The British Plutarch: Containing the Lives of the Most Eminent Statesmen, Patriots, Divines, Warriors, Philosophers, Poets, and Artists, of Great Britain and Ireland, from the Accession of Henry VIII. to the Present Time. Including a Complete History of England from that Area, Volume 2
Charles Dilly, 1791 - Great Britain
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Page 277 - There is, however, proof enough that he was a very diligent reader, nor was our language then so indigent of books, but that he might very liberally indulge his curiosity without excursion into foreign literature.
Page 36 - Those very qualities, however, which now render his character less amiable, fitted him to be the instrument of Providence for advancing the reformation among a fierce people, and enabled him to face dangers and to surmount opposition, from which a person of a more gentle spirit would have been apt to shrink back.
Page 278 - Shakespeare is, above all writers, at least above all modern writers, the poet of nature; the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirror of manners and of life. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places, unpractised by the rest of the world ; by the peculiarities of studies or professions, which can operate but upon small numbers; or by the accidents of transient fashions or temporary opinions : they are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as the world...
Page 279 - In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual ; in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species.
Page 266 - The English have only to boast of Spenser and Milton, who neither of them wanted either genius or learning to have been perfect poets; and yet both of them are liable to many censures.
Page 277 - Latin sufficiently to make him acquainted with construction, but that he never advanced to an easy perusal of the Roman authors. Concerning his skill in modern languages, I can find no sufficient...
Page 266 - The original of every knight was then living in the court of Queen Elizabeth, and he attributed to each of them that virtue which he thought was most conspicuous in them - an ingenious piece of flattery, though it turned not much to his account.
Page 253 - Not many years after, Buchanan undertook the same work ; and if his accuracy and impartiality had been, in any degree, equal to the elegance of his taste, and to the purity and vigour of his style, his history might be placed on a level with the most admired compositions of the ancients. But, instead of rejecting the improbable tales of chronicle writers, he was at the utmost pains to adorn them ; and hath clothed, with all the beauties and graces...
Page 262 - Through pathless fields, and unfrequented floods, To dens of dragons and enchanted woods. But now the mystic tale, that pleased of yore, Can charm an understanding age no more; The long-spun allegories fulsome grow, While the dull moral lies too plain below.