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Title: Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Author: Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Specimens of the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge" ***

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[The Greek transliterations throughout this file are either missing or
very suspect.]

[Illustration: F. Finden sculp.
_London, John Murray, Albernarle St. 1837_]

Dear Sir,
Your obliged servant.
S. T. Coleridge]




       *       *       *       *       *

It is nearly fifteen years since I was, for the first time, enabled to
become a frequent and attentive visitor in Mr. Coleridge's domestic
society. His exhibition of intellectual power in living discourse struck me
at once as unique and transcendant; and upon my return home, on the very
first evening which I spent with him after my boyhood, I committed to
writing, as well as I could, the principal topics of his conversation in
his own words. I had no settled design at that time of continuing the work,
but simply made the note in something like a spirit of vexation that such a
strain of music as I had just heard, should not last forever. What I did
once, I was easily induced by the same feeling to do again; and when, after
many years of affectionate communion between us, the painful existence of
my revered relative on earth was at length finished in peace, my occasional
notes of what he had said in my presence had grown to a mass, of which this
volume contains only such parts as seem fit for present publication. I
know, better than any one can tell me, how inadequately these specimens
represent the peculiar splendour and individuality of Mr. Coleridge's
conversation. How should it be otherwise? Who could always follow to the
turning-point his long arrow-flights of thought? Who could fix those
ejaculations of light, those tones of a prophet, which at times have made
me bend before him as before an inspired man? Such acts of spirit as these
were too subtle to be fettered down on paper; they live--if they can live
any where--in the memories alone of those who witnessed them. Yet I would
fain hope that these pages will prove that all is not lost;--that something
of the wisdom, the learning, and the eloquence of a great man's social
converse has been snatched from forgetfulness, and endowed with a permanent
shape for general use. And although, in the judgment of many persons, I may
incur a serious responsibility by this publication; I am, upon the whole,
willing to abide the result, in confidence that the fame of the loved and
lamented speaker will lose nothing hereby, and that the cause of Truth and
of Goodness will be every way a gainer. This sprig, though slight and
immature, may yet become its place, in the Poet's wreath of honour, among
flowers of graver hue.

If the favour shown to several modern instances of works nominally of the
same description as the present were alone to be considered, it might seem
that the old maxim, that nothing ought to be said of the dead but what is
good, is in a fair way of being dilated into an understanding that every
thing is good that has been said by the dead. The following pages do not, I
trust, stand in need of so much indulgence. Their contents may not, in
every particular passage, be of great intrinsic importance; but they can
hardly be without some, and, I hope, a worthy, interest, as coming from the
lips of one at least of the most extraordinary men of the age; whilst to
the best of my knowledge and intention, no living person's name is
introduced, whether for praise or for blame, except on literary or
political grounds of common notoriety. Upon the justice of the remarks here
published, it would be out of place in me to say any thing; and a
commentary of that kind is the less needed, as, in almost every instance,
the principles upon which the speaker founded his observations are
expressly stated, and may be satisfactorily examined by themselves. But,
for the purpose of general elucidation, it seemed not improper to add a few
notes, and to make some quotations from Mr. Coleridge's own works; and in
doing so, I was in addition actuated by an earnest wish to call the
attention of reflecting minds in general to the views of political, moral,
and religious philosophy contained in those works, which, through an
extensive, but now decreasing, prejudice, have hitherto been deprived of
that acceptance with the public which their great preponderating merits
deserve, and will, as I believe, finally obtain. And I can truly say, that
if, in the course of the perusal of this little work, any one of its
readers shall gain a clearer insight into the deep and pregnant principles,
in the light of which Mr. Coleridge was accustomed to regard God and the
World,--I shall look upon the publication as fortunate, and consider myself
abundantly rewarded for whatever trouble it has cost me.

A cursory inspection will show that this volume lays no claim to be ranked
with those of Boswell in point of dramatic interest. Coleridge differed
not more from Johnson in every characteristic of intellect, than in the
habits and circumstances of his life, during the greatest part of the time
in which I was intimately conversant with him. He was naturally very fond
of society, and continued to be so to the last; but the almost unceasing
ill health with which he was afflicted, after fifty, confined him for many
months in every year to his own room, and, most commonly, to his bed. He
was then rarely seen except by single visiters; and few of them would feel
any disposition upon such occasions to interrupt him, whatever might have
been the length or mood of his discourse. And indeed, although I have been
present in mixed company, where Mr. Coleridge has been questioned and
opposed, and the scene has been amusing for the moment--I own that it was
always much more delightful to me to let the river wander at its own sweet
will, unruffled by aught but a certain breeze of emotion which the stream
itself produced. If the course it took was not the shortest, it was
generally the most beautiful; and what you saw by the way was as worthy of
note as the ultimate object to which you were journeying. It is possible,
indeed, that Coleridge did not, in fact, possess the precise gladiatorial
power of Johnson; yet he understood a sword-play of his own; and I have,
upon several occasions, seen him exhibit brilliant proofs of its
effectiveness upon disputants of considerable pretensions in their
particular lines. But he had a genuine dislike of the practice in himself
or others, and no slight provocation could move him to any such exertion.
He was, indeed, to my observation, more distinguished from other great men
of letters by his moral thirst after the Truth--the ideal truth--in his
own mind, than by his merely intellectual qualifications. To leave the
everyday circle of society, in which the literary and scientific rarely--
the rest never--break through the spell of personality;--where Anecdote
reigns everlastingly paramount and exclusive, and the mildest attempt to
generalize the Babel of facts, and to control temporary and individual
phenomena by the application of eternal and overruling principles, is
unintelligible to many, and disagreeable to more;--to leave this species
of converse--if converse it deserves to be called--and pass an entire day
with Coleridge, was a marvellous change indeed. It was a Sabbath past
expression deep, and tranquil, and serene. You came to a man who had
travelled in many countries and in critical times; who had seen and felt
the world in most of its ranks and in many of its vicissitudes and
weaknesses; one to whom all literature and genial art were absolutely
subject, and to whom, with a reasonable allowance as to technical details,
all science was in a most extraordinary degree familiar. Throughout a
long-drawn summer's day would this man talk to you in low, equable, but
clear and musical, tones, concerning things human and divine; marshalling
all history, harmonizing all experiment, probing the depths of your
consciousness, and revealing visions of glory and of terror to the
imagination; but pouring withal such floods of light upon the mind, that
you might, for a season, like Paul, become blind in the very act of
conversion. And this he would do, without so much as one allusion to
himself, without a word of reflection on others, save when any given act
fell naturally in the way of his discourse,--without one anecdote that was
not proof and illustration of a previous position;--gratifying no passion,
indulging no caprice, but, with a calm mastery over your soul, leading you
onward and onward for ever through a thousand windings, yet with no pause,
to some magnificent point in which, as in a focus, all the party-coloured
rays of his discourse should converge in light. In all this he was, in
truth, your teacher and guide; but in a little while you might forget that
he was other than a fellow student and the companion of your way,--so
playful was his manner, so simple his language, so affectionate the glance
of his pleasant eye!

There were, indeed, some whom Coleridge tired, and some whom he sent
asleep. It would occasionally so happen, when the abstruser mood was strong
upon him, and the visiter was narrow and ungenial. I have seen him at times
when you could not incarnate him,--when he shook aside your petty questions
or doubts, and burst with some impatience through the obstacles of common
conversation. Then, escaped from the flesh, he would soar upwards into an
atmosphere almost too rare to breathe, but which seemed proper to _him_,
and there he would float at ease. Like enough, what Coleridge then said,
his subtlest listener would not understand as a man understands a
newspaper; but upon such a listener there would steal an influence, and an
impression, and a sympathy; there would be a gradual attempering of his
body and spirit, till his total being vibrated with one pulse alone, and
thought became merged in contemplation;--

  And so, his senses gradually wrapt
  In a half sleep, he'd dream of better worlds,
  And dreaming hear thee still, O singing lark,
  That sangest like an angel in the clouds!

But it would be a great mistake to suppose that the general character of
Mr. Coleridge's conversation was abstruse or rhapsodical. The contents of
the following pages may, I think, be taken as pretty strong presumptive
evidence that his ordinary manner was plain and direct enough; and even
when, as sometimes happened, he seemed to ramble from the road, and to
lose himself in a wilderness of digressions, the truth was, that at that
very time he was working out his fore-known conclusion through an almost
miraculous logic, the difficulty of which consisted precisely in the very
fact of its minuteness and universality. He took so large a scope, that,
if he was interrupted before he got to the end, he appeared to have been
talking without an object; although, perhaps, a few steps more would have
brought you to a point, a retrospect from which would show you the
pertinence of all he had been saying. I have heard persons complain that
they could get no answer to a question from Coleridge. The truth is, he
answered, or meant to answer, so fully that the querist should have no
second question to ask. In nine cases out of ten he saw the question was
short or misdirected; and knew that a mere _yes_ or _no_ answer could not
embrace the truth--that is, the whole truth--and might, very probably, by
implication, convey error. Hence that exhaustive, cyclical mode of
discoursing in which he frequently indulged; unfit, indeed, for a dinner-
table, and too long-breathed for the patience of a chance visiter,--but
which, to those who knew for what they came, was the object of their
profoundest admiration, as it was the source of their most valuable
instruction. Mr. Coleridge's affectionate disciples learned their lessons
of philosophy and criticism from his own mouth. He was to them as an old
master of the Academy or Lyceum. The more time he took, the better pleased
were such visiters; for they came expressly to listen, and had ample proof
how truly he had declared, that whatever difficulties he might feel, with
pen in hand, in the expression of his meaning, he never found the smallest
hitch or impediment in the utterance of his most subtle reasonings by word
of mouth. How many a time and oft have I felt his abtrusest thoughts steal
rhythmically on my soul, when chanted forth by him! Nay, how often have I
fancied I heard rise up in answer to his gentle touch, an interpreting
music of my own, as from the passive strings of some wind-smitten lyre!

Mr. Coleridge's conversation at all times required attention, because what
he said was so individual and unexpected. But when he was dealing deeply
with a question, the demand upon the intellect of the hearer was very
great; not so much for any hardness of language, for his diction was always
simple and easy; nor for the abstruseness of the thoughts, for they
generally explained, or appeared to explain, themselves; but preeminently
on account of the seeming remoteness of his associations, and the exceeding
subtlety of his transitional links. Upon this point it is very happily,
though, according to my observation, too generally, remarked, by one whose
powers and opportunities of judging were so eminent that the obliquity of
his testimony in other respects is the more unpardonable;--"Coleridge, to
many people--and often I have heard the complaint--seemed to wander; and he
seemed then to wander the most, when, in fact, his resistance to the
wandering instinct was greatest,--viz. when the compass and huge circuit,
by which his illustrations moved, travelled farthest into remote regions,
before they began to revolve. Long before this coming round commenced, most
people had lost him, and naturally enough supposed that he had lost
himself. They continued to admire the separate beauty of the thoughts, but
did not see their relations to the dominant theme. * * * * However, I can
assert, upon my long and intimate knowledge of Coleridge's mind, that logic
the most severe was as inalienable from his modes of thinking, as grammar
from his language." [Footnote: Tait's Mag. Sept. 1834, p. 514.] True: his
mind was a logic-vice; let him fasten it on the tiniest flourish of an
error, he never slacked his hold, till he had crushed body and tail to
dust. He was _always_ ratiocinating in his own mind, and therefore
sometimes seemed incoherent to the partial observer. It happened to him as
to Pindar, who in modern days has been called a rambling rhapsodist,
because the connections of his parts, though never arbitrary, are so fine
that the vulgar reader sees them not at all. But they are there
nevertheless, and may all be so distinctly shown, that no one can doubt
their existence; and a little study will also prove that the points of
contact are those which the true genius of lyric verse naturally evolved,
and that the entire Pindaric ode, instead of being the loose and lawless
out-burst which so many have fancied, is, without any exception, the most
artificial and highly wrought composition which Time has spared to us from
the wreck of the Greek Muse. So I can well remember occasions, in which,
after listening to Mr. Coleridge for several delightful hours, I have gone
away with divers splendid masses of reasoning in my head, the separate
beauty and coherency of which I deeply felt, but how they had produced, or
how they bore upon, each other, I could not then perceive. In such cases I
have mused sometimes even for days afterwards upon the words, till at
length, spontaneously as it seemed, "the fire would kindle," and the
association, which had escaped my utmost efforts of comprehension before,
flash itself all at once upon my mind with the clearness of noon-day light.

It may well be imagined that a style of conversation so continuous and
diffused as that which I have just attempted to describe, presented
remarkable difficulties to a mere reporter by memory. It is easy to
preserve the pithy remark, the brilliant retort, or the pointed anecdote;
these stick of themselves, and their retention requires no effort of mind.
But where the salient angles are comparatively few, and the object of
attention is a long-drawn subtle discoursing, you can never recollect,
except by yourself thinking the argument over again. In so doing, the order
and the characteristic expressions will for the most part spontaneously
arise; and it is scarcely credible with what degree of accuracy language
may thus be preserved, where practice has given some dexterity, and long
familiarity with the speaker has enabled, or almost forced, you to catch
the outlines of his manner. Yet with all this, so peculiar were the flow
and breadth of Mr. Coleridge's conversation, that I am very sensible how
much those who can best judge will have to complain of my representation of
it. The following specimens will, I fear, seem too fragmentary, and
therefore deficient in one of the most distinguishing properties of that
which they are designed to represent; and this is true. Yet the reader will
in most instances have little difficulty in understanding the course which
the conversation took, although my recollections of it are thrown into
separate paragraphs for the sake of superior precision. As I never
attempted to give dialogue--indeed, there was seldom much dialogue to give
--the great point with me was to condense what I could remember on each
particular topic into intelligible _wholes_ with as little injury to the
living manner and diction as was possible. With this explanation, I must
leave it to those who still have the tones of "that old man eloquent"
ringing in their ears, to say how far I have succeeded in this delicate
enterprise of stamping his winged words with perpetuity.

In reviewing the contents of the following pages, I can clearly see that I
have admitted some passages which will be pronounced illiberal by those
who, in the present day, emphatically call themselves liberal--_the_
liberal. I allude of course to Mr. Coleridge's remarks on the Reform Bill
and the Malthusian economists. The omission of such passages would probably
have rendered this publication more generally agreeable, and my disposition
does not lead me to give gratuitous offence to any one. But the opinions of
Mr. Coleridge on these subjects, however imperfectly expressed by me, were
deliberately entertained by him; and to have omitted, in so miscellaneous a
collection as this, what he was well known to have said, would have argued
in me a disapprobation or a fear, which I disclaim. A few words, however,
may be pertinently employed here in explaining the true bearing of
Coleridge's mind on the politics of our modern days. He was neither a Whig
nor a Tory, as those designations are usually understood; well enough
knowing that, for the most part, half-truths only are involved in the
Parliamentary tenets of one party or the other. In the common struggles of
a session, therefore, he took little interest; and as to mere personal
sympathies, the friend of Frere and of Poole, the respected guest of
Canning and of Lord Lansdowne, could have nothing to choose. But he threw
the weight of his opinion--and it was considerable--into the Tory or
Conservative scale, for these two reasons:--First, generally, because he
had a deep conviction that the cause of freedom and of truth is now
seriously menaced by a democratical spirit, growing more and more rabid
every day, and giving no doubtful promise of the tyranny to come; and
secondly, in particular, because the national Church was to him the ark of
the covenant of his beloved country, and he saw the Whigs about to coalesce
with those whose avowed principles lead them to lay the hand of spoliation
upon it. Add to these two grounds, some relics of the indignation which the
efforts of the Whigs to thwart the generous exertions of England in the
great Spanish war had formerly roused within him; and all the constituents
of any active feeling in Mr. Coleridge's mind upon matters of state are, I
believe, fairly laid before the reader. The Reform question in itself gave
him little concern, except as he foresaw the present attack on the Church
to be the immediate consequence of the passing of the Bill; "for let the
form of the House of Commons," said he, "be what it may, it will be, for
better or for worse, pretty much what the country at large is; but once
invade that truly national and essentially popular institution, the Church,
and divert its funds to the relief or aid of individual charity or public
taxation--how specious soever that pretext may be--and you will never
thereafter recover the lost means of perpetual cultivation. Give back to
the Church what the nation originally consecrated to its use, and it ought
then to be charged with the education of the people; but half of the
original revenue has been already taken by force from her, or lost to her
through desuetude, legal decision, or public opinion; and are those whose
very houses and parks are part and parcel of what the nation designed for
the general purposes of the Clergy, to be heard, when they argue for making
the Church support, out of her diminished revenues, institutions, the
intended means for maintaining which they themselves hold under the
sanction of legal robbery?" Upon this subject Mr. Coleridge did indeed feel
very warmly, and was accustomed to express himself accordingly. It weighed
upon his mind night and day, and he spoke upon it with an emotion, which I
never saw him betray upon any topic of common politics, however decided his
opinion might be. In this, therefore, he was _felix opportunitate mortis;
non enim vidit_----; and the just and honest of all parties will heartily
admit over his grave, that as his principles and opinions were untainted by
any sordid interest, so he maintained them in the purest spirit of a
reflective patriotism, without spleen, or bitterness, or breach of social

It would require a rare pen to do justice to the constitution of
Coleridge's mind. It was too deep, subtle, and peculiar, to be fathomed by
a morning visiter. Few persons knew much of it in any thing below the
surface; scarcely three or four ever got to understand it in all its
marvellous completeness. Mere personal familiarity with this extraordinary
man did not put you in possession of him; his pursuits and aspirations,
though in their mighty range presenting points of contact and sympathy for
all, transcended in their ultimate reach the extremest limits of most men's
imaginations. For the last thirty years of his life, at least, Coleridge
was really and truly a philosopher of the antique cast. He had his esoteric
views; and all his prose works from the "Friend" to the "Church and State"
were little more than feelers, pioneers, disciplinants for the last and
complete exposition of them. Of the art of making hooks he knew little, and
cared less; but had he been as much an adept in it as a modern novelist, he
never could have succeeded in rendering popular or even tolerable, at
first, his attempt to push Locke and Paley from their common throne in
England. A little more working in the trenches might have brought him
closer to the walls with less personal damage; but it is better for
Christian philosophy as it is, though the assailant was sacrificed in the
bold and artless attack. Mr. Coleridge's prose works had so very limited a
sale, that although published in a technical sense, they could scarcely be
said to have ever become _publici juris_. He did not think them such
himself, with the exception, perhaps, of the "Aids to Reflection," and
generally made a particular remark if he met any person who professed or
showed that he had read the "Friend" or any of his other books. And I have
no doubt that had he lived to complete his great work on "Philosophy
reconciled with Christian Religion," he would without scruple have used in
that work any part or parts of his preliminary treatises, as their
intrinsic fitness required. Hence in every one of his prose writings there
are repetitions, either literal or substantial, of passages to be found in
some others of those writings; and there are several particular positions
and reasonings, which he considered of vital importance, reiterated in the
"Friend," the "Literary Life," the "Lay Sermons," the "Aids to Reflection,"
and the "Church and State." He was always deepening and widening the
foundation, and cared not how often he used the same stone. In thinking
passionately of the principle, he forgot the authorship--and sowed beside
many waters, if peradventure some chance seedling might take root and bear
fruit to the glory of God and the spiritualization of Man.

His mere reading was immense, and the quality and direction of much of it
well considered, almost unique in this age of the world. He had gone
through most of the Fathers, and, I believe, all the Schoolmen of any
eminence; whilst his familiarity with all the more common departments of
literature in every language is notorious. The early age at which some of
these acquisitions were made, and his ardent self-abandonment in the
strange pursuit, might, according to a common notion, have seemed adverse
to increase and maturity of power in after life: yet it was not so; he
lost, indeed, for ever the chance of being a popular writer; but Lamb's
_inspired charity-boy_ of twelve years of age continued to his dying day,
when sixty-two, the eloquent centre of all companies, and the standard of
intellectual greatness to hundreds of affectionate disciples far and near.
Had Coleridge been master of his genius, and not, alas! mastered by it;--
had he less romantically fought a single-handed fight against the whole
prejudices of his age, nor so mercilessly racked his fine powers on the
problem of a universal Christian philosophy,--he might have easily won all
that a reading public can give to a favourite, and have left a name--not
greater nor more enduring indeed--but--better known, and more prized, than
now it is, amongst the wise, the gentle, and the good, throughout all ranks
of society. Nevertheless, desultory as his labours, fragmentary as his
productions at present may seem to the cursory observer--my undoubting
belief is, that in the end it will be found that Coleridge did, in his
vocation, the day's work of a giant. He has been melted into the very heart
of the rising literatures of England and America; and the principles he has
taught are the master-light of the moral and intellectual being of men,
who, if they shall fail to save, will assuredly illustrate and condemn, the
age in which they live. As it is, they 'bide their time.

Coleridge himself--blessings on his gentle memory!--Coleridge was a frail
mortal. He had indeed his peculiar weaknesses as well as his unique powers;
sensibilities that an averted look would rack, a heart which would have
beaten calmly in the tremblings of an earthquake. He shrank from mere
uneasiness like a child, and bore the preparatory agonies of his death-
attack like a martyr. Sinned against a thousand times more than sinning, he
himself suffered an almost life-long punishment for his errors, whilst the
world at large has the unwithering fruits of his labours, his genius, and
his sacrifice. _Necesse est tanquam immaturam mortem ejus defleam; si tamen
fas est aut flere, aut omnino mortem vocare, qua tanti viri mortalitas
magis finita quam vita est. Vivit enim, vivetque semper, atque etiam latius
in memoria hominum et sermone versabitur, postquam ab oculis recessit._

       *       *       *       *       *

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the youngest child of the Reverend John
Coleridge, Vicar of the Parish of Ottery St. Mary, in the county of Devon,
and master of Henry the Eighth's Free Grammar School in that town. His
mother's maiden name was Ann Bowdon. He was born at Ottery on the 21st of
October, 1772, "about eleven o'clock in the forenoon," as his father the
vicar has, with rather a curious particularity, entered it in the register.

He died on the 25th of July, 1834, in Mr. Gillman's house, in the Grove,
Highgate, and is buried in the old church-yard, by the road side.

  [Greek: ----]

H. N. C.


       *       *       *       *       *

Character of Othello
Schiller's Robbers
Scotch Novels
Lord Byron
John Kemble
Parliamentary Privilege
Permanency and Progression of Nations
Kant's Races of Mankind
Character of the Age for Logic
Plato and Xenophon
Greek Drama
St. John's Gospel
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Logos
Reason and Understanding
Sir James Mackintosh
Sir H. Davy
Robert Smith
National Debt
Poor Laws
Conduct of the Whigs
Reform of the House of Commons
Church of Rome
Pantheism and Idolatry
Difference between Stories of Dreams and Ghosts
Phantom Portrait
Witch of Endor
Plato and Xenophon
Religions of the Greeks
Egyptian Antiquities
Granville Penn and the Deluge
English and Greek Dancing
Greek Acoustics
Lord Byron's Versification and Don Juan
Parental Control in Marriage
Marriage of Cousins
Differences of Character
Blumenbach and Kant's Races
Iapetic and Semitic
Jewish History
Spinozistic and Hebrew Schemes
Roman Catholics
Energy of Man and other Animals
Shakspeare _in minimis_
Paul Sarpi
Bartram's Travels
The Understanding
Parts of Speech
Character of Othello
Principles and Maxims
Measure for Measure
Ben Jonson
Beaumont and Fletcher
Version of the Bible
Bull and Waterland
The Trinity
Scale of Animal Being
Thomas à Becket
Pure Ages of Greek, Italian, and English
Algernon Sidney's Style
Ariosto and Tasso
Prose and Poetry
The Fathers
Jacob Behmen
Non-perception of Colours
William III.
Jeremy Taylor
Prophecies of the Old Testament
The Trinity
Conversion of the Jews
Jews in Poland
Mosaic Miracles
Poetic Promise
Nominalists and Realists
British Schoolmen
Fall of Man
Brown and Darwin
Nitrous Oxide
Ant and Bee
Black, Colonel
Holland and the Dutch
Religion Gentilizes
Women and Men
Biblical Commentators
Walkerite Creed
Horne Tooke
Diversions of Purley
Gender of the Sun in German
Horne Tooke
Persian and Arabic Poetry
Milesian Tales
Sir T. Monro
Sir S. Raffles
Reason and Understanding
Words and Names of Things
The Trinity
Origin of Acts
Lord Eldon's Doctrine as to Grammar Schools
The Eucharist
St. John, xix. 11.
Divinity of Christ
Genuineness of Books of Moses
Mosaic Prophecies
Talent and Genius
Motives and Impulses
Constitutional and functional Life
Hydro-carbonic Gas
Bitters and Tonics
Specific Medicines
Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians
Eloquence of Abuse
The Americans
Book of Job
Translation of the Psalms
Ancient Mariner
Pilgrim's Progress
Jeremy Taylor
English Reformation
St. John
Principles of a Review
Party Spirit
Southey's Life of Bunyan
Puritans and Cavaliers
Presbyterians, Independents, and Bishops
Study of the Bible
Duke of Wellington
Monied Interest
The Papacy and the Reformation
Leo X.
Iniquitous Legislation
Spurzheim and Craniology
French Revolution, 1830
Captain B. Hall and the Americans
English Reformation
Idea of a State
French Gendarmerie
Philosophy of young Men at the present Day
Thucydides and Tacitus
Modern Metre
Greek Philosophy
Scotch and English Lakes
Love and Friendship opposed
Characterlessness of Women
Mental Anarchy
Ear and Taste for Music different
English Liturgy
Belgian Revolution
Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Bacon
The Reformation
House of Commons
Earl Grey
Popular Representation
Patronage of the Fine Arts
Old Women
Superstition of Maltese, Sicilians, and Italians
The French
The Good and the True
Romish Religion
England and Holland
National Colonial Character, and Naval Discipline
Holland and Belgium
Greatest Happiness Principle
The Two Modes of Political Action
Truths and Maxims
Drayton and Daniel
Mr. Coleridge's System of Philosophy
Keenness and Subtlety
Duties and Needs of an Advocate
Abolition of the French Hereditary Peerage
Conduct of Ministers on the Reform Bill
Union with Ireland
Irish Church
A State
Persons and Things
Gracefulness of Children
Ideal Tory and Whig
The Church
Ministers and the Reform Bill
Genius feminine
Reform Bill
John, Chap. III. Ver. 4.
Dictation and Inspiration
New Testament Canon
Unitarianism--Moral Philosophy
Moral Law of Polarity
Epidemic Disease
Intellectual Revolutions
Modern Style
Genius of the Spanish and Italians
Destruction of Jerusalem
Epic Poem
Vox Populi Vox Dei
Asgill and Defoe
Horne Tooke
Fox and Pitt
Citizens and Christians
Professor Park
English Constitution
Milton and Sidney
De Vi Minimorum
Sympathy of old Greek and Latin with English
Roman Mind
Charm for Cramp
Dual, neuter pleural *sic*, and verb singular
Principles and Facts
Puritans and Jacobins
French Revolution
Infant Schools
Mr. Coleridge's Philosophy
C. Lamb
Faith and Belief
Scotch and English
Criterion of Genius
Dryden and Pope
Milton's disregard of Painting
Baptismal Service
Jews' Division of the Scripture
Genius Metaphysical
Don Quixote
Christ's Hospital
St. Paul's Melita
English and German
Best State of Society
Great Minds Androgynous
Philosopher's Ordinary Language
Barristers' and Physicians' Fees
Cæsarean Operation
Inherited Disease
Mason's Poetry
Northern and Southern States of the American Union
All and the Whole
Ninth Article
Sin and Sins
Old Divines
Preaching extempore
Church of England
Union with Ireland
Michael Scott, Goethe, Schiller, and Wordsworth
Beaumont and Fletcher
Ben Jonson
House of Commons appointing the officers of the Army and Navy
Penal Code in Ireland
Coronation Oaths
Professions and Trades
Modern Political Economy
National Debt
Property Tax
Duty of Landholders
Love's Labour Lost
Gifford's Massinger
The Old Dramatists
Prospect of Monarchy or Democracy
The Reformed House of Commons
United States of America
Captain B. Hall
Northern and Southern States
Democracy with Slavery
Land and Money
Methods of Investigation
Church of Rome
Celibacy of the Clergy
Roman Conquest of Italy
Wedded Love in Shakspeare and his Contemporary Dramatists
Tennyson's Poems
Rabelais and Luther
Wit and Madness
Roman Conquest
Papacy and the Schoolmen
Civil War of the Seventeenth Century
Hampden's Speech
Reformed House of Commons
Shakspeare's Sonnets
Reverence for Ideal Truths
Johnson the Whig
James I.
Sir P. Sidney
Things are finding their Level
God's Providence
Man's Freedom
Dom Miguel and Dom Pedro
Working to better one's condition
Negro Emancipation
Fox and Pitt
Virtue and Liberty
Epistle to the Romans
Negro Emancipation
Hackett's Life of Archbishop Williams
Charles I.
Manners under Edward III. Richard II. and Henry VIII.
Lyell's Geology
Gothic Architecture
Gerard's Douw's "Schoolmaster" and Titian's "Venus"
Sir J. Scarlett
Mandeville's Fable of the Bees
Bestial Theory
Character of Bertram
Beaumont and Fletcher's Dramas
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides
Cavalier Slang
Prose and Verse
Imitation and Copy
Dr. Johnson
Public Schools
Scott and Coleridge
Nervous Weakness
Hooker and Bull
Key to the Decline of the Roman Empire
Dr. Johnson's Political Pamphlets
Direct Representation
Universal Suffrage
Right of Women to vote
Horne Tooke
Etymology of the final _Ive_
"The Lord" in the English Version of the Psalms, etc.
Scotch Kirk and Irving
Milton's Egotism
Humour and Genius
Great Poets good Men
Diction of the Old and New Testament Version
Vowels and Consonants
Greek Accent and Quantity
Consolation in Distress
Mock Evangelicals
Autumn Day
Rosetti on Dante
Laughter: Farce and Tragedy
Baron Von Humboldt
Modern Diplomatists
Man cannot be stationary
Fatalism and Providence
Characteristic Temperament of Nations
Greek Particles
Latin Compounds
Valerius Flaccus
Destruction of Jerusalem
Epic Poem
German and English
Paradise Lost
Modern Travels
The Trinity
Lavacrum Pallados
Greek and Latin Pentameter
Milton's Latin Poems
Poetical Filter
Gray and Cotton
Homeric Heroes in Shakspeare
Dr. Johnson
Scott's Novels
Scope of Christianity
Times of Charles I.
Messenger of the Covenant
Logic of Ideas and of Syllogisms
W. S. Lander's Poetry
Chronological Arrangement of Works
Articles of Faith
Modern Quakerism
Devotional Spirit
Some Men like Musical Glasses
Sublime and Nonsense
Proof of Existence of God
Kant's attempt
Plurality of Worlds
A Reasoner
Shakspeare's Intellectual Action
Crabbe and Southey
Peter Simple and Tom Cringle's Log
Ben Jonson
Beaumont and Fletcher
Lord Byron and H. Walpole's "Mysterious Mother"
Lewis's Jamaica Journal
Sir Alexander Ball
Cambridge Petition to admit Dissenters
Corn Laws
Christian Sabbath
High Prizes and Revenues of the Church
Sir Charles Wetherell's Speech
National Church
Schiller's Versification
German Blank Verse
Roman Catholic Emancipation
Duke of Wellington
Coronation Oath
Corn Laws
Modern Political Economy
Fancy and Imagination
Mr. Coleridge's System
Biographia Literaria
Lord Brooke
Barrow and Dryden
Peter Wilkins and Stothard
Fielding and Richardson
Bishop Sandford
Roman Catholic Religion
Recollections, by Mr. Justice Coleridge
Address to a God-child


December 29, 1822


Othello must not be conceived as a negro, but a high and chivalrous Moorish
chief.  Shakspeare learned the sprit of the character from the Spanish
poetry, which was prevalent in England in his time.[1]

Jelousy does not strike me as the point in his passion; I take it to be
rather an agony that the creature, whom he had believed angelic, with whom
he had garnered up his heart, and whom he could not help still loving,
should be proved impure and worthless.  It was the struggle  _not_ to
love her.  It was a moral indignation and regret that virture should so
fall:--"But yet the _pity_ of it, Iago!--O Iago! the _pity_ of it,
Iago!"  In addition to this, his hourour was concerned: Iago would not have
succeeded but by hinting that this honour was compromised.  There is no
ferocity in Othello; his mind is majestic and composed.  He deliberately
determines to die; and speaks his last speech with a view of showing his
attachment to the Venetian state, though it had superseded him.

[Footnote 1:
  Caballaeros Granadinos,
  Aunque Moros, hijos d'algo--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Schiller has the material Sublime; to produce an effect he sets you a
whole town on fire, and throws infants with their mothers into the flames,
or locks up a father in an old tower.[1] But Shakspeare drops a
handkerchief, and the same or greater effects follow.

[Footnote 1:
This expression--"material sublime"--like a hundred others
which have slipped into general use, came originally from Mr. Coleridege,
and was by him, in the first instatnce, applied to Schiller's Robbers--
See Act iv, sc. 5.--ED.]

Lear is the most tremendous effort of Shakspeare as a poet; Hamlet as a
philosopher or meditater; and Othello is the union of the two. There is
something gigantic and unformed in the former two; but in the latter, every
thing assumes its due place and proportion, and the whole mature powers of
his mind are displayed in admirable equilibrium.

I think Old Mortality and Guy Mannering the best of the Scotch novels.

It seems, to my ear, that there is a sad want of harmony in Lord Byron's
verses. Is it not unnatural to be always connecting very great intellectual
power with utter depravity? Does such a combination often really exist in
rerum naturae?

I always had a great liking--I may say, a sort of nondescript reverence--
for John Kemble. What a quaint creature he was! I remember a party, in
which he was discoursing in his measured manner after dinner, when the
servant announced his carriage. He nodded, and went on. The announcement
took place twice afterwards; Kemble each time nodding his head a little
more impatiently, but still going on. At last, and for the fourth time, the
servant entered, and said,--"Mrs. Kemble says, sir, she has the
rheumat_ise_, and cannot stay." "Add_ism!_" dropped John, in a
parenthesis, and proceeded quietly in his harangue.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kemble would correct any body, at any time, and in any place. Dear Charles
Mathews--a true genius in his line, in my judgment--told me he was once
performing privately before the King. The King was much pleased with the
imitation of Kemble, and said,--"I liked Kemble very much. He was one of my
earliest friends. I remember once he was talking, and found himself out of
snuff. I offered him my box. He declined taking any--'he, a poor actor,
could not put his fingers into a royal box.' I said, 'Take some, pray; you
will obl_ee_ge me.' Upon which Kemble replied,--'It would become your royal
mouth better to say, obl_i_ge me;' and took a pinch."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not easy to put me out of countenance, or interrupt the feeling of
the time by mere external noise or circumstance; yet once I was thoroughly
_done up_, as you would say. I was reciting, at a particular house, the
"Remorse;" and was in the midst of Alhadra's description of the death of
her husband, [1] when a scrubby boy, with a shining face set in dirt, burst
open the door and cried out,--"Please, ma'am, master says, Will you ha'; or
will you _not_ ha', the pin-round?"

[Footnote 1:

  "ALHADRA. This night your chieftain arm'd himself,
And hurried from me. But I follow'd him
At distance, till I saw him enter _there_!

  NAOMI. The cavern?

  ALHADRA. Yes, the mouth of yonder cavern.
After a while I saw the son of Valdez
Rush by with flaring torch: he likewise enter'd.
There was another and a longer pause;
And once, methought, I heard the clash of swords!
And soon the son of Valdez re-appear'd:
He flung his torch towards the moon in sport,
And seem'd as he were mirthful! I stood listening,
Impatient for the footsteps of my husband.

  NAOMI. Thou calledst him?

  ALHADRA. I crept into the cavern--
'Twas dark and very silent. What saidst thou?
No! No! I did not dare call Isidore,
Lest I should hear no answer! A brief while,
Belike, I lost all thought and memory
Of that for which I came! After that pause,
O Heaven! I heard a groan, and follow'd it;
And yet another groan, which guided me
Into a strange recess--and there was light,
A hideous light! his torch lay on the ground;
Its flame burnt dimly o'er a chasm's brink:
I spake; and whilst I spake, a feeble groan
Came from that chasm! it was his last--his death-groan!

  NAOMI. Comfort her, Allah!

  ALHADRA. I stood in unimaginable trance
And agony that cannot be remember'd,
Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan!
But I had heard his last;--my husband's death-groan!

  NAOMI. Haste! let us onward!

  ALHADRA. I look'd far down the pit--
My sight was bounded by a jutting fragment;
And it was stain'd with blood. Then first I shriek'd;
My eyeballs burnt, my brain grew hot as fire,
And all the hanging drops of the wet roof
Turn'd into blood--I saw them turn to blood!
And I was leaping wildly down the chasm,
When on the further brink I saw his sword,
And it said, Vengeance!--Curses on my tongue!
The moon hath moved in heaven, and I am here,
And he hath not had vengeance!--Isidore!
Spirit of Isidore, thy murderer lives!
Away, away!"--Act iv. sc. 3.]

_January_ 1. 1823.


Privilege is a substitution for Law, where, from the nature of the
circumstances, a law cannot act without clashing with greater and more
general principles. The House of Commons must, of course, have the power of
taking cognizance of offences against its own rights. Sir Francis Burdett
might have been properly sent to the Tower for the speech he made in the
House [1]; but when afterwards he published it in Cobbett, and they took
cognizance of it as a breach of privilege, they violated the plain
distinction between privilege and law.

As a speech in the House, the House could alone animadvert upon it,
consistently with the effective preservation of its most necessary
prerogative of freedom of debate; but when that speech became a book, then
the law was to look to it; and there being a law of libel, commensurate
with every possible object of attack in the state, privilege, which acts,
or ought to act, only as a substitute for other laws, could have nothing to
do with it. I have heard that one distinguished individual said,--"That he,
for one, would not shrink from affirming, that if the House of Commons
chose to _burn_ one of their own members in Palace Yard, it had an inherent
power and right by the constitution to do so." This was said, if at all, by
a moderate-minded man; and may show to what atrocious tyranny some persons
may advance in theory, under shadow of this word privilege.

[Footnote 1:
March 12. 1810. Sir Francis Burdett made a motion in the House of
Commons for the discharge of Mr. Gale Jones, who had been committed to
Newgate by a resolution of the House on the 21st of February preceding.
Sir Francis afterwards published, in Cobbett's Political Register, of the
24th of the same month of March, a "Letter to his Constituents, denying
the power of the House of Commons to imprison the people of England,"
and he accompanied the letter with an argument in support of his position.
On the 27th of March a complaint of breach of privilege, founded on this
publication, was made in the House by Mr. (now Sir Thomas) Lethbridge,
and after several long debates, a motion that Sir Francis Burdett should
be committed to the Tower was made on the 5th of April, 1810, by Sir
Robert Salisbury, and carried by a majority of 38.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

There are two principles in every European and Christian state:
Permanency and Progression.[1]

In the civil wars of the seventeenth century in England, which are as new
and fresh now as they were a hundred and sixty years ago, and will be so
for ever to us, these two principles came to a struggle. It was natural
that the great and the good of the nation should he found in the ranks of
either side. In the Mohammedan states, there is no principle of permanence;
and, therefore, they sink directly. They existed, and could only exist, in
their efforts at progression; when they ceased to conquer, they fell in
pieces. Turkey would long since have fallen, had it not been supported by
the rival and conflicting interests of Christian Europe. The Turks have no
church; religion and state are one; hence there is no counterpoise, no
mutual support. This is the very essence of their Unitarianism. They have
no past; they are not an historical people; they exist only in the present.
China is an instance of a permanency without progression. The Persians are
a superior race: they have a history and a literature; they were always
considered by the Greeks as quite distinct from the other barbarians. The
Afghans are a remarkable people. They have a sort of republic. Europeans
and Orientalists may be well represented by two figures standing back to
back: the latter looking to the east, that is, backwards; the former
looking westward, or forwards.

[Footnote 1:
See this position stated and illustrated in detail in Mr. Coleridge's work,
"On the Constitution of the Church and State, according to the Idea of
each," p. 21. 2d edit. 1830. Well acquainted as I am with the fact f the
comparatively small acceptation which Mr. Coleridge's prose works have ever
found in the literary world, and with the reasons, and, what is more, with
the causes, of it, I still wonder that this particular treatise has not
been more noticed: first, because it is a little book; secondly, because it
is, or at least nineteen-twentieths of it are, written in a popular style;
and thirdly, because it is the only work, that I know or have ever heard
mentioned, that even attempts a solution of the difficulty in which an
ingenious enemy of the church of England may easily involve most of its
modern defenders in Parliament, or through the press, upon their own
principles and admissions. Mr. Coleridge himself prized this little work
highly, although he admitted its incompleteness as a composition:--"But I
don't care a rush about it," he said to me, "as an author. The saving
distinctions are plainly stated in it, and I am sure nothing is wanted to
make them _tell_, but that some kind friend should steal them from their
obscure hiding-place, and just tumble them down before the public as _his

       *       *       *       *       *

Kant assigns three great races of mankind. If two individuals of distinct
races cross, a third, or _tertium aliquid_, is _invariably_ produced,
different from either, as a white and a negro produce a mulatto. But when
different varieties of the same race cross, the offspring is according to
what we call chance; it is now like one, now like the other parent. Note
this, when you see the children of any couple of distinct European
complexions,--as English and Spanish, German and Italian, Russian and
Portuguese, and so on.

_January_ 3. 1823.


Either we have an immortal soul, or we have not. If we have not, we are
beasts; the first and wisest of beasts, it may be; but still true beasts.
[1] We shall only differ in degree, and not in kind; just as the elephant
differs from the slug. But by the concession of all the materialists of all
the schools, or almost all, we are not of the same kind as beasts--and this
also we say from our own consciousness. Therefore, methinks, it must be the
possession of a soul within us that makes the difference.

[Footnote 1:
"Try to conceive a _man_ without the ideas of God, eternity, freedom, will,
absolute truth; of the good, the true, the beautiful, the infinite. An
_animal_ endowed with a memory of appearances and facts might remain. But
the _man_ will have vanished, and you have instead a creature more subtle
than any beast of the field, but likewise cursed above every beast of the
field; upon the belly must it go, and dust must it eat all the days of its
life."--_Church and State_, p. 54. n.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Read the first chapter of Genesis without prejudice, and you will be
convinced at once. After the narrative of the creation of the earth and
brute animals, Moses seems to pause, and says:--"And God said, Let us make
man in _our image_, after _our likeness_." And in the next chapter, he
repeats the narrative:--"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;" and then he
adds these words,--"_and man became a living soul_." Materialism will never
explain those last words.

       *       *       *       *       *

Define a vulgar ghost with reference to all that is called ghost-like. It
is visibility without tangibility; which is also the definition of a
shadow. Therefore, a vulgar ghost and a shadow would be the same; because
two different things cannot properly have the same definition. A _visible
substance_ without susceptibility of impact, I maintain to be an absurdity.

Unless there be an external substance, the bodily eye _cannot_ see it;
therefore, in all such cases, that which is supposed to be seen is, in
fact, _not_ seen, but is an image of the brain. External objects naturally
produce sensation; but here, in truth, sensation produces, as it were, the
external object. In certain states of the nerves, however, I do believe
that the eye, although not consciously so directed, may, by a slight
convulsion, see a portion of the body, as if opposite to it. The part
actually seen will by common association seem the whole; and the whole body
will then constitute an external object, which explains many stories of
persons seeing themselves lying dead. Bishop Berkeley once experienced
this. He had the presence of mind to ring the bell, and feel his pulse;
keeping his eye still fixed on his own figure right opposite to him. He was
in a high fever, and the brain image died away as the door opened. I
observed something very like it once at Grasmere; and was so conscious of
the cause, that I told a person what I was experiencing, whilst the image
still remained.

Of course, if the vulgar ghost be really a shadow, there must be some
substance of which it is the shadow. These visible and intangible shadows,
without substances to cause them, are absurd.

January 4. 1828.


This is not a logical age. A friend lately gave me some political pamphlets
of the times of Charles I. and the Cromwellate. In them the premisses are
frequently wrong, but the deductions are almost always legitimate; whereas,
in the writings of the present day, the premisses are commonly sound, but
the conclusions false. I think a great deal of commendation is due to the
University of Oxford for preserving the study of logic in the schools. It
is a great mistake to suppose geometry any substitute for it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Negatively, there may be more of the philosophy of Socrates in the
Memorabilia of Xenophon than in Plato: that is, there is less of what does
not belong to Socrates; but the general spirit of, and impression left by,
Plato, are more Socratic.[1]

[Footnote 1:
See p. 26. Mr. Coleridge meant in both these passages, that Xenophon had
preserved the most of the _man_ Socrates; that he was the best Boswell; and
that Socrates, as a _persona dialogi_, was little more than a poetical
phantom in Plato's hands. On the other hand, he says that Plato is more
_Socratic_, that is, more of a philosopher in the Socratic _mode_ of
reasoning (Cicero calls the Platonic writings generally, _Socratici
libri_); and Mr. C. also says, that in the metaphysical disquisitions Plato
is Pythagorean, meaning, that he worked on the supposed ideal or
transcendental principles of the extraordinary founder of the Italian

       *       *       *       *       *

In Æschylus religion appears terrible, malignant, and persecuting:
Sophocles is the mildest of the three tragedians, but the persecuting
aspect is still maintained: Euripides is like a modern Frenchman, never so
happy as when giving a slap at the gods altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kotzebue represents the petty kings of the islands in the Pacific Ocean
exactly as so many Homeric chiefs. Riches command universal influence, and
all the kings are supposed to be descended from the gods.

       *       *       *       *       *

I confess I doubt the Homeric genuineness of [Greek: dakruoen gelaschsa].
[1] It sounds to me much more like a prettiness of Bion or Moschus.

[Footnote 1:
[Greek: hos eipon, alochoio thilaes en chersin ethaeke paid eon hae d ara
min chaeodei dexato cholpo, dachruoen gelasasa.]--Illiad. Z. vi. 482]

       *       *       *       *       *

The very greatest writers write best when calm, and exerting themselves
upon subjects unconnected with party. Burke rarely shows all his powers,
unless where he is in a passion. The French Revolution was alone a subject
fit for him. We are not yet aware of all the consequences of that event. We
are too near it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Goldsmith did every thing happily.

       *       *       *       *       *

You abuse snuff! Perhaps it is the final cause of the human nose.

       *       *       *       *       *

A rogue is a roundabout fool; a fool _in circumbendibus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Omne ignotum pro magnifico_. A dunghill at a distance sometimes smells
like musk, and a dead dog like elder-flowers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from,--as pickpockets are
observed commonly to walk with their hands in their breeches' pockets.

_January 6_. 1823.


St. John had a twofold object in his Gospel and his Epistles,--to prove the
divinity, and also the actual human nature and bodily suffering, of Jesus
Christ,--that he was God and Man. The notion that the effusion of blood and
water from the Saviour's side was intended to prove the real _death_ of the
sufferer originated, I believe, with some modern Germans, and seems to me
ridiculous: there is, indeed, a very small quantity of water occasionally
in the præcordia: but in the pleura, where wounds are not generally mortal,
there is a great deal. St. John did not mean, I apprehend, to insinuate
that the spear-thrust made the _death_, merely as such, certain or evident,
but that the effusion showed the human nature. "I saw it," he would say,
"with my own eyes. It was real blood, composed of lymph and crassamentum,
and not a mere celestial ichor, as the Phantasmists allege."

       *       *       *       *       *

I think the verse of the three witnesses (1 John, v. 7.) spurious, not only
because the balance of external authority is against it, as Porson seems to
have shown; but also, because, in my way of looking at it, it spoils the

       *       *       *       *       *

St. John's logic is Oriental, and consists chiefly in position and
parallel; whilst St. Paul displays all the intricacies of the Greek system.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whatever may be thought of the genuineness or authority of any part of the
book of Daniel, it makes no difference in my belief in Christianity; for
Christianity is within a man, even as he is a being gifted with reason; it
is associated with your mother's chair, and with the first-remembered tones
of her blessed voice.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not believe St. Paul to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Luther's conjecture is very probable, that it was by Apollos, an
Alexandrian Jew. The plan is too studiously regular for St. Paul. It was
evidently written during the yet existing glories of the Temple. For three
hundred years the church did not affix St. Paul's name to it; but its
apostolical or catholic character, independently of its genuineness as to
St. Paul, was never much doubted.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first three Gospels show the history, that is, the fulfilment of the
prophecies in the facts. St. John declares explicitly the doctrine,
oracularly, and without comment, because, being pure reason, it can only be
proved by itself. For Christianity proves itself, as the sun is seen by its
own light. Its evidence is involved in its existence. St. Paul writes more
particularly for the dialectic understanding; and proves those doctrines,
which were capable of such proof, by common logic.

       *       *       *       *       *

St. John used the term [Greek: ho Logos] technically. Philo-Judæus had so
used it several years before the probable date of the composition of this
Gospel; and it was commonly understood amongst the Jewish Rabbis at that
time, and afterwards, of the manifested God.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our translators, unfortunately, as I think, render the clause [Greek: pros
ton Theos] "_with_ God;" that would be right, if the Greek were [Greek: syn
to Theo].[1]

By the preposition [Greek: pros] in this place, is meant the utmost
possible _proximity_, without _confusion_; likeness, without sameness. The
Jewish Church understood the Messiah to be a divine person. Philo expressly
cautions against any one's supposing the Logos to be a mere
personification, or symbol. He says, the Logos is a substantial, self-
existent Being. The Gnostics, as they were afterwards called, were a kind
of Arians; and thought the Logos was an after-birth. They placed [Greek:
Abyssos] and [Greek: Sigae] (the Abyss and Silence) before him. Therefore
it was that St. John said, with emphasis, [Greek: en archae aen ho Logos]--
"In the _beginning_ was the Word." He was begotten in the first
simultaneous burst of Godhead, if such an expression may be pardoned, in
speaking of eternal existence.

[Footnote 1: John, ch. i. v. 1, 2.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Understanding suggests the materials of reasoning: the Reason decides
upon them. The first can only say,--This _is_, or _ought_ to be so. The
last says,--It _must_ be so.[1]

[Footnote 1:
I have preserved this, and several other equivalent remarks, out of a
dutiful wish to popularize, by all the honest means in my power, this
fundamental distinction; a thorough mastery of which Mr. Coleridge
considered necessary to any sound system of psychology; and in the denial
or neglect of which, he delighted to point out the source of most of the
vulgar errors in philosophy and religion. The distinction itself is
implied throughout almost all Mr. C.'s works, whether in verse or prose;
but it may be found minutely argued in the "Aids to Reflection," p. 206,
&c. 2d edit. 1831.--ED.]

_April_ 27. 1823.


Kean is original; but he copies from himself. His rapid descents from the
hyper-tragic to the infra-colloquial, though sometimes productive of great
effect, are often unreasonable. To see him act, is like reading Shakspeare
by flashes of lightning. I do not think him thorough-bred gentleman enough
to play Othello.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir James Mackintosh is the king of the men of talent. He is a most elegant
converger. How well I remember his giving breakfast to me and Sir Humphry
Davy, at that time an unknown young man, and our having a very spirited
talk about Locke and Newton, and so forth! When Davy was gone, Mackintosh
said to me, "That's a very extraordinary young man; but he is gone wrong on
some points." But Davy was, at that time at least, a man of genius; and I
doubt if Mackintosh ever heartily appreciated an eminently original man. He
is uncommonly powerful in his own line; but it is not the line of a first-
rate man. After all his fluency and brilliant erudition, you can rarely
carry off any thing worth preserving. You might not improperly write on his
forehead, "Warehouse to let!" He always dealt too much in generalities for
a lawyer. He is deficient in power in applying his principles to the points
in debate. I remember Robert Smith had much more logical ability; but Smith
aimed at conquest by any gladiatorial shift; whereas Mackintosh was
uniformly candid in argument. I am speaking now from old recollections.

       *       *       *       *       *

Canning is very irritable, surprisingly so for a wit who is always giving
such hard knocks. He should have put on an ass's skin before he went into
parliament. Lord Liverpool is the single stay of this ministry; but he is
not a man of a directing mind. He cannot ride on the whirlwind. He serves
as the isthmus to connect one half of the cabinet with the other. He always
gives you the common sense of the matter, and in that it is that his
strength in debate lies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The national debt has, in fact, made more men rich than have a right to be
so, or, rather, any ultimate power, in case of a struggle, of actualizing
their riches. It is, in effect, like an ordinary, where three hundred
tickets have been distributed, but where there is, in truth, room only for
one hundred. So long as you can amuse the company with any thing else, or
make them come in successively, all is well, and the whole three hundred
fancy themselves sure of a dinner; but if any suspicion of a hoax should
arise, and they were all to rush into the room at once, there would be two
hundred without a potato for their money; and the table would be occupied
by the landholders, who live on the spot.

       *       *       *       *       *

Poor-laws are the inevitable accompaniments of an extensive commerce and a
manufacturing system. In Scotland, they did without them, till Glasgow and
Paisley became great manufacturing places, and then people said, "We must
subscribe for the poor, or else we shall have poor-laws." That is to say,
they enacted for themselves a poor-law in order to avoid having a poor-law
enacted for them. It is absurd to talk of Queen Elizabeth's act as creating
the poor-laws of this country. The poor-rates are the consideration paid
by, or on behalf of, capitalists for having labour at demand. It is the
price, and nothing else. The hardship consists in the agricultural interest
having to pay an undue proportion of the rates; for although, perhaps, in
the end, the land becomes more valuable, yet, at the first, the landowners
have to bear all the brunt. I think there ought to be a fixed revolving
period for the equalization of rates.

_April_ 28. 1823.


The conduct of the Whigs is extravagantly inconsistent. It originated in
the fatal error which Fox committed, in persisting, after the first three
years of the French Revolution, when every shadow of freedom in France had
vanished, in eulogizing the men and measures of that shallow-hearted
people. So he went on gradually, further and further departing from all the
principles of English policy and wisdom, till at length he became the
panegyrist, through thick and thin, of a military frenzy, under the
influence of which the very name of liberty was detested. And thus it was
that, in course of time, Fox's party became the absolute abettors of the
Buonapartean invasion of Spain, and did all in their power to thwart the
generous efforts of this country to resist it. Now, when the invasion is by
a Bourbon, and the cause of the Spanish nation neither united nor, indeed,
sound in many respects, the Whigs would precipitate this country into a
crusade to fight up the cause of a faction.

I have the honour of being slightly known to my lord Darnley. In 1808-9, I
met him accidentally, when, after a few words of salutation, he said to me,
"Are you mad, Mr. Coleridge?"--"Not that I know, my lord," I replied; "what
have I done which argues any derangement of mind?"--"Why, I mean," said he,
"those letters of yours in the Courier, 'On the Hopes and Fears of a People
invaded by foreign Armies.' The Spaniards are absolutely conquered; it is
absurd to talk of their chance of resisting."--"Very well, my lord," I
said, "we shall see. But will your lordship permit me, in the course of a
year or two, to retort your question upon you, if I should have grounds for
so doing?"--"Certainly!" said he; "that is fair!" Two years afterwards,
when affairs were altered in Spain, I met Lord Darnley again, and, after
some conversation, ventured to say to him, "Does your lordship recollect
giving me leave to retort a certain question upon you about the Spaniards?
Who is mad now?"--"Very true, very true, Mr. Coleridge," cried he: "you are
right. It is very extraordinary. It was a very happy and hold guess." Upon
which I remarked, "I think '_guess_' is hardly a fair term. For, has any
thing happened that has happened, from any other causes, or under any other
conditions, than such as I laid down Beforehand?" Lord Darnley, who was
always very courteous to me, took this with a pleasant nod of his head.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many votes are given for reform in the House of Commons, which are not
honest. Whilst it is well known that the measure will not he carried in
parliament, it is as well to purchase some popularity by voting for it.
When Hunt and his associates, before the Six Acts, created a panic, the
ministers lay on their oars for three or four months, until the general
cry, even from the opposition, was, "Why don't the ministers come forward
with some protective measure?" The present Ministry exists on the weakness
and desperate character of the Opposition. The sober part of the nation are
afraid of the latter getting into power, lest they should redeem some of
their pledges.

       *       *       *       *       *

_April_ 29. 1823.


The present adherents of the church of Rome are not, in my judgment,
Catholics. We are the Catholics. We can prove that we hold the doctrines of
the primitive church for the first three hundred years. The council of
Trent made the Papists what they are. [1] A foreign Romish bishop has
declared, that the Protestants of his acquaintance were more like what he
conceived the enlightened Catholics to have been before the council of
Trent, than the best of the latter in his days. Perhaps you will say, this
bishop was not a _good Catholic_.[2] I cannot answer for that. The course
of Christianity and the Christian church may not unaptly be likened to a
mighty river, which filled a wide channel, and bore along with its waters
mud, and gravel, and weeds, till it met a great rock in the middle of its
stream. By some means or other, the water flows purely, and separated from
the filth, in a deeper and narrower course on one side of the rock, and the
refuse of the dirt and troubled water goes off on the other in a broader
current, and then cries out, "_We_ are the river!"

[Footnote 1: See Aids to Reflection, p. 180. note.]

[Footnote 2: Mr. Coleridge named him, but the name was strange to me, and I
have been unable to recover it--ED.]
       *       *       *       *       *

A person said to me lately, "But you will, for civility's sake, _call_ them
_Catholics_, will you not?" I answered, that I would not; for I would not
tell a lie upon any, much less upon so solemn an occasion. "The adherents
of the church of Rome, I repeat, are not _Catholic_ Christians. If they
are, then it follows that we Protestants are heretics and schismatics, as,
indeed, the Papists very logically, from their own premisses, call us. And
'_Roman_ Catholics' makes no difference. Catholicism is not capable of
degrees or local apportionments. There can be but one body of Catholics,
_ex vi termini_. To talk strictly of _Irish_ or _Scotch Roman_ Catholics is
a mere absurdity."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is common to hear it said, that, if the legal disabilities are removed,
the Romish church will lose ground in this country. I think the reverse:
the Romish religion is, or, in certain hands, is capable of being made, so
flattering to the passions and self-delusion of men, that it is impossible
to say how far it would spread, amongst the higher orders of society
especially, if the secular disadvantages now attending its profession were

[Footnote 1:
Here, at least, the prophecy has been fulfilled. The wisdom of our
ancestors, in the reign of King William III., would have been jealous of
the daily increase in the numbers of the Romish church in England, of which
every attentive observer must be aware. See _Sancti Dominici Pallium_, in
vol. ii. p. 80. of Mr. Coleridge's Poems.-Ed.]

April 30. 1823.


The Zendavesta must, I think, have been copied in parts from the writings
of Moses. In the description of the creation, the first chapter of Genesis
is taken almost literally, except that the sun is created _before_ the
light, and then the herbs and the plants after the sun; which are precisely
the two points they did not understand, and therefore altered as errors.[1]

There are only two acts of creation, properly so called, in the Mosaic
account,--the material universe and man. The intermediate acts seem more as
the results of secondary causes, or, at any rate, of a modification of
prepared materials.

[Footnote 1:
The Zend, or Zendavesta, is the sacred book ascribed to Zoroaster, or
Zerdusht, the founder or reformer of the Magian religion. The modern
edition or paraphrase of this work, called the Sadda, written in the
Persian of the day, was, I believe, composed about three hundred years ago

       *       *       *       *       *

Pantheism and idolatry naturally end in each other; for all extremes meet.
The Judaic religion is the exact medium, the true compromise.

_May_ 1. 1823.


There is a great difference in the credibility to be attached to stories of
dreams and stories of ghosts. Dreams have nothing in them which are absurd
and nonsensical; and, though most of the coincidences may be readily
explained by the diseased system of the dreamer, and the great and
surprising power of association, yet it is impossible to say whether an
inner sense does not really exist in the mind, seldom developed, indeed,
but which may have a power of presentiment. [1]

All the external senses have their correspondents in the mind; the eye can
see an object before it is distinctly apprehended;--why may there not be a
corresponding power in the soul? The power of prophecy might have been
merely a spiritual excitation of this dormant faculty. Hence you will
observe that the Hebrew seers sometimes seem to have required music, as in
the instance of Elisha before Jehoram:--"But now bring me a minstrel. And
it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came
upon him." [2] Every thing in nature has a tendency to move in cycles; and
it would be a miracle if, out of such myriads of cycles moving
concurrently, some coincidences did not take place. No doubt, many such
take place in the daytime; but then our senses drive out the remembrance of
them, and render the impression hardly felt; but when we sleep, the mind
acts without interruption. Terror and the heated imagination will, even in
the daytime, create all sorts of features, shapes, and colours out of a
simple object possessing none of them in reality.

But ghost stories are absurd. Whenever a real ghost appears,--by which I
mean some man or woman dressed up to frighten another,--if the supernatural
character of the apparition has been for a moment believed, the effects on
the spectator have always been most terrible,--convulsion, idiocy, madness,
or even death on the spot. Consider the awful descriptions in the Old
Testament of the effects of a spiritual presence on the prophets and seers
of the Hebrews; the terror, the exceeding great dread, the utter loss of
all animal power. But in our common ghost stories, you always find that the
seer, after a most appalling apparition, as you are to believe, is quite
well the next day. Perhaps, he may have a headach; but that is the outside
of the effect produced. Alston, a man of genius, and the best painter yet
produced by America, when he was in England told me an anecdote which
confirms what I have been saying. It was, I think, in the university of
Cambridge, near Boston, that a certain youth took it into his wise head to
endeavour to convert a Tom-Painish companion of his by appearing as a ghost
before him. He accordingly dressed himself up in the usual way, having
previously extracted the ball from the pistol which always lay near the
head of his friend's bed. Upon first awaking, and seeing the apparition,
the youth who was to be frightened, A., very coolly looked his companion
the ghost in the face, and said, "I know you. This is a good joke; but you
see I am not frightened. Now you may vanish!" The ghost stood still.
"Come," said A., "that is enough. I shall get angry. Away!" Still the ghost
moved not. "By ----," ejaculated A., "if you do not in three minutes go
away, I'll shoot you." He waited the time, deliberately levelled the
pistol, fired, and, with a scream at the immobility of the figure, became
convulsed, and afterwards died. The very instant he believed it _to be_ a
ghost, his human nature fell before it.

[Footnote 1:
See this point suggested and reasoned with extraordinary subtlety in the
third essay (marked C), in the Appendix to the Statesman's Manual, Or first
Lay Sermon, p. 19, &c. One beautiful paragraph I will venture to quote:--
"Not only may we expect that men of strong religious feelings, but little
religious knowledge, will occasionally be tempted to regard such
occurrences as supernatural visitations; but it ought not to surprise us if
such dreams should sometimes be confirmed by the event, as though they had
actually possessed a character of divination. For who shall decide how far
a perfect reminiscence of past experiences (of many, perhaps, that had
escaped our reflex consciousness at the time)--who shall determine to what
extent this reproductive imagination, unsophisticated by the will, and
undistracted by intrusions from the senses, may or may not be concentred
and sublimed into foresight and presentiment? There would be nothing herein
either to foster superstition on the one hand, or to justify contemptuous
disbelief on the other. Incredulity is but Credulity seen from behind,
bowing and nodding assent to the Habitual and the Fashionable"-ED.]

[Footnote 2: 2 Kings, iii. 15., and see 1 Sam. x. 5.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[What follows in the text within commas was written about this time, and
communicated to me by Mr. Justice Coleridge.--ED.]

"Last Thursday my uncle, S. T. C., dined with us, and several men came to
meet him. I have heard him more brilliant, but he was very fine, and
delighted every one very much. It is impossible to carry off, or commit to
paper, his long trains of argument; indeed, it is not always possible to
understand them, he lays the foundation so deep, and views every question
in so original a manner. Nothing can be finer than the principles which he
lays down in morals and religion. His deep study of Scripture is very
astonishing; the rest of the party were but as children in his hands, not
merely in general views of theology, but in nice verbal criticism. He
thinks it clear that St. Paul did not write the Epistle to the Hebrews, but
that it must have been the work of some Alexandrian Greek, and he thinks
Apollos. It seemed to him a desirable thing for Christianity that it should
have been written by some other person than St. Paul; because, its
inspiration being unquestioned, it added another independent teacher and
expounder of the faith.

