Thomas De Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey

Thomas De
Quincey, fully Thomas Penson De Quincey

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

Author Quotes

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.

Grief! thou art classed amongst the depressing passions. And true it is that thou humblest to the dust, but also thou exaltest to the clouds. Thou shakest us with ague, but also thou steadiest like frost. Thou sickenest the heart, but also thou healest its infirmities.

Lyrical emotion of every kind, which must be in the state of flux and reflux, or, generally, of agitation, requires the Saxon element of our language.

Rightly it is said of utter, utter misery, that it 'cannot be remembered'; itself, being a rememberable thing, is swallowed up in its own chaos.

The whole body of the arts and sciences composes one vast machinery for the irritation and development of the human intellect.

Guilt and misery shrink, by a natural instinct, from public notice: they court privacy and solitude: and even in their choice of a grave will sometimes sequester themselves from the general population of the churchyard, as if declining to claim fellowship with the great family of man; thus, in a symbolic language universally understood, seeking (in the affecting language of Mr. Wordsworth)? Humbly to expressA penitential loneliness.

Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.

So, then, Oxford Street, stonyhearted stepmother, thou that listenest to the sighs of orphans, and drinkest the tears of children, at length I was dismissed from thee.

There is a necessity for a regulating discipline of exercise, that, whilst evoking the human energies, will not suffer them to be wasted.

Here was the secret of happiness, about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages, at once discovered; happiness might now be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; portable ecstasies might be had corked up in a pint-bottle; and peace of mind could be sent down by the mail.

Many a man has risen to eminence under the powerful reaction of his mind against the scorn of the unworthy, daily evoked by his personal defects, who, with a handsome person, would have sunk into the luxury of a careless life under the tranquilizing smiles of continual admiration.

Sometimes there might be heard murmurs of discontent: but far oftener expressions on the countenance, or uttered in words, of patience, hope, and tranquility. And taken generally, I must say, that, in this point at least, the poor are far more philosophic than the rich??that they show a more ready and cheerful submission to what they consider as irremediable evils, or irreparable losses.

There is first the literature of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power. The function of the first is--to teach; the function of the second is--to move, the first is a rudder, the second an oar or a sail. The first speaks to the mere discursive understanding; the second speaks ultimately, it may happen, to the higher understanding or reason, but always through affections of pleasure and sympathy.

I cannot think that any man could ever tower upward into a very great philosopher unless he should begin or end with Christianity. - A great man may, by a rare possibility, be an infidel. - An intellect of the highest order must build on Christianity.

Matched against the master of ?ologies? in our days, the most accomplished of Grecians is becoming what the Master had become long since in competition with the political economist.

Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.

There is such a thing as keeping the sympathies of love and admiration in a dormant state, or state of abeyance.

I stood checked for a moment - awe, not fear, fell upon me - and whist I stood, a solemn wind began to blow, the most mournful that ever ear heard. Mournful! That is saying nothing. It was a wind that had swept the fields of mortality for a hundred centuries.

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

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