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literal way of understanding his predecessors in the matter of ideas, and his representing them accordingly as a set of cloud-weavers and phantasts, has always reminded me of certain amusing remarks in Lamb's Essay entitled "Imperfect Sympathies." His bantering style too is more popular than philosophic, and scarcely evinces that patience and modesty for which Sir James, I doubt not on sufficient grounds, upon a review of his whole works, gives him credit. I should say, if it were worth while to record my impression—(I do not call it a judgment)— that Cousin's summary of his 'merits is as clear-sighted and clever as his summaries usually are, and that a certain vigor in commanding and presenting a limited view of the subject of external perception, is the best characteristic of Dr. Reid's Inquiry. And was it not this mistaken part of his teaching more than his intelligent remarks in extension of that of Berkeley, which installed him in his high reputation of “the founder of a new era ?" Dr. Reid's great merit, even according to Stewart, consisted in his having "had courage to lay aside all the hypothetical language of his predecessors concerning perception, and to exhibit the difficulty in all its magnitude by a plain statement of the fact."* But if he misunderstood that language, and combated, as Sir James affirms (p. 164), "imaginary antagonists," where was his victory? Was not this combat and seeming triumph the very pith and marrow of his book, and that which gave it great part of its savor to the public? Did he really advance the science of metaphysics materially beyond the point at which it had arrived in the days of Berkeley? The answer to Berkeley from the first had been: "Nevertheless we do perceive an external world, and what presents itself within us, which we instinctively refer to things without us, does really tell us that there are things without us, and what they are in reference to us; and that we feel as sure of this as of our existence, and are incapable, by the constitution of our minds, from thinking otherwise, is a sufficient proof that it is true. Does Reid's explanation amount to more than what has just been expressed! But so much as this Berkeley himself anticipated. He stated the objection to his theory contained in the fact of universal original belief of the contrary, and tried to push it aside—it was the only obstacle that did not yield to his victorious hand.†

That Dr. Reid's philosophy was received with applause in Paris. when taught there by M. Royer Collard, favors the supposition that it was clear rather than deep; smart, rather than characterized by the grave energy, which slowly and laboriously grasps a something more of

Elements, p. 69.

Principles of Human Knowledge, ss. 54-5-6-7

truth, a real and substantial something. Hume's compliment to Dr. Reid's profundity may have been mere gentlemanly courtesy to a gentle manly antagonist. He would perhaps have been as polite to Dr. Beattie, if he had not "indulged himself in the personalities and invectives of a popular pamphleteer," and so departed from fairness and, what he undertook to defend, "common sense."


Dugald Stewart, the accomplished disciple of Reid, and improver of his philosophy, was born in the College of Edinburgh in 1753, became Professor of Moral Philosophy there in 1785, died in June, 1828. He published Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind in 1792, Philosophical Essays in 1810, Outlines of Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of the Active and Moral powers of Man, and other works. Sir James Mackintosh has given his character, as a man and an author, in his interesting Dissertation, p. 145, edit. 1830. S. C.

Note S., p. 371.

* * *

I take this opportunity of mentioning that the solution of the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise brought forward in The Friend (see vol. iii., pp. 92, 3d and 4th edits.) and in Tait's Mag. of 1834, is distinctly given by Leibnitz in his Letters to Mr. Foucher, Sur quelques axiomes philosophiques, in which he says, "Ne craignez point, Monsieur, la tortuë que les Pirrhoniens faisoient aller aussi vite qu' Achille. Un espace divisible sans fin se passe dans un tems aussi divisible sans fin. Je ne conçois point d'invisibles physiques sans miracle, et je crois que la nature peut réduire les corps à la petitesse que la Géométrie peut considérer." In his rejoinder to Foucher's reply he says that P. Gregoire de St. Vincent has shown, by means of geometry, the exact place where Achilles must have caught the tortoise. Opp. ed. Erdmann, I., pp. 115-18.

Aristotle, in his brief way, had given the solution long before, when he said that Time does not consist of indivisible nows or now-existentsἐκ τῶν νῦν ὄντων ἄδιαιρέτων—any more than any other magnitude. See the editor's note upon the passage of The Friend referred to above. S. C.


Ocasion of the Lyrical Ballads, and the objects originally proposed-Preface to the second edition-The ensuing controversy, its causes and arrimony-Philosophic definitions of a Poem and Poetry with scholia.

