De Quincy: vision under opium (Everton hill, between Liverpool and the sea):
…on a summer night – when I have been seated at an open window, from which I could overlook the sea at a mile below me, and could at the same time command a view of some great town standing on a different radius of my circular prospect, but at nearly the same distance – that from sunset to sunrise, all through the hours of night, I have continued motionless, as if frozen without consciousness of myself as an object anywise distinct from the multiform scene which I contemplated from above. <…> The town of Liverpool represented the earth, with its sorrows and its graves left behind, yet not out of sight, nor wholly forgotten. The ocean, in everlasting but gentle agitation, yet brooded over by dove-like calm [Descreux, the French translater, renders “dove-like calm” as “calme alcyonien” (halcyonian calm)], might not unfitly typify the mind, and the mood which then swayed it. For it seemed to me as if then first I stood at a distance aloof from the uproar of life; as if the tumult, the fever, and the strife, were suspended; a respite were granted from the secret burdens of the heart, - some sabbath of repose, some resting from human labours. Here were the hopes which blossom in the paths of life, reconciled with the peace which is in the grave; motions of the intellect as unwearied as the heavens, yet for all anxieties a halcyon calm; tranquillity that seemed not product of inertia, but as if resulting from mighty and equal antagonisms; infinite activities, infinite repose.
Thomas DeQunicy in Roland Barthes, The Neutral, 164.