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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 arly 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 HU 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. ToDeatl1ofLord
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 ATHENAEUM, 1860—186l.
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 'w^ 1858-9,' by W. H. Russell, LL.D., is reviewed Russell. in tne first number of the year: "In the long, painful and acrimonious controversy about the The annexa- annexation of Sindh the English public chose tion o Smdh-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 Athenceum in concluding the article says: "We have cited enough to show how the Special Correspondent of the Times became converted to the opinions which have often, and long before he wrote, been exhibited in these
VOL. II. I
columns. Enough has been said to prove the
difference between telescopic views of far-off
India and examination on the spot. Let those
who despise the theories and principles of Indian
statesmen turn to these volumes, and they will
find enough to show that experience is the best
guide to theory."
i860. The literature of the year included 'Narrative The literature
of the year. of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan, in the Years 1857, '58, '59,' by Laurence Oliphant; 'Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania: Native Flowers, Berries and Insects,' by Louisa Anne Meredith; 'The Life of the Duke of Wellington,' by Charles Duke Yonge; 'Notes on Nursing,' by Florence Nightingale; 'Travels in Eastern Africa; with the Narrative of a Residence in Mozambique,' by Lyons M'Leod; 'The Life of the Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., late Lord Bishop of Calcutta,' by the Rev. Josiah Bateman; 'Essays and Reviews'; 'Pictures of Sporting Life and Character,' by Lord William Lennox; 'Reminiscences of the late Thomas Assheton Smith,' by Sir John E. Eardley-Wilmot; 'Poems before Congress,' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; 'Life of Edmond Malone, Editor of Shakspeare,' by Sir James Prior; 'Arrest of the Five Members by Charles the First: a Chapter of English History Rewritten,' by John Forster; 'The Mill on the Floss,' by