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“Papa was generally a late goer to bed, and a
THE EFFECTS OF OPitu. late riser; but he often went to bed late and got up early, making up for lost sleep in his chair; but
I have thus described and illustrated my he existed on a very small amount of sleep. If he intellectual torpor, in terms that apply, more had an article on hand, he would sit up writing it or less, to every part of the four years during all night, and drink strong coffee or tea to keep which I was under the Circean spell of him wide awake; for he was always liable to drop- opium. But for misery and suffering, I ping over in his chair into short dozes
, He prej might, indeed, be said to have existed in a ferred writing during the night. He always read at night, holding a candle in his hand, and would dormant state. I seldom could prevail on constantly fall asleep with it in this position. myself to write a letter; an answer of a few When aroused by the information, “Papa, Papa, words, to any that I received, was the utmost your hair is on fire! he would say, 'İs it, my that I could accomplish ; and often that not iuve ?' brush his hand over it, and go to sleep until the letter had lain weeks, or even again with the candle in his hand.
He got so
months, on my writing-table. Without the absorbed in what he was reading that it was a common occurrence setting his hair on fire. He aid of M— all records of bills paid, or to was utterly callous to danger, and it is a miracle be paid, must have perished ; and my whole that he never set himself on fire. He has often domestic economy, whatever became of poset his bed on fire ; but he was as expert in putting litical economy, must have gone into irreit out as in putting it in.
trievable confusion. I shall not afterwards “ He was always more genial and talkative allude to this part of the case! it is one, among ourselves, and particularly at tea-time and however, which the opium-eater will find, in after it. It would be difficult to say what author he was fondest of reading ; for from a pevny spell the end, as oppressive and tormenting as any ing-book up to a Shakspeare, Milton, or Jeremy other, from the sense of incapacity and feeTaylor, he would read it, criticise it, turn it up- bleness, from the direct embarrassments inside-down. In fact, as regards the spelling-book, cident to the neglect or procrastination of you would be amazed at the amount of latent each day's appropriate duties, and from the knowledge that lay hid in its recesses. I should
remorse which must often exasperate the think any one would guess from his works what & great admiration he had for Shakspeare and stings of these evils to a reflective and conMilton, but I do not think that people would gather
scientious mind. The opium-eater loses the same opinion as regards Jeremy Taylor; and
none of his moral sensibilities or aspirayet I think he would have placed him beside those tions: he wishes and longs, as earnestly as two great towers of strength. He had an im- ever, to realize what he believes possible mense admiration and knowledge of Scripture, and feels to be exacted by duty ; but his inalthough he was far too unsystematic in his ways tellectual apprehension of what is possible to make any point of conscience in reading them regularly. He often made points in the Bible infinitely outruns his power, not of execusubjects for discussion: yet never heard him tion only, but even of power to attempt. breathe a word of disbelief as regards any of them. He lies under the weight of incubus and He was a decided son of the Christian religion, nightmare: he lies in sight of all that he and he had always a great respect and love for the would fain perform, just as a man forcibly Anglican Church.
confined to his bed by the mortal languor of "Children were always very fond of him,-not that he ever romped with them, but he had a
a relaxing disease, who is compelled to witgreat power of interesting them by his talking to
ness injury or outrage offered to some object them, and his gentle manner won their confidence. of bis tenderest love: he curses the spells He was interested to the most curious extent by which chain him down from motion : he all his grandchildren, the thought of them even would lay down his life if he might get up haunting bim into the delirium of his death-bed. and walk, but he is powerless as an infant, His constant talk during his illness was of child and cannot even attempt to rise. dren. I heard him say one night, Dear, dear little girl! you are, in some measure, the child of
I now pass to what is the main subject of my old age.' Who, papa?' I said. The answer
these later confessions, to the history and was, “My dear little Eva. She is my sister, Mrs. Journal of what took place in my dreams : Craig's, little girl, and he had seen her when a for these were the immediate and proximate baby.
cause of my acutest suffering. “When within an hour or two of death, he said, • They are all leaving me but my dear, dear little change going on in this part of my physical
The first notice I had of any important children;' and one night he woke up from a long sleep and said with great animation, Emily, economy was the re-awakening of a state those Edinburgh cabmen are the most brutal set of eve generally incident to childhood, or of fellows I ever knew of!' "Why, what have they exalted states of irritability. I know not done?". • You must know, my dear, that I and the whether my reader is aware that many little children were all invited to a supper by Jesus children, perhaps most, have a power of Christ. So you see, as it was a great honour, I painting, as it were upon the darkness, all determined to get new dresses for the little children, and, would you believe it, when I and they
sorts of phantoms; in some, that power is went out in our new dresses, I saw those fellows simply a mechanic affection of the eye ; all laughing at them.'"-Emily De Quincey to S. others have a voluntary or a semi-voluntary AUSTIN ALLIBONE, May 31, 1860.
