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Microcosm   Listen
noun
Microcosm  n.  
1.
A little world; a miniature universe. Hence (so called by Paracelsus), a man, as a supposed epitome of the exterior universe or great world. Opposed to macrocosm.
2.
A relatively small object or system considered as representative of a larger system of which it is part, exhibiting many features of the complete system.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Microcosm" Quotes from Famous Books



... the cloven hairy feet of a goat? The union of melodious, celestial Freewill and Reason, with foul Irrationality and Lust; in which, nevertheless, dwelt a mysterious unspeakable Fear and half-mad panic Awe; as for mortals there well might! And is not man a microcosm, or epitomized mirror of that same Universe; or, rather, is not that Universe even Himself, the reflex of his own fearful and wonderful being, "the waste fantasy of his own dream?" No wonder that man, ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Vol. V (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland III • Various

... major part of your syllables; and though I must be content to bear with those that say you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that tell you have good faces. If you see this in the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known well enough too? What harm can your bisson conspectuities glean out of this character, if I ...
— The Tragedy of Coriolanus • William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

... to do. New Zion had long since moved and hummed, and whizzed, the neighbouring towns had in a measure begun to dance to his piping, but it must be a long while yet ere his name was to London and to the world what it was already to Coalchester,—that mere microcosm of his fame. ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... completion. This is not to be done at will. According to his idea, a romance is born in a manner that is, in some sort, necessary, with all its chapters; a drama is born with all its scenes. Think not that there is anything arbitrary in the numbers of parts of which that whole, that mysterious microcosm which you call a drama or a romance, is composed. Grafting and soldering take badly on works of this nature, which should gush forth in a single stream and so remain. The thing once done, do not change your mind, do not touch it up. The book once published, the sex of the work, ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... God in his." But what else can we do? It follows from what has already been said that we know nothing and can know nothing of God except as we read Him in the universe, and we can only interpret the universe in terms of our own consciousness. In other words, man is a microcosm of the universe. What the universe may be in reality we do not know,—though I am not so sure as some people seem to be that appearance and reality do not correspond,—we can only know it in so far as it produces sense images on our brain and enters into our individual consciousness. The limits ...
— The New Theology • R. J. Campbell

... that divine chaos.' for the benefit of inquiring minds with a preference for the oracular. He added that cosmos was a condition of grovelling minds, and that while the thoughts, faculties, and emotions of an ordinary member of society might fitly be summed up in the epithet 'microcosm.' his own nature could be appropriately described only by that of 'microchaos.' In which opinion ...
— 'That Very Mab' • May Kendall and Andrew Lang

... what period the radiation will sink to a level which would normally be fatal to the living inhabitants of the planets. Then will begin the greatest of cosmic events: a drama that has doubtless been played numbers of times already on the stage of the universe: the last stand of the wonderful microcosm against the brute force of the macrocosm. ...
— Christianity and Progress • Harry Emerson Fosdick

... were here—a subject this which, published by Ackermann under the title of a "Tour of Dr. Syntax in search of the Picturesque" in 1809, was republished in 1812, and occupied the artist in various developments during his later life. To the same period of Rowlandson's career belonged "The Microcosm of London" (1808), "A Mad Dog in a Coffee House" (1809), and "In a Dining Room" (1809), the print called "Exhibition Stare-case, Somerset House" (1811)—where the visitors of both sexes are tumbling headlong ...
— The Eighteenth Century in English Caricature • Selwyn Brinton

... which, properly speaking, is the thing in itself. Every human being discovers that he himself is this will, and that the world exists only for him does so in relation to his consciousness. Thus each human being is himself in a double aspect the whole world, the microcosm. And that which he realizes as his own real being exhausts the being of the whole world, the macrocosm. So, like man, the world is through and through will, and ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... heathen to whom we would send light? Who is that intemperate and brutal man whom we would redeem? If anything ail a man, so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even—for that is the seat of sympathy—he forthwith sets about reforming—the world. Being a microcosm himself, he discovers—and it is a true discovery, and he is the man to make it—that the world has been eating green apples; to his eyes, in fact, the globe itself is a great green apple, which there is danger awful to think of that the children of men ...
— Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience • Henry David Thoreau

... is as a prophet of nationalism that this man compels our particular attention. The prophecy is embodied in a play entitled "The Comet, a Play of Our Times," brought out as far back as 1908. The play is a microcosm of American life. The chief character is a college president, and he it is that is chosen to expound the true nature of nationalism and to give voice and utterance to the principle of self-determination. (Is it merely a coincidence that at that ...
— Freedom, Truth and Beauty • Edward Doyle

