The salon and English letters: chapters on the interrelations of literature and society in the age of Johnson

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The Macmillan Company, 1915 - England - 290 pages
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Page 251 - In short, every summer one lives in a state of mutiny and murmur, and I have found the reason : it is because we will affect to have a summer, and we have no title to any such thing. Our poets learnt . their trade of the Romans, and so adopted the terms of their masters. They talk of shady groves, purling streams, and cooling breezes, and we get sore throats and agues with attempting to realize these visions.
Page 235 - Whatever merit they have, must be imputed, in a great measure, to the education which I may be said to have had under Dr. Johnson. I do not mean to say, though it certainly would be to the credit of these Discourses, if I could say it with truth, that he contributed even a single sentiment to them ; but he qualified my mind to think justly.
Page 60 - Versailles; gives suppers twice a week; has everything new read to her; makes new songs and epigrams, ay, admirably, and remembers every one that has been made these fourscore years. She corresponds with Voltaire, dictates charming letters to him. contradicts him, is no bigot to him or anybody, and laughs both at the clergy and the philosophers.
Page 112 - tis out of pure good humour ; and I take it for granted, they deal exactly in the same manner with me.
Page 50 - There is, however, a real satisfaction in living at Paris, from the great number of sensible, knowing, and polite company with which that city abounds above all places in the universe. I thought once of settling there for life.
Page 107 - On Monday I was at a very great assembly at the Bishop of St. Asaph's. Conceive to yourself one hundred and fifty or two hundred people met together, dressed in the extremity of the fashion ; painted as red as bacchanals ; poisoning the air with perfumes ; treading on each other's gowns ; making the crowd they blame ; not one in ten able to get a chair ; protesting they are engaged to ten other places, and lamenting the fatigue they are not obliged to endure ; ten 'or a dozen card-tables crammed...
Page 119 - Roman vase dressed with pink ribbons and myrtles receives the poetry, which is drawn out every festival; six judges of these Olympic games retire and select the brightest compositions, which the respective successful acknowledge, kneel to Mrs Calliope Miller, kiss her fair hand, and are crowned by it with myrtle, with — I don't know what. You may think this is fiction, or exaggeration.
Page 115 - Then let us study to preserve it so: and while Hope pictures to us a flattering scene of future bliss, let us deny its pencil those colours which are too bright to be lasting. — When hearts deserving happiness would unite their fortunes, Virtue would crown them with an unfading garland of modest hurtless flowers; but ill-judging Passion will force the gaudier rose into the wreath, whose thorn offends them when its leaves are dropped!
Page 119 - Avon, which has been new christened Helicon. Ten years ago there lived a Madam Riggs, an old rough humourist who passed for a wit; her daughter, who passed for nothing, married to a Captain Miller, full of good-natured officiousness. These good folks were friends of Miss Rich,1 who carried me to dine with them at Bath-Easton, now Pindus.
Page 273 - I have often thought, that if I kept a seraglio, the ladies should all wear linen gowns, — or cotton ; I mean stuffs made of vegetable substances. I would have no silk ; you cannot tell when it is clean : It will be very nasty before it is perceived to be so. Linen detects its own dirtiness.

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