Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets, Volume 3

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Page 243 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began : When Nature underneath a heap of jarring atoms lay, And could not heave her head, The tuneful voice was heard from high. Arise ye more than dead. Then cold and hot, and moist and dry, In order to their stations leap, And music's power obey. From harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began : From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in man.
Page 310 - What was said of Rome, adorned by Augustus, may be applied by an easy metaphor to English poetry, embellished by Dryden, "lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit." He found it brick, and he left it marble.
Page 168 - Learning once made popular is no longer learning ; it has the appearance of something which we have bestowed upon ourselves, as the dew appears to rise from the field which it refreshes.
Page 185 - Criticism, either didactic or defensive, occupies almost all his prose, except those pages which he has devoted to his patrons; but none of his prefaces were ever thought tedious.
Page 185 - They have not the formality of a settled style, in which the first half of the sentence betrays the other. The clauses are never balanced, nor the periods modelled: every word seems to drop by chance, though it falls into its proper place. Nothing is cold or languid; the whole is airy, animated, and vigorous; what is little, is gay; what is great, is splendid.
Page 253 - A milk-white Hind, immortal and unchang'd, Fed on the lawns, and in the forest rang'd : Without unspotted, innocent within, She fear'd no danger, for she knew no sin. Yet had she oft been .chas'd with horns and hounds. And Scythian shafts, and many winged wounds Aim'd at her heart ; was often forc'd to fly, And doom'd to death, though fated not to die.
Page 189 - There was therefore before the time of Dryden no poetical diction, no system of words at once refined from the grossness of domestic use, and free from the harshness of terms appropriated to particular arts. Words too familiar, or too remote, defeat the purpose of a poet.
Page 295 - There is surely reason to suspect that he pleased himself as well as his audience ; and that these, like the harlots of other men, had his love, though not his approbation. He had sometimes faults of a less generous and splendid kind.
Page 207 - Behold th' approaching cliffs of Albion : It is no longer motion cheats your view, As you meet it, the land approacheth you. The land returns, and, in the white it wears, The marks of penitence and sorrow bears.
Page 168 - To judge rightly of an author, we must transport ourselves to his time, and examine what were the wants of his contemporaries, and what were his means of supplying them.

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