Abbildungen der Seite

and amidst the pleasures derived from the Lake scenery, a good library, and his beloved drug, led the life of a scholar, a dreamer, and a voluptuary. From 1804 to 1812 the baneful practice of consuming opium grew upon him by slow degrees; but in 1813 he increased the quantity and frequency of his doses so much, that he took

His large 320 grains of opium, or 8,000 drops of laudanum consumption

of opium, daily. Prodigious as this quantity is, it is only half what Coleridge was in the habit of taking. But in both men the indulgence produced the same results,—pecuniary embarrassment, bodily decay, and mental debility. De Quincey had been married five years, and had already three children, when, in 1821, he -made a strong effort to throw off the indolence which had rendered his youth and early manhood useless, and commenced those literary exertions, by which he contributed in no slight degree to the comfort of those dependent on him, and enabled the world to see how much he might have accomplished if laudanum had not enfeebled his powers. He wrote the first portion of 'The Confessions' for the London Magazine in 1821; and from that time he used his pen with great, but fitful, industry on various publications,— such as Blackwood's Magazine, Tail's, the North British Review and 'The Encyclopaedia Britannica.' In 1832 he permanently took up his residence in Scotland; and there, in the land of his adoption, he expired, on the morning

of Thursday, the 8th of this month In many

respects he resembled Coleridge, — in his His love of classic literature and metaphysical t0 Coleridge. inquiry, in the diversity of his intellectual sympathies, and in his habit of minutely dissecting his own emotions; but he lacked the philosophic breadth and genuine Christian goodness of the poet. Coleridge could not reflect without agonies of remorse on the moral infirmities,—which De Quincey, with as much flippancy as wit, wrote of as a condition bordering on jest."

The year closes with a great loss to literature. A short paragraph on the last day of the year records that " at the moment of going to press,

we hear of the death of Lord Macaulay. ToDeathofLor(1


the world of letters this loss is immense. Time only permits us now to express our profound sorrow at an event which deprives us of so great a man. Next week we shall try to present some outlines of his career."


THE ATHENÆUM, 1860-1861.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The New Year opened brightly for every branch of intellectual effort, “in somewhat singular contrast to the lowering of the landscape in the more agitated provinces of faith and politics."

India and the Mutiny was still a prominent My Diary in subject, and ‘My Diary in India, in the Year

y 1858-9,' by W. H. Russell, LL.D., is reviewed Russell. in the first number of the year : “In the long,

painful and acrimonious controversy about the The annexa. annexation of Sindh the English public chose tion of Sindh.

Napier for their hero, and degraded Sir James Outram, the Bayard of modern times, into a mere carpet knight. To such a height had grown this miserable dissension, that even the daring of the bravest of English braves was questioned. The base slander died in the glorious light of battle-fields in Oudh, yet even their light might have been eclipsed, but for the generous sympathy of the Times Special Correspondent; and envy, dead though it be, has not altogether failed of its purpose, since no cross

of valour adorns the man who of all our Indian host best deserved that honour. On the 28th of January, 1858, Mr. Russell landed at Calcutta 'without prejudices to overcome or theories to support.'"

Mr. Russell while in the Crimea had first heard of the annexation of Oudh, The annexa

„, , . , , , , . . tion of Oudh.

'which was represented not only as an act of the highest

political wisdom, but also as a political necessity. Now, near the spot, I hear wise men doubt the wisdom—and see them shake their heads when one talks of the necessity—of the annexation.'

"Hired pens had long drafted lengthy bills of indictment against the princes of Oudh as against every native ruler. Strange that tyrants should have made an Eden of their home. Yet we read,

"' A vision of palaces, mirrors, domes azure and golden, cupolas, colonnades, long facades of fair perspective in pillar and column, terraced roofs—all rising up amid a

calm, still ocean of the brightest verdure There is a

city more vast than Paris, as it seems, and more brilliant, lying before us. Is this a city in Oudh? Is this the capital of a semi-barbarous race, erected by a corrupt, effete and degraded dynasty? I confess I felt inclined to rub my eyes again and again."

The Athenaum in concluding the article says: "We have cited enough to show how the Special Correspondent of the Times became onverted to the opinions which have often, and >ng before he wrote, been exhibited in these VOL. II. I

Bishopsgate Street, when 300 persons attended,

and 700/. were subscribed.

"The Bible Society has not had many troubles

to encounter, but once it came near to shipwreck

and dissolution on a question of orthodoxy and

The the Apocrypha. The Apocryphal books have Apocrypha , r~~-jr 1 r e _

controversy. always been much venerated by the Komisn Church, which, at the Council of Trent, declared them 'sacred and canonical,1 and 'to be received and reverenced with the same sentiments of piety and respect' as the other Scriptures. Our own orthodox Episcopalian Church also received and venerated these books; but the Scotch Kirk, and almost all denominations of Dissenters, have set their faces dead against them. We ourselves heard a leading dissenting preacher of the day, not long ago, stigmatize them in his sermon as 'damnable.' When the Bible Society was formed, it omitted the Apocrypha from its issues : as Mr. Browne says emphatically, and in italics, 'No edition of the English Scriptures, adopted and issued by the Bible Society, lias ever contained the Apocrypha! This omission did no harm at home, but when the attention of the Protestants abroad was called to **** storm arose which had wel'^ At first the muniti

« ZurückWeiter »