Dramatic Essays

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J.M. Dent & Sons, Limited, 1921 - 299 pages
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Page 40 - He is many times flat and 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 ii - WILL BE PLEASED TO SEND FREELY TO ALL APPLICANTS A LIST OF THE PUBLISHED AND PROJECTED VOLUMES TO BE COMPRISED UNDER THE FOLLOWING TWELVE HEADINGS: TRAVEL ^ SCIENCE ^ FICTION THEOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY HISTORY ? CLASSICAL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ESSAYS ^ ORATORY POETRY & DRAMA BIOGRAPHY ROMANCE IN TWO STYLES OF BINDING, CLOTH, FLAT BACK, COLOURED TOP, AND LEATHER, ROUND CORNERS, GILT TOP.
Page 42 - Shakespeare was the Homer, or father of our dramatic poets ; Jonson was the Virgil, the pattern of elaborate writing ; I admire him, but I love Shakespeare. To conclude of him ; as he has given us the most correct plays, so in the precepts which he has laid down in his Discoveries, we have as many and profitable rules for perfecting the stage, as any wherewith the French can furnish us.
Page 41 - As for Jonson, to whose character I am now arrived, if we look upon him while he was himself (for his last plays were but his dotages), I think him the most learned and judicious writer which any theatre ever had. He was a most severe judge of himself, as well as others. One cannot say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it.
Page 32 - Tis true, those beauties of the French poesy are such as will raise perfection higher where it is, but are not sufficient to give it where it is not: they are indeed the beauties of a statue, but not of a man, because not animated with the soul of Poesy, which is imitation of humour and passions...
Page 108 - ... one of the greatest, most noble, and most sublime poems, which either this age or nation has produced.
Page 274 - ... they who think too well of their own performances, are apt to boast in their prefaces how little time their works have cost them ; and what other business of more importance interfered ; but the reader will be as apt to ask the question, why they allowed not a longer time to make their works more perfect ? and why they had so despicable an opinion of their judges, as to thrust their indigested stuff upon them, as if they deserved no better...
Page 38 - English stage. For, if you consider the plots, our own are fuller of variety; if the writing, ours are more quick and fuller of spirit...
Page 41 - Wit and language, and humour also in some measure, we had before him ; but something of art was wanting to the drama till he came. He managed his strength to more advantage than any who preceded him. 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 a height.
Page 162 - Latin would not appear so shining in the English: and where I have enlarged them, I desire the false critics would not always think that those thoughts are wholly mine, but that either they are secretly in the poet, or may be fairly deduced from him...

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