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though not very elaborate, took hold tude, came geographically nearest to of my fancy and my eye in a way an Oriental one. He worshipped me that none of the statuesque attitudes in a most devout manner, and replied exhibited in the ballets at the Opera in what I suppose was Malay. In House, though so ostentatiously com- this way I saved my reputation with plex, had ever done. In a cottage my neighbours : for the Malay had kitchen, but panelled on the wall no means of betraying the secret. He with dark wood that from age and lay down upon the floor for about an rubbing resembled oak, and looking hour, and then pursued his journey, more like a rustic hall of entrance On his departure, I presented him than a kitchen, stood the Malay-his with a piece of opium. To him, as turban and loose trowsers of dingyan Orientalist, I concluded that white relieved upon the dark panel- opium must be familiar: and the exling: he had placed himself nearer to pression of his face convinced me that the girl than she seemed to relish; it was. Nevertheless, I was struck though her native spirit of mountain with some little consternation when intrepidity contended with the feeling I saw him suddenly raise his hand to of simple awe which her countenance his mouth, and (in the school-boy expressed as she gazed upon the phrase) bolt the whole, divided into tiger-cat before her. And a more three pieces, at one mouthful. The striking picture there could not be quantity was enough to kill three imagined, than the beautiful English dragoons and their horses : and I felt face of the girl, and its exquisite fair- some alarm for, the poor creature: ness, together with her erect and in- but what could be done? I had given dependent attitude, contrasted with him the opium in compassion for his the sallow and bilious skin of the solitary life, on recollecting that if he Malay, enamelled or veneered with had travelled on foot from London, it mahogany, by marine air, his small, must be nearly three weeks since he fierce, restless eyes, thin lips, slavish could have exchanged a thought with gestures and adorations. Half-hid- any human being. I could not think of den by the ferocious looking Malay, violating the laws of hospitality, by was a little child from a neighbour- having him seized and drenched with ing cottage who had crept in after an emetic, and thus frightening him him, and was now in the act of re- into a notion that we were going to saverting its head, and gazing upwards crifice him to some English idol. No: at the turban and the fiery eyes be- there was clearly no help for it:-he neath it, whilst with one hand he took his leave: and for some days I caught at the dress of the young wo- felt anxious: but as I never heard of man for protection. My knowledge any Malay being found dead, I beof the Oriental tongues is not remark- came convinced that he was used* to ably extensive, being indeed confined opium: and that I must have done to two words--the Arabic word for him the service I designed, by giving barley, and the Turkish for opium him one night of respite from the (madjoon), which I have learnt from pains of wandering, Anastasius. And, as I had neither a This incident i have digressed to Malay dictionary, nor even Adelung's mention, because this Malay (partly Mithridates, which might have helped from the picturesque exhibition he me to a few words, I addressed him assisted to frame, partly from the in some lines from the Iliad; consi- anxiety I comected with his image dering that, of such languages as I for some days) fastened afterwards possessed, Greek, in point of longi- upon my dreams, and brought other
This, however, is not a necessary conclusion: the varieties of effect produced by opium on different constitutions are infinite. A London Magistrate (Harriott's Sirug-. gles through Life, vol. iii. p. 391, Third Edition), has recorded that, on the first occasion of his trying laudanum for the gout, he took forty drops, the next night sixty, and on the fifth night vighty, without any effect whatever: and this at an advanced age. I have an anecdote froni a country surgeon, however, which sinks Mr. Harriott's case into a trifle; and in my projected medical treatise on opium, which I will publish, provided the College of Surgeons will pay me for enlightening their benighted understandings upon this subject, I will relate it: but it is far too good a story to be published gratis.
Malays with him worse than himself, be real mountains, between 3 and
cies, like ice-cream, require a very Let there be a cottage, standing low temperature of the atmosphere in a valley, 18 miles from any town- to produce them : they are fruits no spacious valley, but about two which cannot be ripened without miles long, by three quarters of a weather stormy or inclement, in some mile in average width; the benefit way or other. I am not particua of which provision is, that all the lar," as people say, whether it be families resident within its circuit snow, or black frost, or wind so will compose, as it were, one larger strong, that (as Mr. says).“you household personally familiar to your may lean your back against it like - eye, and more or less interesting to a post.” I can put up even with rain, your affections. Let the mountains provided it rains cats and dogs: but
See the common accounts in any Eastern traveller or voyager of the frantic excesses committed by Malays who have taken opium, or are reduced to desperation by ill luck at gambling.
