erses to the poetic genius. The greater part of this latter paragraph may be found adopted, with some alterations, in the 'Biographia Literaria', vol. ii. c. 14; but I have thought it better in this instance and some others, to run the chance of bringing a few passages twice over to the recollection of the reader, than to weaken the force of the original argument by breaking the connection. Ed.]
It is truly singular that Plato,--whose philosophy and religion were but exotic at home, and a mere opposition to the finite in all things, genuine prophet and anticipator as he was of the Protestant Christian aera,--should have given in his Dialogue of the Banquet, a justification of our Shakspeare. For he relates that, when all the other guests had either dispersed or fallen asleep, Socrates only, together with Aristophanes and Agathon, remained awake, and that, while he continued to drink with them out of a large goblet, he compelled them, though most reluctantly, to admit that it was the bu
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