Essays: Biographical, Critical, and Historical; Illustrative of the Rambler, Adventurer & Idler ; and of the Various Periodical Papers Which, in Imitation of the Writings of Steele and Addison, Have Been Published Between the Close of the Eight Volume of the Spectator and the Commencement of the Year 1809, Volume 1
J. Seeley, 1809
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admirable affection appeared attempt beauty Boswell character close collection commenced complete composition conduct considerable considered continued contributed correct critical dated death diction Dictionary edition elegant English equal essays excellence existence expression frequently genius give given History honour hope human humour idea imagination interesting John Johnson kind labour language learning less letter light likewise literary literature Lives London Lord manner March means merit Milton mind moral nature never object observes obtained occasion occasionally opinion original passage passion perhaps period persons poem poetry poets political possess powers praise Preface present printed probably production published Rambler reader reason received remarks says selection Shakspeare soon Spectator spirit style taste Tatler thought tion translation universal volume whole wish writer written
Page 339 - I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave; and success and miscarriage are empty sounds. I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquillity, having little to fear or hope from censure or from praise.
Page 248 - I have laboured to refine our language to grammatical purity, and to clear it from colloquial barbarisms, licentious idioms, and irregular combinations. Something, perhaps, I have added to the elegance of its construction, and something to the harmony of its cadence.
Page 330 - Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water," and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help ? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind ; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it ; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it ; till I am known, and do not want it.
Page 132 - Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will resign'd ; For love, which scarce collective man can fill ; For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill ; For faith, that, panting for a happier seat, Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat...
Page 367 - DISORDERS of intellect,' answered Imlac, ' happen much more often than superficial observers will easily believe. Perhaps, if we speak with rigorous exactness, no human mind is in its right state. There is no man whose imagination does not sometimes predominate over his reason, who can regulate his attention wholly by his will, and whose ideas will come and go at his command.
Page 332 - This man (said he) I thought had been a Lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among Lords.
Page 167 - I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful.
Page 338 - ... author, and the world is little solicitous to know whence proceeded the faults of that which it condemns, yet it may gratify curiosity to inform it that the English Dictionary was written with little assistance of the learned, and without any patronage of the great...
Page 368 - He who has nothing external that can divert him must find pleasure in his own thoughts, and must conceive himself what he is not ; for who is pleased with what he is? He then expatiates in boundless futurity, and culls from all imaginable conditions that which for the present moment he should most desire, amuses his desires with impossible enjoyments, and confers upon his pride unattainable dominion.