Quotation by John Ruskin

I love Coleridge ... and I am very willing to allow that he has more imagination than Wordsworth, and more of the real poet. But after all Coleridge is nothing more than an intellectual opium-eater—a man of many crude though lovely thoughts—of confused though brilliant imagination, liable to much error—error even of the heart, very sensual in many of his ideas of pleasure—indolent to a degree, and evidently and always thinking without discipline; letting the fine brains which God gave him work themselves irregularly and without end or object—and carry him whither they will. Wordsworth has a grand, consistent, perfectly disciplined, all grasping intellect—for which nothing is too small, nothing too great, arranging everything in due relations, divinely pure in its conventions of pleasure, majestic in the equanimity of its benevolence—intense as white fire with chastened feeling. Coleridge may be the greater poet, but surely it admits of no question which is the greater man.
John Ruskin (1819–1900), British critic, author. The Literary Criticism of John Ruskin, letter, 1843, to Rev. Walter Brown, ed. Harold Bloom (1972).
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