The whole critical works of monsieur Rapin, newly tr. by several hands [really by B. Kennett].
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Page 55 - Above it stood the Seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Page 118 - Morality throughout the whole Canto's together, shew him better acquainted with the quatrains of Pybrach, which he speaks of, than with any true Models of Epick Poesie. After all, he is said to have a particular Talent for the Manners: his thoughts are great, and there appears something roughly Noble throughout this fragment...
Page 219 - It is merely a gift of nature to make everything ridiculous. For all the actions of human life have their fair and their wrong side, their serious and their ridiculous. But Aristotle, who gives precepts to make men weep, leaves none to make them laugh. This proceeds purely from the genius; art and method have little to do with it; it is the work of nature alone.
Page 121 - Many the greatest Wits of France have attempted the Epick, but their performance answer'd not expectation; our fragments are more worth than their finish'd pieces. And though, perhaps, want of encouragement has hinder'd our labours in the Epic, yet for the Drama, the World has nothing to be compared with us.
Page 141 - It is not easily decided what the nature and what precisely is the end of this art; the interpreters of Aristotle differ in their opinions. Some will have the end to be delight, and that it is on this account it labors to move the passions, all whose motions are delightful, because nothing is more sweet to the soul than agitation; it pleases itself in changing the objects to satisfy the immensity of its desires.
Page 166 - ... at by the boldness of a metaphor is dangerous, insomuch that it comes nigh to rashness, Aristotle must be consulted on this matter to employ them with discretion, as Virgil has done, who, treating of bees in the fourth book of his Georgics, that he might heighten the meanness of his subject, speaks not of them but in metaphorical terms — of a court, of legions, of armies, of combats, pitched fields, kings, captains, soldiers — and by this admirable art forms a noble image of the lowest subject,...
Page 122 - Scaliger, and before him Macrobius, Agellius, and the other Criticks have compared the Poets, and examin'd their worth) none has been more generally, and more happily handled, and in none have the Noblest wits both ancient and modern more contended with each other for victory, than in the description of the night. Yet in this the English has the advantage, and has even outdone them where they have outdone themselves. The first, I meet with, who had the lucky hit, is Apollonius in his Argonautiques.
Page 160 - ... opinions were then new in his time.10 Theon the Sophist cannot endure the unseasonable discourses of Hecuba on her misfortunes, in the same author. Sophocles makes Oedipus too weak and low-spirited in his exile after he had bestowed on him that character of constancy and resolution before his disgrace. Seneca, for his part, knows nothing of the manners. He is a fine speaker who is eternally uttering pretty sayings, but is in no wise natural in what he speaks, and whatever persons he makes to...
Page 235 - World by fome nipping Word, which is called a Point. Catullus writ after the former manner, which is of a finer Character, for he endeavours to clofe a natural Thought within a delicate Turn of Words, and within the Simplicity of a very foft Expreffion. Martial was in fome manner the Author of this other way, that is to fay, to terminate an ordinary Thought by fome Word that is furprifing.
Page 220 - ... that fine raillery which is the flower of wit, is the talent which comedy demands. But it must always be observed that the true ridiculous of art, for the entertainment on the theatre, ought to be no other but the copy of the ridiculous that is found in nature. Comedy is as it should be when the spectator believes himself...