Confessions of an English Opium-Eater HTML version

Let them not hesitate to express their wishes upon any scruples of false delicacy
and consideration for my feelings; I assure them they will do me too much honour
by "demonstrating" on such a crazy body as mine, and it will give me pleasure to
anticipate this posthumous revenge and insult inflicted upon that which has
caused me so much suffering in this life. Such bequests are not common;
reversionary benefits contingent upon the death of the testator are indeed
dangerous to announce in many cases: of this we have a remarkable instance in
the habits of a Roman prince, who used, upon any notification made to him by
rich persons that they had left him a handsome estate in their wills, to express his
entire satisfaction at such arrangements and his gracious acceptance of those
loyal legacies; but then, if the testators neglected to give him immediate
possession of the property, if they traitorously "persisted in living" (si vivere
perseverarent, as Suetonius expresses it), he was highly provoked, and took his
measures accordingly. In those times, and from one of the worst of the Caesars,
we might expect such conduct; but I am sure that from English surgeons at this
day I need look for no expressions of impatience, or of any other feelings but
such as are answerable to that pure love of science and all its interests which
induces me to make such an offer.
Sept 30, 1822