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Afflatus   Listen
noun
Afflatus  n.  
1.
A breath or blast of wind.
2.
A divine impartation of knowledge; supernatural impulse; inspiration. "A poet writing against his genius will be like a prophet without his afflatus."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Afflatus" Quotes from Famous Books



... Wind. — N.. wind, draught, flatus, afflatus, efflation[obs3], eluvium[obs3]; air; breath, breath of air; puff, whiff, zephyr; blow, breeze, drift; aura; stream, current, jet stream; undercurrent. gust, blast, squall, gale, half a gale, storm, tempest, hurricane, whirlwind, tornado, samiel, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... property in things, had been really certificates of the ownership of men, deriving, as we have seen, their whole value from the serfs attached to the things by the constraint of bodily necessities. These it pleased the people—exalted, as you may well imagine, by the afflatus of liberty—to collect in a vast mass on the site of the New York Stock Exchange, the great altar of Plutus, whereon millions of human beings had been sacrificed to him, and there to make a bonfire of them. A great pillar stands on the spot to-day, and from its summit a mighty ...
— Equality • Edward Bellamy

... beggar, the burgher, in lights and glooms of Eternity; and his pictures have been called 'indecent,' Here is Mozart, his music rich with the sumptuous color of all sunsets; and it has been called 'sensual.' Here is Michael Angelo, who makes art tremble with a new and strange afflatus, and gives Europe novel and sublime forms that tower above the centuries, and accost the Greek; and his works have been called 'bestial.' Out with ...
— Walt Whitman Yesterday and Today • Henry Eduard Legler

... for, on attentively inspecting the faces of the figures, I saw them working and writhing with all the contortions of the Pythoness or the Sibyl, labouring in the very throes of inspiration, struggling with the advent of the prophetical afflatus. At length their lips parted, when, in a low, solemn voice, that thrilled through the dark, deserted, and silent hall, they poured forth alternately the following vaticinal strain, each starting ...
— The Mirror, 1828.07.05, Issue No. 321 - The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction • Various

... presume to write, as it were, upon things that exist not, and travel by maps yet unmade, and a blank. But the throes of birth are upon us; and we have something of this advantage in seasons of strong formations, doubts, suspense—for then the afflatus of such themes haply may fall upon us, more or less; and then, hot from surrounding war and revolution, our speech, though without polish'd coherence, and a failure by the standard called criticism, comes forth, real ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... as Clemens sometimes called it, had filled up again. He had received from somewhere new afflatus for the story of Tom and Huck, and was working on it steadily. The family remained in Hartford, and early in July, under full head of steam, he brought the story to a close. On the ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... paid the publisher's bill with the doctor's, and there it all had ended for the time. But, though less than a poet of her century, Ella was more than a mere multiplier of her kind, and latterly she had begun to feel the old afflatus once more. And now by an odd conjunction she found herself in ...
— Wessex Tales • Thomas Hardy

... Leibnitz would carry it with them in pathless fields of speculation, while Peter the Great was smiting an arrogant priest in Russia, and William was ascending the English throne. From its poetry Cowper, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Browning would catch the divine afflatus; from its statesmanship Burke, Romilly, and Bright would learn how to create and redeem institutions; from its melodies Handel, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven would write oratorios, masses, and symphonies; ...
— The World's Great Sermons, Volume 10 (of 10) • Various

... breaking fitfully the sacred stillness. Round their Magnetic Mystery, which to the eye is mere tubs with water,—sit breathless, rod in hand, the circles of Beauty and Fashion, each circle a living circular Passion-Flower: expecting the magnetic afflatus, and new-manufactured Heaven-on-Earth. O women, O men, great is your infidel-faith! A Parlementary Duport, a Bergasse, D'Espremenil we notice there; Chemist Berthollet too,—on the ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... which had completely fascinated her. Horse, habit, and country were all in perfect accord; her prosaic and hum-drum practice at home was now transmuted into the purest poetry, and under the promptings of this new afflatus she developed a grace and a daring which accomplished the final and irrevocable conquest of all her ...
— With the Procession • Henry B. Fuller

... limestone rocks, the succulent cactus, and the drought-parched grass of that arid valley, had been born the Boy Artist. Why he came to woo art is beyond postulation. Beyond doubt, some spore of the afflatus must have sprung up within him in spite of the desert soil of San Saba. The tricksy spirit of creation must have incited him to attempted expression and then have sat hilarious among the white-hot sands of the valley, watching ...
— Roads of Destiny • O. Henry

... safely hidden behind bricks and mortar, to take advantage of the glass? Could they show a nobler record if subjected to equally close scrutiny? Worshippers, too, at the shrines of inspiration are prone to look for ideal lives in their elect, forgetting that the divine afflatus is, after all, a gift,—that great thoughts are not the daily food of even the finest intellects. It is a necessity of nature for valleys to lie beneath the lofty mountain peaks that daringly pierce the sky; and it would seem as though the artist-temperament, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... you know that the afflatus always exhausts the priestess? You may tell Letty's fortune, or mine, if you will; ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Number 9, July, 1858 • Various

... on in this style, like Tennyson's brook, for ever, your worship." His worship was afraid that he might make the offer good, and the poet was released, after promising to imbibe less frequently when he felt the divine afflatus about to ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... doctrine of pure passivity is largely a corollary of belief in an unconditioned Absolute. If union with such an Absolute is to be enjoyed, the will must be pulseless, the intellect atrophied, the whole soul inactive: otherwise the introduction of finite thoughts and desires inhibits the divine afflatus! ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... on the music-stool, a startled and apprehensive man, and nearly fell off it. The divine afflatus left him like air oozing from a punctured toy-balloon, and, like such a balloon, he seemed to grow suddenly limp and flat. He stared with fallen jaw at ...
— The Little Warrior - (U.K. Title: Jill the Reckless) • P. G. Wodehouse

