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Page 26 - With wonderful deathless ditties We build up the world's great cities, And out of a fabulous story We fashion an empire's glory: One man with a dream, at pleasure, Shall go forth and conquer a crown; And three with a new song's measure Can trample an empire down.
Page 25 - A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures that the vulgar are not capable of receiving. He can converse with a picture, and find an agreeable companion in a statue. He meets with a secret refreshment in a description, and often feels a greater satisfaction in the prospect of fields and meadows, than another does in the possession. It gives him, indeed, a kind of property in everything he sees, and makes the most rude, uncultivated parts of nature administer to his pleasure...
Page 21 - Bearing these principles in mind, we may be content to set out with a rough definition of literature, as consisting of works which, whether in verse or prose, are the handicraft of imagination rather than reflection, aim at the pleasure of the greatest possible number of the nation rather than instruction and practical effects,* and appeal to general -rather than specialised knowledge.
Page 25 - I believed the poets; it is they Who utter wisdom from the central deep, And, listening to the inner flow of things, Speak to the age out of eternity.
Page 27 - It is the armory of light: Let constant use but keep it bright. You'll find it yields To holy hands and humble hearts, More swords and shields Than sin hath snares or hell hath darts.
Page 20 - ... in a restricted sense the class of writings in which expression and form in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, romance, history," etc., "in contradistinction to scientific works or those written expressly to impart knowledge.
Page 37 - The Englishman, in this quality, is most vain, indiscreet, and out of order. He first grounds his work on impossibilities : then in three hours runs he through the world ; marries, gets children ; makes children men, men to conquer kingdoms, murder monsters ; and bringeth gods from heaven, and fetcheth devils from hell.
Page 32 - " Pas,s. Do you ask to be the companion of nobles ? Make yourself noble, and you shall be. Do you long lor the conversation of the wise ? Learn to understand it, and you shall hear it. But on other terms ?—no. If you will not rise to us, we cannot stoop to you.
Page 27 - I can feel what the Bible must have been to them. It was an open door into a world where emotion is expressed, where imagination can range, where love and longing find a language, where imagery is given to every noble and suppressed passion of the soul, where every aspiration finds wings.
Page 27 - ... emotion is expressed, where imagination can range, where love and longing find a language, where imagery is given to every noble and suppressed passion of the soul, where every aspiration finds wings. It was history, or, as Thucydides said, philosophy teaching by example; it was the romance of real life; it was entertainment unfailing; the wonder-book of childhood, the volume of sweet sentiment to the shy maiden, the sword to the soldier, the inciter of the youth to heroic enduring of hardness,...