Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books

Forside
James Spedding
P.F. Collier & Son, 1910 - 462 sider
 

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Side 260 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him; no man can say he ever had a fit subject for his wit, and did not then raise himself as high above the rest of poets *Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.
Side 260 - All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them, not laboriously, but luckily; when he describes anything, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards and found her there.
Side 215 - When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment...
Side 226 - ... he carries his persons indifferently through right and wrong, and at the close dismisses them without further care, and leaves their examples to operate by chance. This fault the barbarity of his age cannot extenuate; for it is always a writer's duty to make the world better, and justice is a virtue independent on time or place.
Side 219 - It was observed of the ancient schools of declamation, that the more diligently they were frequented, the more was the student disqualified for the world, because he found nothing there which he should ever meet in any other place. The same remark may be applied to every stage but that of Shakespeare.
Side 174 - But enough of this : there is such a variety of game springing up before me, that I am distracted in my choice, and know not which to follow. Tis sufficient to say, according to the proverb, that here is God's plenty.
Side 288 - It may be safely affirmed that there neither is, nor can be, any essential difference between the language of prose and metrical composition.
Side 320 - She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes In shape no bigger than an agate-stone On the forefinger of an alderman, Drawn with a team of little atomies Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep : Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners...
Side 281 - It was published, as an experiment, which, I hoped, might be of some use to ascertain, how far, by fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men in a state of vivid sensation, that sort of pleasure and that quantity of pleasure may be imparted, which a Poet may rationally endeavour to impart.
Side 218 - Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how nearly they are copied. The irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile, by that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest ; but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth.

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