Observation made in the cloister or in the desert will generally be as obscure as the one and as barren as the other; but he that would paint with his pencil must study originals, and not be over-fearful of a little dust.
'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle, and makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile... 'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate, and hold in balance each contending state, To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war, and answer her afflicted neighbours' prayer... Soon as her fleets appear their terrors cease.
Unchecked, the dominating influences of money and of barren intellectualism would reduce the life of emotions to freezing point. And, unable to grasp the holier benefits of religion, the mysticism of the heart reacts in the art-intoxication. .... In this cold, irreligious and practical age the warmth of this devotion to art has kept alive many higher aspirations of our soul, which otherwise might readily have died, as they did in the middle of the last century.
Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain.
The virtuosos look to the students of the world to do their share in the education of the great musical public. Do not waste your time with music that is trite or ignoble. Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Saharas of musical trash.
The desert feels Irish in a way - lonely and barren. If someone said, 'Think of a happy place for you,' I'd say a glacial plane near the South Pole, the wind howling, nobody in sight, a shack with a pot-belly stove and some tea.