THE CLOSING HOURS.

IN his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, De Quincy says that opium exalted his appreciation of music, and that he commonly took a dose before going to the opera. Accidentally I was once enabled to furnish a testimony of allied kind. Thirty or forty years ago, at times when my nights, always bad, had become unusually bad, I sometimes took a dose of morphia (the effect of which lasts two days) to reestablish, so far as might be, the habit of going to sleep. On one of these occasions it happened that the day after, I went to a concert at which was performed Spohr Symphony, The Power of Sound. Some years before I had heard it with complete indifference, but now I listened to it with considerable pleasure. Partly my sensibility to tones was more acute, and partly there was an increased power of appreciating their relations and the complexes formed of them.

I name these facts as suggesting that between the feelings of early life and those of late life there is a contrast similar to that between the feelings when exalted by a nervous stimulant and the feelings in their ordinary intensity. As by the phlegmatic the

-94-

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Facts and Comments
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. v
  • Contents vii
  • Facts and Comments. - A Business-Principle 1
  • A Problem. 12
  • A New Americanisms. 16
  • Presence of Mind. 19
  • The Corruption of Music 26
  • Spontaneous Reform. 29
  • Feeling Versus Intellect. 35
  • The Purpose of Art. 44
  • Some Questions. 49
  • The Origin of Music. 52
  • Developed Music 61
  • Estimates of Men. 79
  • State-Education. 82
  • The Closing Hours. 94
  • Style. 97
  • Style Continued. 106
  • Meyerbeer 112
  • The Pursuit of Prettiness. 116
  • Patriotism. 122
  • Some Light on Use-Inheritance. 128
  • Party-Government. 135
  • Exaggerations and Mis-Statements. 145
  • Imperialism and Slavery. 157
  • Re-Barbarization. 172
  • Regimentation. 189
  • Weather Forecasts. 201
  • The Regressive Multiplication Of Causes. 210
  • Sanitation in Theory And Practice. 216
  • Gymnastics. 225
  • Euthanasia. 231
  • The Reform of Company--Law. 234
  • Some Musical Heresies. 245
  • Distinguished Dissenters. 258
  • Barbaric Art. 265
  • Vaccination. 270
  • Perverted History. 274
  • Grammar. 280
  • What Should the Sceptic Say To Believers? 292
  • Ultimate Questions. 300
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