precept involved in this gladsome annnnciation 
of the evangelical herald, t« awaken the lively feeling which it 
breathes, and to justify the line of condnct which it encourages, 
are the end to which my present efibrts are directed — the ultimate 
object of the present address, to which all the other points therein 
disenased are but introductory and preparative. 

"Bleasedare ye that sowbeeide all waters!" It is the asanrance 
of a Prophet, and therefore surety itself to all who profess to r& 
ceive him as snch. It ia a command in the form of a promise, 
which at once instructs us in our duty and forecloses every pos- 
sible objection to its performance. It ia at once our guide and onr 
pioneer ! — a breeze from heaven, which at one and the same time 
determines our path, impels ua along it, and removes beforehand 
each overhanging cloud that m^ht have conspired with onr own 
dimness to bewilder or to dishearten us. Whatever our own de- 
spondence may whisper, or the reputed maatora of political eco- 
nomy may have seemed to demonstrate, neither by the fears and 
scruples of the one, nor by the confident afBrmations of the other 
dare we be deterred. They must both be false if the Prophet is 
tme. We willatiU,iiithepowerof thatfaithwhichcanhopocvoi 

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881 A Lag Sermon 

ttgamet }iope, contmue to bow beside all waters ; for there is ft 
bleasmg attached to it bj God hunself , to whose Eje all conao* 
quences are proBent, on whose Will all consequences depend. 

Bnt I had ulso an additional motive for the selection of thia 
Tcrse. Eosj to be remembered from its briefness, likelj to be 
remembered from its beantj, and with not a, single word in it 
which the malignant ii^enuity of faction could pei'rert to the 
excitement of any dark or tnrbnlent feeling, I chose it both us the 
text and tiUe of this disconrse, that it might be brought under the 
cjc of mamj thousands who will know no more of the discourse 
itself than what thej read in the adrertisementsof itinourpubUc 

In point of fact it was another passage of Scripture, the words 
of another Prophet, that originallj occasioned this address, bj one 
of those accidental circomstancea that so often -determine the 
current of our thoughts. Prom a company among whom the 
distresses of the times and the disappointments of the public ei< 
peotatione had been agitated with more warmth than wisdom, I had 
retired to solitude and silent meditation. A Bible chanced to lie 
open on the table, my eyes were cast idly on the page for a few 
seconds, till gradually as a mist clears away the following words 
became viaible, and at once fixed my attention. " We looked for 
peace, but no good came ; for a time of health, and behold, trouble." 
I turned to the beginning of the chapter ; it was the 8th of the 
Prophet Jeremiah : and having read it to the end, I repeated aloud 
the verses which had become connected in my memory by their 
pertinency to the conversation, to which I had been so lately 
attending; namely, the 11th, 15th, 20th, and 22nd. 

"They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, 
saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. We looked for 
peace, but no good came ; for a time of health, and behold, trouhle! 
The harvest is past, the Bummer is ended ; and we are not saved. 
Is there no balm in Gilead P Is there no physician? Why then 
is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered P" 

These impassioned remonstrances, these heart-probing interro- 
gatories of the lamentii^ Prophet, do indeed anticipate a fall, 
and alas ! a too faithful statement of the case, to the public consi. 
deration of which we have all of late been so often and so ui^^tly 
invited, and the inward thought of which our very countenances 
betray, as by a communion of alarm. In the bold painting of 
Scripture language, all faces gather blackness, the many at the 
supposed magnitade of the national emharraasment, the wise at 
the more certain and far more alarming evil of its mo^ aocom* 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

