Essay on Biography: Selected Biographical and Historical Sketches and Other Writings

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Doubleday, Page, 1901 - 204 էջ

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Common terms and phrases

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Էջ 182 - The latest Gospel in this world is, Know thy work and do it. "Know thyself:" long enough has that poor "self" of thine tormented thee; thou wilt never get to "know" it, I believe! Think it not thy business, this of knowing thyself; thou art an unknowable individual: know what thou canst work at; and work at it, like a Hercules! That will be thy better plan. It has been written, "an endless significance lies in Work;" a man perfects himself by working.
Էջ 82 - ... would suit him best, but continually shifted, in corkscrew fashion, and kept trying both. A heavy-laden, high-aspiring and surely muchsuffering man. His voice, naturally soft and good, had contracted itself into a plaintive snuffle and singsong ; he spoke as if preaching, — you would have said, preaching earnestly and also hopelessly the weightiest things. I still recollect his ' object ' and
Էջ 176 - What art thou afraid of? Wherefore, like ' a coward, dost thou for ever pip and whimper, and ' go cowering and trembling? Despicable biped ! ' what is the sum-total of the worst that lies before ' thee ? Death ? Well, Death ; and say the pangs of ' Tophet too, and all that the Devil and Man may, ' will, or can do against thee ! Hast thou not a heart ;
Էջ 81 - The good man, he was now getting old, towards sixty perhaps; and gave you the idea of a life that had been full of sufferings; a life heavy-laden, halfvanquished, still swimming painfully in seas of manifold physical and other bewilderment.
Էջ 173 - To me the Universe was all void of Life, of Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility: it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on, in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb.
Էջ 163 - Gay mansions, with supper-rooms and dancing-rooms, are full of light and music and high-swelling hearts; but, in the Condemned Cells, the pulse of life beats tremulous and faint, and bloodshot eyes look out through the darkness, which is around and within, for the light of a stern last morning. Six men are to be hanged on the morrow: comes no hammering from the Rabenstein? — their gallows must even now be o
Էջ 184 - He has a work; a life-purpose; he has found it, and will follow it ! How as a free-flowing channel, dug and torn by noble force through the sour mud-swamp of one's existence, like an ever-deepening river there, it runs and flows; draining...
Էջ 20 - ... making a shift to get over hedges and ditches, after walking at least eight or nine miles, which were the more grievous to the king by the weight of his boots (for he could not put them off when he cut off his hair, for want of shoes), before morning they came to a poor cottage, the owner whereof, being a Roman Catholic, was known to Careless.
Էջ 84 - ... everywhither in inextricable currents and regurgitations like a lake or sea; terribly deficient in definite goal or aim, nay often in logical intelligibility; what you were to believe or do, on any earthly or heavenly thing, obstinately refusing to appear from it. So that, most times, you felt logically lost; swamped near to drowning in this tide of ingenious vocables, spreading out boundless as if to submerge the world.
Էջ 93 - The courage necessary for him, above all things, had been denied this man. His life, with such ray of the empyrean in it, was great and terrible to him ; and he had not valiantly grappled with it, he had fled from it; sought refuge in vague daydreams, hollow compromises, in opium, in theosophic metaphysics. Harsh pain, danger, necessity, slavish harnessed toil, were of all things abhorrent to him.

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