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 2 (Google eBook)

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T. Cadell, jun. and W. Davies, 1800
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Page 14 - Particularly, the action is so much one, that it is the only of the kind without episode, or underplot ; every scene in the tragedy conducing to the main design, and every act concluding with a turn of it.
Page 24 - We who write, if we want the talent, yet have the excuse that we do it for a poor subsistence; but what can be urged in their defence, who, not having the vocation of poverty to scribble, out of mere wantonness take pains to make themselves ridiculous ? Horace was certainly in the right where he said that no man is satisfied with his own condition.
Page 329 - This, however, is a composition of great excellence in its kind, in which the familiar is very properly diversified with the solemn, and the grave with the humorous; in which metre has neither weakened the force nor clouded the perspicuity of argument. Nor will it be easy to find another example equally happy of this middle kind of writing, which, though prosaic in some parts, rises to high poetry in others, and neither towers to the skies nor creeps along the ground.
Page 23 - Lucan's example was enough to teach them manners; and after he was put to death, for overcoming Nero, the emperor carried it without dispute for the best poet in his dominions. No man was ambitious of that grinning honour ; for if he heard the malicious trumpeter proclaiming his name before his betters, he knew there was but one way with him.
Page 29 - I hope, I may affirm, and without vanity, that, by imitating him, I have excelled myself throughout the play ; and particularly, that I prefer the scene betwixt Antony and Ventidius in the first act, to anything which I have written in this kind.
Page 56 - D'Amboys upon the theatre; but when I had taken up what I supposed a fallen star, I found I had been cozened with a jelly; nothing but a cold, dull mass, which glittered no longer than it was shooting; a dwarfish thought, dressed up in gigantic words, repetition in abundance, looseness of expression, and gross hyperboles; the sense of one line expanded prodigiously into ten; and, to sum up all, uncorrect English, and a hideous mingle of false poetry and true nonsense; or, at best, a scantling of...
Page 483 - What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul...
Page 254 - ... which any poet could desire : I have taken upon me to describe the motives, the beginning, progress, and successes of a most just and necessary war : in it, the care, management, and prudence of our king; the conduct and valour of a royal admiral, and of two incomparable generals; the invincible courage of our captains and seamen; and three glorious victories, the result of all. After this, I have in the Fire the most deplorable, but withal the greatest, argument that can be imagined : the destruction...
Page 152 - I cannot conclude this head of mixed wit without owning that the admirable poet out of whom I have taken the examples of it had as much true wit as any author that ever writ, and indeed all other talents of an extraordinary genius. It may be expected, since I am upon this subject, that I should take notice of Mr.
Page 20 - And is not this a wretched affectation, not to be contented with what fortune has done for them, and sit down quietly with their estates, but they must call their wits in question, and needlessly expose their nakedness to public view?

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