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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 6.djvu/459

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CANTO XI.]
427
DON JUAN.

CANTO THE ELEVENTH.

I. When Bishop Berkeley said " there was no matter," ^ And proved it — 't was no matter what he said : They say his system 't is in vain to batter, Too subtle for the airiest human head ; And yet who can believe it ? I would shatter Gladly all matters down to stone or lead. Or adamant, to find the World a spirit. And wear my head, denying that I wear it. II. What a sublime discovery 't was to make the Universe universal egotism. That all 's ideal — all ourselves I — I '11 stake the World (be it what you will) that that 's no schism. Oh Doubt ! — if thou be'st Doubt, for which some take thee. But which I doubt extremely — thou sole prism Of the Truth's rays, spoil not my draught of spirit ! Heaven's brandy, though our brain can hardly bear it. I. [Berkeley did not deny the reality of existence, but the reality of matter as an abstract conception. "It is plain," he says {On the Principles of Human Knowledge, sect, ix.), " that the very notion of what is called matter or corporeal substance, involves a contradiction in it." Again, "It vv'ere a mistake to think that what is here said derogates in the least from the reality of things." His contention was that this r^a/z/y depended, not on an abstraction called matter, "an inert, extended unperceiving substance," but on "those unextended, indivisible substances or spirits, which act, and think, and perceive them [unthinking beings]."— /<^/^., sect, xci., The Works of George

Berkeley, D.D., 1820, i. 27, 69, 70.]