Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Composition
 
  The great art of a writer shows itself in the choice of pleasing allusions, which are generally to be taken from the great or beautiful works of art or nature; for, though whatever is new or uncommon is apt to delight the imagination, the chief design of an allusion being to illustrate and explain the passages of an author, it should be always borrowed from what is more known and common than the passages which are to be explained.
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 421.    
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  When I read an author of genius who writes without method, I fancy myself in a wood that abounds with a great many noble objects, rising among one another in the greatest confusion and disorder. When I read a methodical discourse, I am in a regular plantation, and can place myself in its several centres, so as to take a view of all the lines and walks that are struck from them. You may ramble in the one a whole day together, and every moment discover something or other that is new to you; but when you have done, you will have but a confused, imperfect notion of the place: in the other your eye commands the whole prospect, and gives you such an idea of it as is not easily worn out of the memory.
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 476.    
  2
 
  There is in all excellencies of composition a kind of poverty or a casualty or jeopardy.
Francis Bacon.    
  3
 
  A fourth rule for constructing sentences with proper strength is to make the members of them go on rising and growing in their importance above one another. This sort of arrangement is called a climax, and is always considered as a beauty in composition.
Hugh Blair.    
  4
 
  I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry: that is, Prose is words in their best order; Poetry, the best words in the best order.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.    
  5
 
  A man by tumbling his thoughts and forming them into expressions gives them a new kind of fermentation; which works them into a finer body, and makes them much clearer than they were before.
Jeremy Collier.    
  6
 
  In quatrains the last line of the stanza is to be considered in the composition of the first.
John Dryden.    
  7
 
  Claudian perpetually closes his sense at the end of a verse, commonly called golden, or two substantives and two adjectives, with a verb betwixt them to keep the peace.
John Dryden.    
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  I have endeavoured, throughout this discourse, that every former part might give strength unto all that follow, and every latter bring some light unto all before.
Richard Hooker.    
  9
 
  The numbers themselves, though of the heroic measure, should be the smoothest imaginable.
Alexander Pope.    
  10
 
  Long sentences in a short composition are like large rooms in a little house.
William Shenstone.    
  11
 
  He that writes well in verse will often send his thoughts in search through all the treasure of words that express any one idea in the same language, that so he may comport with the measures of the rhyme, or with his own most beautiful and vivid sentiments of the thing he describes.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
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