"We fell upon ghosts, and he exposed many of the stories physically and
metaphysically. He seemed to think it impossible that you should really see
with the bodily eye what was impalpable, unless it were a shadow; and if
what you fancied you saw with the bodily eye was in fact only an impression
on the imagination, then you were seeing something _out of your senses_,
and your testimony was full of uncertainty. He observed how uniformly, in
all the best-attested stories of spectres, the appearance might be
accounted for from the disturbed state of the mind or body of the seer, as
in the instances of Dion and Brutus. Upon some one's saying that he
_wished_ to believe these stories true, thinking that they constituted a
useful subsidiary testimony of another state of existence, Mr. C. differed,
and said, he thought it a dangerous testimony, and one not wanted: it was
Saul, with the Scriptures and the Prophet before him, calling upon the
witch of Endor to certify him of the truth! He explained very ingeniously,
yet very naturally, what has often startled people in ghost stories--such
as Lord Lyttelton's--namely, that when a real person has appeared, habited
like the phantom, the ghost-seer has immediately seen two, the real man and
the phantom. He said that such must be the case. The man under the morbid
delusion sees with the eye of the imagination, and sees with the bodily eye
too; if no one were really present, he would see the spectre with one, and
the bed-curtains with the other. When, therefore, a real person comes, he
sees the real man as he would have seen any one else in the same place, and
he sees the spectre not a whit the less: being perceptible by different
powers of vision, so to say, the appearances do not interfere with each

"He told us the following story of the Phantom Portrait [1]:--

"A stranger came recommended to a merchant's house at Lubeck. He was
hospitably received; but, the house being full, he was lodged at night in
an apartment handsomely furnished, but not often used. There was nothing
that struck him particularly in the room when left alone, till he happened
to cast his eyes on a picture, which immediately arrested his attention. It
was a single head; but there was something so uncommon, so frightful and
unearthly, in its expression, though by no means ugly, that he found
himself irresistibly attracted to look at it. In fact, he could not tear
himself from the fascination of this portrait, till his imagination was
filled by it, and his rest broken. He retired to bed, dreamed, and awoke
from time to time with the head glaring on him. In the morning, his host
saw by his looks that he had slept ill, and inquired the cause, which was
told. The master of the house was much vexed, and said that the picture
ought to have been removed, that it was an oversight, and that it always
was removed when the chamber was used. The picture, he said, was, indeed,
terrible to every one; but it was so fine, and had come into the family in
so curious a way, that he could not make up his mind to part with it, or to
destroy it. The story of it was this:--'My father,' said he, 'was at
Hamburgh on business, and, whilst dining at a coffee-house, he observed a
young man of a remarkable appearance enter, seat himself alone in a corner,
and commence a solitary meal. His countenance bespoke the extreme of mental
distress, and every now and then he turned his head quickly round, as if he
heard something, then shudder, grow pale, and go on with his meal after an
effort as before. My father saw this same man at the same place for two or
three successive days; and at length became so much interested about him,
that he spoke to him. The address was not repulsed, and the stranger seemed
to find some comfort in the tone of sympathy and kindness which my father
used. He was an Italian, well informed, poor but not destitute, and living
economically upon the profits of his art as a painter. Their intimacy
increased; and at length the Italian, seeing my father's involuntary
emotion at his convulsive turnings and shuddering, which continued as
formerly, interrupting their conversation from time to time, told him his
story. He was a native of Rome, and had lived in some familiarity with, and
been much patronized by, a young nobleman; but upon some slight occasion
they had fallen out, and his patron, besides using many reproachful
expressions, had struck him. The painter brooded over the disgrace of the
blow. He could not challenge the nobleman, on account of his rank; he
therefore watched for an opportunity, and assassinated him. Of course he
fled from his country, and finally had reached Hamburgh. He had not,
however, passed many weeks from the night of the murder, before, one day,
in the crowded street, he heard his name called by a voice familiar to him:
he turned short round, and saw the face of his victim looking at him with a
fixed eye. From that moment he had no peace: at all hours, in all places,
and amidst all companies, however engaged he might be, he heard the voice,
and could never help looking round; and, whenever he so looked round, he
always encountered the same face staring close upon him. At last, in a mood
of desperation, he had fixed himself face to face, and eye to eye, and
deliberately drawn the phantom visage as it glared upon him; and _this_ was
the picture so drawn. The Italian said he had struggled long, but life was
a burden which he could now no longer bear; and he was resolved, when he
had made money enough to return to Rome, to surrender himself to justice,
and expiate his crime on the scaffold. He gave the finished picture to my
father, in return for the kindness which he had shown to him.'"

[Footnote 1:
This is the story which Mr. Washington Irving has dressed up very prettily
in the first volume of his "Tales of a Traveller," pp. 84-119.; professing
in his preface that he could not remember whence he had derived the

       *       *       *       *       *

I have no doubt that the Jews believed generally in a future state,
independently of the Mosaic law. The story of the witch of Endor is a proof
of it. What we translate "_witch_," or "familiar spirit," is, in the
Hebrew, Ob, that is, a bottle or bladder, and means a person whose belly is
swelled like a leathern bottle by divine inflation. In the Greek it is
[Greek: engastrimuthos], a ventriloquist. The text (1 Sam. ch. xxviii.) is
a simple record of the facts, the solution of which the sacred historian
leaves to the reader. I take it to have been a trick of ventriloquism, got
up by the courtiers and friends of Saul, to prevent him, if possible, from
hazarding an engagement with an army despondent and oppressed with bodings
of defeat. Saul is not said to have seen Samuel; the woman only pretends to
see him. And then what does this Samuel do? He merely repeats the prophecy
known to all Israel, which the true Samuel had uttered some years before.
Read Captain Lyon's account of the scene in the cabin with the Esquimaux
bladder, or conjurer; it is impossible not to be reminded of the witch of
Endor. I recommend you also to look at Webster's admirable treatise on

       *       *       *       *       *

The pet texts of a Socinian are quite enough for his confutation with acute
thinkers. If Christ had been a mere man, it would have been ridiculous in
_him_ to call himself "the Son of man;" but being God and man, it then
became, in his own assumption of it, a peculiar and mysterious title. So,
if Christ had been a mere man, his saying, "My Father is greater than I,"
(John, xv. 28.) would have been as unmeaning. It would be laughable enough,
for example, to hear me say, "My 'Remorse' succeeded, indeed, but
Shakspeare is a greater dramatist than I." But how immeasurably more
foolish, more monstrous, would it not be for a _man_, however honest, good,
or wise, to say, "But Jehovah is greater than I!"

_May_ 8. 1824.


Plato's works are logical exercises for the mind. Little that is positive
is advanced in them. Socrates may be fairly represented by Plato in the
more moral parts; but in all the metaphysical disquisitions it is
Pythagoras. Xenophon's representation of his master is quite different.[1]

[Footnote 1: See p. 9. n.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Observe the remarkable contrast between the religion of the tragic and
other poets of Greece. The former are always opposed in heart to the
popular divinities. In fact, there are the popular, the sacerdotal, and the
mysterious religions of Greece, represented roughly by Homer, Pindar, and
Æschylus. The ancients had no notion of a _fall_ of man, though they had of
his gradual degeneracy. Prometheus, in the old mythus, and for the most
part in AEschylus, is the Redeemer and the Devil jumbled together.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot say I expect much from mere Egyptian antiquities. Almost every
thing really, that is, intellectually, great in that country seems to me of
Grecian origin.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think nothing can be added to Milton's definition or rule of poetry,--
that it ought to be simple, sensuous, and impassioned; that is to say,
single in conception, abounding in sensible images, and informing them all
with the spirit of the mind.

Milton's Latin style is, I think, better and easier than his English. His
style, in prose, is quite as characteristic of him as a philosophic
republican, as Cowley's is of _him_ as a first-rate gentleman.

If you take from Virgil his diction and metre, what do you leave him?

       *       *       *       *       *

_June_ 2. 1824.


I confess I have small patience with Mr. Granville Penn's book against
Professor Buckland. Science will be superseded, if every phenomenon is to
be referred in this manner to an actual miracle. I think it absurd to
attribute so much to the Deluge. An inundation, which left an olive-tree
standing, and bore up the ark peacefully on its bosom, could scarcely have
been the sole cause of the rents and dislocations observable on the face of
the earth. How could the tropical animals, which have been discovered in
England and in Russia in a perfectly natural state, have been transported
thither by such a flood? Those animals must evidently have been natives of
the countries in which they have been found. The climates must have been
altered. Assume a sudden evaporation upon the retiring of the Deluge to
have caused an intense cold, the solar heat might not be sufficient
afterwards to overcome it. I do not think that the polar cold is adequately
explained by mere comparative distance from the sun.

       *       *       *       *       *

You will observe, that there is no mention of rain previously to the
Deluge. Hence it may be inferred, that the rainbow was exhibited for the
first time after God's covenant with Noah. However, I only suggest this.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Earth with its scarred face is the symbol of the Past; the Air and
Heaven, of Futurity.

_June_ 5. 1824.


The fondness for dancing in English women is the reaction of their reserved
manners. It is the only way in which they can throw themselves forth in
natural liberty. We have no adequate conception of the perfection of the
ancient tragic dance. The pleasure which the Greeks received from it had
for its basis Difference and the more unfit the vehicle, the more lively
was the curiosity and intense the delight at seeing the difficulty

       *       *       *       *       *

The ancients certainly seem to have understood some principles in acoustics
which we have lost, or, at least, they applied them better. They contrived
to convey the voice distinctly in their huge theatres by means of pipes,
which created no echo or confusion. Our theatres--Drury Lane and Covent
Garden--are fit for nothing: they are too large for acting, and too small
for a bull-fight.

       *       *       *       *       *

_June_ 7. 1824.


How lamentably the _art_ of versification is neglected by most of the
poets of the present day!--by Lord Byron, as it strikes me, in particular,
among those of eminence for other qualities. Upon the whole, I think the
part of Don Juan in which Lambro's return to his home, and Lambro himself,
are described, is the best, that is, the most individual, thing in all I
know of Lord B.'s works. The festal abandonment puts one in mind of
Nicholas Poussin's pictures.[1]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge particularly noticed, for its classical air, the 32d stanza
of this Canto (the third):--

"A band of children, round a snow-white ram,
  There wreathe his venerable horns with flowers,
While, peaceful as if still an unwean'd lamb,
  The patriarch of the flock all gently cowers
His sober head, majestically tame,
  Or eats from out the palm, or playful lowers
His brow, as if in act to butt, and then
Yielding to their small hands, draws back again."

But Mr. C. said that _then_, and _again_, made no rhyme to his ear. Why
should not the old form _agen_ be lawful in verse? We wilfully abridge
ourselves of the liberty which our great poets achieved and sanctioned for
us in innumerable instances.--ED.]

_June_ 10. 1824.


Up to twenty-one, I hold a father to have power over his children as to
marriage; after that age, authority and influence only. Show me one couple
unhappy merely on account of their limited circumstances, and I will show
you ten that are wretched from other causes.

       *       *       *       *       *

If the matter were quite open, I should incline to disapprove the
intermarriage of first cousins; but the church has decided otherwise on the
authority of Augustine, and that seems enough upon such a point.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may depend upon it, that a slight contrast of character is very
material to happiness in marriage.

_February_ 24. 1827.


Blumenbach makes five races; Kant, three. Blumenbach's scale of dignity may
be thus figured:--

                1. Caucasian or European.

        2. Malay    =================  2. American

   3. Negro    ==========================    3. Mongolian, Asiatic

There was, I conceive, one great Iapetic original of language, under which
Greek, Latin, and other European dialects, and, perhaps, Sanscrit, range as
species. The Iapetic race, [Greek: Iaones]; separated into two branches;
one, with a tendency to migrate south-west,--Greeks, Italians, &c.; and the
other north-west,--Goths, Germans, Swedes, &c. The Hebrew is Semitic.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hebrew, in point of force and purity, seems at its height in Isaiah. It is
most corrupt in Daniel, and not much less so in Ecclesiastes; which I
cannot believe to have been actually composed by Solomon, but rather
suppose to have been so attributed by the Jews, in their passion for
ascribing all works of that sort to their _grand monurque_.

_March_ 10. 1827.


The people of all other nations, but the Jewish, seem to look backwards and
also to exist for the present; but in the Jewish scheme every thing is
prospective and preparatory; nothing, however trifling, is done for itself
alone, but all is typical of something yet to come.

       *       *       *       *       *

I would rather call the book of Proverbs Solomonian than as actually a work
of Solomon's. So I apprehend many of the Psalms to be Davidical only, not
David's own compositions.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may state the Pantheism of Spinosa, in contrast with the Hebrew or
Christian scheme, shortly, as thus:--


W-G = 0; _i.e._ the World without God is an impossible idea.
G-W = 0; _i.e._ God without the World is so likewise.

Hebrew or Christian scheme.

W-G = 0; _i.e._ The same as Spinosa's premiss.
But G-W = G; _i.e._ God without the World is God the self-subsistent.

       *       *       *       *       *

_March_ 12. 1827.


I have no doubt that the real object closest to the hearts of the leading
Irish Romanists is the destruction of the Irish Protestant church, and the
re-establishment of their own. I think more is involved in the manner than
the matter of legislating upon the civil disabilities of the members of the
church of Rome; and, for one, I should he willing to vote for a removal of
those disabilities, with two or three exceptions, upon a solemn declaration
being made legislatively in parliament, that at no time, nor under any
circumstances, could or should a branch of the Romish hierarchy, as at
present constituted, become an estate of this realm.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Church and State, second part, p. 189.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Internal or mental energy and external or corporeal modificability are in
inverse proportions. In man, internal energy is greater than in any other
animal; and you will see that he is less changed by climate than any
animal. For the highest and lowest specimens of man are not one half as
much apart from each other as the different kinds even of dogs, animals of
great internal energy themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

For an instance of Shakspeare's power _in minimis_, I generally quote James
Gurney's character in King John. How individual and comical he is with the
four words allowed to his dramatic life! [1] And pray look at Skelton's
Richard Sparrow also!

Paul Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent deserves your study. It is
very interesting.

[Footnote 1:

BAST. O me! it is my mother:--How now, good lady?
What brings you here to court so hastily?

LADY F. Where is that slave, thy brother? where is he?
That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

BAST. My brother Robert? Old Sir Robert's son?
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
Is it Sir Robert's son that you seek so?

LADY F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,
Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at Sir Robert?
He is Sir Robert's son; and so art thou.

BAST. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a while?

GUR. _Good leave, good Philip._

BAST. Philip?--Sparrow! James,
There's toys abroad; anon I'll tell thee more.

[_Exit_ GURNEY."

The very _exit Gurney_ is a stroke of James's character.--ED.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

The latest book of travels I know, written in the spirit of the old
travellers, is Bartram's account of his tour in the Floridas. It is a work
of high merit every way.[1]

[Footnote 1:
"Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida,
the Cherokee Country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or
Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws, &c. By William
Bartram." Philadelphia, 1791. London, 1792. 8vo. The expedition was made at
the request of Dr. Fothergill, the Quaker  physician, in 1773, and was
particularly directed to botanical discoveries.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_March_ 13. 1827.


A pun will sometimes facilitate explanation, as thus;--the Understanding is
that which _stands under_ the phenomenon, and gives it objectivity. You
know _what_ a thing is by it. It is also worthy of remark, that the Hebrew
word for the understanding, _Bineh_, comes from a root meaning _between_ or

       *       *       *       *       *

_March_ 18. 1827.


There are seven parts of speech, and they agree with the five grand and
universal divisions into which all things finite, by which I  mean to
exclude the idea of God, will be found to fall; that is, as you will often
see it stated in my writings, especially in the Aids to Reflection[1]:--

    Thesis.      Mesothesis.     Antithesis.
       2.            4.              3.

Conceive it thus:--

1. Prothesis, the noun-verb, or verb-substantive, _I am_, which is the
previous form, and implies identity of being and act.

2. Thesis, the noun.

3. Antithesis, the verb.

Note, each of these may be converted; that is, they are only opposed to
each other.

4. Mesothesis, the infinitive mood, or the indifference of the verb and
noun, it being either the one or the other, or both at the same time, in
different relations.

5. Synthesis, the participle, or the community of verb and noun; being and
acting at once.

Now, modify the noun by the verb, that is, by an act, and you have--

6. The adnoun, or adjective.

Modify the verb by the noun, that is, by being, and you have--

7. The adverb.

Interjections are parts of sound, not of speech. Conjunctions are the same
as prepositions; but they are prefixed to a sentence, or to a member of a
sentence, instead of to a single word.

The inflections of nouns are modifications as to place; the inflections of
verbs, as to time.

The genitive case denotes dependence; the dative, transmission. It is
absurd to talk of verbs governing. In Thucydides, I believe, every case has
been found absolute.[2]

Dative:--[Greek: ----]
Thuc.VIII. 24. This is the Latin usage.

Accusative.--I do not remember an instance of the proper accusative
absolute in Thucydides; but it seems not uncommon in other authors:
[Greek: ----]

Yet all such instances may be nominatives; for I cannot find an example of
the accusative absolute in the masculine or feminine gender, where the
difference of inflexion would show the case.--ED.]

The inflections of the tenses of a verb are formed by adjuncts of the verb
substantive. In Greek it is obvious. The E is the prefix significative of a
past time.

[Footnote 1: P. 170. 2d edition.]

[Footnote 2:
Nominative absolute:--[Greek: theon de phozos ae anthropon nomos, oudeis
apeirge, to men krinontes en homoio kai sezein kai mae--ton de
hamartaematon.]--Thuc. II. 53.]

_June 15. 1827.


Perhaps the attribution or analogy may seem fanciful at first sight, but I
am in the habit of realizing to myself Magnetism as length; Electricity as
breadth or surface; and Galvanism as depth.

_June 24. 1827._


Spenser's Epithalamion is truly sublime; and pray mark the swan-like
movement of his exquisite Prothalamion. [1] His attention to metre and
rhythm is sometimes so extremely minute as to be painful even to my ear,
and you know how highly I prize good versification.

[Footnote 1:
How well I remember this Midsummer-day! I shall never pass such another.
The sun was setting behind Caen Wood, and the calm of the evening was so
exceedingly deep that it arrested Mr. Coleridge's attention. We were alone
together in Mr. Gillman's drawing-room, and Mr. C. left off talking, and
fell into an almost trance-like state for ten minutes whilst contemplating
the beautiful prospect before us. His eyes swam in tears, his head inclined
a little forward, and there was a slight uplifting of the fingers, which
seemed to tell me that he was in prayer. I was awestricken, and remained
absorbed in looking at the man, in forgetfulness of external nature, when
he recovered himself, and after a word or two fell by some secret link of
association upon Spenser's poetry. Upon my telling him that I did not very
well recollect the Prothalamion: "Then I must read you a bit of it," said
he; and, fetching the book from the next room, he recited the whole of it
in his finest and most musical manner. I particularly bear in mind the
sensible diversity of tone and rhythm with which he gave:--

  "Sweet Thames! run softly till I end my song,"

the concluding line of each of the ten strophes of the poem.

When I look upon the scanty memorial, which I have alone preserved of this
afternoon's converse, I am tempted to burn these pages in despair. Mr.
Coleridge talked a volume of criticism that day, which, printed verbatim as
he spoke it, would have made the reputation of any other person but
himself. He was, indeed, particularly brilliant and enchanting; and I left
him at night so thoroughly _magnetized_, that I could not for two or three
days afterwards reflect enough to put any thing on paper,--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I have often told you that I do not think there is any jealousy, properly
so called, in the character of Othello. There is no predisposition to
suspicion, which I take to be an essential term in the definition of the
word. Desdemona very truly told Emilia that he was not jealous, that is, of
a jealous habit, and he says so as truly of himself. Iago's suggestions,
you see, are quite new to him; they do not correspond with any thing of a
like nature previously in his mind. If Desdemona had, in fact, been guilty,
no one would have thought of calling Othello's conduct that of a jealous
man. He could not act otherwise than he did with the lights he had; whereas
jealousy can never be strictly right. See how utterly unlike Othello is to
Leontes, in the Winter's Tale, or even to Leonatus, in Cymbeline! The
jealousy of the first proceeds from an evident trifle, and something like
hatred is mingled with it; and the conduct of Leonatus in accepting the
wager, and exposing his wife to the trial, denotes a jealous temper already

       *       *       *       *       *

Hamlet's character is the prevalence of the abstracting and generalizing
habit over the practical. He does not want courage, skill, will, or
opportunity; but every incident sets him thinking; and it is curious, and
at the same time strictly natural, that Hamlet, who all the play seems
reason itself, should he impelled, at last, by mere accident to effect his
object. I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may say so.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Maxim is a conclusion upon observation of matters of fact, and is merely
retrospective: an Idea, or, if you like, a Principle, carries knowledge
within itself, and is prospective. Polonius is a man of maxims. Whilst he
is descanting on matters of past experience, as in that excellent speech to
Laertes before he sets out on his travels, he is admirable; but when he
comes to advise or project, he is a mere dotard. [1] You see Hamlet, as the
man of ideas, despises him.

[Footnote 1: Act i. sc. 3]

       *       *       *       *       *

A man of maxims only is like a Cyclops with one eye, and that eye placed in
the back of his head.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the scene with Ophelia, in the third act,[1] Hamlet is beginning with
great and unfeigned tenderness; but, perceiving her reserve and coyness,
fancies there are some listeners, and then, to sustain his part, breaks out
into all that coarseness.

Love is the admiration and cherishing of the amiable qualities of the
beloved person, upon the condition of yourself being the object of their
action. The qualities of the sexes correspond. The man's courage is loved
by the woman, whose fortitude again is coveted by the man. His vigorous
intellect is answered by her infallible tact. Can it be true, what is so
constantly affirmed, that there is no sex in souls?--I doubt it, I doubt it
exceedingly. [2]

[Footnote 1: Sc. 1.]

[Footnote 2: Mr. Coleridge was a great master in the art of love, but he
had not studied in Ovid's school. Hear his account of the matter:--

"Love, truly such, is itself not the most common thing in the world, and
mutual love still less so. But that enduring personal attachment, so
beautifully delineated by Erin's sweet melodist, and still more touchingly,
perhaps, in the well-known ballad, 'John Anderson, my Jo, John,' in
addition to a depth and constancy of character of no every-day occurrence,
supposes a peculiar sensibility and tenderness of nature; a constitutional
communicativeness and utterancy of heart and soul; a delight in the detail
of sympathy, in the outward and visible signs of the sacrament within,--to
count, as it were, the pulses of the life of love. But, above all, it
supposes a soul which, even in the pride and summer-tide of life, even in
the lustihood of health and strength, had felt oftenest and prized highest
that which age cannot take away, and which in all our lovings is _the_
love; I mean, that willing sense of the unsufficingness of the self for
itself, which predisposes a generous nature to see, in the total being of
another, the supplement and completion of its own; that quiet perpetual
seeking which the presence of the beloved object modulates, not suspends,
where the heart momently finds, and, finding again, seeks on; lastly, when
'life's changeful orb has passed the full,' a confirmed faith in the
nobleness of humanity, thus brought home and pressed, as it were, to the
very bosom of hourly experience; it supposes, I say, a heartfelt reverence
for worth, not the less deep because divested of its solemnity by habit, by
familiarity, by mutual infirmities, and even by a feeling of modesty which
will arise in delicate minds, when they are conscious of possessing the
same, or the correspondent, excellence in their own characters. In short,
there must be a mind, which, while it feels the beautiful and the excellent
in the beloved as its own, and by right of love appropriates it, can call
goodness its playfellow; and dares make sport of time and infirmity, while,
in the person of a thousand-foldly endeared partner, we feel for aged
virtue the caressing fondness that belongs to the innocence of childhood,
and repeat the same attentions and tender courtesies which had been
dictated by the same affection to the same object when attired in feminine
loveliness or in manly beauty." (Poetical Works, vol. ii. p. 120.)--ED.]

Measure for Measure is the single exception to the delightfulness of
Shakspeare's plays. It is a hateful work, although Shakspearian throughout.
Our feelings of justice are grossly wounded in Angelo's escape. Isabella
herself contrives to be unamiable, and Claudio is detestable.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am inclined to consider The Fox as the greatest of Ben Jonson's works.
But his smaller works are full of poetry.

       *       *       *       *       *

Monsieur Thomas and the little French Lawyer are great favourites of mine
amongst Beaumont and Fletcher's plays. How those plays overflow with wit!
And yet I scarcely know a more deeply tragic scene any where than that in
Rollo, in which Edith pleads for her father's life, and then, when she
cannot prevail, rises up and imprecates vengeance on his murderer. [1]

[Footnote 1: Act iii. sc. 1.:--

"ROLLO. Hew off her hands!

HAMOND. Lady, hold off!

EDITH. No! hew 'em;
Hew off my innocent hands, as he commands you!
They'll hang the faster on for death's convulsion.--
Thou seed of rocks, will nothing move thee, then?
Are all my tears lost, all my righteous prayers
Drown'd in thy drunken wrath? I stand up thus, then,
Thou boldly bloody tyrant,
And to thy face, in heav'n's high name defy thee!
And may sweet mercy, when thy soul sighs for it,--
When under thy black mischiefs thy flesh trembles,--
When neither strength, nor youth, nor friends, nor gold,
Can stay one hour; when thy most wretched conscience,
Waked from her dream of death, like fire shall melt thee,--
When all thy mother's tears, thy brother's wounds,
Thy people's fears, and curses, and my loss,
My aged father's loss, shall stand before thee--

ROLLO. Save him, I say; run, save him, save her father;
Fly and redeem his head!

EDITH. May then that pity," &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Our version of the Bible is to be loved and prized for this, as for a
thousand other things,--that it has preserved a purity of meaning to many
terms of natural objects. Without this holdfast, our vitiated imaginations
would refine away language to mere abstractions. Hence the French have lost
their poetical language; and Mr. Blanco White says the same thing has
happened to the Spanish.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have the perception of individual images very strong, but a dim one of
the relation of place. I remember the man or the tree, but where I saw them
I mostly forget.[1]

[Footnote 1:
There was no man whose opinion in morals, or even in a matter of general
conduct in life, if you furnished the pertinent circumstances, I would have
sooner adopted than Mr. Coleridge's; but I would not take him as a guide
through streets or fields or earthly roads. He had much of the geometrician
about him; but he could not find his way. In this, as in many other
peculiarities of more importance, he inherited strongly from his learned
and excellent father, who deserves, and will, I trust, obtain, a separate
notice for himself when his greater son's life comes to be written. I
believe the beginning of Mr. C.'s liking for Dr. Spurzheim was the hearty
good humour with which the Doctor bore the laughter of a party, in the
presence of which he, unknowing of his man, denied any _Ideality_, and
awarded an unusual share of _Locality_, to the majestic silver-haired head
of my dear uncle and father-in-law. But Mr. Coleridge immediately shielded
the craniologist under the distinction preserved in the text, and perhaps,
since that time, there may be a couple of organs assigned to the latter

       *       *       *       *       *

Craniology is worth some consideration, although it is merely in its
rudiments and guesses yet. But all the coincidences which have been
observed could scarcely be by accident. The confusion and absurdity,
however, will be endless until some names or proper terms are discovered
for the organs, which are not taken from their mental application or
significancy. The forepart of the head is generally given up to the higher
intellectual powers; the hinder part to the sensual emotions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Silence does not always mark wisdom. I was at dinner, some time ago, in
company with a man, who listened to me and said nothing for a long time;
but he nodded his head, and I thought him intelligent. At length, towards
the end of the dinner, some apple dumplings were placed on the table, and
my man had no sooner seen them, than he burst forth with--"Them's the
jockies for me!" I wish Spurzheim could have examined the fellow's head.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some folks apply epithets as boys do in making Latin verses. When I first
looked upon the Falls of the Clyde, I was unable to find a word to express
my feelings. At last, a man, a stranger to me, who arrived about the same
time, said:--"How majestic!"--(It was the precise term, and I turned round
and was saying--"Thank you, Sir! that _is_ the exact word for it"--when he
added, _eodem flatu_)--"Yes! how very _pretty_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

_July_ 8. 1827.


Bull and Waterland are the classical writers on the Trinity.[1]

In the Trinity there is, 1. Ipseity. 2. Alterity. 3. Community. You may
express the formula thus:--

God, the absolute Will or Identity, = Prothesis. The Father = Thesis. The
Son = Antithesis. The Spirit = Synthesis.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge's admiration of Bull and Waterland as high theologians was
very great. Bull he used to read in the Latin Defensio Fidei Nicaenae,
using the Jesuit Zola's edition of 1784, which, I think, he bought at Rome.
He told me once, that when he was reading a Protestant English Bishop's
work on the Trinity, in a copy edited by an Italian Jesuit in Italy, he
felt proud of the church of England, and in good humour with the church of

       *       *       *       *       *

The author of the Athanasian Creed is unknown. It is, in my judgment,
heretical in the omission, or implicit denial, of the Filial subordination
in the Godhead, which is the doctrine of the Nicene Creed, and for which
Bull and Waterland have so fervently and triumphantly contended; and by not
holding to which, Sherlock staggered to and fro between Tritheism and
Sabellianism. This creed is also tautological, and, if not persecuting,
which I will not discuss, certainly containing harsh and ill-conceived

       *       *       *       *       *

How much I regret that so many religious persons of the present day think
it necessary to adopt a certain cant of manner and phraseology as a token
to each other. They must _improve_ this and that text, and they must do so
and so in a _prayerful_ way; and so on. Why not use common language? A
young lady the other day urged upon me that such and such feelings were the
_marrow_ of all religion; upon which I recommended her to try to walk to
London upon her marrow-bones only.

       *       *       *       *       *

_July_ 9. 1827.


In the very lowest link in the vast and mysterious chain of Being, there is
an effort, although scarcely apparent, at individualization; but it is
almost lost in the mere nature. A little higher up, the individual is
apparent and separate, but subordinate to any thing in man. At length, the
animal rises to be on a par with the lowest power of the human nature.
There are some of our natural desires which only remain in our most perfect
state on earth as means of the higher powers' acting.[1]

[Footnote 1:
These remarks seem to call for a citation of that wonderful passage,
transcendant alike in eloquence and philosophic depth, which the readers of
the Aids to Reflection have long since laid up in cedar:--

"Every rank of creatures, as it ascends in the scale of creation, leaves
death behind it or under it. The metal at its height of being seems a mute
prophecy of the coming vegetation, into a mimic semblance of which it
crystallizes. The blossom and flower, the acme of vegetable life, divides
into correspondent organs with reciprocal functions, and by instinctive
motions and approximations seems impatient of that fixture, by which it is
differenced in kind from the flower-shaped Psyche that flutters with free
wing above it. And wonderfully in the insect realm doth the irritability,
the proper seat of instinct, while yet the nascent sensibility is
subordinate thereto,--most wonderfully, I say, doth the muscular life in
the insect, and the musculo-arterial in the bird, imitate and typically
rehearse the adaptive understanding, yea, and the moral affections and
charities of man. Let us carry ourselves back, in spirit, to the mysterious
week, the teeming work-days of the Creator, as they rose in vision before
the eye of the inspired historian "of the generations of the heaven and
earth, in the days that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." And
who that hath watched their ways with an understanding heart, could, as the
vision evolving still advanced towards him, contemplate the filial and
loyal bee; the home building, wedded, and divorceless swallow; and, above
all, the manifoldly intelligent ant tribes, with their commonwealth and
confederacies, their warriors and miners, the husband-folk, that fold in
their tiny flocks on the honied leaf, and the virgin sisters with the holy
instincts of maternal love, detached and in selfless purity, and not say to
himself, Behold the shadow of approaching Humanity, the sun rising from
behind, in the kindling morn of creation! Thus all lower natures find their
highest good in semblances and seekings of that which is higher and better.
All things strive to ascend, and ascend in their striving. And shall man
alone stoop? Shall his pursuits and desires, the reflections of his inward
life, be like the reflected image of a tree on the edge of a pool, that
grows downward, and seeks a mock heaven in the unstable element beneath it,
in neighbourhood with the slim water-weeds and oozy bottom-grass that are
yet better than itself and more noble, in as far as substances that appear
as shadows are preferable to shadows mistaken for substance? No! it must be
a higher good to make you happy. While you labour for any thing below your
proper humanity, you seek a happy life in the region of death. Well saith
the moral poet:--

            'Unless above himself he can
  Erect himself, how mean a thing is man!'"

P. 105. 2d ed.--ED.]

July 12. 1827.


What a grand subject for a history the Popedom is! The Pope ought never to
have affected temporal sway, but to have lived retired within St. Angelo,
and to have trusted to the superstitious awe inspired by his character and
office. He spoiled his chance when he meddled in the petty Italian

       *       *       *       *       *

Scanderbeg would be a very fine subject for Walter Scott; and so would
Thomas à Becket, if it is not rather too much for him. It involves in
essence the conflict between arms, or force, and the men of letters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Observe the superior truth of language, in Greek, to Theocritus
inclusively; in Latin, to the Augustan age exclusively; in Italian, to
Tasso exclusively; and in English, to Taylor and Barrow inclusively.

       *       *       *       *       *

Luther is, in parts, the most evangelical writer I know, after the apostles
and apostolic men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pray read with great attention Baxter's Life of himself. It is an
inestimable work. [1] I may not unfrequently doubt Baxter's memory, or even
his competence, in consequence of his particular modes of thinking; but I
could almost as soon doubt the Gospel verity as his veracity.

[Footnote 1:
This, a very thick folio of the old sort, was one of Mr. Coleridge's text
books for English church history. He used to say that there was _no_
substitute for it in a course of study for a clergyman or public man, and
that the modern political Dissenters, who affected to glory in Baxter as a
leader, would read a bitter lecture on themselves in every page of it. In a
marginal note I find Mr. C. writing thus: "Alas! in how many respects does
my lot resemble Baxter's! But how much less have my bodily evils been, and
yet how very much greater an impediment have I suffered them to be! But
verily Baxter's labours seem miracles of supporting grace."--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I am not enough read in Puritan divinity to know the particular objections
to the surplice, over and above the general prejudice against the _retenta_
of Popery. Perhaps that was the only ground,--a foolish one enough.

In my judgment Bolingbroke's style is not in any respect equal to that of
Cowley or Dryden. Read Algernon Sidney; his style reminds you as little of
books as of blackguards. What a gentleman he was!

       *       *       *       *       *

Burke's Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful seems to me a poor thing; and
what he says upon Taste is neither profound nor accurate.

       *       *       *       *       *

Well! I am for Ariosto against Tasso; though I would rather praise Aristo's
poetry than his poem.

       *       *       *       *       *

I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose
and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order;--poetry = the
_best_ words in the best order.

       *       *       *       *       *

I conceive Origen, Jerome, and Augustine to be the three great fathers in
respect of theology, and Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and Chrysostom in
respect of rhetoric.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rhenferd possessed the immense learning and robust sense of Selden, with
the acuteness and wit of Jortin.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jacob Behmen remarked, that it was not wonderful that there were separate
languages for England, France, Germany, &c.; but rather that there was not
a different language for every degree of latitude. In confirmation of
which, see the infinite variety of languages amongst the barbarous tribes
of South America.

_July_ 20. 1827.


What is said of some persons not being able to distinguish colours, I
believe. It may proceed from general weakness, which will render the
differences imperceptible, just as the dusk or twilight makes all colours
one. This defect is most usual in the blue ray, the negative pole.

       *       *       *       *       *

I conjecture that when finer experiments have been applied, the red,
yellow, and orange rays will be found as capable of communicating magnetic
action as the other rays, though, perhaps, under different circumstances.
Remember this, if you are alive twenty years hence, and think of me.

_July_ 21. 1827.


The elements had been well shaken together during the civil wars and
interregnum under the Long Parliament and Protectorate; and nothing but the
cowardliness and impolicy of the Nonconformists, at the Restoration, could
have prevented a real reformation on a wider basis. But the truth is, by
going over to Breda with their stiff flatteries to the hollow-hearted King,
they put Sheldon and the bishops on the side of the constitution.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Reformation in the sixteenth century narrowed Reform. As soon as men
began to call themselves names, all hope of further amendment was lost.

_July_ 23. 1827.


William the Third was a greater and much honester man than any of his
ministers. I believe every one of them, except Shrewsbury, has now been
detected in correspondence with James.

       *       *       *       *       *

Berkeley can only be confuted, or answered, by one sentence. So it is with
Spinosa. His premiss granted, the deduction is a chain of adamant.

       *       *       *       *       *

Genius may co-exist with wildness, idleness, folly, even with crime; but
not long, believe me, with selfishness, and the indulgence of an envious
disposition. Envy is *[Greek: kakistos kai dikaiotatos theos], as I once
saw it expressed somewhere in a page of Stobaeus: it dwarfs and withers its

       *       *       *       *       *

The man's desire is for the woman; but the woman's desire is rarely other
than for the desire of the man.[1]

[Footnote 1:
"A woman's friendship," I find written by Mr. C. on a page dyed red with an
imprisoned rose-leaf, "a woman's friendship borders more closely on love
than man's. Men affect each other in the reflection of noble or friendly
acts; whilst women ask fewer proofs, and more signs and expressions of

August 29. 1827.


Jeremy Taylor is an excellent author for a young man to study, for the
purpose of imbibing noble principles, and at the same time of learning to
exercise caution and thought in detecting his numerous errors.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must acknowledge, with some hesitation, that I think Hooker has been a
little over-credited for his judgment.

Take as an instance of an idea the continuity and coincident distinctness
of nature; or this,--vegetable life is always striving to be something that
it is not; animal life to be itself.[1] Hence, in a plant the parts, as the
root, the stem, the branches, leaves, &c. remain after they have each
produced or contributed to produce a different _status_ of the whole plant:
in an animal nothing of the previous states remains distinct, but is
incorporated into, and constitutes progressively, the very self.

[Footnote 1:
The reader who has never studied Plato, Bacon, Kant, or Coleridge in their
philosophic works, will need to be told that the word Idea is not used in
this passage in the sense adopted by "Dr. Holofernes, who in a lecture on
metaphysics, delivered at one of the Mechanics' Institutions, explodes all
_ideas_ but those of sensation; whilst his friend, deputy Costard, has no
_idea_ of a better-flavoured haunch of venison, than he dined off at the
London Tavern last week. He admits (for the deputy has travelled) that the
French have an excellent _idea_ of cooking in general; but holds that their
most accomplished _maîtres de cuisine_ have no more _idea_ of dressing a
turtle, than the Parisian gourmands themselves have any _real idea_ of the
true _taste_ and _colour_ of the fat." Church and State, p. 78. No! what
Mr. Coleridge meant by an idea in this place may be expressed in various
ways out of his own works. I subjoin a sufficient definition from the
Church and State, p. 6. "That which, contemplated _objectively_, (that is,
as existing _externally_ to the mind,) we call a law; the same contemplated
_subjectively_, (that is, as existing in a subject or mind,) is an idea.
Hence Plato often names Ideas, Laws; and Lord Bacon, the British Plato,
describes the laws of the material universe as the ideas in nature. "Quod
in natura _naturata_ Lex, in natura _naturante_ Idea dicitur." A more
subtle limitation of the word may be found in the last paragraph of Essay
(E) in the Appendix to the Statesman's Manual.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

To know any thing for certain is to have a clear insight into the
inseparability of the predicate from the subject (the matter from the
form), and _vice versâ_. This is a verbal definition,--a _real_ definition
of a thing absolutely known is impossible. I _know_ a circle, when I
perceive that the equality of all possible radii from the centre to the
circumference is inseparable from the idea of a circle.

_August_ 30. 1827.


Painting is the intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.

April 13. 1830.


If the prophecies of the Old Testament are not rightly interpreted of Jesus
our Christ, then there is no prediction whatever contained in it of that
stupendous event--the rise and establishment of Christianity--in comparison
with which all the preceding Jewish history is as nothing. With the
exception of the book of Daniel, which the Jews themselves never classed
among the prophecies, and an obscure text of Jeremiah, there is not a
passage in all the Old Testament which favours the notion of a temporal
Messiah. What moral object was there, for which such a Messiah should come?
What could he have been but a sort of virtuous Sesostris or Buonaparte?

       *       *       *       *       *

I know that some excellent men--Israelites without guile--do not, in fact,
expect the advent of any Messiah; but believe, or suggest, that it may
possibly have been God's will and meaning, that the Jews should remain a
quiet light among the nations for the purpose of pointing at the doctrine
of the unity of God. To which I say, that this truth of the essential unity
of God has been preserved, and gloriously preached, by Christianity alone.
The Romans never shut up their temples, nor ceased to worship a hundred or
a thousand gods and goddesses, at the bidding of the Jews; the Persians,
the Hindus, the Chinese, learned nothing of this great truth from the Jews.
But from Christians they did learn it in various degrees, and are still
learning it. The religion of the Jews is, indeed, a light; but it is as the
light of the glow-worm, which gives no heat, and illumines nothing but

       *       *       *       *       *

It has been objected to me, that the vulgar notions of the Trinity are at
variance with this doctrine; and it was added, whether as flattery or
sarcasm matters not, that few believers in the Trinity thought of it as I
did. To which again humbly, yet confidently, I reply, that my superior
light, if superior, consists in nothing more than this,--that I more
clearly see that the doctrine of Trinal Unity is an absolute truth
transcending my human means of understanding it, or demonstrating it. I may
or may not be able to utter the formula of my faith in this mystery in more
logical terms than some others; but this I say, Go and ask the most
ordinary man, a professed believer in this doctrine, whether he believes in
and worships a plurality of Gods, and he will start with horror at the bare
suggestion. He may not be able to explain his creed in exact terms; but he
will tell you that he _does_ believe in one God, and in one God only,--
reason about it as you may.

       *       *       *       *       *

What all the churches of the East and West, what Romanist and Protestant
believe in common, that I call Christianity. In no proper sense of the word
can I call Unitarians and Socinians believers in Christ; at least, not in
the only Christ of whom I have read or know any thing.

April 14, 1830.


There is no hope of converting the Jews in the way and with the spirit
unhappily adopted by our church; and, indeed, by all other modern churches.
In the first age, the Jewish Christians undoubtedly considered themselves
as the seed of Abraham, to whom the promise had been made; and, as such, a
superior order. Witness the account of St. Peter's conduct in the Acts [1],
and the Epistle to the Galatians.[2] St. Paul protested against this, so
far as it went to make Jewish observances compulsory on Christians who were
not of Jewish blood, and so far as it in any way led to bottom the religion
on the Mosaic covenant of works; but he never denied the birthright of the
chosen seed: on the contrary, he himself evidently believed that the Jews
would ultimately be restored; and he says,--If the Gentiles have been so
blest by the rejection of the Jews, how much rather shall they be blest by
the conversion and restoration of Israel! Why do we expect the Jews to
abandon their national customs and distinctions? The Abyssinian church said
that they claimed a descent from Abraham; and that, in virtue of such
ancestry, they observed circumcision: but declaring withal, that they
rejected the covenant of works, and rested on the promise fulfilled in
Jesus Christ. In consequence of this appeal, the Abyssinians were permitted
to retain their customs.

If Rhenferd's Essays were translated--if the Jews were made acquainted with
the real argument--if they were addressed kindly, and were not required to
abandon their distinctive customs and national type, but were invited to
become Christians _as of the seed of Abraham_--I believe there would be a
Christian synagogue in a year's time. As it is, the Jews of the lower
orders are the very lowest of mankind; they have not a principle of honesty
in them; to grasp and be getting money for ever is their single and
exclusive occupation. A learned Jew once said to me, upon this subject:--"O
Sir! make the inhabitants of Hollywell Street and Duke's Place Israelites
first, and then we may debate about making them Christians."[3]

In Poland, the Jews are great landholders, and are the worst of tyrants.
They have no kind of sympathy with their labourers and dependants. They
never meet them in common worship. Land, in the hand of a large number of
Jews, instead of being, what it ought to be, the organ of permanence, would
become the organ of rigidity, in a nation; by their intermarriages within
their own pale, it would be in fact perpetually entailed. Then, again, if a
popular tumult were to take place in Poland, who can doubt that the Jews
would be the first objects of murder and spoliation?

[Footnote 1: Chap. xv.]

[Footnote 2 : Chap. ii.]

[Footnote 3:
Mr. Coleridge had a very friendly acquaintance with several learned Jews in
this country, and he told me that, whenever he had fallen in with a Jew of
thorough education and literary habits, he had always found him possessed
of a strong natural capacity for metaphysical disquisitions. I may mention
here the best known of his Jewish friends, one whom he deeply respected,
Hyman Hurwitz.--ED.]

April 17. 1830.


In the miracles of Moses, there is a remarkable intermingling of acts,
which we should now-a-days call simply providential, with such as we should
still call miraculous. The passing of the Jordan, in the 3d chapter of the
book of Joshua, is perhaps the purest and sheerest miracle recorded in the
Bible; it seems to have been wrought for the miracle's sake, and so thereby
to show to the Jews--the descendants of those who had come out of Egypt--
that the _same_ God who had appeared to their fathers, and who had by
miracles, in many respects providential only, preserved them in the
wilderness, was _their_ God also. The manna and quails were ordinary
provisions of Providence, rendered miraculous by certain laws and qualities
annexed to them in the particular instance. The passage of the Red Sea was
effected by a strong wind, which, we are told, drove hack the waters; and
so on. But then, again, the death of the first-born was purely miraculous.
Hence, then, both Jews and Egyptians might take occasion to learn, that it
was _one and the same God_ who interfered specially, and who governed all

       *       *       *       *       *

Take away the first verse of the hook of Genesis, and then what immediately
follows is an exact history or sketch of Pantheism. Pantheism was taught in
the mysteries of Greece; of which the Samothracian or Cabeiric were
probably the purest and the most ancient.

_April_ 18. 1830.


In the present age it is next to impossible to predict from specimens,
however favourable, that a young man will turn out a great poet, or rather
a poet at all. Poetic taste, dexterity in composition, and ingenious
imitation, often produce poems that are very promising in appearance. But
genius, or the power of doing something new, is another thing. Mr.
Tennyson's sonnets, such as I have seen, have many of the characteristic
excellencies of those of Wordsworth and Southey.

_April 19. 1830._

It is a small thing that the patient knows of his own state; yet some
things he _does_ know better than his physician.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never had, and never could feel, any horror at death, simply as death.

       *       *       *       *       *

Good and bad men are each less so than they seem.

_April 30. 1830._


The result of my system will be, to show, that, so far from the world being
a goddess in petticoats, it is rather the Devil in a strait waistcoat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The controversy of the Nominalists and Realists was one of the greatest and
most important that ever occupied the human mind. They were both right, and
both wrong. They each maintained opposite poles of the same truth; which
truth neither of them saw, for want of a higher premiss. Duns Scotus was
the head of the Realists; Ockham,[1] his own disciple, of the Nominalists.
Ockham, though certainly very prolix, is a most extraordinary writer.

[Footnote 1:
John Duns Scotus was born in 1274, at Dunstone in the parish of Emildune,
near Alnwick. He was a fellow of Merton College, and Professor of Divinity
at Oxford. After acquiring an uncommon reputation at his own university, he
went to Paris, and thence to Cologne, and there died in 1308, at the early
age of thirty-four years. He was called the Subtle Doctor, and found time
to compose works which now fill twelve volumes in folio. See the Lyons
edition, by Luke Wadding, in 1639.

William Ockham was an Englishman, and died about 1347; but the place and
year of his birth are not clearly ascertained. He was styled the Invincible
Doctor, and wrote bitterly against Pope John XXII. We all remember Butler's
account of these worthies:--

  "He knew what's what, and that's as high
  As metaphysic wit can fly;
  In school divinity as able
  As he that hight Irrefragable,
  A second Thomas, or at once
  To name them all, another _Dunse_;
  Profound in all the Nominal
  And Real ways beyond them all;
  For he a rope of sand could twist
  As tough as learned Sorbonist."
      HUDIBRAS. Part I. Canto I. v. 149.

The Irrefragable Doctor was Alexander Hales, a native of Gloucestershire,
who died in 1245. Amongst his pupils at Paris, was Fidanza, better known by
the name of Bonaventura, the Seraphic Doctor. The controversy of the
Realists and the Nominalists cannot he explained in a note; but in
substance the original point of dispute may be thus stated. The Realists
held _generally_ with Aristotle, that there were universal _ideas_ or
essences impressed upon matter, and covëal with, and inherent in, their
objects. Plato held that these universal forms existed as exemplars in the
divine mind previously to, and independently of, matter; but both
maintained, under one shape or other, the real existence of universal
forms. On the other hand, Zeno and the old Stoics denied the existence of
these universals, and contended that they were no more than mere tenms and
nominal representatives of their particular objects. The Nominalists were
the followers of Zeno, and held that universal forms are merely modes of
conception, and exist solely in and for the mind. It does not require much
reflection to see how great an influence these different systems might have
upon the enunciation of the higher doctrines of Christianity.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is remarkable, that two thirds of the eminent schoolmen were of British
birth. It was the schoolmen who made the languages of Europe what they now
are. We laugh at the quiddities of those writers now, but, in truth, these
quiddities are just the parts of their language which we have rejected;
whilst we never think of the mass which we have adopted, and have in daily

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the scholastic definitions of God is this,--_Deus est, cui omne quod
est est esse omne quod est:_ as long a sentence made up of as few words,
and those as oligosyllabic, as any I remember. By the by, that
_oligosyllabic_ is a word happily illustrative of its own meaning, _ex

       *       *       *       *       *

Spinosa, at the very end of his life, seems to have gained a glimpse of the
truth. In the last letter published in his works, it appears that he began
to suspect his premiss. His _unica substantia_ is, in fact, a mere notion,
--a _subject_ of the mind, and no _object_ at all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Plato's works are preparatory exercises for the mind. He leads you to see,
that propositions involving in themselves contradictory conceptions, are
nevertheless true; and which, therefore, must belong to a higher logic--
that of ideas. They are contradictory only in the Aristotelian logic, which
is the instrument of the understanding. I have read most of the works of
Plato several times with profound attention, but not all his writings. In
fact, I soon found that I had read Plato by anticipation. He was a
consummate genius.[1]

[Footnote 1:
"This is the test and character of a truth so affirmed (--a truth of the
reason, an Idea)--that in its own proper form it is _inconceivable_. For to
_conceive_, is a function of the understanding, which can he exercised only
on subjects subordinate thereto. And yet to the forms of the understanding
all truth must be reduced, that is to be fixed as an object of reflection,
and to be rendered _expressible_. And here we have a second test and sign
of a truth so affirmed, that it can come forth out of the moulds of the
understanding only in the disguise of two contradictory conceptions, each
of which is partially true, and the conjunction of both conceptions becomes
the representative or _expression_ (--the _exponent_) of a truth beyond
conception and inexpressible. Examples: _before_ Abraham WAS, I AM. God is
a circle, the centre of which is every where, and the circumference no
where. The soul is all in every part." Aids to Reflection, n. 224.n. See
also _Church and State_, p. 12.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

My mind is in a state of philosophical doubt as to animal magnetism. Von
Spix, the eminent naturalist, makes no doubt of the matter, and talks
coolly of giving doses of it. The torpedo affects a third or external
object, by an exertion of its own will: such a power is not properly
electrical; for electricity acts invariably under the same circumstances. A
steady gaze will make many persons of fair complexions blush deeply.
Account for that. [1]

[Footnote 1:
I find the following remarkable passage in p. 301. vol. i. of the richly
annotated copy of Mr. Southey's Life of Wesley, which Mr. C. bequeathed as
his "darling book and the favourite of his library" to its great and
honoured author and donor:--

"The coincidence throughout of all these Methodist cases with those of the
Magnetists makes me wish for a solution that would apply to all. Now this
sense or appearance of a sense of the distant, both in time and space, is
common to almost all the _magnetic_ patients in Denmark, Germany, France,
and North Italy, to many of whom the same or a similar solution could not
apply. Likewise, many cases have been recorded at the same time, in
different countries, by men who had never heard of each other's names, and
where the simultaneity of publication proves the independence of the
testimony. And among the Magnetisers and Attesters are to be found names of
men, whose competence in respect of integrity and incapability of
intentional falsehood is fully equal to that of Wesley, and their
competence in respect of physio- and psychological insight and attainments
incomparably greater. Who would dream, indeed, of comparing Wesley with a
Cuvier, Hufeland, Blumenbach, Eschenmeyer, Reil, &c.? Were I asked, what
_I_ think, my answer would be,--that the evidence enforces scepticism and a
_non liquet_;--too strong and consentaneous for a candid mind to be
satisfied of its falsehood, or its solvibility on the supposition of
imposture or casual coincidence;--too fugacious and unfixable to support
any theory that supposes the always potential, and, under certain
conditions and circumstances, occasionally active, existence of a
correspondent faculty in the human soul. And nothing less than such an
hypothesis would be adequate to the _satisfactory_ explanation of the
facts;--though that of a _metastasis_ of specific functions of the nervous
energy, taken in conjunction with extreme nervous excitement, _plus_ some
delusion, _plus_ some illusion, _plus_ some imposition, _plus_ some chance
and accidental coincidence, might determine the direction in which the
scepticism should vibrate. Nine years has the subject of Zoo-magnetism been
before me. I have traced it historically, collected a mass of documents in
French, German, Italian, and the Latinists of the sixteenth century, have
never neglected an opportunity of questioning eye-witnesses, _ex. gr._
Tieck, Treviranus, De Prati, Meyer, and others of literary or medical
celebrity, and I remain where I was, and where the first perusal of Klug's
work had left me, without having moved an inch backward or forward. The
reply of Treviranus, the famous botanist, to me, when he was in London, is
worth recording:--'Ich habe gesehen was (ich weiss das) ich nicht würde
geglaubt haben auf _ihren_ erzählung,' &c. 'I have seen what I am certain I
would not have believed on your telling; and in all reason, therefore, I
can neither expect nor wish that you should believe on _mine_.'"--ED.]

_May_ 1. 1830.


A Fall of some sort or other--the creation, as it were, of the non-
absolute--is the fundamental postulate of the moral history of man. Without
this hypothesis, man is unintelligible; with it, every phenomenon is
explicable. The mystery itself is too profound for human insight.

       *       *       *       *       *

Madness is not simply a bodily disease. It is the sleep of the spirit with
certain conditions of wakefulness; that is to say, lucid intervals. During
this sleep, or recession of the spirit, the lower or bestial states of life
rise up into action and prominence. It is an awful thing to be eternally
tempted by the perverted senses. The reason may resist--it does resist--for
a long time; but too often, at length, it yields for a moment, and the man
is mad for ever. An act of the will is, in many instances, precedent to
complete insanity. I think it was Bishop Butler who said, that he was "all
his life struggling against the devilish suggestions of his senses," which
would have maddened him, if he had relaxed the stern wakefulness of his
reason for a single moment.

       *       *       *       *       *

Brown's and Darwin's theories are both ingenious; but the first will not
account for sleep, and the last will not account for death: considerable
defects, you must allow.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is said that every excitation is followed by a commensurate exhaustion.
That is not so. The excitation caused by inhaling nitrous oxide is an
exception at least; it leaves no exhaustion on the bursting of the bubble.
The operation of this gas is to prevent the decarbonating of the blood;
and, consequently, if taken excessively, it would produce apoplexy. The
blood becomes black as ink. The voluptuous sensation attending the
inhalation is produced by the compression and resistance.

_May_ 2. 1830.


Plants exist _in_ themselves. Insects _by_, or by means of, themselves.
Men, _for_ themselves. The perfection of irrational animals is that which
is best for _them_; the perfection of man is that which is absolutely best.
There is growth only in plants; but there is irritability, or, a better
word, instinctivity, in insects.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may understand by _insect_, life in sections--diffused generally over
all the parts.

       *       *       *       *       *

The dog alone, of all brute animals, has a [*Greek: storgae], or affection
_upwards_ to man.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ant and the bee are, I think, much nearer man in the understanding or
faculty of adapting means to proximate ends than the elephant.[1]

[Footnote 1:
I remember Mr. C. was accustomed to consider the ant, as the most
intellectual, and the dog as the most affectionate, of the irrational
creatures, so far as our present acquaintance with the facts of natural
history enables us to judge.--ED.]

_May_ 3. 1830.


What an excellent character is the black Colonel in Mrs. Bennett's "Beggar

If an inscription be put upon my tomb, it may be that I was an enthusiastic
lover of the church; and as enthusiastic a hater of those who have betrayed
it, be they who they may.[2]

[Footnote 1:
This character was frequently a subject of pleasant description and
enlargement with Mr. Coleridge, and he generally passed from it to a high
commendation of Miss Austen's novels, as being in their way perfectly
genuine and individual productions.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
This was a strong way of expressing a deep-rooted feeling. A better and a
truer character would be, that Coleridge was a lover of the church, and a
defender of the faith! This last expression is the utterance of a
conviction so profound that it can patiently wait for time to prove its

_May_ 4. 1830.


Holland and the Netherlands ought to be seen once, because no other country
is like them. Every thing is artificial. You will be struck with the
combinations of vivid greenery, and water, and building; but every thing is
so distinct and rememberable, that you would not improve your conception by
visiting the country a hundred times over. It is interesting to see a
country and a nature _made_, as it were, by man, and to compare it with
God's nature.[1]

If you go, remark, (indeed you will be forced to do so in spite of
yourself,) remark, I say, the identity (for it is more than proximity) of a
disgusting dirtiness in all that concerns the dignity of, and reverence
for, the human person; and a persecuting painted cleanliness in every thing
connected with property. You must not walk in their gardens; nay, you must
hardly look into them.

[Footnote 1:
In the summer of 1828, Mr. Coleridge made an excursion with Mr. Wordsworth
in Holland, Flanders, and up the Rhine, as far as Bergen. He came back
delighted, especially with his stay near Bonn, but with an abiding disgust
at the filthy habits of the people. Upon Cologne, in particular, he avenged
himself in two epigrams. See Poet. Works, vol. ii. p. 144.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Dutch seem very happy and comfortable, certainly; but it is the
happiness of _animals_. In vain do you look for the sweet breath of hope
and advancement among them. [1]In fact, as to their villas and gardens,
they are not to be compared to an ordinary London merchant's box.

[Footnote 1:
  "For every gift of noble origin
  Is breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath."

_May 5. 1830._


You may depend upon it, religion is, in its essence, the most gentlemanly
thing in the world. It will _alone_ gentilize, if unmixed with cant; and I
know nothing else that will, _alone_. Certainly not the army, which is
thought to be the grand embellisher of manners.

       *       *       *       *       *

A woman's head is usually over ears in her heart. Man seems to have been
designed for the superior being of the two; but as things are, I think
women are generally better creatures than men. They have, taken
universally, weaker appetites and weaker intellects, but they have much
stronger affections. A man with a bad heart has been sometimes saved by a
strong head; but a corrupt woman is lost for ever.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never could get much information out of the biblical commentators.
Cocceius has told me the most; but he, and all of them, have a notable
trick of passing _siccissimis pedibus_ over the parts which puzzle a man of

The Walkerite creed, or doctrine of the New Church, as it is called,
appears to be a miscellany of Calvinism and Quakerism; but it is hard to
understand it.

       *       *       *       *       *

_May_ 7, 1830.


Horne Tooke was pre-eminently a ready-witted man. He had that clearness
which is founded on shallowness. He doubted nothing; and, therefore, gave
you all that he himself knew, or meant, with great completeness. His voice
was very fine, and his tones exquisitely discriminating. His mind had no
progression or developement. All that is worth any thing (and that is but
little) in the Diversions of Purley is contained in a short pamphlet-letter
which he addressed to Mr. Dunning; then it was enlarged to an octavo, hut
there was not a foot of progression beyond the pamphlet; at last, a quarto
volume, 1 believe, came out; and yet, verily, excepting newspaper lampoons
and political insinuations, there was no addition to the argument of the
pamphlet, It shows a base and unpoetical mind to convert so beautiful, so
divine, a subject as language into the vehicle or make-weight of political
squibs. All that is true in Horne Tooke's book is taken from Lennep, who
gave it for so much as it was worth, and never pretended to make a system
of it. Tooke affects to explain the origin and whole philosophy of language
by what is, in fact, only a mere accident of the history of one language,
or one or two languages. His abuse of Harris is most shallow and unfair.
Harris, in the Hermes, was dealing--not very profoundly, it is true,--with
the philosophy of language, the moral, physical, and metaphysical causes
and conditions of it, &c. Horne Tooke, in writing about the formation of
words only, thought he was explaining the philosophy of language, which is
a very different thing. In point of fact, he was very shallow in the Gothic
dialects. I must say, all that _decantata fabula_ about the genders of the
sun and moon in German seems to me great stuff. Originally, I apprehend, in
the _Platt-Deutsch_ of the north of Germany there were only two definite
articles--_die_ for masculine and feminine, and _das_ for neuter. Then it
was _die sonne_, in a masculine sense, as we say with the same word as
article, _the_ sun. Luther, in constructing the _Hoch-Deutsch_ (for really
his miraculous and providential translation of the Bible was the
fundamental act of construction of the literary German), took for his
distinct masculine article the _der_ of the _Ober-Deutsch_, and thus
constituted the three articles of the present High German, _der, die, das_.
Naturally, therefore, it would then have been, _der sonne_; but here the
analogy of the Greek grammar prevailed, and as _sonne_ had the arbitrary
feminine termination of the Greek, it was left with its old article _die_,
which, originally including masculine and feminine both, had grown to
designate the feminine only. To the best of my recollection, the
Minnesingers and all the old poets always use the sun as masculine; and,
since Luther's time, the poets feel the awkwardness of the classical gender
affixed to the sun so much, that they more commonly introduce Phoebus or
some other synonyme instead. I must acknowledge my doubts, whether, upon
more accurate investigation, it can be shown that there ever was a nation
that considered the sun in itself, and apart from language, as the feminine
power. The moon does not so clearly demand a feminine as the sun does a
masculine sex: it might be considered negatively or neuter;--yet if the
reception of its light from the sun were known, that would have been a good
reason for making her feminine, as being the recipient body.

       *       *       *       *       *

As our _the_ was the German _die_, so I believe our _that_ stood for _das_,
and was used as a neuter definite article.

The _Platt-Deutsch_ was a compact language like the English, not admitting
much agglutination. The _Ober-Deutsch_ was fuller and fonder of
agglutinating words together, although it was not so soft in its sounds.

_May 8. 1830._


Horne Tooke said that his friends might, if they pleased, go as far as
Slough,--he should go no farther than Hounslow; but that was no reason why
he should not keep them company so far as their roads were the same. The
answer is easy. Suppose you know, or suspect, that a man is about to commit
a robbery at Slough, though you do not mean to be his accomplice, have you
a moral right to walk arm in arm with him to Hounslow, and, by thus giving
him your countenance, prevent his being taken up? The history of all the
world tells us, that immoral means will ever intercept good ends.

       *       *       *       *       *

Enlist the interests of stern morality and religious enthusiasm in the
cause of political liberty, as in the time of the old Puritans, and it will
be irresistible; but the Jacobins played the whole game of religion, and
morals, and domestic happiness into the hands of the aristocrats. Thank
God! that they did so. England was saved from civil war by their enormous,
their providential, blundering.

       *       *       *       *       *

Can a politician, a statesman, slight the feelings and the convictions of
the whole matronage of his country? The women are as influential upon such
national interests as the men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Horne Tooke was always making a butt of Mr. Godwin; who, nevertheless, had
that in him which Tooke could never have understood. I saw a good deal of
Tooke at one time: he left upon me the impression of his being a keen, iron

_May_ 9. 1830.


I must acknowledge I never could see much merit in the Persian poetry,
which I have read in translation. There is not a ray of imagination in it,
and but a glimmering of fancy. It is, in fact, so far as I know, deficient
in truth. Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must
be good sense, at all events; just as a palace is more than a house, but
it must be a house, at least. The Arabian Nights' Tales are a different
thing --they are delightful, but I cannot help surmising that there is a
good deal of Greek fancy in them. No doubt we have had a great loss in the
Milesian Tales.[1] The book of Job is pure Arab poetry of the highest and
most antique cast.

Think of the sublimity, I should rather say the profundity, of that
passage in Ezekiel, [2]"Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered,
O Lord God, thou knowest." I know nothing like it.