power to dismiss or to summon them; or, as a
child once said to me when I questioned him so much as the vast expansion of time: I on this matter, - I can tell them to go and they sometimes seemed to have lived for 70 or go; but sometimes they come when I don't 100 years in one night, nay, sometimes had tell them to come.” Whereupon I told him feelings representative of a millennium passed that he had almost as unlimited a command in that time, or, however, of a duration far over apparitions as a Roman centurion over beyond the limits of any human experience. his soldiers. In the middle of 1817, I think 4. The minutest incidents of childhood, it was, that this faculty became positively or forgotten scenes of later years, were often distressing to me: at night, when I lay in revived : I could not be said to recollect bed, vast processions passed along in mourn- them ; for if I had been told of them when ful pomp; friezes of never-ending stories, waking. I should not have been able to acthat to my feelings were as sad and solemn knowledge them as parts of my past expeas if they were stories drawn from times rience. But placed as they were before me, before Edipus or Priam, -before Tyre,-be-in dreams like intuitions, and clothed in all fore Memphis. And, at the same time, a their evanescent circumstances, and accomcorresponding change took place in my panging feelings, I recognized them instandreams: a theatre seemed suddenly opened taneously. I was once told by a near relaand lighted up within my brain, which pre- tive of mine, that having in her childhood sented mighty spectacles of more than earthly fallen into a river, and being on the very splendour. And the four following facts verge of death but for the critical assistance may be mentioned, as noticeable at this which reached her, she saw in a moment her time:
whole life, in its minutest incidents, arrayed 1. That as the creative state of the eye before her simultaneously as in a mirror; increased, a sympathy seemed to arise be- and she had a faculty developed as suddenly tween the waking and the dreaming states of for comprehending the whole and every part. the brain in one point, that whatsoever I This, from some opium experiences of mine, happened to call up and to trace by a volun- I can believe. I have, indeed, seen the same tary act upon the darkness was very apt to thing asserted twice in modern books, and transfer itself to my dreams, so that I feared accompanied by a remark which I am conto exercise this faculty ; for, as Midas turned vinced is true, viz., that the dread book of all things to gold, that yet baffled his hopes account which the Scriptures speak of, is, in and defrauded his human desires, so what- fact, the mind itself of each individual. Of soever things capable of being visually rep- this, at least, I feel assured, that there is no resented I did but think of in the darkness, such thing as forgetting possible to the mind. immediately shaped themselves into phan- A thousand accidents may, and will, intertoms of the eye, and by a process apparently pose a veil between our present consciousness no less inevitable, when thus once traced in and the secret inscriptions on the mind; acfaint and visionary colours, like writings in cidents of the same sort will always rend sympathetic ink, they were drawn out by away this veil; but alike, whether veiled or the fierce chemistry of my dreams into in- unveiled, the inscription remains for erer, sufferable splendour that fretted my
heart. just as the stars seem to withdraw before 2. For this and all other changes in my the common light of day, whereas, in fact,
-is anxiety and gloomy melancholy, such as are drawn over them as a veil,—and that they wholly incommunicable hy words. I seemed are waiting to be revealed when the obscurevery night to descend, not metaphorically ing daylight shall have withdrawn. but literally to descend, into chasms and Having noticed these four facts as memsunless abysses, depths below depths, from orahly distinguishing my dreams from those which it seemed hopeless that I could ever of health, I shall now cite a case illustrative re-ascend. Nor did I. by waking, feel that of the first fact, and shall then cite any I had re-ascended. This I do not dwell others that I remember, either in their chroupon : because the state of gloom which at- nological order, or any other that may gire tended these gorgeous spectacles, amounting them more effect as pictures to the reader. at least to utter darkness, as of some sui- I had been in youth, and even since, for cidal despondency, cannot be approached by occasional amusement, a great reader of words.
