Talks on Writing English, Volume 1

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1896 - English language
 

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Page 250 - The figure of that first ancestor, invested by family tradition with a dim and dusky grandeur, was present to my boyish imagination as far back as I can remember. It still haunts me, and induces a sort of home-feeling with the past, which I scarcely claim in reference to the present phase of the town.
Page 129 - The conjurer juggles with two oranges, and our pleasure in beholding him springs from this, that neither is for an instant overlooked or sacrificed. So with the writer. His pattern, which is to please the supersensual ear, is yet addressed, throughout and first of all, to the demands of logic. Whatever be the obscurities, whatever the intricacies of the argument, the neatness of the fabric must not suffer, or the artist has been proved unequal to his design. And, on the other hand, no form of words...
Page 61 - Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, Like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
Page 143 - Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star In his steep course? So long he seems to pause On thy bald awful head, O sovran BLANC, The Arve and Arveiron at thy base Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form! Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, How silently! Around thee and above Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it, As with a wedge! But when I look again...
Page 12 - ALL through my boyhood and youth, I was known and pointed out for the pattern of an idler ; and yet I was always busy on my own private end, which was to learn to write. I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in. As I walked, my mind was busy fitting what I saw with appropriate words ; when I sat by the roadside, I would either read, or a pencil and a penny version-book would be in my hand, to note down the features of the scene or commemorate some halting stanzas. Thus I...
Page 208 - A Conversation Between I. Compton-Bwnett and M. Jourdain', Orion (1945) . THE NOVELIST'S CHARACTERS MUST BE REAL TO HIM But the novelist has other aims than the elucidation of his plot. He desires to make his readers so intimately acquainted with his characters that the creations of his brain should be to them speaking, moving, living, human creatures.
Page 72 - The Puritan hated bearbaiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
Page 58 - Yet one tombstone served for both. All around, there were monuments carved with armorial bearings ; and on this simple slab of slate — as the curious investigator may still discern, and perplex himself with the purport — there appeared the semblance of an engraved escutcheon. It bore a device, a herald's wording of which might serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend ; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever-glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow : —...
Page 58 - No more firing was heard at Brussels — the pursuit rolled miles away. Darkness came down on the field and city : and Amelia was praying for George, who was lying on his face, dead, with a bullet through his heart.
Page 38 - A close reasoner and a good writer in general may be known by his pertinent use of connectives. Read that page of Johnson ; you cannot alter one conjunction without spoiling the sense. It is a linked strain throughout. In your modern books, for the most part, the sentences in a page have the same connection with each other that marbles have in a bag ; they touch without adhering.

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