... refinements of difference infinitely more various than anything that could have existed more than two hundred years ago; yet one cannot but feel that this observer would have been fully equal to drawing our microcosm as well as his own. Earle's is a penetrating observation which is always fresh—so fresh that no archaism of phrase in him, and no cheery optimism in ourselves, can disguise the fact that it is our weaknesses he is probing, our ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... the mental!—in the one is brought up for a second enjoyment the green grass of nature, still fresh and palatable and nutritious; in the other, the seared leaves of memory, feeding unavailing regrets, and filling the microcosm with phantoms and dire shapes of evil, the types whereof never had an existence in the outer world. Walter Grierson was lost to her for ever, and the dire energies of fate, as described by the artist-philosopher, ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... broad hallway stretched before him. At the far end a ramp angled upward to a higher level. Sutter walked forward slowly, aware in a vague way that he had entered another plane that was at once a microcosm and a macrocosm. On the second level the way ahead divided. After a moment's hesitation he chose the left-hand passage, passing through a keyhole-shaped archway into a broad amphitheater, empty of furnishings, with a kind of terrace or gallery at the far end. Emerging upon that ...
— Made in Tanganyika • Carl Richard Jacobi

... the Truth! I am the Truth!" we hear the God-drunk gnostic cry "The microcosm abides in ME; Eternal ...
— The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi • Richard F. Burton

... shows, which absorbed the more celebrated gladiators and the chief proportion of foreign beasts, were indeed the very reason why in the lesser towns of the empire the sports of the amphitheatre were comparatively humane and rare; and in this as in other respects, Pompeii was the miniature, the microcosm of Rome. Still, it was an awful and imposing spectacle, with which modern times have, happily, nothing to compare; a vast theatre, rising row upon row, and swarming with human beings, from fifteen to eighteen thousand in number, intent upon no fictitious representation—no ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 6 • Various

... developed along two lines. One of them makes this story a microcosm of the world history of the years 1917-1918. The other is something peculiar to the English public schools, and might have befallen at any period since Dr. Arnold inaugurated ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... itself—I mean the microcosm on board the steamer: people, ladies not excepted, play cards, drink coffee, and smoke. There is a good opportunity of studying the latest Parisian fashions, as worn by Roumanian belles; they know how to dress, do ...
— Round About the Carpathians • Andrew F. Crosse

... from Symonds: "Dante brought the universe into his Divine Comedy. 'But the soul of man, too, is a universe', and of this inner microcosm Petrarch was the poet and genius. It remained for Boccaccio to treat of daily life with an art as distinct and dazzling as theirs. From Dante's Beatrice, through Petrarch's Laura, to Boccaccio's La Fiammetta—from woman as an allegory of ...
— La Fiammetta • Giovanni Boccaccio

... come to see that, as had been told him long before, the kingdoms of this world were already passing into the hands of a higher dominion—and this was the significance of this microcosm of those kingdoms that now lay ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... desires. Zu Pfeiffer would sacrifice a million at the bidding of his Kaiser, whose divinity was the same myth, the projection of himself. Yet what had been Birnier's object in undertaking all these pains and penalties but to study mankind in the making, the black microcosm of a white macrocosm; to aid them to a better understanding of themselves and each other? Was not Bakahenzie an embryonic zu Pfeiffer? How could one aid a zu Pfeiffer if one did ...
— Witch-Doctors • Charles Beadle

... I realised that Bladesover House was not all it seemed, but when I was a little boy I took the place with the entirest faith as a complete authentic microcosm. I believed that the Bladesover system was a little working-model—and not so very little ...
— Tono Bungay • H. G. Wells

... bearing with it all the powers that by the experience in matter it has gained. Such the great sweep, and the great history. What relation has that to our little Society and our little movement? Some would be inclined to say: "None; no relation at all. You cannot bring down into so small a microcosm those great principles shown out in their working in a macrocosm." And yet if you and I, in our tiny personalities, repeat in miniature the life of the Logos in the vast sweep of His creative activity, who shall say that in a movement such as ours there ...
— London Lectures of 1907 • Annie Besant

... wandering, the day wore away, till he found himself in one of the lanes that surround that glittering Microcosm of the vices, the frivolities, the hollow show, and the real beggary of the gay City—the gardens and the galleries of the Palais Royal. Surprised at the lateness of the hour, it was then on the stroke of seven, ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... also Baptists or Anglicans, dog-fanciers, or lovers of Shelley, prize-fighters, or choral singers. The notion that you can represent the mind of the nation on a basis of functions is the merest moonshine. The most you can hope for is to get a body of 700 men and women who will form a sort of microcosm of the more intelligent mind of the nation, and trust to it to control your Government. Such a body will consist of men who follow various trades. But the conditions under which they are chosen ought to be such as to impress upon ...
— Essays in Liberalism - Being the Lectures and Papers Which Were Delivered at the - Liberal Summer School at Oxford, 1922 • Various

... of man to the other creatures is apparent in the very manner of his creation, altogether different from theirs. He is the only one who was created by the hand of God.[3] The rest sprang from the word of God. The body of man is a microcosm, the whole world in miniature, and the world in turn is a reflex of man. The hair upon his head corresponds to the woods of the earth, his tears to a river, his mouth to the ocean.[4] Also, the world resembles the ball of his eye: the ocean that encircles the earth is like unto the white of ...
— The Legends of the Jews Volume 1 • Louis Ginzberg

