"A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor."
Don't you suppose that any thoughtful person could have said/written these words just about any time here lately?
A multitude of causes: CHECK. Recession. Ongoing wars, distant & painful. Political BSification. Materialism. A cavalcade of fears.
Unknown to former times? Ha! 'Fraid not, seeing as the brauthor of these words left the world's stage right about the time that pioneers were rattling across the American frontier in their covered wagons. He made his entrance on the world's stage on this very day in 1770, the year of the Boston Massacre, the year in which English sea captain, James Cook, and his crew sailed into Australia's Botany Bay. And a teenaged Austrian princess got married off to the shy, tubby, future king of France.
So, yeah, it's the 240th anniversary of the birth of the man who "wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills..." when all at once he saw "a crowd, a host of golden daffodils."