something of the sort I must have: lous with books: and, 'furthermore, and, if I have it not, I think myself paint me a good fire ; and furniture, in a manner ill-used: for why am I plain and modest, befitting the uncalled on to pay so heavily for win- pretending cottage of a scholar. And, ter, in coals, and candles, and va- near the fire, paint me a 'tea-table; rious privations that will occur and (as it is clear that no creature even to gentlemen, if I am not to can come to see one such a stormy have the article good of its kind ? night) place only two củps and sauNo: a Canadian winter for my cers on the tea-tray: and, if you money: or a Russian one, where know how to paint such a thing symevery man is but a co-proprietor with bolically, or otherwise, paint me an the north wind in the fee-simple of eternal tea-pot-eternal à parte ante, his own ears. Indeed, so great an and à parte post; for I usually drink epicure am I in this matter, that I tea from eight o'clock at night to cannot relish a winter night fully if four o'clock in the morning. And; as it be much past St. Thomas's day, it is very unpleasant to make tea, or and have degenerated into disgust- to pour it out for oneself, paint me a ing tendencies to vernal appearances : lovely young woman, sitting at the no : it must be divided by a thick table. Paint her arms like Aurora's, wall of dark nights from all return and her smiles like Hebe's :-But no, of light and sunshine.- From the lat- dear M., not even in jest let me ter weeks of October to Christmas- insinuate that thy power to illumieve, therefore, is the period during nate my cottage rests upon a tenure which happiness is in season, which, so perishable as mere personal beauin my judgment, enters the room ty; or that the witchcraft of angelic with the tea-tray: for tea, though smiles lies within the empire of any ridiculed by those who are naturally earthly pencil. Pass, then, my good of coarse nerves, or are become so painter, to something more within it's from wine-drinking, and are not power: and the next article brought susceptible of influence from so re- forward should naturally be myself, fined a stimulant, will always he a pieture of the Opium-eater, with the favourite beverage of the intel- his little golden receptacle of the lectual: and, for my part, I would pernicious drug,” lying beside him have joined Dr. Johnson in a bellum on the table. As to the opium,'T internecinum against Jonas Hanway, have no objection to see a picture of or any other impious person, who that, though I would rather see the should presume to disparage it.- original: you may paint it, if you But here, to save myself the trou choose ; but I apprize you, that no ble of too much verbal description, "little" receptacle would, even in I will introduce a painter ; and give 1816, answer my purpose, who was him directions for the rest of the at a distance from the stately Panpicture. Painters do not like white theon,” and all druggists (mortal of cottages, unless a good deal weathere otherwise). No: you may as well stained: but as the reader now un- paint the real receptacle, which was derstands that it is a winter night, not of gold, but of glass, and as much his services will not be required, ex- like a wine-decanter as possible. Into cept for the inside of the house. this you may put a quart of ruby,
Paint me, then, a room seventeen coloured laudamum: that, and a book feet by twelve, and not more than of German metaphysics placed by its seven and a half feet high. This, side, will sufficiently attest my being reader, is somewhat ambitiously in the neighbourhood; but, as to mystyled, in my family, the drawings self,---there I demur. i admit that, room : but, being contrived “ a do- naturally, I ought to occupy the foreble debt to pay," it is also, and more ground of the picture; that being justly, termed the library; for it the hero of the piece, or (if you happens that books are the only arti- choose) the criminal at the bar, my cle of property in which I am richer body should be had into court This than my neighbours. Of these, I seems reasonable: but why should I have about five thousand, collected confess, on this point, to a painter ? gradually since my eighteenth year. or why confess at all? If the public Therefore, painter, put as many as youw (into whose private ear I am confican into this room. Make it popul dentially whispering my confessions,
and not into any painter’s) should fade from my mind. Much has been chance to have framed some agree- omitted. I could not, without effort, able picture for itself, of the Opium- constrain myself to the task of either eater's exterior,—should have ascrib- recalling, or constructing into a reed to him, romantically, an elegant gular narrative, the whole burthen of person, or a handsome face, why horrors which lies upon my brain. should I barbarously tear from it so This feeling partly I plead in excuse, pleasing a delusion-pleasing both to and partly that I am now in Lonthe public and to me? No: paint don, and am a helpless sort of person, me, if at all, according to your own who cannot even arrange his own fancy: and, as a painter's fancy papers without assistance ; and I am should teem with beautiful creations, separated from the hands which are I cannot fail, in that way, to be a wont to perform for me the offices of gainer. And now, reader, we have an amanuensis. run through all the ten categories of 2. You will think, perhaps, that I my condition, as it stood about 1816 am too confidential and communica-17: up to the middle of which lat- tive of my own private history. It ter year I judge myself to have been may be so. But my way of writing a happy man: and the elements of is rather to think aloud, and follow that happiness I have endeavoured to my own humours, than much to place before you, in the above consider who is listening to me; and, sketch of the interior of a scholar's li- if I stop to consider what is proper brary, in a cottage among the moun- to be said to this or that person, I tains, on a stormy winter evening. shall soon come to doubt whether
But now farewell—a long farewell any part at all is proper. The fact to happiness-winter or summer! is, 1 place myself at a distance of farewell to smiles and laughter ! fare- fifteen or twenty years ahead of this well to peace of mind ! farewell to time, and suppose myself writing to hope and to tranquil dreams, and to those who will be interested about the blessed consolations of sleep! me hereafter ; and wishing to have for more than three years and a half some record of a time, the entire hisI am summoned away from these: I tory of which noone can know but myam now arrived at an Iliad of woes: self, I do it as fully as I am able with for I have now to record
the efforts I am now capable of
making, because I know not whether THE PAINS OF OPIUM.
