As part of my OU Literature course I'm being forced to read William Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802). It's amazing how long people have been whingeing on about drugs he says 'The human mind is capabe of being excited without the application of gross and violent stimulants, and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this'. This could be being said (in more up to date language) by many people in power - politicians, police, teachers - today. He goes on to say how the 'crap' - my words - writing of the time are making people ignore the good stuff of former days. Except of course that one or two people of his time - mainly himself - are working hard to keep up the standards of Shakespeare and Milton.
I'd thought that worry about people rotting their minds with drugs was a fairly new thing. But I suppose it's people like him that got the Opium dens closed and the drugs made illegal - although it didn't happen for about another hundred years.
Wordsworth is a man who had an extremely large ego - but I suppose he had every right to have - we haven't forgotten him.