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Page 26 - In the first place, as he is the father of English poetry, so I hold him in the same degree of veneration as the Grecians held Homer or the Romans Virgil...
Page 26 - There was plenty enough, but the dishes were ill sorted; whole pyramids of sweetmeats for boys and women but little of solid meat for men. All this proceeded not from any want of knowledge, but of judgment. Neither did he want that in discerning the beauties and faults of other poets, but only...
Page 13 - Tis with a poet as with a man who designs to build, and is very exact, as he supposes, in casting up the cost beforehand ; but, generally speaking, he is mistaken in his account, and reckons short...
Page 42 - I will only say, that it was not for this noble Knight that I drew the plan of an epic poem on King Arthur, in my preface to the translation of Juvenal. The Guardian Angels of kingdoms were machines too ponderous for him to manage...
Page 31 - The matter and manner of their tales, and of their telling, are so suited to their different educations, humours, and callings that each of them would be improper in any other mouth.
Page 269 - 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. To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard : Wrapp'd in his crimes, against the storm prepared ; But when the milder beams of mercy play, He melts, and throws his cumbrous cloak
Page 151 - ... at hand : they rear'd him from the ground, And from his cumbrous arms his limbs unbound ; Then lanced a vein, and watch'd returning breath ; It came, but clogg'd with symptoms of his death.
Page 28 - We can only say that he lived in the infancy of our poetry, and that nothing is brought to perfection at the first. We must be children before we grow men. There was an Ennius, and in process of time a Lucilius and a Lucretius, before Virgil and Horace...
Page 19 - Homer was rapid in his thoughts, and took all the liberties, both of numbers and of expressions, which his language, and the age in which he lived, allowed him. Homer's invention was more copious, Virgil's more confined; so that if Homer had not led the way, it was not in Virgil to have begun heroic poetry; for nothing can be more evident than that the Roman poem is but the second part of the Ilias ; a continuation of the same story, and the persons already formed.