[Footnote 1:
The Milesiacs were so called, because written or composed by Aristides of
Miletus, and also because the scene of all or most of them was placed in
that rich and luxurious city. Harpocration cites the sixth book of this
collection. Nothing, I believe, is now known of the age or history of this
Aristides, except what may be inferred from the fact that Lucius Cornelius
Sisenna translated the tales into Latin, as we learn from Ovid:--

  Junxit Aristides _Milesia crimina_ secum--

and afterwards,

  Vertit Aristidem Sisenna, nec obfuit illi
  Historiae turpes inseruisse jocos:--

  _Fasti_, ii. 412-445.

and also from the incident mentioned in the _Plutarchian_ life of Crassus,
that after the defeat at Carrhae, a copy of the Milesiacs of Aristides was
found in the baggage of a Roman officer, and that Surena (who, by the by,
if history has not done him injustice, was not a man to be over scrupulous
in such a case,) caused the book to be brought into the senate house of
Seleucia, and a portion of it read aloud, for the purpose of insulting the
Romans, who, even during war, he said, could not abstain from the perusal
of such _infamous compositions_,--c. 32. The immoral character of these
tales, therefore, may be considered pretty clearly established; they were
the Decameron and Heptameron of antiquity.--ED.]

[Footnote 2: Chap. xxxvii. v. 3.]

_May_ 11. 1830.


Sir Thomas Monro and Sir Stamford Raffles were both great men; but I
recognise more genius in the latter, though, I believe, the world says

       *       *       *       *       *

I never found what I call an idea in any speech or writing of ----'s.
Those enormously prolix harangues are a proof of weakness in the higher
intellectual grasp. Canning had a sense of the beautiful and the good; ---
rarely speaks but to abuse, detract, and degrade. I confine myself to
institutions, of course, and do not mean personal detraction. In my
judgment, no man can rightly apprehend an abuse till he has first mastered
the idea of the use of an institution. How fine, for example, is the idea
of the unhired magistracy of England, taking in and linking together the
duke to the country gentleman in the primary distribution of justice, or
in the preservation of order and execution of law at least throughout the
country! Yet some men never seem to have thought of it for one moment, but
as connected with brewers, and barristers, and tyrannical Squire Westerns!
From what I saw of Homer, I thought him a superior man, in real
intellectual greatness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Canning flashed such a light around the constitution, that it was difficult
to see the ruins of the fabric through it.

_May_ 12. 1830.


Shakspeare is the Spinosistic deity--an omnipresent creativeness. Milton is
the deity of prescience; he stands _ab extra_, and drives a fiery chariot
and four, making the horses feel the iron curb which holds them in.
Shakspeare's poetry is characterless; that is, it does not reflect the
individual Shakspeare; but John Milton himself is in every line of the
Paradise Lost. Shakspeare's rhymed verses are excessively condensed,--
epigrams with the point every where; but in his blank dramatic verse he is
diffused, with a linked sweetness long drawn out. No one can understand
Shakspeare's superiority fully until he has ascertained, by comparison, all
that which he possessed in common with several other great dramatists of
his age, and has then calculated the surplus which is entirely Shakspeare's
own. His rhythm is so perfect, that you may be almost sure that you do not
understand the real force of a line, if it does not run well as you read
it. The necessary mental pause after every hemistich or imperfect line is
always equal to the time that would have been taken in reading the complete

       *       *       *       *       *

I have no doubt whatever that Homer is a mere concrete name for the
rhapsodies of the Iliad.[1] Of course there was _a_ Homer, and twenty
besides. I will engage to compile twelve books with characters just as
distinct and consistent as those in the Iliad, from the metrical ballads,
and other chronicles of England, about Arthur and the Knights of the Round
Table. I say nothing about moral dignity, but the mere consistency of
character. The different qualities were traditional. Tristram is always
courteous, Lancelot invincible, and so on. The same might be done with the
Spanish romances of the Cid. There is no subjectivity whatever in the
Homeric poetry. There is a subjectivity of the poet, as of Milton, who is
himself before himself in everything he writes; and there is a subjectivity
of the _persona_, or dramatic character, as in all Shakspeare's great
creations, Hamlet, Lear, &c.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge was a decided Wolfian in the Homeric question; but he had
never read a word of the famous Prolegomena, and knew nothing of Wolf's
reasoning, but what I told him of it in conversation. Mr. C. informed me,
that he adopted the conclusion contained in the text upon the first perusal
of Vico's Scienza Nuova; "not," he said, "that Vico has reasoned it out
with such learning and accuracy as you report of Wolf, but Vico struck out
all the leading hints, and I soon filled up the rest out of my own head."--

_May_ 14. 1830.


Until you have mastered the fundamental difference, in kind, between the
reason and the understanding as faculties of the human mind, you cannot
escape a thousand difficulties in philosophy. It is pre-eminently the
_Gradus ad Philosophiam_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The general harmony between the operations of the mind and heart, and the
words which express them in almost all languages, is wonderful; whilst the
endless discrepancies between the names of _things_ is very well deserving
notice. There are nearly a hundred names in the different German dialects
for the alder-tree. I believe many more remarkable instances are to be
found in Arabic. Indeed, you may take a very pregnant and useful
distinction between _words_ and mere arbitrary _names of things_.

_May 15. 1830._


The Trinity is, 1. the Will; 2. the Reason, or Word; 3. the Love, or Life.
As we distinguish these three, so we must unite them in one God. The union
must be as transcendant as the distinction.

Mr. Irving's notion is tritheism,--nay, rather in terms, tri-daemonism. His
opinion about the sinfulness of the humanity of our Lord is absurd, if
considered in one point of view; for body is not carcass. How can there be
a sinful carcass? But what he says is capable of a sounder interpretation.
Irving caught many things from me; but he would never attend to any thing
which he thought he could not use in the pulpit. I told him the certain
consequence would be, that he would fall into grievous errors. Sometimes he
has five or six pages together of the purest eloquence, and then an
outbreak of almost madman's babble.[1]

[Footnote 1:
The admiration and sympathy which Mr. Coleridge felt and expressed towards
the late Mr. Irving, at his first appearance in London, were great and
sincere; and his grief at the deplorable change which followed was in
proportion. But, long after the tongues shall have failed and been
forgotten, Irving's name will live in the splendid eulogies of his friend.
See _Church and State_, p. 180. n.--ED.]

_May 16. 1830._


How wonderfully beautiful is the delineation of the characters of the three
patriarchs in Genesis! To be sure, if ever man could, without impropriety,
be called, or supposed to be, "the friend of God," Abraham was that man. We
are not surprised that Abimelech and Ephron seem to reverence him so
profoundly. He was peaceful, because of his conscious relation to God; in
other respects, he takes fire, like an Arah sheikh, at the injuries
suffered by Lot, and goes to war with the combined kinglings immediately.

       *       *       *       *       *

Isaac is, as it were, a faint shadow of his father Abraham. Born in
possession of the power and wealth which his father had acquired, he is
always peaceful and meditative; and it is curious to observe his timid and
almost childish imitation of Abraham's stratagem about his wife. [1] Isaac
does it before-hand, and without any apparent necessity.

[Footnote 1: Gen. xxvi. 6.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Jacob is a regular Jew, and practises all sorts of tricks and wiles, which,
according to our modern notions of honour, we cannot approve. But you will
observe that all these tricks are confined to matters of prudential
arrangement, to worldly success and prosperity (for such, in fact, was the
essence of the birthright); and I think we must not exact from men of an
imperfectly civilized age the same conduct as to mere temporal and bodily
abstinence which we have a right to demand from Christians. Jacob is always
careful not to commit any violence; he shudders at bloodshed. See his
demeanour after the vengeance taken on the Schechemites. [1] He is the
exact compound of the timidity and gentleness of Isaac, and of the
underhand craftiness of his mother Rebecca. No man could be a bad man who
loved as he loved Rachel. I dare say Laban thought none the worse of Jacob
for his plan of making the ewes bring forth ring-streaked lambs.

[Footnote 1: Gen. xxxiv.]

_May 17. 1830._


If a man's conduct cannot be ascribed to the angelic, nor to the bestial
within him, what is there left for us to refer to it, but the fiendish?
Passion without any appetite is fiendish.

       *       *       *       *       *

The best way to bring a clever young man, who has become sceptical and
unsettled, to reason, is to make him _feel_ something in any way. Love, if
sincere and unworldly, will, in nine instances out of ten, bring him to a
sense and assurance of something real and actual; and that sense alone will
make him _think_ to a sound purpose, instead of dreaming that he is

       *       *       *       *       *

"Never marry but for love," says William Penn in his Reflexions and Maxims;
"but see that thou lovest what is lovely."

_May 18. 1830._


Lord Eldon's doctrine, that grammar schools, in the sense of the reign of
Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth, must necessarily mean schools for teaching
Latin and Greek, is, I think, founded on an insufficient knowledge of the
history and literature of the sixteenth century. Ben Jonson uses the term
"grammar" without any reference to the learned languages.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is intolerable when men, who have no other knowledge, have not even a
competent understanding of that world in which they are always living, and
to which they refer every thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although contemporary events obscure past events in a living man's life,
yet as soon as he is dead, and his whole life is a matter of history, one
action stands out as conspicuously as another.

A democracy, according to the prescript of pure reason, would, in fact, be
a church. There would he focal points in it, but no superior.

_May 20. 1830._


No doubt, Chrysostom, and the other rhetorical fathers, contributed a good
deal, by their rash use of figurative language, to advance the
superstitious notion of the eucharist; but the beginning had been much
earlier. [1] In Clement, indeed, the mystery is treated as it was treated
by Saint John and Saint Paul; but in Hermas we see the seeds of the error,
and more clearly in Irenaeus; and so it went on till the idea was changed
into an idol.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge made these remarks upon my quoting Selden's well-known saying
(Table Talk), "that transubstantiation was nothing but rhetoric turned into

       *       *       *       *       *

The errors of the Sacramentaries, on the one hand, and of the Romanists on
the other, are equally great. The first have volatilized the eucharist into
a metaphor; the last have condensed it into an idol.

Jeremy Taylor, in his zeal against transubstantiation, contends that the
latter part of the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel has no reference to
the eucharist. If so, St. John wholly passes over this sacred mystery; for
he does not include it in his notice of the last supper. Would not a total
silence of this great apostle and evangelist upon this mystery be strange?
A mystery, I say; for it _is_ a mystery; it is the only mystery in our
religious worship. When many of the disciples left our Lord, and apparently
on the very ground that this saying was hard, he does not attempt to detain
them by any explanation, but simply adds the comment, that his words were
spirit. If he had really meant that the eucharist should he a mere
commemorative celebration of his death, is it conceivable that he would let
these disciples go away from him upon such a gross misunderstanding? Would
he not have said, "You need not make a difficulty; I only mean so and so?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Arnauld, and the other learned Romanists, are irresistible against the low
sacramentary doctrine.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sacrament of baptism applies itself, and has reference to the faith or
conviction, and is, therefore, only to be performed once;--it is the light
of man. The sacrament of the eucharist is a symbol of _all_ our religion;--
it is the life of man. It is commensurate with our will, and we must,
therefore, want it continually.

       *       *       *       *       *

The meaning of the expression, [Greek: ei m_e _en soi didomenon an_othen],
"except it were given thee _from above_," in the 19th chapter of St. John,
ver. 11., seems to me to have been generally and grossly mistaken. It is
commonly understood as importing that Pilate could have no power to deliver
Jesus to the Jews, unless it had been given him _by God_, which, no doubt,
is true; but if that is the meaning, where is the force or connection of
the following clause, [Greek: dia touto], "_therefore_ he that delivered me
unto thee hath the greater sin?" In what respect were the Jews more sinful
in delivering Jesus up, _because_ Pilate could do nothing except by God's
leave? The explanation of Erasmus and Clarke, and some others, is very dry-
footed. I conceive the meaning of our Lord to have been simply this, that
Pilate would have had no power or jurisdiction--[Greek: exousian]--over
him, if it had not been given by the Sanhedrin, the [Greek: an_o boul_e],
and _therefore_ it was that the Jews had the greater sin. There was also
this further peculiar baseness and malignity in the conduct of the Jews.
The mere assumption of Messiahship, as such, was no crime in the eyes of
the Jews; they hated Jesus, because he would not be _their sort_ of
Messiah: on the other hand, the Romans cared not for his declaration that
he was the Son of God; the crime in _their_ eyes was his assuming to be a
king. Now, here were the Jews accusing Jesus before the Roman governor of
_that_ which, in the first place, they knew that Jesus denied in the sense
in which they urged it, and which, in the next place, had the charge been
true, would have been so far from a crime in their eyes, that the very
gospel history itself, as well as all the history to the destruction of
Jerusalem, shows it would have been popular with the whole nation. They
wished to destroy him, and for that purpose charge him falsely with a crime
which yet was no crime in their own eyes, if it had been true; but only so
as against the Roman domination, which they hated with all their souls, and
against which they were themselves continually conspiring!

       *       *       *       *       *

Observe, I pray, the manner and sense in which the high-priest understands
the plain declaration of our Lord, that he was the Son of God. [Footnote:
Matt. xxvi. v. 63. Mark, xiv. 61.] "I adjure thee by the living God, that
thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God," or "the Son of
the Blessed," as it is in Mark. Jesus said, "I am,--and hereafter ye shall
see the Son of man (or me) sitting on the right hand of power, and coming
in the clouds of heaven." Does Caiaphas take this explicit answer as if
Jesus meant that he was full of God's spirit, or was doing his commands, or
walking in his ways, in which sense Moses, the prophets, nay, all good men,
were and are the sons of God? No, no! He tears his robes in sunder, and
cries out, "He hath spoken blasphemy. What further need have we of
witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy." What blasphemy, I
should like to know, unless the assuming to be the "Son of God" was
assuming to be of the _divine nature_?

       *       *       *       *       *

One striking proof of the genuineness of the Mosaic books is this,--they
contain precise prohibitions--by way of predicting the consequences of
disobedience--of all those things which David and Solomon actually did, and
gloried in doing,--raising cavalry, making a treaty with Egypt, laying up
treasure, and polygamising. Now, would such prohibitions have been
fabricated in those kings' reigns, or afterwards? Impossible.

       *       *       *       *       *

The manner of the predictions of Moses is very remarkable. He is like a man
standing on an eminence, and addressing people below him, and pointing to
things which he can, and they cannot, see. He does not say, You will act in
such and such a way, and the consequences will be so and so; but, So and so
will take place, because you will act in such a way!

May 21. 1830.


Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the
action of reason and imagination, rarely or never.

       *       *       *       *       *

Motives imply weakness, and the existence of evil and temptation. The
angelic nature would act from impulse alone. A due mean of motive and
impulse is the only practicable object of our moral philosophy.

_May_ 23. 1830.


It is a great error in physiology not to distinguish between what may be
called the general or fundamental life--the _principium vitae_, and the
functional life--the life in the functions. Organization must presuppose
life as anterior to it: without life, there could not be or remain any
organization; but then there is also _a_ life in the organs, or functions,
distinct from the other. Thus, a flute presupposes,--demands the existence
of a musician as anterior to it, without whom no flute could ever have
existed; and yet again, without the instrument there can be no music.

       *       *       *       *       *

It often happens that, on the one hand, the _principium vitae_, or
constitutional life, may be affected without any, or the least imaginable,
affection of the functions; as in inoculation, where one pustule only has
appeared, and no other perceptible symptom, and yet this has so entered
into the constitution, as to indispose it to infection under the most
accumulated and intense contagion; and, on the other hand, hysteria,
hydrophobia, and gout will disorder the functions to the most dreadful
degree, and yet often leave the life untouched. In hydrophobia, the mind is
quite sound; but the patient feels his muscular and cutaneous life forcibly
removed from under the control of his will.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hysteria may be fitly called _mimosa_, from its counterfeiting so many
diseases,--even death itself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hydro-carbonic gas produces the most death-like exhaustion, without any
previous excitement. I think this gas should be inhaled by way of
experiment in cases of hydrophobia.

There is a great difference between bitters and tonics. Where weakness
proceeds from excess of irritability, there bitters act beneficially;
because all bitters are poisons, and operate by stilling, and depressing,
and lethargizing the irritability. But where weakness proceeds from the
opposite cause of relaxation, there tonics are good; because they brace up
and tighten the loosened string. Bracing is a correct metaphor. Bark goes
near to be a combination of a bitter and a tonic; but no perfect medical
combination of the two properties is yet known.

       *       *       *       *       *

The study of specific medicines is too much disregarded now. No doubt the
hunting after specifics is a mark of ignorance and weakness in medicine,
yet the neglect of them is proof also of immaturity; for, in fact, all
medicines will be found specific in the perfection of the science.

_May_ 25. 1830.


The Epistle to the Ephesians is evidently a catholic epistle, addressed to
the whole of what might be called St. Paul's diocese. It is one of the
divinest compositions of man. It embraces every doctrine of Christianity;--
first, those doctrines peculiar to Christianity, and then those precepts
common to it with natural religion. The Epistle to the Colossians is the
overflowing, as it were, of St. Paul's mind upon the same subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

The present system of taking oaths is horrible. It is awfully absurd to
make a man invoke God's wrath upon himself, if he speaks false; it is, in
my judgment, a sin to do so. The Jews' oath is an adjuration by the judge
to the witness: "In the name of God, I ask you." There is an express
instance of it in the high-priest's adjuring or exorcising Christ by the
living God, in the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew, and you will observe
that our Lord answered the appeal.[1]

You may depend upon it, the more oath-taking, the more lying, generally
among the people.

[Footnote 1:
See this instance cited, and the whole history and moral policy of the
common system of judicial swearing examined with clearness and good
feeling, in Mr. Tyler's late work on Oaths.--ED.]

May 27. 1830.


I had _one_ just flogging. When I was about thirteen, I went to a
shoemaker, and begged him to take me as his apprentice. He, being an honest
man, immediately brought me to Bowyer, who got into a great rage, knocked
me down, and even pushed Crispin rudely out of the room. Bowyer asked me
why I had made myself such a fool? to which I answered, that I had a great
desire to be a shoemaker, and that I hated the thought of being a
clergyman. "Why so?" said he.--"Because, to tell you the truth, sir," said
I, "I am an infidel!" For this, without more ado, Bowyer flogged me,--
wisely, as I think,--soundly, as I know. Any whining or sermonizing would
have gratified my vanity, and confirmed me in my absurdity; as it was, I
was laughed at, and got heartily ashamed of my folly.

       *       *       *       *       *

How rich the Aristophanic Greek is in the eloquence of abuse!--

'O Bdelyre, kanaischunte, kai tolmaere su,
Kai miare, kai pammiare, kai miarotate.][1]

We are not behindhand in English. Fancy my calling you, upon a fitting
occasion,--Fool, sot, silly, simpleton, dunce, blockhead, jolterhead,
clumsy-pate, dullard, ninny, nincompoop, lackwit, numpskull, ass, owl,
loggerhead, coxcomb, monkey, shallow-brain, addle-head, tony, zany, fop,
fop-doodle; a maggot-pated, hare-brained, muddle-pated, muddle-headed,
Jackan-apes! Why I could go on for a minute more!

[Footnote 1: In The Frogs.--ED.]

_May_ 28. 1830.


I deeply regret the anti-American articles of some of the leading reviews.
The Americans regard what is said of them in England a thousand times more
than they do any thing said of them in any other country. The Americans are
excessively pleased with any kind or favourable expressions, and never
forgive or forget any slight or abuse. It would be better for them if they
were a trifle thicker-skinned.

       *       *       *       *       *

The last American war was to us only something to talk or read about; but
to the Americans it was the cause of misery in their own homes.

       *       *       *       *       *

I, for one, do not call the sod under my feet my country. But language,
religion, laws, government, blood,--identity in these makes men of one

_May_ 29. 1830.


The Book of Job is an Arab poem, antecedent to the Mosaic dispensation. It
represents the mind of a good man not enlightened by an actual revelation,
but seeking about for one. In no other book is the desire and necessity for
a Mediator so intensely expressed. The personality of God, the I AM of the
Hebrews, is most vividly impressed on the book, in opposition to pantheism.

       *       *       *       *       *

I now think, after many doubts, that the passage, "I know that my Redeemer
liveth," &c. may fairly be taken as a burst of determination, a _quasi_
prophecy. [1] "I know not _how_ this can be; but in spite of all my
difficulties, this I _do_ know, that I shall be recompensed."

[Footnote 1: Chap. xix. 25, 26.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It should be observed, that all the imagery in the speeches of the men is
taken from the East, and is no more than a mere representation of the forms
of material nature. But when God speaks, the tone is exalted; and almost
all the images are taken from Egypt, the crocodile, the war-horse, and so
forth. Egypt was then the first monarchy that had a splendid court.

       *       *       *       *       *

Satan, in the prologue, does not mean the devil, our Diabolus. There is no
calumny in his words. He is rather the _circuitor_, the accusing spirit, a
dramatic attorney-general. But after the prologue, which was necessary to
bring the imagination into a proper state for the dialogue, we hear no more
of this Satan.

       *       *       *       *       *

Warburton's notion, that the Book of Job was of so late a date as Ezra, is
wholly groundless. His only reason is this appearance of Satan.

_May_ 30. 1830.


I wish the Psalms were translated afresh; or, rather, that the present
version were revised. Scores of passages are utterly incoherent as they now
stand. If the primary visual images had been oftener preserved, the
connection and force of the sentences would have been better perceived.[1]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge, like so many of the elder divines of the Christian church,
had an _affectionate_ reverence for the moral and evangelical portion of
the Book of Psalms. He told me that, after having studied every page of the
Bible with the deepest attention, he had found no other part of Scripture
come home so closely to his inmost yearnings and necessities. During many
of his latter years he used to read ten or twelve verses every evening,
ascertaining (for his knowledge of Hebrew was enough for that) the exact
visual image or first radical meaning of every noun substantive; and he
repeatedly expressed to me his surprise and pleasure at finding that in
nine cases out of ten the bare primary sense, if literally rendered, threw
great additional light on the text. He was not disposed to allow the
prophetic or allusive character so largely as is done by Horne and others;
but he acknowledged it in some instances in the fullest manner. In
particular, he rejected the local and temporary reference which has been
given to the 110th Psalm, and declared his belief in its deep mystical
import with regard to the Messiah. Mr. C. once gave me the following note
upon the _22d_ Psalm written by him, I believe, many years previously, but
which, he said, he approved at that time. It will find as appropriate a
niche here as any where else:--

"I am much delighted and instructed by the hypothesis, which I think
probable, that our Lord in repeating _Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani_, really
recited the whole or a large part of the 22d Psalm. It is impossible to
read that psalm without the liveliest feelings of love, gratitude, and
sympathy. It is, indeed, a wonderful prophecy, whatever might or might not
have been David's notion when he composed it. Whether Christ did audibly
repeat the whole or not, it is certain. I think, that he did it mentally,
and said aloud what was sufficient to enable his followers to do the same.
Even at this day to repeat in the same manner but the first line of a
common hymn would be understood as a reference to the whole. Above all, I
am thankful for the thought which suggested itself to my mind, whilst I was
reading this beautiful psalm, namely, that we should not exclusively think
of Christ as the Logos united to human nature, but likewise as a perfect
man united to the Logos. This distinction is most important in order to
conceive, much more, appropriately to _feel_, the conduct and exertions of

_May_ 31. 1830.


Mrs. Barbauld once told me that she admired the Ancient Mariner very much,
but that there were two faults in it,--it was improbable, and had no moral.
As for the probability, I owned that that might admit some question; but as
to the want of a moral, I told her that in my own judgment the poem had too
much; and that the only, or chief fault, if I might say so, was the
obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader as a principle or
cause of action in a work of such pure imagination. It ought to have had no
more moral than the Arabian Nights' tale of the merchant's sitting down to
eat dates by the side of a well, and throwing the shells aside, and lo! a
genie starts up, and says he _must_ kill the aforesaid merchant, _because_
one of the date shells had, it seems, put out the eye of the genie's

I took the thought of "_grinning for joy_," in that poem, from my
companion's remark to me, when we had climbed to the top of Plinlimmon, and
were nearly dead with thirst. We could not speak from the constriction,
till we found a little puddle under a stone. He said to me,--"You grinned
like an idiot!" He had done the same.

[Footnote 1:
"There he found, at the foot of a great walnut-tree, a fountain of a very
clear running water, and alighting, tied his horse to a branch of a tree,
and sitting clown by the fountain, took some biscuits and dates out of his
portmanteau, and, as he ate his dates, threw the shells about on both sides
of him. When he had done eating, being a good Mussulman, he washed his
hands, his face, and his feet, and said his prayers. He had not made an
end, but was still on his knees, when he saw a genie appear, all white with
age, and of a monstrous bulk; who, advancing towards him with a cimetar in
his hand, spoke to him in a terrible voice thus:--'Rise up, that I may kill
thee with this cimetar as you have killed my son!' and accompanied these
words with a frightful cry. The merchant being as much frightened at the
hideous shape of the monster as at these threatening words, answered him
trembling:--'Alas! my good lord, of what crime can I be guilty towards you
that you should take away my life?'--'I will,' replies the genie, 'kill
thee, as thou hast killed my son!'--'O heaven!' says the merchant, 'how
should I kill your son? I did not know him, nor ever saw him.'--'Did not
you sit down when you came hither?' replies the genie. 'Did not you take
dates out of your portmanteau, and, as you ate them, did not you throw the
shells about on both sides?'--'I did all that you say,' answers the
merchant, 'I cannot deny it.'--'If it be so,' replied the genie, 'I tell
thee that thou hast killed my son; and the way was thus: when you threw the
nutshells about, my son was passing by, and you threw one of them into his
eye, which killed him, _therefore_ I must kill thee.'--'Ah! my good lord,
pardon me!' cried the merchant.--'No pardon,' answers the genie, 'no mercy!
Is it not just to kill him that has killed another?'--'I agree to it,' says
the merchant, 'but certainly I never killed your son, and if I have, it was
unknown to me, and I did it innocently; therefore I beg you to pardon me,
and suffer me to live.'--'No, no,' says the genie, persisting in his
resolution, 'I must kill thee, since thou hast killed my son;' and then
taking the merchant by the arm, threw him with his face upon the ground,
and lifted up his cimetar to cut off his head!"--The Merchant and the
Genie. First night.--Ed.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Undine is a most exquisite work. It shows the general want of any sense for
the fine and the subtle in the public taste, that this romance made no deep
impression. Undine's character, before she receives a soul, is marvellously

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge's admiration of this little romance was unbounded. He read it
several times in German, and once in the English translation, made in
America, I believe; the latter he thought inadequately done. Mr. C. said
that there was something in Undine even beyond Scott,--that Scott's best
characters and conceptions were _composed_; by which I understood him to
mean that Baillie Nicol Jarvie, for example, was made up of old
particulars, and received its individuality from the author's power of
fusion, being in the result an admirable product, as Corinthian brass was
said to be the conflux of the spoils of a city. But Undine, he said, was
one and single in projection, and had presented to his imagination, what
Scott had never done, an absolutely new idea--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems to me, that Martin never looks at nature except through bits of
stained glass. He is never satisfied with any appearance that is not
prodigious. He should endeavour to school his imagination into the
apprehension of the true idea of the Beautiful.[1]

The wood-cut of Slay-good[2] is admirable, to be sure; but this new edition
of the Pilgrim's Progress is too fine a book for it. It should be much
larger, and on sixpenny coarse paper.

The Pilgrim's Progress is composed in the lowest style of English, without
slang or false grammar. If you were to polish it, you would at once destroy
the reality of the vision. For works of imagination should be written in
very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more
necessary it is to be plain.

This wonderful work is one of the few books which may be read over
repeatedly at different times, and each time with a new and a different
pleasure. I read it once as a theologian--and let me assure you, that there
is great theological acumen in the work--once with devotional feelings--and
once as a poet. I could not have believed beforehand that Calvinism could
be painted in such exquisitely delightful colours.[3]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge said this, after looking at the engravings of Mr. Martin's
two pictures of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and the Celestial City,
published in the beautiful edition of the Pilgrim's Progress by Messrs.
Murray and Major, in 1830. I wish Mr. Martin could have heard the poet's
lecture: he would have been flattered, and at the same time, I believe,
instructed; for in the philosophy of painting Coleridge was a master.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
P. 350., by S. Mosses from a design by Mr. W. Harvey. "When they came to
the place where he was, they found him with one _Feeble-mind_ in his hand,
whom his servants had brought unto him, having taken him in the way. Now
the giant was rifling him, with a purpose, after that, to pick his bones;
for he was of the nature of flesh eaters."--ED.]

[Footnote 3:
I find written on a blank leaf of my copy of this edition of the P.'s P.
the following note by Mr. C.:--"I know of no book, the Bible excepted as
above all comparison, which I, according to _my_ judgment and experience,
could so safely recommend as teaching and enforcing the whole saving truth
according to the mind that was in Christ Jesus, as the Pilgrim's Progress.
It is, in my conviction, incomparably the best _summa theologiae
evangalicae_ ever produced by a writer not miraculously inspired." June 14.

_June_ 1. 1830.


There are three sorts of prayer:--1. Public; 2. Domestic; 3. Solitary. Each
has its peculiar uses and character. I think the church ought to publish
and authorise a directory of forms for the latter two. Yet I fear the
execution would be inadequate. There is a great decay of devotional unction
in the numerous books of prayers put out now-a-days. I really think the
hawker was very happy, who blundered New Form of Prayer into New _former_

I exceedingly regret that our church pays so little attention to the
subject of congregational singing. See how it is! In that particular part
of the public worship in which, more than in all the rest, the common
people might, and ought to, join,--which, by its association with music, is
meant to give a fitting vent and expression to the emotions,--in that part
we all sing as Jews; or, at best, as mere men, in the abstract, without a
Saviour. You know my veneration for the Book of Psalms, or most of it; but
with some half dozen exceptions, the Psalms are surely not adequate
vehicles of Christian thanksgiving and joy! Upon this deficiency in our
service, Wesley and Whitfield seized; and you know it is the hearty
congregational singing of Christian hymns which keeps the humbler
Methodists together. Luther did as much for the Reformation by his hymns as
by his translation of the Bible. In Germany, the hymns are known by heart
by every peasant: they advise, they argue from the hymns, and every soul in
the church praises God, like a Christian, with words which are natural and
yet sacred to his mind. No doubt this defect in our service proceeded from
the dread which the English Reformers had of being charged with introducing
any thing into the worship of God but the text of Scripture.

[Footnote 1:
"I will add, at the risk of appearing to dwell too long on religious
topics, that on this my first introduction to Coleridge he reverted with
strong compunction to a sentiment which he had expressed in earlier days
upon prayer. In one of his youthful poems, speaking of God, he had said--

     --'Of whose all-seeing eye
    Aught to demand were impotence of mind.'

This sentiment he now so utterly condemned, that, on the contrary, he told
me, as his own peculiar opinion, that the act of praying was the very
highest energy of which the human heart was capable, praying, that is, with
the total concentration of the faculties; and the great mass of worldly men
and of learned men he pronounced absolutely incapable of prayer."--_Tait's
Magazine_, September, 1834, p. 515.

Mr. Coleridge within two years of his death very solemnly declared to me
his conviction upon the same subject. I was sitting by his bedside one
afternoon, and he fell, an unusual thing for him, into a long account of
many passages of his past life, lamenting some things, condemning others,
but complaining withal, though very gently, of the way in which many of his
most innocent acts had been cruelly misrepresented. "But I have no
difficulty," said he, "in forgiveness; indeed, I know not how to say with
sincerity the clause in the Lord's Prayer, which asks forgiveness _as we
forgive_. I feel nothing answering to it in my heart. Neither do I find, or
reckon, the most solemn faith in God as a real object, the most arduous act
of the reason and will. O no, my dear, it is _to pray, to pray_ as God
would have us; this is what at times makes me turn cold to my soul. Believe
me, to pray with all your heart and strength, with the reason and the will,
to believe vividly that God will listen to your voice through Christ, and
verily do the thing he pleaseth thereupon--this is the last, the greatest
achievement of the Christian's warfare upon earth. _Teach_ us to pray, O
Lord!" And then he burst into a flood of tears, and begged me to pray for
him. O what a sight was there!--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Hooker said,--That by looking for that in the Bible which it is impossible
that _any book_ can have, we lose the benefits which we might reap from its
being the best of all books.

       *       *       *       *       *

You will observe, that even in dreams nothing is fancied without an
antecedent _quasi_ cause. It could not be otherwise.

_June_ 4. 1830.


Taylor's was a great and lovely mind; yet how much and injuriously was it
perverted by his being a favourite and follower of Laud, and by his
intensely popish feelings of church authority. [1] His Liberty of
Prophesying is a work of wonderful eloquence and skill; but if we believe
the argument, what do we come to? Why to nothing more or less than this,
that--so much can be said for every opinion and sect,--so impossible is it
to settle any thing by reasoning or authority of Scripture,--we must appeal
to some positive jurisdiction on earth, _ut sit finis controversiarum_. In
fact, the whole book is the precise argument used by the Papists to induce
men to admit the necessity of a supreme and infallible head of the church
on earth. It is one of the works which preeminently gives countenance to
the saying of Charles or James II., I forget which:--"When you of the
Church of England contend with the Catholics, you use the arguments of the
Puritans; when you contend with the Puritans, you immediately adopt all the
weapons of the Catholics." Taylor never speaks with the slightest symptom
of affection or respect of Luther, Calvin, or any other of the great
reformers--at least, not in any of his learned works; but he _saints_ every
trumpery monk and friar, down to the very latest canonizations by the
modern popes. I fear you will think me harsh, when I say that I believe
Taylor was, perhaps unconsciously, half a Socinian in heart. Such a strange
inconsistency would not be impossible. The Romish church has produced many
such devout Socinians. The cross of Christ is dimly seen in Taylor's works.
Compare him in this particular with Donne, and you will feel the difference
in a moment. Why are not Donne's volumes of sermons reprinted at Oxford?[2]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge placed Jeremy Taylor amongst the four great geniuses of old
English literature. I think he used to reckon Shakspeare and Bacon, Milton
and Taylor, four-square, each against each. In mere eloquence, he thought
the Bishop without any fellow. He called him Chrysostom. Further, he loved
the man, and was anxious to find excuses for some weak parts in his
character. But Mr. Coleridge's assent to Taylor's views of many of the
fundamental positions of Christianity was very limited; and, indeed, he
considered him as the least sound in point of doctrine of any of the old
divines, comprehending, within that designation, the writers to the middle
of Charles II.'s reign. He speaks of Taylor in "The Friend" in the
following terms:--"Among the numerous examples with which I might enforce
this warning, I refer, not without reluctance, to the most eloquent, and
one of the most learned, of our divines; a rigorist, indeed, concerning the
authority of the church, but a latitudinarian in the articles of its faith;
who stretched the latter almost to the advanced posts of Socinianism, and
strained the former to a hazardous conformity with the assumptions of the
Roman hierarchy." Vol. ii. p. 108.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
Why not, indeed! It is really quite unaccountable that the sermons
of this great divine of the English church should be so little known as
they are, even to very literary clergymen of the present day. It might
have been expected, that the sermons of the greatest preacher of his age,
the admired of Ben Jonson, Selden, and all that splendid band of poets
and scholars, would even as curiosities have been reprinted, when works,
which are curious for nothing, are every year sent forth afresh under the
most authoritative auspices. Dr. Donne was educated at both universities,
at Hart Hall, Oxford, first, and afterwards at Cambridge, but at
what college Walton does not mention--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In the reign of Edward VI., the Reformers feared to admit almost any thing
on human authority alone. They had seen and felt the abuses consequent on
the popish theory of Christianity; and I doubt not they wished and intended
to reconstruct the religion and the church, as far as was possible, upon
the plan of the primitive ages? But the Puritans pushed this bias to an
absolute bibliolatry. They would not put on a corn-plaster without scraping
a text over it. Men of learning, however, soon felt that this was wrong in
the other extreme, and indeed united itself to the very abuse it seemed to
shun. They saw that a knowledge of the Fathers, and of early tradition, was
absolutely necessary; and unhappily, in many instances, the excess of the
Puritans drove the men of learning into the old popish extreme of denying
the Scriptures to be capable of affording a rule of faith without the
dogmas of the church. Taylor is a striking instance how far a Protestant
might be driven in this direction.

_June_ 6. 1830.


In the first century, catholicity was the test of a book or epistle--
whether it were of the Evangelicon or Apostolicon--being canonical. This
catholic spirit was opposed to the gnostic or peculiar spirit,--the humour
of fantastical interpretation of the old Scriptures into Christian
meanings. It is this gnosis, or _knowingness,_ which the Apostle says
puffeth up,--not _knowledge_, as we translate it. The Epistle of Barnabas,
of the genuineness of which I have no sort of doubt, is an example of this
gnostic spirit. The Epistle to the Hebrews is the only instance of gnosis
in the canon: it was written evidently by some apostolical man before the
destruction of the Temple, and probably at Alexandria. For three hundred
years, and more, it was not admitted into the canon, especially not by the
Latin church, on account of this difference in it from the other
Scriptures. But its merit was so great, and the gnosis in it is so kept
within due bounds, that its admirers at last succeeded, especially by
affixing St. Paul's name to it, to have it included in the canon; which was
first done, I think, by the council of Laodicea in the middle of the fourth
century. Fortunately for us it was so.

       *       *       *       *       *

I beg Tertullian's pardon; but amongst his many _bravuras_, he says
something about St. Paul's autograph. Origen expressly declares the

       *       *       *       *       *

It is delightful to think, that the beloved apostle was born a Plato. To
him was left the almost oracular utterance of the mysteries of the
Christian religion while to St. Paul was committed the task of explanation,
defence, and assertion of all the doctrines, and especially of those
metaphysical ones touching the will and grace;[1] for which purpose his
active mind, his learned education, and his Greek logic, made him
pre-eminently fit.

[Footnote 1:
"The imperative and oracular form of the inspired Scripture is the form of
reason itself, in all things purely rational and moral."--_Statesman's
Manual_, p. 22.]

June 7. 1830.


Notwithstanding what you say, I am persuaded that a review would amply
succeed even now, which should be started upon a published code of
principles, critical, moral, political, and religious; which should
announce what sort of books it would review, namely, works of literature as
contradistinguished from all that offspring of the press, which in the
present age supplies food for the craving caused by the extended ability of
reading without any correspondent education of the mind, and which formerly
was done by conversation, and which should really give a fair account of
what the author intended to do, and in his own words, if possible, and in
addition, afford one or two fair specimens of the execution,--itself never
descending for one moment to any personality. It should also be provided
before the commencement with a dozen powerful articles upon fundamental
topics to appear in succession. You see the great reviewers are now ashamed
of reviewing works in the old style, and have taken up essay writing
instead. Hence arose such publications as the Literary Gazette and others,
which are set up for the purpose--not a useless one--of advertizing new
books of all sorts for the circulating libraries. A mean between the two
extremes still remains to be taken.

       *       *       *       *       *

Party men always hate a slightly differing friend more than a downright
enemy. I quite calculate on my being one day or other holden in worse
repute by many Christians than the Unitarians and open infidels. It must be
undergone by every one who loves the truth for its own sake beyond all
other things.

       *       *       *       *       *

Truth is a good dog; but beware of barking too close to the heels of an
error, lest you get your brains kicked out.

_June_ 10. 1830.


Southey's Life of Bunyan is beautiful. I wish he had illustrated that mood
of mind which exaggerates, and still more, mistakes, the inward
depravation, as in Bunyan, Nelson, and others, by extracts from Baxter's
Life of himself. What genuine superstition is exemplified in that bandying
of texts and half texts, and demi-semi-texts, just as memory happened to
suggest them, or chance brought them before Bunyan's mind! His tract,
entitled, "Grace abounding to the Chief of Sinners"[1] is a study for a

[Footnote 1:
"Grace abounding to the Chief of Sinners, in a faithful Account of the Life
and Death of John Bunyan, &c." Is it not, however, an historical error to
call the Puritans dissenters? Before St. Bartholomew's day, they were
essentially a part of the church, and had as determined opinions in favour
of a church establishment as the bishops themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

Laud was not exactly a Papist to be sure; but he was on the road with the
church with him to a point, where declared popery would have been
inevitable. A wise and vigorous Papist king would very soon, and very
justifiably too, in that case, have effected a reconciliation between the
churches of Rome and England, when the line of demarcation had become so
very faint.

       *       *       *       *       *

The faults of the Puritans were many; but surely their morality will, in
general, bear comparison with that of the Cavaliers after the Restoration.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Presbyterians hated the Independents much more than they did the
bishops, which induced them to cooperate in effecting the Restoration.

       *       *       *       *       *

The conduct of the bishops towards Charles, whilst at Breda, was wise and
constitutional. They knew, however, that when the forms of the constitution
were once restored, all their power would revive again as of course.

June 14. 1830.


Intense study of the Bible will keep any writer from being _vulgar_, in
point of style.

June 15. 1830.


Rabelais is a most wonderful writer. Pantagruel is the Reason; Panurge the
Understanding,--the pollarded man, the man with every faculty except the
reason. I scarcely know an example more illustrative of the distinction
between the two. Rabelais had no mode of speaking the truth in those days
but in such a form as this; as it was, he was indebted to the King's
protection for his life. Some of the commentators talk about his book being
all political; there are contemporary politics in it, of course, but the
real scope is much higher and more philosophical. It is in vain to look
about for a hidden meaning in all that he has written; you will observe
that, after any particularly deep thrust, as the Papimania[1] for example,
Rabelais, as if to break the blow, and to appear unconscious of what he has
done, writes a chapter or two of pure buffoonery.

He, every now and then, flashes you a glimpse of a real face from his magic
lantern, and then buries the whole scene in mist. The morality of the work
is of the most refined and exalted kind; as for the manners, to be sure, I
cannot say much.

Swift was _anima Rabelaisii habitans in sicco_,--the soul of Rabelais
dwelling in a dry place.

Yet Swift was rare. Can any thing beat his remark on King William's motto,
--_Recepit, non rapuit_,--"that the receiver was as bad as the thief?"

[Footnote 1:
B. iv. c. 48. "Comment Pantagruel descendit en l'Isle de Papimanes." See
the five following chapters, especially c. 50.; and note also c. 9. of the
fifth book; "Comment nous fut monstré Papegaut à grande difficulté."--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The effect of the Tory wits attacking Bentley with such acrimony has been
to make them appear a set of shallow and incompetent scholars. Neither
Bentley nor Burnet suffered from the hostility of the wits. Burnet's
"History of his own Times" is a truly valuable book. His credulity is
great, but his simplicity is equally great; and he never deceives you for a

_June_ 25. 1830.


The fresco paintings by Giotto[1] and others, in the cemetery at Pisa,
are most noble. Giotto was a contemporary of Dante: and it is a curious
question, whether the painters borrowed from the poet, or _vice versa_.
Certainly M. Angelo and Raffael fed their imaginations highly with these
grand drawings, especially M. Angelo, who took from them his bold yet
graceful lines.

[Footnote 1:
Giotto, or Angiolotto's birth is fixed by Vasari in 1276, but there is
some reason to think that he was born a little earlier. Dante, who was
his friend, was born in 1265. Giotto was the pupil of Cimabue, whom he
entirely eclipsed, as Dante testifies in the well-known lines in
the Purgatorio:--

  "O vana gloria dell'umane posse!
  Com' poco verde in su la cima dura,
  Se non e giunta dall' etati grosse!
  Credette Cirnabue nella pintura
  Tener lo campo: ed ora ha Giotto il grido,
  Si che la fama di colui oscura."--C. xi. v. 91.

His six great frescos in the cemetery at Pisa are upon the sufferings and
patience of Job.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

People may say what they please about the gradual improvement of the Arts.
It is not true of the substance. The Arts and the Muses both spring forth
in the youth of nations, like Minerva from the front of Jupiter, all armed:
manual dexterity may, indeed, he improved by practice.

       *       *       *       *       *

Painting went on in power till, in Raffael, it attained the zenith, and in
him too it showed signs of a tendency downwards by another path. The
painter began to think of overcoming difficulties. After this the descent
was rapid, till sculptors began to work inveterate likenesses of perriwigs
in marble,--as see Algarotti's tomb in the cemetery at Pisa,--and painters
did nothing but copy, as well as they could, the external face of nature.
Now, in this age, we have a sort of reviviscence,--not, I fear, of the
power, but of a taste for the power, of the early times.

_June_ 26. 1830.


You may get a motto for every sect in religion, or line of thought in
morals or philosophy, from Seneca; but nothing is ever thought _out_ by

_July_ 2. 1830.


Every man is born an Aristotelian, or a Platonist. I do not think it
possible that any one born an Aristotelian can become a Platonist; and I am
sure no born Platonist can ever change into an Aristotelian. They are the
two classes of men, beside which it is next to impossible to conceive a
third. The one considers reason a quality, or attribute; the other
considers it a power. I believe that Aristotle never could get to
understand what Plato meant by an idea. There is a passage, indeed, in the
Eudemian Ethics which looks like an exception; but I doubt not of its being
spurious, as that whole work is supposed by some to be. With Plato ideas
are constitutive in themselves.[1]

Aristotle was, and still is, the sovereign lord of the understanding; the
faculty judging by the senses. He was a conceptualist, and never could
raise himself into that higher state, which was natural to Plato, and has
been so to others, in which the understanding is distinctly contemplated,
and, as it were, looked down upon from the throne of actual ideas, or
living, inborn, essential truths.

Yet what a mind was Aristotle's--only not the greatest that ever animated
the human form!--the parent of science, properly so called, the master of
criticism, and the founder or editor of logic! But he confounded science
with philosophy, which is an error. Philosophy is the middle state between
science, or knowledge, and sophia, or wisdom.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge said the Eudemian Ethics; but I half suspect he must have
meant the Metaphysics, although I do not know that _all_ the fourteen books
under that title have been considered non-genuine. The [Greek: Aethicha
Eusaemeia] are not Aristotle's. To what passage in particular allusion is
here made, I cannot exactly say; many might be alleged, but not one seems
to express the true Platonic idea, as Mr. Coleridge used to understand it;
and as, I believe, he ultimately considered ideas in his own philosophy.
Fourteen or fifteen years previously, he seems to have been undecided upon
this point. "Whether," he says, "ideas are regulative only, according to
Aristotle and Kant, or likewise _constitutive_, and one with the power and
life of nature, according to Plato and Plotinus [Greek:--eg logo zoae aeg,
chai ae zoae aeg to phos tog agthwpog] is the highest problem of
philosophy, and not part of its nomenclature." Essay (E) in the Appendix to
the _Statesman's Manual_, 1816.--ED.]

_July_ 4. 1830.


I sometimes fear the Duke of Wellington is too much disposed to imagine
that he can govern a great nation by word of command, in the same way in
which he governed a highly disciplined army. He seems to be unaccustomed
to, and to despise, the inconsistencies, the weaknesses, the bursts of
heroism followed by prostration and cowardice, which invariably
characterise all popular efforts. He forgets that, after all, it is from
such efforts that all the great and noble institutions of the world have
come; and that, on the other hand, the discipline and organization of
armies have been only like the flight of the cannon-ball, the object of
which is destruction.[1]

[Footnote 1:
                        Straight forward goes
The lightning's path, and straight the fearful path
Of the cannon-ball. Direct it flies and rapid,
Shattering that it may reach, and shattering what it reaches.

_Wallenstein_, Part I, act i, sc. 4]

       *       *       *       *       *

The stock-jobbing and moneyed interest is so strong in this country, that
it has more than once prevailed in our foreign councils over national
honour and national justice. The country gentlemen are not slow to join in
this influence. Canning felt this very keenly, and said he was unable to
contend against the city trained-bands.

_July_ 6, 1830.


Bourienne is admirable. He is the French Pepys,--a man with right feelings,
but always wishing to participate in what is going on, be it what it may.
He has one remark, when comparing Buonaparte with Charlemagne, the
substance of which I have attempted to express in "The Friend"[1] but which
Bourrienne has condensed into a sentence worthy of Tacitus, or Machiavel,
or Bacon. It is this; that Charlemagne was above his age, whilst Buonaparte
was only above his competitors, but under his age! Bourrienne has done more
than any one else to show Buonaparte to the world as he really was,--always
contemptible, except when acting a part, and that part not his own.

[Footnote 1: Vol. i. Essay 12. p. 133.]

_July_ 8. 1830.


The other day I was what you would call _floored_ by a Jew. He passed me
several times crying out for old clothes in the most nasal and
extraordinary tone I ever heard. At last I was so provoked, that I said to
him, "Pray, why can't you say 'old clothes' in a plain way as I do now?"
The Jew stopped, and looking very gravely at me, said in a clear and even
fine accent, "Sir, I can say 'old clothes' as well as you can; but if you
had to say so ten times a minute, for an hour together, you would say _Ogh
Clo_ as I do now;" and so he marched off. I was so confounded with the
justice of his retort, that I followed and gave him a shilling, the only
one I had.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have had a good deal to do with Jews in the course of my life, although I
never borrowed any money of them. Once I sat in a coach opposite a Jew--a
symbol of old clothes' bags--an Isaiah of Hollywell Street. He would close
the window; I opened it. He closed it again; upon which, in a very solemn
tone, I said to him, "Son of Abraham! thou smellest; son of Isaac! thou art
offensive; son of Jacob! thou stinkest foully. See the man in the moon! he
is holding his nose at thee at that distance; dost thou think that I,
sitting here, can endure it any longer?" My Jew was astounded, opened the
window forthwith himself, and said, "he was sorry he did not know before I
was so great a gentleman."

_July_ 24. 1830.


During the early part of the middle ages, the papacy was nothing, in fact,
but a confederation of the learned men in the west of Europe against the
barbarism and ignorance of the times. The Pope was chief of this
confederacy; and so long as he retained that character exclusively, his
power was just and irresistible. It was the principal mean of preserving
for us and for our posterity all that we now have of the illumination of
past ages. But as soon as the Pope made a separation between his character
as premier clerk in Christendom and as a secular prince; as soon as he
began to squabble for towns and castles; then he at once broke the charm,
and gave birth to a revolution. From that moment, those who remained firm
to the cause of truth and knowledge became necessary enemies to the Roman
See. The great British schoolmen led the way; then Wicliffe rose, Huss,
Jerome, and others;--in short, every where, but especially throughout the
north of Europe, the breach of feeling and sympathy went on widening,--so
that all Germany, England, Scotland, and other countries started like
giants out of their sleep at the first blast of Luther's trumpet. In
France, one half of the people--and that the most wealthy and enlightened--
embraced the Reformation. The seeds of it were deeply and widely spread in
Spain and in Italy; and as to the latter, if James I. had been an
Elizabeth, I have no doubt at all that Venice would have publicly declared
itself against Rome. It is a profound question to answer, why it is, that
since the middle of the sixteenth century the Reformation has not advanced
one step in Europe.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the time of Leo X. atheism, or infidelity of some sort, was almost
universal in Italy amongst the high dignitaries of the Romish church.

_July_ 27. 1830.


John Thelwall had something very good about him. We were once sitting in a
beautiful recess in the Quantocks, when I said to him, "Citizen John, this
is a fine place to talk treason in!"--"Nay! Citizen Samuel," replied he,
"it is rather a place to make a man forget that there is any necessity for

Thelwall thought it very unfair to influence a child's mind by inculcating
any opinions before it should have come to years of discretion, and be able
to choose for itself. I showed him my garden, and told him it was my
botanical garden. "How so?" said he, "it is covered with weeds."--"Oh," I
replied, "_that_ is only because it has not yet come to its age of
discretion and choice. The weeds, you see, have taken the liberty to grow,
and I thought it unfair in me to prejudice the soil towards roses and

       *       *       *       *       *

I think Swift adopted the name of Stella, which is a man's name, with a
feminine termination, to denote the mysterious epicene relation in which
poor Miss Johnston stood to him.

_July_ 28. 1830.


That legislation is iniquitous which sets law in conflict with the common
and unsophisticated feelings of our nature. If I were a clergyman in a
smuggling town, I would _not_ preach against smuggling. I would not be made
a sort of clerical revenue officer. Let the government, which by absurd
duties fosters smuggling, prevent it itself, if it can. How could I show my
hearers the immorality of going twenty miles in a boat, and honestly buying
with their money a keg of brandy, except by a long deduction which they
could not understand? But were I in a place where wrecking went on, see if
I would preach on any thing else!

_July_ 29. 1830.


Spurzheim is a good man, and I like him; but he is dense, and the most
ignorant German I ever knew. If he had been content with stating certain
remarkable coincidences between the moral qualities and the configuration
of the skull, it would have been well; but when he began to map out the
cranium dogmatically, he fell into infinite absurdities. You know that
every intellectual act, however you may distinguish it by name in respect
of the originating faculties, is truly the act of the entire man; the
notion of distinct material organs, therefore, in the brain itself, is
plainly absurd. Pressed by this, Spurzheim has, at length, been guilty of
some sheer quackery; and ventures to say that he has actually discovered a
different material in the different parts or organs of the brain, so that
he can tell a piece of benevolence from a bit of destructiveness, and so
forth. Observe, also, that it is constantly found, that so far from there
being a concavity in the interior surface of the cranium answering to the
convexity apparent on the exterior--the interior is convex too. Dr. Baillie
thought there was something in the system, because the notion of the brain
being an extendible net helped to explain those cases where the intellect
remained after the solid substance of the brain was dissolved in water.[1]

That a greater or less development of the forepart of the head is generally
coincidedent with more or less of reasoning power, is certain. The line
across the forehead, also, denoting musical power, is very common.

[Footnote 1:
"The very marked, _positive_ as well as comparative, magnitude and
prominence of the bump, entitled _benevolence_ (see Spurzheim's _map of the
human skull_) on the head of the late Mr. John Thurtell, has woefully
unsettled the faith of many ardent phrenologists, and strengthened the
previous doubts of a still greater number into utter disbelief. On _my_
mind this fact (for a _fact_ it is) produced the directly contrary effect;
and inclined me to suspect, for the first time, that there may be some
truth in the Spurzheimian scheme. Whether future craniologists may not see
cause to _new-name_ this and one or two others of these convex gnomons, is
quite a different question. At present, and according to the present use of
words, any such change would be premature; and we must be content to say,
that Mr. Thurtell's benevolence was insufficiently modified by the
unprotrusive and unindicated convolutes of the brain, that secrete honesty
and common sense. The organ of destructiveness was indirectly _potentiated_
by the absence or imperfect development of the glands of reason and
conscience in this '_unfortunate gentleman.'"--_Aids to Reflection_, p.
143. n.]

_August_ 20. 1830.


The French must have greatly improved under the influence of a free and
regular government (for such it, in general, has been since the
restoration), to have conducted themselves with so much moderation in
success as they seem to have done, and to be disposed to do.

       *       *       *       *       *

I must say I cannot see much in Captain B. Hall's account of the Americans,
but weaknesses--some of which make me like the Yankees all the better. How
much more amiable is the American fidgettiness and anxiety about the
opinion of other nations, and especially of the English, than the
sentiments of the rest of the world.[1]

As to what Captain Hall says about the English loyalty to the person of the
King--I can only say, I feel none of it. I respect the man while, and only
while, the king is translucent through him: I reverence the glass case for
the Saint's sake within; except for that it is to me mere glazier's work,--
putty, and glass, and wood.

[Footnote 1:
"There exists in England a _gentlemanly_ character, a _gentlemanly_
feeling, very different even from that which is most like it,--the
character of a well-born Spaniard, and unexampled in the rest of Europe.
This feeling _originated_ in the fortunate circumstance, that the titles of
our English nobility follow the law of their property, and are inherited by
the eldest sons only. From this source, under the influences of our
constitution and of our astonishing trade, it has diffused itself in
different modifications through the whole country. The uniformity of our
dress among all classes above that of the day labourer, while it has
authorized all ranks to assume the appearance of gentlemen, has at the same
time inspired the wish to conform their manners, and still more their
ordinary actions in social intercourse, to their notions of the gentlemanly
the most commonly received attribute of which character is a certain
generosity in trifles. On the other hand, the encroachments of the lower
classes on the higher, occasioned and favoured by this resemblance in
exteriors, by this absence of any cognizable marks of distinction, have
rendered each class more reserved and jealous in their general communion;
and, far more than our climate or natural temper, have caused that
haughtiness and reserve in our outward demeanour, which is so generally
complained of among foreigners. Far be it from me to depreciate the value
of this gentlemanly feeling: I respect it under all its forms and
varieties, from the House of Commons * to the gentleman in the one-shilling
gallery. It is always the ornament of virtue, and oftentimes a support; but
it is a wretched substitute for it. Its _worth_, as a moral good, is by no
means in proportion to its _value_ as a social advantage. These
observations are not irrelevant: for to the want of reflection that this
diffusion of gentlemanly feeling among us is not the growth of our moral
excellence, but the effect of various accidental advantages peculiar to
England; to our not considering that it is unreasonable and uncharitable to
expect the same consequences, where the same causes have not existed to
produce them; and lastly, to our prorieness to regard the absence of this
character (which, as I have before said, does, for the greater part, and in
the common apprehension, consist in a certain frankness and generosity in
the detail of action) as decisive against the sum total of personal or
national worth; we must, I am convinced, attribute a large portion of that
conduct, which in many instances has left the inhabitants of countries
conquered or appropriated by Great Britain doubtful whether the various
solid advantages which they have derived from our protection and just
government were not bought dearly by the wounds inflicted on their feelings
and prejudices, by the contemptuous and insolent demeanour of the English,
as individuals."--_Friend_, vol. iii. p, 322.

This was written long before the Reform Act.--ED.]

_September 8. 1830._


The fatal error into which the peculiar character of the English
Reformation threw our Church, has borne bitter fruit ever since,--I mean
that of its clinging to court and state, instead of cultivating the people.
The church ought to be a mediator between the people and the government,
between the poor and the rich. As it is, I fear the Church has let the
hearts of the common people be stolen from it. See how differently the
Church of Rome--wiser in its generation--has always acted in this
particular. For a long time past the Church of England seems to me to have
been blighted with prudence, as it is called. I wish with all my heart we
had a little zealous imprudence.

_September 19. 1830._


It has never yet been seen, or clearly announced, that democracy, as such,
is no proper element in the constitution of a state. The idea of a state is
undoubtedly a government [Greek: ek ton aristou]--an aristocracy. Democracy
is the healthful life-blood which circulates through the veins and
arteries, which supports the system, but which ought never to appear
externally, and as the mere blood itself.

A state, in idea, is the opposite of a church. A state regards classes, and
not individuals; and it estimates classes, not by internal merit, but
external accidents, as property, birth, &c. But a church does the reverse
of this, and disregards all external accidents, and looks at men as
individual persons, allowing no gradation of ranks, but such as greater or
less wisdom, learning, and holiness ought to confer. A church is,
therefore, in idea, the only pure democracy. The church, so considered, and
the state, exclusively of the church, constitute together the idea of a
state in its largest sense.

_September_ 20. 1830.


All temporal government must rest on a compromise of interests and abstract
rights. Who would listen to the county of Bedford, if it were to declare
itself disannexed from the British empire, and to set up for itself?

       *       *       *       *       *

The most desirable thing that can happen to France, with her immense army
of gensd'armes, is, that the service may at first become very irksome to
the men themselves, and ultimately, by not being called into real service,
fall into general ridicule, like our trained bands. The evil in France, and
throughout Europe, seems now especially to be, the subordination of the
legislative power to the direct physical force of the people. The French
legislature was weak enough before the late revolution; now it is
absolutely powerless, and manifestly depends even for its existence on the
will of a popular commander of an irresistible army. There is now in France
a daily tendency to reduce the legislative body to a mere deputation from
the provinces and towns.

September 21. 1830.


I do not know whether I deceive myself, but it seems to me that the young
men, who were my contemporaries, fixed certain principles in their minds,
and followed them out to their legitimate consequences, in a way which I
rarely witness now. No one seems to have any distinct convictions, right or
wrong; the mind is completely at sea, rolling and pitching on the waves of
facts and personal experiences. Mr. ---- is, I suppose, one of the rising
young men of the day; yet he went on talking, the other evening, and making
remarks with great earnestness, some of which were palpably irreconcilable
with each other. He told me that facts gave birth to, and were the absolute
ground of, principles; to which I said, that unless he had a principle of
selection, he would not have taken notice of those facts upon which he
grounded his principle. You must have a lantern in your hand to give light,
otherwise all the materials in the world are useless, for you cannot find
them; and if you could, you could not arrange them. "But then," said Mr.
----, "_that_ principle of selection came from facts!"--"To be sure!" I
replied; "but there must have been again an antecedent light to see those
antecedent facts. The relapse may be carried in imagination backwards for
ever,--but go back as you may, you cannot come to a man without a previous
aim or principle." He then asked me what I had to say to Bacon's induction:
I told him I had a good deal to say, if need were; but that it was perhaps
enough for the occasion to remark, that what he was evidently taking for
the Baconian _in_duction was mere _de_duction--a very different thing.[1]

[Footnote 1:
As far as I can judge, the most complete and masterly thing ever done by
Mr. Coleridge in prose, is the analysis and reconcilement of the Platonic
and Baconian methods of philosophy, contained in the third volume of the
Friend, from p. 176 to 216. No edition of the Novum Organum should ever be
published without a transcript of it.--ED.]

_September_ 22. 1830.


The object of Thucydides was to show the ills resulting to Greece from the
separation and conflict of the spirits or elements of democracy and
oligarchy. The object of Tacitus was to demonstrate the desperate
consequences of the loss of liberty on the minds and hearts of men.

       *       *       *       *       *

A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket: let him borrow, and so borrow as
to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write
from recollection; and trust more to your imagination than to your memory.

       *       *       *       *       *

Really the metre of some of the modern poems I have read, bears about the
same relation to metre properly understood, that dumb bells do to music;
both are for exercise, and pretty severe too, I think.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nothing ever left a stain on that gentle creature's mind, which looked upon
the degraded men and things around him like moonshine on a dunghill, which
shines and takes no pollution. All things are shadows to him, except those
which move his affections.

September 23. 1830.


There are two kinds of logic: 1. Syllogistic. 2. Criterional. How any one
can by any spinning make out more than ten or a dozen pages about the
first, is inconceivable to me; all those absurd forms of syllogisms are one
half pure sophisms, and the other half mere forms of rhetoric.

All syllogistic logic is--1. _Se_clusion; 2. _In_clusion; 3. _Con_clusion;
which answer to the understanding, the experience, and the reason. The
first says, this _ought_ to be; the second adds, this _is_; and the last
pronounces, this must be so. The criterional logic, or logic of premisses,
is, of course, much the most important; and it has never yet been treated.

       *       *       *       *       *

The object of rhetoric is persuasion,--of logic, conviction,--of grammar,
significancy. A fourth term is wanting, the rhematic, or logic of

_September_ 24. 1830.


What a loss we have had in Varro's mythological and critical works! It is
said that the works of Epicurus are probably amongst the Herculanean
manuscripts. I do not feel much interest about them, because, by the
consent of all antiquity, Lucretius has preserved a complete view of his
system. But I regret the loss of the works of the old Stoics, Zeno and
others, exceedingly.

       *       *       *       *       *

Socrates, as such, was only a poetical character to Plato, who worked upon
his own ground. The several disciples of Socrates caught some particular
points from him, and made systems of philosophy upon them according to
their own views. Socrates himself had no system.

       *       *       *       *       *

I hold all claims set up for Egypt having given birth to the Greek
philosophy, to be groundless. It sprang up in Greece itself, and began with
physics only.

Then it took in the idea of a living cause, and made pantheism out of the
two. Socrates introduced ethics, and taught duties; and then, finally,
Plato asserted or re-asserted the idea of a God the maker of the world. The
measure of human philosophy was thus full, when Christianity came to add
what before was wanting--assurance. After this again, the Neo-Platonists
joined theurgy with philosophy, which ultimately degenerated into magic and
mere mysticism.

Plotinus was a man of wonderful ability, and some of the sublimest passages
I ever read are in his works.

I was amused the other day with reading in Tertullian, that spirits or
demons dilate and contract themselves, and wriggle about like worms--
lumbricix similes.

_September_ 26. 1830.


