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to be learned from his suggestive and invariably independent criticisms. His present volume is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the Greek historians; even though we think he has failed to do full justice to the greatest among them. We shall be delighted to meet him again on the neutral ground of lyric and dramatic poetry, as a commentator on Pindar and Eschylus and Aristophanes, possibly as the reviver of Korinna and Phrynichos, of Eupolis and Kratinos.
The Chemistry of Common Life. By J. F. W. Johnston. 1856. 8vo. Pictures of Palestine, Asia Minor, Sicily, and Spain; or, the Lands of the Saracen. By Bayard Taylor. London, 1855. 8vo. Thèse pour le Doctorat en Médecine: Du Haschisch, son Histoire, ses Effets physiologiques et thérapeutiques. Par J. M. E. Berthault. Paris, 1854. 4to.
The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics. By J. Pereira. Fourth Edition. London, 1855. 8vo.
The Travels of Marco Polo. Edited by H. Murray. New York, 1845. 8vo.
Du Haschisch, et de l'Aliénation mentale. Par J. Moreau. Paris, 1845. 8vo.
"They are not shadows which produce a dream :
I know they are eternal, for they are."
The phenomena of the human mind, in transient and abnormal states, derive a startling interest from the reflection, that under certain conditions these states may possibly become normal and permanent. At all events, dreams, insanities, opium-visions, moments of poetic and religious ecstasy, and so forth, are revelations of the capacity of the soul for degrees of pain, bliss, and spiritual activity, which life in its ordinary course gives no conception of; and as such, these exaltations and perturbations of the spirit have a significance which no one, who is not wholly absorbed in secular interests, will be disposed to disregard. An apprehension of this significance has, with some nations, surrounded the madman with a divine awe; and has at all times, and with all people, produced a curiosity in the observation of such phenomena, which the ridicule of a material philosophy has not been able to subdue. There are few persons who have not received, in dreams, in moments of religious contemplation, or during some
passing gust of unaccountable emotion, such revelations of what they are capable of, for good or evil, as, if they are wise, will be treasured up in their memory as the pearls of their experience. But the higher or deeper these revelations are, the more difficult does it become to retain any effectual impression of them. The poet says of such experiences:
"What's that, which, ere I ask'd, was gone
So joyful and intense a spark,
That, whilst o'er head the wonder shone,
That, had the splendour liv'd a year,
Did see could not be now more clear.
And nothing transient be desired;
Has neither memory nor tongue."
Very nearly resembling these, for the most part unaccountable and indescribable moods of the spirit, are the states of mind which are sometimes produced in persons of highly intellectual and imaginative constitution, like Coleridge and De Quincey, by the use of narcotics. The states so produced seem generally to have been of a lower, and therefore more communicable, nature than those which arise involuntarily; and we have several brilliantly written records of the "happiness which may be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; the portable ecstasies that may be had corked-up in a pint bottle; and the peace of mind that can be sent down in gallons by the mail-coach." The interest attaching to these states, though inferior, is, however, of the same class and kind; and no one can read the accounts of Coleridge, De Quincey, Bayard Taylor, Dr. Madden, Dr. Moreau, M. Berthault, and others, without an increased sense of the mysteries and capabilities of his spiritual being.
The temperament which is susceptible of exaltation by narcotics into a rapturous or vision-beholding condition, seems happily to be rare in northern climates. A predisposing warmth and activity of imagination-a common quality with eastern races, but a rare one with us-is absolutely necessary to enable a man to become an "opium-eater" to any purpose. The ordinary effect of the more powerful narcotics upon an Englishman, when they do not make him simply very ill, "is," says Dr. Christison, in his Treatise on Poisons, "merely to remove torpor and sluggishness, and to make him, in the eyes of his friends, an
active and conversable man." The reaction of narcotics upon the nerves, when largely used, is, however, so immediate and disagreeable a penalty, that the English are in no danger whatever of becoming a nation of opium or hashish debauchees; and we feel no compunction in placing before them an account of some of those exceptional cases in which the results have been sufficiently delightful to constitute a temptation to one of the most ruinous species of debauchery.
The statistics of narcotics, and the phenomena attending the use of them in the climates to which they seem to be more particularly suited, deserve more attention as an element of "general knowledge" than they have received. Those who would be fully informed upon the subject, will find it very well treated of in Nos. 8 and 9 of Johnston's Chemistry of Common Life. The five great narcotics, which are articles of national consumption in one part of the world or another, are-tobacco, opium, hemp, betel, and coca. Tobacco is the one universal narcotic; the others are consumed by the human race in the following proportions: opium by four hundred millions, hemp (i. e. hashish) by between two and three hundred millions, betel by one hundred millions, and coca by ten millions. Besides these, Siberia has its narcotic fungus; the Polynesian Islands their ava; New Granada and the Himmalayas their thorn-apples; the Florida Indians their emetic-holly; Northern Europe and America their ledums and sweet gale, &c. "No nation so ancient," says Johnston, "but has had its narcotic soother from the most distant times; none so remote or isolated, but has found within its own borders a pain-allayer and narcotic care-dispeller. . No other crops, except corn, and perhaps cotton, represent more commercial capital, or are the subjects of a more extended and unfailing traffic, and the source of more commercial wealth."
Besides the various effects which are common to all the principal narcotics, each has characteristics of its own. Hashish produces real catalepsy, and exaggerates rather than perverts the reports of the senses as to external objects; the thorn-apple, on the other hand, causes truly spectral illusions, and enables the Indian to converse with the spirits of his ancestors. The Siberian fungus gives insensibility to pain without interfering with consciousness. The common puff-ball stops all muscular action, but leaves the perceptive powers untouched. Cocculus indicus makes the body drunk, without affecting the mind. Coca has the wonderful power of sustaining muscular strength in the absence of food, and of preventing the wasting of the tissues of the body during the greatest and most prolonged exertion. The effects of the different narcotics are not only peculiar, but often opposed. Opium and hashish, common in many of their effects,
are opposite in this, that the former diminishes sensibility to external impressions, whereas the latter almost infinitely increases it. Betel is even an antidote to opium, as tea is to alcohol. Tobacco suspends mental activity; opium and hashish increase it a thousand-fold.
Psychologically, opium and hashish are by far the most interesting of the narcotics; and of these two, hashish, though the less known, indubitably bears the palm. They have, however, many qualities in common. We seem to be reading of the Eastern "hashishins" in Lord Macartney's description of the Japanese opium-eaters. "They acquire an artificial courage; and when suffering from misfortune and disappointment, they not only stab the objects of their hate, but sally forth to attack in like manner every person they meet, till self-preservation renders it necessary to destroy them." The term "running a-muck” is said to be derived from the cry, "Amok, amok!" meaning "Kill, kill," with which they accompany their fantastic crusade. On one occasion a Japanese was "running a-muck" in Batavia, and "had killed several people, when he was met by a soldier, who ran him through with his pike. But such was the desperation of the infuriated man, that he pressed himself forward on the pike, until he got near enough to stab his adversary with a dagger, when both expired together." While such is not uncommonly the effect of opium, as of hashish, in the East and in tropical climates, the ordinary influence of both these drugs in northern countries is described by De Quincey in the contrast he draws between the effects of opium and alcohol: "Wine robs a man of his self-possession; opium greatly invigorates it: wine unsettles and clouds the judgment, and gives a preternatural brightness and a vivid exaltation to the contempts and the admirations, the loves and the hatreds, of the drinker; opium, on the contrary, communicates serenity and equipoise to all the faculties, active or passive; and with respect to the temper and moral feelings in general, it gives simply that sort of vital warmth which is approved by the judgment, and which would probably always accompany a bodily constitution of primeval or antediluvian health." Dr. Madden's description of his feelings under the influence of opium exactly corresponds to the effect of a dose of hashish just insufficient to produce the fantasia: "My faculties appeared enlarged; every thing I looked at seemed increased in volume; I had no longer the same pleasure when I closed my eyes which I had when they were open; it appeared to me as if it was only external objects which were acted on by the imagination, and magnified into images of pleasure.
In walking, I was hardly sensible of my feet touching the ground; it seemed as if I slid along the street, impelled by some invisible
agent, and that my blood was composed of some ethereal fluid, which rendered my body lighter than air. . . . . The most extraordinary visions of delight filled my brain all night. In the morning I rose pale and dispirited; my head ached; my body was so debilitated, that I was obliged to remain on the sofa all day." When, however, hashish is taken in large doses, it produces effects more extraordinary than those of any other drug of its class; and, as being the most singular and the least known of the narcotics, it deserves a special notice.
The narcotic principle of hemp is very imperfectly developed in northern climates, although the plant rivals wheat and the potato in its power of self-adaptation to almost every soil and temperature. The narcotic quality resides in the sap; it is a resin. The odour of a hemp-field, and the giddiness and headache which attack persons remaining long in it, prove the existence of this resin in the northern plant; but it is only in the East that it exists in such quantities as to render its extraction practicable. In India, Persia, and Egypt, however, the resin spontaneously exudes from all parts of the herb in sufficient quantities to be gathered by the hand. In Central India men with leather aprons rush about among the hemp-plants, which deposit their balsam upon that primitive garment. This even is dispensed with sometimes, and the Coolies receive the precious gum upon their naked skins. The "churrus" of Herat, which is one of the most powerful species of the narcotic, is obtained by pressing the hemp in cloths. The resin is not always separated from its parent plant, which is in some places gathered when in flower, dried, and sold in bundles. In this state it is the gunjah of Calcutta. The larger leaves and seed-pods are denominated bang. The tops and tender shoots, and the pistils of the flowers, are hashish par excellence; and this is the form in which it is usually smoked. The name hashish also belongs to an extract from the gunjah, obtained by boiling it with butter. The gunjah, that is to say, the entire plant,-when boiled in alcohol, yields as much as one-fifth of its weight of pure resin. In the East the hashish is made up into various kinds of sweetmeats.
In one form or another, hashish seems to have been known to Eastern nations from very early times. The following is the passage of Herodotus which is alluded to by most of those who have written about the resin of hemp:
"They who have been engaged in the performance of these [funeral] rites [of the Scythians], afterwards use the following mode of purgation. After thoroughly washing the head, and then drying it, they do thus with regard to the body: they place in the ground three stakes inclining towards each other; round these they bind pieces of wool as thickly