... man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... the dawning sciences of physical nature largely borrowed their points of departure from the new interest in Greek literature. As Windelband has said, the new science of nature was the daughter of humanism. The favorite notion of the time was that man was in microcosm that which ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... restore her purity or save her from her wrong done against herself. It is a poem of moral stress and strain, imagined with great intensity. Browning in general isolates a single moment or mood of passion, and studies it, with its shifting lights and shadows, as a living microcosm; often it is a moment of crisis, a moment of culmination. For once in James Lee's Wife (named in the first edition by a stroke of perversity James Lee), he represents in a sequence of lyrics a sequence of moods, and with singular success. The season of the year is autumn, and autumn as felt not ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... this little microcosm has its gradations of rank and style and importance. The Premier, or first floor, with its grand saloons, lofty ceilings, and splendid furniture, is decidedly the aristocratical part of the establishment. ...
— The Crayon Papers • Washington Irving

... as an organism, a social microcosm, a little society within the great human society, having its resemblances to, and its differences from, the family and the nation, is one that the new development of "child-study" seems bound to promote and advance. Rank paternalism has made its exit from the great human society, but ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... society, but because it is as worthy an object of creative endeavour as noble art or a great literature or a just and merciful economic system, or a life that is full of joy and beauty and wholesome labour. The political organism is in a sense the microcosm of life itself, and it should be society lifted up to a level of dignity, majesty and nobility. The doctrine that in a democracy the government must exactly express the numerical preponderance in the social synthesis, and that, if this happens to be ignorant, mannerless ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... motional unison together, without any apparent contact, and to which man has given the name of attraction, gravitation, and repulsion, he supplies the place of that agency by the humble imitation of teeth and cogs. All the parts of man's microcosm must visibly touch. But could he gain a knowledge of that agency, so as to be able to apply it in practice, we might then say that another canonical book of the word of ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... to the soliloquies of a bright child. In this microcosm the philosophical observer may trace the natural progression of the mind of mankind. I often silently observe L—-, with this view. He is generally imitative and dramatic; the day-school, the singing-school or the ...
— Woman in the Ninteenth Century - and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition - and Duties, of Woman. • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... charm would have been broken. But Alice, who was not a poet or a genius, was thinking, and thinking only of Maltravers.... His image was "the broken mirror" multiplied in a thousand faithful fragments over everything fair and soft in that lovely microcosm before her. But they were both alike in one thing—they were not with the Future, they were sensible of the Present—the sense of the actual life, the enjoyment of the breathing time was strong within ...
— Ernest Maltravers, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... world which has existed and a world that will exist. "Man," says Protagoras, "is the measure of the universe." But he has a greater dignity in being able to apprehend the world of thought within. "Whilst I study to find how I am a microcosm or little world," says Sir Thomas Browne, "I find myself something more than the great." Man can make himself an object to himself and gain the deepest insight into the workings of his own mind. This internal perception seems never to be ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 31, May, 1860 • Various

... of his time is spent in sighs, burdened with unutterable grief, and long drawn through the funnel. He amuses himself, too, with repeating all the whispers, the moans, and the louder utterances or tempestuous howls of the wind; so that the stove becomes a microcosm of the aerial world. Occasionally there are strange combinations of sounds,—voices talking almost articulately within the hollow chest of iron,—insomuch that fancy beguiles me with the idea that my firewood must have grown in that infernal forest of lamentable trees which breathed their complaints ...
— Fire Worship (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... what is good. Without faith man always falls into sin. You must seek faith in order to be good, or else your faith will become false. Christ commanded His disciples to preach the Gospel to all the world, and your wise men call a man a little world, a microcosm. So then preach to yourself, O man, woman, and child. Three parts the world has in you also. Preach first of all to your knowledge, and say to it: If you draw near this truth, you will have much faith; wherefore do you hesitate to use it? To your will, ...
— The World's Great Sermons, Volume I - Basil to Calvin • Various

... organic being is a microcosm—a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and numerous ...
— The Beauties of Nature - and the Wonders of the World We Live In • Sir John Lubbock

