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 - With vain attempt. 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 169 - I care not, fortune, what you me deny ; You cannot rob me of free nature's grace ; You cannot shut the windows of the sky, Through which Aurora shows her brightening face, You cannot bar my constant feet to trace The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve : Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace, And I their toys to the great children leave : Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.
Página 170 - And missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green. To behold the wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon. Like one that had been led astray Through the heaven's wide pathless way, And oft, as if her head she bowed, Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Página 158 - 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 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...
Página 160 - Vice, for vice is necessary to be shown, should always disgust; nor should the graces of gaiety or the dignity of courage be so united with it as to reconcile it to the mind : wherever it appears it should raise hatred by the malignity of its practices, and contempt by the meanness of its stratagems : for while it is supported by either parts or spirit it will be seldom heartily abhorred.
Página 158 - Many writers, for the sake of following nature, so mingle good and bad qualities in their principal personages, that they are both equally conspicuous ; and as we accompany them through their adventures with delight, and are led by degrees to interest ourselves in their favour, we lose the abhorrence of their faults, because they do not hinder our pleasure, or, perhaps, regard them with some kindness, for being united with so much merit.
Página 160 - ... 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 158 - ... it, to initiate youth by mock encounters in the art of necessary defence, and to increase prudence without impairing virtue.
Página 160 - 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...

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