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De Quincey's reference to "irremediable evils, or irreparable losses" is a subtle suggestion that opium could help the poor bear their burdens as well as it has helped him, a suggestion that he makes explicit at the end of the section. As he often does, he implicitly holds up here his awareness of both sides of life - the gentleman life and the impoverished life - as a singular aspect of his personality, and hence a defense of his work as one of literary, and not just exploitative, value. De Quincey addresses the reader directly in this passage, bluntly explaining his rationale for not relating the details of his stomach problems.

Because he chooses to gloss over these details for the reader's benefit, he implicates his audience in his authorial decisions, suggesting that he does not have as much agency in the writing of this memoir as is usually assumed. This passage also demonstrates De Quincey's defensiveness against criticisms of his opium use; he is adamant that his addiction to the drug was inevitable and not a result of personal weakness.

This is consistent with his view of himself as someone who must suffer from opium so that others may know what the experience is like. Further, he acknowledges the contradiction between his authorial ambitions here - on one hand, he knows his work will be popular because of its exploitative value, and on the other hand, he wants it to be a respectable piece of literary work. In choosing to gloss over potentially offensive physical detail without depriving a curious audience of the opium effects, he is trying to indulge both sides of his desires.

At the beginning of "The Pains of Opium," De Quincey meditates once again upon the difficult decisions that a memoir-writer must face when choosing what to include. This is the first time that he openly acknowledges how shockingly personal and explicit Confessions of an English Opium-Eater would be to his nineteenth-century audience. By representing his indecision about whether to write the memoir within the text itself, De Quincey tries to mitigate how shocking the content will be to his audience.

Here, when discussing how long-buried memories resurfaced while he was in the grips of opium, De Quincey ponders the fact that forgotten memories can appear when they are least expected. The relationship between the past and the subconscious is a major concern of nineteenth-century literature, and it would be addressed later in the century by literary giants like Marcel Proust and psychologists like William James and Sigmund Freud.

However, this was still a relatively new concept in , which explains why De Quincey felt the need to explain in detail his rationale for representing the past the way he does. This element of the work is one of many where De Quincey reveals his ambitions to write about ideas and experiences larger than simply the exploitative pains of opium. As a man interested in thought, he wishes to use his experience to craft literary passages worthy of discussion, and not merely to list the physical horrors of the drug. Here, De Quincey continues his habit of anthropomorphizing opium, privileging it so highly that it supersedes his own life as the true subject of the text.

This hearkens back to his rapturous early experiences with opium, in which it played such an important role in his life that he described it in religious terms. This passage also explains De Quincey's choice to omit certain information about his personal life and to focus so closely on the experiential details of taking opium. Strangely, this assertion works in contradiction to earlier sections of the text, where he considered himself an equal focus in the narrative. Again, De Quincy is possessed of two authorial desires - to craft a popular, exploitative memoir, and also to craft a work of literary value.

Here, he acquiesces to the first desire, writing a rather affecting phrase the likes of which will ensure the work's popularity. Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

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Confessions of an English Opium Eater Full Audiobook by Thomas de QUINCEY

Thomas de Quincey was an English author and intellectual, best known for his book Confessions of an English Opium-Eater Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. Published first published September 1st More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Miscellaneous Essays , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. The sole survivor ran back to Odysseus and told the story of the evil goddess and how they would all be turned into swine if they dared to stay on that dangerous island.

Odysseus was not afraid; he refused to leave his men as swine and would not risk any of the other men in a fight with Circe. Hermes gave Odysseus a potion to counteract Circe's drug. Circe welcomed Odysseus and gave him her potion but Odysseus was protected against it. When Circe thought the drugs had taken effect, she struck Odysseus with her wand to complete the transformation process but Odysseus drew his sword and sprang upon her.

The astonished Circe surrendered instantly, released the twenty two pig-men and restored them to their original forms. The Phoenician city of Tyre was founded in c. Midas — When offered a reward by the god Dionysos, King Midas of Phrygia requested that everything he touched might be turned to gold. His request was granted, but as his food and drink became gold from the moment he touched it, he prayed that the gods would take back their gift.