To the Higher and Middle Vlasaes. 885 

tMUumente. And tliej not 011I7 cont^n Ute state of the cose, bat 
soggiest tlie most natiiral echetao and order of treating it, I aTail 
myself, therefore, of the passage ae a part of mj text, with the less 
Bcmple because it will be found to eupplj of itself the requisite 
link of connection. The case itself, the plain fact admitted by 
men of all partiea among ue, is, ae I hare just observed, and as you 
will yonrselveB have felt at the fir* perusal of the words, described 
by anticipation in the intermediate verses; yet with such historic 
precision, so plain and so specifically as to render all comment 
needless, all application superfluouB. Peace has come without the 
adrantages expected irom peace, and, on the contrary, with many 
of the severest inconveniences usually attributable to war. " We 
looked for peace, but no good came ; for a time of health, and be- 
hold trouble. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we 
Me not saved." The inference therefore contained in the preced- 
ing verse is unavoidable. Where war has produced no repentance, 
and the cessation of war has brought neither concord or tranqnil- 
Kty, we may safely cry aloud with the Prophet: "They have 
healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, 
peace, peace, when there is no peace." The whole remaining sub- 
ject therefore may be comprised in the three questions implied in 
the last of the verses recited to you ; in three questions, and in the 
answers to the same. First, who are they who have hitherto pre- 
Bcribed for the case, and are still tampering with it ? What are 
their qualifications P What haa been their conduct P Second, 
what is the true seat and source of the complaint — the ultimate 
causes as well as the immediate occasions P And lastly, what 
ore the appropriat« medicines P Who and where are the true 
physicians P 

And first, then, of those who have been ever loud and fore- 
most in their pretensions to a knowledge both of the disease and 
che remedy. In a preceding part of the same chapter from which 
I ertnuited the line prefixed, the Prophet Isaiah enumerates the 
conditions of a nation's recovery from a staf« of depression and 
peril, and among these, one condition which he describes in words 
tiiab may be without any forced or over-refined interpretation un- 
folded into an answer to the present question. The vile person, 
he tells us, must no more be called liberal, nor the churl be said 
to be bountiful. For the vile person wUl speak villany, and his 
heart will work iniquity to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error 
against the Lord ; to make empty the soul of the needy : and he 
wiU cause the drink of ihe thirsty to faiL The instruments also 
of the churl are evil : be deviseth wicked devices to destroy the 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

88S ALag Sermon 

poor with Ijiug irords, eren when the ueedf sp^akech aright. But 
the liberal deTieeth liberal iihuigB, and by liberal things shall he 
Btand. (Isaiah mii. 5, 6, 7, 8.) 

Such are tlie political empirics, mischievonB in proportion to 
their effirontery, and ignorant in proportion to their preanmption, 
the detection and eipOBUre of whose true characters the inspired 
statesman and patriot represents as indiepensable to the re-estab- 
lishment of the general welfare, while his own portrait of these 
impostors whom in a former chapter (ix. 15, 16) he calls, " the tail 
of the nation," and in the following verse, demagogues "th&t cause 
the people to err," affords to the intelligent believer of all ages and 
countries the means of detei^-tiug them, and of undeceiving all 
whose own malignant passions have not rendered them blind and 
deai and brutish. For these noisy and calnmnioas zealots, whom 
(Mith an especial reference indeed to the factious leaders of the 
populace who under this name exercised a tnmultuaiy despotism 
in Jerusalem, at once a ^gu and a ca.ii8e of its approaehing down- 
fall) St. John beheld in the Apocalyptic vision as a compound of 
locust and scorpion, are not of one place or of one season. Ibej 
are the perennials of history : and though thej may disappear for 
a time, Uiey exist always in the egg, and need only a distempered 
atmosphere and an accidental ferment to start up into life and 

It is worth our while, therefore, or rather it is our duty, to e»- 
junine with a more attentive eye this representative portrait drawn 
for U8 by an infallible master, and to distingoish its component 
parts, each by iteelf, so that we may combine without confusing 
them in onr memory; till they blend at length into one physio- 
gnomic expression, which, whenever the counterpart is obtruded on 
onr notice in the sphere of our own experience, may be at onca 
reoi^niaed, and enable ua to convince ourselves of the identity by 
a comparison of feature with feature. 

The passage commences with a fact, which to the inexperienced 
might well aeem strange and improbable : but which, being a truth 
nevertheless of our own knowledge, ia the more striking and 
characteristic. Worthless persons of little or no estimation for 
rank, learning, or integrity, not seldom profligates, with whom 
debauchery has outwrestled rapacity, easy because nnprincipled, 
and genei'Oue hecanse dishonest, are suddenly cried up as men of 
enlarged views and liberal sentiments, our only genuine patriots 
and philanthropists : and churls, that is, men of BnUen tempers 
and surly demeanour ; men tyrannical in their families, oppresEive 
and troublesome to their dependents and neighbonra, and hard in 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

