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He invited me to breakfast on Friday. On Friday I did not fail to go, and this time with Greenough. He entertained us at once with reciting half a dozen hexameter lines of Julius Caesar's — from Donatus, he said. He glorified Lord Chesterfield more than was necessary, and undervalued Burke, and undervalued Socrates; designated as three of the greatest of men, Washington, Phocion and Timoleon, — much as our pomologists, in their lists, select the three or the six best pears “for a small orchard;” — and did not even omit to remark the similar termination of their names. “A great man,” he said, “should make great sacrifices and kill his hundred oxen without knowing whether they would be consumed by gods and heroes, or whether the flies would eat them.” I had visited Professor Amici, who had shown me his microscopes, magnifying (it was said) two thousand diameters; and I spoke of the uses to which they were applied. Landor despised entomology, yet, in the same breath, said, “the sublime was in a grain of dust.” I suppose I teased him about recent writers, but he professed never to have heard of Herschel, not even by name. One room was full of pictures, which he likes to show, especially one piece, standing before which he said “he would give fifty guineas to the man that would swear it was a Domenichino.” I was more curious to see his library, but Mr. H , one of the guests, told me that Mr. Landor gives away his books and has never more than a dozen at a time in his house. Mr. Landor carries to its height the love of freak which the English delight to indulge, as if to sig" nalize their commanding freedom. He has a wonderful brain, despotic, violent and inexhaustible, meant for a soldier, by what chance converted to letters; in which there is not a style nor a tint not known to him, yet with an English appetite for action and heroes. The thing done avails, and not what is said about it. An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the censures. Landor is strangely undervalued in England; usually ignored and sometimes savagely attacked in the Reviews. The criticism may be right or wrong, and is quickly forgotten; but year after year the scholar must still go back to Landor for a multitude of elegant sentences; for wisdom, wit, and indignation that are unforgetable.
From London, on the 5th August, I went to Highgate, and wrote a note to Mr. Coleridge, requesting leave to pay my respects to him. It was near noon. Mr. Coleridge sent a verbal message that he was in bed, but if I would call after one o'clock he would see me. I returned at one, and he appeared, a short, thick old man, with bright blue eyes and fine clear complexion, leaning on his cane. He took snuff freely, which presently soiled his cravat and neat black suit. He asked whether I knew Allston, and spoke warmly of his merits and doings when he knew him in Rome; what a master of the Titianesque he was, &c., &c. He spoke of Dr. Channing. It was an unspeakable misfortune that he should have turned out a Unitarian after all. On this, he burst into a declamation on the folly and ignorance of Unitarianism, -its high unreasonableness; and taking up Bishop Waterland's book, which lay on the table, he read with vehemence two or three pages written by himself in the fly-leaves, – passages, too, which, I believe, are printed in the “Aids to Reflection.” When he stopped to take breath, I interposed that “whilst I highly valued all his explanations, I was bound to tell him that I was born and bred a Unitarian.” “Yes,” he said, “I supposed so;” and continued as before. It was a wonder that after so many ages of unquestioning acquiescence in the doctrine of St. Paul, - the doctrine of the Trinity, which was also according to Philo Judaeus the doctrine of the Jews before Christ, — this handful of Priestleians should take on themselves to deny it, &c., &c. He was very sorry that Dr. Channing, a man to whom he looked up, — no, to say that he looked up to him would be to speak falsely, but a man whom he looked at with so much interest, — should embrace such views. When he saw Dr. Channing he had hinted to him that he was afraid he loved Christianity for what was lovely and excellent, — he loved the good in it, and not the true;—“And I tell you, sir, that I have known ten persons who loved the good, for one person who loved the true; but it is a far greater virtue to love the true for itself alone, than to love the good for itself alone.” He (Coleridge) knew all about Unitarianism perfectly well, because he had once been a Unitarian and knew what quackery it was. He had been called “the rising star of Unitarianism.” He went on defining, or rather refining: “The Trinitarian doctrine was realism; the idea of God was not essential, but super-essential; ” talked of trinism and tetrakism and much more, of which I only caught this, “that the will was that by which a person is a person; because, if one should push me in the street, and so I should force the man next me into the kennel, I should at once exclaim, I did not do it, sir, meaning it was not my will.” And this also, that “if you should insist on your faith here in England, and I on mine, mine would be the hotter side of the fagot.” I took advantage of a pause to say that he had many readers of all religious opinions in America and I proceeded to inquire if the “extract” from the Independent's pamphlet, in the third volume of the Friend, were a veritable quotation. He replied that it was really taken from a pamphlet in his possession entitled “A Protest of one of the Independents,” or something to that effect. I told him how excellent I thought it and how much I wished to see the entire work. “Yes,” he said, “the man was a chaos of truths, but lacked the knowledge that God was a God of order. Yet the passage would no doubt strike you more in the quotation than in the original, for I have filtered it.” When I rose to go, he said, “I do not know whether you care about poetry, but I will repeat some verses I lately made on my baptismal anniversary,” and he recited with strong emphasis, standing, ten or twelve lines beginning, —
“Born unto God in Christ — ”
He inquired where I had been travelling; and on learning that I had been in Malta and Sicily, he compared one island with the other, repeating what he had said to the Bishop of London when he returned from that country, that Sicily was an excellent school of political economy; for, in any town there, it only needed to ask what the government enacted, and reverse that, to know what ought to be done; it was the most felicitously opposite legislation to anything good and wise. There were only