He was then ordered to bathe in the Pactolus, and the river ever after rolled over golden sands. The same King Midas was appointed to judge a musical contest between Apollo and Pan, and gave judgment in favour of Pan; in contempt, Apollo gave the king a pair of ass's ears. Midas hid them under his Phrygian cap; but his hairdresser discovered them, and was so amused that he ran into a meadow where he whispered to the grass, "Midas has ass's ears".

The grass repeats the story to the wind every time the wind blows over grass.. The Bible talks of a "Book of Reckoning" or a "Book of Judgement" in which the deeds of men are written and against which their lives will be judged on the Last Day. One example of this is to be found in the Book of Revelation 20 vv.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The book culminates in the conflict between the patricians and plebeians. Consuls were the chief Roman magistrates; they presided over the senate and assemblies and Rome's foreign affairs. Consuls also served as Rome's generals on military campaigns. Parliamentary war — the English Civil War of in which parliamentary forces led by Oliver Cromwell among others ultimately defeated and then executed the king, Charles I.

The 'certain day in August' refers to 22 August when Charles I raised his standard at Nottingham Castle; at that point the war between King and Parliament began.

By the time the armies were in position it was late in the day, and the Royalist leaders were convinced that there would not be an attack until the morning. The Parliamentary army surprised the royalists by attacking at about 7 p. The fighting lasted for several hours; the Royalists lost men, plus their artillery. York was forced to surrender to Parliament and the north of England was lost to the king. Prince Rupert lost his reputation of invincibility in battle, but Marston Moor made the reputation of another man; Oliver Cromwell.

There were two battles at Newbury near Gloucester: on 20 September and again on 27 October The first battle was a 'draw' but revealed the King's lack of military expertise; the second battle was also inconclusive. The battle of Naseby was fought on 14 June After a whole day of fighting, the King's main field army was destroyed and although fighting dragged on into the outcome of the war was no longer in doubt.

On 30 January the King was executed on the orders of Parliament. The Civil War divided families and men found themselves fighting relatives in the various battles. It was many years before the divisions of this time were healed. The court of the Prince Regent was renowned for its decadence; of particular notoriety were the "goings on" at Brighton Pavilion.

The fashions of the day called for flimsy dress fabrics, low-cut bodices and virtually no imagination. Marius was a Consul elected from a non-nob. Influenced by Palladio, Piranesi hoped to become an architect of important classical revival architecture in Rome. He published his studies of extant classical buildings and projects of his own in a series of books.


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  • Movies in Running - Top Gun.

Although he was born and brought up in Venice, Piranesi went to Rome at the age of twenty and spent the rest of his life in the city. Rome was the inspiration for and subject of most of his etchings that numbered more than one thousand. Piranesi studied architecture, engineering and stage design; his first plans for buildings reflect this background. The impact of classical Roman architecture is reflected in his work. Piranesi's The Round Tower — part of a triptych, Carceri ca.

A "cerulean sky" is cloudless, pure deep blue or azure. Dryden and Fuseli He converted to Catholicism in but on the accession of William and Mary in , his religious convictions cost Dryden his Laureateship when he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the monarchy. A friend of William Blake, Fuseli ate raw meat and pork chops before going to bed, to ensure vivid dreams. It is alleged that Dryden also did this.

Salmonella is a common bacterium found in raw meat and causes nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, fever and headache. Other forms of bacteria botulism, Staphylococcus, toxemia can cause hallucinations. After that he undertook some years of travel in Ireland and France. In he married an actress and in began his career as a dramatist.

Shadwell was Poet Laureate between and Weakened by illness, Shadwell resorted to opium to relieve his suffering and died from an overdose in Homer is This does not mean necessarily that Homer used opium, however. Indostan — India. Little was known about the culture, history and society of the Orient in the early 19th Century and for the English, most of the non-English speaking world was considered to be uncivilised and 'heathen'. Lord Brahma is the creator and represents the creative principle of the Supreme Being. Lord Vishnu maintains the universe and represents the eternal principle of preservation.

Lord Seva represents the principle of dissolution and recreation. Isis and Osiris — In ancient Egyptian religion, Osiris was the god of the dead and Isis was his wife and sister. According to the story, when Osiris was born, a voice cried out that the Lord of the Earth had been born. He became a mighty king and brought civilisation to his people; he then went away to civilise other peoples.

