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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...

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...

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 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...

A SEQUEL TO 'MURDER CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE FINE ARTS.' [1] [1854.] It is impossible to conciliate readers of so saturnine and gloomy a class, that they cannot enter with genial sympathy into any gaiety whatever, but, least of all, when the gaiety trespasses a little into the province of the extravagant. In such a case, not to sympathize is not to understand; and the playfulness, which is not relished, becomes flat and insipid, or absolutely... more...

Some years ago, some person or other, [in fact I believe it was myself,] published a paper from the German of Kant, on a very interesting question, viz., the age of our own little Earth. Those who have never seen that paper, a class of unfortunate people whom I suspect to form rather the majority in our present perverse generation, will be likely to misconceive its object. Kant's purpose was, not to ascertain how many years the Earth had lived: a... more...

THE HOUSEHOLD WRECK. 'To be weak,' we need not the great archangel's voice to tell us, 'is to be miserable.' All weakness is suffering and humiliation, no matter for its mode or its subject. Beyond all other weakness, therefore, and by a sad prerogative, as more miserable than what is most miserable in all, that capital weakness of man which regards the tenure of his enjoyments and his power to protect, even for a moment, the crown 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...