The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden: Now First Collected: with Notes and Illustrations; an Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, Grounded on Original and Authentick Documents; and a Collection of His Letters, the Greater Part of which Has Never Before Been Published, Volume 1, Issue 2
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The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden: Now First ...
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Page 99 - All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them, not laboriously, but luckily; when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards and found her there.
Page 102 - As for Jonson, to whose character I am now arrived, if we look upon him while he was himself (for his last plays were but his dotages) , I think him the most learned and judicious writer which any theatre ever had. He was a most severe judge of himself, as well as others. One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it.
Page 282 - ... saw before him. He knew that any other passion, as it was regular or exorbitant, was a cause of happiness or calamity. Characters thus ample and general were not easily discriminated and preserved; yet perhaps no poet ever kept his personages more distinct from each other. I will not say with Pope, that every speech may be assigned to the proper speaker...
Page 181 - Delusion, if delusion be admitted, has no certain limitation; if the spectator can be once persuaded, that his old acquaintance are Alexander and Caesar, that a room illuminated with candles is the plain of Pharsalia, or the bank of Granicus, he is in a state of elevation above the reach of reason, or of truth, and from the heights of empyrean poetry, may despise the circumscriptions of terrestrial nature.
Page 85 - A continued gravity keeps the spirit too much bent; we must refresh it sometimes, as we bait in a journey, that we may go on with greater ease.
Page 101 - Beaumont's death ; and they understood and imitated the conversation of gentlemen much better ; whose wild debaucheries, and quickness of wit in repartees, no poet before them could paint as they have done. Humour, which Ben Jonson derived from particular persons, they made it not their business to describe ; they represented all the passions very lively, but above all, love.
Page 294 - And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along. DUCH. Alas, poor Richard! where rides he the whilst? YORK. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious : Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God save him...
Page 82 - But, like a ball of fire, the further thrown, Still with a greater blaze she shone, And her bright soul broke out on every side.
Page 32 - The drift of the ensuing discourse is chiefly to vindicate the honour of our English writers from the censure of those who unjustly prefer the French before them. This I intimate, lest any should think me so exceeding vain, as to teach others an art, which they understand much better than myself.