The Works of Samuel Johnson, L. L. D.: In Twelve Volumes, Volume 2

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Hastings, Etheridge and Bliss, 1809
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Page 113 - She should have died hereafter ; There would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death.
Page 142 - ... he carries his persons indifferently through right and wrong, and at the close dismisses them without further care, and leaves their examples to operate by chance. This fault the barbarity of his age cannot extenuate; for it is always a writer's duty to make the world better, and justice is a virtue independent on time or place.
Page 130 - The Poet, of whose works I have undertaken the revision, may now begin to assume the dignity of an ancient, and claim the privilege of established fame and prescriptive veneration. He has long outlived his century, the term commonly fixed as the test of literary merit.
Page 135 - ... the real state of sublunary nature, which partakes of good and evil, joy and sorrow, mingled with endless variety of proportion and innumerable modes of combination...
Page 88 - Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder, Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf, Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth, Hear not my steps which way they walk, for fear Thy very stones prate of my whereabout And take the present horror from the time, Which now suits with it.
Page 141 - He sacrifices virtue to convenience, and is so much more careful to please than to instruct, that he seems to write without any moral purpose. From his writings, indeed, a system of social duty may be selected, for he that thinks reasonably must think morally...
Page 78 - If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature ? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical *, Shakes so my single state of man, that function Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is, But what is not.
Page 134 - This, therefore, is the praise of Shakespeare that his drama is the mirror of life; that he who has mazed his imagination in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him, may here be cured of his delirious ecstasies, by reading human sentiments in human language...
Page 189 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid, his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him...
Page 136 - That this is a practice contrary to the rules of criticism will be readily allowed; but there is always an appeal open from criticism to nature. The end of writing is to instruct; the end of poetry is to instruct by pleasing.

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