Morality of Fiction: Or, An Inquiry Into the Tendency of Fictitious Narratives, with Observations on Some of the Most Eminent
Mundell, 1805 - 174 pages
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able action active admiration affords altogether amusing appear apply arise attention beauties become better cause certainly character chief chiefly circumstance common completely composition conduct connected considerable considered danger desirable directed discover disposition distinguished doubt drawn effects entirely equally example excels exhibit extremely feeling fiction former frequently genius give given habit hero Homer human idea imitation important impression instruction interesting introduced kind knowledge latter leading least less manners means merit mind mode moral narrative nature never notice object observation opinion particular passion perfection perform perhaps person pleasing poem possess powers practice present principle probably produced proper qualities raised reader reason refined regard represent respect rest seems sentiments species story striking superior taste tend thing tion truth vice virtue whole wish writer written
Page 163 - THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds...
Page 167 - I care not, fortune, what you me deny ; You cannot rob me of free nature's grace ; You cannot shut the windows of the sky, Through which Aurora shows her brightening face, You cannot bar my constant feet to trace The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve : Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace, And I their toys to the great children leave : Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.
Page 165 - With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky With hideous ruin and combustion down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell In adamantine* chains and penal fire, Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Page 168 - And missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green. To behold the wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon. Like one that had been led astray Through the heaven's wide pathless way, And oft, as if her head she bowed, Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Page 158 - In narratives, where historical veracity has no place* I cannot discover, why there should not be exhibited the most perfect idea of virtue ; of virtue not angelical, nor above probability, for what we cannot credit we shall never imitate ; but the highest and purest that humanity can reach...
Page 158 - Vice, for vice is necessary to be shewn, should always disgust; nor should the graces of gaiety, or the dignity of courage, be so united with it, as to reconcile it to the mind. Wherever it appears, it should raise hatred by the malignity of its practices, and contempt by the meanness of its stratagems; for while it is supported by either parts or spirit, it will be seldom heartily abhorred.
Page 164 - He spoke, and awful bends his sable brows, Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod, The stamp of fate, and sanction of the god : High Heaven with trembling the dread signal took, And all Olympus to the centre shook.
Page 157 - ... made perfectly detestable, because they never could be wholly divested of their excellencies; but such have been in all ages the great corrupters of the world, and their resemblance ought no more to be preserved, than the art of murdering without pain.
Page 155 - But if the power of example is so great as to take possession of the memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken that, when the choice is unrestrained, the best examples only should be exhibited ; and that which is likely to operate so strongly should not be mischievous or uncertain in its effects.
Page 155 - It is justly considered as the greatest excellency of art to imitate nature ; but it is necessary to distinguish those parts of nature which are most proper for imitation : greater care is still required in representing life, which is so often discoloured by passion or deformed by wickedness.