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unintelligible. He came into the world when the school of Dryden and Pope gave the law to English poetry. In that school he had himself learned to be a lofty and vigorous declaimer in harmonious verse; beyond that school his unforced admiration perhaps scarcely soared; and his highest effort of criticism was accordingly the noble panegyric on Dryden. His criticism owed its popularity as much to its defects as to its excellences. It was on a level with the majority of readers-persons of good sense and information, but of no exquisite sensibility; and to their minds it derived a false appearance of solidity, from that very narrowness, which excluded those grander efforts of imagination to which Aristotle and Bacon have confined the name of poetry."
The admirable and original delineation, of which this is but a small part, appears to have been the task of one disturbed and sickly day. We have in these volumes characters of Hume, Swift, Lord Mansfield, Wilkes, Goldsmith, Gray, Franklin, Sheridan, Fletcher of Saltoun, Louis XIV., and some others, all finished with the same exquisite taste, and conceived in the same vigorous and candid spirit; besides which, it appears from the Journal, that in the same incredibly short period of fourteen or fifteen days, he had made similar delineations of Lord North, Paley, George Grenville, C. Townshend, got, Malesherbes, Young, Thomson, Aikenside, Lord Bolingbroke, and Lord Oxford; though (we know not from what cause) none of these last mentioned appear in the present publication.
During the same voyage, the perusal of Madame de Sevigné's Letters engages him (at intervals) for about a fortnight; in the course of which he has noted down in his Journal more just and delicate remarks on her character, and that of her age, than we think are any where else to be met with. But we cannot now venture on any extract; and must confine ourselves to the following admirable remarks on the true tone of polite conversation and familiar letters, suggested by the same fascinating collection:
lowered in expression, out of condescension to our calmer temper. It is thus that harangues and dec lamations, the last proof of bad taste and bad man ners in conversation, are avoided, while the fancy and the heart find the means of pouring forth all their stores. To meet this despised part of language in a polished dress, and producing all the effects of wit and eloquence, is a constant source of agreeable surprise. This is increased, when a few bolder and higher words are happily wrought into the texture of this familiar eloquence. To find what seems so unlike author-craft in a book, raises the pleasing astonishment to its highest degree. I once thought of illustrating my notions by numerous examples from La Sevigné.' And I must, some day or bungler, who is not enough master of language to other, do so; though I think it the resource of a convey his conceptions into the minds of others. The style of Madame de Sevigné is evidently copied, not only by her worshipper, Walpole, but even by Gray; who, notwithstanding the extraordinary merits of his matter, has the double stiffness of an imitator, and of a college recluse."
How many debatable points are fairly settled by the following short and vigorous remarks, in the Journal for 1811:—
"Finished George Rose's Observations on Fox's History,' which are tedious and inefficient. That James was more influenced by a passion for Tur-arbitrary power than by Popish bigotry, is an idle refinement in Fox: He liked both Popery and tyranny; and I am persuaded he did not himself know which he liked best. But I take it to be certain that the English people, at the Revolution, dreaded his love of Popery more than his love of tyranny. This was in them Protestant bigotry. not reason: But the instinct of their bigotry pointed
right. Popery was then the name for the faction which supported civil and religious tyranny in Europe: To be a Papist was to be a partisan of the ambition of Louis XIV."
