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You know me well enough to know in what temper this has been written, and to know that it has been some exertion; for the same habit which makes me prefer sitting silent, to offering contradiction, makes me withhold censure when, perhaps, in strictness of moral duty, it ought to be applied. The medicine might have been sweetened, perhaps, but, dear Coleridge, take the simple bitters, and leave the sweetmeats by themselves.'-Vol. ii. p. 266. Ætat. 30.
In illustration of his humour, we will give one concluding extract as the most happy we can select. It seems to have been one of Southey's peculiarities to see in utter nonsense a point, a charm, and almost a meaning, which gave it a sort of substance and tangibility in his eyes. Just as numbers, to persons with a strong turn for them, take a hold on the mind which we cannot account for, so that any random string of figures shall take a place in the memory like a fact or an anecdote; so nonsense to Southey had a value and weight which we cannot comprehend, expressed in the following letter, and developed in the Doctor, whose ridiculous opening pages of diagrams, prefaces, &c. &c., present to the ordinary mind only the most melancholy ideas of fatuity. A great deal really amusing and delightful is called nonsense by common parlance, which has no affinity whatever to this kind. But when the epithet in fond vituperation is so applied, it does not imply no sense or meaning at all, but only that it is of so very gaseous a quality, as to fly off if too closely analyzed. Southey delighted to contemplate his nonsense; to treat it as a science; to meditate upon it; to contrive it with ponderous care. However, we like the Butler' better than the vagarics of the Doctor. The said Butler, it is explained, was a mythological personage, the creation of his own imagination, and a standing jest amongst his friends, who was to possess the combined qualities of Merlin, Garagantua and Kehama; to be biographised in a style compounded of Rabelais, Swift, Sterne, and Baron Munchausen. The opening sentence was certainly a happy discovery; we conclude it to be some spiritualizing of Pharaoh's chief butler. Its merit with us, however, lies in its intending to be sense. We should have had no sympathy with any one setting himself laboriously to counterfeit such a state of hallucination. "To GROSVENOR C. BEDFORD, Esq.
• Greta Hall, July 6, 1805. "" Butler denotes the sensual principle, which is subject or subordinate to the intellectual part of the internal man; because everything which serves for drinking, or which is drunk (as wine, milk, water), hath relation to truth, which is of the intellectual part; thus it hath relation to the intellectual part: and whereas the external, sensual principle, or that of the body, is what subministers, therefore, by Butler, is signified that subministering sensual principle, or that whichi subininisters of things sensual."
Read that paragraph again, Grosvenor. Don't you understand it? Read it a third time. Try it backwards. • See if you can make anything of it diagonally. Turu it upside down.
Philosophers have discovered that you may turn a polypus inside out, and it will live just as well one way as the other. It is not to be supposed that nature ever intended any of its creatures to be thus inverted; but so the thing happens. As you can make nothing of this Butler any other way, follow the hint and turn the paragraph inside out. That's a poozzle.
Now, then, I will tell you what it is, in plain English; it is Swedenborgianism ; and I have copied the passage, verbatim, from a Swedenborgian dictionary. Allow, at least, that it would make an excellent chapter in your book, if thou hadst enough grace in thee ever to let such a book come forth. Nonsense, sublime nonsense, is what this book ought to be; such nonsense as requires more wit, more sense, more reading, more knowledge, more learning, than go to the composition of half the wise ones in the world. I do beseech you, do not lightly or indolently abandon the idea ; for if you will but Butlerise in duodecimo, if you fail of making such a reputation as you would wish, then will I pledge myself to give one of my ears to you, which you may, by the hands of Harry, present to the British Museum. The book ought only to have glimpses of meaning in it, that those who catch them may impute meaning to all the rest by virtue of faith.'— Vol. ii. p. 337. Ætat. 31.
Again he adjures his friend to bewitch the world with nonsense, promising him as fair a voyage to the port of fame as ever Englishman accomplished ; and in another letter :
• Bedford, I will break off all acquaintance with you if you do not publish the Butler. Who would keep a phanix with a spaniel's ear, a pig's tail, C-'s nose, and W—'s wig, all naturally belonging to him, in a cage, only for his own amusement, when he might show it for five shillings a-piece, to be known all over the world as the man who hatched it himself?
By the 1st of January send me the first chapter, being the mythology of the Butler-or else I will, for evermore, call you Sir when I speak to you, and Mr. Bedford when I speak of you; and, moreover, will always pull off my hat when I meet you in the street.'
Many points in these volumes, and those of considerable interest, we have been obliged, for want of space, to omit all mention of. We have wished to separate the man from the author, as it is personal character which it is the task of biography to bring out; and all our readers have been long familiar with his merits and character as a writer. Many brilliant literary schemes, destined never to be accomplished, we have, therefore, passed without notice, as well as some contemporary criticism, and especially some views of composition, worth much from a mind of his experience and practical power, which we should gladly otherwise have dwelt upon; we would adduce the passage in the autobiography on the increase of the imitative faculty in writing verse manifested within the last half century, and again on the comparative merits of planning and execution. There is also much said on the subject of reviewing, a task for which he professes to have little taste, and, we think, a very unreasonable contempt, but from which imperious necessity never released him.
Southey stands at the head of the class of literary men, and amongst founders of the profession as an acknowledged and dignified one. His many high qualities,-his honesty, independence, perseverance, high tone of morals, domestic virtues, simple tastes,-all tended to elevate literature to its deserved rank as a pursuit ; and to raise it from the degradation to which so many of its most distinguished followers had sunk it, to its just preeminence as a calling. When we consider the names and principles which first roused his enthusiasm and caught his youthful fancy, it is a matter at once of wonder and thankfulness that he early saw their hollowness, that he was preserved from the many temptations that surrounded his path, and to which so many of his day fell victims, to become the warm and devoted champion of truth and order, and the advocate and defender of institutions which probably he himself and those who watched his entrance upon his career, equally believed it would be the business of his life to oppose and undermine.
The volumes before us have given, as far as we may expect to possess it, the history of his youth; those which follow will, no doubt, record the workings of that progress and change which maturer years brought with them.
ART. II.-1. Eusebii Pamphili Episc. Cesar. Ecloga Prophetice.
Oxon. e Typograph. Academ. 1812. 2. Eusebius Bishop of Cesarea on the Theophania. Cambridge:
University Press. 1813.
AMONGST other important additions to the literature of theology, it has been the good fortune of the present age to witness the recovery and publication of two little known, and in fact all but lost, works of Eusebius, the celebrated historian and Bishop of Cæsarea,—the 'Ecloga Propheticæ,' and the Theophania.'
Of these, the former, classed by Cave among the åvécdota of its author, has been edited by Dr. Gaisford from a MS, known to exist at Vienna, and previously described at length by Lambecius, with a promise of its future publication, the fulfilment of which was, however, prevented by his premature death.
We may thus translate and abridge Cave's full and accurate account of it as given in his Historia Literaria, vol. i. p. 181 :
The first book is divided into twenty-five chapters, in which are recounted and explained those' prophetical testimonies to Christ which are to be found in the historical books of the Old Testament. Book II. consists of forty-five chapters, which treat of those in the Psalms; Book III., of forty-five chapters, contains the remaining testimonies of the Old Testament, viz. those in the Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job, Hosea, Amos, and others; and the fourth and last, of thirty-five chapters, is composed exclusively of dissertations or extracts from Ísaiah.'
For the Theophania, given to the world both in its Syriac form and in an English translation, we are indebted to the learning and labour of Dr. Lee, Canon of Bristol, and late Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge; it was found by him among the MSS. recovered from Egypt through the efforts of Archdeacon Tattam, and placed in his (Dr. Lee’s) hands for examination. Our readers are acquainted with another specimen of the same collection in the version of the Epistles of S. Ignatius, published by Mr. Cureton.
· A large portion of this book is occupied, it should be stated, with disquisitions on the different Personal appearances of God to the patriarchs.
2 Of which we have only fourteen; the index of the remainder, referred to by Cave, being extant. From the concluding paragraph of the book it would appear probable that Eusebius never wrote any more.
Dr. Lee supposes the Theophania to be a Syriac translation of the Greek original of Eusebius, made perhaps at Scythopolis, during his lifetime, and probably under his own inspection, and that of Patrophilus the [Arian] Bishop of the place, (Preface, p. xvi.) the original being referred to rather than described by S. Jerome, Suidas, Fabricius, Asseman, and our own Cave; the last of whom places it among the lost works of its author. It is divided into five books, of which the first treats chiefly of the Word, or Son of God, and his offices of Creator and Saviour of the world ; the second and third set forth at length the contradictions and oppositions of the schools of ancient philosophy; the wars, idolatries, demon-worship, human sacrifices, and other crimes and moral evils of the heathen world, which were all put an end to by the advent of Christ. The fourth consists chiefly of extracts from the Gospels, showing the divinity of Christ from His truth as a prophet; and the fifth is occupied in proving, at length, that He was no magician or imposter, but all that his Apostles declare Ilim to be-God, and the Son of God,—their testimony on the subject being shown to be certainly true, and therefore worthy of universal belief. The work in question, like all the productions of Eusebius, abounds in varied and profound learning; showing an intimate acquaintance with the ethical writers and philosophical systems of antiquity, and entering at length into an examination of the chief doctrines of Christianity ; but it seems to us that the great value both of the Eclogæ Propheticæ and the Theophania, consists in the additional light they (and especially the Eclogæ Propheticæ) throw on the important and much vexed question of their author's orthodoxy ; it is on this latter subject, therefore, that we propose to offer a few remarks.
We would however protest, at the outset, against confining this subject within the narrow limits so frequently allotted to it, or considering it merely as an antiquarian question of individual orthodoxy or the contrary, the living interest of which has long since passed away, with the person concerned, and on which few words are now, in consequence, either required or permitted ; as if any system of faith bequeathed to us by a teacher of antiquity, and based on so sacred a foundation as the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, could ever prove, whether for good or for evil, of light importance in itself, or be confined in its effects to one man or to one generation of men.
It must be remembered that the catholic faith forms one, and but one, system of belief, the truth of which may be ascertained by its harmony with the general tenor of Scripture, both as a whole, and in its several parts; by its self-consistency, and by its invulnerability to all the assaults of its enemies : that which