3b tha ^her aad Middle CUusen. 387 

tbeir private dealings between man and maa ; men wLo clench 
■mih one hand what theyhave grasped with the other;— theuc are 
ext(dled as public ben^actora, the f riende, guardians, and advo- 
ootea of the poor! Here and there, indeed, we may notice an 
iadiTidoal of birth and fortune 

(For Ereat wtat« siU^ Dok urrow miolO 

who has been duped into the ran^a of incendiaries and mob- 
Bycophants by an insane restlessness, and the -wretched ambitiou 
of fignring as the triton of the minnows. Or we may find perhaps 
a professional man of showy accomplishments, but of a mlgar taste 
and shallow acquirements, who in part from vanity and in part as 
a means of introduction to practice, will seek notoriety by an 
eloquence weU calculated to set the multitude ^ape, and excite 
gr^ia to overt acts of sedition or treason which he may after- 
wards be fee'd to defend ! These, however, are but eiceptions to 
ibe general rule. Such aa the Prophet has described, such is 
the sort of men; and in point of historic fact it has been from 
men of this aort that profaneness is gone forth into all the land. 
(Jeremiah Triii. 15.) 

In harmony with the general character of these false prophets 
are the particular qualities assigned to them. First, a passion for 
vagne and violent invective, an habitual and inveterate predilec- 
tion for the language of hate and rage and contumely, an im- 
govemed appetite for abuse and defamation ! The vile will talk 

Bnt the fetid flower will ripen into the poisonous berry, and 
the fruits of the hand follow the blossoms of the slanderous lips. 
His heart will work iniquity. That is, he will plan evil, and do 
his utmost to carry his plans into execution. The guilt erists 
already; and there wants nothing but power and opportonifj to 
condense it into crime and overt act. He that hateth bis brother 
is a murderer ! saith St. John : and of many and various sorts 
are the brotber-hators, in whom this truth may be exemplified. 
Uost appropriately for our purpose. Isaiah has selected the fra- 
tricide of sedition, and with the eagle eye and practised touch 
of an intuitive demonstrator he unfolds the composition of the 
chszacter, part by part, in the secret luatoiy of the agent's wisbts, 
deaignB and attempts, of his ways, his means, and his ends. The 
agent himself, the incendiary and his kindling combustibles, had 
been already sfcetohed by Solomon, vnfk the rapid yet faithful 
outline of a mastei in the art : " The i>eginmng of the words of 
ais month is fodishovia and the end ol lis talk misohievoiu 

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888 ALaf Sermon 

madneas." (EcclesiMtes x. 13.) If in the spirit of Prophecy* Om 
ynte ruler h&d been present to our own times, and 'Uieir pro- 
ceduree; if while he sojonmed in the vallej of viBJoii be had 
actoallj heard the very harangues of onr reigning demagoeuea to 
the convened popolaee; could he have more faithfuUj cb&rao- 
terized either the speakers or the speeches ? Whether in spoken 
or in printed addt'essea, whether in periodical jonmala or in yet 
cheaper implements of irritation, the ends are tbe same, the 
process is the same, and the same is their general line of condnct. 
Oa all occaaions, hut most of all and with a more bustling malignity 
whenever any public distress inclines the lower classes to turbu- 
lence, and renders them more sipi to be alienated from the govern- 
ment of their country — in all places and at every opportunity 
pleading to the poor and ignorant — nowhere and at no time are 
they found octnally pleading for them. Nor ia this the worst. 
They even plead gainst them. Tesj sycophants to the crowd, 

lurlDg wiLd buiC, wlU 
and brlvBtone (that la, emp^, 
lit, Inrxndlary, catumDiom, aod 
foul luiKoagc) laming from UkIi 

iiiil alreadif. 1w«n moflt arraDgely aboaed and perverlH^ 

in a preopdiDg page we 1ut« Interprfted frtaa the MlltennaTlaiu of the primnjvc 

Zplcue durlDg the ilege of JtnuiAati i lo the own tlmeH. Mj own conception of the but 

Itoniant theiettre, and IbFir Oriental allleB. Is, that It narrate* In the broad and IneloBlve 

«■ niiiiC nbr the Bumllng of the elUb form of tiK ancient ProphMa (i-c In the 

Angel Id tbla anbUrae aod magnificent dnnia prophetic pnwer of faith and moral InelgU 

acted la Heaveii, before the whole Hon of IrrtidLaied b; ltiBplratJi4i) the du«e»tve Btni«- 

