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Page 112 - Studies of men, nothing may be sooner obtain'd, than this vicious abundance of Phrase, this trick of Metaphors, this volubility of Tongue, which makes so great a noise in the World. But I spend words in vain ; for the evil is now so inveterate, that it is hard to know whom to blame, or where to begin to reform. We all value one another so much, upon this beautiful deceipt; and labour so long after it, in the years of our education: that we cannot but ever after think kinder of it, than it deserves.
Page 53 - The University had, at that time, many Members of its own, who had begun A free way of reasoning; and was also frequented by some Gentlemen, of Philosophical Minds, whom the misfortunes of the Kingdom, and the security and ease of a retirement amongst Gown-men, had drawn thither.
Page 41 - The Truth is, it has been hitherto a little too carelessly handled, and, I think, has had less labor spent about its 1 5 polishing then it deserves. Till the time of King Henry the Eighth, there was scarce any man regarded it but Chaucer, and nothing was written in it which one would be willing to read twice but some of his Poetry, But then it began to raise it self a little, and to sound tolerably well.
Page 113 - They have therefore been most rigorous in putting in execution, the only Remedy, that can be found for this extravagance: and that has been, a constant Resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men deliver'd so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking...
Page 112 - Who can behold, without indignation, how many mists and uncertainties, these specious Tropes and Figures have brought on our Knowledg? How many rewards, which are due to more profitable, and difficult Arts, have been still snatch'd away by the easie vanity of fine speaking?
Page 150 - ... They purpose the trial of all manner of operations by Fire. . They resolve to restore, to enlarge, to examine Physick. . . . They have bestowed much consideration on the propagation of Fruits and trees. . . . They have principally consulted the Advancement of Navigation. . . . They have employed much Time in examining the Fabrick of Ships, the forms of their sails, the shapes of their keels, the sorts of Timber, the planting of Fir, the bettering of pitch and Tar and Tackling. The design included...
Page 111 - ... the naked Innocence of vertue, would be upon all occasions expos'd to the armed Malice of the wicked. This is the chief reason, that should now keep up the Ornaments of speaking, in any request: since they are so much degenerated from their original usefulness. They were at first, no doubt, an admirable Instrument in the hands of Wise Men: when they were...
Page 43 - By many signs 10 we may ghess that the Wits of our Nation are not inferior to any other, and that they have an excellent mixture of the Spirit of the French and the Spaniard; and I am confident that we only want a few more standing Examples, and a little more familiarity with the Antients, to excel all 1 5 the Moderns.
Page 58 - This custom was observed once, if not twice, a week in term time, till they were scattered by the miserable distractions of that fatal year, till the continuance of their meetings there might have made them run the hazard of the fate of Archimedes: for then the place of their meeting was made a quarter for soldiers.