[Life of Young in 'Lives of the Poets']

Reading experience

?itemComments

[Life of Young in 'Lives of the Poets']

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-22174

Evidence

""It gives me much pleasure to observe, that however Johnson may have casually talked, yet when he sits, as ""an ardent judge zealous to his trust, giving sentence"" upon the excellent works of Young, he allows them the high praise to which they are justly entitled. ""The "Universal Passion" (says he) is indeed a very great performance,--his distichs have the weight of solid sentiment, and his points the sharpness of resistless truth."" But I was most anxious concerning Johnson"s decision upon ""Night Thoughts"", which I esteem as a mass of the grandest and richest poetry that human genius has ever produced; and was delighted to find this character of that work: ""In his "Night Thoughts", he has exhibited a very wide display of original poetry, variegated with deep reflections and striking allusions; a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every odour. This is one of the few poems in which blank verse could not be changed for rhime but with disadvantage"". And afterwards, ""Particular lines are not to be regarded; the power is in the whole; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantation, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity"". But there is in this Poem not only all that Johnson so well brings in view, but a power of the [italics] Pathetick [end italics] beyond almost any example that I have seen. He who does not feel his nerves shaken, and his heart pierced by many passages in this extraordinary work, particularly by that most affecting one, which describes the gradual torment suffered by the contemplation of an object of affectionate attachment, visibly and certainly decaying into dissolution, must be of a hard and obstinate frame. To all the other excellencies of ""Night Thoughts"" let me add the great and peculiar one, that they contain not only the noblest sentiments of virtue, and contemplations on immortality, but the Christian Sacrifice, the Divine Propitiation, with all its interesting circumstances, and consolations to ""a wounded spirit"" solemnly and poetically displayed in such imagery and language, as cannot fail to exalt, animate, and soothe the truly pious. No book whatever can be recommended to young persons, with better hopes of seasoning their minds with [italics] vital religion [end italics], than Young"s ""Night Thoughts""."

Source

Life of Johnson

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Reader(s) and listener(s)

Reader
Boswell, James
Born in 1740

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Notes
Originally published 1791.

How to cite this record

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission. Please ensure the following credit accompanies it:

Life of Johnson
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/80030
Accessed on 2019/09/18 17:22:57

Related people
Boswell, James
Related text or manuscript
Life of Johnson
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But I was most anxious concerning Johnson"s decision upon ""Night Thoughts"", which I esteem as a mass of the grandest and richest poetry that human genius has ever produced; and was delighted to find this character of that work: ""In his "Night Thoughts", he has exhibited a very wide display of original poetry, variegated with deep reflections and striking allusions; a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every odour. This is one of the few poems in which blank verse could not be changed for rhime but with disadvantage"". And afterwards, ""Particular lines are not to be regarded; the power is in the whole; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantation, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity"". 

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To all the other excellencies of ""Night Thoughts"" let me add the great and peculiar one, that they contain not only the noblest sentiments of virtue, and contemplations on immortality, but the Christian Sacrifice, the Divine Propitiation, with all its interesting circumstances, and consolations to ""a wounded spirit"" solemnly and poetically displayed in such imagery and language, as cannot fail to exalt, animate, and soothe the truly pious. No book whatever can be recommended to young persons, with better hopes of seasoning their minds with [italics] vital religion [end italics], than Young"s ""Night Thoughts""." 
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[Life of Young in 'Lives of the Poets']

Reading experience
Identifer:
ukred-22174

Evidence

""It gives me much pleasure to observe, that however Johnson may have casually talked, yet when he sits, as ""an ardent judge zealous to his trust, giving sentence"" upon the excellent works of Young, he allows them the high praise to which they are justly entitled. ""The "Universal Passion" (says he) is indeed a very great performance,--his distichs have the weight of solid sentiment, and his points the sharpness of resistless truth."" But I was most anxious concerning Johnson"s decision upon ""Night Thoughts"", which I esteem as a mass of the grandest and richest poetry that human genius has ever produced; and was delighted to find this character of that work: ""In his "Night Thoughts", he has exhibited a very wide display of original poetry, variegated with deep reflections and striking allusions; a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every odour. This is one of the few poems in which blank verse could not be changed for rhime but with disadvantage"". And afterwards, ""Particular lines are not to be regarded; the power is in the whole; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantation, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity"". But there is in this Poem not only all that Johnson so well brings in view, but a power of the [italics] Pathetick [end italics] beyond almost any example that I have seen. He who does not feel his nerves shaken, and his heart pierced by many passages in this extraordinary work, particularly by that most affecting one, which describes the gradual torment suffered by the contemplation of an object of affectionate attachment, visibly and certainly decaying into dissolution, must be of a hard and obstinate frame. To all the other excellencies of ""Night Thoughts"" let me add the great and peculiar one, that they contain not only the noblest sentiments of virtue, and contemplations on immortality, but the Christian Sacrifice, the Divine Propitiation, with all its interesting circumstances, and consolations to ""a wounded spirit"" solemnly and poetically displayed in such imagery and language, as cannot fail to exalt, animate, and soothe the truly pious. No book whatever can be recommended to young persons, with better hopes of seasoning their minds with [italics] vital religion [end italics], than Young"s ""Night Thoughts""."

Source

Life of Johnson

Text being read

EuRED : text status
TST4
EuRED : text form
TFO02
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TPR207

Reader(s) and listener(s)

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Boswell, James
Born in 1740

Details of the reading experience

Date of Reading Experience
Time of Reading Experience
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EuRED : experience frequency
EXF3
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EuRED : intensity
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EuRED : lighting
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Notes
Originally published 1791.

How to cite this record

You can copy this item for personal use, share it, and post it on a blog or website. It cannot be used commercially without permission. Please ensure the following credit accompanies it:

Life of Johnson
http://eured.univ-lemans.fr/dbworkshop/index.php/Detail/objects/80030
Accessed on 2019/09/18 17:22:57

Related people
Boswell, James
Related text or manuscript
Life of Johnson
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But I was most anxious concerning Johnson"s decision upon ""Night Thoughts"", which I esteem as a mass of the grandest and richest poetry that human genius has ever produced; and was delighted to find this character of that work: ""In his "Night Thoughts", he has exhibited a very wide display of original poetry, variegated with deep reflections and striking allusions; a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every odour. This is one of the few poems in which blank verse could not be changed for rhime but with disadvantage"". And afterwards, ""Particular lines are not to be regarded; the power is in the whole; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantation, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity"". 

But there is in this Poem not only all that Johnson so well brings in view, but a power of the [italics] Pathetick [end italics] beyond almost any example that I have seen. He who does not feel his nerves shaken, and his heart pierced by many passages in this extraordinary work, particularly by that most affecting one, which describes the gradual torment suffered by the contemplation of an object of affectionate attachment, visibly and certainly decaying into dissolution, must be of a hard and obstinate frame.

To all the other excellencies of ""Night Thoughts"" let me add the great and peculiar one, that they contain not only the noblest sentiments of virtue, and contemplations on immortality, but the Christian Sacrifice, the Divine Propitiation, with all its interesting circumstances, and consolations to ""a wounded spirit"" solemnly and poetically displayed in such imagery and language, as cannot fail to exalt, animate, and soothe the truly pious. No book whatever can be recommended to young persons, with better hopes of seasoning their minds with [italics] vital religion [end italics], than Young"s ""Night Thoughts""." 
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