There is in the Bombay Journal of the same year, a beautiful essay on Novels, and the moral effect of fiction in general, the whole of which we should like to extract; but it is far too long. It proceeds on the assumption, that as all fiction must seek to interest by representing admired qualities in an exagge rated form, and in striking aspects, it must tend to raise the standard, and increase the admiration of excellence. In answer to an obvious objection, he proceeds
"When a woman of feeling, fancy, and accomplishment has learned to converse with ease and grace, from long intercourse with the most polished society, and when she writes as she speaks, she must write letters as they ought to be written; if "A man who should feel all the various sentishe has acquired just as much habitual correctness ments of morality, in the proportions in which they as is reconcilable with the air of negligence. A are inspired by the Ihad, would certainly be tar moment of enthusiasm, a burst of feeling, a flash of from a perfectly good man. But it does not follow eloquence may be allowed; but the intercourse of that the Iliad did not produce great moral benefit. society, either in conversation or in letters, allows To determine that point, we must ascertain whether no more. Though interdicted from the long-con- a man, formed by the Iliad, would be better than tinued use of elevated language, they are not with- the ordinary man of the country, at the time in out a resource. There is a part of language which which it appeared. It is true that it too much inis disdained by the pedant or the declaimer, and spires an admiration for ferocious courage. That which both, if they knew its difficulty, would ap- admiration was then prevalent, and every circum proach with dread; it is formed of the most familiar stance served to strengthen it. But the Iliad phrases and turns in daily use by the generality of breathes many other sentiments, less prevalent men, and is full of energy and vivacity, bearing less favoured by the state of society, and calculated upon it the mark of those keen feelings and strong gradually to mitigate the predominant passion. The passions from which it springs. It is the employ-friendship and sorrow of Achilles for Patroclus, the ment of such phrases which produces what may be patriotic valour of Hector, the paternal affliction of called colloquial eloquence. Conversation and let- Priam, would slowly introduce more humane affecters may be thus raised to any degree of animation, tions. If they had not been combined with the ad without departing from their character. Any thing miration of barbarous courage, they would not have may be said, if it be spoken in the tone of society. been popular; and consequently they would have The highest guests are welcome if they come in found no entry into those savage hearts which they the easy undress of the club; the strongest meta- were destined (I do not say intended) to soften. It phor appears without violence, if it is familiarly exis therefore clear, from the very nature of poetry, pressed; and we the more easily catch the warm- that the poet must inspire somewhat better morals est feeling, if we perceive that it is intentionally than those around him; though, to be effectual and
useful, his morals must not be totally unlike those of his contemporaries. If the Iliad should, in a long course of ages, have inflamed the ambition and ferocity of a few individuals, even that evil, great as it is, will be far from balancing all the generous sentiments, which, for three thousand years, it has been pouring into the hearts of youth; and which it now continues to infuse, aided by the dignity of antiquity, and by all the fire and splendour of poetry. Every succeeding generation, as it refines, requires the standard to be proportionably raised.
Apply these remarks, with the necessary modifications, to those fictions copied from common life called Novels, which are not above a century old, and of which the multiplication and the importance, as well literary as moral, are characteristic features of England. There may be persons now alive who recollect the publication of Tom Jones,' at least, if not of Clarissa. Since that time, probably twelve novels have appeared of the first rank-a prodigious number, of such a kind, in any department of literature (by the help of Sir Walter Scott and Miss Edgeworth we may now at least double the number)-and the whole class of novels must have had more influence on the public, than all other sorts of books combined. Nothing popular can be frivolous. Whatever influences mulitudes, must be of proportionable importance. Bacon and Turgot would have contemplated with inquisitive admiration this literary revolution."
And soon after, while admitting that Tom Jones (for example) is so far from being a moral book as to be deserving of the severest reprobation, he adds
"Yet even in this extreme case, I must observe that the same book inspires the greatest abhorrence of the duplicity of Blifil, of the hypocrisy of Thwackum and Square; that Jones himself is interesting by his frankness, spirit, kindness, and fidelity-all virtues of the first class. The objection is the same in its principle with that to the Iliad. The ancient epic exclusively presents war-the modern novel love; the one what was most interesting in public life, and the other what is most brilliant in private -and both with an unfortunate disregard of moral restraint."
The entry under 6th March, 1817, has to the writer of this article, a melancholy interest, even at this distance of time. It refers to the motion recently made in the House of Commons for a new writ, on the death of Mr. Horner. The reflections with which it closes must, we think, be interesting always.
man of thirty-eight, the son of a shopkeeper, who never filled an office, or had the power of obliging a living creature, and whose grand title to this distinction was the belief of his virtue. How honourable to the age and to the House! A country where such sentiments prevail is not ripe for destruction."
