The Battle of the Books

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Chatto and Windus, 1908 - 312 pages
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Page 60 - pride is greater than his ignorance, and what he wants in" knowledge, he supplies by sufficiency. When he has looked " about him, as far as he can, he concludes, there is no more " to be seen ; when he is at the end of his line, he is at the " bottom of the ocean ; when he has shot his best, he is sure " none ever did, or ever can, shoot better, or beyond it. His, " own reason he holds to be the certain measure of truth ;and ' his own knowledge, of what is possible in nature...
Page 283 - ... by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride...
Page 248 - A name to all succeeding ages curst: For close designs and crooked counsels fit, Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit; Restless, unfixed in principles and place; In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace ; A fiery soul, which, working out its way, Fretted the pigmy body to decay, And o'er-informed the tenement of clay...
Page 63 - Fables and Phalaris's Epistles, both living near the same time, which was that of Cyrus and Pythagoras. As the first has been agreed by all ages since for the greatest master in his kind, and all others of that sort have been but imitations of his original ; so I think the Epistles of Phalaris...
Page 7 - ... end ; he stormed and swore like a madman, and swelled till he was ready to burst. At length, casting his eye upon the .bee, and wisely gathering causes from events, (for they knew each other by sight,) A plague split you...
Page 64 - ... expression, such bounty to his friends, such scorn of his enemies, such honour of learned men, such esteem of good, such knowledge of life, such contempt of death, with such fierceness of nature and cruelty of revenge, could never be represented but by him that possessed them ; and I esteem Lucian to have been no more capable of writing, than of acting what Phalaris did. In all one writ, you find the scholar or the sophist ; and in all the other, the tyrant and the commander.
Page 248 - ... books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
Page 8 - At this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and angry, to urge on his own reasons, without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite ; and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction. Not to disparage myself...
Page 61 - A boy at fifteen is wiser than his father at forty ; the meanest subject than his prince or governors ; and the modern scholars, because they have, for a hundred years past, learned their lesson pretty well, are much more knowing than the ancients their masters.
Page 47 - Lycurgus, Thales, Solon, Democritus, Herodotus, Plato, and that vain sophist, Apollonius, (who was but an ape of the ancient philosophers) I shall only trace those of Pythagoras, who seems, of all others, to have gone the farthest upon this design, and to have brought home the greatest treasures. He went first to...

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