The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL. D.: Lives of the poets

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248 ページ - Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied, that of Pope is cautious and uniform; Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind, Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle.
26 ページ - 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.
116 ページ - At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found — with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life ; with Dr. James, whose skill in...
39 ページ - Among the flocks, and copses and flowers, appear the heathen deities ; Jove and Phoebus, Neptune and jEolus, with a long train of mythological imagery, such as a college easily supplies. Nothing can less display knowledge or less exercise invention, than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion, and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge of his skill in piping ; and how one god asks another god what has become of Lycidas, and how neither god can tell. He who thus grieves will excite...
92 ページ - Longinus, on the attestation of the heroes of Marathon, by Demosthenes, fades away before it. In a few lines is exhibited a character so extensive in its comprehension, and so curious in its limitations, that nothing can be added, diminished, or reformed ; nor can the editors and admirers of...
255 ページ - After all this it is surely superfluous to answer the question that has once been asked, whether Pope was a poet? otherwise than by asking in return, if Pope be not a poet, where is poetry to be found? To circumscribe poetry by a definition will only show the narrowness of the definer, though a definition which shall exclude Pope will not easily be made.
9 ページ - On a round ball A workman, that hath copies by, can lay An Europe, Afric, and an Asia, And quickly make that, which was nothing, all. So doth each tear, Which thee doth wear, A globe, yea world, by that impression grow, Till thy tears mixt with mine do overflow This world, by waters sent from thee my heaven dissolved so.
238 ページ - ... you have made my system as clear as I ought to have done, and could not. It is indeed the same system as mine, but illustrated with a ray of your own, as they say our natural body is the same still when it is glorified.
144 ページ - It was apparently his principal endeavour to avoid all harshness and severity of diction ; he is therefore sometimes verbose in his transitions and connections, and sometimes descends too much to the language of conversation ; yet if his language had been less idiomatical, it might have lost somewhat of its genuine Anglicism. What he attempted, he performed ; he is never feeble, and he did not wish to be energetic ; he is never rapid, and he never stagnates. His sentences have neither studied amplitude,...
42 ページ - The appearances of nature, and the occurrences of life, did not satiate his appetite of greatness. To paint things as they are, requires a minute attention, and employs the memory rather than the fancy. Milton's delight was to sport in the wide regions of possibility; reality was a scene too narrow for his mind. He sent his faculties out upon discovery, into worlds where only imagination can travel, and delighted to form new modes of existence, and furnish sentiment and action to superior beings,...

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