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Page 35 - The metaphysical poets were men of learning, and to show their learning was their whole endeavour; but, unluckily resolving to show it in rhyme, instead of writing poetry they only wrote verses, and very often such verses as stood the trial of the finger better than of the ear; for the modulation was so imperfect, that they were only found to be verses, by counting the syllables.
Page 36 - ... wrote rather as beholders than partakers of human nature ; as beings looking upon good and evil, impassive and at leisure ; as Epicurean deities making remarks on the actions of men, and the vicissitudes of life, without interest and without emotion.
Page 35 - If the father of criticism has rightly denominated poetry, an imitative art, these writers will, without great wrong, lose their right to the name of poets for they cannot be said to have imitated any thing; they neither copied nature nor life; neither painted the forms of matter, nor represented the operations of intellect.
Page 36 - What they wanted however of the sublime, they endeavoured to supply by hyperbole; their amplification had no limits; they left not only reason but fancy behind them; and produced combinations of confused magnificence, that not only could not be credited, but could not be imagined.
Page 37 - This kind of writing, which was, I believe borrowed from Marino and his followers, had been recommended by the example of Donne, a man of very extensive and various knowledge ; and by Jonson, whose manner resembled that of Donne more in the ruggedness of his lines than in the cast of his sentiments.
Page 38 - He has involved in his account of the fall of man the events which preceded and those that were to follow it : he has interwoven the whole system of theology with such propriety that every part appears to be necessary; and scarcely any recital is wished shorter for the sake of quickening the progress of the main action.
Page 360 - Then the lord chancellor, by his majefty's command, faid : My lords, and gentlemen, It is his majefty's royal will and pleafure, that this parliament be prorogued to Tuefday, the fifth day of September next, to be then here holden ; and this parliament is accordingly prorogued to the fifth day of September next.
Page 161 - ... by the help of the fat of hogs, has covered the whole with flour, laid on by a machine with the utmost regularity; if, when thus attired, he issues forth, and meets a Cherokee Indian, who has bestowed as much time at his toilet, and laid on with equal care and attention his yellow and red ochre on particular parts of his forehead or cheeks, as he judges most becoming...
Page 44 - Paradise Lost is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure.
Page 35 - If, by a more noble and more adequate conception, that be considered as wit which is at once natural and new; that which, though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just; if it be that which he that never found it wonders how he missed; to wit of this kind the metaphysical poets have seldom risen.