Heav^, ttae penonal friend of ibe Incarnate glea aud final t(liun]]h of duuliaoitf over 

Undatlendlneaatherepretentative of bunian the Paganism and Judaism ut the Ukb 

wlthlBirfBl awe to lie propheilc lymbolsof tOf dfalnicljon i,f the Old and tlie {BymboU- 

idertiil (appvent) Tatlve and the cl 
LptiviB of tlia aymbola (manv of them at annexed a OommcnLary In 
--■' — ' — — ■-(( the application of the Hon long and londly cl— ' 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

ab the Ktgker and Middle Glagges, 389 

i o£ the individuala, and weU-wiatere oiJj to the con- 
tinnance of their miaeries, thej plead ^^ainst the poor and 
aiOicted, mider the weak and wicked pretence that we are to do 
nothing of what we can. because we cannot do all that wo would 
iriah. Or if this sophistry of sloth (eophi»ma pigri) should fait to 
check the bounty of the rich, there is still the sophistry of 
slander in reaerre to chill the gratitude of the poor. If they 
cannot dissuade the liberal from devising liberal things, they will 
at least blacken the motiTCB of his beneficence. If they cannot 
close the hand of the giver, they will at least embitter the gift in 
the month of the receiTers. Is it nob as if they had said within 
their hearts, the sacrifice of charity has been offered indeed in 
despite of us ; " but with bitter herbs shall it be eaten." (Eiod. 
xiL 8.) Imagined wrongs shall make it distasteful. We will 
infuse vindictive and discontented fancies into minds already 
irritable and suapicioiis from distress : till the fever of the heart 
shall coat the tongue with gall and spread wormwood on the 

However angrily our demagogues may disclaim all intentions 
of this kind, such has been their procedure, and it is susceptible 
of no other interpretation. We all know that the shares must 
be scanty where the dividend bears no proportion to the number 
of the claimants. Yet He who satisfied the multitude in the 
wilderness with a few loaves and fishes, is still present to TTia 
Church. SmaU as the portions are, if they are both given and 
taken in the spirit of His commands, a blessing will go with each ; 
and the handful of meal shall not fail, until the day when the 
Lord bringeth back plenty on the land. But no blessing can 
ent«r where envy and hatred are already in possession; and small 
good will the poor man have of the food prepared for him by his 
more favoured brother, if he have been previously taught to 
regard it as a mess of pottage given to defraud him of his birth- 

If then to promise medicine and to administer poison; if to 
flatter in order to deprave; if to affect love to all and show pity 
to none; if to exaggerate and misdei-ive the distress of the 
labouring classes in order to make them turbulent, and to dis- 
counv^ every plan for their relief in order to keep them so ; if to 
eknlk from private infamy in the mask of pubKc spirit, and make 
the flaming patriot privilege the gamester, swindler, or adulterer ; 
if to seek amnesty for a continued violation of the laws of God by 
an equal peri^inaoity in outragii^ the laws of the land ; — 'd tkese 
oharacterise the aypoorite^ we need not look far hack or fai 

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890 ALat/Semtm 

rotmd for facea wherein to reoogoiBB the third striking featttra 
of thia prophetic portrait! When, therefore, the verifjing facts 
press upon hh in real life; when we hear persons, the tjrannj of 
whose will is the only law in their familiea, denouncing all law as 
tjranay in public — persona, whose hatred of power in othera is ia 
exact proportion to their love of it for themselves; when we 
behold men of aunk and irretrisTable characters, to whom no man 
would entmat hie wife, his sister, or his purse, having the effrontery 
to propose that we should entrust to them our religion and our 
country ; when we meet with patriots, who aim at on enlargement 
of the rights and liberties of the people by inflaming the populace 
to acts of madness that necessitate fetters — pretended heralds of 
freedom and actual pioneers of military despotism, — we wUl call 
to mind the words of the Prophet Isakh, and say to ourselves, 
this ia no new thing under the aun! We have heard it with our 
own ears, and it was declared to oar fathers, and in the old time 
before them, that one of the main characteristics of demagogues 
in all ages is, to practise hypocrisy. 

