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Thomas De Quincey.

THE AVENGER.

" Why callest thou me murderer, and not rather the wrath of God burning after the steps of the oppressor, and cleansing the earth when it is wet with blood ?"

Thar series of terrific events by exchange for days uncursed by panic, which our quiet city and university in and nights unpolluted by blood. Nothe northeastern quarter of Germany thing, I can take upon myself to assert, were convulsed during the year 1816, was left undone of all that human forehas in itself, and considered merely as sight could suggest, or human ingenua blind movement of human tiger- ity could accomplish. But observe the passion ranging unchained amongst melancholy result; the more certain men, something too memorable to be did these arrangements strike people forgotten or left without its own sepa as remedies for the evil, so much the rate record; but the moral lesson, im. more effectually did they aid the terror, pressed by these events, is yet more but above all, the awe-the sense of memorable, and deserves the deep at. mystery, when ten cases of total extention of coming generations in their termination, applied to separate house. struggle after human improvement, holds, had occurred, in every one of not merely in its own limited field of which these precautionary aids had interest directly awakened, but in all failed to yield the slightest assistance. analogous fields of interest; as in fact The horror, the perfect frenzy of fear, already, and more than once, in con which seized upon the town after that nexion with these very events, this experience, baffles all attempt at delesson has obtained the effectual at- scription. Had these various contri. tention of Christian kings and Princes vances failed merely in some human assembled in Congress. No tragedy, and intelligible way, as by bringing indeed, amongst all the sad ones by the aid too tardily---still in such cases, which the charities of the human heart though the danger would no less have or of the fire-side, have ever been been evidently deepened, nobody would outraged, can better merit a separate have felt any further mystery than chapter in the private history of Ger- what, from the very first, rested upon man manners or social life than this the persons and the motives of the unparalleled case. And, on the other murderers. But, as it was, when hand, no one can put in a better claim in ten separate cases of exterminatto be the historian than myself. ing carnage, the astounded police,

I was at the time, and still am, a after an examination the most searchProfessor in that city and university ing, pursued from day to day, and which had the melancholy distinction almost exhausting the patience by the of being its theatre. I knew familiarly minuteness of the investigation, had all the parties who were concerned in finally pronounced that no attempt it-either as sufferers or as agents. I apparently had been made to benefit was present from first to last, and by any of the signals preconcerted, watched the whole course of the mys- that no footstep apparently had moved terious storm which fell upon our de. in that direction—then, and after that voted city in a strength like that of a result, a blind misery of fear fell upon West Indian hurricane, and which did the population, so much the worse seriously threaten at one time to de. than any anguish of a beleaguered city populate our university, through the that is awaiting the storming fury of a dark suspicions which settled upon its victorious enemy, by how much the members, and the natural reaction of shadowy—the uncertain—the infinite generous indignation in repelling them is at all times more potent in mastering -whilst the city in its more station, the mind than a danger that is known ary and native classes would very-measurable-palpable—and human. soon have manifested their awful sense The very police, instead of offering of things, of the hideous insecurity for protection or encouragement, were life, and of the unfathomable dangers seized with terror for themselves. which had undermined their hearths And the general feeling, as it was below their very feet, by sacrificing, described to me by a grave citizen whenever circumstances allowed them, whom I met in a morning walk (for their houses and beautiful gardens in the overmastering sense of a public

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calamity broke down every barrier your attentions, and in terms stronger of reserve, and all men talked freely than I know how to devise, a young to all men in the streets, as they would man on whose behalf the Czar himself have done during the rockings of an is privately known to have expressed earthquake), was, even amongst the the very strongest interest.

He was boldest, like that which sometimes at the battle of Waterloo as an aide-detakes possession of the mind in dreams camp to a Dutch general officer, and is -when one feels oneself sleeping decorated with distinctions won upon alone, utterly divided from all call or that awful day. However, though servhearing of friends, doors open that ing in that instance under English orshould be shut, or unlocked that should ders, and although an Englishman of be triply secured, the very walls gone, rank, he does not belong to the English barriers swallowed up by unknown military service. He has served, young abysses, nothing around one but frail as he is, under various banners, and curtains, and a world of illimitable under ours, in particular, in the canight, whisperings at a distance, cor- valry of our Imperial Guard. He is respondence going on between dark English by birth, nephew to the Earl ness and darkness, like one deep call. of E., and heir presumptive to his iming to another, and the dreamer's own mense estates. There is a wild story heart the centre from which the whole current--that his mother was a gipsy net-work of this unimaginable chaos of transcendent beauty, which may radiates, by means of which the blank account for his somewhat Moorish privations of silence and darkness be- complexion, though, after all, that come powers the most positive and is not of a deeper tinge than I have awful.

