Download PDF by George Saintsbury: A History of Elizabethan Literature

February 2, 2018 | English Literature | By admin | 0 Comments

By George Saintsbury

ISBN-10: 1421272679

ISBN-13: 9781421272672

This Elibron Classics ebook is a facsimile reprint of a 1910 variation by means of Macmillan and Co., constrained, London.

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The chief is the author of the anonymousArt of EnglishPoesie,publishedthe year after the Armada, and just before the appearanceof The Faerie Queene. This Art haschiefly to be comparedwith the Discourseof English /}>,-/;"/,;publishedthree years earlier by William Webbe. Webbe, of whom nothing is known save that he was a private tutor at one or two gentlemen's houses in Essex, exhibits that dislike and disdain of rhyme which was an offshootof the passion for humanist studies, which was importantly representedall through the sixteenth and early seventeenth century in England, and which had Milton for its last and greatestexponent.

I have written this English matter in the English tongue for Englishmen"-a memor- able sentencenonethe worsefor its jingle and repetition,which are well in place. "3 The Toxofkilus and the Schoolmasterare both in their different ways very pleasantreading; and the English is far more correct than that of much greater men than Ascham in the next century. It is, however, merely as style, less interesting, because it is clear that the author is doing little more than translate in his head, instead of on the paper, good current Latin (such as it would have been " more easier" for him to write) into current English.

But the coxcombryof Harvey and the felicitous impertinence of Nash have sometimes diverted attention from the actual state of the case. William Webbe (a very sober-minded person with taste enough to admire the "new poet," as he calls Spenser)makes elaborateattemptsnot merelyat hexameters,which, though only a curiosity, are a possiblecuriosity in English, but at Sapphicswhich could never (except as burlesque)be tolerable. Sidney, Spenser, and othersgaveseriousheedto the schemeof substitutingclassical metres without rhyme for indigenous metreswith rhyme.

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A History of Elizabethan Literature by George Saintsbury


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