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consoling myself. For opium (like aware of the tendencies of my own the bee, that extracts its materials thoughts to do all I could to counterindiscriminately from roses and from act them.- I was, indeed, like a perthe soot of chimneys) can overrule son who, according to the old legend, all feelings into a compliance with had entered the cave of Trophonius : the master key. Some of these rame and the remedies I sought were to bles led me to great distances : for force myself into society, and to keep an opium-eater is too happy to ob- my understanding in continual actiserve the motion of time. And some vity upon matters of science. But times in my attempts to steer home- for these remedies, I should certainly wards, upon nautical principles, by have become hypochondriacally me fixing my eye on the pole-star, and lancholy. In after years, however, seeking ambitiously for a north-west when my cheerfulness was more fully passage, instead of circumnavigating re-established, I yielded to my natuall the capes and head-lands I had ral inclination for a solitary life. And, doubled in my outward voyage, I at that time, I often fell into these rem came suddenly upon such knottyveries upon taking opium; and more problems of alleys, such enigmatical than once it has happened to me, on a entries, and such sphynx's riddles of summer-night, when I have been at streets without thoroughfares, as an open window, in a room from must, I conceive, batile the auda- which I could overlook th sea at a city of porters, and confound the mile below me, and could command intellects of hackney-coachmen. I a view of the great town of L--, at could almost have believed, at times, about the same distance, that I have that I must be the first discoverer sate,from sun-set to sun-rise, motionof some of these terræ incognitæ, less, and without wishing to move.
and doubted, whether they had yet I shall be charged with mysticism, · been laid down in the modern charts Behmenism, quietism, &c. but that
of London. For all this, however, shall not alarm me. Sir H. Vane, the I paid a heavy price in distant years, younger, was one of our wisest men: when the human face tyrannized and let my readers see if he, in his over my dreams, and the perplexin philosophical works, be half as unties of my steps in London came mystical as I am.- I say, then, that back and haunted my sleep, with it has often struck me that the scene the feeling of perplexities moral or itself was somewhat typical of what intellectual, that brought confusion took place in such a reverie. The to the reason, or anguish and remorse town of represented the earth, to the conscience.
with 'its sorrows and its graves left Thus I have shown that opium behind, yet not out of sight, nor does not, of necessity, produce inac- wholly forgotten. The ocean, in tivity or torpor; but that, on the everlasting but gentle agitation, and contrary, it often led me into markets brooded over by a dove-like calm, and theatres. Yet, in candour, I will might not unfitly typify the mind admit that markets and theatres are and the mood which then swayed it. not the appropriate haunts of the For it seemed to me as if then first opium-eater, when in the divinest I stood at a distance, and aloof from state incident to his enjoyment. In the uproar of life; as if the tumult, that state, crowds become an oppres- the fever, and the strife, were sussion to him ; music even, too sensual pended; a respite granted from the and gross. He naturally seeks soli- secret burthens of the heart; a sahtude and silence, às indispensable bath of repose ; a resting from human conditions of those trances, or pro- labours. Here were the hopes which foundest reveries, which are the blossom in the paths of life, reconcrown and consummation of what ciled with the peace which is in the opium can do for human nature. I, grave; motions of the intellect as unwhose disease it was to meditate too wearied as the heavens, yet for all much, and to observe too little, and anxieties a halcyon calm: a tranwho, upon my first entrance at col- quillity that seemed no product of lege, was nearly falling into a deep inertia, but as if resulting from mighmelancholy, from brooding too much ty and equal antagonisms; infinite on the sufferings which I had wit- activities, infinite repose. messed in Londov, was sufficiently Oh! just, subtle, and mighty opi
