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mencing issue of his Collected Writings (see ante, Vol. I., pp. 10-12), he could not refrain, when he republished the Tait paper in 1857, from annexing to it a Supplement, and then a Postscript, of reiterated exposition of his theory of Essenism and reiterated punishment of Josephus. In Greece under the Romans, however, the subject is changed. Save that in parts of the preceding paper on Secret Societies there is something of modern reference, it is in this paper that the volume makes its transition from Ancient to Modern History. Not that it brings us very far out of classical antiquity; for it stops among the early Byzantine Greeks, whose military and political merits, and the worth of whose contributions to European civilisation, De Quincey seeks to defend against what he regards as a too easy consensus of western depreciation. After that paper there is a leap of many centuries; but we have only to remember the Biographical Sketches of Charlemagne and Joan of Arc in a previous volume for proof that this gap in the chronology of our present volume implies no corresponding gap in De Quincey's historical knowledge. When he resumes, we are again among the Greeks, but now among the very recent Greeks. In The Revolution of Greece and the Supplement on the Suliotes there is a narrative of the beginnings of the revolt of the Greeks from the tyranny of their Turkish oppressors, with some striking passages from what are now the obscurities of the story of the War for Greek Independence, all written in the most unexceptionable spirit of Philhellenism. Modern Greece is one of the pleasantest little papers imaginable, a humorous blending of the reported disagreeables of tourist experience in the modern land with recollections of its classic age. Of the long paper which follows, entitled Revolt of the Tartars; or, Flight of the Kalmuck Khan and his People from the Russian Territories to the Frontiers of China, what shall we say? What else than that, under the guise of an account of a tremendous actual march of a Tartar horde across some thousands of miles of the face of Asia, so late as the year 1771, for the purpose of transferring themselves from the allegiance of Russia to that of China, it is one of De Quincey's most memorable literary feats? Finally, there is the paper entitled Ceylon, referring to events so near to our own times, and of such distinctly British interest, that
De Quincey in treating them passes from the historiographer into the critic of British politics, and stands up, a little incarnation of the fighting spirit of John Bull, waving the British flag.
The various papers thus gathered together in the present volume appeared in De Quincey's own Collective Edition of his Writings, it is to be remembered, not thus continuously, but scattered through different volumes. They straggle there, indeed, through no fewer than eight separate volumes, one paper here and another there, amid papers of utterly dissimilar kinds, just as De Quincey found convenient at the time. One little difficulty caused, in this as in other volumes, by the necessity and duty of re-assorting the papers on a more permanent principle, arises from the fact that De Quincey, in the Prefaces which he prefixed to most of the volumes of his edition, sometimes offered parting remarks on one or more of the papers that chanced to be contained in the particular volume he was passing through his hands. As every scrap that De Quincey wrote in connexion with his papers ought to be preserved, all the matter of these Prefaces has, of course, to be retained in the present edition. The method for doing so, almost to perfect completeness in every instance, is, however, very simple. As, in almost every instance in which De Quincey took the pains to insert a parting notice of any one of his papers in his Preface to the volume containing that paper, such notice is really an addendum, assuming that the paper has been read and needs some comment, notices of the kind may be treated accordingly, and appended as "Postscripts" to the papers to which they severally belong. This is the method,-really far more convenient for the reader than De Quincey's own,-adopted for the present edition: e.g. in the cases of Homer and the Homeridæ, Cicero, and The Caesars in our preceding volume, and of The Essenes and Secret Societies in this. Once or twice, however, the method does not quite suffice. For example, in Vol. VIII of De Quincey's own edition, published in 1858,-in which volume are contained two of the papers reproduced in this present volume, viz. The Pagan Oracles and Greece under the Romans, the parting notice of these two papers is of both together, so that it cannot be split into two; and, moreover,
the same Preface contains a paragraph not at all concerning any of the included papers individually, but in the nature of a general apology for the papers in the Collective Edition as a whole, whether in that volume, or in preceding volumes, or in the volumes that were to follow. De Quincey, in fact, as five years had elapsed since the appearance of Vol. I of his Collective Edition, thought that the time had come when he might again address to the public some words of apology for his writings generally, in repetition or continuation of the more elaborate apology he had offered in his General Preface in that opening volume of the series. What De Quincey thus thought suitable about the mid-point of his own Collective Edition has its proper place, if anywhere, about the mid-point of this; and, accordingly, that nothing of De Quincey's may be lost, here the reader has the only two scraps from the Preface to his Vol. VIII that cannot be provided for otherwise :
DE QUINCEY'S APOLOGY FOR MAGAZINE WRITING :—“These papers, which first of all took their station in the periodical journals of this country, which were secondly transplanted "into the literature of the American United States, and are now for the third time published at home in a new form "with many emendations, may be supposed to have suffered "by errors of hurry and inadvertence, from their original adaptation to a service very nearly contemporaneous. It was natural that they should do so. But my own experience, in common with that of many other writers, has taught me that the disadvantages of hurry are not without their "compensations. Performers on the organ, so far from "finding their own impromptu displays to fall below their more careful and premeditated efforts, on the contrary, "have oftentimes deep reason to mourn over the escape of inspirations born from the momentary fervours of impro"visation, but fugitive and irrevocable as the pulses in their
own flying fingers. Something analogous there is in the "effects of that inexorable summons which forces a man to "write against time, when racing along to intercept the final "closing of a weekly or monthly journal. It is certain, "howsoever it may be explained psychologically, that the
"fierce compression of mental activities which takes place in "such a struggle, though painful and exhausting, has the "effect of suddenly unlocking cells in the brain, and revealing evanescent gleams of original feeling, or startling suggestions of novel truth, that would not have obeyed a "less fervent magnetism. Pain, and conflicts with suffering, are ministrations of development to the human intellect, even in the youngest infants, much more frequent than "is commonly observed.
