The English Novel: Being a Short Sketch of Its History from the Earliest Times to the Appearance of Waverley

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John Murray, 1894 - English fiction - 298 pages
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Page 225 - ; in which it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic ; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth...
Page 119 - Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions, clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the Mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits,...
Page 222 - It was an attempt to blend the two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern. In the former, all was imagination and improbability ; in the latter, nature is always intended to be, and sometimes has been, copied with success. Invention has not been wanting ; but the great resources of fancy have been dammed up, by a strict adherence to common life.
Page 59 - But besides these gross absurdities, how all their plays be neither right tragedies nor right comedies, mingling kings and clowns, not because the matter so carrieth it, but thrust in the clown by head and shoulders to play a part in majestical matters, with neither decency nor discretion, so as neither the admiration and commiseration nor the right sportfulness is by their mongrel tragicomedy obtained.
Page 206 - Praise, said the sage, with a sigh, is to an old man an empty sound. I have neither mother to be delighted with the reputation of her son, nor wife to partake the honours of her husband. I have outlived my friends and my rivals. Nothing is now of much importance ; for I cannot extend my interest beyond myself. Youth is delighted with applause, because it is considered as the earnest of some future good, and because the prospect of life is far...
Page 14 - For herein may be seen noble chivalry, courtesy, humanity, friendliness, hardiness, love, friendship, cowardice, murder, hate, virtue, and sin. Do after the good and leave the evil, and it shall bring you to good fame and renown. And for to pass the time this book shall be pleasant to read in, but for to give faith and belief that all is true that is contained herein, ye be at your liberty...
Page 55 - And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way. Thus, great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite, "Fool," said my Muse to me, "look in thy heart and write.
Page 268 - Without being so presumptuous as to hope to emulate the rich humour, pathetic tenderness, and admirable tact, which pervade the works of my accomplished friend, I felt that something might be attempted for my own country of the same kind with that which Miss Edgeworth so fortunately achieved for Ireland...
Page 221 - To select a singular event, and swell it to a giant's bulk by fabulous appendages of spectres and predictions, has little difficulty; for he that forsakes the probable may always find the marvellous.
Page 231 - She paused again, and then with a timid hand lifted the veil ; but instantly let it fall — perceiving that what it had concealed was no picture, and before she could leave the chamber she dropped senseless on the floor.

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