March 6th.-The only event which now appears interesting to me, is the scene in the House of Commons on Monday. Lord Morpeth opened it in a speech so perfect, that it might have been well placed as a passage in the most elegant English writer; it was full of feeling; every topic was skilfully presented, and contained, by a sort of prudence which is a part of taste, within safe limits; he slid over the thinnest ice without cracking it.Canning filled well what would have been the vacant place of a calm observer of Horner's public life and talents. Manners Sutton's most affecting speech was a tribute of affection from a private friend become a political enemy; Lord Lascelles, at the head of the country gentleman of England, closing this affecting, improving, and most memorable scene by declaring, that if the sense of the House could have been taken on this occasion, it would have been unanimous.' I may say without exaggeration, that never were so many words uttered with out the least suspicion of exaggeration; and that never was so much honour paid in any age or nation to intrinsic claims alone. A Howard introduced, and an English House of Commons adopted, the proposition, of thus honouring the memory of a
Sir James could not but feel, in the narrow circles of Bombay, the great superiority of London society; and he has thus recorded his sense of it :
"In great capitals, men of different provinces, professions, and pursuits are brought together in so ciety, and are obliged to acquire a habit, a matter, and manner mutually perspicuous and agreeable. Hence they are raised above frivolity, and are divested of pedantry. In small societies this habit is not imposed by necessity; they have lower, but more urgent subjects, which are interesting to all, level to all capacities, and require no effort or preparation of mind."
He might have added, that in a great capital the best of all sorts is to be met with; and that the adherents even of the most extreme or fantastic opinions are there so numerous, and generally so respectably headed, as to command a deference and regard that would scarcely be shown to them when appearing as insulated individuals; and thus it happens that real toleration, and true modesty, as well as their polite simulars, are rarely to be met with out of great cities. This, however, is true only of those who mix largely in the general society of such places. For bigots and exclusives of all sorts, they are hot-beds and seats of corruption; since, however absurd or revolting their tenets may be, such persons are sure to meet enough of their fellows to encourage each other. In the provinces, a believer in animal magnetism or German metaphysics has few listeners, and no encouragement; but in a place like London they make a little coterie; who herd together, exchange flatteries, and take themselves for the apostles of a new gospel.
The editor has incorporated with his work some letters addressed to him by friends of his father, containing either anecdotes of his earlier life, or observations on his character and merits. It was natural for a person whose age precluded him from speaking on his own authority of any but recent transactions, to seek for this assistance; and the information contributed by Lord Abinger and Mr. Basil Montagu (the former especially) is very interesting. The other letters present us with little more than the opinion of the writers as to his character. If these should be thought too laudatory, there is another character which has lately fallen under our eye, which certainly is not liable to that objection. In the "Table-Talk" of the late Mr. Coleridge, we find these words:-"I doubt if Mackintosh ever heartily appreciated an eminently origi nal man. After all his fluency and brilliant erudition, you can rarely carry off any thing worth preserving. You might not improperly write upon his forehead, 'Warehouse to let!"
We wish to speak tenderly of a man of genius, and we believe of amiable dispositions, who has been so recently removed from his friends and admirers. But so portentous a
misjudgment as this, and coming from such a quarter, cannot be passed without notice. If Sir James Mackintosh had any talent more conspicuous and indisputable than another, it was that of appreciating the merits of eminent and original men. His great learning and singular soundness of judgment enabled him to do this truly; while his kindness of nature, his zeal for human happiness, and his perfect freedom from prejudice or vanity, prompted him, above most other men, to do it heartily. And then, as to his being a person from whose conversation little could be carried away, why the most characteristic and remarkable thing about it, was that the whole of it might be carried away-it was so lucid, precise, and brilliantly perspicuous! The joke of the "warehouse to let " is not, we confess, quite level to our capacities. It can scarcely mean (though that is the most obvious sense) that the head was empty-as that is inconsistent with the rest even of this splenetic delineation. If it was intended to insinuate that it was ready for the indiscriminate reception of any thing which any one might choose to put into it, there could not be a more gross misconception; as we have no doubt Mr. Coleridge must often have sufficiently experienced. And by whom is this discovery, that Mackintosh's conversation presented nothing that could be carried away, thus confidently announced? Why, by the very individual against whose own oracular and interminable talk the same complaint has been made, by friends and by foes, and with an unanimity unprecedented, for the last forty years. The admiring, or rather idolizing nephew, who has lately put forth this hopeful specimen of his relics, has recorded in the preface, that "his conversation at all times required attention; and that the demand on the intellect of the hearer was often very great; and that, when he got into his huge circuit' and large illustrations, most people had lost him, and naturally enough supposed that he had lost himself." Nay, speaking to this very point, of the ease or difficulty of "carrying away" any definite notions from what he said, the partial kinsman is pleased to inform us, that, with all his familiarity with the inspired style of his relative, he himself has often gone away, after listening to him for several delightful hours, with divers masses of reasoning in his head, but without being able to perceive what connection they had with each other. "In such cases," he adds, "I have mused, sometimes even for days afterwards, upon the words, till at length, spontaneously as it were, the fire would kindle," &c. &c. And this is the person who is pleased to denounce Sir James Mackintosh as an ordirary man; and especially to object to his conversation, that, though brilliant and fluent, there was rarely any thing in it which could be carried away!
