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There are some who, though easy to commit small crimes, are quickened and alarmed at atrocious villainies. Of these, virtue may be said to sit loosely, but not cast off.

Notes upon Shakspeare, vol. 10, p. 629, Where there is yet shame, there may in time be virtue.

i Western INands, p. 10. There are some interior and secret virtues which a man may sometimes have, without the knowledge of others; and may sometimes assume to himself, without sufficient reasons for his opinion.

Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 280.

I ROMANTIC VIRTUE.. . Narrations of romantic and impracticable vir: tue, will be read with wonder; but that which is unattainable is recommended in vain. That good may be endeavoured, it must be shown to be pose sible.

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carnivLife of Popeo

.. INTENTIONAL VIRTUE. Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy, him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practise ; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory; as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself...

Rambler, vol. 1, p. 83.


EXCESS OF VIRTUE. .. * It may be laid down as an axiom, that it is more easy to take away superfluities, than to supply de: fects, and therefore he that is culpable, because he has passed the middle point of virtue, is always

accounted a fairer object of hope, than he who, -fails by falling short; as rashness is more pardony able than cowardice, profusion than avarice.

Ibid. p. 151.

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VICE. Vices, like diseases, are often hereditary. The property of the one is to infect the manners, as the other poisons the springs of life.

Idler, vol. 1, p. 238.* .: BLANK VERSE. The exemption which blank verse affords from the necessity of closing the sense with the couplet, betrays luxurious and active minds into such in dulgence, that they pile image upon image, ornament upon ornament, and are not easily persuaded to close the sense at all. Blank verse will, it is to be feared, be too often found in description, exuberant; in argument, loquacious; and in narraa tion, tiresome,

Life of Akenside.


*Blank verse makes some approach to that which is called “the lepidary style. It has neither the easiness of prose, nor the melody of numbers,

Life of Milton.' Blank verse, said an ingenious critic, seems to be verse only to the eye,



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He that thinks himself capable of astonishing, may write blank verse; but those that hope only to please, must condescend to rhyme.


VAUNTING. Large offers, and sturdy rejections are among the most cominon topics of falsehood.


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UNIVERSALITY. WHAT is fit for every thing, can fit nothing

Life of Cowley. 'UNDERSTANDING, As the mind must govern the hands, so in every society, the man of intelligence must direct the man of labour.

Western Inands, p. 201, GREAT UNDERTAKINGS. A large work is difficult, because it is large, even though all its parts might singly be performed with facility. Where there are many things to be none, each inust be allowed its share of time and labour, in the proportion only which it bears to the whole; nor can it be expected that the stones which form the dome of the temple, should be squared and polished like the diamond of a ring.

Preface to Dictionary, fol. p. go

UTILITY. The value of a work must be estimated by its use: it is not enough that a dictionary delights


the critic, unless at the same time it instructs.
the learner. It is to little purpose that an enu .
gine amuses the philosopher by the subtlety of
its mechanism, if it requires so much knowledge
in its application, as to be of no advantage to
the common workman.

Plan of an English Dictionary, p. 33.

The time required by a dramatic fable elapses,

for the most part, between the acts; for of so much ' of the action as is represented, the real and poeti

cal duration is the same. If, therefore, in the first
act, preparations for war against Mithridates, are
represented to be made at Rome, the event of the
war may, without absurdity, be represented in the
catastrophe as happening in Pontus. We know
that we are neither in Rome, nor Pontus; that
neither Mithridates, nor Lucullus, are before us.
The drama exbibits successive imitations of suc-
cessive actions; and why may not the second imi-
tation represent an action that happened years
after the first, if it be so connected with it, that
nothing but time can be supposed to intervenę?

The lines, likewise, of a play, relate to some action, and an action must be in some place; but '. the different actions that complete a story may be

in places very remote from each other: and where
is the absurdity of allowing that space to represent
first Athens, and then Sicily, which was always
known to be neither Sicily nor Athens, but a
modern theatre?

Yet he that, without diminution of any other
excellence, shall preserve all the unities unbroken,
deserves the like applause with the architect who
shall display all the orders of an architect in a

. ,' , citadel,

citadel, without any deduction from its strength: But the principal beauty of a citadel is to exclude the enemy; and the greatest graces of a play are to copy nature, and instruct life. :

Preface to Shakspeare, p. 113 & 116.



AS war is the extremity of evil, it is surely the duty of those whose station entrusts them with the care of nations, to avert it from their charge. There are diseases of an animal nature which nothing but amputation can remove; so there may, by the depravation of human passions, be sometimes a gangrene in collected life, for which fire and the sword are the necessary remedies; but in what can skill or caution be better, shown, than in preventing such dreadful operations, while there is room for gentler methods?

... Falkland Illands, p.41. The wars of civilized nations make very slow changes in the system of empire. The public perceives scarcely any alteration, but an increase of debt; and the few individuals who are benefited, are not supposed to have the clearest right to their "advantages. If he that shared the danger, enjoyed the profit; if he that bled in the battle, grew rich by victory; he might show his gains without envy. · But, at the conclusion of a long war, how are we

recompensed for the death of inultitudes, and the .expence of millions; but by contemplating the sudden glories of pay-masters and agents, contrac


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