Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/67

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
55
THE IMPORTATION OF GERMAN

had recently existed in London.[1] Kantism, as she surmised, meant some sort of poisonous doctrine, probably more or less connected with the teaching of Paine and Cobbett, whom she had encountered in The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain and other edifying works for the use of the poor. A defence of Kant, by Wirgman's friend Richter, appeared in The Morning Chronicle of 1814. Richter declared that 'morals and religious faith' had, through Kant, at length found a ‘sanctuary in the human mind,’ whence no scepticism could ever displace them. Let us hope that Mrs. Hannah More was comforted. Possibly the report to which she refers was in some way connected with Coleridge, who was making his last pathetically feeble attempt to support himself by lectures and journalism in London. The men who were to be his disciples were already studying German criticism and philosophy; and it is rather curious that Wirgman makes no mention of him. The Friend (1810), little as it had circulated, had made his claims as a philosopher known in most influential circles. But Coleridge's influence in this direction belongs mainly to the rising generation. He had gone to Germany in 1798, chiefly

  1. Roberts's Hannah More, iii. p. 423.