Pages might yet be written to prove, from this illustrious example, the defects of human excellence; to show how easy it is for generous sentiments, high courtesy, and chivalrous courage to lose their influence beneath the chilling blight of selfishness, and to exhibit to the world a man who was great in all the minor attributes of character
, but who was found wanting when it became necessary to prove how much principle is superior to policy.
On his tombstone, too, the record is highly eulogistic; nor does history, so far as he holds a place upon its page, assail the consistency and uprightness of his character
of the narrative would not be warmed and rendered malleable by any heat that I could kindle at my intellectual forge.
He mapped out Luigi's character
and disposition, his tastes, aversions, proclivities, ambitions, and eccentricities in a way which sometimes made Luigi wince and the others laugh, but both twins declared that the chart was artistically drawn and was correct.
How could you be so insolent in your wit to a woman of her character
, age, and situation?
To pass from the Characters
to the Story, it will be seen that the narrative related in these pages has been constructed on a plan which differs from the plan followed in my last novel, and in some other of my works published at an earlier date.
not only as abounding with characters
whose very names were sure to attract general attention, but as affording a striking contrast betwixt the Saxons, by whom the soil was cultivated, and the Normans, who still reigned in it as conquerors, reluctant to mix with the vanquished, or acknowledge themselves of the same stock.
In placing, however, these different characters
on a level, with respect to the weight of their opinions, I wish not to insinuate that there may not be a material difference in the purity of their intentions.
For the medium being the same, and the objects the same, the poet may imitate by narration--in which case he can either take another personality as Homer does, or speak in his own person, unchanged--or he may present all his characters
as living and moving before us.
There was no municipal police for the purpose of apprehending vagrants and disorderly characters
This rigid adhesion to truth, an indispensable requisite in history and travels, destroys the charm of fiction; for all that is necessary to be conveyed to the mind by the latter had better be done by delineations of principles, and of characters
in their classes, than by a too fastidious attention to originals.
There were, in fact, so many things to be attended to, so many people to be pleased, so many best characters
required, and, above all, such a need that the play should be at once both tragedy and comedy, that there did seem as little chance of a decision as anything pursued by youth and zeal could hold out.
Among the gentlemen were characters
of deserved eminence--magistrates, politicians, and men of wealth, by whose example religion could not but be greatly recommended to their meaner brethren.
Therefore, without entering into any more serious examination of the question, I will content myself with remarking that in real life typical characters
are "watered down," so to speak; and all these Dandins and Podkoleosins actually exist among us every day, but in a diluted form.
But let us assume that what is called science can harmonize all contradictions and possesses an unchanging standard of good and bad by which to try historic characters
and events; let us say that Alexander could have done everything differently; let us say that with guidance from those who blame him and who profess to know the ultimate aim of the movement of humanity, he might have arranged matters according to the program his present accusers would have given him- of nationality, freedom, equality, and progress (these, I think, cover the ground).