Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, Volume 4

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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 449 - ... man this or the other vague historical name can have been, will, as the first and directest indication of all, search eagerly for a portrait, for all the reasonable portraits there are; and never rest till he have made out, if possible, what the man's natural face was like. Often I have found a portrait superior in real instruction to half a dozen written
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 232 - Mr. Mackenzie, at this time in the 70th year of his age, with a white hat turned up with green, green spectacles, green jacket, and long brown leathern gaiters buttoned upon his nether anatomy, wore a dog.whistle round his neck, and had, all over, the air of as resolute a devotee as the gay captain of Huntly Burn.
Pagina 209 - In those days," says the Memorandum before me, " advocates were not so plenty — at least about Liddesdale ;" and the worthy Sheriff-substitute goes on to describe the sort of bustle, not unmixed with alarm, produced at the first farm-house they visited (Willie Elliot's at Millburnholm), when the honest man was informed of the quality of one of his guests.
Pagina 189 - For there is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man : also, it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.
Pagina 229 - A hard and harsh countenance — eyes far sunk under projecting eyebrows, which were grizzled like his hair— a wide mouth, furnished from ear to ear with a range of unimpaired teeth, of uncommon whiteness, and a size and breadth which might have become the jaws of an ogre, completed this delightful portrait.
Pagina 210 - ... and, moreover, with considerable libations of whiskypunch, manufactured in a certain wooden vessel, resembling a very small milkpail, which he called ' Wisdom,' because it ' made ' only a few spoonfuls of spirits, — though he had the art of replenishing it so adroitly, that it had been celebrated for fifty years as more fatal to sobriety than any bowl in the parish. Having done due honour to ' Wisdom,' they again mounted, and proceeded over moss and moor to some other equally hospitable master...
Pagina 250 - ... now is, with what it has been not long since, I think my heart will break. Lonely, aged, deprived of my family — All but poor Anne ; an impoverished, an embarrassed man, deprived of the sharer of my thoughts and counsels, who could always talk down my sense of the calamitous apprehensions which break the heart that must bear them alone. Even her foibles were of service to me, by giving me things to think of beyond my weary self-reflections.
Pagina 229 - Scott had recovered his bodily vigour, and none more so than Constable, who, as he puffed and panted after him, up one ravine and down another, often stopped to wipe his forehead, and remarked, that " it was not every author who should lead him such a dance.

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