Such, I assert, has been the general line of conduct pursaed by 
the political empirics of the day : and your own recent eiperience 
will attest the truth of the assertion. It was affirmed likewise at 
the same time, that as the conduct, such was the process : and I 
will seek no othei- support of thia charge, I need no better t«at 
both of the men and their works, than the plain question: Ia there 
one good feeling, to which they do — is there a single bad paasion, to 
which they do not — appeal P If they ai'e the enemies of liberty 
in general, inasmuch as they tend to make it appear inoompatibls 
with public quiet and personal safety, still more emphatic^y are 
they the enemies of the liberty of the PBBBa in particnlar; and 
therein of all the truths, human and divine, which a free press is 
the most efficient and only commensurate means of protecting, 
extending, and perpetuating. The strongest, indeed the only 
plausible, arguments against the education of the lower classes, 
afe derived from the writings of these incendiaries ; and if for 
our neglect of the light that hath been vouchsafed to na beyond 
measure, the land should be visited with a spiritual dearth, it will 
have been in no small degree occasioned by the erroneous and 
wicked principles wliich tt ia the trade of these men to propagate. 
Well, therefore, has the Pi-ophet made it the fourth mark of thee« 
misleadera of the multitude, not alone to utter error, but to utter 
en-or against the Lord, to make empty the aoul of the hungry I 
Alas ! it ia a hard and a mournful thing, that the press should ba 
constrained to call out for ihe harsh curb of the law againsb tht 

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To the ^gher and Middle Classet. 391 

press I for how shall the hiw predistiiigiush the ominona Bcreech 
owl from the eacred notes of a^xgaxy, from the auapioione and 
frieikdlj birds of wammg ? And jet will we aToid this seeming 
injoBtice, we throw down all fence and bulwark of public decency 
and public (pinion. Already baa political calmunj Joined hands 
with private slander, and erery principle, every feeling, that 
binds the citizen to his conntry, the apirit to its Creator, ia in 
danger of being undermined; not by reasoning, for from that 
there is no danger, but by the mere habit of hearing them 
reriled and scoffed at with impunity. Were we to contemplate 
the evils of a rank and nnweeded press only in its effects on . 
the manners of a people, and on the general tone of thought and 
conversation, the great«r love we bore to literature, and to all the 
means and instruments of human improvement, the more amd- 
ooaly should we wish for some Ithoriel spear that might remove 
from the ear of the ignorant and half-learned, and expose in 
their own fiendish shape those reptiles which, inspiring venom 
and forging iUusiona as they list. 

Vain hopes, Tain almB, Jnordlnato dnliw" Fasadiw Lost. 

I feel, my friends, that eren the strong and painful interest 
which the pecnliar state of the times, and almost the occurrences 
of the hour, create, can scarcely counterbalance the wearisome 
aversion inspired by the deformity and palpableness of the sub- 
ject itself. Am the plan originate in the malignant restlessness 
of desperate ambition or desperate circumstances, ao are its 
means and engines a drag-net of fraud and delusion. The in- 
struments also of the chwt are evil; be deviseth wicked devices 
with lying words. He employs a compound poison, of which the 
following are the main ingredients, the proportions varyii^ as 
the case requires or the wit of the poisoner suggests. It will be 
enough rapidly to name and number the components, as in a 
catalogue. I. Bold, warm, and eameat assertions, it matters not 
whether supported by facts or no, nay, though they should in- 
volve ahjurdities, and demonstrable impossibilities : ex. gr. that 
the amount of the sinecure places given by the executive power 
would suffice to remove all distress from the land. He is a 
bungler in the trade, and has been an indocile scholar of his dark 
master, the father of lies, who cannot nuake an assertion pass for 
a fact with an ignorant nmltitnde. The natnral generosity of 
the human heart, which makes it an effort to doubt; the con- 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

