An Essay on Criticism + Peri Bathos

9780898046649: An Essay on Criticism + Peri Bathos

Excerpt: ...wrote a short View of the Stage, which sold wonderfully, and immediately the Booksellers Pg 49 hir'd him to write Three Histories in Folio: And I question not but, because Sir Isaac Newton has outdone all Philosophers in his Treatise of Fluxions, they would employ him in Heroick Poetry, if he were young enough, and would be employ'd by them. There was a Pertness in Collier's Stile, which was mistaken for Vivacity, and tho' there cannot be any Thing more affected, yet it recommends his Essays, Views, &c. as somewhat in the Perfection of our Language. I wonder Dr. Felton should forget him, when he mentions Sir Roger L'Estrange, Mr. Trap, and other masterly Writers. You cannot name Collier's Views, Essays, &c. in Company, but some body or other immediately cries out, Ay! that's Fine. Wonderful fine, as will be seen presently. In his Essays he has this Expression, A Man may act an Excellency for the Satisfaction if Significancy , which has the same Effect in Prose, as it is observ'd of some good Verses, that the Smoothness or Roughness of the Numbers are an Image of the Roughness or Smoothness of the Thing. You can hardly pronounce these Words without a prim Look, and screwing up your Mouth with the Affectation of a Girl at a Boarding-School. Would one imagine that this was said by the same Author in another place; Nothing is more nauseous than to be affected : And yet see further, Don't let Miss suffer her Heels to get too much into her Head , not to say any Thing about the Attitude, which would be very extraordinary in a Picture. Again, Seeing and Hearing are the most creditable Senses; the Brain has an unpromising Aspect , which cannot be known without Dissection. What Idea does this leave upon the Mind? or this, A Prince made but a lame Figure in Comparison with our Apostle . One would think Collier had Prince Prettiman and the Spanish Fryer in his Head when he wrote it. He is so fond of this Conceit, that he endeavours to prove, in his...

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