S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
I should dread to disfigure the beautiful ideal of the memoirs of illustrious persons with incongruous features, and to sully the imaginative purity of classical works with gross and trivial recollections.
Men do not make their homes unhappy because they have genius, but because they have not enough genius; a mind and sentiments of a higher order would render them capable of seeing and feeling all the beauty of domestic ties.
When the imagination frames a comparison, if it does not strike on the first presentation, a sense of the truth of the likeness, from the moment it is perceived, growsand continues to growupon the mind; the resemblance depending less upon outline of form and feature than upon expression and effect,less upon casual and outstanding, than upon inherent, internal properties; moreover, the images invariably modify each other. The law under which the processes of fancy are carried on is as capricious as the accidents of things, and the effects are surprising, playful, ludicrous, amusing, tender, or pathetic, as the objects happen to be oppositely produced, or fortunately combined. Fancy is given to quicken and beguile the temporal part of our nature; imagination to incite and to support the eternal. Yet it is not the less true that fancy, as she is an active, is also, under her own laws, and in her own spirit, a creative, faculty. In what manner fancy ambitiously aims at a rivalship with imagination, and imagination stoops to work with the materials of fancy, might be illustrated from the compositions of all eloquent writers, whether in prose or verse.
The grand storehouse of enthusiastic and meditative imagination, of poetical as contra-distinguished from human and dramatic imagination, are the prophetical and lyrical parts of the Holy Scriptures, and the works of Milton, to which I cannot forbear to add those of Spenser.