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be about to marry her in spite of her loathing, when the true lover returns and the demon vanishes. The famous lines on sundered friendship are the finest in the poem and contain most of the modern feeling in it. Yet its picturesque qualities and its touches of nature bring it into relationship to the Lake school. The meaning is shadowy, and doubtless evaded even the poet, as it does the reader. But it was most natural that the writer of such poetry should, when the mood and fire of youth were gone, turn into a metaphysician of the mystic type.
7. The fragment of "The Ballad of the Dark Ladie", that he wrote, promised a far nearer approach to the true ballad story and style, although touched with the passion of a time of revolution; the dark ladie meets her lover Lord Falkland by the brook in the birch wood and pleads with him to fulfil his promise; he offers her one of his nine fair castles; but she will have none of it without his hand. It has the definiteness and the lyric passion of the ballads.
8. Another fragment, "Kubla Khan or a Vision in a Dream", written in 1797 at a lonely farm-house on Exmoor, shows the culmination of his sensuous dreaminess. In publishing it in 1816 he explained its genesis. He had been reading Purchas's Pilgrimage, and at the sentence that described the building of a great palace by Khan Kubla and the enclosure of ten miles of a garden, an anodyne he had taken overcame him, and he dreamt and composed in his dream from two to three hundred lines of a poem. When he wakened he began to write it down; but a long interruption broke the thread and he could not recover it; the fragment he had written down consisted of only fiftyfour lines. It is a by no means sequent account of the palace and garden;
"It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice." In the garden was a wonderful chasm ;—
"A savage place as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon lover.
And from this chasm with ceaseless turmoil seething
Could he revive within him "the symphony and song" he once in a vision heard an Abyssinian maid sing, then would he "build that dome in air", "that sunny dome, those caves of ice";
"And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
And drunk the milk of Paradise".
Thus the fragment closes. There was opiate in the senses and mind that moulded all these dreams, and it is useless to search for definite purpose or form in them. Yet they are the finest fruit of his poetic genius.
9. There is none of this mistiness in the drama, which he had written in 1797, and from which extracts were published in Lyrical Ballads. He changed its name to “Remorse", and the name of the remorseful villain from Osorio to Ordonio; and through Byron's influence it was accepted by the Drury Lane management and produced in 1813, some fifteen years after Sheridan had rejected it for the same theatre. It was a great success, and had a run of twenty nights, putting some ten thousand pounds into the treasury of the theatre. Byron said of it; we have had nothing to be mentioned in the same breath with Remorse for very many years". Its chief faults are a tendency to melodrama and too sudden a conversion of the villain into the repentant. But once this is said, the rest is all praise; and it shows the degeneracy of the dramatic taste that two such tragedies as the Borderers and Remorse should have had so little encouragement. The plot of Coleridge's is old; two brothers, sons of a Spanish Marquis, Valdez, in the reign of Philip the Second, at the close of the civil wars with the Moors, Alvar and Ordonio, love Teresa the orphan ward of their father; and she is devoted to the elder who has disappeared and is reported to have been captured by Moorish pirates and been slain. The scene opens with his reappearance in Moorish disguise, resolved to unmask the villainy of his brother Ordonio, who had sent assassins to slay him; but he is reluctant for Teresa's sake, who, he thinks, has married his brother. Isidore, one of the Moors who had been sent to assassinate him and relented, is freed from the clutches of the Inquisitor Monviedro by
Ordonio, who fears confession of his guilt on the rack, and who tries to get him to induce Teresa by sorcery to marry him; the Moor recommends Alvar for the task, and the hero meets his brother in a cavern, finds from the interview that his fiancée has been faithful, and agrees to use pretended incantations to persuade her that her lover is dead. In the necromantic scene, Alvar stirs the conscience of his brother; but the Inquisitors burst in and carry him off to the dungeon below the castle. Ordonio meets Isidore his old accomplice in a cavern and kills him; and Alhadra, the widow of the Moor, resolves to avenge the slaughter. Teresa gets the key of the dungeon and enters to consult him whom she thinks a Moorish sorcerer about her Alvar's death. He reveals himself just as his brother enters to slay him. Concealing his bride, he reveals himself to Ordonio too, and awakening remorse in his. breast turns by reminiscences of their boyhood his murderous purpose. Alhadra and her Moors burst in and slay the repentant. And the play closes with the sound of prospective wedding-bells. There are scenes and passages of great power in the tragedy; some of Teresa's, Alvar's, and Alhadra's speeches are full of Coleridge's imaginative poetry. One sentence from the soliloquy of Alhadra's in the fourth act will show how subtly he could realise the intricacies of human feeling ;
"I need the sympathy of human faces,
To beat away this deep contempt for all things,
The last act is full of the new creed of the power of love and forgiveness; Alvar in his dungeon attacks the theory that punishment will cure vice and crime;
"There is the process of our love and wisdom
Healest thy wandering and distempered child".
