The poetical works of John Dryden

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Bell and Daldy, 1832 - Literary Criticism - 324 pages
 

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Page 133 - He sought the storms ; but, for a calm unfit, Would steer too nigh the sands to boast his wit. Great wits are sure to madness near allied And thin partitions do their bounds divide...
Page 146 - A man so various that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome : Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong, Was everything by starts and nothing long; But in the course of one revolving moon Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon ; Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
Page 150 - His neck was loaded with a chain of gold ; During his office treason was no crime ! The sons of Belial had a glorious time ; For Shimei, though not prodigal of pelf, Yet lov'd his wicked neighbour as himself. When two or three were gather'd to declaim Against the monarch of Jerusalem, Shimei was always in the midst of them...
Page 147 - Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking. Blest madman, who could every hour employ With something new to wish or to enjoy ! Railing and praising were his usual themes, And both to show his judgment, in extremes : So over violent or over civil, That every man with him was God or devil. In squandering wealth was his peculiar art ; Nothing went unrewarded but desert, Beggared by fools whom still he found too late, He had his jest, and they had...
Page 152 - And rashly judge his writ apocryphal; Our laws for such affronts have forfeits made: He takes his life, who takes away his trade. Were I myself in witness Corah's place, The wretch who did me such a dire disgrace, Should whet my memory, though once forgot, To make him an appendix of my plot. His zeal to Heav'n made him his prince despise, And load his person with indignities: But Zeal peculiar privilege affords, Indulging latitude to deeds and words.
Page 147 - He laughed himself from court; then sought relief By forming parties, but could ne'er be chief; For, spite of him, the weight of business fell On Absalom, and wise Achitophel ; Thus, wicked but in will, of means bereft, He left not faction, but of that was left.
Page 48 - The composition of all poems is, or ought to be, of wit; and wit in the poet, or Wit writing (if you will give me leave to use a school-distinction), is no other than the faculty of imagination in the writer, which, like a nimble spaniel, beats over and ranges through the field of memory, till it springs the quarry it hunted after; or, without...
Page 127 - And looking backward with a wise affright, Saw seams of wounds dishonest to the sight, In contemplation of whose ugly scars, They cursed the memory of civil wars...
Page 138 - Than a successive title, long and dark, Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah's ark.
Page 133 - Refuse his age the needful hours of rest? Punish a body which he could not please, Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease ? And all to leave what with his toil he won To that unfeathered two-legged thing, a son. Got, while his soul did huddled notions try, And born a shapeless lump, like anarchy.