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ment I have had ample reason to estimate and revere, and whose taste and sensibility preclude all the excuses which my self-love might possibly have prompted me to set up in plea against the decision of advisers of equal good sense, but with less tact and feeling.
“ Dear C.
“You ask my opinion concerning your Chapter on the Imagination, both as to the impressions it made on myself, and as to those which I think it will make on the Public, i. e. that part of the public, who, from the title of the work and from its forming a sort of introduction to a volume of poems, are likely to constitute the great majority of your readers.
“ As to myself, and stating in the first place the effect on my understanding, your opinions and method of argument were not only so new to me, but so directly the reverse of all I had ever been accustomed to consider as truth, that even if I had comprehended your premises sufficiently to have admitted them, and had seen the necessity of your conclusions, I should still have been in that state of mind, which in your note on Chap. IV., you have so ingeniously evolved, as the antithesis to that in which a man is, when he makes a bull. In your own words, I should have felt as if I had been standing on my head.
The effect on my feelings, on the other hand, I cannot better represent, than by supposing myself to have known only our light airy modern chapels of ease, and then for the first time to have been placed, and left alone, in one of our largest Gothic cathedrals in a gusty moonlight night of autumn. Now in glimmer, and now in gloom ;' often in palpable darkness not without a chilly sensation of terror; then suddenly emerging into broad yet visionary lights with colored shadows of fantastic shapes, yet all decked with holy insignia and mystic symbols; and ever and anon coming out full upon pictures and stone-work images of great men, with whose names I was familiar, but which looked upon me with countenances and an expression, the most dissimilar to all I had been in the habit of connecting with those names. Those whom I had been taught to venerate as almost super-human in magnitude of intellect, I found perched in little
fret-work niches, as grotesque dwarfs; while the grotesques, in my hitherto belief, stood guarding the high altar with all the characters of apotheosis. In short, what I had supposed substances were thinned away into shadows, while everywhere shadows were deepened into substances :
If substance might be call’d that shadow seem'd,
“Yet after all, I could not but repeat the lines which you had quoted from a MS. poem of your own in the FRIEND, and applied to a work of Mr. Wordsworth, though with a few of the words altered :
An Orphic tale indeed,
“Be assured, however, that I look forward anxiously to your great book on the CONSTRUCTIVE PHILOSOPHY, which you have promised and announced: and I will do my best to understand it. Only I will not promise to descend into the dark cave of Trophonius with you, there to rub my own eyes, in order to make the sparks and figured flashes, which I am required to see.
“So much for myself. But as for the Public I do not hesitate a moment in advising and urging you to withdraw the Chapter from the present work, and to reserve it for your announced treatises on the Logos or communicative intellect in Man and Deity. First, because imperfectly as I understand the present Chapter, I see clearly that you have done too much, and yet not enough. You have been obliged to omit so many links, from the necessity of compression, that what remains, looks (if I may recur to my former illustration) like the fragments of the wind. ing steps of an old ruined tower. Secondly, a still stronger argument (at least one that I am sure will be more forcible with you) is, that your readers will have both right and reason to complain of you. This Chapter, which cannot, when it is printed, amount to so little as an hundred pages, will of necessity greatly increase the expense of the work; and every reader who, like myself, is neither prepared nor perhaps calculated for the study of so abstruse a subject so abstrusely treated, will, as I have before hinted, be almost entitled to accuse you of a sort of imposition on him. For who, he might truly observe, could from your titlepage, to wit, “ My Literary Life and Opinions,” published too as introductory to a volume of miscellaneous poems, have antici. pated, or even conjectured, a long treatise on Ideal Realism, which holds the same relation in abstruseness to Plotinus, as Plotinus does to Plato? It will be well, if already you have not too much of metaphysical disquisition in your work, though as the larger part of the disquisition is historical, it will doubtless be both interesting and instructive to many to whose unprepared minds your speculations on the esemplastic power would be utterly unintelligible. Be assured, if you do publish this Chapter in the present work, you will be reminded of Bishop Berkeley's Siris, announced as an Essay on Tar-water, which beginning with Tar ends with the Trinity, the omne scibile forming the interspace. I say in the present work. In that greater work to which you have devoted so many years, and study so intense and various, it will be in its proper place. Your prospectus will have described and announced both its contents and their nature; and if any persons purchase it, who feel no interest in the subjects of which it treats, they will have themselves only to blame.
