Enlightenment Epoch Quotes


  • The English were too conventional to be intrigued by the exuberance of the Baroque, but the formality of the Classic style suited them perfectly.
  • history is primarily concerned with the impact of man's thinking on life, manners, arts, economy, and politics.
  • Man seems to have in his physical make-up a desire for order and balance.
  • Classicism is closely bound up with a revival interest in Greek art and the spirit which inspired it--measure and discipline.
  • Classicism came as a reaction to the Baroque.
  • Music too was touched by the Rococo spirit of play.
  • The times created a demand for heroic subjects, especially those devoted to sacrifice for a noble cause.

    Age and Its Art

  • The grandiose Baroque style...gave way to the light-hearted Rococo.
  • ...geometric, ridgidly symmetrical, and formal plans of the palaces and gardens of Europe.
  • man controls his world through reason and intellect.
  • Poussin's landscapes are calm, reasonable, and orderly.
  • Nature was seen mainly through the eyes of classical reason and order.
  • they viewed the world as a perfectly working machine.
  • Montesquieu called for a symmetrical government of checks and balances.

    Audio-Visual History of Music

  • It was during the Classical period that the piano first came into its own, even though it had been invented in Florence as early as 1709.
  • The best of all possible worlds. --Leibniz
  • My dear friend, clear your mind of cant . . . You may talk in this manner; it is a mode of talking in Society: but don't think foolishly. --Samuel Johnson
  • A man who does not lose his reason over certain things has none to lose. --Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Order is heaven's first law. --Alexander Pope
  • God moves in a mysterious way/His wonders to perform;/He plants his footsteps in the sea,/And rides upon the storm. --William Cowper
  • I have no need of that hypothesis. --Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827) French mathematician and astronomer. On being asked by Napoleon why he had made no mention of God in his book about the universe, Mecanique celeste.
  • In the days of my youth I remembered my God! And He hath not forgotten my age. --Robert Southey
  • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him." --Voltaire
  • If God made us in His image, we have certainly returned the compliment. --Voltaire
  • Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty. --Jeremy Bentham
  • In this country, my Lords, . . . the individual subject . . . 'has nothing to do with the laws but to obey them.' --Bishop Samuel Horsley
  • Let us consider the reason of the case. For nothing is law that is not reason. --John Powell
  • Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible is evil. --Robespierre
  • Laws are generally found to be nets of such a texture, as the little creep through, the great break through, and the middle-sized are alone entangled in. --William Shenstone
  • Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through. --Jonathan Swift
  • Everybody talks of the constitution, but all sides forget that the constitution is extremely well, and would do very well, if they would but let it alone. --Horace Walpole
  • Nature is but a name for an effect Whose cause is God. --William Cowper
  • All Nature wears one universal grin. --Henry Fielding
  • Nature is very consonant and conformable with herself. --Isaac Newton
  • Nature, and Nature's laws lay hid in night:/God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.
  • Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,/The proper study of Mankind is Man. --Pope
  • All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance." --Edward Gibbon
  • Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. --Adam Smith

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