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Thomas Hardy

“You would hardly think, at first, that horrid monsters lie up there waiting to be discovered by any moderately penetrating mind--monsters to which those of the oceans bear no sort of comparison."

What monsters may they be?"

Impersonal monsters, namely, Immensities. Until a person has thought out the stars and their inter-spaces, he has hardly learnt that there are things much more terrible than monsters of shape, namely, monsters of magnitude without known shape. Such monsters are the voids and waste places of the sky... In these our sight plunges quite beyond any twinkler we have yet visited. Those deep wells for the human mind to let itself down into, leave alone the human body! and think of the side caverns and secondary abysses to right and left as you pass on!...

There is a size at which dignity begins," he exclaimed; "further on there is a size at which grandeur begins; further on there is a size at which solemnity begins; further on, a size at which awfulness begins; further on, a size at which ghastliness begins. That size faintly approaches the size of the stellar universe. So am I not right in saying that those minds who exert their imaginative powers to bury themselves in the depths of that universe merely strain their faculties to gain a new horror?”


Thomas Hardy, Two on a Tower
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Two on a Tower Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
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