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able advantage appear attention beauty believe body bring called cause common conduct consider continual conversation danger desire discover easily effects employed endeavour equally excellence expected experience eyes fame favour fear follow folly force formed fortune frequently friends future gain genius give hands happen happiness heart honour hope human imagination importance indulge influence interest keep kind knowledge known labour lady learning least less letters light lives look mankind manner means ment mind nature necessary neglect never Numb objects observation once opinion ourselves pain passions performances perhaps person pleasing pleasure present produce raise reason received reflection regard rest secret seems servant sometimes soon success suffer sure tell thing thought tion told truth turn understanding vice virtue write young
Page 19 - The task of an author is, either to teach what is not known, or to recommend known truths, by his manner of adorning them; either to let new light in upon the mind, and open new scenes to the prospect, or to vary the dress and situation of common objects, so as to give them fresh grace and more powerful attractions...
Page 33 - Many writers, for the sake of following nature, so mingle good and bad qualities in their principal personages, that they are both equally conspicuous ; and as we accompany them through their adventures with delight, and are led by degrees to interest ourselves in their favour, we lose the abhorrence of their faults, because they do not hinder our pleasure, or, perhaps, regard them with some kindness, for being united with so much merit.
Page 28 - The task of our present writers is very different; it requires, together with that learning which is to be gained from books, that experience which can never be attained by solitary diligence, but must arise from general converse, and accurate observation of the living world.
Page 18 - ... or corrupted by prejudices, which preclude their approbation of any new performance. Some are too indolent to read any thing, till its reputation is established ; others too envious to promote that fame which gives them pain by its increase.
Page 33 - There have been men indeed splendidly wicked, whose endowments threw a brightness on their crimes, and whom scarce any...
Page 76 - ... succour old age with subsidiary sight. Thus was the first artificer in glass employed, though without his own knowledge or expectation. He was facilitating and prolonging the enjoyment of light, enlarging the avenues of science, and conferring the highest and most lasting pleasures ; he was enabling the student to contemplate nature, and the beauty to behold herself.
Page 32 - If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind, as upon a mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination.
Page 30 - ... all that passes among men, that the reader was in very little danger of making any applications to himself; the virtues and crimes were equally beyond his sphere of activity; and he amused himself with heroes and with traitors, deliverers and persecutors, as with beings of another species, whose actions were regulated upon motives of their own, and who had neither faults nor excellencies in common with himself.
Page 35 - In narratives where historical veracity has no place, I cannot discover why there should not be exhibited the most perfect idea of virtue ; of virtue not angelical, nor above probability, for what we cannot credit, we shall never imitate, but the highest and purest that humanity can reach...