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Page 78 - Each change of many-coloured life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new : Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign, And panting time toiled after him in vain.
Page 80 - But love is only one of many passions ; and as it has no great influence upon the sum of life, it has little operation in the dramas of a poet, who caught his ideas from the living world, «nd exhibited only what he saw before him.
Page 81 - This therefore is the praise of Shakspeare, that his drama is the mirror of life ; that he who has mazed his imagination, in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him, may here be cured of his delirious ecstasies, by reading human sentiments in human language ; by scenes from which a hermit may estimate the transactions of the world, and a confessor predict the progress of the passions.
Page 79 - In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual; in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species.
Page 57 - In short, she altogether, unwittingly to herself, initiated me in that delicious passion which, in spite of acid disappointment, gin-horse prudence, and book-worm philosophy, I hold to be the first of human joys, our dearest blessing here below ! How she caught the contagion I cannot tell.
Page 80 - Shakespeare has no heroes, his scenes are occupied only by men, who act and speak as the reader thinks that he should himself have spoken or acted on the same occasion : Even where the agency is supernatural, the dialogue is level with liie.
Page 80 - Other dramatists can only gain attention by hyperbolical or aggravated characters, by fabulous and unexampled excellence or depravity, as the writers of barbarous romances invigorated the reader by a giant and a dwarf...
Page 253 - ... she would accuse none, nor say any thing of the ground upon which she was judged. She prayed heartily for the king...
Page 79 - It is from this wide extension of design that so much instruction is derived. It is this which fills the plays of Shakespeare with practical axioms and domestic wisdom. It was said of Euripides that every verse was a precept ; and it may be said of Shakespeare that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence...