Bologna, February 2012
A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our idea of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.
Edmund Burke, A philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
THE EPITAPH Here rests his head upon the lap of earth, A youth to fortune and to fame unknown; Fair science frowned not on his humble birth, And melancholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere; Heaven did a recompense as largely send: He gave to misery (all he had) a tear, He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend. No further seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his Father and his God.
Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, 1750