Theoretical and Practical Grammar of the French Tongue

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Page 431 - 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 430 - I was desirous to add my name to this illustrious fraternity. I read all the poets of Persia and Arabia, and was able to repeat by memory the volumes that are suspended in the mosque of Mecca.
Page 432 - In some fair body thus th' informing soul With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole, Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve sustains; Itself unseen, but in th' effects, remains. Some, to whom Heav'n in wit has been profuse, Want as much more, to turn it to its use; For wit and judgment often are at strife, Tho' meant each other's aid, like man and wife.
Page 432 - One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art. Art from that fund each just supply provides; Works without show, and without pomp presides: In some fair body thus th...
Page 431 - 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 362 - They are surely happy," said the prince, "who have all these conveniences, of which I envy none so much as the facility with which separated friends interchange their thoughts." "The Europeans," answered Imlac, "are less unhappy than we, but they are not happy. Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
Page 430 - ... the 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...
Page 431 - 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 432 - ... contemn the applause of his own time, and commit his claims to the justice of posterity. He must write as the interpreter of nature, and the legislator of mankind, and consider himself as presiding over the thoughts and manners of future generations; as a being superior to time and place.
Page 432 - First follow nature, and your judgment frame By her just standard, which is still the same: Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art.

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