He left Egypt under the control of his sister-wife, Isis but his brother, Set, plotted against him and eventually killed Osiris. Isis journeyed far and wide until she found her husband's body. Meanwhile, Horus - the son of Osiris and Isis - had grown to manhood and the eternal fight between good and evil began. Sebek was the crocodile-headed god, often associated with Set; Thoth was the ibis-headed god. Thoth was the measurer of the earth, the counter of the stars, the keeper and recorder of all knowledge.

It was Thoth who was believed to have written important religious texts such as The Book of the Dead. Easter Day — the feast fell on 11 April that year. This may be a reference to Blake's imagery. William Lithgow; "Travels," He bathed in the River Jordan , visited the Holy shrines and took home a few souvenirs including "a pair of Garters of the Holy Grave, all richly wrought in Silk and Gold".

In about he was in Malaga Spain where he was accused of being a spy. He was questioned and then tortured by being racked. The story appears in Fox's Book of Martyrs. Grieve says: "it is an extremely nauseous and offensive preparation. Scotchman of eminent name — This is probably a reference to Sir John Lesley who was born in Fife in He was appointed Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh in and then became Professor of Natural Philosophy in He held this position until his death in Jeremy Taylor — Taylor was born in Cambridge in and was ordained in Under Puritan rule, he was imprisoned three times and forced into retirement as a family chaplain in Wales.

Many readers reported finding these books of great spiritual benefit. Beaumont and Fletcher's play of Thierry and Theodoret — Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher and Philip Massinger collaborated in the writing of comedies and tragedies between about and The date of the composition of the play is unknown: it was printed in I tried bitters — Bitters are used as a tonic to aid digestion. They seem to work by increasing secretions in the stomach, gall bladder and intestinal tract.

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Bitters are actually made by steeping herbs such as Goldenseal or Gentian in vinegar or alcohol.. The Hebrew word means "skull" or "place of the skull". The Jews used Golgotha as their place of stoning to death - the punishment prescribed by the Law of Moses - for hundreds of years. The quarry was a convenient spot to stone those found guilty because here were many stones and sharp rock fragments from the chiseling of the temple stone there.

The name Golgotha actually came from this beginning since this was the place where skulls were hit against the rocks and often human remains were left there as well. In de Quincey's context, he is writing about the huge insanitary graveyards in London. There was no legislation governing burials at that time. Grave robbing was one method used to acquire corpses; murder was another.

Dissected corpses could not be "raised from the dead" which is why criminals' bodies were used. AD 69 - after was a biographer and antiquarian whose writings include De viris illustribus "Concerning Illustrious Men" , a collection of short biographies of celebrated Roman literary figures, and De vita Caesarum Lives of the Caesars. The latter, giving details of the lives of the emperors, secured him lasting fame. Reader, who have thus far accompanied me, I must request your attention to a brief explanatory note on three points:.

For several reasons, I have not been able to compose the notes for this part of my narrative into any regular and connected shape. I give the notes disjointed as I find them, or have now drawn them up from memory. Some of them point to their own date; some I have dated; and some are undated.

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Whenever it could answer my purpose to transplant them from the natural or chronological order, I have not scrupled to do so. Sometimes I speak in the present, sometimes in the past tense. Few of the notes, perhaps, were written exactly at the period of time to which they relate; but this can little affect their accuracy, as the impressions were such that they can never fade from my mind. Much has been omitted.

Confessions of an English Opium Eater

I could not, without effort, constrain myself to the task of either recalling, or constructing into a regular narrative, the whole burden of horrors which lies upon my brain. This feeling, partly, I plead in excuse, and partly that I am not in London, and am a helpless sort of person who cannot even arrange his own papers without assistance; and I am separated from the hands which are wont to perform for me the offices of an amanuensis [one who writes at the dictation of another; a scribe]. You will think, perhaps, that I am too confidential and communicative of my own private history.

It may be so. But my way of writing is rather to think aloud, and follow my own humours, than much to consider who is listening to me; and, if I stop to consider what is proper to be said to this or that person, I shall soon come to doubt whether any part at all is proper. The fact is, I place myself at a distance of fifteen or twenty years ahead of this time, and suppose myself writing to those who will be interested about me hereafter; and wishing to have some record of a time, the entire history of which no one can know but myself, I do it as fully as I am able with the efforts I am now capable of making, because I know not whether I can ever find time to do it again.

