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Title: Anima Poetæ
Author: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Anima Poetæ" ***

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Transcriber's note

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. Printer
errors have been changed and are listed at the end. All other
inconsistencies are as in the original.

Characters that could not be displayed directly in Latin-1 are
transcribed as follows:

    _ - Italic
   ^ - superscript
   {_C} - subscript C
   [cir] - circle
   [py] - pyramid
   [rec] - rectangle
   [scir] - small circle
   [sq] - square
   [V] - slant





    _All rights reserved_

    _Entered at Stationers' Hall_

    _Entered at the Library of Congress, Washington_

    _Copyright_, 1895

When shall I find time and ease to reduce my pocket-books and
memorandums to an _Index_ or _Memoriæ Memorandorum_? If--aye! and alas!
if I could see the last sheet of my _Assertio Fidei Christianæ, et
eterni temporizantis_, having previously beheld my elements of
Discourse, Logic, Dialectic, and Noetic, or Canon, Criterion, and
Organon, with the philosophic Glossary--in one printed volume, and the
Exercises in Reasoning as another--if--what then? Why, then I would
publish all that remained unused, Travels and all, under the title of
Excursions Abroad and at Home, what I have seen and what I have thought
with a little of what I have felt, in the words in which I told and
talked them to my pocket-books, the confidants who have _not_ betrayed
me, the friends whose silence was _not_ detraction, and the inmates
before whom I was not ashamed to complain, to yearn, to weep, or even to
pray! To which are added marginal notes from many old books and one or
two new ones, sifted through the Mogul Sieve of Duty towards my
Neighbour--by [Greek: 'Estêse].

_21 June, 1823._


_Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_, which the
poet's nephew and son-in-law, Henry Nelson Coleridge, published in 1835,
was a popular book from the first, and has won the approval of two
generations of readers. Unlike the _Biographia Literaria_, or the
original and revised versions of _The Friend_, which never had their day
at all, or the _Aids to Reflection_, which passed through many editions,
but now seems to have delivered its message, the _Table Talk_ is still
well known and widely read, and that not only by students of literature.
The task which the editor set himself was a difficult one, but it lay
within the powers of an attentive listener, possessed of a good memory
and those rarer gifts of a refined and scholarly taste, a sound and
luminous common sense. He does not attempt to reproduce Coleridge's
conversation or monologue or impassioned harangue, but he preserves and
notes down the detached fragments of knowledge and wisdom which fell
from time to time from the master's lips. Here are "the balmy sunny
islets of the blest and the intelligible," an unvexed and _harbourous_
archipelago. Very sparingly, if at all, have those pithy "sentences" and
weighty paragraphs been trimmed or pruned by the pious solicitude of the
memorialist, but it must be borne in mind that the unities are more or
less consciously observed, alike in the matter of the discourse and the
artistic presentation to the reader. There is, in short, not merely a
"mechanic" but an "organic regularity" in the composition of the work as
a whole. A "myriad-minded" sage, who has seen men and cities, who has
read widely and shaped his thoughts in a peculiar mould, is pouring out
his stores of knowledge, the garnered fruit of a life of study and
meditation, for the benefit of an apt learner, a discreet and
appreciative disciple. A day comes when the marvellous lips are
constrained to an endless silence, and it becomes the duty and privilege
of the beloved and honoured pupil to "snatch from forgetfulness" and to
hand down to posterity the great tradition of his master's eloquence. A
labour of love so useful and so fascinating was accomplished by the
gifted editor of the _Table Talk_, and it was accomplished once for all.
The compilation of a new _Table Talk_, if it were possible, would be a
mistake and an impertinence.

The present collection of hitherto unpublished aphorisms, reflections,
confessions and soliloquies, which for want of a better name I have
entitled _Anima Poetæ_, does not in any way challenge comparison with
the _Table Talk_. It is, indeed, essentially different, not only in the
sources from which it has been compiled but in constitution and in aim.

"Since I left you," writes Coleridge in a letter to Wordsworth of May
12, 1812, "my pocket-books have been my sole confidants." Doubtless, in
earlier and happier days, he had been eager not merely to record but to
communicate to the few who would listen or might understand the
ceaseless and curious workings of his ever-shaping imagination, but from
youth to age note-books and pocket-books were his silent confidants, his
"never-failing friends" by night and day.

More than fifty of these remarkable documents are extant. The earliest
of the series, which dates from 1795 and which is known as the "Gutch
Memorandum Book," was purchased in 1868 by the trustees of the British
Museum, and is now exhibited in the King's Library. It consists, for the
most part, of fragments of prose and verse thrown off at the moment,
and stored up for future use in poem or lecture or sermon. A few of
these fragments were printed in the _Literary Remains_ (4 vols.
1836-39), and others are to be found (pp. 103, 5, 6, 9 _et passim_) in
Herr Brandl's _Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the English Romantic School_.
The poetical fragments are printed _in extenso_ in Coleridge's _Poetical
Works_ (Macmillan, 1893), pp. 453-58. A few specimens of the prose
fragments have been included in the first chapter of this work. One of
the latest note-books, an unfinished folio, contains the Autobiographic
Note of 1832, portions of which were printed in Gillman's _Life of
Coleridge_, pp. 9-33, and a mass of unpublished matter, consisting
mainly of religious exercises and biblical criticism.

Of the intervening collection of pocket-books, note-books, copy-books,
of all shapes, sizes and bindings, a detailed description would be
tedious and out of place. Their contents may be roughly divided into
diaries of tours in Germany, the Lake District, Scotland, Sicily and
Italy; notes for projected and accomplished works, rough drafts of
poems, schemes of metre and metrical experiments; notes for lectures on
Shakspere and other dramatists; quotations from books of travel, from
Greek, Latin, German and Italian classics, with and without critical
comments; innumerable fragments of metaphysical and theological
speculation; and commingled with this unassorted medley of facts and
thoughts and fancies, an occasional and intermitted record of personal
feeling, of love and friendship, of disappointment and regret, of
penitence and resolve, of faith and hope in the Unseen.

Hitherto, but little use has been made of this life-long accumulation of
literary material. A few specimens, "Curiosities of Literature" they
might have been called, were contributed by Coleridge himself to
Southey's _Omniana_ of 1812, and a further selection of some fifty
fragments, gleaned from note-books 21-1/2 and 22, and from a third
unnumbered MS. book now in my possession, were printed by H. N.
Coleridge in the first volume of the _Literary Remains_ under the
heading _Omniana 1809-1816_. The _Omniana_ of 1812 were, in many
instances, re-written by Coleridge before they were included in
Southey's volumes, and in the later issue, here and there, the editor
has given shape and articulation to an unfinished or half-formed
sentence. The earlier and later _Omniana_, together with the fragments
which were published by Allsop in his _Letters, Conversations and
Recollections of S. T. Coleridge_, in 1836, were included by the late
Thomas Ashe in his reprint of the _Table Talk_, Bell & Co., 1884.

Some fourteen or fifteen notes of singular interest and beauty, which
belong to the years 1804, 1812, 1826, 1829, etc., were printed by James
Gillman in his unfinished "Life of Coleridge," and it is evident that he
contemplated a more extended use of the note-books in the construction
of his second volume, or, possibly, the publication of a supplementary
volume of notes or _Omniana_. Transcripts which were made for this
purpose are extant, and have been placed at my disposal by the kindness
of Mrs. Henry Watson, who inherited them from her grandmother, Mrs.

I may add that a few quotations from diaries of tours in the Lake
Country and on the Continent are to be found in the foot-notes appended
to the two volumes of _Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_ which were
issued in the spring of the present year.

To publish the note-books _in extenso_ would be impracticable, if even
after the lapse of sixty years since the death of the writer it were
permissible. They are private memoranda-books, and rightly and properly
have been regarded as a sacred trust by their several custodians. But it
is none the less certain that in disburthening himself of the ideas and
imaginations which pressed upon his consciousness, in committing them to
writing and carefully preserving them through all his wanderings,
Coleridge had no mind that they should perish utterly. The invisible
pageantry of thought and passion which for ever floated into his
spiritual ken, the perpetual hope, the half-belief that the veil of the
senses would be rent in twain, and that he and not another would be the
first to lay bare the mysteries of being, and to solve the problem of
the ages--of these was the breath of his soul. It was his fate to
wrestle from night to morn with the Angel of the Vision, and of that
unequal combat he has left, by way of warning or encouragement, a broken
but an inspired and inspiring record. "Hints and first thoughts" he bade
us regard the contents of his memorandum-books--"_cogitabilia_ rather
than _cogitata_ a me, not fixed opinions," and yet acts of obedience to
the apostolic command of "Try all things: hold fast that which is
good"--say, rather, acts of obedience to the compulsion of his own
genius to "take a pen and write in a book all the words of the vision."

The aim of the present work, however imperfectly accomplished, has been
to present in a compendious shape a collection of unpublished aphorisms
and sentences, and at the same time to enable the reader to form some
estimate of those strange self-communings to which Coleridge devoted so
much of his intellectual energies, and by means of which he hoped to
pass through the mists and shadows of words and thoughts to a steadier
contemplation, to the apprehension if not the comprehension of the
mysteries of Truth and Being.

The various excerpts which I have selected for publication are arranged,
as far as possible, in chronological order. They begin with the
beginning of Coleridge's literary career, and are carried down to the
summer of 1828, when he accompanied Wordsworth and his daughter Dora on
a six months' tour on the Continent. The series of note-books which
belong to the remaining years of his life (1828-1834) were devoted for
the most part to a commentary on the Old and New Testament, to
theological controversy, and to metaphysical disquisition. Whatever
interest they may have possessed, or still possess, appeals to the
student, not to the general reader. With his inveterate love of humorous
or facetious titles, Coleridge was pleased to designate these serious
and abstruse dissertations as "The Flycatchers."

My especial thanks are due to Amy, Lady Coleridge, who, in accordance
with the known wishes of the late Lord Coleridge, has afforded me every
facility for collating my own transcripts of the note-books, and those
which were made by my father and other members of my family, with the
original MSS. now in her possession.

I have to also thank Miss Edith Coleridge for valuable assistance in the
preparation of the present work for the press.

The death of my friend, Mr. James Dykes Campbell, has deprived me of aid
which he alone could give.

It was due to his suggestion and encouragement that I began to compile
these pages, and only a few days before his death he promised me (it was
all he could undertake) to "run through the proofs with my pencil in my
hand." He has passed away _multis flebilis_, but he lived to accomplish
his own work both as critic and biographer, and to leave to all who
follow in his footsteps a type and example of honest workmanship and of
literary excellence.





    "O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
    'Tis known, that Thou and I were one."

                                    S. T. C.


"We should judge of absent things by the absent. Objects which are
present are apt to produce perceptions too strong to be impartially
compared with those recalled only by the memory." SIR J. STEWART.

True! and O how often the very opposite is true likewise, namely, that
the objects of memory are, often, so dear and vivid, that present things
are injured by being compared with them, vivid from dearness!

[Sidenote: LOVE]

Love, a myrtle wand, is transformed by the Aaron touch of jealousy into
a serpent so vast as to swallow up every other stinging woe, and makes
us mourn the exchange.

Love that soothes misfortune and buoys up to virtue--the pillow of
sorrows, the wings of virtue.

Disappointed love not uncommonly causes misogyny, even as extreme thirst
is supposed to be the cause of hydrophobia.

Love transforms the soul into a conformity with the object loved.


From the narrow path of virtue Pleasure leads us to more flowery fields,
and there Pain meets and chides our wandering. Of how many pleasures, of
what lasting happiness, is Pain the parent and Woe the womb!

Real pain can alone cure us of imaginary ills. We feel a thousand
miseries till we are lucky enough to feel misery.

Misfortunes prepare the heart for the enjoyment of happiness in a better
state. The life of a religious benevolent man is an April day. His pains
and sorrows [what are they but] the fertilising rain? The sunshine
blends with every shower, and look! how full and lovely it lies on
yonder hill!

Our quaint metaphysical opinions, in an hour of anguish, are like
playthings by the bedside of a child deadly sick.

Human happiness, like the aloe, is a flower of slow growth.

What we must do let us love to do. It is a noble chymistry that turns
necessity into pleasure.


1. The first smile--what kind of _reason_ it displays. The first smile
after sickness.

2. Asleep with the polyanthus held fast in its hand, its bells dropping
over the rosy face.

3. Stretching after the stars.

4. Seen asleep by the light of glowworms.

5. Sports of infants; their excessive activity, the means being the end.
Nature, how lovely a school-mistress!... Children at houses of industry.

6. Infant beholding its new-born sister.

7. Kissing itself in the looking-glass.

8. The Lapland infant seeing the sun.

9. An infant's prayer on its mother's lap. Mother directing a baby's
hand. (Hartley's "love to Papa," scrawls pothooks and reads what he
meant by them.)

10. The infants of kings and nobles. ("Princess unkissed and foully

11. The souls of infants, a vision (_vide Swedenborg_).

12. Some tales of an infant.

13. [Greek: Storgê]. The absurdity of the Darwinian system (instanced
by) birds and alligators.

14. The wisdom and graciousness of God in the infancy of the human
species--its beauty, long continuance, etc. (Children in the wind--hair
floating, tossing, a miniature of the agitated trees below which they
played. The elder whirling for joy the one in petticoats, a fat baby
eddying half-willingly, half by the force of the gust, driven backward,
struggling forward--both drunk with the pleasure, both shouting their
hymn of joy.) [_Letters of S. T. C._, 1895, i. 408.]

15. Poor William seeking his mother, in love with her picture, and
having that union of beauty and filial affection that the Virgin Mary
may be supposed to give.

[Sidenote: POETRY]

Poetry, like schoolboys, by too frequent and severe correction, may be
cowed into dullness!

Peculiar, not far-fetched; natural, but not obvious; delicate, not
affected; dignified, not swelling; fiery, but not mad; rich in imagery,
but not loaded with it--in short, a union of harmony and good sense, of
perspicuity and conciseness. Thought is the body of such an ode,
enthusiasm the soul, and imagery the drapery.

Dr. Darwin's poetry is nothing but a succession of landscapes or
paintings. It arrests the attention too often, and so prevents the
rapidity necessary to pathos.

The elder languages were fitter for poetry because they expressed only
prominent ideas with clearness, the others but darkly.... Poetry gives
most pleasure when only generally and not perfectly understood. It was
so by me with Gray's "Bard" and Collins' Odes. The "Bard" once
intoxicated me, and now I read it without pleasure. From this cause it
is that what I call metaphysical poetry gives me so much delight.

[Compare _Lecture_ vi. 1811-12, Bell & Co., p. 70; and _Table Talk_,
Oct. 23, 1833, Bell & Co., p. 264.]


Poetry which excites us to artificial feelings makes us callous to real

The whale is followed by waves. I would glide down the rivulet of quiet
life, a trout.

Australis [Southey] may be compared to an ostrich. He cannot fly, but he
has such other qualities that he needs it not.

Mackintosh _intertrudes_ not introduces his beauties.

Snails of intellect who see only by their feelers.

Pygmy minds, measuring others by their own standard, cry What a
_monster_, when they view a man!

Our constitution is to some like cheese--the rotten parts they like the

Her eyes sparkled as if they had been cut out of a diamond-quarry in
some Golconda of Fairyland, and cast such meaning glances as would have
vitrified the flint in a murderer's blunderbuss.

[A task] as difficult as to separate two dew-drops blended together on a
bosom of a new-blown rose.

I discovered unprovoked malice in his hard heart, like a huge toad in
the centre of a marble rock.

Men anxious for this world are like owls that wake all night to catch

At Genoa the word _Liberty_ is engraved on the chains of the galley
slaves and the doors of prisons.

Gratitude, worse than witchcraft, conjures up the pale, meagre ghosts of
dead forgotten kindnesses to haunt and trouble [his memory].

The sot, rolling on his sofa, stretching and yawning, exclaimed,
"_Utinam hoc esset laborare._"

Truth still more than Justice [is] blind, and needs Wisdom for her


[A Proof of] the severity of the winter--the kingfisher [by] its slow,
short flight permitting you to observe all its colours, almost as if it
had been a flower.

Little daisy--very late Spring, March. Quid si vivat? Do all things in
faith. _Never pluck a flower again!_ Mem.

[Sidenote: May 20, 1799]

The nightingales in a cluster or little wood of blossomed trees, and a
bat wheeling incessantly round and round! The noise of the frogs was
not unpleasant, like the humming of spinning wheels in a large
manufactory--now and then a distinct sound, sometimes like a duck, and,
sometimes, like the shrill notes of sea-fowl.

[This note was written one day later than S. T. C.'s last letter from
Germany, May 19, 1799.]

O Heavens! when I think how perishable things, how imperishable thoughts
seem to be! For what is forgetfulness? Renew the state of affection or
bodily feeling [so as to be the] same or similar, sometimes dimly
similar, and, instantly, the trains of forgotten thoughts rise from
their living catacombs!

[Sidenote:[Sockburn] October 1799]

Few moments in life are so interesting as those of our affectionate
reception from a stranger who is the dear friend of your dear friend!
How often you have been the subject of conversation, and how

[The note commemorates his first introduction to Mary and Sarah

[Sidenote: Friday evening, Nov, 27, 1799]

The immoveableness of all things through which so many men were
moving--a harsh contrast compared with the universal motion, the
harmonious system of motions in the country, and everywhere in Nature.
In the dim light London appeared to be a huge place of sepulchres
through which hosts of spirits were gliding.

Ridicule the rage for quotations by quoting from "My Baby's
Handkerchief." Analyse the causes that the ludicrous weakens memory, and
laughter, mechanically, makes it difficult to remember a good story.

Sara sent twice for the measure of George's[A] neck. He wondered that
Sara should be such a fool, as she might have measured William's or
Coleridge's--as "all poets' throttles were of one size."

Hazlitt, the painter, told me that a picture never looked so well as
when the pallet was by the side of it. Association, with the glow of

Mr. J. Cairns, in the _Gentleman's Diary_ for 1800, supposes that the
Nazarites, who, under the law of Moses, had their heads [shaved] must
have used some sort of wigs!

Slanting pillars of misty light moved along under the sun hid by

Leaves of trees upturned by the stirring wind in twilight--an image of
paleness, wan affright.

A child scolding a flower in the words in which he had been himself
scolded and whipped, is poetry--passion past with pleasure.

[Sidenote: July 20, 1800]

Poor fellow at a distance--idle? in this hay-time when wages are so
high? [We] come near [and] then [see that he is] pale, can scarce speak
or throw out his fishing rod.

[This incident is fully described by Wordsworth in the last of the four
poems on "Naming of Places."

--_Poetical Works of W. Wordsworth_, 1889, p. 144.]

[Sidenote: September 1, [1800]]

The beards of thistle and dandelions flying about the lonely mountains
like life--and I saw them through the trees skimming the lake like

            ["And, in our vacant mood,
    Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft
    Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard,
    That skimmed the surface of the dead calm lake,
    Suddenly halting now--a lifeless stand!
    And starting off again with freak as sudden;
    In all its sportive wanderings, all the while,
    Making report of an invisible breeze
    That was its wings, its chariot and its horse,
    Its playmate, rather say, its moving soul."

    _Ibid._ p. 143.]

Luther--a hero, fettered, indeed, with prejudices--but with those very
fetters he would knock out the brains of a modern _Fort Esprit_.

_Comment._ Frightening by his prejudices, as a spirit does by clanking
his chains.

Not only words, as far as relates to speaking, but the knowledge of
words as distinct component parts, which we learn by learning to
read--what an immense effect it must have on our reasoning faculties!
Logical in opposition to real.

[Sidenote: 1797-1801]

Children, in making new words, always do it analogously. Explain this.

Hot-headed men confuse, your cool-headed gentry jumble. The man of warm
feelings only produces order and true connection. In what a jumble M.
and H. write, every third paragraph beginning with "Let us now return,"
or "We come now to the consideration of such a thing"--that is, what _I
said_ I _would_ come to in the contents prefixed to the chapter.

[Sidenote: Dec. 19, 1800]

The thin scattered rain-clouds were scudding along the sky; above them,
with a visible interspace, the crescent moon hung, and partook not of
the motion; her own hazy light filled up the concave, as if it had been
painted and the colours had run.

"He to whom all things are one, who draweth all things to one, and seeth
all things in one, may enjoy true peace of mind and rest of
spirit."--JEREMY TAYLOR'S _Via Pacis_.

To each reproach that thunders from without may remorse groan an echo.

A prison without ransom, anguish without patience, a sick bed in the
house of contempt.

To _think_ of a thing is different from to _perceive_ it, as "to walk"
is from to "feel the ground under you;" perhaps in the same way
too--namely, a succession of perceptions accompanied by a sense of
_nisus_ and purpose.

Space, is it merely another word for the perception of a capability of
additional magnitude, or does this very perception presuppose the idea
of space? The latter is Kant's opinion.

A babe who had never known greater cruelty than that of being snatched
away by its mother for half a moment from the breast in order to be

To attempt to subordinate the idea of time to that of likeness.

Every man asks _how_? This power to instruct is the true substratum of

Godwin's philosophy is contained in these words: _Rationem defectus esse
defectum rationis_.--HOBBES.

Hartley just able to speak a few words, making a fire-place of stones,
with stones for fire--four stones for the fire-place, two for the
fire--seems to illustrate a theory of language, the use of arbitrary
symbols in imagination. Hartley walked remarkably soon and, therefore,
learnt to talk remarkably late.

Anti-optimism! Praised be our Maker, and to the honour of human nature
is it, that we may truly call this an inhuman opinion. Man strives after

Materialists unwilling to admit the mysterious element of our nature
make it all mysterious--nothing mysterious in nerves, eyes, &c., but
that nerves think, etc.! Stir up the sediment into the transparent
water, and so make all opaque.

[Sidenote: 1797-1801]

As we recede from anthropomorphism we must go either to the Trinity or
Pantheism. The Fathers who were Unitarians were anthropomorphites.

[Sidenote: EGOTISM January 1801]

Empirics are boastful and egotists because they introduce real or
apparent novelty, which excites great opposition, [while] personal
opposition creates re-action (which is of course a consciousness of
power) associated with the person re-acting. Paracelsus was a boaster,
it is true; so were the French Jacobins, and Wolff, though not a
boaster, was persecuted into a habit of egotism in his philosophical
writings; so Dr. John Brown, and Milton in his prose works; and those,
in similar circumstances, who, from prudence, abstain from egotism in
their writings are still egotists among their friends. It would be
unnatural effort not to be so, and egotism in such cases is by no means
offensive to a kind and discerning man.

Some flatter themselves that they abhor egotism, and do not suffer it to
appear _primâ facie_, either in their writings or conversation, however
much and however personally they or their opinions have been opposed.
What now? Observe, watch those men; their habits of feeling and thinking
are made up of _contempt_, which is the concentrated vinegar of
egotism--it is _lætitia mixta cum odio_, a notion of the weakness of
another conjoined with a notion of our own comparative strength, though
that weakness is still strong enough to be troublesome to us, though not

          "--and the deep power of Joy
    We see into the Life of Things."

[Sidenote: THE EGO]

By deep feeling we make our _ideas dim_, and this is what we mean by our
life, ourselves. I think of the wall--it is before me a distinct image.
Here I necessarily think of the _idea_ and the thinking _I_ as two
distinct and opposite things. Now let me think of _myself_, of the
thinking being. The idea becomes dim, whatever it be--so dim that I know
not what it is; but the feeling is deep and steady, and this I call
_I_--identifying the percipient and the perceived.

    "O Thou! whose fancies from afar are brought."

[Sidenote: March 17, 1801, Tuesday]

[Sidenote: 1797-1801]

Hartley, looking out of my study window, fixed his eyes steadily and for
some time on the opposite prospect and said, "Will yon mountains
_always_ be?" I shewed him the whole magnificent prospect in a
looking-glass, and held it up, so that the whole was like a canopy or
ceiling over his head, and he struggled to express himself concerning
the difference between the thing and the image almost with convulsive
effort. I never before saw such an abstract of _thinking_ as a pure act
and energy--of thinking as distinguished from thought.


Monday, April 1801, and Tuesday, read two works of Giordano Bruno, with
one title-page: _Jordani Bruni Nolani de Monade, Numero et Figurâ liber
consequens. Quinque de Minimo, Magno et Mensurâ. Item. De
Innumerabilibus Immenso, et Infigurabili seu de Universo et Mundis libri
octo. Francofurti, Apud Joan. Wechelum et Petrum Fischerum consortes_,

Then follows the dedication, then the index of contents of the whole
volume, at the end of which index is a Latin ode, conceived with great
dignity and grandeur of thought. Then the work _De Monade, Numero et
Figurâ, secretioris nempe Physicæ, Mathematicæ, et Metaphysicæ elementa_
commences, which, as well as the eight books _De Innumerabili_, &c., is
a poem in Latin hexameters, divided (each book) into chapters, and to
each chapter is affixed a prose commentary. If the five books _de
Minimo_, &c., to which this book is consequent are of the same
character, I lost nothing in not having it. As to the work _De Monade_,
it was far too numerical, lineal and Pythagorean for my comprehension.
It read very much like Thomas Taylor and Proclus, &c. I by no means
think it certain that there is no meaning in these works. Nor do I
presume even to suppose that the meaning is of no value (till I
understand a man's ignorance I presume myself ignorant of his
understanding), but it is for others, at present, not for me. Sir P.
Sidney and Fulk Greville shut the doors at their philosophical
conferences with Bruno. If his conversation resembled this book, I
should have thought he would have talked with a trumpet.

The poems and commentaries, in the _De Immenso et Innumerabili_ are of a
different character. The commentary is a very sublime enunciation of the
dignity of the human soul, according to the principles of Plato.

[Here follows the passage, "_Anima Sapiens ----ubique totus_," quoted in
_The Friend_ (_Coleridge's Works_, ii. 109), together with a brief
_résumé_ of Bruno's other works. See, too, _Biographia Literaria_,
chapter ix. (_Coleridge's Works_, iii. 249).]


The spring with the little tiny cone of loose sand ever rising and
sinking at the bottom, but its surface without a wrinkle.

[Sidenote: Monday, September 14, 1801]

Northern lights remarkably fine--chiefly a purple-blue--in shooting
pyramids, moved from over Bassenthwaite behind Skiddaw. Derwent's
birthday, one year old.

[Sidenote: September 15, 1801]

Observed the great half moon setting behind the mountain ridge, and
watched the shapes its various segments presented as it slowly
sunk--first the foot of a boot, all but the heel--then a little pyramid
[py]--then a star of the first magnitude--indeed, it was not
distinguishable from the evening star at its largest--then rapidly a
smaller, a small, a very small star--and, as it diminished in size, so
it grew paler in tint. And now where is it? Unseen--but a little fleecy
cloud hangs above the mountain ridge, and is rich in amber light.

I do not wish you to act from those truths. No! still and always act
from your feelings; but only meditate often on these truths, that
sometime or other they may become your feelings.

The state should be to the religions under its protection as a
well-drawn picture, equally eyeing all in the room.

Quære, whether or no too great definiteness of terms in any language may
not consume too much of the vital and idea-creating force in distinct,
clear, full-made images, and so prevent originality. For original might
be distinguished from positive thought.

The thing that causes _in_stability in a particular state, of itself
causes stability. For instance, wet soap slips off the ledge--detain it
till it dries a little, and it _sticks_.

Is there anything in the idea that citizens are fonder of good eating
and rustics of strong drink--the one from the rarity of all such things,
the other from the uniformity of his life?

[Sidenote: October 19, 1801]

[Sidenote: 1797-1801]

On the Greta, over the bridge by Mr. Edmundson's father-in-law, the
ashes--their leaves of that light yellow which autumn gives them, cast a
reflection on the river like a painter's sunshine.

[Sidenote: October 20, 1801]

My birthday. The snow fell on Skiddaw and Grysdale Pike for the first

[A life-long mistake. He was born October 21, 1772.]

[Sidenote: Tuesday evening, 1/2 past 6, October 22, 1801]

All the mountains black and tremendously obscure, except Swinside. At
this time I saw, one after the other, nearly in the same place, two
perfect moon-rainbows, the one foot in the field below my garden, the
other in the field nearest but two to the church. It was
grey-moonlight-mist-colour. Friday morning, Mary Hutchinson arrives.

The art in a great man, and of evidently superior faculties, to be often
_obliged_ to people, often his inferiors--in this way the enthusiasm of
affection may be excited. Pity where we can help and our help is
accepted with gratitude, conjoined with admiration, breeds an
enthusiastic affection. The same pity conjoined with admiration, where
neither our help is accepted nor efficient, breeds dyspathy and fear.

_Nota bene_ to make a detailed comparison, in the manner of Jeremy
Taylor, between the searching for the first cause of a thing and the
seeking the fountains of the Nile--so many streams, each with its
particular fountain--and, at last, it all comes to a name!

The soul a mummy embalmed by Hope in the catacombs.

To write a _series_ of love poems truly Sapphic, save that they shall
have a large interfusion of moral sentiment and calm imagery--love in
all the moods of mind, philosophic, fantastic--in moods of high
enthusiasm, of simple feeling, of mysticism, of religion--comprise in it
all the practice and all the philosophy of love!

[Greek: Ho myrionous]--hyperbole from Naucratius' panegyric of Theodoras
Chersites. Shakspere, _item_, [Greek: ho pollostos kai polyeidês tê
poikilostrophô sophia. Ho megalophrônotatos tês alêtheias kêryx.]--LORD

[Compare _Biographia Literaria_, cap. xv., "our myriad-minded Shakspere"
and _footnote_. [Greek: Anêr myrionous] a phrase which I have borrowed
from a Greek monk, who applies it to a Patriarch of Constantinople. I
might have said that I have reclaimed rather than borrowed it; for it
seems to belong to Shakspere, _de jure singulari, et ex privilegio
naturæ. Coleridge's Works_, iii. 375.]


[Footnote A: Presumably George Dyer.]



    "In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds,
    And dreaming hears thee still, O singing lark,
    That singest like an angel in the clouds!"

                                           S. T .C.


No one can leap over his own shadow, but poets leap over death.

The old world begins a new year. That is _ours_, but this is from God.

We may think of time as threefold. Slowly comes the Future, swift the
Present passes by, but the Past is unmoveable. No impatience will
quicken the loiterer, no terror, no delight rein in the flyer, and no
regret set in motion the stationary. Wouldst be happy, take the delayer
for thy counsellor; do not choose the flyer for thy friend, nor the
ever-remainer for thine enemy.

[Sidenote: LIMBO]

Vastum, incultum, solitudo mera, et incrinitissima nuditas.

[_Crinitus_, covered with hair, is to be found in Cicero, _nuditas_ in
Quintilian, but _incrinitissima_ is, probably, Coleridgian Latinity.]

[An old man gloating over his past vices may be compared to the] devil
at the very end of hell, warming himself at the reflection of the fire
in the ice.

Dimness of vision, mist, &c., magnify the powers of sight, numbness adds
to those of touch. A numb limb seems twice its real size.

Take away from sounds the sense of outness, and what a horrible disease
would every minute become! A drive over a pavement would be exquisite
torture. What, then, is sympathy if the feelings be not disclosed? An
inward reverberation of the stifled cry of distress.

Metaphysics make all one's thoughts equally corrosive on the body, by
inducing a habit of making momently and common thought the subject of
uncommon interest and intellectual energy.

A kind-hearted man who is obliged to give a refusal or the like which
will inflict great pain, finds a relief in doing it roughly and
fiercely. Explain this and use it in Christabel.

The unspeakable comfort to a good man's mind, nay, even to a criminal,
to be _understood_--to have some one that understands one--and who does
not feel that, on earth, no one does? The hope of this, always more or
less disappointed, gives the passion to friendship.

[Sidenote: October,1802]

Hartley, at Mr. Clarkson's, sent for a candle. The _seems_ made him
miserable. "What do you mean, my love?" "The seems, the seems. What
seems to be and is not, men and faces, and I do not [know] what, ugly,
and sometimes pretty, and these turn ugly, and they seem when my eyes
are open and worse when they are shut--and the candle cures the

Great injury has resulted from the supposed incompatibility of one
talent with another, judgment with imagination and taste, good sense
with strong feeling, &c. If it be false, as assuredly it is, the opinion
has deprived us of a test which every man might apply. [Hence] Locke's
opinions of Blackmore, Hume's of Milton and Shakspere.

[Sidenote: October 25, 1802]

I began to look through Swift's works. First volume, containing "Tale of
a Tub," wanting. Second volume--the sermon on the Trinity, rank
Socinianism, _purus putus Socinianism_, while the author rails against
the Socinians for monsters.

The first sight of green fields with the numberless nodding gold cups,
and the winding river with alders on its banks, affected me, coming out
of a city confinement, with the sweetness and power of a sudden strain
of music.

Mem. to end my preface with "in short, speaking to the poets of the age,
'_Primus vestrûm non sum, neque imus_.' I am none of the best, I am none
of the meanest of you."--BURTON.

"Et pour moi, le bonheur n'a commencé que lorsque je l'ai eu perdu. Je
mettrais volontiers sur la porte du Paradis le vers que le Dante a mis
sur celle de l'Enfer.

'Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch' entrate.'"

Were I Achilles, I would have had my leg cut off, and have got rid of my
vulnerable heel.

In natural objects we feel ourselves, or think of ourselves, only by
_likenesses_--among men, too often by _differences_. Hence the soothing,
love-kindling effect of rural nature--the bad passions of human
societies. And why is difference linked with hatred?


Regular post--its influence on the general literature of the country;
turns two-thirds of the nation into writers.

Socinianism, moonlight; methodism, a stove. O for some sun to unite heat
and light!

[Sidenote: Nov. 25, 1802]

I intend to examine minutely the nature, cause, birth and growth of the
verbal imagination, in the possession of which Barrow excels almost
every other writer of prose.

[Sidenote: Sunday, December 19]

Remember the pear trees in the lovely vale of Teme. Every season Nature
converts me from some unloving heresy, and will make a Catholic of me at

A fine and apposite quotation, or a good story, so far from promoting,
are wont to _damp_ the easy commerce of sensible chit-chat.

We imagine ourselves discoverers, and that we have struck a light, when,
in reality, at most, we have but snuffed a candle.

A thief in the candle, consuming in a blaze the tallow belonging to the
wick which has sunk out of sight, is an apt simile for a plagiarist from
a dead author.

An author with a new play which has been hissed off the stage is not
unlike a boy who has launched on a pond a ship of his own making, and
tries to prove to his schoolfellows that it _ought_ to have sailed.

Repose after agitation is like the pool under a waterfall, which the
waterfall has made.

Something inherently mean in action! Even the creation of the universe
disturbs my idea of the Almighty's greatness--would do so but that I
perceive that thought with Him creates.

The great federal republic of the universe.

T. Wedgwood's objection to my "Things and Thoughts," because "thought
always implies an act or _nisus_ of mind" is not well founded. A thought
and thoughts are quite different words from Thought, as a fancy from
Fancy, a work from Work, a life from Life, a force and forces from
Force, a feeling, a writing [from Feelings, Writings.]

[Sidenote: May 10, 1803]

To _fall_ asleep. Is not a real _event_ in the body well represented by
this phrase? Is it in _excess_ when on first _dropping_ asleep we
_fall_ down precipices, or sink down, all things sinking beneath us, or
drop down? Is there not a disease from deficiency of this critical
sensation when people imagine that they have been awake all night, and
actually lie dreaming, expecting and wishing for the critical sensation?

[Compare the phrase, "precipices of distempered sleep," in the sonnet,
"No more my visionary soul shall dwell," attributed by Southey to
Favell.--_Life and Corresp._ of R. SOUTHEY, i. 224.]


[He] drew out the secrets from men's hearts as the Egyptian enchanters
by particular strains of music draw out serpents from their


The rocks and stones put on a vital resemblance and life itself seemed,
thereby, to forego its restlessness, to anticipate in its own nature an
infinite repose, and to become, as it were, compatible with

Bright reflections, in the canal, of the blue and green vitriol bottles
in the druggists' shops in London.

A curious, and more than curious, fact, that when the country does not
benefit, it depraves. Hence the violent, vindictive passions and the
outrageous and dark and wild cruelties of very many country folk. [On
the other hand] the continual sight of human faces and human houses, as
in China, emasculates [and degrades.]

[Sidenote: Monday night, June 8, 1803]

"He who cannot wait for his reward has, in reality, not earned it."
These words I uttered in a dream, in which a lecture I was giving--a
very profound one, as I thought--was not listened to, but I was quizzed.

[Sidenote: Tuesday night, July 19, 1803]

Intensely hot day; left off a waistcoat and for yarn wore silk
stockings. Before nine o'clock, had unpleasant chillness; heard a noise
which I thought Derwent's in sleep, listened, and found it was a calf
bellowing. Instantly came on my mind that night I slept out at Ottery,
and the calf in the field across the river whose lowing so deeply
impressed me. Chill + child and calf-lowing--probably the Rivers Greta
and Otter. [_Letters of S.T.C._, 1895, i. 14, _note_.]

[Sidenote: October, 1803]

A smile, as foreign or alien to, as detached from the gloom of the
countenance, as I have seen a small spot of light travel slowly and
sadly along the mountain's breast, when all beside has been dark with
the storm.


Never to lose an opportunity of reasoning against the head-dimming,
heart-damping principle of judging a work by its defects, not its
beauties. Every work must have the former--we know it _a priori_--but
every work has not the latter, and he, therefore, who discovers them,
tells you something that you could not with certainty, or even with
probability, have anticipated.


I am sincerely glad that he has bidden farewell to all small poems, and
is devoting himself to his great work, grandly imprisoning, while it
deifies, his attention and feelings within the sacred circle and
temple-walls of great objects and elevated conceptions. In those little
poems, his own corrections coming of necessity so often--at the end of
every fourteen or twenty lines, or whatever the poem might chance to
be--wore him out; difference of opinion with his best friends irritated
him, and he wrote, at times, too much with a sectarian spirit, in a sort
of bravado. But now he is at the helm of a noble bark; now he sails
right onward; it is all open ocean and a steady breeze, and he drives
before it, unfretted by short tacks, reefing and unreefing the sails,
hauling and disentangling the ropes. His only disease is the having been
out of his element; his return to it is food to famine; it is both the
specific remedy and the condition of health.


Without drawing, I feel myself but half invested with language. Music,
too, is wanting to me. But yet, though one should unite poetry,
draftsman's skill, and music, the greater and, perhaps, nobler,
certainly _all_ the subtler, parts of one's nature must be _solitary_.
Man exists herein to himself and to God alone--yea! in how much only to
God! how much lies _below_ his own consciousness!

The tree or sea-weed like appearance of the side of the mountain, all
white with snow, made by little bits of snow loosened. Introduce this
and the stones leaping rabbit-like down on my sopha of sods. [_Vide_ p.

The sunny mist, the luminous gloom of Plato.


Nothing affects me much at the moment it happens. It either stupefies
me, and I, perhaps, look at a merry-make and dance-the-hay of flies, or
listen entirely to the loud click of the great clock, or I am simply
indifferent, not without some sense of philosophical self-complacency.
For a thing at the moment is but a thing of the moment; it must be taken
up into the mind, diffuse itself through the whole multitude of shapes
and thoughts, not one of which it leaves untinged, between [not one of]
which and it some new thought is not engendered. Now this is a work of
time, but the body feels it quicker with me.


On St. Herbert's Island, I saw a large spider with most beautiful legs,
floating in the air on his back by a single thread which he was spinning
out, and still, as he spun, heaving on the air, as if the air beneath
was a pavement elastic to his strokes. From the top of a very high tree
he had spun his line; at length reached the bottom, tied his thread
round a piece of grass, and reascended to spin another--a net to hang,
as a fisherman's sea-net hangs, in the sun and wind to dry.


One excellent use of communication of sorrow to a friend is this, that
in relating what ails us, we ourselves first know exactly what the real
grief is, and see it for itself in its own form and limits. Unspoken
grief is a misty medley of which the real affliction only plays the
first fiddle, blows the horn to a scattered mob of obscure feelings.
Perhaps, at certain moments, a single, almost insignificant sorrow may,
by association, bring together all the little relicts of pain and
discomfort, bodily and mental, that we have endured even from infancy.


One may best judge of men by their pleasures. Who has not known men who
have passed the day in honourable toil with honour and ability, and at
night sought the vilest pleasure in the vilest society? This is the
man's self. The other is a trick learnt by heart (for we may even learn
the power of extemporaneous elocution and instant action as an automatic
trick); but a man's pleasures--children, books, friends, nature, the
Muse--O these deceive not.

[Sidenote: TEMPERAMENT AND MORALS October, 1803]

Even among good and sensible men, how common it is that one attaches
himself scrupulously to the rigid performance of some minor virtue or
makes a point of carrying some virtue into all its minutiæ, and is just
as lax in a similar point, _professedly_ lax. What this is depends,
seemingly, on temperament. _A_ makes no conscience of a little flattery
in cases where he is certain that he is not acting from base or
interested motives--in short, whenever his only motives are the
amusement, the momentary pleasure given, &c., a medley of good nature,
diseased proneness to sympathy, and a habit of _being wiser_ behind the
curtain than his own actions before it. _B_ would die rather than
deviate from truth and sincerity in this instance, but permits himself
to utter, nay, publish the harshest censure of men as moralists and as
literati, and that, too, on his simple _ipse dixit_, without assigning
any reason, and often without having any, save that he himself
_believes_ it--believes it because he _dislikes_ the man, and dislikes
him probably for his looks, or, at best, for some one fault without any
collation of the sum total of the man's qualities. Yet _A_ and _B_ are
both good men, as the world goes. They do not act from conscious
self-love, and are amenable to principles in their own minds.

[Sidenote: BRIGHT OCTOBER October 21, 1803, Friday morning]

A drizzling rain. Heavy masses of shapeless vapour upon the mountains (O
the perpetual forms of Borrowdale!) yet it is no unbroken tale of dull
sadness. Slanting pillars travel across the lake at long intervals, the
vaporous mass whitens in large stains of light--on the lakeward ridge of
that huge arm-chair of Lodore fell a gleam of softest light, that
brought out the rich hues of the late autumn. The woody Castle Crag
between me and Lodore is a rich flower-garden of colours--the brightest
yellows with the deepest crimsons and the infinite shades of brown and
green, the _infinite_ diversity of which blends the whole, so that the
brighter colours seem to be colours upon a ground, not coloured things.
Little woolpacks of white bright vapour rest on different summits and
declivities. The vale is narrowed by the mist and cloud, yet through the
wall of mist you can see into a bower of sunny light, in Borrowdale; the
birds are singing in the tender rain, as if it were the rain of April,
and the decaying foliage were flowers and blossoms. The pillar of smoke
from the chimney rises up in the mist, and is just distinguishable from
it, and the mountain forms in the gorge of Borrowdale consubstantiate
with the mist and cloud, even as the pillar'd smoke--a shade deeper and
a determinate form.


A most unpleasant dispute with Wordsworth and Hazlitt. I spoke, I fear,
too contemptuously; but they spoke so irreverently, so malignantly of
the Divine Wisdom that it overset me. Hazlitt, how easily raised to rage
and hatred self-projected! but who shall find the force that can drag
him up out of the depth into one expression of kindness, into the
showing of one gleam of the light of love on his countenance. Peace be
with him! But _thou_, dearest Wordsworth--and what if Ray, Durham, Paley
have carried the observation of the aptitude of things too far, too
habitually into pedantry? O how many worse pedantries! how few so
harmless, with so much efficient good! Dear William, pardon pedantry in
others, and avoid it in yourself, instead of scoffing and reviling at
pedantry in good men and a good cause and _becoming_ a pedant yourself
in a bad cause--even by that very act becoming one. But, surely, always
to look at the superficies of objects for the purpose of taking delight
in their beauty, and sympathy with their real or imagined life, is as
deleterious to the health and manhood of intellect as, always to be
peering and unravelling contrivance may be to the simplicity of the
affection and the grandeur and unity of the imagination. O dearest
William! would Ray or Durham have spoken of God as you spoke of Nature?

[Sidenote: W. H.]

Hazlitt to the feelings of anger and hatred, phosphorus--it is but to
open the cork and it flames--but to love and serviceable friendship, let
them, like Nebuchadnezzar, heat the furnace with a sevenfold heat, this
triune, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, will shiver in the midst of it.

