The British Essayists: With Prefaces, Historical and Biographical, Volume 1

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Page 358 - And let those, that play your clowns, speak no more than is set down for them : for there be of them, that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too ; though, in the mean time, some necessary question}: of the play be then to be considered : that's villainous ; and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.
Page 357 - Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus ; but use all gently ; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness.
Page 358 - ... accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
Page 8 - Congreve was not tenable : whatever glosses he might use for the defence or palliation of single passages, the general tenour and tendency of his plays must always be condemned. It is acknowledged, with universal conviction, that the perusal of his works will make no man better; and that their ultimate effect is to represent pleasure in alliance with vice, and to relax those obligations by which life ought to be regulated.
Page 16 - The freaks, and humours, and spleen, and vanity of women, as they embroil families in discord, and fill houses with disquiet, do more to obstruct the happiness of life in a year than the ambition of the clergy in many centuries.
Page 73 - The general purpose of the whole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honour, and virtue, as the chief ornaments of life ; but I considered, that severity of manners was absolutely necessary to him who would censure others, and for that reason, and that only, chose to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my humility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but at the same time must confess, my life is at best but pardonable.
Page 29 - Hero, with a design principally to fix upon his own mind a strong impression of virtue and religion, in opposition to a stronger propensity towards unwarrantable pleasures.
Page 185 - Glaz'd over, in the freezing ether shine. The frighted birds the rattling branches shun, That wave and glitter in the distant sun. When if a sudden gust of wind arise, The brittle forest into atoms flies...
Page 4 - To teach the minuter decencies and inferior duties, to regulate the practice of daily conversation, to correct those depravities which are rather ridiculous than criminal, and remove those grievances which, if they produce no lasting calamities, impress hourly vexation...
Page 11 - I must confess I am amazed that the press should be only made use of in this way by news-writers, and the zealots of parties : as if it were not more advantageous to mankind, to be instructed in wisdom and virtue, than in politics ; and to be made good fathers, husbands, and sons, than counsellors and statesmen.

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