Of course, in such an infidel and revolutionary age as that of Louis XV, when Voltaire was the oracle of Europe,when from his chateau near Geneva he controlled the mind of Europe, as Calvin did two centuries earlier,enemies would rise up, on all sides, against the Jesuits.
Among the Puritans he has reigned like an oracle.
With all his faults, which were on the surface, he was the accepted idol and oracle of a great party, and stamped his genius on his own and succeeding ages.
But when she has older grown, And can see a difference shown, She must learn, 'tis not appearing Makes a book fit for revering; To distinguish and divide 'Twixt the form and soul inside; That a book is more than boards, Leaves and words in gathered hordes, Which no greater good can do man Than the goblin hollow woman, Or a pump without a well, Or priest without an oracle.
Yet this curious dictator of an elegant age was a veritable lion, much sought after by society; and around him in his own poor house gathered the foremost artists, scholars, actors, and literary men of London,all honoring the man, loving him, and listening to his dogmatism as the Greeks listened to the voice of their oracle.
And the moment the oracle is out of sight and in bed, Boswell patters home to record in detail all that he has seen and heard.
Then the oracle proceeds to talk of scorpions and natural history, denying facts, and demanding proofs which nobody could possibly furnish: He seemed pleased to talk of natural philosophy.
The government, no doubt, interfered; the pious impostors were punished and expelled by the police; every foreign worship not specially sanctioned was forbidden; even the consulting of the comparatively innocent lot-oracle of Praeneste was officially prohibited in 512; and, as we have already said, those who took part in the Bacchanalia were rigorously prosecuted.
Amongst those Cyanean rocks at the springs of Lycia, was the oracle of Thrixeus Apollo, "where all fortunes were foretold, sickness, health, or what they would besides:" so common people have been always deluded with future events.
Doctor William Kitchinerthe author of Apicius Redivious; or, The Cook's Oracle, 1817.] LETTER 416 CHARLES LAMB TO HENRY CRABB ROBINSON
Anna Byns, an oracle with the Catholic party, wrote when the language was in its most degenerate state, under Margaret of Austria.
Jocasta, hearing from the Corinthian stranger that Polybus, King of Corinth, the reputed father of Oedipus, is dead, sends for her husband to tell him that the oracle which doomed him to parricide is defeated, since Polybus has died a natural death.
I do not mean to say, that he himself never does any thing of the sort, or does not occasionally assume too much of the oracle and the schoolmaster, in manner as well as matter; but passion, and the absence of the superfluous, are the chief characteristics of his poetry.
We are called upon to look on him as a divine, a prophet, an oracle in all respects for all time.
Yet Domitius, the father of Nero, had a sufficient previous intimation of his son's coming baseness and licentiousness, not by any oracle but through the nature of his own and Agrippina's characters.
'I hope you are not going to allow your life in London to be regulated by an oracle at Grasmere?'
And now he was the great Smithson, whose voice was the voice of an oracle, who was supposed to be able to make the fortunes of other men by a word, or a wink, a nod, or a little look across the crowd, and whom all the men and women in London societyshort of that exclusive circle which does not open its ranks to Smithsonswere ready to cherish and admire.
Lesbia was not much influenced by her brother's notions, she had never been taught to think him an oracle.
The reference probably was to the fame of this divinity as an oracle, as connected with the calendar.
A levée, chiefly of literary men, surrounded him; and he seemed to be regarded as a kind of oracle to whom every one might resort for advice or instruction.
"Sir," replied the oracle, "you may wonder.
" What other advantages he perceived must be unknown, for here the oracle was interrupted.
"Is it wrong, sir," he took speedy opportunity of inquiring from the oracle, "to affect singularity in order to make people stare?"
An oracle said that he would not succeed in its erection before a man voluntarily offered himself as a sacrifice.
The oracle rails that way!