The earthquake at Lisbon, which appalled other people, gave Voltaire an excellent opportunity for ridiculing the beliefs of the orthodox, first in verse (1756) and later in the (from a literary point of view) unsurpassable tale of Candide (1759).
Now both are encouraged, and the men, receiving their full rations, are unsurpassable in endurance at work and in marching.
Many episodes, describing the society at the Prussian court and the relations of Frederick to Voltaire, are unsurpassable as humorous portraiture.
In the 16th century instrumentation was, in its normal modern sense, non-existent; but in a special sense it was at an unsurpassable stage of perfection, namely, in the treatment of pure vocal harmony.
Of the six parts into which it is divided, the first translates into manysided music the joys and sorrows, the thoughts and fancies, the studies and ardours and speculations of youth; the second, as full of light and colour, grows gradually deeper in tone of thought and music; the third is yet riper and more various in form of melody and in fervour of meditation; the fourth is the noblest of all tributes ever paid by song to sorrow - a series of poems consecrated to the memory of the poet's eldest daughter, who was drowned, together with her husband, by the upsetting of a boat off the coast of Normandy, a few months after their wedding-day, in 1843; the fifth and the sixth books, written during his first four years of exile (all but one noble poem which bears date nine years earlier than its epilogue or postscript), contain more than a few poems unsurpassed and unsurpassable for depth and clarity and trenchancy of thought, for sublimity of inspiration, for intensity of faith, for loyalty in translation from nature, and for tenderness in devotion to truth; crowned and glorified and completed by their matchless dedication to the dead.
On the fifteenth, when young Rostov, in his dressing gown, looked out of the window, he saw it was an unsurpassable morning for hunting: it was as if the sky were melting and sinking to the earth without any wind.
The judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (which of course they believed to be under the waters of the lake, in accordance with the absurd theory first found in Josephus and still often repeated) blinded these good pilgrims to the ever-fresh beauty of this most lovely lake, whose blue and sparkling waters lie deep between rocks and precipices of unsurpassable grandeur.