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HUMANITIES 229 notes to Schleiermacher, in which he questioned the narrative oEJesus' life before John's baptism and the commencement of Jesus' 'public Mission.' This volume also contains both predictable and surprising literary judgments. Ofa poem in Guy Mannering, Coleridge observes that the poem exemplifies the 'diversity of Fancy, which Sir W.s. possesses, and imagination , which belongs to another Grade of Intellects.' In another note to the same novet Coleridge complains of 'Scott's great defect. Nothing is evolved out of the character or passions ofthe Agent; but all is accident ab extra.' He thought Pepys possessed 'the queerest & most orrmivorous Taste, that ever fell to the lot of one man,' but complained that Pepys's 'only ground of morality was Prudence - a shrewd Understanding in the service of Selflove .' The surprise comes in Coleridge's reading of Rabelais, whom he thought 'among the deepest as well as boldest Thinkers ofhis Age': 'I could write a treatise in praise of the morality and moral Elevation of Rabelais' Works, which would make the Church stare, and the Conventicle groanand yet should be the truth, & nothing but the truth.' The extensive marginalia onShakespearecontain few surprises for those familiar with Coleridge's criticism. They do, however, afford insight into Coleridge's varying motives for jotting marginalia. Many of the Shakespeare annotations were written in preparation for his lectures of 1818-19 and thus have a public purpose and audience not usually associated with the private genreofmarginal annotation. Indeed, some seem both lecturer's notes and stage directions. Next to a speech by Macbeth, he wrote, 'Dwell o[n] the immedi[acy] of this Conversat[ion].' His extensive notes on Sedgwick were written in Southey's copy to assist Southey in writing a review, another instance in which the private annotations implied a public audience. Coleridge often signed and dated his notes, somewhat like the commentary one finds in presentation copies, where the handwritten dedication resembles a private letter. Thus while Coleridge'S marginalia sometimes appear as fragments of private conversation, or argument, with the author, at others they appear in the form of public letters to the owner of the book, to the person for whom Coleridge writes the notes, or to a number of auditors - a public audience. (PAUL MAGNUSON) Jerutifer Mori. William Pitt and the French Revolution, 1785-1795 St Martin's Press 1997. xii, 306. us $55.00 Students of Georgian England, celebrated for its twin waves of Pitts and Gadgets, can choose between four stories: Custom's long rearguard action against Property, newly retold from Torontoby Douglas Hay and Nicholas Rogers; Neo-Whig celebration of Consumption, Culture and the JSense of the People/ of largely American provenance; the ancient liturgy of NeoTory revisionism's'Confessional State,' an English peculiarity; and, as mise 230 LETTERS.IN CANADA 1998 en scene for Blairite talk of devolution, the lforging' of a Britarmic identity, imagined against aFrench'Other.' These intersectcruciallywith the French Revolution politique of William Pitt, who told th~ House of Commons in 1787 that in upholding existing restrictions on the toleration of Protestant dissent in England, he was not larguing upon principles of right,' but lacting upon principles ofexpedienci as on.e entrusted, for the state's wellbeing , with the care of the Church. Jennifer Mori's Tacitean study of Pitt and the Revolution therefore simultaneously addresses and bucks all four trends. Pitt responded to French affairs in eighteenth-century terms. He reluctantly entered what he thought of as a conventional European war in February 1793 for conventional reasons. Only briefly, during 1794--95, did the unexpected resilience of the Republic and the threat of invasion push him towards something like 'total war.' His ministry's political pOSition, on which the persuasiveness of its diplomacy depended, had to be seen externally as impregnable. Hence, the internal danger was as much from the Right as from the Left. More so, in fact, because the ma.in threat was not the subversive potential of the radicals, even during the emergency of 1794-95, but the handle they might give to the forces of ideological reaction. Though Pitt enlisted it for limited purposes at particular times, he never trusted the two-edged weapon of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 229-231
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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