I here present you, courteous reader, with the record of a remarkable period in my life, according to my application of it. I trust that it will prove not merely an interesting record, but, in a considerable degree, useful and instructive. In that hope it is that I have drawn it up; and that must be my apology for breaking through that delicate and honorable reserve which, for the most part, restrains us from the public exposure of our own errors and infirmities. Nothing, indeed, is more revolting to English feelings, than the spectacle of a human being obtruding on our notice his moral ulcers or scars.
-THOMAS DEQUINCEY, Confessions of an English Opium Eater, 1821