1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Walter Scott, 22 April 1828; The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 1825-32 (1891) 578.



Lockhart and I dined with Sotheby, where we met a large dining party, the orator of which was that extraordinary man Coleridge. After eating a hearty dinner, during which he spoke not a word, he began a most learned harrange on the Samothracian Mysteries, which he considered as affording the germ of all tales about fairies past, present, and to come. He then diverged to Homer, whose Iliad he considered as a collection of poems by different authors, at different times during a century. There was, he said, the individuality of an age, but not of a country. Moritt, a zealous worshipper of the old bard, was incensed at a system which would turn him into a polytheist, gave battle with keenness, and was joined by Sotheby, our host. Mr. Coleridge behaved with the utmost complaisance and temper, but relaxed not from his exertions. "Zounds! I was never so thumped with words."