Thomas De Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey

Thomas De
Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey
1785
1859

English Author and Intellectual, known for "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"

Author Quotes

It is an impressive truth that sometimes in the very lowest forms of duty, less than which would rank a man as a villain, there is, nevertheless, the sublimest ascent of self-sacrifice. To do less would class you as an object of eternal scorn; to do so much presumes the grandeur of heroism.

Of this, at least, I feel assured, that there is no such thing as forgetting possible to the mind; a thousand accidents may, and will interpose a veil between our present consciousness and the secret inscriptions on the mind; accidents of the same sort will also rend away this veil; but alike, whether veiled or unveiled, the inscription remains forever...

The public is a bad guesser.

Whereas wine disorders the mental faculties, opium introduces amongst them the most exquisite order, legislation and harmony. Wine robs a man of self-possession; opium greatly invigorates it.

Far beyond all other political powers of Christianity is the demiurgic power of this religion over the kingdoms of human opinion.

It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety.

Often one's dear friend talks something which one scruples to call rigmarole.

The pulpit style of Germany has been always rustically negligent, or bristling with pedantry.

Whilst I stood, a solemn wind began to blow?the most mournful that ear ever heard. Mournful! That is saying nothing. It was a wind that had swept the fields of mortality for a thousand centuries. Many times since, upon a summer day, when the sun is at its hottest, I have heard the same wind arising and uttering the same hollow, solemn, Memnonian, but saintly swell: it is in this world the one sole audible symbol of eternity.

Fierce sectarianism breeds fierce latitudinarianism.

It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of Kant's depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography. Chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler?s, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,?even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).

Out of the ruined lodge and forgotten mansion, bowers that are trodden under foot, and pleasure-houses that are dust, the poet calls up a palingenesis.

The science of style as an organ of thought, of style in relation to the ideas and feelings, might be called the organology of style.

Flowers that are so pathetic in their beauty, frail as the clouds, and in their coloring as gorgeous as the heavens, had through thousands of years been the heritage of children -- honored as the jewelry of God only by them -- when suddenly the voice of Christianity, counter-signing the voice of infancy, raised them to a grandeur transcending the Hebrew throne, although founded by God himself, and pronounced Solomon in all his glory not to be arrayed like one of these.

It was a Sunday afternoon, wet and cheerless; and a duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a rainy Sunday in London.

Paint me an eternal tea-pot, for I usually drink tea from eight o'clock at night to four o'clock in the morning.

The stream of London charity flows in a channel which, though deep and mighty, is yet noiseless and underground; not obvious or readily accessible to poor houseless wanderers: and it cannot be denied that the outside air and framework of London society is harsh, cruel, and repulsive.

For tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally of coarse nerves, or are become so from wine-drinking, and are not susceptible of influence from so refined a stimulant, will always be the favourite beverage of the intellectual;

It was not by an insolent usurpation that Coleridge persisted in monology through his whole life.

Prophet of evil I ever am to myself: forced forever into sorrowful auguries that I have no power to hide from my own heart, no, not through one night's solitary dreams.

The town of L? represented the earth, with its sorrows and its graves left behind, yet not out of sight, nor wholly forgotten. The ocean, in everlasting but gentle agitation, and brooded over by a dove-like calm, might not unfitly typify the mind and the mood which then swayed it. For it seemed to me as if then first I stood at a distance, and aloof from the uproar of life; as if the tumult, the fever, and the strife, were suspended; a respite granted from the secret burthens of the heart; a Sabbath of repose; a resting from human labors. Here were the hopes which blossom in the paths of life, reconciled with the peace which is in the grave; motions of the intellect as unwearied as the heavens, yet for all anxieties a halcyon calm: a tranquility that seemed no product of inertia, but as if resulting from mighty and equal antagonisms; infinite activities, infinite repose.

Generally, the rare people who caused my disgust to that world, there were people flourishing socially and with good reputation, As for mascara that I met, and are not few, I think all of them without exception with pleasure and kindness.

Kant ate but once a day, and drank no beer. Of this liquor, (I mean the strong black beer,) he was, indeed, the most determined enemy. If ever a man died prematurely, Kant would say??He has been drinking beer, I presume.

Reserve is the truest expression of respect toward those who are its objects.

The tyranny of the human face.

Author Picture
First Name
Thomas De
Last Name
Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey
Birth Date
1785
Death Date
1859
Bio

English Author and Intellectual, known for "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"