um! that to the hearts of poor and dies, tea-pots, tea-kettles, &c. have rich alike, for the wounds that will departed (not to speak of still frailer never heal, and for “ the pangs that vessels, such as glasses, decanters, tempt the spirit to rebel,” bringest an bed-makers, &c.) which occasional assuaging halm; eloquent opium ! resemblances in the present generathat with thy potent rhetoric steal- tion of tea-cups, &c. remind me of est away the purposes of wrath; and having once possessed, but of whose to the guilty man, for one night departure and final fate I, in comgivest back the hopes of his youth, mon with most gownsmen of either and hands washed pure from blood; university, could give, I suspect, but and to the proud man, a brief obli an obscure and conjectural history. vion for
The persecutions of the chapel-beil, Wrongs upredress'd, and insults una
sounding its unwelcome summons to venged;
six o'clock matins, interrupts my that summonest to the chancery of slumbers no longer : the porter who dreams, for the triumphs of suffering (bronze, inlaid with copper) I wrote,
rang it, upon whose beautiful nose innocence, false witnesses; and confoundest perjury; and dost reverse
in retaliation, so many Greek epithe sentences of unrighteous judges: grams, whilst I was dressing, is —thou buildest upon the bosom of dead, and has ceased to disturb'any darkness, out of the fantastic image- suffered much from his tintinnabul
body: and I, and many others, who ry of the brain, cities and temples, beyond the art of Phidias and Praxi- overlook his errors, and have for
ous propensities, have now agreed to teles—beyond the splendour of Babylon and Hekatómpylos: and « from given him. Even with the bell I am the anarchy of dreaming sleep,” call- now in charity: it rings, I suppose, est into sunny light the faces of long
as formerly, thrice a-day: and cruburied beauties, and the blessed elly annoys, I doubt not, many worhousehold countenances, cleansed
thy gentlemen, and disturbs their from the “ dishonours of the grave.” peace of mind: but as to me, in
this Thou only givest these gifts to man;
year 1812, I regard its treacherand thou hast the keys of Paradise, call it, for, by some refinement of
ous voice no longer (treacherous, I oh, just, subtle, and mighty opium! malice, it spoke in as sweet and
silvery tones as if it had been invit,
ing one to a party): its tones have Courteous, and, I hope, indulgent no longer, indeed, power to reach reader (for all my readers must be me, let the wind sit as favourable indulgent ones, or else, I fear, I shall as the malice of the bell itself could shock them too much to count on wish: for I am 250 miles away their courtesy), having accompanied from it, and buried in the depth of me thus far, now let me request you mountains. And what am I doing to move onwards, for about eight amongst the mountains ? Taking years; that is to say, from 1804 opium. Yes, but what else? Why, (when I have said that my acquaint- reader, in 1812, the year we are now ance with opium first began) to 1812. arrived at, as well as for some years The years of academic life are now previous, I have been chiefly studyover and gone-almost forgotten :- ing German metaphysics, in the the student's cap no longer presses writings of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, my temples; if my cap exist at all, &c. Ănd how, and in what manit presses those of some youthful ner, do I live in short, what class scholar, I trust, as happy as myself, or description of men do I belong and as passionate a lover of know- to? I am at this period, viz. in ledge. My gown is, by this time, I 1812, living in a cottage ; and with dare to say, in the same condition with a single female servant (honi soit many thousands of excellent books qui mal y pense), who, amongst my in the Bodleian, viz. diligently pe- neighbours, passes by the name of rused by certain studious moths my “ house-keeper.” And, as a and worms : or departed, however scholar and a man of learned edu(which is all that I know of its fate), cation, and in that sense a gentleto that great reservoir of somewhere, man, 1 may presume to class myself to which all the tea-cups, tea-cad- as an unworthy member of that in
INTRODUCTION TO THE
PAINS OF OPIUM.
definite body called gentlemen. Part- not be forgotten, that hitherto I ly on the ground i have assigned, have been only a dilettante eater of perhaps ; partly because, from my opium: eight years' practice even, having no visible calling or business, with the single precaution of allowing it is rightly judged that I must be sufficient intervals between every inliving on my private fortune; I am dulgence, has not been sufficient to so classed by my neighbours: and, make opium necessary to me as an by the courtesy of modern England, article of daily diet. But now comes I am usually addressed on letters, a different era.
