New Biographies of Illustrious Men

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Whittemore, Niles, and Hall, 1857 - Biography - 408 pages
 

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Page 265 - It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter,* that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
Page 244 - When Goldsmith was dying, Dr. Turton said to him, " Your pulse is in greater disorder than it should be, from the degree of fever which you have : is your mind at ease ?" Goldsmith answered it was not.
Page 273 - I wrote the last lines of the last page, in a summer house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains.
Page 273 - He seemed to feel, and even to envy, the happiness of my situation ; while I admired the powers of a superior man, as they are blended in his attractive character with the softness and simplicity of a child. Perhaps no human being was ever more perfectly exempt from the taint of malevolence, vanity, or falsehood.
Page 71 - This he refused, saying, in his melancholy way, that " it was too late for him to try to support a falling church.
Page 238 - Conquer, which is, in truth, an incomparable farce in five acts. On this occasion, however, genius triumphed. Pit, boxes, and galleries, were in a constant roar of laughter. If any bigoted admirer of Kelly and Cumberland ventured to hiss or groan, he was speedily silenced by a general cry of "turn him out," or "throw him over." Two generations have since confirmed the verdict which was pronounced on that night. While Goldsmith was writing the Deserted Village and She Stoops to Conquer...
Page 332 - It would be easy, on the other hand, to name several writers of the nineteenth century of whom the least successful has received forty thousand pounds from the booksellers. But Johnson entered on his vocation in the most dreary part of the dreary interval which separated two ages of prosperity. Literature had ceased to flourish under the patronage of the great, and had not begun to flourish under the patronage of the public.
Page 271 - After a fleeting illusive hope, prudence condemned me to acquiesce in the humble station of a mute. I was not armed by Nature and education with the intrepid energy of mind and voice, Vincentem strepitus, et natum rebus agendis. Timidity was fortified by pride, and even the success of my pen discouraged the trial of my voice.
Page 44 - And if your lordship will not carry me on, I will not do as Anaxagoras did, who reduced himself with contemplation unto voluntary poverty: but this I will do, I will sell the inheritance that I have, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, or some office of gain, that shall be executed by deputy, and so give over all care of service, and become some sorry bookmaker, or a true pioneer in that mine of truth, which, he said, lay so deep.
Page 43 - I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosities; the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils; I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries ; the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain glory, or nature, or, if one take it...

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