[Sidenote: THE ORIGIN OF EVIL Thursday October 27, 1803]

I sate for my picture [to Hazlitt]--heard from Southey the "Institution
of the Jesuits," during which some interesting idea occurred to me, and
has escaped. I made out, however, the whole business of the origin of
evil satisfactorily to my own mind, and forced H. to confess that the
metaphysical argument reduced itself to this, Why did not infinite Power
_always exclusively_ produce such beings as in each moment of their
duration were infinite? why, in short, did not the Almighty create an
absolutely infinite number of Almighties? The hollowness and impiety of
the argument will be felt by considering that, suppose a universal
happiness, a perfection of the moral as well as natural world, still the
whole objection applies just as forcibly as at this moment. The
malignity of the Deity (I shudder even at the assumption of this
affrightful and Satanic language) is manifested in the creation of
archangels and cherubs and the whole company of pure Intelligences
burning in their unquenchable felicity, equally as in the creation of
Neros and Tiberiuses, of stone and leprosy. Suppose yourself perfectly
happy, yet, according to this argument, you _ought_ to charge God with
malignity for having created you--your own life and all its comforts are
in the indictment against the Creator--for surely even a child would be
ashamed to answer, "No! I should still exist, only in that case, instead
of being a man, I should be an infinite being." As if the word _I_ here
had even the remotest semblance of a meaning. Infinitely more absurd
than if I should write the fraction 1/1000 on a slate, then rub it out
with my sponge, and write in the same place the integral number
555,666,879, and then observe that the former figure was _greatly_
improved by the measure, that _it_ was grown a far finer
figure!--conceiting a _change_ where there had been positive
substitution. Thus, then, it appears that the sole justification of
those who, offended by the vice and misery of the created world, as far
as we know it, impeach the power and goodness of the Almighty, making
the proper cause of such vice and misery to have been a defect either of
power or goodness--it appears, I say, that their sole justification
rests on an argument which has nothing to do with vice and misery, as
vice and misery--on an argument which would hold equally good in heaven
as in hell--on an argument which it might be demonstrated no human being
in a state of happiness could ever have conceived--an argument which a
millennium would annihilate, and which yet would hold equally good then
as now! But even in point of metaphysic the whole rests at last on the
conceivable. Now, I appeal to every man's internal consciousness, if he
will but sincerely and in brotherly simplicity silence the bustle of
argument in his mind and the ungenial feelings that mingle with and fill
up the mob, and then ask his own intellect whether, supposing he could
conceive the creation of positively infinite and co-equal beings, and
whether, supposing this not only possible but real, this has exhausted
his notion of _creatability_? whether the intellect, by an unborn and
original law of its essence, does not demand of infinite power more than
merely infinity of number, infinity of sorts and orders? Let him have
created this infinity of infinites, still there is space in the
imagination for the creation of finites; but instead of these, let him
again create infinites; yet still the same space is left, it is no way
filled up. I feel, too, that the whole rests on a miserable sophism of
applying to an Almighty Being such words as _all_. Why were not _all_
Gods? But there is no _all_ in creation. It is composed of infinites,
and the imagination, bewildered by heaping infinites on infinites and
wearying of demanding increase of number to a number which it conceives
already infinite, deserted by images and mocked by words, whose sole
substance is the inward sense of difficulty that accompanies all our
notions of infinity applied to numbers--turns with delight to distinct
images and clear ideas, contemplates a _world_, an harmonious system,
where an infinity of kinds subsist each in a multitude of individuals
apportionate to its kind in conformity to laws existing in the divine
nature, and therefore in the nature of things. We cannot, indeed,
_prove_ this in any other way than by finding it as impossible to deny
omniform, as eternal, agency to God--by finding it impossible to
conceive that an omniscient Being should not have a distinct idea of
finite beings, or that distinct ideas in the mind of God should be
without the perfection of real existence, that is, imperfect. But this
is a proof subtle indeed, yet not more so than the difficulty. The
intellect that can start the one can understand the other, if his vices
do not prevent him. Admit for a moment that "conceive" is equivalent to
creation in the divine nature, synonymous with "to beget" (a feeling of
which has given to marriage a mysterious sanctity and sacramental
significance in the mind of many great and good men)--admit this, and
all difficulty ceases, all tumult is hushed, all is clear and beautiful.
We sit in the dark, but each by the side of his little fire, in his own
group, and lo! the summit of the distant mountain is smitten with light.
All night long it has dwelt there, and we look at it and know that the
sun is not extinguished, that he is elsewhere bright and vivifying, that
he is coming to us, to make our fires needless; yet, even now, that our
cold and darkness are so called only in comparison with the heat and
light of the coming day, never wholly deserted of the rays.

This I wrote on Friday morning, forty minutes past three o'clock, the
sky covered with one cloud that yet lies in dark and light shades, and
though one smooth cloud, by the dark colour, it appears to be _steppy_.

[Sidenote: A DREAM AND A PARENTHESIS Friday morning, 5 o'clock]

Dozing, dreamt of Hartley as at his christening--how, as he was asked
who redeemed him, and was to say, "God the Son," he went on humming and
hawing in one hum and haw (like a boy who knows a thing and will not
make the effort to recollect) so as to irritate me greatly. Awakening
gradually, I was able completely to detect that it was the ticking of my
watch, which lay in the pen-place in my desk, on the round table close
by my ear, and which, in the diseased state of my nerves, had fretted
on my ears. I caught the fact while Hartley's face and moving lips were
yet before my eyes, and his hum and haw and the ticking of the watch
were each the other, as often happens in the passing off of sleep--that
curious modification of ideas by each other which is the element of
_bulls_. I arose instantly and wrote it down. It is now ten minutes past

To return to the question of evil--woe to the man to whom it is an
uninteresting question, though many a mind over-wearied by it may shun
it with dread. And here--N.B.--scourge with deserved and lofty scorn
those critics who laugh at the discussion of old questions: God, right
and wrong, necessity and arbitrement, evil, &c. No! forsooth, the
question must be _new, spicy hot_ gingerbread, from a French
constitution to a balloon, change of ministry, or, Which had the best of
it in the parliamentary duel, Wyndham or Sheridan? or, at the best, a
chymical thing [or] whether the new celestial bodies shall be called
planets or asteroids--something new [it must be], something out of
themselves--for whatever is _in_ them is deep within them--must be old
as elementary nature [but] to find no contradiction in the union of old
and novel--to contemplate the Ancient of Days with feelings new as if
they _then_ sprang forth at His own Fiat--this marks the mind that feels
the riddle of the world, and may help to unravel it. But to return to
the question. The whole rests on the sophism of imaginary change in a
case of positive substitution. This, I fully believe, settles the
question. The assertion that there is in the essence of the divine
nature a necessity of omniform harmonious action, and that order and
system (not number--in itself base, disorderly and irrational) define
the creative energy, determine and employ it, and that number is
subservient to order, regulated, organised, made beautiful and rational,
an object both of imagination and intellect by order--this is no mere
assertion, it is strictly in harmony with the fact. For the world
appears so, and it is proved by whatever proves the being of God.
Indeed, it is involved in the idea of God.


What is it that I employ my metaphysics on? To perplex our clearest
notions and living moral instincts? To extinguish the light of love and
of conscience, to put out the life of arbitrement, to make myself and
others _worthless, soulless, Godless_? No, to expose the folly and the
legerdemain of those who have thus abused the blessed organ of language,
to support all old and venerable truths, to support, to kindle, to
project, to make the reason spread light over our feelings, to make our
feelings diffuse vital warmth through our reason--these are my objects
and these my subjects. Is this the metaphysic that bad spirits in hell
delight in?

[Sidenote: IN THE VISIONS OF THE NIGHT Nov. 2, 1803, Wednesday morning,
20 minutes past 2 o'clock]

The voice of the Greta and the cock-crowing. The voice seems to grow
like a flower on or about the water beyond the bridge, while the
cock-crowing is nowhere particular--it is at any place I imagine and do
not distinctly see. A most remarkable sky! the moon, now waned to a
perfect ostrich egg, hangs over our house almost, only so much beyond
it, garden-ward, that I can see it, holding my head out of the smaller
study window. The sky is covered with whitish and with dingy cloudage,
thin dingiest scud close under the moon, and one side of it moving, all
else moveless; but there are two great breaks of blue sky, the one
stretches over our house and away toward Castlerigg, and this is
speckled and blotched with white cloud; the other hangs over the road,
in the line of the road, in the shape of an ellipse or shuttle, I do not
know what to call it--this is unspeckled, all blue, three stars in
it--more in the former break, all unmoving. The water leaden-white, even
as the grey gleam of water is in latest twilight. Now while I have been
writing this and gazing between-whiles (it is forty minutes past two),
the break over the road is swallowed up, and the stars gone; the break
over the house is narrowed into a rude circle, and on the edge of its
circumference one very bright star. See! already the white mass,
thinning at its edge, _fights_ with its brilliance. See! it has bedimmed
it, and now it is gone, and the moon is gone. The cock-crowing too has
ceased. The Greta sounds on for ever. But I hear only the ticking of my
watch in the pen-place of my writing-desk and the far lower note of the
noise of the fire, perpetual, yet seeming uncertain. It is the low voice
of quiet change, of destruction doing its work by little and little.


O! The impudence of those who dare hold property to be the great
binder-up of the affections of the young to the old, &c., and Godwin's
folly in his book! Two brothers in this country fought in the mourning
coach, and stood with black eyes and their black clothes all blood over
their father's grave.

[Sidenote: EARLY DEATH November 1803]

Poor Miss Dacre! born with a spinal deformity, that prophesied the early
death it occasioned. Such are generally gentle and innocent beings. God
seems to stamp on their foreheads the seal of death, in sign of
appropriation. No evil dares approach the sacred hieroglyphic on this
seal of redemption; we on earth interpret early death, but the heavenly
spirits, that minister around us, read in it "Abiding innocence."

Something to me delicious in the thought that one who dies a baby
presents to the glorified Saviour and Redeemer that same sweet face of
infancy which He blessed when on earth, and sanctified with a kiss, and
solemnly pronounced to be the type and sacrament of regeneration.

[Sidenote: THE NIGHT SIDE OF NATURE November 9, Wednesday night, 45 min.
past 6]

The town, with lighted windows and noise of the _clogged_ passengers in
the streets--sound of the unseen river. Mountains scarcely perceivable
except by eyes long used to them, and supported by the images of memory
flowing in on the impulses of immediate impression. On the sky, black
clouds; two or three dim, untwinkling stars, like full stops on damp
paper, and large stains and spreads of sullen white, like a tunic of
white wool seen here and there through a torn and tattered cloak of
black. Whence do these stains of white proceed all over the sky, so long
after sunset, and from their indifference of place in the sky, seemingly
unaffected by the west?

[Sidenote: November 10, 1/2 past 2 o'clock, morning]

Awoke, after long struggles, from a persecuting dream. The tale of the
dream began in two _images_, in two sons of a nobleman, desperately fond
of shooting, brought out by the footman to resign their property, and to
be made believe that they had none. They were far too cunning for that,
and as they struggled and resisted their cruel wrongers, and my interest
for them, I suppose, increased, I became they--the duality
vanished--Boyer and Christ's Hospital became concerned; yet, still, the
former story was kept up, and I was conjuring him, as he met me in the
street, to have pity on a nobleman's orphan, when I was carried up to
bed, and was struggling up against some unknown impediment--when a noise
of one of the doors awoke me. Drizzle; the sky uncouthly marbled with
white vapours and large black clouds, their surface of a fine woolly
grain, but in the height and key-stone of the arch a round space of sky
with dim watery stars, like a friar's crown; the seven stars in the
central seen through white vapour that, entirely shapeless, gave a
whiteness to the circle of the sky, but stained with exceedingly thin
and subtle flakes of black vapour, might be happily said in language of
Boccace (describing Demogorgon, in his _Genealogia De Gli Dei_) to be
_vestito d'una pallidezza affumicata_.

[Sidenote: Tuesday night, 1/4 after 7]

The sky covered with stars, the wind up--right opposite my window, over
Brandelhow, as its centre, and extending from the gorge to Whinlatter,
an enormous black cloud, exactly in the shape of an egg--this, the only
cloud in all the sky, impressed me with a demoniacal grandeur. O for
change of weather!

[Sidenote: Sunday morning, Nov. 13, 1/2 past 2]

The sky, in upon Grysdale Pike and onward to the Withop Fells, floored
with flat, smooth, dark or dingy clouds, elsewhere starry. Though seven
stars and all the rest in the height of the heaven be dimmed, those in
the descent bright and frosty. The river has a loud voice,
self-biographer of to-day's rain and thunder-showers. The owls are
silent; they have been very musical. All weathers on Saturday the
twelfth, storm and frost, sunshine, lightning and what not! God be
praised, though sleepless, am marvellously bettered, and I take it for
granted that the barometer has risen. I have been reading Barrow's
treatise "On the Pope's Supremacy," and have made a note on the
_L'Estrangeism_ of his style whenever his thoughts rendered it possible
for the words to be pert, frisky and vulgar--which, luckily, could not
be often, from the gravity of his subjects, the solidity and
appropriateness of his thoughts, and that habitual geometrical
_precision_ of mind which demanded the most _appropriate_ words. He
seems to me below South in dignity; at least, South never sinks so low
as B. sometimes.


A pretty optical fact occurred this morning. As I was returning from
Fletcher's, up the back lane and just in sight of the river, I saw,
floating high in the air, somewhere over Mr. Banks', a noble kite. I
continued gazing at it for some time, when, turning suddenly round, I
saw at an equi-distance on my right, that is, over the middle of our
field, a pair of kites floating about. I looked at them for some
seconds, when it occurred to me that I had never before seen two kites
together, and instantly the vision disappeared. It was neither more nor
less than two pair of leaves, each pair on a separate stalk, on a young
fruit tree that grew on the other side of the wall, not two yards from
my eye. The leaves being alternate, did, when I looked at them as
leaves, strikingly resemble wings, and they were the only leaves on the
tree. The magnitude was given by the imagined distance, that distance by
the former adjustment of the eye, which _remained_ in consequence of the
deep impression, the length of time I had been looking at the kite, the
pleasure, &c., and [the fact that] a new object [had] impressed itself
on the eye.


In Plotinus the system of the Quakers is most beautifully expressed in
the fifth book of the Fifth Ennead (he is speaking of "the inward
light"): "It is not lawful to enquire from whence it originated, for it
neither approached hither, nor again departs from hence to some other
place, but it either appears to us, or does not appear. So that we ought
not to pursue it as if with a view of discerning its latent original,
but to abide in quiet till it suddenly shines upon us, preparing
ourselves for the blessed spectacle, like the eye waiting for the rising


My nature requires another nature for its support, and reposes only in
another from the necessary indigence of its being. Intensely similar yet
not the same [must that other be]; or, may I venture to say, the same
indeed, but dissimilar, as the same breath sent with the same force, the
same pauses, and the same melody pre-imaged in the mind, into the flute
and the clarion shall be the same _soul diversely incarnate_.


"ALL things desire that which is first from a necessity of nature,
prophesying, as it were, that they cannot subsist without the energies
of that first nature. But beauty is not first, it happens only to
intellect, and creates restlessness and seeking; but good, which is
present from the beginning and unceasingly to our innate appetite,
abides with us even in sleep, and never seizes the mind with
astonishment, and requires no peculiar reminiscence to convince us of
its presence."--PLOTINUS.

This is just and profound, yet perfect beauty being an abstract of good,
in and for that particular form excites in me no passion but that of an
admiration so quiet as scarcely to admit of the name _passion_, but one
that, participating in the same root of soul, does yet spring up with
excellences that I have not. To this I am driven by a desire of
self-completion with a restless and inextinguishable love. God is not
all things, for in this case He would be indigent of all; but all things
are God, and eternally indigent of God. And in the original meaning of
the word _essence_ as predicable of that concerning which you can say,
This is he, or That is he (this or that rather than any other), in this
sense of the word essence, I perfectly coincide with the Platonists and
Plotinists that, if we add to the nature of God either essence or
intellect or beauty, we deprive Him of being the Good himself, the only
One, the purely and absolutely One.

[Sidenote: A MOON-SET Friday, Nov. 25, 1803, morning 45 minutes past]

After a night of storm and rain, the sky calm and white, by blue vapour
thinning into formlessness instead of clouds, the mountains of height
covered with snow, the secondary mountains black. The moon descending
aslant the [V]^A, through the midst of which the great road
winds, set exactly behind Whinlatter Point, marked A. She being an egg,
somewhat uncouthly shaped, perhaps, but an ostrich's egg rather than any
other (she is two nights more than a half-moon), she set behind the
black point, fitted herself on to it like a cap of fire, then became a
crescent, then a mountain of fire in the distance, then the peak itself
on fire, one steady flame; then stars of the first, second and third
magnitude, and vanishing, upboiled a swell of light, and in the next
second the whole sky, which had been _sable blue_ around the yellow
moon, whitened and brightened for as large a space as would take the
moon half an hour to descend through.

[Sidenote: THE DEATH OF ADAM A DREAM Dec. 6, 1803]

Adam travelling in his old age came to a set of the descendants of Cain,
ignorant of the origin of the world, and treating him as a madman,
killed him. A sort of dream which I had this night.


We ought to suspect reasoning founded wholly on the difference of man
from man, not on their commonnesses, which are infinitely greater. So I
doubt the wisdom of the treatment of sailors and criminals, because it
is wholly grounded on their vices, as if the vices formed the whole or
major part of their being.


Abstruse reasoning is to the inductions of common sense what reaping is
to delving. But the implements with which we reap, how are they gained?
by delving. Besides, what is common sense now was abstract reasoning
with earlier ages.

[Sidenote: A SUNSET]

A beautiful sunset, the sun setting behind Newlands across the foot of
the lake. The sky is cloudless, save that there is a cloud on Skiddaw,
one on the highest mountains in Borrowdale, some on Helvellyn, and that
the sun sets in a glorious cloud. These clouds are of various shapes,
various colours, and belong to their mountains and have nothing to do
with the sky. N.B.--There is something metallic, silver playfully and
imperfectly gilt and highly polished, or, rather, something
mother-of-pearlish, in the sun-gleams on ice, thin ice.


I have repeatedly said that I could make a volume if only I had noted
down, as they occurred to my recollection, the instances of the proverb
"Extremes Meet." This night, Sunday, December 11, 1803, half-past
eleven, I have determined to devote the last nine pages of my
pocket-book to a collection of the same.

     1.                          The parching air
     Burns frore and cold performs the effect of fire.

                                 _Paradise Lost_, ii. 594.

     2. Insects by their smallness, the mammoth by its hugeness,

     3. In the foam-islands in a fiercely boiling pool, at the
     bottom of a waterfall, there is sameness from infinite change.

     4. The excess of humanity and disinterestedness in polite
     society, the desire not to give pain, for example, not to talk
     of your own diseases and misfortunes, and to introduce nothing
     but what will give pleasure, destroy all humanity and
     disinterestedness, by making it intolerable, through desuetude,
     to listen to the complaints of our equals, or of any, where the
     listening does not gratify or excite some vicious pride and
     sense of superiority.

     5. It is difficult to say whether a perfectly unheard-of
     subject or a _crambe bis cocta_, if chosen by a man of genius,
     would excite in the higher degree the sense of novelty. Take,
     as an instance of the latter, the "Orestes" of Sotheby.

     6. Dark with excess of light.

     7. Self-absorption and worldly-mindedness (N.B.--The latter a
     most philosophical word).

     8. The dim intellect sees an absolute oneness, the perfectly
     clear intellect _knowingly perceives_ it. Distinction and
     plurality lie in the betwixt.

     9. The naked savage and the gymnosophist.

     10. Nothing and intensest absolute being.

     11. Despotism and ochlocracy.


A dirty business! "How," said I, with a great effort to conquer my
laziness and a great wish to rest in the generality, "what do you
include under the words 'dirty business'"? I note this in order to
remember the reluctance the mind has in general to analysis.

The soul within the body--can I, any way, compare this to the reflection
of the fire seen through my window on the solid wall, seeming, of
course, within the solid wall, as deep within as the distance of the
fire from the wall. I fear I can make nothing out of it; but why do I
always hurry away from any interesting thought to do something
uninteresting? As, for instance, when this thought struck me, I turned
off my attention suddenly and went to look for the copy of Wolff which I
had missed. Is it a cowardice of all deep feeling, even though
pleasurable? or is it laziness? or is it something less obvious than
either? Is it connected with my epistolary embarrassments?

["The window of my library at Keswick is opposite to the fireplace. At
the coming on of evening, it was my frequent amusement to watch the
image or reflection of the fire that seemed burning in the bushes or
between the trees in different parts of the garden."--_The Friend._
_Coleridge's Works_, ii. 135.]

As I was sitting at the foot of my bed, reading with my face downwards,
I saw a phantom of my face upon the nightcap which lay just on the
middle of my pillow--it was indistinct but of bright colours, and came
only as my head bent low. Was it the action of the rays of my face upon
my eyes? that is, did my eyes see my face, and from the sidelong and
faint action of the rays place the image in that situation? But I moved
the nightcap and I lost it.

[Sidenote: Dec. 19, 1803, morning]

I have only to shut my eyes to feel how ignorant I am whence these forms
and coloured forms, and colours distinguishable beyond what I can
distinguish, derive their birth. These varying and infinite co-present
colours, what are they? I ask, to what do they belong in my waking
remembrance? and almost never receive an answer. Only I perceive and
know that whatever I change, in any part of me, produces some change in
these eye-spectra; as, for instance, if I press my legs or change sides.


I will at least make the attempt to explain to myself the origin of
moral evil from the streamy nature of association, which thinking curbs
and rudders. Do not the bad passions in dreams throw light and show of
proof upon this hypothesis? If I can but explain those passions I shall
gain light, I am sure. A clue! a clue! a Hecatomb à la Pythagoras, if it
unlabyrinth me.

[Sidenote: December 28, 1803, 11 o'clock]

I note the beautiful luminous shadow of my pencil-point which follows it
from the candle, or rather goes before it and illuminates the word I am
writing. But, to resume, take in the blessedness of innocent children,
the blessedness of sweet sleep, do they or do they not contradict the
argument of evil from streamy associations? I hope not, but all is to be
thought over and _into_. And what is the height and ideal of mere
association? Delirium. But how far is this state produced by pain and
denaturalisation? And what are these? In short, as far as I can see
anything in this total mist, vice is imperfect yet existing volition,
giving diseased currents of association, because it yields on all sides
and yet _is_--so, too, think of madness!


December 30th, half-past one o'clock, or, rather, Saturday morning,
December 31st, put rolled bits of paper, many tiny bits of wick, some
tallow, and the soap together. The whole flame, equal in size to
half-a-dozen candles, did not give the light of one, and the letters of
the book looked by the unsteady flare just as through tears or in
dizziness--every line of every letter dislocated into angles, or like
the mica in crumbly stones.


The experiment over leaf illustrates my idea of motion, namely, that it
is a presence and absence rapidly alternating, so that the fits of
_absence_ exist continuously in the feeling, and the fits of presence
_vice versâ_ continuedly in the eye. Of course I am speaking of motion
psychologically, not physically, what it is in us, not what the
supposed mundane cause may be. I believe that what we call _motion_ is
our consciousness of motion arising from the interruption of motion, the
action of the soul in suffering resistance. Free unresisted action, the
going forth of the soul, life without consciousness, is, properly,
infinite, that is unlimited. For whatever resists limits, and whatever
is unresisted is unlimited. This, psychologically speaking, is space,
while the sense of resistance or limitation is time, and motion is a
synthesis of the two. The closest approach of time to space forms
co-existent multitude.


There is an important distinction between the memory or reminiscent
faculty of sensation which young children seem to possess in so small a
degree, from their perpetual desire to have a tale repeated to them, and
the memory of words and images which the very same children manifestly
possess in an unusual degree, even to sealing-wax accuracy of retention
and representation.


If Spinoza had left the doctrine of miracles untouched, and had not
written so powerfully in support of universal toleration, his ethics
would never have brought on him the charge of Atheism. His doctrine, in
this respect, is truly and severely orthodox, in the reformed Church;
neither do I know that the Church of Rome has authoritatively decided
between the Spinosists and Scotists in their great controversy on the
nature of the being which creatures possess.


Creation is explained by Joannes Scotus Erigena as only a manifestation
of the unity of God in forms--_et fit et facit, et creat et creatur_.
Lib. 4. p. 7.

P. 8. A curious and highly-philosophical account of the Trinity, and
completely Unitarian. God is, is wise, and is living. The essence we
call Father, the wisdom Son, the life the Holy Spirit. And he
positively affirms that these three exist only as distinguishable
relations--_habitudines_; and he states the whole doctrine to be an
invention and condescension of Theology to the intellect of man, which
must _define_, and consequently _personify_, in order to understand, and
must have some phantom of understanding in order to keep alive in the
heart the substantial faith. They are _fuel_ to the sacred fire--in the
empyrean it may burn without fuel, and they who do so are seraphs.


A fine epitheton of man would be "Lord of fire and light." All other
creatures whose existence we perceive are mere alms-receivers of both.

A company of children driving a hungry, hard-skinned ass out of a
corn-field. The ass cannot by such weaklings be driven so hard but he
will feed as he goes.

Such light as lovers love, when the waxing moon steals in behind a
black, black cloud, emerging soon enough to make the blush visible which
the long kiss had kindled.

All notions [remain] hushed in the phantasms of place and time that
still escape the finest sieve and most searching winnow of our reason
and abstraction.

A rosemary tree, large as a timber tree, is a sweet sign of the
antiquity and antique manners of the house against which it groweth.
"Rosemary" (says Parkinson, _Theatrum Botanicum_ [London, 1640] p. 76)
"is a herb of as great use with us in these days as any whatsoever, not
only for physical but civil purposes--the civil uses, as all know, are
at weddings, funerals, &c., to bestow on friends."

Great harm is done by bad poets in trivialising beautiful expressions
and images and associating disgust and indifference with the technical
forms of poetry.

Advantage of public schools. [They teach men to be] content with school
praise when they publish. Apply this to Cottle and J. Jennings.

Religious slang operates better on women than on men. N.B.--Why? I will
give over--it is not _tanti_!

Poem. Ghost of a mountain--the forms, seizing my body as I passed,
became realities--I a ghost, till I had reconquered my substance.

The sopha of sods. Lack-wit and the clock find him at last in the
Yorkshire cave, where the waterfall is.

[The reference is, no doubt, to Wordsworth's "Idiot Boy," which was
composed at Nether Stowey, in 1798. In a letter addressed to John Wilson
of June 5, 1802, Wordsworth discusses and discards the use of the word
"lackwit" as an equivalent to "idiot." The "Sopha of Sods" was on
Latrigg. In her journal for August, 1800, Dorothy Wordsworth records the
making of a seat on Windybrow, a part of Latrigg. Possibly this was the
"Sopha of Sods."--_Life of W. Wordsworth_, 1889, i. 268, 403.]

The old stump of the tree, with briar-roses and bramble leaves wreathed
round and round--a bramble arch--a foxglove in the centre.

The palm, still faithful to forsaken deserts, an emblem of hope.

The stedfast rainbow in the fast-moving, fast-hurrying hail-mist! What a
congregation of images and feelings, of fantastic permanence amidst the
rapid change of tempest--quietness the daughter of storm.


I would make a pilgrimage to the deserts of Arabia to find the man who
could make me understand how the _one can be many_. Eternal, universal
mystery! It seems as if it were impossible, yet it _is_, and it is
everywhere! It is indeed a contradiction in _terms_, and only in terms.
It is the co-presence of feeling and life, limitless by their very
essence, with form by its very essence limited, determinable, definite.


Meditate on trans-substantiation! What a conception of a miracle! Were
one a Catholic, what a sublime oration might one not make of it?
Perpetual, [Greek: pan]topical, yet offering no violence to the sense,
exercising no domination over the free-will--a miracle always existing,
yet perceived only by an act of the free-will--the beautiful fuel of the
fire of faith--the fire must be pre-existent or it is not fuel, yet it
feeds and supports and is necessary to feed and support the fire that
converts it into his own nature.


Errors beget opposite errors, for it is our imperfect nature to run into
extremes. But this trite, because ever-recurring, truth is not the
whole. Alas! those are endangered who have avoided the extremes, as if
among the Tartars, in opposition to a faction that had unnaturally
lengthened their noses into monstrosity, there should arise another who
had cut off theirs flat to the face, Socinians in physiognomy. The few
who retained their noses as nature made them and reason dictated would
assuredly be persecuted by the noseless party as adherents of the
rhinocerotists or monster-nosed men, which is the case of those [Greek:
archaspistai] [braves] of the English Church, called Evangelicals.
Excess of Calvinism produced Arminianism, and those not in excess must
therefore be Calvinists!


To a former friend who pleaded how near he formerly had been, how near
and close a friend! Yes! you were, indeed, near to my heart and native
to my soul--a part of my being and its natural, even as the chaff to
corn. But since that time, through whose fault I will be mute, I have
been thrashed out by the flail of experience. Because you have been,
therefore, never more can you be a part of the grain.

[Sidenote: Oct. 31, 1803 AVE PH[OE]BE IMPERATOR]

The full moon glided behind a black cloud. And what then? and who cared?
It was past seven o'clock in the morning. There is a small cloud in the
east, not larger than the moon and ten times brighter than she! So
passes night, and all her favours vanish in our minds ungrateful!


In the chapter on abstract ideas I might introduce the subject by
quoting the eighth Proposition of Proclus' "Elements of Theology." The
whole of religion seems to me to rest on and in the question: The One
and The Good--are these words or realities? I long to read the schoolmen
on the subject.


There are thoughts that seem to give me a power over my own life. I
could kill myself by persevering in the thought. Mem., to describe as
accurately as may be the approximating symptoms. I met something very
like this observation where I should least have expected such a
coincidence of sentiment, such sympathy with so wild a feeling of
mine--in p. 71 of Blount's translation of "The Spanish Rogue," 1623.



    "Home-sickness is no baby-pang."--S. T. C.


This evening, and indeed all this day, I ought to have been reading and
filling the margins of Malthus. ["An Essay on the Principles of
Population, &c., London," 1803, 4to. The copy annotated by Coleridge is
now in the British Museum.]

I had begun and found it pleasant. Why did I neglect it? Because I ought
not to have done this. The same applies to the reading and writing of
letters, essays, etc. Surely this is well worth a serious analysis,
that, by understanding, I may attempt to heal it. For it is a deep and
wide disease in my moral nature, at once elm-and-oak-rooted. Is it love
of liberty, of spontaneity or what? These all express, but do not
explain the fact.

[Sidenote: Tuesday morning, January 10, 1804]

After I had got into bed last night I said to myself that I had been
pompously enunciating as a difficulty, a problem of easy and common
solution--viz., that it was the effect of association. From infancy up
to manhood, under parents, schoolmasters, inspectors, etc., our
pleasures and pleasant self-chosen pursuits (self-chosen because
pleasant, and not originally pleasant because self-chosen) have been
forcibly interrupted, and dull, unintelligible rudiments, or painful
tasks imposed upon us instead. Now all duty is felt as a _command_, and
every command is of the nature of an offence. Duty, therefore, by the
law of association being felt as a command from without, would naturally
call up the sensation of the pain roused from the commands of parents
and schoolmasters. But I awoke this morning at half-past one, and as
soon as disease permitted me to think at all, the shallowness and
sophistry of this solution flashed upon me at once. I saw that the
phenomenon occurred far, far too early: I have observed it in infants of
two or three months old, and in Hartley I have seen it turned up and
layed bare to the unarmed eye of the merest common sense. The fact is
that interruption of itself is painful, because and as far as it acts as
_disruption_. And thus without any reference to or distinct recollection
of my former theory I saw great reason to attribute the effect, wholly,
to the streamy nature of the associative faculty, and the more, as it is
evident that they labour under this defect who are most reverie-ish and
streamy--Hartley, for instance, and myself. This seems to me no common
corroboration of my former thought or the origin of moral evil in


A time will come when passiveness will attain the dignity of worthy
activity, when men shall be as proud within themselves of having
remained in a state of deep tranquil emotion, whether in reading or in
hearing or in looking, as they now are in having figured away for an
hour. Oh! how few can transmute activity of mind into emotion! Yet there
are as active as the stirring tempest and playful as the may-blossom in
a breeze of May, who can yet for hours together remain with _hearts_
broad awake, and the _understanding_ asleep in all but its retentiveness
and _receptivity_. Yea, and (in) the latter (state of mind) evince as
great genius as in the former.

[Sidenote: A SHEAF OF ANECDOTES, Sunday morning, Feb. 5, 1804]

I called on Charles Lamb fully expecting him to be out, and intending
all the way, to write to him. I found him at home, and while sitting and
talking to him, took the pen and note-paper and began to write.

As soon as Holcroft heard that Mary Wollstonecraft was dead, he took a
chaise and came with incredible speed to "have Mrs. Godwin opened for a
remarkable woman!"

[Sidenote: Sunday morning, Feb. 13, 1804]

Lady Beaumont told me that when she was a child, previously to her
saying her prayers, she endeavoured to think of a mountain or great
river, or something great, in order to raise up her soul and kindle it.

Rickman has a tale about George Dyer and his "Ode to the Hero Race."
"Your Aunt, Sir," said George to the Man of Figures, "your Aunt is a
very sensible woman. Why I read Sir, my Ode to her and she said that it
was a very pretty Thing. There are very few women, Sir! that possess
that fine discrimination, Sir!"

The huge Organ Pipe at Exeter, larger than the largest at Haarlem, at
first was dumb. Green determined to make it speak, and tried all means
in vain, till at last he made a second pipe precisely alike, and placed
it at its side. _Then_ it spoke.

Sir George Beaumont found great advantage in learning to draw from
Nature through gauze spectacles.

At Göttingen, at Blumenbach's lectures on Psychology, when some
anatomical preparations were being handed round, there came in and
seated himself by us Englishmen a _Hospitator_, one, that is, who
attends one or two lectures unbidden and unforbidden and gratis, as a
stranger, and on a claim, as it were, of hospitality. This _Hospes_ was
the uncouthest, strangest fish, pretending to human which I ever beheld.
I turned to Greenough and "Who broke his bottle?" I whispered.

Godwin and Holcroft went together to Underwood's chambers. "Little Mr.
Underwood," said they, "we are perfectly acquainted with the subject of
your studies, only ignorant of the particulars. What is the difference
between a thermometer and a barometer?"


It is a pleasure to me to perceive the buddings of virtuous loves, to
know their minutes of increase, their stealth and silent growings--

A pretty idea, that of a good soul watching the progress of an
attachment from the first glance to the time when the lover himself
becomes conscious of it. A poem for my "Soother of Absence."


    To J. Tobin, Esq., April 10, 1804.

Men who habitually enjoy robust health have, too generally, the trick,
and a very cruel one it is, of imagining that they discover the secret
of all their acquaintances' ill health in some malpractice or other;
and, sometimes, by gravely asserting this, here there and everywhere (as
who likes his penetration [hid] under a bushel?), they not only do all
they can, without intending it, to deprive the poor sufferer of that
sympathy which is always a comfort and, in some degree, a support to
human nature, but, likewise, too often implant serious alarm and
uneasiness in the minds of the person's relatives and his nearest and
dearest connections. Indeed (but that I have known its inutility, that I
should be ridiculously sinning against my own law which I was
propounding, and that those who are most fond of advising are the least
able to hear advice from others, as the passion to command makes men
disobedient) I should often have been on the point of advising you
against the two-fold rage of advising and of discussing character, both
the one and the other of which infallibly generates presumption and
blindness to our own faults. Nay! more particularly where, from whatever
cause, there exists a slowness to understand or an aptitude to mishear
and consequently misunderstand what has been said, it too often renders
an otherwise truly good man a mischief-maker to an extent of which he is
but little aware. Our friends' reputation should be a religion to us,
and when it is lightly sacrificed to what self-adulation calls a love of
telling the truth (in reality a lust of talking something seasoned with
the cayenne and capsicum of personality), depend upon it, something in
the heart is warped or warping, more or less according to the greater or
lesser power of the counteracting causes. I confess to you, that being
exceedingly low and heart-fallen, I should have almost sunk under the
operation of reproof and admonition (the whole too, in my conviction,
grounded on utter mistake) at the moment I was quitting, perhaps for
ever! my dear country and all that makes it so dear--but the high esteem
I cherish towards you, and my sense of your integrity and the reality of
your attachment and concern blows upon me refreshingly as the sea-breeze
on the tropic islander. Show me anyone made better by blunt advice, and
I may abate of my dislike to it, but I have experienced the good effects
of the contrary in Wordsworth's conduct to me; and, in Poole and others,
have witnessed enough of its ill effects to be convinced that it does
little else but harm both to the adviser and the advisee.

[See _Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge_, Letter cli., ii. 474, 475.]

[Sidenote: PLACES AND PERSONS, Thursday, April 19, 1804]

This is Spain! That is Africa! Now, then, I have seen Africa! &c., &c.
O! the power of names to give interest. When I first sate down, with
Europe on my left and Africa on my right, both distinctly visible, I
felt a quickening of the movements in the blood, but still it felt as a
pleasure of _amusement_ rather than of thought or elevation; and at the
same time, and gradually winning on the other, the nameless silent forms
of nature were working in me, like a tender thought in a man who is
hailed merrily by some acquaintance in his work, and answers it in the
same tone. This is Africa! That is Europe! There is _division_, sharp
boundary, abrupt change! and what are they in nature? Two mountain banks
that make a noble river of the interfluent sea, not existing and acting
with distinctness and manifoldness indeed, but at once and as one--no
division, no change, no antithesis! Of all men I ever knew, Wordsworth
himself not excepted, I have the faintest pleasure in things contingent
and transitory. I never, except as a forced courtesy of conversation,
ask in a stage-coach, Whose house is that? nor receive the least
additional pleasure when I receive the answer. Nay, it goes to a disease
in me. As I was gazing at a wall in Caernarvon Castle, I wished the
guide fifty miles off that was telling me, In this chamber the Black
Prince was born (or whoever it was). I am not certain whether I should
have seen with any emotion the mulberry-tree of Shakspere. If it were a
tree of no notice in itself, I am sure that I should feel by an
effort--with self-reproach at the dimness of the feeling; if a striking
tree, I fear that the pleasure would be diminished rather than
increased, that I should have no unity of feeling, and find in the
constant association of Shakspere having planted it an intrusion that
prevented me from wholly (as a whole man) losing myself in the flexures
of its branches and intertwining of its roots. No doubt there are times
and conceivable circumstances in which the contrary would be true, in
which the thought that under this rock by the sea-shore I know that
Giordano Bruno hid himself from the pursuit of the enraged priesthood,
and overcome with the power and sublimity of the truths for which they
sought his life, thought his life therefore given him that he might bear
witness to the truths, and _morti ultra occurrens_, returned and
surrendered himself! So, here, on this bank Milton used to lie, in late
May, when a young man, and familiar with all its primroses, made them
yet dearer than their dear selves, by that sweetest line in the Lycidas,
"And the rathe primrose that forsaken dies:" or from this spot the
immortal deer-stealer, on his escape from Warwickshire, had the first
view of London, and asked himself, And what am I to do there? At certain
times, uncalled and sudden, subject to no bidding of my own or others,
these thoughts would come upon me like a storm, and fill the place with
something more than nature. But these are not contingent or transitory,
they are nature, even as the elements are nature--yea, more to the
human mind, for the mind has the power of abstracting all agency from
the former and considering [them] as mere effects and instruments. But a
Shakspere, a Milton, a Bruno, exist in the mind as pure _action_,
defecated of all that is material and passive. And the great moments
that formed them--it is a kind of impiety against a voice within us, not
to regard them as predestined, and therefore things of now, for ever,
and which were always. But it degrades the sacred feeling, and is to it
what stupid superstition is to enthusiastic religion, when a man makes a
pilgrimage to see a great man's shin-bone found unmouldered in his
coffin. Perhaps the matter stands thus. I could feel amused by these
things, and should be, if there had not been connected with the great
name upon which the amusement wholly depends a higher and deeper
pleasure, that will [not] endure the co-presence of so mean a companion;
while the mass of mankind, whether from nature or (as I fervently hope)
from error of rearing and the worldliness of their after-pursuits, are
rarely susceptible of any other pleasures than those of _amusement_,
gratification of curiosity, novelty, surprise, wonderment, from the
glaring, the harshly-contrasted, the odd, the accidental, and find the
reading of the _Paradise Lost_ a task somewhat alleviated by a few
entertaining incidents, such as the pandemonium and self-endwarfment of
the devils, the fool's paradise and the transformation of the infernal
court into serpents and of their intended applauses into hisses.

["Dear Sir Walter Scott and myself were exact, but harmonious opposites
in this--that every old ruin, hill, river or tree called up in his mind
a host of historical or biographical associations; whereas, for myself,
I believe I should walk over the plain of Marathon without taking more
interest in it than in any other plain of similar features."--_Table
Talk_, August 4, 1833, Bell & Co., 1834, p. 242.]


Why do we so very, very often see men pass from one extreme to the
other? [Greek: stodkardia] [Stoddart, for instance]. Alas! they
sought not the truth, but praise, self-importance, and above all [the
sense of] something doing! Disappointed, they hate and persecute their
former opinion, which no man will do who by meditation had adopted it,
and in the course of unfeigned meditation gradually enlarged the circle
and so get out of it. For in the perception of its falsehood he will
form a perception of certain truths which had made the falsehood
plausible, and can never cease to venerate his own sincerity of
intention and Philalethie. For, perhaps, we never _hate_ any opinion, or
can do so, till we have _impersonated_ it. We hate the persons because
they oppose us, symbolise that opposition under the form and words of
the opinion and then hate the person for the opinion and the opinion for
the person.

[For some weeks after his arrival at Valetta Coleridge remained as the
guest of Dr. John (afterwards Sir John) Stoddart, at that time H.M.
Advocate at Malta.]


Facts! Never be weary of discussing and exposing the hollowness of
these. [For, in the first place,] every man [is] an accomplice on one
side or the other, [and, secondly, there is] _human testimony_. "You
were in fault, I hear," said B to C, and B had heard it from A. [Now] A
had said, "And C, God bless her, was perhaps the innocent occasion"! But
what a trifle this to the generality of blunders!


[I have no pity or patience for that], blindness which comes from
putting out your own eyes and in mock humility refusing to form an
opinion on the right and the wrong of a question. "If we say so of the
Sicilians, why may not Buonaparte say this of the Swiss?" and so forth.
As if England and France, Swiss and Sicilian were the x y z of Algebra,
naked names of unknown quantities. [What is this but] to fix morals
without morality, and [to allow] general rules to supersede all
particular thought? And though it be never acted on in reality, yet the
opinion is pernicious. It kills public spirit and deadens national

[Sidenote: A SIMILE]

The little point, or, sometimes, minim globe of flame remains on the
[newly] lighted taper for three minutes or more unaltered. But, see, it
is given over, and then, at once, the flame darts or plunges down into
the wick, then up again, and all is bright--a fair cone of flame, with
its black column in it, and minor cone, shadow-coloured, resting upon
the blue flame the common base of the two cones, that is, of the whole
flame. A pretty detailed simile in the manner of J. Taylor might be made
of this, applying it to slow learners, to opportunities of grace
manifestly neglected and seemingly lost and useless.

[Sidenote: O STAR BENIGN]

Monday evening, July 9, 1804, about 8 o'clock. The glorious evening star
coasted the moon, and at length absolutely crested its upper tip.... It
was the most singular and at the same time beautiful sight I ever
beheld. Oh, that it could have appeared the same in England, at


In the Jacobinism of anti-jacobins, note the dreariest feature of
Jacobins, a contempt for the institutions of our ancestors and of past
wisdom, which has generated Cobbetts and contempt of the liberty of the
press and of liberty itself. Men are not wholly unmodified by the
opinion of their fellow-men, even when they happen to be enemies or
(still worse) of the opposite faction.


I saw in early youth, as in a dream, the birth of the planets; and my
eyes beheld as _one_ what the understanding afterwards divided into (1)
the origin of the masses, (2) the origin of their motions, and (3) the
site or position of their circles and ellipses. All the deviations, too,
were seen as one intuition of one the self-same necessity, and this
necessity was a law of spirit, and all was spirit. And in matter all
beheld the past activity of others or their own--and this reflection,
this echo is matter--its only essence, if essence it be. And of this,
too, I saw the necessity and understood it, but I understood not how
infinite multitude and manifoldness could be one; only I saw and
understood that it was yet more out of my power to comprehend how it
could be otherwise--and in this unity I worshipped in the depth of
knowledge that passes all understanding the Being of all things--and in
Being their sole goodness--and I saw that God is the One, the
Good--possesses it not, but _is it_.


The visibility of motion at a great distance is increased by all that
increases the the distinct visibility of the moving object. This
Saturday, August 3, 1804, in the room immediately under the tower in St.
Antonio, as I was musing on the difference, whether ultimate or only of
degree, between _auffassen_ and _erkennen_ (an idea received and an idea
acquired) I saw on the top of the distant hills a shadow on the sunny
ground moving very fast and wave-like, yet always in the same place,
which I should have attributed to the windmill close by, but the
windmill (which I saw distinctly too) appeared at rest. On steady
gazing, however, (and most plainly with my spy-glass) I found that it
was not at rest, but that this was its shadow. The windmill itself was
white in the sunshine, and there were sunny white clouds at its back,
the shadow black on the white ground.

[Sidenote: SYRACUSE Thursday night at the Opera, September 27, 1804]

In reflecting on the cause of the "meeting soul" in music, the seeming
recognisance etc., etc., the whole explanation of _memory_ as in the
nature of _accord_ struck upon me; accord produces a phantom of memory,
because memory is always in accord.

[Sidenote: Oct. 5, 1804]

Philosophy to a few, religion with many, is the friend of poetry, as
producing the two conditions of pleasure arising from poetry, namely
tranquillity and the attachment of the affections to _generalisations_.
God, soul, Heaven, the Gospel miracles, etc., are a sort of _poetry_
compared with Lombard Street and Change Alley speculations.

[Sidenote: A SERIOUS MEMORANDUM Syracuse, Saturday, Oct. 5, 1804]

In company, indeed, with all except a very chosen few, never dissent
from anyone as to the _merits_ of another, especially in your own
supposed department, but content yourself with praising, in your turn;
the really good praises of the unworthy are felt by a good man, and man
of genius as detractions from the worthy, and robberies--so the _flashy_
moderns seem to _rob_ the ancients of the honours due to them, and Bacon
and Harrington are _not_ read because Hume and Condillac _are_. This is
an evil; but oppose it, if at all, in books in which you can evolve the
whole of your reasons and feeling, not in conversation when it will be
inevitably attributed to envy. Besides, they who praise the unworthy
must be the injudicious: and the eulogies of critics without taste or
judgment are the natural pay of authors without feeling or genius--and
why rob them? _Sint unicuique sua præmia._ Coleridge! Coleridge! will
you never learn to appropriate your conversation to your company! Is it
not desecration, indelicacy, and a proof of great weakness and even
vanity to talk to, etc. etc., as if you [were talking to] Wordsworth or
Sir G. Beaumont?


