Outlines of the History of the English Language

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Page 280 - Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison...
Page 234 - Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour. Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes...
Page 280 - His prose is the model of the middle style ; on grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not grovelling ; pure without scrupulosity, and exact without apparent elaboration ; always equable, and always easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences. Addison never deviates from his track to snatch a grace ; he seeks no ambitious ornaments, and tries no hazardous innovations.
Page 277 - If there was any fault in his language, 'twas that he weaved it too closely and laboriously, in his comedies especially: perhaps, too, he did a little too much Romanise our tongue, leaving the words which he translated almost as much Latin as he found them: wherein, though he learnedly followed their language, he did not enough comply with the idiom of ours.
Page 275 - When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and deliberation to assist him ; he searches, meditates, is industrious, and likely consults and confers with his judicious friends ; after all which done, he takes himself to be informed in what he writes, as well as any that writ before him...
Page 277 - One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his works you find little to retrench or alter. Wit and language, and humour also in some measure, we had before him ; bat something of art was wanting to the drama till he came.
Page 281 - The essays professedly serious, if I have been able to execute my own intentions, will be found exactly conformable to the precepts of Christianity, without any accommodation to the licentiousness and levity of the present age.
Page 269 - ... valour, which that right soldier-like nation think the chiefest kindlers of brave courage. The incomparable Lacedaemonians did not only carry that kind of music ever with them to the field, but even at home, as such songs were made, so were they all content to be...
Page 255 - He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical fantasms, such insociable and point-devise companions ; such rackers of orthography, as to speak dout...
Page 13 - Language is called the Garment of Thought : however, it should rather be, Language is the Flesh-Garment, the Body, of Thought.

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