Southey, Robert, 1774-1843. / The doctor, &c.
Chapter CLII. Odd opinions concerning biography and education. The author makes a second hiatus as unwillingly as he made the first, and for the same cogent reason, p. 393
THE DOCTOR. 393 loved, and cherished, and respected, and that portion of its existence to which Mr. honoured her; and she would have obeyed Coleridge is said to have attached such him cheerfully as well as dutifully, if obe- metaphysical, or, in his own language, such dience could have been shown where there psychological importance. But even these was ever but one will. Ultra-philosophers would not have main- tained that a biographer ought to begin before the birth of his subject. All an- tecedent matter belongs to genealogical writers; astrologers themselves are content CHAPTER CLII. to commence their calculations from the ODD OPINIONS CONCERNING BIOGRAPHY AND hour and minute of the nativity. The EDUCATION. THE AUTHOR MAKES A SECOND fourteen years over which I formerly passed HIATUS AS UNWILLINGLY AS HE MADE THE for the reasons stated in the 25th Chapter of FIRST, AND FOR THE SAME COGENT REASON. this Opus, would have supplied more ma- terials than any equal portion of his life, if Yepetalo, aunque lo sepas. CALDERON.the Doctor had been his own historian; for in those years his removal from home took UNWILLINGLY, as the Reader may re- place, his establishment at Doncaster, and member, thouggh he cannot possibly know his course of studies at Leyden, the most with how much unwillingness, I passed over momentous events in his uneventful history, fourteen years of Daniel Dove's youth, except the great one of marriage, -which being the whole term of his adolescence, and either makes or mars the happiness of both a fifth part of that appointed sum, beyond parties. which the prolongation of human life is but From the time of that " crowning event" labour and sorrow. Mr. Coleridge has said I must pass over another but longer interval, that "the history of a man for the nine and represent the Doctor in his married months preceding his birth would probably state, such as he was when it was my fortune be far more interesting, and contain events in early life to be blessed with his paternal of greater moment than all the threescore friendship, for such it might be called. Age and ten years that follow it." * Mr. Coleridge like his, and Youth might well live together, was a philosopher, in many points, of the for there was no crabbedness in his age. first order, and it has been truly said by one Youth, therefore, was made the better and of the ancients that there is nothing so the happier by such society. It was full of absurd but that some philosopher has ad- pleasure instead of care; not like winter, vanced it. Mr. Coleridge, however, was not but like a fine summer evening, or a mild always in earnest when he said startling autumn, or like the light, of a harvest things; and they who suppose that 'the moon, opinions of such a man are to be collected Which sheds o'er all the sleeping scene from what he says playfully in the freedom A soft nocturnal day-t of social intercourse to amuse himself, and perhaps to astonish others, may as well expect to hold an eel by the tail. There were certain French legislators in the days of Liberty and Equality, who held that education ought to begin before birth, and therefore they proposed to enact laws for the benefit of the homunculus during * Most probably Mr. Coleridge said this with reference to Sir Thomas Browne, who maintained that every man, at his birth, was nine months old. t JAMES MONTGOMERY. 0
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