Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse.
The Plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy: Character holds the second place.
The characters of 'Silas Marner,' for example, never had an actual existence, and the precise incidents of the story never took place in just that order and fashion, but they were all constructed by the author's imagination out of what she had observed of many real persons and events, and so make, in the most significant sense, a true picture of life.
It aims largely to interest and delight, to throw over life a pleasing glamor; it generally deals with love or heroic adventure; and it generally locates its scenes and characters in distant times and places, where it can work unhampered by our consciousness of the humdrum actualities of our daily experience.
Whether the preservation of my father's house in Moscow, or the glory of the Russian arms, or the prosperity of the Petersburg and other universities, or the freedom of Poland or the greatness of Russia, or the balance of power in Europe, or a certain kind of European culture called "progress" appear to me to be good or bad, I must admit that besides these things the action of every historic character
has other more general purposes inaccessible to me.
It has been my aim to make the character
of "Magdalen," which personifies this struggle, a pathetic character
even in its perversity and its error; and I have tried hard to attain this result by the least obtrusive and the least artificial of all means -- by a resolute adherence throughout to the truth as it is in Nature.
They have all, long since, given place to other buildings of a more pretending character
If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character
, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible.
Amelia is a character
more difficult to be well represented than even Agatha.
Thus in a succession of characters
Plato represents the successive stages of morality, beginning with the Athenian gentleman of the olden time, who is followed by the practical man of that day regulating his life by proverbs and saws; to him succeeds the wild generalization of the Sophists, and lastly come the young disciples of the great teacher, who know the sophistical arguments but will not be convinced by them, and desire to go deeper into the nature of things.
It has often been stated that domestic races do not differ from each other in characters
of generic value.
A chef d'oeuvre of that kind of quiet evolution of character
through circumstance, introduced into English literature by Miss Austen, and carried to perfection in France by George Sand (who is more to the point, because, like Mrs.
But besides the dishonour which is thus cast on one of the most useful as well as entertaining of all kinds of writing, there is just reason to apprehend, that by encouraging such authors we shall propagate much dishonour of another kind; I mean to the characters
of many good and valuable members of society; for the dullest writers, no more than the dullest companions, are always inoffensive.
To a commonplace man of limited intellect, for instance, nothing is simpler than to imagine himself an original character
, and to revel in that belief without the slightest misgiving.
The purest literary talent appears at one time great, at another time small, but character
is of a stellar and undiminishable greatness.