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

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126 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. I am sure I like it better than I did before, and so will every man else. I know I meant just what you explain ; but I did not explain my own meaning so well as you. You understand me as well as I do myself; but you express me better than I could express myself.
267 ページ - He had employed his mind chiefly upon works of fiction and subjects of fancy, and by indulging some peculiar habits of thought was eminently delighted with those flights of imagination which pass the bounds of nature, and to which the mind is reconciled only by a passive acquiescence in popular traditions. He loved fairies, genii, giants, and monsters; he delighted to rove through the meanders of enchantment, to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, to repose by the waterfalls of Elysian gardens.
178 ページ - 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 th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
184 ページ - Bentley, who had purposely avoided saying any thing about Homer, pretended not to understand him, and asked, ' Books ! books ! what books ?' — ' My Homer,' replied Pope, ' which you did me the honour to subscribe for.' — ' Oh,' said Bentley, ' ay, now I recollect — your translation : — it is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope ; but you must not call it Homer.
379 ページ - Churchyard" abounds with images which find a mirror in every mind, and with sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo. The four stanzas, beginning "Yet even these bones," are to me original; I have never seen the notions in any other place, yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them. Had Gray written often thus, it had been vain to blame and useless to praise him.
388 ページ - I have made public good the rule of my conduct. I never gave counsels which I did not at the time think the best. I have seen that I was sometimes in the wrong, but I did not err designedly. I have endeavoured, in private life, to do all the good in my power, and never for a moment could indulge malicious or unjust designs upon any person whatsoever.
236 ページ - The great defect of The Seasons is want of method; but for this I know not that there was any remedy. Of many appearances subsisting all at once, no rule can be given why one should be mentioned before another ; yet the memory wants the help of order, and the curiosity is not excited by suspense or expectation. His diction is in the highest degree florid and luxuriant, such as may be said to be to his images and thoughts " both their lustre and their shade:" such as invest them with splendour, through...
284 ページ - As — she may not be fond to resign. 1 have found out a gift for my fair, I have found where the wood-pigeons breed ; But let me that plunder forbear : She will say 'twas a barbarous deed.
147 ページ - Bolingbroke, however, was not yet satisfied ; his thirst of vengeance efccited him to blast the memory of the man over whom he had wept in his last struggles; and he employed Mallet, another friend of Pope, to tell the tale to the public with all its aggravations. Warburton, whose heart was warm with his legacy, and tender by the recent separation...
379 ページ - In the character of his Elegy I rejoice to concur with the common reader ; for by the common sense of readers, uncorrupted with literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours.

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