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Page 340 - He was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul. All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily: when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too.
Page 248 - That the dead are seen no more," said Imlac, " I will not undertake to maintain, against the concurrent and unvaried testimony of all ages, and of all nations. There is no people, rude or learned, among whom apparitions of the dead are not related and believed. This opinion, which perhaps prevails as far as human nature is diffused, could become universal only by its truth : those, that never heard of one another, would not have agreed in a tale which nothing but experience can make credible. That...
Page 55 - Secure whate'er He gives, He gives the best. Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will...
Page 85 - CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine, As on we toil from day to day, By sudden blasts, or slow decline, Our social comforts drop away. Well tried through many a varying year, See LEVET to the grave descend; Officious, innocent, sincere, Of every friendless name the friend.
Page 53 - Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes, And pause awhile from letters, to be wise; There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail. See nations slowly wise, and meanly just, To buried merit raise the tardy bust. If dreams yet flatter, once again attend, Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.
Page 49 - Has Heaven reserved, in pity to the poor, No pathless waste, or undiscover'd shore? No secret island in the boundless main ? No peaceful desert yet unclaim'd by Spain6? Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore, And bear Oppression's insolence no more.
Page 304 - Dictionary was written with little assistance of the learned, and without any patronage of the great; not in the soft obscurities of retirement, or under the shelter of academic bowers, but amidst inconvenience and distraction, in sickness and in sorrow...
Page 11 - The business of a poet," said Imlac, "is to examine, not the individual, but the species ; to remark general properties and large appearances ; he does not number the streaks of the tulip, or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest.
Page 12 - But the knowledge of nature is only half the task of a poet ; he must be acquainted likewise with all the modes of life. His character requires that he estimate the happiness and misery of every condition ; observe the power of all the passions in all their combinations, and trace the changes of the human mind as they are modified by various institutions and accidental influences of climate or custom, from the sprightliness of infancy to the despondence of decrepitude.
Page 324 - But love is only one of many passions; and as it has no great influence upon the sum of life, it has little operation in the dramas of a poet who caught his ideas from the living world, and exhibited only what he saw before him. He knew that any other passion, as it was regular or exorbitant, was a cause of happiness or calamity.