Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, Volume 4

Brown and Taggard, 1860

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Pagina 448 - ... in all my poor Historical investigations it has been, and always is, one of the most primary wants to procure a bodily likeness of the personage inquired after; a good Portrait if such exists; failing that, even an indifferent if sincere one. In short, any representation, made by a faithful human creature, of that Face and Figure, which he saw with his eyes, and which I can never see with mine, is now valuable to me, and much better than none at all.
Pagina 232 - Tom Purdie and his subalterns had preceded us by a few hours with all the greyhounds that could be collected at Abbotsford, Darnick, and Melrose; but the giant Maida had remained as his master's orderly, and now gambolled about Sibyl Grey, barking for mere joy like a spaniel puppy.
Pagina 16 - A row of seventeen glorious diamonds, as large almost as filberts, encircle, not too tightly, the neck, a first time. Looser, gracefully fastened thrice to these, a three-wreathed festoon, and pendants enough (simple pearshaped, multiple star-shaped, or clustering amorphous) encircle it, enwreath it, a second time. Loosest of all, softly flowing round from behind in priceless catenary, rush down two broad threefold rows ; seem to knot themselves, round a very Queen of Diamonds, on the bosom ; then...
Pagina 238 - We might say in a short word, which means a long matter, that your Shakspeare fashions his characters from the heart outwards ; your Scott fashions them from the skin inwards, never getting near the heart of them ! The one set become living men and women ; the other amount to little more than mechanical cases, deceptively painted automatons.
Pagina 201 - Samson-shoulders the gates that would imprison him ; in danger and menace laughing at the whisper of fear. And then, with such a sunny current of true humour and humanity, a free joyful sympathy with so many things ; what of fire he had all lying so beautifully latent, as radical latent heat, as fruitful internal warmth of life ; a most robust, healthy man!
Pagina 241 - ... bygone ages of the world were actually filled by living men, not by protocols, state papers, controversies, and abstractions of men. Not abstractions were they, not diagrams and theorems ; but men, in buff or other coats and breeches, with colour in their cheeks, with passions in their stomach, and the idioms, features, and vitalities of very men.
Pagina 44 - ... in Imperial Schonbrunn, the winds of heaven not to visit thy face too roughly, thy foot to light on softness, thy eye on splendour; and then of thy Death or hundred Deaths, to which the Guillotine and Fouquier...
Pagina 236 - The whole world was not half so wide To Alexander when he cried Because he had but one to subdue. As was a narrow paltry tub to Diogenes; who ne'er was said, For aught that ever I could read, To whine, put finger i
Pagina 237 - With respect to the literary character of these ' Waverley Novels,' so extraordinary in their commercial character, there remains, after so much reviewing, good and bad, little that it were profitable at present to say. The great fact about them is, that they were faster written and better paid for than any other books in the world.
Pagina 192 - How delicate, decent is English Biography, bless its mealy mouth ! A Damocles' sword of Respectability hangs forever over the poor English Life-writer (as it does over poor English Life in general), and reduces him to the verge of paralysis. Thus it has been said, ' there are no English lives worth reading except those of Players, who by the nature of the case have bidden Respectability good-day.

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