Livy, whom I confess that I prefer, both for 3. The sense of space, and in the end the style and matter, to any other of the Roman sense of time, were both powerfully affected. historians; and I had often felt as most Buildings, landscapes, etc., were exhibited solemn and appalling sounds, and most emin proportions so vast as the bodily eye is phatically representative of the majesty of not fitted to receive. Space swelled, and the Roman people, the two words so often was amplified to an extent of unutterable occurring in Livy,-Consul Romanus; esinfinity This, however, did not disturb me | pecially when the consul is introduced in
his military character. I mean to say that step onwards to him who had reached the the words king, sultan, regent, etc., or any extremity, except into the depths below. other titles of those who embody in their Whatever is to become of Piranesi, you supown persons the collective majesty of a great pose, at least, that his labours must in some people, bad less power over my reverential way terminate here. But raise your eyes, feelings. I had also, though no great reader and behold a second flight of stairs stili of history, made myself minutely and crit- higher, on which again Piranesi is perically familiar with one period of English ceived, by this time standing on the very history, viz., the period of the parliamentary brink of the abyss. Ayain elevate your war, having been attracted by the moral eye, and a still more aërial flight of stairs grandeur of some who figured in that day, is beheld; and again is poor Piranesi busy and by the many interesting memoirs which on his aspiring labours; and so on, until survived those unquiet times. Both these the unfinished stairs and Piranesi both are parts of my lighter reading, having fur- lost in the upper gloon of the hall. With nished me often with matter of reflection, the same power of endless growth and selfnow furnished me with matter for my dreams. reproduction did my architecture proceed in Often I used to see, after painting upon the dreams. In the early stage of my malady, black darkness, a sort of rehearsal whilst the splendours of my dreams were indeed waking, a crowd of ladies, and perhaps a chiefly architectural; and I beheld such festival, and dances. And I heard it said, pomp of cities and palaces as was never yet or I said to myself, “ These are English beheld by the waking eye, unless in the ladies from the unhappy times of Charles I. clouds. From a great modern poet I cite These are the wives and the daughters of part of a passage which describes, as an those who met in peace, and sat at the same appearance actually beheld in the clouds, tables, and were allied by marriage or by what in many of its circumstances I saw blood ; and yet, after a certain day in Au- frequently in sleep :gust, 1642, never smiled upon each other again, nor met but in the field of battle ;
“The appearance, instantaneously disclosed,
Was of a mighty city-boldly say and at Marston Moor, at Newbury, or at A wilderness of building, sinking far Naseby, cut asunder all ties of love by the And self-withdrawn into a wondrous depth, cruel sabre, and washed away in blood the Far sinking into splendour-without end! memory of ancient friendship.” The ladies Fabric it seeru'd of diamond and of gold, danced and looked as lovely as the court of
With alabaster domes, and silver spires, George IV. Yet I knew, even in my dream,
And blazing terrace upon terrace, high that they had been in the grave for nearly
Uplifted; here, serene pavilions bright
In avenues disposed, there towns begirt two centuries. This pageant would suddenly With battlements tbat on their restless fronts dissolve ; and, at a clapping of hands, would Bore stars-illumination of all gems! be heard the heart-quaking sound of Consul By earthly nature had the effect been wrought Romanus; and immediately came “sweep- Upon the dark materials of the storm ing by," in gorgeous paludaments, Paulus
Now pacified : on them and on the cones, or Marius, girt round by a company of cen
And mountain-steeps and summits whereunto
The vapours had receded, -taking there turions, with the crimson tunic hoisted on a
Their station under a cerulean sky," etc., etc. spear, and followed by the Alalagmos of the Roman legions.
The sublime circumstances--" battlements Many years ago, when I was looking over that on their restless fronts bore stars"-Piranesi's Antiquities of Rome, Mr. Cole- might have been copied from my architectridge, who was standing by, described to ural dreams, for it often occurred. We hear me a set of plates by that artist, called his it reported of Dryden, and of Fuseli in Dreams, and which record the scenery of modern times, that they thought proper to his own visions during the delirium of a eat raw meat for the sake of obtaining splenferer. Some of them (I describe only from did dreams: how much better for such a memory of Mr. Coleridge's account) repre- purpose to have eaten opium, which yet I sented vast Gothic halls, on the floor of do not remember that any poet is recorded which stood all sorts of engines and ma- to have done, except the dramatist Shadwell: chinery, wheels, cables, pulleys, lerers, cata- and in ancient days, Homer is, I think, pults, etc., etc., expressive of enormous power rightly reputed to have known the virtues put forth, and resistance overcome. Creep- of opium. ing along the sides of the walls, you per- To my architecture succeeded dreams of ceived a staircase; and upon it, groping his lakes and silvery expanses of water : these way upwards, was Piranesi himself: follow haunted me so much, that I feared (though the stairs a little farther, and you perceive possibly it will appear ludicrous to a mediit came to a sudden abrupt termination, cal man) that some dropsical state or tenwithout any balustrade, and allowing no dency of the brain might thus be making
itself (to use a metaphysical word) object- youth in the individual. A young Chinese ire; and the sentient organ project itself as seems to me an antediluvian man renewed. its own object. For two months I suffered Even Englishmen, though not bred in any greatly in my head,
,-a part of my bodily knowledge of such institutions, cannot but structure which had hitherto been so clear shudder at the mystic sublimity of castes from all touch or taint of weakness (physi- that have flowed apart, and refused to mis cally I mean), that I used to say of it, as through such immemorial tracts of time; the last Lord Oxford said of his stomach, nor can any man fail to be awed by the that it seemed likely to survive the rest of names of the Ganges or the Euphrates. It my person. Till now I had never felt a contributes much to these feelings, that headache even, or any the slightest pain, Southern Asia is, and has been for thouexcept rheumatic pains caused by my own
sands of years,
the part of the earth most folly. However, I got over this attack, swarming with human life,—the great ofthough it must have been verging on some- ficina gentium. Man is a weed in those rething very dangerous.
gions. The vast empires, also, into which The waters now changed their character, the enormous population of Asia has always - from translucent lakes, shining like mir- been cast, give a further sublimity to the rors, they now became seas and oceans.feelings associated with all Oriental names And now came a tremendous change, which, or images. In China, over and above what unfolding itself slowly like a scroll, through it has in common with the rest of Southern many months, promised an abiding torment; Asia, I am terrified by the modes of life, by and, in fact, it never left me until the wind- the manners, and the barrier of utter abing-lip of my case. Hitherto the human horrence, and want of sympathy, placed face bad mixed often in my dreams, but not between us by feelings deeper than I can despotically, nor with any special power of analyze. I could sooner live with lunatics tormenting. But now that which I have or brutal animals. All this, and much more called the tyranny of the human face began than I can say, or have time to say, the reader to unfold itself. Perhaps some part of my must enter into before he can comprehend the London life might be answerable for this. unimaginable horror which these dreams of Be that as it may, now it was that upon the Oriental imagery and mythological tortures rocking waves of the ocean the human face impressed upon me. Under the connecting began to appear: the sea appeared paved feeling of tropical heat and vertical sunlights, with innumerable faces, upturned to the I brought together all creatures, birds, beasts, heavens,-faces, imploring, wrathful, de reptiles, all trees and plants, usages and apspairing, surged upwards by thousands, by pearances, that are found in all tropical remyriads, by generations, by centuries. My gions, and assembled them together in China agitation was infinite,-my mind tossed, or Indostan. From kindred feelings, I soon and surged with the ocean.
brought Egypt and all her gods under the The Malay has been a fearful enemy for
I was stared at, hooted at, months. I have been every night, through grinned at, chattered at, by monkeys, by his means, transported into Asiatic scenes. parroquets, by cockatoos. I ran into paI know not whether others share in my godas: and was fixed, for centuries, at the feelings on this point; but I have often summit,.or in secret rooms; I was the idol ; thought that if I were compelled to forego I was the priest ; I was worshipped; I was England, and to live in China and among sacrificed. ` I fled from the wrath of Brama Chinese manners and modes of life and through all the forests of Asia ; Vishnu scenery, I should go mad. The causes of hated me; Seeva laid wait for me. I came my horror lie deep ; and some of them must suddenly upon Iris and Osiris, I had done a be common to others. Southern Asia, in deed, they said, which the ibis and the crocogeneral, is the seat of awsul images and as- dile trein bled at. I was buried for a thousociations. As the cradle of the human sand years, in stone coffins, with mummies race, it would alone have a dim and rever- and sphinxes, in narrow chambers, at the ential feeling connected with it. But there heart of eternal pyramids. I was kissed. are other reasons. No man can pretend that with cancerous kisses, by crocodiles, and
the wild, barbarous, and capricious super- laid, confounded with all unutterable slimy rstitions of Africa, or of savage tribes else things, amongst reeds and Nilotic mud. where, affect him in the way that he is I thus give the reader some slight abstracaffected by the ancient, monumental, cruel, tion of my Oriental dreams, which always and elaborate religions of Indostan, etc. The filled me with such amazement at the monmere antiquity of Asiatic things, of their in- strous scenery, that horror seemed absorbed stitutions, histories, modes of faith, etc., is for a while in sheer astonishment. Sooner so impressive, that to me the vast age of or later came a reflux of feeling that swalthe race and name overpowers the sense of | lowed up the astonishment, and left me, not 80 much in terror, as in hatred and abomi- power, to decide it. I had the power,