seen amongst many an Englishman. Agencies of fear, as of any other He is himself one of the noblest lookpassion, and above all, of passion felt ing of God's creatures. Both father in communion with thousands, and in and mother, however, are now dead ; which the heart beats in conscious since then, he has become the favoursympathy with an entire city, through ite of his uncle, who detained him all its regions of high and low, young in England after the Emperor had and old, strong and weak; such agen- departed—and, as this uncle is now cies avail to raise and transfigure the in the last stage of infirmity, Mr natures of men ; mean minds become Wyndham's succession to the vast faelevated; dull men become eloquent; mily estates is inevitable, and probaand when matters came to this crisis, bly near at hand. Mean-time, he is the public feeling, as made known by anxious for some assistance in his stuvoice, gesture, manner, or words, was dies. Intellectually he stands in the such that no stranger could represent it very first rank of men, as I am sure to his fancy. In that respect, therefore, you will not be slow to discover ; but I had an advantage, being upon the spot his long military service, and the unthrough the whole course of the affair, paralleled tumult of our European for giving a faithful narrative; as i history since 1805, have interfered (as had still more eminently, from the sort you may suppose) with the cultivation of central station which I occupied, of his mind; for he entered the ca. with respect to all the movements valry service of a German power when of the case. I may add, that I had a mere boy, and shifted about from another advantage, not possessed, or service to service as the hurricane of not in the same degree, by any other war blew from this point or from that. inhabitant of the town. I was person. During the French anabasis to Mosally acquainted with every family of cow he entered our service, made himthe slightest account, belonging to the self a prodigious favourite with the resident population; whether amongst whole Imperial family, and even now the old local gentry, or the new set is only in his twenty-second year. As tlers whom the late wars had driven to to his accomplishments, they will take refuge within our walls.

speak for themselves; they are infi. It was in September, 1815, that I re- nite, and applicable to every situation ceived a letter from the Chief Secretary of life. Greek is what he wants from to the Prince of M-, a nobleman you ; never ask about terms. He will connected with the diplomacy of Rus- acknowledge any trouble he may give sia, from which I quote an extract : you, as he acknowledges all trouble, “I wish, in short, to recommend to en prince. And ten years hence you

Thomas De Quinceri

THE AVENGER.

" Why callest thou me murderer, and not rather the wrath of God burning after the steps of the oppressor, and cleansing the earth when it is wet with blood ?"

That series of terrific events by exchange for days uncursed by panic, which our quiet city and university in and nights unpolluted by blood. Nothe north-eastern quarter of Germany thing, I can take upon myself to assert

, were convulsed during the year 1816, was left undone of all that human fore has in itself, and considered merely as sight could suggest, or human ingenua blind movement of human tiger. ity could accomplish. But observe the passion ranging unchained amongst melancholy result ; the more certain men, something too memorable to be did these arrangements strike people forgotten or left without its own sepa as remedies for the evil, so much the rate record ; but the moral lesson, im- more effectually did they aid the terror, pressed by these events, is yet more but above all, the awe-the sense of memorable, and deserves the deep at mystery, when ten cases of total extention of coming generations in their termination, applied to separate house. struggle after human improvement, holds, had occurred, in every one of not merely in its own limited field of which these precautionary aids had interest directly awakened, but in all failed to yield the slightest assistance. analogous fields of interest; as in fact The horror, the perfect frenzy of fear, already, and more than once, in con- which seized upon the town after that nexion with these very events, this experience, bailes all attempt at de lesson has obtained the effectual at- scription. Had these various contitention of Christian kings and Princes vances failed merely in some human assembled in Congress. No tragedy, and intelligible way, as by bringing indeed, amongst all the sad ones by the aid too tardily—still in such cases which the charities of the human heart though the danger would no less have or of the fire-side, have ever been been evidently deepened, nobody would outraged, can better merit a separate have felt any further mystery than chapter in the private history of Ger- what, from the very first, rested upon man manners or social life than this the persons and the motives of the unparalleled case. And, on the other murderers. But, as it was, when hand, no one can put in a better claim in ten separate cases of exterminats to be the historian than myself, ing carnage, the astounded police

I was at the time, and still am, a after an examination the most search Professor in that city and university ing, pursued from day to day, and which had the melancholy distinction almost exhausting the patience by the of being its theatre. I knew familiarly minuteness of the investigation, has all the parties who were concerr finally pronounced that no attemp it-either as sufferers or as ago apparently had been made to bene was present from first to

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calamity broke down every barrier your attentions, and in terms stronger of reserve, and all men talked freely than I know how to devise, a young to all men in the streets, as they would man on whose behalf the Czar himself

have done during the rockings of an is privately known to have expressed earthquake), was, even amongst the the very strongest interest. He was boldest

, like that which sometimes at the battle of Waterloo as an aide-detakes possession of the mind in dreams camp to a Dutch general officer, and is