An attack so unjust and so arrogant leads naturally to comparisons, which it could be easy to follow out to the signal discomfiture of the party attacking. But without going beyond what is thus forced upon our notice,
we shall only say, that nothing could possibly set the work before us in so favourable a point of view, as a comparison between it and the volumes of "Table Talk," to which we have already made reference- unless, perhaps, it were the contrast of the two minds which are respectively portrayed in these publications.
In these memorials of Sir James Mackintosh, we trace throughout the workings of a powerful and unclouded intellect, nourished by wholesome learning, raised and instructed by fearless though reverent questionings of the sages of other times (which is the per mitted Necromancy of the wise), exercised by free discussion with the most distinguished among the living, and made acquainted with its own strength and weakness, not only by a constant intercourse with other powerful minds, but by mixing, with energy and deliberation, in practical business and affairs; and here pouring itself out in a delightful miscellany of elegant criticism, original speculation, and profound practical suggestions on politics, religion, history, and all the greater and the lesser duties, the arts and the elegances of life-all expressed with a beautiful clearness and tempered dignity-breathing the purest spirit of good-will to mankindand brightened not merely by an ardent hope, but an assured faith in their constant advancement in freedom, intelligence, and virtue.
On all these points, the "Table Talk ” of his poetical contemporary appears to us to present a most mortifying contrast; and to render back merely the image of a moody mind, incapable of mastering its own imagin ings, and constantly seduced by them, or by a misdirected ambition, to attempt impracticable things:-naturally attracted by dim paradoxes rather than lucid truths, and preferring, for the most part, the obscure and neglected parts of learning to those that are useful and clear-marching, in short, at all times, under the exclusive guidance of the Pillar of Smoke—and, like the body of its original followers, wandering all his days in the desert, without ever coming in sight of the promised land.
Consulting little at any time with any thing but his own prejudices and fancies, he seems, in his latter days, to have withdrawn altogether from the correction of equal minds: and to have nourished the assurance of his own infallibility, by delivering mystical oracles from his cloudy shrine, all day long, to a small set of disciples, to whom neither question nor interruption was allowed. The result of this necessarily was, an excaerbation of all the morbid tendencies of the mind; a daily increasing ignorance of the course of opinions and affairs in the world, and a proportional confidence in his own dogmas and dreams, which might have been shaken, at least, if not entirely subverted, by a closer contact with the general mass of intelligence. Unfortunately this unhealthful training (peculiarly unhealthful for such a constitution) produced not merely a great eruption of ridicu lous blunders and pitiable prejudices, but
seems at last to have brought on a confirmed purpose than to give effect to the enlightened and thoroughly diseased habit of uncharitable- and deliberate will of the community. To ness, and misanthropic anticipations of cor- enforce these doctrines his whole life was ruption and misery throughout the civilised devoted; and though not permitted to comworld. The indiscreet revelations of the work plete either of the great works he had proto which we have alluded have now brought jected, he was enabled to finish detached to light instances, not only of intemperate portions of each, sufficient not only fully to abuse of men of the highest intellect and develope his principles, but to give a clear most unquestioned purity, but such predic- view of the whole design, and to put it in the tions of evil from what the rest of the world power of any succeeding artist to proceed has been contented to receive as improve- with the execution. Look now upon the other ments, and such suggestions of intolerant and side of the parallel. Tyrannical Remedies, as no man would believe could proceed from a cultivated intellect of the present age-if the early history of this particular intellect had not indicated an inherent aptitude for all extreme opinions, -and prepared us for the usual conversion of one extreme into another.
