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New Thoughts on Old Subjects, which first appeared in The Keepsake, are inserted in vol. ii.
The whole of the Poetical Works, except a few which have been reprinted in the Literary Remains, are contained in the stereotyped edition in three volumes. The Poems without the Dramas have been collected in a single volume, from which some of the Juvenile Poems, and two or three of later date, are excluded, and which includes a few not contained in the three vol. edition.
I now proceed to Mr. Coleridge's compositions in Prose. Conciones ad Populum, are two addresses to the People, delivered at the latter end of February, and then thrown into a small pamphlet. “ After this," says Mr. Cottle," he consolidated two other of his lectures, and published them under the title of The Plot Discovered.” A moral and political Lecture delivered at Bristol by Mr. C., was published in the same year. I do not know whether he printed any of his other Bristol orations of the year ninety-five. The Watchman was carried on in 1796. The first number appeared March 1; the tenth and last, May 13. These were youthful immature productions. Whatever was valuable and of a permanent nature in them was transferred into his later productions, or included in later publications.
The Friend, a Literary, Moral, and Political Weekly Paper, excluding personal and party politics and the events of the day, was written and published at Grasmere. The first number appeared on Thursday, June 1st, 1809, the 27th and last of that edition, March 15, 1810. The Friend next appeared before the public in 3 vols. in 1818. This was “ rather a rifacimento," as the Author said, “ than a new edition, the additions forming so large a proportion of the whole work, and the arrangement being altogether new.” (Essays v-xiii., pp. 38-128, treat of the Duty of communicating truth, and the conditions under which it may be safely communicated ; Essay v. is on the inexpediency of pious frauds, foc.) The third edition of 1837 gave the Author's last corrections, an appendix containing the parts thrown out in the recast, with some other miscellanea, and a synoptical table of the contents by the Editor. There is now a fourth edition.
The two Lay Sermons were published, the one in 1816, the other in 1817. The first is entitled The Statesman's Manual, or The Bible the best Guide to Political skill and foresight: a Lay Sermon addressed to the higher classes of society, with an Appendix, containing comments and essays connected with the study of the inspired writings :-the second A Lay Sermon, addressed to the Higher and Middle classes, on the existing distresses and discontents. Mr. Gillman says he “ had the intention of addressing a third to the lower classes."
The Biographia Literaria was published in 1817, but parts of the first volume must have been composed some years earlier. The Edinburgh Review in its August number of that year was as favorable to the book as could be expected."
The Aids to Reflection first appeared in 1825. The original title was Aids to Reflection in the formation of a manly character on the several grounds of Prudence, Morality, and Religion; illustrated by select passages from our elder divines, especially from Archbishop.Leighton. In an advertisement to the first edition, the Author mentions that the work was proposed and begun as a mere selection from the writings of Leighton, with a few notes and a biographical preface by the selector, but underwent a revolution of plan and object. “ It would, indeed,” he adds, “ be more correct to say, that the present volume owed its accidental origin to the intention of compiling one of a different description than to speak of it as the same work.” “ Still, however, the selections from Leighton, which will be found in the fundamental and moral sections of this work, and which I could retain consistently with its present form and matter, will, both from the intrinsic excellence and from the characteristic beauty of the passages, suffice to answer two prominent purposes of the original plan ; that of placing in a clear light the principle which pervades all Leighton's writings—his sublime view, I mean, of Religion and Morality as the means of reforming the human soul in the Divine Image (Idea); and that of exciting an interest in the works, and an affectionate reverence for the name and memory of this severely tried and truly primitive Churchman.”