... not the analytical rack whereon they confess the causal entity of their composition. 'Broad-browed genius' may toss his locks in the studio redolent of art; his eye may light, and his nervous fingers print the grand creation on the canvas. The divine afflatus is in his nostrils; it is his spirit, and his picture is the reflex of his soul. But keen-eyed Science lays a shadowy hand upon the 'holy coloring,' and says: 'Truly, the harmony is beautiful; it has pleased a sympathetic instinct from the first. Yet, from the first, my laws have ...
— The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5, November 1862 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... Fancy your own generous heart's-love of some greatest man expanding till it transcended all bounds, till it filled and overflowed the whole field of your thought! Or what if this man Odin,—since a great deep soul, with the afflatus and mysterious tide of vision and impulse rushing on him he knows not whence, is ever an enigma, a kind of terror and wonder to himself,—should have felt that perhaps he was divine; that he was some effluence of the 'Wuotan,' 'Movement,' Supreme Power and Divinity, of whom to his rapt vision ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... poet or sage, and many a sixteenth and seventeenth century one, would have interpreted the monkey's heroism from quite a different point of view; and would have said that the poor little creature had been visited suddenly by some "divine afflatus"—an expression quite as philosophical and quite as intelligible as most philosophic formulas which I read now-a-days—and had been thus raised for the moment above his abject selfish monkey-nature, just as man requires to be raised above his. But that theory belongs ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... admitted Bridge; "but there always seems to be something lacking in my stuff—it don't get under your belt—the divine afflatus is not there. I may start out all right, but I always end up where I didn't expect to go, and where nobody wants ...
— The Mucker • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... pains, and groaning in agony, the intellectual machinery was still driven at a high pressure by something that resembled an irrepressible instinct. Stevenson can have had little or nothing of that inspiriting afflatus. He did his painstaking work conscientiously, thoughtfully; he erased, he revised, and he was hard to satisfy. In short, it was his weird—and he could not resist it—to set style and form before fire ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... is to like all kinds of books that I don't understand at all, and to write things that make me cry with pride and delight. Yes, she's a talented dear, though she hardly knows a needle from a crowbar, and will make herself one great blot some of these days, when the 'divine afflatus' ...
— A Modern Cinderella - or The Little Old Show and Other Stories • Louisa May Alcott

... require a different reckoning. The author is still allowed to let himself go occasionally in books—especially in sentimental books. But the magazines, with few exceptions, have shut down the lid, and are keeping the stylistic afflatus under strict compression. No use to show them what they might publish if, with due exclusion of the merely pretty, the sing-song, and the weakly ornate, they were willing to let a little style escape. With complete cowardice, they will turn the general into the particular, and ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... forth into a burst of song so sweet and thrilling that the other patients gather near her and listen in rapt silence and delight. Sometimes at a dead hour of the night her voice is heard, and then it seems that she is under a special afflatus—she seems to be inspired by the very soul of music, and her songs, wild and sad, wailing and rollicking, by turns, but all exquisitely sweet, fill the long night-hours ...
— California Sketches, Second Series • O. P. Fitzgerald

... that it is the last scene in our third act," replied the artist, placing his candlestick upon the mantel; "it seems that it is to be very tragic. Now listen! I also feel the poetical afflatus coming over me, and, if you like, we will set about devouring paper like two boa-constrictors. Speaking of serpents, have you a rattle? Ah, yes! Here is the bell-rope. I was about to say that we would have a bowl of coffee. ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... "begun by Henry VIII., the murderer of his wives; was continued by Somerset, the murderer of his brother; and was completed by Elizabeth, the murderer of her guest". Not a very auspicious beginning, it must be confessed, and scarcely suggestive of the Divine afflatus. Those who planted the Catholic Church used no violence, and did not inflict death. No! on the contrary, they endured death, and their blood became the seed of the Church. And that is quite another story. In former days every one admitted the present Anglican Church to be ...
— The Purpose of the Papacy • John S. Vaughan

... to the tea-cup; he drank it strong to excite his flagging spirits, weak to quiet them down. He took Bohea with his facts, and Hyson with his fancy, and mixed them to secure the necessary afflatus to write his books of science and travel. Upon Hyson he would have attempted the Iliad, upon Bohea he would undertake to square the circle, discover perpetual motion, or ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... and not strictly truthful statement, even the large influence of the Virginia leaders could not gain the assent of the delegates in Congress. The afflatus of 1774 was rapidly subsiding, and changing economic conditions had already led many to look forward to a day when the slave-trade could successfully be reopened. More important than this, the nation as a whole was even less inclined now than in 1774 to denounce ...
— The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America - 1638-1870 • W. E. B. Du Bois

... pulpit, the common folk at length felt a lively interest in the subject of emancipation. An occasional burst of homely, vigorous eloquence from the pulpit on the duties of the hour inflamed the conscience of the pew with a noble zeal for a righteous cause. The afflatus of liberty sat upon the people as cloven tongues. Every village, town, and city had its orators whose only theme was emancipation. "The pulpit and the press were not silent, and sermons and essays in behalf of the enslaved Africans were continually making their ...
— History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George W. Williams

