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...serious passion. In all these subjects poetry is very happy. Its apparitions, its chimeras, its harpies, its allegorical figures, are grand and affecting; and though Virgil's Fame and Homer's Discord are obscure, they are magnificent figures. These figures in painting would be clear enough, but I fear they might become ridiculous.
Besides those things which _directly_ suggest the idea of danger, and those which produce a similar effect from a mechanical cause,I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.And this branch rises, as naturally as the other two branches, from terror, the common stock of everything that is sublime. The idea of power, at first view, seems of the class of those indifferent ones, which may equally belong to pain or to pleasure. But in reality, the affection arising from the idea of vast power is extremely remote from that neutral character. For first, we must remember that the idea of pain, in its highest degree, is much stronger than the highest degree of... Burke, Edmund
Excerpt from The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 01 (of 12) · This quote is about power · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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