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For Cassius is aweary of the world :
Sheathe your dagger:
Hath Cassius lived
Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
O Brutus !
What's the matter?
Yes, Cassius; and, henceforth,
THOMAS DE QUINCEY was born in one of the suburbs of Manchester, in England, in the year 1786. His childhood was passed in rural seclusion. Iu the year 1804, while on a visit to London, he had recourse to opi um, as a relief from the pains of rheumatism. This soon came to be a custom, ard the custom, at length, got to be a confirmed habit: he gathering, or seeming to gather, from the use of this drug, fresh force, clearness, and elasticity of mind. What he did, and what he suffered during this singular “state of imbecility," as he well enough calls it, is embraced in his celebrated work entitled “ The Confessions of an English Opium Eater." We give below an extract from this remarkable book. “All bis works,” says a critic who has taken pains to gather carefully the details of his life, “ show a wide range of learning and speculation, a delicate and subtle critical faculty, and a felicitous selection of words. As improvisations, they would be admirable displays of mental power, but most of them are so unartistically constructed, the main idea and purpose being lost by unceasing digressions, that they are excellent only in fragments and passages."
DREAM OF AN OPIUM EATER.
1. The dream commenced with a music which now I often hear in dreams—a music of preparation and of awakening suspense; a music like the opening of the Coronation Anthem, and which, like that, gave the feeling of a vast march-of infinite cavalcades filing off—and the tread of innumerable armies. The morning was come of a mighty day—a day of crisis and of final hope for human nature, then suffering some mysterious eclipse, and laboring in some dread extremity. Somewhere, I knew not where—somehow, I knew not how-by some beings, I knew not whom—a battle, a strife, an agony was conducting—was evolving like a great drama or piece of music; with which my sympathy was the more insupportable, from my confusion as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue.
2 I, as is usual in dreams (where, of necessity, we make our. selves central to every movement), had the power, and yet had not the power to decide it. I had the power, if I could raise myself, to will it; and yet again had not the power, for the weight of twenty Atlantes* was upon me, or the oppression of inexpiable guilt. “Deeper than ever plummet sounded,” 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.
3. Then came sudden alarms, hurrying 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—and clasped hands, 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!
Fitz-GREENE HALLECK was born in Guilford, Connecticut, July 8th, 1795. The earlier part of his life, though marked by occasional attempts at poetry, was mainly occupied in commercial and financial pursuits. He aided his late friend, J. Rodman Drake, whose death is the theme of one of his most touching pieces, in preparing a series of humorous contributions to the columns of the “New York Evening Post.” In 1819 appeared his longest poem, an amusing satire, entitled “Fanny," which falls heavily, though humorously, on the foibles and follies of the times. In 1827 be published a volume of his poems: embracing, among others, his “Alnwick Castle," and his “ Marco Bozzaris," which latter originally appeared in the “New York Keview," and is by far the most popular of all his productions. His poems bear the impress of a mind exquisitely sensitive to the harmonies of perse, and endowed with wonderful versatility.
* Atlas (plural Atlantes), a name given by the ancients to a ofty mountain in northern Africa, and still applied to the chain in that region. Atlas, according to the old mythology, was one of the Titans, who, having made war upon Jove, was changed into a mountain so high that it was con ceived that the heavens rested on it, and thus that Atlas supported the world upon his shoulders.
At midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power:
In dreams his song of triumph heard;
That bright dream was his last;
And death-shots falling thick and fast
Bozzaris cheer his band :
They piled that ground with Moslem slain;
* He fell in an attack upon the Turkish camp at Laspi, the site of the ancient Platæa, August 20th, 1823, and expired in the moment of victory. His last words were: “ To die for liberty is a pleasure, not a
They conquered—but Bozzaris fell,
Bleeding at every vein.
And the red field was won :
Like flowers at set of sun.
Come to the bridal chamber, Death!
Come to the mother, when she feels, For the first time, her firstborn's breath;
Come when the blessed seals That close the pestilence are broke, And crowded cities wail its stroke; Come in consumption's ghastly form, The earthquake shock, the ocean storm, Come when the heart beats high and warm,
With banquet-song, and dance, and wine. And thou art terrible—the tear, The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier; And all we know, or dream, or fear
Of agony, are thine.
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Greece nurtured in her glory's time, Rest thee—there is no prouder grave,
Even in her own proud clime.
We tell thy doom without a sigh;
That were not born to die.