Selected Essays of Henry Fielding

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Ginn, 1905 - Essays - 222 pages
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Page 21 - I declare here once for all, I describe not men, but manners ; not an individual, but a species. Perhaps it will be answered, Are not the characters then taken from life ? To which I answer in the affirmative ; nay, I believe I might aver, that I have writ little more than I have seen.
Page 18 - I shall not look on myself as accountable to any court of critical jurisdiction whatever; for as I am in reality the founder of a new province of writing, so I am at liberty to make what laws I please therein...
Page 8 - In reality, true nature is as difficult to be met with in authors, as the Bayonne ham or Bologna sausage is to be found in the shops.
Page ix - The successors of Charles V. may disdain their brethren of England: but the romance of 'Tom Jones,' that exquisite picture of human manners, will outlive the palace of the Escurial and the Imperial Eagle of Austria.
Page 114 - As when some one peculiar quality Doth so possess a man, that it doth draw All his affects, his spirits, and his powers, In their confluctions, all to run one way, This may be truly said to be a humour.
Page 39 - First, then, we warn thee not too hastily to condemn any of the incidents in this our history, as impertinent and foreign to our main design, because thou dost not immediately conceive in what manner such incident may conduce to that design. This work may, indeed, be considered as a great creation of our own...
Page 8 - In like manner, we shall represent human nature at first to the keen appetite of our reader, in that more plain and simple manner in which it is found in the country, and shall hereafter hash and ragoo it with all the high French and Italian seasoning of affectation and vice which courts and cities afford.
Page 61 - Vanbrugh and Congreve copied nature ; but they who copy them draw as unlike the present age as Hogarth would do if he was to paint a rout or a drum in the dresses of Titian and of Vandyke. In short, imitation here will not do the business. The picture must be after Nature herself. A true knowledge of the world is gained only by conversation, and the manners of every rank must be seen in order to be known.
Page 39 - This work may, indeed, be considered as a great creation of our own; and for a little reptile of a critic to presume to find fault with any of its parts, without knowing the manner in which the whole is connected, and before he comes to the final catastrophe, is a most presumptuous absurdity.
Page 10 - Now, a comic romance is a comic epic poem in prose, differing from comedy as the serious epic from tragedy, its action being more extended and comprehensive, containing a much larger circle of incidents, and introducing a greater variety of characters. It differs from the serious romance in its fable and action in this, that as in the one these are grave and solemn, so in the other they are light and ridiculous; it differs in its characters by introducing persons...

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