A Dissertation on Reading the Classics, and Forming a Just Style

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Richard Baldwin, 1753 - Style, Literary - 240 pages
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Page 217 - Nothing can be greater and more lively than his thoughts ; nothing nobler and more forcible than his expression. The fire of his fancy breaks out into his words, and sets his reader on a flame : he...
Page 195 - ... not illustrated by his matter, so mutual a light do his expressions and subject reflect on each other. His diction, though it be pressed and close, is nevertheless great and magnificent, equal to the dignity and importance of his subject.
Page 71 - If a man hath not a clear perception of the matter he undertakes to treat of, be his style never so plain as to the words he uses, it never can be clear ; and if his thoughts upon this subject be never so just and distinct, unless he has a ready command of words, and a faculty of easy writing in plain obvious expressions, the words will perplex...
Page 90 - ... suited to the greatness and dignity of the subject. I have detained you the longer on this majesty of style, being perhaps myself carried away with the greatness and pleasure of the contemplation. What I have dwelt so much on with respect to divine subjects is more easily to be observed...
Page 89 - Latin, have not been able to reach the dignity, the majesty, and solemnity of our prose : so that the prose of scripture cannot be improved by verse, and even the divine poetry is most like itself in prose. One observation more I would leave with you : Milton...
Page 13 - ... excelled. I have argued hitherto for Virgil ; and it will be no wonder that his poem should be more correct in the rules of writing, if that strange opinion prevails, that Homer writ without any view or design at all ; that his poems are loose independent pieces tacked together, and were originally only so many songs or ballads upon the gods and heroes, and the siege of Troy.
Page 95 - Ityle, and a perfeft compofition. All the latitude that can be admitted, is in the ornament of writing ; we do not require every author to mine in gold and jewels : there is a moderation to be ufed in the pomp and trappings of a difcourfe: it is not...
Page 79 - ... of likenesses ; and making it like so many things, that it is like nothing at all. This trifling humour is good for nothing, but to convince us, that the author is in the dark himself; and while he is likening his subject to every thing, he knoweth not what it is like.
Page 181 - That there is something so great, primitive, and apostolical, in his writings, that it creates an awe and veneration in our mind ; that the importance of his subjects is above the decoration of words ; and what is great and majestic in itself looketh most like itself, the less it is adorned.
Page 77 - ... pursue this subject through all the schemes and illustrations of speech : but there are some common forms, which every writer upon every subject may use, to enliven and adorn his work. These are metaphor and similitude: and those images and representations, that are drawn in the strongest and most lively colours, to imprint what the writer would have his readers conceive, more deeply on their minds. In the choice, and in the use of these, your ordinary writers are most apt to offend. Images are...

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