De Quincey's Writings: Biographical essays. 1870

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Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1870
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Page 20 - Sweet Swan of Avon ! what a sight it were To see thee in our waters yet appear, And make those flights upon the banks of Thames, That so did take Eliza, and our James...
Page 133 - Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a Papist), who had begun a translation of Homer into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe. " For," says he, " the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.
Page 213 - It descended upon him as softly as a shadow. In a gross person, laden with superfluous flesh, and sleeping heavily, this would have been disagreeable; but in Lamb, thin even to meagreness, spare and wiry as an Arab of the desert, or as Thomas Aquinas, wasted by scholastic vigils, the affection of sleep seemed rather a network of aerial gossamer than of earthly cobweb — more like a golden haze falling upon him gently from the heavens than a cloud exhaling upwards from the flesh.
Page 168 - From qualities, for instance, of childlike simplicity, of shy profundity, or of inspired self-communion, the world does and must turn away its face towards grosser, bolder, more determined, or more intelligible expressions of character and intellect ; and not otherwise in literature, nor at all less in literature, than it does in the realities of life.
Page 155 - Peace to all such ! but were there one whose fires True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires; Blest with each talent and each art to please, And born to write, converse, and live with ease : Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, Bear, like the Turk...
Page 97 - I have heard that Mr. Shakespeare was a natural wit, without any art at all. He frequented the plays all his younger time, but in his elder days lived at Stratford, and supplied the stage with two plays every year ; and for that had an allowance so large, that he spent at the rate of ,1,000 a year, as I have heard.
Page 188 - Hazlitt was not eloquent, because he was discontinuous. No man can be eloquent whose thoughts are abrupt, insulated, capricious, and (to borrow an impressive word from Coleridge) non-sequacious. Eloquence resides not in separate or fractional ideas, but in the relations of manifold ideas, and in the mode of their evolution from each other. It is not indeed enough that the ideas should be many, and their relations coherent; the main condition lies in the key of the evolution, in the law of the succession.
Page 144 - I thank God, her death was as easy as her life was innocent ; and as it cost her not a groan, or even a sigh, there is yet upon her countenance such an expression of tranquillity, nay, almost of pleasure, that it is even amiable to behold it.
Page 75 - Antigones, &c. of the antique put forward but one single trait of character, like the aloe with its single blossom. This solitary feature is presented to us as an abstraction, and as an insulated quality ; whereas in Shakspeare all is presented in the concrete ; that is to say, not brought forward in relief, as by some effort of an anatomical artist ; but embodied and imbedded, so to speak, as by the force of a creative nature, in the complex system of a human life ; a life in which all the elements...
Page 188 - Browne, or Jeremy Taylor, to whom only it has been granted to open the trumpet-stop on that great organ of passion, oftentimes leaves behind it the sense of sadness which belongs to beautiful apparitions starting out of darkness upon the morbid eye, only to be reclaimed by darkness in the instant of their birth, or which belongs to pageantries in the clouds.

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