... time talking to you," he said, sharply. "You are like the rest of the imaginative crowd. It is a pity you were not gifted with the divine afflatus, that you could have added your volumes to the nonsense ...
— A Black Adonis • Linn Boyd Porter

... it was a face of rare loveliness; of oval outline, with delicate yet noble features, whose expression seemed the reflex of the divine afflatus. The uplifted eyes beamed with the radiance of inspiration; the full, ripe lips were just parted; the curling hair clustered with child-like simplicity round the classic head; and the exquisitely ...
— Beulah • Augusta J. Evans

... the ancient Greeks believed that hornets were the direct progeny of the snorting war-horse. The phrase "mad as a hornet" has become a proverb. Think, then, of a brush loaded and tipped with this martial spirit of Vespa, this cavorting afflatus, this testy animus! There is more than one pessimistic "goose-quill," of course, "mightier than the sword," which, it occurs to me in my now charitable mood, might have been thus surreptitiously voudooed by the war-like hornet, and the ...
— My Studio Neighbors • William Hamilton Gibson

... commenced his talking journey, and must go through with it; so away he went in his usual style, talking about everything in general and nothing in particular, until he had out-talked the morning hours, and allayed my mental afflatus by the vocal effusions of his inane, twaddling loquacity. He then took a lingering departure, bid me "good-bye, hoping that he had not intruded upon my duties of the ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... abandoned herself to the afflatus of the dance delirium, she did with her beholders what she would. The famous Cachucha, that made the reverend cardinals of Spain fling off their pontifical vestments and surrender themselves to the witchery of the castanets and the gleam of the white, twinkling feet, was never more irresistible, ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... retrospective analysis to which we apply the needle. It is asserted as a basis for another astounding deduction that Khalid used to sleep in the ruined Temple of Zeus. As if ruined temples had anything to do with the formation or deformation of the brain-cells or the soul-afflatus! The devil and such logic, we repeat, had once a charm for us. But this, in brief, is how it came about. Khalid hated the pedagogue to whom he had to pay a visit of courtesy every day, and loved his cousin Najma whom he was not permitted to see. And when he runs away ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... conditions are looked back upon from the vantage ground of their result. By reading spirit out of a work we turn it into a feat of inspiration. Thus even the crudest and least coherent utterances, when we suspect some soul to be groping in them, and striving to address us, become oracular; a divine afflatus breathes behind their gibberish and they seem to manifest some deep intent. The miracle of creation or inspiration consists in nothing but this, that an external effect should embody an inner intention. The miracle, of course, is apparent only, ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... some poet, filled with the divine afflatus, sing the praise of the army tin cup and its precious contents—the fragrant coffee of the camp, and march, and bivouac? Ambrosial nectar fit for the gods. The everyday and grateful beverage of heroes. Here is a theme for ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... unoppressive—the echoes of a public discussion of delicate questions seemed to linger so familiarly in the egotistical little room. Moreover, the heroine of the occasion evidently was losing her embarrassment; she was the priestess on the tripod, awaiting the afflatus and thinking only of that. Her bared head, of which she had changed the position, holding it erect, while her arms hung at her sides, was admirable; her eyes gazed straight out of the window and at the houses on the opposite side of the Rue ...
— The Tragic Muse • Henry James

... one look. Will you pray for those to whom in the moonless night, at the altar by the temple, there is the sudden coming of that which they have sought—the "possession," the "afflatus," which for ever after marks them out as those whose correspondences reach beyond mortal ken. All devotees have not received this awful baptism, but in this part ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... earthward with any added love for humanity, not one. On the other hand, in papers and periodicals, even in books, are great multitudes of verses, unexceptionable in sentiment and helpful in influence, which bear so little of the true poetic afflatus, are so careless in construction or so faulty in diction, so imperfect in rhyme or rhythm, so much mingled with colloquialisms or so hopelessly commonplace in thought, as to be unworthy of a permanent ...
— Poems with Power to Strengthen the Soul • Various

... that "his voice sunk in ill-articulated sounds from the bottom of his breast." The tremulous figures of the ancient Sibyl appear to have been viewed in the land of the Muses, by the energetic description which Paulus Jovius gives us of the impetus and afflatus of one of the Italian improvvisatori, some of whom, I have heard from one present at a similar exhibition, have not degenerated in poetic inspiration, nor in its corporeal excitement. "His eyes fixed downwards, kindle as he gives utterance to his effusions, ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... smiles of the audience, and Hugh took up another paper. "Ah!" he said with enthusiasm, "this seems to be a poem in earnest, breathing the real afflatus, written with the pen of Melpomene! With your permission, ladies and gentlemen, I will refresh myself with a glass of water ...
— The Old Stone House • Anne March

... Thus man will be restored by God to His likeness, for he formerly had been after the image of God; the image is counted being in His form [in effigie], the likeness in His eternity [in aeternitate]. For he receives that Spirit of God which he had then received from His afflatus, but afterward lost ...
— A Source Book for Ancient Church History • Joseph Cullen Ayer, Jr., Ph.D.

