The lives of the English poets

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Page 26 - His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find.
Page 113 - was particular in this writer, that, when he had taken his resolution, or made his plan for what he designed to write, he would walk about a room, and dictate it into language, with as much freedom and ease as any one could write it down, and attend to the coherence and grammar of what he dictated.
Page 26 - At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found — with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life ; with Dr. James, whose skill in physic will be long remembered ; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend. But what are the hopes of man ? I am disappointed by that stroke of death which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
Page 184 - ... clash of wit, in which nothing flows necessarily from the occasion, or is dictated by nature. The characters both of men and women are either fictitious and artificial, as those of Heartwell and the Ladies; or easy and common, as Wittol a tame idiot, Bluff a swaggering coward, and Fondlewife a jealous puritan; and the catastrophe arises from a mistake not very probably produced, by marrying a woman in a mask.
Page 193 - Looking tranquillity ! It strikes an awe And terror on my aching sight ; the tombs And monumental caves of death look cold, And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart. Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice; Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear Thy voice — my own affrights me with its echoes.
Page 110 - He taught us how to live ; and, oh ! too high The price of knowledge, taught us how to die.
Page 144 - His prose is the model of the middle style ; on grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not grovelling, pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent elaboration ; always equable, and always easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences.
Page 296 - Performance, he was without Lodging, and often without Meat ; nor had he any other Conveniences for Study than the Fields or the Streets allowed him, there he used to walk and form his Speeches, and afterwards step into a Shop, beg for a few Moments the Use of the Pen and Ink, and write down what he had composed upon Paper which he had picked up by Accident.
Page 144 - outsteps the modesty of nature," nor raises merriment or wonder by the violation of truth. His figures neither divert by distortion, nor amaze by aggravation. He copies life with so much fidelity, that he can...
Page 99 - He wrote, as different exigencies required (in 1707), the Present State of the War, and the necessity of an augmentation...

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