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No account of the Renaissance can be complete without some notice of the attempt made by certain Italian scholars of the fifteenth century to reconcile Christianity with the religion of ancient Greece.
Many attempts have been made by writers on art and poetry to define beauty in the abstract, to express it in the most general terms, to find some universal formula for it.
In a sense it might even be said that our failure is to form habits: for, after all, habit is relative to a stereotyped world, and meantime it is only the roughness of the eye that makes two persons, things, situations, seem alike.
Great passions may give us a quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, the various forms of enthusiastic activity, disinterested or otherwise, which comes naturally to many of us.
For art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake.
Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without.
At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action.
Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.
And the fifteenth century was an impassioned age, so ardent and serious in its pursuit of art that it consecrated everything with which art had to ad as a religious object.
All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.
A very intimate sense of the expressiveness of outward things, which ponders, listens, penetrates, where the earlier, less developed consciousness passed lightly by, is an important element in the general temper of our modern poetry.
A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life. How may we see in them all that is to to be seen in them by the finest senses?
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