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his solitude, working in the secrecy of the heart,-Meditation, in her own sensorium, the storehouse of speculation, and the fountain of thought. There the poetical faculty is enshrined in hallowed seclusion, and there is the seat of inspiration,-the true Delphos,-the only authentic oracle,-whose responses are not to be doubted, and are audible and realwords which are things.'
VI. -OF THE DEPENDENCE OF THE JUDGMENT UPON
IMAGINATIVE FACULTY, AND THE RELATION OF
There is a well known riddle,—“Why is the soul like a thing of no consequence? To which the answer is,—“ Because it is immaterial.” This riddle, simple as it is in itself, is pregnant with deep truth. To matter is all our attention yielded; nothing to us is essential but its phenomena. We are apt to consider that those of the mind are of little consequence, and, to hazard the pun, if it be a pun, indeed immaterial. We are utterly sensual, abased to the corporeal, absorbed in animal sensations, and engrossed by material forms.
But not all philosophers, and fewer poets, are materialists. The poet feels too much "the immortal vigour,” to confound it with the clay it animates;, and, when inspired with the thoughts that burn, the subjects of its consciousness are as palpable to his intelligence, and equally available in the way of poetical imagery, as the grossest forms of matter ; (nay, fitter. for his purpose, for the delicate perception of the poet prefers the refined, the ethereal, in material consistencies, and what it finds otherwise it endeavours to make so;) and are equally intelligible to understandings attuned to similar sensibilities, and susceptible of like influences; capable of grasping the large conceptions of genius in its highest mood, and comprehending the mysteries of its oracular phrenzy in their immensity and depth.
We fear that they who would separate Judgment from Imagination have forgotten that distinction is not division, and that though its modes be many, yet the mind is one, and that in all these faculties there is one power which operates, which,“ being but one, can do all things; and, remaining in herself, maketh all things new.” What we call the faculties are only modes of its manifestation. Spirit cannot be divided. To contend, therefore, that the faculties of imagination and judgment are incompatible, is saying no more than that the same mind cannot exhibit itself in two modes: the mind that could not do so must be defective. But, in truth, judgment cannot exist without imagination. Fancy aggregates and associates ideas. Imagination dissolves, combines, abstracts, or changes. Reason compares, and judgment decides upon them. The very act of judgment, therefore, implies a previous exertion of the imagination and fancy, since ideas must be aggregated, and associated, and combined, before they can be separated, compared, or decided upon. Where would be the use of a judge were there no cause to try? Is it the judge who makes the cause necessary, or the cause that constitutes the necessity for a judge ? Truth, ere she can come to the trial and inspection of the understanding, hath to pass through the wards and limits of imagination and fancy, and must put on such colours and attire as
those pathetic handmaids of the soul please to lead her in to their queen. Doth imagination grow up in retirement, and judgment seem to affect places of public resort ? It is because the former, deriving but few ideas of external objects, has yet the individual being to converse witha), and intellectual substance to feast upon. Accordingly, men in these circumstances are more acquainted with their own natures: your men of judgment are better acquainted with the relations of society and men in general. And wherefore? because their imagination and fancy are inactive? Surely not! But, because, they are more active; though not on the subjective, yet the objective. These faculties are called out from their introverted speculations, and roam abroad among the multitude of counsellors, and gather experience from the concourse in the market-place and at the city gates. The preference given upon this account is not due to the judgment, but to the matters, upon which it is called to decide. Yet, in our judgment, to be learned in the follies of men, and ignorant in the knowledge of ourselves, is not wisdom but folly. --“Know thyself,” is the beginning and the end of wisdom.
