Swift’s Aeolists and Coleridge’s Eolian Harp [1]

Richard Matlak

(Coleridge Bulletin, New Series 20, Winter 2002, pp44-53)






REFLECTING upon his undergraduate career at Edinburgh, Francis Jeffrey makes a comment that underlies the argument of this essay about the influence of Swift on Coleridge:


When we were at our studies, some twenty-five years ago [i.e., 1790], we can perfectly remember that every young man was set to read Pope, Swift, and Addison, as regularly as Virgil, Cicero, and Horace. All who had any tincture of letters were familiar with their writings and their history; allusions to them abounded in all popular discourses and all ambitious conversation; and they and their contemporaries were universally acknowledged as our great models of excellence, and placed without challenge at the head of our national literature.[2]


I would like to place some emphasis upon Jeffrey’s witness to intellectual life in the revolutionary 1790s, because even as one denounces the artificial borders of periodization[3]—there is difficulty in apprehending the possible presence of Pope and Swift at the birth of literary romanticism. It is true that we might entertain a thesis of ghostly origins, such as Robert Griffin’s, who argues that ‘Romanticism as we know it originates with the repression of Pope.’[4]  We have not, however, entirely overcome the pre-Romantic syndrome of our historical narrative, which establishes a line of ‘ascent’ to Romanticism through Thomson, Dyer, Young, Blair, Akenside, the Wartons, Collins, Gray, Macpherson, Walpole, Percy, Chatterton, Beckford, Radcliffe, Cowper, and Bowles; and not through Dryden, Pope, and Swift.[5] 

       To a certain extent, the Romantic poets are partly responsible for an incomplete understanding of their more complex origins. Lord Byron felt that even he had undervalued the tradition of the Augustans:


With regard to poetry in general I am convinced the more I think of




it—-that… all of us—Scott-Southey-Wordsworth-Moore-Campbell-I—are all in the wrong—one as much as another—that we are upon a wrong revolutionary poetical system—systems—not worth a damn in itself… I am the more confirmed in this—by having lately gone over some of our Classics—particularly Pope.[6]


Marshall Brown claims in Pre-Romanticism (1991) to consider the matter of literary descent more formally than most positivist literary historians, but his goal is rather to sophisticate our understanding of pre-Romanticism than to offer an encompassing paradigm. In arguing that ‘the greatest authors’ from the mid-eighteenth century on were frustrated in the attempt to produce masterpieces because they lacked an appropriate ‘style of expression’ for their ideas.[7] Brown reconfirms the relationship between unsuccessful predecessors and their descendants who overcame the stylistic challenge to thereby become the first great Romantics.

       If there will ever be a Long-Eighteenth-Century for literary history that subsumes Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and perhaps the whole of the Nineteenth Century, it will take a genius in paradigms to tell this story convincingly. Classic Whig historians argue that the rise of liberalism is the unifying theme of modernity in the West; however, one of our most prominent literary historians, David Perkins, holds little hope for a comparably powerful paradigm for literary history. In ‘Literary Classifications: How Have They Been Made?’ Perkins describes the cognitive difficulty:


The content of anyone’s mind consists mostly of received ideas, including the traditional taxonomies. It takes… so much more energy so much more knowledge and reflection, to disturb the received system than to accept and apply it, that anyone can revise it at only a few points.[8]


Perkins’s commonsense diagnosis is profound.[9]  We recall that Wordsworth credited Coleridge with genius for seeing through ‘that false secondary power, by which/ In weakness we create distinctions, then/ Deem that our puny boundaries are things/ Which we perceive, and not which we have made.’[10]

       My intention, then, in this brief paper, is to open to question only one of our ‘mind-forg’d manacles’ in suggesting that the most prominent Romantic




metaphor for the creative process, that of a divine wind playing upon the wind harp of poetic imagination, derives from a complex of ideas and images that Coleridge found associated in Swift’s A Tale of a Tub. The vehicle of transmission is Coleridge’s seminal poem ‘The Eolian Harp’, which I will read as a transmutation of Swift’s satire on inspiration in the Aeolist section of Swift’s Tale. Implied is that Coleridge develops in ‘The Eolian Harp’ a synecdoche for literary Romanticism’s inbred potential to criticize itself, to always be looking over its shoulder for the scornful grin of the great Augustans at the moment of its grandest pronouncements.




