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Page 134 - Happy the man, and happy he alone, He, who can call to-day his own: He who secure within, can say, To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived to-day.
Page 122 - For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: and though this be true, Poems to which any value can be attached were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man who, being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility, had also thought long and deeply.
Page 120 - Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical ; because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence...
Page 122 - The sum of what was said is, that the Poet is chiefly distinguished from other men by a greater promptness to think and feel without immediate external excitement, and a greater power in expressing such thoughts and feelings as are produced in him in that manner.
Page 120 - The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul ; by reason whereof there is agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things.
Page 124 - Yet must I not give Nature all; thy Art My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part. For though the poet's matter nature be, His art doth give the fashion; and, that he Who casts to write a living line, must sweat, (Such as thine are) and strike the second heat Upon the Muses...
Page 120 - And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind unto the nature of things.
Page 128 - He could not run division with more art Upon his quaking instrument, than she The nightingale did with her various notes Reply to.
Page 121 - It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it ; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts ; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.
Page 119 - Shakespeare, no mere child of nature; no automaton of genius; no passive vehicle of inspiration, possessed by the spirit, not possessing it; first studied patiently, meditated deeply, understood minutely, till knowledge, become habitual and intuitive, wedded itself to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to that stupendous power, by which he stands alone, with no equal or second in his own class...