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For instance, the babbling of a brook will appear for a moment the voice of a friend, for whom we are waiting, calling out our own names. A short meditation, therefore, on the great law of the imagination, that a likeness in part tends to become a likeness of the whole, will make it not only conceivable but probable, that the inkstand itself, and the dark-coloured stone on the wall, which Luther perhaps had never till then noticed, might have a considerable influence in the production of the fiend, and of the hostile act by which his obtrusive visit was repelled.

A lady once asked me if I believed in ghosts and apparitions. I answered with truth and simplicity: No, madam! I have seen far too many myself. I have indeed a whole memorandum book filled with records of these phænomena, many of them interesting as facts and data for psychology, and affording some valuable materials for a theory of perception and its dependence on the memory and imagination. In omnem actum perceptionis imaginatio influit efficienter; says Wolfe. But he is no


more, who would have realized this idea: who had already established the foundations and the law of the theory; and for whom I had so often found a pleasure and a comfort, even during the wretched and restless nights of sickness, in watching and instantly recording these experiences of the world

• Thomas Wedgewood.

within us, of the gemina natura, quæ fit et facit, et creat et creatur! He is gone, my friend; my munificent co-patron, and not less the benefactor of my intellect! He who, beyond all other men known to me, added a fine and ever-wakeful sense of beauty to the most patient accuracy in experimental philosophy and the profounder researches of metaphysical science; he who united all the play and spring of fancy with the subtlest discrimination and an inexorable judgment; and who controlled an almost painful exquisiteness of taste by a warmth of heart, which in the practical relations of life made allowances for faults as quickly as the moral taste detected them; a warmth of heart, which was indeed noble and pre-eminent, for alas! the genial feelings of health contributed no spark toward it. Of these qualities I may speak, for they belonged to all mankind. The higher virtues, that were blessings to his friends, and the still higher that resided in and for his own soul, are themes for the energies of solitude, for the awfulness of prayer!-virtues exercised in the barrenness and desolation of his animal being; while he thirsted with the full stream at his lips, and yet with unwearied goodness poured out to all around him, like the master of a feast among his kindred in the day of his own gladWere it but for the remembrance of him alone and of his lot here below, the disbelief of a future state would sadden the earth around me, and blight the very grass in the field.




Χαλεπὸν, ὦ δαιμόνιε, μὴ παραδείγμασι χρώμενον, ἱκανῶς ἐνδείκνυσθαί τι τῶν μειζόνων. κινδυνεύει γὰρ ἡμῶν ἕκασος, οἷον ὄναρ, εἰδὼς ἅπαντα, πάντ ̓ αὖ πάλιν ὥσπερ ὕπαρ ἀγνοεῖν. PLATO, Politicus.

It is difficult, excellent friend! to make any comprehensive truth completely intelligible, unless we avail ourselves of an example. Otherwise we may, as in a dream, seem to know all, and then, as it were awaking, find that we know nothing.

AMONG my earliest impressions I still distinctly remember that my first entrance into the mansion of a neighbouring baronet, awfully known to me by the name of the great house,* its exterior having been long connected in my childish imagination with the feelings and fancies stirred up in me by the perusal of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.† Beyond all other objects, I was most struck with the magnificent staircase, relieved at well proportioned intervals by spacious landing-places, this adorned with grand or shewy plants, the next look

* Escot, near Ottery St. Mary, Devon, then the seat of Sir George Young, and since burnt down in 1808. ED.

+ As I had read one volume of these tales over and over again before my fifth birth-day, it may be readily conjectured

ing out on an extensive prospect through the stately window with its side panes of rich blues and saturated amber or orange tints: while from the last and highest the eye commanded the whole spiral ascent with the marble pavement of the great hall, from which it seemed to spring up as if it merely used the ground on which it rested. My readers will find no difficulty in translating these forms of the outward senses into their intellectual analogies, so as to understand the purport of the Friend's landing-places, and the objects I proposed to myself, in the small groups of essays interposed under this title between the main divisions of the work. My best powers would have sunk within me, had I not soothed my solitary toils with the anticipation of many readers-(whether during my life, or when my grave shall have shamed my detractors into a sympathy with its own silence, formed no part in this self-flattery) who would submit to any reasonable trouble rather than read, as in a dream seeming to know all, to find on awaking that they know nothing.' Having, therefore, in the three


of what sort these fancies and feelings must have been. The book, I well remember, used to lie in a corner of the parlour window at my dear father's vicarage-house: and I can never forget with what a strange mixture of obscure dread and intense desire I used to look at the volume and watch it, till the morning sunshine had reached and nearly covered it, when, and not before, I felt the courage given me to seize the precious treasure and hurry off with it to some sunny corner in our play-ground.

preceding essays selected from my conservatory a few plants, of somewhat gayer petals and a livelier green, though like the geranium tribe of a sober character in the whole physiognomy and odour, I shall first devote a few sentences to a catalogue of my introductory lucubrations, and the remainder of the essay to the prospect, as far as it can be seen distinctly from our present site. Within a short distance, several ways meet: and at that point only does it appear to me that the reader will be in danger of mistaking the road. Dropping the metaphor, I would say that there is one term, reason, the meaning of which has become unsettled. To different persons it conveys a different notion, and not seldom to the same person at different times; while the force, and to a certain extent, the intelligibility of the following sections depend on its being interpreted in one sense exclusively.

Essays I. to IV. inclusively convey the design and contents of the work; my judgment respecting the style, and my defence of myself from the charges of arrogance and presumption. Say rather, that such are the personal threads of the discourse for it will not have escaped the reader's observation, that even in these prefatory pages principles and truths of general interest form the true contents, and that amid all the usual compliments and courtesies of a first presentation to the reader's acquaintance the substantial object is still to assert the practicability, without disguising the

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