... Faubourg Antoine, which have been more than once drawn in the sketches which the reader has just perused, possess historical notoriety. In troublous times people grow intoxicated there more on words than on wine. A sort of prophetic spirit and an afflatus of the future circulates there, swelling hearts and enlarging souls. The cabarets of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine resemble those taverns of Mont Aventine erected on the cave of the Sibyl and communicating with the profound and sacred breath; taverns where the tables were ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... presumed competently versed in the rudiments of ethics. You have read Grotius, Puffendorf, and Cumberland. For my part I never opened a volume of any one of them. I am self-taught. My science originates entirely in my unbounded penetration, and a sort of divine and supernatural afflatus. With all this your lordship knows I am a modest man. I have never presumed to entrench upon the province of others. Let the professors of ethics talk their nonsense. I will not interrupt them. I will not endeavour to set your lordship against them. It is necessary for me to take politics upon ...
— Four Early Pamphlets • William Godwin

... afflatus, this outpouring of the Spirit, which is the great need of the age we live in. The Church seems to be lying listless as a sailing ship, due to leave harbour, but still waiting for a breeze. Her masts are firm, the canvas ready to be stretched, and her equipment complete. The helmsman stands ...
— Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known Characters • George Milligan, J. G. Greenhough, Alfred Rowland, Walter F.

... after precious stones, but the reason was simple enough. A member of the Council had been inspired one warm June evening after three bottles of ginger-beer to name the first of these red rows of houses Cornelian Crescent. But that bold flight of fancy exhausted the afflatus, and it seemed easier to go on to Sapphire Road than to think of anything fresh. Now—after a lapse of years—Thorhaven's city fathers had begun to be proud of this street nomenclature, and to believe they had meant it ...
— The Privet Hedge • J. E. Buckrose

... eyes, meals stood untasted, day and night were all too short to enjoy the happiness which blessed her only at such times, and made these hours worth living, even if they bore no other fruit. The devine afflatus usually lasted a week or two, and then she emerged from her 'vortex', hungry, sleepy, cross, ...
— Little Women • Louisa May Alcott

... it—quite as clearly as his father. But how was it to be explained? Could Paul say, 'My good sir, I am a boy of genius. I have been filled with the Divine afflatus, and have been driven into solitude by my own thoughts. I have been so held by dreams of beauty that I have forgotten everything'? Could Paul offer that intolerable cheeky boast? And yet to offer to explain was to do that, and nothing less ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... behind the scenes and yet were free to speak their thoughts, are unique. Written with the satirist's eye upon the object of his sarcasm, tinged with the license of his vagabondage, throbbing with the passionate and nonchalant afflatus of the wine-cup, they wing their flight like poisoned arrows or plumed serpents with unerring straightness at abuses ...
— Wine, Women, and Song - Mediaeval Latin Students' songs; Now first translated into English verse • Various

... of gin, though it does not add much spirit to the water, will damnably defile a large quantity. And this gin has in it a something of flavour which will altogether deceive an uneducated palate. There is an alcoholic afflatus which mounts to the brain and surrounds the heart and permeates the veins, which for the moment is believed to be true gin. But it makes itself known in the morning, and after a few mornings tells its own tale too well. These "democrats" could never do us the mischief. ...
— The Landleaguers • Anthony Trollope

... where the wagon trains of common ideas were jogging along in their regular sequences of association. No wonder the ancients made the poetical impulse wholly external. [Greek text which cannot be reproduced]. Goddess,—Muse,—divine afflatus,— something outside always. I never wrote any verses worth reading. I can't. I am too stupid. If I ever copied any that were worth reading, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... attempt to alter it, how earnestly soever his affection for Esau might incline him to wish it might be altered, because he knew that this blessing came not from himself, but from God, and that an alteration was out of his power. A second afflatus then came upon him, and enabled him to foretell Esau's future behavior and foretell Esau's future ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... Cromwell, not only as the most extraordinary, but the most satisfactory and effective of all Carlyle's work; although for the reasons stated, it can never have the largest measure of his literary charm or possess the full afflatus of his poetic and ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... air, and who was named the Pythia. She was prepared for this duty by previous ablution at the fountain of Castalia, and being crowned with laurel was seated upon a tripod similarly adorned, which was placed over the chasm whence the divine afflatus proceeded. Her inspired words while thus situated were interpreted ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... real Parnassian abstractionseldom answers a question till it is twice repeateddrinks his tea scalding, and eats without knowing what he is putting into his mouth. This is the real aestus, the awen of the Welsh bards, the divinus afflatus that transports the poet beyond the limits of sublunary things. His visions, too, are very symptomatical of poetic furyI must recollect to send Caxon to see he puts out his candle to-nightpoets and visionaries are apt to be negligent in that respect." Then, turning ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... i' print; it's striking. It's almost blank verse. Ye'll be jingling into poetry just e'now. If the afflatus comes, give way, Robert. Never heed me; I'll ...
— Shirley • Charlotte Bronte

... Trustees were not preserved in stenographic report, for the time will come when the spiritual history of Howard University must be written as well as its material history, and then the historian will be at a loss to find the true afflatus that gave birth to our alma mater, unless we ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... unholy midnight hours, so that his neighbours have been known to break his windows with bottles, and then to throw in all that remained of the cold meats of a supper party, without interfering with the divine afflatus. When the college poet has composed a sonnet, ode, or what not, he sends it to the Editor of the Nineteenth Century, and it returns to him after many days. At last it appears in print, in College Rhymes, a collection of mild verse, which is (or was) printed ...
— Oxford • Andrew Lang

... antipathy the volumes upon which my learned and ingenious friend would fain lavish the superabundance of his affection. Many years ago the Judge was compelled to resort to every kind of artifice in order to sneak new books into his house, and had he not been imbued with the true afflatus of bibliomania he would long ago have broken down under the heartless tyranny of his ...
— The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac • Eugene Field

