from The Century Dictionary.

  • To improvise or extemporize.


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    July 10, 2010

  • "WRITING UNDER PRESSURE.--Not that always and unconditionally it is an evil to be hurried in writing for the press. I doubt not that many a score of practised writers for the press will have been self-observing enough to notice a phenomenon which I have many times noticed, viz., that hurry and severe compression from an instant summons that brooks no delay have often a tendency to furnish the flint and steel for eliciting sudden scintillations of originality; sometimes in what regards the picturesque felicity of the phrase, sometimes in what regards the thought itself or its illustrations. To autoschediaze or improvise is sometimes in effect to be forced into a consciousness of creative energies that would else have slumbered through life. The same stimulation to the creative faculty occurs even more notoriously in musical improvisations; and all great executants on the organ have had reason to bemoan their inability to arrest these sudden felicities of impassioned combinations, and these flying arabesques of loveliest melody, which the magnetic inspiration of the moment has availed to excite."

    - From Thomas de Quincey's analecta, on page 348 of Sidney Low's De Quincey.

    July 10, 2010