Above all nations is humanity.
America is supposed to be given over to ugliness. There are a good many ugly things there and the ugliest are the most pretentious.
Art is expression, and to have high expression you must have something high to express.
As to London we must console ourselves with the thought that if life outside is less poetic than it was in the days of old, inwardly its poetry is much deeper.
But if anyone supposes that there was no commercial fraud in the Middle Ages, let him study the commercial legislation of England for that period, and his mind will be satisfied, if he has a mind to be satisfied and not only a fancy to run away with him.
Dante himself is open to the suspicion of partiality: it is said, not without apparent ground, that he puts into hell all the enemies of the political cause, which, in his eyes, was that of Italy and God.
Every one who has a heart, however ignorant of architecture he may be, feels the transcendent beauty and poetry of the mediaeval churches.
I heard Thackeray thank Heaven for the purity of Dickens. I thanked Heaven for the purity of a greater than Dickens - Thackeray himself.
If it were a real effort to live in the Middle Ages, your life would be one perpetual prevarication.
It is evident that in the period designated as that of the kings, when Rome commenced her career of conquest, she was, for that time and country, a great and wealthy city.
It is needless to say how great has been the influence of the doctrine of Evolution, or rather perhaps of the method of investigation to which it has given birth, upon the study of history, especially the history of institutions.
Personality is lower than partiality.
The insular arrogance of the English character is a commonplace joke.
The materials of the novelist must be real; they must be gathered from the field of humanity by his actual observation.
The novelist must look on humanity without partiality or prejudice. His sympathy, like that of the historian, must be unbounded, and untainted by sect or party.
The Roman legions were formed in the first instance of citizen soldiers, who yet had been made to submit to a rigid discipline, and to feel that in that submission lay their strength.
There is a spell in mediaeval Art which has had power to bewitch some people into trying, or wishing to try, or fancying that they wish to try or making believe to fancy that they wish to try, to bring back the Middle Ages.
Who can doubt that between the English and the French, between the Scotch and the Irish, there are differences of character which have profoundly affected and still affect the course of history?
Yet for my part, deeply as I am moved by the religious architecture of the Middle Ages, I cannot honestly say that I ever felt the slightest emotion in any modern Gothic church.