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Page 67 - Roman empire, has described the birth of its great rival, the Carthaginian commonwealth : Milton, with the like art in his poem on the fall of man, has related the fall of those angels who are his professed enemies.
Page 70 - Besides, it was easier for Homer and Virgil to dash the truth with fiction, as they were in no danger of offending the religion of their country by it. But as for Milton, he had not only a very few circumstances upon which to raise his poem, but was also obliged to proceed with the greatest caution in every thing that he added out of his own invention.
Page 134 - The great masters in composition know very well that many an elegant phrase becomes improper for a poet or an orator, when it has been debased by common use. For this reason the works of ancient authors, which are written in dead languages, have a great advantage over those which are written in languages that are now spoken. Were there any mean phrases or idioms in Virgil...
Page 205 - Being, he frequently confesses his omnipotence, that being the perfection he was forced to allow him, and the only consideration which could support his pride under the shame of his defeat. Nor...
Page 110 - ... other particulars as may not properly fall under any of them. This I thought fit to...
Page 235 - Death produces those monsters and hell-hounds which from time to time enter into their mother, and tear the bowels of her who gave them birth. These are the terrors of an evil conscience, and the proper fruits of Sin, which naturally rise from the apprehensions of Death.
Page 137 - Y, when it precedes a vowel. This, and some other innovations in the measure of his verse, has varied his numbers in such a manner, as makes them incapable of satiating the ear, and cloying the reader, which the same uniform measure would certainly have done, and which the perpetual returns of rhyme never fail to do in long narrative poems.
Page 88 - There is in these several characters of Homer, a certain dignity as well as novelty, which adapts them in a more peculiar manner to the nature of an heroic poem. Though at the same time, to give them the greater variety, he has described a Vulcan, that is a buffoon among his gods, and a Thersites among his mortals.
Page 112 - I shall show more at large in another paper ; though considering how all the poets of the age in which he writ were infected with this wrong way of thinking, he is rather to be admired that he did not give more into it, than that he did sometimes comply with the vicious taste which still prevails so much among modern writers.