... in psalmody, has sometimes shown evidences of true poetic feeling. The divine afflatus has occasionally inspired in him some fine thoughts and graceful fancies. His race has produced many writers of terrible doggerel of the monumental class of poetry; but far removed from these there have been some who have composed fine ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... who sat at home Not to be feared more than are the general race of bunglers Patience is the pestilence People who can lose themselves in a ray of fancy at any season Question with some whether idiots should live Rarely exacted obedience, and she was spontaneously obeyed The divine afflatus of enthusiasm buoyed her no longer Too weak to resist, to submit to an outrage quietly We are good friends till we quarrel again We can bear to fall; we cannot afford to draw back Who shrinks from an hour that is suspended in doubt Whole body of fanatics combined to precipitate ...
— Quotations from the Works of George Meredith • David Widger

... series of interesting papers in the Dublin University Magazine, called 'Waren, or the Divine Afflatus of the Hindoos,' the writer gives a lengthened description of that strange possession (which he calls daimoniac, preferring that word to demoniac—the latter being exclusively evil or devilish, while the former implies a superhuman power for good as well as evil), with all its ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 457 - Volume 18, New Series, October 2, 1852 • Various

... think of the processes of digestion. You may speak of "exhausting the beauty" of a landscape, and, somehow, convey the notion of sucking an orange dry. Or you may wildly mix your metaphors, as when a critic accuses Mr. Browning of "giving the irridescence of the poetic afflatus," as if the poetic afflatus were blown through a pipe, into soap, and produced soap bubbles. This is a more troublesome method than the mere picking up of every newspaper commonplace that floats into your mind, but it is ...
— How to Fail in Literature • Andrew Lang

... millennial array, and told of it with an enthusiasm so contagious that to the sons of the Pilgrims after the fulness of a great dinner it seemed that the "Promised day of Israel" had at last arrived. It is true that when this dinner had been thoroughly digested, certain ones, removed from the afflatus of the occasion began to ask, "Are these things so?" And when the Glenn Bill sought the endorsement of public opinion, and substantially received it with no word of reprobation from the eloquent orator and ...
— The American Missionary, Vol. XLII. April, 1888. No. 4. • Various

... ordered duty, under the idea that he is called by God to break the rules given for the guidance of mankind in general. In all such supposed cases, the Catholic Church has the proper tests to apply, by which the soul can learn whether she is led by a Divine afflatus, or betrayed by her own disordered imagination, or the deceits ...
— The Life of St. Frances of Rome, and Others • Georgiana Fullerton

... was now mighty as Neptune, and would have her big waves. The momentary struggle, in which she was loyally seconded by the conductor, evoked her grand powers. Catgut had to yield to brains, and the whole orchestra, composed, after all, of good musicians, soon caught the divine afflatus, and the little theater seemed on fire with music; the air, sung with a large rhythm, swelled and rose, and thrilled every breast with amazement and delight; the house hung breathless: by-and-by there were pale cheeks, ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... philosophy ignores, and stultifies itself, as a rule, by ignoring). He is one with the Oracles, a suspected tribe. He idles like an Oracle, attending on inspiration, and when he has received the alleged afflatus, the fellow—so different from us—is neither to hold nor to bind. The easiest way with him seems to be a pitying contempt. "For all good poets," says Socrates sagely in the Ion, "epic as well as lyric, compose their lovely strains, not by art, ...
— Poetry • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... I grant you—long and short—but show me the afflatus! They make verse with a penknife, like their wooden nutmegs. They are perfect Chinese for ingenuity and imitation, and the resemblance to the real Simon-pure is very perfect—externally. But when it comes to grating the nut for ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... Man and the Woman (simultaneously, not one after the other), and animated them with the divine afflatus—the Lord said unto them: 'Behold, your mission is to people this beautiful Island [Ceylon], where I have gathered together everything pleasant and needful for your subsistence—the rest of the Earth is as yet uninhabitable, but should your progeny so increase as to render the bounds of paradise ...
— Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. • F. Max Mueller

... baptism or any rite at all as the means and occasion of regeneration. In the conversation with Nicodemus we seem to overhear a protest against the growing tendency of the last years of the 1st century to substitute formal sacraments for the free afflatus of the spirit, and to "crib, cabin and ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 - "Banks" to "Bassoon" • Various

... talking about the masters who had achieved but a single masterpiece—the artists and poets who but once in their lives had known the divine afflatus and touched the high level of perfection. Our host had been showing us a charming little cabinet picture by a painter whose name we had never heard, and who, after this single spasmodic bid for fame, had apparently relapsed into obscurity and mediocrity. There was some discussion as to the ...
— The Madonna of the Future • Henry James

... young man was taken exclusively by a picture destined to become famous after those days of tumult and revolution, and which even then was precious in the sight of certain opinionated individuals to whom we owe the preservation of the divine afflatus through the dark days when the life of art was in jeopardy. This noble picture represents the Mary of Egypt as she prepares to pay for her passage by the ship. It is a masterpiece, painted for Marie de Medicis, and afterwards sold by her in the days ...
— The Hidden Masterpiece • Honore de Balzac

... were invested with the highest sacredness and the supremest authority. The high poetic inspiration which pervaded them was a supernatural gift. Their sublime utterances were accepted as proceeding from a divine afflatus. They were the product of an age in which it was believed by all that the gods assumed a human form,[388] and held a real intercourse with gifted men. This universal faith is regarded by some as being a relic of still ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... the contrary, attained to a justness of intellectual and artistic perception which formed no part of the ordinary Hebrew culture. The general manner of all the Hebrew prophets, of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, or Joel, is the same—the manner of the fiercest afflatus, of entire abandonment, finding expression in phrases of magnificent solemnity and in imagery of the profoundest awesomeness. This manner the Greeks never show. Not even AEschylus, the most Hebraic of Hellenes, has any passages in which he loses control of his artistic ...
— Platform Monologues • T. G. Tucker

