Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion (1357-1900)

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Page 263 - But enough of this ; there is such a variety of game springing up before me that I am distracted in my choice, and know not which to follow. 'Tis sufficient to say, according to the proverb, that here is God's plenty.
Page 258 - Milton was the poetical son of Spenser, and Mr. Waller of Fairfax, for we have our lineal descents and clans as well as other families.
Page 264 - Chaucer as a dry, old-fashioned wit, not worth reviving. I have often heard the late Earl of Leicester say, that Mr. Cowley himself was of that opinion ; who having read him over at my lord's request, declared he had no taste of him. I dare not advance my opinion against the judgment of so great an author : but I think it fair, however, to leave the decision to the public : Mr.
Page 261 - For this reason, though he must always be thought a great poet, he is no longer esteemed a good writer; and for ten impressions, which his works have had in so many successive years, yet at present a hundred books are scarcely purchased once a twelvemonth; for, as my last Lord Rochester said, though somewhat profanely, Not being of God, he could not stand.
Page 292 - But ev'n those clouds at last adorn its way, Reflect new glories, and augment the day. Be thou the first true merit to befriend; His praise is lost, who stays till all commend.
Page 358 - Your people, sir, are partial in the rest; Foes to all living worth except your own, And advocates for folly dead and gone. Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; It is the Rust we value, not the Gold. Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote, And beastly Skelton heads of houses quote; One likes no language but the Faery Queen; A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o...
Page 261 - Would he think of inopem me copia fecit, and a dozen more of such expressions, poured on the neck of one another, and signifying all the same thing ? If this were wit, was this a time to be witty, when the poor wretch was in the agony of death? This is just John Littlewit, in Bartholomew Fair, who had a conceit (as he tells you) left him in his misery; a miserable conceit.
Page 387 - The language of our fathers. Here he dwelt For many a cheerful day. These ancient walls Have often heard him, while his legends blithe He sang; of love, or knighthood, or the wiles Of homely life; through each estate and age, The fashions and the follies of the world With cunning hand portraying.
Page 361 - I shall endeavour to prove when I compare them ; and as I am, and always have been, studious to promote the honour of my native country, so I soon resolved to put their merits to the trial, by turning some of the Canterbury Tales...
Page 110 - Latinists do use : and who so ever do peruse and well consider his workes, he shall finde that although his lines are not alwayes of one selfe same number of Syllables, yet beyng redde by one that hath understanding, the longest verse and that which hath most Syllables in it, will fall (to the eare) correspondent unto that whiche hath fewest sillables in it...