fits and starts
Style is to sentiment what dress is to person. The effects of both are very great, and both are acquired and improved by habit. When once we are used to it, it is easy to dress neatly as like a sloven; in the same way, custom makes us write in a correct style as easily as in a careless, inaccurate one.
—James Boswell (London Journal, 9 February 1763)
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Analysis is nothing more than the latest fashionable cut, and synthesis nothing more than the artful seam of a professional leather- or cloth-cutter.
—Johann Georg Hamann (‘Metacritique on the purism of reason’, trans. K. Haynes, ca. 1784)
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Happy he who can look through the Clothes of a Man (the woollen, and fleshly, and official Bank-paper and State-paper Clothes) into the Man himself; and discern, it may be, in this or the other Dread Potentate, a more or less incompetent Digestive-apparatus; yet also an inscrutable venerable Mystery, in the meanest Tinker that sees with eyes!
—Thomas Carlyle (Sartor Resartus, ch. 10, 1836)