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essential poetry." In discussing Wordsworth's "Lyrical Ballads," he strangely asserts that “a poem contains the same elements as a prose composition," the difference consisting in a "difference of combination of these elements and a different object in their expression." He defines a poem as "that species of composition which is opposed to works of science by proposing for its immediate object pleasure and not truth." In comparing the poets of his own time with those of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, he is clear in avowing his preference for the former, but adds that "an enviable reputation awaits that man of genius who should attempt and realize a union of these two orders of verse."

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Much of the "Biographia is appropriated to the study of the poetry of Wordsworth, partly by reason of the personal friendship of the two poets, but mainly because he conceived that herein lay the whole discussion as to the true theory of verse. He insists that Wordsworth is wrong in his main contention, that poetry can be reduced to the level of the common people. He contends that the language of Milton and Shakespeare is far more the language of real life than that of shepherds, and that Wordsworth in his efforts to escape the stilted

formalism of the classical school had passed over to the more dangerous extreme of lowering the level of poetic expression to the shop and marketplace.

Of Coleridge's celebrated "Lectures on Shakespeare and the Drama we cannot write at length. No longer was it in English literature an open question who Shakespeare was and where he stood among his poetic colleagues; nor did any critic have to assume the language of apology in the discussion of his name and work. Through his own study, and by contact with the best minds of Germany, Coleridge had come to a full appreciation of the great dramatist's genius, and he engaged in no work that gave him more pleasure than the preparation and delivery of these lectures; nor is there any in which he appears to better advantage as a critic. "He was not only a great poet," he says, "but a great philosopher." He speaks of his wit and imagination; defends the essential morality of his plays; states that no author equals him in using the language of nature; notes his happy combination of the dramatic and lyrical; and mentions as one of his great characteristics that "he always keeps on the high road of life," far above the commonplace. He sums it

all up by saying that "he is the greatest genius that human nature has, perhaps, yet produced, our myriad-minded Shakespeare." It is in this connection that he lays down some of the vital principles of criticism, such as the following: that the critic must distinguish between what is inward. and essential and what is circumstantial, and that he must ascertain how far an author has been affected by his surroundings. Apart from his Shakespeare papers, his discussion of style is noteworthy. He speaks of the terse style of Latimer's time; of the dignified diction of the Elizabethans; and of the individual idiom of the preRestoration authors. From the current view of the excellence of Augustan English he dissents; praises the prose of Dryden and Jeremy Taylor, and remarks of Swift's style that "the manner is a complete expression of the matter." Of Johnson he writes, that "he creates an impression of cleverness by never saying anything in a common way," Gibbon's literary manner being open to rebuke. On style in general he offers some striking comments: that it is nothing else but the art of conveying the meaning "appropriately and with perspicacity," and that writers are not to attempt to express themselves in language "before they

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source of bad writing," he adds, "is the desire to be something more than a man of sense. If men would only say what they have to say in plain terms, how much more eloquent they would be, accuracy of style being near akin to veracity." Such was Coleridge as a literary critic,- always sensible, honest, and reliable, suggestive and stimulating, setting the faculties of his readers at work, and encouraging them to independent study.

The name of Coleridge as a critic cannot be mentioned, nor the new critical awakening that he represented be rightly studied, apart from a reference to the Edinburgh Review and similar organs of critical opinion. Originating at the opening of the century the Edinburgh, in 1802; the Quarterly, in 1809; Blackwood's, in 1817; the Westminster, in 1824,- the history of these Reviews is inseparably linked with that of Modern English criticism. They, in fact, contain a substantive body of such criticism. Of these, the Edinburgh is the first in date and influence, and especially as related to Coleridge. It is of this Review that Coleridge himself writes: "It has a claim upon the gratitude of the literary republic for having originated the scheme of reviewing those books


only which are susceptible and deserving of argumentative criticism." It was this new method of argumentative criticism" that marked the work of Coleridge. As to the special manner in which these Reviews were conducted, we find that they all erred on the side of partial and extreme criticism, going, at times, to the limit of malice and personal ridicule. Modern criticism was just beginning to find its ground. What were the best principles and processes of literary criticism was as yet largely an open question. In fine, these initial efforts at the opening of the century were largely experimental, and as such were subject to imperfection and needed revision. All errors conceded, however, a decided advance was made in the critical art. The critics themselves were quick to discern their own mistakes and to correct them, so that by the close of the first quarter of the century much that was crude had been eliminated and stable conditions secured. In connection with Coleridge and these various Review editors as prime factors in this earlier critical movement there are some other names of essential import. One is Wordsworth, who in the Preface to his "Lyrical Ballads," published in 1798, had newly awakened the critical spirit of his contemporaries,

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