Neither Hume nor Clarendon, I believe, mentions the persecution of Archbishop Leighton's father by the Prelatical party of his day; and yet it was one of their worst acts, and that which most excited wrath
11 The remarks in that article upon my Father's remarks on poetic diction I have vainly tried to understand :-“ a paste of rich and honeyed words, like the candied coat of the auricula, a glittering tissue of quaint conceits and sparkling metaphors, crusting over the rough stalk of homely thoughts ; &c., such is the style of Pope and Gray ; such very often is that of Shakspeare and Milton: and, notwithstanding Mr. Coleridge's decision to the contrary, of Spenser's Faëry Queen.” Homely thoughts clothed in a glittering tissue of poetic diction are but pseudo-poetry; and the powder on the auricula would be nothing, if the coat itself were not of velvet. Mr. C.'s decision respecting the Faëry Queen is equally misrepresented, for he maintains that Spenser's language is distinct from that of prose, such language being required by his thoughts and in harmony with them. To say that he decided “ the contrary," as if he had denied poetic diction to Spenser, is not like the auricula's coat, candid.
and indignation against the Primate—so faithful is their portrait of those times! Never can I read Mr. Wordsworth's sublime sonnet to Laud, especially the lines,
Prejudged by foes determined not to spare,
without thinking of another “ old weak man for vengeance laid aside" --of Laud in the day of his power pulling off his hat and thanking God for the inhuman sentence that had been passed upon the already wasted victim'?—of the miserable den to which the mangled man was committed for life after that sentence had been executed in all its multiplication and precision of barbarity-then calling to mind the words of our Saviour, They that take the sword shall perish with the sword, and Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. It was not mercy alone that was violated by these acts—but law and justice; and if he who instigated and rejoiced in them received neither justice nor mercy in his turn, is he worthy of the sacred name of Martyr ? May we not say that the vengeance which fell upon this persecutor was the Lord's vengeance, even if it came to pass by evil instruments, and fell upon a head already bowed down, and in some respects a noble one? Can the glory and honor of meeting death with firmness,—nay even with “ sublime” piety, cast its beams backwards and bathe in one pure luminous flood a life darkened with such deep shadows, as those that chequer the sunshine of Laud's career ?-the parts really brightened with the light of heaven ? Plainness, sincerity, integrity, learning, munificence to a cause! --can virtues like these outweigh or neutralize such faults of head, heart, and temper, as lie to the charge of this Bishop in the church of Christ ? As well might we set the cold bright morning dews, that rest on the stony crown of Vesuvius, against the burning lava that bursts from its crater, and expect them to quench the fire or reduce it to a moderate heat. Some abatement must be made from the guilt of his violences from consideration of the times; but to subtract the whole on that account, or even to make light of it, is surely too much to make moral good and evil depen
12 The particulars of this instance of Star Chamber tyranny I read in Aikman's Life of Archbishop Laud, prefixed to his works. It is said that when he was taken out of the wretched cell in Newgate in which he was confined before his sentence," the skin and hair had almost wholly come off his body.” This was for writing against Prelacy, not against Christianity. Any man may do the like now, and not a hair of his head can be touched; yet moral offences, public or private, have far less chance of escaping with impunity than they had then.
