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Page 27 - Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early ; he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope, that at least, my gratitude made me worthy of his notice. " He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy, yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party ; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured him and he endured me.
Page 212 - Decay, tho' so early in life, and was declining for 5 or 6 months. It was not, as I apprehended, the Gout in his Stomach, but I believe rather a complication first of gross humours, as he was naturally corpulent, not discharging themselves, as he used no sort of exercise.. No man better bore ye approaches of his Dissolution (as I am told) or with less ostentation yielded up his Being.
Page 221 - The person who acted Polly, till then obscure, became all at once the favourite of the town ; her pictures were engraved, and sold in great numbers; her life written, books of letters and verses to her published ; and pamphlets made even of her sayings and jests. Furthermore, it drove out of England, for that season, the Italian Opera, which had carried all before it for ten years.
Page 127 - That general knowledge which now circulates in common talk, was in his time rarely to be found. Men not professing learning were not ashamed of ignorance ; and, in the female world, any acquaintance with books was distinguished only to be censured.
Page 221 - Opera the gangs of robbers were evidently multiplied. Both these decisions are surely exaggerated. The play, like many others, was plainly written only to divert, without any moral purpose, and is therefore not likely to do good; nor can it be conceived, without more speculation than life requires or admits, to be productive of much evil.
Page 172 - There seems to be a strange affectation in authors of appearing to have done every thing by chance. The Old Bachelor was written for amusement, in the languor of convalescence. Yet it is apparently composed with great elaborateness of dialogue, and incessant ambition of wit.
Page 173 - ... clash of wit, in which nothing flows necessarily from the occasion, or is dictated by nature. The characters both of men and women are either fictitious and artificial, as those of Heartwell and the Ladies; or easy and common, as Wittol a tame idiot, Bluff a swaggering coward, and Fondlewife a jealous puritan; and the catastrophe arises from a mistake not very probably produced, by marrying a woman in a mask.
Page 251 - I can now excuse all his foibles; impute them to age, and to distress of circumstances : the last of these considerations wrings my very soul to think on. For a man of high spirit, conscious of having (at least in one production) generally pleased the world, to be plagued and threatened by wretches that are low in every sense; to be forced to drink himself into pains of the body, in order to get rid of the pains of the mind, is a misery.
Page 281 - ... procured him an advocate of rank too great to be rejected unheard, and of virtue too eminent to be heard without being believed. His merit and his calamities happened to reach the ear of the Countess of Hertford, who engaged in his support with all the tenderness that is excited by pity, and all the zeal which is kindled by generosity...