Because of its formal and thematic significance for Abrams’s thesis of secularized Christianity, Coleridge’s ‘The Eolian Harp’ has been very near the center of Romantic historiography for the past fifty years. In 1953, Abrams first called attention to the wind-harp as that ‘favorite romantic toy,’ which he then read as a serious analogy of the relationship of the poetic mind to nature in the late Eighteenth Century.[11]  Although a Roman Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher, came up with the concept for a wind-harp, or what he called a ‘musical autophone,’ in his Musurgia Universalis (Rome, 1650), one James Oswald actually constructed the instrument after reading of the aeolian phenomenon in Pope’s translation of Homer.[12]  Almost exactly at mid-century, James Thomson introduced the figure of the wind-harp in Castle of Indolence (1748).[13]



Each Sound too here to Languishment inclin’d,

Lull’d the weak Bosom, and induced Ease.

Aereal music in the warbling Wind,

At Distance rising oft, by small Degrees,

Nearer and nearer came, till o’er the Trees

It hung, and breath’d such Soul-dissolving Airs

As did, alas! with soft Perdition please:

Entangled deep in its enchanting Snares,

          The listening Heart forgot all Duties and all Cares.






A certain Music, never known before,

Here sooth’d the pensive melancholy Mind;

Full easily obtain’d. Behoves no more,

But sidelong, to the gently-waving Wind,

To lay the well-tun’d Instrument reclin’d;

From which, with airy flying Fingers light,

Beyond each mortal Touch the most refin’d,

The God of Winds drew Sounds of deep Delight:

          Whence, with just Cause, The Harp of Aeolus it hight.



Ah me! what Hand can touch the String so fine?

Who up the lofty Diapason roll

Such sweet, such sad, such solemn Airs divine,

Then let them down again into the Soul?

Now rising Love they fan’d; now pleasing Dole

They breath’d, in tender Musings, through the Heart;

And now a graver sacred Strain they stole,

As when Seraphic Hands an Hymn impart:

          Wild warbling Nature all, above the Reach of Art![14]


Coleridge was reading Castle of Indolence in 1794[15] and quoting from it approvingly in March 1795.[16]  In August 1795, he faithfully transposed into the first version of ‘The Eolian Harp,’ entitled ‘Effusion XXXV,’ the languor, the admiration for the aeolian phenomenon, and the erotic arousal that comes upon the indolent soul. His significant revision of Thomson was to associate, as Swift had, eros with religious enthusiasm to prepare for the rejection of its visions and epiphanies.[17]

       Both A Tale of a Tub and ‘The Eolian Harp’ share a purpose in denouncing ‘All Pretenders to Inspiration whatsoever.’[18]  Interestingly, Coleridge and Swift found particularly worthy of chastisement religious enthusiasts driven by sexual demons. Among Swift’s Aeolists most receptive to the Anima Mundi are:


Female Officers, whose Organs were understood to be better disposed for the Admission of those Oracular Gusts, as entring and passing up




thro’ a Receptacle of greater Capacity, and causing also a Pruriency by the Way, such as with due Management, hath been refined from a Carnal, into a Spiritual Extasie (343-44).


The medium of Coleridge’s inspiration is also a female figure that experiences a carnal extasy awaiting sublimation into the spiritual realm.

       The wind harp emplaced horizontally in the window casement resists the advances of Aeolus so amorously that the poet imagines the whispering wind being provoked to sweep her strings ‘Boldlier.’ When he does so, ‘long sequacious notes’ create a body of ‘delicious surges’ sinking and rising in a ‘witchery of sound’ familiar to ‘twilight Elfins’ when they float about on ‘gentle gales from Faery Land,’ that place where melodies float above honey-oozing flowers like ‘birds of Paradise/… hov’ring on untam’d wing.’