[Sidenote: Oct. 11, Syracuse, Lecky's, midnight]

O young man, who hast seen, felt and known the truth, to whom reality is
a phantom and virtue and mind the sole actual and permanent being, do
not degrade the truth in thee by disputing. Avoid it! do not by any
persuasion be tempted to it! Surely not by vanity or the weakness of the
pleasure of communicating thy thoughts and awaking sympathy, but not
even by the always mixed hope of producing conviction. This is not the
mode, this is not the time, not the place. [Truth will be better served]
by modestly and most truly saying, "Your arguments are all consequent,
if the foundation be admitted. I do not admit the foundation. But this
will be a business for moments of thought, for a Sabbath-day of your
existence. Then, perhaps, a voice from within will say to you, better,
because [in a manner] more adapted to you, all I can say. But if I felt
this to _be_ that day or that moment, a sacred sympathy would at once
compel and inspire me to the task of uttering the very truth. Till then
I am right willing to bear the character of a mystic, a visionary, or
self-important juggler, who nods his head and says, 'I could if I
would.' But I cannot, I _may_ not, bear the reproach of profaning the
truth which is my life in moments when all passions heterogeneous to it
are eclipsing it to the exclusion of its dimmest ray. I might lose my
tranquillity, and in acquiring the _passion_ of proselytism lose the
_sense_ of conviction. I might become _positive_! Now I am _certain_! I
might have the heat and fermentation, now I have the warmth of life."

Saturday, Syracuse]

Each man having a spark (to use the old metaphor) of the Divinity, yet a
whole fire-grate of humanity--each, therefore, will legislate for the
whole, and spite of the _De gustibus non est disputandum_, even in
trifles--and, till corrected by experience, at least, in this endless
struggle of presumption, really occasioned by the ever-working spark of
the Universal, in the disappointments and baffled attempts of each, all
are disposed to [admit] the _jus extrinsecum_ of Spinoza, and recognise
that reason as the highest which may not be understood as the best, but
of which the concrete possession is felt to be the strongest. Then come
society, habit, education, misery, intrigue, oppression, then
_revolution_, and the circle begins anew. Each man will universalise his
notions, and, yet, each is variously finite. To _reconcile_, therefore,
is truly the work of the inspired! This is the true _Atonement_--that
is, to reconcile the struggles of the infinitely various finite with the


Do not be too much discouraged, if any virtue _should_ be mixed, in your
consciousness, with affectation and imperfect sincerity, and some
vanity. Disapprove of this, and continue the practice of the good
feeling, even though mixed, and it will _gradually_ purify itself.
_Probatum est_. Disapprove, be _ashamed_ of the thought, of its always
continuing thus, but do not harshly quarrel with your present self, for
all virtue subsists in and by pleasure. S. T. C. Sunday evening, October
14, 1804.

But a great deal of this is constitutional. That constitution which
predisposes to certain virtues, the [Greek: Dôron Theôn], has this
[Greek: temenos Nemeseôs] in it. It is the dregs of sympathy, and while
we are _weak_ and dependent on each other, and each is forced to think
often for himself, sympathy will have its dregs, and the strongest, who
have least of these, have the dregs of other virtues to strain off.

[Sidenote: THE OPERA]

All the objections to the opera are equally applicable to tragedy and
comedy without music, and all proceed on the false principle that
theatrical representations are _copies_ of nature, whereas they are


When you are harassed, disquieted, and have little dreams of resentment,
and mock triumphs in consequence of the clearest perceptions of unkind
treatment and strange misconceptions and illogicalities, palpably from
bad passion, in any person connected with you, suspect a sympathy in
yourself with some of these bad passions--vanity, for instance. Though a
sense of wounded justice is possible, nay, probably, forms a part of
your uneasy feelings, yet this of itself would yield, at the first
moment of reflection, to pity for the wretched state of a man too
untranquil and perpetually selfish to love anything for itself or
without some end of vanity or ambition--who detests all poetry, tosses
about in the impotence of desires disproportionate to his powers, and
whose whole history of his whole life is a tale of disappointment in
circumstances where the hope and pretension was always unwise, often
presumptuous and insolent. Surely an intuition of this restless and
no-end-having mood of mind would at once fill a hearer having no
sympathy with these passions with tender melancholy, virtuously mixed
with grateful unpharisaic self-complacency. But a patient _almost_, but
not quite, recovered from madness, yet on its confines, finds in the
notions of madness that which irritates and haunts and makes unhappy.


Malta, Friday, Nov. 23, 1804.

One of the heart-depressing habits and temptations of men in power, as
governors, &c., is to make _instruments_ of their fellow-creatures, and
the moment they find a man of honour and talents, instead of loving and
esteeming him, they wish to _use him_. Hence that self-betraying
side-and-down look of cunning; and they justify and inveterate the habit
by believing that every individual who approaches has selfish designs on


Days and weeks and months pass on, and now a year--and the sea, the sea,
and the breeze have their influences on me, and [so, too, has the
association with] good and sensible men. I feel a pleasure upon me, and
I am, to the outward view, cheerful, and have myself no distinct
consciousness of the contrary, for I use my faculties, not, indeed, at
once, but freely. But, oh! I am never happy, never deeply gladdened. I
know not--I have forgotten--what the _joy_ is of which the heart is
full, as of a deep and quiet fountain overflowing insensibly, or the
gladness of joy, when the fountain overflows ebullient.

The most common appearance in wintry weather is that of the sun under a
sharp, defined level line of a stormy cloud, that stretches one-third or
half round the circle of the horizon, thrice the height of the space
that intervenes between it and the horizon, which last is about half
again as broad as the sun. [At length] out comes the sun, a mass of
brassy light, himself lost and diffused in his [own] strong splendour.
Compare this with the beautiful summer _set_ of colours without cloud.

Even in the most tranquil dreams, one is much less a mere spectator
[than in reveries or day-dreams]. One seems always about to do, [to be]
suffering, or thinking or talking. I do not recollect [in dreams] that
state of feeling, so common when awake, of thinking on one subject and
looking at another; or [of looking] at a whole prospect, till at last,
perhaps, or by intervals, at least, you only look passively at the


At Dresden there is a cherry-stone engraved with eighty-five portraits.
Christ and the Twelve Apostles form one group, the table and supper all
drawn by the letters of the text--at once portraits and language. This
is a universal particular language--Roman Catholic language with a

The beautifully _white_ sails of the Mediterranean, so carefully, when
in port, put up into clean bags; and the interesting circumstance of the
Spéronara's sailing without a compass--by an obscure sense of time.


So far from deeming it, in a religious point of view, criminal to spread
doubts of God, immortality and virtue (that 3 = 1) in the minds of
individuals, I seem to see in it a duty--lest men by taking the _words_
for granted never attain the feeling or the true _faith_. They only
forbear, that is, even to suspect that the idea is erroneous or the
communicators deceivers, but do not _believe_ the idea itself. Whereas
to _doubt_ has more of faith, nay even to disbelieve, than that blank
negation of all such thoughts and feelings which is the lot of the herd
of church-and-meeting-trotters.


The Holy Ghost, say the harmonists, left all the solecisms, Hebraisms,
and low Judaic prejudices as evidences of the credibility of the
Apostles. So, too, the Theophneusty left Cottle his Bristolisms, not to
take away the credit from him and give it to the Muses.


His fine mind met vice and vicious thoughts by accident only, as a poet
running through terminations in the heat of composing a rhyme-poem on
the purest and best subjects, startles and half-vexedly turns away from
a foul or impure word.

The gracious promises and sweetnesses and aids of religion are alarming
and distressful to a trifling, light, fluttering gay child of fashion
and vanity, as its threats and reproaches and warnings--as a little bird
which fears as much when you come to give it food as when you come with
a desire to kill or imprison it.

That is a striking legend of Caracciolo and his floating corse, that
came to ask the King of Naples' pardon.

Final causes answer to why? not to how? and who ever supposed that they

O those crinkled, ever-varying circles which the moonlight makes in the
not calm, yet not wavy sea! Quarantine, Malta, Saturday, Nov. 10, 1804.


Hard to express that sense of the analogy or likeness of a thing which
enables a symbol to represent it so that we think of the thing itself,
yet knowing that the thing is not present to us. Surely on this
universal fact of words and images depends, by more or less mediations,
the imitation, instead of the _copy_ which is illustrated, in very
nature Shaksperianised--that Proteus essence that could assume the very
form, but yet known and felt not to be the thing by that difference of
the substance which made every atom of the form another thing, that
likeness not identity--an exact web, every line of direction
miraculously the same, but the one worsted, the other silk.


Rival editors have recourse to necromancy to know from Shakspere himself
who of them is the fittest to edit and illustrate him. Describe the
meeting, the ceremonies of conjuration, the appearance of the spirit,
the effect on the rival invokers. When they have resumed courage, the
arbiter appointed by them asks the question. They listen, Malone leaps
up while the rest lay their heads at the same instant that the arbiter
re-echoes the words of the spirit, "Let Malone!" The spirit shudders,
then exclaims in the dread and angry utterance of the dead, "No! no! Let
me alone, I said, inexorable boobies!"

O that eternal bricker-up of Shakspere! Registers, memorandum-books--and
that Bill, Jack and Harry, Tom, Walter and Gregory, Charles, Dick and
Jim, lived at that house, but that nothing more is known of them. But,
oh! the importance when half-a-dozen players'-bills can be made to
stretch through half-a-hundred or more of pages, though there is not one
word in them that by any force can be made either to illustrate the
times or life or writings of Shakspere, or, indeed, of any time. And,
yet, no edition but this gentleman's name _burs_ upon it--_burglossa_
with a vengeance. Like the genitive plural of a Greek adjective, it is
Malone, Malone, Malone, [Greek: Malôn, Malôn, Malôn].

[Edmund Malone's _Variorum_ edition of Shakspere was published in 1790.]

[Sidenote: OF THE FROWARDNESS OF WOMAN December 11, 1804]

It is a remark that I have made many times, and many times, I guess,
shall repeat, that women are infinitely fonder of clinging to and
beating about, hanging upon and keeping up, and reluctantly letting fall
any doleful or painful or unpleasant subject, than men of the same class
and rank.

[Sidenote: NE QUID NIMIS]

A young man newly arrived in the West Indies, who happened to be sitting
next to a certain Captain Reignia, observed by way of introducing a
conversation, "It is a very fine day, sir!" "Yes, sir," was the abrupt
reply, "and be damned to it; it is never otherwise in this damned
rascally climate."


I addressed a butterfly on a pea-blossom thus, "Beautiful Psyche, soul
of a blossom, that art visiting and hovering o'er thy former friends
whom thou hast left!" Had I forgot the caterpillar? or did I dream like
a mad metaphysician that the caterpillar's hunger for plants was
self-love, recollection, and a lust that in its next state refined
itself into love? Dec. 12, 1804.

[Sidenote: ANALOGY]

Different means to the same end seem to constitute analogy. Seeing and
touching are analogous senses with respect to magnitude, figure,
&c.--they would, and to a certain extent do, supply each other's place.
The air-vessels of fish and of insects are analogous to lungs--the end
the same, however different the means. No one would say, "Lungs are
analogous to lungs," and it seems to me either inaccurate or involving
some true conception obscurely, when we speak of planets by analogy of
ours--for here, knowing nothing but likeness, we presume the difference
from the remoteness and difficulty, in the vulgar apprehension, of
considering those pin-points as worlds. So, likewise, instead of the
phrase "analogy of the past," applied to historical reasoning, nine
times out of ten I should say, "by the example of the past." This may
appear verbal trifling, but "_animadverte quam sit ab improprietate
verborum pronum hominibus prolabi in errores circa res_." In short,
analogy always implies a difference in kind and not merely in degree.
There is an analogy between dimness and numbness and a certain state of
the sense of hearing correspondent to these, which produces confusion
with _magnification_, for which we have no name. But between light green
and dark green, between a mole and a lynceus, there is a gradation, no

[Sidenote: COROLLARY]

Between beasts and men, when the same actions are performed by both, are
the means analogous or different only in degree? That is the question!
The sameness of the end and the equal fitness of the means prove no
identity of means. I can only read, but understand no arithmetic. Yet,
by Napier's tables or the _House-keepers' Almanack_, I may even arrive
at the conclusion quicker than a tolerably expert mathematician. Yet,
still, reading and reckoning are utterly different things.


In Reimarus on _The Instincts of Animals_, Tom Wedgwood's
ground-principle of the influx of memory on perception is fully and
beautifully detailed.

["Observations Moral and Philosophical on the Instinct of Animals, their
Industry and their Manners," by Herman Samuel Reimarus, was published in
1770. See _Biographia Literaria_, chapter vi. and _Note_, by Mrs. H. N.
Coleridge in the Appendix, _Coleridge's Works_, Harper & Brothers, iii.
225, 717.]


It is often said that books are companions. They are so, dear, very dear
companions! But I often, when I read a book that delights me on the
whole, feel a pang that the author is not present, that I cannot
_object_ to him this and that, express my sympathy and gratitude for
this part and mention some facts that self-evidently overset a second,
start a doubt about a third, or confirm and carry [on] a fourth thought.
At times I become restless, for my nature is very social.


"Well" (says Lady Ball), "the Catholic religion is better than none."
Why, to be sure, it is called a religion, but the question is, Is it a
religion? Sugar of lead! better than no sugar! Put oil of vitriol into
my salad--well, better than no oil at all! Or a fellow vends a poison
under the name of James' powders--well, we must get the best we
can--better that than none! So did not our noble ancestors reason or
feel, or we should now be slaves and even as the Sicilians are at this
day, or worse, for even they have been made less foolish, in spite of
themselves, by others' wisdom.


I have read with wonder and delight that passage of Reimarus in which he
speaks of the immense multitude of plants, and the curious, regular
_choice_ of different herbivorous animals with respect to them, and the
following pages in which he treats of the pairing of insects and the
equally wonderful processes of egg-laying and so forth. All in motion!
the sea-fish to the shores and rivers--the land crab to the sea-shore! I
would fain describe all the creation thus agitated by the one or other
of the three instincts--self-preservation, childing, and
child-preservation. Set this by Darwin's theory of the maternal
instinct--O mercy! the blindness of the man! and it is imagination,
forsooth! that misled him--too much poetry in his philosophy! this
abject deadness of all that sense of the obscure and indefinite, this
superstitious fetish-worship of lazy or fascinated fancy! O this,
indeed, deserves to be dwelt on.

Think of all this as an absolute revelation, a real presence of Deity,
and compare it with historical traditionary religion. There are two
revelations--the material and the moral--and the former is not to be
seen but by the latter. As St. Paul has so well observed: "By worldly
wisdom no man ever arrived at God;" but having seen Him by the moral
sense, then we _understand_ the outward world. Even as with books, no
book of itself teaches a language in the first instance; but having by
sympathy of soul learnt it, we then understand the book--that is, the
_Deus minor_ in His work.

The _hirschkäfer_ (stag-beetle) in its worm state makes its bed-chamber,
prior to its metamorphosis, half as long as itself. Why? There was a
stiff horn turned under its belly, which in the fly state must project
and harden, and this required exactly that length.

The sea-snail creeps out of its house, which, thus hollowed, lifts him
aloft, and is his boat and cork jacket; the Nautilus, additionally,
spreads a thin skin as a sail.

All creatures obey the great game-laws of Nature, and fish with nets of
such meshes as permit many to escape, and preclude the taking of many.
So two races are saved, the one by taking part, and the other by part
not being taken.


Wonderful, perplexing divisibility of life! It is related by D. Unzer,
an authority wholly to be relied on, that an _ohrwurm_ (earwig) cut in
half ate its own hinder part! Will it be the reverse with Great Britain
and America? The head of the rattlesnake severed from the body bit it
and squirted out its poison, as is related by Beverley in his History of
Virginia. Lyonnet in his Insect. Theol. tells us that he tore a wasp in
half and, three days after, the fore-half bit whatever was presented to
it of its former food, and the hind-half darted out its sting at being
touched. Stranger still, a turtle has been known to live six months with
his head off, and to wander about, yea, six hours after its heart and
intestines (all but the lungs) were taken out! How shall we think of
this compatibly with the monad soul? If I say, what has spirit to do
with space?--what odd dreams it would suggest! or is every animal a
republic _in se_? or is there one Breeze of Life, "at once the soul of
each, and God of all?" Is it not strictly analogous to generation, and
no more contrary to unity than it? But IT? Aye! there's the twist in the
logic. Is not the reproduction of the lizard a complete generation? O it
is easy to dream, and, surely, better of these things than of a £20,000
prize in the lottery, or of a place at Court. Dec. 13, 1804.


To trace the if not absolute birth, yet the growth and endurancy of
language, from the mother talking to the child at her breast. O what a
subject for some happy moment of deep feeling and strong imagination!

Of the Quintetta in the Syracuse opera and the pleasure of the
voices--one and not one, they leave, seek, pursue, oppose, fight with,
strengthen, annihilate each other, awake, enliven, soothe, flatter and
embrace each other again, till at length they die away in one tone.
There is no sweeter image of wayward yet fond lovers, of seeking and
finding, of the love-quarrel, and the making-up, of the losing and the
yearning regret, of the doubtful, the complete recognition, and of the
total melting union. Words are not interpreters, but fellow-combatants.

Title for a Medical Romance:--The adventures, rivalry, warfare and final
union and partnership of Dr. Hocus and Dr. Pocus.

Idly talk they who speak of poets as mere indulgers of fancy,
imagination, superstition, etc. They are the bridlers by delight, the
purifiers; they that combine all these with reason and order--the true
protoplasts--Gods of Love who tame the chaos.

To deduce instincts from obscure recollections of a pre-existing
state--I have often thought of it. "Ey!" I have said, when I have seen
certain tempers and actions in Hartley, "that is I in my future state."
So I think, oftentimes, that my children are my soul--that multitude and
division are not [O mystery!] necessarily subversive of unity. I am sure
that two very different meanings, if not more, lurk in the word One.

The drollest explanation of instinct is that of Mylius, who attributes
every act to pain, and all the wonderful webs and envelopes of spiders,
caterpillars, etc., absolutely to fits of colic or paroxysms of dry

This Tarantula-dance of repetitions and vertiginous argumentation _in
circulo_, begun in imposture and self-consummated in madness!

While the whole planet (_quoad_ its Lord or, at least, Lord-Lieutenancy)
is in stir and bustle, why should not I keep in time with the tune, and,
like old Diogenes, roll my tub about?

I cannot too often remember that to be deeply interested and to be
highly satisfied are not always commensurate. Apply this to the
affecting and yet unnatural passages of the _Stranger_ or of _John
Bull_, and to the finest passages in Shakspere, such as the death of
Cleopatra or Hamlet.

[Sidenote: A SUNDOG Dec. 15, 1804]

Saw the limb of a rainbow footing itself on the sea at a small apparent
distance from the shore, a thing of itself--no substrate cloud or even
mist visible--but the distance glimmered through it as through a thin
semi-transparent hoop.


To be and to act, two in Intellect (that mother of orderly multitude,
and half-sister of Wisdom and Madness) but one in essence = to rest, and
to move = [sq] and a [cir]! and out of the infinite combinations of
these, from the more and the less, now of one now of the other, all
pleasing figures and the sources of all pleasure arise. But the pyramid,
that base of stedfastness that rises, yet never deserts itself nor can,
approaches to the [cir]. Sunday. Midnight. Malta. December 16th, 1804.


I can make out no other affinity [in the pyramid] to the circle but by
taking its evanescence as the central point, and so, having thus gained
a melting of the radii in the circumference [by proceeding to] _look_ it
into the object. Extravagance! Why? Does not everyone do this in looking
at any conspicuous three stars together? does not every one see by the
inner vision, a triangle? However, this is in art; but the prototype in
nature is, indeed, loveliness. In Nature there are no straight lines, or
[such straight lines as there are] have the soul of curves, from
activity and positive rapid energy. Or, whether the line seem curve or
straight, yet _here_, in nature, is motion--motion in its most
significant form. It is motion in that form which has been chosen to
express motion in general, hieroglyphical from pre-eminence, [and by
this very pre-eminence, in the particular instance, made significant of
motion in its totality]. Hence, though it chance that a line in nature
should be perfectly straight, there is no need here of any curve whose
effect is that of embleming motion and counteracting actual solidity by
that emblem. For here the line [in contra-distinction to the line in
art] is actual motion, and therefore a balancing _Figurite_ of rest and
solidity. But I will study the wood-fire this evening in the Palace.

[Sidenote: Wednesday Night, 11 o'clock, December 19]

I see now that the eye refuses to decide whether it be surface or
convexity, for the exquisite oneness of the flame makes even its angles
so different from the angles of tangible substances. Its exceeding
oneness added to its very subsistence in motion is the very _soul_ of
the loveliest curve--it does not need its body as it were. Its sharpest
point is, however, rounded, and besides it is cased within its own

[Sidenote: FOR THE "SOOTHER IN ABSENCE" Friday Morning, Dec. 21, 8

How beautiful a circumstance, the improvement of the flower, from the
root up to that crown of its life and labours, that bridal-chamber of
its beauty and its two-fold love, the nuptial and the parental--the
womb, the cradle, and the nursery of the garden!

_Quisque sui faber_--a pretty simile this would make to a young lady
producing beauty by moral feeling.

Nature may be personified as the [Greek: polymêchanos erganê], an ever
industrious Penelope, for ever unravelling what she has woven, for ever
weaving what she has unravelled.


Oh, said I, as I looked at the blue, yellow, green and purple-green sea,
with all its hollows and swells, and cut-glass surfaces--oh, what an
_ocean_ of lovely forms! And I was vexed, teased that the sentence
sounded like a play of words! _That_ it was not--the mind within me was
struggling to express the marvellous distinctness and unconfounded
personality of each of the million millions of forms, and yet the
individual unity in which they subsisted.

A brisk gale and the foam that peopled the _alive_ sea, most
interestingly combined with the number of white sea-gulls, that,
repeatedly, it seemed as if the foam-spit had taken life and wing and
had flown up--the white precisely-same-colour birds rose up so close by
the ever-perishing white-water wavehead, that the eye was unable to
detect the illusion which the mind delighted to indulge in. O that sky,
that soft, blue, mighty arch resting on the mountain or solid sea-like
plain--what an awful omneity in unity! I know no other perfect union of
the sublime with the beautiful, so that they should be felt, that is,
at the same minute, though by different faculties, and yet, each faculty
be predisposed, by itself, to receive the specific modifications from
the other. To the eye it is an inverted goblet, the inside of a sapphire
basin, perfect beauty in shape and colour. To the mind, it is immensity;
but even the eye feels as if it were [able] to look through with [a] dim
sense of the non-resistance--it is not exactly the feeling given to the
organ by solid and limited things, [but] the eye feels that the
limitation is in its own power, not in the object. But [hereafter] to
pursue this in the manner of the old Hamburg poet [Klopstock].


One travels along with the lines of a mountain. Years ago I wanted to
make Wordsworth sensible of this. How fine is Keswick vale! Would I
repose, my soul lies and is quiet upon the broad level vale. Would it
act? it darts up into the mountain-top like a kite, and like a
chamois-goat runs along the ridge--or like a boy that makes a sport on
the road of running along a wall or narrow fence!


One of the most noticeable and fruitful facts in psychology is the
modification of the same feeling by difference of form. The Heaven lifts
up my soul, the sight of the ocean seems to widen it. We feel the same
force at work, but the difference, whether in mind or body that we
should feel in actual travelling horizontally or in direct ascent,
_that_ we feel in fancy. For what are our feelings of this kind but a
motion imagined, [together] with the feelings that would accompany that
motion, [but] less distinguished, more blended, more rapid, more
confused, and, thereby, co-adunated? Just as white is the very emblem of
one in being the confusion of all.


Mem.--Not to hastily abandon and kick away the means after the end is or
seems to be accomplished. So have I, in blowing out the paper or match
with which I have lit a candle, blown out the candle at the same


How opposite to nature and the fact to talk of the "one moment" of Hume,
of our whole being an aggregate of successive single sensations! Who
ever felt a single sensation? Is not every one at the same moment
conscious that there co-exist a thousand others, a darker shade, or less
light, even as when I fix my attention on a white house or a grey bare
hill or rather long ridge that runs out of sight each way (how often I
want the German _unübersekbar_!) [untranslatable]--the pretended
sight-sensation, is it anything more than the light-point in every
picture either of nature or of a good painter? and, again,
subordinately, in every component part of the picture? And what is a
moment? Succession with interspace? Absurdity! It is evidently only the
_icht-punct_ in the indivisible undivided duration.

See yonder rainbow strangely preserving its form on broken clouds, with
here a bit out, here a bit in, yet still a rainbow--even as you might
place bits of coloured ribbon at distances, so as to preserve the form
of a bow to the mind. Dec. 25, 1804.


There are two sorts of talkative fellows whom it would be injurious to
confound, and I, S. T. Coleridge, am the latter. The first sort is of
those who use five hundred words more than needs to express an
idea--that is not my case. Few men, I will be bold to say, put more
meaning into their words than I, or choose them more deliberately and
discriminately. The second sort is of those who use five hundred more
ideas, images, reasons, &c., than there is any need of to arrive at
their object, till the only object arrived at is that the mind's eye of
the bystander is dazzled with colours succeeding so rapidly as to leave
one vague impression that there has been a great blaze of colours all
about something. Now this is my case, and a grievous fault it is. My
illustrations swallow up my thesis. I feel too intensely the
omnipresence of all in each, platonically speaking; or, psychologically,
my brain-fibres, or the spiritual light which abides in the
brain-marrow, as visible light appears to do in sundry rotten mackerel
and other _smashy_ matters, is of too general an affinity with all
things, and though it perceives the _difference_ of things, yet is
eternally pursuing the likenesses, or, rather, that which is common
[between them]. Bring me two things that seem the very same, and then I
am quick enough [not only] to show the difference, even to
hair-splitting, but to go on from circle to circle till I break against
the shore of my hearers' patience, or have my concentricals dashed to
nothing by a snore. That is my ordinary mishap. At Malta, however, no
one can charge me with one or the other. I have earned the general
character of being a quiet well-meaning man, rather dull indeed! and who
would have thought that he had been a _poet_! "O, a very wretched
poetaster, ma'am! As to the reviews, 'tis well known he half-ruined
himself in paying cleverer fellows than himself to write them," &c.


How far might one imagine all the theory of association out of a system
of growth, by applying to the brain and soul what we know of an embryo?
One tiny particle combines with another its like, and, so, lengthens and
thickens, and this is, at once, memory and increasing vividness of
impression. One might make a very amusing allegory of an embryo soul up
to birth! Try! it is promising! You have not above three hundred volumes
to write before you come to it, and as you write, perhaps, a volume once
in ten years, you have ample time.

My dear fellow! never be ashamed of scheming--you can't think of living
less than 4000 years, and that would nearly suffice for your present
schemes. To be sure, if they go on in the same ratio to the performance,
then a small difficulty arises; but never mind! look at the bright side
always and die in a dream! Oh!


The evil effect of a new hypothesis or even of a new nomenclature is,
that many minds which had familiarised themselves to the old one, and
were riding on the road of discovery accustomed to their horse, if put
on a new animal, lose time in learning how to sit him; while the others,
looking too stedfastly at a few facts which the jeweller Hypothesis had
set in a perfectly beautiful whole, forget to dig for more, though
inhabitants of a Golconda. However, it has its advantages too, and these
have been ably pointed out. It excites contradiction, and is thence a
stimulus to new experiments to _support_, and to a more severe
repetition of these experiments and of other new ones to _confute_
[arguments pro and con]. And, besides, one must alloy severe truth with
a little fancy, in order to mint it into common coin.


In the preface of my metaphysical works, I should say--"Once for all,
read Kant, Fichte, &c., and then you will trace, or, if you are on the
hunt, track me." Why, then, not acknowledge your obligations step by
step? Because I could not do so in a multitude of glaring resemblances
without a lie, for they had been mine, formed and full-formed, before I
had ever heard of these writers, because to have fixed on the particular
instances in which I have really been indebted to these writers would
have been hard, if possible, to me who read for truth and
self-satisfaction, and not to make a book, and who always rejoiced and
was jubilant when I found my own ideas well expressed by others--and,
lastly, let me say, because (I am proud, perhaps, but) I seem to know
that much of the _matter_ remains my own, and that the _soul_ is mine. I
fear not him for a critic who can confound a fellow-thinker with a


Good heavens! that there should be anything at all, and not nothing. Ask
the bluntest faculty that pretends to reason, and, if indeed he have
felt and reasoned, he must feel that something is to be sought after out
of the vulgar track of Change-Alley speculation.

If my researches are shadowy, what, in the name of reason, are you? or
do you resign all pretence to reason, and consider yourself--nay, even
that in a contradiction--as a passive [cir] among Nothings?

[Sidenote: MEANS TO ENDS]

How flat and common-place! O that it were in my heart, nerves, and
muscles! O that it were the _prudential_ soul of all I love, of all who
deserve to be loved, in every proposed action to ask yourself, To what
end is this? and how is this the means? and not the means to something
else foreign to or abhorrent from my purpose? _Distinct means to
distinct ends!_ With friends and beloved ones follow the heart. Better
be deceived twenty times than suspect one-twentieth of once; but with
strangers, or enemies, or in a quarrel, whether in the world's
squabbles, as Dr. Stoddart's and Dr. Sorel in the Admiralty Court at
Malta; or in moral businesses, as mine with Southey or Lloyd (O pardon
me, dear and honoured Southey, that I put such a name by the side of
yours....)--in all those cases, write your letter, disburthen yourself,
and when you have done it--even as when you have pared, sliced,
vinegared, oiled, peppered and salted your plate of cucumber, you are
directed to smell it, and then throw it out of the window--so, dear
friend, vinegar, pepper and salt your letter--your cucumber argument,
that is, cool reasoning previously sauced with passion and
sharpness--then read it, eat it, drink it, smell it, with eyes and ears
(a small catachresis but never mind), and then throw it into the
fire--unless you can put down in three or four sentences (I cannot allow
more than one side of a sheet of paper) the _distinct end_ for which you
conceive this letter (or whatever it be) to be the _distinct means_! How
trivial! Would to God it were only _habitual_! O what is sadder than
that the _crambe bis cocta_ of the understanding should be and remain a
foreign dish to the efficient _will_--that the best and loftiest
precepts of wisdom should be trivial, and the worst and lowest modes of
folly habitual.


I have learnt, sometimes not _at all_, and seldom _harshly_, to chide
those conceits of words which are analogous to sudden fleeting
affinities of mind. Even, as in a dance, you touch and join and off
again, and rejoin your partner that leads down with you the dance, in
spite of these occasional off-starts--for they, too, not merely conform
to, but are of and in and help to form the delicious harmony. Shakspere
is not a thousandth part so faulty as the [scir][scir][scir]
believe him. "Thus him that over-rul'd I over-sway'd," etc., etc. I
noticed this to that bubbling ice-spring of cold-hearted, mad-headed
fanaticism, the late Dr. Geddes, in the "_Heri vidi fragilem frangi,
hodie mortalem mori_."

[Dr. Alexander Geddes, 1737-1802, was, _inter alia_, author of a revised
translation of the Scriptures.]


How often I have occasion to notice with pure delight the depth of the
exceeding blueness of the Mediterranean from my window! It is often,
indeed, purple; but I am speaking of its blueness--a perfect blue, so
very pure an one. The sea is like a night-sky; and but for its
_planities_, it were as if the night-sky were a thing that turned round
and lay in the day-time under the paler Heaven. And it is on this
expanse that the vessels have the fine white dazzling cotton sails.


Centuries before their mortal incarnation, Jove was wont to manifest to
the gods the several creations as they emerged from the divine ideal.
Now it was reported in heaven that an unusually fair creation of a woman
was emerging, and Venus, fearful that her son should become enamoured as
of yore with Psyche (what time he wandered alone, his bow unslung, and
using his darts only to cut out her name on rocks and trees, or, at
best, to shoot hummingbirds and birds of Paradise to make
feather-chaplets for her hair, and the world, meanwhile, grown loveless,
hardened into the Iron Age), entreats Jove to secrete this form [of
perilous beauty]. But Cupid, who had heard the report, and fondly
expected a re-manifestation of Psyche, hid himself in the hollow of the
sacred oak beneath which the Father of Gods had withdrawn as to an
unapproachable adytum, and beheld the Idea emerging in its _First
Glory_. Forthwith the wanton was struck blind by the splendour ere yet
the blaze had defined itself with form, and now his arrows strike but


I have somewhere read, or I have dreamt, a wild tale of Ceres' loss of
Proserpine, and her final recovery of her daughter by means of Christ
when He descended into hell, at which time she met Him and abjured all
worship for the future.

It were a quaint mythological conceit to feign that the gods of Greece
and Rome were some of the _best_ of the fallen spirits, and that of
their number _Apollo_, Mars, and the Muses were converted to
Christianity, and became different saints.


The ribbed flame--its snatches of impatience, that half-seem, and only
_seem_ that half, to baffle its upward rush--the eternal unity of
individualities whose essence is in their distinguishableness, even as
thought and _fancies_ in the mind; the points of so many cherubic swords
snatched back, but never discouraged, still fountaining upwards:--flames
self-snatched up heavenward, if earth supply the fuel, heaven the dry
light air--themselves still making the current that will fan and spread
them--yet all their force in vain, if of itself--and light dry air,
heaped fuel, fanning breeze as idle, if no inward spark lurks there, or
lurks unkindled. Such a spark, O man! is thy Free Will--the star whose
beams are Virtue!



    Alone, alone, all, all alone,
      Alone on a wide, wide sea!
    And never a saint took pity on
      My soul in agony.

                                S. T. C.

[Sidenote: THE SENSE OF MAGNITUDE Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1805]

This evening there was the most perfect and the brightest halo circling
the roundest and brightest moon I ever beheld. So bright was the halo,
so compact, so entire a circle, that it gave the whole of its area, the
moon itself included, the appearance of a solid opaque body, an enormous
planet. It was as if this planet had a circular trough of some
light-reflecting fluid for its rim (that is the halo) and its centre
(that is the moon) a small circular basin of some fluid that still more
copiously reflected, or that even emitted light; and as if the
interspatial area were somewhat equally substantial but sullen. Thence I
have found occasion to meditate on the nature of the sense of magnitude
and its absolute dependence on the idea of _substance_; the consequent
difference between magnitude and spaciousness, the dependence of the
idea on double-touch, and thence to evolve all our feelings and ideas of
magnitude, magnitudinal sublimity, &c., from a scale of our own bodies.
For why, if form constituted the sense, that is, if it were pure vision,
as a perceptive sense abstracted from _feeling_ in the organ of vision,
why do I seek for mountains, when in the flattest countries the clouds
present so many and so much more romantic and _spacious_ forms, and the
coal-fire so many, so much more varied and lovely forms? And whence
arises the pleasure from musing on the latter? Do I not, more or less
consciously, fancy myself a Lilliputian to whom these would be
mountains, and so, by this factitious scale, make them mountains, my
pleasure being consequently playful, a voluntary poem in hieroglyphics
or picture-writing--"_phantoms_ of sublimity," which I continue to know
to be _phantoms_? And form itself, is not its main agency exerted in
individualising the thing, making it _this_ and _that_, and thereby
facilitating the shadowy measurement of it by the scale of my own body?

Yon long, not unvaried, ridge of hills, that runs out of sight each way,
it is _spacious_, and the pleasure derivable from it is from its
_running_, its _motion_, its assimilation to action; and here the scale
is taken from my life and soul, and not from my body. Space is the
Hebrew name for God, and it is the most perfect image of _soul, pure
soul_, being to us nothing but unresisted action. Whenever action is
resisted, limitation begins--and limitation is the first constituent of
body--the more omnipresent it is in a given space, the more that space
is _body_ or matter--and thus all body necessarily presupposes soul,
inasmuch as all resistance presupposes action. Magnitude, therefore, is
the intimate blending, the most perfect union, through its whole sphere,
in every minutest part of it, of action and resistance to action. It is
spaciousness in which space is filled up--that is, as we well say,
transmitted by incorporate accession, not destroyed. In all limited
things, that is, in _all forms_, it is at least fantastically stopped,
and, thus, from the positive _grasp_ to the mountain, from the mountain
to the cloud, from the cloud to the blue depth of sky, which, as on the
top of Etna, in a serene atmosphere, seems to go _behind_ the sun, all
is _graduation_, that precludes division, indeed, but not distinction;
and he who endeavours to overturn a distinction by showing that there is
no chasm, by the old sophism of the _cumulus_ or the horse's tail, is
still diseased with the _formication_,[B] the (what is the nosological
name of it? the hairs or dancing infinites of black specks seeming
always to be before the eye), the araneosis of corpuscular
materialism.--S. T. C.


The least things, how they evidence the superiority of English artisans!
Even the Maltese wafers, for instance, that stick to your mouth and
fingers almost so as to make it impossible to get them off without
squeezing them into a little pellet, and yet will not stick to the

Everyone of tolerable education feels the _imitability_ of Dr. Johnson's
and other-such's style, the inimitability of Shakspere's, &c. Hence, I
believe, arises the partiality of thousands for Johnson. They can
imagine _themselves_ doing the same. Vanity is at the bottom of it. The
number of imitators proves this in some measure.

Of the feelings of the English at the sight of a convoy from England.
Man cannot be selfish--that part of me (my beloved) which is distant, in
space, excites the same feeling as the "ich"[C] distant from me in
time. My friends are indeed my soul!

[Sidenote: Jan. 22, 1805.]

I had not moved from my seat, and wanted the stick of sealing-wax,
nearly a whole one, for another letter. I could not find it, it was not
on the table--had it dropped on the ground? I searched and searched
everywhere, my pockets, my fobs, impossible places--literally it had
vanished, and where was it? It had stuck to my _elbow_, I having leaned
upon it ere it had grown cold! A curious accident, and in no way similar
to that of the butcher and his steel in his mouth which he was seeking
for. Mine was true accident.

The maxims which govern the Courts of Admiralty, their "betwixt and
between" of positive law and the dictates of right reason, resemble the
half-way _inter jus et æquitatem_ of Roman jurisprudence. It were worth
while to examine the advantages of this as far as it is a real
_modification_, its disadvantages as far as it appears a _jumble_.

Seeing a nice bed of glowing embers with one junk of firewood well
placed, like the remains of an old edifice, and another well-nigh
mouldered one corresponding to it, I felt an impulse to put on three
pieces of wood that exactly completed the perishable architecture,
though it was eleven o'clock, though I was that instant going to bed,
and there could be, in common ideas, no possible use in it. Hence I seem
(for I write not having yet gone to bed) to suspect that this disease of
totalising, of perfecting, may be the bottom impulse of many, many
actions, in which it never is brought forward as an avowed or even
agnised as a conscious motive.

Mem.--to collect facts for a comparison between a _wood_ and a _coal_
fire, as to sights and sounds and bodily feeling.

I have read somewhere of a sailor who dreamt that an encounter with the
enemy was about to take place, and that he should discover cowardice
during action. Accordingly he awakes his brother the Captain, and bids
him prepare for an engagement. At daybreak a ship is discovered on the
horizon and the sailor, mindful of his dream, procures himself to be
tied to a post. At the close of the day he is released unwounded but
dead from fright. Apply this incident to Miss Edgeworth's Tales, and all
similar attempts to cure faults by detailed forewarnings, which leave on
the similarly faulty an impression of fatality that extinguishes hope.

What precedes to the voice follows to the eye, as 000.1 and 100. A, B,
C--were they men, you would say that "C" went first, but being letters,
things of voice and ear in their original, we say that "A" goes first.

There are many men who, following, made 1 = 1000, being placed at head,
become useless cyphers, mere finery for form's sake.

[Sidenote: Feb. 1, 1805, Friday, Malta]

Of the millions that use the pen, how many (query) understand the story
of this machine, the action of the slit, eh? I confess, ridiculous as it
must appear to those who do understand it, that I have not been able to
answer the question off-hand to myself, having only this moment thought
of it.

[Sidenote: Feb. 3, 1805]

The gentlest form of Death, a Sylphid Death, passed by, beheld a
sleeping baby--became, Narcissus-like, enamoured of its own self in the
sweet counterfeit, seized it and carried it off as a mirror close by the
green Paradise--but the reviving air awakened the babe, and 'twas death
that died at the sudden loss.


I cannot admit that any language can be unfit for poetry, or that there
is any language in which a divinely inspired architect may not sustain
the lofty edifice of verse on its two pillars of sublimity and pathos.
Yet I have heard Frenchmen, nay, even Englishmen, assert that of the
German, which contains perhaps an hundred passages equal to the--

    Und ein Gott ist, ein heiliger Wille lebt,
      Wie auch der menschliche wanke;--

and I have heard both German and Englishmen (and these, too, men of true
feeling and genius, and so many of them that such company of my betters
makes me not ashamed to the having myself been guilty of this injustice)
assert that the French language is insusceptible of poetry in its higher
and purer sense, of poetry which excites emotion not merely creates
amusement, which demands continuous admiration, not regular recurrence
of conscious surprise, and the effect of which is love and joy.
Unfortunately the manners, religion and government of France, and the
circumstances of its emergence from the polyarchy of feudal barony, have
given a bad taste to the Parisians--so bad a one as doubtless to have
mildewed many an opening blossom. I cannot say that I know and can name
any one French writer that can be placed among the greater poets, but
when I read the inscription over the Chartreuse--

    C'est ici que la Mort et la Verité
      Elevent leurs flambeaux terribles;
    C'est de cette demeure au monde inaccessible
      Que l'on passe à l'Eternité

I seem to feel that if France had been for ages a Protestant nation, and
a Milton had been born in it, the French language would not have
precluded the production of a "Paradise Lost," though it might, perhaps,
that of a Hamlet or a Lear.

[Sidenote: THE ABSTRACT SELF On Friday night, Feb. 8, 1805]

On Friday Night, 8th Feb. 1805, my feeling, in sleep, of exceeding great
love for my infant, seen by me in the dream!--yet so as it might be
Sara, Derwent, or Berkley, and still it was an individual babe and mine.

    "All look or likeness caught from earth,
    All accident of kin or birth,
    Had pass'd away. There seem'd no trace
    Of aught upon her brighten'd face,
    Upraised beneath the rifted stone,
    Save of one spirit all her own;
    She, she herself, and only she,
    Shone through her body visibly."

    _Poetical Works_, 1893, p. 172.

This abstract self is, indeed, in its nature a Universal personified, as
Life, Soul, Spirit, etc. Will not this _prove_ it to be a _deeper_
feeling, and of such intimate affinity with ideas, so as to modify them
and become one with them; whereas the appetites and the feelings of
revenge and anger co-exist with the ideas, not combine with them, and
alter the apparent effect of this form, not the forms themselves?
Certain modifications of fear seem to approach nearest to this
love-sense in its manner of acting.

Those whispers just as you have fallen asleep--what are they, and

[Sidenote: LITERA SCRIPTA MANET Monday, Feb 11, 1805]

I must own to a superstitious dread of the destruction of paper worthy
of a Mahometan. But I am also ashamed to confess to myself what pulling
back of heart I feel whenever I wish to light a candle or kindle a fire
with a Hospital or Harbour Report, and what a cumulus lies on my table,
I not able to conjecture of what use they can ever be, and yet trembling
lest what I then destroyed might be of some use in the way of knowledge.
This seems to be the excess of a good feeling, but it is ridiculous.


It is not without a certain sense of self-reproof, as well as
self-distrust, that I ask, or, rather, that my understanding suggests to
me the query, whether this divine poem (in so original a strain of
thought and feeling honourable to human nature) would not have been more
perfect if the third, fourth, and fifth stanzas had been omitted, and
the tenth and eleventh transposed so as to stand as the third and
fourth. It is not, perhaps not at all, but, certainly, not principally
that I feel any meanness in the "needles;" but, not to mention that the
words "once a shining store" is a speck in the diamond (in a less dear
poem I might, perhaps, have called it more harshly a _rhyme-botch_), and
that the word "restless" is rather too strong an impersonation for the
serious tone, the _real_ness of the poem, and seems to tread too closely
on the mock-heroic; but that it seems not true to poetic feeling to
introduce the affecting circumstance of dimness of sight from decay of
nature on an occasion so remote from the [Greek: to katholou], and that
the fifth stanza, graceful and even affecting as the spirit of the
playfulness is or would be, at least, in a poem having less depth of
feeling, breaks in painfully here--the age and afflicting infirmities
both of the writer and his subject seem abhorrent from such trifling
of--scarcely fancy, for I fear, if it were analysed, that the whole
effect would be found to depend on phrases hackneyed, and taken from the
alms-house of the Muses. The test would be this: read the poem to a
well-educated but natural woman, an unaffected, gentle being, endued
with sense and sensibility--substituting the tenth and eleventh stanzas
for those three, and some days after shew her the poem as it now stands.
I seem to be sure that she would be shocked--an alien would have
intruded himself, and be found sitting in a circle of dear friends whom
she expected to have found _all to themselves_.

[Sidenote: ETYMOLOGY]

To say that etymology is a science--is to use this word in its laxest
and improper sense. But our language, except, at least, in poetry, has
dropped the word "lore"--the _lehre_ of the Germans, the _logos_ of the
Greek. Either we should have retained the word and ventured on
_Root-lore_, _verse-lore_, etc., or have adopted the Greek as a single
word as well as a word in combination. All novelties appear or are
rather felt as ridiculous in language; but, if it had been once adopted,
it would have been no stranger to have said that etymo_logy_ is a _logy_
which perishes from a plethora of probability, than that the _art_ of
war is an _art_ apparently for the destruction and subjugation of
particular states, but really for the lessening of bloodshed and the
preservation of the liberties of mankind. Art and Science are both too
much appropriated--our language wants terms of comprehensive generality,
implying the kind, not the degree or species, as in that good and
necessary word _sensuous_, which we have likewise dropped, opposed to
sensual, sensitive, sensible, etc., etc. Chymistry has felt this
difficulty, and found the necessity of having one word for the supposed
cause, another for the effect, as in caloric or calorific, opposed to
heat; and psychology has still more need of the reformation.


