Historical sketch of the origin of English prose literature, and of its progress till the reign of James the first [by W. Gray]. By W. Gray


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Página 44 - Ah ! freedom is a noble thing ! Freedom makes man to have liking ! Freedom all solace to man gives ! He lives at ease, that freely lives...
Página 15 - 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.
Página 75 - ... affectionate study of eloquence and copie of speech, which then began to flourish. This grew speedily to an excess; for men began to hunt more after words than matter; and more after the choiceness of the phrase, and the round and clean composition of the sentence, and the sweet falling of the clauses, and the varying and illustration of their works with tropes and figures, than after the weight of matter, worth of subject, soundness of argument, life of invention, or depth of judgment.
Página 74 - Surely, like as many substances in nature which are solid do putrify and corrupt into worms ; so it is the property of good and sound knowledge to putrify and dissolve into a number of subtle, idle, unwholesome, and (as I may term them) vermiculate questions, which have indeed a kind of quickness and life of spirit, but no soundness of matter or goodness of quality.
Página 56 - The credit of his sister, the countenance and example of his prince, the boisterousness of the times, nothing softened, nothing roughened the mind of this amiable lord, who was as gallant as his luxurious brotherin-law, without his weaknesses — as brave as the heroes of either Rose, without their savagoness — studious in the intervals of business — and devout after the manner of those whimsical times.
Página 81 - The constitution of her mind is exempt from female weakness, and she is endued with a masculine power of application. No apprehension can be quicker than hers, no memory more retentive. French and Italian she speaks like English; Latin with fluency, propriety, and judgment; she also spoke Greek with me, frequently, willingly, and moderately well.
Página 86 - In the reign of Elizabeth, the English mind put forth its energies in every direction, exalted by a purer religion, and enlarged by new views of truth. This was an age of loyalty, adventure, and generous emulation. The chivalrous character was softened by intellectual pursuits, while the genius of chivalry itself still lingered, as if unwilling to depart ; and paid his last homage to a Warlike and Female reign. A degree of romantic fancy remained...
Página 14 - To be, or not to be, that is the question ; Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them...
Página 15 - 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 f animates ; the superiority must, with some hesitation, be * allowed to Dryden.
Página 74 - For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, workcth according to the stuff, and is limited thereby : but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless, and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit.

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