Had he lived in any other period of the world, he would never have been heard of. As it is, he has some difficulty to contend with, the hebetude of his intellect, and the meanness of his subject. His homely Muse can hardly raise her wing from the ground, nor spread her hidden glories to the sun.
Coleridge THE present is an age of talkers, and not of doers; and the reason is, that the world is growing old.
We are so far advanced in the Arts and Sciences, that we live in retrospect, and doat on past achievements. The accumulation of knowledge has been so great, that we are lost in wonder at the height it has reached, instead of attempting to climb or add to it; while the variety of objects distracts and dazzles the looker-on.
What niche remains unoccupied? What is the use of doing anything, unless we could do better than all those who have gone before us? What hope is there of this? We are like those who have been to see some noble monument of art, who are content to admire without thinking of rivalling it; or like guests after a feast, who praise the hospitality of the donor 'and thank the bounteous Pan' -- perhaps carrying away Hazlitt essay on wordsworth trifling fragments; or like the spectators of a mighty battle, who still hear its sound afar off, and the clashing of armour and the neighing of the war-horse and the shout of victory is in their ears, like the rushing of innumerable waters!
Coleridge has 'a mind reflecting ages past': He who has seen a mouldering tower by the side of a crystal lake, hid by the mist, but glittering in the wave below, may conceive the dim, gleaming, uncertain intelligence of his eye: There is no subject on which he has not touched, none on which he has rested.
With an understanding fertile, subtle, expansive, 'quick, forgetive, apprehensive,' beyond all living precedent, few traces of it perhaps remain.
He lends himself to all impressions alike; he gives up his mind and liberty of thought to none. He is a general lover of art and science, and wedded to no one in particular.
He pursues knowledge as a mistress, with outstretched hands and winged speed; but as he is about to embrace her, his Daphne turns -- alas! Hardly a speculation has been left on record from the earliest time, but it is loosely folded up in Mr.
Coleridge's memory, like a rich, but somewhat tattered piece of tapestry: On whatever question or author you speak, he is prepared to take up the theme with advantage -- from Peter Abelard down to Thomas Moore, from the subtlest metaphysics to the politics of the Courier.
There is no man of genius, in whose praise he descants, but the critic seems to stand above the author, and 'what in him is weak, to strengthen, what is low, to raise and support': Coleridge had not been the most impressive talker of his age, he would probably have been the finest writer; but he lays down his pen to make sure of an auditor, and mortgages the admiration of posterity for the stare of an idler.
If he had not been a poet, he would have been a powerful logician; if he had not dipped his wing in the Unitarian controversy, he might have soared to the very summit of fancy.
But, in writing verse, he is trying to subject the Muse to transcendental theories: All that he has done of moment, he had done twenty years ago: Coleridge is too rich in intellectual wealth, to need to task himself to any drudgery: He walks abroad in the majesty of an universal understanding, eyeing the 'rich strond' or golden sky above him, and 'goes sounding on his way,' in eloquent accents, uncompelled and free!
Persons of the greatest capacity are often those, who for this reason do the least; for surveying themselves from the highest point of view, amidst the infinite variety of the universe, their own share in it seems trifling, and scarce worth a thought; and they prefer the contemplation of all that is, or has been, or can be, to the making a coil about doing what, when done, is no better than vanity.
It is hard to concentrate all our attention and efforts on one pursuit, except from ignorance of others; and without this concentration of our faculties no great progress can be made in any one thing. It is not merely that the mind is not capable of the effort; it does not think the effort worth making.2 And here, of course, Hazlitt was referring to Wordsworth; who, as far as Hazlitt was concerned, turned from his beliefs of his younger days and sold out to the establishment in accepting government jobs, pensions and laurels.
[P.L.]. Mr. Wordsworth, in his person, is above the middle size, with marked features and an air somewhat stately and quixotic. He reminds one of some of Holbein's heads: grave, saturnine, with a slight indication of sly humour, kept under by the manners of the or by the pretensions of the person.
In his essay, “On the Want of Money”, he conveys the extent to which it is horrible to be in want of money.
To live in this world, one needs money to survive. Hazlitt stresses this point by using suggestive syntax, harsh diction and figurative language. The language of poetry naturally falls in with the language of power.
—William Hazlitt, essay on Coriolanus. William Hazlitt (–) was a democrat in his youth, along with Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey, his contemporaries in England’s first Romantic regardbouddhiste.com them he was a democrat still when he died.
Mr. Wordsworth, in his person, is above the middle size, with marked features and an air somewhat stately and quixotic. He reminds one of some of Holbein's heads: grave, saturnine, with a slight indication of sly humour, kept under by the manners of the or by the pretensions of the person.
Wordsworth's mind is obtuse, except as it is the organ and the receptacle of accumulated feelings: it is not analytic, but synthetic; it is reflecting, rather than theoretical.
The EXCURSION, we believe, fell stillborn from the press.