The English Familiar Essay: Representative Texts

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William Frank Bryan, Ronald Salmon Crane
Ginn, 1916 - English essays - 471 pages
 

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Page 31 - ... the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.
Page 51 - GOD ALMIGHTY first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures ; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.
Page 23 - STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring: for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business...
Page 31 - One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum daemonum, because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in and settleth in it, that doth the hurt such as we spake of before.
Page 31 - The poet that beautified the sect that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well : // is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea ; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below : but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of Truth...
Page 41 - ... in one city or town, let him change his lodging from one end and part of the town to another, which is a great adamant of acquaintance. Let him sequester himself from the company of his countrymen, and diet in such places where there is good company of the nation where he travelleth, Let him, upon his removes from one place to another, procure recommendation to some person of quality residing in the place whither he removeth, that he may use his favour in those things he desireth to see or know.
Page 32 - Men fear Death as children fear to go in the dark ; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin and passage to another world, is holy and religious ; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mixture of vanity and of superstition. You shall read in some of the friars...
Page 145 - ... the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life ; and passing from one thought to another, Surely, said I, man is but a shadow, and life a dream.
Page 220 - The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend. To these two original diversities may be reduced all those impertinent classifications of Gothic and Celtic tribes, white men, black men, red men. All the dwellers upon earth, " Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites," flock hither, and do naturally fall in with one or other of these primary distinctions.
Page 101 - ... till he knows whether the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author. To gratify this curiosity, which is so natural to a reader, I design this paper, and my next, as prefatory discourses to my following writings, and shall give some account in them of the several persons that are engaged in this work. As the chief trouble of compiling,...

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