The lives of the most celebrated English poets, with criticisms extr. from dr. Johnson (Google eBook)

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Page 291 - I loved the man, and do honour his memory, on this side idolatry, as much as any. He was (indeed) honest, and of an open and free nature; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentle expressions...
Page 114 - Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
Page 63 - But of all the borrowers from Homer, Milton is perhaps the least indebted. He was naturally a thinker for himself, confident of his own abilities, and disdainful of help or hindrance : he did not refuse admission to the thoughts or images of his predecessors, but he did not seek them.
Page 252 - In the character of his Elegy I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers uncorrupted with literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours.
Page 78 - Every thing is excused by the play of images and the spriteliness of expression. Though all is easy, nothing is feeble; though all seems careless, there is nothing harsh; and though since his earlier works more than a century has passed they have nothing yet uncouth or obsolete.
Page 309 - For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art, Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart Hath, from the leaves of thy unvalued book, Those Delphic lines with deep impression took; Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving, Dost make us marble, with too much conceiving; And, so sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie, That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
Page 78 - They have not the formality of a settled style, in which the first half of the sentence betrays the other. The clauses are never balanced, nor the periods modelled; every word seems to drop by chance, though it falls into its proper place.
Page 79 - The power that predominated in his intellectual operations was rather strong reason than quick sensibility. Upon all occasions that were presented, he studied rather than felt, and produced sentiments not such as nature enforces, but meditation supplies.
Page 112 - Cato' it has been not unjustly determined, that it is rather a poem in dialogue than a drama, rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant language, than a representation of natural affections, or of any state probable or possible in human life. Nothing here " excites or assuages emotion :" here is " no magical power of raising fantastic terror or wild anxiety.
Page 132 - Looking tranquillity ! It strikes an awe And terror on my aching sight ; the tombs And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart. Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice; Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear Thy voice my own affrights me with its echoes.

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