The lives of the most eminent English poets; with critical observations on their works. [With] The principal additions and corrections in the 3rd ed, Volume 4
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Page 17 - Miscellany, in a volume which began with the pastorals of Philips, and ended with those of Pope. The same year was written the Essay on Criticism ; a work which displays such extent of comprehension, such nicety of distinction, such acquaintance with mankind, and such knowledge both of ancient and modern learning, as are not often attained by the maturest age and longest experience. It was published about two years afterwards ; and being praised by Addison in the Spectator* with sufficient liberality,...
Page 286 - Every man, acquainted with the common principles of human action, will look with veneration on the writer, who is at one time -combating Locke, and at another making a catechism for children in their fourth year. A voluntary descent from the dignity of science is perhaps the hardest lesson that humility can teach.
Page 485 - In the character of his Elegy I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers uncorrupted with literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours.
Page 172 - Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems.
Page 55 - As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, O'er Heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene ; Around her throne the vivid planets roll, And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, And tip with silver every mountain's head...
Page 233 - A poet, blest beyond the poet's fate, Whom Heaven kept sacred from the Proud and Great : Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease, Content with science in the vale of peace. Calmly he look'd on either life ; and here Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear ; From Nature's temperate feast rose satisfied, Thank'd Heaven that he had liv'd, and that he died.
Page 490 - Letters have something of that indistinct and headstrong ardour for liberty which a man of genius always catches when he enters the world, and always suffers to cool as he passes forward.
Page 274 - They are, I think, improved in general ; yet I know not whether they have not lost part of what Temple calls their " race ;" a word which, applied to wines in its primitive sense, means the flavour of the soil. " Liberty," when it first appeared, I tried to read, and soon desisted.
Page 173 - If the flights of Dryden therefore are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight.
Page 171 - Dryden, whose education was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science.