Imágenes de páginas

thought, or forced diction, no crowd or turbulence of imagery ; and, as the poet hath himself well described in his Lines on re-visiting the Wye, manly reflection and human associations had given both variety, and an additional interest to natural objects, which, in the passion and appetite of the first love, they had seemed to him neither to need nor permit." The occasional obscurities, which had risen from an imperfect control over the resources of his native language, had almost wholly disappeared, together with that worse defect of arbitrary and illogical phrases, at once hackneyed and fantastic, which hold so distinguished a

13 (For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.–I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colors and their forms, were then to me
An appetite, a feeling, and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
Apoi all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ainple power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

II., pp. 164–5. Ed.]

place in the technique of ordinary poetry, and will, more or less, alloy the earlier poems of the truest genius, unless the attention has been specifically directed to their worthlessness and incon. gruity." I did not perceive anything particular in the mere style of the poem alluded to during its recitation, except, indeed, such difference as was not separable from the thought and manner; and the Spenserian stanza, which always, more or less, recalls to the reader's mind Spenser's own style, would, doubtless, have authorized, in my then opinion, a more frequent descent to the phrases of ordinary life, than could, without an ill effect, have been hazarded in the heroic couplet. It was not, however, the freedom from false taste, whether as to common defects, or to those more properly his own, which made sc unusual an impression on my feelings immediately, and subse. quently on my judgment. It was the union of deep feeling with

14 Mr. Wordsworth, even in his two earliest poems, The Evening Walk and the Descriptive Sketches, is more free from this latter defect than most of the young poets his contemporaries. It may however be exemplified, together with the harsh and obscure construction, in which he inore often offended, in the following lines :

“ 'Mid stormy vapors ever driving by,

Where ospreys, cormorants, and herons cry;
'Where hardly given the hopeless waste to cheer,
Denied the bread of life the foodful ear,
Dwindles the pear on autumn's latest spray,
And apple sickens pale in summer's ray;
Ev'n here content has fixed her smiling reign

With independence, child of high disdain.
I hope, I need not say, that I have quoted these lines for no other purpose
than to make my meaning fully understood. It is to be regretted that
Mr. Wordsworth has not republished these two poems entire.*

*( The passage stands thus in the last and corrected edition :

Where ospreys, cormorants, and herons cry,
'Mid storiny vapors ever driving by,
Or hovering over wastes too bleak to rear
That common growth of earth the foodful ear;
Where the green apple shrivels on the spray,
And pines the unripened pear in summer's kindliest ray;
Even here Content has fixed her smiling reign
With Independence, child of high Disdain.

I. p. 80. Ed.)

profound thought; the fine balance of truth in observing, with the imaginative faculty in modifying, the objects observed ; and, above all, the original gift of spreading the tone, the atmosphere, and with it the depth and height of the ideal world around forms, incidents, and situations, of which, for the common view, custom had bedimmed all the lustre, had dried up the sparkle and the dew-drops.

This excellence, which in all Mr. Wordsworth's writings is more or less predominant, and which constitutes the character of his mind, I no sooner felt, than I sought to understand. Re. peated meditations led me first to suspect—and a more intimate analysis of the human faculties, their appropriate marks, functions, and effects, matured my conjecture into full conviction), that Fancy and Imagination were two distinct and widely differ. ent faculties, instead of being, according to the general belief, either two names with one meaning, or, at furthest, the lower and higher degree of one and the same power. It is not, I own, easy to conceive a more opposite translation of the Greek pavraria than the Latin imaginatio ; but it is equally true that in all soci. eties there exists an instinct of growth, a certain collective, unconscious good sense working progressively to desynonymize'

15 This is effected either by giving to the one word a general, and to the other an exclusive use; as “ to put on the back” and “to endorse;" or by an actual distinction of meanings, as “naturalist,” and “physician;" OJ by difference of relation, as “ [” and “Me” (each of which the rustics of our different provinces still use in all the cases singular of the first personal pronoun). Even the mere difference, or corruption, in the pronunciation of the same word, if it have become general, will produce a new word with a distinct signification ; thus “property” and “propriety;" the latter of which, even to the time of Charles II., was the written word for all the senses of both. There is a sort of minim immortal among the animalcula infusoria, which has not naturally either birth, or death. absolute beginning, or absolute end: for at a certain period a small point appears on its back, which deepens and lengthens till the creature divides into two, and the same process recommences in each of the halves now become integral. This may be a fanciful, but it is by no means a bad emblem of the formation of words, and may facilitate the conception, how innmense a nomenclature may be organized from a few simple sounds by rational beings in a social state. For each new application, or excitement of the same sound will call forth a different sensation, which cannot but

those words originally of the same meaning, which the conflux of dialects supplied to the more homogeneous languages, as the Greek and German: and which the same cause, joined with ac. cidents of translation from original works of different countries, occasions in mixed languages like our own. The first and most important point to be proved is, that two conceptions perfectly distinct are confused under one and the same word, and—this done—to appropriate that word exclusively to the one meaning, and the synonyme, should there be one, to the other. But if(as will be often the case in the arts and sciences),-no synonyme exists, we must either invent or borrow a word. In the present instance the appropriation has already begun, and been legitimated in the derivative adjective: Milton had a highly imaginalive, Cowley a very fanciful mind. If, therefore, I should succeed in establishing the actual existence of two faculties gene. rally different, the nomenclature would be at once determined. To the faculty by which I had characterized Milton, we should confine the term "imagination;" while the other would be contra-distinguished as “ fancy.” Now were it once fully ascertained, that this division is no less grounded in nature than that of delirium from mania, or Otway's

affect the pronunciation. The after recollection of the sound, without the same vivid sensation, will modify it still further; till at length all trace of the original likeness is worn away.

18 [“ 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 connexion natural or moral, but are yoked together by the poet by means of some accidental coincidence; as in the well known passage from Hudibras :

The Sun had long since in the lap
Of Thetis taken out his nap,
And like a lobster boil'd, the morn
From black to red began to turn.

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 per. fection of which is in Milton; and the dramatic, of which Shakspeare is the absolute master. The first gives unity by throwing back into the disLutes, laurels, seas of milk, and ships of amber, 17

from Shakspeare's

What! have his daughters brought him to this pass ?18

or from the preceding apostrophe to the elements; the theory of the fine arts, and of poetry in particular, could not but derive some additional and important light. It would in its immediate effects furnish a torch of guidance to the philosophical critic; and ultimately to the poet himself. In energetic minds, truth soon changes by domestication into power; and from directing in the discrimination and appraisal of the product, becomes in. Auencive in the production. To admire on principle, is the only way to imitate without loss of originality.

It has been already hinted, that metaphysics and psychology have long been my hobby-horse. But to have a hobby-horse, and to be vain of it, are so commonly found together, that they pass almost for the same. I trust, therefore, that there will be

tance; as, after the magnificent approach of the Messiah to battle, 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 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 simple image by

He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded.

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.” Table Talk, p. 305, 2d edit.

There is more of imagination in it—that power which draws all things to one-which makes things animate and inanimate, beings with their attributes, subjects and their accessories, take one color and serve te onė effect! Lamb's Essay on the Genius of Hogarth. Prose Works, i., p 189. Ed.]

[See also Mr. Wordsworth’s preface, pp. 29–30. S. C.]
17 (Venice Preserved. Act V. Ed.]
18 (Lear. Act III., Se-4-1 Ed.]

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