Above all nations is humanity.
Personality is lower than partiality.
Yet for my part, deeply as I am moved by the religious architecture of the Middle Ages, I cannot honestly say that I ever felt the slightest emotion in any modern Gothic church.
The materials of the novelist must be real; they must be gathered from the field of humanity by his actual observation.
Every one who has a heart, however ignorant of architecture he may be, feels the transcendent beauty and poetry of the mediaeval churches.
If it were a real effort to live in the Middle Ages, your life would be one perpetual prevarication.
Dante himself is open to the suspicion of partiality: it is said, not without apparent ground, that he puts into hell all the enemies of the political cause, which, in his eyes, was that of Italy and God.
The novelist must look on humanity without partiality or prejudice. His sympathy, like that of the historian, must be unbounded, and untainted by sect or party.
Who can doubt that between the English and the French, between the Scotch and the Irish, there are differences of character which have profoundly affected and still affect the course of history?
There is a spell in mediaeval Art which has had power to bewitch some people into trying, or wishing to try, or fancying that they wish to try or making believe to fancy that they wish to try, to bring back the Middle Ages.