The lives of the most eminent English poets; with critical observations on their works, Volumen3

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Página 156 - 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.
Página 156 - 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 hesitation,...
Página 334 - Perhaps he was the most learned man in Europe. He was equally acquainted with the elegant and profound parts of science, and that not superficially, but thoroughly. He knew every branch of history, both natural and civil ; had read all the original historians of England, France, and Italy ; and was a great antiquarian. Criticism, metaphysics, morals, politics, made a principal part of his study ; voyages and travels of all sorts were his favourite amusements ; and he had a fine taste in painting,...
Página 164 - Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows ; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labors, and the words move slow. Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main. Hear how Timotheus...
Página 188 - To this sad shrine, whoe'er thou art, draw near, Here lies the friend most loved, the son most dear ; Who ne'er knew joy, but friendship might divide, Or gave his father grief but when he died.
Página 94 - Pope's excavation was requisite as an entrance to his garden, and, as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage.
Página 91 - Then he instructed a young nobleman, that the best poet in England was Mr. Pope (a Papist), who had begun a translation of Homer into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe. "For," says he, "the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him.
Página 311 - 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.
Página 216 - As a writer he is entitled to one praise of the highest kind : his mode of thinking-, and of expressing his thoughts, is original. His blank verse is no more the blank verse of Milton, or of any other poet, than the rhymes of Prior are the rhymes of Cowley. His numbers, his pauses, his diction, are of his own growth, without transcription, without imitation.
Página 85 - Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires. A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild, And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field. Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend, Whose umber'd arms by fits thick flashes send ; Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn, And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.

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