The Literary Life and Miscellanies of John Galt, Volume 1

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Page 62 - To ask or search I blame thee not, for heaven Is as the book of God before thee set, Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years.
Page 282 - Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear : Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village- Hampden, that, with dauntless breast, The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Th...
Page 355 - For neither man nor angel can discern Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone, By his permissive will, through heaven and earth : And oft, though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps At Wisdom's gate, and to Simplicity Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill Where no ill seems...
Page 254 - The book itself was certainly suggested by Sir Walter Scott's Old Mortality, in which I thought he treated the defenders of the Presbyterian Church. with too much levity, and not according to my impressions derived from the history of that time.
Page 278 - By the way, I should not forget that Dunlop, the *' Backwoodsman," better known as the Tiger, performed the part of a Highland Chieftain. To those who know his appearance and grotesque manner, I need not say how : the rest of the world cannot conceive a moiety of his excellence. Of my friend I cannot give a more descriptive character than a gentleman once gave of him to me. He said Mr Dunlop was a compound of a bear and a gentleman. I did not know that bears were so good-natured.
Page 231 - That I did at one time fancy that inventions were better than things of nature, is admitted, and in the 'Mermaid' I have attempted to embody one of this poetical progeny ; but subsequent observation has convinced me that only in nature excellence is to be found, and that the merit of my creation of Marina is only in her being more than ordinarily endowed with gentle human feelings. I therefore give up all pretension to belonging to that class who deal in the wild and wonderful ; my wish is to be...
Page 270 - During the same interval I wrote the sketch of the Last of the Lairds. I meant it to belong to that series of fictions of manners, of which the Annals of the Parish is the beginning ; but owing to some cause, which I no longer remember, instead of an autobiography I was induced to make it a narrative, and in this respect it lost that appearance of truth and nature which is, in my opinion, the great charm of such works. I have no recollection how this happened, nor what caused me to write it as it...
Page 155 - No doubt it has what my own taste values highly, considerable likeliness, if the expression may be used, but it is so void of any thing like a plot, that it lacks in the most material feature of the novel. To myself it has ever been a kind of treatise on the history of society in the West of Scotland during the reign of King George the Third ; and when it was written, I had no idea it would ever have been received as a novel. Fables are often a better way of illustrating philosophical truths than...
Page 152 - When very young, I wished to write a book that would be for Scotland what the Vicar of Wakefield is for England...

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