Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, Volume 1

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Page 30 - I should much commend the tragical part, if the lyrical did not ravish me with a certain Doric delicacy in your songs and odes, whereunto I must plainly confess to have seen yet nothing parallel in our language : Ipsa mollities.
Page 56 - Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom.
Page 31 - And drenches with Elysian dew (List, mortals, if your ears be true) Beds of hyacinth and roses, Where young Adonis oft reposes, Waxing well of his deep wound, In slumber soft, and on the ground Sadly sits the Assyrian queen.
Page 137 - Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer; "why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure if I had seen a ghost I should have looked in the very same manner, and done just as he did.
Page 456 - Ho! Philip, send, for charity, thy Mexican pistoles, That Antwerp monks may sing a mass for thy poor spearmen's souls. Ho ! gallant nobles of the League, look that your arms be bright ; Ho ! burghers of Saint Genevieve, keep watch and ward to-night.
Page 71 - What! have you let the false enchanter scape? O ye mistook; ye should have snatched his wand, And bound him fast. Without his rod reversed, And backward mutters of dissevering power, We cannot free the Lady that sits here In stony fetters fixed and motionless.
Page 21 - fine frenzy " which he ascribes to the poet, — a fine frenzy doubtless, but still a frenzy. Truth, indeed, is essential to poetry ; but it is the truth of madness. The reasonings are just ; but the premises are false. After the first suppositions have been made...
Page 23 - And, as the magic lantern acts best in a dark room, poetry effects its purpose most completely in a dark age. As the light of knowledge breaks in upon its exhibitions, as the outlines of certainty become more and more definite, and the shades of probability...
Page 432 - The wicket gate, and the desolate swamp which separates it from the City of Destruction, the long line of road, as straight as a rule can make it, the Interpreter's house and all its fair shows, the prisoner in the iron cage, the palace, at the doors of which armed men kept guard, and on the battlements of which walked persons clothed all in gold, the cross and the sepulchre, the steep hill and the pleasant...
Page 32 - The poetry of Milton differs from that of Dante as the Hieroglyphics of Egypt differed from the picture-writing of Mexico. The images which Dante employs speak for themselves ; they stand simply for what they are. Those of Milton have a signification which is often discernible only to the initiated. Their value depends less on what they directly represent than on what they remotely suggest.

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