-when one feels oneself sleeping decorated with distinctions won upon salone, utterly divided from all call or that awful day. However, though serv

hearing of friends, doors open that ing in that instance under English orshould be shut, or unlocked that should ders, and although an Englishman of

be triply secured, the very walls gone, rank, he does not belong to the English barriers swallowed up by unknown military service. He has served, young erabysses, nothing around one but frail as he is, under various banners, and

curtains, and a world of illimitable under ours, in particular, in the canight, whisperings at a distance, cor- valry of our Imperial Guard. He is respondence going on between dark English by birth, nephew to the Earl ness and darkness, like one deep call. of E., and heir presumptive to his iming to another, and the dreamer's own mense estates. There is a wild story heart the centre from which the whole current—that his mother was a gipsy net-work of this unimaginable chaos of transcendent beauty, which may radiates, by means of which the blank account for his somewhat Moorish

privations of silence and darkness be- complexion, though, after all, that come powers the most positive and is not of a deeper tinge than I have

seen amongst many an Englishman. Agencies of fear, as of any other He is himself one of the noblest lookpassion, and above all, of passion felting of God's creatures. Both father in communion with thousands, and in and mother, however, are now dead ; which the heart beats in conscious since then, he has become the favoursympathy with an entire city, through ite of his uncle, who detained him all its regions of high and low, young in England after the Emperor had and old, strong and weak; such agen- departed—and, as this uncle is now cies avail to raise and transfigure the in the last stage of infirmity, Mr natures of men ; mean minds become Wyndham's succession to the vast faelevated; dull men become eloquent; mily estates is inevitable, and probaand when matters came to this crisis, bly near at hand. Mean-time, he is the public feeling, as made known by anxious for some assistance in his stuvoice, gesture, manner, or words, was dies. Intellectually he stands in the such that no stranger could represent it very first rank of men, as I am sure to his fancy. In that respect, therefore, you will not be slow to discover ; but Thad an advantage, being upon the spot his long military service, and the unthrough the whole course of the affair, paralleled tumult of our European for giving a faithful narrative; as I history since 1805, have interfered (as had still more eminently, from the sort you may suppose) with the cultivation of central station which mied, of his mind; for he entered the cawith respect to all the

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Thomas De Quincey.

THE AVENGER.

" Why callest thou me murderer, and not rather the wrath of God burning after the steps of the oppressor, and cleansing the earth when it is wet with blood ?"

That series of terrific events by exchange for days uncursed by panie, which our quiet city and university in and nights unpolluted by blood. Nothe north-eastern quarter of Germany thing, I can take upon myself to assert

, were convulsed during the year 1816, was left undone of all that human forehas in itself, and considered merely as sight could suggest, or human ingenua blind movement of human tiger- ity could accomplish. But observe the passion ranging unchained amongst melancholy result; the more certain men, something too memorable to be did these arrangements strike people forgotten or left without its own sepa as remedies for the evil, so much the rate record; but the moral lesson, im more effectually did they aid the terror, pressed by these events, is yet more but above all, the awe-the sense of memorable, and deserves the deep at mystery, when ten cases of total extention of coming generations in their termination, applied to separate house. struggle after human improvement, holds, had occurred, in every one of not merely in its own limited field of which these precautionary aids had interest directly awakened, but in all failed to yield the slightest assistance. analogous fields of interest; as in fact The horror, the perfect frenzy of fear, already, and more than once, in con- which seized upon the town after that nexion with these very events, this experience, baffles all attempt at de lesson has obtained the effectual at- scription. Had these various contritention of Christian kings and Princes vances failed merely in some human assembled in Congress. No tragedy, and intelligible way, as by bringing indeed, amongst all the sad ones by the aid too tardily—still in such cases

, which the charities of the human heart though the danger would no less hare or of the fire-side, have ever been been evidently deepened, nobody would outraged, can better merit a separate have felt any further mystery than chapter in the private history of Ger. what, from the very first, rested upcu man manners or social life than this the persons and the motives of the unparalleled case. And, on the other murderers. But, as it was, when hand, no one can put in a better claim in ten separate cases of exterminatto be the historian than myself. ing carnage, the astounded police,

I was at the time, and still am, a after an examination the most search Professor in that city and university ing, pursued from day to day, and which had the melancholy distinction almost exhausting the patience by the of being its theatre. I knew familiarly minuteness of the investigation, hul all the parties who were concerned in finally pronounced that no attempt it—either as sufferers or as agents. I apparently had been made to benefit was present from first to last, and by any of the signals preconcertel watched the whole course of the mys- that no footstep apparently had more terious storm which fell upon our de- in that direction-then, and after the voted city in a strength like that of a result, a blind misery of fear fell up West Indian hurricane, and which did the population, so much the we seriously threaten at one time to de- than any anguish of a belenguereddy populate our university, through the that is awaiting the storming fury of dark suspicions which settled upon its victorious enemy, by how much members, and the natural reaction of shadow generous indignation in repe -whilst the city in its m ary and native classe soon have manifested of things, of the hi life, and of the which had my below their wheneve their

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