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INTRODUCTION. All that needs to be said in the way of introduction to this volume will best take the form of notes on the articles which it contains. I. 'Conversation and S. T. Coleridge.' This article, which was found in a tolerably complete condition, may be regarded as an attempt to deal with the subject in a more critical and searching, and at the same time more sympathetic and inclusive spirit, than is apparent in any former essay. It... more...

GENERAL INTRODUCTION. These articles recovered from the MSS. of De Quincey will, the Editor believes, be found of substantive value. In some cases they throw fresh light on his opinions and ways of thinking; in other cases they deal with topics which are not touched at all in his collected works: and certainly, when read alongside the writings with which the public is already familiar, will give altogether a new idea of his range both of... more...

ON THE KNOCKING AT THE GATE, IN MACBETH. From my boyish days I had always felt a great perplexity on one point in Macbeth. It was this: the knocking at the gate, which succeeds to the murder of Duncan, produced to my feelings an effect for which I never could account. The effect was, that it reflected back upon the murder a peculiar awfulness and a depth of solemnity; yet, however obstinately I endeavored with my understanding to comprehend... more...

Hast thou a medicine to restore my wits When I have lost them?--If not, leave to talk. Beaumont and Fletcher; Philaster. In this perplexity, whilst sitting down to clear up his thoughts and to consider of his future motions, Bertram suddenly remembered that immediately before the attack on the revenue officers, a note had been put into his hand--which he had at that time neglected to read under the overpowering interest of the scene which... more...

The following novel was originally produced in the German language, as a soi disant translation from Sir Walter Scott, to meet the demands of the last Easter fair at Leipsic. In Germany, from the extreme difficulties and slowness of communication between remote parts of the country, it would be altogether impossible to effect the publication of books, upon the vast scale of the current German literature, without some such general rendezvous and... more...


ON CHRISTIANITY, AS AN ORGAN OF POLITICAL MOVEMENT. [1846.] FORCES, which are illimitable in their compass of effect, are often, for the same reason, obscure and untraceable in the steps of their movement. Growth, for instance, animal or vegetable, what eye can arrest its eternal increments? The hour-hand of a watch, who can detect the separate fluxions of its advance? Judging by the past, and the change which is registered between that and the... more...

PREFACE. 'The last fruit off an old tree!' This, in the words of Walter Savage Landor, is what I have now the honour to set before the public in these hitherto 'Uncollected Writings of Thomas De Quincey.' It was my privilege to be associated intimately with the Author some thirty to forty years ago—from the beginning of 1850 until his death in 1859. Throughout the whole period during which he was engaged in preparing for the Press his... more...

THE ENGLISH IN CHINA. This Paper, originally written for me in 1857, and published in Titan for July of that year, has not appeared in any collective edition of the author's works, British or American. It was his closing contribution to a series of three articles concerning Chinese affairs; prepared when our troubles with that Empire seemed to render war imminent. The first two were given in Titan for February and April, 1857, and then issued... more...

INTRODUCTION I. LIFE Thomas de Quincey was born in Manchester on the 15th of August, 1785. His father was a man of high character and great taste for literature as well as a successful man of business; he died, most unfortunately, when Thomas was quite young. Very soon after our author's birth the family removed to The Farm, and later to Greenhay, a larger country place near Manchester. In 1796 De Quincey's mother, now for some years a widow,... more...

THE CÆSARS. The condition of the Roman Emperors has never yet been fully appreciated; nor has it been sufficiently perceived in what respects it was absolutely unique. There was but one Rome: no other city, as we are satisfied by the collation of many facts, either of ancient or modern times, has ever rivalled this astonishing metropolis in the grandeur of magnitude; and not many—if we except the cities of Greece, none at... more...