A Theoretical and Practical Grammar of the French Language

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Page 278 - ... province of poetry is to describe Nature and passion, which are always the same, the first writers took possession of the most striking objects for description, and the most probable occurrences for fiction, and left nothing to those that followed them, but transcription of the same events, and new combinations of the same images. Whatever be the reason, it is commonly observed that the early writers are in possession of nature, and their followers of art: that the first excel in strength and...
Page 278 - ... knowledge is an acquisition gradually attained, and poetry is a gift conferred at once; or that the first poetry of every nation surprised them as a novelty, and retained the credit by consent which it received by accident at first; or whether, as the province of poetry is to describe Nature and Passion...
Page 279 - The business of a poet," said Imlac, "is to examine not the individual but the species, to remark general properties and large appearances; he does not number the streaks of the tulip or describe the different shades in the verdure of the forest.
Page 225 - Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth, by calling imagination to the help of reason.
Page 279 - I saw every thing with a new purpose ; my sphere of attention was suddenly magnified : no kind of knowledge was to be overlooked. I ranged mountains and deserts for images and resemblances, and pictured upon my mind every tree of the forest and flower of the valley. I observed with equal care the crags of the rock and the pinnacles of the palace.
Page 279 - His character requires that he estimate the happiness and misery of every condition; observe the power of all the passions in all their combinations, and trace the changes of the human mind as they are modified by various institutions and accidental influences of climate or custom, from the sprightliness of infancy to the despondence of decrepitude.
Page 279 - To a poet nothing can be useless. Whatever is beautiful and whatever is dreadful, must be familiar to his imagination : he must be conversant with all that is awfully vast or elegantly little. The plants of the garden, the animals of the wood, the minerals of the earth, and meteors of the sky, must all concur to store his mind with inexhaustible variety...
Page 225 - Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
Page 279 - ... or decoration of moral or religious truth, and he who knows most will have most power of diversifying his scenes and of gratifying his reader with remote allusions and unexpected instruction. "All the appearances of nature I was therefore careful to study, and every country which I have surveyed has contributed something to my poetical powers.

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