Move on, if you &c. esquire, though having, I fear, please, reader, to 1813. In the sumin the rigorous construction of he- mer of the year we have just quitted, ralds, but slender pretensions to I had suffered much in bodily health that distinguished honour: yes, in from distress of mind connected with popular estimation, I am X. Y. Z., a very melancholy event. This event, esquire, but not Justice of the Peace, being no ways related to the subject
Custos Rotulorum. Am I now before me, further than through married ? Not yet. And I still take the bodily illness which it produced, opium? On Saturday nights. And, I need not more particularly notice. perhaps, have taken it unblushingly Whether this illness of 1812 had any ever since “ the rainy Sunday," and share in that of 1813, I know not: “the stately Pantheon,” and “ the but so it was, that in the latter year, beatific druggist ” of 1804?_Even so. I was attacked by a most appalling And how do I find my health after irritation of the stomach, in all reall this opium-eating? in short, how spects the same as that which had do I do? Why, pretty well, I thank caused me so much suffering in you, reader: in the phrase of ladies youth, and accompanied by a revival in the straw, “ as well as can be of all the old dreams. This is the expected.” In fact, if I dared to say point of my narrative on which, as the real and simple truth, though, to respects my own self-justification, satisfy the theories of medical men, the whole of what follows may be I ought to be ill, I never was better said to hinge. And here I find myin my life than in the spring of self in a perplexing dilemma:-- Either, 1812; and I hope sincerely, that on the one hand, I must exhaust the the quantity of claret, port, or“ par reader's patience, by such a detail of ticular Madeira," which, in all pro- my malady, and of my struggles with bability, you, good reader, have it, as might suffice to establish the taken, and design to take, for fact of my inability to wrestle any lonevery term of eight years, during ger with irritation and constant sufyour natural life, may as little dis- fering: or, on the other hand, by order your health as mine was dis- passing lightly over this critical part ordered by the opium I had taken of my story, I must forego the benefor the eight years, between 1804 and fit of a stronger impression left on 1812. Hence you may see again the mind of the reader, and must lay the danger of taking any medical myself open to the misconstruction advice from Anastasius ; in divinity, of having slipped by the easy and for aught I know, or law, he may gradual steps of self-indulging perbe a safe counsellor ; but not in me- sons, from the first to the final stage of dicine. No: it is far better to con- opium-eating (a misconstruction to sult Dr. Buchan; as I did : for I which there will be a lurking predisnever forgot that worthy man's ex- position in most readers, from my cellent suggestion : and I was “par- previous acknowledgments.) This ticularly careful not to take above is the dilemma: the first' horn of five-and-twenty ounces of lauda- which would be sufficient to toss and num.” To this moderation and tem- gore any column of patient readers, perate use of the article, I may though drawn up sixteen deep and ascribe it, I suppose, that as yet, constantly relieved by freshmen: at least, (i. e. in 1812,) I am ig- consequently that is not to be thought norant and unsuspicious of the a of. It remains then, that I postulate venging terrors which opium has so much as is necessary for my purin store for those who abuse its pose. And let me take as full credit lenity. At the same time, it must for what I postulate as if I had de
monstrated it, good reader, at the they inflict, and the efforts of abstiexpense of your patience and my nence they exact, from poor sinners own. Be not so ungenerous 28 to like myself. An inhuinan moralist let me suffer in your good opinion I can no more endure in my nervous through my own forhearance and re- state than opium that has not been gard for your comfort. No: believe boiled. At any rate, he, who samall that I ask of you, viz. that I could mons me to send out a large freight resist no longer, believe it liberally, of self-denial and mortification upon and as an act of grace: or else in any cruising voyage of moral immere prudence: for, if not, then in provement, must make it clear to my the next edition of my Opium Con- understanding that the concera is a fessions revised and enlarged, I will hopeful one. At my time of life (six make you believe and tremble: and and thirty years of age) it cannot be à force d'ennuyer, by mere dint of supposed that I have much energy pandiculation I will terrify all read- to spare: in fact, I find it all little ers of mine from ever again questione enough for the intellectual labours I ing any postulate that I shall think have on my hands : and, therefore, fit to make.
let no man expect to frighten me by This then, let me repeat, I postulate a few hard words into embarking any -that, at the time I began to take part of it upon desperate adventures opium daily, I could not have done of morality. otherwise. Whether, indeed, after Whether desperate or not, howwards I might not have succeeded in ever, the issue of the struggle in breaking off the habit, even when it 1813 was what I have mentioned; seemed to me that all efforts would and from this date, the reader is to be unavailing, and whether many of consider me as a regular and conthe innumerable efforts which I did firmed opium-eater, of whom to ask make, might not have been carried whether on any particular day he had much further, and my gradual re- or had not taken opium, would be to conquests of ground lost might not ask whether his lungs had performed have been followed up much more respiration, or the heart fulfilled its energetically-these are questions functions.
