Gregory VII: A Tragedy

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Saunders and Otley, 1840 - 104 pages
 

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Page xxviii - O that it were possible we might But hold some two days conference with the dead, From them I should learn somewhat I am sure I never shall know here. I'll tell thee a miracle ; I am not mad yet, to my cause of sorrow. Th...
Page xiv - The highest moral purpose aimed at in the highest species of the drama is the teaching of the human heart, through its sympathies and antipathies, the knowledge of itself ; in proportion to the possession of which knowledge, every human being is wise, just, sincere, tolerant, and kind.
Page xiv - The person who would treat such a subject must increase the ideal, and diminish the actual horror of the events, so that the pleasure which arises from the poetry which exists in these tempestuous sufferings and crimes, may mitigate the pain of the contemplation of the moral deformity from which they spring.
Page xxxi - Though I should gaze for ever On that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
Page 62 - There was a carpenter of Tuscany, Whose son, from a cowled monk, made himself Pontiff. High-fronted saints and martyrs, men sublime • In aspiration and security, — Trusting to virtue, wisdom, justice, peace, The elements of nature in their souls, — Have, by thus trusting, left their tasks undone, Staked midst the roar of flames, or nailed and left In silence on the lonely night-black cross. So I, who know what blood I have within, Do act, believing all mankind the same ; And, being now in thunder...
Page xx - I believe that this notion of our having a simple pain in the reality, yet a delight in the representation, arises from hence, that we do not sufficiently distinguish what we would by no means choose to do, from what we should be eager enough to see if it was once done.
Page xiii - We ought not to be unreasonable, exacting, and passionate, when we grow very old; or, we ought to be too prudent to give away all our property before we die. What of ' Hamlet ?' This is very difficult. You ought to know your own mind, but you should not think too much of your thoughts; you ought not to obey your father's vindictive ghost; murder comes Home to people; yon should not feign much madness in order to hide the fact from yourself of feeling
Page xxi - In public representations, large masses of men experience emotions together, which are more generous, more just, and less selfish than under any other circumstances of their lives; and emotions, as Lord Bacon has remarked, are the more readily and strongly experienced when multitudes are assembled together. This latter circumstance is attributable to the enhancement of mental and moral courage under such circumstances ; to the increased faith in a common nature; and to the radiation, reflection,...
Page xii - ... are put upon their guard against the disorders of passion. The commentators upon Aristotle, and other critics, have been much gravelled about the account given of tragedy by that author: " That, by means of pity and terror, it refines or purifies in us all sorts of passion.
Page xvi - ... neglect of the great models of stage literature' ;J to repair such neglect he urged that by the publication of Elizabethan plays 'the public mind be instructed to the knowledge of what a rich mine of pure dramatic gold we have amongst us'.2 Richard Hengist Home objected that 'the propensity of modern times to reduce everything as much as possible to a tangible reality . . . has done incalculable mischief in its sweeping application to the ideal arts'.3 To him drama was an ideal art, with no significant...

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