The British Essayists: With Prefaces, Historical and Biographical, Volume 20

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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 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 185 - Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow, At evening a keen eastern breeze arose, And the descending rain unsullied froze. Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew, The ruddy morn...
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 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.
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 357 - Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor: suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end both at the first, and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.
Page 357 - Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue : but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.

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