Critical and Miscellaneous Essays

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Carey & Hart, 1845 - 568 pages
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Page 331 - Having carried on my work thus far with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less ; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation. My Lord, your lordship's most humble, most obedient servant,
Page 101 - I never hear the loud solitary whistle of the curlew in a summer noon, or the wild mixing cadence of a troop of gray plover in an autumnal morning, without feeling an elevation of soul like the enthusiasm of devotion or poetry.
Page 330 - Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached the ground encumbers him with help?
Page 107 - Cold on Canadian hills or Minden's plain, Perhaps that parent wept her soldier slain; Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew; The big drops, mingling with the milk he drew, Gave the sad presage of his future years, The child of misery, baptized in tears.
Page 107 - Grierson was at that time a clerk of my father's. He knew Burns, and promised to ask him to his lodgings to dinner, but had no opportunity to keep his word, otherwise, I might have seen more of this distinguished man. As it was, I saw him one day at the late venerable Professor Ferguson's, where there were several gentlemen of literary reputation, among whom I remember the celebrated Mr Dugald Stewart.
Page 101 - Are we a piece of machinery, which, like the jEolian harp, passive, takes the impression of the passing accident ; or do these workings argue something within us above the trodden clod ? I own myself partial to such proofs of those awful and important realities : a God that made all things, man's immaterial and immortal nature, and a world of weal or woe beyond death and the grave.
Page 107 - I may truly say, Virgilium vidi tantum. I was a lad of fifteen in 1786-7, when he came first to Edinburgh, but had sense and feeling enough to be much interested in his poetry, and would have given the world to know him : but I had very little acquaintance with any literary people, and still less with the gentry of the west country, the two sets that he most frequented. Mr. Thomas Grierson was at that time a clerk of my father's. He knew Burns, and promised to ask him to his lodgings to dinner ;...
Page 108 - This is all I can tell you about Burns. I have only to add, that his dress corresponded with his manner. He was like a farmer dressed in his best to dine with the laird. I do not speak in malam partcm, when I say, I never saw a man in company with his superiors in station or information more perfectly free from either the reality or the affectation of embarrassment.
Page 108 - There was a strong expression of sense and shrewdness in all his lineaments; the eye alone, I think, indicated, the poetical character and temperament. It was large, and of a dark cast, which glowed (I say literally glowed) when he spoke with feeling or interest. I never saw such another eye in a human head, though I have seen the most distinguished men in my time.
Page 340 - His dress was a rusty brown morning suit, a pair of old shoes by way of slippers, a little shrivelled wig sticking on the top of his head, and the sleeves of his shirt and the knees of his breeches hanging loose. A considerable crowd of people gathered round, and were not a little struck by this singular appearance.

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