504. To William Godwin Address: Mr Godwin | Polygon | Sommers' Town | London MS. Lord Abinger. Pub. with omis. William Godwin, ii. 92. As the preceding letters show, Coleridge had been planning a philosophical work since early 1801, and in this letter he proposes an 'Instrument of practical Reasoning'. No such work was published during his lifetime, but there is evidence that he had begun his task at this time. 'In the possession of the Coleridge family at Leatherhead', Miss Alice Snyder notes in her Coleridge on Logic and Learning, 1929, pp. 52-53, 'is a partly filled notebook that contains a section of the "familiar introduction to the common system of Logic", the first four chapters of the History, and a part of the fifth chapter. Moreover, the text offers clear evidence that the continuation of the manuscript was to follow in general the outline for the remaining chapters sketched in the letter to Godwin. . . . The fragment must . . . be tentatively assigned to 1803.' Miss Snyder prints the notebook in full. Ibid. 54-66 and 139-52. In Letter 505 Coleridge says 'the work is half-written out, & the materials of the other Half are all on paper -- or rather, on papers'. Postmark: 7 June 1803. Saturday Night, June 4, 1803. Greta Hall, Keswick My dear Godwin I trust, that my dear Friend, C. Lamb, will have informed [you] how seriously ill I have been. I arrived at Keswick on Good Friday -- caught the Influenza, have struggled on in a series of convalescence & relapse, the disease still assuming new shapes & symptoms -- and tho' I am certainly better than at any former period of the Disease, and more steadily convalescent; yet it is not mere Low Spirits that makes me doubt, whether I shall ever wholly surmount the effects of it. -- I owe this explanation to you: for I quitted Town with strong feelings of affectionate Esteem toward you, & a firm resolution to write to you within a short time after my arrival at my home. During my illness I was exceedingly affected by the Thought, that month had glided away after month, & year after year, & still had found & left me only preparing for the experiments, which are to ascertain whether the Hopes of those, who have hoped proudly of me, have been auspicious Omens, or mere Delusions -- -946- and the anxiety to realize something, & finish something has, no doubt, in some measure retarded my Recovery. -- I am now however ready to go to the Press, with a work which I consider as introductory to a System, tho' to the public it will appear altogether a Thing by itself. I write now to ask your advice respecting the Time & manner of it's Publication, & the choice of a Publisher. -- I entitle it Organum verè Organum, or an Instrument of practical Reasoning in the business of real Life: to which will be prefixed 1. a familiar INTRODUCTION to the common System of Logic, namely, that of Aristotle & the Schools. 2. a concise and simple, yet full, Statement of the Aristotelean Logic, with references annexed to the Authors, & the name & page of the work, to which each part may be tra[ced,] so that it may be at once seen, what is Aristotle's, what Porphyry, wh[at] the addition of the Greek Commentators, & what of the Schoolmen. -- 3. Outline of the History of Logic in general. 1. Chapt. -- The origin of Philosophy in general, and of Logic speciatim. 2 Chapt. Of the Eleatic & Megaric Logic. 3. of the Platonic Logic. 4. of Aristotle, containing a fair account [of] the 'Oργaννoν of which Dr Reid in Kaimes' Sketches of man 1 has given a most false, & not only erroneous, but calumnious Statement -- as far as this account had not been anticipated in the second Part of my work -- namely, the concise & simple, yet full, &c &c. -- 5. a philosophical Examination of the Truth, and of the Value, of the Aristotelean System of Logic, including all the after additions to it. 6. on the characteristic Merits & Demerits of Aristotle & Plato, as Philosophers in general, & an attempt to explain the fact of the vast influence of the former during so many ages; and of the influence of Plato's works on the restoration of the Belles Lettres, and on the reformation. -- 7. Raymund Lully. 8. Peter Ramus 2. 9. Lord Bacon -- or the Verulamian Logic. 10. Examination of the same, & comparison of it with the Logic of Plato (in wćh I attempt to make it probable, that tho' considered by Bacon himself as the antithesis & Antidote of Plato, it is bonâ fide the same, & that Plato has been grossly misunderstood.) 3 10 [sic]. -- Des Cartes / 11. Condillac -- & a philosophical examination of his Logic, i.e. the Logic, which he basely purloined from Hartley. -- Then follows my own Organum verè Organum -- which consists of a Σ↕σ+̂ɣημα of all possible modes of true, probable, & false reasoning, arranged philosophically, i.e. on a strict analysis of those operations & passions of the mind, in which they originate, & by which they act, with one or more ____________________ 1 Coleridge refers to Thomas Reid "A Brief Account of Aristotle's Logic", which was published in Lord Kames Sketches of the History of Man, 1774. 2 Raymond Lully (1235?-1315) and Petrus Ramus ( 1515-72). 