13 Clarendon, passim, especially his summary of Laud's character.
dent on circumstance. What ? Have Arundel, Bonner, Gardiner, little or nothing to answer for ? Was there ever yet a persecutor that persecuted from mere speculative inhumanity ? Even through Clarendon's account we may discern, I think, that Laud's private passions, in part at least, engaged him in the cause of Intolerance. He had been exasperated, before he attained power, by Puritan molestations and oppositions, —he became the persecutor of Puritans after he attained it; as schoolboys that have been tormented while they were in a low form, torment in their turn when they get into a high one,-not their tormentors, but unfortunates who represent them to their imagination. An eminently good and wise man is above his times, if not in all, yet in many things; but Laud was the very impersonation of his times—the impersonated spirit of his age and his party. (Compare his over ceremonious consecration of St. Catharine's Church, gloated over by Hume, with Archdeacon Hare's remarks on his neglect of his diocese, in The Mission of the Comforter.) They who are of that party still, who would still swathe religion by way of supporting it, and dizen by way of dressing it, and gaze with fond regretful admiration upon the giant forms of Spiritual Despotism and Exaggerated Externalism, as they loom shadowy and magnificent through the vapory vista of ages, to them no wonder that he is a giant too. And there are others, far above that or any other party, who, in their love and zeal for the Church, abstract the how and the why of Laud's public warfare, and see him abstractedly as the Champion of the Church of England. “God knows my heart,” says Mr. Coleridge (in a marginal note on Mr. Southey's article on the History of Dissenters, in the Quarterly Review of October, 1813), “ how bitterly I abhor all intolerance, how deeply 1 pity the actors when there is reason to suppose them deluded ; but is it not clear that this theatrical scene of Laud's death, who was the victim of almost national indignation, is not to be compared with bloody sentences' in the coolness of secure power? As well might you palliate the horrible atrocities of the Inquisition, every one of which might be justified on the same grounds that Southey has here defended Laud, by detailing the vengeance taken on some of the Inquisitors." I do not see that here my honored Uncle defends the Primate: he says, “ We are not the apologists of Laud ; in some things he was erroneous, in some imprudent, in others culpable. Evil, which upon the great scale is ever made conducive to good, produces evil to those by whom it comes." And how wise and beautiful is this sentiment a little further on! “It especially behoves the historian to inculcate charity, and take part with the oppressed, whoever may have been the oppressors."
As some excuse for my Father's expression, " theatrical scene," I
allege that sentence of Laud's ; “ Never did man put off mortality with a better courage, nor look upon his bloody and malicious enemies with more Christian charity.” My Father adds: “I know well how imprudent and unworldly these my opinions are. The Dissenters will give me no thanks, because I prefer and extol the present Church of England, and the partisans of the Church will calumniate me, because I condemn particular members, and regret particular aras, of the former Church of England. Would that Southey had written the whole of his review in the spirit of this beautiful page.” (Page 102.) In that very interesting collection of meditative Sonnets by the late Sir Aubrey de Vere is one upon Laud, against which I ventured to write, “If anything done in the name of principle must needs be righteous, then the tortures and long languishing of Leighton are no impeachment of Laud's rightecusness." There was a second edition of the Aids in 1831, a fifth in 1843.
The little work On the Constitution of the Church and State, according to the Idea of each, first appeared in 1830, and went into a second edition in the same year. It is now joined with the Lay Sermons in one volume. To the Church and State are appended Notes on Taylor's History of Enthusiasm, and A Dialogue between Demosius and Mystes.
After Mr. Coleridge's death in July, 1834, four volumes of his Literary Remains were published by his late Editor. Vols. i. and ii. appeared in 1836, Vol. jii. in 1838, Vol. IV. in 1839. Vol. i. contains The Fall of Robespierre and other poems, and poetical fragments, Notes of a Course of Lectures delivered in 1818, Marginal Notes on several books, Fragments of Essays, Mr. C.'s contributions to the Omniana of Mr. Southey, published in 1812, and fifty-six other short articles on various subjects. Vol. ii. contains more Notes of Lectures on Shakspeare, including criticisms on each of his Plays, with Introductory matter on Poetry, the Drama, and the Stage, prefaced by Extracts of letters relating to these Lectures; Notes on Ben Jonson, on Beaumont and Fletcher, on Fuller, on Sir Thomas Browne, an Essay on the Prometheus of Æschylus, and other miscellaneous writings.
Vol. iii. contains Formula Fidei de S. Trinitate, A Nightly Prayer, Notes on the Book of Common Prayer, on Hooker, Field, Donne, Henry More, Heinrichs, Hackett, Jeremy Taylor, The Pilgrim's Progress, and John Smith, and a Letter to a Godchild.
Vol. iv. contains Notes on Luther, St. Theresa, Bedell, Baxter, Leighton, Sherlock, Waterland, Shelton, Andrew Fuller, Whitaker, Oxle, A Barrister's Hints, Davison, Irving, and Noble, and an Essay on Faith.
14 The inaccurate report of Niebühr's opinion of this work, which appeared in a letter of Dr. Arnold, published in his Life, has been corrected, I am told, in a new edition