Thomas De Quincey Quotes

Enjoy the top 74 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Thomas De Quincey.

Thomas De Quincey Quotes

Under our present enormous accumulation of books, I do affirm that a most miserable distraction of choice must be very generally incident to the times; that the symptoms of it are in fact very prevalent, and that one of the chief symptoms is an enormous gluttonism for books.
— Thomas De Quincey —

The immediate occasion of this practice was the lowness of wages, which at that time would not allow them to indulge in ale or spirits, and wages rising, it may be thought that this practice would cease; but as I do not readily believe that any man having once tasted the divine luxuries of opium will afterwards descend to the gross and mortal enjoyments of alcohol, I take it for granted,
That those eat now who never ate before;
And those who always ate, now eat the more.

— Thomas De Quincey

Crocodiles, you will say, are stationary. Mr. Waterton tells me that the crocodile does not change,-that a cayman, in fact, or an alligator, is just as good for riding upon as he was in the time of the Pharaohs. That may be; but the reason is that the crocodile does not live fast-he is a slow coach. I believe it is generally understood among naturalists that the crocodile is a blockhead. It is my own impression that the Pharaohs were also blockheads.

— Thomas De Quincey

All is finite in the present; and even that finite is infinite in it velocity of flight towards death. But in God there is nothing finite ... Upon a night of earthquake he builds a thousand years of pleasant habitations for man. Upon the sorrow of an infant he raises oftentimes from human intellects glorious vintages that could not else have been.

— Thomas De Quincey

The opium-eater loses none of his moral sensibilities or aspirations.  He wishes and longs as earnestly as ever to realize what he believes possible, and feels to be exacted by duty; but his intellectual apprehension of what is possible infinitely outruns his power, not of execution only, but even of power to attempt.  He lies under the weight of incubus and nightmare; he lies in sight of all that he would fain perform, just as a man forcibly confined to his bed by the mortal languor of a relaxing disease, who is compelled to witness injury or outrage offered to some object of his tenderest love: he curses the spells which chain him down from motion; he would lay down his life if he might but get up and walk; but he is powerless as an infant, and cannot even attempt to rise. I

— Thomas De Quincey

To suppose a reader thoroughly indifferent to Kant, is to suppose him thoroughly unintellectual; and, therefore, though in reality he should happen not to regard him with interest, it is one of the fictions of courtesy to presume that he does.

— Thomas De Quincey

It is most absurdly said, in popular language, of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety.

— Thomas De Quincey

Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state.

— Thomas De Quincey

Dyspepsy is the ruin of most things: empires, expeditions, and everything else.

— Thomas De Quincey

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

— Thomas De Quincey

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