"They crossed themselves, their stars they blest, Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest; There lay a parchment on her breast, That puzzled more than all the rest The well-fed wits at Camelot." Hitherto we have been "puzzled," but as with the sublime incoherences of a dream.
"That is a false deduction, for since God may do all things, He may certainly be ignorant of an event in futurity." I thought the way in which she brought in the word "futurity" almost sublime. Hedvig was loudly applauded, and her uncle went all round the table to kiss her.
Emerson's belief that the individual must in reason be adequate to the vocation for which the Spirit of the world has called him into being, is the source of those sublime pages, hearteners and sustainers of our youth, in which he urges his hearers to be incorruptibly true to their own private conscience. Nothing can harm the man who rests in his appointed place and character.
Nature assures him thou art a beautiful and sublime emotion; and, he answers, canst thou deprive the sun of its heat because its ray may be decomposed; or does the diamond blaze with less splendour because thou canst analyse its effulgence?
The fine contempt for the vessel manifested by the original artists of each new movement is almost as salutary as their sublime belief in the spirit. To us, looking at the history of art, the periods of abjection and compromise may appear unconscionably long, but by comparison with those of other religions they are surprisingly short.
There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it I paused to think what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered.
He had no care in the world; he was cut off from the world; he had no family; he existed beatifically and individually in a sublime and satisfied egotism. But, such is the insecurity of human organisms and institutions, in less than two minutes he grew aware of a strange sensation within him, which sensation he ultimately diagnosed as hunger. To clap his hands was the work of an instant.
Intense astonishment seized the countess, and she looked at Dionysia with a glance full of doubt and mistrust. Such devotion seemed to her too sublime not to conceal some snare. "You would really do that?" she asked. "Unhesitatingly." "You would make a great sacrifice for my benefit?" "For yours? No, madam, for Jacques's." "You love him very dearly, do you?"
In consequence, a sublime object, precisely because it thwarts the senses, is suitable with relation to reason, and it gives to us a joy by means of a higher faculty, at the same time that it wounds us in an inferior one. The touching, in its proper sense, designates this mixed sensation, into which enters at the same time suffering and the pleasure that we find in suffering.
I, however, am of a different way of thinking; as witness my nephew, to whom I have taught that sublime language. The rascal knows it better than I do. The worst of it is, that with his modern reading he is forgetting it; and some fine day, without ever having suspected it, he will find out that he is an ignoramus.