You understand now, which I must decline. Perhaps I reader, what I am: and you are by might make out a case of palliation; this time aware, that no old gentlebut, shall I speak ingenuously? Í man, “ with a snow-white beard," confess it, as a besetting infirmity of will have any chance of persuading mine, that I am too much of an Eu me to surrender “ the little golden dæmonist: I hanker too much after receptacle of the pernicious drug." a state of happiness, both for myself No: I give notice to all, whether and others. I cannot face misery, moralists or surgeons, that, whatever whether my own or not, with an eye be their pretensions and skill in their of sufficient firmness: and am little respective lines of practice, they must capable of encountering present pain not hope for any countenance from for the sake of any reversionary benefit. me, if they think to begin by any On some other matters, I can agree savage proposition for a Lent or Rawith the gentlemen in the cotton- madan of abstinence from opium. trade* at Manchester in affecting This then being all fully understood the Stoic philosophy: but not in this. between us, we shall in future sail Here I take the liberty of an Eclece before the wind. Now then, reader, tic philosopher, and s look out for from 1813, where all this time we some courteous and considerate sect have been sitting down and loitering that will condescend more to the in- -rise up, if you please, and walk forfin condition of an opium-eater; ward about three years more. Now that are 'sweet men,' as Chaucer draw up the curtain, and you shall see says, 'to give absolution, and will me in a new character. show some conscience in the penances If any man, poor or rich, were to
"A handsome news-room, of which I was very politely made free in passing through Manchester by several gentlemen of that place, is called, I think, The Porch: whence I, who am a stranger in Manchester, inferred that the subscribers meant to profess themselves followers of Zeno. But I have been since assured that this is a mistukc.
say that he would tell us what had ever before : I read Kant again ; and been the happiest day in his life, and again I understood him, or fancied the why, and the wherefore, I sup- that I did. Again my feelings of pose that we should all cry out--Hear pleasure expanded themselves to all him! Hear him!--As to the happiest around me: and if any man from day, that must be very difficult for Oxford or Cambridge, or from neither any wise man to name: because any had been announced to me in my unevent, that could occupy so distin- pretending cottage, I should have guished a place in a man's retrospect welcomed him with as sumptuous a of his life, or be entitled to have shed reception as so poor a man could offer. a special felicity on any one day, Whatever else was wanting to a wise ought to be of such an enduring man's happiness,—of laudanum I character, as that (accidents apart) it would have given him as much as he should have continued to shed the wished, and in a golden cup. And, same felicity, or one not distinguish- by the way, now that I speak of ably less, on many years together. giving laudanum away, I remember, To the happiest lustrum, however, or about this time, a little incident, even to the happiest yeur, it may be which I mention, because, trifling as allowed to any man to point without it was, the reader will soon meet it discountenance from wisdom. This again in my dreams, which it influyear, in my case, reader, was the one enced more fearfully than could be which we have now reached ; though imagined. One day a Malay knocka it stood, I confess, as a parenthesis ed at my door. What business a between years of a gloomier charac- Malay could have to transact amongst ter. It was a year of brilliant water English mountains, I cannot conjec(to speak after the manner of jewel. ture: but possibly he was on his road lers), set as it were, and insulated, in to a sea-port about forty miles disthe gloom and cloudy inelancholy of tant. opium. Strange as it may sound, I The servant who opened the door had a little before this time descend- to him was a young girl born and ed suddenly, and without any consi- bred amongst the mountains, who had derable effort, from 320 grains of never seen an Asiatic dress of any opium (i. e. eight* thousand drops sort: his turban, therefore, confoundof laudanum) per day, to forty ed her not a little: and, as it turned grains, or one eighth part. Instan- out, that his attainments in English taneously, and as if by magic, the were exactly of the same extent as cloud of profoundest melancholy hers in the Malay, there seemed to which rested upon my brain, like be an impassable gulph fixed between some black vapours that I have all communication of ideas, if either scen roll away from the summits of party had happened to possess any. mountains, drew off in one day In this dilemma, the girl, recollecting (vog om liepoy); passed off' with its murky the reputed learning of her master banners as simultaneously as a ship (and, doubtless, giving me credit for that has been stranded, and is floated a knowledge of all the languages of off by a spring tide
the earth, besides, perhaps, a few of That moveth altogether, if it move at all.
the lunar ones), came and gave me to
understand that there was a sort of Now, then, I was again happy: I demon below, whom she clearly imanow took oniy 1000 drops of lau- gined that my art could exorcise danum per day: and what was that? from the house. I did not immeA latter spring had come to close up diately go down: but, when I did, the season of youth: my brain per- the group which presented itself, formed its functions as healthily as arranged as it was by accident,
I here reckon twenty-five drops of laudanum as equivalent to one grain of opium, which, I believe, is the common estimate. However, as both may be considered variable quantities (the crude opium varying much in strength, and the tincture still more), I suppose that no infinitesimal accuracy can be had in such a calculation. Tea-spoons vary as much in size as opium in strength. Small ones hold about 100 drops: so that 8000 drops are about eighty times a tea-spoonful. The reader sues how much I kept within Dr. Buchan's indulgent allowance.