The Queen-bee in the hive of Popish Error, the great mother of the
swarm, seems to me their tenet concerning Faith and Works, placing the
former wholly in the rectitude, nay, in the rightness of intellectual
conviction, and the latter in the definite and, most often, the material
action, and, consequently, the assertion of the dividuous nature and
self-existence of works. Hence the doctrine of damnation out of the
Church of Rome--of the one visible Church--of the absolute efficiency
_in se_ of all the Sacraments and the absolute merit of ceremonial
observances. Consider the incalculable advantage of chiefly dwelling on
the virtues of the heart, of habits of feeling and harmonious action,
the music of the adjusted string at the impulse of the breeze, and, on
the other hand, the evils of books concerning particular actions, minute
cases of conscience, hair-splitting directions and decisions, O how
illustrated by the detestable character of most of the Roman Catholic
casuists! No actions should be distinctly described but such as
manifestly tend to awaken the heart to efficient feeling, whether of
fear or of love--actions that, falling back on the fountain, keep it
full, or clear out the mud from its pipes, and make it play in its
abundance, shining in that purity in which, at once, the purity and the
light is each the cause of the other, the light purifying, and the
purified receiving and reflecting the light, sending it off to others;
not, like the polished mirror, by reflection from itself, but by
transmission through itself.

[Sidenote: THE EMPYREAN]

Friday + Saturday, 12-1 o'clock [March 2, 1805.]

What a sky! the not yet orbed moon, the spotted oval, blue at one edge
from the deep utter blue of the sky--a MASS of _pearl_-white cloud
below, distant, and travelling to the horizon, but all the upper part of
the ascent and all the height such _profound_ blue, deep as a deep
river, and deep in colour, and those two depths so entirely _one_, _as_
to give the meaning and explanation of the two different significations
of the epithet. Here, so far from _divided_, they were scarcely
_distinct_, scattered over with thin pearl-white cloudlets--hands and
fingers--the largest not larger than a floating veil! Unconsciously I
stretched forth my arms as to embrace the sky, and in a trance I had
worshipped God in the moon--the spirit, not the form. I felt in how
innocent a feeling Sabeism might have begun. Oh! not only the moon, but
the depths of the sky! The moon was the _idea_; but deep sky is, of all
visual impressions, the nearest akin to a feeling. It is more a feeling
than a sight, or, rather, it is the melting away and entire union of
feeling and sight!


Monday morning, which I ought not to have known not to be Sunday night,
2 o'clock, March 4, 1805.

My dreams to-night were interfused with struggle and fear, though, till
the very last, not victors; but the very last, which awoke me, was a
completed night-mare, as it gave the _idea_ and _sensation_ of actual
grasp or touch contrary to _my_ will and in apparent consequence of the
malignant will of the external form, whether actually appearing or, as
sometimes happened, believed to exist--in which latter case I have two
or three times felt a horrid touch of hatred, a grasp, or a weight of
hate and horror abstracted from all [conscious] form or supposal of
form, an _abstract touch_, an _abstract_ grasp, an _abstract_ weight!
_Quam nihil ad genium Papiliane tuum!_ or, in other words, _This
Mackintosh would prove to be nonsense by a Scotch smile._ The last
[dream], that woke me, though a true night-mare, was, however, a mild
one. I cried out early, like a scarcely-hurt child who knows himself
within hearing of his mother. But, anterior to this, I had been playing
with children, especially with one most lovely child, about two years or
two and a half, and had repeated to her, in my dream, "The dews were
falling fast," &c., and I was sorely frightened by the sneering and
fiendish malignity of the beautiful creature, but from the beginning
there had been a terror about it and proceeding from it. I shall
hereafter, read the Vision in "Macbeth" with increased admiration.

["_Quam nihil ad genium Papiniane tuum_," was the motto of _The Lyrical

That deep intuition of our _one_ness, is it not at the bottom of many of
our faults as well as virtues? the dislike that a bad man should have
any virtues, a good man any faults? And yet, too, a something noble and
incentive is in this.


What comfort in the silent eye upraised to God! "_Thou_ knowest." O!
what a thought! Never to be friendless, never to be unintelligible! The
omnipresence has been generally represented as a spy, a sort of
Bentham's Panopticon.[D] O to feel what the pain is to be utterly
unintelligible and then--"O God, thou understandest!"


The question should be fairly stated, how far a man can be an adequate,
or even a good (as far as he goes) though inadequate critic of poetry
who is not a poet, at least, _in posse_? Can he be an adequate, can he
be a good critic, though not commensurate [with the poet criticised]?
But there is yet another distinction. Supposing he is not only not a
poet, but is a bad poet! What then?

[Sidenote: IMMATURE CRITICS March 16, 1805]

[The] cause of the offence or disgust received by the _mean_ in good
poems when we are young, and its diminution and occasional evanescence
when we are older in true taste [is] that, at first, we are from various
causes delighted with _generalities_ of nature which can all be
expressed in dignified words; but, afterwards, becoming more intimately
acquainted with Nature in her detail, we are delighted with _distinct_,
vivid ideas, and with vivid ideas most when made distinct, and can most
often forgive and sometimes be delighted with even a low image from art
or low life when it gives you the very thing by an illustration, as, for
instance, Cowper's stream "inlaying" the level vale as with silver, and
even Shakspere's "shrill-tongued Tapster's answering shallow wits"
applied to echoes in an _echofull_ place.

[Sidenote: ATTENTION AND SENSATION March 17, 1805]

Of the not being able to know whether you are smoking in the dark or
when your eyes are shut: item, of the ignorance in that state of the
difference of beef, veal, &c.--it is all attention. Your ideas being
shut, other images arise which you must _attend to_, it being the habit
of a _seeing_ man to attend chiefly to _sight_. So close your eyes,
(and) you attend to the ideal images, and, attending to them, you
abstract your _attention_. It is the same when deeply thinking in a
reverie, you no longer hear distinct sound made to you. But what a
strange inference that there were no sounds!

[Sidenote: ST. COLUMBA]

I love St. Combe or Columba and he shall be my saint. For he is not in
the Catalogue of Romish Saints, having never been canonised at Rome, and
because this Apostle of the Picts lived and gave his name to an island
on the Hebrides, and from him Switzerland was christianised.

[Sidenote: EXPERIENCE AND BOOK KNOWLEDGE Midnight, April 5, 1805]

"I will write," I said, "as truly as I can from experience, actual
individual experience, not from book-knowledge." But yet it is wonderful
how exactly the knowledge from good books coincides with the experience
of men of the world. How often, when I was younger, have I noticed the
deep delight of men of the world who have taken late in life to
literature, on coming across a passage the force of which had either
escaped me altogether, or which I knew to be true from books only and at
second hand! Experience is necessary, no doubt, if only to give a light
and shade in the mind, to give to some one idea a greater vividness than
to others, and thereby to make it a _Thing_ of _Time_ and actual
reality. For all ideas being equally vivid, the whole becomes a dream.
But, notwithstanding this and other reasons, I yet believe that the saws
against book-knowledge are handed down to us from times when books
conveyed only abstract science or abstract morality and religion.
Whereas, in the present day, what is there of real life, in all its
goings on, trades, manufactures, high life, low life, animate and
inanimate that is not to be found in books? In these days books are
conversation. And this, I know, is for evil as well as good, but for
good, too, as well as evil.

[Sidenote: DUTY AND SELF INTEREST Sunday morning 4 o'clock, April 7,

How feebly, how unlike an English cock, that cock crows and the other
answers! Did I not particularly notice the _un_likeness on my first
arrival at Malta? Well, to-day I will disburthen my mind. Yet one thing
strikes me, the difference I find in myself during the past year or two.
My enthusiasm for the happiness of mankind in particular places and
countries, and my eagerness to promote it, seems to decrease, and my
sense of duty, my hauntings of conscience, from any stain of thought or
action to increase in the same ratio. I remember having written a
strong letter to my most dear and honoured Wordsworth in consequence of
his "Ode to Duty," and in that letter explained this as the effect of
selfness in a mind incapable of gross self-interest--I mean, the
decrease of hope and joy, the soul in its round and round flight forming
narrower circles, till at every gyre its wings beat against the
_personal self_. But let me examine this more accurately. It may be that
the phenomena will come out more honourable to our nature.


It is as trite as it is mournful (but yet most instructive), and by the
genius that can produce the strongest impressions of novelty by rescuing
the stalest and most admitted truths from the impotence caused by the
very circumstance of their universal admission--admitted so instantly as
never to be _reflected_ on, never by that sole key of reflection
admitted into the effective, legislative chamber of the heart--so true
that they lose all the privileges of Truth, and, as extremes meet by
being _truisms_, correspond in utter inefficiency with universally
acknowledged errors (in Algebraic symbols Truisms = Falsehoodisms =
[scir][scir])--by that genius, I say, might good be worked in
considering the old, old Methusalem saw that "evil produces evil." One
error almost compels another. Tell one lie, tell a hundred. Oh, to show
this, _a priori_, by bottoming it in all our faculties and by
experience of touching examples!

[Sidenote: JOHN WORDSWORTH Monday, April 8, 1805]

The favourite object of all Oriental tales, and that which, whist it
inspired their authors in the East, still inspires their readers
everywhere, is the impossibility of baffling Destiny--the perception
that what we considered as the means of one thing becomes, in a strange
manner, the direct means of the reverse. O dear John Wordsworth! what
joy at Grasmere that you were made Captain of the Abergavenny, and so
young too! Now it was next to certain that you would in a few years
settle in your native hills and be verily one of the _Concern_! Then
came your share in the brilliant action with Linois. (I was at Grasmere
in spirit only, but in spirit I was one of the rejoicers--as joyful as
any, and, perhaps, more joyous!) This, doubtless, not only enabled you
to lay in a larger and more advantageous cargo, but procured you a
voyage to India instead of China, and in this circumstance a next to
certainty of independence--and all these were decoys of Death! Well, but
a nobler feeling than these vain regrets would become the friend of the
man whose last words were: "I have done my duty! let her go!" Let us do
our _duty_! all else is a dream, life and death alike a dream. This
short sentence would comprise, I believe, the sum of all profound
philosophy, of ethics and metaphysics conjointly, from Plato to Fichte!

[_Vide Letters of S. T. C._, 1895, ii. 495, _note_.]


The best, the truly lovely in each and all, is God. Therefore the truly
beloved is _the symbol of God_ to whomever it is truly beloved by, but
it may become perfect and maintained love by the function of the two.
The lover worships in his beloved that final consummation of itself
which is produced in his own soul by the action of the soul of the
beloved upon it, and that final perception of the soul of the beloved
which is in part the consequence of the reaction of his (so ameliorated
and regenerated) soul upon the soul of his beloved, till each
contemplates the soul of the other as involving his own, both in its
givings and its receivings, and thus, still keeping alive its _outness_,
its _self-oblivion_ united with self-warmth, still approximates to God!
Where shall I find an image for this sublime symbol which, ever
involving the presence of Deity, yet tends towards it ever? Shall it be
in the attractive powers of the different surfaces of the earth? each
attraction the vicegerent and representative of the central attraction,
and yet being no other than that attraction itself? By some such feeling
as this I can easily believe the mind of Fénelon and Madame Guyon to
have coloured its faith in the worship of saints, but that was most
dangerous. It was not idolatry in _them_, but it encouraged idolatry in
others. Now, the pure love of a good man for a good woman does not
involve this evil, but it multiplies, intensifies the good.


Dreamt that I was saying or reading, or that it was read to me, "Varrius
thus prophesied vinegar at his door by damned frigid tremblings." Just
after, I woke. I fell to sleep again, having in the previous doze
meditated on the possibility of making dreams regular; and just as I had
passed on the other side of the confine of dozing, I afforded this
specimen: "I should have thought it Vossius rather than Varrius, though,
Varrius being a great poet, the idea would have been more suitable to
him, only that all his writings were unfortunately lost in the _Arrow_."
Again I awoke. _N.B._--The _Arrow_, Captain Vincent's frigate, from
which our Malta letters and dispatches had been previously thrown
overboard, was taken by the French, in February 1805. This _illustrates
the connection of dreams_.

[Sidenote: ORANGE BLOSSOM April 8, 1805]

I never had a more lovely twig of orange-blossoms, with four old last
year's leaves with their steady green well-placed among them, than
to-day, and with a rose-twig of three roses [it] made a very striking
nosegay to an Englishman, The Orange Twig was so very full of blossoms
that one-fourth of the number becoming fruit of the natural size would
have broken the twig off. Is there, then, disproportion here? or waste?
O no! no! In the first place, here is a prodigality of beauty; and what
harm do they do by existing? And is not man a being capable of Beauty
even as of Hunger and Thirst? And if the latter be fit objects of a
final cause, why not the former? But secondly [Nature] hereby multiplies
manifold the chances of a proper number becoming fruit--in this twig,
for instance, for one set of accidents that would have been fatal to the
year's growth if only as many blossoms had been on it as it was designed
to bear fruit, there may now be three sets of accidents--and no harm
done. And, thirdly and lastly, for _me_ at _least_--or, at least, at
present, for in nature doubtless there are many additional reasons, and
possibly for _me_ at some future hour of reflection, after some new
influx of information from books or observance-and, thirdly, these
blossoms are Fruit, fruit to the winged insect, fruit to man--yea! and
of more solid value, perhaps, than the orange itself! O how the Bees
be-throng and be-murmur it! O how the honey tells the tale of its
birthplace to the sense of sight and odour! and to how many minute and
uneyeable insects beside! So, I cannot but think, ought I to be talking
to Hartley, and sometimes to detail all the insects that have arts or
implements resembling human--the sea-snails, with the nautilus at their
head; the wheel-insect, the galvanic eel, etc.

[This note was printed in the _Illustrated London News_, June 10, 1893.]

14, 1805]

In looking at objects of Nature while I am thinking, as at yonder moon
dim-glimmering through the dewy window-pane, I seem rather to be
seeking, as it were _asking_ for, a symbolical language for something
within me that already and for ever exists, than observing anything new.
Even when that latter is the case, yet still I have always an obscure
feeling as if that new phenomena were the dim awaking of a forgotten or
hidden truth of my inner nature. It is still interesting as a word--a
symbol. It is [Greek: Logos] the Creator, and the Evolver! [Now] what is
the right, the virtuous feeling, and consequent action when a man having
long meditated on and perceived a certain truth, finds another, a
foreign writer, who has handled the same with an approximation to the
truth as he had previously conceived it? Joy! Let Truth make her voice
audible! While I was preparing the pen to write this remark, I lost the
train of thought which had led me to it. I meant to have asked something
else now forgotten. For the above answers itself. It needed no answer,
I trust, in my heart.

[Printed in _Life of S. T. C._, by James Gillman, 1838, p. 311.]

[Sidenote: THE HOPE OF HUMANITY, Easter Sunday, 1805]

That beautiful passage in dear and honoured W. Wordsworth's "Michael,"
respecting the forward-looking Hope inspired pre-eminently by the birth
of a child, was brought to my mind most forcibly by my own independent
though, in part, anticipated reflections on the importance of young
children to the keeping up the stock of Hope in the human species. They
seem to be the immediate and secreting organ of Hope in the great
organised body of the whole human race, in _all men_ considered as the
component atoms of _Man_--as young leaves are the organs of supplying
vital air to the atmosphere.

    Thus living on through such a length of years,
    The Shepherd, if he loved himself, must needs
    Have loved his Helpmate; but to Michael's heart
    This son of his old age was yet more dear--
    Less from instinctive tenderness, the same
    Fond spirit that blindly works in the blood of all--
    Than that a child, more than all other gifts
    That earth can offer to declining man,
    Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts,
    And stirrings of inquietude, when they
    By tendency of nature needs must fail.

    --_Poetical Works of_ W. WORDSWORTH, p. 133.

[Sidenote: THE NORTHERN EASTER Easter Sunday, 1805]

The English and German climates and that of northern France possess,
among many others, this one little beauty of uniting the mysteries of
positive with those of natural religion--in celebrating the symbolical
resurrection of the human soul in that of the Crucified, at the time of
the actual resurrection of the "living life" of nature.


Religion consists in truth and virtue, that is, the permanent, the
_forma efformans_, in the flux of things without, of feelings and images
within. Well, therefore, does the Scripture speak of the Spirit as
praying to the Spirit, "The Lord said to my Lord." God is the essence as
well as the object of religion.

[Sidenote: A SUPPOSITION Wednesday, April 17, 1805]

I would not willingly kill even a flower, but were I at the head of an
army, or a revolutionary kingdom, I would do my duty; and though it
should be the ordering of the military execution of a city, yet,
supposing it to be my duty, I would give the order--and then, in awe,
listen to the uproar, even as to a thunderstorm--the awe as tranquil,
the submission to the inevitable, to the unconnected with myself, as
profound. It should be as if the lightning of heaven passed along my
sword and destroyed a man.

[Sidenote: ENTHUSIASM]

Does the sober judgement previously measure out the banks between which
the stream of enthusiasm shall rush with its torrent-sound? Far rather
does the stream itself plough up its own channel and find its banks in
the adamant rocks of nature!


There are times when my thoughts--how like music! O that these times
were more frequent! But how can they be, I being so hopeless, and for
months past so incessantly employed in official tasks, subscribing,
examining, administering oaths, auditing, and so forth?


John Tobin dead, and just after the success of his play! and Robert
Allen dead suddenly!

O when we are young we lament for death only by sympathy, or with the
general feeling with which we grieve for misfortunes in general, but
there comes a time (and this year is the time that has come to me) when
we lament for death as death, when it is felt for itself, and as itself,
aloof from all its consequences. Then comes the grave-stone into the
heart with all its mournful names, then the bell-man's or clerk's verses
subjoined to the bills of mortality are no longer common-place.

[John Tobin the dramatist died December 7, 1804. His play entitled "The
Honeymoon" was published in 1805.

Robert Allen, Coleridge's contemporary and school-friend, held the post
of deputy-surgeon to the 2nd Royals, then on service in Portugal. He was
a friend of Dr. (afterwards Sir J.) Stoddart, with whom Coleridge stayed
on his first arrival at Malta. See _Letters of Charles Lamb_, Macmillan,
1888, i. 188.]

[Sidenote: LOVE AND DUTY]

Würde, worthiness, VIRTUE, consist in the mastery over the sensuous and
sensual impulses; but love requires INNOCENCE. Let the lover ask his
heart whether he can endure that his mistress should have _struggled_
with a sensual impulse for another man, though she overcame it from a
sense of duty to him. Women are LESS offended with men, in part, from
the vicious habits of men, and, in part, from the difference of bodily
constitution. Yet, still, to a pure and truly loving woman this must be
a painful thought. That he should struggle with and overcome ambition,
desire of fortune, superior beauty, &c., or with objectless desire of
any kind, is pleasing, but _not_ that he has struggled with positive,
appropriated desire, that is, desire _with_ an object. Love, in short,
requires an absolute peace and harmony between all parts of human
nature, such as it is; and it is offended by any _war_, though the
battle should be decided in favour of the worthier. This is, perhaps,
the final cause of the _rarity_ of true love, and the efficient and
immediate cause of its difficulty. Ours is a life of probation. We are
to contemplate and obey _duty_ for its own sake, and in order to do
this, we, in our present imperfect state of being, must see it not
merely abstracted from but in direct opposition to the _wish_, the
_inclination_. Having perfected this, the highest possibility of human
nature, man may then with safety harmonise _all_ his being with this--he
may _love_. To perform duties absolutely from the sense of duty is the
_ideal_, which, perhaps, no human being ever can arrive at, but which
every human being ought to try to draw near unto. This is, in the only
wise, and, verily, in a most sublime sense, to see God face to face,
which, alas! it seems too true that no man can do and _live_, that is, a
_human_ life. It would become incompatible with his organization, or
rather, it would _transmute_ it, and the process of that transmutation,
to the senses of other men, would be called death. Even as to the
caterpillar, in all probability, the caterpillar dies, and he either,
which is most probable, does not see (or, at all events, does not see
the connection between the caterpillar and) the butterfly, the beautiful
Psyche of the Greeks.


Those who in this life love in perfection, if such there be, in
proportion as their love has no struggles, see God darkly and through a
veil. For when duty and pleasure are absolutely co-incident, the very
nature of our organisation necessitates that duty will be contemplated
as the symbol of pleasure, instead of pleasure being (as in a future
life we have faith it will be) the symbol of duty. For herein lies the
distinction between human and angelic happiness. Humanly happy I call
him who in enjoyment _finds_ his duty; angelically happy he, who seeks
and finds his duty in enjoyment.

Happiness in general may be defined, not the aggregate of pleasurable
sensations--for this is either a dangerous error and the creed of
sensualists, or else a mere translation or wordy paraphrase--but the
state of that person who, in order to enjoy his nature in the highest
manifestation of conscious _feeling_, has no need of doing wrong, and
who, in order to do right, is under no necessity of abstaining from

[_Vide Life of S. T. C._, by James Gillman, 1838, pp. 176-78.]


Thought and reality are, as it were, two distinct corresponding sounds,
of which no man can say positively which is the voice and which the

Oh, the beautiful fountain or natural well at Upper Stowey! The images
of the weeds which hung down from its sides appear as plants growing up,
straight and upright, among the water-weeds that really grow from the
bottom of the well, and so vivid was the image, that for some moments,
and not till after I had disturbed the water, did I perceive that their
roots were not neighbours, and they side-by-side companions. So ever,
then I said, so are the happy man's thoughts and things, [or in the
language of the modern philosophers] his ideas and impressions.


The two characteristics which I have most observed in Roman Catholic
mummery processions, baptisms, etc., are, first, the immense _noise_ and
jingle-jingle as if to frighten away the dæmon common-sense; and,
secondly, the unmoved, stupid, uninterested faces of the conjurers. I
have noticed no exception. Is not the very nature of superstition in
general, as being utterly sensuous, _cold_ except where it is _sensual_?
Hence the older form of idolatry, as displayed in the Greek mythology,
was, in some sense, even preferable to the Popish. For whatever life
did and could exist in superstition it brought forward and sanctified in
its rites of Bacchus, Venus, etc. The papist by pretence of suppression
warps and denaturalises. In the pagan [ritual, superstition] burnt with
a bright flame, in the popish it consumes the soul with a smothered fire
that stinks in darkness and smoulders like gum that burns but is
incapable of light.

[Sidenote: ILLUSION Sunday Midnight, May 12, 1805]

At the Treasury, La Valetta, Malta, in the room the windows of which
directly face the piazzas and vast saloon built for the archives and
Library and now used as the Garrison Ball-room, sitting at one corner of
a large parallelogram table well-littered with books, in a red
arm-chair, at the other corner of which (diagonally) {_C}[rec]^D Mr.
Dennison had been sitting--he and I having conversed for a long time, he
bade me good night, and retired--I meaning to retire too, however sunk
for five minutes or so into a doze and on suddenly awaking up I saw him
as distinctly sitting in the chair, as I had, really, some ten minutes
before. I was startled, and thinking of it, sunk into a second doze, out
of which awaking as before I saw again the same appearance; not more
distinct indeed, but more of his form--for at the first time I had seen
only his face and bust--but now I saw as much as I could have seen if
he had been really there. The appearance was very nearly that of a
person seen through thin smoke distinct indeed, but yet a sort of
distinct _shape_ and _colour_, with a diminished sense of
_substantiality_--like a face in a clear stream. My nerves had been
violently agitated yesterday morning by the attack of three dogs as I
was mounting the steps of Captain Pasley's door--two of them savage
Bedouins, who wounded me in the calf of my left leg. I have noted this
down, not three minutes having intervened since the illusion took place.
Often and often I have had similar experiences and, therefore, resolved
to write down the particulars whenever any new instance should occur, as
a weapon against superstition, and an explanation of ghosts--Banquo in
"Macbeth" the very same thing. I once told a lady the reason why I did
not believe in the existence of ghosts, etc., was that I had seen too
many of them myself. N.B. There were on the table a common black
wine-bottle, a decanter of water, and, between these, one of the
half-gallon glass flasks which Sir G. Beaumont had given me (four of
these full of port), the cork in, covered with leather, and having a
white plated ring on the top. I mention this because since I wrote the
former pages, on blinking a bit a third time, and opening my eyes, I
clearly _detected_ that this high-shouldered hypochondriacal bottle-man
had a great share in producing the effect. The metamorphosis was
clearly beginning, though I snapped the spell before it had assumed a
recognisable form. The red-leather arm-chair was so placed at the corner
that the flask was exactly between me and it--and the lamp being close
to my corner of the large table, and not giving much light, the chair
was rather obscure, and the brass nails where the leather was fastened
to the outward wooden rim reflecting the light more copiously were seen
almost for themselves. What if instead of immediately checking the
sight, and then pleased with it as a philosophical _case_, I had been
frightened and encouraged it, and my understanding had joined _its vote_
to that of my senses?

My own shadow, too, on the wall not far from Mr. D.'s chair--the white
paper, the sheet of Harbour Reports lying spread out on the table on the
other side of the bottles--influence of mere colour, influence of
shape--wonderful coalescence of scattered colours at distances, and,
then, all going to some one shape, and the modification! Likewise I am
more convinced by repeated observation that, perhaps, always in a very
minute degree but assuredly in certain states and postures of the eye,
as in drowsiness, in the state of the brain and nerves after distress or
agitation, especially if it had been accompanied by weeping, and in
many others, we see our own faces, and project them according to the
distance given them by the degree of indistinctness--that this may
occasion in the highest degree the Wraith (_vide_ a hundred Scotch
stories, but better than all, Wordsworth's most wonderful and admirable
poem, Peter Bell, when he sees his own figure), and, still oftener, that
it facilitates the formation of a human face out of some really present
object, and from the alteration of the distance among other causes never
suspected as the occasion and substratum.

                                           S. T. C.

N.B.--This is a valuable note, re-read by me, Tuesday morning, May 14.

[Compare _Table Talk_ for January 3 and May 1, 1823, Bell & Co., 1884,
pp. 20, 31-33. See, too, _The Friend_, First Landing Place Essay, iii.,
_Coleridge's Works_, Harper & Brothers, 1853, ii. 134-137.]


Mem. always to bear in mind that profound sentence of Leibnitz that
men's intellectual errors consist chiefly in _denying_. What they
_affirm_ with _feeling_ is, for the most part, right--if it be a real
affirmation, and not affirmative in form, negative in reality. As, for
instance, when a man praises the French stage, meaning and implying his
dislike of Shakspere [and the Elizabethan dramatists].

"Facts--stubborn facts! None of your theory!" A most entertaining and
instructive essay might be written on this text, and the sooner the
better. Trace it from the most absurd credulity--_e.g._, in
Fracastorius' _De Sympathiâ_, cap. i. and the Alchemy Book--even to that
of your modern agriculturists, relating their own facts and swearing
against each other like ships' crews. O! it is the relation of the
facts--not the facts, friend!

Speculative men are wont to be condemned by the general. But who more
speculative then Sir Walter Raleigh, and _he_, even he, brought the
potato to Europe. Good heavens! let me never eat a roasted potato
without dwelling on it, and detailing its train of consequences.
Likewise, too, _dubious_ to the philosopher, but to be clapped chorally
by the commercial world, he, this mere wild speculatist, introduced

For a nation to make peace only because it is tired of war, and, as it
were, in order just to take breath, is in direct subversion of the end
and object of the war which was its sole justification. 'Tis like a poor
way-sore foot traveller getting up behind a coach that is going the
contrary way to his.

The eye hath a two-fold power. It is, verily, a window through which you
not only look _out_ of the house, but can look into it too. A statesman
and diplomatist should for this reason always wear spectacles.

Worldly men gain their purposes with worldly men by that instinctive
belief in sincerity. Hence (nothing immediately and passionately
contradicting it) the effect of the "with unfeigned esteem," "entire
devotion," and the other smooth phrases in letters, all, in short, that
sea-officers call _oil_, and of which they, with all their bluntness,
well understand the use.

The confusion of metaphor with reality is one of the fountains of the
many-headed Nile of credulity, which, overflowing its banks, covers the
world with miscreations and reptile monsters, and feeds by its many
mouths the sea of blood.

A ready command of a limited number of words is but a playing cat-cradle
dexterously with language.

Plain contra-reasoning may be compared with boxing with fists.
Controversy with boxing is the cestus, that is, the lead-loaded glove,
like the pugilists in the Æneid. But the stiletto! the envenomed
stiletto is here. What worse? (a Germanism) Yes! the poisoned Italian
glove of mock friendship.

The more I reflect, the more exact and close appears to me the analogy
between a watch and watches, and the conscience and consciences of men,
on the one hand, and that between the sun and motion of the heavenly
bodies in general and the reason and goodness of the Supreme on the
other. Never goes quite right any one, no two go exactly the same; they
derive their dignity and use as being substitutes and exponents of
heavenly motions, but still, in a thousand instances, they are and must
be our instructors by which we must act, in practice presuming a
coincidence while theoretically we are aware of incalculable variations.

    One lifts up one's eyes to heaven, as if to seek there what one had
      lost on earth--eyes,
    Whose half-beholdings through unsteady tears
    Gave shape, hue, distance to the inward dream.


Schiller, disgusted with Kotzebuisms, deserts from Shakspere! What!
cannot we condemn a counterfeit and yet remain admirers of the original?
This is a sufficient proof that the first admiration was not sound, or
founded on sound distinct perceptions [or, if sprung from], a sound
feeling, yet clothed and manifested to the consciousness by false ideas.
And now the French stage is to be re-introduced. O Germany! Germany! why
this endless rage for novelty? Why this endless looking out of thyself?
But stop, let me not fall into the pit against which I was about to warn
others. Let me not confound the discriminating character and genius of a
nation with the conflux of its individuals in cities and reviews. Let
England be Sir Philip Sidney, Shakspere, Milton, Bacon, Harrington,
Swift, Wordsworth; and never let the names of Darwin, Johnson, Hume,
_fur_ it over. If these, too, must be England let them be another
England; or, rather, let the first be old England, the spiritual,
Platonic old England, and the second, with Locke at the head of the
philosophers and Pope [at the head] of the poets, together with the long
list of Priestleys, Paleys, Hayleys, Darwins, Mr. Pitts, Dundasses, &c.,
&c., be the representatives of commercial Great Britain. These have
[indeed] their merits, but are as alien to me as the Mandarin
philosophers and poets of China. Even so Leibnitz, Lessing, Voss, Kant,
shall be _Germany_ to me, let whatever coxcombs rise up, and _shrill_ it
away in the grasshopper vale of reviews. And so shall Dante, Ariosto,
Giordano Bruno, be my Italy; Cervantes my Spain; and O! that I could
find a France for my love. But spite of Pascal, Madame Guyon and
Molière, France is my Babylon, the mother of whoredoms in morality,
philosophy and taste. The French themselves feel a foreignness in these
writers. How indeed is it possible at once to _love_ Pascal and

[Sidenote: AN INTELLECTUAL PURGATORY Tuesday morning, May 14, 1805]

With any distinct remembrance of a past life there could be no fear of
death as death, no idea even of death! Now, in the next state, to meet
with the Luthers, Miltons, Leibnitzs, Bernouillis, Bonnets, Shaksperes,
etc., and to live a longer and better life, the good and wise entirely
among the good and wise, might serve as a step to break the abruptness
of an immediate Heaven? But it must be a human life; and though the
faith in a hereafter would be more firm, more undoubting, yet, still, it
must not be a sensuous remembrance of a death passed over. No! [it would
be] something like a dream that you had not died, but had been taken
off; in short, the real events with the obscurity of a dream,
accompanied with the notion that you had never died, but that death was
yet to come. As a man who, having walked in his sleep, by rapid openings
of his eyes--too rapid to be observable by others or rememberable by
himself--sees and remembers the whole of his path, mixing it with many
fancies _ab intra_, and, awaking, remembers, but yet as a dream.

[Sidenote: OF FIRST LOVES]

'Tis one source of mistakes concerning the merits of poems, that to
those read in youth men attribute all that praise which is due to poetry
in general, merely considered as select language in metre. (Little
children should not be taught verses, in my opinion; better not to let
them set eyes on verse till they are ten or eleven years old.) Now,
poetry produces two kinds of pleasure, one for each of the two
master-movements and impulses of man, the gratification of the love of
variety, and the gratification of the love of uniformity--and that by a
recurrence delightful as a painless and yet exciting act of memory--tiny
breezelets of surprise, each one destroying the ripplets which the
former had made--yet all together keeping the surface of the mind in a
bright dimple-smile. So, too, a hatred of vacancy is reconciled with the
love of rest. These and other causes often make [a first acquaintance
with] poetry an overpowering delight to a lad of feeling, as I have
heard Poole relate of himself respecting Edwin and Angelina. But so it
would be with a man bred up in a wilderness by Unseen Beings, who should
yet converse and discourse rationally with him--how beautiful would not
the first other man appear whom he saw and knew to be a man by the
resemblance to his own image seen in the clear stream; and would he not,
in like manner, attribute to the man all the divine attributes of
humanity, though, haply, he should be a very ordinary, or even a most
ugly man, compared with a hundred others? Many of us who have felt this
with respect to women have been bred up where few are to be seen; and I
acknowledge that, both in persons and in poems, it is well _on the
whole_ that we should retain our first love, though, alike in both
cases, evils have happened as the consequence.

[Sidenote: THE MADDENING RAIN August 1, 1805]

The excellent fable of the maddening rain I have found in Drayton's
"Moon Calf," most miserably marred in the telling! vastly inferior to
Benedict Fay's Latin exposition of it, and that is no great thing.
_Vide_ his Lucretian Poem on the Newtonian System. Never was a finer
tale for a satire, or, rather, to conclude a long satirical poem of five
or six hundred lines.

[For excellent use of this fable, see _The Friend_, No. 1, June 9, 1809,
_Coleridge's Works_, Harper & Brothers, ii. 21, 22.]


Pasley remarked last night (2nd August 1805), and with great precision
and originality, that men themselves, in the present age, were not so
much degraded as their sentiments. This is most true! almost all men
nowadays act and feel more nobly than they think--yet still the vile,
cowardly, selfish, calculating ethics of Paley, Priestley, Locke, and
other Erastians do woefully influence and determine our course of


O the complexities of the ravel produced by time struggling with
eternity! _a_ and _b_ are different, and eternity or duration makes them
one--this we call modification--the principle of all greatness in finite
beings, the principle of all contradiction and absurdity.

[Sidenote: THE PASSION FOR THE MOT PROPRE August 3, 1805 Saturday]

It is worthy notice (shewn in the phrase "I envy him such and such a
thing," meaning only, "I regret I cannot share with him, have the same
as he, without depriving him of it, or any part of it,") the instinctive
passion in the mind for a _one word_ to express _one act_ of
feeling--[one] that is, in which, however complex in reality, the mind
is _conscious_ of no discursion and synthesis _a posteriori_. On this
instinct rest all the improvements (and, on the habits formed by this
instinct and [the] knowledge of these improvements, Vanity rears all the
Apuleian, Apollonian, etc., etc., corruptions) of style. Even so with
our Johnson.


There are _bulls_ of action equally as of thought, [for] (not to allude
to the story of the Irish labourer who laid his comrade all his wages
that he would not carry him down in his hod from the top to the bottom
of a high house, down the ladder) the feeling of vindictive honour in
duelling, and the feudal revenges anterior to duelling, formed a true
bull; for they were superstitious Christians, knew it was wrong, and yet
knew it was right--they would be damned deservedly if they did, and, if
they did not, they thought themselves deserving of being damned.

[Sidenote: PSEUDO-POETS]

The pseudo-poets Campbell, Rogers, etc., both by their writings and
moral character tend to bring poetry into disgrace, and, but that men in
general are the slaves of the same wretched infirmities, they would [set
their seal on this disgrace,] and it would be well. The true poet could
not smother the sacred fire ("his heart burnt within him and he spake"),
and wisdom would be justified by her children. But the false poet--that
is, the no-poet--finding poetry in contempt among the many, of whose
praise, whatever he may affirm, he is alone ambitious, would be
prevented from scribbling.


The progress of human intellect from earth to heaven is not a Jacob's
ladder, but a geometrical staircase with five or more landing-places.
That on which we stand enables us to see clearly and count all below us,
while that or those above us are so transparent for our eyes that they
appear the canopy of heaven. We do not see them, and believe ourselves
on the highest.

["Among my earliest impressions I still distinctly remember that of my
first entrance into the mansion of a neighbouring baronet, awefully
known to me by the name of the Great House [Escot, near Ottery St. Mary,
Devon].... Beyond all other objects I was most struck with the
magnificent staircase, relieved at well-proportioned intervals by
spacious landing-places.... My readers will find no difficulty in
translating these forms of the outward senses into their intellectual
analogies, so as to understand the purport of _The Friend's_
Landing-Places." _The Friend_, "The Landing-Place," Essay iv.
_Coleridge's Works_, Harper & Brothers, 1853, ii. 137, 138.]


In the _Threnæ_ or funeral songs and elegies of our old poets, I am
often impressed with the idea of their resemblance to hired weepers in
Rome and among the Irish, where he who howled the loudest and most
wildly was the most capital mourner and was at the head of his trade.
So [too] see William Browne's elegy on Prince Henry (_Britt. Past.
Songs_ v.), whom, perhaps, he never spoke to. Yet he is a dear fellow,
and I love him, that W. Browne who died at Ottery, and with whose family
my own is united, or, rather, connected and acquainted.

[Colonel James Coleridge, the poet's eldest surviving brother and Henry
Langford Browne of Combe-Satchfield married sisters, Frances and Dorothy
Taylor, whose mother was one of five co-heiresses of Richard Duke of

It is uncertain whether a William Browne of Ottery St. Mary, who died in
1645, was the author of _The Shepherd's Pipe_ and _Britannia's
Pastorals_. Two beautiful inscriptions on a tomb in St. Stephen's Chapel
in the collegiate church of St. Mary Ottery, were, in Southey's opinion
(doubtless at Coleridge's suggestion), composed by the poet William


God knows! that at times I derive a comfort even from my infirmities, my
sins of omission and commission, in the joy of the deep feeling of the
opposite virtues in the two or three whom I love in my heart of hearts.
Sharp, therefore, is the pain when I find faults in these friends
opposite to my virtues. I find no comfort in the notion of average, for
I wish to love even more than to be beloved, and am so haunted by the
conscience of my many failings that I find an unmixed pleasure in
esteeming and admiring, but, as the recipient of esteem or admiration, I
feel as a man, whose good dispositions are still alive, feels in the
enjoyment of a _darling_ property on a doubtful title. My instincts are
so far dog-like that I love beings superior to myself better than my
equals. But the notion of inferiority is so painful to me that I never,
in common life, feel a man my inferior except by after-reflection. What
seems vanity in me is in great part attributable to this feeling. But of
this hereafter. I will cross-examine myself.


There are actions which left undone mark the greater man; but to have
done them does not imply a bad or mean man. Such, for instance, are
Martial's compliments of Domitian. So may we praise Milton without
condemning Dryden. By-the-bye, we are all too apt to forget that
contemporaries have not the same _wholeness_, and _fixedness_ in their
notions of persons' characters, that we their posterity have. They can
_hope_ and _fear_ and _believe_ and _disbelieve_. We make up an ideal
which, like the fox or lion in the fable, never changes.


I have several times seen the stiletto and the rosary come out of the
same pocket.

A man who marries for love is like a frog who leaps into a well. He has
plenty of water but then he cannot get out.

[Not until national ruin is imminent will Ministers contemplate the
approach of national danger]; as if Judgment were overwhelmed like
Belgic towns in the sea, and showed its towers only at dead low water.

The superiority of the genus to the particular may be illustrated by
music. How infinitely more perfect in passion and its transition than
even poetry, and poetry again than painting! And yet how marvellous is
genius in all its implements!

[Compare _Table Talk_, July 6, 1833. H. N. C. _foot-note_. Bell & Co.,
1884, p. 240.]

Those only who feel no originality, no consciousness of having received
their thoughts and opinions from immediate inspiration are anxious to be
thought original. The certainty, the feeling that he is right, is enough
for the man of genius, and he rejoices to find his opinions plumed and
winged with the authority of several forefathers.

The water-lily in the midst of the lake is equally refreshed by the
rain, as the sponge on the sandy sea-shore.

In the next world the souls of dull good men serve for bodies to the
souls of the Shaksperes and Miltons, and in the course of a few
centuries, when the soul can do without its vehicle, the bodies will by
advantage of good company have refined themselves into souls fit to be
clothed with like bodies.

How much better it would be, in the House of Commons, to have everything
that is, and by the spirit of English freedom must be legal, legal and
open! The reporting, for instance, should be done by shorthandists
appointed by Government. There are, I see, weighty arguments on the
other side, but are they not to be got over?

Co-arctation is not a bad phrase for that narrowing in of breadth on
both sides as in my interpolation of Schiller.

                                       "And soon
    The narrowing line of day-light that ran after
    The closing door was gone."

    _Piccolomini_, ii. sc. 4, _P.W._, p. 257.


In order not to be baffled by the infinite ascent of the heavenly
angels, the devil feigned that all (the [Greek: tagathon], that is,
God himself included) sprang from nothing. And now he has a pretty task
to multiply, without paper or slate, the exact number of all the
animalcules, and the eggs and embryos of each planet, by some other, and
the product by a third and that product by a fourth, and he is not to
stop till he has gone through the planets of half the universe, the
number of which being infinite, it is considered by the devils in
general a great puzzle. A dream in a doze.


A bodily substance, an unborrowed Self--God in God immanent! The Eternal
Word! That goes forth yet remains! Crescent and Full and Wane, yet ever
entire and one, it dawns, and sets, and crowns the height of heaven. At
the same time, the dawning and setting sun, at the same time the
zodiac--while each, in its own hour, boasts and beholds the exclusive
Presence, a peculiar Orb, each the great Traveller's inn, yet still the
unmoving Sun--

    Great genial Agent in all finite souls;
    And by that action puts on finiteness,
    Absolute Infinite, whose dazzling robe
    Flows in rich folds, and plays in shooting hues
    Of infinite finiteness.

[Sidenote: FOR THE "SOOTHER IN ABSENCE." Syracuse, September 26, 1805]

I was standing gazing at the starry heaven, and said, "I will go to bed,
the next star that shoots." Observe this, in counting fixed numbers
previous to doing anything, and deduce from man's own unconscious
acknowledgment man's _dependence_ on something more apparently and
believedly subject to regular and certain laws than his own will and

To Wordsworth in the progression of spirit, once Simonides, or
Empedocles, or both in one--

"Oh! that my spirit, purged by death of its weaknesses, which are, alas!
my identity, might flow into thine, and live and act in thee and be

Death, first of all, eats of the Tree of Life and becomes immortal.
Describe the frightful metamorphosis. He weds the Hamadryad of the Tree
[and begets a twy-form] progeny. This in the manner of Dante.

Sad drooping children of a wretched parent are those yellowing leaflets
of a broken twig, broke ere its June.

We are not inert in the grave. St. Paul's corn in the ground proves this
scripturally, and the growth of infants in their sleep by natural
analogy. What, then, if our spiritual growth be in proportion to the
length and depth of the sleep! With what mysterious grandeur does not
this thought invest the grave, and how poor compared with this an
immediate Paradise!

I awake and find my beloved asleep, gaze upon her by the taper that
feebly illumines the darkness, then fall asleep by her side; and we both
awake together for _good_ and _all_ in the broad daylight of heaven.

Forget not to impress as often and as manifoldly as possible the _totus
in omni parte_ of Truth, and its consequent interdependence on
co-operation and, _vice versâ_, the fragmentary character of action, and
its absolute dependence on society, a majority, etc. The blindness to
this distinction creates fanaticism on one side, alarm and prosecution
on the other. Jacobins or soul-gougers. It is an interesting fact or
fable that the stork (the emblem of filial or conjugal piety) never
abides in a monarchy.

Commend me to the Irish architect who took out the foundation-stone to
repair the roof.

Knox and the other reformers were _Scopæ viarum_--that is, highway

The Pine Tree blasted at the top was applied by Swift to himself as a
prophetic emblem of his own decay. The Chestnut is a fine shady tree,
and its wood excellent, were it not that it dies away at the _heart_
first. Alas! poor me!


Modern poetry is characterised by the poets' _anxiety_ to be always
striking. There is the same march in the Greek and Latin poets.
Claudian, who had powers to have been anything--observe in him this
anxious, craving vanity! Every line, nay, every word, stops, looks full
in your face, and asks and _begs_ for praise! As in a Chinese painting,
there are no distances, no perspective, but all is in the foreground;
and this is nothing but vanity. I am pleased to think that, when a mere
stripling, I had formed the opinion that true taste was virtue, and that
bad writing was bad feeling.


The desire of carrying things to a greater height of pleasure and
admiration than, _omnibus trutinatis_, they are susceptible of, is one
great cause of the corruption of poetry. Both to understand my own
reasoning and to communicate it, ponder on Catullus' hexameters and
pentameters, his "_numine abusum homines_" [Carmen, lxxvi. 4] [and
similar harsh expressions]. It is not whether or no the very same ideas
expressed with the very same force and the very same naturalness and
simplicity in the versification of Ovid and Tibullus, would not be
still more delightful (though even that, for any number of poems, may
well admit a doubt), but whether it is _possible_ so to express them and
whether, in every attempt, the result has not been to substitute manner
for matter, and point that will not bear reflection (so fine that it
breaks the moment you try it) for genuine sense and true feeling, and,
lastly, to confine both the subjects, thoughts, and even words of poetry
within a most beggarly cordon. _N.B._--The same criticism applies to
Metastasio, and, in Pope, to his quaintness, perversion, unnatural
metaphors, and, still more, the cold-blooded use, for artifice or
connection, of language justifiable only by enthusiasm and passion.