       Swift’s allegory also contains the figure of a Bird of Paradise to close a section on the ascension and decline of religious inspiration that anticipates the psychological development of Coleridge’s poem. Swift writes:


AND, whereas the mind of Man, when he gives the Spur and Bridle to his Thoughts, doth never stop, but naturally sallies out into both extreams of Highand Low, of Good and Evil; His first Flight of Fancy, commonly transports Him to Idea’s of what is most Perfect, finished, and exalted, till having soared out of his own Reach and Sight. . . he falls down plum into the lowest Bottom of Things;… like a dead Bird of Paradise, to the Ground (344).


While Coleridge’s ‘birds of Paradise’ continue ‘hov’ring on untamed wing,’ his erotic hopes soon deflate. Indeed, Swift here prescribes the very curve of Coleridge’s faulty religious vision, which soars to a risky speculation ‘of animated nature/ Be[ing]… organic Harps diversly fram’d,/ That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps,/ Plastic and vast, one intellectual Breeze,/ At once the Soul of each, and God of all.’ I say risky speculation because this epiphanic insight is the climax of the languorous poet’s ‘idle flitting phantasies,/ Travers[ing] [his] indolent and passive brain,’ which he likens to the ‘wild and various… random gales/… swell[ing] or flutter[ing] on this subject Lute!’ The poet-narrator presents this as a clever trope to impress Mistress Sara, but it is hardly a responsible route to a mystical vision of the universe. We learned in the poem’s first verse paragraph that Wisdom should emulate the serene brilliance of the evening star. ‘Idle flitting phantasies’ just won’t do. In fact, Coleridge would come to criticize Wordsworth for his comparable ‘vague misty, rather than mystic, confusion of God with the World & accompanying Nature-worship,’[19] which ironically found its origin in Wordsworth’s radical rebuttal of ‘The Eolian Harp’ in ‘Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.’[20]




       Even though Colerige’s poet-narrator is a lover-philosopher, rather than a politico-religious activist, Philip Harth reminds us in Swift and Anglican Rationalism that Swift regards meditating philosophers and political activists as brothers of the same cloth.[21] Having been sexually aroused by the eyes of a beautiful female who was ‘removed into an Enemy's Country’ before his ‘Protruberancy’ had its ‘emission,’ the Great Prince of ‘Digression concerning . . . Madness’ gets fired up to fight:: ‘HAVING to no purpose used all peaceable Endeavours, the collected part of the Semen, raised and enflamed, became adust, converted to Choler, turned head upon the spinal Duct, and ascended to the Brain’ (347). When Swift focuses on philosophical rather than macho-political visionaries, he posits a kind of psychological synchrony, represented as stringed instruments sometimes resonating in harmony, but sometimes not:


there is a peculiar String in the Harmony of Human Understanding, which in several individuals is exactly of the same Tuning. This, if you can dextrously screw up to its right Key, and then strike gently upon it; Whenever you have the Good Fortune to light among those of the same Pitch, they will by a secret necessary Sympathy, strike exactly at the same time. And in this one Circumstance, lies all the Skill or Luck of the Matter; for if you chance to jar the String among those who are either above or below your own Height, instead of subscribing to your Doctrine, they will tie you fast, call you Mad, and feed you with Bread and Water (348-49).


       In Rugby MS2, ll. 40-46, Coleridge adapts Swift’s stringed instruments to nature, with pleasing results despite a similar discord. What if, the narrator asks, the instruments are ‘diversly framed’,


And all in different Heights so aptly hung

That Murmurs indistinct and Bursts sublime

Shrill Discords and most soothing Melodies,

Harmonious form Creation’s vast concent?


And infers, if this is so:


Thus God would be the universal Soul;

Mechaniz’d matter as th’ organic harps,

And each one’s Tunes be that, which each calls I.[22]


But when Coleridge’s poet-narrator seeks to gain a harmony in human




understanding, the results are similar to Swift’s worst but common case.

       Dissonance rather than harmony between the poet-narrator and his auditor is the outcome of ‘The Eolian Harp.’ The vision inspired by the wind playing upon the poet’s indolent imagination does not resonate with beloved Sara, and his philosophic bubble is burst by her reproachful glance. But of course he wants it to be.

