Memoirs of Richard Cumberland, Volume 1

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Brisban and Brannan [Printed by Robert Carr], 1806 - 356 pages

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Page 12 - God, and the edification of my fellow creatures; but the wit and genius of those old heathens beguiled me, and as I despaired of raising myself up to their standard, upon fair ground, I thought the only chance I had of looking over their heads was to get upon their shoulders.
Page 171 - Buffon into English, yet I much doubt, if without that spur he would ever have put his Pegasus into action : no, if he had been rich, the world would have been poorer than it is by the loss of all the treasures of his genius and the contributions of his pen.
Page 164 - ... dinner; you did not perhaps make it the whole, or principal part of your meal, but it was an admirable and wholesome auxiliary to your other viands. Soame Jenyns told you no long stories, engrossed not much of your attention, and was not angry with those that did : his thoughts were original, and were apt to have a very whimsical affinity to the paradox in them.
Page 94 - In either of these he was not to be approached but through a suite of apartments, and rarely seated but under painted ceilings and gilt entablatures. In his villa you were conducted through two rows of antique marble statues, ranged in a gallery floored with the rarest marbles, and enriched with columns of granite and lapis lazuli ; his saloon was hung with the finest Gobelin tapestry, and he slept in a bed encanopied with peacock's feathers in the style of Mrs. Montague.
Page 171 - Distress drove Goldsmith upon undertakings neither congenial with his studies nor worthy of his talents. I remember him when, in his chambers in the Temple, he showed me the beginning of his ' Animated Nature;' it was with a sigh, such as genius draws when hard necessity diverts it from its bent to drudge for bread, and talk of birds, and beasts, and creeping things, which Pidock's showman would have done as well.
Page 171 - ... literature, such a front-rank soldier in the fields of fame, if he had not been pressed into the service, and driven on to glory with the bayonet of sharp necessity pointed at his back ? If fortune had turned him into a field of clover, he would have laid down and rolled in it. The mere manual labour of writing would not have allowed his lassitude and love of ease to have taken the pen out of the inkhorn, unless the cravings of hunger had reminded him that he must fill the sheet before he saw...
Page 163 - He was the man, who bore his part in all societies with the most even temper and undisturbed hilarity of all the good companions, whom I ever knew. He came into your house at the very moment you had put upon your card ; he dressed himself to do your party honour in all the colours of the jay...
Page 174 - If a man wanted to show himself off by getting up and riding upon him, he was sure to run restive and kick him off: you might as safely have backed Bucephalus, before Alexander had lunged him.
Page 163 - ... who wears them at the end of his feelers, and yet there was room between one of these and his nose for another wen, that added nothing to his beauty. Yet I heard this good man very innocently remark, when Gibbon published his history, that he wondered any body so ugly could write a book.
Page 171 - Who will say that Johnson himself would have been such a champion in literature, such a frontrank soldier in the fields of fame, if he had not been pressed into the service, and driven on to glory with the bayonet of sharp necessity pointed at his back ? If fortune had turned him into a field of clover, he would have laid down and rolled in it.

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