I have hesitated, as you may well believe, whether I should take these words for a text. They seem so far to surpass anything that can be said concerning them, and they cover such immense fields of dim thought, that one may well be afraid lest one should spoil them by even attempting to dilate on them.
An orator of the convention lately boasted, that he felt himself infinitely superior to the prejudices of Grotius, Puffendorff, and Vatel, which he calls "l'aristocratie diplomatique." Such sublime spirits think, because they differ from the rest of mankind, that they surpass them. Like Icarus, they attempt to fly, and are perpetually struggling in the mire.
Her low wide brow and her neck were snowy white, and no pink petal on the trees above her could surpass the bloom on her cheeks. Her large, dark, lustrous eyes were brimming over with fun, and unconscious of observation, she moved with the natural, unstudied grace of a child.
Henrica did not remain in his debt, her eyes sparkled, and in the increasing pleasure of trying the power of her intellect against his, she sought to surpass every jest and repartee made by the Junker. She drank no wine, but was intoxicated by her own flow of language and so completely engrossed Georg's attention, that he found no time to address a word to the other guests.
As related by Gordon, there are few incidents in the war which surpass it in picturesqueness and vitality. The battle of Antietam was a struggle unsurpassed for its desperate and deadly fierceness in the whole war, the losses, in comparison with the numbers engaged, being the greatest of any battle-field of the conflict. The plain in which it was fought was literally bathed in blood.
He discovered New Caledonia, and surveyed most of the islands of the New Hebrides, and other islands in the Austral Ocean. He made known to the world the larger portion of the Friendly Islands, or Tonga group, as also of the Marquesas. Nothing can surpass the general accuracy of his description of the habits and customs of the inhabitants of Otaheite.
Yet the pikemen of Spain and the splendid cavalry and musketeers of Italy and Burgundy, who were now beginning to show their backs both behind entrenchments and in the open field to their republican foes, could not deny the valour with which the battles of liberty were fought; while Elizabeth of England, maintainer, if such ever were, of hereditary sovereignty and hater of popular freedom, acknowledged that for wisdom in council, dignity and adroitness in diplomatic debate, there were none to surpass the plain burgher statesmen of the new republic.
Would to God the rest of their lives and conversation corresponded with these gifts! But the courtiers, the most learned, are the worst men when they come abroad that any man shall hear or read of. Many of the gentlewomen have sound knowledge of Greek and Latin, and are skillful in Spanish, Italian, and French; and the noblemen even surpass them.
The gallant and brave Cornwallis, a soldier of no mean ability himself, and well able to estimate what could be done with a small and feeble force, never forgot his surprise at the Assunpink; and when he congratulated Washington, at the surrender of Yorktown years after, upon the brilliant combination which had resulted in the capture of the army, he added these words: "But, after all, your excellency's achievements in the Jerseys were such that nothing could surpass them!"
"Even so, that doesn't prove they're more advanced than we are. If they were more advanced, they'd have discovered it anyway." "Maybe," conceded Jarvis. "I'm not claiming that we don't surpass them in some ways. But in others, they're far ahead of us." "In what, for instance?" "Well socially, for one thing." "Huh? How do you mean?" Jarvis glanced in turn at each of the three that faced him.