       The whole point of the poem has been to prove that the poet-narrator can be as inspired as any enthusiast when under the influence of his flaming inner light, but then to show that he is capable of discerning appropriately the value of revealed religion, regardless of how seductive false illuminations may be as poetry or poetic philosophy. He welcomes the icy stare of his beloved auditor, who wishes he would be, like the evening star, ‘Serenely brilliant’ for ‘such should wisdom be.’ His ‘shapings of the unregenerate mind’ are as airy ‘Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break/ On vain philosophy’s aye-babbling spring,’ rather than being like ‘The stilly murmur of the distant Sea/ [that] Tells us of Silence.’ The divine spirit of the universe is the ‘Incomprehensible’ entity of Unitarianism, rather than a projection of anthropomorphic fantasies or a philosopher’s erotic dream.

       This last point on the nature of religious speculation introduces another connection between Swift and Coleridge on the theme of revealed religion and skepticism. Particularly in 1795, when he was delivering his Lectures… on Politics and Religion,[23] Coleridge was also engaged in battle with latter-day political and religious enthusiasts, especially of the atheistical variety; but, whereas Swift employed scorn to burst Jack’s bubbles of inspiration, Coleridge’s ingenious gambit is to conjure a sacramental vision to reject that is more alluring than any his opponents would be capable of creating. Coleridge has it both ways, and for important psychological reasons.

       Swift’s dichotomy of Martin the responsible reformer and Mad Jack the zealot represents an outer as well as inner reality for Coleridge. During the compositional period of ‘The Eolian Harp,’ Coleridge was newly converted to Unitarianism and under the influence of its high priest, Joseph Priestley. Coleridge’s self-appointed mission was to wage intellectual warfare against aristocrats as well as atheists. Counted among his important opponents were Erasmus Darwin, whose poetical biology in The Botanic Garden and The Loves of the Plants (1789) and whose compendium of medico-biological theorizing in Zoonomia (1794-96) combined to posit an animate, loving, but godless universe driven by sexual desire and emotion.

       Coleridge found Darwin’s verse to be cloying, but Darwin’s condescension towards believers was more distressing. He records a passing encounter with Darwin in 1796:




[Dr. Darwin] bantered me on the subject of religion. I heard all his arguments, and told him that it was infinitely consoling to me, to find that the arguments which so great a man adduced against the existence of God and the evidences of revealed religion were such as had startled me at fifteen, but had become the objects of my smile at twenty. He boasted that he had never read one work in defence of Such stuff, but he had read all the works of infidels!… He deems that there is a certain self-evidence in infidelity, and becomes an atheist by intuition.                                                        (STCL I 177)


Then there were Coleridge’s occasional wars-of-wits with aristocratic peers at Cambridge, nefarious apologists for Church and Crown:


Brookes & Berdmore… have spread my Opinions in mangled forms at Cambridge—-Caldwell the most excellent, the most pantisocratic of Aristocrats, has been laughing at me—-Up I arose terrible in Reasoning—-he fled from me—because ‘he could not answer for his own Sanity sitting so near a madman of Genius!’ He told me, that the Strength of my Imagination had intoxicated my Reason—and that the acuteness of my Reason had given a directing Influence to my Imagination.—-Four months ago the Remark would not have been more elegant than Just—-. Now it is Nothing.—-               (STCL I 10)


       Yet, by his own admission and much testimony, Coleridge had his sexual demons as well as intellectual insecurities that drove him to opium addiction. The poet-narrator’s self-representation in ‘The Eolian Harp’ as being a mystery to himself, ‘sinful and most miserable…/ Wilder’d and dark,’ is corroborated by primary biographical data that describe desperate, debauched, reckless, and willful behavior often bordering on lunacy. Even during a time of war, the military was not averse to getting rid of this hapless recruit, discharging him under his pseudonym ‘S.T. Comberbach/ Insane’ (STCL I.76). Coleridge stumbled in religion as frequently as in his moral and domestic life. In ‘The Eolian Harp,’ Coleridge dealt with the enemy without so effectively, because he was also within.

