Lives of the English Poets: With Critical Observations on Their Works ; And, Lives of Sundry Eminent Persons

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Charles Tilt, 1840 - English poetry - 502 pages
 

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Page 32 - Memory and her siren daughters, but by devout prayer to that eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases.
Page 326 - Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense. Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows ; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar: When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow : Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main. Hear how Timotheus...
Page 12 - To move, but doth, if th' other do. And though it in the centre sit, Yet, when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like th' other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
Page 187 - His religion has nothing in it enthusiastic or superstitious ; he appears neither weakly credulous nor wantonly sceptical ; his morality is neither dangerously lax nor impracticably rigid. All the enchantment of fancy, and all the cogency of argument, are employed to recommend to the reader his real interest, the care of pleasing the Author of his being.
Page 301 - Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a Papist), who had begun a translation of Homer into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe. "For," says he, "the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.
Page 48 - We know that they never drove a field, and that they had no flocks to batten; and though it be allowed that the representation may be allegorical, the true meaning is so uncertain and remote, that it is never sought because it cannot be known when it is found.
Page 283 - That's very strange ; but if you had not supped, I must have got something for you. Let me see, what should I have had ? A couple of lobsters ; ay, that would have done very well ; two shillings— tarts, a shilling ; but you will drink a glass of wine with me, though you supped so much before your usual time only to spare my pocket ?' ' No, we had rather talk with you than drink with you.
Page 322 - ... powers; he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration; when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment happened to supply, and, when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind ; for, when he had no pecuniary interest, he had no further solicitude.
Page 323 - ... correction. What his mind could supply at call, or gather in one excursion, was all that he sought, and all that he gave. The dilatory caution of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might produce, or chance might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of , Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation,...
Page 283 - I'll tell you one that first comes into my head. One evening, Gay and I went to see him : you know how intimately we were all acquainted. On our coming in, ' heyday, gentlemen, (says the doctor) what's the meaning of this visit?

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