892 A Lay Senno» 

fidence nhicli appaieat courage inspires ; and the coDt^uOi tt 
B.niniB.i enthuBiasm, will ensure the belief. Even is large assem- 
blies ot men highlj educated, it ia too often sufficient to plaoe 
impressiye images in jcxta-position; and the constitative forma 
of the mind itself aided by the power of habit will supply the 
rest. For we all think by caasal connections. 2. Stajtling par- 
tionlar facts, which, dissevered from their context, enable a, man 
te convey falsehood while be aays truth. 3. Arguments built on 
passing events, and deriving an undue importance from the feel- 
ings of the moment. The mere appeal, however, to the auditors 
whether the arguments are not snch that none but an idiot or an 
hireling could resist, is an efTective substitute for any ai^^ument 
at alL For mobs have no memories. They are in nearly the 
same state aa that of an individual when he makes (what ia 
termed) a bull. The passions, like a fused metal, fill np the wide 
interstices of thought, and supply the defective links ; and thns 
incompatible assertions are barmonized by the sensation, without 
the sense, of connection. 4. The display of defect-s without the 
accompanying advantages, or vice verad. 5. Concealment of the 
gener^ and intimate result behind the scenery of local and par- 
ticular consequences. 6. Statement of positions that are true 
only nnder particnlar conditions, to iflen whose ignorance or fury 
make them forget tbat these conditions are not present, or lead 
them to take for granted that they are. 7. Chains of qnestioua, 
especially of such questions as the persons best authorized to 
propose are ever the slowest in proposing; and objections intel- 
ligible of themselves, the answers to which require the comprehen- 
sion of a system. 8. Tague and commonplace satire, stale aa the 
wine in which flies were drowned last summer, seasoned by the 
sly tale and important anecdote of but yesterday, that camo 
witliin the speaker's own knowledge! 9. Transitions from the 
audacious charge, not seldom of as eignal impudence " as any 
thing was ever carted for," to the lie pi'egnant and interpretative : 
the former to prove the orator's cour:^^, and that he is neither 
to be bonght or frightened ; the latter to flatt«r the sagacity of 
the audience : 

S^U? loTiv ainierv 

10. Jerks of style, from the Innatia trope, p^pid' imnqSa/unv, 
iroXXdc re dXit^q^pav eirav, to the buffoonery and "red-lattiw 
pfarases " of the eanaglia, Sxap mHrKtS&y fi6p^opov rt irdXtv xat kbcuu 
jcdt iruKi>^aiT£ac ; the One in ostentation of superior rank and 
arOqnirementB (for where envy does not interfere, roan lores tc 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

To the mgker and Middle Classes. 898 

li>ok np) ; the otLer in pledge of heai-tmess and good fcllonsbip, 
11. Lastij, and througliout aU, to leavo a general impression of 
wmething Btriking, Bomethisg that is to come of it, and to rely 
on: the indolence of men's understandings and the activity of 
their paasions for their resting in this state, as the brood- 
warmth fittest to hatch whatever serpent's egg opporttmitj maj 
enable the deceiver to pla^e under it. Let bat mysterious ex- 
pressions • be aided by significant looka and tones, and you may 
c^ole a hot and ignorant audience to believe any thing b; 
saying nothing, and finally to act on the lie which they them- 
selves have been drawn in to make. This is the Fhariua- 
copoeia of political empirics, here and everywhere, now and at all 
times ! These are the drugs administered, and the tricks played 
off by the mountebanks and zanies o£ patriotism ; drugs that will 
continue to poison as loi^ as irreligiou secnreB a pre-disposition 
to their influence ; and arUfices that, like stratagems in war, are 
nevertheless successful for having succeeded a hundred times 
before. "They bend their tongues as a bow! they shoot out 
deceits as arrows : they are prophets of the deceit of their own 
hearts ; they cause the people to err by their dreams and their 
lightness ; they make the people vain, they feed them with worm- 
wood, they give them the water of gall for drink ; and the people 
love to have it so. And wbatis the end thereof ?" (Jerem.jmasim.) 
The Pi-ophet answers for me in the concluding words of the 
description — To destroy the poor, even when the needy speaketh 
aright — that is, to impel them to acts that must end in their ruin 
by inllanunatory falsehoods and by working on theii' passions till 
they lead theni to rtgect the prior convictions of their own sober 
and unsophisticated understandings. A b in all the preceding 
f eatnres bo in this, with which the prophetic portrait is completed, 
our own experience supplies both proof and example. The 
ultimate causes of the present distress and st^nation are, in the 
writer's opinion, complex and deeply seated ; but the immediate 
occasion is too obvious to be overlooked but by eyes at once i*ed 
and dim through the intoxication of factious prejudice, that 
maddening spirit which pre-eminently deserves the title of otmum* 
deemonum applied by an ancient father of the Church to a far 
more innocent phrenzy. It is demonstrable that taxes, the pro- 

