The World's Literature: A Course in English for Colleges and High Schools in Four Parts, Volume 1

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Albert, Scott & Company, 1890 - Literature

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Page 89 - Universal History, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here. They were the leaders of men, these great ones ; the modellers, patterns, and in a wide sense creators, of whatsoever the general mass of men contrived to do or to attain...
Page 87 - In whom no good they saw ; And yet, unwittingly, in truth, They made his careless words their law. They knew not how he learned at all, For idly, hour by hour, He sat and watched the dead leaves fall, Or mused upon a common flower. It seemed the loveliness of things Did teach him all their use, For, in mere weeds, and stones, and springs, He found a healing power profuse.
Page 95 - We call that fire of the black thunder-cloud ' electricity,' and lecture learnedly about it, and grind the like of it out of glass and silk: but what is it ? What made it ? Whence comes it ? Whither goes it ? Science has done much for us ; but it is a poor science that would hide from us the great deep sacred infinitude of Nescience, whither we can never penetrate, on which all science swims as a mere superficial film. This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle ; wonderful,...
Page 97 - I," — ah, what words have we for such things ? — is a breath of Heaven ; the Highest Being reveals himself in man. This body, these faculties, this life of ours, is it not all as a vesture for that Unnamed ? " There is but one Temple in the Universe," says the devout Novalis,
Page 86 - THERE came a youth upon the earth, Some thousand years ago, Whose slender hands were nothing worth, Whether to plough, or reap, or sow. Upon an empty tortoise-shell He stretched some chords, and drew Music that made men's bosoms swell Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.
Page 100 - In all epochs of the world's history, we shall find the Great Man to have been the indispensable saviour of his epoch ; — the lightning, without which the fuel never would have burnt. The History of the World, I said already, was the Biography of Great Men.
Page 99 - I liken common languid Times, with their unbelief, distress, perplexity, with their languid doubting characters and embarrassed circumstances, impotently crumbling down into ever worse distress towards final ruin ;—all this I liken to dry dead fuel, waiting for the lightning out of Heaven that shall kindle it. The great man, with his free force direct out of God's own hand, is the lightning.
Page 78 - Mid shouts and cheers The jaded steers, Panting beneath the goad, Dragged down the weary, winding road Those captive kings so straight and tall, To be shorn of their streaming hair, And naked and bare, To feel the stress and the strain Of the wind and the reeling main, Whose roar Would remind them forevermore Of their native forests they should not see again.
Page 15 - ... earnestness of those childish eyes to understand the first words spoken of them by the children of men, and then, in all the most beautiful and enduring myths we shall find not only a literal story of a real person, not only a parallel imagery of moral principle, but an underlying worship of natural phenomena out of which both have sprung and in which both forever remain rooted.
Page 90 - But the thing a man does practically believe (and this is often enough without asserting it even to himself, much less to others) ; the thing a man does practically lay to heart, and know for certain, concerning his vital relations to this mysterious Universe, and his duty and destiny there, that is in all cases the primary thing for him, and creatively determines all the rest.

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