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something in his modesty as well as wisdom, which hinders me from saying more. He has seen strange faces of calamity ; but they have not made him love those of his fellow-creatures the less. The ingenious artist who has presented the public with his, will excuse one of his friends for thinking that he has done more justice to the moral than the intellectual character of it; which, in truth, it is very difficult to do, whether with pencil or with pen. A celebrated painter has said, that no one but Raphael could have done full justice to Raphael's face : which is a remark at once startling and consolatory to us inferior limners.
MR. LAMB's friend, MR. COLERIDGE, is as little fitted for action as he, but on a different account. His person is of a good height, but as sluggish and solid as the other's is light and fragile. He has, perhaps, suffered it to look old before its time, for want of exercise. His hair, too, is quite white, (though he cannot much exceed fifty); and as he generally dresses in black, and has a very tranquil demeanour, his appearance is gentlemanly, and begins to be reverend.
Nevertheless, there is something invincibly young in the look of his face: it is round and fresh-coloured, with agreeable features, and an open, indolent, good-natured mouth. This boy-like expression is very becoming to one who dreams as he did when he was a child, and who passes his life apart from the rest of the world, with a book, and his flowers. His forehead is prodigious,—a great piece of placid marble; and his fine eyes, in which all the activity of his mind seems to concentrate, move under it with a sprightly ease, as if it were pastime to them to carry all that thought.
And it is pastime. Mr. Hazlitt says, that Mr. Coleridge's genius appears to him like a spirit, all head and wings, eternally floating about in ætherialities. He gives me a different impression. I fancy him a good-natured wizard, very fond of earth, and conscious of reposing with weight enough in his easy chair, but able to conjure his ætherialities about him in the twinkling of an eye. He can also change them by thousands, and dismiss them as easily when his dinner comes. It is a mighty intellect put upon a sensual body; and the reason why he does little more with it than talk and dream, is, that it is agreeable to such a body to do little else. I do not mean that Mr. Coleridge is a sensualist in an ill sense. He is capable of too many innocent pleasures, to take any pleasure in the way that a man of the world would take it. The idlest things he did would have a warrant. But if all the senses, in their time, have not found lodging in that humane plenitude of his, never believe they did in Thomson or in Boccaccio. Two affirmatives in him make a negative. He is very metaphysical and very corporeal ; and he does nothing. His brains plead all sorts of questions before him, and he hears them with so much impartiality, (his spleen not giving him any trouble,) that he thinks he might as well sit in his easy chair and hear them for ever, without coming to a conclusion. It has been said that he took opium to deaden the sharpness of his cogitations. I will undertake to affirm, that if he ever took any thing to deaden a sensation within him, it was for no greater or more marvellous reason than other people take it; which is, because they do not take enough exercise, and so plague their heads with their livers. Opium, perhaps, might settle an uneasiness of this sort in Mr. Coleridge, as it did in a much less man with a much greater body, the Shad
well of Dryden. He would then resume his natural ease, and sit, and be happy, till the want of exercise must be again supplied. The vanity of criticism, like all our other vanities, except that of dress, (which so far has an involuntary philosophy in it,) is always forgetting that we are at least half made up of body. Mr. Hazlitt is angry that Mr. Coleridge is not as zealous in behalf of liberty as he used to be when young. I am sorry for it, too; and, if other men, as well as Mr. Hazlitt, did not keep me in heart, should think that the world was destined to be repeatedly lost, for want either of perseverance or calmness. But Mr. Coleridge had less right to begin his zeal in favour of liberty, than he had to leave it off. He should have bethought himself first, whether he had the courage not to get fat.
As to the charge against him, of eternally probing the depths of his own mind, and trying what he can make of them out of the ordinary road of logic and philosophy, I see no harm in a man's taking this new sort of experiment upon him, whatever little chance there may be of his doing any thing with it. He is