We have in fact in this play much of the revolutionism that affected Coleridge for a time, his revolt against laws and conventions, and his belief that force was about to give way to love in the government of the world. Alvar is full of this.
"O let me reconcile him to himself,
And be once more his own beloved Alvar".
IO. There is not merely the moral phase of revolutionism in the play, but also the political; through it runs the subdued cry of freedom in revolt against tyranny, bursting out at the close into the wild speech of Alhadra to the Moors ;
"I thank thee, Heaven! thou hast ordained it wisely
Lord of the oppressors.-Knew I a hundred men
This arm should shake the kingdoms of the world".
There is too all through the play a fierce anger against all attempts like the Inquisition to muzzle freedom. The same vehement worship of liberty in the form of revolution appears more vehemently expressed in a play written by Coleridge and Southey, and published by Coleridge as his, when he was at Jesus College, Cambridge, in September 1794; it is The Fall of Robespierre. The two fiery worshippers of revolt and the Revolution had met in June at Oxford, and again in August at Bristol. Along with a friend Robert Lovell they formed, in their enthusiasm for the new ideas, a scheme for ridding themselves of all oldworld conventions and modes of life; they resolved to establish what they called a Pantisocracy, or government of all by all, in America, on the banks of the Susquehanna. They also determined one night to write a tragedy as a first attempt at partnership by the next night. Robespierre had just been guillotined, and these adorers of freedom, looking with eyes too near to the event to have perspective, thought that his fall was the destruction of the final barrier to the fulfilment of their dreams of liberty, that now the French republic would show an example of all that was noble to the rest of the world. They chose the event as the theme of their drama of freedom; next day Southey and Lovell had written their instalment, the second and third acts; Coleridge had only partially written his, the first; Lovell's part was inharmonious with the rest, and Southey rewrote it whilst Coleridge finished his. And next month
the result was issued from the press. In the prose dedication to "H. Martin Esq., Jesus College," "yours fraternally, S. T. Coleridge," says; "It has been my sole aim to imitate the passionate and highly figurative language of the French orators, and to develop the characters of the chief actors on a vast stage of horrors". To be of mixed authorship, the style of the play is singularly even all through; it is marked by melodramatic eloquence and forced metaphors and similes; perhaps, if anything, Coleridge's contribution sins. most in this respect; it is here we find passages like these most frequent ;
"the howl of maniac uproar
Of Liberty, condensed a while, is bursting
Southey's two acts are smoother in their rhetorical flow of eloquence, less broken up by fireworks of simile, more allusive to Roman precedent, and marred by phrases like these; "this fire-fraught 'tube of Justice" (for a pistol), "Guilt's iron fangs engrasp his shrinking soul", "Henriot's boughten succours", and "stained with the deep dye of nobility". Taken as a whole, it is an accumulation of stagy speeches rising at times into the scream of a hoarse melodramatic actor. There is practically no plot; it is merely a series of scenes exhibiting the conflict between Robespierre's party and Tallien's.
IO. What is of importance is the light it throws on the passion of the two young poets for liberty and their attitude to the Revolution. Robespierre, they thought, was only an obstacle to the fulfilment of the republican dream, and not a forerunner of the ultimate master of the Revolution. Both of them had already their instinct of revolt stirred; Southey had been expelled from school for an attack on flagellation; Coleridge had been chastised and repressed for his coquettings with scepticism and had left Cambridge in 1793, enlisted in a regiment of dragoons, and been discharged. Both of them were soon to leave their respective universities without degrees and in disgrace for their violently republican and socialistic opinions.