Self biography is a very delicate undertaking, and few instances can be mentioned wherein it has yielded satisfaction. The late Gilbert Wakefield, of learned but irascible memory, gave a sad example of the vanity of human wisdom, and Mr. Cumberland, who was not a whit less irritable, published a memoir of himself in a much better spirit. 1 After all, however, the very act of drawing public attention to the private history of a man’s own temper and studies savours so much of that self-importance, happily ridiculed in the ‘Memoirs of P.P. clerk of this Parish’, 2 that we are sorry to see the practice taken up by any person of extensive knowledge and approved principles. But 323genius and madness are very nearly allied, and of the tenuity of the partition the present volumes exhibit, we think, a melancholy illustration. Here and there some amusement and information will be found; but the whole that is valuable is intermingled with such a cloudiness of metaphysical jargon in the mystical language of the Platonists and schoolmen, of Kant and Jacob Behmen, as to lose the good effect which it might have produced had it been presented with more simplicity. One chapter upon the misfortune of making authorship a profession is worth all the rest; but it is too short, and appears to disadvantage amidst disquisitions on poetry and the abstractions of the human intellect; the associations of ideas, and the progress of the doctrine of materialism. We are whirled about in such rapid confusion from Aristotle to Hobbes, from Thomas Aquinas to Hume, then by abrupt transitions to Southey and Cowley, to Wordsworth and Milton, that in the endless maze we forget our company, the subjects on which we have been engaged, and are as glad to escape from the literary life and opinions of Mr. Coleridge, as we would to the light of day from the darkened cell of a religious enthusiast whose visions and prophecies have rendered confinement necessary for himself and society.