The Gallery of Portraits: With Memoirs ... (Google eBook)

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Charles Knight, 1833 - Biography
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Page 45 - Let not our veneration for Milton forbid us to look with some degree of merriment on great promises and small performance, on the man who hastens home, because his countrymen are contending for their liberty, and, when he reaches the scene of action, vapours away his patriotism in a private boarding-school.
Page 104 - For God's sake learn Italian as fast as you can, if it be only to read Ariosto. There is more good poetry in Italian than in all other languages that I understand put together.
Page 51 - Thus much I should perhaps have said though I were sure I should have spoken only to trees and stones; and had none to cry to, but with the Prophet, O earth, earth, earth!
Page 135 - ... equal to the elegance of his taste, and to the purity and vigour of his style, his history might be placed on a level with the most admired compositions of the ancients. But, instead of rejecting the improbable tales of chronicle writers, he was at the utmost pains to adorn them ; and hath clothed, with all the beauties and graces of fiction, those legends, which formerly had only its wildness and extravagance.
Page 105 - I have, or think I have, totally subdued that passion. I have still as much vanity as ever, which is a happier passion by far, because great reputation, I think, I may acquire and keep ; great situations I never can acquire, nor, if acquired, keep, without making sacrifices that I will never make.
Page 110 - In private life he was gentle, modest, placable, kind, of simple manners, and so averse from parade and dogmatism, as to be not only unostentatious, but even somewhat inactive in conversation. His superiority was never felt but in the instruction which he imparted, or in the attention which his generous preference usually directed to the more obscure members of the company. The simplicity of his manners was far from excluding that perfect urbanity...
Page 60 - This will be the fame of Watt with future generations : and it is sufficient for his race and his country. But to those to whom he more immediately belonged, who...
Page 84 - Newton about some difficulties he had met with. Newton communicated to him a treatise De Motu Corporum, which afterwards, with some additions, formed the first two books of the Principia. Even then Halley found it difficult to persuade him to communicate the treatise to the Royal Society, but he finally did so in April, 1686, with a desire that it should not immediately be published, as there were yet many things to complete. Hooke, whose unwearied ingenuity had guessed at the true law of gravity,...
Page 51 - A slighter pamphlet on the same subject, ' Brief Notes' upon a sermon by one Dr. Griffiths, must be supposed to be written rather with a religious purpose of correcting a false application of sacred texts, than with any great expectation of benefiting his party. Dr. Johnson, with unseemly violence, says, that he kicked when he could strike no longer : more justly it might be said that he held up a solitary hand of protestation on behalf of that cause now in its expiring struggles, which he had maintained...
Page 112 - The measures which he supported or opposed may divide the opinion of posterity, as they have divided those of the present age. But he will most certainly command the unanimous reverence of future generations, by his pure sentiments towards the commonwealth, by his zeal- for the civil and religious rights of all men, by his liberal principles, favourable to mild government, to the unfettered exercise of the human faculties, and the progressive civilization of mankind; by his ardent love for a country...

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