"Note.-I have elsewhere observed, as a fact which ought "to have a powerful interest for psychologists, that on the morning next after a severe paroxysm of 'griping' pains every infant manifests a striking advance, a bound forwards per saltum, in its apprehensiveness, and generally in its "intellectual development."
DE QUINCEY'S POSTSCRIPT TO "THE PAGAN ORACLES" AND TO "GREECE UNDER THE ROMANS" :- "In the paper on "Oracles and in the paper on Greece under the Romans "there occur two suggestions which will be pronounced by many possibly in a high degree paradoxical. But in any "bad sense (however erroneous a sense) neither of these "suggestions is paradoxical. To the Delphic Oracle, as amongst the Greeks, -to the Byzantine Empire, as a "great barrier standing through eight centuries, breaking "and sustaining the assaults of Mahometanism, else too "strong on that quarter for infant Christendom in the West, "I have assigned majestic functions. So far as the ordinary current of history is not confluent with my view, far the reader will see cause, perhaps, to remodel his opinion, and to amend his appreciation of two mighty organs working through ages on behalf of human progress, "and only not historically acknowledged because not truly "understood."
By the last extract we are reminded of that characteristic of all or most of De Quincey's Historical Essays and Researches on which he himself laid stress, and which was implied in his definition of the term "Essays." They, or most of them, are not mere narratives, or digests of informa
tion, but contain, more or less, some novelty of opinion, some doctrine in contradiction or in advance of existing beliefs, of such a startling nature sometimes that it will pass for what, in common parlance, is called a paradox. De Quincey, who objected strongly to this common use of the word "paradox" as a synonym for something outrageously incredible, and wanted to restore the name to its proper signification as meaning only something beyond present belief, but which, nevertheless, may turn out to be true, conceded in the above notice that his Pagan Oracles and his Greece under the Romans contained each a "paradox" in the more innocent sense, and briefly re-expressed the two paradoxes for the reader's better recollection of them. But some of the companion papers in the present volume are paradoxical in a much higher degree, most notably The Casuistry of Roman Meals, and the two essays on the Essenes, entitled respectively The Essenes and Secret Societies. As it is not our business to review the doctrinal substance of the several essays in order to a judgment whether the paradoxes are paradoxes in the best sense,-viz. valid, though unexpected, advances on former beliefs, we will only say that De Quincey seems to us, in most of the essays under notice, to have very fairly made out his case, and that, where he may not have done so to the full extent, one must at least admire his learning and ingenuity, and thank him for real and useful instruction. In no essay does he leave a question exactly as he found it, or without some suggestions that will remain in the minds of his readers as a ferment for future thought. The most dubious of all his historical speculations, however, is undoubtedly that about the Essenes. Though he stuck to it most manfully, he himself seems to have had his doubts about it at last; and recent scholarship, I understand, will not accept his conclusions on this subject. In a recent article on the Essenes, which I can hardly be wrong in attributing to the late Immanuel Deutsch, while it is admitted that the whole question of the Essenes, their name, their origin, their tenets, and their history, is still involved in obscurity, it is maintained that something of this obscurity is owing to trust hitherto merely in the notices of the Essenes that have come down in Josephus, Philo, Pliny, and the Christian Fathers, to