Studies of a Biographer, Volume 4

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Duckworth and Company, 1902
 

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Page 133 - A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. "Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.
Page 121 - ... true eloquence I find to be none but the serious and hearty love of truth; and that whose mind soever is fully possessed with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, when such a man would speak, his words...
Page 90 - Nothing can less display knowledge or less exercise invention than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge of his skill in piping; and how one god asks another god what is become of Lycidas, and how neither god can tell. He who thus grieves will excite no sympathy; he who thus praises will confer no honour.
Page 128 - Aurelius is not a great writer, a great philosophy-maker ; he is the friend and aider of those who would live in the spirit.
Page 112 - Lyrical Ballads; in which it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Page 135 - E.'s specialties gain if enlarged by the glass; C. gives nature and God his own fits of the blues, And rims common-sense things with mystical hues, — E. sits in a mystery calm and intense, And looks coolly around him with sharp common-sense; C. shows you how every-day matters unite With the dim transdiurnal recesses of night, — While E., in a plain, preternatural way, Makes mysteries matters of mere every day; C.
Page 153 - I had occasion to say the other day to Elizabeth Hoar that I like best the strong and worthy persons, like her father, who support the social order without hesitation or misgiving. I like these; they never incommode us by exciting grief, pity, or perturbation of any sort. But the professed philanthropists, it is strange and horrible to say, are an altogether odious set of people, whom one would shun as the worst of bores and canters.
Page 135 - Alas, it is so easy to screw one's self up into high and even higher altitudes of Transcendentalism, and see nothing under one but the everlasting snows of Himmalayah, the Earth shrinking to a Planet, and the indigo firmament sowing itself with daylight stars; easy for you, for me; but whither does it lead?
Page 218 - A spirit goes out of the man who means execution, which outlives the most untimely ending. All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it.
Page 32 - That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger To sound what stop she please. Give me that man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.

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