[Sidenote: RICHARDSON]

I confess that it has cost, and still costs, my philosophy some exertion
not to be vexed that I must admire, aye, greatly admire, Richardson. His
mind is so very vile a mind, so oozy, hypocritical, praise-mad, canting,
envious, concupiscent! But to understand and draw _him_ would be to
produce a work almost equal to his own; and, in order to do this,
"_down, proud Heart, down_" (as we teach little children to say to
themselves, bless them!), all hatred down! and, instead thereof,
charity, calmness, a heart fixed on the good part, though the
understanding is surveying all. Richardson felt truly the defect of
Fielding, or what was not his excellence, and made that his _defect_--a
trick of uncharitableness often played, though not exclusively, by
contemporaries. Fielding's talent was observation, not meditation. But
Richardson was not philosopher enough to know the difference--say,
rather, to understand and develop it.


O there are some natures which under the most cheerless all-threatening
nothing-promising circumstances can draw hope from the invisible, as the
tropical trees that in the sandy desolation produce their own lidded
vessels full of the waters from air and dew! Alas! to my root not a drop
trickles down but from the watering-pot of immediate friends. And, even
so, it seems much more a sympathy with their feeling rather than hope of
my own. So should I feel sorrow, if Allston's mother, whom I have never
seen, were to die?


Stoddart passes over a poem as one of those tiniest of tiny night-flies
runs over a leaf, casting its shadow, three times as long as itself, yet
only just shading one, or at most two letters at a time.

[Sidenote: DR. PRICE]

A maidservant of Mrs. Clarkson's parents had a great desire to hear Dr.
Price, and accordingly attended his congregation. On her return, being
asked "Well, what do you think?" &c., "Ai--i," replied she, "there was
neither the poor nor the Gospel." Excellent that on the fine
_respectable_ attendants of Unitarian chapels, and the moonshine,
heartless head-work of the sermons.


The mahogany tables, all, but especially the large dining-table,
[marked] with the segments of circles (deep according to the passion of
the dice-box plunger), chiefly half-circles, O the anger and spite with
which many have been thrown! It is truly a written history of the
fiendish passion of gambling. Oct. 12, 1806. Newmarket.

[Sidenote: PINDAR]

The odes of Pindar (with few exceptions, and these chiefly in the
shorter ones) seem by intention to die away by soft gradations into a
languid interest, like most of the landscapes of the great elder
painters. Modern ode-writers have commonly preferred a continued rising
of interest.


The shattering of long and deep-rooted associations always places the
mind in an angry state, and even when our own understandings have
effected the revolution, it still holds good, only we apply the feeling
to and against our former faith and those who still hold it--[a
tendency] shown in modern infidels. Great good, therefore, of such
revolution as alters, not by exclusion, but by an enlargement that
includes the former, though it places it in a new point of view.

[Sidenote: TO ALLSTON]

After the formation of a new acquaintance, found, by some weeks' or
months' unintermitted communion, worthy of all our esteem, affection
and, perhaps, admiration, an intervening absence, whether we meet again
or only write, raises it into friendship, and encourages the modesty of
our nature, impelling us to assume the language and express all the
feelings of an established attachment.


The _thinking_ disease is that in which the feelings, instead of
embodying themselves in _acts_, ascend and become materials of general
reasoning and intellectual pride. The dreadful consequences of this
perversion [may be] instanced in Germany, _e.g._, in Fichte _versus_
Kant, Schelling _versus_ Fichte and in Verbidigno [Wordsworth] _versus_
S. T. C. Ascent where nature meant descent, and thus shortening the
process--viz., _feelings_ made the subjects and tangible substance of
thought, instead of actions, realizations, _things done_, and as such
externalised and remembered. On such meagre diet as feelings, evaporated
embryos in their progress to _birth_, no moral being ever becomes


Empires, states, &c., may be beautifully illustrated by a large clump of
coal placed on a fire--Russia, for instance--or of small coal moistened,
and by the first action of the heat of any government not absolutely
lawless, formed into a cake, as the northern nations under
Charlemagne--then a slight impulse from the fall of accident, or the
hand of patriotic foresight, splits [the one] into many, and makes each
[fragment] burn with its own flame, till at length all burning equally,
it becomes again one by universal similar action--then burns low,
cinerises, and without accession of rude materials goes out.

[Sidenote: A MILD WINTER]

Winter slumbering soft, seemed to smile at visions of buds and blooms,
and dreamt so livelily of spring, that his stern visage had relaxed and
softened itself into a dim likeness of his dream. The soul of the vision
breathed through and lay like light upon his face.

But, heavens! what an outrageous day of winter this is and has been!
Terrible weather for the last two months, but this is horrible! Thunder
and lightning, floods of rain, and volleys of hail, with such frantic
winds. December 1806.

[This note was written when S. T. C. was staying with Wordsworth at the
Hall Farm, Coleorton.]


In the first [entrance to the wood] the spots of moonlight of the
wildest outlines, not unfrequently approaching so near to the shape of
man and the domestic animals most attached to him as to be easily
confused with them by fancy and mistaken by terror, moved and started as
the wind stirred the branches, so that it almost seemed like a flight of
recent spirits, sylphs and sylphids dancing and capering in a world of
shadows. Once, when our path was over-canopied by the meeting boughs, as
I halloed to those a stone-throw behind me, a sudden flash of light
dashed down, as it were, upon the path close before me, with such rapid
and indescribable effect that my life seemed snatched away from me--not
by terror but by the whole attention being suddenly and unexpectedly
seized hold of--if one could conceive a violent blow given by an unseen
hand, yet without pain or local sense of injury, of the weight falling
here or there, it might assist in conceiving the feeling. This I found
was occasioned by some very large bird, who, scared by my noise, had
suddenly flown upward, and by the spring of his feet or body had driven
down the branch on which he was aperch.


[Footnote B: When instead of the general feeling of the lifeblood in its
equable individual motion, and the consequent wholeness of the one
feeling of the skin, we feel as if a heap of ants were running over
us--_the one_ corrupting into _ten thousand_--so in _araneosis_, instead
of the one view of the air, or blue sky, a thousand specks, etc., dance
before the eye. The metaphor is as just as, of a metaphor, anyone has a
right to claim, but it is clumsily expressed.]

[Footnote C: I have the same anxiety for my friend now in England as for
myself, that is to be, or may be, two months hence.]

[Footnote D: "A prison so constructed that the inspector can see each of
the prisoners at all times without being seen by them."]


_September 1806--December 1807_

    Alas! for some abiding-place of love,
    O'er which my spirit, like the mother dove,
    Might brood with warming wings!

                                     S. T. C.


I had a confused shadow rather than an image in my recollection, like
that from a thin cloud, as if the idea were descending, though still in
some measureless height.

As when the taper's white cone of flame is seen double, till the eye
moving brings them into one space and then they become one--so did the
idea in my imagination coadunate with your present form soon after I
first gazed upon you.

    And in life's noisiest hour
    There whispers still the ceaseless love of thee,
    The heart's self-solace and soliloquy.

    You mould my hopes, you fashion me within,
    And to the leading love-throb in my heart
    Through all my being, all my pulses beat.
    You lie in all my many thoughts like light,
    Like the fair light of dawn, or summer light,
    On rippling stream, or cloud-reflecting lake--
    And looking to the Heaven that beams above you,
    How do I bless the lot that made me love you!


In all processes of the understanding the shortest way will be
discovered the last and this, perhaps, while it constitutes the great
advantage of having a teacher to put us on the shortest road at the
first, yet sometimes occasions a difficulty in the comprehension,
inasmuch as the longest way is more near to the existing state of the
mind, nearer to what if left to myself, on starting the thought, I
should have thought next. The shortest way gives me the _knowledge_
best, but the longest makes me more _knowing_.


When a party man talks as if he hated his country, saddens at her
prosperous events, exults in her disasters and yet, all the while, is
merely hating the opposite party, and would himself feel and talk as a
patriot were he in a foreign land [_he_ is a party man]. The true
monster is he (and such alas! there are in these monstrous days,
"vollendeter Sündhaftigkeit"), who abuses his country when out of his


Oh the profanation of the sacred word _the People_! Every brutal
Burdett-led mob, assembled on some drunken St. Monday of faction, is the
People forsooth, and each leprous ragamuffin, like a circle in geometry,
is, at once, one and all, and calls its own brutal self, "_us_ the
People." And who are the friends of the People? Not those who would wish
to elevate each of them, or, at least, the child who is to take his
place in the flux of life and death, into something worthy of esteem and
capable of freedom, but those who flatter and infuriate them, as they
_are_. A contradiction in the very thought! For if, really, they are
good and wise, virtuous and well-informed, how weak must be the motives
of discontent to a truly moral being--but if the contrary, and the
motives for discontent proportionably strong, how without guilt and
absurdity appeal to them as judges and arbiters? He alone is entitled to
a share in the government of all, who has learnt to govern himself.
There is but one possible ground of a right of freedom--viz., to
understand and revere its duties.

[_Vide Life of S. T. C._, by James Gillman, 1838, p. 223.]

[Sidenote: FOR THE "SOOTHER IN ABSENCE." May 28, 1807 Bristol]

How villainously these metallic pencils have degenerated, not only in
the length and quantity, but what is far worse, in the _quality_ of the
metal! This one appears to have no superiority over the worst sort sold
by the Maltese shopkeepers.

Blue sky through the glimmering interspaces of the dark elms at twilight
rendered a lovely deep yellow-green--all the rest a delicate blue.

The hay-field in the close hard by the farm-house--babe, and totterer
little more [than a babe]--old cat with her eyes blinking in the sun and
little kittens leaping and frisking over the hay-lines.

What an admirable subject for an Allston would Tycho Brahe be, listening
with religious awe to the oracular gabble of the idiot, whom he kept at
his feet, and used to feed with his own hands!

The sun-flower ought to be cultivated, the leaves being excellent
fodder, the flowers eminently melliferous, and the seeds a capital food
for poultry, none nourishing quicker or occasioning them to lay more

Serpentium allapsus timet. Quære--_allapse_ of serpents. _Horace_.--What
other word have we? Pity that we dare not Saxonise as boldly as our
forefathers, by unfortunate preference, Latinised. Then we should have
on-glide, _angleiten_; onlook _anschauen_, etc.

I moisten the bread of affliction with the water of adversity.

If kings are gods on earth, they are, however, gods of earth.

Parisatis poisoned one side of the knife with which he carved, and eat
of the same joint the next slice unhurt--a happy illustration of
affected self-inclusion in accusation.

It is possible to conceive a planet without any general atmosphere, but
in which each living body has its peculiar atmosphere. To hear and
understand, one man joins his atmosphere to that of another, and,
according to the sympathies of their nature, the aberrations of sound
will be greater or less, and their thoughts more or less intelligible. A
pretty allegory might be made of this.

Two faces, each of a confused countenance. In the eyes of the one,
muddiness and lustre were blended; and the eyes of the other were the
same, but in them there was a red fever that made them appear more
fierce. And yet, methought, the former struck a greater trouble, a fear
and distress of the mind; and sometimes all the face looked meek and
mild, but the eye was ever the same.

[Qu. S. T. C. and De Quincey?]

Shadow--its being subsists in shaped and definite nonentity.

Plain sense, measure, clearness, dignity, grace over all--these made the
genius of Greece.

Heu! quam miserum ab illo lædi, de quo non possis queri! Eheu! quam
miserrimum est ab illo lædi, de quo propter amorem non possis queri!

Observation from Bacon after reading Mr. Sheridan's speech on Ireland:
"Things will have their first or second agitation; if they be not tossed
on the arguments of council, they will be tossed on the waves of

The death of an immortal has been beautifully compared to an Indian fig,
which at its full height declines its branches to the earth, and there
takes root again.

The blast rises and falls, and trembles at its height.

A passionate woman may be likened to a wet candle spitting flame.


It is a duty, nay, it is a religion to that power to shew that, though
it makes all things--wealth, pleasure, ambition--worthless, yea, noisome
for themselves; yet for _it_self can it produce all efforts, even if
only to secure its name from scoffs as the child and parent of
slothfulness. Works, therefore, of general profit--works of abstruse
thought [will be born of love]; activity, and, above all, virtue and
chastity [will come forth from his presence].

The moulting peacock, with only two of his long tail-feathers remaining,
and those sadly in tatters, yet, proudly as ever, spreads out his ruined
fan in the sun and breeze.

Yesterday I saw seven or eight water-wagtails following a feeding horse
in the pasture, fluttering about and hopping close by his hoofs, under
his belly, and even so as often to tickle his nostrils with their pert
tails. The horse shortens the grass and they get the insects.

Sic accipite, sic credite, ut mereamini intelligere: fides enim debet
præcedere intellectum, ut sit intellectus fidei præmium.

_S. August. Sermones De Verb. Dom._

Yet should a friend think foully of that wherein the pride of thy
spirit's purity is in shrine.

          O the agony! the agony!
    Nor Time nor varying Fate,
    Nor tender Memory, old or late,
    Nor all his Virtues, great though they be,
    Nor all his Genius can free
    His friend's soul from the agony!

[So receive, so believe [divine ideas] that ye may earn the right to
understand them. For faith should go before understanding, in order that
understanding may be the reward of faith.]

[Greek: Hote enthousiasmos epineusin tina theian hechein dokei kai tô
mantikô genei plêsiazein.] _Strabo Geographicus._

Though Genius, like the fire on the altar, can only be kindled from
heaven, yet it will perish unless supplied with appropriate fuel to feed
it; or if it meet not with the virtues whose society alone can reconcile
it to earth, it will return whence it came, or, at least, lie hid as
beneath embers, till some sudden and awakening gust of regenerating
Grace, [Greek: anazôpyrei], rekindles and reveals it anew.

[Now the inspiration of genius seems to bear the stamp of Divine assent,
and to attain to something of prophetic strain.]


I trust you are very happy in your domestic being--very; because, alas!
I know that to a man of sensibility and more emphatically if he be a
literary man, there is _no_ medium between that and "the secret pang
that eats away the heart." ... Hence, even in dreams of sleep, the soul
never _is_, because it either cannot or dare not be any _one_ thing, but
lives in _approaches_ touched by the outgoing pre-existent ghosts of
many feelings. It feels for ever as a blind man with his protruded staff
dimly through the medium of the instrument by which it pushes off, and
in the act of repulsion--(O for the eloquence of Shakspere, who alone
could feel and yet know how to embody those conceptions with as curious
a felicity as the thoughts are subtle!)--as if the finger which I saw
with eyes, had, as it were, another finger, invisible, touching me with
a ghostly touch, even while I feared the real touch from it. What if, in
certain cases, touch acted by itself, co-present with vision, yet not
coalescing? Then I should see the finger as at a distance, and yet feel
a finger touching which was nothing but it, and yet was not it. The two
senses cannot co-exist without a sense of causation. The _touch_ must be
the effect of that finger [which] I see, and yet it is not yet near to
me, and therefore it is not it, and yet it is it. Why it is is in an
imaginary pre-duplication!

_N.B._--There is a passage in the second part of Wallenstein expressing,
not explaining, the same feeling. "The spirits of great events stride on
before the events"--it is in one of the last two or three scenes:--

                                  "As the sun,
    Ere it is risen, sometimes paints its image
    In the atmosphere, so often do the spirits
    Of great events, stride on before the events."

    [WALLENSTEIN, Part II., act v. sc. 1. _P. W._,
    1893, p. 351.]


It is worth noting and endeavouring to detect the Law of the Mind, by
which, in writing earnestly while we are thinking, we omit words
necessary to the sense. It will be found, I guess, that we seldom omit
the material word, but generally the word by which the mind expresses
its modification of the _verbum materiale_. Thus, in the preceding page,
7th line, _medium_ is the _materiale_: that was its own brute, inert
sense--but the _no_ is the mind's action, its _use_ of the word.

I think this a hint of some value. Thus, _the_ is a word in constant
combination with the passive or material words; but _to_ is an act of
the mind, and I had written _the_ detect instead of _to_ detect. Again,
when my sense demanded "the" to express a distinct modification of some
_verbum materiale_, I remember to have often omitted it in writing. The
principle is evident--the mind borrows the _materia_ from without, and
is passive with regard to it as the mere subject "stoff"--a simple event
of memory takes place; but having the other in itself, the inward Having
with its sense of security passes for the outward Having--or is all
memory an anxious act, and thereby suspended by vivid security? or are
both reasons the same? or if not, are they consistent, and capable of
being co-or sub-ordinated? It will be lucky if some day, after having
written on for two or three sheets rapidly and as a first copy, without
correcting, I should by chance glance on this note, not having thought
at all about it during or before the time of writing; and then to
examine every word omitted.


To spend half-an-hour in Cuthill's shop, examining Stephen's
_Thesaurus_, in order to form an accurate idea of its utilities above
Scapula, and to examine the _Budæo-Tusan-Constantine_, whether it be the
same or as good as Constantine, and the comparative merits of
Constantine with Scapula.

3. To examine Bosc relatively to Brunck, and to see after the new German

4. Before I quit town, to buy Appendix (either No. 1430 or 1431), 8_s._
or 18_s._ What a difference! ten shillings, because the latter, the
Parma Anacreon, is on large paper, green morocco; the former is neat in
red morocco, but the type the same.

5. To have a long morning's ramble with De Quincey, first to Egerton's,
and then to the book haunts.

6. To see if I can find that Arrian with Epictetus which I admired so
much at Mr. Leckie's.

7. To find out D'Orville's _Daphnis_, and the price. Is there no other
edition? no cheap German?

8. To write out the passage from Strada's _Prolusions_ at Cuthill's.

9. Aristotle's Works, and to hunt for Proclus.

10. In case of my speedy death, it would answer to buy a £100 worth of
carefully-chosen books, in order to attract attention to my library and
to give accession to the value of books by their co-existing with
co-appurtenants--as, for instance, Plato, Aristotle; Plotinus, Porphyry,
Proclus: Schoolmen, Interscholastic; Bacon, Hobbes; Locke, Berkeley;
Leibnitz, Spinoza; Kant and the critical Fichte, and Wissenschaftslehre,
Schelling, &c.

[The first edition of Robert Constantin's _Lexicon Græco-Lat._ was
published at Geneva in 1564. A second ed. _post correctiones_ G. Budæi
et J. Tusani, at Basle, in 1584.]

[Sidenote: [Greek: panta rhei]]

Our mortal existence, what is it but a stoppage in the blood of life, a
brief eddy from wind or concourse of currents in the ever-flowing ocean
of pure Activity, who beholds pyramids, yea, Alps and Andes, giant
pyramids, the work of fire that raiseth monuments, like a generous
victor o'er its own conquest, the tombstones of a world destroyed! Yet
these, too, float adown the sea of Time, and melt away as mountains of
floating ice.


Has every finite being (or only some) the temptation to become intensely
and wholly conscious of its distinctness and, as a result, to be
betrayed into the wretchedness of _division_? Grosser natures, wholly
swallowed up in selfishness which does not rise to self-love, never even
acquire that sense of distinctness, while, to others, love is the first
step to re-union. It is a by-word that religious enthusiasm borders on
and tends to sensuality--possibly because all our powers work together,
and as a consequence of striding too vastly up the ladder of existence,
a great _round_ of the ladder is omitted, namely, love to some, _Eine
verschiedene_, of our own kind. Then let Religion love, else will it not
only partake of, instead of being partaken by, and so co-adunated with,
the summit of love, but will necessarily include the nadir of love,
that is, appetite. Hence will it tend to dissensualise its nature into
fantastic passions, the idolatry of Paphian priestesses.


Time, space, duration, action, active passion passive, activeness,
passiveness, reaction, causation, affinity--here assemble all the
mysteries known. All is known-unknown, say, rather, _merely_ known. All
is unintelligible, and yet Locke and the stupid adorers of that _fetish_
earth-clod take all for granted. By the bye, in poetry as well as
metaphysics, that which we first meet with in the dawn of our mind
becomes ever after _fetish_, to the many at least. Blessed he who first
sees the morning star, if not the sun, or purpling clouds his
harbingers. Thence is _fame_ desirable to a great man, and thence
subversion of vulgar fetishes becomes a duty.

Rest, motion! O ye strange locks of intricate simplicity, who shall find
the key? He shall throw wide open the portals of the palace of sensuous
or symbolical truth, and the Holy of Holies will be found in the adyta.
Rest = enjoyment and death. Motion = enjoyment and life. O the depth of the
proverb, "Extremes meet"!


The "break of the morning"--and from inaction a nation starts up into
motion and wide fellow-consciousness! The trumpet of the Archangel--and
a world with all its troops and companies of generations starts up into
a hundredfold expansion, power multiplied into itself cubically by the
number of all its possible acts--all the potential springing into power.
Conceive a bliss from self-conscience, combining with bliss from
increase of action; the first dreaming, the latter dead-asleep in a
grain of gunpowder--conceive a huge magazine of gunpowder and a flash of
lightning awakes the whole at once. What an image of the resurrection,
grand from its very inadequacy. Yet again, conceive the living, moving
ocean--its bed sinks away from under and the whole world of waters falls
in at once on a thousand times vaster mass of intensest fire, and the
whole prior orbit of the planet's successive revolutions is possessed by
it at once (_Potentia fit actus_) amid the thunder of rapture.

[Sidenote: SINE QUÂ NON]

Form is factitious being, and thinking is the process; imagination the
laboratory in which the thought elaborates essence into existence. A
philosopher, that is, a nominal philosopher without imagination, is a
_coiner_. Vanity, the _froth_ of the molten mass, is his _stuff_, and
verbiage the stamp and impression. This is but a deaf metaphor--better
say that he is guilty of forgery. He presents the same sort of _paper_
as the honest barterer, but when you carry it to the bank it is found to
be drawn to _Outis_, _Esq._ His words had deposited no forms there,
payable at sight--or even at any imaginable _time_ from the date of the


The sky, or rather say, the æther at Malta, with the sun apparently
suspended in it, the eye seeming to pierce beyond and, as it were,
behind it--and, below, the æthereal sea, so blue, so _ein zerflossenes_,
the substantial image, and fixed real reflection of the sky! O! I could
annihilate in a deep moment all possibility of the needle-point,
pin's-head system of the _atomists_ by one submissive gaze!

[Sidenote: A GEM OF MORNING]

A dewdrop, the pearl of Aurora, is indeed a true _unio_. I would that
_unio_ were the word for the dewdrop, and the pearl be called _unio

_VER_, _ZER_, AND _AL_

O for the power to persuade all the writers of Great Britain to adopt
the _ver_, _zer_, and _al_ of the German! Why not verboil, zerboil;
verrend, zerrend? I should like the very words _verflossen_,
_zerflossen_, to be naturalised:

    And as I looked now feels my soul creative throes,
    And now all joy, all sense _zerflows_.

I do not know, whether I am in earnest or in sport while I recommend
this _ver_ and _zer_; that is, I cannot be sure whether I feel, myself,
anything ridiculous in the idea, or whether the feeling that seems to
imply this be not the effect of my anticipation of and sympathy with the
ridicule of, perhaps, all my readers.


To you there are many like me, yet to me there is none like you, and you
are always like yourself. There are groves of night-flowers, yet the
night-flower sees only the moon.



                     Yea, oft alone,
    Piercing the long-neglected holy cave
    The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
    He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
    Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame
    Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage.

                                         S. T. C.


If one thought leads to another, so often does it blot out another. This
I find when having lain musing on my sofa, a number of interesting
thoughts having suggested themselves, I conquer my bodily indolence, and
rise to record them in these books, alas! my only confidants. The first
thought leads me on indeed to new ones; but nothing but the faint memory
of having had these remains of the other, which had been even more
interesting to me. I do not know whether this be an idiosyncrasy, a
peculiar disease, of _my_ particular memory--but so it is with _me_--my
thoughts crowd each other to death.


Quære--whether we may not, _nay_ ought not, to use a neutral pronoun
relative, or representative, to the word "Person," where it hath been
used in the sense of _homo_, _mensch_, or noun of the common gender, in
order to avoid particularising man or woman, or in order to express
either sex indifferently? If this be incorrect in syntax, the whole use
of the word Person is lost in a number of instances, or only retained by
some stiff and strange position of words, as--"not letting the _person_
be aware, _wherein offence has been given_"--instead of--"wherein he or
she has offended." In my [judgment] both the specific intention and
general _etymon_ of "Person" in such sentences, fully authorise the use
of _it_ and _which_ instead of he, she, him, her, who, whom.


If love be the genial sun of human nature, unkindly has he divided his
rays [in acting] on me and my beloved! On her hath he poured all his
light and splendour, and my being doth he permeate with his invisible
rays of heat alone. She shines and is cold like the tropic fire-fly--I,
dark and uncomely, would better resemble the cricket in hot ashes. My
soul, at least, might be considered as a cricket eradiating the heat
which gradually cinerising the heart produces the embers and ashes from
among which it chirps out of its hiding-place.

N.B.--This put in simple and elegant verse, [would pass] as an imitation
of Marini, and of too large a part of the madrigals of Guarini himself.

[Sidenote: TRUTH]

Truth _per se_ is like unto quicksilver, bright, agile, harmless.
Swallow a pound and it will run through unaltered and only, perhaps, by
its weight force down impurities from out the system. But mix and
comminute it by the mineral acid of spite and bigotry, and even truth
becomes a deadly poison--medicinal only when some other, yet deadlier,
lurks in the bones.


O! many, many are the seeings, hearings, of pure love that have a being
of their own, and to call them by the names of things unsouled and
debased below even their own lowest nature by associations accidental,
and of vicious accidents, is _blasphemy_. What seest thou yonder? The
lovely countenance of a lovely maiden, fervid yet awe-suffering with
devotion--her face resigned to bliss or bale; or a _bit_ of _flesh_; or,
rather, that which cannot be seen unless by him whose very seeing is
more than an act of mere sight--that which refuses all words, because
words being, perforce, generalities do not awake, but really involve
associations of other words as well as other thoughts--but that which I
see, must be felt, be possessed, in and by its sole self! What! shall
the _statuary_ Pygmalion of necessity feel this for every part of the
insensate marble, and shall the lover Pygmalion in contemplating the
living statue, the heart-adored maiden, breathing forth in every look,
every movement, the genial life imbreathed of God, grovel in the mire
and grunt the language of the swinish slaves of the Circe, of vulgar
generality and still more vulgar association? The Polyclete that created
the Aphrodite [Greek: kallipygos], thought in acts, not words--energy
divinely languageless--[Greek: dia ton Logon, ou syn epesi], through
_the_ Word, not with _words_. And what though it met with Imp-fathers
and Imp-mothers and Fiendsips at its christening in its parents'


One of the causes of superstition, and also of enthusiasm, and, indeed,
of all errors in matters of fact, is the great power with which the
effect acts upon and modifies the remembrance of its cause, at times
even transforming it in the mind. Let _A_ have said a few words to _B_,
which (by some change and accommodation of them to the event in the mind
of _B_) have been remarkably fulfilled; and let _B_ remind _A_ of these
words which he (_A_) had spoken, _A_ will instantly forget all his mood,
motive, and meaning, at the time of speaking them, nay, remember words
he had never spoken, and throw back upon them, from the immediate event,
an imagined fulfillment, a prophetic grandeur--himself, in his own
faith, a seer of no small inspiration. We yet want the growth of a
prophet and self-deceived wonder-worker _step by step_, through all the
stages; and, yet, what ample materials exist for a true and nobly-minded
psychologist! For, in order to make fit use of these materials, he must
love and honour as well as understand human nature--rather, he must love
in order to understand it.

[Sidenote: THE CAPTIVE BIRD May 16th, 1808]

O that sweet bird! where is it? It is encaged somewhere out of sight;
but from my bedroom at the _Courier_ office, from the windows of which I
look out on the walls of the Lyceum, I hear it at early dawn, often,
alas! lulling me to late sleep--again when I awake and all day long. It
is in prison, all its instincts ungratified, yet it feels the influence
of spring, and calls with unceasing melody to the Loves that dwell in
field and greenwood bowers, unconscious, perhaps, that it calls in vain.
O are they the songs of a happy, enduring day-dream? Has the bird hope?
or does it abandon itself to the joy of its frame, a living harp of
Eolus? O that I could do so!

Assuredly a thrush or blackbird encaged in London is a far less shocking
spectacle, its encagement a more venial defect of just feeling, than
(which yet one so often sees) a bird in a gay cage in the heart of the
country--yea, as if at once to mock both the poor prisoner and its kind
mother, Nature--in a cage hung up in a tree, where the free birds after
a while, when the gaudy dungeon is no longer a scare, crowd to it, perch
on the wires, drink the water, and peck up the seeds. But of all birds I
most detest to see the nightingale encaged, and the swallow, and the
cuckoo. Motiveless! monstrous! But the robin! O woes' woe! woe!--he,
sweet cock-my-head-and-eye, pert-bashful darling, that makes our kitchen
its chosen cage.


If we take into consideration the effect of the climates of the North,
_Gothic_, in contra-distinction to Greek and Græco-Roman architecture,
is rightly so named. Take, for instance, a rainy, windy day, or sleet,
or a fall of snow, or an icicle-hanging frost, and then compare the
total effect of the South European roundnesses and smooth perpendicular
surface with the ever-varying angles and meeting-lines of the
North-European or Gothic styles.

[The above is probably a dropped sentence from the report of the First
or Second Lecture of the 1818 series. See _Coleridge's Works_ (Harper
and Brothers, 1853), iv. 232-239.]


The demagogues address the lower orders as if they were negroes--as if
each individual were an inseparable part of the order, always to remain,
_nolens volens_, poor and ignorant. How different from Christianity,
which for ever calls on us to detach ourselves spiritually not merely
from our rank, but even from our body, and from the whole world of


The one mighty main defect of female education is that everything is
taught but reason and the means of retaining affection. This--this--O!
it is worth all the rest told ten thousand times:--how to greet a
husband, how to receive him, how never to recriminate--in short, the
power of pleasurable thoughts and feelings, and the mischief of giving
pain, or (as often happens when a husband comes home from a party of old
friends, joyous and full of heart) the love-killing effect of cold, dry,
uninterested looks and manners.

[Sidenote: THE HALFWAY HOUSE Wednesday night, May 18th, 1808]

Let me record the following important remark of Stuart, with whom I
never converse but to receive some distinct and rememberable improvement
(and if it be not remembered, it is the defect of my memory--which,
alas! grows weaker daily--or a fault from my indolence in not noting it
down, as I do this)--that there is a period in a man's life, varying in
various men, from thirty-five to forty-five, and operating most strongly
in bachelors, widowers, or those worst and miserablest widowers, unhappy
husbands, in which a man finds himself at the _top of the hill_, and
having attained, perhaps, what he wishes, begins to ask himself, What is
all this for?--begins to feel the vanity of his pursuits, becomes
half-melancholy, gives in to wild dissipation or self-regardless
drinking; and some, not content with these (not _slow_) poisons, destroy
themselves, and leave their ingenious female or female-minded friends to
fish out some _motive_ for an act which proceeded from a _motive-making_
impulse, which would have acted even without a motive (even as the
terror[E] in nightmare is a bodily sensation, and though it most often
calls up consonant images, yet, as I know by experience, can take
effect equally without any); or, if not so, yet like gunpowder in a
smithy, though it will not go off without a spark, is _sure_ to receive
one, if not this hour, yet the next. I had _felt_ this truth, but never
saw it before clearly: it came upon me at Malta under the melancholy,
dreadful feeling of finding myself to be _man_, by a distinct division
from boyhood, youth, and "young man." Dreadful was the feeling--till
then life had flown so that I had always been a boy, as it were; and
this sensation had blended in all my conduct, my willing acknowledgment
of superiority, and, in truth, my meeting every person as a superior at
the first moment. Yet if men survive this period, they commonly become
cheerful again. That is a comfort for mankind, _not for me_!

[Sidenote: HIS OWN GENIUS]

My inner mind does not justify the thought that I possess a genius, my
_strength_ is so very small in proportion to my power. I believe that I
first, from internal feeling, made or gave light and impulse to this
important distinction between strength and power, the oak and the tropic
annual, or biennial, which grows nearly as high and spreads as large as
the oak, but in which the _wood_, the _heart_ is wanting--the vital
works vehemently, but the immortal is not with it. And yet, I think, I
must have some analogue of genius; because, among other things, when I
am in company with Mr. Sharp, Sir J. Mackintosh, R. and Sydney Smith,
Mr. Scarlett, &c. &c., I feel like a child, nay, rather like an
inhabitant of another planet. Their very faces all act upon me,
sometimes, as if they were ghosts, but more often as if I were a ghost
among them--at all times as if we were not consubstantial.


"The class that ought to be kept separate from all others"--and this
said by one of themselves! O what a confession that it is no longer
separated! Who would have said this even fifty years ago? It is the
howling of ice during a thaw. When there is any just reason for saying
this, it ought not to be said, it is already too late. And though it may
receive the assent of the people of "the squares and places," yet what
does that do, if it be the ridicule of all other classes?


The general experience, or rather supposed experience, prevails over the
particular knowledge. So many causes oppose man to man, that he _begins_
by thinking of other men worse than they deserve, and receives his
punishment by at last thinking worse of himself than the truth is.


Expressions of honest self-esteem, in which _self_ was only a diagram of
the _genus_, will excite sympathy at the minute, and yet, even among
persons who love and esteem you, be remembered and quoted as ludicrous
instances of strange self-involution.

[Sidenote: DEFECT OF SELF-ESTEEM. May 23, 1808]

Those who think lowliest of themselves, perhaps with a _feeling_
stronger than rational comparison would justify, are apt to feel and
express undue asperity for the faults and defects of those whom they
habitually have looked up to as to their superiors. For placing
themselves very low, perhaps too low, wherever a series of experiences,
struggled against for a while, have at length convinced the mind that in
such and such a moral habit the long-idolised superior is far below even
itself, the grief and anger will be in proportion. "If even _I_ could
never have done this, O anguish, that _he_, so much my superior, should
do it! If even _I_ with all my infirmities have not this defect, this
selfishness, that _he_ should have it!" This is the course of thought.
Men are bad enough; and yet they often think themselves worse than they
are, among other causes by a reaction from their own uncharitable
thoughts. The poisoned chalice is brought back to our own lips.


He was grown, and solid from his infancy, like that most _useful_ of
domesticated animals, that never runs but with some prudent motive to
the mast or the wash-tub and, at no time a slave to the present moment,
never even grunts over the acorns before him without a scheming squint
and the segment, at least, of its wise little eye cast toward those on
one side, which his neighbour is or may be about to enjoy.


Quære, whether the high and mighty Edinburghers, &c., have not been
elevated into guardians and overseers of taste and poetry for much the
same reason as St. Cecilia was chosen as the guardian goddess of music,
because, forsooth, so far from being able to compose or play herself,
she could never endure any other instrument than the jew's-harp or
Scotch bag-pipe? No! too eager recensent! you are mistaken, there is no
anachronism in this. We are informed by various antique bas-reliefs that
the bag-pipe was well known to the Romans, and probably, therefore, that
the Picts and Scots were even then fond of seeking their fortune in
other countries.

[Sidenote: LOVE AND MUSIC]

"Love is the spirit of life and music the life of the spirit."

Q. What is music? A. Poetry in its grand sense! Passion and order at
once! Imperative power in obedience!

Q. What is the first and divinest strain of music? A.--In the
intellect--"Be able to will that thy maxims (rules of individual
conduct) should be the law of all intelligent being!"

In the heart, or practical reason, "Do unto others as thou wouldst be
done by." This in the widest extent involves the test, "Love thy
neighbour as thyself, and God above all things." For, conceive thy being
to be all-including, that is, God--thou knowest that _thou_ wouldest
command thyself to be beloved above all things.

[For the motto at the head of this note see the lines "Ad Vilmum
Axiologum." _P. W._, 1893, p. 138.]


From what reasons do I believe in _continuous_ and ever-continuable
consciousness? From conscience! Not for myself, but for my conscience,
that is, my affections and duties towards others, I should have no
self--for self is definition, but all boundary implies neighbourhood and
is knowable only by neighbourhood or relations. Does the understanding
say nothing in favour of immortality? It says nothing for or against;
but its silence gives consent, and is better than a thousand arguments
such as mere understanding could afford. But miracles! "Do you speak of
them as proofs or as natural consequences of revelation, whose presence
is proof only by precluding the disproof that would arise from their
absence?" "Nay, I speak of them as of positive fundamental proofs."
Then I dare answer you "Miracles in that sense are blasphemies in
morality, contradictions in reason. God the Truth, the actuality of
logic, the very _logos_--He deceive his creatures and demonstrate the
properties of a triangle by the confusion of all properties! If a
miracle merely means an event before inexperienced, it proves only
itself, and the inexperience of mankind. Whatever other definition be
given of it, or rather attempted (for no other not involving direct
contradiction can be given), it is blasphemy. It calls darkness light,
and makes Ignorance the mother of Malignity, the appointed nurse of
religion--which is knowledge as opposed to mere calculating and
conjectural understanding. Seven years ago, but oh! in what happier
times--I wrote thus--

    O ye hopes! that stir within me!
      Health comes with you from above!
    God is _with_ me! God is _in_ me!
      I _cannot_ die: for life is love!

And now, that I am alone and utterly hopeless for myself, yet still I
love--and more strongly than ever feel that conscience or the duty of
love is the proof of continuing, as it is the cause and condition of
existing consciousness. How beautiful the harmony! Whence could the
proof come, so appropriately, so conformly with all nature, in which the
cause and condition of each thing is its revealing and infallible

And for what reason, say, rather, for what cause, do you believe
immortality? Because I _ought_, therefore I _must_!

[The lines "On revisiting the sea-shore," of which the last stanza is
quoted, were written in August, 1801. [_P.W._, 1893, p. 159.] If the
note was written exactly seven years after the date of that poem, it
must belong to the summer of 1808, when Coleridge was living over the
_Courier_ office in the Strand.]


Truly, I hope not irreverently, may we apply to the French nation the
Scripture text, "From him that hath nothing shall be taken that which he
hath"--that is, their pretences to being free, which are the same as
nothing. They, the illuminators, the discoverers and sole possessors of
the true philosopher's stone! Alas! it proved both for them and Europe
the _Lapis Infernalis_.

[Sidenote: VAIN GLORY]

Lord of light and fire? What is the universal of man in all, but
especially in savage states? Fantastic ornament and, in general, the
most frightful deformities--slits in the ears and nose, for instance.
What is the solution? Man will not be a mere thing of nature: he will
be and shew himself a power of himself. Hence these violent disruptions
of himself from all other creatures! What they are made, that they
remain--they are Nature's, and wholly Nature's.


Try to contemplate mankind as children. These we love tenderly, because
they are beautiful and happy; we know that a sweet-meat or a top will
transfer their little love for a moment, and that we shall be repelled
with a grimace. Yet we are not offended.


I am persuaded that the chymical technology, as far as it was borrowed
from life and intelligence, half-metaphorically, half-mystically, may be
brought back again (as when a man borrows of another a sum which the
latter had previously borrowed of him, because he is too polite to
remind him of a debt) to the use of psychology in many instances, and,
above all, [may be re-adapted to] the philosophy of language, which
ought to be experimentative and analytic of the elements of
meaning--their double, triple, and quadruple combinations, of simple
aggregation or of composition by balance of opposition.

Thus innocence is distinguished from virtue, and _vice versâ_. In both
of them there is a positive, but in each opposite. A decomposition must
take place in the first instance, and then a new composition, in order
for innocence to become virtue. It loses a positive, and then the base
attracts another different positive, by the higher affinity of the same
base under a different temperature for the latter.

I stated the legal use of the innocent as opposed to mere _not guilty_
(he was not only acquitted, but was proved innocent), only to shew the
existence of a _positive_ in the former--by no means as confounding this
use of the word with the moral pleasurable feeling connected with it
when used of little children, maidens, and those who in mature age
preserve this sweet fragrance of vernal life, this mother's gift and
so-seldom-kept keepsake to her child, as she sends him forth into the
world. The distinction is obvious. Law agnizes actions alone, and
character only as presumptive or illustrative of particular action as to
its guilt or non-guilt, or to the commission or non-commission. But our
moral feelings are never pleasurably excited except as they refer to a
state of being--and the most glorious actions do not delight us as
separate acts, or, rather, facts, but as representatives of the being of
the agent--mental stenographs which bring an indeterminate extension
within the field of easy and simultaneous vision, diffused being
rendered visible by condensation. Only for the hero's sake do we exult
in the heroic act, or, rather, the act abstracted from the hero would no
longer appear to us heroic. Not, therefore, solely from the advantage of
poets and historians do the deeds of ancient Greece and Rome strike us
into admiration, while we relate the very same deeds of barbarians as
matters of curiosity, but because in the former we refer the deed to the
individual exaltation of the agent, in the latter only to the physical
result of a given state of society. Compare the [heroism of that] Swiss
patriot, with his bundle of spears turned towards his breast, in order
to break the Austrian pikemen, and that of the Mameluke, related to me
by Sir Alexander Ball, who, when his horse refused to plunge in on the
French line, turned round and _backed_ it on them, with a certainty of
death, in order to effect the same purpose. In the former, the state of
mind arose from reason, morals, liberty, the sense of the duty owing to
the independence of his country, and its continuing in a state
compatible with the highest perfection and development; while the latter
was predicative only of mere animal habit, ferocity, and unreasoned
antipathy to strangers of a different dress and religion.

[Sidenote: BOOKS IN THE AIR]

If, contrary to my expectations--alas! almost, I fear, to my wishes--I
should live, it is my intention to make a catalogue of the Greek and
Latin Classics, and of those who, like the author of the _Argenis_
[William Barclay, 1546-1605], and Euphormio, Fracastorius, Flaminius,
etc., deserve that name though moderns--and every year to apply all my
book-money to the gradual completion of the collection, and buy no other
books except German, if the continent should be opened again, except
Massinger, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Jonson. The two last I have, I
believe, but imperfect--indeed, B. and F. worthless, the best plays
omitted. It would be a pleasing employment, had I health, to translate
the Hymns of Homer, with a disquisitional attempt to settle the question
concerning the _personality_ of Homer. Such a thing in two volumes,
_well done_, by philosophical notes on the mythology of the Greeks,
distinguishing the sacerdotal from the poetical, and both from the
philosophical or allegorical, fairly grown into two octavos, might go a
good way, if not all the way, to the Bipontine Latin and Greek Classics.


I almost fear that the alteration would excite surprise and uneasy
contempt in Verbidigno's mind (towards one less loved, at least); but
had I written the sweet tale of the "Blind Highland Boy," I would have
substituted for the washing-tub, and the awkward stanza in which it is
specified, the images suggested in the following lines from Dampier's
Travels, vol. i. pp. 105-6:--"I heard of a monstrous green turtle once
taken at the Port Royal, in the Bay of Campeachy, that was four feet
deep from the back to the belly, and the belly six feet broad. Captain
Rock's son, of about nine or ten years of age, went in it as in a boat,
on board his father's ship, about a quarter of a mile from the shore."
And a few lines before--"The green turtle are so called because their
shell is greener than any other. It is very thin and clear, and better
clouded than the Hawksbill, but 'tis used only for _inlays_, being
_extraordinary_ thin." Why might not some mariners have left this shell
on the shore of Loch Leven for a while, about to have transported it
inland for a curiosity, and the blind boy have found it? Would not the
incident be in equal keeping with that of the child, as well as the
image and tone of romantic uncommonness?

["In deference to the opinion of a friend," this substitution took
place. A promise made to Sara Coleridge to re-instate the washing-tub
was, alas! never fulfilled. See _Poetical Works_ of W. Wordsworth, 1859,
pp. 197, and 200 _footnote_.]


Tremendous as a Mexican god is a strong sense of duty--separate from an
enlarged and discriminating mind, and gigantic ally disproportionate to
the size of the understanding; and, if combined with obstinacy of
self-opinion and indocility, it is the parent of tyranny, a promoter of
inquisitorial persecution in public life, and of inconceivable misery in
private families. Nay, the very virtue of the person, and the
consciousness that _it_ is sacrificing its own happiness, increases the
obduracy, and selects those whom it best loves for its objects. _Eoque
immitior quia ipse tolerat_ (not _toleraverat_) is its inspiration and


A nation of reformers looks like a scourer of silver-plate--black all
over and dingy, with making things white and brilliant.

A joint combination of authors leagued together to declaim for or
against liberty may be compared to Buffon's collection of smooth mirrors
in a vast fan arranged to form one focus. May there not be gunpowder as
well as corn set before it, and the latter will not thrive, but become

A good conscience and hope combined are like fine weather that
reconciles travel with delight.

Great exploits and the thirst of honour which they inspire, enlarge
states by enlarging hearts.

The rejection of the love of glory without the admission of Christianity
is, truly, human darkness lacking human light.

Heaven preserve me from the modern epidemic of a proud ignorance!

Hypocrisy, the deadly crime which, like Judas, kisses Hell at the lips
of Redemption.

Is't then a mystery so great, what God and the man, and the world is?
No, but we hate to hear! Hence a mystery it remains.

The massy misery so prettily hidden with the gold and silver
leaf--_bracteata felicitas_.


If I have leisure, I may, perhaps, write a wild rhyme on the _Bell_,
from the mine to the belfry, and take for my motto and Chapter of
Contents, the two distichs, but especially the latter--

    Laudo Deum verum, plebem voco, congrego clerum:
    Defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro.
    Funera plango, fulgura frango, sabbata pango:
    Excito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos.

The waggon-horse _celsâ cervice eminens clarumque jactans
tintinnabulum_. Item, the cattle on the river, and valley of dark pines
and firs in the Hartz.

The army of Clotharius besieging Sens were frightened away by the bells
of St. Stephen's, rung by the contrivance of Lupus, Bishop of Orleans.

