Life and works of William Cowper, Volume 2

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Page 20 - 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 74 - With all her crew complete. Toll for the brave ! Brave Kempenfelt is gone ; His last sea-fight is fought ; His work of glory done. It was not in the battle ; No tempest gave the shock ; She sprang no fatal leak ; She ran upon no rock. His sword was in its sheath ; His fingers held the pen, When Kempenfelt went clown With twice four hundred men.
Page 107 - WE were now treading that illustrious Island, which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish, if it were possible.
Page 107 - Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and from my friends, be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins...
Page 20 - 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. 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 hestitation,...
Page 19 - Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners.
Page 19 - The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. 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.
Page 158 - I must have refused him, for he is on the side of the former. It is comfortable to be of no consequence in a world where one cannot exercise any without disobliging somebody. The town however seems to be much at his service, and if he be equally successful throughout the county, he will undoubtedly gain his election.
Page 74 - She ran upon no rock : His sword was in its sheath ; His fingers held the pen, When Kempenfelt went down, With twice four hundred men. Weigh the vessel up, Once dreaded by our foes ! And mingle with our cup The tear that England owes. Her timbers yet are sound, And she may float again, Full-charged with England's thunder, And plough the distant main. But Kempenfelt is gone ; His victories are o'er ; And he and his eight hundred Shall plough the wave no more.
Page 156 - All the sounds that nature utters are delightful, at least in this country. I should not perhaps find the roaring of lions in Africa, or of bears in Russia, very pleasing ; but I know no beast in England whose voice I do not account musical, save and except always the braying of an ass. The notes of all our birds and fowls please me, without one exception. I should not indeed think of keeping a goose in a cage, that I might hang him up in the parlour for the sake of his melody, but a goose upon...

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