The five finest things in Scotland are--1. Edinburgh; 2. The antechamber of
the Fall of Foyers; 3. The view of Loch Lomond from Inch Tavannach, the
highest of the islands; 4. The Trosachs; 5. The view of the Hebrides from a
point, the name of which I forget. But the intervals between the fine
things in Scotland are very dreary;--whereas in Cumberland and Westmoreland
there is a cabinet of beauties,--each thing being beautiful in itself, and
the very passage from one lake, mountain, or valley, to another, is itself
a beautiful thing again. The Scotch lakes are so like one another, from
their great size, that in a picture you are obliged to read their names;
but the English lakes, especially Derwent Water, or rather the whole vale
of Keswick, is so rememberable, that, after having been once seen, no one
ever requires to be told what it is when drawn. This vale is about as large
a basin as Loch Lomond; the latter is covered with water; but in the former
instance, we have two lakes with a charming river to connect them, and
lovely villages at the foot of the mountain, and other habitations, which
give an air of life and cheerfulness to the whole place.

       *       *       *       *       *

The land imagery of the north of Devon is most delightful.

_September_ 27. 1830.


A person once said to me, that he could make nothing of love, except that
it was friendship accidentally combined with desire. Whence I concluded
that he had never been in love. For what shall we say of the feeling which
a man of sensibility has towards his wife with her baby at her breast! How
pure from sensual desire! yet how different from friendship!

Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy,
or opposing passion. Each strives to be the other, and both together make
up one whole.

Luther has sketched the most beautiful picture of the nature, and ends, and
duties of the wedded life I ever read. St. Paul says it is a great symbol,
not mystery, as we translate it.[1]

[Footnote 1:
Greek: ---- ]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Most women have no character at all," said Pope[1] and meant it for
satire. Shakspeare, who knew man and woman much better, saw that it, in
fact, was the perfection of woman to be characterless.

Every one wishes a Desdemona or Ophelia for a wife,--creatures who, though
they may not always understand you, do always feel you, and feel with you.

[Footnote 1:
  "Nothing so true as what you once let fall--
  'Most women have no character at all,'--
  Matter too soft a lasting mark to bear,
  And best distinguish'd by black, brown, and fair."
  _Epist. to a Lady_, v. I.],

_September_ 28. 1830.


Why need we talk of a fiery hell? If the will, which is the law of our
nature, were withdrawn from our memory, fancy, understanding, and reason,
no other hell could equal, for a spiritual being, what we should then feel,
from the anarchy of our powers. It would be conscious madness--a horrid

October 5. 1830.


In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.

       *       *       *       *       *

An ear for music is a very different thing from a taste for music. I have
no ear whatever; I could not sing an air to save my life; but I have the
intensest delight in music, and can detect good from bad. Naldi, a good
fellow, remarked to me once at a concert, that I did not seem much
interested with a piece of Rossini's which had just been performed. I said,
it sounded to me like nonsense verses. But I could scarcely contain myself
when a thing of Beethoven's followed.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never distinctly felt the heavenly superiority of the prayers in the
English liturgy, till I had attended some kirks in the country parts of
Scotland, I call these strings of school boys or girls which we meet near
London--walking advertisements.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Brussels riot--I cannot bring myself to dignify it with a higher name
--is a wretched parody on the last French revolution. Were I King William,
I would banish the Belgians, as Coriolanus banishes the Romans in

It is a wicked rebellion without one just cause.

[Footnote 1:
  "You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
  As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
  As the dead carcasses of unburied men
  That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
  And here remain with _your uncertainty!_"
    Act iii. sc. 3.]

_October_ 8. 1830.


Galileo was a great genius, and so was Newton; but it would take two or
three Galileos and Newtons to make one Kepler.[1] It is in the order of
Providence, that the inventive, generative, constitutive mind--the Kepler--
should come first; and then that the patient and collective mind--the
Newton--should follow, and elaborate the pregnant queries and illumining
guesses of the former. The laws of the planetary system are, in fact, due
to Kepler. There is not a more glorious achievement of scientific genius
upon record, than Kepler's guesses, prophecies, and ultimate apprehension
of the law[2] of the mean distances of the planets as connected with the
periods of their revolutions round the sun. Gravitation, too, he had fully
conceived; but, because it seemed inconsistent with some received
observations on light, he gave it up, in allegiance, as he says, to Nature.
Yet the idea vexed and haunted his mind; _"Vexat me et lacessit,"_ are his
words, I believe.

We praise Newton's clearness and steadiness. He was clear and steady, no
doubt, whilst working out, by the help of an admirable geometry, the idea
brought forth by another. Newton had his ether, and could not rest in--he
could not conceive--the idea of a law. He thought it a physical thing after
all. As for his chronology, I believe, those who are most competent to
judge, rely on it less and less every day. His lucubrations on Daniel and
the Revelations seem to me little less than mere raving.

[Footnote 1:
Galileo Galilei was born at Pisa, on the 15th of February, 1564. John
Kepler was born at Weil, in the duchy of Wirtemberg, on the 2lst of
December, 1571.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
Namely, that the squares of their times vary as the cubes of their

       *       *       *       *       *

Personal experiment is necessary, in order to correct our own observation
of the experiments which Nature herself makes for us--I mean, the phenomena
of the universe. But then observation is, in turn, wanted to direct and
substantiate the course of experiment. Experiments alone cannot advance
knowledge, without observation; they amuse for a time, and then pass off
the scene and leave no trace behind them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Bacon, when like himself--for no man was ever more inconsistent--says,
_"Prudens qiuestio--dimidium scientiæ est."_

_October_ 20. 1830.


At the Reformation, the first reformers were beset with an almost morbid
anxiety not to be considered heretical in point of doctrine. They knew that
the Romanists were on the watch to fasten the brand of heresy upon them
whenever a fair pretext could be found; and I have no doubt it was the
excess of this fear which at once led to the burning of Servetus, and also
to the thanks offered by all the Protestant churches, to Calvin and the
Church of Geneva, for burning him.

_November_ 21. 1830.


---- never makes a figure in quietude. He astounds the vulgar with a
certain enormity of exertion; he takes an acre of canvass, on which he
scrawls every thing. He thinks aloud; every thing in his mind, good, bad,
or indifferent, out it comes; he is like the Newgate gutter, flowing with
garbage, dead dogs, and mud. He is preeminently a man of many thoughts,
with no ideas: hence he is always so lengthy, because he must go through
every thing to see any thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a melancholy thing to live when there is no vision in the land. Where
are our statesmen to meet this emergency? I see no reformer who asks
himself the question, _What_ is it that I propose to myself to effect in
the result?

Is the House of Commons to be re-constructed on the principle of a
representation of interests, or of a delegation of men? If on the former,
we may, perhaps, see our way; if on the latter, you can never, in reason,
stop short of universal suffrage; and in that case, I am sure that women
have as good a right to vote as men.[1]

[Footnote 1:
In Mr. Coleridge's masterly analysis and confutation of the physiocratic
system of the early French revolutionists, in the Friend, he has the
following passage in the nature of a _reductio ad absurdum_. "Rousseau,
indeed, asserts that there is an inalienable sovereignty inherent in every
human being possessed of reason; and from this the framers of the
Constitution of 1791 deduce, that the people itself is its own sole
rightful legislator, and at most dare only recede so far from its right as
to delegate to chosen deputies the power of representing and declaring the
general will. But this is wholly without proof; for it has been already
fully shown, that, according to the principle out of which this consequence
is attempted to be drawn, it is not the actual man, but the abstract reason
alone, that is the sovereign and rightful lawgiver. The confusion of two
things so different is so gross an error, that the Constituent Assembly
could scarce proceed a step in their declaration of rights, without some
glaring inconsistency. Children are excluded from all political power; are
they not human beings in whom the faculty of reason resides? Yes! but|in
_them_ the faculty is not yet adequately developed. But are not gross
ignorance, inveterate superstition, and the habitual tyranny of passion and
sensuality, equally preventives of the developement, equally impediments to
the rightful exercise, of the reason, as childhood and early youth? Who
would not rely on the judgment of a well-educated English lad, bred in a
virtuous and enlightened family, in preference to that of a brutal Russian,
who believes that he can scourge his wooden idol into good humour, or
attributes to himself the merit of perpetual prayer, when he has fastened
the petitions, which his priest has written for him, on the wings of a
windmill? Again: women are likewise excluded; a full half, and that
assuredly the most innocent, the most amiable half, of the whole human race
is excluded, and this too by a Constitution which boasts to have no other
foundations but those of universal reason! Is reason, then, an affair of
sex? No! but women are commonly in a state of dependence, and are not
likely to exercise their reason with freedom. Well! and does not this
ground of exclusion apply with equal or greater force to the poor, to the
infirm, to men in embarrassed circumstances, to all, in short, whose
maintenance, be it scanty, or be it ample, depends on the will of others?
How far are we to go? Where must we stop? What classes should we admit?
Whom must we disfranchise? The objects concerning whom we are to determine
these questions, are all human beings, and differenced from each other by
_degrees_ only, these degrees, too, oftentimes changing. Yet the principle
on which the whole system rests, is that reason is not susceptible of
degree. Nothing, therefore, which subsists wholly in degrees, the changes
of which do not obey any necessary law, can be the object of pure science,
or determinate by mere reason,"--Vol. i. p. 341, ED.]

_March_ 20. 1831.


Government is not founded on property, taken merely as such, in the
abstract; it is founded on _unequal_ property; the inequality is an
essential term in the position. The phrases--higher, middle, and lower
classes, with reference to this point of representation--are delusive; no
such divisions as classes actually exist in society. There is an
indissoluble blending and interfusion of persons from top to bottom; and no
man can trace a line of separation through them, except such a confessedly
unmeaning and unjustifiable line of political empiricism as 10_l_.
householders. I cannot discover a ray of principle in the government plan,
--not a hint of the effect of the change upon the balance of the estates of
the realm,--not a remark on the nature of the constitution of England, and
the character of the property of so many millions of its inhabitants. Half
the wealth of this country is purely artificial,--existing only in and on
the credit given to it by the integrity and honesty of the nation. This
property appears, in many instances, a heavy burthen to the numerical
majority of the people, and they believe that it causes all their distress:
and they are now to have the maintenance of this property committed to
their good faith--the lamb to the wolves!

Necker, you remember, asked the people to come and help him against the
aristocracy. The people came fast enough at his bidding; but, somehow or
other, they would not go away again when they had done their work. I hope
Lord Grey will not see himself or his friends in the woeful case of the
conjuror, who, with infinite zeal and pains, called up the devils to do
something for him. They came at the word, thronging about him, grinning,
and howling, and dancing, and whisking their long tails in diabolic glee;
but when they asked him what he wanted of them, the poor wretch, frightened
out his of wits, could only stammer forth,--"I pray you, my friends, be
gone down again!" At which the devils, with one voice, replied,--

  "Yes! yes! we'll go down! we'll go down!--
  But we'll take _you_ with us to swim or to drown!"[1]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge must have been thinking of that "very pithy and profitable"
ballad by the Laureate, wherein is shown how a young man "would read
unlawful books, and how he was punished:"--

  "The _young_ man, he began to read
  He knew not what, but he would proceed,
  When there was heard a sound at the door,
  Which as he read on grew more and more.

  "And more and more the knocking grew,
  The young man knew not what to do:
  But trembling in fear he sat within,
  _Till the door was broke, and the devil came in_.

  "'What would'st thou with me?' the wicked one cried;
  But not a word the young man replied;
  Every hair on his head was standing upright,
  And his limbs like a palsy shook with affright.

  "'What would'st thou with me?' cried the author of ill;
  But the wretched young man was silent still," &c.

The catastrophe is very terrible, and the moral, though addressed by the
poet to young men only, is quite as applicable to old men, as the times

  "Henceforth let all young men take heed
  How in a conjuror's books they read!"
_Southey's Minor Poems_, vol. iii. p. 92.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_June_ 25. 1831.


The three great ends which a statesman ought to propose to himself in the
government of a nation, are,--1. Security to possessors; 2. Facility to
acquirers; and; 3. Hope to all.

       *       *       *       *       *

A nation is the unity of a people. King and parliament are the unity made
visible. The king and the peers are as integral portions of this manifested
unity as the commons.[1]

In that imperfect state of society in which our system of representation
began, the interests of the country were pretty exactly commensurate with
its municipal divisions. The counties, the towns, and the seaports,
accurately enough represented the only interests then existing; that is
say,--the landed, the shop-keeping or manufacturing, and the mercantile.
But for a century past, at least, this division has become notoriously
imperfect, some of the most vital interests of the empire being now totally
unconnected with any English localities. Yet now, when the evil and the
want are known, we are to abandon the accommodations which the necessity of
the case had worked out for itself, and begin again with a rigidly
territorial plan of representation! The miserable tendency of all is to
destroy our nationality, which consists, in a principal degree, in our
representative government, and to convert it into a degrading delegation of
the populace. There is no unity for a people but in a representation of
national interests; a delegation from the passions or wishes of the
individuals themselves is a rope of sand. Undoubtedly it is a great evil,
that there should be such an evident discrepancy between the law and the
practice of the constitution in the matter of the representation. Such a
direct, yet clandestine, contravention of solemn resolutions and
established laws is immoral, and greatly injurious to the cause of legal
loyalty and general subordination in the minds of the people. But then a
statesman should consider that these very contraventions of law in practice
point out to him the places in the body politic which need a remodelling of
the law. You acknowledge a certain necessity for indirect representation in
the present day, and that such representation has been instinctively
obtained by means contrary to law; why then do you not approximate the
useless law to the useful practice, instead of abandoning both law and
practice for a completely new system of your own?

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge was very fond of quoting George Withers's fine lines:--

  "Let not your king and parliament in one,
  Much less apart, mistake themselves for that
  Which is most worthy to be thought upon:
  Nor think _they_ are, essentially, The STATE.
  Let them not fancy that th' authority
  And privileges upon them bestown,
  Conferr'd are to set up a majesty,
  A power, or a glory, of their own!
  But let them know, 't was for a deeper life,
  Which they but _represent_--
  That there's on earth a yet auguster thing,
  Veil'd though it be, than parliament and king!"--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The malignant duplicity and unprincipled tergiversations of the specific
Whig newspapers are to me detestable. I prefer the open endeavours of those
publications which seek to destroy the church, and introduce a republic in
effect: there is a sort of honesty in _that_ which I approve, though I
would with joy lay down my life to save my country from the consummation
which is so evidently desired by that section of the periodical press.

_June_ 26. 1831.


I have been exceedingly impressed with the evil precedent of Colonel
Napier's History of the Peninsular War. It is a specimen of the true French
military school; not a thought for the justice of the war,--not a
consideration of the damnable and damning iniquity of the French invasion.
All is looked at as a mere game of exquisite skill, and the praise is
regularly awarded to the most successful player. How perfectly ridiculous
is the prostration of Napier's mind, apparently a powerful one, before the
name of Buonaparte! I declare I know no book more likely to undermine the
national sense of right and wrong in matters of foreign interference than
this work of Napier's.

If A. has a hundred means of doing a certain thing, and B. has only one or
two, is it very wonderful, or does it argue very transcendant superiority,
if A. surpasses B.? Buonaparte was the child of circumstances, which he
neither originated nor controlled. He had no chance of preserving his power
but by continual warfare. No thought of a wise tranquillization of the
shaken elements of France seems ever to have passed through his mind; and I
believe that at no part of his reign could be have survived one year's
continued peace. He never had but one obstacle to contend with--physical
force; commonly the least difficult enemy a general, subject to courts-
martial and courts of conscience, has to overcome.

       *       *       *       *       *

Southey's History[1] is on the right side, and starts from the right point;
but he is personally fond of the Spaniards, and in bringing forward their
nationality in the prominent manner it deserves, he does not, in my
judgment, state with sufficient clearness the truth, that the nationality
of the Spaniards was not founded on any just ground of good government or
wise laws, but was, in fact, very little more than a rooted antipathy to
all strangers as such.

In this sense every thing is national in Spain. Even their so called
Catholic religion is exclusively national in a genuine Spaniard's mind; he
does not regard the religious professions of the Frenchman or Italian at
all in the same light with his own.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge said that the conclusion of this great work was the finest
specimen of historic eulogy he had ever read in English;--that it was more
than a campaign to the duke's fame.--ED.]

_July_ 7. 1831.


The darkest despotisms on the Continent have done more for the growth and
elevation of the fine arts than the English government. A great musical
composer in Germany and Italy is a great man in society, and a real dignity
and rank are universally conceded to him. So it is with a sculptor, or
painter, or architect. Without this sort of encouragement and patronage
such arts as music and painting will never come into great eminence. In
this country there is no general reverence for the fine arts; and the
sordid spirit of a money-amassing philosophy would meet any proposition for
the fostering of art, in a genial and extended sense, with the commercial
maxim,--_Laissez faire_. Paganini, indeed, will make a fortune, because he
can actually sell the tones of his fiddle at so much a scrape; but Mozart
himself might have languished in a garret for any thing that would have
been done for him here.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are three classes into which all the women past seventy that ever I
knew were to be divided:--1. That dear old soul; 2. That old woman; 3. That
old witch.

_July_ 24. 1831.


Observe the remarkable difference between Claude and Teniers in their power
of painting vacant space. Claude makes his whole landscape a _plenum:_ the
air is quite as substantial as any other part of the scene. Hence there are
no true distances, and every thing presses at once and equally upon the
eye. There is something close and almost suffocating in the atmosphere of
some of Claude's sunsets. Never did any one paint air, the thin air, the
absolutely apparent vacancy between object and object, so admirably as
Teniers. That picture of the Archers[2] exemplifies this excellence. See
the distances between those ugly louts! how perfectly true to the fact!

But oh! what a wonderful picture is that Triumph of Silenus![3] It is the
very revelry of hell. Every evil passion is there that could in any way be
forced into juxtaposition with joyance. Mark the lust, and, hard by, the
hate. Every part is pregnant with libidinous nature without one spark of
the grace of Heaven. The animal is triumphing--not over, but--in the
absence, in the non-existence, of the spiritual part of man. I could fancy
that Rubens had seen in a vision--

  All the souls that damned be
  Leap up at once in anarchy,
  Clap their hands, and dance for glee!

That landscape[4] on the other side is only less magnificent than dear Sir
George Beaumont's, now in the National Gallery. It has the same charm.
Rubens does not take for his subjects grand or novel conformations of
objects; he has, you see, no precipices, no forests, no frowning castles,--
nothing that a poet would take at all times, and a painter take in these
times. No; he gets some little ponds, old tumble-down cottages, that
ruinous château, two or three peasants, a hay-rick, and other such humble
images, which looked at in and by themselves convey no pleasure and excite
no surprise; but he--and he Peter Paul Rubens alone--handles these every-
day ingredients of all common landscapes as they are handled in nature; he
throws them into a vast and magnificent whole, consisting of heaven and
earth and all things therein. He extracts the latent poetry out of these
common objects,--that poetry and harmony which every man of genius
perceives in the face of nature, and which many men of no genius are taught
to perceive and feel after examining such a picture as this. In other
landscape painters the scene is confined and as it were imprisoned;--in
Rubens the landscape dies a natural death; it fades away into the apparent
infinity of space.

So long as Rubens confines himself to space and outward figure--to the mere
animal man with animal passions--he is, I may say, a god amongst painters.
His satyrs, Silenuses, lions, tigers, and dogs, are almost godlike; but the
moment he attempts any thing involving or presuming the spiritual, his gods
and goddesses, his nymphs and heroes, become beasts, absolute, unmitigated

[Footnote 1:
All the following remarks in this section were made at the exhibition of
ancient masters at the British Gallery in Pall Mall. The recollection of
those two hours has made the rooms of that Institution a melancholy place
for me. Mr. Coleridge was in high spirits, and seemed to kindle in his mind
at the contemplation of the splendid pictures before him. He did not
examine them all by the catalogue, but anchored himself before some three
or four great works, telling me that he saw the rest of the Gallery
_potentially_. I can yet distinctly recall him, half leaning on his old
simple stick, and his hat off in one hand, whilst with the fingers of the
other he went on, as was his constant wont, figuring in the air a
commentary of small diagrams, wherewith, as he fancied, he could translate
to the eye those relations of form and space which his words might fail to
convey with clearness to the ear. His admiration for Rubens showed itself
in a sort of joy and brotherly fondness; he looked as if he would shake
hands with his pictures. What the company, which by degrees formed itself
round this silver-haired, bright-eyed, music-breathing, old man, took him
for, I cannot guess; there was probably not one there who knew him to be
that Ancient Mariner, who held people with his glittering eye, and
constrained them, like three years' children, to hear his tale. In the
midst of his speech, he turned to the right hand, where stood a very lovely
young woman, whose attention he had involuntarily arrested;--to her,
without apparently any consciousness of her being a stranger to him, he
addressed many remarks, although I must acknowledge they were couched in a
somewhat softer tone, as if he were soliciting her sympathy. He was,
verily, a gentle-hearted man at all times; but I never was in company with
him in my life, when the entry of a woman, it mattered not who, did not
provoke a dim gush of emotion, which passed like an infant's breath over
the mirror of his intellect.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
"Figures shooting at a Target," belonging, I believe, to Lord Bandon.--ED.]

[Footnote 3: This belongs to Sir Robert Peel.--ED.]

[Footnote 4:
"Landscape with setting Sun,"--Lord Farnborough's picture.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Italian masters differ from the Dutch in this--that in their pictures
ages are perfectly ideal. The infant that Raffael's Madonna holds in her
arms cannot be guessed of any particular age; it is Humanity in infancy.
The babe in the manger in a Dutch painting is a fac-simile of some real
new-born bantling; it is just like the little rabbits we fathers have all
seen with some dismay at first burst.

       *       *       *       *       *

Carlo Dolce's representations of our Saviour are pretty, to be sure; but
they are too smooth to please me. His Christs are always in sugar-candy.

       *       *       *       *       *

That is a very odd and funny picture of the Connoisseurs
at Rome[1] by Reynolds.

[Footnote 1:
"Portraits of distinguished Connoisseurs painted at Rome,"--belonging to
Lord Burlington.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The more I see of modern pictures, the more I am convinced that the ancient
art of painting is gone, and something substituted for it,--very pleasing,
but different, and different in kind and not in degree only. Portraits by
the old masters,--take for example the pock-fritten lady by Cuyp[1]--are
pictures of men and women: they fill, not merely occupy, a space; they
represent individuals, but individuals as types of a species.

Modern portraits--a few by Jackson and Owen, perhaps, excepted--give you
not the man, not the inward humanity, but merely the external mark, that in
which Tom is different from Bill. There is something affected and
meretricious in the Snake in the Grass[2] and such pictures, by Reynolds.

[Footnote 1:
I almost forget, but have some recollection that the allusion is to Mr.
Heneage Finch's picture of a Lady with a Fan.--ED.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Robert Peel's.--ED.]

July 25. 1831.


It is now twenty years since I read Chillingworth's book[1]; but certainly
it seemed to me that his main position, that the mere text of the Bible is
the sole and exclusive ground of Christian faith and practice, is quite
untenable against the Romanists. It entirely destroys the conditions of a
church, of an authority residing in a religious community, and all that
holy sense of brotherhood which is so sublime and consolatory to a
meditative Christian. Had I been a Papist, I should not have wished for a
more vanquishable opponent in controversy. I certainly believe
Chillingworth to have been in some sense a Socinian. Lord Falkland, his
friend, said so in substance. I do not deny his skill in dialectics; he was
more than a match for Knott[2] to be sure.

I must be bold enough to say, that I do not think that even Hooker puts the
idea of a church on the true foundation.

[Footnote 1:
"The Religion of Protestants a safe Way to Salvation; or, an Answer to a
Booke entitled 'Mercy and Truth; or, Charity maintained by Catholicks,'
which pretends to prove the contrary."]

[Footnote 2:
Socinianism, or some inclination that way, is an old and clinging charge
against Chillingworth. On the one hand, it is well known that he subscribed
the articles of the church of England, in the usual form, on the 20th of
July, 1638; and on the other, it is equally certain that within two years
immediately previous, he wrote the letter to some unnamed correspondent,
beginning "Dear Harry," and printed in all the Lives of Chillingworth, in
which letter he sums up his arguments upon the Arian doctrine in this
passage:--"In a word, whosoever shall freely and impartially consider of
this thing, and how on the other side the ancient fathers' weapons against
the Arrians are in a manner only places of Scripture (and these now for the
most part discarded as importunate and unconcluding), and how in the
argument drawn from the authority of the ancient fathers, they are almost
always defendants, and scarse ever opponents, _he shall not choose but
confesses or at least be very inclinable to beleeve, that the doctrine of
Arrius is eyther a truth, or at least no damnable heresy_." The truth is,
however, that the Socinianism of Chillingworth, such as it may have been,
had more reference to the doctrine of the redemption of man than of the
being of God.

Edward Knott's real name was Matthias Wilson.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The superstition of the peasantry and lower orders generally in Malta,
Sicily, and Italy exceeds common belief. It is unlike the superstition of
Spain, which is a jealous fanaticism, having reference to their
catholicism, and always glancing on heresy. The popular superstition of
Italy is the offspring of the climate, the old associations, the manners,
and the very names of the places. It is pure paganism, undisturbed by any
anxiety about orthodoxy, or animosity against heretics. Hence, it is much
more good-natured and pleasing to a traveller's feelings, and certainly not
a whit less like the true religion of our dear Lord than the gloomy
idolatry of the Spaniards.

       *       *       *       *       *

I well remember, when in Valetta in 1805, asking a boy who waited on me,
what a certain procession, then passing, was, and his answering with great
quickness, that it was Jesus Christ, _who lives here (sta di casa qui)_,
and when he comes out, it is in the shape of a wafer. But, "Eccelenza,"
said he, smiling and correcting himself, "non è Cristiano."[1]

[Footnote 1:
The following anecdote related by Mr. Coleridge, in April, 1811, was
preserved and communicated to me by Mr. Justice Coleridge:--"As I was
descending from Mount AEtna with a very lively talkative guide, we passed
through a village (I think called) Nicolozzi, when the host happened to be
passing through the street. Every one was prostrate; my guide became so;
and, not to be singular, I went down also. After resuming our journey, I
observed in my guide an unusual seriousness and long silence, which, after
many _hums_ and _hahs_, was interrupted by a low bow, and leave requested
to ask a question. This was of course granted, and the ensuing dialogue
took place. Guide. "Signor, are you then a Christian?" Coleridge. "I hope
so." G. "What! are all Englishmen Christians?" C. "I hope and trust they
are." G. "What! are you not Turks? Are you not damned eternally?" C. "I
trust not, through Christ." G. "What! you believe in Christ then?" C.
"Certainly." This answer produced another long silence. At length my guide
again spoke, still doubting the grand point of my Christianity. G. "I'm
thinking, Signor, what is the difference between you and us, that you are
to be certainly damned?" C. "Nothing very material; nothing that can
prevent our both going to heaven, I hope. We believe in the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Ghost." G. (interrupting me) "Oh those damned priests!
what liars they are! But (pausing) we can't do without them; we can't go to
heaven without them. But tell me, Signor, what _are_ the differences?" C.
"Why, for instance, we do not worship the Virgin." G. "And why not,
Signor?" C. "Because, though holy and pure, we think her still a woman,
and, therefore, do not pay her the honour due to God." G. "But do you not
worship Jesus, who sits on the right hand of God?" C. "We do." G. "Then why
not worship the Virgin, who sits on the left?" C. "I did not know she did.
If you can show it me in the Scriptures, I shall readily agree to worship
her." "Oh," said my man, with uncommon triumph, and cracking his fingers,
"sicuro, Signor! sicuro, Signor!""--ED.]

_July_ 30. 1831.


Asgill was an extraordinary man, and his pamphlet[1] is invaluable. He
undertook to prove that man is literally immortal; or, rather, that any
given living man might probably never die. He complains of the cowardly
practice of dying. He was expelled from two Houses of Commons for blasphemy
and atheism, as was pretended;--really I suspect because he was a staunch
Hanoverian. I expected to find the ravings of an enthusiast, or the sullen
snarlings of an infidel; whereas I found the very soul of Swift--an intense
half self-deceived humorism. I scarcely remember elsewhere such uncommon
skill in logic, such lawyer-like acuteness, and yet such a grasp of common
sense. Each of his paragraphs is in itself a whole, and yet a link between
the preceding and following; so that the entire series forms one argument,
and yet each is a diamond in itself.

[Footnote 1:
"An argument proving, that, according to the covenant of eternal life,
revealed in the Scriptures, man may be translated from hence, without
passing through death, although the human nature of Christ himself could
not be thus translated, till he had passed through death." Asgill died in
the year 1738, in the King's Bench prison, where he had been a prisoner for
debt thirty years.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Was there ever such a miserable scene as that of the exhibition of the
Austrian standards in the French house of peers the other day?[1] Every
other nation but the French would see that it was an exhibition of their
own falsehood and cowardice. A man swears that the property intrusted to
him is burnt, and then, when he is no longer afraid, produces it, and
boasts of the atmosphere of "_honour_," through which the lie did not

Frenchmen are like grains of gunpowder,--each by itself smutty and
contemptible, but mass them together and they are terrible indeed.

[Footnote 1:
When the allies were in Paris in 1815, all the Austrian standards were
reclaimed. The answer was that they had been burnt by the soldiers at the
Hôtel des Invalides. This was untrue. The Marquis de Semonville confessed
with pride that he, knowing of the fraud, had concealed these standards,
taken from Mack at Ulm in 1805, in a vault under the Luxemburg palace. "An
inviolable asylum," said the Marquis in his speech to the peers, "formed in
the vault of this hall has protected this treasure from every search.
Vainly, during this long space of time, have the most authoritative
researches endeavoured to penetrate the secret. It would have been culpable
to reveal it, as long as we were liable to the demands of haughty
foreigners. No one in this atmosphere of honour is capable of so great a
weakness," &c.--ED.]

_August_ 1. 1831.

As there is much beast and some devil in man; so is there some angel and
some God in him. The beast and the devil may be conquered, but in this life
never destroyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

I will defy any one to answer the arguments of a St. Simonist, except on
the ground of Christianity--its precepts and its assurances.

_August_ 6. 1831.


There is the love of the good for the good's sake, and the love of the
truth for the truth's sake. I have known many, especially women, love the
good for the good's sake; but very few, indeed, and scarcely one woman,
love the truth for the truth's sake. Yet; without the latter, the former
may become, as it has a thousand times been, the source of persecution of
the truth,--the pretext and motive of inquisitorial cruelty and party
zealotry. To see clearly that the love of the good and the true is
ultimately identical--is given only to those who love both sincerely and
without any foreign ends.

       *       *       *       *       *

Look through the whole history of countries professing the Romish religion,
and you will uniformly find the leaven of this besetting and accursed
principle of action--that the end will sanction any means.

_August_ 8. 1831.


The conduct of this country to King William of Holland has been, in my
judgment, base and unprincipled beyond any thing in our history since the
times of Charles the Second. Certainly, Holland is one of the most
important allies that England has; and we are doing our utmost to subject
it, and Portugal, to French influence, or even dominion! Upon my word, the
English people, at this moment, are like a man palsied in every part of his
body but one, in which one part he is so morbidly sensitive that he cannot
bear to have it so much as breathed upon, whilst you may pinch him with a
hot forceps elsewhere without his taking any notice of it.

_August_ 8. 1831.


Iron is the most ductile of all hard metals, and the hardest of all ductile
metals. With the exception of nickel, in which it is dimly seen, iron is
the only metal in which the magnetic power is visible. Indeed, it is almost
impossible to purify nickel of iron.

       *       *       *       *       *

Galvanism is the union of electricity and magnetism, and, by being
continuous, it exhibits an image of life;--I say, an image only: it is
life in death.

       *       *       *       *       *

Heat is the mesothesis or indifference of light and matter.

_August_ 14. 1831.


The character of most nations in their colonial dependencies is in an
inverse ratio of excellence to their character at home. The best people in
the mother-country will generally be the worst in the colonies; the worst
at home will be the best abroad. Or, perhaps, I may state it less
offensively thus:--The colonists of a well governed-country will
degenerate; those of an ill-governed country will improve. I am now
considering the natural tendency of such colonists if left to themselves;
of course, a direct act of the legislature of the mother-country will break
in upon this. Where this tendency is exemplified, the cause is obvious. In
countries well governed and happily conditioned, none, or very few, but
those who are desperate through vice or folly, or who are mere trading
adventurers, will be willing to leave their homes and settle in another
hemisphere; and of those who do go, the best and worthiest are always
striving to acquire the means of leaving the colony, and of returning to
their native land. In ill-governed and ill-conditioned countries, on the
contrary, the most respectable of the people are willing and anxious to
emigrate for the chance of greater security and enlarged freedom; and if
they succeed in obtaining these blessings in almost any degree, they have
little inducement, on the average, to wish to abandon their second and
better country. Hence, in the former case, the colonists consider
themselves as mere strangers, sojourners, birds of passage, and shift to
live from hand to mouth, with little regard to lasting improvement of the
place of their temporary commerce; whilst, in the latter case, men feel
attached to a community to which they are individually indebted for
otherwise unattainable benefits, and for the most part learn to regard it
as their abode, and to make themselves as happy and comfortable in it as
possible. I believe that the internal condition and character of the
English and French West India islands of the last century amply verified
this distinction; the Dutch colonists most certainly did, and have always

Analogous to this, though not founded on precisely the same principle, is
the fact that the severest naval discipline is always found in the ships of
the freest nations, and the most lax discipline in the ships of the most
oppressed. Hence, the naval discipline of the Americans is the sharpest;
then that of the English;[1] then that of the French (I speak as it used to
be); and on board a Spanish ship, there is no discipline at all.

At Genoa, the word "Liberty" is, or used to be, engraved on the chains of
the galley-slaves, and the doors of the dungeons.

[Footnote 1:
This expression needs explanation. It _looks_ as if Mr. Coleridge rated the
degree of liberty enjoyed by the English, _after_ that of the citizens of
the United States; but he meant no such thing. His meaning was, that the
form of government of the latter was more democratic, and formally assigned
more power to each individual. The Americans, as a nation, had no better
friend in England than Coleridge; he contemplated their growth with
interest, and prophesied highly of their destiny, whether under their
present or other governments. But he well knew their besetting faults and
their peculiar difficulties, and was most deliberately of opinion that the
English had, for 130 years last past, possessed a measure of individual
freedom and social dignity which had never been equalled, much less
surpassed, in any other country ancient or modern. There is a passage in
Mr. Coleridge's latest publication (Church and State}, which clearly
expresses his opinion upon this subject: "It has been frequently and truly
observed that in England, where the ground-plan, the skeleton, as it were,
of the government is a monarchy, at once buttressed and limited by the
aristocracy (the assertions of its popular character finding a better
support in the harangues and theories of popular men, than in state
documents, and the records of clear history), afar greater degree of
liberty is, and long has been, enjoyed, than ever existed in, the
ostensibly freest, that is, most democratic, commonwealths of ancient or
modern times; greater, indeed, and with a more decisive predominance of the
spirit of freedom, than the wisest and most philanthropic statesmen of
antiquity, or than the great commonwealth's men,--the stars of that narrow
interspace of blue sky between the black clouds of the first and second
Charles's reigns--believed compatible, the one with the safety of the
state, the other with the interests of morality. Yes! for little less than
a century and a half, Englishmen have, collectively and individually, lived
and acted with fewer restraints on their free-agency, than the citizens of
any known republic, past or present." (p. 120.) Upon which he subjoins the
following note: "It will be thought, perhaps, that the United States of
North America should have been excepted. But the identity of stock,
language, customs, manners, and laws scarcely allows us to consider this an
exception, even though it were quite certain both that it is and that it
will continue such. It was at all events a remark worth remembering, which
I once heard from a traveller (a prejudiced one, I must admit), that where
every man may take, liberties, there is little liberty for any man; or,
that where every man takes liberties, no man can enjoy any." (p. 121.) See
also a passage to the like effect in the _Friend_, vol. i. p. 129--ED.]

August 15. 1831.


I cannot contain my indignation at the conduct of our government towards
Holland. They have undoubtedly forgotten the true and well-recognized
policy of this country in regard to Portugal in permitting the war faction
in France to take possession of the Tagus, and to bully the Portuguese
upon so flimsy--indeed, false--a pretext[1] yet, in this instance,
something may be said for them.

Miguel is such a wretch, that I acknowledge a sort of morality in leaving
him to be cuffed and insulted; though, of course, this is a poor answer to
a statesman who alleges the interest and policy of the country. But, as to
the Dutch and King William: the first, as a nation, the most ancient ally,
the _alter idem_ of England, the best deserving of the cause of freedom
and religion and morality of any people in Europe; and the second, the
very best sovereign now in Christendom, with, perhaps, the single
exception of the excellent king of Sweden[2]--was ever any thing so mean
and cowardly as the behaviour of England!

The Five Powers have, throughout this conference, been actuated exclusively
by a selfish desire to preserve peace--I should rather say, to smother war
--at the expense of a most valuable but inferior power. They have over and
over again acknowledged the justice of the Dutch claims, and the absurdity
of the Belgian pretences; but as the Belgians were also as impudent as they
were iniquitous,--as they would not yield _their_ point, why then--that
peace may be preserved--the Dutch must yield theirs! A foreign prince comes
into Belgium, pending these negotiations, and takes an unqualified oath to
maintain the Belgian demands:--what could King William or the Dutch do, if
they ever thereafter meant to call themselves independent, but resist and
resent this outrage to the uttermost? It was a crisis in which every
consideration of state became inferior to the strong sense and duty of
national honour. When, indeed, the French appear in the field, King William
retires. "I now see," he may say, "that the powers of Europe are determined
to abet the Belgians. The justice of such a proceeding I leave to their
conscience and the decision of history. It is now no longer a question
whether I am tamely to submit to rebels and a usurper; it is no longer a
quarrel between Holland and Belgium: it is an alliance of all Europe
against Holland,--in which case I yield. I have no desire to sacrifice my

[Footnote 1:
Meaning, principally, the whipping, so richly deserved, inflicted on a
Frenchman called Bonhomme, for committing a disgusting breach of
common decency in the cathedral of Coimbra, during divine service in
Passion Week.--ED.];

[Footnote 2:
"Every thing that I have heard or read of this sovereign has contributed
to the impression on my mind, that he is a good and a wise man, and worthy
to be the king of a virtuous people, the purest specimen of the Gothic
race."--_Church and State_, p. 125. n.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

When Leopold said that he was called to "_reign over_ four millions of
noble Belgians," I thought the phrase would have been more germane to the
matter, if he had said that he was called to "_rein in_ four million
restive asses."

_August_ 20. 1831.


O. P. Q. in the Morning Chronicle is a clever fellow. He is for the
greatest possible happiness for the greatest possible number, and for the
longest possible time! So am I; so are you, and every one of us, I will
venture to say, round the tea-table. First, however, what does O. P. Q.
mean by the word _happiness_? and, secondly, how does he propose to make
other persons agree in _his_ definition of the term? Don't you see the
ridiculous absurdity of setting up _that_ as a principle or motive of
action, which is, in fact, a necessary and essential instinct of our very
nature--an inborn and inextinguishable desire? How can creatures
susceptible of pleasure and pain do otherwise than desire happiness? But,
_what_ happiness? That is the question. The American savage, in scalping
his fallen enemy, pursues _his_ happiness naturally and adequately. A
Chickasaw, or Pawnee Bentham, or O. P. Q., would necessarily hope for the
most frequent opportunities possible of scalping the greatest possible
number of savages, for the longest possible time. There is no escaping this
absurdity, unless you come back to a standard of reason and duty,
imperative upon our merely pleasurable sensations. Oh! but, says O. P. Q.,
I am for the happiness of _others!_ Of others! Are you, indeed? Well, I
happen to be one of those _others_, and, so far as I can judge from what
you show me of your habits and views, I would rather be excused from your
banquet of happiness. _Your_ mode of happiness would make _me_ miserable.
To go about doing as much _good_ as possible to as many men as possible,
is, indeed, an excellent object for a man to propose to himself; but then,
in order that you may not sacrifice the real good and happiness of others
to your particular views, which may be quite different from your
neighbour's, you must do _that_ good to others which the reason, common to
all, pronounces to be good for all. In this sense your fine maxim is so
very true as to be a mere truism.

       *       *       *       *       *

So you object, with old Hobbes, that I do good actions _for_ the pleasure
of a good conscience; and so, after all, I am only a refined sensualist!
Heaven bless you, and mend your logic! Don't you see that if conscience,
which is in its nature a consequence, were thus anticipated and made an
antecedent--a party instead of a judge--it would dishonour your draft upon
it--it would not pay on demand? Don't you see that, in truth, the very fact
of acting with this motive properly and logically destroys all claim upon
conscience to give you any pleasure at all?

August 22. 1831.


There are many able and patriotic members in the House of Commons--Sir
Robert Inglis, Sir Robert Peel, and some others. But I grieve that they
never have the courage or the wisdom--I know not in which the failure is--
to take their stand upon duty, and to appeal to all men as men,--to the
Good and the True, which exist for _all_, and of which _all_ have an
apprehension. They always set to work--especially, his great eminence
considered, Sir Robert Peel--by addressing themselves to individual
interests; the measure will be injurious to the linen-drapers, or to the
bricklayers; or this clause will bear hard on bobbin-net or poplins, and
so forth. Whereas their adversaries--the demagogues--always work on the
opposite principle: they always appeal to men as men; and, as you know,
the most terrible convulsions in society have been wrought by such phrases
as _Rights of Man_, _Sovereignty of the People_, _&c_., which no one
understands, which apply to no one in particular, but to all in

The devil works precisely in the same way. He is a very clever fellow; I
have no acquaintance with him, but I respect his evident talents.
Consistent truth and goodness will assuredly in the end overcome every
thing; but inconsistent good can never be a match for consistent evil.
Alas! I look in vain for some wise and vigorous man to sound the word Duty
in the ears of this generation.

[Footnote 1:
"It is with nations as with individuals. In tranquil moods and peaceable
times we are quite _practical_; facts only, and cool common sense, are then
in fashion. But let the winds of passion swell, and straightway men begin
to generalize, to connect by remotest analogies, to express the most
universal positions of reason in the most glowing figures of fancy; in
short, to feel particular truths and mere facts as poor, cold, narrow, and
incommensurate with their feelings."--_Statesman's Manual_, p. 18.

"It seems a paradox only to the unthinking, and it is a fact that none but
the unread in history will deny, that, in periods of popular tumult and
innovation, the more abstract a notion is, the more readily has it been
found to combine, the closer has appeared its affinity, with the feelings
of a people, and with all their immediate impulses to action. At the
commencement of the French Revolution, in the remotest villages every
tongue was employed in echoing and enforcing the almost geometrical
abstractions of the physiocratic politicians and economists. The public
roads were crowded with armed enthusiasts, disputing on the inalienable
sovereignty of the people, the imprescriptible laws of the pure reason, and
the universal constitution, which, as rising out of the nature and rights
of man as man, all nations alike were under the obligation of adopting."--
_Statesman's Manual_.]

_August_ 24. 1831.


The English public is not yet ripe to comprehend the essential difference
between the reason and the understanding--between a principle and a maxim--
an eternal truth and a mere conclusion generalized from a great number of
facts. A man, having seen a million moss roses all red, concludes from his
own experience and that of others that all moss roses are red. That is a
maxim with him--the _greatest_ amount of his knowledge upon the subject.
But it is only true until some gardener has produced a white moss rose,--
after which the maxim is good for nothing. Again, suppose Adam watching the
sun sinking under the western horizon for the first time; he is seized with
gloom and terror, relieved by scarce a ray of hope that he shall ever see
the glorious light again. The next evening, when it declines, his hopes are
stronger, but still mixed with fear; and even at the end of a thousand
years, all that a man can feel is a hope and an expectation so strong as to
preclude anxiety. Now compare this in its highest degree with the assurance
which you have that the two sides of any triangle are together greater than
the third. This, demonstrated of one triangle, is seen to be eternally true
of all imaginable triangles. This is a truth perceived at once by the
intuitive reason, independently of experience. It is and must ever be so,
multiply and vary the shapes and sizes of triangles as you may.

       *       *       *       *       *

It used to be said that four and five _make_ nine. Locke says, that four
and five _are_ nine. Now I say, that four and five _are not_ nine, but that
they will _make_ nine. When I see four objects which will form a square,
and five which will form a pentagon, I see that they are two different
things; when combined, they will form a third different figure, which we
call nine. When separate they _are not_ it, but will _make_ it.

_September_ 11. 1831.


Drayton is a sweet poet, and Selden's notes to the early part of the
Polyolbion are well worth your perusal. Daniel is a superior man; his
diction is pre-eminently pure,--of that quality which I believe has always
existed somewhere in society. It is just such English, without any
alteration, as Wordsworth or Sir George Beaumont might have spoken or
written in the present day.

Yet there are instances of sublimity in Drayton. When deploring the cutting
down of some of our old forests, he says, in language which reminds the
reader of Lear, written subsequently, and also of several passages in Mr.
Wordsworth's poems:--

   ----"our trees so hack'd above the ground,
  That where their lofty tops the neighbouring countries
  Their trunks (like aged folks) now bare and naked stand,
  _As for revenge to Heaven each held a wither'd hand._" [1]

That is very fine.

[Footnote 1: Polyol VII.

"He (Drayton) was a poet by nature, and carefully improved his talent; one
who sedulously laboured to deserve the approbation of such as were capable
of appreciating and cared nothing for the censures which others might pass
upon him." 'Like me that list,' he says,

   ----'my honest rhymes
  Nor care for critics, nor regard the times.'

And though he is not a poet _virum volitarc per ora_, nor one of those
whose better fortune it is to live in the hearts of their devoted
admirers,--yet what he deemed his greatest work will be preserved by its
subject; some of his minor poems have merit enough in their execution to
ensure their preservation; and no one who studies poetry as an art will
think his time misspent in perusing the whole, if he have any real love for
the art he is pursuing. The youth who enters upon that pursuit without a
feeling of respect and gratitude for those elder poets, who by their
labours have prepared the way for him, is not likely to produce any thing
himself that will be held in remembrance by posterity."-_The Doctor_, &c.
c. 36. P.I.

I heartily trust that the author or authors, as the case may be, of this
singularly thoughtful and diverting book will in due time continue it. Let
some people say what they please, there has not been the fellow of it
published for many a long day.--ED.]

_September_ 12. 1831.


My system, if I may venture to give it so fine a name, is the only attempt,
I know, ever made to reduce all knowledges into harmony. It opposes no
other system, but shows what was true in each; and how that which was true
in the particular, in each of them became error, _because_ it was only half
the truth. I have endeavoured to unite the insulated fragments of truth,
and therewith to frame a perfect mirror. I show to each system that I fully
understand and rightfully appreciate what that system means; but then I
lift up that system to a higher point of view, from which I enable it to
see its former position, where it was, indeed, but under another light and
with different relations;--so that the fragment of truth is not only
acknowledged, but explained. Thus the old astronomers discovered and
maintained much that was true; but, because they were placed on a false
ground, and looked from a wrong point of view, they never did, they never
could, discover the truth--that is, the whole truth. As soon as they left
the earth, their false centre, and took their stand in the sun, immediately
they saw the whole system in its true light, and their former station
remaining, but remaining as a part of the prospect. I wish, in short, to
connect by a moral _copula_ natural history with political history; or, in
other words, to make history scientific, and science historical--to take
from history its accidentality, and from science its fatalism.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never from a boy could, under any circumstances, feel the slightest dread
of death as such. In all my illnesses I have ever had the most intense
desire to be released from this life, unchecked by any but one wish,
namely, to be able to finish my work on Philosophy. Not that I have any
author's vanity on the subject: God knows that I should be absolutely glad,
if I could hear that the thing had already been done before me.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illness never in the smallest degree affects my intellectual powers. I can
_think_ with all my ordinary vigour in the midst of pain; but I am beset
with the most wretched and unmanning reluctance and shrinking from action.
I could not upon such occasions take the pen in hand to write down my
thoughts for all the wide world.

_October 26._ 1831.


Few men of genius are keen; but almost every man of genius is subtle. If
you ask me the difference between keenness and subtlety, I answer that it
is the difference between a point and an edge. To split a hair is no proof
of subtlety; for subtlety acts in distinguishing differences--in showing
that two things apparently one are in fact two; whereas, to split a hair is
to cause division, and not to ascertain difference.

_October_ 27. 1831.


There is undoubtedly a limit to the exertions of an advocate for his
client. He has a right, it is his bounden duty, to do every thing which his
client might honestly do, and to do it with all the effect which any
exercise of skill, talent, or knowledge of his own may be able to produce.
But the advocate has no right, nor is it his duty, to do that for his
client which his client _in foro conscientiae_ has no right to do for
himself; as, for a gross example, to put in evidence a forged deed or will,
knowing it to be so forged. As to mere confounding of witnesses by skilful
cross-examination, I own I am not disposed to be very strict. The whole
thing is perfectly well understood on all hands, and it is little more in
general than a sort of cudgel-playing between the counsel and the witness,
in which, I speak with submission to you, I think I have seen the witness
have the best of it as often as his assailant. It is of the utmost
importance in the administration of justice that knowledge and intellectual
power should be as far as possible equalized between the crown and the
prisoner, or plaintiff and defendant. Hence especially arises the necessity
for an order of advocates,--men whose duty it ought to be to know what the
law allows and disallows; but whose interests should be wholly indifferent
as to the persons or characters of their clients. If a certain latitude in
examining witnesses is, as experience seems to have shown, a necessary mean
towards the evisceration of the truth of matters of fact, I have no doubt,
as a moralist, in saying, that such latitude within the bounds, now
existing is justifiable. We must be content with a certain quantum in this
life, especially in matters of public cognizance; the necessities of
society demand it; we must not be righteous overmuch, or wise overmuch;
and, as an old father says, in what vein may there not be a plethora, when
the Scripture tells us that there may under circumstances be too much of
virtue and of wisdom?

Still I think that, upon the whole, the advocate is placed in a position
unfavourable to his moral being, and, indeed, to his intellect also, in its
higher powers. Therefore I would recommend an advocate to devote a part of
his leisure time to some study of the metaphysics of the mind, or
metaphysics of theology; something, I mean, which shall call forth all his
powers, and centre his wishes in the investigation of truth alone, without
reference to a side to be supported. No studies give such a power of
distinguishing as metaphysical, and in their natural and unperverted
tendency they are ennobling and exalting. Some such studies are wanted to
counteract the operation of legal studies and practice, which sharpen,
indeed, but, like a grinding-stone, narrow whilst they sharpen.

_November_ 19. 1831.


I cannot say what the French peers _will_ do; but I can tell you what they
_ought_ to do. "So far," they might say, "as our feelings and interests, as
individuals, are concerned in this matter--if it really be the prevailing
wish of our fellow-countrymen to destroy the hereditary peerage--we shall,
without regret, retire into the ranks of private citizens: but we are bound
by the provisions of the existing constitution to consider ourselves
collectively as essential to the well-being of France: we have been placed
here to defend what France, a short time ago at least, thought a vital part
of its government; and, if we did not defend it, what answer could we make
hereafter to France itself, if she should come to see, what we think to be
an error, in the light in which we view it? We should be justly branded as
traitors and cowards, who had deserted the post which we were specially
appointed to maintain. As a House of Peers, therefore,--as one substantive
branch of the legislature, we can never, in honour or in conscience,
consent to a measure of the impolicy and dangerous consequences of which we
are convinced.

"If, therefore, this measure is demanded by the country, let the king and
the deputies form themselves into a constituent assembly; and then,
assuming to act in the name of the total nation, let them decree the
abolition. In that case we yield to a just, perhaps, but revolutionary,
act, in which we do not participate, and against which we are, upon the
supposition, quite powerless. If the deputies, however, consider themselves
so completely in the character of delegates as to be at present absolutely
pledged to vote without freedom of deliberation, let a concise, but
perspicuous, summary of the ablest arguments that can be adduced on either
side be drawn up, and printed, and circulated throughout the country; and
then, after two months, let the deputies demand fresh instructions upon
this point. One thing, as men of honour, we declare beforehand--that, come
what will, none of us who are now peers will ever accept a peerage created
_de novo_ for life."

_November_ 20. 1831.


The present ministers have, in my judgment, been guilty of two things
preeminently wicked, _sensu politico_, in their conduct upon this Reform
Bill. First, they have endeavoured to carry a fundamental change in the
material and mode of action of the government of the country by so
exciting the passions, and playing upon the necessary ignorance of the
numerical majority of the nation, that all freedom and utility of
discussion, by competent heads, in the proper place, should be precluded.
In doing this they have used, or sanctioned the use of, arguments which
may he applied with equal or even greater force to the carrying of any
measure whatever, no matter how atrocious in its character or destructive
in its consequences. They have appealed directly to the argument of the
greater number of voices, no matter whether the utterers were drunk or
sober, competent or not competent; and they have done the utmost in their
power to rase out the sacred principle in politics of a representation of
interests, and to introduce the mad and barbarizing scheme of a delegation
of individuals. And they have done all this without one word of
thankfulness to God for the manifold blessings of which the constitution
as settled at the Revolution, imperfect as it may be, has been the source
or vehicle or condition to this great nation,--without one honest
statement of the manner in which the anomalies in the practice grew up, or
any manly declaration of the inevitable necessities of government which
those anomalies have met. With no humility, nor fear, nor reverence, like
Ham the accursed, they have beckoned, with grinning faces, to a vulgar
mob, to come and insult over the nakedness of a parent; when it had become
them, if one spark of filial patriotism had burnt within their breasts, to
have marched with silent steps and averted faces to lay their robes upon
his destitution!

Secondly, they have made the _king_ the prime mover in all this political
wickedness: they have made the _king_ tell his people that they were
deprived of their rights, and, by direct and necessary implication, that
they and their ancestors for a century past had been slaves: they have made
the king vilify the memory of his own brother and father. Rights! There are
no rights whatever without corresponding duties. Look at the history of the
growth of our constitution, and you will see that our ancestors never upon
any occasion stated, as a ground for claiming any of their privileges, an
abstract right inherent in themselves; you will nowhere in our
parliamentary records find the miserable sophism of the Rights of Man. No!
they were too wise for that. They took good care to refer their claims to
custom and prescription, and boldly--sometimes very impudently--asserted
them upon traditionary and constitutional grounds. The Bill is bad enough,
God knows; but the arguments of its advocates, and the manner of their
advocacy, are a thousand times worse than the Bill itself; and you will
live to think so.

I am far, very far, from wishing to indulge in any vulgar abuse of the
vulgar. I believe that the feeling of the multitude will, in most cases, be
in favour of something good; but this it is which I perceive, that they are
always under the domination of some one feeling or view;--whereas truth,
and, above all, practical wisdom, must be the result of a wide
comprehension of the more and the less, the balance and the counter-

_December_ 3. 1831.


A religion, that is, a true religion, must consist of ideas and facts both;
not of ideas alone without facts, for then it would be mere Philosophy;--
nor of facts alone without ideas, of which those facts are the symbols, or
out of which they arise, or upon which they are grounded, for then it would
be mere History.

_December_ 17. 1831.


I am quite sure that no dangers are to be feared by England from the
disannexing and independence of Ireland at all comparable with the evils
which have been, and will yet be, caused to England by the Union. We have
never received one particle of advantage from our association with Ireland,
whilst we have in many most vital particulars violated the principles of
the British constitution solely for the purpose of conciliating the Irish
agitators, and of endeavouring--a vain endeavour--to find room for them
under the same government. Mr. Pitt has received great credit for effecting
the Union; but I believe it will sooner or later be discovered that the
manner in which, and the terms upon which, he effected it, made it the most
fatal blow that ever was levelled against the peace and prosperity of
England. From it came the Catholic Bill. From the Catholic Bill has come
this Reform Bill! And what next?

       *       *       *       *       *

The case of the Irish Church is certainly anomalous, and full of practical
difficulties. On the one hand, it is the only church which the constitution
can admit; on the other, such are the circumstances, it is a church that
cannot act as a church towards five sixths of the persons nominally and
legally within its care.

_December_ 18. 1831.


The difference between an inorganic and an organic body lies in this:--In
the first--a sheaf of corn--the whole is nothing more than a collection of
the individual parts or phenomena. In the second--a man--the whole is the
effect of, or results from, the parts; it--the whole--is every thing, and
the parts are nothing.

A State is an idea intermediate between the two--the whole being a result
from, and not a mere total of, the parts, and yet not so merging the
constituent parts in the result, but that the individual exists integrally
within it. Extremes, especially in politics, meet. In Athens each
individual Athenian was of no value; but taken altogether, as Demus, they
were every thing in such a sense that no individual citizen was any thing.
In Turkey there is the sign of unity put for unity. The Sultan seems
himself the State; but it is an illusion: there is in fact in Turkey no
State at all: the whole consists of nothing but a vast collection of

       *       *       *       *       *

When the government and the aristocracy of this country had subordinated
_persons to things_, and treated the one like the other,--the poor, with
some reason, and almost in self-defence, learned to set up _rights_ above
_duties_. The code of a Christian society is, _Debeo, et tu debes_--of
Heathens or Barbarians, _Teneo, teneto et tu, si potes_.[1]

[Footnote 1:
"And this, again, is evolved out of the yet higher idea of _person_ in
contradistinction from _thing_, all social law and justice being grounded
on the principle that a person can never, but by his own fault, become a
thing, or, without grievous wrong, be treated as such; and the distinction
consisting in this, that a thing may be used altogether, and merely as the
_means_ to an end; but the person must always be included in the _end_; his
interest must always form a part of the object,--a _mean_ to which he, by
consent, that is, by his own act, makes himself. We plant a tree, and we
fell it; we breed the sheep, and we shear, or we kill it,--in both cases
wholly as means to _our_ ends: for trees and animals are things. The
woodcutter and the hind are likewise employed as _means_; but on agreement,
and that too an agreement of reciprocal advantage, which includes them as
well as their employer in the _end_; for they are persons. And the
government under which the contrary takes place is not worthy to be called
a state, if, as in the kingdom of Dahomey, it be unprogressive; or only by
anticipation, where, as in Russia, it is in advance to a better and more
_manworthy_ order of things."--_Church and State_, p. 10.]

       *       *       *       *       *

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But
passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a
lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!

_December_ 27. 1831.


The old definition of beauty in the Roman school of painting was, _il più
nell' uno_--multitude in unity; and there is no doubt that such is the
principle of beauty. And as one of the most characteristic and infallible
criteria of the different ranks of men's intellects, observe the
instinctive habit which all superior minds have of endeavouring to bring,
and of never resting till they have brought, into unity the scattered facts
which occur in conversation, or in the statements of men of business. To
attempt to argue any great question upon facts only, is absurd; you cannot
state any fact before a mixed audience, which an opponent as clever as
yourself cannot with ease twist towards another bearing, or at least meet
by a contrary fact, as it is called. I wonder why facts were ever called
stubborn things: I am sure they have been found pliable enough lately in
the House of Commons and elsewhere. Facts, you know, are not truths; they
are not conclusions; they are not even premisses, but in the nature and
parts of premisses. The truth depends on, and is only arrived at, by a
legitimate deduction from _all_ the facts which are truly material.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December_ 28. 1831.


Even to a church,--the only pure democracy, because in it persons are alone
considered, and one person _à priori_ is equal to another person,--even to
a church, discipline is an essential condition. But a state regards
classes, and classes as they represent classified property; and to
introduce a system of representation which must inevitably render all
discipline impossible, what is it but madness-the madness of ignorant
vanity, and reckless obstinacy?

       *       *       *       *       *

I have known, and still know, many Dissenters, who profess to have a zeal
for Christianity; and I dare say they have. But I have known very few
Dissenters indeed, whose hatred to the Church of England was not a much
more active principle of action with them than their love for Christianity.
The Wesleyans, in uncorrupted parts of the country, are nearly the only
exceptions. There never was an age since the days of the apostles, in which
the catholic spirit of religion was so dead, and put aside for love of
sects and parties, as at present.

       *       *       *       *       *

_January_ 1. 1832.


How inimitably graceful children are in general before they learn to dance!

       *       *       *       *       *

There seems a sort of sympathy between the more generous dogs and little
children. I believe an instance of a little child being attacked by a large
dog is very rare indeed.

_January_ 28. 1832.


The ideal Tory and the ideal Whig (and some such there have really been)
agreed in the necessity and benefit of an exact balance of the three
estates: but the Tory was more jealous of the balance being deranged by the
people; the Whig, of its being deranged by the Crown. But this was a habit,
a jealousy only; they both agreed in the ultimate preservation of the
balance; and accordingly they might each, under certain circumstances,
without the slightest inconsistency, pass from one side to the other, as
the ultimate object required it. This the Tories did at the Revolution, but
remained Tories as before.

I have half a mind to write a critical and philosophical essay on Whiggism,
from Dryden's Achitophel (Shaftesbury), the first Whig, (for, with Dr.
Johnson's leave, the devil is no such cattle,) down to ----, who, I trust,
in God's mercy to the interests of peace, union, and liberty in this
nation, will be the last. In it I would take the last years of Queen Anne's
reign as the zenith, or palmy state, of Whiggism in its divinest _avatar_
of common sense, or of the understanding, vigorously exerted in the right
direction on the right and proper objects of the understanding; and would
then trace the rise, the occasion, the progress, and the necessary
degeneration of the Whig spirit of compromise, even down to the profound
ineptitudes of their party in these days. A clever fellow might make
something of this hint. How Asgill would have done it!

_February_ 22. 1832.


The church is the last relic of our nationality. Would to God that the
bishops and the clergy in general could once fully understand that the
Christian church and the national church are as little to be confounded as
divided! I think the fate of the Reform Bill, in itself, of comparatively
minor importance; the fate of the national church occupies my mind with
greater intensity.

_February_ 24. 1832.


I could not help smiling, in reading the report of Lord Grey's speech in
the House of Lords, the other night, when he asked Lord Wicklow whether he
seriously believed that he, Lord Grey, or any of the ministers, intended to
subvert the institutions of the country. Had I been in Lord Wicklow's
place, I should have been tempted to answer this question something in the
following way:--"Waiving the charge in an offensive sense of personal
consciousness against the noble earl, and all but one or two of his
colleagues, upon my honour, and in the presence of Almighty God, I answer,
Yes! You have destroyed the freedom of parliament; you have done your best
to shut the door of the House of Commons to the property, the birth, the
rank, the wisdom of the people, and have flung it open to their passions
and their follies. You have disfranchised the gentry, and the real
patriotism of the nation: you have agitated and exasperated the mob, and
thrown the balance of political power into the hands of that class (the
shopkeepers) which, in all countries and in all ages, has been, is now, and
ever will be, the least patriotic and the least conservative of any. You
are now preparing to destroy for ever the constitutional independence of
the House of Lords; you are for ever displacing it from its supremacy as a
co-ordinate estate of the realm; and whether you succeed in passing your
bill by actually swamping our votes by a batch of new peers, or by
frightening a sufficient number of us out of our opinions by the threat of
one,--equally you will have superseded the triple assent which the
constitution requires to the enactment of a valid law, and have left the
king alone with the delegates of the populace!"

_March_ 3. 1832.


I am afraid the Conservative party see but one half of the truth. The mere
extension of the franchise is not the evil; I should be glad to see it
greatly extended;--there is no harm in that _per se_; the mischief is that
the franchise is nominally extended, but to such classes, and in such a
manner, that a practical disfranchisement of all above, and a discontenting
of all below, a favoured class are the unavoidable results.

_March_ 17. 1832.


----'s face is almost the only exception I know to the observation, that
something feminine--not _effeminate_, mind--is discoverable in the
countenances of all men of genius. Look at that face of old Dampier, a
rough sailor, but a man of exquisite mind. How soft is the air of his
countenance, how delicate the shape of his temples!

       *       *       *       *       *

I think it very absurd and misplaced to call Raleigh and Drake, and others
of our naval heroes of Elizabeth's age, pirates. No man is a _pirate_,
unless his contemporaries agree to call him so. Drake said,--"The subjects
of the king of Spain have done their best to ruin my country: _ergo_, I
will try to ruin the king of Spain's country." Would it not be silly to
call the Argonauts pirates in our sense of the word?

_March_ 18. 1832.


It is curious to mark how instinctively the reason has always pointed out
to men the ultimate end of the various sciences, and how immediately
afterwards they have set to work, like children, to realize that end by
inadequate means. Now they applied to their appetites, now to their
passions, now to their fancy, now to the understanding, and lastly, to the
intuitive reason again. There is no doubt but that astrology of some sort
or other would be the last achievement of astronomy: there must he chemical
relations between the planets; the difference of their magnitudes compared
with that of their distances is not explicable otherwise; but this, though,
as it were, blindly and unconsciously seen, led immediately to fortune-
telling and other nonsense. So alchemy is the theoretic end of chemistry:
there must be a common law, upon which all can become each and each all;
but then the idea was turned to the coining of gold and silver.