... things is referred immediately to the Revelation of God, and that though the modes of this Revelation are various, they appear often to overstep the laws and course of nature. He enumerates as modes of revelation, Epiphanies of God himself, of angels—heavenly voices—dreams—afflatus, or the ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... wagon trains of common ideas were jogging along in their regular sequences of association. No wonder the ancients made the poetical impulse wholly external. [Greek: Maenin aeide, Thea], Goddess,—Muse,—divine afflatus,—something outside always. I never wrote any verses worth reading. I can't. I am too stupid. If I ever copied any that were worth reading, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... unholy afflatus caught from his earlier life, gave notice to the manager; this time following up his action by buying a horse and spring-cart from a tank-sinker, and conditionally selling his own two horses. Then came Captain Royce's ukase, to the effect that ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... and draw their inspiration from English sources. A new country offers few subjects for poetry and romance, and prophecy is by no means so inspiring as the relation of the great deeds of the past. But yet there has been at least one amongst us who may claim to have had the real poetic afflatus, and whose subjects were invariably taken from the events of the life around him. This was Thomas Gordon, the author of 'How we Beat the Favourite,' and several other short pieces of verse of rare merit, and redolent of the Australian air. George Brunton Stephens ...
— Town Life in Australia - 1883 • R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny

... palpitating speck of living joy there wells forth a sea of twittering ecstacy upon the morning and evening air. It does not ascend by gyrations, like the eagle or birds of prey. It mounts up like a human aspiration. It seems to spread out its wings and to be lifted straight upwards out of sight by the afflatus of its own happy heart. To pour out this in undulating rivulets of rhapsody is apparently the only motive of its ascension. This it is that has made it so loved of all generations. It is the singing angel of man's nearest heaven, whose vital breath is music. Its ...
— A Walk from London to John O'Groat's • Elihu Burritt

... where butter is poured over the embers to make a blaze, 'one of the tribal priests, in a state of religious afflatus, walks through the fire. It is said that the sacred fire is harmless, but some admit that a certain preservative ointment is used by the performers.' A chant used at Mirzapur (as in Fiji) ...
— Modern Mythology • Andrew Lang

... general forgiveness of sinners and the abolition of hell, was rejected by Schiller, who later characterized the song as a 'bad poem'. The 'Song to Joy' sprang from noble sentiment and has the genuine lyric afflatus; but its author had not yet emerged from that nebulous youthful sentimentalism according to which joy, sympathy, love, friendship, virtue, happiness, God, were all very much the same thing. And the thought is a trifle ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... inspired by Phoebus. But applied to graver topics, it was almost universally a term of censure. The original derivation of the word was generally kept in view. It is only within the last one or two generations that it has altogether ceased to convey any distinct notion of a supernatural presence—an afflatus from the Deity. But whereas the early Alexandrian fathers who first borrowed the word from Plato and the ancient mysteries had Christianised it and cordially adopted it in a favourable signification, it was now employed ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... appear from this that Vasari pretended to have seen the great Cartoon. Born in 1512, he could not indeed have done so; but there breathes through his description a gust of enthusiasm, an afflatus of concurrent witnesses to its surpassing grandeur. Some of the details raise a suspicion that Vasari had before his eyes the transcript en grisaille which he says was made by Aristotele da San Gallo, and also the engraving by Marcantonio ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... that an "entire unity of plot" would be the infallible result of this ingenious method of constructing his story, and only wrote in a high state of excitement when the "afflatus" was upon him. So far as we may judge from his description, he seems to have realised his story first as a complex psychological situation, not as a series of disconnected pictures. He thought in abstractions ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... waking in the rosy morning, with the fresh air from balmy fields blowing into your window, penetrated still with the afflatus of last night's thoughts and reveries, wouldn't you be cheerful? Wouldn't the unity of all things come to you, and wouldn't you chirrup like a bird, and buzz like a bee, and turn imaginary somersaults and dance and sing, and feel like cutting ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... sensation! Folks crowded round him whenever I stopped; wimmin followed him and children cried for him. I could hev sold him for three hundred without leavin' town! 'So ye call him Pegasus,' sez Doc Smith, grinnin'; 'I didn't known ye was subject to the divine afflatus, Dan'l.' 'I don' offen hev it,' sez I, 'but when I do I find a little straight gin does me good.' 'So did Byron,' sez he, chucklin'. But even if I had called him 'Beelzebub' the hull town would hev bin jest as crazy over him. Well, as it was comin' ...
— New Burlesques • Bret Harte

... I know, that He had in this bleak remoteness hidden it from the eyes of the world. I fancied as she came—'twas all in a flash—that into this rare creation He had breathed a spirit harmonious with the afflatus of its conception. And being thus overcome and preoccupied, I left the maid's coy lips escape me, but kissed her long, slender-fingered hand, which she withdrew, at once, to give to John Cather, who was most warm and voluble in greeting. ...
— The Cruise of the Shining Light • Norman Duncan

... whose finger points upward, commemorates the earthly life of a martyr; but this is not all of the philanthropist, hero, and Christian. The Truth he [5] has taught and spoken lives, and moves in our midst a divine afflatus. Thus it is that the ideal Christ—or impersonal infancy, manhood, and womanhood of Truth ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... note an air of morning prime, As used by bards for their afflatus, Recovered from the spacious time Ere yet a triple coat of grime ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, January 28, 1914 • Various

