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 actions admiration affords altogether amusement appear apply attention beauties become better certainly character chief chiefly circumstance common completely composition conduct connected considerable considered course danger desirable discover display disposition distinguished doubt drawn effects entirely equally example excels exhibiting extremely feeling fiction former frequently genius give given habits hero Homer human idea imitation important impression instruction interesting introduced kind knowledge latter leading least less manners means merit mind mode moral narrative nature notice object observation opinion particular passion perfection perform perhaps person picture pleasing poem possess powers practice present principles probably produced proper qualities raised reader reason regard represent respect rest seems sentiments society species spirit standard STANFORD story striking success taste tend thing tion truth UNIVERSITY Virgil virtue whole wish writer written
Page 165 - 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 158 - If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind as upon a mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination.
Page 166 - 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 : 685 High heaven with trembling the dread signal took, And all Olympus to the centre shook.
Page 167 - 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 160 - ... credit, we shall never imitate) but the highest and purest that humanity can reach, which, exercised in such trials as the various revolutions of things shall bring upon it, may, by conquering some calamities and enduring others, teach us what we may hope and what we can perform.
Page 160 - 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 159 - ... 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 157 - 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.
Page 158 - It is, therefore, not a sufficient vindication of a character, that it is drawn as it appears; for many characters ought never to be drawn: nor of a narrative, that the train of events is agreeable to observation and experience; for that observation which is called knowledge of the world, will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good.
Page 157 - The chief advantage which these fictions have over real life is, that their authors are at liberty, though not to invent, yet to select objects, and to cull from the mass of mankind those individuals upon which the attention ought most to be employed...
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