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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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Oliver Goldsmith


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Henry Home, Lord Kames : Elements of Criticism

'Johnson proceeded :— "The Scotchman has taken the right method in his 'Elements of Criticism.' I do not mean that he has taught us any thing; but he has told us old things in a new way." Murphy. "He seems to have read a great deal of French criticism, and wants to make it his own; as if he had been for years anatomizing the heart of man, and peeping into every cranny of it." Goldsmith. "It is easier to write that book, than to read it." Johnson. "We have an example of true criticism in Burke's 'Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful'; and, if I recollect, there is also Du Bos; and Bouhours, who shews all beauty to depend on truth. There is no great merit in telling how many plays have ghosts in them, and how this Ghost is better than that. You must shew how terrour is impressed on the human heart.— In the description of night in Macbeth, the beetle and the bat detract from the general idea of darkness,—inspissated gloom".'

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Oliver Goldsmith      Print: Book


William Mason : Heroick Epistle to Sir William Chambers

'Johnson and Shebbeare were frequently named together, as having in former reigns had no predilection for the family of Hanover. The authour of the celebrated "Heroick Epistle to Sir William Chambers", introduces them in one line, in a list of those "who tasted the sweets of his present Majesty's reign". Such was Johnson's candid relish of the merit of that satire, that he allowed Dr. Goldsmith, as he told me, to read it to him from beginning to end, and did not refuse his praise to its execution'.

Century: 1700-1799     Reader/Listener/Group: Oliver Goldsmith      Print: Unknown


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