The Rambler: In Four Volumes, Volume 1

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W. Strahan [and 21 others], 1784 - English essays
 

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Page 194 - The cure for the greatest part of human miseries is not radical, but palliative. Infelicity is involved in corporeal nature, and interwoven with our being ; all attempts therefore to decline it wholly are useless and vain : the armies of pain send their arrows against us on every side ; the choice is only between those which are more or less sharp, or tinged with poison of greater or less malignity ; and the strongest armour which reason can supply, will only blunt their points, but cannot repel...
Page 20 - The same kind, though not the same degree of caution, is required in every thing which is laid before them, to secure them from unjust prejudices, perverse opinions, and incongruous combinations of images. In the romances formerly written, every transaction and sentiment was so remote from all that passes among men, that the reader was in very little danger of making any applications to himself...
Page 261 - All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance; it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united with canals.
Page 19 - Why this wild strain of imagination found reception so long in polite and learned ages, it is not easy to conceive, but we cannot wonder that while readers could be procured, the authors were willing to continue it ; for when a man had by practice gained some fluency of language, he had no further care than to retire to his closet, let loose his invention, and heat his mind with incredibilities ; a book was thus produced without fear of criticism, without the toil of study, without knowledge of nature,...
Page 264 - She was dressed in black, her skin was contracted into a thousand wrinkles, her eyes deep sunk in her head, and her complexion pale and livid as the countenance of death. Her looks were filled with terror and unrelenting severity, and her hands armed with whips and scorpions.
Page 233 - He whom the wantonness of abundance has once softened, easily sinks into neglect of his affairs; and he that thinks he can afford to be negligent, is not far from being poor.
Page 19 - 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 13 - 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 250 - Happy the man - and happy he alone He who can call today his own, He who, secure within, can say 'Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have...
Page 18 - The works of fiction with which the present generation seems more particularly delighted are such as exhibit life in its true state, diversified only by accidents that daily happen in the world, and influenced by passions and qualities which are really to be found in conversing with mankind.

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