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action admiration already ancients answer appear argument Aristotle audience beauty better betwixt blank verse called cause characters comedy compass concernment confident conversation Corneille Crites delight difference discourse drama Dryden edition English Essay Eugenius example excellent Fletcher French given gives greater Greek hand houses humour imagine imitation impossible Johnson judge kind King Ladies language least leave less Lisideius lived Lord Malone means nature never observed opinion passage passions perfection persons Plautus play plot poem poesy poet poetry Preface present probably produced proper prose prove published reason reference relation represented rest rhyme rule says scene seems sense serious Shakespeare sometimes sound Spanish speak stage suppose thing thought tragedy true truth unity whole writ writing written
Page 67 - ... All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew them not laboriously, but luckily; when he describes any thing, you more than see it, you feel it too. Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation: he was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards, and found her there.
Page 67 - I cannot say he is everywhere alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great when some great occasion is presented to him...
Page 70 - Catiline. But he has done his robberies so openly, that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any law. He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in other poets is only victory in him.
Page 70 - But he has done his robberies so openly, that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any law. He invades authors like a monarch ; and what would be theft in other poets, is only victory in him. With the spoils of these writers he so represents old Rome to us, in its rites, ceremonies and customs, that if one of their poets had written either of his tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him.
Page 37 - Though I see many excellent thoughts in Seneca, yet he of them who had a genius most proper for the stage was Ovid. He had a way of writing so fit to stir up a pleasing admiration and concernment, which are the objects of a tragedy, and to show the various movements of a soul combating betwixt two different passions, that, had he lived in our age, or in his own could have writ with our advantages, no man but must have yielded to him; and therefore I am confident the Medea is none of his.
Page 159 - To make a child now swaddled; to proceed Man, and then shoot up, in one beard and weed, Past threescore years ; or, with three rusty swords, And help of some few foot and half-foot words, Fight over York and Lancaster's long jars, And in the tyring-house bring wounds to scars.
Page 7 - The drift of the ensuing discourse was chiefly to vindicate the honour of our English writers from the censure of those who unjustly prefer the French before them. This I intimate, lest any should think me so exceeding vain as to teach others an art which they understand much better than myself.
Page xix - I know I am not so fitted by nature to write comedy : I want that gaiety of humour which is required to it. My conversation is slow and dull, my humour saturnine and reserved : in short, I am none of those who endeavour to break jests in company, or make repartees.
Page 68 - Jonson, never equalled them to him in their esteem: and in the last King's court, when Ben's reputation was at highest, Sir John Suckling, and with him the greater part of the courtiers, set our Shakespeare far above him.
Page 70 - You seldom find him making love in any of his scenes, or endeavouring to move the passions; his genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such an height.