“My system,” said he, “if I may venture to give it so fine a name, is the only attempt that I know, ever made, to reduce all knowledge into harmony. It opposes no other system, but shows what was true in each; and how that which was true in the particular in each of them, became error, because it was only half the truth. I have endeavoured to unite the insulated fragments of truth, and therewith to frame a perfect mirror. I show to each system that I fully understand and rightfully appreciate what that system means; but then I lift up that system to a higher point of view, from which I enable it to see its former position, where it was indeed, but under another light and with different relations,—so that the fragment of truth is not only acknowledged, but explained. So the old astronomers discovered and maintained much that was true; but because they were placed on a false ground, and looked from a wrong point of view, they never did—they never could—discover the truth—that is, the whole truth. As soon as they left the earth, their false centre, and took their stand in the sun, immediately they saw the whole system in its true light, and the former station remaining—but remaining as a part of the prospect. I wish, in short, to connect a moral copula, natural history with political history; or, in other words, to make history scientific, and science historical:—to take from history its accidentality, and from science its fatalism.”
Whether we shall ever, hereafter, have occasion to advert to any new poetical efforts of Mr. Coleridge, or not, we cannot say. We wish we had a reasonable cause to expect it. If not, then this hail and farewell will have been well made. We conclude with, we believe, the last verses he has written—
My Baptismal Birth-Day.
God’s child in Christ adopted,—Christ
What that earth boasts were not lost cheaply, rather
Than forfeit the blest name, by which I call
The Holy One, the Almighty God, my Father?
Father! in Christ we live, and Christ in Thee;
Eternal Thou, and everlasting we.
The heir of heaven, henceforth I fear not death:
In Christ I live: in Christ I draw the breath
Of the true life:—Let then earth, sea, and sky
Make war against me! On my heart I show
Their mighty Master’s seal. In vain they try
To end my life, that can but end its woe.
Is that a death-bed where a Christian lies?
Yes! but not his—’tis Death itself there dies.—Vol. ii, p. 151.
SIR WALTER SCOTT ON JANE AUSTEN
[From. The Quarterly Review, October, 1815]
Emma; a Novel. By the Author of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, etc. 3 vols. 12mo. London. 1815.