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THOMAS DE QUINCEY ("THE OPIUM EATER")
English author, essayist and critic
(1785 - 1859)

A great scholar, in the highest sense of the term, is not one who depends simply on an infinite memory, but also on an infinite and electrical power of combination; bringing together from the four winds, like the Angel of the Resurrection, what else were dust from dead men's bones, into the unity of breathing life.
      - [Scholarship]

All parts of knowledge have their origin in metaphysics.
      - [Metaphysics]

Fierce sectarianism breeds fierce latitudinarianism.
      - [Sects]

Grief! thou art classed amongst the depressing passions. And true it is that thou humblest to the dust, but also thou exaltest to the clouds. Thou shakest us with ague, but also thou steadiest like frost. Thou sickenest the heart, but also thou healest its infirmities.
      - [Grief]

Mathematics has not a foot to stand upon which is not purely metaphysical.
      - [Mathematics]

Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light, the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone; all leave it alone.
      - [Solitude]

The laughter of girls is, and ever was, among the delightful sounds of earth.
      - [Laughter]

The pulpit style of Germany has been always rustically negligent, or bristling with pedantry.
      - [Preaching]

We never do anything, consciously, for the last time, without sadness of heart.
      - [Sadness]

Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty opium!
      - Confessions of an Opium Eater
        [Imagination]

There is first the literature of knowledge, and secondly, the literature of power. The function of the first is--to teach; the function of the second is--to move, the first is a rudder, the second an oar or a sail. The first speaks to the mere discursive understanding; the second speaks ultimately, it may happen, to the higher understanding or reason, but always through affections of pleasure and sympathy.
      - Essays on the Poets--Alexander Pope
        [Literature]

The public is a bad guesser.
      - Essays--Protestantism [Public]

Allow me to offer my congratulations on the truly admirable skill you have shown in keeping clear of the mark. Not to have hit once in so many trials, argues the most splendid talents for missing.
      - Works (vol. XIV, p. 161),
        quoting the Emperor Galerius to a soldier who missed the target many times in succession
        [Failure]


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