I can ever find time to do it again. as when some great painter dips 3. It will occur to you often to His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and ask, why did I not releasę myself
eclipse. Shelley's Revolt of Islam. from the horrors of opium, by leayReader, who have thus far accom- ing it off, or diminishing it? To this panied me, I must request your at. I must answer briefly: it might be tention to a brief explanatory note supposed that I yielded to the fascion three points :
nations of opium too easily ; it can1. For several reasons, I have not not be supposed that any man can be been able to compose the notes for charmed by its terrors. The reader this part of my narrative into any may be sure, therefore, that I made regular and connected shape. I give attempts innumerable to reduce the the notes disjointed as I find them, quantity. I add, that those who witor have now drawn them up from nessed the agonies of those attempts, memory. Some of them point to and not myself, were the first to beg their own date; some I have dated; me to desist. But could not I have and some are undated. Whenever reduced it a drop a day, or by adding it could answer my purpose to trans- water, have bisected or trisected a plant them from the natural or chro- drop? A thousand drops bisected nological order, I have not scrupled would thus have taken nearly six to do so. Sometimes I speak in the years to reduce; and that way would present, sometimes in the past tense. certainly not have answered. But Few of the notes, perhaps, were writ- this is a common mistake of those ten exactly at the period of time to who know nothing of opium experiwhich they relate ; but this can little mentally; I appeal to those who do, affect their accuracy; as the impres- whether it is not always found that sions were such that they can never down to a certain point it can be re-, Vol. IV.
duced with ease and even pleasure, who could read his own verses : often but that, after that point, further re- indeed he reads admirably.) duction causes intense suffering. Yes, For nearly two years I believe that say many thoughtless persons, who I read no book but one: and I owe know not what they are talking of, it to the author, in discharge of a you will suffer a little low spirits and great debt of gratitude, to mention dejection for a few days. I answer, what that was. The sublimer' and no; there is nothing like low spirits; more passionate pvets I still read, as on the contrary, the mere animal spi- I have said, 'by snatches, and occarits are uncommonly raised: the sionally. But my proper vocation, pulse is improved : 'the health is as I well knew, was the exercise of better. It is not there that the suf- the analytic understanding. Now, fering lies. It has no resemblance to for the most part, analytic studies the sufferings caused by renouncing are continuous, and not to be purwine. It is a state of unutterable sued by fits and starts, or fragmen: irritation of stomach (which surely tary efforts. Mathematics, for ins is not much like dejection), accom- stance, intellectual philosophy, &c. panied by intense perspirations, and were all become insupportable to feelings such as I shall not attempt me; I shrunk from them with a to describe without more space at sense of powerless and infantine feemy command.
bleness that gave me an anguish the I shall now enter - in medias res," greater from remembering the time and shall anticipate, from a time when I grappled with them to my own when my opium pains might be said hourly delight; and for this further to be at their acmé, an account of reason, because I had devoted the latheir palsying effects on the intellec- bour of my whole life, and had deditual faculties.
cated my intellect, blossoms and fruits,
to the slow and elaborate toil of conMy studies have now been long in-structing one single work, to which I terrupted. I cannot read to myself had presumed to give the title of an with any pleasure, hardly with a mo- unfinished work of Spinosa's ; viz. ment's endurance. Yet I read aloud De emendatione humani intellectûs. sometimes for the pleasure of others; This was now lying locked up, as by because, reading is an accomplish- frost, like any Spanish bridge or ament of mine ; and, in the slang use queduct, begun upon too great a of the word accomplishment as a su- scale for the resources of the archiperficial and ornamental attainment, tect; and, instead of surviving me almost the only one I possess: and as a monument of wishes at least, formerly, if i had any vanity at all and aspirations, and a life of labour connected with any endowment or dedicated to the exaltation of human attainment of mine, it was with this; nature in that way in which God for I had observed that no accom- had best fitted me to promote so plishment was so rare. Players are great an object, it was likely to the worst readers of all: reads stand a memorial to my children of vilely: and Mrs. — who is so ce- hopes defeated, of baffled efforts, of lebrated, can read nothing well but materials uselessly accumulated, of dramatic compositions: Milton she foundations laid that were never to cannot read sufferably. People in support a superstructure,ếof the general either read poetry without grief and the ruin of the architect. In any passion at all, or else overstep the this state of imbecility, I had, for amodesty of nature, and read not like musement, turned my attention to poscholars. Of late, if I have felt litical economy; my understanding, moved by any thing in books, it has which formerly had been as 'active been by the grand lamentations of and restless as a hyena, could not, I Sampson Agonistes, or the great har- suppose (so long as I lived at all) monies of the Satanic speeches in sink into utter lethargy; and political Paradise Regained, when read aloud economy offers this advantage to a by myself. A young lady sometimes person in my state, that though it is comes and drinks tea with us: at her eminently an organic science (no request and M.'s I now and then read part, that is to say, but what acts on W's poems to them. (W. by the whole, as the whole again re-acts the bye, is the only poet I ever met on each part), yet the several parts