Frasi di James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell photo
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James Russell Lowell

Data di nascita: 22. Febbraio 1819
Data di morte: 12. Agosto 1891

Pubblicità

James Russell Lowell è stato un poeta, critico letterario e diplomatico statunitense, incluso nella lista di personaggi della Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

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Frasi James Russell Lowell

Pubblicità

„Un saggio scetticismo è il primo attributo di un buon critico.“

— James Russell Lowell
da Shakespeare Once More, in Literary Essays, vol. III, 1870-1890

„I have hinted that what people are afraid of in democracy is less the thing itself than what they conceive to be its necessary adjuncts and consequences.“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: I have hinted that what people are afraid of in democracy is less the thing itself than what they conceive to be its necessary adjuncts and consequences. It is supposed to reduce all mankind to a dead level of mediocrity in character and culture, to vulgarize men's conceptions of life, and therefore their code of morals, manners, and conduct — to endanger the rights of property and possession. But I believe that the real gravamen of the charges lies in the habit it has of making itself generally disagreeable by asking the Powers that Be at the most inconvenient moment whether they are the powers that ought to be. If the powers that be are in a condition to give a satisfactory answer to this inevitable question, they need feel in no way discomfited by it.

„Nor attempt the Future’s portal with the Past’s blood-rusted key.“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future’s portal with the Past’s blood-rusted key. St. 18

Pubblicità

„Democracy is nothing more than an experiment in government, more likely to succeed in a new soil, but likely to be tried in all soils, which must stand or fall on its own merits as others have done before it. For there is no trick of perpetual motion in politics any more than in mechanics.“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: Few people take the trouble of trying to find out what democracy really is. Yet this would be a great help, for it is our lawless and uncertain thoughts, it is the indefiniteness of our impressions, that fill darkness, whether mental or physical, with spectres and hobgoblins. Democracy is nothing more than an experiment in government, more likely to succeed in a new soil, but likely to be tried in all soils, which must stand or fall on its own merits as others have done before it. For there is no trick of perpetual motion in politics any more than in mechanics.

„I do not believe in violent changes, nor do I expect them.“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: I do not believe in violent changes, nor do I expect them. Things in possession have a very firm grip. One of the strongest cements of society is the conviction of mankind that the state of things into which they are born is a part of the order of the universe, as natural, let us say, as that the sun should go round the earth. It is a conviction that they will not surrender except on compulsion, and a wise society should look to it that this compulsion be not put upon them. For the individual man there is no radical cure, outside of human nature itself, for the evils to which human nature is heir.

„Is true Freedom but to break
Fetters for our own dear sake,
And, with leathern hearts, forget
That we owe mankind a debt?“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: p>Is true Freedom but to break Fetters for our own dear sake, And, with leathern hearts, forget That we owe mankind a debt? No! true freedom is to share All the chains our brothers wear, And, with heart and hand, to be Earnest to make others free!<p St. 3

„New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;
They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future’s portal with the Past’s blood-rusted key. St. 18

Pubblicità

„And what is so rare as a day in June?“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays: Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; Every clod feels a stir of might, An instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, grasping blindly above it for light, Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers. Prelude to Pt. I, st. 5

„The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction.“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction. But this has been generally the slow result of growth, and not the sudden innovation of theory; in fact, they had a profound disbelief in theory, and knew better than to commit the folly of breaking with the past. They were not seduced by the French fallacy that a new system of government could be ordered like a new suit of clothes. They would as soon have thought of ordering a new suit of flesh and skin. It is only on the roaring loom of time that the stuff is woven for such a vesture of their thought and experience as they were meditating. They recognized fully the value of tradition and habit as the great allies of permanence and stability. They all had that distaste for innovation which belonged to their race, and many of them a distrust of human nature derived from their creed.

„Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how; Everything is happy now, Everything is upward striving; 'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,— 'Tis the natural way of living: Who knows whither the clouds have fled? In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake; And the eyes forget the tears they have shed, The heart forgets its sorrow and ache; The soul partakes the season's youth, And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth, Like burnt-out craters healed with snow. Prelude to Pt. I, st. 7

„Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes, — they were souls that stood alone“

— James Russell Lowell
Context: Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes, — they were souls that stood alone, While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone, Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine, By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme design. St. 12

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