Lafcadio Hearn Quotes
There is one type of ideal woman very seldom described in poetry - the old maid, the woman whom sorrow or misfortune prevents from fulfilling her natural destiny.
The subject of Finnish poetry ought to have a special interest for the Japanese student, if only for the reason that Finnish poetry comes more closely in many respects to Japanese poetry than any other form of Western poetry.
The great principle of Western society is that competition rules here as it rules in everything else. The best man - that is to say, the strongest and cleverest - is likely to get the best woman, in the sense of the most beautiful person.
Perhaps there is an idea among Japanese students that one general difference between Japanese and Western poetry is that the former cultivates short forms and the latter longer ones, gut this is only in part true.
Of course, the simple explanation of the fact is that marriage is the most important act of man's life in Europe or America, and that everything depends upon it.
It is true that short forms of poetry have been cultivated in the Far East more than in modern Europe; but in all European literature short forms of poetry are to be found - indeed quite as short as anything in Japanese.
It has been wisely observed by the greatest of modern thinkers that mankind has progressed more rapidly in every other respect than in morality.
Is woman a religion? Well, perhaps you will have the chance of judging for yourselves if you go to America. There you will find men treating women with just the same respect formerly accorded only to religious dignitaries or to great nobles.
I often imagine that the longer he studies English literature the more the Japanese student must be astonished at the extraordinary predominance given to the passion of love both in fiction and in poetry.
French novels generally treat of the relations of women to the world and to lovers, after marriage; consequently there is a great deal in French novels about adultery, about improper relations between the sexes, about many things which the English public would not allow.
For this reason, to study English literature without some general knowledge of the relation of the Bible to that literature would be to leave one's literary education very incomplete.
But what is after all the happiness of mere power? There is a greater happiness possible than to be lord of heaven and earth; that is the happiness of being truly loved.
But every great scripture, whether Hebrew, Indian, Persian, or Chinese, apart from its religious value will be found to have some rare and special beauty of its own; and in this respect the original Bible stands very high as a monument of sublime poetry and of artistic prose.
At last, in 1611, was made, under the auspices of King James, the famous King James version; and this is the great literary monument of the English language.