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William Blake

Cruelty has a human heartAnd jealousy a human face,Terror the human form divine,And secrecy the human dress. The human dress is forged iron,The human form a fiery forge,The human face a furnace seal’d,The human heart its hungry gorge. — William Blake, from “The Divine Image,” Songs of Innocence and of Experience. (1789)

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George Orwell

For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then? ― George Orwell, 1984. (Signet Classic… Continue reading George Orwell

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Blank Verse · British Culture · Classic · Drama · Dramaturgy · English Literature · Excerpt · Passage · Play · Renaissance · Theatre · Tragedy

William Shakespeare

What a piece of work is a man! How noble inreason, how infinite in faculty! In form and movinghow express and admirable! In action how like an Angel!in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of theworld! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what isthis quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no,nor… Continue reading William Shakespeare

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Virginia Woolf

Beneath my eyes opens—a book; I see to the bottom; the heart—I see to the depths. I know what loves are trembling into fire; how jealousy shoots its green flashes hither and thither; how intricately love crosses love; love makes knots; love brutally tears them apart. I have been knotted; I have been torn apart.… Continue reading Virginia Woolf

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Virginia Woolf

The word ‘time’ split its husk; poured out its riches over him; and from his lips flew like shells, like shavings, from a plane, without his making them, hard, white imperishable words, and flew to attach themselves to their places in an ode to Time; an immortal ode to Time. — Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway… Continue reading Virginia Woolf

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Blank Verse · British Culture · Classic · Collection · English Literature · Poetry · Romance · Sonnet

William Shakespeare

Sonnet 138 When my love swears that she is made of truth I do believe her, though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutor’d youth, Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties. Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young, Although she knows my days are past the best, Simply I credit… Continue reading William Shakespeare

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Joseph Conrad

A dark curtain seemed to rise before him, and for less than a second he looked upon the mysterious universe of moral suffering. As a landscape is seen complete, and vast, and vivid, under a flash of lightning, so he could see disclosed in a moment all the immensity of pain that can be contained… Continue reading Joseph Conrad

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