Obermann

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Brentano, 1903 - 423 pages
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Page xix - His chief work, too, has a value and power of its own, apart from these merits of its author. The stir of all the main forces, by which modern life is and has been impelled, lives in the letters of Obermann; the dissolving agencies of the eighteenth century, the fiery storm of the French Revolution, the first faint promise and dawn of that new world which our own time is but now more fully bringing to light, — all these are to be felt, almost to be touched, there. To me, indeed, it will always...
Page xix - Senancour, has little celebrity in France, his own country ; and out of France he is almost unknown. But the profound inwardness, the austere sincerity, of his principal work, Obermann, the delicate feeling for nature which it exhibits, and the melancholy eloquence of many passages of it, have attracted and charmed some of the most remarkable spirits of this century...
Page lxx - L'Antiquite devoilee par ses usages, ou examen critique des principales opinions, ceremonies et institutions religieuses et politiques des...
Page 51 - ... knowing scarcely how to fill up the time which, for all that, glides on irreparably, I find it less irksome when I employ it outside than when I wear it away indoors. Pursuits which are to some extent regulated are more in consonance with my dejection than an access of license which would leave one inert. I experience greater tranquillity among persons who are silent like myself, than when alone amidst a boisterous crowd. I am drawn towards those long halls, some vacant, some peopled by assiduous...
Page lxi - All men who are instructed in fundamental truths speak the same language, for they are inhabitants of the same country...
Page 128 - From lofty summits, majestic chains close it in on three sides. You are seated on the slope of the mountain, above the northern strand which the waves alternately quit and then recover.
Page 127 - His analysis of his own ethical position, terminating with a quotation from Montaigne, was expressed with a secularist and psychological emphasis which must have struck the young Arnold forcibly: Morality would be substantially the gainer by abandoning the support of an ephemeral fanaticism in favour of dignified dependence upon indisputable evidence. If we would have principles which appeal to the heart, let us recall those which are in the heart of every wellorganized man. Let us say: 'In a world...
Page lxx - ... arbitrary, and dependent on custom — Conscience and remorse are nothing but the foresight of those physical penalties to which crimes expose us — The man who is above the law, can commit, without remorse, the dishonest act that may serve his purpose...
Page 99 - When the strength which indues you has been pressed into the pursuit of understanding, when you have served the order of the world, what more would you have ? You have acted in conformity with your nature, and what is better for any being who feels and knows than to abide in such harmony ? Reborn each day into a new life, put to heart afresh your determination that you will not pass through this world to no purpose.
Page 402 - If I should reach old age, if, on a day, still thoughthaunted, but ceasing from speech with men, there should be a friend at my side to receive my farewell to earth, let my chair be set down on the short grass, may there be peaceful daisies in front of me, beneath the sun, under the vast sky, that in relinquishing this fleeting life I may recall something of the infinite illusion.

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