The British Essayists: With Prefaces, Historical and Biographical, Volume 27

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Page 20 - A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.
Page 18 - A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.
Page 21 - I have to mention, that the late Mr. Strahan the printer told me, that Johnson wrote it, that with the profits he might defray the expense of his mother's funeral, and pay some little debts which she had left. He told Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he composed it in the evenings of one week, sent it to the press in portions as it was written, and had never since read it over.
Page 318 - DISCOURSING in my last letter on the different practice of the Italian and Dutch painters, I observed, that " the Italian painter attends " only to the invariable, the great and general " ideas which are fixed and inherent in universal " nature." I was led into the subject of this letter by endeavouring to fix the original cause of this conduct of the Italian masters. If it can be proved that by this choice they selected the most beautiful part of the creation, it will...
Page 308 - This, says he, is esteemed the most excellent of all the Cartoons : what nobleness, what dignity there is in that figure of St. Paul ! and yet what an addition to that nobleness could Raffaelle have given, had the art of Contrast been known in his time ; but above all, the flowing line, which constitutes Grace and Beauty. You would not then...
Page 181 - The trade of advertising is now so near to perfection, that it is not easy to propose any improvement. But as every art ought to be exercised in due subordination to the public good, I cannot but propose it as a moral question to these masters of the public ear, Whether they do not sometimes play too wantonly with our passions?
Page 216 - The ambition of superior sensibility and superior eloquence disposes the lovers of arts to receive, rapture at one time, and communicate it at another ; and each labours first to impose upon himself, and then to propagate the imposture.
Page 210 - Tom's head, is so near to nothing, that what it once was cannot be discovered. This he carries round from friend to friend through a circle of visits, till, hearing what each says upon the question, he becomes able at dinner to say a little himself; and, as every great genius relaxes himself among his inferiors, meets with some who wonder how so young a man can talk so wisely.
Page 190 - ... by unremitted vigilance of caution, and activity of virtue. The duties required of man are such as human nature does not willingly perform, and such as those are inclined to delay who yet intend some time to fulfil them. It was therefore necessary that this universal reluctance should be counteracted...
Page 98 - To be idle and to be poor, have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavours, with his utmost care, to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.

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