"Herein is the explanation of the analogies, which exist in all the arts. They are the re-appearance of one mind, working in many materials to many temporary ends. Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakspeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it. Painting was called "silent poetry," and poetry "speaking painting." The laws of each art are convertible into the laws of every other."
"The virtue of art lies in detachment, in sequestering one object from the embarrassing variety. Until one thing comes out from theconnection of things, there can be enjoyment, contemplation, but no thought."
"Each work of art excludes the world, concentrates attention on itself. For the time it is the only thing worth doing--to do just that; be it a sonnet, a statue, a landscape, an outline head of Caesar, or an oration. Presently we return to the sight of another that globes itself into a whole as did the first, for example, a beautiful garden; and nothing seems worth doing in life but laying out a garden."
"If I quake, what matters it what I quake at? Our proper vice takes form in one or another shape, according to the sex, age, or temperament of the person, and, if we are capable of fear, will readily find terrors."
"Fear is cruel and mean. The political reigns of terror have been reigns of madness and malignity,--a total perversion of opinion;society is upside down, and its best men are thought too bad to live."
"Examples are cited by soldiers, of men who have seen the cannon pointed, and the fire given to it, and who have stepped aside fromhe path of the ball. The terrors of the storm are chiefly confined to the parlour and the cabin."
"'T is wonderful how soon a piano gets into a log hut on the frontier. You would think they found it under a pine stump. With it comes a Latin grammar,--and one of those tow-head boys has written a hymn on Sunday. Now let colleges, now let senates take heed!"
"I think sometimes, could I only have music on my own terms; could I live in a great city and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves,--that were a bath and a medicine."
"There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a sort of infinitude which it hath, like space and time, make all matter gay. Even the corpse has its own beauty."
"Go out of the house to see the moon, and 't is mere tinsel; it will not please as when its light shines upon your necessary journey. The beauty that shimmers in the yellow afternoons of October, who could ever clutch it? Go forth to find it, and it is gone: 't is only a mirage as you look from the windows of diligence."
"For the universe has three children, born at one time, which reappear, under different names, in every system of thought, whetherthey be called cause, operation, and effect; or, more poetically, Jove, Pluto, Neptune; or, theologically, the Father, the Spirit, and the Son; but which we will call here, the Knower, the Doer, and the Sayer. These stand respectively for the love of truth, for the love of good, and for the love of beauty."