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

Ideas! There is no occasion for them; all that class of ideas which can be available in such a case has a language of representative feelings.

Nevertheless, in spite of such indications of humanity, he has ever since existed in my mind as the beatific vision of an immortal druggist, sent down on this earth on a special mission to myself.

The burden of the incommunicable.

To suppose a reader thoroughly indifferent to Kant, is to suppose him thoroughly unintellectual; and, therefore, though in reality he should happen not to regard him with interest, it is one of the fictions of courtesy to presume that he does.

If I could have foreseen the hurricane, the perfect hail-storm of affliction which soon fell upon me, well might I have been agitated. To this agitation the deep peace of the morning presented an affecting contrast, and in some degrees a medicine.

No progressive knowledge will ever medicine that dread misgiving of a mysterious and pathless power given to words of a certain import.

The French have been notorious through generations for their puerile affectation of Roman forms, models, and historic precedents.

Under our present enormous accumulation of books, I do affirm that a most miserable distraction of choice must be very generally incident to the times; that the symptoms of it are in fact very prevalent, and that one of the chief symptoms is an enormous 'gluttonism' for books.

If in this world there is one misery having no relief, it is the pressure on the heart from the Incommunicable. And if another Sphinx should arise to propose another enigma to man?saying, what burden is that which only is insupportable by human fortitude? I should answer at once: It is the burden of the Incommunicable

Nobody will laugh long who deals much with opium: its pleasures even are of a grave and solemn complexion.

The immediate occasion of this practice was the lowness of wages, which at that time would not allow them to indulge in ale or spirits, and wages rising, it may be thought that this practice would cease; but as I do not readily believe that any man having once tasted the divine luxuries of opium will afterwards descend to the gross and mortal enjoyments of alcohol, I take it for granted, That those eat now who never ate before; And those who always ate, now eat the more. ? Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

We have fixed our view on those uses of conversation which are ministerial to intellectual culture.

If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.

Not the opium-eater, but the opium, is the true hero of the tale; and the legitimate centre on which the interest revolves.

The laughter of girls is, and ever was, among the delightful sounds of earth.

We never do anything, consciously, for the last time, without sadness of heart.

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.

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"