Letters on Literature, Taste, and Composition: Addressed to His Son, Volume 1

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Phillips, 1808 - Style, Literary
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Page 65 - WE were now treading that illustrious Island, which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish, if it were possible.
Page 171 - Who wickedly is wise, or madly brave, Is but the more a fool, the more a knave. Who noble ends by noble means obtains, Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains, Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed Like Socrates, that man is great indeed. What's fame? a fancied life in others' breath, A thing beyond us, ev'n before our death.
Page 94 - AWAKE, my St John ! leave all meaner things To low ambition, and the pride of kings. Let us (since life can little more supply Than just to look about us and to die...
Page 109 - O thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion, like the god Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads ; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, 0 sun ! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state 1 fell, how glorious once above thy sphere...
Page 170 - I'll tell you, friend! a wise man and a fool. You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk, Or, cobbler-like, the parson will be drunk, Worth makes the man, and want of it, the fellow; The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Page 57 - His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find.
Page 170 - Go ! if your ancient, but ignoble blood Has crept through scoundrels ever since the flood, Go ! and pretend your family is young, Nor own your fathers have been fools so long. What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards ? Alas ! not all the blood of all the Howards. Look next on greatness : say where greatness lies, Where, but among the heroes and the wise...
Page 172 - Csesar with a senate at his heels. In Parts superior what advantage lies? Tell (for You can) what is it to be wise? 'Tis but to know how little can be known; To see all others...
Page 171 - Is hung on high, to poison half mankind. All fame is foreign but of true desert, Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart : One...
Page 199 - Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear : Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village- Hampden, that, with dauntless breast, The little tyrant of his fields withstood, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Th...

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