Eighteenth century essays on Shakespeare: ed. by D. Nichol Smith, M. A. (Google eBook)

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David Nichol Smith
J. MacLehose and Sons, 1903 - 358 pages
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Page 12 - All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits, and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms...
Page 22 - ... 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; wherein he flowed with that facility, that sometimes it was necessary he should be stopped: Sufflaminandus erat, as Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power, would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things, could not escape laughter: as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him, "Caesar thou...
Page 247 - I'll smell it on the tree. [Kissing her. O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade Justice to break her sword ! One more, one more. Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, And love thee after : One more, and this the last : So sweet was ne'er so fatal.
Page 128 - 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 323 - The style of Dryden is capricious and varied ; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind ; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation ; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and levelled by the roller.
Page 115 - Yet his real power is not shown in the splendour of particular passages, but by the progress of his fable, and, the tenor of his dialogue; and he that tries to recommend him by select quotations, will succeed like the pedant in Hierocles, who, when he offered his house to sale, carried a brick in his pocket as a specimen.
Page 344 - Lastly, I would inform you, that this book, in all numbers, is not the same with that which was acted on the public stage ; wherein a second pen had good share...
Page 123 - It may be observed that in many of his plays the latter part is evidently neglected. When he found himself near the end of his work, and in view of his reward, he shortened the labour to snatch the profit. He therefore remits his efforts where he should most vigorously exert them, and his catastrophe is improbably produced or imperfectly represented.
Page 84 - For, wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy...
Page xix - ... there is more beauty in the works of a great genius, who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.

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