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accepted ancient appear applied assertion beauties become Boileau century character classical clear common criticism diction Dryden edition effect elegance English example expression fact faults feeling finally French genius give human Ibid ideas images imagination imitation important interest Italy Johnson judgment kind knowledge language Latin laws learning less letters lines literary literature Lives manner means mention merit Milton mind moral nature necessary neo-classical never notes objects observations once opinion particular perhaps period play poem poet poetical poetry Pope position possessed praise Preface present principles proved qualities reader reason received references reflections remarks respect reveals romantic rules says seems sense sentiments Shakespeare spirit standards things thought tion true truth turn verse whole writing
Page 117 - True wit is nature to advantage dress'd ; What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd ; Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight we find, That gives us back the image of our mind.
Page 231 - Yet great labour directed by great abilities is never wholly lost: if they frequently threw away their wit upon false conceits, they likewise sometimes struck out unexpected truth: if their conceits were far-fetched, they were often worth the carriage. To write on their plan it was at least necessary to read and think.
Page 150 - ... the real state of sublunary nature, which partakes of good and evil, joy and sorrow, mingled with endless variety of proportion and innumerable modes of combination, and expressing the course of the world, in which the loss of one is the gain of another; in which, at the same time, the reveler is hasting to his wine and the mourner burying his friend...
Page 175 - A play in which the wicked prosper, and the virtuous miscarry, may doubtless be good because it is a just representation of the common events of human life: but since all reasonable beings naturally love justice, I cannot easily be persuaded that the observation of justice makes a play worse; or that if other excellencies are equal the audience will not always rise better pleased from the final triumph of persecuted virtue.
Page 77 - The Pythagorean scale of numbers was at once discovered to be perfect; but the poems of Homer we yet know not to transcend the common limits of human intelligence, but by remarking, that nation after nation, and century after century, has been able to do little more than transpose his incidents, new-name his characters, and paraphrase his sentiments.
Page 148 - A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight that he was content to purchase it by the sacrifice of reason, propriety and truth. A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was content to lose it.
Page 152 - Delusion, if delusion be admitted, has no certain limitation. If the spectator can be once persuaded that his old acquaintance are Alexander and Caesar, that a room illuminated with candles is the plain of Pharsalia, or the bank of Granicus, he is in a state of elevation above the reach of reason or of truth, and from the heights of empyrean poetry may despise the circumscriptions of terrestrial nature.
Page 41 - Great thoughts are always general, and consist in positions not limited by exceptions, and in descriptions not descending to minuteness.
Page 84 - Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry 'Hold, hold!