S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Critics form a general character from the observation of particular errors, taken in their own oblique or imperfect views; which is as unjust as to make a judgment of the beauty of a mans body from the shade it cast in such and such a position.
A wise man is not inquisitive about things impertinent.
By this single trait Homer marks an essential difference between the Iliad and Odyssey; that in the former the people perished by the folly of their kings; in this, by their own folly.
Homer has concealed faults under an infinity of admirable beauties.
Homer is guilty of verbosity, and of a tedious prolix manner of speaking: he is the greatest talker of all antiquity.
If we look upon the Odyssey as all a fiction, we consider it unworthily. It ought to be read as a story founded upon truth, adorned with embellishments of poetry.
Homer introduces the best instructions in the midst of the plainest narrations.
Plutarch quotes this instance of Homers judgment, in closing a ludicrous scene with decency and instruction.
This conduct might give Horace the hint to say, that when Homer was at a loss to bring any difficult matter to an issue, he laid his hero asleep, and this salved all difficulty.
Passion transforms us into a kind of savages, and makes us brutal and sanguinary.
Poets were ranked in the class of philosophers, and the ancients made use of them as preceptors in music and morality.
Ulysses, adds he, was the most eloquent and most silent of men; he knew that a word spoken never wrought so much good as a word concealed.
Modern critics, having never read Homer but in low and inelegant translations, impute the meanness of the translation to the poet.
A top may be used with propriety in a similitude by a Virgil, when the sun may be dishonoured by a Mævius.
Virgil, after Homers example, gives us a transformation of Æneass ships into sea-nymphs.
When Homer would represent any agreeable object, he makes use of the smoothest vowels and most flowing semi-vowels.
The Iliad consists of battles, and a continual commotion; the Odyssey, in patience and wisdom.
Notes on the Odyssey. 17
He calls up the heroes of former ages from a state of inexistence to adorn and diversify his poem.
On the Odyssey. 18