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arms of God," –

-a very common mode of departure for those who are worn out by slow disease. It appears, from the account of this “angelic wife," as Mr. Dequincey calls her, that Herder, with all his piety, was very loath to die and leave his many literary designs unexecuted—he seems to have clung to this world with little less tenacity than the poor unprincipled son of Genius, Hoffmann. How often it is found that they who do their work well upon earth, even if it be work for the kingdom of heaven, are too unwilling to depart when summoned hence; while those who mismanage all affairs intrusted to them here below, sometimes gain great credit by the passive graces which they exhibit in the near prospect of death!

Herder's works were edited after his decease by Heyne, who undertook the antiquarian, and Müller, who undertook the theologic part; they " issued from the Cotta press, at Tübingen, in 1805, and extend to thirty volumes." His poetry consists of popular songs, flowers from the Greek. Anthology, which are translations of the more remarkable epigrams and minute poems in that collection, and miscellaneous productions of the minor kind. His prose too was poetical in its character. Taylor calls him the Plato of the Christian world. I see some general resemblance in Herder to Bishop Berkeley,—that beautiful soul in an amiable tabernacle,--and he too has been compared to Plato; indeed I should be surprised to find that anything of Herder's so well bore out such a comparison as the dialogues of the admirable Bishop of Cloyne. Herder has been accused of obscurity and vagueness; but the orb of Berkeley's intellect was clear in its brilliance as that of the full moon on a frosty winter's night; while his heart and moral being glowed like the noon-day sun, filled and expanded by a steady religious enthusiasm, which secluded him from an unspiritual world in feeling and practice, even as his metaphysical theory confined him to a world of spirits.

Mr. Dequincey declares it " difficult to form any judgment of an author so'many-sided'-so polymorphous as Herder,” but adds, “the best notion I can give of him to the English reader, is to say that he is the German Coleridge; having the same all-grasping erudition, the same spirit of universal research, the same occasional superficiality and inaccuracy, the same indeterminateness of object, the same obscure and fancifu mysticism (schwärmerey), the same plethoric fulness of thought, the same tine sense of the beautiful and (I think) the same incapacity for dealing with simple and austere grandeur.” (This judgment I quote not as assenting entirely to every part of it. Mr. Coleridge had one object in general-namely truth, especially truth of religion, morals, metaphysics, and poetry ; this he pursued in a desultory manner; but every discuisition which he entered into, whether it formed an essay or a brief

مس marginal note, had a determinate object, and referred to a regular system of thought. I think he was seldom superficial except sometimes in a survey of facts. His incapacity for dealing with austere grandeur is a truism; why should a writer be characterized by a negative; what boots it to say that Milton is not Shakspeare, or that a refreshing pomegranate has not the fine acid and sharp-edged crown of the pine-apple ?) "I must add, however, that in fineness and compass of understanding, our English philosopher appears to me to have greatly the advantage. In another point they agree,—both are men of infinite title-pages. I have heard Mr. Coleridge acknowledge that his title-pages alone (titles, that is, of works meditated but unexecuted) would fill a large volume ; and it is clear that, if Herder's power had been commensurate with his will, all other authors must have been put down :”—and yet Mr. Dequincey can regret, as will be seen in the next note, that he was not permitted to produce more than 6

many generations would have been able to read;" instead of wishing that he had composed less and allowed his spirit more time to refresh itself and take in fresh stock! S. C.

Note 0., p. 331.

Miseri quibus

Intentata nitet!As I have availed myself of Mr. Dequincey's able pen when it has been used in doing honor to Mr. Coleridge, I feel prompted to notice his remarks, when they express dissent or disapprobation of his opinions; and shall therefore point out to the reader his strictures upon the with chapter of this work, contained in the London Magazine of January 18, 1823, in the first of a series of " Letters to a young man whose education has been neglected.” These observations are worth reading, and so far as they bear on the abstract question, apart from personality, I do not attempt to set myself in direct opposition to their drift ; though I confess they leave my judgment and feelings, on one branch of that question at least, quite unaltered; what they are I can best express by saying, that even to a young man who should display all the powers of mind which Mr. Coleridge possessed, with all the bodily strength and mental resolution which he wanted, I should still, if my counsel were asked, address Mr. Coleridge's advice, Never pursue Literature as the sole business of life or the means on which you rely for obtaining its comforts. I am looking at the subject as it concerns the welfare of the literary man,—(for so it is principally considered in the B. L.)— rather than as it bears on the interests of literature; looking at the whole subject, however, Mr. Coleridge states two main objections to professional authorship: first that literature, in this country at least, if a man depends upon it for

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bread, is apt either to starve him or be starved itself-starved in one way, and debased and corrupted in another: in the second place, that it is usfavorable to domestic ease and comfort. The first objection Mr. Dequincey does not consider at all; he never adverts to the mass of writing, exhaustive yet unsatisfactory, which men of high aims and capabilities are obliged to produce, if they live by their pen: nor of the low and pernicious sort of writing which men of less firm principle and elevated feeling are tempted to produce under the like circumstances. No one can estimate the works bequeathed to posterity by Walter Scott and Robert Southey—(speaking of them thus, as mere voices from the dead to the living, I omit the social prefixes to their honored names),-more highly than I do: no one can value them more, though many may appreciate them better; yet a thousand times have ) reflected with pain how still more valuable their writings might have been, if it had not been the duty of them both to consider the immediate sale of some part at least of what they gave to the public. Had it been otherwise their productions might have been less in quantity, weightier, as to the whole mass, in quality; we might have had the History of the Monastic Orders, instead of some less important works from the historian of Brazil; and from the Wizard or the North fewer volumes of roinance but more perfect romances, compositions more careful in structure, if not of higher excellence in particular parts, than those which he has bequeathed to posterity; and I believe, that I am but reporting the opinion of the former, at least, of these gifted men when I venture to speak thus.