if I nation at what I saw. Over every form, and could raise myself, to will it; and yet again threat, and punishment, and dim, sightless had not the power, for the weight of twenty incarceration, brooded a sense of eternity Atlantics was upon me, or the oppression of and infinity that drove me into an oppres- inexpiable guilt. “ Deeper than ever plumsion as of madness. Into these dreams only, met sounded," I lay inactive. Then, like a it was, with one or two slight exceptions, chorus, the passion deepened. Some greater that any circumstances of physical horror en- interest was at stake ; some mightier cause tered. All before had been moral and spirit- than ever yet the sword had pleaded or trumual terrors. But here the main agents were pet had proclaimed. Then came the sudden ugly birds, or snakes, or crocodiles, espe- alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations of cially the last. The cursed crocodile became innumerable fugitives, I knew not whether to me the object of more than almost all the from the good cause or the bad ; darkness rest. I was compelled to live with him, and and lights; tempests and human faces; and (as was always the case almost in my at last, with the sense that all was lost, dreams) for centuries. I escaped some- female forms, and the features that were times, and found myself in Chinese houses, worth all the world to me, and but a mowith cane tables, etc. All the feet of the ment allowed—and clasped bands, and tables, sofas, etc., soon became instinct with heart-breaking partings, and then-everlastlife: the abominable head of the crocodile, ing farewells ! and with a sigh, such as the and his leering eyes, looked out at me, mul- caves of hell sighed when the incestuous tiplied into a thousand repetitions: and I mother uttered the abhorred name of death, stood loathing and fascinated. And so often the sound was reverberated—everlasting did this hideous reptile haunt my dreams, farewells; and again, and yet again reverthat many times the very same dream was berated-everlasting farewells ! broken up in the very same way: I heard And I awoke in struggles, and cried aloud, gentle voices speaking to me (I hear every- "I will sleep no more !" thing when I am sleeping); and instantly I Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. awoke: it was broad noon; and my children were standing, hand in hand, at my bedside, come to show me their coloured shoes, or new frocks, or to let me see them RICHARD WHATELY, D.D., dressed for going out. I protest, that so awful was the transition from the damned born in London, 1787, Fellow of Oriel Colcrocodile, and the other unutterable mon- lege, 1811, Principal of St. Alban Hall, Oxsters and abortions of my dreams to the ford, 1825, Professor of Political Economy, sight of innocent human natures, and of in- Oxford, 1830, Archbishop of Dublin and fancy, that, in the mighty and sudden revul- Bishop of Glendalagh, 1831, Bishop of Kilsion of mind, I wept, and could not forbear, dare, 1846, died in Dublin, Oct. 8, 1863. as I kissed their faces. . . . As a final speci- | Works: IIistoric Doubts relative to Napomen, I cite a dream of a different character leon Bonaparte, Lond., 1819, 8vo (anon.), from 1820:-The dream commenced with a 12th edit., 1849, 12mo; The Christian's music which now I often heard in dreams, - Duty with Respect to the Established Gova music of preparation and of awakening sus- ernment and the Laws Considered, in Three pense,-a music like the opening of the Coro- Sermons, 1821, 8vo ; The Use and Abuse of nation Anthem, and which, like that, gave Party Feeling in Matters of Religion Conthe feeling of a vast march, of infinite cav- sidered, in Eight Sermons: Bampton Lecalcades filing off, and the tread of innumer- ture, Oxf., 1822, 8vo, 4th edit., with addiable armies. The morning was come of a tions, 1839, 8vo; Essays (First Series) on mighty day,-a day of crises and of final some of the Peculiarities of the Christian hope for human nature, then suffering some Religion, Oxf., 1825, 8vo, 7th edit., Lond., mysterious eclipse, and labouring in some 1860, 8vo; Elements of Logic, Lond., 1827, dread extremity. Somewhere, I knew not 8vo, 10th edit., 1850, demy 8vo, new edit., where,-somehow, I knew not how,-by some 1864, post 8vo; Elements of Rhetoric, Oxf., beings, I knew not whom,-a battle, a strife, 1828, 8vo, 7th edit., Lond., 1846, demy 8vo. an agony was conducting,—was evolving new edit., 1857, crown 8vo : Essays (Second like a great drama, or piece of music, with Series) on some of the Difficulties in the which my sympathy was the more insup- Writings of the Apostle Paul, and in other portable from my confusion as to its place, Parts of the New Testament, Lond., 1828, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue. Svo, 8th edit., 1865, 8vo; A View of the I, as usual in dreams (where, of necessity, Scripture Revelations concerning a Future we make ourselves central to every move- State, etc., Lond., 1829, 12mo, 9th edit., ment), had the power, and yet had not the | 1870, fp. 8vo; Essays (Third Series): The