It will occur to you often to ask, Why did I not release myself from the horrors of opium, by leaving it off, or diminishing it! To this I must answer briefly; it might be supposed that I yielded to the fascinations of opium too easily; it cannot be supposed that any man can be charmed by its terrors. The reader may be sure, therefore, that I made attempts innumerable to reduce the quantity.

I add, that those who witnessed the agonies of those attempts, and not myself, were the first to beg me to desist. But could not I have reduced it a drop a day, or, by adding water, have bisected or trisected a drop? A thousand drops bisected would thus have taken nearly six years to reduce; and that they would certainly not have answered.

But this is a common mistake of those who know nothing of opium experimentally; I appeal to those who do, whether it is not always found that down to a certain point it can be reduced with ease, and even pleasure, but that, after that point, further reduction causes intense suffering. Yes, say many thoughtless persons, who know not what they are talking of, you will suffer a little low spirits and dejection, for a few days. I answer, no; there is nothing like low spirits; on the contrary, the mere animal spirits are uncommonly raised; the pulse is improved; the health is better.


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  4. It is not there that the suffering lies. It has no resemblance to the sufferings caused by renouncing wine. It is a state of unutterable irritation of stomach which surely is not much like dejection , accompanied by intense perspirations, and feelings such as I shall not attempt to describe without more space at my command. I shall now enter in media res [in the middle of things], and shall anticipate, from a time when my opium pains might be said to be at their acme an account of their palsying effects on the intellectual faculties. My studies have now been long interrupted.

    I cannot read to myself with any pleasure, hardly with a moment's endurance. Yet I read aloud sometimes for the pleasure of others; because reading is an accomplishment of mine, and, in the slang use of the word accomplishment as a superficial and ornamental attainment, almost the only one I possess; and formerly, if I had any vanity at all connected with any endowment or attainment of mine, it was with this; for I had observed that no accomplishment was so rare. Players are the worst readers of all: — — reads vilely; and Mrs.

    People in general either read poetry without any passion at all, or else overstep the modesty of nature, and read not like scholars. Of late, if I have felt moved by anything in books, it has been by the grand lamentations of Samson Agonistes , or the great harmonics of the Satanic speeches in Paradise Regained , when read aloud by myself.

    A young lady sometimes comes and drinks tea with us; at her request and M. For nearly two years I believe that I read no book but one; and I owe it to the author, in discharge of a great debt of gratitude, to mention what that was. The sublimer and more passionate poets I still read, as I have said, by snatches, and occasionally.

    But my proper vocation, as I well knew, was the exercise of the analytic understanding. Now, for the most part, analytic studies are continuous, and not to be pursued by fits and starts, or fragmentary efforts. Mathematics, for instance, intellectual philosophy, etc. In this state of imbecility, I had, for amusement, turned my attention to political economy; my understanding, which formerly had been as active and restless as a hyena, could not, I suppose so long as I lived at all , sink into utter lethargy; and political economy offers this advantage to a person in my state, that though it is eminently an organic science no part, that is to say, but what acts on the whole, as the whole again reacts on each part , yet the several parts may be detached and contemplated singly.

    Great as was the prostration of my powers at this time, yet I could not forget my knowledge; and my understanding had been for too many years intimate with severe thinkers, with logic, and the great masters of knowledge, not to be aware of the utter feebleness of the main herd of modern economists. I had been led in to look into loads of books and pamphlets on many branches of economy; and, at my desire, M. I saw that these were generally the very dregs and rinsings of the human intellect; and that any man of sound head, and practised in wielding logic with scholastic adroitness, might take up the whole academy of modern economists, and throttle them between heaven and earth with his finger and thumb, or bray their fungous heads to powder [beat their spongy heads to pulp] with a lady's fan.

    At length, in , a friend in Edinburgh sent me down Mr. Ricardos book '; and, recurring to my own prophetic anticipation of the advent of some legislator for this science, I said, before I had finished the first chapter, "Thou art the man! Yet I wondered once more: I wondered at myself that I could once again be stimulated to the effort of reading; and much more I wondered at the book.