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Page viii - Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how nearly they are copied. The irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile, by that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest; but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth.
Page xxiii - A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller : he follows it at all adventures ; it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the mire.
Page 460 - I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, Wrest once the law to your authority: To do a great right, do a little wrong, And curb this cruel devil of his will.
Page xx - He carries his persons indifferently through right and wrong, and at the close dismisses them without further care, and leaves their examples to operate by chance. This fault the barbarity of his age cannot extenuate, for it is always a writer's duty to make the world better, and justice is a virtue independent on time or place.
Page 431 - I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin!
Page 267 - Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves ; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.
Page 116 - Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell : It fell upon a little western flower, Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Page xxi - ... with more zeal than judgment, to transfer to his imagined interpolators. We need not wonder to find Hector quoting Aristotle, when we see the loves of Theseus and Hippolyta combined with the Gothic mythology of fairies.