Reading Notes

Reading Notes #1

From On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas De Quincey (Little Black Classics #04):

Human laws are guarded by laws of the utmost rigour, yet custom has devised a mode of evading them on behalf of murder; and the demands of taste are the same as those of abandoned guilt.

Now if merely to be present at a murder fastens on a man the character of an accomplice, – if barely to be a spectator involves us in one common guilt with the perpetrator; it follows of necessity, that, in these murders of the amphitheatre, the hand which inflicts the final blow is not more deeply imbrued in blood than his who sits and looks on; neither can he be clear of blood who has countenanced its shedding; nor that man seem other than a participator in murder who gives his applause to the murderer, and calls for prizes in his behalf.

This particular quotation is by Lactantius and it brought to mind the videos of the British politicians cheering after they voted to bomb Syria.


3 thoughts on “Reading Notes #1

    1. Yep though I guess the credit should go to Lactantius and not De Quincey. Honestly I kept on waiting to be blown away by the essay but instead I just got bored. He had good points to make but I feel like the work lacked the wit present in say A Modest Proposal.


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