11 [Milton's Par. Lost, Book ii., l. 669. S. C.] 12 [Coleridge's Poet. Works, vol. i., p. 208.]
“ I could add to these arguments one derived from pecuniary motives, and particularly from the probable effects on the sale of your present publication ; but they would weigh little with you compared with the preceding. Besides, I have long observed, that arguments drawn from your own personal interests more often act on you as narcotics than as stimulants, and that in money concerns you have some small portion of pig-nature in your moral idiosyncrasy, and, like these amiable creatures, must occasionally be pulled backward from the boat in order to make you enter it. All success attend you, for if hard thinking and hard reading are merits, you have deserved it.
“ Your affectionate, &c."
In consequence of this very judicious letter, which produced complete conviction on my mind, I shall content myself for the present with stating the main result of the chapter, which I have reserved for that future publication, a detailed prospectus of which the reader will find at the close of this volume.
The Imagination then I consider either as primary, or secondary. The primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM." The secondary Imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will; yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create: or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead. 15
Fancy, on the contrary, has no other counters to play with, but fixities and definites. The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space; while it is blended with, and modified by that empirical phenomenon of the will, which we express by the word Choice. But equally with the ordinary memory the Fancy must receive all its materials ready made from the law of association.
13 [This last clause “and as a repetition, &c,.” I find stroked out in a copy of the B. L. containing a few MS. marginal notes of the author, which are printed in this edition. I think it best to preserve the sentence, while I mention the author's judgment upon it, especially as it has been quoted. S. C.]
14 [Compare this distinction with that of the Productive and Reproductive Imagination given in the section on the Transcendental Synthesis of the Imagination (synthesis speciosa) in the Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Works, vol. ii., p. 14, 1, 2.]
15 [For what is said of objects in the last sentence see Transsc. Id., p. 68. Abhandlungen Phil. Schrift., p. 224.]
The following marginalia of Mr. Coleridge, which were spoken of in a note to chap. ix. were transcribed for a new edition of the Biographia by Mr. C.'s late editor, with the passages referred to in the original German. These passages are here given upon the whole a little more at large, and in English, but with a clear understanding that entire justice cannot in this way be done to the notions of Schelling, which, to be perfectly estimated, must be considered in the disquisitions to which they belong, as plants and flowers must be viewed in their native situations in order to be fully understood and admired.* S. C.
MS. note on Schelling's Philosoph. Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freyheit und die damit Zusammenhängenden Gegenstande. Phil. Schrift., p. 397.
There are indeed many just and excellent observations in this work of Schelling's, and yet even more than usual over-meaning or un-meaning quid pro quos—thing-phrases, such as “ Licht," “ Finsterniss," “ Feuer," "centre,” “ circumference,” “ground,” and the like—which seem to involve the dilemma, that either they are mere similes, where that which they are meant to illustrate has never been stated, or that they are degrees of a kind, which kind has not been defined. Hence Schelling seems to be looking objectively at one thing, and imagining himself thinking of another; and after all this mysticism, what is the result? Still the old questions return, and I find none but the old an
This ground to God's existence either lessens, or does not * I wish the reader to know, before perusing these notes, on the authority of Archdeacon Hare, that " for the last twelve years Schelling has been strongly contending against Hegel, and has made, or at all events professes to make, the idea of personality, and of a personal God, the central principle of his system.” Quoted from the Archdeacon's admirable defence of Luther, Mission of the Comforter. Vol. ii., note 10, p. 800.