       To conclude, I would like to consider his final animadversion to Swift’s Tale in 1825. Coleridge adapts the following passage from Section XI of Swift’s Tale to anticipate criticism that might be made of his Aids to Reflection (1825):


Jack had not only calculated the first Revolution of his Brain so prudently, as to give Rise to that Epidemick Sect of Aeolists, but succeeding also into a new and strange Variety of Conceptions, the Fruitfulness of his Imagination led him into certain Notions, which, altho’ in Appearance very unaccountable, were not without their Mysteries and their meanings, nor wanted Followers to countenance them.                                                                                                  (XI 360)




Coleridge again recognizes the similarity that exists between Jack and his commentary on Archbishop Leighton’s Aphorisms, specifically Aphorism VI on ‘fanatical spirit, the spirit of delusion and giddiness.’ Coleridge opens by placing words into the mouth of his anticipated critic: ‘It may not be amiss to inform the Public, that the Compiler of the Aids to Reflection and commentary on a Scotch Bishop’s platonico-calvinistic commentary on St. Peter [i.e.Coleridge], belongs to the Sect of Aeolists, whose fruitful imaginations


dispose them to reduce all things into Types; who can make shadows, no thanks to the Sun; and then mould them into substances, no thanks to philosophy; whose peculiar Talent lies in fixing tropes and allegories to Letter and refining what is literal into figure & mystery.

                                                                     A Tale of a Tub. Sect. XI.[24]


       Coleridge admired Swift’s A Tale of a Tub as second in genius only to Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels.[25]  It’s uncertain when Coleridge read Swift’s Tale. I began with Jeffrey’s comment on his contemporaries’ general awareness of Pope, Swift, and Addison. Wordsworth corroborates. A Tale… and Gulliver’s Travels, he says, were ‘much to my taste,’ during his ‘earliest days at school,’ which would have been no later than 1783, or when the young poet was fourteen years old.[26]  One wouldn’t expect an omnivorous reader such as Coleridge, who describes himself as a ‘library-cormorant’ who had read ‘almost every thing’ by the time he was twenty-four (STCL I 261), to have missed out on Swift’s primary works. The evidence in ‘The Eolian Harp’ suggests that he hadn’t. Apropos of his affection for wind imagery during the period of ‘The Eolian Harp,’ Coleridge reports that his first news journal The Watchman lost ‘five hundred subscribers at one blow,’ for his selection of a scatological motto from Isaiah to introduce his essay against fasting: ‘Wherefore my Bowels shall sound like an Harp’ (BL I 184; The Watchman 51). Here it comes together: the flatulence of the Aeolists causing the harp to sound.

       The question remains what to call this kind of influence. An image of the wind harp from Thomson, the concept of God playing upon his creation like an instrument, possibly from Jacob Boehme,[27] a critical understanding of the relationships between eros and religious inspiration from Swift, and yet all




quite new, as Abrams claims, to literary history. Rather than a monistic thesis of anxiety, symbiosis, dialogics, confluence, or most recently, coupling,[28] Coleridge’s use of Swift and others seems very much like the food gathering of the bee from ‘Battel of the Books,’ or ‘That, which, by an universal Range, with long Search, much Study, true Judgment, and Distinction of Things, brings home Honey and Wax’ (Writings of Swift 383) to produce a unique synthesis of (dare I say it?) sweetness and light that was to become literary Romanticism in England. Indeed, the best trope for describing this literary relationship may be the translatio studii, which holds that imitation is ‘not a Slavish adherence to prior models, but rather a species of inversion involving a complex, self-conscious game of ironic intertextuality,’ as W.K. Wimsatt maintains in ‘Imitation as Freedom.’[29]

       A new paradigm for the Era of Romanticism, however, will have to include more writers than the Romantics and more aesthetics than Romanticism. For more theories of art than Romantic were being contested in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales from the 1790s on. Much of the writing—in fact, most of it—was still Neoclassical in form and spirit. A great deal of its fiction and drama was being produced by women: Clara Reeve, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Inchbald, Joanna Baillie, Anna Barbauld, Felicia Hemans, all of whom sought to create and support art that best combined morality with probability so as to be socially efficacious.[30]  When we finally know the principal works of a newly developing canon well enough to understand the inter-relationships between Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and what Mellor has called Probabilism, then we may come to appreciate more completely the classical and Neoclassical components of the age that has been called Romantic.