_March_ 20. 1832.


I have heard but two arguments of any weight adduced in favour of passing
this Reform Bill, and they are in substance these:--1. We will blow your
brains out if you don't pass it. 2. We will drag you through a horsepond if
you don't pass it; and there is a good deal of force in both.

       *       *       *       *       *

Talk to me of your pretended crisis! Stuff! A vigorous government would in
one month change all the data for your reasoning. Would you have me believe
that the events of this world are fastened to a revolving cycle with God at
one end and the Devil at the other, and that the Devil is now uppermost!
Are you a Christian, and talk about a crisis in that fatalistic sense!

_March_ 31. 1832.


I certainly understand the [Greek: ti emoi kai soi gynai] in the second
chapter[1] of St. John's Gospel, as having a _liquid increpationis_ in it--
a mild reproof from Jesus to Mary for interfering in his ministerial acts
by requests on her own account.

I do not think that [Greek: gynai] was ever used by child to parent as a
common mode of address: between husband and wife it was; but I cannot think
that [Greek: m_eter] and [Greek: gynai] were equivalent terms in the mouth
of a son speaking to his mother. No part of the Christopaedia is found in
John or Paul; and after the baptism there is no recognition of any maternal
authority in Mary. See the two passages where she endeavours to get access
to him when he is preaching:--"Whosoever shall do the will of God, the
same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother"[2] and also the
recommendation of her to the care of John at the crucifixion.

[Footnote 1: Verse 4.]

[Footnote 2: Mark, ch. iii. ver. 35.]

       *       *       *       *       *

There may be dictation without inspiration, and inspiration without
dictation; they have been and continue to be grievously confounded. Balaam
and his ass were the passive organs of dictation; but no one, I suppose,
will venture to call either of those worthies inspired. It is my profound
conviction that St. John and St. Paul were divinely inspired; but I totally
disbelieve the dictation of any one word, sentence, or argument throughout
their writings. Observe, there was revelation. All religion is revealed;--
_revealed_ religion is, in my judgment, a mere pleonasm. Revelations of
facts were undoubtedly made to the prophets; revelations of doctrines were
as undoubtedly made to John and Paul;--but is it not a mere matter of our
very senses that John and Paul each dealt with those revelations, expounded
them, insisted on them, just exactly according to his own natural strength
of intellect, habit of reasoning, moral, and even physical temperament? We
receive the books ascribed to John and Paul as their books on the judgment
of men, for whom no miraculous discernment is pretended; nay, whom, in
their admission and rejection of other books, we believe to have erred.
Shall we give less credence to John and Paul themselves? Surely the heart
and soul of every Christian give him sufficient assurance that, in all
things that concern him as a _man_, the words that he reads are spirit and
truth, and could only proceed from Him who made both heart and soul.--
Understand the matter so, and all difficulty vanishes: you read without
fear, lest your faith meet with some shock from a passage here and there
which you cannot reconcile with immediate dictation, by the Holy Spirit of
God, without an absurd violence offered to the text. You read the Bible as
the best of all books, but still as a book; and make use of all the means
and appliances which learning and skill, under the blessing of God, can
afford towards rightly apprehending the general sense of it--not solicitous
to find out doctrine in mere epistolary familiarity, or facts in clear _ad
hominem et pro tempore_ allusions to national traditions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tertullian, I think, says he had seen the autograph copies of some of the
apostles' writings. The truth is, the ancient Church was not guided by the
mere fact of the genuineness of a writing in pronouncing it canonical;--
its catholicity was the test applied to it. I have not the smallest doubt
that the Epistle of Barnabas is genuine; but it is not catholic; it is
full of the [Greek: gn_osis], though of the most simple and pleasing sort.
I think the same of Hermas. The Church would never admit either into the
canon, although the Alexandrians always read the Epistle of Barnabas in
their churches for three hundred years together. It was upwards of three
centuries before the Epistle to the Hebrews was admitted, and this on
account of its [Greek: gn_osis]; at length, by help of the venerable
prefix of St. Paul's name, its admirers, happily for us, succeeded.

       *       *       *       *       *

So little did the early bishops and preachers think their Christian faith
wrapped up in, and solely to be learned from, the New Testament,--indeed,
can it be said that there was any such collection for three hundred years?
--that I remember a letter from ----[1] to a friend of his, a bishop in the
East, in which he most evidently speaks of the _Christian_ Scriptures as of
works of which the bishop knew little or nothing.

[Footnote 1: I have lost the name which Mr. Coleridge mentioned.--ED.]

_April_ 4. 1832.


I make the greatest difference between _ans_ and _isms_. I should deal
insincerely with you, if I said that I thought Unitarianism was
Christianity. No; as I believe and have faith in the doctrine, it is not
the truth in Jesus Christ; but God forbid that I should doubt that you, and
many other Unitarians, as you call yourselves, are, in a practical sense,
very good Christians. We do not win heaven by logic.

By the by, what do you mean by exclusively assuming the title of
Unitarians? As if Tri-Unitarians were not necessarily Unitarians, as much
(pardon the illustration) as an apple-pie must of course be a pie! The
schoolmen would, perhaps, have called you Unicists; but your proper name is
Psilanthropists--believers in the mere human nature of Christ.

Upon my word, if I may say so without offence, I really think many forms of
Pantheistic Atheism more agreeable to an imaginative mind than Unitarianism
as it is professed in terms: in particular, I prefer the Spinosistic scheme
infinitely. The early Socinians were, to be sure, most unaccountable
logicians; but, when you had swallowed their bad reasoning, you came to a
doctrine on which the _heart_, at least, might rest for some support. They
adored Jesus Christ. Both Laelius and Faustus Socinus laid down the
adorability of Jesus in strong terms. I have nothing, you know, to do with
their logic. But Unitarianism is, in effect, the worst of one kind of
Atheism, joined to the worst of one kind of Calvinism, like two asses tied
tail to tail. It has no covenant with God; and looks upon prayer as a sort
of self-magnetizing--a getting of the body and temper into a certain
_status_, desirable _per se_, but having no covenanted reference to the
Being to whom the prayer is addressed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sum total of moral philosophy is found in this one question, Is _Good_
a superfluous word,--or mere lazy synonyme for the pleasurable, and its
causes;--at most, a mere modification to express degree, and comparative
duration of pleasure?--Or the question may be more unanswerably stated
thus, Is _good_ superfluous as a word exponent of a _kind_?--If it be, then
moral philosophy is but a subdivision of physics. If not, then the writings
of Paley and all his predecessors and disciples are false and _most_
pernicious; and there is an emphatic propriety in the superlative, and in a
sense which of itself would supply and exemplify the difference between
_most_ and _very_.

_April_ 5. 1832.


It is curious to trace the operation of the moral law of polarity in the
history of politics, religion, &c. When the maximum of one tendency has
been attained, there is no gradual decrease, but a direct transition to its
minimum, till the opposite tendency has attained its maximum; and then you
see another corresponding revulsion. With the Restoration came in all at
once the mechanico-corpuscular philosophy, which, with the increase of
manufactures, trade, and arts, made every thing in philosophy, religion,
and poetry objective; till, at length, attachment to mere external
worldliness and forms got to its maximum,--when out burst the French
revolution; and with it every thing became immediately subjective, without
any object at all. The Rights of Man, the Sovereignty of the People, were
subject and object both. We are now, I think, on the turning point again.
This Reform seems the _ne plus ultra_ of that tendency of the public mind
which substitutes its own undefined notions or passions for real objects
and historical actualities. There is not one of the ministers--except the
one or two revolutionists among them--who has ever given us a hint,
throughout this long struggle, as to _what_ he really does believe will be
the product of the bill; what sort of House of Commons it will make for the
purpose of governing this empire soberly and safely. No; they have
actualized for a moment a wish, a fear, a passion, but not an idea.

_April_ 1. 1832.


There are two grand divisions under which all contagious diseases may be
classed:--1. Those which spring from organized living beings, and from the
life in them, and which enter, as it were, into the life of those in whom
they reproduce themselves--such as small-pox and measles. These become so
domesticated with the habit and system, that they are rarely received
twice. 2. Those which spring from dead organized, or unorganized matter,
and which may be comprehended under the wide term _malaria_.

You may have passed a stagnant pond a hundred times without injury: you
happen to pass it again, in low spirits and chilled, precisely at the
moment of the explosion of the gas: the malaria strikes on the cutaneous or
veno-glandular system, and drives the blood from the surface; the shivering
fit comes on, till the musculo-arterial irritability re-acts, and then the
hot fit succeeds; and, unless bark or arsenic--particularly bark, because
it is a bitter as well as a tonic--be applied to strengthen the veno-
glandular, and to moderate the musculo-arterial, system, a man may have the
ague for thirty years together.

But if, instead of being exposed to the solitary malaria of a pond, a man,
travelling through the Pontine Marshes, permits his animal energies to
flag, and surrenders himself to the drowsiness which generally attacks him,
then blast upon blast strikes upon the cutaneous system, and passes through
it to the musculo-arterial, and so completely overpowers the latter that it
cannot re-act, and the man dies at once, instead of only catching an ague.

There are three factors of the operation of an epidemic or atmospheric
disease. The first and principal one is the predisposed state of the body;
secondly, the specific _virus_ in the atmosphere; and, thirdly, the
accidental circumstances of weather, locality, food, occupation, &c.
Against the second of these we are powerless: its nature, causes, and
sympathies are too subtle for our senses to find data to go upon. Against
the first, medicine may act profitably. Against the third, a wise and
sagacious medical police ought to be adopted; but, above all, let every man
act like a Christian, in all charity, and love, and brotherly kindness, and
sincere reliance on God's merciful providence.

Quarantine cannot keep out an atmospheric disease; but it can, and does
always, increase the predisposing causes of its reception.

_April_ 10. 1832.


All harmony is founded on a relation to rest--on relative rest. Take a
metallic plate, and strew sand on it; sound an harmonic chord over the
sand, and the grains will whirl about in circles, and other geometrical
figures, all, as it were, depending on some point of sand relatively at
rest. Sound a discord, and every grain will whisk about without any order
at all, in no figures, and with no points of rest.

The clerisy of a nation, that is, its learned men, whether poets, or
philosophers, or scholars, are these points of relative rest. There could
be no order, no harmony of the whole, without them.

April 21. 1832.


There have been three silent revolutions in England:--first, when the
professions fell off from the church; secondly, when literature fell off
from the professions; and, thirdly, when the press fell off from

       *       *       *       *       *

Common phrases are, as it were, so stereotyped now by conventional use,
that it is really much easier to write on the ordinary politics of the day
in the common newspaper style, than it is to make a good pair of shoes.

An apprentice has as much to learn now to be a shoemaker as ever he had;
but an ignorant coxcomb, with a competent want of honesty, may very
effectively wield a pen in a newspaper office, with infinitely less pains
and preparation than were necessary formerly.

_April_ 23. 1832.


The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtle, without being at
all acute; hence there is so much humour and so little wit in their
literature. The genius of the Italians, on the contrary, is acute,
profound, and sensual, but not subtle; hence what they think to be humorous
is merely witty.

       *       *       *       *       *

To estimate a man like Vico, or any great man who has made discoveries and
committed errors, you ought to say to yourself--"He did so and so in the
year 1720, a Papist, at Naples. Now, what would he not have done if he had
lived now, and could have availed himself of all our vast acquisitions in
physical science?"

       *       *       *       *       *

After the _Scienza Nuova_[1] read Spinosa, _De Monarchia ex rationis
praescripto_[2].They differed--Vico in thinking that society tended to
monarchy; Spinosa in thinking it tended to democracy. Now, Spinosa's ideal
democracy was realized by a contemporary--not in a nation, for that is
impossible, but in a sect--I mean by George Fox and his Quakers.[3]

[Footnote 1:
See Michelet's Principes de la Philosophie de l'Histoire, &c. Paris, 1827.
An admirable analysis of Vico.--ED.]

[Footnote 2: Tractatus Politici, c. vi.]

[Footnote 3: Spinosa died in 1677; Fox in 1681.--ED.]

_April_ 24. 1832.


Colours may best be expressed by a heptad, the largest possible formula for
things finite, as the pentad is the smallest possible form. Indeed, the
heptad of things finite is in all cases reducible to the pentad. The
adorable tetractys, or tetrad, is the formula of God; which, again, is
reducible into, and is, in reality, the same with, the Trinity. Take
colours thus:--

                 Red, or Colour [Greek: kat exoch_en].
                                /   \
Mesothesis, or Indifference of /     \
Red and Yellow = Orange.     4/       \5 Indigo, Violet = Indifference
                             /Synthesis\ of Red and Blue.
                            /--6       \
        Thesis = Yellow. 2  3 Blue = Antithesis.
                            \Green indi-/
                             \componi- /
                              \ble    /
                               \     /
                                \   /
           To which you must add \7/ which is spurious or artificial
                                  v  synthesis of Yellow and Blue.


_April_ 28. 1832.


The destruction of Jerusalem is the only subject now remaining for an epic
poem; a subject which, like Milton's Fall of Man, should interest all
Christendom, as the Homeric War of Troy interested all Greece. There would
be difficulties, as there are in all subjects; and they must he mitigated
and thrown into the shade, as Milton has done with the numerous
difficulties in the Paradise Lost. But there would be a greater assemblage
of grandeur and splendour than can now be found in any other theme. As for
the old mythology, _incredulus odi;_ and yet there must be a mythology, or
a _quasi_-mythology, for an epic poem. Here there would be the completion
of the prophecies--the termination of the first revealed national religion
under the violent assault of Paganism, itself the immediate forerunner and
condition of the spread of a revealed mundane religion; and then you would
have the character of the Roman and the Jew, and the awfulness, the
completeness, the justice. I schemed it at twenty-five; but, alas!
_venturum expectat_.

_April_ 29. 1832.


I never said that the _vox populi_ was of course the _vox Dei_. It may be;
but it may be, and with equal probability, _a priori_, _vox Diaboli_. That
the voice of ten millions of men calling for the same thing is a spirit, I
believe; but whether that be a spirit of Heaven or Hell, I can only know by
trying the thing called for by the prescript of reason and God's will.

       *       *       *       *       *

Black is the negation of colour in its greatest energy. Without lustre, it
indicates or represents vacuity, as, for instance, in the dark mouth of a
cavern; add lustre, and it will represent the highest degree of solidity,
as in a polished ebony box.

       *       *       *       *       *

In finite forms there is no real and absolute identity. God alone is
identity. In the former, the prothesis is a bastard prothesis, a _quasi_
identity only.

April 30. 1832.


I know no genuine Saxon English superior to Asgill's. I think his and
Defoe's irony often finer than Swift's.

May 1. 1832.


Horne Tooke's advice to the Friends of the People was profound:--"If you
wish to be powerful, pretend to be powerful."

       *       *       *       *       *

Fox and Pitt constantly played into each other's hands. Mr. Stuart, of the
Courier, who was very knowing in the politics of the day, soon found out
the gross lies and impostures of that club as to its numbers, and told Fox
so. Yet, instead of disclaiming them and exposing the pretence, as he ought
to have done, Fox absolutely exaggerated their numbers and sinister
intentions; and Pitt, who also knew the lie, took him at his word, and
argued against him triumphantly on his own premisses.

Fox's Gallicism, too, was a treasury of weapons to Pitt. He could never
conceive the French right without making the English wrong. Ah! I

--it vex'd my soul to see
So grand a cause, so proud a realm
With Goose and Goody at the helm;
Who long ago had fall'n asunder
But for their rivals' baser blunder,
The coward whine and Frenchified
Slaver and slang of the other side!

_May_ 2. 1832.


I cannot say that I thought Mr. Horner a man of genius. He seemed to me to
be one of those men who have not very extended minds, but who know what
they know very well--shallow streams, and clear because they are shallow.
There was great goodness about him.

_May_ 3. 1832.


------ is one of those men who go far to shake my faith in a future state
of existence; I mean, on account of the difficulty of knowing where to
place him. I could not bear to roast him; he is not so bad as all that
comes to: but then, on the other hand, to have to sit down with such a
fellow in the very lowest pothouse of heaven is utterly inconsistent with
the belief of that place being a place of happiness for me.

       *        *      *        *       *

In two points of view I reverence man; first, as a citizen, a part of, or
in order to, a nation; and, secondly, as a Christian. If men are neither
the one nor the other, but a mere aggregation of individual bipeds, who
acknowledge no national unity, nor believe with me in Christ, I have no
more personal sympathy with them than with the dust beneath my feet.

May 21. 1832.


Professor Park talks[1] about its being very _doubtful_ whether the
constitution described by Blackstone ever in fact existed. In the same
manner, I suppose, it is doubtful whether the moon is made of green cheese,
or whether the souls of Welchmen do, in point of fact, go to heaven on the
backs of mites. Blackstone's was the age of shallow law. Monarchy,
aristocracy, and democracy, as _such_, exclude each the other: but if the
elements are to interpenetrate, how absurd to call a lump of sugar
hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon! nay, to take three lumps, and call the first
hydrogen; the second, oxygen; and the third, carbon! Don't you see that
each is in all, and all in each?

The democracy of England, before the Reform Bill, was, where it ought to
be, in the corporations, the vestries, the joint-stock companies, &c. The
power, in a democracy, is in focal points, without a centre; and in
proportion as such democratical power is strong, the strength of the
central government ought to be intense--otherwise the nation will fall to

We have just now incalculably increased the democratical action of the
people, and, at the same time, weakened the executive power of the

[Footnote 1:
In his "Dogmas of the Constitution, four Lectures on the Theory
and Practice of the Constitution, delivered at the King's College, London,"
1832. Lecture I. There was a stiffness, and an occasional uncouthness
in Professor Park's style; but his two works, the one just mentioned,
and his "Contre-Projet to the Humphreysian Code," are full of original
views and vigorous reasonings. To those who wished to see the profession
of the law assume a more scientific character than for the most part it has
hitherto done in England, the early death of John James Park was a very
great loss.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

It was the error of Milton, Sidney, and others of that age, to think it
possible to construct a purely aristocratical government, defecated of all
passion, and ignorance, and sordid motive. The truth is, such a government
would be weak from its utter want of sympathy with the people to be
governed by it.

_May_ 25. 1832.


Mercury strongly illustrates the theory _de vi minimorum_. Divide five
grains into fifty doses, and they may poison you irretrievably. I don't
believe in all that Hahnemann says; but he is a fine fellow, and, like most
Germans, is not altogether wrong, and like them also, is never altogether

       *       *       *       *       *

Six volumes of translated selections from Luther's works, two being from
his Letters, would be a delightful work. The translator should be a man
deeply imbued with his Bible, with the English writers from Henry the
Seventh to Edward the Sixth, the Scotch divines of the 16th century, and
with the old racy German.[1]

Hugo de Saint Victor, Luther's favourite divine, was a wonderful man, who,
in the 12th century, the jubilant age of papal dominion, nursed the lamp of
Platonic mysticism in the spirit of the most refined Christianity.[2]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge was fond of pressing this proposed publication:--"I can
scarcely conceive," he says in the Friend, "a more delightful volume than
might be made from Luther's letters, especially those that were written
from the Warteburg, if they were translated in the simple, sinewy,
idiomatic, _hearty_ mother tongue of the original. A difficult task I
admit, and scarcely possible for any man, however great his talents in
other respects, whose favourite reading has not lain among the English
writers from Edward the Sixth to Charles the First." Vol. i. p. 235. n.--

[Footnote 2:
This celebrated man was a Fleming, and a member of the Augustinian society
of St. Victor. He died at Paris in 1142, aged forty-four. His age
considered, it is sufficient praise for him that Protestants and Romanists
both claim him for their own on the subject of transubstantiation.--ED.]

_June_ 9. 1832.


If you take Sophocles, Catullus, Lucretius, the better parts of Cicero, and
so on, you may, just with two or three exceptions arising out of the
different idioms as to cases, translate page after page into good mother
English, word by word, without altering the order; but you cannot do so
with Virgil or Tibullus: if you attempt it, you will make nonsense.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a remarkable power of the picturesque in the fragments we have of
Ennius, Actius, and other very old Roman writers. This vivid manner was
lost in the Augustan age.

       *       *       *       *       *

Much as the Romans owed to Greece in the beginning, whilst their mind was,
as it were, tuning itself to an after-effort of its own music, it suffered
more in proportion by the influence of Greek literature subsequently, when
it was already mature and ought to have worked for itself. It then became a
superfetation upon, and not an ingredient in, the national character. With
the exception of the stern pragmatic historian and the moral satirist, it
left nothing original to the Latin Muse.[1]

A nation, to be great, ought to be compressed in its increment by nations
more civilized than itself--as Greece by Persia; and Rome by Etruria, the
Italian states, and Carthage. I remember Commodore Decatur saying to me at
Malta, that he deplored the occupation of Louisiana by the United States,
and wished that province had been possessed by England. He thought that if
the United States got hold of Canada by conquest or cession, the last
chance of his country becoming a great compact nation would be lost.

[Footnote 1:
Perhaps it left letter-writing also. Even if the Platonic epistles are
taken as genuine, which Mr. Coleridge, to my surprise, was inclined to
believe, they can hardly interfere, I think, with the uniqueness of the
truly incomparable collections from the correspondence of Cicero and

       *       *       *       *       *

War in republican Rome was the offspring of its intense aristocracy of
spirit, and stood to the state in lieu of trade. As long as there was any
thing _ab extra_ to conquer, the state advanced: when nothing remained but
what was Roman, then, as a matter of course, civil war began.

_June_ 10. 1832.


When I was a little hoy at the Blue-coat School, there was a charm for
one's foot when asleep; and I believe it had been in the school since its
foundation, in the time of Edward the Sixth. The march of intellect has
probably now exploded it. It ran thus:--

Foot! foot! foot! is fast asleep!
Thumb! thumb! thumb! in spittle we steep:
Crosses three we make to ease us,
Two for the thieves, and one for Christ Jesus!

And the same charm served for a cramp in the leg, with the following

The devil is tying a knot in my leg!
Mark, Luke, and John, unloose it I beg!--
Crosses three, &c.

And really upon getting out of bed, where the cramp most frequently
occurred, pressing the sole of the foot on the cold floor, and then
repeating this charm with the acts configurative thereupon prescribed, I
can safely affirm that I do not remember an instance in which the cramp did
not go away in a few seconds.

I should not wonder if it were equally good for a stitch in the side; but I
cannot say I ever tried it for _that_.

July 7. 1832.


It is hardly possible to conceive a language more perfect than the Greek.
If you compare it with the modern European tongues, in the points of the
position and relative bearing of the vowels and consonants on each other,
and of the variety of terminations, it is incalculably before all in the
former particulars, and only equalled in the last by German. But it is in
variety of termination alone that the German surpasses the other modern
languages as to sound; for, as to position, Nature seems to have dropped an
acid into the language, when a-forming, which curdled the vowels, and made
all the consonants flow together. The Spanish is excellent for variety of
termination; the Italian, in this particular, the most deficient. Italian
prose is excessively monotonous.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is very natural to have a dual, duality being a conception quite
distinct from plurality. Most very primitive languages have a dual, as the
Greek, Welch, and the native Chilese, as you will see in the Abbé Raynal.

The neuter plural governing, as they call it, a verb singular is one of the
many instances in Greek of the inward and metaphysic grammar resisting
successfully the tyranny of formal grammar. In truth, there may be
_Multeity_ in things; but there can only be _Plurality_ in persons.

Observe also that, in fact, a neuter noun in Greek has no real nominative
case, though it has a formal one, that is to say, the same word with the
accusative. The reason is--a _thing_ has no subjectivity, or nominative
case: it exists only as an object in the accusative or oblique case.

It is extraordinary that the Germans should not have retained or assumed
the two beautifully discriminated sounds of the soft and hard _theta_; as
in _thy thoughts_--_the thin ether that_, &c. How particularly fine the
hard _theta_ is in an English termination, as in that grand word--Death--
for which the Germans gutturize a sound that puts you in mind of nothing
but a loathsome toad.

_July_ 8. 1832.


I regret to see that vile and barbarous vocable _talented_, stealing out of
the newspapers into the leading reviews and most respectable publications
of the day. Why not _shillinged, farthinged, tenpenced,_ &c.? The formation
of a participle passive from a noun is a licence that nothing but a very
peculiar felicity can excuse. If mere convenience is to justify such
attempts upon the idiom, you cannot stop till the language becomes, in the
proper sense of the word, corrupt. Most of these pieces of slang come from

[Footnote 1:
See "_eventuate_," in Mr. Washington Irving's "Tour On the Prairies,"

       *       *       *       *       *

Never take an iambus as a Christian name. A trochee, or tribrach, will do
very well. Edith and Rotha are my favourite names for women.

_July_ 9. 1832.


I have the firmest conviction that _Homer_ is a mere traditional synonyme
with, or figure for, the Iliad. You cannot conceivefor a moment any thing
about the poet, as you call him, apart from that poem.  Difference in men
there was in a degree, but not in kind; one man was, perhaps, a better poet
than another; but he was a poet upon the same ground and with the same
feelings as the rest.

The want of adverbs in the Iliad is very characteristic. With more adverbs
there would have been some subjectivity, or subjectivity would have made

The Greeks were then just on the verge of the bursting forth of

Valckenaer's treatise[1] on the interpolation of the Classics by the later
Jews and early Christians is well worth your perusal as a scholar and

[Footnote 1:  _Diatribe de Aristobulo Judaeo_.--ED.]

July 13. 1832.


I have read all the famous histories, and, I believe, some history of every
country and nation that is, or ever existed; but I never did so for the
story itself as a story. The only thing interesting to me was the
principles to be evolved from, and illustrated by, the facts.[1] After I
had gotten my principles, I pretty generally left the facts to take care of
themselves. I never could remember any passages in books, or the
particulars of events, except in the gross. I can refer to them. To be
sure, I must be a different sort of man from Herder, who once was seriously
annoyed with himself, because, in recounting the pedigree of some German
royal or electoral family, he missed some one of those worthies and could
not recall the name.

[Footnote 1:
"The true origin of human events is so little susceptible of that kind of
evidence which can _compel_ our belief; so many are the disturbing forces
which, in every cycle or ellipse of changes, modify the motion given by the
first projection; and every age has, or imagines it has, its own
circumstances, which render past experience no longer applicable to the
present case; that there will never be wanting answers, and explanations,
and specious flatteries of hope, to persuade and perplex its government,
that the history of the past is inapplicable to _their_ case. And no
wonder, if we read history for the facts, instead of reading it for the
sake of the general principles, which are to the facts as the root and sap
of a tree to its leaves: and no wonder if history so read should find a
dangerous rival in novels; nay, if the latter should be preferred to the
former, on the score even of probability. I well remember that, when the
examples of former Jacobins, as Julius Caesar, Cromwell, and the like, were
adduced in France and England, at the commencement of the French consulate,
it was ridiculed as pedantry and pedants' ignorance, to fear a repetition
of usurpation and military despotism at the close of the _enlightened
eighteenth century_! Even so, in the very dawn of the late tempestuous day,
when the revolutions of Corcyra, the proscriptions of the reformers Marius,
Cæsar, &c., and the direful effects of the levelling tenets in the
peasants' war in Germany (differenced from the tenets of the first French
constitution only by the mode of wording them, the figures of speech being
borrowed in the one instance from theology, and in the other from modern
metaphysics), were urged on the convention and its vindicators; the magi of
the day, the true citizens of the world, the _plusquam perfecti_ of
patriotism, gave us set proofs that similar results were impossible, and
that it was an insult to so philosophical an age, to so enlightened a
nation, to dare direct the public eye towards them as to lights of
warning."--_Statesman's Manual_, p. 14.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Schmidt[1] was a Romanist; but I have generally found him candid, as indeed
almost all the Austrians are. They are what is called _good Catholics_;
but, like our Charles the Second, they never let their religious bigotry
interfere with their political well-doing. Kaiser is a most pious son of
the church, yet he always keeps his papa in good order.

[Footnote 1:
Michael Ignatius Schmidt, the author of the History of the Germans.  He
died in the latter end of the last century.--ED.]

_July_ 20. 1832.


It was God's mercy to our age that our Jacobins were infidels and a scandal
to all sober Christians. Had they been like the old Puritans, they would
have trodden church and king to the dust--at least for a time.

      *       *       *       *       *

For one mercy I owe thanks beyond all utterance,--that, with all my gastric
and bowel distempers, my head hath ever been like the head of a mountain in
blue air and sunshine.

_July_ 21. 1832.


I have often wished that the first two books of the Excursion had been
published separately, under the name of "The Deserted Cottage." They would
have formed, what indeed they are, one of the most beautiful poems in the

       *       *       *       *       *

Can dialogues in verse be defended? I cannot but think that a great
philosophical poet ought always to teach the reader himself as from
himself. A poem does not admit argumentation, though it does admit
development of thought. In prose there may be a difference; though I must
confess that, even in Plato and Cicero, I am always vexed that the authors
do not say what they have to say at once in their own persons. The
introductions and little urbanities are, to be sure, very delightful in
their way; I would not lose them; but I have no admiration for the practice
of ventriloquizing through another man's mouth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot help regretting that Wordsworth did not first publish his thirteen
books on the growth of an individual mind--superior, as I used to think,
upon the whole, to the Excursion. You may judge how I felt about them by my
own poem upon the occasion.[1] Then the plan laid out, and, I believe,
partly suggested by me, was, that Wordsworth should assume the station of a
man in mental repose, one whose principles were made up, and so prepared to
deliver upon authority a system of philosophy. He was to treat man as man,
--a subject of eye, ear, touch, and taste, in contact with external nature,
and informing the senses from the mind, and not compounding a mind out of
the senses; then he was to describe the pastoral and other states of
society, assuming something of the Juvenalian spirit as he approached the
high civilization of cities and towns, and opening a melancholy picture of
the present state of degeneracy and vice; thence he was to infer and reveal
the proof of, and necessity for, the whole state of man and society being
subject to, and illustrative of, a redemptive process in operation, showing
how this idea reconciled all the anomalies, and promised future glory and
restoration. Something of this sort was, I think, agreed on. It is, in
substance, what I have been all my life doing in my system of philosophy.

[Footnote 1:
Poetical Works, vol. i. p. 206. It is not too much to say of this beautiful
poem, and yet it is difficult to say more, that it is at once worthy of the
poet, his subject, and his object:--

  "An Orphic song indeed,
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts,
To their own music chanted."--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I think Wordsworth possessed more of the genius of a great philosophic poet
than any man I ever knew, or, as I believe, has existed in England since
Milton; but it seems to me that he ought never to have abandoned the
contemplative position, which is peculiarly--perhaps I might say
exclusively--fitted for him. His proper title is _Spectator ab extra_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_July_ 23. 1832.


No man was more enthusiastic than I was for France and the Revolution: it
had all my wishes, none of my expectations. Before 1793, I clearly saw and
often enough stated in public, the horrid delusion, the vile mockery, of
the whole affair.[1]

When some one said in my brother James's presence[2] that I was a Jacobin,
he very well observed,--"No! Samuel is no Jacobin; he is a hot-headed
Moravian!" Indeed, I was in the extreme opposite pole.

[Footnote 1:

  "Forgive me, Freedom! O forgive those dreams!
  I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,
  From bleak Helvetia's icy cavern sent--
  I hear thy groans upon her blood-stain'd streams!
  Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish'd,
  And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain snows
  With bleeding wounds; forgive me, that I cherish'd
  One thought that ever blest your cruel foes!
  To scatter rage and traitorous guilt,
  Where Peace her jealous home had built;
  A patriot race to disinherit
  Of all that made her stormy wilds so dear:
  And with inexpiable spirit
  To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer--
  O France, that mockest Heaven, adult'rous, blind,
  And patriot only in pernicious toils,
  Are these thy boasts, champion of human-kind?
  To mix with kings in the low lust of sway,
  Yell in the hunt and share the murderous prey--
  To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils
  From freemen torn--to tempt and to betray?--

  The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain,
  Slaves by their own compulsion! In mad game
  They burst their manacles, and wear the name
  Of freedom, graven on a heavier chain!
  O Liberty! with profitless endeavour
  Have I pursued thee many a weary hour;
  But thou nor swell'st the victor's train, nor ever
  Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power.
  Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee,
  (Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee,)
  Alike from priestcraft's harpy minions,
  And factious blasphemy's obscener slaves,
  _Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions,
  The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the waves!_"

France, an Ode. Poetical Works, vol. i. p. 130.]

[Footnote 2:
A soldier of the old cavalier stamp, to whom the King was the symbol of
the majesty, as the Church was of the life, of the nation, and who would
most assuredly have taken arms for one or the other against all the Houses
of Commons or committees of public safety in the world.--ED.]

_July_ 24. 1832.


I have no faith in act of parliament reform. All the great--the permanently
great--things that have been achieved in the world have been so achieved by
individuals, working from the instinct of genius or of goodness. The rage
now-a-days is all the other way: the individual is supposed capable of
nothing; there must be organization, classification, machinery, &c., as if
the capital of national morality could be increased by making a joint stock
of it. Hence you see these infant schools so patronized by the bishops and
others, who think them a grand invention. Is it found that an infant-school
child, who has been bawling all day a column of the multiplication-table,
or a verse from the Bible, grows up a more dutiful son or daughter to its
parents? Are domestic charities on the increase amongst families under this
system? In a great town, in our present state of society, perhaps such
schools may be a justifiable expedient--a choice of the lesser evil; but as
for driving these establishments into the country villages, and breaking up
the cottage home education, I think it one of the most miserable mistakes
which the well-intentioned people of the day have yet made; and they have
made, and are making, a good many, God knows.

_July_ 25. 1832.


The pith of my system is to make the senses out of the mind--not the mind
out of the senses, as Locke did.

       *       *       *       *       *

Could you ever discover any thing sublime, in our sense of the term, in the
classic Greek literature? never could. Sublimity is Hebrew by birth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I should conjecture that the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were written, or,
perhaps, rather collected, about the time of Nehemiah. The language is
Hebrew with Chaldaic endings. It is totally unlike the language of Moses on
the one hand, and of Isaiah on the other.

       *       *       *       *       *

Solomon introduced the commercial spirit into his kingdom. I cannot think
his idolatry could have been much more, in regard to himself, than a state
protection or toleration of the foreign worship.

       *       *       *       *       *

When a man mistakes his thoughts for persons and things, he is mad. A
madman is properly so defined.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charles Lamb translated my motto _Sermoni propriora_ by--_properer for a

       *       *       *       *       *

I was much amused some time ago by reading the pithy decision of one of the
Sforzas of Milan, upon occasion of a dispute for precedence between the
lawyers and physicians of his capital;--_Paecedant fures--sequantur
carnifices_. I hardly remember a neater thing.

_July_ 28. 1832.


The sublime and abstruse doctrines of Christian belief belong to the
church; but the faith of the individual, centered in his heart, is or may
be collateral to them.[1]

Faith is subjective. I throw myself in adoration before God; acknowledge
myself his creature,--simple, weak, lost; and pray for help and pardon
through Jesus Christ: but when I rise from my knees, I discuss the doctrine
of the Trinity as I would a problem in geometry; in the same temper of
mind, I mean, not by the same process of reasoning, of course.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge used very frequently to insist upon the distinction between
belief and faith. He once told me, with very great earnestness, that if he
were that moment convinced--a conviction, the possibility of which,
indeed, he could not realize to himself--that the New Testament was a
forgery from beginning to end--wide as the desolation in his moral
feelings would be, he should not abate one jot of his faith in God's power
and mercy through some manifestation of his being towards man, either in
time past or future, or in the hidden depths where time and space are not.
This was, I believe, no more than a vivid expression of what he always
maintained, that no man had attained to a full faith who did not
_recognize_ in the Scriptures a correspondency to his own nature, or see
that his own powers of reason, will, and understanding were preconfigured
to the reception of the Christian doctrines and promises.--ED.]

_August_ 4. 1832.


I hardly know any thing more amusing than the honest German Jesuitry of
Dobrizhoffer. His chapter on the dialects is most valuable. He is surprised
that there is no form for the infinitive, but that they say,--I wish, (go,
or eat, or drink, &c.) interposing a letter by way of copula,--forgetting
his own German and the English, which are, in truth, the same. The
confident belief entertained by the Abipones of immortality, in connection
with the utter absence in their minds of the idea of a God, is very
remarkable. If Warburton were right, which he is not, the Mosaic scheme
would be the exact converse. My dear daughter's translation of this book[2]
is, in my judgment, unsurpassed for pure mother English by any thing I have
read for a long time.

[Footnote 1:

"He was a man of rarest qualities,
  Who to this barbarous region had confined
  A spirit with the learned and the wise
  Worthy to take its place, and from mankind
  Receive their homage, to the immortal mind
  Paid in its just inheritance of fame.
  But he to humbler thoughts his heart inclined:
  From Gratz amid the Styrian hills he came,
And Dobrizhofter was the good man's honour'd name.

"It was his evil fortune to behold
  The labours of his painful life destroyed;
  His flock which he had brought within the fold
  Dispers'd; the work of ages render'd void,
  And all of good that Paraguay enjoy'd
  By blind and suicidal power o'erthrown.
  So he the years of his old age employ'd,
  A faithful chronicler, in handing down
Names which he lov'd, and things well worthy to be known.

"And thus when exiled from the dear-loved scene,
   In proud Vienna he beguiled the pain
  Of sad remembrance: and the empress-queen,
  That great Teresa, she did not disdain
  In gracious mood sometimes to entertain
  Discourse with him both pleasurable and sage;
  And sure a willing ear she well might deign
  To one whose tales may equally engage
The wondering mind of youth, the thoughtful heart of age.

"But of his native speech, because well-nigh
  Disuse in him forgetfulness had wrought,
  In Latin he composed his history;
  A garrulous, but a lively tale, and fraught
  With matter of delight, and food for thought.
  And if he could in Merlin's glass have seen
  By whom his tomes to speak our tongue were taught,
  The old man would have felt as pleased, I ween,
As when he won the ear of that great empress-queen.

"Little he deem'd, when with his Indian band
  He through the wilds set forth upon his way,
  A poet then unborn, and in a land
  Which had proscribed his order, should one day
  Take up from thence his moralizing lay,
  And, shape a song that, with no fiction drest,
  Should to his worth its grateful tribute pay,
  And sinking deep in many an English breast,
Foster that faith divine that keeps the heart at rest."

_Southey's Tale of Paraguay_, canto iii. st. 16.]

[Footnote 2:
"An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay, From the
Latin of Martin Dobrizhoffer, eighteen Years a Missionary in that
Country."--Vol. ii. p. 176.]

_August_ 6. 1832.


I have generally found a Scotchman with a little literature very
disagreeable. He is a superficial German or a dull Frenchman. The Scotch
will attribute merit to people of any nation rather than the English; the
English have a morbid habit of petting and praising foreigners of any sort,
to the unjust disparagement of their own worthies.

       *       *       *       *       *

You will find this a good gage or criterion of genius,--whether it
progresses and evolves, or only spins upon itself. Take Dryden's Achitophel
and Zimri,--Shaftesbury and Buckingham; every line adds to or modifies the
character, which is, as it were, a-building up to the very last verse;
whereas, in Pope's Timon, &c. the first two or three couplets contain all
the pith of the character, and the twenty or thirty lines that follow are
so much evidence or proof of overt acts of jealousy, or pride, or whatever
it may be that is satirized. In like manner compare Charles Lamb's
exquisite criticisms on Shakspeare with Hazlitt's round and round
imitations of them.

_August_ 7. 1832.


It is very remarkable that in no part of his writings does Milton take any
notice of the great painters of Italy, nor, indeed, of painting as an art;
whilst every other page breathes his love and taste for music. Yet it is
curious that, in one passage in the Paradise Lost, Milton has certainly
copied the _fresco_ of the Creation in the Sistine Chapel at Rome. I mean
those lines,--

               ----"now half appear'd
 The tawny lion, pawing to get free
 His hinder parts, then springs as broke from bonds,
 And rampant shakes his brinded mane;--"&c.[1]

an image which the necessities of the painter justified, but which was
wholly unworthy, in my judgment, of the enlarged powers of the poet. Adam
bending over the sleeping Eve in the Paradise Lost[2] and Dalilah
approaching Samson, in the Agonistes[3] are the only two proper pictures I
remember in Milton.

[Footnote 1: Par. Lost, book vii. ver. 463.]

[Footnote 2:

      ----"so much the more
  His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
  With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,
  As through unquiet rest: he on his side
  Leaning, half raised, with looks of cordial love
  Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
  Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
  Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice
  Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
  Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake,
  My fairest," &c.

Book v. ver. 8.]

[Footnote 3:

  "But who is this, what thing of sea or land?
   Female of sex it seems,
   That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
   Comes this way sailing
   Like a stately ship
   Of Tarsus, bound for the isles
   Of Javan or Gadire,
   With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
   Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
   Courted by all the winds that hold them play;
   An amber-scent of odorous perfume
   Her harbinger, a damsel train behind!"]

August 9. 1832.


I think the baptismal service almost perfect. What seems erroneous
assumption in it to me, is harmless. None of the services of the church
affect me so much as this. I never could attend a christening without tears
bursting forth at the sight of the helpless innocent in a pious clergyman's

       *       *       *       *       *

The Jews recognized three degrees of sanctity in their Scriptures:--first,
the writings of Moses, who had the [Greek: autopsia]; secondly, the
Prophets; and, thirdly, the Good Books. Philo, amusingly enough, places his
works somewhere between the second and third degrees.

       *       *       *       *       *

The claims of the Sanskrit for priority to the Hebrew as a language are

August 11. 1832.


I like reading Hesiod, meaning the Works and Days. If every verse is not
poetry, it is, at least, good sense, which is a great deal to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is nothing real in the Georgies, except, to be sure, the verse.[1]
Mere didactics of practice, unless seasoned with the personal interests of
the time or author, are inexpressibly dull to me. Such didactic poetry as
that of the Works and Days followed naturally upon legislation and the
first ordering of municipalities.

[Footnote 1:
I used to fancy Mr. Coleridge _paulo iniquior Virgilio_, and told him so;
to which he replied, that, like all Eton men, I swore _per Maronem_. This
was far enough from being the case; but I acknowledge that Mr. C.'s
apparent indifference to the tenderness and dignity of Virgil excited my

       *       *       *       *       *

All genius is metaphysical; because the ultimate end of genius is ideal,
however it may be actualized by incidental and accidental circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

Don Quixote is not a man out of his senses, but a man in whom the
imagination and the pure reason are so powerful as to make him disregard
the evidence of sense when it opposed their conclusions. Sancho is the
common sense of the social man-animal, unenlightened and unsanctified by
the reason. You see how he reverences his master at the very time he is
cheating him.

_August_ 14. 1832.


Poor dear Steinmetz is gone,--his state of sure blessedness accelerated;
or, it may be, he is buried in Christ, and there in that mysterious depth
grows on to the spirit of a just man made perfect! Could I for a moment
doubt this, the grass would become black beneath my feet, and this earthly
frame a charnel-house. I never knew any man so illustrate the difference
between the feminine and the effeminate.

       *       *       *       *       *

A loose, slack, not well-dressed youth met Mr. ---- and myself in a lane
near Highgate.---- knew him, and spoke. It was Keats. He was introduced to
me, and staid a minute or so. After he had left us a little way, he came
back and said: "Let me carry away the memory, Coleridge, of having pressed
your hand!"--"There is death in that hand," I said to ----, when Keats was
gone; yet this was, I believe, before the consumption showed itself

_August_ 16. 1832.


The discipline at Christ's Hospital in my time was ultra-Spartan;--all
domestic ties were to be put aside. "Boy!" I remember Bowyer saying to me
once when I was crying the first day of my return after the holidays, "Boy!
the school is your father! Boy! the school is your mother! Boy! the school
is your brother! the school is your sister! the school is your first
cousin, and your second cousin, and all the rest of your relations! Let's
have no more crying!"

       *       *       *       *       *

No tongue can express good Mrs. Bowyer. Val. Le Grice and I were once going
to be flogged for some domestic misdeed, and Bowyer was thundering away at
us by way of prologue, when Mrs. B. looked in, and said, "Flog them
soundly, sir, I beg!" This saved us. Bowyer was so nettled at the
interruption that he growled out, "Away, woman! away!" and we were let off.

_August_ 28. 1832.


The belief that Malta is the island on which St. Paul was wrecked is so
rooted in the common Maltese, and is cherished with such a superstitious
nationality, that the Government would run the chance of exciting a tumult,
if it, or its representatives, unwarily ridiculed it. The supposition
itself is quite absurd. Not to argue the matter at length, consider these
few conclusive facts:--The narrative speaks of the "barbarous people," and
"barbarians,"[1] of the island. Now, our Malta was at that time fully
peopled and highly civilized, as we may surely infer from Cicero and other
writers.[2] A viper comes out from the sticks upon the fire being lighted:
the men are not surprised at the appearance of the snake, but imagine first
a murderer, and then a god from the harmless attack. Now in our Malta there
are, I may say, no snakes at all; which, to be sure, the Maltese attribute
to St. Paul's having cursed them away. Melita in the Adriatic was a
perfectly barbarous island as to its native population, and was, and is
now, infested with serpents. Besides the context shows that the scene is in
the Adriatic.

[Footnote 1:
Acts xxviii. 2. and 4. Mr. C. seemed to think that the Greek words had
reference to something more than the fact of the islanders not speaking
Latin or Greek; the classical meaning of [Greek: Barbaroi].-ED.]

[Footnote 2:
Upwards of a century before the reign of Nero, Cicero speaks at
considerable length of our Malta in one of the Verrine orations. See Act.
ii. lib. iv. c. 46. "Insula est Melita, judices," &c. There was a town, and
Verres had established in it a manufactory of the fine cloth or cotton
stuffs, the _Melitensis vestis_, for which the island is uniformly

"Fertilis est Melite sterili vicina Cocyrae
  Insula, quam Libyci verberat unda freti."

Ovid. Fast. iii. 567.

And Silius Italicus has--

      ----"telaque _superba_
_Lanigera_ Melite."

Punic. xiv. 251.

Yet it may have been cotton after all--the present product of Malta. Cicero
describes an _ancient_ temple of Juno situated on a promontory near the
town, so famous and revered, that, even in the time of Masinissa, at least
150 years B.C., that prince had religiously restored some relics which his
admiral had taken from it. The plunder of this very temple is an article of
accusation against Verres; and a deputation of Maltese (_legati
Melitenses_) came to Rome to establish the charge. These are all the facts,
I think, which can be gathered from Cicero; because I consider his
expression of _nudatae urbes_, in the working up of this article, a piece
of rhetoric. Strabo merely marks the position of Melita, and says that the
lap-dogs called [Greek: kunidia Melitaia] were sent from this island,
though some writers attribute them to the other Melite in the Adriatic,
(lib. vi.) Diodorus, however, a Sicilian himself by birth, gives the
following remarkable testimony as to the state of the island in his time,
which, it will be remembered, was considerably before the date of St.
Paul's shipwreck. "There are three islands to the south of Sicily, each of
which has a city or town ([Greek: polin]), and harbours fitted for the safe
reception of ships. The first of these is Melite, distant about 800 stadia
from Syracuse, and possessing several harbours of surpassing excellence.
Its inhabitants are rich and luxurious ([Greek: tous katoikountas tais
ousiais eudaimonas]). There are artizans of every kind ([Greek: pantodapous
tais exgasias]); the best are those who weave cloth of a singular fineness
and softness. The houses are worthy of admiration for their superb
adornment with eaves and brilliant white-washing ([Greek: oikias axiologous
kai kateskeuasmenas philotimos geissois kai koniamasi pezittotezon])."--
Lib. v. c. 12. Mela (ii. c. 7.) and Pliny (iii. 14.) simply mark the

       *       *       *       *       *

The Maltese seem to have preserved a fondness and taste for architecture
from the time of the knights--naturally enough occasioned by the
incomparable materials at hand.[1]

[Footnote 1:
The passage which I have cited from Diodorus shows that the origin was much

_August_ 19. 1832.


It may be doubted whether a composite language like the English is not a
happier instrument of expression than a homogeneous one like the German. We
possess a wonderful richness and variety of modified meanings in our Saxon
and Latin quasi-synonymes, which the Germans have not. For "the pomp and
_prodigality_ of Heaven," the Germans must have said "_the
spendthriftness_."[1]  Shakspeare is particularly happy in his use of the
Latin synonymes, and in distinguishing between them and the Saxon.

[Footnote 1: _Verschwendung_, I suppose.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

That is the most excellent state of society in which the patriotism of the
citizen ennobles, but does not merge, the individual energy of the man.

September 1. 1832.


In chemistry and nosology, by extending the degree to a certain point, the
constituent proportion may be destroyed, and a new kind produced.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have known _strong_ minds with imposing, undoubting, Cobbett-like
manners, but I have never met a _great_ mind of this sort. And of the
former, they are at least as often wrong as right. The truth is, a great
mind must be androgynous. Great minds--Swedenborg's for instance--are never
wrong but in consequence of being in the right, but imperfectly.

       *       *       *       *       *

A philosopher's ordinary language and admissions, in general conversation
or writings _ad populum_, are as his watch compared with his astronomical
timepiece. He sets the former by the town-clock, not because he believes it
right, but because his neighbours and his cook go by it.

_January_ 2. 1833.


I certainly think that juries would be more conscientious, if they were
allowed a larger discretion. But, after all, juries cannot be better than
the mass out of which they are taken. And if juries are not honest and
single-minded, they are the worst, because the least responsible,
instruments of judicial or popular tyranny.

I should he sorry to see the honorary character of the fees of barristers
and physicians done away with. Though it seems a shadowy distinction, I
believe it to be beneficial in effect. It contributes to preserve the idea
of a profession, of a class which belongs to the public,--in the employment
and remuneration of which no law interferes, but the citizen acts as he
likes _in foro conscientiae_.

       *       *       *       *       *

There undoubtedly ought to be a declaratory act withdrawing expressly from
the St. John Longs and other quacks the protection which the law is
inclined to throw around the mistakes or miscarriages of the regularly
educated practitioner.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think there are only two things wanting to justify a surgeon in
performing the Caesarean operation: first, that he should possess
infallible knowledge of his art: and, secondly, that he should be
infallibly certain that he is infallible.

       *       *       *       *       *

Can any thing he more dreadful than the thought that an innocent child has
inherited from you a disease or a weakness, the penalty in yourself of sin
or want of caution?

       *       *       *       *       *

In the treatment of nervous cases, he is the best physician, who is the
most ingenious inspirer of hope.

_January_ 3. 1833.


I cannot bring myself to think much of Mason's poetry. I may be wrong; but
all those passages in the Caractacus, which we learn to admire at school,
now seem to me one continued _falsetto_.

_January_ 4. 1833.


Naturally one would have thought that there would have been greater
sympathy between the northern and north-western states of the American
Union and England, than between England and the Southern states. There is
ten times as much English blood and spirit in New England as in Virginia,
the Carolinas, &c. Nevertheless, such has been the force of the interests
of commerce, that now, and for some years past, the people of the North
hate England with increasing bitterness, whilst, amongst those of the
south, who are Jacobins, the British connection has become popular. Can
there ever be any thorough national fusion of the Northern and Southern
states? I think not. In fact, the Union will be shaken almost to
dislocation whenever a very serious question between the states arises. The
American Union has no _centre_, and it is impossible now to make one. The
more they extend their borders into the Indians' land, the weaker will the
national cohesion be. But I look upon the states as splendid masses to be
used, by and by, in the composition of two or three great governments.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a great and important difference, both in politics and
metaphysics, between _all_ and _the whole_. The first can never be
ascertained as a standing quantity; the second, if comprehended by insight
into its parts, remains for ever known. Mr. Huskisson, I thought,
satisfactorily refuted the ship owners; and yet the shipping interest, who
must know where the shoe pinches, complain to this day.

_January_ 7, 1833.


"Very far gone," is _quam longissime_ in the Latin of the ninth article,--
as far gone as possible, that is, as was possible for _man_ to go; as far
as was compatible with his having any redeemable qualities left in him. To
talk of man's being _utterly_ lost to good, is absurd; for then he would be
a devil at once.

       *       *       *       *       *

One mistake perpetually made by one of our unhappy parties in religion,--
and with a pernicious tendency to Antinomianism,--is to confound _sin_ with
_sins_. To tell a modest girl, the watchful nurse of an aged parent, that
she is full of _sins_ against God, is monstrous, and as shocking to reason
as it is unwarrantable by Scripture. But to tell her that she, and all men
and women, are of a sinful nature, and that, without Christ's redeeming
love and God's grace, she cannot be emancipated from its dominion, is true
and proper.[1]

[Footnote 1:
In a marginal scrap Mr. C. wrote:--"What are the essential doctrines of our
religion, if not sin and original sin, as the necessitating occasion, and
the redemption of sinners by the Incarnate Word as the substance of the
Christian dispensation? And can these be intelligently believed without
knowledge and steadfast meditation. By the unlearned, they may be worthily
received, but not by the unthinking and self-ignorant, Christian."--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

No article of faith can be truly and duly preached without necessarily and
simultaneously infusing a deep sense of the indispensableness of a holy

       *       *       *       *       *

How pregnant with instruction, and with knowledge of all sorts, are the
sermons of our old divines! in this respect, as in so many others, how
different from the major part of modern discourses!

       *       *       *       *       *

Every attempt, in a sermon, to cause emotion, except as the consequence of
an impression made on the reason, or the understanding, or the will, I hold
to be fanatical and sectarian.

       *       *       *       *       *

No doubt preaching, in the proper sense of the word, is more effective than
reading; and, therefore, I would not prohibit it, but leave a liberty to
the clergyman who feels himself able to accomplish it. But, as things now
are, I am quite sure I prefer going to church to a pastor who reads his
discourse: for I never yet heard more than one preacher without book, who
did not forget his argument in three minutes' time; and fall into vague and
unprofitable declamation, and, generally, very coarse declamation too.
These preachers never progress; they eddy round and round. Sterility of
mind follows their ministry.

_January_ 20. 1833.


When the Church at the Reformation ceased to be extra-national, it
unhappily became royal instead; its proper bearing is intermediate between
the crown and the people, with an inclination to the latter.

       *       *       *       *       *

The present prospects of the Church weigh heavily on my soul. Oh! that the
words of a statesman-like philosophy could win their way through the
ignorant zealotry and sordid vulgarity of the leaders of the day!

_February_ 5. 1833.


If any modification of the Union takes place, I trust it will be a total
divorce _a vinculo matrimonii_. I am sure we have lived a cat and dog life
of it. Let us have no silly saving of one crown and two legislatures; that
would be preserving all the mischiefs without any of the goods, if there
are any, of the union.

I am deliberately of opinion, that England, in all its institutions, has
received injury from its union with Ireland. My only difficulty is as to
the Protestants, to whom we owe protection. But I cannot forget that the
Protestants themselves have greatly aided in accelerating the present
horrible state of things, by using that as a remedy and a reward which
should have been to them an opportunity.[1]

If the Protestant Church in Ireland is removed, of course the Romish Church
must be established in its place. There can be no resisting it in common

How miserably imbecile and objectless has the English government of Ireland
been for forty years past! Oh! for a great man--but one really great man,--
who could feel the weight and the power of a principle, and unflinchingly
put it into act! But truly there is no vision in the land, and the people
accordingly perisheth. See how triumphant in debate and in action O'Connell
is! Why? Because he asserts a broad principle, and acts up to it, rests all
his body on it, and has faith in it. Our ministers--true Whigs in that--
have faith in nothing but expedients _de die in diem_. Indeed, what
principles of government can _they_ have, who in the space of a month
recanted a life of political opinions, and now dare to threaten this and
that innovation at the huzza of a mob, or in pique at a parliamentary

[Footnote 1:
"Whatever may be thought of the settlement that followed the battle of the
Boyne and the extinction of the war in Ireland, yet when this had been made
and submitted to, it would have been the far wiser policy, I doubt not, to
have provided for the safety of the constitution by improving the quality
of the elective franchise, leaving the eligibility open, or like the
former, limited only by considerations of property. Still, however, the
scheme of exclusion and disqualification had its plausible side. The ink
was scarcely dry on the parchment-rolls and proscription-lists of the
Popish parliament. The crimes of the man were generalized into attributes
of his faith; and the Irish catholics collectively were held accomplices in
the perfidy and baseness of the king. Alas! his immediate adherents had
afforded too great colour to the charge. The Irish massacre was in the
mouth of every Protestant, not as an event to be remembered, but as a thing
of recent expectation, fear still blending with the sense of deliverance.
At no time, therefore, could the disqualifying system have been enforced
with so little reclamation of the conquered party, or with so little
outrage on the general feeling of the country. There was no time, when it
was so capable of being indirectly useful as a _sedative_ in order to the
application of the remedies directly indicated, or as a counter-power
reducing to inactivity whatever disturbing forces might have interfered
with their operation. And had this use been made of these exclusive laws,
and had they been enforced as the precursors and negative conditions,--but,
above all, as _bonâ fide_ accompaniments, of a process of _emancipation_,
properly and worthily so named, the code would at this day have been
remembered in Ireland only as when, recalling a dangerous fever of our
boyhood, we think of the nauseous drugs and drenching-horn, and
congratulate ourselves that our doctors now-a-days know how to manage these
things less coarsely. But this angry code was neglected as an opportunity,
and mistaken for a _substitute_: _et hinc illae* lacrymae!_"--Church and
State, p. 195.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I sometimes think it just possible that the Dissenters may once more be
animated by a wiser and nobler spirit, and see their dearest interest in
the church of England as the bulwark and glory of Protestantism, as they
did at the Revolution. But I doubt their being able to resist the low
factious malignity to the church which has characterized them as a body for
so many years.

_February_ 16. 1833.


Before I had ever seen any part of Goethe's Faust[1], though, of course,
when I was familiar enough with Marlowe's, I conceived and drew up the plan
of a work, a drama, which was to be, to my mind, what the Faust was to
Goethe's. My Faust was old Michael Scott; a much better and more likely
original than Faust. He appeared in the midst of his college of devoted
disciples, enthusiastic, ebullient, shedding around him bright surmises of
discoveries fully perfected in after-times, and inculcating the study of
nature and its secrets as the pathway to the acquisition of power. He did
not love knowledge for itself--for its own exceeding great reward--but in
order to be powerful. This poison-speck infected his mind from the
beginning. The priests suspect him, circumvent him, accuse him; he is
condemned, and thrown into solitary confinement: this constituted the
_prologus_ of the drama. A pause of four or five years takes place, at the
end of which Michael escapes from prison, a soured, gloomy, miserable man.
He will not, cannot study; of what avail had all his study been to him? His
knowledge, great as it was, had failed to preserve him from the cruel fangs
of the persecutors; he could not command the lightning or the storm to
wreak their furies upon the heads of those whom he hated and contemned, and
yet feared. Away with learning! away with study! to the winds with all
pretences to knowledge! We _know_ nothing; we are fools, wretches, mere
beasts. Anon I began to tempt him. I made him dream, gave him wine, and
passed the most exquisite of women before him, but out of his reach. Is
there, then, no knowledge by which these pleasures can be commanded? _That
way_ lay witchcraft, and accordingly to witchcraft Michael turns with all
his soul. He has many failures and some successes; he learns the chemistry
of exciting drugs and exploding powders, and some of the properties of
transmitted and reflected light: his appetites and his curiosity are both
stimulated, and his old craving for power and mental domination over others
revives. At last Michael tries to raise the Devil, and the Devil comes at
his call. My Devil was to be, like Goethe's, the universal humorist, who
should make all things vain and nothing worth, by a perpetual collation of
the great with the little in the presence of the infinite. I had many a
trick for him to play, some better, I think, than any in the Faust. In the
mean time, Michael is miserable; he has power, but no peace, and he every
day more keenly feels the tyranny of hell surrounding him. In vain he seems
to himself to assert the most absolute empire over the Devil, by imposing
the most extravagant tasks; one thing is as easy as another to the Devil.
"What next, Michael?" is repeated every day with more imperious servility.
Michael groans in spirit; his power is a curse: he commands women and wine!
but the women seem fictitious and devilish, and the wine does not make him
drunk. He now begins to hate the Devil, and tries to cheat him. He studies
again, and explores the darkest depths of sorcery for a receipt to cozen
hell; but all in vain. Sometimes the Devil's finger turns over the page for
him, and points out an experiment, and Michael hears a whisper--"Try
_that_, Michael!" The horror increases; and Michael feels that he is a
slave and a condemned criminal. Lost to hope, he throws himself into every
sensual excess,--in the mid-career of which he sees Agatha, my Margaret,
and immediately endeavours to seduce her. Agatha loves him; and the Devil
facilitates their meetings; but she resists Michael's attempts to ruin her,
and implores him not to act so as to forfeit her esteem. Long struggles of
passion ensue, in the result of which his affections are called forth
against his appetites, and, love-born, the idea of a redemption of the lost
will dawns upon his mind. This is instantaneously perceived by the Devil;
and for the first time the humorist becomes severe and menacing. A fearful
succession of conflicts between Michael and the Devil takes place, in which
Agatha helps and suffers. In the end, after subjecting him to every
imaginable horror and agony, I made him triumphant, and poured peace into
his soul in the conviction of a salvation for sinners through God's grace.

The intended theme of the Faust is the consequences of a misology, or
hatred and depreciation of knowledge caused by an originally intense thirst
for knowledge baffled. But a love of knowledge for itself, and for pure
ends, would never produce such a misology, but only a love of it for base
and unworthy purposes. There is neither causation nor progression in the
Faust; he is a ready-made conjuror from the very beginning; the _incredulus
odi_ is felt from the first line. The sensuality and the thirst after
knowledge are unconnected with each other. Mephistopheles and Margaret are
excellent; but Faust himself is dull and meaningless. The scene in
Auerbach's cellars is one of the best, perhaps the very best; that on the
Brocken is also fine; and all the songs are beautiful. But there is no
whole in the poem; the scenes are mere magic-lantern pictures, and a large
part of the work is to me very flat. The German is very pure and fine.

The young men in Germany and England who admire Lord Byron, prefer Goethe
to Schiller; but you may depend upon it, Goethe does not, nor ever will,
command the common mind of the people of Germany as Schiller does. Schiller
had two legitimate phases in his intellectual character:--the first as
author of the Robbers--a piece which must not be considered with reference
to Shakspeare, but as a work of the mere material sublime, and in that line
it is undoubtedly very powerful indeed. It is quite genuine, and deeply
imbued with Schiller's own soul. After this he outgrew the composition of
such plays as the Robbers, and at once took his true and only rightful
stand in the grand historical drama--the Wallenstein;--not the intense
drama of passion,--he was not master of that--but the diffused drama of
history, in which alone he had ample scope for his varied powers. The
Wallenstein is the greatest of his works; it is not unlike Shakspeare's
historical plays--a species by itself. You may take up any scene, and it
will please you by itself; just as you may in Don Quixote, which you read
_through_ once or twice only, but which you read _in_ repeatedly. After
this point it was, that Goethe and other writers injured by their theories
the steadiness and originality of Schiller's mind; and in every one of his
works after the Wallenstein you may perceive the fluctuations of his taste
and principles of composition. He got a notion of re-introducing the
characterlessness of the Greek tragedy with a chorus, as in the Bride of
Messina, and he was for infusing more lyric verse into it. Schiller
sometimes affected to despise the Robbers and the other works of his first
youth; whereas he ought to have spoken of them as of works not in a right
line, but full of excellence in their way. In his ballads and lighter
lyrics Goethe is most excellent. It is impossible to praise him too highly
in this respect. I like the Wilhelm Meister the best of his prose works.
But neither Schiller's nor Goethe's prose style approaches to Lessing's,
whose writings, for _manner_, are absolutely perfect.

Although Wordsworth and Goethe are not much alike, to be sure, upon the
whole; yet they both have this peculiarity of utter non-sympathy with the
subjects of their poetry. They are always, both of them, spectators _ab
extra_,--feeling _for_, but never _with_, their characters. Schiller is a
thousand times more _hearty_ than Goethe.

