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Page 151 - It is to be regretted that the prose writings of Milton should, in our time, be so little read. As compositions, they deserve the attention of every man who wishes to become acquainted with the full power of the English language. They abound with passages compared with which the finest declamations of Burke sink into insignificance. They are a perfect field of cloth of gold. The style is stiff with gorgeous embroidery. Not even in the earlier books of the
Page 142 - Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart : Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, So didst thou travel on life's common way, In cheerful godliness ; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
Page 282 - This kind of life — the cheerless gloom of A hermit, with the unceasing moil of a galleyslave, brought me to my sixteenth year ; a little before which period I first committed the sin of Rhyme. You know our country custom of coupling a man and woman together as partners in the labours of harvest.
Page 215 - Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel, by divine command, With rising tempests shakes a guilty land (Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed), Calm and serene he drives the furious blast; And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.
Page 252 - It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page, in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains.
Page 165 - Whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style, May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile, Witty, and well employed, and like thy Lord Speaking in parables his slighted word...
Page 202 - Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense: Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
Page 202 - In search of wit, these lose their common sense, And then turn critics in their own defence: Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write, 30 Or with a rival's, or an eunuch's spite.
Page 283 - It needs no effort of imagination,' says he, 'to conceive what the sensations of an isolated set of scholars (almost all either clergymen or professors) must have been in the presence of this big-boned, blackbrowed, brawny stranger, with his great flashing eyes, who, having forced his way among them from the plough-tail at a single stride, manifested in the whole strain of his bearing and conversation a most thorough conviction, that in the society of the most eminent men of his nation he was exactly...