[1]       A fuller version of this article appeared in Reading Swift: Papers from The Fourth Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift, eds Hermann J. Real and Helgard Stöver-Leidig (München:Wilhelm Fink, 2003), with kind permission of the publisher.

[2]       Francis Jeffrey, rev. of Walter Scott’s edition of Swift. Edinburgh Review. September 1816, p. 158. See Robert J. Griffin, Wordsworth’s Pope: A Study in Literary Historiography (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995): 66-67, for a discussion of Pope being ‘inescapable, as thoroughly naturalized a part of English as Shakespeare or Milton.’

[3]       See, for example, Susan J. Wolfson’s Introduction to ‘The Romantic Century: A Forum,’ entitled ‘50-50? Phone a Friend? Ask the Audience? Speculating on a Romantic Century, 1750-1850,’ which argues for the hundred-year period of the title as a defensible domain for Romantic Studies. European Romantic Review, 11(Winter 2000): 1-11.

[4]       Griffin, Wordsworth’s Pope: 107.

[5]       The formidable list of pre-Romantics derives from Russell Noyes’s influential anthology of the 1950s, English Romantic Poetry and Prose (New York: Oxford, 1956).

[6]       Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie Marchand (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1982): 167.

[7]       Marshall Brown, Preromanticism (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1991):150.      

[8]       David Perkins, ‘Literary Classifications: How Have They Been Made?’ in Theoretical Issues in Literary History, ed. David Perkins (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991): 257.

[9]       Even our youngest professionals betray the ‘mind-forg’d manacles’ of periodization. My College’s recent interviews at the MLA convention in 1999 for two eighteenth-century positions revealed that students in eighteenth-century studies saw the end of the eighteenth century, i.e., the 1790s, as the end of an era; whereas, their nineteenth-century counterparts would understand the 1790s to be the beginning of an era inaugurated by the French Revolution and the political debate in spawned in England. Of course, it was both at the same time, but each group is trained to perceive the same decade differently.

[10]     William Wordsworth, The Thirteen-Book Prelude by William Wordsworth, Vol. 1, ed. Mark L. Reed (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1991): II.221-24, pp. 129-30.

[11]     M.H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (New York: Norton, 1953): 51. ‘An Aeolian Harp consists of ‘a long and narrow box of deal, with a thin belly, and eight or ten strings of catgut lightly stretched over two bridges, placed near the extremities, and all tuned in unison’ (Robert Bloomfield, ‘Nature’s Music,’ Remains (1824), i, 107). [W]hen the box is wedged across the opening of a sash window, the passage of air draws sounds from the strings.’ James Thomson Liberty, The Castle of Indolence, and Other Poems, ed. James Sambrook (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986): 437. Hereafter cited as Sambrook.

[12]     One can find a contemporary craftsman to construct an aeolian harp to order at http://www.harpmaker.net/windharp.htm

[13] See Stephen Bonner, History and Organology of the Aeolian Harp, vol. 2, Part One (Text) of Aeolian Harp, series ed. Stephen Bonner (Cambridge: Bois de Boulogne, 1970) for the complete history of the harp phenomenon and Andrew Brown, The Aeolian Harp in European Literature 1591-1892, vol. 3 in the same series for a useful, although opinionated, survey of the figure in poetry and fiction. See also the headnote to ‘Ode on Aeolus’s Harp’ in Sambrook, 437-38.

[14]     Sambrook, Canto I, xxxix-xli, 186-87

[15]     Ralph J. Coffman, Coleridge’s Library: A Bibliography of Books Owned or Read by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1987): 216, entry T61.

[16]     J. Douglas Kneale offers a fine reading of the intertextuality between ‘The Eolian Harp’ as Effusion XXXV and the other Effusions of Poems (1796) in Romantic Aversions: Aftermaths of Classicism in Wordsworth and Coleridge (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1999): 41-48.

