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men, until I felt that I had risen to the level of the men of mind, and had attained the mastery of their method. I should have let my raw fruit hang and sun itself upon the tree, till it was penetrated with ripeness and would come away easily upon the touch of a little finger. I ought not to have torn it off violently and with difficulty, while its humours were yet crude, to the laceration of the parent treethe torture of my own inward man. Dr. Bentley.
I find by experience that writing is like building, wherein the undertaker, to supply some defect, or serve some convenience which at first he foresaw not, is usually forced to exceed his first model and proposal, and many times to double the charge and expense of it. Dr. John Scott.
The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new. Johnson.
This I hold
A secret worth its weight in gold
A child-like being will always speak and write in simple sweet Saxon, the language of home and of childhood. Childlike natures in literature have ever done this, as in the cases of Goldsmith, Cowper, and Burns. Bunyan's style is a thing of such unconscious case, propriety, and unelaborate grace; the thought to which he wishes to give expression, he conveys in such plain, unassuming words, intelligible by all classes, with such purity of conversational phrases, and such fine natural idioms,
Not to mind where they go, or how,
Through ditch, through bog, o'er hedge and that it flows like the music and turnings of a
Make it but worth the reader's while,
Authorship is, according to the spirit in which it is pursued, an infamy, a pastime, a day-labour, a handicraft, an art, a science, or a virtue. Schlegel.
There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth the publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to get sensible
men to read it.
If I might give a short hint to an impartial writer, it would be to tell him his fate. If he resolves to venture upon the dangerous precipice of telling unbiassed truth, let him proclaim war with mankind, neither to give nor to take quarter. If he tells the crimes of great men, they fall upon him with the iron hands of the law; if he tells them of virtues, when they have any, then the mob attacks him with islander. But if he regards truth, let him expect martyrdom on both sides, and then he may go on fearless; and this is the course I take myself. De Foe.
Whosoever shall address himself to write of matters of instruction, or of any other argument of importance, it behoveth, that before be enter thereunto, he should resolutely determine with himself in what order he will handle the same. So shall he best accomplish that he hath undertaken, and inform the understanding and help the memory of the reader. Guillim. AUTHORSHIP-Novelty in.
Those writers who lie on the watch for novelty can have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation. Johnson.
running brook, along which you are wandering in a green pasture, or among the woods in spring. Besides this, his language has at times no small degree of imaginative power, and his pages are sometimes flashing with the quick and graphic light of whole pictures, presented in a single sentence. Cheever.
'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print; A book's a book, although there's nothing in't. Byron.
"I am going to fly," cried the gigantic ostrich; and the whole assembly of birds gathered round in earnest expectation. "I am going to fly," he cried again; and stretching out his immense pinions, he shot, like a ship with outspread sails, away over the ground, without, however, rising an inch above it. Thus it happens, when a notion of being poetical takes possession of unpoetical brains; in the opening of their monstrous odes they boast of their intention to soar over clouds and stars, but nevertheless remain constant to the dust. Lessing.
Solidity, indeed, becomes the pen
AUTHORSHIP-Study necessary for.
He who purposes to be an author, should first be a student.
The publication of private journals too often fosters in those who read them a rank undergrowth of hypocrisy. For one man who will honestly endeavour to lay bare on paper the course of his life and the state of his heart, one hundred will make the same attempt dishonestly, having the fear or the hope of the biographer before their eyes. How fluent the acknowledgment of those faults which the reader will certainly regard as venial, while he admires the sagacity which has detected, the humility which has condemned, and the integrity which has acknowledged them; such disclosures, whether made to the confessor or to the world at large, are at best an illusion. No man has such an insight into his own circumstances, motives, and actions, or such leisure for describing them, or such powers of description, as to be able to afford to others the means of estimating, with any approach to accuracy, the exact merit or demerit of any
one of his steps (and countless are the millions of these steps) in his whole moral and religious Sir J. Stephen.
It is a hard and nico subject for a man to write of himself; it grates his own heart to say anything of disparagement, and the reader's ears to hear anything of praise from him. Cowley.
For the attainment of correctness and purity in the use of words, the rules of grammarians AUTUMN-Moral Characteristics of. and of critics may be a sufficient guide; but it is not in the works of this class of authors that the higher beauties of style are to be studied. As the air and manner of a gentleman can be acquired only by living habitually in the best society, so grace in composition must be attained by an habitual acquaintance with classical writers. It is, indeed, necessary for our information, that we should peruse occasionally many books which have no merit in point of expression; but I believe it to be extremely useful to all literary men, to counteract the effect of this miscellaneous reading, by maintaining a constant and familiar acquaintance with a few of the most faultless models which the language affords. For want of some standard of this sort, we frequently see an author's taste in writing alter, much to the worse, in the course of his life; and his later productions fall below the level of his early essays. D'Alembert tells us that Voltaire had always lying on his table the Petit Carême of Massillon and the tragedies of Racine; the former to fix his taste in prose composition, and the latter in poetry. Stewart. AUTOBIOGRAPHY-Colouring of.
A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives-all bear secret relations to our destinies. Chateaubriand.
