In 1804, poet Robert Southey said of Coleridge:
His mind is in a perpetual St. Vitus dance—eternal activity without action.
In The Inconvenience of Being Born, the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran mistakenly reported these words as said by Wordsworth, and added:
It seems to me that everything one does is pernicious and, at best, useless. Strictly speaking, I am only allowed to fidget not to act. Now I understand all too well Wordsworth's quip on Coleridge: "Eternal activity without action."
What is the difference between activity and action in this case?