Category: Essays

  • Speculations on Metaphysics by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    I – The Mind It is an axiom in mental philosophy, that we can think of nothing which we have not perceived. When I say that we can think of nothing, I mean, we can imagine nothing, we can reason of nothing, we can remember nothing, we can foresee nothing. The most astonishing combinations of…

  • On Life by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Life and the world, or whatever we call that which we are and feel, is an astonishing thing. The mist of familiarity obscures from us the wonder of our being. We are struck with admiration at some of its transient modifications, but it is itself the great miracle. What are changes of empires, the wreck…

  • On a Future State by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    It has been the persuasion of an immense majority of human beings in all ages and nations that we continue to live after death,—that apparent termination of all the functions of sensitive and intellectual existence. Nor has mankind been contented with supposing that species of existence which some philosophers have asserted; namely, the resolution of…

  • On Love by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    What is love? Ask him who lives, what is life? ask him who adores, what is God? I know not the internal constitution of other men, nor even thine, whom I now address. I see that in some external attributes they resemble me, but when, misled by that appearance, I have thought to appeal to…

  • The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift

    The Bookseller to the Reader This discourse, as it is unquestionably of the same author, so it seems to have been written about the same time, with “The Tale of a Tub;” I mean the year 1697, when the famous dispute was on foot about ancient and modern learning.  The controversy took its rise from…

  • Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne

    When King Pyrrhus invaded Italy, having viewed and considered the order of the army the Romans sent out to meet him; “I know not,” said he, “what kind of barbarians” (for so the Greeks called all other nations) “these may be; but the disposition of this army that I see has nothing of barbarism in…

  • Three Days to See by Helen Keller

    All of us have read thrilling stories in which the hero had only a limited and specified time to live. Sometimes it was as long as a year; sometimes as short as twenty-four hours. But always we were interested in discovering just how the doomed man chose to spend his last days or his last…

  • My School by Rabindranath Tagore

    I started a school in Bengal when I was nearing forty. Certainly this was never expected of me, who had spent the greater portion of my life in writing, chiefly verses. Therefore people naturally thought that as a school it might not be one of the best of its kind, but it was sure to be something…

  • Of a Monstrous Child by Michel de Montaigne

    This story shall go by itself; for I will leave it to physicians to discourse of. Two days ago I saw a child that two men and a nurse, who said they were the father, the uncle, and the aunt of it, carried about to get money by showing it, by reason it was so…

  • Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Man is his own star; and the soul that canRender an honest and a perfect man,Commands all light, all influence, all fate;Nothing to him falls early or too late.Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”—Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher’s Honest Man’s Fortune. Cast the bantling on…

Try aiPDF, our new AI assistant for students and researchers

X