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Thomas De Quincey

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .lf-possession; and from the conversation between mother and son, most of which he understood, he had drawn conclusions which tended more and more to alarm him at his total loss of power over his limbs. From the expressions of the old woman, which marked an entire indifference about him, he anticipated that she would be apt to mistake his apparent want of animation for a real one; and busied himself with all the horrors which such an error might occasion. But he was mistaken. The old woman followed the directions of her son to the letter. When her preparations were finished, a pleasant odour began to diffuse itself over the house; she drew near to the sick stranger; and rubbed his breast with a handful of the liquor. Almost immediately he felt the genial effects: the muscles of his face relaxed; he breathed more freely; his lips opened; and she poured a few spoonfuls of the cordial down his throat. Then wrapping him up in blankets, she raised him with a strength like that . . . Read More