For ringing the largest bell, as a Passing-bell, a high price was wont
to be paid, because being heard afar it both kept the evil spirits at a
greater distance, and gave the chance of the greater number of prayers
_pro mortuo_, from the pious who heard it.

Names of saints were given to bells that it might appear the voice of
the Saint himself calling to prayer. Man will humanise all things.

[It is strange that Coleridge should make no mention of Schiller's "Song
of the Bell," of which he must, at any rate, have heard the title.
Possibly the idea remained though its source was forgotten. The Latin
distichs were introduced by Longfellow in his "Golden Legend."

Of the cow-bells in the Hartz he gives the following account in an
unpublished letter to his wife. April-May, 1799. "But low down in the
valley and in little companies on each bank of the river a multitude of
green conical fir-trees, with herds of cattle wandering about almost
every one with a cylindrical bell around its neck, of no inconsiderable
size. And as they moved, scattered over the narrow vale, and up among
the trees of the hill, the noise was like that of a great city in the
stillness of the Sabbath morning, where all the steeples, all at once
are ringing for Church. The whole was a melancholy scene and quite new
to me."]


[Footnote E:

    [O heaven, 'twas frightful! now run down and stared at
    By shapes more ugly than can be remembered--
    Now seeing nothing and imagining nothing,
    But only being afraid--stifled with Fear!
    And every goodly, each familiar form
    Had a strange somewhat that breathed terrors on me!

(_From my MS. tragedy_ [S. T. C.]) _Remorse_, iv. 69-74--but the passage
is omitted from _Osorio_, act iv. 53 _sq. P. W._, pp. 386-499]].



                         O dare I accuse
    My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen,
    Or call my destiny niggard! O no! no!
    It is her largeness, and her overflow,
    Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so!

                                        S. T. C.


My own faculties, cloudy as they may be, will be a sufficient direction
to me in plain daylight, but my friend's wish shall be the pillar of
fire to guide me darkling in my nightly march through the wilderness.


Thought and attention are very different things. I never expected the
former, (viz., _selbst-thätige Erzeugung dessen, wovon meine Rede war_)
from the readers of _The Friend_. I did expect the latter, and was
disappointed. Jan. 3, 1810.

This is a most important distinction, and in the new light afforded by
it to my mind, I see more plainly why mathematics cannot be a
substitute for logic, much less for metaphysics, that is,
transcendental logic, and why, therefore, Cambridge has produced so few
men of genius and original power since the time of Newton. Not only it
does not call forth the balancing and discriminating power [_that_ I saw
long ago] but it requires only _attention,_ not _thought_ or

[Sidenote: LAW AND GOSPEL]

"The man who squares his conscience by the law" was, formerly, a phrase
for a prudent villain, an unprincipled coward. At present the law takes
in everything--the things most incongruous with its nature, as the moral
motive, and even the feelings of sensibility resulting from accidents of
cultivation, novel-reading for instance. If, therefore, _at all_ times,
the law would be found to have a much greater influence on the actions
of men than men generally suppose, or the agents were themselves
conscious of, this influence we must expect to find augmented at the
present time in proportion to the encroachments of the law on religion,
the moral sense, and the sympathies engendered by artificial rank.
Examine this and begin, for instance, with reviews, and so on through
the common legal immoralities of life, in the pursuits and pleasures of
the higher half of the middle classes of society in Great Britain.


"Hence (_i.e._, from servile and thrall-like fear) men came to scan the
Scriptures by the letter and in the covenant of our redemption magnified
the external signs more than the quickening power of the
Spirit."--MILTON'S _Review of Church Government_, vol. i. p. 2.

It were not an unpleasing fancy, nor one wholly unworthy of a serious
and charitable Christianity, to derive a shadow of hope for the
conversion and purification of the Roman Apostasy from the conduct and
character of St. Peter as shadowing out the history of the Latin Church,
whose ruling pastor calls himself the successor of that saint. Thus, by
proud _humility_, he hazarded the loss of his heavenly portion in
objecting to Christ's taking upon himself a lowly office and character
of a servant (hence the pomps and vanities with which Rome has tricked
out her bishops, &c.), the eager drawing of the fleshly sword in defence
of Christ; the denying of Christ at the cross (in the apostasy); but,
finally, his bitter repentance at the third crowing of the cock (perhaps
Wickliffe and Huss the first, Luther the second, and the third yet to
come-or, perhaps Wickliffe and Luther the first, the second may be the
present state of humiliation, and the third yet to come). After this her
eyes will be opened to the heavenly vision of the universal acceptance
of Christ of all good men of all sects, that is, that faith is a moral,
not an intellectual act.


On some delightful day in early spring some of my countrymen hallow the
anniversary of their marriage, and with love and fear go over the
reckoning of the past and the unknown future. The wife tells with
half-renewed modesty all the sweet feelings that she disguised and
cherished in the courting-time; the man looks with a tear full in his
eye and blesses the hour when for the first time (and oh! let it be the
last) he spake deep and solemn to a beloved being--"Thou art mine and I
am thine, and henceforward I shield and shelter [thee] against the
world, and thy sorrows shall be my sorrows, and though abandoned by all
men, we two will abide together in love and duty."

In the holy eloquent solitude where the very stars that twinkle seem to
be a _voice_ that suits the dream, a voice of a dream, a voice soundless
and yet for the _ear_ not the _eye_ of the soul, when the winged soul
passes over vale and mountain, sinks into glens, and then climbs with
the cloud, and passes from cloud to cloud, and thence from sun to
sun--never is she alone. Always one, the dearest, accompanies and even
when he melts, diffused in the blue sky, she melts at the same moment
into union with the beloved.


That our religious faiths, by the instincts which lead us to
metaphysical investigation, are founded in a practical necessity, not a
mere intellectual craving after knowledge, and systematic conjecture, is
evinced by the interest which all men take in the questions of future
existence, and the being of God; while even among those who are
speculative by profession a few phantasts only have troubled themselves
with the questions of pre-existence, or with attempts to demonstrate the
_posse_ and _esse_ of a devil. But in the latter case more is involved.
Concerning pre-existence men in general have neither care nor belief;
but a devil is taken for granted, and, if we might trust words, with the
same faith as a Deity--"He neither believes God or devil." And yet,
while we are delighted in hearing proofs of the one, we never think of
asking a simple question concerning the other. This, too, originates in
a practical source. The Deity is not a mere solution of difficulties
concerning origination, but a truth which spreads light and joy and hope
and certitude through all things--while a devil _is_ a mere solution of
an enigma, an assumption to silence our uneasiness. That end answered
(and most easily are such ends answered), we have no further concern
with it.


The _great change_--that in youth and early manhood we psychologise and
with enthusiasm but all out of ourselves, and so far ourselves only as
we descry therein some general law. Our own self is but the diagram, the
triangle which represents all triangles. Afterward we pyschologise out
of others, and so far as they differ from ourselves. O how hollowly!


We have been for many years at a great distance from each other, but
that may happen with no real breach of friendship. All intervening
nature is the _continuum_ of two good and wise men. We are now
separated. You have combined arsenic with your gold, Sir Humphry! You
are brittle, and I will rather dine with Duke Humphry than with you.


Sara Coleridge says, on telling me of the universal sneeze produced on
the lasses while shaking my carpet, that she wishes my snuff would
_grow_, as I sow it so plentifully!

[This points to the summer of 1810, the five months spent at Greta Hall
previous to the departure south with Basil Montagu.]


A thing cannot be one _and_ three at the same time! True! but _time_
does not apply to God. He is neither one in time nor three in time, for
he exists not in time at all--the Eternal!

The truly religious man, when he is not conveying his feelings and
beliefs to other men, and does not need the medium of words--O! how
little does he find in his religious sense either of form or of
number--it is _infinite_! Alas! why do we all seek by instinct for a
God, a supersensual, but because we feel the insufficiency, the
unsubstantiality of all _forms_, and formal being for itself. And shall
we explain _a_ by _x_ and then _x_ by _a_--give a soul to the body, and
then a body to the soul--_ergo_, a body to the body--feel the weakness
of the weak, and call in the strengthener, and then make the very
weakness the substratum of the strength? This is worse than the poor
Indian! Even he does not make the tortoise support the elephant, and yet
put the elephant under the tortoise!

But we are too social, we become in a sort idolaters--for the means we
are obliged to use to excite notions of truth in the minds of others we
by witchcraft of slothful association impose on ourselves for the truths
themselves. Our intellectual bank stops payment, and we pass an act by
acclamation that hereafter the paper promises shall be the gold and
silver itself--and ridicule a man for a dreamer and reviver of
antiquated dreams who believes that gold and silver exist. This may do
as well in the market, but O! for the universal, for the man himself the
difference is woeful.

[Sidenote: TRUTH]

The immense difference between being glad to find Truth _it_, and to
find _it_ TRUTH! O! I am ashamed of those who praise me! For I know that
as soon as I tell them my mind on another subject, they will shrink and
abhor me. For not because I enforced a truth were they pleased in the
first instance, but because I had supported a favourite notion of theirs
which they loved for its and their sake, and therefore would be glad to
find it true--not that loving Truth they loved this opinion as one of
its forms and consequences. The root! the root must be attacked!

[Sidenote: A TIME TO CRY OUT]

Among the evils that attend a conscientious author who writes in a
corrupt age, is the necessity he is under of exposing himself even to
plausible charges of envy, mortified vanity, and, above all, of
self-conceit before those whose bad passions would make even the most
improbable charges plausible.

What _can_ he do? Tell the truth, and the whole truth plainly, and with
the natural affection which it inspires, and keeping off (difficult
task!) all _scorn_ (for to suppress resentment is easy), let him trust
the bread to the waters in the firm faith that wisdom shall be justified
by her children. Vanity! self-conceit! What vanity, what self-conceit?
What say I more than this? Ye who think and feel the same will love and
esteem me by the law of sympathy, and _value_ me according to the
comparative effect I have made on your intellectual powers, in enabling
you better to defend before others, or more clearly to _onlook_
(_anschauen_) in yourselves the truths to which your noblest being bears
witness. The rest I leave to the judgment of posterity, utterly
unconcerned whether _my name_ be attached to these opinions or (_my_
writings forgotten) another man's.

But what can I say, when I have declared my abhorrence of the _Edinburgh
Review_? In vain should I tell my critics that were I placed on the rack
I could not remember ten lines of my own poems, and that on seeing my
own name in their abuse, I regard it only as a symbol of Wordsworth and
Southey, and that I am well aware that from utter disregard and oblivion
of anything and all things which they can know of me by experience, my
name is mentioned only because they have heard that I was Wordsworth's
and Southey's friend.


The brightest luminaries of earth give names to the dusky spots in the
selenography of Helvetius.

The intrepidity of a pure conscience and a simple principle [may be]
compared to a life-boat, and somewhat in the detail, stemming with a
little rudder the tumbling ruins of the sea, rebounding from the rocks
and shelves in fury.

Duns Scotus affirms that the certainty of faith is the greatest
certainty--a dark speech which is explained and proved by the dependence
of the theoretic powers on the practical. But Aristotle admits that
demonstrated truths are inferior in kind of certainty to the
indemonstrable out of which the former are deduced.

Faithful, confident reliance on man and on God is the last and hardest
virtue! And wherefore? Because we must first have earned a FAITH in
ourselves. Let the conscience pronounce: "Trust in thyself!" Let the
whole heart be able to say, "I trust in myself," and those whomever we
_love_ we shall rely on, in proportion to that love.

A testy patriot might be pardoned for saying with Falstaff, when Dame
Quickly told him "She came from the two parties, forsooth," "The Devil
take one party and his Dam the other." John Bull has suffered more for
their sake, more than even the supererogatory cullibility of his
disposition is able to bear.

Lavater fixed on the simplest physiognomy in his whole congregation, and
pitched his sermon to his comprehension. Narcissus either looks at or
thinks of his looking glass, for the same wise purpose I presume.

Reviewers resemble often the English jury and the Italian conclave, they
are incapable of eating till they have condemned or craned.

The Pope [may be compared to] an old lark, who, though he leaves off
soaring and singing in the height, yet has his spurs grow longer and
sharper the older he grows.

Let us not, because the foliage waves in necessary obedience to every
breeze, fancy that the tree shakes also. Though the slender branch bend,
one moment to the East and another to the West, its motion is
circumscribed by its connection with the unyielding trunk.


My first cries mingled with my mother's death-groan, and she beheld the
vision of glory, ere I the earthly sun. When I first looked up to Heaven
consciously, it was to look up after, or for, my mother.


The two sweet silences--first in the purpling dawn of love-troth, when
the heart of each ripens in the other's looks within the unburst calyx,
and fear becomes so sweet that it seems but a fear of losing hope in
certainty; the second, when the sun is setting in the calm eve of
confident love, and [the lovers] in mute recollection enjoy each other.
"I fear to speak, I fear to hear you speak, so deeply do I now enjoy
your presence, so totally possess you in myself, myself in you. The very
sound would break the union and separate _you-me_ into you and me. We
both, and this sweet room, its books, its furniture, and the shadows on
the wall slumbering with the low, quiet fire are all _our_ thought, one
harmonious imagery of forms distinct on the still substance of one deep
feeling, love and joy--a lake, or, if a stream, yet flowing so softly,
so unwrinkled, that its flow is life, not change--that state in which
all the individuous nature, the distinction without division of a vivid
thought, is united with the sense and substance of intensest reality."

And what if joy pass quick away? Long is the track of Hope before--long,
too, the track of recollection after, as in the Polar spring the sun [is
seen in the heavens] sixteen days before it really rises, and in the
Polar autumn ten days after it has set; so Nature, with Hope and
Recollection, pieces out our short summer.


N.B.--In my intended essay in defence of punning (Apology for
Paronomasy, _alias_ Punning), to defend those turns of words--

        Che l'onda chiara,
    El'ombra non men cara--

in certain styles of writing, by proving that language itself is formed
upon associations of this kind--that possibly the _sensus genericus_ of
whole classes of words may be thus deciphered (as has indeed been
attempted by Mr. White, of Clare Hall), that words are not mere symbols
of things and thoughts, but themselves things, and that any harmony in
the things symbolised will perforce be presented to us more easily, as
well as with additional beauty, by a correspondent harmony of the
symbols with each other. Thus, _heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie
mortalem mori_; Gestern seh ich was gebrechliches brechen, heute was
sterbliches sterben, compared with the English. This the beauty of
homogeneous languages. So _Veni, vidi, vici_.

[This note follows an essay on Giambattista Strozzi's Madrigals,
together with a transcription of twenty-seven specimens. The substance
of the essay is embodied in the text of Chapter xvi. of the "Biographia
Literaria," and a long footnote. The quotation is from the first
madrigal, quoted in the note, which is not included in those transcribed
in Notebook 17.--_Coleridge's Works_, iii. (Harper & Brothers, 1853),
pp. 388-393.]


Important suggestion on 4th March, 1810 (Monday night). The law of
association clearly begins in common causality. How continued but by a
_causative power_ in the soul? What a proof of _causation_ and _power_
from the very law of mind, and cluster of facts adduced by Hume to
overthrow it!

[Sidenote: COROLLARY]

It is proud ignorance that, as a disease of the mind, alone superinduces
the necessity of the _medium_ of metaphysical philosophy. The errors
into which a sound, unaffected mind is led by the nature of things
(Thing as the substratum of power)--no errors at all, any more than the
motion of the sun. "So it _appears_"--and that is most true--but when
pride will work up these phenomena into a _system_ of _things in
themselves_, then they become most pernicious errors, and it is the duty
of true mind to examine these with all the virtues of the
intellect--patience, humility, etc.

[Sidenote: MOTHER WIT]

"By aid of a large portion of mother's wit, Paine, though an unlearned
man, saw the absurdity of the Christian religion." Mother's wit, indeed!
Wit from his mother the earth--the earthy and material wit of the
_flesh_ and its lusts. One ounce of mother-wit may be worth a pound of
learning, but a grain of the Father's wisdom is worth a ton of
mother-wit--yea! of both together.

[Sidenote: OF EDUCATION]

"O it is but an infant! 'tis but a child! he will be better as he grows
older." "O! she'll grow ashamed of it. This is but waywardness." Grant
all this--that _they_ will _out_grow these particular actions, yet with
what HABITS of _feeling_ will they arrive at youth and manhood?
Especially with regard to obedience, how is it possible that they should
struggle against the boiling passions of youth by means of obedience to
their own conscience who are to meet the dawn of conscience with the
broad meridian of disobedience and habits of self-willedness? Besides,
when are the rebukes, the chastisements to commence? Why! about nine or
ten, perhaps, when, for the father at least, [the child] is less a
plaything--when, therefore, anger is not healed up in its mind, either
by its own infant versatility and forgetfulness, or by after
caresses--when everything is remembered individually, and sense of
injustice felt. For the boy very well remembers the different treatment
when he was a child; but what has been so long permitted becomes a right
to him. Far better, in such a case, to have them sent off to others--a
strict schoolmaster--than to breed that contradiction of feeling toward
the same person which subverts the very _principle_ of our impulses.
Whereas, in a tender, yet obedience-exacting and improvement-enforcing
education, though very gradually, and by small doses at a time, yet
always going on--yea! even from a twelvemonth old--at six or seven the
child really has outgrown all things that annoy, just at the time when,
as the charm of infancy begins to diminish, they would begin really to


There are, in every country, times when the few who know the truth have
clothed it for the vulgar, and addressed the vulgar in the vulgar
language and modes of conception, in order to convey any part of the
truth. This, however, could not be done with safety, even to the
_illuminati_ themselves in the first instance; but to their successors,
habit gradually turned lie into belief, partial and _stagnate_ truth
into ignorance, and the teachers of the vulgar (like the Franciscan
friars in the South of Europe) became a part of the vulgar--nay, because
the laymen were open to various impulses and influences, which their
instructors had built out (compare a brook in open air, liable to
rainstreams and rills from new-opened fountains, to the same running
through a mill guarded by sluice-gates and back-water), they became the
vulgarest of the vulgar, till, finally, resolute not to detach
themselves from the mob, the mob at length detaches itself from them,
and leaves the mill-race dry, the moveless, rotten wheels as
day-dormitories for bats and owls, and the old grindstones for wags and
scoffers of the taproom to whet their wits on.


When there are few literary men, and the vast 999999/10000000 of the
population are ignorant, as was the case of Italy from Dante to
Metastasio, _from causes I need not here put down, there will be a
poetical language_; but that a poet ever uses a word as poetical--that
is, formally--which he, in the same mood and thought, would not use in
prose or conversation, Milton's Prose Works will assist us in
disproving. But as soon as literature becomes common, and critics
numerous in any country, and a large body of men seek to express
themselves habitually in the most precise, sensuous, and impassioned
words, the difference as to mere words ceases, as, for example, the
German prose writers. Produce to me _one_ word out of Klopstock,
Wieland, Schiller, Goethe, Voss, &c., which I will not find as
frequently used in the most energetic prose writers. The sole difference
in style is that poetry demands a severe keeping--it admits nothing that
prose may not often admit, but it oftener rejects. In other words, it
presupposes a more continuous state of passion. _N.B._--Provincialisms
of poets who have become the supreme classics in countries one in
language but under various states and governments have aided this false
idea, as, in Italy, the Tuscanisms of Dante, Ariosto, and Alfieri,
foolishly imitated by Venetians, Romans, and Neapolitans. How much this
is against the opinion of Dante, see his admirable treatise on "Lingua
Volgare Nobile," the first, I believe, of his prose or _prose and verse_
works; for the "Convito" and "La Vita Nuova" are, one-third, in metre.

[Sidenote: WORLDLY WISE]

I would strongly recommend Lloyd's "State Worthies" [_The Statesmen and
Favourites of England since the Reformation._ By David Lloyd. London,
1665-70] as the manual of every man who would rise in the world. In
every twenty pages it recommends contradictions, but he who cannot
reconcile them for himself, and discover which suits his plan, can never
rise in the world. _N.B._--I have a mind to draw a complete character of
a worldly-wise man out of Lloyd. He would be highly-finished, useful,
honoured, popular--a man revered by his children, his wife, and so
forth. To be sure, he must not expect to be _beloved_ by _one_
proto-friend; and, if there be truth in reason or Christianity, he will
go to hell--but, even so, he will doubtless secure himself a most
respectable place in the devil's chimney-corner.


The falseness of that so very common opinion, "Mathematics, aye, that is
something! that has been useful--but metaphysics!" Now fairly compare
the two, what each has really done.

But [be thou] only concerned to find out truth, which, on what side
soever it appears, is always _victory_ to every honest mind.

Christianity, too (as well as Platonism and the school of Pythagoras),
has its esoteric philosophy, or why are we forbidden to cast pearls
before swine? But who are the swine? Are they the poor and despised, the
unalphabeted in worldly learning? O, no! the rich whose hearts are
steeled by ignorance of misery and habits of receiving slavish
obedience--the dropsical learned and the St. Vitus' [bewitched]

In controversy it is highly useful to know whether you are really
addressing yourself to an opponent or only to partisans, with the
intention of preserving them firm. Either is well, but they should never
be commingled.

In her letter to Lord Willoughby Queen Elizabeth hath the word "eloign."
There is no exact equivalent in modern use. Neither "withdraw" or
"absent" are precisely synonymous.

We understand Nature just as if, at a distance, we looked at the image
of a person in a looking-glass, plainly and fervently discoursing, yet
what he uttered we could decipher only by the motion of the lips or by
his mien.

I must extract and transcribe from the preface to the works of
Paracelsus that eloquent defence of technical new words and of old words
used in a new sense. The whole preface is exceedingly lively, and
(excepting the mountebank defence of intentional obscurity and the
attack on logic, as if it were ever intended to be an organon of
discovery of material truth and directly, instead of a formal
preliminary assisting the mind indirectly, and showing what cannot be
truth, and what has not been proved truth,) very just.

The Chinese call the monsoon whirlwind, when more than usually fierce,
the elephant. This is a fine image--a mad wounded war-elephant.

The poor oppressed Amboynese, who bear with patience the extirpation of
their clove and nutmeg trees, in their fields and native woods, and the
cruel taxes on sugar, their staff of life, will yet, at once and
universally, rise up in rebellion and prepare to destroy in despair all
and everything, themselves included, if any attempt is made to destroy
any individual's Tatanaman, the clove-tree which each Amboynese plants
at the birth of each of his children. Very affecting!

[Sidenote: GENIUS]

The man of genius places things in a new light. This trivial phrase
better expresses the appropriate effects of genius than Pope's
celebrated distich--

     "What oft was thought but ne'er so well exprest."

It has been thought distinctly, but only possessed, as it were, unpacked
and unsorted. The poet not only displays what, though often seen in its
unfolded mass, had never been opened out, but he likewise adds
something, namely, light and relations. Who has not seen a rose, or
sprig of jasmine or myrtle? But behold those same flowers in a posy or
flower-pot, painted by a man of genius, or assorted by the hand of a
woman of fine taste and instinctive sense of beauty!

[Sidenote: LOVE]

To find our happiness incomplete without the happiness of some other
given person or persons is the definition of affection in general, and
applies equally to friendship, to the parental and to the conjugal
relations. But what is love? Love as it may subsist between two persons
of different senses? This--and what more than this? The mutual
dependence of their happiness, each on that of the other, each being at
once cause and effect. You, therefore, I--I, therefore you. The sense of
this reciprocity of well-being, is that which first stamps and
legitimates the name of happiness in all the other advantages and
favourable accidents of nature, or fortune, without which they would
change their essence and become like the curse of Tantalus, insulting
remembrances of misery, of that most unquiet of all miseries, means of
happiness blasted and transformed by incompleteness, nay, by the loss of
the sole organ through which we could enjoy them.

Suppose a wide and delightful landscape, and what the eye is to the
light, and the light to the eye, that interchangeably is the lover to
the beloved. "O best beloved! who lovest _me_ the best!" In strictest
propriety of application might he thus address her, if only she with
equal truth could echo the same sense in the same feeling. "Light of
mine eye! by which alone I not only see all I see, but which makes up
more than half the loveliness of the objects seen, yet, still, like the
rising sun in the morning, like the moon at night, remainest thyself and
for thyself, the dearest, fairest form of all the thousand forms that
derive from thee all their visibility, and borrow from thy presence
their chiefest beauty!"


Diamond + oxygen = charcoal. Even so on the fire-spark of his zeal did
Cottle place the King-David diamonds, and caused to pass over them the
oxygenous blast of his own inspiration, and lo! the diamond becomes a
bit of charcoal.


     "Ich finde alles eher auf der Erde, so gar Wahrheit und Freude,
     als Freundschaft."--JEAN PAUL.[F]

This for the motto--to examine and attest the fact, and then to explain
the reason. First, then, there are the extraordinary qualifications
demanded for true friendship, arising from the multitude of causes that
make men delude themselves and attribute to friendship what is only a
similarity of pursuit, or even a mere dislike of feeling oneself alone
in anything. But, secondly, supposing the friendship to be as real as
human nature ordinarily permits, yet how many causes are at constant war
against it, whether in the shape of violent irruptions or unobserved yet
constant wearings away by dyspathy, &c. Exemplify this in youth and then
in manhood. First, there is the influence of wives, how frequently
deadly to friendship, either by direct encroach, or, perhaps,
intentional plans of alienation! Secondly, there is the effect of
families, by otherwise occupying the heart; and, thirdly, the action of
life in general, by the worldly-wise, chilling effects of prudential

Corollary. These reflections, however, suggest an argument in favour of
the existing indissolubility of marriage.

To be compelled to make it up, or consent to be miserable and
disrespected, is indeed a coarse plaister for the wounds of love, but so
it must be while the patients themselves are of coarse make and
unhealthy humours.


His imagination, if it must be so called, is at all events of the
pettiest kind--it is an _imaginunculation_. How excellently the German
_Einbildungskraft_ expresses this prime and loftiest faculty, the
power of co-adunation, the faculty that forms the many into
one--_In-eins-bildung!_ Eisenoplasy, or esenoplastic power, is
contradistinguished from fantasy, or the mirrorment, either catoptric or
metoptric--repeating simply, or by transposition--and, again,
involuntary [fantasy] as in dreams, or by an act of the will.

[See _Biog. Lit._, cap. x.; _Coleridge's Works_, iii. 272. See also
_Blackwood's Magazine_, March 1840, No. ccxciii., Art. The Plagiarisms
of S. T. Coleridge.]


Ministers, as in the Admiralty, or War Office, compared to managers of
theatres. The numerous absurd claims at length deaden their sense of
judgment to real merit, and superinduce in the mind an anticipation of
clamorous vanity. Hence the great importance of the public voice,
forcing them to be just. This, how illustrated by the life of
Nelson--the infamous coldness with which all his claims were
received--especially Mr. Wyndham's answer, July 21, 1795. And no wonder!
for such is the state of moral feeling even with the English public,
that an instance of credulity to an ingenious scheme which has failed in
the trial will weigh more heavily on a minister's character than to have
stifled in the birth half-a-dozen such men as Nelson or Cochrane, or
such schemes as that of a floating army. Nelson's life is a perpetual
comment on this.


Of moral discourses and fine moral discussions in the pulpit--"none of
your Methodist stuff for me." And, yet, most certain it is, that never
were either ministers or congregations so strict in all morality as at
the time when nothing but fine _moral_ discourses (that is calculations
in self-love) would have driven a preacher from the pulpit--and when
the clergy thought it their pulpit-duty to preach Christ and Him
crucified, and the why and the wherefore--and that the soberest,
law-obeying, most prudent nation in the world would need Him as much as
a nation of drunkards, thieves and profligates. How was this? Why, I
take it, those old parsons thought, very wisely, that the pulpit was the
place for truths that applied to all men, humbled all alike (not
mortified one or two, and sent the rest home, scandal-talking with
pharisaic "I thank thee, God, I am not as so and so, but I was glad to
hear the parson"), comforted all, frightened all, offended all, because
they were all _men_--that private vices depend so much on particular
circumstances, that without making the pulpit a lampoon shop, (or, even
supposing the genius of him who wrote Isaac Jenkins, without particulars
not suited to the pulpit) that it would be a cold generality affair--and
that, therefore, they considered the pulpit as _one_ part of their duty,
but to their whole congregation as _men_, and that the other part of
their duty, which they thought equally binding on them, was to each and
every member of that congregation as John Harris, or James Tomkins, in
private conversation--and, like that of Mr. Longford, sometimes to
rebuke and warn, sometimes to comfort, sometimes and oftener to
instruct, and render them capable of understanding his sermon. In short
they would _preach_ as Luther, and would converse as Mr. Longford to
Isaac Jenkins.

[_The History of Isaac Jenkins, a Moral Fiction._ By Thomas Beddoes,
M.D., 1793].


With a loving generous man whose activity of intellect is exerted
habitually on truth and events of permanent, or, at least, general
interest still warmed and coloured by benevolent enthusiasm
self-unconsciously, and whose heart-movements are all the property of
the few, whom he dearly loves--with such a man, for the vast majority of
the wrongs met with in life, that at all affect him, a one-night's sleep
provides the oblivion and the cure--he awakes from his slumbers and his
resentment at the same moment. Yesterday is gone and the clouds of
yesterday. The sun is born again, and how bright and joyous! and I am
born again! But O! there may be wrongs, for which with our best efforts
for the most perfect suppression, with the absence, nay, the
impossibility of anger or hate, yet, longer, deeper sleep is required
for the heart's oblivion, and thence renewal--even the long total sleep
of death.

To me, I dare avow, even this connects a new soothing with the thought
of death, an additional lustre in anticipation to the confidence of
resurrection, that such sensations as I have so often had after small
wrongs, trifling quarrels, on first awaking in a summer morn after
refreshing sleep, I shall experience after death for those few wounds
too deep and broad for the _vis medicatrix_ of mortal life to fill
wholly up with new flesh--those that, though healed, yet left an
unsightly scar which, too often, spite of our best wishes, opened anew
at other derangements and indispositions of the mental health, even when
they were altogether unconnected with the wound itself or its
occasions--even as the scars of the sailor, the relics and remembrances
of sword or gun-shot wounds (first of all his bodily frame giving way to
ungenial influences from without or from within), ache and throb at the
coming in of rain or easterly winds, and open again and bleed anew, at
the attack of fever, or injury from deficient or unwholesome food--that
even for these I should enjoy the same delightful annihilation of them,
as of ordinary wrongs after sleep.

I would say to a man who reminded me of a friend's unkind words or deeds
which I had forgiven--Smoking is very well while we are all smoking,
even though the head is made dizzy by it and the candle of reason burns
red, dim and thick; but, for Heaven's sake, don't put an old pipe to my
nose just at breakfast time, among dews and flowers and sunshine.


[Footnote F: ["I find all things upon earth, even truth and joy, rather
than friendship."]]



    From all that meets or eye or ear,
    There falls a genial holy fear,
    Which, like the heavy dew of morn,
    Refreshes while it bows the heart forlorn!

                                       S. T. C.


How marked the contrast between troubled manhood, and joyously-active
youth in the sense of time! To the former, time like the sun in an empty
sky is never seen to move, but only to have _moved_. There, there it
was, and now 'tis here, now distant! yet all a blank between. To the
latter it is as the full moon in a fine breezy October night, driving on
amid clouds of all shapes and hues, and kindling shifting colours, like
an ostrich in its speed, and yet seems not to have moved at all. This I
feel to be a just image of time real and time as felt, in two different
states of being. The title of the poem therefore (for poem it ought to
be) should be time real and time felt (in the sense of time) in active
youth, or activity with hope and fullness of aim in any period, and in
despondent, objectless manhood--time objective and subjective.

[The riddle is hard to read, but the underlying thought seems to be that
in youth the sense of time is like the apparent motion of the moon
through clouds, ever driving on, but ever seeming to stand still;
whereas the sense of time in manhood is like the sun, which seems to be
stationary, and yet, at short intervals, is seen to have moved. This is
time _felt_ in two different states of being. Time real is, as it were,
sun or moon which move independently of our perceptions of their
movements. The note (1811), no doubt, contains the germ of "Time Real
and Imaginary" first published in "Sibylline Leaves" in 1817, which
Coleridge in his Preface describes as a "school-boy poem," and
interprets thus: "By imaginary time I meant the state of a schoolboy's
mind when, on his return to school, he projects his being in his
day-dreams, and lives in his next holidays, six months hence!" The
explanation was probably an afterthought. "The two lovely children" who
"run an endless race" may have haunted his schoolboy dreams, may perhaps
have returned to the dreams of his troubled manhood, bringing with them
the sense rather than the memory of youth, intermingled with a
consciousness that youth was gone for ever, but the composition of the
poem dates from 1811, or possibly 1815, when the preparation of the
poems for the press would persuade him once more to express his thoughts
in verse.]


    On the wide level of a mountain's head,
      (I knew not where, but 'twas some faery place)
    Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread,
      Two lovely children run an endless race,
        A sister and a brother!
        This far outstript the other;
    Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
    And looks and listens for the boy behind:
        For he, alas! is blind!
    O'er rough and smooth with even step he passed,
    And knows not whether he be first or last.

[_P. W._, 1893, p. 187. See, too, Editor's _Note_, p. 638.]


Elucidation of my _all-zermalming_, [that is, all-crushing] argument on
the subject of ghosts, apparitions, &c.

Night-mare is, I think, always, even when it occurs in the midst of
sleep, and not as it more commonly does after a waking interval, a state
not of sleep, but of stupor of the outward organs of sense--not in
words, indeed, but yet in fact distinguishable from the suspended power
of the senses in true sleep, while the volitions of reason, that is the
faculty of comparison, &c., are awake though disturbed. This stupor
seems to be occasioned by some painful sensations of unknown locality
(most often, I believe, in the lower bowel) which, withdrawing the
attention to itself from the sense of other realities present, makes us
asleep to them, indeed, but otherwise awake. And, whenever the
derangement occasions an interruption in the circulation, aided,
perhaps, by pressure, awkward position, &c., the part deadened, as the
hand, the arm, or the foot and leg, or the side, transmits double touch
as single touch, to which the imagination, therefore, the true inward
creatrix, instantly out of the chaos of elements or shattered fragments
of memory, puts together some form to fit it. And this [_imaginatio_]
derives an over-mastering sense of reality from the circumstance that
the power of reason, being in good measure awake, most generally
presents to us all the accompanying images very nearly as they existed
the moment before, when we fell out of anxious wakefulness into this
reverie. For example, the bed, the curtain, the room and its furniture,
the knowledge of who lives in the next room, and so forth contribute to
the illusion.... In short, the night-mare is not, properly, a dream, but
a species of reverie, akin to somnambulism, during which the
understanding and moral sense are awake, though more or less confused,
and over the terrors of which the reason can exert no influence,
because it is not true _terror_, that is, apprehension of danger, but is
itself a specific sensation = _terror corporeus sive materialis_. The
explanation and classification of these strange sensations, the organic
material analogous (_ideas materiales intermedias_, as the Cartesians
say) of Fear, Hope, Rage, Shame, and (strangest of all) Remorse, form at
present the most difficult, and at the same time the most interesting
problem of psychology, and are intimately connected with prudential
morals, the science, that is, of morals not as the ground and law of
duty, but in their relation to the empirical hindrances and focillations
in the realising of the law by human beings. The solution of this
problem would, perhaps, throw great doubt on the present [notion] that
the forms and feelings of sleep are always the reflections and confused
echoes of our waking thoughts and experiences.


What a swarm of thoughts and feelings, endlessly minute fragments, and,
as it were, representations of all preceding and embryos of all future
thought, lie compact in any one moment! So, in a single drop of water,
the microscope discovers what motions, what tumult, what wars, what
pursuits, what stratagems, what a circle-dance of death and life,
death-hunting life, and life renewed and invigorated by death! The whole
world seems here in a many-meaning cypher. What if our existence was
but that moment? What an unintelligible, affrightful riddle, what a
chaos of limbs and trunk, tailless, headless, nothing begun and nothing
ended, would it not be? And yet scarcely more than that other moment of
fifty or sixty years, were that our all? Each part throughout infinite
diminution adapted to some other, and yet the whole a means to
nothing--ends everywhere, and yet an end nowhere.

[Compare the three last lines of "What is Life?"

    Is very life by consciousness unbounded?
    And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
    A war-embrace of wrestling life and death?

    _P. W._, 1893, p. 173.]


The love of Nature is ever returned double to us, not only the delighter
in our delight, but by linking our sweetest, but of themselves
perishable feelings to distinct and vivid images, which we ourselves, at
times, and which a thousand casual recollections, recall to our memory.
She is the preserver, the treasurer of our joys. Even in sickness and
nervous diseases, she has peopled our imagination with lovely forms
which have sometimes overpowered the inward pain and brought with them
their old sensations. And even when all men have seemed to desert us
and the friend of our heart has passed on, with one glance from his
"cold disliking eye"--yet even then the blue heaven spreads it out and
bends over us, and the little tree still shelters us under its plumage
as a second cope, a domestic firmament, and the low creeping gale will
sigh in the heath-plant and soothe us by sound of sympathy till the
lulled grief lose itself in fixed gaze on the purple heath-blossom, till
the present beauty becomes a vision of memory.

[Sidenote: HESPERUS]

I have never seen the evening star set behind the mountains, but it was
as if I had lost a hope out of my soul, as if a love were gone, and a
sad memory only remained. O it was my earliest affection, the evening
star! One of my first utterances in verse was an address to it as I was
returning from the New River, and it looked newly bathed as well as I. I
remember that the substance of the sonnet was that the woman whom I
could ever love would surely have been emblemed in the pensive serene
brightness of that planet, that we were both constellated to it, and
would after death return thither.



    O meek attendant of Sol's setting blaze,
      I hail, sweet star, thy chaste effulgent glow;
    On thee full oft with fixed eye I gaze,
      Till I methinks, all spirit seem to grow.
    O first and fairest of the starry choir,
      O loveliest 'mid the daughters of the night,
    Must not the maid I love like thee inspire
      _Pure_ joy and _calm_ delight?
    Must she not be, as is thy placid sphere,
      Serenely brilliant? Whilst to gaze awhile
    Be all my wish 'mid Fancy's high career
      E'en till she quit this scene of earthly toil;
    Then Hope perchance might fondly sigh to join
    Her image in thy kindred orb, O star benign!

[First printed from MS. _Poetical and Dramatic Works_, 1877-80;
_Poetical Works_, 1893, p. 11.]


Where health is--at least, though pain be no stranger, yet when the
breath can rise, and turn round like a comet at its perihelion in its
ellipse, and again descend, instead of being a Sisiphus's stone; and the
chest can expand as by its own volition and the head sits firm yet
mobile aloft, like the vane of a tower on a hill shining in the blue
air, and appropriating sunshine and moonlight whatever weight of clouds
brood below--O when health and hope, and if not competence yet a
debtless _unwealth, libera et læta paupertas_, is his, a man may have
and love many friends, but yet, if indeed they be friends, he lives with
each a several and individual life.


One source of calumny (I say _source_, because _allophoby_ from
_hëautopithygmy_ is the only proper _cause_) may be found in this--every
man's life exhibits two sorts of selfishness, those which are and those
which are not objects of his own consciousness. _A_ is thinking,
perhaps, of some plan in which he may benefit another, and during this
absorption consults his own little bodily comforts blindly--occupies the
best place at the fire-side, or asks at once, "Where am I to sit?"
instead of first inquiring after the health of another. Now the error
lies here, that _B_, in complaining of _A_, first takes for granted
either that these are acts of conscious selfishness in _A_, or, if he
allows the truth, yet considers them just as bad (and so perhaps they
may be in a certain sense), but _forgets_ that his own life presents the
same, judges of his own life exclusively by his own consciousness, that
of another by conscious and unconscious in a lump. A monkey's
anthropomorph attitudes we take for anthropic.


Try not to become disgusted with active benevolence, or despondent
because there is a _philanthropy-trade_. It is a sort of benefit-club of
virtue, supported by the contributions of paupers in virtue, founded by
genuine enthusiasts who gain a reputation for the thing--then slip in
successors who know how to avail themselves of the influence and
connections derived thereby--quite gratuitous, however, and
bustling-active--but yet _bribe high_ to become the unpaid physicians of
the dispensary at St. Luke's Hospital, and bow and scrape and intrigue,
Carlyleise and Knappise for it. And such is the [case with regard to]
the slave trade. The first abolitionists were the good men who laboured
when the thing seemed desperate--it was virtue for its own sake. Then
the quakers, Granville Sharp, etc.--then the restless spirits who are
under the action of tyrannical oppression from images, and, gradually,
mixed vanity and love of power with it--the politicians + saints =
Wilberforce. Last come the Scotchmen--and Brougham is now canvassing
more successfully for the seat of Wilberforce, who retires with great
honour and regret, from infirmities of age and _enoughness_. It is just
as with the great original benefactors and founders of useful plans,
Raleigh, Sir Hugh Middleton, etc.--men of genius succeeded by sharpers,
but who often can better carry on what they never could have first
conceived--and this, too, by their very want of those qualities and
virtues which were necessary to the discovery.


All mere passions, like spirits and apparitions, have their hour of
cock-crow, in which they must vanish. But pure love is, therefore, no
_mere_ passion; and it is a test of its being love, that no reason can
be assigned _why_ it should disappear. Shall we not always, in this life
at least, remain _animæ dimidiatæ_?--must not the moral reason always
hold out the perfecting of each by union of both as good and lovely?
With reason, therefore, and conscience let love vanish, but let these
vanish only with our being.


The sick and sleepless man, after the dawn of the fresh day, is fain to
watch the smoke now from this and then from the other chimney of the
town from his bed-chamber, as if willing to borrow from others that
sense of a new day, of a discontinuity between the yesterday and the
to-day which his own sensations had not afforded. [Compare Wordsworth's
"Blessed Barrier Between Day and Day," Wordsworth's Third Sonnet to
Sleep, _Poetical Works_, 1889, 354.]


O what wisdom could I _talk_ to a YOUTH of genius and
genial-heartedness! O how little could I teach! and yet, though
despairing of success, I would attempt to enforce:--"Whenever you meet
with a person of undoubted talents, more especially if a woman, and of
apparent goodness, and yet you feel uncomfortable, and urged against
your nature, and, therefore, probably in vain, to be on your guard--then
take yourself to task and enquire what strong reason, moral or
prudential, you have to form any intimacy or even familiarity with that
person. If you after this (or moreover) detect any falsehood, or, what
amounts to the same, proneness and quickness to look into, to analyse,
to find out and represent evil or weakness in others (however this may
be disguised even from the person's own mind by _candour_, [in] pointing
out the good at the same time, by affectation of speculative truth, as
psychologists, or of telling you all their thoughts as open-hearted
friends), then let no reason but a strong and coercive one suffice to
make you any other than as formal and distant acquaintance as
circumstances will permit." And am I not now suffering, in part, for
forcing my feelings into slavery to my notions, and intellectual
admiration for a whole year and more with regard to ---- ? [So the MS.]
If I played the hypocrite to myself, can I blame my fate that he has, at
length, played the deceiver to me? Yet, God knows! I did it most
virtuously!--not only without vanity or any self-interest of however
subtle a nature, but from humility and a true delight in finding
excellence of any kind, and a disposition to fall prostrate before it.


To understand fully the mechanism, in order fully to feel the
incomparable excellence of Milton's metre, we must make four tables, or
a fourfold compartment, the first for the feet, single and composite,
for which the whole twenty-six feet of the ancients will be found
necessary; the second to note the construction of the feet, whether from
different or from single words--for who does not perceive the difference
to the ear between--

    "Inextricable disobedience" and

    "To love or not: in this we stand or fall"--

yet both lines are composed of five iambics? The third, of the strength
and position, the concentration or diffusion of the _emphasis_. Fourth,
the length and position of the pauses. Then compare his narrative with
the harangues. I have not noticed the ellipses, because they either do
not affect the rhythm, or are not ellipses, but are comprehended in the


Shall I compare man to a clockwork Catamaran, destined to float on in a
meaner element for so many moments or hours, and then to explode,
scattering its _involucrum_ and itself to ascend into its proper

I am persuaded that we love what is above us more than what is under

Money--paper money--peace, war. How comes it that all men in all
companies are talking of the depreciation, etc. etc.--and yet that a
discourse on transubstantiation would not be a more withering sirocco
than the attempt to explain philosophically the true cure and causes of
that which interests all so vehemently?

All convalescence is a resurrection, a palingenesy of our youth--"and
loves the earth and all that live thereon with a new heart." But oh! the
anguish to have the aching freshness of yearning and no answering
object--only remembrances of faithless change--and unmerited alienation!

The sun at evening holds up her fingers of both hands before her face
that mortals may have one steady gaze--her transparent crimson fingers
as when a lovely woman looks at the fire through her slender palms.

O that perilous moment [for such there is] of a half-reconciliation,
when the coldness and the resentment have been sustained too long. Each
is drawing toward the other, but like glass in the mid-state between
fusion and compaction a single sand will splinter it.

Sometimes when I earnestly look at a beautiful object or landscape, it
seems as if I were on the _brink_ of a fruition still denied--as if
Vision were an _appetite_; even as a man would feel who, having put
forth all his muscular strength in an act of prosilience, is at the very
moment _held back_--he leaps and yet moves not from his place.

Philosophy in general, but a plummet to so short a line that it can
sound no deeper than the sounder's eyes can reach--and yet--in certain
waters it may teach the exact depth and prevent a drowning.

The midnight wild beasts staring at the hunter's torch, or when the
hunter sees the tiger's eye glaring on the red light of his own torch.

A summer-sailing on a still peninsulating river, and sweet as the delays
of parting lovers.

Sir F[rancis] B[urdett], like a Lapland witch drowned in a storm of her
own raising. Mr. Cobbett, who, for a dollar, can raise what, offer him
ten thousand dollars, he could not allay.

