Morality of Fiction: Or, An Inquiry Into the Tendency of Fictitious Narratives, with Observations on Some of the Most Eminent

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Mundell, 1805 - 174 páginas
 

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Página 167 - THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds...
Página 160 - If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind as upon a mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination.
Página 168 - He spoke, and awful bends his sable brows ; Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod ; The stamp of fate, and sanction of the god : 685 High heaven with trembling the dread signal took, And all Olympus to the centre shook.
Página 169 - Him the Almighty Power Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky, With hideous ruin and combustion, down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell In adamantine chains and penal fire, Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Página 162 - ... credit, we shall never imitate) but the highest and purest that humanity can reach, which, exercised in such trials as the various revolutions of things shall bring upon it, may, by conquering some calamities and enduring others, teach us what we may hope and what we can perform.
Página 162 - In narratives, where historical veracity has no place* I cannot discover, why there should not be exhibited the most perfect idea of virtue ; of virtue not angelical, nor above probability, for what we cannot credit we shall never imitate ; but the highest and purest that humanity can reach...
Página 161 - ... but such have been in all ages the great corrupters of the world, and their resemblance ought no more to be preserved than the art of murdering without pain.
Página 157 - It is justly considered as the greatest excellency of art, to imitate nature; but it is necessary to distinguish those parts of nature, which are most proper for imitation: greater care is still required in representing life, which is so often discoloured by passion, or deformed by wickedness.
Página 160 - It is, therefore, not a sufficient vindication of a character, that it is drawn as it appears; for many characters ought never to be drawn: nor of a narrative, that the train of events is agreeable to observation and experience; for that observation which is called knowledge of the world, will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good.
Página 157 - The chief advantage which these fictions have over real life is, that their authors are at liberty, though not to invent, yet to select objects, and to cull from the mass of mankind those individuals upon which the attention ought most to be employed...

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