The Works of Samuel Johnson ...: Lives of the poets

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Страница 473 - Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
Страница 1 - ... he became, as he relates, irrecoverably a poet. Such are the accidents which, sometimes remembered, and perhaps sometimes forgotten, produce that particular designation of mind, and propensity for some certain science or employment, which is commonly called Genius. The true Genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
Страница 326 - From harmony, from heavenly harmony This universal frame began: From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in Man.
Страница 308 - There was therefore before the time of Dryden no poetical diction, no system of words at once refined from the grossness of domestic use, and free from the harshness of terms appropriated to particular arts. Words too familiar, or too remote, defeat the purpose of a poet. From those sounds which we hear on small or on coarse occasions, we do not easily receive strong impressions or delightful images ; and words to which we are nearly strangers, whenever they occur, draw that attention on themselves...
Страница 292 - There are men whose powers operate only at leisure and in retirement, and whose intellectual vigour deserts them in conversation ; whom merriment confuses, and objection disconcerts ; whose bashfulness restrains their exertion, and suffers them not to speak till the time of speaking is past ; or whose attention to their own character makes them unwilling to utter at hazard what has not been considered, and cannot be recalled.
Страница 70 - ... the Church, to whose service by the intentions of my parents and friends I was destined of a child, and in mine own resolutions, till coming to some maturity of years and perceiving what tyranny had invaded the Church, that he who would take Orders must subscribe slave, and take an oath withal, which unless he took with a conscience that would retch he must either straight perjure, or split his faith, I thought it better to prefer a blameless silence before the sacred office of speaking bought,...
Страница 82 - The remedy against these evils is to punish the authors; for it is yet allowed that every society may punish, though not prevent, the publication of opinions which that society shall think pernicious. But this punishment, though it may crush the author, promotes the book ; and it seems not more reasonable to leave the right of printing unrestrained because writers may be afterwards censured, than it would be to sleep with doors unbolted because by our laws we can hang a thief.
Страница 446 - He taught us how to live ; and, oh ! too high The price of knowledge, taught us how to die.
Страница 126 - To convey this moral, there must be a fable, a narration artfully constructed, so as to excite curiosity and surprise expectation. In this part of his work, Milton must be confessed to have equalled every other poet. He has involved in his account of the Fall of Man the events which preceded, and those that were to follow it: he has interwoven the whole system of theology with such propriety, that every part appears to be necessary ; and scarcely any recital is wished shorter for the sake of quickening...
Страница 380 - At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found — with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life ; with Dr. James, whose skill in physic will be long remembered ; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend. But what are the hopes of man ? I am disappointed by that stroke of death which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.

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