Dryden. Smyth. Duke. King. Sprat. Halifax

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Samuel Johnson
A. Miller, 1800 - English poetry

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Page 17 - The composition of all poems is, or ought to be, of wit; and wit in the poet, or Wit writing (if you will give me leave to use a school-distinction), is no other than the faculty of imagination in the writer, which, like a nimble spaniel, beats over and ranges through the field of memory, till it springs the quarry it hunted after; or, without metaphor, which searches over all the memory for the species or ideas of those things which it designs to represent.
Page 177 - Let him be satisfied that he shall not be able to force himself upon me for an adversary. I contemn him too much to enter into competition with him. His own translations of Virgil have answered his criticisms on mine. If (as they say, he has declared in print,) he prefers the version of Ogilby to mine, the world has made him the same compliment ; for it is agreed on all hands, that he writes even below Ogilby.
Page 173 - Porta could not have described their natures better than by the marks which the poet gives them. The matter and manner of their tales and of their telling are so suited to their different educations...
Page 169 - With Ovid ended the golden age of the Roman tongue ; from Chaucer the purity of the English tongue began.
Page 232 - A creature of a more exalted kind Was wanting yet, and then was Man design'd ; Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast, For empire form'd, and fit to rule the rest...
Page 349 - All were attentive to the godlike man, When from his lofty couch he thus began: 'Great queen, what you command me to relate, Renews the sad remembrance of our fate: An empire from its old foundations rent, And...
Page 49 - But of King David's foes, be this the doom, May all be like the young man Absalom ; And, for my foes, may this their blessing be, To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee...
Page 38 - A fiery soul, which, working out its way, Fretted the pigmy body to decay, And o'er-informed the tenement of clay...
Page 93 - As long as words a different sense will bear, And each may be his own interpreter, -Our airy faith will no foundation find : The word's a weathercock for every wind : The Bear, the Fox, the Wolf, by turns prevail ; The most in power supplies the present gale.
Page 90 - 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. Not so her young; for their unequal line Was hero's make, half human, half divine. Their earthly mold obnoxious was to fate, Th' immortal part assum'd immortal state.

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