[Sidenote: August, 1811]

Why do you make a book? Because my hands can extend but a few score
inches from my body; because my poverty keeps those hands empty when my
heart aches to empty them; because my life is short, and [by reason of]
my infirmities; and because a book, if it extends but to one edition,
will probably benefit three or four score on whom I could not otherwise
have acted, and, should it live and deserve to live, will make ample
compensation for all the aforestated infirmities. O, but think only of
the thoughts, feelings, radical impulses that have been implanted in how
many thousands by the little ballad of the "Children in the Wood"! The
sphere of Alexander the Great's agency is trifling compared with it.


One of the strangest and most painful peculiarities of my nature (unless
others have the same, and, like me, hide it, from the same inexplicable
feeling of causeless shame and sense of a sort of guilt, joined with the
apprehension of being feared and shrunk from as a something
transnatural) I will here record--and my motive, or, rather, impulse, to
do this seems an effort to eloign and abalienate it from the dark adyt
of my own being by a visual outness, and not the wish for others to see
it. It consists in a sudden second sight of some hidden vice, past,
present or to come, of the person or persons with whom I am about to
form a close intimacy--which never deters me, but rather (as all these
transnaturals) urges me on, just like the feeling of an eddy-torrent to
a swimmer. I see it as a vision, feel it as a prophecy, not as one
_given_ me by any other being, but as an act of my own spirit, of the
absolute _noumenon_, which, in so doing, seems to have offended against
some law of its being, and to have acted the traitor by a commune with
full consciousness independent of the tenure or inflected state of
association, cause and effect, &c.


As the most far-sighted eye, even aided by the most powerful telescope,
will not make a fixed star appear larger than it does to an ordinary and
unaided sight, even so there are heights of knowledge and truth sublime
which all men in possession of the ordinary human understanding may
comprehend as much and as well as the profoundest philosopher and the
most learned theologian. Such are the truths relating to the _logos_ and
its oneness with the self-existent Deity, and of the humanity of Christ
and its union with the _logos_. It is idle, therefore, to refrain from
preaching on these subjects, provided only such preparations have been
made as no man can be a Christian without. The misfortune is that the
majority are Christians only in name, and by birth only. Let them but
once, according to St. James, have looked down steadfastly into the
_law_ of liberty or freedom in their own souls (the will and the
conscience), and they are capable of whatever God has chosen to reveal.


A long line of (!!) marks of admiration would be its aptest symbol! It
has given me the eye-ache with dazzlement, the brain-ache with
wonderment, the stomach and all-ache with the shock and after-eddy
of contradictory feelings. Splendour is there, splendour
everywhere--distinct the figures as vivid--skill in construction of
events--beauties numberless of form and thought. But there is not
anywhere the "one low piping note more sweet than all"--there is not the
divine vision of the poet, which gives the full fruition of sight
without the effort--and where the feelings of the heart are struck, they
are awakened only to complain of and recoil from the occasion. O! it is
mournful to see and wonder at such a marvel of labour, erudition and
talent concentered into such a burning-glass of factitious power, and
yet to know that it is all in vain--like the Pyramids, it shows what can
be done, and, like them, leaves in painful and almost scornful
perplexity, why it was done, for what or whom.

[Sidenote: SILENCE IS GOLDEN September 29th, 1812]

Grand rule in case of quarrels between friends or lovers--never to say,
hint, or do _anything_ in a moment of anger or indignation or sense of
ill-treatment, but to be passive--and even if the fit should recur the
next morning, still to delay it--in short, however plausible the motive
may be, yet if you have loved the persons concerned, not to say it till
their love has returned toward you, and your feelings are the same as
they were before. And for this plain reason--you knew this before, and
yet because you were in kindness, you never felt an impulse to speak of
it--then, surely, not now when you may perpetuate what would otherwise
be fugitive.


"That not one of the _peculiarities_ of Christianity, no one point in
which, being clearly different from other religions or philosophies, it
would have, at least, the _possibility_ of being superior to all, is
retained by the modern Unitarians." This remark is occasioned by my
reflections on the fact that Christianity _exclusively_ has asserted the
_positive_ being of evil or sin, "of sin the exceeding sinfulness"--and
thence exclusively the _freedom_ of the creature, as that, the clear
intuition of which is, both, the result and the accompaniment of
redemption. The nearest philosophy to Christianity is the Platonic, and
it is observable that this is the mere antipodes of the
Hartleio-Lockian held by the Unitarians; but the true honours of
Christianity would be most easily manifested by a comparison even with
that "_nec pari nec secundo_," but yet "_omnibus aliis propriore_," the
Platonic! With what contempt, even in later years, have I not
contemplated the doctrine of a devil! but now I see the intimate
connection, if not as existent _person_, yet as essence and symbol with
Christianity--and that so far from being identical with Manicheism, it
is the surest antidote (that is, rightly understood).



    Lynx amid moles! had I stood by thy bed,
    Be of good cheer, meek soul! I would have said:
    I see a hope spring from that humble fear.

                                           S. T. C.


The first man of science was he who looked into a thing, not to learn
whether it could furnish him with food, or shelter, or weapons, or
tools, or ornaments, or _playwiths_, but who sought to know it for the
gratification of _knowing_; while he that first sought to _know_ in
order to _be_ was the first philosopher. I have read of two rivers
passing through the same lake, yet all the way preserving their streams
visibly distinct--if I mistake not, the Rhone and the Adar, through the
Lake of Geneva. In a far finer distinction, yet in a subtler union,
such, for the contemplative mind, are the streams of knowing and being.
The lake is formed by the two streams in man and nature as it exists in
and for man; and up this lake the philosopher sails on the junction-line
of the constituent streams, still pushing upward and sounding as he
goes, towards the common fountain-head of both, the mysterious source
whose being is knowledge, whose knowledge is being--the adorable I AM IN


I have culled the following extracts from the First Epistle of the First
Book of Petrarch's Epistle, that "Barbato Salmonensi." [Basil, 1554, i.

                      Vultûs, heu, blanda severi
    Majestas, placidæque decus pondusque senectæ!

                          Non omnia terræ
    Obruta! vivit amor, vivit dolor! Ora negatum
    Dulcia conspicere; at flere et meminisse relictum est.

                  Jamque observatio vitæ
    Multa dedit--lugere nihil, ferre omnia; jamque
    Paulatim lacrymas rerum experientia tersit.
      [Heu! et spem quoque tersit]

    Pectore nunc gelido calidos miseremur amantes,
    Jamque arsisse pudet. Veteres tranquilla tumultus
    Mens horret, relegensque alium putat esse locutum.

But, indeed, the whole of this letter deserves to be read and
translated. Had Petrarch lived a century later, and, retaining all his
_substantiality_ of head and heart, added to it the elegancies and manly
politure of Fracastorius, Flaminius, Vida and their corrivals, this
letter would have been a classical gem. To a translator of genius, and
who possessed the English language as unembarrassed property, the
defects of style in the original would present no obstacle; nay, rather
an honourable motive in the well-grounded hope of rendering the version
a finer poem than the original.

[Twelve lines of Petrarch's Ep. _Barbato Salmonensi_ are quoted in the
_Biog. Liter._ at the end of chapter x.; and a portion of the same poem
was prefixed as a motto to "Love Poems" in the _Sibylline Leaves_, 1817,
and the editions of _P. W._, 1828-9. _Coleridge's Works_, Harper &
Brother, 1853, iii. 314. See, too, _P. W._, 1893, _Editor's Note_, pp.
614, 634.]


A fine writer of bad principles or a fine poem on a hateful subject,
such as the "Alexis" of Virgil or the "Bathyllus" of Anacreon, I compare
to the flowers and leaves of the Stramonium. The flowers are remarkable
sweet, but such is the fetid odour of the leaves that you start back
from the one through disgust at the other.


    Zephyrs that captive roam among these boughs,
    Strive ye in vain to thread the leafy maze?
    Or have ye lim'd your wings with honey-dew?
    Unfelt ye murmur restless o'er my head
    And rock the feeding drone or bustling bees
    That blend their eager, earnest, happy hum!


    Gravior terras infestat Echidna,
    Cur sua vipereæ jaculantur toxica linguæ
    Atque homini sit homo serpens. O prodiga culpæ
    Germina, naturæque uteri fatalia monstra!
    Queis nimis innocuo volupe est in sanguine rictus
    Tingere, fraternasque fibras cognataque per se
    Viscera, et arrosæ deglubere funera famæ.
    Quæ morum ista lues!

25th Feb. 1819 Five years since the preceding lines were written on this
leaf!! Ah! how yet more intrusively has the hornet scandal since then
scared away the bee of poetic thought and silenced its "eager, earnest,
happy hum"!


The sore evil now so general, alas! only not universal, of supporting
our religion, just as a keen party-man would support his party in
Parliament. All must be defended which can give a momentary advantage
over any one opponent, no matter how naked it lays the cause open to
another, perhaps, more formidable opponent--no matter how incompatible
the two assumptions may be. We rejoice, not because our religion is the
truth, but because the truth appears to be our religion. Talk with any
dignified orthodoxist in the sober way of farther preferment and he will
concrete all the grounds of Socinianism, talk Paley and the Resurrection
as a proof and as the only proper _proof_ of our immortality, will give
to external evidence and miracles the same self-grounded force, the same
fundamentality. Even so the old Puritans felt towards the Papists.
Because so much was wrong, everything was wrong, and by denying all
reverence to the fathers and to the constant tradition of the Catholic
Churches, they undermined the wall of the city in order that it might
fall on the heads of the Romanists--thoughtless that by this very act
they made a Breach for the Arian and Socinian to enter.


The ear-deceiving imitation of a steady soaking rain, while the sky is
in full uncurtainment of sprinkled stars and milky stream and dark blue
interspace. The rain had held up for two hours or more, but so deep was
the silence of the night that the _drip_ from the leaves of the garden
trees _copied_ a steady shower.


So intense are my affections, and so despotically am I governed by them
(not indeed so much as I once was, but still far, far too much) that I
should be the most wretched of men if my love outlived my esteem. But
this, thank Heaven! is the antidote. The bitterer the tear of anguish at
the clear detection of misapplied attachment, the calmer I am
afterwards. It is a funeral tear for an object no more.


February 23, 1816.

I thought I expressed my thoughts well when I said, "There is no
superstition but what has a religion as its base [or radical], and
religion is only reason, seen perspectively by a finite intellect."


It is a common remark, in medical books for instance, that there are
certain niceties which words, from their always abstract and so far
general nature, cannot convey. Now this I am disposed to deny, that is,
in any comparative sense. In my opinion there is nothing which, being
equally known as any other thing, may not be conveyed by words with
equal clearness. But the question of the source of the remark is, to
whom? If I say that in jaundice the skin looks yellow, my words have no
meaning for a man who has no sense of colours. Words are but
remembrances, though remembrance may be so excited, as by the _a priori_
powers of the mind to produce a _tertium aliquid_. The utmost, therefore
that should be said is that every additament of perception requires a
new word, which (like all other words) will be intelligible to all who
have seen the subject recalled by it, and who have learnt that such a
word or phrase was appropriated to it; and this may be attained either
by a new word, as _platinum_, _titanium_, _osmium_, etc., for the new
metals, or an epithet peculiarising the application of an old word. For
instance, no one can have attended to the brightness of the eyes in a
healthy person in high spirits and particularly delighted by some
occurrence, and that of the eye of a person deranged or predisposed to
derangement, without observing the difference; and, in this case, the
phrase "a maniacal glitter of the eye" conveys as clear a notion as that
jaundice is marked by yellow. There is, doubtless, a difference, but no
other than that of the _commencement_ of particular knowledge by the
application of universal knowledge (that is to all who have the senses
and common faculties of men), and the next step of knowledge when it
particularises itself. But the defect is not in words, but in the
imperfect knowledge of those to whom they are addressed. Then proof is
obvious. Desire a physician or metaphysician, or a lawyer to mention
the most perspicuous book in their several knowledges. Then bid them
read that book to a sensible carpenter or shoemaker, and a great part
will be as unintelligible as a technical treatise on carpentering to the
lawyer or physician, who had not been brought up in a carpenter's shop
or looked at his tools.

I have dwelt on this for more reasons than one: first, because a remark
that seems at first sight the same, namely, that "everything clearly
perceived may be conveyed in simple common language," without taking in
the "to whom?" is the disease of the age--an arrogant pusillanimity, a
hatred of all information that cannot be obtained without thinking; and,
secondly, because the pretended imperfection of language is often a
disguise of muddy thoughts; and, thirdly, because to the mind itself it
is made an excuse for indolence in determining what the fact or truth is
which is the premise. For whether there does or does not exist a term in
our present store of words significant thereof--if not, a word must be
made--and, indeed, all wise men have so acted from Moses to Aristotle
and from Theophrastus to Linnæus.

The sum, therefore, is this. The conveyal of knowledge by words is in
direct proportion to the stores and faculties of observation (internal
or external) of the person who hears or reads them. And this holds
equally whether I distinguish the green grass from the white lily and
the yellow crocus, which all who have eyes understand, because all are
equal to me in the knowledge of the facts signified--or of the
difference between the apprehensive, perceptive, conceptive, and
conclusive powers which I might [try to enunciate to] Doctors of
Divinity and they would translate the words by _Abra Ca Dabra_.

[Sidenote: FLOWERS OF SPEECH Sunday, April 30, 1816]

Reflections on my four gaudy flower-pots, compared with the former
flower-poems. After a certain period, crowded with counterfeiters of
poetry, and illustrious with true poets, there is formed for common use
a vast _garden_ of language, all the showy and all the odorous words and
clusters of words are brought together, and to be plucked by mere
mechanic and passive memory. In such a state, any man of common poetical
reading, having a strong desire (to be?--O no! but--) to be thought a
poet will present a flower-pot gay and gaudy, but the _composition_!
That is wanting. We carry on judgment of times and circumstances into
our pleasures. A flower-pot which would have enchanted us before flower
gardens were common, for the very beauty of the component flowers, will
be rightly condemned as common-place, out of place (for such is a
common-place poet)--it involves a contradiction both in terms and
thought. So Homer's Juno, Minerva, etc., are read with delight--but
Blackmore? This is the reason why the judgment of those who are newlings
in poetic reading is not to be relied on. The positive, which belongs to
all, is taken as the comparative, which is the individual's praise. A
good ear which had never heard music--with what raptures would it praise
one of Shield's or Arne's Pasticcios and Centos! But it is the human
mind it praises, not the individual. Hence it may happen (I believe has
happened) that fashionableness may produce popularity. "The Beggar's
Petition" is a fair instance, and what if I dared to add Gray's "Elegy
in a Country Churchyard"?


Men who direct what they call their understanding or common-sense by
rules abstracted from sensuous experience in moral and super-sensuous
truths remind one of the zemmi (mus [Greek: typhlos] or _typhlus_), "a
kind of rat in which the skin (conjunctiva) is not even transparent over
the eye, but is there covered with hairs as in the rest of the body. The
eye (= the understanding), which is scarcely the size of the poppy-seed,
is perfectly useless." An eel (_muroena coecilia_) and the myxine
(_gastobranchus coecus_) are blind in the same manner, through the
opacity of the conjunctiva.

[Sidenote: INSECTS]

Sir G. Staunton asserts that, in the forests of Java, spiders' webs are
found of so strong a texture as to require a sharp-cutting instrument to
make way through them. Pity that he did not procure a specimen and bring
it home with him. It would be a pleasure to see a sailing-boat rigged
with them--twisting the larger threads into ropes and weaving the
smaller into a sort of silk canvas resembling the indestructible white
cloth of the arindy or _palma Christi_ silkworm.

The _Libellulidæ_ fly all ways without needing to turn their
bodies--onward, backward, right and left--with more than
swallow-rivalling rapidity of wing, readiness of evolution, and
indefatigable continuance.

The merry little gnats (_Tipulidæ minimæ_) I have myself often watched
in an April shower, evidently "dancing the hayes" in and out between the
falling drops, unwetted, or, rather, un-down-dashed by rocks of water
many times larger than their whole bodies.

[Sidenote: OF STYLE Sunday, January 25, 1817]

A valuable remark has just struck me on reading Milton's beautiful
passage on true eloquence, his apology for Smectymnuus. "For me, reader,
though I cannot say," etc.--first, to shew the vastly greater numbers
of admirable passages, in our elder writers, that may be gotten by
heart as the most exquisite poems; and to point out the great
intellectual advantage of this reading, over the gliding smoothly on
through a whole volume of equability. But still, it will be said, there
is an antiquity, an oddness in the style. Granted; but hear this same
passage from the Smectymnuus, or this, or this. Every one would know at
first hearing that they were not written by Gibbon, Hume, Johnson, or
Robertson. But why? Are they not pure English? Aye! incomparably more
so! Are not the words precisely appropriate, so that you cannot change
them without changing the force and meaning? Aye! But are they not even
now intelligible to man, woman, and child? Aye! there is no
riddle-my-ree in them. What, then, is it? The unnatural, false, affected
style of the moderns that makes sense and simplicity _oddness_.


Even to a sense of shrinking, I felt in this man's face and figure what
a shape comes to view when age has dried away the mask from a bad,
depraved man, and flesh and colour no longer conceal or palliate the
traits of the countenance. Then shows itself the indurated nerve; stiff
and rigid in all its ugliness the inflexible muscle; then quiver the
naked lips, the cold, the loveless; then blinks the turbid eye, whose
glance no longer pliant _fixes_, abides in its evil expression. Then lie
on the powerless forehead the wrinkles of suspicion and fear, and
conscience-stung watchfulness. Contrast this with the countenance of
Mrs. Gillman's mother as she once described it to me. This for "Puff and
Slander,"[G] Highgate, 1817.


When the little creature has slept out its sleep and stilled its hunger
at the mother's bosom (that very hunger a mode of love all made up of
kisses), and coos, and wantons with pleasure, and laughs, and plays
bob-cherry with his mother, that is all, all to it. It understands not
either itself or its mother, but it clings to her, and has an undeniable
right to cling to her, seeks her, thanks her, loves her without
forethought and without an afterthought.


_Nec mihi, Christe, tua sufficiunt sine te, nec tibi placent mea sine
me_, exclaims St. Bernard. _Nota Bene._--This single epigram is worth
(shall I say--O far rather--is a sufficient antidote to) a waggon-load
of Paleyan moral and political philosophies.


We all look up to the blue sky for comfort, but nothing appears there,
nothing comforts, nothing answers us, and so we die.

Lie with the ear upon a dear friend's grave.

On the same man, as in a vineyard, grow far different grapes--on the
sunny south nectar, and on the bleak north verjuice.

The blossom gives not only future fruit, but present honey. We may take
the one, the other nothing injured.

Like some spendthrift Lord, after we have disposed of nature's great
masterpiece and [priceless] heirloom, the wisdom of innocence, we hang
up as a poor copy our [own base] cunning.


The revival of classical literature, like all other revolutions, was not
an unmixed good. One evil was the passion for pure Latinity, and a
consequent contempt for the barbarism of the scholastic style and
terminology. For awhile the schoolmen made head against their
assailants; but, alas! all the genius and eloquence of the world was
against them, and by an additional misfortune the scholastic logic was
professed by those who had no other attainments, namely, the monks, and
these, from monkishness, were the enemies of all genius and liberal
knowledge. They were, of course, laughed out of the field as soon as
they lost the power of aiding their logic by the post-predicaments of
dungeon, fire, and faggot. Henceforward speculative philosophy must be
written classically, that is, without technical terms--therefore
popularly--and the inevitable consequence was that those sciences only
were progressive which were permitted by the apparent as well as real
necessity of the case to have a scientific terminology--as mathesis,
geometry, astronomy and so forth--while metaphysic sank and died, and an
empirical highly superficial psychology took its place. And so it has
remained in England to the present day. A man must have felt the pain of
being compelled to express himself either laxly or paraphrastically
(which latter is almost as great an impediment in intellectual
construction as the translation of letters and symbols into the thought
they represent would be in Algebra), in order to understand how much a
metaphysician suffers from not daring to adopt the _ivitates_ and
_eitates_ of the schoolmen as objectivity, subjectivity, negativity,
positivity. April 29, 1817, Tuesday night.


The sentimental _cantilena_ respecting the benignity and loveliness of
nature--how does it not sink before the contemplation of the pravity of
nature, on whose reluctance and inaptness a form is forced (the mere
reflex of that form which is itself absolute substance!) and which it
struggles against, bears but for a while and then sinks with the
alacrity of self-seeking into dust or _sanies_, which falls abroad into
endless nothings or creeps and cowers in poison or explodes in havock!
What is the beginning? what the end? And how evident an alien is the
supernatural in the brief interval!


There are many, alas! too many, either born or who have become deaf and
dumb. So there are too many who have perverted the religion of the
spirit into the superstition of spirits that mutter and mock and mow,
like deaf and dumb idiots. Plans of teaching the deaf and dumb have been
invented. For these the deaf and dumb owe thanks, and we for their
sakes. _Homines sumus et nihil humani a nobis alienum._ But does it
follow, therefore, that in _all_ schools these plans of teaching should
be followed? Yet in the other case this is insisted on--and the Holy
Ghost must not be our guide because mysticism and ghosts may come in
under this name. Why? Because the deaf and dumb have been promoted to
superintendents of education at large for all!


Save only in that in which I have a right to demand of every man that he
should be able to understand me, the experience or inward witnessing of
the conscience, and in respect of which every man in real life (even the
very disputant who affects doubt or denial in the moment of metaphysical
arguing) would hold himself insulted by the supposition that he did not
understand it--save in this only, and in that which if it be at all must
be _unique_, and therefore cannot be supported by an analogue, and
which, if it be at all, must be first, and therefore cannot have an
antecedent, and therefore may be _monstrated_, but cannot be
_de_monstrated.--I am no ghost-seer, I am no believer in apparitions. I
do not contend for indescribable sensations, nor refer to, much less
ground my convictions on, blind feelings or incommunicable experiences,
but far rather contend against these superstitions in the mechanic sect,
and impeach you as guilty, habitually and systematically guilty, of the
same. Guilty, I say, of superstitions, which at worst are but exceptions
and _fits_ in the poor self-misapprehending pietists, with whom, under
the name mystics, you would fain confound and discredit _all_ who
receive and worship God in spirit and in truth, and in the former as
the only possible mode of the latter. According to your own account,
your own scheme, you know nothing but your own sensations, indescribable
inasmuch as they are sensations--for the appropriate expression even of
which we must fly not merely to the indeclinables in the lowest parts of
speech, but to human articulations that only (like musical notes) _stand
for_ inarticulate sounds--the [Greek: oi, oi, papai] of the Greek
tragedies, or, rather, Greek oratorios. You see nothing, but only by a
sensation that conjures up an image in your own brain, or optic nerve
(as in a nightmare), have an apparition, in consequence of which, as
again in the nightmare, you are _forced_ to believe for the moment, and
are _inclined_ to infer the existence of a corresponding reality out of
your brain, but by what intermediation you cannot even form an
intelligible conjecture. During the years of ill-health from disturbed
digestion, I saw a host of apparitions, and heard them too--but I
attributed them to an act in my brain. You, according to your own
showing, see and hear nothing but apparitions in your brain, and
strangely attribute them to things that _are_ outside your skull. Which
of the two notions is most like the philosopher, which the
superstitionist? The philosopher who makes my apparitions nothing but
apparitions--a brain-image nothing more than a brain-image--and affirm
_nihil super stare_--or you and yours who vehemently contend that it is
but a brain-image, and yet cry, "_ast superstitit aliquid. Est super
stitio alicujus quod in externo, id est, in apparenti non apparet_."

What is outness, external and the like, but either the generalisation of
apparence or the result of a given degree, a comparative intensity of
the same? "I see it in my mind's eye," exclaims Hamlet, when his
thoughts were in his own purview the same phantom, yea! in a higher
intensity, became his father's ghost and marched along the platform. I
quoted your own exposition, and dare you with these opinions charge
others with superstition? You who deny aught permanent in our being, you
with whom the soul, yea, the soul of the soul, our conscience and
morality, are but the _tune_ from a fragile barrel-organ played by air
and water, and whose life, therefore, must of course be a _pointing_
to--as of a Marcellus or a Hamlet--"Tis here! 'Tis gone!" Were it
possible that I could actually believe such a system, I should not be
scared from striking it, from its being so _majestical_!


The old law of England punishes those who dig up the bones of the dead
for superstitious or magical purposes, that is, in order to injure the
living. What then are they guilty of who uncover the dormitories of the
departed, and throw their souls into hell, in order to cast odium on a
living truth?


Darwin possesses the _epidermis_ of poetry but not the _cutis_; the
_cortex_ without the _liber_, _alburnum_, _lignum_, or _medulla_. And no
wonder! for the inner bark or _liber_, alburnum, and wood are one and
the same substance, in different periods of existence.


"It is a mile and a half in height." "How much is that in yards or
feet?" The mind rests satisfied in producing a correspondency in its own
thoughts, and in the exponents of those thoughts. This seems to be a
matter purely analytic, not yet properly synthetic. It is rather an
interchange of equivalent acts, but not the same acts. In the yard I am
prospective; in the mile I seem to be retrospective. Come, a hundred
strides more, and we shall have come a mile. This, if true, may be a
subtlety, but is it necessarily a trifle? May not many common but false
conclusions originate in the neglect of this distinction--in the
confounding of objective and subjective logic?


I like salt to my meat so well that I can scarce say grace over meat
without salt. But salt to one's salt! Ay! a sparkling, dazzling, lit-up
saloon or subterranean minster in a vast mine of rock-salt--what of
it?--full of white pillars and aisles and altars of eye-dazzling salt.
Well, what of it?--'twere an uncomfortable lodging or boarding-house--in
short, _all my eye_. Now, I am content with a work if it be but my eye
and Betty Martin, because, having never heard any charge against the
author of the adage, candour obliges me to conclude that Eliza Martin is
"sense for certain." In short, never was a metaphor more lucky, apt,
ramescent, and fructiferous--a hundred branches, and each hung with a
different graft-fruit--than salt as typical of wit--the uses of both
being the same, not to nourish, but to season and preserve nourishment.
Yea! even when there is plenty of good substantial meat to incorporate
with, stout aitch-bone and buttock, still there may be too much; and
they who confine themselves to such meals will contract a scorbutic
habit of intellect (_i.e._, a scurvy taste), and, with loose teeth and
tender gums, become incapable of chewing and digesting hard matters of
mere plain thinking.

[Sidenote: SPOOKS]

It is thus that the Glanvillians reason. First, they assume the facts as
objectively as if the question related to the experimentable of our
senses. Secondly, they take the imaginative possibility--that is, that
the [assumed] facts involve no contradiction, [as if it were] a
scientific possibility. And, lastly, they [advocate] them as proofs of
a spiritual world and our own immortality. This last [I hold to] be the
greatest insult to conscience and the greatest incongruity with the
objects of religion.

N.B.--It is amusing, in all ghost stories, etc., that the recorders are
"the farthest in the world from being credulous," or "as far from
believing such things as any man."

If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower
presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if
he found that flower in his hand when he awoke--Aye! and what then?

The more exquisite and delicate a flower of joy, the tenderer must be
the hand that plucks it.

Floods and general inundations render for the time even the purest
springs turbid.

For compassion a human heart suffices; but for full, adequate sympathy
with joy, an angel's.


[Footnote G: A projected satire, of which, perhaps, the lines headed "A
Character" were an instalment. See _P. W._, 1893, pp. 195-642. _Letters
of S. T. C._, 1895, ii. 631.]



    Where'er I find the Good, the True, the Fair,
    I ask no names--God's spirit dwelleth there!
    The unconfounded, undivided Three,
    Each for itself, and all in each, to see
    In man and Nature, is Philosophy.

                                         S. T. C.


The moon, rushing onward through the coursing clouds, advances like an
indignant warrior through a fleeing army; but the amber halo in which
she moves--O! it is a circle of Hope. For what she leaves behind her has
not lost its radiance as it is melting away into oblivion, while, still,
the other semi-circle catches the rich light at her approach, and
heralds her ongress.


It is by strength of mind that we are to untwist the tie or copula of
the besom of affliction, which not nature but the strength of
imagination had twisted round it, and thus resolve it into its component
twigs, and conquer in detail "one down and t'other come on"! _Dividendo
diminuitur_--which forms the true ground of the advantage accruing from
communicating our griefs to another. We enable ourselves to see them
each in its true magnitude.


After re-perusal of my inefficient, yet not feeble efforts in behalf of
the poor little white slaves in the cotton-factories, I ask myself, "But
still are we not better than the other nations of Christendom?"
Yes--Perhaps. I don't know. I dare not affirm it. Better than the French
certainly! Mammon _versus_ Moloch and Belial. But Sweden, Norway,
Germany, the Tyrol? No.


There is a species of applause scarcely less genial to a poet, whether
bard, musician, or artist, than the vernal warmth to the feathered
songsters during their nest-building or incubation--a sympathy, an
expressed hope, that is the open air in which the poet breathes, and
without which the sense of power sinks back on itself like a sigh heaved
up from the tightened chest of a sick man. Alas! alas! alas!


Anonymity is now an artifice to acquire celebrity, as a black veil is
worn to make a pair of bright eyes more conspicuous.


For the same reasons that we cannot now act by impulses, but must think,
so now must every legislator be a man of sound book-learning, because he
cannot, if he would, think or act from the simple dictates of unimproved
but undepraved common sense. Newspapers, reviews, and the conversation
of men who derive their opinions from newspapers and reviews will secure
for him artificial opinions, if he does not secure them for himself from
purer and more authentic sources. There is now no such being as a
country gentleman. Like their relation, the Dodo, the race is extinct,
or if by accident one has escaped, it belongs to the Museum, not to
active life, or the purposes of active life.


The more I read and reflect on the arguments of the truly philosophical
theists and atheists, the more I feel convinced that the ultimate
difference is a moral rather than an intellectual one, that the result
is an x y z, an acknowledged insufficiency of the known to account for
itself, and, therefore, a something unknown--that to which, while the
atheist leaves it a blank in the understanding, the theist dedicates his
noblest feelings of love and awe, and with which, by a moral syllogism,
he connects and unites his conscience and actions. For the words
goodness and wisdom are clearly only reflexes of the effect, just as
when we call the unknown cause of cold and heat by the name of its
effects, and _know_ nothing further. For if we mean that a Being like
man, with human goodness and intellect, only magnified, is the cause,
that is, that the First Cause is an immense man (as according to
Swedenborg and Zinzendorf), then come the insoluble difficulties of the
incongruity of qualities whose very essence implies finiteness, with a
Being _ex hypothesi_ infinite.

[Sidenote: THE MIND'S EYE]

An excellent instance of the abstraction [from objects of the sense]
that results from the attention converging to any one object, is
furnished by the oily rags, broken saucers, greasy phials, dabs, crusts,
and smears of paints in the laboratory of a Raphael, or a Claude
Lorraine, or a Van Huysum, or any other great master of the beautiful
and becoming. In like manner, the mud and clay in the modelling hand of
a Chantrey--what are they to him whose total soul is awake, in his eye
as a subject, and before his eye as some ideal of beauty _objectively_?
The various objects of the senses are as little the objects of _his_
senses, as the ink with which the "Lear" was written, existed in the
consciousness of a Shakspere.

[Sidenote: A LAND OF BLISS]

The humming-moth with its glimmer-mist of rapid unceasing motion before
the humble-bee within the flowering bells and cups--and the eagle
_level_ with the clouds, himself a cloudy speck, surveys the vale from
mount to mount. From the cataract flung on the vale, the broadest
fleeces of the snowy foam light on the bank flowers or the water-lilies
in the stiller pool below.


The defect of Archbishop Leighton's reasoning is the taking eternity for
a sort of time, a _baro major_, a baron of beef or quarter of lamb, out
of which and off which time is cut, as a brisket or shoulder--while,
even in common discourse, without any design of sounding the depth of
the truth or of weighing the words expressing it in the hair-balance of
metaphysics, it would be more convenient to consider eternity the _simul
et totum_ as the _antitheton_ of time.


The extraordinary florency of letters under the Spanish Caliphate in
connection with the character and capabilities of Mohammedanism has
never yet been treated as its importance requires. Halim II, founder of
the University of Cordova, and of numerous colleges and libraries
throughout Spain, is said to have possessed a library of six hundred
thousand MSS., the catalogue filling forty-four volumes. Nor were his
successors behind him in zeal and munificence. That the prime article of
Islamism, the uni-personality of God, is one cause of the downfall, say
rather of the merely meteoric existence of their literary age, I am
persuaded, but the exclusive scene (in Spain) suggests many interesting
views. With a learned class Mohammedanism could not but pass into Deism,
and Deism never did, never can, establish itself as a religion. It is
the doctrine of the tri-unity that connects Christianity with
philosophy, gives a positive religion a specific interest to the
philosopher, and that of redemption to the moralist and psychologist.
Predestination, in the plenitude, in which it is equivalent to fatalism,
was the necessary alternative and _succedaneum_ of Redemption, and the
Incarnation the only preservative against pantheism on one side, and
anthropomorphism on the other. The Persian (Europeans in Asia) form of
Mohammedanism is very striking in this point of view.


It is not by individual character that an individual can derive just
conclusions respecting a community or an age. Conclusions so drawn are
the excuse of selfish, narrow and pusillanimous statesmen, who, by
dwelling on the kindred baseness or folly of the persons with whom they
come in immediate contact, lose all faith in human nature, ignorant that
even in these a spark is latent which would light up and consume the
worthless overlay in a national moment. The spirit of a race is the
character of a people, the sleep or the awakening of which depends on a
few minds, pre-ordained for this purpose, and sometimes by the mere
removal of the dead weight of a degenerate Court or nobility pressing on
the spring. So I doubt not would it be with the Turks, were the Porte
and its seraglio conquered by Russia. But the spirit of a race ought
never to be supposed extinct, but on the other hand no more or other
ought to be expected than the race contains in itself. The true cause of
the irrecoverable fall of Rome is to be found in the fact, that Rome was
a city, a handful of men that multiplied its subjects incomparably
faster than its citizens, so that the latter were soon dilute and lost
in the former. On a similar principle colonists in modern times
degenerate by _excision_ from their race (the ancient colonies were
_buds_). This, I think, applies to the Neapolitans and most of the
Italian States. A nest of republics keep each other alive; but a
patchwork of principalities has the effect of excision by insulation, or
rather by compressure. How long did the life of Germany doze under these
ligatures! Yet did we not _despair wrongfully_ of the people? The spirit
of the race survived, of which literature was a part. Hence I dare not
despair of Greece, because it has been barbarised and enslaved, but not
split up into puny independent governments under Princes of their own
race. The Neapolitans have always been a conquered people, and
degenerates in the original sense of the word, _de genere_--they have
lost their race, though what it was is uncertain. Lastly, the individual
in all things is the prerogative of the divine knowledge. What it is,
our eyes can see only by what it has in common, and this can only be
seen in communities where neither excision, nor ligature, nor commixture
exists. Despotism and superstition will not extinguish the character of
a race, as Russia testifies. But again, take care to understand that
character, and expect no other fruit than the root contains in its


Had I proceeded, in concert with R. Southey, with the "Flight and Return
of Mohammed," [1799] I had intended to introduce a disputation between
Mahomet, as the representative of unipersonal Theism with the
Judaico-Christian machinery of angels, genii, and prophets, an idolater
with his gods, heroes, and spirits of the departed mighty, and a
fetish-worshipper who adored the invisible alone, and held no religion
common to all men or any number of men other than as they chanced at the
same moment to be acted on by the same influence--even as when a hundred
ant-hills are in motion under the same burst of sunshine. And, still,
chiefly for the sake of the last scheme, I should like to do something
of the kind. My enlightened fetish-divine would have been an Okenist, a
zoo-magnetist and (a priest of) the night-side of Nature.

[For the fragment entitled "Mahomet," see _P. W._, 1893, p. 139, and
editor's _Note_, p. 615.]


Among the countless arguments against the Paleyans state, this too--Can
a wise moral legislator have made _prudence_ the true principle-ground,
and guide of moral conduct, where in almost all cases in which there is
contemplation to act wrong the first appearances of prudence are in
favour of immorality, and, in order to ground the contrary on a
principle of prudence, it is necessary to refine, to calculate, to look
far onward into an uncertain future? Is this a guide, or primary guide,
that for ever requires a guide against itself? Is it not a strange
system which sets prudence against prudence? Compare this with the Law
of Conscience--Is it not its specific character to be immediate,
positive, unalterable? In short, _a priori_, state the requisites of a
moral guide, and apply them first to prudence, and then to the law of
pure reason or conscience, and ask if we need fear the result if the
Judge is pure from all bribes and prejudices.

What then are the real dictates of prudence as drawn from every man's
experience in late manhood, and so lured from the intoxication of
youth, hope, and love? How cold, how dead'ning, what a dire vacuum they
would leave in the soul, if the high and supreme sense of duty did not
form a root out of which new prospects budded. What, I say, is the clear
dictate of prudence in the matter of friendship? Assuredly to _like_
only, and never to be so attached as to be stripped naked by the loss. A
friend may be a great-coat, a beloved a couch, but never, never our
necessary clothing, our only means of quiet heart-repose! And, yet, with
this the mind of a generous man would be so miserable, that prudence
itself would fight against prudence, and advise him to drink off the
draught of Hope, spite of the horrid and bitter dregs of disappointment,
with which the draught will assuredly finish.

Though I have said that duty is a consolation, I have not affirmed that
the scar of the wound of disappointed love and insulted, betrayed
fidelity would be removed in _this_ life. No! it will not--nay, the very
duty must for ever keep alive feelings the appropriate objects of which
are indeed in another world; but yet our human nature cannot avoid at
times the connection of those feelings with their original or their
first forms and objects; and so far, therefore, from removing the scar,
will often and often make the wound open and bleed afresh. But, still,
we know that the feeling is not objectless, that the counterfeit has a
correspondent genuine, and this is the comfort.

[Sidenote: A POET ON POETRY]

_Canzone XVIII. fra le Rime di Dante_ is a poem of wild and interesting
images, intended as an enigma, and to me an enigma it remains, spite of
all my efforts. Yet it deserves transcription and translation. A.D. 1806
[? 1807].

"Tre donne intorno al cuor mi son venute," &c.

[After the four first lines the handwriting is that of my old, dear, and
honoured friend, Mr. Wade, of Bristol.--S. T. C.]

_Ramsgate, Sept. 2nd, 1819._--I _begin_ to understand the above poem,
after an interval from 1805, during which no year passed in which I did
not reperuse, I might say construe, parse, and spell it, twelve times at
least--such a fascination had it, spite of its obscurity! It affords a
good instance, by the bye, of that soul of _universal_ significance in a
true poet's composition, in addition to the specific meaning.


Great minds can and do create the taste of the age, and one of the
contingent causes which warp the taste of nations and ages is, that men
of genius in part yield to it, and in part are acted on by the taste of
the age.

Common minds may be compared to the component drops of the stream of
life--men of genius to the large and small bubbles. What if they break?
they are still as good as the rest--drops of water.


In youth our happiness is hope; in age the recollection of the hopes of
youth. What else can there be?--for the substantial mind, for the _I_,
what else can there be? Pleasure? Fruition? Filter hope and memory from
pleasure, and the more entire the fruition the more is it the death of
the _I_. A neutral product results that may exist for others, but no
longer for itself--a coke or a slag. To make the object one with us, we
must become one with the object--_ergo, an_ object. _Ergo_, the object
must be itself a subject--partially a favourite dog, principally a
friend, wholly God, _the_ Friend. God is Love--that is, an object that
is absolutely subject (God is a spirit), but a subject that for ever
condescends to become the object for those that meet Him subjectively.
[As in the] Eucharist, [He is] verily and truly present to the Faithful,
neither [by a] _trans_ nor _con_, but [by] _substantiation_.


We might as well attempt to conceive more than three dimensions of
space, as to imagine more than three kinds of living existence--God,
man, and beast. And even of these the last (division) is obscure, and
scarce endures a fixed contemplation without passing into an unripe or
degenerated humanity.


My mother told my wife that I was a year younger, and that there was a
blunder made either in the baptismal register itself or in the
transcript sent for my admission into Christ's Hospital; and Mrs. C.,
who is older than myself, believes me only 48. Be this as it may, in
_life_, if not in years, I am, alas! nearer to 68.

[S. T. C. was born on October 21, 1772. Consequently, on October 20,
1819, he was not yet forty-seven. He entered his forty-eighth year
October 21, 1819.]


N.B.--A sonnet on the child collecting shells and pebbles on the
sea-shore or lake-side, and carrying each with a fresh shout of delight
and admiration to the mother's apron, who smiles and assents to each
"This is pretty!" "Is not that a nice one?" and then when the prattler
is tired of its _conchozetetic_ labours lifts up her apron and throws
them out on her apron. Such are our first discoveries both in science
and philosophy.--S. T. Coleridge, Oct. 21, 1819.


Found Mr. G. with Hartley in the garden, attempting to explain to
himself and to Hartley a feeling of a something not present in Milton's
works, that is, in "Paradise Lost," "Paradise Regained," and "Samson
Agonistes," which he _did_ feel delightedly in the "Lycidas," and (as I
added afterwards) in the Italian sonnets compared with the English. And
this appeared to me to be the _poet_ appearing and wishing to appear as
the poet, and, likewise, as the man, as much as, though more rare than,
the father, the brother, the preacher, and the patriot. Compare with
Milton, Chaucer's "Fall of the Leaf" and Spenser throughout, and you
cannot but _feel_ what Gillman meant to convey. What is the solution?
This, I believe--but I must premise that there is a _synthesis_ of
intellectual insight including the mental object, the organ of the
correspondent being indivisible, and this (O deep truth!) because the
objectivity consists in the universality of its subjectiveness--as when
it _sees_, and millions _see_ even so, and the seeing of the millions is
what constitutes to _A_ and to each of the millions the _objectivity_ of
the sight, the equivalent to a common object--a synthesis of _this_, I
say, and of proper external object which we call _fact_. Now, this it is
which we find in religion. It is more than philosophical truth--it is
other and more than historical fact; it is not made up by the addition
of the one to the other, but it is the _identity_ of both, the

Now, this being understood, I proceed to say, using the term objectivity
(arbitrarily, I grant), for this identity of truth and fact, that Milton
hid the poetry in or transformed (not trans-substantiated) the poetry
into this objectivity, while Shakspere, in all things, the divine
opposite or antithetic correspondent of the divine Milton, transformed
the objectivity into poetry.

Mr. G. observed as peculiar to the Hamlet, that it alone, of all
Shakspere's plays, presented to him a moving along _before_ him; while
in others it was a moving, indeed, but with which he himself moved
equally in all and with all, and without any external something by which
the motion was manifested, even as a man would move in a balloon--a
sensation of motion, but not a sight of moving and having been moved.
And why is this? Because of all the characters of Shakspere's plays
Hamlet is the only character with which, by contra-distinction from the
rest of the _dramatis personæ_, the fit and capable reader identifies
himself as the representation of his own contemplative and strictly
proper and very own being (action, etc., belongs to others, the moment
we call it our own)--hence the events of the play, with all the
characters, move because you stand still. In the other plays, your
identity is equally diffused over all. Of no parts can you say, as in
Hamlet, they are moving. But ever it is _we_, or that period and portion
of human action, which is unified into a dream, even as in a dream the
personal unity is diffused and severalised (divided to the sight though
united in the dim feeling) into a sort of reality. Even so [it is with]
the styles of Milton and Shakspere--the same weight of effect from the
exceeding _felicity_ (subjectively) of Shakspere, and the exceeding
_propriety_ (_extra arbitrium_) of Milton.


The best plan, I think, for a man who would wish his mind to continue
growing is to find, in the first place, some means of ascertaining for
himself whether it does or no; and I can think of no better than early
in life, say after three-and-twenty, to procure gradually the works of
some two or three great writers--say, for instance, Bacon, Jeremy
Taylor, and Kant, with the _De Republicâ_, _De Legibus_, the _Sophistes_
and _Politicus_ of Plato, and the _Poetics_, _Rhetorics_, and _Politics_
of Aristotle--and amidst all other reading, to make a point of
reperusing some one, or some weighty part of some one of these every
four or five years, having from the beginning a separate note-book for
each of these writers, in which your impressions, suggestions,
conjectures, doubts and judgments are to be recorded with date of each,
and so worded as to represent most sincerely the exact state of your
convictions at the time, such as they would be if you did not (which
this plan will assuredly make you do sooner or later) anticipate a
change in them from increase of knowledge. "It is possible that I am in
the wrong, but so it now appears to me, after my best attempts; and I
must therefore put it down in order that I may find myself so, if so I
am." It would make a little volume to give in detail all the various
moral as well as intellectual advantages that would result from the
systematic observation of the plan. Diffidence and hope would
reciprocally balance and excite each other. A continuity would be given
to your being, and its progressiveness ensured. All your knowledge
otherwise obtained, whether from books or conversation or experience,
would find centres round which it would organise itself. And, lastly,
the habit of confuting your past self, and detecting the causes and
occasions of your having mistaken or overlooked the truth, will give you
both a quickness and a winning kindness, resulting from sympathy, in
exposing the errors of others, as if you were an _alter ego_, of his
mistake. And such, indeed, will your antagonist appear to you, another
past self--in all points in which the falsity is not too plainly a
derivation from a corrupt heart and the predominance of bad passion or
worldly interests overlaying the love of truth as truth. And even in
this case the liveliness with which you will so often have expressed
yourself in your private note-books, in which the words, unsought for
and untrimmed because intended for your own eye, exclusively, were the
first-born of your first impressions, when you were either enkindled by
admiration of your writer, or excited by a humble disputing with him
reimpersonated in his book, will be of no mean rhetorical advantage to
you, especially in public and extemporary debate or animated

[Sidenote: THE IDEA OF GOD]

Did you deduce your own being? Even that is less absurd than the conceit
of deducing the Divine being? Never would you have had the notion, had
you not had the idea--rather, had not the idea worked in you like the
memory of a name which we cannot recollect and yet feel that we have and
which reveals its existence in the mind only by a restless anticipation
and proves its _a priori_ actuality by the almost explosive
instantaneity with which it is welcomed and recognised on its
re-emersion out of the cloud, or its re-ascent from the horizon of


I should like to know whether or how far the delight I feel, and have
always felt, in adages or aphorisms of universal or very extensive
application is a general or common feeling with men, or a peculiarity of
my own mind. I cannot describe how much pleasure I have derived from
"Extremes meet," for instance, or "Treat everything according to its
nature," and, the last, "Be"! In the last I bring all inward rectitude
to its test, in the former all outward morality to its rule, and in the
first all problematic results to their solution, and reduce apparent
contraries to correspondent opposites. How many hostile tenets has it
enabled me to contemplate as fragments of truth, false only by negation
and mutual exclusion?