*VidB Sorik'i Sxamn, p. Mj tai I»« I, TlnKe be f» mmWDna. m a nun of nil 
KnighUqf ^Tiiiopliantt. ' ■ 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

SM A Lay Sermon 

duct of whicli 18 circulated in the conutrj from wHch the; an 
raised, can never injure a cOvmtrj directly by the mere amount; 
but either from the time or circnmetances under whicl they are 
raised, or from the injudicious mode in which they are levied, or 
from the improper objects to which they are applied. The sim 
may di-aw up the moisture from the river, the morass, and the 
ocean, to be given hack in genial showers to the garden, the 
pasture, and the cornfield j but it may likewise force upward the 
moisture from the fields of industry to drop it on the stagnant 
pool, the saturated swamp, or the unprofitable sand-waste. The 
corruptions of a S3'stem can be duly appreciated by those only 
who have contemplated the system in that ideal state of perfec- 
tion exhibited by the reason ; the nearest possible approximation 
to which under existing circumstances ib is the business of the 
prudential understanding to realise. These, on the other hand, 
who commence the examination of a ejetem bj identifying it with 
its abuses or imperfections, d^rade their understanding into the 
pander of their passions, and are sure to prescribe remedies more 
dangerous than the disease. Alas ! there are so many reaj evile^ 
so many just causes of complaint in the oonafitutionB and admin- 
istration of all governments, our own not excepted, that it be- 
comes the imperious duty of the true patriot to prevent, as much 
as in him lies, the feelings and efforts of his fellow-countrymen 
from losing themselves on a wrong scent. 

If then we are to master the ideal of a beneficent and judicious 
system of finance as the preliminaiy to all profitable insight into 
the defects of any particular system in actual existence, we conld 
not perhaps find an apter illustration than the gardens of 
southern Europe would supply. The tanks or reservoirs would 
represent the capital of a nation : while the hundred rills hourly 
vai^dng their channels and directions, under the gardener's spade, 
would give a pleasing image of the dispersion of that capital 
through the whole population by the joint effect of taxation and 
trade. For taxation itself is a part of commerce, and the govern- 
ment may be fairly considered as a great manufacturing-bouse^ 
carrying on in different places, by means of it« partners and 
overseerB, the trades of the ship-builder, the clotmer, the iron- 
founder, Ac. &c. As long aa a balance is preserved between the 
receipts and the returns of government in their amount, qoick- 
nesa, and degree of dispersion, as long aa the due proportion 
obtains in the sums levied to the mass in productive circuladon, 
so long does the wc<«lth and eircumstantial prosperity of th« 
astion (its wealth, I say, not ita leal welfKre; its outward proa> 

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To Ae Higher and SBdcBe Oattea. 396 

peritj, but hoc uecesaarily its liappioeBa) remain unaffected, ur 
rather tbej will appear to increase in consequence of the addi- 
tional stimuluB giveit to the circulation itself by the reproductive 
action of all large capitals, and through the check 'which tam- 
tiOQ, in its own nature, gives to the indolence of the wealthy in its 
continual transfer of propertj to the induetrioos and enterpris- 
ing, If different periods be taken, and if tlte comparative weight 
of the taxes at each he calculated, as it ought to be, not bj the 
Bum levied on each individual, but bj the sum left in his posses- 
sion, the settlement of the account will be in favour of the 
national wealth, to the amoimt of all the additional productive 
labour sustained or excited by the taxes during the intervale 
between their efflux and their re-absorption. 

