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Page 75 - He thinks in a peculiar train, and he thinks always as a man of genius; he looks round on Nature and on Life with the eye which Nature bestows only on a poet...
Page 23 - Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind, Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe and levelled by the roller.
Page 17 - Club," compared himself to a spider, and by another is described as protuberant behind and before. He is said to have been beautiful in his infancy, but he was of a constitution originally feeble and weak; and, as bodies of a tender frame are easily distorted, his deformity was probably in part the effect of his application. His stature was so low, that to bring him to a level with common tables, it was necessary to raise his seat. But his face was not displeasing...
Page 23 - Thirty-eight; of which Dodsley told me, that they were brought to him by the author, that they might be fairly copied. "Almost every line...
Page 169 - ¡rinds, tenements, hereditaments, penfions, offices, and perfonal eftates, in that part of Great - Britain, called England, Wales, and the town of Berwick upon Tweed ; and that a proportionable cefs, according to the ninth article of the treaty of union, be laid upon that part of Great-Britain called Scotland, 1,500,000!.
Page 23 - Of genius, that power which constitutes a poet, that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert, that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates, the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden.
Page 23 - In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to 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. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation...
Page 23 - Pope had only a little, because Dryden had more ; for every other writer since Milton must give place to Pope ; and even of Dryden it must be said, that, if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems.
Page 75 - Seasons is want of method ; but for this I know not that there was any remedy. Of many appearances subsisting all at once, no rule can be given why one should be mentioned before another; yet the memory wants the help of order, and the curiosity is not excited by suspense or expectation.
Page 77 - The excellence of this work is not exactness, but copiousness ; particular lines are not to be regarded ; the power is in the whole ; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantation, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity.