Cities

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J. M. Dent & Company, 1903 - Cities and towns - 261 pages
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Page 89 - And that it be not, from all time The -law is planted, to abide. Thou wast a sinner, thou poor man ! Thou wast athirst ; and didst not see, That, though we take what we desire, We must not snatch it eagerly.
Page 25 - Michelangelo would be as exhausting as to live in a world in which every person was a person of genius. To live amongst the decorations of Raphael would be to live amongst people of too placid, too amiable disposition, and too limited intelligence; it would become a weariness, But one need never cease to live happily amongst the men and women whom Pinturicchio saw walking in beautiful robes, that were never woven so finely by hands in meadows of gold flowers, that never grew out of the brown earth,...
Page 34 - And it was a very delicate poetry of its kind that seemed to enfold him, as passing into the poet's house he paused for a moment to glance back towards the heights above ; whereupon, the numerous cascades of the precipitous garden of the villa, framed in the doorway of the hall, fell into a harmless picture, in its place among the pictures within, and scarcely more real than they...
Page 26 - ... passes over them, have something of the untiring charm, the infinite variety, of the sea. Drive a little way into the Campagna, and you might be on the Pampas, or in the desert which is about the ruins of Thebes. An almost audible silence descends upon you, in which the world seems asleep. A shepherd leans motionless upon his staff; the sheep move drowsily about him ; and you hear the tinkle of the bell. To see Tivoli, loud and white with waterfalls, a little grey town set upon grey and cloven...
Page 93 - ... brushes, the petulant whine of beggars, the whole buzz of that humming, half-obliterated Neapolitan, with its punctuation of gestures; the rush and hustling of those sidewalks, after the ample and courteous leisure of Rome; something sordid in the very trees on the sea-front, secondrate in the aspect of the carriages that passed, and of the people who sat in them; the bare feet, rags, rainbow-coloured dirt, sprawling and spawning poverty of Santa Lucia, and not of Santa Lucia alone ; the odour...
Page vii - ... stranger. I have respected the sight of my eyes and the judgment of my senses, and I have tried to evoke my cities in these pages exactly as they appeared to me to be in themselves. It is part of my constant challenge to myself, in everything I write, to be content with nothing short of that vraie v&ritt which one imagines to exist somewhere on this side of ultimate attainment.
Page 4 - I looked back : the Arch of Septimius Severus stood up, white and gigantic, blotting out the sky. The soul of Rome, as one gradually realises it, first, I think, and not least intimately, from the Aurelian Wall, then from the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Stadium, and then piece by piece, from the Vatican, the Diocletian, the Capitoline galleries of sculpture, is a very positive soul, all of one piece, so to speak, in which it is useless to search for delicate shades, the mystery of suggestion,...
Page v - I am one of those for whom the visible world exists, very actively ; and, for me, cities are like people, with souls and temperaments of their own, and it has always been one of my chief pleasures to associate with the souls and temperaments congenial to me among cities.
Page 141 - Heart, the supplementary title of which reads — ' a book that clearly shows that this world and all matters concerning it are nothing but confusion and giddiness, pain and toil, deceit and falsehood, misery and anxiety, and lastly, disgust of all things and despair ; but he who remains in his own dwelling within his heart, opening it to the Lord God alone, will obtain true and full peace of mind and...
Page 10 - Zecca. It stood there hiding the whole city and half the sky, a vast grey bulk; now and again the moon, looking through a rift in the clouds, touched the leaden roof with a finger of light; the cypresses, seeming to lean against the white walls at the base, turned blacker; a few gas lamps shone about it like gold candles about the high altar; and gradually, as I watched, light after light sprang up out of the deep streets and precipitous houses, the hills grew darker, and more vague, and the solid...

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