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Page 20 - The works of fiction with which the present generation seems more particularly delighted are such as exhibit life in its true state, diversified only by accidents that daily happen in the world, and influenced by passions and qualities which are really to be found in conversing with mankind.
Page 414 - He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with his sabre in his hand, for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage and expiration ; all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him ; the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
Page 416 - We thus enter the. bowers of ease, and re,pose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens and vigilance subsides ; we are then willing to inquire whether another advance cannot be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes ,upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them, with scruple...
Page 416 - We then relax our vigour, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance, but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch. We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security.
Page 382 - ... no species of -writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography, since none can be more delightful or more useful, none can more certainly enchain the heart by irresistible interest, or more widely diffuse instruction to every diversity of condition.
Page 25 - In narratives, where historical veracity has no place, I cannot discover why there should not be exhibited the most perfect idea of virtue ; of virtue not angelical, nor above probability, for what we cannot credit, we shall never imitate : but the highest and purest that humanity can reach...
Page 415 - At length, not fear, but labour began to overcome him ; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled; and he was on the point of lying down in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the light ; and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude....
Page 57 - Yet by some such fortuitous liquefaction was mankind taught to procure a body at once in a high degree solid and transparent, which might admit the light of the sun, and exclude the violence of the wind: which might extend the sight of the philosopher to new ranges of existence, and charm. him at one time with the unbounded extent of the material...
Page 279 - If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of the pickaxe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed by the sense of their disproportion ; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are levelled, and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.