The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper: Including the Series Edited with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, Volume 9

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Alexander Chalmers
J. Johnson, 1810 - English poetry
 

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Page 13 - He is a perpetual fountain of good sense ; learned in all sciences ; and therefore speaks properly on all subjects. As he knew what to say, so he knows also when to leave off; a continence which is practised by few writers, and scarcely by any of the ancients, excepting Virgil and Horace.
Page 9 - Spenser more than once insinuates that the soul of Chaucer was transfused into his body, and that he was begotten by him two hundred years after his decease.
Page 176 - James, whose skill in physick will be long remembered ; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend : but what are the hopes of man ! I am disappointed by that stroke of death, which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.
Page 18 - I shall say the less of Mr. Collier, because in many things he has taxed me justly ; and I have pleaded guilty to all thoughts and expressions of mine, which can be truly argued of obscenity, profaneness, or immorality ; and retract them.
Page 366 - Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard That generous actions meet a base reward. While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds, The changing skies hang out their sable clouds ; A sound in air presag'd approaching rain, And beasts to covert scud across the plain. Warn'd by the signs, the wandering pair retreat To seek for shelter at a neighboring seat.
Page 365 - The seas that roll unnumber'd waves ; The wood that spreads its shady leaves ; The field whose ears conceal the grain, The yellow treasure of the plain ; All of these, and all I see, Should be sung, and sung by me : They speak their maker as they can, But want and ask the tongue of man.
Page 364 - While through their ranks in silver pride The nether crescent seems to glide ! The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe, The lake is smooth and clear beneath, Where once again the spangled show Descends to meet our eyes below. The grounds which on the right aspire, In dimness from the view retire : The left presents a place of graves, Whose wall the silent water laves. That steeple guides thy doubtful sight Among the livid gleams of night. There pass, with melancholy state. By all the solemn heaps...
Page 124 - That servile path thou nobly dost decline Of tracing word by word, and line by line : A new and nobler way thou dost pursue, To make translations, and translators too : They but preserve the ashes, thou the flame, True to his sense, but truer to his fame.
Page 54 - And forced himself to drive, but loved to draw : For Fear but freezes minds ; but Love, like heat, Exhales the soul sublime to seek her native seat.
Page 15 - I know not what answer they could have made ; for that reason, such tale shall be left untold by me. You have here a specimen of Chaucer's language, which is so obsolete, that his sense is scarce to be understood ; and you have likewise more than one example of his unequal numbers, which were mentioned before.