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By S. T. COLERIDGE

EDITED

WITH HIS AESTHETICAL ESSAYS

BY

J. SHAWCROSS

VOLUME II

OXFORD

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

PR 4476 .All. vol.2

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OR

Biographical Sketches

OF

MY LITERARY LIFE

AND

OPINIONS.

By S. T. COLERIDGE, Esq.

mm

VOL. II.

LONDON :

REST FENNER, 23, PATERNOSTER ROW

PRINTED IN ENGLAND.

BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA

CHAPTER XIV Occasion of the Lyrical Ballads, and the objects originally pro

posed-Preface to the second edition-The ensuing controversy, its causes and acrimony- Philosophic definitions of a poem

and poetry with scholia. DURING the first year that Mr. Wordsworth and I were neighbours, our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy

of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, 5 and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modi.

fying colors of imagination. The sudden charm, which accidents of light and shade, which moon-light or sun-set diffused over a known and familiar landscape, appeared to

represent the practicability of combining both. These are 10 the poetry of nature. The thought suggested itself (to

which of us I do not recollect) that a series of poems might be composed of two sorts. In the one, the incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural ; and the

excellence aimed at was to consist in the interesting of the 15 affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions, as would

naturally accompany such situations, supposing them real. And real in this sense they have been to every human being who, from whatever source of delusion, has at any time

believed himself under supernatural agency. For the 20 second class, subjects were to be chosen from ordinary life;

the characters and incidents were to be such, as will be found in every village and its vicinity, where there is a meditative and feeling mind to seek after them, or to notice them, when

they present themselves. 25 In this idea originated the plan of the “ Lyrical Ballads”;

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