Mr. Coleridge, too, was an early and most ardent admirer of the French Revolution; but the fruits of that admiration in him were, not a reasoned and statesmanlike apology for some of its faults and excesses, but a resolution to advance the regeneration of mankind at a still quicker rate, by setting before their eyes the pattern of a yet more exquisite form of society! And accordingly, when a fullgrown man, he actually gave into, if he did not originate, the scheme of what he and his friends called a Pantisocracy-a form of society in which there was to be neither law nor government, neither priest, judge, nor magistrate-in which all property was to be in common, and every man left to act upon his own sense of duty and affection!
And it is worth while to mark here also, and in respect merely of consistency and ultimate authority with mankind, the advantage which a sober and well-regulated understanding will always have over one which claims to be above ordinances; and trusting either to an erroneous opinion of its own strength, or even to a true sense of it, gives itself up to its first strong impression, and sets at defiance all other reason and authority. Sir James Mackintosh had, in his youth, as This fact is enough:-And whether he afmuch ambition and as much consciousness of terwards passed through the stages of a Jacopower as Mr. Coleridge could have: But the bin, which he seems to deny—or a hotheaded utmost extent of his early aberrations (in his Moravian, which he seems to admit,-is really Vindicia Gallica) was an over estimate of the of no consequence. The character of his unprobabilities of good from a revolution of derstanding is settled with all reasonable men: violence; and a much greater under-estimate As well as the authority that is due to the of the mischiefs with which such experiments anti-reform and anti-toleration maxims which are sure to be attended, and the value of set- he seems to have spent his latter years in tled institutions and long familiar forms. Yet, venting. Till we saw this posthumous publithough in his philanthropic enthusiasm he did cation, we had, to be sure, no conception of miscalculate the relative value of these op- the extent to which these compensating maxposite forces (and speedily admitted and rec-ims were carried; and we now think that few tified the error), he never for an instant dis- of the Conservatives (who were not originally puted the existence of both elements in the Pantisocratists) will venture to adopt them. equation, or affected to throw a doubt upon Not only is the Reform Bill denounced as the any of the great principles on which civil so- spawn of mere wickedness, injustice, and ciety reposes. On the contrary, in his earliest ignorance; and the reformed House of Comas well as his latest writings, he pointed mons as "low, vulgar, meddling, and sneering steadily to the great institutions of Property at every thing noble and refined," but the and Marriage, and to the necessary authority wise and the good, we are assured, will, in of Law and Religion, as essential to the being every country, "speedily become disgusted of a state, and the well-being of any human with the Representative form of government, society. It followed, therefore, that when brutalized as it is by the predominance of dedisappointed in his too sanguine expectations mocracy, in England, France, and Belgium!" from the French Revolution, he had nothing And then the remedy is, that they will recur to retract in the substance and scope of his to a new, though, we confess, not very comopinions; and merely tempering their an- prehensible form, of "Pure Monarchy, in nouncement, with the gravity and caution of which the reason of the people shall become maturer years, he gave them out again in his efficient in the apparent Will of the King!" later days to the world, with the accumulated Moreover, he is for a total dissolution of the authority of a whole life of consistency and union with Ireland, and its erection into a sepastudy. At no period of that life, did he fail rate and independent kingdom. He is against to assert the right of the people to political Negro emancipation-sees no use in reducing and religious freedom; and to the protection taxation-and designates Malthus' demonof just and equal laws, enacted by representa- tration of a mere matter of fact by a redundant tives truly chosen by themselves: And he accumulation of evidence, by the polite and never uttered a syllable that could be con- appropriate appellation of "a lie;" and represtrued into an approval, or even an acquies- sents it as more disgraceful and abominable cence in persecution and intolerance; or in than any thing that the weakness and wicktne maintenance of authority for any other edness of man have ever before given birth to
Such as his temperance and candour are in politics, they are also in religion; and recominended and excused by the same flagrant contradiction to his early tenets. Whether he ever was a proper Moravian or not we care not to inquire. It is admitted, and even stated somewhat boastingly in this book, that he was a bold Dissenter from the church. He thanks heaven, indeed, that he "had gone much farther than the Unitarians!" And to make his boldness still more engaging, he had gone these lengths, not only against the authority of our Doctors, but against the clear and admitted doctrine and teaching of the Apostles themselves! "What care I,' I said, for the Platonisms of John, or the Rabbinisms of Paul? My cons ience revolts?—That was the ground of my Unitarianism." And by and by, this infallible and oracular person does not hesitate to declare, that others, indeed, may do as they choose, but he, for his part, can never allow that Unitarians are Christians! and, giving no credit for "revolting consciences" to any one but himself, charges all Dissenters in the lump with hating the Church much more than they love religion-is furious against the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and Catholic Emancipation, and at last actually, and in good set terms, denies that any Dissenter has a right to toleration! and, in perfect consistency, maintains that it is the duty of the magistrate to stop heresy and schism by persecution if he only has reason to think that in this way the evil may be arrested; adding, by way of example, that he would be ready "to ship off-any where," any missionaries who might attempt to disturb the undoubting Lutheranism of certain exemplary Norwegians, whom he takes under his special protection.