I was once pressed--many years ago--to translate the Faust; and I so far
entertained the proposal as to read the work through with great attention,
and to revive in my mind my own former plan of Michael Scott. But then I
considered with myself whether the time taken up in executing the
translation might not more worthily be devoted to the composition of a work
which, even if parallel in some points to the Faust, should be truly
original in motive and execution, and therefore more interesting and
valuable than any version which I could make; and, secondly, I debated with
myself whether it became my moral character to render into English--and so
far, certainly, lend my countenance to language--much of which I thought
vulgar, licentious, and blasphemous. I need not tell you that I never put
pen to paper as a translator of Faust.

I have read a good deal of Mr. Hayward's version, and I think it done in a
very manly style; but I do not admit the argument for prose translations. I
would in general rather see verse attempted in so capable a language as
ours. The French cannot help themselves, of course, with such a language as

[Footnote 1:
"The poem was first published in 1790, and forms the commencement of the
seventh volume of _Goethe's Schriften, Wien und Leipzig, bey J. Stahel and
G. J. Goschen_, 1790. This edition is now before me. The poem entitled,
_Faust, ein Fragment_ (not _Doktor Faust, ein Trauerspiel_, as Döring
says), and contains no prologue or dedication of any sort. It commences
with the scene in Faust's study, _antè_, p. 17., and is continued, as now,
down to the passage ending, _antè_, p. 26. line 5. In the original, the

  "Und froh ist, wenn er Regenwürmer findet,"

ends the scene.

The next scene is one between Faust and Mephistopheles, and begins thus:--

  "Und was der ganzen Menschheit zugetheilt ist,"

_i. e._ with the passage (_antè_,  p. 70.) beginning, "I will enjoy, in my
own heart's core, all that is parcelled out among mankind," &c. All that
intervenes, in later editions, is wanting. It is thenceforth continued, as
now, to the end of the cathedral scene (_antè_, p. (170)), except that the
whole scene, in which Valentine is killed, is wanting. Thus Margaret's
prayer to the Virgin and the cathedral scene come together, and form the
conclusion of the work. According to Düring's Verzeichniss, there was no
new edition of Faust until 1807. According to Dr. Sieglitz, the first part
of Faust first appeared, in its present shape, in the collected edition of
Goethe's works, which was published in 1808.--_Hayward's Translation of
Faust_, second edition, note, p. 215.]

_February_ 17. 1833.


In the romantic drama Beaumont and Fletcher are almost supreme. Their plays
are in general most truly delightful. I could read the Beggar's Bush from
morning to night. How sylvan and sunshiny it is! The Little French Lawyer
is excellent. Lawrit is conceived and executed from first to last in
genuine comic humour. Monsieur Thomas is also capital. I have no doubt
whatever that the first act and the first scene of the second act of the
Two Noble Kinsmen are Shakspeare's. Beaumont and Fletcher's plots are, to
be sure, wholly inartificial; they only care to pitch a character into a
position to make him or her talk; you must swallow all their gross
improbabilities, and, taking it all for granted, attend only to the
dialogue. How lamentable it is that no gentleman and scholar can he found
to edit these beautiful plays![1] Did the name of criticism ever descend so
low as in the hands of those two fools and knaves, Seward and Simpson?
There are whole scenes in their edition which I could with certainty put
back into their original verse, and more that could he replaced in their
native prose. Was there ever such an absolute disregard of literary fame as
that displayed by Shakspeare, and Beaumont and Fletcher?[2]

[Footnote 1:
I believe Mr. Dyce could edit Beaumont and Fletcher as well as any man of
the present or last generation; but the truth is, the limited sale of the
late editions of Ben Jonson, Shirley, &c., has damped the spirit of
enterprise amongst the respectable publishers. Still I marvel that some
cheap reprint of B. and F. is not undertaken.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
"The men of the greatest genius, as far as we can judge from their own
works, or from the accounts of their contemporaries, appear to have been of
calm and tranquil temper, in all that related to themselves. In the inward
assurance of permanent fame, they seem to have been either indifferent or
resigned, with regard to immediate reputation."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Shakspeare's evenness and sweetness of temper were almost proverbial in
his own age. That this did not arise from ignorance of his own comparative
greatness, we have abundant proof in his sonnets, which could scarcely have
been known to Mr. Pope, when he asserted, that our great bard 'grew
immortal in his own despite.'"--_Biog. Lit._ vol. i, p. 32.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Ben Jonson you have an intense and burning art. Some of his plots, that
of the Alchemist, for example, are perfect. Ben Jonson and Beaumont and
Fletcher would, if united, have made a great dramatist indeed, and yet not
have come near Shakspeare; but no doubt Ben Jonson was the greatest man
after Shakspeare in that age of dramatic genius.

The styles of Massinger's plays and the Sampson Agonistes are the two
extremes of the arc within which the diction of dramatic poetry may
oscillate. Shakspeare in his great plays is the midpoint. In the Samson
Agonistes, colloquial language is left at the greatest distance, yet
something of it is preserved, to render the dialogue probable: in Massinger
the style is differenced, but differenced in the smallest degree possible,
from animated conversation by the vein of poetry.

There's such a divinity doth hedge our Shakspeare round, that we cannot
even imitate his style. I tried to imitate his manner in the Remorse, and,
when I had done, I found I had been tracking Beaumont and Fletcher, and
Massinger instead. It is really very curious. At first sight, Shakspeare
and his contemporary dramatists seem to write in styles much alike: nothing
so easy as to fall into that of Massinger and the others; whilst no one has
ever yet produced one scene conceived and expressed in the Shakspearian
idiom. I suppose it is because Shakspeare is universal, and, in fact, has
no _manner_; just as you can so much more readily copy a picture than
Nature herself.

_February_ 20. 1833.


I was just now reading Sir John Cam Hobhouse's answer to Mr. Hume, I
believe, upon the point of transferring the patronage of the army and navy
from the Crown to the House of Commons. I think, if I had been in the House
of Commons, I would have said, "that, ten or fifteen years ago, I should
have considered Sir J. C. H.'s speech quite unanswerable,--it being clear
constitutional law that the House of Commons has not, nor ought to have,
any share, directly or indirectly, in the appointment of the officers of
the army or navy. But now that the King had been reduced, by the means and
procurement of the Honourable Baronet and his friends, to a puppet, which,
so far from having any independent will of its own, could not resist a
measure which it hated and condemned, it became a matter of grave
consideration whether it was not necessary to vest the appointment of such
officers in a body like the House of Commons, rather than in a junta of
ministers, who were obliged to make common cause with the mob and
democratic press for the sake of keeping their places."

_March_ 9. 1833.


The penal code in Ireland, in the beginning of the last century, was
justifiable, as a temporary mean of enabling government to take breath and
look about them; and if right measures had been systematically pursued in a
right spirit, there can be no doubt that all, or the greater part, of
Ireland would have become Protestant. Protestantism under the Charter
Schools was greatly on the increase in the early part of that century, and
the complaints of the Romish priests to that effect are on record. But,
unfortunately, the drenching-horn was itself substituted for the medicine.

       *       *       *       *       *

There seems to me, at present, to be a curse upon the English church, and
upon the governors of all institutions connected with the orderly
advancement of national piety and knowledge; it is the curse of prudence,
as they miscall it--in fact, of fear.

Clergymen are now almost afraid to explain in their pulpits the grounds of
their being Protestants. They are completely cowed by the vulgar harassings
of the press and of our Hectoring sciolists in Parliament. There should be
no _party_ politics in the pulpit to be sure; but every church in England
ought to resound with national politics,--I mean the sacred character of
the national church, and an exposure of the base robbery from the nation
itself--for so indeed it is[1]--about to be committed by these ministers,
in order to have a sop to throw to the Irish agitators, who will, of
course, only cut the deeper, and come the oftener. You cannot buy off a
barbarous invader.

[Footnote 1:
"That the maxims of a pure morality, and those sublime truths of the divine
unity and attributes, which a Plato found it hard to learn, and more
difficult to reveal; that these should have become the almost hereditary
property of childhood and poverty, of the hovel and the workshop; that even
to the unlettered they sound as _common-place_; this is a phenomenon which
must withhold all but minds of the most vulgar cast from undervaluing the
services even of the pulpit and the reading-desk. Yet he who should confine
the efficiency of an established church to these, can hardly be placed in a
much higher rank of intellect. That to every parish throughout the kingdom
there is transplanted a germ of civilization; that in the remotest villages
there is a nucleus, round which the capabilities of the place may
crystallize and brighten; a model sufficiently superior to excite, yet
sufficiently near to encourage and facilitate imitation; _this_
unobtrusive, continuous agency of a Protestant church establishment, _this_
it is, which the patriot and the philanthropist, who would fain unite the
love of peace with the faith in the progressive amelioration of mankind,
cannot estimate at too high a price. 'It cannot be valued with the gold of
Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. No mention shall be made of
coral or of pearls; for the price of wisdom is above rubies.'--The
clergyman is with his parishioners and among them; he is neither in the
cloistered cell, nor in the wilderness, but a neighbour and family man,
whose education and rank admit him to the mansion of the rich landholder,
while his duties make him the frequent visitor of the farm-house and the
cottage. He is, or he may become, connected with the families of his parish
or its vicinity by marriage. And among the instances of the blindness, or
at best of the short-sightedness, which it is the nature of cupidity to
inflict, I know few more striking than the clamours of the farmers against
church property. Whatever was not paid to the clergyman would inevitably at
the next lease be paid to the landholder; while, as the case at present
stands, the revenues of the church are in some sort the reversionary
property of every family that may have a member educated for the church, or
a daughter that may marry a clergyman. Instead of being _foreclosed_ and
immovable, it is, in fact, the only species of landed property that is
essentially moving and circulative. That there exist no inconveniences who
will pretend to assert?--But I have yet to expect the proof, that the
inconveniences are greater in this than in any other species; or that
either the farmers or the clergy would be benefited by forcing the latter
to become either _Trullibers_ or salaried _placemen_."--_Church and State_,
p. 90.]

_March_ 12. 1833.


Lord Grey has, in Parliament, said two things: first, that the Coronation
Oaths only bind the King in his executive capacity; and, secondly, that
members of the House of Commons are bound to represent by their votes the
wishes and opinions of their constituents, and not their own. Put these two
together, and tell me what useful part of the constitutional monarchy of
England remains. It is clear that the Coronation Oaths would be no better
than Highgate oaths. For in his executive capacity the King _cannot_ do any
thing, against the doing of which the oaths bind him; it is _only_ in his
legislative character that he possesses a free agency capable of being
bound. The nation meant to bind _that_.

_March_ 14. 1833.


Divinity is essentially the first of the professions, because it is
necessary for all at all times; law and physic are only necessary for some
at some times. I speak of them, of course, not in their abstract existence,
but in their applicability to man.

       *       *       *       *       *

Every true science bears necessarily within itself the germ of a cognate
profession, and the more you can elevate trades into professions the

_March_ 17. 1833.


What solemn humbug this modern political economy is! What is there true of
the little that is true in their dogmatic books, which is not a simple
deduction from the moral and religious _credenda_ and _agenda_ of any good
man, and with which we were not all previously acquainted, and upon which
every man of common sense instinctively acted? I know none. But what they
truly state, they do not truly understand in its ultimate grounds and
causes; and hence they have sometimes done more mischief by their half-
ignorant and half-sophistical reasonings about, and deductions from, well-
founded positions, than they could have done by the promulgation of
positive error. This particularly applies to their famous ratios of
increase between man and the means of his subsistence. Political economy,
at the highest, can never be a pure science. You may demonstrate that
certain properties inhere in the arch, which yet no bridge-builder _can_
ever reduce into brick and mortar; but an abstract conclusion in a matter
of political economy, the premisses of which neither exist now, nor ever
will exist within the range of the wildest imagination, is not a truth, but
a chimera--a practical falsehood. For there are no theorems in political
economy--but problems only. Certain things being actually so and so; the
question is, _how_ to _do_ so and so with them. Political _philosophy_,
indeed, points to ulterior ends, but even those ends are all practical; and
if you desert the conditions of reality, or of common probability, you may
show forth your eloquence or your fancy, but the utmost you can produce
will be a Utopia or Oceana.

You talk about making this article cheaper by reducing its price in the
market from 8_d_. to 6_d_. But suppose, in so doing, you have rendered your
country weaker against a foreign foe; suppose you have demoralized
thousands of your fellow-countrymen, and have sown discontent between one
class of society and another, your article is tolerably dear, I take it,
after all. Is not its real price enhanced to every Christian and patriot a

       *       *       *       *       *

_All_ is an endless fleeting abstraction; _the whole_ is a reality.

_March_ 31. 1833.


What evil results now to this country, taken at large, from the actual
existence of the National Debt? I never could get a plain and practical
answer to that question. I do not advert to the past loss of capital,
although it is hard to see how that capital can be said to have been
unproductive, which produces, in the defence of the nation itself, the
conditions of the permanence and productivity of all other capital. As to
taxation to pay the interest, how can the country suffer by a process,
under which the money is never one minute out of the pockets of the people?
You may just as well say that a man is weakened by the circulation of his
blood. There may, certainly, be particular local evils and grievances
resulting from the mode of taxation or collection; but how can that debt be
in any proper sense a burthen to the nation, which the nation owes to
itself, and to no one but itself? It is a juggle to talk of the nation
owing the capital or the interest to the stockholders; it owes to itself
only. Suppose the interest to be owing to the Emperor of Russia, and then
you would feel the difference of a debt in the proper sense. It is really
and truly nothing more in effect than so much moneys or money's worth,
raised annually by the state for the purpose of quickening industry.[1]

I should like to see a well graduated property tax, accompanied by a large

One common objection to a property tax is, that it tends to diminish the
accumulation of capital. In my judgment, one of the chief sources of the
bad economy of the country now is the enormous aggregation of capitals.

When shall we return to a sound conception of the right to property--
namely, as being official, implying and demanding the performance of
commensurate duties! Nothing but the most horrible perversion of humanity
and moral justice, under the specious name of political economy, could have
blinded men to this truth as to the possession of land,--the law of God
having connected indissolubly the cultivation of every rood of earth with
the maintenance and watchful labour of man. But money, stock, riches by
credit, transferable and convertible at will, are under no such
obligations; and, unhappily, it is from the selfish autocratic possession
of _such_ property, that our landholders have learnt their present theory
of trading with that which was never meant to be an object of commerce.

[Footnote 1:
See the splendid essay in the Friend (vol. ii, p. 47.) on the vulgar errors
respecting taxes and taxation.

"A great statesman, lately deceased, in one of his anti-ministerial
harangues against some proposed impost, said, 'The nation has been already
bled in every vein, and is faint with loss of blood.' This blood, however,
was circulating in the mean time through the whole body of the state, and
what was received into one chamber of the heart was instantly sent out
again at the other portal. Had he wanted a metaphor to convey the possible
injuries of taxation, he might have found one less opposite to the fact, in
the known disease of aneurism, or relaxation of the coats of particular
vessels, by a disproportionate accumulation of blood in them, which
sometimes occurs when the circulation has been suddenly and violently
changed, and causes helplessness, or even mortal stagnation, though the
total quantity of blood remains the same in the system at large.

"But a fuller and fairer symbol of taxation, both in its possible good and
evil effects, is to be found in the evaporation of waters from the surface
of the earth. The sun may draw up the moisture from the river, the morass,
and the ocean, to be given back in genial showers to the garden, to the
pasture, and the corn field; but it may, likewise, force away the moisture
from the fields of tillage, to drop it on the stagnant pool, the saturated
swamp, or the unprofitable sand-waste. The gardens in the south of Europe
supply, perhaps, a not less apt illustration of a system of finance
judiciously conducted, where the tanks or reservoirs would represent the
capital of a nation, and the hundred rills, hourly varying their channels
and directions under the gardener's spade, give a pleasing image of the
dispersion of that capital through the whole population by the joint effect
of taxation and trade. For taxation itself is a part of commerce, and the
government maybe fairly considered as a great manufacturing house, carrying
on, in different places, by means of its partners and overseers, the trades
of the shipbuilder, the clothier, the iron-founder," &c. &c.--ED.]

_April_ 5. 1833.


To please me, a poem must be either music or sense; if it is neither, I
confess I cannot interest myself in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first act of the Virgin Martyr is as fine an act as I remember in any
play. The Very Woman is, I think, one of the most perfect plays we have.
There is some good fun in the first scene between Don John, or Antonio, and
Cuculo, his master[1]; and can any thing exceed the skill and sweetness of
the scene between him and his mistress, in which he relates his story?[2]
The Bondman is also a delightful play. Massinger is always entertaining;
his plays have the interest of novels.

But, like most of his contemporaries, except Shakspeare, Massinger often
deals in exaggerated passion. Malefort senior, in the Unnatural Combat,
however he may have had the moral will to be so wicked, could never have
actually done all that he is represented as guilty of, without losing his
senses. He would have been, in fact, mad. Regan and Goneril are the only
pictures of the unnatural in Shakspeare; the pure unnatural--and you will
observe that Shakspeare has left their hideousness unsoftened or
diversified by a single line of goodness or common human frailty. Whereas
in Edmund, for whom passion, the sense of shame as a bastard, and ambition,
offer some plausible excuses, Shakspeare has placed many redeeming traits.
Edmund is what, under certain circumstances, any man of powerful intellect
might be, if some other qualities and feelings were cut off. Hamlet is,
inclusively, an Edmund, but different from him as a whole, on account of
the controlling agency of other principles which Edmund had not.

It is worth while to remark the use which Shakspeare always makes of his
bold villains as vehicles for expressing opinions and conjectures of a
nature too hazardous for a wise man to put forth directly as his own, or
from any sustained character.

[Footnote 1: Act iii. sc. 2.]

[Footnote 2: Act iv. sc. 3.:--

  "ANT. Not far from where my father lives, a lady,
A neighbour by, bless'd with as great a beauty
As nature durst bestow without undoing,
Dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then,
And bless'd the home a thousand times she dwelt in.
This beauty, in the blossom of my youth,
When my first fire knew no adulterate incense,
Nor I no way to flatter, but my fondness;
In all the bravery my friends could show me,
In all the faith my innocence could give me,
In the best language my true tongue could tell me,
And all the broken sighs my sick heart lent me,
I sued and served: long did I love this lady,
Long was my travail, long my trade to win her;
With all the duty of my soul, I served her.

  ALM. How feelingly he speaks! (_Aside_.) And she loved you too?
It must be so.

  ANT.        I would it had, dear lady;
This story had been needless, and this place,
I think, unknown to me.

  ALM. Were your bloods equal?

  ANT. Yes; and I thought our hearts too.

  ALM. Then she must love.

  ANT. She did--but never me; she could not love me,
She would not love, she hated; more, she scorn'd me,
And in so poor and base a way abused me,
For all my services, for all my bounties,
So bold neglects flung on me--

  ALM.                         An ill woman!
Belike you found some rival in your love, then?

  ANT. How perfectly she points me to my story! (_Aside_.)
Madam, I did; and one whose pride and anger,
Ill manners, and worse mien, she doted on,
Doted to my undoing, and my ruin.
And, but for honour to your sacred beauty,
And reverence to the noble sex, though she fall,
As she must fall that durst be so unnoble,
I should say something unbeseeming me.
What out of love, and worthy love, I gave her,
Shame to her most unworthy mind! to fools,
To girls, and fiddlers, to her boys she flung,
And in disdain of me.

  ALM.                Pray you take me with you.
Of what complexion was she?

  ANT.                 But that I dare not
Commit so great a sacrilege 'gainst virtue,
She look'd not much unlike--though far, far short,
Something, I see, appears--your pardon, madam--
Her eyes would smile so, but her eyes could cozen;
And so she would look sad; but yours is pity,
A noble chorus to my wretched story;
Hers was disdain and cruelty.

  ALM.                        Pray heaven,
Mine be no worse! he has told me a strange story, (_Aside_.)" &c.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The parts pointed out in Hieronimo as Ben Jonson's bear no traces of his
style; but they are very like Shakspeare's; and it is very remarkable that
every one of them re-appears in full form and development, and tempered
with mature judgment, in some one or other of Shakspeare's great pieces.[1]

[Footnote 1:
By Hieronimo Mr. Coleridge meant The Spanish Tragedy, and not the previous
play, which is usually called The First Part of Jeronimo. The Spanish
Tragedy is, upon the authority of Heywood, attributed to Kyd. It is
supposed that Ben Jonson originally performed the part of Hieronimo, and
hence it has been surmised that certain passages and whole scenes connected
with that character, and not found in some of the editions of the play,
are, in fact, Ben Jonson's own writing. Some of these supposed
interpolations are amongst the best things in the Spanish Tragedy; the
style is singularly unlike Jonson's, whilst there are turns and particular
images which do certainly seem to have been imitated by or from Shakspeare.
Mr. Lamb at one time gave them to Webster. Take this, passage, in the
fourth act:--

  "HIERON. What make you with your torches in the dark?

  PEDRO. You bid us light them, and attend you here.

  HIERON. No! you are deceived; not I; you are deceived.
Was I so mad to bid light torches now?
Light me your torches at the mid of noon,
When as the sun-god rides in all his glory;
Light me your torches then.

  PEDRO. Then we burn day-light.

  HIERON. _Let it be burnt; Night is a murd'rous slut,
That would not have her treasons to be seen;
And yonder pale-faced Hecate there, the moon,
Doth give consent to that is done in darkness;
And all those stars that gaze upon her face
Are aglets on her sleeve, pins on her train;
And those that should be powerful and divine,
Do sleep in darkness when they most should shine._

  PEDRO. Provoke them not, fair sir, with tempting words.
The heavens are gracious, and your miseries and sorrow
Make you speak you know not what

  HIERON. _Villain! thou liest, and thou dost nought
But tell me I am mad: thou liest, I am not mad;
I know thee to be Pedro, and he Jaques;
I'll prove it thee; and were I mad, how could I?
Where was she the same night, when my Horatio was murder'd!
She should have shone then; search thou the book:
Had the moon shone in my boy's face, there was a kind of grace,
That I know--nay, I do know, had the murderer seen him,
His weapon would have fallen, and cut the earth,
Had he been framed of nought but blood and death," &c._

Again, in the fifth act:--

  "HIERON. But are you sure that they are dead?

  CASTILE. Ay, slain, too sure.

  HIERON. What, and yours too?

  VICEROY. Ay, all are dead; not one of them survive.

  HIBRON. Nay, then I care not--come, we shall be friends;
Let us lay our heads together.
See, here's a goodly noose will hold them all.

VICEROY. O damned devil! how secure he is!

  HIERON. Secure! why dost thou wonder at it?
_I tell thee, Viceroy, this day I've seen Revenge,
d in that sight am grown a prouder monarch
Than ever sate under the crown of Spain.
Had I as many lives at there be stars,_,
_As many heavens to go to as those lives,
I'd give them all, ay, and my soul to boot,
But I would see thee ride in this red pool.
Methinks, since I grew inward with revenge,
I cannot look with scorn enough on death._

  KING. What! dost thou mock us, slave? Bring tortures forth.

  HIERON. _Do, do, do; and meantime I'll torture you.
You had a son as I take it, and your son
Should have been married to your daughter: ha! was it not so?
You had a son too, he was my liege's nephew.
He was proud and politic--had he lived,
He might have come to wear the crown of Spain:
I think 't was so--'t was I that killed him;
Look you--this same hand was it that stabb'd
His heart--do you see this hand?
For one Horatio, if you ever knew him--
A youth, one that they hang'd up in his father's garden--
One that did force your valiant son to yield_," &c.--ED. ]

_April_ 7. 1833.


I think I could point out to a half line what is really Shakspeare's in
Love's Labour Lost, and some other of the not entirely genuine plays. What
he wrote in that play is of his earliest manner, having the all-pervading
sweetness which he never lost, and that extreme condensation which makes
the couplets fall into epigrams, as in the Venus and Adonis, and Rape of
Lucrece. [1] In the drama alone, as Shakspeare soon found out, could the
sublime poet and profound philosopher find the conditions of a compromise.
In the Love's Labour Lost there are many faint sketches of some of his
vigorous portraits in after-life--as for example, in particular, of
Benedict and Beatrice.[2]

[Footnote 1:
"In Shakspeare's _Poems_ the creative power and the intellectual energy
wrestle as in a war embrace. Each in its excess of strength seems to
threaten the extinction of the other. At length, in the drama, they were
reconciled, and fought each with its shield before the breast of the other.
Or like two rapid streams, that, at their first meeting within narrow and
rocky banks, mutually strive to repel each other, and intermix reluctantly,
and in tumult; but soon finding a wider channel and more yielding shores,
blend, and dilate, and flow on in one current, and with one voice."--_Biog.
Lit._ vol. ii. p. 21.]

[Footnote 2:
Mr. Coleridge, of course, alluded to Biron and Rosaline; and there are
other obvious prolusions, as the scene of the masque with the courtiers,
compared with the play in A Midsummer Night's Dream.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Gifford has done a great deal for the text of Massinger, but not as much as
might easily be done. His comparison of Shakspeare with his contemporary
dramatists is obtuse indeed.[1]

[Footnote 1:
See his _Introduction to Massinger, vol_.i. p. 79., in which, amongst other
most extraordinary assertions, Mr. Gifford pronounces that _rhythmical
modulation is not one of Shakspeare's merits!_--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In Shakspeare one sentence begets the next naturally; the meaning is all
inwoven. He goes on kindling like a meteor through the dark atmosphere;
yet, when the creation in its outline is once perfect, then he seems to
rest from his labour, and to smile upon his work, and tell himself that it
is very good. You see many scenes and parts of scenes which are simply
Shakspeare's, disporting himself in joyous triumph and vigorous fun after a
great achievement of his highest genius.

       *       *       *       *       *

The old dramatists took great liberties in respect of bringing parties in
scene together, and representing one as not recognizing the other under
some faint disguise. Some of their finest scenes are constructed on this
ground. Shakspeare avails himself of this artifice only twice, I think,--in
Twelfth Night, where the two are with great skill kept apart till the end
of the play; and in the Comedy of Errors, which is a pure farce, and should
be so considered. The definition of a farce is, an improbability or even
impossibility granted in the outset, see what odd and laughable events will
fairly follow from it!

_April _8. 1833.


I never was much subject to violent political humours or accesses of
feelings. When I was very young, I wrote and spoke very enthusiastically,
but it was always on subjects connected with some grand general principle,
the violation of which I thought I could point out. As to mere details of
administration, I honestly thought that ministers, and men in office, must,
of course, know much better than any private person could possibly do; and
it was not till I went to Malta, and had to correspond with official
characters myself, that I fully understood the extreme shallowness and
ignorance with which men of some note too were able, after a certain
fashion, to carry on the government of important departments of the empire.
I then quite assented to Oxenstiern's saying, _Nescis, mi fili, quam parva
sapientia regitur mundus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Burke was, indeed, a great man. No one ever read history so philosophically
as he seems to have done. Yet, until he could associate his general
principles with some sordid interest, panic of property, jacobinism, &c.,
he was a mere dinner bell. Hence you will find so many half truths in his
speeches and writings. Nevertheless, let us heartily acknowledge his
transcendant greatness. He would have been more influential if he had less
surpassed his contemporaries, as Fox and Pitt, men of much inferior minds
in all respects.

       *       *       *       *       *

As a telegraph supposes a correspondent telescope, so a scientific lecture
requires a scientific audience.

_April _9. 1833.


I have a deep, though paradoxical, conviction that most of the European
nations are more or less on their way, unconsciously indeed, to pure
monarchy; that is, to a government in which, under circumstances of
complicated and subtle control, the reason of the people shall become
efficient in the apparent will of the king.[1] As it seems to me, the wise
and good in every country will, in all likelihood, become every day more
and more disgusted with the representative form of government, brutalized
as it is, and will be, by the predominance of democracy in England, France,
and Belgium. The statesmen of antiquity, we know, doubted the possibility
of the effective and permanent combination of the three elementary forms of
government; and, perhaps, they had more reason than we have been accustomed
to think.

[Footnote 1: This is backing Vico against Spinosa. It must, however, be
acknowledged that at present the prophet of democracy has a good right to
be considered the favourite.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

You see how this House of Commons has begun to verify all the ill
prophecies that were made of it--low, vulgar, meddling with every thing,
assuming universal competency, flattering every base passion, and sneering
at every thing noble, refined, and truly national! The direct and personal
despotism will come on by and by, after the multitude shall have been
gratified with the ruin and the spoil of the old institutions of the land.
As for the House of Lords, what is the use of ever so much fiery spirit, if
there be no principle to guide and to sanctify it?

_April _10. 1833.


The possible destiny of the United States of America,--as a nation of a
hundred millions of freemen,--stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
living under the laws of Alfred, and speaking the language of Shakspeare
and Milton, is an august conception. Why should we not wish to see it
realized? America would then be England viewed through a solar microscope;
Great Britain in a state of glorious magnification! How deeply to be
lamented is the spirit of hostility and sneering which some of the popular
books of travels have shown in treating of the Americans! They hate us, no
doubt, just as brothers hate; but they respect the opinion of an Englishman
concerning themselves ten times as much as that of a native of any other
country on earth. A very little humouring of their prejudices, and some
courtesy of language and demeanour on the part of Englishmen, would work
wonders, even as it is, with the public mind of the Americans.

       *       *       *       *       *

Captain Basil Hall's book is certainly very entertaining and instructive;
but, in my judgment, his sentiments upon many points, and more especially
his mode of expression, are unwise and uncharitable. After all, are not
most of the things shown up with so much bitterness by him mere national
foibles, parallels to which every people has and must of necessity have?

       *     *     *     *     *

What you say about the quarrel in the United States is sophistical. No
doubt, taxation may, and perhaps in some cases must, press unequally, or
apparently so, on different classes of people in a state. In such cases
there is a hardship; but, in the long run, the matter is fully compensated
to the over-taxed class. For example, take the householders of London, who
complain so bitterly of the house and window taxes. Is it not pretty clear
that, whether such householder be a tradesman, who indemnifies himself in
the price of his goods,--or a letter of lodgings, who does so in his rent,
--or a stockholder, who receives it back again in his dividends,--or a
country gentleman, who has saved so much fresh levy on his land or his
other property,--one way or other, it comes at last pretty nearly to the
same thing, though the pressure for the time may be unjust and vexatious,
and fit to be removed? But when New England, which may be considered a
state in itself, taxes the admission of foreign manufactures in order to
cherish manufactures of its own, and thereby forces the Carolinians,
another state of itself, with which there is little intercommunion, which
has no such desire or interest to serve, to buy worse articles at a higher
price, it is altogether a different question, and is, in fact, downright
tyranny of the worst, because of the most sordid, kind. What would you
think of a law which should tax every person in Devonshire for the
pecuniary benefit of every person in Yorkshire? And yet that is a feeble
image of the actual usurpation of the New England deputies over the
property of the Southern States.

       *     *     *     *     *

There are two possible modes of unity in a State; one by absolute
coordination of each to all, and of all to each; the other by
subordination of classes and offices. Now, I maintain that there never was
an instance of the first, nor can there be, without slavery as its
condition and accompaniment, as in Athens. The poor Swiss cantons are no

The mistake lies in confounding a state which must be based on classes and
interests and unequal property, with a church, which is founded on the
person, and has no qualification but personal merit. Such a community _may_
exist, as in the case of the Quakers; but, in order to exist, it must be
compressed and hedged in by another society--_mundus mundulus in mundo

       *       *       *       *       *

The free class in a slave state is always, in one sense, the most patriotic
class of people in an empire; for their patriotism is not simply the
patriotism of other people, but an aggregate of lust of power and
distinction and supremacy.

_April _11. 1833.


Land was the only species of property which, in the old time, carried any
respectability with it. Money alone, apart from some tenure of land, not
only did not make the possessor great and respectable, but actually made
him at once the object of plunder and hatred. Witness the history of the
Jews in this country in the early reigns after the Conquest.

       *     *     *     *     *

I have no objection to your aspiring to the political principles of our old
Cavaliers; but embrace them all fully, and not merely this and that
feeling, whilst in other points you speak the canting foppery of the
Benthamite or Malthusian schools.

_April _14. 1833.


There are three ways of treating a subject:--

In the first mode, you begin with a definition, and that definition is
necessarily assumed as the truth. As the argument proceeds, the conclusion
from the first proposition becomes the base of the second, and so on. Now,
it is quite impossible that you can be sure that you have included all the
necessary, and none but the necessary, terms in your definition; as,
therefore, you proceed, the original speck of error is multiplied at every
remove; the same infirmity of knowledge besetting each successive
definition. Hence you may set out, like Spinosa, with all but the truth,
and end with a conclusion which is altogether monstrous; and yet the mere
deduction shall be irrefragable. Warburton's "Divine Legation" is also a
splendid instance of this mode of discussion, and of its inability to lead
to the truth: in fact, it is an attempt to adopt the mathematical series of
proof, in forgetfulness that the mathematician is sure of the truth of his
definition at each remove, because he _creates _it, as he can do, in pure
figure and number. But you cannot _make _any thing true which results from,
or is connected with, real externals; you can only _find _it out. The chief
use of this first mode of discussion is to sharpen the wit, for which
purpose it is the best exercitation.

2. The historical mode is a very common one: in it the author professes to
find out the truth by collecting the facts of the case, and tracing them
downwards; but this mode is worse than the other. Suppose the question is
as to the true essence and character of the English constitution. First,
where will you begin your collection of facts? where will you end it? What
facts will you select, and how do you know that the class of facts which
you select are necessary terms in the premisses, and that other classes of
facts, which you neglect, are not necessary? And how do you distinguish
phenomena which proceed from disease or accident from those which are the
genuine fruits of the essence of the constitution? What can be more
striking, in illustration of the utter inadequacy of this line of
investigation for arriving at the real truth, than the political treatises
and constitutional histories which we have in every library? A Whig proves
his case convincingly to the reader who knows nothing beyond his author;
then comes an old Tory (Carte, for instance), and ferrets up a hamperful of
conflicting documents and notices, which proves _his _case _per contra_. A.
takes this class of facts; B. takes that class: each proves something true,
neither proves _the_ truth, or any thing like _the _truth; that is, the
whole truth.

3. You must, therefore, commence with the philosophic idea of the thing,
the true nature of which you wish to find out and manifest. You must carry
your rule ready made, if you wish to measure aright. If you ask me how I
can know that this idea--my own invention--is the truth, by which the
phenomena of history are to be explained, I answer, in the same way exactly
that you know that your eyes were made to see with; and that is, because
you _do _see with them. If I propose to you an idea or self-realizing
theory of the constitution, which shall manifest itself as in existence
from the earliest times to the present,--which shall comprehend within it
_all _the facts which history has preserved, and shall give them a meaning
as interchangeably causals or effects;--if I show you that such an event or
reign was an obliquity to the right hand, and how produced, and such other
event or reign a deviation to the left, and whence originating,--that the
growth was stopped here, accelerated there,--that such a tendency is, and
always has been, corroborative, and such other tendency destructive, of the
main progress of the idea towards realization;--if this idea, not only like
a kaleidoscope, shall reduce all the miscellaneous fragments into order,
but shall also minister strength, and knowledge, and light to the true
patriot and statesmen for working out the bright thought, and bringing the
glorious embryo to a perfect birth;--then, I think, I have a right to say
that the idea which led to this is not only true, but the truth, the only
truth. To set up for a statesman upon historical knowledge only, is as
about as wise as to set up for a musician by the purchase of some score
flutes, fiddles, and horns. In order to make music, you must know how to
play; in order to make your facts speak truth, you must know what the truth
is which _ought_ to be proved,--the ideal truth,--the truth which was
consciously or unconsciously, strongly or weakly, wisely or blindly,
intended at all times.[1]

[Footnote 1:
I have preserved this passage, conscious, the while, how liable it is to be
misunderstood, or at least not understood. The readers of Mr. Coleridge's
works generally, or of his "Church and State" in particular, will have no
difficulty in entering into his meaning; namely, that no investigation in
the non-mathematical sciences can be carried on in a way deserving to be
called philosophical, unless the investigator have in himself a mental
initiative, or, what comes to the same thing, unless he set out with an
intuition of the ultimate aim or idea of the science or aggregation of
facts to be explained or interpreted. The analysis of the Platonic and
Baconian methods in "The Friend," to which I have before referred, and the
"Church and State," exhibit respectively a splendid vindication and example
of Mr. Coleridge's mode of reasoning on this subject.--ED.]

_April _18. 1833.


In my judgment, Protestants lose a great deal of time in a false attack
when they labour to convict the Romanists of false doctrines. Destroy the
_Papacy_, and help the priests to wives, and I am much mistaken if the
doctrinal errors, such as there really are, would not very soon pass away.
They might remain _in terminis_, but they would lose their sting and body,
and lapse back into figures of rhetoric and warm devotion, from which they,
most of them,--such as transubstantiation, and prayers for the dead and to
saints,--originally sprang. But, so long as the Bishop of Rome remains
Pope, and has an army of Mamelukes all over the world, we shall do very
little by fulminating against mere doctrinal errors. In the Milanese, and
elsewhere in the north of Italy, I am told there is a powerful feeling
abroad against the Papacy. That district seems to be something in the state
of England in the reign of our Henry the Eighth.

How deep a wound to morals and social purity has that accursed article of
the celibacy of the clergy been! Even the best and most enlightened men in
Romanist countries attach a notion of impurity to the marriage of a
clergyman. And can such a feeling be without its effect on the estimation
of the wedded life in general? Impossible! and the morals of both sexes in
Spain, Italy, France, &c. prove it abundantly.

The Papal church has had three phases,--anti-Caesarean, extra-national,

_April _20. 1833.


The Romans would never have subdued the Italian tribes if they had not
boldly left Italy and conquered foreign nations, and so, at last, crushed
their next-door neighbours by external pressure.

_April _24. 1833.


Except in Shakspeare, you can find no such thing as a pure conception of
wedded love in our old dramatists. In Massinger, and Beaumont and Fletcher,
it really is on both sides little better than sheer animal desire. There is
scarcely a suitor in all their plays, whose _abilities_ are not discussed
by the lady or her waiting-woman. In this, as in all things, how
transcendant over his age and his rivals was our sweet Shakspeare!

       *     *     *     *     *

I have not read through all Mr. Tennyson's poems, which have been sent to
me; but I think there are some things of a good deal of beauty in what I
have seen. The misfortune is, that he has begun to write verses without
very well understanding what metre is. Even if you write in a known and
approved metre, the odds are, if you are not a metrist yourself, that you
will not write harmonious verses; but to deal in new metres without
considering what metre means and requires, is preposterous. What I would,
with many wishes for success, prescribe to Tennyson,--indeed without it he
can never be a poet in act,--is to write for the next two or three years in
none but one or two well-known and strictly defined metres, such as the
heroic couplet, the octave stanza, or the octo-syllabic measure of the
Allegro and Penseroso. He would, probably, thus get imbued with a
sensation, if not a sense, of metre without knowing it, just as Eton boys
get to write such good Latin verses by conning Ovid and Tibullus. As it is,
I can scarcely scan some of his verses.

_May _1. 1833.


I think with some interest upon the fact that Rabelais and Luther were born
in the same year.[1] Glorious spirits! glorious spirits!

          ----"Hos utinam inter
  Heroas natum me!"

[Footnote 1:
They were both born within twelve months of each other, I believe; but
Luther's birth was in November, 1484, and that of Rabelais is generally
placed at the end of the year preceding.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Great wits are sure to madness near allied,"

says Dryden, and true so far as this, that genius of the highest kind
implies an unusual intensity of the modifying power, which detached from
the discriminative and reproductive power, might conjure a platted straw
into a royal diadem: but it would be at least as true, that great genius is
most alien from madness,--yea, divided from it by an impassable mountain,--
namely, the activity of thought and vivacity of the accumulative memory,
which are no less essential constituents of "great wit."

_May _4. 1833.


Colonization is not only a manifest expedient for, but an imperative duty
on, Great Britain. God seems to hold out his finger to us over the sea. But
it must be a national colonization, such as was that of the Scotch to
America; a colonization of hope, and not such as we have alone encouraged
and effected for the last fifty years, a colonization of despair.

       *       *       *       *       *

The wonderful powers of machinery can, by multiplied production, render the
mere _arte facta _of life actually cheaper: thus money and all other things
being supposed the same in value, a silk gown is five times cheaper now
than in Queen Elizabeth's time; but machinery cannot cheapen, in any thing
like an equal degree, the immediate growths of nature or the immediate
necessaries of man. Now the _arte facta _are sought by the higher classes
of society in a proportion incalculably beyond that in which they are
sought by the lower classes; and therefore it is that the vast increase of
mechanical powers has not cheapened life and pleasure to the poor as it has
done to the rich. In some respects, no doubt, it has done so, as in giving
cotton dresses to maid-servants, and penny gin to all. A pretty benefit

       *       *       *       *       *

I think this country is now suffering grievously under an excessive
accumulation of capital, which, having no field for profitable operation,
is in a state of fierce civil war with itself.

_May _6. 1833.


The Romans had no national clerisy; their priesthood was entirely a matter
of state, and, as far back as we can trace it, an evident stronghold of the
Patricians against the increasing powers of the Plebeians. All we know of
the early Romans is, that, after an indefinite lapse of years, they had
conquered some fifty or sixty miles round their city. Then it is that they
go to war with Carthage, the great maritime power, and the result of that
war was the occupation of Sicily. Thence they, in succession, conquered
Spain, Macedonia, Asia Minor, &c., and so at last contrived to subjugate
Italy, partly by a tremendous back blow, and partly by bribing the Italian
States with a communication of their privileges, which the now enormously
enriched conquerors possessed over so large a portion of the civilized
world. They were ordained by Providence to conquer and amalgamate the
materials of Christendom. They were not a national people; they
were truly--

  _Romanos rerum dominos--_

--and that's all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Under Constantine the spiritual power became a complete reflex of the
temporal. There were four patriarchs, and four prefects, and so on. The
Clergy and the Lawyers, the Church and the State, were opposed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The beneficial influence of the Papacy upon the whole has been much over-
rated by some writers; and certainly no country in Europe received less
benefit and more harm from it than England. In fact, the lawful kings and
parliaments of England were always essentially Protestant in feeling for a
national church, though they adhered to the received doctrines of the
Christianity of the day; and it was only the usurpers, John, Henry IV.,
&c., that went against this policy. All the great English schoolmen, Scotus
Erigena[1], Duns Scotus, Ockham, and others, those morning stars of the
Reformation, were heart and soul opposed to Rome, and maintained the Papacy
to be Antichrist. The Popes always persecuted, with rancorous hatred, the
national clerisies, the married clergy, and disliked the universities which
grew out of the old monasteries. The Papacy was, and is, essentially extra-
national, and was always so considered in this country, although not
believed to be anti-Christian.

[Footnote 1:
John Scotus, or Erigena, was born, according to different authors, in
Wales, Scotland, or Ireland; but I do not find any account making him an
Englishman of Saxon blood. His death is uncertainly placed in the beginning
of the ninth century. He lived in well-known intimacy with Charles the
Bald, of France, who died about A. D. 874. He resolutely resisted the
doctrine of transubstantiation, and was publicly accused of heresy on that
account. But the king of France protected him--ED.]

_May_ 8. 1833.


I know no portion of history which a man might write with so much pleasure
as that of the great struggle in the time of Charles I., because he may
feel the profoundest respect for both parties. The side taken by any
particular person was determined by the point of view which such person
happened to command at the commencement of the inevitable collision, one
line seeming straight to this man, another line to another. No man of that
age saw _the_ truth, the whole truth; there was not light enough for that.
The consequence, of course, was a violent exaggeration of each party for
the time. The King became a martyr, and the Parliamentarians traitors, and
_vice versâ_. The great reform brought into act by and under William the
Third combined the principles truly contended for by Charles and his
Parliament respectively: the great revolution of 1831 has certainly, to an
almost ruinous degree, dislocated those principles of government again. As
to Hampden's speech[1], no doubt it means a declaration of passive
obedience to the sovereign, as the creed of an English Protestant
individual: every man, Cromwell and all, would have said as much; it was
the antipapistical tenet, and almost vauntingly asserted on all occasions
by Protestants up to that time. But it implies nothing of Hampden's creed
as to the duty of Parliament.

[Footnote 1:
On his impeachment with the other four members, 1642. See the "Letter to
John Murray, Esq. _touching_ Lord Nugent," 1833. It is extraordinary that
Lord N. should not see the plain distinction taken by Hampden, between not
obeying an unlawful command, and rebelling against the King because of it.
He approves the one, and condemns the other. His words are, "to _yield
obedience to_ the commands of a King, if against the true religion, against
the ancient and fundamental laws of the land, is another sign of an ill
subject:"--"To _resist_ the lawful power of the King; to raise insurrection
against the King; admit him adverse in his religion; _to conspire against
his sacred person, or any ways to rebel, though commanding things against
our consciences in exercising religion, or against the rights and
privileges of the subject_, is an absolute sign of the disaffected and
traitorous subject."--ED.]

_May_ 10. 1833.


Well, I think no honest man will deny that the prophetic denunciations of
those who seriously and solemnly opposed the Reform Bill are in a fair way
of exact fulfilment! For myself, I own I did not expect such rapidity of
movement. I supposed that the first parliament would contain a large number
of low factious men, who would vulgarize and degrade the debates of the
House of Commons, and considerably impede public business, and that the
majority would be gentlemen more fond of their property than their
politics. But really the truth is something more than this. Think of
upwards of 160 members voting away two millions and a half of tax on
Friday[1], at the bidding of whom, shall I say? and then no less than 70 of
those very members rescinding their votes on the Tuesday next following,
nothing whatever having intervened to justify the change, except that they
had found out that at least seven or eight millions more must go also upon
the same principle, and that the revenue was cut in two! Of course I
approve the vote of rescission, however dangerous a precedent; but what a
picture of the composition of this House of Commons!

[Footnote 1:
On Friday, the 26th of April, 1833, Sir William Ingilby moved and carried a
resolution for reducing the duty on malt from 28s. 8d. to l0s. per quarter.
One hundred and sixty-two members voted with him. On Tuesday following, the
30th of April, seventy-six members only voted against the rescission of the
same resolution.--ED.]

_May_ 13. 1833.


1. That which is digested wholly, and part of which is assimilated, and
part rejected, is--Food.

2. That which is digested wholly, and the whole of which is partly
assimilated, and partly not, is--Medicine.

3. That which is digested, but not assimilated, is--Poison.

4. That which is neither digested nor assimilated is--Mere Obstruction.

As to the stories of slow poisons, I cannot say whether there was any, or
what, truth in them; but I certainly believe a man may be poisoned by
arsenic a year after he has taken it. In fact, I think that is known to
have happened.

May 14. 1833.


Professor Wilson's character of Charles Lamb in the last Blackwood,
_Twaddle on Tweed-side_[1], is very sweet indeed, and gratified me much. It
does honour to Wilson, to his head and his heart.

[Footnote 1:
"Charles Lamb ought really not to abuse Scotland in the pleasant way he so
often does in the sylvan shades of Enfield; for Scotland loves Charles
Lamb; but he is wayward and wilful in his wisdom, and conceits that many a
Cockney is a better man even than Christopher North. But what will not
Christopher forgive to genius and goodness! Even Lamb, bleating libels on
his native land. Nay, he learns lessons of humanity even from the mild
malice of Elia, and breathes a blessing on him and his household in their
bower of rest."

Some of Mr. Coleridge's poems were first published with some of C. Lamb's
at Bristol in 1797. The remarkable words on the title-page have been aptly
cited in the New Monthly Magazine for February, 1835, p. 198.: "Duplex
nobis vinculum, et amicitiae et similium junctarumque Camcoenarum,--quod
utinam neque mors solvat, neque temporis longinquitas." And even so it came
to pass after thirty seven years more had passed over their heads,--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

How can I wish that Wilson should cease to write what so often soothes and
suspends my bodily miseries, and my mental conflicts! Yet what a waste,
what a reckless spending, of talent, ay, and of genius, too, in his I know
not how many years' management of Blackwood! If Wilson cares for fame, for
an enduring place and prominence in literature, he should now, I think,
hold his hand, and say, as he well may,--

    "Militavi non sine gloria:
      Nunc arma defunctumque bello
        Barbiton hic paries habebit."

Two or three volumes collected out of the magazine by himself would be very
delightful. But he must not leave it for others to do; for some recasting
and much condensation would be required; and literary executors make sad
work in general with their testators' brains.

       *       *       *       *       *

I believe it possible that a man may, under certain states of the moral
feeling, entertain something deserving the name of love towards a male
object--an affection beyond friendship, and wholly aloof from appetite. In
Elizabeth's and James's time it seems to have been almost fashionable to
cherish such a feeling; and perhaps we may account in some measure for it
by considering how very inferior the women of that age, taken generally,
were in education and accomplishment of mind to the men. Of course there
were brilliant exceptions enough; but the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher--
the most popular dramatists that ever wrote for the English stage--will
show us what sort of women it was generally pleasing to represent.
Certainly the language of the two friends, Musidorus and Pyrocles, in the
Arcadia, is such as we could not now use except to women; and in Cervantes
the same tone is sometimes adopted, as in the novel of the Curious
Impertinent. And I think there is a passage in the New Atlantis[1] of Lord
Bacon, in which he speaks of the possibility of such a feeling, but hints
the extreme danger of entertaining it, or allowing it any place in a moral
theory. I mention this with reference to Shakspeare's sonnets, which have
been supposed, by some, to be addressed to William Herbert, Earl of
Pembroke, whom Clarendon calls[2] the most beloved man of his age, though
his licentiousness was equal to his virtues.

I doubt this. I do not think that Shakespeare, merely because he was an
actor, would have thought it necessary to veil his emotions towards
Pembroke under a disguise, though he might probably have done so, if the
real object had perchance been a Laura or a Leonora. It seems to me that
the sonnets could only have come from a man deeply in love, and in love
with a woman; and there is one sonnet which, from its incongruity, I take
to be a purposed blind. These extraordinary sonnets form, in fact, a poem
of so many stanzas of fourteen lines each; and, like the passion which
inspired them, the sonnets are always the same, with a variety of
expression,--continuous, if you regard the lover's soul,--distinct, if you
listen to him, as he heaves them sigh after sigh.

These sonnets, like the Venus and Adonis, and the Rape of Lucrece, are
characterized by boundless fertility and laboured condensation of thought,
with perfection of sweetness in rhythm and metre. These are the essentials
in the budding of a great poet. Afterwards habit and consciousness of power
teach more ease--_praecipitandum liberum spiritum_.

[Footnote 1:
I cannot fix upon any passage in this work, to which it can be supposed
that Mr. Coleridge alluded, unless it be the speech of Joabin the Jew; but
it contains nothing coming up to the meaning in the text. The only approach
to it seems to be:--"As for masculine love, they have no touch of it; and
yet there are not so faithful and inviolate friendships in the world again
as are there; and to speak generally, as I said before, I have not read of
any such chastity in any people as theirs."--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
"William Earl of Pembroke was next, a man of another mould and making, and
of another fame and reputation with all men, being the most universally
beloved and esteemed of any man of that age." ......."He indulged to
himself the pleasures of all kinds, almost in all excesses."--_Hist. of the
Rebellion_, book i. He died in 1630, aged fifty years. The dedication by T.
T. (Thomas Thorpe) is to "the only begetter of these ensuing sonnets, Mr.
W. H." and Malone is inclined to think that William Hughes is meant. As to
Mr. W. H. being the _only_ begetter of these sonnets, it must be observed,
that at least the last twenty-eight are beyond dispute addressed to a
woman. I suppose the twentieth sonnet was the particular one conceived by
Mr. C. to be a blind; but it seems to me that many others may be so
construed, if we set out with a conviction that the real object of the poet
was a woman.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Every one who has been in love, knows that the passion is strongest, and
the appetite weakest, in the absence of the beloved object, and that the
reverse is the case in her presence.

_May_ 15. 1833.


Wicliffe's genius was, perhaps, not equal to Luther's; but really the more
I know of him from Vaughan and Le Bas, both of whose books I like, I think
him as extraordinary a man as Luther upon the whole. He was much sounder
and more truly catholic in his view of the Eucharist than Luther. And I
find, not without some pleasure, that my own view of it, which I was
afraid was original, was maintained in the tenth century, that is to say,
that the body broken had no reference to the human body of Christ, but to
the Caro Noumenon, or symbolical Body, the Rock that followed the

Whitaker beautifully says of Luther;--_Felix ille, quem Dominus eo honore
dignatus est, ut homines nequissimos suos haberet inimicos_.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is now no reverence for any thing; and the reason is, that men
possess conceptions only, and all their knowledge is conceptional only.
Now as, to conceive, is a work of the mere understanding, and as all that
can be conceived may be comprehended, it is impossible that a man should
reverence that, to which he must always feel something in himself
superior. If it were possible to conceive God in a strict sense, that is,
as we conceive a horse or a tree, even God himself could not excite any
reverence, though he might excite fear or terror, or perhaps love, as a
tiger or a beautiful woman. But reverence, which is the synthesis of love
and fear, is only due from man, and, indeed, only excitable in man,
towards ideal truths, which are always mysteries to the understanding, for
the same reason that the motion of my finger behind my back is a mystery
to you now--your eyes not being made for seeing through my body. It is
the reason only which has a sense by which ideas can be recognized, and
from the fontal light of ideas only can a man draw intellectual power.

       *       *       *       *       *

Samuel Johnson[1], whom, to distinguish him from the Doctor, we may call
the Whig, was a very remarkable writer. He may be compared to his
contemporary De Foe, whom he resembled in many points. He is another
instance of King William's discrimination, which was so much superior to
that of any of his ministers, Johnson was one of the most formidable
advocates for the Exclusion Bill, and he suffered by whipping and
imprisonment under James accordingly. Like Asgill, he argues with great
apparent candour and clearness till he has his opponent within reach, and
then comes a blow as from a sledge-hammer. I do not know where I could put
my hand upon a book containing so much sense and sound constitutional
doctrine as this thin folio of Johnson's Works; and what party in this
country would read so severe a lecture in it as our modern Whigs!

A close reasoner and a good writer in general may be known by his pertinent
use of connectives. Read that page of Johnson; you cannot alter one
conjunction without spoiling the sense. It is a linked strain throughout.
In your modern books, for the most part, the sentences in a page have the
same connection with each other that marbles have in a bag; they touch
without adhering.

Asgill evidently formed his style upon Johnson's, but he only imitates one
part of it. Asgill never rises to Johnson's eloquence. The latter was a
sort of Cobbett-Burke.

James the First thought that, because all power in the state seemed to
proceed _from_ the crown, all power therefore remained in the crown;--as
if, because the tree sprang from the seed, the stem, branches, leaves, and
fruit were all contained in the seed. The constitutional doctrine as to the
relation which the king bears to the other components of the state is in
two words this:--He is a representative of the whole of that, of which he
is himself a part.

[Footnote 1:
Dryden's Ben Jochanan, in the second part of Absalom and Achitophel. He was
born in 1649, and died in 1703. He was a clergyman. In 1686, when the army
was encamped on Hounslow Heath, he published "A humble and hearty Address
to all English Protestants in the present Army." For this he was tried and
sentenced to be pilloried in three places, pay a fine, and be whipped from
Newgate to Tyburn. An attempt was also made to degrade him from his orders,
but this failed through an informality. After the Revolution he was

_May_ 17. 1833.


When Sir Philip Sidney saw the enthusiasm which agitated every man, woman,
and child in the Netherlands against Philip and D'Alva, he told Queen
Elizabeth that it was the spirit of God, and that it was invincible. What
is the spirit which seems to move and unsettle every other man in England
and on the Continent at this time? Upon my conscience, and judging by St.
John's rule, I think it is a special spirit of the devil--and a very vulgar
devil too!

       *       *       *       *       *

Your modern political economists say that it is a principle in their
science--that all things _find_ their level;--which I deny; and say, on
the contrary, that the true principle is, that all things are _finding_
their level like water in a storm.

_May_ 18. 1833.


German is inferior to English in modifications of expression of the
affections, but superior to it in modifications of expression of all
objects of the senses.

       *       *       *       *       *

Goethe's small lyrics are delightful. He showed good taste in not
attempting to imitate Shakspeare's Witches, which are threefold,--Fates,
Furies, and earthly Hags o' the caldron.

       *       *       *       *       *

Man does not move in cycles, though nature does. Man's course is like that
of an arrow; for the portion of the great cometary ellipse which he
occupies is no more than a needle's length to a mile.

In natural history, God's freedom is shown in the law of necessity. In
moral history, God's necessity or providence is shown in man's freedom.

_June_ 8. 1833.


There can be no doubt of the gross violations of strict neutrality by this
government in the Portuguese affair; but I wish the Tories had left the
matter alone, and not given room to the people to associate them with that
scoundrel Dom Miguel. You can never interest the common herd in the
abstract question; with them it is a mere quarrel between the men; and
though Pedro is a very doubtful character, he is not so bad as his brother;
and, besides, we are naturally interested for the girl.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is very strange that men who make light of the direct doctrines of the
Scriptures, and turn up their noses at the recommendation of a line of
conduct suggested by religious truth, will nevertheless stake the
tranquillity of an empire, the lives and properties of millions of men and
women, on the faith of a maxim of modern political economy! And this, too,
of a maxim true only, if at all, of England or a part of England, or some
other country;--namely, that the desire of bettering their condition will
induce men to labour even more abundantly and profitably than servile
compulsion,--to which maxim the past history and present state of all Asia
and Africa give the lie. Nay, even in England at this day, every man in
Manchester, Birmingham, and in other great manufacturing towns, knows that
the most skilful artisans, who may earn high wages at pleasure, are
constantly in the habit of working but a few days in the week, and of
idling the rest. I believe St.

Monday is very well kept by the workmen in London. The love of indolence is
universal, or next to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Must not the ministerial plan for the West Indies lead necessarily to a
change of property, either by force or dereliction? I can't see any way of
escaping it.

       *       *       *       *       *

You are always talking of the _rights_ of the negroes. As a rhetorical mode
of stimulating the people of England _here_, I do not object; but I utterly
condemn your frantic practice of declaiming about their rights to the
blacks themselves. They ought to be forcibly reminded of the state in which
their brethren in Africa still are, and taught to be thankful for the
providence which has placed them within reach of the means of grace. I know
no right except such as flows from righteousness; and as every Christian
believes his righteousness to be imputed, so must his right be an imputed
right too. It must flow out of a duty, and it is under that name that the
process of humanization ought to begin and to be conducted throughout.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thirty years ago, and more, Pitt availed himself, with great political
dexterity, of the apprehension, which Burke and the conduct of some of the
clubs in London had excited, and endeavoured to inspire into the nation a
panic of property. Fox, instead of exposing the absurdity of this by
showing the real numbers and contemptible weakness of the disaffected, fell
into Pitt's trap, and was mad enough to exaggerate even Pitt's surmises.
The consequence was, a very general apprehension throughout the country of
an impending revolution, at a time when, I will venture to say, the people
were more heart-whole than they had been for a hundred years previously.
After I had travelled in Sicily and Italy, countries where there were real
grounds for fear, I became deeply impressed with the difference. Now, after
a long continuance of high national glory and influence, when a revolution
of a most searching and general character is actually at work, and the old
institutions of the country are all awaiting their certain destruction or
violent modification--the people at large are perfectly secure, sleeping or
gambolling on the very brink of a volcano.

_June_ 15. 1833.


The necessity for external government to man is in an inverse ratio to the
vigour of his self-government. Where the last is most complete, the first
is least wanted. Hence, the more virtue the more liberty.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans the most profound work in
existence; and I hardly believe that the writings of the old Stoics, now
lost, could have been deeper. Undoubtedly it is, and must be, very obscure
to ordinary readers; but some of the difficulty is accidental, arising from
the form in which the Epistle appears. If we could now arrange this work in
the way in which we may be sure St. Paul would himself do, were he now
alive, and preparing it for the press, his reasoning would stand out
clearer. His accumulated parentheses would be thrown into notes, or
extruded to the margin. You will smile, after this, if I say that I think I
understand St. Paul; and I think so, because, really and truly, I recognize
a cogent consecutiveness in the argument--the only evidence I know that you
understand any book. How different is the style of this intensely
passionate argument from that of the catholic circular charge called the
Epistle to the Ephesians!--and how different that of both from the style of
the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, which I venture to call [Greek:
epistolal panloeideiz]

Erasmus's paraphrase of the New Testament is clear and explanatory; but you
cannot expect any thing very deep from Erasmus. The only fit commentator on
Paul was Luther--not by any means such a gentleman as the Apostle, but
almost as great a genius.

_June_ 17. 1833.


Have you been able to discover any principle in this Emancipation Bill for
the Slaves, except a principle of fear of the abolition party struggling
with a dread of causing some monstrous calamity to the empire at large?
Well! I will not prophesy; and God grant that this tremendous and
unprecedented act of positive enactment may not do the harm to the cause of
humanity and freedom which I cannot but fear! But yet, what can be hoped,
when all human wisdom and counsel are set at nought, and religious faith--
the only miraculous agent amongst men--is not invoked or regarded! and that
most unblest phrase--the Dissenting _interest_--enters into the question!

_June_ 22. 1833.


What a delightful and instructive hook Bishop Hacket's Life of Archbishop
Williams is! You learn more from it of that which is valuable towards an
insight into the times preceding the Civil War than from all the ponderous
histories and memoirs now composed about that period.

       *       *       *       *       *

Charles seems to have been a very disagreeable personage during James's
life. There is nothing dutiful in his demeanour.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think the spirit of the court and nobility of Edward III. and Richard II.
was less gross than that in the time of Henry VIII.; for in this latter
period the chivalry had evaporated, and the whole coarseness was left by
itself. Chaucer represents a very high and romantic style of society
amongst the gentry.

_June_ 29. 1833.


It seems to me a great delusion to call or suppose the imagination of a
subtle fluid, or molecules penetrable with the same, a legitimate
hypothesis. It is a mere _suffiction_. Newton took the fact of bodies
falling to the centre, and upon that built up a legitimate hypothesis. It
was a subposition of something certain. But Descartes' vortices were not an
hypothesis; they rested on no fact at all; and yet they did, in a clumsy
way, explain the motions of the heavenly bodies. But your subtle fluid is
pure gratuitous assumption; and for what use? It explains nothing.

Besides, you are endeavouring to deduce power from mass, in which you
expressly say there is no power but the _vis inertiae_: whereas, the whole
analogy of chemistry proves that power produces mass.

       *       *       *       *       *

The use of a theory in the real sciences is to help the investigator to a
complete view of all the hitherto discovered facts relating to the science
in question; it is a collected view, [Greek: the_orhia], of all he yet
knows in _one_. Of course, whilst any pertinent facts remain unknown, no
theory can be exactly true, because every new fact must necessarily, to a
greater or less degree, displace the relation of all the others. A theory,
therefore, only helps investigation; it cannot invent or discover. The only
true theories are those of geometry, because in geometry all the premisses
are true and unalterable. But, to suppose that, in our present exceedingly
imperfect acquaintance with the facts, any theory in chemistry or geology
is altogether accurate, is absurd:--it cannot be true.

Mr. Lyell's system of geology is just half the truth, and no more. He
affirms a great deal that is true, and he denies a great deal which is
equally true; which is the general characteristic of all systems not
embracing the whole truth. So it is with the rectilinearity or undulatory
motion of light;--I believe both; though philosophy has as yet but
imperfectly ascertained the conditions of their alternate existence, or the
laws by which they are regulated.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who deny light to be matter do not, therefore, deny its corporeity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable. It is
no doubt a sublimer effort of genius than the Greek style; but then it
depends much more on execution for its effect. I was more than ever
impressed with the marvellous sublimity and transcendant beauty of King's
College Chapel.[1] It is quite unparalleled.

I think Gerard Douw's "Schoolmaster," in the Fitzwilliam Museum, the finest
thing of the sort I ever saw;--whether you look at it at the common
distance, or examine it with a glass, the wonder is equal. And that
glorious picture of the Venus--so perfectly beautiful and perfectly
innocent--as if beauty and innocence could not be dissociated! The French
thing below is a curious instance of the inherent grossness of the French
taste. Titian's picture is made quite bestial.