... scientific learning, inventive ingenuity, and mechanical skill, tributary always to the genius of the art, have worked together for centuries to apply this principle, until the instrument which embodies it in its highest potency is become a veritable microcosm of music. It is the visible sign of culture in every gentle household; the indispensable companion of the composer and teacher; the intermediary between all the various branches of music. Into the study of the orchestral conductor it brings a translation of all the multitudinous voices of the ...
— How to Listen to Music, 7th ed. - Hints and Suggestions to Untaught Lovers of the Art • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... he, "your plan is to take up some one section of the subject, and thoroughly exhaust that. Universal laws manifest themselves only by particular instances. They say, man is the microcosm, Mr. Locke; but the man of science finds every worm and beetle a microcosm in its way. It exemplifies, directly or indirectly, every physical law in the universe, though it may not be two lines long. It is not only a part, but a mirror, of the great whole. It has a definite relation ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... remember I told you, once on a time that you 'knew nothing of me'? whereat you demurred—but I meant what I said, and knew it was so. To be grand in a simile, for every poor speck of a Vesuvius or a Stromboli in my microcosm there are huge layers of ice and pits of black cold water—and I make the most of my two or three fire-eyes, because I know by experience, alas, how these tend to extinction—and the ice grows and grows—still this last is true part of me, most characteristic part, best part perhaps, ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... his country came subjectively into his possession; great and helpless it came into his inheritance as it comes into the inheritance of every man who can take it, by deed of imagination and energy and love. He held this microcosm of it, as one might say, in his hand and looked at it ardently; then he took his way ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... all the parts of which are connected through an unceasing exchange of molecules of effluvia. The stars, inexhaustible generators of energy, constantly act upon the earth and man—upon man, the epitome of all nature, a "microcosm" whose every element corresponds to some part of the starry sky. This was, in a few words, the theory formulated by the Stoic disciples of the Chaldeans;[26] but if we divest it of all the philosophic garments ...
— The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism • Franz Cumont

... formula: In the beginning love arose in the passion for perpetuation; to-day, the passion for perpetuation arises in love. Just as we put ourselves in the way of natural selection, pitting the microcosm against the macrocosm in a passion of ethical feeling, just so do we reverse for ourselves processes that seem indeed to have all the force of law. This reversal ...
— The Kempton-Wace Letters • Jack London

... we find the deeper life—the spiritual life—insisting on the validity of its mental and moral conclusions over against the objects of sense. Without this insistence no knowledge would progress and be valid. The macrocosm is mirrored and coloured in a mental and moral microcosm. A replica of the external world has a reality in consciousness, and this reality is not a mere photograph of the external, but it is the external as it appears to the meaning it has obtained in consciousness. The meaning of the world is thus something beyond the world itself; it is more ...
— An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy • W. Tudor Jones

... truly be said, that their wisdom is foolishness—for none truly wise ever felt, in the researches of man, any ground of arrogance, while pursuits of philosophy serve only to teach humility!—But to what purpose tend such observations? Every man is his own microcosm, and his case, in his own view, is that of no other man! Pride will always find food in self-love, which in spite of exhortations, it will devour with ravenous appetite! If men were immortal, how intolerable ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... "They are no more our likenesses than the Selenites are! We inhabit a new world, peopled by ourselves— the projectile! I am Barbicane's likeness, and Barbicane is Nicholl's. Beyond us, around us, human nature is at an end, and we are the only population of this microcosm until we ...
— Jules Verne's Classic Books • Jules Verne

... good workman, not a good father—a burden and bad odour everywhere, a tainter of the town and the blood of the human race. That, which was gathered about him was as pitifully bred as reared. Monte's one value lay in his horrible exemplarship. He was a complete slum microcosm, without which no civilisation has yet arrived. Monte has given me more to think about than any of the happier people. In his own mute way, he reminds each man of the depths, furnishes the low mark of the human sweep, and keeps us from forgetting the world as it is, the myriads of bad workmen ...
— Child and Country - A Book of the Younger Generation • Will Levington Comfort

... way rapidly. After that, I will show you as we go along some practical illustrations, add a few verbal precepts, and before set of sun you shall be as superior a rhetorician as myself, the absolute microcosm of your profession. Bring then above all ignorance, to which add confidence, audacity, and effrontery; as for diffidence, equity, moderation, and shame, you will please leave them at home; they are not merely needless, ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... account for his uncertain tread when he would move with ease among the boudoirs of Mayfair. Nevertheless, in the honest heart of him, as his earliest novel forever proves, he felt for the woes of those social underlings who, as we have long since learned, have their microcosm faithfully reflecting the greater world they serve, and he did his best work in that intimate portrayal of the feminine heart, which is not of a class but typically human; he knew Clarissa Harlowe quite as well as he did Pamela; ...
— Masters of the English Novel - A Study Of Principles And Personalities • Richard Burton

... scatters Plagues about the World: Pestilential and Contagious Diseases, 'tis the Divel, who do's oftentimes Invade us with them. 'Tis no uneasy thing, for the Divel, to impregnate the Air about us, with such Malignant Salts, as meeting with the Salt of our Microcosm, shall immediately cast us into that Fermentation and Putrefaction, which will utterly dissolve All the Vital Tyes within us; Ev'n as an Aqua Fortis, made with a conjunction of Nitre and Vitriol, Corrodes what it Siezes upon. And when the Divel has raised those Arsenical Fumes, which become ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... Hogarth in Chiswick. I mention the English painter because Longhi is often referred to as the Venetian Hogarth. We have a picture or two by him in the National Gallery. To see him once is to see all his pictures so far as technique goes, but a complete set would form an excellent microcosm of fashionable and frivolous Venice of his day. Hogarth, who no doubt approximates more to the Venetian style of painting than to any other, probably found that influence in the work of Sebastiano Ricci, a Venetian who taught in St. ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... mantle is brightly coloured, at other times colourless. Not infrequently it is set with needles or hairs, like a cactus. Often we find a mass of foreign bodies—stone, sand, fragments of mussel-shells, etc.—worked into the mantle. This has earned for the Ascidia the name of "the microcosm." ...
— The Evolution of Man, V.2 • Ernst Haeckel

... of Pedantry and Pedagogism will give him an Interval from Wrath and Contention, he will set apart a Moment to consider human Nature Deviliz'd, and give us a Mathematical Anatomical Description of it; with a Map of Satan's Kingdom in the Microcosm of Mankind, and such other Illuminations as to him and his Contemporaries —— and, —— &c. in their great Wisdom shall ...
— The History of the Devil - As Well Ancient as Modern: In Two Parts • Daniel Defoe

... relations by which the inner ones were originally produced. Granting that, as a matter of fact, an objective macrocosm exists, and if we can prove or render probable that this objective macrocosm is of itself sufficient to evolve a subjective microcosm, I do not see any the faintest reason for the latter to conclude that a self-conscious intelligence is inherent in the former, merely because it is able to trace in the macrocosm some of those orderly objective relations by which its own corresponding subjective relations were originally ...
— A Candid Examination of Theism • George John Romanes

... is none other than the I AM in the universal. It is the same Power working in the smaller sphere of which the individual is the centre. This is the great truth which the ancients set forth under the figure of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, the lesser I AM reproducing the precise image of the greater, and of which the Bible tells us when it speaks of man ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... make gems and perfumes, drugs and foods, to suit his tastes, instead of depending upon the chance bounty of nature. He is beginning consciously to adapt means to ends and to plan for the future even in the field of politics. He has opened up the atom and finds in it a microcosm more complex than the solar system. He beholds the elements melting with fervent heat and he turns their rays to the healing of his sores. He drives the lightning through the air and with the product feeds his crops. He makes the desert ...
— Dreams • Henri Bergson

... magnified proves to be a crystalline sphere with an opaque mass in its centre. And while you are looking, the opaque mass begins to stir, and by-and-by slowly to turn upon its axis like a forming planet,—life beginning in the microcosm, as in the great worlds of the firmament, with the revolution that turns the surface in ceaseless round to the source of life ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... century to which I had awaked; there could be no kind of doubt about that. Its complete microcosm this summary of the day's news had presented, even to that last unmistakable touch of fatuous self-complacency. Coming after such a damning indictment of the age as that one day's chronicle of world-wide bloodshed, greed, and tyranny, was a bit of cynicism ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... Mysticism" lies not so much on this direct pathway to God through the soul as upon the symbolic character of the world of Nature as a visible revelation of an invisible Universe, and upon the idea that man is a microcosm, a little world, reproducing in epitome, point for point, though in miniature, the great world, or macrocosm. On this line of thought, everything is double. The things that are seen are parables of other things which are not seen. They are like printed ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... of life, not in ease and quiet. Man is, further, a being composed of cells, tissues, and organs, which were successively developed for him by the lower animal kingdoms. The old view, that man was the microcosm, had in it a certain amount of every important truth. We need to be continually reminded of our indebtedness in a thousand ways to the lowest and most insignificant ...
— The Whence and the Whither of Man • John Mason Tyler

... respectability of this wood could not be disputed, and it had a sort of natural dignity that harmonized with the father's solid taste—though the mother might have preferred something lighter and brighter. And a microcosm of mahogany might, after all, be worth living for when loftier illusions had gone on ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... scientific program shall its operations and events go on. But from the best scientific program, in such a case, to the actual fulfilment, what a difference! Every reunion of men, is it not, as we often say, a reunion of incalculable Influences; every unit of it a microcosm of Influences;—of which how shall Science calculate or prophesy! Science, which cannot, with all its calculuses, differential, integral, and of variations, calculate the Problem of Three gravitating Bodies, ought to hold her ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... 'I saw vases thrown from the mantel-piece in broad daylight. I've heard invisible feet tramping all about my chair in a vividly lighted room.' I didn't believe him, of course. The fact is, we don't know our own capacity for being deceived. We are each a microcosm—a summing-up of all our forebears, and in the obscure places of our brains are the cells of cavemen, nooks troubled by shadows and inhabited by strange noises. If you come at me in the right way you can raise a terrifying echo deep in some knot of my brain-cells; ...
— The Tyranny of the Dark • Hamlin Garland

... others as I had been done by. Jackson had no excuse for his treatment of me, whereas, I had every excuse for retaliation. He did know better, I did not. I followed the ways of the world in the petty microcosm in which I had been placed. I knew not of mercy, of forgiveness, charity, or goodwill. I knew not that there was a God; I only knew that might was right, and the most pleasurable sensation which I felt, was that of anxiety for vengeance, combined ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Marryat

