Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Coleridge was once involved in discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction of any kind. They would then be free to choose their own religious faith, he reasoned, when they reached the age of discretion. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden.

“Do you call this a garden?” exclaimed the visitor. “There are nothing but weeds here!”

“Well, you see,” explained Coleridge, “I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance.”


I have often thought what a melancholy world this would be without children, and what an inhuman world without the aged.

~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Biographical Note: 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a British poet, critic, and philosopher. With Wordsworth he wrote “Lyrical Ballads” (1798), which announced their determination to break with the artificial poetic conventions of the time; Colleridge's contribution to the volume was “The Ancient Mariner.” Much of his literary criticism appears in “Biographia Literaria” (1817). In addition, he translated, wrote plays, edited periodicals, and did much to introduce German philosophy to an English audience. Contemporaries record the brilliance of his conversation, but poverty, the failure of his marriage, and his addiction to opium blighted his career.