[17]     J. Douglas Kneale offers a fine reading of the intertextuality between ‘The Eolian Harp’ as Effusion XXXV and the other Effusions of Poems (1796) in Romantic Aversions: Aftermaths of Classicism in Wordsworth and Coleridge (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 1999): 41-48.

[18]     The text of A Tale of a Tub used in this essay will be that of the Norton Criticial Edition of The Writings of Jonathan Swift, eds. Robert A. Greenberg and William B. Piper (New York: Norton, 1973): 263-371.

[19]     STCL V 95.

[20]     Cf. Richard E. Matlak, ‘Classical Argument and Romantic Persuasion in ‘Tintern Abbey’’ Studies in Romanticism, 25 (Spring 1986): 97-129, and The Poetry of Relationship: The Wordsworths and Coleridge, 1797-1800 (New York: St. Martin’s 1997): 119-37.

[21]     Philip Harth, Swift and Anglican Rationalism: The Religious Background of A A Tale of a Tub (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1961): 62-63.

[22]     I have taken the text of the Rugby manuscript from Paul Cheshire’s excellent essay and text on its folios in ‘The Eolian Harp: The Rugby Manuscript: Folios 26r, 27r, 27v, 28r,’ The Coleridge Bulletin. (NS) 17 (Summer 2001): 1-22 and pull-out.

[23]     Lectures 1795 on Politics and Religion, eds. Lewis Patton and Peter Mann. Vol. 1 in The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, gen. ed. Kathleen Coburn. Bollingen Series 75 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1971).The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, eds. Kathleen Coburn and Merton Christensen, IV, 1810-1826, text (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990): entry 5041

[24]     The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, eds. Kathleen Coburn and Merton Christensen, IV, 1810-1826, text (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990): entry 5041

[25]     ‘I still think [Gulliver’s Travels] the highest effort of Swift’s genius, unless we should except the Tale of the Tub—/then I would put . . . Lilliput—next Brobdignag—& Laputa I would expunge altogether/It is a wretched abortion, <the product> of Spleen & Ignorance & Self-conceit—. The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Gen. Ed. Kathleen Coburn, Vol 12. Part V. Marginalia, Sherlock to Unidentified, eds. H.J. Jackson and George Whalley (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000): 476.

[26]     Duncan Wu, Wordsworth’s Reading 1770-1799 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993): 133, entry 238.

[27]     Newton Stallknecht provides the following example from Jacob Boehme’s Signatura Rerum; or the Signature of all Things (1651): ‘The Voyce (or breath) of God doth continually and Eternally bring forth its joy through the Creature, as through an Instrument: the Creature is the manifestation of the Voyce of God . . . .’ (Quoted in The Music of Humanity 191).

[28]     ‘Anxiety’ is usually associated with Harold Bloom’s Anxiety of Influence (New York: Oxford UP, 1973); ‘symbiosis’ with Thomas McFarland’s ‘The Symbiosis of Coleridge and Wordsworth,’ in Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1981); ‘dialogics’ to any number of Bakhtinian approaches, but particularly to Paul Magnuson’s Coleridge and Wordsworth: A Lyrical Dialogue (Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1988); ‘confluence’ with John Beer’s Romantic Influences: Contemporary - Victorian - Modern (New York: St. Martin’s 1993); and most recently, ‘coupling,’ defined as ‘threads--voices, influences, references, images--commingl[ing], and a text recreates its multidimensional beginnings’ in a special issue on ‘Romantic Couplings,’ guest ed. Jacqueline M. Labbe, Romanticism on the Net 18(May 2000), at http://www.sul-stanford.edu/mirrors/romnet/.

[29]     William K. Wimsatt, ‘Imitation as Freedom - 1717-1798.’ NLH 2(Winter 1970): 215-36.

[30]     See Anne K. Mellor's summary comments on the prevailing aesthetics between 1780-1830 in British Literature: 1780-1830. ed. Anne K. Mellor and Richard E. Matlak (Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace, 1996): 125-28.