When I consider my selfbeing, my consciousness and feeling of myself, that taste of myself, of I and me above and in all things, which is more distinctive than the taste of ale or alum, more distinctive than the smell of walnutleaf or camphor, and is incommunicable by any means to another man (as when I was a child I used to ask myself: What must it be to be someone else?) nothing else in nature comes near this unspeakable stress of pitch, distinctiveness and selving, this selfbeing of my own. Nothing explains it or resembles it, except so far as this, that other men to themselves have the same feeling. But this only multiplies the phenomena to be explained . . . But searching nature I taste self but at one tankard, that of my own being.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
b. August 20, 1880
"I go on and on until I am stopped, and I never am stopped."
Percy Bysshe Shelley
b. August 4, 1792
“I am not a man like other men. The laws of morality and of society are not applicable to me. I have the right to answer all of your objections with an eternal I.”
Napoleon Bonaparte, b. 15 August 1769