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge visited Cambridge upon the occasion of the scientific meeting
there in June, 1833.--"My emotions," he said, "at revisiting the university
were at first, overwhelming. I could not speak for an hour; yet my feelings
were upon the whole very pleasurable, and I have not passed, of late years
at least, three days of such great enjoyment and healthful excitement of
mind and body. The bed on which I slept--and slept soundly too--was, as
near as I can describe it, a couple of sacks full of potatoes tied
together. I understand the young men think it hardens them. Truly I lay
down at night a man, and arose in the morning a bruise." He told me "that
the men were much amused at his saying that the fine old Quaker philosopher
Dalton's face was like All Souls' College." The two persons of whom he
spoke with the greatest interest were Mr. Faraday and Mr. Thirlwall; saying
of the former, "that he seemed to have the true temperament of genius, that
carrying-on of the spring and freshness of youthful, nay, boyish feelings,
into the matured strength of manhood!" For, as Mr. Coleridge had long
before expressed the same thought,--"To find no contradiction in the union
of old and new; to contemplate the Ancient of Days and all his works with
feelings as fresh as if all had then sprung forth at the first creative
fiat, this characterizes the mind that feels the riddle of the world, and
may help to unravel it. To carry on the feelings of childhood into the
powers of manhood; to combine the child's sense of wonder and novelty with
the appearances which everyday for perhaps forty years had rendered

  'With sun and moon and stars throughout the year,
  And man and woman;'--

this is the character and privilege of genius, and one of the marks which
distinguish genius from talent. And therefore is it the prime merit of
genius, and its most unequivocal mode of manifestation, so to represent
familiar objects as to awaken in the minds of others a kindred feeling
concerning them, and that freshness of sensation which is the constant
accompaniment of mental, no less than of bodily, convalescence. Who has not
a thousand times seen snow fall on water? Who has not watched it with a new
feeling, from the time that he has read Burns's comparison of sensual

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

_Biog. Lit_. vol. i, p. 85.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I think Sir James Scarlett's speech for the defendant, in the late action
of Cobbett v. The Times, for a libel, worthy of the best ages of Greece or
Rome; though, to be sure, some of his remarks could not have been very
palatable to his clients.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am glad you came in to punctuate my discourse, which I fear has gone on
for an hour without any stop at all.

_July_ 1. 1833.


If I could ever believe that Mandeville really meant any thing more by his
Fable of the Bees than a _bonne bouche_ of solemn raillery, I should like
to ask those man-shaped apes who have taken up his suggestions in earnest,
and seriously maintained them as bases for a rational account of man and
the world--how they explain the very existence of those dexterous cheats,
those superior charlatans, the legislators and philosophers, who have known
how to play so well upon the peacock-like vanity and follies of their
fellow mortals.

By the by, I wonder some of you lawyers (_sub rosa_, of course) have not
quoted the pithy lines in Mandeville upon this registration question:--

    "The lawyers, of whose art the basis
    Was raising feuds and splitting cases,
    _Oppos'd all Registers_, that cheats
    Might make more work with dipt estates;
    As 'twere unlawful that one's own
    Without a lawsuit should be known!
    They put off hearings wilfully,
    To finger the refreshing fee;
    And to defend a wicked cause
    Examined and survey'd the laws,
    As burglars shops and houses do,
    To see where best they may break through."

There is great Hudibrastic vigour in these lines; and those on the doctors
are also very terse.

       *       *       *       *       *

Look at that head of Cline, by Chantrey! Is that forehead, that nose, those
temples and that chin, akin to the monkey tribe? No, no. To a man of
sensibility no argument could disprove the bestial theory so convincingly
as a quiet contemplation of that fine bust.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot agree with the solemn abuse which the critics have poured out upon
Bertram in "All's Well that ends Well." He was a young nobleman in feudal
times, just bursting into manhood, with all the feelings of pride of birth
and appetite for pleasure and liberty natural to such a character so
circumstanced. Of course he had never regarded Helena otherwise than as a
dependant in the family; and of all that which she possessed of goodness
and fidelity and courage, which might atone for her inferiority in other
respects, Bertram was necessarily in a great measure ignorant. And after
all, her _prima facie_ merit was the having inherited a prescription from
her old father the doctor, by which she cures the king,--a merit, which
supposes an extravagance of personal loyalty in Bertram to make conclusive
to him in such a matter as that of taking a wife. Bertram had surely good
reason to look upon the king's forcing him to marry Helena as a very
tyrannical act. Indeed, it must be confessed that her character is not very
delicate, and it required all Shakspeare's consummate skill to interest us
for her; and he does this chiefly by the operation of the other
characters,--the Countess, Lafeu, &c. We get to like Helena from their
praising and commending her so much.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Beaumont and Fletcher's tragedies the comic scenes are rarely so
interfused amidst the tragic as to produce a unity of the tragic on the
whole, without which the intermixture is a fault. In Shakspeare, this is
always managed with transcendant skill. The Fool in Lear contributes in a
very sensible manner to the tragic wildness of the whole drama. Beaumont
and Fletcher's serious plays or tragedies are complete hybrids,--neither
fish nor flesh,--upon any rules, Greek, Roman, or Gothic: and yet they are
very delightful notwithstanding. No doubt, they imitate the ease of
gentlemanly conversation better than Shakspeare, who was unable _not_ to be
too much associated to succeed perfectly in this.

When I was a boy, I was fondest of Æschylus; in youth and middle age I
preferred Euripides; now in my declining years I admire Sophocles. I can
now at length see that Sophocles is the most perfect. Yet he never rises to
the sublime simplicity of Æschylus--simplicity of design, I mean--nor
diffuses himself in the passionate outpourings of Euripides. I understand
why the ancients called Euripides the most tragic of their dramatists: he
evidently embraces within the scope of the tragic poet many passions,--
love, conjugal affection, jealousy, and so on, which Sophocles seems to
have considered as incongruous with the ideal statuesqueness of the tragic
drama. Certainly Euripides was a greater poet in the abstract than
Sophocles. His choruses may be faulty as choruses, but how beautiful and
affecting they are as odes and songs! I think the famous [Greek: Euippoy
Xene], in Oedipus Coloneus[1] cold in comparison with many of the odes of
Euripides, as that song of the chorus in the Hippolytus--[Greek: "Eoos,"
Eoos[2]] and so on; and I remember a choric ode in the Hecuba, which always
struck me as exquisitely rich and finished; I mean, where the chorus speaks
of Troy and the night of the capture.[3]

There is nothing very surprising in Milton's preference of Euripides,
though so unlike himself. It is very common--very natural--for men to
_like_ and even admire an exhibition of power very different in kind from
any thing of their own. No jealousy arises. Milton preferred Ovid too, and
I dare say he admired both as a man of sensibility admires a lovely woman,
with a feeling into which jealousy or envy cannot enter. With Aeschylus or
Sophocles he might perchance have matched himself.

In Euripides you have oftentimes a very near approach to comedy, and I
hardly know any writer in whom you can find such fine models of serious and
dignified conversation.

[Footnote 1:
  Euíppoy, Xége, tmsde chosas
  Tchoy tà chzátista gãs esaula
  tdn àxgaeta Kolanón'--ch. t. l.  v. 668]

[Footnote 2:
 "Exos" Exos, ó chat' ômmátton
  s tázeos póthon eisagog glycheïan
  Psuchä cháriu oûs èpithtzateúsei
  mae moi totè sèn chachõ phaneiaes
    maeô ãrruthmos ëlthois--x.t.l v.527]

[Footnote 3:
I take it for granted that Mr. Coleridge alluded to the chorus,--

[Greek: Su men, _o patrhis Ilias
t_on aporhth_et_on polis
ouketi lexei toion El-
lan_on nephos amphi se krhuptei,
dorhi d_e, dorhi perhsan--k. t. l.] v. 899.

Thou, then, oh, natal Troy! no more
The city of the unsack'd shalt be,
So thick from dark Achaia's shore
The cloud of war hath covered thee.
    Ah! not again
    I tread thy plain--
The spear--the spear hath rent thy pride;
The flame hath scarr'd thee deep and wide;
Thy coronal of towers is shorn,
And thou most piteous art--most naked and forlorn!

  I perish'd at the noon of night!
When sleep had seal'd each weary eye;
    When the dance was o'er,
    And harps no more
Rang out in choral minstrelsy.
  In the dear bower of delight
    My husband slept in joy;
      His shield and spear
      Suspended near,
Secure he slept: that sailor band
Full sure he deem'd no more should stand
    Beneath the walls of Troy.
  And I too, by the taper's light,
    Which in the golden mirror's haze
    Flash'd its interminable rays,
  Bound up the tresses of my hair,
  That I Love's peaceful sleep might share.

I slept; but, hark! that war-shout dread,
Which rolling through the city spread;
And this the cry,--"When, Sons of Greece,
When shall the lingering leaguer cease;
When will ye spoil Troy's watch-tower high,
And home return?"--I heard the cry,
And, starting from the genial bed,
Veiled, as a Doric maid, I fled,
And knelt, Diana, at thy holy fane,
A trembling suppliant--all in vain.]

JULY 3. 1833.


The collocation of words is so artificial in Shakspeare and Milton, that
you may as well think of pushing a[1] brick out of a wall with your
forefinger, as attempt to remove a word out of any of their finished

A good lecture upon style might he composed, by taking on the one hand the
slang of L'Estrange, and perhaps, even of Roger North,[3] which became so
fashionable after the Restoration as a mark of loyalty; and on the other,
the Johnsonian magniloquence or the balanced metre of Junius; and then
showing how each extreme is faulty, upon different grounds.

It is quite curious to remark the prevalence of the Cavalier slang style in
the divines of Charles the Second's time. Barrow could not of course adopt
such a mode of writing throughout, because he could not in it have
communicated his elaborate thinkings and lofty rhetoric; but even Barrow
not unfrequently lets slip a phrase here and there in the regular Roger
North way--much to the delight, no doubt, of the largest part of his
audience and contemporary readers. See particularly, for instances of this,
his work on the Pope's supremacy. South is full of it.

The style of Junius is a sort of metre, the law of which is a balance of
thesis and antithesis. When he gets out of this aphorismic metre into a
sentence of five or six lines long, nothing can exceed the slovenliness of
the English. Horne Tooke and a long sentence seem the only two antagonists
that were too much for him. Still the antithesis of Junius is a real
antithesis of images or thought; but the antithesis of Johnson is rarely
more than verbal.

The definition of good prose is--proper words in their proper places;--of
good verse--the most proper words in their proper places. The propriety is
in either case relative. The words in prose ought to express the intended
meaning, and no more; if they attract attention to themselves, it is, in
general, a fault. In the very best styles, as Southey's, you read page
after page, understanding the author perfectly, without once taking notice
of the medium of communication;--it is as if he had been speaking to you
all the while. But in verse you must do more;--there the words, the
_media_, must be beautiful, and ought to attract your notice--yet not so
much and so perpetually as to destroy the unity which ought to result from
the whole poem. This is the general rule, but, of course, subject to some
modifications, according to the different kinds of prose or verse. Some
prose may approach towards verse, as oratory, and therefore a more studied
exhibition of the _media_ may be proper; and some verse may border more on
mere narrative, and there the style should be simpler. But the great thing
in poetry is, _quocunque modo_, to effect a unity of impression upon the
whole; and a too great fulness and profusion of point in the parts will
prevent this. Who can read with pleasure more than a hundred lines or so of
Hudibras at one time? Each couplet or quatrain is so whole in itself, that
you can't connect them. There is no fusion,--just as it is in Seneca.

[Footnote 1:

  They led me to the sounding shore--
    Heavens! as I passed the crowded way,
    My bleeding lord before me lay--
  I saw--I saw--and wept no more,
  Till, as the homeward breezes bore
  The bark returning o'er the sea,
  My gaze, oh Ilion, turn'd on thee!
  Then, frantic, to the midnight air,
  I cursed aloud the adulterous pair:--
  "They plunge me deep in exile's woe;
  They lay my country low:
    Their love--no love! but some dark spell,
    In vengeance breath'd, by spirit fell.
  Rise, hoary sea, in awful tide,
  And whelm that vessel's guilty pride;
  Nor e'er, in high Mycene's hall,
  Let Helen boast in peace of mighty Ilion's fall."

The translation was given to me by Mr. Justice Coleridge.--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
"The amotion or transposition will alter the thought, or the feeling, or at
least the tone. They are as pieces of mosaic work, from which you cannot
strike the smallest block without making a hole in the picture."--
_Quarterly Review_, No. CIII. p. 7.]

[Footnote 3:
But Mr. Coleridge took a great distinction between North and the other
writers commonly associated with him. In speaking of the Examen and the
Life of Lord North, in the Friend, Mr. C. calls them "two of the most
interesting biographical works in our language, both for the weight of the
matter, and the _incuriosa felicitas_ of the style. The pages are all alive
with the genuine idioms of our mother tongue. A fastidious taste, it is
true, will find offence in the occasional vulgarisms, or what we now call
_slang_, which not a few of our writers, shortly after the Restoration of
Charles the Second, seem to have affected as a mark of loyalty. These
instances, however, are but a trifling drawback. They are not _sought for_,
as is too often and too plainly done by L'Estrange, Collyer, Tom Brown, and
their imitators. North never goes out of his way, either to seek them, or
to avoid them; and, in the main, his language gives us the very nerve,
pulse, and sinew of a hearty, healthy, conversational _English_."--Vol. ii.
p. 307.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Imitation is the mesothesis of likeness and difference. The difference is
as essential to it as the likeness; for without the difference, it would be
copy or facsimile. But to borrow a term from astronomy, it is a librating
mesothesis: for it may verge more to likeness as in painting, or more to
difference, as in sculpture.

JULY 4. 1833.


Dr. Johnson's fame now rests principally upon Boswell. It is impossible not
to be amused with such a book. But his _bow-wow_ manner must have had a
good deal to do with the effect produced;--for no one, I suppose, will set
Johnson before Burke,--and Burke was a great and universal talker;--yet now
we hear nothing of this except by some chance remarks in Boswell. The fact
is, Burke, like all men of genius who love to talk at all, was very
discursive and continuous; hence he is not reported; he seldom said the
sharp short things that Johnson almost always did, which produce a more
decided effect at the moment, and which are so much more easy to carry
off.[1] Besides, as to Burke's testimony to Johnson's powers, you must
remember that Burke was a great courtier; and after all, Burke said and
wrote more than once that he thought Johnson greater in talking than
writing, and greater in Boswell than in real life.[2]

[Footnote 1:
Burke, I am persuaded, was not so continuous a talker as Coleridge. Madame
de Stael told a nephew of the latter, at Coppet, that Mr. C. was a master
of monologue, _mais qu'il ne savait pas le dialogue_. There was a spice of
vindictiveness in this, the exact history of which is not worth explaining.
And if dialogue must be cut down in its meaning to small talk, I, for one,
will admit that Coleridge, amongst his numberless qualifications, possessed
it not. But I am sure that he could, when it suited him, converse as well
as any one else, and with women he frequently did converse in a very
winning and popular style, confining them, however, as well as he could, to
the detail of facts or of their spontaneous emotions. In general, it was
certainly otherwise. "You must not be surprised," he said to me, "at my
talking so long to you--I pass so much of my time in pain and solitude, yet
everlastingly thinking, that, when you or any other persons call on me, I
can hardly help easing my mind by pouring forth some of the accumulated
mass of reflection and feeling, upon an apparently interested recipient."
But the principal reason, no doubt, was the habit of his intellect, which
was under a law of discoursing upon all subjects with reference to ideas or
ultimate ends. You might interrupt him when you pleased, and he was patient
of every sort of conversation except mere personality, which he absolutely

[Footnote 2:
This was said, I believe, to the late Sir James Mackintosh.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Newton _was_ a great man, but you must excuse me if I think that it would
take many Newtons to make one Milton.

_July_ 6. 1833.


It is a poor compliment to pay to a painter to tell him that his figure
stands out of the canvass, or that you start at the likeness of the
portrait. Take almost any daub, cut it out of the canvass, and place the
figure looking into or out of a window, and any one may take it for life.
Or take one of Mrs. Salmon's wax queens or generals, and you will very
sensibly feel the difference between a copy, as they are, and an imitation,
of the human form, as a good portrait ought to be. Look at that flower vase
of Van Huysum, and at these wax or stone peaches and apricots! The last are
likest to their original, but what pleasure do they give? None, except to

Some music is above me; most music is beneath me. I like Beethoven and
Mozart--or else some of the aërial compositions of the elder Italians, as
Palestrina[2] and Carissimi.--And I love Purcell.

The best sort of music is what it should be--sacred; the next best, the
military, has fallen to the lot of the Devil.

Good music never tires me, nor sends me to sleep. I feel physically
refreshed and strengthened by it, as Milton says he did.

I could write as good verses now as ever I did, if I were perfectly free
from vexations, and were in the _ad libitum_ hearing of fine music, which
has a sensible effect in harmonizing my thoughts, and in animating and, as
it were, lubricating my inventive faculty. The reason of my not finishing
Christabel is not, that I don't know how to do it--for I have, as I always
had, the whole plan entire from beginning to end in my mind; but I fear I
could not carry on with equal success the execution of the idea, an
extremely subtle and difficult one.

Besides, after this continuation of Faust, which they tell me is very poor,
who can have courage to attempt[3] a reversal of the judgment of all
criticism against continuations? Let us except Don Quixote, however,
although the second part of that transcendant work is not exactly _uno
flatu_ with the original conception.

[Footnote 1:
This passage, and those following, will evidence, what the readers even of
this little work must have seen, that Mr. Coleridge had an eye, almost
exclusively, for the ideal or universal in painting and music. He knew
nothing of the details of handling in the one, or of rules of composition
in the other. Yet he was, to the best of my knowledge, an unerring judge of
the merits of any serious effort in the fine arts, and detected the leading
thought or feeling of the artist, with a decision which used sometimes to
astonish me. Every picture which I have looked at in company with him,
seems now, to my mind, translated into English. He would sometimes say,
after looking for a minute at a picture, generally a modern one, "There's
no use in stopping at this; for I see the painter had no idea. It is mere
mechanical drawing. Come on; _here_ the artist _meant_ something for the
mind." It was just the same with his knowledge of music. His appetite for
what he thought good was literally inexhaustible. He told me he could
listen to fine music for twelve hours together, and go away _refreshed_.
But he required in music either thought or feeling; mere addresses to the
sensual ear he could not away with; hence his utter distaste for Rossini,
and his reverence for Beethoven and Mozart--ED.]

[Footnote 2:
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was born about 1529, and died in 1594. I
believe he may be considered the founder or reformer of the Italian church
music. His masses, motets, and hymns are tolerably well known amongst
lovers of the old composers; but Mr. Coleridge used to speak with delight
of some of Palestrina's madrigals which he heard at Rome.

Giacomo Carissimi composed about the years 1640--1650. His style has been
charged with effeminacy; but Mr. C. thought it very graceful and chaste.
Henry Purcell needs no addition in England.--ED.]

[Footnote 3:
"The thing attempted in Christabel is the most difficult of execution in
the whole field of romance--witchery by daylight--and the success is
complete."--_Quarterly Review_, No. CIII. p. 29.]

_July 8. 1833._


I am clear for public schools as the general rule; but for particular
children private education may be proper. For the purpose of moving at ease
in the best English society,--mind, I don't call the London exclusive
clique the best English society,--the defect of a public education upon the
plan of our great schools and Oxford and Cambridge is hardly to be
supplied. But the defect is visible positively in some men, and only
negatively in others. The first _offend_ you by habits and modes of
thinking and acting directly attributable to their private education; in
the others you only regret that the freedom and facility of the established
and national mode of bringing up is not _added_ to their good qualities.

       *       *       *       *       *

I more than doubt the expediency of making even
elementary mathematics a part of the routine in the
system of the great schools. It is enough, I think,
that encouragement and facilities should be given; and
I think more will be thus effected than by compelling
all. Much less would I incorporate the German or
French, or any modern language, into the school labours.
I think that a great mistake.[1]

[Footnote 1:
"One constant blunder"--I find it so pencilled by Mr. C. on a margin--"of
these New-Broomers--these Penny Magazine sages and philanthropists, in
reference to our public schools, is to confine their view to what
schoolmasters teach the boys, with entire oversight of all that the boys
are excited to learn from each other and of themselves--with more geniality
even because it is not a part of their compelled school knowledge. An Eton
boy's knowledge of the St. Lawrence, Mississippi, Missouri, Orellana, &c.
will be, generally, found in exact proportion to his knowledge of the
Ilissus, Hebrus, Orontes, &c.; inasmuch as modern travels and voyages are
more entertaining and fascinating than Cellarius; or Robinson Crusoe,
Dampier, and Captain Cook, than the Periegesis. Compare the _lads_
themselves from Eton and Harrow, &c. with the alumni of the New-Broom
Institution, and not the lists of school-lessons; and be that comparison
the criterion.--ED.]

August 4, 1833.


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,--just as a bright pan of
brass, when beaten, is said to attract the swarming bees;--whereas, for
myself, notwithstanding Dr. Johnson, I believe I should walk over the plain
of Marathon without taking more interest in it than in any other plain of
similar features. Yet I receive as much pleasure in reading the account of
the battle, in Herodotus, as any one can. Charles Lamb wrote an essay [1]
on a man who lived in past time:--I thought of adding another to it on one
who lived not in time at all, past, present, or future,--but beside or

[Footnote 1:
I know not when or where; but are not all the writings of this exquisite
genius the effusions of one whose spirit lived in past time? The place
which Lamb holds, and will continue to hold, in English literature, seems
less liable to interruption than that of any other writer of our day.--ED.]

August 10. 1833.


A PERSON, nervously weak, has a sensation of weakness which is as bad to
him as muscular weakness. The only difference lies in the better chance of

       *       *       *       *       *

The fact, that Hooker and Bull, in their two palmary works respectively,
are read in the Jesuit Colleges, is a curious instance of the power of mind
over the most profound of all prejudices.

There are permitted moments of exultation through faith, when we cease to
feel our own emptiness save as a capacity for our Redeemer's fulness.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a species of applause scarcely less genial to a poet, than the
vernal warmth to the feathered songsters during their nest-breeding 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.

_August_ 14. 1833.


A quaker is made up of ice and flame. He has no composition, no mean
temperature. Hence he is rarely interested about any public measure but he
becomes a fanatic, and oversteps, in his irrespective zeal, every decency
and every right opposed to his course.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have never known a trader in philanthropy who was not wrong in heart
somewhere or other. Individuals so distinguished are usually unhappy in
their family relations,--men not benevolent or beneficent to individuals,
but almost hostile to them, yet lavishing money and labour and time on the
race, the abstract notion. The cosmopolitism which does not spring out of,
and blossom upon, the deep-rooted stem of nationality or patriotism, is a
spurious and rotten growth.

       *       *       *       *       *

When I read the ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of the Epistle to the
Romans to that fine old man Mr. ----, at Ramsgate, he shed tears. Any Jew
of sensibility must be deeply impressed by them.

       *       *       *       *       *

The two images farthest removed from each other which can be comprehended
under one term, are, I think, Isaiah [1]--"Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O
earth!"--and Levi of Holywell Street--"Old clothes!"--both of them Jews,
you'll observe. _Immane quantum discrepant!_

[Footnote 1:
I remember Mr. Coleridge used to call Isaiah his ideal of the Hebrew
prophet. He studied that part of the Scripture with unremitting attention
and most reverential admiration. Although Mr. C. was remarkably deficient
in the technical memory of words, he could say a great deal of Isaiah by
heart, and he delighted in pointing out the hexametrical rhythm of numerous
passages in the English version:--

"Hear, O heavens, and give ear, | O earth: for the Lord hath spoken.
I have nourished and brought up children, | and they have rebelled
  against me.
The ox knoweth his owner, | and the ass his master's crib:
But Israel doth not know, | my people doth not consider."--ED.]

_August_ 15. 1833.


I consider the two works of Sallust which have come down to us entire, as
romances founded on facts; no adequate causes are stated, and there is no
real continuity of action. In Thucydides, you are aware from the beginning
that you are reading the reflections of a man of great genius and
experience upon the character and operation of the two great political
principles in conflict in the civilized world in his time; his narrative of
events is of minor importance, and it is evident that he selects for the
purpose of illustration. It is Thucydides himself whom you read throughout
under the names of Pericles, Nicias, &c. But in Herodotus it is just the
reverse. He has as little subjectivity as Homer, and, delighting in the
great fancied epic of events, he narrates them without impressing any thing
as of his own mind upon the narrative. It is the charm of Herodotus that he
gives you the spirit of his age--that of Thucydides, that he reveals to you
his own, which was above the spirit of his age.

The difference between the composition of a history in modern and ancient
times is very great; still there are certain principles upon which the
history of a modern period may be written, neither sacrificing all truth
and reality, like Gibbon, nor descending into mere biography and anecdote.

Gibbon's style is detestable, but his style is not the worst thing about
him. His history has proved an effectual bar to all real familiarity with
the temper and habits of imperial Rome. Few persons read the original
authorities, even those which are classical; and certainly no distinct
knowledge of the actual state of the empire can be obtained from Gibbon's
rhetorical sketches. He takes notice of nothing but what may produce an
effect; he skips on from eminence to eminence, without ever taking you
through the valleys between: in fact, his work is little else but a
disguised collection of all the splendid anecdotes which he could find in
any book concerning any persons or nations from the Antonines to the
capture of Constantinople. When I read a chapter in Gibbon, I seem to be
looking through a luminous haze or fog:--figures come and go, I know not
how or why, all larger than life, or distorted or discoloured; nothing is
real, vivid, true; all is scenical, and, as it were, exhibited by
candlelight. And then to call it a History of the Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire!

Was there ever a greater misnomer? I protest I do not remember a single
philosophical attempt made throughout the work to fathom the ultimate
causes of the decline or fall of that empire. How miserably deficient is
the narrative of the important reign of Justinian! And that poor
scepticism, which Gibbon mistook for Socratic philosophy, has led him to
misstate and mistake the character and influence of Christianity in a way
which even an avowed infidel or atheist would not and could not have done.
Gibbon was a man of immense reading; but he had no philosophy; and he never
fully understood the principle upon which the best of the old historians
wrote. He attempted to imitate their artificial construction of the whole
work--their dramatic ordonnance of the parts--without seeing that their
histories were intended more as documents illustrative of the truths of
political philosophy than as mere chronicles of events.

The true key to the declension of the Roman empire--which is not to be
found in all Gibbon's immense work--may be stated in two words:--the
_imperial_ character overlaying, and finally destroying, the _national_
character. Rome under Trajan was an empire without a nation.

_August_ 16. 1833.


I like Dr. Johnson's political pamphlets better than any other parts of his
works:-particularly his "Taxation no Tyranny" is very clever and spirited,
though he only sees half of his subject, and that not in a very
philosophical manner. Plunder--Tribute--Taxation--are the three gradations
of action by the sovereign on the property of the subject. The first is
mere violence, bounded by no law or custom, and is properly an act only
between conqueror and conquered, and that, too, in the moment of victory.
The second supposes law; but law proceeding only from, and dictated by, one
party, the conqueror; law, by which he consents to forego his right of
plunder upon condition of the conquered giving up to him, of their own
accord, a fixed commutation. The third implies compact, and negatives any
right to plunder,--taxation being professedly for the direct benefit of the
party taxed, that, by paying a part, he may through the labours and
superintendence of the sovereign be able to enjoy the rest in peace. As to
the right to tax being only commensurate with direct representation, it is
a fable, falsely and treacherously brought forward by those who know its
hollowness well enough. You may show its weakness in a moment, by observing
that not even the universal suffrage of the Benthamites avoids the
difficulty;--for although it may be allowed to be contrary to decorum that
women should legislate; yet there can be no reason why women should not
choose their representatives to legislate;--and if it be said that they are
merged in their husbands, let it be allowed where the wife has no separate
property; but where she has a distinct taxable estate, in which her husband
has no interest, what right can her husband have to choose for her the
person whose vote may affect her separate interest?--Besides, at all
events, an unmarried woman of age, possessing one thousand pounds a year,
has surely as good a moral right to vote, if taxation without
representation is tyranny, as any ten-pounder in the kingdom. The truth, of
course, is, that direct representation is a chimera, impracticable in fact,
and useless or noxious if practicable.

Johnson had neither eye nor ear; for nature, therefore, he cared, as he
knew, nothing. His knowledge of town life was minute; but even that was
imperfect, as not being contrasted with the better life of the country.

Horne Tooke was once holding forth on language, when, turning to me, he
asked me if I knew what the meaning of the final _ive_ was in English
words. I said I thought I could tell what he, Horne Tooke himself, thought.
"Why, what?" said he. "_Vis_," I replied; and he acknowledged I had guessed
right. I told him, however, that I could not agree with him; but believed
that the final _ive_ came from _ick_--_vicus_, [Greek: --] a'txaq; the root
denoting collectivity and community, and that it was opposed to the final
_ing_, which signifies separation, particularity, and individual property,
from _ingle_, a hearth, or one man's place or seat: [Greek: --] oi'xo?,
_vicus_, denoted an aggregation of _ingles_. The alteration of the _c_ and
_k_ of the root into the _v_ was evidently the work of the digammate power,
and hence we find the _icus_ and _ivus_ indifferently as finals in Latin.
The precise difference of the etymologies is apparent in these phrases:---
The lamb is spor_tive;_ that is, has a nature or habit of sporting: the
lamb is sport_ing;_ that is, the animal is now performing a sport. Horne
Tooke upon this said nothing to my etymology; but I believe he found that
he could not make a fool of me, as he did of Godwin and some other of his

August 17. 1833.


It is very extraordinary that, in our translation of the Psalms, which
professes to be from the Hebrew, the name Jehovah--[Hebrew: --] 'O -- The
Being, or God--should be omitted, and, instead of it, the [Hebrew: --]
Ktlpio?, or Lord, of the Septuagint be adopted. The Alexandrian Jews had a
superstitious dread of writing the name of God, and put [Greek: Kurhios]
not as a translation, but as a mere mark or sign--every one readily
understanding for what it really stood. We, who have no such superstition,
ought surely to restore the Jehovah, and thereby bring out in the true
force the overwhelming testimony of the Psalms to the divinity of Christ,
the Jehovah or manifested God.[1]

[Footnote 1:
I find the same remark in the late most excellent Bishop Sandford's diary,
under date 17th December, 1827:--"[Greek: CHairhete en t_o Kurhi_o Kurhios]
idem significat quod [Hebrew: --] apud Hebraeos. Hebraei enim nomine
[Hebrew: --] sanctissimo nempe Dei nomine, nunquam in colloquio utebantur,
sed vice ejus [Hebrew: --] pronuntiabant, quod LXX per [Greek: Kurhios]
exprimebant."--_Remains of Bishop Sandford_, vol. i. p. 207.

Mr. Coleridge saw this work for the first time many months after making the
observation in the text. Indeed it was the very last book he ever read. He
was deeply interested in the picture drawn of the Bishop, and said that the
mental struggles and bodily sufferings indicated in the Diary had been his
own for years past. He conjured me to peruse the Memoir and the Diary with
great care:--"I have received," said he, "much spiritual comfort and
strength from the latter. O! were my faith and devotion, like my
sufferings, equal to that good man's! He felt, as I do, how deep a depth is
prayer in faith."

In connection with the text, I may add here, that Mr. C. said, that long
before he knew that the late Bishop Middleton was of the same opinion, he
had deplored the misleading inadequacy of our authorized version of the
expression, [Greek: pr_ototokos pas_es ktise_os] in the Epistle to the
Colossians, i. 15.: [Greek: hos estin eik_on tou THeou tou aoratou,
pr_ototokos pas_es ktise_os.] He rendered the verse in these words:--"Who
is the manifestation of God the invisible, the begotten antecedently to all
creation;" observing, that in [Greek: pr_ototokos] there was a double
superlative of priority, and that the natural meaning of "_first-born of
every creature_,"--the language of our version,--afforded no premiss for
the causal [Greek: hoti] in the next verse. The same criticism may be found
in the Stateman's Manual, p. 56. n.; and see Bishop Sandford's judgment to
the same effect, vol. i. p. 165.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot understand the conduct of the Scotch Kirk with regard to poor
Irving. They might with ample reason have visited him for the monstrous
indecencies of those exhibitions of the spirit;--perhaps the Kirk would not
have been justified in overlooking such disgraceful breaches of decorum;
but to excommunicate him on account of his language about Christ's body was
very foolish. Irving's expressions upon this subject are ill judged,
inconvenient, in had taste, and in terms false: nevertheless his apparent
meaning, such as it is, is orthodox. Christ's body--as mere body, or rather
carcass (for body is an associated word), was no more capable of sin or
righteousness than mine or yours;--that his humanity had a capacity of sin,
follows from its own essence. He was of like passions as we, and was
tempted. How could he be tempted, if he had no formal capacity of being

It is Irving's error to use declamation, high and passionate rhetoric, not
introduced and pioneered by calm and clear logic, which is--to borrow a
simile, though with a change in the application, from the witty-wise, but
not always wisely-witty, Fuller--like knocking a nail into a board, without
wimbling a hole for it, and which then either does not enter, or turns
crooked, or splits the wood it pierces.

August 18. 1833.


In the Paradise Lost--indeed in every one of his poems--it is Milton
himself whom you see; his Satan, his Adam, his Raphael, almost his Eve--are
all John Milton; and it is a sense of this intense egotism that gives me
the greatest pleasure in reading Milton's works. The egotism of such a man
is a revelation of spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *

Claudian deserves more attention than is generally paid to him. He is the
link between the old classic and the modern way of thinking in verse. You
will observe in him an oscillation between the objective poetry of the
ancients and the subjective mood of the moderns. His power of pleasingly
reproducing the same thought in different language is remarkable, as it is
in Pope. Read particularly the Phoenix, and see how the single image of
renascence is varied.[1]

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge referred to Claudian's first Idyll:--"Oceani summo
circumfluus cequore lucus Trans Indos Eurumque viret," &c. See the lines--

"Hic neque concepto fetu, nec semine surgit;
Sed pater est prolesque sibi, nulloque creante
Emeritos artus foecunda morte reformat,
Et petit alternam totidem per funera vitam.
Et cumulum texens pretiosa fronde Sabaeum
Componit bustumque sibi partumque futurum.
O senium positure rogo, falsisque sepulcris
Natales habiture vices, qui saepe renasci
Exitio, proprioque soles pubescere leto,
Accipe principium rursus.
Parturiente rogo--
Victuri cineres--
Qm fuerat genitor, natus nunc prosilit idem,
Succeditque novus---
O felix, haeresque tui! quo solvimur omnes,
Hoc tibi suppeditat vires; praebetur origo
Per cinerem; moritur te non pereunte senectus."--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I think highly of Sterne--that is, of the first part of Tristram Shandy:
for as to the latter part about the widow Wadman, it is stupid and
disgusting; and the Sentimental Journey is poor sickly stuff. There is a
great deal of affectation in Sterne, to be sure; but still the characters
of Trim and the two Shandies[1] are most individual and delightful.
Sterne's morals are bad, but I don't think they can do much harm to any one
whom they would not find bad enough before. Besides, the oddity and erudite
grimaces under which much of his dirt is hidden take away the effect for
the most part; although, to be sure, the book is scarcely readable by

[Footnote 1:
Mr. Coleridge considered the character of the father, the elder Shandy, as
by much the finer delineation of the two. I fear his low opinion of the
Sentimental Journey will not suit a thorough Sterneist; but I could never
get him to modify his criticism. He said, "The oftener you read Sterne, the
more clearly will you perceive the _great_ difference between Tristram
Shandy and the Sentimental Journey. There is truth and reality in the one,
and little beyond a clever affectation in the other."--ED.]

August 20. 1833.


Men of humour are always in some degree men of genius; wits are rarely so,
although a man of genius may amongst other gifts possess wit, as

       *       *       *       *       *

Genius must have talent as its complement and implement, just as in like
manner imagination must have fancy. In short, the higher intellectual
powers can only act through a corresponding energy of the lower.

       *       *       *       *       *

Men of genius are rarely much annoyed by the company of vulgar people,
because they have a power of looking _at_ such persons as objects of
amusement of another race altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *

I quite agree with Strabo, as translated by Ben Jonson in his splendid
dedication of the Fox[1]--that there can be no great poet who is not a good
man, though not, perhaps, a _goody_ man. His heart must be pure; he must
have learned to look into his own heart, and sometimes to look _at_ it; for
how can he who is ignorant of his own heart know any thing of, or be able
to move, the heart of any one else?

[Footnote 1:
[Greek: 'H de (arhet_e) poi_etou synezeyktai t_e tou anthrh_opou kai ouch
oion te agathon genesthai poi_et_en, m_e prhoterhon gen_ethenta angrha
agathon.]--Lib. I. p. 33. folio.

"For, if men will impartially, and not asquint, look toward the offices and
function of a poet, they will easily conclude to themselves the
impossibility of any man's being the good poet without first being a good

       *       *       *       *       *

I think there is a perceptible difference in the elegance and correctness
of the English in our versions of the Old and New Testament. I cannot yield
to the authority of many examples of usages which may be alleged from the
New Testament version. St. Paul is very often most inadequately rendered,
and there are slovenly phrases which would never have come from Ben Jonson
or any other good prose writer of that day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Hebrew is so simple, and its words are so few and near the roots, that it
is impossible to keep up any adequate knowledge of it without constant
application. The meanings of the words are chiefly traditional. The loss of
Origen's Heptaglott Bible, in which he had written out the Hebrew words in
Greek characters, is the heaviest which biblical literature has ever
experienced. It would have fixed the sounds as known at that time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Brute animals have the vowel sounds; man only can utter consonants. It is
natural, therefore, that the consonants should be marked first, as being
the framework of the word; and no doubt a very simple living language might
be written quite intelligibly to the natives without any vowel sounds
marked at all. The words would be traditionally and conventionally
recognized as in short hand--thus--_Gd crtd th Hvn nd th Rth_. I wish I
understood Arabic; and yet I doubt whether to the European philosopher or
scholar it is worth while to undergo the immense labour of acquiring that
or any other Oriental tongue, except Hebrew.

_August_ 23. 1833.


The distinction between accent and quantity is clear, and was, no doubt,
observed by the ancients in the recitation of verse. But I believe such
recitation to have been always an artificial thing, and that the common
conversation was entirely regulated by accent. I do not think it possible
to _talk_ any language without confounding the quantity of syllables with
their high or low tones[1]; although you may _sing_ or _recitative_ the
difference well enough. Why should the marks of accent have been considered
exclusively necessary for teaching the pronunciation to the Asiatic or
African Hellenist, if the knowledge of the acuted syllable did not also
carry the stress of time with it? If _[Greek: **anthropos]_ was to be
pronounced in common conversation with a perceptible distinction of the
length of the penultima as well as of the elevation of the antepenultima,
why was not that long quantity also marked? It was surely as important an
ingredient in the pronunciation as the accent. And although the letter
omega might in such a word show the quantity, yet what do you say to such
words as [Greek: lelonchasi, tupsasa], and the like--the quantity of the
penultima of which is not marked to the eye at all? Besides, can we
altogether disregard the practice of the modern Greeks? Their confusion of
accent and quantity in verse is of course a barbarism, though a very old
one, as the _versus politici_ of John Tzetzes [2] in the twelfth century
and the Anacreontics prefixed to Proclus will show; but these very examples
prove _a fortiori_ what the common pronunciation in prose then was.

[Footnote 1:
This opinion, I need not say, is in direct opposition to the conclusion of
Foster and Mitford, and scarcely reconcilable with the apparent meaning of
the authorities from the old critics and grammarians. Foster's opponent was
for rejecting the accents and attending only to the syllabic quantity;--Mr.
C. would, _in prose_, attend to the accents only as indicators of the
quantity, being unable to conceive any practical distinction between time
and tone in common speech. Yet how can we deal with the authority of
Dionysius of Halicarnassus alone, who, on the one hand, discriminates
quantity so exquisitely as to make four degrees of _shortness_ in the
penultimates of _[Greek: --hodos hr odos, tz opos]_ and _[Greek: --stz
ophos]_, and this expressly _[Greek: --eu logois psilois]_, or plain prose,
as well as in verse; and on the other hand declares, according to the
evidently correct interpretation of the passage, that the difference
between music and ordinary speech consists in the number only, and not in
the quality, of tones:--_[Greek: **to Poso diallattousa taes su odais kahi
oznauois, kahi ouchi to Poio_. (Pezhi Sun. c. 11.?]) The extreme
sensibility of the Athenian ear to the accent in prose is, indeed, proved
by numerous anecdotes, one of the most amusing of which, though, perhaps,
not the best authenticated as a fact, is that of Demosthenes in the Speech
for the Crown, asking, "Whether, O Athenians, does Aeschines appear to you
to be the mercenary (_[Greek: **misthothos]_} of Alexander, or his guest or
friend (_[Greek: **xenos]_)?" It is said that he pronounced _[Greek:
**misthothos]_ with a false accent on the antepenultima, as _[Greek:
**misthotos]_, and that upon the audience immediately crying out, by way of
correction, _[Greek: **misthothos]_, with an emphasis, the orator continued
coolly,--_[Greek: **achoueis a legousi]_--"You yourself hear what they
say!" Demosthenes is also said, whether affectedly, or in ignorance, to
have sworn in some speech by _[Greek: Asklaepios]_, throwing the accent
falsely on the antepenultima, and that, upon being interrupted for it, he
declared, in his justification, that the pronunciation was proper, for that
the divinity was _[Greek: aepios]_, mild. The expressions in Plutarch are
very striking:--"[Greek: **Thozuxon ekinaesen, omnue dhe kahi thon'
Asklaepion, pzopasoxunon' Asklaepion, kai pazedeiknuen autohn ozthos
legonta' einai gahz tohn thehon aepion' kahi epi outo polakis
hethozuzaethae." Dec. Orat._--Ed.]

[Footnote 2:
See his Chiliads. The sort of verses to which Mr. Coleridge alluded are the
following, which those who consider the scansion to be accentual, take for
tetrameter catalectic iambics, like--

  [Greek: ----]

_Chil_. I.

I 'll climb the frost | y mountains high |, and there I 'll coin | the weather;
I'll tear the rain | bow from the sky |, and tie both ends | together.

Some critics, however, maintain these verses to be trochaics, although very
loose and faulty. See Foster, p. 113. A curious instance of the early
confusion of accent and quantity may be seen in Prudentius, who shortens
the penultima in _eremus_ and _idola_, from [Greek: ezaemos] and [Greek:

Cui jejuna _eremi_ saxa loquacibus
Exundant scatebris, &c.
_Cathemer_. V. 89.

--cognatumque malum, pigmenta, Camoenas,
_Idola_, conflavit fallendi trina potestas.
_Cont. Symm_. 47.--ED.]

_August 24. 1833._


I am never very forward in offering spiritual consolation to any one in
distress or disease. I believe that such resources, to be of any service,
must be self-evolved in the first instance. I am something of the Quaker's
mind in this, and am inclined to _wait_ for the spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *

The most common effect of this mock evangelical spirit, especially with
young women, is self-inflation and busy-bodyism.

       *       *       *       *       *

How strange and awful is the synthesis of life and death in the gusty winds
and falling leaves of an autumnal day!

August 25. 1833.


Rosetti's view of Dante's meaning is in great part just, but he has pushed
it beyond all bounds of common sense. How could a poet--and such a poet as
Dante--have written the details of the allegory as conjectured by Rosetti?
The boundaries between his allegory and his pure picturesque are plain
enough, I think, at first reading.

       *       *       *       *       *

To resolve laughter into an expression of contempt is contrary to fact, and
laughable enough. Laughter is a convulsion of the nerves; and it seems as
if nature cut short the rapid thrill of pleasure on the nerves by a sudden
convulsion of them, to prevent the sensation becoming painful. Aristotle's
definition is as good as can be:--surprise at perceiving any thing out of
its usual place, when the unusualness is not accompanied by a sense of
serious danger. _Such_ surprise is always pleasurable; and it is observable
that surprise accompanied with circumstances of danger becomes tragic.
Hence farce may often border on tragedy; indeed, farce is nearer tragedy in
its essence than comedy is.

August 28. 1833.


Baron von Humboldt, brother of the great traveller, paid me the following
compliment at Rome:--"I confess, Mr. Coleridge, I had my suspicions that
you were here in a political capacity of some sort or other; but upon
reflection I acquit you. For in Germany and, I believe, elsewhere on the
Continent, it is generally understood that the English government, in order
to divert the envy and jealousy of the world at the power, wealth, and
ingenuity of your nation, makes a point, as a _ruse de guerre_, of sending
out none but fools of gentlemanly birth and connections as diplomatists to
the courts abroad. An exception is, perhaps, sometimes made for a clever
fellow, if sufficiently libertine and unprincipled." Is the case much
altered now, do you know?

       *       *       *       *       *

What dull coxcombs your diplomatists at home generally are. I remember
dining at Mr. Frere's once in company with Canning and a few other
interesting men. Just before dinner Lord ---- called on Frere, and asked
himself to dinner. From the moment of his entry he began to talk to the
whole party, and in French--all of us being genuine English--and I was told
his French was execrable. He had followed the Russian army into France, and
seen a good deal of the great men concerned in the war: of none of those
things did he say a word, but went on, sometimes in English and sometimes
in French, gabbling about cookery and dress and the like. At last he paused
for a little--and I said a few words remarking how a great image may be
reduced to the ridiculous and contemptible by bringing the constituent
parts into prominent detail, and mentioned the grandeur of the deluge and
the preservation of life in Genesis and the Paradise Lost [1], and the
ludicrous effect produced by Drayton's description in his Noah's Flood:--

"And now the beasts are walking from the wood,
As well of ravine, as that chew the cud.
The king of beasts his fury doth suppress,
And to the Ark leads down the lioness;
The bull for his beloved mate doth low,
And to the Ark brings on the fair-eyed cow," &c.

Hereupon Lord ---- resumed, and spoke in raptures of a picture which he
had lately seen of Noah's Ark, and said the animals were all marching two
and two, the little ones first, and that the elephants came last in great
majesty and filled up the fore-ground. "Ah! no doubt, my Lord," said
Canning; "your elephants, wise fellows! staid behind to pack up their
trunks!" This floored the ambassador for half an hour.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries almost all our ambassadors were
distinguished men. [2] Read Lloyd's State Worthies. The third-rate men of
those days possessed an infinity of knowledge, and were intimately versed
not only in the history, but even in the heraldry, of the countries in
which they were resident. Men were almost always, except for mere
compliments, chosen for their dexterity and experience--not, as now, by
parliamentary interest.

[Footnote 1: Genesis, c. vi. vii. Par. Lost, book xi. v. 728, &c.]

[Footnote 2:
Yet Diego de Mendoza, the author of Lazarillo de Tormes, himself a veteran
diplomatist, describes his brethren of the craft, and their duties, in the
reigns of Charles the Emperor and Philip the Second, in the following

O embajadores, puros majaderos,
  Que si los reyes quieren engañar,
  Comienzan por nosotros los primeros.
_Nuestro mayor negocio es, no dañar,
  Y jamas hacer cosa, ni dezilla,
  Que no corramos riesgo de enseñar._

What a pity it is that modern diplomatists, who, for the most part, very
carefully observe the precept contained in the last two lines of this
passage, should not equally bear in mind the importance of the preceding
remark--_that their principal business is just to do no mischief_.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The sure way to make a foolish ambassador is to bring him up to it. What
can an English minister abroad really want but an honest and bold heart, a
love for his country and the ten commandments? Your art diplomatic is
stuff:--no truly greatly man now would negotiate upon any such shallow

August 30. 1833.


If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is
sinking downwards to be a devil. He cannot stop at the beast. The most
savage of men are not beasts; they are worse, a great deal worse.

       *       *       *       *       *

The conduct of the Mohammedan and Western nations on the subject of
contagious plague illustrates the two extremes of error on the nature of
God's moral government of the world. The Turk changes Providence into
fatalism; the Christian relies upon it--when he has nothing else to rely
on. He does not practically rely upon it at all.

       *       *       *       *       *

For compassion a human heart suffices; but for full and adequate sympathy
with joy an angel's only. And ever remember, that the more exquisite and
delicate a flower of joy, the tenderer must be the hand that plucks it.

_September_ 2. 1833.


The English affect stimulant nourishment--beef and beer. The French,
excitants, irritants--nitrous oxide, alcohol, champagne. The Austrians,
sedatives--hyoscyamus. The Russians, narcotics--opium, tobacco, and beng.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is worth particular notice how the style of Greek oratory, so full, in
the times of political independence, of connective particles, some of
passion, some of sensation only, and escaping the classification of mere
grammatical logic, became, in the hands of the declaimers and philosophers
of the Alexandrian era, and still later, entirely deprived of this
peculiarity. So it was with Homer as compared with Nonnus, Tryphiodorus,
and the like. In the latter there are in the same number of lines fewer
words by one half than in the Iliad. All the appoggiaturas of time are

All the Greek writers after Demosthenes and his contemporaries, what are
they but the leavings of tyranny, in which a few precious things seem
sheltered by the mass of rubbish! Yet, whenever liberty began but to hope
and strive, a Polybius appeared. Theocritus is almost the only instance I
know of a man of true poetic genius nourishing under a tyranny.

The old Latin poets attempted to compound as largely as the Greek; hence in
Ennius such words as _belligerentes_, &c. In nothing did Virgil show his
judgment more than in rejecting these, except just where common usage had
sanctioned them, as _omnipotens_ and a few more. He saw that the Latin was
too far advanced in its formation, and of too rigid a character, to admit
such composition or agglutination. In this particular respect Virgil's
Latin is very admirable and deserving preference. Compare it with the
language of Lucan or Statius, and count the number of words used in an
equal number of lines, and observe how many more short words Virgil has.

       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot quite understand the grounds of the high admiration which the
ancients expressed for Propertius, and I own that Tibullus is rather
insipid to me. Lucan was a man of great powers; but what was to be made of
such a shapeless fragment of party warfare, and so recent too! He had fancy
rather than imagination, and passion rather than fancy. His taste was
wretched, to be sure; still the Pharsalia is in my judgment a very
wonderful work for such a youth as Lucan[1] was.

I think Statius a truer poet than Lucan, though he is very extravagant
sometimes. Valerius Flaccus is very pretty in particular passages. I am
ashamed to say, I have never read Silius Italicus. Claudian I recommend to
your careful perusal, in respect of his being properly the first of the
moderns, or at least the transitional link between the Classic and the
Gothic mode of thought.

I call Persius hard--not obscure. He had a bad style; but I dare say, if he
had lived[2], he would have learned to express himself in easier language.
There are many passages in him of exquisite felicity, and his vein of
thought is manly and pathetic.

Prudentius[3] is curious for this,--that you see how Christianity forced
allegory into the place of mythology. Mr. Frere [Greek: ho philokalos, ho
kalokagathos] used to esteem the Latin Christian poets of Italy very
highly, and no man in our times was a more competent judge than he.

[Footnote 1:
Lucan died by the command of Nero, A.D. 65, in his twenty-sixth year. I
think this should be printed at the beginning of every book of the

[Footnote 2:
Aulus Persius Flaccus died in the 30th year of his age, A.D. 62.--ED.]

[Footnote 3:
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was born A.D. 348, in Spain.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

How very pretty are those lines of Hermesianax in Athenaeus about the poets
and poetesses of Greece![1]

[Footnote 1:
See the fragment from the Leontium:--

[Greek: HOi_en men philos huios an_egagen Oiagrhoio
  Agrhiop_en, THr_essan steilamenos kithar_en
Aidothen k. t. l.] _Athen_. xiii. s. 71--ED]

September 4. 1833.


I have already told you that in my opinion the destruction of Jerusalem is
the only subject now left for an epic poem of the highest kind. Yet, with
all its great capabilities, it has this one grand defect--that, whereas a
poem, to be epic, must have a personal interest,--in the destruction of
Jerusalem no genius or skill could possibly preserve the interest for the
hero from being merged in the interest for the event. The fact is, the
event itself is too sublime and overwhelming.

       *       *       *       *       *

In my judgment, an epic poem must either be national or mundane. As to
Arthur, you could not by any means make a poem on him national to
Englishmen. What have _we_ to do with him? Milton saw this, and with a
judgment at least equal to his genius, took a mundane theme--one common to
all mankind. His Adam and Eve are all men and women inclusively. Pope
satirizes Milton for making God the Father talk like a school divine.[1]
Pope was hardly the man to criticize Milton. The truth is, the judgment of
Milton in the conduct of the celestial part of his story is very exquisite.
Wherever God is represented as directly acting as Creator, without any
exhibition of his own essence, Milton adopts the simplest and sternest
language of the Scriptures. He ventures upon no poetic diction, no
amplification, no pathos, no affection. It is truly the Voice or the Word
of the Lord coming to, and acting on, the subject Chaos. But, as some
personal interest was demanded for the purposes of poetry, Milton takes
advantage of the dramatic representation of God's address to the Son, the
Filial Alterity, and in _those addresses_ slips in, as it were by stealth,
language of affection, or thought, or sentiment. Indeed, although Milton
was undoubtedly a high Arian in his mature life, he does in the necessity
of poetry give a greater objectivity to the Father and the Son, than he
would have justified in argument. He was very wise in adopting the strong
anthropomorphism of the Hebrew Scriptures at once. Compare the Paradise
Lost with Klopstock's Messiah, and you will learn to appreciate Milton's
judgment and skill quite as much as his genius.

[Footnote 1:

"Milton's strong pinion now not Heav'n can bound,
Now, serpent-like, in prose he sweeps the ground;
In quibbles angel and archangel join,
And God the Father turns a school divine."

1 Epist. 2d book of Hor. v. 99.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The conquest of India by Bacchus might afford scope for a very brilliant
poem of the fancy and the understanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not that the German can express external imagery more _fully_ than
English; but that it can flash more images _at once_ on the mind than the
English can. As to mere power of expression, I doubt whether even the Greek
surpasses the English. Pray, read a very pleasant and acute dialogue in
Schlegel's Athenaeum between a German, a Greek, a Roman, Italian, and a
Frenchman, on the merits of their respective languages.

       *       *       *       *       *

I wish the naval and military officers who write accounts of their travels
would just spare us their sentiment. The Magazines introduced this cant.
Let these gentlemen read and imitate the old captains and admirals, as
Dampier, &c.

October 15. 1833.


The Trinity is the idea: the Incarnation, which implies the Fall, is the
fact: the Redemption is the mesothesis of the two--that is--the religion.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you bring up your children in a way which puts them out of sympathy with
the religious feelings of the nation in which they live, the chances are,
that they will ultimately turn out ruffians or fanatics--and one as likely
as the other.

October 23. 1833.


Elegy is the form of poetry natural to the reflective mind. It _may_ treat
of any subject, but it must treat of no subject _for itself_; but always
and exclusively with reference to the poet himself. As he will feel regret
for the past or desire for the future, so sorrow and love become the
principal themes of elegy. Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone, or
absent and future. The elegy is the exact opposite of the Homeric epic, in
which all is purely external and objective, and the poet is a mere voice.

The true lyric ode is subjective too; but then it delights to present
things as actually existing and visible, although associated with the past,
or coloured highly by the subject of the ode itself.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think the Lavacrum Pallados of Callimachus very beautiful indeed,
especially that part about the mother of Tiresias and Minerva.[1] I have a
mind to try how it would bear translation; but what metre have we to answer
in feeling to the elegiac couplet of the Greeks?

I greatly prefer the Greek rhythm of the short verse to Ovid's, though,
observe, I don't dispute his taste with reference to the genius of his own
language. Augustus Schlegel gave me a copy of Latin elegiacs on the King of
Prussia's going down the Rhine, in which he had almost exclusively adopted
the manner of Propertius. I thought them very elegant.

[Footnote 1:
Paides, Athanaia numphan mian en poka Th_ezais
    po_olu ti kai pezi d_e philato tan hetezan,
mateza Teizesiao, kai oupoka ch_ozis egento  k.t.l.
                                          v 57, &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

You may find a few minute faults in Milton's Latin verses; but you will not
persuade me that, if these poems had come down to us _as_ written in the
age of Tiberius, we should not have considered them to be very beautiful.

       *       *       *       *       *

I once thought of making a collection,--to be called "The Poetical
Filter,"--upon the principle of simply omitting from the old pieces of
lyrical poetry which we have, those parts in which the whim or the bad
taste of the author or the fashion of his age prevailed over his genius.
You would be surprised at the number of exquisite _wholes_ which might be
made by this simple operation, and, perhaps, by the insertion of a single
line or half a line, out of poems which are now utterly disregarded on
account of some odd or incongruous passages in them;--just as whole volumes
of Wordsworth's poems were formerly neglected or laughed at, solely because
of some few wilfulnesses, if I may so call them, of that great man--whilst
at the same time five sixths of his poems would have been admired, and
indeed popular, if they had appeared without those drawbacks, under the
name of Byron or Moore or Campbell, or any other of the fashionable
favourites of the day. But he has won the battle now, ay! and will wear the
crown, whilst English is English.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think there is something very majestic in Gray's Installation Ode; but as
to the Bard and the rest of his lyrics, I must say I think them frigid and
artificial. There is more real lyric feeling in Cotton's Ode on Winter.[1]

[Footnote 1:
Let me borrow Mr. Wordsworth's account of, and quotation from, this poem:--

"Finally, I will refer to Cotton's 'Ode upon Winter,' an admirable
composition, though stained with some peculiarities of the age in which he
lived, for a general illustration of the characteristics of Fancy. The
middle part of this ode contains a most lively description of the entrance
of Winter, with his retinue, as 'a palsied king,' and yet a military
monarch, advancing for conquest with his army; the several bodies of which,
and their arms and equipments, are described with a rapidity of detail, and
a profusion of _fanciful_ comparisons, which indicate, on the part of the
poet, extreme activity of intellect, and a correspondent hurry of
delightful feeling. He retires from the foe into his fortress, where--

                       a magazine
Of sovereign juice is cellared in;
Liquor that will the siege maintain
Should Phoebus ne'er return again."

Though myself a water-drinker, I cannot resist the pleasure of transcribing
what follows, as an instance still more happy of Fancy employed in the
treatment of feeling than, in its preceding passages, the poem supplies of
her management of forms.

'Tis that, that gives the Poet rage,
And thaws the gelly'd blood of Age;
Matures the Young, restores the Old,
And makes the fainting coward bold.

It lays the careful head to rest,
Calms palpitations in the breast,
Renders our lives' misfortune sweet;

       *       *       *       *       *

Then let the _chill_ Scirocco blow,
And gird us round with hills of snow;
Or else go whistle to the shore,
And make the hollow mountains roar:

Whilst we together jovial sit
Careless, and crowned with mirth and wit;
Where, though bleak winds confine us home,
Our fancies round the world shall roam.

We'll think of all the friends we know,
And drink to all worth drinking to;
When, having drunk all thine and mine,
We rather shall want healths than wine.

But where friends fail us, we'll supply
Our friendships with our charity;
Men that remote in sorrows live
Shall by our lusty brimmers thrive.

We'll drink the wanting into wealth,
And those that languish into health,
Th' afflicted into joy, th' opprest
Into security and rest.

The worthy in disgrace shall find
Favour return again more kind,
And in restraint who stifled lie
Shall taste the air of liberty.

The brave shall triumph in success,
The lovers shall have mistresses,
Poor unregarded virtue, praise,
And the neglected poet, bays.

Thus shall our healths do others good,
Whilst we ourselves do all we would;
For, freed from envy and from care,
What would we be but what we are?

_Preface to the editions of Mr. W.'s Poems, in_
1815 and 1820.--ED.]

_November_ 1. 1833.


Compare Nestor, Ajax, Achilles, &c. in the Troilus and Cressida of
Shakspeare with their namesakes in the Iliad. The old heroes seem all to
have been at school ever since. I scarcely know a more striking instance of
the strength and pregnancy of the Gothic mind.

Dryden's genius was of that sort which catches fire by its own motion; his
chariot wheels _get_ hot by driving fast.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dr. Johnson seems to have been really more powerful in discoursing _vivâ
voce_ in conversation than with his pen in hand. It seems as if the
excitement of company called something like reality and consecutiveness
into his reasonings, which in his writings I cannot see. His antitheses are
almost always verbal only; and sentence after sentence in the Rambler may
be pointed out to which you cannot attach any definite meaning whatever. In
his political pamphlets there is more truth of expression than in his other
works, for the same reason that his conversation is better than his
writings in general. He was more excited and in earnest.

       *       *       *       *       *

When I am very ill indeed, I can read Scott's novels, and they are almost
the only books I can then _read_. I cannot at such times read the Bible; my
mind reflects on it, but I can't bear the open page.

       *       *       *       *       *

Unless Christianity be viewed and felt in a high and comprehensive way, how
large a portion of our intellectual and moral nature does it leave without
object and action!

       *       *       *       *       *

Let a young man separate I from Me as far as he possibly can, and remove Me
till it is almost lost in the remote distance. "I am me," is as bad a fault
in intellectuals and morals as it is in grammar, whilst none but one--God--
can say, "I am I," or "That I am."

_November_ 9. 1833.


How many books are still written and published about Charles the First and
his times! Such is the fresh and enduring interest of that grand crisis of
morals, religion, and government! But these books are none of them works of
any genius or imagination; not one of these authors seems to be able to
throw himself back into that age; if they did, there would be less praise
and less blame bestowed on both sides.

_December_ 21. 1833.


When I reflect upon the subject of the messenger of the covenant, and
observe the distinction taken in the prophets between the teaching and
suffering Christ,--the Priest, who was to precede, and the triumphant
Messiah, the Judge, who was to follow,--and how Jesus always seems to speak
of the Son of Man in a future sense, and yet always at the same time as
identical with himself; I sometimes think that our Lord himself in his
earthly career was the Messenger; and that the way is _now still preparing_
for the great and visible advent of the Messiah of Glory. I mention this

       *       *       *       *       *

What a beautiful sermon or essay might be written on the growth of
prophecy!--from the germ, no bigger than a man's hand, in Genesis, till the
column of cloud gathers size and height and substance, and assumes the
shape of a perfect man; just like the smoke in the Arabian Nights' tale,
which comes up and at last takes a genie's shape.[1]

[Footnote 1:
The passage in Mr. Coleridge's mind was, I suppose, the following:--"He
(the fisherman) set it before him, and while he looked upon it attentively,
there came out a very thick smoke, which obliged him to retire two or three
paces from it. The smoke ascended to the clouds, and extending itself along
the sea, and upon the shore, formed a great mist, which, we may well
imagine, did mightily astonish the fisherman. When the smoke was all out of
the vessel, it reunited itself, and became a solid body, of which there was
formed a genie twice as high as the greatest of giants." _Story of the
Fisherman_. Ninth Night.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The logic of ideas is to that of syllogisms as the infinitesimal calculus
to common arithmetic; it proves, but at the same time supersedes.

_January_ 1. 1834.


What is it that Mr. Landor wants, to make him a poet? His powers are
certainly very considerable, but he seems to be totally deficient in that
modifying faculty, which compresses several units into one whole. The truth
is, he does not possess imagination in its highest form,--that of stamping
_il più nell' uno_. Hence his poems, taken as wholes, are unintelligible;
you have eminences excessively bright, and all the ground around and
between them in darkness. Besides which, he has never learned, with all his
energy, how to write simple and lucid English.

       *       *       *       *       *

The useful, the agreeable, the beautiful, and the good, are
distinguishable. You are wrong in resolving beauty into expression or
interest; it is quite distinct; indeed it is opposite, although not
contrary. Beauty is an immediate presence, between (_inter_) which and the
beholder _nihil est_. It is always one and tranquil; whereas the
interesting always disturbs and is disturbed. I exceedingly regret the loss
of those essays on beauty, which I wrote in a Bristol newspaper. I would
give much to recover them.

       *       *       *       *       *

After all you can say, I still think the chronological order the best for
arranging a poet's works. All your divisions are in particular instances
inadequate, and they destroy the interest which arises from watching the
progress, maturity, and even the decay of genius.

_January_ 3. 1834.


