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Page xii - Wit, which is at once natural and new, that which, though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just; if it be that, which he that never found it, wonders how he missed; to wit of this kind the metaphysical poets have seldom risen.
Page 39 - I should be called a clever fellow, even though it should never reach my ears - a poor Negrodriver - or perhaps a victim to that inhospitable clime, and gone to the world of spirits! I can truly say...
Page xix - In this mist of obscurity passed the life of Butler, a man whose name can only perish with his language. The mode and place of his education are unknown ; the events of his life are variously related ; and all that can be told with certainty is, that he was poor.
Page xiii - What they wanted however of the sublime, they endeavoured to supply by hyperbole; their amplification had no limits; they left not only reason but fancy behind them; and produced combinations of confused magnificence, that not only could not be credited, but could not be imagined.
Page xiii - Those writers who lay on the watch for novelty could have little hope of greatness ; for great things cannot have escaped former observation.
Page 207 - Hark ! where the sweeping scythe now rips along : Each sturdy mower emulous and strong ; Whose writhing form meridian heat defies, Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries ; Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet, But spares the rising clover, short and sweet. Come, Health ! come, Jollity ! light-footed, come ; Here hold your revels, and make this your home. Each heart awaits and hails you as its own ; Each moisten'd brow, that scorns to wear a frown : Th...
Page 37 - I engaged several of my school-fellows to keep up a literary correspondence with me. This improved me in composition. I had met with a collection of letters by the wits of Queen Anne's reign, and I pored over them most devoutly. I kept copies of any of my own letters that pleased me, and a comparison between them and the composition of most of my correspondents, flattered my vanity. I carried this whim so far, that though I had not three farthings...
Page xxxvi - There needs no more be said to extol the excellence and power of his wit, and pleasantness of his conversation, than that it was of magnitude enough to cover a world of very great faults ; that is, so to cover them, that they were not taken notice of to his reproach, viz.