Philosophy, in her affectionate seeking after truth, is ever investigating the connections and relations of phenomena. Hence, philosophy was defined by Adam Smith, “the science of the connecting principles of nature;' and, throughout his history of astronomy, he attributes the recognition of this connexion to the imagination. That this is the peculiar office of imagination, may be evidenced by reference to the method adopted by poets in the composition of a poem founded on real facts. The title of such an one, in such a work, to the character of a poet, is founded on the proper arrangement of that general probability and possibility of which events that have really happened may be capable. To adopt the language of Diderot,“ The connexion of events often escapes our observation in nature, for want of knowing the whole combination of the circumstances; in real facts we only see an accidental occurrence of things; but the poet wishes to shew, in the tex
ture of his work, an apparent and sensible connexion ; so that,
“The butterfly the ancient Grecians made
VII.--OF INDIVIDUAL GENIUS.-SOUTHEY's POETRY. To apply what has been written to the immediate subject of this essay, Genius, in the abstract, may be defined as a prefiguration, by the hand of nature, of all the faculties. Individual genius implies a prefiguration, not only of the faculties, but also of the offices of some faculties, developing some,
and dooming others to quiescence. Thus one man may have
the power of abstraction, but not of endowing; one of separating; another may excel in combination, and the like. Wordsworth possesses all these powers; Coleridge is most mighty in abstractions, but Southey delighteth to endow and to modify, and but seldom to abstract; or rather, he seems to take pleasure in reducing the abstractions of superstition to the purposes of embellishment. They are bright spirits hovering over the human family which he delights to contemplate, and which reflects their glory back upon them. They are reflexions from the recognitions of pre-existence, or the pre-cognitions of futurity. Angels ascend and descend through all the gradations of humanity, and gild the steps and the sides of the ladder which they so love to scale. There is in his works a constant reference from the visible to the intellectual world. The feelings of both are interfused. But so great is the art of the poet, that the reference is conducted only by implication : though abstractions are continually implied by such reference, we never detect him in the fact. What we behold is the result of abstraction, not the abstraction itself, and is educed from a complication of those reciprocities which are observable in Spenser; but which, in Southey, are produced by a mental intuition, and visible only in their consequences.
Witness that Arabian tale of his, of which the arabesque ornament he speaks of is no small recommendation. He whom destiny had marked from man. kind, young Thalaba goeth forth, in the work of destruction, against the masters of the spell who assemble in the Domdaniel caverns under the roots of the ocean. The shade of his mother meets him—“Go (she cried) to Babylon, and from the angels learn what talisman thy task requires.
He travels through the wilderness, and, after escaping many perils, enters fearlessly the very mouth of hell, and, from the rebel but repenting angels, exacts the required reply to the inportant demand::-“ Tell me the needful talisman!"
" That talisman is Faith!” Thus is he girded with strength unto the battle, and adown the river of death passing safely, he treads the “ Domdaniel floor,” wielding the recovered sword of his father, and there strikes to the heart the living image of Eblis. Then, at the gate of Paradise, is he welcomed, by all he loved on earth, to eternal felicity.
Again.- In the Curse of Kehama, the Glendoveer goeth in search of Serva's throne and abode, to tell his tale of wrong. That throne had Brama and Veshnoo sought in vain.
Its depth to sound, Veshnoo a thousand years explored the fathomless profound. l'pward to reach its head, ten myriad
years the aspiring Brama soared in vain. But the celestial spirit, in his lofty daring, leaves the world behind, and the seven earths, and pierces the golden firmament, “ For faith hath given him power,
and time Vanish before that energy sublime.” And the father and child, acting upon the same principle, in every vicissitude of fortune, terrestrial and super-human,--the one quaffing the amreeta-cup, and the other under the influence of the benignant smile of the lord of death reposing,-obtain their heavenly apotheoses. Thus hath the laureate bard reduced the anti-picturesque and cumbrous machinery of Hindoo mythology and Arabian superstition, to the purposes of a purer doctrine and a holier belief; and referred them to that divine principle in the intellectual constitution of man, which measures every thing by the standard of a superior nature; even a spiritual standard, as far excelling the soul, as the external world falls short of her intrinsic and own proper excellence.
In like manner, in Madoc and in Roderick, hath he united the hearth's sweet charities with the sublimest mysteries of religion. And, particularly in Roderick ;-yea, Roderick himself walketh through the scene more like a religious abstraction, than a real body, so hath the power of man's celestial spirit purified him; and from error, disappointment, nay, from guilt ; from palpable oppressions of despair, set virtue forth and magnified her, and turned the dusky veil of his corporeal clothing into a substance glorious as her
From the banks of Chrysus, where his royal car was found, his battle horse, Orelio, and that helm,
“ Whose lioris, amidst the thickest of the fray,
Eminent had marked his presence, he passed like a spirit; and, when he returns invested with the garments of piety, he speaks, and looks, and moves, throughout every adventure, and in every event, like a celestial visitant from ghostly realms. And when we find him again gone, and upon the banks of Sella, Orelio found as before, sending forth
“ His tremulous voice, far echoing loud and shrill,
A frequent anxious cry, with which he seemed
And who had thus again forsaken him," -and the helm and the cuirass on the grass,—and the sword he had wielded ;-all that had intervened seems like a glorious vision, in which space and time were not, peopled forth of the phantastic brain, which had thus
“ Curdled a long life iuto an hour.”