1866 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Bryan Waller Procter, in Charles Lamb: a Memoir (1866) 70-71.



At this distance of time, many people (judging by what he has left behind him) wonder at the extent of admiration which possessed some of Coleridge's contemporaries: Charles Lamb accorded to his genius something scarcely short of absolute worship; Robert Southey considered his capacity as exceeding that of almost all other writers; and Leigh Hunt, speaking of Coleridge's personal appearance, says, "He had a mighty intellect put upon a sensual body." Persons who were intimate with both have suggested that even Wordsworth was indebted to him for some of his philosophy. As late as 1818, Lamb, when dedicating his works to him, says that Coleridge "first kindled in him, if not the power, the love, of poetry, and beauty, and kindness." He must be judged, however, by what he has actually done.