Confessions of an English Opium-eater

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W. Smith, 1847 - Opium abuse - 49 pages
 

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Page 16 - ... of the world within me ! That my pains had vanished, was now a trifle in my eyes : — this negative effect was swallowed up in the immensity of those positive effects which had opened before me — in the abyss of divine enjoyment thus suddenly revealed. Here was a panacea — a ^UMO-/ nviyStt for all human woes: 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...
Page 35 - I was stared at, hooted at, grinned at, chattered at, by monkeys, by paroquets, by cockatoos. I ran into pagodas, and was fixed, for centuries, at the summit, or in secret rooms: I was the idol; I was the priest; I was worshipped; I was sacrificed.
Page 37 - ... and heart-breaking partings, and then — everlasting farewells! and with a sigh, such as the caves of hell sighed when the incestuous mother uttered the abhorred name of death, the sound was reverberated — everlasting farewells! and again, and yet again reverberated — everlasting farewells! And I awoke in struggles, and cried aloud — "I will sleep no more!
Page 37 - I lay inactive. Then like a chorus the passion deepened. Some greater interest was at stake, some mightier cause than ever yet the sword had pleaded or trumpet had proclaimed. Then came sudden alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations of innumerable fugitives, I knew not whether from the good cause or the bad; darkness and lights; tempest and human faces; and at last, with the sense that all was lost, female forms, and the features that were worth all the world to me ; and but a moment allowed —...
Page 28 - Of these I have about five thousand, collected gradually since my eighteenth year. Therefore, painter, put as many as you can into this room. Make it populous with books, and, furthermore, paint me a good fire; and furniture plain and modest, befitting the unpretending cottage of a scholar.
Page 34 - Asiatic things, of their institutions, histories — above all, of their mythologies, &c. — is so impressive, that to me the vast age of the race and name overpowers the sense of youth in the individual. A young Chinese seems to me an antediluvian man renewed. Even Englishmen, though not bred in any knowledge of such institutions, cannot but shudder at the mystic sublimity of castes that have flowed apart, and refused to mix, through such immemorial tracts of time...
Page 34 - Fuseli in modern times, that they thought proper to eat raw meat for the sake of obtaining splendid dreams: how much better for such a purpose to have eaten opium, which yet I do not remember that any poet is recorded to have done, except • the dramatist Shadwell : and in ancient days, j Homer is, I think, rightly reputed to have known the virtues of opium.
Page 20 - ... to its effects. But this is not so : it is by the re-action of the mind upon the notices of the ear, (the matter coming by the senses, the form from the mind) that the pleasure is constructed : and therefore it is that people of equally good ear differ so much in this point from one another.
Page 27 - I am surprised to see people overlook it, and think it matter of congratulation that winter is going, or, if coming, is not likely to be a severe one On the contrary, I put up a petition, annually, for as much snow, hail, frost, or storm of one kind or other, as the skies can possibly afford us.
Page 32 - I feared to exercise this faculty ; for, as Midas turned all things to gold, that yet baffled his hopes and defrauded his human desires, so whatsoever things capable of being visually represented I did but think of in the darkness, immediately shaped themselves into phantoms of the eye...

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