... look upon. The poet wore a luxuriant black moustache and imperial, and a slouched hat which shaded the forehead. The large dark eyes, described by the landlady, showed an unlimited capacity for misery; they looked out from beneath well-shaped brows as if they were reading the universe in the microcosm of the confronter's face, and were not altogether overjoyed at what ...
— Wessex Tales • Thomas Hardy

... spoke to some of them. They answered their Batuschka (little father) without embarrassment. In Russia the family is the microcosm of the State. All power rests with the father. All theories of representative government in Russia are pure nonsense. "How can human statutes circumscribe the divine right of a father?" asks the Russian. So ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. X. • Kuno Francke

... nature in him. Love in his soul (Isis) must take care of the dead fragments of his body, and then the higher nature, the eternal soul (Horus) will be born, which can progress to Osiris life. The man who is aspiring to the highest kind of existence must repeat in himself, as a microcosm, the macrocosmic universal Osiris process. This is the meaning of Egyptian initiation. What Plato (cf. p. 80) describes as a cosmic process, i.e., that the Creator has stretched the soul of the world on the body of the world in the form of a cross, and that the cosmic process is the release ...
— Christianity As A Mystical Fact - And The Mysteries of Antiquity • Rudolf Steiner

... was unwell, Professor Holloway appeared with his pills, and cured his lordship, as per advertisement, &c. &c.. Numberless instances might be adduced to show that when a nation is in great want, the relief is at hand; just as in the Pantomime (that microcosm) where when CLOWN wants anything—a warming-pan, a pump-handle, a goose, or a lady's tippet—a fellow comes sauntering out from behind the side-scenes with the very article ...
— The Book of Snobs • William Makepeace Thackeray

... a majority of the rulers are chosen,—were listlessly regarding the promenaders from the street-corners or the doors of their bibulous temples. A slight premonitory thrill runs through the city. The busy life of this restless microcosm is arrested. The shopkeeper pauses as he elevates the goods to bring them into a favorable light, and the glib professional recommendation sticks on his tongue. In the drinking-saloon the glass is checked half-way to the lips; on the streets the promenaders ...
— Legends and Tales • Bret Harte

... that you are cursorily perusing a novel which has made a great sensation, and you come upon the following sentence: "Eighteen millions of years would level all in one huge, common, shapeless ruin. Perish the microcosm in the limitless macrocosm! and sink this feeble earthly segregate in the boundless rushing choral aggregation!" This is in Augusta J. Evans Wilson's story "Macaria", and many equally extraordinary examples of "prose run mad" are found in the novels of this once noted ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... blow it out and distend it to a globe, pausing and calling on one another to mark the prismatic tints, the fugitive images, symbols, meanings of the wide world glassed upon our pretty toy. We launch it. We follow it with our eyes as it floats from us—an irrecoverable delight. We watch until the microcosm goes pop! Then ...
— The Mayor of Troy • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... well as its general news. The newspaper tells the small community what is going on in the great world, and the busy tongues of male and female, especially the latter, fill in with the occurrences and comments of the ever-stirring microcosm. The fact that the Italian teacher had, or thought he had, seen Maurice ten years before was circulated and made the most of,—turned over and over like a cake, until it was thoroughly done on both sides and all through. It was a very small cake, but better ...
— A Mortal Antipathy • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... not unfrequently furnish cases of considerable interest; and we are always willing to make the resemblance between our microcosm and the world at large as close as possible, at least in every useful point we are trying to collect a volume of Reports. As all the boys are expected to be present during a trial, to give importance to the proceeding, the time of such ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... treasure-filled recesses of which the young explorer was straightway lost to the outer world! No human need but might find its contentment therein. Spread forth in its alluringly illustrated pages was the whole universe reduced to the purchasable. It was a perfect and detailed microcosm of the world of trade, the cosmogony of commerce in petto. The style was brief, pithy, pregnant; the illustrations—oh, wonder of wonders!—unfailingly apt to the text. He who sat by the Damascus Road of old marveling as the ...
— Success - A Novel • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... certain parasites not unknown in civilization. Benumbed with, frost, the insects lose their hold and fall into the snow, to the great comfort of those who nursed and fed them. The body of a Koriak, considered as a microcosm, ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... of Lawyer Clippurse at the Hall occasioned much speculation in that portion of the world to which Waverley-Honour formed the centre: but the more judicious politicians of this microcosm augured yet worse consequences to Richard Waverley from a movement which shortly followed his apostasy. This was no less than an excursion of the Baronet in his coach-and-six, with four attendants in rich liveries, to make a visit of some duration to a noble peer on the ...
— Waverley • Sir Walter Scott

... there is between the stars in relation to the size of the universe,—and yet every star is dependent upon every other star,—as every atom in the body is dependent upon every other atom for its true life and action. This principle of balance in the macrocosm and the microcosm is equally applicable to any community of people, whether large or small. The quiet study and appreciation of it will enable us to realize the strength of free dependence and dependent freedom in the relation of persons to one another. The more truly we can help one another in freedom ...
— The Freedom of Life • Annie Payson Call

