THE LITERARY REMAINS
OF SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
COLLECTED AND EDITED BY
HENRY NELSON COLERIDGE, ESQ. M. A.
JOSEPH HENRY GREEN, ESQ.
MEMBER OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS,
THE APPROVED FRIEND
Mr. Coleridge by his will, dated in September, 1829, authorized his
executor, if he should think it expedient, to publish any of the notes
or writing made by him (Mr. C.) in his books, or any other of his
manuscripts or writings, or any letters which should thereafter be
collected from, or supplied by, his friends or correspondents. Agreeably
to this authority, an arrangement was made, under the superintendence of
Mr. Green, for the collection of Coleridge's literary remains; and at
the same time the preparation for the press of such part of the
materials as should consist of criticism and general literature, was
entrusted to the care of the present Editor. The volumes now offered to
the public are the first results of that arrangement. They must in any
case stand in need of much indulgence from the ingenuous reader; - 'multa
sunt condonanda in opere postumo'; but a short statement of the
difficulties attending the compilation may serve to explain some
apparent anomalies, and to preclude some unnecessary censure.
The materials were fragmentary in the extreme - Sibylline leaves; - notes
of the lecturer, memoranda of the investigator, out-pourings of the
solitary and self-communing student. The fear of the press was not in
them. Numerous as they were, too, they came to light, or were
communicated, at different times, before and after the printing was
commenced; and the dates, the occasions, and the references, in most
instances remained to be discovered or conjectured. To give to such
materials method and continuity, as far as might be, - to set them forth
in the least disadvantageous manner which the circumstances would
permit, - was a delicate and perplexing task; and the Editor is painfully
sensible that he could bring few qualifications for the undertaking, but
such as were involved in a many years' intercourse with the author
himself, a patient study of his writings, a reverential admiration of
his genius, and an affectionate desire to help in extending its
The contents of these volumes are drawn from a portion only of the
manuscripts entrusted to the Editor: the remainder of the collection,
which, under favourable circumstances, he hopes may hereafter see the
light, is at least of equal value with what is now presented to the
reader as a sample. In perusing the following pages, the reader will, in
a few instances, meet with disquisitions of a transcendental character,
which, as a general rule, have been avoided: the truth is, that they
were sometimes found so indissolubly intertwined with the more popular
matter which preceded and followed, as to make separation impracticable.
There are very many to whom no apology will be necessary in this
respect; and the Editor only adverts to it for the purpose of obviating,
as far as may be, the possible complaint of the more general reader. But
there is another point to which, taught by past experience, he attaches
more importance, and as to which, therefore, he ventures to put in a
more express and particular caution. In many of the books and papers,
which have been used in the compilation of these volumes, passages from
other writers, noted down by Mr. Coleridge as in some way remarkable,
were mixed up with his own comments on such passages, or with his
reflections on other subjects, in a manner very embarrassing to the eye
of a third person undertaking to select the original matter, after the
lapse of several years. The Editor need not say that he has not
knowingly admitted any thing that was not genuine without an express
declaration, as in Vol. I. p. 1; and in another instance, Vol. II. p.
379, he has intimated his own suspicion: but, besides these, it is
possible that some cases of mistake in this respect may have occurred.
There may be one or two passages - they cannot well be more - printed in
these volumes, which belong to other writers; and if such there be, the
Editor can only plead in excuse, that the work has been prepared by him
amidst many distractions, and hope that, in this instance at least, no
ungenerous use will be made of such a circumstance to the disadvantage
of the author, and that persons of greater reading or more retentive
memories than the Editor, who may discover any such passages, will do
him the favour to communicate the fact.
The Editor's motive in publishing the few poems and fragments included
in these volumes, was to make a supplement to the collected edition of
Coleridge's poetical works. In these fragments the reader will see the
germs of several passages in the already published poems of the author,
but which the Editor has not thought it necessary to notice more
particularly. 'The Fall of Robespierre', a joint composition, has been
so long in print in the French edition of Coleridge's poems, that,
independently of such merit as it may possess, it seemed natural to
adopt it upon the present occasion, and to declare the true state of the
To those who have been kind enough to communicate books and manuscripts
for the purpose of the present publication, the Editor and, through him,
Mr. Coleridge's executor return their grateful thanks. In most cases a
specific acknowledgement has been made. But, above and independently of
all others, it is to Mr. and Mrs. Gillman, and to Mr. Green himself,
that the public are indebted for the preservation and use of the
principal part of the contents of these volumes. The claims of those
respected individuals on the gratitude of the friends and admirers of
Coleridge and his works are already well known, and in due season those
claims will receive additional confirmation.
With these remarks, sincerely conscious of his own inadequate execution
of the task assigned to him, yet confident withal of the general worth
of the contents of the following pages - the Editor commits the reliques
of a great man to the indulgent consideration of the Public.
Lincoln's Inn, August 11, 1836.
He was one who with long and large arm still collected precious armfulls
in whatever direction he pressed forward, yet still took up so much more
than he could keep together, that those who followed him gleaned more
from his continual droppings than he himself brought home; - nay, made
stately corn-ricks therewith, while the reaper himself was still seen
only with a strutting armful of newly-cut sheaves. But I should
misinform you grossly if I left you to infer that his collections were a
heap of incoherent 'miscellanea'. No! the very contrary. Their variety,
conjoined with the too great coherency, the too great both desire and
power of referring them in systematic, nay, genetic subordination, was
that which rendered his schemes gigantic and impracticable, as an
author, and his conversation less instructive as a man.
'Auditorem inopem ipsa copia fecit'. - Too much was given, all so weighty
and brilliant as to preclude a chance of its being all received, - so
that it not seldom passed over the hearer's mind like a roar of many
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE
"Julia was blest with beauty, wit, and grace"
" - - - - - - I yet remain"
To the Rev. W. J. Hort
To Charles Lamb
To the Nightingale
To Joseph Cottle
"The early year's fast-flying vapours stray"
Count Rumford's Essays
On a late Marriage between an Old Maid and a French Petit Maitre
On an Amorous Doctor
"There comes from old Avaro's grave"
"Last Monday all the papers said"
To a Primrose, (the first seen in the season)
On the Christening of a Friend's Child
Epigram, "Hoarse Maevius reads his hobbling verse"
Inscription by the Rev. W. L. Bowles, in Nether Stowey Church
Introduction to the Tale of the Dark Ladie
Epilogue to the Rash Conjuror
An Ode to the Rain
Translation of a Passage in Ottfried's Metrical Paraphrase of the
Israel's Lament on the Death of the Princess Charlotte of Wales
What is Life?
Inscription for a Time-piece
A COURSE OF LECTURES.
Lecture I. General character of the Gothic Mind in the Middle Ages
II. General Character of the Gothic Literature and Art
III. The Troubadours - Boccaccio - Petrarch - Pulci - Chaucer - Spenser
IV-VI. Shakspeare (not included in the original text)
VII. Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Massinger
VIII. 'Don Quixote'. Cervantes
IX. On the Distinctions of the Witty, the Droll, the Odd, and the
Humorous; the Nature and Constituents of Humour; Rabelais, Swift,
X. Donne, Dante, Milton, 'Paradise Lost'
XI. Asiatic and Greek Mythologies, Robinson Crusoe, Use of Works of
Imagination in Education
XII. Dreams, Apparitions, Alchemists, Personality of the Evil Being,
XIII. On Poesy or Art
XIV. On Style
Notes on Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici
Notes on Junius
Notes on Barclay's 'Argenis'
Note in Casaubon's 'Persius'
Notes on Chapman's Homer
Note in Baxter's 'Life of Himself'
Fragment of an Essay on Taste
Fragment of an Essay on Beauty
Poems and Poetical Fragments
The French Decade
Ride and Tie
Origin of the Worship of Hymen
Cap of Liberty
Motives and Impulses
The Vices of Slaves no excuse for Slavery
Circulation of the Blood
'Peritura Parcere Chartae'
To have and to be
Goodness of Heart Indispensable to a Man of Genius
Milton and Ben Jonson
Negroes and Narcissuses
The Pharos at Alexandria
Sense and Common Sense
Hint for a New Species of History
The Soul and its Organs of Sense
Sir George Etherege, &c.
Force of Habit
Memory and Recollection
'Aliquid ex Nihilo'
Brevity of the Greek and English compared
The Will and the Deed
The Will for the Deed
Truth and Falsehood
Dust to Dust
Lie useful to Truth
Science in Roman Catholic States
Youth and Age
Inscription on a Clock in Cheapside
Rationalism is not Reason
Hope in Humanity
Self-love in Religion
Limitation of Love of Poetry
Humility of the Amiable
Temper in Argument
Love an Act of the Will
Difference between Hobbes and Spinosa
The End may justify the Means
Man's return to Heaven
To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry
Definition of Miracle
Death, and grounds of belief in a Future State
Hatred of Injustice
The Apostles' Creed
A Good Heart
Evidences of Christianity
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE
AND OTHER POEMS.
TO H. MARTIN, ESQ.
OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the following
Dramatic Poem, in which I have endeavoured to detail, in an interesting
form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous
lustre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot
could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts,
it has been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and highly figurative
language of the French Orators, and to develope the characters of the
chief actors on a vast stage of horrors.
S. T. COLERIDGE.
Jesus College, September 22, 1794.
THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
AN HISTORIC DRAMA. 1794. 
[Footnote 1: The origin and authorship of "The Fall of Robespierre" will
be best explained by the following extract from a letter from Mr.
Southey to the Editor:
"This is the history of The Fall of Robespierre. It originated in
sportive conversation at poor Lovell's, and we agreed each to produce an
act by the next evening; - S. T. C. the first, I the second, and Lovell
the third. S. T. C. brought part of his, I and Lovell the whole of ours;
but L.'s was not in keeping, and therefore I undertook to supply the
third also by the following day. By that time, S. T. C. had filled up
his. A dedication to Mrs. Hannah More was concocted, and the notable
performance was offered for sale to a bookseller in Bristol, who was too
wise to buy it. Your Uncle took the MSS. with him to Cambridge, and
there rewrote the first act at leisure, and published it. My portion I
never saw from the time it was written till the whole was before the
world. It was written with newspapers before me, as fast as newspaper
could be put into blank verse. I have no desire to claim it now, or
hereafter; but neither am I ashamed of it; and if you think proper to
print the whole, so be it." -
"The Fall of Robespierre, a tragedy, of which the first act was written
by S. T. Coleridge." Mr. C.'s note in the Conciones ad Populum, 1795.
SCENE - 'The Tuilleries'.
The tempest gathers - be it mine to seek
A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him.
But where? and how? I fear the tyrant's soul -
Sudden in action, fertile in resource,
And rising awful 'mid impending ruins;
In splendour gloomy, as the midnight meteor,
That fearless thwarts the elemental war.
When last in secret conference we met,
He scowl'd upon me with suspicious rage,
Making his eye the inmate of my bosom.
I know he scorns me - and I feel, I hate him -
Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble!
[Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE.]
It was Barrere, Legendre! didst thou mark him?
Abrupt he turn'd, yet linger'd as he went,
And tow'rds us cast a look of doubtful meaning.
I mark'd him well. I met his eye's last glance;
It menac'd not so proudly as of yore.
Methought he would have spoke - but that he dar'd not -
Such agitation darken'd on his brow.
'Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting
Th'imprison'd secret struggling in the face:
E'en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards
Hurries the thunder cloud, that pois'd awhile
Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.
Perfidious traitor! - still afraid to bask
In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent
Lurks in the thicket of the tyrant's greatness,
Ever prepar'd to sting who shelters him.
Each thought, each action in himself converges;
And love and friendship on his coward heart
Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice:
To all attach'd, by turns deserting all,
Cunning and dark - a necessary villain!
Yet much depends upon him - well you know
With plausible harangue 'tis his to paint
Defeat like victory - and blind the mob
With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him,
And wild of head to work their own destruction,
Support with uproar what he plans in darkness.
O what a precious name is liberty
To scare or cheat the simple into slaves!
Yes - we must gain him over: by dark hints
We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears,
Till the cold coward blaze a patriot.
O Danton! murder'd friend! assist my counsels -
Hover around me on sad memory's wings,
And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart.
Tallien! if but to-morrow's fateful sun
Beholds the tyrant living - we are dead!
Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty meanings -
Fear not - or rather fear th'alternative,
And seek for courage e'en in cowardice -
But see - hither he comes - let us away!
His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon,
And, high of haughty spirit, young St. Just.
[Enter ROBESPIERRE, COUTHON, ST. JUST, and ROBESPIERRE Junior.]
What! did La Fayette fall before my power -
And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues -
The fervent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue,
And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold!
Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them!
What! did th' assassin's dagger aim its point
Vain, as a dream of murder, at my bosom;
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien?
Th' Adonis Tallien, - banquet-hunting Tallien, -
Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box!
Him, Who ever on the harlots' downy pillow
Resigns his head impure to feverish slumbers!
I cannot fear him - yet we must not scorn him.
Was it not Antony that conquer'd Brutus,
Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony?
The state is not yet purified: and though
The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies
The thick black sediment of all the factions -
It needs no magic hand to stir it up!
O, we did wrong to spare them - fatal error!
Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died,
And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes?
I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured
To make of Lyons one vast human shambles,
Compar'd with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness
Of Zara were a smiling paradise.
Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one,
Who flies from silent solitary anguish,
Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar
Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar
Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself.
A calm is fatal to him - then he feels
The dire upboilings of the storm within him.
A tiger mad with inward wounds! - I dread
The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt.
Is not the Commune ours? the stern Tribunal?
Dumas? and Vivier? Fleuriot? and Louvet?
And Henriot? We'll denounce a hundred, nor
Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward.
Nay - I am sick of blood! my aching heart
Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors
That still have gloom'd the rise of the Republic.
I should have died before Toulon, when war Became the patriot!
