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October 3 1812: A Walk With Coleridge




On October 3 1812, Henry Crabb Robinson has a nice walk with Coleridge where they discuss Spinoza, Christianity and Coleridge's next projects.  Robinson writes in his diary the following entry
Oct. 3rd  Coleridge walked with me to A. Robinson's for my Spinoza, which I lent him. While standing in the room he kissed Spinoza's face in the title-page, and said, " This book is a gospel to me." But in less than a minute he added, " his philosophy is nevertheless false. Spinoza's system has been demonstrated to be false, but only by that philosophy which has demonstrated the falsehood of all other philosophies. Did philosophy commence with an it is, instead of an I am, Spinoza would be altogether true." And without allowing a breathing time, Coleridge parenthetically asserted, "I, however, believe in all the doctrines of Christianity, even the Trinity." A. Robinson afterwards observed," Coleridge has a comprehensive faith and love." Contrary to my expectation, however, he was pleased with these outbursts, rather than offended by them. They impressed him with the poet's sincerity. Coleridge informs me that his tragedy is accepted at Drury Lane. Whitbread  admires it exceedingly, and Arnold, the manager, is confident of its success. Coleridge says he is now about to compose lectures, which are to be the produce of all his talent and power, on education. Each lecture is to be delivered in a state in which it may be sent to the press.

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