DURING the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbors,' our conversation turned' frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colors of imagination. The sudden charm, which accidents of light and shade, which moon-light or sun-set diffused over a known and familiar landscape, appeared to represent the practicability of combining both. These are the poetry of nature. The thought suggested itself (to which of us I do not recollect) that a series of poems might be composed of two sorts. In the one, the incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural; and the excellence aimed at, was to consist in the interesting of the affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions, as would naturally accompany such situations, supposing them real. And real in this sense they have been to every human being, who, from whatever source of delusion, has at any time believed himself under supernatural agency. For the second class, subjects were to be chosen from ordinary life; the characters and incidents were to be such as will be found in every village and its vicinity, where there is a meditative and feeling mind to seek after them, or to notice them, when they present themselves.

In this idea, originated the plan of the LYRICAL BALLADS; in

1 [In 1797-8, whilst Mr. Coleridge resided at Nether Stowey, and Mr. Wordsworth at Alfoxton. Ed.]

which it was agreed, that my endeavors should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. Mr. Wordsworth, on the other band, was to propose to himself as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things of every day, and to excite a feeling analo. gous to the supernatural, by awakening the mind's attention to the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness and wonders of the world before us; an inexhaustible treasure, but for which, in consequence of the film of familiarity and selfish soli. citude, we have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not, and hearts that neither feel nor understand.

With this view I wrote the ANCIENT MARINER, and was preparing among other poems, THE DARK LADIE, and the CHRISTABEL, in which I should have more nearly realized my ideal, than I had done in my first attempt. But Mr. Wordsworth's industry had proved so much more successful, and the number of his poems so much greater, that my compositions, instead of forming a balance, appeared rather an interpolation of heterogeneous matter. Mr. Wordsworth added two or three poems written in his own character, in the impassioned, lofty, and sustained diction, which is characteristic of his genius. In this form the LYRICAL BALLADS were published ; and were presented by him, as an experiment, whether subjects, which from their nature rejected the usual ornaments and extra-colloquial style of poems in general, might not be so managed in the language of ordinary life as to produce the pleasurable interest which it is the peculiar business of poetry to impart. To the second edition he added a preface of considerable length ; in which, notwithstanding some passages of apparently a contrary import, he was understood to contend for the extension of this style to poetry of all kinds, and

[The Ancient Mariner, Poet. W., ii., p. 1.-Christabel, ibid., p. 28The Dark Ladie, P W. i., p. 150. Ed.]

3 [The first volume of the Lyrical Ballads was published in 1798. Ed.] * [The second edition, with an additional volume and the preface, was |ublished in 1800. Ed.]

to reject as vicious and indefensible all phrases and forms of speech that were not included in what he (unfortunately, I think, adopting an equivocal expression) called the language of real life. From this preface prefixed to poems in which it was impossible to deny the presence of original genius, however mistaken its direction might be deemed, arose the whole long-continued controversy. For from the conjunction of perceived power with supposed heresy I explain the inveteracy and in some instances, I grieve to say, the acrimonious passions, with which the controversy has been conducted by the assailants."

5 ["The first volume of these Poems has already been submitted to general perusal. It was published as an experiment, which I hoped might be of some use to ascertain how far, by fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men in a state of vivid sensation, that sort of pleasure and that quantity of pleasure may be imparted, which a Poet may rationally endeavor to impart." Preface P. W., ii., p. 303. Ed.]

6 [In illustration of these remarks or the allusions that follow, the Editor gave rather copious extracts from the E. Review of Oct., 1807, Nov., 1814, and October, 1815, which I believe that, after all, he would have felt it not worth while to reprint; and I therefore refer the curious reader to

ose specimens of the criticism of thirty years since in their own place unk it right, however, to preserve the Editor's comment upon them, wich is as follows:

It is of great importance to the history of literature in this country that the critiques contained in the Edinburgh Review on Wordsworth, Southey, and Coleridge, should be known and reperused in the present day ;-not as reflecting any special disgrace on the writers (for as to them, the matter and tone of these essays only showed that the critics had not risen above the level of the mass of their age, but for the purpose of demonstrating that immediate popularity, though it may attend, can never be a test of, excellence in works of imagination; and of teaching, if possible, the duty and the advantages of respect for admitted genius, even when it pursues a path of its own making. Just consider what was the effect of all the scorn and ridicule of Wordsworth by which the Edinburgh 1 view, the leading critical Journal of the nation for a long time, distinguis ed itself for twenty years together. A great laugh was created in the fas ionable world of letters, and the poet's expectation of pecuniary pro.'t was destroyed. Public opinion was, for about a quarter of a century, set against the reception of works, which were always allowed to be innocent, and are now everywhere proclaimed as excellent; and for the same space of time a great man was defrauded of that worldly remuneration of his virtuous labors, which the authors of frivolous novels and licentious poems were permitted-and in some instances helped-during the same period to

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