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Page v - ... he therefore indulged his natural disposition, and his disposition, as Rymer has remarked, led him to comedy. In tragedy he often writes with great appearance of toil and study, what is written at last with little felicity; but in his comick scenes, he seems to produce without labour, what no labour can improve.
Page viii - Biron they call him ; but a merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour's talk withal : His eye begets occasion for his wit ; For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ; Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) Delivers in such apt and gracious words, That aged ears play truant at his tales, And younger hearings are quite ravished ; So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
Page xl - CONGREVE has merit of the highest kind ; he is an original writer, who borrowed neither the models of his plot, nor the manner of his dialogue.
Page liii - ... and bid him (like Cymon in the fable) grow polite, by falling in love, and let that worthy old gentleman alone, meaning me. The clown was not reformed, but rudely persisted, and offered to force off my mask ; with that the gentleman, throwing off...
Page v - In his tragic scenes there is always something wanting, but his comedy often surpasses expectation or desire. His comedy pleases by the thoughts and the language, and his tragedy for the greater part by incident and action. His tragedy seems to be skill, his comedy to be instinct.
Page lix - If by a more noble and more adequate conception that be considered as wit which is at once natural and new, that which, though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just...
Page xxxii - I hope, since I have but one girl in the world, you won't think me a troublesome old fool, if I endeavour to bestow her to her worth; therefore, if...
Page xxii - Their plots were generally more regular than Shakespeare's, especially those which were made before Beaumont's death; and they understood and imitated the conversation of gentlemen much better; whose wild debaucheries, and quickness of wit in repartees, no poet can ever paint as they have done.
Page xlii - Those characters which are meant to be ridiculed in most of our comedies are of fools so gross, that in my humble opinion they should rather disturb than divert the wellnatured and reflecting part of an audience; they are rather objects of charity than contempt, and instead of moving our mirth, they ought very often to excite our compassion.