Biographical Sketches of Eminent British Poets: Chronologically Arranged from Chaucer to Burns, with Criticisms on Their Work, Selected from the Most Distinguished Writers
A. Thom & Sons, 1857 - English poetry - 508 pages
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admired affection afterwards appeared beautiful became biographers born brought called celebrated character church circumstances composed composition critical death delight described died distinguished Dryden early edition England English essays excellence expression fame father feeling genius give given heart human imagination interesting Italy Johnson labours language learned less letters literary literature lived London Lord manners means merits Milton mind moral nature never object observes obtained opinion original period pieces poem poet poetical poetry political Pope popular possessed praise present productions prose published reader received referred religious remained remarkable respect Review says selected Shakspeare sketch soon spirit style talents taste thing thought tion took truth University various verse volume writer written wrote young
Page 60 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid ; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him...
Page 460 - Twas thine own genius gave the final blow, And help'd to plant the wound that laid thee low • So the struck eagle, stretch'd upon the plain, No more through rolling clouds to soar again, View'd his own feather on the fatal dart, And wing'd the shaft that...
Page 60 - All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously but luckily: when he describes anything you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning, give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read Nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.
Page 361 - And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade; Unfit in these degenerate times of shame To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried, My shame in crowds, my solitary pride; Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so; Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel, Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Page 312 - Is not a patron, My Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help?
Page 281 - 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, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight.
Page 333 - Perhaps he was the most learned man in Europe. He was equally acquainted with the elegant and profound parts of science, and that not superficially, but thoroughly. He knew every branch of history, both natural and civil; had read all the original historians of England, France, and Italy; and was a great antiquarian. Criticism, metaphysics, morals, politics, made a principal part of his study; voyages and travels of all sorts were his favourite amusements; and he had a fine taste in painting, prints,...
Page 184 - Who now reads Cowley ? if he pleases yet, His moral pleases, not his pointed wit: Forgot his Epic, nay Pindaric art, But still I love the language of his heart.
Page 218 - So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much; He is a great observer and he looks Quite through the deeds of men; he loves no plays, As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music; Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit That could be moved to smile at any thing.