Literary Essays (volume 3)

Paperback | January 5, 2012

byJames Russell Lowell

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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1890. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... DRYDEN* 1868 Benvenuto Cellini tells us that when, in his boyhood, he saw a salamander come out of the fire, his grandfather forthwith gave him a sound beating, that he might the better remember so unique a prodigy. Though perhaps in this case the rod had another application than the autobiographer chooses to disclose, and was intended to fix in the pupil's mind a lesson of veracity rather than of science, the testimony to its mnemonic virtue remains. Nay, so universally was it once believed that the senses, and through them the faculties of observation and retention, were quickened by an irritation of the cuticle, that in France it was customary to whip the children annually at the boundaries of the parish, lest the true place of them might ever be lost through neglect of so inexpensive a mordant for the memory. From this practice the older school of critics should seem to have taken a hint for keeping fixed the limits of good taste, and what was somewhat vaguely called classical English. To mark these limits in poetry, they set up as Hermse the images they had made to them of Dryden, of Pope, and later of Goldsmith. Here they solemnly castigated every new aspirant in verse, who in turn performed the same function for the next generation, thus helping to keep always sacred and immovable the ne plus ultra alike of inspiration and of the vocabulary. Though no two natures were ever much more unlike than those of Dryden and Pope, and again of Pope and Goldsmith, and no two styles, except in such externals as could be easily caught and copied, yet it was the fashion, down even to the last generation, to advise young writers to form themselves, as it was called, on these excellent models. Wordsworth himself began in this school; and though there were glimpse...

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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1890. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... DRYDEN* 1868 Benvenuto Cellini tells us that when, in his boyhood, he saw a salamander come out of the fire, his grandfather...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:94 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.19 inPublished:January 5, 2012Publisher:General Books LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0217507220

ISBN - 13:9780217507226

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