... looks to outsiders—goes on. There are several services, and they are arranged for every class— for those who must attend early, for those who can't, for those who won't, and for those who stir when the afflatus is upon them. There are many, however, who are regular attendants, soon and late, and if precision and continuity will assist them in getting to heaven, they possess those auxiliaries ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... Spirit. I tell you, writing is a business. Get together half-a-dozen fair specimens of the Sunday-school prize; study them; discover the essential points of such composition; hit upon new attractions; then go to work methodically, so many pages a day. There's no question of the divine afflatus; that belongs to another sphere of life. We talk of literature as a trade, not of Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. If I could only get that into poor Reardon's head. He thinks me a gross beast, often enough. What the devil—I mean what on earth is there in typography to make everything ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... wholly gone, For 'twas not till the Punic wars were o'er That Rome found time Greek authors to explore, And try, by digging in that virgin field, What Sophocles and Aeschylus could yield. Nay, she essayed a venture of her own, And liked to think she'd caught the tragic tone; And so she has:—the afflatus comes on hot; But out, alas! she deems it shame ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... Europe in the spring, and Mrs Jo hovering on the brink of a 'vortex'—for the forthcoming book had been sadly delayed by the late domestic events. As she sat at her desk, settling papers or meditatively nibbling her pen while waiting for the divine afflatus to descend upon her, she often forgot her fictitious heroes and heroines in studying the live models before her, and thus by chance looks, words, and gestures discovered a little ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... slight digression. One kind of madness (he says) is conveyed to the soul from the body through certain bad temperaments or mixtures, or through the prevalence of some noxious spirit, and is harsh, difficult to cure, and baneful. Another kind of madness is not uninspired or from within, but an afflatus from without, a deviation from sober reason, originated and set in motion by some higher power, the ordinary characteristic of which is called enthusiasm. For, as one full of breath is called [Greek: ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... decent men of every creed and age, have—we may dare to say, in proportion to their devoutness—believed in such monitions; and that it is hard to see how any man could have arrived at the belief that a living person was working on him, and not a mere impersonal principle, law, or afflatus—(spirit of the universe, or other metaphor for hiding materialism)—unless by believing, rightly or wrongly, in such monitions. For our only inductive conception of a living person demands that that person shall make himself felt ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... "that before we go any further we would better show Miss Alice our Municipal Poetry Factory. The whistle will blow very shortly and our Divine Afflatus Dynamo will shut down, so if she is to see that feature of our work now is ...
— Alice in Blunderland - An Iridescent Dream • John Kendrick Bangs

... to lecture me," said the Man, "me, the heir of all the ages, as the poet called me. Why, you nasty little animal, do you know that I have killed hundreds like you, and," he added, with a sudden afflatus of pride, "thousands of other creatures, such as pheasants, to say nothing of deer and larger game? That has been my principal occupation since I was a boy. I may say that I have lived for sport; got very little else to show for my ...
— The Mahatma and the Hare • H. Rider Haggard

... man was old and tired, thwarted in his wishes and oppressed with troubles. His very science had become more formal, his types more arid and schematic, than they used to be. The thrilling life, the divine afflatus, of the Sistine vault have passed out of the Last Judgment. Wholly admirable, unrivalled, and unequalled by any other human work upon a similar scale as this fresco may be in its command over the varied resources ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... biography—history or science—to the reading world, may dine at home every day with their children, ring the bell at ten o'clock for family prayers, rise early and retire early every day, and with but few deviations throughout the year, regularly toil through, with more or less of the afflatus upon them, their apportioned hours of literary labor; but a large proportion of the literary practitioners of the age are connected, in some capacity or other, with the newspaper press; they are the slaves of time, not its masters; and must bend themselves to circumstances, however ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850 • Various

... this afflatus. One that I knew, that was at the battle of Dunbar, told me that Oliver was carried on with a divine impulse; he did laugh so excessively as if he had been drunk; his eyes sparkled with spirits. He obtained a great victory; but the action was said to be contrary to human prudence. The same fit of ...
— Miscellanies upon Various Subjects • John Aubrey

... subdivision of the electric current (which was virtually an invention made to order) involved the solution of problems so unprecedented that even they themselves had to be created, we cannot but conclude that the afflatus of innate genius played an important part in the unique methods of investigation instituted by Edison at that ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... dispersed in a state like the afflatus of laughing-gas, the poet and a privileged clique proceeded to the house of the Baptist elder, to prolong the night with metaphysical wassail. From the froth of poetry, they rose to a contemplation of the old classics; Homer, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... written by nobody or not, it seems pretty well proved that nobody gave the plays to Shakspeare; so that, whether by inheritance, purchase, or divine afflatus, the man who wrote ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 449 - Volume 18, New Series, August 7, 1852 • Various

... legal community," he said—"And while powerless to bring affluence to the Christian conscience, it culminates in the citizenship of the heathen. Miss Vancourt, as her father's daughter, should be represented by the baptized spirit, and not by the afflatus of ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... to say that I think the piece above the average of second-class poetry, and that a few of the lines touch the first-class standard. You have caught something of the 'divine afflatus' that the drunken old fellow said he could not cage. But I do not think that you will ever be popular as a writer of verses if you keep to that style; I doubt if there is a magazine in the kingdom that would take those lines unless they were by a known writer. They would return them marked, ...
— Dawn • H. Rider Haggard