But, on the other hand, in a direct ratio to this increase will be 
the distress produced by the disturbance of this balance, bj the 
loss of this proportion; and the operation of the distress will be 
at least equal to the total amount of the difference between the 
taxes etui levied, and the quantum of aid withdrawn from indivi- 
duals by the abandonment of others, and of that which the taxes 
that still remain have ceased to give by the altered mode of their 
re-dispersion. But to this we must add the number ot persona 
raised and reared in consequence of the deniand created bj the 
preceding state of things, and now discharged from their occu- 
pations ! whether the latter belong eiclusively to the executive 
power, as th%t of soldiers, £c., or from those in which the 
labourers for the nation in general are abready sufficiently 
numerous. Both these classes are thrown back on the pnbhc, 
and sent to a table where every seat is pre-occupied. The em- 
ployment lessens as the number of men to be employed is in- 
creased i and not merely in the same, hnt from additional causes 
and from the indirect consequences of those already stated, in a 
far greater ratio. For it may easily happen, that the very same 
change, which had produced this depression at home, may from 
equivalent canses have embarrassed the countries in commercial 
connection with us. At one and the same time the great 
ouBtomer at home wants less, and our customers abroad are able 
to buy less. The conjoint action of these circumstances will 
furnish, for a mind capable of combining them, a sufficient solu- 
tion of the melancholy fact. They cannot but occasion much 
distress, mnch obstruction, and these again in their reaction are 
■ore to be more than doubled by the still greater and universal 
alarm, and by the conseqneut check of confidence and enterprise! 
which the J never fail to pi-oduce. 

Dgiiizodb, Google 

S9S A Jjoy Sermon 

Kow it is a notorioos fact, that these canaet did all exist to a 
TOTy eitraordinary degree, and that they all worked witli nnitad 
strength, in the late sudden transition from wai' to peace. It vraa 
one among tike many anomalies of the late war, that it a«ted, after 
a few yesTB, as a uniTersal stimulant. We almost monopolised 
the commerce of the world. Tho high wages of our artisans and 
the high prices of t^ricoltural produce intercircolatcd. Leases 
of no unosual lei^h not seldom enabled the provident and 
thrifty farmer to purchase the estate he had rented. Eveiywhere 
might be seen roads, railways, docks, canals, made, making, and 
projected; Tillages swelling into towns, while the metropolis 
surrounded itself, and became, as it were, set with new cities. 
Finally, in spite of all the waste and havoc of a twenty years' war, 
the population of the empire was increased by more than two 
millions ! The efforts and war-expenditure of the nation, and the 
yearly revenue, were augmented in the same proportion : and to 
all this we must add a fact of the utmost importance in the pre- 
sent question, that the war did nut, as was usually the case in 
former wars, die away into a long-eipected peace, by gradual 
exhaustion and weariness on both sides, but plunged to its con- 
clusion by a concentration, we might almost say by a spasm of 
energy, and consequently by an anticipation of our resources. 
We conquered by compelling reversionary power into alliance 
with our existing and natural strength. The first intoxication of 
triumph having passed over, this, our " agony of glory," was sac- 
ceeded, of course, by a general stiffness and relaxation. The an- 
tagonist passions came into play ; financial solicitude was blended 
with constitutional and political jealousies, and both, alas ! were 
exacerbated by personal imprudences, the chief injury of which 
consisted in their own tendency to dix^nst and alienate the public 
feeling. And with all this, the flur»noial errors and prqudices 
even of the more educated clasBes, l:i short, the general wunt 
or imperfection of clear views and a scientific insight into U)e 
true effects and iuflnences of taxation, and the mode of its ope- 
ration, became now a real misforttme, and opened an additional 
source of temporary embarraflaaient. Retrenchment could no 
longer proceed by cautious and calculated steps j but was com- 
pelled to hurry forward, like one who crossing the sands at too 
late an hour finds bimsglf threatened by the inrush of the tide. 
Kevertheless, it was a truth susceptible of little lees than 
mathematical demonstration, that the more, and the more sud- 
denly, the revenue was diminished by tlie abandonment ot 
the war-taxes, the greater wonld be the distni^wince of tha 

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To the Sigher and Mddh Clatges. 397 

balance:* bo tliat the agricoltiuiat, the manufacturer, or tlie 
tradesman (all ia short hut ammitantB ajid fixed etipendiarieB), who 
4iiriiig the war having paid as fire and fifteen left behind, wonld 
ahortlj have less than ten after ha,ving paid but two and a half. 

Bnt there is yet another ciroumatance, which we dare not pasa 
b; unnoticed. In the beat of times — or what the world calla 
luch — the spirit of commerce will occaaion great fluctuations, 
aome falling while others rise, and therefore in all times there 
will be a large sum of individual diatress. Trades likewise have 
their seasona.and at all times there is a verj considerable niunbei' 
of artificers who are not employed on the average more than 
seven or eight months in the yeaj-: and the distreas from tliis 
cause is great or small in proportion to the greater or lees degree 
iif dissipation and improviden