This work contains an astounding collection of facts invaluable to the scientific biographer and historian.
Apart from the gain in tragic force resulting from Wagner's masterly development of the character of Brangaene, the raw material of the story was already suggestive of that astounding combination of the contrasted themes of love and death, the musical execution of which involves a harmonic range almost as far beyond that of its own day as the ordinary harmonic range of the 19th century is beyond that of the 16th.
His astounding energy and resource curbed all his enemies during his lifetime, but they were content to wait patiently for his death, well aware that the collapse of his empire would immediately follow.
His literary output at this time, all inspired by a moderate Liberalism, was astounding, and included an essay on the results of the discovery of America, and another, written in French, on the English financial system (Essa y sur l'etat de l'administration des finances de la Grande-Bretagne, London, 1800).
It would have been a bold, not to say a reckless, dreamer who dared predict that any future researches could restore to us the lost knowledge that had been forgotten for more than two millenniums. Yet the Victorian era was scarcely ushered in before the work of rehabilitation began, which was to lead to the most astounding discoveries and to an altogether unprecedented extension of historical knowledge.
This astounding success elicited an outburst of popular enthusiasm which gave the war a national and religious character.
His moral character was undoubtedly weak in other ways than this, but it is fair to remember that but for his astounding Confessions the more disgusting parts of it would not have been known, and that these Confessions were written, if not under hallucination, at any rate in circumstances entitling the self-condemned criminal to the benefit of considerable doubt.
Next came an astounding transformation.
No sooner is the object of alarm scented or seen than each one seeks safety in the most inaccessible situations, which are often reached by a series of astounding leaps over crevasses, up the faces of seemingly perpendicular rocks, or down the sides of equally precipitous chasms. The chamois will not hesitate, it is said, thus to leap down 20 or even 30 ft., and this it effects with apparent ease by throwing itself forward diagonally and striking its feet several times in its descent against the face of the rock.
Rapid settlement, excessive prices, reckless waste of money, and wild commercial ventures that glutted San Francisco with all objects usable and unusable made the following years astounding from an economic point of view; but not less bizarre was the social development, nor less extraordinary the problems of state-building in a society " morally and socially tried as no other American community ever has been tried " (Royce).
Since the supply of free oxygen is dependent on the activity of green plants the process is indirectly dependent on energy derived from the sun, but it is none the less an astounding one and outside the limits of our previous generalizations.
Most of his astounding miracles are of the ordinary type.
Or astounding technological breakthroughs that have no precedent in reality.
Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man.
His activity at that time was no less astounding than it was in Egypt, in Italy, in Austria, and in Prussia.