The works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 5

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Page 72 - O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme! Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull, Strong without rage, without o'er-flowing full.
Page 161 - The want of human interest is always felt. Paradise Lost is one of the books which the reader admires and lays down, and forgets to take up again. None ever wished it longer than it is. Its perusal is a duty rather than a pleasure. We read Milton for instruction, retire harassed and overburdened, and look elsewhere for recreation ; we desert our master, and seek for companions.
Page 34 - To move, but doth, if th' other do. And though it in the centre sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must Like th' other foot, obliquely run ; Thy firmness makes my circles just, And makes me end where I begun.
Page 18 - Their thoughts are often new but seldom natural; they are not obvious but neither are they just; and the reader, far from wondering that he missed them, wonders more frequently by what perverseness of industry they were ever found.
Page 59 - His spear, — to equal which, the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great ammiral, were but a wand...
Page 147 - It is a drama in the epic style, inelegantly splendid, and tediously instructive. The Sonnets were written in different parts of Milton's life, upon different occasions. They deserve not any particular criticism; for of the best it can only be said, that they are not bad; and perhaps only the eighth and the twenty-first are truly entitled to this slender commendation.
Page 385 - 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.
Page 142 - Among the flocks and copses and flowers appear the heathen deities, Jove and Phoebus, Neptune and /Eolus, with a long train of mythological imagery, such as a College easily supplies. Nothing can less display knowledge or less exercise invention than to tell how a shepherd has lost his companion and must now feed his flocks alone, without any judge of his skill in piping; and how one god asks another god what is become of Lycidas, and how neither god can tell. He who thus grieves will excite no sympathy;...
Page 200 - At the moment in which he expired, he uttered, with an energy of voice that expressed the most fervent devotion, two lines of his own version of Dies Ira : My God, my Father, and my Friend, Do not forsake me in my end.
Page 168 - The variety of pauses, so much boasted by the lovers of blank verse, changes the measures of an English poet to the periods of a declaimer ; and there are only a few skilful and happy readers of Milton, who enable their audience to perceive where the lines end or begin. Blank verse, said an ingenious critic, seems to be verse only to the eye.

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