I have known books written on Tolerance, the proper title of which would
be--intolerant or intolerable books on tolerance. Should not a man who
writes a book expressly to inculcate tolerance learn to treat with respect,
or at least with indulgence, articles of faith which tens of thousands ten
times told of his fellow-subjects or his fellow-creatures believe with all
their souls, and upon the truth of which they rest their tranquillity in
this world, and their hopes of salvation in the next,--those articles being
at least maintainable against his arguments, and most certainly innocent in
themselves?--Is it fitting to run Jesus Christ in a silly parallel with
Socrates--the Being whom thousand millions of intellectual creatures, of
whom I am a humble unit, take to be their Redeemer, with an Athenian
philosopher, of whom we should know nothing except through his
glorification in Plato and Xenophon?--And then to hitch Latimer and
Servetus together! To be sure there was a stake and a fire in each case,
but where the rest of the resemblance is I cannot see. What ground is there
for throwing the odium of Servetus's death upon Calvin alone?--Why, the
mild Melancthon wrote to Calvin[1], expressly to testify his concurrence in
the act, and no doubt he spoke the sense of the German reformers; the Swiss
churches _advised_ the punishment in formal letters, and I rather think
there are letters from the English divines, approving Calvin's conduct!--
Before a man deals out the slang of the day about the great leaders of the
Reformation, he should learn to throw himself back to the age of the
Reformation, when the two great parties in the church were eagerly on the
watch to fasten a charge of heresy on the other. Besides, if ever a poor
fanatic thrust, himself into the fire, it was Michael Servetus. He was a
rabid enthusiast, and did every thing he could in the way of insult and
ribaldry to provoke the feeling of the Christian church. He called the
Trinity _triceps monstrum et Cerberum quendam tripartitum_, and so on.

Indeed, how should the principle of religious toleration have been
acknowledged at first?--It would require stronger arguments than any which
I have heard as yet, to prove that men in authority have not a right,
involved in an imperative duty, to deter those under their control from
teaching or countenancing doctrines which they believe to be damnable, and
even to punish with death those who violate such prohibition. I am sure
that Bellarmine would have had small difficulty in turning Locke round his
fingers' ends upon this ground. A _right_ to protection I can understand;
but a _right_ to toleration seems to me a contradiction in terms. Some
criterion must in any case be adopted by the state; otherwise it might be
compelled to admit whatever hideous doctrine and practice any man or number
of men may assert to be his or their religion, and an article of his or
their faith. It was the same Pope who commanded the Romanists of England to
separate from the national church, which previously their own consciences
had not dictated, nor the decision of any council,--and who also commanded
them to rebel against Queen Elizabeth, whom they were bound to obey by the
laws of the land; and if the Pope had authority for one, he must have had
it for the other. The only true argument, as it seems to me, apart from
Christianity, for a discriminating toleration is, that _it is of no use_ to
attempt to stop heresy or schism by persecution, unless, perhaps, it be
conducted upon the plan of direct warfare and massacre. You _cannot_
preserve men in the faith by such means, though you may stifle for a while
any open appearance of dissent. The experiment has now been tried, and it
has failed; and that is by a great deal the best argument for the
magistrate against a repetition of it.

I know this,--that if a parcel of fanatic missionaries were to go to
Norway, and were to attempt to disturb the fervent and undoubting
Lutheranism of the fine independent inhabitants of the interior of that
country, I should be right glad to hear that the busy fools had been
quietly shipped off--any where. I don't include the people of the seaports
in my praise of the Norwegians;--I speak of the agricultural population. If
that country could be brought to maintain a million more of inhabitants,
Norway might defy the world; it would be [Greek: autarhk_as] and
impregnable; but it is much under-handed now.

[Footnote 1:
Melancthon's words are:--"Tuo judicio prorsus assentior. Affirmo
etiam vestros magistratus juste fecisse quod hominem blasphemum, re
ordine judicata, _interfecerunt_." 14th Oct. 1554.--ED.]

_January_ 12. 1834.


I have drawn up four or perhaps five articles of faith, by subscription, or
rather by assent, to which I think a large comprehension might take place.
My articles would exclude Unitarians, and I am sorry to say, members of the
church of Rome, but with this difference--that the exclusion of Unitarians
would be necessary and perpetual; that of the members of the church of Rome
depending on each individual's own conscience and intellectual light. What
I mean is this:--that the Romanists hold the faith in Christ,--but
unhappily they also hold certain opinions, partly ceremonial, partly
devotional, partly speculative, which have so fatal a facility of being
degraded into base, corrupting, and even idolatrous practices, that if the
Romanist will make _them_ of the essence of his religion, he must of course
be excluded. As to the Quakers, I hardly know what to say. An article on
the sacraments would exclude them. My doubt is, whether Baptism and the
Eucharist are properly any _parts_ of Christianity, or not rather
Christianity itself;--the one, the initial conversion or light,--the other,
the sustaining and invigorating life;--both together the [Greek: ph_os ahi
z_oh_a], which are Christianity. A line can only begin once; hence, there
can be no repetition of baptism; but a line may be endlessly prolonged by
continued production; hence the sacrament of love and life lasts for ever.

But really there is no knowing what the modern Quakers are, or believe,
excepting this--that they are altogether degenerated from their ancestors
of the seventeenth century. I should call modern Quakerism, so far as I
know it as a scheme of faith, a Socinian Calvinism. Penn himself was a
Sabellian, and seems to have disbelieved even the historical fact of the
life and death of Jesus;--most certainly Jesus of Nazareth was not Penn's
Christ, if he had any. It is amusing to see the modern Quakers appealing
now to history for a confirmation of their tenets and discipline--and by so
doing, in effect abandoning the strong hold of their founders. As an
_imperium in imperio_, I think the original Quakerism a conception worthy
of Lycurgus. Modern Quakerism is like one of those gigantic trees which are
seen in the forests of North America,--apparently flourishing, and
preserving all its greatest stretch and spread of branches; but when you
cut through an enormously thick and gnarled bark, you find the whole inside
hollow and rotten. Modern Quakerism, like such a tree, stands upright by
help of its inveterate bark alone. _Bark_ a Quaker, and he is a poor

       *       *       *       *       *

How much the devotional spirit of the church has suffered by that necessary
evil, the Reformation, and the sects which have sprung up subsequently to
it! All our modern prayers seem tongue-tied. We appear to be thinking more
of avoiding an heretical expression or thought than of opening ourselves to
God. We do not pray with that entire, unsuspecting, unfearing, childlike
profusion of feeling, which so beautifully shines forth in Jeremy Taylor
and Andrewes and the writings of some of the older and better saints of the
Romish church, particularly of that remarkable woman, St. Theresa.[1] And
certainly Protestants, in their anxiety to have the historical argument on
their side, have brought down the origin of the Romish errors too late.
Many of them began, no doubt, in the Apostolic age itself;--I say errors--
not heresies, as that dullest of the fathers, Epiphanius, calls them.
Epiphanius is very long and fierce upon the Ebionites. There may have been
real heretics under that name; but I believe that, in the beginning, the
name was, on account of its Hebrew meaning, given to, or adopted by, some
poor mistaken men--perhaps of the Nazarene way--who sold all their goods
and lands, and were then obliged to beg. I think it not improbable that
Barnabas was one of these chief mendicants; and that the collection made by
St. Paul was for them. You should read Rhenferd's account of the early
heresies. I think he demonstrates about eight of Epiphanius's heretics to
be mere nicknames given by the Jews to the Christians. Read "Hermas, or the
Shepherd," of the genuineness of which and of the epistle of Barnabas I
have no doubt. It is perfectly orthodox, but full of the most ludicrous
tricks of gnostic fancy--the wish to find the New Testament in the Old.
This gnosis is perceptible in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but kept
exquisitely within the limit of propriety. In the others it is rampant, and
most truly "puffeth up," as St. Paul said of it.

What between the sectarians and the political economists, the English are
denationalized. England I see as a country, but the English nation seems
obliterated. What could redintegrate us again? Must it be another threat of
foreign invasion?

[Footnote 1:
She was a native of Avila in Old Castile, and a Carmelite nun. Theresa
established an order which she called the "Reformed," and which became very
powerful. Her works are divided into ten books, of which her autobiography
forms a remarkable part. She died in 1582, and was canonised by Gregory XV.
in 1622--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

I never can digest the loss of most of Origen's works: he seems to have
been almost the only very great scholar and genius combined amongst the
early Fathers. Jerome was very inferior to him.

_January_ 20. 1834.


Some men are like musical glasses;--to produce their finest tones, you must
keep them wet.

       *       *       *       *       *

Well! that passage is what I call the sublime dashed to pieces by cutting
too close with the fiery four-in-hand round the corner of nonsense.

       *       *       *       *       *

How did the Atheist get his idea of that God whom he denies?

_February_ 22. 1834.


Assume the existence of God,--and then the harmony and fitness of the
physical creation may be shown to correspond with and support such an
assumption;--but to set about _proving_ the existence of a God by such
means is a mere circle, a delusion. It can be no proof to a good reasoner,
unless he violates all syllogistic logic, and presumes his conclusion.

Kant once set about proving the existence of God, and a masterly effort it
was.* But in his later great work, the "Critique of the Pure Reason," he
saw its fallacy, and said of it--that _if_ the existence could he _proved_
at all, it must be on the grounds indicated by him.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never could feel any force in the arguments for a plurality of worlds, in
the common acceptation of that term. A lady once asked me--"What then could
be the intention in creating so many great bodies, so apparently useless to
us?" I said--I did not know, except perhaps to make dirt cheap. The vulgar
inference is _in alio genere_. What in the eye of an intellectual and
omnipotent Being is the whole sidereal system to the soul of one man for
whom Christ died?

_March_ 1. 1834.


I am by the law of my nature a reasoner. A person who should suppose I
meant by that word, an arguer, [1] would not only not understand me, but
would understand the contrary of my meaning. I can take no interest
whatever in hearing or saying any thing merely as a fact--merely as having
happened. It must refer to something within me before I can regard it with
any curiosity or care. My mind is always energic--I don't mean energetic; I
require in every thing what, for lack of another word, I may call
_propriety_,--that is, a reason why the thing _is_ at all, and why it is
_there_ or _then_ rather than elsewhere or at another time.

[Footnote 1:
In his essay, "_Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des
Daseyns Gottes_."--"The only possible argument or ground of proof for a
demonstration of the existence of God." It was published in 1763; the
"Critique" in 1781.--ED.]

_March_ 5. 1834.


Shakspeare's intellectual action is wholly unlike that of Ben Jonson or
Beaumont and Fletcher. The latter see the totality of a sentence or
passage, and then project it entire. Shakspeare goes on creating, and
evolving B. out of A., and C. out of B., and so on, just as a serpent
moves, which makes a fulcrum of its own body, and seems for ever twisting
and untwisting its own strength.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think Crabbe and Southey are something alike; but Crabbe's poems are
founded on observation and real life--Southey's on fancy and books. In
facility they are equal, though Crabbe's English is of course not upon a
level with Southey's, which is next door to faultless. But in Crabbe there
is an absolute defect of the high imagination; he gives me little or no
pleasure: yet, no doubt, he has much power of a certain kind, and it is
good to cultivate, even at some pains, a catholic taste in literature. I
read all sorts of books with some pleasure except modern sermons and
treatises on political economy.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have received a great deal of pleasure from some of the modern novels,
especially Captain Marryat's "Peter Simple." That book is nearer Smollett
than any I remember. And "Tom Cringle's Log" in Blackwood is also most

_March_ 15. 1834.


I take unceasing delight in Chaucer. His manly cheerfulness is especially
delicious to me in my old age.[1] How exquisitely tender he is, and yet how
perfectly free from the least touch of sickly melancholy or morbid
drooping! The sympathy of the poet with the subjects of his poetry is
particularly remarkable in Shakspeare and Chaucer; but what the first
effects by a strong act of imagination and mental metamorphosis, the last
does without any effort, merely by the inborn kindly joyousness of his
nature. How well we seem to know Chaucer! How absolutely nothing do we know
of Shakspeare!

I cannot in the least allow any necessity for Chaucer's poetry, especially
the Canterbury Tales, being considered obsolete. Let a few plain rules be
given for sounding the final _è_ of syllables, and for expressing the
termination of such words as _ocëan_, and _natiön_, &c. as dissyllables,--
or let the syllables to be sounded in such cases be marked by a competent
metrist. This simple expedient would, with a very few trifling exceptions,
where the errors are inveterate, enable any reader to feel the perfect
smoothness and harmony of Chaucer's verse.

[Footnote 1:
Eighteen years before, Mr. Coleridge entertained the same feelings towards
Chaucer:--"Through all the works of Chaucer there reigns a cheerfulness, a
manly hilarity, which makes it almost impossible to doubt a correspondent
habit of feeling in the author himself." _Biog. Lit_., vol. i. p. 32.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

As to understanding his language, if you read twenty pages with a good
glossary, you surely can find no further difficulty, even as it is; but I
should have no objection to see this done:--Strike out those words which
are now obsolete, and I will venture to say that I will replace every one
of them by words still in use out of Chaucer himself, or Gower his
disciple. I don't want this myself: I rather like to see the significant
terms which Chaucer unsuccessfully offered as candidates for admission into
our language; but surely so very slight a change of the text may well be
pardoned, even by black--_letterati_, for the purpose of restoring so great
a poet to his ancient and most deserved popularity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shakspeare is of no age. It is idle to endeavour to support his phrases by
quotations from Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, &c. His language is
entirely his own, and the younger dramatists imitated him. The construction
of Shakspeare's sentences, whether in verse or prose, is the necessary and
homogeneous vehicle of his peculiar manner of thinking. His is not the
style of the age. More particularly, Shakspeare's blank verse is an
absolutely new creation. Read Daniel[1]--the admirable Daniel--in his
"Civil Wars," and "Triumphs of Hymen."

The style and language are just such as any very pure and manly writer of
the present day--Wordsworth, for example--would use; it seems quite modern
in comparison with the style of Shakspeare. Ben Jonson's blank verse is
very masterly and individual, and perhaps Massinger's is even still nobler.
In Beaumont and Fletcher it is constantly slipping into lyricisms.

I believe Shakspeare was not a whit more intelligible in his own day than
he is now to an educated man, except for a few local allusions of no
consequence. As I said, he is of no age--nor, I may add, of any religion,
or party, or profession. The body and substance of his works came out of
the unfathomable depths of his own oceanic mind: his observation and
reading, which was considerable, supplied him with the drapery of his

[Footnote 1:
"This poet's well-merited epithet is that of the '_well-languaged Daniel_;'
but, likewise, and by the consent of his contemporaries, no less than of
all succeeding critics, the 'prosaic Daniel.' Yet those who thus designate
this wise and amiable writer, from the frequent incorrespondency of his
diction with his metre, in the majority of his compositions, not only deem
them valuable and interesting on other accounts, but willingly admit that
there are to be found throughout his poems, and especially in his
_Epistles_ and in his _Hymen's Triumph_, many and exquisite specimens of
that style, which, as the neutral ground of prose and verse, is common to
both."--_Biog. Lit_., vol. ii. p. 82.]

[Footnote 2:
Mr. Coleridge called Shakspeare "_the myriad-minded man_," [Greek: au_az
muzioyous]--" a phrase," said he, "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
Shakspeare _de jure singulari, et ex privilegio naturae." See Biog. Lit.,
vol. ii. p. 13.--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

As for editing Beaumont and Fletcher, the task would be one _immensi
laboris_. The confusion is now so great, the errors so enormous, that the
editor must use a boldness quite unallowable in any other case. All I can
say as to Beaumont and Fletcher is, that I can point out well enough where
something has been lost, and that something so and so was probably in the
original; but the law of Shakspeare's thought and verse is such, that I
feel convinced that not only could I detect the spurious, but supply the
genuine, word.

_March_ 20. 1834.


Lord Byron, as quoted by Lord Dover[1], says, that the "Mysterious Mother"
raises Horace Walpole above every author living in his, Lord Byron's, time.
Upon which I venture to remark, first, that I do not believe that Lord
Byron spoke sincerely; for I suspect that he made a tacit exception in
favour of himself at least;--secondly, that it is a miserable mode of
comparison which does not rest on difference of kind. It proceeds of envy
and malice and detraction to say that A. is higher than B., unless you show
that they are _in pari materia_;--thirdly, that the "Mysterious Mother" is
the most disgusting, vile, detestable composition that ever came from the
hand of man. No one with a spark of true manliness, of which Horace Walpole
had none, could have written it. As to the blank verse, it is indeed better
than Rowe's and Thomson's, which was execrably bad:--any approach,
therefore, to the manner of the old dramatists was of course an
improvement; but the loosest lines in Shirley are superior to Walpole's

[Footnote 1:
In the memoir prefixed to the correspondence with Sir H. Mann. Lord Byron's
words are:--"He is the _ultimus Romanorum_, the author of the 'Mysterious
Mother,' a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love play. He is
the father of the first romance, and of the last tragedy, in our language;
and surely worthy of a higher place than any living author, be he who he
may."--_Preface to Marino Faliero_. Is not "Romeo and Juliet" a love play?
--But why reason about such insincere, splenetic trash?--ED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Lewis's "Jamaica Journal" is delightful; it is almost the only unaffected
book of travels or touring I have read of late years. You have the man
himself, and not an inconsiderable man,--certainly a much finer mind than I
supposed before from the perusal of his romances, &c. It is by far his best
work, and will live and be popular. Those verses on the Hours are very
pretty; but the Isle of Devils is, like his romances,--a fever dream--
horrible, without point or terror.

_April_ 16. 1834.


I found that every thing in and about Sicily had been exaggerated by
travellers, except two things--the folly of the government and the
wretchedness of the people. _They_ did not admit of exaggeration.

Really you may learn the fundamental principles of political economy in a
very compendious way, by taking a short tour through Sicily, and simply
reversing in your own mind every law, custom, and ordinance you meet with.
I never was in a country in which every thing proceeding from man was so
exactly wrong. You have peremptory ordinances _against_ making roads, taxes
on the passage of common vegetables from one miserable village to another,
and so on.

By the by, do you know any parallel in modern history to the absurdity of
our giving a legislative assembly to the Sicilians? It exceeds any thing I
know. This precious legislature passed two bills before it was knocked on
the head: the first was, to render lands inalienable; and the second, to
cancel all debts due before the date of the bill.

And then consider the gross ignorance and folly of our laying a tax upon
the Sicilians! Taxation in its proper sense can only exist where there is a
free circulation of capital, labour, and commodities throughout the
community. But to tax the people in countries like Sicily and Corsica,
where there is no internal communication, is mere robbery and confiscation.
A crown taken from a Corsican living in the sierras would not get back to
him again in ten years.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is interesting to pass from Malta to Sicily--from the highest specimen
of an inferior race, the Saracenic, to the most degraded class of a
superior race, the European.

       *       *       *       *       *

No tongue can describe the moral corruption of the Maltese when the island
was surrendered to us. There was not a family in it in which a wife or a
daughter was not a kept mistress. A marquis of ancient family applied to
Sir Alexander Ball to be appointed his valet. "My valet!" said Ball, "what
can you mean, Sir?" The marquis said, he hoped he should then have had the
honour of presenting petitions to his Excellency. "Oh, that is it, is it!"
said Sir Alexander: "my valet, Sir, brushes my clothes, and brings them to
me. If he dared to meddle with matters of public business, I should kick
him down stairs."

In short, Malta was an Augean stable, and Ball had all the inclination to
be a Hercules.[1] His task was most difficult, although his qualifications
were most remarkable. I remember an English officer of very high rank
soliciting him for the renewal of a pension to an abandoned woman who had
been notoriously treacherous to us. That officer had promised the woman as
a matter of course--she having sacrificed her daughter to him. Ball was
determined, as far as he could, to prevent Malta from being made a nest of
home patronage. He considered, as was the fact, that there was a contract
between England and the Maltese. Hence the government at home, especially
Dundas, disliked him, and never allowed him any other title than that of
Civil Commissioner. We have, I believe, nearly succeeded in alienating the
hearts of the inhabitants from us. Every officer in the island ought to be
a Maltese, except those belonging to the immediate executive: 100_l_. per
annum to a Maltese, to enable him to keep a gilt carriage, will satisfy him
where an Englishman must have 2000_l_.

[Footnote 1:
I refer the reader to the five concluding essays of the third volume of the
"Friend," as a specimen of what Mr. C. might have done as a biographer if
an irresistible instinct had not devoted him to profounder labours. As a
sketch--and it pretends to nothing more--is there any thing more perfect in
our literature than the monument raised in those essays to the memory of
Sir Alexander Ball?--and there are some touches added to the character of
Nelson, which the reader, even of Southey's matchless Life of our hero,
will find both new and interesting.--ED.]

_May_ 1. 1834.


There are, to my grief, the names of some men to the Cambridge petition for
admission of the Dissenters to the University, whose cheeks I think must
have burned with shame at the degrading patronage and befouling eulogies of
the democratic press, and at seeing themselves used as the tools of the
open and rancorous enemies of the church. How miserable to be held up for
the purpose of inflicting insult upon men, whose worth and ability and
sincerity you well know,--and this by a faction banded together like
obscene dogs and cats and serpents, against a church which you profoundly
revere! The _time_--the _time_--the _occasion_ and the _motive_ ought to
have been argument enough, that even if the measure were right or harmless
in itself, not _now_, nor with such as _these_, was it to be effected!

_May_ 3. 1834.


Those who argue that England may safely depend upon a supply of foreign
corn, if it grow none or an insufficient quantity of its own, forget that
they are subjugating the necessaries of life itself to the mere luxuries or
comforts of society. Is it not certain that the price of corn abroad will
be raised upon us as soon as it is once known that we _must_ buy?--and when
that fact is known, in what sort of a situation shall we be? Besides this,
the argument supposes that agriculture is not a positive good to the
nation, taken in and by itself, as a mode of existence for the people,
which supposition is false and pernicious; and if we are to become a great
horde of manufacturers, shall we not, even more than at present, excite the
ill will of all the manufacturers of other nations? It has been already
shown, in evidence which is before all the world, that some of our
manufacturers have acted upon the accursed principle of deliberately
injuring foreign manufactures, if they can, even to the ultimate disgrace
of the country and loss to themselves.

_May_ 19. 1834.


How grossly misunderstood the genuine character of the Christian sabbath,
or Lord's day, seems to be even by the church! To confound it with the
Jewish sabbath, or to rest its observance upon the fourth commandment, is,
in my judgment, heretical, and would so have been considered in the
primitive church. That cessation from labour on the Lord's day could not
have been absolutely incumbent on Christians for two centuries after
Christ, is apparent; because during that period the greater part of the
Christians were either slaves or in official situations under Pagan masters
or superiors, and had duties to perform for those who did not recognize the
day. And we know that St. Paul sent back Onesimus to his master, and told
every Christian slave, that, being a Christian, he was free in his mind
indeed, but still must serve his earthly master, although he might laudably
seek for his personal freedom also. If the early Christians had refused to
work on the Lord's day, rebellion and civil war must have been the
immediate consequences. But there is no notice of any such cessation.

The Jewish sabbath was commemorative of the termination of the great act of
creation; it was to record that the world had not been from eternity, nor
had arisen as a dream by itself, but that God had created it by distinct
acts of power, and that he had hallowed the day or season in which he
rested or desisted from his work. When our Lord arose from the dead, the
old creation was, as it were, superseded, and the new creation then began;
and therefore the first day and not the last day, the commencement and not
the end, of the work of God was solemnized.

Luther, in speaking of the _good by itself_, and the good _for its
expediency alone_, instances the observance of the Christian day of rest,--
a day of repose from manual labour, and of activity in spiritual labour,--a
day of joy and co-operation in the work of Christ's creation. "Keep it
holy"--says he--"for its use' sake,--both to body and soul! But if any
where the day is made holy for the mere day's sake,--if any where any one
sets up its observance upon a Jewish foundation, then I order you to work
on it, to ride on it, to dance on it, to feast on it--to do any thing that
shall reprove this encroachment on the Christian spirit and liberty."

The early church distinguished the day of Christian rest so strongly from a
fast, that it was unlawful for a man to bewail even _his own sins_, as such
only, on that day. He was to bewail the sins of _all_, and to pray as one
of the whole of Christ's body.

And the English Reformers evidently took the same view of the day as Luther
and the early church. But, unhappily, our church, in the reigns of James
and Charles the First, was so identified with the undue advancement of the
royal prerogative, that the puritanical Judaizing of the Presbyterians was
but too well seconded by the patriots of the nation, in resisting the wise
efforts of the church to prevent the incipient alteration in the character
of the day of rest. After the Restoration, the bishops and clergy in
general adopted the view taken and enforced by their enemies.

By the by, it is curious to observe, in this semi-infidel and Malthusian
Parliament, how the Sabbatarian spirit unites itself with a rancorous
hostility to that one institution, which alone, according to reason and
experience, can insure the continuance of any general religion at all in
the nation at large. Some of these gentlemen, who are for not letting a
poor labouring man have a dish of baked potatoes on a Sunday, _religionis
gratia_--(God forgive that audacious blasphemy!)--are foremost among those
who seem to live but in vilifying, weakening, and impoverishing the
national church. I own my indignation boils over against such contemptible

I sincerely wish to preserve a decent quiet on Sunday. I would prohibit
compulsory labour, and put down operas, theatres, &c., for this plain
reason--that if the rich be allowed to play, the poor will be forced, or,
what comes to the same thing, will be induced, to work. I am not for a
Paris Sunday. But to stop coaches, and let the gentleman's carriage run, is

_May_ 25. 1834.


Your argument against the high prizes in the church might be put strongly
thus:--Admit that in the beginning it might have been fairly said, that
some eminent rewards ought to be set apart for the purpose of stimulating
and rewarding transcendant merit; what have you to say now, after centuries
of experience to the contrary?--_Have_ the high prizes been given to the
highest genius, virtue, or learning? Is it not rather the truth, as Jortin
said, that twelve votes in a contested election will do more to make a man
a bishop than an admired commentary on the twelve minor prophets?--To all
which and the like I say again, that you ought not to reason from the
abuse, which may be rectified, against the inherent uses of the thing.
_Appoint_ the most deserving--and the prize _will_ answer its purpose. As
to the bishops' incomes,--in the first place, the net receipts--that which
the bishops may spend--have been confessedly exaggerated beyond measure;
but, waiving that, and allowing the highest estimate to be correct, I
should like to have the disposition of the episcopal revenue in any one
year by the late or the present Bishop of Durham, or the present Bishops of
London or Winchester, compared with that of the most benevolent nobleman in
England of any party in politics. I firmly believe that the former give
away in charity of one kind or another, public, official, or private, three
times as much in proportion as the latter. You may have a hunks or two now
and then; but so you would much more certainly, if you were to reduce the
incomes to 2000_l_. per annum. As a body, in my opinion the clergy of
England do in truth act as if their property were impressed with a trust to
the utmost extent that can be demanded by those who affect to believe,
ignorantly or not, that lying legend of a tripartite or quadripartite
division of the tithe by law.

_May 31. 1834._


I think Sir Charles Wetherell's speech before the Privy Council very
effective. I doubt if any other lawyer in Westminster Hall could have done
the thing so well.

       *       *       *       *       *

The National Church requires, and is required by, the Christian Church, for
the perfection of each. For if there were no national Church, the mere
spiritual Church would either become, like the Papacy, a dreadful tyranny
over mind and body;--or else would fall abroad into a multitude of
enthusiastic sects, as in England in the seventeenth century. It is my deep
conviction that, in a country of any religion at all, liberty of conscience
can only be permanently preserved by means and under the shadow of a
national church--a political establishment connected with, but distinct
from, the spiritual Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

I sometimes hope that the undisguised despotism of temper of the Dissenters
may at last awaken a jealousy in the laity of the Church of England. But
the apathy and inertness are, I fear, too profound--too providential.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whatever the Papacy may have been on the Continent, it was always an
unqualified evil to this country. It destroyed what was rising of good, and
introduced a thousand evils of its own. The Papacy was and still is
essentially extra-national;--it affects, _temporally_, to do that which the
spiritual Church of Christ can alone do--to break down the natural
distinctions of nations. Now, as the Roman Papacy is in itself local and
peculiar, of course this attempt is nothing but a direct attack on the
political independence of other nations.

The institution of Universities was the single check on the Papacy. The
Pope always hated and maligned the Universities. The old coenobitic
establishments of England were converted--perverted, rather--into
monasteries and other monking receptacles. You see it was at Oxford that
Wicliffe alone found protection and encouragement.

_June_ 2. 1834.


Schiller's blank verse is bad. He moves in it as a fly in a glue bottle.
His thoughts have their connection and variety, it is true, but there is no
sufficiently corresponding movement in the verse. How different from
Shakspeare's endless rhythms!

There is a nimiety--a too-muchness--in all Germans. It is the national
fault. Leasing had the best notion of blank verse. The trochaic termination
of German words renders blank verse in that language almost impracticable.
We have it in our dramatic hendecasyllable; but then we have a power of
interweaving the iambic close _ad libitum._

_June_ 14. 1834.


The Roman Catholic Emancipation Act--carried in the violent, and, in fact,
unprincipled manner it was--was in effect a Surinam toad;--and the Reform
Bill, the Dissenters' admission to the Universities, and the attack on the
Church, are so many toadlets, one after another detaching themselves from
their parent brute.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you say there is nothing in the Romish religion, sincerely felt,
inconsistent with the duties of citizenship and allegiance to a territorial
Protestant sovereign, _cadit quæstio_. For if _that_ is once admitted,
there can be no answer to the argument from numbers. Certainly, if the
religion of the majority of the _people_ be innocuous to the interests of
the _nation_, the majority have a natural right to be trustees of the
nationalty--that property which is set apart for the nation's use, and
rescued from the gripe of private hands. But when I say--_for the nation's
use_.--I mean the very reverse of what the Radicals mean. They would
convert it to relieve taxation, which I call a private, personal, and
perishable use. A nation's uses are immortal.

       *       *       *       *       *

How lamentable it is to hear the Duke of Wellington expressing himself
doubtingly on the abominable sophism that the Coronation Oath only binds
the King as the executive power--thereby making a Highgate oath of it. But
the Duke is conscious of the ready retort which his language and conduct on
the Emancipation Bill afford to his opponents. He is hampered by that

_June_ 20. 1834.


In the argument on the Corn Laws there is a [Greek: metazasis eis allo
gevos]. It may be admitted that the great principles of commerce require
the interchange of commodities to be free; but commerce, which is barter,
has no proper range beyond luxuries or conveniences;--it is properly the
complement to the full existence and development of a state. But how can it
be shown that the principles applicable to an interchange of conveniences
or luxuries apply also to an interchange of necessaries? No state can be
such properly, which is not self-subsistent at least; for no state that is
not so, is essentially independent. The nation that cannot even exist
without the commodity of another nation, is in effect the slave of that
other nation. In common times, indeed, pecuniary interest will prevail, and
prevent a ruinous exercise of the power which the nation supplying the
necessary must have over the nation which has only the convenience or
luxury to return; but such interest, both in individuals and nations, will
yield to many stronger passions. Is Holland any authority to the contrary?
If so, Tyre and Sidon and Carthage were so! Would you put England on a
footing with a country, which can be overrun in a campaign, and starved in
a year?

       *       *       *       *       *

The entire tendency of the modern or Malthusian political economy is to
denationalize. It would dig up the charcoal foundations of the temple of
Ephesus to burn as fuel for a steam-engine!

_June_ 21. 1834.

Mr. ----, in his poem, makes trees coeval with Chaos;--which is next door
to Hans Sachse[1] who, in describing Chaos, said it was so pitchy dark,
that even the very _cats_ ran against each other!

[Footnote 1: Hans Sachse was born 1494, and died 1576.--ED],

_June_ 23. 1834.


Faustus Socinus worshipped Jesus Christ, and said that God had given him
the power of being omnipresent. Davidi, with a little more acuteness, urged
that mere audition or creaturely presence could not possibly justify
worship from men;--that a man, how glorified soever, was no nearer God in
essence than the vulgarest of the race. Prayer, therefore, was
inapplicable. And how could a _man_ be a mediator between God and man? How
could a _man_ with sins himself offer any compensation for, or expiation
of, sin, unless the most arbitrary caprice were admitted into the counsels
of God?--And so, at last, you see, it was discovered by the better
logicians amongst the Socinians, that there was no such thing as sin at

It is wonderful how any Socinian can read the works of Philo Judæus
without some pause of doubt in the truth of his views as to the person of
Christ. Whether Philo wrote on his own ground as a Jew, or borrowed from
the Christians, the testimony as to the then Jewish expectation and
belief, is equally strong. You know Philo calls the Logos [Greek: yios
Theoy], the _Son of God_, and [Greek: agap_athon te non], _beloved Son_.
He calls him [Greek: arhchierheus], _high priest_, [Greek: deuterhos
Thehos], _second divinity_, [Greek: ei an Theoy], _image of God_, and
describes him as [Greek: eggutat_o m_adenhos ovtos methorhioy
diast_amatos], the _nearest possible to God without any intervening
separation_. And there are numerous other remarkable expressions of the
same sort.

My faith is this:--God is the Absolute Will: it is his Name and the meaning
of it. It is the Hypostasis. As begetting his own Alterity, the Jehovah,
the Manifested--He is the Father; but the Love and the Life--the Spirit--
proceeds from both.

I think Priestley must be considered the author of the modern
Unitarianism. I owe, under God, my return to the faith, to my having gone
much further than the Unitarians, and so having come round to the other
side. I can truly say, I never falsified the Scripture. I always told them
that their interpretations of the Scripture were intolerable upon any
principles of sound criticism; and that, if they were to offer to construe
the will of a neighbour as they did that of their Maker, they would be
scouted out of society. I said then plainly and openly, that it was clear
enough that John and Paul were not Unitarians. But at that time I had a
strong sense of the repugnancy of the doctrine of vicarious atonement to
the moral being, and I thought nothing could counterbalance that. "What
care I," I said, "for the Platonisms of John, or the Rabbinisms of Paul?--
My conscience revolts!" That was the ground of my Unitarianism.

Always believing in the government of God, I was a fervent Optimist. But as
I could not but see that the present state of things was not the best, I
was necessarily led to look forward to some future state.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may conceive the difference in kind between the Fancy and the
Imagination in this way,--that if the check of the senses and the reason
were withdrawn, the first would become delirium, and the last mania. The

Fancy brings together images which have no connection natural or moral, but
are yoked together by the poet by means of some accidental coincidence; as
in the well-known passage in Hudibras:

"The sun had long since in the lap
Of Thetis taken out his nap,
And like a lobster boyl'd, the morn
From black to red began to turn."[1]

The Imagination modifies images, and gives unity to variety; it sees all
things in one, _il più nell' uno_. There is the epic imagination, the
perfection of which is in Milton; and the dramatic, of which Shakspeare is
the absolute master. The first gives unity by throwing back into the
distance; as after the magnificent approach of the Messiah to battle[2],
the poet, by one touch from himself--

--"far off their coming shone!"--

makes the whole one image.

And so at the conclusion of the description of the appearance of the
entranced angels, in which every sort of image from all the regions of
earth and air is introduced to diversify and illustrate,--the reader is
brought back to the single image by--

"He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded."[3]

The dramatic imagination does not throw back, but brings close; it stamps
all nature with one, and that its own, meaning, as in Lear throughout.

[Footnote 1: Part II. c. 2. v.29.]

[Footnote 2:
----"Forth rush'd with whirlwind sound
The chariot of Paternal Deity,
Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn,
Itself instinct with spirit, but convoy'd
By four cherubic shapes; four faces each
Had wonderous; as with stars their bodies all
And wings were set with eyes; with eyes the wheels
Of beryl, and careering fires between;
Over their heads a crystal firmament,
Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure
Amber, and colours of the showery arch.
He, in celestial panoply all arm'd
Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought,
Ascended; at his right hand Victory
Sat eagle-wing'd; beside him hung his bow
And quiver, with three-bolted thunder stored;
And from about him fierce effusion roll'd
Of smoke, and bickering flame, and sparkles dire;
Attended with ten thousand thousand saints,
He onward came; _far off their coming shone;_
And twenty thousand (I their number heard)
Chariots of God, half on each hand, were seen:
He on the wings of cherub rode sublime
On the crystalline sky, in sapphire throned,
Illustrious far and wide; but by his own
First seen."--P. L. b. vi. v. 749, &c.]

[Footnote 3:
 ----"and call'd
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades,
High over arch'd, embower; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris, and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcasses
And broken chariot wheels; so thick bestrewn,
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
_He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded_."--P. L. b. i. v. 300, &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

At the very outset, what are we to think of the soundness of this modern
system of political economy, the direct tendency of every rule of which is
to denationalize, and to make the love of our country a foolish

_June_ 28. 1834.


You may not understand my system, or any given part of it,--or by a
determined act of wilfulness, you may, even though perceiving a ray of
light, reject it in anger and disgust:--but this I will say,--that if you
once master it, or any part of it, you cannot hesitate to acknowledge it as
the truth. You cannot be sceptical about it.

The metaphysical disquisition at the end of the first volume of the
"Biographia Literaria" is unformed and immature;--it contains the fragments
of the truth, but it is not fully thought out. It is wonderful to myself to
think how infinitely more profound my views now are, and yet how much
clearer they are withal. The circle is completing; the idea is coming round
to, and to be, the common sense.

       *       *       *       *       *

The generation of the modern worldly Dissenter was thus: Presbyterian,
Arian, Socinian, and last, Unitarian.

       *       *       *       *       *

Is it not most extraordinary to see the Dissenters calling themselves the
descendants of the old Nonconformists, and yet clamouring for a divorce of
Church and State? Why--Baxter, and the other great leaders, would have
thought a man an atheist who had proposed such a thing. _They_ were rather
for merging the State _in_ the Church. But these our modern gentlemen, who
are blinded by political passion, give the kiss of alliance to the harlot
of Rome, and walk arm in arm with those who deny the God that redeemed
them, if so they may but wreak their insane antipathies on the National
Church! Well! I suppose they have counted the cost, and know what it is
they would have, and can keep.

_July_ 5. 1834.


I do not remember a more beautiful piece of prose in English than the
consolation addressed by Lord Brooke (Fulke Greville) to a lady of quality
on certain conjugal infelicities. The diction is such that it might have
been written now, if we could find any one combining so thoughtful a head
with so tender a heart and so exquisite a taste.

       *       *       *       *       *

Barrow often debased his language merely to evidence his loyalty. It was,
indeed, no easy task for a man of so much genius, and such a precise
mathematical mode of thinking, to adopt even for a moment the slang of
L'Estrange and Tom Brown; but he succeeded in doing so sometimes. With the
exception of such parts, Barrow must be considered as closing the first
great period of the English language. Dryden began the second. Of course
there are numerous subdivisions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Peter Wilkins is to my mind a work of uncommon beauty; and yet Stothard's
illustrations have _added_ beauties to it. If it were not for a certain
tendency to affectation, scarcely any praise could be too high for
Stothard's designs. They give me great pleasure. I believe that Robinson
Crusoe and Peter Wilkins could only have been written by islanders. No
continentalist could have conceived either tale. Davis's story is an
imitation of Peter Wilkins; but there are many beautiful things in it;
especially his finding his wife crouching by the fireside--she having, in
his absence, plucked out all her feathers--to be like him!

It would require a very peculiar genius to add another tale, _ejusdem
generis_, to Robinson Crusoe and Peter Wilkins. I once projected such a
thing; but the difficulty of a pre-occupied ground stopped me. Perhaps La
Motte Fouqué might effect something; but I should fear that neither he, nor
any other German, could entirely understand what may be called the "_desert
island_" feeling. I would try the marvellous line of Peter Wilkins, if I
attempted it, rather than the _real_ fiction of Robinson Crusoe.

       *       *       *       *       *

What a master of composition Fielding was! Upon my word, I think the
Oedipus Tyrannus, the Alchemist, and Tom Jones the three most perfect plots
ever planned. And how charming, how wholesome, Fielding always is! To take
him up after Richardson, is like emerging from a sick room heated by
stoves, into an open lawn, on a breezy day in May.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have been very deeply interested in the account of Bishop Sandford's
life, published by his son. He seems to have been a thorough gentleman upon
the model of St. Paul, whose manners were the finest of any man's upon

       *       *       *       *       *

I think I could have conformed to the then dominant Church before the
Reformation. The errors existed, but they had not been riveted into
peremptory articles of faith before the Council of Trent. If a Romanist
were to ask me the question put to Sir Henry Wotton, [1]I should content
myself by answering, that I could not exactly say when my religion, as he
was pleased to call it, began--but that it was certainly some sixty or
seventy years before _his_, at all events--which began at the Council of

[Footnote 1:
"Having, at his being in Rome, made acquaintance with a pleasant priest,
who invited him, one evening, to hear their vesper music at church; the
priest, seeing Sir Henry stand obscurely in a corner, sends to him by a boy
of the choir this question, writ in a small piece of paper;--'Where was
your religion to be found before Luther?' To which question Sir Henry
presently underwrit;--'My religion was to be found then, where yours is not
to be found now--in the written word of God.'"--_Isaak Walton's Life of Sir
Henry Wotton_.]

_July_ 10. 1834.


I am, dying, but without expectation of a speedy release. Is it not strange
that very recently by-gone images, and scenes of early life, have stolen
into my mind, like breezes blown from the spice-islands of Youth and Hope--
those twin realities of this phantom world! I do not add Love,--for what is
Love but Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen as _one?_ I say _realities_;
for reality is a thing of degrees, from the Iliad to a dream; [Greek: *ai
g_or t onar e Di s esti]. Yet, in a strict sense, reality is not
predicable at all of aught below Heaven. "Es enim _in coelis_, Pater
noster, qui tu vere _es!_"  Hooker wished to live to finish his
Ecclesiastical Polity;--so I own I wish life and strength had been spared
to me to complete my Philosophy. For, as God hears me, the originating,
continuing, and sustaining wish and design in my heart were to exalt the
glory of his name; and, which is the same thing in other words, to promote
the improvement of mankind. But _visum aliter Deo_, and his will be done.

       *       *       *       *       *

** This note may well finish the present specimens. What followed was for
the memory of private friends only. Mr. Coleridge was then extremely ill;
but certainly did not believe his end to be quite so near at hand as it

The following Recollections of Mr. Coleridge, written in May, 1811, have
been also communicated to me by my brother, Mr. Justice Coleridge:--

"20_th April_, 1811, _at Richmond_.

"We got on politics, and he related some curious facts of the Prince and
Perceval. Then, adverting to the present state of affairs in Portugal, he
said that he rejoiced not so much in the mere favourable turn, as in the
end that must now be put to the base reign of opinion respecting the
superiority and invincible skill of the French generals. Brave as Sir John
Moore was, he thought him deficient in that greater and more essential
manliness of soul which should have made him not hold his enemy in such
fearful respect, and which should have taught him to care less for the
opinion of the world at home.

"We then got, I know not how, to German topics. He said that the language
of their literature was entirely factitious, and had been formed by Luther
from the two dialects, High and Low German; that he had made it,
grammatically, most correct, more so, perhaps, than any other language; it
was equal to the Greek, except in harmony and sweetness. And yet the
Germans themselves thought it sweet;--Klopstock had repeated to him an ode
of his own to prove it, and really had deceived himself, by the force of
association, into a belief that the harsh sounds, conveying, indeed, or
being significant of, sweet images or thoughts, were themselves sweet. Mr.
C. was asked what he thought of Klopstock. He answered, that his fame was
rapidly declining in Germany; that an Englishman might form a correct
notion of him by uniting the moral epigram of Young, the bombast of Hervey,
and the minute description of Richardson. As to sublimity, he had, with all
Germans, one rule for producing it;--it was, to take something very great,
and make it very small in comparison with that which you wish to elevate.
Thus, for example, Klopstock says,--'As the gardener goes forth, and
scatters from his basket seed into the garden; so does the Creator scatter
worlds with his right hand.' Here _worlds_, a large object, are made small
in the hands of the Creator; consequently, the Creator is very great. In
short, the Germans were not a poetical nation in the very highest sense.
Wieland was their best poet: his subject was bad, and his thoughts often
impure; but his language was rich and harmonious, and his fancy luxuriant.
Sotheby's translation had not at all caught the manner of the original. But
the Germans were good metaphysicians and critics: they criticised on
principles previously laid down; thus, though they might be wrong, they
were in no danger of being self-contradictory, which was too often the case
with English critics.

"Young, he said, was not a poet to be read through at once. His love of
point and wit had often put an end to his pathos and sublimity; but there
were parts in him which must be immortal. He (Mr. C.) loved to read a page
of Young, and walk out to think of him.

"Returning to the Germans, he said that the state of their religion, when
he was in Germany, was really shocking. He had never met one clergyman a
Christian; and he found professors in the universities lecturing against
the most material points in the Gospel. He instanced, I think, Paulus,
whose lectures he had attended. The object was to resolve the miracles into
natural operations; and such a disposition evinced was the best road to
preferment. He severely censured Mr. Taylor's book, in which the principles
of Paulus were explained and insisted on with much gratuitous indelicacy.
He then entered into the question of Socinianism, and noticed, as I
recollect, the passage in the Old Testament; 'The people bowed their faces,
and _worshipped_ God and the king.' He said, that all worship implied the
presence of the object worshipped: the people worshipped, bowing to the
sensuous presence of the one, and the conceived omnipresence of the other.
He talked of his having constantly to defend the Church against the
Socinian Bishop of Llandaff, Watson. The subject then varied to Roman
Catholicism, and he gave us an account of a controversy he had had with a
very sensible priest in Sicily on the worship of saints. He had driven the
priest from one post to another, till the latter took up the ground, that
though the saints were not omnipresent, yet God, who was so, imparted to
them the prayers offered up, and then they used their interference with Him
to grant them. 'That is, father, (said C. in reply)--excuse my seeming
levity, for I mean no impiety--that is; I have a deaf and dumb wife, who
yet understands me, and I her, by signs. You have a favour to ask of me,
and want my wife's interference; so you communicate your request to me, who
impart it to her, and she, by signs back again, begs me to grant it.' The
good priest laughed, and said, '_Populus milt decipi, et decipiatur!_'

"We then got upon the Oxford controversy, and he was decidedly of opinion
that there could be no doubt of Copleston's complete victory. He thought
the Review had chosen its points of attack ill, as there must doubtless be
in every institution so old much to reprehend and carp at. On the other
hand, he thought that Copleston had not been so severe or hard upon them as
he might have been; but he admired the critical part of his work, which he
thought very highly valuable, independently of the controversy. He wished
some portion of mathematics was more essential to a degree at Oxford, as he
thought a gentleman's education incomplete without it, and had himself
found the necessity of getting up a little, when he could ill spare the
time. He every day more and more lamented his neglect of them when at

"Then glancing off to Aristotle, he gave a very high character of him. He
said that Bacon objected to Aristotle the grossness of his examples, and
Davy now did precisely the same to Bacon: both were wrong; for each of
those philosophers wished to confine the attention of the mind in their
works to the _form_ of reasoning only, by which other truths might be
established or elicited, and therefore the most trite and common-place
examples were in fact the best. He said that during a long confinement to
his room, he had taken up the Schoolmen, and was astonished at the immense
learning and acute knowledge displayed by them; that there was scarcely any
thing which modern philosophers had proudly brought forward as their own,
which might not be found clearly and systematically laid down by them in
some or other of their writings. Locke had sneered at the Schoolmen
unfairly, and had raised a foolish laugh against them by citations from
their _Quid libet_ questions, which were discussed on the eyes of holydays,
and in which the greatest latitude was allowed, being considered mere
exercises of ingenuity. We had ridiculed their _quiddities_, and why? Had
we not borrowed their _quantity_ and their _quality_, and why then reject
their _quiddity_, when every schoolboy in logic must know, that of every
thing may be asked, _Quantum est? Quale est?_ and _Quid est?_ the last
bringing you to the most material of all points, its individual being. He
afterwards stated, that in a History of Speculative Philosophy which he was
endeavouring to prepare for publication, he had proved, and to the
satisfaction of Sir James Mackintosh, that there was nothing in Locke which
his best admirers most admired, that might not be found more clearly and
better laid down in Descartes or the old Schoolmen; not that he was himself
an implicit disciple of Descartes, though he thought that Descartes had
been much misinterpreted.

"When we got on the subject of poetry and Southey, he gave us a critique of
the Curse of Kehama, the fault of which he thought consisted in the
association of a plot and a machinery so very wild with feelings so sober
and tender: but he gave the poem high commendation, admired the art
displayed in the employment of the Hindu monstrosities, and begged us to
observe the noble feeling excited of the superiority of virtue over vice;
that Kehama went on, from the beginning to the end of the poem, increasing
in power, whilst Kailyal gradually lost her hopes and her protectors; and
yet by the time we got to the end, we had arrived at an utter contempt and
even carelessness of the power of evil, as exemplified in the almighty
Rajah, and felt a complete confidence in the safety of the unprotected
virtue of the maiden. This he thought the very great merit of the poem.

"When we walked home with him to the inn, he got on the subject of the
English Essay for the year at Oxford, and thought some consideration of the
corruption of language should he introduced into it.

[Footnote: On Etymology.]
It originated, he thought, in a desire to abbreviate all expression as much
as possible; and no doubt, if in one word, without violating idiom, I can
express what others have done in more, and yet be as fully and easily
understood, I have manifestly made an improvement; but if, on the other
hand, it becomes harder, and takes more time to comprehend a thought or
image put in one word by Apuleius than when expressed in a whole sentence
by Cicero, the saving is merely of pen and ink, and the alteration is
evidently a corruption."

_"April_ 21.--Richmond._

"Before breakfast we went into Mr. May's delightful book-room, where he was
again silent in admiration of the prospect. After breakfast, we walked to
church. He seemed full of calm piety, and said he always felt the most
delightful sensations in a Sunday church-yard,--that it struck him as if
God had given to man fifty-two springs in every year. After the service, he
was vehement against the sermon, as common-place, and invidious in its tone
towards the poor. Then he gave many texts from the lessons and gospel of
the day, as affording fit subjects for discourses. He ridiculed the
absurdity of refusing to believe every thing that you could not understand;
and mentioned a rebuke of Dr. Parr's to a man of the name of Frith, and
that of another clergyman to a young man, who said he would believe nothing
which he could not understand:--'Then, young man, your creed will be the
shortest of any man's I know.'

"As we walked up Mr. Cambridge's meadows towards Twickenham, he criticised
Johnson and Gray as poets, and did not seem to allow them high merit. The
excellence of verse, he said, was to be untranslatable into any other words
without detriment to the beauty of the passage;--the position of a single
word could not be altered in Milton without injury. Gray's
personifications, he said, were mere printer's devils' personifications--
persons with a capital letter, abstract qualities with a small one. He
thought Collins had more genius than Gray, who was a singular instance of a
man of taste, poetic feeling, and fancy, without imagination. He contrasted
Dryden's opening of the 10th satire of Juvenal with Johnson's:--

  "'Let observation, with extensive view,
  Survey mankind from Ganges to Peru.'

which was as much as to say,--

  "'Let observation with extensive observation observe mankind.'

"After dinner he told us a humorous story of his enthusiastic fondness for
Quakerism, when he was at Cambridge, and his attending one of their
meetings, which had entirely cured him. When the little children came in,
he was in raptures with them, and descanted upon the delightful mode of
treating them now, in comparison with what he had experienced in childhood.
He lamented the haughtiness with which Englishmen treated all foreigners
abroad, and the facility with which our government had always given up any
people which had allied itself to us, at the end of a war; and he
particularly remarked upon our abandonment of Minorca. These two things, he
said, made us universally disliked on the Continent; though, as a people,
most highly respected. He thought a war with America inevitable; and
expressed his opinion, that the United States were unfortunate in the
prematureness of their separation from this country, before they had in
themselves the materials of moral society--before they had a gentry and a
learned class,--the former looking backwards, and giving the sense of
stability--the latter looking forwards, and regulating the feelings of the

"Afterwards, in the drawing-room, he sat down by Professor Rigaud, with
whom he entered into a discussion of Kant's System of Metaphysics. The
little knots of the company were speedily silent: Mr. C.'s voice grew
louder; and abstruse as the subject was, yet his language was so ready, so
energetic, and so eloquent, and his illustrations so very neat and
apposite, that the ladies even paid him the most solicitous and respectful
attention. They were really entertained with Kant's Metaphysics! At last I
took one of them, a very sweet singer, to the piano-forte; and, when there
was a pause, she began an Italian air. She was anxious to please him, and
he was enraptured. His frame quivered with emotion, and there was a titter
of uncommon delight on his countenance. When it was over, he praised the
singer warmly, and prayed she might finish those strains in heaven!

"This is nearly all, except some anecdotes, which I recollect of our
meeting with this most interesting, most wonderful man. Some of his topics
and arguments I have enumerated; but the connection and the words are lost.
And nothing that I can say can give any notion of his eloquence and
manner,--of the hold which he soon got on his audience--of the variety of
his stores of information--or, finally, of the artlessness of his habits,
or the modesty and temper with which he listened to, and answered
arguments, contradictory to his own."--J. T. C.

The following address has been printed before; but it cannot be too widely
circulated, and it will form an appropriate conclusion to this volume.

_To Adam Steinmetz K----._


I offer up the same fervent prayer for you now, as I did kneeling before
the altar, when you were baptized into Christ, and solemnly received as a
living member of his spiritual body, the Church.

Years must pass before you will be able to read, with an understanding
heart, what I now write. But I trust that the all-gracious God, the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercies, who, by his only-begotten
Son, (all mercies in one sovereign mercy!) has redeemed you from the evil
ground, and willed you to be born out of darkness, but into light--out of
death, but into life--out of sin, but into righteousness, even into the
Lord our Righteousness; I trust that He will graciously hear the prayers of
your dear parents, and be with you as the spirit of health and growth in
body and mind!

My dear Godchild!--You received from Christ's minister at the baptismal
font, as your Christian name, the name of a most dear friend of your
father's, and who was to me even as a son, the late Adam Steinmetz, whose
fervent aspiration, and ever-paramount aim, even from early youth, was to
be a Christian in thought, word, and deed--in will, mind, and affections.

I too, your Godfather, have known what the enjoyments and advantages of
this life are, and what the more refined pleasures which learning and
intellectual power can bestow; and with all the experience that more than
threescore years can give, I now, on the eve of my departure, declare to
you, (and earnestly pray that you may hereafter live and act on the
conviction,) that health is a great blessing,--competence obtained by
honourable industry a great blessing,--and a great blessing it is to have
kind, faithful, and loving friends and relatives; but that the greatest of
all blessings, as it is the most ennobling of all privileges, is to be
indeed a Christian. But I have been likewise, through a large portion of my
later life, a sufferer, sorely afflicted with bodily pains, languors, and
manifold infirmities; and, for the last three or four years, have, with few
and brief intervals, been confined to a sick-room, and, at this moment, in
great weakness and heaviness, write from a sick-bed, hopeless of a
recovery, yet without prospect of a speedy removal; and I, thus on the very
brink of the grave, solemnly bear witness to you, that the Almighty
Redeemer, most gracious in his promises to them that truly seek him, is
faithful to perform what he hath promised, and has preserved, under all my
pains and infirmities, the inward peace that passeth all understanding,
with the supporting assurance of a reconciled God, who will not withdraw
his spirit from me in the conflict, and in his own time will deliver me
from the Evil One!

O, my dear Godchild! eminently blessed are those who begin early to seek,
fear, and love their God, trusting wholly in the righteousness and
mediation of their Lord, Redeemer, Saviour, and everlasting High Priest,
Jesus Christ!

O preserve this as a legacy and bequest from your unseen Godfather and


_Grove, Highgate, July_ 13. 1834.

He died on the 25th day of the same month.


       *       *       *       *       *


Abuse, Eloquence of.
Acts, Origin of.
Advocate, Duties and Needs of an.
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
All and the Whole.
America, United States of.
American Union, Northern and Southern States of the.
Americans, the.
Anarchy, Mental.
Ancient Mariner.
Animal Being, Scale of.
Ant and Bee.
Architecture, Gothic.
Ariosto and Tasso.
Army and Navy, House of Commons appointing the Officers of the.
Article, Ninth.
-----and Defoe.
Autumn Day.


Ball, Sir Alexander.
Baptismal Service.
Barrow and Dryden.
_Bartram's Travels_.
Beaumont and Fletcher.
----'s Dramas.
Behmen, Jacob.
Bertram, Character of.
Bestial Theory.
Bible, Study of the.
----, Version of the.
Biblical Commentators.
Biographia Literaria.
Bitters and Tonics.
Black, Colonel.
Blumenbach and Kant's Races.
Books of Moses, Genuineness of.
British Schoolmen.
Brooke, Lord.
Brown and Darwin.
Bull and Waterland.
Byron, Lord.
----and H. Walpole's "Mysterious Mother."
----, his Versification, and Don Juan.


Caesarean Operation.
Cambridge Petition to admit Dissenters.
Cavalier Slang.
Character, Differences of.
Charles I.
Children, Gracefulness of,
Christ, Divinity of,
Christ's Hospital,
Christian Sabbath,
----, Scope of,
----, High Prizes and Revenues of
----, National,
----of England,
----of Rome,
Church Singing,
Citizens and Christians,
Clergy, Celibacy of the,
Coleridge's (Mr.) System,
----, Non-perception of,
Commons, House of,
----, the Reformed House of,
Compounds, Latin,
Consolation in Distress,
Constitution, English,
Corn Laws,
Coronation Oaths,
Crabbe and Southey,
Cramp, Charm for,


Dancing, English and Greek,
Davy, Sir H.,
----, with Slavery,
Devotional Spirit,
De vi Minimorum,
Dictation and Inspiration,
Diction of the Old and New Testament Version,
Diplomatists, modern,
Diversions of Purley,
Divines, old,
Don Quixote,
Douw's (Gerard) "Schoolmaster," and Titian's "Venus,"
Dramatists, the Old,
Drayton and Daniel,
----and Ghosts, Difference between Stories of,
----and Pope,
Dual, Neuter plural, and Verb singular,


Egyptian Antiquaries,
Eldon's (Lord) Doctrine as to Grammar Schools,
Energy of Man and other Animals,
----and Holland,
English and German,
Epidemic Disease,
Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians,
----to the Hebrews,
----to the Romans,
Etymology of the final _Ive_,
Eucharist, the,
Evangelicals, Mock,


----, Articles of,
----and Belief
Fantasy and Imagination,
Fatalism and Providence,
Fathers, the,
Fees, Barristers' and Physicians',
Fielding and Richardson,
Fine Arts, Patronage of the,
Flaccus, Valerius,
Fox and Pitt,
French, the,
----Hereditary Peerage, Abolition of the,


Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Bacon,
Gas, Hydro-carbonic,
Gender of the Sun in German,
Genius, Criterion of.
----, Feminine.
----, Metaphysical.
----of the Spanish and Italians.
----Blank Verse.
----and English.
Gifford's Massier,
God, Proof of Existence of,
----'s Providence,
Good and the True, the,
Gray and Cotton
Great Minds androgynous,
----Poets, good Men,
----, Italian, and English, pure Ages of,
----Accent and Quantity,
Grey, Earl,


Hacket's Life of Archbishop Williams,
Hall, Captain B.,
----and the Americans,
Hampden's Speech,
----, Jewish,
Holland and Belgium,
----and the Dutch,
Homeric Heroes in Shakspeare,
Hooker and Bull,
Humour and Genius,


Iapetic and Semitic,
Ideal Tory and Whig,
Ideal Truths, Reverence for,
Imitation and Copy,
Inherited Disease,
Interest, Monied,
Investigation, Methods of,
Ireland, Union with,
Irish Church,
Italy, Roman Conquest of,


James I,
Jerusalem, Destruction of,
----, Conversion of the,
----, Division of the Scripture,
----, in Poland,
Job, Book of,
Johnson, Dr.,
----, his Political Pamphlets,
----, the Whig,
Jonson, Ben,


Kant's Attempt,
Kant's Races of Mankind,
Keenness and Subtlety,
Kemble, John,


Lakes, Scotch and English,
Lamb, C.,
Land and Money,
Landholders, Duty of,
Landor's (W. S.) Poetry,
Laughter, Farce and Tragedy,
Lavacrum Pallados,
Legislation, Iniquitous,
Leo X.,
Lewis's Jamaica Journal,
Life, Constitutional and Functional,
Liturgy, English,
----, Character of the Age for,
Logic of Ideas and of Syllogisms.
Logos, the.
"Lord, the," in the English Version of the Psalms.
----and Friendship opposed.
Love's Labour Lost.
Lyell's Geology.


Mackintosh, Sir James.
Man cannot be stationary.
----Fall of.
----'s Freedom.
Mandeville's Fable of the Bees.
Manners under Edward III., Richard II., and Henry VIII.
----Parental Control in.
----of Cousins.
Mason's Poetry.
Measure for Measure.
Medicines, Specific.
Messenger of the Covenant.
Metre, Modern.
Miguel, Dom, and Dom Pedro.
Milesian Tales.
----and Sydney.
----'s disregard of Painting.
----'s Egotism.
----'s Latin Poems.
Ministers and the Reform Bill.
Monarchy or Democracy, Prospect of.
Monro, Sir T.
Mosaic Miracles.
Motives and Impulses.
----, Ear and Taste for, different.
Musical Glasses, some Men like.


National Colonial Character and Naval Discipline.
Nations, Characteristic Temperament of.
Negro Emancipation.
Nervous Weakness.
New Testament Canon.
Nitrous Oxide.
Nominalists and Realists.
Northern and Southern States.


Oath, Coronation.
Othello, Character of.


----and Idolatry.
----, the, and the Reformation.
----and the Schoolmen.
Paradise Lost.
Park, Professor.
Parliamentary Privilege.
Party Spirit.
Penal Code in Ireland.
Penn, Granville, and the Deluge.
Pentameter, Greek and Latin.
Permanency and Progression of Nations.
Persons and Things.
Peter Simple, and Tom Cringle's Log.
Phantom Portrait.
Philosopher's ordinary Language.
Philosophy, Greek.
----, Moral.
----, Mr. Coleridge's System of.
----of young Men of the present Day.
Pilgrim's Progress.
----and Xenophon.
Poem, Epic.
Poetic Promise.
Poetical Filter.
----, Persian and Arabic.
Polarity, Moral Law of.
Political Action, the two Modes of.
Political Economy, Modern.
Poor Laws.
Preaching extempore.
Presbyterians, Independents, and Bishops.
Principle, Greatest Happiness.
Principles and Facts.
----and Maxims.
Professions and Trades.
Property Tax.
Prophecies of the Old Testament.
Prose and Poetry.
----and Verse.
Psalms, Translation of the.
Puritans and Cavaliers.
----and Jacobins.


Quakerism, Modern.


----and Luther.
Raffles, Sir S.
Reason and Understanding.
Reasoner, a.
Reform of the House of Commons.
----, Conduct of Ministers on the.
----, English.
Religion gentilizes.
----of the Greeks.
-----, Roman Catholic.
-----, Romish
Representation, Popular.
----, Direct.
Review, Principles of a.
----, Belgian.
----, French.
----, Intellectual.
Roman Conquest.
----Empire. Key to the Decline of the.
----Catholic Emancipation.
Rosetti on Dante.


Sandford, Bishop.
Sarpi, Paul.
Scarlett, Sir J.
Schemes, Spinozistic and Hebrew.
----'s Robbers.
----'s Versification.
Schools, Infant.
----, Public.
Scotch and English.
----Kirk and Irving.
Scott, Michael.
----and Coleridge.
----'s Novels.
----, _in Minimis_.
----'s Intellectual Action.
----'s Sonnets.
Sidney, Sir P.
Sin and Sins.
Smith, Robert.
Society, best State of.
----'s Life of Bunyan.
Speech, Parts of.
Spurzheim and Craniology.
St. John.
----'s Gospel.
----, Chap. xix. Ver. 11.
----, Chap. iii. Ver. 4.
St. Paul's Melita.
----, a.
----, Idea of a.
----, Algernon Sydney's.
----, Modern.
Sublime and Nonsense.
Superstition of Maltese, Sicilians, and Italians.
Sympathy of old Greek and Latin with English, 168.


Talent and Genius.
Taylor, Jeremy.
Tennyson's Poems.
Things are finding their Level.
Thomas à Becket.
----and Tacitus.
Times of Charles I.
Tooke, Horne.
Travels, Modern.
Trinity, the.
Truths and Maxims.


Understanding, the.
Universal Suffrage.


Virtue and Liberty.
Von Humboldt, Baron.
Vote, Right of Women to.
Vowels and Consonants.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.


Walkerite Creed.
----, Civil, of the Seventeenth Century.
Wedded Love in Shakspeare and his contemporary Dramatists.
Wellington, Duke of.
Wetherell's (Sir Charles) Speech.
Whigs, Conduct of the.
Wilkins, Peter, and Stothard.
William III.
Wit and Madness.
Witch of Endor.
Women, Characterlessness of.
----, Old.
----and Men.
Words and Names of Things.
Works, Chronological Arrangement of.
Working to better one's condition.
Worlds, Plurality of.




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