Richard Jefferies: His Life and Work

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Hutchinson & Company, 1909 - 340 pages

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Page 321 - ... he cometh to you with words set in delightful proportion, either accompanied with, or prepared for, the well enchanting skill of music; and with a tale forsooth he cometh unto you, with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimney corner.
Page 43 - I looked at the hills, at the dewy grass, and then up through the elm branches to the sky. In a moment all that was behind me, the house, the people, the sounds, seemed to disappear, and to leave me alone. Involuntarily I drew a long breath, then I breathed slowly. My thought, or inner consciousness, went up through the illumined sky, and I was lost in a moment of exaltation. This only lasted a very short time, perhaps only part of a second, and while it lasted there was no formulated wish. I was...
Page 216 - My heart is fixed firm and stable in the belief that ultimately the sunshine and the summer, the flowers and the azure sky, shall become, as it were, interwoven into man's existence. He shall take from all their beauty and enjoy their glory. Hence it is that a flower is to me so much more than stalk and petals. When I look in the glass I see that every line in my face means pessimism; but in spite of my face - that is my experience - I remain an optimist. Time with an unsteady hand has etched thin...
Page 173 - There is still something in it not quite grasped and understood — something still to be discovered — a mystery. So the white spray rushes along the low broken wall of rocks, the sun gleams on the flying fragments of the wave, again it sinks and the rhythmic motion holds the mind, as an invisible force holds back the tide. A faith of expectancy, a sense that something may drift up from the unknown, a large belief in the unseen resources of the endless space out yonder, soothes the mind with dreamy...
Page 214 - Dearly as I love the open air, I cannot regret the mediaeval days. I do not wish them back again ; I would sooner fight in the foremost ranks of Time. Nor do we need them, for the spirit of nature stays, and will always be here, no matter to how high a pinnacle of thought the human mind may attain ; still the sweet air, and the hills, and the sea, and the sun, will always be with us.
Page 130 - The joy in life of these animals — indeed, of almost all animals and birds in freedom — is very great. You may see it in every motion : in the lissom bound of the hare, the playful leap of the rabbit, the song that the lark and the finch must sing ; the soft, loving coo of the dove in the hawthorn ; the blackbird ruffling out his feathers on a rail. The sense of living — the consciousness of seeing and feeling — is manifestly intense in them all, and is in itself an exquisite pleasure.
Page 181 - I was utterly alone with the sun and the earth. Lying down on the grass, I spoke in my soul to the earth, the sun, the air, and the distant sea far beyond sight. I thought of the earth's firmness— I felt it bear me up: through the grassy couch there came an influence as if I could feel the great earth speaking to me.
Page 140 - In this book some notes have been made of the former state of things before it passes away entirely. But I would not have it therefore thought that I wish it to continue or return. My sympathies and hopes are with the light of the future, only I should like it to come from nature.
Page 174 - ... yesterday, forcing us to look out over the sea only, or up to the deeper heaven. These breadths draw out the soul; we feel that we have wider thoughts than we knew; the soul has been living as it were in a nutshell, all unaware of its own power, and now suddenly finds freedom in the sun and the sky. Straight, as if sawn down from turf to beach, the cliff shuts off the human world, for the sea knows no time and no era; you cannot tell what century it is from the face of the sea.
Page 180 - ... as it were out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being, and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest...

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