Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, Volume 1

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Page 166 - It is admitted on all sides, that he wrote his own language with force and purity ; and he is reckoned one of its best models. The hymns in use with the Lutheran church, many of which are his own, possess a simple dignity and...
Page 81 - Paston Letters are an important testimony to the progressive condition of society, and come in as a precious link in the chain of the moral history of England, which they alone in this period supply. They stand indeed singly in Europe Hallam.
Page 88 - Never could the sympathies of the soul with outward nature be more finely touched ; never could more striking suggestions be presented to the philosopher and the statesman. Florence lay beneath them ; not with all the magnificence that the later Medici have given her, but, thanks to the piety of former times, presenting almost as varied an outline to the sky. One man, the wonder of Cosmo's age, Brunelleschi, had crowned the beautiful city with the vast dome of its cathedral; a structure unthought...
Page 89 - ... the magnificence that the later Medici have given her, but, thanks to the piety of former times, presenting almost as varied an outline to the sky. One man, the wonder of Cosmo's age, Brunelleschi, had crowned the beautiful city with the vast dome of its cathedral, a structure unthought of in Italy before, and rarely since surpassed. It seemed, amidst clustering towers of inferior churches, an emblem of the Catholic hierarchy under its supreme head; like Rome itself, imposing, unbroken, unchangeable,...
Page xix - But in the 12th century the impetuosity with which men rushed to that source of what they deemed wisdom, the great University of Paris, did not depend upon academical privileges or eleemosynary stipends, which came afterwards, though these were undoubtedly very effectual in keeping it up. The University created patrons, and was not created by them.
Page 88 - In a villa overhanging the towers of Florence, on the steep slope of that lofty hill crowned by the mother city, the ancient Fiesole, in gardens which Tully might have envied, with Ficino, Landino, and Politian at his side, he delighted his hours of leisure with the beautiful visions of Platonic philosophy, for which the summer stillness of an Italian sky appears the most congenial accompaniment.
Page 107 - If any doubt could be harbored, not as to the right of Leonardo da Vinci to stand as the first name of the fifteenth century, which is beyond all doubt, but as to his originality in so many discoveries, which probably no one man, especially in such circumstances, has ever made, it must be by an hypothesis not very untenable, that some parts of physical science had already attained a height which mere books do not record.
Page 85 - That no one should thereafter translate any text of Holy Scripture into English, by way of a book, or little book, or tract ; and that no book of this kind should be read, that was composed lately in the time of John Wickliff, or since his death.
Page 167 - ... of the latter, not merely sophistical, of which I am hardly well convinced, it consists in distinctions too subtle for the people to apprehend. These are not the oscillations of the balance in a calm understanding, conscious of the difficulty which so often attends the estimate of opposite presumptions, but alternate gusts of dogmatism, during which, for the time, he was as tenacious of his judgment as if it had been uniform.
Page 34 - For when we compare the earliest English of the thirteenth century with the Anglo-Saxon of the twelfth, it seems hard to pronounce why it should pass for a separate language, rather than a modification or simplification of the former.

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