gentlemen in the cotton trade at Manchester in affecting the Stoic philosophy — Stoics were followers of the Greek philosopher Zeno who taught in the porch (stoa poikilê) of the Agora in Athens. A Stoic is one who practises repression of emotion, indifference to pleasure or pain, and patient endurance. The cotton merchants in Manchester were at the mercy of the economic conditions of the time, over which they had no control. By the 1820s they were opposing the Corn Laws, however. It is not true that de Quincey was "a stranger in Manchester": he was born and brought up there.
[Back to De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater]
Last modified 1 May 2002