... his doctrine, man is a little world or microcosm, and in him are represented all the elements which are to be found in the great world or macrocosm. Some diseases, he averred, require earthy remedies, others aqueous or atmospheric, and still others, igneous. Paracelsus was thoroughly imbued with the cabalistic ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... causing anxiety in the microcosm for two days, and it had been clearly understood at dinner that Thursday morning that Mr. Povey was to set forth to Oulsnam Bros., the dentists at Hillport, without any delay. Only on Thursdays and Sundays did Mr. Povey dine with the family. On other days ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... man is, and must be, the comprehensive end of all creatures, and the microcosm, he is counselled in the Revelation to buy gold that is thoroughly fired, or rather pure fire, that he may become rich and like the sun; as, on the contrary, he becomes poor, when he abuses the arsenical poison; ...
— The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves • Tobias Smollett

... well-conditioned umbrellas as worthy of the Franchise. They have a qualification standing in their lobbies; they carry a sufficient stake in the common-weal below their arm. One who bears with him an umbrella— such a complicated structure of whalebone, of silk, and of cane, that it becomes a very microcosm of modern industry—is necessarily a man of peace. A half-crown cane may be applied to an offender's head on a very moderate provocation; but a six-and-twenty shilling silk is a possession too precious to be adventured in the ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... merely unconsciously present in both its highest and lowest stages, but may also manifest itself openly, and even artistically. The modern man, like the man of antiquity, is in this respect too a microcosm, which the medieval man was ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... to call "brute matter" is a vast aggregate of molecular mechanisms performing complicated movements of immense rapidity, and sensitively adjusting themselves to every change in the surrounding world. Living matter differs from other matter in degree and not in kind; the microcosm repeats the macrocosm; and one chain of causation connects the nebulous original of suns and planetary systems with the protoplasmic ...
— Science & Education • Thomas H. Huxley

... Washington is a microcosm, and one can suit himself with any sort of society within a radius of a mile. To a large portion of the people who frequent Washington or dwell where, the ultra fashion, the shoddy, the jobbery are as utterly distasteful as they would he in a refined New England City. Schoonmaker ...
— The Gilded Age, Part 5. • Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Charles Dudley Warner

... Court again this morning brought the strange impression which one now always feels on entering the Court. The space is so comparatively small, but one feels as though it were all Ireland in microcosm. You see representatives of every class in the terrible conflict of war, of rival passions, hatred, and traditions. This man with the large nose, the large and disfigured face, is Mr. Hussey, and those scars that you see, and the distortion ...
— The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent • S.M. Hussey

... fragments, which then, for ever isolated one from another, ... must strike out for themselves on straight courses, with only side branches. On the contrary, owing to bi-sexual reproduction (amphimixis), the image of the macrocosm is ... reflected as a microcosm in each part; and the macrocosm resolves itself into a thousand microcosms.... Thus the individuals, while remaining independent, are materially and continuously interconnected, like strawberry plants whose runners are joined together.... Each ...
— The Forerunners • Romain Rolland

... proportion to the amount of life it contains. We are so complex in our organization that, we require a great variety of the different elements to sustain all the active functions and powers within us. Man, being a microcosm, or a miniature universe, must sustain that universe, by taking into the system the various elements, which combine to make up the Infinite Universe of God. Animal flesh is necessary to certain organized forms, both animal ...
— The Light of Egypt, Volume II • Henry O. Wagner/Belle M. Wagner/Thomas H. Burgoyne

... it will be safest, as always, to follow the course of nature, and begin where God begins with us. For as every one of us is truly a microcosm, a whole miniature world within ourselves, so is the history of each individual more or less the history of the whole human race, and there are few of us but pass through the same course of intellectual growth, through ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... microcosm; it was said that if all the denizens were placed in line they would reach from Embajadores lane to the Plaza del Progreso; it harboured men who were everything and yet nothing: half scholars, half smiths, half carpenters, half masons, half ...
— The Quest • Pio Baroja

... among philosophers by the appellation of the microcosm, or epitome of the world: the resemblance between the great and little world might, by a rational observer, be detailed to many particulars; and to many more by a fanciful speculatist. I know not ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson in Nine Volumes - Volume IV: The Adventurer; The Idler • Samuel Johnson

... Count. "This citadel is a microcosm of what the world might be, if men were reasonable. Not all men! A great proportion must be good enough to remain what they are. We could not live without those whose business it is to bring the reasonableness ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... lungs. With a disappointment almost unbearable, I realized that my infinite immensity was lost. Once more I was limited to the humiliating cage of a body, not easily accommodative to the Spirit. Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm. ...
— Autobiography of a YOGI • Paramhansa Yogananda

