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Page 234 - And ever, against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Married to immortal verse, Such as the meeting soul may pierce, In notes with many a winding bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out With wanton heed and giddy cunning, The melting voice through mazes running, Untwisting all the chains that tie The hidden soul of harmony ; That Orpheus...
Page 79 - ON a superficial view, we may seem to differ very widely from each other in our reasonings, and no less in our pleasures ; but, notwithstanding this difference, which I think to be rather apparent than real, it is probable that the standard both of Reason and Taste is the same in all human creatures...
Page 144 - To make any thing very terrible, obscurity* seems, in general, to be necessary. When we know the full extent of any danger, when we can accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes.
Page 129 - Choose a day on which to represent the most sublime and affecting tragedy we have ; appoint the most favourite actors ; spare no cost upon the scenes and decorations ; unite the greatest efforts of poetry, painting, and music; and when you have collected your audience, just at the moment when their minds are erect with expectation, let it be reported that a state criminal of high rank is on the point of being executed in the adjoining square ; in a moment the emptiness of the theatre would demonstrate...
Page 134 - Now whatever either on good or upon bad grounds tends to raise a man in his own opinion, produces a sort of swelling and triumph that is extremely grateful to the human mind; and this swelling is never more perceived, nor operates with more force, than when without danger we are conversant with terrible objects, the mind always claiming to itself some part of the dignity and importance of the things which it contemplates.
Page 82 - I mean by the word Taste no more than that faculty or those faculties of the mind, which are affected with, or which form a judgment of, the works of imagination and the elegant arts.
Page 237 - ... beauty should shun the right line, yet deviate from it insensibly; the great in many cases loves the right line; and when it deviates, it often makes a strong deviation: beauty should not be obscure; the great ought to be dark and gloomy: beauty should be light and delicate; the great ought to be solid, and even massive.
Page 227 - First, to be comparatively small. Secondly, to be smooth. Thirdly, to have a variety in the direction of the parts ; but, fourthly, to have those parts not angular, but melted as it were into each other. Fifthly, to be of a delicate frame, without any remarkable appearance of strength. Sixthly, to have its colours clear and bright, but not very strong and glaring. Seventhly, or if it should have any glaring colour, to have it diversified with others.
Page 165 - Infinity has a tendency to fill the mind with that sort of delightful horror, which is the most genuine effect, and truest test of the sublime. There are scarce any things which can become the objects of our senses that are really, and in their own nature infinite. But the eye not being able to perceive the bounds of many things, they seem to be infinite, and they produce the same effects as if they were really so.