... in motion] Wind — N. wind, draught, flatus, afflatus, efflation^, eluvium^; air; breath, breath of air; puff, whiff, zephyr; blow, breeze, drift; aura; stream, current, jet stream; undercurrent. gust, blast, squall, gale, half a gale, storm, tempest, hurricane, whirlwind, tornado, samiel, cyclone, anticyclone, typhoon; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... to me of Heaven and Hell, he was wont to treat of Nature as being master; but now, as he pronounced these last words, big with prescience, he seemed to soar more boldly than ever above the landscape, and his forehead seemed ready to burst with the afflatus of genius. His powers—mental powers we must call them till some new term is found—seemed to flash from the organs intended to express them. His eyes shot out thoughts; his uplifted hand, his silent but tremulous lips were eloquent; his burning glance was radiant; at ...
— Louis Lambert • Honore de Balzac

... as they gaze are swelling fast. An afflatus of heroism given forth by this host of self-devoted men communicates itself to the most stolid spectators. The booming of the drum fills the brain, and the blood in the veins leaps to its rhythm. The unearthly gayety of the fife, like the sweet, shrill ...
— An Echo Of Antietam - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... style, as other than a risky experiment which nothing but the sheer dramatic force of an Ibsen could have carried through. As it is, there are palpable fluctuations, discrepancies of manner; the realism of treatment often provokes a realism of style out of keeping with the lyric afflatus of the verse; and we pass with little warning from the barest colloquial prose to the strains of high-wrought poetic fancy. Nevertheless, the style, with all its inequalities, becomes in Ibsen's hands a singularly plastic medium of dramatic expression. The ...
— Love's Comedy • Henrik Ibsen

... write for a livelihood get some queer propositions from those who have crude ideas about the operation of the literary machine. There is a prevailing idea among those who have never dabbled in literature very much, that the divine afflatus works a good deal like a corn ...
— Remarks • Bill Nye

... not Spirit, as the Indian Hierophants believed it to be; but only the instrument of the Spirit. It is not the body of the Protoplastes, as the Theurgists of the school of Alexandria taught, but the first physical manifestation of the Divine afflatus. God eternally creates it, and man, in the image of God, modifies and ...
— Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry • Albert Pike

... boulders and the green landscape sent up an exquisite loamy breath. The young people, both representing the afflatus of the State, met in one tragic look ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 26, August, 1880 - of Popular Literature and Science • Various

... who ought to have the genius; they should have the lively appreciation, the keen sense of humour, the afflatus, and all that; and then those who cater for them would not need to trouble about those things—they would only have to cater, and leave the public to perceive, by means of their genius, the excellences of the fare provided. If a plain person does something, and geniuses perceive ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 30, June 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... say that all religions depend for their origin and continuation directly upon inspiration, I state an historic fact. It may be known under other names, of credit or discredit, as mysticism, ecstasy, rhapsody, demoniac possession, the divine afflatus, the gnosis, or, in its latest christening, 'cosmic consciousness.' All are but expressions of a belief that knowledge arises, words are uttered or actions performed not through conscious ideation or reflective purpose, but through the promptings of a power above ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... the authority of God's servants." I had concluded to try the effect of a resistant mental force, and while I stared at him I was saying to myself: "This is a mere vapor of words. You shall not continue in this tirade. Stop!" He began to have difficulty in finding his phrases. The expected afflatus did not seem to have arrived to lift him. He faltered, hesitated, and finally, with an explanation that he had not been feeling well, he ...
— Under the Prophet in Utah - The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft • Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O'Higgins

... a natural genius, and he hoped very much she wasn't going to take the nature out of her. She could study up as she went along; she had got the great thing that you couldn't learn, a kind of divine afflatus, as the ancients used to say, and she had better just begin on that. He wouldn't deny what was the matter with him; he was quite under the spell, and his admiration made him want to see her where she belonged. He shouldn't care so much how she got there, but it would certainly ...
— The Bostonians, Vol. I (of II) • Henry James

... squeezed out by clear questions, and by a disconcerting demand for literal sincerity. German idealism, when we study it as a product of its own age and country, is a most engaging phenomenon; it is full of afflatus, sweep, and deep searchings of heart; but it is essentially romantic and egotistical, and all in it that is not soliloquy is mere system-making and sophistry. Therefore when it is taught by unromantic people ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... like all kinds of books that I don't understand at all, and to write things that make me cry with pride and delight. Yes, she's a talented dear, though she hardly knows a needle from a crowbar, and will make herself one great blot some of these days, when the 'divine afflatus' descends ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. VI.,October, 1860.—No. XXXVI. - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... unaccountable—seizing even the bravest —spreading through numbers with all the speed of an electric sympathy —and deciding in a moment the destiny of an army or the ruin of a tribe—is another of those passions, easily supposed the afflatus of some preternatural power, and easily, therefore, susceptible of personification. And the pride of men, more especially if habitually courageous and warlike, will gladly yield to the credulities which shelter a degrading and unwonted infirmity beneath the agency of a superior being. TERROR, ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... simple plot (which barely hints at the real problem) can, of course, give no conception of the charm, the color, and the wonderful poetic afflatus of this exquisite little play. It may be well enough to say that such a situation is far-fetched and not very typical—that outside of "The Heavenly Twins," et id omne genus, wives who insist upon remaining maidens are not very frequent; but, in ...
— Essays on Scandinavian Literature • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen



Words linked to "Afflatus" :   inspiration



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