G. M. Trevelyan Quotes
The chorus-ending from Aristophanes, raised every night from every ditch that drains into the Mediterranean, hoarse and primeval as the raven’s croak, is one of the grandest tunes to walk by. Or on a night in May, one can walk through the too rare Italian forests for an hour on end and never be out of hearing of the nightingale’s song.
What is easy to read has been difficult to write. The labour of writing and rewriting, correcting and recorrecting, is the due exacted by every good book from its author, even if he knows from the beginning exactly what he wants to say. A limpid style is invariably the result of hard labour, and the easily flowing connection of sentence with sentence and paragraph with paragraph has always been won by the sweat of the brow.
The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow.