Lives (Google eBook)

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Samuel Johnson
A. Miller, 1800 - English poetry
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Page 565 - Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense : Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows ; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar : When Ajax strives some rock's vast- weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow ; Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Page 559 - Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope.
Page 11 - Nor was the sublime more within their reach than the pathetic; for they never attempted that comprehension and expanse of thought which at once fills the whole mind, and of which the first effect is sudden astonishment, and the second rational admiration. Sublimity is produced by aggregation, and littleness by dispersion. Great thoughts are always general, and consist in positions not limited by exceptions, and in descriptions not descending to minuteness.
Page 82 - I am now to examine Paradise Lost ; a poem, which, considered with respect to design, may claim the first place, and with respect to performance the second, among the productions of the human mind.
Page 218 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony This universal frame began ; When Nature underneath a heap Of jarring atoms lay, And could not heave her head, The tuneful voice was heard from high, Arise, ye more than dead.
Page 559 - ... nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration ; when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment happened to supply, and, when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind ; for, when he had no pecuniary interest, he had no further solicitude.
Page 205 - There was therefore before the time of Dryden no poetical diction : no system of words at once refined from the grossness of domestic use and free from the harshness of terms appropriated to particular arts.
Page 524 - Pope's excavation was requisite as an entrance to his garden, and, as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage.
Page 36 - His spear, to equal which, the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great ammiral, were but a wand...
Page 560 - ... is cold, and knowledge is inert ; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates;- the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred that of this poetical...

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