The first part of Mr. D.'s disquisition considers literature exclusively as the means of sufficiently exercising the intellect, which Mr. Coleridge had considered in conjunction with literature as the means of gaining a livelihood. His opponent charges him with “perplexing these arguments together, though they are incapable of blending into any real coalition.” This perplexity I do not perceive; a complexity there certainly is in his mode of presenting the subject, and I think a justifiable one, because his aim was directly practical, and in actual life these two parts of the question,—the interests of the mind per se, and the interests of the man as dependent on the external conditions of inward well-being-do usually present themselves in a concrete form. If the young man whose education has been neglected is born to a good fortune and moreover has no desire to marry, he may turn a deaf ear to Mr. Coleridge's counsel and attend only to that of Mr. Dequincey; but this is by no means a common case with neglected young men ; the majority of them are poor, and yet rather inore anxious to be married than the richest; since poor men snatch at marriage as the one comfort which lies within their reach-careful comfort as they too often find it. In regard to the difficulty itself, Mi


Dequincey adopts and confirms Mr. Coleridge's opinion; and if, on fore. seeing that literature would not suffice for his mind with his purposes, he chose not to provide for the want of a steadying occupation in the way recommended by Mr. C. but according to a plan of his own, this does not prove the recommendation a bad one, or that it would not conduce to the student's happiness more than a plan quite barren of worldly profit, unless he have pecuniary resources independent of his own exertions. Herder

says “ with the greatest solicitude avoid authorship.” That anthorship should be employed “ too early and immoderately” is scarcely avoidable where it is a man's only profession, and Mr. Dequincey limits this experienced man's advice in a manner which the wording of the passage quoted by Mr. C. does not appear to warrant.

In illustration of his views Mr. D. institutes a comparison betwixt a certain eminent English scholar and the great German Leibnitz. There is much in his account of the former which would lead me to suppose that the description was meant for Mr. Coleridge; he commences it with saying, “ This Englishman set out in life, as I conjecture, with a plan of study modelled upon that of Leibnitz; that is to say, he designed to make himself, as Leibnitz most truly was, a Polyhistor or Catholic student.” But when I come to the sentence wherein it is affirmed, that “in general, as both had minds not merely powerful, but distinguished for variety and compass of power, so in both were these fine endowments completed and accomplished for work of Herculean endurance and continuity, by the alliance of a bodily constitution resembling that of horses." !---that they were “ Centaurs; heroic intellects, with brutal capacities of body—"! I am completely at fault. I know of no literary man of the prese it age

.t to whom the brwal part.of this description would properly apply. Sir Walter Scott had a vigorous frame, and gigantic powers of literary execution; a man to have success in literature on a large scale must have considerable physical energy, and a strong and lively imagination presupposes, as its condition, a lifesome and active body, that moves fast while it moves at all,—before it wears itself out or falls undermined by some malignant of its own household. But I know of no literary genius of the present age, who had great toughness of fibre, or resisting power of constitution, as well as this sort of vitality, unless we may ascribe it to Goethe ; and there are few to whom it is more inapplicable than the author of Christabel and The Friend. Yet the flings which come after. wards, about “ hydrophobia of reviewers and critics,” with a reference to the spray of the waterfall of criticism“ mentioned in the B. L,” lead me to suppose that, after all, Mr. C. must be the Centaur of this truly monstrous* description. He was indeed too sensitive to censure, and

• Mr. De quincey is fond of the monstrous—in some of his sketches of

noticed reflections on himself more than for his own sake was worth while; yet it should be recollected that his "indignation at literary wrongs” was at one and the same time a desire to ward off personal injuries, and this very fact strengthens his argument against professional authorship, because literary wrongs would not have been injuries affecting his peace of mind, if he had not depended on his literary reputation for what, in his circumstances, was much more important than itself. I cannot find, however, that he almost believed himself the “ object of conspiracies and organized persecution,” except as he believed himself obnoxious to party men, who conspire against those that think it right to “ follow and speak the truth ;” neither can I admit that, in these contests, though“ náturally no less• amiable than Leibnitz,” he betrayed “uncharitable feelings;" would that all who enter into such contests confined themselves, as he did, to describing the literary offences themselves, instead of descanting on the affairs, motives, feelings, and personal character of those that have committed them !—then salving over their uncharitableness in the end, with some piece of pseudo-benignity and humility-as if this last and smoothest serpent could swallow up all the snakes that had gone before-or as if a chaplet of lilies, stuck upon the snaky head of Alecto, could make her look innocent and amiable. *

Mr. Dequincey next proceeds to discuss Mr. Coleridge's advice in its reference to the interests of literature, and declares his belief that the list of celebrated men adduced by him in proof of its practicability might be cut down to one, namely, Bacon. He makes no attempt to show the “ various grounds” on which it might be thus reduced, “as a list any way favorable for Mr. Coleridge's purpose;" and my own mind does not suggest them. On this point, as before professed, I do not hold myself competent directly to contend with Mr. Dequincey; but I cannot help saying, that his judgment surprises me, and that, having looked lately character, desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne. To quote the words of a celebrated writer, used in conversation with me—“He says there was a man of the largest and most spacious intellect—of a regal and magnificent mind and then he tells us that the man was not commonly veracious ! -Such a man as this never existed—no such man ever appeared upon the face of the earth.”

* There is often a great deal of personality where no name is mentioned, and individuals are satirized and caricatured under the guise of abstract description ; and so, too, religious bodies are often injured and defamed by their opponents' connecting a certain character of heart and intellect with the creed they maintain Party spirit warmly approves these methods. Truth hates and disdains them, knowing that to her they are injurious as well as superfluous.


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