The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, Volume 10

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Page vii - Poem raises such admiration of the Poet as his hath done, though not so great admiration of the persons he 30 introduceth. And though it be the mark of a great Wit, yet it is fitter for a Rhetorician than a Poet, and rebelleth often against Discretion...
Page v - ... somewhat else that is more obedient to such laws and no less fit for his purpose, shall not be, neither by the measure nor by the necessity of rhyme, excused; though a translation often may.
Page iv - ... Also the names of Instruments and Tools of Artificers, and words of Art, though of use in the Schools, are far from being fit to be spoken by a Heroe. He may delight in the Arts themselves, and have skill in some of them ; but his Glory lies not in that, but in Courage, 35 Nobility, and other Vertues of Nature, or in the Command he has over other men.
Page x - Images of Shipwracks, Battles, Single Combats, 30 Beauty, Passions of the mind, Sacrifices, Entertainments, > and other things, whereof Virgil (abating what he borrows of Homer} has scarce the twentieth part. It is no wonder therefore if all the ancient Learned men both of Greece and Rome have given the first place in Poetry to Homer. It is...
Page iv - For the order of words, when placed as they ought to be, carries a light before it, whereby a man may foresee the length of his period, as 15 a torch in the night shews a man the stops and unevenness in his way. But when plac'd unnaturally, the Reader will often find unexpected checks, and be forced to go back and hunt for the sense, and suffer such unease, as in a Coach a man unexpectedly finds in passing over a furrow.
Page v - It flies abroad swiftly to fetch in both matter and words; but if there be not discretion at home to distinguish which are fit to be used and which not, which decent and which undecent for .persons, times, and places, their delight and grace is lost*/ But if they be discreetly used, they are greater ornaments tfi a poem by much than any other.
Page vi - Virgil would set before our eyes 15 the fall of Troy, he describes perhaps the whole Labour of many men together in the felling of some great Tree, and with how much ado it fell. This is the Image. To which if you but add these words, So fell Troy...
Page vi - ... in the lightsomness, and is but the description of all, even of the minutest, parts of the thing described ; that not onely they that stand far off, but also they that stand near, and look upon it with the oldest spectacles of a Critique, may approve it. For a Poet is a Painter, and should paint 25 Actions to the understanding with the most decent words, as Painters do Persons and Bodies with the choicest colours to the eye; which, if not done nicely, will not be worthy to be plac'd in a Cabinet.
Page vii - Subject, is nothing but variety, and a thing without which a whole Poem would be no pleasanter than an Epigram, or one good Verse ; nor a Picture of a hundred figures. . better than any one of them asunder, if drawn with equal art. And these are the...
Page iv - Poem is to raise admiration (principally) for three Vertues, Valour, Beauty, and Love; to the reading whereof Women no less than Men have a just pretence, though their skill in Language be not so universal. And therefore forein words till by long use they become vulgar, are unintelligible to them.

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