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By George Saintsbury

ISBN-10: 1421272679

ISBN-13: 9781421272672

This Elibron Classics e-book is a facsimile reprint of a 1910 variation through Macmillan and Co., constrained, London.

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1 Apparently = the book's. 44 EARLY ELIZABETHAN PROSE CHAP. The difference referred to aboveis again well exemplified by the differenceof opinionson the styleof Hookeras compared with that of Sidney. Hookerwrote considerablylater than the other authorshere criticised,but his work is so distinctly the climax of the style started by Ascham,Cheke, and their fellows (the style in which English was carefully adapted to literary purposes for which Latin had been previously employed,under the general idea that Latin syntaxshould, on the whole, rule the new literary medium), that this chapter would be incomplete without a notice of him.

That such 25 frantic balderdash Yet this was what a man of undoubted talent, of considerable learning, and of no small "acuteness(for Stanyhurst'sPreface to this very translation shows something more than glimmeringson the subject of classicaland English prosody), could produce. It must never be forgotten that the men of this time were at a hopelesslywrong point of view. It never occurred to them that English left to itself could equal Greek or Latin. They simply endeavoured, with the utmost pains and skill, to drag English up to the samelevel as these unapproachablelanguagesby forcing it into the same moulds which Greek and Latin had endured.

In addition to them, and to a good number of shorter and miscellaneous poems,must be mentioned the Glassof Government(a kind of morality or serious comedy, moulded, it would seem,on German originals), and the rather prettily, if fantasticallytermed flowers, Herbs, and Weeds. Gascoigne has a very fair command of metre: he is not a great sinner in the childish alliteration which, survivingfrom the older English poetry, helps to convert so much of his contemporaries'work into doggerel. The pretty " Lullaby of a Lover," and "Gascoigne'sGood Morrow " may be mentioned, and part of one of them may be quoted, as a fair specimen of his work, which is alwaystolerable if never first-rate.

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A History of Elizabethan Literature by George Saintsbury


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