We are tempted to say more. But we desist; and shall pursue this parallel no farther. Perhaps we have already been betrayed into feelings and expressions that may be objected We should be sorry if this could be done justly. But we do not question Mr. Coleridge's sincerity. We admit, too, that he was a man of much poetical sensibility, and had visions of intellectual sublimity, and glimpses of comprehensive truths, which he could neither reduce into order nor combine into system. But out of poetry and metaphysics, we think he was nothing; and eminently disqualified, not only by the defects, but by the best parts of his genius, as well as by his temper and habits, for forming any sound judgment on the business and affairs of our actual world. And yet it is for his preposterous judgments on such subjects that his memory is now held in affected reverence by those who laughed at him, all through his life, for what gave him his only true claim to admiration! and who now magnify his genius, for no other purpose but to give them an opportunity to quote, as of grave authority, his mere delirations, on reform, dissent, and toleration-his cheering predictions of the approaching millennium of pure monarchy-or his demonstrations of the absolute harmlessness of taxation, and the sacred duty of all sorts of efficient per
secution. We are sure we treat Mr. Coleridge with all possible respect when we say, that his name can lend no more plausibility to ab surdities like these, than the far greater names of Bacon or Hobbes could do to the belief in sympathetic medicines, or in churchyard apparitions.
We fear we have already transgressed our just limits. But before concluding, we wish to say a word on a notion which we find pretty generally entertained, that Sir James Mackintosh did not sufficiently turn to profit the talent which was committed to him; and did much less than, with his gifts and opportunities, he ought to have done. He himself seems, no doubt, to have been occasionally of that opinion; and yet we cannot but think it in a great degree erroneous. If he had not, in early life, conceived the ambitious design of executing two great works,—one on the principles of Morals and Legislation, and one on English History; or had not let it be understood, for many years before his death, that he was actually employed on the latter, we do not imagine that, with all the knowledge his friends had (and all the world now has) of his qualifications, any one would have thought of visiting his memory with such a reproach.
We know of no code of morality which makes it imperative on every man of extraordinary talent or learning to write a large book:-and could readily point to instances where such persons have gone with unquestioned honour to their graves, without leaving any such memorial-and been judged to have acted up to the last article of their duty, merely by enlightening society by their lives and conversation, and discharging with ability and integrity the offices of magistracy or legis lation, to which they may have been called. But looking even to the sort of debt which may be thought to have been contracted by the announcement of these works, we cannot but think that the public has received a very respectable dividend-and, being at the best but a gratuitous creditor-ought not now to withhold a thankful discharge and acquittance. The discourse on Ethical Philosophy is full payment, we conceive, of one moiety of the first engagement,—and we are persuaded will be so received by all who can judge of its value; and though the other moiety, which relates to Legislation, has not yet been tendered in form, there is reason to believe that there are assets in the hands of the executors, from which this also may soon be liquidated. That great subject was certainly fully treated of in the Lectures of 1799-and as it appears from some citations in these Memoirs, that, though for the most part delivered extempore, various notes and manuscripts relating to them have been preserved, we think it not unlikely that, with due diligence, the outline at least and main features of that interesting disquisition may still be recovered. On the bill for History, too, it cannot be denied that a large payment has been made to account--and as it was only due for the period of the Revolution, any shortcoming that may appear upon