Book and Heart: Essays on Literature and Life

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Harper & brothers, 1897 - Literature - 237 pages

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Page 35 - The greatest poet even cannot say it; for the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness; this power arises from within, like the color of a flower which fades and changes as it is developed, and the conscious portions of our nature are unprophetic either of its approach or its departure.
Page 109 - Though love repine and reason chafe, There came a voice without reply: " 'Tis man's perdition to be safe, When for the truth he ought to die.
Page 33 - With all its novel modern powers and practical sense, I am forced to admit that the purely scientific brain is miserably mechanical ; it seems to have become a splendid sort of self-directed machine, an incredible automaton, grinding on with its analyses or constructions. But for pure sentiment, for all that spontaneous, joyous Greek waywardness of fancy, for the temperature of passion and the subtler thrill of ideality, you might as well look to a wrought-iron derrick.
Page 24 - The unseen clouds of the dew, which lie Like fire in the flowers till the sun rides high, Then wander like spirits among the spheres...
Page 36 - And now my soul gets heated, and if nothing disturbs me the piece grows larger and brighter, until, however long it is, it is all finished at once in my mind, so that I can see it at a glance as if it were a pretty picture or a pleasing person. Then I don't hear the notes one after another, as they are hereafter to be played, but it is as if in my fancy they were all at once.
Page 39 - The talisman of arrogance, indolence and ignorance is to be found in a single word, an authoritative imposture, which in these pages it will be frequently necessary to unveil. It is the word ' ought' — ' ought or ought not,
Page 214 - For ennui is a growth of English root, Though nameless in our language : — we retort The fact for words, and let the French translate ' That awful yawn which sleep can not abate.
Page 39 - ought' — 'ought or ought not,' as circumstances may be. In deciding ' You ought to do this — you ought not to do it,' — is not every question of morals set at rest ? If the use of the word be admissible at all, it ' ought ' to be banished from the vocabulary of morals.
Page 43 - ... who had no way of getting at it all except the gossip — printed or written — of these very old soldiers, should be able to go behind them all, and give an account of their life, not only more vivid than they themselves have ever given, but more accurate. It really seems a touch of that marvelous intuitive quality which for want of a better name we call genius. Now is it a correct criticism of the book to complain, as one writer has done, that it does not dwell studiously on the higher aspects...

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