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DE QUINCEY, THOMAS, an English essayist, born at Manchester, August 15, 1785; died at Edinburgh, December 8, 1859, at the age of seventyfour years and four months. Among the adventurers who came over with William the Conqueror was one who hailed from the village of Quincé, in Normandy, and was styled Richard de Quincé. The family flourished in England, and in the thirteenth century there were several of them who were Earls of Winchester. In the course of time the family declined from the rank of the nobility, dropped the de from their names, which they wrote indifferently Quincie, Quincy, and Quincey. The subject of this sketch appears to have been among the first who resumed the de; he, however, wrote his name Thomas de Quincey. His father, Thomas Quincey, published in 1775 a little book entitled A Short Tour in the Middle Counties of England, the substance of which had appeared in The Gentleman's Magazine the year before. He was then about twentythree years of age. Five years later we find him a flourishing merchant of Manchester, trading with the Levant and some of the West India Islands, having an establishment at Manchester, and a little country house, known as "the Farm," not far off. He married a Miss Penson, a lady of good family, of noble manners, and of strict re

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ligious character; a friend of Hannah Moore, and sympathizing with the so-called "Clapham Evangelical Sect." The affairs of Thomas Quincey prospered, so that about 1791 he purchased a considerable piece of land, upon which he put up a villa called Greenhay, at the cost of about £6,000. Our Thomas de Quincey was the fifth child, and second son, of his father. Thomas Quincey died at the age of forty, when his son was about seven years old. For several years he was afflicted with a pulmonary affection which compelled him to reside at Lisbon or in some West India island, still conducting his business, and making only occasional visits to England, so that the son saw but little of his father until a few weeks before his death, when he came home to die with his kinsfolk. He left to his family well-invested property bringing in a clear income of £1,600 a year-equivalent to $20,000 in our day. Half of this was left absolutely to his wife; to each of his four sons was left £150 a year, to each of the two surviving daughters £100 a year.

Thomas de Quincey was of slight frame. When he had attained his full growth his height was barely five feet. He was sent to good schools, and at an early age manifested unusual talents, and attained high proficiency in all studies. Finally, at the age of fifteen, he was placed at the Grammar School in his native Manchester. Among the inducements for this was the fact that this school had several " exhibitions," which entitled the pupils who had attended for three years to be sent to Brazenose College, Oxford, with £50 a

year guaranteed to them for seven years. With this £50, and his patrimonial inheritance of £150 a year, De Quincey could live at Oxford in a style. befitting a gentleman. He, however, took a dislike to the Manchester School, and after a year and a half begged his mother and his guardians to remove him. To his mother he wrote a long letter, setting forth his grounds of complaint and summing them all up as follows: "How could a person be happy, or even easy, in a situation which deprives him of health, of society, of amusement, of liberty, of congeniality, of pursuits, and which, to complete the precious picture, admits of no variety?" His petition being refused, he resolved to run away from school. To get the necessary money, he wrote to Lady Carbery, a friend of his mother, and with whom he was a special favorite, asking for £5; the lady, not suspecting his object, sent him £10. So one July morning in 1802 he slipped away from school, with a volume of Euripides in one pocket, and a book of English poems in another.

His intention was to go to the Lake region, where Wordsworth had his home, and some of whose poems he had read, and greatly admired. His mother was then residing near Chester, forty miles from Manchester; thither the lad went on foot. The good lady was, says De Quincey, "startled, much as she would have been upon the opening of the seventh seal in the Revelation." But it happened that her brother, who had made a fortune in India, and was now at home upon a three years' furlough, viewed the matter in a dif

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