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But the white shroud, and each extended tress,
Full many a stoic eye, and aspect stern,
Those bitter smiles of anguish, and despair.
1 The Corsair.
WHOEVER relishes and reads Spenser, as he ought to be read, will have a strong hold upon the English language.'
The calm air of strength with which Milton opens Paradise Lost, beginning a mighty performance without the appearance of an effort.2
A work (Paradise Lost) to be perfected "by devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases."3
"To shame and silence those men who make genius an apology for vice, and take the sacred fire, kindled by God within them, to inflame men's passions, and to minister to a vile sensuality."
In Spence, Pope had the advantage of a critic without malevolence, who thought it as much his duty to display beauties, as expose faults; who censured with respect, and praised with alacrity."
Thus much in favour of activity and occupation: the more one has to do, the more one is capable of doing, even beyond our direct task."
1 Burke (See Life by Prior). 2 Campbell (British Poets). 3 Milton, vol. i. 122. (Symmons's edition). 4 Channing. 5 Johnson.
We are not much concerned to know, with critical accuracy, the whole system of our civil constitution before Henry VII., nor our ecclesiastical before Henry VIII.; but he who has not studied and acquired a thorough knowledge of them both from those periods, down to the present time, in all the variety of events by which they have been affected, will be very unfit to judge, or to take care, of either.'
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Let a man's travel appear rather in his discourse than in his apparel or gesture; and in his discourse let him be rather advised in his answers, than forward to tell stories: and let it appear that he doth not change his country manners for those of foreign parts; but only prick in some flowers of that he hath learned abroad into the customs of his own country.3
1 Bolingbroke on History, 179. 3 Bacon (Essay xviii.).
2 Shakspeare (Sonnet xix.).
Partly I wanted to wait for some new ideas; a sort of collecting of straw to make bricks of. Partly I was a little too far beyond the press. I cannot pull well in long traces, when the draught is too far behind me. I love to hear the press thumping, clattering, and banging in my rear: it creates the necessity which almost always makes me work best.1
I think the way to have a public spirit is to have a private one; for who can believe, said a friend of mine, that any man can care for a hundred thousand people who never cared for one? No illhumoured man can ever be a patriot, any more than a friend.2
There is no way of writing so proper, for the refining and polishing a language, as the translating of books into it.3
To speak a language, I have observed that double translation is the most useful exercise.4
I wish you would use yourself to translate, every day, only three or four lines from any book in any language, into the correctest and most elegant English that you can think of. You cannot imagine how it will form your style, and give you an habitual elegancy."
It was always my opinion, that an historian should feel himself giving evidence on oath.
1 Scott (Life by Lockhart, vi. 236.).
3 Preface to More's Utopia.
4 Sir Eardley Wilmot (the Judge). 5 Chesterfield, iv. 63.
2 Pope (Works, ix. 60.).
6 Gibbon, ii. 245.
You stuck the pen in the heart, and wrote as you felt.1
Terence for ever, my dear little, great friend :there's your mind and body at once.2
That happy portion of the Prayer-book which begins with "Dearly Beloved" and ends with "amazement."s
La Providence nous conduit avec tant de bonté, dans tous les temps différens de notre vie, que nous ne le sentons quasi pas.*
The fair sex should be always fair; and no man,
'Tis best to pause and think ere you run on,
Whoever stands to parley with temptation
The amity that wisdom knits not
Pomfret pleases many, and he who pleases many must have some species of merit."
That cannot be unpoetical with which all are pleased.10
The art of poetry is to touch the passions, and its duty to lead them on the side of virtue."
1 Garrick to Madme. Riccoboni, whom he calls a very good novelist, and a generous creature,
2 Garrick to Colman, 276.
4 Madame de Sevigné. 6 Ibid.
7 Fatal Curiosity. 10 Ibid.
3 Fortunes of Nigel. 5 Byron,
8 Troilus and Cressida. 11 Cowper.