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Throughout the volume are discernible the traces of a powerful and independent mind, emancipated from the influence of authority, and devoted to the search of truth.


Milton professes to form his system from the Bible alone; and his digest of scriptural texts is certainly among the best that have appeared. But he is not always so happy in his inferences as in his citations. Some the ancestors tale ebook the heterodox doctrines which he avows seemed to have excited considerable amazement, particularly his Arianism, and his theory on the subject of polygamy.

The Ancestor's Tale

Yet we can scarcely conceive that any person could have read the Paradise Lost without suspecting him of the former; nor do we think that any reader, acquainted with the history of his life, ought to be much startled at the latter.

The opinions which he has expressed respecting the nature of the Deity, the eternity of matter, and the observation of the Sabbath, the ancestors tale ebook, we think, have caused more just surprise.

But we will not go into the discussion of these the ancestors tale ebook. The book, were it far more orthodox or far more heretical than it is, would not much edify or corrupt the present generation.

The men of our time are not to be converted or perverted by quartos. A few more days, and this essay will follow the Defensio Populi to the dust and silence of the upper shelf.

The Ancestor's Tale : A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins (2004, Hardcover)

The name of its author, and the remarkable circumstances attending its publication, will secure to it a certain degree of attention. For a month or two it will occupy a few minutes of chat in every drawingroom, and a few columns in every magazine; and it will then, to borrow the elegant language of the playbills, be withdrawn, to make room for the forthcoming novelties.

The dexterous Capuchins never choose to the ancestors tale ebook on the life and miracles of a saint, till they have awakened the devotional feelings of their auditors by exhibiting some relic of him, a thread of his garment, a lock of his hair, or a drop of his blood.

On the same principle, we intend to take advantage of the late interesting discovery, and, while this memorial of a great and good the ancestors tale ebook is still in the hands of all, to say something of his moral and intellectual qualities.

Nor, we are convinced, will the severest of our readers blame us if, on an occasion like the present, we turn for a short time from the topics of the day, to commemorate, in all the ancestors tale ebook and reverence, the genius and virtues of John Milton, the poet, the statesman, the philosopher, the glory of English literature, the champion and the martyr of English liberty.

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It is by his poetry that Milton is best known; the ancestors tale ebook it is of his poetry that we wish first to speak. By the general suffrage of the civilised world, his place has been assigned among the greatest masters of the art.

His detractors, however, though outvoted, have not been silenced. There are many critics, and some of great name, who contrive in the same breath to extol the poems and to decry the poet. The works they acknowledge, considered in themselves, may be classed among the noblest productions of the human mind.

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The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution - Richard Dawkins - Google книги

But they will not allow the author to rank with those great men who, born in the infancy of civilisation, supplied, by their own powers, the want of instruction, and, though destitute of models themselves, bequeathed to posterity models which defy imitation. Milton, it is said, inherited what his predecessors created; he lived in an enlightened age; he received a finished education; and we must therefore, if we would form a just estimate of his powers, Edition: We venture to say, on the contrary, paradoxical as the ancestors tale ebook remark may appear, that no poet has ever had to struggle with more unfavourable circumstances than Milton.

The poet, we believe, understood the nature of his art better than the critic. He knew that his poetical genius derived no advantage from the civilisation which surrounded him, or from the learning which he had acquired; and the ancestors tale ebook looked back with something like regret to the ruder age of simple words and vivid impressions.

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We think that, as civilisation advances, poetry almost necessarily declines. Therefore, though we fervently admire those great works of imagination which have appeared in dark ages, we do not admire them the more because they have appeared in dark ages. On the contrary, we hold that the the ancestors tale ebook wonderful and splendid proof of genius is a great poem produced in a civilised age.

We cannot understand why those who believe in that most orthodox article of literary faith, that the earliest poets are generally the best, should wonder at the rule as if it were the exception. The fact is, that common observers reason from the progress of the the ancestors tale ebook sciences to that of the imitative arts.

The improvement of the former is gradual and slow.