Most unworthy wish!
He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors
Would be himself a traitor, were he not
A coward! 'Tis congenial souls alone
Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate.
O, thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye
Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle -
Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity
Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest!
There is unsoundness in the state - to-morrow
Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre!
Beware! already do the Sections murmur -
"O the great glorious patriot, Robespierre -
The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom!"
'Twere folly sure to work great deeds by halves!
Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart Of cold Barrere!
I see the villain in him!
If he - if all forsake thee - what remains?
Myself! the steel-strong rectitude of soul
And poverty sublime 'mid circling virtues!
The giant victories, my counsels form'd,
Shall stalk around me with sun-glittering plumes,
Bidding the darts of calumny fall pointless.
[Exeunt. Manet Couthon.]
So we deceive ourselves! What goodly virtues
Bloom on the poisonous branches of ambition!
Still, Robespierre! thou'l't guard thy country's freedom
To despotize in all the patriot's pomp.
While conscience, 'mid the mob's applauding clamours,
Sleeps in thine ear, nor whispers - blood-stain'd tyrant!
Yet what is conscience? superstition's dream
Making such deep impression on our sleep -
That long th' awaken'd breast retains its horrors!
But he returns - and with him comes Barrere.
[Enter ROBESPIERRE and BARRERE.]
There is no danger but in cowardice. -
Barrere! we make the danger, when we fear it.
We have such force without, as will suspend
The cold and trembling treachery of these members.
Twill be a pause of terror. -
But to whom?
Rather the short-lived slumber of the tempest,
Gathering its strength anew. The dastard traitors!
Moles, that would undermine the rooted oak!
A pause! - a moment's pause! - 'Tis all their life.
Yet much they talk - and plausible their speech.
Couthon's decree has given such powers, that -
The freedom of debate -
They wish to clog the wheels of government,
Forcing the hand that guides the vast machine
To bribe them to their duty. - English patriots!
Are not the congregated clouds of war
Black all around us? In our very vitals
Works not the king-bred poison of rebellion?
Say, what shall counteract the selfish plottings
Of wretches, cold of heart, nor awed by fears
Of him, whose power directs th' eternal justice?
Terror? or secret-sapping gold? The first.
Heavy, but transient as the ills that cause it;
And to the virtuous patriot render'd light
By the necessities that gave it birth:
The other fouls the fount of the Republic,
Making it flow polluted to all ages;
Inoculates the state with a slow venom,
That once imbibed, must be continued ever.
Myself incorruptible I ne'er could bribe them -
Therefore they hate me.
Are the Sections friendly?
There are who wish my ruin - but I'll make them
Blush for the crime in blood!
Nay - but I tell thee,
Thou art too fond of slaughter - and the right
(If right it be) workest by most foul means!
Self-centering Fear! how well thou canst ape Mercy!
Too fond of slaughter! - matchless hypocrite!
Thought Barrere so, when Brissot, Danton died?
Thought Barrere so, when through the streaming streets
Of Paris red-eyed Massacre, o'er wearied,
Reel'd heavily, intoxicate with blood?
And when (O heavens!) in Lyons' death-red square
Sick fancy groan'd o'er putrid hills of slain,
Didst thou not fiercely laugh, and bless the day?
Why, thou hast been the mouth-piece of all horrors,
And, like a blood-hound, crouch'd for murder! Now
Aloof thou standest from the tottering pillar,
Or, like a frighted child behind its mother,
Hidest thy pale face in the skirts of - Mercy!
O prodigality of eloquent anger!
Why now I see thou'rt weak - thy case is desperate!
The cool ferocious Robespierre turn'd scolder!
Who from a bad man's bosom wards the blow,
Reserves the whetted dagger for his own.
Denounced twice - and twice I sav'd his life!
The Sections will support them - there's the point!
No! he can never weather out the storm -
Yet he is sudden in revenge - No more!
I must away to Tallien.
[SCENE changes to the House of Adelaide. ADELAIDE enters, speaking to a
Didst thou present the letter that I gave thee?
Did Tallien answer, he would soon return?
He is in the Tuilleries - with him, Legendre -
In deep discourse they seem'd: as I approach'd
He waved his hand, as bidding me retire:
I did not interrupt him.
[Returns the letter.]
Thou didst rightly.
O this new freedom! at how dear a price
We've bought the seeming good! The peaceful virtues
And every blandishment of private life,
The father's cares, the mother's fond endearment,
All sacrificed to liberty's wild riot.
The winged hours, that scatter'd roses round me,
Languid and sad drag their slow course along,
And shake big gall-drops from their heavy wings.
But I will steal away these anxious thoughts
By the soft languishment of warbled airs,
If haply melodies may lull the sense
Of sorrow for a while.