The impression we feel from the scenery of autumn is accompanied with much exercise of thought: the leaves then begin to fade from the trees; the flowers and shrubs, with which the fields were adorned in the summer months, decay; the woods and groves are silent; the sun himself seems gradually to withdraw his light, or to become enfeebled in his power. Who is there who, at this season, does not feel his mind impressed with a sentiment of melancholy; or who is able to resist that current of thought, which, from such appearances of decay, so naturally leads him to the solemn imagination of that inevitable fate which is to bring on alike the decay of life, of empire, and of nature itself. Alison.
However constant the visitations of sickness and bereavement, the fall of the year is most thickly strewn with the fall of human life. Everywhere the spirit of some sad power seems to direct the time it hides from us : the blue heavens, it makes the green wave turbid; it walks through the fields, and lays the damp ungathered harvest low; it cries out in the night wind and the shrill hail; it steals the summer bloom from the infant cheek; it makes old age shiver to the heart; it goes to the churchyard, and chooses many a grave; it flies to the bell, and enjoins it when to toll. It is God that goes His yearly round; that gathers up the appointed lives; and, even where the hour is not come, engraves by pain and poverty many a sharp and solemn lesson on the heart. James Martineau.
Behold, the husbandmen waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long
patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. St. James.
One cannot command any language to convey an adequate idea of their magnificence. You are standing far below, gazing up to where the great disc of the glittering Alp cuts the heavens, and drinking in the influence of the silent scene around. Suddenly, an enormous mass of snow and ice, in itself a mountain, seems to move; it breaks from the toppling outmost mountain ridge of snow, where it is hundreds of feet in depth, and in its first fall of perhaps two thousand feet, is broken into millions of fragments. As you first see the flash of distant artillery by night, then hear the roar, so here you may see the white flashing mass majestically bowing, and hear the astounding din. A cloud of dusty, misty, dry snow, rises into the air from the concussion, forming a white volume of fleecy smoke, or misty light, from the bosom of which thunders forth the icy torrent in its second prodigious fall over the rocky battlements. The eye follows it delighted, as it ploughs through the path which preceding avalanches have worn, till it comes to the brink of a vast ridge of bare rock, perhaps more than two thousand feet perpendicular. Then flows the whole cataract over the gulf with a still louder roar of echoing thunder. Another fall of still greater depth ensues, over a second similar castellated ridge or reef in the face of the mountain, with an awful majestic slowness, and a tremendous crash in its concussion, awakening again the reverberating peals of thunder. Then the torrent roars on to another smaller fall, till at length it reaches a mighty groove of snow and ice, like the slide down the Pilatus, of which Playfair has given so powerfully graphic a description. Here its progress is slower, and last of all you listen to the roar of the falling fragments as they drop out of sight, with a dead weight, into the bottom of the gulf, to rest there for ever. Cheever.
Had covetous men, as the fable goes of Briareus, each of them one hundred hands, they would all of them be employed in grasping and gathering, and hardly one of them in giving or laying out, but all in receiving, and none in restoring; a thing in itself so monstrous, that nothing in nature besides is like it, except it be death and the grave, the only things I know which are always carrying off the spoils of the world, and never making restitution. For otherwise, all the parts of the universe, as they borrow of one another,
he is very young, grows up with him, and AWE-Superstitious.
A heavenly awe overshadowed and encompassed, as it still ought, and must, all earthly business whatsoever. Carlyle.
This is the secret centre of the isle ;
Chills the pale plain beneath him: mark yon altar,
The dark stream brawling round its rugged base;
These cliffs, these yawning caverns, this wide circus,
Skirted with unhewn stone: they awe my
As if the very genius of the place
(If shapes like his be but the fancy's coinage),
The many-twinkling feet so small and sylph-
Suggesting the more secret symmetry
Vocal portraits of the national mind.
They are the gipsy children of song, born under green hedgerows, in the leafy lanes and by-paths of literature, in the genial summer time. Longfellow.
BANQUET-Luxuriance of the.
A table richly spread in regal mode,
Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast.
They may be traced in British history to the Anglo-Saxons. Canute composed one.
Minstrels were protected by a charter of Edward the IV.; but, by a statute of Elizabeth, they were made punishable among rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars. Viner.
BARD-Lyre of the.
On a rock whose haughty brow
Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air),
sing who could.
Give me the writing of the ballads, and you make the laws. Fletcher of Saltoun.
BALLS (Child's) and Dances.
I know not whether I ought most to hate child's balls, or praise most children's dances. The former, before the dancing master, in the society of lookers-on, or companions in dancing, in the hot climate of a ball-room, under its exotic produce, are at least the preliminary figures and principal steps towards the dance of death. On the other hand, children's dances are what I am not going to praise. As speaking should be taught before grammar, so dancing should long precede and work its way before tuition in the art of dancing.
'Tis not absence to be far,
But to abhor is to be absent; To those who in disfavour are, Sight itself is banishment.
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And bids them thank the bard for freedom
There are two distinct sorts of what we call bashfulness: this, the awkwardness of a booby, which a few steps into the world will convert into the pertness of a coxcomb; that, a consciousness, which the most delicate feelings produce, and the most extensive knowledge cannot always remove. Mackenzie.
Mere bashfulness without merit is awkward; and merit without modesty, insolent; but modest merit has a double claim to acceptance, and generally meets with as many patrons as beholders. Hughes.
Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed bat,
With short, shrill shriek, flits by on leathern wing. Collins.