20 votes
Accepted

What does Thoreau mean by making one's pack in this paragraph from "Slavery in Massachusetts"?

Rather than meaning "pack" in the sense you suggest (a pack of dogs/wolves) Thoreau here is expressing his wish for the judge to stop sitting in the court-house and just leave the premises. ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

When and why did "No man is an island" start being regarded as a poem?

Independent versifications The versification of this passage from Donne predates the widespread use of the Internet, as you’ll see from the earliest examples below. Moreover, it looks as though ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
10 votes
Accepted

What does spit mean in "spit in my glove" from the memoir by Powers? Literally spit?

The meaning is literally 'spit': Spitting for baseball players is like blinking; it's going to be a tough habit to break. It's not even just spitting on the ground. You know, a lot of us have ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
8 votes
Accepted

To what laws does Thoreau allude in "Slavery in Massachusetts"?

The question raises two points: To what recent law does Thoreau allude? What is meant by "lack of sufficient force" to serve a writ of replevin? The first point almost certainly refers to ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
6 votes

In which C.S. Lewis essay or book chapter did he talk about the habit of using the word "we" when preaching?

Not sure about the preacher passage. But in his essay "Dangers of National Repentance" he writes something similar to what you describe. He writes: The young man who is called upon to ...
sonfangos's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What does the window exhort bacteria to do in "Molecular Evolution" by Tina Hesman Saey?

The paragraph immediately before the one you quote is: Richard Lenski, an evolutionary biologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, is among the scientists hitting the rewind button on ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
6 votes

In what issue of Life magazine was "Misguided 'Guide'" first published?

I'm going to say that "Misguided 'Guide'" did not appear in the U.S.-based magazine called Life that was published by Meredith Publishing and later by Time-Life, and that if this article was ...
shoover's user avatar
  • 1,479
6 votes
Accepted

Brodsky's "two-liner" in his essay "Less than One"

TL;DR: the meaning of the saying varied with time, with original meaning being life in Peter was "expensive", and some drifting to general "difficult". Original meaning was ...
DVK's user avatar
  • 4,566
5 votes
Accepted

What is the "manhood of a Roman recovery" in John Milton's Areopagitica?

"Areopagitica" (1644) was written to argue against the Licensing Order of the previous year, which required that works had to be pre-approved by a censor before they could be printed. Some ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes
Accepted

How does the study of 'schoolmen' help in improving our distinguishing skills?

Schoolmen refers to the scholastics, mediæval philosophers such as William of Ockham and Thomas Aquinas. The scholastics dominated European intellectual life in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes
Accepted

To what "attack on the Boston Court-House" does Thoreau allude in this paragraph from "Slavery in Massachusetts"?

As you have pointed out, Thoreau cannot be referring to the rescue of Shadrach Minkins. First, because Thoreau specifically refers to "[t]he events of the past month", in a speech given on ...
MJ713's user avatar
  • 917
4 votes

Who is Mrs Muggeridge in this essay on Kafka?

My best guess (based mainly on the name and degree of cultural prominence) is that Alan Bennett was referring to the writer and memoirist Kitty Muggeridge, the idea being that her husband, the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
4 votes

What effect did the knocking at the gate in "Macbeth" have on Thomas De Quincey?

De Quincey says that murder singularly focuses the attention on the instinct for self-preservation, which destroys any sense of distinction between human beings and animals: the primal law of self-...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes
Accepted

When was each article of Avowals and Denials written?

Yes, this is straightforward (if somewhat tedious). Avowals and Denials begins with a note: The essays of which this book is composed are reprinted, often with slight alterations, from the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
3 votes

When was each article of Avowals and Denials written?

For completeness, I leave here the straightforward and tedious search. Monsters and logic 6 january 1934 On Christmas that is coming 23 December 1933 On the man on the spot 26 August 1933 On Shaw ...
Federico Cantero's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Equestrian statues and wooden logs, what's the connection?

He means they sit completely still, as still as statues. They sit on logs, so the statues they most resemble are statues of people mounted on horseback (equestrian statues) - the horse being the ...
A E's user avatar
  • 303
3 votes

What does Benjamin Franklin mean here in his essay, "On True Happiness"?

It does mean "except", as in "There is no happiness except when one's conduct is both virtuous and self-approving" (to restructure the sentence slightly). What Franklin means here ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
3 votes

Brodsky's "two-liner" in his essay "Less than One"

The Russian for that two-liner is Старый Питер, Бока повытер. See DVK's answer for a much better analysis than mine. I now agree that my assumptions below were incorrect. I would argue that the ...
svavil's user avatar
  • 235
2 votes

Biblical reference in Francis Bacon's essay: Background and significance

In this passage Bacon plays on various senses of the words “light” and “breath” to create a series of parallels between parts of the story of creation in Genesis chapters 1–2. I’ll gloss the whole ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
2 votes

Of what people, of what liquor-agency does Thoreau speak in this paragraph from "The Last Days of John Brown"?

This is only a partial answer. I may add more information later, if I have time and can find out anything else. Who are the "witnesses"? I don't know, but probably not Frederick Douglass or ...
MJ713's user avatar
  • 917
2 votes
Accepted

What does Thoreau mean by "pew hire" in this paragraph from "Slavery in Massachusetts"?

In this piece Thoreau is comparing the press with the church. The newspaper is equated with the Bible, the newspaper editor is identified with a preacher, and the cost of the newspaper ("one cent ...
Clara Diaz Sanchez's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What prior "case of the murderer himself" does Thoreau have in mind in "Slavery in Massachusetts"?

The "prior case" is not a literal legal case, but a metaphorical one. First, Thoreau points out that the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the legality of slavery. ... it has ...
MJ713's user avatar
  • 917
2 votes

What is the difference between emotions and feelings in Eliot's essay Tradition and the Individual Talent?

For Eliot, emotion refers to a relatively enduring psychological state, feeling to a relatively transient sense perception. He argues that the act of poetic creation is a catalyst that helps transform ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
2 votes

Do Orwell's and E. B. White's essays belong to a school?

I note that the two authors you cite are both English writers, and so the issue you bring up deals with how the English language acquired its extensive vocabulary. While many of the words used in ...
EvilSnack's user avatar
  • 271
2 votes

What does Edgar Allan Poe mean by "supererogation is not presumable of any Divine Act"?

A paraphrase would be God doesn't do more than He needs to. To paraphrase more closely we cannot presume that any divine act would include anything unnecessary. Supererogation means doing more than is ...
Stuart F's user avatar
  • 729
1 vote

Paine essay on how Englishmen lived with many monopoly products

The Age of Reason PDF This is the closest match I have to your question. The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a work by English and American political activist ...
Silvermidnight's user avatar
1 vote

Who was James Elia?

Lamb wrote some personal essays in the persona of 'Phil-Elia', the children in this particular essay are those he might have had if his suit with Alice W----n had succeeded. The Dream Children are ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 19k
1 vote

Can formal essays be considered as a literature in strict sense?

The short answer to this question is, "Yes, they can. It simply depends on how we define literature." Cuddon defines literature as follows: A vague terms which usually denotes works which ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible