The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 11

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Page 170 - The style of Dryden is capricious and varied, that of Pope is cautious and uniform; Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind, Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and levelled by the roller.
Page 381 - Churchyard" abounds with images which find a mirror in every mind, and with sentiments to which every bosom returns an echo. The four stanzas, beginning "Yet even these bones," are to me original; I have never seen the notions in any other place, yet he that reads them here persuades himself that he has always felt them. Had Gray written often thus, it had been vain to blame and useless to praise him.
Page 90 - As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene ; Around her throne the vivid planets roll, And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, And tip with silver every mountain's head...
Page 133 - Arbuthnot was a man of great comprehension, skilful in his profession, versed in the sciences, acquainted with ancient literature, and able to animate his mass of knowledge by a bright and active imagination ; a scholar with great brilliance of wit ; a wit, who, in the crowd of life, retained and discovered a noble ardour of religious zeal.
Page 390 - I have made public good the rule of my conduct. I never gave counsels which I did not at the time think the best. I have seen that I was sometimes in the wrong, but I did not err designedly. I have endeavoured in private life to do all the good in my power, and never for a moment could indulge malicious or unjust designs upon any person whatsoever.
Page 170 - Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope.
Page 373 - ... fourthly, they will believe any thing at all, provided they are under no obligation to believe it ; fifthly, they love to take a new road, even when that road leads no where ; sixthly, he was reckoned a fine writer, and seems always to mean more than he said.
Page 286 - As she may not be fond to resign. 1 have found out a gift for my fair, I have found where the wood-pigeons breed ; But let me that plunder forbear : She will say 'twas a barbarous deed.
Page 379 - To select a singular event, and swell it to a giant's bulk by fabulous appendages of spectres and predictions, has little difficulty ; for he that forsakes the probable may always find the marvellous. And it has little use ; we are affected only as we believe ; we are improved only as we find something to be imitated or declined. I do not see that " The " Bard" promotes any truth, moral or political.
Page 169 - In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose education was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, and Pope in his local manners.

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