[Sidenote: IGNORE THYSELF July 12, 1822]

I have myself too often of late used the phrase "rational self-love" the
same as "enlightened self-love." O no more of this! What have love,
reason or light to do with _self_, except as the dark and evil spirit
which it is given to them to overcome! _Soul-love_, if you please. O
there is more stuff of thought in our simple and pious fore-elders'
adjuration, "Take pity of your poor soul!" than in all the volumes of
Paley, Rochefoucauld, and Helvetius!

[Sidenote: RUGIT LEO]

N.B.--The injurious manner in which men of genius are treated, not only
as authors, but even when they are in social company. _A_ is believed to
be, or talked of as, a man of unusual talent. People are anxious to
meet him. If he says little or nothing, they wonder at the report, never
considering whether they themselves were fit either to excite, or if
self-excited to receive and comprehend him. But with the simplicity of
genius he attributes more to them than they have, and they put questions
that cannot be answered but by a return to first principles, and then
they complain of him as not conversing, but lecturing. "He is quite
intolerable," "Might as well be hearing a sermon." In short, in answer
to some objection, _A_ replies, "Sir, this rests on the distinction
between an _idea_ and an _image_, and, likewise, its difference from a
perfect _conception_." "Pray, sir, explain." Because he does not and
cannot [state the case as concisely as if he had been appealed to about
a hand at] whist, 'tis "Lord! how long he talks," and they never ask
themselves, Did this man force himself into your company? Was he not
dragged into it? What is the practical result? That the man of genius
should live as much as possible with beings that simply love him, from
relationship or old association, or with those that have the same
feelings with himself; but in all other company he will do well to cease
to be the man of genius, and make up his mind to appear dull or
commonplace as a companion, to be the most silent except upon the most
trivial subjects of any in the company, to turn off questions with a
joke or a pun as not suiting a wine-table, and to trust only to his

[Sidenote: A BROKEN HEART]

Few die of a _broken heart_, and these few (the surgeons tell us) know
nothing of it, and, dying suddenly, leave to the dissector the first
discovery. O this is but the shallow remark of a hard and unthinking
prosperity! Have you never seen a stick broken in the middle, and yet
cohering by the rind? The fibres, half of them actually broken and the
rest sprained and, though tough, unsustaining? O many, many are the
broken-hearted for those who know what the moral and practical heart of
the man is!

[Sidenote: VOX HIEMALIS Thursday, Sept. 30, 1824]

Now the breeze through the stiff and brittle-becoming foliage of the
trees counterfeits the sound of a rushing stream or water-flood suddenly
sweeping by. The sigh, the modulated continuousness of the murmur is
exchanged for the confusion of overtaking sounds--the self-evolution of
the One, for the clash or stroke of ever-commencing contact of the
multitudinous, without interspace, by confusion. The short gusts rustle
and the ear feels the unlithesome dryness, before the eye detects the
coarser, duller, though deeper green, deadened and not [yet] awakened
into the hues of decay--echoes of spring from the sepulchral vault of
winter. The aged year, conversant with the forms of its youth and
forgetting all the intervals, feebly reproduces them [as it were, from],

[Sidenote: CONSTANCY Friday, June 9, 1826]

"Constancy lives in realms above." This exclusion of constancy from the
list of earthly virtues may be a poet's exaggeration, but, certainly, it
is of far rarer occurrence in _all_ relations of life than the young and
warm-hearted are willing to believe, but in cases of _exclusive_
attachment (that is, in Love, properly so-called, and yet distinct from
Friendship), and in the _highest_ form of the Virtue, it is _so_ rare
that I cannot help doubting whether an instance of _mutual_ constancy in
effect ever existed. For there are two sorts of constancy, the one
negative, where there is no _transfer_ of affection, where the bond of
attachment is not broken though it may be attenuated to a thread--this
may be met with, not so seldom, and, where there is goodness of heart,
it may be expected--but the other sort, or _positive_ constancy, where
the affection endures in the same intensity with the same or increased
tenderness and _nearness_, of this it is that I doubt whether once in an
age an instance occurs where _A_ feels it toward _B_, and _B_ feels it
towards _A_, and _vice versâ_.

[Sidenote: FLOWERS AND LIGHT April 18, 1826]

Spring flowers, I have observed, look best in the day, and by sunshine:
but summer and autumnal flower-pots by lamp or candle-light. I have now
before me a flower-pot of cherry-blossoms, polyanthuses, double violets,
periwinkles, wall-flowers, but how dim and dusky they look! The scarlet
anemone is an exception, and three or four of them with all the rest of
the flower-glass sprays of white blossoms, and one or two periwinkles
for the sake of the dark green leaves, green stems, and flexible elegant
form, make a lovely group both by sun and by candle-light.

Grove, Highgate.

[Sidenote: THE BREATH OF SPRING Feb. 28, 1827]

What an interval! Heard the singing birds this morning in our garden for
the first time this year, though it rained and blew fiercely; but the
long frost has broken up, and the wind, though fierce, was warm and

[Sidenote: THE IDEA OF LIFE May 5, 1827]

To the right understanding of the most awfully _concerning_ declaration
of Holy Writ there has been no greater obstacle than the want of insight
into the nature of Life--what it is and what it is not. But in order to
this, the mind must have been raised to the contemplation of the
_Idea_--the life celestial, to wit--or the distinctive essence and
character of the Holy Spirit. Here Life is _Love_--communicative,
outpouring love. _Ergo_, the terrestrial or the Life of Nature ever the
shadow and opposite of the Divine is appropriative, absorbing
_appetence_. But the great mistake is, that the soul cannot continue
without life; for, if so, with what propriety can the portion of the
reprobate soul be called Death? What if the natural life have two
possible terminations--true Being and the falling back into the dark


The painter-parson, Rev. Mr. Judkin, is about to show off a Romish
priest converted to the Protestant belief, on Sunday next at his church,
and asked of me (this day, at Mr. Gray's, Friday, 27th July, 1827)
whether I knew of any form of recantation but that of Archbishop
Tenison. I knew nothing of Tenison's or any other, but expressed my
opinion that no other recantation ought to be required than a
declaration that he admitted no outward authority superior to, or
co-ordinate with, the canonical Scriptures, and no interpreter that
superseded or stood in the place of the Holy Spirit, enlightening the
mind of each true believer, according to his individual needs. I can
conceive a person holding all the articles that distinguish the Romish
from the Protestant conception, with this one exception; and, yet, if he
did make this exception, and professed to believe them, because he
thought they were contained in, or to be fairly inferred from, right
reason and the Scriptures, I should consider him as true a Protestant
as Luther, Knox, or Calvin, and a far better than Laud and his
compeers, however meanly I might think of him as a philosopher and
theologian. The laying so great a stress on transubstantiation I have
long regarded as the great calamity or error of the Reformation--if not
constrained by circumstances, the great _error_--or, if constrained, the
great _calamity_.

[Sidenote: THE NIGHT IS AT HAND August 1, 1828]

The sweet prattle of the chimes--counsellors pleading in the court of
Love--then the clock, the solemn sentence of the mighty Judge--long
pause between each pregnant, inappellable word, too deeply weighed to be
reversed in the High-Justice-Court of Time and Fate. A more richly
solemn sound than this eleven o'clock at Antwerp I never heard--dead
enough to be opaque as central gold, yet clear enough to be the mountain


    _Abergavenny, The_, 132

    Achilles, 25

    Adam, 51

    Adar River, 261

    Africa, 70, 71

    Alexander the Great, 256

    Alfieri, 230

    Allen, Robert, 139, 140 _n_

    Allston, Washington, 167, 175

    Anacreon, 183, 263

    Antonio, St., 78

    Antwerp, 307

    Aphrodite, 192

    Apollo, 110

    Ariosto, 151, 230

    Aristotle, 183, 222, 268, 298

    Arne, 270

    Arrian, 183

    Augustine, St., 179

    Bacon, F. (Lord Verulam), 21, 79, 151, 177, 183, 298

    Ball, Sir Alexander, 206

    Ball, Lady, 92

    Barrow, J., 26, 47

    Bassenthwaite, 18

    Barclay, W. ("Argenis"), 207

    Beaumont, Francis, 207

    Beaumont, Sir George, 67, 79, 145

    Beaumont, Lady, 67

    Beddoes, Thomas, M.D., 239 _n_

    Bentham, 127

    Berkeley, Bishop, 183

    Bernard, Saint, 273

    Bernouilli, 152

    Beverley, 94

    Blackmore, 24, 270

    Blount, Sir Edward, 63

    Blumenbach, 67

    Boccaccio, 46

    Bonnet, 152

    Borrowdale, 34, 35, 52

    Bosch, 182

    Boyer, J., 14

    Brandelhow, 46

    Bristol, 293 _n_

    Brunck, 182

    Brougham, Lord, 250

    Brown, Dr. J., 14

    Browne, William, 158 and _n_

    Bruno, Giordano, 16, 17 _n_, 72, 73, 151

    Buffon, 209

    Buonaparte, 75

    Burdett, Sir F., 174, 255

    Burton, Robert, 25

    Cain, 51

    Cairns, M. J., 9

    Calvin, 307

    Cambridge, 214

    Campbell, T., 156

    Campeachy, Bay of, 208

    Caracciolo, 87

    Caernarvon Castle, 71

    Castle Crag, 34

    Castlerigg, 43

    Catullus, 165

    Cecilia, St., 200

    Ceres, 110

    Cervantes, 152

    Chantrey, 286

    Charlemagne, 170

    Chartreuse, 119

    Chaucer, 296

    Chersites, Theodoras, 21

    China, 29, 132, 151

    Christ's Hospital, 46, 295

    Cicero, 23 _n_

    Circe, 192

    Clarkson, Thomas, 24

    Clarkson, Mrs., 167

    Claudian, 165

    Clotharius, 211

    Cobbett, W., 76, 255

    Cochrane (Earl of Dundonald). 237

    Coleorton, 171 _n_

    Coleridge, Berkeley, 120

    Coleridge, Derwent, 18, 29, 120

    Coleridge, Hartley, 3, 13, 15, 24, 40, 41, 65, 66, 96, 135, 296

    Coleridge, Colonel James, 158 _n_.

    Coleridge, S. T., 9, 23 _n_, 64 _n_, 75 _n_, 103, 140 _n_, 157 and _n_,
    158 _n_, 169, 177 _n_, 195 _n_, 196 _n_, 203 _n_, 211 _n_, 225 _n_,
    236 _n_, 242 _n_, 246 _n_, 248 _n_, 263 _n_, 273 _n_, 293 _n_,
    295 and _n_

    Coleridge, Sara (Mrs. S. T.), 9, 218, 295

    Coleridge, Sara (Mrs. H. N. Coleridge), 120, 208 _n_.

    Collins, 5

    Combe, S., 129

    Combe Satchfield, 158 _n_.

    Condillac, 79

    Constantine, Budæo-Tusan, 182

    Cordova, 287

    Cottle, Joseph, 60, 86, 235

    _Courier_ Office, 193, 203 _n_

    Cowper, William, 121, 128

    Cuthill, Mr., 182, 183

    Dampier, Travels of, 208

    Dante, 25, 151, 229, 230, 293

    Daphnis, D'Orvilles, 183

    Darwin, Dr., 5, 92, 151, 280

    David, King, 235

    Davy, Sir H., 218

    Dennison, Mr., 144, 146

    De Quincey, 177 _n_, 183

    Diogenes, 97

    Domitian, 159

    Drayton, 154

    Dresden, 85

    Dryden, 159

    Duke Richard, 158 _n_

    Dundas (Lord Melville), 151

    Durham, 35, 36

    Dyer, George, 9 _n_, 67

    Edgeworth, Miss, 117

    Elizabeth, Queen, 231

    Empedocles, 163

    Eolus, 193

    Epictetus, 183

    Erigena, Joannes Scotus, 58

    Escot, 157 _n_

    Etna, 114

    Euphormio, 207

    Exeter, 67

    Favell, 28 _n_

    Fay, Benedict, 154

    Fénelon, 133

    Fichte, 106, 133, 169, 183

    Fielding, 166, 167

    Flaminius, 207, 263

    Fletcher, John, 207

    Fracastorius, 148, 207, 263

    France, 75, 119, 120, 152

    Geddes, Dr. Alexander, 109 _n_

    Geneva, Lake of, 261

    Genoa, 7

    Germany, 8 _n_, 151, 169, 284, 289

    Gibbon, 272

    Gillman, James, 296, 297

    Gillman, Mrs., 273

    Glanvillians, The, 281

    Godwin, W., 13, 66, 68

    Goethe, 229

    Göttingen, 67

    Grasmere, 76, 132

    Gray, Thomas, 5, 270

    Greece, 110, 177, 206, 289

    Greenough, 68

    Greta River, 19, 29, 43, 44

    Greta Hall, 218 _n_

    Greville, Fulk, 17

    Grysdale Pike, 19, 46

    Guarini, 191

    Guyon, Madame, 133, 152

    Haarlem, 67

    Halim II., 287

    Hamburg, 101

    Harrington, J., 79, 151

    Hartz, 211 and _n_

    Hayley, 151

    Hazlitt, W., 9, 35, 36

    Hebrides, 129

    Helvellyn, 52

    Helvetius, 301

    Henry, Prince, 158

    Herbert's, St., Island, 32

    Hobbes, 13, 183

    Holcroft, 66, 68

    Homer, 207, 270

    Horace, 176

    Hume, David, 24, 79, 102, 151, 272

    Huss, 215

    Hutchinson, Mary (Mrs. Wordsworth), 8 _n_, 20

    Hutchinson, Sarah, 8 _n_

    India, 132

    Ireland, 177

    Italy, 152, 229

    Java, 271

    Jennings, J., 60

    Johnson, Dr., 115, 151, 155, 272

    Jonson, Ben, 207

    Judkin, Rev. Mr., 306

    Kant, 12, 106, 151, 169, 183

    Keswick, 54 _n_, 101

    Klopstock, 101, 229

    Knox, John, 164, 307

    Lamb, Charles, 66, 140 _n_.

    Latrigg, 60 _n_

    Laud, 307

    Lavater, 223

    Leckie, 183

    Leibnitz, 147, 151, 152, 183

    Leighton, 287

    Lessing, 151

    Linnæus, 268

    Lloyd, Charles, 107

    Lloyd, David, 230

    Locke, 24, 151, 155, 183, 185

    Loch Leven, 208

    Lodore, 34

    London, 9, 28, 194

    Lorraine, Claude, 286

    Lupus, 211

    Luther, 11, 152, 215, 239, 307

    Lyceum, 193

    Lyonnet, 94

    Mackintosh, Sir J., 6, 126, 198

    Malone, E., 88, 89 _n_

    Malta, 75 _n_, 83, 87, 98, 104, 107, 130, 140 _n_, 144, 187, 197

    Malthus, Rev. J., 64

    Marathon, 74 _n_

    Marini, G. B., 191

    Martial, 159

    Massinger, 207

    Mediterranean, 85, 109

    Metastasio, 166, 229

    Middleton, Sir Hugh, 250

    Milton, 14, 24, 72, 73, 120, 151, 152, 159, 161, 215 _n_, 229, 253,
    271, 296, 297, 298

    Mohammed, 290, 291 _n_.

    Molière, 152

    Montagu, Basil, 218 _n_.

    Moses, 9, 268

    Mylius, Johann Christoph., 96

    Naples, King of, 87

    Naucratius, 21

    Nelson, Lord, 237

    Newlands, 52

    Newmarket, 168

    New River, 168

    Newton, Sir Isaac, 214

    Nile, 20

    Norway, 284

    Okenist, An, 291

    Orleans, 211

    Otter River, 29

    Otterton, 158 _n_

    Ottery St. Mary, 29, 157 _n_, 158 _n_

    Ovid, 165

    Paine, Tom, 226

    Paley, Archdeacon, 35, 151, 155, 265, 301

    Paracelsus, 14, 232

    Parisatis, 176

    Parkinson (_Theatrum Botanicum_), 59

    Pascal, 152

    Pasley, Captain, 145, 154

    Paul, Jean (Richter), 235

    Paul, St., 93, 163

    Penelope, Nature a, 100

    Peter, St., 215

    Petrarch, 262, 263 _n_

    Picts, The, 129

    Pindar, 168

    Pitt, 151

    Plato, 31, 133, 183, 298

    Plotinus, 48, 49, 183

    Polyclete, 192

    Poole, T., 70, 153

    Pope, 151, 166, 233

    Porphyry, 183

    Port Royal, 208

    Porte, The, 289

    Portugal, 140 _n_

    Price, Dr., 167

    Priestley, Dr., 151, 155

    Prince, The Black, 71

    Proclus, 17, 63, 183

    Proserpine, 110

    Psyche, 89, 109, 142

    Pygmalion, 192

    Pyramids, The, 258

    Pythagoras, 55, 231

    Quintilian, 23 _n_

    Raleigh, Sir W., 148, 250

    Raphael, 286

    Ray (or Wray), John, 35, 36

    Reignia, Captain, 89

    Reimarus, Herman Samuel, 91 _n_, 92

    Rhone River, 261

    Richardson, Samuel, 166, 167

    Rickman, J., 67

    Robertson, William, 272

    Rochefoucauld, 301

    Rock, Captain (son of), 208

    Rogers, Samuel, 156

    Rome, Church of, 58, 124, 215

    Rome, 110, 129, 206, 289

    Russia, 170, 289

    Scapula, 182

    Scarlett (James Lord Abinger), 198

    Schelling, 169, 183

    Schiller, 150, 161, 181, 211 _n_, 229

    Scott, Sir Walter, 74 _n_

    Scotus, Duns, 222

    Sens, 211

    Shakspere, 21, 24, 71, 72, 73, 88, 89 _n_, 97, 108, 115, 127, 128, 145,
    147, 150, 151, 152, 161, 180, 286, 297, 298

    Sharp, Grenville, 250

    Sharp, Richard, 158, 198

    Sheridan, R. B., 41, 177

    Shield, 270

    Sidney, Sir Philip, 17, 151

    Simonides, 163

    Skiddaw, 18, 19, 52

    Smith, Robert, 198

    Smith, Sydney, 198

    Sorel, Dr., 107

    Sotheby, William, 53

    South, 47

    Southey, 6, 28 _n_, 36, 107, 158 _n_, 221, 290

    Spain, 70, 152, 287

    Spenser, 296

    Spinoza, 57, 81, 183

    Staunton, Sir G., 271

    Stephen's, St., 211

    Stephen's Thesaurus, 182

    Stewart, Sir James, 1

    Stoddart (Dr. afterwards Sir J.), 74, 75 _n_, 107, 140 _n_, 167

    Stowey, Upper, 143

    Stowey, Nether, 60 _n_

    Strabo, Geographicus, 179

    Strada, Prolusions of, 183

    Strozzi, Giambatista, 225

    Stuart, Daniel, 195

    Sweden, 284

    Swedenborg, 286

    Swift, Dean, 24, 151, 164

    Swinside, 19

    Switzerland, 129

    Syracuse, 95

    Tantalus, 234

    Taylor, Dorothy, 158 _n_

    Taylor, Frances, 158 _n_

    Taylor, Jeremy, 12, 20, 76, 298

    Taylor, Thomas, 17

    Teme, Valley of, 26

    Tenison, Archbishop, 306

    Theophrastus, 268

    Tiberius, 37

    Tibullus, 165

    Tobin, J., 68, 139, 140 _n_

    Tyrol, The, 284

    Underwood, Mr., 68

    Unzer, D., 94

    Valetta, 75 _n_, 144

    Van Huysum, 286

    Varrius, 134

    Vida, 263

    Vincent, Captain, 134

    Virgil, 263

    Virginia, 94

    Voltaire, 152

    Voss, 151, 229

    Vossius, 134

    Wade, Mr., 293 _n_

    Wedgwood, T., 27, 91

    Whinlatter, 46, 50

    White, Mr. (of Clare Hall, Camb.), 225

    Wickliffe, 215

    Wieland, 229

    Wilberforce, 250

    Willoughby, Lord, 231

    Wilson, John, 60 _n_

    Windybrow, 60 _n_

    Withop Fells, 47

    Wollstonecraft, Mary, 66

    Wordsworth, Dorothy, 60 _n_

    Wordsworth, John, 132

    Wordsworth, William, 4, 10 _n_, 30, 35, 36, 60 _n_, 70, 71,
    79, 101, 131, 137, 138 _n_, 147, 151, 163, 169, 171 _n_,
    201 _n_, 207, 208 _n_, 221, 251 _n_

    Wyndham, 41, 237

    Zinzendorf, 286


NOTE.--_Brief paragraphs and sentences to which no title has been given,
in the text will be found indexed under the following headings._

    Abstruse Research, 53-56

    Anecdotes, A Sheaf of, 66-68

    Aphorisms and Pithy Sentences, 253-256

    Comparisons and Contrasts, 5-7

    Country and Town, 28-29

    Dreams and Shadows, 172-173

    Duty and Experience, 2-3

    For the _Soother in Absence_, 84-85; 86-87; 95-97; 99-100; 115-118;
    147-150; 159-161; 162-165; 175-180

    Hints for _The Friend_, 209, 210; 221-223; 230-233

    Observations and Reflections, 17-21

    _Seriores Rosæ_, 274

    Things Visible and Invisible, 7-14

    Thoughts, a Crowd of, 58-61

    Thoughts and Fancies, 22-25

    Transcripts from my Velvet Pocket Books, 26-28


    _Abstruse Research_, 53-55
      Face, the phantom of, 54
      Eye-spectra, 55
      Reluctance of mind to analyse, 53
      Soul within the body. Window at Keswick, 54

    A bliss, &c., 264

    Adam's death, 51

    Alas! they had been friends, &c., 62

    Allston, To, 169

    All thoughts, all passions, &c., 224

    A man's a man, &c., 51

    Analogy, 89-91

    Anecdote, a genuine, 218

    _Anecdotes, a Sheaf of_, 66-68
      Beaumont, Sir G., and gauze spectacles, 67
      Beaumont, Lady, her prayers, 67
      Göttingen and the _hospes_, 67
      Godwin, Holcroft, and Underwood, 68
      Holcroft and M. Wollstonecraft, 66
      Exeter, the organ pipe, 67
      Lamb, Charles, a call upon, 66
      Rickman and George Dyer, 67

    Anticipations in Nature, &c., 136

    Aphorisms and Adages, 300-301

    _Aphorisms and Pithy Sentences_, 253-256
      Bookmaking, 256
      Burdett, Sir Francis, 255
      Catamaran, man compared with, 253
      Convalescence without love, 254
      Half-reconciliation, 254
      Hunter, the light of his torch, 255
      Love, inspired by superiority, 253
      Money, the depreciation of, 254
      Peninsulating river, 255
      Philosophy, its plummet-line, 255
      Sun, the rosy fingers of, 254
      Vision and appetite, 255

    Architecture and Climate, 194

    Art, the pyramid in, 98
      An afterthought, 99

    As the sparks fly upward, 110

    Ascend a step, etc., 158-159

    Aspiration, a pious, 213

    Association, 226

    Association, of streamy, 55

    A time to cry out, 220-221

    Attention and sensation, 128

    _Auri sacra fames_, 44

    Ave Phoebe Imperator, 63

    Being, the three estates of, 294

    Bells, concerning, 210-212
      Clotharius, 211
      Latin distichs, 210
      Names of bells, 211
      Passing bells, 211
      Waggon-horse, &c., in the Hartz, 211
      Note on Schiller's 'Song of the Bell,' &c., 211

    Bibliological memoranda, 182-183

    Bird, the captive, 193

    Birds caged, especially the robin, 194

    Bliss, a land of, 286-287

    Book-knowledge and experience, 129

    Book-learning for legislators, 285

    Books in the air, 206-207

    Bright October, 34

    Browne, William, of Ottery and Note, 157-158

    Bruno, Giordano, 16, 17

    Bulls in action, 156

    But love is indestructible, 250

    Candour another name for cant, 75

    Catholic reunion, 215

    Cast not your pearls, &c., 80-81

    Ceres, the conversion of, 110

    _C'est magnifique_, etc., 258

    Children of a larger growth, 204

    Christabel, a hint for, 223

    Chymical analogies, 204-206

    Clerical errors, the psychology of, 181-182

    _Cogitare est laborare_, 66

    Communicable, the, 32

    _Comparisons and Contrasts_, 5-7
      Constitution, the, and rotten cheese, 6
      Eyes, meaning glances from, 6
      Genoa, "Liberty" on prisons of, 7
      Gratitude, the curse of, 7
      Intellect, snails of, 6
      Mackintosh, the style of, 6
      Malice, 6
      Minds, pygmy, 6
      Poetry, the effect of, 5
      Sot, the prayer of, 7
      Southey, an ostrich, 6
      Trout, his likeness to, 5
      Truth, the blindness of, 7
      Two dew-drops, 6
      Worldly-minded men, like owls, 7

    Columba, St., 129

    Conceits, verbal, 108

    Conscience and immortality, 201-3

    Constancy, etc., 304

    Conversation, his, a nimiety, &c., 103-104

    Converts, the intolerance of, 74

    _Corruptio optimi pessima_, 92, 263

    Cottle, an apology for, 86

    Cottle, free version of the Psalms, 235

    _Country and Town_, 28-29
      Calf-lowing, a reminiscence of Ottery, 29
      Coloured bottles, reflections of, 28
      Country, depraving effect of, 25
      Lecture, dream concerning a, 29
      Smiles on men and mountains, 29
      Stones like life, and life motionless as stones, 28

    Critics, immature, 128

    Criticism, a principle of, 30

    Criticism, minute, 167

    Darwin's "Botanical Garden," 280

    Death, the realisation of, 139-140

    Delusion, an optical, 47

    Devil, the, with a memory, 161-162

    Devil, the, a recantation, 259-260

    Distemper's worst calamity, 126-127

    Distinction in union, 184

    _Document humain_, 168

    Dream, a, and a parenthesis, 40

    Dreams, order in, 134

    _Dreams and Shadows_, 172-173
      Idea, the descent of, 172
      Taper's cone of flame, a simile, 172
      "As in life's noisiest hour," etc., 172
      "You mould my thoughts," etc., 173

    Drip, drip, drip, drip, 165

    _Duty and Experience_, 2, 3
      Human happiness, 3
      Chymistry, a noble, 3
      Metaphysical opinion in anguish, 3
      Misfortunes a fertilising rain, 2
      Pleasure and pain, 2
      Real pain a panacea, 2

    Duty and self-interest, 130-131

    Early death, 44, 45

    Easter, the Northern, 138

    Education, of, 227-228

    Ego, the, 15

    Egotism, 14

    Empyrean, the, 125

    England, the righteousness of, 284

    Enthusiasm, 139

    Entity, a superfluous, 217

    Entomology _v._ ontology, 94

    Epigram, a divine, 273

    Error, a life-long (his age), 295

    Etymology, 123-124

    Evil, the origin of, 36-42

    Evil produces evil, 131

    Experience and book knowledge, 129-130

    Experiment, a doubtful, 56

    Extremes meet, 52, 53

    Facts and Fiction, 75

    Fallings from us vanishings, 180-181

    "Floods and general inundations," 282

    First thoughts and friendship, 251, 252

    Flowers and light, 304, 305

    Flowers of speech, 269, 270

    Form and feeling, 101

    Formula, a comprehensive, 306-307

    "For compassion a human heart," 282

    _For the soother in absence_, 84-85
      Dreams and reveries, 85
      Dresden, the engraved cherry-stone, 85
      Mediterranean, the white sails on, 85
      Outwardly happy but no joy within, 84
      Sunset in winter, and summer-set, 84

    _For the soother in absence_, 86-87
      Caracciolo and his floating corse, 87
      Final causes, 87
      Moonlight, crinkled circles on the sea, 87
      Religion repels the gay, 86
      Vicious thoughts and rhyme-terminations, 86
      Diogenes, why not? 97
      Interest and satisfaction, 97

    _For the soother in absence_, 95-97
      Language, its growth, etc., 95
      Medical romance--a title, 96
      Mylius, 96
      Poets the bridlers of delight, 96
      Quintetta, the, in the Syracuse Opera, 95
      Recollections of pre-existent state, 96
      Tarantula dance of argumentation, 97

    _For the soother in absence_, 99-100
      _Quisque sui faber_, 99
      Nature a Penelope, 100
      Root to the crown--growth of the flower, 99

    _For the soother in absence_, 115-118
      Admiralty Court maxims, 116
      Convoy from England, 115
      Cyphers, 118
      Death and the sleeping baby, 118
      Faults and forewarnings, Miss Edgeworth, 117
      Johnson, Dr., and Shakspere, 115
      Pen-slit, the action of, 118
      Sealing-wax--where was it? 116
      Totalising, disease of, 116
      Voice and eye--precedence and sequence, 118
      Wafers, Maltese, 115

    _For the soother in absence_, 147-150
      Conscience and watches, 150
      Contra-reasoning and controversy, 149
      Earthly losses and heaven, 150
      Eye, the twofold power of, 149
      Facts and the relation of them, 148
      Metaphor and reality, 149
      Negation begets errors, 147
      Speculative men not unpractical, 148
      War, the weariness of, no excuse for peace, 148
      Word-play a cat's cradle, 149
      Worldly men, their belief in sincerity, 149

    _For the soother in absence_, 159-161
      _Co-arctation_, 161
      Dull souls may become great poet's bodies, 161
      Judgment compared to Belgic towns, 160
      Lover married, a frog in a well, 160
      Music and the genus and particular, 160
      Originality not claimed by the original, 160
      Shorthandists for the House of Commons, 161
      Stiletto and the rosary, 159
      Water-lily and the sponge, 160

    _For the Soother in Absence_, 162-164
      Death and the tree of life, 163
      Grave, our growth in, 163
      Irish architect, 164
      _Scopæ viarum_, 164
      Shooting stars and bedtime, 162
      Sleep, the lovers', 164
      Swift and the pine-tree, 164
      Truth and action, 164
      Wordsworth, an aspiration, 163
      Yellowing leaflets, 163

    _For the Soother in Absence_, 175-180
      Affliction and adversity, 176
      _Allapse_ of serpents, 176
      Atmosphere, every man his own, 176
      Augustine, St., and a friend's misjudgment, 179
      Blast, the, 178
      Blue sky, yellow green at twilight, 175
      Greece, the genius of, 177
      Hayfield and still life, 175
      _Heu! quam miserum_, 177
      Indian fig and death of an immortal, 177
      Kings, what kind of gods? 176
      Love, the mighty works of, 178
      Metallic pencils, 175
      Parisatis, and the poisoned knife, 176
      Peacock moulting, 178
      Shadow, 177
      Sheridan, and Bacon, 177
      Sunflowers, 175
      Strabo Geographicus on genius, 179
      Two faces, etc., 176-177
      Tycho Brahe, a subject for Allston, 175
      Water-wagtails, 178
      Woman, a passionate, a simile, 178

    French language and poetry, 118-120

    Friendship and marriage, 235-236

    Genius, 233

    Genius, his own, 197-198

    German philosophy, his indebtedness to, 106

    God, the idea of, 300

    Great and little minds, 293

    Great men and national worth, 150-152

    Hail and farewell, 218

    Halfway house, the, 195-197

    Happiness made perfect, 142

    Hazlitt, W., 36

    Health, independence, and friendship, 248

    Heart, a broken, 303

    Heaviness, may endure, &c., 239, 240

    Hesperus, 247, 248

    _Hinc illa marginalia_, 91-92

    _Hints for the Friend_, 209, 210
      Authors and Buffon's fan, 209
      Conscience good, and fine weather, 209
      Great deeds, great hearts, and great states, 209
      Hypocrisy, 210
      Massy misery, 210
      Mystery from wilful deafness, 210
      No glory and no Christianity, a total eclipse, 210
      Proud ignorance, 210
      Reformers like scourers of silver plate, 209

    _Hints for the Friend_, 221-223
      Conscience, a pure, like a life-boat, 221
      Dame Quickly on parties, 222
      Duns Scotus on faith, 222
      Foliage, not the trunk, 223
      Helvetius, his selenography, 221
      Lavater and Narcissus, 223
      Pope, the, a simile, 233
      Reliance on God and man, 222
      Reviewers like jurymen, 223

    _Hints for the Friend_, 230-233
      Amboynese, and their clove trees, 232
      Eloign, a word of Queen Elizabeth's, 231
      Esoteric Christianity, 231
      Mathematics and metaphysics, 230
      Monsoon, the Chinese elephant, 232
      Nature, the perception of, a comparison, 232
      Paracelsus, on new words, 232
      Partisans or opponents, how to address them, 231

    Hope, the moon's halo an emblem of, 238

    Humanity, the hope of, 137, 138

    Humility, the lover's, 188

    Hypothesis, of a new, 105

    I will lift up, etc., 101

    Idea, the birth of, 109

    Idealist, the, at bay, 277-279

    "If a man could pass through paradise," 282

    Ignore thyself, 301

    Illusion (Mr. Dennison and the "bottle man"), 144-147

    Imagination 'eisenoplasy,' 236

    In a twinkling of an eye, 185-186

    In wonder all philosophy began, 185

    Incommunicable, the, 31

    Infancy and infants, 3, 4

    Infinite, the, and the finite, 81

    _Inopem me copia fecit_, 189

    Insects, 271
      _Spiders' webs in Java_, 271
      _Libellulidæ_, 271
      _Tipulidæ minimæ_, 271

    Islamism, 287, 288

    "Kingdom of Heavenite," a, 273

    Knave, a treacherous, 28

    Knowledge, a royal road to, 298-300

    Knowledge and Understanding, 173

    Landing places, 157

    Law and gospel, 214

    Liberty, the cap of, 203

    Life, the idea of, 305

    Light, the inward, 48

    _Litera scripta manet_, 121

    Love, 1-2
      Affected by jealousy, 1
      soother of misfortune, 2
      Disappointed, 2
      The transformer, 2

    Love, 233-235

    Love, the adolescence of, 68

    Love, the divine essence, 133-134

    Love and duty, 140-142

    Love, the ineffable, 191-192

    Love and music, 200-201

    Lover, the humble complaint of, 190

    Loves, of first, 153-154

    _Lucus a non lucendo_, 200

    Magnitude, the sense of, 112-115

    Maiden's primer, 195

    Marriage, the ideal, 216

    Mean, the danger of, 62

    Means to ends, 107

    Mediterranean, the, 100
      "A brisk gale and the foam," 100

    Memorandum, a serious, 79

    Metaphysic, a defence of, 42

    Metaphysician, the, at bay, 106

    Metaphysic, the aim of his, 42

    Milton's blank verse, 253

    Milton and Shakspere, 296-8

    Mohammed, the flight of, 290-291

    Moment, a, and a magic mirror, 245-246

    Monition, the rage for, 68-70

    Moonlight gleams and massy glories, 171

    Moonset, a, 50

    Morning, a gem of, 187

    _Mot propre_, the passion for, 155

    Mother wit, 226

    Motion, the psychology of, 56-57

    _Multum in parvo_, 85

    Name it and you break it, 198

    Nature, the night side of, 45-47

    _Ne quid nimis_, 89

    _Nefas est ab hoste doceri_, 76

    Neither bond nor free, 195

    Neutral pronoun, a, 190

    Night, in the visions of, 43, 44

    Nightmare, the hag, 243-245

    _Noscitur a sociis_, 32

    Not the beautiful, etc., 49-50

    _Obductâ fronte senectus_, 272-273

    _Observations and Reflections_, 17-21
      Ashes in autumn, 19
      Citizens eat, rustics drink, 19
      Definition hostile to images, 19
      First cause and source of the Nile, 20
      Love poems, a scheme of, 20
      Moon, the setting, 18
      My birthday, 19
      Northern Lights, Derwent's birthday, 18
      Shakspere and Naucratius, 21
      Soul the mummy, an emblem, 20
      Spring with cone of sand, 17
      Stability and Instability, the cause of, 19
      State, the eye of, 18
      Superiors and inferiors, 20
      Truths and feelings, 18
      Two moon-rainbows, 19

    Of a too witty book, 280-281

    Official distrust, 83

    O star benign! 76

    O thou whose fancies, etc., 15-16

    Omniscient, the comforter, 127

    One music as before, etc. 168

    One, the, and the good, 63

    One, the many and the, 77

    Opera, the, 82

    Orange blossom, 134-136

    Over-blaming, the danger of, 198

    [Greek: PANTA RHEI], 183-184

    _Pars altera mei_, 49

    Partisans and renegades, 173-174

    Past and present, 1

    People, the spirit of a, 288-290

    Petrarch's epistles, 262, 263

    Phantoms of sublimity, 170

    Philanthropy and self-advertisement, 249, 250

    Philosophy the friend of poetry, 78

    Pindar, 168

    Places and persons, 70-74

    Poet, a, on poetry, 294

    Poet, the, and the spider, 32

    Poetic licence, a plea for, 165-166

    Poetry, 4
      Correction of, 4
      Dr. Darwin, 5
      Elder languages, the fitter for, 5
      Ode, definition of, 4

    Poetry and prose, 229-230

    Poets as critics of poets, 127-128

    Populace and people, 174

    Posterity, a caution to, 159

    Practical man, a, 199-200

    Praise, the meed of, 284

    Presentiments, 256-257

    Price, Dr., 167-168

    Prophecy, the manufacture of, 192-193

    Prudence _versus_ friendship, 291-293

    Pseudo-poets, 156

    Psychology in youth and maturity, 218

    Public opinion and the services, 237

    Purgatory, an intellectual, 152-153

    Rain, the maddening, 154

    Recollection and remembrance, 57

    Reimarus and the instinct of animals, 92-95

    Religion, spiritual, 138, 218-219

    _Remedium amoris_, 266

    Richardson, 166-167

    Righteousness, the sun of, 162

    _Rugit leo_, 301-303

    Save me from my friends, 264-265

    Science and philosophy, 261-262

    Scholastic terms, a plea for, 274-275

    Schoolman, a Unitarian, 58

    Sea, the bright blue, 109

    Self, the abstract, 120

    Self-absorption and selfishness, 249

    Self-esteem, excess of, 198, 199

    Self-esteem, defect of, 199

    Self-reproof, a measure in, 81-82

    Sensations, the continuity of, 102, 103

    Sentiment an antidote to casuistry, 124-125

    Sentiment, morbid, 169-170

    Sentiments below morals, 154

    _Seriores Rosæ_, 274
      "Lie with the ear," 274
      "Like some spendthrift lord," 274
      "On the same man as in a vineyard," 274
      "The blossom gives not only," 274
      "We all look up," 274

    Sermons, ancient and modern, 237-239

    Seventeen hundred and sixty yards, etc., 280

    Shakspere and Malone, 88

    Subject and object, 294

    Silence is golden, 259

    Simile, a, 76

    _Sine qua non_, 186

    Sleepless, the feint of the, 251

    Solace, external, his need of, 167

    _Solvitur suspiciendo_, 187

    Sonnet, an unwritten, 295

    Soul, the embryonic, 104

    Spinoza, a poem on spirit or on, 61

    Spinoza, the ethics of, 57

    Spiritual blindness, 270

    Spiritualism and mysticism, 276-277

    Spooks, 281

    Spring, the breath of, 305

    Square, the, the circle, the pyramid, 97

    Star, to the evening, 247

    Style of Milton, Smectymnuus, etc., 271

    Subject and object, 294

    Sundog, a, 97

    Sunset, a, 52

    Superstition, 143-144

    Supposition, a, 138

    Syracuse, 78

    Taste, an ethical quality, 165

    Teleology and nature worship, 35

    Temperament and morals, 33

    That inward eye, etc., 246, 247

    The body of this death, 276

    The conclusion of the whole matter, 266

    The greater damnation, 279

    The mind's eye, 286

    "The more exquisite," etc., 282

    The night is at hand, 307

    "The sunny mist," etc., 31

    The tender mercies of the good, 208-209

    "The tree or sea-weed like," etc., 31

    Theism and Atheism, 285-286

    _Things Visible and Invisible_, 7-14
      Anthropomorphism and the Trinity, 14
      Anti-optimism, 13
      Babe, its sole notion of cruelty, 13
      Cairns, J., on the Nazarites, 9
      Child scolding a flower, 10
      Children's words, analogous, 11
      Dandelions, beards of, note, 10
      Dyer, George, and poets' throttles, 9
      Fisherman, the idle, note, 10
      Friends' friends, reception by, note, 8
      Godwin, a definition of, 13
      Hartley's fire-place of stones, 13
      Hazlitt's theory of picture and palette, 9
      "Hot-headed men confuse," 11
      "How," the substratum of philosophy, 13
      Kingfishers' flight, 7
      "Little Daisy," etc., 7
      London and Nature, 8
      Luther, his prejudices, 11
         Comment, 11
      Materialists and mystery, 14
      Nightingale and frogs in Germany, note, 7
      Quotations, rage for, 9
      Reproaches and remorse, 12
      Sickbed and prison, 12
      "Slanting pillars of misty light," 9
      Space a perception of additional magnitude, 12
      Taylor, Jeremy, quotation from _Via Pacis_, 12
      "The thin scattered rain-clouds," 12
      Things perishable, thoughts imperishable, 8
      Thinking and perceiving, 12
      Time and likeness, 13
      Upturned leaves, 10

    _Thoughts, a Crowd of_, 58-61
      Children and hard-skinned ass, 59
      Ghost of a mountain, 60
      Light as lovers love, 59
      Man, epitheton of, 58
      Palm, the, 61
      Place and time, 59
      Poets' bad and beautiful expressions, 59
      Public schools, advantage of, 60
      Rainbows stedfast in mist, 61
      Rosemary tree, a, 59
      Slang, religious, 60
      Sopha of sods, note, 60
      Stump of a tree, 61

    Thought, a mortal agony of, 63

    Thought and attention, 213-214

    _Thoughts and Fancies_, 22-25
      Achilles and his heel, 25
      Devil at the very end of hell, 23
      Dimness and numbness, 23
      Friendship and comprehension, 24
      Green fields after the city, 25
      Happiness and paradise, 25
      Hartley and the "seems," 24
      Kind-hearted men refuse roughly, 23
      Limbo, 22
      Metaphysics, their effect on the thoughts, 23
      Nature for likeness, men for difference, 25
      Old world, the, and the new year, 22
      Opposite talents not incompatible, 24
      Poets and death, 22
      Poets, his rank among, 25
      Sounds and outness, 23
      Swift and Socinianism, 24
      Time as threefold, 22

    Thought and things, 143

    Thoughts-how like music at times! 139

    Through doubt to faith, 85

    Time an element of grief, 31

    Time and eternity, 155

    Time, real and imaginary, note, 241-243

    _Transcripts from my velvet pocket-books_, 26-28
      Action, the meanness of, 27
      Barrow and the verbal imagination, 26
      Candle-snuffers not discoverers, 26
      Falling asleep, 27
      New play compared to toy ship, 27
      Plagiarist, a thief in the candle, 26
      Post, its influence, 26
      Quotation and conversation, 26
      Repose after agitation, 27
      Socinianism and methodism, 26
      Teme, the valley of, 26
      Universe, the federal republic of, 27
      Wedgwood, T., and thoughts and things, 27

    Transubstantiation, 61-62

    Truth, 191, 220

    Truth, the danger of adapting, &c., 228

    Truth, the fixed stars of, 257

    Turtle-shell, a, for household tub, 207-208

    Unwin, Mrs., Cowper's lines to, 121-123

    Unknown, the great, 284

    Vain Glory, 203-204

    _Verbum sapientibus_, 102

    _Ver, zer, and al_, 187

    Vexation, a complex, 283

    _Vox hiemalis_, 303-304

    We ask not whence, etc., 89

    Wedgwood, T., and Reimarus, 91

    What man has made of man, 264-265

    Will, the undisciplined, 64-66

    Windmill and its shadow, 77-78

    Winter, a mild, 170

    Woman's frowardness, 89

    Words and things, 225

    Words, creative power of, and images, 87

    Words, the power of, 266-269

    Wordsworth and _The Prelude_, 30

    Wordsworth, John, 132

    Worldly wise, 230

    Wounded vanity, a salve for, 82-83

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO. London & Edinburgh

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note

The following changes have been made to the text:

Page ix: "ceasless" changed to ceaseless".

Page 73: "wordliness" changed to "worldliness".

Page 173: "PARTIZANS" changed to "PARTISANS".

Page 218: "pyschologise" changed to "psychologise".

Page 253: "strenghth" changed to "strength".

Page 320: "lifelong" changed to "life-long".

Page 320: "Caraccioli" changed to "Caracciolo".

Page 323: "philososhy" changed to "philosophy".

Page 324: "Partizans" changed to "Partisans".

Page 327: "Righteousnesss" changed to "Righteousness".

Page 330: "rainclouds" changed to "rain-clouds'.

Page 330: "hardskinned" changed to "hard-skinned".

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