... naturally so, for it is a succinct statement of a fundamental and far-reaching truth. The scientist recognizes it now and then and here and there, but the occultist trusts it always and utterly. To him the microcosm and the macrocosm are one and the same in essence, and the forth-going impulse which calls a universe into being and the indrawing impulse which extinguishes it again, each lasting millions of years, are echoed and repeated in ...
— The Beautiful Necessity • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... the soul of Keats has to be greeted by the soul of Chatterton, just as the body of Adonais has to be caressed and bewailed by Urania. Using language of a semi-emblematic kind, we might perhaps express something of Shelley's belief thus:—Mankind is the microcosm, as distinguished from the rest of the universe, which forms the macrocosm; and, as long as a man's body and soul remain in combination, his soul pertains to the microcosm: when this combination ceases with the death of the body, his soul, ...
— Adonais • Shelley

... far inferior way, every man is a poet to himself. In the microcosm of his own small round, every one has the power to vivify old incident, every one raises bawbles of the desk and drawer, not only into life, but into life they never had. With the flower whose leaves are shed about the box, we can bring back the brilliant morning of its blossoming, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866 • Various

... contact with the water contained in the clouds, that wind displays itself in effulgence among the darts of lightning.[1753] The second wind called Avaha blows with a loud noise. It is this wind that causes Soma and the other luminaries to rise and appear. Within the body (which is a microcosm of the universe) that wind is called Udana by the wise. That wind which sucks up water from the four oceans, and having sucked it up imparts it to the clouds in the welkin, and which, having imparted ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... stranger. But London is something else besides a wilderness—indeed it is everything else. It is a great world, containing a thousand little worlds in its bosom; and pop yourself down in it in any quarter you will, you are sure to find yourself in the centre of some peculiar microcosm distinguished from all others by features more ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 448 - Volume 18, New Series, July 31, 1852 • Various

... countries which he had visited, which are sufficiently civilized to boast of cooks, these artists, toiling in their fiery element, have a privilege to be testy and impatient. He therefore retreated from the torrid region of Mrs. Dods's microcosm, and employed his time in the usual devices of loiterers, partly by walking for an appetite, partly by observing the progress of his watch towards three o'clock, when he had happily succeeded in getting an employment more serious. His table, in the blue parlour, was ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... blood poisons enough by our irrational diet and modes of living? The human body is a microcosm—a world in minature—and as such, exists in constant interchange ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... of the new revelation was poured, has never quite disappeared from the Church, and in times of excitement and upheaval it tends to reassert itself. The maturest Greek philosophy regards eternity as the divine mode of existence, while mortals are born, live, and die in time. Man is a microcosm, in touch with every rung of the ladder of existence; and he is potentially a 'participator' in the divine mode of existence, which he can make his own by living, so far as may be, in detachment from the vain shadows ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... the most crack-brained among us—take to themselves a weight and dignity from the presence behind them of this cosmic purposelessness. The less the universe matters, the more humanity matters. The less meaning there is in the macrocosm the more tenderly and humorously must every microcosm ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... the suggestion of Don Inocencio. The scene where they work him up to rebellion and assassination is a compendium of the history of intolerance; as the mean little conceited city of Orbajosas is the microcosm ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... and to our taste more fascinating, genre is The Brigadier. It is greater art because life's prosaic growth is revealed not merely realistically, but also poetically, life as a tiny part of the great universe around it. The tale is a microcosm of Turgenev's own nature; his love of Nature, his tender sympathy for all humble, ragged, eccentric, despised human creatures; his unfaltering keenness of gaze into character, his fine sense of proportion, mingle in. The ...
— A Desperate Character and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... his outlook became more adequate to the infinite complexity and variety of the phenomena with which he has to deal. And throughout, both in the lower and in the higher stages of intellectual development, the same truth unchangingly asserts itself, that man is a microcosm. His reason proves it by finding itself in the macrocosm. And what holds good of the imperfect and recently developed rational faculties holds good even more substantially of the fundamental instincts and emotions, and of intuitions ...
— Nature Mysticism • J. Edward Mercer

... then in the first place that men as a rule are most strongly attached to the localities and the people with whom they are first brought closely in contact. Here in the family is the first true microcosm, the first community in which the individual is developed by association with his fellows. On the value of this earliest social training there are hardly two opinions, and we need not dwell upon it. It is at the next stage that divergence, both of definite ...
— The Unity of Civilization • Various

... the Creator. The two extremes of this graded universe are God at the one end, and the corporeal world at the other. Intermediate between these are the spiritual substances, Intelligence, Soul and Nature.[94] Man as a microcosm, a universe in little, partakes of both the corporeal and intermediate worlds, and hence may serve as a model of the constitution of the macrocosm, or great universe. His body is typical of the corporeal world, which consists of the lowest matter, ...
— A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy • Isaac Husik

... microcosm of English society, from the lower middle class upwards, with all its respectabilities and incompatibilities and disabilities—its narrownesses and meannesses and snobbishnesses, its gossipings and backbitings and toadyings and snubbings—delicate little social things of England that ...
— The Martian • George Du Maurier



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