3 Cf. The Friend, 1818, iii. 193-216. -947- striking instances annexed to each from authors of high Estimation -- and to each instance of false reasoning, the manner in which the Sophistry is to be detected, & the words, in which it may be exposed. -- The whole will conclude with considerations of the value of the work, & it's practical utility -- in scientific Investigations; especially, the first part, which contains the strictly demonstrative reasonings, and the analysis of all the acts & passions of the mind, which may be employed to the discovery of Truth -- in the arts of healing, especially, in those parts that contain a catalogue &c of probable reasoning --: lastly, to the Senate, the Pulpit, & our Law courts, to whom the whole, but especially in the latter ¾ths of the work -- viz. the probable & the false, will be useful -- and finally, instructions, how to form a commonplace Book by the aid of this Instrument, so as to read with practical advantage -- & (supposing average Talents) to ensure a facility & rapidity in proving & in confuting. / -- I have thus amply detailed the contents of my work, which has not been the labour of one year or of two / but the result of many years' meditations, & of very various Reading. -- The size of the work will, printed at 30 lines a page, form one Volume Octavo / 500 pages to the Volume -- & I shall be ready with the first half of the work for the Printer, at a fortnight's notice. -- Now, my dear Friend! give me your Thoughts on the subject -- would you have me offer it to the Booksellers, or by the assistance of my Friends print & publish on my own account --? if the former, would you advise me to sell the copyright at once, or only one or more Editions? Can you give me a general notion, what terms I have a right to insist on / in either case? And lastly, to whom would you advise me to apply? -- Longman & Rees are very civil; but they are not liberal / and they have no notion of me, except as of a Poet -- nor any sprinklings of philosophical knowlege that could in the least enable them to judge of the value, or probable success, of such a Work. -- Phillips is a pushing man, & a book is sure to have fair play, if it be his Property -- & it could not be other than pleasant to me to have the same Publisher with yourself -- but. -Now if there be any thing of importance, that with truth & justice ought to follow that 'but,' you will inform me. -- It is not my habit to go to work so seriously about matters of pecuniary business; but my ill-health makes my Life more than ordinarily uncertain / & I have a wife, & 3 little ones. If your judgment led you to advise me to offer it to Phillips, would you take the trouble of talking with him on the subject? & give him your real opinion, whatever it may be, of the work, and of the powers of the Author. ----- When this Book is fairly off my hands, I shall, if I live & have sufficient health, set seriously to work -- in arranging what I have -948- already written, and in pushing forward my Studies, & my Investigations relative to the omne scibile of human Nature -- what we are, & how we become what we are; so as to solve the two grand Problems, how, being acted upon, we shall act; how, acting, we shall be acted upon. But between me & this work there may be Death. I hope, that your wife & little ones are well. -- I have had a sick family -- at one time, every Individual, Master, Mistress, children, & servants were all layed up in bed; & we were waited on by persons hired from the Town for the week. But now all are well, I only excepted. -- If you find my paper smell, or my Style savour, of scholastic quiddity, you must attribute it to the infectious quality of the Folio, on which I am writing -- namely, Jo. Scotus Erigena de divisione Naturae, the fore runner, by some centuries, of the Schoolmen. -- I cherish all kind & honorable feelings toward you, & am, dear Godwin, your's most sincerely, S. T. Coleridge. You know the high character, & present scarcity of Search's Light of Nature. 1 'I have found in this writer (says PALEY in his Preface to his Mor. & Pol. Phil.) more original thinking & observation upon the several subjects, he has taken in hand, than in any other, not to say, in all others put together. His Talent also for illustration is unrivalled. But his Thoughts are diffused thro' a long, various, & irregular work,' &c. A friend of mine, every way calculated by his Taste, & prior Studies for such a work is willing to abridge & systematize that work from 8 to 2 Vol. -- in the words of Paley 'to dispose into method, to collect into heads, & articles, and to exhibit in more compact & tangible masses, what, in that otherwise excellent performance, is spread over too much surface.' -- I would prefix to it an Essay containing the whole substance of the first Volume of Hartley, entirely defecated from all the corpuscular hypotheses -- with new illustrations -- & give my name to the Essay. 2 Likewise, I will revise every sheet of the Abridgement. I should think, the character of the work, & the above quotation from so high an Authority (with the present Public, I mean) as Paley, would ensure it's success. -- If you will read (or transcribe & send) this to Mr Phillips, or to Mr Mawman, or to any other Publisher ( Longman & Rees excepted) you would greatly oblige me -that is to say, my dear Godwin, you would essentially serve a ____________________ 1 Abraham Tucker published The Light of Nature Pursued, in four volumes, under the name Edward Search in 1768. Three posthumous volumes appeared in 1778. 2 Coleridge refers to William Hazlitt, who was apparently in the north at this time. Hazlitt one-volume Abridgement of The Light of Nature Pursued was published in 1807, but without Coleridge's proposed essay. -949- young man of profound Genius and original mind, who wishes to get his Sabine Subsistence by some Employment from the Booksellers, while he is employing the remainder of his Time in nursing up his Genius for the destiny, which he believes appurtenant to it. Qui cito facit, bis facit. Impose any Task on me in return.