Actor + author
Recorded in Wiltshire
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.
I have in this one dirty business of Laudanum a hundred times deceived, tricked, nay, actually & consciously lied. And yet all these vices are so opposite to my nature, that but for the free-agency-annihilating Poison, I verily believe that I should have suffered myself to be cut in pieces rather than have committed any one of them.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1814
This astonishing man, besides being an exquisite poet, a profound political speculator, a philosophical student of literature, was also a circumnavigator on the most pathless waters of scholasticism and metaphysics. He had sounded, without guiding-charts, the secret deeps of Proclus and Plotinus; he had laid down buoys on the twilight or moonlight ocean of Jacob Boehmen; he had crushed over the broad Atlantic of Kant. Where is the man who shall be equal to these things? Is, indeed, Leviathan so tamed? In that case, the quarantine of the opium-eater might be finished within Coleridge’s time... Whenever he spoke it was as if he were tracing a circle in the air.
Thomas de Quincey, 1822