Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets: Swift. Gay. Broome. Pitt. Parnell. A. Philips. Watts (Google eBook)

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J. Nichols, 1781 - Poets, English
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Page 142 - A Pastoral of an hundred lines may be endured ; but who will hear of sheep and goats, and myrtle bowers, and purling rivulets, through five acts? Such scenes please Barbarians in the dawn of literature, and children in the dawn of life; but will be for the most part thrown away, as men grow wise, and nations grow learned.
Page 223 - But his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topics enforces perpetual repetition, and the sanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well.
Page 21 - What wonderful productions of wit should we be deprived of, from those whose genius by continual practice hath been wholly turned upon raillery and invectives against religion, and would therefore never be able to shine or distinguish themselves upon any other subject. We are daily complaining of the great decline of wit among us, and would we take away the greatest, perhaps the only topic we have left?
Page 131 - Polly, till then obscure, became all at once the favourite of the town; her pictures were engraved, and sold in great numbers; her Life written, books of letters and verses to her published, and pamphlets made even of her sayings and jests. Furthermore, it drove out of England (for that season) the Italian Opera, which had carried all before it for ten years.
Page 209 - Here he dwelt in a family, which, for piety, order, harmony, and every virtue, was a house of God. Here he had the privilege of a country recess, the fragrant bower, the spreading lawn, the flowery garden, and other advantages to...
Page 130 - This piece was received with greater applause than was ever known. Besides being acted in London sixtythree days without interruption, and renewed the next season with equal applause, it spread into all the great towns of England; was played in many places to the thirtieth and fortieth time ; at Bath and Bristol fifty, &c.
Page 166 - ... language was copious without exuberance, exact without constraint, and easy without weakness. What such an author has told, who would tell again? I have made an abstract from his larger narrative; and have this gratification from my attempt, that it gives me an opportunity of paying due tribute to the memory of Goldsmith.
Page 216 - Every man, acquainted with the common principles of human action, will look with veneration on the writer, who is at one time -combating Locke, and at another making a catechism for children in their fourth year. A voluntary descent from the dignity of science is perhaps the hardest lesson that humility can teach.
Page 101 - ... enjoyed by the neglect of those ceremonies which custom has established as the barriers between one order of society and another. This transgression of regularity was by himself and his admirers termed greatness of soul. But a great mind disdains to hold any thing by courtesy, and therefore never usurps what a lawful claimant may take away.
Page 97 - But if you had supped with me, as in all reason you ought to have done, you must then have drank with me.

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