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Page 249 - I loved the man, and do honour his memory on this side idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature ; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility that sometimes it was necessary he should be stopped.
Page 249 - I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out line. My answer hath been, 'Would he had blotted a thousand'; which they thought a malevolent speech.
Page 249 - Sufflaminandus erat, as Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power, would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things, could not escape laughter : as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him,
Page 252 - But his learned and able (though unfortunate) successor, is he who hath filled up all numbers, and performed that in our tongue, which may be compared or preferred either to insolent Greece, or haughty Rome.
Page 247 - Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were To see thee in our waters yet appear, And make those flights upon the banks of Thames, That so did take Eliza, and our James!
Page 247 - THIS Figure, that thou here seest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the Graver had a strife With Nature, to out-doo the life: O, could he but have drawne his wit As well in brasse, as he hath hit His face; the Print would then surpasse All, that was ever writ in brasse. But, since he cannot, Reader, looke Not on his Picture, but his Booke.
Page 246 - Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. He was not of an age, but for all time! And all the Muses still were in their prime When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm! Nature herself was proud of his designs And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines!
Page 249 - As he dare serve th' ill customs of the age, Or purchase your delight at such a rate, As for it he himself must justly hate; — To make a child, now swaddled, to proceed Man, and then shoot up, in one beard and...
Page 247 - This figure, that thou here seest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut; Wherein the graver had a strife With Nature, to out-do the life : O could he but have drawn his wit As well in brass, as he hath hit His face ; the print would then surpass All that was ever writ in brass. But since he cannot, reader, look Not on his picture, but his book.