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Strana 373 - The perfect historian is he in whose work the character and spirit of an age is exhibited in miniature. He relates no fact, he attributes no expression to his characters, which is not authenticated by sufficient testimony. But by judicious selection, rejection, and arrangement, he gives to truth those attractions which have been usurped by fiction.
Strana 373 - Sir Walter Scott, in the same manner, has used those fragments of truth which historians have scornfully thrown behind them, in a manner which may well excite their envy. He has constructed out of their gleanings works which, even considered as histories, are scarcely less valuable than theirs. But a truly great historian would reclaim those materials which the novelist has appropriated...
Strana 35 - But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a creature Moving about in worlds not realized, High instincts before which our mortal nature Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised...
Strana 374 - But a truly great historian would reclaim those materials which the novelist has appropriated. The history of the government, and the history of the people, would be exhibited in that mode in which alone they can be exhibited justly, in inseparable conjunction and intermixture. We should not then have to look for the wars and votes of the Puritans in Clarendon, and for their phraseology in Old Mortality ; for one half of King James in Hume and for the other half in the Fortunes of Nigel.
Strana 8 - History of the World," which exhibit the Byzantine period on a larger scale. Mahomet and his Saracens soon fixed my attention, and some instinct of criticism directed me to the genuine sources. Simon Ockley, an original in every sense, first opened my eyes; and I was led from one book to another, till I had ranged round the circle of Oriental history. Before I was sixteen...
Strana 356 - ... and ideas wherewith to present, as with their homage and their fealty, the approaching reformation: others as fast reading, trying all things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. What could a man require more from a nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge? What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil but wise and faithful labourers, to make a knowing people, a nation of prophets, of sages and of worthies.
Strana 373 - But of the vast and complex system of society, of the fine shades of national character, of the practical operation of government and laws, he knows nothing. He who would understand these things rightly must not confine his observations to palaces and solemn days. He must see ordinary men as they appear in their ordinary business, and in their ordinary pleasures.
Strana 389 - How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not, To whom related, or by whom begot ; A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be ! Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Strana 378 - It was about the year 1688 that the word stockjobber was first heard in London. In the short space of four years a crowd of companies, every one of which confidently held out to subscribers the hope of immense gains, sprang into existence : the Insurance Company, the Paper Company, the Lutestring Company, the PearlFishery Company, the Glass-Bottle Company, the Alum Company, the Blythe Coal Company, the Swordblade Company.