Sir William Temple's Essays on Ancient and Modern Learning and on Poetry

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Clarendon Press, 1909 - Learning and scholarship - 88 pages
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Page iii - Sir William Temple was the first writer who gave cadence to English prose. Before his time they were careless of arrangement, and did not mind whether a sentence ended with an important word or an insignificant word, or with what part of speech it was concluded.
Page 78 - I know very well that many, who pretend to be wise by the forms of being grave, are apt to despise both poetry and music as toys and trifles too light for the use or entertainment of serious men. But whoever find themselves wholly insensible to...
Page 34 - Fables and Phalaris's Epistles, both living near the same time, which was that of Cyrus and Pythagoras. As the first has been agreed by all ages since for the greatest master in his kind, and all others of that sort have been but imitations...
Page 25 - But whether either of these be modern discoveries, or derived 30 from old Fountains, is disputed : Nay, it is so, too, whether they are true or no ; for though reason may seem to favour them more than the contrary Opinion, yet sense can very hardly allow them ; and to satisfie Mankind, both these must concur.
Page 35 - Politian with some others have attributed them to Lucian: but I think he must have little skill in painting, that cannot find out this to be an original; such diversity of passions, upon such variety of actions and passages of life and government* such freedom of thought, such boldness of expression, such bounty to his friends, such scorn of his enemies, such honour of learned men, such esteem of good, such knowledge of life, such contempt of death, with such fierceness of nature and cruelty of revenge,...
Page 73 - ... vogue ; and the French wits have for this last age been in a manner wholly turned to the refinement of their language, and indeed with such success, that it can hardly be excelled, and runs equally through their verse and their prose.
Page 3 - could 'not end his learned treatise without a panegyric of modern learning in comparison of the ancient; and the other falls so grossly into the censure of the old poetry, and preference of the new, that I could not read either of these strains without some indignation;. which no quality among men is so apt to raise in me, as self-sufficiency.
Page 35 - I think he must have little skill in painting, that cannot find out this to be an original; such diversity of passions, upon such variety of actions and passages of life and government, such freedom of thought, such boldness of expression, such bounty to his friends, such scorn of his enemies, such honour of learned men, such esteem of good, such knowledge of life, such contempt of death, with such fierceness of nature and cruelty of revenge, could never be represented but by him that possessed them;...
Page 74 - Thus we come to have more originals, and more that appear what they are ; we have more humour, because every man follows his own, and takes a pleasure, perhaps a pride, to shew it.
Page 53 - Poets must be 10 allowed to have so much excelled in their kinds as to have exceeded all Comparison, to have even extinguished Emulation, and in a Manner confined true Poetry not only to their two Languages, but to their very Persons.

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